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1st Navy sailors test positive for new coronavirus aboard a ship at sea

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EMPPhotography/iStock(NEW YORK) — U.S. Navy sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt — currently in the Philippine Sea — have tested positive for novel coronavirus.

This is the first time that U.S. sailors have tested positive aboard a Navy ship while at sea.

The three sailors have been flown to an undisclosed U.S. medical facility in the Pacific region, said Thomas Modley, the acting Secretary of the Navy at a Pentagon briefing. Sailors among the rest of the ship’s crew of 5,000, who came into contact with the three sailors, have been protectively quarantined.

“We’ve identified all those folks that they’ve had contact with and we’re quarantining them as well,” Modley said. “This is an example of our ability to keep our ships deployed at sea.”

Overall, the Navy has 86 personnel who have tested positive for COVID-19, including 57 sailors. The rest are civilians, dependents or contractors.

It was unclear if the sailors became infected with the coronavirus following the ship’s most recent port of call in early March to Da Nang, Vietnam.

“It would be difficult to tie down these active cases to that particular port visit,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, the chief of naval operations. “We’ve had aircraft flying to and from the ship and so we just don’t want to say that it was that particular port visit.”

Gilday said that prior to the port call, Navy officials carefully considered whether to proceed with the visit. He noted that at the time of the scheduled port of call there were only 16 cases of COVID-19 — all of them in northern Vietnam, far from the port located in central Vietnam.

Careful screening of returning sailors was carried out before they boarded the carrier, which then followed the Navy’s new guidance to maintain 14 days at sea following a port of call.

The three sailors tested positive 15 days after the port of call.

This past weekend the Navy sent medical teams to three large ships in the Pacific — including the carrier Roosevelt — that could carry out “batch” testing of units aboard the ships instead of individual tests. But it appears that the three sailors exhibited symptoms, including fever and body aches, and received individual tests that were flown to shore for final analysis.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Sam Mendes' Oscar-winning '1917' now on DVD and Blu-ray

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Universal Pictures(NEW YORK) — Filmmaker Sam Mendes’ World War I drama 1917 is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. The film, which earned 10 Oscar nominations, took home trophies for Best Sound Mixing, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects.

Mendes’ epic centers on two British soldiers, played by Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay, who are in a desperate race across enemy territory with an urgent message that could save thousands of soldiers — including a brother of one of the men.

Instead of using short takes, as is customary, Mendes kept the camera rolling to make it look like it was shot in one take. This means everything had to go exactly right, or all involved had to start all over again.

“A lot of it was sort of trial and error,” Chapman tells ABC Audio, “And then you’d sort of have to remember what — what went wrong the previous take and then you’d have to sort of correct it the next. So it was literally, you know, one thing went wrong, the previous take, then something else would go wrong the next time. And it was about correcting yourself as you went along.”

For MacKay, an errant prop proved a real headache for one take. 

“I think it was the end of six minutes or something. Literally the last five seconds. The point with which, you know, we’ll put two shots together. And my body’s in a certain position that — and my rifle just kept falling off at the end of six minutes. 

1917 also stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, and Colin Firth.

The Blu-ray release comes packed with behind-the-scenes features, including how Mendes and Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins managed to capture the film’s stunning shots.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. 

#SavageChallenge Actress Edition: Taraji P. Henson, Kerry Washington, Angela Bassett and Gabrielle Union 

ABC/Heidi Gutman(LOS ANGELES) — Kerry Washington set off the actress edition of Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” challenge creating her own video compilation to the song. 

“I don’t have TikTok but I want to play!!!” she captioned a video collage of funny TV appearances and past films, starting with her Scandal strut and including a few clips from Netflix’s American Son and Django.

Gabrielle Union applauded her video on Twitter. She said, “This is how you do this challenge. I’ll admit I hurt my hip trying to learn the dance last night. I see you Kerry. Well played.” Union thanked Kerry and Taraji for showing her how “to not injure her hip” doing the choreographed dance, uploading her own video compilation on Instagram. She shared clips from Being Mary Jane and encouraged everyone to check out season one of LA’s Finest on iTunes, which she stars in. 

Megan, Kerry, and Taraji P. Henson applauded sis, yelling “Yesssss” in the comments.

We all know how savage Cookie really is, but Taraji was on fire in her Empire compilation. “AF I see no lies!!!” she said. 

Acting vet Angela Bassett didn’t want to miss out on the fun, sharing a fan-made video on her Instagram.

“Hey Everybody you good? You SAVAGE? this just made my day! Watched it about a dozen times! Thank you darling!” she wrote. The short video featured numerous clips from her role on American Horror Story and past films. 

The compilation videos for Angela and Taraji were created by an Instagram account named iComplexity. The page also created videos for Union and other acclaimed actresses such as Jada Pinkett-Smith, Brandy as Cassie on Empire, Halle Berry, Tyler Perry’s Madea, Janet Jackson, Beyoncé, and Aaliyah.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

John Boyega dishes on his “really, really fun” Netflix film ‘They Cloned Tyrone’, calls it a “stateside ‘Attack the Block'”

ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) — Before John Boyega signed his recent deal with Netflix to develop more African-focused films, the Star Wars star was excited about another major project with the streamer: his upcoming sci-fi movie They Cloned Tyrone.

“This is me just going home for a bit,” Boyega tells ABC Audio of the film, which is described as “Friday-meets-Get Out,” and follows an unlikely trio who investigates a series of creepy crimes plaguing their neighborhood.

“I’ve just come off of two kind of intense projects. Chase Palmer’s Naked Singularity…and then Steve McQueen’s Small Axe,” he says. “So They Cloned Tyrone is just a chance for me to have fun… and chill.”

The British actor also notes that the new film has “a good, intelligent script” and reminds him of his 2011 feature film debut, Attack the Block.

In that critically acclaimed film, Boyega starred as Moses, a teenage gang leader who helped defend his friends and neighbors against deadly alien invaders.

“Like, this is stateside Attack the Block for me,” he explains, adding, “I’m just more than excited to see a small little hood go through an alien experience.”

“Yeah, maybe that’s what I should do, just go from each country,” he jokes, offering ideas on future films. “Alien experience…in Russia. Alien experience in…China. We actually go to each country.”

“But it’s been really, really fun and I can’t wait to start on that,” he adds.  

A streaming date for They Cloned Tyrone has yet to be announced.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Sarah Wayne Callies has a message for the social distancing world: “Stay in the house, Carl!” 

Photo: Dimitry Loiseau(NEW YORK) — Sarah Wayne Callies, who played Lori on The Walking Dead, is ready to bring back her character’s much-quoted phrase, “Stay in the house, Carl!”

The line, which Lori often yelled protectively to her young son, started as a practical way for the writers to limit the on-set hours of the then-child actor Chandler Riggs, who played Carl. But in the age of COVID-19, Callies has seen it take on a new meaning.

“This whole ‘Stay in the house, Carl’ thing has become a bit of a call to arms in the social distancing world,” Callies tells ABC Audio. “I posted something about it the other day and I just sort of thought it would fly under the radar and it got this incredible response.”

Since she’s now telling her own two kids to “stay in the house,” Callies has come up with a creative way to stay occupied.

“In our self-quarantine isolation mode, I’ve been digging through my VHS collection and I’m doing, like, a classic movie film festival for my kids,” she says. “…So hopefully my children will be like proper cinephiles with an actual education by the time this is all over.”

You can spend your time at home checking out Callies’ new NBC show, Council of Dads, which premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET. Callies says the family-oriented show contains an important for these challenging times in which we’re living.

She quotes a line from the show’s pilot: “‘We’ve got this, we can do this, we’re a family. You grab the people you love and you hold on for dear life.'”

“I feel like what I want people to take away from this show is exactly that: a sense that we can do this,” Callies says.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

How life imitated art with COVID-19 pandemic and the ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ finale

John P. Johnson/courtesy of HBO(LOS ANGELES) — We’ve reported that The Simpsons takes the cake among long-running shows that seemingly prophetically predicted some major real-life events, but the real-life world of COVID-19 came into play regarding the season 10 finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

The episode centers on Larry David’s alter-ego Larry David opening a pop-up coffee shop called Latte Larry’s to spite another coffee shop owner.

However, germophobe Larry’s personal touches — namely tons of hand sanitizer — actually leads to the shop burning down. 

The episode was wrapped months ago, but executive producer Jeff Schaffer revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that they recently built a real-life version of David’s shop as a promotion — and quickly ran into trouble.

“[O]ur production design team was building Latte Larry’s again and they said they couldn’t find any Purell,” Schaffer tells the trade. “[So] they were going to make fake Purell with labels. But then we realized people were going to be stealing fake Purell from the store.”

With lock-downs and social distancing orders, the pop-up was scrapped anyway, Schaffer says. He offered, “Hopefully, maybe in brighter days, we’ll be able to have our Latte Larry’s pop-up.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Michelle Obama tells Ellen how she’s keeping busy amid the coronavirus outbreak

ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua(LOS ANGELES) — Another day of quarantine for Ellen Degeneres means another phone call to one of her famous friends. This time, it was none other than former first lady Michelle Obama. 

Like clockwork, Ellen shared their conversation to her Instagram page on Monday.

“My friend @MichelleObama makes the world a better place,” she captioned the post

The two chatted for about five minutes, but it only took a few seconds to get to the nitty-gritty of the conversation — how Michelle is passing the time as the current COVID-19 pandemic has left most of the population to stay in their homes.

“We’re doing a lot of Netflix and chilling,” the 56-year-old admitted. 

But it’s not all fun and games. Michelle shares that she and her husband, former President Barack Obama, have also taken their fair share of conference calls. Her two daughters Malia, 21, and Sasha, 18, are home as well and have been working on their college courses online due to institutions being shut down. 

Although there are some unfortunate side effects to what’s happening in the world today, Michelle acknowledged that there is a positive side as well. 

“The positive side, I know for us, it’s forced us to continue to sit down with each other and have real conversations,” she shared. “It’s a good exercise in reminding us we just don’t need a lot for the stuff we have.”

Michelle also added that it’s important to “be grateful for what you have and be ready to share it when the time comes.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

During quarantine, Chippendales Las Vegas dancers are here to spice up your at-home workouts

Christopher DeVargas(LAS VEGAS) — Sure, watching instructional at-home workout videos while under quarantine is fun — but it’s even more fun when the instructors are sexy, shirtless hunks.

The men of Chippendales Las Vegas are doing a series of instructional workout videos, where they take you through each exercise while stripped to the waist — but still sporting their signature bow-tie collar and cuffs.

“We’ve got the idea for these home workouts because so many fans have been emailing and posting on social media that they wanted to see the Chippendales during the quarantine,” says Chippendales dancer Ryan Worley. “So our team decided the best way was to do these home workouts.”

“So we are not only entertaining fans, but helping them stay fit and active during the quarantine, which is very important for our mental and physical health,” he adds.  “The fans are loving it and want more, so we’re working on an entire series to roll out over the next few weeks.”

And if you’re looking for a way to count down those seemingly endless days until the end of quarantine, Ryan also happens to be the Chippendales 2020 Calendar cover man. “It’s really an honor,” he says.

Of course, it’s not just Chippendales whose shows have been shut down: All Las Vegas shows, restaurants and casinos are currently shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s so strange to see Vegas completely closed down, but Chippendales and all of the other shows and performers are ready to jump back on that stage the minute we get the O.K.,” says Ryan.

The show hopes to return to the Rio in late April, with Vinny G of Jersey Shore serving as celebrity guest host from August 24 through June 7.

 

 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

 

After hit one-off benefit show, Rosie O’Donnell mulling talk show comeback

Lou Rocco/Walt Disney Television(NEW YORK) — After the success of her one-night-only return of her talk show, Rosie O’Donnell is thinking about bringing it back full time. 

Variety reports that, in an exclusive interview, the 58-year-old says her stand-alone show, which was streamed on Broadway.com inspired her to think about a comeback.

Saying that people are craving nostalgia more than ever, O’Donnell said, “Maybe we’ll keep doing them on the internet or who knows what TV is going to look like when we get through all of this.” 

The standalone show, which aired Sunday, raised $600,000 for The Actors Fund. 

The Rosie O’Donnell Show launched in 1996, and was a huge hit for the stand-up comic and actress, running in syndication until 2002. In that time, the program won five Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Daytime Talk Show.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

‘The Voice’ recap: Bebe Rexha, Dua Lipa, Ella Mai and the Jonas Brothers advise the coaches

NBCUniversal(LOS ANGELES) — On Monday’s episode of NBC’s The Voice, artists from Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Nick Jonas’ teams went head-to-head in the first night of the battle rounds.

Each coach enlisted the help of a guest adviser during rehearsals: Bebe Rexha for Team Blake; Dua Lipa for Team Kelly; and Ella Mai for Team Legend.  Nick enlisted his brothers, Joe and Kevin Jonas.

The coaches also got one chance each to either steal an artist from someone else’s team, or save a team member from being stolen. The show added twist this season, which was that judges had to act before the artist stepped off stage — a rule that would prove costly to Kelly.

Here are some of the highlights:

Classic rocker Todd Michael Hall and country rocker Joei Fulco, representing Team Blake, teamed up for Tina Turner’s “The Best.” Legend marveled at Todd’s “insane” high notes; and Jonas dubbed it a “fun, perfect performance.” Blake had a tough choice, but ended up picking Fulco, who he felt had “so much talent” and “a certain charisma.  She moves on to the knockout rounds.

Kelly attempted to steal Hall, but was confused by the rules, thinking she had to wait until after Hall stepped off the stage. By the time she pressed her button, Blake had used his only save to keep Hall on his team.

Team Kelly’s Chelle, 19, battled 16-year-old Anaya Cheyenne on “Scared to be Lonely,” by Clarkson’s team guest advisor, Dua Lipa.  Clarkson, addressing the camera during rehearsals, said the match would comes down to which singer displayed the most attitude. Shelton and Legend both thought Anaya won the battle hands-down, but Nick called it a draw.  Kelly went with Anaya, calling the teen a “perfect, coachable artist.” She moves on to the knockout rounds, while Chelle was sent home.

Team Nick’s Joana Serenko and Roderick Chambers followed, going head-to-head on an R&B-flavored take on the Billie Eilish hit “When the Party’s Over.” Nick liked the idea of delivering a popular song heard in a new way and predicted it would be the best performance of the battle rounds. He was absolutely correct, as the performance drew a standing ovation from the coaches. Kelly called the battle “flawless,” with Blake adding the two were “more in sync than anyone else.” Nick, calling it “the toughest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life,” chose Roderick for his ability to take direction.

Joana’s time on the show isn’t over yet though, as Legend used his one-and-only steal to get her. John explained that he couldn’t pass up on her “style and grace,” adding that she was “a formidable contender.”

Then it was Legend’s own Mike Jerel and Zach Day taking the stage to trade vocal licks on Miguel’s “Adorn.”

Afterwards, Nick called it a “true battle,” that was “exhilarating to watch.” Kelly thought Mike’s performance was “fearless,” and surprised by Zach’s. While John felt both artists brought the confidence he wanted to see, he thought Mike’s “swagger” won the night.  He advances to the knockouts, and Zach heads home.

Team Blake’s Levi Watkins, 14, and Jamal Corrie squared off on OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars.” The two Alabama natives had already formed a bond while auditioning for the show, and were a natural combination. The challenge went to Levi, who needed to match Jamal’s incredible range.  Levi pulled it off, while Jamal seemed to lose focus while concentrating on his dance moves. Legend said he was waiting for the teen to mess up, but he never did.  Blake couldn’t overlook Jamal’s pitch issues and declared Levi the winner, noting there was a lot from him we haven’t heard yet.  He moves on to the knockouts, while Jamal was sent packing.

Michael Williams, 18, and Allegra Miles, 17, representing Team Nick, went head-to-head on Sam Smith’s version of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know” to close out the show. Nick hoped it would give the young artists a chance to show their vulnerability, and boy, did it.  Kelly commented afterwards that she was “in love with Allegra’s voice,” calling it a “finale tone.”  Blake said it wasn’t a battle, but a great duo. Nick picked Allegra, calling her an “inspiring vocalist” and a “storyteller,” sending her to the knockouts. However, he saved Michael as well.

The Voice returns Monday, March 30, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

 

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Thomas Rhett shares sweet photo of daughter Willa holding her baby sister

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ABC/Image Group LAIf you’re feeling stir crazy with the COVID-19 quarantine, Thomas Rhett is here to provide you with a precious photo of his daughters that is bound to brighten your day. 

The “Life Changes” hit maker captured a precious moment between his eldest daughter Willa Gray and new daughter Lennon Love, sharing it with his four million Instagram followers. Willa, dressed in a blue princess dress, sits on the couch with baby Lennon in her arms, holding her hand all the while. 

“This is about the sweetest thing on the planet,” Thomas captions the photo, Willa beaming up at him with a proud smile as Lennon sleeps soundly in the comfort of her embrace.  

Thomas and his wife Lauren welcomed Lennon on February 10. She is the youngest sister to four-year-old Willa and Ada James, 2. 

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Here are the states that have shut down non-essential businesses

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svetikd/iStock(NEW YORK) — At least 21 states have enacted policies to close non-essential businesses in an effort to slow the spread of novel coronavirus in the United States.

While guidance varies from state to state, recreational spaces like museums, movie theaters, gyms, day cares, music venues and malls, as well as personal care retailers like spas, nail and hair salons, tend to fall in the non-essential businesses category.

In New York, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday warned that the “rate of new infections is doubling about every three days,” essential businesses that remain open include health care facilities, infrastructure and manufacturing entities and essential services like trash collection, law enforcement and homeless shelters.

Bars and restaurants can only offer take-out or delivery.

The changes are in line with the White House Coronavirus Task Force’s guidelines for slowing the spread of coronavirus in the U.S., which include practicing social distancing, working from home if possible and avoiding eating or drinking at bars, restaurants or food courts.

Shuttering non-essential businesses resulted in tens of thousands of American workers losing their jobs in recent weeks. In New York and New Jersey, so many people filed for unemployment insurance over the past week that both states’ online systems crashed.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

 

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani are in the top 10 with "Nobody but You"

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Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images via ABCBlake Shelton and Gwen Stefani have soared to new heights with their duet, “Nobody but You.”

The couple ascends into the top 10 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart with the hit collaboration, as it rises from the number 12 slot to 10.

The song gives Blake his 34th top-10 on the chart, but marks a first for Gwen. After years of racking up hits on the pop charts with such signature songs as “Hollaback Girl” and “Rich Girl,” among others, the superstar is now making her debut on the Country Airplay chart.

Gwen and her longtime boyfriend previously appeared together on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart with “You Make It Feel Like Christmas” in 2018.  

“Nobody but You” is featured on Blake’s latest album, Fully Loaded: God’s Country.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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