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The Wire Star, Michael K Williams, dies aged 54

The Wire Star, Michael K Williams, Dies Aged 54

Actor Michael K Williams, best known for his roles in The Wire and Boardwalk Empire, has died at the age of 54, New York Police confirm.

The Brooklyn born actor, known for his role as Omar Little in the HBO hit drama series, was found dead by family members at his home in Brooklyn at around 2pm on Monday.

The Associated Press, citing the New York Police Department report that the death is being investigated as a possible drug overdose.

The multiple Emmy award winner also starred in various other roles in The Night Of, Bessie, When They See Us and HBO’s 2021 series Lovecraft Country.

Williams’ long-serving representative released a statement saying: “It is with deep sorrow that the family announces the passing of Emmy nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams. They ask for your privacy while grieving this unsurmountable loss.”

Tributes have flooded in from the acting world emphasising his kind and generous nature. This included many from The Wire’s acting and production team.

The Wire director, David Simon stated Williams was “a fine man and a rare talent.” In addition, in company with an image of Williams, Simon wrote that he was “too gutted right now to say all that ought to be said”, continuing: “On our journey together he always deserved the best words. And today those words won’t come.”

Co-star Idris Elba simply posted a black square on Instagram dedicated to Williams showed by the caption ‘MKW’.

The TV network HBO, which aired 60 episodes of The Wire from 2002 and 2008, remarked: “We are devastated to learn of the passing of Michael Kenneth Williams, a member of the HBO family for more than 20 years.

“While the world is aware of his immense talents as an artist, we knew Michael as a dear friend who was beloved by all who had the privilege to work with him. We send our deepest condolences to his family for this immeasurable loss.”

Renowned film maker, James Gunn, also paid his tributes by tweeting, “Michael K Williams, in addition to being one of the most talented actors around, was also one of the kindest, sweetest, most gentle souls I’ve ever met. This is heartbreaking. My thoughts are with all those who loved him.”

As well as members from the acting world, many other celebrities paid tributes. Singer Mariah Carey posted an image of herself with Williams recounting him as “a beautiful soul, a beautiful person”. She added: “I’ll miss you always. Thank you for blessing us with your talent.”

SEE ALSO: College Football Stadiums Filled as Fans Make Their Return

College Football Stadiums Filled as Fans Return

College Football Stadiums Filled as Fans Make Their Return

Last weekend saw the return of college football and the return of fans as football stadiums saw packed crowds for the first time since 2019 for the opening weekend.

College football fans from across the Unites States flocked to their favorite teams’ home field on Saturday to witness the start of the 2021 season. This is despite COVID-19 cases rising in the country in the form of the Indian Delta variant. As well as cases, hospitalizations and deaths have also increased, especially in the South.

During the whole of last season, attendance to the college football games were limited to follow in line with the social distancing rules put in place by state and local governments. In the most extreme periods, fields had to be filled with cardboard cut-outs. However, for this season, all restrictions have been lifted therefore allowing fans to storming back into stadiums without the worry of social distancing or masks, cheering on their teams, including those in Florida, home to the Florida Gators.

Florida is currently in the middle of its worst phase of COVID-19 since the pandemic surfaced. Despite the vaccination rate of the sunshine state higher than the national average, Florida has an increased population of elderly people who are more vulnerable to the virus, compared to other states.

From mid-August, Florida was averaging 244 deaths per day, but hospitalizations have dropped with figures from the past two week dropping from 17,000 to 14,200 on Friday suggesting an ease.

In other areas, more than 100,000 fans were present at The Big House in Ann Arbor to witness Michigan defeat Western Michigan. There were also tens of thousands in attendance at Charlotte with some getting their as early as 5:00am to tailgate.

“It’s great to be back with everyone,” said Clemson superfan Johnny Malibu.

Clemson superfan Peter Rowan stated how tough it has with COVID-19 and how great it is to be attending once again, with thousands of other fans: “It’s great to see everyone out here. We miss the fans. I miss being here.”

For the full results from Week 1 of the 2021 college football season, click here.

SEE ALSO: The US Open – All You Need To Know

State of Emergency Declared in New York Following Tropical Storm Ida

State of Emergency Declared in New York City Following Tropical Storm Ida

A state of emergency has been declared in New York City in the wake of torrential rainfall and flash flooding as a consequence of Tropical Storm Ida.

In addition to New York City, New Jersey has also declared a state of emergency.

Latest reports state that at least nine people have been killed, with seven of those who died being in New York, including a two-year-old boy, according to NBC New York.

New York City mayor Bill de Blasio declared the city was “enduring an historic weather event” with “brutal flooding” and “dangerous conditions” on the roads.

“Please stay off the streets tonight and let our first responders and emergency services get their work done.”

It is estimated that in excess of 80mm of rain fell in Central Park in the space of an hour, overtaking the previous record of 49mm that was set in the wake of Tropical Storm Henri last month.

Dramatic footage has circulated over social media showing water within people’s homes and subway stations as well as roads being completely filled with water due to the tropical storm.

The National Weather Service’s New York City Twitter account stated: “This emergency was issued due to the ongoing life-threatening flash flooding.”

The New York City Police Department have encouraged people not to leave their homes and stay away from the roads with the fire department declaring that they are responding to calls from all over the city.

Many of the New York City’s transportation services have closed, including the subway, national rail services and flight’s in and out of the city have been suspended.

Severe weather conditions also saw many of matches postponed at the US Open on Wednesday, therefore delaying the competition.

The remnants of Tropical Storm Ida have been moving north across the east coast of the United States, after it hit Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane on Sunday. Factors for this storm can be explained by different reasons, however, a warming atmosphere because of climate change is the most likely explanation as it causes an increased production of torrential rainfall.

SEE ALSO: US Troops Withdraw from Afghanistan Ending 20-Year War


US Troops Withdraw from Afghanistan Ending 20-Year War

US Troops Withdraw from Afghanistan Ending 20-Year War

The last evacuation flight from Kabul airport carrying US military personnel, marked the end of a 20-year presence in Afghanistan that began weeks following the 9/11 attacks in 2001. The departure signalled the final chapter in the controversial military effort within the country.

The C17 aircraft left Kabul airport carrying the US ambassador moments before midnight local time on Tuesday.

Despite there not being any official fanfare or handing over of flags, the Taliban did mark the departure of US troop by firing celebratory gunfire into the air.

A spokesman from the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, stated Afghanistan was now “completely liberated and independent”.

Another senior official from the group, Anas Haqqani, was quoted by AFP as saying he was “proud” to witness such “historic moments”.

This also stamped the end of the significant evacuation effort which began on 14th August with the aim of evacuating as many qualfying Afghans from the nation as soon as the Taliban gained control of the country.

Gen Kenneth McKenzie, America’s leading military official for the region, said that overall, US and coalition aircraft managed to evacuate in excess of 123,000 civilians – and average of more than 7,500 civilians a day during that time.

US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinked hailed the evacuation operation, calling it a “massive, diplomatic and humanitarian undertaking” and one of the most demanding the nation has completed.

“A new chapter has begun” he stated. “The military mission is over. A new diplomatic mission had begun.”

He continued by declaring that the Taliban needed to earn its legitimacy and would be judged on the extent to which they fulfil commitments which they have promised previously, including protecting right of all Afghans including women, and preventing terrorist groups from making the nation a haven.

However, the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan has opened up more uncertainty for the nation with many fearing that more violence is likely to occur.

President Joe Biden has issued a brief statement thanking those involved in the evacuation process over the last 17 days and stating that he would address the whole nation later on Tuesday.

SEE ALSO: What’s Happening in Afghanistan? 


The US Open – All You Need To Know

The US Open – All You Need To Know

2021’s exciting and unpredictable slam season is to be concluded by the US Open in New York. In a year which has seen a number of shocks and surprises made evident by the 12 different semi-finalists seen in the other grand slam tournaments, the US Open is set to be a captivating watch.

When does the US Open begin?

Qualifying for the tournament is already underway, beginning this week. The singles main draw is to commence on Monday 30th August with the doubles to begin on Wednesday 1st September.

As the competition goes on, dates will change. When the US Open reaches the quarterfinal stages for the singles, they will be played across Tuesday and Wednesday of the second week. Women’s semi-finals as well as the doubles semi-finals will be played on Thursday 9th September.

The men’s and women’s singles finals are scheduled to take place on Saturday 11th September. On the same day but played earlier will be the mixed doubles final. While the doubles finals will occur on the following Sunday.

Who will be featuring?

The US Open has suffered a number of high-profile withdrawals during the past few months. Players such as the mercurial Roger Federer and the 4-time US Open champion Rafael Nadal confirming they will be missing out. Nadal announced earlier this year that he will be out for the rest of 2021 due to a foot injury while Federer announced he will be missing due to the setback suffered during Wimbledon.

Other prominent names including Stan Wawrinka and US Open defending champion Dominic Thiem will also be missing out.

On the women’s side, there situation is far more unharmed. However, sisters and well-loved tennis players Serena and Venus Williams have both announced that they have withdrawn from the tournament due to injuries. Despite their injuries, most of the world’s best women will still be battling it out to become the US Open champion. The likes of Ashleigh Bary, Iga Swiatek and defending champion Naomi Osaka will all be featuring, amongst others.

Who are the top seeds?

Men’s seedings:

  • 1. Novak Djokovic
  • 2. Daniil Medvedev
  • 3. Stefanos Tsitsipas
  • 4. Alexander Zverev
  • 5. Andrey Rublev
  • 6. Matteo Berrettini
  • 7. Denis Shapovalov
  • 8. Casper Ruud
  • 9. Pablo Carreno Busta
  • 10. Hubert Hurkacz

Women’s seedings:

  • 1. Ashleigh Barty
  • 2. Naomi Osaka
  • 3. Aryna Sabalenka
  • 4. Elina Svitolina
  • 5. Karolina Pliskova
  • 6. Iga Swiatek
  • 7. Bianca Andreescu
  • 8. Garbine Muguruza
  • 9. Barbora Krejcikova
  • 10. Belinda Bencic

SEE ALSO: Which Universities Brought Home The Gold Medalists for the U.S. in Tokyo 2020?

Rapper Kanye West Files to Legally Change Name to Ye

Rapper Kanye West Files to Legally Change Name to Ye

Kanye West has filed court documents to officially change his name to Ye.

The 44-year old music star and fashion designer from Atlanta, has filed court documents to a Los Angeles court to legally replace his name. His aim is to get rid of his current official full name, Kanye Omari West, in favour of Ye, the two-letter long nickname, which he has been referring himself for a number of years on his social media pages. This will be without any middle name or last name as stated by the Los Angeles Superior Court filing.

This comes around 3 years after he tweeted about his plan to change his named, following the release of his album titled Ye, in 2018. In various interview, West said that the as well as the name being an abbreviation of his first name, it is also a name which has religious significance to him as it is heavily referred to throughout the Bible.

“I believe ‘ye’ is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and in the Bible, it means ‘you,’” the rapper said explaining the changes in an interview with popular American radio host, Big Boy.

“So I’m you, I’m us, it’s us. It went from Kanye, which means the only one, to just Ye – just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything.”

West is due to release his much anticipated tenth studio album, Donda, named after his late mother, imminently, despite there already being numerous delays for the release. A playback of it was recently played at Soldier Field stadium in Chicago last Thursday. The album is a follow-up to his 2019 gospel album Jesus is King, which was crowned best contemporary Christian music album at the Grammys earlier in the year.

In addition, West is currently in the centre of a divorce from reality TV start Kim Kardashian, who announced they are getting a divorce in February after nearly seven years together. They share 4 children, North aged 7, Saint aged 5, Chicago aged 3, and Psalm aged 2.

SEE ALSO: 5 Ways To Examine Your Listening Habits

5 Ways to Examine Your Listening Habits on Spotify

5 Ways to Examine Your Spotify Listening Habits

It is always a fun treat checking out the insights into which artists, tracks and genres filled your year, when Spotify release the annual Spotify Wrapped.

However, if you can’t wait until December to have a look over your Spotify statistics, here are 5 of the best third-party apps to connect to your Spotify to view your top artists and tracks as well as help you get a better understanding of your overall listening habits.



Visualify is an app which will display the top 5 artists and tracks you have listened to from the last month, year and all time on Spotify. The app summarises your listening history by presenting clear and easy-to-read visuals.

One of the best features on the app is that you can produce your very own artwork formulated on your most listened artists and tracks and order a high-quality poster. You can customise with different designs such as vinyl wheels and grids. These posters have a starting price of $25 with free shipping worldwide.

However, there are some limitations of the app. Aspects such as genres and moods do not get displayed therefore you will not be able to get an insight in terms of those areas.



Obscurity is seen as one of the best apps on the platform to view your listening habits. Similar to many others, the app tells you your top artists and tracks from previous days, weeks, months and of all time, whilst also being provided with recommendations based on what you listen to. However, it also provides you with information on genres, listing out your top ten genres.

One of the most eye-catching features on the app is that it can compare the artists and tracks you listen to, to what others in your area listen to. On top of that, it also provides you with an obscurity percentage that analyses your music taste to the rest of the population in your country and worldwide.



One of the standout features on Musictaste.Space is that you can send a unique code to your friends and the app compares the music you both listen to, taking a look at your compatibilities.

The comparison is based on the top 100 artists and tracks yourself and your friend have listened to.

In addition, the app also creates a playlist based on the genre of music both you and your friend have a liking for. However, this only transpires if your music compatibility rating is higher than 50%.

Therefore, if you are looking to share tracks and playlists with your friends, as well as willing to compare music tastes, then this is the app for you.


Judge My Spotify

This site provides a lot of fun for the user as it lets you know how bad your music taste is, by providing you with some light-hearted insults.

As your music library gets loaded up onto the site, expect to receive some cranky comments and some relentless roasts, whilst your music taste gets rated with every questions. This can range from asking if you’re a fan of a specific artist or if you were listening to a song ironically.

The final result is a summary filled with snarky insults regarding the type of music you listen to and provides you with which artists and tracks you listen to excessively, not hesitating to let you know how terrible your music taste is.

Whilst you will not be able to get a clear synopsis of what your top artists or tracks are, compared to the other sites, this is certainly more of an amusing way to delve into your listening habits.



Last.fm is seen as the ultimate third-party app that goes deep into your listening history. Compared to the other 4, this site is extremely complex, and it requires you to make an account first before connecting it to your Spotify.

Last.fm breaks down your listening habits into statistics after you have created your account. Not only does it tell you your most played artists, albums and tracks, but it tells you exact number of times you have played them. By doing this, the app builds a detailed program of your music taste.

Every time you play a song, it gets logged as a “scrobble”. The site gives you the ability to look at every song you have played and how many times you have scrobbled an artist or track.

Compared to the other sites, last.fm certainly provides you with the most information.

SEE ALSO: OnlyFans Announces Ban on ‘Sexually Explicit’ Content


OnlyFans Announces Ban on ‘sexually explicit’ content

OnlyFans Announces Ban on ‘Sexually Explicit’ Content

OnlyFans, a site that allows models and performers to charge their viewers for their explicit images and videos, announced that it will ban “sexually explicit” images and videos from its site from October – then promptly changed its mind after a backlash from users.

The London-based subscription platform had declared that from October 1st, they would change their regulations by not allowing any sexually explicit photos and videos from being uploaded onto the site. However, people will still be able to post nude content within the guidelines provided by the site.

This decision comes after the pressure applied onto them from banks and financial transaction services to stop the explicit imagery.

The popular social media platform, founded in 2016 by Essex businessman Tim Stokely, has been used by a range of content providers such as celebrities and musicians, but has been heavily patronised by sex workers and models allowing them to share their images and videos to their subscribers for either a tip or a monthly fee.

During the heart of the pandemic, OnlyFans grew rapidly in popularity, with millions of people subscribing to various creators, with the site claiming it has 130 million users. But it now admits that certain changes need to be made.

A spokesperson for the company said: “In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines.”

The OnlyFans website affirms that its creators receive 80% commission on their earnings, while the other 20% covers “referral payments, payment processing, hosting, support, and all other services”. The site has therefore allowed some creators to earn a vast income. Movie celebrity Bella Thorne is said to have made $1m in her first day on OnlyFans, sparking complaints that she had ‘ruined the platform for other content providers.’ Thorne charged users $200 for a single image, and soon after the company initiated a $50-per-image cap. The actress is reportedly the second-highest earning user on the site, with an estimated monthly income of $11 million, while Blac Chyna is said to be the top earner, with estimated monthly earnings of $20 million, while Cardi B is third with $9.34 million a month

The BBC has recently revealed in an investigation that the changes announced by OnlyFans followed concerns about how the site has handling the accounts posting the explicit imagery and videos.

In a response to the investigation carried out, OnlyFans said that it does not tolerate violations of its terms of service, and its systems and age verification go far beyond “all relevant global safety standards and regulations.”

But days after the announcement of the change of policy, OnlyFans announced it has suspended the move, saying in a tweet: “Thank you to everyone for making your voices heard. We have secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community and have suspended the planned October 1 policy change. OnlyFans stands for inclusion and we will continue to provide a home for all creators.”

The change of heart may be too late may be too late for some sex content creators who have already announced that they would move from OnlyFans to other platforms such as Justforfans, Fansly, LoyalFans or Pocketstars.

SEE ALSO: Social Media sites Remove Offensive Comments following Lizzo Abuse

Social Media sites Remove Offensive Comments following Lizzo Abuse

Social Media Sites Remove Offensive Comments Following Lizzo Abuse

Facebook and Twitter have withdrawn numerous comments from Lizzo’s pages following the abusive remarks she had sustained on the social media platforms.

Action has been taken as the singer-songwriter revealed the amount of ‘hurtful’ abusive comments she had received following the release of her latest song, Rumours.

After the release of the song on 13th August, which also features popular rapper Cardi B, Lizzo was instantly targeted with large amounts of negative and abhorrent abuse, specifically related to her race and her body.

Lizzo has come out on Instagram, breaking down in tears revealing: “On the days when I should feel the happiest, I feel so down. Sometimes I feel like the world just don’t love me back. It’s like it doesn’t matter how much positive energy you put into the world, you’re still gonna have people who have something mean to say about you.”

A spokesman representing Facebook has come out and told The Hollywood Reporter the comments had been pulled off the site because they broke the social media site’s regulations regarding hate speech, harassment and bullying.

The Detroit-born artist in an interview with Good Morning America on Wednesday explained how she doesn’t mind receiving critical messages on the different songs she delivers however, the some of the treatment she gets specifically fat-shaming comments are unfair.”

Lizzo continued to let viewers know that “self-love is a journey”, while also saying “vulnerability is sexy and extremely powerful.”

The singer has also gathered positive messages of support from many of her followers in the days after.

Lizzo’s collaborator, Cardi B, has heavily supported the singer amongst the negative comments, stating: “Body-shaming is mean and racist.”

“Whether you skinny, big, plastic, remember these are nerds looking at the popular table.”

This is not the only time where social media sites have had issues with celebrities experiencing large amounts of abusive comments. In recent years, countless celebrities have come out and questioned platforms such as Twitter and Instagram and whether they should remain on their sites.

SEE ALSO: Fast & Furious 10 Official Release Date Announced




US Colleges To Make COVID-19 Vaccinations Mandatory

US Colleges To Make COVID-19 Vaccinations Mandatory

A substantial number of US colleges and universities have stated that students will require to have a COVID-19 vaccination prior to returning to campus this fall. This would allow students to return to in-person classes as well as move into the provided campus housing.

According to information from the Chronicle of Higher Education, in excess of 680 public and private colleges covering the length and breadth of the US, will make receiving a COVID-19 vaccination compulsory to their students. Some of the first institutions to announce this mandate included the likes of Duke University and Cornell University.

Similar mandates have already been put in place, requiring college students to be vaccinated against other diseases including measles and mumps, with a COVID-19 jab set to be next made statutory.

Why Are Colleges Requiring their Students to be Vaccinated?

Towards the beginning of the pandemic, when the virus spread across the US at an alarming pace, colleges and universities across the US shut down, declaring the beginning of online learning for their students. Some colleges did decide to allow students to return to their campuses towards the end of the year, however there were various restrictions established in different institutions such as limited capacity classrooms and residence halls as well as mandatory mask wearing across campus.

“Campuses really want to get back to normal operations as quickly as possible,” declared Chris Marsicano, an education professor and founding director of the College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College in North Carolina.

With the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccination against the virus evident, there is increasing hope that students will be able to return to their in-person lectures and study groups besides to enjoying the extra-curricular activities, and therefore having a more regular college experience.

Chief health officer at the University of Michigan, Dr Preeti Malani, said: “If you can ensure a highly vaccinated community, you can get back to a lot of those things safely”

Dr Malani continues by stating that the vaccinations will not only be able to protect the individual but also protect whole communities. She express her opinion on the available vaccine as “safe and effective” and she motivates students to think about other people when deciding whether to get the vaccination.

There can be exemptions given to certain students due to laws put in place in numerous states and religious beliefs. Therefore, institutions might have to push unvaccinated students to enroll in course available online instead.

For the full list of Colleges Requiring a COVID-19 Vaccine, CLICK HERE

SEE ALSO: Starship Technologies declare food robot deliveries to more US Campuses