April 30, 2020

More than a month after all of its stores were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, Macy's announced on Thursday it plans on reopening each one within the next six to eight weeks.

Macy's is one of the largest department store chains in the United States, and its goal is to reopen 775 Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and Bluemercury stores, starting with 68 stores in Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas on Monday.

Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette said the company expects these reopened stores to initially bring in 15 to 20 percent of their usual business, and will "slowly build" from there, The New York Times reports. The big question is whether shoppers will show up. "We'll see how they respond, and based on that, we'll be a lot smarter," he said. Gennette also said April sales were "stronger than we expected," but Macy's cannot handle all of its stores being closed for an extended period of time.

There will be social distancing guidelines at the stores, and employees will have to wear masks. Beauty counters will not be able to give consultations or have testers out, and a limited number of fitting rooms will be open. At least temporarily, there will be no bra fittings or alteration or ear piercing services, and shoppers will have to use hand sanitizer before trying on jewelry or watches.

Macy's has furloughed 123,000 employees amid the pandemic. Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, told the Times that some union members "have worked for Macy's for three or four decades, and it is their lives that will be put on the line. We have asked for information on how they intend to protect their employees and they have provided us with none. I am stupefied by their behavior." Catherine Garcia

1:59 a.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said it is "clear" that Iran was behind an attack in the Gulf of Oman last week that targeted an Israeli-owned cargo ship.

"Iran is the greatest enemy of Israel," Netanyahu told the Israeli public broadcaster Kan. "I am determined to halt it. We are hitting it in the entire region."

An explosion rocked the Helios Ray on Friday, as the cargo ship was on its way to Singapore. No one on the crew was injured in the blast, but U.S. defense officials told The Associated Press the ship did sustain damage above the waterline. The ship was carrying cars, and prior to the explosion had stopped in multiple ports in the Persian Gulf to drop off vehicles. The Helios Ray arrived in Dubai on Sunday for repairs and an inspection, and it remains unclear what caused the blast.

On Sunday night, Syrian state media reported several airstrikes took place near Damascus, with air defense systems intercepting most of the missiles. Israeli media says the airstrikes were against Iranian targets and carried out in response to the ship attack. The Israeli military declined to comment to AP.

Iran has pinned several recent attacks inside the country on Israel, including an explosion last summer at a nuclear facility and the killing of scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the founder of Iran's military nuclear program. Catherine Garcia

1:17 a.m.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) sees a way Republicans can win back the House, Senate, and White House: Ditch former President Donald Trump.

During an appearance Sunday on CNN's State of the Union, Cassidy warned his party that if it does not shift its focus to the issues, GOP candidates will lose in upcoming elections. "Political campaigns are about winning," Cassidy said. "Our agenda does not move forward unless we win. We need a candidate who can not only win himself or herself, but we also have to have someone who lifts all boats. And that's clearly not happened over the last four years."

Cassidy — one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol — does not think Trump will be the 2024 GOP presidential nominee. He said Republicans need to connect with voters on "those issues that are important to the American people" if they want to win the 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential election, not worry about "putting one person on a pedestal and making that one person our focal point. If we idolize one person, we will lose. And that's kind of clear from the last election." Catherine Garcia

12:41 a.m.

When his surfboard drifted away from him during a November surfing session, Lee Brogan thought it was gone forever. Instead, it was found more than 400 miles away by a woman intent on getting the surfboard back to its owner.

Brogan lost the surfboard while at Runswick Bay in northeastern England. It ended up traveling across the North Sea, washing up in the village of Skeld in the Shetland Islands. On Dec. 28, Stephanie Riise and her partner Jake Anderson found the surfboard on the beach, and Riise immediately posted photos of it on a Facebook page called Shetland Seashore Discoveries.

Riise told The Scotsman she was hoping the owner would quickly claim it, and within an hour she received a message that the board belonged to Brogan. It was "unbelievable" how fast it all came together, Riise said, and once a "shocked" Brogan contacted her the next morning with proof that it was his surfboard, they worked on a plan to get it back to him.

Joel Friedlander, a local courier, ended up packing the surfboard in the back of his truck, and dropping it off at Brogan's house — the trip took 18 hours, including a 12-hour ferry crossing. Brogan was so excited to see the surfboard that it "was like a child at Christmas," Friedlander told The Scotsman. The surfboard has a few dings and needs to be painted in some spots, but considering the long journey, it's in good shape. Everyone is content now that the surfboard is back where it belongs, and Riise said that seeing Brogan "so thankful and appreciative has really made it worthwhile." Catherine Garcia

February 28, 2021

Andra Day just scored a lead drama actress Golden Globe, becoming only the second Black woman to do so in history.

At Sunday's Golden Globes, Day won the award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama for The United States vs. Billie Holiday. She's just the second Black winner of this prize, the first being Whoopi Goldberg, who won in 1986 for The Color Purple.

In fact, throughout the almost 80-year history of the Golden Globes, there have only ever been 12 Black nominees in this category, according to Gold Derby. Another one of the 12 came this year, as Viola Davis was also nominated for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and previous Black nominees include Diana Ross, Halle Berry, and Cynthia Erivo.

The Golden Globes have long been criticized over a lack of diversity at the show, and it was recently revealed that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization that selects the winners, doesn't have a single Black member. During Sunday's show, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association acknowledged that the organization has "work to do." Brendan Morrow

February 28, 2021

Nomadland just made history at the Golden Globes.

The film from Chloé Zhao won the top prize of Best Motion Picture — Drama at Sunday's Golden Globes, becoming the first movie directed by a woman to ever win this award, according to Variety. Female-directed films have previously won Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, most recently Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird, but never in the drama category.

The Golden Globes, which have for years been criticized for failing to recognize female directors, already made history in 2021 by nominating three women for Best Director, the most ever in one year. In addition to Zhao, who won the award, Promising Young Woman's Emerald Fennell and One Night in Miami's Regina King were also nominated. King's film, however, was one of a number of movies with a Black ensemble snubbed for a best picture nomination by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group that doesn't have a single Black member.

Nomadland might be on track to also win Best Picture at the upcoming Academy Awards, although it wouldn't be the Oscars' first Best Picture winner from a female director, as Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker won in 2010. That year, Golden Globes voters gave their top drama prize to James Cameron's Avatar instead. Brendan Morrow

February 28, 2021

High five!

Sacha Baron Cohen on Sunday won the Golden Globe for best actor in a musical or comedy film for his role in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. The film also won the award for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy.

Not only was this Baron Cohen's second Golden Globe win, but it was his second win specifically for playing Borat Sagdiyev. He previously won this same award for the original Borat in 2007. This, according to Gold Derby, makes Baron Cohen the first person to win multiple times in this category for playing the same character.

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which was filmed in secret during the COVID-19 pandemic and culminated with an infamous prank on former President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, also scored a nomination at Sunday's Golden Globes for Maria Bakalova, who played Borat's daughter. Plus, Baron Cohen was nominated not just for Borat, but also for best supporting actor for his performance in The Trial of the Chicago 7. Clearly, his 2020 was a great success. Brendan Morrow

February 28, 2021

Very nice!

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm on Sunday won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy. It was released by Amazon Studios, making this the first time in history either of the top two best picture Golden Globes went to a streaming service's film.

This was, of course, a highly unusual year in which streaming movies were primed to win big, as theaters closed and many studios postponed their releases. In the Best Motion Picture — Drama category, in fact, Netflix had not one but two films in contention at Sunday's show, with Mank and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Plus, pundits thought Borat's biggest competition for this best picture prize was Hamilton, which Disney released on streaming during the pandemic, though the original intent was for it to be a theatrical release.

While a streamer hadn't previously won the Golden Globe for best drama or best musical or comedy film, Netflix did win Best Foreign Language Film in 2019 for Roma. The question still remains, though, which streaming service will finally snag Best Picture at the Oscars, a feat none has achieved — at least, not yet. Brendan Morrow

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