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May 6, 2019

Busy Philipps became one of the few women with a nighttime talk show when Busy Tonight went on the air October. On Sunday night, the actress and Instagram personality announced that Busy Tonight is looking for a new home, as E! has decided next week is the show's last on its network.

Philipps said she's "hopeful we can find the right place for the show to live on." But if nothing else comes of Busy Tonight, at least she finally got that phone call from Oprah. Peter Weber

March 20, 2019

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev was sworn in Wednesday as Kazakhstan's interim president after longtime ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev's surprise resignation on Tuesday. Nazarbayev, 78, has led Kazakhstan since 1989, two years before it became an independent nation after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Tokayev, a 65-year-old former diplomat who was previously the speaker of the Kazakh Senate, will serve out the rest of Nazarbayev's term until 2020.

After being sworn in, Tokayev immediately proposed changing the name of the capital, Astana, to Nursultan in honor of Nazarbayev, and he appointed Nazarbayev's oldest daughter, Dariga, as Senate speaker, putting her first in line for the presidency. It is unclear if either Tokayev or Dariga Nazarbayeva will run for president in the next election, but there has been speculation for years that Nazarbayev was grooming his daughter to take his place.

The younger "Nazarbayeva, a 55-year-old mother of three, has in the past led Kazakhstan's main television station and served as a deputy prime minister, while also devoting time to her passion for opera — which she has performed publicly," Reuters notes.

Her father, meanwhile, isn't giving up power. Last year, with assent from Parliament and the constitutional court, Nazarbayev became leader-for-life of the powerful Security Council, and he will also remain head of the ruling party. "Nazarbayev is not stepping down; he is stepping up," said Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Center in Moscow.

Nazarbayev "has been widely praised for maintaining stability and ethnic peace in Kazakhstan, a large, oil-rich nation south of Russia and west of China," The Associated Press reports. "Even though he has faced criticism for marginalizing the political opposition and creating what is effectively a one-party state, the political regime that Nazarbayev has built is more liberal than those in the de-facto dictatorships in the neighboring Central Asian countries." Peter Weber

September 5, 2017

Last Thursday, a nurse at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City released police bodycam footage of her rough arrest by a Salt Lake City police officer after she correctly refused to allow blood to be drawn without a warrant from an unconscious truck driver burned in a crash involving a police car and a fleeing suspect. On Monday, the University of Utah Hospital said it would never allow anything like the July 26 incident to happen again.

At a news conference, interim hospital CEO Gordon Crabtree said he was "deeply troubled" by the incident and praised the nurse, Alex Wubbels, for "putting her own safety at risk" to "protect the rights of patients." Margaret Pearce, chief of nursing, said new rules in place since mid-August barred police officers from entering patient-care areas like the burn unit and emergency room, and prohibited law enforcement from interacting directly with nurses, making police go through "house supervisors" when they wanted something. The officer, Detective Jeff Payne, is on administrative leave and there are internal and criminal investigations of the incident underway.

Wubbels spoke with NBC's Today and CNN on Monday, explaining that she released the video because she wanted the Salt Lake City police to make changes and also the university and its security unit. "I went down into the emergency department to get help, to have someone protect me, because I felt unsafe from Officer Payne from the beginning," she told CNN. "As a nurse, it's my job to assess a situation, to assess a patient. And my assessment skills led me to believe Officer Payne was already agitated." Wubbel's lawyer, Karra Porter, told Today that her client isn't planning to sue the police force, so long as they make sure no more nurses are arrested for protecting their patients' rights. "Most people that this happens to don't have this kind of evidence," she said. You can learn more in the NBC News report below. Peter Weber

August 30, 2017

On the second Monday in October, Los Angeles will no longer celebrate Columbus Day — it's now Indigenous Peoples Day.

The Los Angeles City Council voted 14-1 to remove Columbus Day from its city calendar, following debate between Native American activists who say the holiday honors a man who committed atrocities against natives and Italian-American civic groups who argued that getting rid of the holiday is an affront to their heritage. Columbus Day became a federal holiday in 1937, pushed by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic organization. Los Angeles city employees will still have the day off as a paid holiday, only now it will commemorate "indigenous, aboriginal, and native people." Several major cities, like Seattle, Denver, and Albuquerque, have already replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day.

L.A. Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, a member of the Wyandotte Nation in Oklahoma, wants to establish Oct. 12 as Italian-American Heritage Day at City Hall (employees will not get this day off). He's brushing off complaints that getting rid of Columbus Day is a divisive move, saying: "We are not creating a racial conflict. We are ending one." The lone vote against eliminating Columbus Day came from Councilman Joe Buscaino, a first-generation Italian-American, who wanted to turn the day into a holiday that celebrates "all of the diverse cultures in the city," the Los Angeles Times reports. Italians have also been discriminated against in the U.S., he argued, and by doing away with Columbus Day, it would "cure one offense with another. All of our individual cultures matter." Catherine Garcia

May 22, 2017

On Monday, Ford Motor will announce that CEO Mark Fields is retiring, to be replaced by Jim Hackett, the former chief executive of office-furniture company Steelcase Inc., people briefed on the switch tell The Associated Press and The New York Times. Fields, 56, is being pushed out after three years as chief executive and 28 years at Ford after the automaker's share price has dropped 40 percent under his watch. Investors criticized him for lagging behind peers in creating electric vehicles and advancing toward self-driving autos, while also letting some core products grow stale. At the same time, Ford reported record pretax profits in 2015.

"Mark Fields was given the nearly impossible task of making the utterly conventional auto manufacturer, Ford Motor Company, into a high-tech information-style company with share values to match," says Jack Nerad at Kelley Blue Book. "Despite turning in credible profits, Fields was unable to turn Ford into a stock market darling, and that may well prove elusive going forward."

Hackett, who has led Ford's mobility unit since last year, was credited with reversing Steelcase's declining fortunes, in part by foreseeing the shift from cubicles to open office floor plans. He also moved factories to Mexico and cut thousands of jobs, AP notes. Peter Weber

January 10, 2017

In a regulatory filing late Monday, Yahoo announced that assuming it completes its $4.8 billion sale to Verizon, it will change its name to Altaba and half its board of directors — including CEO Marissa Mayer, co-founder David Filo, and chairman Maynard Webb — will step down. Eric Brandt, a former CFO at Broadcom and new Yahoo board member, was named as chairman, effective immediately. The departures are "not due to any disagreement with the company on any matter relating to the company's operations, policies, or practices," Yahoo said in its Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Verizon executives have recently cast doubt on the Yahoo purchase, announced last July, before two high-profile hacking episodes. But if the sale goes through, Yahoo's biggest remaining assets will be its 35.5 percent stake in Yahoo Japan and its 15 percent share of Chinese internet juggernaut Alibaba — the apparent seed for the new name. "Still," The New York Times notes, "Altaba is certainly an unusual name — and it also happens to be close to 'Al-Taba,' apparently a manufacturer of scissors based in Pakistan." To be fair, Yahoo is also pretty similar to mysterious chocolate drink Yoo-hoo, and that didn't stop the internet powerhouse from doing quite well for itself for more than a decade. Peter Weber

January 6, 2017

At the same closed-door meeting on Monday where House Republicans voted to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics — a move scrapped after a public outcry — the House GOP also adopted a motion by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) that allows Congress to single out individual federal employees and eliminate their jobs or reduce their pay down to as little as $1, or cut specific federal programs, through amendments to the budget. The procedural mechanism, adopted Tuesday, is called the Holman Rule, named after the Indiana congressman who created it in 1876, The Washington Post explains:

Early in its history, the rule was used to eliminate patronage jobs, particularly customs agents, in the late 19th century before the federal workforce shifted to a nonpolitical civil service. The rule was dropped in 1983, when then-House Speaker Thomas "Tip" O'Neill Jr. (D-Mass.) objected to spending cuts proposed by Republicans and conservative Democrats. Griffith, known as the unofficial parliamentarian in the hard-line conservative Freedom Caucus, sought to revive it out of frustration with an $80 million federal program that pays for the care of wild horses on federal land in the West. He considers the program wasteful. [The Washington Post]

Democrats and even some of Griffith's GOP colleagues opposed the change, arguing that it could be abused to target bureaucrats for political reasons — Donald Trump's presidential transition team has requested the names of federal workers who focus on climate change, for example — and will gum up the budget process with politically controversial, small-bore amendments. In a concession to skeptical Republicans, the rule expires in a year unless re-authorized. You can read more about the Holman Rule at The Washington Post. Peter Weber

October 13, 2015

People who read Playboy for the naked pictures will soon have to look elsewhere for their titillation: Starting with the March 2016 issue, the magazine will do away with full nudity.

The decision was made by top editors and founder Hugh Hefner, who agreed that Playboy and its nude women don't pack the same punch they did when the magazine launched 62 years ago. As CEO Scott Flanders so delicately told The New York Times: "You're now just one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it's just passé at this juncture." The revamped magazine will keep its investigative pieces and interviews, and introduce a "sex-positive" female columnist and "PG-13" version of the Playmate of the Month.

The U.S. edition loses $3 million a year, but it's used as a marketing tool for the licensing business and international titles that do make money ("It's our Fifth Avenue storefront," Flanders said of U.S. Playboy). The print circulation is now at about 800,000, the Alliance for Audited Media says, but web traffic is up: In August 2014, Playboy removed nudity from its website to make it safe for work, and traffic soared from four million unique visitors per month to 16 million, The Times reports. The average reader went from 47 to just a bit older than 30, which is in line with the magazine's new target demographic: Young men living in cities. Even though it made business sense to shift Playboy's focus, it was still rough for the editors. "Don't get me wrong," says Playboy editor Cory Jones. "12-year-old me is very disappointed in current me. But it's the right thing to do." Catherine Garcia

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