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CNN-Entertainment

HFPA addresses controversy at Golden Globes: ‘We look forward to a more inclusive future’

By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN

The Hollywood Foreign Press on Sunday addressed controversy stemming from its lack of Black members in the organization during the Golden Globes.

“Tonight, while we celebrate the work of artists from around the globe, we recognize we have our own work to do,” vice president Helen Hoehne said, flanked by former president and board chair Meher Tatna and president Ali Sar. “Just like in film and television, Black representation is vital. We must have Black journalists in our organization.”

The criticism stems from a Los Angeles Times investigation that raised issues about the organization’s lack of Black members, among other ethical issues.

“We must also ensure everyone from all underrepresented communities get a seat at our table, and we’re going to make that happen,” Tatna added.

Earlier in the night during their monologue, hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler briefly addressed the controversy.

“We all know award shows are stupid…the point is, even with stupid things, inclusivity is important,” Fey said.”I realize, HFPA, maybe you guys didn’t get the memo because your workplace is the back booth of a French McDonald’s, but you gotta change that. So here’s to changing it.”

Sar appeared to agree.

“Thank you and we look forward to a more inclusive future,” he said.

Leading up to Sunday night, prominent celebrities and figures in Hollywood criticized the group, sharing a post from Time’s Up that called on them to broaden their membership.

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CNN-Entertainment

Chloé Zhao makes history at Golden Globes

By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN

Chloé Zhao has made Golden Globes history.

Zhao, who directed “Nomadland,” is the first woman of Asian descent and second woman ever to win the best director award in the Golden Globes’ 78-year history.

“This award belongs to the whole ‘Nomadland’ team,” Zhao said. “Thank you, everyone who made it possible for me to do what I love.”

Zhao’s film also picked up best motion picture – drama.

Zhao is the first woman to win best director at the Golden Globes since Barbara Streisand won in 1983 for “Yentl.”

This year had marked the first time ever that three female directors earned nominations for best director.

Zhao was nominated alongside Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”), Regina King (“One Night in Miami”), David Fincher (“Mank”) and Aaron Sorkin (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”).

A total of eight women have been nominated in the category since the Golden Globes began.

Barbara Streisand, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Ava DuVernay and Kathryn Bigelow have also been nominated in the category.

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CNN-Entertainment

Chadwick Boseman’s widow gives moving acceptance speech as actor wins Golden Globe

By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN

The late Chadwick Boseman was honored with a Golden Globe on Sunday for his incredible turn in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

Boseman’s wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award — which was for best performance by an actor in a motion picture-drama — in his honor.

Boseman died in August at age 43, after fighting a private battle with colon cancer.

The moving and heartfelt speech, which was a fitting tribute to a hero gone too soon, is below:

“He would thank God. He would thank his parents. He would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifice.

He would thank his incredible team Michael Greene, Azeem Chiba, Nicki Fioravante, Evelyn O’Neill, Chris Huvane, Logan Coles.

He would thank his team on set for this film — Deidra Dixon, Sian Richards, Craig Anthony and Andrew Carlone.

He would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can, that tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you’re meant to be doing at this moment in history.

He would thank Mr. George C. Wolfe, Mr. Denzel Washington, lots of people at Netflix. He would thank Ms. Viola Davis, Mr. Glynn Turman, Mr. Michael Potts, Mr. Colman Domingo, Ms. Taylour Paige, Mr. Dusan Brown.

And I don’t have his words, but we have to take a moment to celebrate those we love. So thank you HFPA for this opportunity to do exactly that.

And, hun, you keep ’em coming. Thank you.”

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CNN-Entertainment

Read the full text of Jane Fonda’s powerful speech at the Golden Globes

By Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN

It’s common for the winners of the Cecil B. DeMille Award to walk down memory lane discussing their numerous career highlights.

But actress Jane Fonda took a different tack when she accepted the prestigious lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes Sunday night.

Fonda began by exalting storytelling as an art form and praising the work of the actors and directors behind many nominated works this year. She ended by calling for better leadership in Hollywood to make sure everyone’s stories are told.

“Stories — they really can change people. But there’s a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry — a story about which voices we respect and elevate, and which we tune out,” Fonda said.

Read her full speech here:

“Thank you all the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. I’m — I’m so moved to receive this honor. Thank you.

You know, we are a community of storytellers, aren’t we? And in turbulent, crisis-torn times like these, storytelling has always been essential.

You see, stories have a way to … they can change our hearts and our minds. They can help us see each other in a new light. To have empathy. To recognize that, for all our diversity, we are humans first, right?

You know, I’ve seen a lot of diversity in my long life and at times I’ve been challenged to understand some of the people I’ve met.

But inevitably, if my heart is open, and I look beneath the surface, I feel kinship.

That’s why all of the great conduits of perception — Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus, Laotzi — all of them spoke to us in stories and poetry and metaphor.

Because the nonlinear, non-cerebral forms that are art speak on a different frequency.

They generate a new energy that can jolt us open and penetrate our defenses so that we can see and hear what we may have been afraid of seeing and hearing.

Just this year, “Nomadland” helped me feel love for the wanderers among us. And “Minari” opened my eyes to the experience of immigrants dealing with the realities of life in a new land.

And “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Small Acts,” “US vs. Billie Holiday,” “Ma Rainey,” “One Night in Miami” and others have deepened my empathy for what being Black has meant.

“Ramy” helped me feel what it means to be Muslim American.

“I May Destroy You” has taught me to consider sexual violence in a whole new way.

The documentary “All In” reminds us how fragile our democracy is and inspires us to fight to preserve it.

And “A Life on Our Planet” shows us how fragile our small blue planet is and inspires us to save it and ourselves.

Stories: They really, they really can change people.

But there’s a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves in this industry. A story about which voices we respect and elevate — and which we tune out.

A story about who’s offered a seat at the table and who is kept out of the rooms where decisions are made.

So let’s all of us — including all the groups that decide who gets hired and what gets made and who wins awards — let’s all of us make an effort to expand that tent. So that everyone rises and everyone’s story has a chance to be seen and heard.

I mean, doing this simply means acknowledging what’s true. Being in step with the emerging diversity that’s happening because of all those who marched and fought in the past and those who’ve picked up the baton today.

After all, art has always been not just in step with history, but has led the way.

So, let’s be leaders, OK?

Thank you, thank you so much.”

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CNN-Politics

Biden administration resumes Taliban peace talks

By Aaron Pellish and Paul LeBlanc, CNN

The US is sending negotiators to the Middle East to restart peace negotiations with the Taliban for the first time in the Biden administration, the State Department announced Sunday.

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad will travel to Afghanistan and Qatar, where he will meet with Afghan government officials on the trip as well as with Taliban representatives.

“(Khalilizad) will resume discussions on the way ahead with the Islamic Republic and Afghan leaders, Taliban representatives, and regional countries whose interests are best served by the achievement of a just and durable political settlement and permanent and comprehensive ceasefire,” the statement said.

Khalilzad was the US top negotiator with the Taliban during the Trump administration, and CNN previously reported the Biden administration kept him on board to, in part, demonstrate the Biden administration’s fidelity to the Doha agreement that was signed by the US and the Taliban last year, which Khalilzad helped negotiate.

That agreement, negotiated under the Trump administration and signed in February 2020, calls for the militant group to reduce violence and cut ties with terrorist organizations, among other demands. If the conditions of the deal were met, US forces would leave Afghanistan by May 2021, according to the agreement.

But the Pentagon said last month that the Biden administration would not commit to a full drawdown of troops from Afghanistan by May because the Taliban have not honored the commitments they made in their deal with the United States.

“The Taliban have not met their commitments,” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said at a news briefing. “Without them meeting their commitments to renounce terrorism and to stop the violent attacks on the Afghan national security forces, and by dint of that the Afghan people, it’s very hard to see a specific way forward for the negotiated settlement.”

The early foreign policy obstacle for the Biden administration had been previewed by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who described Afghanistan as “a real challenge” in his confirmation hearing last month.

“We want to end this so-called forever war. We want to bring our forces home. We want to retain some capacity to deal with any resurgence of terrorism, which is what brought us there in the first place,” he said.

Blinken also voiced a need to protect the gains made by women and civil society, telling the lawmakers, “I don’t believe that any outcome that they might achieve — the government of Afghanistan or the Taliban — is sustainable without protecting the gains that had been made by women and girls in Afghanistan over the last 20 years when it comes to access to education, to health care, to employment.”

CNN’s Jennifer Hansler, Oren Liebermann, Michael Conte and Kylie Atwood contributed to this report.

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CNN-Sports

Golfers wore red and black in honor of Tiger Woods during Sunday’s play

By Alaa Elassar, CNN

Golfers wore red shirts and black pants during the WGC-Workday Championship on Sunday in honor of golf legend Tiger Woods, who is hospitalized after a serious car accident last week.

Woods responded on Twitter to the gesture made by many in the golf community, including Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Thomas and Cameron Champ, who wore Woods’ signature outfit.

“It is hard to explain how touching today was when I turned on the tv and saw all the red shirts,” Woods wrote Sunday. “To every golfer and every fan, you are truly helping me get through this tough time.”

Golfers at the Gainbridge LPGA on Sunday, including Annika Sorenstam, also wore red and black in support of Woods.

PGA Tour Communications tweeted a picture Sunday of maintenance staff at the Puerto Rico Open wearing red and black to honor Woods.

And golfer Bryson DeChambeau tweeted a picture of a golf ball with the name “Tiger” and a red line on it.

“We’re all pulling for you @tigerwoods,” DeChambeau wrote. “A mentor, idol and role model to my career, there’s no one that could come out of this stronger. We’re glad you’re here. See you soon.”

Woods suffered serious leg injuries in a single-vehicle rollover accident last week near Los Angeles, where his SUV crossed a median, went across two lanes of road, then hit a tree and landed on the driver’s side in the brush.

After initial treatment at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Woods was moved to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he received follow-up procedures, a tweet posted Friday to Woods’ Twitter account said. “The procedures were successful, and he is now recovering and in good spirits.”

Woods’ injuries included open fractures to his tibia and fibula that required a rod to be inserted, and additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle that were stabilized with screws and pins.

CNN’s Jacob Lev, Stella Chan, Cheri Mossburg and Steve Almasy contributed to this report.

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CNN-Business

From ‘hoax’ to hope: Why March 2021 may be a turning point for the US

By Brian Stelter, CNN Business

A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

March 2020 never really ended. In those unforgettable days — March 11, 12, 13 — the great shutdown reached the US and society changed forever. The notion of a never-ending March became a bleak running joke, complete with a website called IsMarchOverYet.com, which says “No. It is Sunday March 365th, 2020.”

But the actual March of 2021 is here. “It has felt like March since last March but tomorrow is really March again,” the WSJ’s Katie Honan tweeted.

And it feels like the beginning of something new. The US is shifting from “hoax” to hope.

From “hoax” to hope

It was one year ago Sunday, February 28, 2020, when then-President Trump infamously used the word “hoax” to downplay the coronavirus. He likened covid to a “new hoax” by Democrats, just like “the impeachment hoax.” The virus was silently spreading across the country, and the public needed to be prepared for the threat, but Trump gave his fans license to dismiss it.

Now flash forward one year. On this February 28, there were multiple pieces of positive news: A notable decline in Covid hospitalizations, a federal thumbs-up for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and an acceleration in vaccine appointments. This is, as CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, “a potentially pivotal time.” Safety measures must continue, but the US is taking daily leaps and strides toward mass vaccination.

As Matthew Yglesias tweeted Sunday, “If Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J all hit their stated delivery targets, we’re going to be doing 4 million doses/day in March, and by April the whole vaccine story will shift to be about reluctance / hesitancy / resistance.”

To that point, The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson is out with an important new story about how to combat vaccine reluctance. He says “it’s not just one problem—and we’re going to need a portfolio of approaches to solve it.” An “all of the above” approach.

Coming up this week…

Since this newsletter focuses on news about and for the media, ranging from news to entertainment, here are some of the big events and stories slated for March 2021, starting with this week:

Tuesday: Stephen King’s new thriller “Later” hits bookstores.

Tuesday night: ABC premieres a six-part newsmagazine about Black life in America, “Soul of a Nation.”

Thursday: The Paramount+ streaming service launches.

Friday: The season finale of “WandaVision” hits Disney+.

Friday: “Coming 2 America” comes to Amazon, and “Raya and the Last Dragon” simultaneously hits theaters and Disney+ (at a premium fee). Also, theaters in NYC can start to reopen.

Friday night: Advocates begin a 24-hour National Day of Unplugging.

Sunday: Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry airs on CBS.

Later this month…

March 11: Some news outlets will air special programs to mark one year of the Covid crisis.

March 12: The House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee will hold a hearing about a set of proposals to support local news.

March 15: Oscar nominees will be announced.

March 16: A virtual version of SXSW will begin.

March 17: “Operation Varsity Blues,” a docuseries on the admissions scandal, arrives on Netflix.

March 18: Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” cut premieres on HBO Max.

March 20: The start of spring!

March 31: WarnerMedia releases “Godzilla vs. Kong.”

New in nonfiction

March’s big releases include Emma Brown’s “To Raise a Boy” on March 2, Walter Isaacson’s “The Code Breaker” on March 9, W. Ralph Eubanks’ “A Place Like Mississippi” on March 16, and Alec MacGillis’ “Fulfillment” on March 16. Also, Fox’s Dana Perino is coming out with “Everything Will Be Okay” on March 9. And the first of Amanda Gorman’s books will come out at the end of the month. Check TIME and the New York Times’ lists for further reading, including loads of new novels…

NBC’s “Life After Lockdown” special

On Monday NBC News will begin a two-week series “marking one year since Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic.” NBC programs will look back and forward, culminating in a prime time special on March 11 “across NBC, MSNBC and NBC News NOW.” Lester Holt and Savannah Guthrie will anchor the special from the Lincoln Memorial.

Cicilline: ‘Local news is on life support’

Rep. David Cicilline, chair of the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, joined me on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” to discuss the growing pressure to make Facebook and Google pay news outlets. He said he plans to reintroduce the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, which allows publishers “to band together for purposes of negotiating with the two large platforms.” Cicilline also previewed his upcoming hearing about local news, which will be held on March 12.

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CNN-Politics

Fact check: Trump delivers lie-filled CPAC speech

By Daniel Dale, Holmes Lybrand, Tara Subramaniam and Kylie Atwood, CNN

Former President Donald Trump returned to the public stage on Sunday with a familiar kind of Trump speech — a speech filled with debunked lies.

Most notably, Trump’s first post-presidency address, at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, included his usual lies about the 2020 election. He continued to falsely insist he was the legitimate winner and continued to falsely insist the election was “rigged.”

Trump repeated a bunch of other false claims we regularly heard from him as president, on subjects ranging from trade with China to his stance on the war in Iraq. He also offered up some new false claims about President Joe Biden’s early days in office.

We are still going through the transcript of Trump’s remarks, but here is an initial breakdown of some of the things he said.

2020 election results

Who won the election

Trump repeated various versions of his usual lie that he won the 2020 election. He said that Democrats “just lost the White House,” said that “it’s not possible” that he lost, said “no” after asking the rhetorical question “did Biden win?” and said another election win in the future would be his “third.”

Facts First: This is all false. Trump lost the 2020 election, fair and square. Democrat Joe Biden won a 306-232 victory in the Electoral College — earning over seven million more votes than Trump, good for a margin of 51.3% to 46.8%.

Mail-in ballots and dead voters

Trump repeated his attack on mail-in voting and claimed that dead people voted in the election.

“(T)ens of millions of ballots. Where are they coming from? They’re coming from all over the place.” He then claimed that “dead people are voting.”

Facts First: Both of these claims are wrong. As we have fact checked many times before, mail-in voting is not rife with fraud and there were not tens of millions of ballots that came from unknown origins. CNN looked into several claims of dead people’s ballots being cast in the election and found no evidence of widespread fraud.

Early morning vote batches

Trump repeated the claim that some nefarious vote-dumping occurred in the earlier hours of the morning after the election.

“What happened at 3:02 in the morning?” Trump asked the CPAC audience.

Facts First: There’s nothing inherently suspicious or mysterious about large batches of votes being reported late at night or even after Election Day.

Votes from mail-in ballots were often reported later on Election Day and afterwards because they couldn’t be counted ahead of time in many states, including Michigan and Pennsylvania. And in several lawsuits over the election, judges determined the witness affidavits claiming they saw literal late night dumps of ballots were baseless and not evidence of fraud.

More votes than people

Trump repeated another of his arguments about voter fraud, claiming that in multiple cities there were more votes than people. He specifically called out Detroit, Michigan, which came under scrutiny shortly after the election when Republican county election officials tried to block the certification of election results.

“We have a little problem adjusting in Detroit, we seem to have more votes than we have people. A lot more votes. An election changing number,” Trump said.

Facts First: It’s false that there were more votes than people in Detroit. The city saw 250,138 votes cast this election, less than half the number of registered voters (504,714) and far fewer than the 670,031 people in the city as of 2019, according to the US Census Bureau.

Trump’s insistence that there are “more votes than people” likely refers to precincts that are out of balance, which means the number of voters recorded didn’t match the number of ballots cast in certain places. However, former and current Michigan state officials told CNN these imbalances are often clerical errors which are addressed as part of the canvassing process and not indicative of widespread fraud.

Votes in Pennsylvania

Trump also claimed that “in Pennsylvania, they had hundreds of thousands of more votes than they had people voting.”

Facts First: This is false. State officials and fact checkers have repeatedly explained that the claim that Pennsylvania had more votes than registered voters is just not true; Trump may have been relying on an incorrect figure from a Republican state legislator, who had relied on incomplete data.

Biden

Biden and the Keystone Pipeline

Trump claimed that Biden had not said during his campaign that he was planning to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline.

“In one of his first official acts — which was incredible, because again, he talked about energy, he never said he was going to do this — he canceled the Keystone pipeline,” Trump said.

Facts First: This is misleading. Biden’s campaign announced in May 2020 that he would cancel the Keystone XL pipeline if elected, and reiterated that position later in the campaign. An initial search of newspaper and television archives did not turn up any examples of Biden personally speaking about his plan to kill Keystone, so there may be a narrow basis for Trump’s claim that Biden himself “never said” he would do so. But given that the Biden campaign’s announcement was widely reported, the facts don’t support Trump’s broader suggestion that the cancellation was a surprise move.

Gas prices

Trump said, “Under the radical Democrat policies, the price of gasoline has already surged 30% since the election.”

Facts First: This is misleading. First, Trump was ignoring the impact of factors unrelated to either party’s policies, particularly the severe winter storm in February that caused prices to spike in February. Second, by comparing gas prices today to gas prices at the time of the election, Trump appeared to be assigning blame to President Joe Biden for the portion of the increase that occurred during the Trump presidency; there has been a much smaller increase, about 13%, if you compare current prices to prices on Biden’s first full day in office.

The increase in the national average at the pumps is indeed in the ballpark of 30% if you compare prices the weekend Trump spoke at CPAC ($2.71 per unleaded gallon, according to data provided to CNN by AAA) to prices on Election Day in early November ($2.12) — that’s about a 28% spike. But it’s unfair for Trump to hold Democrats responsible for increases in November, December and the first 19 days of January, when Trump himself was in office. The national average on Biden’s first full day as president, January 21, was $2.39; the $2.71 price this past weekend was about 13% higher than that.

Asked about Trump’s claim, AAA spokeswoman Jeanette Casselano said in an email that prices have steadily increased since the end of November because of higher crude oil prices driven by optimism about coronavirus vaccines, while “the recent spikes (the last 2 weeks) are a direct result of the winter storm that hit Texas and took 26 refineries offline.”

Biden and fracking

Trump claimed Biden reversed his stance on fracking between the primary and the general election, stating, “During the primary, ‘no fracking.’ As soon as he got through that, he said ‘no, of course, everybody can frack.'”

Facts First: While Trump’s characterization of Biden’s stance on fracking is inaccurate, there is some basis for the Trump campaign’s continued criticism that Biden flipflopped on the issue. Biden’s written plan never included a complete ban on fracking but his comments over the course of the campaign did create confusion about his position on the issue.

During the July 2019 Democratic primary debate, CNN’s Dana Bash asked whether there would be “any place for fossil fuels, including coal and fracking, in a Biden administration?” to which Biden responded, “No, we would — we would work it out. We would make sure it’s eliminated and no more subsidies for either one of those, either — any fossil fuel.”

After the primary, Trump referenced these past remarks from Biden in the final presidential debate, prompting the former vice president to falsely insist he never said he opposed fracking. Biden then tried to clarify his position and claimed his past opposition was specifically about fracking on federal land only. But Biden did not go so far as to express the unbridled support for fracking Trump implied and his comments should not be construed as such.

Biden’s plan during the general election proposed “banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters,” not ending all new fracking anywhere or ending all existing fracking on public lands and waters. A week after taking office, Biden signed an executive order ordering a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal land and water areas.

Refugees

Trump said: “Your family still can’t go out to eat at local restaurants, but Joe Biden is bringing in thousands upon thousands of refugees from all over the world. People that nobody knows anything about. We don’t have crime records. We don’t have health records.”

Facts First: While it is true that Biden is planning to significantly increase the number of refugees the US accepts, it’s wrong to suggest that the US doesn’t know “anything about” the refugees it brings in. Refugees are rigorously vetted; the admissions process includes an interview assessment by US government personnel, medical screening, and various types of background checks, including fingerprint checks against databases maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense.

Trump reduced the maximum number to a historic low of 15,000 for the 2021 fiscal year; Biden plans to raise the cap to 62,500 for 2021 and then to 125,000 in his first full fiscal year, 2022.

President Barack Obama set a cap of 85,000 in his last full fiscal year in office, 2016. Obama raised the cap to 110,000 for his final partial fiscal year, 2017.

Biden and schools

Trump called for children to return to school “immediately,” then said, “The only reason most parents do not have that choice is because Joe Biden sold out America’s children to the teachers unions.” He said Biden is “cruelly keeping our children locked in their homes.”

Facts First: It’s not true that Biden, who has called for the reopening of most schools by his 100th day in office, is personally keeping children locked out of school or that Biden’s position on the issue is “the only reason” some schools continue to offer only virtual instruction. While the federal government can issue guidelines for the reopening of schools, it is up to state and especially local officials to make the actual decisions on when to reopen. Also, the current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not tell schools that they cannot reopen. It says: “At any level of community transmission, all schools have options to provide in-person instruction (either full or hybrid), through strict adherence to mitigation strategies.”

Biden’s administration can be fairly criticized for shifting from its original position on what would count as meeting his goal of having a majority of schools open within 100 days. (You can read more here on its shifting explanations. But it’s not fair to say Biden is the one person keeping children out of classrooms. Recent polling shows a majority of adults support waiting until any teacher who wants a vaccine can get it.

And it’s worth noting that Trump himself could not open schools as president even when he wanted to; Trump suggested in 2020 that he might cut off federal funding to schools that did not reopen, but experts said he could not unilaterally carry out that threat, and he did not end up trying.

Sanctions on Iran

Trump said Biden’s administration “unilaterally withdrew our crippling sanctions on Iran, foolishly giving away all of America’s leverage before negotiations have even begun.” He continued moments later, “They took off the sanctions. They took off the sanctions. They said, ‘Well, we’re going to not have any sanctions. Let’s negotiate a deal.’ “

Facts First: Trump’s characterization of the actions taken by the Biden team on Iran is wrong. It’s false to suggest the Biden administration has removed any sanctions against Iran imposed by the Trump administration.

It’s likely Trump was referring to the Biden administration’s decisions to lift travel restrictions placed on Iranian diplomats to the United Nations by the Trump administration and halt the Trump administration’s efforts to snap back UN sanctions on Iran. However, these recent efforts from the Biden administration to reverse Trump administration actions regarding Iran cannot accurately be characterized as a removal of existing sanctions.

Despite former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s claim, UN sanctions on Iran were never reimposed, as no other member of the UN Security Council agreed with the US-led effort. In order for the sanctions to have snapped back on Iran, the complaint must be filed by a nation that’s participating in the Iran nuclear deal, which the US was not under the Trump administration.

Throughout Trump’s presidency, his administration did impose a tremendous number of sanctions on Iranian companies, entities and individuals — through their maximum pressure campaign — which remain in place.

Trump’s repeated falsehoods

Florida, Ohio and Iowa

Trump claimed that “no president has ever lost an election after carrying Florida, Ohio and Iowa.”

Facts First: This needs context. Richard Nixon won Florida, Ohio and Iowa in 1960 but lost the election to John F. Kennedy. Unlike a previous version of this claim, in which Trump declared that nobody at all ever lost the election after winning those three states, this “no president” version is not flat false because Nixon was not an incumbent president at the time. Still, Trump omitted the fact that somebody has won these three states and been defeated.

Also, of course, this historical tidbit does not tell us anything about the legitimacy of Trump’s defeat.

Deportations to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador 

Trump repeated an old false claim about Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, saying that before he took office, those countries were “refusing to take back illegal alien gang members, including MS-13.” He added soon after: “We’d fly ’em in, they wouldn’t let the plane land. We’d bus ’em in, they wouldn’t let the buses get anywhere near the border.”

Facts First: This remains false. In 2016, just prior to Trump’s presidency, none of the three countries was on the list of countries that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) considered “recalcitrant” (uncooperative) in accepting the return of their citizens from the US.

Randy Capps, director of research for US programs at the Migration Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, noted to CNN in 2019 that in the 2016 fiscal year, the last full year before Trump took office, ICE reported that Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador ranked second, third and fourth for the country of citizenship of people being removed from the US. The same was true in the 2017 fiscal year, which encompassed the end of Barack Obama’s presidency and the beginning of Trump’s. ICE did not identify any widespread problems with deportations to these countries.

ICE officials said there were some exceptions to the three countries’ general cooperativeness, but Trump’s general declaration that the countries were uncooperative was never true.

Trump’s stance on the war in Iraq

Trump repeated his usual false claim about his pre-war stance on the war in Iraq.

“Iraq: remember I used to say don’t go in, but if you’re gonna go in, keep the oil. Well, we went in and we didn’t keep the oil,” he said.

Facts First: Contrary to his repeated claims, Trump did not publicly express opposition to the invasion of Iraq before it occurred. He began criticizing the war in 2003, after the invasion, but he also said that year that American troops should not be withdrawn from Iraq. He emerged as an explicit opponent of the war in 2004.

We could not find any examples of Trump saying anything before the war about keeping Iraq’s oil. (We asked the Trump-era White House communications staff if it could provide any evidence; we never got a response.) Trump appeared to be describing comments he made during the war, in which he did talk about taking Iraq’s oil, as if he made them during the run-up to the war.

You can read a longer fact check here.

Past tariffs on China

Trump repeated a familiar claim about how, before he took office, China “never gave us 10 cents,” but then, under him, the US took in “hundreds of billions” from China because of his tariffs.

Facts First: This was wrong in two ways. First, studies repeatedly showed that it’s not true that China paid Trump’s tariffs; Americans bore the majority of the cost. Second, Trump’s claim that the government had not previously received “10 cents” from tariffs on China is also false. The US has had tariffs on China for more than two centuries; President Barack Obama imposed new tariffs on China; FactCheck.org reported that the US generated an “average of $12.3 billion in custom duties a year from 2007 to 2016, according to the U.S. International Trade Commission DataWeb.”

China also made tens of billions of annual purchases of US exports under Obama — more than $100 billion in goods purchases every year from 2011 through 2016.”

The trade deficit with China

Trump repeated one of the most frequent false claims of his presidency — his lie that, in the past, the US used to have a trade deficit of about $500 billion with China.

“We used to lose $504 billion trade deficit with China…not million; $504 million is a lot…now take $504 million, make it $504 billion; we had deficits with China,” he said.

Facts First: Trump was wrong again. The US had never had a $504 billion (or $500 billion) trade deficit with China before Trump took office. The record was set in the Trump era: a $380 billion deficit in goods and services trade with China in 2018.

The goods and services deficit with China declined to $308 billion in 2019. (We don’t have final figures for 2020.)

US deaths in Afghanistan

Trump said, “Not one American soldier has been killed in Afghanistan in over a year.”

Facts First: This is true if you are talking specifically about combat deaths but not true if you count all deaths. There have been at least three US soldiers killed in Afghanistan since February 28, 2020, one in a non-combat vehicle rollover and two in other non-combat incidents.

This story has been updated.

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CNN-Entertainment

The movie that won best foreign-language film could have been made in English. Here’s why that didn’t happen

By Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN

If it weren’t for a producer’s persistence, the movie that just won best foreign-language film at the Golden Globes might have been made in English instead.

“Minari” writer-director Lee Isaac Chung told CNN in a recent interview that he knew he wanted to tell the story in Korean. But he feared that would be a tough sell — not for audiences, who he felt would connect with a good story when they saw one — but for would-be backers.

“My concern was, would anyone finance this film if it is not in English? … I was in a position in which nobody knows who I am. Nobody knows what this story is,” he said.

“You know, it’s about a bunch of farmers who are chicken sexers. It doesn’t jump off the page as being a commercial endeavor.”

So Chung also wrote a version of the script with more English in it, just in case.

Luckily, Chung says, producer Christina Oh, who’s also Korean American, supported his vision.

“She was very adamant from the start that we have to do this in Korean, the way that we grew up. … She said as a producer, she’s going to go out and make that case, and make that fight. And I just trusted her,” he said.

Some English is spoken in “Minari.” But having the family at the heart of the story speak Korean at home added nuance and complexity to movie, Chung said.

“That adds, I feel, a layer of what this family’s actually going through and that sort of insular feeling that you have when the reality at home is different from the one outside,” he said, “and that you really try to preserve some of that reality within your own family as you feel it slipping away.”

Why the Golden Globes nomination sparked controversy

In recent months, controversy erupted over the Golden Globes’ rules, which made “Minari” eligible for best foreign-language film but not best picture because more than 50% of the movie is not in English.

That’s raised serious questions about racism in Hollywood and calls for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to reexamine its language requirements.

“It feels personal. … It feels like the ‘where are you from?’ question that Asian Americans always get,” says Nancy Wang Yuen, a sociologist and author of “Reel Inequality: Hollywood Actors and Racism” told CNN. “The assumption is that if you have an Asian face, you must not be from here.”

The United States has no official language. And more than 20% of the US population age 5 and over speaks a language other than English at home, according to census data.

“More than 350 languages are spoken in American homes today. So what does ‘foreign’ language mean?” said Charlene Jimenez, director of entertainment partnerships and advocacy for the nonprofit Define American.

Jimenez argues it’s long past time for the association to reevaluate the criteria it uses for its prestigious prizes.

“It’s a really important time for us as an American society to be investigating our own prejudice about films like this, about stories like this, about immigrant stories — what does and does not resonate as ‘American’ to people.”

Minari’s director says language in ‘Minari’ goes beyond any ‘American’ or ‘foreign’ label

Chung thanked the association for the honor in his acceptance speech Sunday night while also alluding to the broader conversation.

“i just want to say that ‘Minari’ is about a family,” Chung said, accepting the award with his daughter’s arms around his neck. “It’s a family trying to learn how to speak a language of its own. it goes deeper than any American language and any foreign language. It’s a language of the heart. And I’m trying to learn it myself and pass it on. And I hope we’ll all learn how to speak this language of love to each other, especially this year.”

Chung recently told CNN he doesn’t feel like competing in the best foreign-language film category dishonored his work, but he understands the frustration many have expressed.

“I understand it in the context of being Asian American and having felt at times there are situations in which you feel as though you’re being treated as a foreigner, and that includes when you’re speaking Korean or a different language and, you know, you hear comments,” he said.

But Chung sees another side to it, too.

“My grandmother, if she were still alive, she’d be very proud that I held through and did a film in Korean and didn’t compromise and then start using that foreign language of English,” he said.

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CNN-Entertainment

The real winner of the Golden Globes was Regina King’s dog Cornbread

By Amir Vera, CNN

You know what goes best with a Louis Vuitton dress? Cornbread.

That’s the name of Regina King’s dog who seemed to win the hearts of viewers during the Golden Globes pre-show.

As King was showing off her Golden Globes outfit at the pre-show ceremonies on E! and NBC, Cornbread was just vibing behind her in a doggy bed.

“Regina King’s dog channeling my mood,” tweeted Thrillist writer Esther Zuckerman.

“Regina King’s dog just crashed her interview on the Golden Globes “red carpet” and that is something that should happen on every red carpet going forward,” tweeted author Riley Sager.

“The best accessory tonight is Regina’s King’s dog very very slowly getting comfy in his bed,” TV critic Kelly Lawler tweeted.

King is nominated for best director for her film “One Night in Miami.” She is one of three female directors in the category, a first in Golden Globes history.

King is the second Black woman nominated in the category.

Should she win, hopefully Cornbread will be awake to see the potential victory.

CNN’s Sandra Gonzalez contributed to this report.