(LONDON) — Queen Elizabeth II is marking her 92nd birthday with a Saturday night concert in London featuring British singers such as Sting, Tom Jones and Jamie Cullum.
Kylie Minogue, Shaggy and Craig David also are set to perform for the "Queen's Birthday Party" at Royal Albert Hall.
Elizabeth — the world's longest-reigning living monarch — will be in the audience along with other members of the royal family. Prince Harry is expected to lead tributes to his grandmother in his new role as president of The Queen's Commonwealth Trust.
Earlier in the day, honorary gun salutes were staged in Hyde Park, the Tower of London and the town of Windsor to mark the occasion.
The queen celebrates two birthdays every year: Her actual birthday on Apr. 21, which she usually marks privately with her family, and her "official birthday" in the summer. That usually falls on the second Saturday in June, when she joins the Trooping the Color military parade in central London.
Elizabeth's official birthday this year came on the tails of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, which brought the leaders of the 53 Commonwealth countries together in England.
The queen has led the disparate group, made up of Britain and its former colonies, since she too the throne in 1952.
(HOUSTON) — Some 1,500 guests are expected Saturday at a private funeral for Barbara Bush at the nation's largest Episcopal church.
First lady Melania Trump, former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, and former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, are among those expected to attend the by-invitation-only service at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Houston. Burial will follow at the Bush Library at Texas A&M University, about 100 miles northwest of Houston.
The burial site is in a gated plot surrounded by trees and near a creek where the couple's 3-year-old daughter, Robin, who died of leukemia in 1953, is buried.
In a statement released Friday, the family said Barbara Bush had selected son Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, to deliver a eulogy along with her longtime friend Susan Baker, wife of former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, and historian Jon Meacham, who wrote a 2015 biography of her husband.
Thousands of people on Friday paid respects to Barbara Bush, wife of the nation's 41st president and mother of the nation's 43rd. Bush died Tuesday at her Houston home. She was 92.
(WEST PALM BEACH, Florida) — President Donald Trump says he doesn't expect personal lawyer Michael Cohen to "flip" as the government investigates Cohen's business dealings.
Trump is accusing The New York Times and a reporter of "going out of their way to destroy Michael Cohen and his relationship with me in the hope that he will 'flip'" — a term that can mean cooperating with the government in exchange for leniency.
But Trump tweets: "Sorry, I don't see Michael doing that despite the horrible Witch Hunt and the dishonest media!"
The FBI raided Cohen's home, office and hotel room this month.
Prosecutors have said they're investigating Cohen's personal business dealings for fraud but haven't said what crime they believe he may have committed. Cohen's lawyers have called the raid an assault on attorney-client privilege.
In one of Westworld Season 1's most highly anticipated twists, we find out that William (Jimmi Simpson) and the ruthless Man in Black (Ed Harris) are the same guy, separated by three decades.
And according to the Westworld Season 2 trailer, the Man in Black is determined to burn the theme park down. Whether or not he gets to fulfill his vacation dreams is anyone's guess. But let's pull back for a moment and remember how his character — a white-hatted good guy as pure as they come — went full black hat.
Before you dive into the Westworld Season 2 premiere on April 22, here's a refresher on how William became the Man in Black.
William the Newbie
When he first shows up at the park in the second episode of Season 1, William seems immune to the park's amusements. He hops off the train as a reluctant first-timer on a business retreat of sorts. He's traveled there with a returning visitor, Logan (Ben Barnes), his insufferable, rich brother-in-law to-be.
Recall that William did not care for Logan's system of rating women based on their attractiveness, which Logan shared with him on the train ride in. He didn't care for the way Logan stabbed an elderly host's hand to the table because he interrupted their steak dinner. He turned down advances from female hosts like Angela (Talulah Riley) and Clementine (Angela Sarafyan), even though his fiancée enjoyed sex with hosts before. The guy even robbed people politely. He was different.
Dolores the Draw
That all changed when William fell in love with the rancher's daughter and the pair teamed up for an adventure into the less family-friendly danger zones of the park through Pariah and Ghost Nation. Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) was so pure that she lassoed his heart. And William was so convinced that she could become conscious that he became her ally. They have train sex, and he's hooked.
The Major Turning Point
But then Dolores was captured by Confederate soldiers and, as far as we know, brutalized. We discover that William has a real knack for violence when Logan wakes up from an outdoor sleepover to discover that his future brother spent the evening butchering all the host soldiers. Logan is shocked by this. And William gets rid of Logan by sending him galloping away naked on a horse.
We learn about William's transformation in a montage toward the close of Season 1. It shows that he enjoys the rest of his first stay and his mission to find Dolores. William stops at nothing to find her, and when he finally does, in Sweetwater, she doesn't even appear to remember him. He's really pissed about that one.
As his Westworld gaming progresses, he turns into a brutal man fixated on getting to the core of the game, mowing down any hosts in his way. We learn that his fiancée Juliet became his wife, and later took her own life. It's enough to lead him back to Westworld again and again. For 30 years.
William is a repeat offender, and his rap sheet is long. But here's a sampling: We learn that he is likely sexually assaulting Dolores in unseen barn scenes, and at one point, he stabs Maeve (Thandie Newton.) But perhaps most surprising of all, he kills Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr.) He's the sidekick with whom the Man in Black has a complicated bromance. They have some laughs, but the Man in Black ends up hanging Lawrence once he is no longer useful to him. To him, everyone is just a pawn in this game.
Oh, and then we find out that he also owns Westworld, which helps explain his entitled attitude, and why he thinks it's appropriate to call Dr. Ford by his first name.
If the Man in Black were a host, in Westworld terms, the deeper level of this game would be his "cornerstone." It's what drives him. He spends a good chunk of time trying to figure out what it all means. He firmly believes the deceased park co-creator Arnold (Jeffrey Wright) hid the real mystery of the park at “the center of the Maze." He's wrong. The maze is really an inward journey Arnold set up for the hosts. It doesn't even apply to him, but he's still relentlessly obsessed with getting there.
The Real Stakes He Always Wanted
The last we see of him in Season 1 at the black tie affair massacre in the finale, he's finding his first taste of fulfillment. The host Clementine Pennyfeather shoots him, and he actually gets injured, which thrills him to no end.
Stay tuned for his shenanigans when Season 2 of Westworld premieres on Sunday.
A Starbucks manager in Philadelphia called the police on two black men on April 12, leading to their arrest. The two men, who had been waiting for a friend at the store, were released without being charged.
Starbucks has since apologized and announced it will close more than 8,000 of its stores in the United States to provide “racial bias” training for its 175,000 employees. Starbucks’ COO Roz Brewer said the sessions would focus on “unconscious bias training,” a form of diversity education that focuses on the hidden causes of everyday racial discrimination.
Unconscious bias training has become a popular approach to diversity education. The trainings often begin with demonstrations of how the mind operates in ways that are outside of conscious awareness or control. These demonstrations show that people make, and sometimes act on, snap judgments based on the other person’s race, without any conscious intention.
Research shows that this source of racial discrimination can be reduced in a number of ways. For example, setting objective criteria for decision-making could have made a difference in the Starbucks incident. As Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson described, the manager used personal judgment in calling the police. Formal rules that prevent the influence of racial bias in calling the police could have prevented the incident altogether.
Some unconscious bias trainings incorporate discussions of solutions such as these. But there is no standard format for trainings. Some involve little more than a series of narrated PowerPoint slides. Others involve expert instructors who hold small, intensive workshops that can last for days.
The novelty of unconscious bias training means there is little direct evidence about whether it works. To determine its potential, researchers have turned to clues from other types of training.
One study looked at older types of diversity trainings that focused on the negative legal consequences of discrimination. It found that such trainings can backfire when managers resent the possibility that they could be singled out for punishment.
By contrast, employees may be more open to unconscious bias training because it focuses on how bias is universal, rather than singling out a few “bad apples.”
However, other research shows that highlighting the prevalence of bias makes people more likely to express their bias.
Unconscious bias training will not solve the whole problem. Discrimination has other causes that aren’t fully dealt with in this kind of training, such as explicit prejudice or policies that have disparate impacts on people of different races. Effective solutions will require multiple approaches to addressing discrimination, not just one.
This story has been updated to reflect the correct date on which the incident at a Philadelphia Starbucks occurred.
Plastic has been plagued with some bad press in the weeks leading up to Earth Day, which takes place Sunday, April 22, from a sperm whale that washed ashore in Spain with 64 pounds of plastic in its body to a 600,000 square mile area in the Pacific Ocean rife with trash.
Both headlines drew an outcry from concerned citizens calling for measures to protect the affected sea life. But as sad as the news may be, it is far from surprising. Plastic consumption has increased 20-fold in recent decades, with nearly a third of the material consumed bypassing waste collection systems and eventually winding up as pollution. That plastic debris often finds its way to the planet’s oceans, rivers and lakes, creating problems for aquatic species and, by extension, humankind.
The plastic pollution problem — the theme of this year's Earth Day — isn’t going away any time soon. Plastic use is expected to double in the next two decades as manufacturers find new and varied uses for the material, according to a report from the World Economic Forum (WEF). In some ways, that could be a good thing. Plastic has aided human development by keeping food fresh, reducing the weight of cars (leading to reduced emissions), and providing material for new types of medical devices. Supporters of expanding plastic use say the material can be used as the building block of everything from electronics to skyscrapers.
But unless we change our approach to plastic waste, more plastic use will mean a dramatic increase in pollution. Only 9% of plastics are currently recycled, according to research published this year in the journal Science Advances. By one estimate, plastic debris kills over 100 million sea creatures annually. All told, 8 million tons of plastic are deposited in the ocean every year, according to a 2015 study.
To put that mind-boggling figure in perspective, TIME did an experiment: If all the plastic that winds up in the ocean over a single year was molded into LEGO bricks, how many life-size skyscrapers could you build with them?
The standard 2-by-4 LEGO block weighs 2.32 grams, meaning those 8 million tons of plastic waste could produce 3.4 quadrillion such pieces. With that figure in mind, we built the following simulation, showing just how many full-size replicas of New York's iconic Empire State Building you could build with that number of LEGO bricks:
Methodology note: The typical 2-by-4 block is 31.8 millimeters long by 15.8 millimeters wide and 9.6 millimeters tall. The way LEGOs stack together leaves a tiny amount of space between them, so this simulation treats the length as 32mm by 16mm. Our life-size LEGO Empire State Buildings have a volume of about 900,000 cubic meters, close to that of the real thing.
But if you're an author writing about President Trump, would you do better with a book praising him or one critical of him?
To answer that question, we gathered data from the Times nonfiction list of bestsellers on every book explicitly about Trump since his election in 2016.
That gave us a list of seven books supporting Trump, including books like "Understanding Trump" by Newt Gingrich and "Billionaire at the Barricades" by Laura Ingraham, and ten that were more critical, such as "Fire and Fury" by Michael Wolff and "Russian Roulette" by Michael Isikoff and David Corn.
The results were clear: All of the books except Wolff's had a quick decline in sales after their first week on the list, which is not uncommon. The pro-Trump books spent a median of three weeks on the bestseller list, while books critical of Trump have done slightly better, spending a median of three and a half weeks on the list. Both types of books had a median highest rank of third place.
The list does not include James Comey's memoir, "A Higher Loyalty," which is too new to be included in the data set. But Comey's book, which is highly critical of Trump, is already selling well.
Each book is graphed above by its cumulative weeks appearing on the Times bestseller list, even if there were weeks in between where it did not make the cut.
(SEOUL, South Korea) — North Korea announced that it will suspend nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missile launches ahead of its summits with Seoul and Washington, but stopped short of suggesting it has any intention of giving up its hard-won nuclear arsenal.
The announcement, which sets the table for further negotiations when the summits begin, was made by leader Kim Jong Un at a meeting of the North Korean ruling party's Central Committee on Friday. It was reported by the North's state-run media early Saturday.
Kim justified the suspension to his party by saying the situation around North Korea has been rapidly changing "in favor of the Korean revolution" since he announced last year that his country had completed its nuclear forces.
He said North Korea has reached the level where it no longer needs underground testing or test-launching of ICBMs, and added that it would close its nuclear testing facility at Punggye-ri, which was already believed to have been rendered unusable due to tunnel collapses after the North's test of its most powerful bomb to date last year.
The announcement is Kim's opening gambit to set the tone for summit talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, set for next Friday, and U.S. President Donald Trump, expected in late May or early June.
Trump almost immediately responded with a tweet, saying, "This is very good news for North Korea and the World" and "big progress!" He added that he's looking forward to his summit with Kim.
South Korea's presidential office also welcomed North Korea's announcement as "meaningful progress" toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Presidential official Yoon Young-chan said in a statement that the North's decision brightens the prospects for successful talks between Seoul, Pyongyang and Washington.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offered a more guarded reaction.
"What is crucial here ... is how this development is going to lead to the complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement of nuclear arms, weapons of mass destruction and missiles," he said. "And I will keep a close eye on that."
Pyongyang residents, who have been largely kept in the dark about Kim's plans to meet Trump, gathered at subway stations, where newspapers are posted for the public, or around large screens in city plazas to see the reports.
One resident, 34-year-old Son Kum Chol, said he read the news in the ruling party's newspaper. North Koreans are extremely cautious when speaking to the media, but Son told The Associated Press that the news made him feel the "future road will be brighter and prosperous."
Some analysts believe Kim feels he is entering the summit negotiations from a position of strength and is hoping to achieve tacit recognition that his country is now a nuclear power. They believe he wants to engage in talks and make some concessions around the edges that would convince Washington and other countries to ease sanctions on his struggling economy.
In his speech at the party meeting, Kim praised his nuclear policy as "a miraculous victory" achieved in just five years. A resolution passed after his speech also stressed that the country had successfully achieved its goals of obtaining a viable nuclear force and suggested it intends to keep that force.
Using the acronym for North Korea's official name, it said the North would "never use nuclear weapons nor transfer nuclear weapons or nuclear technology under any circumstances unless there are nuclear threats and nuclear provocation against the DPRK."
"This was a smart move by Kim," Vipin Narang, an associate political science professor and nuclear proliferation expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in an email. "Although it largely formalizes previous pledges on the moratoria from last November and March, it still leaves a lot of wiggle room for circumventing the pledges in the future, and nothing in there is irreversible. And nothing in there mentions denuclearization, of any variety."
Narang noted that North Korea has already conducted as many nuclear tests as Pakistan and India — six — and may indeed not need to conduct any more underground testing.
Tossing out another nugget that could be used at the summits, Kim stressed at the party meeting his desire to shift the national focus to improving the country's economy, which has been hit hard by international sanctions and the "maximum pressure" strategy pushed by Trump.
The announcement ends what had been an ominous silence from Pyongyang regarding the stunning diplomatic moves Kim has been making since the beginning of this year, including his summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping last month.
It also gives the best idea yet of what Kim intends to bring with him in his summits with Moon and Trump.
Seoul says Kim has expressed genuine interest in dealing away his nuclear weapons. But North Korea for decades has been pushing a concept of "denuclearization" that bears no resemblance to the American definition, vowing to pursue nuclear development unless Washington removes its troops from the peninsula.
Some important items were also left off the North's resolution — such as midrange missile or space rocket launches — suggesting either that the North isn't willing to go that far or that it wants to wait and see how much it can gain by further concessions once actual talks begin.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned against eating any kind of romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona region, including whole heads and hearts of the green, and any chopped salads or salad mixes that contain it, in its latest update on the E. coli outbreak. The warning, which expanded from a prior notice urging buyers to throw out any store-bought chopped romaine lettuce, comes after new cases of E. coli were reported in Alaska.
Alaska's Department of Health & Social Services said eight inmates at the Anvil Mountain Correctional Center contracted acute gastroenteritis in E. coli cases linked to romaine lettuce from Yuma. E. coli reported in Alaska is connected to the outbreak affecting at least 53 people across 16 states.
According to the CDC, the lettuce causing people to get sick comes from the Yuma, Arizona growing region, though no particular grower, brand, supplier or distributor has been identified.
E. coli symptoms include stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting. Thirty-one people have been hospitalized in the current outbreak, and at least five have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.
For now, the CDC warns against eating or buying any romaine lettuce unless it's possible to confirm that it did not come from the Yuma growing region. Anyone who has store-bought romaine lettuce or other unidentifiable lettuce at home should throw it away, unless its source is absolutely known.
Ariana Grande begins her return with "No Tears Left to Cry," marking a shift from her subdued post-Manchester year to a brighter, pop-driven future once more. Liam Payne teams up with tireless Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin on an insta-hit; just add Spanish, it seems, is the recipe hip-hop and pop are finding tastiest right about now. Billie Eilish and Khalid, meanwhile, avoid the party in favor of a hauntingly beautiful, somber ballad. And Scarlett Johansson lends her voice to Pete Yorn on a bright rock tune, "Bad Dreams."