Nikki Grahame’s final Facebook post revealed as she told friends she was ‘all good’ before entering clinic for treatment
Nikki Grahame told friends she was “all good” just weeks before entering a specialist clinic for treatment for an eating disorder.
On February 27, Nikki posted her last photograph – a vase of beautiful vibrant pink roses on a table in her home with the caption: “Thank you for the beautiful flowers” followed by emoticons of flowers and a smiley face covered with love hearts.
Nikki Grahame had told her friends she was ‘good’ just weeks before she entered a clinicCredit: Getty
She did not address who the flowers were from.
Next to the vase of flowers was a book on one of her favourite musicians and singers, Kate Bush.
Called Inside the Rainbow it’s a collection of rare and unseen photographs of Kate with essays by her brother John Carder Bush about her life and music career.
In a haunting last message from her when asked by a friend in the comments below the post on how she was doing, Nikki replied: “All good darling. “
Nikki rose to fame during her time on Big BrotherCredit: Rex
Tragically Nikki lost her decades-long battle with anorexia in the early hours of last Friday morning.
She was just 38.
Just a few weeks after her flower post, the reality TV icon checked into a private hospital to treat her eating disorder after desperate friends managed to raise more than £65,000 to start paying for life-saving care with a Go Fund Me page.
Stars such as Rylan Clark and Vanessa Feltz supported the fundraiser.
Nikki lost her decades-long battle with anorexia in the early hours of last Friday morningCredit: Rex
Her passing was announced on the page.
The heartbreaking statement said: “It is with great sadness we have to let you know that our dear friend Nikki passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April.
“It breaks out hearts to know that someone who is so precious was taken from us at such a young age.
“Nikki not only touched the lives of millions of people, but also her friends and family, who will miss her immensely. “
You’re Not Alone
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www. thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
- Movember, www.uk.movember.com
- Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm
Nikki’s team thanked the hundreds of people who donated, adding: “All donations have been greatly appreciated and it was heartwarming for everyone including Nikki to see how much she was loved.”
Following the news of her death, tributes have flowed in from stars of stage and screen.
Katie Price, 42, revealed her distress that she had missed Nikki’s final voice message to her before her tragic passing.
In her last Instagram post she revealed she “seriously can’t deal” with another lockdown.
And Nikki’s mum Sue told TV show This Morning prior to her daughter’s death, that Nikki’s health battle was triggered when gyms closed during lockdown as Nikki dreaded eating if unable to exercise.
“With Covid, it sounds crazy but stuff like gyms closing impacted on her.
“In order for her to eat she needs to know she can exercise so when they closed it was quite a worry, the isolation as well.”
She also said Nikki was lonely and her loneliness compounded her thinking about food.
“It all came to a grinding halt. Also for Nikki she would muddle herself through the year knowing she’s got friends abroad and she would visit them.
“She spent a lot of time last year cancelling holidays.”
An earlier Facebook post from January read: “Wishing those borders would hurry up and open!”
Nikki had checked into a clinic to get help with her eating disorder
The fundraiser’s target was initially £25,000 but with big hearted celebs such as Michelle Visage donating £500 the total shot up.
Nikki’s rep Freddy White told the Sun at the time: “It is with sadness that we can confirm Nikki’s battle with anorexia has worsened in recent months and those closest to her are doing everything they can to assist her with recuperation, most notably in the form of a Go Fund Me page.
“We are confident Nikki will be able to make a full recovery and would like to personally thank everyone for their kind words, wishes and donations today and beyond.”
Nikki had been open about her anorexia battle since finding fame on the seventh series of Big Brother, releasing autobiography Dying To Be Thin in 2009.
Anorexia started in her as a child and she was first admitted to a psychiatric hospital at the age of 12 following a suicide bid.
At one stage Nikki had to force fed through a nasal tube but the star managed to recover, and go on to find fame as a celebrity winning a National Television Award for Most Popular TV Contender.
For help and support on eating disorders and body image, you can call Beat Eating Disorders on 0808 201 1677 for adults, or 0808 801 0711 if you are under 18.
Celebrating Nikki Grahame’s Big Brother Best Bits following her tragic death at 38
Is 90 Day Fiance fake? Nikki’s modeling photos from 2014 surface, possibly married before? * starcasm.
Fans of TLC’s international romance reality series 90 Day Fiance are a bit up in arms this week after diligent sleuths uncovered some information about one of this season’s most controversial stars that calls the authenticity of the show into question.
If you’ve watched any of the episodes from 90 Day Fiance Season 3, or even if you just saw the trailer video, then you are familiar with 19-year-old Nikki who is traveling from the Philippines to the United States in hopes of marrying her 58-year-old fiance Mark. On the most recent episode, Mark presents Nikki with what is apparently a very one-sided prenup, but he defends the agreement by telling Nikki that any money she makes while in the United States she will get to keep. He even tosses out the possibility of her winning America’s Top Model as an example.
Well, it turns out that the “Top Model” reference wasn’t out of the blue because Nikki is an experienced model with big aspirations.
On this Explore Talent profile, a woman who looks exactly like Nikki named Nikki Rose Gervise (photo above) has a series of modeling photos and her long list of casting calls and auditions she is interested in includes: Modeling Jobs Runway, Modeling Jobs Print, and Reality TV Casting. She lists her age as 20 (which would be right given that she filmed 90 Day Fiance quite a while ago when she was 19) and her place of residence as Los Angeles. Wait, what?!
OK, before we get to the Los Angeles thing, let me point out that at least half of the photos posted by Nikki on her Explore Talent profile page were taken by a photographer for Mohdify Photos in Cebu City, Philippines in 2014 — well before Nikki began filming for 90 Day Fiance. Here is an album of modeling photos of Nikki posted by Mohdify in May of last year:
One of those diligent 90 Day Fiance sleuths I mentioned before claims to have contacted the photographer to verify that it is indeed Nikki from the show. Here is her interaction with 90 Day Fiance Twitter rumor central’s @90DayFianceFan:
I thought it was odd the modeling profile was from LA. However, please see attached. ? pic.twitter.com/CISYZtKe96
— 90 Day Fiance Fan (@90DayFianceFan) December 1, 2015
Adding even more confusion to things is this photo that surfaced online that appears to feature Nikki and a gal pal and references Nikki’s husband named Jamie Jaramillo?!
The name Jamie turns up again on what appears to be a legitimate (i.e. almost two years old) Instagram account for Nikki with the ID @nikjamie13. And there’s also a @NikJamie1 Twitter account that was last active in 2013 that is under the name Nikki Rose Jaramillo — and the photos sure look like Nikki.
This whole thing was even more confusing to me because when I initially researched Nikki and her husband-to-be and found their Facebook pages, her account was under the name Nikki Mediano. PLUS, I found a young boy in Cebu City with the name Nikki Ross Mediano Gervise who is friends with a Jamie Jaramillo who looks to be a musician/singer in his mid-40s.
Here is a photo from one of Nikki’s many social media accounts that looks to feature herself and Jamie together:
What does all this mean? Was Nikki married? I have no idea.
As I mentioned above, the information about Nikki has many fans openly asking “Is 90 Day Fiance fake?” I can answer that with a very confident “no.” I’ve done a good bit of sleuthing on the current and former cast members myself over the past couple of years, and there is almost always a virtual trail that shows these couples were well into their K-1 Visa process before the TLC cameras showed up. Even disgruntled former stars like Starcasm faves Jason Hitch and Cassia Tavares have never stated the couples weren’t actual couples looking to get married.
The fact that some of the featured men and women appear to have questionable motives only reinforces the “reality” of the show for me, not to mention the entertainment value.
All of that being said, of course producers manufacture and script a lot of the drama that we see on the show! I assume that the whole prenup scene I mentioned before was mostly contrived for the cameras, as was Mark’s continued insistence on referring to his ex-wife.
What all of this information about Nikki does seem to reveal, however, is a possible ulterior motive for her wanting to marry Mark and move to the US. It may also help explain why she was willing to be on the show when clearly she was going to take a lot of heat due to the very large age difference. No publicity is bad publicity for an aspiring model and actress, right?
Of course, it could be that Nikki and Mark are madly in love and will live happily ever after — if she can keep from smudging the car window and he can keep from comparing Nikki to his ex wife. Time will tell.
UPDATE – Mark’s daughter Elise took to Facebook to address some of the Nikki rumors, and @90DayFianceFan reveals that Jamie was only Nikki’s boyfriend, not her husband:
See photo. I apologize for my incorrect speculation! The “husband” Jamie that was mentioned was only a boyfriend. pic.twitter.com/UVGS1xqNSC
— 90 Day Fiance Fan (@90DayFianceFan) 2. Dezember 2015
The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden continues to grapple with Afghanistan chaos
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Welcome to The Hill’s Morning Report. It is Monday! We get you up to speed on the most important developments in politics and policy, plus trends to watch. Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver are the co-creators. Readers can find us on Twitter @asimendinger and @alweaver22. Please recommend the Morning Report to friends and let us know what you think. CLICK HERE to subscribe!
Total U.S. coronavirus deaths to date: 628,503.
As of this morning, 60. 7 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 51.5 percent is fully vaccinated, according to the Bloomberg News global vaccine tracker.
Evacuations of Americans, allied personnel, and thousands of Afghan translators, interpreters and their families from the chaotic Kabul airport could stretch beyond the Aug. 31 deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. forces, President BidenJoe BidenUS intel report on COVID-19 origins inconclusive: WaPo NBC correspondent: History will remember Afghan withdrawal as ‘very dark period’ Overnight Defense & National Security: Outcry over Biden’s Afghanistan deadline MORE said Sunday, despite efforts to speed the exodus from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan (The Hill).
Biden, who defended his decisions and rejected responsibility for the calamitous Afghanistan exit playing out in the capital, said he may be forced to adjust the deadline, although he said he and his team hope “we won’t have to extend. ”
“I’m convinced I’m absolutely correct,” he said of his decision to end the war and withdraw the remaining 2,500 U.S. forces by the end of this month.
The president, speaking in the Roosevelt Room for 20 minutes after being briefed by top foreign policy and defense advisers on Sunday, said again that any Americans in Afghanistan who want to get out will be able to leave. He acknowledged the difficulty and dangers they and Afghans are facing while attempting to flee.
He touted the Taliban’s assurances so far that Islamist militants will not harm U.S. troops or Americans who are departing, but he also described his unwillingness to trust “just talk.” Biden acknowledged “pain and loss” felt by Afghans who say they are petrified they will be tortured or killed by Taliban fighters.
“We’ll see,” he said of Taliban pledges, acknowledging frenzy on the ground, danger to U.S. troops and the potential for terror attacks. “My heart aches for those people,” he added.
Reuters: Afghan guard killed Monday at Kabul airport by gunman during a firefight also involving U.S., German troops.
Biden said U.S. military at the Kabul airport were “moving back the perimeter significantly” to create a larger safe zone and adjusting “access around the airport” and entry gates that are accessible to Americans. He declined to comment on whether U.S. forces were entering the capital or other locations in Afghanistan to extract Americans and Afghans now in harm’s way. “I think you’ll see more Afghans get out,” he said without being specific.
CNN: ISIS terror threat forces U.S. military to establish alternate routes to the Kabul airport.
NATO said at least 20 people died over seven days in Kabul from shootings and being crushed by crowds near the airport (Reuters).
Jake SullivanJake SullivanBiden to stick with Aug. 31 deadline for Afghanistan withdrawal The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Pelosi, Democratic moderates struggle to strike budget deal Taliban retakes 3 northern Afghan districts that fell to local militias MORE, Biden’s national security adviser, did not rule out on Sunday that additional U. S. troops could be deployed to Afghanistan to complete the evacuation. “Every single day, the president asks his military commanders, including those at the airport and those at the Pentagon, whether they need additional resources, additional troops. So far, the answer has been no,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” (The Hill).
The Hill: Biden grapples with twin crises.
To hasten the slow pace of withdrawal, the U.S. military is flying eligible families out of Kabul to military bases in secondary countries, where they are processed, undergo security screenings and may wind up as refugees in a wide array of host countries.
The Pentagon over the weekend requested civilian passenger air carriers willing to help transport Afghans from staging points at air bases outside of Afghanistan to their designated next stops, including in the United States (The Hill). Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenOvernight Defense & National Security: Outcry over Biden’s Afghanistan deadline Lawmakers from both parties push back at Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline Harris rebukes Beijing over South China Sea MORE (pictured below with Sullivan) explained the intermediary stops are in nearly two dozen other participating countries where emergency processing of Afghans can continue. “We need more planes in the mix to do that piece of it, to move them from these initial points of landing on to places that they’ll ultimately resettle,” he told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
The Hill: Exits are subject to Afghanistan’s rulers, Blinken says. Taliban “are in control of Kabul. That is the reality.”
Biden said 11,000 people got out of Afghanistan over the weekend during a 36-hour period, which he called “an incredible operation” and a pace he believes can be sustained. Tens of thousands of people still want to leave.
Some allied governments drawn into the Kabul crisis are critical of the United States, although Biden says he has not heard such criticism during his conversations with counterparts (The Hill). The president said he will participate with Group of Seven leaders in a videoconference Tuesday to discuss the Afghanistan situation. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his government as part of the G-7 meeting will push for economic sanctions against the Taliban under certain circumstances (India Today).
The U.K.’s Daily Mail reported that British officials have skewered Biden, and that aides serving Biden were “afraid” to challenge the president’s withdrawal decision and Sullivan’s assumptions about how the withdrawal of forces would proceed.
This line of public puzzlement is a theme among critics of the administration in Congress, including some Democrats, as well as among U.S. and international analysts and experts. Is Biden’s supposed foreign policy expertise frozen in 2009? Did he reach a decision to pull out all U.S. forces from Afghanistan and turn a deaf ear to naysayers who warned about the Afghan army’s weakness, or did fresh intelligence about Afghan corruption and the Taliban never move up the chain to the president’s attention because his perspective was known?
“He came in, and he wasn’t going to listen,” asserted New York Times Pentagon correspondent Helene Cooper during an NBC discussion on Sunday about Biden’s approach to the war in Afghanistan. On “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden continues to grapple with Afghanistan chaos This week: Biden faces crucial moment on Capitol Hill Sunday shows – Afghanistan’s collapse in the spotlight MORE asked, “Does the president not know what’s going on?”
Biden’s evolving, sometimes contradictory and occasionally outright false assertions since July about Afghanistan and the situation in Kabul resulted in tough fact-checking beginning on Friday and continuing through the weekend. Central to oversight hearings expected on Capitol Hill is why Biden and administration officials insist “nobody predicted” the rapid fall of the Afghan government, an assertion contradicted by reporting last week but repeated on Sunday by Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinOvernight Defense & National Security: Outcry over Biden’s Afghanistan deadline Hispanic caucus calls for Fort Hood to be renamed in honor of Mexican American general Lawmakers from both parties push back at Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline MORE during an exchange on ABC’s “This Week.”
In fact, there were U.S. intelligence, diplomatic and government watchdog predictions that the Afghan government was vulnerable to defeat by the Taliban. “It was a very hollow government and a hollow military,” John Sopko, special inspector general for Afghanistan, told CBS News. Last week, he issued a “Lessons” report, one of many assessments he has released since 2012 based on his inspections in Afghanistan. His final report included excerpts from more than 700 interviews he conducted with senior administration officials. Douglas Lute, who served as a special adviser to former Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, told Sopko, “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan. We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking. It’s really much worse than you think.”
Ryan Crocker, a former career ambassador in the Obama administration who held the top diplomatic job in Afghanistan and Iraq, is quoted in the report as saying the Afghan national police were “useless as a security force, and they’re useless as a security force because they are corrupt down to the patrol level. ”
CBS News: Crocker, during a Sunday interview, called the administration’s execution of the withdrawal from Afghanistan “catastrophic.”
Axios: No Biden firings likely, sources say.
The Hill: Sunday talk shows — Afghanistan’s collapse in the spotlight.
A MESSAGE FROM FACEBOOK
Internet regulations are as outdated as dial-up
Facebook supports updated regulations, including four areas where lawmakers can make quick progress:
– Reforming Section 230
– Preventing foreign interference of our elections
– Passing federal privacy law
– Setting rules that allow people to safely transfer data between services
LEADING THE DAY
CONGRESS: House lawmakers will return for a brief interlude in the lengthy August recess today amid a battle between Democratic leaders and a group of centrist members who are threatening to vote against the budget resolution that would open the door to a $3. 5 trillion reconciliation package, a top priority of the Biden administration.
As The Hill’s Cristina Marcos and Scott Wong write, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi2 House lawmakers make secret trip to Afghanistan amid evacuations House approves John Lewis voting rights measure Overnight Energy: Interior moves ahead with drilling lease sales after judge halts pause MORE (D-Calif.) is daring the group of centrist lawmaker to vote against the package as they protest her decision not to bring up the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure proposal for an immediate vote, siding with progressives in the process. In a nod to the nine centrists, many of whom face tough reelection battles next year, Pelosi is grouping both measures as part of a single procedural vote to immediately take up the bipartisan bill, but it is unclear whether that will be enough to satisfy their demands.
“I have no idea, but she is good at miracles,” said one House committee chairman about how Pelosi will steer her caucus through this situation.
The House will hold the procedural vote later today on the budget resolution, the bipartisan bill and a voting rights bill named for the late Rep. John LewisJohn LewisHouse approves John Lewis voting rights measure Pelosi, moderates inch closer to infrastructure, budget deal House Democrats punt key vote on budget to Tuesday MORE (D-Ga.), but most attention is trained on Tuesday, when the centrists could make their play. Rep. Josh GottheimerJoshua (Josh) GottheimerPelosi commits to rallying support for infrastructure vote House Democrats break internal impasse to adopt .5T budget plan Pelosi, moderates inch closer to infrastructure, budget deal MORE (D-N.J.), co-chair of the House Problem Solvers Caucus, indicated on Friday that the group of nine’s strategy has not changed.
“The House can’t afford to wait months, or do anything to risk passing the historic infrastructure package,” Gottheimer said.
The Washington Post: “Curveballs and obstacles” face Pelosi this week as Democrats spar over $3. 5 trillion budget plan.
Axios: Pelosi stares down dissenters.
Naomi Jagoda, The Hill: Five lawmakers to watch ahead of key House budget vote.
CORONAVIRUS: Big news on the vaccine front is expected to arrive today as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is likely to give full approval to Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, a move that will likely lead to an uptick in vaccinations administered in the coming weeks.
The FDA’s decision has been awaited for weeks and clamored for by many for even longer, as vaccinations lagged for much of July. The spread of the delta variant and mandates by localities and businesses increased vaccination rates (The New York Times).
Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who serves on Pfizer’s board of directors, told “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he has “no reason to believe” that reports of the pending full approval “aren’t accurate. ” He added that the decision, coupled with the full approval of Moderna’s vaccine that is expected in the coming weeks, will give the legal greenlight to businesses and schools to mandate the shot.
“[Businesses and schools] feel they’ll be on stronger legal ground to mandate vaccination in that setting,” Gottlieb said. “I also think there are some consumers that have been waiting on this milestone, waiting for the full approval and an indication that the FDA is done evaluating the data set to give them more confidence about using the vaccine. So I would expect to see some uptick in vaccine utilization” (CBS News).
The FDA’s likely decision will come on the heels of the best vaccination stretch the U.S. has experienced in more than a month and a half. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the U.S. administered more than 1 million shots on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with the total just shy of that number on Sunday (The Washington Post).
The Washington Post: Third Pfizer dose significantly lowers risk of infection in seniors, Israeli data shows.
The Hill: People who received Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses will likely need a booster, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek MurthyVivek MurthyOn The Money: Pelosi, moderates dig in for budget standoff Overnight Health Care: FDA grants full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine Pfizer’s full approval triggers new vaccine mandates MORE says.
Regarding the vaccination mandate issue, Education Secretary Miguel CardonaMiguel CardonaThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden continues to grapple with Afghanistan chaos Cardona says civil rights probes may be launched over school mask bans Sunday shows preview: Chaos in Kabul mars US evacuation efforts MORE told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the government’s role is “very limited,” adding that it also doesn’t have the authority to tell universities that receive federal funding that they must require vaccinations. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, about 750 colleges and universities are requiring students to be inoculated by this fall.
The Hill: Surgeon general: Vaccine requirements at businesses, colleges “a very reasonable thing to do.”
The Hill: U.S. can administer booster shots in this country while also enhancing global vaccinations, Murthy says.
The Wall Street Journal: Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock ruled out for top job, sources say.
> COVID-19 false information: The FDA is begging Americans not to self-medicate for COVID-19 with a livestock dewormer medication called ivermectin, a trend seen based on misinformation shared since the start of the pandemic. Reports of recent hospitalizations have accumulated in Mississippi and Louisiana among people taking the dewormer to try to treat or ward off the virus. On Twitter, the FDA was blunt: “You are not a horse,” the agency said. “You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it” (The New York Times).
Chicago Tribune: The Rev. Jesse Jackson, 79, and his wife were hospitalized with COVID-19. He was vaccinated in January.
The Texas Tribune: Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) tests positive for COVID-19.
The Hill: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) tests negative for COVID-19 four days after positive result, credits vaccine.
The Hill: Former President TrumpDonald TrumpSupreme Court rebuffs Biden over Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy Judge declares mistrial in Michael Avenatti embezzlement case Herschel Walker files paperwork to run for Senate in Georgia MORE was greeted with some boos on Saturday at his Alabama rally when he encouraged his supporters to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. “You know what? I believe totally in your freedoms. I do. You’ve got to do what you have to do. But I recommend, take the vaccines. I did it. It’s good. Take the vaccines,” Trump said.
The Mercury News: First U.S. COVID-19 deaths came earlier (January 2020) — and in different places — than previously thought.
IN FOCUS/SHARP TAKES
POLITICS: Democrats are growing increasingly nervous about the mounting number of retirements by their incumbents in competitive House districts that were carried by Trump in last year’s general election.
As The Hill’s Max Greenwood points out, two of the seven House Democrats who represent Trump-won districts — Reps. Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden continues to grapple with Afghanistan chaos Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms Democratic Rep. Ron Kind won’t seek reelection in Wisconsin MORE (Ill.) and Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindGOP sees Biden crises as boon for midterm recruitment The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden continues to grapple with Afghanistan chaos Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms MORE (Wis. ) — have already announced that they won’t seek reelection in 2022.
The two key retirements have also come under scrutiny for Democrats as they worry about a tough midterm cycle, coupled with the possibility of multiple competitive primaries in swing districts that could put the GOP on a glidepath to the majority next year.
The Associated Press: Veterans are prized recruits as congressional candidates.
The Hill: Democrats scramble to reclaim lost ground in statehouse battles.
Adding to the good news for the GOP heading into 2022, the party flipped a state legislative seat in Connecticut last week in a district Biden carried by about 20 points. The loss led to the campaign manager for the Democratic candidate who lost to sound the alarm that the GOP’s base is fired up and that the suburbs are no sure thing for the party in power heading into a perilous cycle (The Hill).
The Associated Press: New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCynthia Nixon trolls Cuomo over Emmy loss What does Andrew Cuomo’s resignation mean for #MeToo? Biden spoke to Hochul before swearing-in MORE (D) leaves office at Monday’s end and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) succeeds him at midnight.
The Morning Report is created by journalists Alexis Simendinger and Al Weaver. We want to hear from you! Email: [email protected] and [email protected] We invite you to share The Hill’s reporting and newsletters, and encourage others to SUBSCRIBE!
The school kids are not alright, by The New York Times editorial board. https://nyti.ms/3sDlNAs
A fiasco in full, by former Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.), opinion contributor, National Review online. https://bit.ly/2WgnQib
A MESSAGE FROM FACEBOOK
Why Facebook supports updated internet privacy regulations
Protecting privacy means something different than it did in 1996 — the last time comprehensive internet regulations were passed.
We’ve introduced tools like Privacy Checkup that help people control their information. Now we need updated regulations to set consistent data protection standards.
WHERE AND WHEN
The House will meet at 5 p.m.
The Senate convenes for a pro forma session on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. Senators are expected back in Washington Sept. 13.
The president will receive the President’s Daily Brief at 9:30 a.m. Biden will meet with his national security team to discuss the situation in Afghanistan at 10 a.m. The president at 3:30 p.m. will host the Seattle Storm, 2020 WNBA champions.
Vice President Harris is in Singapore, where she said Monday that the U.S. should not get distracted by questions in Afghanistan other than completing the evacuation (The Associated Press). She visits Vietnam on Tuesday.
Second gentleman Douglas EmhoffDoug EmhoffButtigieg, Harris sort out their roles for Biden The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Presented by Facebook – Cuomo resigns; T infrastructure package clears the Senate Doug Emhoff to lead US delegation to Paralympics in Tokyo MORE will arrive in Tokyo to lead the U. S. delegation to the Paralympic Games and participate in meetings in Japan this week. Emhoff will return to the U.S. and meet up with Harris in Hawaii on Wednesday.
The White House press briefing is scheduled at 2 p.m.
Economic indicator: The National Association of Realtors at 10 a.m. will report on existing home sales in July.
Hill.TV’s “Rising” program features news and interviews at http://thehill.com/hilltv or on YouTube at 10:30 a.m. ET at Rising on YouTube.
➔ CYBER & TECH: Hackers have sharpened their skills to target schools and universities, many of which are attempting to launch fall classes amid a host of other challenges beyond their vulnerabilities to ransomware, cyber criminals and everyday hackers (The Hill). … Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskThe Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Biden continues to grapple with Afghanistan chaos Can SpaceX’s Elon Musk help NASA get back to the moon by 2024 after all? Hillicon Valley: Key QAnon influencer ‘GhostEzra’ identified MORE has unveiled a humanoid robot he calls Tesla Bot that he says would use artificial intelligence created for vehicles (adaptations of autonomous driving technology now under scrutiny in cars because of its flaws and resulting accidents). He did not display an actual functioning facsimile of the robot, which he said would be 5-feet 8-inches tall, weigh 125 pounds and be built from lightweight materials. “We should be worried about AI,” said Musk, who has warned in the past about potential downsides of AI, such as lethal weapons. “What we’re trying to do here at Tesla is make useful AI that people love and is … unequivocally good” (CNET).
➔ STATE WATCH: In Tennessee, 17 inches of rain devastated rural parts of the state on Saturday, while 22 people lost their lives and many remained missing (The Associated Press). … Hurricane Henri weakened to become a tropical storm on Sunday as it made landfall in Rhode Island, with storm surge warnings lingering for parts of Long Island and southern New England (WPRI and The Wall Street Journal). Earlier on Sunday, Biden issued emergency declarations for New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. … Maine businesses are strained to hire enough workers amid the pandemic and a busy summer season. Vacationland is seeing a surge in what some call “revenge tourism” — throngs of visitors seeking relief after feeling trapped at home during the pandemic, reports The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch from lovely Bar Harbor, Maine. “The attitude is ‘I was cooped up all this time and hell or high water I’m getting out now,’” said Eben Salvatore, who runs a number of hotels and has seen record bookings this year after a lackluster 2020. The collision of eager vacationers and customers with a shortage of workers, which forces some businesses to reduce their hours or shutter some locations, has been reported nationwide this summer.
➔ SCIENCE DATA: The demand globally for information during the COVID-19 era accelerated a trend to release and share emerging scientific data more quickly to make it available to scientists, policy makers and the public in almost real time. The pandemic drove more preprint studies, which are available before being rigorously peer-reviewed by other science experts. Scientists say the medical community and the news media should better communicate the tentative nature of freshly released and evolving scientific knowledge, especially during an international public health crisis (The Hill and The New York Times).
And finally … PANDA WATCH Xiao Qi Ji celebrated his first birthday with frozen treats at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo on Saturday.
Twitter hasn’t suspended Afghanistan’s president, but they have suspended two other accounts
As the Taliban consolidates control over Afghanistan, the debate over whether its accounts should be allowed on social media platforms has intensified.
“BREAKING: Twitter has suspended the account of Afghanistan’s elected President…
And have allowed the Taliban to keep their accounts. Can’t make this up,” reads the text of an Aug. 19 Instagram post. The Instagram post is a screenshot of a tweet by conservative activist Ryan Fournier.
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. Instagram is owned by Facebook. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
In the wake of the U.S. military’s withdrawal, the Taliban has beaten back the Afghan government as the two fight for power over the country. As the situation unfolded, a new Afghan president rose to power, and Twitter suspended two government accounts.
Afghanistan’s new president
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani fled to the United Arab Emirates as the Taliban closed in on Kabul on Aug. 15, according to CNN. Two days later, Afghanistan’s First Vice President Amrullah Saleh declared himself the “caretaker,” or acting, president.
“As per the constitution of Afghanistan, in absence, escape, resignation or death of the President the FVP (First Vice President) becomes the caretaker President,” Saleh tweeted on Aug. 17. While Afghanistan’s Constitution does not include “escape” or “caretaker” in the English translation, Article 60 allows the first vice president to become president under these circumstances.
The Twitter account Saleh used to tweet this is not suspended as of this writing, and neither is Ghani’s. However, there are two other accounts affiliated with Afghanistan’s president and Saleh’s political party that Twitter has suspended. Twitter suspended the accounts @Afghpresident and @AfgGreenTrend as of Aug. 23.
In an email with PolitiFact, a spokesperson from Twitter said, “We’re proactively monitoring accounts affiliated with government organizations, and we may temporarily suspend accounts pending additional information from the account holder that allows us to confirm their identity.”
Both of these accounts seem to be legitimate. For example, the Associated Press called @Afghpresident the “de facto official presidential account” of Afghanistan in its reporting on the suspension. The Afghanistan Green Trend party used @AfgGreenTrend to update the public following an attack that injured Saleh and killed at least two others in 2019.
The Instagram post implies that Twitter suspended these accounts to legitimize the Taliban as the rulers of Afghanistan, but there is no evidence of this. There is also no evidence that Twitter suspended the accounts to retaliate against Saleh, as some users and outlets have suggested, since Saleh’s account where he declared himself president is still active.
The Taliban’s Twitter
As for the Taliban’s accounts, representatives from Facebook and YouTube told the New York Times that they consider the Taliban a terrorist organization and forbid the group from operating on their platforms. However, Twitter has taken a different route when dealing with accounts linked to the Taliban.
The Taliban isn’t banned from Twitter, but Twitter’s spokesperson told us they would take action against any content that violates their policies on glorifying violence, abusive behavior, hateful conduct, wishes of harm and gratuitous gore.
One Taliban spokesperson, Suhail Shaheen, has over 390,000 followers and recently tweeted that the group welcomes Afghans who have previously worked with the U.S. or the Afghan government’s administration. The Taliban has promised this before, but some Afghans believe they will be executed if the Taliban finds out about their previous work.
As the situation in Afghanistan continues to evolve, we’ll have to see whether Twitter will continue to allow the Taliban on their platform or if their accounts break the website’s rules.
According to the Washington Post, the Taliban has been careful to avoid suspension as they use social media to spread propaganda and present an image different from when they were last in power.
Meanwhile, some on Twitter have asked why the Taliban is permitted on Twitter while former President Donald Trump is not. Twitter permanently suspended Trump for tweets he sent after the riot at the Capitol.
An Instagram post claimed that “Twitter has suspended the account of Afghanistan’s elected President and have allowed the Taliban to keep their accounts. “
Twitter has not suspended the accounts of either acting president Amrullah Saleh or his predecessor Ashraf Ghani.
The two Twitter accounts @Afghpresident and @AfgGreenTrend are currently suspended. Twitter likely suspended the accounts pending verification of who controls them.
Taliban spokespeople have active accounts on Twitter, but they have not broken any of Twitter’s rules and are still allowed on the platform.
We rate this claim Half True.
Higher Ground, Richard Thompson welcome music fans back into venue
SOUTH BURLINGTON – Richard Thompson addressed nearly 400 people — and the proverbial elephant in the room with them — when he walked on stage to loud, sustained applause at the start of his concert Tuesday at Higher Ground.
“Well, thank you. You sound starved for entertainment,” the veteran British folk-rock singer said before playing a note. “And you came here to see me?”
Self-deprecation aside, Thompson knew exactly why the crowd was so boisterous. He was playing the first show in Higher Ground’s Ballroom since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Vermont’s most-prominent music venue in March 2020.
That’s almost a year and a half between indoor shows. Or, as Higher Ground founder and co-owner Alex Crothers notes, 531 days. Not that he’s counting.
“People want to gather,” Crothers said of Higher Ground’s decision to reopen, which included requiring patrons to show proof of vaccination against the virus. “We’re going to have to learn to co-exist with COVID. COVID is not going to go away.”
Caroline Rose, The Lil Smokies, then silence
Smaller music venues including Nectar’s in Burlington and The Monkey House in Winooski have held indoor shows off and on in the past year and a half. Higher Ground held out until Tuesday.
Proof of COVID vaccination required: Vermont entertainment venues asking attendees to provide proof of COVID vaccination
Crothers said the last big show in the Ballroom that holds up to 750 concertgoers was Caroline Rose’s sold-out performance March 7, 2020. The last concert at the South Burlington venue happened March 12, 2020, when bluegrass group The Lil Smokies played for about 30 of the 100 people who bought tickets in advance. That concert was in the Showcase Lounge, which holds 300 people.
Higher Ground held a few drive-in-style concerts last summer and fall at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction. This year’s outdoor schedule is much more ambitious, with the venue staging shows at the Exposition, on the Shelburne Museum lawn and in a parking lot behind the Burlington City Arts studio on Pine Street in Burlington.
Crothers said Higher Ground had already decided to focus on outdoor shows this summer when it made the move to reschedule shows inside the venue.
“We ended up throwing a dart and making an educated guess when we saw things in the spring starting to change,” he said, with Gov. Phil Scott’s declaration that COVID restrictions would be lifted by July 4 as the launching point. “That gave us a little bit of a runway to think about what life was going to look like post-lockdown. ”
The venue scheduled dozens of indoor shows for late summer, fall and winter. Then the delta variant of COVID-19 hit, spurring a new round of virus concerns.
Most indoor shows remain on the schedule. Some, including The Residents on Aug. 30 and Mister Chris and Friends in October, have already been canceled.
“Tours,” Crothers said, “are very much the shifting sands of COVID.” He noted that Vermont has the highest vaccination rate and lowest hospitalization rate for the virus in the country, but touring acts have to protect themselves when playing in a variety of cities across the country.
“Tours are trying to make universal decisions,” according to Crothers. “They’re not worried about Burlington necessarily.”
To reopen, Higher Ground instituted a few changes, including the requirement for concertgoers to show proof of vaccination with a valid ID. Crothers said Higher Ground installed antimicrobial air-purification systems in the Ballroom, Showcase Lounge and upstairs in the performers’ green room. One of those air-purification units covers 10,000 square feet; Crothers said the footprint of the entire venue is 12,500 square feet, meaning each system covers well over its maximum capacity.
“We’ve got to get through this. We’re gonna get through this,” Crothers said. “We want to reopen and stay open. We can’t do this start/stop type of approach. It’s too painful financially and philosophically.”
Hoping against ‘a COVID fest’
Members of Higher Ground’s security staff checked patrons’ vaccination cards — the cards themselves or photos of them — and identification before entering the building Tuesday. Some had to scramble to find their proof of vaccination, but for the most part the lines moved efficiently. (Patrons can also show a negative COVID test from the past 72 hours.)
“Tonight’s been way smoother than we expected,” said Ben “Fluffy” Cousino, a member of Higher Ground’s security staff since January 2019. That helped make his return to the venue even more pleasant than it already was.
“I love being in this building and it feels like home,” Cousino said. “I missed being here so much.”
Sarah Mraz and John MacKenna, both wearing protective masks, were among the first people in the Ballroom for the seated show, which cut the room’s capacity almost in half. They live in Boston but are spending the summer in Vermont. (Mraz grew up in Middlebury.)
“This is definitely our first show inside since before COVID,” Mraz said, adding that she and MacKenna have been to Higher Ground three times before. “I was a little squeamish.”
Save Our Stages Act: Vermont entertainment venues get nearly $19M from federal pandemic recovery program
The two decided Tuesday that they would go to the show they bought tickets for two months ago, but would leave “if it’s a COVID fest.” They read on Higher Ground’s website about the proof of vaccination and air-filtration systems and felt good about their night out.
“I’m dying to see bands and excited to be doing this. Higher Ground’s a great venue and I figured they’d be doing it right,” MacKenna said before the show. “It’s exciting. I love live shows. It’s great we’re about to see one.”
Paying tribute to Charlie Watts
Once concertgoers finished showing their vaccine cards and settled in, the night felt similar to any other night at Higher Ground. Patrons went to the bar to order drinks, with half or more wearing protective masks. Thompson’s merchandise table and the voter-registration table Andrew Champagne of Burlington ran at the venue pre-pandemic were both in their rightful places.
Things to do in Vermont: August calendar is filled with outdoor events
Thompson played a handful of songs he wrote during the pandemic — “It’s a lockdown-y kind of thing,” he said of one downcast tune — but also dove into crowd favorites including “Valerie” and “1952 Vincent Black Lightning.” Reflecting his “starved for entertainment” comment, the whistles of approval and applause after Thompson’s songs seemed just a little louder than they might have pre-pandemic. His show was solo and acoustic, though he was joined on a few songs by vocalist Zara Phillips.
Thompson introduced “Walking the Long Miles Home” by noting the song is about how he would walk 10 miles home from watching The Who perform at the Marquee Club in London in his youth. On this night the song felt like a metaphor for the long miles, or 531 days, between shows at Vermont’s biggest music venue.
The hour-and-45-minute show ended with the second encore as Thompson and Phillips combined for an improvised cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” in honor of that band’s drummer, Charlie Watts, who died Tuesday. The crowd filed out quietly into the lobby, where Higher Ground staff members handed out posters commemorating Thompson’s concert, much as they would have pre-pandemic — only with a touch more historic significance this time.
If you go
Upcoming shows at Higher Ground include:
9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27, Magic City Hippies with Cool Company, Showcase Lounge. $20.
9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 2, comedian Steve Hofstetter, Ballroom. $25-$50.
6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, To Us Below with Crypitus, Lightcrusher, Emerther, Drunk Off Diesel, MTL, Showcase Lounge. $18-$23.
8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, Pride Ball ’21 featuring Emoji Nightmare and Nikki Champagne, DJ Craig Mitchell, Fab the Duo, Ballroom. $15-$25.
8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, St. Vincent, Ballroom. Sold out
Contact Brent Hallenbeck at [email protected] Follow Brent on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BrentHallenbeck.
The Rolliing Stones’ Charlie Watts Dead At 80
The music world was shocked to learn that Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts died on August 24th at the age of 80. Fans had been showing concern when the news broke earlier this month that for the first time in his career, Watts was sitting out of a Stones tour due to an unspecified illness. Keith Richards‘ longtime collaborator and drummer, Steve Jordan will fill in for Watts throughout the 13-city trek, which starts next month.
An official statement was released which read:
It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts. He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family. Charlie was a cherished husband, father and grandfather and also as a member of The Rolling Stones one of the greatest drummers of his generation. We kindly request that the privacy of his family, band members and close friends is respected at this difficult time.
Not much is known about the cause of Watts’ death. In 2004, he successfully battled throat cancer, and some sources are listing cancer as his cause of death — but that has not been confirmed. Watts enjoyed the only stable family life of any of the Stones, having remained faithful to his girlfriend and then wife of over 55 years, Shirley, throughout the Stones’ career. The couple, who raised Arabian horses, have one daughter Seraphina — and a granddaughter, her 24-year-old daughter, model Charlotte Watts.
The Rolling Stones paid tribute to Watts by posting a recent portrait of the drummer on the website, which stays frozen on the photo. Watts is the third of the original Stones to die, with co-founding guitarist Brian Jones drowning on July 3rd, 1969 at age 27, and co-founding pianist-turned-roadie Ian Stewart dying of a heart attack on December 12th, 1985 at 47.
Charlie Watts, who turned 80 this past June 2nd, was the second-oldest Stone; co-founding bassist Bill Wyman is 84, Mick Jagger is 78, Keith Richards is 77, and Ron Wood is 74.
In April 2017, Watts released his latest big band album, called Charlie Watts Meets The Danish Radio Big Band. The set was captured back in 2010 in Copenhagen’s Concert Hall of Denmark, following only four days of rehearsals between Watts and the musicians. The seven-song album features big band takes on such Stones classics as “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Paint It, Black” — along with a Bossa Nova-tinged take on “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”
Back in early 1962, Watts played in Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, who performed a Saturday night residency at London’s Ealing Jazz Club. It was there that Stones founder Brian Jones frequently sat in with the band. By April of 1962, Mick Jagger joined the band, but soon decided to form his own group with Jones and childhood friend Keith Richards, naming their new combo the “Rollin’ Stones” after the Muddy Waters blues classic. By early 1963, Watts joined Jagger, Richards, Jones, Bill Wyman and keyboardist Ian Stewart to become the original lineup of the Rolling Stones.
When not playing with the Stones, Watts has often worked on jazz-related projects. And in December of 1964, only a few months after the Stones released their debut album, Watts published a book, Ode To A High Flying Bird, a tribute to jazz legend Charlie Parker.
Although literally generations of rock drummers have cited Watts as an influence on their playing, Watts, a jazz aficionado, claimed not to really be a fan of rock music.
Watts, who was able to resist the lure of hard drugs throughout the ’60s and ’70s, developed a brief heroin addiction in the early-1980’s — but soon after found the resolve to kick his demons.
Charlie Watts said that it never crossed his mind that the Rolling Stones would ever make it — let along become rock’s longest lasting rock bands: “No, every band I’d ever been in lasted a week. I mean, you only lasted as long as the guy in the club, or whatever, would book you for. So, y’know, if they didn’t like you, y’know, it was two gigs and that was it. So I always thought it’s gonna last a week, then a fortnight, and suddenly it’s 30 years.”
Charlie Watts believed that had it never been for the Stones, he would’ve remained safe and sound in his jazz-based world: “Keith Richards taught me rock n’ roll. We had nothing to do all day, but we’d just play these records over and over again, and I learned to love people like Muddy Waters and people like that, through an intensive three-year crash course, you might say. And Keith turned me on to how good Elvis Presley was. I use to hate him until then. Elvis was, like, the least sort of person I’d ever want. . . I mean, Miles Davis was more what I would — that’s what I consider someone. Not Elvis, y’know?”
Charlie Watts recalled a typical gig on the band’s first U.S. tour back in 1964: “Our first tour of America, I remember going to someplace, I don’t know where it was, but it was in one of these, like, cow palaces, or something. And it was, like, 200 people in this huge arena all around the bandstand. And we drove in in a motorcade. That was thanks to the Beatles. I mean, they expected us to be like that.”
Watts explained the deep musical kinship between himself and Keith Richards is almost like a sixth sense: “It’s very easy playing with Keith. Very easy. Your only critic is yourself, really. He doesn’t say, ‘Oh that’s ‘orrible,’ and you don’t stop playing if whatever. It’s like, ‘That’s how you wanna do it? See what ‘appens. I didn’t like it, but you liked it.’ Y’know?’ He’s very easy like that, very easy to play with. And if it’s good, he’s very complimentary about it. Very comfortable to play with.”
Despite all their inner-band sibling rivalries over the years, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards’ love and admiration for Charlie Watts never diminished: “(Mick Jagger): Charlie’s like, very quiet and he won’t speak to you (laughs), and I don’t know if that’s a good idea. (Keith Richards): Charlie; Charlie to me is the Rolling Stones.”
Ron Wood told us that although Charlie Watts loved playing jazz best of all, he couldn’t hide the thrill he got from drumming for the Stones: “He hasn’t lost interest, ’cause he’s a jazzer at heart. I think that’s what he would like to be doing, but I can see him enjoying his rock n’ roll.”
Bill Wyman was always astounded at the power of the Stones’ drum sound — especially coming from such small kit. Wyman shed some light on the magic of Charlie Watts’ drumming technique: “Drummers of today usually have about 50 or 60 items in their drums. I think he’s got about seven — and he plays them great (laughs). He’s an economist.”
Charlie Watts admitted that although the Stones’ hard partying ways always grabbed the biggest headlines, he maintained that you couldn’t find two healthier guys than him and Mick Jagger: “To do what I do, to do what Mick does, he needs to do that as well. Now the two reprobates (laughs) will be . . . You have to ask Keith and Ronnie what they do, but they have another version of physical fitness.”
Charlie Watts told us that as far as musicianship goes, drummers fit into a strange category: “I mean, the very nature of playing drums is a nervous twitch, really. It’s a cross between being an athlete and a totally nervous wreck, really.”
Charlie Watts maintained that Stones rehearsals are always far more vigorous than the actual gigs: “To do those five shows, you have to rehearse much as if you’re doing 150, to get to the same. . . Y’know, if you don’t play a lot — which we don’t — your hands, you have to get used to playing. The rehearsals always are harder.”
Watts explained that his personal interests always rested far away from the circus of the rock world: “Y’know, I’ve never fallen into (the) celebrity rock star thing. I’ve always looked to other people who aren’t in that world with much more awe than rock n’ roll.”
Despite all the distractions around a major band like the Stones, drummer Charlie Watts was always focused squarely on the music: “I’ve always seen myself as a member of a band. Y’know, when I play with bands, I very much play in the band. I’m not. . . I’m very much a band member.”
FRIENDS & FANS REMEMBER CHARLIE WATTS
Paul McCartney: “I love you Charlie. I’ve always loved you.”
Ringo Starr: “God bless Charlie Watts we’re going to miss you man peace and love to the family”
Pete Townshend: “Charlie Watts wept at Keith Moon’s funeral. I wish I was capable of such tears today. Instead I just want to say goodbye. Not a rock drummer, a jazz drummer really, and that’s why the Stones swung like the Basie band!! Such a lovely man. God bless his wife and daughter, and I’ll bet the horses will miss him too.”
Elton John: “A very sad day. Charlie Watts was the ultimate drummer. The most stylish of men, and such brilliant company. My deepest condolences to Shirley, Seraphina and Charlotte. And of course, The Rolling Stones.”
Peter Frampton: “I am heartbroken by this awfully sad news. Charlie was a dear friend and a gentle man. We will all miss you.”
Kenney Jones: “I am so heartbroken to hear the news of Charlie Watts passing. I have so many fond memories of Charlie and will miss him dearly. My thoughts are with his family and all the Rolling Stones at this difficult time.”
Brian Wilson: “I’m just shocked to hear about Charlie Watts. I don’t know what to say, I feel terrible for Charlie’s family. Charlie was a great drummer and I loved the Stones music, they made great records. Love & Mercy.”
John Densmore: “An early mentor, a fellow jazz fan, RIP Charlie Watts.”
John Fogerty: “I first saw The Rolling Stones in 1966 in the Bay Area and have been a fan ever since. Charlie Watts was one of the great drummers and will be missed. Rest easy Charlie”
Bob Seger: “So sad to hear the news of the loss of legendary Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts. His unforgettable rock solid backbeat will be remembered forever. Sending our thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.”
Aerosmith: “We are extremely saddened to hear the passing of the legendary Charlie Watts. Our deepest condolences to Charlie’s family and The Rolling Stones. Sincerely, from the guys in Aerosmith you’ve given us all so much! RIP CHARLIE.”
Stewart Copeland: “So sad to lose a unique, iconic drummer. (and dancer) He was a quiet giant”
Brian May: “Sad sad news in the passing of Charlie Watts. Oh Lord. Deepest sympathies to his family – and to Keith, Mick and Ronnie to whom he was certainly beloved family. First picture is as I remember him, smiling and calm — from the Rolling Stones Facebook page. The second picture here is from a session I did with Charlie some years ago — the song was ‘Reaching Out’ — with Paul Rodgers on vocal, Andy Fairweather-Lowe on rhythm guitar and myself on electric guitar. It was a lovely moment. For some people this might be a cliché — but in Charlie’s case it’s the absolute truth — he was the nicest gent you could ever meet. And such a pillar of strength for the Rolling Stones – to whom he brought a touch of Jazz and a mountain of pure Class. Bless you Charlie. Rest in Peace and Rock on. Bri”
Lars Ulrich: “Charlie… Thank you for paving the way. Thank you for setting the standard. Thank you for making it swing. Thank you for being cool as f**k. Thank you for literally inspiring every single rock ‘n’ roll drummer on this planet.”
Joan Baez: “In 2020 I painted his portrait as part of a series on my musician friends. Charlie Watts. A prince among thieves. A gentleman through and through. Rest in Peace.”
Axl Rose: “Very sorry to hear of the passing of The Rolling Stones Drummer Charlie Watts. My deepest condolences to his family, the band and the fans.”
Dave Davies: “In total shock Charlie Watts was a lovely guy. He will be sorely missed. Deepest sympathy to his wife, the band and all his family and friends.”
Tony Iommi: “So sorry to hear the very sad news of Charlie Watts passing. He was such a nice guy and a major influence in the music business – he’ll be sadly missed. My deepest condolences to his family and to Mick, Ronnie, Keith and all his friends and fans. R.I.P.”
Paul Stanley: “Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts dies aged 80. AWFUL NEWS. One of the true timeless icons and the backbone of the Stones. Hard to fathom the loss. So very sad.”
Gene Simmons: “Our prayers and hearts go out to Charlie Watts family, fans and friends. The Rolling Stones drummer played on Satisfaction, Honky Tonk Woman and hundreds more. Rest In Peace, Charlie.”
Peter Criss: “As a musician it was always a comfort to know the greatest band in the world was still around. It is devastating to hear of Charlie Watts’ passing. As a drummer he inspired me deeply. It is a great loss in musical history and there will never be another Charlie Watts. His unique style and technique was the heart beat of THE ROLLING STONES. He is and always will be an inspiration for us drummers. He was one of my favorite drummers and I have so much love and respect for him. He will be greatly missed. My love and prayers go out to Mick, Keith, Ronnie, and all his family and fans all around the world. May he rest in peace with the Lord in heaven. God Bless.”
Joan Jett: “Charlie Watts was the most elegant and dignified drummer in rock and roll. He played exactly what was needed — no more — no less. He is one of a kind.”
Lenny Kravitz: “The beat of The Stones. There are no words, every groove has spoken for itself.”
Billy Idol: “Rest in peace, Charlie.”
Duran Duran: “So saddened to hear about the passing of Charlie Watts. An absolute inspiration to a legion of drummers since the 1960’s. A man of grace, style, dignity and composure.”
Joe Elliott: “Devastating news, those in the know know he was the heart & soul of the band. . . I had the absolute pleasure of meeting him a few times, a total gentleman. . . it goes without saying he will be sorely missed. RIP Charlie”
Mike McCready: “Sad to hear of Charlie Watts passing. The Rolling Stones have always been my favorite band, and Charlie was the engine of subltle (sic) and heavy grooves. I’ll put on ‘Sway’ which is my favorite song of all time. Any of us in a rock band wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for Charlie.”
Tom Morrello: “Rock n roll would not be rock n roll without the rhythm, the style, the VIBE of this incredible musician. Rest In Peace Charlie Watts, one of the greatest and most important architects of the music we love.”
Nikki Sixx: “This one hurts. To me he was the backbone to the world greatest rock n roll band. Such flair and always a gentlemen.”
Vince Neil: RIP Charlie. Another Icon taken too soon. You will be missed.”
Before he rose to lead (and leave) Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani made a mark on an Oregon high school
Ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s path to world leadership began with his participation in student government — in Lake Oswego.
Ghani’s Oregon connection became an obscure footnote in the ignominious end to his administration as he fled the Taliban’s advance into Kabul this past weekend.
Decades before he ascended to the presidency, he was an exchange student at Lake Oswego High School. Ghani, who also went by Ashraf Ahmad or Ashraf Ahmad Zai, came to Lake Oswego through an exchange program sponsored by American Field Service during the 1966-67 school year.
Former Lake Oswego School District Superintendent Heather Beck made the discovery in 2015 and announced it during a districtwide parent advisory committee meeting, the Lake Oswego Review reported at the time.
While at Lake Oswego, Ghani participated in the wrestling team, according to a yearbook page. He was one of three American Field Service exchange students that year and “enjoyed the dances and dating life of teenagers in America,” the yearbook said. A photo shows Ghani in a tweed jacket at a homecoming dance.
Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, also known as Ashraf Ahmad, can be seen dancing in this photo from the 1966-67 Lake Oswego High School yearbook.Lake Oswego High School
In light of the recent collapse of the Afghan government, the Lake Oswego High School Class of 1967, along with the rest of the world, has been following his news with interest.
Chris Foster, 71 of Lake Oswego, recalls brief interactions with Ghani and described him as “just a normal guy” who was active in school, a good student and got along with everybody. Foster said he recognized photos of Ghani when he became president of Afghanistan in 2014.
Ghani was born in 1949 in the Logar Province of Afghanistan but spent much of his life overseas. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the American University in Beirut, Lebanon, and his master’s in anthropology and doctorate from Columbia University.
Ghani returned to Oregon in 2008 to promote his book, “Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World.” Forty-one years after his time at Lake Oswego High School, he credited his experience serving on the student council with opening his eyes to the power of citizenship, Edutopia reported.
“It was the first time I ever saw students entrusted to make decisions, to decide how money should be spent,” he told the audience. “And we were held accountable for our decisions.”
Ghani co-founded the Institute for State Effectiveness, which sought to promote state-building focused on community engagement and involving citizens in decision-making at the local level. Often described as a technocrat, Ghani served as the finance minister of the Afghan transitional government and came in fourth place for the presidency in 2009, according to his official biography.
In 2010, he served as chairman of the Transition Coordination Commission, which was responsible for overseeing the transfer of power from international and NATO troops to Afghan forces.
After Ghani took the presidency following a highly disputed election in 2014, Western officials looked to him with hope that he could be the one to rebuild Afghanistan and clean up government corruption.
Then resurgent Taliban forces took over the capital Sunday, after an effective withdrawal of U.S. troops, wiping out a weak Afghan government and sending Ghani out of the country.
In a Wednesday video address from the United Arab Emirates, Ghani said he escaped to avoid a hanging by the Taliban and vowed to return to Afghanistan.
Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, also known as Ashraf Ahmad, can be seen in the bottom row of this group photo from the 1966-67 Lake Oswego High School yearbook.Lake Oswego High School
— Jaimie Ding
[email protected]; 360-210-9294; @j_dingdingding
Suburbicon – Posmotre.li
| Spoilers, sweetie!
The peculiarity of the topic of this article is that it, by its very nature, reveals spoilers. Therefore, in this article, spoilers are not disguised in any way. If you are sure you want to see them – read on!