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Larry King, legendary talk show host, dies at 87

Larry King, legendary talk show host, dies at 87

(CNN)Larry King, the longtime CNN host who became an icon through his interviews with countless newsmakers and his sartorial sensibilities, has died. He was 87.

His son, Chance, confirmed King’s death Saturday morning.
King hosted “Larry King Live” on CNN for over 25 years, interviewing presidential candidates, celebrities, athletes, movie stars and everyday people. He retired in 2010 after taping more than 6,000 episodes of the show.
    A statement was posted on his verified Facebook announcing his passing.
    ‘Welcome Back America’: Newspapers around the world react to Biden’s inauguration

    ‘Welcome Back America’: Newspapers around the world react to Biden’s inauguration

    London (CNN)The culmination of Joe Biden’s journey to the Oval Office was seen far beyond Washington DC on Thursday, with images of his inauguration splashed across the front pages of newspapers around the world.

    Papers in most countries marked the dawn of the Biden era with pictures of the new US President taking the oath of office, and many highlighted the slew of executive orders he signed on his first day.
    Some front pages also reflected on the end of the tumultuous Trump era, and a handful took a parting swipe at the former President — a decision indicative of the relief much of the international community felt as his time in office drew to a close.
    But for the most part, it was Biden who commanded the spotlight. Here’s a selection of front pages from various parts of the world.

    Canada

    February Temperature Outlook: Mild in Central, Eastern U.S.; Colder in Northwest

    February Temperature Outlook: Mild in Central, Eastern U.S.; Colder in Northwest

    At a Glance

    • There are several weather patterns that have grabbed our attention in recent days.

    • One of these is a weaker polar vortex, which could have an impact on the winter pattern.

    • These factors could lead to a colder, snowier central and eastern U.S. into February.

    February 2021 may be warmer than average across much of the United States from the South to the Northeast, according to the latest outlook from The Weather Company, an IBM Business.

    February’s forecast shows far-above-average temperatures are possible across most of the Northeast, as well as the Southern Plains. Above-average temperatures are also expected in parts of the Midwest, Southeast and Southwest.

    Colder-than-average temperatures are possible in the Northwest and northern Rockies, particularly from Montana to Washington state.

    Most other areas of the U.S. should see temperatures that are close to average.

    Winter, so far, has been a relative non-event in parts of the northern U.S.

    A persistently strong Pacific jet stream has spread warmer-than-average air into much of Canada and the northern states from the Northwest to the Plains, Great Lakes and New England.

    Some cities from Seattle to Caribou, Maine, have had a record-warm start to winter.

    But there are signs the pattern will have changed heading into February.

    One change is that a sharper southward jet stream plunge – known as a trough – will carve itself into the western U.S., forced by a bubble of higher pressure aloft in the North Pacific Ocean poking north toward Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.

    This pattern will “favor Arctic air transport into western Canada for the first time this winter,” said Dr. Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist with The Weather Company.

    The proximity of this colder air in Alaska and western Canada increases the chance of a colder February in the Northwest and northern Rockies.

    This pattern change, by itself, resembles a typical La Niña winter. Namely, colder in the Northwest and northern Rockies, and generally warmer elsewhere in the U.S.

    The jet-stream level features we expect to be in place in February 2021.

    But there’s one stubborn feature that could throw a large monkey wrench into that general La Niña outlook.

    That’s the Greenland block, another bubble of high pressure aloft near Greenland that intensified after Christmas. Meteorologists also refer to this as the negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation, a sloshing of pressure difference across the North Atlantic Ocean.

    Crawford suggested this blocking pattern may stick around at least through February, if not later, based on an examination of previous winters similarly dominated by this pattern.

    “The North Atlantic blocking may allow for occasional Arctic air intrusions into the eastern U.S.,” said Crawford.

    In other words, it may temper to some extent what would otherwise be a warm late winter in parts of the South and East.

    This Greenland block appears to have already had an effect along the Gulf Coast and Florida, one of the few areas with a cooler-than-average winter so far.

    The Greenland blocking ridge may extend southward into parts of eastern Canada at times. Thus, parts of northern New England may have the best chance of a milder February, as shown in the outlook.

    You may wonder if the polar vortex has anything to do with this outlook. The short answer: possibly.

    A sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) is an event over the Arctic when the stratosphere warms sharply – 50 degrees or more in just a few days – miles above the Earth’s surface.

    One such SSW happened a few weeks ago, which weakened, stretched and displaced the polar vortex off its usual position near the North Pole.

    A significant SSW event can sometimes have an influence on weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, reinforcing the blocking patterns such as the Greenland block.

    That means this Greenland block could linger in some form into March.

    Early Spring Sneak Peek

    A gradually weakening La Niña and the potential for leftover Greenland blocking are the key factors leading into early spring.

    “Lingering La Niña conditions are typically associated with hotter spring and summer outcomes,” said Crawford. “We think that spring and early summer will be unusually warm and dry across the western and central U.S.”

    In March, most of the nation’s midsection may see far-above-average temperatures.

    Concerns about Greenland blocking lead to less confidence of warmth spreading to the East Coast and Southeast. The potentially stubborn West Coast jet-stream dip could also put a cap on temperatures in the Northwest.

    April outlook temperatures look much the same, with perhaps a better chance of warmth farther east, including the Mississippi Valley and Southeast.
    Dry ground from the ongoing extreme to exceptional drought across the Southwest, Rockies and High Plains may contribute to the spring warmth in those areas.
    Trump departs Washington a pariah as his era in power ends

    Trump departs Washington a pariah as his era in power ends

    (CNN)Donald Trump’s era in Washington is over.

    The all-consuming, camera-hungry, truth-starved era that fixated the nation and exposed its darkest recesses officially concludes at noon Wednesday. The President, addled and mostly friendless, ended his time in the capital a few hours early to spare himself the humiliation of watching his successor be sworn in.
    “We will be back in some form,” Trump told a modest crowd of supporters who gathered to see him off at Joint Base Andrews. “So have a good life. We will see you soon.”
    As Air Force One lifted off for a final time with Trump aboard, Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” blared in the background.
    He departed a city under militarized fortification meant to prevent a repeat of the riot he incited earlier this month. He leaves office with more than 400,000 Americans dead from a virus he chose to downplay or ignore.
    For his opponents, Trump’s departure amounts to a blissful lifting of a four-year pall on American life and the end to a tortured stretch of misconduct and indignities. Even many of Trump’s onetime supporters are sighing with relief that the White House, and the psychology of its occupant, may no longer rest at the center of the national conversation.
    At least some of the 74 million Americans who voted for Trump in November are sad to see him go. Scores of them attempted an insurrection at the US Capitol this month to prevent it from happening at all. The less violent view him as a transformative President whose arrival heralded an end to political correctness and whose exit marks a return to special treatment for immigrants, gays and minorities.
    One thing Trump’s presidency undoubtedly accomplished: revealing in stark fashion the racist, hate-filled, violent undercurrents of American society that many had chosen previously to ignore. It became impossible to overlook as Trump’s presidency concluded with violent riots of White nationalists and neo-Nazis at the Capitol.
    The violent mob attack on the citadel of American democracy capped a presidency built upon disregard for democratic norms, antagonizing government institutions and willful ignorance of the far right’s violent and racist tendencies. It will amount to the lasting legacy of a President whose blatant neglect of the truth, in ways both casual and immense, drove the nation to the brink.
    There is no evidence the President has reckoned with the consequences of his actions; the opposite appears to be true. He came to regret a concession video he had recorded at the urging of his family and advisers, who told him he was seriously close to being removed from office. In his first comments after the riot, he refused blame for it and insisted, falsely, that nobody believed his words ahead of it were at fault.
    The events caused an already reclusive President, who had mostly given up running the country after losing the election, to retreat further. His near-silence was helped along by a permanent ban from Twitter, his long-preferred method of communication, a move that propelled him to rage.
    He emerged for a final time on Wednesday, discarding tradition and boycotting his successor’s inauguration. Aides said he did not like the thought of leaving Washington an ex-president, nor did he relish the thought of requesting use of the presidential aircraft from Biden.
    The ceremony was modest in scope, though it did include a red carpet, cordons of troops and a 21-gun salute. Before departing the White House, he offered a wave from his Marine One helicopter.
    In a subdued, discursive speech on a windy tarmac, Trump made glancing references to his accomplishments in office but seemed bitter at his loss.
    “I hope they don’t raise your taxes, but if they do, I told you so,” he said.
    Aides had prepared a speech for the President that included references to the incoming administration and more gracious language about a peaceful transition, according to a person familiar with the matter.
    But Trump discarded the speech, and teleprompters were removed from the stage before he arrived at Joint Base Andrews.
    A person familiar with the matter said the decision was made after Trump read the remarks this morning at the White House.
    “I wish the new administration good luck and great success,” Trump said. “I think they will have great success.”
    He is expected to be ensconced in his South Florida club when he officially becomes an ex-president at noon.
    Before he left, Trump did write the traditional handoff letter to Biden of the same type his predecessors wrote the men who replaced them. And he greeted residence staff at the White House who saw him off.
    Trump is the first president in 150 years to stage such a boycott. While Pence will attend Biden’s swearing-in, other members of Trump’s family, including wife Melania and daughter Ivanka, will be absent. The decision is emblematic of a presidency animated by Trump’s highly fragile ego and run by officials whose chief concern was managing Trump’s feelings.
    Freshly impeached for a second time, this time with support from a few Republicans, Trump ends his term with the lowest approval rating of his tenure. Republicans remain divided on whether he represents the future of their party. He’s been shunned by senior leaders in Congress, who were left aghast at his incitement of a mob that sent them running for safety inside the Capitol.
    In his final days, Trump has been surrounded by a shrinking circle of associates, many of them decades younger. Old friends who used to speak with him regularly said they can no longer reach him — both literally, because he is refusing their calls, and figuratively, because those who are patched through describe a man lost in denial and detached from reality.
    He even had a falling-out with his vice president, Mike Pence, whose characteristic fealty was severed after he heard nothing from Trump while mobs appeared to be hunting him during the insurrection attempt. The two men went for days without speaking after Trump uttered a vulgar curse because Pence refused to unilaterally overturn the election results.
    Trump enters his post-presidency facing swirling legal matters and with the fate of his business empire in doubt. He will retreat for now to his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, where he has established residency, though there are questions of whether he’ll be allowed to live there permanently.
    Without some of the protections afforded him by the presidency, Trump will become vulnerable to multiple investigations looking into possible fraud in his financial business dealings as a private citizen. He faces defamation lawsuits sparked by his denials of women’s allegations that he assaulted them. And then there are claims he corrupted the presidency for his personal profit.
    Even as he exits the White House, there is little question that Trump’s shadow will cloud the capital for the foreseeable future. The matter of his impeachment still lingers in the Senate, which will begin a trial after Biden is sworn in. And Trump’s influence on his party’s direction going forward will amount to a reckoning for conservatives, who now must decide whether theirs is the party of a president who incited an insurrection on his way out of office.
    Trump has left the Republican Party in civil war. Its leadership remains handpicked by the outgoing President and many of its newest faces are acolytes and beneficiaries of Trump’s willingness to break with political norms. But others — including both those who worked for him and those who have long warned of his dangers — would rather Trump disappear forever, relegated to fringe politics and zoning disputes in Palm Beach.
    The likelihood that happens seems slim. Trump has amassed hundreds of millions of dollars in a leadership PAC formed after the election that he will be able to use for future political activity, including boosting candidates. There are few restrictions on how the money can be used.
    Whether he runs again himself also remains an open question; when he lost in November he signaled to those around him that he was likely to attempt a return to the White House in four years. But since then, officials have cast doubt on his intentions, suggesting instead he was more interested in keeping the potential 2024 GOP field in limbo rather than seriously contemplating another run.

    Legacy in tatters

    The results of Trump’s presidency are not particularly mixed. While there have been some achievements — a reshaped Supreme Court, a dismantled regulatory state and the brokering of diplomatic achievements in the Middle East — Trump’s overarching legacy is one of division and rancor capped by the catastrophic events of January 6, when he had 14 days left in his term.
    From nearly the day he entered office, aides wondered whether he actually enjoyed the job of being president, its mundane daily tasks hardly a fit for a man who had never served in government, did not have much of an attention span and had previously expressed little interest in, say, health care policy or nuclear arms treaties.
    “This is more work than in my previous life,” he told Reuters 100 days into the job. “I thought it would be easier.”
    Trump had spent his previous decades cultivating a public profile as a savvy businessman and larger-than-life New York City mogul, despite a succession of bankruptcies and collapses. His second act as a reality television star with a penchant for race-baiting conspiracies (such as questioning President Barack Obama’s birthplace) led into his third act as president, and along with it an eye toward artifice and spectacle.
    Trump’s experience as president was regularly frustrated by the limitations of the executive branch; steps he wanted to take were either illegal or met resistance from Democrats, who took control of the House of Representatives two years into his term.
    Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia proved an immense distraction that preoccupied both the President and his White House. It resulted in the convictions of several Trump associates, many of whom he pardoned.
    Instead of rising to the difficulties, Trump amended the job to fit his own liking. He mostly skipped reading lengthy intelligence documents, preferring in-person briefings that on some occasions left out important information about which Trump would later claim ignorance.
    After attending most of the yearly world leader summits his first year in office and finding them a bore, Trump skipped the ones he deemed skippable in subsequent years, including the ASEAN summit at which America’s presence had been traditionally seen as a counterweight to China.
    Most tragically, Trump showed little interest in leading the nation through the coronavirus pandemic, self-styling himself a “wartime leader” for a few days before reverting to downplaying the crisis and eventually pretending it did not exist. Even his own serious bout with the disease, which left him struggling to breathe and hospitalized, only seemed to strengthen his resolve to ignore it.
    The more colorful trappings of the job interested him more. A fateful invitation to attend Bastille Day in Paris in 2017 turned Trump on to the thrills of a military parade, which he unsuccessfully lobbied for in Washington for another three years. He produced political spectacles at the Lincoln Memorial, Mount Rushmore and on the White House South Lawn, trampling presidential norms along the way.
    But as he ran a dark and bitter campaign for reelection last year, even many of his advisers wondered whether he really wanted to serve another four years in office. He ignored entreaties on adjusting his political approach to better appeal to women and seniors, insisting throughout that what propelled him to power in 2016 — anti-immigrant race-baiting, stoking of class grievances and general fear-mongering — would work again.
    He never adjusted to the reality that “Make America Great Again” lost its luster when uttered by an incumbent who’d already had four years to deliver. And amid a life-altering pandemic, he did not seize the opportunity to actually lead the nation through its most trying stretch in memory.
    Now, the capital and the country, led by President Joe Biden, go about the work of picking up the pieces.
    Don’t delay key medical appointments in the pandemic — advice from Dr. Wen

    Don’t delay key medical appointments in the pandemic — advice from Dr. Wen

    (CNN)As many people postpone necessary medical care due to the pandemic, medical professionals are worried that their patients will get sick or even die from other causes.

    Some 25% of Americans said that they or someone in their household had delayed medical care in the past month due to coronavirus, according to a December Kaiser Family Foundation study. An earlier report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 41% of Americans delayed medical care, including 12% who postponed urgent or emergency care.
    We talked to CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and visiting professor at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, to get her advice on which appointments can be postponed and which cannot, and what precautions people should be taking when going to their doctor.
    CNN: Why are some people postponing their medical care? Is this a problem?
    Dr. Leana Wen: I certainly understand why some people have postponed their medical appointments. In many parts of the country and around the world, there are very high levels of coronavirus spread. People may be concerned about contracting coronavirus when they go out. Also, some hospitals overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients have postponed elective surgeries and some doctors have even canceled routine appointments. Patients may not always know when the coronavirus surge is over and their appointments can resume.
    This could be a problem. I’m concerned that many patients may be going without the care that they need for their ongoing medical issues so it’s important for people to check in with their doctors’ offices. Many conditions require ongoing monitoring, like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. If they are not monitored as closely, they could worsen and lead to worse problems that could have been prevented. It’s not good for children to fall behind on their immunization schedules. Those who do not get cancer screenings could end up with later diagnosis and worse outcomes. Keeping up with routine medical appointments is important.
    CNN: How can people go about deciding whether they could postpone an appointment?
    Wen: Here are a few things to consider. Is there an alternative to going in person? Many doctors’ offices are offering telemedicine as an option. You may be able to speak with your doctor without physically going into the office. A lot could be done virtually. For example, you can monitor your blood pressure or blood sugar at home and report what you find to your doctor, and they can adjust your medications or other treatments by phone or via a telehealth visit. A lot of mental health visits can be done entirely via telemedicine.
    If there are things you have to do in person, see if you can combine the visits. Perhaps you are due for a breast exam, bloodwork and a pneumonia vaccine. You can get them all done at the same time. It reduces your overall risk if you can have fewer visits.
    You may live in a part of the world that’s going through a particularly difficult time with coronavirus. If that’s the case, talk to your doctor about what’s essential to do now versus important things that could wait a couple of months. For each person, that could be different. Someone who needs to get a lot of testing for a heart condition may need to get that done now, but perhaps that person could wait on getting a colonoscopy that could be done when numbers drop. Someone else may have a history of colon cancer, and the colonoscopy should not be delayed. It’s a good idea to initiate these conversations with your doctor now.
    CNN: Are there medical visits or procedures that shouldn’t be postponed?
    Wen: This will depend on the individual and their own medical conditions as well as their risk tolerance. In general, I would say that childhood vaccinations and other routine vaccinations like the flu vaccine should not be postponed. Treatment of conditions that could become life-threatening should also not be postponed.
    I also cannot emphasize this enough: Do not delay emergency care. If you have chest pain, difficulty breathing, sudden weakness in arms or legs, and other such concerning symptoms, you should go to your local hospital’s emergency room. If you would have normally gone to the ER if it weren’t for coronavirus, go to the ER now. Hospital emergency rooms have triage protocols and also infection control protocols. Do not hesitate to go if you need emergency care. It would be tragic to have people avoid the ER because they’re scared of contracting coronavirus, only to die at home.
    Remember, too, that Covid-19 causes more severe disease in individuals with underlying medical conditions. Getting those conditions treated and optimized should be a priority in and of themselves, but also not getting them treated could predispose you to even more severe effects from Covid-19. That’s another reason to continue to seek medical care even with a lot of coronavirus around.
    CNN: What precautions should people take if they’re going to their doctors’ office?
    Wen: You should ask in advance of going as to what procedures the doctors’ office has in place. Many places have multiple protocols in place, requiring masks and social distancing; mandating symptoms checks in advance; not allowing other visitors; and enforcing physical distancing.
    Ask about what happens when you go in. How does waiting work? Ideally, the time in the waiting area while you’re in an enclosed space with others will be as short as possible. Some doctors will have you wait in your car or outside until they are ready to see you, and then usher you quickly into an exam room. Others have waiting rooms that have enforced physical distancing and good ventilation.
    Make sure you are wearing a good quality mask the entire time, at least a three-ply surgical mask or an N95 or KN95 mask. Bring your own water but try not to take off your mask unless absolutely necessary. The office should have lots of hand sanitizer, but bring your own and use it after touching frequently used surfaces like doorknobs.
    Also ask if the in-person visit is absolutely necessary. Can a lot be done over the phone, including speaking with the doctor? Maybe all you need to do when you show up is to get a blood draw or a procedure. Can your registration be done in advance to minimize in-person contact?
    CNN: What do you say to people who would rather wait until they’re vaccinated before going to the doctor?
    Wen: This might be a reasonable decision, depending on why you’re going to the doctor and how long you might need to wait until you’re vaccinated.
    Let’s say that you don’t have anything urgent going on right now, and you can get almost everything taken care of through telemedicine. Maybe all you need is a routine dental cleaning and your annual cholesterol check. Let’s say also that you’re an essential worker, you are over 65, and you probably can get the vaccine in the next couple of months. If that’s the case, you should discuss with your doctor, but it might make sense to get vaccinated first and then go for your routine appointments.
    If you’re not likely to be vaccinated until the late spring or early summer, that’s a bit long to put off your regular appointments. It’s probably better to go now and consolidate all the in-person tests and procedures into one visit.
    In general, if you have ongoing medical conditions that require an in-person visit, and certainly if you have an urgent issue, you should go to your doctor. Follow all precautions to reduce your risk. Coronavirus is one of the reasons people could get sick and suffer ill health outcomes, but you must also watch out for your health in all other ways, too.