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Obama memoir sells a record 1.7 million copies in first week

Former President Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land” sold more than 1.7 million copies in North America in its first week, roughly equal to the combined first week sales of memoirs by his two immediate predecessors and among the highest ever for a nonfiction book.

Crown announced Tuesday that it had increased its initial print run from 3.4 million copies to 4.3 million. Sales also include audio and digital books.

“A Promised Land,” the first of two planned volumes, was published Nov. 17 and sold nearly 890,000 copies just in its first day. Among former White House residents, only Obama’s wife Michelle approaches his popularity as a writer. Her “Becoming,” published in 2018, has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide and is currently in the top 20 on Amazon.com.

George W. Bush’s “Decision Points” sold 775,000 copies its first week and Bill Clinton’s “My Life” topped 1 million in eight

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Feliz Navidad? Coronavirus Christmas could limit parties in Spain -newspaper

MADRID (Reuters) – The Spanish government is to propose a “different” Christmas and New Year under coronavirus restrictions with just six people at parties, although it hopes the “soul and spirit” of the season will shine, El Mundo newspaper reported on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a face mask walks next to closed Sidecar Factory Club, reading on its rolling door “The last concert?”, at Real square, after Spain’s Catalonia region allowed bars, restaurants, gyms and cinemas to reopen from Monday, gradually easing some of the restrictions put in place to tackle the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Barcelona, Spain, November 23, 2020. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

Governments across Europe, which accounts for a quarter of reported global infections and deaths, are trying to navigate a fine line between avoiding super-spreading the virus over the holidays while allowing families to celebrate Christmas.

On Tuesday, Spain added 12,228 coronavirus cases to its

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‘Little Fish’ Trailer: Chad Hartigan’s Pandemic-Set Sci-Fi Romance


Olivia Cooke and Jack O’Connell play a couple navigating memory loss from a mysterious disease in this drama with “Eternal Sunshine” vibes.

IFC Films

The phrase “eerily prescient” is overused, but for “Little Fish” — a romantic drama set during a global epidemic — it’s apt. Directed by Chad Hartigan, purveyor of Sundance favorites “Morris From America” and “This Is Martin Bonner,” “Little Fish” revolves around a global epidemic that leads to memory loss and charts a young couple’s fight to hold onto each other despite the disease. That blend of romantic and cerebral sci-fi earned the film comparisons to “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”

Here’s the official synopsis: “Imagine waking up in a world where a pandemic has broken out, which strikes with no rhyme or reason, and causes its victims to lose their memories. Imagine waking up and not remembering the person you love. This is the

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‘Small Town Saturday Night’ country singer Hal Ketchum dead at 67

Nov. 24 (UPI) — County music artist Hal Ketchum has died of complications from dementia, his wife, Andrea, announced in a Facebook post. He was 67.

Ketchum, known for songs including “Small Town Saturday Night” and “Past the Point of Rescue,” died Monday night at his home, Andrea Ketchum wrote in a post on the artist’s Facebook page.

“With great sadness and grief we announce that Hal passed away peacefully last night at home due to complications of Dementia,” Andrea Ketchum wrote. “May his music live on forever in your hearts and bring you peace.”

Ketchum’s wife announced in April 2019 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and would be retiring from performing.

Ketchum, born in Greenwich, N.Y., was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in January 1994.

The Grand Ole Opry memorialized Ketchum in a tweet Tuesday that included a quote from

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Home prices see biggest spike in 6 years in September

People walk into a house for sale in Floral Park, Nassau County, New York, on Sept. 6, 2020.

Wang Ying | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Covid-induced demand from homebuyers over the summer caused an exceptionally strong spike in home prices.

Values jumped 7% annually in September, up from a 5.8% annual gain in August, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index. That is the largest annual gain since September 2014. Prices are now nearly 23% higher than their last peak in 2006.

The 10-City Composite was up 6.2% year over year, up from 4.9% in the previous month. The 20-City Composite posted a 6.6% gain, up from 5.3% in the previous month. There was no reading for Detroit, due to data collection issues resulting from the pandemic.

This index is a three-month running average, so it represents prices from July through September, when

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Women Fill Entire Categories in Country, Rock as Grammys Reset Scales

For once, the country music patriarchy is riding shotgun.

Country may be renowned as a genre where the women do not always get a fair shake, but you would not guess that from how the nominations for the 2021 Grammys shook out. Female solo artists or bands with women as primary lead singers accounted for all five of the nominations in the best country album category. Moreover, female-fronted material was awarded four out of five slots in two other categories, best country song and best country solo performance. That 80-to-100% imbalance is, of course, pretty much the exact inverse of what a fan of the music will hear on the airwaves.

If the Grammys were making a statement, the Recording Academy wasn’t just making it in country. There was a similar readjusting of the scales happening in some of the rock categories. For best rock performance, all six nominees are

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Dow crests 30,000 points on vaccine hopes, Biden transition

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 30,000 points for the first time Tuesday as progress in the development of coronavirus vaccines and news that the transition of power in the U.S. to President-elect Joe Biden will finally begin kept investors in a buying mood.

Traders were also encouraged to see that Biden had selected Janet Yellen, a widely respected former Federal Reserve chair, as treasury secretary. The Dow rose more than 450 points, or 1.5%, to cross the milestone. The S&P 500 index, which has a far greater impact on 401(k) accounts than the Dow, rose 1.6%, climbing to its own all-time high.

The gains extend a monthlong market rally driven by growing optimism that development of coronavirus vaccines and treatments will loosen the pandemic’s stranglehold on the economy. They also mark a rapid climb for the Dow from its March 23 low of just under 18,600 during the

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UK’s four nations will relax COVID restrictions to save Christmas

LONDON (Reuters) – The four nations of the United Kingdom have agreed to relax COVID-19 restrictions for Christmas to allow up to three households to meet at home for five days.

England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have taken differing approaches to handling the pandemic so far but the leaders of the devolved nations reached agreement with London on Tuesday on rules governing the festive period.

Three households will be able to form a “Christmas bubble”, allowing them to meet up at home, places of worship and in outdoor public places but not at indoor hospitality or entertainment venues from Dec. 23 until Dec. 27 under the plans.

“People want to be with their loved-ones and those close to them for what is the most important holiday of the year,” senior minister Michael Gove said on Tuesday.

Limits on travel will also be scrapped so that people can meet up,

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Justin Bieber Slams The Recording Academy For Naming ‘Changes’ As Pop

The Recording Academy unveiled their full list of nominations (well, almost full) for the 2021 Grammy Awards on Tuesday. Following the announcement, many artists were rejoicing about their nominations while others were critiquing the Recording Academy for their choices. Justin Bieber, however, was doing both.

Bieber secured four nominations for his recent album Changes. Each of the nominations were in pop categories, and Bieber wasn’t too happy with that classification. In an open letter penned to the Recording Academy and posted on social media, Bieber said he’s confused why his record is labeled as pop music:

“I am very meticulous and intentional about my music. With that being said I set out to make an R&B album. Changes was and is an R&B album. IT is not being acknowledged as an R&B album which is very strange to me. I grew up admiring R&B music and wished to make

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Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to charges related to nation’s opioid crisis

More than two decades after it started marketing OxyContin, Purdue Pharma on Tuesday admitted its tactics contributed to the nation’s deadly opioid epidemic that has been blamed for hundreds of thousands of American deaths.



text: A Purdue Pharma logo is affixed to part of a Purdue building in Stamford, Conn., in this May 8, 2007, file photo.


© Douglas Healey/AP, FILE
A Purdue Pharma logo is affixed to part of a Purdue building in Stamford, Conn., in this May 8, 2007, file photo.

Purdue pleaded guilty during a video hearing before a federal judge in Newark, New Jersey, to conspiracy charges that stemmed from the company’s aggressive marketing of OxyContin and other opioid products.

The plea to three felonies — conspiracy to defraud the United States and two counts of conspiracy to violate the federal anti-kickback statute — was part of a settlement with the Justice Department that required Purdue to pay more than $8 billion, though the actual amount will likely be far less and determined through bankruptcy.



a sign hanging off the side of a building: A Purdue Pharma logo is affixed to part of a Purdue building in Stamford, Conn., in this May 8, 2007, file photo.


© Douglas Healey/AP, FILE

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