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Newcomers aim to knock ‘Mad Men’ off Emmy throne

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Cult retro series “Mad Men” and comedy hit “Modern Family” are Emmys favorites again this weekend — but a bunch of newcomers could yet produce surprises at US television’s annual awards show.

“Mad Men,” which has broken records by winning Best Drama every year since its 2007 premier, is vying for the biggest prize once more, along with a brace of others from its 17 nominations at Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony.

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The beautifully stylized show, about life and love in a 1960s New York advertising agency, is up against “Boardwalk Empire,” British-made “Downton Abbey,” “Breaking Bad,” “Game of Thrones” and “Homeland” for the top gong.

With 11 nominations, HBO’s big-budget epic series “Game of Thrones” will hope to follow up on its success at last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys — the technical trophies — where the fantasy drama swept the board.

Thriller “Homeland,” starring Claire Danes as a CIA agent probing a US Marine suspected of planning a terrorist attack, is only in its first season but has earned rave reviews and nine Emmy nominations for pay channel Showtime.

On the lighter side, mockumentary-style “Modern Family” is hoping to win its third straight Best Comedy series Emmy with a cast of gay, step-sibling and generally non-orthodox nuclear family characters.

But it faces stiff competition from “The Big Bang Theory,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “30 Rock” and newcomers “Girls” and “Veep.”

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HBO dramedy “Girls,” which only launched in April, follows the lives of a quartet of 20-something New Yorkers — markedly different from the more upmarket “Sex and the City” foursome.

It has been a huge hit with viewers and critics alike, and could produce an upset Sunday night.

The long list of “Mad Men” nominees included Jon Hamm for best actor, Elisabeth Moss for best actress, Jared Harris for best supporting actor and Christina Hendricks for best supporting actress.

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Overall, “Mad Men” collected 17 nominations, one more than “Downton Abbey,” which last year won in the miniseries category.

Up for best miniseries or TV movie are “American Horror Story,” “Game Change,” “Hatfields & McCoys,” “Hemingway & Gellhorn,” “Luther” and “Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia.”

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“American Horror Story” racked up 17 nominations in all, including best actress (Connie Britton), another for best supporting actor (Denis O’Hare), and two for best supporting actress (Frances Conroy and Jessica Lange).

In the race for best competition reality show are “The Amazing Race,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “Project Runway,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Top Chef” and “The Voice.”

Trailing with just three minor nominations was the high school musical series “Glee,” two years after it racked up 19 nominations.

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Missing from the nominees’ lists, unveiled in July, was “American Idol,” a pillar of the US music industry after 11 seasons, but now at a crossroads after the sudden departure of judges Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler.

Its host Ryan Seacrest is nevertheless among the nominees for best host of a reality program — as is Betty White, still going strong at 90, for “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers.”

Sunday’s awards show will be hosted by late-night comic Jimmy Kimmel at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.


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Florida sheriff ordered his officers to not wear face masks — and then banned the safety gear

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A Florida sheriff ordered his officers to not wear face masks -- and banned the safety gear from his office -- even as the southern US state has hit record daily coronavirus death tolls.

Sheriff Billy Woods, of central Florida's Marion County, emailed deputies Tuesday to tell them of the new mask prohibition, according to local paper the Ocala Star Banner, citing the message.

"My order will stand as is when you are on-duty/working as my employee and representing my Office – masks will not be worn," the email read.

The sheriff allowed for certain exceptions, including for officers who work in prisons, schools, hospitals or with people suspected of being infected with the virus.

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Fast-moving brush fire north of Los Angeles has prompted mandatory evacuation orders for some 500 homes

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A fast-moving brush fire north of Los Angeles prompted mandatory evacuation orders for some 500 homes on Wednesday as firefighters battled the flames that had burned 10,000 acres by early evening, authorities said.

The Lake Fire erupted at around 3:30 pm (2230 GMT) near Lake Hughes, about a 90-minute drive from Los Angeles.

Rapidly-spreading flames had scorched some 10,000 acres (4,050 hectares) within a little more than three hours, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

"Multiple agencies are battling a brush fire near the Lake Hughes area in the Angeles National Forest," the department said in a tweet.

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‘Trump should know how to be in public with a woman who publicly humiliated him’: Trevor Noah jokes

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"The Daily Show's" Trevor Noah couldn't help but notice President Donald Trump's confusion during the Q&A of his daily coronavirus press briefing. Trump was asked about Vice President Joe Biden's pick as Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate. In his attacks on Harris, Trump seemed to be spending more time defending Biden than he did attacking him.

Trump claimed the reason he was surprised Biden picked Harris is that she was "very very nasty to Joe Biden," he said she was "probably nastier even than Pocahontas," his nickname for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). "She was very disrespectful to Joe Biden."

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