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Michelle Obama to debut podcast on Spotify

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Michelle Obama will debut as a podcaster later this month on Spotify, hosting a show aimed at helping listeners open new and “hard conversations” with their loved ones.

The first episode will drop July 29 and is available exclusively to all Spotify free and premium users.

“For this first season, I’ll be talking with some of the people most dear to me: my mom, my brother, my friends, colleagues, and many others,” the former first lady wrote on Instagram. “In each episode, we’ll discuss the relationships that make us who we are.”

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“What I love about these conversations is that they’re issues we’re all dealing with every day –– and they can take on new meaning when we’re going through a global pandemic or seeking out long-overdue racial justice in our communities.”

“The Michelle Obama Podcast” is the first originating from streaming platform Spotify’s deal with the Obamas’ production company Higher Ground.

Since 2019, Spotify has spent more than $600 million on acquisitions to set itself up in the podcasting market.

The former US first lady married to Barack Obama is among America’s most popular figures.

Her blockbuster memoir “Becoming” made her a publishing sensation, selling more than 11.5 million copies worldwide.

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Higher Ground Productions has also been collaborating with Netflix, releasing a documentary based on her book tour as well as the Oscar-winning documentary “American Factory,” which chronicled the story of a manufacturing plant in the US Midwest that was reopened by a Chinese billionaire.


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‘Friday Night Massacre’ at US Postal Service as Postmaster General—a major Trump donor—ousts top officials

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Government watchdogs, Democratic lawmakers, and pro-democracy advocates declared it a "Friday Night Massacre" for the U.S. Postal Service after news broke in a classic end-of-the-week dump that Louis DeJoy—a major GOP donor to President Donald Trump and the recently appointed Postmaster General—had issued a sweeping overhaul of the agency, including the ouster of top executives from key posts and the reshuffling of more than two dozen other officials and operational managers.

According to the Washington Post:

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Virus outbreak in Houston-area nursing home kills 17

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A novel coronavirus outbreak at a Missouri City nursing home, outside of Houston, has killed 17 residents, according to data from state officials.

City officials issued a press release this week raising alarm over 19 deaths that they said occurred at the Paradigm at First Colony Nursing Home but nursing home officials told The Texas Tribune that the number is incorrect and declined to provide the correct number.

The city also reported that the facility has 24 infected staff members and the nursing home reported 11 currently infected residents who are in stable condition.

“This harrowing development speaks to the severity of this pandemic and how everyone needs to take it even more seriously,” said Missouri City Mayor Yolanda Ford of the outbreak in a Wednesday press release.

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‘Gullible’ Trump administration paid up to $500 million too much for these ventilators: investigators

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Citing “evidence of fraud, waste, and abuse,” a congressional subcommittee investigating the federal government’s purchase of $646.7 million worth of Philips ventilators has asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General to launch its own investigation of the deal.

The House subcommittee launched its review after ProPublica stories in March and April showed how a U.S. subsidiary of Royal Philips N.V. received millions in federal tax dollars years ago to develop a low-cost ventilator for pandemics but didn’t deliver it. Instead, as the coronavirus began spreading around the globe and U.S. hospitals were desperate for more, Philips was selling commercial versions of the government-funded ventilator overseas from its Pennsylvania factory. Then in April, despite having not fulfilled the initial contract, the Dutch company struck a much more lucrative deal to sell the government 43,000 ventilators for four times the price.

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