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WATCH: Pharrell Joins Virginia Governor to Propose Juneteenth as a State Holiday

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Pharrell Williams on Tuesday joined Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam at a press conference to propose that June 19 (Juneteenth) is officially made a state holiday.
Pharrell Williams on Tuesday joined Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam at a press conference to propose that June 19 (Juneteenth) is officially made a state holiday.

Pharrell Williams on Tuesday joined Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam at a press conference to propose that June 19 (Juneteenth) is officially made a state holiday.

*Virginia native Pharrell Williams joined his home state’s Gov. Ralph Northam Tuesday to announce a new proposal making Juneteenth — a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. — an official holiday in a state that was once home to the capital of the Confederacy.

“This is our chance to lead, to truly embrace the importance of Juneteenth and to treat it as a celebration of freedom that Black people truly deserve,” Pharrell said at the podium.

“It’s time we elevate this,” Northam said of the June 19 commemoration. “Not just a celebration by and for some Virginians but one acknowledged and celebrated by all of us.”

The holiday would be a paid day off for all state employees. Northam said he thinks Virginia would be only the second state to do so. Northam also announced all employees of the state executive branch will be given a paid day off this Friday in commemoration of Juneteenth 2020. Williams called on businesses to do the same.

The announcement came less than two weeks after Northam announced he was ordering the removal of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee along Richmond’s prominent Monument Avenue. Earlier this year, Northam signed legislation scrapping Lee-Jackson Day, a state holiday named after two Confederate generals.

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Obama/Trump/Political

Meet Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Biden’s Freshly-Appointed Ambassador to the U.N. (Watch)

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Linda Thomas-Greenfield

*President-elect Joe Biden on Monday named Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a Black woman who held a top diplomatic post in the Obama administration, as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Born in 1952, Baker served as the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the United States Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs from 2013 to 2017. She’s also a senior counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group in Washington, DC.

The decorated diplomat grew up in Baker, La., where segregation and racism were harsh realities of her early life and college years at Louisiana State University. But life’s biggest test would come during her service in Rwanda during the genocide in 1994 where she found herself held at gunpoint. What do you do when faced with that kind of adversity? How do you survive?

In the gripping TED Talk below Thomas-Greenfield describes that surreal moment, the choice she made and the lesson her mother taught her that helped her survive.

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Obama/Trump/Political

Man Charged After Forcefully Exhaling on Women Outside Trump Golf Club (Watch)

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Raymond Deskins, 61, forcefully breathes on two women outside Trump’s Va. golf course on Nov. 21, 2020

*A man seen forcefully exhaling his nasty cooties on two women outside President Donald Trump’s Virginia golf course amid the coronavirus pandemic has been charged with assault.

Raymond Deskins, 61, was charged with misdemeanor assault after a private citizen obtained a warrant through a county magistrate, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday.

Video of the incident, which went viral over the weekend, shows Deskins heaving his breath on two unidentified women after one of them asks him to get away and points out that he’s not wearing a mask.

“That’s assault” one of the women said afterwards.

“I breathed on you,” Deskins replied.

Virginia mandates masks be worn in certain locations to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but they are not required to be worn outside.

The altercation happened Saturday outside Trump National Golf Club as the president was playing inside. Protestors and supporters regularly gather outside the club’s entrance when he plays.

Deskin was wearing a Trump shirt and an inflatable pool tube with Trump’s likeness on it around his waist.

Watch below:

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Entertainment

After Getting ‘That Catheter Out, I Was Feeling Good’: Al Roker Back on ‘Today’ After Cancer Surgery (Watch)

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Al Roker’s back following surgery for prostate cancer (Nov. 23, 2020) NBC

*Al Roker made his return to “Today” Monday for his first appearance since Nov. 6, when he revealed that he’d been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“Great medical care and the love of friends and family, it goes a long way,” the weatherman said at the beginning of the show.

Co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie told Al he’s never looked better.

“Actually I was hoping I looked a little better,” Al joked.

The 66-year-old underwent a five-hour surgery at New York City’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on Nov. 9 to remove his prostate along with some surrounding tissue and lymph nodes. He spoke Monday about his strong support system.

“A lot of love from my family, Deborah and Nick and Leila and Courtney, and a lot of you, and all of you here, just really took care of me,” he said.

His trademark sense of humor clearly made it through the surgery intact.

“I feel good, I really do,” he said. “Look, after the first week when you get that catheter out, I was feeling good!”

Watch Roker’s “Today” return below:

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