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The Adventures of Life

‘Sesame Street’ writers have unanimously voted to strike


Sesame Street‘s writers have unanimously voted to go on strike, with picketing to begin as early as next week. It seems the air on the famous Manhattan street isn’t quite as sweet as we’ve been led to believe.

All 35 of Sesame Street‘s writers authorised a strike in a vote held by the Writers Guild of America (WGA), without a single one abstaining. Negotiations between the writers’ union and Sesame Street‘s management have been ongoing since Feb. 13, as their current contract is set to expire on Apr. 19. Unfortunately, they’ve reached an impasse. 

The writers will now begin picketing Sesame Workshop’s New York offices from Apr. 24, unless a deal is reached beforehand. Sesame Workshop is the non-profit organisation which produces Sesame Street, alongside other children’s shows such as Bea’s Block, Esme & Roy, and Ghostwriter.

The union outlined its demands in a press release shared by both the Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) and Writers Guild of America West (WGAW). It stated that Sesame Street‘s writers are pushing for a deal which includes “industry standard annual raises, improvements to residuals, and union coverage for Sesame Workshop’s popular animation and social media segments.”

“Our demands would be extremely meaningful for the affected writers, particularly those in animation who are currently being excluded from basic union benefits and protections like pension and healthcare,” said the WGA Sesame Workshop Negotiating Committee. “We hope for a speedy and amicable resolution to these negotiations so that we can continue to do the work of helping the next generation grow smarter, stronger and kinder.”

Mashable has reached out to Sesame Workshop, WGAE, and WGAW for comment.

First airing on PBS in 1969, Sesame Street has become a beloved children’s television stalwart across the world, and still brings comfort to viewers even after they’ve aged out of its target demographic. A Twitter/X post from Sesame Street cast member Elmo went viral earlier this year after the furry red four-year-old’s inquiry about people’s wellbeing sparked a mass online trauma dump.

“No one wants to see a picket line on Sesame Street,” said WGAE President Lisa Takeuchi Cullen. “Millions of parents and families around the world are going to have a lot of questions. They might ask why the bosses at Sesame Workshop are ignoring their company’s own messages of kindness and fairness.”

If there’s one thing the U.S. entertainment industry has learnt over the past year, it’s that you should never underestimate writers. Hollywood ground to a halt in 2023 after the entire WGA went on strike, setting down their pens for almost six months as they negotiated a new agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The historic industrial action ended with the WGA securing a deal that ensured better streaming residuals, minimum staffing requirements for TV writers’ rooms, and a prohibition on the use of AI for generating source material.

It seems unlikely the Sesame Street strike will last as long, assuming it does end up going ahead. But unless a new contract is negotiated within the next few days, it may still be a while before any writers are around to tell you how to get to Sesame Street.


Assange extradition case moves forward after US assures UK court there would be no death penalty

The U.S. provided assurances requested by the British High Court in London that could allow WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to be extradited from the U.K. to the U.S. to face espionage charges.

The High Court ruled last month that if the U.S. failed to provide assurances, Assange would be allowed to make an appeal challenging his extradition over WikiLeaks’ publication of classified U.S. military documents 14 years ago.

Lawyers for the U.S. were asked to provide assurances that Assange could seek a First Amendment right to free speech during a trial in the U.S. and that the Australian publisher would not face new charges which could result in him being sentenced to the death penalty. 

These guarantees were submitted by Tuesday’s deadline, setting up a May 20 hearing in front of the British court to determine if Assange can be extradited. If the court rules in favor of extradition, Assange’s only remaining option would be at the European Court of Human Rights.


According to the document filed by the U.S., Assange, 52, “will have the ability to raise and seek to rely upon at trial the rights and protections given under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.” But, the document admits, a decision on the “applicability of the First Amendment is exclusively within the purview of the U.S. courts.”

The document, which was reviewed by Fox News Digital, also alleges that the death penalty will not be sought or imposed.

“These assurances are binding on any and all present or subsequent individuals to whom authority has been delegated to decide the matters,” the document read.

Lawyers for Assange have previously described any assurances as meaningless, saying they do not believe they can rely on those guarantees if their client does face extradition.

Assange faces 17 counts under the Espionage Act for allegedly receiving, possessing and communicating classified information to the public, as well as one charge alleging conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. If extradited, Assange would stand trial in Alexandria, Virginia, and could face up to 175 years in a maximum security prison if convicted.

The charges were brought by the Trump administration’s Justice Department over WikiLeaks’ 2010 publication of cables leaked by U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. The information detailed alleged war crimes committed by the U.S. government in Iraq, Afghanistan and the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, as well as instances of the CIA engaging in torture and rendition.

A U.K. district court judge had rejected the U.S. extradition request in 2021 on the grounds that Assange was likely to kill himself if held under harsh U.S. prison conditions. Higher courts overturned that decision after getting assurances from the U.S. about his treatment.


Assange’s family said they do not feel any comfort after learning of the U.S. assurances on Tuesday, with his wife Stella saying in a statement that the U.S. has limited itself to “blatant weasel words” and that the “diplomatic note does nothing to relieve our family’s extreme distress about his future — his grim expectation of spending the rest of his life in isolation in U.S. prison for publishing award-winning journalism.”

Gabriel Shipton, Assange’s brother, told Fox News Digital: “This diplomatic note is another grim milestone in the persecution of Julian Assange.”

“We are now counting down to May 20th when the UK courts will decide whether this political note from the U.S. embassy in London is enough to order Julian’s extradition,” Shipton said.

The assurances come after U.S. President Biden said last week he is considering a request from Australia to drop the charges against Assange.

“With President Biden last week saying he is considering Australia’s request to have the charges dropped, it’s time to shut this prosecution down and let Julian be reunited with his family,” Shipton said.

The U.S. Justice Department declined to comment to Fox News Digital about the guarantees.

Last month, when the British court asked the U.S. to provide assurances, it rejected most of Assange’s appeals — six of nine he lodged, including allegations of a political prosecution and concerns about an alleged CIA plot under the Trump administration to kidnap or kill Assange while he remained hunkered down in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

Assange has been held at London’s high-security Belmarsh Prison since he was removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy on April 11, 2019, for breaching bail conditions. He had sought asylum at the embassy since 2012 to avoid being sent to Sweden over allegations he raped two women because Sweden would not provide assurances it would protect him from extradition to the U.S. The investigations into the sexual assault allegations were eventually dropped.


The Obama administration in 2013 decided not to indict Assange over WikiLeaks’ 2010 publication of classified cables because it would have had to also indict journalists from major news outlets who published the same materials.

President Obama also commuted Manning’s 35-year sentence for violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses to seven years in January 2017, and Manning, who had been imprisoned since 2010, was released later that year.

The Justice Department, under President Trump, later moved to indict Assange under the Espionage Act, and the Biden administration has continued to pursue his prosecution.

No publisher had been charged under the Espionage Act until Assange, and many press freedom groups have said his prosecution sets a dangerous precedent intended to criminalize journalism.

Reuters contributed to this report.


How to watch Kolkata Knight Riders vs. Rajasthan Royals online for free

Kolkata Knight Riders' Sunil Narine plays a shot

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The IPL is delivering the goods once again, and we’ve got all the information you need to tune into key matches. We’re well into the season as the Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals prepare to go head-to-head in the 31st round of the season.

If you want to watch Kolkata Knight Riders vs. Rajasthan Royals for free from anywhere in the world, look no further, we have all the info you need.

When is Kolkata Knight Riders vs. Rajasthan Royals?

Kolkata Knight Riders vs. Rajasthan Royals starts at 3 p.m. BST on April 16. The match takes place at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India.

How to watch Kolkata Knight Riders vs. Rajasthan Royals for free

JioCinema is offering free live streams of every IPL cricket match this season in 4K resolution on its app.

JioCinema is geo-restricted to India, but anyone can unblock this free streaming service with a VPN. These tools can hide your real IP address (digital location) and connect you to a secure server in India, meaning you can access JioCinema from anywhere in the world.

Unblock JioCinema to stream the IPL 2024 by following these simple steps:

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  5. Watch Kolkata Knight Riders vs. Rajasthan Royals for free from anywhere in the world

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Most of the best VPNs for streaming are not free, but they do tend to offer free trials or money-back guarantees. By taking advantage of these offers, you can watch IPL live streams without committing with your cash. This is clearly not a long-term solution, but it does mean you can watch select IPL fixtures for free.

If you want permanent access to free streaming platforms from around the world, you’ll need a subscription. Fortunately, the best VPN for streaming sport is on sale for a limited time.

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A one-year subscription to ExpressVPN is on sale for £82.82 and includes an extra three months for free — 49% off for a limited time. This plan also includes a year of free unlimited cloud backup and a generous 30-day money-back guarantee.

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GREG GUTFELD: We’ve never seemed weaker, and the bad guys can see it

All right, to the news. Like I said, over the weekend, Iran launched an all-out attack on Israel, shooting as many as 300 drones and rockets at the Jewish state. And I don’t mean Florida. The result? One injury. One. By that metric, it was far more dangerous to be on the New York subway this weekend than strolling around Tel Aviv. Seriously, you have a better chance of getting hurt trying to take a burrito from Whoopi Goldberg.

Give credit to Israel’s air defense system, Iron Dome, which is the same nickname we gave Jesse Watters’ head. Now, however, give the Iranians their due. It’s an accomplishment to send hundreds of projectiles and kill no one. Nobody has bombed this badly since Jimmy Failla got his own show. When he gets preempted by disaster coverage, viewers can’t tell the difference. 

But it’s all a reminder that Iran typically prefers to do its dirty work by proxies, grimy organizations like Hamas, Hezbollah and the University of California, Berkeley. But this was an escalation and any time an enemy nation does something it hasn’t done before, you got to ask why. What’s changed? Iran certainly hasn’t. The mullahs are the same charming gents they’ve been since ’79. And that’s 979, in case you’re counting. 

So then what’s changed? Well, America. Namely, a president who’s weaker than Jimmy Carter in ’79. Hell, he’s weaker than Jimmy is now. Remember the old phrase, speak softly and carry a big stick? Now it’s mumble incoherently and use a walker. On top of that, we’ve got a broken southern border, disgraceful Afghanistan retreat, and a military that’s more concerned with trans than torpedoes. Our best hope is that our enemies die laughing. If you don’t believe me, consider the difference between October 7th and April 13th. 

Iran’s doctrine has always been “let the people we supply and train have the literal blood on their hands,” [and] we’ll stay back like the craven cowards we are. Except for this Saturday. Sure, the Iron Dome works, but come on, Iran couldn’t kill a single person. Obama’s drone strikes killed more than that accidentally. The lesson is when Iran has to do the dirty work themselves, they don’t. They farm it out. Like when I have interns deep clean my jacuzzi. So why did they bother with this? Maybe to see if Biden would answer the 3 a.m. call or a 3 p.m. call, or if he’d respond to his home health aide trying to shake him awake. 

Remember Obama’s red line when he threatened Syria but did nothing when they crossed it? That showed the Middle East that America’s resolve was softer than Bill Clinton seeing Hillary step out of the shower. Now, say what you want about Trump but one of the things the media hated about him was his unpredictability, which kept stuff like this from happening. It’s funny when academics or the State Department use that strategy, they give it a fancy term like “strategic ambiguity.”

Strategic ambiguity. I guess it applies here. But with Trump, it’s called unstable, erratic. But it’s the same thing. Make the enemy wonder what you’re capable of and keep them worried. You know, like a good football coach would do. Just ask friends of Suleimani, the Iranian major general who was a major problem until Trump’s airstrike turned him into a carpet stain. 


Do you think anyone in Iran is afraid of Biden’s national security team? The team that brought us Afghanistan? Let’s see. You got a president who could barely walk, a veep that can barely talk, a secretary of defense who disappears for weeks at a time. A secretary of state who looks like he’s seen a ghost and a national security adviser who looks like that ghost. I haven’t seen a less impressive group of five people since I let that Menudo cover band sleep on my couch. So we’re in the red zone now, and Biden’s attempt to neutralize the mullahs by burying them under piles of money? That flopped. Things are changing faster than a girls swim team with Lia Thomas in their locker room. We’re in a dangerous place, and that’s not me talking. Here’s FBI Director Chris Wray:

FBI DIRECTOR CHRIS WRAY: Our most immediate concern has been that individuals or small groups will draw some kind of twisted inspiration from the events in the Middle East to carry out attacks here at home. Increasingly concerning is the potential for a coordinated attack here in the homeland, akin to the ISIS-K attack we saw at the Russia concert hall just a couple weeks ago.


Sounds serious. Too bad our so-called leaders aren’t. In the old days, the battle of the three-letter agencies, the CIA and FBI versus KGB. Now the CIA and FBI worry more about DEI. And we have a DHS that’s M.I.A. on the border. It’s time to put out an S.O.S. We’ve never seemed weaker, and the bad guys can see it. And what they’re seeing is a president who thought this would work.

PRESIDENT BIDEN: I have one word: Don’t. Don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t, don’t.

Maybe that was Joe reacting to Dr. Jill approaching him with an anal thermometer. Now, laughing over the old poop joke. Now, Iran could also be looking to further draw from the “Bank of Holocaust Goodwill.” By baiting Israel into doing something out of proportion to the attack. That’s one thing Iran and other antisemites will never forgive Israel for. The fact that 6 million of them were murdered must be part of that Jewish plan for world domination. If that’s what Iran is up to, that’s also something new. 

And that could normalize more direct attacks on Israel. And while John Kirby blames Trump for all this, the White House has been busy enriching Iran by waiving sanctions against Iran selling oil. **** PayPal would have been a lot easier, Joe. 

So, really, the big day wasn’t Saturday, it was Sunday. And all the other days after the attack. Please, someone explain that to Joe, even if you have to use flash cards.


Get MS Office Pro 2021 and Windows 11 Pro for under £50

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New York police officer, sheriff’s deputy killed in shooting; suspect also dead

A police officer and a sheriff’s deputy in New York were shot and killed Sunday evening in the town of Salina, according to officials.

Onondaga County Sheriff Tobias Shelley identified the two as a deputy at his department and a Syracuse police officer, according to WSYR-TV. Their names have not been released.

The suspect was also killed in the incident, the outlet said.


The shooting took place at a house in the area of Darien Drive at around 8:15 p.m. on Sunday.

The officers were originally responding to a report of a stolen vehicle in Syracuse, which ultimately led them to the home in Salina.


The sheriff’s office is waiting for a warrant to search the house.

Shelley said there is no direct threat to the community and the area is secured.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.


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Texas mother of two arrested after allegedly leaving young children home alone to go on cruise

A mother of two in Texas is behind bars after she allegedly left her young children home alone for nearly a week while she went on a cruise.

Lakesha Woods Williams, 29, was arrested on two charges of child endangerment on Thursday after leaving her 6-year-old and 8-year-old children alone in her high-rise apartment in Houston for six days, according to the Harris County Constable’s Office – Precinct 5.

Williams allegedly left for the cruise on April 4 and returned home during the evening of April 10.


Precinct 5 deputies responded to Williams’ apartment in the 9700 block of Katy Freeway on April 9 after receiving a call from someone concerned about the two children.

When deputies entered the apartment, the children, who were alone, said their mother was on a cruise.

Paramedics and Child Protective Services were then called to the home to check on the kids’ health and safety, the constable’s office said.


“We are still putting together the facts and circumstances of how these children were left alone for several days,” Constable Ted Heap said in a post on Facebook. “But the important thing is they are safe now and those responsible should be held accountable for leaving these kids in an unsafe situation.”

Heap added that both children are now in the care of a relative.

Williams was arrested and booked into the Harris County Detention Facility the day after she returned to her apartment. Her bond is set at $25,000.

Jail records show she is due in court on Monday.


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Bill Maher skewers Trump, GOP’s shift on abortion: ‘So killing babies is OK in some states?’

“Real Time” host Bill Maher took aim at former President Trump and Republicans for their dramatic shift on abortion as the 2024 election steadily approaches. 

Maher kicked off the panel discussion on the Arizona Supreme Court’s landmark ruling upholding a near-total abortion ban in the state, a direct result of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, which Trump has repeatedly taken credit for. 

He told the panel that Republicans are “the dog who caught the car.”

“For 50 years, they talked about getting rid of abortion. They did it and it’s super unpopular, and now they have to basically lie,” Maher said Friday night. “I mean, Trump — some of his statements on this — it sounds like what he said about healthcare: ‘Make both sides happy… 15 weeks seems to be a number people can agree.’ Can he lie his way out of this?”


After insisting Arizona will “definitely be in play” for Democrats and that the election will be a battle of “immigration versus abortion,” the HBO host poked a hole in the conservative right’s evolving abortion argument. 

“A lot of people think it’s murder. That’s why I don’t understand the 15-week thing, or Trump’s plan is, ‘Let’s leave it to the states.’ You mean, so killing babies is OK in some states?” Maher asked. “I can respect the absolutist position. I really can. I scold the left when they say, ‘Oh, you know what, they just hate women, people who aren’t pro-choice.’ They don’t hate women. They just made that up.” 

He continued: “They think it’s murder and it kind of is. I’m just OK with that. I am. I mean, there’s 8 billion people in the world. I’m sorry, we won’t miss you. That’s my position on it.”

After an uncomfortable silence from the panel and his audience, Maher doubled down: “Is that not your position when you’re pro-choice?!”


British TV personality Piers Morgan, who is pro-choice, conceded that he agrees with Maher’s blunt description of their position and called out Trump for his “complete U-turn” on the issue for “political reasons.”

“He did it in 2016 to get the Evangelicals with him. He said, ‘I’m gonna pack the court, I’m gonna get this done and overturn Roe v. Wade.’ So they all came with him, and I think now he thinks he’s got them,” Morgan told Maher. “I don’t support what he’s doing, but I do understand the political reasons he’s doing it, and I think he could be quite effective actually in neutralizing what is becoming a massive banana skin for the party. And I think that’s what he’s recognized and he’s getting ahead of it. I think it could work for him.”


Earlier in the week, Trump released a statement declaring that abortion should be left to the states. 

“… the states will determine by vote or legislation, or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land — in this case, the law of the state,” Trump said. “Many states will be different. Many states will have a different number of weeks… at the end of the day, it is all about the will of the people.”

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