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Whoopi Goldberg celebrates her birthday by sharing her favorite things of 2022

Source image: https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/whoopi-goldberg-celebrates-birthday-sharing-favorite-things-2022/story?id=92913206

Celebrating Whoopi Goldberg’s birthday at “The View” gives everyone a chance to get in on the fun!

Ahead of the EGOT’s 67th birthday on Sunday, she shares unique gifts she would love to give to anyone. Luckily for the studio audience, they went home with all of Goldberg’s favorite items. To help celebrate the occasion, drag queens Tina Burner, Scarlet Envy, Marti Gould Cummings, Hibiscus, Egypt and Pattaya Hart presented the birthday girl’s favorite things.

Find out how to enter for your chance to be the lucky viewer to win products from all of the companies featured in Whoopi’s Favorite Things! Submissions must be entered by Sunday, Nov. 13, at midnight eastern time.

Whoopi’s Prosecco

Goldberg loves hosting gatherings with friends and family. That’s why she created Whoopi Prosecco, a white sparkling wine made with organic grapes featuring vibrant citrus notes, harvested by hand in the prestigious Veneto Region of Italy.

Home viewers can get free shipping on Whoopi Prosecco until Thursday, Nov. 17 with the code BIRTHDAY.

$21.99 ReserveBar.com

Birkenstocks

As long as Goldberg has been loving shoes, she’s been wearing Birkenstocks! Style meets comfort with Birkenstocks’ world of footwear. From sandals to clogs, and sneakers to boots, there’s a shoe for everyone.

$50+ Birkenstock.com

“By Lorenzo Quinn” Give & Receive Unisex Bracelet

Internationally-renowned sculptor, Lorenzo Quinn, creates Wearable Meaningful Art. All of his work is handmade in Spain and shares a special message. The “Give and Receive” bracelet that Goldberg wears has the message that the more love you give, the more love you receive.

By Lorenzo Quinn is offering a 25% discount by using the code WHOOPI through Nov. 10, 2023.

$95+ ByLorenzoQuinn.com

Itinera Beauty Products

Itinera reminds Goldberg of the real scents of Italy, and she can’t do without them! They host a collection of hair and body care springing from an all-Italian passion for nature and are 100% vegan, no animal-derived ingredients. All products are formulated with at least 95% natural ingredients, with beneficial properties, and cosmetics are made with 100% locally grown Italian ingredients.

Products start at $2.49 Itinera.Store

Kizik Sneakers

Kizik is are the original hands-free shoe! Just step down on the heel, and it snaps back into place. No bending, no tying, no heel-crushing. They have Rabbit Foam outsoles that cushion your feet and rebound with every step. The spring back Kizik heel is cushioned so they stay comfortably in place until you step out of them.

$99+ Kizik.com

Made In Cookware

Made In Cookware’s Carbon Steel combines the heat retention of cast iron with the control and maneuverability of Stainless Clad, resulting in a natural non-stick alternative. Carbon Steel is stamped into a disc that’s half the weight of cast iron but every bit as durable. It seasons faster, responds quicker, and is light enough to travel with.

$69+ MadeInCookware.com

Alessi

Alessi is the leading Italian design manufacturer, producing functional pieces of art for the home, kitchen, table and more. Alessi’s iconic pieces can be found in permanent collections of the most prestigious museums around the world and has appeared in over 100 international movies and TV series.

$15+ US.Alessi.com

Funko Pop

Funko is the world’s largest proprietor of licenses and distributes licensed pop culture products across multiple categories, including vinyl figures, board games, action toys, plush, apparel, housewares and accessories. This year, Funko has a Pop! inspired Grogu balloon in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!

$12+ Funko.com

Whoopi’s Sweaters & Dog Sweaters

This holiday season Whoopi is once again featuring her line of holiday sweaters, and she’s adding dog sweaters to the collection!

Adult sweaters $169 & dog sweaters $49 Nordstrom.com

A Trip for 2 to the All-Inclusive Garza Blanca Resort & Spa in Cancun

From the award-winning TAFER Hotels & Resorts, Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Cancún is the newest, hottest, and most luxurious all-inclusive resort in Mexico’s Cancun region. It’s a beachfront resort perched along the coastline in Playa Mujeres, in the Mexican Caribbean. This high-end resort offers contemporary design, sleek accommodations, the finest gourmet cuisine, and Spa Imagine with attentive service for guests to enjoy the ultimate vacation experience.

$3,500 Cancun.GarzaBlancaResort.com

Source: https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/whoopi-goldberg-celebrates-birthday-sharing-favorite-things-2022/story?id=92913206

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Vatican Swiss Guard slayings back in spotlight with new book

ROME — The mother of a Swiss Guard member accused of committing one of the most sensational crimes in recent Vatican history – fatally shooting his commander and the senior officer’s wife before killing himself — is turning to the United Nations and Pope Francis in hopes of getting some closure nearly a quarter-century after the slayings.

Muguette Baudat was on hand Tuesday as her lawyer, Laura Sgro, a veteran defense attorney in Vatican criminal trials, detailed her efforts to pry information out of the Vatican and access the court file into the May 4, 1998 slayings that are recounted in Sgro’s new book, “Blood in the Vatican.”

“I’ve been waiting for more than 24 years, so I don’t expect anything,” Baudat said at a book launch event. But she added: “The book is very important.”

Within hours of the slayings, the Vatican spokesman announced that Baudat’s 23-year-old son, Cedric Tornay, a noncommissioned Swiss Guard officer, had killed Col. Alois Estermann and Estermann’s Venezuelan-born wife, Gladys Meza Romero, with his service revolver and then turned the gun on himself. The spokesman said a buildup of resentment over a reprimand by Estermann and the denial of a decoration, combined with a ″peculiar″ psychology, led to Tornay’s violent acts.

Nine months later, in February 1999, the Vatican released a 10-page summary of its internal investigation that confirmed its initial assessment. It concluded that Tornay was solely responsible for the murder-suicide but added that his marijuana use and a brain cyst the size of a pigeon’s egg could have impaired his reasoning.

Baudat spent two decades campaigning for more information and hired Sgro in 2019, asking for the Vatican investigation to be reopened. She said her request was not spurred by a belief that the Vatican was responsible, but rather to end the secrecy with which it has always handled the case.

Last year, the Vatican secretary of state intervened personally in the case and asked the Vatican tribunal to pay “particular attention” to Baudat’s request. Sgro was granted access to the court file.

In the book, Sgro details what she found in the file, as well as the conditions imposed on her by the Vatican prosecutor for viewing it: She wasn’t allowed to make copies but could only view the documentation in the tribunal, with two gendarmes standing behind her back monitoring her at all times. She was allowed to take some notes but not too many since she was explicitly barred from copying the text. She had to submit her notes to the prosecutors’ office after each viewing session, which took place over the course of a year.

And what she discovered in reading the court file, she said Tuesday, “confirmed all the doubts that the mother had about an investigation conducted in an absolutely superficial way.”

Sgro noted that at least 20 people were allowed access to the crime scene in the moments after the slayings, including chaplains, monsignors and the Vatican spokesman, none of whom wore protective gear. No fingerprints or blood samples were taken, and no DNA tests performed.

A handwriting analysis of a letter, purportedly from Tornay to his mother and foreshadowing the killings, was done on a photocopy, not the original document. The corpses were moved around the Estermann apartment, as was furniture, according to 38 photographs taken by a Vatican newspaper photographer that were in the court file. Autopsies were performed not in a hospital morgue but in the crypt of a chapel inside the Vatican walls.

“After one hour, Cedric was given up as the guilty one and the investigation was built around this, and this is absolutely the most alarming thing,” Sgro said.

The lawyer alleged that the conditions in which she was forced to work to view the file, as well as the mother’s long fight to find information about her son, constituted human rights violations that should be taken up by the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

There was no indication Tuesday whether the U.N. might take up her case, since such complaints must show a consistent pattern of “gross violations” of human rights, such as the policy of apartheid in South Africa.

Sgro said she had little other recourse since the Holy See is not a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, and therefore not a party to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, where such appeals would normally be heard. The Holy See enjoys observer status at the U.N. and has received criticism from U.N. human rights experts over the clergy sexual abuse scandal.

Sgro said she sent a copy of “Blood in the Vatican” to Pope Francis and he responded with a personal letter. His response, she said, gave her hope that the Vatican might be ready to acknowledge that its original investigation was flawed and that Tornay’s legacy might somehow be rehabilitated even if he is confirmed as the killer.

“It’s a small drop after 24 years of silence,” Sgro said. “Let us hope this drop becomes a glass of water, then a lake.”

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Clarence Gilyard, ‘Die Hard’ and ‘Matlock’ actor, dies at 66

Clarence Gilyard Jr., a popular supporting actor whose credits include the blockbuster films “Die Hard” and “Top Gun” and the hit television series “Matlock” and “Walker, Texas Ranger,” has died at age 66

NEW YORK — Clarence Gilyard Jr., a popular supporting actor whose credits include the blockbuster films “Die Hard” and “Top Gun” and the hit television series “Matlock” and “Walker, Texas Ranger,” has died at age 66.

His death was announced this week by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he taught stage and screen acting. Additional details were not immediately available Tuesday.

“Professor Gilyard was a beacon of light and strength for everyone around him at UNLV,” the school’s film chair, Heather Addison, said in a statement. “Whenever we asked him how he was, he would cheerfully declare that he was ‘Blessed!’ But we are truly the ones who were blessed to be his colleagues and students for so many years.”

Gilyard was a Moses Lake, Washington, native. He had a prolific career as an actor, starting in the 1980s with appearances in “Diff’rent Strokes,” ”The Facts of Life” and other shows. He then appeared in two of the biggest movies of the decade: “Top Gun,” in which he played Sundown, a radar intercept officer, and “Die Hard,” when he was featured as a villainous computer maven whose one liners included “You didn’t bring me along for my charming personality.”

In the 1990s, he was on the side of law enforcement in “Matlock,” playing opposite Andy Griffith, and “Walker, Texas Ranger,” which starred Chuck Norris. His other credits include “The Karate Kid: Part II,” a stage production of “Driving Miss Daisy” and an appearance alongside “Die Hard” star Bruce Willis in a commercial for DieHard batteries.

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Review: Slice into the holiday spirit with ‘Violent Night’

The holiday season is upon us and how better to celebrate than watching Santa slip several pool balls into a Christmas stocking, swing them in the air menacingly and see him cave in someone’s face?

Such is “Violent Night,” a film that clearly no one wanted but somehow nicely acts as a chaser to all the sticky sentimentality this time of year. It is billed as an “alt-Christmas action-comedy” and it may be a litmus test of who is your real tribe: If you think watching Santa try to strangle a guy with Christmas lights is funny, this is the film for you.

Directed by Tommy Wirkola, “Violent Night” has taken the season’s naughty or nice dichotomy deeply to heart, offering pounds of gore and wounds that spurt mini-fountains of blood along with tooth-aching sweetness about believing in Santa and the true meaning of Christmas.

It’s easy to initially dismiss it as an “SNL” digital short that got high on its own tinsel but there is a sort of perverse glee to seeing Santa suck on the tip of a candy cane until it is a sharp shard and then plunge it into a bad guy’s neck. Isn’t it time for Kris Kringle as a sociopath?

Few people can balance all these demands as Santa except David Harbour, who specializing in gruff-on-the-outside, sweet-on-the-inside teddy bears. This time, his beard soaked in blood, he must save an ultra-rich family from a murderous group of home invaders with automatic weapons and military training.

On his side: “Christmas magic,” which he reveals multiple times he does not understand and which allows the screenwriters — Pat Casey and Josh Miller — a yuletide-sized logical loophole. They’ve even given Santa an origin story as a centuries-old Viking raider with a fondness for crushing skulls with a hammer. He’d be on the naughty list, naturally.

We initially meet Santa in the present day at an English pub. It’s Christmas Eve and he’s hammered. There are other men dressed as Santas this night, but they’re just pretenders, like “Bad Santa.” He’s the real thing.

Tonight, Santa is worn-out and fed-up. The children these days just demand more and more presents — just grubby consumers. He even calls them junkies. “I forgot why I started doing it in the first place,” he says. “Maybe this is my last year.”

During his rounds, he happens to linger too long at the Lightstone family compound in Connecticut. A ruthless gang has just stormed inside hoping to relieve the family of $300 million and trapping Santa with just his magic bag of presents and a pent-up desire to hurt people.

John Leguizamo, so often the comedy relief in films, here is as heavy as it gets, an anti-Christmas madman who tortures with a nutcracker and gets some of the best over-the-top lines like “Christmas dies tonight” and “Time to kill Santa.” The film soon moves into “Die Hard” territory as terrorists play cat-and-mouse with a good guy inside the building.

Santa connects with one of the hostages — a little girl (Leah Brady, sparkling like an ornament) — who still believes in Santa. “You are more than the presents you bring,” she tells him. And so he proves that Christmas is indeed alive by systematically murdering every single bad guy and girl with a sledgehammer, aided by his new friend’s “Home Alone” boobytrapping skills and all to a soundtrack of Christmas songs by Burl Ives, Bryan Adams and Slade.

This is not a Norman Rockwell vision of Santa, of course. He has a torso full of tattoos and sutures his own wounds with Christmas tree ornament hooks. He vomits, impales baddies in spiky Christmas decorations and uses the sharp parts of a pair of ice skates with surgical precision. Few films have earned their R rating better. All that’s missing is you as long as you think it’s time to add a little blood to Christmas?

“Violent Night,” a Universal Pictures release that opens nationwide in theaters Friday, is rated R for “strong bloody violence, language throughout and some sexual references.” Running time: 112 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.

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MPAA definition of R: Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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Online: https://www.violentnightmovie.com

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Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits

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