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Monday, November 29, 2021

Russian Navy Test-Fires Hypersonic Missile

MOSCOW | Russia's navy successfully test-fired a prospective hypersonic missile, the military said Monday.

The Defense Ministry said that the Admiral Gorshkov frigate in the White Sea launched the Zircon cruise missile, hitting a practice target 400 kilometers (215 nautical miles) away.

The launch was the latest in a series of tests of Zircon, which is set to enter service next year.

President Vladimir Putin has said Zircon would be capable of flying at nine times the speed of sound and have a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles). Putin has emphasized that its deployment will significantly boost the capability of Russia's military.

Zircon is intended to arm Russian cruisers, frigates, and submarines. It is one of several hypersonic missiles under development in Russia.

The Kremlin has made modernizing the country's arsenals a top priority amid the tensions with the West that followed Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.


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PICTURED ABOVE: In this photo taken from a video released on Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, the Admiral Gorshkov frigate of the Russian navy launches a Zircon hypersonic cruise missile in the White Sea. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

-- James Thomas can be reached at JThomas.1300WTLS@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @1300wtlsJthomas. 

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Former Pentagon Chief Sues to Publish Material in Memoir


WASHINGTON | Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper claims in a lawsuit against the Defense Department that material is being improperly withheld from his use as he seeks to publish an "unvarnished and candid memoir" of his time in President Donald Trump's cabinet.

The lawsuit, which was filed Sunday in U.S. District Court in Washington, describes the memoir, "A Sacred Oath," as an account of Esper's tenure as Army secretary from 2017 to 2019 and his 18 months as defense secretary, which ended when Trump fired him in a tweet just days after the president lost his reelection bid.


Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Steps Down, CTO Parag Agrawal Takes Reins

Jack Dorsey resigned as CEO of Twitter, saying the social network “is ready to move on from its founders,” the company announced Monday.

Dorsey, 45, also serves as CEO of payment company Square — and some investors, including hedge fund Elliott Management, had wanted Dorsey to exit as chief executive of Twitter so the social media company could have a CEO fully focused on Twitter.

Twitter said its board of directors unanimously appointed Parag Agrawal, currently Twitter’s chief technology officer, as CEO and a member of the board, effective immediately. Shares of Twitter, after shooting up as much as 11%, fell into negative territory (-0.5% in late-morning trading) in the wake of the news, which had been reported earlier by CNBC.

“I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders,” Dorsey said in a statement. “My trust in Parag as Twitter’s CEO is deep. His work over the past 10 years has been transformational. I’m deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul. It’s his time to lead.”

Dorsey co-founded Twitter in 2006. He took over as Twitter’s CEO after former chief exec Dick Costolo exited the post in June 2015. In a memo Monday to employees about his resignation, Dorsey said having a company be “founder-led” ultimately is “severely limiting and single point of failure.”

“[T]here aren’t many founders that choose their company over their own ego,” Dorsey wrote, patting himself on the back for stepping down as CEO. “I know we’ll prove this was the right move.”

Lady Gaga: She’s the Once-in-a-Generation Pop Star Who Is Also a Born Movie Star (Column)


Reviewing a lavish new Hollywood musical in the Sept. 29, 1968, issue of The New Yorker, Pauline Kael wrote, “Barbra Streisand arrives on the screen, in ‘Funny Girl,’ when the movies are in desperate need of her. The timing is perfect.” I’m tempted to say the same thing about Lady Gaga. Suddenly, she’s ruling the movies like no one else this year.

Black Widow? Godzilla? Venom? Vin Diesel? Michael Myers? James Bond? Well, okay, maybe Bond — or the sandworms in “Dune” — could give Gaga a run for her money. But I’d wager that the current of excitement running through the chatter about Gaga in “House of Gucci” is hitting comparatively higher levels of palpitation. She’s earning her buzz the old-fashioned way, by giving a performance that has to be seen, in a movie that’s being talked about the way movies used to be talked about — even if 27 out of 30 people with media megaphones insist that Ridley Scott’s brashly entertaining and accomplished drama is a flamboyantly trivial piece of so-crazy-it’s-fun high camp that no one of refinement could possibly take seriously.

Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Inventing Anna’ Will Premiere on Netflix in February (EXCLUSIVE)

“Inventing Anna” — the first show Shonda Rhimes has written for Netflix, and the first show she’s created since “Scandal” made its debut in 2012 — will premiere in February.

“Inventing Anna” follows the massive success of “Bridgerton,” which Rhimes and her company Shondaland executive produced. Season 2 of “Bridgerton” will also premiere in 2022.

In May 2018, when Rhimes read Jessica Pressler’s New York Magazine story “How Anna Delvey Tricked New York’s Party People” — a viral journalistic feat that detailed the scammy enterprises of a charming young Russian woman, who had grifted New Yorkers — she immediately wanted to option the story.

The article was Rhimes’ first major acquisition for her Netflix talent deal, which had begun in August 2017. The nine-episode limited series began production in fall 2019 in New York City and then had to finish a full year later because of the pandemic. “Inventing Anna’s” exact premiere date in February will be announced at a later time.


Adele’s ’30’ Has the Biggest Bow of 2021 With 839,000 Album Units


Adele’s “30” enjoyed the biggest opening numbers of any blockbuster album in 2021, as expected, with 839,000 album-equivalent units, according to an announcement by Billboard Sunday night.

Adele’s big premiere beats the previous mark set by Drake’s “Certifiable Lover Boy” when it bowed with 613,000 back in September. It also comes in ahead of Taylor Swift’s “Red (Taylor’s Version),” which just a week ago had the second-biggest debut of the year, with 905,000 album units, and now is bumped to the third most sizable of 2021.

The biggest part of Adele’s tally came in full-album sales, as was true of Swift’s massive debut last week. These two superstars are generally regarded as the last two who are guaranteed to sell massive amounts of physical product — CDs as well as the more in-vogue vinyl versions. “30” racked up a staggering 692,000 in actual album sales, by far the most for any release this year.

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
Founded in 1962, The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships to military children. For 54 years, we’ve been providing access to affordable education for the children of Marine and Navy Corpsman attending post-high school, under-graduate and career technical education programs. In that time, we have provided more than 37,000 scholarships worth nearly $110 million.