The most recent episode of South Park offended the Chinese government and the show is now banned in that country. Read on to see how the show creators are using their typical snark to respond.
A new study has linked e-cigarettes to an increased risk of lung cancer. The finding comes as major retailers decide to quit selling the vaping products.
And “gamer girl” Belle Delphine has fans buzzing about whether she was really arrested.
Here’s what you need to know in the daily roundup.
TOP STORY: South Park Creators ‘Apologize’ After China Bans the Show
South Park is the latest American program to be banned from the airwaves in China, and the show’s creators are clapping back. The Comedy Central cartoon is known for its social parodies, veiled political satire and raunchy humor, coming from the mouths of a group of elementary school friends.
Episode 2 of the new season mocks China’s censorship laws. The characters create a band called “Band in China.” A manager wants to do a story on the children’s backgrounds but tells the boys they need to cut certain references out of their performance so as not to offend a Chinese audience. Eventually, the boys decide that all of the personal sacrifices aren’t worth it. (The episode is available for free online from Comedy Central).
The less-than-flattering depiction of China eventually reached government officials. Censors have since pulled South Park from streaming services in China and erased online discussions about the show. In response, show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone issued an “apology” to China on Twitter. “Like the N.B.A., we welcome the Chinese censors into our homes and into our hearts. We too love money more than freedom and democracy. Xi doesn’t look just like Winnie the Pooh at all. Tune into our 300th episode this Wednesday at 10! Long live the Great Communist Party of China! May this autumn’s sorghum harvest be bountiful! We good now China?”
At the beginning of the statement, the South Park creators were referencing the NBA’s efforts to appease China after Houston Rockets manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. In response, Chinese sponsors pulled support from the Rockets and broadcasts of the team’s games were canceled. His tweet was later deleted and the league was scrambling to make amends.
In 2017, government censors banned Winnie the Pooh after fans joked online that President Xi Jinping looked like the cartoon bear. HBO’s Last Week Tonight was also banned in China after host John Oliver talked about the Winnie the Pooh comparison in a 2018 episode.
WHAT WE’VE BEEN FOLLOWING: Major Retailers Stop Selling E-Cigarettes Amid Health Concerns & a New Study Links Nicotine Vapor to Cancer
Smoking e-cigarettes could cause cancer. A new study funded by the National Institutes of Health is the first to connect vaping products to an increased risk of developing lung and bladder cancers. Researchers at New York University exposed mice to nicotine vapor over a four-year period and the majority of the animals developed cancer. Lead researcher Moon-Shong Tang told CNBC that over time, “It’s foreseeable that if you smoke e-cigarettes, all kinds of disease comes out.”
The main problem appears to be the nicotine. Nearly 80 percent of the mice that were exposed to nicotine vapor developed either lung cancer or had precancerous conditions in their bladders. Interestingly, the mice that were breathing e-cigarette vapor without nicotine did not develop cancer.
This comes as the Centers for Disease Control struggle to determine what has caused severe lung illnesses in more than 1,000 patients nationwide. All of the cases have been linked to vaping. Some of the patients smoked e-cigarettes while others used vaping products that contained THC. At least 18 people have died. The CDC says that 80 percent of patients are younger than 35.
As health officials try to come up with a solution, major retailers are exiting the vaping business. Walgreens and Kroger recently announced that they would both stop selling e-cigarettes. Walmart made that decision last month.
WHAT’S BUZZING THAT HAS EVERYONE TALKING: Social Media Influencer Belle Delphine Posts a ‘Mugshot’
Teenage social media influencer Belle Delphine of Great Britain has the internet buzzing over her claim that she was recently arrested. The “gamer girl” posted a photo of herself with smeared eye makeup and without her signature pink hair, and claimed it was her mugshot. The photo is stamped with “Metropolitan Police.” Heavy reporter Jessica McBride has reached out to the British police department to determine whether Delphine was actually arrested. Follow along with updates here.
In a follow-up tweet, Delphine claimed that she was arrested for spraying graffiti on someone’s vehicle. She wrote, “I stg this girl came to my party and stole my hamster. I have no idea why, or who tf does that? I spray painted the fucc out of her car and got arrested, at least I got my hamster back. b*tch.”
Delphine, whose real name is Mary-Belle Kirschner, has been known to play pranks on her social media followers. For example, she once promised to create a PornHub account if a picture garnered at least one million likes. She did, in fact, create one, but it was different than what fans had expected. In one video titled “Belle Delphine strokes two BIG cocks,” the model can be seen playing with two stuffed roosters.
DAILY NEWS ROUNDUP
- The Supreme Court will decide whether federal civil rights laws barring workplace discrimination based on gender also includes protections for gay, lesbian and transgender individuals.
- Walt Disney World Resort apologized after its new cable car system malfunctioned and stranded passengers for several hours, and has not set a date for when the Skyliner will reopen.
- A blind man sued Domino’s Pizza because the company’s website is not accessible to people with disabilities and the case will now go to trial court.
- Dick’s Sporting Goods turned $5 million worth of assault rifles into scrap metal, according to CEO Ed Stack.
- Nick Jonas will join NBC’s The Voice as a coach in Season 18.
CHECK THIS OUT
Check this out! A humpback whale has been spotted swimming in the River Thames near London, England. Whales are a common sight in northern waters, but seeing one in the river is unusual.
The BBC reported that according to wildlife experts, the whale “does not seem to be distressed.” They are hoping the whale will eventually find its way back to the ocean.
The whale in the Thames is thought to be between 16 and 30 feet long. Adult humpback whales can weigh up to 40 tons, according to NOAA, and grow as long as 60 feet.
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