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Rapper Earl ‘DMX’ Simmons Dead at 50, Family Says

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Rapper Earl ‘DMX’ Simmons has died at the age of 50 

What We Know:

DMX’s family confirmed his passing on Friday morning and said they plan to share information on memorial services for him once the details are finalized. “Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever,” the family said in a statement. “We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX.” 

DMX was hospitalized and put on life support at a hospital in White Plains, New York on April 2nd after suffering a heart attack. Although the raspy-voiced artist had a long struggle with drug addiction, premature rumors about the rapper’s death and his hospitalization have traveled across the internet spreading misinformation. DMX’s longtime lawyer Murray Richman denied rumors of overdose and untimely condolences and asked people to stop spreading misinformation out of respect for the rapper’s family. An autopsy will be conducted to determine DMX’s cause of death. 

When news broke of DMX’s hospitalization, outpourings of love and support from fans flooded social media. On Monday evening, hundreds of supporters and family members flocked to a vigil outside the hospital. The crowd called “DMX! DMX!” and when urged to by the main speaker, crossed their arms in the shape of an X. They played music and offered prayers for the rapper’s recovery.   

Earl Simmons was born December 18th, 1970 in Mount Vernon and was raised in the city of Yonkers, New York. The rapper had struggled with drug addiction growing up, first becoming addicted to crack cocaine when it was laced in marijuana. He was just 14-years-old. On top of that, DMX also suffered physical abuse at the hands of his mother’s partners, battled severe bronchial asthma which resulted in almost nightly hospital visits, and was reportedly hit by a drunk driver. To escape abuse, he found comfort in roaming the streets and tending to stray dogs.  

Simmons began rapping in the early 90s and made his rap debut in 1998 under the name DMX, which stood for Dark Man X. His debut album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, was released in 1998 and debuted No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums charts. After creating the multi-platinum album and getting signed to the Ruffhouse Records label, DMX went on to produce seven more albums including a number of iconic songs like the “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” and “Party Up (Up in Here).” DMX was known for his trademark delivery that was often paired with growls and barks. His unique style earned him three Grammy nominations, five MTV Video Music Award nominations, and he was named favorite rap/hip-hop artist at the 2000 American Music Awards.  

  

Alongside his musical career, DMX paved his way to becoming an actor. He is mostly remembered for his role in the 1998 film Belly and his appearance in Romeo Must Die with Jet Li and Aaliyah back in the year 2000The rapper also starred in the 2001 film Exit Wounds with Steven Seagal and 2003′s Cradle 2 the Grave.  

Unfortunately, DMX’s professional achievements were often overshadowed by his issues with the law and addiction. In 2017, he pleaded guilty to tax fraud and was sentenced to one year in prison. In 2019, DMX canceled a planned concert tour to seek treatment, saying at the time that he was “putting family and sobriety first.” 

“I just need to have a purpose. And I don’t even know that purpose, because God has given me that purpose since before I was in the womb, so I’m going to fulfill that purpose … whether I want to or not, whether I know it or not, because the story has already been written. If you appreciate the good, then you have to accept the bad,“ he told GQ Magazine. 

DMX made his final appearance to fans in a legendary online face-off last year with fellow rapper Snoop Dogg as part of the Verzuz series. The battle brought more than 500,000 views on Instagram Live. 

DMX is survived by his mother Arnett Simmons, his siblings, his children, and their mothers. 

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Diego Maradona’s Doctor and Six Others to be Questioned in His Death

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Soccer icon Diego Maradona suffered a heart attack weeks after undergoing brain surgery for a blood clot and died in November 2020 at 60 years old. After this, two of his children filed a complaint with the Argentine Justice Department against neurosurgeon Leopoldo Luque, citing that he allowed their father’s health to deteriorate. Medical experts agreed with their claims.

What We Know:

  • Argentina’s public prosecutor brought in a panel of twenty medical authorities to analyze Maradona’s treatment. They concluded that the care the legend received held “deficiencies and irregularities;” they also determined the medical team left his survival “to fate” and could have survived if tended to at a healthcare facility. Maradona died in a rented Buenos Aires home, where he obtained home care.
  • Alongside Luque, psychiatrist Agustina Cosachov, psychologist Carlos Diaz, nurses Ricardo Almiron and Dahiana Madrid, nursing coordinator Mariano Perroni, and medical coordinator Nancy Forlini will face interrogation.
  • Beginning Monday and spanning two weeks, the seven will appear “one by one” before prosecutors to reply to the allegations. They may receive charges such as manslaughter if found guilty.
  • The hearings were supposed to begin last month, but officials needed to postpone them due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. Prosecutors will end questioning on June 28 with Luque. Once this finishes, a judge will decide if the matter should proceed in court. This process may take months or years. While awaiting their fate, the seven must follow strict rules, such as not leaving the country. They risk eight to twenty-five years in prison if they do so.
  • Luque actively denies all the accusations against him. He claims he “tried his best” and offered Maradona everything he could. He also states that the soccer player accepted some things and denied others.

In addition, Luque says that Maradona felt very depressed in his final days; he declares that the “quarantine hit him very hard.” Because of this, Dr. Luque wants dismissal of the case. Despite his pleas, the courts will continue their movement to bring justice to Maradona’s family and fans.

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9 Mass Shootings This Weekend Brings Total to 272 This Year

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From Friday afternoon to Sunday, nine mass shootings occurred in six states. This brings the total of mass shootings for 2021 to 272.

What We Know:

  • A mass shooting is defined by the Gun Violence Archive as an incident in which four or more people are shot, regardless of fatalities. Initial reporting from ABC News detailed four mass shootings in the span of six hours this weekend. Further coverage from CNN revealed the number to be nine.
  • In Savannah, Georgia on Friday evening one person was killed and eight others were injured. The youngest victim was 18 months old. Police are still working to identify a suspect or suspects who pulled up to a residential home and opened fire. The same house had been targeted the Tuesday before and the events are believed to be linked.
  • 4 hours later in Austin, Texas, gunfire was reported in the entertainment district. One was reported dead, 13 wounded, and one in critical condition. Police arrested one suspect but another is being sought out.
  • Shots were also fired in Dallas, Texas earlier in the day. Five people were wounded including a four-year-old and four adult victims. Police said the incident occurred when two groups became involved in some sort of disturbance.
  • On Friday afternoon in Washington state, just south of Seattle, officers responded to reports of a shooting. Two people were found dead at the scene and two others were hospitalized with injuries.
  • In North Carolina on Friday night, numerous shots were fired. There were four victims total, one was pronounced dead when responders arrived. Police recovered two guns from the scene and other evidence.
  • In the early morning hours on Saturday in Chicago, Illinois, one woman was fatally shot and nine others injured. Two suspects reportedly approached a crowd in the Chatham neighborhood and opened fire.
  • Two Ohio cities experienced incidences this weekend as well. In Cleveland, three people were killed outside of a gas station Saturday morning. Three other victims were hospitalized. In Cincinnati, at least four people were wounded that same day. Two of the victims aged 6 and 8 are in critical condition.
  • The non-stop incidents that have occurred so far have officials concerned as COVID-19 restrictions lift nationally. Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Research Forum, stated, “There was a hope this might simply be a statistical blip that would start to come down. That hasn’t happened. And that’s what really makes chiefs worry that we may be entering a new period where we see a reversal of 20 years of declines in these crimes.”

The Gun Violence Archive reports that the total number of mass shootings so far this year is 40% higher than that of this time in 2020 and 65% higher than in 2019. With gun control legislation continuing to be a hot topic, and with decisions like that of Judge Roger Benitez overturning preexisting legislation, it is unclear what the rest of the year may bring.

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Senate Announces Bipartisan $1 Trillion Infrastructure Deal

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(Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

A bipartisan group of 10 Senators have been engaged in negotiations with President Biden to create an infrastructure bill. After negotiations ceased this Tuesday, the group announced they have a tentative plan to propose in the coming weeks.

What We Know:

  • The plan includes $579 billion in new spending, which would add up to $1.2 trillion over eight years. Senators said in a statement that the proposal would be paid for and would not include tax increases. There have been talks amongst the group of indexing the gas tax to inflation to cover the cost, but Biden’s unwillingness to raise taxes for those who make less than $400,000 a year would prove difficult.
  • Republicans are skeptical of this deal and Democrats are impatient. Many are hopeful that a bipartisan agreement will pass. In a joint statement, the group said, “We are discussing our approach with our respective colleagues, and the White House, and remain optimistic that this can lay the groundwork to garner broad support both parties and meet America’s infrastructure needs.”
  • Some Democrats are vehemently opposed to the deal as it makes no mention of clean energy or climate change. They are encouraging leadership to push through a partisan bill, which still would require ten votes on the Republican side to pass.
  • Regardless of opinion, many agree that a bill needs to pass swiftly. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is among these representatives, “I worry about time being wasted. Even if our Republican colleagues [work in] good faith, we simply do not have the time to delay.”

The uncertainty in this decision follows a few weeks of tumult in the Senate between Democrats and Republicans. White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement, “Senior White House staff and the Jobs Cabinet will work with the Senate group in the days ahead to get answers to those questions, as we also consult with other members in both the House and the Senate on the path forward.”

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