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Joe Biden tops Donald Trump in town hall viewers, ratings show

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Oct. 16 (UPI) — Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden edged out President Donald Trump in viewership of their dueling town hall meetings held simultaneously Thursday on different networks, ratings show.

According to Nielsen ratings, Biden’s town hall on ABC averaged 14.1 million television viewers, compared with about 13.5 million who tuned in to watch Trump’s town hall on NBC. That includes those who watched the event on MSNBC and CNBC.

Those numbers don’t include viewers who watched the events live streamed to phones, computers and other devices. However, the two networks’ YouTube channels also showed an advantage for Biden, with 507,445 viewers at the end of Biden’s town hall and 153,660 at the end of Trump’s town hall, Newsweek reported.

NBC drew criticism for scheduling its town hall at the same time as ABC’s previously scheduled event. The network said its decision was a matter of fairness. Democrats called for a boycott of NBC’s coverage.

The ratings results came as a surprise to some. Jason Miller, Trump’s senior campaign adviser, predicted before the events that Trump would draw a “much bigger audience than Joe.”

Trump often touts TV ratings, including after the first presidential debate in September, when Trump tweeted, “HIGHEST CABLE TELEVISION RATINGS OF ALL TIME. SECOND HIGHEST OVERALL TELEVISION RATINGS OF ALL TIME. Some day these Fake Media Companies are going to miss me, very badly!!!”

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Folk singer Arlo Guthrie announces retirement from touring

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Oct. 24 (UPI) — American folk singer Arlo Guthrie has announced his retirement at the age of 73.

“It’s been a great 50+ years of being a working entertainer, but I reached the difficult decision that touring and stage shows are no longer possible,” the “Alice’s Restaurant” singer wrote on Facebook Friday.

“I’ve canceled the upcoming shows, and am not accepting offers for new ones. That’s the short version.”

Guthrie went on to say he had mini-strokes in 2016 and 2019, followed by a more serious stroke last year.

“I’d lost some ability to walk, and I wondered if if would be able to play music,” he recalled in his post.

“I spent about a week in a rehab center to re-learn the basics, like walking. I went home after that, and began a regimen of playing guitar, walking… All the things I would need to continue touring and performing. During the entire time, [my girlfriend] Marti kept the family and close friends advised as to my progress, and took really great care of me. I needed all the help I could get. And she was there to see it done right. By the the time our first shows began in 2020, I was at about at 80% and felt like I was improving. Then the pandemic hit.”

Guthrie said he and his girlfriend have been “holed up” at his farm in Massachusetts since June, “trying to keep out of harms way, and also trying to provide some online entertainment” for those doing likewise.

The son of the late Woody Guthrie said he is looking forward to retirement, but promises to continue speaking out against social injustice wherever he sees it.

“I’m happy, healthy and good to go, even if I’m not going anywhere. I’ve taken back 6-9 months that I used to spend on the road, and enjoying myself with Marti, my family and friends. In short – Gone Fishing,” he said.

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Pop Smoke’s ‘Shoot For the Stars’ tops U.S. album chart

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Oct. 24 (UPI) — Late rapper Pop Smoke’s Shoot For the Stars Aim For the Moon is the No. 1 album in the United States.

Coming in at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart dated Saturday is 21 Savage & Metro Boomin’s Savage Mode II, followed by Juice WRLD’s Legends Never Die at No. 3, Lil Baby’s My Turn at No. 4 and Machine Gun Kelly’s Tickets to My Downfall at No. 5.

Rounding out the top tier are BLACKPINK’s The Album at No. 6, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours at No. 7, the Hamilton soundtrack at No. 8, YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s Top at No. 9 and Taylor Swift‘s Folklore at No. 10.

Pop Smoke was shot and killed in a home invasion in Los Angeles in February. He was 20.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger recovering from heart surgery

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Oct. 24 (UPI) — Film star and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger confirmed on social media he has undergone heart surgery.

“Thanks to the team at the Cleveland Clinic, I have a new aortic valve to go along with my new pulmonary valve from my last surgery,” the 73-year-old actor tweeted Friday.

“I feel fantastic and have already been walking the streets of Cleveland enjoying your amazing statues. Thank you to every doc and nurse on my team!”

His post included one photo of him in a hospital bed and three others of him touring the city.

The Terminator star’s surgery comes two years after he underwent heart surgery to replace a previous pulmonic valve replacement. The operation took place two years after he had heart surgery to replace a previous pulmonic valve replacement.

The actor is known for his roles in the Terminator and Expendables franchises, as well as the movies Twins, Kindergarten Cop, Total Recall and True Lies.

He served as the governor of California from 2003 to 2011.

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