Fox News 2024-04-29 16:04:22


Anti-Israel agitators threaten to repeat COVID-era move for college students nationwide

Student protests are threatening to cancel some college commencement ceremonies across the U.S. as the Israel-Hamas war continues to divide college campuses. 

The University of Southern California (USC) announced Friday it would scrap all outside speakers during this year’s commencement ceremony, just days after the school canceled a Muslim student’s valedictorian speech following a series of social media posts she made about Israel. 

“It’s a very big hit to morale for the exact class that felt like they lost their high school graduation,” USC student body President Divya Jakatdar told The New York Times after learning about the commencement cancelation. “We’ve missed out on enough.”

USC REMOVES OUTSIDE COMMENCEMENT SPEAKERS AFTER CANCELLING VALEDICTORIAN’S SPEECH

But some students are still lending support to the importance of protest.

“It seems sort of ridiculous for us to complain about graduation when people’s lives are on the line,” Jakatdar said. 

Other students say that they’re exhausted by the seemingly constant threat of global events over domestic celebrations.

“A lot of our milestones have had some big, looming global atrocity over us,” Emerson College senior Sophia Pargas told the New York Times. ”It’s almost like we’ve been conditioned for it at this point.”

Maideh Orangi also responded to the cancellation controversy at USC. 

“The one glimmer of hope, the one bright side that I was looking forward to in all of this was that one commencement, and now it’s just all gone,” she told The Times. “It feels like the whole end to my senior year is surrounded by a really sour feeling.”

A Barnard College student wearing the kaffiyeh that demonstrates solidarity with the Palestinians said she was willing to sacrifice her graduation.

USC SPARKS BACKLASH FOR CANCELING MAIN STAGE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY: ‘CAVING TO CAMPUS TERRORISTS’

Some students, including California State Polytechnic University, Ruby Cayenne, were disappointed by the news that student protests might interrupt graduation plans. 

“I have put my blood, sweat and tears into getting this degree. The family on my father’s side are Cuban immigrants and they fought hard to get into this country and to provide a life where their future generations can get an education,” she told the Times.

USC did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital

Fox News’ Haley Chi-Sing contributed to this report. 

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White House responds after alleged secret plot to oust KJP over notebook use exposed

The Biden administration is denying that there was a secret internal plot to get rid of White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, a scheme first reported Thursday by the New York Post.

Deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates forcefully rejected claims from multiple sources with knowledge of the plans, which included longtime Biden senior adviser Anita Dunn, supported by White House chief of staff Jeff Zients, recruiting prominent outside Democrats to urge Jean-Pierre to voluntarily make her exit. 

“Not only are these claims wildly false, but the reality is the polar opposite. Karine was never approached by anyone with such a message. She spends four hours preparing every day. And neither Jeff nor Anita did any such thing; both have been unflinchingly supportive of her,” Bates told the Post.

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According to the Post’s sources, Jean-Pierre’s bosses were unhappy with her habit of reading prepared answers directly from her binder, which they viewed as falling short of making an adequate case for President Biden as he prepared to launch his re-election campaign.

“Every press secretary uses the binder. Why is she being singled out?” Bates added.

One of the sources told the Post that the effort included having outside people Jean-Pierre knew and trusted convince her it was the right time to move along and that it would make sense for her career to leave at around the same tenure as previous secretaries — about a year and a half.

The other source told the Post, “Jeff and Anita were trying to find Karine a graceful exit” in an effort to avoid removing her against her will.

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“There’s a huge diversity issue, and they’re afraid of what folks are going to say,” the source said, adding that although at least one person from outside the administration spoke to Jean-Pierre, that the plan had not yet, and was unlikely to, lead to her departure.

“She has been pretty consistent in telling people from the minute she got the job that she was going to stay through the election,” the source said. “I think Karine has decided to stay come hell or high water and that’s that.”

Both sources went on to tell the Post that the press secretary relied too much on her notes to be able to provide the quick-thinking pushback needed in the role, with one arguing that she “doesn’t have an understanding of the issues” despite Jean-Pierre thinking that she’s “doing an amazing job.”

A February report by NBC News detailed a job offer Jean-Pierre received and rejected in December from EMILYs List, a pro-abortion group, and, according to an email shared with the Post, Dunn appeared to have accepted that same month that Jean-Pierre wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

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“KJP isn’t going anywhere, so this is a ridiculous piece,” Dunn wrote in the email to a Washington Post reporter regarding a separate piece.

Fox News Digital has reached out to the White House for additional comment.

The White House’s denial concerning Jean-Pierre comes as Biden received more bad news about his re-election bid.

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A new CNN poll released Sunday found former President Trump holding a continued advantage (49%-43%) in a head-to-head matchup, with that lead growing to nine points (42%-33%) when including independent candidates Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (16%) and Dr. Cornel West (4%) and Green Party candidate Jill Stein (3%).

Additionally, 55% said they saw Trump’s presidency as a success, but 61% said they saw Biden’s presidency as a failure.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub.

Basketball star Caitlin Clark reacts to initial taste of WNBA in first practice

Caitlin Clark’s welcome to the WNBA continued Sunday, with the Indiana Fever opening training camp. 

And the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer is already noticing how much different the pros are compared to college. 

“It’s definitely different, but that’s what you expect when you start a new chapter in your life,” Clark said. “It’s fast, fast shot clock, but I think all of you know that’s how I like to play. So, I think it suits my game pretty well. It’s a fast pace, a lot faster than college, and you’ve to learn quicker because you’ve got to get your mind on Friday.”

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Friday will be Clark’s first game action, as the Fever take on the Dallas Wings in the first preseason contest of the new season. 

Clark’s speed, which was seen in abundance during her time playing for the Iowa Hawkeyes, and her other outstanding attributes on the court are something her teammates are already thinking about playing with. 

“I think Caitlin has a different eye for the game,” Aliyah Boston, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2023 WNBA Draft, said. “You’re able to see how well she passes the ball and how well she shoots it. You see her communicating, you see the way she can find you, I mean her passes are tremendous. I’m like ‘OK, I’ll get a touch, just let me get down there’ just because of how well she passes it.”

WNBA STAR CAITLIN CLARK AUTOGRAPHS ULTRASOUND PHOTO DURING APPEARANCE AT PACERS PLAYOFF GAME

Getting acclimated to any league takes time for rookies, even those that are good, as Clark was, at the collegiate level. She fully expects to need to work through some things before feeling comfortable with her new team. 

But now that the fanfare of the Fever picking her is over and basketball is starting, she’s ready to make that learning curve as short as possible. 

“I think that’s what I was most excited for, getting all that other stuff out of the way,” Clark said. “The draft was amazing, New York City was amazing, Los Angeles was amazing, but I was excited to get here and get back to playing basketball, you know, doing my job.”

All focus when Clark takes the court will be on her ability to shoot the ball from virtually anywhere, but head coach Christie Sides loves another part of her game that strikes fear into opponents. 

“Her ability to space the floor for us is just incredible,” Sides explained after running practice, where Clark was running with the starters. “We’re going to have five players on the court that can shoot it, but her passing ability – you saw some of the passes she made. I’m more mad at the how many missed layups we had. I think we’re just not used to having those, someone who can make those passes.”

It’s just one practice, but Clark is turning heads as expected. She’s among some of the best women in the world with a basketball in their hands, yet she’s surprising her teammates and coaches with how she’s playing. 

The true test, though, will come during games. With the spotlight only brighter at the pro level, Clark knows that people, both fans and the media, will be looking for wins when the Fever take the floor. 

That’s what she plays the game for anyway. 

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“I think no matter what happens, there’s going to be expectations and pressure on my shoulders and pressure on this team to be really good. That’s how you want it,” Clark said. “We wouldn’t want anything else. We want people showing up to our games, people expecting us to win a lot of basketball games this year, and I’m expecting myself to play really well. I don’t think it’s anything that’s ever been different for me.”

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

American livelihoods in pieces after dozens of tornadoes rip through nation’s heartland

A severe weather outbreak barreled across America’s heartland over the weekend, producing dozens of tornadoes that tore through communities from Texas to Iowa and left at least five people dead as thousands of residents are now in the process of sifting through the debris of destroyed homes and businesses trying to recover whatever belongings remain.

There have been at least 46 confirmed tornadoes ranging from EF-0 to EF-3, and that number could continue to rise as survey teams from the National Weather Service are still out in full force looking at the damage left behind.

DRONE VIDEO SHOWS SULPHUR, OKLAHOMA, NEARLY UNRECOGNIZABLE AFTER DIRECT HIT FROM TORNADO

Friday was the most active tornado day of 2024, with the NWS saying it received 86 tornado reports – the most in a single day since March 31, 2023, when 161 were reported.

In addition to the dozens of Tornado Warnings that were issued in Iowa and Nebraska on Friday, two rare Tornado Emergencies were issued.

Those tornadoes produced catastrophic damage in cities like Elkhorn in Nebraska and Minden in Iowa, and specialized response teams have been brought in to help survey the destruction.

IOWA TROOPER SURVIVES TORNADO IN CAR, PATCHES WINDOW AND CONTINUES HELPING VICTIMS

Man killed while sheltering from storm in Minden

Sirens wailed and phones screeched, alerting people to the dangers that were approaching as a massive wedge tornado was inching closer to the town of Minden, Iowa.

But despite the preparations and people seeking shelter, the monster storm killed at least one person.

VIOLENT, WEDGE-SHAPED TORNADO SLAMS RURAL COMMUNITIES IN IOWA: ‘PRAYED EVERYTHING WOULD BE OK’

The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department confirmed that a man died Saturday from injuries he sustained during Friday’s tornado outbreak.

Family members told local media that the man was trapped in his basement after the tornado. First responders were able to free the man and rush him to a local hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries.

NEIGHBORHOODS AROUND OMAHA, NEBRASKA, DEVASTATED BY LARGE TORNADO

At least 4 dead, including infant, in Oklahoma

At least four people were killed and more than 100 others were injured in Oklahoma during a tornado outbreak there on Saturday.

Two deaths were reported in the community of Holdenville, and FOX 25 in Oklahoma City reported one of those deaths was an infant.

HOW TO WATCH FOX WEATHER

At a news conference on Sunday, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said two additional deaths were reported in the state – one in Marietta and another in the hard-hit community of Sulphur.

“Definitely the most damage since I’ve been governor that I’ve seen,” Stitt said during a news conference Sunday in Sulphur. “I’ve seen a lot of damage. I’ve been around the state for, this is my sixth year, but what I saw in downtown Sulphur is unbelievable.”

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Storm surveys are continuing in Oklahoma, but forecasters with the NWS said preliminary assessments found damage consistent with EF-3 tornadoes in Sulphur, Holdenville and Marietta.

Stitt issued an executive order on Sunday morning declaring a state of emergency in Carter, Cotton, Garfield, Hughes, Kay, Lincoln, Love, Murray, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Payne and Pontotoc counties because of the damage left behind in the wake of the severe weather on Saturday.

“There is hereby a declared a disaster emergency caused by the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, hail and flooding in the State of Oklahoma that threatens the lives and property of the people of this State and the public’s peace, health and safety,” the executive order read.

The executive order will remain in effect for the next 30 days.

Bill Maher’s audience roars with laughter after he mocks Don Lemon to his face

Former CNN host Don Lemon was humbled after bringing up his race and sexual orientation during a segment on “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Friday.

Lemon spoke to Maher on a panel with New York University professor Scott Galloway about the ongoing anti-Israel protests taking place on several college campuses nationwide.

All three men criticized the protests as antisemitic, with Lemon referring to them as part of a “fad.” However, Lemon suggested that the protests could be a learning experience for the students.

“I’m not minimizing what’s going on, but it teaches some of these students to deal with discomfort,” Lemon said.

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While Galloway and Maher agreed to an extent, Lemon tried to elaborate.

“Listen, I’m different than you guys. I’m a Black gay man, so I live in uncomfortable spaces all the time. And I think that’s a good lesson for college students,” Lemon said.

“Why? What’s going on?” Maher asked.

“College is not a comfortable place. You learn –” Lemon began.

“No, but you said you live in those spaces. Just tell me what,” Maher said.

Lemon said, “I’m often the only person of color in the room.”

“There’s only three of us here. Come on,” Maher said as the audience began laughing and cheering.

Prior to his appearance on “Real Time,” the former CNN anchor was referenced by one of Maher’s guests in 2023 following Lemon’s controversial remarks about Republican then-presidential candidate Nikki Haley.

“As Don Lemon told us on CNN, women actually can’t run for president because he said we’re past our prime once we get to our 40s. But since you have to be 35 to run, it’s like this really tiny window between 35 and 40,” ABC News contributor Sarah Isgur joked.

BILL MAHER ERUPTS ON ANTI-ISRAEL PROTESTERS SIDING WITH HAMAS, IRAN: ‘THEY’RE BEING HUGE A–HOLES’

At the top of his Friday show, Maher criticized the anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian protests in a lengthy monologue, decrying them as what happens when “activism merges with narcissism.”

“You’d have to be pretty dumb to think that the way to bring people around to your point of view is to make them late to pick up their kids from day care. And that’s what most normies are thinking, ‘I have a kid. I have a job. And yes, I’m sure there are injustices on both sides in the Middle East as there are injustices all over the world, but I’m going to be late for work,’ something you protesters on the bridge seemed to have the luxury of not having to worry about, which seems kind of privilege,” Maher said.

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Are you one of the lucky Americans receiving a bonus check in mail due to glitch?

Some Americans will receive two Social Security payments this month, a rare occasion that is the result of a quirk in the system. 

Typically, the Social Security Administration sends out just one Supplemental Social Security (SSI) payment each month, delivering checks on the first day of the month unless it falls on a weekend or holiday. 

Because June 1 falls on a Saturday, SSI recipients will receive two payments in the month of May. The first check is slated to arrive on May 1, while the second check will come on May 31. SSI benefits provide support for disabled people and older Americans with low incomes.

The back-to-back deposits do not mean retirees are receiving extra money – it’s just an early payment for the following month. 

HOUSING AFFORDABILITY PLUMMETS TO LOWEST LEVEL SINCE 2007 AS PRICES JUMP

This is slated to happen two more times this year, in August and November, according to a schedule of payments on the Social Security Administration’s website. 

Retirees received a modest cost-of-living bump this year, but many have reported struggling to get by as they continue to battle high inflation that has rapidly eroded their purchasing power. 

A recent survey published by Atticus found that an overwhelming percentage of seniors collecting Social Security – about 62% – are dissatisfied with the 3.2% payment increase they’re receiving in 2024.

In fact, nearly three in five seniors reported struggling financially as the cost of everyday necessities like food, rent and medical care remains uncomfortably high, while about 20% of seniors receiving Social Security plan to seek employment this year due to the small increase. 

SOCIAL SECURITY RECIPIENTS COULD GET HIT WITH A SURPRISE TAX BILL THIS YEAR

Retirees reported concerns over rising utility, insurance, heating and food costs. 

More than 66 million Americans collecting Social Security received the bigger payments beginning in January.

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The payment boost marked a steep decline from 2023, when recipients received an 8.7% bump, the highest in four decades. However, it remains higher than the 2.6% average increase recorded over the past two decades.

An increase of this magnitude raised the average retiree benefit of $1,907 by about $59 per month.

The annual Social Security change is calculated based on the consumer price index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, or the CPI-W, from July, August and September. 

Cancer report reveals most common types as one doctor warns of ‘gateway’ disease

Almost 40% of Americans will receive a cancer diagnosis at some point in their lifetime — but certain types are more common than others, statistics show.

USAFacts, a Washington-based nonprofit that compiles government data and reports on it, took a deep dive into the latest cancer data to identify trends — and shared the results with Fox News Digital.

Of the 1.96 million new cancer cases in 2023, half were made up of five types: breast cancer (15%), prostate cancer (15%), lung and bronchus cancer (12%), colorectal cancers (8%) and all other types (50%).

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Among the 609,820 cancer deaths in 2023, nearly half were made up of lung and bronchus cancer (21%), colorectal cancers (9%), pancreatic cancer (8%) and breast cancer (7%). 

The remaining 55% of deaths were attributed to other cancers.

While cancer cases have risen overall due to a growing population, the share of people getting diagnosed and dying from the disease has decreased.

“Between 2000 and 2019, the incidence rate — or the rate of new cancer cases per 100,000 people — declined by 5.4%, while the annual mortality rate fell by more than 26%,” the report stated.

The share of people getting diagnosed and dying from cancer has actually decreased.

“This suggests improvements in cancer prevention, detection and treatment,” Dr. Brett Osborn, a Florida neurologist and longevity expert, told Fox News Digital in a statement.

Osborn was not involved in the report, but commented on the findings.

Here are five standout observations.

1. Gender-specific risk

As of 2019, men were about 15.4% more likely to receive a new cancer diagnosis and 37.5% more likely to die from the disease than women.

That gap has narrowed since 2000, however, when the cancer incidence rate was more than 37% higher for men.

FOODS TO EAT, AND NOT EAT, TO PREVENT CANCER, ACCORDING TO A DOCTOR AND NUTRITIONIST

For men, the most common cancers are prostate, lung and colorectal cancers, the USAFacts report stated. 

Those types made up 50.8% of new cancer cases and 45.9% of cancer deaths in 2023 among males. 

Among women, the most prevalent types are breast cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer. 

Those three types comprised 54.6% of new cancer cases and 50.1% of cancer deaths in 2023 for females.

2. Cancer rates across ethnic groups

White Americans have the highest rate of new cancer diagnoses, followed by non-Hispanic Black Americans, the report stated.

Among cancer deaths, however, non-Hispanic Black Americans are at the highest risk.

SOME BREAST CANCER PATIENTS COULD BE AT RISK OF ANOTHER TYPE OF CANCER, STUDY REVEALS

Non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander Americans have the lowest risk of diagnosis and mortality. 

Overall cancer incidence rates have dropped between 2000 and 2019 for every group except American Indian/Alaska Native people, who experienced a nearly 35% increase in diagnoses.

“While the reason behind these disparities is hard to pin down, contributing factors include access to health care, environmental conditions, lifestyle behaviors and genetics,” the report states.

3. Cancer survival rates

The five-year cancer survival rate has risen, going from 63.5% in 2000 to 68.4% in 2015 — and is expected to continue its upward trend.

“This improvement is credited to better prevention, early detection and advancements in treatment,” according to Osborn.

Survival rates vary by cancer type.

The cancers with the highest five-year survival rate are thyroid (98.8%), prostate cancer (96.5%), testicular cancer (95.7%), skin cancer (93.6%) and breast cancer (91.0%).

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“It should be noted that estimated cancer deaths in 2023 do not reflect the five-year survival rate between 2015 and 2020, as deaths in 2023 may result from cancer cases diagnosed prior to the five-year window,” the report stated.

4. Average age of cancer diagnosis

Age is the most prevalent risk factor for a cancer diagnosis, according to the report.

Diagnosis rates rise steadily for each decade of life.

The average age of diagnosis is 66 and the average age of death is 72, according to data gathered by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) between 2016 and 2020.

The disease can occur at any age, however — which is why experts recommend early screenings to reduce mortality rates.

5. Importance of guarding against ‘complacency’

Despite the improvements in cancer incidence and mortality rates, Osborn warned that Americans “should not be lulled into complacency.”

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“According to 2024 data from the American Cancer Society, the incidence of six of the most common cancers – namely those related to excess body weight, such as endometrial, liver, kidney, pancreas, colorectal and breast – are on the rise and may temper the declining mortality rate in the future,” he warned.

Rising obesity rates in the U.S. are a direct cancer driver, Osborn indicated.

“It is estimated that more than two in five adults (42.4%) have obesity – a gateway disease to cancer — according to recent data from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases,” said Osborn. 

“One can only hope that we are not headed in the wrong direction.”

“Unless the tide is turned and the obesity epidemic is addressed, the observed reduction in the annual rate of new cancers and associated mortality will slow and potentially be extinguished,” he continued. 

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“One can only hope that we are not headed in the wrong direction.”

USAFacts compiled its report using data from the NCI, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

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Discovery at George Washington’s estate sets off ‘alarm bells’ for archaeologist

Archaeologists recently discovered two glass bottles filled with a mysterious liquid at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate in Virginia.

The archaeologist who found the bottles, Nick Beard, told FOX 5 DC that he was digging in the mansion’s cellar as part of a revitalization project.

Beard found the top of a bottle, and then the whole bottle, before noticing a second bottle. Astoundingly, the bottles contained a liquid that had miraculously survived the past three centuries.

“Just the fact that there was liquid at all. That, right there, sets off alarm bells,” Beard said. “If there’s water, or liquid, pooling in there like that, that means it’s very intact, it’s in very good shape.”

STRANGE ROCK UNCOVERED DURING SEA SEARCH TURNS OUT TO BE ANCIENT BATTLE GEAR

Experts believe that the bottles were originally filled with cherries. The glass bottles were placed in the ground between 1758 and 1776 to refrigerate food.

“For whatever reason, these were left behind and they were in pristine condition, and that’s why this is such an extraordinary find because you just don’t find 18th-century food remains, intact, outside of things like animal bones, which are pretty durable,” Mount Vernon principal archaeologist Jason Boroughs told FOX 5.

400-YEAR-OLD BATTLE GEAR DISCOVERED BY METAL DETECTORIST IN POLAND: ‘UNIQUE FIND’

Placing the produce in a bottle underground was the most effective way of preserving it from the intense Virginia heat. 

“One of the best ways to store these types of fruits and vegetables was underground,” Boroughs added. “So sometime after 1758, but before 1776, someone dug a pit… sort of a rectangular, about a foot deep, hole through one of the floors in the cellar, these bottles were set in, and then it was filled with a dense clay.”

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The orange liquid was poured out of the bottles and transferred into new containers to be examined. Historians believe that the discovery will not only shed light on how food was preserved at Mount Vernon, but may also reveal new details about slavery on the plantation.

“It’s astounding for us,” curator Lily Carhart told FOX 5. “It’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime sort of things.”

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Fox News Digital reached out to Mount Vernon for comment, but did not immediately hear back. 

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle. 

Boxing legend Mike Tyson ditches vice ahead of much-anticipated Jake Paul fight

Mike Tyson is putting on muscle, showing off speed and giving up sex and marijuana ahead of his July 20 fight against YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul.

The 57-year-old appeared on “The Damon Elliott Show” recently and said he had not smoked or had sex in more than two weeks. It was not clear when the interview was taped. He gave Forbes Life a different timeline on his abstinence from the drug and sex.

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“Right now, I’m living my life disciplined. It’s been six weeks that I haven’t gotten high or had sex,” he told the outlet in a story published Saturday. “I haven’t done that since I was a little kid.

“I hate not being able to smoke. But I’m doing it like I love it; I hate not being able to sleep with my wife, but I’m doing it like I love it.”

Tyson’s ear-shaped marijuana edibles hit New York dispensaries in March as the fight with Paul was announced. His publicist told USA Today that the boxer was giving up marijuana to comply with fight rules as marijuana is on the list of banned substances by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation – the agency overseeing the fight.

JAKE PAUL SAYS MIKE TYSON IS ‘UNDERESTIMATING’ HIM, JOKES HE HAS TO JOIN TRUMP AT CHICK-FIL-A TO BEEF UP

Roy Jones Jr., the last person to fight Tyson, offered a warning to Paul about the condition the former heavyweight champion is in.

“The first time he hit me in the chest, it felt like a mule had kicked me in the chest,” Jones told Shane Mosley on his YouTube show. “If he hits anybody with a shot like that, they are either going out or down, especially guys who are not used to being hit like that. With these types of people like Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis, these guys are bigger and can take it.”

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“But Jake Paul, I don’t think he’s going to be able to take that. It might hit him on the chin like that, we’ll see, but it’s going to be tough.”

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