Fox News 2024-07-05 04:08:24


White House touts cheaper prices at the pump this year — but there’s just ‘one’ problem

The White House boasted a one-cent decrease in the nation’s year-over-year gas prices on Thursday, the “lowest holiday price” since the previous Fourth of July. 

“‘July 4th gas prices expected to hit lowest level in 3 years,'” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a post on X. 

The projection comes from a GasBuddy estimate this week which claimed the $3.49 average cost for gas this Independence Day represents over a $1.30 decline compared to 2022. 

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“For those hitting the road to celebrate Independence Day, gas prices have seen modest recent fluctuations, but most states are seeing prices near or even well below where they were a year ago,” Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, said in a news release. “While the first half of the summer has been relatively smooth sailing, the road ahead may be bumpy. Activity in the tropics has increased, and projections remain for a very busy hurricane season. Even after the holiday fireworks are over, we’ll be watching for any potential fireworks at the pump that could be brought on by hurricanes disrupting refineries.”

GasBuddy’s projection comes just a few weeks after the American Farm Bureau (AFB) said a 10-person Independence Day cookout price would average $71.22 this year, up 5% compared to last year and almost 30% higher than five years ago.

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“Higher prices at the grocery store reflect a number of challenges facing America’s families. Lower availability of some cookout staples and inflation are hitting people in their wallets,” AFB chief economist Roger Cryan said. “Farmers are also feeling the effects of high prices. They’re price takers, not price makers. Their share of the retail food dollar is just 15%, but they still pay elevated fuel, fertilizer and other supply prices.”

The bureau’s annual marketbasket survey shows a double-digit increase in the cost of beef and lemonade compared to last year, while chicken breasts and potato salad saw a slight decrease.

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

New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds players engaged in a good ‘ol fashioned national anthem standoff before their game on the Fourth of July on Thursday afternoon.

Four players in total were involved in the standoff, and then it came down to two Yankees players, Ian Hamilton and Cody Poteet, and one Reds player, Graham Ashcraft. Carson Spears, Ashcraft’s teammate, went back into the dugout.

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All players were standing outside of their dugouts with their caps over their hearts. But New York’s struggles trying to win anything as of late carried over into the little fun and games the players had.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone then made the determination that enough was enough, and Hamilton and Poteet were sent back to the dugout. An elated Ashcraft went back to the visitors’ dugout to cheers and applause from his teammates.

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Cincinnati entered the game looking for a sweep of the Yankees. New York have lost seven out of their last nine games going back to June 23rd’s loss to the Atlanta Braves.

Luckily, the team has played well enough to earn 54 wins so far this year, but if there’s any team that is in need of the All-Star break right now, it’s New York.

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The Reds jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the holiday matinée.

Olivia Dunne jokes about being ‘snubbed’ from Olympic gymnastics team

Olivia Dunne maybe undecided on whether she will be returning to LSU to compete in gymnastics for another season, but there is at least one thing she’s sure of – she will not be on the Olympics team.

The social media star posted a video on her TikTok account on Wednesday showing herself falling off of the parallel and uneven bars in practice as well as slipping on the balance beam. She jokingly captioned the video that she had been “snubbed” from the team.

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“Very saddened to announce I was not selected for the 2024 Olympic Games,” she screen-capped her clip.

The Paris 2024 TikTok account wrote in the comments section, “Let me talk to the manager.”

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Regardless of whether Dunne actually tried to make Team USA this time around, it was only going to be an uphill because of the injury she dealt with earlier in the year that kept her sidelined through a bunch of NCAA meets and the fierce team the Americans have fielded this year.

Simone Biles looked like her gold medalist self during team trials and headlined the stars who will be competing for the top prize in Paris later this month.

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Suni Lee, Jade Carey, Jordan Chiles and Hezly Rivera were among those joining Biles on the team. Leanne Wong and Joscelyn Roberson were named as traveling replacements.

New hot dog eating champion emerges after Joey Chestnut’s shocking ban

The Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest has a new champion, as Pat Bertoletti ate 58 hot dogs on Thursday.

Bertoletti’s victory comes as Americans across the nation are celebrating Independence Day. Thousands of fans descended on Coney Island to watch competitive eaters wolf down as many hot dogs (and buns) as possible in a 10-minute time span during the contest.

However, this year’s slate of competitors was noticeably missing one high-profile contestant — 16-time champion Joey Chestnut.

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He was reportedly barred from competing in this year’s event. Chestnut recently signed a deal with Impossible Foods, a rival of Nathan’s that has launched a vegan wiener, the New York Post reported.

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Instead, he will compete against soldiers at a U.S. Army base in El Paso, Texas, beginning at 5 p.m. ET.

Chestnut’s absence left the traditional Brooklyn event wide open for a new winner in the men’s division, with eaters from around the world competing for the highly-coveted mustard belt.

Last year, Chestnut, of Indiana, chewed his way to the title by downing 62 dogs and buns in 10 minutes. The record, which he set in 2021, is 76.

He was initially disinvited from the event over a sponsorship deal with Impossible Foods, a company that specializes in plant-based meat substitutes.

Major League Eating, which organizes the Nathan’s Famous contest, has since said it walked back the ban, but Chestnut decided to spend the holiday with the troops anyway.

Chestnut said he would not return to the Coney Island contest without an apology.

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Impossible Foods will also donate to an organization supporting military families based on the number of hot dogs eaten at the event, a spokesperson said.

Earlier in the day, Miki Sudo defended her title and set a women’s world record.

Darius Rucker says Morgan Wallen is still ‘not forgiven’ for past mistake

Darius Rucker is ready to forgive Morgan Wallen for using a racial slur — but he can’t say the same for the rest of the country music community.

“I think Morgan’s become a better person since that. I’ve known Morgan a long time,” the former Hootie & The Blowfish frontman said on the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast, referencing Morgan’s use of the N-word that ultimately led to his “cancellation.” 

“Since all that happened, you know, Morgan’s tried to really better himself, become a better person and see the world in a much better way. And you know, he’s not forgiven… Morgan’s still not up for CMAs and ACMs.”

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“They can say what they want but the fact that Morgan Wallen is not up for Entertainer of the Year and those things is crazy, because no one’s sold more tickets than Morgan. Maybe Luke Combs is right up there with him. But they’re playing stadiums, man,” Rucker emphasized.

“But that’s society. What I think doesn’t matter. People are gonna make their own opinion and go with it. And so, it is what it is,” he added.

In 2021, TMZ released video of Wallen using the N-word. He was met with immediate backlash, having his music taken off the radio and being suspended from his record label. “That person is definitely not the same person I am now,” Wallen told Billboard last year of the man in the video. Months after the incident happened, Wallen shared on “Good Morning America” that he and his friends were clearly drunk when he uttered the slur.

Following the scandal, Wallen checked himself into rehab. He also spoke with Black leaders and pledged $500,000 to Black-affiliated groups, which he ultimately fulfilled. A large portion of that money went to the Black Music Action Coalition (BMAC). Wallen donated $300,000 on behalf of 20 individuals who counseled him through the trying period. According to USA Today, those 20 people were given the choice to keep the money in the BMAC or donate their portion to a charity of their choosing.

Despite the scrutiny, sales of Wallen’s music actually increased

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Of the experience, Wallen told Billboard he realized “just how much that people listen” to him. “I don’t think I realized that, at least not at that grand of a scale at the time,” he added. “I [learned] how much my words matter.”

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Wallen also reflected on the consequences he faced and his displeasure with cancel culture. He admitted to being angry over how quick the world was to label him a racist.

“There’s no excuse. I’ve never made an excuse. I never will make an excuse,” Wallen said. “I’ve talked to a lot of people, heard stories [about] things that I would have never thought about because I wasn’t the one going through it. And I think, for me, in my heart I was never that guy that people were portraying me to be, so there was a little bit of like, ‘Damn, I’m kind of actually mad about this a little bit because I know I shouldn’t have said this, but I’m really not that guy.’”

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“I put myself in just such a s— spot, you know? Like, ‘You really messed up here, guy.’ If I was that guy, then I wouldn’t have cared. I wouldn’t have apologized. I wouldn’t have done any of that if I really was that guy that people were saying about me,” the “Lies Lies Lies” singer said of rectifying his mistake. 

Since the slur, Wallen has been trying to rehabilitate his image. He’s hit a few bumps in the road, including an arrest in April for allegedly throwing a chair off the roof of a Nashville, Tennessee, bar. The singer is currently on his “One Night at a Time” tour.

Comedian Tony Knight dead at 54 following ‘terrible accident’ at festival

Comedian Tony Knight has died following a “terrible accident.”

Knight was “tragically killed” in June while attending the Rock’&’Cars Festival in Lavaur, France, a family member told Fox News Digital.

“He was only 54 and having the time of his life,” they shared. “He was fit, healthy, happy and had everything going for him. He was charismatic, funny, passionate and so very loved by [his partner] Hayley, his family and his friends all over the world.”

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According to French media reports, a large tree branch fell on top of Knight and several other individuals at the festival, although he was the only one not to survive.

A GoFundMe page was established by Joanne Allen, the sister of Knight’s longtime partner, Hayley Wright.

“Hayley is now living her worst nightmare and facing life without Tony, her soulmate,” Allen writes.

“She is in Bouillac having to deal with the difficulties of Tony being an Englishman with Australian residency living in France, arranging a funeral, covering hospital expenses, meeting police detectives, doctors and the mayor, visiting the accident site and sorting Tony’s estate, all while experiencing a crushing amount of grief and disbelief in a foreign country.”

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In addition to being a comedian, Knight was known for his work with dogs as a “Dog Listener.”

His website describes Knight as having “helped thousands of dog owners all over the world solve problem dog behavior with simple techniques that use no force, pain, domination, drugs or gadgets.” 

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Through that work, Knight appeared on several television and radio shows. According to the GoFundMe, his comedy set, ‘Mad Dogs and an Englishman,’ was performed in Australia and overseas. He was about to do a string of shows in the United Kingdom.

Actress outraged over law requiring parental approval for preferred pronouns in schools

“She-Hulk” star Tatiana Maslany put a newly-enshrined-into-law parental rights law on blast, calling the measure “absurd” and an “overreach.”

“It should not be in the control of the parents how a child identifies; how a child knows them self to be,” Maslany, who starred as the title character for the “She-Hulk” series, told local reporters after a recent event at the Canadian Walk of Fame.

“That isn’t a parent’s place – it’s an overreach. It’s an overreach on the part of the provincial government to legislate that. It’s absurd,” she added.

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The law, which went into effect in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan after being signed into effect last October, requires school staff to get parental permission before using a student’s new preferred name or gender identity.

The measure currently affects students under age 16 and has sparked intense debate between its supporters and its opposition. 

“Children have rights. Children are human beings who have knowledge and who know themselves and we should be taking cues from them. In so many ways, we should be taking cues from them. Listening to them, empowering them to know who they are and to name that,” Maslany said.

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The “She-Hulk” star has been previously outspoken about social issues, including the war in Gaza, which she addressed during the Walk of Fame ceremony during which a plaque was unveiled in her honor after being inducted in 2022.

“I would say with whatever platform I have, that we can’t do nothing. And I would demand that our government demand a cease-fire, stop funding a genocide, stop being complicit in it. Thank you for this honor, thank you for being here. Free Palestine,” she said, according to The Independent.

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Debates surrounding using preferred names and pronouns without parental consent have been widespread in recent years, with some school districts in the United States cracking down on the practice, while others have allowed it to continue.

Those questioning the transgender movement have additionally voiced concerns over transgender surgeries and hormone treatments for minors.

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How to keep your dog calm tonight as fireworks light up the sky

The Fourth of July should be a fun-filled and celebratory day — but for dog owners, it can be filled with anxiety once the fireworks begin.

The bright lights and loud bangs that come with fireworks displays can leave some dogs feeling nervous or distressed. It can even risk their health if they’re close enough to the action.

To have a worry-free holiday, South Carolina veterinarian Dr. Sylvalyn Hammond and Maryland-based celebrity dog trainer Chrissy Joy shared ways to keep pups safe and calm during the festivities.

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Here are six thoughtful tips. 

1. Prepare your dog ahead of time

Preparation is key to helping pets weather the July 4th festivities, according to Joy.

The trainer suggested playing the sounds of fireworks ahead of time while tossing treats or a favorite toy to your dog to help “make the sound a moment of fun” instead of one filled with fear and anxiety. 

2. Create a safe indoor space

Cultivate a safe, quiet place where your dog can take refuge during the celebrations.

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This might include preparing “a cozy bed, a favorite chew toy and maybe even dog-inspired song playlists and [TV] shows,” Joy told Fox News Digital.

“Covering the crate in a quiet space can also help [dogs] feel protected and offer a den-like environment for added comfort,” she said. 

Hammond of South Carolina, who is known as “The Honest Vet” on social media, said it’s “a given” that fireworks and loud noises are extremely frightening for dogs.

“It’s important to keep them indoors in a quiet, safe space to reduce anxiety and prevent them from running away in fear,” she said.

3. Encourage exercise

Giving dogs adequate play time early in the day on the Fourth of July can help encourage deep rest and sleep during the fireworks at night, Hammond suggested.

“I recommend taking them on a long walk, playing fetch or even choosing a fun water activity to help tire them out while also keeping them cool in the summer heat,” she advised.

Joy agreed that tiring out your dog early in the day can be helpful.

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“Choose the early hours, out of the heat and give your dog some decent exercise to help work out the extra energy,” she advised.

4. Offer calming treats and activities

Some calming treats can help ease your dog’s tension, according to Hammond.

In her own practice, she recommends Kradle’s Daily Calming Bliss Bars to help manage dogs’ anxiety.

Calming treats contain natural ingredients such as chamomile, L-theanine and L-tryptophan, designed to “soothe and relax your dog during stressful events,” Joy noted.

Frozen Kong toys or other puzzle-like toys filled with dog-safe foods like canned pumpkin, plain yogurt, kibble and treats can also be effective, the expert added.

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“This can create a long-lasting activity to keep your dog calm,” Joy told Fox News Digital. “Licking is a behavior for dogs that aids in the reduction of stress and anxiety.”

If your dog has severe anxiety and the potential to become destructive to either itself or the nearby environment, Joy recommends consulting with your vet about medication.

5. Update your dog’s ID

Keeping your dog’s identification, including tags and microchips, up to date can make a big difference in an emergency situation, according to experts.

This is particularly helpful if a dog manages to escape when spooked by loud noises, increasing the chances of a safe return, Hammond said.

6. Keep party foods and alcohol away from dogs

While hot dogs, hamburgers and other Independence Day eats are delicious for humans, Hammond cautioned dog owners to keep party foods and alcohol well out of pets’ reach.

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“Many human foods are toxic to dogs,” she warned.

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“An upset stomach (or worse) could add unnecessary stress during the holiday.”

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