AOC on Bezos' Space Trip Of Course He Loves the Free Ride!!! Par for the Amazon Course

BLASTING BEZOS
TMZ.com

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is tearing Jeff Bezos a new one after he thanked Amazon employees and customers for footing the bill for his trip to space.

We got the Congresswoman Tuesday on Capitol Hill, and asked what she made of the richest man in the world giving major props to workers and online consumers for literally paying for his roughly 10-minute rocket voyage this morning.

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ICYMI ... it was an awkward moment, and one Jeff didn't seem to realize came off as tone-deaf. There wasn't much context to his comment, but AOC thinks she has a good idea of what he meant -- as she says that's right up Amazon's alley (AKA, free rides on the backs of others).

You gotta watch her go off here ... it's beyond scathing, this is downright brutal -- calling Bezos out for allegedly overworking employees, busting unions and, of course, avoiding paying taxes via loopholes in the law.

"SOMETIMES DREAMS COME TRUE"
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We asked her if there was a silver lining in the fact that Bezos made a $100 million donation to Van Jones and organizations/causes he sees fit -- but it sounds like she thinks it's mostly an empty gesture.

If it's a choice between the $100M gift and Amazon paying up to benefit the rest of us ... the decision is easy in the Representative's mind.

Women's Handball Team Fined For Wearing Shorts In Game ... Instead Of Bikini Bottoms

Norway's women's beach handball players gave a big middle finger to their sport's uniform double standards over the weekend ... ditching their required bikini bottoms for shorts during a game -- and the stunt resulted in a fine.

The team had reportedly been planning the protest for weeks ... hoping to put the spotlight on the differences in what the men and women are told to wear during competition -- men can wear much longer shorts, while women are forced to wear skimpy bottoms.

The players decided on Sunday's game to make their statement ... with the whole team rocking shorts during their bronze medal matchup with Spain at the European Beach Handball Championships in Bulgaria.

The European Handball Federation fined each player 150 euros -- a tad short of $177 -- for the uniform violation ... which the Norwegian Handball Federation has vowed to pay.

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Norway officials claim they've been pleading with the higher-ups for YEARS to adjust the regulations ... but the EHF says any change has to come down from the International Handball Federation.

There's been plenty of controversy surrounding what women can and cannot wear during competition -- as we previously reported, Paralympic star Olivia Breen claimed an official called her sprint shorts "inappropriate" during an event over the weekend.

No word on whether the IHF will consider new changes ... but hopefully it happens.

Olivia Breen Paralympic Track Star Rips Official For Calling Her Sprint Shorts 'Inappropriate'

Paralympic star Olivia Breen is firing back at a female official for calling her sprint shorts "inappropriate" ... saying women should not have to feel self-conscious about what they wear during competition.

The 24-year-old 2-time world champion claims the comment came after the long jump events at the English Championships in Bedford on Sunday ... an interaction that left a bad taste in her mouth.

"I am always very grateful to the incredible volunteers who officiate at athletics events," Breen said on Twitter. "They do an amazing job and make it possible for us to compete."

"However, tonight I feel quite disappointed because just as I finished my long jump competition at the English Championships, one of the female officials felt it necessary to inform me that my sprint briefs were too short and inappropriate."

"I was left speechless."

Breen explained her shorts are made by Adidas and specifically designed for competition ... which she has worn for many years.

In fact, Breen -- who has cerebral palsy -- says she intends to wear the same shorts when competing for Britain at the Tokyo Paralympics in August.

"It made me question whether a male competitor would be similarly criticized," she added. "I hope no other female athletes had similar issues."

Breen notes she's all on board with having rules and regulations for what people wear during events, but says "women should not be made to feel self-conscious about what they are wearing when competing but should feel comfortable and at ease."

Breen told CNN that England Athletics has been supportive and in communication with her following the incident ... and she plans to file a complaint.

England Athletics released a statement as well ... saying it is investigating the matter.

Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony Composer Quits ... He Bragged About Making Disabled Boy Eat Feces

Just when you thought things couldn't get much worse for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, Keigo Oyamada -- one of the composers for the opening ceremony -- has pulled out ... following claims he bullied a disabled classmate.

Even worse -- he made the claims himself ... in interviews back in the 1990s.

It's truly disturbing, but Oyamada -- now 52 years old -- once bragged to local news media that he forced a disabled boy to masturbate in front of others and eat his own feces.

The interviews were conducted when he was not yet famous, but they resurfaced recently when it was announced he would be involved in the opening ceremony.

Oyamada -- who writes under the name "Cornelius" and is popular in Japan for creating the Shibuya-kei beat -- has apologized for his "very immature" behavior ... and is backing out of the gig.

As you know ... the Summer Games have faced many challenges -- mostly related to the COVID-19 pandemic -- including star athletes being forced to miss them for one reason or another, ongoing protests, and even scrutiny about its beds.

But, the latest controversy might take the cake, and lends credence to the notion that anything can go wrong with these Olympics.

NY Yankees Fan Banned From MLB Games For Life ... After Drilling Red Sox Star With Baseball

A New York Yankees fan who drilled Red Sox star Alex Verdugo in the back with a baseball this weekend is now banned from attending MLB games FOREVER.

Yanks and MLB officials confirmed the decision Sunday ... after the fan hurled a ball at Verdugo from his seat in left field during the Boston vs. NY game Saturday night.

The scene was wild ... Verdugo tossed a baseball into the crowd to give a souvenir to a young fan, but seconds later, a man in a Yankees shirt heaved it back at him while he wasn't looking.

The ball plunked the Sox outfielder ... and he was FURIOUS over it, pointing up at the fan and yelling with rage.

Ultimately, the fan was booted from the game ... and then hit with a perma-ban from ALL MLB ballparks by officials less than 24 hours later.

"While the Yankees appreciate the spirit and passion of our fans in our various rivalries -- especially with the Red Sox -- reckless, disorderly and dangerous behavior that puts the safety of players, field staff or fellow fans in jeopardy will not be tolerated," Yankees officials said in a statement.

"There is absolutely no place for it at Yankee Stadium. The safety of everyone at Yankee Stadium, including guests in the stands and players on the field, will always be the top priority for the Yankees organization every time we open our doors."

Both the Red Sox and Yankees managers, Alex Cora and Aaron Boone, denounced the fan's actions ... with Boone calling it all, "awful, embarrassing" and "unacceptable."

The fan was somehow not arrested, NJ.com reported over the weekend ... though it's unclear if criminal charges are being pursued.

Verdugo, meanwhile, escaped the incident without injury ... and was able to play in Sunday's Yanks vs. Sox series finale -- though he went 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts.

Sheree Whitfield Sights Set on 'RHOA' Return ... But ONLY If She's Full-Time

Sheree Whitfield's in talks to rejoin the cast of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" after a few seasons away, but only if she's guaranteed lotsa screen time ... TMZ has learned.

Sources close to production tell us she's been communicating with 'RHOA' producers over the past several weeks about coming back, but reports that she's 100 percent confirmed to return are inaccurate.

We're told it's looking good, but she only wants to be part of Season 14 if she's cast as a regular housewife again ... and won't sign on the dotted line unless producers are on board with that.

You might recall, Sheree was a full-time housewife during seasons 1 through 4, but returned in season 8 as a "friend of the show." She regained full-time status for seasons 9 and 10 before leaving once again.

As we first told you ... Sheree got back together with her old BF, Tyrone Gilliams, earlier this year after he was released from prison. Our sources say her relationship with him will be a major storyline if Sheree returns, and that she wouldn't have even considered coming back if he was cut out of the picture.

Tyrone was sentenced to 10 years in 2013 for wire fraud, but got sprung early due to COVID. He's still on home confinement in Philadelphia, so he'd only be featured when Sheree's visiting.

Sorry, Tyrone ... 'Real Housewives of Philly' ain't a thing. Not yet.

Tulsa's 'Most Wanted' Woman Gets Herself Busted ... After Asking on FB Post About Reward Money!!!

If the show "America's Dumbest Criminals" is ever revived it's got prime content courtesy of a woman in Oklahoma who got herself arrested after commenting on Tulsa PD's "Most Wanted" Facebook post ... about her whereabouts.

So, here's the deal, Tulsa PD posted Lorraine Graves as the "Weekly Most Wanted" for accessory to murder in a homicide that went down earlier this year. Graves' comment was about the reward money. She asked, "What's where's the reward money at." Not smart.

The post was quickly flooded with comments from others ... including a woman who said, "Giiiiirl you better stay off social media they can track you!!" A man responded, "Ain't gonna be as funny when you get processed." The post drew around 1,200 comments.

The day after the post ... cops say detectives tracked down Graves and arrested her and charged her with accessory to murder. Her bond's been set at $500k.

Two other suspects had previously been arrested earlier this year and were reportedly hit with murder charges for a shooting that killed a 30-year-old man at an apartment complex.

As for the reward money ... there was a Facebook commenter wondering the same thing because the person asked, "Well did she get her reward money[?]" Guessing, hell no.

Tokyo Olympics It's Cardboard beds for athletes ... Deterrent for Banging???

4:53 PM PT -- It looks like the no-sex hypothesis has (possibly) been debunked ... by none other than an Olympian who's on the scene, and did a little in-room test to see how the cardboard holds up under pressure.

Irish gymnast, Rhys McClenaghan, posted a video in response to reports the cardboard beds are meant to dissuade athletes from doing it in the village ... and he's calling BS, because the frames can apparently withstand his own bodyweight jumping up and down.

Check out his demo ... the dude hops up and down on his own cardboard cutout, and the thing stays intact. Pretty interesting, but we're not so sure that clears it up. Fact is ... two bodies are heavier than one -- even one that's jumping. More testing is likely needed. 🤔

The sleeping arrangements for the Olympics have surfaced -- athletes will crash on boxes, limit 1 per customer ... something honchos apparently don't want tested with bedroom shenanigans.

Check out the beds that have been set up all throughout the Olympic village in Tokyo, where world-class athletes will arrive by the end of next week for the start of the games. As you can clearly see, these babies are made out of good old-fashioned cardboard ... seriously.

The beds' frames and modest mattresses are designed by a company called Airweave -- and they've cranked out upwards of 18,000 for the Olympics. Yes, they're somewhat intricate in their structure and configuring ... able to be adjusted to an individual's liking/contortion.

However, a running theory is that the beds are made this way for a reason -- namely, the International Olympic Committee and other organizers supposedly want to discourage sex among athletes ... a pastime at the games that's getting pooh-pooh'd this year due to COVID.

A handful of Olympic athletes -- some who've already touched down in Tokyo, and others who haven't -- are testing positive for the virus ... including U.S. tennis player Coco Gauff.

Still, U.S. track and field star Paul Chelimo got in on the joke, explaining that it was clear to him the Olympic powers that be don't want any banging going on ... because these beds, theoretically, only support the weight of one person. NBD for runners, though!!!

He writes, "I see no problem for distance runners,even 4 of us can do😂." The implication being ... runners are light, so a couple of them probably wouldn't break the bed.

There's also the tradition of handing out condoms, which got a 2021 asterisk. The Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee reportedly told a Japanese outlet the condoms aren't supposed to be used, but brought back to an athlete's home country for safe sex education.

In other words ... keep it in your pants this time around. That, or risk hitting the floor.

Originally Published -- 12:26 PM PT

Kaskade MASK-FREE FANS PACK SoFi ... Last Licks Before Mandate

FINAL HURRAH BEFORE MASKS UP
@EDMManiac / Twitter, @famous454, @dae_in_wonderland / Instagram

Los Angeles County is now under a new mask mandate (again) -- which went into effect at midnight -- but before the clock struck 12 ... Angelenos got in their last bit of maskless fun -- especially at SoFi Stadium ... with Kaskade behind the wheel.

The venue was jam-packed with people Saturday during the EDM DJ's headlining set -- with Deadmau5 as the surprise opener -- which got underway not long before people would be forced to cover their mouths and noses once more ... due to a new surge in coronavirus cases, of course.

Check out the video ... concert-goers were huddled close together, and there didn't seem to be very many masks (if any) among the crowd. Seems they were milking the opportunity down to the last hour, because as of 12:00 AM PT -- the mandate went into effect.

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It's unclear just how many people showed up for Kaskade and co. ... but considering the place has a capacity of 70,000 seated (and even more standing), we'd say it was probably close to that, based on how crowded it looked from a quick glimpse.

If COVID numbers are, in fact, surging again like they say ... then this definitely doesn't seem like the best way to spend one's time right before another masking rule gets ushered in.

Still, these people made their decisions ... and didn't seem to regret it. Stay safe, y'all.

Popeyes Ramping Up for Nuggets Craze ... Lessons Learned from Sandwich Madness

Popeyes is gearing up for the release of its chicken nuggets in more ways than one ... because it desperately wants to avoid the violence that came with its sandwich chaos.

Who can forget the nationwide madness in fall 2019 when folks were scrambling, kicking and even punching to get the restaurant's new chicken sandwich. Long lines were the least of their troubles, as multiple fights got out of hand ... and there was even a fatal stabbing.

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POPEYES PANDEMONIUM
@sorem12

Nearly 2 years later, a rep for Popeyes tells TMZ ... the sandwich release problems are still fresh in their minds, and "across the system, franchisees have worked to increase staffing to better meet the demand for Popeyes new Chicken Nuggets."

We're told corporate execs are visiting locations all over the U.S. in person to "identify ways first-hand the brand can quickly meet the excitement and interest from our guests of our new product."

Likewise, Amin Dhanani -- President of Popeyes Operations for Dhanani Group -- tells TMZ it's staffing up at all of its roughly 300 franchises and insists employees will be ready for the high demand for nuggets.

He says everyone was caught off guard by the 2019 sandwich craze, but now they know what to expect and will be more properly equipped to handle it. Dhanani is a bit concerned about running out of supply when the nuggets roll out July 27, but Popeyes is reportedly already stockpiling ... just in case.

Other Popeyes sources tell us franchise managers have been assured that if things get too crazy like last time ... security will be increased where demand is particularly high to keep everyone safe.

Bill Burr CNN really can't stop talking Trump Nothin' But a Ratings Game

IT'S ALL SHOW BUSINESS
Bill’s Monday Morning Podcast

Bill Burr tore into CNN for what he claims to be a fear-driven agenda that seeks to keep viewers restless and divided ... and one which needs Trump to keep ratings high.

The comedian absolutely obliterated the 24/7 cable news station in his latest installment on his "Monday Morning Podcast," the newest episode of which he just dropped a couple of days ago. He starts out talking about his day-to-day life/observations ... and then dives into the news.

Check it out ... Bill says his mother-in-law will come over to help watch his kids, and flip on CNN habitually -- which he says pisses him off, because he considers them "f****** morons" who do nothing but talk Trump, day in and day out ... even after he's left office.

The reason for that, he muses, is because President Biden is a "bore" -- that ... and he wears a "blue tie."

We'll let Bill do the talking here -- but his rant is worth a listen. In his eyes, he considers CNN just as bad as FOX News and MSNBC ... and any other cable news outlet, as he seems to think they're two sides of the same coin -- pounding one POV into viewers' heads.

He also gets into the dreary approach to news coverage in general -- constantly harping on negative stories like fires, racial tension and the pandemic. Bill says if he ran a news show, he'd go with the 1-step forward, 2-steps back approach ... giving a positive story every now and then instead of making people want to put a "gun in their mouth," as he puts it.

Cynical outlook, no doubt -- but it's also one that isn't lost on anyone who's aware that ... cable news is a business, just like any other business. Always good to remember that. 🤷🏽‍♂️

Reps. Greene & Gaetz OC Venues Boot 'Em After Outcry ... SoCal Rally Now Outside

Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz thought they could come to a "conservative" area of Southern California to hold a rally without a problem ... but boy, were they wrong.

The congressmembers were slated to appear for an "America First" fundraising rally this weekend in Orange County -- just the latest stop in a series of similar events they've been hosting since the spring -- initially booking something at a venue in Laguna Hills.

Once word of their event started to make the rounds online ... tons of people vowed to try and get them canceled by blowing up the venue with calls, and even protesting in person if it came to it. Before that could even occur, though, the place gave Gaetz and MTG the boot ... canceling their rally amid public outcry, both in and around the SoCal beachside city.

After that, they were on to Plan B ... changing venues to the Riverside Convention Center. However, that too became public -- and the exact same thing happened again, including Riverside honchos telling them to scram. Their final attempt would be ... Anaheim.

They secured space at the Anaheim Event Center -- but after city officials publicly disavowed their appearance (plus the fact this venue had decided to host them) the Event Center people finally pulled the plug in the 11th hour. Seems like some power lobbying was at play.

Now, it appears they'll be hosting their rally -- which is being called a protest at this point -- back in Riverside ... but they'll be doing it in the streets outside of City Hall.

If anything, that'll probably end up being even more contentious than whatever they planned to hold indoors ... we're sure counter-protesters will show up (as they always do) and confront the far right-wing politicians and their supporters face-to-face ... which could get ugly. We'll be monitoring the scene as it plays out -- but something tells us cops aren't looking forward to the storm that's coming. Ditto for local residents, who might wanna steer clear.

Like said, this was reportedly supposed to be to raise money at first ... but at the moment, it looks like Gaetz/Greene are just gonna be out there railing against "communism," "cancel culture," "the far left" and "the stolen 2020 election" ... buzzwords they've been using lately.

It's pretty fascinating -- these two are definitely Trump disciples, and parrot what he says too ... but Trump-centered events have been allowed to go down in the OC without issue before.

On its face ... it would appear Orange County considers them even more controversial than perhaps DT is/was. Their own words and (alleged) actions don't do them any favors -- MTG has invoked Holocaust comparisons to COVID regulations, and Gaetz is under investigation for sex trafficking and inappropriate relations with a minor ... allegations he's denied.

6,000-ft russian cliff 2 women survive toss from swing ... Overlooking Sulak Canyon

A video of two women being tossed from a swing along the edge of a 6,000-foot cliff AND SURVIVING might have you saying 2 things -- thank God, but also ... HOW?!?

Check out this gut-wrenching clip from this past June -- just now surfacing -- of what appears to be a group of tourists visiting Russia's Sulak Canyon near Dagestan ... the bottom of which lies a little more than a mile below where these folks were to get a view right before things drop off ... thousands of feet up high.

For some reason, it looks like someone installed a swing set right on the ledge -- where people can get on the bench and be pushed over into the canyon side for a thrill/better view of what's below. Sounds neat in theory ... that is, until you see what happened next.

The two ladies plop down into the seat -- which looks to be connected to the swing set by a couple chains -- and then a man starts to give them a few pushes to catch momentum ... and catapult further and further over the edge. All seems to be going okay, at first, until their last swing forward.

Suddenly, one of the chains snaps, and the two women literally get flung from the seat and fall over ... and down. It's absolutely terrifying -- and you can tell as much by how people reacted around them. The video cuts out shortly after that, but there's a happy ending.

Reports say there was a wooden platform just beneath the ledge here -- good thinking on whoever put it there -- and that these women landed safely on that not too far down below ... suffering minor injuries and being able to be successfully rescued by family members.

It's a miracle they lived to tell the tale ... as things could've easily gone south. A suggestion from us -- throw up a couple NYC-style viewfinders out there, and ditch the damn swing!

Damon Dash Through the Looking Glass Almost Literally!!!

DAMON CRASH
The Cray Podcast

Damon Dash almost followed in Alice's footsteps back to Wonderland -- walking face-first into a see-though wall he apparently didn't see ... perhaps speaking to where his head's at lately.

The rap mogul arrived for a podcast sesh Thursday with TV producer Rob Weiss, Shawn Chase and O'Neal McKnight to be a special guest on their weekly offering of "The Cray" ... where the gang talks all things culture, lifestyle, politics ... and just real-life experiences.

As you can imagine, they were stoked to have Dame come on and share some knowledge -- but the dude had a bit of a whoopsie-daisy moment trying to enter the recording room ... slamming right into a clear, glass wall separating the spaces of their floor.

Don't worry -- he didn't hit it too hard ... but it definitely knocked him back a bit -- and it got a laugh from the rest who were around. Understandable, we suppose ... DD has been in a bit preoccupied lately on more serious fronts, like with Roc-A-Fella and Jay-Z.

Remember ... he's been in a legal war with his old company and biz partner over IP/interest he's trying to unload for some dough -- namely, selling Jay-Z's first album, "Reasonable Doubt" as an NFT, plus ... trying to sell off his 1/3 stake in RAF, which a judge just shot down.

Unclear if he got into any of that with the Cray crew -- but it sounds like we'll find out soon enough ... we're told this episode is set to air soon on PodcastOne.

Stay tuned ...

Billie Eilish I'm So Ashamed of Past Remarks ... But Aren't We All???

Regrets ... Billie Eilish admits to having more than a few, but she says the Internet won't let her, or the world, forget any of them ... and that makes her cringe constantly.

Billie was referring, at least in part, to the recently resurfaced video of her using an epithet and speaking in a stereotypical Asian accent ... when she told Vogue Australia, "I said so many things then that I totally don't agree with now, or think the opposite thing."

She's said that video was from when she was 13 or 14, and the now 19-year-old singer says, "The Internet brings up things from everybody's past and I'm like: Don't you guys understand that everybody is incredibly embarrassed and ashamed about their past?"

Well, not everybody's used racist phrases or epithets ... but you get her point -- and for her, it sounds like social media's making it impossible to let go of past mistakes.

"The weirdest thing is how nothing ever goes away once it's on the Internet. Every interview I did when I was 15 is still out there, and I think about it constantly."

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Billie's already admitted she was "embarrassed and appalled" when the video emerged on TikTok, showing her mouthing the slur, "ch**k," as she sang along to Tyler, the Creator's song, "Fish."

In her statement, she added she didn't know, at that age, the term was derogatory against the Asian community.

While fans can forgive her, forgetting is a whole other challenge ... at least for Billie.

Tokyo Olympics First COVID Case in Olympic Village ... Protesters Rally Against Games

COVID-19 is officially in the house ... or at least the place Olympians will call home when the Olympic Games begin next week.

Organizers say an Olympic Village staffer tested positive Friday for the coronavirus. They added the person is not a resident of Japan, and their job was only described as "games-concerned personnel."

As it is, the International Olympic Committee is under intense pressure. As we reported, Tokyo is under a state of emergency due to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. That news prompted the IOC to make the last minute decision to pull the plug on having spectators at the games.

Still, protesters have been rallying outside the Olympic Village, demanding the games not go on as planned ... and polls show less than half the Japanese population support the games being held at this time.

While the IOC says about 80 percent of Olympic athletes are vaccinated, the concern is less than 30 percent of Japan's population is vaccinated.

The person who tested positive has has been placed on a 14-day quarantine. The games open Friday, July 23 ... and about 11,000 athletes from around the world are expected to live in the Olympic Village during the 2 weeks of competition.

IOC President Thomas Bach oddly insisted earlier this week there was “zero” risk athletes could pass the virus to others in or out of the village. Makes ya wonder if the IOC is oblivious to what the world's been through for the last 18 months.

Remember, the games were already postponed a full year due to the pandemic -- and now, just 6 days out, the fear of it becoming a super-spreader event is getting very real.

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