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HBO Max Crashes as ‘Mare of Easttown’ Season Finale Starts

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HBO Max appears to have been maxed out.

On Sunday night at 10 pm ET, when HBO’s highly anticipated Mare of Easttown season finale was to have started, social media erupted with reports that the cabler’s streaming service — which only days ago celebrated its first birthday — was down for many subscribers. Some users speculated that HBO Max could not handle the Kate Winslet-led murder mystery’s finale-night traffic.

After about a half-hour of mid-level Twitter panic, kvetching, some quality ha-has and the launch of some memes, the problem appeared to resolve itself for at least some, if not all, of those who ran into it.

Viewers who access HBO Max through a Hulu add-on reportedly did not experience playback issues. HBO viewers were entirely unaffected.

Aakwd for comment, an HBO Max spokesperson told TVLine at 11:15 pm, “Some HBO Max users experienced Intermittent service disruptions this evening, but the issue was quickly resolved and service has been restored.”

Mare of Easttown has been an increasingly impressive performer through its freshman run. Its penultimate episode delivered two million viewers last Sunday night across all platforms, more than doubling its total premiere night performance in April and nearly tripling its digital viewership since debut.

The May 23 episode also marked Mare of Easttown‘s third week as the No. 1 series on HBO Max and its fifth consecutive week of growth. (The only other HBO series to grow every week throughout its first season was The Undoing, which went on to average more than 13 million viewers per episode across all of HBO’s platforms.)

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One year on from Biden’s election

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Ex-defense secretary sues over withheld material from Trump era memoir | Trump administration

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The former US defense secretary Mark Esper claims in a lawsuit against the defense department that material is being improperly withheld from him as he seeks to publish an “unvarnished and candid memoir” of his time in Donald Trump’s cabinet.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Sunday in the US district court in Washington, describes the memoir, A Sacred Oath, as an account of Esper’s tenure as army secretary from 2017 to 2019 and his 18 months as defense secretary, which ended when Trump fired him in a tweet just days after the president lost his reelection bid.

The period in which Esper was Pentagon chief was “an unprecedented time of civil unrest, public health crises, growing threats abroad, Pentagon transformation, and a White House seemingly bent on circumventing the Constitution”, the lawsuit says.

Esper and Trump were sharply divided over the use of the military during civil unrest in June 2020 following the killing of George Floyd. Other issues led the president to believe Esper was not sufficiently loyal while Esper believed he was trying to keep the department apolitical. Firing a defense secretary after an election loss was unprecedented, but the opening allowed Trump to install loyalists in top Pentagon positions as he continued to dispute his election loss.

The lawsuit contends that “significant text” in the memoir, scheduled for publication by William Morrow in May, is being improperly held under the guise of classification and that Esper maintains it contains no classified information. The suit notes that Esper is restricted by his secrecy agreements from authorising publication without Pentagon approval, or face possible civil and criminal liability.

The lawsuit quotes from a letter Esper sent to the defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, criticising the review process. He wrote that he had been asked not to quote Trump and others in meetings, not to describe conversations he had with Trump, and not to use certain verbs or nouns when describing historical events.

The letter describes other problematic subjects and says about 60 pages of the manuscript contained redactions at one point. Agreeing to all of those redactions would result in “a serious injustice to important moments in history that the American people need to know and understand”, Esper wrote.

The suit itself says some accounts Esper relates in the manuscript under consideration appeared to have been leaked to some mainstream media “possibly to undermine the impact” it would have had in his book.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said the department was aware of Esper’s concerns. “As with all such reviews, the department takes seriously its obligation to balance national security with an author’s narrative desire. Given that this matter is now under litigation, we will refrain from commenting further,” he said in a statement.

Esper, 57, a West Point graduate and Gulf war veteran, said in a statement that he had waited for six months for the review process to play out but found “my unclassified manuscript arbitrarily redacted without clearly being told why”.

“I am more than disappointed the current administration is infringing on my first amendment constitutional rights. And it is with regret that legal recourse is the only path now available for me to tell my full story to the American people,” he said.

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Covid: 12 more test positive at Thane old age home in Thane, tally touches 67 | Mumbai news

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Twelve more people tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) at an old age home in Maharashtra’s Thane district.

With this, the total figure of infected patients in Matoshree old age home in the district’s Bhiwandi taluka climbed to 67, a report by news agency ANI said.

“Around 67 people, including five staff members, were found Covid-19 positive at an old age home in the Bhiwandi area of Thane district,” said Dr Kailash Pawar, civil surgeon of Thane Civil Hospital, adding that of them 59 had been fully vaccinated against virus.

On Sunday, officials said that 55 people were found to be infected at the old age home. The district administration has already declared Sorgaon village in Bhiwandi Taluka, where the facility is located, as a containment zone.

Among the patients, 41 were found to be suffering from co-morbidities, the district administration said in a statement on Sunday.

Thane has so far recorded nearly 5,70,000 cases and 11,581 deaths due to the coronavirus disease. On Sunday, 108 cases were reported while there was no report of fatality.

Besides the Covid-19 cluster in the old age home in the Bhiwandi area, Thane is also staring at a possible outbreak of the omicron variant.

A resident of the Dombivali area in the district, who came back from South Africa on November 24, has tested positive for Covid-19. An official said it is not yet confirmed whether the man was carrying the variant.

The man didn’t come in contact with anyone after returning from South Africa, Dr Pratiba Panpatil, medical officer of the Kalyan-Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC), told reporters on Sunday.

Dr Panpatil said the patient has been admitted to the Art Gallery isolation centre of the KDMC.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra government is likely to impose a seven-day institutional quarantine for passengers arriving directly from South Africa or transiting through the country.

(With agency inputs)

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