Sewage overflow, rapper’s apology, Gal Gadot’s thanks

Heavy Rains Cause Sewer Overflows

Officials say heavy rains sent about 9.6 million gallons of a mix of stormwater and sewer water into Baltimore streams last week, according to the Associated Press. The Department of Public Works said in a statement Dec. 26 that 7.5 million gallons flowed into the Jones Falls from locations on Preston Street and on Falls Road on Dec. 21. Another 2.1 million gallons flowed into Herring Run from a stream bank manhole near Belair Road. Officials say it was the second time in a week that discharges occurred in this pattern due to rainfall.

Rapper apologizes for lyrics deemed anti-Semitic

A rapper whose song lyrics deemed anti-Semitic got NBA superstar LeBron James into hot water when he posted them on Instagram has apologized to the Jewish community. The rapper who goes by the name 21 Savage in a tweet on Dec. 24 said he never thought that anyone would be offended by the lyrics in his new song “asmr.” In it, the rapper sings “We been gettin’ that Jewish money, everything is Kosher (On God)” and then boasts about buying Lamborghini and Tesla cars. 21 Savage said in his tweet: “The Jewish people I know are very wise with there money so that’s why I said we been gettin Jewish money I never thought anyone would take offense I’m sorry if I offended everybody never my intention I love all people.” His tweet follows an apology by James, who removed the post on Dec. 24. The NBA has accepted James’ apology and will not take further action, ESPN reported. Responses to the tweet ranged from people identifying themselves as Jews who thought the lyrics were funny or a compliment to those that called critics too sensitive.—JTA

Women's March On Washington

Protesters walk during the Women’s March on Washington, Jan. 21, 2017. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Organizers cancel Chicago Women’s March

Local organizers canceled the 2019 Chicago Women’s March, citing the high cost and overextended volunteers. The announcement was made at the end of November, but local media reported it this week. The Chicago groups said in the announcement that it would hold a Women’s March “anniversary action” on Jan. 19, the day the third annual Women’s March is scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C., and cities across the country.  In October, the Chicago group held a March to the Polls to empower women prior to last month’s midterm elections. The event drew some 100,000 people. The cancellation announcement came two weeks after the Women’s March Chicago said in a Facebook post — in response to questions about whether the Women’s March organization is “anti-Semitic” — that “we have ZERO affiliation with Women’s March Inc. We are an independent organization that decries hate in any form.” Top leaders of the main organization have been accused of engaging in or condoning anti-Semitism, of not cutting ties with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and of failing to heed the concerns of its thousands of Jewish backers.–JTA

Gal Gadot posts thank yous as ‘Wonder Woman 1984′ wraps

Israeli actress Gal Gadot thanked the crew and cast of her latest film as shooting on “Wonder Woman 1984” wrapped up. “We did it. Again!! And as much as the first time shooting Wonder Woman was amazing, this time was even more unique and special.. We shot in 4 very different locations in 3 countries, and I’m so soooo proud of the almost 1000 crew members who came to set every day, giving everything they have into our movie,” she wrote in a post on Instagram. She also praised director Patty Jenkins and the “amazingly talented cast who made every day enjoyable and fun.” She also wrote: “This journey was so demanding and challenging but we all came and did our very best every take, every day, putting our all out there and I’m so proud… Thank you universe for this opportunity. I love this character. And thank you to all of you for being the best fans in the world. It was you that made me push myself every day.” The first “Wonder Woman” film was the highest-grossing movie of summer 2017 with $412.5 million in the U.S., and $821.8 million worldwide. “Wonder Woman 1984″ is set to be released on June 5, 2020.—JTA

Trending in 2018

Trending in 2018 (Screenshot from Google Trends)

2018 in Search

Google Trends compiled its list of top searches for 2018. The top five overall searches were: 1. World Cup, 2. Hurricane Florence 3. Mac Miller 4. Kate Spade 5. Anthony Bourdain. Other lists included News, People, Food, Movies and Politicians. See everything that was trending in the U.S. in 2018 here.