June 17, 2021

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US flights to Israel, early hurricane season, NBA playoffs: 5 things to know this weekend – USA TODAY

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2 of the biggest US airlines resuming flights to Israel after cease-fire

Two of the three biggest U.S. airlines, United and Delta, said Friday they are resuming flights to Tel Aviv after Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas Hamas agreed to a cease-fire in violence. Delta Air Lines planned to operate its first flight from New York to Tel Aviv since early last week Friday night, with the first return trip on Sunday. United Airlines also planned to resume service Friday night, with a flight from Newark, New Jersey, to Tel Aviv. A spokeswoman said the airline plans to also resume flights from Chicago and San Francisco over the weekend. United, Delta and American all suspended flights last week amid the violence in the conflict. After an 11-day war that left more than 250 people dead, most of them Palestinians, the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas appeared to pass at least one early test Friday and is holding going into weekend.

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2021 hurricane season could start this weekend

The 2021 tropical storm and hurricane season – which doesn’t officially begin until June 1 – appears to be jumping the gun yet again. The National Hurricane Center is monitoring two separate areas for possible tropical development, one in the Gulf of Mexico and the other in the Atlantic Ocean. In the Gulf Coast region, forecasters said there was a possibility that a short-lived tropical depression or storm may form before the system moved inland. Early Saturday, the NHC reported “the chances of the system becoming a tropical depression or storm are decreasing.” Despite that, downpours could persist into Saturday and are likely to focus on Gulf areas that have already been doused this week, AccuWeather said. Meanwhile, a separate system located about 200 miles northeast of Bermuda has close to a 100% chance of development over the next two days, the NHC reported early Saturday. Whichever storm strengthens enough to become a named system first will be given the name Ana.

Stars will be at the Billboard Music Awards

Awards show season isn’t quite over yet, not until the Billboard Music Awards take place this Sunday. This year’s show, hosted by Nick Jonas, might as well be renamed “The Drake Show,” since he’s the most decorated winner of all-time and will accept the artist of the decade award. Pink will also be honored with the Icon award and is just the 10th person to receive the award. Also, rapper Trae Tha Truth will be receiving the Change Maker award for his social justice work. The Weeknd, who has a whopping 16 nominations, and Drake with seven nods, are competing for top artist. Other finalists include Taylor Swift and deceased rappers Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke. Among the performers are BTS, The Weeknd, Doja Cat, Sza, Duran Duran and DJ Khaled with H.E.R.  

2021 NBA playoffs begin this weekend

The NBA playoffs are upon us, and the quest for the Larry O’Brien Trophy is on. In the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers are the top seed for the first time in 20 years with MVP finalist Joel Embiid leading the way. The second-seeded Brooklyn Nets and their star trio of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving are strong contenders, as are the third-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, who still have two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. In the Western Conference, the Utah Jazz secured the No. 1 seed. The Phoenix Suns, led by veteran Chris Paul, are the second seed and the Denver Nuggets, with MVP finalist Nikola Jokic leading the charge, are in the third spot. All eight first-round series will tip off this weekend with the Bucks and the East’s No. 6 seed Miami Heat kicking things off Saturday afternoon (2 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Viral ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ video to be deleted, auctioned as an NFT

In honor of its 14th anniversary, the iconic Youtube video of a toddler saying, “Charlie bit my finger” is being taken off the site on Sunday and the Davies-Carr Family will auction the rights in its new NFT form. NFT is short for short non-fungible token in that each one is unique and cannot be directly exchanged for another. The video has been viewed more than 882 million times, the most-viewed viral video ever. It went viral after Harry, aged 3 at the time, put his finger in the mouth of Charlie, aged 1 at the time. The boys are 17 and 15 now.

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