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December 18, 2018

Laverne & Shirley star Penny Marshall has died at 75, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

The actress played Laverne DeFazio on the Happy Days spinoff before going on to direct A League of Their Own and Big. Her family says she died "peacefully on Monday night in her Hollywood Hills home due to complications from diabetes," per the Times.

Marshall kicked off her career with guest starring roles on The Odd Couple, which her brother Garry Marshall executive produced, and other comedies. After starring on Laverne & Shirley alongside Cindy Williams, she occasionally made cameo spots and took other guest roles on TV. Most of her attention went to directing, becoming the second woman ever to direct an Best Picture nominee with Awakenings. Big was the first film directed by a woman to make more than $100 million in the U.S. box office, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Marshall also loved sports, especially the Los Angeles Lakers, the Times details. A League of Their Own was about a professional women's baseball team, and her most recent project was a still-forthcoming documentary about NBA star Dennis Rodman. Following the news of Marshall's death, friends and admirers tweeted their appreciation and memories. Kathryn Krawczyk

8:53 p.m.

Rafi Eitan, the Israeli spy who captured Nazi fugitive Adolf Eichmann in 1960, died Saturday at his home in Tel Aviv. He was 92.

Rafael Eitan was born on a kibbutz in Mandatory Palestine. After studying at the London School of Economics, he joined Shin Bet, the Israeli equivalent of the FBI, and then made the move to Mossad, becoming the intelligence agency's chief of operations. He led the seven-person operation to capture Eichmann, one of the architects of the Holocaust, near his home in Buenos Aires. Eichmann was tried in Jerusalem, and found guilty of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity; he was executed in 1962.

Mossad Director Yossi Cohen said Eitan's "work and his actions will be etched in gold letters in the annals of the state. The foundations that Rafi laid in the first years of the state are a significant layer in the activities of the Mossad even today." Cohen said much of what Eitan did isn't even known to the public. Later in life, Eitan became head of the Pensioners Party, and in 2006, helped his party capture seven seats in parliament. Catherine Garcia

7:46 p.m.

Six Democratic House committee chairs sent Attorney General William Barr a letter on Monday, asking him to send over Special Counsel Robert Mueller's full report no later than April 2.

The three-page letter was signed by House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.), and House Foreign Affairs Chair Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.).

Barr submitted to Congress his four-page summary of the report on Sunday, but the lawmakers said this is "not sufficient." In addition to the report, they requested "underlying evidence and documents." In his summary, Barr said the Mueller investigation "did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated" with Russia. Regarding obstruction of justice, Barr declared that while the report "does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it does not exonerate him." Catherine Garcia

6:55 p.m.

Television producers received an email on Monday from President Trump's campaign director of communications, questioning the credibility of certain guests — nearly all of them Democratic lawmakers.

Tim Murtaugh's memo came on the heels of Attorney General William Barr releasing his summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians ahead of the 2016 election. Barr wrote that Mueller didn't find evidence that Trump or his associates coordinated with Russians, and Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice; immediately after the summary's release, Trump falsely claimed he had been "completely exonerated."

In his memo, Murtaugh calls out Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), former CIA Director John Brennan, and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, accusing them of "vigorously and repeatedly" making up stories about connections between the Trump campaign and Russians. Murtaugh continued to scold the producers, saying that there "must be introspection from the media who facilitated the reckless statements and a serious evaluation of how such guests are considered and handled in the future."

Swalwell responded on Twitter, declaring that the "only person who has been caught lying about Russia is Donald Trump. If he thinks I've made a false statement, he can sue me. And I'll beat him in court." Catherine Garcia

5:36 p.m.

The alphabet just isn't cutting it anymore.

Sesame Street, known for its puppet-filled preschool lessons, revealed Monday that it's rolling out a new collaboration with Apple TV+. Yet just as Apple's new service cuts cable for streaming, the Sesame-produced Helpsters will swap the ABC's for CSS, TechCrunch explains.

Sesame Workshop was just one of the many big entertainment industry names joining forces with Apple's streaming service in the past year. Apple revealed a lot more about the service and its stars at a Cupertino, California event on Monday, where Big Bird appeared to introduce Sesame's newest Muppet star. Cody, a fuzzy, yellow, and undefinable creature, will lead the Helpsters — a team of puppets determined to help kids code.

Cody, who, as TechCrunch aptly puts it, "has learned to speak in PR soundbites," said that "coding fosters collaboration, critical thinking skills and is an essential language that every child can learn." It's not likely that kids are going to sit down and start writing C++ after an episode, but rather will learn broader concepts that eventually help them follow the patterns all coding languages rely on.

Beyond unveiling Cody and seemingly — and disappointingly — hinting that Big Bird won't be on the show, the Monday Apple event didn't reveal much about Helpsters. Cody did, however, make sure to let us know Helpsters will be chock full of "fun music" and "cool dance moves." Kathryn Krawczyk

5:33 p.m.

When glaciers are in the news, things are usually looking worse for the wear. But a new NASA study published on Monday in the journal Nature Geoscience brought some surprisingly good tidings.

The report shows that the Jakobshvan Isbrae glacier in Greenland, which was previously one of the Earth's fastest-shrinking glaciers, is actually growing thanks to cooling ocean waters off the western coast of Greenland.

Jason Box, a Greenland ice and climate scientists who was not part of the study, told The Associated Press that the discovery "was kind of a surprise" given that most glaciologists had gotten used to a "runaway system."

Box added that Jakobshvan Isbrae is one of the most important glaciers in Greenland because it discharges the most ice in the northern hemisphere.

Unfortunately, there is one caveat — the authors of the study said that the growth is most likely temporary. In fact, per The Hill, the discovery may ultimately be bad news because it means that the ocean temperatures play an even greater role in glacial retreats and advances than scientists previously thought. Read the full study at Nature Geoscience. Tim O'Donnell

4:48 p.m.

The 2019 NFL regular season schedule won't be revealed until April, but the league did announce that longtime rivals the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears will open the season at Solider Field in Chicago.

The news is noteworthy on two fronts: Green Bay and Chicago are two of the NFL's oldest franchises. The Bears, then the Decatur Staleys, were one of the league's charter members in 1920, while the Packers joined a year later. The 2019-2020 season will mark the league's 100th year of existence, so the NFL selecting such storied franchises makes quite a bit of sense.

It also means the league is shirking tradition. The defending Super Bowl champion has opened the season since 2013, but this year the New England Patriots will have to wait until the season's first Sunday night game to take the field. Admittedly, the franchise has had quite a few opportunities to open the season — much to the chagrin of non-Patriots fans everywhere — thanks to their nearly two decade run of unparalleled success.

But New England has also been embroiled in a bit of off-the-field controversy this offseason following owner Robert Kraft's charge for soliciting a prostitute. The NFL will instead be able to delay discussing the incident on opening night with a likely celebratory emphasis on the game's history. Tim O'Donnell

4:36 p.m.

When prosecutors thought they had enough evidence to arrest Michael Avenatti for allegedly extorting Nike, well, they just did it.

On Monday, the Southern District of New York unveiled extortion charges against the former lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels, saying Avenatti claimed he'd release damaging information about Nike unless the company paid him $20 million. As this handy presentation prosecutors cooked up shows, Avenatti allegedly committed one of those offenses as recently as last Thursday.

Take a look at Avenatti's current Twitter feed, and the drama escalates. Avenatti tweeted Monday morning that he would soon hold a press conference about "a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by Nike" — something he allegedly told Nike he would do if he didn't get paid. In fact, court documents reveal Avenatti was told he would have a meeting with Nike lawyers on Monday morning. FBI and SDNY officers were actually there waiting to arrest him.

Avenatti's alleged co-conspirator in the case is fellow celebrity lawyer Michael Geragos, who is representing Jussie Smollett. Avenatti alone was also charged in a separate case in Los Angeles on Monday. Those prosecutors say Avenatti committed wire and bank fraud, embezzling clients' money to pay off his business debts and falsifying tax documents to get loans, per CNN. Kathryn Krawczyk

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