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‘Breaking Bad’ Universe Collides at ‘El Camino’ Premiere



El Camino

Bryan Cranston and other members of the ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Better Call Saul’ family supported Vince Gilligan and Aaron Paul’s sequel film during an event that began with a low-speed police chase.

In July 2013, Breaking Bad held its final season premiere on the Sony lot. Though champagne flowed in the RV for stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, the relatively understated event felt like a party for a TV show: It was rather contained, considering that the series had become a national obsession ahead of its final batch of episodes.

Six years later was a different story.

Monday’s premiere for El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, the upcoming Netflix film from writer-director Vince Gilligan, was big enough to rival nearly any other movie premiere in town this year. It felt like this world’s equivalent of an Avengers event — with dozens of stars attending from across the Breaking Bad universe, which also includes the prequel spinoff Better Call Saul on AMC.

Bleachers were set up outside the Regency Theatre in Westwood to allow hundreds of fans to scream for their favorite actors. Men dressed as DEA agents canvassed the crowd, offering a $5 million reward for the capture of Jesse Pinkman, the character last seen in the Breaking Bad finale, having escaped from an Aryan Brotherhood compound in old El Camino after being held there for months. (The number they ask people to call is a Netflix promotion: 505-336-9828.)

Paul, who reprises his role as Pinkman in El Camino, showed up after a low-speed police chase through the streets of Westwood (televised on a big screen for fans), and spent the next 30 minutes signing autographs. The actor noted that he had spent time thinking about what happened to his character following the events of Breaking Bad.

“I thought it was such a perfect ending, to leave it sort of ambiguous,” Paul told The Hollywood Reporter of the series finale. “I think what [Gilligan] did with this next chapter was so beautiful. It might have lined up with what I was thinking. I kind of want [Jesse] to be OK. And maybe that is the case.”

Gilligan first conceived of the notion of a Pinkman-focused spinoff shortly before Breaking Bad wrapped in 2013, but kept the idea to himself until approaching members of his inner circle, and eventually Paul, last year.

Gilligan famously took a risk when co-creating Better Call Saul, the prequel series starring Bob Odenkirk as the lawyer known to Breaking Bad fans as Saul Goodman. The show has since been a success with critics and audiences.

“If Better Call Saul had tanked, and everyone said, ‘That sucked,’ then no, I probably would not be doing this,” Gilligan told THR of El Camino, though he noted that if Better Call Saul had never existed in the first place, he likely would have still wanted to do the sequel film.

El Camino is set to debut Friday on Netflix, and will also be in theaters in 68 cities before airing on AMC early next year. Gilligan has purposefully kept the film shrouded in secrecy, with an August teaser trailer announcing a title and release date only after the creator had wrapped postproduction. A full trailer in September showed little in terms of plot. This much is known: El Camino takes place shortly after the events of the Breaking Bad finale, which left Walter White (Cranston) dead and Jesse on the run.

Though THR reported in its Sept. 18 cover story that more than 10 familiar characters will appear in El Camino, only Jesse, Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) and Badger (Matt L. Jones) are confirmed. Secrecy is so high that members of the Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul family declined to even acknowledge whether they had visited the film’s set, much less if they had cameos. Rhea Seehorn, who plays Kim Wexler on Better Call Saul, noted of the upcoming season five of her show: “It was a very challenging season, but in the best way. It was difficult mental and physical gymnastics for everyone.”

“It was fun investigating even more this person who tries so hard to keep this poker face facade and what’s happening underneath,” the actress added.

Perhaps the biggest cheer of the night came when Cranston showed up and Paul ran over to embrace him with a long hug.

El Camino comes six years after Breaking Bad’s final batch of episodes debuted to critical claim, record ratings and six Emmy wins, including for outstanding drama series. In all, Breaking Bad earned 16 Emmys and received 58 nominations during its run.

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Toxic Metals Found in 95% of Baby Foods




Baby Foods

Rice-based products were found to have the highest levels of arsenic, the study commissioned by Healthy Babies Bright Futures found

A disturbing new study might have parents triple-checking the labels of their baby food.

Commissioned by Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF) and conducted by Abt Associates, the study found that of the baby foods it tested, 95 percent were found to contain toxic chemicals, including arsenic and lead.

Of the popular store brands tested, one in four contained toxic chemicals, the study found. In addition to arsenic and lead, cadmium and mercury were also found.

Of the 168 baby foods tested for the study, rice-based products posed one of the biggest threats.

“Puffs and other snacks made with rice flour contain arsenic, lead and cadmium at relatively high levels compared to other baby foods,” the study said, while “teething biscuits and rice rusks often contain arsenic, lead, and cadmium.”

But the number one culprit for arsenic in infants’ diets? Infant rice cereal, the study found.

“Rice is a leading source of arsenic exposure for young children,” the report stated, suggesting parents instead serve their children “other grains like oats, wheat and barley instead of rice to help cut their family’s exposures.”

But if parents are using rice-based foods, it is suggested that the rice be cooked in extra water “that is poured off before serving,” which can “cut the arsenic levels by up to 60 percent, according to FDA studies (FDA 2016).”

Basmati rice grown in California, India, and Pakistan has the lowest arsenic levels, while rice from Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, “or simply ‘U.S.’” has the highest levels, the study said. That data was based on testing by Consumer Reports, the study said.

In addition to rice-based products, other problematic foods included apple, pear, grape and other fruit juices as well as carrots and sweet potatoes, which “contain higher levels of lead and cadmium than other fruits and vegetables, on average.”

HBBF encouraged parents to provide their children with tap water and a variety of fruits and vegetables to avoid risk of exposure to the harmful toxins.

The organization warned that the chemicals in question “can permanently alter the developing brain, erode IQ, and affect behavior.”



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3 killed in multi-vehicle crash on I-80 in NJ: authorities




Accident • Christopher Columbus Highway

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Three people are dead after a major multi-vehicle crash on the Interstate 80 highway in New Jersey early Friday, authorities confirmed.

State troopers responded around 1:45 a.m. for a crash involving at least two vehicles in the eastbound express lanes of I-80 in Parsippany-Troy Hills in Morris County, according to the New Jersey State Police.

Authorities confirmed there were at least three fatalities in the crash but had no further information about the deadly incident or the victims’ identities.

The eastbound express lanes remain closed while authorities investigate the accident.

PIX11 News was on the scene early Friday and witnessed two cars that were involved, including one turned on its side with extensive damage.

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Potential Tropical Cyclone 16 likely to become tropical storm today; warnings issued for parts of Florida




Potential Tropical Cyclone

A disturbance in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, Potential Tropical Storm 16, strengthened overnight and is expected to become a tropical or subtropical storm today, the National Hurricane Center said Friday.

At 5 a.m. (EDT) Friday, the disturbance was located about 390 miles southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. The system was moving toward the northeast at 14 mph.

“The disturbance is expected to develop into a tropical or subtropical storm later today, and a slow strengthening is then anticipated. An Air Force plane will investigate the disturbance again in a few hours,” Senior Hurricane Specialist Lixion Avila wrote in Friday morning’s advisory.

Typically, a maximum sustained wind speed of 39 mph is when a tropical storm is designated, but so far “there is no evidence that a well-defined center has formed yet,” the hurricane center said.

If and when it becomes a tropical storm, and if no other storms form elsewhere in the Atlantic sooner, it would be named Nestor.

“On the forecast track, the system will approach the northern Gulf Coast later today and tonight, and then move over portions of the southeastern United States on Saturday,” Avila wrote. By early Saturday, the system is expected to be approaching the western Part of Florida’s Panhandle.

That part of Florida is still recovering from the devastation wrought by the Category 5 Hurricane Michael, which obliterated Mexico Beach a year ago, in October 2018.

As of Friday morning, a tropical storm warning was in effect from the Mississippi-Alabama border to the Ochlockonee River in Florida. The mouth of the Ochlockonee River is about 30 miles south of Tallahassee.

A tropical storm warning was also in effect from Grand Isle, Louisiana, about 50 miles south of New Orleans, to the mouth of the Pearl River at the Mississippi-Louisiana border.

A tropical storm watch was in effect from the area east of the Ochlockonee River to Yankeetown, Florida.

Tropical storm warnings mean that tropical storm conditions are expected. Watches mean that tropical storm conditions are possible.



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