Wisconsin basketball player says she's unfazed by backlash from her anthem protest

Marsha Howard, a basketball player at the University of Wisconsin, has been sitting during the national anthem. (Wisconsin Badgers website)

A senior forward who plays women's basketball for the University of Wisconsin is choosing to take a seat on the bench when the national anthem is played before games, according to reports.

When "The Star-Spangled Banner" is played, Marsha Howard, a native of Chicago, sits alone on the bench, closes her eyes and bows her head, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“If this can make a change, I’ll be part of it. I never really thought about the negative backlash. I’m going to live in my truth. I’m going to speak up about things that are harming my culture and my people. I was OK with living in that light," she told the paper.

"I never really thought about the negative backlash. I’m going to live in my truth. I’m going to speak up about things that are harming my culture and my people."


Howard sat in protest during a game at Iowa during the 2017-18 season that sparked U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, to tweet a reaction last year, Milwaukee radio station WTMJ reported.

"Iowa constituents asked me why a starter for Wisconsin women Bb wld not be patriotic enuf to stand for natl anthem song today," Grassley tweeted. "ASK THE WISCONSIN COACH /  Exprress outrage to university."

But Howard told the Tribune that she didn't fear backlash and concentrated on the "overwhelmingly positive responses" that supported her right to free speech.


“I just said, ‘What is he trying to say right now?’ ” Howard said. “Right after he made that tweet, I got 10 other good (tweets). I’m still getting more and more love and support from other outsiders. The positive far outweighs the negative.”

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Kristoff St. John Was 'Sad,' Lonely Hours Before Tragic Death, Fiancée Claims

The Young and The Restless actor Kristoff St. John was sad and lonely hours before he was shockingly found dead in his home, his fiancée exclusively told RadarOnline.com.

Russian-born model Kseniya Mikhaleva, who became engaged to the actor in August 2018, told Radar she last spoke to St. John on Saturday, Feb. 2, one day prior to his death.

“He was [a] little bit sad because I’m in Russia,” the brunette beauty said, adding he wanted “to be with me always.”

Mikhaleva said she believed the couple’s long-distance relationship contributed to his sadness. She is currently working toward receiving a business degree in Moscow, Russia.

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“He missed me,” she told Radar. “We were at a distance.”

As Radar reported, St. John, 52, was found dead in his Los Angeles home on Sunday, Feb. 3 at 2:05 p.m. Cops confirmed to Radar that he possibly died of an alcohol overdose.

Mikhaleva confirmed that she was in Russia at the time of the incident. She said she will be traveling back to Los Angeles soon.

The couple last saw each other in December 2018 to celebrate the New Year. St. John traveled to Moscow to be with Mikhaleva, where the two posted loving photos together.

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Happy New Year everyone🎄🎊🎁🎅🏻.My love @ksumik ❤️

A post shared by Kristoff St. John (@kristoffstjohn) on

“Happy New Year everyone. My love @ksumik,” the soap star wrote on Jan. 2.

Mikhaleva said the couple was in the process of waiting for documents that would allow them to get married soon.

“There was a little bit [of time] left and we could be together,” she said.

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The heartbroken fiancée added that she is “so sad.”

LAPD confirmed to Radar that St. John’s death is currently being reviewed by the Los Angeles Coroner’s office.

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Santa Barbara Fest Pumps Up Local Fare After Disasters

It’s been one year since deadly fires and mudslides came close to shutting down the 33rd edition of the Santa Barbara Intl. Film Festival. The Thomas Fire and subsequent flooding devastated the city and left 23 dead in the Montecito area. After some soul searching, organizers decided to carry on as scheduled.

“Last year there was a lot of questioning about whether we were going to move forward with the festival,” admits executive director Roger Durling, at SBIFF since 2004. Ultimately, the disasters gave organizers a renewed sense of purpose.

One year later, they are preparing to open the 34th edition of the festival with a greater appreciation of the event’s role in the community. SBIFF gets under way Jan. 30 with a lineup that includes 63 world premieres and 59 U.S. premieres from 48 countries.

The lineup is bookended with films deeply rooted in Santa Barbara: Mimi deGruy’s “Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike deGruy” will kick off the fest while Wyatt Daily’s “Spoons: A Santa Barbara Story” will serve as the closing-night film.

“This will be the first time in our history that both the opening and closing-night films are exclusively about the Santa Barbara area, which we thought was essential,” Durling says. “Both films stand on their own merit as terrific, but to us they are also both very symbolic of our community’s strength.”

“Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike deGruy” is a feature documentary about the biologist-turned-filmmaker who recorded rare sea creatures in oceans around the world. In 2012, deGruy, a Santa Barbara resident, died in a helicopter crash in Australia while filming for director James Cameron. The doc is told through the eyes of deGruy’s wife and filmmaking partner, Mimi.

“Mike was one of my best friends and instrumental to the festival,” says Durling. “He created Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies, which went on to become a signature festival program.”

For the past 16 years Mike’s Field Trip to the Movies has brought film education to thousands of fourth, fifth and sixth graders — many from underprivileged communities — in Santa Barbara County. Beginning with in-school demonstrations and ending with screenings and filmmaker Q&As, the program has hosted viewings of movies including “Frozen,” “Inside Out” and “The Lego Movie.”

Fest closer “Spoons: A Santa Barbara Story,” which will make its world premiere at the fest, is about the history of surfing and Rincon, a popular wave riding spot located at the Ventura and Santa Barbara County line.

The festival, which typically draws 100,000 attendees, has become an important part of the Hollywood awards season calendar. This year SBIFF will pay tribute to actors including Glenn Close, Melissa McCarthy, Viggo Mortensen, Michael B. Jordan, Claire Foy and Sam Elliott. And Variety will present the fifth annual Artisans Awards on Feb. 4, with a panel moderated by Tim Gray, Variety senior VP.

As with last year, the fest’s program will feature films about globalization and the immigration crisis, as well as movies including “Diving Deep” that take on the environment and sustainability.

“It’s essential for us to keep these issues at the forefront,” Durling says. “Especially in this day and age with what is happening with our leadership at the White House and all the issues that are under attack.”

Mexico City’s Salomon Askenazi and Santa Barbara’s Jason Baffa are returning to the fest as filmmakers this year.

Askenazi, who attended SBIFF in 2015 with “The Incident” — a documentary he produced — this year is bringing his narrative “Two Times You,” about a fatal car crash and its aftermath, to the festival. The film will make its U.S. premiere in Santa Barbara, where Askenazi hopes to find an American distributer.

“Santa Barbara Film Festival is very well regarded and close to Hollywood,” Askenazi says. “So it made perfect sense to bring my film there.”
Baffa’s doc “Loopers: The Caddie’s Long Walk,” making its world premiere at SBIFF, explores the personal bond that develops between golfers and their caddies. It is narrated by Bill Murray.

“This festival has been supporting me since 2005 when I had ‘Singlefin: Yellow’ [a documentary], and Roger said, ‘You have to bring it to our festival,’” Baffa says. “I’ll always appreciate that and I mean, this is a beautiful place and the festival is a great experience. Why wouldn’t I want to debut my latest film in Santa Barbara?”

What: Santa Barbara Intl. Film Festival
When: Jan. 30-Feb. 9
Where: Santa Barbara
Web: sbiff.org

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Vale stock plunges after Brazil disaster; $19 billion in market value lost

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian miner Vale SA’s shares plunged on Monday, wiping out 71.34 billion reais ($18.96 billion) in market value, after a tailing dam collapse on Friday killed scores of people at one of its mines, less than four years after a similar disaster.

Vale shares fell 24 percent to close at 42.65 reais, their steepest daily drop ever in percentage terms. Brazil’s stock market was closed on Friday when the disaster occurred. Vale’s ADR fell 8.1 percent on Friday and 18 percent on Monday, to close at $11.20, the lowest close since December 2017.

Prosecutors, politicians and victims’ families called for punishment, as fears grew that the death toll from the disaster, already 65, could soar into the hundreds. Fines, lawsuits and a regulatory crackdown were expected. The company suspended dividend payments late on Sunday.

“The fact is that Vale’s share drop was even steeper than some market participants expected,” said Igor Lima, a fund manager and partner at Galt Capital in Rio de Janeiro.

“At the same time, the reaction of the government and other public agencies has been quite a bit stronger than in the Samarco accident,” he said, referring to a 2015 mining dam burst involving a Vale joint venture. “This reaction has brought quite a lot of uncertainty about the size of the financial punishment Vale will have to handle.”

Brazil’s top prosecutor, Raquel Dodge, said the company should be criminally prosecuted. Executives could also be personally held responsible, she said.

HSBC and Jefferies have already cut their recommendations for the shares to hold from buy. Other analysts have held back, saying they are trying to figure out potential damages. A law firm filed a class-action lawsuit against Vale and its top executives in a New York court.


Previ, Brazil’s largest pension fund and a major shareholder at the mining company, said in a statement that it could absorb the impact from the steep share price drop without the need to eventually sell any of its holdings.

“Billions of dollars in Vale’s assets have already been frozen as we discussed this weekend,” said Michael Underhill, chief investment officer at Capital Innovations LLC in Milwaukee, adding that the lost production from the affected mine could be made up elsewhere in Vale’s system.

“There remains a fair chance that all of Vale’s dams (which exceed 100 in count) will also be coming under great scrutiny going forward,” said Underhill.

Vale bond prices also fell, with the yield on its August 2026 bonds jumping to 5.7 percent from 4.6 percent early on Friday before the dam bust, according to Market Axess Bondticker.

Fitch downgraded the company’s debt on Monday to BBB- and placed it on ratings watch negative. Late on Friday, Standard & Poor’s put Vale’s debt under review for possible downgrade.

So far, Brazilian courts have issued orders to freeze 11.8 billion reais ($3.1 billion) in Vale’s accounts to cover rescue efforts and damages. The company had around 24 billion reais in cash and equivalents at the end of the third quarter.

Analysts at Credit Suisse said in a note to clients they anticipated regulatory changes for tailings dams because it was the second disaster in less than four years, after the fatal 2015 dam burst at Samarco Mineracao, a joint venture by Vale and BHP Group.

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Newcastle United starlet Mo Sangare has drawn comparisons with Mo Diame and could be the next jewel in the Geordies' academy

Now he is hoping to become the next Newcastle academy kid to break into the Toon’s first team.

Sangare, 20, was born and raised in Liberia and moved to England when he was 14.

His first club in this country was Reddish North End in Stockport, near Manchester, where he was spotted by Newcastle chief scout Steve Nickson.

Sangare represented Lancashire and made Accrington Stanley’s development squad before being part of Burnley’s shadow youth team.

But he was offered a trial for the Toon’s Under-18s in 2016, where he impressed enough to be offered a deal.

Sangare has since stood out in Ben Dawson’s Under-23s side, shining in the recent Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Sunderland’s seniors at the Stadium of Light.

The 6ft 3in starlet has drawn comparisons with Newcastle ace Mo Diame and is seen as a box-to-box player, whose strengths are his power and passing.

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Sangare could now follow in the footsteps of fellow midfield youngster Sean Longstaff, who has started the Magpies’ last three first-team games, scoring his first goal in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay win at Blackburn.

And U23s boss Dawson admitted: “Mo Sangare has started to step up to another level.

“We picked him up from the Manchester area through Steve Nickson and the recruitment department.

“He's come from seven-a-side football, it wasn’t long ago.

“And he still has a lot of work to do in terms of game understanding but we think he's got some good attributes.

“We’re still not sure exactly which position he will play.

“He has played as a No8 and a little bit as a No4.

“We’ve asked him to take a bit of responsibility in terms of doing an extra five minutes before training each day on the bounce boards to work on his touch.

“He is so powerful that he often isn’t set.

"It looks at times like he’s sloppy but he’s got that much power.

“If we can get a little bit more quality out of him and a little bit more game understanding, we will see where that takes him.

“The staff are working hard and so is he. If he continues to put that effort and work-rate in then he's giving himself a good chance."

Sangare was called up by Liberia last August for their African Nations Cup qualifier with DR Congo.

But he was forced to withdraw from the squad because he had lost a copy of his UK residence permit, which would have made it problematic to return to Tyneside.

Sangare, though, will hope his route into Rafa Benitez’s Toon team is smoother, having already trained with the first team in the past year.

He is yet to make a matchday squad but with Newcastle’s midfield options limited, it might not be long before we see him in senior action at St James’ Park.

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Brazilian star Felipe Massa says Formula E race in Chile feels like a home Grand Prix after immense support

The Brazilian feels like he’s at home Grand Prix as Formula E next race in Chile’s capital Santiago on Saturday.

Massa has received strong support from Brazilians ahead of the Santiago E-Prix as local Chileans are also giving the ex-F1 star huge support.

Massa retired from F1 in 2017 and last raced in South America while competing in Stock Car racing in Brazil last year.

He said: “It feels like a home Grand Prix.

“The amount of Brazilian people around, even the Chilean people, the Latin Americans supporting me a lot.

“It’s nice to be in South America, I hope we have a race in Brazil soon, that would be fantastic.”

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Massa said he is desperate to deliver for his adoring fans in the streets of Santiago.

He added: “I will try everything I can!

“I will try like I really tried in races in Brazil.

“I had many good results at Inter Lagos in my career, many podiums, many victories, so it would be fantastic to have a great weekend here too.”

Massa has had tough start to life in Formula E but is hoping South America is the perfect surroundings for his fortunes to change.

Last time out in Marrakesh Massa finished 18th after a disappointing debut in Saudi Arabia saw him finish 14th as he adapts to the all-electric series.

He added: “I am enjoying it, I still need to learn the track here, another track I have not driven, it’s a track no one else has drove as well.

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“But I am really hoping we can solve some issues we had in the first two races, to be more competitive and enjoy it here even more.

“The positive momentum will not solve technical issues, but we need to solve them anyway.

“But I hope we can have a normal race weekend with none of the technical issues we have had.”

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Fitness blogger hits back at trolls who say she’s got rid of her skin

Fit mum Emily Skye, 34, hit back at cruel trolls who accused her of editing out her ‘saggy, wrinkly belly skin’ in photos

  • Emily Skye is a fitness star who gave birth to her daughter just over a year ago  
  • Since her baby’s arrival, she’s faced backlash from followers over her body 
  • Most recently, she was accused of editing photos to remove lines from her belly
  • She’s clapped back with new photos and said she isn’t trying to hide anything 

Australian fitness star and mum-of-one Emily Skye has hit back at trolls who have accused her of editing photos to remove saggy skin and stomach lines.

The trainer, who gave birth to her daughter Mia last Christmas, has been working hard to regain her post-partum body – and frequently shares photos of herself with and without stomach lines. 

In a bid to put paid to claims that she is editing out her saggy stomach, Emily took to Instagram to share a side-by-side image showing her body looking toned, as well as one showing it looking lined. 

‘Saggy, wrinkly belly skin – sometimes you can see it and other times you can’t,’ she told her 2.4 million followers.

Fitness blogger Emily Skye (pictured left and right) shared this side-by-side photo to Instagram which revealed the differences in her body depending on how she stood

Emily gave birth to her daughter Mia (pictured right) in December 2017 

The 34-year-old who heads up a fitness empire explained she wanted to highlight how flexing her muscles as well as posture made a difference in order to prove she wasn’t ‘photoshopping out’ lines from her belly.

‘I just wanted to show that how I stand, whether I’m flexing and what light I’m in either highlights my excess belly skin or hides it! she said.

‘And I don’t mind either way which is why I post both.’

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The 33-year-old regularly shares photos to Instagram of her stunning physique and enviable curves

As well as taking a stand to defend herself, Emily also told her followers she was ‘weirdly proud’ of her body – and all it represents:

‘I grew a human in this belly and the whole process into motherhood has made me SO much stronger and also so much more confident in myself and my body,’ she continued.

‘I couldn’t care less whether the stretched skin stays or goes!’.

Emily told her followers she was ‘weirdly proud’ of her body and all it represents 

An empowering message: The health enthusiast said nobody is perfect and all women have some extra skin, stretch marks or cellulite

Emily added she wanted to share an empowering message to others in the hopes they might find a way to be easier on themselves.

‘Nobody is perfect and having some extra skin, stretch marks, cellulite or whatever else doesn’t make you any less beautiful or amazing!’

The fitness blogger’s stand has clearly resonated with her followers with the post receiving more than 100,000 likes at the time of writing and a stream of positive comments.

‘You are so open and brave and truly inspiring,’ wrote one enthusiastic commenter.

‘I’m sorry about what happened to you but it’s amazing how your experience can help others and you use your profile to do this.’

Over the course of her journey to regain her body post-partum (pictured left at six week and right at eight months), Emily has had to defend herself against remarks she bounced back to quickly

It’s not the first time the fitness star and young mother has spoken out about the criticism she has received online about her post-partum body.

On a previous Instagram post, Emily said she had been bombarded with negative remarks since debuting her body.

‘I have been getting a fair few comments from women saying that I got back into shape too fast after giving birth to Mia,’ she said.

‘It’s not the case, it’s been seven-and-a-half months and while I’m happy with myself, I am nowhere near as fit, strong or lean as I used to be and I didn’t ‘bounce back’.        

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Winnipeg woman snaps, rips side view mirror off SUV at Saskatoon drive-thru

A Winnipeg woman who snapped at a Saskatoon drive-thru on Dec. 26 is facing charges.

The woman was at a drive-thru on 8th Street East at Cumberland Avenue when an SUV cut in front of her.

Police said the woman made verbal threats and ripped a side view mirror off the SUV.

“She explained to us she was in a stressful state of mind and said that she kind of snapped and lost her temper,” Saskatoon police spokesperson Alyson Edwards said.

“That was the extent of what happened. Thankfully no one was hurt, but it’s something that is concerning to us.”

The woman has been charged with mischief and uttering threats.


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Martial, Pogba and Rashford saw Man Utd banish Mourinho's negativity to the past

The triangle involving Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard which led to Manchester United's third goal was as brilliant as it was devastating.

But it was more than just a goal. It showed the shackles were off this under-performing side at last.

No more sitting back waiting to hit teams on the counter-attack. No more parking the bus.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he wanted to get his United players smiling again, playing with the freedom to express themselves. And how they did.

He's only had three days to work with then but already the players are showing signs they are happy again.

And this stunning third goal, finished off by Martial was a sign of how different United are already – less than a week after Mourinho was sacked.

Just three minutes earlier, with United cruising two goals up, Cardiff were gifted a way back into the game by a needless handball by Marcus Rashford.

Suddenly the stadium was rocking, Neil Warnock's team fancied their chances and Solskjaer was facing the first worrying moment of his reign.

United have been so abject in recent weeks the danger was there they would shrink into their shells and revert back to basics. No risks. That was what had been drilled into them so much by their previous boss.

Yet here they were having none of it. Instead, they just shrugged off the knock of conceding and decided to take matters into their own hands.

Two-goal lead restored, the sniff of a chance for the Bluebirds buried within three minutes.  Thank you very much, we're Manchester United don't you know.

There were four changes to the side which started that fateful match at Anfield last week which proved the final throw of the dice for Mourinho.

On that day his team hardly laid a glove on Liverpool, so restrained were they by the tactical demands placed on them by the man in charge.

But they started here like a train, pushed on by Paul Pogba and Rashford.

Pogba, such a controversial figure for the past year, owes United and the fans. Whatever his relationship with Jose, the Frenchman hasn't done enough for the club.

But his reception from the wonderful travelling supporters in the warm up showed they hold no grudges, no matter what ill-conceived social media posts he makes.

He was at it from the off, showing for the ball, organising and yes, even staying within the tactical shape Solskjaer had devised.

But he was also looking to surge forward with every opportunity, and it was just such a run which drew the free-kick from which Rashford opened the scoring after just 181 seconds.

The England striker has cut a frustrated figure for much of the past year at club level, but the confidence was there for all to see after his dipping 20-yard strike had nestled into the net.

Every time a United defender or midfielder look for an option, Rashford was offering himself – short, long, out wide. He was everywhere and Cardiff couldn't cope.

It makes such a difference to a side being on the front foot, players find themselves ten yards further forward and able to make a difference going forward – just ask Ander Herrera.

The Spaniard has hardly got into the final third of late, but here he was collecting a lovely switch of play from Pogba and thundering a deflected effort into the top corner.

Only David De Gea failed to join the mob of the United players celebrating right in front of the Cardiff fans. They were enjoying themselves, alright.

"Attack, attack, attack", United fans have cried this season, trying to ignite a spark in the squad. They didn't need to shout the odds here, though. The players needed no second invitation.

When Lingard made it four from the spot before the hour mark, it was carnival time for the fans who constantly sang Solskjaer's name throughout the match.

Out came the flicks, a no-look passes and both Rashford and Pogba deserved add to the goal tally in the second half.

Rashford had done enough by the time he was given a breather by his manager for the last 11 minutes, with forgotten man Fred being thrown into the fray.

How the England striker had enjoyed themselves. So too Pogba. Football has become fun again for a club mired in misery for too long.

Three passes, four goals and "Fiiiive Cantonas".

Farewell Jose, and your negative ways. Ole, Ole Ole – fun, fun, fun.

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‘SNL’: Donald Trump Finds Out He’d Get Trump Tower Built In Moscow If He Wasn’t Pres. In ‘Wonderful Life’ Parody

Donald Trump discovers what life would be like if he hadn’t been elected president in this hilarious ‘It’s A Wonderful Parody’! Watch the latest ‘SNL’ cold open here!

Frank Capra would definitely approve of this sketch. SNL started off with a great parody of the timeless Christmas classic It’s A Wonderful Life. The black-and-white sketch started with members of his administration praying for Donald Trump‘s safety. Sarah Huckabee Sanders admitted that Donald is “a nightmare, but he’s all I got.” And while Melania Trump was concerned for him too, she also asked God for a “Cartier watch.” That’s when Clarence, Trump’s guardian angel, showed Trump what his life would be like if he wasn’t elected president. Sanders revealed that she had done PR for “Ashley Madison and the Romaine Lettuce Association.” The devil gave Kellyanne Conway her soul back. Hillary Clinton‘s emails only revealed Bed Bath & Beyond coupons. Eric Trump was smart enough to finish a Rubik’s Cube, Mike Pence was a DJ. Matt Damon returned as Brett Kavanaugh and admitted that his gift to Trump was a calendar where “every day is a different beer.” Of course, the best part for Trump? He’d get to build Trump Tower in Moscow if he hadn’t been elected. Watch the hilarious sketch below!

With Damon serving as host for tonight’s show, we kind of expected his fiery characterization of Brett Kavanaugh to return, and we called it! Matt started off the entire 44th season of the variety show with an appearance in that show’s cold open as the now-Supreme Court judge going through his contentious confirmation hearing. Despite screaming, sniffling and — at the very end of the sketch — chugging a whole beer, she admitted, “I’m a keg is half full kind of guy.”

Following his whole arrest ordeal, Alec Baldwin returned to portray Donald Trump on the show in a sketch that was all about the president’s jealousy over Vladimir Putin and Saudi Prince’s Mohammed bin Salman‘s budding bromance. Despite Putin’s assertion that his handshake with Salman “meant nothing,” it was clear that Salman was the Saudi prince’s favorite.

We’ll keep you posted with all of the latest SNL sketches. In the meantime, check out of all of the photos from this season in our gallery above.

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