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What is Graves’ disease? Wendy Williams opens up about her condition

Fans of the “Wendy Williams Show” will have to watch re-runs for nearly a month, because the media maven is taking a three-week hiatus to treat her Graves’ disease

>> Read more trending news 

She made the announcement on air Wednesday, revealing that her doctor is requiring her to take a break from work to “get her levels and medication in sync,” a show representative told People

>> Related: Wendy Williams announces 3-week hiatus due to Graves' disease

“Wendy is a true champion and has never missed a day of work. But her health and well-being must be put before all else,” the spokesperson said in the statement. “Wendy has been openly dealing with her Graves’ disease for many years, in addition to hyperthyroidism...A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition.”

Learning about the illness for the first time? Here’s what you should know. 

What is Graves’ disease?

It’s an immune system disorder that is caused by the overproduction of the thyroid hormones, according to the Mayo Clinic. In healthy adults, the thyroid function is regulated by a hormone released by the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. For those with Graves’ disease, a thyrotropin receptor antibody takes on this role, overriding the work of the pituitary gland and causing overproduction of the thyroid hormones. 

What are the symptoms?

Common signs include anxiety, irritability, tremor of the hands, weight loss, heat sensitivity, thyroid gland enlargement and rapid heartbeat. 

>> Related: Wendy Williams announces 3-week hiatus due to Graves' disease

Patients also experience Graves’ ophthalmopathy, where inflammation affects the muscles and tissues around eyes. The condition can cause bulging eyes, light sensitivity, double vision or even vision loss. 

Some also have Graves’ dermopathy, which is the reddening and thickening of the skin, particularly on the shins and tops of the feet. 

>> Related: Wendy Williams cancels talk show for the week due to flu 

How is it diagnosed?

Doctors generally conduct a physical exam to check the size of the thyroid. They also order blood samples to determine the levels of the thyroid-stimulating hormone, which is usually lower for those with Graves’.

Physicians also administer ultrasounds and imaging tests to view images of the thryroid, eyes, and iodine uptake patterns. Iodine is needed to produce thyroid hormones.

How is it treated?

Some have radioactive iodine therapy, where patients take radioactive iodine by mouth. The iodine seeps into the thyroid cells and the radioactivity gradually destoys the overactive ones. 

>> Related: Watch: Wendy Williams faints on live TV

Patients often are prescribed anti-thyroid medications, which can limit the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones. Beta blockers are also available. While they don’t stop the production of thyroid hormones, they do block some of the Graves’ disease symptoms. 

Who is affected?

It affects 1 in 200 people, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Women are more likely to be diagnosed, and people younger than age 40 generally develop it. 

Rappers Missy Elliott and Rapsody as well as former president George H. W. Bush also have Graves’ disease. 

Next flight to Wakanda? Airports having some fun on Twitter

Now boarding the next flight to ... Wakanda?

Some airports had fun this week on Twitter with the futuristic African country in the hit movie "Black Panther."

Orlando International Airport tweeted a photo of an airplane bearing the words "Wakanda Air" and a black panther logo. The tweet said the airport was "delighted to announce ... daily nonstop flights to the beautiful nation of Wakanda."

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport tweeted a photo of a sign listing a 7:30 p.m. departure to Wakanda with the words, "The bags are packed. #Wakanda forever."

Lupita Nyong'o tweeted back, "Apart from La Femme Nakia, what else is on the in-flight entertainment? T'Challa's Angels, M'Baku To The Future, Shuri's Gotta Have It, Killmonger Bill, W'Kabi In The Woods...?"

The perils of live microphones tripping up NBC's Olympics

Every two years, a miracle of technology unfolds: televising and streaming an Olympics with miles of cable, hundreds of cameras and producers who make split-second decisions on which pictures to beam halfway around the world.

So it's with a certain irony that when NBC has had problems in Pyeongchang, it has all been very simple: one person, one live microphone and some 20 million critics. The network has apologized — or not — for a handful of gaffes seen as insults by South Koreans, by the Dutch, by women athletes, by ski fans.

Live television and the risks that it brings are nothing new. The climate surrounding it is.

"Live TV used to be fleeting," says Brett Kurland, a broadcast professor and director of sports programs at Arizona State University. "Something would happen, and you would either see it or you didn't. Now if you say something that someone doesn't like, they'll cut it into a GIF and post it on the Internet. Before you know it, it blows up on your Twitter feed."

He adds: "Everyone is aware that you're just a screen grab away from infamy."

NBC's first problem came from an unexpected source, an expert on Asia assigned to provide context about the host country during the opening ceremony. Joshua Cooper Ramo has impeccable credentials — educated at the University of Chicago, a former Time magazine foreign editor, now a top executive at former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's consulting firm.

When pictures of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appeared on the screen, Ramo noted that Japan occupied Korea from 1910 to 1945, "but every Korean will tell you that Japan is a cultural, technological and economic example that has been so important to their own transformation."

That angered many South Koreans who caught wind of Ramo's remark and resented their country's treatment by the occupying force. NBC quickly apologized. Ramo hasn't been heard from since on the network, although NBC said he was not contracted to work beyond the opening ceremony.

NBC has also delved little so far into the culture of South Korea the way it has with other Olympic sites, although a heavy schedule of live events in prime time is a factor, too.

Katie Couric, brought back by NBC for the opening ceremony, was the next to take heat. NBC's telecast of that ceremony wasn't televised in the Netherlands but, again, social media quickly made the Dutch aware of comments she had made.

She was discussing the Dutch tradition of excellence in speedskating, and said it stemmed from skating being an important mode of transportation in Amsterdam when canals freeze and people skate from place to place. That left her open to ridicule by some in the Netherlands, who pointed out that the canals rarely freeze anymore and, besides, they have cars now.

When a backlash reached the Twitter feed of the Dutch embassy in the United States, Couric tweeted a good-natured apology about having been "on thin ice."

NBC's team of ski announcers has had a rough Olympics so far. Former ski champion Bode Miller is on his first Olympic assignment for NBC and his overly technical, bland approach to calling races has left some viewers drowsy.

But it was his sudden foray into gender roles that really caused him trouble.

Commentator Dan Hicks brought up Austrian skier Anna Veith's serious knee injury when he and Miller were discussing her career decline. Miller suggested another condition — matrimony — may have been to blame. "It's historically very challenging to race on World Cup with a family or after being married," he said. "Not to blame the spouses, but I just want to toss that out there, that it could be her husband's fault."

The backlash from people who considered the remark sexist was so immediate that Miller apologized on the air barely an hour later. He said it was a failed attempt at humor; his deadpan style had left almost no one suspecting he had been trying to make a joke.

Veith was also central to a serious mistake by Hicks. She was in first place during the super-G competition — apparently, marriage wasn't hurting her in the Olympics — when Hicks prematurely anointed her the gold medal winner.

After the person considered to be Veith's last serious contender couldn't beat her time, Hicks said she was the winner and NBC switched to figure skating. But a longshot contender, Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic, beat Veith's time and took gold.

The producers' decision to move on was defensible; no one really thought Ledecka and some other final skiers had a chance. The mistake was Hicks' certainty. The announcers sought to explain themselves the next night by describing just how improbable Ledecka's victory was, but that felt more like an excuse than an attempt at accountability.

While all different, NBC's problems didn't stem from attempts to be overly provocative or shocking, unless Miller had motives he wasn't letting on. Instead, they were misstatements made in front of listeners ready to pounce (the hashtag #nbcfail is a venue for people who want to grumble).

For two weeks, the men and women behind NBC's microphones command the public's attention the way very few can anymore in a fragmented society of media consumers. They're ambassadors for sports that most Americans don't care about for the three years and 50 weeks between each Winter and each Summer Games.

That provides them with an unparalleled opportunity, and many potential potholes.

___

More AP Olympics: https://wintergames.ap.org

Mavs owner Mark Cuban fined $600,000 for tanking comments

The NBA fined outspoken Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban $600,000 on Wednesday for comments about tanking during a podcast with Hall of Famer Julius Erving.

Commissioner Adam Silver said the fine was for "public statements detrimental to the NBA." The league said the podcast with Erving was posted Sunday, the day the All-Star game was played in Los Angeles.

Cuban said during the 30-minute interview that he met recently with some of his players and told them "losing is our best option." Cuban was trying to illustrate to Erving how he believes he is a transparent owner.

"I'm probably not supposed to say this, but I just had dinner with a bunch of our guys the other night," Cuban said. "And here we are. We weren't competing for the playoffs. I was like, 'Look, losing is our best option.'

"Adam would hate to be hearing that. But at least I sat down and I explained it to them. And I explained what our plans are going to be this summer, that we're not going to tank again. This is like a year and a half of tanking. That was too brutal for me."

The Mavericks dumped veterans Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut around the trading deadline last season and had their highest draft pick (No. 9) since ending up with Dirk Nowitzki from that spot in 1998. They drafted rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr., one of the league's rising stars.

After trading veteran guard Devin Harris to Denver at the deadline this season, Dallas (18-40) is tied for the fewest wins in the NBA and among seven teams with 18 or 19 victories at the All-Star break.

Coach Rick Carlisle said he talked to Cuban in "great detail" about the comments Tuesday night and that his owner apologized for them.

"He's embarrassed by it," Carlisle told The Dallas Morning News after the team's first post-All-Star break practice in Los Angeles. "As far as our team, we've played with a lot of fight all year long, and we will continue to do that and that's how we're going to proceed."

Dirk Nowitzki, who has spent all 20 seasons with the Mavericks, took Cuban's comments in stride.

"Players never play to lose," said Nowitzki, the franchise leader in nearly every significant category. "It might happen, but you don't play for it. I still love to compete, that's one big reason why I'm still out there. I'll never stand for losing on purpose. It's just not who I am."

It's the largest NBA fine for the oft-penalized Cuban, surpassing the $500,000 he was docked in 2002 for criticizing former director of officials Ed Rush when he said he wouldn't hire Rush to manage a Dairy Queen. Cuban has been fined more than $2 million, a lot of it for criticizing refs.

"I earned it," Cuban told The Associated Press when asked about the latest fine. "I got excited talking to Dr. J and said something I shouldn't have."

The fine came a day after Cuban's franchise was accused of having a hostile workplace for women in a Sports Illustrated report that detailed allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct by former team president Terdema Ussery.

Cuban said he was embarrassed by the allegations and vowed to improve the club's work environment. He is hiring outside counsel to investigate the claims and requiring everyone to undergo sensitivity training, including himself. The NBA has said it will monitor the investigation closely.

The team fired website reporter Earl Sneed, who was twice accused of domestic assault while working for the team. Sneed pleaded guilty over the first incident, and the charge was dismissed after he met conditions of the plea agreement. Cuban told ESPN it was a mistake not to fire Sneed earlier.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

Talk-show host sues PBS for breach of contract after firing

Talk-show host Tavis Smiley is suing his former employer, the Public Broadcasting Service, for breach of contract after he was fired over sexual harassment allegations.

The Washington Post reports that the lawsuit was filed Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court against PBS, based in the Washington suburb of Arlington, Virginia.

PBS fired Smiley in December after it said it received multiple, credible allegations of workplace misconduct by Smiley on his eponymous late-night interview show.

Smiley has acknowledged having romantic relationships with colleagues over his career, but says they were consensual.

PBS called Smiley's lawsuit meritless and an effort to distract the public from his misconduct.

Smiley, who is African-American, contends in the lawsuit that racial bias contributed to his dismissal.

___

Information from: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com

Snowboarders White, Kim boost NBC to weekly ratings win

The aerial wizardry of snowboarders Shaun White and Chloe Kim lifted the Winter Olympics and NBC to a weekly ratings victory.

Veteran White's gold-medal comeback in the halfpipe gave NBC the most-watched night in prime-time last week, according to Nielsen ratings released Wednesday.

Kim's unprecedented combination of spins for a woman in competition captured gold for her and delivered almost as many viewers as tuned in the night of White's performance.

Altogether, Olympic broadcasts from Pyeongchang, South Korea, claimed seven of the week's top 10 slots. In 8th place was CBS' "60 Minutes" featuring Oprah Winfrey's second round-table with Michigan voters, including supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump.

Winfrey has downplayed suggestions that she consider a 2020 presidential run, telling "60 Minutes" in an online interview ahead of the broadcast that it's "not in my DNA."

For the week of Feb. 12-18, NBC averaged 17.62 million viewers. That bested the combined viewership of the three other major broadcast networks by the largest margin for any regular season, non-Super Bowl week since electronic "people meters" came into use, the network said.

CBS was second with 4.48 million viewers, followed by Fox with 1.65 million, Univision with 1.43 million, ION Television with 1.3 million, Telemundo with 1.18 million and the CW with 930,000.

Fox News Channel was the week's most popular cable network, averaging 2.23 million viewers in prime time. TNT had 2.4 million, MSNBC had 1.72 million, USA had 1.44 million and HGTV had 1.23 million.

Among network newscasts, numbers don't tell the full story. Because of the Olympics, NBC's "Nightly News" was shifted hours earlier in a quarter of the country and affecting a head-to-head comparison.

ABC's "World News Tonight," airing in its regular spot for five nights, drew 9.14 million viewers. Three of NBC's newscasts averaged 8.77 million viewers, with two others drawing 8.1 million. CBS' "Evening News" averaged 6.76 million.

For the week of Feb. 12-18, the top 10 shows, their networks and viewerships: Winter Olympics (Tuesday), NBC, 20.5 million; Winter Olympics (Monday), NBC, 20.3 million; Winter Olympics (Wednesday), NBC, 17.1 million; Winter Olympics (Friday), NBC, 16.6 million; Winter Olympics (Sunday), NBC, 16.4 million; Winter Olympics (Thursday), NBC, 16.2 million; Winter Olympics (Saturday), NBC, 14.5 million; "60 Minutes," CBS, 7.5 million; "The Big Bang Theory," CBS, 7.4 million; "Young Sheldon," CBS, 7.1 million.

___

ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. CBS is owned by CBS Corp. CW is a joint venture of Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corp. Fox is owned by 21st Century Fox. NBC and Telemundo are owned by Comcast Corp. ION Television is owned by ION Media Networks.

___

Online:

http://www.nielsen.com

Milan Fashion Week opens with #metoo moment of reflection

Milan Fashion Week got underway Wednesday with a moment's pause to put focus on women who have come forward as victims of sexual misconduct.

Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, who accused Harvey Weinstein of groping her in 2015 and worked with investigators on a sting targeting the producer, walked the runway for Rocco Barocco. She told reporters afterward, "Finally something positive. I am happy to be returning to my craft."

The Humans of Fashion Foundation non-governmental organization was also in Milan, where it plans to launch its global initiative connecting people in the fashion industry who have experienced sexual harassment or assault with a support network, including legal and emotional.

Here are some highlights from the first full day of womenswear previews for next fall and winter, with a smattering of shows combining menswear with womenswear:

____

SURGICAL GUCCI

Alessandro Michele fully covers his models from the top of elaborate headpieces to the tips of their bejeweled toes in a seeming effort to hide the person in order to reveal a character.

And there was a full range of new characters in his show combing menswear and womenswear for the next cold weather season.

The cast included a masked Inuit in a furry lined jacket, a Renaissance woman in a long velvet dress, Victorian characters in layers of pleats, a blue turbaned man in tan leisure suit, and Middle Eastern woman in beaded head covers and long, flowered robes.

Backstage, the creative director said he wanted to explore "the codes that constrain us."

"All of this I robbed from others, in the sense that I imagined in the passe partout of the codes that ranged from the bourgeois to the thing that I put on in the morning to go to the bank, or all the suits that my father bought to go to work for Alitalia," Michele said.

Michele set the show in a mock operating room, complete with (unused) surgical tables and overhead lamps. The reference, he said, was to the surgical precision with which he approaches his craft.

In a spookier surgical/Frankenstein reference, two models carried replicas of their own heads in their hands. So it was perhaps a warm, fuzzy moment when a man in a long black skirt and jacket covered with crystals, carried a pet dragon, of plastic.

_____

MOD MOSCHINO

While some fashion houses really do design airline uniforms, Jeremy Scott created a retro-futuristic array of looks for an alien starship crew.

Models sporting Jackie Kennedy-style bobs strutted through Star Trek blue-lit gangways, wearing bright colors of the same assortment found in the non-edible box of sugar candies that came with the Moschino invitation. For the alien affect, some had blue-, or orange-, or green-colored skin — all very Deep Space Nine.

The silhouette stuck to clean lines of 1960s women's suits or uniforms, with neat zippers down one side, or dark patent leather trim, or reverse pleats. Skirts were mini and worn with matching color pumps. Pants were long and trim, elongated even more by vertical stripes.

Headwear included stewardess caps or berets. And the real accessories of the season were a series of detachable collars, including a black patent leather with a pointy collar and rounded back.

Other Moschino touches: peace sign earrings, clear colored plastic belts with the brand name spelled out in hanging letters and Crazy Fruit candy backpacks and pyramid-shaped clutches.

The collection closed with a series of evening dresses, including mermaid skirt in a shimmery purple contrasting with silk chiffon.

____

MONCLER GENIUS

The elegance of down-filled winter wear came through in a Moncler collection put in the hands of eight diverse designers, from Valentino's Pier Paolo Piccioli to Francesco Ragazzi of his Palm Angels streetwear brand.

The collection, dubbed Moncler Genius, was unveiled in a series of pavilions each draped in a silvery fabric cast with shimmering lights. Visitors, including super model Naomi Campbell, wandered between each designer's world.

Piccioli created long graceful down couture gowns -- nominally the Moncler puffer coat -- that in their conical shape gave the impression of a forest, in stands of white, black and layered colors. The longer pieces, which sloped gracefully to the ground, were over-laid with vests or cropped jackets. Each finished in a snug-fitting hood.

Simon Rocha's collection was shown against a mountain backdrop, with Geisha-sherpa models in traditional robes or Victorian-inspired layered black dresses walking deliberately through a snowy landscape. Kei Ninomiya created elegant evening dresses out of Moncler nylon that was alternatively appeared as big weaves or pretty florets, the black patina picking up just enough light to give a shimmer effect.

The idea behind Genius is to offer new products continually to consumers with the aim of appealing to diverse consumers. The first collection, by Hiroshi Fujiwara's brand Fragment will be available in June. The looks include down-filled flannel shirts, sea blue and green Nordic-style sweaters and down parkas for the world traveler emblazoned with the cardinal compass points.

The Latest: Brits pays tribute to Manchester bomb victims

The Latest on the Brit Awards (all times local):

9:30 p.m.

Liam Gallagher has performed at the Brit Awards in tribute to victims of last year's Manchester Arena bombing.

Twenty-two people were killed when a bomber blew himself up as concertgoers were leaving an Ariana Grande show in the northwest England city on May 22.

Grande had been due to perform at Wednesday's awards show in honor of the victims and survivors, but was forced to cancel on medical advice.

Gallagher, who grew up in Manchester, stepped in to perform the Oasis classic "Live Forever."

___

8:45 p.m.

Grime artist Stormzy and singer-songwriter Dua Lipa have been named British solo artists of the year at the Brit Awards.

Stormzy won the male artist prize for his distinctly London style of rap, and thanked his mother, his team, south London and God.

Lipa, who topped U.K. charts with her song "No Rules," took the female prize and dedicated her trophy to all the female musicians who "have allowed us to dream this big."

She said: "Here's to more women on these stages, more women winning awards and more women taking over the world."

___

8 p.m.

Dua Lipa says celebrity gestures can help put an end to sexual harassment and abuse.

The singer wore a white rose on the red carpet at the Brit Awards as a sign of solidarity with campaigns against sexual misconduct.

She said making the symbolic statement to "millions and millions of people, not just in the U.K. but all over the world, it does make a difference, it does make a change because we are standing, we are protesting in our own way and this is how we're going to make a difference."

The 22-year-old singer is nominated in five categories at the music awards, including album of the year for her self-titled debut.

Guests were given white rose pins to wear for the ceremony at London's O2 Arena. Some, including Lupa and Ed Sheeran, also wore the flowers themselves.

___

2 p.m.

Music stars will wear white roses on the Brit Awards red carpet to support campaigns against sexual harassment and assault.

Guests at Britain's biggest music awards show will be given white rose pins to wear in solidarity with the "Time's Up" movement.

Calls for change have swept through the entertainment industry since women began coming forward to accuse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein last year.

There was a similar gesture at Sunday's British Academy Film Awards, where women wore black to oppose sexual misconduct and bullying.

Rising star Dua Lipa, grime artist Stormzy and ubiquitous singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran are among nominees for Wednesday's awards at London's O2 Arena, hosted by comedian Jack Whitehall.

All three are also set to perform, along with Justin Timberlake, Rita Ora and Foo Fighters.

Universal launches plans for third 'Jurassic World' film

Four months before "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" hits theaters, Universal Pictures has announced plans Wednesday for a third installment in the rebooted dinosaur franchise.

Universal says "Jurassic World 3" will land in June 2021. The film is to be written by Emily Carmichael and Colin Trevorrow, the director of 2015's "Jurassic World." Carmichael co-wrote the upcoming sci-fi adventure "Pacific Rim Uprising."

"Jurassic World" ranks among the biggest box-office hits. It launched with a $208.8 million opening weekend and finished with $1.7 billion worldwide in ticket sales.

Trevorrow and Steven Spielberg are executive producing each new "Jurassic World" film.

Directed by J.A. Bayona, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, opens June 22.

Wendy Williams announces 3-week hiatus due to Graves’ disease

Wendy Williams is taking three weeks off from her talk show.

The former radio personality turned daytime TV show host was candid with her live audience Wednesday as she made the announcement. The 53-year-old has Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism, both of which she has spoken about in the past. 

>> Read more trending news 

“Wendy is a true champion and has never missed a day of work. But her health and well-being must be put before all else,” a show representative told People. “Wendy has been openly dealing with her Graves’ disease for many years, in addition to hyperthyroidism. Yesterday, Wendy’s doctor prescribed a necessary three weeks of rest to get her levels and medication in sync. The show will be in repeats during this unplanned hiatus. A live show was produced today so that Wendy could speak directly to her fans and explain her condition.”

“My doctor has prescribed -- are you ready? As of today, three weeks of vacation,” she said.

Williams then described the symptoms that come with Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism.

“Along with hyperthyroid and Graves’ disease, it promotes nervousness,” Williams said. “No, I’m not nervous. Anxiety, please. I’m over 30 years in this game.”

Related: Watch: Wendy Williams faints on live TV

The wife and mother to a teenage son did admit she has some symptoms, including a rapid heartbeat.

“Now, I can cop to irritability, but I’m just thinking it’s me micromanaging,” she said. 

Ever the workhorse, Williams said she would be back in less than three weeks.

“I’ll be back in two (weeks). I’m not an heiress. Who is going to pay my bills? Are you serious? I’m just saying, I come from working class,” she said.

Williams said she blamed her symptoms on the stresses of being a working wife and mother, encouraging women to put their health first.

“What I want to say to women, more than men, is stop putting everyone first because if we’re not good, they’re not good,” she said. 

Williams took three days off last week after she said she was “feeling flu-ish.” It was the first time she was out sick from the show since it started in 2009. In October, Williams fainted on-air while introducing a segment.

Related: Wendy Williams addresses fainting on live Halloween show

“That was not a stunt,” Williams said at the end of that episode. “I overheated in my costume, and I did pass out. But you know what? I’m a champ and I’m back.”

CNN reported that there will not be a fill-in host for the show. Repeat episodes will air during the hiatus.

Watch Williams’ message to viewers below.

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