C.T. Vivian laid to rest, MLB Opening Day, Xbox showcase: 5 things to know Thursday
Civil rights icon Rev. C.T. Vivian to be laid to rest
The funeral for the Rev. C.T. Vivian, the Baptist minister and close adviser to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., will be held Thursday in a private service in Atlanta. The funeral, set for 11 a.m. ET at the Providence Missionary Baptist Church, will be open only for family due to the coronavirus outbreak. Local news channel WSB-TV will livestream the event. Vivian worked alongside King and later served as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization founded by King. He died Friday at age 95, the same day as fellow civil rights leader U.S. Rep. John Lewis.
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Microsoft to launch new Xbox games amid pandemic-era video game bump
Microsoft will host an Xbox Games Showcase on Thursday where it is expected to unveil games for its upcoming console. Xbox will likely unveil titles expected to launch with the Xbox Series X, scheduled to debut this holiday season. Fans can watch the event on Xbox’s website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Twitch. The console will inject new excitement into the video game space, though it also arrives during a global coronavirus pandemic. But as more people remain at home due to the pandemic, they are discovering or renewing their interest in video games. In May, video game spending totaled $977 million, a 52% increase from a year ago, according to market research company NPD Group.
MLB is back, but with no fans in the stands
MLB’s longest-ever offseason is finally over with a pair of opening day games kicking off Thursday in an unprecedented 60-game sprint to October. The Washington Nationals begin defense of their World Series title at home against the powerful New York Yankees, but as with all games for the foreseeable future, the teams will play with no fans in the stands. Players have to follow strict social-distancing rules, so no spitting, high-fives or up-close arguments with umpires. And the Toronto Blue Jays, after failing to receive clearance from health officials to play their games in Canada (or Pittsburgh), are still looking for a place to call home.
Kobe Bryant basketball footage to be auctioned
Kobe Bryant’s time in high school will be showcased when about 22 hours of footage of the late basketball star playing games and giving interviews will be sold Thursday by the auction house Profiles in History. The footage is from the media library of Stu Ross, who produced “High School Sports Show,” a syndicated weekly television series seen in 35 cities. Ross’ library includes 130 hours and more than 700 athletes. The footage will be sold in one lot, and the auction house estimates the price will be $250,000 to $350,000. Bryant, a five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star, died in a helicopter crash Jan. 26, along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others. He was 41.
Tropical Storm Gonzalo may form into a hurricane
Tropical Storm Gonzalo is expected to become a hurricane Thursday as it makes its way across the Atlantic Ocean. The tropical storm is the earliest “G” storm in any Atlantic hurricane season on record. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, it was about 1,110 miles east of the Southern Windward Islands of the Caribbean.The system had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph and was moving to the west at 14 mph. In addition to Gonzalo, forecasters were also monitoring a system in the Gulf of Mexico, which could spin up into a tropical depression or storm in the next couple of days, the National Hurricane Center said. Meanwhile, Hurricane Douglas gathered strength as it barreled west toward the Hawaiian Islands on a track to potentially bring strong winds and flash flooding to the island chain over the weekend, weather forecasters said.