FILE - In this Feb. 21, 2019 file photo, Jussie Smollett leaves George N Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago. A lawyer for Smollett is asking a judge to allow the "Empire" actor to travel while he is free on bond on charges he falsely reported being attacked by two masked men. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski, File)

We’re back and we’re reading – everything from to the “The New York Times” to “CNN.” We’re trying to help you keep up with the rapid pace of politics and everyday news. Today, we’ve got updates on Jussie Smollett’s arrest, the Mark Harris election, Roger Stone, and some bad news about everyone’s favorite ketchup brand.

Jussie Smollett apologizes to the ‘Empire’ cast and crew but insists that he’s innocent

Actor Jussie Smollett issued an apology to the cast and crew of ‘Empire.’ However, he is maintaining his innocence, according to CNN.

Twentieth Century Fox Television executive VP of communications and publicity, Chris Alexander, said Smollett was on set filming on Thursday. A source from the meeting said Smollett stuck to the statement that was put out in the media by his attorney.

The statement, blaming the legal system and the media for his woes, apologized for any embarrassment the recent allegations may have caused. Smollett appeared in court Thursday, speaking only to confirm his name to the judge.

The judge granted Smollett $100,000 bail Smollett paid a $10,000 bond, agreeing to give up his passport and remaining under supervision until the case is adjudicated.

Smollett is “on hold” for Friday’s shoot of ‘Empire.’ The filming of the season finale episode of Empire is in progress this week and next week.

New election ordered in North Carolina

Officials in North Carolina ordered for a new contest in the ninth Congressional District after the Republican candidate Mark Harris was confronted by evidence that his campaign had financed illegal voter-turnout efforts, The New York Times reports.

The unanimous ruling by five members of the Board of Elections, outlined how the politician orchestrated an absentee ballot scheme to sway the race. This case is the single undecided House contest in the 2018 midterm election.

“It was certainty a tainted election,” said Robert Cordle, the state board’s chairman.

Kraft Heinz Loses Billions as Tastes Shift and S.E.C. Investigates

Food giant Kraft Heinz released a surprising report Thursday, disclosing a large plunge in their brand and a $15.4 billion write down, The New York Times Reports.

The write down, appearing to come from a shift in how consumers eat, emphasized fresh food over processed products.

The popular food giant received a subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission, tied to an investigation related to the company’s accounting and controls, last year.

The company’s stock dropped 21 percent from the news. Chief Executive, Bernardo Hees, said the company’s earnings fell short due to insufficient cost savings.“For that, we take full responsibility,” he said.

Roger Stone cannot speak publicly about case, judge rules

Roger Stone’s ability to speak publicly about his case, or the investigation, against special counsel Robert Mueller was restricted Thursday by Federal Judge Amy Berman, according to CNN.  

The case and investigation are related to his interactions in 2016 with Russians and the Trump campaign.

The restrictions come four days after Stone posted then removed photos of Jackson on his Instagram that had, what Stone called, a “Celtic cross” behind her head. Jackson ordered him to court, where he contradicted his explanations for the post and for his remorse.

Jackson said Stone could issue no more statements on the radio, press releases, blogs, media interviews, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat posts about the case, which has drawn immense media interest.

That’s all we have for today. Check back tomorrow for more.

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Bailey Godber is a senior strategic communication student from sunny Orange County, California. When she’s not studying or in class, she enjoys all things pop culture related and has a passion for news, media and communication.