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Georgia State Senator Under Fire For Photo With Armed Anti-Government Militia

A Republican state senator is facing a wave of criticism after he appeared in a photo with heavily armed members of an anti-government group during a rally in Georgia on Saturday opposing the Islamic legal and moral code.

At the ?March Against Sharia? rally in Atlanta, lawmaker Michael Williams posed for the photo with members of the Georgia Security Force III% militia, a local chapter of a national pro-Donald Trump group that supports anti-immigration and anti-government beliefs.

In a tweet of the photo shared by the Southern Poverty Law Center?s Hatewatch Twitter account, three men can be seen making a hand sign with three fingers extended, which is associated with white supremacy. Williams, who recently announced his candidacy for Georgia?s governorship in the 2018 election, is in the middle of the photo, holding a small American flag.

Williams did not respond to HuffPost?s request for comment on the photo, but his spokesman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he posed with the group because they appeared to be ?pro-gun supporters.?

?We don?t know about the supposed symbolism, only that a bunch of liberal hate groups were online tweeting about it,? Williams spokesman Seth Weathers told the newspaper. ?This is the stupidest thing in the world ? that we are debating whether grown men were supposedly holding their fingers the wrong way during a photo.?

Williams, the first elected official in Georgia to endorse Trump?s presidential candidacy, supports expanding gun rights.

An estimated 30 to 50 people attended the rally, along with a small number of counter-protesters, according to reports from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Los Angeles Times.

It was one of more than two dozen ?March Against Sharia? rallies that took place in cities across the country ? including one in San Bernardino at the site of the 2015 shootings by a Muslim couple that left 14 people dead. ACT for America, the nation?s largest anti-Muslim group which has been labeled as extremist by the Southern Poverty Law Center, organized the marches. (Read HuffPost?s take on what this weekend?s marches were really about here.)

Williams spoke at the rally in Atlanta.

?We all need to come together, put aside some of our petty differences and unite together to fight sharia law,? he said, according to the L.A. Times. ?We do not need it in our country. Overseas in Europe and other places, they?re throwing people off of buildings, they?re decapitating people because they do not believe the things they believe.?

ACT for America reportedly invited the Georgia III% Security Force to the march to provide security for protestors, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported. The militia members attended the rally armed with handguns and rifles.

A 2016 New York Times profile on the Georgia militia group reported that the group trains rigorously with firearms and believes that liberals, Muslims and immigrants represent some of the biggest threats to America.

Williams? photo with the group spurred several critical tweets.

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Ocean City Passes Emergency Law To Protect Families From Topless Sunbathers

The City Council of a Maryland beach community held a special session Saturday to pass an ?emergency ordinance? explicitly barring women from removing their tops at the beach ? or in any other public place.

Ocean City Mayor Richard Meehan called the meeting to ?protect? family rights after the local shore patrol decided they would no longer order topless women to cover up. That decision was made after local ?top free? activist Chelsea Covington complained to officials last summer that the state constitution prohibits gender discrimination, which she argued would make laws ordering only women to wear tops illegal.

Worcester County State?s Attorney Beau Oglesby decided that the law on indecent exposure was unclear and asked for a final opinion from the Maryland attorney general?s office, which is still pending. Until an opinion is issued, the beach patrol did not believe it could take action against topless women as it had in the past, said Ocean City Beach Patrol Captain Butch Arbin.

That?s when Meehan went into overdirve. ?Ocean City is a family resort and we intend to do whatever is within our ability to also protect the rights of those families,? he declared.

The city?s new emergency ordinance amends the town code concerning nudity. While continuing to prohibit exposure of male and female genitalia, it also clearly declares that it is illegal to expose ?the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering? on the beach and in any public area. Anyone who does so will be subject to a fine of up to $1,000. 

The ordinance, read during the videotaped session Saturday, states that ?there is no constitutional right for an individual to appear … in a state of nudity.?

It adds: ?Whatever personal right one has to be nude or in a state of nudity, that right becomes subject to government interest and regulation when one seeks to exercise it in public.?

The ordinance was passed unanimously and took effect immediately. 

Meehan declared at the end of the session: ?We will not allow women to be topless on our beach or on any public property within the city limits. We have never been a topless beach and we will not become a topless beach.?

A town spokeswoman said the law won?t affect breastfeeding.

At the start of the session, City Solicitor Guy Ayres read the ordinance, which included a list of reasons why the law is legal and why it does not violate constitutional protections against discrimination.

?Equal protection? does not demand ?that things that are different in fact be treated the same in law, nor that a government pretend there are no physiological differences between men and women,? Ayres read..

He added: ?People don?t have the right to impose their lifestyle on others who have an equal right to be left alone. Ayres also said that ?females baring their breasts in public, although not offensive to everyone, is still seen by society as unpalatable.?

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Hillary Clinton: Portland Attack ‘Showed Us The Best And Worst Of Humanity’

Hillary Clinton condemned the horrific, racist attack in Portland that killed two men during a Thursday speech, connecting it to increased hate and the White House?s ?actions that turn us against one another and turn us back.?

Clinton gave the keynote address at the commencement ceremony for Medgar Evers, a college in Brooklyn, New York. While the nation?s attention was turned to former FBI director James Comey?s testimony at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Clinton stayed silent on the revelations about his conversations with President Donald Trump, instead urging the graduating class to remember that ?the work of justice is never finished.?

?The first months of this year saw a surge in hate crimes across our country,? Clinton said. ?White supremacists are emboldened, and their numbers on the rise.?

She reminded the audience of the May 26 stabbing on a Portland commuter train, when Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, allegedly stabbed three men who defended two teenage girls from Christian?s ?racist, xenophobic tirade,? as Clinton put it. One of the girls was wearing a hijab, and Christian reportedly made comments such as telling the girls to go back to Saudi Arabia

Ricky John Best, 53, and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, died in the attack. Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, was seriously injured but survived.

?They stepped in front of those girls to block the abuse,? Clinton said. ?Other passengers rushed forward to comfort and pray with the victims, and one victim?s last words as he was carried away by paramedics echoes what [Medgar Evers College President Rudolph Crew] said at the very beginning of this ceremony: ?Tell everyone on this train that I love them.??

That quote was remembered by one of the passengers on the train, Rachel Macy, who told local Oregon Live that she had comforted Namkai-Meche after he was stabbed in the neck.

Namkai-Meche?s last words and the heroic actions in the face of hate ?showed us the best and worst of humanity among us,? Clinton said Thursday.

?At the last minute of his life he was thinking of love ? love for those he knew and love for total strangers,? she said.

Clinton said that in light of the surge of acts of hate, both the nation?s leaders and the public must ?recommit ourselves to the urgent work of protecting the safety and civil rights of all of our people, not moving in the opposite direction, undoing the progress that we have made.? 

?Instead, we see official actions that turn us against one another and turn us back,? she said.

She highlighted Trump?s ?Muslim ban,? as well as the Department of Justice?s limited interest in protecting voting rights and the Department of Education?s signal that it won?t defend the civil rights of LGBTQ students.

?The Muslim ban is a particularly egregious example ? and yes, it is a ban, as the president himself made very clear this week,? Clinton said. ?But you know, attacks on civil rights don?t have to be dramatic to be dangerous.? 

CORRECTION: Due to an editorial error, this article initially misstated that the men killed in Portland were from Oklahoma.

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James Comey’s Hearing Is, Sadly, D.C.’s Hottest Ticket

WASHINGTON ? Los Angeles has Hollywood film screenings. Nashville has live music. And Washington has Senate committee hearings that people line up for at 4:15 a.m. because they?re so excited to see it in person rather than watch it on T.V. about six hours later.

?I got inside at 5 a.m.,? Samantha Sharkoff, 20, said cheerily. She was the first person in line for Thursday?s potentially explosive hearing by the Senate Intelligence Committee with former FBI director James Comey. Hundreds of people stood behind her, wrapped around corners and stretching down hallways in the Senate Hart Building. Sharkoff, a Senate intern, couldn?t believe how lucky she was to be first.

?I mean, it?s history in the making,? she said, munching on a muffin someone in line gave her. Her friend Mitchell Rosenberg, another Senate intern, joined her at 4:45 a.m. on next to no sleep, after his building was evacuated in the middle of the night because of a fire alarm. He was determined to come, he said, because he wanted to see if Comey could help restore people?s faith in government because President Donald Trump has fueled distrust amid the probe into his campaign?s ties to Russia.

?It?s sad that this is what it?s come to,? Rosenberg, 19, said of the interest in the hearing. ?The most exciting thing in D.C. should be some big bill is passed that?s going to help millions of people.?

?Yeah,? chimed in Sharkoff, ?it is actually sad when you think about the fact that this has to do with our president.?

There were only 80 or so seats available to the public in the hearing room, which meant most people in line weren?t getting in. Some said they might hit watch parties around town, where bars were serving Comey Covfefe Coffee and $5 Russian vodka specials for breakfast. Yet everyone still stood in line, giddy at the prospect of getting in. One group of young women further back was actually dancing to kill time.

Asked what time they got there, Morgan Murphy, 19, said, ?Long enough to be doing the cha cha slide.?

?You missed the Christmas music earlier,? added Grace Wood, 20, who conceded they were a little delirious. They were sure that getting there by 6:15 am. would get them seats ? until they learned that some of their other friends, all Senate interns, had slept in the building overnight to get good seats.

?We didn?t think anyone else would be here because we were like, ?We?re probably the only ones who are so lame to think this is so cool,? and we got here and we?re like, ?Oh, you slept out??? said Brittany Spinelli, 21. ?That?s dedication.?

?This feels super cool,? said Wood. ?It has worldwide attention, with people in every country.?

?This is like our concert,? added Murphy.

College-aged kids tend to engage in activities like drinking booze late into the evening, waking up later in the morning, popping Advil and grabbing greasy breakfast sandwiches to dull their hangovers. The concept of waking up before the sun rises to put on a suit and stand in a cold Senate hallway for hours would be anathema to most.

But D.C. is a unique place, attracting those who live off of breaking news and public affairs, even if they?re not yet of legal drinking age. That?s truest among the class of interns that regularly head to serve on Capitol Hill. Their gigs are short lived. But they?re given a front row seat to some dramatic political moments. And they often rush to soak it all up in the time that they can. 

?If there ends up being something like a revelation, in 10 or 15 years, you can be like, ?I was there. I saw that happen,?? said Spinelli.

Aside from a 60s-something man handing out yarmulkes to people in line (why not?), nearly everyone trying to get in was in their 20s, or younger. But further back in line stood Robert and Margaret Graham, both middle-aged. They were in town from Cleveland, and decided to try to get into the hearing. If it didn?t work out, they figured they?d catch it on CNN.

?We?re just here for the experience, I guess,? said Robert, a semi-retired former employee of the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper. ?We?d like to see Trump get his comeuppance. … He scares me. He really does.?

Margaret, who works as a doula ? a person who assists women during child birth and may provide support after the baby is born ? said she?s sick of ?a bully? being in the White House and lamented that people used to look up to presidents.

?My daughter used to write to the president,? she said. ?I don?t want my grandkids knowing anything about this president.?

Margaret leaned in and offered a grim prediction for Trump?s time in office: ?I think one of his staff members is going to take him out. I know that sounds crazy, but I don?t see this ending well.?

Alas, someone has to be the very last person in line. An unnamed Hill staffer stood there at the end, alone, so far back he was practically in another building. He wouldn?t give his name or which lawmaker he worked in. He had literally no chance of getting into the hearing. Yet, like a moth drawn to a light, he couldn?t seem to pull himself away.

?I don?t know why I?m here. I just woke up,? he said, staring straight ahead and sipping an iced coffee. ?It?s just what?s happening.?

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Democrats Give Funding Boost To South Carolina House Contender

The Democratic Congressional Campaign is investing $275,000 in Archie Parnell?s campaign to fill a vacant South Carolina seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The modest funding marks the national party?s first finacial foray into the race for South Carolina?s 5th Congressional District, a heavily Republican seat vacated by White House budget director Mick Mulvaney. The DCCC also has sent three field organizers to the district to increase Democratic turnout, particularly among black voters.

The DCCC, House Democrats? election fundraising arm, has stuck to a strategy of placing big bets only on seats where polling shows it can win, despite criticism from some progressive activists for not backing special election candidates earlier and more aggressively.

In a statement announcing the cash infusion, DCCC spokesman Cole Leiter emphasized that Democrats were looking beyond Parnell?s race to long-term party-building efforts in the region.

?This investment will help turn out ? and provide key lessons on ? crucial voters for South Carolina?s Fifth Congressional District and the 2018 midterms more broadly,? Leiter said. ?We?re proud to make this investment in organizing staff, African-American radio, mail, digital, and other targeted voter outreach in the final weeks of this campaign, and support a candidate like Archie Parnell who will stand up and fight for the smart, responsible kind of leadership this community needs.?

On Saturday, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez, DNC Associate Chairman Jaime Harrison and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten canvassed for Parnell to kick off the DNC?s ?Resistance Summer? grassroots organizing initiative. 

Parnell, 66, a tax attorney, faces real estate developer and former Republican state Rep. Ralph Norman, 63, on June 20.

The national Democratic Party clearly has higher hopes for Georgia?s 6th District, where voters head to the polls on the same day. The DCCC has poured more than $5 million into the campaign of Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old filmmaker, who faces Republican Karen Handel in the largely affluent, increasingly diverse suburban Atlanta district. Ossoff leads Handel by 1 percentage point, according to a recent poll.

By contrast, Parnell trails his GOP opponent by 10 percentage points, according to a poll conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research on behalf of Parnell?s campaign. That?s an improvement over a 16-point deficit in March, according to the same poll.

Parnell, who previously held a top post at investment giant Goldman Sachs, is running a campaign focused on bread-and-butter issues that highlights ? and at times, makes light of ? his mild demeanor and expertise in the tax code.

He has attacked Norman for backing an increase in the Social Security retirement age, which Parnell opposes. He also opposes the Republican health care legislation, and favors safe importation of prescription drugs.

Parnell nonetheless faces a steep climb in a rural district that elected President Donald Trump by 17 percentage points in November, according to official data collected by Daily Kos and shared with HuffPost. Mulvaney defeated his Democratic challenger by more than 20 points.

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Bobby Moynihan Reveals Wife Is Having A Girl With Sweet ‘Wonder Woman’ Tribute

Bobby Moynihan is so ready to show his daughter the new ?Wonder Woman? movie. Only thing is … his daughter hasn?t been born yet.

The ?Saturday Night Live? alum and his wife, Brynn O?Malley, are currently expecting their first child.  

On Monday, Moynihan posted a photo of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman on Instagram and revealed that he and O?Malley are having a baby girl. 

Addressing the film?s director, he captioned the photo, ??Hi @PattyJenks. Big fan. Quick question. How soon do you think is appropriate to show my daughter @WonderWomanFilm? She?s due in July.?

He added, ?Thanks for making it easier to be a Dad. What an amazing, beautiful movie. Thanks to you and @gal_gadot.?

Indeed, ?Wonder Woman? fever has struck parents and kids alike. In fact, many parents are sharing photos of their young daughters dressed as the famous superhero. 

Girl power for the win!

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Valentines cake house make amazing custom-made cakes and my favorite is black magic cake domainname. I ordered one for my birthday which I will pick up tomorrow at the branch they have closest to my home. Valentines cake house has great customer service and is the main reason why they have a multitude of customers lined-up outside their office everyday.

Two Arrested Over Deadly ‘Ghost Ship’ Fire

June 5 (Reuters) – Two people have been arrested in connection with a fire at a warehouse in Oakland, California, known as the ?Ghost Ship? that killed 36 people during a dance party last year, prosecutors said.

The Alameda County District Attorney?s Office scheduled a press conference for later on Monday to discuss the arrests of Derrick Ion Almena, 47, and Max Harris. Almena was a manager of the warehouse.

On December 2 flames raced through what authorities say was an illegal dance party on the second floor of the sprawling two-story building, which was permitted as a warehouse but leased to an artists? collective.

It was the deadliest blaze in the United States since 100 people perished in a 2003 nightclub fire in Rhode Island.

The 10,000-square-foot (900-square-meter) building lacked sprinklers and smoke detectors, and wooden pallets partially formed a makeshift stairway between the first and second floors, officials have said. It had just two exterior doors.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Tom Brown)

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‘Broad City’ Season 4 Trailer Is Here With A ‘F**k You, Trump’ Moment

Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer are back for season 4 of ?Broad City,? and things are looking as outrageous as ever. 

Fans can look forward to seeing some major cameos (Ru Paul, Wanda Sykes and Steve Buscemi to name a few), lots of pot, choice words for the president, an encounter with plastic surgery, a trip to Florida, and of course, a strap-on.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Glazer described the newest season as ?dark as fuck.? She added, ?It is as dark as the world is today.? 

Season 4 takes place in the winter, Jacobson told Vanity Fair last January, which is a departure from past episodes. The duo wrote the fourth season thinking that Hillary Clinton would win the election so they had to change the script before shooting in February. Clinton appeared on the show in March.

?Broad City? returns to Comedy Central on August 23.

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Calais Mon Amour

Béatrice Huret once delivered pamphlets for France’s National Front, but then she met an Iranian migrant. After falling in love she helped him set off on a dangerous journey to the UK.

The secret pricetag on your cola bottle

The line at the convenience store is three people deep. Standing in front of me is a 40-something man with a bottle of cola and a newspaper. In front of him, a mother paying her utility bill accompanied by her young daughter. The mum and child leave, and the man moves forward to pay. ?Two dollars?? I overhear him say with surprise? ?I remember when a bottle of cola was one!? As he pays and heads for the door, I too grab a newspaper and cannot help but notice the story on the front cover: the mounting crisis of costs from an obesity epidemic gripping not just the nation, but the planet ? the economic and health systems already struggling to keep pace.

A cloud of sad irony descends on me as I struggle to make sense of this strange set of events. The frustration, not for this one man, but for the system we have collectively created where an individual is so far removed from the bigger economic picture beyond the pricetag of his seemingly expensive drink – when the truer price is vastly more costly. There is a sense of futility in the point that the small price he paid today was in fact the tiny tip of a much larger and deeply troubling fiscal iceberg; an iceberg into which our planet?s health is steadily and obliviously steaming full-pelt.

Then frustration turns to focus as I reaffirm that our greatest health challenges and the resulting economic strain on our societies ? a concern shared by many ? is not a challenge borne or solved by doctors in hospitals, but by economists, business people, policy-makers and market regulators. It is a challenge made in economics, and until these economic realities are understood, progress and especially solutions will remain elusive.

So what are these realities?

Well, when we pay for a cola, soda or any sugary drink, products we know are associated with weight gain, obesity and diabetes ? we pay not one, but three times. Once with our dollars at the checkout, and twice more long after this initial transaction. It is these delayed payments that cause most of the trouble, as they lead to a problem called ?market failure?. This is when the normal forces that define how much of the product is produced and importantly, how much of it we consume, become imbalanced due to unnatural manipulation.

In essence, and to paraphrase Churchill, what many of us overlook is that the costs this man paid for his cola at the counter were actually not the end, but rather just the end of the beginning.

Here?s why?

The price you pay at the counter

The first price we pay for our sugary drink is the few dollars we fork over at the cashier. For a product made from some of the cheapest commodities around ? petroleum-based plastic we pump from the ground, water from the sky, and sugar often subsidized with our own tax dollars ? a few bucks is a pretty steep price in itself. The cost of these raw constituents likely adds up to a few cents, and so the profit on our bottle for the producer is substantial. This is important, because it is this generous margin that allows billions to be spent annually by cola companies on advertising, lobbying policy-makers and even on paying the retailers ? in this case the convenience store ? to place their sugary products at eye height for children, paint the fridge with their colors or splash promotional wares throughout the retail experience.

This price is already high, and we are just getting started.

The price you pay after you drink

Let?s be really clear. Sugary drinks, soft drinks, soda or cola, whatever you call them, they?re bad news for our health. There are almost no other ?foods? that provide no nutrients but a significant proportion of our daily calories across the population. Science has clearly linked their consumption with obesity, child obesity, and diabetes. There is a clear social gradient in most societies ? meaning the poorest members of most communities in wealthier nations drink the most, and increasingly vast numbers of people in poorer nations are taking up the unhealthy habit too. We know that our brain doesn?t recognize the calories in sugary drinks in the same way as solid foods, and these likely become ?extra? calories in addition to normal eating, or may even encourage further eating. And while it would be misleading to suggest that sugary drinks are the sole cause of the global obesity epidemic, we know that their consumption is one key driver.

When we add all this up, soda is very expensive to an individual, because obesity, diabetes and heart disease are expensive. Globally, they are the leading causes of death and key contributors to early (aka preventable) deaths. The health bills, time taken from work because of illness, the disability caused by complications of these debilitating, long-term illnesses and the loss of productive life due to premature death all add up to a huge cost on individuals and their families. These are not far-fetched sums or future, fantasy figures. These are a current, major drain on households across most nations today – the obesity epidemic is estimated to cost Australia over 56.6 billion dollars per annum, and individuals with obesity in America experience a 150% increase in medical spending compared with normal-weight counterparts.

The price you keep paying long after you stop drinking

The final cost relates to the fact that it?s impossible to put the genie, or in this case the fiscal fallout of sugary drinks, back into the bottle once it?s escaped. The collective, long-term cost across our societies is the most frightening figure of all ? for at least two reasons.

The first is the ubiquitous nature of these drinks due largely to the decades of massive marketing campaigns that have normalized and even embedded these unhealthy products in our cultures as beloved and celebrated staples, markers of success and icons of Westernization. Quite simply, red and white cola signs are everywhere, in every city and nation I travel.

The second is due to the amount of these products that many of us now consume. In 2016, Mexico, the United States and Australia consumed 297.5, 270 and 145.3 liters of sugary drinks per capita, respectively.

The sheer scale of consumption and linked ill-health at the macro level is almost unfathomable. Collectively, the direct and indirect health costs across populations and health systems are unsustainable. For many low- and middle-income countries, what starts as a health challenge quickly becomes a barrier to poverty-reduction, and even economic development. The full price is felt eventually, and often by those least able to afford it.

The bitter truth to sugary drinks

Brilliantly profitable for the companies that produce them and the small handful of shareholders that enjoy the end financial windfall, the societal tsunami of health costs from sugary drinks is now lapping at our shores.

This is not about banning or blaming. This is about fair economics, and ensuring families, parents and communities understand the full and transparent picture of what sugary drinks cost, and can therefore make informed decisions about their consumption.

For too long, we have all unknowingly paid a very painful price for the sugary drinks we consume. Deferred, sometimes for years or decades, these costs eventually reap an enormous and bitter burden long after the sweet taste of consumption has left our mouths.


Dr Sandro Demaio works for the World Health Organization in Geneva. This post was written by Sandro in his personal capacity. The views, opinions and positions expressed in this article are the author?s own and do not reflect the views of any third party. Sandro is also co-host of ABC TV?s Ask The Doctor, on Australian television.

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Men Really Do Get Less Sexist When They Have Daughters

For many men, having a daughter is a wake-up call to a notion most of us are already on board with: Women are human beings, just as capable as men.

The web is awash in blog posts from fathers earnestly explaining how having a little girl changed their feelings about women ? they?re not just pretty-smelling objects to be ogled, dads say. They face challenges because of sexism, fathers learn as they watch their daughters grow up and confront the world.  

But the daughter effect isn?t merely anecdotal, and it doesn?t simply change men?s attitudes. It can also have profound economic consequences. A new study from researchers at Harvard offers perhaps the most compelling evidence yet: Venture capitalists who have daughters are more likely to hire women to work at their firms and those more diverse firms see improved financial returns.

In other words, the less sexist dads wound up making better business decisions.

?Subtle debiasing can have real effects,? said Paul Gompers, a professor at Harvard Business School who conducted the research with Sophie Wang an economics PhD student at Harvard. They published their findings in a working paper on the National Bureau of Economic Research website.

Other studies of male-dominated professions have come to similar conclusions: Members of Congress with daughters vote more liberally, according to a 2006 study. Research from 2015 found that CEOs with daughters spend more time on social causes. And a 2014 paper found that judges with daughters tend to rule more favorably toward women?s issues.

It also offers yet another strong rebuke to old-fashioned notions about the separation of the sexes, like Vice President Mike Pence?s reported rule that he won?t dine or socialize in ?mixed? company unless his wife is present. (Pence himself has two daughters and one son.)

Raising a girl isn?t always a game-changer for men. No one would mistake Pence or President Donald Trump for feminists. Yet it was at the urging of his daughter Ivanka that Trump included a paid parental leave policy as part of his draconian budget proposal last month. He?s the first Republican president ever to propose such a measure. On the flip side, his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, the father of two girls, was the first president to actually, explicitly call himself a feminist.

There?s also something slightly depressing about the findings. Yes, they make a solid case in favor of diversity and show the powerful way inclusion can lessen bias. But they leave you stranded when it comes to taking action.

?Have more daughters? is not a solid social policy. It?s not much use as the basis for a corporate diversity program. The daughter effect also is reminiscent of the way men in power often respond to sexism or reports of sexual assault or rape by making sympathetic statements with qualifiers like ?as the father of a daughter I am outraged.?

One would hope it wouldn?t be so hard to empathize with women, who make-up half the population. And one wonders if the woman who helped the father create the daughter had similar influence. 

Still the findings are significant. It?s a rare piece of clear evidence into the connection between gender diversity and improved business results ? a link that?s proven difficult for researchers definitively find.

For the study Gompers and his co-author Sophie Wang examined VC firms and VC-backed startups from 1990 – 2016 and sent out email surveys to obtain data on the gender of senior partners? children. They came up with a universe of about 1,400 investors and found that having a daughter (instead of a son) increased the probability of hiring a female investor by 24 percent. The daughter firms saw women comprise 12 percent of new hires, compared to 9 percent in the firms partners had more sons than daughters.

The daughter firms also saw investment returns increase at an average of about 3 percent.

The findings were particularly interesting considering that the VC world ? a small, insular male-dominated sphere that has an outsized effect on the economy ? pumps billions of dollars into tech startups. A stunning 75 percent of VC firms have never had a single female partner, according to prior research conducted by Gompers and other academics.

Typically, VC firms fund entrepreneurs and companies that are similarly male dominated. 

The key to all these findings is simple: Exposure. Men or boys are forced to engage in a real and nonsexual relationship with a female ? and likely, her friends, too. They develop a better understanding of her.  It?s transformative.

You see something similar with sons and mothers. Sons whose mothers work often turn out to have more feminist attitudes, researchers have learned.  And young kids who socialize more in co-ed settings are less likely to believe stereotypes about men and women.

?The more exposure we have to others who are different from us, the more we become debiased,? Gompers told Huffpost. Gompers himself has three daughters ages 25, 21, and 19.  ?Watching their struggles and issues, especially my 25-year-old who is working in a venture backed enterprise software company in New York City has created insights that are certainly dependent upon having daughters.?

Bottom line: The best way to reduce sexism and bias is to mingle with the opposite sex. Who, but Mike Pence, could argue with that? 

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‘Stranger Things’ Season 2 Will End With Another Cliffhanger

?Stranger Things? Season 2 is shaping up to be an Eleven out of 10.

Finn Wolfhard and Caleb McLaughlin already told HuffPost that Season 2 of the breakout Netflix series is going to be better than Season 1, and now Gaten Matarazzo is here to hype fans up even more.

The actor is teaming up with Holiday Inn for their ?Summer of Smiles? event, which, among other things, involves chocolate milk happy hours at participating hotels. One of Matarazzo?s most memorable scenes from ?Stranger Things? is when his character Dustin discovers a stash of chocolate pudding in school, so chocolate milk happy hours seem right up his alley. 

While casually hanging out by a pool, the actor filled us in on what to expect in Season 2. (You can watch the interview in the video above.)

Ladies, gentlemen, Demogorgons, get ready for another cliffhanger.

Matarazzo said people can look forward to ?a good amount of explanation that they?ve been looking for, but also there are some new stories coming in that you?re gonna want to hear about if there is a Season 3. Also, we got another cliffhanger in there for ya, so that?s gonna be exciting.?

The actor told HuffPost that the new season is action-packed, and you?ll learn more about the Upside Down.

But we can?t help but think, ?What could the cliffhanger be? And what are the explanations we?re finally going to get??

One revelation you probably shouldn?t count on is that Dustin is one of the test subjects like Eleven. Matarazzo told us that?s the craziest ?Stranger Things? theory he?s heard so far … but he?s into it.

?Who doesn?t want to be like Eleven? Eleven?s awesome,? the actor said.

?Stranger Things? Season 2 is out Oct. 31.

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More Netflix Shows Could Get The Ax

The last few years have been a strange era for television as Netflix and Amazon Prime invest millions and millions of dollars on new shows to try to establish dominance over your streaming time. Unlike the movie and music industries where only the biggest stars seem to get large payouts, your favorite niche comedians can auteur their own series for multiple seasons in this ?golden age.?

Streaming companies often seem to be a patron for the arts, rather than a straightforward cash-grab of combining A-listers with flashy special effects. Or rather, it has made little sense that while the traditional broadcasters only break the bank for lowest-common-denominator-treading sitcoms, the rules don?t apply for Netflix. The streaming service takes on a wide range of projects and rarely cancels its original programming.

But that might be coming to an end.

Netflix, which recently canceled the very expensive ?The Get Down? as well as ?Sense8,? may have more cancellations on the way if founder and CEO Reed Hastings? recent comments are true. 

We should have a higher cancel rate overall.
Netflix Founder and CEO Reed Hastings

Hastings told CNBC in an interview that he?s trying to steer the company in the direction of axing more projects.

?Our hit ratio is way too high right now,? Hastings said, as Vulture transcribed. ?So, we?ve canceled very few shows … I?m always pushing the content team: We have to take more risk; you have to try more crazy things. Because we should have a higher cancel rate overall.?

Still, it?s unclear from this one interview if pre-existing shows on Netflix are more in trouble than before; maybe it?s just that Netflix won?t approve some truly ridiculous new shows? 

But with the recent cancellations, it does seem as if the company is making a ? to quote one of the most popular shows on the service ? ?pivot.?

Hastings continued to talk about Netflix?s decisions in the interview and gave some insight into how they?re made.

?It?s a mix [of viewing and subscriber growth],? said Hastings of cancellations. ?Mostly, it is how many people watch. But those are very connected.?

Although Netflix doesn?t release traditional viewership numbers, this quote from Hastings revealed that the metric of sheer popularity is ? at least now ? their ?most? important measure for success. This seems to suggest that the more niche projects could be in trouble.

In the interview, Hastings reiterated that Netflix still plans to keep increasing its spending budget for content. The company is investing $6 billion this year and, according to the CEO, will continue to increase the spending by ?a lot.?

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Iconic Photo Shows Mother Of Portland Victim Embracing Woman In Headscarf At Vigil

?Tell everyone on the train I love them.?

Those were the reported last words of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, who died from a stab wound on Friday, May 26, according to a bystander. The recent college grad was one of the victims in a hate-fueled attack on a train in Portland, Oregon, that targeted two young women, one of whom was wearing a headscarf and was Muslim.

Friends and family described Namkai-Meche as having a ?huge heart? and ?a joyful and magical spirit? ? qualities he appears to have shared with his mother, Asha Deliverance.

Deliverance and hundreds of other Portlanders gathered for a vigil on Saturday to honor the lives of Namkai-Meche and Rick Best, 53, who was also killed in the attack after defending the young women. Micah Fletcher, 21, was also injured in the incident and survived.

During the vigil, Deliverance cried, embraced people in the crowd, and encouraged those gathered to ?Give it up for love.?

A one point a woman wearing a white headscarf approached the grieving mother, who warmly leaned forward and embraced her.

On Monday, Deliverance penned an open letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to be a be a ?President for all Americans.?

?Please encourage all Americans to protect and watch out for one another,? the letter reads in part. ?Please condemn any acts of violence, which result directly from hate speech & hate groups. I am praying you will use your leadership to do so.?

Namkai-Meche, Best and Fletcher intervened on Friday when Jeremy Joseph Christian, the accused attacker, reportedly made anti-Muslim comments directed at the two girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab. All three were injured in the altercation, Namkai-Meche and Best fatally so.

Namkai-Meche was a recent college grad who worked at an consulting firm focused on environmental issues. The 23-year-old?s family released a statement on Saturday, urging people to ?use this tragedy as an opportunity for reflection and change.?

Best, an Army veteran and a married father of four, worked for the city of Portland and was remembered as a ?hero? by his family. ?He couldn?t just stand by and do nothing. He died fighting the good fight protecting the innocent,? his eldest son, Erik, told KATU News.

Fletcher, a student at Portland State University, said he?s still ?healing? and trying to make sense of what happened. ?I got stabbed in the neck on my way to work, randomly, by a stranger I don?t know, for trying to just be a nice person,? he told USA Today.

A LaunchGood fund initiated by two Muslim nonprofit groups had raised more than $500,000 to support the victims families as of Wednesday afternoon.

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Lorde Invited The Cashier Who Sold Her A Smoothie To See Her At Governors Ball

Lorde is super smooth ? and we?re not just talking about her drink preferences (we?re not sorry).

The ?Green Light? singer went into Liquiteria, a smoothie shop, in New York City on Monday and made fast friends with the bubbly cashier, Ayesha.

After making Lorde a cup of ?Blue Velvet? (not sure that sounds appetizing, but Lorde can do what she wants), Ayesha filmed herself meeting her the songstress. She later tweeted the adorable encounter:

?This is my first smoothie to a famous person ? we got Lorde in the house today,? she giggles in the video. ?She got a Blue Velvet. I am shook.?

Lorde is in New York this week to perform at the upcoming Governor?s Ball in the area this weekend. Which is why, shortly after meeting Ayesha, the singer slid into the smoothie-maker?s DMs to invite her to the show.

Apparently Lorde wanted to invite her new BFF in real life, but ?got shy.? Stars, they?re just like us. 

Friends and Twitter followers alike asked if Ayesha would go to the concert, to which she responded: ?Absolutely.? Because, duh. If Lorde DMs you to come to GovBall, you respond and go with her to GovBall.

We hope the pair have the best time at the show. 

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Trump Administration Moves To Roll Back Birth Control Coverage

WASHINGTON ? The Trump administration is on the verge of rolling back a federal rule that requires most employers to cover birth control in their health insurance plans at no cost to women. 

The White House Office of Management and Budget posted on its website that it is reviewing an interim final rule that would allow religious employers to deny contraception coverage to their female employees. The details of the rule have not been announced, but Gretchen Borchelt, the vice president of the National Women?s Law Center, said it is certain that ?some women will lose birth control coverage.? 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the move ?sickening.?

?The draft rule announced today attempts to tear away women?s control over their own private health decisions and put that control in the hands of employers and politicians,? she said. 

The contraception mandate, enacted under President Barack Obama in 2012, for the first time in U.S. history deemed birth control an essential preventative health service that should be fully covered alongside well-woman visits, mammograms and sexually transmitted infection screenings. It guarantees coverage to more than 55 million women, saved women $1.4 billion on birth control pills in the first year it went into effect, and has contributed to the lowest U.S. abortion rate since the procedure became legal in 1973. 

Some religious employers have been fighting the mandate since it was announced. The Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that closely held corporations like Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned craft supply chain, cannot be required to provide contraception coverage for their employees. The Obama administration tried to accommodate those employers by directing them to state their religious objections to the government, which would then direct a third-party insurer to provide the coverage to the organization?s female employees.

Some groups, like an organization of nuns called Little Sisters of the Poor, have continued to challenge the rule. President Donald Trump signed an executive order in March directing the Department of Health and Human Services to re-examine the birth control coverage rule, promising the Little Sisters at the time that their ?long ordeal will soon be over.?

HHS Secretary Tom Price, a vocal opponent of reproductive rights, commended Trump for ?taking a strong stand for religious liberty.? He had told ThinkProgress in 2012 that no woman has trouble affording her monthly birth control prescriptions

?Bring me one woman who has been left behind,? he said at the time. ?Bring me one. There?s not one. The fact of the matter is, this is a trampling of religious freedom and religious liberty in this country.? 

The Center for Reproductive Rights, a legal advocacy group, said it plans to challenge the new rule. 

?Without health coverage of contraception under the [Affordable Care Act], countless women will lose their basic right to prevent pregnancy and plan when they have children,? said Nancy Northup, president and chief executive officer of the Center for Reproductive Rights. ?Plain and simple: President Trump?s executive order will hurt women. And the Center for Reproductive Rights is ready to fight back in court.? 

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Hold The Phone. Trump Tweets He Now Wants More Money For Health Care

President Donald Trump had concerned Americans scratching their heads Sunday night after he tweeted that he now wants to pour more money into health care.

?I suggest that we add more dollars to Healthcare and make it the best anywhere,? he wrote.

That was strange because Trump?s budget plan submitted just days ago called for cutting at least $610 billion from Medicaid and slicing an additional $250 billion from health care by repealing Obamacare. The White House plan also calls for cuts in future spending on health care for children from low-income households. There is no additional spending for any health care in the plan.

The weird disconnect on health care wasn?t a first for the president. When Trump met with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in New York City in early May, the president praised that nation?s health care system. ?You have better health care than we do,? Trump said.

He was perhaps unaware that Australia has a government-run, publicly funded universal health care system ? and at a fraction of the cost of American health care. It?s a system Trump would be more likely to denigrate as socialist and even worse than Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office estimated last week that Trump?s health care proposal would leave an additional 23 million Americans with no health care coverage by 2026.

The White House later said that Trump was just being nice and not pushing for the Australian system in America.

In another puzzling tweet on Sunday, Trump boasted that his tax reform package was moving along ?ahead of schedule.?

In fact neither Trump nor Congress has yet proposed a comprehensive tax plan. The White House has released a single page of bullet points in search of a plan that leaves many details unaddressed and questions unanswered. 

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Burger King’s ‘Who Is The King?’ Vote Reportedly Angers Belgian Royal

Burger King appears to be eyeing more than just business expansion this summer.

The fast-food giant has launched a mock, online vote titled ?Who Is The King?? that pits its fictional, royal brand name against Belgium?s King Philippe ahead of the company?s first Burger King restaurant in the Western Europe country.

?Two kings, one single crown, who shall reign?? it asks.

Unfortunately for the advertising campaign ? as playful as it may be ? it?s reportedly broiled more than just burgers.

A spokesman for Belgium?s royal family told the BBC that they have reached out to Burger King to express their disapproval of the advertisement, which features a cartoon image of King Philippe.

?Since it is for commercial purposes, we would not have given our authorisation,? royal spokesman Pierre Emmanuel de Bauw told the British news network.

As of Sunday, the online election appears to remain underway. Participants are encouraged to select a king, though measures are in place to sway users to select Burger King.

Votes can be cast until June 19, according to the website.

A Burger King spokesperson, reached by news agency EFE, said they have not received any communication from the royal family.

A request for comment from Burger King by HuffPost was not immediately returned on Sunday.

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stampedes in their concerts. domain name. They can be easily said to be the most followed metal band in the world.

8 Habits That Make Millennials Stressed, Anxious And Unproductive

A version of this article was originally published on Forbes. Sign up for Caroline?s newsletter to get her writing sent straight to your inbox.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), millennials experience more stress and are less able to manage it than any other generation. More than half of us admit to having lain awake at night during the past month from stress.

Not surprisingly, millennials are also more anxious than older Americans. The APA reports that 12 percent of millennials have a diagnosed anxiety disorder?almost twice the percentage of Boomers. On a non-clinical scale, a BDA Morneau Shepell white paper discovered that 30 percent of working millennials have general anxiety, while a 2014 American College Health Association (ACHA) assessment found that anxiety regularly afflicts 61 percent of college students.

Anxiety not only harms our wellbeing but also sabotages our productivity. The ACHA assessment found that the top two tolls on students? academic performance were stress and anxiety. Two-thirds of millennials interviewed by BDA  attribute declining work performance to anxiety.

Sources of millennial anxiety may include a tough job market and student debt as well as psychological causes I?ve covered previously such as ambition addiction, career crises and choice-overload. But even our day-to-day behaviors can incite anxiety. Here are eight common habits that instigate stress and compromise our potential:

1. Bad sleep habits

Perhaps the most prevalent contributor to anxiety is poor sleep. A study by the University of California at Berkeley found that lack of sleep ?may play a key role in ramping up the brain regions that contribute to excessive worrying.? Common causes of insufficient sleep include going to bed at different times, not making sleep a priority and spending time on phones or laptops right before bed.


Calm Clinic, an online magazine dedicated to anxiety management, suggests forming a long, boring nighttime routine free from technology, keeping a journal by your bed to write down thoughts that keep you awake, and exercising during the day to wear out your body.

2. Skipping sustenance

Eating consistently regulates not only our metabolism and insulin levels but also our mental stability.

?Waiting too long to eat or missing out on breakfast may lead to unsteady blood sugar levels, which can cause anxiety-like sensations, including shakiness, dizziness, confusion, and difficulty speaking,? writes Body and Health. Dehydration has a similar effect. Because food and water are biological needs, anxiety naturally follows hunger and thirst.


Eat meals regularly. Keep granola bars or nuts at your desk or in your purse. Bring a water bottle to work and sip it throughout the day. Have a glass of water right when you wake up and before you go to sleep.

3. Drinking coffee

Drinking coffee makes us more alert and, in many cases, helps us perform better on short-term tasks. But it can also make people jittery, irritable and nervous, especially if they?re already predisposed to anxiety. Sensitivity to caffeine is, in fact, heightened in people with panic disorder and social phobia, and caffeine can provoke panic attacks in some individuals. Caffeine is also diuretic, which can cause dehydration?an anxiety trigger established above.


Try weaning off coffee by switching to just one cup a day, decaf or black tea. If you feel calmer and more in control after a couple weeks without it, commit to quitting and pull out all the stops.

4. Sitting

America?s surge of anxiety symptoms parallels our increasingly sedentary lifestyles. But, until a recent review by BMC Public Health, it was unclear whether the two were actually linked. After lengthy analysis, researchers found that the risk of anxiety risk increases as sedentary behavior increases?and, specifically, sitting time spikes one?s likelihood of experiencing anxiety.


If you work at a desk all day, you?re not doomed. Get up and walk around every ninety minutes. Offset your sitting time with regular exercise, which halves your risk of anxiety and depression.

5. Your phone 

A 2014 study by Baylor University found that American students spend an average of nine hours a day on their phone. Of course, technology vastly improves our lives in innumerable ways. But too much of it makes us anxious. Screen-based entertainment increases central nervous system arousal, which can amplify anxiety. Social media is similarly associated with low moods and depression.


Next time you?re waiting or have nothing to do, leave your phone in your pocket or purse. Relinquish it as a means of alleviating boredom and instead use it consciously as needed for its useful functions.

6. Not ?clocking out?

According to data from FORBES? @Work State of Mind Project, millennials become anxious and irritated when work intrudes on our personal lives. But our bad work-life balance is our own choosing. BDA?s assessment explains, ?Millennials do not believe that productivity should be measured by the number of hours worked at the office, but by the output of the work performed. They view work as a ?thing? and not a ?place.?? Even after we leave the office, we?re still at work.


We can still be ambitious, work long hours and impress our bosses without sacrificing psychological health and personal boundaries. So clock out: In your calendar, schedule a defined, consistent time at night to stop working. When time?s up, mark that task complete and go take care of yourself.

7. Netflix and hanging out

You may think snuggling up on the couch and watching a movie will help you unwind, but research disproves this trend.

In one study, participants felt more depressed and anxious after watching just two hours of TV than those who didn?t. Another study found that those with anxiety and depression spend significantly more time on the computer and watching television. While resting reduces anxiety short-term, research reveals that its effect is short lived, particularly compared with exercise.


Do anything but watch TV when you?re done with work. Go on a walk, grab drinks, knit, work, draw, write, sit in your room and look at the wall, call your mom, actually cook dinner, build something, play badminton.

8. Hanging out with anxious people

You might feel like you?ve found someone you can vent to who understands you, but studies show that ruminating on anxiety often makes it worse. Furthermore, participating in ?intergroup anxiety? increases one?s anxious behaviors.


Seek out people who level your mood. After you hang out with someone, ask yourself if you feel stable and well?or if you?re hyped up and on edge. It?s easy to spend less time with certain people once you?ve decided they?re bad for your health.

If the annoyance, pain and performance impairment of day-to-day anxiety isn?t enough to quit these bad habits, perhaps this is: According to Harvard Medical School, anxiety is implicated in heart disease, migraines, chronic respiratory disorders and gastrointestinal conditions.

Despite our youth, chronic anxiety is not sustainable.  By swapping out these daily practices, we can improve our moods and our lives one habit a time.

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Tom Hanks Calls Out Driver With Many Parking Tickets On Twitter

Tom Hanks has embraced his new real-life role of parking-ticket narc.

The ?Forrest Gump? actor on Saturday ratted out an apparent scofflaw in New York City by tweeting a picture of a car with several tickets crammed onto the windshield. Hollywood screenwriters should take note of his to-the-point message. 

Manhattan is not an uninhabited island like the one where Hanks washed ashore in ?Cast Away,? so word traveled fast. NYPD spokesman J. Peter Donald responded. 

Cops located the car on the Upper East Side?s East 79th Street and Park Avenue, and discovered that the tickets had been paid.

?We checked the license plate and there are no outstanding summonses,? a police source told the New York Daily News. ?He probably pays them online but leaves them on his windshield.?

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‘Bachelorette’ Contestant Criticized For Transphobic Reply To Dating Questionnaire

The Bachelorette? doesn?t officially kick off its 13th season until Monday night, but one of the 31 men vying for Rachel Lindsay?s love has already started off on the wrong foot.

ABC posted contestants? bios to its website this week, and Bryce, a 30-year-old firefighter, has been criticized for how he responded to a certain question: What?s your biggest date fear?? 

?The chick is actually a dude,? Bryce responded, per The Wrap

The contestant invited swift backlash from the LGBTQ community, including comments from ?Ru Paul?s Drag Race? alum Sharon Needles and transgender actress Jen Richards. 

ABC provided The Wrap with a statement denouncing Bryce?s answer. ?This comment does not reflect the views of ABC, Warner Horizon or bachelorette Rachel Lindsay,? a representative stated. The network promptly removed the line from its website.

As Refinery29 points out, Bryce wasn?t the only contestant to display uninformed views about transgender people. Lucas, a man who lists his occupation as ?whaboom,? stated that if he could have lunch with any one person, dead or alive, he?d choose Bruce Jenner (?dead?) and Caitlyn Jenner (?alive?). 

?Would be a very interesting convo,? Lucas said.

?Lucas is fetishizing the experience of a trans woman,? Refinery29?s R.A. Farley wrote. ?I?d like to think that Lucas wants to talk to Caitlyn Jenner in an effort to understand the trans experience. But I can?t help but think that?s not the case.?

Those missteps aside, Season 13 of ?The Bachelorette? has been praised for being the series? most progressive yet, with a black bachelorette and a more diverse set of contestants than ever before. The series returns to ABC Monday at 9 p.m. ET.

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We Know Zika Is A Big Problem In Puerto Rico. We Just Don’t Know How Big.

The Zika virus is still a significant threat to Puerto Rico, even though it has all but disappeared from the U.S. news cycle and, state health officials say, mosquitos in Florida.

The climate in Puerto Rico ? a U.S. territory that has been struggling with a budgetary crisis and has had little intervention from state health programs ? is ideal for the aedes aegypti mosquitos that spread infectious diseases. There have been 40,000 confirmed Zika cases among residents. 

All of this could also affect travelers to the island. Little information is coming from Puerto Rico, which could give tourists a misplaced sense of security about the Zika risk there. 

A JAMA pediatrics study published in October 2016 predicted that Puerto Rico would see 110 to 290 Zika-related microcephaly cases between mid-2016 and mid-2017. Microcephaly is a severe birth defect connected to developmental disabilities and babies being born with smaller-than-average heads.

But at last count, Puerto Rican officials had only reported 16 babies born with microcephaly, a staggeringly low figure considering the island has had 3,200 confirmed Zika cases in pregnant women since the beginning of the outbreak.  

These numbers don?t add up, according to some health officials who talked to health news site Stat under the condition of anonymity. They said Puerto Rico might be underreporting its Zika problem for tourism reasons.

The U.S. isn?t keep track of Zika in Puerto Rico. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention isn?t reporting adverse pregnancy outcomes for U.S. territories ? and according to the agency website, Puerto Rico is using different criteria to report Zika-related birth defects than the United States is. 

It?s also possible that mothers of babies born with birth defects may be unwilling to talk about it publicly. There?s a strong stigma surrounding Zika virus, Dr. Carmen Zorrilla, who runs the Maternal Infant Studies Center at the University of Puerto Rico hospital, told NPR. 

?You have pregnant women with a viral disease that may cause birth defects, which is serious,? Zorrilla said. ?And then you?re blaming them for getting it.?

The U.S. had more than 5,200 reported Zika cases as of May 17, including 218 local mosquito-born transmissions in Florida and six such transmissions in Texas, according to the CDC. There have been 1,845 cases of Zika in pregnant women in the U.S., 64 babies born with Zika-related birth defects and eight cases of Zika-related pregnancy loss.

The CDC awarded Puerto Rico?s health department $9.5 million to set up a Zika tracking system for pregnant women and to identify Zika-affected infants and fetuses. But a deep rift between the CDC and Puerto Rican heath officials means the two groups aren?t collaborating, Stat reports. 

It?s not clear how long it will take for up-to-date, accurate information about Zika and microcephaly in Puerto Rico to come to light.

?I see pregnant women every day,? Zorrilla told Stat. ?What am I to tell them??

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Pregnant Serena Williams Is Definitely Living Her Best Life

Summer is almost here and Serena Williams is living her best life. 

The tennis superstar, who is pregnant with her first child with fiancé Alexis Ohanian, shared a collection of Instagram photos on Thursday that were taken aboard a yacht. In the pics, she is dressed in a tiered black swimsuit and looking fabulous. 

The 35-year-old headed down to Miami to celebrate her bridal party with family and friends at 1 Hotel South Beach earlier this month. The ladies did yoga and meditated, got foot rubs and hung out by the luxury hotel?s pool. She also made a stop at Disney World, because who wouldn?t? 

Had the best time at Disney, Pandora was unreal!!#visitpandora

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

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Montana Democrat’s Donations Top $5 Million As Woes Mount For GOP Rival

The populist Democrat running for Montana?s open seat in the House of Representatives has hit a major fundraising milestone, as a race ignored until last month by party officials heats up in its final week.

Donations to Rob Quist, the bluegrass legend who won an unlikely bid for the nomination in March, have surpassed $5 million, his campaign announced on Thursday. The contributions averaged less than $25 each and came from roughly 200,000 individuals. For context, donations to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has endorsed Quist, averaged $27 donations during his insurgent bid for the Democratic presidential nomination last year.

Fundraising surged this month after Greg Gianforte, Quist?s multimillionaire Republican opponent, waffled on his support for the controversial health care bill just passed by the House. Gianforte told conservative lobbyists he backed the bill in a private call later published by The New York Times. He walked back the comment days later amid uproar from the more than 70,000 voters whose health insurance could be imperiled if the deeply unpopular American Health Care Act becomes law.

Quist, who supports single-payer health care and legalizing marijuana, has weathered his own history of financial woes, stemming from what he says was a botched gallbladder surgery that for years left him unqualified for affordable insurance.

Forced to pay out of pocket for follow-up surgeries, Quist accessed Social Security and sold off part of the ranch he inherited from his family. In October 1994, the doctor responsible for the surgery denied allegations of malpractice, according to a report published this week by the conservative Washington Free Beacon.

?Rob?s story is resonating with voters who want someone who will stand up for them,? Tina Olechowski, Quist?s communication director, said in a statement. ?After medical complications following surgery, Rob got into debt. He paid off his debt, but Rob believes no one should ever face bankruptcy just because they get sick.?

By contrast, Gianforte, who narrowly lost a bid for the Montana governor?s mansion last year, raised $2 million from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a dark-money super PAC funded by ?tobacco companies, video game manufacturers, other corporations and wealthy donors,? according to Bloomberg BNA. The tech mogul, who sold a software company to cloud-computing giant Oracle for $1.5 billion in 2011, loaned himself $1 million to finance his campaign ahead of the May 25 special election.

Republican attacks on Quist?s personal financial struggles have increased amid heightened scrutiny of Gianforte?s own investments. Gianforte listed in financial disclosures a nearly $48,000 stake in a French-Swiss cement maker accused of making payments to the Islamic State terror group, as HuffPost first reported on Wednesday. President Donald Trump criticized Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton last August for once accepting a donation to the Clinton Foundation from the company. Vice President Mike Pence and Donald Trump Jr., the president?s son, campaigned last week alongside Gianforte.

Rob will represent all Montanans, not just the millionaires, and that?s why he?ll win next week.
Tina Olechowski, communications director for Quist’s campaign

Gianforte also invested nearly $250,000 in index funds with holdings in Gazprom and Rosneft, the Kremlin-controlled oil and gas firms sanctioned by the U.S. after Russia invaded Crimea, The Guardian reported last month.  

Gianforte had a 6-point lead over Quist in a poll released earlier this month by a Democratic political action committee. But internal GOP polling shifted against Gianforte last weekend amid proliferating scandals coming from the White House, according to the conservative blogger and radio host Erick Erickson.

Shane Scanlon, a spokesman for Gianforte, did not respond to a request for comment. 

?Rob will represent all Montanans, not just the millionaires,? Olechowski said on Thursday, ?and that?s why he?ll win next week.?

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Snuggles The Rat Survives Harrowing Heroin Overdose

A pet rat who overdosed on heroin is alive and well, thanks to some quick-thinking volunteers.

On Sunday, the rat, named Snuggles, accidentally ingested some heroin that was left on a table by her owner, a woman in Vancouver.

The woman brought a very sick Snuggles to an overdose prevention site in hopes of keeping the animal alive.

Melissa Patton was working at the Maple Overdose Prevention Site when the rat arrived at the facility.

?[The owner] said it had eaten some heroin off the table and had OD?d,? Patton told the CBC. ?It had pretty much passed out and wasn?t really breathing.?

Patton said, at first, her team wasn?t sure what to do, because Snuggles was so much smaller than the typical patient.

?We weren?t sure what to do, so I gave it some Narcan orally. Because it was so tiny, I didn?t want to puncture anything by giving it an injection.?

Instead, they put the Narcan on the rat?s nose and she licked it off.

Patton, who is studying to be a pharmacist, also gave Snuggles some oxygen from a small can to help the rat retain brain function. She and other volunteers then gave Snuggles water with protein powder and held Snuggles during the ordeal.

?I know from NICUs that skin-to-skin contact is really important,? she told the Vancouver Sun.

Snuggles managed to make a full recovery by the next day, with a ravenous appetite.

?Right now she really seems to like Cheerios, bananas and strawberries,? Patton told the Canadian Press.

The experience seems to have affected Snuggles? owner.

The day after Snuggles? OD, Patton said the woman decided to go into detox treatment. Patton has since adopted Snuggles.

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10 Expert-Approved Ways To Turn Around A Crappy Day

The worst part of having an off day is the sour mood that inevitably comes along with it.

Your emotional state becomes less about the critique from your boss or the tiff with your spouse but about everything. It seems like the whole universe is out to get you by the end. Or at least it can feel that way. 

This is absolutely no fun, to state the obvious. So we asked several psychology experts how to manage these feelings in order to turn a crappy day around. Take a look at their tips below so you can get back on the happy side: 

1. Embrace your bad mood.

It sounds counterintuitive, but try accepting the fact that you?re in a terrible state. Doing so will actually make the negative perception of the day go away faster, according to Mark Aoyagi, director of sport and performance psychology and associate professor at the University of Denver. 

?We?re a lot better off just accepting and acknowledging where we?re at, as opposed to trying to change it,? Aoyagi told HuffPost.

2. Take advantage of your bad day by tackling a task.

?There [are] a lot of tasks where being in a bad mood or sort of having negative emotions can actually be quite useful,? Aoyagi said. 

It?s true: Research suggests that people who feel sad perform better at detail-oriented tasks and negotiate more effectively than their happy counterparts. Put your emotions to use by finishing a home project or tackling your work inbox.

3. Consider how you may have played a part in the day?s outcome.

Go over the day?s events and consider where you might have played a role as things went wrong. For example, maybe the day went off the rails because you did not organize your time or resources properly.

?So often we think of ourselves as passive recipients of actions upon us,? Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, told HuffPost. ?If you can see yourself in a more proactive mode, I think it will help you feel better. It?s not just owning your role in this, but it?s also not seeing yourself as a victim being slapped around by life.?

Just don?t engage in too much self-blame, Krauss Whitbourne said. The key here is to do this exercise without beating yourself up. See what you can do differently and commit to changing it the next time around. 

4. Focus on gratitude.

Create a list of everything that makes you feel thankful, Gail Gross, a psychologist and human behavior expert, told HuffPost. It could be as simple as ?I listened to my favorite song today? or something more overarching like ?I am healthy.?

For an added boost, take this opportunity to also write freely about your thoughts, goals and feelings. Research shows that journaling can help with anxiety reduction and lower cortisol levels (AKA the stress hormone). 

5. Ask a friend to go for a walk with you.

Studies suggest that the simple act of going for a walk can improve your mood. And a loved one?s company could amplify this effect, says Gerdenio Manuel, a professor of psychology at the University of San Francisco.

?Turn to those things and people that make you feel better and let them know that you need some help and support,? Manuel told HuffPost.

6. Find a furry friend.

Research shows that pet owners may have better wellbeing. Head to a shelter, spend some time with your best friend?s cat or visit a dog park. Cuddling a furry friend can help boost your mood, Gross said. 

7. Indulge in a little ?me time.?

Manuel stresses that leaning on others for support may have better benefits, but don?t dismiss the power of some alone time, either. 

?Sometimes you just need to take a little time out from things that are bothering you,? he explained.

Maybe this means ordering pizza for dinner and watching an episode of a new show by yourself. Try to return to something simple that brings you pleasure.

8. Get into #BeastMode.

?If you go to the weight room or the gym and you?re in a bad mood, put that energy into your workout,? Aoyagi said.

People usually feel good or, at the very least, return to their baseline disposition after sweating it out, Aoyagi explained. And science backs this up: Exercising can put you in a better mood and help you regulate emotions.

9. Put your bad mood into perspective.

If you find yourself having thoughts such as ?I failed? or ?today is ruined,? try to remember those are over-generalizations, Manuel said. All is rarely ever lost and things will likely even out with some time.

10. Find the silver lining.

There?s power in looking on the bright side, Krauss Whitbourne said. See where things went wrong, what you can learn from all of it and finally, acknowledge something that went right. 

?Look for whatever glimmer of hope you can extract,? she said.

Then let your bad day go.

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As part of May?s Mental Health Awareness Month, we?re focusing on treatment and the stigma around getting help. Check out our coverage here and share your story at

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Trains are such a convenient way of travelling around Europe. You can pass through different countries just sitting in one train. dommainnameThey also have high speed trains that get you to your destination faster than others.

Man Allegedly Steals Security Camera So Grandma Won’t See Him Masturbate

It was a stroke of bad luck.

A burglary suspect in West Virginia has a bizarre rationale behind allegedly stealing a home?s security cameras: He didn?t want his grandma to see him masturbating.

Tristan Tucker of St. Albans was charged with daytime burglary last Thursday for a crime reported on April 23 to the Dunbar Police Dept.

Tucker?s grandmother accused him of repeatedly breaking into her house through a window and disarming security cameras and DVR system, according to

When police questioned the 27-year-old suspect, he allegedly confessed to the break-ins and gave an odd explanation as to why. Police said Tucker told them he originally broke into Grandma?s house through a window so he could charge his cell phone.

As the phone was charging, Tucker said he started watching porn on it and that led him to masturbate, according to WLOS TV.

That?s when Tucker found himself in a sticky situation. He didn?t want his grandmother to see him masturbating in her home so he allegedly stole ?the security cameras and the DVR box,? according to a criminal complaint obtained by The Smoking Gun.

Tucker then said he stomped on the cameras before throwing them away in the river.

But here?s the rub. Tucker didn?t destroy the DVR. He allegedly just hid it somewhere on his grandma?s property.

Authorities found it and were able to view footage of their touchy suspect illegally breaking into his grandmother?s house on numerous occasions.

The criminal complaint did not note whether or not the footage showed Tucker pleasuring himself.

He remains behind bars at a local jail on $10,000 bond.

No word on whether he sent his grandmother a Mother?s Day card.

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Reese Witherspoon’s 4-Year-Old Is On To Her Wine Habits

It?s no secret that many moms are big fans of wine. And clearly Reese Witherspoon fits this mold.

Appearing on ?The Ellen DeGeneres Show? on Wednesday, the actress shared a funny anecdote about her Mother?s Day gift from her kids. Witherspoon has a 17-year-old daughter named Ava and two sons, 13-year-old and 4-year-old Tennessee.

The kids gave their mom a cute photo of themselves for Mother?s Day. Apparently when Ava asked Tennessee where he thought they should pose for the photo, he suggested they take it by the bar ?because Mom likes wine.?

?It?s good to know that the 4-year-old knows that his mom likes wine,? Witherspoon said. ?Mothering, am I right??

During the interview, DeGeneres presented her famous guest with a fidget spinner, which was very familiar to the mom.

?My son has one of these,? Witherspoon said. ?If you bring this to the dinner table, this is a magical thing. It?s mesmerizing.?

The actress also spoke about being an embarrassing mom. 

?All I do is embarrass my kids,? she said, adding that this is especially true when she tries to do trendy dance movies like the dab and ?hit dem folks.? 

Watch the full clip above for more of Reese Witherspoon?s funny anecdotes and an appearance from her hilarious mom, Betty.

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Bill O’Reilly Lands New Gig On Glenn Beck’s Radio Show

It didn?t take long for embattled former Fox News anchor Bill O?Reilly to find new work. He?ll be a weekly commentator on Glenn Beck?s radio show on TheBlaze?s radio network, a conservative news platform.

O?Reilly made the announcement Monday on his ?No Spin News? podcast. He said he?ll be on TheBlaze ?every Friday until Beck gets tired of me.?

?It?s a good outlet for me to, you know, discuss things back and forth with Beck, who?s a good friend,? O?Reilly said. ?We don?t agree on everything, but it?s very lively.?

O?Reilly is no newcomer to Beck?s radio show ? he made several appearances just last week. The program airs weekdays from 9:00am to 12:00pm Eastern Time. Beck invited him to join the program last Friday.

?I would like you to work for TheBlaze,? Beck said at that time on air. ?I could not get the cable coverage by myself because I?m not powerful enough, unless you have a giant corporation behind you. If we could unite our powers for good, as opposed to evil ? but that?s another conversation.?

O?Reilly was ousted from Fox News last month after six women accused him of sexual harassment ? allegations he has denied. His exit was a major blow to the network, since his show ?The O?Reilly Factor? was the top-rated cable news program since its inception more than 20 years ago.

O?Reilly has claimed he is a victim of people out to tarnish him. ?There is obviously an orchestrated campaign by activists and lawyers to destroy Mr. O?Reilly and enrich themselves,? his lawyer Marc Kasowitz said in a statement last month.

It?s been a brutal few months for Fox News. Former chairman Roger Ailes stepped down last summer after accusations of widespread sexual harassment surfaced against him.

TheBlaze has experienced its share of drama, as well. Tomi Lahren, who hosted a show on TheBlaze TV, was ousted after she called anti-abortion conservatives ?hypocrites.? She filed suit against the network and Beck last month for wrongful termination.

O?Reilly and Beck were colleagues at Fox for a little more than two years until Beck, who also had his own show, left the network 2011.

Beck last month said he found the charges against O?Reilly ?hard to believe.?

?He had access to very beautiful women on our staff,? Beck said. ?We never saw him utter a word that was even blue humor.?

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The best vacation I have ever been on was to Florida. Even though the humidity was off the charts, it was still an enjoyable to trip with many fabulous attractions in the city of DisneyWorld was one the best tourist activities in the area.

Sally Yates Says There Are ‘Serious Questions’ About Comey Firing

Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates said that asking an FBI director for his loyalty, as President Donald Trump reportedly did, is ?inappropriate? and that she had ?serious questions? about the timing of his subsequent firing of James Comey.

Yates, speaking to CNN?s Anderson Cooper in her first television interview following her own firing by Trump, said the ongoing blowout over Comey?s dismissal was a ?really troubling situation.?

?I think there are serious questions about both the timing and the motivation of the president?s actions,? Yates said in an interview that aired Tuesday. ?The explanations seem to change on almost an hourly basis right now. It seems to me that there?s only one truth and we ought to get to that.?

Throughout the 30-minute interview, Yates spoke about the months of turmoil faced by the Trump administration since she was was fired for refusing to defend the White House?s first attempt at a travel ban targeting residents of seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Many of her responses echoed those made during her testimony to a Senate subcommittee this month, but she said recent news events, like last week?s New York Times report that said Trump asked Comey to pledge his loyalty to him at a private dinner, ran contrary to the mission at the Department of Justice, where she worked for 27 years.

?Our loyalty at the Department of Justice should be to the people of the United States and to the law and the Constitution, and no one and nothing else,? Yates said, noting she ?wouldn?t have done it? if Trump asked her for her own pledge to him.

?It?s inappropriate.?

Yates also recounted her attempt to warn the administration that former national security adviser Michael Flynn was likely ?compromised,? news that was reported by The Washington Post shortly after her dismissal.

?The Russians also knew that Gen. Flynn had misled the vice president and others,? Yates testified to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, noting a situation was created ?where the national security adviser could essentially be blackmailed.?

The White House has played down Yates? warnings, with Trump just last week telling NBC News? Lester Holt that the situation ?did not sound like an emergency.? White House press secretary Sean Spicer has repeatedly referred to Yates? initial meeting about Flynn with White House Counsel Don McGahn as simply ?a heads up.?

In Tuesday?s interview, Yates said that wasn?t the case.

?Mr. McGahn got it. He knew that it was serious and it was important … there was nothing casual about this,? Yates told Cooper. ?I know that we conveyed a sense of urgency.?

Yates said recent news could have a ?chilling effect? at the DOJ and alluded that her own ouster could stoke worry among career officials.

?They should be able to do their jobs without any fear at all,? she said.

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Sean Spicer Had A Hard Time Answering A Question About Lying

White House press secretary Sean Spicer had a hard time answering a pretty basic question during Tuesday?s daily press briefing.

?Do you think a public official has a right, at any time, to lie to the American public under any circumstance?? a reporter asked Spicer in a part of the session without video.

Spicer stammered, then finally delivered this halting answer:

?Um. The reason I?m going to have hedging on this is that I?m just thinking. Mentally, I?m going through every position in the United States government. In theory, if you were an operative of some sort. Uh, there are cases in which ? yeah, if it?s a public official, then no.?

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster opened the briefing by informing reporters that President Donald Trump will travel this week to the Middle East.

McMaster said in a statement on Monday that reports about Trump leaking classified information to the Russians was false. Trump himself, though, didn?t take issue with the accuracy of the reports Tuesday morning.

That set the stage for the lie question to Spicer.

We know Spicer has been under an incredible amount of duress, especially with fresh news that Kimberly Guilfoyle said she?s been talking with administration officials about the press secretary job. Perhaps, though, it?s best not to ?hedge? about whether lying is OK.

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Nature: Everything in nature tells us something. One would say I dont get it!Nature For most people chiropractic medicine is an excellent way to treat muscular and back problems, neurological conditions, migraine, poor posture, and even scoliosis; while others regard it as an unreliable way of alternative medicine solely because of its infame and prefer to resort to traditional medicine.. I say everyone has the power within to understand it, but you have to look deep and let your soul do the thinking NOT your brain.

Cooking Off the Cuff: Gorgonzola, Milk and Arugula – Among the Simplest and Easiest of Elegant Pasta Sauces

It took a Web search for me to confirm that I hadn?t written properly about this pasta dish, one of the simplest and easiest ever, and among our favorite dinners. I?d mentioned it any number of times but somehow never got around to describing it in any detail. It consists of four ingredients including the pasta, and no seasonings beyond the salt in the cooking water. It requires no knife skills ? indeed, no knives ? yet it is one of the more elegant dishes you?re likely to serve.

Jackie and I first ate pasta with gorgonzola and arugula (rocket) in 1993 at Ristorante Dino in Florence, which is still in business. It was a knockout ? super-creamy without heaviness, piquant (from both the cheese and the spicy arugula) and, well, elegant. When we see young, tender arugula (this American term appears to be an elision of the Italian la rucola, by the way) in the market and the right sort of cheese at the cheesemonger, the dish always comes to mind, and we eat it a couple of times a year, alone as our complete dinner or with friends as a first course.

?The right sort of cheese? here is gorgonzola dolce ? sweet gorgonzola ? sold either under that name or as gorgonzola cremificato. It is is a wonderful cheese that combines considerable sharpness with a soft, spreadable consistency and high-fat creaminess. For this dish, you don?t want to use sharper, firmer, longer-aged gorgonzola (also sold under several names: piccante, naturale, di montagna…). Nor do you want any of the gorgonzola derivatives, where the cheese is mixed or layered with mascarpone or other ingredients: these are too bland.

For two main-dish or four (or even more) first-course portions, I use a total of 6 oz (170 g) dried pasta, though you could increase this to the classic 100 grams per person quota without altering the other quantities. I?ve used, with equal success, many short forms such as shells, ziti, penne, ditalini and, latterly, the much larger rigatoni. Whichever you choose, boil it until almost but not quite done.

While the pasta is boiling ? or an hour in advance if that?s more convenient ? take a skillet or sauté pan large enough to eventually hold the pasta and heat 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk; when it is hot, whisk in 5 oz (140 g) of gorgonzola dolce or cremificato over medium-low heat. (For this, I remove much of the rind to ensure a smoother sauce, so I start with more than the five-ounce quantity.) When it melts, you already have the best cheese sauce on the block. Remove it from the heat until the pasta is at the not-quite-ready point, then reheat it and add the drained pasta, stirring for a minute or so over low heat to finish the pasta.

Finally, stir and fold in a mountain of young tender arugula, possibly but not necessarily the kind sold as ?wild? (this leafy mountain will weigh only 2 oz / 60 g). If you fear that yours isn?t all that tender, strip away the tougher stalks, yielding something like the prescribed weight of leaves. You can roughly chop it or not; I leave it whole unless it is gigantic. Like spinach, arugula wilts and shrinks radically after just a few seconds over heat, and when it has done this, your dinner is ready to serve.

No salt, no pepper, no butter, no last-minute drizzle of oil and, certainly, no grated parmesan. Just four ingredients that need nothing more.

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‘Little People Big World’ Stars Zach And Tori Roloff Welcome A Son

The Roloff family in ?Little People Big World? has just welcomed the first member of the reality TV program?s third generation: Jackson Kyle, born to Zach and Tori Roloff.

?Baby and mother are doing great and Jackson has already mastered holding Daddy?s fingers and snuggling with Mom,? Zach said in a statement. ?He is adorable and Tori and I are loving being parents.?

On Instagram, Tori posted: 

Jackson was born on Friday, weighing in at just over 9 pounds and measuring 20.5 inches long. The baby arrived two days after Zach?s 27th birthday (Tori is 25).

The couple married in 2015, almost a year after the wedding of Zach?s twin, Jeremy Roloff. Jeremy and his wife, Audrey, are expecting a baby girl in the coming months. 

Tori?s pregnancy was a key theme of the TLC program this season. Zach, who is a little person with achondroplasia, and Tori, who is normal size, discussed whether their baby might have dwarfism.

Zach was torn. Part of him wanted a son like him, but worried about the potential health problems linked to dwarfism. Zach was also concerned about the issues his son could face with peers.

?What am I going to say? ?Oh yeah, I want a dwarf baby? I can?t wait for that kid to be bullied??? Zach told his twin in one episode.

?Everything?s going to be fine with the baby,? said Jeremy. 

?I hope so,? Zach said.

Brand new grandparents Matt and Amy Roloff were over the moon.

?Little People Big World? airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. 

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Veterans And Anti-War Activists Make Peace With Vietnam — And Each Other

DA NANG, Vietnam ? The street that leads to David Clark?s home is marked with a sign that says ?Ushi?s house.? That?s the name of his wife, born in the year of the buffalo under the Vietnamese zodiac. Clark is also a buffalo ? that?s what makes them a good match, he says.

In other ways, they?re a surprising pair: Clark first came to Da Nang in 1968 as a 19-year-old Marine fighting in the Vietnam War. He returned to the country four decades later to see what had become of it. He met Ushi, who is Vietnamese, a few years later at a restaurant she owns in the town of Hue.

He remembers she was wearing a chartreuse dress, with long earrings and a watch to match. They later danced in the street as Ushi?s favorite song ? the Beatles? ?Eight Days a Week? ? played at a festival.

The two fell in love and married in a Catholic church while wearing traditional Vietnamese wedding clothes. Later, they bought a house near the beach in Da Nang and remodeled it to add some Western elements, including a filter that lets them drink straight from the kitchen sink. 

On a warm night this spring, with the sounds of karaoke wafting through the streets from nearby bars and restaurants, Clark?s house offered another example of worlds colliding. A group that in the late 1960s wouldn?t have been caught under the same roof ? let alone sharing an appetizer of deep-fried Vietnamese spring rolls ? gathered around a large kitchen table.

The guests included Floyd Henderson, a Vietnam War draft dodger who fled to Canada in 1969; Cathy Wilkerson, a former member of the militant Weather Underground group who landed on the FBI?s ?10 Most Wanted? list; and Chuck Searcy, who also served in the Vietnam War and has since returned to live in Hanoi.

Searcy is also the vice president of the Vietnamese chapter of Veterans for Peace, an anti-war nonprofit. Through the organization, he leads tours of the country geared toward Vietnam War veterans and activists, but anyone is welcome to join. That?s what brought the unlikely group together at that kitchen table ? it was 12th day of their trip from Hanoi to Saigon.

For some, going back to Vietnam is a way to make peace with the past. For others, the trip is a chance to connect with a place and a cause that still matters deeply to them.

War tourism isn?t a new concept, and veterans have been returning to Vietnam for years. But Searcy says he probably won?t keep hosting his tour. The affected generation is aging, and it?s difficult to get enough interest in the trips to justify them. Ten people traveled with him this year; usually about 15 people join.

Searcy was stationed in Saigon from 1967 to 1968 as part of an intelligence battalion. He returned to the country for the first time in 1992, and moved there three years later to take a job at a nonprofit in Hanoi. 

His tour takes a little over two weeks. It costs $2,750, plus airfare, and participants are asked to bring a gift of $1,000. At the end of the journey, they decide together how to donate the money. 

Clark has been on the board of Vietnam?s Veterans for Peace chapter for several years, which is how he met Searcy. He describes Searcy in military terms: a point man leading others to learn how to make amends for the United States? role in the war.

Clark has taken part in a few of Searcy?s trips, but this is his first year hosting a dinner and welcoming people on the tour into his home.

?If you had told me 40 years ago that I?d be here in Vietnam, I?d have said you?re full of shit as a turkey ? a Christmas turkey,? he said. ?I came here in 1968 to die for my country. Thank God I didn?t. You know what?s the greatest gift I have? I get to die here of my own choice.?

For Wilkerson, the 2017 trip was a chance to complete a journey she started 50 years ago.

In 1967, she and three other members of Students for a Democratic Society flew from the U.S. to Cambodia by way of Paris. Their goal was to make their way to meet with the Viet Cong in North Vietnam and bring back information to help their anti-war efforts in the U.S. 

It was a bloody year in the Vietnam War, and Hanoi wasn?t accessible by a commercial flight. But the activists planned to hitch a ride on a mail plane that made a daily trip to the city because an international agreement dictated that it wouldn?t be shot down, Wilkerson said.

They never made it across the border. The U.S. had started bombing the northern city, and the North Vietnamese decided it was too dangerous for the students to make the trip. So the North Vietnamese met them in Phnom Penh for four days of meetings and discussion.

Wilkerson caught the attention of national news ? and the FBI ? when her father?s New York City townhouse, where she and other activists had been building a nail bomb, exploded in 1970. Three people died in the incident, and Wilkerson spent the next decade evading authorities by working minimum-wage jobs without an ID. She surrendered to law enforcement in 1980 and spent 11 months in prison.

Wilkerson is petite and shy, with silver-framed glasses. Her outward appearance doesn?t match with the ?60s radical who got caught up in a group advocating for an ?armed struggle? against the U.S. government. But she still describes herself as an activist.

The events leading up to the townhouse explosion were ?ill-advised,? Wilkerson said. But even as she grew older, she maintained an interest in Vietnam. 

?People don?t think about the consequences of war beyond the bullets,? she said. ?I needed to touch base with [Vietnam] again. To see what they?ve done, how far they?ve come.?

Floyd Henderson describes how he feels today about his choice to flee to Canada instead of being drafted into the Vietnam War. Listen above.

Henderson joined Searcy?s trip for the first time in 2014. Forty-five years earlier, he?d received a bench warrant for his arrest after ignoring several draft notices.

When his brother threatened to turn him into the FBI, Henderson took the $700 he had in his sock drawer and spent $250 of it on a Buick. He packed his typewriter, guitars and other possessions and drove with a friend to International Falls, Minnesota. Henderson had no intention of coming back once they crossed into Canada. 

?I didn?t want to kill ? I had no desire whatsoever to shoot another human being for any reason,? he said.

Although he?d made it across the border, he didn?t have a legal right to be in the country permanently. ?I spent that winter living pretty much on the street,? he said.

Henderson later secured a legal right to be in Canada, but eventually returned to the U.S. after President Jimmy Carter pardoned draft dodgers.

Henderson is gentle and thoughtful when he speaks. He has spent a great deal of time considering his choice to flee the U.S. in 1969 while so many others were getting drafted. ?Sometimes it?s an almost constant ? regret might not be the right word for it, though it?s probably the closest I can come to it ? that I did not go to Vietnam.?

He?d make the same decision again, he noted. But still, he struggles with what he described as ?survivor guilt.? That feeling was what originally brought him on Searcy?s tour in 2014. 

That group included many combat veterans, which made Henderson nervous. ?I went with a huge amount of trepidation because I wasn?t sure what kind of reaction I was going to get from these guys,? he said.

He was surprised at the response he received. ?Without a single hesitation, they accepted me as one of them,? he said. ?Even going so far as to call me a veteran and one of their brothers.?

He joined the trip again this time for another chance to see the country.

Clark joined the United States Marine Corps on his 17th birthday. On a warm day in March at the hotel where Searcy?s group was staying, he recounted arriving in Vietnam for the first time. He couldn?t legally vote or drink in his hometown, but here, he could carry a gun. He remembers that vividly.

It was a court-martial offense to leave the compound without a weapon, so Clark always had his M16 and rounds with him. And when he encountered a Vietnamese person, he remembers what he?d do.

?Every time I came across the Vietnamese ? I didn?t care if it was a man, woman or a child ? I would point that M16 in their face. And I wanted them to fear me. Because I felt if they feared me my chances of going home were much, much better,? Clark said. 

Clark was outwardly successful in the U.S. after the war, but he struggled emotionally to come to terms with his experiences. He couldn?t forget that look of fear he?d put in people?s faces. Or the battles where he?d shoot into the fray, not knowing whom or what he might be hitting. Certain dates or moments that were meaningless to others would trigger terrible memories of the war.

In 2007, a friend who had been in the Air Force suggested Clark try going back to Vietnam. So he went for it. He landed in Saigon and was waiting nervously at immigration when the humidity hit him, then the smell ? and then he saw people. The memories came right back. He wanted to turn around.

But he didn?t. In fact, the trip turned out to be a positive experience. He couldn?t believe how welcoming the Vietnamese people were. He visited several other times, and in 2013, he returned to stay for a year.

He hasn?t left since.

Clark likes to visit the Marble Mountains outside Da Nang, which he used to climb when he was stationed here. He watches the sunrise and looks out over the landscape ? sometimes it?s cloudy, sometimes it?s rainy. But the sun always comes up.

?When I?m in the United States, the American war in Vietnam haunts me every day and every night. I see many sights, and I see those faces,? he said. ?But when I?m in Vietnam and I?m on the top of Marble Mountain and I?m looking around and I don?t see no flares, no tracers, no choppers, no gunfire, no artillery fire, no rounds going over your head ? the American war was over 40 years ago. They?re at peace here. And I find peace here.?

David talks about how living in Vietnam has helped him come to terms with his experiences from the war. Listen above.

As everyone sat around the big kitchen table enjoying Ushi?s homemade yogurt for dessert, Clark poured two glasses of Johnnie Walker Red Label scotch. He clinked glasses with George Mische, another participant on the trip. Mische burned draft cards with homemade napalm in 1968 as part of the Catholic group that became known as the ?Catonsville Nine.?

Searcy told the group his story of first returning to Vietnam after the war, describing how he panicked as his plane approached the Saigon airport.

His anxiety was so intense that he would have turned the plane around, he said. But he couldn?t. 

The group listened, smiling and nodding over their shared history. 

As the evening drew to a close, Searcy?s tour participants bid goodbye to their hosts. They got back on a bus and made their way to their hotel. The next morning they?d eat warm, salty fried rice or pho, a traditional Vietnamese soup, at the hotel breakfast buffet before heading to the airport. From there, they?d fly south to Saigon.

Clark left the house and walked down dark, warm streets to one of his favorite local cafes. He smoked thuoc lao, a Vietnamese tobacco, out of a water pipe, the bubbles gurgling. Motorbikes hummed along past the café, and he greeted the two children inside the shop. It?s his favorite place in the city, he said.

Heading back home afterward, he called ?hello, hello? to the Vietnamese people he passed. They smiled and waved back.

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Attorney For Bill O’Reilly Accuser Calls Fox News ‘The Bill Cosby Of Corporate America’

Lisa Bloom, the attorney for a former Fox News guest holding a press conference Monday, ripped the network?s handling of sexual harassment lawsuits against top-rated primetime host Bill O?Reilly and called for an independent investigation. 

?How many women have to come forward?? Bloom, who has also served as an NBC News legal analyst, asked Sunday on CNN?s ?Reliable Sources.? ?How many millions of dollars have to get paid before Fox News takes sexual harassment seriously?? 

?In my opinion, this network is the Bill Cosby of corporate America,? she continued, in reference to the dozens of women who have accused the famous comedian of sexual assault. ?Women over and over again are driven out.?

Bloom?s comments followed a bombshell New York Times investigation published Saturday that revealed payments of about $13 million to five women accusing the primetime star of sexual harassment, inappropriate behavior, or verbal abuse. One of the five suits, involving former producer Andrea Mackris, made headlines in 2004. Another suit, involving Fox News employee Juliet Huddy was only reported in January. The other three had not been previously reported. 

A sixth woman, Dr. Wendy Walsh, told the Times that she rebuffed O?Reilly?s advances and he later didn?t follow through on an offer to make her a network contributor. In a release, Bloom said Walsh will speak out at a press conference Monday in Los Angeles and they ?will reveal their new demands to the network.?

The revelations about O?Reilly only shed more light on the toxic culture inside Fox News.

Fox News chairman Roger Ailes, who built the network with Rupert Murdoch in 1996 and ran it for two decades, resigned in July following a sexual harassment lawsuit from former Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson and amid widespread allegations from women inside the network, including former primetime host Megyn Kelly and many others throughout the executive?s five decades in media and politics. Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros is also suing Ailes and top executives at Fox News, which she compared to a ?Playboy Mansion-Like Cult.?

Federal investigators are currently looking into whether parent company 21st Century Fox didn?t properly notify investigators about payments to Ailes?s accusers and other business practices.

While Fox News recently posted its highest quarterly ratings ever, and enjoys the best access to President Donald Trump, the post-Ailes network continues to be embroiled in scandals related to allegations of employee mistreatment. 

Last month, 21st Century Fox reached a settlement with former Fox News contributor Tamara Holder after she accused former network Fox executive Francisco Cortes of sexual assault. And last week, two black former employees, Tichaona Brown and Tabrese Wright, filed a racial discrimination suit against longtime Judith Slater, Fox News, and 21st Century Fox. The network had fired Slater just days earlier for what it dubbed ?abhorrent behavior.?

O?Reilly, however, has remained seemingly untouchable at Fox News despite the headline-grabbing allegations of sexual harassment over a decade ago and the latest revelations. That?s presumably because ?The O?Reilly Factor? draws nearly 4 million viewers nightly, the most in cable news, and his show brought in more than $446 million from 2014 to 2016, according to the Times.

?Just like other prominent and controversial people, I?m vulnerable to lawsuits from individuals who want me to pay them to avoid negative publicity,? O?Reilly said in a statement on his website. ?In my more than 20 years at Fox News Channel, no one has ever filed a complaint about me with the Human Resources Department, even on the anonymous hotline.?

In a statement to HuffPost, 21st Century Fox ? the Murdoch-family owned parent company of Fox News ? noted that no current or former network employee used the company?s hotline ?to raise a concern about Bill O?Reilly, even anonymously.? The company said it had ?looked into these matters over the last few months and discussed them with Mr. O?Reilly. 

?While he denies the merits of these claims, Mr. O?Reilly has resolved those he regarded as his personal responsibility,? the statement continued. ?Mr. O?Reilly is fully committed to supporting our efforts to improve the environment for all our employees at Fox News.?

The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch?s News Corp., reported Saturday that O?Reilly?s contract, originally set to expire at the end of this year, was recently renewed.

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This Is What Trump’s White House Correspondents Dinner Would Look Like

Donald Trump will be the first president in 36 years to be absent at the White House Correspondents Association dinner ? an annual tradition where media figures, politicians and celebrities schmooze for a night.

And while he and his staff likely turned down their invitations because of the president?s deep hatred for the media and so-called ?fake news,? the folks over at ?The Late Show with Stephen Colbert? have figured out how to get Trump to attend: Invite the Russians.

What would that dinner look like? In Trump?s mind (or ?The Late Show?s? version of Trump?s mind), it would probably include a Russian man like ?Boris Yacanovich? riffing on journalists.

It would feature jokes like:

A journalist criticized the administration. And he was shot dead in the street. In broad daylight.

And other knee-slappers, including:

Another journalist expressed dissent. And he was dropped out of window. Kaboom.

Fingers crossed that the actual WHCA dinner never ends up looking like this.

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The First Week Of Early Voting Bodes Well For Democrat Jon Ossoff

After five days of early voting in the special election for Georgia?s 6th congressional district, Democratic voter turnout has significantly outpaced that of Republicans.

That is a good sign for Democrats hoping that the surge in liberal enthusiasm after the election of President Donald Trump will be enough to elect 30-year-old candidate Jon Ossoff. The seat opened up when Trump named former Rep. Tom Price to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Of the more than 8,100 people who have voted so far in the suburban Atlanta district, 44 percent were Democrats and 23 percent were Republicans, according to an analysis by Michael McDonald, a political science professor and election specialist at the University of Florida.

McDonald identified Democrats and Republicans based on the last primary each early voter participated in, information that can be found in state voter files. The remaining voters ? roughly one-third of the total so far ? have no record of primary voting in Georgia. 

Although voters? preferences can change from primary to primary, making that data imperfect, it is the most reliable indicator of partisanship in a state with nonpartisan voter registration.

McDonald?s end-of-week estimates are consistent with the findings of New York Times election expert Nate Cohn for the first day of early voting. Using a slightly different methodology, Cohn found that Democrats constituted 60 percent of voters of those who voted on Monday, compared with 28 percent of Republicans.

It is important to note of course that early voting is not a rock-solid indicator of final election outcomes. Early general-election voting patterns in North Carolina and Florida, for example, appeared to favor Hillary Clinton, but she ended up losing both states in November.

And early voting in Georgia?s 6th district continues until April 14. Election Day itself is April 18.

In Georgia?s jungle primary system, Ossoff faces many Democratic and Republican challengers. A candidate can win outright in the first round by capturing 50 percent of the vote. Short of that, the top two contenders proceed to a runoff election on June 20.

Democrats across the country have seized on the race as an early opportunity to inflict damage on Republicans after Trump?s election. Ossoff?s candidacy has attracted millions of dollars in donations, including $1 million alone from the readers of liberal news site Daily Kos.

Television star Alyssa Milano has done her part to pitch in for Ossoff, offering early voters rides to the polls.

Ossoff is campaigning on standard mainstream Democratic priorities. On his campaign website, he declares his commitment to containing health insurance premiums, increasing the minimum wage, and fighting gender and racial discrimination in pay.

Although the 6th district has voted Republican consistently in the past, it is home to a more educated, wealthier type of Republican voter that has typically been more averse to Trump?s populist style. While Tom Price cruised to reelection by a 23-point margin in November, Trump defeated Clinton in the district by a mere percentage point.

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Donald Trump’s Anti-Science Agenda Leaves Stephen Hawking Feeling Unwelcome In U.S.

WASHINGTON ? Famed British physicist Stephen Hawking says President Donald Trump?s attacks on the scientific community leave him unsure if he?s still welcome in the United States. 

?I have many friends and colleagues there, and it is still a place I like and admire in many ways. But I fear that I may not be welcome,? Hawking said in a Monday interview with Piers Morgan on ?Good Morning Britain.?

Hawking, who previously characterized Trump as a ?demagogue,? told Morgan the president was ?elected by people who felt disenfranchised by the governing elite in a revolt against globalization.? Trump?s priority, Hawking added, ?will be to satisfy this electorate, who are neither liberal nor that well-informed.? 

Hawking said this is already playing out in Trump?s promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico boarder, his signing of executive orders to push forward the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, and his appointment of climate-change denier Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Much like Trump, who has dismissed climate change as ?bullshit? and a Chinese ?hoax,? Pruitt scoffs at mainstream climate science. Pruitt this month said he does not believe carbon emissions are the primary cause of global warming. 

Trump?s election, Hawking said, ?represents a definite swing to a right-wing, more authoritarian approach.?

?There was reported to be a memo that government scientists must get White House approval for any announcements,? Hawking said. ?A similar ruling in Canada had a chilling effect on science there.? 

Asked what message he would like to relay to Trump, Hawking said the president should replace Pruitt at the helm of EPA.

?Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it?s one we can prevent,? Hawking said. ?It affects America badly, so tackling it should win votes for his second term ? God forbid.?

This is not the first time Hawking has spoken against Trump. In May, he called Trump ?a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator.? And in September, Hawking was among hundreds of leading scientists who warned in an open letter that a Trump presidency would prove disastrous to global efforts against climate change.

In his interview with Morgan (see below), Hawking also addressed gender equality, Trump?s controversial travel ban and Brexit. 

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One of the best tools we have today is the Internet. But instead of using it for productivity, we are using it for our leisure. This shows that everything has a good and a bad side.

Can You Hear What’s Calling You?



I have every good reason to count my blessings by having reminders from great teachers and saints and now one remarkable book that just fell into my lap: Eberhard Arnold’s The Individual and World Need, from Plough Publishing. Eberhard’s reflections help keep me together. I believe his ideas provide a map to that necessary part of our human survival that we need every day. And it comes to us from professional voices throughout the world for our happiness, health and well-being, both physical and mental. And if I find their wisdom moves my heart once more, or causes me to tremble in recognition, I recognize this as a tap on the shoulder, indicating that God is calling me to rise to this place and help bring them to you. I hope this helps for those who might not yet understand what’s calling them.

However, even if you’re not a reader or seeker; you don’t have to go very far to read the signs that will lead you to better health, peace, and happiness. It’s calling us through nudges or taps on the shoulders that we might have ignored or misunderstood. But, when we hear what these nudges are telling us, we are brought forward to move in the right direction to stretch and begin our work. Each of us have a different part to play in the whole scheme of things. Each of us is unique but totally dependent upon each other. When we believe how we are being led in our lives, we all thrive. It’s not easy for us to grasp this meaning because we are taught to believe that success is a driven series of positive actions that requires either extensive study or many hours of work, and, to a degree, this might be necessary for some things, but this was not meant to be our only measure. I believe knowing what’s calling us through our driven need to succeed is essentially created for each of us individually. Our strength and endurance that instills hope in our hearts and alleviates our own pain comes from doing all that we can to alleviate the pain of those around us. This is our daily replenishment that erases fear and brings us peace and happiness. Although this might seem to be the opposite approach to the modern-age ideals of positive thinking and positive feelings to achieve success, I believe that being aware of our choices to act for one another frees us from pain and unwanted consequences we might face later. It is the only drive that’ll bring us home safely.

Please allow me to share a brief story: I once knew a woman who suffered because she had been very poor as a child, and had had to quit school as a young girl to go to work and help her family. When she married and had a family of her own, she worked and saved every penny, eventually becoming a millionaire. She told me that her greatest pain from being poor provided all the determination and endurance she needed to tolerate doing without most everything in life; she had continued to make-do with the bare minimum throughout her entire life. But unbeknownst to her, the vow she’d made to herself to never be poor again only brought her a lifetime of unnecessary doing without, while still overseeing the needs of those around her. And sadly, her fear of being poor hid the faces of needy and suffering children from her, including her own, and she herself lived as a poor child for her entire lifetime. I had the opportunity to talk with her just before she died and asked her, “Now, in hindsight, what would you have done differently?” She said, “I would’ve had a lot more children!” Neither of us brought up anything about her driven life and how she had saved millions. I believe she finally found peace and compassion to forgive that little girl inside of herself by her last wish for more children to nurture and love. I saw this as a beautiful and humble testament and believe she saw the true innocence of all children, including for herself. I am sorry for her life of pain, but in the truest sense, we all carry pain in one form or another, and I know that I’m no different from anyone else in that regard. But what’s most important for us is to know there is a better way to deal with that pain that cuts deep in our hearts. Only then are we sure to rise to the meaning of our suffering and fill that void for someone else. Our pain, whatever it may be, will only be alleviated by lessening the pain of others. This is the mystery that is revealed to us, both from Sacred Scripture to the master teachers’ words of wisdom.

As Eberhard Arnold says so eloquently in his book,

“When we dare to share in the suffering and life of those who are exposed to the most extreme want, we learn to understand what Schopenhauer means when he says, Optimism is a truly wicked way of thinking; it mocks the unspeakable way of humanity.” If we are living cheek by jowl with the unjust suffering of the masses, it becomes impossible to enjoy for ourselves alone the material goods of this world, the pleasures of life, or even the “just of universal history.”

About Catherine Nagle: Catherine grew up in Philadelphia with 16 brothers and sisters, reared by loving, old-school Italian parents. Catherine’s artist father’s works graced churches and public buildings; her mother was a full-time homemaker. A professional hairdresser, Catherine worked in various salons while studying the Bible and pursuing spiritual growth through courses, seminars, lectures, and the works of Marianne William. She is also a contributor to Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global. The mother of two children and a grandmother, Catherine lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and son. She is the Author of Imprinted Wisdom and a contributor to These Winter Months: The Late Orphan Project Anthology.

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Podcast: A Chinese Perspective on the U.S. Election


It has been a busy few weeks for foreign policy analysts in Beijing as they struggle to determine how China…

The post Podcast: A Chinese Perspective on the U.S. Election appeared first on Asia Unbound.


It has been a busy few weeks for foreign policy analysts in Beijing as they struggle to determine how China…

The post Podcast: A Chinese Perspective on the U.S. Election appeared first on Asia Unbound.


Here’s what actually happened to a missing father and his daughter. After being missing for a long time, they showed up in Ulladullah. What the father had to say about their experience will definitely surprise you.


Skylar Hogan did a great contribution in the field of artwork and still she is creating great designs. She says that selfish people make her angry and she is a calm and quiet person.