September 14, 2019 Woops Your Postal Prices Wont Go Up as Much as The USPS

Woops Your Postal Prices Wont Go Up as Much as The USPS

first_img The increase is set to take effect in April, though a 4.3 percent exigency surcharge will expire a few weeks after that. “[This] is good news in general for publishers,” says David LeDuc, senior director of public policy for the SIIA. “But a publisher should not assume [1.34 percent] will be their increase. No one is yet able to determine the true effect by running the mail list using the old rates and new rates with the new rules. A back-of-the-envelop calculation results in a 9-percent increase for a light publication with low advertising and a national distribution with 25,000 copies. Of course, other periodicals will fare better in some circumstances.” Publishers got a shock when the USPS announced a rate hike for periodicals of close to 2 percent last month, but it turns out the blow won’t be that bad. A calculation error discovered by the Postal Regulatory Commission last week, and acknowledged by the USPS on Wednesday, means the average increase for periodical delivery will be 1.34 percent, instead of the 1.965 percent originally announced. Dead Tree Edition first reported the finding. “The Postal Service’s intention was to increase Periodicals prices by 1.965 percent,” the statement reads. “[However,] the prices noticed in the January 2015 filing unintentionally reflect a percent price increase for Periodicals that is below the goal of 1.965 percent.”last_img read more

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September 12, 2019 Galt MacDermot OftSampled Hair Composer Dies At 89

Galt MacDermot OftSampled Hair Composer Dies At 89

first_img Galt MacDermot, Oft-Sampled ‘Hair’ Composer, Dies At 89 Email News The GRAMMY-winning composer’s impact on the music community stretched from Broadway to hip-hop and beyondNate HertweckGRAMMYs Dec 17, 2018 – 5:09 pm Acclaimed composer Galt MacDermot, known for his work on the music of Hair and Two Gentlemen Of Verona, has died. He was 89 years old. MacDermot’s memorable compositions for Broadway also played a key role in the early days of hip-hop sampling. Born Dec. 18, 1928, MacDermot won his first two GRAMMY Awards in 1961 for the Cannonball Adderley recording of his piece “African Waltz,” which took home both Best Instrumental Theme Or Instrumental Version Of Song and Best Original Jazz Composition at the 4th GRAMMY Awards. MacDermot had studied African music in South Africa, receiving his Bachelor of Music from Cape Town University.After moving to New York City in 1964, MacDermot penned the now iconic music for Hair. The show’s Broadway cast album won Best Score From An Original Cast Album for the 11th GRAMMY Awards, earning MacDermot his third career GRAMMY win. Four years later he’d be nominated again in the same category for Two Gentleman Of Verona, which also won the Tony for Best Musical in 1972.In the hip-hop world, his work was repurposed by many hip-hop artists and producers, including Gang Starr, Madlib, MF Doom, Busta Rhymes, Run D.M.C., J Dilla, and DJ Premiere, who called MacDermot an “Incredible Icon Of Original Music” in a tribute post on Twitter.GRAMMY-winning producer and Roots drummer Questlove also honored the late composer via social media, writing, “King Galt. The broadway community is mourning his passing this morning… but best believe he was the hip hop community’s too,” before naming a few of the many artists who tapped into MacDermot’s mastery.MacDermot was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2009 and received the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. His spirit lives on through his work as it continues to find new relevance and influence.In a statement, the Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said, “Three-time GRAMMY winner Galt MacDermot was a highly regarded composer best-known for co-writing the hit Broadway musical, Hair. He earned five GRAMMY nominations and won three GRAMMYs for his composing—most notably for Best Score From An Original Cast Show Album for Hair, at the 11th GRAMMY Awards.”MacDermot’s music also made a significant impact on the hip-hop community, with notable artists such as Public Enemy, Faith Evans and Busta Rhymes sampling his work. The music and theater communities have lost an extraordinary talent. MacDermot will be dearly missed, but his compositions will continue to influence music for years to come.”Read More: “Hair” Will Become A TV Musical In Spring 2019Read more ‘Hair’ Composer Galt MacDermot Dies At 89 galt-macdermot-oft-sampled-hair-composer-dies-89 Facebook Twitter last_img read more

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September 11, 2019 St Thomas St Dorothys To Hold Food Drive On June 2324

St Thomas St Dorothys To Hold Food Drive On June 2324

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — St. Thomas and St. Dorothy’s will be holding a Food Drive for the parish’s Food Pantry to help Parish members in need this weekend. Donations may be left at the entrances of both churches before all masses.Food items most needed include:Peanut Butter & JellyInstant Macaroni & CheeseCanned CornMicrowavable DinnersBeef Stew/Canned DinnersJuice Boxes/PouchesMayonnaise & CatsupPancake Mix & SyrupBody Soap & WashShampoo & ConditionerDeodorantFeminine Hygiene ProductsToothpaste & Dental FlossBody Lotion(NOTE: The above announcement is from the latest St. Thomas/St. Dorothy’s church bulletin.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSt. Thomas & St. Dorothy’s To Hold Food Drive On July 13-14In “Community”St. Thomas & St. Dorothy’s Holding Food Drive & Cleaning Product Drive On October 14-15In “Community”5 Things To Do In Wilmington On Sunday, July 14, 2019In “5 Things To Do Today”last_img read more

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September 10, 2019

In a Texas border town a church on the edge and wildlife

first_img Aug 6 • President Trump wants social media to catch shooters before they strike. It’s going to be hard He and his family are already battling the federal government in court over their land. But their prospects of winning the case don’t look good.Anzaldua says he’s also opposed to the wall because he sees this region of South Texas and Northern Mexico as one community, as have the generations of his family who came before him. He doesn’t like the idea of dividing it with a barrier.”We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us,” Anzaldua says. “I’m not giving up to the last minute, until it’s all done. Then we’ll have to work to tear it down.”The river’s endThe Rio Grande is the fourth longest river in the US. It originates in the Colorado Rockies, then bends and winds its way through New Mexico and along the edge of Texas to eventually empty into the Gulf of Mexico, 1,896 miles later. After traveling hundreds of miles along this river, I had to see its end.I drive my rental car toward the gulf, past cabbage, melon and grapefruit farms, to the dunes and salt flats of Boca Chica State Park. When the road ends at a long, desolate beach, I park and walk. It’s about three miles to the mouth of the river. A cool, thick fog hangs over the ocean as small waves tumble onto the shore.borderlands-8797Where the Rio Grande empties into the Gulf of Mexico. Dara Kerr/CNET Behind me, a lifted black Ford pickup comes driving down the beach. I still have a ways to go, so I give a wave and ask for a ride. It’s a couple from Missouri wintering in Texas. A pop country station plays over the radio. Like me, they want to see where the river disappears into the sea. We slowly crawl down the beach until we make it to the mouth of the Rio Grande.The land out here is open and rugged. It’s only about 30 feet across to Mexico. The US side is empty, but on the Mexican side, a handful of fishermen in fluorescent green waders stand shin deep, casting their nets. Herons, gulls and pelicans look on.As I’m taking it in, I’m reminded of a plaque I saw at the Butterfly Center engraved with a quote from the writer Wallace Stegner:”Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed. … We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.”A small, black SUV pulls up to the water’s edge across the river in Mexico. A family of four gets out to take in the view, just the same as us. The dad looks over at me, standing here on the US side. He smiles and waves.Tall Order: Building the Border Wall is our Texas border series exploring what a wall and tech alternatives might mean to the people, communities and law enforcement agencies living in its shadow. Read the first story here: Trump wants a border wall. Texas may want a smarter alternative, and the second story here: At Texas border, tech can’t keep pace with immigrant influx. Tags 2:09 Tall order: Building the border wall Jul 28 • Apple’s Q3 earnings are all about the iPhone 11 hints Along with historic sites and wildlife refuges, the Trump administration is also looking to build the wall across residents’ private property. Throughout Texas, more than 1,000 landowners are going to be potentially impacted by property seizures, says Rep. Will Hurd, a Republican whose district covers more than 800 miles of the Texas-Mexico border and who opposes a wall along the entire southern boundary.In the Rio Grande Valley, the government has been sending letters to dozens of property owners over the past few months asking to survey their land for the wall. If the landowners refuse, these matters typically end up in court with the government making a case to seize the property under eminent domain. The Butterfly Center and La Lomita had cases against the federal government over the use of their land, and both cases have been dismissed. The Butterfly Center appealed that decision.”The messiness of all these takings has become a real burden for people,” says Peter McGraw, a lawyer with the nonprofit legal assistance firm Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.Mission area resident Reynaldo Anzaldua (left) and the mayor of Mission, Armando O'Caña.Mission area resident Reynaldo Anzaldua (left) and the mayor of Mission, Armando O’Caña. Dara Kerr/CNET Reynaldo Anzaldua’s family has lived in the Mission area since before the US was even a country. He’s a descendent of the Spaniards who settled on both sides of the river in the 1750s. His extended family owns plots of land throughout the region and even has a land grant dating back to 1767. Now the government aims to build the wall through about 70 acres of his family’s property.Anzaldua, who’s soft-spoken with thin, gray hair and wire-rimmed glasses, is a retired customs officer and Vietnam War vet. He says he’s opposed to Trump’s wall because he doesn’t think it’s needed or will work.”One thing I do know about is smuggling. They need to look at the root causes of things,” Anzaldua says. “This is about demand for drugs and demand for illegal immigrant labor. If you reduce demand, you reduce violence in Mexico, you reduce problems here.” The messiness of all these takings has become a real burden for people. Peter McGraw, lawyer for Texas RioGrande Legal Aid reading • In a Texas border town, a church on the edge and wildlife at risk Trump wants a border wall. Texas may want a smarter alternative At Texas border, tech can’t keep pace with immigrant influx Politics Security Clear-cutting isn’t the only side effect the wall will have on South Texas’ wildlife, Sánchez-Navarro says. It’ll also cut off access to water and migratory routes for animals. And the 36-foot-tall barrier will exacerbate wind flow, light pollution and trash and debris buildup.Flooding may be a serious issue too. South Texas is prone to what locals call “rain events,” when a sudden storm pours down massive amounts of water. When this happens, the Rio Grande tends to flood very quickly.”With the wall there, animals would get trapped and drown,” Sánchez-Navarro says. “They don’t have a way to escape.”story-003-nature4Enlarge ImageThis map shows where the border wall will be built in the Mission, Texas, area of the Rio Grande Valley. Amy Kim/CNET Customs and Border Protection says it’s waived various environmental laws to build the wall, including the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act. But it also says it’s working with federal, state and nongovernmental organizations to identify the potential impact on wildlife.”To the greatest extent practicable, CBP will incorporate design considerations to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any potential impacts that are found,” the agency says.A couple miles west of the Butterfly Center, Customs and Border Protection’s excavators have already uprooted brush and cleared about eight acres in a tract of land called La Parida Banco, which is in the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. This is the first location in Hidalgo County to get Trump’s new border wall.”It is happening next door to us, but not to us,” Wright says. But if Trump’s agenda continues, she says, “they will eventually build the wall through us.”‘We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us’After mass, Father Snipes offers to take me on a boat tour down the Rio Grande on his 50-year-old Kenner ski barge. He puts on his cowboy hat and Texas A&M jacket, towels the morning dew off the boat’s seats and gets the old barge’s motor going.”And we’re off like a band of turtles,” he jokes.The river is wide and calm here, flanked by palms and swamp grass. As Snipes steers the boat downstream, he points to Mexico with its riverside houses and a tidy park full of picnic tables. On the US side, Border Patrol surveillance towers watch over the water. An aerostat hovers in the distance.20190215-084456Father Roy Snipes steers his Kenner ski barge down the Rio Grande. Dara Kerr/CNET “It’s hard to see any signs of a crisis,” Snipes says, as he scans the empty river. “The crisis is demonizing and despising your neighbors.”Snipes took his final vows as a priest at La Lomita in 1980 and he’s been here ever since. He’s had hundreds of parishioners from both sides of the river, including Border Patrol agents and Mexicans who entered the US without papers. The church sits just below the levee, which means it’s inside the 150-foot enforcement zone. Snipes says he hasn’t heard talk of demolishing La Lomita, but being in a deforested area next to a 36-foot-tall concrete and steel wall will change the church.”It’s such a serene and peaceful place to pray, and if you have a militarized zone right there, it would desecrate the atmosphere,” he says. “Couldn’t we find something better than a 15th century wall?” The crisis is demonizing and despising your neighbors.  Father Roy Snipes, parish priest for La Lomita Border wall dividing homes and habitat • Now playing: Watch this: Aug 6 • Trump says he’s watching Google ‘very closely,’ slams CEO Sundar Pichai Adobe Donald Trump More than 100 pilgrims quietly make their way into La Lomita Chapel and slide onto the wooden pews of the 120-year-old Catholic church. As one man sits down, he hangs his cowboy hat on a post near the pulpit. The one-room adobe chapel is lit only by a table of flickering votive candles. It’s a cool February morning in Mission, Texas, and the sun has yet to rise.”We pray for ourselves,” Father Roy Snipes says with a Texan lilt, holding a flashlight as he reads his sermon. “But we also pray for our oppressors.” Enlarge ImageThis is the third story in our Texas border trilogy, Tall Order: Building the Border Wall. Click here for the first story and click here for the second story. Amy Kim/CNET Snipes, who’s tall with a slight stoop and combed white hair parted on the side, has served at La Lomita Chapel for nearly 40 years. As he continues his sermon, he turns to a topic his parishioners are familiar with: the border wall.La Lomita sits directly in the path of President Donald Trump’s proposed wall. The tiny white church is situated in a grassy park less than a block from the dark green Rio Grande — the international boundary between Texas and Mexico. That has turned this historic landmark into a symbol of what might be lost once the wall is built. And it’s turned Snipes, who’s locally known as the “cowboy priest” and has been described as “Mr. Rogers with a Stetson,” into an unlikely symbol of protest against the physical barrier the Trump administration just started building in Texas last month.”In the long run, it’s going to be a real sad chapter in our history, that wall,” Snipes says. “It’s a shame they couldn’t think of something better than that with all of the tech we have.” It’s going to be a real sad chapter in our history, that wall. Father Roy Snipes, parish priest for La Lomita The US Border Patrol has blanketed the nearly 2,000-mile-long US-Mexico border with technology, most of it geared toward surveillance. The agency relies on a network of sensors, cameras and drones equipped with lidar and radar to spot people, boats and vehicles crossing the border into California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Watchdog groups warn that this mass surveillance could have serious privacy implications. But a wall, say the dozens of Texans living along the border who granted me interviews, may be even worse.If all goes according to Trump’s plans, roughly 550 miles of wall will be built along the US-Mexico border as soon as possible. Most of that new construction is expected to happen in Texas. Unlike California, Arizona and New Mexico, which already have about 60% of fencing or walls at their borders, Texas only has around 20% because of its natural barrier with Mexico — the Rio Grande. Aug 7 • Trump’s emissions and fuel economy rollbacks will cost Americans money, study says Neema Singh Guliani, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, says, “A lot of us would have objections to surveillance infrastructure in our communities that could track everywhere we went, every time we went to a doctor’s office or a place of worship.”Still, many people who live in South Texas say all that surveillance is better than a physical barrier.”You don’t have to build the wall; you could increase border security, you could increase technology,” says Susan Keefer, an avid birder and part-time resident of Mission. “In some places a wall might be best, but it sure isn’t right here.”Trapped between the river and the wallThe National Butterfly Center sits on 100 acres of riverside property that’s thick with vegetation. Within that tangle of bushes and trees, it’s teeming with wildlife. Kids on a field trip are learning about local butterflies, like the zebra heliconian and southern dogface. And birders walk the grounds, stopping to fix their binoculars on a small gray screech owl sleeping in a tree and a flock of bright green jays that jump branch to branch.The Rio Grande Valley is one of the most biodiverse habitats on the continent. It’s home to 1,200 plant species, 300 butterfly species and 520 bird species, according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. And at least 18 threatened or endangered animal species live here.”We’re at the crossroads of the subtropical and tropical Americas,” says Marianna T. Wright, executive director of the National Butterfly Center. “If you’re doing a Venn diagram, the Rio Grande Valley is that sweet spot in the middle.”Animals of the Rio Grande Valley, including a zebra longwing butterfly, an Altamira oriole, an ocelot cub and a javelina.The Rio Grande Valley is home to hundreds of species of birds, butterflies and animals. Clockwise from the top left: zebra longwing butterfly, Altamira oriole, ocelot cub, javelina.  The United States Fish and Wildlife Service Down the road from the Butterfly Center in a flat, dusty lot enclosed by a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire, a completely different scene started taking place on April 16. Flatbed 18-wheelers began hauling in truckloads of massive steel bollard panels. Bright orange tractors unloaded the oversized metal planks, placing them in several 10-foot-high stacks across the lot. These are the panels for the border wall.”We’re getting a 36-foot-tall barrier that no terrestrial wildlife will be able to cross,” Wright says. “That means trapped between the river and a wall, there will be increased competition for resources, for mating territory, for food, for shelter, for breeding.”So far, the majority of construction on Trump’s wall has been replacement of existing barriers. That’s about to change.Along with more funding for border technology, Congress’ spending measure authorized $1.375 billion for 55 miles of steel fencing in the Rio Grande Valley. The measure also said, however, the wall couldn’t be built in four protected areas: the National Butterfly Center, Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge and La Lomita Chapel. But the day after Trump signed the measure, he announced a national emergency at the southern border, arguing that the US is struggling with an “invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country that we stop, but it’s very hard to stop. With a wall, it would be very easy.”img-2441Marianna T. Wright, executive director of the National Butterfly Center, stands with football players Demario Davis and Josh Norman in front of a stack of steel bollard panels that’ll be used to build the border wall. The National Butterfly Center That move lets him tap into more than $6 billion in additional funds, diverted from other government reserves. It also lets him waive environmental assessments and override the no-wall provision for those four protected areas.While Trump is facing several lawsuits and a congressional challenge to the national emergency, his order stands and construction on the wall moves forward.Along with the 55 miles of wall authorized by Congress in February, an additional 33 miles of steel barriers in the Rio Grande Valley were funded by Congress in March 2018. Of this, 25 miles of nearly continuous wall are slated for Hidalgo County, where the Butterfly Center and La Lomita are located, according to a July 2018 letter that Customs and Border Protection sent to a nongovernmental organization and that was seen by CNET. Customs and Border Protection didn’t respond to a request for comment on the contents of the letter.The wall in Hidalgo County will be 36 feet tall — nearly as high as a four-story building. It’ll start at the foot of the levee with an 18-foot base of reinforced concrete and be topped with 18 feet of steel bollards, according to the letter. Detection and surveillance tech will be incorporated into the wall, along with floodlights. All trees and brush will be excavated 150 feet south of the wall toward the river to clear an area called the “enforcement zone.” If you’re doing a Venn diagram, the Rio Grande Valley is that sweet spot in the middle. Marianna T. Wright, executive director of the National Butterfly Center See All I set out to travel the length of the Texas-Mexico border, about 1,200 miles, starting in El Paso and ending here at the southern tip of the state in the Rio Grande Valley. While much of the border is remote and desolate, South Texas is different. It’s peppered with numerous towns whose inhabitants live on both sides of the river. It’s also one of North America’s top biodiversity hotspots for birds, insects and animals, such as the endangered ocelot and Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.Building a wall in the middle of such a wildlife corridor will harm the hundreds of different species that live here, say scientists and conservationists across Texas. It also puts at risk the future of La Lomita.Father Roy Snipes, the parish priest at La Lomita chapel, holds a dawn mass in Mission, Texas. Father Roy Snipes, the parish priest at La Lomita chapel, holds a dawn mass in Mission, Texas.   Dara Kerr/CNET As Snipes finishes mass at the chapel, birds chirp awake and a hawk hovers in the nearby field. Through the church’s windows, the sky over the levee is cast in red, peach and bright turquoise. In the other direction, a low fog lifts off the river. Overhead, a Border Patrol helicopter buzzes.”They think they’re going to build a wall and it’ll solve all of our problems,” Snipes says. “I think it’s going to cause more problems than it’s going to solve.”Surveillance stateThe Rio Grande Valley isn’t actually a valley, it’s a river delta. It’s flat, dry and hot. Along Highway 83, one-stoplight towns sell tacos and barbecue brisket out of roadside trailers, and broken-down gas stations are a mainstay. Through the dense and thorny brushland filled with sweet acacia, Texas ebony and mesquite trees, the Rio Grande drifts in and out of sight.Every few dozen miles, a white blimp floats 5,000 feet in the sky. Called aerostats, or tethered aerostat radar systems, these apparatuses look like a cartoon version of an airplane, with a softly rounded nose and curved puffy tail wings. They’re one of the surveillance tools US Customs and Border Protection uses to monitor the border.An aerostat used by US Customs and Border Protection along the Texas-Mexico border.An aerostat, used for border surveillance, gets lowered to the ground in rainy weather. Dara Kerr/CNET Each balloon is attached to the ground by a nylon cable that can be extended and reeled in. When in the air, the unmanned aerostats monitor the terrain below. Using radar, along with infrared and electro-optical cameras, they can “see” approximately 20 miles and pick up the movement of people and vehicles, according to Customs and Border Protection.The Border Patrol has six tactical aerostats in the Rio Grande Valley. Each blimp’s radar and camera feeds are monitored 24 hours a day by government contractors and a Border Patrol agent, according to Jose A. Martinez, assistant chief patrol agent.”It has greatly assisted us,” Martinez says. But, he adds, “The aerostat has its limitations because it’s only operational 60% to 70% of the time due to weather and maintenance.”Aerostats are just one of the Border Patrol’s surveillance tools. To detect potential illegal immigration and drug trafficking, the federal agency uses everything from surveillance towers equipped with high-powered cameras to military grade drones to a complex system of sensors, including seismic, magnetic, acoustic, infrared, radar, microwave and photoelectric. The Border Patrol is also testing innovations such as machine-learning AI software and facial recognition tech.The federal government is pouring money into border technology. A congressional spending measure, passed Feb. 14 and signed by Trump, awarded $100 million in technology funding to the Border Patrol, with an additional $112 million for aircraft and sensor systems.US Border Patrol boat in the Rio GrandeBorder Patrol agents keep watch on the Rio Grande in Mission, Texas. Dara Kerr/CNET But some people aren’t happy with the indiscriminate surveillance. A group of 28 tech and human rights organizations, led by digital rights group Fight for the Future, has been pushing Congress to stop funding border surveillance tech.”It’s sickening to see both Republicans and Democrats add significant funding for invasive surveillance technologies to trample on millions of people’s basic rights at a mass scale,” Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, said in a statement after Congress passed its spending measure in February. “The US government’s mass surveillance programs are already out of control.”Civil liberties groups and some think tanks are also opposed to added border surveillance. Libertarian think tank Cato Institute says the tech “intrudes on law-abiding Americans’ privacy” and it’d “be naive to believe that Border Patrol surveillance equipment won’t be turned on Americans going about their days.” You don’t have to build the wall, you could increase border security, you could increase technology. Susan Keefer, part-time resident of Mission, Texas Environmentalists say this could deal a devastating blow to South Texas’ already compromised ecosystem. Agriculture and urban growth have destroyed almost all of the Rio Grande Valley’s native brushland, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Less than 5% of this habitat remains — and what’s left is mostly along the banks of the Rio Grande. This is where birds nest, butterflies lay their eggs, and animals hunt and burrow.”This tiny strip of wildlife along the river is now in jeopardy because of the border wall,” says Paul Sánchez-Navarro, senior representative for advocacy group Defenders of Wildlife. “We’re talking over 50,000 acres of deforestation.” US Tech Policy US Tech Policylast_img read more

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September 10, 2019

Juul vaporizer What is it why are teens addicted and is it

first_img 12 Photos Comments Meet the smart vapes: App-enabled vaporizers seek to cash in on cannabis Share your voice Now playing: Watch this: In a statement, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said, “…the nicotine in these products can rewire an adolescent’s brain, leading to years of addiction.”But, he continues: “Make no mistake. We see the possibility for electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products like e-cigarettes and other novel forms of nicotine-delivery to provide a potentially less harmful alternative for currently addicted individual adult smokers … But we’ve got to step in to protect our kids.”How did the company get its start? Juul Labs spun off from Pax Labs in 2015. Founders Adam Bowen and James Monsees co-founded the company when, as former smokers, they decided they wanted a better alternative to cigarettes than anything that was already on the market. Their idea of “better” manifested as Juul’s high nicotine content and slim design that puts off very little vapor compared to other vapes. Since its debut, Juul has grown to dominate more than 50 percent of the market share.In December 2018, Altria — one of the largest companies in the world that produces tobacco products — bought a 35% stake of Juul for $12.8 billion dollars. Altria owns Phillip Morris, which owns the brands Marlboro, Virginia Slims, Parliament and other cigarette brands.Juul copycats zonk-cotton-candy-400x400Candy and dessert-flavored e-juice is enticing to kids who might be otherwise turned off by vaping or smoking. Zonk E Liquid Juul’s staggering success prompted many e-cigarette brands to follow suit with high nicotine content and new designs. The FDA isn’t happy with these copycat brands, and neither is Juul, who filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission for patent infringement. Everyone should be concerned about copycat Juuls, especially those that openly market to children using enticing flavors like Blue Slushie Lemonade and strawberry whipped cream. The attributes of these vapes — attractive, compact and free of odor — make them popular with young people because they can easily hide them from authority figures, like teachers and parents. Juul’s popularity and the influx of similar products raises concern that this new “pod mod” class of e-cigarette products is not just a trend and will influence the decisions and habits of adolescents for their entire lives.Staying true to its stance on nicotine use among minors, Juul announced that they are going after companies who do market to children and teens, but the FDA warns that this is an ongoing battle.  Watch genetically modified T-cells kill cancer cells Get your vitamins by vaping 1:40 Juul pods currently come in eight flavors; cucumber, creme, mint, mango, menthol, fruit, Virginia tobacco and classic tobacco. It’s worth noting that the FDA’s Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act banned flavored cigarettes in 2009, so it’s possible that this might come into play for vapes one day, too. How much nicotine does a Juul deliver?juul-pods-and-chargerThe Juul charger and pods look like USB drives. Natalie Weinstein / CNET Juul measures nicotine content by weight, which is different from most brands, which usually measure by volume. Juul originally only sold pods with 5 percent nicotine by weight, but started offering 3 percent pods in August 2018.According to an older version of Juul’s FAQ page, one 5 percent pod contains roughly the same amount of nicotine as one pack of cigarettes, or about 200 puffs. However, this information is no longer available on Juul’s website, and there’s no precise information about 3 percent pods, either. However, an article in the New England Journal of Medicine says that the 5 percent pods contain a concentration of 59 milligrams of nicotine per milliliter of liquid. In contrast, most vapes pre-Juul frenzy contained roughly one to three percent nicotine by volume. A study in the journal Tobacco Control notes that the new average seems to be rising to that 5 percent mark. Juul’s creators increased the nicotine because they felt other vapes on the market couldn’t compare to the sensations delivered by regular cigarettes. juul-website-faq-april-2018Enlarge ImageAn older version of Juul’s FAQ page disclosed precise information about the nicotine content in Juul pods. However, this information is no longer on the site. truthinitiative.org Is it addictive? Is it more addictive than cigarettes?Nicotine is a known addictive substance, and Juul is no exception. There are no studies that prove whether or not Juul is more addictive than regular cigarettes, I certainly know people who seem as addicted to their Juul as they are to their iPhones, and I’ve watched friends throw fits when their pod runs dry. Nicotine is a harmful drug, regardless of delivery method. It’s linked to various changes in the body and brain, and public health officials worry that most people, especially youth, aren’t aware of the potential consequences.What are the risks of vaping?Many people consider vaping a safer alternative to smoking because it eliminates tobacco, which is a known carcinogen. But cigarettes contain many chemicals beyond tobacco, and e-cigarettes contain some of the same. Studies have detected acetamide (a compound used in industrial solvents), formaldehyde and benzene (another known carcinogen) in various e-cigarettes brands. Not all e-cigarette liquids contain all of these toxic compounds, and even in those that do contain them, the concentration isn’t always high enough to present concern. No studies to detect these chemicals have been conducted specifically on Juul e-liquid. The real issue arises when companies don’t disclose what’s in their products. Juul openly states its e-liquid ingredients, all of which appear to be safe in reasonable doses — except the nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that causes cravings and bonafide withdrawal symptoms when those cravings are ignored. Whether or not vaping is a “gateway” to cigarette smoking is irrelevant because vaping itself is an addictive habit. Nicotine isn’t just addictive, but it’s also toxic. It stimulates your adrenal glands, spiking adrenaline production and leading to a series of bodily reactions: Users experience a release of glucose and an increase in heart rate, breathing rate and blood pressure. The drug seems to act as both a stimulant and a depressant at the same time, as it’s linked to increased alertness but also increased relaxation. Use of nicotine is also associated with a number of side effects on organs and organ systems, including:Increased risk of blood clotsAtherosclerosisPeptic ulcersChanges in heart rhythm Lung spasms Nicotine can also alter or harm the development of the brain in children and teens. “The prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for decision-making, logic, personality expression, and many other traits integral to one’s personality, is not fully mature until around the age of 25,” Dr. Lawrence Weinstein, Chief Medical Officer of American Addiction Centers, told CNET. “Introducing nicotine to the brain 10 years prior to that, without speaking of the massive amount of nicotine contained in each cartridge, will undoubtedly alter that developing brain.”Looking beyond nicotine, using e-cigarettes — Juul or otherwise — comes with many health risks, including the possibility for seizures, heart attacks, lung damage and birth defects.Dentists have also been noticing that their patients who vape are experiencing more cavities, tooth damage and dental issues. Especially when it comes to the enamel on your teeth, once damage is done it cannot be reversed.Lastly, e-cigarettes work by heating a liquid into an aerosol that the user inhales. While the amount of aerosol in a single puff isn’t likely to harm anyone, it’s worth noting that inhaling aerosols is associated with impaired judgment and functioning. Can vaping cause heart disease?The Stanford School of Medicine released a study in May 2019 that suggested the e-liquids in Juuls and other vapes could increase a person’s risk of heart disease. When inhaled, the e-liquid affects a certain kind of cells, called endothelial cells, that line the inside of blood vessels. Researchers found that endothelial cells exposed to e-liquid or to blood collected from people who smoked e-cigarettes exhibited DNA damage and cellular death. Damage occurred even in the absence of nicotine, which means other compounds in the e-liquids are harmful. Interestingly, the severity of the damage varied by flavor, with cinnamon and menthol found as the most harmful. The endothelial cells the researchers tested were grown from stem cells, but the implications still mean a lot for human endothelial cells. “This study clearly shows that e-cigarettes are not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes,” said Joseph Wu, director of the Stanford Cardiovascular Institute, in a press release. “… We saw significant damage. The cells were less viable in culture, and they began to exhibit multiple symptoms of dysfunction.”Why is Juul so popular, especially among teens?juul-starter-kitJuul’s starter kit contains the Juul device, a USB charger and four Juul pods for $50. juul.com Although Juul demands age verification upon navigating to its website and holds a firm stance against minors’ use of Juuls, these vapes are still wildly popular with teens. Depending on the state, no one under 18 or 21 is supposed to be able to purchase e-cigarettes, or any tobacco products. But according to a report from the CDC, e-cigarette use is rising among middle school and high school students, and more than 3.5 million of them used e-cigarettes in 2018.Advertising is part of the problem. According to the CDC, more than 18 million high school and middle school students combined were exposed to e-cigarette ads in 2014. And Stanford researchers point out that Juul’s marketing hasn’t been congruent with its adults-only stance. One can guess it’s so popular for a few reasons:It’s relatively inexpensive: You can buy Juul’s “starter kit,” which includes the e-cigarette, USB charger and four pods for $50. After that, packs of four pods cost $21.It’s discreet: People may be more inclined to use Juul because its compact design is easy to hide from parents, teachers and other authority figures.It doesn’t smell like a cigarette: Cigarette smoke permeates the air in a relatively large radius. Juuls, on the other hand, don’t give off the smell of tobacco or smoke.It comes in many flavors: Juul’s sweet flavor options make it a more palatable option than regular cigarettes and many other e-cigarette options. One CDC survey notes that 31 percent of survey respondents (all students in grades six to 12) chose e-cigarettes because of  “flavors such as mint, candy, fruit, or chocolate.” The explosive popularity of Juul and others like it among kids is particularly troubling because they often do not see it as harmful. A report showed that 63% of people aged 14 to 25 aren’t even aware that vaporizers like Juul contain nicotine at all.What’s the FDA’s stance on Juul?Well, the FDA doesn’t love Juul. In April 2018, the FDA demanded that Juul submit marketing and research documents, and explain what Juul knows about the use of its products among teens. A month later, as part of the FDA’s Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan, the agency also requested information from several other e-cigarette manufacturers. And in October 2018, FDA visited Juul’s San Francisco headquarters to gather information on the company’s sales and marketing tactics.Despite the fact that selling tobacco products to minors is illegal, the FDA has so far uncovered 40 violations for illegal sales of Juul products to young people. Warning letters were issued for those violations. The company also shut down its Facebook and Instagram accounts in November 2018 to avoid promoting its product to teens and non-smokers — two groups that Juul specifically says it does not want to become customers. Now playing: Watch this: Eva Hambach / AFP/Getty Images Vaping has become one of the biggest public health issues of our time, and at the center of it is San Francisco-based e-cigarette company Juul. While there are many vaporizers on the market, Juul has gained popularity (especially among teenagers) for its sleek design and easy-to-use pods. Even after the company was forced to shutter its social media presence while the FDA investigated concerns that Juul was promoting underage use of tobacco products, Juul continues to prove popular with rising sales and affectionate nicknames, such as the “iPhone of vaporizers.”But what exactly is Juul, and is it safe to use one? Here are all the details you need to know about Juul. Read more: How to quit Juuling, according to addiction expertsWhat is it?Juul is like many other e-cigarettes, but with a couple caveats that set it apart. First, this vape is sleek and hardly noticeable: It’s USB-drive design can be enclosed in the palm of a hand, and it doesn’t produce a massive plume of vapor like some other e-cigarettes. Second, the nicotine content in its cartridges or “pods” set a new precedent for the e-cigarette market. E-cigarettes work by converting liquid nicotine into a vapor that the user inhales. They’re battery operated and intend to provide a similar stimulus to that of smoking regular cigarettes. Vaping Increases Among TeensJuul is small and discreet Portland Press Herald/Getty Developed by two former smokers, Juul’s mission is to “improve the lives of one billion adult smokers by eliminating cigarettes.” One way the company encourages the switch from cigarettes to Juul is with their Juul calculator, where people can estimate how much money they’d save if they used a Juul instead.How does Juul compare to other e-cigarettes?Juul’s high nicotine content used to be an anomaly in the e-cigarette market, but now researchers note it seems to be the rule. After Juul’s surge in popularity, other e-cigarette manufacturers began bumping up the nicotine content in their products.Juul uses a closed system, which means users can’t refill the pods themselves, a helpful factor for quality control.  Some e-cigarettes, such as the Suorin Drop, use open systems that allow users to refill the vape themselves with bottles of e-liquid or e-juice.Juul’s small size, compact design and minimal plume make it more discreet than many other brands. With no buttons or switches — just disposable, snap-on cartridges — Juul is simple, and its built-in temperature regulation prevents you from experiencing a “dry hit.” Dry hits occur when vape cartridges get too low on liquid or when they overheat, and produce a burnt taste and throat irritation. The Juul vaping system in Washington, DC.The Juul e-cigarette uses closed cartridges of “juice.” The Washington Post/Getty What is in the liquid that the Juul turns to vapor?The Juul comprises two parts. There’s the e-cigarette itself, which contains the battery, temperature regulator and sensors that read the charge level. The pod contains Juul’s patented e-liquid formula. A mixture of nicotine salts, glycerol, propylene glycol, benzoic acid and flavorings.Glycerol serves as a humectant, which means it adds moisture to the solution. Glycerol is classified as “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA, so it’s approved for consumption. Propylene glycol is a synthetic compound commonly used in polyester production, but it’s also approved as an additive for food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Benzoic acid occurs naturally in many plants, but its synthetic form is also widely used as a food additive and preservative. It’s “generally recognized as safe” for those uses, but can be an environmental and health hazard in large quantities.Flavorings is an ambiguous term, but most often refers to various natural and synthetic ingredients that companies use to flavor their products. For example, Juul doesn’t specify what’s in it’s mint-flavored pod, but it probably contains peppermint extract or oil. The nicotine salts in Juul pods are a type of nicotine that supposedly feels more like a cigarette when inhaled, as opposed to other vapes that use freebase nicotine. Freebase nicotine, which can cause coughing and leave a film in people’s throats, is harsher and commonly used in cigars. 21 4:37 Tags Wellnesslast_img read more

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September 5, 2019

BSE closes points 27553 up on October 9

first_imgNew Delhi, October 9 (ANI): Trading at the Bombay Stock Exchange today closed 275.53 points up to stand at 20259.14. At the National Stock Exchange the Nifty closed 85.55 points up to stand at 6013.95. Indiabulls Real Estate and Unitech were among the top gainers of Group A with an increase of 8.25% and 7.46% along with DLF Ltd. and L&T Finance Holdings with an increase of 6.99% and 5.79% respectively, while the top losers of Group A include Jubilant Food works Ltd and Jet Airways with a decrease of 3.75% and 3.28% along with Financial Technologies and Apollo Tyres with a decrease of 2.86% and 2.83% at the close of the markets. The Auto sector is up 75.50 points at 11,532.44 while the banking sector is up 235.50 points at 11,788.35 and the realty sector is up 52.51 points at 1,314.05. The Indian currency is down 0.09% at Rs 61.85 per dollar.last_img read more

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September 5, 2019

Dinosaur era chickens came out of the egg running says new study

first_imgLas Hoyas, Spain is known for spectacular fossils preserved in 126 million-year-old rocks deposited in a lake environment /HKUHKU MOOC / HKU Vertebrate Palaeontology Laboratory.HKU Vertebrate Palaeontology LaboratoryThe ancient hatchling of birds like chickens and ducks came out of the egg running, according to latest fidnings from the 125 million-year-old Early Cretaceous fossil beds of Los Hoyas, Spain, which have long been known for producing thousands of petrified fish and reptiles. The paleontologists found one special fossil — a nearly complete skeleton of a hatchling bird — that was unique and is one of the rarest of fossils. The lifestyle of this 3-cm long hatchling bird was studied by examining previously unknown feathering of the preserved fossil specimen.”Previous studies searched for but failed to find any hints of feathers on the Los Hoyas hatchling. This meant that its original lifestyle was a mystery,” says Michael Pittman from the University of Hong Kong who led the study along with Thomas G. Kaye from the Foundation for Scientific Advancement in the USA.   Feathers revealed in a ~125 million-year-old fossil of a bird hatchling shows it came “out of the egg running”. Specimen MPCM-LH-26189 from Los Hoyas, Spain is preserved between two slabs of rock: (a) ‘counter’ slab under normal light (b) Laser-Stimulated Fluorescence (LSF) image combining the results from both rock slabs. This reveals brown patches around the specimen that include clumps of elongate feathers associated with the neck and wings and a single long vaned feather associated with the left wing. (c) Normal light image of the main slab. Scale is 5mm. Image Credit: Kaye et al. 2019@Kaye et al. 2019Within hours of hatching, chickens and ducks are up and running as they are “precocial” unlike pigeons and eagles which are “altricial”. The latter require parental cover to keep themselves warm till they develop feathers. When precocial birds hatch, they have developed down feathers and partly developed large feathers and can keep warm themselves and get around without mum’s help.Previous attempts using UV lights failed to detect the feathers. Pittman and Kaye used a high power laser to study tiny chemical differences in the fossils in different colours, to make out previously unseen anatomical details. The new results on the hatchling bird revealed that they had feathers at birth and was thus precocial and out of the egg running.The latest laser technology demonstrates that some early birds adopted a precocial breeding strategy just like modern birds, said researchers. Even during the time of dinosaurs, some enantiornithine bird babies had the means to avoid the dangers of Mesozoic life by following their parents or moving around themselves, they said.”One of the feathers discovered was of a substantial size and preserves features seen in other hatchlings. It indicates that our hatchling had reasonably well-developed flight feathers at the time of birth”, says Jesús Marugán-Lobón, another author of the study from the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid, Spain. Las Hoyas, Spain is known for spectacular fossils preserved in 126 million-year-old rocks deposited in a lake environment  HKU MOOC / HKU Vertebrate Palaeontology Laboratorylast_img read more

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September 5, 2019

Loan growth at historic low even as banks are awash with cash

first_imgEven though banks are aflush with money in the wake of demonetisation, their loan growth has taken a hit and is near historic lows. Between November 11 and December 23, 2016, credit offtake declined by Rs 5,229 crore, touching a low of 5.1 percent, while banks’ deposits increased by around Rs 4 lakh crore.Also read: Demonetisation: RBI responds to reports that 97% of banned notes have been returnedAnd that could be a matter of concern, State Bank of India (SBI) said in its research report, Ecowrap.The SBI note explained the link between rate cut and credit growth, saying when the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) reduced repo rate by 125 basis points (bps) during January 2015 till March 2016, and banks by 70 bps to the customer, there was a substantial increase in credit to housing to the tune of nearly Rs 1.5 lakh crore.Even prior to that, from November 2008 to August 2010, banks had slashed lending rate by 75-80 bps and they witnessed credit growth of around Rs 7.3 lakh crore from a yearly average growth of Rs 4 lakh crore.Interestingly, in July 2010, banks had shifted from the benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR) method of the lending rates to base rate system and that had resulted in a substantial decline in lending rates, which boosted the average credit growth to 22.0 percent in the period July 2010-March 2011, compared to 18.1 percent in April to June 2010. Last year in April, banks again shifted to the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) from base rate system, but there were no significant differences in both the lending rates.But now that the SBI and other lenders have slashed MCLR rates almost 80-90 bps at one go, the report anticipates a strong case for a credit growth rebound, at least in the housing sector. It would be interesting to see if credit growth picks up in the near future, says the note.Sectoral deployment of credit for November 2016 indicates that there is a slowdown in credit across all the sub-sectors on year-to-date (YTD) basis, while on year-on-year (YoY) basis, credit to services has increased marginally. SBI says, “During this period, major sub-sectors in the industry which witnessed deceleration or contraction in credit include infrastructure, food processing, chemical and chemical products, all engineering, textiles and basic metal and metal products. Credit to housing has also declined, while auto loans are showing traction in YoY credit growth, which may be due to the low base.”Meanwhile, SBI expects demonetisation-led cash crunch to normalise by February.At the end of December, only 44 percent of the demonetised currency was replaced. SBI estimates that if the RBI continues to print as it is doing now, then by January end about 67 percent of the currency should get replaced and by February, at this rate, the RBI could print as much as 89 percent of the total currency. However, if the RBI decides to shift its printing more towards smaller denomination, this number could be close to 80 percent, the SBI note highlighted.”Either way, we maintain, contrary to market perception, that things will be closer to normal by Feb-end as opposed to predictions of the crisis lasting longer,” SBI adds.At the same time, India’s largest lender believes the RBI is unlikely to cut repo rate in February as global uncertainties may again play spoilsport.It said inflation trajectory is expected to remain significantly benign. The December inflation numbers may witness a reading closer to 3.2-3.3 percent.”Though inflation may increase in March, it may still be closer to the lower band of 4-4.5 per cent. Hence, the scope for an accommodative monetary cycle will continue even in the financial year 2017-2018,” the report said.last_img read more

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September 3, 2019 Bangladesh needs free fair inclusive polls US ambassador

Bangladesh needs free fair inclusive polls US ambassador

first_imgMarcia Bernicat. Prothom Alo File PhotoUS ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat on Monday said a free, fair and inclusive election is important for a democracy, especially for the one which is on track to become a middle-income country.”Together, we can contribute to a peaceful and prosperous Bangladesh,” UNB quoted her as saying.The US ambassador said political parties must accept their rivals as legitimate participations in the political process and as potential leaders of the next government, even when they disagree on issues or policies.”It’s essential that Bangladeshis urge nonviolence by all actors at every stage of the democratic process, before, during, and after the elections,” Bernicat said.She said violence serves only those who wish to undermine the democratic processes and the interest of Bangladesh and its citizens.Democracy International brought together 400 Awami League and BNP leaders to inaugurate `Shantite Bijoy’ Campaign’, a national campaign ahead of the next national election, seeking peace centering the polls.The campaign was launched at the Celebrity Hall of Bangabandhu International Convention Centre (BICC) with a slogan ‘Bangladesh will win if peace wins.’This campaign engages and raises awareness among registered political parties of Bangladesh and candidates in the upcoming national elections in favour of peaceful elections and tolerant politics.The prime minister’s Political affairs adviser HT Imam, senior BNP leader Moyeen Khan, US ambassador to Bangladesh Marcia Bernicat and British high commissioner to Bangladesh Alison Blake along with senior political leaders attended the event.The programme began with singing the national anthem. A documentary was also screened on the occasion.Speakers expressed the hope for peaceful and participatory polls.last_img
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September 3, 2019 Man killed in Thakurgaon gunfight

Man killed in Thakurgaon gunfight

first_imgA Prothom Alo IllustrationA suspected drug trader was killed in what the members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) called a gunfight with them at Fakirganj in Pirganj upazila of Thakurgaon early Thursday.The deceased is Monirul Islam Babul, 35, son of certain Maidul Islam of North Sujalpur in Birganj upazila of Dinajpur district.A team of BGB arrested Babul from the bordering area on Wednesday night along with 112 bottles of Phensidyl and one bottle of wine, said lieutenant colonel Gazi Nahid Uz Zaman, a commanding officer of BGB-42.Later, the team along with Babul conducted a drive at Fakirganj around 2:00am to recover more drugs, he said.Sensing presence of the border guards, Babul’s cohorts opened fire on them, forcing them to fire back that triggered a gunfight, Nahid said, adding that at one stage, Babul was caught in the line of fire and died while others managed to flee.The BGB members also recovered 75 bottles of Phensidyl, a firearm, Tk 22,000 in cash and a sharp weapon from the spot, he said.last_img read more

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September 2, 2019 Who Is Meghan Markle 6 Things To Know About The PrincessToBe

Who Is Meghan Markle 6 Things To Know About The PrincessToBe

first_img Share Photo via Meghan Markle’s Twitter @meghanmarklePrince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry in spring 2018.Admit it. You’ve Googled “Who’s Meghan Markle” — or, at least, you thought about it.The 36-year-old American actress is now engaged to Prince Harry, the redheaded younger brother of Prince William, with a wedding planned for spring 2018.Here in America, our only princesses are of the Disney variety. But the wedding of Kate and William in 2011 proved that there’s tremendous interest — in some cases, obsession — with the marital machinations of the royal family across the pond.Meghan Markle recalls how Prince Harry proposed https://t.co/i4gnKvanEz pic.twitter.com/Xr14LWYuXS— TIME (@TIME) November 27, 2017So even if you aren’t on the edge of your seat wondering who snagged the former “playboy prince,” someone you know probably is. Let’s pretend you’re reading this on their behalf.She’s not royalty — and not BritishLike Princess Kate, Markle is a commoner. More unusually, she’s American; she was born in Los Angeles. That makes her the first American to marry into the British royal family since 1937.Back then, Edward VIII had to abdicate his throne to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson — not because she was American, but because she was divorced.Markle is also divorced (she was married from 2011-2013), but 80 years after the Wallas Simpson drama, that’s less likely to cause an uproar.She’s got two rescue dogsHere they are.She’s a humanitarian activist, promoting gender equalityThis March, Markle wrote for Time magazine about the stigma and shame around menstruation in some parts of the world and how it forms a barrier to girls’ success.“We need to rise above our puritanical bashfulness when it comes to talking about menstruation,” she wrote. “To break the cycle of poverty, and to achieve economic growth and sustainability in developing countries, young women need access to education.”Markle was honored by Vanity Fair U.K. for her role in the One Young World summit, along with Emma Watson, Cher and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.You might recognize her from the long-running legal drama SuitsMarkle plays Rachel Zane on the USA Network show, now in its seventh season.Her character began as a well-respected, ambitious paralegal at the show’s central law firm, whose father is a name partner at a rival law firm. Over the course of the show, Zane struggles to get into law school, becomes a lawyer and gets caught up in a love triangle. Her relationship with Mike Ross is one of the central elements of the show.“Rachel and I [are] very similar: ambitious, driven, and always trying to take the bull by its horns,” Markle told Marie Claire in 2013. “I love the intelligence that’s written into Rachel. Look, my very first audition was for ‘Hot Girl #1’ in some movie. It’s the ultimate for me that the writers are … able to go, ‘Sure, you can be a pretty girl, but there’s so much more to her.’ “Markle also describes herself as a foodie, another trait she shares with Zane, Vanity Fair reports.US Weekly reported earlier this month that Markle and costar Patrick Adams (who plays Ross) are both quitting the show at the end of Season 7.She has stayed out of the media hoopla about her romance with Harry …“I can tell you that at the end of the day I think it’s really simple,” Markle told Vanity Fair in September. “We’re two people who are really happy and in love. We were very quietly dating for about six months before it became news, and I was working during that whole time, and the only thing that changed was people’s perception. Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship.”She described her relationship to the media with a Britishism, “ostriching” — as in, sticking her head in the sand.“I don’t read any press. I haven’t even read press for Suits,” she said. “The people who are close to me anchor me in knowing who I am. The rest is noise.”… but Harry has spoken out publicly to defend her against tabloidsIn late 2016, when their relationship hit the press, Markle — who is biracial — was subjected to intrusive, offensive media coverage and frequently racist reaction. (The CBC collected several examples.)Prince Harry’s communications secretary responded with a rare public comment, written in the third person, acknowledging their relationship. It noted that Harry “has tried to develop a thick skin about the level of media interest that comes with it,” but then continued:“But the past week has seen a line crossed. His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public — the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments. Some of it has been hidden from the public — the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers; her mother having to struggle past photographers in order to get to her front door; the attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home and the calls to police that followed; the substantial bribes offered by papers to her ex-boyfriend; the bombardment of nearly every friend, co-worker, and loved one in her life.“Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her. It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game — it is her life and his.”The statement was widely regarded as unprecedented.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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September 1, 2019 DCs Fight for Affordable Housing

DCs Fight for Affordable Housing

first_imgResidents gather outside Foundry United Methodist Church March 5 to advocate for more affordable housing in D.C. (Photo by Shantella Y. Sherman )The atmosphere at Foundry United Methodist Church was charged with excitement. Mayor Muriel Bowser, D.C. Council Housing and Community Development Committee Chair Anita Bonds, and Councilmember Elissa Silverman, joined roughly 500 residents to announce continued efforts to secure existing and increase the number of affordable housing units in the city.At times the gathering took on the call and response style of an old Baptist church service. “We now have to make sure that we’re doing all that we can where the government can make a difference,” Bowser said at the event on March 5.”There’s no mayor, there’s no government that can reverse housing prices. But what we can do is make sure that the city is involved in supporting subsidized units and preserving housing and ending homelessness. And that’s what our focus is.”Bowser, aware of the criticism she has faced in trying to ending homelessness, asked residents to consider the dilemma faced by the city. She mentioned the competing realities of trying to halt the loss of reasonably-priced housing, as 30-year-covenants between the city and building owners end and developers hoping to capitalize on the influx of single, childless professionals with high, disposable incomes, rush in.“We are absolutely working to ensure that even as we add new affordable housing units to the city, we do not lose the ones we currently have. Many of you have been in the city for 5 days, 5 months, 5 years, while there are many more who have been here, like myself, who have been here for 5 generations,” Bowser said. “And what we need to realize is that no matter the length of time you have been here, D.C. is your home.”Bowser talked about upcoming legislation that incorporates both social services and better employment opportunities to housing production.The Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development, who organized the event, was joined by members of Union Local 25 to support the city’s initiatives. Local 25 members and Ward 8 residents Juanita King and Patricia Samuels cheered Bowser and Bonds and said understanding how employment and housing are intertwined is the first step to ending chronic homelessness.“Mayor Bowser shadowed me for a day on my job at the Marriott Marquis – from the time I got up in the morning, she took public transportation with me, and stayed with me the entire day and on the journey home,” King told the AFRO. “It helped her understand how three things: housing, public transportation, and a livable wage, operate in tandem to keep residents safe, secure, and happy. If even one of these is functioning poorly – say the Metro is experiencing delays or my building has a rodent issue – the other areas are compromised.”last_img read more

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September 1, 2019 Improving on the Perilous Plight of Black Boys

Improving on the Perilous Plight of Black Boys

first_imgI’ve known David Miller, the founder and CEO of the Dare to Be King project for a long time.His brother Peter and I graduated from Walbrook High School in 1983 and David graduated from The Brook, one year later. And he’s been working with and mentoring Black boys and young men pretty much ever since.“This is all I’ve ever done…I was a school teacher in Baltimore, I taught over at Baltimore City Jail for a number of years teaching life skills and then myself and LaMarr Shields, we both decided to leave the classroom and really join forces to create a movement and a set of initiatives mainly in Baltimore and then across the country, to really position young Black males for success [Miller and Shields founded the Urban Leadership Institute, an educational think tank],” Miller said.Sean Yoes (Courtesy Photo)For decades, Miller has positively impacted the lives of countless young people and over those years one of the overarching narratives that has evolved from his work is, `Nobody is coming to save us.’“I think folks are really waking up and beginning to realize….there are some things that are working that we don’t necessarily always highlight…and while there are some successful models and movements and things that are working, there is just some incredible heavy lifting that we have to do as parents and as caregivers,” Miller said. “And I think folks are starting to realize…that people are just not relying on government and elected officials, because I think that we’ve seen that strategy just is not working,” he added.Beyond the scope of his own work, Miller highlighted two scenarios, one in Oakland and another in Chicago, which have garnered encouraging results.In Oakland, through the African-American Male Achievement initiative, the Oakland Unified School District has been able to decrease suspension rates, increase attendance rates and increase graduation rates and literacy rates of Black male students across the board.“I think we’ve brought into this gloom and doom scenario that nothing is working as it relates to moving the needle as it relates to young Black males, both academically and socially,” Miller said.“And what the Oakland Unified School District has done, it started under a White superintendent, they decided that in order for us to adequately address the issues that young Black males are having in the district, that we have to create a set of deliberate and intentional interventions to address young Black males, if we want them to graduate, and if we want them to graduate ready for college and a career,” he added.In Chicago, at the Urban Prep Academies located throughout the city, for the eighth year in a row, 100 percent of the school’s seniors have been admitted to college, have received about $14 million in scholarships and one student was admitted to 39 colleges.Why can’t Baltimore replicate the success of a city like Chicago, which is facing so many profound challenges with violence and poverty?“In the city of Baltimore, how do we identify models that are working, whether they are local or national? How do we replicate those models and how do we fund those models,” Miller asked.Miller and another veteran education advocate, Richard Rowe are working on a report that will be released soon. “We’re looking at who is working with young Black males in Baltimore, what are some of the successes that these organizations have been able to document and what are some of the challenges,” Miller said.“There are some amazing organizations in Baltimore doing amazing work, like Changa Bell with the Black Male Yoga Initiative [Full disclosure: Bell is host of “The Relation Shift Experience on WEAA]. He also has the capacity to scale up…and reach more young Black males, but he isn’t getting any funding,” Miller added.“We have to ask ourselves…where is the money going? But, the other part of the equation is, I think, we’ve got to come to the table with 51 percent. We’ve got to start funding our own freedom.”Sean Yoes is a senior contributor for the AFRO and host and executive producer of AFRO First Edition, which airs Monday through Friday 5 p.m.-7 p.m. on WEAA, 88.9.last_img
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September 1, 2019 Snapchat Expands NHL Pact to Add Hockey Highlights Curated Stories

Snapchat Expands NHL Pact to Add Hockey Highlights Curated Stories

first_imgSnapchat is adding more action from the ice under a new multiyear deal with the National Hockey League.The NHL, in association with Disney Streaming Services, is delivering a new weekly highlights show on Snapchat recapping the top 10 plays of the previous week and will produce Curated Our Stories on the platform for select games and marquee events — making the NHL the first pro sports league to use Snap’s third-party curation tools. The league’s content will be available to Snapchat users worldwide.The NHL is doubling down on Snapchat because it sees unusually high engagement on the platform, particularly among users under 30. Snap reported 186 million average daily users for Snapchat for Q4 2018.“What’s special about Snapchat is their users skew younger,” said NHL chief marketing officer Heidi Browning. The pact with Snap is “an important way for us to connect with our core fans but also to reach new fans…. Snap is always innovating, and they recognize that the generation that uses their products demands new feature sets.” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 The expanded NHL-Snap partnership again includes Bitmoji outfits for all 31 of the league’s teams, letting Snapchat users dress their cartoon avatars with their favorite team’s colors, as well as Geofilters for every team’s home arena to add custom stickers to their Snapchat posts.The NHL sees fans sharing millions of images on Snapchat every day, according to Browning, who declined to provide specific stats. “The total [number of] images shared on Snap relative to other platforms would blow your mind,” she said. “It’s a big and active audience that’s different from other platforms.”“NHL Highlights,” which will hit Snapchat’s Discover each Wednesday, is produced by Disney Streaming Services. The series takes advantage of the digital rights held by Disney Streaming Services, which operates the flagship NHL app and NHL.TV out-of-market subscription-streaming package in partnership with the league. DSS has an advertising revenue-sharing agreement with Snap for the NHL content.Also under the expanded pact, the NHL will produce a minimum of 15 Curated Stories per season with video and photos culled from publicly submitted user Snaps. The NHL’s Curated Stories will launch Saturday, Feb. 23, with the Stadium Series game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins at Philly’s Lincoln Financial Field.“Curated Stories allows us to combine every aspect of the hockey experience – including behind-the-scenes exclusives, intermittent highlights, and fan submissions,” Browning said.In addition, a team of Snapchat editors will produce Our Story coverage of NHL games and tentpole events (a minimum of six stories per season), including All-Star Weekend and the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Hockey fans also can follow the NHL on Snapchat and watch the NHL’s Stories for a behind-the-scenes look at all the action.“We want Snapchat to be the best place on mobile to keep up with the NHL,” Juan Borrero, Snap’s head of sports partnerships, said in a statement. “The NHL has been a tremendous partner that continues to innovate, and we’re thrilled they’ll be taking advantage of all our offerings to deliver Snapchatters the ultimate fan experience.”center_img Popular on Variety last_img read more

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