Growing up in poverty increases diagnoses of psychosis-spectrum mental illnesses

Growing up in impoverished urban neighborhoods more than doubles your chances over the average person of developing a psychosis-spectrum disorder by the time you reach middle adulthood, according to a new study of nearly 4,000 families who were monitored over 30 years.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Sarah Hyland Talks Hair Loss, Regrowth, and Her Newfound Curls: Interview

Olay teamed up with Sarah Hyland and five other influencers to celebrate its #SkinTransformed campaign in its first-ever waterproof photography bath book, which highlights their transformation stories and encourages people to slow down and enjoy bathtime. Allure talked to Hyland ahead of the campaign reveal to learn more about her journey — here’s what she had to say.
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Trump says he would ask Supreme Court to intervene if Democrats move to impeach him

It is unclear on what legal basis the president would justify such a request, which he mentioned in a morning tweet. The Constitution delegates impeachment proceedings to Congress, not the courts.
Politics

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Kenzo Takada Celebrates U.S. Book Launch at FIT, Talks About Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly

A LIFE IN PICTURES: Tuesday night’s understated book signing for Kenzo Takada at the Fashion Institute of Technology was just his style.
About 50 guests were invited to the FIT Foundation’s low-key event at the school’s Art & Design gallery. Stateside for a three-day stay, the Paris-based designer planned to return to campus Wednesday afternoon for an informal chat with students. Known for his inclusive approach to fashion that incorporates multicultural influences with exacting techniques, Takada did not wish to judge the students’ designs — to avoid dissuading them in any way.
Undergrads were not among the well-wishers Tuesday night, since alcohol was served. Sipping on a glass of red wine, Takada was surprised to learn that FIT has a museum on campus and asked about what types of exhibitions have been staged there.
The guest of honor was looking forward to seeing the musical “My Fair Lady” on Broadway, before flying out of town. Earlier in the day, Takada dashed into Barneys New York’s Madison Avenue store to try the chicken at its Freds restaurant. En route, he also ducked into the Celine boutique because he is “very curious” about what Hedi Slimane is doing there. One eagle-eyed staffer recognized Takada and

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1998 interview comes back to haunt William Barr

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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This ultra-thin iPhone case made of real body armor proves good cases don’t have to be bulky

iPhone XS Max Case Amazon

We test a whole lot of iPhone cases here at BGR Deals. In fact, we’ve likely tested hundreds of different cases over the past few years. But no matter how many different cases we test, we always seem to come back to the same model when it comes to protecting the iPhones we use ourselves on a daily basis. It’s called the Pitaka MagCase, and it’s better than rivals on a number of different levels. It’s made out of the same material used to make actual tactical body armor, so it provides terrific protection despite being remarkably thin and lightweight. It also has a wonderfully sleek look and a great rubbery finish that offers tons of grip. This case costs a bit more than rivals, but it’s worth every penny and then some.

PITAKA Slim Case Compatible with iPhone XR 6.1″, MagCase Aramid Fiber [Real Body Armor Material…: $ 49.99

PITAKA Slim Case Compatible with iPhone Xs 5.8″, MagCase Aramid Fiber [Real Body Armor Material…: $ 49.99

PITAKA Slim Case Compatible with iPhone Xs Max 6.5″, MagCase Aramid Fiber [Real Body Armor Mate…: $ 49.99

Here’s what you need to know from the product page:

  • Almost naked — Enjoy your phone with this case which is slim fit and thinner than a dime. Too light to feel the weight added to your phone. Still well protect phones from most of the daily drops.
  • Exclusive “Body Armor Grade” Material — Made of 100% Aramid Fiber which is used in armor, spacecraft, jet engines, and Formula 1 Race cars. Special design and cutting around the buttons and ports makes it retain the thinness of your phone.
  • Wireless charging friendly — Show you the best carrying and wireless charging experience by using with PITAKA magnetic car mount (MagMount Series), the unique transit free design with metal plates inside lets you use PITAKA car mount freely without sticking adhasive metal plate on your device. Yet, no interference to WIFI, GPS, Wireless charging or your signals.
  • A Soft 3D-Grip touch —- Texture you need to feel to believe. It almost clings to your hand without feeling sticky. A protective three-layer coating and manual polishing is applied to each phone case.
  • Fits your phone perfectly — Easily and naturally access all buttons and ports. Each opening is not only accurately aligned, but also at natural “surface level”.—Package includes: 1 x MagCase compatible with iPhone XR. Notes: the screen protector is not included.

PITAKA Slim Case Compatible with iPhone XR 6.1″, MagCase Aramid Fiber [Real Body Armor Material…: $ 49.99

PITAKA Slim Case Compatible with iPhone Xs 5.8″, MagCase Aramid Fiber [Real Body Armor Material…: $ 49.99

PITAKA Slim Case Compatible with iPhone Xs Max 6.5″, MagCase Aramid Fiber [Real Body Armor Mate…: $ 49.99

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This ultra-thin iPhone case made of real body armor proves good cases don’t have to be bulky originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 24 Apr 2019 at 14:44:52 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Chipmaker ASM beats first-quarter targets, sees market outperformance in 2019

Dutch semiconductor supplier ASM International on Wednesday reported first-quarter revenue of 249 million euros ($ 278.5 million) and an order intake of 235 million euros, both exceeding its own expectations.


Reuters: Technology News

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Trump renews threat to close Mexican border, send more troops

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday again threatened to close part of the southern border and send more “armed soldiers” to defend it if Mexico did not block a new caravan of migrants traveling toward the United States.


Reuters: Politics

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Short period of parental sexual contact prior to pregnancy increases offspring risk of schizophrenia

Children may be at a slightly increased risk of schizophrenia when their parents were in sexual contact for less than three years before conceiving them, according to new research.
Parenting News — ScienceDaily

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Tesla Model S and Model X ranges get big upgrades

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Tesla is giving its Model S and Model X cars much-needed boosts — just as its older offerings have seen sales languish.

Range and charging capabilities will be upgraded in both, the carmaker announced in a blog post Tuesday. Tesla is also bringing back a cheaper version of the cars that don’t have as much range.

The new Model S can now get 370 miles on a single charge, while the Model X steps up to 325 miles thanks to an all-new drivetrain design. Previously, these cars got 335 miles and 295 miles out of their batteries, respectively. (To help you picture all that, the shortest route from LA to San Francisco is about 380 miles.) The cars will be slightly less-expensive than what used to be Tesla’s longest-range options: starting at $ 88,000 for the S and $ 93,000 for the X. These upgrades come with no changes to the cars’ 100 kWh battery packs. The improvements will start at its Fremont factory this week.  Read more…

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Reducing care needs of teens with substance-abuse disorders

Screenings, interventions, and referrals can help adolescent teens overcome substance abuse in the short-term. Less is known about the long-term effects of those efforts. A new study from Kaiser Permanente, published in the journal Pediatrics, suggests that the benefits can last for many years and can include sustained reductions in mental health conditions.

In a new study titled “Health Care Utilization Over 3 Years After Adolescent SBIRT,” researchers led by Stacy Sterling, DrPH, MSW, of Kaiser Permanente’s Division of Research in Northern California, found that adolescents with access to SBIRT — short for “screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment” — were less likely to have mental health or chronic medical conditions after 1 year.

Substance abuse is “closely associated with the top three causes of mortality and morbidity among adolescents — injuries, suicide and homicide,” write the authors. And, they note, adolescent substance use often goes hand-in-hand with other medical and mental health conditions and can lead to higher use of health care services.

In this new study, they found that those with access to SBIRT services had fewer psychiatry visits over 1 and 3 years, and fewer total outpatient visits at 3 years, leading to lower costs and utilization of health care.

“The fact that we saw a difference in substance use problems even 3 years out was surprising,” said Sterling, the study’s lead author. “It suggests that providing access to SBIRT may plant a seed for patients and their care teams, creating awareness about substance use that may help kids avoid future problems.”

The study used data from electronic health records to examine how much health care was used among adolescents with access to SBIRT services, from a randomized clinical trial that compared usual care to 2 other methods of delivering SBIRT in pediatric primary care — delivered by a pediatrician or by an embedded behavioral clinician.

The study was conducted at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, an integrated health care delivery organization. The sample was taken from the pediatrics department in Oakland, California, and consisted of 1,871 adolescents ages 12 to 18.

“We found that adolescents with access to SBIRT services, regardless of whether it was through their pediatrician or an embedded behavioral health clinician, were less likely to have mental health or chronic medical conditions after 1 year,” Sterling said. “We also found that SBIRT likely leads to lower health care utilization.”

]]>
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Set 3 Random Words To Make Tough To Crack Password

A U.K. cyber security survey that exposes gaps in online security revealed the most hacked passwords in the world. “123456” was the internet’s most vulnerable password, with 23.2 million accounts using the easy-to-crack code.
The National Cyber Security Centre’s first UK Cyber Survey, published alongside a global password risk list, urges internet users to set 3 random but memorable words as pa
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Man Or Cyborg? ‘Jeopardy!’ Champ Passes $1 Million Mark

NEW YORK (AP) — There’s no truth to the rumor that James Holzhauer is a cyborg created to be the perfect “Jeopardy!” contestant.

But given how he’s made a level of excellence rarely seen on the television quiz show appear almost mundane, it sometimes seems that way. Holzhauer eclipsed the $ 1 million mark in winnings Tuesday on his 14th appearance. Not only has he won $ 131,127 to shatter the program’s previous one-day record of $ 77,000, he already has the top five one-day scores in the history of a game that has aired regularly since 1984.

The professional gambler from Las Vegas is quick on his feet and quick with the buzzer, displays an extraordinary breadth of knowledge and — true to his profession — is cold-blooded in his willingness to risk big sums of money.

The show’s most hallowed records, set in 2004 when Ken Jennings won 74 games in a row and earned more than $ 2.5 million, seem like a plausible goal.

“James is just a perfect ‘Jeopardy!’ machine,” Jennings told The Associated Press this week.

Like most of the game’s best players, he did his share of studying in advance, finding that books geared to young people were a good way to learn about unfamiliar topics. He built a replica of the show’s buzzer and practiced while playing along on TV, standing in his living room like he has to do now in front of a podium. Holzhauer says he rarely guesses — he doesn’t like those odds — but seems never to have forgotten a fact.

“My goal was just to be less nervous than the other players,” he said. “Whenever I felt overwhelmed, I snapped my fingers three times and pictured a fun snow festival with my daughter.”

He did have one audacious goal: to honor his daughter by winning $ 110,914 in a single episode, since her birthday was Nov. 9, 2014. He accomplished that on his fourth show.

His strategy is to begin games with the highest-value clues, hoping to quickly build winnings and land on the one “Daily Double” in the first round. When he does, he usually bets everything, punctuating it with a motion that makes it seem like he’s pushing in all his chips. If he’s wrong, there’s enough time to earn more money. But he’s rarely wrong.

The two “Daily Doubles” in the game’s second round are also coveted. He doesn’t bet everything then, but he puts a lot on the line.

Holzhauer said show host Alex Trebek once told him that he doesn’t gamble because he could win $ 1,000 and not care, but that losing $ 20 annoys him.

“I’m not surprised that most contestants don’t gamble the way I do,” he said. “Loss aversion is a very real factor.”

The Final Jeopardy round gives him one more chance to place a big bet. On the show that aired April 17, Holzhauer bet $ 60,000 on the category of 20th Century literary figures. The clue was: His first name refers to the ancient district in which you’d find the Greek capital; his surname is a bird.

He correctly answered: Who is Atticus Finch?

“Most ‘Jeopardy!’ players never think about maximizing winnings,” Jennings said. “I never did. I just wanted to survive the game and get to play again. But he’s a sports bettor. Maximizing winnings is everything to him. I wouldn’t have the stomach to bet $ 60,000 on a Final Jeopardy clue. What if you get that wrong, and you have to come back in five minutes and play another game knowing that you just blew a year’s salary on a single trivia question? Psychologically, I doubt that I could have rattled off a long streak doing that. But James just seems to be made for those dangerous plays. He’s a cool customer.”

Jennings can envision future players trying to imitate Holzhauer’s strategy of building up big winnings fast. But in a lesser player, that could be disastrous.

“I’m not sure I can really bet any more boldly than I have already,” Holzhauer said. “I can keep my foot on the accelerator, though.”

For a show with a long history, his single-day achievements beg for some perspective. Consider it this way: It’s like a young Major League baseball player hitting 95 home runs in a season (the record is 73 by Barry Bonds), then following it up with a couple of seasons in the 80s.

Holzhauer often watches with friends as his streak plays out on weekday evenings (shows are taped well in advance). “People seem to think it is really cool to watch someone on TV while you’re sitting next to them,” he said.

He hopes his celebrity stays low-key. He gets recognized in public now but said most people are respectful, save one fan “who got a little too handsy with my bicep” at a hockey game.

With his style of play, Holzhauer considers Jennings’ earnings record a more achievable goal than the 74-game winning streak. Given the show’s schedule, which includes tournaments and reruns, fans wouldn’t know until September if he approaches the standard of consecutive shows. Since the show’s ratings are already spiking, producers won’t mind if he sticks around.

“I’ve been waiting 15 years for someone to make a run at me, and it’s finally happening,” Jennings said. “The closer he gets to the cash and game records, the closer I will be watching. I’m rooting for the guy.”

[ione_media_gallery id=”369402″ overlay=”true”]

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Analysis: Trump snubs checks on power in massive assault on accountability

Donald Trump’s stonewalling White House is mounting a multi-front assault on accountability, testing the notion that a president must answer to citizens for whom he holds a public trust.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Instagram Introduces “Quiz” Sticker Function to Stories

Instagram continues to develop its user interactivity and focus on engagement with the announcement of a new “Quiz” Stories feature. The sticker joins the “Poll,” “Questions” and music functions and enables users to post a fully-customizable yes/no-styled question on their Story for their followers to interact with and vote on.

Followers simply have to tap on the answer of their choice to engage with the “Quiz” feature, which is available in two or four multiple choice options. Following the recent addition of the “Close Friends” Story function, the “Quiz” mode aims to encourage friends to test how well they know each other and offer a closer relationship between large accounts and their fans.

The feature has already started rolling out on users’ apps worldwide, and will be available on both iOS and Android versions of the social media platform.

In case you missed it, a leaked design prototype shows Instagram could be working on reducing pressures caused by social media.

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24 hours in Budapest


Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, is the perfect European weekend break; there is so much to see and do, and it won’t cost you a fortune. However, if you only have 24 hours to explore this magical city, here is what we recommend you do!

Photo: Unsplash.com

Soak up some culture

Budapest is comprised of two parts, ‘Buda’ and “Pest,’ which are either side of the Danube River, connected by a chain bridge. On both sides, there is plenty to see and do, but you should definitely check out the Hungarian Parliament Building and Heroes Square for some great photo ops! The best way to make sure you are seeing the most of Budapest in such a short time is to jump on one of the many free walking tours that are arranged. If you were here for a few days, we would recommend just roaming around, but if you only have 24 hours, you’ll want to hit all the sites, so a walking tour is a must.

What to eat

If you only have 24 hours in Budapest, you need to make sure you eat the most Hungarian things you can. The Hungarian’s love a buffet, so this is the best way to get value for money. However, you should also try and grab some goulash, strudel, and lángos (which is deep fried dough covered in yummy toppings) to get a real taste for the city. Street food is pretty popular too, but remember that the further away from the river you are, the cheaper things will cost.

Relax in a natural thermal bath

One of the most famous parts of Budapest is the naturally heated thermal baths, and the most popular of these is Szechenyi. There are 15 pools on the inside of varying sizes and temperatures (from a toasty 40 degrees to almost freezing), but the best are those on the outside that are beautifully warm all year round, with colored lights, and even a bar. Even in the coldest months, if you can brave the chilly run from the changing rooms, this is something you have to experience. They also have ‘Spartys’ on Saturdays, which are parties in the outdoor pools complete with music!

Photo: Unsplash.com

Head to a ruin bar

Once you’ve dried off, there is only one place in Budapest to end your night! Ruin bars are quite possibly the coolest part of Budapest; they are old derelict buildings that have been made structurally sound and then filled with all manner of bizarre and random objects. From old cars and disused fairground rides to pallets and bathtubs to sit on. Szimpla is the oldest and best of these and is actually the third best bar in the world, according to fellow travelers. There are several rooms, each entirely different – some with DJs, others live music, some only serving certain types of drink or shisha. It’s unlike anywhere you’ve ever seen before!

As you can see, you can squeeze loads into just 24 hours in Budapest, so stock up on Hungarian Forint and book the next flight out. You won’t regret it, although you may wish you had a little longer…

The post 24 hours in Budapest appeared first on Worldation.

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In 10 Years, Half Of Middle-Income Elders Won’t Be Able To Afford Housing, Medical Care

In 10 years, more than half of middle-income Americans age 75 or older will not be able to afford to pay for yearly assisted living rent or medical expenses, according to a study published Wednesday in Health Affairs.

The researchers used demographic and income data to project estimates of a portion of the senior population, those who will be 75 or older in 2029, with a focus on those in the middle-income range — currently $ 25,001 to $ 74,298 per year for those ages 75 to 84.

And it doesn’t look good for that group because of the rising costs of housing and health care. The researchers estimated that the number of middle-income elders in the U.S. will nearly double, growing from 7.9 million to 14.4 million by 2029. They will make up the biggest share of seniors, at 43%.

By 2029, more than half of the middle-income seniors will have annual financial resources of $ 60,000 or less, even if the equity in their homes is included. Projections put the average annual assisted living and medical expenses cost in 10 years at $ 62,000, meaning that a majority of the middle-income seniors then will not be able to afford an assisted living facility.

Middle-income seniors are a group that Beth Burnham Mace, one of the study’s authors, said has been often overlooked when policymakers and legislators think about housing and care for aging Americans.

“The low-income cohort has been taken care of by tax subsidies, while the high-income cohort is largely self-sufficient. But the middle-income seniors have been ignored,” said Mace, who is chief economist at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care, a nonprofit research group.

The study’s authors said they are probably underestimating the extent of the looming problem. They projected out-of-pocket medical costs of only $ 5,000 a year for seniors.

Deborah Carr, chairwoman of the department of sociology at Boston University who studies aging, noted that Americans “are able to live longer today than they have in the past because of medical technology.” The downside, said Carr, who was not affiliated with the study, is “if they’re living for years with dementia or mobility issues, then they have to pay longer for medical care for the additional years they live.”

Indeed, the researchers projected that 60% of the middle-income seniors will have mobility limitations, while 20% will be considered “high needs,” meaning they have three or more chronic conditions and one or more limitations in activities of daily living, such as bathing or dressing. Eight percent will have some form of cognitive impairment.

Seniors living with mobility limitations, chronic conditions or cognitive impairment are more likely to need care and support such as that offered by an assisted living facility.

But that’s not a reality for many.

In her written response to the Health Affairs study, Jennifer Molinsky, a senior research associate at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, addressed the needs of seniors who decide to stay at home as they age instead of going to an assisted living facility. She said these older Americans face a different set of challenges.

“One of the challenges is that most people don’t live in cities,” Molinsky said in an interview. “And most houses in these areas are single-family detached homes. The infrastructure is not set up for safe walking, so you have to drive. People often give up driving as they age. So these locations can be difficult to provide services to people.”

Molinsky said other issues to consider are making homes more accessible by adding ramps for wheelchairs or wall handles in the shower and the cost of these changes.

The other dire warning of the study: While spouses and middle-age daughters have historically provided the bulk of elder care, that is a less likely option in the future because of changing marriage patterns, lower birth rates and the increasing number of adult children who live far from their parents. Some seniors will need to seek paid care.

The study suggests that policymakers could expand Medicare benefits to include access to a wider range of supportive services, or create a new benefit, “Medicare Part E,” that funds long-term care. However, other attempts to set up such a program have run into resistance among lawmakers because of cost.

While Medicaid is the primary payer of long-term nursing home care, right now the program is available only to low-income seniors. Seniors may become eligible if they impoverish themselves. However, lawmakers could also broaden the Medicaid income eligibility requirements or expand options to include home-based care for those with higher-end incomes.

Some seniors are already turning to creative solutions to address their growing need for affordable housing.

Carr said one innovative option she has seen is the Village to Village Network, a community program that allows seniors to stay in their homes but have access to general support services, such as home repairs, transportation, health care and even social activities.

Co-housing, where seniors share a residence, like in the classic TV show, “Golden Girls,” is another solution, Carr said.

Mace said she hopes the study will spark more conversation between public and private sectors for creative ideas to address the issue of housing the growing number of Americans who will turn 75 or older in the next decade.

Her advice to both those seniors and their children is to openly discuss the issue.

“It is a good idea to sit down and talk about what your plan may be,” said Mace. “Talk about what the financial assets are and the housing options. It’s a worthy topic to talk about, though it can be hard, because it helps to avoid putting both children and parents in difficult situations in the future.”

Kaiser Health News

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ALAB Group Is Hiring A PR & Marketing Coordinator In New York, NY

ALAB GROUP is an integrated marketing + communications consultancy that creatively and strategically solves problems for clients at the intersection of enterprise and innovation. We connect the dots between a brand’s product and purpose, creating a consistent communication strategy across multiple …

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The CNN Town Halls: Warren Talks Cents, Klobuchar Gets Real and Buttigieg Wings It | The Daily Show

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Victoria Beckham Heads to Toronto for Suzanne Rogers Event

O CANADA!: Victoria Beckham will pack her clothing trunks and head to Toronto in November as the special guest in the fifth series of Suzanne Rogers Presents events, WWD has learned. An announcement is expected Wednesday.
Beckham follows in the path of Diane von Furstenberg, Oscar de la Renta, Marchesa and Zac Posen, who have all taken part in the charity fund-raising series that Rogers started in 2010.
To date, Rogers’ events have raised more than $ 3 million for charities fighting children’s poverty and supporting a spectrum of health and education programs for young people.
The November edition will be cohosted by Rogers and the event chair, philanthropist Sylvia Mantella. The celebration will include an “intimate fashion presentation” with Beckham, followed by a seated luncheon, according to organizers.
“I am so pleased that Victoria has accepted the invitation to come to come to Toronto and deeply appreciate her personal commitment and generosity in supporting our children’s charities,” Rogers said.
Proceeds will benefit Camp Ooch, which gives children affected by childhood cancer unique opportunities for growth through special experiences, and The Penelope Neuroblastoma Foundation, which funds brain tumor research, and provides support for families affected by this type of childhood illness.
Additional child-focused causes and programs, the

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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2019 Summer Movie Preview: See Over 30 Exclusive Images

2019 Summer Movie Preview: See Over 30 Exclusive Images

2019 is shaping up to be another massive summer at the movies! From giant action blockbusters like Avengers: Endgame, Godzilla: King of the Monsters and Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw to highly anticipated family movies like Detective Pikachu, Toy Story 4 and The Secret Life of Pets 2, there will definitely be something for everyone as school ends and we jump into the most exciting time of year at the movie theater. 

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Prudential Financial Invests $180 Million for ‘Opportunity Youth’

Prudential Financial just announced a $ 180 million investment in what it calls ‘opportunity youth.” These are young people ages 15–29 who lack access to valuable resources including education and job training.

“Businesses like ours have a role to play in ensuring that global economic progress benefits all members of tomorrow’s workforce,” said Prudential Chairman and CEO Charles Lowrey via a press release. “Our goal is to improve young people’s lives by creating pathways for them to achieve financial wellness, strengthen their communities and ultimately help drive the global economy.”

‘Opportunity Youth’ is a global demographic of some 350 million young people who are either under or unemployed and who lack education. In the U.S., black and Native American young people comprise large segments of this population.

Prudential’s investment will extend into 2025. The financial services company is in partnership with several organizations dedicated to assisting at-risk youth including My Brother’s Keeper, YouthBuild—which teaches young people skills in the construction trades; Year Up, Andela, and its real estate investment arm, PGIM Real Estate.

Behind the numbers of the investment are real stories of people such an effort has helped. One person is Jay Hammonds, who was born to a drug-addicted mother; abandoned by his parents; and then dropped out of college.

Through Year Up, Hammonds scored an internship at Facebook. Currently, he provides IT services to Facebook executives including Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg.

“I’ve always been interested in technology, but I never thought that I could have a career in it. During the program, I was more motivated than ever. A lot of my family and friends didn’t understand what I was doing. They thought it was “too good to be true” and would say, “Where’s the scam?” They couldn’t fathom something that good, but when I got the internship at Facebook I was proof that the program was real,” says Hammonds in a statement on Year Up’s site.

Hear Jay Hammonds’ story: 



 

Said to be the largest private sector investment to date, Prudential’s senior vice president of Diversity, Inclusion and Impact, Lata Reddy, says that the company has seen “firsthand” how its work with its partners such as Year Up, has a “positive ripple effect.”

“Integrating this population into the workforce will drive revenue growth for businesses and the global economy. With the right skills and training, opportunity youth can be both an engine of growth and a catalyst for positive social change,” said Reddy.

Prudential was named on Black Enterprise‘s most recent “50 Best Companies for Diversity” list.

The post Prudential Financial Invests $ 180 Million for ‘Opportunity Youth’ appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Thailand's navy has towed a floating home owned by an American bitcoin trader and his Thai girlfriend. They currently face possible death sentences or life imprisonment.
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Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey had a whirlwind day Tuesday, with the social network’s shares surging on a strong earnings report followed by an impromptu trip to Washington to mend fences with President Trump. Dorsey and a contingent of Twitter executives flew to the nation’s capital for a 30-minute powwow with the president — mere…
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Experts Weigh-In On When To Wash It

Adam writes: I bought an overcoat in November and it’s served me well this winter. It’s probably my favorite thing in my wardrobe. Now that spring has come, it’s time to put it away until autumn. I’m writing because I’d like your advice on how often I should dry clean my coat. Is once a year sufficient? I’d like to have this coat for decades and want to make sure I don’t do anything to shorten its longevity.

The sniff test doesn’t always tell us when something needs to be cleaned. Obviously, things that come in direct contact with your body need to be laundered after each wear — shirts, underwear, and socks pick up your skin’s sweat and oils. But what about wool trousers, waxed field jackets, and tweed overcoats? Even with raw denim jeans, debates rage online over how often something ought to be washed (the correct answer is: not as often as your mom would like, but more often than denim nerds believe).

We decided to write a full guide on how often every type of garment should be cleaned, and we reached out to experts in various fields for their opinions — from clothing designers to textile conservationists to specialty cleaners. Here’s what they had to say.

 

Suits, Sport Coats, and Wool Overcoats

Conventional wisdom says tailored clothing should be dry cleaned as infrequently as possible, but that’s only half the story. Most dry cleaners are little more than drop off points for the same industrial cleaning facilities, which are often located just outside a city’s limits. Clothes are sorted into batches and cleaned using harsh chemicals. Tailored garments are then pressed into shape using a hot machine, sort of like how someone makes a panini.

That process can be rough on clothes. Traditionally, high-end suits and sport coats are put through a much gentler process and then hand pressed with an iron, but doing so requires a certain kind of time and labor that isn’t cost efficient for many people. One Savile Row tailor I spoke to shrugged when I asked him what people should do. “In London, we’ll clean and press garments for clients, but that’s obviously not possible if someone lives in the US,” he said. “But you still have to clean your garments. The best you can do is find a decent dry cleaner and have things cleaned only when necessary.”

One solution is to use a garment brush in-between each wear. Doing so will knock dirt and food particles out of the fibers, which will lower the number of times you have to send things to the cleaners. To use the brush, lay your garment down on a hard surface, such as a wooden table, and use short flicks of the wrist to dislodge dirt. You also want to brush in the same direction — never scrub.

Even regular brushing, however, won’t get out all the dirt and oils, so you’ll need to dry clean your garments every once in a while. If you don’t mind spending a little more money, we recommend Rave FabriCARE in Scottsdale, Arizona. They’re a full cleaning services operation — they have their own machinery, offer a sponge-and-press service (an even gentler process that can be used in-between dry cleanings), and press everything by hand (which helps retain the three-dimensional shape of a well-tailored jacket). Garments are then carefully packed and shipped back to customers. Their services are a lot better for tailored garments, which means you can have things cleaned on a more frequent basis.

“How often these garments should be cleaned will depend on how they’re used,” says Rave FabriCARE’s founder and President, Stu Bloom. “If a jacket has only been lightly worn, it could go a few months without cleaning. But if you wore the garment somewhere with high humidity, to a place where people were smoking, or to an outdoor event where you perspired a lot, you’ll need to clean the garment more often.”

Camille Myers Breeze, the founder of Museum Textile Services, says wool garments should be dry cleaned once every six months, at the very least, before they’re put away for seasonal storage. “Good dry-cleaning is expensive, but it’s a preventative measure for moth damage,” she says. Moths are attracted to the scent of human sweat and food particles, and they’ll lay eggs in stained clothes. Once those eggs hatch, the larva will eat your garment’s wool fibers. “Moth eggs and larva are tiny, so they can be hard to see. Moths also like places that are dark and not often disturbed. So before you store something away for the season, dry clean it. It’s a sure fire way to make sure it’s free from moth eggs.”

 

Tailored Trousers

Tailored jackets and overcoats don’t have to be cleaned very often, but trousers pick up dirt and human oils more easily from daily wear. Bloom recommends cleaning suit trousers a little more often than their accompanying jackets. “People often think they need to clean their suit trousers along with their jackets to make sure they don’t discolor at different rates. But a good dry cleaner will use fluids that are crystal clear, like water,” he says. “Not all dry cleaners do this, however. Some places will reuse the same dirty cleaning fluids, which ends up leaving the clothes filthier than when you drop them off. That’s why you get that discoloration.”

How often you’ll need to send things to the cleaner will depend on person to person — some people sweat more than others, some people wear things to dirtier environments, and some people wear things more often. A good rule of thumb is to send tailored trousers to the cleaners once every ten wears and jackets every fifty. For a normal, one-week rotation of tailored clothing, that means trousers are professionally cleaned once every two or three months, and jackets are sent once every six (usually done just before they’re put away for seasonal storage). Obviously, regular brushing will help with some of this. And you’ll want to clean things if they get stained. “Never press anything that’s been stained,” says Bloom. “Doing so will set in the damage.”

 

Waxed Cotton Jackets

Even a waxed cotton jacket needs to be cleaned every once in a while. Alain Gauthier, the founder of New England Reproofers, has been a specialist in this field for thirty years, cleaning and reproofing waxed cotton jackets for everyday wearers and collectors alike (one collector recently sent in a rare 70-year-old Barbour for restoration). If you’re a sportsman and wear a waxed cotton jacket while hunting, Gauthier recommends cleaning your coat about once a year. People who wear these for style purposes, on the other hand, may only need to clean something once every two or three years.

“Wax tends to attract dirt, and you can tell something is dirty when there are dark patches,” he says. “At the same time, creases around the elbows will start to get lighter, as the wax is wearing off.” Gauthier recommends people get things cleaned and reproofed when necessary so the garment’s fibers don’t break down, but doing so requires a bit of care and attention. “You can’t just throw a waxed cotton jacket into a laundry machine; the wax will come off and damage your machine. You also can’t dry clean it, as dry cleaning will strip off all the wax. You need to remove some of the wax, but not all of it, otherwise the next time you go to wax it, the wax will leak through and get into the lining.”

There are tutorials online for how to clean a waxed cotton jacket at home, but the process can be difficult and time-consuming. Your best bet is to send it to a specialty cleaner such as New England Reproofers. They have a full cleaning and reproofing service, as well as an enzyme wash for removing musty smells. As someone who’s fairly light on his clothes, I find I can take care of most issues at home with a damp sponge, but a full cleaning service may be necessary if you’re taking a jacket out into harder environments or buying something second hand.

 

Knits and Woolen Accessories

Begg’s Creative Director, Lorraine Acornley, has been in the luxury woolen knitwear and accessories trade for over twenty years, designing sweaters and scarves for brands such as Albam, ESK, and Connolly. “It’s hard to say how often knits should be washed because it can vary so much from person to person,” she says. “If someone smokes or wears fragrances, they’ll need to wash sweaters more often. Or if they just wore something to a concert or outdoor event.”

I generally wash sweaters once every ten wears, and at the end of winter before things get put away for seasonal storage. Doing so lowers the chance they’ll be found by moths. Stout cotton knits, such as sweatshirts, can be thrown into the laundry machine, but finer cottons and anything made from wool, cashmere, or linen ought to be washed by hand. We have a full guide on how to handwash sweaters (it’s easier and quicker than you might think).

If you’re put off by the process, know that even Acornley sometimes throws things into the wash. “When we make sweaters, we get care instructions from the yarn supplier and pass that along to the consumer. Always read the care instructions,” she recommends. “You can lower the risk of you ruining a sweater by using a garment bag, and washing things on the wool wash cycle and using cold water. Looser knits should always be washed by hand, but I’ve put hardier sweaters into the machine. It’s gone wrong for me though, so you have to be prepared for that possibility.”

 

Jeans and Heavy Cotton Outerwear

When it comes to when you should wash something, few things stir up more passion than raw denim jeans. The rule-of-thumb often passed around online is that you should resist washing new jeans for at least six months — ideally longer, if you can stand it — to get higher contrast fades. A few years ago, University of Alberta student Josh Le made headlines when he wore the same pair of jeans for fifteen months. (Surprisingly, those jeans carried about the same amount of bacteria at the 15th-month mark as day 13 after washing).

Kiya Babzani, the co-founder of revered San Francisco-based denim shop Self Edge, has been fighting this idea for years. “As far as I know, this idea that you shouldn’t wash your jeans started in the late ‘90s when brands such as APC and Nudies started to get some play in underground fashion circles,” he says. “It’s true that if you want your APCs, Nudies, or other mass-market jeans to fade with a high contrast look, you don’t want to wash them often. This is because there’s little difference in the rate of indigo loss between high and low areas of friction. But if you buy unsanforized/ loomstate, rope-dyed denim, the indigo loss is going to vary greatly between those two areas, so you’ll get a high contrast look regardless of how often you wash your jeans. In the US, many people know that the Japanese make jeans that age very well, but not many people know that the Japanese guys who are into these repro styles also wash their jeans often. If you go to Inazuma, Lightning Magazine’s denim festival, you’ll see hundreds of well-worn jeans, many of which have been washed over fifteen times a year.”

So, how often should you wash your jeans? Babzani recommends doing so once every month or two, assuming you wear them 75% of the time. And skip the stuff about putting your dirty jeans in the freezer — another denim myth. “Your jeans will last longer if you wash them often because doing so removes the dirt, grime, and oils that can otherwise break down cotton fibers,” he says. Babzani is a little more lenient with heavy cotton outerwear, such as chore coats, trucker jackets, and other workwear styles. “It really depends on what you’re doing in your clothing. I personally only wash jackets when they get stained or if they pick up a scent, such as from smog or a BBQ.”

 

Shirts and Underwear

Shirts and underwear should be washed after every wear. The industry expert we consulted was your mom. If you don’t believe us, ask your mom. (e.g., “Mom, I looked up on the internet how often I should wash my underwear and this blog said they consulted you. Is that true?”).

Have a question related to clothing or style? Email us at contact@putthison.com. Your question may be used for one of our Q & Answer posts

The post Experts Weigh-In On When To Wash It appeared first on Put This On.

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Ninja Says There’s ‘Always Going to Be Trash Talk’ Online, But It’s Up to Parents to Help Police It

Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, who scored a legion of fans with Fortnite livestreams that have hooked millions, says trash-talking in the online gaming community needs to be monitored – but said it’s up to parents to help police it, too.

“There’s always that friendly banter. Sometimes it gets a little rough,” Ninja, one of the 2019 TIME 100 honorees, said at the TIME 100 Gala Tuesday. “But I think that in general just the Internet as a whole is a place where people can say whatever they want with anonymity. It always needs to be monitored and people need to always be careful.”

But, he added: “I challenge parents to make sure that they’re reading their children’s tweets and their comments on Instagram posts and monitoring them. You know, be good parents.”

Thanks to the blue-haired pro gamer’s mastery of the insanely popular game, he’s extended his staggering reach into an offline empire. Blevins came to the TIME 100 Gala on Tuesday night in New York City to celebrate with the latest crop of luminaries

He said that becoming a professional gamer is incredibly difficult, but it’s achievable with hard work and dedication.

“I think you put your whole heart into what you want. And if you have the time — which everyone has the time — you can play 8 hours a day and still have 8 hours left in your day to go to school, do well, go to work. And even with a full-time job, you can still put in 8 hours,” he said.

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster took part in Ninja’s iconic record-smashing stream last year that drew Drake and Travis Scott, drawing more than 600,000 viewers so it was only fitting that Smith-Schuster wrote Ninja’s TIME 100 profile.

“I was among the millions of people all across the world who had been watching Ninja play ‘Fortnite,’ the popular video game, every day for months,” he wrote in TIME. “He was the unquestioned best in the world at his craft, something I had so much respect for both as an athlete and as a fan. Now, he was single-handedly blending gaming and pop culture.”

Sports – TIME

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Toast His Fans, the ‘Ones in the Seats,’ at the TIME 100 Gala

As one of six honorees selected to grace the covers of this year’s TIME 100 issue, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson showed up in style for the 2019 TIME 100 gala in New York City.

Following the dinner portion of Tuesday night’s celebration, Johnson gave a toast celebrating the “ones in the seats,” a.k.a. the fans who make his success possible.

I want to toast to the ones in the seats. And those are the ones who I felt like I’ve lived their life for many, many years, I’ve been in their shoes,” he said. “And now I get to be the guy, so blessed and so lucky…that people all around the world will now go sit in the seats and watch me.”

Johnson has had an extraordinary career, evolving from WWE champion to A-list action star in less than a decade. And he’s showing no signs of slowing down. In 2019, you can catch the Rock in the Fast and the Furious spinoff Hobbs and Shaw as well as the highly anticipated Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle sequel.

This is his second appearance on the TIME 100 list; he first made the cut in 2016.

Read the full transcript of the Johnson’s toast below.

All right. So I was thinking, okay, well, you know, what am I going to — who am I going to toast to on this night? I mean, there’s such distinguished guests, so successful, so impactful. What a room. What a pleasure it is to be here, and congratulations again to everybody tonight. My first time attending this event and what a night.

So I was thinking, okay, well, who am I going to toast to? And, of course, I ran down the list. My first was to my much better half at home, my daughters, my family. I have three daughters, all women in my family. Yes, yes, yeah. It’s called “payback.” Yeah, and God said, “You will pay.” I have a 17-year-old daughter, a 3-year-old, and a 1-year-old, we just celebrated her birthday, I thought, well, they’re certainly influential in my life. And, you know, the thought here was who can I toast who is going to be that influential, that inspirational, that inspiring.

And then I went down the list, maybe my business partners and colleagues. I thought, I know who I got to toast. I want to toast — and I figured this out as I was flying here yesterday — I said, I want to toast to the ones in the seats. And those are the ones who I felt like I’ve lived their life for many, many years, I’ve been in their shoes, because when I was a little boy, 10 years old, I was running around, a pimply face, wide big brown eyes, and a really messed-up afro, yeah, this was very true. I’m half black and half Samoan, so trust me, my hair didn’t know what to do. You have to — I mean, so much so between the ages of 9 and 11 everybody thought I was a little girl, yeah, true story, that’s why I need therapy. So but I was — oh, hand clap for therapy, yup. But a big hand clap for therapy, yeah.

So, so the ones in the seats, and I thought at ten years old, I went back and I thought, yeah, so I was the one in the seats. And I used to sit in the seats and I used to watch, and I used to watch my dad and I used to watch my grandfather. And for those of you in the room who don’t know, which is probably most of you who don’t know this, I come from a long line of a professional wrestlers. And my grandfather and my dad wrestled, but well before the big contracts of pro wrestling these days. Wrestled here, all throughout New York City, sometimes at Madison Square Garden, but usually they were in, like, dank arenas filled with smoke and beer. But at ten years old, I still sat in the seats, and I watched my wrestling heroes, and I dreamed. And then every week, without a shadow of a doubt, every week on Saturdays I would go to the theaters, and I would watch my movie star heroes, in the seats. And I’m watching, and I watched my Hollywood heroes, I loved Clint Eastwood. And, I mean, when Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark hit, I thought, I want to be that guy, I want to be Indiana Jones. And, again, in the seats, dreaming of Indiana Jones, just with more muscles and no pimples. But I was in the seats.

And Marc Benioff — did I pronounce your name right, Marc? I’m just making sure — said to me earlier, he said something really profound and I really loved it, and I asked him to repeat it. And he says, ‘We often overestimate what we can do in a year, underestimate what we can do in decades.’

Overestimate what we could do in a year, underestimate what we could do in decades. And here I am years later, decades later, here with all of you distinguished guests, very successful, highly influential all around the globe, and now I get to be that guy who is enjoying this blessing. Because really, that’s what it is, we’re all so blessed in this room, what big blessings, yeah, we’re so blessed, look at this. And now I get to be the guy, so blessed and so lucky, I’m like I’m the luckiest son of a bitch in the room, that people all around the world will now go sit in the seats and watch me. I thought, man, you know what?

So I’m going to raise a glass of my tequila, which is over there, to the ones who really for me and in my life really make the whole thing happen, make this whole dance happen. And I think it happens for all of us, where it’s — it’s the fans, and it’s the audience, and it’s the people, and it’s that human connection, Gayle, that we were talking about, a human connection when you’re able to impact people. It’s that human connection, it’s the consumer, it’s these people, I feel, that make it all work.

So to everybody watching, I’m going to post this to about 200 million people, this is for you, I love you and I thank you. And to all you guys in the room, congratulations on your recognition tonight, so well deserved, it’s a pleasure meeting so many of you and shaking your hands and giving you hugs. TIME magazine, thank you for putting me on the cover, I really appreciate it. And by the way, I’ve gone from that pimply kid to the cover of TIME Magazine, holy shit. Man.

So the toast for me of the night goes to the ones in the seats. Thank you guys so much.


Entertainment – TIME

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Miss America vs. Miss USA: What’s the Difference Between the Pageants

It’s easy to see why the casual observer might mix up the country’s two biggest beauty pageants. For starters, both contests involve pretty American women strutting their hair-sprayed stuff across stages in sashes to vie for a glittery crown. Here’s a more in-depth look at the similarities and differences between the two long-running competitions.

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Gwen Stefani’s Boys See Blake Shelton As A ‘Father Figure’

It turns out that everything is as perfect in Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton’s family life as it seems from the outside! One insider report claims that it’s not just about the two adults loving each other but that Gwen’s sons are also very attached since they see the country singer as their ‘step dad’ not just a man their mom dates.

Of course, that is not to say Blake has any intention of getting ‘in between’ them and their biological father, Gavin Rossdale.

Despite not having any children of his own, Shelton is taking his role as a ‘father figure’ really seriously and is also very good at it!

One source tells HollywoodLife that ‘Blake and Gwen spent Easter together as a family because Gwen and the kids think of Blake as a father figure. They respect and love him and are very appreciative of him being there for them.’

Apparently, Blake acknowledges his responsibility as a sort of role model for Gwen’s three sons.

The insider went on to dish that ‘Blake is taking on the role of a step dad close to his heart and is really loving it. This in no way takes the kids away from Gavin and how he is as a father because Gavin is a wonderful father, but Gwen and the kids are happy that everyone gets the best of both worlds. Blake stepped up and will be in their lives forever just as Gavin will be. It’s a pretty healthy situation. Everyone is getting along which is pretty nice to see.’

Blake totally respects Gavin as their dad but sees no harm in him bonding with the kids and helping out with them.

After all, he believes it’s the healthy thing to do since he’s so much in their lives via Gwen anyway.

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M.R. James Wrote the Scariest, Not-So-Holy Ghost Story for Easter

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Though we never think of Easter as a day pocked by any kind of fear, it’s certainly the holiday that represents the most macabre event out of any of them. Skinny, sage dude, who was trying to revolutionize the world with love, gets his hands and feet nailed to a cross, then spends the afternoon up there until he dies. Upon which, he is stuck in a cave with a rock jammed into its mouth, only to rise from the dead, get out, and find his friends to see if they need to test their belief in him by sticking their fingers in his nail holes. Now let’s eat the crap out of some Peeps and Cadbury Eggs!

Easter is so vernal, with a color scheme of pinks, light blues, and yellows to match, which enlivens everything from little girls’ dresses to ubiquitous Easter eggs. But what has always produced a frisson of fear in me is one of our greatest ghost stories—let’s call it top 20—written by a man who normally reserved his frights for Christmas but saw an opportunity in the soft pastel spring of Easter.

Montague Rhodes James—M.R. to his friends and to us—was born in 1862, living until 1936. He was a scholar and provost, working at a number of universities in England. But it was while he was at King’s College from 1905 to 1918 that he did what he became most famous for.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Towanda Finally Reveals The Man Who’s Been Blowing Her Braxton Back To Pieces

Celebrities Visit Hallmark's 'Home & Family'

Source: Paul Archuleta / Getty

The self-proclaimed “responsible one” in the Braxton clan just revealed who her mystery boyfriend is. While many of the other sisters have brought their new men into the fold, Towanda has kept him pretty much hidden off of camera until recently.

On the most recent episode of We TV’s Braxton Family Values, Tamar Braxton finds out that her sister’s man was actually right under the family’s nose the whole time.

In one scene Tamar sits down with producer Sean Hall, cousin of fellow producer, Tricky Stewart, and ties it all together. As Tamar talks with Sean, she slowly realizes that he’s the man her sister has been spending all her time with. The sisters worked with Sean on the 1996 debut album featuring Trina Braxton, Tamar and Towanda, titled, So Many Ways.

The reveal was also under our nose the whole time as Towanda herself posted a photo of her and her bae to Instagram on the same day that the episode aired.

She captioned the photo, “@kingladybug #funcouple #bfv #goodness #cool #happy #peaceful #beautiful.”

Sean also posted a photo of his own of the two enjoying the ski slopes and posted a blog of their good time to YouTube.

Towanda has pretty much kept her new love life under wraps after the public demise of her marriage to Andre Carter. Towanda filed for divorce in 2016, after 12 years of marriage. The divorce was settled in 2017, along with a custody agreement involving the former couple’s children Brooke and Braxton.

We’re happy to see her bask in the glow of love and since the secret is out, maybe we’ll catch more glimpses of the relationship as the season continues.

MadameNoire

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Here’s How to Pick the Right Homeowners Insurance Company for Your Needs

Homeownership comes with certain responsibilities. If you borrowed money to buy your home, chances are that your lender requires you to carry homeowners insurance.

As with any other kind of insurance, homeowners insurance can be a pain if you don’t do your research before picking a company. And with so many coverage options out there, how can you be sure you’re making the right decision?

Before you even consider which company to go with, you need to become familiar with homeowners insurance and what it may or may not cover.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Like any other type of insurance, a homeowners policy doesn’t cover everything, but some coverages are offered by most basic policies.

Fire and smoke damage are covered by most home insurance providers. Other situations usually covered include weather damage (such as windstorms), internal water damage, theft, vandalism, snow and ice damage and explosions.

Homeowners insurance also covers your personal property and the costs of living elsewhere if you need to move out during a home repair or rebuild.

Insurance companies offer additional coverage for natural disasters like floods and earthquakes, but these types of disasters usually aren’t covered by a regular policy. If you live in an area prone to flooding or earthquakes, you may want to opt into this additional coverage.

It will cost you more on your monthly premium, but if you ever need to file a claim, it’ll be worth it when you can repair or rebuild your home rather than losing all the money you’ve put into it.

Choosing the Best Homeowners Insurance

What qualifies as the best homeowners insurance policy for you might not qualify as the best for your sister or your neighbor. Before choosing one, consider what “best” means to you.

For example, if you’re on a tight budget, you might be most concerned with price. If you’ve had bad customer service experiences in the past, you’ll probably put more emphasis on high satisfaction ratings. And if you’re a worrier, you may be most concerned about making sure you have good coverage for a variety of factors.

To determine the best homeowners insurance companies, we used J.D. Power’s U.S. Home Insurance Study, which surveyed 14,122 homeowners and renters.

Ratings on a scale of one to five were given in six categories: overall satisfaction, policy offerings, price, billing process and policy information, interaction and claims.

Best Home Insurance on a Budget

If you’re on a tight budget, you should check out these homeowners insurance companies, all of which rated high when it comes to affordability.

Amica Mutual

Amica Mutual got top marks in the price category, making it one of the most affordable homeowners insurance providers on average.

Price Ranking: 5/5

USAA

J.D. Power rated USAA but didn’t include it in their final ranking because it’s only available to members of the military, veterans and their immediate families. Nevertheless, USAA’s score in the price category tied Amica Mutual’s, making it a good option for those who are eligible.

Price Ranking: 5/5

Cincinnati Insurance

While its name comes from Ohio’s Queen City, Cincinnati Insurance is actually available in 43 states and the District of Columbia. It scored four out of five in J.D. Power’s price category.

Price Ranking: 4/5

Erie Insurance

Erie Insurance scored five out of five in J.D. Power’s auto insurance study and four out of five for home insurance. Choosing to bundle your insurance under Erie could be a smart way to save even more money.

Price Rating: 4/5

MAPFRE Insurance

MAPFRE started in Spain and expanded into Latin America and eventually to the U.S., where it is now an affordable choice for homeowners.

Price Rating: 4/5

Best Home Insurance Customer Service

Before selecting an insurance company for your home, it’s a good idea to find out how the National Association of Insurance Commissioners scored it for consumer complaints. The search tool can be a little bit complicated to use, but well worth your time to make sure the company you are considering deals with complaints in a timely and ethical manner.

Amica Mutual

Amica had the highest customer satisfaction ratings and lowest customer complaint ratio in 2018, compared to home insurance providers of similar size. J.D. Power scored Amica at the top of the list for interactions.

Interaction Rating: 5/5

USAA

USAA also scored favorably in terms of customer service complaints. Like many insurance companies, USAA’s customer service is handled by a call center, so the biggest complaint is having to talk to multiple people about the same issue. However, when filing a claim, customers were typically assigned a representative they could reach directly when needed.

Interaction Rating: 5/5

Cincinnati Insurance

Cincinnati Insurance had an average number of complaints compared to other insurance providers. However, J.D. Power’s study gave the company five out of five for interactions.

Interaction Rating: 5/5

Best Home Insurance for Military Families

If you are an active member of the military, a veteran or a family member of a veteran or active-duty member of the military, you may choose to go with a VA loan to purchase your home. If you do, you’ll find the VA has certain requirements when it comes to your homeowners insurance.

One of these requirements relates to flood insurance. If you live in a FEMA-designated special flood hazard area, you’ll need to get flood insurance in order to qualify for a VA loan.

You can choose any insurance company that offers the coverage required by the VA, but USAA is a popular choice.

USAA

USAA scored top marks all around in the J.D. Power study. Its only downside is the fact that it’s only available to military-affiliated families. But if you’re in the military, a veteran or an immediate family member, USAA could be your best option. Here’s a list of who is eligible for USAA membership:

  • Active, retired and honorably separated officers and enlisted personnel
  • Officer candidates in commissioning programs
  • Adult children whose parents were or are USAA members
  • Widows or widowers of USAA members

Military Discounts

If you opt for a non-military insurance company, make sure you ask about military discounts. Many of the bigger insurance companies, like Progressive and Farmers, offer discounts for active-duty military. Availability varies by state, so your options will be different depending on your location.

Best Home Insurance for First-Time Buyers

Homes are next to mountains

There is no single best home insurance company for first-time buyers. But if you’ve never been on the property ladder before, you’ll need to educate yourself on the types of insurance you need to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Look for insurance companies that offer plenty of online resources to help you understand the homebuying process.

Allstate

Allstate provides resources to help you decide which homeowners coverage to opt into. This includes articles on dwelling insurance, flood and earthquake insurance and quote comparisons.

You can also take an online quiz to see what type of insurance is right for you. All of these resources are available before you’ve even contacted a representative for a quote.

Best Home Insurance for Coverage

If you’re looking for insurance that goes beyond the basic — for instance, you live in a flood- or earthquake-prone area — you may want to look at these providers.

Amica Mutual

Amica Mutual’s standard policy includes coverage for your dwelling, other structures like garages or sheds, personal property, personal liability and loss of use. But because Amica believes that homeowners insurance shouldn’t be “one size fits all,” you can choose to extend your coverage where you need it.

For example, you can opt into dwelling replacement coverage, which covers up to 30% above your rebuild costs. Additional theft coverage protects you while you’re traveling as well as at home. Catastrophic coverage will help cover repair and replacement costs if your home is affected by a flood or earthquake.

Policy Offerings Rating: 5/5

USAA

Home insurance coverage from USAA varies depending on where you live. The basic policy covers you for fire, theft, vandalism, most weather-related events, liability and even identity theft. USAA also covers uniform replacement for active members of the military.

You can also choose to add an umbrella policy that protects you further in case of liability. For example, if your dog bites someone or your child’s friend is injured while at your home, the umbrella policy would cover your legal costs.

Policy Offerings Rating: 5/5

Best Overall Home Insurance Company: Amica Mutual

Amica Mutual scored top marks in all six J.D. Power categories. Not only is it a smart choice for budget-conscious buyers, but it’s also the best of the best for coverage and customer service. Only USAA was able to meet Amica Mutual in all categories.

Worst Home Insurance Companies

The following homeowners insurance providers scored below average for overall satisfaction in the J.D. Power study.

UPC Insurance

UPC provides insurance in 12 states and specializes in coverage for areas prone to natural disasters like hurricanes. This sounds great, but if you don’t live in one of those areas, your rates will likely be higher than you’d find with competing companies.

Customer service also appears to be lacking, with a high number of complaints from customers, especially in Florida.

Overall Satisfaction Score: 2/5

Homesite

Homesite Insurance has one star out of five in Consumer Affairs’ Overall Satisfaction Rating. This rating is based on 41 ratings submitted in the last year.

Overall Satisfaction Score: 2/5

The Hanover Insurance Group

The Hanover boasts competitive prices on homeowners insurance and has local agents you can meet with in person. But overall, customer service ratings are pretty poor: the company has two out of five stars on Consumer Affairs. Some customers also reported a delay in payment and billing.

Overall Satisfaction Score: 2/5

National General

National General’s customer service rating fares better than some others on this list, but it scored two out of five in all categories in the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Home Insurance Study.

Overall Satisfaction Score: 2/5

Travelers

Out of 157 reviews that have star ratings (as of March 2019), Travelers’ homeowners insurance has 1.5 stars out of five in Consumer Affairs’ Overall Satisfaction Rating.

Overall Satisfaction Score: 2/5

At a Glance: Top 10 Best Homeowners Insurance Providers

The following table makes it easier for you to compare the top 10 home insurance companies, so you can get a better idea of the best companies to contact for a quote.

Company J.D. Power Overall Satisfaction Rating Price Ranking Interaction Ranking Policy Offerings (Coverage) Ranking
Amica Mutual 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5
USAA 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/5
Auto Club of Southern California* 4/5 5/5 3/5 5/5
Cincinnati Insurance 4/5 4/5 5/5 3/5
Erie Insurance 3/5 4/5 3/5 3/5
MAPFRE 3/5 4/5 3/5 3/5
State Farm 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5
Allstate 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5
Auto-Owners Insurance 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5
Farmers 3/5 3/5 3/5 3/5

*This company does not insure homes outside the state of California, so we have chosen not to include it in our analysis.

What to Consider When Choosing a Home Insurance Policy

Because your insurance premiums will vary based on your location and credit history, it’s in your best interest to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Here are some factors to consider when looking for a homeowners insurance policy.

Consumer Ratings

Read online reviews and consumer advocacy organization ratings of different insurance companies to get a feel for how the average customer feels about the company and how it treats customers and handles claims and complaints.

If most customer satisfaction reviews mention bad customer service or skyrocketing premiums, or it is rated poorly by consumer advocate organizations, you might want to scratch that company off your list.

You can also ask your friends and family members for recommendations. They will give you honest reviews based on their personal experiences, and you can trust these recommendations more than those that you read from ranting strangers on the internet.

Rebuild Costs

When getting quotes from your shortlisted insurance companies, make sure you ask about rebuild costs. This is how much your insurance will shell out to repair, rebuild or replace your house if it is destroyed or damaged.

This is important, because, depending on your coverage, you might end up having to pay out of pocket to repair or rebuild your home.

There are typically two ways your insurance company will pay out to repair your home: RCV or ACV

Replacement cost value (RCV) shells out the amount of money it would cost to replace the part of your home that is damaged or destroyed. For example, if your roof is destroyed, RCV coverage will pay to replace the roof.

Actual cash value (ACV) takes depreciation into account, so if your policy has only ACV coverage, and your roof is destroyed, your insurance company will pay only the amount it determines your roof was worth before it was damaged.

It’s important that you understand exactly what kind of coverage you have so you know what to expect after a disaster.

Medical Payments Coverage

If someone is injured on your property, your homeowners insurance will help pay their medical bills if you have medical payments coverage. Your policy will specify a limit, and after that, you will be liable for paying the remainder of the medical bill.

It’s up to you to determine where that limit should be, based on your financial situation and how much risk you want to take.

Additional Coverage

Before choosing a policy, it’s important to know what kinds of additional coverage you might need. The most obvious is flood insurance, which your lender will likely require if you live in a flood-prone area. (FEMA provides a handy resource where you can enter your address to see if you live in a flood area.)

Earthquakes happen most often in California but sometimes hit other states. You could choose additional insurance if you live in an earthquake-prone area. This type of insurance will cover the cost of rebuilding your home after earthquake damage, and will also cover any personal property inside your home.

Sinkholes can destroy not just your home but also your property. They are extremely costly to repair, and in some cases are irreparable, making your home and property uninhabitable and worthless. If you live in a sinkhole-prone area, you should investigate sinkhole coverage.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, some states require that standard homeowners insurance policies cover sinkholes at no additional cost, while others require that insurers offer optional sinkhole coverage for an additional premium.

If you’re buying an older home, you can purchase insurance designed for that too. Companies usually offer this for historic homes or registered landmarks.

There are a lot of options out there for home insurance, and deciding on the best policy can seem a bit like spinning a roulette wheel and hoping for the best.

But as long as you understand your needs, prioritize your requirements and do your research, you can be confident that your home will be covered in case of accident or disaster.

Catherine Hiles lives in Ohio with her husband and their two children. By day she manages a team of writers and graphic designers, and catches up on her own writing in her spare time.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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Insurer sent $33,000 to a man struggling with addiction. He used the cash to go on a binge — and died

Jennifer Alba sifts through the boxes of photographs and documents. It’s a collection of what once was, and what her life has become. A mother sorting through pain.


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Trump made the right call on how to win the 5G race

President Trump has announced that 5G, the next communications revolution, will be “private-sector-driven and private-sector-led,” while the federal bureaucracy will focus on facilitating innovation and reforming regulatory impediments. There remain doubters who think that government should play a lead role in 5G, but Trump’s move should bring joy to the capitalist hearts of risk-takers in…
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Gina Gershon’s ‘wild cat’ role shakes up ‘Riverdale’

The CW’s “Riverdale” travels far afield from the wholesome 1950s-era “Archie” comic books on which it’s based — but barely resembles. So when Gina Gershon joined the cast as Jughead’s (Cole Sprouse) mother — tough-talking, drug-dealing, leather-wearing Gladys Jones — she says she was surprised by what she found. “I grew up reading ‘Archie.’ My…
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Rental Regret: What Real Homeowners Wish They’d Known Before Renting Out Their Properties

There are plenty of good reasons to rent out your home rather than sell. Maybe you’re upgrading to a bigger house and are counting on reliable rent from your existing one, or maybe you’re taking on a job in a new city but aren’t yet ready to commit to a permanent move. Whatever your reasons for renting out your house, be sure you understand the potential pitfalls—and how to avoid them—before you assume the role of landlord. Take a few lessons from these homeowners who rented out their houses and are eager to share what they learned along the way.
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Nasdaq, S&P 500 Reach Record Closing Highs On Upbeat Earnings – U.S. Commentary

Following the lackluster performance in the previous session, stocks moved mostly higher over the course of the trading day on Tuesday. With the upward move on the day, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 ended the session at record closing highs.
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Cassowary That Killed Its 75-Year-Old Owner to Hit the Auction Block

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The large, flightless bird that attacked and killed its 75-year-old owner in Florida earlier this month can now be yours—for the right price.

The killer cassowary, along with dozens of other dangerous and endangered animals owned by Marvin Hajos before his death, is up for auction this Saturday by Gulf Coast Livestock in Madison, Florida.

The animals are being sold as part of the last wishes of Hajos, whose cassowary attacked him after he took a spill on his farm in Alachua County, authorities said.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Save over 80% on this training bundle that can help you break into DevOps

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Consider for a second that Westeros in Game of Thrones is a software company. Sansa would be the Operations department, and Daenerys would be in charge of Development. Meanwhile, Jon Snow is the DevOps Engineer whose primary role is to diffuse the palpable tension between the two so that Winterfell and the rest of Westeros can finally know peace.

See, as the head of development, Daenerys’ goal is to introduce new features and continuously improve the product. On the other hand, Sansa’s operations team is more concerned about the stability of the product. They’re aware that any big changes could potentially topple the system, so they try to defer them as much as they can. Read more…

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Prince Louis’ birthday portrait is VERY different to his brother and sister’s photos

kate middleton maternity dress
Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

Words by Maisie Bovingdon

Prince Louis celebrated his first birthday on the 23rd of April, and to mark the milestone Kensington Palace released adorable portraits of him ahead of his big day, and boy were they cute!

Kate Middleton and Prince William gave fans a special treat over the weekend as they shared a trio of images of their youngest child on Kensington Palace’s social media accounts, and our hearts well and truly melted.

The three images included one of Louis in a blue knitted jumper with a dog emblazoned on the front – which we believe could be a tribute to the Queen’s late corgi – and another two of him sporting a berry red knitted jumper and pair of chinos, as he beams with happiness at the camera and shows off his toothy grin.

These photos are very different to the first birthday pictures of his siblings – but did you notice why?

Back in 2014, three photos were shared of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first born, Prince George. Two images saw the little prince in his element playing with his mum and dad, at the Sensational Butterflies exhibition in the Natural History Museum.

A separate photograph saw him walking around the London hotspot wearing a pair of blue striped dungarees, a blue polo top and matching blue shoes. Though he ambled around the grounds solo he still seemed very poised and pristine.

Similar to Louis, George was distracted in the shots and did not look directly at the camera, but Louis was left entirely to his own devices to play in the grounds, reach for the camera, and giggle to his heart’s content as he rolled around in the grass on the day of the shoot (adorable!)

Two years after George in 2016, images of Princess Charlotte, looking pretty in pink playing inside at Anmer Hall in Norfolk, were released ahead of her May birthday.

Charlotte’s images bucked the trend as she posed inside the royal residence, whereas George and Louis’ pictures were both taken outdoors. Louis and Charlotte’s pictures were taken at the same location in Norfolk, while George’s took place in London.

In some images Charlotte plays with her toys, but unlike her brothers, she looked straight faced as she gazed down the lens like a true pro.

Charlotte started something; the solo shot. For Charlotte and Louis’ first birthday pictures they were not accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, although George was for a few of the takes.

The main difference between the three is that Louis looks like he is in his element and is in a less formal set-up, with not a care in the world. His jumper is covered in strands of grass, which, alongside the massive open smile on his face, hints Louis was giving free rein to do what he wanted without anyone cleaning up after him or giving orders (although they may have done and he just didn’t listen #idol).

However, the first birthday pictures of his older brother and sister appeared more staged and less like the relaxed and playful environment Louis found himself in.

Eagle-eyed fans will notice some similarities in their appearance in the photographs, as all three children have their hair swept over to one side, all wore the same navy strap shoes as well as blue garments.

Regardless, we love them all and are eagerly waiting for pictures to be released of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s little one, who is tipped to arrive any time this month… Eek!

The post Prince Louis’ birthday portrait is VERY different to his brother and sister’s photos appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Bloodborne: The Board Game Hits Kickstarter Goal in Under 20 Minutes

Bloodborne: The Board Game, which is based on the PlayStation 4 title by FromSoftware, has reached its Kickstarter goal of $ 200,000 in less than 20 minutes.

As of this writing, the Kickstarter is currently sitting at $ 588,317 with 21 days to go in its campaign. Considering it is already successfully funded – in 17 minutes to be exact – those who back this project can expect to receive the game around May 2020.

Designed by Michael Shinall and Eric M. Lang, Bloodborne: The Board Game will allow one to four Hunters (players) the chance to explore Yharnam in a whole new way, although still with the same terrors, beasts, monsters, and more of the PS4 title, including the Cleric Beast, Vicar Amelia, Father Gascoigne and the Blood-Starved Beast.

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Britney Spears’ BF Says She’s ‘Doing Amazing’ Through Mental Health Crisis

Britney Spears’ boyfriend has an update on her condition, and strongly insinuates … it’s time for her loyal fans to stand down on claims she’s being held against her will or exploited. We got Britney’s bae, Sam Asghari, out in Los Angeles…

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White House ordered Trump administration officials to boycott WHCA Dinner

The White House has ordered Trump administration officials to boycott the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, according to a senior administration official.


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Amazing castles you can stay in


If like us you have ever wondered what it was like to sleep behind the stone walls of a mid-century European castle, then we have great news for you! More and more historical castles around Europe are being transformed into luxury accommodation for you to visit.

They host an array of gloriously magnificent rooms, are packed with fascinating ancient history, and sit surrounded by rolling landscapes of gorgeously kept gardens. What’s more, you’re invited to come and stay! Here’s some of our favourites.

Ashford Castle, Ireland

Built in 1228, Ashford Castle resides on Ireland’s second largest lake. The original features of the castle still amaze, with suits of armor, gilt mirrors and oak paneling preserving the castle’s ancient past still deep within the history of its walls. It’s been occupied by plenty of famous inhabitants including the brewery Guinness family.

What does it offer? Lake activities, a luxury spa, 140 hectares of wooded parkland to explore.

Ashford Castle

Amberley Castle, England

This East Sussex castle resides in the quaint village of Amberley in the South Downs countryside. The 900-year-old castle is steeped in fascinating medieval architecture and artifacts, and pristine landscaped gardens surround the grounds. It’s stunningly picturesque and tranquil, perfect for a relaxing stay.

What does it offer? Luxury accommodation. Rooms complete with four-poster beds and whirlpool bathrooms.

Burg Wernberg, Germany

Dating back from the 12th century, this stunning castle is host to a distinct gothic charm that invites you to come and explore its rich European history. The castle was eventually converted into a hotel in 1959, sitting high above the land of the Bavarian hills for you to wander and gaze upon.

What does it offer? Panoramic views of the Bavarian countryside, exquisite cuisine from local produce.

Château de Bagnols, France

Located in the hidden countryside of central France, the aesthetics of the castle are everything you would want. A moat surrounds its walls, and a drawbridge lowers to allow visitors to cross into its grounds. On top of this, it’s enriched with an important history of the French Revolution from the 16th century, and the walls hang a spread of beautiful historical art.

What does it offer? It’s a five-star hotel, with lavishly decorated boutique rooms filled with antiques.

Château de Bagnols

Abbaye de la Bussière, France

Built in the early 12th century in Burgandy, Abbaye de le Bussiere was home to Christian monks. The place has an air of pure calm about it, situated within six hectares of delightful Burgundian parkland. Inside its walls, you’ll see dramatic high ceilings, striking reflections from stained-glass windows and grand sweeping staircases.

What does it offer? A Royal experience. A castle with splendid interior and Gallic food to satisfy your hunger.

These castle hotels are waiting for you. The prices may be a bit on the expensive side but if you are a history-lover interested in living like an ancient Royal for the night, then chances are a stay at one of these is a bit of you!

The post Amazing castles you can stay in appeared first on Worldation.

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Skazi Brand Bucks Brazil’s Political, Economic Turmoil

Brazilian fashion brand Skazi intends to double growth to over 20 million reals, or $ 5.1 million, this year amid strong demand for its women’s wear that targets “powerful, sexy women” in their thirties to fifties, said marketing director Diego Lemos.
“We are going to grow 100 percent this year and may grow 50 percent to 100 percent in the next three years,” Lemos told WWD from the company’s flagship store in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. “Last year we grew 40 percent while other brands were declining.”
Lemos claimed the company is vertically integrated, manufacturing most of its yarns and fabrics locally, including in an 86,000-square-foot factory next to its store. That, coupled with clever celebrity and influencer-driven marketing, helped it top a recent survey naming it Brazil’s top women’s wear brand, he added.
“We only have wholesale, not retail, and we make everything ourselves, from the yarn to the finished garment. This has been the secret of our success,” he said.
Skazi, which is also about to launch its first men’s collection, plans to open 100 new points of sale this year to boost its count to 1,100, according to Lemos. While international markets account for 2 percent of sales, the brand plans to

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HBCUs And Student Loan Debt: How Not To Get Caught Up

TODAY WE ARE TALKING ABOUT GRADUATES OF HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES, AND STUDENT LOAN DEBT. WHAT IS THE LATEST?

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal caught my eye. In it, the authors note that while historically Black colleges and universities have helped millions of Black students achieve financial prosperity, they may now be hindering some of those they seek to help due to high student debt loads. This morning, I want to walk out listeners through what is happening, why it is happening, and what can be done to avoid putting themselves or their family members in this situation. 

WHAT, SPECIFICALLY, DID THE WALL STREET JOURNAL’S RESEARCH FIND?

What they uncovered is a really big deal, Tom. Looking at the Department of Education data from 2017, the article’s authors found that while America’s 82 four-year HBCUs make up just 5% of four-year institutions, they account for more than half of the 100 schools with the lowest three-year student-loan repayment rates.

Perhaps more importantly, they found HBCU alumni graduate with about $ 29,000 in mean federal loan debt. This number is 32% higher than graduates of other public and nonprofit four-year schools. Additionally, most HBCU grads are unable to pay down any of their original loan balance in the first few years out of school. This means that during their initial working years, they continue to accrue interest on these loans, adding to their burden.

WHAT FACTORS ARE THE GREATEST CONTRIBUTORS TO THESE NUMBERS?

It all comes down to wealth. Black families have the least household wealth among racial groups in the U.S., according to Federal Reserve data. Black Americans have lower average incomes and a smaller percentage own homes compared to the broader population. This resource gap pushes Black students to turn to student loans to finance their higher education costs. Add to this the fact that tuition increases have outstripped inflation – let alone wage growth – over the past 3 decades, amplifying the problem. Finally, many HBCUs have fewer resources and smaller endowments, limiting their ability to provide financial relief to low-income students.

IS IT ONLY BLACK GRADUATES OF HBCUS WHO ARE STRUGGLING WITH STUDENT DEBT?

It is not. Nearly half of Black student loan borrowers who were freshmen at any college in the 2003-2004 school year ended up defaulting on a student loan within a year of the repayment period beginning. That is twice the rate of white borrowers. The article notes research by a Columbia University professor found that even controlling for socioeconomic status, Blacks have bigger debt burdens than whites.

Again, this is compounded by wealth disparities, especially the wage gap. According to the Economic Policy Institute, Black college graduates between ages 21 and 24 earned nearly 17% less per hour, on average, than white graduates. So not only to Black graduates have higher debt loads, after graduation they often have fewer resources with which to pay them.

WHAT CAN BE DONE TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE?

From the university perspective, many HBCUs are already working to address the issue. Some are reducing tuition rates. Others are limiting the amount students can borrow for non-tuition expenses like housing or personal expenses. And many HBCUs are shifting their course offerings and curriculum to focus on higher paying majors.

These are important steps. More broadly, universities should work to reduce non-instructional expenses for students. In terms of policy changes, the amount available to low-income students through the federal Pell grant program could be raised to reflect tuition increases. Expanding employer tuition assistance tax incentives would also help college graduates when they entered the workforce.

WHAT SHOULD LISTENERS KEEP IN MIND WHEN IT COMES TO STUDENT LOANS?

For families, there are long-term and short-term solutions. If you are preparing for your children to go to college and you have some time, the best thing you can do is to start saving now. The two most common vehicles are 529 plans and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts.

The 529 plans are offered in various states and typically give you a menu of investment options to choose from. Funds can be withdrawn tax-free only for qualified education expenses such as tuition, books, and room and board. Coverdell Education Savings Accounts also allow your investments to grow tax-free, as long as they are used for qualified education expenses. Coverdell accounts are limited to a maximum of $ 2,000 per year, while 529 plans generally have higher contribution limits.

In the short-term, if you or your kids are taking out loans, you want to keep the amount as small as possible. This means not adding onto your loan amount for extras like meals or housing, if at all possible. Living a spartan lifestyle while in school will mean you are not burdened by excessive loans after. And once you do graduate, take advantage of income-based repayment plans on federal loans. This will limit your annual payments to 10 percent of your total income, giving you more breathing room for living expenses, and to save and invest.


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