‘Bachelorette’ Recap: Luke P. Comes on Way Too Strong Too Fast

Bachelorette 15x02 Recap
Hannah Brown on ‘The Bachelorette.’ ABC/John Fleenor

Luke P. laid his feelings for Hannah Brown on the line during the Monday, May 20, episode of The Bachelorette. Plus, Cam made enemies for crashing a group date.

Too Fast

Hannah’s first group date saw the fellas competing to be her Mr. Right. The guys showed off their talents and their, ahem, assets in the pageant. Luke P. made a spectacle of himself by telling Hannah he was falling in love with her and kissing her in front of the other contestants, though Hannah believed what he said. Luke ultimately won the competition, but the rose went to Jed.

Hannah and Luke got hot and heavy at the cocktail party, with her taking his shirt off for a massage. Jed walked in on them, prompting Hannah to say “f–k” approximately eight times. Jed was totally cool about it, though. After the rose ceremony, Luke busted into Hannah’s “in the moment” interview to rehash his feelings and make out with her.

Bachelorette 15x02 Recap
Jed on ‘The Bachelorette.’ ABC/John Fleenor

Be Bold

The entire episode was filled with mentions of the word “bold” for some reason, which truly manifested itself during the second group date. Hannah and the men participated in a roller derby, but the real action happened at the afterparty. Cam arrived unannounced to surprise Hannah, which she seemed to appreciate. The same cannot be said for the rest of the guys.

Tyler C. creepily walked up behind Cam from afar during his confessional to confront him, and several others followed suit. Cam, however, could not apologize because his motto was to “ABC: Always be Cam.” Some of the men did not get time with Hannah as a result of the impromptu appearance, but Dustin received the rose.

Cam later interrupted Kevin’s alone time with Hannah at the cocktail party. When he awkwardly asked Kevin and Hannah to sit in a heart-shaped display of rose petals and eat chicken nuggets with him, Kevin obliged, not knowing what he was agreeing to. When Hannah was out of sight, Kevin threw a handful of nuggets at Cam for revenge.

Dirty Day

Tyler G. received the first one-on-one date. Hannah took him in a helicopter to ride four-wheelers in the mud. She later opened up about her relationship with Colton Underwood and her anxiety during their initial one-on-one. After dinner at The Roosevelt Hotel, Tyler accepted a rose.

Over Before It Began

Connor J., Daron and Matthew were sent home during the rose ceremony.

The Bachelorette airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.

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Tyra Banks Comes Out Of Retirement For The 2019 SI Swimsuit Cover

Tyra Banks is not playing with y’all today!

The 45-year-old super model came out of retirement to rock the cover of the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. And man, does she look better than ever!

 

 

“Since Tyra’s first cover in 1996, she’s transformed herself into nothing less than a mogul, a cultural force and a supernova of inspiration and empowerment,” SI Swimsuit Editor MJ Day told PEOPLE.

“She’s kind of the SwimsuitIssue ethos come to life, everything we know this franchise can be.”

Tyra said that for this issue, she tried to recreate her famous shoot she did back in 1997 during her Bahamas photoshoot.

“We couldn’t find the exact one in the archives — it was the polka dot bikini so we recreated that bikini,” she said. “I recreated it [the shoot] — 25 pounds heavier.”

She looks better now, than she did back in the day!

Tyra made history in 1997 being the first African-American model to grace the SI Swimsuit issue by herself, sharing a cover in 1996 with model Valeria Mazza.

 

As we previously reported, the 2019 issue of SI Swimsuit features a diverse group of 34 women and continues to put focus on female empowerment and inclusivity, with a photos from Halima Aden.

The Somalian-American, who is also Muslim, is officially the first woman to rock a hijab and a burkini in SI Swimsuit issue history.

 

 

Oh, and don’t forget about Olympic gold medalist, Simone Biles:

 

 

Congrats to all of these women! Keep shining queens!

 


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Out of a drawer and into your nightmares comes a vicious ancient beast

When Ohio University integrative biologist Nancy Stevens peered into a drawer in the wooden cabinets on the top floor of a Nairobi museum in 2010, she saw a chunk of rock containing massive teeth and knew she had come across something important.


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These 5 Factors Are What Actually Matters When It Comes to Your Credit

It’s impossible to overstate the impact your credit score has on your life.

It determines everything from whether you can buy a home or rent an apartment to your credit card interest rates and how much you’ll pay for insurance.

Your credit score is basically just a three-digit number that measures how likely you are to repay your debt. Credit scores range from 300 to 850 and are based on information the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — have on file for you.

For simplicity’s sake, we’re going to talk about your credit score in the singular, but you actually have three credit scores — one from each of the credit bureaus.

A high score tells lenders that you’ve managed your debt well in the past, while a low credit score indicates that you have a poor history (or not much history) of managing credit.

If you want to build good credit, you need to understand the five credit factors that are used to calculate your score.

The 5 Credit Factors That Matter (and 5 Things That Don’t)

FICO, the data analytics company that calculates most credit scores, has always been hush-hush about the exact formula it uses. But it does tell us that the following five credit factors determine your score:

  • Payment history for loans and lines of credit: 35%
  • Credit utilization (i.e., how much of your total available credit you’re using): 30%
  • Length of credit history: 15%
  • Credit mix: 10%
  • New credit and hard inquiries: 10%

VantageScore, a newer credit scoring system, considers similar factors in calculating your score but weights them differently.

Here are some things that do not factor into your credit score:

  • Payments for expenses like rent, utilities or phone bills. However, missing payments could kill your credit if you wind up with an account in collections or a civil judgement against you.
  • How much money you have. But you are more likely to get approved for a loan if you have more cash on hand, because you will be able to make a bigger down payment.
  • Your age, although because the length of your credit history affects your score, you may find that your score increases as you get older.
  • Your income isn’t used to determine your credit score, though being able to prove steady income can help you obtain credit.
  • Checking your own credit. When you check your credit report, it counts as a “soft” inquiry, which doesn’t affect your credit score.

But let’s delve into the five credit factors that actually do matter.

1. Your Payment History: 35%

If you’re looking to improve your credit score, the single most important thing you can do is make on-time payments toward your credit cards and loans. That’s because your payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO score, making it the most important of the five credit factors.

When you make your debt payments, creditors report those payments to the credit bureaus, and you gradually build a good payment history. Eventually, those payments will help to boost your score.

The quickest way to negatively impact your credit score is to miss a payment.

If you’re more than 30 days late on a payment, your creditor will probably notify the bureaus, which will cause your credit score to drop. If your account goes into collections — which typically happens when your payment is 90 days or more past due — the negative impact to your score is even worse.

Late payments and collections stay on your credit reports for up to seven years, though the impact on your score lessens with time.

How to improve: If you have trouble remembering to pay bills on time, set up automatic bill pay for at least the minimum amount due for all of your debt payments.

Also, get copies of your credit reports (we’ll explain how later) to look for errors. If your reports contain an account in collections that doesn’t belong to you or that’s past the statute of limitations, having the negative information about your payment history removed could improve your credit score.

And if you know you’re not going to be able to make a payment, you need to talk to your creditors — ideally before you miss a payment, but at the very least before the account is sent to collections. They may be able to put you on a payment plan you can afford or change the due date for your bills.

2. Your Credit Utilization Ratio: 30%

Money falls on children's building blocks.

When it comes to credit factors that actually affect your score, what matters isn’t the total amount of debt you have — it’s the percentage of your available credit that you’re using, also known as your credit utilization ratio. It’s the second most important credit factor, determining 30% of your score.

Here’s an example: Suppose your credit card limits add up to $ 10,000. Your total balances amount to $ 3,500. Your credit utilization ratio is 35%.

The lower your credit utilization ratio, the better. A utilization ratio that’s too high tells lenders that you’re overly dependent on credit. While most experts recommend keeping utilization below 30%, the actual number you should be shooting for is zero. (No, don’t believe the credit myth that carrying a balance from month to month helps your score.)

How to improve: If you need to lower your credit utilization, keep paying down your debt without adding to your balance. Aim to get to the point where you can pay off your balance in full each month.

You can also improve your credit utilization by getting more credit. If your limit increases but your balance stays the same, your credit utilization ratio goes down.

Try asking for limit increases on your existing accounts. As you’re about to learn, the average age of credit and new credit are both factors that affect your score.

3. The Length of Your Credit History: 15%

Creditors like to see that you have experience managing credit, which is why the age of your credit matters. But if you’re new to credit, don’t get too hung up on age; it only makes up 15% of your overall score.

Both the average age of your overall credit and the age of your oldest account will affect your credit score. That means closing an older account or getting a new credit card could have a negative impact.

Your score could also drop if you pay off debt. For example, if you pay off the car loan that was one of your older accounts, that account will be closed. Even though you’ve done something good for your finances, your score could drop in the short term.

How to improve: There are no shortcuts here. Building your length of credit history takes time.

Think carefully before you close out a card you’ve had for a long time. But if you’re paying high fees or a card is causing you to overspend, don’t worry too much about the impact to your length of credit history.

The negative impact of closing an account is more likely to come from your increased credit utilization ratio, and even then, your score will probably bounce back in a few months, as long as your debt situation doesn’t change significantly.

4. New Credit and Hard Inquiries: 10%

Opening multiple accounts within a short period of time is bad for your credit, because it indicates a high risk of default.

FICO considers the number of new accounts that have been opened within the past six to 12 months, but that only accounts for 10% of your score.

Also included in this category is the number of hard inquiries, which occur when you apply for credit. What’s important to know is that if you apply for the same type of credit within 30 days — for instance, when you’re shopping around with multiple lenders for a mortgage — FICO treats it as a single hard inquiry, so the effect on your credit score will be minimal.

How to improve: Avoid applying for lots of new accounts within a few months, but don’t be afraid of shopping around for a specific type of loan or credit.

And, as we mentioned earlier, if you’re looking to lower your credit utilization ratio, consider asking for increases on your current lines of credit instead of applying for new lines of credit.

5. Credit Mix: 10%

Having a diverse mix of open accounts — credit cards, a line of credit and a mortgage, for example — is good for your credit. But note that the impact is small: It determines just 10% of your score.

How to improve: Don’t put too much emphasis on this credit factor. It’s not worth taking out a loan or going deeper into debt just to have a diverse credit mix.

3 Ways to Check Your Credit

Now that you know about the five credit factors and how much each one matters, it’s time to check your credit. Here are three places you can do so.

AnnualCreditReport.com

You’re entitled to check your credit report for free with each of the three credit bureaus once every 12 months. To do so, visit AnnualCreditReport.com.

While your actual credit scores aren’t included on the reports, you do see all the information that’s used to calculate your credit score. If you find errors, you can dispute them with the credit bureaus.

Your Bank, Credit Union or Credit Card Company

Many let you access at least one of your FICO scores for free, and some even offer free monitoring services.

Apps

Some apps like Credit Sesame will let you check your credit score for free, though they often use the VantageScore rather than your FICO scores.

Still, these apps are helpful in estimating your FICO score and monitoring changes to your reports.

Robin Hartill is a senior editor at The Penny Hoarder.

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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The best coffee comes from these countries

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Ask any coffee drinker, and they’ll tell you there is absolutely nothing like the taste of a freshly poured coffee in the morning. It’s an instant taste of optimism. The day starts as soon as that hot steaming mug of bitter-sweet goodness reaches your lip, and with a good-quality coffee, it usually starts pretty darn well.

There’s a lot to know about coffee – it’s not just about the average cup of instant granules you can pick up at the local supermarket, there’s a whole world of different smells and tastes that the little coffee bean can show you that you’re probably yet to discover. Every country has a different way of making coffee, and every little bean of coffee has a different story to tell. Can you tell that we love coffee yet? Here’s a look at the countries who supposedly make the best-tasting coffee and their best-loved strand. Get the flights booked.

Colombia – ‘Supremo Coffee’

Colombia is the world’s biggest supplier of coffee – providing it with 15% of its beans. One particular strand of coffee that is distinctively delightful to the tastebuds is the ‘Columbian Supremo’. It’s often described as the best type of coffee as it uses the latest technology to grow. However, because of this, a genuine 100% Supremo grade coffee is quite hard to come by.

What does ‘Colombian Supremo’ coffee taste like?
A rich, bold and velvety flavor.

Guatemala – ‘Antigua Volcanic’

Guatemala is a country known for its high-quality tasting coffee because the beans grow on the richly mineralized mountainous areas where flavor is intensified. The country’s favorite coffee strand is ‘Antigua Volcanic’ coffee, named appropriately so after it’s grown from the volcanically rich soils of Antigua Volcano.

What does Guatemalan ‘Antigua Volcanic’ coffee taste like?
A sophisticated and heavy taste, enriched with aromas of smoke.

The Arabian Peninsula – The ‘Arabian Mocha’

Arabian coffee is generally thought of to have a sweeter and more delicate flavor – softer tones of sugar, sweet and berries. So if you have a sweet tooth, this may be the one for you! The ‘Arabian Mocha,’ grown on the hills of the Arabian Peninsula, is one of the world’s most famous coffee strands, but due to its small production volumes, it is rare to come by, only usually exported to neighboring countries.

What does ‘Arabian Mocha’ taste?
A sweet and fruity chocolatey flavor.

Ethiopia – ‘Harrar Variety’

Some of the world’s best-known brands and strands of coffee are grown in Ethiopia. The beans are usually grown on the high-altitude Eastern highlands of the country, with each strand tasting notably different. Perhaps the most loved Ethiopian coffee is the ‘Harrar variety’ with an exotic zing perfect for anyone wanting their coffee full of bold flavor.

What does Ethiopian Harrar coffee taste like?
A wine-like aroma, mostly spicy or fruity.

Coffee is one of the most valued exports, and its world-wide produce is a huge business around the globe, powered by our universal love for the gorgeously tasting innocent little bean. When you next take your next first delicious morning sip, have a real think of where it has been grown, and ponder on where it may have all started.

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Creepy First Look at ‘Annabelle Comes Home’; Here’s Everything We Know

Creepy First Look at 'Annabelle Comes Home'; Here's Everything We Know

We were first introduced to a diabolical doll named Annabelle in The Conjuring. Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga starred as experienced paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, who were called upon to help a Rhode Island family in 1971.

The horror thriller was a breakout success, leading to the spin-off feature Annabelle. That film was also quite popular, inspiring a prequel, Annabelle: Creation that explored the doll's origins, as well as Annabelle Comes Home, the newly-titled…

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Factbox: What we know about Boeing 737 MAX crash and what comes next

More than 300 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 passenger jets around the world have been taken out of service following two fatal crashes over the past five months in Ethiopia and Indonesia that killed almost 350 people in all.


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What we know about Boeing 737 MAX crash and what comes next

More than 300 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX
9 passenger jets around the world have been taken out of service
following two fatal crashes over the past five months in
Ethiopia and Indonesia that killed almost 350 people in all.
The causes of both crashes are still under investigation.
One of the biggest unanswered questions: Was the plane’s
software to blame?

WHAT WE KNOW
– Boeing has stopped


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People track when talkers say ‘uh’ to predict what comes next

Speakers tend to say ‘uh’ before uncommon words (‘uh… automobile’) rather than common words (‘car’). In a new eye-tracking study, researchers show that listeners use this information to predict an uncommon word upon hearing ‘uh.’ Moreover, when an ‘atypical’ speaker says ‘uh’ before common words (‘uh… car’), listeners learn to predict common words after ‘uh’ — but only with a native speaker.
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First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage? Inside the Future of Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez’s Red-Hot Romance

Jennifer Lopez, Alex RodriguezJennifer Lopez is aware that you want her and Alex Rodriguez to get married.
The attention lavished on the thrice-divorced multi-hyphenate’s relationship of two years with the former…

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50 Cent Sets His Gucci Clothes On Fire And Jamie Foxx Comes Through With More Altering Suggestions

The Gucci brand found itself in hot water after the blackface scandal. Now, 50 Cent sets his Gucci clothes on fire and posts it on Instagram. Watch his video below.

‘I gotta get rid of all the Gucci I have at home. I’m not supporting their brand anymore. #bransoncognac #lecheminduroi #bellator,’ 50 Cent captioned her post.

Someone addressed rapper Tip and said ‘@troubleman31 ya should have a “Burn The House Down” (or similar clever name event where ya bring all your name brand clothes (those involved) and burn it!!! Make money off THEM! #FlipTheScript‼ @50cent … IF YOU AGREE REPLY TO THIS COMMENT & TAG YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST #ActionsSpeakLouderThanWords 💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽💯💯💯💯💯

Someone has a proposal for 50 Cent and said: ‘@50cent why not buy up more of their brands and take it to the slumps or war-wrecked countries, make the video of you donating their brands to this homeless war wrecked people, make a video documentary till the Gucci turns to rags within few days, then send this video out. Gucci is then for the poor.’

Another follower bashed him and said ‘This is an act of stupidity, there are less privileged out there, and you are here burning down Gucci what of dollars and you want us to clap for you.’

Here’s another similar opinion: ‘Like I said people like this and @troubleman31 are dumb as hell, burning your Gucci clothes that u spent ur hard earned money on? Hating on a brand that made a mistake, took it down and apologized immediately right after, then hating and bashing another brother cause he wanted to shop there minding his own? It doesn’t matter what Gucci did it’s how we as a people took it if Floyd wanna shop there that’s his damn choice how u gonna tell another man where he can spend his bread? This shit wack and corny what y’all doing, people, black & white still shop there and work in there as well, what u Gonna do hate Gucci’s forever. This is very low.’

Even Jamie Foxx commented on his post and here’s what he had to say.

One of The Shade Room’s followers said that ‘He should have donated it to the homeless. It’s already been purchased so what’s the harm in making some good out of a bad situation.’

What do you think about 50 Cent’s latest action?

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The formal start of the senator’s White House campaign comes as the Democratic primary intensifies by the day​

Sen. Elizabeth Warren will officially launch her 2020 presidential campaign Saturday with a rally in Lawrence, Massachusetts, using the backdrop of Everett Mills — the site of a historic 1912 labor strike led by women and immigrants — to highlight the ​progressive populist ideals she has made the centerpiece of her candidacy.


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Blackface, Rape Allegations: What the Hell Comes Next in Virginia?

Steve Helber/AP/REX/Shutterstock

It was a Wednesday in Richmond. The Ralph Northam story had quieted down and the Justin Fairfax saga was hanging fire. It was crazy, sure, but nothing too crazy that we weren’t all going back to talking about Donald Trump. And then, boom: the state’s attorney general, Mark Herring, admitted to wearing “brown makeup” to dress like Kurtis Blow back when he was in college.

This seemed to cap a mind-blowing series of events that have unfolded in the commonwealth since last Friday. A quick review:

First, as we know, Governor Ralph Northam was outed as wearing blackface (or a KKK robe) in 1984. At the time everybody said hey, no problem, let’s just make him resign, and we’ll have an actual African American as governor, and someone everyone likes and who took a strong stand against Confederate statuary to boot.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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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-term budget deal comes just in time for biotech firms

Initial public offerings and drug approvals had been held up by the partial government shutdown.
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Aquaman Swims Into Weekend Box Office Win. Mary Poppins Returns Comes in Second

(LOS ANGELES) — “Aquaman” is still leading the pack at the box office, but other films like “Mary Poppins Returns” and “The Mule” are enjoying post-Christmas bumps too.

Warner Bros. on Sunday says “Aquaman” has added an estimated $ 51.6 million in North American ticket sales over the weekend to take first place again. Down just 24 percent from its domestic debut, the DC Comics pic has grossed nearly $ 748.8 million worldwide.

Up 19 percent, “Mary Poppins Returns” took second place with $ 28 million, while “Bumblebee” settled in third with $ 20.5 million.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” got fourth with $ 18.3 million. And “The Mule,” up 24 percent, took fifth with $ 11.8 million.

The Dick Cheney movie “Vice” grossed $ 7.8 million from the weekend and $ 17.7 million since its Christmas opening.


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Aisha Tyler Comes Out In Support Of Priyanka Chopra And Nick Jonas

Aisha Tyler doesn’t have time for anti-Chopra/Jonas trolls. As the world knows, Nick and the Quantico alum recently got married in India, however, their age difference has sparked the ire of some of their most judgmental fans. Tyler isn’t pleased with those online who would choose to look at Priyanka and Nick’s romance pessimistically.

On the 10th of December, the actress took to her Twitter to say, “their passion is infectious, they are wildly generous, and their company is a delight.” The 48-year-old actress went on to add, “Haters please feel free to suck it.”

During a conversation with Raz on Spotify, Jonas said that it was a “real dream” for him to raise a family with the Indian-American actress. It’s been a long withstanding hope.

According to the brother-of-three, he’s had to grow up in more than one manner very quickly, and there are a number of different ways of looking at that.

Nick said that he could look at life being “unfair,” however, he chooses to understand himself as someone who was given a gift at a young age, and now is able to see things from a different perspective than others.

As for Priyanka, she admitted to E! News in October that she was considering having kids sometime soon. She said that all of her friends are having babies right now, and she needs to “catch up.”

Meghan Markle, one of Priyanka’s main friends, is reportedly pregnant with her first child with Prince Harry. Chopra was even at her wedding in May of this year, arguably the biggest wedding of 2018, just before the summer months kicked off.

As it was previously reported, Nick and Priyanka just got married in India, despite their 10-year age difference. In the past, people have criticized both Priyanka and Nick for their decision to get married, arguing that the idea their romance would work out for the better was a pipe dream. It looks like both parties are determined to prove those theories wrong, however.

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Inside J.Crew’s Identity Crisis, Except When It Comes to Christmas Socks

Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty

When I woke up this morning, I did not expect to spend part of my day waiting in a line for socks.

And yet, there I was, staring at J.Crew’s five color-coordinated shelves of socks, straining my neck to see whether the print on one pair was of the fire emoji or Rudolph the Reindeer. (Closer inspection revealed the pattern was actually a repeated gingerbread house.)

If you walked into New York City’s Rockefeller Center J.Crew and took one look at the sock-fawning crowd, you might forget for one second just how much internal instability the brand has seen in the past few weeks.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Convenience is Key When it Comes to Contraception

When I first moved to the United States from Britain, I used the pill, like many women, as a short-term solution while waiting for an IUD appointment. Once, as I looked forward to a multi-week trip, I headed to the pharmacy during my lunch break to get next month’s supply—but my pharmacist informed me that I couldn’t have another month’s supply until my current packet was half completed. I explained that I was traveling for more than three weeks and needed the new packet now, but he told me to call my insurance company.

“Look,” I finally shouted, after ages on the phone, all while standing in busy pharmacy, exasperated at the short-sightedness of the system, “you can let me get another packet of pills now or you can deal with the health costs of an unintended pregnancy later. You choose!”

They let me have the pills.

Feminists protested outside the Supreme Court oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell, a case that sought to weaken contraceptive access under the Affordable Care Act. (Victoria Pickering / Creative Commons)

While this may be a familiar experience for women in the U.S., it was brand new to me. In Britain, women can essentially access their contraceptive of choice when and where they want it—and it’s usually free. I’ve spent most of my life fighting to expand contraceptive choice around the world, but I suddenly faced a new realization while standing at that pharmacy counter: when it comes to family planning, choice is only one part of the equation. Convenience in family planning is not trivial, or a “nice-to-have.” It is essential.

Taking a pill every day is a viable option for some, but it can be tedious and difficult to maintain for others. Prescriptions and monthly trips to the pharmacy add additional hassles and can feel virtually impossible for women who are juggling their jobs, childrearing and often the bulk of household chores. For women who lack the ability to take time off work, who can’t get child care or who live in more remote areas, monthly visits to the pharmacy or a family planning clinic may be impossible.

Convenience plays a fundamental role in a woman’s reproductive choices. You can’t take a pill if you do not have the time to pick up the pill from the pharmacy. This is one of the reasons the Population Council, the nonprofit research organization I lead, first developed the IUD. Approved for use some 20 years ago, its increasing popularity in the U.S shows that convenience is of huge interest. Women gravitate to IUDs as a “carefree” option, providing three to 10 years of protection after insertion. It also makes it remarkably effective.

But the IUD also requires a trip to the doctor to insert and remove—which takes time, money and available health services. Some women aren’t sure if or when they want to try and conceive. Now, a new option on the horizon offers the convenience of a long-acting method, but the control of a short-acting method.

The FDA recently approved Annovera, the first one-year contraceptive that is fully under a woman’s control. Also developed by my colleagues at the Population Council, the approval of Annovera isn’t just a professional win for me. After 20 years of research, I hope Annovera can be a catalyst to bring convenience and user-control to the fore of the contraceptive decision-making process. 

A soft, reusable flexible silicone ring, Annovera can be inserted and removed by a woman herself for up to 13 menstrual cycles—giving a whole year of protection from unintended pregnancy—and it doesn’t require refrigeration, which is good for women who travel (like me!), and in lower-resource settings where electricity may not be in regular supply. 

Helping meet family planning needs is no trivial matter. Unintended pregnancies are associated with delayed and inadequate prenatal care, are more likely to lead to premature births and have low-birth-weight infants and are connected to increased physical and mental health risks for mom and baby alike. Overlay all these with with socio-economic factors, and we find that unintended pregnancies are most likely among younger women ages 18 to 24, lower-income women, unmarried women and minority women.

These are the exact women whose ability to access reproductive health services is often the first to be curtailed—and for whom convenience, choice and control may seem like a fantasy.

It’s no secret that we’re currently in a tenuous climate for women’s reproductive rights in the U.S. With the contraceptive coverage mandate in the Affordable Care Act at risk, and Title X funding in peril, it’s unclear what the landscape will look like for contraceptive coverage and access, even by the end of 2018. While there is a growing movement to make contraception available over-the-counter in the U.S.—as it is in much of the rest of the world—right now, you still need a prescription for contraception. While that will still be true for Annovera, when it is available in late 2019 or early 2020, at least you don’t need to go back to the pharmacist or your doctor to get a repeat prescription or refill. You have contraceptive care, that you alone control, for the next year.

Convenience can only be considered trivial in matters of contraception if the realities of women’s lives are considered trivial, too. If the last two years have shown us anything, it’s that women are fiercely committed to controlling their destinies, and the development and FDA approval of a new contraceptive method is a step toward giving all of us a little more autonomy.

Now, more than ever, that’s anything but trivial.

Julia Bunting is President of the Population Council.

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Mississippi’s US Senate race comes to a close amid racial controversies

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Women’s Championship Tour 2018 Finale Comes Down to Upcoming Beachwaver Maui Pro

WSL PRESS RELEASE

 

HONOLUA BAY, Maui, Hawaii/USA (Monday, November 19, 2018) – The Beachwaver Maui Pro, the final stop on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Women’s Championship Tour (CT), will host the highly-anticipated World Title showdown and the last opportunity for CT requalification later this week.

Held at Honolua Bay in Maui, Hawaii, the waiting period opens on Sunday, November 25 and runs through Wednesday, December 5, 2018. During this time, event organizers will closely monitor the waves and only run during the best conditions.

In the 2018 World Title Race, only Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and Lakey Peterson (USA) are mathematically in contention to win the prestigious World Championship and await the Beachwaver Maui Pro.

The World Title scenarios going into the Beachwaver Maui Pro are as follows:
– Gilmore will win the World Title with a 3rd or better at the Beachwaver Maui Pro.
– If Gilmore finishes 5th or worse, Peterson must win the event to force a surf-off* for the World Title
– *In the event of a tie for any World Title at the end of the Surfing Season, the tied Surfer will have a “surf-off” during the final Event, which will have the format determined by the Commissioner’s Office. 

For Gilmore, the six-time WSL Champion, winning means making history by clinching a record-equalling seventh World Title. The accomplishment would put Gilmore into an elite class within surfing’s World Champions as one of only three individuals to earn seven World Titles, Layne Beachley (7) and Kelly Slater (11).

For Peterson, defeating Gilmore would mark the American’s first World Title. Peterson is the highest-ranked American surfer on both the women’s and men’s World Rankings, and the win in Maui would push the event into a Surf-Off for the win. With two event wins this year (Gold Coast, Bali) and two runner-up finishes (J-Bay, Rio), Peterson has the potential to upset Gilmore’s hunt for gold.

For more information about the 2018 World Title Race, please visit WSLTitleRace.com.

To requalify for the women’s Championship Tour, current competitors on the CT have to be ranked 10th or better on the Jeep Leaderboard or they must finish 6th or better on the WSL Qualifying Series (QS), excluding those who have already qualified through the CT Rankings. The WSL Commissioner’s Office also selects one wildcard for the season.

With the Beachwaver Maui Pro as the final women’s event of the season, this will be the last opportunity for lower-ranked surfers to secure their positions for next year’s elite Tour. California’s Sage Erickson (USA) needs a critical result to requalify.

Wildcards and injury replacements for the 2018 Beachwaver Maui Pro include Bethany Hamilton (HAW), Alana Blanchard (HAW), Summer Macedo (HAW), and Zoe McDougall (HAW). These athletes will replace Tyler Wright (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA) and Keely Andrew (AUS), who have withdrawn due to injuries sustained earlier this season.

Alana Blancard (HAW) and Bethany Hamilton (HAW) will compete in the upcoming Beachwaver Maui Pro. Credit: © Rip Curl
Alana Blancard (HAW) and Bethany Hamilton (HAW) will compete in the upcoming Beachwaver Maui Pro.
Credit: © Rip Curl

 

Hamilton poses a considerable threat to the top seeds Carissa Moore (HAW) and Coco Ho (HAW) in Round 1. As evidenced by her previous CT success, Hamilton has proven that anything can happen and will be one to watch when competition is called on. This will be Hamilton’s tenth CT appearance.

Hamilton has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of determination, faith, and hope. At the age of 13, she lost her left arm to a shark, seemingly ending her surfing career. Against the odds, the “Soul Surfer” returned to the lineup and went on to realize her dream of surfing professionally.

“I am so excited to be competing in home state, Hawai’i!” said Hamilton. “And not only that but at Honolua, one of the world’s best waves! Between the beautiful cliff and those epic righthand walls and barrels, it’s such a dreamy place. It’s going to be amazing to surf against the girls. I can’t wait to see what sort of swell comes for us to compete in.”

Blanchard is a former four-year competitor on the elite Championship Tour. The 28-year-old will return to the competitive CT stage for the first time since 2014 and for the first time since giving birth to her son, Banks. Alongside good friend Hamilton, Blanchard has the opportunity to play spoiler against Gilmore and Erickson, who are both in need of a good start at this event.

“I was definitely very caught off-guard when Jessi texted me and asked if I wanted to be in the Maui Pro,” said Blanchard. “It’s just such a fun wave, and there are a few big swells on the horizon so it should be really good. I wouldn’t say I’m nervous, but I’m just so excited that I need to settle down! It’ll be so good to see everyone, and to have the chance to surf such an amazing wave with just one other girl is incredible.”

Macedo will represent Maui as the Beachwaver wildcard. She will come up against Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) and Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) in Round 1 Heat 5.

The Beachwaver Maui Pro will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL’s Facebook page. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

Beachwaver Maui Pro Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW), Coco Ho (HAW), Bethany Hamilton (HAW)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Sage Erickson (USA), Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Heat 4: Lakey Peterson (USA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Zoe McDougall (HAW)
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Summer Macedo (HAW)
Heat 6: Caroline Marks (USA), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

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Brad Pitt Is Sure That Angelina Jolie Is Going To Create Drama When It Comes To The Holidays

More than two years after they separated, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are still in the middle of their nasty divorce and custody battle, and a new report claims it is going to be a drama-filled holiday season for the former couple. Could the strange move Jolie’s lawyers made this past week be an indication of unusual things to come?

According to Radar Online, one of Jolie’s lawyers, Joseph Mannis, took the odd step of filing a formal motion with the court to notify them that he will be out of town for a week at Thanksgiving and two weeks at Christmas.

Because of this, Mannis has requested that the court doesn’t have any hearings between Jolie and Pitt during those times.

“Brad’s lawyers are going to ignore something that comes up with the kids that needs immediate attention from the court just because Joe is on vacation?” asked an insider.

The source says that the Once Upon A Time in Hollywood star is concerned that his ex will be ready “to stir up drama” during the holiday season and is going to continue her attempts to make Pitt look like the bad guy, especially if he needs to go to court while her attorney isn’t in town.

However, Pitt isn’t going to let Jolie’s antics keep him from spending time with their six children, says the insider.

Jolie recently made things even worse with Pitt when she threw out a bunch of items that he had left with the kids. The source says that Pitt left antiques, family heirlooms, and sentimental trinkets like old toys with the kids, and when Jolie found them, she threw them all out “without hesitation.”

Even though the divorce drags on, Pitt has moved on and is dating. However, the chances of him walking the red carpet with another celebrity are pretty small, says a pal. Friends do think that Pitt will marry again, but they think he will end up with a woman who has a lower profile.

Insiders say that these last two years have been a nightmare for the actor. And, after decades of relationships with women like Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Juliette Lewis, Pitt wants to keep things more private instead of having a public relationship.

Sources say that Pitt is enjoying hanging out with his friends and meeting women through people he trusts, but his top priorities at the moment are his children, his work, and getting some sense of normalcy. He is casually dating, but right now everything is about the kids.

Brad Pitt has stayed relatively quiet since his split from Angelina Jolie, making only two public statements. An insider says he is trying to do what is best for his kids, but he is hurt. Ultimately, his friends want him to find peace and love again.

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Trump Comes Face to Face With His Nightmare: A News Cycle He Can’t Control

Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast

Donald Trump is living a personal nightmare. Just days before a critical election, he finds himself unable to influence what the political press is covering.

The president has spent the last week attempting to gin up media coverage of a caravan of migrants making their way from Honduras to the Mexico-U.S. border. He’s heralded his signing of a major bill to combat the opioid epidemic. He’s touted additional—though currently nonexistent—legislation to further slash middle-class taxes.

But a series of real-world events—primarily the dispatch of explosive devices to numerous top Democratic officials by what appears to be an obsessive Trump fan— have overwhelmed that storyline. And it’s left Trump notably churlish.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Sloane Stephens comes out on top in battle of last two US Open champions

SINGAPORE — In a match between the last two U.S. Open champions, Sloane Stephens came out on top.

The 2017 champion beat Naomi Osaka 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 Monday at the WTA Finals, the season-ending tournament for the top eight players in the world.

Both players are making their debut appearances at the…

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