Judge sentences Trump ex-aide Manafort to 3-1/2 more years in prison

President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced on Wednesday to about 3-1/2 more years in prison for charges arising from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s role in the 2016 U.S. election, with the judge giving him a stern lecture about his lies and criminal behavior.


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WATCH: Federal Judge Issues New Order Against Trump Administration’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ Policy

A family complains about telemedicine call; Arnold Schwarzenegger has ‘a new hero’ — a bodybuilder with cerebral palsy
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Judge orders Trump admin to reunite more migrant families

A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite more families that were separated at the border. US District Judge Dana Sabraw ruled the government must bring parents and children who were separated as early as July 1, 2017 back together, in an updated ruling on a lawsuit brought by the ACLU. Previously, he ruled…
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Chicago Judge Allows Jussie Smollett To Travel To Meet With Attorneys

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago judge says “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett can travel out-of-state to meet his lawyers while he’s free on bond on charges he falsely reported being attacked by two masked men.

Anne Kavanagh is a spokeswoman for Smollett’s attorneys, who say he’s innocent.

Kavanagh says attorney Mark Geragos, who’s based in Los Angeles, is Smollett’s lead attorney. She says a defense lawyer asked Monday that Smollett be allowed to travel to California and New York for meetings with his legal team.

Chicago police charged Smollett with disorderly conduct. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says Smollett, who is black and gay, staged a racist and homophobic attack , then told police his attackers yelled racial and anti-gay slurs and referenced President Donald Trump’s campaign slogan.

He was released last week after posting $ 10,000 cash. He was ordered to surrender his passport.

PHOTO: AP


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DOJ asks judge to give final approval on CVS-Aetna merger

President Trump’s Department of Justice asked a judge to give final approval of the $ 69 billion merger between CVS and Aetna on Monday — but there’s only a 50 percent chance of the judge agreeing, insiders said. Drugstore company CVS Health did close its planned merger with insurance giant Aetna in November after getting the…
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Judge Sets R. Kelly’s Bond at $1 Million

(CHICAGO) — A judge on Saturday gave R. Kelly a chance to go free while the R&B star awaits trial on charges that he sexually abused four people, including three minors, in a case that seemed likely to produce another #MeToo reckoning for a celebrity.

Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. set bond at $ 1 million bond, meaning that the 52-year-old Grammy winner must post $ 100,000 to be released or remain behind bars until he is tried on the allegations that date back as far as 1998 and span more than a decade.

Kelly turned himself in late Friday and spent a night in jail before being taken to the courthouse. He stood with his hands behind his back and said to the judge, “How are you?”

His attorney, Steve Greenberg, said Kelly is not a flight risk and told the judge, “Contrary to the song, Mr. Kelly doesn’t like to fly.” One of Kelly’s best-known hits is “I Believe I Can Fly.”

The bond equals $ 250,000 for each of the four people Kelly is charged with abusing, the judge said.

Greenberg said Kelly “really doesn’t have any more money,” suggesting that others had mismanaged his wealth. Still, he said he expected that Kelly would be able to come up with enough money for bail.

Asked later how Greenberg would get paid, he said, “That’s none of your business.”

The judge called the allegations “disturbing.” The singer-songwriter looked down at the floor as the judge spoke.

Kelly’s DNA was found in semen on one of the accuser’s shirts, and semen found on one worn by another was submitted for DNA testing, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said.

Kelly met one of the accusers when she was celebrating her 16th birthday party at a restaurant and another when he signed an autograph during his 2008 trial on child-pornography charges, Foxx said.

Prosecutors said they have a video of another accuser that shows R. Kelly having sex with her when she was 14.

A fourth accuser, a hairdresser, told prosecutors that she thought she was going to braid R. Kelly’s hair, but that he instead tried to force her to give him oral sex. The woman, who was 24 at the time, was able to pull away, but Kelly ejaculated on her and spit in her face, Foxx said.

After the hearing, Greenberg told reporters that Kelly did not force anyone to have sex.

“He’s a rock star. He doesn’t have to have nonconsensual sex,” Greenberg said.

The judge ordered Kelly to surrender his passport, ending his hopes of doing a tour of Europe in April. Kelly defiantly scheduled concerts in Germany and the Netherlands despite the cloud of legal issues looming over him.

The recording artist, whose legal name is Robert Kelly, has been trailed for decades by allegations that he violated underage girls and women and held some as virtual slaves. He was charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse.

Kelly, who was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, has consistently denied any sexual misconduct. He broke into the R&B scene in 1993 with his first solo album, “12 Play,” which produced such popular sex-themed songs as “Bump N’ Grind” and “Your Body’s Callin’.”

He rose from poverty on Chicago’s South Side and has retained a sizable following. Kelly has written numerous hits for himself and other artists, including Celine Dion, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga. His collaborators have included Jay-Z and Usher.

The jury in 2008 acquitted Kelly of child pornography charges that centered on a graphic video that prosecutors said showed him having sex with a girl as young as 13. He and the young woman allegedly seen with him denied they were in the 27-minute video, even though the picture quality was good and witnesses testified it was them, and she did not take the stand. Kelly could have gotten 15 years in prison.

Charging Kelly now for actions that occurred in the same time frame as the allegations from the 2008 trial suggests the accusers are cooperating this time and willing to testify.

Because the alleged victim 10 years ago denied that she was on the video and did not testify, the state’s attorney office had little recourse except to charge the lesser offense under Illinois law, child pornography, which required a lower standard of evidence.

Each count of the new charges carries up to seven years in prison. If Kelly is convicted on all 10 counts, a judge could decide that the sentences run one after the other — making it possible for him to receive up to 70 years behind bars. Probation is also an option under the statute.

Kelly was charged a week after Michael Avenatti, the attorney whose clients have included porn star Stormy Daniels, said he gave prosecutors new video evidence of the singer with an underage girl.

At a news conference Friday, Avenatti said a 14-year-old girl seen with R. Kelly on the video is among four victims mentioned in the indictment. He said the footage shows two separate scenes on two separate days at Kelly’s residence in the late 1990s.

During the video, both the victim and Kelly refer to her age 10 times, he said.

Avenatti said he represents six clients, including two victims, two parents and two people he describes as “knowing R. Kelly and being within his inner circle for the better part of 25 years.”

Legally and professionally, the walls began closing in on Kelly after the release of a BBC documentary about him last year and the multipart Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired last month. Together they detailed allegations he was holding women against their will and running a “sex cult.”

#MeToo activists and a social media movement using the hashtag #MuteRKelly called on streaming services to drop Kelly’s music and promoters not to book any more concerts. Protesters demonstrated outside Kelly’s Chicago studio.

In the indictment, the prosecution addressed the question of the statute of limitations, saying that even abuse that happened more than two decades ago falls within the charging window allowed under Illinois law. Victims typically have 20 years to report abuse, beginning when they turn 18.


Entertainment – TIME

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Judge sets $100,000 bond for Smollett, orders ‘Empire’ actor’s passport surrendered

“Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was arrested in Chicago early Thursday morning for allegedly filing a false report of a crime, police said.
ABC News: U.S.

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Roger Stone cannot speak publicly about case, judge rules

Roger Stone is in hot water heading into a court hearing on Thursday afternoon.


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Judge voids Paul Manafort plea deal, says he ‘intentionally’ lied to the FBI, special counsel and grand jury

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, lied to special counsel Robert Mueller, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.


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U.S. judge limits evidence in trial over Roundup cancer claims

A federal judge overseeing lawsuits alleging Bayer AG’s glyphosate-based weed killer causes cancer has issued a ruling that could severely restrict evidence that the plaintiffs consider crucial to their cases.


Reuters: Business News

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Judge says Affordable Care Act will remain in effect during appeal

The federal judge who declared the Affordable Care Act’s individual coverage mandate unconstitutional earlier this month issued an order on Sunday saying despite his previous ruling the law can remain in effect pending appeal.


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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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Judge orders North Korea to pay Warmbier family $500 million for wrongful death

A federal judge in Washington awarded the parents of Otto Warmbier more than half a billion dollars in a wrongful death suit against the North Korean government, which detained and allegedly tortured the college student over 17 months before returning him to the US last year, where he died days later.


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US judge orders North Korea to pay $500 million in student’s death

A federal judge has ordered North Korea to pay more than $ 500 million in a wrongful death suit filed by the parents of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who died shortly after being released from that country.
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‘I’m not hiding my disgust, my disdain’: Veteran judge upends hopes of Trump allies as he spotlights Flynn’s misdeeds

Supporters of former national security adviser Michael Flynn thought the independent-minded jurist would reveal overreach by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and the FBI.
Politics

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Health-care stocks plunge after federal judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional

U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor of Texas argued that the Affordable Care Act cannot stand on its own since Congress last December repealed the individual mandate, which imposed a tax penalty on consumers who went uninsured.
Health and Science

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Judge Strikes Down ACA Putting Law In Legal Peril — Again

The future of the Affordable Care Act is threatened — again — this time by a ruling Friday from a federal district court judge in Texas.

Judge Reed C. O’Connor struck down the law, siding with a group of 18 Republican state attorneys general and two GOP governors who brought the case. O’Connor said the tax bill passed by Congress last December effectively rendered the entire health law unconstitutional.

That tax measure eliminated the penalty for not having insurance. An earlier Supreme Court decision upheld the ACA based on the view that the penalty was a tax and thus the law was valid because it relied on appropriate power allowed Congress under the Constitution. O’Connor’s decision said that without that penalty, the law no longer met that Constitutional test.

“In some ways, the question before the Court involves the intent of both the 2010 and 2017 Congresses,” O’Connor wrote in his 55-page decision. “The former enacted the ACA. The latter sawed off the last leg it stood on.”

The decision came just hours before the end of open enrollment for ACA plans in most states that use the federal Healthcare.gov insurance exchange. It is not expected that the ruling will impact the coverage for those people — the final decision will likely not come until the case reaches the Supreme Court again.

Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which oversees those insurance exchanges, said in a tweet: “The recent federal court decision is still moving through the courts, and the exchanges are still open for business and we will continue with open enrollment. There is no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan.”

The 16 Democratic state attorneys general who intervened in the case to defend the health law immediately vowed to appeal.

“The ACA has already survived more than 70 unsuccessful repeal attempts and withstood scrutiny in the Supreme Court,” said a statement from California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “Today’s misguided ruling will not deter us: our coalition will continue to fight in court for the health and wellbeing of all Americans.”

It is all but certain the case will become the third time the Supreme Court decides a constitutional question related to the ACA. In addition to upholding the law in 2012, the court rejected another challenge to the law in 2015.

It is hard to overstate what would happen to the nation’s health care system if the decision is ultimately upheld. The Affordable Care Act touched almost every aspect of health care, from Medicare and Medicaid to generic biologic drugs, the Indian Health Service, and public health changes like calorie counts on menus.

The case, Texas v United States, was filed in February. The plaintiffs argued that because the Supreme Court upheld the ACA in 2012 as a constitutional use of its taxing power, the elimination of the tax makes the rest of the law unconstitutional.

In June, the Justice Department announced it would not fully defend the law in court. While the Trump administration said it did not agree with the plaintiffs that the tax law meant the entire ACA was unconstitutional, it said that the provisions of the law guaranteeing that people with preexisting health conditions could purchase coverage at the same price as everyone else were so inextricably linked to the tax penalty that they should be struck.

The administration urged the court to declare those provisions invalid beginning Jan. 1, 2019. That is the day the tax penalty for not having insurance disappears.

The protections for people with preexisting conditions was one of the top health issues in the midterm elections in November. While the issue mostly played to the advantage of Democrats, one of the Republican plaintiffs, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, defeated Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill. Another plaintiff, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, lost to Democratic incumbent Sen. Joe Manchin.

President Donald Trump was quick to take a victory lap, and pressed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the presumed incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to fix the problem. He tweeted Friday night that “As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster! Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions. Mitch and Nancy, get it done!”

But congressional leaders were quick to point out that the suit is far from over.

“The ruling seems to be based on faulty legal reasoning and hopefully it will be overturned,” said a statement from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

Many legal experts agreed with that. “This is insanity in print, and it will not stand up on appeal,” tweeted University of Michigan Law School Professor Nicholas Bagley, an expert in health law.

Even some conservatives were left scratching their heads. “Congress acted last year to repeal the mandate, but leave everything else in place and the courts should have deferred to that,” tweeted former congressional GOP aide Chris Jacobs.

Kaiser Health News

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Federal judge in Texas strikes down Affordable Care Act

A federal judge in Texas said on Friday that the Affordable Care Act’s individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of the law must also fall.


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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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Judge Issues Orders Of Protection In Cardi B Case

(AP Photo)

NEW YORK (AP) — A judge has issued orders of protection against platinum rapper Cardi B in a case involving a melee at a New York strip club.

Cardi B appeared in court Friday after a summons was issued on Oct. 1 for misdemeanor reckless endangerment and assault.

Her lawyer has said she didn’t harm anybody.

Police said Cardi B and her entourage were at the club when she argued with a 23-year-old bartender. They say a fight broke out during which chairs, bottles and hookah water pipes were thrown, slightly injuring the woman and another employee.

Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy” is among the nominees announced Friday for the 2019 Grammy Awards’ album of the year. She scored a total of five nominations.

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What a judge can — and can’t — do in ruling on the Justice Department’s deal with CVS and Aetna

Judge Richard Leon is considering halting CVS Health and Aetna's integration. The Justice Department's agreement with the companies needs his approval, but he can't block the deal outright. 
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Sole Black GOP Senator Votes for Judge Accused of Suppressing Black Vote

The U.S. Senate’s only Black Republican senator is facing heat after voting for a controversial judicial nominee, who’s been accused of hurting Black voters. South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott voted to advance the vote for Thomas Farr for the Eastern District of North Carolina on Wednesday, per CNN. Vice President Mike Pence was the tie-breaking vote, after the 50-50 vote. All 49 Senate Democrats opposed Farr’s nomination, referencing his past support of legal measures that negatively impacted African-American voters, such as working with the with North Carolina Republican Party on the state’s congressional map, which was struck down earlier […]

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Judge blocks Trump administration from denying asylum to immigrants who cross border illegally

A federal judge on Monday issued a temporary restraining order blocking the Trump administration from denying asylum to immigrants who cross the US-Mexico border illegally.


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Real Witches Judge the Witch Culture of ‘The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina’

If you’re watching The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina on Netflix, you’ll know that it’s a very funny, occasionally petrifying, ultra-progressive, extremely emotional TV drama. Well, that’s what we think. But what do actual witches think about the way their culture is represented in the show? We pulled together a coven of witches to tell us what’s what…

Please introduce yourselves and explain your relationship to witchcraft and the occult…

“My name is Tania Ahsan. I’ve been a practising witch for 25 years and was previously the editor of Prediction magazine, a now-defunct occult magazine. I write the witchcraft column for Kindred Spirit magazine.”

“My name is Evelyn Hollow, I was raised with a mixed background of Celtic Pagan beliefs & Mediterranean Roma blood. As an adult, I obtained a Master’s degree in Psychological Research specialising in Paranormal Psychology. I have been an academic of the occult for more than six years and was a lecturer of Psychology for the last few of those years.”

“And my name is Anna McKerrow. I’m a fiction writer and eclectic Pagan witch. My work is always about witchcraft, and I’m passionate about representing modern, contemporary witches in realistic and thoughtful ways.”

So the new Sabrina, let’s start with what you think the show did well… and what it didn’t.

Anna: “I’ve read so much comment about the new Sabrina show from other witches. I think most of us are enjoying it for what it is: a fun TV drama. If you want to talk about realism… well, someone walking in the woods chanting to themselves or meditating or even a group ritual isn’t going to fit this kind of high-action, stylised TV format. Witches and those following alternative, broadly Pagan/polytheistic or pantheistic beliefs often tend to be philosophical about the inaccurate ways that they and their spiritual beliefs are depicted in fiction, partly because the stereotypes are so pervasive, partly because of an attitude that runs ‘whatever — allows me to stay under the radar’ and, I would say, a mindfulness of the still-recent repeal in the UK of the witchcraft laws in the 1950s.”


Sabrina
Sabrina Spellman on trial in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Tania: “There are Satanic witches but it is only one type of witchcraft. A far larger sect of witchcraft is Wicca, the way devised by Gerald Gardner in the 1960s. But I’m not surprised that they decided to go with the Satanic type. This seems to be a bit of a wet dream for the Bible Belt and is the antithesis of the feminist witchcraft that is currently seeing a huge revival. The idea that a woman can only have power when she is an evil cannibalistic Satan-worshipping minx is one that has been put about to keep women down. It breeds fear of witchcraft and the occult. The salt baths to cleanse energetically is pretty accurate though and some witches work with animal guides. Although I don’t think they call them ‘familiars’ as this is again something that is rooted in the literature of a tradition that persecutes and wilfully misunderstands us.”

Evelyn: “I think it’s an improvement on the original series. I liked the original series, but it was more about the pitfalls of being a weird teenage girl than it was about witchcraft. I think this one is one of the better paranormal horror shows to come out in recent years. I also applaud its use of diverse casting and inclusion of important narratives that intersect race, gender, and socioeconomics.”


Sabrina-Spellman
Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina Spellman in the series.

Anna:Sabrina is good in my view because there has been a reasonable amount of research done in the detail; cleansing bad energy/curses with salt, the fact that worship takes place outside in nature, the reference to the historic, inherited trauma of the witch trials and how that still affects women now. How we still feel and fear that punishment for standing in our power. I believe they have witch and occultist consultants for the show, which is a good thing. I also like that Sabrina practices magic in ‘ordinary’ ways too – forming a support group for the girls at her school, doing things in her world that makes change in positive ways. Magic is the changing of one’s experience of the world in a beneficial way. Witches know — or should know — that writing good CVs, voting and earning money are all necessary and effective things as well as journeying, meditating, chanting and being in nature.”

What would be your main criticism of the show?

Evelyn: “Perhaps the Hollywood glamourizing of witchcraft as high-drama rituals involving getting naked and spilling blood in the woods under a full moon. Everyday rites are more small moments of ritual crafted in order to create spaces that have positive effects on our mental health and restore feelings of control to our lives.”


Sabrina-still
Outdoor rituals in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Anna: “For me, the main problem is the Beast as Sabrina’s witch family’s deity or spiritual leader. Now, that is not to say that there aren’t witches who might work with the Lucifer energy and do what is called ‘shadow work’, which is absolutely nothing to do with the schlocky Hammer Horror devil stuff we’ve all been brought up on. Shadow work is the absolutely necessary healing and recognition of our full selves by loving all that we are; the balance of ourselves as perfectly imperfect beings. The ‘Beast’ is, as witches see it, also not a problem — that’s Aleister Crowley’s naming of the sexual life force of humanity; the horns of the wild horned gods of nature. The main problem with these terms and representations is the Christian duality of light/good and dark/bad that lies under them. This duality is at odds with a witch’s worldview, which tends more to the holistic and embraces the dark as a necessary complement to the light.”

Tania: “I think it is actually quite racist. Why is good always white or light? Why is evil always dark or black? The fact is there is no easy dualism in the way that it is described. The reason it has played out this way is that monotheism needs to find a way to suppress the Paganism that went before so the Horned God, the representation of the male divine, was co-opted as the image of the Devil and witches were all meant to be butt-kissing this goat-legged fallen angel. They absolutely hate that instead women might have freedom and power and so they have to attribute it to a male overlord. Yeah, good luck with that.”

Can you think of any other areas of pop culture where witchcraft has been covered well?

Tania: “Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics had a character called Thessaly who I felt was an accurate depiction of a witch. She played by rules that weren’t those that we attribute to either a hero or a villain, again she moved beyond the duality and basically just did what worked and made her way in the world in the manner she wanted. She was also depicted as a very plain-looking bespectacled woman who was quiet and watchful. She definitely did not wear a Grand Puba cape and put up a website with many different colours and fonts and a predilection for writing IN CAPITALS. Another top description is Gandalf in Lord of the Rings; he feels fear and goes through a journey in which he faces his greatest fear and emerges stronger and better. Of course, his hair is all white afterwards so the trope of white being right is still there, but props to him for facing his demon.”


the-craft-girls-walking-with-lightning and sparks
The Craft.

Evelyn:The Craft is one of the better displays of young women developing their path via witchcraft. The kind of spirit invocation and binding practices they use are relatively common in covens.”

Anna: “I always enjoy The Wicker Man, to be honest – apart from the grisly end, it’s quite nice to imagine what a free-spirited Pagan island might look like! And I liked Willow Rosenberg as a witch in Buffy because she learns to be a Wiccan witch. It’s very ’90s but she’s a normal girl, she’s a lesbian, she studies, she gets things wrong, she’s part of online witch groups. It went quite supernatural with the witch storyline in the end but the beginning was good. Oh, and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon is a hugely popular book among witches because, though it’s fantasy and set in the King Arthur myth, it was one of the first — and still very few — fiction works to celebrate the empowerment of the goddess on Morgan, the witch character. It shows her route to power, her learning her witchcraft as a priestess of the moon and her adoration of the goddess.”

Thank you for your time! Before we go, tell our readers anything you’d like to plug…

Anna: “Thank you! My current book Daughter of Light and Shadows is available on Amazon…”

Tania: “My insta is @Tania_The_Witch and my website is taniaahsan.co.uk — there’s an e-book of candle spells on there isf you fancy having a go yourself!”

Evelyn: “I’m a resident author on a publication called Esoterica Zine, which may be of interest to anyone interested in the obscure. In fact, the next issue to be released is themed around witchcraft! Issues can be accessed at https://gumroad.com/esotericazine Other than that my Twitter, @_EvelynHollow is the best place to find me!”

41 Spooky ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ Details You Probably Missed

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Judge Napolitano Teaches Basic Civics to Desperate ‘Fox & Friends’ Hosts

via Fox and Friends

Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News’ longtime senior judicial analyst, appeared on Fox & Friends early Thursday to teach the hosts a basic civics lesson in light of President Trump’s announcement this week that plans to end birthright citizenship through an executive order.

Though hosts Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy appeared eager to find a method to carry out Trump’s proposed policy, Napolitano dashed their hopes with a sit-down worthy of a 7th-grade classroom.

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