Amidst U.S. Open Ugliness, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka Offer Lessons

The boos rained down on the Arthur Ashe Stadium court on late Saturday afternoon, the New York City fans behaving as if the Jets made another crappy draft pick, or the hapless Mets lost yet another miserable game. Not as if the new U.S. Open champion, who’s all of 20 years old, was about to receive her trophy for beating the best women’s player of all-time.

That champion, Naomi Osaka, should have been smiling from here to her native Japan. She had just achieved her craziest dream, beating her idol to win the first Grand Slam of her wildly promising career. Instead, during the post-match awards presentation, she pulled her visor down over her eyes, to cover up tears.

The well-heeled U.S. Open was devolving into something uglier than it had ever seen. Then Serena Williams hit one of the biggest winners of her career.

Read TIME’s August 27, 2018 cover story on Serena Williams.

She put her arm around Osaka to comfort her, and implored the pro-Serena crowd, which was still ticked because chair umpire Carlos Ramos gave her a severe game penalty in the second set of her 6-2, 6-4 loss to Osaka, to stop with the Bronx cheer.

“She just won,” Williams said after the presentation. “I felt like, wow, this isn’t how I felt when I won my first Grand Slam. I definitely don’t want her to feel like that.”

Fans followed Serena’s directive and cut back on the jeers. The moment overwhelmed Osaka. She felt real sorrow for denying Williams what would have been one of the most glorious moments of her legendary career. Williams sits one Grand Slam title short of Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 championships. She could have tied the mark a year removed from almost losing her life. After giving birth to her first child last September, Williams suffered a pulmonary embolism and needed five surgeries.

“I know that she really wanted to have the 24th Grand Slam, right?” Osaka said after the match. “Everyone knows this. It’s on the commercials, it’s everywhere. When I step onto the court, I feel like a different person. I’m not a Serena fan. I’m just a tennis player playing another tennis player. But when I hugged her at the net …” Osaka started tearing up, recalling meeting Williams at mid-court after her win. “When I hugged her at the net, I felt like a little kid again.”

The whole exchange gave a tender twist to what was an otherwise unfortunate affair. Early in the second set, chair umpire Carlos Ramos issued Williams a code violation because he spotted Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, making a hand gesture toward her; on-court coaching is prohibited at Grand Slam matches. After the match,Mouratoglou admitted he was trying to coach Williams. But everyone does it, according to Mouratoglou. “We all know that all the coaches coach at every match, all year long,” says Mouratoglou. “So this is the rule. Then there is the psychology the chair umpire is supposed to have. Tell Serena, ‘I’ve seen your coach do a movement, stop, otherwise you’ll have a warning.’ I don’t understand why he didn’t do that.”

Mouratoglou also said Osaka’s coach, Sascha Bajin — who was Williams’ hitting partner for years — was also coaching during the match. “I don’t tell her what to do on the court,” says Bajin. “It’s more that I tell her ‘good job, stay calm, you got this.’ That’s more motivation.” So no signals? “Hell no,” Bajin says.

Williams insists she didn’t see Mouratoglou’s instructions. “We don’t have signals,” says Williams. “We have never discussed signals.” She made that point clear Ramos. “I don’t cheat to win,” Williams told him. “I’d rather lose.”

Serena Williams Time Magazine Cover
Photograph by Alessandra Sanguinetti—Magnum Photos for TIME

She went up a break in the second set, but Osaka quickly broke back to cut Williams’ lead to 3-2. Frustrated, Williams smashed her racquet, which required Ramos to assess her a second code violation — and dock her a point in the next game. Still miffed that she received the first violation for coaching, Williams started shouting and pointing at Ramos.

“You owe me an apology,” she said. “I have never cheated in my life, I have a daughter and I stand what’s right for her.”

After Osaka broke her serve again to go up 4-3, Williams continued to berate Ramos during the changeover. “Say you’re sorry,” Williams said. She called him a “liar” and a “thief” for taking a point away from her. Ramos assessed her a third code violation, which resulted in a game penalty. Osaka was now up 5-3, a few points away from winning the match.

A tearful Williams, upset that Ramos would take a game away from her for calling him a thief, pleaded her case to tournament referee Brian Earley and WTA supervisor Donna Kelso. “You know how many men do things that are much worse than that,” she told them. The fans turned against Ramos. Osaka jumped around to keep loose during the delay.

In the heat of competition, athletes often lose their cool. Williams should not have pushed Ramos’ buttons during the changeover, especially since she already had two violations, and one more would cost her a game. But officials also can’t be in the business of impacting the outcome of Grand Slam finals. At the end of close basketball games, for example, refs are loathe to call a technical foul that could alter the outcome of the game. Superstars especially have earned more leeway. Unless LeBron James unleashes a slew of in-your-face F-bombs or tackles the official, the ref’s swallowing his whistle.

Calling Ramos a thief wasn’t cool. But that insult doesn’t justify such a crucial call. Many current and former tennis players agreed.

Still, the entire controversy shouldn’t overshadow Osaka’s achievement. She outplayed Williams on Saturday, full stop. Osaka seemed unfazed, firing off aces when Williams had break points, playing nearly flawless tennis in the first set. Osaka had just five unforced errors in the set, while Williams had 13. Williams struggled with her serve: she put just 38% of her serves in play in the first set, while Osaka put 73% of her first serves in play. Williams finished the day with six double faults; Osaka had just one.

If Ramos hadn’t given Williams the game penalty, she still would have had to break Osaka’s serve again in the second set to keep the match alive. Williams won a single break point all afternoon. Osaka ended the match on a 114 miles per hour service winner; she serves big, hits big, and gets her body to tough shots in time. Just like her idol. And Osaka’s just getting started.

Meanwhile, Williams is already considering the lessons of her verbal altercation. She represents much more than her sport, and she knows it. She’s not regretting her actions. “You definitely can’t go back in time,” says Williams. “I can’t sit here and say I wouldn’t say he’s a thief, because I thought he took a game from me. I’ve seen other men call umpires several things. I’m here fighting for women’s equality and all kinds of stuff.”

She thinks the penalty was sexist. “He’s never taken a game from a man because they said ‘thief.’ For me it blows my mind.” She also brought up the code violation that Alize Cornet, of France, received for changing her shirt and briefly exposing her sports bra on the court earlier in the tournament. Men can change shirts in public during a match. “This is outrageous,” says Williams. (Tournament officials have clarified the rule: both men and women can change shirts while sitting in their chairs on court).

“I just feel like that fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions, and that wants to express themselves, and wants to be a strong woman,” Williams says, fighting tears. “They’re going to be allowed to do that because of today. Maybe it didn’t work out for me. But It’s going to work out for the next person.”

Read TIME’s August 27, 2018 cover story on Serena Williams.

 

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In the heart of Europe, Habsburg family homes offer a haunting glimpse into history

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On the 28th of June 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in Sarajevo by a Serb terrorist, thus setting in motion the events of World War I, and forever changing the world. It’s intriguing to imagine how different the world might be today had Ferdinand not taken that fateful trip to Sarajevo that day. Would we have had World War II? Would Nazi Germany have happened? Would America have become the ‘last best hope of Earth?’

Well, we can better understand history by going to look at the place Franz Ferdinand lived and spent time before his departure to Sarajevo. By visiting and experiencing the Habsburg family homes around Europe, we can build a picture of what the family was like and gives us a unique look back at history.

Konopiste

The first port of call is checking out Konopiste, the bohemian castle where the Archduke lived during the time he took his ill-fated trip to Sarajevo. It’s curious to think that this three-story chateau, just outside Benesov in the Czech Republic, probably wouldn’t be a tourist attraction were it not for Ferdinand’s untimely demise. If you want to see an important slice of history, the castle museum actually has the bullet that killed him on display. It’s a little morbid, but it shows how important an event this was, and how it shouldn’t be forgotten.

Kaiservilla

Another important home that needs to be seen is known as Kaiservilla. This stunning mansion was one of the summer homes of Emperor Franz Joseph I, and his wife, Empress Elizabeth. It was at this breathtaking address that Franz Joseph signed the decree that would launch World War I, following the assassination of Ferdinand – his nephew. It’s worth wondering whether Franz Joseph could have envisaged the impact his actions would have on the world. He died in 1916, before the end of the First World War, so he never got to see the legacy of his action unfold across the world. So, this is a residence that plays an important role in world history as well and should be remembered as such.

Miramare Castle

Moving to Italy now, and the Gulf of Trieste, to find the 19th Century castle Miramare. This is not only a stunning castle, but it’s also one that plays a big role in the development of historical events. The castle was designed and built by Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, who would later become Emperor of Mexico. He was the younger brother of Franz Joseph I, and also an uncle of the assassinated Franz Ferdinand. The castle has some truly stunning grounds that are well worth exploring, and it underwent extensive renovation work and restoration and is currently a big tourist attraction.

These are a few of the important residences throughout Europe that are incredibly important. They might just seem like stunning touristy attractions, but the families who lived in these places helped to shape the future of the world. In fact, were it not for these people, the world could well end up being a very different place.

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Who knew this thrift-shop find would offer hours of priceless family bonding?

by

Laura Falin

posted in Life

When my husband brought home a record player he found at a thrift store last year, I rolled my eyes. We are not skinny-jean-wearing, man-bun-loving hipsters. Actually, my husband has very little hair at all but we do not speak of this. I thought this vinyl business was a passing interest that he’d have for a week or two and then we’d all move on and I’d have to find somewhere to put this piece of junk.

But the kids were intrigued. They were fascinated by everything that went into actually playing music. It wasn’t just a push of an on-screen button. There was work involved – finding the records, putting them on the turntable, placing the arm and the needle on the vinyl, hitting play, adjusting an actual knob that turned. It was a whole process, and they began to clamor to pick the music at dinnertime.

Going back to vinyl record albums also broadened our listening repertoire. If I download music for us, it’s usually kids’ songs or current music. Even satellite radio stations from different decades tend to focus on only the most popular songs of the time.  But the record player inspired us to branch out. My parents heard we had a player and sent the records they collected as newlyweds – groups like The Supremes and Simon and Garfunkel. They gave us records of classical music beyond what you hear on the radio. We bought records at thrift stores as well, which weren’t exactly recent. We found early Elton John and Stevie Wonder. Michael Jackson’s first album. Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (anyone? Anyone have any idea what I’m talking about? See, this is why you need a record player.)

Our thrift store record trips became something the kids looked forward to. Their dad would take one or two of them with him, and they’d browse together, picking up anything that looked good, or unfamiliar, or very, very strange (you can do that when you’re spending a dollar a record). They’d come running in the house, full of excitement to play their latest find.

I promise I’m not one of those people who’s obsessed with the past and thinks everything was better then. I love my podcasts and my satellite radio and these tiny amazing music machines that let me listen while I’m on a run. That record player, though – there’s something special going on there.

Does your family have an unusual bonding activity?

Photos courtesy of Laura Falin

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AIG to offer travel insurance for Expedia customers, but should you buy it?

AIG is teaming up with popular booking site Expedia to offer travel insurance worldwide.

But do you know when you should buy travel insurance and when you shouldn’t?

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New player in travel insurance industry

You may remember the name AIG from when it had a dramatic near-total collapse during the 2008-2009 financial meltdown. But now the veteran insurer is slowly getting back into the game with a new insurance initiative.

Reuters reports AIG will offer travel insurance when customers are booking flights, hotels, travel packages and cruises on Expedia’s namesake site, as well as on other sites it own like CheapTickets, Orbitz and Travelocity.

The Expedia deal actually marks the second recent move in the travel insurance field for AIG. In October, it reached an agreement with United Airlines to sell booking insurance to its customers.

Keep the following pointers in mind if you’re thinking about buying travel insurance:

When do you need it?

Money expert Clark Howard has long said that travel insurance policies should always be purchased when you are taking a cruise, a tour or traveling on a trip that requires prepayment of thousands of dollars.

When don’t you need it?

Say you’re grabbing a $ 49 one-way fare from a cheap carrier like Southwest. It wouldn’t make sense to buy a trip insurance policy on such a cheap fare.

Incidentally, you can score that $ 49 Southwest deal on our sister site, ClarkDeals.com!

What kind of coverage does travel insurance offer?

Policies are designed to protect consumers by giving them refunds in the event of illness to the traveler or immediate family member, or to provide a refund in the case of company, tour operator or airline default.

But here’s the thing: You’ve got to read the policy carefully to see what it covers and what it excludes. If you don’t have time to read through the entire trip insurance document, at least read through the “Summary of Coverages” section.

How much does it cost?

You should expect your policy to run you about 5% of the total cost of a trip, Clark says. You can comparison shop for a trip insurance policy that suits your needs at InsureMyTrip.com. Be sure to pay special attention to any exclusions!

Know who you shouldn’t buy a policy from

Always purchase a policy independent of the cruise, tour or vacation planner. Never purchase the trip protection plan from the trip organizer. They are designed to protect only the company and not the consumer.

Bad weather isn’t a shoe-in when you want to file a claim

When it comes to the issue of weather, coverage will vary widely by policy issuer. Depending on the trip policy you buy, it may help you with weather or it may not.

“You really have to survey the marketplace to see if your particular weather circumstance will be covered,” Clark says. “A lot of the insurance policies offer false hope on that front. That’s why you have to read the policy before you buy it.”

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Britain’s 18th Century Faux Pas Offer A Warning For America

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

The United States may have declared independence on July 4, 1776, but joined the international community in 1778 with a little help from France. Traditional narratives of the American Revolutionary War often dismiss French support of the then fledgling republic as another chapter in an interminable cultural conflict between Britons and Gauls. However, that interpretation disregards the British government’s isolationist view and missteps that helped spark the Franco-American friendship.

Drunk on its success in the Seven Years War and ruler of a vast and nearly uncontested global empire, Britain pulled away from Europe. George III’s government believed the nation’s future lay overseas and planned to minimize its European footprint, opening opportunities to focus on its trading empire. Flush with cash from imperial assets Britain would be able to dictate policy in the region, wielding its economic prowess and sizable naval presence as cudgels.

The flawed strategy ignored the reality that strength invites contest and discounted the possibility that even traditional rivals would ally against a new common threat.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Target To Offer Shoppers A Breather After Thanksgiving

NEW YORK (AP) — Target is offering shoppers a breather after holiday shopping on Thanksgiving.

The Minneapolis-based discounter says it will open at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving and then close at midnight local time. Its stores will then reopen at 6 a.m. local time on Friday until 10 p.m., 11 p.m. or midnight local time.

That’s different from last year when it kept the stores open straight through the night.

Target again will offer Black Friday deals on Target.com on the morning of Thanksgiving. In a lead-up to the holiday, it will dangle select deals starting Monday, as it has for the past four years.

Like other retailers, Target is trying to figure out what makes sense for its customers who are jumping back and forth between online and the stores. It learned that while shoppers like the opportunity to shop on Thanksgiving and Black Friday at its stores, the crowds thinned out in the wee hours of the morning. Store executives also said the new hours gives employees a chance to refresh merchandise.

Most Macy’s stores will open at 5 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving and close at 2 a.m., similar to last year. It will reopen 6 a.m. local time on Black Friday.

But some stores are sticking with marathon shopping hours.

Toys R Us will open its doors at 5 p.m. local time on Thanksgiving and remain open for 30 straight hours of shopping.

Like many retailers, Target is also pushing more incentives for customers to come back to the store and trying to make it easier to get deals.

For the first time, when customers spend $ 50 on the day after Thanksgiving, they will receive a coupon for 20 percent off a future shopping trip. And nearly all of Target’s Black Friday online deals will be eligible for pickup at the store, up significantly from last year.

Also, new this year: discounts will be applied automatically at checkout, with no coupons or codes required. Target also wants to reward its most loyal guests. On the day before Thanksgiving, holders of its branded credit card will get access to more than 100 Black Friday deals, compared to a handful in past years.

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8 Times to Accept a Lowball Offer

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Our 2017 List of Nation’s Largest Black Businesses Offer Strategies to Grow Your Business

For 45 years, the BE 100s—the nation’s largest black businesses—have demonstrated enduring qualities of fortitude, dexterity, ingenuity, and, yes, swagger. Throughout it all, one word best describes their predisposition to forward momentum: Evolution.

 

That’s evident with the composition of today’s BE 100s. The first Top 100 had total revenues of $ 473.4 million. The 2017 Top 100 produced total revenues of $ 27. 5 billion. List leaders: Privately-held IT powerhouse World Wide Technology, with an electrifying $ 9.3 billion in revenues, and workforce solutions juggernaut The Act-1 Group, which generated a whopping $ 2.8 billion in revenues.

The Top 100 is overwhelmingly composed of tech companies and manufacturers serving as vendors for the world’s largest corporations. In fact, the next three companies in the BE 100s billion-dollar revenue club supply parts to the automotive sector: Bridgewater Interiors, L.L.C. (No. 3 on the Top 100 with $ $ 2.2 billion in revenues); Piston Group (No. 4 with $ 1.6 billion in revenues); and Modular Assembly Innovations L.L.C. (No. 5 with $ 1.2 billion).

(Image: Bridgewater Interiors)

 

The other rankings include our BE AUTO 50, led by billionaire serial entrepreneur Robert L. Johnson’s mega dealership RLJ McLarty Landers Automotive Holdings L.L.C with $ 1.6 billion, and BE financial services firms: the 15 largest banks; 10 top asset managers; 10 leading private equity firms; and five top investment banks engaged in underwriting of taxable and tax-exempt securities, respectively.

In covering these top companies, our editors discovered example of evolutionary trends that can help your business succeed:

Tech Marks the Spot

 

Companies that clinch the sector or apply tech innovation to its operations will be the ultimate drivers. For example, tech firms continue to surge as the largest segment on the Top 100, representing 37.8% of total revenues.

(Image: iStock/monsitj)

 

BE financial services firms have been increasingly powered by Silicon Valley. Take Vista Equity Partners: the No. 1 BE PRIVATE EQUITY FIRM grew capital under management by 50%, from $ 20 billion to $ 30 billion. Among its portfolio companies: Events management leader Cvent and cloud-based social media innovator Lithium Technologies. And in March, Williams Capital (No. 3 in taxable securities with $ 2.97 billion in lead issues and No. 5 in tax-exempt securities with $ 801 million in lead issues on the BE INVESTMENT BANKS list) was among the underwriters of one of the largest U.S. tech transactions: The $ 28 billion IPO of Snap Inc., parent of the mobile app Snapchat.

Growth Through Strategic Partnerships is Vital

 

In this unpredictable business environment, companies will need alliances for expansion. Take Loop Capital Markets L.L.C.  (No. 1 in taxable securities with $ 6 billion in lead issues and No. 2 in tax-exempt securities with $ 4.1 billion in lead issues on the BE INVESTMENT BANKS list). To take advantage of the need to rebuild America. The New York Post reported in April that the firm teamed up with Magic Johnson Enterprises to launch the JLC Infrastructure Funds to access trillions that will be spent on roads, bridges, and other transportation-related projects.

Another Means of Preservation and Progression: Global Investment

 

In April, Illinois Service Federal (No. 11 on the BE BANKS list with $ 105.7 million in assets) teamed with Allpoint, the world’s largest surcharge-free ATM network to enable its customers to use 4,000 ATMs across the city for free. Moreover, the Chicago-based bank plans to increase homeowner and small business lending by $ 20 million this year.

(Image: iStock/courtneyk)

 

These steps have been taken by the bank’s new owners, Nduom Group, a Ghanaian family-owned conglomerate in industries such as investment banking, hospitality, and media throughout Africa, Europe, and North America. They became ISF Bank’s largest shareholder after making an investment of $ 9 million of fresh capital to save it from a possible closure or takeover by another institution. “The closure of other black banks leaves us with a great responsibility to bear in Chicago because the black community will be looking to us to serve their needs,”says Papa Kwesi Nduom, chairman of ISF Bank. “It’s a big responsibility, one that we accept.”

Reinforcing Brand Leadership

 

Last November, Radio One Inc. changed its corporate name to Urban One (No. 9 on the Top 100 with $ 456 million in revenues) as part of its thrust to solidify its position as the nation’s largest media company serving African American audiences.

(Image: urban1.com)

 

In an interview last year with Washington Business Journal, CEO Alfred Liggins maintained the move was “a long time coming” given that 50% of the company’s holdings were not in broadcast radio and investors in the publicly traded company had requested the shift. In addition to the name change, Urban One initiated a buyout of Comcast’s stake in TV One—no longer listed separately on the Top 100—and this May it announced that its iONE Digital division acquired Madame Noire, Bossip.com, and Hip Hop Wired websites, adding it to existing digital properties that include HelloBeautiful, NewsOne, and GlobalGrind, making it one of the largest digital outlets for black consumers.

Strengthening Ties to the Black Community “By Any Means Necessary”

 

As a result of the Black Lives Matter Movement, African Americans, including grassroots activists, professionals, and celebrities, have been promoting collective economics. As a result, BE banks became the beneficiaries of the burgeoning #BankBlack Movement. Assets and deposits rose in 2016 as African Americans placed millions of dollars in these institutions. Now, black banking leadership like Teri Williams of OneUnited Bank (No. 2 on the BE BANKS list with $ 655 million in assets) want to make sure that the movement evolves into a mindset.

(Image: Instagram/killermike)

 

At a panel at the 2017 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit, she asserted the institution is “unapologetically black” and committed to addressing the needs of black communities. Although OneUnited does not have the resources to compete with majority banks, Williams argues that it offers services that address pressing needs in our community, including financial literacy, credit repair, and wealth-building consultation. “It’s the threshold for a community to do business with ourselves,” says Williams. “Once you bank black, you don’t go back.”

Additional reporting Jeffrey W. McKinney, Lisa Fraser, and Selena Hill

Click here to access the entire digital version of the 2017 May/June issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE featuring our 2017 BE 100s report. 

View the full list of the 2017 BE 100s here

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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WATCH: Valuing What You Have to Offer (Fear that others won’t)

You have gifts and talents to share… trust me on this. But doubting the value of these gifts – and the fear that others won’t see the value – can stop you from sharing what you have to offer… or from allowing yourself to be compensated for what you do. I hope this will help you more fully appreciate what you offer, which will help others do the same.

If you are new to tapping, it will be beneficial to also watch the first episode in the “Tap Out Your Fears” series — which explains the basics of EFT — click here.

As with any of my tapping videos, this is an abbreviated process for releasing uncomfortable feelings and enhancing good ones. Some folks may find their fear dissolve after just one tapping session, but for others, it will take some repetition, bringing the discomfort down little by little each time. (Still others may uncover specific issues that are best addressed directly with a wellness practitioner.) In any event, this brief video should help at least take the edge off the discomfort, freeing you up to enjoy life much more. Let us know how it helped you!

For a picture of the tapping points — and more info on EFT — click here.

Tapping can sometimes bring up long-buried emotions, which is why I state that, before tapping along, folks must take full responsibility for their own well-being. For more information about that, please read this disclaimer.

Until next time, feel free to tap along with any of the many videos I have on YouTube or the many recordings I have at www.TapWithBrad.com.

For EFT with kids, please visit: www.TheWizardsWish.com.

For more by Brad Yates, click here.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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Dem Rep Comes To His Fashion Senses, Accepts GQ’s Makeover Offer

All it took was a purple polo and gray bow tie for Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) to make a big wardrobe change.

Polis donned the questionable combo while speaking on the House floor Tuesday, sparking a spirited set of opinions from GQ writer Dennis Tang.

jared polis

“Worst ever?” Tang asked. “Yeah, right, how bad could it possiblyyyyyeeesh, okay, yeah, now that I look at it. Definitely. Is that a purple golf polo? With a bow tie?”

Polis took the criticism in stride, accepting the magazine’s offer.


Style – The Huffington Post
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