Comcast Buys Over 30% of Sky on Open Market, Seeks More Before Takeover Deadline

Comcast said Tuesday it had snapped up more than 30% of the shares in Sky, the European pay-TV service that it is in the process of buying. The U.S. cable giant has a Sky-endorsed offer for the company on the table, but it can also openly buy Sky shares, except from shareholders in the U.S. […]

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Kavanaugh Accuser Set to Testify in Open Hearing on Thursday

Chris Wattie/Reuters

Christine Blasey Ford, the Palo Alto University professor who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her decades ago, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in an open hearing Thursday, her lawyers officially announced on Sunday.

The news caps off a dizzying week of back-and-forth negotiations that have thrust Ford into the national spotlight and put Kavanaugh and his supporters—including President Trump—on the defensive.

“Despite actual threats to her safety and her life, Dr. Ford believes it is important for Senators to hear directly from her about the sexual assault committed against her,” Ford’s legal team said in a statement Sunday.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Serena Williams Breaks Silence on U.S. Open Controversy

Serena Williams has maintained that she did not receive coaching in the U.S. Open women’s singles final in her first public comments since the post-match press conference.

In a forthcoming interview with Australian talk show The Project, the tennis superstar refuted comments that her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, made about gesturing to her from the stands during her matchup with Japan’s Naomi Osaka.

“We all know that all the coaches coach at every match, all year long,” Mouratoglou said. “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.”

Chair umpire Carlos Ramos issued Williams a code violation when he spotted Mouratoglou making a hand gesture toward her. This led to an argument between Williams and Ramos that escalated throughout the final. “I don’t cheat to win, I’d rather lose,” Williams was heard telling him.

“He [Mouratoglou] said he made a motion,” Williams says in a clip from the interview. “I don’t understand what he was talking about. We’ve never had signals.”

Williams also reasserted her belief that a gender-based double standard exists in tennis. “I just don’t understand,” Williams told The Project. “If you’re female, you should be able to do even half of what a guy can do.”

 

Sports – TIME

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Brazil is ready to launch small commercial rockets from its space base near the equator as soon as it agrees to safeguard U.S. technology that is dominant in the industry, the Brazilian Air Force officer managing the space program said on Friday.


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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.

 

Sports – TIME

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Serena Williams Was Fined $17,000 for Code Violations in U.S. Open Final

(NEW YORK) — Serena Williams has been fined a total of $ 17,000 for three code violations during the U.S. Open final.

The tournament referee’s office Sunday docked Williams $ 10,000 for “verbal abuse” of chair umpire Carlos Ramos, $ 4,000 for being warned for coaching, and $ 3,000 for breaking her racket.

The money comes out of her prize money of $ 1.85 million as the runner-up. Williams lost to Naomi Osaka in Saturday’s final.

Under Article III, Section P, “verbal abuse” is defined as “a statement about an official, opponent, sponsor, spectator or other person that implies dishonesty or is derogatory, insulting or otherwise abusive.” The section says a player is subject to a fine up to $ 20,000 for each violation.

There are separate categories for coaching (“Communications of any kind, audible or visible, between a player and a coach may be construed as coaching”) and for abuse of rackets or equipment.

Williams was penalized a point and then a game by chair umpire Carl Ramos in the final.

Williams was cited for the verbal abuse for calling him a “thief.”

Sports – TIME

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U.S. Open Chair Umpire Carlos Ramos Says He’s ‘Fine’ After Serena Williams Controversy

(LISBON, Portugal) — The chair umpire who penalized Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final has spoken publicly for the first time since the match, saying he is “fine.”

Ramos, who is from Portugal, spoke briefly to Portuguese newspaper Tribuna Expresso this week.

“I’m fine, given the circumstances,” Ramos said, according to the newspaper. “It’s a delicate situation, but umpiring ‘a la carte’ doesn’t exist. Don’t worry about me.”

The newspaper said Ramos received hundreds of messages of support from family, colleagues, players and former players. He said he has avoided social media and only reads “balanced” articles about the incident. He also refrained from going out the day after the final to avoid problems, according to the report.

The International Tennis Federation has defended Ramos for his actions during the final. The U.S. Open fined Williams for her three code violations.

The WTA later called for equal treatment of all tennis players and coaching to be allowed across the sport.

Ramos has been assigned to officiate the Davis Cup semifinal matches between the United States and Croatia, a best-of-five series which begins Friday and ends Sunday in Zadar, Croatia.

Sports – TIME

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Serena Williams’ powerful legacy was obvious at the 2018 U.S. Open

Serena Williams’ powerful legacy was obvious at the 2018 U.S. Open


Serena Williams’ powerful legacy was obvious at the 2018 U.S. Open

This past weekend, 20-year-old newcomer Naomi Osaka defeated Serena Williams in the final for the women’s single title of the U.S. Open tournament.

Not only was Serena the more established fan favorite, but the outcome of the game was called into question after Williams was penalized multiple times by the umpire—first because he judged a gesture from Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou to be illegal coaching. Williams contested the umpire’s call. “You owe me an apology,” Williams told the umpire multiple times. “I have never cheated. I have a daughter and I stand for what is right for her.” Williams didn’t back down as the match went on, later telling him, “You stole a point from me; you’re a thief.” The umpire then docked Williams a game for “verbal abuse.”

When the tournament referees were called, Williams—visibly upset—told them, “There are men out here that do a lot worse, but because I’m a woman you’re going to take this away from me. That is not right.”

She’s not wrong: Male tennis players are known to do much more than call the umpire a thief. Players like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Andy Murray have sworn at or threatened umpires without being docked a game. Even white female players like CoCo Vandeweghe and Victoria Azarenka have had angry outbursts (Vandeweghe once called her opponent a “fucking bitch”) without ever being docked a game.

It’s at once empowering to hear Williams calmly but forcefully state, “You owe me an apology,” knowing that she’s held to a higher (often impossible) standard than her white and male peers—and, at the same time, infuriating to know she still has to demand fair treatment when she’s arguably the greatest tennis player alive. Though the call wasn’t overturned, the crowd was undeniably on her side, cheering as she yelled at the umpire and booing during the closing ceremony after her loss.

Serena Williams on the court at U.S. Open
Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

This was the second year in a row where both women in the singles final of the U.S. Open were Black. Last year’s match was between Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys. Both of those women, like Osaka, are in their 20s and have said that, as children, they were inspired by Serena and her sister Venus.

I’m a similar age as Stephens, Keys, and Osaka. And as a Black girl from a tennis obsessed family, I also grew up watching and adoring the Williams sisters—unaware of the oppressively white history of the sport. It’s undeniable that Serena and Venus inspired many young Black girls to pick up a tennis racquet, even changing the demographics of the sport.

Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams hugging at U.S. Open
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

it speaks to the unparalleled staying power of Serena’s career that she is now playing against the women she inspired 20 years ago.

Not only does this staying power reflect how long she has remained at the top of her game as an athlete, but how she has managed to thrive in a world that has been consistently hostile towards her.

We watched Serena as she became the top player in what was previously considered a “country club” sport. We watched her weather constant racism and sexism, from comments about her looks, to criticism about her clothing, to how she wasn’t as feminine as her white counterparts, to being called “an animal.” We then watched her continue to be triumphant on the court, breaking nearly every record there is.

Seeing this has, I feel, affected me on a cellular level, adjusting my posture, making me stand taller and more self-assured. It was rarely a question of “if” Serena would win, just “when” and “by how much.”

Serena Williams at 2018 U.S. Open
Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Representation is too shallow a word for what Serena means to me and to other Black girls. She’s a blueprint for survival and excellence. And knowing what she’s had to survive only makes it harder to hear the strain in her voice as she stood up to the umpires in this weekend’s match.

Naomi Osaka, a Haitian Japanese player, probably understands this strain better than most.

Though she has faced and will face different challenges than Serena, she’s constantly been asked about how she reconciles her American, Haitian, and Japanese heritage, and a video recently surfaced of Chrissie Evert inexplicably bowing towards her after the trophy ceremony.

It’s a shame—though not Serena’s fault—that Naomi couldn’t enjoy her moment because of the effects of the umpire’s behavior. Serena is a fierce competitor, but it’s clear that her anger during the match was directed at the umpire and referees—not at Osaka. When the crowd booed Osaka after she won the match, Serena stepped in to put her arm around a tearful Naomi. Williams then told the crowd, “I just want to tell you guys that she played well and this is her first Grand Slam…. Congratulations Naomi, no more booing.”

Naomi has never shied away from her adoration for her lifelong idol, Serena Williams.

Days before the match, when asked if she had any words for her soon to be competitor, Osaka said only, “I love you!

While accepting her trophy, the overwhelmed first time Grand Slam-winner said, “It was always my dream to play Serena in the U.S. Open finals, so I’m really glad that I was able to do that.” When she was later asked about her moment of victory, Osaka said in a press conference, “When I step on the court, I’m not a Serena fan, I’m just a tennis player playing another tennis player. But when I hugged her at the net, I felt like a little kid again.”

Many have discussed how the controversy surrounding the match overshadowed the brilliance of both athletes. But sadly, it has also overshadowed the fact that just a year before playing in the final this weekend, Serena gave birth and nearly died from medical complications.

Serena’s athletic resiliency is unparalleled, and beyond that, her purpose is clear and focused.

Serena Williams at U.S. Open
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Thinly veiled racism and sexism in unflattering photos, racist illustrations, and headlines call Serena’s argument an “outburst” or the “meltdown” of a “sore loser.” They paint her as selfish and bratty, which is especially inaccurate considering that Serena has continuously expressed that she was not only standing up for herself.

In the press conference following the match, she powerfully stated, “The fact that I have to go through this is just an example for the next person that has emotions and [wants] to express themselves and [wants] to be a strong woman, and they’re gonna be allowed to do that because of today. Maybe it didn’t work out for me, but it’s gonna work out for the next person.”

Serena’s career is far from over, but the U.S. Open final reminded us what her legacy ahas already done.

She won’t be silenced or denied, and her ultimate goal is to make conditions better for future girls. But in many ways, she has accomplished this: She’s inspired an incalculable number of Black girls, including Naomi Osaka, to follow in her excellent and morally righteous footsteps.

The post Serena Williams’ powerful legacy was obvious at the 2018 U.S. Open appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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US Open winner Naomi Osaka redefines ‘Japanese’

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Lower East Side ‘already gone’ to gentrification as Marshalls set to open next to Katz’s deli

The pastrami at Katz’s Delicatessen isn’t the only thing that’s salty on the Lower East Side these days.

In two weeks, Marshalls will open in the ever-evolving lower Manhattan nabe in a sparkling new luxury condo building that towers over the iconic 130-year-old institution. Some longtime residents…

Life Style – New York Daily News

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Novak Djokovic on U.S. Open Women’s Final: ‘Chair Umpire Should Not Have Pushed’ Serena Williams

Novak Djokovic and Steve Simon of the WTA both shared their thoughts on what took place at Saturday’s U.S. Open Final with Serena Williams.

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Meryl Streep Reacting to This Intense U. S. Open Game Is the Stuff of Great Drama

At the 2018 U. S. Open, Meryl Streep defended her meme champion title.

As Wimbledon winner Novak Djokovic took down Juan Martin del Potro in the U.S. Open men’s final on Sunday in New York City, the internet went wild for another star in the mix: Meryl Streep.

It was an intense game between two top tennis players. Djokovic eventually clinched the victory 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 to capture his 14th Grand Slam title. But Del Potro certainly gave Djokovic a run for his money.

Captured by the cameras courtside, Streep was clearly on the edge of her seat — and in distress. And the internet was quick to recognize the meme potential.

It was a little like a play within a play, with every move unfolding on her face.

You’ll see Streep get emotive in character in the upcoming second season of HBO’s Big Little Lies. But until then, here are the reactions to her award-worthy performance.

Some thought she resembled a certain emoji come to life.

Gracious as always, she was aware that cameras and eyes were drifting away from the court and onto her expressive face. On-air commentaros even gave her a “Bravo.” Bravo indeed.

Sports – TIME

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Billie Jean King, Nicki Minaj and More Show Support for Serena Williams After Controversial U.S. Open

Athletes and celebrities alike have shown support for Serena Williams on social media after an umpire gave her multiple violations during Saturday’s U.S. Open final.

They have called out his actions as being sexist, racist and just plain inappropriate at such a crucial point in a championship match.

Famous athletes, like tennis legend Billie Jean King, expressed dismay at umpire Carlos Ramos’ treatment of Williams on Twitter, writing that female players are often treated differently than male players in all kinds of sports.

“When a woman is emotional, she’s ‘hysterical’ and she’s penalized for it,” King tweeted. “When a man does the same, he’s ‘outspoken’ and there are no repercussions.”

Ramos issued three violations against Williams — which will cost the tennis star $ 17,000 — towards the end of the U.S. open final, which she lost to 20-year-old Naomi Osaka. The violations were for coaching (supposedly Ramos saw Williams’ coach signaling to her during a game), breaking her racket and behavior Romas deemed “verbal abuse.” Many believe his violations impacted the ultimate outcome of the championship match.

His controversial calls were not only a blow to Williams’ legacy — who would have tied Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles — but also cast a shadow over Osaka’s win, which should have been a historic moment for the young athlete. She is the first Japanese player to win the U.S. Open.

Public figures on social media also pointed out that umpires have given warnings, or no violations at all, to male players who have argued similarly in the past.

Others championed the camaraderie between the two players and the example of support that was shown.

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Others widely shared Sally Jenkin’s op-ed in the Washington Post, in which she said that the umpire “abused his authority.”

“Ramos took what began as a minor infraction and turned it into one of the nastiest and most emotional controversies in the history of tennis, all because he couldn’t take a woman speaking sharply to him,” wrote Jenkins. “Male players have sworn and cursed at the top of their lungs, hurled and blasted their equipment into shards, and never been penalized as Williams was in the second set of the U.S. Open final.”

Sports – TIME

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Naomi Osaka upsets Serena Williams, who received game penalty, to win 2018 U.S. Open

Osaka, 20, is the first Japanese woman to win a Grand Slam title, and denied Williams her record-tying 24th major title. The match included a game penalty against Williams after she argued with the umpire.
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Naomi Osaka Just Won the Women’s US Open. Here’s What She’s Getting

When Naomi Osaka beat out Serena Williams in a controversial match, she became the women’s singles champion at the U.S. Open Saturday night. However, she walked off the court with more than just the prestige that comes with winning the nation’s most famous tennis tournament. She also got a $ 3.8 million check.

The prize, taken from a $ 53 million pool designated for this year’s event, is a record-breaker. It’s “the largest payout in U.S. Open history,” according to a news release. And even though Williams may have lost the match, she also got a piece of it: As the women’s singles runner-up, Williams received $ 1.85 million. (Semifinalists Madison Keys and Anastasija Sevastova, who got knocked out of the tournament on Thursday, each earned $ 925,000.)

The cash is sure to boost Osaka’s already rising status in the tennis world. According to the Women’s Tennis Association, the 20-year-old has earned over $ 3.2 million in prize money in her career so far. She’s picking up major brand deals, too: Osaka has appeared in ads for Adidas and is sponsored by Japanese TV station WOWOW and Cup Noodles maker Nissin.

The U.S. Open is known for awarding men and women equal pay — but it wasn’t always like that. The first modern U.S. Open, in 1968, gave its male winner $ 14,000, while its female winner got just $ 6,000, according to the New York Times.

Billie Jean King, the namesake of the tennis center where the U.S. Open is now played, fought for prize parity in the ’70s. King, fed up with pocketing thousands of dollars less than her male colleagues, told organizers of the 1973 U.S. Open she wasn’t going to participate unless competitors of all genders got equal pay. King even persuaded Ban deodorant to make up the $ 55,000 difference in the awards.

“Everyone thinks women should be thrilled when we get crumbs. I want women to have the cake, the icing, the cherry on top, too,” King said in 2016.

Coincidentally, it was Williams’ sister, Venus, who pushed the team behind the Wimbledon tournament to finally give men and women equal prizes in 2007. Both of the Williams women joined King earlier this year in calling for the gender pay gap to be eliminated in all jobs.

Sports – TIME

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Move Over Roger Federer. This Move Is the Real Upset at the U.S. Open 2018

The tennis world may be reeling over five-time U.S. Open champion Roger Federer’s unexpected loss to John Millman, ranked far below Federer at number 55, but fans at Arthur Ashe stadium know the real upset took place before the match—someone was spotted dipping chicken fingers into soda.

ESPN reportedly broadcast the abhorrent behavior during the Madison Keys-Dominika Cibulkova match-up at the Queens, N.Y. tennis championship on Monday afternoon and reporting the crime against chicken quickly overshadowed live commenting on the match on Twitter.

The woman’s preferred chicken tender pairing soon became the talk of social media, as she seemingly managed to gross out the entire internet with one dunk of deep-fried chicken. The offensive dipping picked up traction online as the shocking snack pairing went viral. Even trusted snack source @Faturday deemed it “mutant” behavior:

While this may be the first time Federer has ever lost to a player ranked outside of the top 50 at the U.S. Open, it’s also the first time that loss has been overshadowed by a chicken nugget.

Sports – TIME

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Serena Williams is heading to the U.S. Open Finals a year after giving birth—and almost dying

Serena Williams is heading to the U.S. Open Finals a year after giving birth—and almost dying


Serena Williams is heading to the U.S. Open Finals a year after giving birth—and almost dying

Serena Williams is just one match away from achieving her record 24th Grand Slam singles title. The 36-year-old tennis champ advanced to the U.S. Open finals on Thursday, September 6th, beating Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 6-0 in a tense semi-finals match on the grounds of the USTA National Tennis Center in Queens, New York City.

She’ll now play in the Saturday, August 8th, women’s final. A win there will see her name listed in the history books, tied with Margaret Court for the all-time record of the most Grand Slam singles titles ever. The feat—already outstanding—is even more remarkable, as Williams’ life was in serious jeopardy just one year ago.

After giving birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia on September 1st, 2017, via emergency cesarean section, the athlete had a near-death experience involving pulmonary embolism—forcing her to spend the next six weeks in bed.

Williams has also struggled with postpartum depression, and previously opened up about the pain she felt leaving her daughter’s side to return to the tennis court. “I didn’t think I’d be this attached,” Williams told TIME in August. “It’s difficult to leave her.”

When she did get back to work, victory wasn’t immediate.

Prior to the Open, Williams played in five tournaments. In August, there was a crushing loss in the opening round of a U.S. Open tune-up tournament in San Jose, California. One month earlier, Williams made it to the final women’s singles round of Wimbledon, but was defeated.

“It’s obviously disappointing, but I can’t be disappointed,” she said in an emotional speech after the Wimbledon loss. “I have so much to look forward to. I’m literally just getting started.”

“I dedicated that to all the moms out there who’ve been through a lot,” she added. “If I can do it, you guys can do it too.”

Tennis still, though, has remained the one thing Williams points to as something she can do for herself, she told TIME.

I’m not done yet, simple,” she said. “My story doesn’t end here.”

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“Did Momma win?”

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

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Papa bear. Baby bear not amused.

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Throughout it all, husband Alexis Ohanian has been nothing but supportive, cheering her on from the sidelines.

Williams has also had a little cheerleader in daughter Alexis Olympia, who — in a sweet photo posted to Instagram on Thursday night — adorably modeled a tiny version of the black tulle dress created for her by Off-White designer Virgil Abloh for the athlete’s first match at the U.S. Open last week.

“Did Momma win?” Williams captioned the shot.

Minutes after her win on Thursday night, Williams told ESPN, “A year ago, I was fighting for literally my life at the hospital after I had the baby. Every day I step on this court, I am grateful that I have an opportunity to play this sport.”

“No matter what happens in any match—semis, finals—I just feel like I’ve already won,” she said.

This article originally appeared on People.com

The post Serena Williams is heading to the U.S. Open Finals a year after giving birth—and almost dying appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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Rising Tennis Star Naomi Osaka Always Looked Up to Serena Williams. Now She’s Facing Her in the U.S. Open Final

Last year, Naomi Osaka commanded the world’s attention when she bested the U.S. Open’s defending champion Angelique Kerber in a stunning upset in the very first round. This year, the 20-year-old upstart has a shot at claiming the title herself as she challenges six-time champion Serena Williams in a historic final on Saturday.

In what Osaka termed her “dream match” against her idol, Saturday’s game pits tennis’ rising star against one of the game’s ultimate greats — if Williams wins she would tie Margaret Court for the overall record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles. And while this isn’t the first time two black players have competed for the women’s singles title, it is the first time both of their last names were not Williams.

The two have competed only once before, and it’s the newcomer who holds the upper hand. As Serena herself put it, Osaka is “a really good, talented player. Very dangerous.”

Ahead of Saturday’s face off, here’s what to know about the new kid on the block.

BNP Paribas Open - Day 14
Harry How—Getty Images Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrates a match point in the WTA final over Daria Kasatkina of Russia during the BNP Paribas Open on March 18, 2018 in Indian Wells, California.

A first for Japan

For her country, Osaka has already succeeded in a major milestone: She is the first Japanese woman to reach the final of any Grand Slam. And she’s currently her country’s top-ranked player.

Yet in Japan, where racial homogeneity is prized and ethnic background comprises a big part of cultural belonging, Osaka is considered hafu or half Japanese. Born to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father, Osaka grew up in New York. She holds dual American and Japanese passports, but plays under Japan’s flag.

Some hafu, like Miss Universe Japan Ariana Miyamoto, have spoken publicly about the discrimination the term can confer. “I wonder how a hafu can represent Japan,” one Facebook user wrote of Miyamoto, according to Al Jazeera America’s translation.

For her part, Osaka has spoken repeatedly about being proud to represent Japan, as well as Haiti. But in a 2016 USA Today interview she also noted, “When I go to Japan people are confused. From my name, they don’t expect to see a black girl.”

On the court, Osaka has largely been embraced as one of her country’s rising stars. Off court, she says she’s still trying to learn the language.

“I can understand way more Japanese than I can speak,” she said.

‘Like no one ever was’

In her press conferences, which for now are English only, Osaka has earned a reputation for her youthful candor and nerdy sense of humor.

In response to a reporter asking about her ambitions, she said, “to be the very best, like no one ever was.” After an awkward pause, she clarified, “I’m sorry; that’s the Pokémon theme song. But, yeah, to be the very best, and go as far as I can go.”

At Indian Wells this year, where Osaka stunned her higher-ranked opponents and claimed victory after searing past the world’s number one Simona Halep in the semis and besting Daria Kasatkina in the finals, she proved herself no longer just the underdog. She then proceeded to give what she described as “the worst acceptance speech of all time.”

“Hello, hi, I am—okay never mind,” it began, before a litany of thank you’s petered out into giggles.
But don’t let her soft-spoken persona or goofy interviews fool you. On court, Osaka brings the heat, uncorking both ferocious power and an aggressive baseline game.
Rogers Cup Montreal - Day 2
Minas Panagiotakis—Getty Images Naomi Osaka of Japan serves during day two of the Rogers Cup at IGA Stadium on Aug. 7, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec.

W.W.S.D.

Earlier this year, Osaka reveled a four-word mantra keeps her steady through tough matches: “What would Serena do?”

Her idolization of the 23 Grand Slam-winning titan is well-known.

“She’s the main reason why I started playing tennis,” Osaka told the New York Times.

When the two played in Miami in March, six months after Serena nearly died giving birth, Osaka won. Then she Instagrammed a photo of her shaking hands with her idol, captioned only, “Omg.”

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Omg

A post shared by Naomi Osaka 大坂なおみ (@naomiosakatennis) on

After Osaka cleared the U.S. Open semis on Thursday and it became clear she was not only headed to her first Grand Slam final but was also about to face her hero once more, she was asked if she had anything to say to Serena. Her message? “I love you.”

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Mailbag: Late-Night Matches, Sweltering Heat Dominate U.S. Open Discussion

The heat, humidity and on-court conditions have supplanted tennis talk during the U.S. Open. Is this a rising trend or a one-off scenario?

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U. S. Open Match Stopped Because Player’s ‘Excessive Sweating’ Made the Court Slippery

It looks like the sun may have been the fiercest competitor to beat at the 2018 U.S. Open again.

Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic won Wednesday night’s quarter-final match against John Millman 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 at the U.S. Open in New York City, but not without another heat-related delay.

Djokovic was tied 2-2 with Millman when Millman had to tell the chair umpire he was just way too sweaty to continue without a break.

The temperature clocked in at 92 degrees.

During the second set, Australia’s Millman assessed the perspiration dripping off of his body and realized he was drenching the court in the process, making it too slick to play without fear of slipping.

And so he “approached the chair umpire to note his excessive sweating and the moisture it was leaving on the court,” according to the USTA.

Thanks to the United States Tennis Association’s Equipment Out of Adjustment regulation, the sweat-related court conditions were treacherous enough that Millman was cleared to leave to change out of his sweat-soaked getup without consequences.

The game resumed after roughly 6 minutes, but Millman’s break didn’t remedy the situation.

“You don’t stop sweating, though. You go to this little holding room just off the court, and there’s a tiny, probably, like, 3-by-3 room, even less, and you’re just dripping. The sweating doesn’t stop,” Millman explained, according to ESPN.

As his Australian rival left to change into something dry, Serbia’s Djokovic took his shirt off and enjoyed one of his noteworthy courtside breaks.

Julian Finney—Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic of Serbia and John Millman of Australia argue in the second set during their men’s singles quarter-final match on Day Ten of the 2018 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 5, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Djokovic said the sweat affected both players.

“I personally have never sweat as much as I have here. Incredible. I mean, I have to take at least 10 shirts for every match. It’s literally after two games you’re soaking,” he said.

To help players cope with the heat that has plagued the event, the U.S. Open instituted 10-minute breaks between sets for the first time this year.

Sports – TIME

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Roger Federer is stunningly bounced from U.S. Open by 55th-ranked John Millman

In one of the biggest upsets in tennis history, 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer fell to unseeded Aussie John Millman, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (9-7), 7-6 (7-3), in a fourth-round U.S. Open match that ended at 12:52 a.m. Tuesday.

Federer, the No. 2 seed and five-time Open champion, hit a forehand…

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Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid get standing ovation and love from Serena Williams at U.S. Open

Serena Williams may have been queen on the court at the U.S. Open Friday night, but Colin Kaepernick was king off it.

The former 49ers quarterback and ex-teammate Eric Reid received a standing ovation from the crowd at Arthur Ashe Stadium during Serena’s dominating 6-1, 6-2 win over her older sister…

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Andy Murray and Fernando Verdasco Are Having a Heated Disagreement Over the U.S. Open Heat Break Rule

Fernando Verdasco sent Andy Murray home at the 2018 U.S. Open on Wednesday, but not without a clash about the heat rule at the U.S. Open that continued to cause controversy.

England’s Murray and Spain’s Verdasco faced off in their at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City on Wednesday night which saw Verdasco besting Murray in the match 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

It was a scorcher with temperatures closing in on 100 degrees Farenheight, and both players took a beat during the heat break when they were tied in the second round.

Under the new stipulation, players can pause to rehydrate and cool off. But they’re strictly prohibited from speaking with their coaches, something Murray told reporters he witnessed Verdasco doing. Verdasco has denied this.

“[Verdasco] was having an ice bath,” Murray said during his postmatch news conference. “When I came out of the shower, his coach and his…I don’t know if he’s playing doubles with him, but one of the Spanish doubles players….was in there chatting to him, and you’re not allowed to speak to your coach. I went and told the supervisor.”

Murray said he raised the issue with the supervisor. “What are you guys doing? I mean, there’s clear rules here, and you’re allowing this to take place. I don’t get it. They obviously weren’t in there for long, but you got to do better than that. This is one of the biggest events in the world. If you have rules like that, you need to stick with them because one player getting to speak to the coach and the other not is not fair.”

The two tennis greats’ accounts differ. “I know the rule exactly. I didn’t speak anything to any member of my team,” Verdasco said in a post-match conference.

Murray has struggled with an ongoing hip injury, and this marked his return since his last match in 2016. As the tennis star bowed out of the Open, he shared remarks in an Instagram post that worked in a jab at Verdasco. “I’m off to get a health check as apparently I’ve started imagining things #liarliarpantsonfire,” the caption read.

Sports – TIME

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Serena and Venus showdown set for day five at U.S. Open

Serena Williams takes on big sister Venus in the main event of day five at the U.S. Open on Friday, while defending men’s champion Rafa Nadal and women’s champion Sloane Stephens are also in action at Flushing Meadows.


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U.S. Open Player Hugs It Out With Rival After He Was Forced to Retire

Canadian tennis player Felix Auger-Aliassime was forced to pull out of the first-round of the 2018 U.S. Open due to health concerns brought on by the heat.

After splitting the first two sets of his opening match with fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov on Monday, Auger-Aliassime tearfully retired from the tournament in the midst of the third set. The 18-year-old was suffering from tachycardia —a.k.a. an elevated heart rate—a condition that previously forced him to drop out of a 2017 Challenger event and is often exacerbated by heat.

Auger-Aliassime was clearly distraught over the results of his U.S. Open debut. However, Shapovalov was nothing but supportive of his opponent and even shared an emotional embrace with him at the net.

“It’s actually really tough to see him going out like this,” Shapovalov said. “I told him at the net we’re going to be back here, we’re going to play so many of these.”

Sports – TIME

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U.S. Open Criticized for ‘Sexist’ Double Standard After Alizé Cornet Was Penalized for Briefly Taking Her Shirt Off

Alizé Cornet was penalized at the U.S. Open for quickly removing her shirt and putting it back on, a move from the Open that critics are calling sexist.

The chair umpire Christian Rask hit French player Cornet, who is ranked No. 31 in the world, with the code violation, effectively a warning in the sport, during her opening round match against Johanna Larsson on Tuesday.

Cornet’s code violation came during a scorcher in Flushing Meadows, Queens, on Tuesday. It was so sweltering at the U.S. that the heat rule was in effect, permitting players to take 10-minutes breaks to try to cool off and drink water after their second sets. Cornet was just returning from her 10-minute break when she appeared to realize her shirt was on backwards. And so Cornet, who was wearing a sports bra underneath, took it off to put back on correctly.

Cornet was in disbelief and can be heard saying “Violation for what? Really?” in a video of the moment when the umpire stated the violation.

According to the official Women’s Tennis Association rulebook, a player is only allowed to change their clothes somewhere off of the court or during the end of a set, or during timeouts related to medical issues. Cornet changed her shirt between the second and third sets. She quickly returned to play the game after receiving the violation.

The penalty doesn’t affect the score, and Cornet ultimately lost to Larsson 6-4, 3-6, 2-6.

Critics online were quick to call out the punitive action, pointing out that male tennis players frequently take their shirts off to cope with the oppressive heat with no consequences. For instance, Novak Djovovic took his ice bath shirtless to try to cool down during their opening match on Tuesday.

Five male players were already forced to pull out of the U.S. Open because of health issues related to the intense heat. The heat won’t break until later in the week, according to weather reports.

The WTA commented Wednesday afternoon, calling the violation “unfair,” and “not based on a WTA rule,” adding “Alize did nothing wrong.”

Sports – TIME

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Rafael Nadal Has Returned to the Glory of His Signature Look at the U. S. Open

Temperatures in New York City are soaring this week — and the clothes at the U.S. Open 2018 are reflecting that.

At least, Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal is dispensing with shirt sleeves during play for the 2018 U.S. Open, kicking off his first match against fellow countryman David Ferrer on Monday with a sleeveless shirt that had fans reminiscing about Nadal’s early days on the court and signature tank top style.

Nadal won the match by default, as Ferrer retired during the second set due to injury. But conversation has centered less around the famed Nadal’s moves on the court and more on his iconic fashion choice at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center this week. Nadal, who has won a Grand Slam in his teens, twenties and thirties, was once the poster child for the sports tank top. But in recent years he has often switched over to the more traditional t-shirt.

However, at the recent Australian Open he returned to his bicep-baring roots — and it looks like this U.S. Open will see him continuing his rediscovery of former fashion glory. Tennis is a famously prohibitive sport when it comes to on-court style, often criticizing players’ attire; at Wimbledon, for instance, the “tennis whites” rules are strictly enforced. The U.S. Open offers a more relaxed dress code, however, leaving Nadal free to flex his star power however he chooses.

Nadal, who won last year’s U.S. Open, will next play Canada’s Vasek Pospisil on Wednesday — and many fans, new and old, will likely be tuning in to see both the athletic skill on display and what type of top Nadal chooses. See reactions to his fashion statement below.

Sports – TIME

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Want a Life on the Open Road? Here’s What It’s Like to Be a Truck Driver


Cindy George never planned to be a truck driver.

She was finishing up her bachelor’s degree in computer science technology when she met Danny, who’d recently begun a job as a long-haul trucker.

Cindy had driven trucks on her family farm since she was 16, but it wasn’t until she started splitting her time between studying in the computer lab and riding along with Danny that she had a revelation.

“About the time I graduated, I got the idea in my head that if I became a computer programmer, I would be stuck down in a basement somewhere while life was going on around outside,” Cindy says. “And the opposite of that is the truck, where the world goes past your windshield. You have a different view every day.”

That was 29 years ago. Danny, 53, and Cindy, 51, have now been married 25 years, and last year they earned $ 175,000 as a truck-driving team.

The Georges are the kind of success story the trucking industry might want to add to its recruiting arsenal — there’s an estimated shortage of more than 50,000 drivers, according to the American Trucking Association. With an aging workforce, the industry is losing drivers to retirement and has struggled to replace them with a new generation of truckers.  

If you’ve dreamed about ditching the office — and that micromanager of a boss — for the open road, there are a few things you need to know before making trucking your career track.

Truck Driver Shortage, Reason #1: Pay

Although there’s a shortage of truck drivers, the pay rate has not reflected the increased demand.

On average, local drivers make $ 21.69 per hour while long-distance truckers make $ 22.22 per hour, according to the latest available data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. But if you adjust for inflation, the pay rates haven’t changed much in the last decade.

The George’s, who’ve reached the top of their pay scale, estimate that 17% of their income last year came from bonuses for meeting monthly mileage goals, earning additional certifications and serving as mentors to younger drivers.

Shyanta Mathis, who drove a truck for seven years and is now a recruiter for ProDrivers in South Carolina, says one of the reasons she left the driver’s seat wasn’t the need for a bigger paycheck but for steadier income.

Finding that can be difficult when you’re at the mercy of the weather, a truck’s mechanical issues and customers’ schedules.

“The check would be $ 900 and then the next week your check would be $ 600,” Mathis says. “Even though I may make a little less now… at least I don’t have to guess what my paycheck is going to be.”

Truck Driver Shortage, Reason #2: Lifestyle

Cindy and Danny George pose in the cab of their truck.
Cindy and Danny George pose in the cab of their truck. Photo by Scott Lee

Although driving a big rig on the open road may sound romantic, the reality is that long stretches away from loved ones, difficult weather conditions and demanding schedules mean the trucking life can be stressful and a lot of hard work.

Mathis describes the demands of driving in the mountains during harsh winter conditions and having to pull over at each incline to attach chains to the tires — all 18 of them. The need to find safe areas to park at night when she drove alone intensified her anxiety.

Although short-haul drivers may not have to be away from home for long periods, they deal with lower pay and the monotony of driving the same routes every day.

Tony Hobart, 46, of Ocala, Florida, has been a short-distance driver for three years. He started working for a company six months ago, making $ 13 per hour. He now makes $ 15 per hour, plus time-and-a-half because he drives 60 hours per week.

“It’s less stress,” Hobart says. “For short haulers, it’s a solid job, but it’s very boring.”

Few people consider trucking to be glamorous, so it ends up being a job of last resort, according to Justin Harness, senior vice president of dedicated operations for US XPress.

It’s not a job that people want to do, necessarily,” Harness says. “It’s either a stopgap… or people try it when they’re of legal driving age and they realize it’s not a lifestyle they want to subscribe to long term.

“It is not an easy job.”

Benefits of Being a Truck Driver

So what is it that gets people behind the wheel?

Mathis says that truck driving may not be easy, but it’s important, which gives drivers a purpose beyond the paycheck.

“A lot of drivers feel good just knowing that they are contributing to bringing consumer goods to people’s homes,” Mathis says.

Harness agrees that his drivers feel a sense of accomplishment by building relationships with their customers.

“They enjoy the freedom of being out on the road… and they have a lot of freedom in whether they are able to do a good job or not,” Harness says. “The ones that are very successful take a lot of pride in that.”

And even though the trucking industry may not pay as much as some people think it should, the salary and bonuses can really add up to a decent income for someone just entering the workforce.  

There are some great opportunities to make some really good money for 21-, 22-, 23-, 24-, 25-year-olds coming into this industry with no experience,” Harness says.

Mathis prefers her new job as a recruiter but admits there are aspects of truck driving she misses.

“Before I got in the truck, I had never seen anything past North Carolina and South Carolina,” she says. “Now I’ve been to Oregon, Idaho — all these beautiful places.”

The Georges say that mandatory rest periods for long-haul truckers help them plan stops along their routes for running, hiking and cycling.

“If you’re opportunistic and know where you can stop, you might find a nice bike trail next to a rest stop,” says Danny, a third-generation truck driver.

Plus, that idealistic notion of the seeing the world still rings true for the couple.

“We got into the profession because we wanted an adventure,” Danny says. “It’s 29 years later, and I still can’t believe we get paid to do this — it is an absolute blast.”

How to Become a Truck Driver

Cindy and Danny George pose in front of the Danny & Cindy George Wheat Ridge TA Travel Center, a truck stop that was named in their honor, in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.
Cindy and Danny George Photo by Lori Knutsen for U.S. Xpress, Inc.

Before you buy a trucker’s hat and a pair of fuzzy dice, you’ll need a few things, including your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates licensing for safety and training, but you’ll need to obtain the license through your state Department of Motor Vehicles.

And you can’t simply walk into the DMV and sign up for an exam. You’ll need to attend a truck driving school to prepare for passing the skills and knowledge tests.

Specialized schools and local colleges offer courses that can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the type of certifications you want to get.  

Also be prepared to take the Department of Transportation physical, which you must pass to receive a two-year license.

Oh, and if you’re planning to hit the road with your significant other, the Georges recommend you learn how to get along in a space the size of a walk-in closet.

“Read a couple books about relationships,” Danny suggests. Cindy adds with a laugh, “I have my own personal comedian in the truck with me… humor helps a lot.”

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Data journalist Alex Mahadevan contributed to this article.

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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Eugenie Bouchard makes qualifying for US Open look easy

She’s ready for the main draw. Eugenie Bouchard trounced through US Open qualifying with three easy wins in which she lost a total of seven games. The Canadian has seen her game torpedo since advancing to the 2014 Wimbledon finals and reaching No. 5 in the world. But she is slowly inching her way back…
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U.S. Open Champion Sloane Stephens Is Set to Defend Her Title—and Defy Her Critics

Youth tennis clinics, like the one reigning U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens is holding for some two dozen children in Washington, D.C., on this stifling summer afternoon, tend to be lighthearted affairs known in the trade as a hit and giggle. Pro player lobs a few shots to the kiddies, waves to the cameras, signs some autographs. Sponsor gets exposure, star gives back, kids pick up some tips–everyone goes home happy.

Stephens, however, doesn’t like such “foo-foo”–her words–affairs. “Hustle!” she yells at a group of 11-year-olds not moving fast enough for her liking. “Come on, pay attention!” she barks when eyes wander. “Hey, hey, hey,” Stephens says when some kids balk at her command to run sprints on the indoor courts. “You guys are going to have an attitude when you didn’t finish what you started?”

During a break, one girl walked to the sideline. “They said she was going to be nicer,” she griped to her mother.

A few hours later, Stephens is sitting sideways on a hotel lobby couch and laughs when I relay the young girl’s words. “I want to see you hit, I want to see your strokes, I want to see you run,” Stephens, 25, says of her tough-love approach. “If I’m going to spend an hour-and-a-half of my time, we’re going to get sh-t done.”

Lately, no other American woman not named Williams has gotten more done on the tennis court than Stephens. Last September in New York, she became the first American player–male or female–besides the Williams sisters to win a major tournament singles title in 14 years. That she did it after missing nearly a year because of injury and about one month removed from being ranked 957th was particularly striking, as was her reaction. “Oh my God,” Stephens was caught mouthing on TV before receiving the $ 3.7 million winner’s check. When asked then if her first Grand Slam title made her want more, Stephens spared all cliché: “Of course, girl. Did you see that check that lady handed me?”

The title raised hopes that Stephens could be the heir to the Williams’ mantle, and she has since given more reason to believe it. In March she won the Miami Open, a top tournament one notch below the four majors, and she reached the final of the French Open in June. She’ll start the U.S. Open on Aug. 27 as the third-ranked player in the world.

Every highlight, however, seems to be accompanied by a baffling flame-out. After winning the Open, Stephens lost eight straight matches. She was eliminated in the first rounds of the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Three days after her clinic in Washington, she lost to an unseeded player at the Citi Open in D.C.

Inconsistency has dogged Stephens throughout her career, and it casts a long shadow over her title defense in Flushing Meadows. Who will take the court in Queens? The future of American tennis, with electrifying speed and a smile made for Madison Avenue? Or the enigmatic should-be superstar who’s prone to unforced errors? “It’s not going to be easy,” says Stephens, discussing her state of mind before the Open. “But at the end of the day, it’s all an experience, right?”

Stephens announced her arrival in 2013, when, at 19, she upset Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarterfinals. She lost in the semis, but no matter: many tennis fans were instantly drawn to her potential and charisma. Her mother Sybil Smith is a school psychologist and the first black woman to be named a first-team All-American collegiate swimmer; her father John Stephens was a former NFL running back who died in an auto accident in 2009. Smith split with Stephens when their daughter was 18 months old. In 1994, John Stephens pleaded guilty to rape, and was facing a separate sexual-assault charge at the time of his death. Stephens reconnected with her father a few years before his death and didn’t learn about the assault cases until after. She chooses to remember the man she got to know. “I wish he could come to a tournament and see my play now,” says Stephens. “I know he’s there. He’s watching.”

The high expectations following her upset of Williams weighed on Stephens. “I felt really disappointed when I wasn’t delivering, and that kind of brought me down more than it would have normally,” she says. Among tennis cognoscenti, she developed a reputation for indifference. “All you can hope at this point is that Sloane Stephens has a hard time sleeping tonight,” the broadcaster Mary Carillo said during Stephens’ 6-1, 6-0 loss to Caroline Wozniacki at the 2014 Sony Open in Miami. After managing to win four tour events in 2015 and ’16, Stephens withdrew from the ’16 U.S. Open because of a foot injury.

Surgery and recovery kept her off the tour for 11 months. Stephens didn’t fare well in her return, at Wimbledon, but impressed at the tune-up tournaments before the Open. Soon, she was enjoying the perks of being a Grand Slam champion: an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, pictures with Magic Johnson, lucrative endorsement deals with Nike, Mercedes-Benz, Colgate and Built with Chocolate Milk. She walked the ESPYs red carpet, and won Best Female Tennis Player honors.

Following the Open, Stephens kept entering tournaments despite nursing a sore knee, reluctant to miss more time after her long layoff. The results were dismal: eight straight defeats, including in the first round of the Australian Open. The courtside chatter turned, again, to whether Stephens had what it takes to be great. Tennis legend and ESPN analyst Chris Evert, for one, publicly questioned if Stephens had the desire to win more Grand Slams.

Stephens takes the criticism in stride. “Everyone was, ‘Oh my God, what U.S. Open champion loses eight matches in a row?’” she says from the couch in the Washington hotel. “I was like, ‘Me!’ It’s going to be fine.”

Stephens has a coolness that can be mistaken for ambivalence. But she has always managed her career on her terms. In late 2017, she finished the requirements for a bachelor’s degree in communications from Indiana University East’s online program. She didn’t mind missing practice to tend to her studies, and ignored whispers she was loafing on the tennis court. “Bro, I’ve got to graduate,” she says of sticking to her timeline, no matter the consequences. “This is important, O.K.” She’s now pursing an online MBA.

Stephens is defiant about sticking to her chosen path. “I’ve been pretty harshly judged for always doing what I wanted to do,” she says.

Some critics are coming around. Evert says she now sees determination in Stephens’ eyes. It helps that she’s regained her winning form, reaching the finals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal just a few weeks before the start of the Open. Stephens knows she’ll face additional pressure as the defending champion. But she insists she’s ready to handle it.

“I’m in a good place,” Stephens says before leaving the hotel for dinner with her coach. “People say, Oh, you’re inconsistent, you’re this, you’re that. Whatever. When I retire from tennis, I’ll be able to look back and say I did it the way I wanted to do it. I was just playing. And I was just making sure I was happy along the way.”

This appears in the September 03, 2018 issue of TIME.

Sports – TIME

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Yankees open 2019 season in the Bronx against the Orioles, Mets start with two-city road trip

The MLB released its official 2019 schedule on Wednesday, with the Yankees opening their season at home in 2019 against the Baltimore Orioles on March 28. The Mets open the same day and begin the season with a two-city road trip in Washington D.C. and Miami.

The Mets will have their home opener…

Sports – New York Daily News

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Open and shut case: why the package holiday is back

Cost, convenience and the Love-Island effect mean ready-made holidays are back in fashion, with giant operators Thomas Cook and Tui opening swish new hotels

The last time I went on a package holiday France had just won the World Cup. It was 1998, the peak of the package’s popularity, and my mates and I celebrated the end of our exams with a week in Magaluf. We had a brilliant time but it wasn’t an experience I’ve ever felt the need to repeat – until now.

Twenty years on, France have won the World Cup once again and packages seem tempting again. When I confess this, friends look at me askance and make jokes about piña coladas. One is moved to reminisce about her own youthful package holiday; she is still traumatised by the coach excursions.

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian

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Amazon has plans to open its own health clinics for Seattle employees

Amazon's plan is to hire a small number of doctors to start a pilot clinic later this year for a select group of employees and then expand it to more workers in early 2019, according to people familiar with the matter.
Health and Science

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Open Thread: What Are Your Health and Fitness Routines?

what are your health and fitness routines I feel like I am constantly trying to get into a good routine for workouts and eating — so I thought it might be a fun discussion for today. What are YOUR health and fitness routines, ladies? What about other self-care — do you do it as needed or do you try to routinize it? A few specific questions:health and fitness routines for professional women

  • How OFTEN do you work out? Do you mix it up (HIIT one day, Barre the next?) How do you reward yourself if you get X workouts in a week? (On a bigger scheme, do you reassess your workout routine at a regular interval, e.g. every 12 weeks or seasonally?)
  • Does your eating follow a schedule of any sort? For example, do you meal prep on Sundays so you’re super healthy during the first part of the week, then less healthy as the week goes on? Do you always order pizza on Fridays or do brunch with friends on Sunday?
  • What other self-care do you do as a routine — for example:
    • do you have a “beauty schedule” where you try to do a hair mask once a week or anything like that? Haircut every 3 months, Keratin/Botox every 6 months?) Facials? Massages?
    • Do you try to meditate regularly, or do other activities that you look at like meditation/being in the moment (I’ve had this discussion with friends re kayaking, hiking, berry picking…)

For my $ .02, these are my health and fitness routines at the moment:

  • My workout schedule is slowly improving. I’ve almost successfully completed Couch to 5K (Week 9, baby) and part of the reason I love the program is because it takes me so long to build my strength and endurance that I’m less inclined to sit a week out — if I don’t go I just know it’ll be harder. I also like having a pure cardio day so I can mix weights in on the other days. And, after years of trying to follow various programs (NROLFW, Girls Gone Strong, Strong Lifts) I’m now just doing my best to pick up heavier weights or do more reps on the same simple exercises (bent rows, concentrated bicep curls, French press, squats) and do bodyweight exercises (pushups, walking lunges, tricep dips, planks). I’d love to get a “crazy workout” in there once a week, like a spinning class or a bootcamp, but we’ll see.
  • The eating schedule is something I’m starting to get more interested in — I’m half considering doing the Faster Way to Fat Loss program (not an affiliate link) in part because I want to learn about intermittent fasting/carb cycling. For the past few weeks I’ve been trying to do low carb during the week, with limited carbs on the weekend only, all while still tracking points on Weight Watchers. The system has worked for me in terms of keeping the workweek’s “spend” low enough that I have rollovers and weeklies for the weekend (I finished a whole two weeks in the black, which I almost never do, sigh), but I feel like Mondays and Tuesdays are super rough for me because every week it’s like starting a new low carb diet where I’m starving all the time and have brain fog… so that may not be the best for me.
  • As for other self-care routines, my beauty schedule is pretty easy. I try to get a haircut every 10-12 weeks, and I’m trying to see if I want a third Keratin treatment. I’ve actually never done Botox (although I’m half considering Juvederm or whatever for my “marionette lines,” sigh). I’ve been into skincare this year so I tend to switch nights between my retinoid and chemical exfoliants like Sunday Riley’s Good Genes or Drunk Elephant Glycolic Night Serum*. (I also got a small version of Lancer’s Radiance Awakening Mask*, I think through Sephora VIB points, and really like it.) *affiliate links
  • A meditation routine is something I’m trying really hard to be better about — but it’s a struggle. To wit: I’ve had a Headspace subscription since the beginning of the year, and I KNOW all about the benefits of meditation — and yet I only just finished the second “Basic” pack. Womp womp. I have a goal set to do it 4 times a week using my Done App… yet somehow finding ten quiet minutes is difficult. (FYI Headspace has a 40% off sale going on right now, and just launched a Mindless Eating pack, I think in conjunction with Weight Watchers.)

So let’s hear from you guys — what are your health and fitness routines right now? Do you feel like you’re “living your best self” or is there some previous point in time where you thought your routines really worked for you?

Picture via Stencil.

Corporette.com

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It’s That Time of Year Again | Van’s US Open of Surfing at Huntington Beach is ON

WSL PRESS RELEASE

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif./USA (Thursday, August 2, 2018) – The first-ever all women’s Duct Tape Invitational has been called ON at Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch for a 7:30 a.m. PST start. The Duct Tape Invitational will complete the Quarterfinals and Semifinals today. The Women’s Championship Tour (CT) has been called off for the daym and the Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) will get Round 3 underway following the longboard event.
“The Women’s Duct Tape Invitational will be on at 7:30 a.m. PST and we will have the Men’s QS follow,” said WSL Deputy Commissioner, Travis Logie. “We’ll wait for a possible start to the Women’s CT tomorrow morning, but it will be exciting to get the inaugural women’s Duct Tape Invitational underway at Huntington Beach. For the Men’s QS, we will run Round 3 and the first two heats of Round 4.”

The Women’s Duct Tape Invitational will showcase some of the world’s best women’s longboarders, beginning with 2016 WSL Champion Tory Gilkerson (USA) taking on Kaitlin Maguire (USA), Hallie Rohr (USA), and Mele Saili (USA).

Quarterfinal action concludes with reigning WSL Champion Honolua Blomfield (HAW) competing against Erin Ashley (USA)Kassia Meador (USA), and Summer Richley (USA).

Men’s QS Round 3 will get in the water following longboard Semifinal bouts.

The men’s Round 3 matchups have some heavyweight affairs on their schedule as up-and-comer Kei Kobayashi (USA) will fight for a Round 4 spot against an all-CT lineup featuring Keanu Asing (HAW), Yago Dora (BRA), and 2015 WSL Champion Adriano De Souza (BRA) will open in Round 3 Heat 1.

The Vans US Open of Surfing will be broadcast LIVE on VansUSOpenofSurfing.com, on Facebook LIVE via the WSL’s Facebook page, WorldSurfLeague.com, and the WSL app. Also check local listings for coverage from WSL’s broadcast partners.

Surfline, forecast partner of the WSL, is calling for:

The surf will creep up over the next couple days as new SSW swell fills in Thursday-Friday, with slightly larger surf over the weekend off a combo of NW windswell and SW and SSE swells.

Vans US Open Women’s Duct Tape Invitational Quarterfinal Matchups:
QF 1: Tory Gilkerson (USA), Kaitlin Maguire (USA), Hallie Rohr (USA), Mele Saili (USA)
QF 2: Karina Rozunko (USA), Sierra Lerback (USA), Kelis Kaleoppa (HAW), Ivy Thomas (AUS)
QF 3: Jennifer Smith (USA), Makala Smith (USA), Ashley Lloyd (USA), Mia Larson (USA)
QF 4: Honolua Blomfield (HAW), Erin Ashley (USA), Kassia Meador (USA), Summer Richley (USA)

Vans US Open Men’s QS Round 3 Matchups:
Heat 1: Kei Kobayashi (USA), Keanu Asing (HAW), Yago Dora (BRA), Adriano de Souza (BRA)
Heat 2: Ramzi Boukhiam (MOR), Reef Heazlewood (AUS), Heitor Alves (BRA), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 3: Kolohe Andino (USA), David Van Zyl (ZAF), Lucca Mesinas (PER), Griffin Colapinto (USA)
Heat 4: Joshua Moniz (HAW), Tanner Gudauskas (USA), Jesse Mendes (BRA), Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Heat 5: Deivid Silva (BRA), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Cam Richards (USA), Thiago Camarao (BRA)
Heat 6: Bino Lopes (BRA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Jorgann Couzinet (FRA), Victor Bernardo (BRA)
Heat 7: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Joan Duru (FRA), Tanner Hendrickson (HAW), Charly Martin (FRA)
Heat 8: Mihimana Braye (PYF), Peterson Crisanto (BRA), Jadson Andre (BRA), Beyrick De Vries (ZAF)
Heat 9: Michael Rodrigues (BRA), Matt Banting (AUS), Ethan Ewing (AUS), Cooper Chapman (AUS)
Heat 10: Maxime Huscenot (FRA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Jack Freestone (AUS), Seth Moniz (HAW)
Heat 11: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Alejo Muniz (BRA), Benji Brand (HAW), Davey Cathels (AUS)
Heat 12: Evan Geiselman (USA), Michael February (ZAF), Ian Crane (USA), Nat Young (USA)

Recognized as the largest professional sports competition and action sports festival in the world, the Vans US Open of Surfing is currently sanctioned and operated by the World Surf League under license from IMG, the event owner. Official partners of this year’s event include Vans, Swatch, Jeep, Airbnb, Michelob ULTRA, Hydro Flask, LifeProof, Jose Cuervo, Barefoot Wine, Woolmark, BF Goodrich, Harley-Davidson, Peet’s Coffee, Red Bull, U.S. Army, Slowtide, CLIF Bar, U.S. Marine Corps, Let it Block Sunscreen, Tea of a Kind, Flowater, and Frontier Communications.

For more information, including continued updates and scheduling, please visit VansUSOpenofSurfing.com.

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Courtney Conlogue and Kanoa Igarashi Take The Win at the 2018 Van’s US Open of Surfing

WSL PRESS RELEASE

 

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif./USA (Sunday, August 5, 2018) – Hometown heroes Courtney Conlogue (USA) and Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) won the 2018 Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch in the World Surf League (WSL) Women’s Championship Tour (CT) and Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) divisions, respectively.

Conlogue’s dream of winning the esteemed US Open title as a CT contender was realized after taking down current Jeep Rankings Leader Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) in amazing fashion. Conlogue’s win also comes after a sidelining foot injury sustained earlier this season.

“It’s not been the easiest road to recovery, but I fought through it all and now I’m standing here on top of the podium. It’s unbelievable,” Conlogue said. “I just have so many amazing people supporting me right now and I’m loving everything. I’m loving surfing and that’s so refreshing. But, to share such an amazing Final with Steph (Gilmore) was incredible and I’ve just been in awe of her surfing this week. I love performing for my home crowd. There’s nothing like having my family and friends here supporting me. It’s so much fun and such a challenge just with the expectation of wanting to perform, it’s been an amazing journey this week.”

The Santa Ana native waited patiently while Gilmore got busy and accrued a 9.00 (out of a possible 20) heat total. Conlogue unleashed her backhand for a near-excellent 7.33 (out of a possible 10) and put pressure on the six-time WSL Champion. Conlogue followed up brilliantly with a massive forehand strike on a hefty closeout section to earn a 6.50 and nearly solidify her first-ever US Open CT victory.

Gilmore earned her second runner-up finish at the Vans US Open, with her first event title still eluding one of the sport’s greatest but earned valuable points toward her seventh World Title campaign. After Conlogue eliminated World No. 2 Lakey Peterson (USA) in the Quarterfinals, the opportunity for Gilmore to capitalize on extending her lead was wide open. Gilmore now leads the World Rankings with 4,000 points over Peterson heading into the Surf Ranch Pro.

“Huntington is a tough one for me, I love it here but I’m always finding myself just struggling to get a good result so to come here and get a second place is great,” Gilmore said. “Courtney (Conlogue) was on fire after coming back from that injury and I’m stoked for her to get that win. And she knocked out Lakey (Peterson) which is pretty nice, but I proved to myself that if I really apply everything I have that I can still get a good result.”

Nearly earning her first CT US Open Finals appearance, after claiming back-to-back Pro Junior titles in 2015 and 2016, Caroline Marks (USA) notched another Semifinal result in her 2018 rookie campaign and moves into No. 6 on the Jeep Leaderboard.

Carissa Moore (HAW) made her long-awaited, first Semifinals appearance of the season and fell just short of the Final due to a last-minute score from Gilmore that eliminated the Hawaii surfer as the clock ran out.

Following a captivating performance from Conlogue, fellow hometown hero Igarashi fed off the crowd’s energy and delivered an incredible final showdown against Griffin Colapinto (USA). This marks the first back-to-back US Open victory since one of Huntington Beach’s most revered surfers Brett Simpson (USA) did so in 2008 and 2009. The day belonged to Igarashi after a phenomenal run to the Final, retaining his poise and composure throughout a tough finals day draw, as he was chaired-up the beach letting go of all emotion until touching the stage.

“Last year I won this event for my family and friends who have supported me so much, but this year it belongs to the city of Huntington Beach for all their support and just firing me up so much,” Igarashi said. “I barely remember that last ride, I feel like something just came over me and whatever I was going to do on that wave I was going to land it. It felt like as soon as I stood up on that wave I already got the score. That was the best feeling I’ve ever had. The whole contest I was just thinking about the Final. I paced myself throughout that whole contest and let everything out in that last heat. It was a really hard Final, but I just believed Huntington was going to give me the waves and it did.”

A slow start to the Final heat ignited when Colapinto opened up with his powerful forehand carves before soaring toward the south side shorebreak and stomping a massive air-reverse — earning an 8.00. But, Igarashi was right behind him and posted his own 7.60 to answer right back. Colapinto’s next ride would solidify his spot at the top, earning a 7.00, and kept that top spot heading into the last 15-seconds.

But, Huntington Beach delivered one was last time for Igarashi and Igarashi left everything in the water, standing up seconds before the horn sounded, as he finished with a tail-high, massive air-reverse that he was able to ride out of to take the win over Colapinto. Now, Colapinto takes the positive momentum from this event and moves forward — currently solidified in both the QS Top 10 and CT Top 22 before the Surf Ranch Pro September 6 – 9.

“I’ve never won a QS event so that’s a hard one to swallow, but it still leaves me with a bunch of fire so I’m really excited to just keep working hard,” Colapinto said. “My favorite moment of this event was in that Final. I think that’s one of the best back-to-back exchanges I’ve ever had in a heat so that’s all I really care about. I’ll just decompress for a few days. I feel like my strategy and my surfing was there throughout the whole event. At the end it just came down to the waves. We both didn’t fall and I just have to keep putting myself out there and I’ll have to stay ready for when that time comes.”

Also earning big results for the Men’s QS, Jadson Andre (BRA) got a pass through the Quarterfinals due to Italo Ferreira’s (BRA) injury before falling to eventual winner Igarashi. As well as Jorgann Couzinet (FRA), who delivered the day’s top score of a 9.00 against Colapinto in their Semifinal bout, who walks away with 6,500 points and No. 6 on the QS rankings.

With his Quarterfinal result, falling to Igarashi, Seth Moniz (HAW) finds himself at 17,550 points and the new QS No. 1 — all but solidifying himself for a position on the 2019 CT.

Vans US Open Women’s CT Final Results:
1 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.83   10,000 points
2 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.86       8,000 points

Vans US Open Women’s CT Semifinal Results:
SF 1
: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.77 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.36
SF 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.27 def. Caroline Marks (USA) 11.26

Vans US Open Women’s CT Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1
: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.83 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.33
QF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.70 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 10.93
QF 3: Caroline Marks (USA) 14.60 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.60
QF 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.97 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.64

2018 Women’s WSL CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Vans US Open of Surfing)
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)  53,375 pts
2 – Lakey Peterson (USA) 48,175 pts
3 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 38,330 pts
4 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 31,795
5 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 31,235

Vans US Open Men’s QS Final Results:
1 – Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 15.77  10,000 points
2 -: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 15.00  8,000 points

Vans US Open Men’s QS Semifinal Results:
SF 1
: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 15.56 def. Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 14.67
SF 2: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 13.83 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 13.67

Vans US Open Men’s QS Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1
: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 15.27 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.23
QF 2: Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) 11.80 def. Dion Atkinson (AUS) 11.43
QF 3: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA) (Withdraw)
QF 4: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 14.87 def. Seth Moniz (HAW) 11.10

2018 Men’s Qualifying Series Rankings (After Vans US Open of Surfing)
1 – Seth Moniz (HAW) 17,550 pts
2 – Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 17,420 pts
3 – Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 17,150
4 – Griffin Colapinto (USA) 14,950
5 – Jadson Andre (BRA) 14,110 pts

Recognized as the largest professional sports competition and action sports festival in the world, the Vans US Open of Surfing is currently sanctioned and operated by the World Surf League under license from IMG, the event owner. Official partners of this year’s event include Vans, Swatch, Jeep, Airbnb, Michelob ULTRA, Hydro Flask, LifeProof, Jose Cuervo, Barefoot Wine, Woolmark, BF Goodrich, Harley-Davidson, Peet’s Coffee, Red Bull, U.S. Army, Slowtide, CLIF Bar, U.S. Marine Corps, Let it Block Sunscreen, Tea of a Kind, Flowater, and Frontier Communications.

For more information, including continued updates and scheduling, please visit VansUSOpenofSurfing.com.

About Vans
Vans®, a VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, is the original action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand. Vans authentic collections are sold globally in 84 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and international offices. Vans also owns and operates more than 600 retail locations around the world. The Vans brand promotes the action sports lifestyle, youth culture and creative self-expression through the support of athletes, musicians and artists and through progressive events and platforms such as the Vans Park Series, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing, Vans Pool Party, Vans Custom Culture, Vans Warped Tour®, and Vans’ cultural hub and international music venue, House of Vans.

About IMG
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network.

About WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running in excess of 180 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, and Junior and Longboard Championships. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the WSL is a truly global sports and media company with regional offices in Australia, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, and Europe.

For more information, please visit VansUSOpenofSurfing.com.

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Open jobs outnumber US unemployed for 3rd straight month

U.S. employers posted more openings in June than the previous month, creating more available jobs than unemployed workers for the third straight month.
Economy

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Finals Day at 2018 Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach

WSL PRESS RELEASE

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif./USA (Sunday, August 5, 2018) – The Final Day of the 2018 Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch has been called ON at the southside of the Huntington Beach pier. The women’s Championship Tour (CT) Quarterfinals will start the day at 7:35 a.m., followed by the men’s Qualifying Series (QS) Quarterfinals, the women’s and men’s Semifinals, and the women’s and men’s Finals.

“It is Finals Day at the Vans US Open presented by Swatch,” said WSL Deputy Commissioner, Jessi Miley-Dyer. “We will start with the women’s and men’s Quarterfinals, then we will run the Semis and the Finals. After seeing the incredible performances from the Pro Junior and Women’s Duct Tape Invitational yesterday, we are excited to crown the event winners for the women’s Championship Tour and men’s Qualifying Series divisions.”

The Final Day of the Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch will be broadcast LIVE on the WSL’s Facebook page, WorldSurfLeague.com, and the WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

Surfline, forecast partner of the WSL, is calling for:

We’ll see a slight bump in surf through Sunday as a mix of long period SW-SSW and SSE-S Southern Hemi swells fill in, as well as some local NW windswell blending in. 

Vans US Open Women’s CT Quarterfinal Matchups:
QF 1
: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
QF 2: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) vs. Carissa Moore (HAW)
QF 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Caroline Marks (USA)
QF 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)

Vans US Open Men’s QS Quarterfinal Matchups:
QF 1
: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
QF 2: Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) vs. Dion Atkinson (AUS)
QF 3: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Italo Ferreira (BRA)
QF 4: Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN)

Recognized as the largest professional sports competition and action sports festival in the world, the Vans US Open of Surfing is currently sanctioned and operated by the World Surf League under license from IMG, the event owner. Official partners of this year’s event include Vans, Swatch, Jeep, Airbnb, Michelob ULTRA, Hydro Flask, LifeProof, Jose Cuervo, Barefoot Wine, Woolmark, BF Goodrich, Harley-Davidson, Peet’s Coffee, Red Bull, U.S. Army, Slowtide, CLIF Bar, U.S. Marine Corps, Let it Block Sunscreen, Tea of a Kind, Flowater, and Frontier Communications.

For more information, including continued updates and scheduling, please visit VansUSOpenofSurfing.com.

About Vans
Vans®, a VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, is the original action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand. Vans authentic collections are sold globally in 84 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and international offices. Vans also owns and operates more than 600 retail locations around the world. The Vans brand promotes the action sports lifestyle, youth culture and creative self-expression through the support of athletes, musicians and artists and through progressive events and platforms such as the Vans Park Series, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing, Vans Pool Party, Vans Custom Culture, Vans Warped Tour®, and Vans’ cultural hub and international music venue, House of Vans.

About IMG
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network.

About WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running in excess of 180 global events across the Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, and Junior and Longboard Championships. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the WSL is a truly global sports and media company with regional offices in Australia, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, and Europe.

For more information, please visit VansUSOpenofSurfing.com.

The post Finals Day at 2018 Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach appeared first on .

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Women’s CT Called ON at 2018 Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington

WSL PRESS RELEASE

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif./USA (Saturday, August 4, 2018) –  The World Surf League (WSL) Women’s Championship Tour has been called ON at the Vans US Open of Surfingpresented by Swatch for a 7:35 a.m. PST start. The day will start with the CT Round 3 to determine their Quarterfinal draw, along with deciding the Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) Quarterfinalists by day’s end. Also on the schedule, the event’s first winners will claim their US Open titles for the Men’s and Women’s Pro Junior divisions, as well as the Women’s Duct Tape Invitational.

“The CT women will get back in the water to start things off at 7:35 a.m. and we’ll get through Round 3 before the Men’s QS Round 5” said WSL Deputy Commissioner, Jessi Miley-Dyer. “It’s a big day planned. We will run the men’s and women’s Pro Juniors Finals, along with the Women’s Duct Tape Invitational Final. We’re looking forward to an exciting day and crowning our first 2018 US Open winners.”

Yesterday’s standout performer Pauline Ado (FRA), who sent Lakey Peterson (USA) to Round 2, will take on three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) and Johanne Defay (FRA) in Round 3 Heat 1.

On the Men’s QS side, US Open trials winner Reef Heazlewood (AUS) begins Round 5 Heat 1 battles against CT veteran Kolohe Andino (USA).

The Men’s Pro Junior Final showcases some of North America’s top up-and-coming surfers Kade Matson (USA), Cole Houshmand (USA), and Alan Cleland (MEX) taking on Hawaii competitor Barron Mamiya (HAW).

A hefty Women’s Pro Junior Final awaits Hawaii representatives Summer Macedo (HAW) and Zoe McDougall (HAW) taking on Californians Samantha Sibley (USA) and Kayla Coscino (USA).

Also vying for the inaugural Women’s Duct Tape Invitational crown, reigning WSL Longboard Champion Honolua Blomfield (HAW) will face fellow Hawaii surfer Kelis Kaleoppa (HAW), two-time WSL Champion Jennifer Smith (USA), and Californian Kaitlin Maguire (USA).

The Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch will be broadcast LIVE on the WSL’s Facebook page, WorldSurfLeague.com, and the WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

Surfline, forecast partner of the WSL, is calling for:

Small surf will continue through the weekend, although gradually creeping up as a mix of SW-SSW and SSE Southern Hemi swells fill in, as well as some local NW windswell.  

Vans US Open Women’s CT Round 3 Matchups:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA), Carissa Moore (HAW), Pauline Ado (FRA)
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW)
Heat 3: Lakey Peterson (USA), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Caroline Marks (USA), Courtney Conlogue (USA)

Vans US Open Men’s QS Round 5 Matchups:
Heat 1: Reef Heazlewood (AUS) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
Heat 2: Adriano De Souza (BRA) vs. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
Heat 3:  Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) vs. Cam Richards (USA)
Heat 4: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) vs. Dion Atkinson (AUS)
Heat 5: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Peterson Crisanto (BRA)
Heat 6: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
Heat 7: Seth Moniz (HAW) vs. Evan Geiselman (USA)
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (USA) vs. Michael February (ZAF)

Upcoming Vans US Open Men’s Pro Junior Final:
F
: Barron Mamiya (HAW), Alan Cleland (MEX), Kade Matson (USA), Cole Houshmand (USA)

Upcoming Vans US Open Women’s Pro Junior Final:
F
: Summer Macedo (HAW), Samantha Sibley (USA), Zoe McDougall (HAW), Kayla Coscino (USA)

Upcoming Vans US Open Women’s Duct Tape Invitational Final:
F
: Kelis Kaleoppa (HAW), Kaitlin Maguire (USA), Honolua Blomfield (HAW), Jennifer Smith (USA)

Recognized as the largest professional sports competition and action sports festival in the world, the Vans US Open of Surfing is currently sanctioned and operated by the World Surf League under license from IMG, the event owner. Official partners of this year’s event include Vans, Swatch, Jeep, Airbnb, Michelob ULTRA, Hydro Flask, LifeProof, Jose Cuervo, Barefoot Wine, Woolmark, BF Goodrich, Harley-Davidson, Peet’s Coffee, Red Bull, U.S. Army, Slowtide, CLIF Bar, U.S. Marine Corps, Let it Block Sunscreen, Tea of a Kind, Flowater, and Frontier Communications.

For more information, including continued updates and scheduling, please visit VansUSOpenofSurfing.com.

About Vans
Vans®, a VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, is the original action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand. Vans authentic collections are sold globally in 84 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and international offices. Vans also owns and operates more than 600 retail locations around the world. The Vans brand promotes the action sports lifestyle, youth culture and creative self-expression through the support of athletes, musicians and artists and through progressive events and platforms such as the Vans Park Series, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing, Vans Pool Party, Vans Custom Culture, Vans Warped Tour®, and Vans’ cultural hub and international music venue, House of Vans.

About IMG
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network.

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Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice open up about crying after fascinator-gate

And it’s really sad.

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2018 is undoubtedly the year of royal weddings, with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tying the knot in May and Princess Eugenie and her partner Jack Brooksbank set to wed in October.

Updates having been coming through each day with news of Princess Eugenie’s nuptials, from the bridesmaid list and the potential absence of Prince Philip to the fact that the whole day will be plastic-free.

Basically, the 28-year-old will have a lot on her plate.

Something however that she and her sister Beatrice will be spared from, as bride and maid of honour, is the dreaded task of selecting the perfect wedding guest get-up and matching fascinator – something they have been unfairly mocked for in the past.

Throwback to every single Princess Beatrice and Eugenie meme from the royal wedding 2011.

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Eugenie wore a blue Vivienne Westwood ensemble and Beatrice wore a beige Valentino number, but it wasn’t their dresses that made the most noise, with both sisters teaming their looks with one-of-a-kind Philip Treacy fascinators.

The result? Many-a meme at their expense.

The hat-maker himself joked that he thought he would end up with his ‘head on a spike’ for the design which saw the two princesses face a barrage of criticism.

But while Beatrice and Eugenie kept a dignified silence at the time, in a recent interview with Vogue the sisters explained just how upset they were with the fashion drama, going on to explain how they got through it as a pair.

‘There was a horrible article that had been written about Beatrice and she got really upset,’ Princess Eugenie explained. ‘We were just about to step out and she had a bit of a wobble and cried.’

She continued: ‘I was looking after her. And then about an hour later, I had a wobble and started crying and Bea was there for me.’

These two!

The post Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice open up about crying after fascinator-gate appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Huntington Beach Welcomes Women’s Championship Tour for Vans US Open of Surfing

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif./USA (Friday, July 27, 2018) – The Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch welcomes back the world’s best surfers starting Monday, July 30 through August 5, 2018 as they compete in Stop No. 7 of 10 of the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT).

The Vans US Open will play a critical role in the 2018 WSL World Title race, which is currently led by six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS). The Australian now wears the Jeep Leader Jersey after her win at the Corona Open J-Bay earlier this month. Gilmore has yet to claim a CT win in Surf City but will look for a strong start in her opening heat against last year’s event winner Sage Erickson (USA) and the event wildcard, who will be determined by a one-heat trials event.

“Huntington is a totally different venue to the rest of the year and I’ve always struggled a bit, but I feel good heading into it,” said Gilmore. “I feel excited about the current ratings and the processes I’m going through. All the girls are ripping so, it’s just about staying focused and making sure I’m investing all my energy into each heat. I feel like I can get a good result. I just have to really apply myself there.”

Lakey Peterson (USA), 2012 event winner, returns home to California for this event. The surfer from Santa Barbara, California sits just behind Gilmore in second place on the Jeep Leaderboard, hungry for her first World Title. She will be up against Coco Ho (HAW) and injury replacement Pauline Ado (FRA) in Round 1.

“It’ll be nice to be home for a minute and get that crowd support behind you,” Peterson said. “We’ve been in Australia, which has a lot of Aussie support there, and Bianca (Buitendag) had that support in South Africa, so that’ll be great to have that kind of hometown support. I’ve done well at Huntington Beach in the past so I think it’s a great opportunity to keep chipping away at Steph (Gilmore). I’m just looking forward to some time at home and getting the jersey on while there.”

16-year-old rookie Caroline Marks (USA) will also be one to watch in Huntington Beach next week. Earlier this year, Marks made history as the youngest surfer to ever qualify for the elite Championship Tour. Now, with more than half the season complete and currently sitting at World No. 7 on the Jeep Leaderboard, Marks hopes to continue her previous success in Huntington Beach and earn a big result in her rookie debut. Marks will be up against Australians Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and Bronte Macaulay (AUS) when competition commences.

“The US Open is a different event because there are so many competitive surfing events on display,” said Marks. “There is the men’s and women’s juniors, our CT event, and even a big men’s QS event, so everyone is there together and cheering each other on. It’s really cool. I grew up competing at Huntington through all the amateur and junior events, and I’ve had a lot of success there. That gives me a lot of confidence heading into the CT event. I’m just excited to have my family there, it’s been a long year on the road so it’s a perfect time to be home for a few months.”

Facing ongoing health issues from contracting Influenza A during the Corona Open J-Bay, Tyler Wright (AUS) has withdrawn from next week’s Vans US Open of Surfing. The Australian is the reigning World Champion and currently ranked No. 5 on the Jeep Leaderboard.

“Unfortunately I will be withdrawing from Vans US Open of Surfing,” said Wright. “I’m still recovering from Influenza A. I’m home with the doggos getting better, but still a long way from full strength. Thanks to everyone for the continued support.”

Stepping in for Wright will be fellow Australian, Macy Callaghan. The 20-year-old is currently ranked No. 9 on the WSL Qualifying Series (QS) and competed at the Corona Open J-Bay earlier this month, where she lost to Frenchwoman Johanne Defay in Round 2.

Brazilian Silvana Lima has also withdrawn from the US Open after sustaining a knee injury in Round 1 of the Corona Open J-Bay. Although Lima powered through the rest of her heat, she was unable to finish the event. She will be replaced by former WSL CT surfer Ado.

The Huntington Beach waves will also feature the WSL Men’s Qualifying Series event, the men’s and women’s WSL Pro Junior events, the first-ever all women’s Vans Duct Tape Invitational longboarding competition, and the annual Vans Stoke-O-Rama, bringing local Huntington Beach youth together for friendly surf and beach activities.

Starting Monday, July 30, the Vans US Open of Surfing presented by Swatch will be broadcast LIVE on the WSL’s Facebook page, WorldSurfLeague.com, and the WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

Surfline, forecast partner of the WSL, is calling for:

The first several days of the event window are looking relatively slow with a minor blend of Southern Hemisphere swells and local NWwindswell on offer. Heading through the end of next week into the final weekend of the event window we anticipate a slightly better mix of new SSW swell and NW windswell.

Vans US Open of Surfing Women’s CT Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Carissa Moore (HAW), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Heat 2: Johanne Defay (FRA), Keely Andrew (AUS), Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Sage Erickson (USA), TBD
Heat 4: Lakey Peterson (USA), Coco Ho (HAW), Pauline Ado (FRA)
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Heat 6: Caroline Marks (USA), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)

More available at WorldSurfLeague.com.

Recognized as the largest professional sports competition and action sports festival in the world, the Vans US Open of Surfing is currently sanctioned and operated by the World Surf League under license from IMG, the event owner. Official partners of this year’s event include Vans, Swatch, Jeep, Airbnb, Michelob ULTRA, Hydro Flask, LifeProof, Jose Cuervo, Barefoot Wine, Woolmark, BF Goodrich, Harley-Davidson, Peet’s Coffee, Red Bull, U.S. Army, Slowtide, CLIF Bar, U.S. Marine Corps, Let it Block Sunscreen, Tea of a Kind, Flowater, and Frontier Communications.

For more information, including continued updates and scheduling, please visit VansUSOpenofSurfing.com.

About Vans
Vans®, a VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, is the original action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand. Vans authentic collections are sold globally in 84 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and international offices. Vans also owns and operates more than 600 retail locations around the world. The Vans brand promotes the action sports lifestyle, youth culture and creative self-expression through the support of athletes, musicians and artists and through progressive events and platforms such as the Vans Park Series, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing, Vans Pool Party, Vans Custom Culture, Vans Warped Tour®, and Vans’ cultural hub and international music venue, House of Vans.

About IMG
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion, events and media, operating in more than 30 countries. The company manages some of the world’s greatest sports figures and fashion icons; stages hundreds of live events and branded entertainment experiences annually; and is a leading independent producer and distributor of sports and entertainment media. IMG also specializes in sports training and league development, as well as marketing, media and licensing for brands, sports organizations and collegiate institutions. IMG is part of the Endeavor (formerly WME | IMG) network.

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Facebook to open subsidiary in China

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How to Take the Stress Out of Vacation Planning (Open Thread)

We haven’t talked about how to plan a vacation in years, so here’s a fun topic for today: how do you simplify travel planning — i.e., take the stress out of vacation planning? Do you repeat trips? Copy a friend’s (or blogger’s) itinerary? Use a travel agent? Do you have any “done and DONE” kind of things where, say, if you know there’s a Kimpton hotel in that town you’ll stay there, or if your friend or a magazine or book series says Y restaurant is amazing you make it a “must do”? Take a specialty vacation package like biking or a family vacation resort something? Do you use social media like Instagram or FB? What are your best tips to take the stress out of vacation planning?

The topic kind of comes up because I just stayed at a Cambria hotel a few months ago for an alumni trip — and I mentioned how nice the hotel was for an affordable, well-located hotel to an acquaintance and she said, “Oh yes, we LOVE Cambria and ALWAYS stay there if there’s one in the city.” Interesting technique, and I could see how that would reduce a lot of the stress of vacation planning if you didn’t have any boutique hotel you were dying to stay at or you were flexible on where in town you wanted to stay. For those among you who travel often for business there’s probably a whole subtopic here — what’s your favorite hotel chain? 

For my $ .02, though, in general I STINK at travel planning… so my husband and I usually share this responsibility. We usually start with travel arrangements — sometimes just getting the plane booked is the biggest hurdle! I’ve definitely grabbed a guidebook and said I would figure it out on the plane over, and I also tend to crowdsource things and ask friends on Facebook (and obviously, we get a lot of threadjacks here on Corporette with crowd-sourced vacation questions)!how to take the stress out of vacation planning I’ve tried working with travel agents twice in my life (once for my honeymoon and once more recently to try to get ideas for a nice family vacation with 6-8 people) and have yet to feel that “click” with any of the agents I’ve used. For those of you who are pros at this, though, share your secrets — how do you take the stress out of vacation planning? What are your favorite resources, tips, hacks, checklists, or more? 

(We’ve talked about how many people are using their vacation time, how to deal with pre-vacation stress at work, how to travel solo, and how to  early to start vacation planning (over at CorporetteMoms).

Stock photo via Creative Market / Barn Images.

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Filipe Toledo Claims Back-to-Back Wins at Corona Open J-Bay

WSL PRESS RELEASE

 

JEFFREYS BAY, South Africa (Thursday, July 5, 2018) – Today, Filipe Toledo (BRA) won the Men’s Corona Open J-Bay for the second year in a row. The Brasilian lit up four-to-six foot (1.3 – 2 metre) Supertubes at Jeffreys Bay to win the sixth stop the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) and vault to World No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard.

“Back-to-back wins is always something that I’ve dreamed of,” said Toledo. “It could not be more special here in J-Bay after last year and this year we’ve had such good waves again. Thanks, God. Thanks, Jesus. Thank you to my family and everyone supporting me. I feel so blessed right now.”

Toledo’s back-to-back win came with spectacular performances throughout the entire event. Out of the top ten highest single-wave scores of the Corona Open J-Bay, five belonged to Toledo (all 9-point rides). The same was true for the event’s highest heat total, where Toledo was responsible for five of the top ten.

 

2018 Corona Open J-Bay
Defending event champion Filipe Toledo (BRA) advances to the Semifinals of the 2018 Corona Open J-Bay after winning Quarterfinal Heat 3 at Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.

 

The 23-year-old is now 7-0 for Finals wins, defeating every opponent he’s ever faced in a Final. Toledo will now move up to first on the Jeep Rankings and wear the Jeep Leader Jersey at Stop No. 7 on the WSL CT, the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o.  Leading the next generation of progressive surfing, today’s CT victory over 2018 CT Rookie Wade Carmichael (AUS) marks the Brasilian’s second in 2018.

“When it is Finals Day, it is just something that clicks,” continued Toledo. “It is now or never, and I put it all on the line. That is always my strategy, ‘Go big or go home.’ It is easy like that and I went big. Finals is one of those heats where it is first or second, there are no losers, so I just go really big and put all my work on the wave. That is why I train. That is why I’ve been really focused.

“Repeating the Final with Wade Carmichael, who has been really solid the whole event and surfing really well, it was a pleasure to surf against him. He took down some really big names. I am stoked to get the win and thank you to everyone.”

The rematch of the Oi Rio Pro Final earlier in May saw Toledo and Carmichael throw big scores in the J-Bay lineup. Carmichael opened the exchange with a commanding 7.33 (out of a possible 10), but Toledo was on the next wave to challenge the Australian with an 8.50. The back-and-forth battle continued with only one-tenth of a point separating the two surfers at the halfway mark. The Brasilian opened the gap with a critical 8.33, giving the Australian one last opportunity to challenge. In the dying seconds of the heat, Carmichael attempted a big air but missed the landing and the scoring opportunity.

 

2018 Corona Open J-Bay
Wade Carmichael (AUS) advances to the Semifinals of the 2018 Corona Open J-Bay after winning Quarterfinal Heat 1 at Supertubes, Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.

 

In his first time competing at the Corona Open J-Bay, Carmichael claimed a stunning second-place result with big wins over event favorites Jordy Smith (ZAF) in the Semifinals and Conner Coffin (USA) in the Quarterfinals. The 25-year-old from the Central Coast of Australia showed today that he is a mainstay amongst the world elite with a boost to World No. 6.

“I had no expectations coming into this year,” said Carmichael. “I am really happy. I just want to keep improving my surfing. I’m having that much fun, and I want to keep going. I am enjoying every minute of this. I want to thank everyone. The support was ridiculous. This place is unreal and I love it. I feel right at home on the wave. It is amazing.”

Carmichael stopped local hero Smith from earning his third event win at this year’s Corona Open J-Bay. The extremely close Semifinal saw Carmichael garner a 13.77 two-wave total to Smith’s 13.30. The 0.47-point difference eliminated Smith in Equal 3rd place.

“Maybe some of my scores I felt like were maybe flipped, but Wade (Carmichael) is surfing really well and I wish him the best of luck,” Smith said. “It has been really nice for me to be home. I just want to thank everyone for so much of the support – it has been awesome. It is a third. It is not the worst thing in the world, it could have been way worse. I am just going to keep having fun and enjoying my time here in J-Bay.”

Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) fell to Toledo in the second Semifinal. The 20-year-old was responsible for the highest single-wave score of the event, a near-perfect 9.67 in Round 4, but was not able to bring the results against the eventual winner.

Julian Wilson (AUS) fell to Smith in the second Quarterfinal. The Australian came into this event as World No. 1, but his 5th place finish now moves him down to second on the Jeep Leaderboard. Wilson is the defending event winner of the next men’s CT stop, the Tahiti Pro, and now prepares to defend his win at the infamous Teahupo’o.

“Me and Jordy (Smith) have had plenty of good battles and we had another close one there,” said Wilson. “I feel like that was a great result. I didn’t find my best this week in J-Bay but was able to find a good result. It is just past halfway in the year and there are is a lot of good events left.  I am excited for Tahiti. Same as here where you just look at the forecast and either get really really scared or get on your shortboard and throw everything at it like last year.”

The waiting period for the Women’s Corona Open J-Bay opens tomorrow and will run through July 16. The WSL Commissioner’s Office will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:45 a.m. local time (SAST) to assess the conditions and determine if the competition will run.

The Corona Open J-Bay will be broadcast LIVE on the WSL’s Facebook page. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

Surfline, forecast partner of the WSL, is calling for:

Rippable SSW swell prevails Thursday morning, with a  building trend of medium to strong surf over the later afternoon and evening. Friday early morning should still see good size surf, with a fading trend through the day. Wind looks favorable most of the day Thursday before trending light+ onshore on Friday. A modest size, heavily shadowed WSW/SW swell should build in Sunday afternoon before easing Monday, although wind will likely be side shore or onshore. There is some potential for a new swell around the end of the event window. 

Men’s Final Results:
1 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.80
2 – Wade Carmichael (AUS) 15.33

Men’s Corona Open J-Bay Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 13.77 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.30
SF 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.90 def. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 14.17

Men’s Corona Open J-Bay Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 12.87 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 10.40
QF 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 13.43 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.96
QF 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.50 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.03
QF 4: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 15.17 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 12.44

2018 Men’s WSL CT Jeep Leaderboard (After the Corona Open J-Bay):
1 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 35,900 pts
2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 31,960 pts
3 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 25,685 pts
4 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 25,415 pts
5 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 21,910
6 – Wade Carmichael (AUS) 21,80

The Women’s Corona Open J-Bay event window will open Friday, July 6.

Women’s Corona Open J-Bay Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 2: Tyler Wright (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)
Heat 3: Lakey Peterson (USA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Macy Callaghan (AUS)
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Keely Andrew (AUS), Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Heat 6: Carissa Moore (HAW), Caroline Marks (USA), Coco Ho (HAW)

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

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Open Thread: What Are You a Snob About?

What are you a snob about?If you read our post earlier this week about brain candy books and other fun summer reads, you probably had one of three responses: (1) “Hmm, I should check out some of these,” or (2) “Eh, not my type of book,” … OR (3) “Ugh, why does anyone read those kinds of books, anyway?” Some of us are just book snobs — and all of us are snobs about something or other, right? We thought general snobbery would be a fun topic for a open thread on the day after a disorienting middle-of-the-week holiday, so here’s the question: What ARE you a snob about — and what are you decidedly NOT snobby about? Did you used to have things in the first category that, over time, moved into the second category? How about vice versa — have you gotten more snobby about anything as you’ve gotten older and wiser? 

Earlier this year, we got almost 100 comments on our “What are you drinking in 2018?” open thread, so clearly many readers are very discerning about wine, cocktails, and so on — and Kat readily admits that she’s a gin snob. (She wrote that book post, so she’s obviously an equal-opportunity reader; she also notes that she generally prefers simple Folgers coffee rather than fancy stuff.) So let’s hear it, ladies: What are YOU a snob about? Clothes, bags, jewelry, or shoes? Makeup and skincare? Food, restaurants, cookware? Wine, tea, coffee? Musicbooks, TV, movies? Home decor(Just in case it needs to be said, there are no right answers here! We just thought it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on what’s worth the splurge and what isn’t…)

To me, the most interesting aspect of this is what you once were snobby about but eventually became more open-minded about. I used to be a book snob (hey, I was an English major, so it came easily), but not anymore — today I read everything from literary nonfiction about little-known historical events to “contemporary romance.” I also used to be a music snob — and the same thing happened for me with movies. I used to see most of my movies at an independent theater, and those films were definitely not going to become blockbusters. In 2015, in a “regular” theater, I saw the trailer for Captain America: Civil War, and my reaction was, “Another superhero movie?! There are SO many superhero movies!” Well, since then, I have become something of a Marvel geek and now have 13 movies and 6 TV series under my belt (ha, not a superhero belt, just a regular one). I have to say, I kinda get chills when I’m sitting in the movie theater and hear the Avengers theme. (Grammar, though? I think I’ll always be a grammar snob.)

What about you? What have you always been a snob about, either outwardly or secretly? What did you USED to be a snob about but no longer are — and what made you change your thinking? What are your guilty pleasures regarding food, Netflix binges, and so on? 

Picture via Stencil.

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Teddy Geiger Feels ‘More Open’ After Her Transition

Teddy Geiger opened up about her transition and the hardships she faced while struggling with her gender identity.

“I just feel more open,” Geiger, 29, told The New York Times in a profile published on Thursday, July 5. “Because I’m willing to talk about everything now, people are then more open with me.”

She continued: “There’s no longer this piece of me back there saying, ‘Don’t go there.’ I used to find that I’d sing songs and think, ‘Ooh, it sounds like I’m talking about that stuff, and I don’t want to talk about that stuff.’ But it was just coming out.”

Geiger struggled as a teenager thrust into the spotlight, not understanding her identity disconnect. “I was going through adolescence and having sex for the first time, but it was in this really weird context,” the “For You I Will” singer explained. “I didn’t have a real support group.”

The songwriter retreated from the business for a while before her 21st birthday, but she was met with crippling anxiety when she moved to California from New York. Geiger said she relied on cigarettes and marijuana — two packs and a half-ounce of weed a day — to cope. Obsessive-compulsive behaviors, such as maintaining her nails, also took over. “It was the only femininity that I was expressing, so I wanted it to be so perfect,” she told The New York Times. “It was the only thing I could control.”

In September 2017, Geiger participated in a monthlong treatment program for anxiety and to “get to the bottom of the gender thing.” She exited the program prepared to embrace her true identity and announced her transition in October of that year.

“I can remember back to being 5 and looking in the mirror, feeling like a girl and wanting that,” she noted. “But growing up in Rochester, there were limited resources. I’d never met a trans person before.” Geiger mentioned that she didn’t know transgender people existed until she was in her 20s.

Shawn Mendes, who frequently collaborates with Geiger and has been publicly supportive of her transition, recalled meeting up with her to begin working on his self-titled album after she completed treatment. “It was the first time I ever saw her sober,” the 19-year-old singer said. “She was like Teddy, but on steroids. There was this electricity running through her.”

Us Weekly

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Holiday Open Thread (And Fourth of July Sales of Note!)

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Happy Fourth of July! We’re taking the day off, but as a mini holiday open thread I thought we’d recommend this gorgeous wrap dress from Cooper St. that clearly has a Fourth of July feel. I think it’s versatile enough to wear beyond the holiday, though, and I love the colors and the mixed stripes. You could even put a t-shirt on top and wear it to work as a skirt (depending on your office, that is). It comes in straight sizes 2–16 ($ 180) and plus sizes 14W–24W ($ 200), although the brand notes that “Sizes 2–6 run small; sizes 8–16 run large. (Hmm. Thanks for clearing that up.) (Note that Nordstrom has a TON of new markdowns that are pretty great in general — we’re doing a fuller roundup of 4th of July sales, after the jump…) Milan Stripe Wrap Dress

A few more affordable dresses in fun stripes are from Halogen, ECI, and Leith.

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

Fourth of July Sales of Note

(Kat’s favorites in bold…)

 

  • 6PM – Annual Summer Clearance!
  • Ann Taylor – 60% off all sale styles, and 40% off all full-price styles
  • Anthropologie – Extra 40% off sale items!
  • Banana Republic – Extra 50% off sale styles plus 20% off regular priced styles.  Gap – The Great Gap Sale, up to 60% off; plus 40% off everything online.  Old Navy – Entire store on sale, up to 60% off! Athleta – Extra 20% off sale items.
  • Banana Republic Factory – Extra 50% off clearance! Summer doorbusters for $ 9.99+.
  • Boden – Up to 50% off sale!
  • Brooks Brothers – The Fourth of July Event (through July 8) — extra 25% off already reduced styles by creative director Zac Posen!
  • Express – Everything up to 50% off off!
  • J.Crew – 30% off your purchase, plus up to 50% of All Star Days picks.
  • J.Crew Factory – 50% off everything + extra 20% off your purchase with code SUPERSTAR (and f/s).
  • Lands’ End – 30% off all other full-price styles; tons of dresses on sale as low as $ 29.99.
  • Loft – Extra 50% off all sale styles!
  • Nordstrom – Hundreds of new markdowns, including Zella, Wit & Wisdom, Free People, Sam Edelman and more.
  • Neiman Marcus – Last Call sale, up to 70% off!
  • Reiss – Further reductions, up to 60% off!
  • Talbots – Only Today, online: 50% off entire site with code FIREWORKS, plus $ 5 standard shipping.
  • Victoria’s Secret – Summer savings 40% off + up.
  • Zappos – Tons of sales on brands like Aerosoles, Anne Klein, Aquatalia, Born, Dansko, Fly London, Isola, Kate Spade New York, Marc Fisher LTD, Naturalizer, Nine West, Reef, Rockport, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sam Edelman, SJP, Taryn Rose, VIONIC, and Yosi Samra.

 

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Woods set to miss U.S. Open halfway cut after 72

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (Reuters) – Tiger Woods missed the halfway cut at the U.S. Open on Friday the day before the 10th anniversary of his last major title success in the latest sign that his comeback from major back surgery has stalled.


Reuters: Sports News

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Top-Ranked Simona Halep Defeats American Sloane Stephens to Win French Open

PARIS — Simona Halep kept telling everybody who would listen: She was a different player. She was stronger mentally. She wanted so much to finally win a Grand Slam title and was sure that, one day, she would.

After three losses in major finals, maybe Halep was trying to convince herself as much as anyone else she actually could do it. Either way, she was right.

Halep added Grand Slam trophy No. 1 to her No. 1 ranking, coming back from a set and a break down to beat Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 Saturday and win the French Open championship in a match made up of long points and key momentum swings.

The 26-year-old Halep lost in two previous appearances in a final at Roland Garros, against Maria Sharapova in 2014 and Jelena Ostapenko in 2017. Halep fell to 0-3 with a trophy on the line at the Australian Open in January, beaten by Caroline Wozniacki.

She trailed against Stephens, but this time Halep was able to turn it around. Halep became the first woman from Romania to claim a Grand Slam title since her current manager, Virginia Ruzici, won the French Open 40 years ago.

Sports – TIME

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Rafael Nadal Wins 11th French Open Title

(PARIS) — Rafael Nadal needed less than a set to take command of the French Open final and overcame a late problem with his racket-holding hand to earn a record-extending 11th championship at Roland Garros by beating Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday.

At 2-1 in the fourth set, Nadal stopped serving during a game because he couldn’t straighten his left middle finger. At the following changeover, Nadal was given a salt pill by a doctor and had his left forearm massaged by a trainer.

But Nadal’s form never wavered, and soon enough he was celebrating his 17th Grand Slam title overall, second among men only to Roger Federer’s 20.

The victory also allowed the 32-year-old Spaniard to hold onto the No. 1 ranking.

The No. 7-seeded Thiem, a 24-year-old from Austria, was appearing in a major final for the first time. Not much more of a daunting task than doing so against Nadal at the French Open, where he is now 11-0 in finals and 86-2 overall.

If there were any reason for a bit of intrigue entering Sunday’s match, it was this: Thiem is the only person to beat Nadal on red clay over the past two seasons, doing so at Rome in May 2017 and at Madrid last month.

Taking on Nadal at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament is a whole other challenge. Thiem stayed with Nadal in the early going on a steamy afternoon. But from 4-all in the opening set, Nadal grabbed five games in a row and was in charge.

Sports – TIME

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It’s been 10 years since Tiger Woods won at the U.S. Open as he heads to Shinnecock

A decade somehow has passed already since Tiger Woods, on a shredded left knee that would require reconstructive surgery on a torn ACL eight days later, legendarily outlasted Rocco Mediate in a 19-hole playoff at Torrey Pines to capture the 2008 U.S. Open title.

It marked his 14th major championship…

Sports – New York Daily News

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Simona Halep tops American Sloane Stephens to win French Open title

Top-ranked Simona Halep has won the French Open by defeating Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
FOX News

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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Ashley Iaconetti And Jared Haibon Open Up About Their Very First ‘I Love You’ And It’s Incredibly Romantic!

The Bachelor couple is back together and happier than ever! As you may be aware, Ashley Iaconetti and Jared Haibon announced on her web series titled The Story of Us that they have rekindled their love.

The two met for the very first time on Bachelor in Paradise three years ago, and after some obstacles along the way, they now seem to be in it for the long run.

Ashley and Jared talked to ET earlier in the week, opening up about their amazing romance.

That being said, they shared the story of their first ‘I love you’ and also talked about moving in together and keeping the romance under wraps for months.

‘We knew that there was a lot of history with us and we really wanted to date and have a relaxed, easygoing relationship because we have never been boyfriend/girlfriend throughout our entire relationship,’ Jared stated.

Then they went on to explain how they knew they should get back together.

I love my boyfriend. 💜

A post shared by Ashley Iaconetti (@ashley_iaconetti) on

‘For me, it was love at first sight. I don’t know when in the last couple of months I decided [I wanted to be with him]. I always knew we had something I had never experienced before. We are similar and different in the most compatible ways. We really complement each other,’ Ashley stated.

Jared called her ‘the love of [his] life’ and proceeded to share how grateful he is for having Ashley in his life.

About six weeks into their rekindled relationship ‘He would even say ‘love of my life’ before he said ‘I’m in love with you,’’ Ashley dished.

Jared added: ‘I wanted to make sure. I wanted us to date for a while before we said those words to make sure this was real. And I wanted it to be important. We were in bed,  lying there. I could not wait anymore! We were talking throughout that entire [Stagecoach] weekend about how much we liked each other, and I was like, ‘I don’t like you, I love you! I was super nervous to say it. I was like, ‘I hope she says it back.’ I said, ‘I am completely obsessed with you, I am addicted to you.’’

These two are so sweet! We hope they’ll be together forever and will continue to feel the same way about each other!

Celebrity Insider

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Athleisure brand Bandier to open NoHo store with fitness studio

One of the boldest real estate deals in the Big Apple was recently inked by an athleisure shop that made a name for itself selling $ 300 leggings in tony Southampton, LI. In August, 5-year-old Bandier is opening a massive 27,500-square-foot flagship in NoHo — about the size of a fitness center — that will not…
Business | New York Post

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Governors Ball 2018: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Shawn Mendes open NYC festival with lively sets

The party is just getting started at Randall’s Island Park.

Governors Ball got underway Friday, with veteran New York band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs commanding the main stage and proving rock is not dead.

Lead singer Karen O captivated the crowd with her presence and voice, screeching at some points…

/entertainment – New York Daily News

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