You can build a billion-dollar unicorn and still go on maternity leave. These female CEOs prove it

Rent the Runway CEO Jennifer Hyman is out on maternity leave, and 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki's due date is nearing. These female leaders of 2019 CNBC Disruptor 50 start-ups are offering broad family-leave benefits to employees.
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Hemp products boom is still a ‘bust’ for some

Looking to get rich off CBD? Sell at your own risk. Mom-and-pop stores have been making a bundle charging premium prices for cannabidiol, as stressed-out shoppers shell out for snacks, drinks and creams to treat aches and anxiety. Smaller health-food stores and head shops alike were emboldened late last year, even as bigger chains balked,…
Business | New York Post

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China still ‘cautiously optimistic’ on U.S. trade talks despite new tariffs

China and the United States have agreed to hold more trade talks in Beijing, Vice Premier Liu He said as U.S. President Donald Trump ordered his trade chief to begin the process of imposing tariffs on all remaining imports from China.


Reuters: Business News

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‘Saints Row: The Third’ is still one of the most batsh*t video games in existence

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Saints Row: The Third lives again.

The 2011 game comes to Nintendo Switch on May 10, and it’s the same ridiculously over-the-top story of superstardom, gang warfare, and government malfeasance you remember.

Or not? Even if we accept that time has actually flowed normally since early 2017 — a tall order when every day ages us all another 10 years, I know — it’s been a long time since Saints Row: The Third showed up. If you’re not familiar with the series, or just want to catch up, let’s talk about why it matters.

Finding the right footing

It’s always funny to think back on how Saints Row, the series, started as an opportunistic knock-off. Read more…

More about Entertainment, Gaming, Saints Row The Third, Entertainment, and Gaming


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‘Varsity Blues’ Ringleader Rick Singer Still Living Large Despite Bribery Plea

Rick Singer, the man who pulled all the strings in the massive college admissions bribery case, is living the Porsche lifestyle while the clients he ratted out face years in prison. Shirtless Rick was chillin’ at a public pool Tuesday in St.…

TMZ.com

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Home price gains keep shrinking, but housing is still overpriced

Home prices are less heated this spring, but the largest metropolitan markets are still overpriced. About 40% of the nation's top 50 markets, based on the number of homes, were overvalued in March.
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Before reporting to prison, Michael Cohen says still ‘much to be told’

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, reports to a federal corrections facility in Otisville, New York, to serve out a three-year sentence.
ABC News: Top Stories

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

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Tara Westover: “You Can Love Someone & Still Choose to Say Goodbye” | SuperSoul Sunday | OWN

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

CHARITY UPDATE :

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

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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!

We’re not sure how, but you can still get LED light bulbs on Amazon for $1 each

LED Light Bulbs Amazon

If you’re smart, today could very well be the last day that you ever buy light bulbs. After all, Sylvania Home Lighting 8.5W Soft White A19 LED Light Bulbs can last for a more than a decade without needing to be changed, and you’ll never find a deal on them as good as the deal Amazon is running right now. You’ll only pay $ 1 per bulb when you buy a 24-pack right now, which means you can buy a few of them and basically get yourself a lifetime supply!

Sylvania Home Lighting 74765 A19 Efficient 8.5W Soft White 2700K 60W Equivalent A29 LED Light B…: $ 24.08

Here are the highlights from the product page:

  • These LED lamps make an energy-efficient replacement and substitute for standard 60 watt incandescent lamps. At 8.5 watts, each bulb emits the bright light output of 800 lumens
  • These bulbs are a great energy-saving replacement for old incandescent bulbs because each lamp has a total lifespan of up to 11, 000 hours. You won’t need to constantly change your lightbulbs anymore
  • These LED lightbulbs require less energy and can save money on your energy bill. Each soft white light bulb works as a great replacement for old 60W incandescent bulbs
  • These LED light bulbs have a Color temperature of 2700 kelvin, which produces a soft white Color. This bulb is perfect for your nightstand, living room, or dining room
  • This bulb is not dimmable. Operating Temperature (°C): -20 to 40

Sylvania Home Lighting 74765 A19 Efficient 8.5W Soft White 2700K 60W Equivalent A29 LED Light B…: $ 24.08

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  2. Apple’s leaked iPhone 11 design looks stunning in this new video
  3. This could easily be the most exciting iPhone 11 rumor so far

We’re not sure how, but you can still get LED light bulbs on Amazon for $ 1 each originally appeared on BGR.com on Wed, 1 May 2019 at 09:03:44 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Three Weeks Pass And Boston Panel Still Has No Verdict In Insys Opioid Trial

The lengthy deliberations of the 12-person jury focus on a scam prosecutors say funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to doctors nationwide to prescribe highly addictive Subsys more often and at higher doses. News on the opioid epidemic comes from Massachusetts, Ohio, New Hampshire and California, as well.
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Good for Him! Eminem Celebrates 11 Years of Sobriety: ‘Still Not Afraid’ [Photo]

Eminem is continuing on his path of sobriety.

The 46-year-old rapper shared on social media that he’s celebrating 11 years sober with a photo of the medallion he received for his accomplishment.

via People:

The medallion is stamped with the Roman numeral for eleven, “XI,” and the words “Unity,” “Service” and “Recovery.”

“11 years – still not afraid,” Eminem captioned the photo.

Last year, the rapper, who was born Marshall Mathers, also acknowledged the anniversary of his sobriety, sharing a photo to Instagram in between his headlining sets at Coachella.

“Celebrated my 10 years yesterday,” he wrote alongside the image, in which he held a medallion up to the camera.

Eminem previously revealed he had a near-death experience from an accidental overdose back in 2007 after his addiction got so bad that he was taking up to 20 pills a day.

The star opened up about his near-fatal overdose on Revival, his ninth studio album that was released in December 2017.

On the 18th track, titled “Castle” featuring Skylar Grey, Eminem writes letters to his 23-year-old daughter Hailie Jade, with the third verse talking about her 12th birthday and recalling how he overdosed on methadone and nearly died.

“Your dad’s at the end of his rope/ I’m sliding down a slippery slope/ Anyway, sweetie, I better go, I’m getting sleepy … Love, Dad, s—, I don’t know,” he raps.

Then on the 19th and final track of Revival, titled “Arose,” Eminem continues the narrative of “Castle” by speaking directly to his daughter again, this time as final apologies from his deathbed.

“Just heard they’re unplugging me/ And it’s your birthday/ Jade I’m missing your birthday/ Baby girl, I’m sorry,” he says.

However, the end of the verse is noticeably different: “I’m pledging to throw this methadone in the toilet” he says, referring to a new beginning.

Congrats to Em.

The post Good for Him! Eminem Celebrates 11 Years of Sobriety: ‘Still Not Afraid’ [Photo] appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

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Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health’: Still More ‘Medicare-For-All’

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a presidential candidate, unveiled the 2019 version of his “Medicare-for-all” bill this week. But even more than two decades after first proposing a single-payer plan for the U.S., Sanders still has not proposed a way to finance such a major undertaking.

Congress continued to pursue its examination of high prescription drug prices this week by calling to testify both insulin makers and the drug “middlemen” known as pharmacy benefit managers.

And Idaho is following Utah in trying to scale back an expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act approved by voters last November.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Sarah Kliff of Vox.com, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post.

Also, Rovner interviews Ceci Connolly, president and CEO of the Alliance of Community Health Plans.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • “Medicare-for-all” was in the spotlight again this week with the release of Sanders’ bill, which is co-sponsored by four of the five other Senate Democrats running for president. Still, neither Sanders nor any other candidates — or their proposals — focus on how to pay for it. Experts differ on how much expanding Medicare would cost. But, whether it’s moving around money already being spent or raising new taxes, expanding Medicare to more people would result in winners and losers, a key political factor going forward.
  • Both parties face internal divisions over health care, revolving around whether to create something new or stick with the status quo. Within the GOP, the split is between Republicans who point to years of unsuccessful efforts to repeal and maybe replace the ACA and want to move on to other things, and others — including some in the White House — who are continuing the push. Democrats’ division is between those who back House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s call to strengthen and improve the ACA and those who back various efforts to create a Medicare-for-all system.
  • The GOP is playing both offense and defense on the ACA. Leaders say they want to be the party of health care and protect people with preexisting medical conditions, even as the Justice Department is officially backing a court ruling in Texas that would invalidate the entire law, including those protections.
  • There was lots of talk but little action on drug prices at hearings before Congress. Lawmakers heard from drug companies and pharmacy benefit managers, but are no closer to answering the question about what to do about high drug prices. While there may be incremental changes that can be adopted, few expect legislation that would fundamentally change business practices, intellectual property rights or the ability for Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
  • Action in the Utah and Idaho legislatures around Medicaid expansion show that even successful ballot initiatives to expand the program can be changed by lawmakers in ways voters may not have expected. In both state capitols, elected officials reduced the number of people eligible for expansion below what voters approved.

Plus, for extra credit, the panelists recommend their favorite health policy stories of the week they think you should read too:

Julie Rovner: The New York Times’ “Would ‘Medicare for All’ Save Billions or Cost Billions?” By Josh Katz, Kevin Quealy and Margot Sanger-Katz

Sarah Kliff: Politico’s “Public Option Hits a Wall in Blue States,” by Rachana Pradhan and Dan Goldberg

Margot Sanger-Katz: Politico’s “Obamacare Fight Obscures America’s Real Health Care Crisis: Money,” by Joanne Kenen

Paige Winfield Cunningham: STAT News’ “Amazon Alexa Is Now HIPAA-Compliant. Tech Giant Says Health Data Can Now Be Accessed Securely,” by Casey Ross

To hear all our podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to What the Health? on iTunesStitcher or Google Play.

Kaiser Health News

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Why Hunting JonBenet’s Killer: The Untold Story Host Elizabeth Vargas Thinks the Case Can Still Be Solved

Elizabeth Vargas, John Ramsey, BTS Hunting JonBenét's KillerTwenty-three years after the death of JonBenet Ramsey, journalist Elizabeth Vargas still thinks there could be hope for answers.
Vargas is hosting the A&E series Hunting…

E! Online (US) – TV News

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We Randomly Generated 10 Million March Madness Brackets — And We Still Got Beat

I should probably be happier that my alma mater, the University of Virginia, won the men’s basketball NCAA tournament. But I’m disappointed that none of the 10 million March Madness brackets I generated would have won ESPN’s Tournament Challenge, where the winning bracket racked up 185 of 192 possible points. (ESPN multiplies those scores by 10, but otherwise it uses the same standard scoring system every major site uses.) The winner of my computer-generated brackets — none of which I entered into any actual contest — scored 178 points, which would have tied for 8th place on ESPN, tied for first place on NCAA.com, finished a strong second on USAToday.com, and been the runaway winner on FoxSports.com.

As a consolation prize, I could have considerably inconvenienced Warren Buffett, who offers his 400,000-some employees $ 1 million a year for life if they correctly predict the Sweet Sixteen. If Buffett (and TIME) had permitted me to be an employee of Berkshire Hathaway for one day, and enter 10,000,000 brackets, I would have qualified for that prize 334 times (the number of my brackets that guessed correctly in all 16 games that feed into the Sweet Sixteen). By the time I reach age 80 — 45 years from now — Buffett, who is 88, would have owed me $ 15,030,000,000, or about 18% of his current estimated net worth of $ 84 billion.

But while perfection was never on the table in this little computational experiment, I did learn a few things about the futility of guessing March Madness results. Here’s how the chips fell for my imaginary pool:

Normally — and this was true after the first two rounds — you would expect a large population of randomly generated brackets to fall along a normal distribution, better known as a “bell curve.” As you can see, this bell would ring with horrible dissonance before tipping over.

As a data analyst, whenever you see a curve like this that doesn’t make obvious sense, you first have to ask yourself a difficult question: is the problem with the data, or with me? I feel comfortably exonerated here, having meticulously checked that all 10 million brackets were legitimate. There were no bugs that had a team advancing after losing, for example, and they adhered to common sense by weighting each random choice by the seeds of the two teams.

Digging in, we see the two humps in the data peak at 54 points (267,595 brackets) and 109 points (41,352 brackets). These precise values are probably a function of various upsets in the first few rounds, but the real reason is pretty simple: the most important factor in any bracket is whether you choose the final champion correctly. Of my 54-pointers, a few had one of the two final teams correct, but none of them guessed Virginia would win. In fact, that would be impossible, because, while guessing the champion correctly is good for 32 points in the final game, this means you also picked that team to win its previous five games, for a total of 63 points. (My lowest scoring bracket to guess the winner had 79 points, an extreme outlier.)

The second hump is the most common outcome for brackets that either won the final game or, less commonly, did very well in the final three rounds. Over 90% of the brackets with 109 points guessed Virginia to win it all, and only 11 guessed neither of the final two teams.

Which is to say, the typical scoring system, in which the points double every round, is so absurdly top-heavy that you can often win an office pool by predicting the winner even if you do horribly in many of the games leading up to the championship. (It mostly depends on how many of your fellow bracketologists also picked the right winner.) While 28 of my brackets correctly guessed 31 of 32 games in the first round, my winner guessed only 24 — still respectable, but loaded with liabilities in future rounds. It didn’t matter. The best of those 28 brackets with near-perfect first rounds ended up with 139 points, compared to my ultimate winner’s 178.

I couldn’t locate figures on the average score of the winning bracket in individual pools of a few dozen people, but I can say with extreme confidence that a healthy majority of them chose Virginia to win. This is definitely true, at least, of every bracket that placed on the leaderboard of every major site’s leaderboard. And of the 1,001,864 brackets in my experiment that predicted Virginia to win the whole thing, the average score was 114 points. Of those that didn’t, the average was 59.

This, to me, is a flaw in the way brackets are scored. I am much more impressed by an entrant who guesses extremely well through the Elite Eight but then falls apart versus someone who ekes out a victory with the winning team, papering over many predictive casualties along the way. Several alternate scoring systems are designed to address this by ramping up the rewards more gradually each round or even just treating every game as 1 point.

I don’t expect this idea to take hold, because it short-circuits the possibility that a contestant can mostly guess wrong and still win. March Madness would become less of a roulette wheel and more of a poker game, favoring the savvy over the lucky. Yes, March would be less Mad. It would also be less angry.

Sports – TIME

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Ghost of Toys R Us still haunts toy companies

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

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Nielsen: I still supports Trump’s border goals

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

CHARITY UPDATE:

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

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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How Millie Kentner from Freaks and Geeks still inspires me to do my own thing

How Millie Kentner from Freaks and Geeks still inspires me to do my own thing


How Millie Kentner from <em>Freaks and Geeks</em> still inspires me to do my own thing

When Freaks and Geeks made its cable debut in 1999, it introduced the world to a cast of fictional students that would forever stand as a relevant and authentic depiction of  trying to get through high school. From awkward first dances to school bullies that ruled the dodgeball court, the Judd Apatow-produced comedic series was centered on the stories of a group of, well, freaks and geeks. And while I was more than happy to follow the adventures of Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini), Kim Kelly (Busy Philips), and Bill Haverchuck (Martin Starr), there was one particular character I felt always deserved more credit: Millie Kentner.

Many of the characters on this eternally classic series could fall into two categories—a freak or a geek—but Millie was much more than that. Sure, her participation in the Mathletes and her dedication to studying may have classified her as your standard nerd, but it was her caring personality and disinterest in what others thought of her that truly made Millie unique. She truly looked out for every student at William McKinley High School.

During the first episode, we meet the beacon of light that is Millie. Even though her best friend, Lindsay, is surrounded by freaks, Millie is unafraid and approaches the group to remind Lindsay that the deadline for the academic decathlon is quickly approaching. While Lindsay might be trying to temporarily hide her geeky identity from the school’s resident badasses, Millie is unashamed. In fact, she goes on to express concern over her bestie’s new circle of friends.

This initial instance isn’t the only time we witness Millie caring for others either. She stars in a school assembly that shows the dangers of drunk driving, she attempts—and fails—to join the freaks after the death of her beloved dog, and she’s never afraid to say exactly what she’s thinking—including disapproval over Kim’s improper use of the school’s darkroom for “fornication.” She’s also more than happy to turn down an opportunity to party, saying, “I get high on life.”

Of course, each of these hilarious instances pale in comparison to Millie’s shining moment: when she takes over a riotous school party at Lindsay’s house with a piano performance of “Jesus Is Just Alright.” The character’s religious upbringing is mentioned throughout the show and results in her turning down many of the trademark high school activities. True to form, while the rest of her friends choose to drink at the party, she takes to the piano, leading an entire group of fake drunks in a singalong, one of the greatest moments in Freaks and Geeks history.

The scene became an instant classic as Millie was joined for her performance by freak, Nick Andopolis (Jason Segel). The interaction between these two unlikely friends epitomized the comedic intentions of the series—showing how two students from completely opposite groups can became allies, even if for just a brief moment. And while my own experience in high school may have not proved as harmonious, I can’t help but feel hope that maybe one day we’ll all just get along and join in a group performance of classic hymnals.

Millie may have never been one of the series main characters, but each and every one of her brief on-screen appearances made a lasting impact on me.

As an adult, I thankfully no longer have to face the halls of high school, but Millie taught me that, in life, there really are no freaks or geeks. We’re all just trying our best to find our place in the halls of life. And, if nothing else, we’re all just trying to find what makes us happy, and sometimes that breaking into song at our friend’s party.

The post How Millie Kentner from <em>Freaks and Geeks</em> still inspires me to do my own thing appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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Doughnut Hole Is Gone, But Medicare’s Uncapped Drug Costs Still Bite Into Budgets

Three times a week, Tod Gervich injects himself with Copaxone, a prescription drug that can reduce the frequency of relapses in people who have some forms of multiple sclerosis. After more than 20 years with the disease, Gervich, 66, is

Unlike commercial plans that cap members’ out-of-pocket drug spending annually, Medicare has no limit for prescription medications in Part D, its drug benefit. With the cost of specialty drugs increasing, some Medicare beneficiaries could owe thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket drug costs every year for a single drug.

Recent proposals by the Trump administration and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) would address the long-standing problem by imposing a spending cap. But it’s unclear whether any of these proposals will gain a foothold.

The 2006 introduction of the Medicare prescription drug benefit was a boon for seniors, but the coverage had weak spots. One was the so-called doughnut hole — the gap beneficiaries fell into after they accumulated a few thousand dollars in drug expenses and were on the hook for the full cost of their medications. Another was the lack of an annual cap on drug spending.

Legislative changes have gradually closed the doughnut hole so that, this year, beneficiaries no longer face a coverage gap. In a standard Medicare drug plan, beneficiaries pay 25 percent of the price of their brand-name drugs until they reach $ 5,100 in out-of-pocket costs. Once patients reach that threshold, the catastrophic portion of their coverage kicks in and their obligation drops to 5 percent. But it never disappears.

It’s that ongoing 5 percent that hits hard for people, like Gervich, who take expensive medications.

His 40-milligram dose of Copaxone costs about $ 75,000 annually, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In January, Gervich paid $ 1,800 for the drug and another $ 900 in February. Discounts that drug manufacturers are required to provide to Part D enrollees also counted toward his out-of-pocket costs. (More on that later.) By March, he hit the $ 5,100 threshold that pushed him into catastrophic coverage. For the rest of the year, he’ll owe $ 295 a month for this drug, until the cycle starts over again in January.

That $ 295 is a far cry from the approximately $ 6,250 monthly Copaxone price without insurance. But, combined with the $ 2,700 he already paid before his catastrophic coverage kicked in, the additional $ 2,950 he’ll owe this year is no small amount. And that assumes he needs no other medications.

Tod Gervich injects himself with the prescription drug Copaxone, three times a week. While he’s accustomed to managing his condition, he can’t get used to Medicare’s high coinsurance payments.(Courtesy of Tod Gervich)

“I feel like I’m being punished financially for having a chronic disease,” he said. He has considered discontinuing Copaxone to save money.

His drug bill is one reason Gervich has decided not to retire yet, he said.

An annual cap on his out-of-pocket costs “would definitely help,” said Gervich, a self-employed certified financial planner in Mashpee, Mass.

Drugs like Copaxone that can modify the effects of the disease have been on a steep upward price trajectory in recent years, said Bari Talente, executive vice president for advocacy at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Drugs that used to cost $ 60,000 annually five years ago cost $ 90,000 now, she said. With those totals, Medicare beneficiaries “are going to hit catastrophic coverage no matter what.”

Specialty-tier drugs for multiple sclerosis, cancer and other conditions — defined by Medicare as those that cost more than $ 670 a month — account for more than 20 percent of total spending in Part D plans, up from about 6 percent before 2010, according to a report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, a nonpartisan agency that advises Congress about the program.

Just over 1 million Medicare beneficiaries in Part D plans who did not receive low-income subsidies had drug costs that pushed them into catastrophic coverage in 2015, more than twice as many as the 2007 total, an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

“When the drug benefit was created, 5 percent probably didn’t seem like that big a deal,” said Juliette Cubanski, associate director of the Program on Medicare Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Now we have such expensive medications, and many of them are covered under Part D — where, before, many expensive drugs were cancer drugs” that were administered in doctors’ offices and covered by other parts of Medicare.

The lack of a spending limit for the Medicare drug benefit sets it apart from other coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, the maximum amount someone generally owes out-of-pocket for covered drugs and other medical care for this year is $ 7,900. Plans typically pay 100 percent of customers’ costs after that.

The Medicare program doesn’t have an out-of-pocket spending limit for Part A or Part B, which cover hospital and outpatient services, respectively. But beneficiaries can buy supplemental Medigap plans, some of which pay coinsurance amounts and set out-of-pocket spending limits. Medigap plans, however, don’t cover Part D prescription plans.

Counterbalancing the administration’s proposal to impose a spending cap on prescription drugs is another that could increase many beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket drug costs.

(Credit: Department of Health and Human Services)

Currently, brand-name drugs that enrollees receive are discounted by 70 percent by manufacturers when Medicare beneficiaries have accumulated at least $ 3,820 in drug costs and until they reach $ 5,100 in out-of-pocket costs. Those discounts are applied toward beneficiaries’ total out-of-pocket costs, moving them more quickly toward catastrophic coverage. Under the administration’s proposal, manufacturer discounts would no longer be treated this way. The administration said this would help steer patients toward less expensive generic medications.

Still, beneficiaries would have to pay more out-of-pocket to reach the catastrophic spending threshold. Thus, fewer people would likely reach the catastrophic coverage level where they could benefit from a spending cap.

“Our concern is that some people will be paying more out-of-pocket to get to the $ 5,100 threshold and the drug cap,” said Keysha Brooks-Coley, vice president of federal affairs at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

“It’s kind of a mixed bag,” said Cubanski of the proposed calculation change. “There will be savings for some individuals” who reach the catastrophic phase of coverage. “But for many there will be higher costs.”

For some people, especially cancer patients taking chemotherapy pills, the lack of a drug-spending cap in Part D coverage seems especially unjust.

These cutting-edge targeted oral chemotherapy and other drugs tend to be expensive, and Medicare beneficiaries often hit the catastrophic threshold quickly, said Brooks-Coley.

Patty Armstrong-Bolle, who lives in Haslett, Mich., takes Ibrance, a pill, once a day to help keep in check the breast cancer that has spread to other parts of her body. But while the medicine has helped send her cancer into remission, she may never be free of a financial obligation for the pricey drug.

Armstrong-Bolle, 68, paid $ 2,200 in January and February for the drug last year. When she entered the catastrophic coverage portion of her Part D plan, the cost dropped to $ 584 per month. Armstrong-Bolle’s husband died last year, and she used the money from his life insurance policy to cover her drug bills. This year, a patient assistance program has covered the first few months of coinsurance. That money will run out next month and she’ll owe her $ 584 portion again.

If she were getting traditional drug infusions instead of taking an oral medication, her treatment would be covered under Part B of the program and her coinsurance payments could be covered.

“It just doesn’t seem fair,” she said.

Kaiser Health News

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Bad Credit? No Problem: 5 Ways You Can Still Buy a Home

Sometimes, it can feel like the deck is stacked against you. You’ve been told you have “bad credit” and that means you’re having trouble getting a traditional mortgage loan.

But wouldn’t getting off the rent cycle treadmill be a first step to rebuilding your finances?

What’s worse is that bad or poor credit could mean so many things: a low credit score, a short credit history, a recent job change and so on. Even open credit report disputes can make a mortgage lender say no — I once had to pay an incorrect medical bill just to get a mortgage.

That was as irritating as it was costly, but at least it could be fixed fairly fast. The bad news is that when it comes to being flagged as having “bad credit” — even just having a credit score below 640 — several of the causes can’t be fixed without potentially waiting years for your score to rise.

Why Bad Credit Is Such an Issue for Getting a Mortgage

First of all, it’s important to know what constitutes “good” and “bad” credit. When lenders query the credit bureaus (like Equifax, TransUnion or Experian), they’re given a full credit report made up of details like your payment history, your total debt load, how much unused credit you have, and more.

All of those things work together to calculate your credit score, which is an estimate of how likely you are to repay any new loan on time. If your score is low, you’re considered high risk.

Remember that lenders are in the business of making money, and someone who defaults on a loan is a major issue for them. When it comes to something like a mortgage, when you’re borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars, a high risk borrower can mean even bigger trouble.

The good news is that in 2019, there are still many ways to buy a home with bad credit.

How to Buy a House with Bad Credit

Some might seem like common sense, but remember that even simple solutions can have major benefits! Without further ado, here are 5 options open to the home-buyer with less-than-optimal credit.

1. Save for a Larger Down Payment

Sometimes your credit is only part of the problem. What can make it even harder are the debt-to-income ratio rules.

Lenders want to see you using less than 43% of your income for all debt repayment. That includes your credit card debt and any other debts you might be carrying, so it helps to pay those off first. But what if your mortgage payment alone is still above the 43% mark?

A simple solution is to start saving.

With a larger down payment, you’ll need to borrow less, which lowers your loan payments, and can give lenders more reason to look favorably on your loan.

A good place to aim for is a down payment that’s at least 20% of the purchase price of the home.  Not only will this give you a better chance of getting a mortgage, but with that loan-to-value ratio, you can also avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI), further lowering your payments.

Family stands in front of house they purchased.

2. Borrow Privately

This is, admittedly, a tough situation to think about, but if you’re desperate to move into a place of your own, it makes sense.

The people who know you best would obviously know better than a bank if you’re a good credit risk — and they may be more forgiving of an occasional late payment.

They also won’t charge you loan fees and can be more flexible about terms.

And the advantages of borrowing from family for a home go both ways. Parents or siblings might appreciate making a decent return on their money compared to what’s available from savings accounts.

Of course, that’s only if you’re extremely vigilant about your payments. No home-buying timeline is worth alienating the people closest to you.

At the same time, there are also seller-financing options. This might be more elusive than borrowing from family, but if you have the wherewithal to research the types of seller financing (mortgage, lease option, contract for deed, etc.), you could deal directly with the current homeowners. Keep in mind, though, that you may pay a higher price overall and even a higher interest rate.

3. Get a Co-Signer

If you’ve already approached someone close to you to help, but they’re uncomfortable actually lending you the money, there’s another option: getting them to co-sign the loan.

The primary advantage to this is that the co-signer’s income will be considered in determining how much you can borrow.

This might be exactly what you need if your problem is a business for which you don’t yet have two years of tax returns, or if you have other income you can’t use to qualify, such as capital gains income, or investment income you haven’t been receiving for at least two straight years.

That said, having someone with good credit co-sign on your mortgage loan will not completely cancel out your bad credit, according to TheMortgageReports.com. Lenders will still consider your low credit score or other credit problems.

Unfortunately, there’s a major downside for your co-signer as well: Being a co-signer to a loan of that size could affect their credit. In the worst case scenario, if you default on your loan and go into foreclosure, their credit will undoubtedly suffer major setbacks.

4. Look into an FHA Mortgage

Most conventional home loans are held privately, by lenders like banks. In the United States, though, there is a government-backed option from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), dedicated to home buyers in situations just like this one.

There are several differences between a conventional loan and an FHA loan, but one of the biggest is the rules about credit. If you have a credit score over 580, you can get an FHA mortgage if you can make a down payment of 3.5% of the total value of the home. For a $ 100,000 house, that’s $ 3,500.

If you have a credit score under 580, you can still get an FHA mortgage if you can make a down payment of 10% of the total value of the home. That might seem like a lot of money to save up, but when compared with the difficulty of repairing your credit, it can actually be a lot easier.

And if your job history is a problem, an FHA loan might be able to help. Lenders who issue FHA loans look at a number of factors to determine your “probability of continued employment,” and you don’t always need the traditional two years of employment to qualify.

Going this route does mean a bit more hassle, though. FHA loans are required to have a specific kind of insurance called Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP), and unlike a conventional mortgage, these never expire and will have to be paid for the life of the loan. That means added costs every month, which can limit the amount of home you can afford.

Welcome to your new home

5. Other Options

If you’ve exhausted this list and you still need other ways of potentially becoming a homeowner, there are still some avenues left to you…they just might not be the easiest of solutions. Remember that it’s always worth thinking outside the box. For example:

Buy a House for Cash

It’s not that far out of the realm of possibility! I’ve made it work and there are plenty of ways to make what seems like a pipe dream much more palatable.

Buy a Cheap Mobile Home

Mobile homes have their advantages, including lower prices than site-built homes, which is great if you have to pay cash. Plus, if you buy a mobile home on land, you even get appreciation like you do with other homes.

Shop Around for Loans

Most banks either sell home loans or want the option to do so, which means meeting the requirements of the secondary mortgage market.

But some small banks and credit unions keep loans in their portfolios because the loans have more flexible qualification rules. Ask around to see which banks keep loans and are willing to look at the whole picture, rather than a bad mark or two on a credit report.

Improve Your Credit

OK, so it’s not a quick solution. But improving your credit is always a good idea, and if you can wait a few more years to buy a home, you might even be able to save up more money to afford something better.

Start by looking at how to raise your credit score. Find the strategies most likely to work for you and implement them!

Steve Gillman is the author of “101 Weird Ways to Make Money” and creator of EveryWayToMakeMoney.com. He’s been a repo-man, walking stick carver, search engine evaluator, house flipper, tram driver, process server, mock juror, and roulette croupier, but of more than 100 ways he has made money, writing is his favorite (so far).

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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None of Our 10 Million Computer Generated March Madness Brackets Are Still Perfect

March is not Mad. It is simply fickle. Whenever 64 teams gather for a single-elimination tournament, even trace amounts of entropy will resemble high drama and improbable returns.

In anticipation of this year’s NCAA March Madness hysteria, which comes on the heels of the maddest tournament in history in 2018, I approached the men’s basketball tournament with a time-honored palliative for neurotics everywhere: radical over-preparation. Instead of filling out a bracket, I wrote a computer program (open-sourced here) that generated 10 million unique NCAA brackets, randomly predicting each matchup with a modest weight toward the lower-seeded team. Here’s how it’s going:

After the first two rounds, which amounted to 48 games, a perfect bracket would have 64 points under a traditional scoring system: 1 point for each of the 32 first-round games and 2 points for the next 16. (Points double each round as the number of teams reduces by half, so the maximum is always 32). Five of my brackets have 61 points — on par with two brackets in ESPN’s pool that are tied for first place, according to the current leaderboard. Another 334 of my brackets missed a few first-round games but guessed the second round perfectly. (ESPN’s scores are inflated by a factor of 10 but are otherwise scored by the same system.)

Those five 61-point brackets all have a maximum payout of 189 points out of a possible 192, while 16,933 of them still have a maximum potential score of at least 180.

Meanwhile, for the first time in documented bracket history, one entry in the NCAA’s official bracket challenge remains unblemished going in to the Sweet Sixteen, for the maximum 64 points thus far out of 192 total. If you were to choose a bracket by flipping a coin, the odds of pulling this off are 1 in 281 trillion.

I might overtake that particular bracket in the Sweet Sixteen, but I don’t expect to outperform the winner of ESPN’s challenge. For one thing, 17.2 million people entered ESPN’s contest. There’s surely a wide spread between those who carefully weighed a wealth of factors for each matchup and those who chose whichever school had a nicer logo. My program, meanwhile, was not endowed with any data other than the seeding of each team.

But it’s possible. What remains to be seen is whether, on the whole, a computer with less information can outperform, on average, 17.2 million people with varying amounts of information, much of which is clouded by loyalties, anecdotes, and the fact that many people just really hate Duke (which is still the most popular pick for champion in ESPN’s pool.) Every year, the graveyard of busted brackets balloons with more and more entries by both the unlucky and overly optimistic alumni.

Which is to say: Between the tournament, the NCAA selection committee, and the tens of millions of people who drop everything to follow every game–and, I suppose, me–who is actually the most Mad?

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Jhené Aiko Claps Back At Fan Who Says Her Album Will Diss Her Ex Big Sean: She Still Has ‘Tons Of Love’ For Him

Jhené Aiko teased that she’s ‘speaking truth only’ in her ‘next album,’ so a fan accused the singer of trying to ‘snitch’ on Big Sean. Jhené clarified what her new music will actually be about.

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Contaminated ground beef that made over 400 people ill could still be in your freezer, CDC warns

An outbreak of salmonella infections that led to the recall of more than 5 million pounds of ground beef in December is over, the Centers for Disease Control announced Friday, but warns that many consumers could still have contaminated beef in their freezers.


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You Still Need Sunscreen With Your SPF Makeup

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Supergoop, a fun-to-say sunscreen brand, is known for clear, non-sticky formulas. Since its launch in 2008, the line has developed a cultish following of skincare devotees who swear the products give them UV protection without the telltale white streaks of other sunscreens.

But this week, the line launched a new SPF product that, unlike previous launches, is meant to be noticed.

As the name implies, “Shimmershade” is a sparkly eyeshadow made for the “no makeup makeup” set. The $ 24 cream topcoat is meant to be applied over one’s lid with a finger. Along with leaving a slight iridescent tint, “Shimmershade” contains SPF 30. Supergoop’s promise? A “long-wearing” product that “keeps eyes pretty and protected.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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‘The Godfather’ Is Still Making Us an Offer We Can’t Refuse

Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/AP Images

The Mafia is dead. A New York jury said so just this week. A trial in federal court of two men charged with racketeering and conspiracy to commit extortion ended in a verdict of not guilty. Defense attorneys for the two men had argued that the Mafia was destroyed decades ago and that their clients were being unfairly profiled as gangsters because of their Italian ethnicity. The defendants walked.

Long live the Mafia: the day after that jury verdict, a Gambino family mob boss was gunned down in his own driveway on Staten Island, in what history will record as the first gangland slaying ever recorded on video. So maybe the death of organized crime is slightly exaggerated.

In a strange coincidence, amid all this fresh news about the Mafia splattered across the tabloids, Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather turns 50 this month. And here’s a certainty: while we can debate the actual Mafia’s state of health all day long, it is still very much alive and well in the pages of Puzo’s novel—maybe because no one ever accused him of writing realism.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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People still fear self-driving cars a year after Uber fatal crash

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Elaine Herzberg was walking her bicycle across a Tempe, Arizona street when a Volvo XC90 hit her, almost a year ago on March 18, 2018. She died at the hospital. 

The car that hit her was an Uber, but this one was self-driving. The driver and sole occupant in the car was a “safety operator” sitting behind the wheel, not controlling the vehicle.  

The fatal crash had immediate ramifications for Uber’s self-driving car program and the industry. Only recently did Uber restart its testing (and only in Pittsburgh). Now 12 months later, we’re seeing that the public perception of autonomous vehicles (AVs) is still heavily affected by that deadly crash.  Read more…

More about Uber, Autonomous Vehicles, Self Driving Cars, Aaa, and Tech


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Mueller filing on Manafort sentencing still not public after midnight deadline

The public will have to wait a little longer to read Paul Manafort’s sentencing memo from special counsel Robert Mueller.


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Teresa Giudice Thinks There’s Nothing Wrong With Flirting With Other Guys While Hubby Joe Is Still In Prison

While insider reports insist that Teresa and Joe Giudice are not over, it turns out that them still being a married couple does not stop the reality TV star from flirting with hot, younger guys while Joe is serving the rest of his prison sentence. Apparently, the woman loves the attention and sees nothing wrong with her flirtatious ways.

As you may know, Joe has been locked up for almost three years now, so it makes sense that Teresa has been living her life and getting used to the fact that her husband was not in it!

Teresa has been developing a passion for bodybuilding, and the results are definitely showing, which is why she feels so great in her skin these days!

So because of that, the attention from men never fails to come, and she usually likes to flirt right back!

Most notably, Teresa was spotted holding hands with a 26-year-old New Jersey realtor named Blake Schreck not too long ago.

One source tells HollywoodLife that she sees nothing wrong with flirting even though she is a married woman.

‘She is being very flirty with a lot of guys right now. Teresa loves to flirt with and has been seen out around town and on vacation and loves the male attention because she is not getting it elsewhere right now,’ the insider explained.

They went on to dish that ‘She has been going out a lot more and living what appears to be a single life even though she is married and not single. She loves to go out with her friends and to have a good time. Guys come up to her constantly and she sees nothing wrong with talking to them and even flirting back.’

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Avril Lavigne still ‘friends’ with ex-husbands

OHMYGOSSIP — Avril Lavigne is “still friends” with her ex husbands.
The ‘Complicated’ hitmaker is now romancing new beau Phillip Sarofim – whom she recently revealed she has been dating secretly for a year – but has said she still maintains “good connections” with her two former spouses, Sum 41 rocker Deryck Whibley, whom she was married to from 2006 to 2010, and Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger, whom she divorced in 2015 after a two-year marriage.
Speaking during an appearance on SiriusXM show ‘The Morning Mash Up’, Avril said: “I’ve had really great relationships and good connections and bonds. Some might say because we’re Canadian but before him, Deryck Whibley from Sum 41, we keep in touch and like our moms hang out.
“They were like my long terms. Deryck and I were together for six and a half years and that’s a long time. It’s a whole chunk of your life. Chad and I are still friends and we work together. I’m glad it’s like that, it makes me happy.”
This isn’t the first time the 34-year-old singer has spoken about her close bond with her former husbands either, as she recently said they are still “like family” to her.
She said: “They’re just good people. We had marriages, we lived together, I knew their families, they knew mine, we just stayed close and there’s a mutual respect … Chad, in particular, we’re actually really close, because that was a more recent relationship. He was with me through a lot and is a really protective person in my life. He’s still like family. I didn’t know that it would be that way, and I’m really glad it is because we were friends and we made music together. We’ve just kept the friendship and continued having a working relationship, as well.”
Avril revealed her relationship with Phillip earlier this week, as she said they had celebrated their first anniversary together over Valentine’s Day (14.02.19).
She said: “I’ve dated a couple people over the last few years, but obviously I don’t really wanna talk about it. Actually, it was our one year anniversary on Valentine’s Day.”

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‘Sometimes I Can’t Believe It’: Kemba Walker Still in Awe of NBA All-Star Status

“Sometimes I can’t believe it.” Kemba Walker still pinches himself at the thought of playing the NBA, even as he prepares for his third straight All-Star appearance—his first start—in front of his home crowd in Charlotte.

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Diamonds Grown In a Laboratory Can Still Say, ‘I Love You’

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

Three days before New Year’s Eve, Zach Bass proposed to his girlfriend, Sam Wannemacher, during a private pre-hours tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Greek and Roman hallway. As a friend offered to take their picture in front of the art, Bass got down on one knee, and told Wannemacher he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.

The scene was romantic. The light, streaming in from the museum’s roof ceiling, was just right. The two-carat round ring Bass chose for the occasion was just what Wannemacher wanted: elegant, understated—and made in a laboratory.

Rather than forming underneath the Earth’s surface, lab-grown diamonds are produced via CVD, or chemical vapor deposition. Scientists fill a low-pressure vacuum with gases, which ultimately react to each other and form a diamond. Jessica Warch, who co-founded the sustainable jewelry line Kimai—as worn by Meghan Markle earlier this month—said the process can take six to twelve weeks, as opposed to millions of years.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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China’s services sector moderates in January but still solid: Caixin PMI

China’s sprawling services sector maintained a solid pace of expansion in January even though growth moderated slightly, a private survey showed on Sunday, offering continued support for the world’s second-largest economy as manufacturing cools.


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‘It feels like we are still hostages’: Federal contractors who lost health insurance during shutdown remain in limbo

For one firm, the tight margins of federal work meant it wasn’t able to pay its health insurance premium, leading to a lapse in coverage for employees who also lost five weeks of wages. Now they’re bracing for the possibility of another shutdown after Feb. 15.
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Brits don’t like Theresa May’s Brexit deal. But they still admire her grit.  

There was the head-spinning, cross-party, total defeat of the prime minister’s Brexit deal. Then the inglorious rescue of her government. At the center of the chaos, May still stands. Scholars of British politics cannot quite believe it. No leader before has survived such a parliamentary drubbing, described by many as “the worst in history.” But May has. How?
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Sammi Giancola Planning On Returning To ‘Jersey Shore?’ – She’s Still Close With The Female Cast Members!

It turns out that Sammi Giancola is still pretty close with her former female Jersey Shore co-stars even though she refused to be part of the reboot. Is she considering a return nowadays?

The answer’s pretty clear as far as she’s concerned!

Sammi is not planning on coming back in Jersey Shore despite how close she still is with the rest of the female cast.

As fans know, she and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro dated for no less than five years, and their drama as a couple was pretty much a big part of the show.

That being said, the audience mostly rooted for them to make it work but in the end, they still broke up.

Sammi would not take him back, even if she were single, and similarly, she would never return as a cast member on Jersey Shore either.

One source shared with HollywoodLife that ‘Sammi wants nothing to do with Jersey Shore anymore other than the friendships she has built with her co-stars over the years. She’s extremely close with all of the females, especially Nicole (Polizzi) and Jenni (Farley). However, Sammi enjoys her private life off camera and has no interest whatsoever in returning to TV.’

Amid Ronnie’s terrible legal drama with baby mama Jen Harley, Sammi is very happy and in love with her significant other, Christian Biscardi.

They have been together since 2017, and he often appears on her social media platforms. He treats her like a queen, and their romance is just goals!

Last summer, he commented on a selfie of theirs that ‘I will always be the worst looking person in every picture we take and I am okay with it.’

In response, she wrote: ‘You’re my better half.’ So sweet!

The insider added that she really likes having a normal life now and she would not give up her privacy to be on the show again.

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Jennifer Lopez Is (Still) on Top of the WorldThe singer,…

Jennifer Lopez Is (Still) on Top of the World

The singer, actress, and mother opens up about finding love and how she’s survived 30 years in show business.

Photographs by Camilla Akrans; Fashion Editor: Patrick Mackie; Words by Carina Chocano

Outfit Credits: Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello bodysuit and shoes; De Beers necklace

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Job openings on the decline but still outpace available workers by more than 800,000

Job openings edged lower in November but there were still 800,000 more vacancies than there were workers to fill them.
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Revisiting the Trump-Russia dossier: What’s right, wrong and still unclear?

It’s a document that became so famous — or infamous — in the two years since its existence was reported that it’s now known by a simple two-word phrase: the dossier.


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GM Dave Gettleman: OBJ part of Giants’ plans, Eli Manning still under review

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants made it clear that wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is part of their current plans, while quarterback Eli Manning’s future remains uncertain. General manager Dave Gettleman on Wednesday declined to commit to Manning for next season, despite being complimentary of his ability and statistics this season. Manning, who turns 38 on Thursday, has one year remaining on his contract and is set to count $ 23.2 million against the salary cap in 2019. "I’m committed to making the best decision in the interest of the New York Football Giants," Gettleman said when asked if Manning would return for his 16th season. "We’re in the evaluation process. OK, I know that you guys want answers now, but very frankly I didn’t come in [New Year’s Day]. I’m going to do what I do, which is get in my office and watch film. … My commitment is to make this team the best team it can be. And if that happens to have Eli playing…
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Industry Editor Exclusive: Women Playwrights Make Inroads, But Broadway Still Eludes

We have a lot of new plays on Broadway this season. Thirteen are currently set. There are also seven play revivals. Two of the new plays were written by women–both produced by non-profits and both already closed. Not one revival is of a play written by a woman.
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Insured But Still In Debt: 5 Jobs Pulling In $100K A Year No Match For Medical Bills

Robert and Tiffany Cano of San Tan Valley, Ariz., have a new marriage, a new house and a 10-month-old son, Brody, who is delighted by his ability to blow raspberries.

They also have a stack of medical bills that threatens to undermine it all.

In the months since their sturdy, brown-eyed boy was born, the Canos have acquired more than $ 12,000 in medical debt — so much that they need a spreadsheet to track what they owe to hospitals and doctors.

“I’m on these payment arrangements that are killing us,” said Tiffany Cano, 37, who has spent her lunch hours on the phone negotiating payoff plans that now total $ 700 a month. “My husband is working four jobs. I work full time. We’re a hardworking family doing our best and not getting anywhere.”

The pair, who earn nearly $ 100,000 a year, are insured and have had no major illnesses or injuries. Still, the Canos are among the 1 in 4 Americans who report in multiple polls that the high cost of health care is the biggest concern facing their families. And they’re at risk of joining the 62 percent of people who file for bankruptcy tied to medical bills.

“Oh, yes, that worry is always in the back of my mind,” Tiffany said.

The family is part of a struggling group: middle-class folks who have followed the rules and paid for employer-based medical insurance, only to find that soaring health care costs — combined with high deductibles, high copayments and surprise medical bills — leave them vulnerable.

“I thought we’d be covered, and it’s just not enough coverage at all,” she said.

Robert Cano, also 37, had family health insurance for 2018 through his job as a manager at a large-chain retail store, for which he pays nearly $ 500 per month. The plan’s $ 3,000 annual deductible and 40 percent coinsurance fees have added up faster than the Canos anticipated.

First came the nearly $ 4,000 bill from the in-network hospital where Brody was born Jan. 2, followed by separate fees from the anesthesiologist and the doctor who performed the routine delivery. Then, at 2 months, Brody was hospitalized with breathing problems doctors said could be related to allergies or asthma. In May, Tiffany came down with a stomach virus that sent her to the emergency room for drugs to treat nausea and dehydration. In October, the baby developed a bad case of bacterial conjunctivitis, or pinkeye.

“It’s been, like, $ 300 here, $ 700 there,” said Tiffany. “We had a hospital bill for him being sick of, like, $ 1,800.” Unable initially to find a pediatrician she liked, Tiffany has agonized over whether to use the ER when Brody gets sick. When he had pinkeye, she debated whether to take him in, hoping it would get better on its own.

Then he got worse, she said, pulling up a photo on her phone of her son with half-moons of red, puffy flesh under his dark eyes.

“I let him suffer for a day like that,” she said.

The Canos lost their first child, a girl, midway through her pregnancy in 2016. Tiffany acknowledges that experience has left her more anxious than the average first-time mom.

“It gave me so much fear that something would happen to him,” she said.

As for their own health care needs, the couple put themselves lower on the priority list. Tiffany has used a prosthetic limb since childhood, when her lower left leg was amputated because of a birth defect.

She needs a new prosthesis because her body changed during pregnancy, but she can’t see how to afford it.

Tiffany Cano with her son, Brody. Cano was born with birth defects that left her with only three fingers on her right hand and a left leg that had to be amputated below the knee during childhood. Because of physical changes during pregnancy, her five-year-old prosthetic leg no longer fits, but she can’t afford her share of the cost of the new limb.

A model suitable for the busy life of a working mom would easily cost $ 10,000 to $ 15,000, according to Tom Fise, executive director of the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association.

“I try to push through,” Tiffany said. “I put on that brave face of just walking, but it’s so painful to walk. I have bruises all over my leg. I get blisters all the time.” Lately, she’s been wearing an old prosthesis, one she used in high school, because it’s more comfortable.

The Canos don’t know how exactly they fell into such debt, since they tried hard to make responsible decisions. After meeting three years ago, they knew quickly that they wanted to marry and have a family.

“I waited until I found the right guy,” said Tiffany, who was thrilled when, in 2016, they were able to afford a 2,500-square-foot, two-story home in one of the stucco-and-tile neighborhoods an hour outside Phoenix.

But, taken together, the medical payment plans and premiums are almost as much as their $ 1,300 monthly mortgage. All told, the Canos spend about 15 percent of their annual income on health care, almost three times the average for non-Medicare households in the U.S.

That leaves too little for day care, car payments, gas, food and dozens of other domestic expenses, Tiffany said.

For 17 years, Robert Cano had comprehensive health insurance through his job as a soldier in the Army Reserve and paid little or nothing for medical care. He left the Army in 2017, however, after he learned he would be deployed for an extended time away from his wife and new son.

“I told them, ‘I have to be at home,’” he recalled. The Army insurance ended on Dec. 31, 2017, two days before Brody was born.

That meant moving to his employer’s insurance plan. Like more than 40 percent of 152 million Americans who get health insurance through work, the Canos are enrolled in a plan that demands thousands of dollars before any coverage kicks in.

The couple discovered that they earn too much to qualify for financial assistance from medical providers, or for subsidies if they shifted their insurance to a plan under the federal health insurance exchange. She is a full-time bank compliance officer. He is a full-time store manager.

Tiffany wrote to KHN after seeing stories about sky-high medical bills on TV. Dr. Merrit Quarum, the chief executive of WellRithms, a health care consulting firm, reviewed the family’s medical bills and the responses from their health care providers.

Though Quarum had questions about some of the fees in the itemized bills — $ 4 for a 600-milligram ibuprofen tablet? $ 3,125 to place an epidural? — he found the charges were legitimate under the terms of the contract between the hospital and the Canos’ insurer. Tiffany’s only recourse was to set up the five payment plans she navigates each month.

“I wish I could say it wasn’t so, but it is,” Quarum said.

Robert Cano plays with his 10-month-old son, Brody, before leaving for work on a recent Saturday morning.(Heidi de Marco/KHN)

Robert Cano of San Tan Valley, Ariz., gets ready for work on Oct. 20, 2018. He estimates he works up to 120 hours a week, mostly to cover the extra costs of his family’s health care. In addition to his retail job, he is a substitute teacher and a nighttime security guard, and delivers sandwiches for a fast-food chain.(Heidi de Marco/KHN)

Tiffany Cano feeds 10-month-old Brody on Oct. 20, 2018. She works 40 hours a week at a local bank as a compliance officer, commuting more than 90 minutes each way, while Brody attends a local day care center. Because her husband works so much, she says, she often feels as if she’s raising their son alone.(Heidi de Marco/KHN)

Mostly to pay off that health care debt, Robert has taken several part-time gigs this year — he works as a substitute teacher and a nighttime security guard and delivers sandwiches for a fast-food chain in Scottsdale, 40 miles away, where tips are better. He said he sometimes works up to 120 hours in a week.

“I’m not ashamed or embarrassed, even as old as I am, to deliver sandwiches,” he said, pulling on his retail chain polo shirt before rushing to a Saturday morning shift.

He continued: “I know people, they’d rather get food stamps and feel sorry for themselves. But I’m a fighter. I will not give up. … If I can bring in an extra $ 400 a week or $ 800 a month, she can get what she needs for the baby.”

Often getting home after midnight, he keeps shampoo and shaving cream in his car and naps in parking lots between jobs, relying on Red Bull and aspirin to stay alert.

That means on many nights, when Tiffany picks up Brody from day care after her 90-minute commute, she handles most of the chores at home.

“Sometimes I feel like a single mom because my husband is never around,” she said.

She carefully tracks the family’s medical expenses, trying to juggle them with ordinary outlays that can’t wait — like $ 500 for the brakes that went out on her car this month.

At the rate they’re going, the bills won’t be paid until Brody is 3, Tiffany said. The Canos are getting older and they’d like to have another baby before it’s too late, but, for now, that seems impossible.

For 2019, the couple have decided to switch to a different plan offered through the regional bank where Tiffany works. The premium is higher — $ 650 a month — but the deductible is $ 1,500 with just 10 percent coinsurance.

“It is going to be a lot more per paycheck, which is going to hurt us,” Tiffany said. “But after what just happened, I want to make sure we are prepared in case anything does occur.”

How to fix a health care system that burdens middle-class families so heavily is beyond her, she said.

“The only thing we can do is just keep working,” Tiffany said. “I always wonder: How does everybody else do it?”


KHN’s coverage of children’s health care issues is supported in part by the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Kaiser Health News

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Amazon just announced its best-selling tech gifts of the holidays – and they’re all still on sale

Amazon Holiday Best Sellers List

Amazon on Wednesday announced that this past holiday shopping season was its most successful season ever, with more items ordered worldwide than ever before. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering how good the deals were this year across all of the most popular categories on Amazon’s site. Amazon didn’t share any specific numbers as far as sales go, and that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since the company never shares specific sales volumes. It did announce some of its best-selling products across various categories though, and we’ve got some awesome news: Amazon’s best-selling products from this past holiday shopping season are still on sale right now.

Fire TV and Echo devices were popular this year, as they have been every year. Amazon also listed best-sellers from other categories like toys, where products like the L.O.L. Surprise! Glam Glitter Series Doll with 7 Surprises and Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster topped the charts. In the ever popular electronics category, six items topped the list and it just so happens that they’re all still on sale!

The Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones were top-sellers this year, and they’re still available right now for $ 50 off, which is the same exact deal we saw on Black Friday and during Cyber Week. Samsung’s UN65NU8000FXZA Flat 65″ 4K UHD 8 Series Smart LED TV is also still on sale for more than $ 500 off, and Apple’s Space Gray iPad with 32GB of storage is still discounted as well, though it’s not as deep as it was during Cyber Week. Want to see what else topped Amazon’s list this year in the electronics category? You can check everything out below.

Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling

  • Three levels of world-class noise cancellation for better listening experience in any environment
  • Alexa-enabled for voice access to music, information, and more
  • Noise-rejecting dual-microphone system for clear sound and voice pick-up
  • Balanced audio performance at any volume
  • Hassle-free Bluetooth pairing, personalized settings, access to future updates, and more through the Bose Connect app

Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling, with Alexa voice contro…: $ 299.99

Samsung UN65NU8000FXZA Flat 65″ 4K UHD 8 Series Smart LED TV

  • HDR Plus: See movies and shows just as the director intended in stunning high dynamic range
  • Ultra Slim Array: The Ultra Slim Array dynamically fine-tunes the deepness of the blacks, to the brightness of the whites, for a picture with sensational contrast
  • Dynamic Crystal Color: Discover an expanded world of colors where millions of shades HDTVs can’t replicate make all the difference
  • Motion Rate 240: Enjoy smooth, crisp action even in the fastest scenes
  • Smart TV with Bixby Voice: A revolutionary way to help find streaming and live TV shows with a Universal Guide, one remote and voice assistance.Sound Output (RMS): 15W x 2
  • Please note the differences between the UN65NU8000 and the UN65NU800D. NU8000: Eclipse silver bezel color, 550 nits HDR sustained brightness, Supreme UHD micro dimming. NU800D: Carbon silver bezel color, 530 nits HDR sustained brightness, UHD Dimming.

Samsung UN65NU8000FXZA Flat 65″ 4K UHD 8 Series Smart LED TV (2018): $ 1,197.99

Apple iPad (Wi-Fi, 32GB) – Space Gray

  • 9.7-inch Retina display
  • A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit desktop-class architecture
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • 8MP camera with 1080p video and 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi with MIMO
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life
  • Two speaker audio

Apple iPad (Wi-Fi, 32GB) – Space Gray (Latest Model): $ 289.00

Wemo Mini Smart Plug

  • Control from anywhere. Plug in a Wemo Mini Smart Plug, download the free app, and control your lights and appliances from your phone and your voice through Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. Only needs Wi-Fi. No hub or subscription required
  • Compact size. Wemo Mini features a sleek new form-factor that allows you to stack two Mini Smart Plugs in the same outlet
  • Schedule automatically. Never come home to a dark house. Schedule the fan to turn on before you arrive. Sync lamps and devices to sunrise, sunset, or pre-set times automatically
  • Randomize Lights. The Mini Smart Plug protects your home better than a mechanical timer. “Away Mode” will turn your lights on and off randomly to make it look like you’re home even when you’re not
  • Voice control with Amazon Alexa, the Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. Pair with voice built-in devices like Apple Homepod or Google Home and control your lights and appliances with your voice
  • Wemo works with Apple HomeKit automatically. Download the latest version of the Wemo App and follow the steps to connect your Wemo Mini connected devices to the Apple Home app

Wemo Mini Smart Plug, WiFi Enabled, Works with Alexa, Google Assistant & Apple HomeKit: $ 22.49

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

  • Tri-capsule array – 3 condenser capsules can record almost any situation.
  • Multiple pattern selection – cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo.
  • Gain control, mute button, zero-latency headphone output. Power output (RMS): 130mW
  • Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls.
  • Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8 (including 8.1), Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (Home and Professional), and Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher), and requires a minimum of 64 MB of RAM(remove existing and upload).

Blue Yeti USB Microphone – Blackout: $ 99.99

Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera

  • Works with Alexa: Ask Alexa to show your front door, kid’s room, or anywhere else you have your Wyze Cam
  • 1080p full HD live stream direct to your smartphone day or night with night vision (up to 30 feet away). Works with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks (does not support 5GHz Wi-Fi)
  • Motion Tagging technology detects and outlines motion in both live stream and playback video modes. Operating system supports ios 8.0 and android 5.0 or later.
  • Motion and sound detection with free rolling 14-day cloud storage. Use the Wyze App (iOS and Android) to manage and share multiple cameras. Add a microSD card (up to 32GB max size) for local storage.
  • Magnetic base, 6-foot power cable and included adhesive metal plate let you mount your Wyze Cam anywhere – no screws required

Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera with Night Vision, 2-Way Audio, Works with…: $ 25.98

BGR Top Deals:

  1. Your cable company hates us so much for telling you about this $ 50 box
  2. Amazon’s surprise discounts on the Apple Watch Series 3 and 4 are still available today

Trending Right Now:

  1. New ‘Avengers: Endgame’ toy leak actually reveals some spoilers
  2. What does it mean if the hole in the ISS was drilled from the inside?
  3. Another new Android phone with a camera hole in the display just beat the Galaxy S10 to market

Amazon just announced its best-selling tech gifts of the holidays – and they’re all still on sale originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 27 Dec 2018 at 11:00:39 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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The game of their lives was 25 years ago. They’re still replaying it in their minds.

The exploits of a high school football team can become small-town legend. For the Prestonsburg Blackcats of Eastern Kentucky, the 1993 season “was like something out of a movie, if you’ve ever seen ‘Hoosiers,’ ” one coach said. Reality, however, left more complicated memories.
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Pete Davidson Reveals He’s Still in Dark Place and Thinks The World is Against Him

Pete Davidson thinks the world is against him, and not just internet trolls.  He believes even his friends and colleagues don’t care if he lives or dies … even though that’s not the case. Sources close to Pete tell us he’s reached out to…

TMZ.com

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The MCU Is Still Doing Villains All Wrong

Curious about how your favorite MCU villain ranked on our list of the 100 most popular villains of 2018? You can find out here

At the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming, something monumentally crazy happened — Michael Keaton’s brilliantly portrayed Vulture lived. And not only did he live, he had a post-credits scene that teased the promise of more complicated Vulture dynamics for Pete to come.

Now, as comic nerds, this shouldn’t be such a monumental occasion to us. It happens all the time in our funny books. Good guy bests the bad guy, there’s a happy ending, and then — oh no! — the bad guy swears revenge. And then when the writers hit a wall on new ideas, they’ve got a deep bench of revenge-swearing baddies to pick from.

We are currently 463 Marvel movies in, and I’m not sure how they’ve missed the memo from the comics that they’re based on. Instead of wisely recycling, they’ve racked up quite a body count: from poor old Malekith of the Dark Elves, Ronan the Accuser, and the Abomination to Darren Cross, Obadiah Stane, and even the sweet-eyed Kaecilius.

You’ll notice that I’ve tossed the weakest of the bunch into a single bracket. We’ll get to Killmonger shortly. First, let’s focus on this random assortment of generic aliens and monsters, tech guys, and Mads Mikkelsen. I will be the first to admit that this motley crew is not the most memorable, and probably don’t need to be the hill this article will die on. And yet, this hill it shall be.

Villains Deserve Second and Third Chances


Malekith from Thor- Dark World
Malekith fell flat the first time, but he would’ve made a worthy longterm foe for Thor.

The promise of comic books means second and third chances for a character to land. Sure, Malekith and Ronan were lackluster the first time around, but they don’t have to be the next time. New filmmakers can come and breathe life into these characters. What if the Children of Thanos had been the heavy hitters of MCU past, instead of an additional new group of aliens I don’t know much about? The reveal of Squidward, Malekith, Ronan, and Abomination kneeling at the feet of Thanos and Hela would have been a pretty cool moment for audiences.

New movies mean new opportunities to give these characters new dimension, just like the heroes the movies are named for. Malekith in Thor: The Dark World is incredibly dull, but Malekith so desperate for revenge on Thor that he pledges his army to Thanos is an interesting new angle for him. I’m into it for the scene where Hela mocks his failure to destroy Asgard alone. Sometimes it just takes a change of scenery.

Returning villains also create a valuable shorthand for audiences and creators alike. Had the evil army in Avengers: Infinity War been a combined horde of Dark Elves and Chitauri, we wouldn’t have had to take that moment to adjust to an even newer generic CGI horde. Using CGI hordes we already have a connection to allows a moment of familiarity for the viewer, and an intense moment of recognition in our heroes.

It’s Time for the Turk Barrett Method


Turk Barrett Daredevil Marvel Netflix shows
The MCU needs a Turk Barrett or two.

The tech guys are equally useful to keep around. From Justin Hammer to Stane to Cross, their motivations are simple: Greed. These boys don’t always have to be the focus, but keeping them around and involved gives us a more fleshed out, living and breathing universe. Do you remember the arms dealer that wanted to steal Hank Pym’s lab in Antman and the Wasp? All respect to Walton Goggins, but no. No, you don’t. But if it had been Justin Hammer, and Sam Rockwell had danced his way into a restaurant for a meeting with Hope, the stakes go up just a little more. This is a villain with a little history and a little weight behind him.

These “not quite archnemesis” types are some of the most valuable characters a comic book universe can have. One of my favorite characters in the MCU? Turk, a D-lister at best. A nothing guy that’s just around to move drugs or sell a gun. He could have easily been 25 different faceless bad guys waiting to get punched by a Defender, but the writers saw a value in that 25 guys always being Turk. He’s a connective tissue to the Hell’s Kitchen corner of Marvel. Now, imagine Justin Hammer as the white collar Turk to the larger MCU, or Ronan as hired muscle who is happy to come after anyone in space that needs to get Accused (Accusor-ed?).

Top-Tier Threats Need Top-Tier Arcs


Hela destroying Thor&#039;s Hammer in Thor Ragnarok
Sometimes a performance is so good that it deserves to be revisited.

The archnemesis-level folks have a more clear and obvious value, and yet their toys have been cleared out of the sandbox. I’m talking hitters like Ultron, Hela, and Killmonger. Can you imagine if Magneto and Dr. Doom had been killed off in their first comic book appearances? Is there even an X-Men comic without decades of the evolution of Xavier and Magneto?

In losing these villains, we’ve robbed big-screen heroes of that same evolution. Ultron is a top-tier threat to the MCU, sure, but he’s also a constant reminder of the hubris of the Avengers that should never truly go away. I’m still waiting for him to show up in a Guardians of the Galaxy film to wipe out a solar system or three.

Hela may not have had a ton to do in Thor: Ragnarok but Cate Blanchett’s performance alone carried her into the upper echelon. And that’s the point of villains surviving: a performance like that deserves so much more. She deserves to be revisited and fleshed out. Blanchett’s god-powered homage to Eartha Kitt and Julie Newmar deserves to be an ongoing factor in Thor’s personal life and in the greater MCU.

Killmonger (and T’Challa) Deserved Better


Black Panther and Killmonger at Warrior Falls
T’Challa and Killmonger could’ve been the MCU’s Batman and Joker.

Which brings us to Killmonger. The MCU has always relied heavily on its villains being “mostly like the hero but slightly different.” It’s a frustrating trope that needs some creative attention, but they nailed it perfectly in one guy: Killmonger. He’s not just “Black Panther but evil.” He’s truly the opposite side of the same coin. He’s charismatic and tragic, and Michael B. Jordan’s performance gives you enough hope that he’s redeemable that you almost want to root for him.

All that to say that Killmonger is the MCU’s Magneto. The dance between Black Panther and Killmonger could, just like the Distinguished Competition’s bat and clown, go on forever. And while Killmonger’s end overlooking the country he had longed for his entire life was a beautiful close to that film, I argue that it was short-sighted, and that Black Panther doesn’t just need Killmonger to fight. None of these heroes just need these villains around to fight. Our heroes need Killmonger, Hela, and even the generic Darren Cross to grow and evolve.

I know a lot of folks are focusing on how undoing the snap is going to affect what our lineup of heroes is going to look like. I’m far more interested in how it changes our gallery of rogues. Marvel has the perfect chance to make like the comics and ignore death. Let’s hope they take it.

The post The MCU Is Still Doing Villains All Wrong appeared first on FANDOM.

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‘The Double Helix’ at 50: Discovering DNA Is Still a Miracle

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

In 1968, art had no problem being big, bold, and sprawling. Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles unleashed gargantuan double album sets that seemed expressly primed for the blowing of minds, and if they didn’t get the synapses firing enough, there was Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey to finish the job. But what we might overlook now, at the distance of some 50 years later, is what is conceivably that year’s best book, a slim volume that is bound to rip the roof off of any head and pour in a whole lot of goodness.

And why is that? Because we’re talking about a book that, oh, I don’t know, explains why we look like we do, why we sound like we do, have the mannerisms we do, possess the health predispositions we come with. Nuts, right? The book in question is The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, by James Watson.

There’s a good chance that the last time you heard Watson’s name you were in an eighth grade science class. There was that other fellow—Francis Crick—and the two of them, with a huge assist from Rosalind Franklin, figured out that what makes us us has to do with what’s essentially the root of all chromosomes, this cool looking doodad shaped like two interwoven staircases. You likely discharged the pair of scientists from your mind after a pop quiz or two and had no idea that Watson could write the hell out of a science book.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast — Books

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Why the Hell Are We Still Reading Ernest Hemingway?

Earl Theisen Collection/Getty

As the light industry of books on Ernest Hemingway continue to spill over into the 21st century, we now know everything about the most famous American writer except why we still read him.

Many of Hemingway’s contemporaries—Sherwood Anderson, Thomas Wolfe, Sinclair Lewis—have faded into the twilight realm of the praised but unread while Hemingway is alive and well on the syllabuses of colleges and even high schools. We’ve had studies of his prose style, Hemingway’s Laboratory by Milton Cohen (2012); his war service, The Ambulance Drivers: Hemingway, Dos Passos and a Friendship Made and Lost During World War I (2017) by John McGrath Morris; his boat, Hemingway’s Boat: Everything He Loved in Life and Lost by Paul Hendrickson (2011); his final trip to Spain, Looking for Hemingway by Tony Castro (2016); and collections of his letters, though he told a biographer of F. Scott Fitzgerald, “I write letters because it is fun to get letters back, not for posterity. What the hell is posterity, anyway?” (Bullshit, of course; if he wasn’t trying to shape his own posterity, why save all the letters?)

This year there are three more Hemingway volumes. Autumn in Venice: Hemingway and His Last Muse by Andrea Di Robilant is a fascinating story about Hemingway’s love of Venice and the affair he had there with a young woman thirty years his junior.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Coal is still king in Poland, where world leaders gather to confront ‘climate catastrophe’

For centuries, from the start of Europe’s industrial revolution, through war and peace, and the long years of communist rule, coal has been king in Poland, and Polish miners were the nation’s working-class heroes. But the world now looks askance.
World

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The NFL is still punting on domestic violence and other commentary

Conservative: Schumer’s Life Is Getting More Difficult Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is “taking heat” from both progressives and southwestern Dems over his position on border security, according to The Weekly Standard’s Chris Deaton. Schumer insists a bipartisan spending bill will pass with $ 1.6 billion for 65 miles of border fencing in the Rio Grande…
Opinion | New York Post

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‘Working Girl’ at 30: Why the classic rom-com is still relevant

Blow out the candles for New York City’s most iconic rom-com. “Working Girl,” the tale of Tess McGill, a Staten Island gal (played winningly by Oscar nominee Melanie Griffith) with big hair, a big heart and even bigger dreams is turning the big 3-0 — and her hometown is throwing an birthday bash in her…
Entertainment | New York Post

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AIDS Treatment Has Progressed, But Without A Vaccine, Suffering Still Abounds

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

(THE CONVERSATION) I mentioned to a friend, a gay man nearing 60, that World AIDS Day, which has been observed on Dec. 1 since 1988, was almost upon us. He had no idea that World AIDS Day still exists.

This lack of knowledge is a testament to the great accomplishments that have occurred since World AIDS Day was created 30 years ago. It is also due to an accident in the timing of his birth that my friend escaped the devastation wreaked by AIDS among gay men in the U.S., before there was antiretroviral therapy.

Many people have forgotten AIDS, but there are consequences to forgetting. The fight against AIDS is at a tipping point. Increasingly, there are signs that we may be heading in the wrong direction.

Many successes, yet the grand prize is elusive

I am a social epidemiologist with more than 20 years of research experience in HIV and STD prevention. I am also the founder of The Basics with Dr. Mo, a sex health communications project that translates prevention science directly for people who need it most.

It is true that global HIV/AIDS success stories abound: Mother-to-child transmission can be reduced to below 5 percent, 75 percent of people living with HIV know their status and 59 percent receive antiretroviral therapy.

Most recently, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) – the use of antiretrovial drugs to prevent HIV infection among those exposed – has proved to be a successful prevention approach.

Yet the prize – a vaccine that can prevent HIV infection – remains elusive, and makes impossible the use of the only known strategy to have ever eradicated an infectious disease: widespread vaccination. That disease was smallpox, in 1980.

The seeds of unease

Despite the lack of a vaccine, in 2016 United Nations member states adopted a political declaration on ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

As part of the accountability framework, interim 2020 goals set a target of 500,000 new HIV infections for that year. A review of the most recent data estimated 1.8 million new HIV infections in 2017, exactly the same number as in 2016.

Prominent scientists have already begun to question the ability to eradicate AIDS by the 2030 deadline, and concede that the situation has stagnated. The attainment of eradication looks bleak, without the aid of either an effective vaccine or the immediate large-scale promotion and utilization of existing prevention tools (i.e., condoms, voluntary circumcision and potentially PrEP). Given that the vast majority of new HIV infections are sexually transmitted and that condoms have played a decisive role in the global control of HIV transmission, ongoing condom availability and use will be essential to future eradication.

Condoms – both male and female – remain a highly effective mechanism of HIV/AIDS prevention, as well as of other sexually transmitted infections that greatly enhance the risk of HIV transmission.

Condom use is also strongly advised by global public health institutions, including the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in conjunction will all other HIV prevention tools including PrEP, because of their lower levels of effectiveness in preventing transmission.

Condom availability is a different matter and varies greatly from country to country. Countries with the highest levels of HIV often rely heavily on donor support. According to the most recent data, in sub-Saharan Africa in 2013, only 10 condoms were availableannually for every man aged 15 to 64 (as compared with the recommended 50 to 60), and, on average, there was one female condom available for every eight women. Funding required to maintain – let alone scale up – HIV commitments, particularly those dedicated to prevention, are increasingly uncertain.

The hydra, sprouting new heads

Even though condoms are an extremely effective barrier method, it is usage that makes condoms efficacious in preventing HIV transmission. Reported condom use varies considerably around the world, and ranges from 80 percent use by men in Namibia and Cambodia to less than 40 percent usage by men and women in other countries, including some highly affected by HIV such as Sierra Leone and Mozambique.

Age plays a role, too. Among young people aged 15 to 24, condom use at last sex variesfrom more than 80 percent in some Latin American and European countries to less than 30 percent in some West African countries. In the U.S., condom use is at the lower end of the spectrum: Only one-third of the population uses condoms, a number that has not changed significantly over the past two decades.

The majority – 66 percent – of the world’s HIV/AIDS cases are in sub-Saharan Africa, where there has been much progress, particularly with the provision of antiretroviral therapy.

However, there are worrying signs in other parts of the world. There has been little change in new HIV infections in countries outside of sub-Saharan Africa between 1990 and 2017.

In fact, six of the 10 most populous countries in the world have experienced 10 percent to 45 percent increases in new HIV infections since 2010: Russia, China, Brazil, Pakistan, Mexico and Bangladesh. Even in countries such as the U.S., where new HIV infections have decreased by 8 percent overall, the rates of change are unevenly distributed. For example, young African-American men who have sex with men show no decrease in new infections; African-American gay and bisexual men represent the largest percentage of new HIV infections: more than one-quarter.

The increased provision of antiretroviral therapy to people living with AIDS has had a huge impact on extending life and in preventing new HIV infections. However, there remains 25 percent of the population who live with HIV, about 9 million people, who do not know their status.

While we have been necessarily focused on the head of the hydra in sub-Saharan Africa, other hydra heads are beginning to make their presence known, many in countries ill-prepared to deal with increases in the number of new HIV infections.

In the absence of a vaccine, behavior change in the form of condom use promotion, acceptance and adoption, at a scale that many gay men utilized during the peak of the AIDS epidemic in the industrialized world, will need to occur. There are many challenges: continued stigma and gender inequality, not to mention issues of availability, distribution and proactive, nonjudgmental promotion.

We must not forget. Progress on reducing the rate of new HIV infection has been done before. It can be done again, but only if we take forceful, funded action now.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here: http://theconversation.com/aids-treatment-has-progressed-but-without-a-vaccine-suffering-still-abounds-107765.

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The Fed is still tweaking its balance sheet unwind

In a process begun in October 2017, the bank is decreasing the size of its bond portfolio, which grew to more than $ 4.5 trillion as part of an effort to drive down mortgage rates and lift economic growth.
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‘Daredevil’ was officially canceled by Netflix, but it might still come back

Daredevil canceled

In a disappointing (but ultimately unsurprising) turn of events, Netflix officially canceled its Daredevil series this week after a three-season run. This announcement comes less than two months after the cancellations of Luke Cage and Iron Fist, leaving Jessica Jones and The Punisher as the only surviving Marvel-Netflix collaborations.

Marvel’s Daredevil will not return for a fourth season on Netflix,” Netflix said in a statement on Thursday, confirming that the show has been canceled. “We are tremendously proud of the show’s last and final season and although it’s painful for the fans, we feel it best to close this chapter on a high note.”

Continue reading…

BGR Top Deals:

  1. The best-selling true wireless earbuds on Amazon are only $ 50 right now
  2. Amazon is blowing out refurbished iPads starting at $ 140, today only

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  1. Best Buy kicks off 20 days of doorbuster deals on tech and gadgets this weekend
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‘Daredevil’ was officially canceled by Netflix, but it might still come back originally appeared on BGR.com on Fri, 30 Nov 2018 at 10:57:09 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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The crazy Instant Pot deal that beats Black Friday’s sale is somehow still in stock

Instant Pot Cyber Week Sale

The Instant Pot DUO80 8 Qt 7-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker went on sale during the Black Friday blitz at a $ 42 discount, and people went completely crazy over it. Rightfully so, since this is the biggest and perhaps best multi-use cooker model that Instant Pot makes. So many people were upset that they had missed the crazy deal, but then something magical happened: it went back on sale yesterday with an even deeper discount! We felt compelled to tell you about this crazy deal one last time because it’s somehow still in stock on Thursday morning. This 8-quart model for just $ 79 is probably the best sale on any Instant Pot model that we’ve ever seen, and we’ll be shocked if it’s still available at this price by mid-day today.

Instant Pot DUO80 8 Qt 7-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooke…: $ 79.00

Here’s more info from the product page:

  • Duo 8 Quart, the number 1 selling multi-cooker, combines 7 kitchen appliances in 1, Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Marker and Warmer, prepares dishes up to 70% faster to support your busy lifestyle
  • Features 14 Smart Programs – Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté/Simmer, Rice, Multigrain, Porridge, Steam, Slow Cook, Keep Warm, Yogurt, Manual, and Pressure Cook. Now, your favorite dishes are as easy as pressing a button
  • Healthy, stainless steel (18/8) inner cooking pot made from food grade 304, no chemical coating, 3-ply bottom for even heat distribution, fully sealed environment traps the flavours, nutrients and aromas within the food
  • Built with the latest 3rd generation technology, the microprocessor monitors pressure, temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity and duration to achieve your desired results every time
  • UL and ULC certified with 10 safety mechanisms to provide you with added assurance, designed to eliminate many common errors
  • Accessories include stainless steel steam rack with handles, rice paddle, soup spoon, measuring cup, condensation collector and recipe booklet
  • Power supply: 120V – 60Hz

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  1. Holy cow, this 8-quart Instant Pot is cheaper today than it was on Black Friday
  2. The discounted $ 26 Wyze Cam has features you won’t even find in a $ 200 Nest Cam

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The crazy Instant Pot deal that beats Black Friday’s sale is somehow still in stock originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 29 Nov 2018 at 07:52:16 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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18 years later, Bring It On still teaches us about cultural appropriation

18 years later, Bring It On still teaches us about cultural appropriation


18 years later, <em>Bring It On</em> still teaches us about cultural appropriation

It seems unlikely that an early 2000s movie centered on the world of competitive high school cheerleading could teach a valuable, timeless lesson about cultural appropriation, but Bring It On does. Between witty dialogue and catchy cheers, the 2000 film provides an astute critique of white supremacy and colonization. Namely, it shows us how a privileged group of upper-class white students can easily infiltrate a largely Black inner city high school, steal their creative wealth, and benefit from it by passing it off as their own.

Starring Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union, the movie focuses on newly appointed cheer captain Torrance Shipman (Dunst) on her quest to win another National Championship for her high school cheer team, the Rancho Carne Toros. However, her idealistic dream is quickly shattered: She discovers that the former captain, Missy aka “Big Red,” has been unabashedly stealing the team’s routines from their inner city rivals, the East Compton Clovers. The identity of the Toros has been built upon the physical and creative labor of the Clovers, who are entirely composed of women of color—mainly Black girls.

Torrance displays surface-level remorse for the injustice committed by Big Red, but the captain of the Clovers, Isis (Union), refuses to make her team a charity case. In an act that is representative of the white savior mindset, Torrance presents Isis with a large check to cover the Clovers’ competition fee at Nationals. Isis rejects Torrance’s financial compensation, asking if it’s “hush money.” Wanting to maintain the respect of her team, Isis lets Torrance know that her forgiveness can’t be easily bought, thus rejecting the idea that monetary amends alone is enough to fix the problem of cultural appropriation.

Bring It On tackles cultural appropriation without heavy-handed condemnation of Torrance, but it doesn’t exactly paint her as a guilt-free victim either.

It would be wrong to say that Torrance’s crime is being a white, well-off, blonde woman. Rather, her complicity makes her an agent of cultural appropriation. For example, when Torrance initially informs the team that Big Red stole their cheer routines from the Clovers, they all vote to keep the routine. At first, Torrance sides with her peers instead of exercising her power to make things right. She understands that Big Red’s actions were unjust, but she won’t go against the status quo of her overwhelmingly white team.

When discussing cultural appropriation in real life, (white) people often use their ignorance as an excuse, calling their actions “cultural exchange” and dismissing the very real consequences of intellectual theft. In the film, Torrance uses her ignorance of Big Red’s transgressions, along with her own inherent sense of entitlement, as justifiable reasons to initially forge ahead with the stolen routine. Unfortunately for her, this decision spectacularly backfires.

In the context of the film, Big Red’s consistent swiping of routines and cheers means that the legacy of the Toros is built upon a fragile lie. This is painfully apparent when Isis and members of the Clovers attend a football game at Rancho Carne. While the Toros perform a routine on the field that was stolen from the Clovers, Isis and her team members simultaneously perform it from the bleachers. Torrance is mortified, and it is this public calling out that persuades the Toros to change up their routine for Regionals—not the acknowledged weight of their actions.

The Toros’ initial dismissal of their cultural theft is identical to the dismissal we see time and time again in our collective cultural landscape.

The line between cultural exchange and cultural appropriation can be incredibly blurred, as pointed out by actress Amandla Stenberg in her 2015 viral video, “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows.” But Bring It On suggests that cultural exchange becomes cultural appropriation when the colonizer erases the origins of the work in question. However, let’s be clear: Intentions are a non-factor.

To say that the Toros innocently “borrowed” the Clovers’ routines would be a vast understatement. Borrowing implies a transaction founded upon mutual consent between parties with similar social standings—and that’s not what happens in Bring It On, or in the many instances of cultural appropriation we see in the real world everyday.

Since Bring It On‘s theatrical release 18 years ago, the theft of the Clovers’ work still mirrors the cultural appropriation we regularly see in mainstream media—especially in the fashion industry.

Styles that originate from Black culture are dismissed as low-brow, yet praised when worn by white women. In 2014, Marie Claire crowned Kendall Jenner as an innovator for wearing “bold braids” (aka cornrows), and then, four years later in 2018, Vogue styled the white model in an afro hairstyle that Black women are shamed for. Kim Kardashian has been accused of cultural appropriation more than once, wearing cornrows multiple times and inaccurately calling them “Bo Derek” braids. Similarly, designers such as Marc Jacobs have faced immense criticism for styling non-Black runway models’ hair into dreadlocks. As a response to the backlash, Jacobs took to Instagram to issue a defensive and tone deaf answer, commenting “funny how you don’t criticize women of colour for straightening their hair.” As if white women face discrimination for having straight hair the way Black women routinely face discrimination for wearing their hair in natural styles.

A November 2018 Twitter thread by writer Wanna Thompson revealed the numerous white women influencers pose as Black women online with the help of makeup, hairstyles, clothing, and Instagram filters—taking profitable content creation opportunities from the actual Black women who originate these styles.

I’m also reminded of a rather obvious example of Black cultural appropriation involving the white Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. Azalea’s image is undeniably crafted on a shallow caricature of Blackness, from her “blaccent” to her lyrics that aim to project the aesthetics and backstory of an Atlanta trap star, rather than a blond, white woman from a small, working-class town in Australia. When responding to criticism, Azalea has used her proximity to Blackness (i.e. her ex-fiance, Nick Young) as a get-out-of-jail-free card. Like the Toros, Azalea’s success is directly connected to a whitewashed iteration of Black ingenuity.

These instances are not harmless borrowing; they are an exercise in commodification and theft of Black culture in order to repackage it into something palpable and profitable for the white mainstream.

Part of the charm of Bring It On lies in the fact that the Clovers beat the odds; they not only defy expectations of making it to Nationals, but they dominate. Despite their considerable effort, the Toros place second at Nationals, while the Clovers claim first place. Ultimately, the film decides that Torrance, and by extension, the Toros, will not be rewarded for their well-intentioned but delayed attempts at reparations. The film’s conclusion provides a sense of relief that seems rarely witnessed in the real world. If only such outcomes were commonplace in everyday life.

The post 18 years later, <em>Bring It On</em> still teaches us about cultural appropriation appeared first on HelloGiggles.

HelloGiggles

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‘It’s a Good Check.’ ‘Real Housewife’ Kandi Burruss Is Still Making Money Off ‘No Scrubs’ and Now Has Her Own Sex Toy Business

Kandi Burruss is so much more than a housewife — she’s a bona fide businesswoman.

Sure, she’s in her 10th season as cast member on the ever-dramatic Bravo show Real Housewives of Atlanta. But she’s also a Grammy winner who co-wrote the TLC girl power anthem “No Scrubs.” She runs a sex toy company, a boutique and a unisex children’s lifestyle brand. She has 5.8 million Instagram followers. Last year, she went on a reunion tour with her band, Xscape; earlier this year, she performed in Chicago on Broadway. In the past two months alone, she opened a new location of her Southern restaurant Old Lady Gang, dropped a single called “Ready for This” — complete with a parental advisory sticker — and hosted a dungeon party.

“What’s the point of having this huge platform if you are not benefiting off of it?” she says about her multifaceted empire.

Burruss sat down with MONEY on a recent trip to New York City. She talked about her childhood spending habits, the royalties she’s earning from Ed Sheeran and why she’s determined to have a better financial strategy than most entertainers.

How did you think about money when you were growing up?

I was a saver as a kid. That was my thing — I always wanted to make sure I had something [stashed away], you know?

My mom used to drive me to the neighborhoods with big fancy houses and stuff. We’d ride around all the time and dream — like, “Oh, one day we’re going to have a house like that.” It’s really crazy to me now that I can afford any of those houses.

Did you make a big purchase with your first paycheck?

[Xscape] signed our first record deal when I was 16. I only got a few thousand dollars, but my mom was like, ‘OK, we’ll put this with my money’ and we purchased the house across the street from where we lived. That was my first investment — with my mom.

After that, I just really wanted to save. As soon as we had our first hit record and we started doing shows, all my other group members went and bought Benzes and different things. But I wanted to see a certain amount of money in my bank account. I remember I was like, “I will not spend a dollar until I can see $ 100,000 in my account.”

[Then] I finally purchased a car. I put some money down on it so that I could establish credit.

What kind of car was it?

It was a BMW 325i. It was blue, and I had painted all my trimming to match. I wanted it to look like the M class, even though it wasn’t. So I just painted it and got the rims that matched it. You couldn’t tell the difference.

You’ve said before that you once got a great money tip from LL Cool J. What was it?

When I was 19, I put a downpayment on my first home [after moving out]. Shortly after that, our group went on tour with LL Cool J. He gave us advice: Always have at least one house and one car that you own. He was like, “Every time you get a check, put a little bit down on the principal. It doesn’t matter how much — put something. Because then it will cut years off the loan.”

I never really thought about it before then. When I got back home, I looked at my payment statement. I [saw] all the money that went toward interest, and only a little bit every month was going toward the notes. I was like, “OK, he’s onto something.”

When you’re in the entertainment business, it’s very unpredictable. You could be hot right now, and for the next 10 years a person could be making millions of dollars, right? So they start basing their life off of what they’re making at that moment.

But a lot of people are getting 30-year mortgages, 15-year mortgages. Fifteen years from now, you may not be poppin’ like that no more. In 30 years, you definitely will not. How often are people hot for that long? If you don’t set yourself up, you will just find yourself in a position of a lot of other entertainers we see: going bankrupt, losing their homes, not being able to afford their lifestyle. If you set yourself up in the beginning, later on down the line you’ll be better off.

And now you have several diverse income streams.

It was intentional. I wanted to have businesses outside of music that were still poppin’.

I had a friend who had clothing stores that were successful, so I kept bugging her about partnering up to do TAGS [Boutique]. Before that, I managed other artists. Later on, [for] Bedroom Kandi… I partnered up with a company that had a toy that could vibrate to music. I was like, “I do music, and I want adult products — heeey!” Now it’s a whole line. We’ve moved into bath and body products and makeup.

How do you leverage Real Housewives of Atlanta to make money?

When you’re first starting on reality TV, they’re not really trying to pay you much. I was like, “It’s not like I need them to be popular. I’ve already been on TV and in music before.” I didn’t think it was going to do anything for my career. I did it on a fluke.

I gained a lot of fans that year, but my thoughts were [that] the money has to match my popularity. I had to make it bigger than the show.

So I was like, “OK, every year when they see me on the show, they will see me accomplish something.” It’s my timeline. If I speak anything on that show and say it’s something I want to do, it is a rule of thumb for me and my team — it has to happen. I am going to be a person of my word. You know how you joke about a lot of reality stars — they’re always talking about something and you never see the product? I won’t be that girl. I don’t get a kick out of just arguing with people all day. That doesn’t do me any good. You have to find other ways to make it make sense for you.

Are you still getting a lot of money from “No Scrubs”?

Uh, yeah. Ed Sheeran used “No Scrubs” in his song [“Shape of You”], so we now are co-writers on his song. Because you can’t just use somebody’s song — it doesn’t work like that. So basically he uses our song, we got a percentage of his. It ended up getting awards; it was huge. It was like the most streamed song. There are some nice royalties.

Besides that, I constantly get royalties off my old songs. “No Scrubs,” [Destiny’s Child’s] “Bills, Bills, Bills” — people still play them a lot in movies, television, and I get license fees. It’s a good check every year.

You recently threw a star-studded dungeon party with tickets starting at $ 35, and it sold out in four days. Are there more coming?

We plan on taking it on tour. Right now we are researching venues and cities. Hopefully we can do that in early 2019.

[Also,] we’re going to get another restaurant, which is not going to be just Old Lady Gang, it’s going to be different. I haven’t told anybody.

Are you passing any money lessons onto your kids?

I need to do a better job of passing it on, because my daughter is spending way too much money right now. Before she was driving, Uber was connected to my credit card; UberEATS was connected to my credit card. She was randomly ordering stuff everyday. I put a little bit of money in her account, and one day she was down to a dollar. I was like, “Girl, you can’t do that.”

This interview has been edited and condensed.


Entertainment – TIME

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50 Year Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and There’s Still a Racial Homeowners Gap

This year marks the 50th year anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. On April 11, 1968, a week after the passing of famed civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., President Lyndon Johnson approved Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 — also known as the Fair Housing Act,.

The Fair Housing Act outlawed discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing to any person because of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. This groundbreaking legislation eliminated legal barriers that prevented blacks from participating in homeownership.

Home ownership has been a vehicle for many to increase their financial security, develop communities, and transfer a piece of wealth to future generations. In an article on Nareb.com — National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) — Ron Cooper, shared his insights on the power of homeownership.

“Homeownership is the number one way for African Americans to build wealth,” he said. “There are so many other things tied to it.”

Unfortunately, many black people still lag behind white people in the homeownership goal. Although more members of the black community have been given access to homeownership because of the Fair Housing Act, reports show that 41% of blacks own homes compared to 71.3% of whites, according to 2016 U.S. Census data. The rate of black homeownership has declined since 2004 when approximately 49% of blacks owned homes.

Reasons for the Housing Gap  

What’s causing the housing gap and decline in homeownership rates for black people today? Loan fees, credit scores, limited savings, down payment requirements, and results of the 2008 financial crisis are some of the barriers preventing the growth of black homeownership today. According to the 2018 State of Housing in Black America (SHIBA) report commissioned by NAREB, there is a hidden tax on black home buyers, making it more costly for blacks to participate in homeownership. NAREB explores how Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) housing lending companies such as Fanni Mae and Freddie Mac charge low to moderate income households excessive fees due to a fear of loan default.

The Impact of Segregation Despite Fair Housing Act 

The SHIBA report notes that in the 10 cities with the largest black populations, segregation remains extremely high. Neighborhood segregation has a negative impact on housing appreciation for blacks populations. Homes in African American neighborhoods have lower property values, suffering from discriminatory impacts of redlining outlawed decades ago. A study published by online real estate database company Zillow, shows the impact color coding African American neighborhoods red — as most “hazardous” for lending — in the 1930s impacts housing values today. “The median home value in neighborhoods labeled “best” has risen 230.8% to $ 640,238 over the past 22 years, whereas the median value in the areas rated “hazardous” has climbed only 203.1%, to $ 276,199.

Solutions to Build Homeownership Rates  

Although blacks have celebrated many victories over the last 50 years in pursuit of equality and fair practices in housing, there is still more work to be done. Increasing the level of loan applications, loan originations, and homeownership sustainability will be a step in the right direction, according to NAREB.

If you’re thinking about buying a house, it’s important to consult with a realtor and financial professional to educate you on the process. Don’t walk the journey alone. In order to move beyond years of discrimination and limited access, you have to be equipped with the right tools to succeed. Education and preparation is key to moving the needle on housing in black America and will ensure that more black people gain access to favorable rates, terms, and properties.

The post 50 Year Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and There’s Still a Racial Homeowners Gap appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

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Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

WATCH: ALS researcher living with the disease still fighting for a cure

Dr. Rahul Desikan, who was diagnosed with the debilitating illness last year, can no longer speak but continues to work.
ABC News: Health

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

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50 Year Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and There’s Still a Racial Homeowners Gap

This year marks the 50th year anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. On April 11, 1968, a week after the passing of famed civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., President Lyndon Johnson approved Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 — also known as the Fair Housing Act,.

The Fair Housing Act outlawed discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing to any person because of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. This groundbreaking legislation eliminated legal barriers that prevented blacks from participating in homeownership.

Home ownership has been a vehicle for many to increase their financial security, develop communities, and transfer a piece of wealth to future generations. In an article on Nareb.com — National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) — Ron Cooper, shared his insights on the power of homeownership.

“Homeownership is the number one way for African Americans to build wealth,” he said. “There are so many other things tied to it.”

Unfortunately, many black people still lag behind white people in the homeownership goal. Although more members of the black community have been given access to homeownership because of the Fair Housing Act, reports show that 41% of blacks own homes compared to 71.3% of whites, according to 2016 U.S. Census data. The rate of black homeownership has declined since 2004 when approximately 49% of blacks owned homes.

Reasons for the Housing Gap  

What’s causing the housing gap and decline in homeownership rates for black people today? Loan fees, credit scores, limited savings, down payment requirements, and results of the 2008 financial crisis are some of the barriers preventing the growth of black homeownership today. According to the 2018 State of Housing in Black America (SHIBA) report commissioned by NAREB, there is a hidden tax on black home buyers, making it more costly for blacks to participate in homeownership. NAREB explores how Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) housing lending companies such as Fanni Mae and Freddie Mac charge low to moderate income households excessive fees due to a fear of loan default.

The Impact of Segregation Despite Fair Housing Act 

The SHIBA report notes that in the 10 cities with the largest black populations, segregation remains extremely high. Neighborhood segregation has a negative impact on housing appreciation for blacks populations. Homes in African American neighborhoods have lower property values, suffering from discriminatory impacts of redlining outlawed decades ago. A study published by online real estate database company Zillow, shows the impact color coding African American neighborhoods red — as most “hazardous” for lending — in the 1930s impacts housing values today. “The median home value in neighborhoods labeled “best” has risen 230.8% to $ 640,238 over the past 22 years, whereas the median value in the areas rated “hazardous” has climbed only 203.1%, to $ 276,199.

Solutions to Build Homeownership Rates  

Although blacks have celebrated many victories over the last 50 years in pursuit of equality and fair practices in housing, there is still more work to be done. Increasing the level of loan applications, loan originations, and homeownership sustainability will be a step in the right direction, according to NAREB.

If you’re thinking about buying a house, it’s important to consult with a realtor and financial professional to educate you on the process. Don’t walk the journey alone. In order to move beyond years of discrimination and limited access, you have to be equipped with the right tools to succeed. Education and preparation is key to moving the needle on housing in black America and will ensure that more black people gain access to favorable rates, terms, and properties.

The post 50 Year Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act and There’s Still a Racial Homeowners Gap appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Money | Black Enterprise

FASHION DEAL UPDATE:

Shop select Free People sale and clearance items at Bloomingdales.com!

California wildfires death toll reaches 86, more than 500 still unaccounted for

Hundreds of people remain missing in the wake of a pair of deadly wildfires that have been burning across both ends of California.
ABC News: Top Stories

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

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It May Not Win You a Seat Upgrade, but You Should Still Dress Up to Fly

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Some fifty years after the golden age of flying, when travelers wore their Sunday best to fly PanAm and flight attendants’ uniforms were designed by the likes of Christian Dior, the idea of “dressing up” for the airport has broken down to “wearing a pair of pants without an elastic waistband.”

Are there perks to be reaped for intrepid passengers who dare to wear skinny jeans on their their red eye? An upgrade to first class, perhaps? Free WiFi? An extra shot of espresso?

Do flight attendants take a break from passing out pretzels or their choreographed ushering to notice that you graced their plane in the new H&M collaboration?

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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‘Fantastic Beasts’ Sequel Falls Short of First Film’s Success, But Still Wins Weekend Box Office

(LOS ANGELES) — “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” crawled, slithered and flew its way to the top of the weekend box office with a $ 62.2 million opening in the U.S. and Canada, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The latest offering from the Harry Potter multiverse fell short of the opening of the first film in the Warner Bros. series, 2016’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which debuted with $ 74 million in a similar November release and went on to earn $ 234 million in the U.S. and Canada.

But all the Harry Potter films have had a broad international reach, and “Fantastic Beasts” had a hearty worldwide weekend gross of $ 253 million, according to the studio’s estimates.

“Clearly it’s a huge phenomenon globally,” said Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros.

Last week’s top film, “Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch,” was second with $ 38.1 million, bringing its domestic tally to $ 126 million for Universal Pictures after two weekends.

“Bohemian Rhapsody,” 20th Century Fox’s Freddie Mercury biopic, is still rocking, taking third place with $ 15.7 million for a total of $ 127 million.

“Fantastic Beasts,” the second film in the series of Potter prequels written by J.K. Rowling and starring Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp and Jude Law, had a budget of $ 200 million. Its reviews were largely lackluster, with critics saying Rowling’s magical world is wearing thin after 10 films.

Globally the first nine films have earned $ 8.5 billion, a total that this one’s worldwide take will inflate.

“This is yet another example of a movie whose opening weekend skewed heavily into the international territories,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for Comscore. “This happens a lot with bigger franchise movies. For many of these blockbusters, it’s the international component that comes in and saves the day.”

In the U.S., Warner Bros. is hoping young devotees who are out of school will keep “Fantastic Beasts” in flight through Thanksgiving.

“It’s a big week coming up,” Goldstein said. “Friday is one of the biggest movie days of the year.”

It will have a major challenger in Disney’s “Ralph Breaks The Internet,” which opens Wednesday, as does “Creed II.”

“Fantastic Beasts” continues a year of high points and hits for Warner from a diverse string of movies, including “The Meg,” ”Crazy Rich Asians,” ”The Nun” and “A Star is Born.”

“Warner Bros. is on a roll that every studio would envy,” Dergarabedian said.

In this weekend’s smaller-budget openings, “Instant Family” starring Mark Wahlberg brought in $ 14.7 million for Paramount Pictures, and “Widows,” the latest from “12 Years a Slave” director Steve McQueen, earned $ 12.3 million for 20th Century Fox.

Overall, the weekend was down 14.5 percent from the same timeframe a year earlier, when “Justice League” made for a major pre-Thanksgiving weekend.

Here are estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Comscore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday also are included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” $ 62.2 million.

2. “Dr Seuss’ The Grinch,” $ 38.1 million.

3. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” $ 15.7 million.

4. “Instant Family,” $ 14.7 million.

5. “Widows,” $ 12.3 million.

6. “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” $ 4.7 million.

7. “A Star Is Born,” $ 4.3 million.

8. “Overlord,” $ 3.8 million.

9. “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” $ 2.5 million.

10. “Burn The Stage: The Movie,” $ 2.3 million.


Entertainment – TIME

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A few House races still undecided weeks after voting

Nearly two weeks after the midterm elections, the races for three House seats remain undecided — with GOP candidates in the lead for each one. In Texas, Rep. Will Hurd is holding onto a 1,150-vote lead over Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones, who is contesting the results. Under state law, she can call for a recount,…
News | New York Post

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‘The Good Place’ Creator Mike Schur on the ‘Next Phase’ of the Show and Why He’d Still Work With Aziz Ansari

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

The Good Place creator Mike Schur and his team of writers think a lot about how to live a good life: what we owe to one another, why our decisions matter, how to be selfless or kind. Season three of the sci-fi-inflected fantastical sitcom—line for line, among the sharpest on television—reinvented itself yet again to acknowledge the pitfalls inherent in trying. Bettering oneself is daily, soul-crushing work, it turns out, with no guarantee of eternal reward. Or, if you’re named Doug Forcett, the idea of that reward is its own special torture.

The Calgary-residing Good Place all-timer, the man who’s come closest to guessing what the afterlife really looks like (his mushroom-induced vision was “92 percent correct,” according to Michael) lives like a wretch in service to the points system. He lets a neighborhood teen bully him, “as long as it makes him happy.” He drinks his own re-processed urine to cut down on waste. Where Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Jason (Manny Jacinto), and Chidi (William Jackson Harper) now understand that they are doomed and aim to help others get into the Good Place instead, Doug’s masochistic existence on Earth is already hell.

“Don’t Let the Good Life Pass You By”—the title of Thursday’s episode, and solid advice for poor Doug—highlights more clearly than ever how broken the afterlife’s points system is, and sets up what Schur calls an exciting “next phase” of the show. The prolific writer and producer behind some of TV’s warmest, most re-watchable broadcast sitcoms (Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Office) broke down the events of Season 3 so far, hinted at what’s to come as the group dies (again) and departs Earth, and thoughtfully weighed the implications of working with a friend, Parks and Rec star Aziz Ansari, in a conversation with The Daily Beast.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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

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Missing US journalist Austin Tice is still alive in Syria: officials

A freelance journalist from Texas abducted in Syria over half a decade ago is still alive, according to US officials. Robert O’Brien, US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs, said Tuesday investigators have “every reason to believe” that Austin Tice, who was taken in August 2012, is being held captive in Syria — but didn’t…
Media | New York Post

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Facebook got through the midterms mostly unscathed, although it’s still got lots of work ahead

After failing to recognize and stop the threat of fake news before the 2016 U.S. elections, Facebook ramped up its efforts to curtain harmful content on its services. So far, Facebook's efforts appear to be working. 
Tech

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Todd Gurley’s special play shows winning football still exists

If only Todd Gurley had performed a backflip into the end zone — while blowing kisses, flexing his muscles then pounding the ball against the nearest wall. Last Sunday Gurley provided indisputable evidence that it’s OK — even wise — to play thoughtful, winning team football, to play like a professional. Of course, he was…
Sports | New York Post

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GUIDE TO THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT: Affordable Care’s Still There

Was the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repealed? Dismantled? What about pre-existing conditions?

As a federal court weighs the constitutionality of the ACA, it’s the cost of health care, and the uncertainty of protections, that’s weighing on most Americans’ minds.

The good news for New Yorkers is “the…

Life Style – New York Daily News

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Roche lands Tecentriq trial win, still trails Merck in lung cancer

Roche’s Tecentriq plus chemotherapy boosted lung cancer patients’ survival by nearly five months, study data released on Monday showed, underscoring benefits of the Swiss group’s immunotherapy but still leaving it trailing a rival’s drug.


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Spire.io – Over 50 Million Minutes of Calm Discovered!

Living the Gig Life? You Might Still Need Life Insurance. Here’s How to Get It

There’s a reason you chose this life. Being an independent contractor provides a certain level of freedom. You might set your own hours. Maybe you work from your back porch that overlooks the lake. Perhaps it drives you harder, because when you work more, you’ll earn more.

Whether you’re spending your time behind the wheel as a driver with Uber or Lyft, writing articles on parenting or selling your bookkeeping services, life as an independent contractor comes with some serious benefits… and pitfalls.

Without that steady paycheck, you might also be missing key benefits, such as employer-sponsored insurance. Perhaps you’ve already thought about your medical coverage and dealt with it. Kudos.

But what about term life insurance? You know, the insurance that takes care of your loved ones if something should happen to you? Do you need it? How do you get it? How much do you need?

Here’s the scoop.

Do You Need Life Insurance?

Woman painting
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Life insurance is something you buy to help protect your family. You don’t want to think about it, but what would happen if your were to die tomorrow? Could your family get by without your income? Would they have enough for the mortgage? Who would pay the funeral costs?

If you’re making a decent income and have family that depends on you to help pay the bills and put food on the table, you probably should have life insurance. Not sure if you need it? Here are some examples of people who do and do not need life insurance policies.

How Much Is Enough?

DJ playing music
charliemarcos/Getty Images

How much insurance you need depends on who is depending on you and how many bills and obligations you leave behind. Do you have kids? If so, you want to think about their future, including college. How about a house with a mortgage? Are you a business owner? There are a lot of questions to consider when taking out a policy.

Here’s the good news: Life insurance is probably cheaper than you think. A whopping 44% of millennials believe the cost of life insurance to be more than it is… five times more, according to a 2018 Insurance Barometer Survey by LIMRA.

Folks, protecting your family with life insurance simply isn’t as expensive as you think.

How to Find Affordable Life Insurance

Architect building model
jacoblund/Getty Images

But what if you don’t have employer-sponsored coverage? As an independent contractor, you won’t be able to have that benefit simply taken out of your paycheck, but that doesn’t mean you can’t easily find a good policy that fits your life.

A company like Policygenius offers you an easy way for anyone to compare and buy life insurance. The search engine allows you to compare policies and get instant quotes. Once you find the right fit, you can apply right online.

If you’re young and mostly healthy, consider purchasing term life insurance online from Ethos. It partners with a major A-rated life insurance carrier to provide policies for a low price. For example, $ 30 a month could get your family $ 1 million of coverage.

Anyone, including independent contractors, can secure term life insurance through Ethos without a medical exam or extensive paperwork; just fill out a digital application.

You don’t need employer-sponsored life insurance; you just need to take a few minutes to jump online and find a policy that will work for you and yours.

Love Your Freelance Life, But Protect It As Well

A band performing live
recep-bg/Getty Images

You don’t have to give up your independent contractor life to get 9-to-5 style benefits. It’s 2018, and there are more options than ever.

Go ahead; keep working from your back porch or your car. Just take a few moments to look into life insurance so, if the unthinkable should happen, your family will be protected. You won’t even need to put on shoes and pants to do it.

Tyler Omoth is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder who loves soaking up the sun and finding creative ways to help others. Catch him on Twitter at @Tyomoth.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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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Kanye West Gave Kids Free Yeezys In Uganda, Still Sunken

UGANDA-US-PEOPLE-KANYE

Source: STRINGER / Getty

Kanye West is currently in Uganda and attempting to spread goodwill. The Sunken Place MC gave out free adidas Yeezys to the kids while visiting an orphanage in the city of Masulita in the East African nation. 

TMZ reports that Yeezy and Kim Kardashian got permission from Uganda’s Trump supporting President, Yoweri Museveni, to used his helicopter to fly to the charity event for kids. Kim and Ye, rocking day-glo fits, were greeted with cheers, even more so when they presented the free footwear.

Of course, West posted clips of the festivities on Twitter because it didn’t really happen if it isn’t documented on social media. We gotta give him credit for visiting the orphanage, though, respect.

Nevertheless, West has a LONG way to go after that Oval Office debacle, if he even cares.

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The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired

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The Birth, Death & Rebirth of Irish Single Pot Still Whiskey

The War of the Spanish Succession. The War of the Quadruple Alliance. The War of Jenkins’ Ear. The War of the Austrian Succession. The Jacobite Rebellion. The Seven Years’ War (A.K.A. the French and Indian War). The American War of Independence. The French Revolutionary Wars.

The King of England fought a hell of a lot of wars in the 1700s, from the beginning of the century right up to the very end. In the process, Britain gained various islands in the Caribbean, saved its North American colonies, lost its North American colonies, and engineered a permanent split between Scotch and Irish whiskies—in the process giving us that uniquely delightful spirit known, since 2012, as “Irish single pot still whiskey.” (Before that, it was “pure pot still,” and before that—way before that—it was “old still,” which we’ll get to later.)

Just to be clear, the whiskey in question is the uniquely Irish style that is double- or (usually) triple-distilled in copper pot stills from a mix of malted and unmalted barley (neither can drop below 30-percent of the total mix of grains) and up to 5-percent other grains, if desired, and barrel-aged for at least three years. The large whack of unmalted barley gives the whiskey a subtle funk, often described as “musky” or “mossy,” that sets it apart it from a 100-percent malt whiskey and makes it interesting, much like a tiny hit of peat-smoke does to a Speyside Scotch malt whiskey.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

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

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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!

IMF’s Christine Lagarde says she’s still attending Saudi event despite ‘horrifying things’ reported

"I have to conduct the business of IMF in all corners of the world, and with many governments," said Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund. "When I visit a country, I always speak my mind."
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Knicks’ starting point guard spot is still an open battle, with nobody emerging yet

Five days before the regular season begins, the Knicks’ starting point guard spot remains an open battle.

David Fizdale started four different point guards in five preseason games – including Ron Baker in the finale Friday against the Nets – but nobody has been able to seize the moment.

“I am definitely…

Sports – New York Daily News

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CVS-Aetna merger still faces New York state hurdle

CVS Health’s $ 69 billion deal to buy Aetna just cleared the Justice Department — but it hasn’t yet gotten past New York state. Regulators under Gov. Andrew Cuomo have raised “significant concerns” about the merger, and could become the megadeal’s biggest hurdle, sources told The Post. “My guess is five or six percentage points of…
Business | New York Post

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Nikki Haley Leaves Team Trump—Dignity Still Intact

Mark Wilson

It’s fitting that U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s resignation Tuesday came on the heels of the president’s insistence at Brett Kavanaugh’s swearing-in that men are always to be trusted over women.  He could have slapped an #IBelieveMen sticker on the podium.

Trump doesn’t just believe them, he likes them more than women, at least in positions of power. Since the foreign policy shake up this spring, Haley has been competing for influence with beefy, rumpled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whom Trump likes so much better than the wimpy Rex Tillerson, who didn’t like the spotlight or his boss’s IQ.  Pompeo is so much more fun at their frequent lunches than the super competent, non-obsequious Haley, who smiles but doesn’t chuckle at his jokes.

The super-hawk John Bolton, who replaced the intellectual general H.R. McMaster, shares Trump’s instinct to rip up treaties and ask questions later. He welcomed the laughter of the U.N. during the president’s speech to the body last week. It means they’re doing everything right.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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

BEST DEAL UPDATE BY AMERICAN CONSULTANTS RX:

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

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

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!

Andrew Gillum Still Holds Lead in Florida Governor Race

Andrew Gillum, Florida, Governor

Democrat Andrew Gillum may be the next governor of Florida, and not in the obvious “he’s one of two options” type of way, but in the “he’s held the lead against his Republican opponent since winning the Democratic primary” kind of way. A recent poll from Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy shows the Florida gubernatorial race […]

The post Andrew Gillum Still Holds Lead in Florida Governor Race appeared first on EBONY.

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