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Stop With the Bank Fees: Our 8 Favorite Free Checking Accounts of 2019

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Too many of us are settling for less-than-satisfactory checking accounts. (Just look at the folks complaining on Twitter!)

We’re still forking over so many bank fees. The average American forks over $ 360 a year in overdraft fees alone, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That doesn’t even account for ATM network fees, monthly maintenance fees, minimum balance fees… you get the point.

In reality, there are a ton of free checking account options out there; you just might not be looking in the right places (ahem, online banking!). No need to spend hours researching, though. We did that for you.

8 Best Free Checking Accounts of 2019

Now, you might not have heard of some of the financial institutions on our list, but give them a chance. It’s likely they all offer what your current account does, including online bill pay, mobile check deposit, ATM withdrawals and deposits and Visa debit card transactions. Plus, they’re all FDIC-insured. (Safety first!)

What’s different than your more traditional banking options is that these are all free: No monthly fees, no minimum balance requirements or fees, no ATM fees and no overdraft fees. None of them have insanely high minimum opening deposit requirements either.

Even better? Each bank offers a unique perk, including interest, cash-back rewards checking and early paydays.

So, without further ado, check out these best checking accounts:

1. Aspiration Spend and Save Account

Best for: Those who want cash-back rewards… without the credit card

Our favorite perk: If you want to earn cash back on your debit card purchases but aren’t interested in (or can’t quality for) a rewards credit card, don’t worry. We know of a free checking account that offers those rewards.

It’s Aspiration’s Spend and Save account. This online account comes with a debit card that gets you 0.5% cash back on purchases. It basically turns your debit card into a cash-back card.

Plus, you’ll earn up to 2.00% APY on your savings.

Minimum deposit: $ 10

How to sign up: Open an Aspiration account online and simply connect your existing bank account to fund your account.

Want more information? Read our complete Aspiration review.

2. NBKC Personal Checking Account

Best for: Those constantly running to the ATM for cash

Our favorite perk: Now, many of the checking accounts on this list offer free ATMs, but we like NBKC’s online checking account because it adds an extra layer of protection.

In addition to free MoneyPass ATM transactions (there are 32,000-plus in the U.S.), NBKC also gives account holders a monthly $ 12 ATM reimbursement allowance — just in case you somehow use an out-of-network ATM.

This is also an interest-bearing account, and you’ll earn 1.01% on your account balance.

Minimum deposit: $ 5

How to sign up: Open your  NBKC checking account online. It takes about five minutes.

3. Varo Money Banking Account

Best for: Those iPhone users who want a connected savings account

Our favorite perk: Looking for a free checking account and a savings account? We’ve got a few other dual options on this list, but we like Varo Money, an app-based financial institution. Why?

It goes easy on the fees and when you pair your Varo account with a Varo Savings Account, you’ll earn 2.12%* Annual Percentage Yield (APY) with the opportunity to earn up to 2.80% APY on up to $ 50,000 in savings. To qualify for the 2.80% rate, you’ll need to have payroll or government direct deposits of $ 1,000 or more and authorize at least five purchases with your Varo debit card each month.

That’s 31 times — repeat, 31 times — the average savings account, based on a 0.09% average reported by the FDIC.

Minimum deposit: None

How to sign up: Download the Varo iOS mobile app to get started. (Android users: Look into other mobile banking checking and savings accounts on this list, like Aspiration and Chime.)

*Varo disclosure: APY is accurate as of Jan. 29, 2019. This rate is variable and may change. No minimum balance required to open account. Balance in savings must be at least $ 0.01 to earn interest. Deposits are FDIC insured to at least $ 250,000 through The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC.

4. SoFi Money

Best for: Those most interested in a high interest checking account

Our favorite perk: Yes, there are plenty of high-yield savings options out there, but what about high-yield checking?

So far, one of the highest interest rates we’ve found for a checking account is with SoFi Money. It gets you 2.25% APY — the interest (including compound interest) that you’ll earn on your money in a year. That’s better than the rate on a lot of savings accounts.

Minimum deposit: None

How to sign up: You can sign up for SoFi Money in about 60 seconds.

5. Chime Bank Account

Best for: Those who need access to money before payday

Our favorite perk: Want to get a jump on payday? Let Chime be your secret weapon.

Unlike most banks, this free online-only bank won’t wait until your pay date to get your money. As soon as it receives notification of a direct deposit from your employer, it immediately posts those funds to your account — up to two days before payday.

Minimum deposit: None

How to sign up: It takes about five minutes to sign up for Chime online.

6. Discover Cashback Debit

Best for: Those who are brand traditionalists (or, ahem, have trust issues) who want cash back

Our favorite perk: We get it. Sometimes jumping ship and moving all your money into a bank you’ve never heard of can be intimidating, so here’s an option for you brand traditionalists: Discover’s Cashback Debit. The fee-free account offers 1% cash back on up to $ 3,000 of purchases each month.

Minimum deposit: None

How to sign up: Whether you’re new to Discover Bank or an existing customer, you can sign up online.

7. Simple’s Checking Account

Best for: Those who need some help putting money away

Our favorite perk: Saving money isn’t the easiest of tasks, but Simple can help. Set savings goals, and Simple will automatically stash your money away in a separate protected account, which earns you up to 2.02% interest (on balances of $ 2,000 or more).

Not sure how much you can afford to save? No worries. Simple’s Safe-to-Spend feature will help you forecast your spending for the month and determine how much you can put away.

Minimum deposit: None

How to sign up: You can sign up for your shiny new Simple account online.

8. Capital One 360 Checking Account

Best for: Those who can’t seem to stop overdrafting

Our favorite perk: Overdrafting is a cruel — and expensive — cycle. The accounts on this list won’t charge you overdraft fees, but none of them give you as many options as this fee-free Capital One 360 account.

You can opt to:

  1. Auto-decline any transaction that’ll cause you to overdraft.
  2. Transfer funds from your savings account to cover the charge.
  3. Open an overdraft line of credit, which allows you to borrow money with interest.
  4. Use next-day grace, which gives you one business day to deposit more money into your account.

Of course, you’ll want to figure out how to stop overdrafting, but at least you have a few options with this account.

Minimum deposit: None

How to sign up: It takes about five minutes to sign up for a new Capital One 360 account. If you’re already a Capital One customer? It’ll be even snappier.

A Final Note on Free Checking Accounts

A woman uses an ATM machine.

Like we said, all the checking accounts on this list are free of monthly service fees, minimum balance fees, ATM fees and overdraft fees. Those are the big hitters when it comes to bank fees.

However, we suggest peeping the fine print. Some of these accounts have a few more obscure fees you likely won’t face but could be important for you. These might include card replacement fees, foreign transaction fees or stop payment fees.

Now, did you ever think you would be so excited for a new checking account?!

Carson Kohler (carson@thepennyhoarder.com) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She used to fork over way too many overdraft and monthly service fees until she switched to Aspiration.

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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4 states join effort to stop T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint

Four more states joined an effort by state attorneys general, including NY’s Letitia James, to stop T-Mobile‘s acquisition of Sprint, it emerged Friday. Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Nevada will be included in an amended complaint being filed Friday, Beau Buffier, chief of the antitrust bureau in James’ office, told a Manhattan federal judge. Lawyers for…
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Ron Insana: Trump needs to stop fighting central banks, who are trying to keep the economy afloat

It's the president's own policies that are contributing to slower global and domestic growth.
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AP Investigation: Many US jails fail to stop inmate suicides

Medication withheld, cries for help ignored, routine checks neglected: With suicides a problem in many jails across the U.S., an AP/Capital News Service examination raises troubling questions about whether deaths could have been avoided.
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Jon Stewart Fires Back at Mitch McConnell on ‘Colbert’: Stop ‘Jacking Around’ 9/11 First Responders

Scott Kowalchyk/CBS

Jon Stewart was not about to let Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell get the last word.

After the former Daily Show host called out McConnell on Fox News Sunday for consistently waiting until the “very last minute” to offer relief to 9/11 first responders—and only doing so “under intense lobbying and public shaming”—the Senate majority leader went on Fox & Friends on Monday morning to offer a dismissive response.

“I don’t know why he is all bent out of shape, but we will take care of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund,” McConnell insisted, adding, “It sounds to me like he is looking for some way to take offense.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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How to stop junk calls on your landline phone

How to stop junk calls on your landline - The government is finally getting serious about robocalls

We’ve told you how to stop junk calls on your cell phone, but you may be having the same problem with your landline — don’t you hate that?

Telemarketers, scammers and the like continue to look for ways to scheme us out of money over the phone. If you have a landline, you could be getting inundated with junk calls.

How to stop robocalls on your landline

Table of contents: Stopping junk calls on landlines

We’re going to give you some concrete ways to stop junk calls on your landline so that your house phone can be restored to a state of normalcy.

Unlike cell phone customers, people who faithfully use landlines can’t rely on T-Mobile, AT&T and other wireless carriers to come up with high-tech ways to combat robocalls.

That means you’re left to your own (or some device manufacturer’s) devices. But as you’ll see, many of the latter work just fine.

One thing to note is that many of the robo-killer options at the disposal of landline users employ voIP (voice over internet protocol) technology. That means that your home phone service is provided by your internet or cable provider.

If you don’t use VoIP phone service — maybe you have an older phone — your options are somewhat limited. Let’s take a look at them.

Do Not Call list

Perhaps the easiest way to stop nuisance calls on your landline is to register your phone number on the national Do Not Call list.

The way it works is that legitimate telemarketers consult the Do Not Call List so that they don’t call your phone.

The key here is to make sure you’re calling from the phone that you wish to put on the list. There is no cost associated with this. Here are three easy steps to do it:

  • Call 1-888-382-1222 (voice) or 1-866-290-4236 (TTY)
  • Press 1 and go through the prompts
  • Note: If you’ve already put your number on the list, there’s no need to re-register.

Clark’s take: How to avoid junk calls on your landline

Money expert Clark Howard says he’s got one ironclad way of handling potential phone scams.

“[Recently], I had a phone call come in that said it was from Bank of America,” Clark said on a recent podcast.

“I don’t do business with Bank of America, so I knew it was a pretexting call, a fake call. But what if I was a customer of BOA and I see that come up on caller ID, I might be more apt to answer it, right?”

“Consider following my rule,” Clark continues. “It’s a simple rule: If I don’t recognize the number as being from someone I know, I do not answer the call.”

Call blockers: Third-party services

There are a number of third-party services that can severely limit the amount of junk calls that get through to a landline.

For landline phones, many robocall blockers require hardware to be connected to your device. While no service is perfect, the following ones have the best ratings:

Model Device Price Details
Nomorobo nomorobo - How to stop junk calls on your landline phone Free Nomorobo is free for landlines, although there is a paid app version. The way the service works is when a number calls your phone those digits are checked against a list of known solicitors.
DigiTone Proseries Blocker How to stop junk calls on your landline phone $ 69.95 Many customers are bullish on the Digitone because it can stop robocalls from ringing even one time.
RoboCallWall How to stop junk calls on your landline phone - Robocallwall $ 149.99 RoboCallWall works with your home Wi-Fi and automatically blocks calls unless you manually set up exemptions.
Ooma Home Phone Premier How to stop junk calls on your landline phone - Ooma $ 99.99 Ooma has five categories of call blocking to customize settings based on your preferences.
CPR Call Blocker V5000 How to stop junk calls on your landline phone = CPR Callblocker $ 89.98 The CPR Call Blocker V5000 is a best seller on Amazon. This one also automatically blocks junk calls.

Final thought

There are other services out there, including YouMail, which is free for landlines (read our review). But with any of these services, keep in mind that sometimes people who really need to reach you may get caught in your anti-robocall net.

That means emergency services, your children’s school, the electric company or any other public offices may not be able to reach you as quickly as they should.

Here’s the bottom line: We all have to get a bit more vigilant in how we use the phone. Some wise steps include:

  • If a recording asks you to hit a button to stop receiving calls, there’s a good chance that’s a way to get you to opt in to them calling you again. Just hang up.
  • Get a mysterious call? Don’t respond to any questions, especially with “yes.” You could be being recorded against your bill for nefarious purposes.

Robocalls, junk calls and the scam known as spoofing have all caught the attention of federal authorities. If you believe you have received an illegal call, file a complaint with the FCC.

If you think that a telemarketer has called your phone despite your number being on the Do Not Call LIst, report them here.

More mobile stories on Clark.com:

The post How to stop junk calls on your landline phone appeared first on Clark Howard.

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Why you should stop tagging the locations of your nature photos


Nowadays, it seems as though everyone wants to share every aspect of their lives with their friends and followers on social media. There’s a high chance that you don’t need any prompting to post a photograph of your breakfast on Instagram, where you’re going on vacation in a Facebook status, or just a funny anecdote about your trip to the beach. However, you might want to think about what you put on your social media feeds next time you go somewhere, especially if you are tagging the locations of your nature photos. This is why you should stop doing it immediately.

Photo: Unsplash.com

A thing of beauty

We currently live in a world where we feel inclined to take photographs of beautiful things. Although many people will see this as a negative trait and something that simply enhances the idea that we are obsessed with our phones, there are others who see this as a way to capture this beauty on camera. After all, if you see a sunset that truly takes your breath away, you might not want to just enjoy it at that moment. You might also want to enjoy it months or even years later as you look back on your camera roll.

Tagging the location

As well as keeping these photos for your own enjoyment, many people also share them on social media for other people to peruse. In this case, some Instagram users also take advantage of the platform’s location option. They can tag where they took the photo, and where other people can see go to see the sunset for themselves. Yet, these people probably don’t recognize the impact they are having when they geotag their location. When you realize the impact you could have on the surrounding environment, you might want to think again about doing this.

Helping the destruction

Although you may feel as though you are doing your friends and followers a favor by introducing them to a beautiful new location, geotagging where you are for the whole internet to peruse could have a disastrous effect on the location itself. After all, if all of the people who see and interact with your photo then make their way to this space of natural wonder, it could help towards the destruction of it. As more people trample over the ground and bundle through the homes of the natural wildlife, you could set off a chain reaction that could destroy the beauty of it.

Photo: Unsplash.com

Losing the adventure

Alongside this, following a geotag could also remove the sense of adventure for other people. If they know where to find where the nature photo was taken, all they have to do is Google the location, pop the location into their GPS, and then follow the map. This takes away the fun and adventure of the journey and may leave them underwhelmed by the actual end destination. Instead of spoiling the surprise for other people, you can still post the photo, just without the geotag. This way, you can share your beauty without taking the “wow” moment away from others who want to witness it themselves.

If you are the kind of person that loves to share photographs on social media, then you definitely shouldn’t stop. Keep sharing them, and keep inspiring others to find natural beauty in the world! However, it might be an idea to stop tagging your location, for the sake of the ecosystems around you and the enjoyment of others.

The post Why you should stop tagging the locations of your nature photos appeared first on Worldation.

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Dr. Oz Wants Us To Stop Washing Our Chicken But Twitter Will Not Have It (They Will Not Have It Oh)

Daytime Emmy Awards 2019 Arrivals

Source: Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.com / WENN

Dr. Mehmet Oz visited The Breakfast Club this morning and spoke his piece on a very controversial topic, at least for Black folks: whether or not to wash your chicken before cooking. Dr. Oz agreed with the experts, saying that washing your chicken is not only a waste of time, but it can also contaminate your kitchen.

“Why do you wash chicken? To get the bacteria off it right? Clean it,” he said. “When you wash your chicken you spray the salmonella all over the kitchen. Everywhere. It just splatters everywhere. Then you put the chicken into the oven, and the heat from the oven would have killed that salmonella anyway. So now you took salmonella, put it on your salad, which you aren’t going to heat up to 160 degrees, and that’s how you get salmonella.”

When the hosts disagreed with this statement, saying the answer is to wash the chicken in the sink and afterward, clean the sink, he told them that’s not a fool-proof plan.

“It doesn’t always go in the sink,” he said. “People wash their salads in the sink. When you splatter the water on the chicken, it goes outside of the sink sometimes. It’s been looked at. That’s one of the problems.”

Instead of washing the chicken and possibly getting it all over the place (including on your face and mouth accidentally), he said let the oven sterilize your chicken, or the grease — whatever way you thoroughly cook meat.

“No matter what you do, there’s no incremental benefit to washing the chicken,” he said. “If you wash it, you’re not killing your salmonella with water, believe it or not. Make that our anthem for the summer: No more washing chicken! Put it in the oven, let the oven do the work for you.”

Charlamagne lovingly called it “white people sh-t.”

We’ve written in the past about experts’ concerns about people’s affinity for washing chicken due to the water reportedly causing bacteria to be splashed up to three feet. With that being said, Dr. Oz’s sentiments aren’t new or crazy. However, it didn’t help his case when he went from talking about properly cooking chicken to properly washing your a– with the help of a little saliva and the highest quality of toilet tissue.

“Toilet paper, I spit on it to moisten it or use the sink,” he said. “Wet wipes are okay, too, but they mess up the sewer system. It’s a moist wipe on your bottom.”

Still, he’s sticking by what he said, particularly when it comes to chicken:

Overall, Twitter gave the side-eye to his visit today. You know people don’t play around when it comes to food. Hit the flip to see what the Black Twitter Coalition had to say about why they’re not giving up the beloved chicken washing practice anytime soon:

 

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Megan Barton-Hanson’s terrifying Instagram post shows pal being attacked by thugs in London as she rages ‘This s*** needs to stop’

MEGAN Barton-Hanson shared harrowing footage of a close pal being brutally beaten on the streets of London, as she told fans “this s*** must stop!”

The Love Island star had been to a Ru Paul’s Drag Race event with her hair stylist before he was mugged near Oxford Circus.

Megan Barton-Hanson shared footage of a close pal being mugged on the streets of London

The 25-year-old TV personality shared footage of the attack – which she later clarified wasn’t filmed by herself – telling followers: “So this happened last night… My best friend that works f****ng hard for everything he owns got mugged… So disgusting. How safe our streets actually are?!”

In the traumatic clip, Megan’s friend can be seen in a yellow jumper as he lies helplessly on the floor in an attempt to defend himself from the attacking thugs.

After sharing the video, Megan told fans: “Makes me so angry! The amount of people carrying knives recently too, so lucky he just has bruises and a broken cheek.”

Telling followers that “this s*** needs to stop!”, Megan went on to discuss the recent burglary of her home.

Megan questioned the safety of London’s streets following the crime
Instagram

She ranted: “First people come into my home and rob everything I worked my arse off for. Nights stripping physically sweating and people come and steal diamond rings, Chanel bags but also the sentimental things that can never be replaced. Then my friend, minding his own damn business gets attacked by three men and gets mugged.”

Megan’s pal has since updated his own social media to reassure friends and clients on his condition.


Megan recently admitted to photoshopping a dramatic makeover snap that won praise by fans and celebrity pals.

Her photoshop admission comes after she told The Sun that she is so body conscious her Instagram pictures are edited by a team of professionals.

She said: “I spent the whole of last summer in a bikini on TV and I post sexy pictures on Instagram but they’re edited and photo shopped by professionals.”


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Washington is flirting with a debt crisis. No one has a plan to stop it

The US government is hurtling toward a potential financial crisis, and no one in Washington seems to know how to stop it.


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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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The US is hurtling toward a potential financial breaking point, and no one seems to know how to stop it

The US government is hurtling toward a potential financial crisis, and no one in Washington seems to know how to stop it.


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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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Trump’s tariff tactic is the best way to finally make China stop cheating

China’s Communist rulers have no one to blame but themselves for the reported breakdown in trade talks with the Trump administration. Remember last December, when President Trump met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires to talk trade? Xi looked Trump in the eye and promised to stop cheating. Not once, but 140 times….
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Stop the Madness: Man in Custody After Posing as Ride-Share Driver and Sexually Assaulting a Woman at Knifepoint

A 41-year-old man is in custody after Delaware authorities say he pretended to be a ride-share driver and sexually assaulted a woman at knifepoint.

via NYDN:

The suspect, identified as Roberto Rodriguez, picked up the woman just after 1 a.m. on Saturday as she was walking in Newark, according to authorities. The man told her he drove for a ride-share service and offered her a lift in his GMC pick-up truck, but she had not ordered the ride.

After she entered the vehicle, Rodriguez pulled over and threatened her with a knife as he ordered her to perform a sexual act with him, according to Newark cops. He then continued to drive her, but she was later able to flee the vehicle.

Cops released surveillance video of the vehicle, and said Sunday morning that Rodriguez had been apprehended. He was hit with multiple charges, including first-degree rape and possession of a deadly weapon.

Rodriguez was also charged with malicious interference with emergency communications for taking the woman’s phone to prevent her from immediately calling the police.

The defendant was ordered to be held on $ 63,000 cash bail.

Last month a woman in Maryland was also sexually assaulted by a man who pretended to be a ride-share driver, and a college student was murdered in South Carolina earlier this year after getting into a vehicle she mistakenly believed was an Uber.

We can’t stress this enough — before getting into ANYone’s car, please make sure the driver and licence plate match what’s displayed on the app you’re using. Those extra 15 seconds of verification could possibly save your life!

The post Stop the Madness: Man in Custody After Posing as Ride-Share Driver and Sexually Assaulting a Woman at Knifepoint appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

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Horse Deaths Are Haunting the Racing World Ahead of the Kentucky Derby. Here’s What’s Being Done to Stop Them

The Kentucky Derby, which will be run for the 145th time on May 4, is the oldest continuously held major sporting event in U.S. This year, however, talk of mint juleps, stylish hats and Triple Crown dreams may be overshadowed by a disturbing spate of horse deaths — and fresh calls to regulate the sport.

Between late December and early April, nearly two-dozen Thoroughbred horses died while racing or training at California’s Santa Anita Park. The cause of the fatal injuries is unknown, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney is investigating the deaths. As with all horse injuries, multiple factors may be at play, say safety experts, including heavy rainfall that may have compromised the track surface. The track shut down for much of March and adopted several new policies, including banning the use of drugs on race day and increasing the time required for horses to be on-site prior to a race.

“While the cause of the injuries on the racetrack might be varied, they have one thing in common: the industry has yet to do everything that can be done to prevent them,” wrote Belinda Stronach, chairman and president of the Stronach Group — which owns Santa Anita — in a March open letter. “That changes today.”

That’s a small start. But reforms at one track likely won’t be enough to fix the sport’s systemic problems. Last year, 493 horses died or were euthanized within 72 hours of sustaining a catastrophic race injury. That’s about 10 horses each week. In the last ten years, a total of 6,134 horses have died. That tally doesn’t include deaths from training.

PETA and other animal-rights advocates are sounding off. So are notable horse racing organizations, which say that many horse deaths are preventable. In March, the Jockey Club, which holds the registry for Thoroughbred horses, released a scathing report calling out the sport for tolerating performance-enhancing drugs and running horses that are medicated to dull the pain of pre-existing injuries. “The issue isn’t about a single track,” the report reads. “Horse fatalities are a nationwide problem, one that has shocked fans, the industry, the regulators and the general public.”

An industry overhaul would be difficult, if not nearly impossible, to implement because horse racing has no national rule-making body. The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), which sets best safety practices, has no teeth to mandate them. Instead, 38 racing jurisdictions set their own standards.

“We are more of a carrot organization than stick,” says Steve Koch, executive director of the Safety and Integrity Alliance at NTRA, which has accredited 23 tracks. Another 40 tracks are making efforts to be accredited, while others are not engaged with the alliance at all. “We’re making progress, but are not quite there yet.”

Federal oversight is still far off. The Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019 was introduced in the House earlier this year to establish a private, independent horse racing anti-doping authority. It has 69 cosponsors, but does not have full support from the industry. Prior versions of the legislation also failed to make headway in Congress.

History has shown that reforms triggered by horse deaths roll out slowly and inconsistently, from state to state and from track to track.

For instance, after beloved Thoroughbreds Barbaro and Eight Belles died in the late 2000s, the industry began to collect fatal injury data for every U.S. track. Today, every racetrack reports injury death rates to a national database. But only a handful make those numbers public. In Kentucky, Keeneland and Turfway Park both report publicly. But Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, does not. In March, the Louisville Courier-Journal discovered via a public records request that the death rate at Churchill Downs was 2.73 per 1,000 racing starts last year—more than 60% higher than the national average.

This week, the Derby track released a list of safety initiatives that it plans to support in the coming years, as well as a statement from Churchill Downs Inc. chief executive Bill Carstanjen: “As the host of the Kentucky Derby and a key leader in the racing industry, Churchill Downs has a heightened responsibility to implement the world’s best practices for caring for racehorses at our facilities.”

The NTRA’s Koch believes that efforts over the last decade, such as curbing doping drugs and evolving veterinarian protocols, have made a difference. While the U.S. racing fatality rate rose 4% in 2018 compared to the year before, since 2009 the fatality rate has actually declined 16%, from 2 deaths per 1,000 race starts in 2009 to 1.68 last year.

More change could be underway. In mid-April, 20 leading tracks pledged to phase out a drug called Lasix in the coming years. Lasix treats a rare lung condition, but, according to the Jockey Club, it is given to about 95% of horses on race day because it induces urination. Lighter and faster, the horses perform better, but need days to recover and rehydrate.

That’s good news leading into the Kentucky Derby. This year, like every year, America will fall for — and bet on — the Thoroughbreds at Churchill Downs. Now, the racing industry is under pressure to take better care of them.

Sports – TIME

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U.S. Government Tells Fashion Label in Supreme Court Case: Stop Trying to Make ‘FUCT’ Happen

Damian Dovarganes/AP

The U.S. Supreme Court held G-rated arguments over an R-rated word on Monday while debating whether “FUCT” is too scandalous to trademark.

The eight-year saga of an L.A.-based clothing line founded by artist Erik Brunetti came to Washington, D.C., as justices heard his case against the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

It started in 2011, when Brunetti’s trademark application for FUCT—which, according to CNN, stands for “Friends You Can’t Trust”—was denied on the grounds that it violated the Lanham Act. (Representatives for the brand did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.)

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Stop this runaway train of overtime costs at MTA, LIRR

Last weekend, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s transit riders and bridge and tunnel toll payers saw a fare hike — and drivers soon will have to pay a “congestion fee” to enter core Manhattan. Yet this new money barely makes a dent: The MTA still faces a half-billion budget deficit next year, doubling by 2022. Though…
Opinion | New York Post

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12 Tips on How to Stop Shopping

stock photo of a white woman holding 7 colorful shopping bags and sunglasses

Maybe you need to curb your spending because you’ve discovered you owe a big chunk of money on your taxes (surprise!), you’re facing credit card debt, or you’re trying to grow your savings account … and you’re wondering how to stop shopping. Or maybe you’re trying to stick to your New Year’s resolution to spend less. We haven’t talked about how to control your spending in quite a while, so we thought we’d share some tips today. If you’ve ever had to make a change like this, what were your strategies for how to stop shopping? What was your motivation — to pay down debt, put more money into savings (or investments, etc.), or redirect the money toward a goal, such as a down payment on a house? 

Here are 12 tips on how to stop shopping:

1. Use a paper chart to track your spending.

Budgeting programs such as Mint or YNAB can be useful (I use Mint), but I like this option because you can see the whole month at once and (ideally) watch those “zero” days accumulate. In the past, I’ve used this tracker from Frugal Mama. I randomly found it by googling “spending tracker” — and while I happen to be a mom, you can certainly find a similar non-parent chart if you don’t have kids!

2. Leave your credit cards at home when you go out

Leave your credit cards at home when you go out — and perhaps only use debit for a while. (The decision to do this rests on how dire your shopping/debt situation is). The age-old “cut up your cards!” advice doesn’t work for everyone; for example, you may want to keep earning rewards on your credit card (as long as you’re paying off the balance each month, that is!). Also, consider the envelope method for budgeting — with cash. 

{related: how to pick the best rewards card}

3. Make your money inaccessible

If you can, make more of your money inaccessible (or at least less accessible). If your financial situation allows it, increase your 401k payroll deductions at work and/or add a savings account to your direct deposit so that your paycheck isn’t solely going to checking. You can also set up regular automatic savings transfers or automatic investing.

{related: how to set up automatic investing}

4. Unsubscribe from store emails

Unsubscribe from store emails and emails from sale sites (e.g., Shopstyle). Either unsubscribe to each one as you receive their emails, or use a free tool such as Unroll.me

stock photo of woman pulling credit card out of wallet

5. Stop delivery of mail order catalogs.

DMAChoice.org charges $ 2 to remove you from mailing lists for certain categories, such as catalogs, or from individual catalogs. Catalogchoice.org is free but only allows you to unsubscribe from one catalog at a time. (I’ve had success with the latter.) 

6. Delete any store apps and shopping apps from your phone.

It’s even worse to have store apps and shopping apps on your phone than on your computer, because they make it so easy to shop from anywhere at any time — the doctor’s office waiting room, the coffeeshop, the long line at the grocery store, etc.

7. Delete your credit card information from store websites and from your browser’s autofill function.

Unfortunately, this isn’t quite as effective if you, like me, have your credit card number memorized. (One of my cards was hacked recently, which was pretty annoying but had the hidden benefit of getting a new card number that I don’t know by heart. Yet.) 

8. When you want to buy something online, only put it in your cart at first.

(Or your wishlist — you should see my Sephora “Loves” list…) Then wait 24 hours. If you don’t completely forget about the item, which is possible, you might at least find that you don’t want it as much anymore and be able to convince yourself to skip the purchase … or at least delay it some more.

stock photo of woman holding piggy bank

9. Clean out your closet.

You’re more likely to feel good about what’s in there (and therefore feel fewer “I need new clothes!” urges) if you ditch the pieces you don’t really like — the ones you always skip over when you’re deciding what to wear in the morning. You can also shop your closet to try new combinations you haven’t thought of before.

{related: decluttering your wardrobewhere to recycle, donate, and sell your work clothes

10. Try a capsule wardrobe.

You may gain new appreciation for the clothes you already have — and also distract yourself from shopping by having fun putting new outfits together. Also, consider trying our Work Outfit Challenge — sign up for the emails today!

{related: creating a capsule wardrobe for work}

11. Tailor your clothes to make what you already have work for you.

If you have clothes lying around that you’ve been meaning to get tailored, do that now. Sure, you’ll have to spend some money, but unless you’re asking for major alterations, it’ll still be cheaper than buying new clothes. (We’ve had lots of posts on getting your clothes tailored!) 

12. Organize a clothes swap with friends.

I’ve never tried this, but it sounds fun, and it’s a free way to get some new pieces — maybe some styles you never would have picked up at the store but discover that you really like. The Simple Dollar has some tips, and depending on where you live, you may have access to the events organized by ClothingSwap.com. I am kind of intrigued… (After their events, they donate unclaimed items to charity.)

What are your tips on how to stop shopping? If you’ve ever tried to cut down, what worked and what didn’t?

Stock photo (woman with bags) via Shutterstock/wavebreakmedia. Other images via Stencil.

The post 12 Tips on How to Stop Shopping appeared first on Corporette.com.

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4.15.19 Cars that stop you from speeding; Anonymously shop around for mortgage rates

The EU is working towards all new cars being able to obey speed limits regardless of the driver by 2022; A new website allows you to shop for mortgage rates without being inundated with phone calls from sales people. 

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Watch the video

The post 4.15.19 Cars that stop you from speeding; Anonymously shop around for mortgage rates appeared first on Clark Howard.

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Mel B agrees to pay nanny she called a ‘prostitute’ £1.8m to stop tell-all trial

MEL B is to pay her former nanny £1.8million for calling her a prostitute, it was reported last night.

The former Spice Girl agreed to the out-of-court settlement to stop Lorraine Gilles’ defamation claim.

Mel B has agreed to pay an estimated £1.8million settlement after calling her former nanny Lorraine Gilles a ‘prostitute’
Getty – Contributor

Had the case gone ahead, embarrassing details of Mel B’s bisexual romps and her troubled relationship with ex-husband Stephen Belafonte would have been laid bare in court.

It follows a two-year legal ­battle after which both sides agreed that “keeping the matter under wraps was best for all”.

Mel, 43, had branded Lorraine a prostitute in her divorce declaration against her ex-husband.

She alleged both of them coerced her into threesomes and accused her ex-husband of getting the nanny into threesomes.

Mel B and Lorraine Gilles agreed that ‘keeping the matter under wraps was best for all’
Splash News

Splash News

Mel, 43, had branded Lorraine a prostitute in her divorce declaration against her ex-husband Stephen Belafonte[/caption]

The pair denied the allegations.

But the singer was facing legal costs and damages of up to £5million if she lost the case.

The deal also means Mel’s celeb pals — such as Geri Horner and Heidi Klum — will not be called to give evidence at the Los Angeles Superior Court. And the Leeds-born star will not have to face her ex-husband, 43, after their bitter split.

A source said: “The last thing she wanted was the rest of the band on the stand being probed all about her sex life.”

Splash News

The former Spice Girl agreed to the out-of-court settlement to stop Lorraine Gilles’ defamation claim[/caption]


It will calm tensions between Mel and Spice Girl Geri after it emerged that they once enjoyed a night of passion together.

Mel was said to have embarrassed married mum-of-two Geri by telling all on TV last month.



TV and Showbiz – latest celebrity news, gossip, photos, TV and film reviews | The Sun

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‘The Breakfast Club’ Radio Show A Key Campaign Stop For 2020 Democrats | NBC Nightly News

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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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If a recession really is coming, here’s what Powell and Trump can do to stop it

With a bond market signal pointing to a recession, policymakers have a choice: act now or hope that conditions change for the better.
Economy

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Stop ignoring the brutal downside of legal pot

Politicians are pushing to legalize recreational marijuana in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, following 10 other states. But the Parent Teacher Association, local health officials and pediatricians are pushing back, warning about the permanent damage to youngsters’ brains caused by weed. If you have children, trust the PTA, not the pols. Legalization delivers what…
Opinion | New York Post

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Kyle MacLachlan Couldn’t Stop Laughing While Shooting The Desert Scene In ‘The Doors’ | PeopleTV

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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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Musk’s SpaceX capsule set to splash down Friday after space station stop

An unmanned capsule from Elon Musk’s SpaceX was due to return to earth on Friday after a short-term stay on the International Space Station, capping the first orbital test mission in NASA’s long-delayed quest to resume human space flight from U.S. soil later this year.


Reuters: Science News

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A Female Cyclist Was Forced to Stop Mid-Race When She Almost Caught Up to the Men

A female cyclist who was soaring past her competitors during a renowned bicycle race in Belgium was abruptly forced to stop for several minutes when she came too close to the “very slow” men’s race ahead of her.

The cyclist, Nicole Hanselmann, described the “awkward moment” in an Instagram post after Saturday’s annual Omloop Het Nieuwsblad race, during which male cyclists were given an eight-minute head start.

As the race progressed, Hanselmann built a lead of almost two minutes against the other women cyclists and “almost saw the back of the men’s peloton.”

“[Maybe] the other women and me were [too] fast or the men [too] slow,” she wrote in the Instagram post.

Hanselmann, a 27-year-old cyclist and the 2017 national champion in Switzerland, said officials paused the women’s race to stop them from catching up to the men.

She said their race was halted for “five or seven minutes.” While she was given a head start to regain her lead when the race began again, Hanselmann told Cyclingnews that she lost her momentum when the race came to an abrupt stop, and her competitors soon gained ground. She ultimately finished in 74th place.

“It was a bit sad for me because I was in a good mood and when the bunch sees you stopping, they just get a new motivation to catch you,” Hanselmann also told Cyclingnews. “The race jury just said we had to neutralise the race because we are getting too close to the men.”

In a tweet on Saturday, race officials confirmed the “neutralisation” of the women’s race “due to a very slow [men’s] race” and then tweeted about five minutes later to announce the women’s race was restarting.

On social media, some said they wished officials had handled the situation differently.

Flanders Classics, which oversees the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, said in a statement that they needed to stop the women’s race briefly for “safety reasons.”

“In normal conditions, the men ride faster than the women and the gap gradually increases. This year, however, the men were slower than usual in the beginning of the race, with a speed below 30km/h at times. This circumstance caused a decreasing gap between the women’s and the men’s convoy. After 30 km, and for safety reasons, the organization had to intervene because the leader of the women’s race was getting too close to the convoy of the men’s race. At that point the elite women’s race was neutralized for about 5 minutes time. As soon as the safety was restored the women were able to continue, with respect for the previous time differences obtained during the race.”

The organization also said that in the future they would “consider letting the women’s race start a few minutes later than this year’s, to avoid any conflict between the men’s and women’s race.”

Sports – TIME

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Ex-Fed’s Dudley: Wall Street should stop blaming the central bank every time stocks drop

Dudley, who retired from the Fed in June 2018, said the central bank's actions have become a "convenient whipping boy."
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Trump again dares courts to stop him

It’s a high bar given the wild swings of his two years in power, but Donald Trump seems more untethered to any traditional notion of the presidency than ever.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics

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16 states file lawsuit to stop Trump’s national emergency declaration

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is preparing to file a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration, Becerra told CNN’s Kate Bolduan Monday.


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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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Airbus to stop making struggling A380 superjumbo in 2021

TOULOUSE, France — European aviation giant Airbus said Thursday it will stop making its superjumbo A380 in 2021 for lack of customers, abandoning the world’s biggest passenger jet and one of the aviation industry’s most ambitious and most troubled endeavors. Barely a decade after the 500-plus-seat plane started carrying passengers, Airbus said in a statement…
Business | New York Post

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NYC orders restaurants to stop serving weed-related CBD, threatening booming market

New York City's health department said restaurants in the city "are not permitted to add anything to food or drink that is not approved as safe to eat."
Health and Science

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Sen. Joe Manchin: Stop Washington’s paychecks, stop shutdowns

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Reunited! Nikki Bella & Artem Chigvintsev Can’t Stop Smiling During Lunch Date on Total Bellas

Total Bellas 403, Nikki BellaNikki Bella and Artem Chigvinstev are back together and it feels so good!
In this exclusive preview from Sunday’s new episode of Total Bellas, the former Dancing With the Stars couple…

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Watch Exclusive ‘What Men Want’ Clip: Stop Doing That

Watch Exclusive 'What Men Want' Clip: Stop Doing That

Who doesn't harbor a fantasy about being able to hear what other people are thinking? Constantly undercut by men in her field, sports agent Ali Davis (Taraji P. Henson) must seek out any advantage she can find. But when she develops the mysterious ability to hear men think, she is perplexed at first. Is this truly a good thing for her and her career?

In our exclusive clip from What Men Want, we get a glimpse of Ali's unease, as she hears what her assistant Brandon (Josh Brener)…

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Tesla To Stop Selling Cheapest Versions Of Model S, Model X Cars

Luxury electric car maker Tesla Inc. will stop selling the cheapest versions of the Model S sedan and Model X SUV from next week. “Starting on Monday, Tesla will no longer be taking orders for the 75 kWh version of the Model S & X. If you’d like that version, please order by Sunday night .,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter late Wednesday.
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Elon Musk tweets: Tesla to stop selling lowest-priced versions of Model S and X vehicles on Monday

Elon Musk wrote in a tweet late on Wednesday that Tesla will stop selling the lowest-range versions of its Model S sedan and Model X SUVs on Monday.
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Shutdown won’t stop key jobs report or CPI, but other data could be impacted

The partial government shutdown will have some impact on the release of market-moving economic data, though the biggest reports likely won't be affected.
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Manhunt underway after suspected gunman kills officer during traffic stop: Police

Newman police officer Ronil Singh was killed during a traffic stop just before 1 a.m. on Dec. 26, 2018.
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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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Maria Can’t Stop Wearing These Not-So-Wide Leg Jeans

Okay, so, remember when, almost exactly one year ago, I wanted to try this pair of big, baggy jeans? You probably don’t, but that’s totally fine. Turns out I did try them on and they did not look good. As much as I loved the wide silhouette and long length, I was swimming in these jeans — even …

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How To Stop Overspending During The Holidays

With unemployment at historic lows, rising wages and consumer confidence have hit an 18-year-high. Consumers are understandably in good cheer and ready to go out and spend this holiday season.

But for you, the thrill of the deal can quickly turn in to despair over the debt if you go overboard with your holiday gift giving.

Here’s how to keep your budget in check during the holiday shopping season.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO APPROACH HOLIDAY SHOPPING IF WE DON’T WANT THINGS TO GET OUT OF HAND?

If there’s one thing that I hope people ask for, and get, this Christmas, it’s discipline. All the budgeting “tips and tricks” in the world won’t help you if you can’t control yourself. Yet, relying on willpower alone won’t be enough to get the job done. You need a system.

Here’s what I suggest:

 

  1. Build a Budget– This sounds simple, but on one likes to do this. You have to go into shopping season with a set amount that you’re committed to not outspend. When you do this, be sure to include ALL of your costs such as wrapping, shipping, travel, etc.
  2. Save All Year– You do realize that Christmas happens at the same time every year, right? So why do you seem so surprised when Black Friday rolls around and you haven’t set aside any money for gifts?

Americans are expected to spend $ 1000 on average during the holiday shopping season.  That’s $ 80/month or $ 20.00/week you should save in advance.

3Create a Separate Account – Don’t keep your “gift” money in the same account as your “bill” money. Open a free checking account or put money onto a prepaid debit card that will only be used for your holiday shopping. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

Never Use Credit – Buying something on sale, but using credit to do so and paying the minimum each month totally defeats the purpose of getting the deal in the first place. Only use your credit card if you’re getting points or rewards and you’re going to pay it off in full when the bill comes.

OK, BUT WHAT IF WE DIDN’T SAVE UP MUCH MONEY FOR CHRISTMAS, WHAT SHOULD WE DO THEN? 

In that case, it’s time to think about generating some extra cash. Luckily, since there’s so much spending going on during the holiday season, there should be lots of opportunities to do this.

For example you can:

Convert Old Gift Cards – Check your wallet for unused or partially used gift cards. Use the balance for gifts, or use a site like CardCash.com to convert those balances to cash.

Sell Your Junk! – Go through your garage and your closet to find things that still have tags or haven’t been used in a while.  Sell these things on eBay, Poshmark, etc.

Donate Items – Donate the things you can’t sell to Goodwill, etc.  You’ll get the advantage of the tax deduction, which may put extra cash in your pocket at tax time.

BUT WHAT IF PEOPLE ARE EXPECTING EXPENSIVE GIFTS?

Look, you have to take charge and set the expectations up front.

With Your Kids – This is a great time to discuss needs vs. wants and priorities with your kids.  They may not be able to get everything they want, so give them a say in what is most important to them.

With Your Family – Perhaps set up a Secret Santa gift exchange where each family member only has to buy one gift. Try secretsanta.com or Elfster to set up your exchange.

With Yourself – Buying great presents won’t make you a better friend, spouse or parent. Have a real discussion about what the most important people in your life really want, and you might find that it may not cost you anything at all.

CONNECT WITH ROB ON TWITTER @ROBWILSONTV OR AT HIS WEBSITE WWW.ROBWILSON.TV

 


HEAD BACK TO THE BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM HOMEPAGE

 

 

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Michelle Obama got painfully real about women “having it all” during the New York stop of her Becoming book tour

Michelle Obama got painfully real about women “having it all” during the New York stop of her Becoming book tour


Michelle Obama got painfully real about women “having it all” during the New York stop of her <em>Becoming</em> book tour

Michelle Obama is currently touring the U.S. to talk about her new memoir, Becoming. In the book, she writes openly and honestly about everything from her struggles with fertility to attending marriage counseling to how to find a Barack Obama of your own. So it’s no surprise that when I attended the first New York stop of her Becoming book tour, I was completely blown away by her words and stories.

On Saturday, December 1st, our forever First Lady stopped by the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The event was moderated by Elizabeth Alexander, a poet, essayist, playwright, and longtime friend of Obama’s. You may recognize Alexander as the woman who recited the poem “Praise Song for the Day” (which she wrote) at President Obama’s 2009 inauguration.

Throughout the night, Obama also dropped a lot of wisdom about parenting, vulnerability, and the importance of female friendships. She also opened up about the struggles of being a working mom, saying that years ago, there was a time when she was balancing a full-time job as a lawyer with raising her daughters Sasha and Malia. And during that time, her husband was often out of town in Washington, D.C., campaigning, or traveling for work.

In a very candid moment, Obama got super real about how women still can’t “have it all.”

“Marriage still ain’t equal, y’all. It ain’t equal. And I tell women that it’s not equal—that whole ‘so you can have it all’? Nope, not at the same time. That’s a lie. And it’s not always enough to lean in, because that shit doesn’t work all the time. … I’m back. I thought we were at home, y’all. I was gettin’ real comfortable up in here. But I’m back now. But sometimes, that STUFF doesn’t work. So oftentimes, it’s not equal, and you feel a bit resentful about it. And so then it’s time to go to marriage counseling.”

Crown Publishing Group
available at Amazon | $ 19.50

Obama also spoke at length about her parents, Marian and the late Fraser Robinson, and the values they instilled in her at a young age.

“I had a childhood with parents who didn’t have a lot in the way of money, but they had a lot in the way of value and character and love and stability and consistency. And I want parents to understand that I became who I am not because my parents were networked or college educated or had a lot of money or knew a lot of stuff about things that they thought we needed to know. They gave us absolutely what we needed, which was love and trust and the values that they came here with. And THAT’S what kids need. That will get them through.”

In a more serious moment, Obama spoke about the dangers of being a woman in today’s world.

“The world is dangerous, sadly, for women. I want us to just kinda sit with that for a minute, because it’s usually men who make it dangerous for us. And it doesn’t always look like physical abuse. It doesn’t always look the same. It’s those little cuts. Those little negative comments. It’s somebody, when you’re walking down the street and some man looks at you and makes a comment about you, as if you wanted…that’s a cut. That’s a slice into a woman’s self-esteem, when somebody talks down to them. If you talk down to women at all, and a woman is in earshot of what you’re saying, that’s a cut to her. And then the cuts get deeper, because there’s abuse and there’s rape. There’s sexual assault. There’s all this that we’re hearing. The world is unsafe for women, and I want our men to understand that about what role they’re playing to make us feel safe or unsafe. But I grew up in safety and security. I grew up where I trusted men to take care of me. And I think that that gave me a level of strength that carries me through to this day.”

Obama also spoke about attending marriage counseling with her husband.

“What I learned in counseling was that I was responsible for my own happiness. And that was part of my frustration. I expected my husband now to not only just be my partner, but to fill me up in ways that were my responsibility. Counseling helped me to sort of take a step back and look at, ‘How do I take control of my own happiness within our marriage?’ And how to prioritize myself. Because that’s what we do as women. We’re so busy puttin’ everyone else before us. And then we burn out. We’re like, fourth on our list, or fifth on our list.”

Obama thanked her girlfriends for their friendship and reminded women to lean on each other, not turn against each other.

“Sometimes we can’t do this alone, and we shouldn’t have to. I relied on my girlfriends to get me through one of the hardest eight years of my life. … We have to remember to be that for each other. We have to be each other’s light. We cannot get into that catty stuff. We have to find a way to continue to lift other women up in our worlds and in our lives as much as possible, you all. It is the only reason why I’m breathing. I couldn’t have gotten through raising my kids with a husband traveling without my girls.”

Above all else, Obama hoped to inspire everyone to become who they’re meant to be.

She reminded the audience that it’s okay to be open up and be vulnerable.

“My hope is that this book will inspire everyone to tap into their own journeys of becoming and to share those stories with one another.”

Becoming is available wherever books are sold.

The post Michelle Obama got painfully real about women “having it all” during the New York stop of her <em>Becoming</em> book tour appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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Kim Woodburn reveals I’m A Celeb crew in camp lurk in the bushes ready to stop snake attacks

I’M A Celebrity has employed “hundreds” of security staff to crawl through the bush and stop venomous snakes reaching stars in camp.

Kim Woodburn, 76, appeared in the show in 2009 along with Katie Price and winner Gino D’Acampo, and said they felt safe when they spotted snake hunters on their rounds.

KiminPink
Kim Woodburn has shared her expert knowledge of the Im A Celerbity camp
Kim Woodburn has revealed the I'm A Celeb stars will be protected in the wild by 'hundreds' of security
Kim Woodburn has revealed the I’m A Celeb stars will be protected in the wild by ‘hundreds’ of security
Rex Features

Skilled handlers jumped into action if a celeb was in danger, as Kim exclusively told The Sun: “You don’t see anybody when you’re there, but there are hundreds of security people throughout the jungle in camouflage equipment

“On your way to that dunny that stinks to high heaven, you might see one in the bushes.

“They are there because if you see a snake, or anything you think is frightening you shout “snake!” and you know that they are in that spot in a second.”

The likes of Fleur East, Emily Atack and Sair Khan signed up this year and have been shut off from the world.

I'm A Celeb
Katie Price starred in the same series as Kim back in 2009
ITV
The 76-year-old star said teams of people scour the bush around camp to clear the area of snakes
The 76-year-old star said teams of people scour the bush around camp to clear the area of snakes
Rex Features
KiminPink
The telly favourite has assured fans the stars are safe from venomous predators

Kim said they’ll soon get used to being blanked by crew members too, as the production team is banned from speaking to them.

She added: “The only other time you would see anybody is when they tell you to come up to the bushes and you’ll find a couple of chaps in camouflage and they want to change your battery.

“You turn round, he doesn’t say a word. You say thank you, he doesn’t say thank you back, and down you walk.”

Kim’s insight comes after former I’m A Celeb runner up Jake Quickenden said the staff fear getting sacked if they open their mouths.


Love I’m A Celeb? Play our new game The Jungle now – win daily prizes and a holiday worth £5K


Emily Atack
Fleur East, Emily Atack, Anne Hegerty, Rita Simons and James McVey
Rex Features
Emily Atack
Jake is pals with Emily Atack and Fleur East and predicted how they’ll fair in the jungle
Rex Features
Fleur East
Fleur’s pal says she’ll struggle with the lack of food but will get on well with the campmates
Rex Features

He said the novelty of sleeping in the jungle is about to wear off as the conditions become dire, telling The Sun: “People start getting hungry, then if it rains people start getting moody.

“Even when you walk into trials the cameramen don’t speak to you. You are that shut off from the world.

“I remember asking one of them ‘Do you know what the Man United score was at the weekend?’ and they said ‘Jake we’re not allowed to speak to you.’

Australia
A black ringed mangrove snake. Australia has seen a high number of snakes because of unusually wet weather


“One of them was eating a Tic Tac and I said, ‘Mate, I couldn’t have a Tic Tac could I?’ And he was like ‘ I can’t give you a Tic Tac I’ll get sacked.’

“I said, ‘you’ll get sacked over a tic tac?’ All I wanted was a different taste in my mouth. My mouth was dry for the whole time. You’re not drinking cold water, it’s always hot because you’re boiling it.

“My wee was like golden syrup by the end of it.”

Listen to new podcast Jungle VIP, talkRADIO’s cheeky, no-holds-barred take on the action Down Under. Hosted by Jamie East with daily guests, including former campmates and celeb reality TV fans the gang will dish the dirt on the REAL behind-the-scenes gossip. Read more here.

TV and Showbiz – latest celebrity news, gossip, photos, TV and film reviews | The Sun

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Can we all stop unfairly judging The Princess Switch please?

Before you form your opinion, consider this…

The Princess Switch

The Christmas countdown is officially on, and with the cold weather setting in and Yule logs and mince pies coming into the shops, we’re feeling more festive than ever.

Now all we need is a new Christmas film to obsess over with a mug of mulled wine, and last week, that is exactly what we got – thank you, Netflix.

The Princess Switch, released last Friday, is this year’s answer to A Christmas Prince, and let’s just say it doesn’t disappoint.

Vanessa Hudgens plays the two leads in this Parent Trap esque flick, involving a European Duchess switching places with an ordinary baker from Chicago, who looks identical to her, just one week before Christmas. Inevitably they fall in love with each other’s partners, want each other’s lives and somehow everything ties together perfectly in the end.

The Princess Switch

Netflix

I’m not going to lie, there are a few gaping plot holes and I can’t pretend that I understood everything. Why didn’t Stacy report that her blender had been sabotaged and get a new one? Why was the strange old man that kept popping up everywhere to deliver wise quotes never explained? And HOW did the butler Frank De Luca survive that almighty fall off the bridge?

And yet, I loved it.

The film has proved to be pretty divisive, but in this writer’s opinion, it’s all pretty unfair.

There’s no point in comparing it to an Academy award winning film because it never pretended to be one – it’s set in a make-believe European country and packed with cliché quotes about Christmas wishes, orphans wanting to be princesses (Hello Princess Diaries 2), fake snow ball fights and makeover musical montage scenes.

Let’s call a spade a spade. It’s the perfect winter film – especially if you’re an over-worked stressed out millennial who just wants to switch off and feel festive.

Sure, if you’re a film buff whose highlight of Christmas is dissecting the artistic camera work of It’s A Wonderful Life, then give this a miss. But if you tend to like films that score less than a 6.3/10 on IMDb and you feel like putting your feet up, this is a must-see.

Here’s why The Princess Switch is well worth a watch…

1. Lady Margaret Delacourt’s wardrobe:

The Duchess of Montenaro is impeccably dressed, and the scene where Stacy explores her wardrobe for the first time rivals Carrie Bradshaw‘s SATC big wardrobe reveal. We’re talking Blair Warldorf style berets, Camilla Mendes esque mini skirts and some serious Jackie O inspired tailoring. And don’t even get us started on the red and gold ballgown that she wore to the royal dance – that is reason enough to watch.

2. Robin Soans’ multiple cameos

The big unanswered question from The Princess Switch has to be the identity of the wise old man (played by Robin Soans), who turned up everywhere (even within the palace walls) to deliver some much needed Christmas wisdom. We assume of course that he is a sort of modern day fairy godmother, but still – why doesn’t the character have anything better to do?! How does he know everything?! And did he literally follow Stacy all the way from New York? There are so many questions and we really would have liked some reassurance Netflix. That being said, he did save the day on numerous occasions so we’ll let it slide.

3. Kevin the baker’s bod

Kevin the baker! Who knew that body was hiding under your apron? Well, Lady Margaret does now, but it’s safe to say we were all surprised and understandably, it is of course a highlight.

4. The hilarious British accents

Somehow the accents in the mythical European country of Belgravia (yes, Belgravia!!) are English, same with the country of Montenaro, where Duchess Margaret Delacourt comes from. Get ready for some very clipped old school Mary Poppins style accents. Let’s just say it’s in the same league as Gossip Girl‘s Lord Marcus Beaton.

5. That moment of Inception

In one particular scene, Lady Margaret posing as Stacy and Kevin from The Princess Switch sit down to watch a Christmas film, scrolling past A Christmas Inheritance, before landing on A Christmas Prince. Yes, really. The characters in a Netflix original Christmas film just watched another Netflix original Christmas film. What is real life? We don’t know anymore.

6. The Meghan Markle effect

Did anyone else think that Stacy as Lady Margaret had elements of Meghan Markle about her? A feminist royal who wanted to have a hands-on approach in terms of official events, and despite being a high profile princess-to-be, insisted on being heard, not just seen. Just saying – we loved the millennial references.

7. The references to other chick flicks

One thing that has really got viewers talking is the inspiration from other romantic comedies. There’s a dancing in a fairy-lit canopy scene that is almost identical to A Cinderella Story, a Parent Trap esque hair cutting scene and even a moment that mirrors a Princess Diaries 2 scene where an orphanage of children get to be princesses for the day. One scene that excited viewers the most however was when Kevin gave Margaret a locket, looking a lot like a High School Musical 2 scene (also starring Vanessa), where Troy gave Gabriella a necklace. Basically, The Princess Switch is an amalgamation of every single romantic comedy you’ve ever seen, and if that’s not reason enough to watch it, we don’t know what is.

Be right back – off to watch this again.

The post Can we all stop unfairly judging The Princess Switch please? appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire

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