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Little Drummer Girl Is a Brisk Spy Thriller That’s Worth Your Time

“Terrorism is theater,” wrote Brian Jenkins, an expert on the topic, in 1974. John le Carré’s novel The Little Drummer Girl takes this famous–and, in 21st century America, self-evident–observation to its logical extreme, following an actor recruited to infiltrate a terrorist cell that is planning its next lethal show.

In AMC’s adaptation of the book, a co-production with the BBC that will air on three consecutive nights starting Nov. 19, the year is 1979 and the actor is a young Londoner named Charlie (Florence Pugh). Despite her bewitching performances, she’s still awaiting her big break when she meets a mystery man (Alexander Skarsgard’s Becker) in Greece. He whisks her away, supposedly for a private getaway but really to recruit her for a renegade squad of Israeli spies scheming to take down a Palestinian terrorist leader. The group’s obsessive boss, Kurtz (Michael Shannon), fancies himself a director in the “theater of the real,” and he’s cast Charlie as his leading lady. She has a history of pro-Palestine politics, but the team is betting that her sympathies will only lend authenticity to her charade.

As in all le Carré stories, there’s a lot more going on here–enough to mire the first third of The Little Drummer Girl in exposition without providing much insight into the characters. Only after Charlie’s mission begins does thriller master Park Chan-wook (Oldboy), who directed the miniseries, pick up the pace.

But later episodes are worth the wait. Suspense builds against a backdrop of ’70s interiors so bright, they’re sinister. Charlie’s moral dilemma, fraught by her feelings for Becker, speaks volumes about British interference in the Middle East. There are nuanced characters on both sides. Yet it’s Pugh–an actor playing an actor improvising her way through the role of a lifetime–who makes the show work. By capturing Charlie’s ambivalence, she creates a truly unpredictable heroine.

This appears in the November 19, 2018 issue of TIME.
Entertainment – TIME

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‘This Is Us’ Recap: Jack and Rebecca Have Sex for the First Time

This Is Us 3x07 Recap
Milo Ventimiglia as Jack Pearson and Mandy Moore as Rebecca Pearson on ‘This Is Us.’ Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Jack and Rebecca took a major new step in their relationship during the Tuesday, November 13, episode of This Is Us, titled “Sometimes.” Zoe also opened up about abuse in her past.

On the Road

Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) set out for Los Angeles a week after meeting. Jack chose not to talk to Rebecca about his time in Vietnam or anything else, really. The two traveled across the country and grew closer every mile of the way. They slow-danced during one stop, where Jack revealed that he had never cried.

While staying in a motel along their journey, Rebecca climbed into Jack’s bed, and the pair had sex for the first time. They continued to sleep together throughout their trip, and Rebecca noticed Jack’s nightmares. But he continued to shut her down when she asked about the war. Rebecca wished to know more about Jack and knew she wanted to be where he was. He later confessed that he didn’t want to bring the war into their romance.

In California, Jack went to see the parents of a solider in his squad who was killed by a land mine. He took full responsibility for the death because he let his guard down, but the couple assured Jack it wasn’t his fault. Meanwhile, Rebecca visited the record label that had expressed interest in her, but they told her she was “Pittsburgh good.” Jack requested that she sing her song for him, and he cried as she sang about overcoming mistakes. Then, she told her new beau, “Let’s go home.”

This Is Us 3x07 Recap
Melanie Liburd as Zoe and Justin Hartley as Kevin Pearson on ‘This Is Us.’ Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Good Dads and Bad Dads

Zoe (Melanie Liburd) and Kevin (Justin Hartley) made it to Vietnam, where they planned to go to the fishing village where Jack was stationed. Kevin discovered that the necklace his father gave him was a popular souvenir, which discouraged him.

Zoe told Kevin her father lived in China, and she didn’t want him to know she was nearby. When Kevin pressed her, she refused to elaborate. Zoe got sick, so the couple returned to the hotel.

Kevin admitted to Zoe that he was falling in love with her, and after she reciprocated, she told Kevin that her father sexually abused her as a child. Therefore, she shut him out of her life, even as he tried to make amends.

A Helping Hand?

Jack asked Nicky’s (Michael Angarano) commanding officer if he could take his brother back to his squad to straighten him out, but the leader told Jack it went against protocol to put siblings in the same outfit. The commanding officer later brought Nicky to Jack’s village and told him he had two weeks to work on Nicky, who expressed frustration that Jack didn’t just leave him in his own squad “to rot.”

This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.

Us Weekly

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‘The Walking Dead’ Time Jump: Show Versus Comic Books

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains SPOILERS for The Walking Dead Season 9 Episode 6, called “Who Are You Now?”. Proceed at your own risk.

We’re living in a Rick-less world now in The Walking Dead, and this week’s episode went a long way toward filling the gaping void left by Grimes Sr’s departure. It introduced five new survivors – Magna, Luke, Connie, Kelly, and Yumiko – and showed us how Alexandria and The Kingdom have fared after a staggering six-year time jump. Interestingly, at around this point in the comics, there was a significant leap forward in the timeline as well.

The comic’s “new beginning” was significantly less dramatic, however. A less impactful two-year time jump, it meant Judith was still young; she’s now old enough and resourceful enough to go on fighting the fight in her dad’s absence. In the comic books at this point, Rick and Carl were still around. In fact, a lot of the early storylines following the skip forward in time revolved around Carl getting older and wanting to strike out on his own. The show and the comic books have separated themselves time and time again, and here it’s no different. These are the major differences between the series and the comic books after the time jump following the war with Negan.

Henry Is The New Carl


Henry.

When Carl was killed, a lot of fans were asking how some of the upcoming stories would be handled. They were arguably moments that made Carl more interesting than he had been in years. Well, it looks like Carol and Ezekiel’s adopted son Henry will become a stand-in for Carl in some of Grimes Jr’s comic-book storylines. This week’s episode saw Henry and Carol set out to deliver goods for the upcoming festival. This mirrors a similar Rick-less trip Carl took to the Hilltop where he soon moved to so he could train to be a blacksmith.

It’ll be interesting to see how far Henry’s story will follow Carl’s. One of the most memorable parts of the jump in the comic books was seeing Carl go through puberty and navigate interactions with girls while living in the apocalypse.

The Saviors Are Gone

We saw this tension play out through the first five episodes of the season, but in the comic books Alexandria, Hilltop, and the Saviors were in a slightly better place. Rick was in charge of Alexandria, Maggie was at Hilltop, and Dwight was in charge of the remaining Saviors. Things were still tense between everyone, but for the most part, the communities were all thriving.

In the show, it’s just Alexandria and Hilltop – and even that relationship seems rocky at best. Not only are the Saviors not in the picture community-wise, it seems like Carol pretty much wipes what was left of them out after they hurt Henry and steal her wedding ring.

Ezekiel’s Love Life


Ezekiel and Carol
Ezekiel and Carol.

Developments in Ezekiel’s love life take a big leap forward in this week’s episode. It transpires that he and Carol tied the knot at some point between when we first saw Ezekiel bring it up outside D.C. early this season and now.

In the comic books, the time jump reveals that Ezekiel was actually in a relationship with Michonne – who had become a pseudo-pirate in the two years since the war. Of course, in the comic books, Michonne never had a romantic relationship with Rick. Michonne’s role was filled by Andrea in the comic books, who lasted significantly longer than the Andrea of the TV series.

Connie

Connie is a member of Magna’s group that Judith saves and brings to Alexandria. The difference between her character in the show and the comic books is that in the show, she’s deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate with her group. Her TV version is the first deaf character to be featured in both The Walking Dead and spin-off Fear the Walking Dead.

Gabriel and Rosita?!



Eugene’s had a very obvious thing for Rosita since we met him. And Rosita has always had a soft spot for Eugene. That’s been the case in both the comic books and the show. Some thought that, eventually, things might develop further for Eugene and Rosita. Well, in the comic books, after the time jump, they do. The oddly matched pair wind up together, despite some rockiness in their relationship.

TV Eugene just can’t catch a break, however — because Rosita is now with Gabriel. This pairing might not make a ton of sense, but a lot can happen in six years. It’s clear Eugene still harbors feelings for his longtime traveling companion, so who knows how things might pan out as the series progresses?

Hilltop Under New Management

One of the least publicized parts of last week’s episode was that it wasn’t just Rick’s last episode of the season, but also Maggie’s. Not only is that a fairly abrupt departure – though she’s much more likely to pop up in the show again than Rick – particularly since Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie, appears to have been given a leave of absence to shoot her new show Whiskey Cavalier — but it really changes up the dynamic of Hilltop.

Where Maggie was still in charge of the community in the comic books, someone else has the reins in the show now. Jesus seems like the obvious choice, but is that too easy? Also, Hilltop and Alexandria seem to be in a rocky place themselves. It’ll be interesting to see where all that started, and how many months or years Maggie hung around before she took off. Expect some answers going forward.

Negan and Judith

Judith alone is probably the biggest left-turn the series has made in a while. And although Henry seems to be filling in for Carl’s comic storylines in some places, it seems Judith is taking over in others.

The comics revealed Negan was still alive and in prison after the war because Carl spent a lot of his time talking with the man in his cell. The two had a weird bond during the war and that continued in the years after it. Apparently, that bond was passed to Carl’s sister.

The show revealed Judith hanging out by Negan’s cell, having her dad’s former enemy help her with math homework. The two have a clear rapport, and although it’s pretty creepy, it’s also kinda cute.

Michonne and Rick’s Kid



There’s nothing to compare this to in the comic books. Rick doesn’t have another kid after Judith – at least not yet. A lot of fans thought Michonne could be pregnant before Rick died and their guess was right on the money. Their offspring seems to be in line to take the place of a young Judith, as a child that the group rallies to protect.

How the Walkers Have Evolved in ‘The Walking Dead’, Season By Season

The post ‘The Walking Dead’ Time Jump: Show Versus Comic Books appeared first on FANDOM.

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KFC is launching chicken and waffles nationwide for limited time

Skip the trendy brunch spot lines and head for the takeout window.

KFC is launching Kentucky Fried Chicken & Waffles nationwide Monday, here for just a limited time.

The indulgent dish had previously only been available at a few of the fast food chain’s locations in North Carolina where they were…

Life Style – New York Daily News

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Nigeria’s ‘Mona Lisa’ shown at home for first time since it resurfaced

The Nigerian Mona Lisa, a painting lost for more than 40 years and found in a London flat in February, is being exhibited in Nigeria for the first time since it disappeared.


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Housing sentiment tumbles to lowest in a year, as more say now is not a good time to buy

Rising mortgage rates and high home prices have fewer consumers thinking now is a good time to buy or sell a home. While consumers are bullish on the economy, fewer said they are not concerned about losing their job. 
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Sinead O’Connor, now going by Shuhada Davitt after converting to Islam, says she never wants to ‘spend time with white people again’

Sinead O’Connor says she’s done with white people.

The Irish singer, who famously ripped up a photo of Pope John Paul II during an appearance on “Saturday Night Live.” announced late last month that she was converting to Islam. Now, she’s sworn off white people entirely.

“I’m terribly sorry. What…

/entertainment – New York Daily News

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Say What Now? Sinéad O’Connor Says She Never Wants to Spend Time with White People Again: ‘The Are Disgusting’

Sinéad O’Connor has been going by the name Shuhada Davitt since converting to Islam and now the 51-year-old singer says she doesn’t want to come in contact with anyone who doesn’t share her beliefs — specifically, ‘white people.’

via People:

Last month, she confirmed on Twitter her conversion to Islam, explaining that her new faith “is the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian’s journey.”

“All scripture leads to Islam. Which makes all other scriptures redundant,” the Grammy winner added, before revealing she would henceforth be known by a new name. “I will be given (another) new name. It will be Shuhada.’”

In addition to changing her name on her Twitter page, she also replaced her profile picture with a photo that reads “Wear a hijab just do it” alongside the Nike swoosh logo. Additionally, her Twitter bio now reads, “PLEASE BE AWARE THAT IF YOU POST RACIST OR ANTI MUSLIM RHETORIC ON THIS PAGE YOU WILL BE BLOCKED.”

The day after revealing her big news, O’Connor shared that she had been given her first hijab, writing that she wouldn’t be posting a photo because it’s “intensely personal,” before humorously adding that there was a second reason for her decision.

“I’m an ugly old hag,” she wrote. “But I’m a very, very, very happy old hag.”

Over the next couple of days, the Irish singer went on to share a number of photos of herself wearing a head covering, simply writing that she was “happy.”

O’Connor was ordained as a priest in 1999 in a dissident Roman Catholic group.

She has previously spoken out against the abuses of the Catholic Church, even ripping up a photo of Pope John Paul II during a Saturday Night Live appearance in 1992.

The singer has struggled with her mental health in recent years, yet said she was open about her issues in the hopes that it would inspire others sufferingto seek help.

The post Say What Now? Sinéad O’Connor Says She Never Wants to Spend Time with White People Again: ‘The Are Disgusting’ appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

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This Kid From Brooklyn Could Return America to Chess Dominance for the First Time Since Bobby Fischer

Fabiano Caruana did not start playing chess in Brooklyn, New York when he was five years old because his mom thought he’d be a future grandmaster, or that he’d one day play for the World Chess Championship, just like fellow Brooklynite Bobby Fischer did back in the early 1970s. No, Caruana’s mom thought chess would calm him down and keep him focused in school.

“I was having trouble with concentration,” Caruana, 26, tells TIME, “and the idea was that maybe chess would help with that. It was more of a remedy.” Before long, this cure for little-kid hyperactivity took Caruana much further than his Lego buildings and origamis ever could. Within a year, he was winning tournament games against kids who were in junior high school and older. “His first instructor told us he was trying to teach her chess concepts,” says Caruana’s father, Lou. “We knew he was special.”

Starting on Friday in London, Caruana will become the first American since Fischer, who won the world chess title in 1972 and held it until 1975, to challenge for the World Chess Championship. Curuana faces Norway’s Magnus Carlsen, the world chess champ since 2013, in the 12-game match that will be played over three weeks at The College, a 10,000-square-foot venue in the city. Chess rarely attracts much mainstream attention in the United States. But chess pundits expect that a Caruana victory could spark an explosion in chess interest America hasn’t seen since Fischer’s heyday. “You do like your winners, don’t you?” says Mark Crowther, the U.K.-based founder and editor of The Week In Chess.

In March, Caruana earned the right to face Carlsen by beating out seven other top players to win the Candidates Tournament in Berlin. “Fabiano has the power to be better than Carlsen,” says Crowther. “There have been very, very few players you can say that about. I honestly don’t know who’s going to win this match. It’s a total toss-up.”

Caruana forged a circuitous path to representing the U.S. on chess’ grandest stage. His family decided to take Fabiano out of school and move to Spain when he was 12 in order to compete in more high-level tournaments and train with top instructors. Since his mother is Italian, he could compete for Italy’s chess federation. “It was not an easy decision,” says Caruana’s father Lou of taking his son out of school. “The plan was always to do it for a year or two and see how it works out. Is he loses a year of school, so what? He’s smart and can catch up. We could always correct things if it wasn’t going in the right direction.”

Initially, Caruana didn’t support the plan. “I wasn’t really keen on the idea of going to Europe when my parents suggested it,” he says. “I had friends in Brooklyn; I had a life in Brooklyn. But once I started playing chess pretty much full time, it just became a normal part of life. Me and my dad would just go from tournament to tournament in different countries. I missed out on social things in school and everything, but I was able to see the world as a young kid, which is very rare.”

Lou, a former data processing consultant who also earned income from real estate holdings, says he spent as much $ 100,000 on chess travel and instruction for his son in those early years in Europe. The investment paid off: Before his 15th birthday, Caruana became the youngest chess grandmaster, at the time, in the history of both Italy and the United States. Caruana admits early success swelled his head a bit. “You don’t think you need the work, which is always a mistake,” Caruana says. “I would take excessive risks and do crazy things to win a game, and commit suicide.”

Caruana overcame his growing pains, however, and started earning a living playing chess. At the same time, he eyed a return to the United States. In 2014, he turned in a dominant performance at the Sinquefield Cup in St. Louis, beating out Carlsen and other elite players to win the tournament. The Sinquefield Cup is named after Rex Sinquefield, a financier who pioneered the first index stock funds back in the 1970s – and has invested north of $ 50 million over the past decade to building one of the world’s premier chess clubs in St. Louis. With St. Louis now a budding epicenter of global chess, Caruana moved back to America in 2015, and switched federations from Italy to the U.S. Caruana now lives in St. Louis. “For a chess player,” Caruana says, “it’s the best place to be.”

To prepare for his match against Carlsen, Caruana spent some time this summer training at Sinquefield’s country home in Missouri. Besides playing hours of chess with fellow grandmasters, he jogged and shot hoops and played tennis to keep in peak physical shape. “Chess requires a lot of stamina,” says Caruana. “You’re sitting down and you’re playing six, seven hours at a time. You’re burning a lot of calories and you can easily get mentally tired. If your physical form is not good, then you’re likely to crash at some point.” Caruana doesn’t stick to a strict diet, though he does try to avoid excessive sugar, to avoid the high and inevitable come down.

In the weeks leading up to the World Chess Championship, Caruana has trained in Spain, where he’s done yoga and swam in the Mediterranean to keep his head clear. He’s also played games for up to eight hours a day. “The goal is get you thinking about chess 24/7 in preparation for the match,” he says. “It’s playing quick games, slow games, anything that will get you in that mode where you calculate very quickly. Your mind is working in the best possible shape.”

Caruana knows that Americans are blessed with plenty of sports and entertainment options. So why would even casual observers of chess have a stake in his three-week match with Carlsen, never mind those who don’t play the game? “It’s sort of like boxing or MMA,” Caruana says. “It will be a fight that is blow for blow, with each of us trying to get the upper hand, trying to impose our will on the other guy. It’s not a physical sport. But if people are into these one-on-one duels, chess is in a way similar to that.”

Sports – TIME

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European Commissioner: Trade war is ‘unacceptable,’ it’s time for countries to work together

European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis on Tuesday denounced the protectionism he said is keeping countries and their people from seeing as much success as they otherwise would.
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Daylight saving time: How it affects your sleep, and tips to adjust to the extra hour

It’s time to turn back the clocks. Here are some ways to manage your sleep.
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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India iPhone sales to fall for first time in four years: researcher

Apple’s iPhone sales are set to dip by around a quarter in India’s holiday season fourth quarter, putting them on course for the first full-year fall in four years, industry research firm Counterpoint said on Saturday.


Reuters: Technology News

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Like Clockwork: How Daylight Saving Time Stumps Hospital Record Keeping

Modern technology has helped medical professionals do robot-assisted surgeries and sequence whole genomes, but hospital software still can’t handle daylight saving time.

One of the most popular electronic health records software systems used by hospitals, Epic Systems, can delete records or require cumbersome workarounds when clocks are set back for an hour, prompting many hospitals to opt for paper records for part of the night shift.

And it happens every year.

“It’s mind-boggling,” said Dr. Mark Friedberg, a senior physician policy researcher at RAND, adding that in 2018, “we expect electronics to handle something as simple as a time change. “Nobody is surprised by daylight savings time. They have years to prep. Only, surprise, it hasn’t been fixed.”

Dr. Steven Stack, a past president of the American Medical Association, called the glitches “perplexing” and “unacceptable,” considering that hospitals spend millions of dollars on these systems, and Apple and Google seem to have dealt with seasonal time changes long ago. Epic was founded in 1979, but some hospitals have used these electronic systems longer than others.

Carol Hawthorne-Johnson, an ICU nurse in California, said her hospital doesn’t shut down the Epic system during the fall time change. But she’s come to expect that the vitals she enters into the system from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. will be deleted when the clock falls back to 1 a.m. One hour’s worth of electronic record-keeping “is gone,” she said.

Hospital staff have learned to deal with it by taking extra chart notes by hand, but it’s still a burden, she said, especially if vitals change, or a patient needs something like a blood transfusion.

Although hospitals often avoid the software glitches by turning the software off and switching to paper charts, it’s far from ideal because hospitals have evolved to become increasingly reliant on electronic systems, said Stack, an emergency physician in Kentucky.

“When [electronic medical records] work, it’s wonderful,” he said, but when the system is turned off, doctors can’t use it to access patient records or order tests. Whiteboards are a thing of the past, and some staff members aren’t as comfortable with paper records because they’ve relied on electronic records their entire careers.

“It’s an hour where you’re flying sort of blind,” Friedberg said.

The one-hour pause slows everything down, which can cause patients to spend more time in emergency department waiting rooms, prompting some to go home before seeing a health care provider. That’s dangerous, Stack said.

Not all hospitals turn Epic off, however. At Johns Hopkins Hospital, providers who need to check patients periodically through the night use a workaround. They enter vitals at 1 a.m. and then when the clock falls back an hour later and they have to enter new vitals, they list them at 1:01 a.m. They leave a note that it’s an hour later, not a minute later. That’s how the Cleveland Clinic does it, too.

“I don’t disagree with the sentiment that we would like health IT systems to be much more sophisticated,” said Dr. Peter Greene, Johns Hopkins chief medical information officer. But there are plenty of other problems he’d like to see fixed first. “This particular aspect is not one that has caused us a lot of trouble.”

Other electronic medical records systems may require similar workarounds, said Jennifer Carpenter, vice president of IT clinical systems at University Hospitals in Cleveland, which uses several electronic medical records systems. Cerner, another major electronic medical records company, was unavailable for comment, but many hospitals plan for Cerner to be down during the time change, too.

When asked to comment on the glitches and workarounds, Epic spokeswoman Meghan Roh provided the following statement:

“Daylight savings time is inherently nuanced for healthcare organizations, which is why we work closely with customers to provide guidance on how to most effectively use their system to care for their patients during this time period. We’re constantly making improvements and looking for opportunities to enhance the system.”

But Friedberg pointed out that hospitals are locked into their electronic medical record systems because they’ve invested so much money in them. And it would cost even more to convert and transfer the records into a new system. As a result, there’s little incentive for software companies to improve their products, he said.

“I shudder to think … what does it do with leap years?” Friedberg wondered.

Kaiser Health News

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Hulk Hogan returns to WWE ring for first time since N-word scandal

Hulk Hogan is back, brother, ready or not.

The professional wrestler returned to the WWE ring Friday for the first time since a tape emerged of him repeatedly using the N-word in a 2015 scandal.

Hogan hosted a “Crown Jewel” pay-per-view wresting event in Saudi Arabia and appeared to be embraced…

/entertainment – New York Daily News

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180 the Store, a luxury lifestyle boutique, is looking for a Full Time Luxury Sales Associate to join our team. The position will work directly with our team to develop strong customer relations, organize the in-store events, offer product knowledge, and provide personalized client service. The …

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Seann Walsh seen out for the first time since awkward run in with Neil Jones who banned wife Katya from speaking to him

SEANN Walsh was seen for the first time since his awkward run in with Neil Jones at a red carpet bash on Monday night.

The Strictly star, who was caught snogging Neil’s wife Katya earlier this month, headed out alone near his west London pad today – after The Sun revealed Neil had banned his spouse from speaking to him.

Seann Walsh has been spotted for the first time since his awkward run in with Neil Jones
BackGrid

The comedian, 32, was all smiles as he enjoyed some downtime and grabbed a coffee.

After refuelling, Seann – who was booted out of Strictly on Sunday night – whizzed off on his bike.

The outing came after we revealed tensions were running high between Seann and Strictly pro Neil at the Pride of Britain awards earlier this week.

The dancer, 35, is still hurting from wife Katya’s betrayal after she was pictured kissing Seann during a night out at a London pub earlier this month.

Seann even took his bike for a spin
BackGrid
The comedian was all smiles as he enjoyed some downtime after being booted out of Strictly
BackGrid

And taking a stand, Neil blocked his dancer spouse from speaking to love rival Seann at the bash on Monday, telling her: “We’re not on Strictly now, don’t you dare.”

A source said: “Neil and Katya were half way up the carpet when Seann arrived.

“Katya said she was going to say hello but Neil held her back and told her ‘We’re not on Strictly now, don’t you dare’.

“An organiser foresaw a potential bust-up so held Seann back to ensure they were kept apart.

Strictly pro Neil blocked wife Katya from speaking to Seann at an awards bash on Monday night
Getty Images – Getty


“Neil is still clearly very unhappy with Seann, but Katya clearly doesn’t want to cut ties.”

Seann clearly didn’t let the snub ruin his night as he was later seen enjoying the attention of fans on the red carpet and waitresses inside the venue.


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‘Enough Is Enough.’ It’s Time to Decertify USA Gymnastics or Start All Over Again, Gymnasts Say

The U.S. women’s gymnastics team enters the world championships in Doha, Qatar, this month as the defending team champions. American women have dominated the top of the podium at the last three championships, and five-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles is competing for her fourth all-around individual world championship title. She also qualified in all six events at the championships, and if she earns gold in each of them, could become only the second female gymnast to sweep all of the titles at a single meet since the 1980s.

But USA Gymnastics, the national federation for gymnasts for which she competes, is mired in one of the worst sexual abuse scandals in sports history. And its response to the revelations that team doctor Larry Nassar abused hundreds of athletes, including Biles, has prompted many leading many gymnasts to call for the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) to decertify USA Gymnastics, or at least remove everyone associated with the organization during Nassar’s years of abuse, and start all over.

“Enough is enough,” Aly Raisman, who was among the first Olympic team members to reveal she was abused by Nassar, tells TIME. She says the board of USA Gymnastics has been making “mistakes over and over again. And I think we have given them enough time. We can’t wait any more. It’s not right.”

Those calls grew louder last week after Steve Penny, the organization’s former president, was arrested on vacation with his family following an indictment for tampering with evidence relating to the Nassar scandal. His attorney said Penny was not aware of the warrant and is confident that his actions were not criminal.

Then, Mary Bono, the second person appointed to replace Penny, resigned after less than a week when it was revealed that her law firm represented USA Gymnastics and reportedly helped to provide a cover story for explaining Nassar’s absence after initial reports of his abuse. She also faced criticism from athletes including Biles for a now-deleted tweet from September in which Bono covered a Nike logo on her golf shoes in response to Colin Kaepernick’s Nike ad.

USA Gymnastics did not respond to requests for comment, although it did issue a statement regarding Penny’s arrest that said the organization “support[s] law enforcement’s efforts and [that it has] fully cooperated with the investigations by the Texas Rangers, Congress and others and will continue to do so to help the survivors and our community heal from this tragedy.” In announcing Bono’s departure, the USA Gymnastics board said in a statement that it was “in the best interest of the organization.”

In addition, USA Gymnastics refuses to settle any of the numerous lawsuits it faces from gymnasts including Raisman and Olympic teammates McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber, all of whom were abused by Nassar and say that the organization failed to protect them by allowing him to continue to serve as national team doctor, even after receiving reports of his abuse.

“I was always concerned about how this was handled by USA Gymnastics, but now I feel it’s really dangerous,” Raisman says. “USA Gymnastics has not been transparent at all. There have been so many resignations, and no answers. They won’t release anything, which is making me more nervous about what else they are hiding.”

It’s now clear that the U.S. women’s gymnastics team’s dominance at world and Olympic competitions in recent decades came at a price. The entire five-woman 2012 Olympic team and four of the five-member 2016 team have revealed that they were sexually abused by Nassar, an osteopathic doctor. Over a period of more than a decade, he abused more than three hundred athletes under the guise of medical treatments. According to his victims, the abuse occurred at his office at Michigan State University where he was on the faculty, in hotel rooms during competitions and at the national training center at the Karolyi Ranch in Texas. Nassar is currently serving up to 175 years in prison for his crimes.

The USOC currently recognizes national governing bodies for sports like gymnastics, and that means USA Gymnastics adheres to bylaws established by the Olympic Committee concerning proper conduct of athletes and coaches, and compliance with its policies, which include anti-doping rules. USA Gymnastics also receives funding from the USOC to support the elite competition teams that represent the U.S. at world and Olympic events. Perhaps most importantly, many international sports federations that put on competitions such as world championships and oversee participation at the Olympics require national federations like the USOC to sponsor teams from their respective countries.

For USA Gymnastics to be decertified, a complaint would have to be filed by the CEO of the USOC. Once a complaint is brought to the USOC board, a hearing would be held including, in this case, members of USA Gymnastics and the athletes’ advisory council. The panel would then make a recommendation about whether to revoke recognition as gymnastics’ governing body. If another organization were to come forward to be recognized by the USOC, it would need a different name and would have to adhere to the bylaws of the USOC and start to gain membership of local gyms. If an alternate organization is not available to take over for USA Gymnastics, then gymnasts would temporarily compete under the umbrella of the USOC. However, if the USOC decertifies USA Gymnastics, it’s not clear whether the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) would recognize American gymnasts at international competitions.

While unusual, there is precedent for decertification. The national governing bodies for taekwondo and team handball were decertified, and new organizations were created to replace them. In taekwondo’s case, the prior organization failed to address financial problems after USOC audits, and in team handball’s situation, USOC felt the existing management was not fulfilling its obligation to grow and populate the sport adequately.

The USOC did threaten USA Gymnastics with decertification, after it learned that Penny had waited five weeks before reporting reports of sexual abuse by Nassar to law enforcement. That led to Penny’s resignation, as well as the resignation of three top board members. But many survivors, including Raisman, want transparency from USA Gymnastics, including an explanation for why Nassar was allowed to continue to abuse gymnasts even after complaints about him were provided to its leadership, as well as explanations for the recent series of resignations.

“This is bigger than one abuser,” Raisman says. “It’s the leadership at USA Gymnastics that is creating this disaster.”

Raisman isn’t sure if decertification is the best option, but says something must be done to fundamentally change USA Gymnastics.

Nassar is in prison for his crimes, Penny resigned and the top three members of the USA Gymnastics board also stepped down. But, Raisman says, not much has actually changed at the organization. It has not acknowledged the scandal nor taken responsibility for what happened to hundreds of gymnasts who trusted that the governing body would have their best interests in mind and keep them safe.

“Some of the same leaders who were there [while Nassar was the team doctor] are still there. The old influence, the bad influence that created the problem, is still there,” she says. “They didn’t listen to anything we said; they never did and still are not doing it.”

In its statement announcing Bono’s departure, USA Gymnastics said it “remain[s] steadfast in our efforts to fundamentally transform the organization at all levels to ensure athlete safety and well-being is at the heart of everything we do…While we have made progress, we have much more work to do. This board is determined to take the necessary steps to support a safe, inclusive and competitive environment where all our athletes and members can grow, have fun and achieve their goals.”

Since the survivors came forward en masse to provide victim impact statements at Nassar’s sentencing hearing in January, Kerry Perry, who was the first president appointed to succeed Penny, was called before Congress to explain how Nassar was allowed to abuse gymnasts for years, despite reports to the organization that he was a sexual predator. Rather than providing an explanation, however, she redirected the focus to her intention to “make sure we’re focusing our organization on athlete safety.” Perry resigned in September after nine months leading USA Gymnastics.

The board then appointed Mary Lee Tracy as development coordinator to oversee training for gymnasts working toward making the elite world and Olympic teams. In December 2016, Tracy had defended Nassar, calling him “amazing” although he had been charged with child sexual abuse and indicted on federal child pornography charges days before. Tracy defended her description, saying she was only referring to her own experience with Nassar and that her comments had “absolutely nothing to do with … the survivors.” When Raisman tweeted that Tracy’s appointment was a “disappointment,” Tracy attempted to reach out to the Olympian and was asked by USA Gymnastics to resign three days into the job.

“I wonder how many more times does somebody have to do something harmful that hurts, actually hurts children and affects them in potentially life-threatening ways before somebody does something?” says Jessica Howard, a rhythmic gymnast who was abused by Nassar. “It hurts me as a victim; it’s a gut punch every single time.”

Howard says that the constant poor leadership decisions and resignations, and the arrest of Penny, are only perpetuating the pain and frustration for survivors. The message from USA Gymnastics, Howard says, is that athletes’ interests are still not the top priority for the organization. “I thought, this can’t be real,” says Howard when she read about the board’s decision to appoint Bono as interim president and CEO. “Maybe I’m having a dream — I actually thought that maybe I was having a dream. They cannot be this oblivious. It’s like screaming fire and nobody comes, and there are people in the building.”

Part of the problem, say many survivors, is that the organization has failed to take responsibility for the scandal and in doing so, damaged its reputation. “No one with any integrity is willing to take the position of leadership at USA Gymnastics,” says Rachel Denhollander, who was the first to identify herself as a victim of Nassar. “For two and a half years [USA Gymnastics] has consistently demonstrated that they have no desire to do the right thing.”

For one, she and others point to the fact that Ron Galimore continues in his position as chief operating officer at USA Gymnastics. According to email exchanges in the summer of 2015 that were obtained by the Indianapolis Star, an attorney from Bono’s firm suggested that Galimore be tasked with telling the USA Gymnastics’ medical team that Nassar was absent from competitions because he wasn’t feeling well – rather than informing them that Nassar was under investigation for sexual misconduct. USA Gymnastics did not respond to a request for comment on Galimore and his alleged involvement in the Nassar scandal.

“What people need to understand is that this is not a Larry problem — Larry is a symptom of a USA Gymnastics problem,” says Denhollander. “And they have not taken care of the root problem; they have only taken care of one of the symptoms.”

USA Gymnastics cites its adoption of SafeSport policies, created by the USOC’s U.S. Center for SafeSport. It’s meant to be an independent body that can investigate allegations of sexual misconduct, but many athletes feel that isn’t enough. Raisman, for one, advocates creating an entirely independent body — not affiliated with the USOC or its various sports governing bodies — to which athletes can turn for support and safety. She is working with Darkness to Light, a non-profit that provides education to adults to help them recognize signs of childhood sexual abuse, and wants to come up with other potential solutions for keeping athletes safe not just in gymnastics but all sports. “I never imagined it would get this bad,” she says.

Denhollander is hoping that Congress, which passed the Amateur Sports Act that created the USOC oversees the national governing bodies for the various sports, will hold the USOC accountable in a more stringent way. “Congress has to act to make a difference,” she says. “There is no way forward otherwise with this organization. Until all of those people who participated in the abusive culture that led to the worst scandal in recorded or Olympic history are gone, things are not going to be done differently. That’s the reason the current board is continually making the wrong choices. It’s not an accident.”

In the absence of more positive action from USA Gymnastics, the USOC, or Congress, Raisman feels an urgency to become an advocate for change herself, especially with the next Olympic Games only two years away. “I think about them a lot,” says Raisman of the gymnasts competing at the world championships in Doha, who are aiming to make the Olympic team in two years. “When I was training for the Olympics and realized what was happening [with the way complaints against Nassar were handled] was wrong, it was hard to work for an organization that I knew was very corrupt. And now with everything that has come out, it’s way worse than I ever imagined it would be. But it’s not the survivors’ fault. It’s the organization’s fault. The moment they realized something was wrong, if they had handled it the right way, and reported it, this wouldn’t be a problem right now. I’m trying to brainstorm ideas,” she says. “We owe it to the sport. The sport deserves much better.”

Sports – TIME

ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:

Jennifer Garner Is All Smiles As She Steps Out In N.Y.C For First Time Amid New Romance | PeopleTV

PeopleTV

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

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McDonald’s brings back legendary menu item — for a limited time

Dust off your finest eatin’ pants, McDonald’s fans. The fast-food chain announced Thursday that its beloved McRib is back after nearly a year off the menu. “While McDonald’s has ushered in many new items this year – such as fresh beef in our quarter-pound burgers – we know our fans love this limited time classic,”…
Living | New York Post

SPECIAL SHOE DEAL UPDATE:

Interview With Angela Rye: Time to Bet on Ourselves, Black America

Midterm elections are around the corner and there is so much at stake for black America. This year, there is a record-breaking number of women running for Congress and we are witnessing a resurgence of black political figures eager to restore justice, equity, and hope for the nation at a time where it seems extremely divided.

With politicians like Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum, and Ben Jealous running for governor in this year’s election, they could potentially make history in Georgia, Florida, and Maryland as the first black governors in those states. And if they receive the victory they’d also add to the short list of four African American governors in the history of the nation.

Beyond making history for governorships; control over the chambers of Congress; who wins the majority of the House and Senate; state legislative seats and non-federal offices are all at stake. As well as pressing issues that will be voted on at the local level.

That is why BET News will premiere Angela Rye. Our Vote. Our Power., an enlightening and timely news special hosted by Angela Rye. Joining her for the special is former Senior Advisor to President Obama Valerie Jarrett, recording artist Remy Ma, Sen. Cory Booker, activist Shaun King, Rep. Edward “Ted” James, civil rights lawyer Kristen Clarke and Dr. Connie Wun as they discuss the key issues at stake in the upcoming midterm elections on the ground in communities and nationally. The special also features an exclusive sit-down interview with former first lady Michelle Obama who will discuss the power of voter registration and turnout on the local and national level.



Your Vote Matters

In preparation for Election Day and the empowering special, we spoke with political pundit Angela Rye about the importance of being civically engaged on Nov. 6 and every election.

With the midterms approaching, what is at stake for black women?

I think that everything is at stake. One of the biggest mistakes that we make is making it seem like this one election matters more than all of the rest. Every single one of the elections we can ever vote in matters this much. One of the worst things that we can do is wait for things to get as bad as they’ve gotten to engage in the process.

 

So what I would tell black women is, when you look at the record number of women running for office this year. There are 444 black women who are running for office in the midterms. That number could be so much higher. And wouldn’t it be even more incredible if they could win?! And they can win if we exercise our voting power. We are electable. We are powerful. Every time we decide to stand together we do matter and we do count. And I would say that’s the first step; really believing that and acting

This country says, “Thank you for your help,” to black women time and time again but they don’t necessarily believe in them as candidates. What is at stake for this country if black women do not win the majority of the positions they are running for?

One of the examples that I use often is because I am so inspired by her is Stacey Abrams. Stacey Abrams is this single black woman in Georgia rocking full natural hair; brilliant, and went to an HBCU, but not a school that white America would deem as OK or acceptable to be electable. All the while, before she decided that she was going to run and during the primary was repeatedly told that she wasn’t electable because she didn’t look the part and because of how she was raised.  And the establishment went as far as to run “white Stacey” against her. The same state which in any other circumstances Democrats would cry foul. They would say that, ‘this is a voter suppression or voter confusion tactic.’

 

Stacey did not let any of that sway her and she wasn’t concerned about how much money she raised or didn’t raise. She counted on the people. So, what I would say to black women who are questioning our power and Saying that they don’t give us a chance is that we can give us a chance. If we show up every time in record-breaking numbers and if we beat the odds like we have turned out in so many elections before, we can always change the tide. It’s time for us to start betting on ourselves.

There is a national moment of harassment that black people are living in right now. And historically we’ve always lived through harassment. How can we call on our elected officials to recognize this moment?

I think if you have an elected official that doesn’t recognize it, this should be their last term. We should start holding our elected officials accountable the same way that we talk about holding police departments accountable. We should hold our community leaders and activists on any platform, whether it’s social or on television or whether they engage in social movements and marches and protests. Anyone who doesn’t think that this is a national crisis that needs to be immediately dealt with shouldn’t have a platform.

How can people advocate for themselves on the spot if they face voters suppression?

There is a number, 1-866-Our-Vote. The election protection hotline has existed for years and they are responsive, timely, well researched, and they are amazing lawyers run by the Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights. I would definitely lean on them and let people know immediately if that happens. I would also say to use social media, especially during early voting and the day of election on Nov. 6. It’s a great tool to flag things for local and national media outlets. And it’s certainly a great way to flag for the election protection hotline and the folks that will be monitoring social media. You can also text Election Protection at to 9779.

Almost immediately following this midterm election, people are going to bring out the bells and whistles for the 2020 presidential election. How can we get people civically engaged 365?

One of the most important things we can realize is, for example, folks keep saying that this is the most important election. The reason for that is (in the year) 2020 there will be another Census and they’re developing the questions that are going on that Census right now. Some of those questions are designed to intimidate people who are living here undocumented. And what I would say is, why wouldn’t you want to have a say in that?

 

When we talk about electing more black people… the lines for congressional districts and state legislative districts are drawn during the Census. You will not have a say in that if you do not elect people who represent your voice this election year. These are the folks that have input on that Census. That is we have to show up, show out, and make history ourselves.

Let your voice be heard on Nov. 6. And, be sure to tune into Angela Rye. Our Vote. Our Power. on Sunday, Oct. 28, at 10 PM, ET/PT on BET.

The post Interview With Angela Rye: Time to Bet on Ourselves, Black America appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

BEAUTY DEAL UPDATE:

Jennifer Garner Is All Smiles as She Steps Out in N.Y.C for the First Time Amid New Romance

Jennifer Garner was all smiles strolling through the Big Apple.

The 46-year-old actress stepped out on Thursday in New York City for the Fast Company Innovation Festival in which she spoke about her baby food company Once Upon a Farm. This is her first public appearance after news broke that she is “casually dating” CaliGroup CEO John Miller.

Garner looked chic in a blue-green coat, white scarf and strappy blue heels as she bundled up against the city’s cool weather.

A source told PEOPLE on Thursday that “dating is just a natural step” for Garner after finalizing her divorce from Ben Affleck.

“Although the divorce was just finalized, Jen has considered herself single for a long time,” the insider said. “Jen will always care about Ben and help him be the best dad. She was very ready to move on though.”

“She seems very excited about the future and is in a great place both personally and professionally,” the source added.

RELATED: Jennifer Garner ‘Casually Dating’ CEO John Miller, Says Source: ‘He Hasn’t Met Her Kids’

On Thursday, a different source told PEOPLE Garner and Miller, 40, were “casually dating but it’s not serious.”

“He hasn’t met her kids,” the insider added.

Garner shares Violet, 12, Seraphina, 9, and Samuel, 6 with Affleck.

RELATED VIDEO: Jennifer Garner Looks Sleek and Stylish in Tailored Pants for Camping Premiere

The friendly exes have continued to spend time as a family and co-parent after they officially filed for divorce almost two years after announcing their separation in 2015. They took the kids to see Hello, Dolly! on Broadway in mid-July, starring family friend Victor Garber, and spent Easter together in Hawaii where Affleck was filming.

Miller was also previously married before filing for divorce from celebrity violinist Caroline Campbell in 2011.

He and Campbell are parents to two school-age children, a daughter and a son. The businessman is CEO and chairman of holding company CaliGroup. The company owns the CaliBurger chain, which boasts a special robotics technique that flips burger patties.


PEOPLE.com

Fashion Deals Update:

Russian Soyuz Rocket Lifts Off for First Time Since Failure

(MOSCOW) — A Russian Soyuz rocket has put a military satellite in orbit, its first successful launch since a similar rocket recently failed to deliver a crew to the International Space Station.
The Russian military said a Soyuz-2 booster rocket lifted off from the Plesetsk launch facility in northern Russia Thursday.
A Soyuz-FG rocket carrying NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos’ Alexei Ovchinin failed two minutes into the flight on Oct. 11, sending their emergency capsule into a sharp fall back to Earth. The crew landed safely, but Russia had suspended all Soyuz launches pending a probe.
Investigators have linked the failure to an element jettisoning one of its four side boosters from the main stage that apparently had been damaged during the rocket’s final assembly on the cosmodrome.

Sports – TIME

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Ex-Goldman programmer sentenced to time served in theft case

A judge on Tuesday sentenced ex-Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov to time served for stealing secret computer codes that the bank had used for its trading programs. The sentence in the notorious 9-year-old case, handed down Tuesday by Manhattan state Judge Daniel Conviser, is a win for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who had…
Business | New York Post

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Cristiano Ronaldo Speaks Out for the First Time About Sexual Assault Allegation: ‘My Lawyers Are Confident and I Am, Too’

(MANCHESTER, England) — Speaking publicly for the first time since being accused of rape, Cristiano Ronaldo defended himself against the allegation and said Monday he is confident the truth will come out in the case.

The soccer superstar has been accused of rape in the United States. Kathryn Mayorga filed a civil lawsuit last month in Nevada claiming Ronaldo raped her in his Las Vegas hotel room in 2009. Police also reopened an investigation into the allegation at her request.

Ronaldo’s attorney, Peter S. Christiansen, issued a statement on Oct. 10 denying wrongdoing by his client.

“I’m not going to lie in this situation,” Ronaldo said at a news conference ahead of a Champions League match between his Italian team, Juventus, and former club Manchester United at Old Trafford on Tuesday. “I’m very happy. My lawyers, they are confident and of course I am, too. The most important, is I enjoy the football, I enjoy my life. The rest, I have people who take care of my life.

“Of course, the truth is always coming in the first position.”

Christiansen declined comment. Attorneys Leslie Mark Stovall and Larissa Drohobyczer, representing Mayorga, did not immediately respond to messages.

Ronaldo previously had confronted the allegations in an Instagram video posted Oct. 3, hours after the suit was filed.

“Fake. Fake news,” the five-time world player of the year said at that time.

Christiansen has branded documents that led to media reports about the rape claim “complete fabrications” and asserted that the encounter in a Las Vegas hotel penthouse bedroom was consensual. Attorneys for Mayorga have challenged Ronaldo’s legal team to prove that documents are false.

Ronaldo joined Juventus in the offseason from Real Madrid. He has scored five goals in nine matches for the Italian champion, and two in three matches since being accused of rape.

Asked about his status as a soccer role model, the 33-year-old Ronaldo said Monday: “I know I am an example. I know, 100 percent. On the pitch and outside the pitch. So I am always smiling, I am happy man. I’m blessed that I play in a fantastic club, I have a fantastic family, I have four kids, I am healthy. I have everything.”

“So the rest, it doesn’t interfere on me,” he added, before saying with a smile: “I’m very, very well.”

Ronaldo is returning to Old Trafford for the second time since leaving United to join Real Madrid in 2009. The first time was for the second leg of a Champions League last 16-match between United and Madrid in 2013, when he was given a standing ovation by United fans and introduced as the “magnificent seven” — a reference to the number he had at the English club.

Ronaldo scored the winning goal that night, eliminating United.

The Portugal forward has won the Champions League five times, once with United in 2008 and then at Madrid in 2014, ’16, ’17 and this year.

“I remember what it was like in Manchester. My history, we won lots of trophies, cups, leagues and the Champions League. I remember the support of the fans. (Then-United manager) Sir Alex (Ferguson) is someone I will never forget. He was a huge lift in my career.

“When I knew we were playing Manchester United, it was a huge thing for me.”

Sports – TIME

ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:

GUIDE TO MEDICARE: Time to shop around to make the right moves

Fifty-three million people can’t be wrong. Or can they?

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit organization that analyzes health policy, only 10% of the 59 million Medicare beneficiaries make a change during the Open Enrollment period. Not reviewing your Medicare options can have…

Life Style – New York Daily News

EMPLOYMENT SEARCH UPDATE:

5 Steps That Will Save You Serious Money Every Time You Shop at Walgreens

There’s a Walgreens on just about every busy street corner. That means they’re super convenient for those times I run out of toothpaste, toilet paper and hair care products AT THE SAME TIME.

I’ve been a Balance Rewards member for years, but I never paid much attention to how the program works. I’ve just shopped as I normally would and enjoyed the occasional surprise at the cash register.

But after noticing more frequent rewards offers, I did some digging. Now, I’ve figured out how to get the most of Balance Rewards, so I can save more money at Walgreens.

How to Maximize Your Walgreens Balance Rewards

 

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Walgreens Balance Rewards is a point-based system that offers 10 points for every $ 1 you spend in stores and online. You can also earn points on photo services and at the pharmacy.

You can track your points by logging in to your account or downloading the Walgreens app. You can redeem points as follows:

  • 1,000 points = $ 1
  • 2,000 points = $ 2
  • 3,000 points = $ 3
  • 5,000 points = $ 5
  • 10,000 points = $ 10
  • 18,000 points = $ 20
  • 30,000 points = $ 35
  • 40,000 points = $ 50

The best part is that you don’t have to rely solely on spending money to earn points. As a Balance Rewards member, you can also earn bonus points from paperless coupons, weekly ads and members-only perks.

Here are five ways to maximize your Balance Rewards.

1. Pay Attention to Your Receipts

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Walgreens receipts give you a summary of your rewards balance, and they’re often accompanied by Register Rewards.

Register Rewards are coupons you can use on your next purchase. Sometimes they offer savings on a specific item or type of purchase. Other times, you can earn bonus points, such as $ 10 worth of bonus points with the purchase of $ 25 or more of eligible items. Register Rewards for specific items are usually labeled with a yellow tag, and they expire after two weeks.

Another reason to pay attention to your receipts — aside from using them to score cash back through Ibotta — is to keep track of your points. While it can be fun to let your points add up without paying attention, you could miss out on points, because… well… technology.

You can see your point activity for the last 90 days in your account and your transaction history for the last year and a half.

Just remember: You can’t earn points on some products, including alcohol, tobacco and dairy.

2. Check Out the Weekly Ads

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

If you don’t pay attention to the Walgreens weekly ad, you could miss out on deals and opportunities to earn bonus points.

For example, an August 2018 circular featured these offers for bonus points:

  • 3,000 bonus points ($ 3 reward) for spending $ 12 or more on participating products.
  • 5,000 bonus points ($ 5 reward) for spending $ 15 or more on participating products.
  • 10,000 bonus points ($ 10 reward) for spending $ 50 or more on participating products.

Participating products are usually within the same category — for instance, the offer featuring 5,000 bonus points included children’s or infants’ Tylenol, Benadryl, Motrin, Sudafed, Zyrtec and Desitin.

You can also find offers for bonus points and browse current sales, clearance items and online-only deals on the Walgreens site.

3. Save More With Paperless Coupons

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Walgreens rewards also offers paperless coupons, which you can find through your Balance Rewards account or in the app. These include manufacturer coupons, along with special offers for bonus points.

You can “clip” these coupons right to your Balance Rewards account, so there’s no need to print or physically clip coupons — just present your rewards card or phone number at checkout, and the coupons will be applied automatically.

As of this writing, 545 paperless coupons were available. Some of the most recent offers were for 5,000 bonus points on purchases of $ 25 or more and 500 bonus points on Walgreens brand bath tissue.

You can filter coupons by category and sort them by expiration date, coupon value, brand name, recommendations or most recent. You can also view and clip upcoming coupons.

Paperless coupons can also be used for online orders, as long as your Balance Rewards card is linked to your Walgreens account.

4. Earn Bonus Points With Members-Only Perks

How to get the most out of your Balance Rewards at Walgreens
Sharon Steinmann/The Penny Hoarder

Walgreens Balance Rewards also offers members-only perks, which are usually opportunities to earn more bonus points.

One recent perk offered 10 times the points on purchases of $ 20 or more in stores or online between Aug. 12-25. So instead of earning 10 points for every $ 1 you spent, you would have earned 100 points for every $ 1.

Another members-only perk is the Beauty Enthusiast program, which offers 5,000 points for every $ 50 you spend on beauty products, including cosmetics, nail care, skin care, hair care, fragrances, beauty accessories, and bath and body products.

When you opt in, you’ll immediately receive a welcome email with an offer for 20 times the regular  points. You’ll also have access to exclusive promotions and samples, a personalized beauty profile, product picks, and expert tips and tutorials.

5. Get Even More Points for Making Healthy Choices

runners compete in a race.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

This is one of my favorite things about Walgreens Balance Rewards: You can earn points just for being healthy through Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices.

What I love most is it lets me automatically earn points for doing what I was already doing — tracking my health and fitness with devices and apps such as Samsung GearFit2, MyFitnessPal and Google Fit.

Points are earned by tracking your healthy choices, including:

  • Walking, running or cycling: 20 points per mile (limit 1 mile per day).
  • Exercise: 20 points per daily log.
  • Weight: 20 points per daily log.
  • Sleep: 20 points per daily log.
  • Blood pressure: 20 points per daily log.
  • Blood glucose: 20 points per reading (limit two readings per day).
  • Nicotine replacement therapy: 20 points per daily log.

And you don’t even have to connect apps or devices to earn points for healthy choices. You can still earn points by tracking your activities right from your account on the Walgreens website or app.

But if you do connect your apps and devices, you’ll earn 250 points per app and device. Plus, you’ll earn points without really thinking about it, as long as your activity tracker and fitness apps are all connected.

The maximum amount of points for healthy choices you can earn is 1,000 per month, which is equal to an extra $ 1 off per month. That may not be the biggest reward, but it’s great for a little extra motivation to keep your health and fitness goals on track.

If you’re an AARP member, you can an earn 50% more points for healthy choices, along with five times the points (50 points per $ 1) on Walgreens brand health and wellness products. You’ll also receive 1,000 points per vaccination you get at the pharmacy. All you have to do is link your AARP membership with your Walgreens Balance Rewards account.

After putting all of these tips to the test over the last month, I’ve saved a total of $ 17 from coupons and earned 21,000 points — enough for a $ 20 reward! I’m so proud of my new money-saving habits, I might just spend that $ 20 reward on something I don’t even need.

OK, not really. I’m saving it for the next time I run out of all of my bear necessities AT THE SAME TIME.

Jessica Gray is an editorial assistant at The Penny Hoarder. She had “The Bear Necessities” from “The Jungle Book” stuck in her head the entire time she wrote this post.

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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Small Business Owners Ready to Hit Ballot Box Big Time in Midterm Elections

When it comes to the midterm elections in November, small business owners will be more registered to vote than the overall population.

That, at least, is among the findings of a new survey by Thumbtack, an online service for small businesses. The survey indicated 85% of small business owners surveyed report being registered to vote, versus 70% of all Americans signed up to vote.

Further, 93% of small business owners who are registered to vote say they “definitely” or “probably” will do so, while only 88% of registered voters nationwide say the same, a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll shows.

The survey showed 17.1% of small business owner respondents reported the No. 1 issue in determining their vote this November is the economy and taxes. Some 5.8% named healthcare as their top issue, making those the most important issues for nearly one-third of small business owners. There are roughly 30 million small businesses in the nation.

“Small business owners continue to tell us they want their representatives to focus on the issues that impact their businesses and their families like the economy and healthcare,” said Thumbtack Head of Public Policy, Kellyn Blossom stated in a press release.

“Small business owners are going to be a crucial constituency for every campaign this November. They care deeply about what affects their communities and plan to turn out in large numbers to vote.”

Thumbtack surveyed 980 small business owners from late August and early September nationally in hundreds of categories, including electricians, music teachers, wedding planners, and wellness professionals to name few. Entrepreneurs were asked about their voter registration status, plans to vote in the upcoming election, and the issues guiding their political preferences.

Additionally, Thumbtack and the Small Business Roundtable are partnering to make sure business owners’ voices will be heard this election.

The Small Business Roundtable is a membership-based group comprised of the Small Business Entrepreneurship Council, National Association of Women Business Owners, National Association for the Self Employed, U.S. Black Chambers Inc., National Small Business Association, and Asian / Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce & Entrepreneurship.

 

The post Small Business Owners Ready to Hit Ballot Box Big Time in Midterm Elections appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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A Rape Accusation Against Cristiano Ronaldo Is Finally Getting Attention. It’s About Time Soccer Had Its #MeToo Moment

Cristiano Ronaldo is Portugal’s most famous soccer player and arguably the most famous athlete in the world. But in the last few days, his name hasn’t been in headlines for winning championships or crying on the pitch after being issued a red card. His name is flashing across screens because of a 34 year-old woman named Kathryn Mayorga, has come forward to say Ronaldo brutally raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2009.

How is it possible that a story that sports media in North America had no interest in publishing less than two years ago, is now splashed all over every screen and social media platform? This case was not reported on by any major outlet except for a story in 2017 by the independent German newspaper Der Spiegel. Except for a select few commenting on social media (myself included), the case against Ronaldo got no traction. Fast forward 18 months, and Der Spiegel published another story. This time, it was a detailed account from Kathryn Mayorga herself. The publication spent more than 20 days with her and held countless interviews, fact checked and re-checked before it published.

The documents acquired by der Spiegel were damning and according to a recent Twitter thread by one of the main authors, Christoph Winterbach, there were more than 20 staff involved in working on the article. In response. Ronaldo’s lawyer and his team made a lot of noise as part of their legal posturing and even accused der Spiegel’s piece of being “illegal” because “it violates the personal rights” of Ronaldo. Laughable at best.

For those who understand the law, and the severity of the crime, there is much substance in this story. Back in 2009, Mayorga’s inexperienced lawyer (who had specialized in traffic violations) was no match for Ronaldo’s PR mega-machine and legal team, ended up settling with them for $ 375,000 on the condition Mayorga not . But Mayorga’s new legal team is disputing that contract and arguing that she was mentally deficient due to trauma from rape, and was not competent enough to make a proper decision at the time.

They have filed a civil suit on Mayorga’s behalf and the case has since been re-opened by the Las Vegas police. In Nevada, the statute of limitations has not expired for this crime. Mayorga has not only suffered physically (the hospital documented her injuries in a rape kit when she reported the crime), but she continues to suffer from that trauma to this day and—according to her lawyer—is in “active therapy.”

Ronaldo initially called the allegations “fake news” and insinuated that Mayorga was trying to get famous using his name. I have worked with survivors of violence and have yet to meet or know of a victim who has enjoyed any of the bullying, shame, societal isolation and mental health upheavals, and wanted to claim some type of infamy from an attack. And I won’t even dignify the ridiculous notion of “false accusations.”

Writing about rape culture in the soccer world is a struggle. Before the 2015 UEFA Championships, I heard about allegations against Spanish goalkeeper and Manchester United star David De Gea, who was implicated in a horrible rape case. I pitched that piece to at least ten different outlets and no one was interested in publishing it and paying me for my work. Thankfully, I found it a home at a soccer site entirely run by women. And they backed me up when the online harassment started to descend. I have only tweeted about Ronaldo thus far and the responses to my tweets have been violent and angry—presumably from Ronaldo supporters. Another indication of the hatred casually flung at women for speaking up.

Mayorga’s attorney has said that she was enabled by hearing survivors in the #MeToo movement disclose their own stories. There is a strong tide of women speaking up courageously, slowly washing away the impunity often enjoyed by powerful misogynists and abusers. Perhaps #MeToo has finally transcended into the realm of sports, a realm where it is desperately needed. With cases like Patrick Kane, Kobe Bryant and Baylor University’s football team, and other men who rarely face consequences for their actions, it is needed now more than ever.

Predictably, the same sports media who initially had no interest in this story have become “experts” in criminal law, and on sexualized violence. The vacuous reporting and unnecessary reflections are mostly done by men, and center the 33-year-old star. Opinions on due process (reminder: it’s a legal system not a justice system) and about Ronaldo’s athletic prowess and teams don’t have anything to do with this case in which he is accused of anally raping a woman, who by his own accord, told him “no.”

The way that these stories are reported by sports journalists who have little or no training in reporting accurately on sexualized violence can be re-traumatizing for many survivors. Instead of investing in proper media tool kits compiled by advocates for victims of violence (all free), editors unleash a bevy of unhelpful pieces that contribute to an unhealthy society steeped in rape apologism. On that night in 2009, Mayorga was dancing with Ronaldo. Does that mean she invited rape? No. These outlets are complicit in the way that victim blaming and shaming become part of natural discourse when rape is reported.

Then there is the sexist sports establishment itself. Since the most recent news broke out, the predictably irrelevant statements of solidarity from Ronaldo’s supporters have emerged. His current team Juventus FC tweeted out nonsensically reminding Twitter that Ronaldo has conducted himself with “professionalism” and “dedication.” The issue at hand is not whether he is a “champion.” How Ronaldo performs on the pitch is not correlated to the fact that he may have brutally violated a woman. The issues must not be conflated.

Ronaldo was left off of the Portuguese national team roster for upcoming international matches—but not because the Portuguese football federation felt it necessary to exclude him from the squad for being charged with a violent crime. They somehow managed to explain this decision while singing his praises. Portugal national men’s coach Fernando Santos said in a news conference on Thursday, “[Federation] president Fernando Gomes and I spoke with Cristiano Ronaldo and we considered it best for the player not to be included in this and November’s call-ups.

He went on to wax poetic about the alleged rapist: “I personally always support my players, and this is not even a question of solidarity, but I believe what the player said publicly. He considers rape to be an abominable crime and clearly reaffirms that he is innocent of what he is being accused of. I know Cristiano well and I fully believe he would not commit a crime like that.”

How nice for Ronaldo for people to believe him because he works hard and people are familiar with his persona. And while Nike and EA Games, two of Ronaldo’s major corporate sponsors, are “concerned” with the allegations, it is not enough to have them pull their money away—even though Ronaldo allegedly used sponsorship money to settle with Mayorga in 2009. The reluctance to cut ties with a powerful athlete underlines that the dignity of a woman is not worth sacrificing profits from soccer cleats.

#MeToo has yet to be championed the way that alleged rapists are.

Sports – TIME

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Opinion: Trump says it’s a “scary time for young men.” That’s not true

Opinion: Trump says it’s a “scary time for young men.” That’s not true


Opinion: Trump says it’s a “scary time for young men.” That’s not true

Author Michael Arceneaux talks Donald Trump, Brett Kavanaugh, and the absurdity of prioritizing the “fears” of young men before the experiences of sexual assault survivors.

As we’ve come to learn in his still relatively short but nonetheless exasperating, exhausting time as president, Donald Trump’s debasement of the office moves at a freakishly accelerated pace. Every single day of this ongoing nightmare, one has to wonder not if Trump will reveal himself to be an inhumane boob—but how many times that day and to what extent? On Tuesday night, the man who once defended Neo-Nazis by calling them “very fine people” and who endorsed a person credibly accused of pedophilia for the U.S. Senate decided it was time to up the despicable ante: He mocked the victim of an alleged sexual assault during a rally in Mississippi.

He mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford—the woman who came forward to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault during their high school years. Trump mocked Dr. Ford’s trauma to the cheers and laughs of adults. Children were present. I know that cable news pundits already bore the hell out of people with their trite, cliche-ridden newspaper columns about “both sides” showing selective morality, but there is only one major U.S. party that has its president mocking women who were sexually assaulted.

That cruel reality makes me think of the other remarkable thing President Trump said on Tuesday just hours prior: “It’s a very scary time for young men in America.”

It is perplexing (to say the least) that Trump would say this now given his history with those accused of sexual violence—notably, the time he infamously took out a newspaper ad calling for the death of the Central Park Five. Despite DNA evidence exonerating them, then-candidate Trump continued to profess their guilt decades after the matter had been settled. On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about this hypocrisy, but as she often does, she forgoed facts and straight answers in favor of spouting fables about the wannabe tyrant she habitually lies for.

It would be easy to dismiss Trump’s remarks as the ramblings of a sociopathic buffoon, but like his racism, like his sexism, like his xenophobia, like his transphobia, and like his homophobia, Trump is the id of the Republican Party, and to some extent, a major bloc of the electorate. It’s not just his son Donald Trump Jr. echoing these sentiments, it is people like Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and well, Republican voters themselves. But still, it’s not just conservatives who seem to buy into this notion that we ought to care more about the concerns of the accused than the accuser. This misogyny pervades our entire patriarchal society: The idea that we must worry more about what can happen to a man’s career before we can focus on the life of a woman whom his abuse has impacted. That ultimately, and simply, men matter more.

Veteran Republican pollster Frank Luntz explained to the Washington Post that among Republicans, “There is a feeling of being guilty until proven innocent. In this era of #MeToo, there are a lot of men—and some women—who believe that justice no longer exists in America, that the accusation is enough to destroy someone’s career and someone’s life.”

In a new Quinnipiac poll released on Monday, the survey found that 51% of white voters believe Kavanaugh should be confirmed. Meanwhile, 80% of Black voters believe Dr. Ford over Kavanaugh. For, Latinx voters, it is 66% who believe Dr. Ford. Only 40% of white voters believe her account, and when split by gender, 46% of white women believe Dr. Ford and 43% believe Kavanaugh. In sum, Luntz has a point—no matter how irrational, delusional, and disgusting the viewpoint is among those who hold it.

In fact, despite the faux condemnation of Trump’s remarks by select Senate Republicans like Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Jeff Flake, it is still likely that Judge Brett Kavanaugh—the man Ford claims once tried to rape her 36 years ago—will be confirmed to the Supreme Court in light of continued support among Republican leadership and, per Gallup, most Republicans. And apparently, with the support of most white voters.

So, my question is, how exactly is it a “scary time for young men” in America? It is a far scarier time for women in this country given that we have an American president—one serially accused of sexual assault himself, no less—who will belittle a survivor of sexual assault.

It is a far scarier time for women given that a major political party has no qualms propping up a sexual abuser to a position of power—literally to the laughs of white voters.

As RAINN notes: “Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 8 minutes, that victim is a child. Meanwhile, only 6 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison.”

Men are scared? I wish men were more afraid of facing consequences for abusing women and girls, but given the climate we live in and the longstanding statistics about sexual assault, why would they be? Look at the man who stands behind the podium with the symbol of the U.S. presidency and look at the support he maintains. I long for a better day, but no serious person would kid themselves into thinking we need to worry about young men in America.

And all that concern about men being falsely accused? About survivors “[wanting] to destroy people,” as Trump also said on Tuesday? Studies reveal that it is more likely for a man to be sexually assaulted than falsely accused of rape. “Unfounded” or false rape accusations only make up 2 to 10 percent of rape allegations. In an interview with Vice.com, University of Kansas Law Professor Corey Rayburn Yung said, “The false reporting rate [for rape] is lower than lots of crimes.”

We need to care more about the women and girls of this country who are not only susceptible to abuse, but burdened by a patriarchal system in which their abuser is still likely to harm without consequence.

Michael Arceneaux is the New York Times bestselling author of the recently released book I Can’t Date Jesus from Atria Books/Simon & Schuster. His work has appeared in the New York TimesWashington PostRolling StoneEssenceThe GuardianMic, and more. Follow him on Twitter.

The post Opinion: Trump says it’s a “scary time for young men.” That’s not true appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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‘Bad Times at the El Royale’ Review: Good Time at the Movies

What is Bad Times at the El Royale?

In this star-studded thriller, seven strangers — each with a secret to hide — check into the titular Lake Tahoe hotel, which sits on the California-Nevada border. Over the course of a stormy night, their paths cross, their pasts are revealed, and the characters find themselves on a collision course that will either lead to redemption, or an early grave.

Tarantino-Esque

Drew Goddard — whose last film was meta horror gem The Cabin in the Woods some six years ago — is clearly a fan of the master of meta crime movies, Quentin Tarantino. Not only does Goddard’s new movie ape QT’s tone and style and approach to character, it also has much in common with his last release, The Hateful Eight.

Both films feature a bunch of disparate souls holing up in a single location overnight. Thanks to Biblical storms raging outside. In both stories nothing and no one is what they seem. In both movies, dialogue-heavy interactions reveal that some characters are there by coincidence, while others have more in common than it first appears. And in both instances, those conversations trigger intense bursts of violence that result in far fewer walking out than walked in.

Tahoe’s Best Kept Secret

And what a strange, mysterious space the El Royale is. A red line running down the middle of the lobby, it’s a “bi-state establishment” that divides the warmth and sunshine of California from the hope and opportunity of Nevada. With the beds in the ‘Golden State’ a buck more.

The El Royale is decked out like a 1960s Vegas lounge, though one that’s a few years past its heyday. The film takes place at the start of the ’70s, long after the hotel’s gambling license has been lost, and a time when the ‘Summer of Love’ has transformed into something more sinister, with Nixon in the White House, and murder on the news.

Following a brief prologue in which a murder occurs in one of the rooms some 10 years previous, we’re introduced to this den of iniquity’s newest clients.


Jon Hamm, Jeff Bridges, and Cynthia Erivo in Bad Times at the El Royale.

The Likeable Seven

Laramie Seymour Sullivan (Jon Hamm) is a southern, silver-tongued salesman obsessed with his “accoutrements,” and determined to lavish himself in the honeymoon suite. Darlene Sweet (Cynthia Erivo) is a soul singer clearly struggling to make ends meet. Emily Summerspring (Dakota Johnson) looks like a hippie, but her attitude is anything but. And Father Daniel Flynn (Jeff Bridges) is a charming priest with a serious sob story who seems out of place in such an establishment.

These first arrivals introduce themselves while waiting for the hotel’s staff, their interactions sparking tensions, setting the characters at odds with each other, and creating audience expectations that are cleverly defied as proceedings progress.

And progress they do, via a series of chapters that revolve around characters or events, some in the past to lend much needed context and stakes, and others in the present, as new guests are added to the mix (turning the four into seven), and the various storylines start to coalesce.

Excessive Run-Time

Trouble is — much like Hateful Eight — it takes an absolute age to get to the film’s finale, which itself is dragged out for longer than’s necessary. And while some of the tales that play out along the way are thrilling — most notably Father Flynn’s — others are less engaging, with one particular back-story dishwater dull. Meanwhile Chris Hemsworth’s role — which we won’t spoil here — is a little too on the nose, an issue that isn’t helped by his mugging for the camera.

But the dialogue is as sharp as it is smart. The film’s soundtrack is an all-timer that’s filled with pop, rock and soul from music’s greatest era. The politics that sneaks into the film is effective, making clever comment on the cult of celebrity and the behaviour of those in power. And there are some terrific performances, not only from Bridges and Hamm, but also via less familiar faces like Erivo — who sings like an angel — and Lewis Pullman, who might just steal the film as the El Royale’s mysterious desk clerk Miles.

Is Bad Times at the El Royale Good?

You could call Bad Times at the El Royale a Hateful Eight imitator (with a little Identity thrown in for good measure), but if you are going to crib, crib from the best. And to be fair to writer-director Drew Goddard, he’s pulled off a pretty impressive feat in his own right, effortlessly cross-cutting between multiple timelines and stories to craft a cohesive thriller that constantly pulls the rug out from under the audience.

So while it ultimately outstays its welcome, Bad Times is anything but for much of that run-time, making it both the best crime thriller that Quentin Tarantino never made, and a joint that’s well worth paying a visit.

Bad Times at the El Royale was reviewed at Fantastic Fest and hits Australian screens on October 11 and releases in UK/US cinemas on October 12.

‘Overlord’ Review: WWII Monster Movie That Plays Like a Celluloid ‘Wolfenstein’

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