This unlikely, but well-recognized trio was found wandering on the side of a Kansas road this week, bringing holiday spirit all around. If you aren’t ready for the holiday season, you better get ready now – because clearly, the nativity scene is coming to you.
Local police were perplexed at these friends ended up on the same stretch of road, and think perhaps it is a sign of Christmas to come.
Famous Farm Friends Traveling to the North Star
The Goddard Police Department shared the photograph of the animals on their Facebook page, asking if anyone knew the owners of “these three friends traveling together (towards a Northern star) just east of Goddard?”
“If we can not locate the owner,” the post continues, “we may be halfway towards a lie nativity scene this Christmas season.”
One cheeky comment asked if there were 3 wise-looking men nearby that could perhaps help identify the owner of these animals, who were all very tame.
“Someone took the nativity scene a little too far this year!”
In a Facebook comment, a generous offer for the Hope in the Valley Equine Rescue and Sanctuary offered Goddard Police help in capturing and housing the animals until their owner was found.
It turns out, the owner was an employee of the nearby Tanganyika Wildlife Park, a local zoo that “continues to be a world leader in breeding rare and endangered species”, according to its website.
The facility is one of the largest family-owned zoos in the country and houses all sorts of animals, from hippos to rhinos, bunnies, guinea pigs, and more.
Animals Straight From The Nativity Scene
These animals clearly came straight from the nativity scene. The Nativity Scene is featured heavily in Christmas celebrations within Christians, and is normally made up of a young couple, a tiny baby, three wise men… and a lot of animals.
The traditional nativity scene includes a donkey or an ox, which is mentioned specifically int eh bible, as well as camels and sometimes even elephants. Popular additions for churches constructing a live nativity scene for the holiday include sheep, as they are docile and easy to access.
The animals, police, and owner are all happy, and the 3 friends are back where they belong – preparing for their busy season, it seems.
USPS has launched Operation Santa, a Christmas initiative to help children who are from less fortunate backgrounds. The initiative is a way for you to play Santa to a kid in need.
If you’re looking to help make someone’s Christmas fantastic, you can log in to USPS’s online portal for the Operation Santa initiative and “adopt” a child’s letter to Santa.
What is Operation Santa and What is USPS Doing?
Operation Santa is an online initiative started by the United States Postal Service in order to connect caring volunteers with children in need. Essentially, the project gathers up letters to Santa and collects them on an online portal for the initiative. From there, volunteers can “adopt” the letter and then get the gifts that the child has asked for from Santa.
Once you’ve got the gifts, you just send them to the USPS through the initiative and they handle the rest. This setup is ideal, since it means that families don’t have to worry about their addresses being shared over the internet with strangers, but they can still receive the secret Santa gifts through the initiative.
Relevant Information about USPS’s Operation Santa
If you’re interested in adding your child to the list, visit BeAnElf.org. If you’re interested in buying gifts for children, you should head over to the USPS website. Remember: gifts have to be mailed out by December 20. Additionally, it’s worth noting that any gifts given through this initiative are considered charitable donations and can be written off on your taxes, so you’re getting something for your money!
Depending on the child, the requests could be anything from toys and video games to even basic things like shoes, coats, gloves and the like. If that doesn’t tug at your heart strings, then what will? The initiative is live now, so you can start shopping for a child in need today.
Hottest Christmas Gifts for Children in 2019
A number of gifts that are high on many kids’ Christmas lists this year will include video games, new toys and even new clothes. However, anything you get for a child in need will be appreciated and could make someone’s Christmas special. Do you have what it takes to be Santa for someone in need?
The new meatless burgers from Burger King might not be so meatless after all. If you’re just looking to change your diet up or try something new, the Impossible Burgers are a great choice. But a group of vegetarians and vegans are taking issue with how these products are being made.
If you thought your Whopper made from an Impossible Burger patty was completely vegan, we have a hard truth to talk to you about.
Cross Contamination on the Impossible Burger from Burger King
The class-action lawsuit was filed by Phillip Williams this week and claims that the advertising for the Impossible Burger at this fast-food chain is wildly misleading. Burger King claims that their burger is “completely vegan”, but Williams – and many other vegans – argue that.
The issue? The Impossible Burger is cooked alongside regular beef patties, leading to an extensive amount of cross-contamination. By cooking the burger on the same grill, it’s no longer vegan.
Williams isn’t alone. A simple Google or Twitter search shows numerous other vegetarians and vegans bringing up the same issue, and complaining about the fast-food chain being unable to separate their cooking.
Burger King Never Promised Separate Cooking Facilities
Here’s the thing, though – on the Burger King website, the company readily admits that the Impossible Burger is cooking on a shared grill. Back in August, Burger King’s US head Chris Finazzo told media that the burger would be cooked on the same broilers as both the regular beef patties and the chicken.
While yes, Burger King does claim the Impossible Burger is vegan, they have never said that their preparation of the food was completely free of any cross-contamination.
And sadly, it makes sense. Burger King is a high volume kind of place, and they aren’t exactly able to cater to everyone’s needs, all the time. According to some vegetarians, if you specifically ask them to cook the burger separately, most can do so. But it’s really a gamble.
The amount Williams and the others are seeking from Burger King in the class-action lawsuit is unknown right now, but we can’t expect they are going to get very much. The chain has been very open with their preparations and practices, so if this is coming as a surprise to you, you probably haven’t been paying attention.
While watching football, four people lost their lives on Sunday night when a suspect entered a home in east central Fresno. The group of family and friends were watching television together when the suspect began opening fire.
Officers responded to the home, located three blocks south of the Fresno Yosemite International Airport, on Lamona Avenue near Caesar Avenue, just before 8 pm.
Fresno Family and Friends Gathered to Watch Football
Around 45 people had gathered to watch a football game together, says the Fresno Police, when the suspect snuck into the backyard. He attacked the people gathered outside, while the 35 that remained inside were unharmed. By the time police arrived, they found that three had already succumbed to their injuries, while the fourth later passed at a hospital.
Five of those who were attacked are now being treated at the Community Regional Medical Center in downtown Fresno, while another is currently located at the Saint Agnes Medical Center. One is in critical, but stable condition, while two others are in critical condition.
The streets around the home have been closed off while local authorities investigate what happened, and drivers and residents have been advised to avoid the area. No possible motivation or description of the suspect have been released at this time.
State Authorities Respond to the Fresno Football Incident on Social Media
Not long after the incident happened, state authorities started issuing public statements on social media.
California State Senator Andress Borgeas said, “I am saddened by the disturbing and senseless act of violence tonight in Southeast Fresno. My heart is with the family and their loved ones.” He continued in another post, “Thank you to all those who are reaching out in support of Fresno during this time.”
Andrew Janz, the Fresno prosecutor and mayoral candidate also made a statement. “We are praying for peace and calm as we continue to investigate. My thoughts are with the victims and their families.”
He continued, “Thank you to those who have reached out in support of Fresno,” and also said, “Rest assured we will bring those responsible to justice.”
This story may update as more information becomes known.
These deals won’t last long, but that’s par for the course on Black Friday, right? Walmart just dropped its Black Friday ad, one of the last major retailers to do so, and it is without a doubt the highest anticipated ad of the shopping season.
If you’re craving lines and mayhem after you eat that second slice of pumpkin pie (we’re not judging), Walmart has got you covered. But don’t think you can wait until Black Friday, because these major deals will probably sell before the last Thanksgiving dish is clean.
What Are The Major Walmart Black Friday Sales of 2019?
Okay, get your wallet ready and your shopping pants on, because Walmart really is bringing it this year with the sales.
Their Black Friday preview ad is a staggering 37 pages, but if you don’t want to sift through all of this, we can give you an overview of the best deals.
In tech, you can snag a 50” 4K Roku Smart TV for just $148. Not big enough? A Phillips 65” 4K Android Smart TV is just $278. Looking for an apartment or bedroom size? For just $98 you can call a 40” 1080p Roku Smart TV your own.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is going to be just $129, normally $199. And pretty standard across the board from several retails is a PS4 1TB Bundle that includes The Last of Us Remastered physical game, and digital downloads of Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition and God of War for just $199.
You can snag an HP Gaming Laptop for just $499, or a 27” curved gaming monitor for $178.
Each store will be offering hot cocoa and snacks starting at 4 pm on Thanksgiving Day, and color-coded maps of the stores will be offered so you can bee-line straight for the sales you really want.
Black Friday Shopping Has… Already Started?
There are fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than usual, which has retailers scrambling to hit sales goals and make as much money as possible during this season. Walmart has already started “Early Day Drops” on their site, and their “Pre-Black Friday Sale” is going to start at midnight on November 22 to really get you in the mood to spend.
Physical stores are set to open at 6 pm Thanksgiving day, and online Black Friday deals will go live at 10 pm ET Wednesday, November 27. Is it really Black Friday if you’re shopping on a Wednesday?
You can check out the full ad here from Walmart’s site to determine if it’s worth skipping out on post-family festivities to snag a great deal.
Taco Bell is offering an interesting slate of foods in their “Friendsgiving” Party Pack promotion. One such item is an unusual recipe the fast-food chain’s blog has suggested fans could make from the rolled chicken tacos found in the party pack.
While the soup isn’t available directly from the restaurant, the rolled chicken tacos that make up the bulk of the soup most definitely are.
Pureed Chicken Soup from Taco Bell? What?
If you’re anything like us, you’re likely baffled at the idea of going to Taco Bell, purchasing a Party Pack of ready-to-eat rolled chicken tacos and then taking those home to spend another thirty minutes making them into soup. For some reason, the mental image of this endeavor alone just makes us sad. Why use fast food items as the base for an entrée?
The recipe, shared by Taco Bell’s Executive Chef, Rene Pisciotti, is supposedly able to feed two as an entrée or four as an appetizer. That implies that, should you want to feed four people, you would need two Party Packs of the rolled chicken tacos. We’re dubious as to the efficiency of this recipe.
A Better Way to Use the Taco Bell Friendsgiving Party Pack
Taco Bell’s Party Pack, which is $10.99, includes six rolled chicken tacos and six normal crunchy tacos. You get to choose a dipping sauce, from nacho cheese, guac, or spicy ranch, and then you can be the hero your pals need on Thanksgiving by showing up with a metric boatload of food. This method doesn’t require you to bizarrely puree any tacos, either.
Part of the promotion Taco Bell is rolling out for the Thanksgiving holiday includes a partnership with GrubHub. Starting on November 21, orders over $12 from Taco Bell will have free delivery from GrubHub, making the Party Pack a pretty quick solution to the question of “what should we get to feed all these people?”
Melissa Freibe, senior vice president of brand marketing and consumer insights for Taco Bell, issued a statement on the new product. “The holidays are filled with all types of gatherings, which is why we are excited to give fans a delicious, craveable and shareable solution delivered straight to their door with the Rolled Chicken Tacos Party Pack,” stated Freibe.
If you’ve had a hard time deciding between Starbuck’s holiday drink offerings, we’ve got some good news for you. Today, for one day only, Starbucks “hand-crafted” drinks are all buy one, get one free.
The deal starts in the afternoon, and you can expect it to be a huge hit since they’ve just rolled out their holiday menu and red cups.
How do You Get BOGO Drinks at Starbucks?
In order to take advantage of Starbucks’ “Happy Hour” promotions, you need to first download their app. The app will automatically load the BOGO deal for all users, and the promotion will run from 2 PM to 7 PM on Thursday, November 14. Remember, that’s today! Starbucks now runs their “Happy Hour” promotions on select Thursdays.
That’s all you need to do to take advantage of this deal. This is the new version of the “Happy Hour” promotion that Starbucks revamped in October of this year. Where prior Happy Hours were focused on various drinks each time the promotion came around, the Happy Hour now has a set meaning. “Hand-crafted” beverages, like the holiday-exclusive flavors, are buy one, get one during every happy hour.
Which Drinks are Included in Starbucks BOGO Deal?
All hand-crafted beverages, which includes frappuccinos, flavored drinks, and all of the new holiday flavors. Those flavors, which include Peppermint Mocha, Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, Caramel Brulée Latte, Chestnut Praline Latte and Eggnog Latte this year, are all available in several configurations. Frappuccino, hot and iced variations of the holiday flavors are all available.
While speaking on the Starbucks Reward program and how it is incorporated in Happy Hour promotions, Starbucks issued a statement. “As part of our ongoing strategy to enhance digital customer relationships beyond the 17 million member and growing Starbucks Rewards loyalty program we have evolved Starbucks Happy Hour to provide a consistent offer that is seamless and even more relevant for our customers.”
Beating the Starbucks Rush
If you’re thinking of heading by Starbucks today to take advantage of this deal, we recommend trying to go by early to beat the rush. If you wait until around 5:00 or later, you might find the lines extremely long and the parking lot packed.
Jimmy Carter has been admitted to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, this week ahead of his surgery – scheduled for today – that is going to involve drilling into his skull to relieve the pressure on his brain.
Carter, 95, is the oldest living former US President and is still very active working with various charity organizations. In recent years, Carter has become an icon again for his willingness to give back to the community and use his position for doing good.
Jimmy Carter Suffered 3 Falls this Year Alone
Carter suffered 3 falls within the span of 2019, leading many people to be concerned not just about his physical health, but his ability to continue to live on his own. Currently, Carter lives with his wife of 70 years, Rosalynn, in their home state of Georgia.
In early October, he fell in his home in Plains, Georgia, and cut his forehead on a sharp edge. He required 14 stitches and sported a black eye for a little while, but he was out and building houses the next week for Habitat for Humanity.
Carter also fell later that same month for a fall that fractured his pelvis. He had previously fallen early this year and ended up needed hip replacement surgery to cope with the after-effects of his tumble.
Carter Says He is At Ease with Death
In 2015, Jimmy Carter says he got a diagnosis that changed his life – cancer. He shared that year that he was diagnosed with melanoma that spread to both his liver and his brain, which is a scary thing to go through.
“I assumed naturally that I was going to die very quickly… I didn’t ask got to let me live, I found that I was absolutely and completely at ease with death.”
He realized that due to his Christian beliefs, even if he was to pass away, it wouldn’t be the last time that he saw his family – he would see them again, and that brought him a lot of peace.
Despite his feelings of peace with death, Carter fought his diagnosis. With an aggressive combination of radiation and immunotherapy, he was able to push back and be considered “cancer-free”.
Carter’s pastor has asked for prayers from the country for the former president, who should be undergoing surgery today.
“If they want it, I’ll give it to them,” is what Trump told a group of reporters recently. This statement, made on Friday, was relating to a second call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky that House Democrats have been seeking as part of the impeachment inquiry.
“We’ll probably give it to you on Tuesday, Monday being a holiday,” Trump told the reporters.
What is the Importance of the Ukraine Call Transcripts?
In September, when news of the whistleblower complaints against the President surfaced, the Trump administration took the odd step of releasing their own summary of the call. While Trump has repeatedly called this summary “the transcript,” it’s not actually a verbatim recording of the call, but is a summary that the White House volunteered to release.
Ironically, this summary hardly paints the president in a positive light. In the summary, Trump asks directly for a favor from his Ukrainian counterpart in relation to aid from the US. “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it,” Trump states in the summary, before asking Zelensky to open investigations into Trump’s own political rival, Joe Biden.
What About the Earlier Call to Ukraine by President Trump?
Lawmakers involved in the impeachment inquiry have been seeking the transcript of an April 21 call between Trump and Zelensky, which occurred just after Zelensky won the Ukrainian election. There has been some speculation that Trump may have engaged in quid pro quo dealings with Zelensky during this call as well, though it’s unclear from where this speculation stems.
Trump, for his part, has stated that he has no problem offering another call summary, but not until Tuesday. “I have no problem giving it to them,” Trump told reporters. Trump has repeatedly defended his conduct in relation to Zelensky, stating that the call summary shows he did “nothing wrong,” and that any allegations of quid pro quo are willfully misreading the situation.
Lawmakers, however, have surmised that Trump withheld Congressionally-approved aid to Ukraine until Zelensky agreed to investigate Trump’s political rival and his son. This, they argue, is unethical and unconstitutional, as well as being grounds for impeachment. The House of Representatives has now formally voted on inquiry procedures, and are holding public impeachment hearings.
Will you be trying these new turducken flavored chips from Pringles? Even better, these turducken chips aren’t the only Thanksgiving holiday-inspired flavors – they’re part of a “Friendsgiving Turkducken Kit” that Pringles is releasing just for the holidays, that features additional flavors.
Whether your favorite Thanksgiving dish is pumpkin pie, stuffing or cranberry sauce, Pringles has you covered. We’ll explain how to get them before they sell out!
Where to Buy Pringles Friendsgiving Turducken Kit
The best part about this Pringles Turducken kit is that you can buy it from the comfort of your own home, from the Kellogg’s store website. It goes on sale tomorrow, on November 7th, so you might want to set a reminder… right about now.
This isn’t the first time that Pringles has released a Thanksgiving-themed chip set. Last year in 2018, they released their “Thanksgiving Dinner” kit for $14.99, which included a mashed potato chip. In 2017, they offered creamed corn, mac n’ cheese, pumpkin pie, and green bean casserole.
If there’s a flavor you missed, check out these other chip flavors that Pringles has introduced in the past…
Craziest Holiday Pringles Flavors from the Past
Once you pop, the fun definitely doesn’t stop when you consider these past flavors that Pringles has offered to their customers. Which one would you be most willing to try, if they happened to bring it back?
White Chocolate Peppermint Pringles
This is an amazing flavor combination when it comes to lattes and hot cocoa, but I’m not so sure about a peppermint-flavored potato chip.
Cinnamon and Sugar Pringles
Sign me up for this one! Just imagine dipping this into a nice side of frosting. Yum.
Pecan Pie Pringles
If you get the hankering for a side of pecan pie, Pringles apparently has you covered.
Prawn Cocktail Pringles
I guess if you don’t personally enjoy this flavor, your cats might.
This one sounds like an acquired taste, but I’m not so sure that most would ever actually acquire it.
I’ve gotta say… if it were up to me, the Cinnamon and Sugar, and Pecan Pie Pringles sound like they’d be pretty hard to mess up. I’ll wait until I get a chance to try the turducken chips before I make a final decision, however.
In honor of National Love Your Red Hair Day, which is celebrated annually on November 5th, we’re going to take a look at some fascinating red hair fun facts.
The annually-observed day of red hair appreciation was kickstarted in 2015 by Adrienne and Stephanie Vendetti, who run the website “How to be a Redhead.”
The duo noticed the distinct lack of love for redheads on the calendar and petitioned the “National Day” Calendar to make the 5th day of November the official celebration of red hair.
National Love Your Red Hair Day has the stated goal of “empower[ing] redheads to feel confident, look amazing, and rock their beauty.”
Rarest Hair Color in the World
Red locks are the rarest color of hair you’ll ever see! Less than two percent of the world’s population has red hair, owing to the gene’s strange capacities for not passing to children. That’s because red hair is actually a genetic mutation, not a normal phenotype of the human population.
Specifically, the mutated MC1R gene is responsible for red hair. If both parents have the gene and pass it to their child, there’s a 25% chance the child is born with red hair. This can occur even if neither parent has red hair!
Strange Indicators in Redheads
Redheads also have a higher likelihood of another strange indicator of unique genetic development: they’re often left-handed. Handedness is a complex and poorly-understood aspect of human development, and many argue about what causes it.
However, for whatever reason, left-handedness is overrepresented among redheads.
Redheads Age Like Fine Wine
Those with red hair will be pleased to note that their hair will almost certainly not turn gray with time. That’s because the pigment that gives their hair its red hue never burns out entirely, but instead only fades with time. This means that older people who had red hair when they were younger tend to sport softly blonde or even white hair as they age.
On a related note, redheads also have less strands of hair on their heads, on average, than blonde or brunette counterparts. For whatever reason, red hair tends to only result in 90,000 strands on the head, as opposed to blondes’ 110,000 and brunettes’ 140,000.
A 71-year-old man became trapped in a mall when he walked through a fire door exit that closed behind him as he walked through it. Bernard Gore, 71, passed away after weeks of being trapped in a stairwell in Westfield Bondi Junction mall in Sydney, Australia.
How Did a Man Find Himself Trapped in a Stairwell?
According to an inquest into Gore’s death, he became lost and unable to find his way back to the main mall area after walking through a fire door that only opened from one direction. The complex hosts six to eight miles of fire exits, and they would be difficult for anyone to navigate, let alone a 71-year-old who was suffering from the early stages of dementia.
After Gore failed to meet with his wife, Angela, so the couple could go visit their daughter in Sydney, Angela alerted the mall to the situation. They performed a cursory search of the mall’s public areas that day, but told Angela that they didn’t see her husband. Had anyone checked the CCTV footage, however, they would have seen Gore entering the fourth-floor fire door.
How Was Bernard Gore Found Trapped in the Mall?
Weeks after he went missing, a utility worker in the mall happened to pass through one of the fire escape stairwells. He noticed a man, slumped forward in a half-crouched position. It was Gore, who had passed away after being trapped for weeks in the stairwell. It appeared as though he had been seated in a nearby chair and had slid off at some point.
Gore’s tragic passing sparked an inquest by local authorities. Many questions remain unresolved. Why were the fire exit tunnels not searched when Angela alerted them to her husband being missing? Why were CCTV cameras not reviewed? Why did it take weeks for anyone to even find his body?
A detective in charge of the case described the initial search for Gore as “poor,” stating that clearly no one tried too hard to find a senior citizen in need of help. It’s easy to feel upset and angry for someone getting lost in a maze of corridors and stairs for so long that they pass away there.
A man died outside of a Maryland Popeyes last night after a fight broke out while waiting in line for the new Popeyes Chicken Sandwich, which was released Sunday on National Chicken Sandwich Day.
Right now, it’s unclear if the fight was about the chicken sandwich in question, or whether the men had other issues. But police are suggesting that this a chicken sandwich-related crime, and with lines for the release stretching in the street at many locations, backing up traffic, we’re not surprised.
What Happened at Popeyes that Started the Fight
Apparently, police were called to a Popeyes in Oxen Hill, which is within Prince George’s County, Maryland, just after 7 pm on Monday night. PG County is just outside of Washington, DC.
What happened, according to witnesses that the police have been able to speak with so far, is that an unknown man attempted to cut in front of the line. Another man, a 28-year-old who has yet to be identified to the public, took issue with that.
After heated words were exchanged, the two took the fight outside. A scuffle occurred, and one of the men pulled a knife.
Police were called, and many witnesses – along with the attacker – fled. He was rushed to the hospital, but unfortunately, his wounds were too great and did not make it.
Maryland Police Speak Out Against Chicken-Related Violence
A spokesman for Prince George’s Police Department, Jennifer Donelan, said of the fight, “We have been able to determine, preliminarily, that this is related to the release of the sandwich here at this restaurant… this individual was in line specifically for the sale of the sandwich when another customer and he got into an altercation and that ended with the victim being stabbed outside the business.”
During a short interview with the news, Donelan asked anyone who was in the restaurant at the time of the stabbing to come forward. She also said that the attacker “knows who he is” and “what he has done”, and that he should come forward to make things right.
This sandwich has been out for less than 48 hours, after the first ‘round’ two months ago when it sold out in just weeks. It has become an internet sensation, and some have called it the best fast food fried chicken sandwich out there.
An 11-year-old girl allegedly did what most would deem impossible to save the life of her friend. When 9-year-old Latoya Muwani was in the water yelling for help, being bitten by a crocodile, Rebecca Munkombwe jumped on the animal’s back and gouged his eyes out to release her friend.
Most adults wouldn’t be able to do something like this, let alone a little girl. But according to reports, she didn’t even hesitate – she just went for it.
Both girls are fine, and Rebecca is being called a hero.
The Crocodile Attack
Several children from the village of Sinderela in Zimbabwe were swimming in a stream enjoying the weather. Typical children things. As they were leaving the area, the kids heard a scream.
Little Latoya was in the water, about neck-deep, and screamed that something was biting her hand. Most of the children scattered, running in various directions, or were frozen with fear. But not Rebecca.
Rebecca instead ran towards the water. She jumped on the back of the crocodile and pounded against the hard skin with her bare hands, but it didn’t seem to be doing much, so she switched tactics and went for the eyes.
After several attempts, Rebecca was able to press her fingers into the crocodile’s eyes. Only then did the animal let Latoya go, who had been bitten on both her hand and leg by the crocodile in an attempt to pull her under the water.
Rebecca swam with Latoya to the edge of the water, where several other children helped pull them up.
Latoya was treated at a regional hospital with only minor injuries.
Rebecca Says She Acted because She Was the Oldest
When talking about her close encounter with the river monster, Rebecca says that of the seven children swimming, she was the oldest, so she felt that she had to do something to protect Latoya.
Rebecca remarked that she felt lucky that the crocodile did not chase after them, but let the girls go after she injured it.
Latoya’s father, Forture, said of Rebecca’s heroic acts, “How she managed to do that I don’t know but am grateful to God. Latoya is recovering well here… and we expect her to be discharged soon.”
According to authorities, crocodile attacks are getting more and more common in the area as fresh, healthy water sources are harder to come by.
Children have been punished for not being able to pay for their school lunches for years now. Being singled out, forced to do chores, or not being able to get lunch at all – this is a reality for thousands of students across the country who cannot afford their school lunch.
Now, legislation was introduced in April to ban schools from singling out these children. While it’s not through the woods yet, it is one step closer to being a reality – and helping children everywhere.
Is Lunch Shaming a Real Issue in US Schools?
The entire goal of this legislation, which passed in the U.S. Senate last week while attached to a larger funding bill, is to prevent and eliminate children being aware and singled out by school officials because their families cannot afford school lunches.
This has been big news in recent years, with some schools taking it pretty far. Some districts will “stamp” a student’s hand who has not paid for their meals, force them to do extra chores, or offering an “alternative” meal, like a cold cheese sandwich instead of a hot lunch.
Many times, this will be the only hot lunch that these children get.
According to a report in 2014, almost half of all school districts in the US today use some sort of “lunch shaming” on children to coerce parents into paying the bill.
What this Lunch Shaming Bill Will Change
If placed into effect, this would mean that children not only would be punished for their family’s inability or unwillingness to pay for their school lunches, but they wouldn’t even be aware of it.
Schools would only be allowed to discuss payment with the parents. Children would not be involved at all, which can save a lot of embarrassment for them.
Other Places Have Lunch Shaming Bills in Place Already
This legislation would cover the entire US, but several other places already have similar laws in effect.
Maine signed a similar bill into law earlier this year, which prevents any school in the entire state to shame or identify students who cannot afford their lunches. These students also cannot be refused a meal, despite their inability to pay.
Denver, Colorado passed legislation similar to this as well, but their results have been mixed. Lunch debt went from $13,000 to a staggering $350,000 in just a single year, which is what those opposed to this change are most scared of.
School systems and their budgets are already tight – adding this expense could be disastrous. But there are also social implications to the stigma these children are facing, which are very real, and could be very harmful.
A woman found a puppy in her back garden and quickly took the helpless pup inside to help get him some food and shelter. The animal was whimpering and pitiful, the woman shared on Facebook, so she wanted to take him in and look after him.
The poor little thing had injuries on his back and was all alone, and his story quickly went viral.
Puppy isn’t Actually a Puppy Though…
When the woman uploaded pictures of the adorable little dog, people online were quick to question what, exactly, the animal was. It was difficult to determine his species from the photos. Some argued he must be some type of dog, while others were certain the animal, now named Wandi, was a fox. The pup’s caretaker took him to an animal hospital for his injuries and to determine what species he was.
At the animal hospital, vets were able to determine both the source of his injuries and Wandi’s species. Firstly, he had likely been attacked by an eagle or some other predator bird. The marks on his back were consistent with the talons of a large hunting raptor. As for his species, that came as more of a surprise: Wandi is a dingo.
How did a Dingo End up Alone in a Backyard?
Dingoes are pack animals and rarely wander far from one another. A pup, especially, is almost never seen far from his pack, as the social relationships of dingoes make them very quick to chase and defend any young in their groups. As such, finding a lone dingo pup whimpering in the bushes is hardly a normal occurrence.
The fine folks over at the Australian Dingo Foundation quickly took Wandi in, happy to have a new set of genetics to add to their breeding pool for their population of captive dingoes. The reserve’s doctors have a few ideas about how Wandi ended up alone. The likely story is that he was carried off by the bird that gave him the injuries on his back and then dropped somewhere else.
Since dingoes are hardly known for being docile, it’s not a far cry to imagine even a pup fighting back tooth and nail against a would-be assailant. Then, after wriggling free, the little pup found his way to a helpful human. Thankfully, the Dingo Foundation will take good care of the animal and see to it that no further harm comes his way!
A jail sentence is what this man got in return for smacking a MAGA hat from a man’s head at a bar and spitting on it, before walking out.
The mugshot for the attacker doesn’t make him look very apologetic. In fact, Matthias Ajple looks downright smug when police snap a photo of him.
Where and How the MAGA Attack Took Place
According to the Indian River Sheriff’s Office, Robert Youngblood, 67, was at the Hurricane Grill in Vero Beach, Florida, with several friends last Friday night. He was sporting the signature bright red Make America Great Again hat that was popularized during President Trump’s presidential campaign.
When Matthais Ajple, 43, saw the man enjoying his evening with his friends – and his hat – he felt the need to do something about it.
According to reports, Ajple approached the table and shared with Youngblood his thoughts on the hat. “Go back to Russia, you f***ing communist,” He said to the older man, drawing quite a bit of attention to himself.
Ajple took it one step further, which is what prompted Youngblood to get the police involved. He slapped the brim of the hat off of Youngblood’s head, and spit on it, before leaving the bar.
How they Found the MAGA Slapper, and His Reaction
Honestly, Ajple probably could have gotten away with the assault if Youngblood and his friends hadn’t caught his license plate information on his way out of the parking lot. After informing the police of it, they had to pay the man a visit.
After refusing to talk to deputies about the assault, Ajple finally went to the door and discussed it with the authorities. His reasoning? “I was trying to protect you guys because I support law enforcement. Trump supports are communist and racist.”
Released on Bail, but Not Done Yet
In his booking photo, Ajple looks positively smug. It’s clear that if he was supposed to learn a lesson about the assault during this experience, he did not.
When asked about the arrest, he said he wasn’t scared of being put into cuffs, but actually a little exciting.
“I don’t even care that I’m going to jail. This is actually exciting, plus I have more time on this earth than he does anyway. He probably feels so good about himself.”
Ajple was released on $500 bail after being booked into Indian River County Jail, but this isn’t the last he’ll hear about this.
First responders see pretty horrifying things in general, but they didn’t expect this. Sidney Wolfe, a student at Marshall University, was driving home from a haunted house event where she was promoting her new role in her school’s adaptation of Carrie.
Her vehicle struck a deer in South Point, Ohio, and first responders were called out.
When they arrived, they didn’t expect Sidney to be in her full Carrie White outfit, complete with the gown, fake blood and tiara. To put it lightly, her appearance likely horrified the first responders.
Wolfe Tweeted about Carrie Costume
The university student posted a picture on Twitter of her vehicle after it struck the deer, and herself in her full costume. The tweet was accompanied with a caption reading “If anyone wants to know how my weekend went I totaled my car while dressed up as Carrie and everyone who was a first responder thought I was dead HAHAHAHA IM SO SORRY.”
Sidney added later that the situation continued being absurd. “[W]aiting for my parents to come pick me up from the scene, two more policemen showed up. By this time, I was out of the vehicle and making conversation with the people. The new officer says, “ I hate to interrupt but don’t you guys think she needs medical assistance.”
How did First Responders Handle the Situation?
Wolfe spoke to HuffPost about the incident, saying that she could tell the first person who arrived on the scene was just trying to be a good Samaritan but was horrified at the scene. As more people arrived, the situation got sillier.
“Next came the police officers who were like ‘oh man’ and kept asking over and over again if I needed medical assistance,” Wolfe stated. “The second round of cops that came weren’t in on the makeup and said, ‘Are we just gonna ignore that dripping and she needs medical assistance?’”
Wolfe’s vehicle suffered some serious damage in the accident. Thankfully, Wolfe was actually uninjured aside from a mild bruise on her leg. She’ll still be able to play her role as Carrie in the production today, too!
Imagine tipping your bartender with a Powerball ticket, if only for a moment. Let’s assume you’re enough of a cut-up to buy someone a lottery ticket instead of just leaving a tip, for one thing.
After all, odds are pretty good that the ticket is worth less than the paper it’s printed on.
Now, imagine, to your surprise, that you later hear about a bartender winning $50,000 from a lottery ticket left as a tip. You might be a little shocked, to say the least.
Well, that’s what happened to bartender Taylor Russey, when, as a gag, a regular bought her a Powerball ticket as a tip.
A Winning Lottery Ticket as a Tip?
Taylor Russey, who works at Bleacher’s Bar in Missouri, was bought a lottery ticket by one of her regulars as a good-natured joke. When she came to work the following day, she saw that the bar’s lottery terminal had an alert. The bar had sold a winning ticket.
Russey, enthusiastic about someone’s good fortune, asked around for who had won all that cash and not told anyone. When she suddenly remembered that her regular customer had bought her a lotto ticket, she pulled it out and scanned it.
The numbers boggled her mind. “$50,000,” read the display. Her ticket matched four white balls pulled in the October 19 lottery.
Who Leaves Lottery Tickets as a Tip?
According to Roussey, the regular who left the ticket isn’t a jerk and wasn’t being mean when leaving the ticket as a tip. It’s completely normal for him to buy tickets for a lot of his friends and favorite bartenders, especially when the jackpot starts to get high.
One can picture the scene: rowdy fun at the local bar, everyone talking about what they might do if they ever won the lottery. The regulars are all cutting up, and one of them decides, on a whim, to buy all of his buddies lottery tickets.
Then, as a fun joke, he leaves one as a tip for his favorite bartender. Everyone gets a good laugh, forgets about it, and goes home. Then, the ticket left as a tip becomes a $50,000 winner. Russey, for her part, is probably pretty happy to have some serious cash to play with now.
The classic ABC song has been remixed, and people aren’t happy about it. The new version of the song, shared by Noah Garfinkel on Twitter, is normal until it gets to the infamous “LMNOP” section of the melody.
That’s where the rage-inducing part comes in.
While some children might mishear the song and think there is a letter called “elimino,” the melody in the original song is pretty timeless. By breaking up the melody in that section, it throws most listeners off.
After all, nearly every native English-speaker learned the song with the classic “LMNOP” melody.
What Are People Saying Online about the New ABC Song?
The reaction to the song on Twitter was negative, to put it lightly. Many people opined that the new version was, “trash,” and some wrote that it “made [their] ears bleed.” The consensus was that you shouldn’t mess with a classic, as the classics are legendary for a reason. There was nothing wrong with the original, they insist, regardless of whether some children mishear it.
Of course, the new version has some scattered defenders. Many point out that children often mishear things, and it’s important to clarify for them what the alphabet actually is. After all, nearly every person who learns English as a child learns the alphabet in song form. The song makes it easy to remember, but mislearning it the first few times could be damaging for a young person.
Why is the Reaction to the New ABC Song so Intense?
People tend to have very strong reactions to things they learned when they were young. Look no further than outrage over numerous reboots and retellings of classic stories. For many, one of the earliest songs they learned was the ABC song. As such, that original melody is hard-coded into their psyche.
By altering the tune slightly, it can make people who learned it as children very, very uncomfortable. After all, the ABC song helped them to learn the very basics of the language they speak and read. By undermining that, you’re essentially challenging their entire linguistic worldview.
Would you agree to have a microchip implanted into your body? That’s the question that Microsoft and a group of pharmaceutical companies are asking.
Microsoft is spearheading an initiative called “ID2020,” a program aimed at giving every human on the planet a digital ID, like a fingerprint, in order to keep everyone connected.
What is ID2020?
The ID2020 Alliance is an initiative helmed by Bill Gates and aimed at “getting Digital IDs right.” According to the official ID2020 site, current methods of official identification are “archaic” and not accessible by everyone. As the Alliance claims, the current methods of digital identification are easy to spoof, and proper online ID certification hasn’t become a reality just yet.
As companies are only now defining what a proper, official online ID looks like, ID2020 seeks to help define what a “good” digital ID is. Gates and the Board of the Alliance have a “Certification Mark” that they award to companies and technologies that meet the criteria of being “good” digital ID tech.
What’s the Connection to Vaccinations?
The idea behind some of ID2020’s more controversial technologies is a digital ID that can be implanted into someone in chip form. Ostensibly, this is to help homeless people or people in developing countries by giving them access to blockchain-powered identification.
In theory, the practice would have people receiving free vaccinations through the Bill Gates foundation if they have an ID chip implant. In turn, these implants would carry encrypted, blockchain-backed data that allow for easy access to services you can’t normally get without an ID.
It could also help social workers and researchers keep up with who is up-to-date on their vaccinations.
Why Has This Got Some People Worried?
Some people are concerned that Bill Gates, one of the richest people on the planet, is working with a private Alliance of companies to create a digital ID standard. Between the power he wields financially through Microsoft and politically via his charitable organization, it is a bit unnerving to think of him microchipping every citizen.
However, it seems the program isn’t as nefarious as it sounds at first. A blockchain ID aimed at empowering the most impoverished and the homeless doesn’t sound like a bad thing at all to us!
That said, others are concerned about the idea of being tracked in general. Is this something you’d ever agree to have done?
If you missed out on this sandwich before it sold out last time, never fear – this infamous crispy sandwich is making a comeback. This is Popeyes delivering on a promise they made when they were forced to pull this delicious delight weeks ahead of schedule due to an unbelievably high demand.
But now, it’s back – and a spokesman for Popeye’s promises that it won’t be running out again anytime soon.
Popeye’s is Literally Increasing Staffing for the Chicken Sandwich’s Return
This isn’t a joke, people – this fast-food fried chicken joint, founded in New Orleans in 1972, has actually increased their staffing in anticipation of this sandwich dropping again. That’s how popular they still expect it to be.
Don’t worry! Popeyes says that they have secured appropriate supplies for the sandwich. That’s what was the major issue last time around – the company could not appropriately supply stores with enough product to produce at the rates they were.
The company said they anticipated about six to eight weeks of chicken supplies – and completely ran out within just two.
What’s All the Buzz About the Popeyes Chicken Sandwich?
The Popeye’s sandwich is pretty standard, as far as chicken sandwiches go. It starts with toasted brioche bun, which is known for its soft and buttery consistency.
You can choose between classic mayo or a spicy Cajun spread, as the company is known for its Cajun roots. Then it’s a white meat chicken filet buttermilk battered with the crispy, zesty seasoning they’re known for.
Top it with a few pickles, and bam. You’ve got the Popeye’s sandwich that people got into literal fights over.
The company says they spent 3 years in production making this sandwich, which sounds weird even if this wasn’t the basic recipe for every fried chicken sandwich ever.
Ready to get your hands on this sandwich, which was 3 years in the making and so popular it literally shut down roads and restaurants?
Popeye’s says that the new sandwich will officially launch nationwide on November 3. It’s important to note that this is a Sunday… is this a dig at Chick-Fil-A?
The short answer is yes, absolutely. Popeyes credits a lot of the popularity of the first one with their social media campaign, where they clapped back at Chick-Fil-A who suggested they had the best and original chicken sandwich.
The advertising for this new sandwich rollout also mentions that they are open on Sundays. Chick-Fil-A never is.
Only time will tell if this sandwich will be as popular again, or if the time away has caused the magic to whither. The company promises this is the same recipe they were using before, so it should at least taste good.
The lengths this woman went through to save $40 is just staggering. We all have cut corners (or coupons!) in order to save a couple of bucks… but have you ever faked being pregnant just to avoid an extra fee?
Travel writer Rebecca Andrews decided that instead of paying the $40 fee for “excessive” baggage on Jetstar Airlines, she would simply fake being pregnant to carry her extra weight.
It almost worked, too.
Woman Tries to Get Even with Jetstar by Faking Pregnancy
In her explanation and reasoning behind the move, Andrews sounds more than a little bitter about Jetstar’s policy. Jetstar is similar to Spirit or Frontier Airlines in the US, and offers affordable flights… if you’re willing to play by the rules.
When talking about her stunt, she says that Jetstar is always canceling or delaying flights, and they aren’t “flexible” enough with time frames. According to her, even if you’re over by just 1kg or 2.2lbs, they will fine you the $40 extra.
Andrews does not appreciate that.
How She Faked Being Pregnant
Andrews shared a whole video about her fake pregnancy attempt, including her getting dressed and ready to go to the airport.
She wore a leopard-print bodysuit for maximum stretch and slid her laptop down her back for perfect posture. She wrapped other electronics and cords in satin and stuffed the front of her suit with them to create a distinctive bump.
She said she was going for the 5-months pregnant look, so she wouldn’t have to change her gait or stature but still add on extras.
She layered her clothes as well, adding a heavy jacket to give her the appearance of being just a little bit heavier.
She Almost Made It Through!
Andrews says she made it through security free and clear, even discussing her pregnancy with another passenger. She focused on keeping her shoulders back and her posture straight, as bending would give it all away.
Just after she had her bag weighed (and passed the requirements!), she made a fatal mistake – she dropped her ticket. The last in line, all eyes were on Andrews.
Staff noticed her laptop bulge immediately as she bent down to pick it back up, and they ended up forcing her to pay for all of her extra weight.
When asked about it later, Andrews said she would absolutely do it again – but better next time, so she wasn’t caught.
If you like using cosmetic filters on Instagram that make it appear you’ve had cosmetic surgery, you’re going to have to get your filters from another site. Instagram, owned by Facebook, just announced this week that hey will be banning all filters that promote major cosmetic changes.
The move comes after concern that users feel worse about themselves after using the filters and that Instagram is not promoting a healthy mental state for the millions that scroll and post in the app every day.
Has Instagram gone too far with their policing of users’ posts, or is this a good first step to changing social media culture?
What Cosmetic Filters Will Be Banned from Instagram?
According to a statement on Facebook, any filters that make users look like they have had any type of “cosmetic” or elective surgery will be banned.
This includes filters that look like you’ve had a facelift, lip injections, or any kind of fillers.
These filters never used to exist, but in August of this year, Instagram added a feature in which users could create their own filters. You can do custom animations, graphics, or… yes, even cosmetic updates that could be superimposed onto images or even videos.
FixMe is a popular Instagram filter that allows users to look at their faces marked up as if a plastic surgeon was in the room dictating their surgical needs. Plastica has been used over 200 million times and allows users to mimic the lips and eyes to match Amanda Lepore, a famous model.
You know the Lepore look, even if you just had to Google her name – big lips, sultry eyes, flawless skin…
When Will The Cosmetic Filter Ban on Instagram Take Effect?
The company that handles Instagram’s custom filters, Spark AR, said that there is no “time frame” to when exactly these filters will be banned, but they’re working through them now. All cosmetic filters pending approval will also be denied.
While many users have welcomed the ban – calling the filters toxic and tweeting that some people who constantly use these filters have “deeper” issues at play – many others are frustrated that Instagram is tightly policing what content they can access.
Why Instagram is Banning Cosmetic Filters
Social media giant Facebook, who owns Instagram, has come under a lot of pressure in the past few years for celebrating and promoting an idealized lifestyle that has put many users in a bad mental place.
One cosmetic surgeon called it “Snapchat dysmorphia”, where someone comes into her office looking to be turned into the filtered version of themselves. Millions of people post pictures with at least a light filter every day, removing blotchy skin, undereye bags, or smoothing makeup.
But Instagram is concerned that this is creating a new generation who don’t think they are good enough as-is, and could continue to harm mental health. This is one of many steps that the platform is taking to try and promote a healthier, and more realistic, culture.
Only time will tell if it will help the social media platform, or if this is the first step to its downfall.
Ladies, if you need to give someone a gift idea, you might want to share this one! Tiffany & Co, known for their signature diamonds held in Tiffany Blue boxes, have released a holiday advent calendar that’s filled with… you guessed it!
They’re a girl’s best friend – but you’re going to want to sit down when you read the price and all you get inside.
Wait, This Diamond Advent Calendar is How Much?
In my mind, when I think of an advent calendar, I think of tiny little doors that open to fun pictures and little stories leading up to Christmas day. Sometimes perhaps there would be candy behind the doors – oh my!
In recent years, though, Advent Calendars have become very popular. You can find one filled with Legos, or makeup, perfume, luxury bath goods… if you can think of it, there’s a good chance you can get an advent calendar out of it.
Tiffany & Co saw a hole in the diamond advent calendar market and jumped.
This four-foot-tall calendar, shaped to look like the Tiffany flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City, costs a cool $112,000. Included are 24 Christmas gifts, ranging in value from $250 to $15,000.
Won’t Be Able to Buy the Diamond Advent Calendar Just Anywhere
The façade of the building is hand-drawn. Each item is unique and interesting and features some of the finest of the Tiffany & Co line, including some of the brand’s most well-known pieces, like a Return to Tiffany bracelet worth $3,700.
You can’t just buy this diamond advent calendar anywhere.
The company made just 4 of these unique pieces, and only one will apparently be for sale in Harrods, available for purchase on November 9.
What Else is in The Tiffany Diamond Advent Calendar?!
The blue-hued diamond empire released a list of everything available in the advent calendar, in case you want to be jealous of whoever receives it this year.
Included is an Extra Large Smile Pendant in 185 Rose Gold with Diamonds that retails for $7,000, as well as a Tiffany Paper Flowers Diamond and Tanzanite Flower Drop Earrings in Platinum, normal retail price $9,000.
The cheapest item in the calendar? 3 ounces of Tiffany & Love perfume, which retails at $135. The most expensive? Tiffany T Two Hinged Bangle in 18k Rose Gold with Pave Diamonds, retailing at $15,000.
So… who are you asking to buy this for you, for Christmas?
The last thing this woman expected while on a whale-watching trip was to be bitten by a shark. Despite the fact that only 6 unprovoked shark attacks have been reported in French Polynesia since 1580 (that’s over 430 years!), this woman was the unlucky 7th attack.
According to all reports, this woman is incredibly lucky to be alive. The shark didn’t just go after her hands but ripped into her multiple times.
A Vacation Gone Horribly Wrong
This 35-year-old tourist, whose identity has not been released yet, was swimming off the island of Mo’orea. A South Pacific island that is known for sandy beaches and volcanic mountains, this is a popular honeymoon spot and has some of the most breathtaking sights around.
She was apparently part of a whale watching trip and taking a dip in the deep-blue ocean water when a shark caught sight of her.
In a frenzy that lasted only moments, the shark bit off both of the tourist’s hands. The shark then circled back and took a chunk from her chest, causing the woman to lose an incredible amount of blood in a short amount of time.
Can You Survive a Shark Attack?!
Miraculously, she was both awake and alert during and after the attack. Two nurses were nearby and able to give her emergency attention until she could be properly treated.
The woman was flown to a hospital in Tahiti, where she is still undergoing treatment. Her hands are completely gone – there’s no hope there – but at the moment, it does appear that she will pull through.
If you get attacked by a shark, you’re likely to survive – while there are somewhere between 70 and 100 reported cases of shark attacks every year worldwide, only about 5 to 15 of them are fatal.
The US has the highest number of unprovoked attacks, coming in with over 1,400 since 1580. Australia takes second with a distant 642, and South Africa pulls into third with 255.
It’s suspected that shark attacks are actually more common than some people thing or report – many attacks may be happening in developing countries where they are simply not reported, or in countries that wish to not report for fear of bad publicity.
Why Do Sharks Attack Humans?
A shark can smell even trace amounts of blood in the water, which brings their senses to full awareness. But most sharks are actually not very interested in humans.
The most common shark attack is an instance of “hit-and-run”, where a shark will sneak up on a human and bite them. When they realize that it’s not their usual snack, they swim away uninterested.
Humans are not a shark’s natural food, and they don’t seem too interested in eating us. It doesn’t help the poor tourist, however, who now has to spend the rest of her life as a shark attack survivor… without hands.
A high school swim team was aboard a commuter plane that went off the runway while landing late last night. Two passengers are “critically” injured, with 10 others receiving medical care.
A major investigation is being launched to determine the cause of the accident, and if the fault lies with someone.
When and Where the Swim Team Airplane Crash Took Place
A commuter plane, a Saab-Scania 2000, was carrying 42 passengers when it went off the end of the runway while landing yesterday just after 5:30 pm.
The plane was landing at the small airport in Unalaska in the Aleutian Islands, home to the Dutch harbor, which is one of the nation’s busiest fishing ports. Unalaska is tiny – it only has a population of about 4,300 according to 2010 census data, which is 79% of the entire Aleutians West Census Area.
The plane was being operated by Peninsula Airways, or PenAir for short. PenAir is owned and operated by the Ravn Air Group, which primarily serves small communities in Alaska. Generally speaking, the pilot and the crew should have been very familiar with this airport.
A spokesman for the company said they are working closest with the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, to ensure the investigation is completed.
Was the Swim Team Hurt in the Airplane Crash?
According to a school official, none of the swim team was injured. Only hours after the crash, they were eating pizza and laughing about their experience.
Local authorities said that there were 3 crew members in addition to 38 passengers, for a total of 41 onboard. The airline, however, said that there was a total of 39 passengers, bringing the count of lives aboard the plane to 42.
The only information we have right now is that two are “critically” injured, and ten more are receiving treatment for injuries. While the head of the NTSB for Alaska didn’t respond to initial inquiries about the accident, he told a local television statement that he could not “immediately say” whether anyone perished in the crash.
“We’ve got a major investigation going on here, and there’s all sorts of rumors going around. We’re trying to get an investigator down, and the rest of the team will be coming from Washington DC.”
According to initial speculation, high winds may have driven the plane off course and prevented it from stopping as planned. Locals have already welcomed stranded passengers, including the swim team, into their home.
Blue Bell has already released one of their specialty Christmas flavors, despite it being mid-October and the middle of the Halloween season.
Christmas Cookies Ice Cream, one of the brand’s most popular flavors, has been announced to hit store shelves today, October 17, and will last either through the holidays or until they run out of supplies.
Why is Blue Bell Releasing Christmas Ice Cream So Soon?
One of the most obnoxious elements of the Christmas season is the way that it doesn’t stick to December. While most Americans enjoy the holiday cheer and seasonal elements of the holiday, it’s a bit jarring to see Christmas-themed goodies on shelves before Halloween candy has even been handed out.
In Blue Bell’s case, however, they’ve got something of a good reason. Their Christmas Cookies Ice Cream flavor is one of their best-sellers and a firm favorite among ice cream fans. Much like the McRib or football, people eagerly await the seasonal return of the flavor each year. This time, Blue Bell is just getting a jump on the season.
Why Should Christmas Stay in December?
While we love Christmas, it’s definitely best that seasonal celebrations stick to their proper seasons. After all, October is a crisp, spooky month dedicated to the celebration of Halloween. You wouldn’t begin decorating your home with spiderwebs and skeletons in August (unless that’s your thing, which is totally cool). So, why would you want Christmas to spill out over two distinct holidays?
Honestly, it’s even okay to let Christmas spill over into the end of November a little. We’d just prefer to see the Thanksgiving holiday go by before Christmas decorations and Christmas songs begin to flood the public. By stretching Christmas over three different months, and washing out two other holidays, the unique and special nature of arguably the biggest celebration of the year becomes cheapened.
As the days get shorter and colder and the warmth of summer becomes a memory, people come together for warmth and company. Our seasonal celebrations are a huge element of this, but jumping the gun on them can make them feel less important and more like commercials for specialized, seasonal products. Why not take it slow and appreciate each holiday and each season in its own time?
Instead of paying for his electrical work like a normal person, Ali Raza set his pet lion on an electrician who demanded payment.
Raza, a native of Lahore, Pakistan, is a lion caretaker and set his huge feline companion on electrician Mohammad Rafique following a confrontation about payment.
According to a police report, during an argument on September 9, Raza let his lion loose to attack Rafique and watched as the giant predator tore up Rafique’s arm and face. Raza is now facing charges of attempted murder.
What Led Up to This Lion Attack?
Raza first contacted electrician Rafique to do some work for the Sada-e-Imam Hussain congregation hall. When Rafique came to seek his wages, Raza told him to come back another day. Apparently, this occurred so many times that Rafique, fed up with the runaround, finally put his foot down and demanded payment.
That was when Raza, sick of fighting with the electrician, simply loosed his giant feline friend. Rafique stated there were three other men around, including Raza and himself, when the attack commenced. Neither Raza nor the three onlookers made any efforts to rescue him from the lion attack.
Thankfully, some passerby heard Rafique’s screams and came to help him, saving him from what would have been a grisly fate at the hands of the huge animal. Following the attack, Raza convinced Rafique not to go to the authorities by promising him that he’d not only pay for the electrical work, but also Rafique’s medical bills and compensation for his suffering.
If there’s anything we know about Ali Raza by this point in the story, however, this next part shouldn’t be a shock. He failed to pony up the cash in a timely manner, so now Rafique is pressing charges to get not only his payment for the electrical work, but also money to cover his medical bills and compensation for his suffering and time he missed work.
The moral of this story is that you should just pay contractors for their work instead of setting exotic predator animals on them in a fit of rage. The former option tends to keep you out of legal trouble!
A foul-mouthed doll was discovered by intrepid ghost hunters Lee Steer and Linzi Sheeran when an older woman dropped it off at their paranormal museum.
The pair has a number of supposedly haunted or otherwise creepy artifacts in their Haunted Objects Museum in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. The doll, which is named Scarlet, was dropped off a year ago.
The doll’s original owner lives in Lowestoft, Suffolk, and gave up the doll due to her belief that it was somehow having adverse effects on her health.
Lee and Linzi, never too scared to take in a cursed artifact, were more than happy to take it off her hands. Little did they know, however, what a foul-mouthed ghost they had just taken in.
How does a Haunted Doll Swear?
The paranormal investigators use a variety of equipment to get a handle on what supernatural events are occurring around them. In the case of Scarlet, the most important piece of technology used to capture her is Electronic Voice Phenomenon, a device that supposedly allows the living to hear voices from the dead.
In a now-viral video, while filming the doll, Linzi and Lee swear that you can hear the EVP device stating “you’re f***ed!” Later, when asked who she is more scared off, a voice can be heard distantly saying “Linzi.” While many are terrified of the EVP utterings, others believe them to be a hoax created with audio editing software.
Are Ghosts Real, or Just a Hoax?
These types of viral videos often kick off the discussion as to whether ghosts are real or simply elaborate hoaxes created by “ghost hunters” for attention. Scientifically speaking, there is no evidence whatsoever that supernatural entities like ghosts, hauntings, poltergeists or demons exist. That doesn’t stop a large number of people from wanting to believe in what they can’t see, though.
Part of the enduring popularity of ghosts is the promise of something beyond this world. Many people would rather believe in a world where our mortal existence isn’t the only existence to look forward to. This, in turn, makes people more likely to uncritically accept doctored footage or manipulated audio if it confirms their long-held beliefs.
A girl, 10, was ejected from a carnival ride right in front of her relatives this weekend in New Jersey after a freak accident. While the situation is being “investigated”, there is no clear indicator of what went wrong.
What should have been a wonderful Saturday evening for this family turned into a true nightmare.
The Ride That Caused This Tragedy
The incident took place on Saturday around 6 pm at the Deerfield Township Harvest Festival, a typical small-town festival with rides, games, and activities for children and adults. Typically, these events have silly games, cotton candy, and an overabundance of fried foods.
The ride that the girl, who has yet to be identified, was ejected from is called a “Widsom Super Sizzler ‘Extreme’”.
It’s a typical fair ride – it contains 12 cars that are attached to a series of rotating arms. Riders are strapped into the ride using lap bars, and then the ride spins. Normally, the lap bars and the force of the spinning is more than enough to keep riders in their seats.
What Actually Happened with The Extreme?
Police were called after something went wrong. A 10-year-old girl was ejected from the ride, in full view of her family. Those attending the fair said that the girl was ‘unresponsive’ after hitting the ground and that her family was ‘distraught’.
The girl was life-flighted to a local hospital, but she never had a chance and did not survive the night.
Police are now investigating what could have gone wrong. It could be something with the ride itself or an issue with the operator or safety standards.
The Fair Will Reopen
The Facebook page for the Deer Township Harvest Festival says that the fair will reopen as usual to give those who are grieving the loss a chance to connect and remember the little girl’s life.
“The festival will be open today to offer a place for the community to come together in wake of this tragedy.”
According to the festival information, the state has inspected and cleared every ride but the one in question. However, “Even though we have been given permission to operate the other rides by the state, we don’t have it in our heart.”
A violent anti-press video was shown at a Trump-owned property in Miami over the weekend during a three-day conference put together by “American Priority,” a Conservative pro-Trump organization.
The violent and disturbing video shows Donald Trump’s face superimposed over the body of a man enacting a vicious end to many churchgoers.
The video uses the superimposed images of various media outlets, like Vox, NPR, PBS, CNBC and Politico on the churchgoers as the Trump stand-in brutally offs them with a gun and a spear.
Distressingly, the video also superimposes the faces of many of Trump’s political rivals, including Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Bernie Sanders, and even former president Barrack Obama.
What was Team Trump’s Explanation for the Violent Video?
American Priority and the various speakers at the conference were quick to distance themselves from the violent video. Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders attended the event as a speaker, but stated “I was there to speak at a prayer breakfast, where I spoke about unity and bringing the country together,” in an interview with the Times.
“I wasn’t aware of any video, nor do I support violence of any kind against anyone.”
Tim Murtaugh, a spokesperson for Trump’s reelection campaign, also distanced the campaign from the video. “That video was not produced by the campaign, and we do not condone violence,” the spokesperson insisted.
Trump’s rhetoric has often been inflammatory and called for violence against political rivals and media outlets he dubs “fake news.”
Where did the Video Come From?
Since no one from Team Trump claims the violent video, where, exactly, did it come from? It played at a pro-Trump rally, after all, so it’s surprising that it wasn’t vetted before being aired. The video is an altered clip from the 2014 film The Kingsman: Secret Service, and depicts a secret agent disposing of a number of undercover operatives in a church.
American Priority alleges that the video was shown as part of a “meme showcase” that was composed of third-party submissions. This, however, raises the question of who had to sign off on the video before it could be shown before the guests. The video leaked to the public due to someone present taping it on their phone and forwarding it to an intermediary to leak to the Times.
Human trials for a new cancer vaccine have begun at the Mayo Clinic, and doctors are saying that early tests look promising. This is great news for the human race, as cancer has long eluded most efforts to prevent or cure cancer that doctors have thrown at it.
The first person to join up for the human trials was Lee Mercker, a self-described “exercise fanatic” who was diagnosed with stage 0 breast cancer. Stage 0 means that cancer cells have been detected but have not yet spread.
Lee Mercker’s Early Cancer Vaccine Results
After Mercker learned of her breast cancer in March, she was given three options by her doctors. She could have a mastectomy to remove her breast tissue, she could have surgery to remove the cancerous cells, or she could sign up for a new vaccine trial.
She says she signed up for the vaccine trial that very day. “It’s supposed to stimulate a patient’s own immune response so that the immune cells like T cells would go in and attack the cancer,” Mercker stated.
“They always took your blood, you had a physical, they’d make your shot right there on the spot for you,” she continued. “It was three shots, all in a row, alternating arms, four shots, two weeks apart.”
Does the Cancer Vaccine Work?
As part of the testing for the cancer vaccine, Mercker still had to undergo a mastectomy. “That is the only way we know that everything was removed properly,” stated Dr. Chumsri, one of the researchers overseeing the trial. This allowed them to research the tissue and see how the cells reacted to the vaccine.
According to Dr. Chumsri, the results were reassuring. Eventually, the vaccine is meant to be reliable and strong enough to simply eliminate cancer cells altogether. While not a cure, this would make a vaccine an incredibly effective way to prevent the early spread of cancer.
“It’s supposed to be just off the shelf, kind of similar to when you get the flu shot or pneumonia shot,” Dr. Chumsri says. While it’s in the early stages yet, this could be a massive breakthrough for the human race and a legitimate answer to the threat of cancer.
Drivers suspected of smoking weed will soon be subjected to a new invention: the weed breathalyzer. The device is expected to be rolled out starting in 2020.
Resembling the device that police already use to determine if someone has consumed alcohol recently, this new device will do the same thing, but for smoking pot.
The new device will be helpful in a number of jurisdictions, not just those where weed has been legalized or decriminalized. After all, whether it’s legal to use in your state or not, it’s still not a good idea to drive after smoking.
Why are Weed Breathalyzers Important?
The firms working on the devices have stressed their importance to law enforcement by reiterating that they fill a niche that is currently not filled. Currently, it’s difficult for police to determine when someone has smoked weed last, as the smell can linger long after the effects have worn off.
This means that determining the time that the drug was consumed is important. The new breathalyzer promises to do just that: it can detect if someone has smoked in the past three hours, which is the time after which people are most susceptible under the influence of the drug. Past that point and its effects should be wearing off, and driving should be relatively normal.
What do Police Currently Do When Someone Smokes Weed?
Currently, if police suspect someone is driving under the influence of weed, they have to be taken to a hospital and have a blood test performed. This is costly, time-consuming and often overkill. The introduction of a simple device that can be used to quickly ascertain someone’s blood THC level will be a huge help for keeping traffic safe.
Similarly, the creators of the device hope to sell them to employers for use in drug testing. While it can only detect if someone has smoked in the last three hours, it’s still a good way to tell if someone has come in for work under the influence.
Of course, people who commonly consume weed recreationally are less than thrilled about this development. Many online have decried the device’s creators, Hound Labs, as being “narcs” and potentially putting people behind bars with their technology.
“Holy f**k,” the executive wrote after Deutsch Bank alleged it doesn’t hold Donald Trump’s tax returns.
“The circumstance could be that they returned any physical copies or destroyed any physical copies under an agreement with a client and cleansed their servers. Not normal though.”
The unnamed executive was speaking with David Enrich, the finance editor for the New York Times, and the conversation was shared by Enrich on Twitter.
This news came on the heels of a federal judge ruling that Mazars USA, Trump’s accountants, are compelled to hand his tax returns over to prosecutors in a New York campaign finance case.
Why do Trump’s Tax Returns Matter?
Trump’s tax returns are at the center of ongoing criminal investigations into alleged misconduct by the controversial politician. Central to the New York case at hand is the hush money that Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
The hush money was, allegedly, to keep Daniels quiet about Trump’s affair with her. However, Trump paying someone to keep quiet about him during a presidential campaign would constitute a campaign finance violation.
Additionally, it’s been considered unusual by many political commentators that Trump has defied recent tradition and not released the past few years of his tax returns, despite stating that he would do so before he was elected.
Why Does Deutsche Bank Not Have Them?
Trump continually visited Deutsche Bank while he was a real estate mogul to get loans for his various business ventures. Most banks would deny Trump the kinds of loans he got from Deutsche, due to his incredibly spotty financial history and numerous bankruptcies.
It is highly unusual that Deutsche would not have Trump’s tax returns. As the executive pointed out, this is not normal. It means they either destroyed the physical copies of the tax returns, or they handed them back over. It’s unclear who they may have been handed back to, though it would make sense if it was Mazars.
Michael Cohen, who has since been imprisoned for campaign finance violations, lying to Congress and tax fraud, alleged before Congress that his former boss was manipulating his assets to avoid taxes. Such conduct would qualify as tax fraud, a serious crime.
In a terrifying discovery by scientists in Siberia, portions of the ocean are starting to boil – and it is leaving them very concerned about what it could mean for the future of mankind.
Researchers in the East Siberian Sea discovered a methane fountain with a huge bubble, big enough to scoop up in a bucket. Their expedition uncovered that the fountain has six to seven times the concentration of methane compared to the surrounding area.
What is Causing the Ocean to Boil?
The scientific team, led by Igor Semiletov, was seeking to discover the consequences of permafrost thawing out beneath the ocean. As the name suggests, permafrost shouldn’t be thawing, and this is a very distressing trend for obvious reasons.
Permafrost covers nearly 9 million square miles in the Northern Hemisphere, and nearly all of it has been frozen for hundreds of thousands of years. The problem is that global climate change is accelerating faster than anticipated and in turn, is causing the thaw.
The other terrifying aspect of this is the potential that permafrost is encasing microbes that life on Earth hasn’t encountered for thousands of years. Obscure, ancient bacteria and viruses getting back to their dirty work certainly isn’t something we’d like to see.
Methane Trapped in the Ocean
Speaking of biological material trapped in permafrost, that’s actually the reason this methane buildup is being released. Organic material is breaking down as the permafrost thaws, allowing methane to escape up into the atmosphere. Methane is an incredibly potent greenhouse gas, and will lead to an increase in global warming’s already quickening pace.
Let that sink in for a moment. This is a positive feedback loop that will continue to snowball. As more permafrost melts, more methane will be released. As more methane is released, temperatures get higher. As temperatures get higher, more permafrost melts. This could gallop into a catastrophic scenario in a few short years if we don’t reverse course right away.
There are those who believe the whistleblower’s life is in danger, including Daniel Ellsberg, who was made famous for releasing the “Pentagon Papers” during the Vietnam War to The New York Times.
In a recent interview given to MSNBC, Ellsberg stated that Trump, through his tactics of bullying and intimidation, has made himself a domestic enemy to the US.
What did Daniel Ellsberg Say About Trump?
Regarding Trump’s recent controversies with Ukraine, the famous whistleblower stated that government officials have a duty to come forward when they detect wrongdoing. It’s of vital importance ethically, and it’s also compelled by law. He stated that it’s “not too late” for more whistleblowers to come forward.
Ellsberg’s statements turned critical, stating that Trump’s insistence that the whistleblower is “a spy” made him a domestic enemy to the United States. His statements, in Ellsberg’s eyes, constitute an impeachable offense in and of themselves. Ellsberg considers Trump’s rhetoric tantamount to “calling for a physical attack” on the whistleblower.
Was Donald Trump Being Serious?
Trump’s game plan, so far, seems to be built around testing the waters of extreme statements by masking them as “jokes.” For instance, shortly after the Ukraine story broke, he asked, in front of reporters, for China to also investigate political rival, Joe Biden. This would be tantamount to a crime, according to some experts, but Trump is now insisting it was said jokingly.
Many have pointed out that similar discussions are happening with the way Trump is reacting to the whistleblower. Those close to the president have anonymously confided that Trump is bristling at the specter of impeachment, and furious that he has no details about the whistleblower. Normally, Trump would have a personality to lay into, an alliterative nickname to repeat ad infinitum on Twitter, or a physical appearance to mock.
In this case, Trump has none of that. Instead, he has turned to “joking” that the whistleblower is “a spy,” and “joking” behind closed doors that America used to “be smart” about how it handles “spies.”
The whistleblower’s lawyer has been alarmed by these statements, alleging that they are evidence of the president calling for a physical attack on the whistleblower should their identity be leaked.
After Trump made the decision to pull troops from Northern Syria, Turkey has begun military operations in the region.
Trump’s decision to remove the US military presence from the region was widely panned on both sides of the aisle in the US, with many stating that this was tantamount to leaving our alleys, the Kurds, to die at the hands of Turkey.
The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the military operations would create a “safe zone” to house Syrian refugees.
The operations in question include Turkish airplanes bombing parts of Northeast Syria, which will likely bring them into direct conflict with US allies led by Kurdish militias. Turkish ground forces are currently mustering at the border with Syria.
Trump’s Message to Turkey on Twitter
In a much-lambasted tweet on Monday, Trump claimed after he made the call to withdraw troops from Northern Syria that he wouldn’t allow Turkey to do anything he didn’t approve of. The tweet included the strange phrasing “in my great and unmatched wisdom,” which raised a number of red flags for name political commentators.
“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!)” Trump tweeted on October 7.
On October 9, Turkish military operations began in Northern Syria. It’s unclear what, if anything, will be happening to the economy of Turkey by way of retaliation.
President Erdogan took to Twitter to explain his offensive in the region. The operation “was to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across our southern border, and to bring peace to the area” and, further, that it could “preserve Syria’s territorial integrity and liberate local communities from terrorists.”
Erdogan is stating that he wants the region cleared of Kurds, who his government regards as terrorists, so he can have a “safe zone” for the 3.6 million Syrian refugees currently living in Turkey. As the attack has commenced, thousands of innocent civilians have tried to flee. However, to the south, the face dangerous Islamic State terrorists, and to the north, they face the Turkish army.
Kurdish militias, which currently are imprisoning many high-level IS leaders, are being left to fend for themselves against the might of a nation’s military.
Trebek’s battle with cancer has led him to caution fans that his time with the long-running Jeopardy! revival may be coming to an end and offered thoughts about his life as well.
When his diagnosis was made public, Trebek assured fans that he would do his best to stay on as host for as long as his health allowed. It seems that time may be up soon.
Why is Alex Trebek Leaving Jeopardy?
The esteemed host and longtime TV personality has been receiving chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer. In a recent interview, Trebek divulged that the chemo is beginning to give him sores inside his mouth that make it difficult to enunciate.
“I will keep doing it as long as my skills do not diminish, and they have started to diminish,” Trebek stated in an interview with CTV. The famed host mentioned that he has noticed himself slurring his words as a result of the sores, which has given him pause.
Trebek’s Public Battle with Cancer
During the CTV interview, Trebek stated that he somewhat regrets having been so public with his diagnosis and his battle with cancer. He announced back in March that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Since the announcement, he’s stated that many people have come to him as a source of strength and optimism for their own battles with cancer.
Trebek divulged, however, that his battle has been quite difficult for him, helping others deal with their pain and their fear. “I don’t know if I’m strong enough or intelligent enough to help alleviate some of that despair, so it’s tough on me,” the beloved TV host confessed.
Facing Your Fears Head-On
“The thought of the pancreatic cancer does not frighten me,” Trebek stated in the interview with CTV. “I’m 79 years old. So, hey, I’ve lived a good life, a full life, and I’m nearing the end of that life. I know that.”
Hopefully, Trebek’s own attitude helps others suffering through similar situations. While things might seem bleak or unfair, it’s up to us how we react to the situations we find ourselves in. The best we can hope for is to find some love and friendship along the way.
A 12-year-old boy has suffered serious burns following an ill-advised attempt to perform a “fire challenge.”
Jason Clearly, a 12-year-old boy from Michigan, was doused in nail polish remover by friends and then set ablaze, suffering second-degree burns across his stomach, chest, and chin.
What is the Fire Challenge?
“Challenges,” in internet terminology, refer to difficult or dangerous stunts pulled by people filming themselves with the intention of uploading it to the internet and challenging others to perform the same stunt.
Notable examples include the cinnamon challenge, where participants try to eat an entire spoon of cinnamon, and the milk challenge, where they try to chug a gallon of milk. (both of which are dangerous, so don’t try this at home!)
In the case of the “fire challenge,” it’s a highly ill-advised challenge that some children are exposed to on YouTube. In the flashiest examples of the challenge, performers with pyrotechnics backgrounds will light themselves ablaze in controlled settings where they are unharmed.
12-year-old children, however, are far from pyrotechnics experts.
What Happened to Jason Clearly?
In the case of Jason Clearly, his friends saw a “fire challenge” on YouTube and decided to take part. They doused their friend in nail polish remover and then lit him on fire. According to Jason, the first time they did this, they quickly swatted the flames out, but they were unimpressed by this exercise.
They poured more nail polish remover on him and lit him ablaze again, this time pouring on more of the flammable liquid and not swatting him out right away. Jason began screaming, and his mother ran outside to see what was happening. He was then rushed to the hospital so his burns could be treated.
Has the Fire Challenge Hurt Anyone Else?
The “fire challenge” phenomenon has resulted in at least one other serious injury. In 2018, a 12-year-old girl named Timiyah Landers suffered burns over half of her body after dousing herself in alcohol and lighting herself on fire for a “fire challenge.”
Timiyah was wearing perfume and hairspray at the time, which, in combination with the alcohol, caused her to ignite “like a fireball” according to her mother. She was rushed to the hospital and spent several days in the ICU.
Parents are urged to talk to their children about fire safety and the dangers of playing with fire. It is also a good idea to talk to your children about internet safety and “challenges” in general.
In a video that has now gone viral, North Carolina native William Guy captured images of a “fleet” of glowing orbs over the ocean. As the camera pans across the horizon, Guy can be heard stating “Look, nothing in the sky, at all.”
As the fleet comes into view, he asks “Can anybody tell me what that is? We’re in the middle of the ocean, on a ferry. There’s nothing around, no land, no nothing.”
Guy was on a ferry traveling across the Pamlico Sound Lagoon in eastern North Carolina when the footage was captured. Other passengers on the ferry seem surprised and shocked to see the lights, which are hovering in place and stationary on the horizon.
What Could the Glowing Orbs Over the Ocean Be?
Commentators online were quick to point out that these mysterious lights could be Air Force training targets. Shortly after Guy first spots them, however, they disappear, only to reappear roughly two minutes later. This behavior isn’t consistent with physical targets, though it could apply to holographic targets.
Others online have pointed out that the mysterious lights could be UFOs. Conspiracy theorists have long held that the planet is under “heavy surveillance” by creatures from beyond the stars. For these UFO enthusiasts, the group of strange lights is evidently a “fleet” of foreign craft performing “surveillance” of Earth.
Are the Floating Lights Actually UFOs?
In the video, it is definitely hard to ascertain what, exactly, the floating lights are. However, the assumption that they must be alien craft is a bit of a stretch for some people. Skeptics point out the lack of physical evidence that any other life exists in the observable universe, let alone the lack of evidence of such life ever visiting Earth.
With so little evidence to go on in the case of Guy’s video, it’s hard to say definitively what is being captured on camera. However, when one hears hooves on the pavement, their first thought it “oh, a horse is approaching!” It typically isn’t “oh, a centaur is approaching!”
This is to say that, just because you can’t see exactly what something is, this doesn’t mean you should assume it’s the most outlandish thing that would fit the details you can perceive. This thought experiment is known as Occam’s Razor, and it’s a major issue that any conspiracy theorist or UFOlogist has to contend with.
A series of text messages between Trump administration officials were released by several key House committees yesterday. They were obtained from former US special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker.
The messages in question are between Volker, Ukrainian official Andriy Yermak, Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, Ukrainian embassy official Bill Taylor, and Rudy Giuliani, who is just Trump’s lawyer.
The text messages discuss the possibility of Ukrainian officials coming to the White House in exchange for investigating interference in the 2016 election and for investigating Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company that Joe Biden’s son Hunter worked for.
Contents of the Text Messages between Trump Officials
House Democrats felt alarmed by the contents of the text messages, stating that they furthered concerns that the Trump administration was using the powers of the office of the president to strongarm a foreign government into investigating a domestic political rival.
On September 9, in the text messages, Bill Taylor expresses concerns over the way the administration is handling the Ukraine situation. Taylor states that the Ukrainians have lost faith in them over the withheld military aid. “As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”
Taylor added, “With the hold, we have already shaken their faith in us. Thus my nightmare scenario.”
Gordon Sondland then quickly backpedals that statement, texting that Taylor was “incorrect about President Trump’s intentions,” and specifically bringing up the phrase “quid pro quo,” stating that was explicitly not what withholding foreign aid in order to have a rival investigated is.
Trump’s Response to the Text Messages
The text messages are the newest in a long series of setbacks for the embattled president as he fights to control the narrative surrounding the impeachment inquiry. Trump has remained adamant that his phone call with the Ukrainian president was fine, and points to aspects of the released text messages where officials encourage Ukraine to go public with their investigations.
Trump argues that, since he hasn’t tried to hide his attempts to pressure Ukraine into investigating his political rivals, then there’s no evidence of wrongdoing. House Chairmen Adam Schiff, Elijah Cummings, and Eliot Engel are unconvinced, having released a statement condemning Trump’s conduct.
House Democrats Statement about the Text Messages
“This is not normal or acceptable. It is unethical, unpatriotic, and wrong. American Presidents should never press foreign powers to target their domestic political rivals,” the Congressmen wrote.
“Engaging in these stunning abuses in broad daylight does not absolve President Trump of his wrongdoings—or his grave offenses against the Constitution,” they concluded.
Former police officer Amber Guyger was convicted today of murder for killing Botham Jean, a black resident who lived in the apartment above her. Guyger, who is white, shot Jean after she got off of a long shift and, by her account, entered his apartment by mistake.
The judge is expected to issue his sentence later today, but for now, it appears that the most long-awaited murder trial to see Dallas in decades has finally come to a close.
In September of 2018 emergency services in Dallas, Texas, received a frantic phone call from an off-duty cop. Amber Guyger was on the phone, and she told the 911 operator that she had shot someone who was in her apartment.
The problem? Amber Guyger, a 31-year-old Dallas cop, wasn’t in her apartment at all, but in the apartment directly above hers. After getting off of a 13-and-a-half-hour shift with the Dallas police force, she was on the phone with her partner when she went up one flight too many and entered into the apartment of Botham Jean by mistake.
Jean, a 26-year-old black accountant, was sitting on his couch eating ice cream when his front door opened. According to testimony from Guyger, he stood and approached her, saying, “Hey, hey, hey” repeatedly. Thinking she was in her own home and had interrupted a burglary, Guyger took out her weapon and fired upon him.
The Court’s Decisions
Many, including Jean’s own family, expected the jury to come back with the lesser sentence of manslaughter. When hearing the news, Jean’s mother said “God is good”. Much of his family was wearing red as the jury revealed their decision, which was Jean’s favorite color.
Guyger could be sentenced anywhere from 5 years to life in prison, depending on how the judge rules. The jury took less than a full day to come to their decision.
This case was watched closely by activists and politicians alike, as there is much debate in the media about police officers being given an ‘easy out’ by the law when they commit wrongdoings, either on duty or in their private life.
Guyger was still in uniform at the time of the incident, but she was not on duty.
How Could This Happen?
The biggest thing that the defense tried to address during the trial was, how could this even happen? How could one person not know where they were going?
Guyger’s attorneys argued that she was exhausted from her long shift, and simply parked on the wrong parking garage level. They brought in residents from the apartment complex who all agreed it was easy to mistake, as the halls are very similar.
The prosecutor argued that there were several key signs that should have tipped Guyger off that she was in the wrong apartment, including the red doormat before she ever opened the door. She also couldn’t have been “that tired”, they said, because she was planning on meeting her partner later in the day.
Jean’s family questioned whether he would still be alive, was he not a black man. Guyger argued that it was not about hate, but her fear.
On the stand, Guyger apologized as she testified in her defense. “I never wanted to take an innocent person’s life. I’m so sorry.”
“Successor of Jesus” is a big title, with a lot of responsibility – but that is apparently what the Church of Sweden thinks of Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old political and social activist who recently spoke to the UN and Congress about climate change and doing more.
When most kids turn 16, they are getting into trouble or spending their evenings at the mall. Thunberg has a different approach to life – and it seems to be working so far.
The Church of Sweden’s Announcement
This is apparently older news, but it didn’t gain much popularity when it was first shared since Greta wasn’t as well known at that time. On December 1, 2018, the Church of Limhamn tweeted “Announcement! Jesus of Nazareth has now appointed one of his successors, Greta Thunberg”.
The tweet has resurfaced and gained popularity with her new position in the world media spotlight. Previously, Thunberg was known in smaller climate circles and in Sweden, but with recent news focusing on her, she has become a household name.
The Church of Sweden has long supported Thunberg’s cause and been an advocate for climate change awareness and prevention. On their official website, they say that “When the Amazon burns, we gather to fight for Mother Earth together.” Thunberg is also mentioned directly at least once.
Just last week, the Church of Sweden Malmo shared that they would ring their church bells in conjunction with the Global Climate Strike. Thunberg is the public face and organizer of the strike. “We pray that we believe in man’s ability to change and change.”
Going Too Far?
Many people did not love the Church sharing that message then, and now that it has resurfaced, even more are upset about the implication.
The Church apologized just days after their tweet, saying that they were looking to “talk about Jesus Christ” in their own way, and if they have “hurt someone we apologize”.
Criticisms on Twitter include “Should you now abandon the celebration of Jesus’ birthday and start celebrating Greta Thunberg’s birthday instead?”
Clearly, their sense of humor did not go over well.
Greta’s Chat with the UN
Thunberg was most recently in New York to speak to the UN on climate change and the drastic changes that need to be made today in order to slow the process.
During her speech, which went viral, an emotional Thunberg said that she should be in school “on the other side of the ocean” but instead, politicians come to “us young people” for hope.
“How dare you.” She accused. “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet, I’m one of the lucky ones… We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and the fairytale of eternal economic growth. How dare you.”
In an attempt to avoid serving in the military, one 24-year-old went to some extreme measures. Alexander Kondratyuk, 24, married his 81-year-old disabled cousin. By having a disabled wife, a man is legally able to avoid being drafted into military service.
While Kondratyuk swears that he has simply gained a fondness for the woman, 57 years his senior, Ukrainian officials are not buying it.
Why Alexander Can Avoid Military Service
Like many countries, Ukraine has a mandatory time that its citizens must spend in military service. It applies to men aged 20-27, and they must spend at least 18 months in the military. They have also had a draft enacted for several years.
Turkey, South Korea, Brazil, Russia, and Egypt all have similar policies, to list a few.
There is a ‘loophole’ in the system that Kondratyuk has fallen into, however. If a man is married to a woman that is disabled, and he is her primary caretaker, he does not have to serve in the military.
This was very appealing to Kondratyuk, as Ukraine is currently fighting a quiet war with Russia in an attempt to stop Russian forces from moving into and annexing their cities. It has been going on since the revolution in 2014 when the Pro-Russian president was overturned and fled the country.
This Can’t Be a Real Marriage…
Neighbors of the woman say that they had never seen her husband before he showed up for the couple’s wedding, which took place in the village of Baykovka. It is located along the banks of one of the longest rivers int eh country and would be a beautiful place to hold a wedding.
They said that instead, she was more likely to be visited by her grandchildren and sisters that the young man whom she wed.
However, when the wife was asked about the relationship, she insisted that he was a good husband that looked after her well. According to reports from locals, he does not appear to be living with her.
Ukrainian Government Says “Not Worth Our Time”
An official for the Ukranian military spoke about Kondratyuk, saying that while they probably could push the issue and force him into his service, it wasn’t worth their time to do so.
Their hope in sharing the story with media is that it will shame him into joining up, but if not, he will have to live with his choices – like marrying his cousin and living with her.
Local residents were horrified when the Vice President of the United States broke a 60-year ban on Mackinac Island in Michigan. For over 60 years, motorized vehicles have been outright banned on the island.
In fact, in 1975, when President Ford visited, he was conveyed around by horse-drawn carriage. Mike Pence, however, broke this rule.
Why was Mike Pence Allowed to Do This?
The Trump administration is known for nothing if not disregarding norms and second-guessing what they truly “can” and “can’t” do. There have been numerous examples of this in the past three years. Most recently was Mike Pence’s decision to roll an eight-car motorcade across Mackinac Island, an island where motorized vehicles are not allowed.
Pence was speaking at the Michigan Republican Party’s leadership conference, which in and of itself was unusual. This marked the first time a sitting US Vice President has addressed the leadership conference. Locals were understandably baffled and outraged at the flagrant disregard for their local ordnance.
Locals Make Their Thoughts Known on Social Media
Regarding the incident, several Michigan locals took to Twitter to tell Pence what for. “Even President Gerald Ford rode in a horse-drawn carriage. Is there no limit to the crass elitist raised middle finger to America?” tweeted one local.
Former Associated Press Washington bureau chief Ron Fournier described the situation as “obscene.” He went on to tweet “Sacrilege,” and assured that “no security expert would claim it’s necessary”. This came in response to some vague explanation of how the vice president was concerned that there might be a security risk if he didn’t ride in a motorcade.
Mackinac Island, No Vehicles Allowed
Mackinac Island sits on Lake Huron, between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. The island has a fascinating history and was the site of a Revolutionary War battle. Typically, locals on the island get around by walking or cycling. It’s exceedingly uncommon to see any vehicles on the island at all, so having eight massive, black SUVs was a shocking sight for locals.
There are a few exceptions to the motorized vehicle ban on Mackinac Island. For instance, when the snowfall is particularly heavy, locals are able to use snowmobiles to get around. Of course, at any time of year, emergency vehicles pass through the region as normal.
What was this designer thinking?! Some things should be so off-limits that you don’t have to think twice about them. One clothing designer, however, seems to have missed that memo.
Mixed in with spring 2020 designer looks are four hoodies that have absolutely crossed that line.
The Sweatshirts – Why?!
The brand is Bstroy, and they describe themselves as a “Neo-Native Menswear Designhouse”. We’re not sure what that means, either. But their fashion has gotten praise from The New York Times in the past for “high-concept” pieces mixed with more accessible clothing.
Their jeans regularly sell for around $1,000, with a t-shirt going for as much as $150.
Within their collection, which was released on Instagram to give fans an idea of their upcoming designs, were four hoodies with the school names of those who suffered from major violence in the past, including Sandy Hook, Columbine, and Virginia Tech.
These sweatshirts were not simply just the logo, but had numerous holes throughout them, all uniform in shape and round. You don’t have to think too hard to figure out what the designer was going for, with these.
The backlash has been intense – the brand’s Instagram account filled with anger from those who feel that instead of making a statement, Bstroy is monetizing tragedy. In an attempt to be ‘edgy’ and relevant, they have clearly made a misstep.
The brand has yet to apologize or comment further on the controversy.
Where Are Students Actually Getting Their Fashion Advice From?
Instagram, where these photos were shared, used to the social media superpower that brought influencers thousands of dollars in promotional deals, and the spot to get your fashion and beauty advice. But recent studies have shown an all-time low in engagement scores for users, suggesting that we are finally getting tired of photoshopped faces and fake vacations.
So, what is Gen Z turning to? Apparently, TikTok.
The app covers 150 countries and boasts an impressive 500 million users. The current trend is the E-Girl, with bright makeup, sharp eyeliner, and tiny hearts under their eyes. But no one is forcing these girls to style this way to gain followers – it’s simply something that has grown organically from the site.
Users of the site say that it is both more supportive and more interactive than Instagram, which appeals to Gen Z. Major creators help smaller users grow their userbase, and they are all very concerned with everyone’s success.
It’s a sign of hope for Gen Z and the future of social media platforms as a whole.
Other Questionable School Trends
Backpacks made of a flexible ballistic fiber material have seen a huge jump in sales – about 300% at the start of this school year. Some packs are fully made from this material, which is made to stop high-velocity impacts, while others offer ‘inserts’ you can slide within an existing pack to protect school children.
Despite their popularity, these packs are only designed to protect against a small-caliber weapon. The weapons on the news today designed for so much destruction and violence would not be stopped, even with the insert.
Breaking News: a NASCAR fan-favorite and champion 9-time touring series winner has tragically died in a plane crash outside of Rhode Island. He was riding in a single-seat Aerolite 103 when officials say something went wrong with his plane.
The racecar driver was identified as Mike Stefanik. He was 61 years old.
The plane took off from the Riconn Airport in Coventry, Rhode Island on Sunday. According to officials, Stefanik’s plane was attempting to turn about to return to the airport when something went wrong and it crashed into the woods in Sterling Connecticut, very near to the airport. Police have not stated a cause to the crash, which is still under investigation.
It is assumed at present that Stefanik was the only passenger in the plane and that he was the one piloting it. Police reports indicated only one person was killed as a result of the crash on Sunday.
Stefanik was an absolutely dominant competitor in NASCAR racing, putting up stellar numbers throughout his career. Among his achievements, he had the coveted title of most wins at the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. His Whelen wins in 1989, 1991, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002 and 2006 made him a legend among fans of racing.
Stefanik also won the Busch North series in 1997 and in 1998, making him a very flexible and adaptive competitor. It’s clear he had a passion for high-adrenaline activities, big engines and pushing the boundaries of speed.
“Mike Stefanik was one of the most successful drivers in NASCAR history, but even more so, he was a true representative of our sport,” Jim France, NASCAR CEO, wrote on the NASCAR website.
“His tough, competitive nature and excellence on the race track won him the respect and admiration of fans and competitors alike. His career stretched more than 30 years, bridging the generations between Jerry Cook and Richie Evans to our current drivers,” France wrote.
“He recorded achievements in this sport that are likely untouchable, and his legacy as a champion will endure. We will keep his wife Julie and his family and friends in our prayers.”
The 30-hour Coffin Challenge returns this year to Six Flags Great Adventure as part of this year’s Fright Fest. Fright Fest, Six Flags’ Halloween celebration, is a high-adrenaline event that Halloween lovers from all over trek to the park to experience.
The main event for six (un)lucky contestants this year will be the revamped Coffin Challenge.
The Coffin Challenge
The Coffin Challenge itself is downright bone-chilling. Contestants have to lie in a two-foot by seven-foot coffin with only a small, mesh hole for air. The event begins with a “laying to rest” ceremony where each contestant is laid in their not-so-final resting place.
Contestants will have to stay in the coffins for thirty hours, though they’ll be given thirteen-minute breaks every three hours to use the restroom and make phone calls.
Contestants will receive visits from some of the Fright Fest’s freakiest monsters throughout their harrowing thirty-hour challenge. They’ll have to endure several live critters, too, from creepy-crawly bugs to skunks to snakes. It’s one thing to lie like the dead: it’s another to be accosted by monsters and wild animals while lying in your grave!
A Test of Endurance
Contestants who leave their coffins outside of the thirteen-minute breaks will be instantly disqualified. They’ll have to take all of their meals while lying in the coffins, too, which will certainly be a challenge in and of itself. There will even be surprise trivia sprung on the contestants, who will then compete for high scores.
Beyond that, it sounds like the Fright Fest monsters won’t even let contestants sleep: the crew will play several songs on repeat throughout the night to keep the contestants awake. That might be the worst part!
Frighteningly Good Prizes
So, what does one win for surviving the ordeal and receiving the most points on the various challenges? The Grand Prize winner will get $600, as well as two Six Flags Gold Passes and two Fright Fest Haunted Maze Passes! That’s not a bad payout for lying around like you’re dead.
The other contestants don’t go home empty-handed, though. Even the runners-up will get prizes like season passes for Six Flags or day passes for the Fright Fest, depending on how they stacked up! So, could you handle the challenge?
Be careful today! The unluckiest day of all, as far as superstition goes, is Friday the 13th. Whether you believe in this kind of thing or not, you can’t argue that the day has quite a reputation.
Here are some fun facts about things you should and shouldn’t do on this ‘unlucky’ day.
Heavy Metal Beginnings
One of the earliest heavy metal albums is Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut, which was released on Friday, February 13, 1970. The album’s dark lyrics, heavy sound, and gothic-inspired liner art made it an immediate hit with people who were looking for something darker and meaner than the 1960’s had to offer.
Hip hop fans remember Friday the 13th as being the last day of Tupac Shakur’s life. The acclaimed writer was killed in an attack that has remained unsolved to this day, though fans of the artist have no shortage of theories as to who wanted him gone. Many Tupac fans who weren’t superstitious began to view Friday the 13th as a day of bad luck after his murder.
The hit film series Friday the 13th centers on the serial killer Mike Meyers (no relation to the famous funnyman) as he stalks promiscuous teenagers and cuts them down. The series has had its ups and downs, though its title may have contributed greatly to knowledge of the superstition surrounding the date.
The word for fear of Friday the 13th (the date, not the film series) is paraskavedekatriaphobia. It sounds completely made up, but we promise you that it’s real. Fear of common superstitions is regarded by some as being foolish and outdated, while those who avoid ladders and try not to break mirrors find their actions completely rational.
The 13 Club
Captain William Fowler founded the 13 Club in 1882 as a response to what he saw as rampant superstition. The group, which is still operational, holds dinner parties on Friday the 13th, insisting on having black cats, ladders, and mirrors about as they do so.
They often eat thirteen courses, light the room with thirteen candles and invite thirteen people to the event.
An angel was photographed on September 11 with a firefighter running towards it. The photo, taken by a Florida school teacher driving to work has gone viral since he first shared it on social media.
Hundreds have either shared or commented on the image, calling it chilling and breathtaking.
Matt Snow and his wife are both school teachers in Florida and take the same route every day to drop their children off before going into work. On the morning of September 11, 18 years to the day that nearly 3,000 people died in the terrorist attacks in New York City that shaped a generation.
He admitted in his post that it “might be because” it was 9/11 that he saw the resemblance, but hundreds of others agreed with him.
One commenter even said that with the fog and clouds it looked like “smoke” was surrounding the two figures in the sky.
There’s no doubt that this does look like an angel and firefighter. You don’t even have to squint or turn your head at an awkward angle to understand how people could see it.
On the left, you have what appears to be an angel rising from smoke, great wings spread. The angel is pretty well-formed, with a vast wingspan, head, and even legs.
On the right is what looks like a firefighter in full gear, wearing a helmet and pointing a fire hose at the cloud-angel. His body disappears into the ‘smoke’, but you can even see the lip of the helmet and the spray of water from his hose.
Those Who Passed
2,977 people in total passed away on September 11, 2001, and 6,000 more were injured. Of those, 2,606 were at the World Trade Center, and 125 were at the Pentagon when the third plane hit it.
50 of those were police officers from the NYPD and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department. 343 firefighters from the New York City Fire Department lost their lives.
In the 18 years that have passed since the attack, another 300 first responders have died due to disease or injury sustained from their time working at the 9/11 site. These diseases include cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and even major digestive diseases.
Whether this picture is a sign from God, as Matt Snow believes, or simply something we choose to see in meaningless patterns, it is a beautiful reminder of what we have lost.
On Friday the 13th, a rare astronomical sight will be overhead. A red harvest moon will occur in line with the thirteenth day of the month, as well as falling on a Friday.
In classic superstitious tradition, having it fall on a Friday is particularly inauspicious.
Likewise, folklore holds that the full moon brings out the “crazy” in people, as seen in ancient myths of the werewolf. Having the two overlap, while also being a red harvest moon, is exceedingly rare indeed.
If you’re remotely interested in stargazing, astrology or just unique dates, tomorrow will be a big day.
The term “harvest moon” has a specific meaning, and isn’t just a term that refers to a full moon in fall. Harvest Moon, historically, refers to the closest full moon to the Autumnal Equinox. Typically, this full moon is visible much sooner in the evening, and for much longer, than other full moons throughout the year.
This is due to the Earth’s elliptical orbit and slightly crooked axis. Because of the apparent luminosity and size of the moon during this time of year, farmers were able to work later into the evening under the moonlight. This was helpful, considering this is the time of year when the harvest needs to be brought in.
Thus, the name stuck: to this day, we call the full moon closest to the Equinox the Harvest Moon.
Friday the 13th
Friday the 13th is historically seen as an unlucky day in American folklore. The last time a full moon occurred on the thirteenth day of the month and a Friday simultaneously was in October of 2000, nearly twenty years ago.
Following tomorrow, the next time this will happen will be in October of 2049, three decades from now.
Even more interestingly, this full moon will appear as a “micro-moon,” as the moon is nearing its furthest point along its orbit from Earth. This is known as the moon’s apogee and makes it appear much smaller in the sky than it normally does.
So, get ready for a unique and rare astronomical phenomenon tomorrow!
The actor died on Sunday due to complications relating to blood cancer. He was known for over a hundred acting credits across his long career and was a fan favorite on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air show.
John Wesley played Dr. Hoover on the hit show Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He was only 72 years old when he passed away.
Louisiana-born Wesley wasn’t initially an actor. After he finished high school, he joined the Army, where he fought in the Vietnam war and eventually received an honorable discharge from the armed services.
Following his discharge, he attended the University of San Diego and the University of California, receiving a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in Fine Arts, respectively.
Wesley’s long career saw him in dozens of films and television shows, working alongside some of the biggest stars in the world. He worked alongside Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington, Clint Eastwood and more.
He’s remembered for roles on The Jamie Foxx Show, Frasier, and Martin. The actor was often a supporting character and was a mainstay on TV in the 1990s and early 2000s.
More than just a television actor, though, Wesley also had serious classical acting chops. The talented thespian performed at the London Globe twice, including a role in the classic Shakespeare play Macbeth.
If his acting skills were in any doubt, landing a role with the London Globe is no mean feat!
John Wesley passed away on Sunday, September 8, 2019, from complications relating to multiple myeloma. Multiple myeloma is a rare type of cancer that forms in white blood cells in the bone marrow, causing healthy cells to become crowded out. In essence, it’s a form of blood cancer that makes it difficult for healthy cells to prosper in the bone marrow.
Reports from those close to Mr. Wesley have made it clear the actor had been suffering from the rare form of cancer for a good deal of time. Mr. Wesley’s condition was not made public until after his passing. Mr. Wesley is survived by his wife Jenny Houston, his mother, Mazel Baskin, his two daughters, nine siblings, and seven grandchildren.
His longtime manager and close friend Gerry Pass announced the news Sunday by saying “I am heartbroken to have lost a dear friend today.”
A divorce is in the works for Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska and GOP Vice Presidential candidate.
Sarah, 55, and her husband Todd Palin, 55, have been married for 31 years, but just last week Todd has filed for divorce citing “incompatibility of temperament” as the official reason.
What Went Wrong?
“Incompatibility of temperament” is not something that you see cited as reasons for a divorce in the public eye, but this is what Todd Palin listed as his reasons for filing.
This is basically a very nice way of saying that the couple can’t stand being around each other anymore. It implies a pattern of disagreements or a fundamental difference in thinking.
Once a couple hits 30 years of marriage, you have to think that you will be with that person forever. To have such an announcement is a surprise to everyone, except perhaps the couple.
The two have 5 children together, Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, and Trig. In the divorce papers, Todd has asked for shared custody of their 11-year-old son Trig, who has Down Syndrome.
Sarah’s Political Career
While Todd has made an effort to stay as far away from the spotlight as possible, Sarah has had no such interest. She was the governor of Alaska from 2006 to when she resigned in 2009 before her 4-year term was up.
In 2008 she was Senator John McCain’s running mate in the presidential election, going up against – and ultimately losing to – Barack Obama and Joe Biden. During the election cycle, Palin always had an interesting or questionable quip for reporters, like the time she told them that she could see Russia from her back yard.
Todd was in a snowmobile accident in 2016 that resulted in several broken bones and a collapsed lung but has otherwise stayed away from headlines, even as his wife ran for major office. He was active and involved in her political career – Todd just chose to support her from the sidelines, instead of taking center stage.
Of the 5 children the couple have together, several have also been in the news… though rarely for something positive. Bristol Palin was on MTV’s Teen Mom before stepping away from the role to focus on her family.
Track Palin was accused of breaking into his parents’ home in late 2017 and assaulting his father but plead to lesser charges in 2018. He was sentenced to a year in custody later, after a woman accused him of assaulting her, taking her phone, and refusing to allow her to leave his home.
So far, neither Todd nor Sarah have made an official statement regarding their separation and impending divorce.
Marriage is declining in the US because women are finding men unattractive. Economically attractive, that is. A study recently done by Cornell University looked at trying to pinpoint the reasons that marriage rates are at a 150-year low.
Women are saying there are not enough economically attractive men in the dating pool, and they would rather forgo marriage entirely due to that.
Love is important. Apparently, money is more important.
The study looked at couples in heterosexual relationships from 2008 to 2012, and 2013 to 2017, and compiled a list of the ideal economic traits that a woman may look for in her partner. They then compared this list to the current ‘dating pool’ that single women are wading through to find Mr. Right.
The results were that there were a shockingly small number of potential suitors!
What Does the Study Define “Economically Attractive” As?
This is a vague term, and you may be thinking that the problem is that women are especially shallow or searching for the unattainable. But really, their expectations are not that absurd.
The shortage is for men that either have a bachelor’s degree or an income of more than $40,000 a year. According to the Social Security Administration, the average wage in 2017 was just over $48,000 a year.
Are Women Too Shallow?
Isn’t marriage supposed to be about true love and romance? Emotional and spiritual compatibility? Finding that one person that you will be able to stand sleeping next to for the rest of your life?
Well, yes. But marriage is a lot more than that.
It’s approximated that 22% of divorces end with “money issues” being the leading reason, so financial compatibility is also vital. Lead author of the study, Daniel T Lichter, says that “economic stability is a key to a stable life – to getting married, staying married, and marrying well”.
While “physical attractiveness” can draw the eye and start the conversation, shared economic stability and values are much more important in the long term.
“Many young men today have little to bring to the marriage bargain”, he continued on, noting how many women today are receiving higher degrees and better-paying jobs. Women are looking for a partner to not just match them emotionally, but financially as well.
Warren Buffet once said that the biggest decision you will make in your life is your spouse. “Marry the right person… it will make more difference in your life.”
Hours before dying, country singer Kylie Rae Harris shared a haunting Instagram story about her trip to Taos, New Mexico.
She was there to sing at a music festival, and her video for the social media platform talked about how much Taos meant to her as a person and to her family.
She also shared how tragically, everyone that “was there” in her family has since passed away, including her grandparents and father. Now, she too lost her life in the same town that meant so much to her, driving the same roads her father did years ago.
Harris shared a series of pictures and videos on Instagram as she made the 12-hour drive to Taos, New Mexico. A Texas native, she shared intimate details of her childhood, including what it felt like to drive through the same mountains she previously did with her father as a child.
She got teary-eyed as she recalled a story about her father hitting a cow in the road, and even implied that his spirit was sending her good messages when she saw cows in fields just after getting sad at his memory.
She tweeted just hours before the crash that she was running low on fuel and hoped that she wouldn’t get stranded on the side of the road in New Mexico. Her Instagram shows she gassed up, got coffee, and hit the road again.
Harris’ Ties to Taos
Harris was a single mother to a 5-year-old girl from North Texas, but much of her extended family lived in Taos. Both her grandparents, as well as several uncles, lived there and she traveled the roads often with her father.
She says the only person of her family left in Taos is a single uncle, and that everyone else has passed away. In the several-minute video, she opens up to her fans and tells them all about her emotional connections and how meaningful Taos is, along with how excited she is to play at the festival.
She was slotted to play at the 17th annual Big Barn Dance Festival, which is a 3-day event that features food and a lot of country music.
There are not many details of the accident currently released. We know it involved 3 different cars, and one other person, a 16-year-old girl, was also killed. The third driver appears unharmed.
New Mexico police have said that alcohol was “a factor” in the crash, but have not released just who was consuming it. More details are expected to be released in the coming days.
Could Pence be out the door? That’s the current rumor cycling around the White House after Trump has repeatedly asked aides what they “think” of the Vice President.
While Mike Pence has shown nothing but support for his leader, Trump has often wavered with his opinion of Pence.
Now, it appears Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are pushing for Trump to replace Pence, potentially with a woman, to improve his image and give him a better chance in the 2020 election cycle.
How Trump Feels About Pence
According to White House insiders, there is tension between the President and Vice President as it grows closer to election time. There is a “perception” inside the administration that Pence’s people are “difficult” to work with, which frustrates Ivanka and Kushner.
The couple, married since 2009 with three children, have been very active in the West Wing since Ivanka’s father was elected in 2016. Ivanka herself is currently in South America on a trip to talk about women’s empowerment and The Academy of Women Entrepreneurs.
Trump discussed the possibility of replacing Pence with advisors after losses in the 2018 mid-terms and apparently had in-depth discussions about the VP in August on vacation.
Trump Has Never Liked Pence
When Trump first announced that Pence would be his running mate, people were surprised. If anything, Pence is even more right-leaning than Trump is, a Christian man with intense values that manifest in surprising ways – like his unwillingness to be alone in a room with a woman that is not his wife.
There was a rumor just before elections that Trump made an emergency phone call to his campaign advisors asking if they “were sure” that Pence was the right choice. It seems that Trump has never moved past that mental space, despite having worked with Pence for years now.
Who Would Replace Pence?
It’s unclear who would replace Pence if the Trump administration decides to dump their current VP for a new candidate.
Sources close to Pence suggest that if all goes well, he is setting himself up to run in the 2024 election cycle as the Republican nominee. If he is canned before the 2020 elections, however, that would make it a lot more difficult for him.
Despite White House officials calling this rumor false, and Trump himself publicly saying that Pence is doing well as VP, the idea persists. And when former UN ambassador Nikki Haley tweeted out of the blue last month that she was done with “false rumors” and Pence had her “complete support”, people started actually paying attention.
If people weren’t paying attention to the idea Pence could get the boot before Haley tweeted that, they certainly are now!
Mark Zuckerberg announced on Facebook that as of today, Dating has officially launched. Facebook Dating is the new feature of the social media site that will allow you to make a deeper, more meaningful connection with Facebook users all over the globe.
Facebook announced that it was experimenting with the concept of “Facebook Dating” a year ago, but is just now rolling out the feature for US users. It has been available in 19 other countries before now.
Why The Slow Roll?
A product manager for the company said that they took this rollout so slowly because dating was a very “personal” thing, and they wanted to get it right the first time.
Before this, Facebook’s motto has often been “move fast and break things”, but in light of so much bad press the company has gotten over the past few years, they clearly wanted to do this properly.
The app seems like a mashup of Instagram and Facebook and steers away from the gimmick of “swiping” that Tinder uses. Instead, users can choose to tap on a profile to like it.
How Much Of Your Facebook Profile Do You Share?
The Dating app appears to pull your first name and age from your main profile, but not much else. Users can choose to share pictures or stories from their profile, but that isn’t mandatory to start.
There is also something called a “Secret Crush” feature that allows you to opt-into adding your Facebook or Instagram friends to the app. You can note if you have a “crush” on someone in your friend’s circle. If you both mark that the feelings are mutual, you will be able to see it.
In the official release, Facebook stated that profiles that have been previously flagged for ‘suspicious’ activity will not be allowed on the dating app. This is a move that will hopefully cut down on scammers looking to swindle people out of money or time.
Is There a Need?
If you’re single and looking to mingle, it probably feels like there are a thousand different dating site options out there. Besides the traditional eHarmony or OkCupid sites, apps like Bumble, Hinge, and Tinder are all incredibly popular, taking up a huge market share of the single population.
Facebook notes that there are approximately 200 million people using the social media platform that mark their profile as “single”.
When the market opened today, stocks for the company Match Group, the owners of Tinder, Match, and OkCupid, fell as much as 6%. Even if there isn’t a specific ‘need’ for Facebook’s Dating, it’s clear that many believe it will be used.
Mark Zuckerberg announced the rollout this morning on his own Facebook profile, where he said that he always hears stories of happy couples who met on his website. This new feature will allow that to be even more commonplace now.
Zuckerberg also said he hopes to expand dating to even more countries in the near future.
Using a doctored National Weather Service forecast is illegal under federal law, but that doesn’t appear to bother President Trump in the slightest.
On Wednesday, after falsely claiming that Alabama would be in Hurricane Dorian’s path over the weekdn, Trump used a nearly week-old weather map altered with a black sharpie to support his claim.
For the record, Dorian will not be moving into Alabama.
The Claim by Trump
On Sunday, in the midst of a Trump-Twitter-Storm, he claimed that Alabama would see the effects of Hurricane Dorian, a once-Category 5 hurricane currently looming on the East Coast.
He tweeted the claim several times, finishing off with the statement that “Alabama, will most likely be hit (much) harder than anticipated.”
Almost immediately, the National Weather Service’s division in Alabama sent out their own tweet is disagreement with the president, saying that the state would not see any impact of Dorian at all.
James Spann immediately agreed with the NWS, saying on Twitter that he has no interest in politics but that “Dorian will not affect Alabama in any way”. Spann is a popular broadcast meteorologist in the state.
When he was attacked on live television Monday for his claim, he doubled down, stating that originally FEMA had suggested Alabama could “come into play”.
On Wednesday from the Oval Office, Trump showed off several weather maps and talked more about the path of Hurricane Dorian, which has dragged on a lot longer than most people expected.
The largest map displayed with a nearly week-old forecast that showed Dorian still projected to slam into the Florida coast as a Category 5. On the top left on the “Cone of Uncertainty”, the projected area of the hurricane’s landing, is a thick black mark that extends it through Florida and Georgia, and into Alabama.
It’s hard to miss, looking at it. The map was clearly altered from its original form – even if the public couldn’t access the original forecast map, there’s no question it didn’t belong.
When asked about the map altering, he just repeated the statement “I don’t know” over and over, and insisting that Alabama was originally forecasted to be in the zone of the hurricane.
Whether Trump himself altered the map or a white house staff member did to back up the President’s claim is unclear, and there is no official word yet.
In case you’re curious, this is the forecasted map that Trump should have used yesterday, showing the updated path of the hurricane.
On the desk, in front of Trump while he is briefing the media on Dorian is, in fact, a black sharpie.
Trump is known to sign legislation in the black marker and even has custom sharpies made with his signature on the side in gold. It would make sense that if Trump would be the one to alter the map, he would use his favorite pen.
While no prosecution is expected to happen because of this, it is a federal crime to alter an official forecast and then present that forecast as true.
127 projects are having their funding removed or suspended in order to increase funding for President Trump’s proposed wall along the Mexican border. This is a major part of his plan that started in February when he declared the issue a “national emergency”.
These diverted projects are estimated to provide $3.6 billion to the fund, according to the defense department. All 127 projects appear to be military construction plans, both overseas and in the US.
What Are These Projects, Exactly?
The Defense Department has declined to comment on exactly which projects have been terminated or suspended. They claim that they don’t want to make anything public until lawmakers from affected areas are notified of the situation.
They did state that about 50% of the money is coming from overseas projects, while the remaining was being supplied from construction projects within the United States.
One project we do know about in the United States Military Academy at West Point, according to Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. Schumer took to Twitter this week when he was first notified of the changes.
He called it “a slap in the face” to those who are in the armed forces. He said Trump was “cannibalizing” already allocated military funding in order to “boost his own ego”.
Who Signed Off on This, Anyway?
Schumer isn’t wrong – it seems this move to take money from military projects is going against a lot of what he and the Republicans have been pushing recently, including a strong military presence.
Defense Secretary Mark T Esper appears to be the one that signed off on the decision after the New York Times got ahold of a letter he wrote to lawmakers earlier this week. In it, he identified the 11 projects that the $3.6 billion was earmarked for.
These include new construction as well as replacement of missing or damaged fencing along the border. Work is set to be in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The biggest stretch of land seeing “improvement” is a 52-mile section in Laredo, Texas.
It’s important to note that the phrasing in this letter doesn’t include the word “wall”. Instead, “pedestrian fencing” is used.
The only upside in the letter was that Esper promised none of the funding would come from barracks, dormitory, or family housing projects.
If you want to help those who have lost everything due to Hurricane Dorian, keep reading. When Dorian hit the Bahamas, it was a Category 5 hurricane, with winds that reached 185 miles per hour. The destruction is almost unbelievable, and rebuilding these islands is no small task.
As Dorian looms over the US, there are things you can do right now to help.
Damage Dorian Has Already Caused
A Category 5 hurricane is the most intense classification. There is nothing “worse” than a Cat 5.
The damage in the Bahamas has been called apocalyptic by hurricane relief workers who have flown over the island and saw the destruction Dorian left behind first-hand.
Thousands of homes are completely destroyed (not just damaged, but gone), major airports are underwater, and the loss of life is currently unknown. It’s expected to skyrocket in the coming days as water levels recede and people are better able to assess the damage.
On Grand Bahama, the main hospital is completely unusual. The hospital at Marsh Harbour is desperately in need of food, water, and medicine.
A spokesman for the Red Cross said initial estimates show roughly 45% of the homes on Grand Hamam and Abaco completely destroyed or having “extreme” damage. 70% of the homes on the islands are completely underwater. Over 60,000 residents on the islands are now in need of food and clean drinking water.
World Central Kitchen is accepting donations, and have set up several food stations around the Bahamas to help feed those who have lost everything. Run by famous chef Jose Andres, he is currently in the Bahamas himself to help provide basic needs. They began cooking as soon as the storm passed.
Global Giving has started a fund for Hurricane Dorian and has raised over $131,000 of its $2 million goal. All the money donated to this fund will go to relief efforts in the Bahamas, including providing food, water, and medicine.
Team Rubicon is currently in the Bahamas offering relief aid. This organization is a group of military veterans that go to disaster zones to provide targeted relief. They were active when Hurricane Harvey devasted Texas.
Then the Bahamas were damaged by Hurricane Joaquin in 2015 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016, HeadKnowles was instrumental in working with locals to organize relief efforts. They have set up a GoFundMe page here to help again, and as of now, they have raised over $400,000 of their $1 million goal.
Looking For More?
Charity Navigator is a good guide to choosing reputable and trustworthy charities to donate to. The site has a list of charities that work with the Bahamas and they are set to run relief efforts after Dorian.
The smell of meat cooking has upset one vegan woman so much that she has decided to take extreme measures. She has sued her neighbors, claiming that the smell of meat and fish cooking from their back garden has caused her to lose sleep and enjoyment.
She couldn’t possibly even use her back garden, now that all she can smell is grilled fish. She truly believes that her neighbors are “allowing” the smell to enter her garden to taunt her.
A Vegan Lost in a World of Carnivores
Cilla Carden, who lives in Perth, Australia, and works as a massage therapist, truly believes that her neighbors are cooking outside maliciously to taunt and upset her. Carden says she is a vegan, and the scent of cooked meat greatly offends her.
She claims that she just wants to live her life in peace, and wishes her neighbors would stop cooking outside or making her back garden smell like fish and meat so she could do so.
Carden decided that her best course of action would be to take her neighbor to court over their cooking habits, so that is what she did!
In early 2018, her case was dismissed due to a lack of real evidence. She appealed, and a higher court in Australia also struck it down. Now, her only option would be the Australian supreme court.
Her lawyer John Hammond said that it was an “extreme” option for Carden, but it wasn’t completely off the table.
Carden apparently has issues with all of her neighbors, not just the carnivores around her.
Neighbor Toan Vu, who lives next to Carden with his wife and children, told local news outlets that his family has completely stopped grilling outside due to Carden’s demands.
He also has stopped his children from playing basketball in their back garden, another noise that she complained about. Vu appears to be bending over backward for the sake of neighborhood cohesion.
Carden has regularly complained about the smell of cigarette smoke and children playing. The back gardens are all fenced, so she can’t actually see what is happening on the other side.
Her claims of neighbors “deliberately allowing” the scent of cooked meats to travel into her back garden also seem dubious. We’re unclear on just how one “allows” scents travel, or if malicious barbequing is even a thing.
As Hurricane Dorian spent the holiday weekend pummeling the Bahamas and threatening US coastlines, President Trump spent the weekend golfing at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.
The President had been scheduled to spend the weekend at Camp David near Thurgood, Maryland, to make last-minute preparations for Dorian. Reports indicate that instead, the president took a 4-hour helicopter ride to Sterling in order to get some quality golf time in.
Dorian VS Trump: The Category 5 Puzzle
Despite Dorian being a massive, slow-moving storm that has already done a ton of damage. As of 8 AM ET, Dorian was about 110 miles northeast of West Palm Beach, Florida. After spending some time over the Bahamas, Dorian as downgraded from a Category 5 to a Category 3 storm.
As of now, Dorian has a maximum sustained wind speed of about 120 miles per hour, and the most recent projections have the hurricane skimming the East Coast, not making direct landfall but rather skirting the edge of the United States.
The major issue with Dorian isn’t just that it is an intense storm, but in the last few days it has slowed down dramatically. The slower a hurricane like this moves, the more water it is going to dump on an area. Coastal areas could experience hours of hurricane conditions and flooding.
On Sunday, Trump told reporters that he was very concerned about Dorian and that he’s “not sure that (he’s) ever heard of a Category 5” hurricane.
Dorian is one of four Category 5 storms that have threatened the United States until he took office in 2016.
Repeated Uncertainty About Category 5’s Existence
This isn’t the first time Trump has said he “hadn’t heard” about a Category 5 hurricane, despite the fact that you would think that statement could only be made once.
Before Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria made landfall, both Category 5 Hurricanes that happened during his presidency, he said that he “never even knew” storms of this magnitude existed and that people have “never seen anything like” these massive storms.
Again in 2017, President Trump said that “nobody has ever heard of a (Category) 5 hitting land”.
Trump: The Golf Saga
It seems that Donald Trump didn’t sneak out of Camp David once to golf but twice, on Saturday afternoon and again on Monday. A spokesman for the President said that he was being updated “hourly” on the hurricane.
President Trump has spent an estimated 227 days of his presidency golfing, with roughly 289 days spent at a Trump-owned property or resort.
They are asking for anyone who is concerned about school safety to take a moment to sign the petition and spread the word about how you would feel if this happened to your own child’s school.
Some might think it is handy, considering Dollar General sells school supplies – but that’s not all that they sell, and having one so close to a school brings safety issues along with it.
Does Dollar General Care about the Safety of Children?
So, what’s odd about this Dollar General, and why are parents so upset? The number one concern is the safety of their very young children. School just started on Monday for this Elementary school, and the administration had no warning that they were about to become very close neighbors with a Dollar General store.
In a story covered by Fox 46 Charlotte, in Charlotte, NC, one of the residents of a house the retail store is being built behind said, “It was sickening in a sense, because it felt like we had been tricked, like no one’s going to notice. It hurt.” She continued, “It doesn’t seem necessary or needed and it’s disappointing.”
Another resident said, “It is literally in the middle of the neighborhood. It would be as if they took my backyard and put a store there.” She also said, “We have lots of children running around playing and that’s definitely a concern.”
Parents coming to pick up their children were welcomed with the view of bulldozers clearly within sight of the school car rider line. They sat and watched as beautiful trees were toppled behind homes in a well-established school neighborhood where children often play and walk to school.
Should a Dollar General be in Such Close Proximity to an Elementary School?
Another issue at hand is why this particular parcel hasn’t been rezoned since 1991, when the school and neighborhood beside it were built in 2005. The area was zoned commercial for a daycare that never ended up being built, and the childcare business sat on the property for close to 20 years, without selling it until now.
If you look at the local zoning map, you can see the small pink area that is zoned as commercial, where the Dollar General is being built – while all of the surrounding areas don’t quite match up.
The surrounding areas are labeled as RM-1 and RM-2, while the commercial area is zoned as C-1. The city planning ordinances state specific purposes and goals for areas zoned as RM-1 and RM-2, and the C-1 designation is a stark contrast from that.
Parents are also concerned about the fact that many Dollar General stores sell alcohol and cigarettes, both of which are something most agree shouldn’t be literally next door to an Elementary school.
One parent spoke to “Daniel” at Teramore Development, who is leasing the property to Dollar General. She stated, “he ended our conversation by saying that in the end even those of us that are against it will shop there.”
She also said, “they are betting that we are too lazy to drive down the street.”
Another parent said in reply to the above news, “But why would we shop there if they do this to our school? We have Dollar Tree, Food Lion, Publix, Lowes Foods, Harris Teeter, Walmart, the Walmart Neighborhood Market and even more within a very short drive away.”
Here is information on who you can contact about this new development:
“Thumb boy” has become an internet phenomenon after posting videos and pictures of his gigantic thumb. His extra digit measures approximately 5 inches, and he says that he has never lost a thumb war.
That’s one upside of this genetic anomaly.
The Viral Thumb
Jacob Pina first posted his giant thumb on Tik Tok this weekend and has since been “preferred” over 2 million times. Tik Tok is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company, and has recently gained popularity after Vine and Music.ly both closed.
The “catch” of Tik Tok is user created short videos, and the platform is most popular with teens who want to share themselves completing viral challenges, singing (Most often lip singing), or like this case, oddities in their lives.
Pina is a 20-year-old student from Westport, Massachusetts. He had since shared numerous photographs of his thumb in various poses, or videos of him bending and moving it. There’s no question – this is very much Pina’s actual finger.
The internet has had a very mixed reaction to his reveal, with some calling it “terrifying”. One Instagram user posted “Why does it move like that?!” in reaction to his video.
Pina, however, feels no shame about his extra-long addition. He loves when people notice and compare their own thumb to his hand. “I feel great about it,” He admitted.
“It’s always great to be different and embrace your own essence.”
A very healthy attitude from such a young student!
It Could Be Worse
There are worse genetic oddities that Pina could have experienced. In 2012 Abby and Brittany Hensel stared in the TCL show Abby & Brittany, where the camera followed then-22-year-old twins who were graduating college, finding a job, and traveling across Europe.
What made these twins interesting is that they were severely conjoined. While they had two separate heads, brains, and thoughts, they shared 2 arms, only 1 liver, and 1 set of reproductive organs.
Other Freak Phenomena
This week, reality star Theo Campbell, 28, shared his own case of strange happenings. Instead of being born this way, though, Theo had an incident that is sure to bring nightmares to anyone who loves champagne or hates touching their eye.
Campbell was in Ibiza when someone carelessly opened a bottle of champagne near his face. The cork flew into his right eye and literally split it in two. Since then, this star has had two surgeries and 7 stitches. Doctors still aren’t sure if he will get to keep his eye, but he has unquestionably lost sight completely on that side.
The FBI is investigating two cameras that were outside of Jeffery Epstein’s jail cell after at least one was reported as “malfunctioning”, with any footage captured from that night completely unusable.
This is just the latest in the Epstein saga and drama surrounding his passing. A finance millionaire with high-profile friends that include Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, and Prince Andrews, Epstein had been in jail since July 6th on charges involving trafficking of minors.
The Cameras in Question
Law enforcement sent the cameras to Quantico, Virginia, where the FBI has a major crime lab that agents use to study forensic evidence. Attorney General William Barr has previously expressed outrage at the circumstances of Epstein’s demise and requested that the FBI take time to look into the details.
Both cameras were outside of the jail cell Epstein was being held in at the time of his passing. He had been removed from the constant guard watch just days prior.
These cameras should have had a clear view of the jail cell, but one had completely “unusable” footage, while the other is being sent to determine just how much of the footage will be able to be processed.
Reports indicate that the guards on duty that night failed to follow proper procedure and check in on inmates every 30 minutes. According to sources in the jail, the guard set to watch Epstein fell asleep, leaving the accused financier on his own for over three hours.
Rumor’s Around the Situation
When you have powerful friends, you also have powerful enemies.
Rumors have circulated since the incident on the reasons behind Epstein’s end, and if others were involved. President Trump retweeted a particularly juicy conspiracy theory earlier this month that involved former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Clinton, and subtly suggested they were somehow involved.
The FBI will continue its own investigation into the situation.
Not His First Jail Cell
Epstein was previously in jail about ten years ago, for a total of 13 months. He reached a plea deal with prosecutors after being arrested and charged with similar accusations during the years of 2002-2005.
To commemorate his time in jail, Epstein had a mural painted on his wall of himself in a prison yard, complete with guards and barbed wire. When he was asked about it by a friend, he said it was to remind him where he had been and where he could end up again, if he wasn’t careful.
If you wanted a chicken sandwich from Popeyes today, you’re out of luck. The Cajun chicken chain that has seen lines out the door for the past week weeks has announced on Twitter today that they are discontinuing their now-famous chicken sandwich.
At least, for now. While they promise to add it to the menu in a more permanent fashion soon, there’s no timeline given. It could be months until we get our hands on that crispy, juicy sandwich.
The Sandwich Sold Much Better Than Anticipated
While sharing the sad news, Popeyes shared that they expected a significant demand for the sandwich, and though they had prepared appropriately – their supplies should have lasted through the end of September.
Instead, just two weeks after its release on August 12th, they are already out of supplies. They cited “extraordinary demand”, and they aren’t kidding.
In the video they shared on Twitter, along with the news, it shows news footage and customer video of lines out the door, with cars going around city blocks waiting in line to try the sandwich.
Popeyes pinky-promised (seriously) that they would bring it back, but gave no date or time we can expect it. All locations are expected to completely sell out within the week, and no new supplies are bring brought in as of now.
It seems they need to secure a new or more permanent supplier, which is a bummer for everyone who didn’t get a taste.
What Makes This Sandwich Special?
In the past two weeks, Popeyes sandwich has been trending everywhere. YouTubers are filming themselves eating this crispy treat, Twitter blew up over how good it was, and some enterprising folks were selling individual sandwiches for upwards of $7k on eBay.
The sandwich itself comes in at $3.99 at all Popeye’s locations, in case you were unsure.
The sandwich is very basic, and some suspect that is what makes it perfect. It starts with a brioche bun, which has a high butter and egg content that makes it soft, fluffy, and tender.
The bottom bun gets a slathering of mayonnaise, and a few sour pickles, a very standard start to a fast-food chicken sandwich – KFC uses the same formula, and Chick-fil-a skips the mayo but stays with the pickles for their sandwich.
The chicken itself is the real secret, with the extra-crispy Cajun coating that makes Popeye’s chicken such a signature item. It’s crispy, light, and flavorful.
Until Popeyes return to the chicken sandwich arena, Chick-fil-a, KFC, and Shake Shack all have chicken sandwiches on their menu that could be a good replacement.
If you never got your chance for chicken greatness, or you’re still craving that buttery, crispy bite, Popeyes promises that the first to know about the return will be those who have the Popeyes app with push notifications enabled. We can only imagine the stampede that will follow.
Donald Trump didn’t hold back last night when tweeting about the Republican candidates running against him in the 2020 election cycle.
While he didn’t technically name any names, he made it clear who he was talking about – and what he really thought about them.
The Three Stooges
In the tweet, he calls the 3 men he is talking about “the three stooges”, once again using a derogatory nickname instead of addressing them personally. Trump has often done this for his Democratic rivals, famously calling Elizabeth Warren ‘Pocahontas’.
He appears to be referring to Mark Sanford, Joe Walsh, and Bill Weld. Sanford hasn’t even announced that he wishes to run against Trump, though he has been outspoken in his opinions of the President, and the damage he is potentially doing to the GOP.
Walsh announced this past weekend that he will run for the Republican nomination. In his announcement, he called the President “unfit” for his position, and referred to him as “a child”. Weld has been in the race since April.
What Trump Actually Said This Time
His tweet starts by saying that he has a 94% approval rating in the Republican party while the “Three Stooges” run against him. While that number is a little high according to most polls, it does show an approval rating that is generally over 80% among all Republicans.
He refers to the first candidate as “Mr. Appalachian Trail”, saying he was actually in Argentina for “bad reasons”. This is a clear reference to Sanford, who in 2009 claimed he was out “hiking the Appalachian trail” when he went missing. Sanford was really in Argentina having an extramarital affair.
Another is “one-time BAD Congressman from Illinois” who lost his second term and then “failed in radio”, referencing Joe Walsh, former GOP congressman and host of a conservative talk radio show.
“The third is a man who couldn’t stand up straight while receiving an award.” This is apparently a comment against Bill Weld, who collapsed at the podium during a commencement ceremony in 1996. Trump really had to throw it way back to get that reference.
Weld recently called for Trump’s impeachment. So far, he has been running for several months and has failed to receive more than single-digit support in the polls from Republicans.
He ended his tweet with “I think I can handle them!”.
Most experts don’t expect anyone to be able to unseat Trump, so it’s unclear why he felt the need to attack his competition so aggressively.
While attempting an extreme yoga pose off of her sixth-floor balcony this week, one Mexican college student slipped from her perch before tumbling 80 feet to the driveway below.
Miraculously she survived, though she is still in critical condition at a local hospital. Reports indicate she broke or fractured upwards of half the bones in her body with the fall, and may never walk again.
Alexa Terrazas, 23, was photographed just moments before her fall this week. The pictures show the girl hanging upside down, her full weight resting on her thighs at the edge of the railing.
The accident took place at approximately 1:10 pm local time.
It’s unclear whether it was wind or something else that caused Terrazas to slip, but she did. Her hands are resting on her hips in the photograph, not touching the railing at all, so she would never have had a chance to catch herself when she fell.
The Injuries She Sustained
Paramedics from the Red Cross and the Nuevo Leon Civil Protection were on the scene almost immediately, and Terrazas was rushed to a local hospital where she spent over 11 hours in surgery.
Local media report that the college student either broke or fractured over 100 bones in her body, including fracturing her skull and her hips. Doctors estimate that it could take years for Terrazas to re-learn how to walk after healing, if she can at all.
Family members took to social media during her surgery begging friends and loved ones to come forward and donate blood, as the surgery was so intense they were running low.
Not The First Time, Apparently
According to Terrazas’s neighbors, this isn’t the first time they have seen the girl doing something questionably safe on her balcony.
Several other times neighbors have reported seeing her hanging from her railing, doing dramatic poses near the edge, and generally treating the ledge as if it were no concern to her.
Local police launched an investigation after she fell, fearing that there was damage to the balcony that caused her to plummet 80 feet, but there was nothing wrong with the railing or the posts holding it into place.
It seems to be just a tragic accident, from a college student who thought she was invincible.
Billionaire and conservative activist David Koch, 79, has died today. His brother Charles Koch, 83, made the announcement to the media. “Anyone who worked with David,” Charles said in his statement, “surely experienced his giant personality and passion for life.”
Charles and David were tied at 11th on Forbes list of richest people this year, and David Koch’s wealth at the time of his death was estimated to be over $47 billion.
David Koch was co-owner of Koch Industries with his brother, holding 42% each of a company worth over $100 billion, and worked as the executive vice president until 2018 when he stepped down from his role citing ‘health reasons’.
27 years ago, David Koch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. At that time, a diagnosis like his was a death sentence. David was given five years to live.
His brother believes that his survival for so long was a combination of “brilliant” doctors, state-of-the-art medicines, and David’s sheer stubbornness.
The Koch brothers have donated millions to cancer research and treatment over the course of their lives.
Both brothers have been heavily involved in politics over the course of their lifetime, and have collectively donated millions to Republican and Libertarian candidates. By 2010, the duo was estimated to have donated over $100 million to various free-market and advocacy programs.
It is believed that the 2016 presidential election was the first that the Koch brothers did not support either major candidate since they began their political involvement. Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton received any funding from the brothers.
The Koch brothers have long focused on smaller government structure and supported giving more rights back to states and to the people in them.
In 1980, David was the Libertarian party’s vice-presidential candidate. When he ran, he advocated doing away with the CIA, FBI, and the public-school systems. He has also supported gay marriage as well as women’s rights.
At the beginning of this year, the brothers restructured their organization to better serve communities. Working under “Stand Together”, a nonprofit organization, they are focusing on dealing with poverty, addiction, supporting a better education to under-served areas, and increasing employment.
In recent years, their charitable organizations have focused mainly on low-income areas, offering turkey giveaways to those who couldn’t afford a holiday dinner, free GED training, and English as a second language course for mainly Hispanic or immigrant communities.
The two have given more than $1.5 billion to various charitable and non-profit organizations over their lifetime, but exact figures have never been announced to the public.
A priest stole $98k directly from the church donations over the course of 6 years and is finally set to see justice.
Joseph McLoone, of St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Downington, Pa, funneled the money into a secret checking account over the course of at least six years and used it to pay for his “personal relationships” with men, as well as spending at least $3k of it on his credit card debt.
McLoone is facing multiple charges including several counts of felony theft. The Church has put him on administrative leave.
The Money Taken
Over the course of the six years, McLoone is accused of funneling a staggering $98,405 into the “St. Joseph Activity Account” he opened for himself at TD bank. The account was not authorized by the church or any officials.
Approximately $46,000 in cash was withdrawn at a branch in Ocean City, New Jersey, where McLoone has a beach home. It’s possible some of the purchase price of the home was also taken from church funds. It’s unclear right now where exactly all of that cash ended up.
Roughly $3,000 of the funds were spent to pay off his personal credit card debts.
The rest of the money was reported to be used to fund his dates and personal relationships with various men McLoone met and romanced, including $1,200 sent to a single inmate in a New York correctional facility that McLoone met before the man entered prison.
He also had a premium subscription to dating sites and would regularly wine and dine his love interests. In case you’re unclear, male priests in the Catholic Church are not permitted any kind of romantic relationship under any circumstances.
The Church’s Reaction
Downington, PA, is about 33 miles west of Philadelphia, and St Joseph’s falls under their jurisdiction.
Early last year the Archdioceses of Philadelphia launched an investigation into the priest when they noticed things weren’t adding up, financially. He was placed on administrative leave while the investigation was underway, but McLoone ultimately resigned from his position.
According to the Catholic church, they have been working closely with law enforcement to ensure that McLoone receives the punishment he is due. In a statement, they called the charges against McLoone “serious and disturbing”.
McLoone took over St Joseph’s in 2011 after Father William Lynn, who was previously at the post, was indicted and arrested for various counts of covering up clergy abuse enacted by his fellow priests.
Disabled veterans, take note: if you have federal student loan debt, the White House wants to do something about it. President Trump signed an executive order yesterday at the American Veterans National Convention in Louisville, KY, that will forgive your student loan debt.
Any veterans who qualify will have all of their federal student loan debt completely forgiven, and any federal taxes that should have been paid on the amount will be waived as well. Trump also called for states to forgive taxes on any loan debt for these veterans.
The executive order was signed Wednesday following Trump’s speech. This was the 75th American Veterans National Convention, and the event was held at The Galt House, a hotel in Lousiville, KY.
During his speech, President Trump said that Americas owes wounded veterans “A supreme debt of gratitude… they’re such incredible people. And they never complain.”
Trump was joined on stage by Betsy DeVos, the education secretary who has recently been accused of not doing nearly enough to help ease the burden millions of students are facing due to over $1.5 trillion in student loan debt.
This Is Good… But It’s Not “New”
About 50,000 veterans qualify for the Total and Permanent Disability Discharge, or TPD, which is a loan forgiveness program that has been around for decades. It is specifically used to help disabled veterans pay off their federal student loans.
The process for TPD is long, cumbersome, and extremely difficult. Less than a quarter of those who qualify for TPD actually go through with it and come out successful, and it is considered a failure in the VA system.
This new executive order will streamline the process, allowing veterans who qualify for the program to be ‘pushed through’ the system faster, ensuring that all of those who meet the qualifications will receive the forgiveness they need.
The qualifications for this program are fairly strict. In order to receive loan forgiveness, veterans must have a VA service-connected disability rating of 100%.
The “disability rating” is a percentage based score on how disabled the VA considers you. This is based on a lot of factors, including the type of injury sustained, the impact that injury has, and the potential for recovery.
In order to receive a disability rating, veterans often have to see several VA-certified doctors, go through a variety of medical tests, and receive regular check-ins to reassess their disability status.
Planned Parenthood will no longer be accepting over $200 million in federal funding after new rules for receiving the grant states that they cannot offer or discuss any abortion services to their patients.
The family planning and women’s health organization has long used Title X to provide low cost or completely free birth control and healthcare services to women in need. Now, with the loss of that funding, Planned Parenthood’s future seems uncertain at best.
What Is Title X, Anyway?
Title X has been around for 50 years and currently provides over $280 million to various healthcare providers around the US to fund a variety of family planning services, including birth control.
This money is specifically for those with a lower income, those who are under-insured and cannot afford their birth control and family planning services, or those who are completely uninsured.
What Title X doesn’t fund, and has never funded, is abortion services. That is the center of this argument, however.
It is estimated that about 4 million people every year are helped in a variety of ways due to Title X funding.
What Is This New Requirement?
While Title X has never covered abortion services, new rules have been implemented that seem to specifically target Planned Parenthood.
The new rules state that any clinic that receives Title X funding cannot provide or refer patients to any abortion services, except for in extreme medical cases. Planned Parenthood clinics that offer abortion services would have to completely separate the two, and healthcare providers working at their offices would be severely limited in how they talk about and offer these services.
Instead of complying with this rule, Planned Parenthood has announced that they will withdraw from Title X funding entirely.
What This Will Mean for Patients
While Planned Parenthood issued a statement saying that they hope to secure alternative funding and do not plan to close any locations as of now, Title X represents a significant amount of money that they no longer have access to.
At the very least, healthcare experts across the country agree that women seeking family planning and basic women’s health services will see an increase in both costs, and wait times for these services.
Rules and changes like this will have the biggest impact on areas with the lowest income, where women cannot afford to pay full price for their birth control.
Pro-life advocates are hopeful that the changes to Title X will open up more funding for religious-based clinics, and facilities that steer pregnant women away from abortions. Most of these organizations, however, do not provide the full range of contraceptive services, unlike Planned Parenthood.
“There will be a price to pay,” guards warned Epstein’s cellmate, if he ever spoke about jail conditions or Epstein’s suicide.
But despite threats, Jeffrey Epstein’s cellmate, Nicholas Tartaglione, has come forward with new accusations against the jail’s guards.
Ex-Cop Shared a Cell With Epstein During July 23rd Incident
Tartaglione is a former police officer who is facing the death penalty for murder charges. He briefly shared a cell with Epstein at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center, and he was Epstein’s cellmate when the financier was found unresponsive after an attempted suicide on July 23rd.
The ex-cop was transferred out of the cell in the facility’s Special Housing Unit sometime after that, though it was not clear why he was moved. This left Epstein without a cellmate when he took his own life on August 10th.
Lawyer Filed a Letter Claiming Guards Threatened Client, Himself
Tartaglione’s lawyer, Burce Barket, filed a letter on Tuesday to federal judge Kenneth Karas in White Plains, New York. In that letter, Barket says that he and his client, Tartaglione, were told to ‘stop talking,’ ‘shut up,’ and ‘stop complaining,’ “to name a few of the comments various guards have made.”
In his letter, Barket is asking that Tartaglione be moved to a new facility. According to Barket, the very officers charged with guarding him know that he has information that is “potentially very damaging” to them and their coworkers. The fact that Tartaglione is a critical witness in the July 23rd incident “makes his continued detention at the MCC inappropriate.”
“Deplorable” Prison Conditions
Aside from the alleged harassment from MCC staff, Barket is also citing “deplorable” prison conditions as a reason for his client to be moved to another facility.
Barket says that the facility has “serious” insect and rodent infestation problems and water leaks. Tartaglione said that he is forced to drink from a moldy sink, and he does not have access to regular showers.
The account from Barket’s letter on behalf of his client is similar to a report from the New York Times that cited lawyers and other prison inmates, in which they described Epstein’s cell as cramped, musty, and likely infested with pests. They said that it is possible that Epstein encountered standing water, overflowing urine and feces from the facility’s faulty plumbing.
While at the facility, Epstein reportedly paid for lawyers to spend up to 12 hours with him in a private meeting room in order to avoid spending time in his cell.
Epstein listed one heir in the Last Will and Testament that he signed only two days before he ended his own life in his jail cell.
According to the document that was filed in a probate court in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Epstein’s net worth is over $577 million, and that amount will likely go up once his art, antiques, and other property subject to appraisal is accounted for.
That is $20 million more than he claimed he was worth in a court filing last month.
Epstein’s Fortune is Likely Over $600 Million
That number is likely to surpass $600 million, once his other assets are factored in, such as the safe that was found in his New York penthouse. That safe was discovered to contain more than $70,000 cash, a large diamond ring, and 48 loose diamond stones ranging in size. It is unknown at this time if Epstein has similar stashes at his other properties.
His longtime lawyers, Richard D. Kahn, and Darren K. Indyke, were named the primary executors of the estate, and both are getting $250,000 for their troubles.
It also lists Epstein’s brother, Mark, as his sole relative who would be entitled to share the estate, had he left no will.
Alternate Executor is “Shocked,” Refuses Duties
In an odd twist, the document also lists a man named Boris Nikolic as an alternate executor in the event that Indyke and Kahn can’t carry out their duties as executors. Nikolic, an immunologist and biotech entrepreneur, says that he was “shocked” to find out that he was listed in the will. He says that he was never consulted about it, and has no intention to fulfill those duties.
Nikolic was once the chief scientific adviser to Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his foundation, and it is reported that Epstein, who cultivated ties with scientists, met Gates at least once in 2013. However, Nicolic says that he and Epstein had no business ties and that Epstein didn’t invest in any of his ventures.
But Who is Going to Receive Epstein’s Fortune?
Epstein put his holdings into a trust that he calls The 1953 Trust, but the trustees are unknown at this time. They were not listed in the will.
The trust could quickly become depleted, though. Lawyers in New York and Florida have already filed court documents on behalf of their clients who were victims of the serial pedophile, who are now seeking a share of Epstein’s estate.
This week two NFL players, along with the New York Immigrant Freedom Fund and the National Bail Fund Network, posted $50,000 bail for an illegal immigrant who was being detained at a US Immigrant and Customs Enforcement Center after reading a poem.
The Man Detained
Jose Bello is a 22-year-old farmworker from California who came to the US when he was only 3 years old. Bello makes about $20,000 a year working on the farm.
In May of this year, he read a poem at a Kern County Board of Supervisors meeting that criticized the Trump Administration and the way they handled illegal immigrants.
Just two days after Bello read his poem he was detained by ICE, who stated that they were holding him due to an outstanding DUI charge. His bail was set at $50,000, an exorbitant amount of money for someone with such little income.
Bello had been in ICE custody ever since.
The NFL Players Responsible
Josh Norman, a cornerback for the Washington Redskins, and Demario Davis, a linebacker for the New Orleans Saints, both contributed money to Bello’s bail.
The New York Immigrant Freedom Fund and the National Bail Fund Network made up what the two did not contribute, and Bello was able to be released. He spent 87 days total in ICE custody.
Both players are both a part of the NFL Players’ Coalition, which was founded in 2017. Its goal is to make an impact on social justice issues and racial equality, according to the website. The group does community outreach as well as involving themselves in state and federal level policy to make radical changes and right social injustices.
Were Bello’s Rights Violated?
The big question here, and the reason this case garnered so much attention is if Bello’s rights were violated when he was detained by ICE.
Bello, as well as the ACLU who is involved in the case, believes that he was unfairly targeted by ICE because of his poem. This could mean that ICE and by extension, the US government violated his freedom of speech, which is a major accusation.
Bello will see an appeal for the detention and accusations this fall. As of now, he is free to go back to work and spend time with his family. In an interview after his release, Bello says he just wishes to be a good role model for his daughter.
On Thursday, Former NASCAR Racer Dale Earnhardt Jr, his wife, child, and dog were involved in a fiery plane crash near Bristol, Tennessee. A video and photos show that the plane was completely engulfed in flames on the ground. There were also two pilots on board.
Statement from the FAA About the Crash
A report from NBC Sports says that the plane had gone off the runway, and then caught fire after it landed at the Elizabethton Municipal Airport. Earnhardt and his family were arriving for a race this weekend at the Bristol Motor Speedway.
A statement was issued from the FAA about what happened:
“A Cessna Citation rolled off the end of Runway 24 and caught fire after landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Tennessee at 3:40 p.m. today. Preliminary indication is that two pilots and three passengers were aboard. Local officials will release their names and conditions. The aircraft registration is N8JR, look up the owner at FAA.gov. The FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine probable cause of the accident.”
There were also reports of spilled fuel from the plane, that carried 1000 gallons. The leakage reportedly stopped around 4:50PM CT.
Earnhardt and His Family are Okay
Miraculously, Earnhardt and his family, including the dog, all survived and were treated for only minor injuries. His sister, Kelley Earnhardt, made a statement on Twitter about their condition, saying:
“I can confirm Dale, Amy & Isla along with his two pilots were involved in a crash in Bristol TN this afternoon. Everyone is safe and has been taken to the hospital for further evaluation. We have no further information at this time. Thank you for your understanding.”
I can confirm Dale, Amy & Isla along with his two pilots were involved in a crash in Bristol TN this afternoon. Everyone is safe and has been taken to the hospital for further evaluation. We have no further information at this time. Thank you for your understanding.
Fans around the world breathed a sigh of relief at the news. It brought back memories of how Earnhardt’s father, Dale Earnhardt, died in a three-car crash on February 18, 2001, during the final lap of the Daytona 500.
Hong Kong is experiencing what some are calling “The Summer of Protests”. Now in its tenth week of demonstrations both peaceful and not so peaceful, protesters have all but shut down the Hong Kong airport, one of the busiest in the world.
What is actually going on in Hong Kong, and what does this mean for their economy – and the world economy? After all, Hong Kong is one of the world’s leading international financial centers. When a major economy like that suffers, we all suffer.
The protests originally started as a peaceful, but massive, demonstration against China and their attempts to interfere with Hong Kong leadership.
Hong Kong was under United Kingdom rule as a colony and territory for over 150 years. In 1997, the UK handed Hong Kong back over to China with some very specific rules that mirror the way the UK runs its government.
What is called the Basic Law in Hong Kong is basically their constitution, and it lays out the groundwork for their legal system as well as specifying what China can and cannot do. It includes the right to free press, the right to protest, and the right to free speech, as well as allowing the people of Hong Kong the chance to develop their own democracy.
The problem? Despite the fact that the Chinese government promised to not interfere with that, many Hong Kong residents believe China is already encroaching upon their rights. China has recently said they have “complete jurisdiction” over Hong Kong, which is clearly at odds with the Basic Law.
What This Means for Hong Kong’s Economy
This is very bad news for Hong Kong, who is a financial giant that controls a lot of wealth. Protestors are finding great success at the airport, but that airport brings in about 5% of the total GDP of the country, both directly and indirectly. Over 200 flights were canceled on Monday due to protests, and it isn’t expected to get any better.
Businesses centralized in Hong Kong have already reported economic losses, including supply chain issues, and officials are deeply concerned that extended protests will dissuade tourists from visiting their country.
What Trump Has to Say
President Trump recently linked the trade discussion with China to the Hong Kong protests, saying that “of course” China wants to make a deal with the US regarding trade and tariffs.
“Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!” He suggested in a tweet. It’s unclear why President Trump thinks these protests have anything to do with the US or the current trade war.
Government Condemns Acts, Warns Protesters
The Chinese and Hong Kong governments are both deeply unhappy with these protests. The Hong Kong police force called them “radial and violent acts”, and Chinese media is now pushing the narrative of “violent mobs” roaming Hong Kong streets.
One Chinese official went as far as to suggest there was potential for terrorism.
The tone shift in the Chinese media and with Chinese officials suggests that China is getting very impatient with the protesters, and could be planning an intervention using force. China is not used to dealing with protests of this magnitude, and US officials have already warned the Chinese government that “forcing” a solution down the protestor’s throats will not go well for them.
Antonio Basco, 61, lost his best friend and partner of 22 years this month when she was killed in a mass shooting along with 21 others inside a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
The funeral home handling the arrangements shared on Facebook that Basco would like to invite anyone who wishes to join to celebrate his wife’s life because he has no other family.
Over 1,000 people are now expected to attend, with over 100 flower arrangements sent to the home from all over the world. The community is truly rallying around a member of their own who lost everything in a single moment.
Their Love Story
Basco shared that Margie Reckard, 63, was his only family. Margie had 3 children from a previous relationship, but the two never had their own children.
They met at a bar just as Basco had quit riding rodeo in Nebraska. It took Basco all night to get the courage to talk to Reckard, but once they started they couldn’t stop. They spent the night talking, got dinner, and eventually breakfast the next day.
Basco described their connection as “a magnificent bond”.
According to the man, the couple traveled the country together until they finally settled in El Paso. Despite Reckard having Parkinson’s disease, they stuck together and supported each other.
“We planned on living together and dying together,” He shared with tears in his eyes.
Overwhelming Love and Support from El Paso
The funeral had to be moved to a larger non-denominational church, as the previous location was not expected to be big enough to handle the influx of people. The funeral director said that he had never seen an open invitation to a funeral like this, but the support was amazing. The funeral home will be covering all of Margie Reckard’s funeral expenses.
Beto O’Rourke, 2020 Democratic Presidental hopeful, was pictured hugging and supporting Basco this week. The mayor of El Paso, along with other politicians, are expected to show up to the funeral to offer support and address mourners.
The Facebook post that made this happen has been shared over 14,000 times and has more than 2,000 comments from all over the US. People are expected to fly in from as far as California and New York to support Basco and El Paso.
Have you ever wondered what President Bill Clinton would look like in a blue dress and fire engine red heels while sitting in the oval office? If so, does Jeffrey Epstein’s estate have a surprise for you!
This painting, done in oil and hanging in a room within Epstein’s $56 million New York townhome, depicts Bill Clinton in an off-the-shoulder blue dress and red heels sitting with his legs dangling over an armchair, pointing to the viewer in a very “We Want You!” recruitment style.
And this isn’t even the weirdest thing to come out of Epstein’s estate.
Where Did This Come From?!
The painting comes from Australian-American artist Petrina Ryan-Kleid who had it on exhibit for her degree show in 2012 when she graduated from the New York Academy of Art. She called the piece “Parsing Bill”. A print of this is available online for as low as $40.
It’s unclear if Epstein’s copy is the original or not, but those who have seen the painting before say they believe it was done in oil, just like the original was Ryan-Kleid had in her exhibit.
Unfortunately, the only man who could really explain has passed, but we can speculate on what this painting means.
The dress is thought to be a reference to Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky, who was wearing blue when the two had their encounter in the White House. However, it also looks strikingly similar to the dress Hillary Clinton wore at the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors, down to the ruching detail on the chest.
Epstein apparently made no effort to hide the bizarre painting, and it caused everyone who saw it in his home to laugh.
This adds another layer to the Epstein-Clinton connection. The former President admits to having been on Epstein’s private plane “several times” – his stated number was around 4 trips taken with the financier, though flight logs show at least 26 individual trips.
Clinton also says that he was never on Epstein’s private island, though Virginia Roberts answered under oath that she saw the President there at a dinner honoring him not long after Clinton left the office.
Roberts accused Epstein of inappropriate sexual activity with her when she was a minor, and the accusation against Clinton has come out after thousands of pages of court documents were unsealed last week.
Earlier this week, President Trump retweeted a conspiracy theory about the Clinton’s being involved in Epstein’s suicide.
While no pictures exist yet of these things, according to reports of friends close to Epstein, “Parsing Bill” wasn’t even close to the oddest thing he had in his home. The townhome contains a total of 40 rooms spanning across 7 floors.
A wall within Epstein’s study contains photographs of disgraced director Woody Allen and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
A mural on the second floor depicts Epstein in the middle of a prison, with barbed wire, a guard station, and even guards around him. It was to remind him where he was and where he could be again, according to reports.
From one chandelier hung a life-sized female doll.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 400 points when the market opened today when investors responded to major warning bells about a potential upcoming recession.
While it is still early, all signs seem to be pointing to another major recession. This comes just a day after the market saw its best performance in two months. This is not great news to come in a year that has already been tough for the stock market.
What Are These Warning Signs?
What investors are seeing that is sparking so much fear and concern is something called an “inverted yield curve”. If you’re not an economics major or you’re not sure what that means, don’t worry – here’s a quick rundown of it, as you will soon be hearing these words a lot.
An inverted yield curve is when you are getting more for short term investments than long term ones, which doesn’t seem to make sense. If you try to go into a bank and get a CD, 100% of the time you will see a better interest rate on a 10-year CD than a 6-month or 1-year CD.
The bank is paying you more for allowing them to hold your money longer, essentially.
The problem is that for the first time in a very long time, the U.S. Treasury is offering a better interest rate on short-term bonds than long term bonds. 2-year Treasury bonds are yielding 1.603%, while you only get a yield of 1.6% on 10-year Treasury bonds.
That .003% makes a very big difference, to both Uncle Sam and investors who use these numbers as indicators.
According to experts, the 3-month Treasury bond to the 10-year bond has been inverted for weeks. This change in the 2-year to 10-year is just another warning sign.
But Why Does This Point to Recession?
In the last 50 years, this event has preceded every single recession that the US has seen. Investors are taking it very seriously as a sign of bad things to come, economically speaking.
This isn’t an immediate reaction. If we are to see a recession and this is indeed the first indicator, it will be in about 18 to 24 months, if historical data holds true. That means that this holiday season won’t be affected, but next year retailers could suffer.
The US isn’t the only one struggling. Germany announced today that their economy has shrunk, blaming the US-China trade war and Brexit as the major components. China also has a weakening economy with huge unemployment rates.
What these signs mean on a global scale is too soon to tell. But it doesn’t appear to be good – or fake news.
Despite the fact that some places in the US are seeing a major heatwave this week and summer isn’t even over yet, Starbucks is already gearing up for fall with the announcement of their release date for Pumpkin Spice.
And get excited – it’s the earliest we’ve ever seen it on the Starbucks menu!
If you’re ready for cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove in your coffee, head to Starbucks on August 27th and you’ll get your Pumpkin Spice fix. This is the earliest we’ve ever seen the Pumpkin Spice Latte on the menu, though in 2014 Starbucks did start an early release of the flavor on August 26th.
Last year was the first year that they did not offer an ‘early release’ of this fan-favorite, instead of waiting until August 28th for the menu to change before they would sell it.
The latest we’ve seen Pumpkin Spice released in the past 9 years was in 2015 when they waited until September 8th before putting it on the menu.
How We Know
Employees have already shared photos on social media and forums that their stores have gotten the Pumpkin Spice flavoring in, with some photos showing suspiciously low levels of the syrup already. Clearly, some staff are enjoying the perks of working behind the coffee counter.
While there is no official release date from Starbucks, the information we’re getting about the August date comes from employees who have shared photos of the new marketing material with the release on it.
Included this year is apparently a Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, which we are all here for.
Dunkin Even Earlier
Dunkin Donuts is not playing this year, and they have already announced that they will be releasing their Pumpkin Spice flavoring and the full “fall menu” nearly a full week earlier than Starbucks, on the 21st of August.
Dunkin is also getting creative this year, and plan to ‘rebrand’ eight of their stores as “Pumpkin” to celebrate fall.
Too excited for pumpkin to wait until the end of the month?
Starbucks has already released their Pumpkin Spice coffee creamers that sell in grocery stores, starting the beginning of this month. The 28-ounce bottle is branded as “inspired by” Pumpkin Spice Latte, whatever that means.
Starbucks only started offering creamers in grocery stores last month, and in addition to this seasonal favorite, they also have White Chocolate, Caramel, and Cinnamon Dolce.
Thinking about spending some time at a karaoke bar soon? Be careful! One man in China paid the price for hitting all of those high notes – a trip to the emergency room, and a collapsed lung.
Maybe try something less strenuous for your next outing, like playing a rousing game of poker or an evening of checkers.
Wang Was on a Roll
The man, who wished to keep his identity a secret (we get why) and goes only by Wang in Chinese media, says that he is a regular at this karaoke bar and has sung the songs numerous times.
That night, however, he was a little too enthusiastic. He admitted to doctors that he had never sung 10 in a row before, and all the songs required Wang to hit pretty high notes.
During his set, he felt a tightness on the right side of his chest and struggled to hit the notes he had previously been hitting. Wang chalked it up to singing too much and returned to his seat to enjoy the rest of the night with his friends.
The next morning, however, the pain was there and even more intense. Wang decided to go into a hospital to see just what was wrong, which is when he was diagnosed by ER doctors as having a collapsed lung.
A collapsed lung also called a pneumothorax, is caused when air escapes the lung and fills in space around the lung. When air gathers between the lung and the chest wall it can cause pain, feelings of tightness, and discomfort.
The air around the lung means that the lung cannot properly inflate when you take a breath. This condition can be life-threatening, so it’s a good thing that Wang sought treatment when he did.
Pneumothorax is normally caused by injury to the lungs or chest, like rib fractures or a knife wound. Poor Wang got one just by feeling the groove.
Don’t Worry – Wang’s Okay
The ER doctor on call, Peng Bin-fei, said it was unusual for this to happen after singing so much but it wasn’t unheard of. The doctor recommends that older men not spend more than 2 hours on karaoke at any one time, and to be careful with hitting those high notes.
Going back to school in Illinois? Students may be learning something new this year.
Recently Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation that requires all Illinois school systems to teach the history of the LGBTQ+ movement in the United States and the contributions that members of the LGBTQ+ have had on the development of the US as it is today.
This is in stark contrast to the President’s ruling that the pride flag not fly in US embassies during June, which is considered ‘Pride Month’ to remember the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan.
What The Law States
House Bill 346 was passed earlier this year by the state House, and states that educational materials for the state teach “the role and contributions” of the LGBTQ+ community “in the history of this country and this State”.
The state of Illinois publishes a list of textbooks each year that schools are allowed to choose from and teach with. This ensures that all students in the state receive roughly the same education.
It’s expected that the new list will include books that teach the history of the community and the struggles that they have faced in order to get there.
Why The Change
Many people are asking Illinois why. Why the change, why the trend-setting? Illinois is one of the three ‘strongest’ Democratic states in the US, alongside California and New York, but they aren’t exactly known for being a forward player when it comes to lawmaking.
A study that was done by GLSEN, a US-based organization that promotes inclusion and awareness in school systems, in 2017 stated that 61% of all LGBTQ+ students in the state of Illinois faced verbal harassment due to their sexual orientation or gender expression.
This is a lot of kids, and Illinois lawmakers clearly saw a problem with it.
A co-sponsor of the bill, Democratic Senator Heather Steans, said it was one of the “best ways” to overcome the intolerance that students are facing in their school lives.
She and others who support the bill say that it is all about creating a safer environment for these students with fewer incidents of harassment or bullying.
Equality Illinois, a nonprofit group, went as far as to say that this was a “life-saving law” that put Illinois on the “right side of history”.
LGBTQ+ youths are three times more likely to contemplate taking their own life, and five times more likely to attempt to do so. The hope is that laws just like this one will foster understanding and respect in schools so that students are less likely to take such drastic measures.
Within the diary, Epstein apparently kept records of all improper or scandalous behavior that his ‘rich and powerful’ friends took part in. Epstein believed that such well kept records would help him were he ever arrested for his actions.
Now, with the author dead and no one but the accused to refute the claims within the diary, a lot of very powerful people may just be in trouble.
Jeffrey Epstein’s ‘Suicide’
Just over three weeks ago, Epstein was found unresponsive in his jail cell with marks around his neck. While officials weren’t sure if the marks and injuries were self-inflicted, they put him under suicide watch anyway.
On Friday night a guard doing his rounds found Epstein hanged in his cell. He had been taken off of suicide watch only days before that, believed to no longer be a threat to himself.
His death comes just hours after over 2,000 pages of court documents were unsealed, revealing pages upon pages of abuse allegations against him and naming some powerful people, including President Donald Trump, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Jean Luc Brunel.
Guides for the Lower Manhattan correctional facility failed to properly check on the inmates, which has fed into rumors that Epstein’s life was ended by someone more powerful and with more to lose than Epstein himself.
What This Means Going Forward
With Epstein’s death, the charges against him are gone – you can’t have a trial without a defendant, especially one like this. But that doesn’t mean that this matter is laid to rest.
There are still a lot of things that could happen, though. If this diary comes to life within courts, Epstein will no longer be able to testify one way or the other, so we will have to take his written word as gold. It’s possible that anyone named within the diary with improper conduct will be looked at very closely by a prosecutor.
The release of court documents this weekend just before his death also raises a lot of questions. The allegations are between Epstein’s long-time confidant and possible girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, who is accused of ‘procuring’ young girls to feed Epstein’s addiction, and Virginia Giuffre, who was underage at the time of her involvement with Epstein and refers to herself as a “slave”.
She also accused Prince Andrew of inappropriately touching her and of other abuse when she was still just a teenager.
This is a setback for all of Epstein’s victims, who sought justice in his incarceration and trial, but it could open a whole new can of worms for those that found themselves involved with the disgraced financier.
Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of trafficking minors, was found unresponsive inside of his Manhatten jail cell around 6:30 am at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City. The initial call for help was for cardiac arrest, and staff initiated life-saving procedures.
He was then transported to a Manhattan Hospital and was dead on arrival. His death is currently being investigated by the FBI, though multiple reports are claiming that he hanged himself.
After news of his death starting circulating, people are wanting answers about how Epstein died in federal custody and may seek a Judiciary investigation.
Feds found a stash of photos that included girls and children locked in a safe when they raided convicted Jeffrey Epstein’s $77 million dollar mansion back in July.
About 20 FBI agents and 5-10 NYPD officers broke through the doors to Epstein’s home to execute a search warrant.
Locked Safe of Images Found “in Plain Sight”
Authorities cracked into a free-standing safe “in plain sight” in a room on the third floor. Inside they found photos, along with CDs with handwritten labels with titles such as ‘Young [Name],’ ‘Misc 1,’ and ‘Girl pics.’
All in all, the raid turned up thousands of photos of girls that were kept by Epstein. Other items discovered during the raid include notes, messages, and call records that confirm Epstein was still repeatedly in contact with victims during the charged period.
Epstein Was Facing 45 Years in Prison
Epstein was facing charges for trafficking and conspiracy for allegedly luring girls as young as 14 to his Manhattan home and his estate in Palm Beach, FL. If convicted, he was facing 45 years in prison.
Apple as a company has long been against users making modifications to their phones.
In 2016, any iPhones that had been previously repaired outside of an Apple Authorized Repair Service were bricked completely, and any replacement screens automatically have TrueTone disabled, even if they are Apple screens.
Now, Apple has gone one step further – if you replace your iPhone battery, your phone will refuse to show battery health, even if the battery you put in is a genuine Apple battery.
What Happens When You Replace The Battery
If you replace your iPhone’s battery outside of an Apple Authorized Repair location, you are going to see a “service” message pop up on the phone’s Battery Health section of your settings. It tells users that the phone is “unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple battery”, even if you take a brand-new battery from a brand new, identical iPhone to swap.
As of now, there is no way for users themselves to fix this, or remove that message. If you have swapped your battery on your iPhone, you will never be able to see any information on your batteries health.
There is a small microcontroller on the battery itself that is what provides information to the iPhone like battery temperature, capacity, and more. This is what is throwing the “service” message when a new battery is replaced.
You can swap the chips from one battery to another… but it’s a ton of work, not to mention dangerous.
Is My iPhone Affected?
So far it seems only iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max are being affected by this change, as long as they are running iOS 12 or 13. It seems to be an iOS update issue, not a physical phone issue, so it is possible that this change will roll out on a larger scale soon.
The only way to get the messages to go away and your phone to be functioning properly again? Go to an Apple store and spend money to have a tech ‘fix’ the issue… that Apple themselves created.
The recent reauthorization of M-44 devices or cyanide bombs as some groups are calling them, by the Environmental Protection Agency has brought a lot of negative attention to Wildlife Services.
These devices are planted to protect livestock and crops, but they will injure or destroy anything in their path, from rabid wolves, pet dogs, or endangered species.
Backlash From The Decision
The EPA previously had banned these bombs in several states after receiving numerous complaints from animal activist groups. In Idaho the use of M-44’s were banned after one family sued when their teenage son accidentally set a device off not knowing what it was, sending him to the hospital and ending their family pet’s life.
Their reauthorization comes after a letter-writing campaign that ended with more than 20,000 letters being sent to EPA headquarters as well.
Regulations Changed, Still Dangerous
The EPA has changed some of the regulations with the use of these cyanide devices in hopes they will cause less accidental injury.
Any bombs must be placed 100 feet or more from any public trails or roads when the previous regulations only stated 50 feet. Signs must be within 15 feet of any device, and any residents within a half-mile of any device must be notified that they are there.
The Center for Biological Diversity said that these steps were not nearly enough and that cyanide bombs kill anything that comes across them – and argue that children, pets, and endangered species cannot read the signs, so the new notifications still won’t do a lot of good.
Looking for a reason to endorse Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as the next President of the United States?
He gave two great ones during an interview on the Joe Rogan Experience this week: he will legalize weed by executive order, and he will reveal all he learns about aliens to the public.
Sanders knows his audience, that is for sure.
How He Plans to Legalize Weed
Sanders revealed that he has long sought to legalize the drug, which is currently classified as a Schedule One drug, putting it next to cocaine, heroin, and MDMA according to the Controlled Substances Act.
Sanders said that by legalizing it, he will allow more regulations on the industry, ensuring that farmers growing this product are doing so in a safe and responsible way. That means fewer pesticides or harmful toxins going into your body.
He plans to do this by executive order, which is well within the President’s rights though it can still be challenged by congress. Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, and Elizabeth Warren have all agreed that marijuana should be legalized on a federal level.
So What About the Aliens?
Rogan asked Sanders if he would consider revealing the existence of aliens if he were elected president and learned of such things.
Sanders promised that not only would he share that information, but he would also do it on Rogan’s show. “My wife would demand I let you know,” He said laughing at the question. So if Sanders makes a surprise appearance on Rogan’s show after he is elected president, we all know what is coming!
Last August, veteran counterintelligence FBI agent Peter Strzok was fired from his position at the FBI after a series of texts were revealed to be deeply critical of President Trump and his 2016 campaign.
Now, Strzok has filed a lawsuit against the FBI that says he was unfairly targeted by the Bureau and should never have lost his job. Strzok is a common Twitter target of the President, who uses him as a big reason the Mueller report should not be taken seriously.
Online Harassment, Targeting
The FBI released more than 400 of Strzok’s texts to the press, which included negative sentiments towards the Presidental campaign and his personal political affiliations. Strzok’s lawsuit says that this was done to vilify him in the public eye and that he has received serious harassment directly relating to those texts.
He also feels that his privacy was unfairly invaded by releasing those, though all the texts were on FBI-owned cell phones and with other FBI employees at the time. He had been texting FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who he was also having an affair with.
What Strzok Wants
The lawsuit is asking the FBI to reinstate him at his former position, provide him with any and all back pay he missed after being fired, and issue an apology with a statement that the government violated his rights by firing him and sharing the text messages.
The lawsuit names FBI director Chris Wray as well as Attorney General William Barr, and says that the FBI deputy director who was responsible for firing him overruled a recommendation that Strzok be demoted and suspected, and instead directly fired him. Strzok was not given the chance to appeal the decision.
Texas already has some of the laxest gun laws in the US. Private sale of handguns in the state doesn’t require a background check.
It is considered a ‘shall-issue’ state, which means that as long as the applicant passes the basic state requirements they must be sold a firearm, and there are no mandatory waiting periods before you can legally purchase said handgun.
Starting next month, they’re going to loosen their hold on gun control even more, now allowing firearms inside churches and on school grounds.
The New Laws
Texas law was previously ‘murky’ on if handguns were legally allowed on church property, but now Texas has decided to clear that up – as long as you are legally permitted to carry that weapon, you can bring it into a place of worship.
The law is essentially treating churches or places of worship as a regular, privately owned establishment in this situation.
On September 1st it will no longer be illegal to carry a firearm on school grounds as well. As long as the weapon is locked inside a vehicle and out of sight, it can be on the grounds.
This means if a teacher wants, he can leave a loaded shotgun in his backseat, as long as it’s covered by a blanket or jacket and you can’t peer in and see it. A parent can leave his handgun in the car when he goes in to pick up his child, as long as it is in the glove compartment as the door is locked.
Texas: Dangerous Place
The state has seen 4 of the 10 deadliest shootings in US history, so they are no strangers to gun violence. Most recently a man in El Paso opened fire in a crowded shopping area, killing 22 and injuring dozens more.
While these laws were passed before this tragic incident, it’s clear by Texas’s track record that it wouldn’t have made much of a difference. Senator Donna Campbell who co-sponsored the bill said there is no sense is disarming the good guys and leaving citizens defenseless.
“There is no such thing as a gun-free zone.” She added.