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Kayley Loveridge

White House

White House Supports UK Decision to Expel Russian Diplomats

The White House supports the UK government’s decision to expel Russian diplomats residing in Britain, it has said.

The UK has concluded that the Russian government is responsible for the attempted assassination of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal, 66 and his daughter Yulia Skripal, 33, using a dangerous nerve agent in the British city of Salisbury.

The statement from the White House reads:

“The United States stands in solidarity with its closest ally, the United Kingdom. The United States shares the United Kingdom’s assessment that Russia is responsible for the reckless nerve agent attack on a British citizen and his daughter, and we support the United Kingdom’s decision to expel Russian diplomats as a just response. This latest action by Russia fits into a pattern of behaviour in which Russia disregards the international rules-based order, undermines the sovereignty and security of countries worldwide, and attempts to subvert and discredit western democratic institutions and processes. The United States is working together with our allies and partners to ensure that this kind of abhorrent attack does not happen again.”

The supportive statement from the White House comes after the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, told the UN Security Council that the US stood in “absolute solidarity” with its ally, the United Kingdom. In a strong rebuttal against the Russian government on the subject, Haley said that the US shared the UK’s assessment of the events that took place.

“The United States believes that Russia is responsible for the attack on two people in the United Kingdom using a military-grade nerve agent,” Haley said.

UK prime minister Theresa May has said that the diplomats, who have been identified as “undeclared intelligence officers”, have a week to leave the country. The UK described the poison as “a weapon so horrific that it is banned in war”.

Russia vehemently denies involvement in the attempted assassination. Mrs May has said that Russia has met the accusations with “sarcasm, contempt and defiance”.

Both victims are currently in a critical but stable condition in hospital.

United Airlines

Dog Dies in United Airlines Overhead Cabin

In a devastating turn of events, a dog has died in an overhead cabin on a United Airlines plane.

The French bulldog died on Monday during a flight from Houston to New York, travelling with its owner, Catalina Robledo, in an airline-approved pet carrier.

Witnesses have alleged that a United Airlines flight attendant forced Robledo to put the carrier—with the puppy inside—into the overhead cabin.

Fellow passenger, Maggie Gemminger, who sat behind the owner of the dog, said in a conversation with travel website One Mile at a Time, “I witnessed a United flight attendant instruct a woman to put her dog carrier with live dog in an overhead bin.”

The unidentified flight attendant has since claimed that she did not know that there was a dog in the carrier.

Robledo told Telemundo 47, “The dog barked and barked but I could not stand.” She explained that this was because her new born baby was on her lap and the plane was going through turbulence.

Robledo’s seven-year-old daughter said to ABC13, “While we were flying, the dog started barking and barking and there were no flight attendants coming. We couldn’t stand up because there was a lot of turbulence so we weren’t allowed to.”

United Airlines has since claimed full responsibility for the death of the dog. In a statement, the airline said, “We assume full responsibility for this tragedy and express our deepest condolences to the family and are committed to supporting them.

“We are thoroughly investigating what occurred to prevent this from ever happening again. Pets should never be placed in the overhead bin.”

The cause of death has not been verified, but it is believed that lack of oxygen in the overhead cabin may be a factor.

The heart wrenching news comes just weeks after both United Airlines and Delta made headlines for tightening policies surrounding pets and emotional support animals on flights.

Inclusion Rider

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to Support Inclusion Rider

In a Twitter announcement on Monday night, producer Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni said the he and fellow producers of Pearl Street Films including Matt Damon and Ben Affleck will support ‘Inclusion Rider’ in future deals.

Fanshen tweeted: “.@michaelb4jordan Thank you for always supporting broader representation in the industry. On behalf of Pearl Street Films, Matt Damon, @BenAffleck, Jennifer Todd, Drew Vinton & I will be adopting the #InclusionRider for all of our projects moving forward.”

The so-called Inclusion Rider has forced its way into the film industry’s lexicon following McDormand’s emotional acceptance speech after winning Best Actress in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at the Oscars. She concluded her speech saying, “Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed.

“I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen: inclusion rider.”

McDormand explained that the term Inclusion Rider refers to an additional clause that actors may insist on including in their contracts to ensure better diversification in film.

“To everyone that does a negotiation on a film,” she explained, “an Inclusion Rider means that you can ask for and/or demand at least 50 percent diversity not only in casting but also the crew.

“The fact that I’ve just learned that… we’re not going back.”

One of the lawyers behind the Inclusion Rider initiative, Kalpana Kotegal, and Stacey Smith of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, said, “It’s great to see Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and the Pearl Street Films team their influence to create opportunities for people from underrepresented groups to enter the industry. The Inclusion Rider is an important tool for Hollywood, and other industries, to create workplaces that truly reflect our diverse world.”

Preceding Damon and Affleck’s decision to support the Inclusion Rider clause was Michael B Jordan, star of Hollywood’s latest blockbuster Black Panther. Jordan has announced his production company Outlier Society will be introducing the initiative. “I’ve been privileged to work with powerful women and persons of color throughout my career and it’s Outlier’s mission to continue to create for talented individuals going forward,” he said in a statement.

Further reading: Film Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

Maxi Pads

Improving Women’s Health, One Period at a Time

Maxi pads have come a long way: Is it time to ditch your tampons?

As Glamour magazine has put it, 2017 was a “good year to be a woman with a period” and we can’t agree more.

Much has been done to de-stigmatize a natural bodily function that affects roughly half of the world’s population: from state legislations requiring schools to stock feminine hygiene products to celebrities taking a stand on period shaming.

One forward-thinking feminine hygiene product company is hoping to take things even further. Now when the society is ready to have an open discussion about periods, they’re springing into action to improve women’s health during menstruation. After all, some reproductive health specialists agree that for many women menstrual cramps are almost as bad as having a heart attack.

Choosing feminine hygiene products is like balancing your diet

Genial Day is on a mission to educate American women on the new breakthroughs in sanitary napkin technology. They have re-engineered a conventional maxi pad and wholeheartedly believe that young women should give it a try.

“Choosing feminine hygiene products is like balancing your diet: the occasional hamburger won’t kill you, but you know you’re risking your health if fast food is all you eat”, says Vilmante Markeviciene, the founder of Genial Day and a mom of a teenage daughter. “Wearing a tampon once in a while is OK; not paying attention to the ingredients of your maxi pads when you’re in a hurry is OK; however, whenever you can, you should seek healthier alternatives.”

Modern maxi pads have come a long way

There’s a reasonable suspicion that conventional pads may contain questionable, unpleasant, and outright toxic ingredients, such as dioxin, formaldehyde, acetone and heavy metals.

“I have suffered from irritation, rash, and painful periods for years”, admits Vilmante. “I’ve traveled the world—from the United Kingdom to Japan—searching for answers. Unable to find a perfect sanitary napkin, I’ve started researching fabrics, got acquainted with the latest innovations, and assembled a team of manufacturing experts to create a better menstrual pad.”

Vilmante’s persistence has paid off. She was able to patent her innovation—a menstrual pad with an anion strip. The strip features silver ions and Tourmaline—a semi-precious gemstone known for its healing properties.

The new generation organic pads were an instant hit in Europe. GENIAL DAY® products (distributed under the name of GENTLE DAY®) are available in 15 European countries and loved by over a million women.

Menstrual pads have come a long way, therefore, young women who may have written off maxi pads in the past may want to take another look.

“It’s not like modern menstrual pads are made of wood pulp as it was the case in the 1800s”, laughs Vilmante. “My teenage daughter loves them… and that says a lot.”

GENIAL DAY® pads and pantiliners are made using the highest quality materials and have been tested and certified by numerous international entities, including Oeko-Tex®100, Made for Health, Leaping Bunny and Vegetarian Society, to name a few.

GENIAL DAY® offers convenient subscription options (and gifts to their loyal subscribers). If monthly commitment isn’t your thing, you can order their products on the website as you need them. Either way—no more last-minute grocery store runs!

5 Reasons why every woman should try GENIAL DAY® maxi pads

  1. GENIAL DAY® feminine hygiene products are free of toxic chemicals and reproductive system disruptors.
  2. Anion strip with silver and Tourmaline neutralizes unpleasant odor, prevents bacterial multiplication and promotes general wellbeing.
  3. Highest-quality super-absorbent polymer made in Japan absorbs several hundred times its own weight and is biodegradable.
  4. Ventilated base film allows your skin to breath. As a result, your skin is not exposed to excessive warmth, it won’t sweat, and you won’t develop a rash.
  5. Non-toxic glue. GENIAL DAY® uses food-grade glue that contains no toxic chemicals; they are safe, won’t cause allergies, and are environmentally friendly.

For more information, visit https://genialday.com.

Jason Derulo

Jason Derulo Releases New Song

International superstar Jason Derulo releases new song, Colors, on Warner Bros. Records today, March 9.

Jason Derulo, who has sold more than 30 million records worldwide since the start of his career in 2009, wrote the song intended to serve as the Coca-Cola song for the 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign.

On the release of his new song, Jason Derulo said “It was a pleasure working with Coca-Cola to create the anthem for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It’s a tournament that celebrates athletic excellence and I’m honoured to provide the soundtrack.”

“Through my years of travel, I’ve been able to see the beauty in our cultural differences and I wrote Colors to celebrate that diversity and be a part of the amazing energy that sports fans around the world give to their teams,” he added.

Ricardo Fort, the vice president of Global Sports Partnerships at Coca-Cola said, “We know the FIFA World Cup is a global cultural and social phenomenon. Every four years, people are drawn to this event from all over the world due to the excitement and platform it provides.

“We believe that music and soccer are intrinsically linked by the passions they evoke. We are excited to welcome Jason to the team and can’t wait to bring this upbeat anthem to the world ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.”

Jason Derulo has earned himself a permanent place in the world music stage and is a multiplatinum artist whose current hit Swalla has racked up a whopping one billion views on YouTube. The music powerhouse broke through with catchy his Watcha Say back in 2010 and has since enjoyed regular top spots in global charts with In My Head (2010), It Girl (2011) and Talk Dirty (2013).

NFL

NFL Teams Ask Prospect About his Sexuality

Prospect Derrius Guice claims that team officials at the NFL draft combine in Indianapolis asked him about his sexuality and whether his mother was a prostitute.

In an interview with SiriusXM Radio on Wednesday, Guice said that the team interviews were “pretty crazy… some people are really trying to get in your head and test your reaction.”

He continued, “I go in one room, and a team will ask me do I like men, just to see my reaction… I go in another room, they’ll try to bring up one of my family members or something and tell me, ‘Hey, I heard your mom sells herself. How do you feel about that?’”

In response, executive director of the NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith told PFT Live: “Find out what team did it and ban them from the combine.

“The question is inappropriate. Questions along these lines are always inappropriate.”

In a statement to the Washington Post, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, “A question such as that is completely inappropriate and wholly contrary to league workplace policies. The NFL and its clubs are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees in a manner that is consistent with our commitment to diversity and inclusion, state and federal laws.

“The league annually reminds clubs of these workplace policies that prohibit personnel from seeking information concerning a player’s sexual orientation.”

The Human Rights Campaign’s director of public education and research, Ashland Johnson responded to the question as “absurd and inappropriate”. In reference to similar incidents in the past, he added “it’s clear that the NFL did not do enough to prevent it from happening again.”

The NFL seems likely to investigate the claims that team officials asked Guice about his sexual preferences. Jim Buzinski said that NFL officials “definitely have to identify the team and the coach… and they need some sort of punishment, at least a strong fine.”

NBA Star Derrick Rose

NBA Star Derrick Rose to Sign with Timberwolves

According to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, NBA star Derrick Rose has plans to sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the remainder of the season.

“Former NBA MVP Derrick Rose has agreed to a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the rest of the season, league sources told ESPN,” Wojnarowski said.

“The deal will reunite him with coach Tom Thibodeau and former Chicago Bulls teammates Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson.”

The Athletic reported that NBA star Rose and his wife welcomed their new born child earlier this week, and any plans of signing with the Wolves had been postponed until then.

The player was waived by the Utah Jazz back in February after the team had acquired him in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers on February 8. As Rose was waived before March 1, he was eligible to join the Timberwolves.

Rose was side-lined because of injuries this season with the Cleveland Cavaliers and has played just 16 games.

The NBA star has had much bad luck with injuries throughout his career, having lost 2012 playoffs to injuries and the 2012-2013 and most of the 2013-2014 seasons for the same reason.

In November 2017, Rose took a sabbatical from the game to decide which next step he should take in his career; he returned shortly after.

Rose is highly revered in the NBA, having first been drafted in the 2008 NBA Draft and obtaining Rookie of the Year honors in 2009. He later won the NBA MVP Award in 2011.

San Diego Coach Arrest

Lamont Smith Resigns as San Diego Coach after Arrest

Lamont Smith resigns as San Diego Coach on Wednesday March 7, just shy of two weeks after his arrest following suspicion of domestic violence.

USA Today reported that the men’s basketball coach at the University of San Diego was placed on administrative leave by the school the day after the arrest.

“We appreciate Coach Smith’s contributions to Torero Athletics and to the men’s basketball program since he joined us three years ago.

“Coach Smith elevated the level of competitiveness of our program, recruited an outstanding group of student-athletes and established a strong foundation for future success.

“This situation has been difficult for all concerned and our prayers continue to remain with everyone,” said the school in a statement announcing Smith’s resignation.

Smith had been arrested just hours after the Toreros played against the University of San Francisco on 25 February. Police arrived at a hotel where a woman, whose identity remains anonymous, had visible marks of injury who said that Smith had caused the marks.

“As a result of the evidence obtained from the investigation, Mr Smith will not be charged at this time,” said Alex Bastian, a spokesperson for the San Francisco District Attorney’s office in an email to USA Today Sports.

A statement by Gail Shifman, Smith’s attorney, states: “After reviewing all the evidence and completing their investigation, the San Francisco District Attorney’s office has discharged the matter and has declined to file any charges against Coach Smith.

“An arrest in California is not the same as being charged with a crime. The San Francisco District Attorney’ Office has declined to file charges because there is insufficient evidence and there are no court proceedings.”

Smith had played for San Diego from 1995-1999. The 42-year-old was initially hired to coach the basketball team in 2015, and had two years remaining on his contract.

Video Game Violence

Trump to Host Video Game Violence Meeting

In response to the atrocious Florida school shooting that killed 17 students last month, president Donald Trump is to host a video games violence meeting on 9 March with gaming industry professionals. Trump has often voiced his opinion that violent video games were “shaping young people’s thoughts.”

White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said “As we continue to work toward creating school safety programs that protect all children, the president will be meeting with video game industry leaders and members of Congress to discuss violent video game exposure and the correlation to aggression and desensitization in children.”

Often the first to be blamed for real-life violent actions, the gaming industry has historically vehemently defended itself against such claims, saying that there is no evidence to suggest that it is true.

The Electronic Software Association (ESA) who represent the gaming industry in the United States, has said that they will be attending the video games violence meeting held by Mr Trump.

The ESA said, “The upcoming meeting at the White House will provide the opportunity to have a fact-based conversation about video game ratings, our industry’s commitment to parents, and the told we provide to make informed entertainment choices.”

CEO Strauss Zelnick, of the company that makes game favorite Grand Theft Auto, and Robert Altman, chaiman and CEO of parent company that produced Fallout will also be in attendance.

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), an industry organization responsible for content and age guidance for videogames, will also be in attendance.

The White House’s press secretary Sarah Sanders has said that violence in video games was “certainly something that should be looked at and something that we want to have the conversation about.”

The president has voiced his concerns regarding video game violence translating into reality. On Twitter in 2012, Trump tweeted: “Video game violence & glorification must be stopped.”

Further reading: Dick’s Sporting Goods to No Longer Sell Assault-style Rifles

Poisoned Cheesecake

Woman Attempts Murder with Poisoned Cheesecake

A Russian woman has been charged with poisoning a Queens woman with a poisoned cheesecake. The suspect, Viktoria Nasyrova of Brooklyn, had also tried to make it look like a suicide attempt after stealing the victim’s passport, cash and property.

Queens district attorney, Richard Brown, commented “This is a bizarre and twisted crime that could have resulted in the death of a Queens woman, whose only fault was that she shared similar features with the defendant.”

The 42-year-old suspect was first arrested March 2017 and was arraigned on Tuesday on attempted murder with the poisoned cheesecake, burglary, assault and other charges.

Nasyrova approached the victim’s home Forest Hills, Queens, back in August 2016 with the poison-laced cheesecake. Brown said, “The woman ate the cheesecake, fell ill and laid down.

“Before passing out, the woman’s last memory is of seeing the defendant sitting beside her inside her home.”

The 35-year-old victim wouldn’t be found until the following day by a friend. She was “dressed in lingerie with pills scattered around her body as if the woman had attempted to kill herself,” according to Brown.

The victim was treated at hospital. When she returned home, she found that both her passport and employment authorisation cards were missing, along with jewelry and some money.

Law enforcement agents at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed after testing that the poisoned cheesecake was in fact laced with a Russian tranquilliser called Phenazepan.

Nasyrova has also been accused of drugging and murdering another woman in her native country, although she denied these charges in an interview with CBS. The suspect is due to appear in court May 25; if convicted, Nasyrova faces up to 25 years in prison.

More news: Glee Actor Mark Salling Found Dead in Attempted Suicide