<![CDATA[Aol.com]]>http://aol.comen-UScopyright Oath 2022Fri, 01 Jul 2022 22:54:24 +0000Oath http://oath.com<![CDATA[Michael Vick reportedly sued for $1.2 million over outstanding debts]]>

Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick may be in some financial trouble, according to a report out of South Florida.

Per the Miami Herald's David Ovalle, a group of creditors has requested a Broward County circuit court force the former Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles star to pay back approximately $1.2 million in judgments from loans he received in Maryland in 2018.

The group's lawyers have reportedly issued subpoenas for Vick and his family, seeking to detail their assets in depositions scheduled for Aug. 5. Fortunately for Vick, his new house in Broward County's Southwest Ranches isn't at risk due to Florida law protecting primary residences, but the plaintiffs are reportedly hoping to demand assets such as cars, jewelry and sports memorabilia.

From the Herald:

“They are indeed living in the house. There was a $160,000 Bentley in the driveway,” said Kevin Spinozza, a Coral Gables lawyer spearheading the local effort to collect. “Obviously a beautiful home, one you would think a retired NFL player would live in.” 

Vick has reportedly received a number of loans he has allegedly failed to pay. This lawsuit concerns two loans made with Atlantic Solutions in Bethesda, Maryland, in which Vick was allegedly supposed to pay back the money via the sale of his former home and funds from his retirement and pension accounts with the NFL.

The debt was reportedly sold to a broker company called SMA Hub, which then divided up the interest and sold them to a group of six people, one of them being a 60-year-old Texas teacher's assistant who claims to have poured her entire $50,000 life savings into the investment.

Vick allegedly never paid back the loan.

From the Herald:

His South Florida lawyer, Arthur Jones, in a statement suggested that the amount of money of the judgments was inflated.

“Michael Vick takes these matters seriously and is aware of the proceedings and will be sure that all parties who are entitled to receive payment will be paid,” he said. “However, usurious calculations which produce absurd results should not be countenanced by the courts of Florida. Therefore, all appropriate defenses will certainly be utilized. Further comment on any shenanigans which lead to situations like this may be made available at a later date.”

Not Michael Vick's first issues with money

The Herald mentions $400,000 in loans also issued by Atlantic Solutions which eventually led to a $1.9 million judgment against Vick, one that he also allegedly hasn't paid. 

There have also reportedly been lawsuits against Vick by CBS Radio East over an alleged breach of contract by failing to regularly appear on New York City's WFAN and the financial arm of Mercedes Benz over him allegedly not making payments on a car.

Vick's NFL career was infamously interrupted by his 23-month prison sentence over dogfighting, but he still had received over $115 million in career earnings at the time of his retirement, according to Spotrac. He played a total of 13 seasons, mostly with the Falcons and Eagles. He played one season each for the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers at the end of his career.

Since hanging up his cleats, Vick has worked as an analyst in the media, coached in the now-defunct Alliance of American Football and most recently found a job with athlete management firm Level Sports Group, per the Herald.

MIAMI BEACH, FL - JANUARY 28:  Former NFL player and Fox Super Bowl Stories host Michael Vick during the Super Bowl LIV FOX Sports Media Day on January 28, 2020 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, FL.  (Photo by Rich Graessle/PPI/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
A number of creditors are complaining about Michael Vick not paying back his loans. (Photo by Rich Graessle/PPI/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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aol_yahoo_sports_8006bfaa24c-4b6d-3b84-8653-99fe5a359b42Jack BaerYahoo SportsYahoo SportsFri, 01 Jul 2022 22:54:24 +000016567243612022-07-02T01:12:45+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Fourth of July 'travel drama': Airlines warn passengers to prepare for issues]]>Barrett Lane was on his way from Washington, D.C., to one of his college best friend’s wedding in Thousand Oaks, California, when his flight was delayed ahead of July Fourth weekend.

The 34-year-old transportation project manager and his husband had flown into Newark, New Jersey, where they were supposed to change planes, when their United Airlines flight to Los Angeles was pushed back four hours because of a maintenance problem. 

Several more delays later, the couple boarded the plane Wednesday night along with other passengers, and sat at the gate for three hours.

The airline eventually let them deplane, and the flight was pushed back until the morning. Hotels were full, so the couple slept on cots on the airport floor.

“I think I maybe slept like an hour total,” Lane told USA TODAY. By the time the flight finally took off the next morning, it had been delayed more than 14 hours.

While Lane's experience was on the extreme end, flight delays and cancellations have become all too common this summer as air transportation struggles to get back to normal after the pandemic-era slump. 

Don't blame the ones who showed up: Pilot shortage driving airline reliability struggles this summer

Travel credits: Airlines issued billions in credits during the pandemic. Here's why travelers need to use them ASAP

United gave the couple a total of $60 in food vouchers and $300 in-flight credit each, Lane said. A customer service representative also told Lane the airline would refund the miles he used for the flight (his husband booked separately and had not called customer service yet). And while he planned to skip the wedding rehearsal to rest, he is going to try to enjoy the trip and occasion.

"You can talk about your travel drama for a little bit ... but the focus is on the bride and the groom and the wedding party," he said. "So, I'm going to try my best not to be the main character this weekend."

Demand for flights is up, and airlines are stretched thin trying to get people where they want to go. For travelers, it's more important than ever to be patient and ready for changes, especially heading into a holiday weekend that's sure to bring even bigger crowds to the airports.

What's going on in the airports today?

Around 6 p.m. ET on Friday, about 515 U.S. flights had been canceled and over 5,300 more were delayed, according to FlightAware, which tracks flight status in real-time.

Delta Air Lines has the most cancellations of any carrier in the U.S., with about 100 flights axed so far, representing about 3% of the airline's schedule for today. That number does not include flights operated by Delta's regional affiliates.

The Federal Aviation Administration warns that things could get more difficult Friday as summer storms threaten to cause problems in large swathes of the country.

.  

Travelers wait in line at O'Hare International Airport on June 30, 2022, in Chicago.

What's causing the problems?

In the U.S., the biggest problem this summer has been a shortage of pilots. 

Airlines don't have enough people on staff to fly all the flights they scheduled in many cases, and with rosters stretched thin, it's taking extra time for carriers to recover when something goes wrong. 

Pilot shortage: Airlines struggle with reliability this summer

“We need more pilots to enter into the profession as an industry, as a country, that’s important. And until we address certain things to enable that to happen, this is going to become increasingly acute,” Andrew Levy, CEO of ultra-low-cost carrier Avelo Airlines told USA TODAY. “The result is going to be less air service in this country and people will pay higher fares.”

Pilot program: Black, brown youth look to aviation careers, allowing them to soar to new heights

On top of that, airlines say, the Federal Aviation Administration is struggling with staffing at some of its air traffic control centers, which can lead flight departures to be pushed back until the controllers have the bandwidth to handle more incoming planes.

"The answer of what the next few months are going to look like were answered three months ago in terms of staffing and schedules," said Courtney Miller, founder of Visual Approach Analytics.

To that end, airlines including American, Delta, JetBlue and United have all announced varying degrees of schedule cuts through the summer. 

Delta Air Lines went as far as issuing a travel waiver letting customers rebook their July Fourth trip without paying change fees or fare differences. The waiver is good through July 8.

Tips for travelers

Joshua Bush, CEO of travel agency Avenue Two Travel, said travelers should expect delays and long lines, particularly at security and check-in. But they can take steps to minimize disruptions.

► For those looking at last-minute flights or booking new ones, consider flying nonstop when possible as Bush said it "removes the variables of where things can go wrong," and flying from a major airport or hub where there are more opportunities for rerouting.

► He also recommended downloading your airline's app so you will get notifications about changes more quickly, and forgoing checked luggage in favor of carry-ons. Not only does it reduce the chance of your luggage getting lost, Bush said, but you can more easily look into flying standby on another flight.

► If you are at the airport when your flight is canceled, Bush advised travelers to go see the gate agent or customer service as soon as possible, something he acknowledges "is far easier said than done" in busy airports. You can also call by phone, and he said many airline apps have a chat feature.

"You've got at least three different options of being able to try to solve the same problem," he said.

Travel insurance can be helpful, too. Some insurers offer trip interruption, delay, and cancellation options, and will reimburse passengers whose bags are lost so they can buy clothing, or claim money to pay for a hotel or buy food in the airport.

"Each policy is different, so go ahead and definitely look at them," he said.

Traveling for July Fourth? Here are 5 things to know before flying, driving this weekend.

Summer travel woes: What airlines owe you when flights are canceled, delayed

While passengers dealing with delays or cancellations are likely to be frustrated, Bush also urged patience when dealing with gate agents or other representatives.

"If they've had 100 people scream and yell at them and you're the one person that's nice, patient and kind with them, they're going to try that much harder to get you where you need to go," he said.

If your flight is canceled and you decide against rebooking, the airline has to refund any unused part of your ticket in cash.

That is true even if your fare is nonrefundable. If you experience a major delay, you may also be entitled to compensation or a refund.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fourth of July air travel could be messy this year: How to prepare

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aol_usatoday_us_articles_5903d4dd716-6abb-3c8b-a223-bc2ec59017a3Zach Wichter and Nathan Diller, USA TODAYUSA TODAYUSA TODAYFri, 01 Jul 2022 22:29:09 +000016567151702022-07-01T22:39:37+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Teen attacked by shark in Florida suffers serious injuries]]>A teenager was attacked by a 9-foot shark Thursday in Florida and suffered devastating injuries to her leg, officials said.

The teen was scalloping in 5-foot deep water at Keaton Beach on the west coast of the state when the shark attacked, according to a statement from the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office.

"A family member reportedly jumped in the water and beat the shark until the juvenile was free," the statement said. 

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare said Friday that the 17-year-old had emergency surgery to restore blood flow to her leg. A second surgery is scheduled for Saturday.

Authorities don't know what kind of shark attacked the teen. 

The girl tried fighting off the shark by poking it in the eyes, but it wouldn’t let go, and her firefighter brother jumped in to help, her family said in a statement shared by the sheriff’s office.

Tallahassee Memorial said that her brother and others were able to tie a tourniquet to control the bleeding until she could be transported by air to a trauma center. Other boaters in the area also helped.

On Friday, she was “in good spirits and cracking jokes about beating up the shark," her relatives said.

Tallahassee Memorial said that the teen “has devastating damage to the soft tissue in her right leg” and has a long road to recovery.

“She isn’t out of the woods by any stretch, but she is alive and that’s what’s most important to us,” her family said.

The teen was airlifted to a trauma center after the attack. Tallahassee Memorial said that her brother and others were able to tie a tourniquet to control the bleeding until she could be transported. Other boaters in the area also helped.

The sheriff's office reminded swimmers and scallopers "to be alert, vigilant, and practice shark safety."

"Never swim alone, do not enter the water near fishermen, avoid areas such as sandbars (where sharks like to congregate), do not swim near large schools of fish, and avoid erratic movements while in the water," it said in the statement. 

There was another possible shark attack in New York Thursday, officials there said.

A 37-year-old man was swimming at Jones Beach in Nassau County on Long Island and suffered a laceration on his foot that is being considered a possible shark bite, county police said.

Nassau County officials are increasing shark patrols for the July 4th holiday weekend, NBC New York reported Friday.

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aol_nbc_universal_1840612eeac-e1f1-3db3-a639-c9491e35f8c6Elisha Fieldstadt and Phil HelselNBC UniversalNBC UniversalFri, 01 Jul 2022 22:10:26 +000016567262482022-07-02T01:44:11+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Texas inmate asks to delay execution for kidney donation]]>HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas inmate who is set to be put to death in less than two weeks asked that his execution be delayed so he can donate a kidney. 

Ramiro Gonzales is scheduled to receive a lethal injection on July 13 for fatally shooting 18-year-old Bridget Townsend, a southwest Texas woman whose remains were found nearly two years after she vanished in 2001.

In a letter sent Wednesday, Gonzales’ lawyers, Thea Posel and Raoul Schonemann, asked Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to grant a 30-day reprieve so the inmate can be considered a living donor “to someone who is in urgent need of a kidney transplant.” 

His attorneys have made a separate request to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles for a 180-day reprieve related to the kidney donation. 

In their request to Abbott, Gonzales’ attorneys included a letter from Cantor Michael Zoosman, an ordained Jewish clergyman from Maryland who has been corresponding with Gonzales. 

“There has been no doubt in my mind that Ramiro’s desire to be an altruistic kidney donor is not motivated by a last-minute attempt to stop or delay his execution. I will go to my grave believing in my heart that this is something that Ramiro wants to do to help make his soul right with his God,” Zoosman wrote. 

Gonzales’ attorneys say he’s been determined to be an “excellent candidate” for donation after being evaluated by the transplant team at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. The evaluation found Gonzales has a rare blood type, meaning his donation could benefit someone who might have difficulty finding a match. 

“Virtually all that remains is the surgery to remove Ramiro’s kidney. UTMB has confirmed that the procedure could be completed within a month,” Posel and Schonemann wrote to Abbott. 

Texas Department of Criminal Justice policies allow inmates to make organ and tissue donations. Agency spokeswoman Amanda Hernandez said Gonzales was deemed ineligible after making a request to be a donor earlier this year. She did not give a reason, but Gonzales' lawyers said in their letter that the agency objected because of the pending execution date. 

Abbott’s office did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment. 

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles is set to vote July 11 on Gonzales’ request to that agency. 

Gonzales’ attorneys have made a separate request asking the board to commute his death sentence to a lesser penalty. 

They also asked that his execution not proceed if his spiritual adviser isn’t allowed to both hold his hand and place another hand on his heart during his execution. A two-day federal trial on this request was set to begin Tuesday in Houston. 

Gonzales’ request to delay his execution for an organ donation is rare among death row inmates in the U.S., Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, said Friday. 

In 1995, condemned murderer Steven Shelton in Delaware donated a kidney to his mother. 

In 2013, Ronald Phillips’ execution in Ohio was delayed so his request to donate a kidney to his mother could be reviewed. Phillips’ request was later denied and he was executed in 2017.

“Skeptics will think this is simply an attempt to delay the execution. But if that were the case, I think you’d be seeing many requests,” said Dunham, whose group takes no position on capital punishment but has criticized the way states carry out executions. “The history of executions in the United States shows that people don’t make offers of organ donations for the purpose of delaying an execution that will still take place.”

In a report, the United Network for Organ Sharing, a nonprofit that serves as the nation’s transplant system under contract with the federal government, listed various ethical concerns about organ donations from condemned prisoners. They include whether such donations could be tied to prisoners receiving preferential treatment or that such organs could be morally compromised because of their ties to the death penalty. 

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Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: https://twitter.com/juanlozano70

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aol_associated_press_4848750f5b3-b1b6-4110-b450-44d8345ff434JUAN A. LOZANOAssociated PressAssociated PressFri, 01 Jul 2022 22:05:23 +000016567131232022-07-01T22:05:29+00:00headline
<![CDATA[World War II-era boat emerges from shrinking Lake Mead]]>LAS VEGAS (AP) — A sunken boat dating back to World War II is the latest object to emerge from a shrinking reservoir that straddles Nevada and Arizona.

The Higgins landing craft that has long been 185 feet (56 meters) below the surface is now nearly halfway out of the water at Lake Mead.

The boat lies less than a mile from Lake Mead Marina and Hemingway Harbor.

It was used to survey the Colorado River decades ago, sold to the marina and then sunk, according to dive tours company Las Vegas Scuba.

Higgins Industries in New Orleans built several thousand landing craft between 1942 and 1945, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. Around 1,500 “Higgins boats” were deployed at Normandy on June 6, 1944, known as D-Day.

Related video: Sunken boats resurface as Lake Mead reaches record low levels

The boat is just the latest in a series of objects unearthed by declining water levels in Lake Mead, the largest human-made reservoir in the U.S., held back by the Hoover Dam. In May, two sets of human remains were found in the span of a week

Experts say climate change and drought have led to the lake dropping to its lowest level since it was full about 20 years ago.

As water levels drop at both Lake Mead and Lake Powell upstream on the Arizona-Utah line, states in the U.S. West increasingly face deeper cuts to their supply from the Colorado River. The lower levels also impact hydropower produced at Hoover Dam and Glen Canyon Dam, which holds back Lake Powell.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton said last month that the agency would take action to protect the system if the seven states in the Colorado River basin don't quickly come up with a way to cut the use of up to 4 million acre-feet of water — more than Arizona and Nevada's share combined.

An acre-foot is about 325,850 gallons (about 1.23 million liters). An average household uses one-half to one acre-foot of water a year.

The two states, California and Mexico already have enacted voluntary and mandatory cuts. Water from some reservoirs in the upper basin — Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah — has been released to prop up Lake Powell.

Farmers use a majority of the river's supply.

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This story has been corrected to show Lake Mead straddles the border of Nevada and Arizona.

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aol_associated_press_4843761d240-5ba2-4844-aca0-1ac6ee0636aaAssociated PressFri, 01 Jul 2022 21:29:35 +000016567109752022-07-01T21:29:39+00:00headline
<![CDATA[EXPLAINER: How will R. Kelly sentence impact other trials?]]>CHICAGO (AP) — R. Kelly could be in his 80s before the singer is free again, based on a 30-year prison term imposed this week by a New York federal judge for parlaying his fame to sexually abuse young fans, including some who were children.

And if the 55-year-old loses at three related trials in coming months, he could be staring at decades more behind bars. That prospect, said one of his lawyers not involved in the New York trial, could lead Kelly to pursue a plea deal.

Here's a look at the potential impact of Kelly’s lengthy prison term in New York on those other cases:

WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THE CASES?

A federal trial in Chicago is slated to begin next, on Aug. 15. Chicago is Kelly’s hometown and where many of his accusers live, so interest is expected to be especially intense. Kelly faces charges that he and two co-defendants fixed his state child pornography trial in 2008, when he was acquitted.

The two other cases are state cases: a multiple count sex-abuse case in Cook County, Illinois, where Chicago is located, and a solicitation case in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Both have been on back burners while the federal cases play out. No trial dates are set for either.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES KELLY PURSUES A PLEA DEAL?

The chances are greater after the sentence handed down in New York, said Steve Greenberg, a longtime Kelly lawyer who represents Kelly in the Cook County case.

“I suspect there have been discussions” between Kelly’s federal trial-team lawyers and prosecutors, Greenberg said.

A message seeking comment from Kelly’s lead attorney in his federal cases, Jennifer Bonjean, was not immediately returned. She said earlier that Kelly would appeal his New York convictions.

Kelly must weigh the likelihood of winning the Chicago federal case against agreeing to a deal that includes more prison time, Greenberg said.

But Greenberg believes the cases against Kelly in Cook County and in Minnesota are far weaker and that Kelly could secure acquittals in those state courts.

WOULD ANOTHER SENTENCE BE ADDED TO THE NEW YORK SENTENCE?

If Kelly is convicted in U.S. District Court in Chicago, his judge could order that Kelly serve that sentence after his New York sentence is complete, said Phil Turner, a former federal prosecutor in Chicago with no tie to Kelly’s cases. 

Turner said he expected prosecutors would ask for such a consecutive sentence but that a judge would most likely impose a concurrent sentence — meaning they would be served simultaneously.

WOULD PROSECUTORS BE OPEN TO A PLEA DEAL?

They could be, if Kelly agrees to take responsibility for the crimes charged.

Kelly’s attorneys likely would not agree to anything that involves the possibility of extending the 30-year sentence and would only sign a deal that foresees sentences lower than 30 years. They would also want assurances prosecutors won’t press for consecutive sentences.

Turner said the advantage to Kelly of a deal ending the prospect of more trials is that his attorneys would be able to turn their full attention to the New York appeal.

Greenberg said there was reason to think Kelly could prevail with that appeal. Turner said it was a long shot. But if that sentence is thrown out, Turner said Kelly would be looking at completing what his lawyers would hope are lower sentences in the other districts.

COULD PROSECUTORS DECIDE TO SIMPLY DROP THE OTHERS CASES?

Chances of that seem slim. 

Turner said the typical mindset in U.S. attorney’s offices is to remain persistent and aggressive. That attitude has been particularly pronounced when it comes to Kelly.

“They want this guy badly,” Turner said.

U.S. attorney’s offices also effectively have unlimited resources, so the costs and time needed for a trial won’t dissuade them, he added.

Turner thought it was more likely that the state cases could be dropped, especially if Kelly is convicted in federal court in Chicago and receives additional prison time.

“Their resources are much more limited. They would be spending money they don’t have,” he said. “They have murders and serious crimes to prosecute. They may ask, ‘Why spend (money and time) on Kelly when he is already facing decades behind bars.’” 

WHAT ELSE COULD DRIVE DECISIONS TO PUSH AHEAD WITH OTHER TRIALS?

The possibility that the New York convictions could be overturned is one factor. Kelly could go free immediately if state prosecutors and federal prosecutors in Chicago chose to drop their cases and the New York convictions were overturned.

Prosecutors in the different districts may all see winning convictions and sentences as insurance that Kelly would stay behind bars — even if an appeals court ends up tossing some convictions. 

IS THERE ANY REASON FOR KELLY TO PLEAD GUILTY WITH NO DEAL?

Pleading guilty to the remaining charges would mean no more trials. It would lower Kelly's legal bills, which at times he has struggled to pay.

But Kelly would have no assurance that prosecutors wouldn’t seek the toughest possible sentences.

Still, he could hold out hope that, by pleading guilty and accepting responsibility, judges would be more inclined to hand him sentences on the lower end of the guidelines.

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aol_associated_press_48426e2a6b8-9016-4a2f-8c45-c8179c93558eMICHAEL TARMAssociated PressAssociated PressFri, 01 Jul 2022 21:27:33 +000016567108532022-07-01T21:27:39+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Democrats swiftly raised $80M after court overturned Roe]]>WASHINGTON (AP) — In the first week after the Supreme Court stripped away a woman’s constitutional right to have an abortion, Democrats and aligned groups raised more than $80 million, a tangible early sign that the ruling may energize voters.

But party officials say donors are giving much of that money to national campaigns and causes instead of races for state office, where abortion policy will now be shaped as a result of the court's decision. That's where Republicans wield disproportionate power after more than a decade of plunging money and resources into critical but often-overlooked contests.

The fundraising disparity offers an example of how a lack of long-term planning can lead to both a structural disadvantage and an exasperated Democratic base. Short of the votes to pass legislation through a gridlocked and narrowly divided Congress, the right to abortion now appears to be the latest issue ceded largely to the states. That's after failed Democratic efforts to expand voting rights, limit gerrymandering and significantly stiffen gun laws. 

“We can no longer afford Democrats’ systemic neglect of down-ballot races — not when Republicans are eager to intrude on our health care decisions, bedrooms, and marriages,” said Gabrielle Chew, a spokesperson for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which helps finance state legislative races. “This should be a wake-up call."

The massive $80 million fundraising haul was recorded by ActBlue, the Democrats' online fundraising platform, which has a ticker that shows in real time the money passing through the organization. ActBlue took in over $20 million in the first 24 hours after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that determined abortion was a constitutional right. By Tuesday, the group had processed more than $51 million in donations, and by Friday, the total had reached $80 million. 

In fact, all major Democratic campaign committees reported a surge in contributions after the ruling, including those working on state-level as well as federal races. Planned Parenthood, too.. But few have been willing to release hard numbers.

WinRed, the online fundraising portal for the Republican Party, did not respond to an inquiry about the party’s fundraising since the court’s decision. 

The fundraising disparity is nothing new between Democratic groups working for state candidates and those focusing on national issues after a defining moment. For example, ActBlue took in more than $71 million in just 24 hours after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, little of which went to groups working on state-level campaigns. 

Consider the case of Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison, who in 2020 shattered fundraising records in his long-shot bid to oust Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and head to Congress in Washington. Harrison ended up losing the race by more than 10 points. He raised more than $57 million in the closing months of his campaign, including one 24-hour period in which he raised over $1 million.

But for statehouses? The Democratic Governors Association announced it had raised $200,000 after the court's decision last week. The organization said Thursday that it was on pace to raise $1 million before the start of the long Fourth of July weekend, which is less the other committees focused on national races. 

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which raises money for state races across the country, declined to say how much it has taken in since the court decision. But its past fundraising figures demonstrate how underresourced the group is.

The DLCC raised $650,000 in the 48 hours after a leaked copy of the court's decision surfaced in May. Earlier this year, it celebrated when announcing it had raised nearly $6 million in the final three months of last year. 

Its GOP counterpart, the Republican State Leadership Committee, raised more than twice that during the same period last year. 

“When Democrats (spend) 1-to-1 with Republicans in legislative races, we win them," said Greg Goddard, a Florida Democrat who raises money for national and state campaigns. "But when it’s 3-to-1, or 4-to-1, we get clobbered.” 

Amanda Litman, co-founder of the group Run For Something, which recruits candidates to run for school board races, city councils and legislatures, said Democrats have a woeful track record when it comes to investing in down-ballot races that also build a bench of future talent. 

“The worst laws are going to come from the reddest states, and they are not going to stay in those red state borders. So what are you going to do to mitigate the harm?” Litman said after the abortion ruling. “I want to see Joe Biden doing fundraisers for the DLCC and the DGA.”

The Democratic fundraising eco-system typically rewards social media stars, those who appear on popular liberal shows, like Rachel Maddow, or candidates who go viral online. That’s exceedingly difficult for candidates in races that don’t draw much attention away from home, like most legislative contests.

Meanwhile, big dollar donors have historically donated to national candidates, or groups focused on the presidency or Congress. 

Still, some Democrats bristle at the suggestion that down-ballot races don't get enough attention.

Sam Newton, a spokesperson for the governors association, said it has its own success story to tell. Democratic candidates in key states saw major donation surges after the court decision, he said. The group has also closed a 2-to-1 fundraising gap with Republicans that existed less than a decade ago, reaching parity last year. 

Planned Parenthood is part of a joint effort with the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America and EMILY's List, which supports women running for office, that plans to spend $150 million up and down the ballot in the 2022 midterms, said Jenny Lawson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes.

Governors' races will be a major focus, she said, citing Michigan and Wisconsin, in particular, where decades-old laws banning abortion are still on the books. (Michigan's law dates to 1931; Wisconsin's to 1849.) Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, both Democrats, are facing tough reelection battles. 

“Those governors have stood in front of these Republican legislatures who want nothing more than to ban abortion and they have said ‘no,’" said Lawson. “These governors are on the front line, and we need to protect them.”

But others are skeptical that the effort will trickle down outside of high-profile races. 

Litman said some party donors are warming up to the idea of giving to down-ballot contests. But there remains a culture in the party, particularly among megadonors, of chasing the “bright, shiny object,” she said. Republicans, meanwhile, treat political giving as a “business investment — you get your judges and tax cuts” and “you spend money patiently knowing it will pay off,” she said. 

“We have to balance our short-term immediate electoral goals with a long-term mission to win back these seats,” Litman said.

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Follow AP for full coverage of the midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and on Twitter, https://twitter.com/ap_politics

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aol_associated_press_484d7dbc149-d5a8-4cb3-a253-814fdfb5341cBRIAN SLODYSKOAssociated PressAssociated PressFri, 01 Jul 2022 21:25:58 +000016567107582022-07-01T21:26:03+00:00headline
<![CDATA[R. Kelly placed on suicide watch after being sentenced to 30 years in prison]]>R. Kelly has been placed on suicide watch at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, where he's being held after the 55-year-old disgraced singer was sentenced to 30 years in prison on racketeering and sex trafficking charges earlier this week.

"Mr. Kelly was placed on suicide watch for purely punitive reasons in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights," his lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, said in a statement to ET. "MDC has a policy of placing high profile individuals under the harsh conditions of suicide watch whether they are suicidal or not (this was done recently with Ghislaine Maxwell). MDC Brooklyn is being run like a gulag. My partner and I spoke with Mr. Kelly following his sentencing, he expressed that he was mentally fine and ONLY expressed concern that even though he was NOT suicidal, MDC would place him on suicide watch (as they did following the guilty verdict). We are in the process of engaging in the court in this matter as his placement on suicide watch is illegal."

ET has reached out to prosecutors and prison officials for comment.

On June 29, Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in jail, five years of supervised release and a $100,000 fine, nine months after he was found guilty on one count of racketeering and eight violations of the Mann Act by a federal jury. 

Prosecutors had asked the judge to send Kelly to prison "in excess of 25 years," while Bonjean asked for the mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

"This is the sentence I was expecting for R. Kelly and I think a lot of people were expecting," legal expert Jesse Weber told ET after Kelly's sentencing. "When you get convicted of sex trafficking and racketeering, you expect a large prison sentence and this is exactly what we saw here."

"A stiff prison sentence sends the message to the world, one, that no one is above the law, two, the gravity of these offences can not be taken lightly and I think number three, which is probably the most important, the words of these victims, the words of these survivors really played a factor in this sentencing decision," he added. "I think this is effectively a life sentence for R. Kelly, he's going to spend the rest of his time on Earth behind bars."

Kelly has been jailed without bail since 2019. Outside of New York, Kelly faces multiple charges in Illinois and Minnesota, including aggravated sexual abuse, child pornography, enticement of a minor, obstruction of justice, prostitution and solicitation of a minor. His Chicago trial is scheduled to begin in August.

 

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aol_et_online_8072c425ea9-df09-30fb-8772-32110778005ePaige Gawley‍ET OnlineET OnlineFri, 01 Jul 2022 20:48:26 +000016567191332022-07-01T23:45:49+00:00headline
<![CDATA['Chosen family': How ballroom instills pride in Black, Latino LGBTQ community]]>"Did you think she deserved it?" a contestant roared. 

"Darling, she didn't deserve nothing!" responded Crystal LaBeija. 

LaBeija, a contestant in the 1967 Miss All-American Camp Beauty Pageant,walked off stage after coming in as third runner-up in a drag pageant system where people of color could compete but wererarely the winner.

"The Queen," a 1968 documentary, captured LaBeija’s rage and was a possible catalyst for her and other Black people to find a place of their own, helping to lay the foundation of modern ballroom. 

Brought into the mainstream with Madonna's "Vogue" and later with the cult-classic documentary "Paris is Burning," the thriving ballroom sub-culture showed eye-catching walks while also being a source of family, social critique and mutual aid for many Black and Latino LGBTQ people.

Many decades later, with ballroom now part of everyday life with TV shows such as "Pose" and "Legendary," LGBTQ Black and Latino people said these safe spaces remain as crucial as ever. 

The cast of "Paris is Burning," pictured in 1991. Back row, from left: Angie Xtrava, Kim Pendavis, Pepper Labeija, Junior
Labeija. Middle row, from left: David Xtrava, Octavia St. Laurent, Dorian Corey, Willi Ninja. Front row: Freddie Pendavis.

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Michael Roberson, a professor at New School and Union Theological Seminary, both in New York, said ballroom can teach the world over about "what it means to be human and the struggle for freedom in the face of real catastrophe."

"Somehow it still grows," Roberson said. "Somehow it continues to be on intimate terms with death and still rise." 

On that night of the beauty pageant in New York City, LaBeija felt slighted. During her outburst, a documentary camera captured somebody telling LaBeija, "It's in bad taste, and you're showing your colors."

LaBeija responded, "I have a right to show my color, darling. I am beautiful, and I know that I'm beautiful." 

After her outburst, a nod to the "Black is Beautiful" movement of the 1960s and others, she started the house balls, demanding equal rights for LGBTQ people of color around the time when Black trans activist Marsha P. Johnson and others who initiated the Stonewall rebellion against law enforcement at a gay bar in New York City in 1969.  

These balls started in halls and other spaces in Harlem in New York City but soon spread to other localities, such as Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and elsewhere. 

"She's no longer waiting for somebody else to bestow a kind of beauty on her or to affirm or recognize her beauty,” said Julian Kevon Glover, a Virginia Commonwealth University professor whose work focuses on Black/brown queer cultural formations, of LaBeija's outburst.

She's saying, "No, I am beautiful, and if you don't recognize it, that's your loss," Glover added. 

'I have a right to show my color'

After the Miss All-American Camp Beauty Pageant, LaBeija left behind white-run pageants and moved on with her friend, Lottie LaBeija, to organize house balls in Harlem. 

They held their first house ball in 1972. The event helped to transform drag pageants from being solely about individual talent to a celebration of a group of performers. 

More events were held, cementing stars of the scene, including Paris Dupree, Dorian Corey and others. 

At the balls, attendees joined together to form houses, establishing a new kind of kinship. The houses were led by leaders known as mothers and later fathers who were experienced in the ballroom scene and gave guidance and support to their house "children." People in the same houses sometimes lived together.

By that time, Harlem had played host to the drag ball circuit for generations. Poet Langston Hughes described attending one ball in his book "The Big Sea," calling them the "strangest and gaudiest of all Harlem spectacles in the '20s." 

Documentaries of the ’80s and ’90s showed ballroom contestants dressed in their best, competing in categories while a sea of Black and other people of color watched, judged and cheered. An emcee often narrated their walk under pulsing songs such as "Got to be Real,” "Love Is the Message," as well as disco and other genres.

As the popularity of ballrooms grew, so did the houses. 

In the '80s, Hector Valle founded the House of Xtravaganza, which was made of up mainly Latinos and ushered more Latinos into the community. 

Many houses are named after fashion houses, such as Dior. Some are named after notable figures such as artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. 

Ballroom 'has something to say'

Jeffrey Bryant, the overall overseer in the House of LaBeija, said the early days of balls were about survival. Bryant, who has been part of several houses since joining the community in the ’80s, said people needed help getting food or finding a place to live. 

Bryant described a system by which a gay man lived with a transgender person. The gay man would go out during the day to grocery shop and take care of other business because it was safer, while the transgender person might cook the food and go out at night. 

“These were the situations where people from the House of LaBeija, people of the House of Princess, people from the House of Wong, these were (some of) the very first houses, they all took care of each other, and then somehow they all celebrated each other at these balls”

When he joined, he said, he also learned life lessons.

Jeffrey Bryant attends the New York Premiere of "Shorts: New York Keeping It Real" at BMCC Tribeca PAC on June 12, 2022 in New York City.

“I learned how to fill out a job application, I learned the importance of not becoming a felon, I learned the importance of being fully self-supporting and being a productive member of society,” he said. 

Roberson, who is also the founder and overseer of the Haus of Maison-Margiela, said ballroom emerged in the ’70s as other art forms embraced politics, including hip hop, salsa and the Nuyorican Poetry movement, an artistic tradition that spoke to social, political and other concerns in Puerto Rico and New York.

By the '80s, Roberson said ballroom faced an existential threat amid the crack epidemic and the onslaught of HIV/AIDs.

"When no one was taking care of ballroom, it was just taking care of itself. It was finding ways to bury people and collecting money to feed people," Roberson said. 

In the 1990s, the GMHC, formerly Gay Men’s Health Crisis, a New York City-based nonprofit, started the Latex Ball, which offers HIV-prevention resources. 

Other advocacy organizations also emerged for the community, such as House Lives Matter, a ballroom group that builds leadership and does social justice work. 

Ballroom has endured, Roberson said, because it has "something to say."

Ballroom thrives today 

Charles Roy (top right) is a dancer from Corpus Christi, Texas. He participated in HBO Max's competition program "Legendary" with his house, House of Ada.

Today, the ballroom scene remains a place of support for many Black and LGBTQ people, though some of the music and fashion have changed. 

Marcus Henderson, New York City father of the House of LaBeija, said people who enter the ballroom scene still have varying levels of need. For some, it is housing and other food. The house often refers people to nonprofits that work in the space. 

Others come with educational degrees and vibrant careers but need the community. 

“As a Black gay person, I feel alone in the world,” Henderson said. “Most likely I’m the minority at my place of employment. I’m a minority in my family, my biological family. I’m a minority almost every place I go. So, when I'm with my chosen family, that's not that reality."

Sevndeep a member of House of Basquiat and former cast member on the "Hot Haus" reality show on OutTV, said he was drawn to ballroom because of the freedom at events. He also saw posts in Ballroom #clips #dips #tea, a Facebook group where members post walks and other information about the ballroom community. 

"It's a place of refuge,” said Sevndeep, who grew up in a large Virginia familyand nowlives in Brooklyn. “It's therapy for you if you wanted to go there and just let it all out on the floor." 

Pink Ebony with House of Ebony and London Escada with the House of Escada battle against each other during the 16th Annual Rags to Riches Ball in Rochester, New York, Sept. 25, 2021.

He said the current ballroom scene attracts people from around the world and he spends a good deal of his time with other members. 

“It's literally like, If you need anything I got you, and you know that you got me,” Sevndeep, 30, said. 

Jourdon, a 35-year-old model and member of the House of Basquiat, said the pull of having a family is what initially attracted him to balls, making him feel more comfortable being his authentic self.

That authentic self spills from the ballroom to his home life, said Jourdon, of Harlem. That means being able to walk into a room holding his boyfriend’s hand and walk in the category of European Runway, which is supposed to model itself on what is sometimes thought to be a more "feminine" walk. 

“I'm masculine-presenting, but I'm very in touch with my feminine side on the inside. And I'm able to let that out if I want to and if I choose to, and I am choosing,” he said. 

The legends have laid the groundwork for him to choose. His advice to others looking to get into the ballroom scene: 

“Do what you feel is right for you.” 

“Walk in the path that you feel is right.”  

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ballroom gives Black, Latino LGBTQ community 'chosen family'

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aol_usatoday_us_articles_5905aea3add-548f-372c-9ec1-9dca178b18caTiffany Cusaac-Smith, USA TODAYUSA TODAYUSA TODAYFri, 01 Jul 2022 20:30:47 +000016567081332022-07-01T20:42:23+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Minecraft sensation Technoblade dies of cancer at 23, says goodbye in final YouTube video]]>A popular Minecraft YouTuber who went by the moniker Technoblade has died at the age of 23 after a year-long bout with cancer, his family has announced.

The popular Minecraft YouTuber who goes by the name Technoblade has died at age 23.

His father read a goodbye statement from Technoblade, who was known only as Alex, in a video posted Thursday on his YouTube channel, which has 11.4 million subscribers. 

"If I had another one hundred lives, I think I would choose to be Technoblade again every single time, because those were the happiest years of my life," said the note, as read by his father in the video titled "so long nerds."

"I hope you guys enjoyed my content and that I made some of you laugh. And I hope you all go on to live long prosperous and happy lives. Because I love you guys. Technoblade out."

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Technoblade typed the note on his father's laptop about eight hours before his death, his father said. "He was the most amazing kid anyone could ever ask for," said his father, who did not give his name and held a small poodle on his lap during the video. "I miss Technoblade. Thank you to all of you for everything. You meant a lot to him."

In a statement from the family, signed "Techno's mom," at the end of the video, his mother said, "He avoided personal fame and worked hard to keep his true identity confidential, and I ask you to continue to honor his wishes to protect his privacy and the privacy of his family."

Despite his stage 4 cancer diagnosis, she said, her son "didn't complain, and kept using his famous strategic mind to try to beat what he knew were almost impossible odds. My son's bravery on this path was a shining lesson to all of us who were privileged to walk with him."

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A statement from the mother of a popular Minecraft YouTuber who went by the moniker Technoblade. He died at the age of 23 after a year-long bout with cancer, his family has announced.

The Technoblade merchandise store – including T-shirts that say "So long, nerds, Alexander 'Technoblade' 1999-2022" – will continue to be operated by his family, and proceeds will go to the Sarcoma Foundation of America. 

The organization's CEO, Brandi Felser, told CNN that later this year the foundation will give Technoblade its Courage Award, given annually to those who strive "to create hope and a better life for the sarcoma community."

"Technoblade rallied his supporters to raise over $500,000 to date to support sarcoma research," she told CNN. "This allowed SFA to provide research grants in Technoblade's name. Through these efforts, he leaves a legacy that will impact generations."

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Minecraft lovers and YouTubers posted tributes to Technoblade as news of his death spread. The official Minecraft account on Twitter said: "We have been trying to find the words, but all of us here at Minecraft are heartbroken over the loss of Technoblade. He meant so much to our community and brought so much joy. He will be missed dearly."

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YouTube content creator BadBoyHalo posted on Twitter, "The lives you've touched and the impact you've had on them will last forever."

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Author John Green ("Turtles All the Way Down") recalled on Twitter how he and his son often watched the "talented and hilarious 23-year-old ... My thoughts are with Alex's family and friends and fans." 

An artist who goes by Hont on Twitter was one of many who posted elaborate appreciation fan art in tribute to Technoblade. "His legacy will live on," the post read.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Technoblade dead: Minecraft YouTuber says bye in 'so long nerds' video

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aol_usatoday_us_articles_59015c0be22-e04d-341b-9008-fd166cb349acMike Snider, USA TODAYUSA TODAYUSA TODAYFri, 01 Jul 2022 20:02:01 +000016567257292022-07-02T01:35:33+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Monkeypox Pictures: How to Identify Symptoms of Monkeypox]]>Monkeypox pictures aren't for the faint of heart, but they can help identify monkeypox symptoms as the outbreak of the virus has spread to 31 states and territories in the U.S.

Over 390 cases of monkeypox or orthopoxvirus, the family of viruses that monkeypox is a part of, have been confirmed in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Around the world, over 5,300 cases have been confirmed in 52 countries where the virus, endemic to central and west Africa, isn't normally found.

The U.S. states with the most cases of monkeypox are California, New York, Illinois and Florida, with 89, 74, 46 and 41 cases respective. In the current outbreak, the first U.S. monkeypox case was reported in May in a Massachusetts man who'd traveled to Canada.

Pictures of monkeypox symptoms and rash from UK Health Security Agency. (GOV.UK)

Many of the U.S. cases have been associated with travel, but CDC officials also believe there may be community transmission taking place. Some cases have occurred in people who had close contact with an infected individual, and in other cases the patient wasn't sure how they were infected, which "might suggest that there is some community transmission happening at levels that are below what's coming to the attention of public health officials," a CDC spokesperson said in June.

The World Health Organization said in late June that the risk to the public at the global level is "moderate." For people traveling outside the U.S., the CDC recently raised its travel warning to level two, meaning "enhanced precautions" are encouraged, in particular avoiding ill individuals, wild animals and contaminated materials from sick people.

Monkeypox pictures and timeline

Monkeypox is a rare disease that’s usually found in central and west Africa, where it kills as many as 1 in 10 people who contract it, according to the CDC. In the U.S., there are at least two genetically distinct variants of the monkeypox virus circulating, the CDC has said. Many of the U.S. cases have been linked to the variant driving the outbreak in Europe, which is less severe than other monkeypox virus variants.

Monkeypox symptoms usually start to appear one to two weeks after exposure, but the incubation period can be as short as five days or as long as 21 days, according to the CDC.

In this outbreak, symptoms have sometimes looked different from “the classical clinical picture for monkeypox,” WHO has said.

monkeypox pictures (CDC)

The most common symptoms in this monkeypox outbreak have included: lesions around the genital and anus, fever, swollen lymph nodes, oral sores and pain when swallowing. In this outbreak, rashes around the anus and genitals have not always spread to other parts of the body, and rashes will often appear before symptoms like fever, both of which are unusual for monkeypox.

A CDC report published last month explained the Massachusetts man’s rash first appeared around his anus and genitals. A New York City resident was treated for an oral lesion and rash around the anus initially presumed to be a common sexually transmitted infection.

Prior to this pandemic, monkeypox symptoms usually began with fever, headache, back aches and lethargy lasting one to two days, explained Rosamund Lewis, WHO’s head smallpox secretariat. Traditionally, next a rash will appear, which starts as red discoloration in the skin. It usually starts on the face and then progresses to the arms and legs, then hands and feet, and then the rest of the body. This phase also lasts one to two days. Next comes what are referred to as papules, when the rash becomes raised on the skin, instead of flat. This also lasts one to two days.

monkeypox pictures (GOV.UK)

Next is the vesicle phase, or as Lewis called them, “blisters,” when lesions are raised and filled with clear fluid, usually starting on the fourth or fifth day of symptoms and lasting another one to two days.

Vesicles are followed by pustules, when the blisters “fill with a whitish fluid that looks like pus,” Lewis said, usually around the sixth or seventh day of symptoms. According to the CDC, they’re usually “firm to the touch,” develop a dent in the center (called an umbilication) and last an additional five to seven days.

Monkeypox pictures (CDC via Getty Images)

After about two weeks of symptoms, the lesions then start to crust and scab over, and the scabs last for another week before falling off. Scars and skin discoloration may persist after the scabs are gone, but you’re no longer contagious after the scabs have all fallen off.

Monkeypox pictures (Getty Images)

The CDC is in encouraging anyone who develops a new, unexplained rash on any part of the body, regardless of the presence of fever or chills, to seek medical attention immediately and avoid contact with others.

Monkeypox symptoms and transmission

Monkeypox symptoms are similar to those of smallpox, including fever, headaches, muscle aches, chills exhaustion and rash, but it's much less contagious than smallpox. There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, but the smallpox vaccine, antivirals and other treatments can be used to control an outbreak.

The CDC recently released a statement clarifying how the monkeypox virus spreads. "The virus is not known to linger in the air and is not transmitted during short periods of shared airspace," unlike COVID and measles, the statement explained.

It added that the virus spreads through direct contact with the sores or bodily fluids of someone infected with monkeypox or materials that have come in contact with bodily fluids or sores of an infected person. It may also spread through prolonged, close face-to-face contact through large respiratory droplets, which fall quickly to the ground. Airborne transmission of monkeypox, meaning through aerosols that linger in the air, has not been reported, but droplet transmission has been.

All the cases in the outbreak so far have been associated with direct physical contact either with a contaminated material or infected person, a CDC spokesperson said Friday. In cases where two people had contact, it's difficult to know exactly how the virus was spread because it could've been either due to skin-to-skin contact in a sexual situation or face-to-face contact. Monkeypox can spread during sex, kissing, cuddling, or touching parts of the body with sores, but it's not clear if it spreads through semen or vaginal fluids, according to the CDC.

The virus can also spread from animals to humans through a bite or scratch, by handling wild game or using products made from infected animals.

Monkeypox virus outbreak 2022

The multi-country outbreak, which the World Health Organization has been tracking since May 13, has not yet been linked to any areas where the virus is usually found.

"This is the first time we're seeing cases across many countries at the same time in people who have not traveled to the to the endemic regions in Africa," Lewis said in May when asked why there's so much concern now even though the disease has been around for at least 40 years.

The current outbreak is "not typical," added Andy Seale, adviser to WHO's HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infection programs, referring to the patterns of transmission observed so far. The U.S. cases have primarily, but not exclusively, been identified in men who have sex with men, the CDC has said. He went on to stress that monkeypox is "not a gay disease. ... Anybody can contract monkeypox through close contact."

U.S. President Joe Biden's administration announced earlier this week that it would start distributing monkeypox vaccines across the country, prioritizing areas with the highest number of cases and people who are most at risk of infection. Initial access to the vaccine is being given to those who've had close contact, such as sexual contact, with a person confirmed to be infected with monkeypox and men who have sex with men who've had multiple sexual partners at a gathering or in a country where the virus is known to have spread.

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aol_the_today_show_59451a08bab-bba9-3040-a813-ed86ea4877e4Maura HohmanThe Today ShowThe Today ShowFri, 01 Jul 2022 19:59:20 +000016567145802022-07-01T22:29:49+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Report: Utah Jazz trade Rudy Gobert to Minnesota Timberwolves]]>

The Utah Jazz are reportedly trading three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Timberwolves will send Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro and a package of first-round picks to the Jazz, according to Wojnarowski. 

The move signals the Jazz's desire to move on from the Gobert-Donovan Mitchell pairing that had grown strained since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The locker room tension between the Jazz’s two All-Stars has been well-documented since March 2020. The latter half of the 2021-22 season did nothing but stoke the flames.

The Jazz bowed out of the playoffs in the first round for the third time in four seasons, a disappointing end to a roster built to win now. On Thursday before free agency opened, the Jazz also dealt starting forward Royce O'Neale to the Brooklyn Nets and could still be looking for additional trades.

According to The Athletic's Tony Jones, the Jazz are not planning to trade Mitchell. The 2023 NBA All-Star Game is in Salt Lake City, and the Jazz are committed to building around the 25-year-old star.

Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz warms up before Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 28, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Rudy Gobert reportedly is on his way to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a blockbuster trade. (Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Alex Goodlett via Getty Images

How does Rudy Gobert fit with the Timberwolves?

Gobert will now be paired with Karl-Anthony Towns in Minnesota. Both have long-term contracts after Towns agreed to a supermax extension on Thursday. Gobert has four seasons left on his supermax deal.

The big-man pairing could be productive for the upstart Timberwolves. Gobert, a three-time All-Star, averages 12.4 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game for his career. Towns, a three-time All-Star, averages 23.2 points and 11.3 rebounds over 34.2 minutes in his career. 

Gobert led the league last season in rebounds at 14.7 per game.

Newly hired Timberwolves executive Tim Connelly was the Denver Nuggets' general manager in 2013 when the team traded out of their first-round pick that became Gobert at No. 27 to Utah.

Anthony Edwards not a Rudy Gobert fan?

One of the more interesting side plots in the reported trade is third-year shooting guard Anthony Edwards' apparent lack of respect for Gobert's role.

In December 2021, Edwards said Gobert "don't put no fear in my heart" after one of three matchups against the Jazz that month. The Jazz won all three. Edwards had 18 points in the first game and 26 in the third, but was out for the second due to health and safety protocols.

How does Rudy Gobert trade change the market for Kevin Durant? 

Two-time NBA champion Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday before free agency opened. The return package for a Durant trade is expected to be massive, and the Gobert return signaled just how much teams could offer for Durant.

Durant's preferred destinations reportedly are the Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns. Both teams may need a third team to facilitate the type of trade needed to fetch Durant.

NBA free agency: Follow Yahoo Sports' live updates on all of the signings, contract extensions, trades and more.

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aol_yahoo_sports_800a3be364b-e89b-3986-9fd5-12fc179c5c06Johanna HuybersYahoo SportsYahoo SportsFri, 01 Jul 2022 19:41:13 +000016567094412022-07-01T21:04:05+00:00headline
<![CDATA['Battleground' director explains how the left lost the abortion fight: 'There's a real reckoning happening right now']]>When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe vs. Wade on June 24, it handed the anti-abortion movement a decisive victory nearly 50 years in the making. The 6-3 ruling left pro-choice forces reeling, with many prominent liberal politicians and celebrities openly wondering how they lost this supposedly-settled fight. Cynthia Lowen's new documentary Battleground offers a dramatic and, at times, uncomfortable look at the warning signs that were missed along the way to Roe's defeat. 

Embedding herself in the operations of three leading anti-abortion activists, the filmmaker reveals that pro-choice believers were up against forces that they consistently underestimated until it was too late. (Battleground premiered at the Tribeca Festival weeks before Roe was overturned, and is streaming on the Tribeca at Home platform through July 3.)

The new documentary Battleground explores the fault lines in America's abortion debate. (Photo: Gabriella Garcia Pardo)
The new documentary Battleground profiles three prominent anti-abortion activists. (Photo: Gabriella Garcia Pardo)
Gabriella Garcia Pardo

"There's a real reckoning happening right now," Lowen tells Yahoo Entertainment. "There's no question that for women in America to have lost constitutional protections for abortion is a profound and devastating loss for anyone who believes in abortion rights. Now the job is to unpack how this happened. This is a real moment for the Left to take a step back and say: "How was this loss possible? Where have we failed?"

Lowen started work on Battleground in the summer of 2019, just after Alabama passed the Human Life Protection Act, which essentially banned abortion in the state. Initially, she concentrated on speaking with pro-choice advocates who were pushing back against the bill. But the more time she spent exploring the issue, the more she found herself thinking about the real power players in the anti-abortion movement — the men and women who were regular presences in statehouses and also in the White House during Donald Trump's administration. 

"I really wanted to understand the power structures of who is making it possible for Alabama lawmakers to pass an abortion ban," says Lowen, noting that she's staunchly pro-choice in her own beliefs. "It's definitely not the people standing outside abortion clinics all day protesting. Those are not the people who are the savvy, well-connected, well-funded political operators who have the connections, the know-how, the organizing skills and the will to be passing on state and national bans and getting anti-choice Supreme Court justices seated."

Director Cynthia Lowen attends the Tribeca Festival premiere of Battleground. (Photo by Dominik Bindl/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)
Director Cynthia Lowen attends the Tribeca Festival premiere of Battleground. (Photo: Dominik Bindl/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)
Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

The anti-abortion leaders that Lowen profiles in Battleground include Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, and a colleague of former Vice President Mike Pence; Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life, which recruits young people into the anti-abortion movement; and Terrisa Bukovinac, founder of Pro-Life San Francisco and politically liberal on all issues except for abortion. While all three women hail from different backgrounds they share the same single-issue mindset when it comes to politics, and Lowen says that zeal and focus is something that's been missing on the pro-choice side in recent years.

"What you have on the Right is that they have harnessed a single issue voter block that is very engaged around anti-abortion legislation and very engaged around voting for anti-abortion policy makers who promise and pledge that they will pass anti-abortion legislation," she explains. "The Left has not harnessed abortion as an issue for people to vote on. I think there's been a reticence to make abortion an issue, because maybe there's a potential to capture a voter who considers themselves to be anti-abortion, but who the Democrats might be able to get on economic policies, environmental policies or social justice policies. Now that Roe is overturned, the left is saying: 'Abortion is on the ballot. Everybody has to get out and vote or we're going to lose these rights.' But that needed to be happening for a long time."

Lowen points to other longterm failures within the pro-choice movement that contributed to anti-abortion victories, including a lack of organizing power to combat state-level abortion restrictions. 

"For many years, we've been seeing legislation and policies go into effect that chip away at abortion. But you really haven't seen a push on the Left to not just hold the bare minimum, but also broadly expand abortion protections. That expansion of rights has not been keeping up with the chipping away of the rights, and now here we are in a situation where we have states where abortion is absolutely banned, and states where its enshrined in the constitution."

With pro-choice advocates facing a dramatically different post-Roe landscape, Lowen says that the movement's battle plans need an equally dramatic reinvention for the fight ahead. "Losing a constitutional right that's been in place for 50 years — how do you get that back? It's a devastating loss." The official Battleground website offers resources for those looking to donate to abortion causes or get involved on a local level. And Lowen emphasizes that local institutions is a key front in this ongoing battle. 

"It's not just a matter of who is sitting in the White House: School boards are important, and so are hospital boards. What we're seeing right now is that hospital boards are being taken over by anti-abortion people — even in pro-choice states — and are limiting the ability for doctors within their systems to provide abortions. The involvement of pro-choice people on every level is very important." 

In a wide-ranging conversation, Lowen discussed her experiences on the frontlines of the anti-abortion movement, and why she doesn't feel Battleground "platforms" those voices at the expense of the pro-choice perspective. 

(Photo: Courtesy Falco Ink.)
(Photo: Courtesy Falco Ink.)
Falco Ink.

What were the reactions of the women you profiled in Battleground to Roe v. Wade finally being overturned?

I actually haven't spoken with the three women who are featured in the film. However, I did see them all over the news. Kristen Hawkins was on the front page of The New York Times website for several hours on June 24. And Terrisa Bukovinac was also very much out there. For them, this is the culmination of what they've been working towards for decades, so obviously their response is very different from the response of people who support abortion access.

Do you plan on going back to shoot new interviews with them?

At this point, the film is the film. I wouldn't expect to be shooting more material, but we're certainly in touch. I think it's as current and pressing as ever, because to really understand this moment, you have to go back to looking at the Trump presidency and Amy Coney Barrett being confirmed to the Supreme Court as these significant turning points that have led us to this moment. In a way, this moment almost feels like an epilogue to everything that has come before. 

They almost certainly feel elated over what they've achieved, but I wonder if there's also a little bit of fear about what comes next. Do you have a sense of whether that might be the case?

I've been getting a lot of correspondence from Students for Life in particular and what they're really pushing for now is the most extreme anti-abortion legislation. They're trying to pressure Republican anti-abortion lawmakers to pass bans that don't have exceptions for rape or incest. It's not just enough for them that Roe is overturned: what they're doing now trying to get the most extreme measures passed.

Is that something they were clear about wanting all along, or were they secretive about those more extreme measures until Roe was overturned?

I wouldn't say that they were necessarily secretive about it, but an organization like the Susan B. Anthony List has been very strategic about the laws they've gotten behind. They've attempted to take the temperature of what people would potentially tolerate, going after what people have called an incremental approach. I think the game changer was what Texas did in September of 2021 by passing a six-week ban that the Supreme Court did not interfere with.

We filmed at the State Capitol on the day that the Texas ban went into effect, and I expected to see people walking out of work. I expected people to be shutting down the Capitol building. I expected there to be a real outcry against what was the first ban of its type like this, which now many other states are copying. But I didn't see that — there wasn't that backlash against Texas lawmakers. That shifted the calculus of these anti-abortion organizations, and you saw Students for Life coming in saying, "We can go one step further," and getting Oklahoma to pass the most extreme anti-abortion legislation in the country. Their strategy over the past year changed dramatically.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - DECEMBER 5: Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, speaks about the pro-life movements post-Roe plans Wednesday, April 27, 2022 on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Julia Rendleman for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Kristan Hawkins speaks on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va., in April. (Photo: Julia Rendleman for the Washington Post via Getty Images)
The Washington Post via Getty Images

Kristan Hawkins is probably the closest in personality to Donald Trump in that she seems to relish confrontation and being combative. Did you notice that tendency when interviewing her?

Kristan is somebody who sees an opportunity in those kinds of conflict situations. There's two things that she sees as opportunities to get out of that kind of engagement. One is to cast pro-choice people as violent extremists, which is something that you see happening in way the anti-abortion movement characterizes pro-choice people. The other thing is that there's a window for her to engage with them in a way that would make them question their argument. 

In general, what Students for Life is doing is really trying to get into spaces where pro-choice people are — particularly where young pro-choice people are — and have conversations and engagements. Whether they're more confrontational or less confrontational, they see those as opportunities to convert pro-choice people to having anti-abortion perspectives. I think there's something to really be learned from that for pro-choice people: explore the efforts that anti-abortion people are making to get into pro-choice spaces. Is the left doing that as effectively, or could they be doing that more effectively?

Watching the film, I was struck by how young many of the members of Students for Life are.

That's really eye-opening for a lot of people who haven't grown up in anti-abortion communities. The leaders of the movement consist of a lot of young women, and they're really going after the next generation to build up the future of the movement. They're very forward-looking.

Anti-abortion activist Terrisa Bukovinac chants slogans after justices allowed abortion providers to pursue a legal challenge to a ban on most abortions in Texas, outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S., December 10, 2021. REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger
Terrisa Bukovinac outside the U.S. Supreme Court in in 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger)
Sarah Silbiger / reuters

Terrisa Bukovinac is an interesting personality in that she stands apart from the Christian conservatives that dominate the anti-abortion movement. How does she view them and how do they view her?

What Terrisa has expressed is that they see her as a potential bridge to communities that they don't necessarily have a lot of access to. Since we filmed together, she's moved from San Francisco to Washington D.C., but when she was in San Francisco, she had encounters with more conservative folks who said: "Oh my gosh, you're in San Francisco, the belly of the beast! How do you do it?" And she'd say: "They're ripe for the picking. It's just a city full of millennials."

She talks in the film quite a bit about the optics of who anti-abortion people are, and trying to challenge people's confirmation bias. The group that she's often out there with are young and queer, and totally surprise and challenge a lot of the stereotypes people have about anti-abortion folks. But, as a Democrat myself, I would say that she's certainly in the minority. By and large Democrats are pro-choice, and I think that's important to remember. The film is not trying to suggest in any way, shape, or form that the Democratic party should abandon its pro-choice stance. There are people who just don't fit the typical box we all often may expect when we're thinking about who is anti-abortion.

Do you think it would be a breaking point for Terrisa if Christian conservatives now go after other rights — like gay marriage — as has been predicted in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling?

She is a single-issue person: Being anti-abortion is the position that she holds above all others. When Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away and Amy Coney Barrett was nominated, I was really curious whether Terrisa felt conflicted about the fact that Barrett is a conservative and far less friendly to the other progressive values that she says she holds. But she was unequivocal that she wanted Barrett to be confirmed because it was the opportunity to overturn Roe. Those other values went by the wayside — that was a trade she was willing to make.

Are you concerned about being criticized for giving these women a platform for their views?

What I said to Marjorie, Theresa, and Kristen when I asked them to participate in the film was: "Putting aside one's personal perspectives and opinions on abortion, the influence of the anti-abortion movement on American policy, legislation, and culture is a fact. And it is a fact that I think is worth exploring and understanding." My pledge to them was that I would depict their perspectives, their work, their goals and their backgrounds in their own words, and as accurately and completely as I could.

That is the film that has emerged, and I think it has been lauded for being restrained in editorializing on their actions, and letting audiences come to their own conclusions irregardless of where you stand on the issue of abortion. With Roe being overturned, it's important to know who these people are and how they organize. I do not feel that I was giving them a platform that would be harmful in any way for audiences. Getting behind the scenes and witnessing how they work is something that everyone who cares about abortion rights should want to understand. In fact, the responses we've received from pro-choice audiences are that the film is very useful and energizing. It's the kind of film that we need right now to understand what to do in the future.

US President Donald Trump (L) and Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of Susan B. Anthony List, talk during the Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala at the National Building Museum May 22, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
President Donald Trump and Susan B. Anthony List president, Marjorie Dannenfelser at the 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala in 2018. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images)
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI via Getty Images

"Know thy enemy" in other words.

Yes. I don't know if many people catch it, but there's a scene in Marjorie Dannenfelser's office, and the book she's reading is called: Know Thine Enemy: A History of the Left. So they're looking very carefully at the left, and you see them appropriating so much rhetoric and and so many tactics from them. We filmed the March for Life one year and the theme was "Pro-Life is Pro-Woman," and you saw them appropriating the language of feminism. You also see a lot of social justice rhetoric and the appropriation of the Black Lives Matter movement in the scene where they're having these "Black Pre-Born Lives Matter" events. They are really trying to mainstream themselves to appeal to people who consider themselves invested in justice and equality.

One thing I was struck by is that none of these groups seem to have a concrete plan of action in place for how to address economic assistance or childcare assistance for women who no longer have ready access to abortion. In their minds, does their participation just stop at ending Roe?

I would say that they have certainly prioritized ending Roe over having concrete plans for what that means in terms of paid parental leave, child tax credits, ease of adoption — all those things. There's a scene in the film where Marjorie says: "Is our plan fully in place yet? No. But should that stop us from doing what we're doing? No." That's what we're about to see right now: the looming question for the right is the toll the overturning of Roe is guaranteed to cause. And is that going to undermine them? There's no question that there's no plan in place for the healthcare crisis and social upheaval that this is going to cause in our country.

What's your own battle plan for what the pro-choice movement should do next?

There are immediate needs like supporting abortion funds and triaging what is going to be a really catastrophic healthcare emergency for millions of people. In the midterms, there is grave concern that if Congress goes Republican, they will seek to implement a federal abortion ban. So it's very important this fall for people to be very well-informed and engaged in their local elections, and to really get out and participate. 

Abortion is going to finally motivate a lot of people on the left who never thought it was possible for Roe to be overturned to come out and vote. The question is, will those numbers be enough to confront the systemic gerrymandering and elimination of voters? This is the election where we will find out if we still have a democracy that is functioning, or if it has already been gerrymandered out of having any kind of fair and accurate reflection of the will of the people.

Battleground is currently streaming on the Tribeca at Home platform; visit the official website for additional screening information.

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aol_yahoo_movies_3045af1c48c-84ce-42a4-98d8-fe521cd000d7Ethan AlterYahoo MoviesYahoo MoviesFri, 01 Jul 2022 19:28:13 +000016567037422022-07-01T19:29:12+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Sonny Barger, figurehead of Hells Angels, dies at 83]]>LIVERMORE, Calif. (AP) — Sonny Barger, the leather-clad fixture of 1960s counterculture and figurehead of the Hells Angels motorcycle club who was at the notorious Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Speedway, has died. He was 83.

Barger's death was announced on his Facebook page late Wednesday.

“If you are reading this message, you’ll know that I’m gone. I’ve asked that this note be posted immediately after my passing,” a posting said. “I’ve lived a long and good life filled with adventure. And I’ve had the privilege to be part of an amazing club.” 

The post said that “I passed peacefully after a brief battle with cancer.” 

Barger's former attorney, Fritz Clapp, told The Associated Press that Barger had liver cancer and died Wednesday night at home in Livermore, California. Barger composed the post placed on the Facebook page managed by Barger's wife, Zorana, he said.

Ralph “Sonny” Barger was a founding member of the Oakland, California, chapter of the Hells Angels in 1957 and was present at its most infamous moment — the 1969 Rolling Stones concert at Altamont Speedway during which bikers hired as security staff fatally stabbed a concertgoer who pulled a gun on one of their members.

The Hells Angels were typically depicted by the media as the dark fringe of the 1960s counterculture, embracing freedom, drugs and rock music, but also crime and violence.

But Barger, the unofficial spokesman for the Hells Angels, downplayed their outlaw reputation.

“They say we're organized crime, but if you took every Hells Angel on the face of the Earth and got rid of them you wouldn’t drop the crime rate in the world one-tenth of one percent,” he said in a 2000 interview for Heads magazine. “We’re a little drop in the bucket. There’s more cops committing crimes than Hells Angels.”

Barger’s own arrest record included charges ranging from drunken driving to attempted murder. He served 13 years in various prisons, according to news reports.

He claimed that one of his most satisfying experiences was his acquittal in 1980 on a count of racketeering, and the declaration of a mistrial on a charge of conspiracy to violate the racketeering law.

But in 1988, a jury found Barger guilty of conspiracy to violate federal firearms and explosives laws in plots to kill members of a rival gang. He was sentenced to a six-year term at the Phoenix Federal Correctional Institution and was released in 1992.

Barger capitalized on his notoriety. He wrote three books about his life and philosophy, including a best-selling autobiography, “Hell’s Angel.” A chapter title in one of his books was “Nothing states your position more clearly than a punch in the face.” He also wrote two novels.

Sonny Barger Productions operates a website and sells clothing.

A high school dropout at 16, Barger grew up in Oakland and joined the Army in 1955 with a forged birth certificate. He was kicked out with an honorable discharge after the forgery was discovered.

He started the Hells Angels with friends and soon learned there were other Hells Angels clubs in California. Barger helped unify the clubs.

He served as the main character in Hunter Thompson’s 1966 expose “Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.”

“He’s smart and he’s crafty and he has a kind of wild animal cunning. He was clearly the most competent person around,” Thompson wrote.

Of the Altamont killing, Barger argued that the Hells Angels acted in self-defense. The club member charged in the incident was acquitted. The stabbing was captured by a camera crew filming the documentary “Gimme Shelter.”

Barger underwent a laryngectomy in the early 1980s for throat cancer, which he attributed to a long, three-pack-a-day cigarette habit. Thereafter, he breathed through a plastic valve in his neck, and covered the vent to speak.

“Live your life the Sonny Barger way? I don’t recommend it,” he wrote in the opening lines to his 2005 book “Freedom: Credos from the Road.”

___

Biographical material compiled by former AP reporter Gary Kane.

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aol_associated_press_4847f898bca-cb91-47e6-994c-37099bfd1576Associated PressFri, 01 Jul 2022 19:27:32 +000016567036532022-07-01T19:27:41+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Stanley Tucci wants Americans to vacation like Italians this summer]]>Stanley Tucci, an Italian American who is no stranger to the hustle culture in the United States, thinks Americans should take some notes from the Italian way of life.

The "Searching for Italy" host told AOL that he thinks Italians "are much better at taking vacations."

"Most businesses have a lot more time allotted to their employees for vacations which I think is a good thing," he added.

He’s not wrong. Americans already took the fewest days off and with rising inflation, canceled flights and a pandemic, it’s getting harder to travel.

Tucci recognizes the barriers Americans have and suggested that even during a staycation, Americans can still embrace that Italian spirit by spending time outdoors and cooking a summer recipe, which is "just a delight for everyone," he said.

EVAN KALMAN FOR S.PELLEGRINO
EVAN KALMAN FOR S.PELLEGRINO
EVAN KALMAN FOR S.PELLEGRINO

"In Italy, the spirit of summer comes alive through simple things. It’s about the wonderful times spent relaxing outdoors gathering around the table with family and friends," Tucci in a statement about his multi-year partnership with S. Pelligrino.

The actor, who has spent two seasons of his acclaimed CNN show exploring Italy, explained to AOL the importance of "a third space," like a cafe or restaurant in Italy, and how they have disappeared from American culture.

"They're in every town where a lot of times people can just walk to them. Because America is so big and we’ve created this sprawl, you can't walk anywhere. And being able to walk to a pub, to a restaurant, to a cafe and then to walk with each other afterward — that's a really, really important thing and that has disappeared from American life because of the way we killed our cities."

Ultimately, Tucci said, "focusing on food and family and friends, I think that is the key to the success of Italy. I think Americans would do well to have more of that."

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aol_com_12749c249b1-372d-4ef9-b260-4886c22abc86Gabrielle SortoAOL.comAOL.comFri, 01 Jul 2022 18:07:26 +000016566988482022-07-01T18:07:32+00:00headline
<![CDATA[‘Elvis’ Editors on Why the King’s Performance of ‘Unchained Melody’ Almost Didn’t Make the Film]]>

Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” movie continues to sway audiences over. Austin Butler’s performance of the King is so captivating that many are unable to tell when Luhrmann cuts to the real King, Elvis Presley.

The film is peppered with blink-and-you’ll-miss-it, real-life Elvis appearances and split screens. But the most powerful of the King splices was presented in the grand finale, Presley’s last performance in 1977 at the Market Square arena in Indianapolis, Ind. The scene begins with Butler sitting down at the grand piano, and seamlessly cuts to Presley.

More from Variety

Editors Matt Villa and Jonathan Redmond were careful not to overload the film with too many Presley intercuts, at least visually as it would take from the viewing experience, but “Elvis” has been praised for the sprinkles of reality that elevated the hyper-stylized film.

Talking to Variety the editors reveal their intense pre-production process and break down all the hidden Elvis easter eggs and how Butler’s full performance of “Unchained Melody” almost made it into the film.

A big topic of discussion is the finale when Elvis sings “Unchained Melody.” Talk about cutting that scene from Austin to Elvis.

Villa: From a prosthetics standpoint, it was a huge job putting Austin into that makeup, and that was the most significant of his makeup. There wasn’t that much material of Austin, but there were a few takes of him singing the song all way through. He did sing [“Unchained Melody”] in its entirety because there was a question mark towards the end as to whether we were going to get the real footage of Elvis and if we would be allowed to use it.

Redmond: The attention to detail that Austin went into was extraordinary. In that sequence, with the breaths and pauses, he was spot on.

Villa: Thankfully that famous footage came through and we were able to use it, and that’s the real Elvis. It’s so interesting that a lot of people don’t realize we cut to the real Elvis because it punches me in the heart every time I see that scene and you see Elvis’ face. When we’re watching the film with an audience, I’ll look around to see if people have that same emotion, and so often there isn’t. It took me a long time to realize that a lot of people don’t realize that is Elvis, and that’s a huge testament to Austin, but we do cut to the real Elvis.

Talk about the opening sequence, the fever dream that just drops us in. Why did you want that to be the introduction?

Redmond: The idea of flashing forward at the very beginning was something born out of one of the reels we did in pre-production. It’s the scene were “American Trilogy” plays and there’s a split-screen, that was in our original pitch.

We wanted that because it was a powerful introduction to Elvis’ voice – this image of the man in the blue jumpsuit that the world was familiar with. The big stage with lots of screaming fans.

Villa: There was a lot of evolution to that scene. It was one of the big things we toyed with throughout. The cut to the Colonel [Tom Hanks] reflecting on his time from a point in the present was always there. There was a big sequence at the beginning that involved him getting to that place. It was a very fanciful sequence that we decided to tone down a bit.

But the introduction of Elvis on stage was always a staple because it’s such an iconic series of images.

A great device is the juxtaposition of Elvis, whether he’s in church, or on Beale Street or even on stage. What conversations did you have around those moments?

Villa: While a lot of sequences were planned in pre-production, other sequences were born on the cutting room floor as a way of progressing the drama.

We started with a longer assembly  but we needed to cut down on time. For example, Elvis walks down Beale Street cutting to him and arriving back at his home. That was invented in the cutting room floor.

That was initially two scenes. One with Elvis walking down Beale Street during the day, and his arrival back home was another long scene.

We were watching it one day, and while they were great scenes, they were just long and didn’t deserve the time each got. Baz came up with a device to cut to suggest that Elvis didn’t belong in either of those worlds and mincing them together helped drive that emotional point.

Another scene that’s so great at establishing this phenomenon that is Elvis is the ‘Hayride’ scene which captures the screaming fans for the first time, how did you approach that?

Redmond: We had an amazing movement coach called Polly Bennett who had a team nicknamed “The Scream Queens” who were extras and had a remarkable gift for screaming. We shot it conventionally, but it got amplified in the edit to make it dramatic.

Villa: The music editorial department was right next door to us. We were able to produce a cut and give it to them, and they would apply music. They would also do their own musical mashups, and give it to us so we could cut to them. It was always complimentary and organic that we could work so closely with music.

That “Hayride” scene was shot very simply, and it came to us in the edit. Baz said, “Let’s amplify the music and let viewers know what the audience back in the ‘50s would have been experiencing.”

Is there an editing easter egg, something where audiences think it’s Austin, but it’s Elvis, or vice versa?

Redmond: At the very beginning where Elvis comes out in the blue suit, where he’s doing karate moves, there’s a two-panel split-screen. There’s real Elvis on one side and Austin is on the other. It’s Austin from a costume test. It’s right before he turns around and starts “American Trilogy.” Both of those shots were not part of the principal photography. They’re stolen moments.

During “Burning Love,” there are a few shots of the real Elvis in there. It was all sublime. We didn’t want to distract audiences too much, but there are quite a few shots of him in the movie.

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aol_variety_168babc32dd-7c6f-3866-8e5b-137a4df8bf44Jazz TangcayVarietyVarietyFri, 01 Jul 2022 17:39:03 +000016567282022022-07-02T02:16:50+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Maryland law expanding who can perform abortion takes effect]]>ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A Maryland law taking effect Friday will enable nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and physician assistants who receive special training to perform abortions, as some states seek to expand access to the procedure after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Medical professionals other than physicians with the training can begin providing abortions Friday, though it's unclear how many will immediately be eligible. Delaware, Connecticut and Washington also enacted laws this year allowing non-physician clinicians to perform abortions.

Dr. Kyle Bukowski, the chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of Maryland, is training non-physician clinicians to perform safe abortions in Maryland. Bukowski, who also has done such training in California, believes providing abortion access is one of the most significant jobs he has done as a doctor.

“It feels so important,” said the board-certified OB/GYN, who also delivers babies. “That is the difference between them finishing school or not; leaving an abusive relationship or not; being able to take care of their kids or not, keep their job or not, and to be able to fully give back somebody their autonomy is probably the most important work that you can do as a doctor or as a medical provider.”

Related video: Montgomery County Executive wants to lure pro-abortion business

The high court's ruling last week touched off a flurry of action in courthouses as conservative-leaning states seek to ban or restrict the procedure. But other states have sought to expand access, and advocates say that more providers are needed in areas that may see an influx of patients crossing state lines. 

“When you talk about 26 states losing access, 36 million women losing access, it’s going to spread out, and so it is all hands on deck,” said Karen Nelson, president of Planned Parenthood of Maryland.

Delaware Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, signed legislation Wednesday to allow physician assistants, certified nurse practitioners and nurse midwifes to perform abortions before viability. The measure includes various legal protections for abortion providers and patients, including out-of-state residents receiving abortions in Delaware. 

Fourteen states — California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington — now allow non-physicians to provide abortions, said Elizabeth Nash, state policy analyst for the Guttmacher Institute in New York, a think tank that supports abortion rights.

“This is a long time coming where states are recognizing that one, for so long the number of abortion providers has been decreasing, and that we need to better ensure access to care, especially as we see states banning abortion," Nash said.

Supporters of Maryland's law say the state could see an influx of patients because of its proximity to Southern states expected to restrict abortion access. 

“I think we are in a very unique place," Nelson said. "Some people say we are the southern-most accessible state, and some people are calling us the northern-most Southern state, and the I-95 corridor creates sort of a pipeline here.”

Earlier this year, as Maryland lawmakers were considering the legislation, abortion providers were already seeing some patients from Texas who were seeking alternatives because of the ban there, Nelson said. 

The Maryland law was passed partly in anticipation that the Supreme Court would strike down Roe and to increase access in rural parts of the state that don't have providers. 

“We passed the bill this year in Maryland after no legislation advancing abortion rights for 30 years, because unfortunately we expected this day to come," said Del. Ariana Kelly, a Democrat who sponsored the measure. 

To enact the law, Democrats who control the Maryland General Assembly overrode a veto by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

Hogan, in his veto letter to lawmakers, wrote that the measure “risks lowering the high standard of reproductive health care services received by women in Maryland.”

“Unlike nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, physician assistants, and licensed certified midwives, physicians are uniquely qualified to perform these procedures and resolve any medical complications should they arise," Hogan wrote. 

The Maryland law also mandates that $3.5 million in state funding be allocated annually starting in fiscal year 2024 for the training. Hogan declined to release money set aside by lawmakers to provide that much for training in the fiscal year starting Friday.

Bukowski disagrees that the new law risks lowering reproductive health care services.

“As long as they're trained to do it, they can do so safely,” Bukowski said. 

___

Associated Press writer Randall Chase contributed to this report from Dover, Delaware.

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aol_associated_press_4848a497eca-3888-4b5c-bdb2-eb79ffbea35fBRIAN WITTEAssociated PressAssociated PressFri, 01 Jul 2022 17:26:20 +000016566963812022-07-01T17:26:27+00:00headline
<![CDATA[The Cardinals are never going to be bad again. How St. Louis concocts a magic brew to play winning baseball every year]]>

Once upon a time, in a land along the Mississippi River, there was a baseball team that rarely stumbled. Between 1995 and 2011, they finished under .500 only three times. Most seasons, they rewarded their loyal, chipper fans with the great bounty of an occupied autumn, reaching nine postseasons and winning the World Series twice. They were known as the St. Louis Cardinals, and they already seemed like a team straight out of a fairytale.

The glass slipper, by all logical bounds, should have shattered that winter after their second title. It had been an excellent run, and many of the main characters were exiting. Manager Tony La Russa retired (for a while), scouting whiz Jeff Luhnow left to run the Houston Astros and, most crucially, iconic first baseman Albert Pujols departed in free agency for the riches of the Los Angeles Angels.

A river will flow to the ocean. What goes up must come down.

The Cardinals came down a little bit, but not much. They haven’t won another World Series since, but they got there again and have made the playoffs in seven of 10 seasons. They haven’t sunk below .500 once. In an era characterized by peaks and valleys — either via the tanking Luhnow popularized or by complete accident — the Cardinals are one of a precious few teams that has maintained an unbroken string of competitiveness. Two dozen fan bases would sacrifice an appendage for this type of reliable summer intrigue.

A decade on from what looked like a swan song, the Cardinals came into 2022 daring the universe to play them a real one. Three roster spots out of 26 have been devoted mostly to Yadier Molina in his Yoda stage, 40-year-old starter Adam Wainwright and a return engagement for Pujols, a storybook ending that just shouldn’t work. But as ever, they’re squarely in the playoff hunt, flying toward October on the back of names you didn’t know two months ago, and might not know now. 

They are in their own story, where the bubble never pops. “Cardinals Devil Magic” started as a joke but has had demonstrated effects on so many seasons that it has calcified into an accepted, observable force, like gravity or the strong interaction that holds atomic nuclei together. If there’s any magic involved, they seem to have it down to a science.

I, for one, have accepted this as a rule of the baseball world: The Cardinals are never going to be bad again.

The Cardinals' Tommy Edman has played star-level defense at shortstop and second en route to becoming one of the majors' most valuable players in 2022. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
The Cardinals' Tommy Edman has played star-level defense at shortstop and second en route to becoming one of the majors' most valuable players in 2022. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
Scott Kane via Getty Images

How 'Cardinals Devil Magic' went from joke to fact

The Cardinals’ last losing record came in 2007, and John Mozeliak — now the president of baseball operations — was promoted into the GM seat immediately afterward. That team went 78-84. If you’re looking for a truly bad Cardinals team, you have to go back to 1990. That’s the most recent St. Louis team to lose 90 games, or finish last in its division. (The Cardinals’ latest last-place finish prior to that came in 1918.)

It should be said that the Cardinals are not alone in resisting the tug of losing seasons. The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers have exhibited many of the same deft skills in keeping their megaships afloat. The Cardinals have just done it without access to on-demand free agency infusions. 

Armed with a famously devoted fan base, they have not necessarily lacked the money so much as the tie-breaking allure of a major coastal city. Or at least that was the thought that spawned their focus on drafting and development.

“When you look at the free agent market, we’re likely going to be the bridesmaid at that,” Mozeliak told Yahoo Sports last week. “We realized that 20 years ago. So ultimately, for us to really be successful, we have to draft and develop well, both internationally and domestically. And then we can leverage that to hopefully identify elite talent that we can ultimately get in trades as well.”

“Cardinals Devil Magic,” was originally a funny, exasperated shorthand for the moments when St. Louis found yet another guy no one has ever heard of to produce in the big leagues, but it’s not a joke.

Over the past 20 completed seasons, the Cardinals have called up more productive rookie hitters than any other franchise. They have had 17 rookies log above-average batting lines, by park- and era-adjusted OPS+, in at least 250 plate appearances. The next best clubs had 15 — and what’s striking is the other teams near the top of this list had rebuilding years to cycle through young players and see who popped. The Cardinals, you’ll recall, were doing this while contending virtually every year.

They also stand out if you boost the criteria and look for rookie hitters who REALLY hit — the ones who managed OPS+ numbers of 120 or more, at least 20% better than league average. They’ve had an MLB-best nine of those, eight during the Mozeliak era. 

These are the “Devil Magic” All-Stars that you probably remember. Matt Carpenter. Allen Craig. Aledmys Diaz. Paul deJong. Tommy Edman.

Zoomed out, this is the superpower we’ve seen lift the Dodgers, the Tampa Bay Rays and their ilk to perennial prominence. That laser focus on hoarding potential and maximizing every ounce of talent is the basis for virtually every contemporary front office strategy. It just had a head start in St. Louis.

The Cardinals’ largest expenditure to reel in an external free agent under Mozeliak is an $82.5 million deal for Dexter Fowler, and that didn’t go particularly well. They have lavished larger deals on players originally acquired via trade — including Matt Holliday and impossibly Cardinals-y current cornerstone Paul Goldschmidt. But mostly, they have pulled winners out of their own minor league system.

Edman, the most recent entrant to earn his place in “Devil Magic” lore, came out of nowhere in 2019. On a FanGraphs prospect list that ranked 35 players prior to that season, Edman didn’t merit a mention. Then he hit .304/.350/.500 across 92 games where he played five different positions well.

In 2022, Edman … leads all position players in Baseball-Reference WAR. A good chunk of that immense value springs from defense. By the Statcast-powered Outs Above Average metric, he rates as one of 2022’s top five shortstops AND one of its top five second basemen. His ability to more than capably handle two of the most difficult positions on the field has given the Cardinals flexibility to deploy more rookies.

Among them is Brendan Donovan, a versatile utility man who doesn’t play defense as well as Edman, but figures to be 2022’s addition to the “Devil Magic” list. Baseball Prospectus ranked him as the 10th best prospect in the St. Louis system but saw the twist coming, foreseeing a “24-year-old, seventh-round college bat that is going to outplay this ranking.”

Indeed. In his first 57 major-league games, Donovan has gotten on base at a .411 clip — which is far and away the best among rookies, and ranks fourth among all hitters with at least 200 plate appearances.

No one in St. Louis is spilling the secrets behind this assembly line, but both Mozeliak and manager Oli Marmol are quick to note that the Cardinals focus not only on individual development in the minors, but on crafting winning teams.

St. Louis Cardinals rookie Nolan Gorman is congratulated by teammates after hitting a two-run home run. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
St. Louis Cardinals rookie Nolan Gorman is congratulated by teammates after hitting a two-run home run. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
ASSOCIATED PRESS

How St. Louis pulls in star players

While manufacturing contributors like Donovan is great, sustaining a winner does require premium talent, too.

“In a perfect world, you’re developing elite players,” Mozeliak said. “Meaning you’re developing your Paul Goldschmidts, your Nolan Arenados. But let’s be honest, that’s hard to do, and especially where we always pick.”

Consistent winning complicates that mission. Since Mozeliak took over, the Cardinals’ highest draft pick is No. 13 in 2008. Usually, they have made their top selection between No. 18 and No. 23.

Scouting players and developing players are technically two different processes and two different departments of a front office. But with the most successful teams, they are one long swing. Mozeliak credits that handoff — “a really seamless process” — as a key reason for his team’s never-ending success.

“We understand that it’s our lifeline to be successful in the draft,” he said. 

Here’s what he means: They turned the No. 27 overall pick in the 2014 draft (Luke Weaver) and a second-round pick in the 2012 draft (Carson Kelly) into headliners that reeled in Goldschmidt. Other times, they sit back and wait for an elite talent to reach their depth of the draft, mirroring what you might think of as the Baltimore Ravens model in the NFL, and then they pounce.

Continuously discovering star hitters has been crucial. Their pitching development has produced some hits, but has overall been less notable. They have famously traded some excess hitters in search of young pitching. Plus, those “Devil Magic” stars feel that way for a reason. They seem to be under a spell, and often times, it wears off. Players like deJong and Diaz and Craig faded out of starting jobs into smaller roles or the minors. 

The other rookie who has stepped into a big role for the 2022 team probably isn’t going to do that. Coming into the 2018 draft, Nolan Gorman was widely touted as a potential star, a barrel-chested power-hitting third baseman destined to be the first MLB draftee born in the 2000s.

Bopping homers for an Arizona high school, he was burning too bright to reach the St. Louis pick at No. 19.

“I think a lot of people would have would have said like prior to the draft season starting so you know, like, early January, February, he was someone that might go in the top 10,” Mozeliak said. “And, you know, I compliment our scouting department for staying on a player that maybe they were hearing would get to us.”

He reached the St. Louis pick. This spring, he ranked among the top 60 prospects in baseball, and cracked the top 40 in several of them. Less than four years on from that draft, he stepped into the Cardinals lineup at second base. In 35 games so far, he has six homers and an OPS 17 percent better than league average.

They appear to have pulled the same trick in 2020, nabbing 6-foot-5 third baseman Jordan Walker out of a Georgia high school with the 21st pick. He has crushed every level of the minors so far, and now ranks among the 20 or so best prospects in baseball.

This is the story of the Cardinals. Just when everything points to a slide into mediocrity, or toward a rebuild, a new star sprouts. Or a sweetheart Nolan Arenado trade falls out of the sky. They're not locks to reach October this year, but it's hard to envision them falling out of a race with the Milwaukee Brewers that few expected them to be in.

Choosing the most desirable path for your favorite baseball team is an almost philosophical question. Rival Chicago Cubs fans needed to see a World Series winner, and they finally got that. But they’re going to endure multiple fallow periods on either side. 

The Cardinals haven’t won the ultimate prize in a while now, but they traffic in an endless supply of hope. Preseason projections routinely shrug at the current vintage St. Louis teams, and every year supposed experts like me scour the roster and decide someone else has a better chance at a playoff spot. Mostly every year, supposed experts like me look up in August and realize the Cardinals are going to make it anyway. 

What they give their fans is legitimate reason to believe they might win it all, or at least contend, deep into every summer. Year in and year out. No matter how unlikely it looks each spring.

If that isn’t a baseball fairytale, I don’t know what is.

Hannah Keyser contributed reporting.

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aol_yahoo_sports_800eb38689b-6fac-3ae4-8d1f-df8be412762cZach CrizerYahoo SportsYahoo SportsFri, 01 Jul 2022 17:24:53 +000016566997102022-07-01T18:21:57+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Joey Chestnut, Miki Sudo are massive favorites in the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest]]>

As fans of sports, watching the very best athletes dominate at the highest level is a large part of the draw. At this point, you have to appreciate what the likes of LeBron James, Tom Brady and Sidney Crosby have done for their respective sports. We'll grow up and tell our children and grandchildren that we watched these guys play live. Make sure not to forget about Joey Chestnut. 

There might not be an active athlete that's more dominant in their current "sport" than competitive eater Joey Chestnut. What was once a thrilling rivalry with Takeru Kobayashi has now developed into one of the most dominant runs we've seen in sports. It's no surprise that Chestnut enters the 4th of July Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest as a massive betting favorite.

Joey Chestnut is a massive favorite

Takeru Kobayashi won the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest six straight years from 2001 to 2006. In 2007, Joey Chestnut shocked the world and beat Kobayashi. Chestnut went on to beat Kobayashi two more times before a contract dispute with Kobayashi and Major League Eating barred him from competing in the event. 

After taking down Kobayashi in 2007, Joey Chestnut won eight straight contests. In 2015, Matthew Stonie shocked the competitive eating world and beat Chestnut. However, Chestnut returned to glory in 2016 and has now won six straight hot dog eating contests. On the 4th of July, Chestnut will look to win his seventh straight and 15th overall. 

To the surprise of nobody, Chestnut is a massive favorite to retain the mustard belt. Chestnut is a -3000 favorite to win the competition, while the field is 10-to-1. Last year, Chestnut defeated second-place finisher Geoff Esper by 26 hot dogs. 

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 04:  Defending Champion Joey Chestnut wins after consuming 76 hot dogs and setting a new world record at the 2021 Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest at Coney Island on July 4, 2021 in New York City.  (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
Joey Chestnut enters the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest as a massive favorite. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
Bobby Bank via Getty Images

For obvious reasons, playing -3000 odds on a man eating hot dogs doesn't appeal to the casual bettor. For those people, there's an over/under set on the number of hot dogs Chestnut will eat. Currently at BetMGM, you can bet on whether Chestnut will eat over or under 74.5 hot dogs.

Chestnut set the world record last year by eating 76 hot dogs in 10 minutes. He's gone over 74.5 hot dogs in back-to-back years, as he ate 75 in 2020. Chestnut has improved his hot dog consumption on a year-by-year basis since regaining the belt in 2016, with the exception of 2019. Hot weather and excessive humidity were a factor that year, but it doesn't look like weather should have a significant impact on the competitors this year. 

Miki Sudo a huge favorite on women's side

In 2011, Nathan's introduced a woman's competition in the hot dog eating contest. Miki Sudo won her first mustard belt in 2014 and then went on to win seven straight contests on the woman's side. She did not compete in 2021 because she was pregnant. 

Now a mother, Sudo returns as an overwhelming favorite on the women's side in 2022. Sudo is -5000 to win the contest, with the field available at 11-to-1 odds.

With Sudo out of the contest last year, Michelle Lesco took home the title. She ate 30.75 hot dogs, which pales in comparison to the 48.5 hot dogs Sudo ate in 2020. Lesco will defend her title this year and she's viewed as Sudo's main competition. 

The over/under for number of hot dogs Sudo will eat is set at 46.5 hot dogs. Sudo has gone under this number in six of her seven wins, averaging just over 38 hot dogs per year. However, she did go over this number in her most recent win. With not much competition expected from the other competitors, perhaps her main motivation is to beat her previous record.

Sudo has been eating at a high level since returning from maternity leave. In the 2022 Egg Roll Eating World Championship, Sudo ate 28.75 egg rolls, which doubled the next closest woman. In the 2022 Donut Hole Eating Championship, Sudo ate 221 donut holes in eight minutes. The next closest woman ate 116. 

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aol_yahoo_sports_800ca422e7f-710f-33cf-bec2-5f9ac47dd7aaPete TruszkowskiYahoo SportsYahoo SportsFri, 01 Jul 2022 17:17:39 +000016567000432022-07-01T18:27:28+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Nordstrom Rack has truly epic 4th of July deals on bedding — shop famous brands on sale like Casper, Barefoot Dreams and more]]>It's a very important fact of life that the right bedding can make or break your sleep. It's another very important fact of life that sleep is, well, everything. So it's imperative that you're able to create the coziest, softest bed of your dreams. That means soft sheets, the best mattress pads, cozy pajamas and so much more.

Nordstrom Rack clearly agrees because the retailer has slashed prices on some of its most popular sleep items for you to shop right now. You know, along with all of the other sales that you're definitely shopping.

Been eyeing that Barefoot Dreams throw blanket? Want to invest in a silk pillowcase to up your beauty game but are turned off by the price? Scroll down for those exact deals and more that you're definitely going to like. Enjoy major savings on sheet sets, duvets, pillows, throw blankets, throw pillows and more. Your bedroom is in desperate need of some Nordstrom Rack bedding.

Are you ready to have the best sleep of your life? Shop the best deals from the Nordstrom Rack bedding sale below and check out the rest of the sale here! Sweet dreams, sleeping beauty!

1. Blissy Mulberry Silk King Pillowcase, $59.97 - $69.97 (Orig. $89.95 – $109.95)

Buy Now

Unlike your standard cotton pillowcase, which absorbs moisture from your skin and hair, sleeping on a silk pillowcase ensures that your skin and strands will stay nice and hydrated. This Blissy silk pillowcase is handmade and crafted from 100% Pure Mulberry Silk for the ultimate luxe experience.

2. Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Rib Trim Throw, $59.97 (Orig. $98)

Buy Now

These cult-favorite Barefoot Dreams throw blankets (beloved by both celebrities like the Kardashians and normies like the rest of us) truly understand the assignment when it comes to cozy living.

3. Modern Threads 1800 Series 100 Solid Microfiber 4-Piece Sheet Set, $22.97 - $29.99 (Orig. $58.99 - $73.99)

Buy Now

If you haven’t upgraded to a sheet with deep pockets, you’re missing out on the ultimate life hack. Not only do these deep-pocket sheets mean making your bed will be a heck of a lot easier (lazy people, unite!), the microfiber material gives it the buttery soft feel you crave.

4. Casper Essential Pillow, $37.48 (Orig. $44.97)

Buy Now

Per the (many) five-star reviews on Nordstrom Rack’s website, shoppers agree that this is the best pillow for side sleepers. One even wrote that the pillow is “soft but still with some support, and just extremely comfortable to sleep on,” before adding that their “neck and ears would constantly bother me in the morning — no more!” Is it magic? Nah, it’s Casper.

5. UGG Dawna Cooling Sheet Set, $99.97 (Orig. $148)

Buy Now

If UGG boots keep your feet warm and cozy, then it only makes sense that UGG sheets would keep your body nice and cool through the night, right? Made of 100% polyester, the cooling effect will be a welcome reprieve for all of you sweaty sleepers out there.

6. Nordstrom Pintuck Faux Fur Accent Pillow, $19.99(Orig. $45)

Buy Now

You know you’ve been wanting a faux fur throw pillow for 84 years. Well, it’s time to finally lean in and hit “complete purchase” because this classic one is over 50% off and will make your living room everything you’ve ever dreamed of.

7. Nordstrom Rack Striped Print Sheet Set, $37.47 (Orig. $49.47)

Buy Now

What’s better than a simple, neutral-with-pizazz, sheet set? Nothing, that’s what.

8. Cooling Down Alternative Pillow, $34.97 - $39.97 (Orig. $59 - $69)

Buy Now

Stay comfortable and cool through the night with this plush down-alternative pillow complete with cooling technology.

9. Nordstrom Rack Herringbone Tassel Throw Blanket, $11.24 (Orig. $24.97)

Buy Now

You deserve a soft throw blanket as a gift for making it through the first half of 2022! Might I suggest this one that goes with any decor?

If you liked this story, check out the best deals to shop at Nordstrom Rack right now.

The post Nordstrom Rack is having an epic sale on bedding — grab deals on famous brands like Casper, Barefoot Dreams and more appeared first on In The Know.

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in_the_know_5009f541dcd-dba5-3a27-9398-5151ffc834adSarah WeldonIn The Know by YahooIn The Know by YahooFri, 01 Jul 2022 17:15:44 +000016566957452022-07-01T17:15:54+00:00headline
<![CDATA[The best 4th of July deal to shop is the must-have office chair from 'Shark Tank' that Justin Bieber raves about]]>If your summer plan is to finally upgrade your home office sitch — or you're looking for dorm supplies before heading back to college — then you need to invest in a good chair.

As you're scrolling through hundreds of options online, there's one important thing to keep in mind and that's lumbar support. You'll want to ensure that the chair helps support the natural S-curve of your back, according to an article on ergonomic workstations in The New York Times.

When CEO Bing Howenstein created All33 (the retailer behind the "world's only office chair to allow natural movement"), he knew he was on the right path to creating a comfortable desk chair.

The All33 Backstrong desk chair was selected from 15+ prototypes with over 1,000 people testing each one. The final product helps improve your posture and reduces back pain.

BackStrong C1 Vegan Leather, $899 (Orig. $1,299)

$899 $1,299 at All33

If you're wondering how the chair "moves with you," All33's Sit In Motion technology helps "cradle your lower back to relieve crucial pressure points throughout your spine and body," according to the chair's product description.

As you sit in the chair, it's designed to move as you move. This means it can help stimulate circulation after long periods of sitting and can also reduce neck and shoulder strain. The rocking bucket-type seat allows your pelvis and back to move more naturally than other chairs with a static back.

The foldable arms are one of tYou can also shop the e to your desk as necessary to cut down on eye strain and slouching.Y

Howenstein pitched the All33 Backstrong desk chair to the Sharks on ABC's series Shark Tank on Jan. 8, 2021, and Justin Bieber himself made a surprise appearance praising the Backstrong. Ultimately he said, "If you've gotta sit, this is it."

After a convincing pitch and Bieber's endorsement, surprisingly none of the Sharks ended up offering Howenstein a deal. However, the chair sold out almost instantly after the episode aired — All33 quickly sold $1.7 million worth of Backstrong chairs thanks to its TV coverage, according to a PR representative from the brand.

Now, tens of thousands of customers are enjoying the All33 Backstrong desk chair. And how could you blame them, especially if the Biebs is a fan?

While it was the vegan leather chair that is currently on sale, you can also shop the fabric option below. Each chair style comes in three different color options.

BackStrong C1 Fabric, $899 (Orig. $1,299)

$899 $1,299 at All33

Looking at the price (even if it is on sale!), you'll see it's definitely steep for an office chair. While some customers were initially skeptical, they were convinced once they tested out the chair. Shoppers say it's worth the investment if you need a good quality chair for a makeshift work area at home.

"The silly bucket on the Backstrong isn’t so silly, after all," one shopper said. "For the first time in years, I can feel my vertebrate move (while I'm sitting, no less), at times like I’m having a minor adjustment. The real secret, I think, is that there is no chair — just air — where your tailbone is. That results in zero pressure."

The shopper further explained the benefits of the special bucket seat, citing that it's similar to "rocking pelvis exercises you might do while on your back." Plus, having the bucket seat essentially makes the chair slouch-proof.

"This is a serious chair with the added benefit of being able to rock your pelvis as you sit, so your lower spine doesn’t get stuck," the shopper continued. "The best news, I’m no longer stiff when I stand after hours of sitting. Certain pains have disappeared or have been minimized."

Still wary about the price? All33 offers a 60-day guarantee, so you can send the chair back for a full refund if you don't like it after trying it for yourself.

If you've been contemplating swapping out your office chair for months (no shade), the All33 might be a good option to explore. And if you want to see the chair in action, be sure to watch the full video above.

If you liked this story, check out the best deals to shop at Nordstrom Rack right now.

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The post The must-have office chair from 'Shark Tank' that Justin Bieber raves about is over 30% off for the 4th of July appeared first on In The Know.

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in_the_know_50029ad39d1-8690-307c-9916-f9bd8791330aMadison AlcedoIn The Know by YahooIn The Know by YahooFri, 01 Jul 2022 16:59:29 +000016566947702022-07-01T16:59:36+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Amazon just dropped the motherlode of July 4th sales, starting at a mere $3]]>Happy birthday America! You might be busy with barbecues and beach parties, but we have an important question: Are you ready to get your shop on? Well, it's a good thing that Amazon just dropped its massive 4th of July sale, including air fryers, smart TVs, wardrobe wonders and everything in between. We've gathered all the best savings for you right here so you can enjoy your spree without all that pesky research!

From entertainment essentials to backyard basics, here are the best discounts on the biggest brands across Amazon. Get ready for a savings spectacular!

amazon on phone in front of american flag
Who says you have to wait till Independence Day to see fireworks? Check out these banging deals. (Photo: Amazon)

In other news, you may have heard Prime Day's coming at ya on July 12 and 13...but did you know that there are a slew early Prime Day deals happening right this very second? We've included several below. 

Now, back to our regularly scheduled 4th of July weekend bargain bonanza: Keep scrolling for deep-discounted goodness!

TVs and home theater

No wonder over 9,000 shoppers swear by the jaw-dropping TV (and its equally spectacular price).

"Sound quality is great, picture is awesome and I love the Alexa integration," shared a shopper. "The volume is only at 36 and I don't have a soundbar hooked up yet. The picture is crystal clear, too."

Check out more home theater deals below:

Headphones and earbuds

They're also ideal for sweating it out in the gym, thanks to their IPX8 Waterproof Nano-coating that efficiently protects the earbuds and charging case from water damage.

"These headphones are literally fantastic. I am a professional musician, and these have an incredibly clear sound quality and really high-end parts," shared an impressed music maven. "The connection is fast and easy, it charges while in the case, which is a great feature.... Really high-end headphones for an amazingly good price..."

Check out more headphone and earbud deals below:

Tablets and tech

Built with long-lasting battery and Gigabit Wi-Fi connectivity, the new Samsung Chromebook 4 brings speed and efficiency to any and every task or adventure. Download and save content and work with others using Google Suite, stream or download massive files rapidly, and even use Google Assistant to update your calendar or reply to a message, make a note or check the news.

"I have been using this Chromebook for a few weeks now and, so far, it is more than living up to expectations. I am online all the time and this laptop is performing like a champ! Google Workspace is awesome. Video streaming is flawless...It was a no-brainer! If the hardware holds up, this will probably be one of the best purchases I have ever made," raved one tech-savvy shopper.

Check out more tablet and tech deals below:

Gaming

Some shoppers say that this hand-y command center is better than Microsoft's. "Wow! The best controller I have ever owned," raved a gamer. "Better build quality than the original Xbox X controllers. They feel great in the hands, and trying to perform precise sniper aiming is a joy as the thumbsticks offer the perfect balance of resistance and control. To set up Luna controllers...is really simple and took me less than five minutes...this is a hidden gem of controllers!"

Check out more gaming deals below:

Smart home

No lag, hiccups or dropouts! And shoppers are just in love with it.

"I feel like I went from a compact economy car to a Porsche," said this revved-up reviewer. "Installation of the Eero 6+ three pack was effortless and performance is significantly better than my old router."

Check out more smart-home deals below:

Vacuums

This little dynamo never loses suction, but if it senses stronger suction is needed it will immediately step up its sucking power to get the job done — whether it’s food spills or grime embedded into rug fibers.

"This thing is awesome!" a shopper shared. "This was our first robot vacuum. I had done a ton of research and watched a lot of videos before making this purchase. So I knew what I wanted, but this met and exceeded all expectations...I love this thing, and it’s made a huge difference already!"

Check out more vacuum deals below:

Kitchen

Easy and delicious, with minimal effort on your part — that's the Ultrean way.

Shoppers are seriously hooked. Said a five-star fan: "I admit that I was wary about buying this — or any — air fryer. But I have been nothing but thrilled with the results. First, the food comes out fantastic — and the cleanup is quite easy. Second, it is super easy to use. A quick three-minute warmup at the desired cooking temp, and then you place the food in the nice-sized basket, set the temp and time, and you are done!"

Check out more kitchen deals below:

Beauty

“This shampoo has changed my life,” raved a happy customer. “My hair was falling out at a rate of 100-plus hairs in the shower, and after about a month or two of use (it's been about four months now), I only lose 10- to-30-ish in the shower. Yay! My hairdresser said my hair looked thick. Also smells amazing and makes your hair soft.”

Check out more beauty deals below:

Style

"This dress is so incredibly soft and comfortable but also slimming and flattering," wrote a satisfied customer. "I have a very large chest (40DDD) and dresses tend to hang off the girls like a circus tent, but NOT this dress. It’s an empire waist, so it’s perfect for camouflaging the tummy while still fitting nicely up top."

Check out more style deals below:

Bedding & home

"I wasn't sleeping well, and knew I needed a new pillow," a satisfied slumberer shared. "It's perfect. I'm sleeping like a baby and hardly toss and turn. It stays cool and supports where needed. I love it so much. I'm thinking about getting one for my husband."

$30 $63 at Amazon

Check out more bedding & home deals below:

Lawn & garden

This killer gadget continues to impress shoppers with its efficiency and weatherproof durability.

"Tens of thousands of bugs were harmed in the making of this review," quipped a five-star fan. "I've owned this product for over a year now (452 days according to Alexa). I live in coastal Georgia in the country, so think 'lots of bugs.' I bought this little killer because it's fairly dark where I live and a tremendous number of bugs are drawn to any light source, even shaded windows of rooms with a light on, so that at night every insect imaginable was crawling all over the house...I placed the unit near the back fence, probably 60 to 80 feet from the rear of the house. The immediate result was a significant reduction in six legged varmints attracted to the back-lit windows."

Check out more lawn & garden deals below:

Luggage

Made of lightweight and durable 100% ABS material, these spinners have an impact-resistant hard shell, molded corner guard reinforcements for absorbing and deflecting shock for maximum impact resistance, and come in a variety of colors.

Travelers adore them: "My family travels internationally, which means lots of airplane transfers, rail, ferry loading and unloading," said one happy wanderer. "Each member has their own set. Only one cosmetic scuff has appeared...The small size we carry on and the largest size we check. Very pleased with maneuvering and durability of wheels on various rough surfaces. The retractable handle makes for easy storage on ferries and railway. We’ve had zero issues with locking mechanism."

Check out more luggage deals below:

Outdoor

Stay cool from the backyard to the beach with this little champ of a cooler! Heavy-duty blow-molded construction adds durability, with extra-thick foam walls and lid for four-day ice retention, and rubberized T-latches to secure lid closure and lock in the cold. That means your food and drink will stay chill for the long haul.

"This cooler is great, I use it all the time on multi-day road trips," wrote one traveler. "Keeps cold for at least three to four full days in 72-to-80-degree outside temp. Great value compared to those others selling for hundreds of dollars. Solidly built too."

Check out more outdoor deals below:

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

If you’re not yet an Amazon Prime member, sign up now for exclusive Primers-only access to PD deals.

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

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]]>
aol_yahoo_life_260cd34f8fe-5cae-4600-bb1b-c218af618162Carrie McCabe,Libby Sentz,Izabella ZaydenbergYahoo LifeYahoo LifeFri, 01 Jul 2022 16:33:11 +000016566932232022-07-01T16:33:51+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Heidi Montag Shows Off Baby Bump in Pink Dress: '18 Weeks Pregnant!']]>Heidi Montag

Presley Ann/Getty Heidi Montag

Heidi Montag Pratt continues to show off her growing baby bump!

The Hills: New Beginnings star, 35, on Thursday shared a selfie of her 18-week baby bump with her Instagram fans, the photo snapped as she posed in a pink slim-fit dress.

"#18weekspregnant !!!! 💕," Montag Pratt wrote, alongside a slew of hashtags including "#pregnant," "#pregnancy," "#momlife," "#love" and #bodypositive."

Montag Pratt — who is already mom to 4-year-old son Gunner Stone, alongside husband Spencer Pratt, 38 — received love from her former The Hills costar Kristin Cavallari in the comments section, who wrote, "Most gorgeous mama."

Earlier this month, Heidi posted another baby bump update saying she's "definitely getting bigger faster with the [second] baby! 🙏🏼."

RELATED: Pregnant Heidi Montag Takes Son Gunner, 4, on Solo 'Soul Filling' Trip Ahead of Baby No. 2

Montag Pratt first confirmed her pregnancy to PEOPLE in early June.

Over the last year, she has been open with her fans about the challenges she's faced as she and Pratt tried to have another child.

In March, Montag Pratt was spotted out eating raw bison heart as part of a new diet trend was trying to help her chances of conceiving a second baby.

"I have been trying to get pregnant for over a year and a half, I'm willing to try different things," she told PEOPLE at the time. "It's a great source of nutrients! I have felt incredible on this diet. A lot more energy, clarity, increased libido, and overall improvement on chronic pain I have had. Also now I've been taking the supplements called 'Her Package' from Heart and Soil that has improved my menstrual cycle."

She also shared a candid message on Instagram in January about trying for baby No. 2 with Pratt, posting a series of photos with their son Gunner.

"So thankful for my angel," the reality star captioned the collection of sweet snaps of herself and Gunner. "I never thought it would be so hard trying to have another. I am trusting God's plan and if we only have one I am so thankful for this miracle!"

RELATED: Pregnant Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt Take Son Gunner, 4, on 'Bucket List' Trip to Disneyland

Last August, the Speidi Podcast host posted a YouTube video that gave fans an inside look as she underwent a hysteroscopic polypectomy procedure, to get non-cancerous uterine polyps removed.

"I was feeling nervous last night about it, but I'm excited today," Montag Pratt said on her YouTube channel at the time. "And I'm hoping that the surgery works and that this is the only reason I haven't been able to get pregnant."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

"Hopefully after this, I can get pregnant right away," she continued, adding, "Obviously, I think it's the perfect timing and meant to be. And so thankful I didn't have other problems and complications from this."

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aol_people_articles_471366dd43a-554e-3d22-bc7f-2f24cbd29a7aGiovana GelhorenPeoplePeopleFri, 01 Jul 2022 16:32:30 +000016566978232022-07-01T17:50:26+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Simone Biles, Megan Rapinoe to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom from Joe Biden]]>Simone Biles to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Simone Biles will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for InStyle)
Jon Kopaloff via Getty Images

Simone Biles and Megan Rapinoe will be presented with the highest civilian honor in the United States in July. Biles and Rapinoe will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom during an award ceremony at the White House on July 8.

President Joe Biden will present Biles and Rapinoe with the award. They are the only athletes receiving the award this time around. Other recipients include former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Steve Jobs and former U.S. Senator John McCain. Jobs and McCain's awards will be presented posthumously. 

Rapinoe will become the first woman soccer player to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She and Biles are among just six female athletes or coaches to receive the award. 

Other athletes have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Biles and Rapinoe join a growing list of athletes who have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Former President Donald Trump tabbed a handful of athletes and coaches for the honor during his presidency, including Bob Cousy, Lou Holtz, Mariano Rivera, Babe Ruth and Roger Staubach, among others.

The first Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients were selected by former President John F. Kennedy. Those awards were presented by President Lyndon B. Johnson following Kennedy's assassination. Kennedy's list included long-time Yale swimming coach Robert J.H. Kiphuth.

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aol_yahoo_sports_8005ae80941-ea1c-30db-9e08-5435ebb38468Chris CwikYahoo SportsYahoo SportsFri, 01 Jul 2022 16:30:17 +000016566961202022-07-01T17:22:03+00:00headline
<![CDATA[How to change your Facebook password on any device to avoid someone prying into your account]]>You’ve probably heard the advice that you should change your passwords every few months to keep your digital accounts secure. This advice has long been standard, though cybersecurity experts have come out in recent years to assure internet users that a password change is likely unnecessary with a strong, unique password.

That said, you might not have a strong and unique Facebook password. Maybe a reshuffled spelling of your name is the key to your account. But if it's not strong, there's a chance that someone could be trying to breach your Facebook account. In which case, it's probably time to change your password. 

Here is how to reset your password on any device, according to Facebook

Not only should you use different passwords for all accounts – and reputable password manager apps are a handy way to remember them all – but you could also try to use a passphrase instead of a password.

TALKING TECH NEWSLETTER: The week's biggest tech stories, delivered to your inbox

How to reset your Facebook password on a computer 

  1. Once logged in, click the dropdown tab icon in the top right corner

  2. Click “Settings” from the “Settings & Privacy” tab

  3. Select “Security and Login” 

  4. Select “Edit” next to “change password” 

  5. Type your current password followed by your new password 

  6. Select “Save Changes”

How to reset your Facebook password on Facebook iOS app

  1. Open the Facebook app and tap the icon displaying three stacked horizontal lines in the bottom right 

  2. Tap settings tab and choose “Settings & privacy” 

  3. Select “Security and Login” then select “Change password.” 

  4. Enter your current password, then enter your new password twice 

  5. Tap “Save changes” 

How to reset your Facebook password on Facebook Android app 

  1. Open the Facebook Android app and tap the icon displaying three stacked horizontal lines in the top right corner

  2. Tap settings tab and choose “Settings & Privacy”

  3. Select “Security and Login” then select “Change password.” 

  4. Enter your current password, then enter your new password twice 

  5. Tap “Save changes” 

  6. There are a few Facebook mobile browser versions. Here are instructions for each. 

How to reset your Facebook password on mobile browser

  1. Open Facebook in your mobile browser

  2. Scroll to the bottom and tap “Settings & Privacy”

  3. Select “Security” then “Security and Login” 

  4. Select “Change Password” 

  5. Enter your current password, then enter your new password twice 

  6. Tap “Save changes” 

How to reset your Facebook password on mobile browser

  1. Tap the icon displaying three stacked horizontal lines in the upper right 

  2. Scroll down and open "Settings" then select “Password and Security” 

  3. Select “Change Password” 

  4. Enter your current password, then enter your new password twice

  5. Tap “Save Changes” 

How to reset your Facebook password on mobile browser

  1. Tap the icon displaying three stacked horizontal lines in the upper right 

  2. Scroll down and open "Settings" then select “Security and Login” 

  3. Select “Change Password” 

  4. Enter your current password, then enter your new password twice

  5. Tap “Save Changes” 

How to reset your Facebook password on Facebook Lite app 

  1. Tap the icon displaying three stacked horizontal lines in the upper right 

  2. Scroll down and open "Settings" then select “Security and Login” 

  3. Select “Change Password” 

  4. Enter your current password, then enter your new password twice

  5. Tap “Save Changes” 

More Facebook help

Looking for more tech tips? USA TODAY has you covered.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How to change Facebook password to keep your account safe

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aol_usatoday_us_articles_5909c8c889f-3f93-3356-a90f-7dddcd4ef1d4Orlando Mayorquin, USA TODAYUSA TODAYUSA TODAYFri, 01 Jul 2022 16:19:48 +000016566977522022-07-01T17:49:16+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Beat the heat in this 'flowy but not too loose' tank — just $21 at Amazon]]>How's your summer wardrobe treating you? If there are days you feel you haven't got a thing to wear, you're not alone. We're having trouble digging out anything in between "stained binge-watching tee" and "Zoom meeting blouse."

At least we were. Then we saw that Amazon shoppers were shouting from the rooftops about a flattering, awesome-for-anyone summer top that comes in so many colors and patterns it could easily become your (very affordable) uniform.

With nearly 10,000 five-star ratings — and in sizes up to 3XL — this treasure from Amazon Fashion is a no-brainer.

Variations on a theme: This V-neck top feels totally different with white stripes (left), lace trim (center), and a neutral ombre (right). (Photo: Amazon)
This cute sleeveless top is a summertime pleasure. (Photo: Amazon)

Super-flattering and stylish

Engineered with comfort, confidence and affordability in mind, this top is available in 26 colors and patterns. It's designed to make you look and feel great, highlighting natural curves.

“This tank top is amazing!" says one fan. "I love it and have gotten so many compliments on it already. It fits true to size. I ordered an XL, as I usually do. It compliments my body well and the fabric feels nice. Thinking about buying a couple more.”

woman in tank top and jeans
This ombre take reminds us of an ocean horizon. (Photo: Amazon)

Comfy & chic

Soft, breathable, lightweight rayon with just a touch of spandex delivers a sweet swing and the slightest bit of stretch. Says another of many five-star shoppers, “Love this top. It's cute, which I expected, but the fabric is so soft and feels great on my skin. Liked it so much I had to get another one in another color...fortunately they have lots!”

Fun & fabulous

Sampeel's unique design — with the aforementioned side slit for ease of movement — means this top can be totally casual or truly festive. “The top is very well made.... Best features are the side slits, which allows it to look super cute on and gives it a flattering fit,” a shopper confirms.

Long enough to wear with leggings, it can also be tucked in or knotted to wear with jeans. But we love the flowy look with slim denim (below). 

woman in tank top and jeans
Toss this on over your swimsuit at the pool or the shore. Butt coverage included! (Photo: Amazon)

Great for the seaside and the living room

A year-round staple, this tank is casual enough for everyday wear or can be transformed with accessories. Dress it down with a cardigan or denim jacket, or dress it up with a statement necklace. You'll reach for it again and again. 

“This has to be my FAVORITE Amazon purchase," says yet another happy customer. "This tank is so beautiful and goes with so many bottoms I own. I love the fit, it is flowy but not too loose, and form-fits in just the right places. It is perfect for casual and formal wear and it is just the right length. I will be buying another pattern of the same one!”

If you’re not yet an Amazon Prime member, sign up now for exclusive members-only access to Prime Day deals. Click here for a free 30-day trial.

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

Looking for more great Amazon deals? Check these out:

Home theater deals:

Headphone, earbud, smartwatch and tablet deals:

Tablet and tech deals:

Video game deals:

Smart-home deals:

Vacuum deals:

Fashion deals:

Kitchen deals:

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Health and Wellness:

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Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle's newsletter.

]]>
aol_yahoo_life_26081437bf2-c259-3c27-b2c9-8115ebf7b2c9Sarah FineYahoo LifeYahoo LifeFri, 01 Jul 2022 16:13:53 +000016566921092022-07-01T16:15:16+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Britney Spears's dad says he 'never' authorized surveillance of her bedroom in sworn statement]]>

Britney Spears's dad denies bugging her bedroom.

While her conservatorship was ended in November — and her father, Jamie Spears, was ousted as her conservator 10 months ago — there are many loose ends that need to be tied up. They include payments Jamie is seeking for his former role as well as addressing the allegations of conservatorship abuse made by the pop star.

Among numerous documents filed ahead of the next court date, which is July 13 in Los Angeles, is a sworn declaration from Jamie claiming he did not authorize surveillance of the pop star's bedroom.

"I am informed of the allegation by Britney's counsel that a listening device or 'bug' was placed her bedroom as surveillance during the Conservatorship," the signed document obtained by Yahoo Entertainment states. "This allegation is false. I never conducted or authorized any surveillance of Britney's bedroom at any time, including during the Conservatorship. I am not aware of any such surveillance having occurred."

Notably, Jamie did not deny that Britney's phone use was monitored while he was in charge. 

Days before Jamie was ousted as conservator last September, the New York Times released a documentary called Controlling Britney Spears. It claimed that Jamie hired the security company Black Box which monitored the star's digital communications and secretly captured audio recordings ― more than 180 hours' worth ― from her bedroom of private conversations she had with her now-husband, Sam Asghari, and her two children, Preston, 16, and Jayden, 15. 

(Screenshot: Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles)
(Screenshot: Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles)

Alex Vlasov, a former employee of Black Box, spoke on the record about the surveillance. He claimed he was once given a USB drive with audio recordings and ordered to delete it. That became another red flag for him after initially thinking the company was working to keep the star safe. He said he came to the realization that the singer wasn't being treated like a "human being" and was living in a "prison." Vlasov, a personal assistant to Black Box founder Edan Yemini — said he "did not want to be complicit in whatever they were involved in." (Yemini denied any misdoing, saying Black Box always acted professionally, ethically and legally.)

Vlasov also claimed that Britney's phone was monitored. He said the iCloud account on her phone was mirrored on an iPad. Vlasov was instructed to encrypt the singer's digital communications captured and send them to Jamie and Robin Greenhill, an employee of Tri Star Sports & Entertainment Group, which was the business manager for Britney's estate. (Greenhill denied any involvement, saying "no one at" the company "ever suggested monitoring [Britney's] electronic communications" nor were they "aware of any hidden electronic surveillance device placed in [her] bedroom.")

The "Oops!... I Did It Again" songstress was placed in a conservatorship, with Jamie in charge, in 2008 after back-to-back hospitalizations. The legal arrangement, in which the conservatee loses their rights and has their life managed by someone else, is usually reserved for the most incapacitated members of society — for instance, someone with dementia. However, Britney went on to perform at a very high level — earning millions for the conservatorship — and yet it never ended. Jamie — and the many lawyers associated with the conservatorship — made $36 million off of it, her attorney, Mathew Rosengart, has claimed.

One year ago, Britney broke her silence about the legal chokehold on her life, alleging conservatorship abuse. For the first time, she was allowed to hire her own attorney, Rosengart, who swiftly ousted Jamie, and ended the conservatorship. Jamie has maintained that he's only ever acted in Britney's "best interests." Rosengart has claimed Jamie continues to "harass, intimidate and bully" the singer.

Rosengart has since been fighting back against the outstanding financials, under Jamie, and is looking into the abuse allegations. Jamie, who Rosengart claims has dodged being deposed, wants his legal fees paid. Britney's mother also wants legal fees covered

Britney has said she wants to "sue" her family for keeping her in a conservatorship and profiting off of her for 13 years. She claimed she was forced into treatment facilities and made to take birth control against her will. She is estranged from her family now, with none of them invited to her wedding last month. She's writing a book about the ordeal.

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aol_yahoo_celebrity_534f6f57ca9-54f1-3fe6-add5-335a08f2f8ddSuzy ByrneYahoo CelebrityYahoo CelebrityFri, 01 Jul 2022 16:04:00 +000016567044672022-07-01T19:41:12+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Forget flip flops: Amazon's bestselling slides are 'a pillow for aching feet' — and only $25]]>When something gains fame on TikTok, we get curious. That's what happened with these super-cute and super-comfy slip-ons. A little digging led us to discover that they're not only a viral sensation but are also the bestselling slides on Amazon. With thousands of perfect five-star reviews, the Cushionaire Feather Recovery Sandals just may become your favorite footwear for Summer '22.

Around the house, in the garden, out on errands — and soon, on the beach — these beauties provide cloudlike comfort to make every step a pleasure. Also a delight? The price: just $25.

People love these cloud slippers for the cushy foam sole and molded footbed, but they have another big asset: They're waterproof, so you can wear them to the pool or in the shower without damaging them; their non-slip outsoles keep you stable. But there's plenty more to love about these slides. 

Recovery after exercise

A lot of runners use what are called “recovery shoes" after workouts to help their feet recuperate. The idea has caught on with non-runners as well — and these slides have gained traction (if you will) with Amazon shoppers to ease post-exercise foot pain. They've garnered over 9,000 five star reviews.

Says one reviewer, who has done her research in the field of recovery shoes: “I have ordered several pairs trying to find the one that lives up to its hype. Well this one is it. Super cushy, fits true to size, I ordered the mauvish pink colored one and love it. I will be ordering a black pair. I have a heel spur and plantar fasciitis so regular flip flops bother me after wearing several hours. These do not. Very pleased with this purchase and highly recommend.”

“Buy them,” another shopper states. ”Trust me.” Simple, but it says it all. 

Take a walk in the clouds. (Photo: Amazon)
Take a walk in the clouds. (Photo: Amazon)
Photo: Amazon

Everyday pain relief 

Folks who spend a lot of time on their feet say these slides make it less of a chore, whether at home or at work: “Love these for when I'm standing [for] a long time in my kitchen cooking and baking,” says one customer. “Lots of support!"

“These shoes are so comfortable,” another reports. “I work in sales and stand all day. These slides are a pillow for my aching feet.”

“I have spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis, so I get horrible back, leg and foot pain,” writes a relieved reviewer. “These shoes literally help relieve my pain while I’m working standing on my feet. They are super cute — I get tons of compliments on them — and they are breathable, lightweight and easy to keep clean.”

As cute as they are comfortable

TikTok is nothing if not stylish. You can count on the fact that Cushoinare slides are not just a dream on the feet but are considered cool, to boot. 

“Love these!" one fashion-forward shopper says, “...Love that the laid back style is trending because these are literally perfect! So comfortable and I’m very picky with what goes on my feet.”

“Very comfortable and stylish,” wrote a pleased parent. “Our college freshman daughter wears them everywhere.” That's a heads up to keep an eye on your pair: They may be stalked and stolen by young family members. The solution? Buy two pairs. At $25 — and with colors ranging from basic black and brown to poppy purples and pinks, you'll be hard-pressed to choose just one anyway!

If you’re not yet an Amazon Prime member, sign up now for exclusive members-only access to Prime Day deals. Click here for a free 30-day trial.

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

Looking for more great Amazon deals? Check these out:

Home theater deals:

Headphone, earbud, smartwatch and tablet deals:

Tablet and tech deals:

Video game deals:

Smart-home deals:

Vacuum deals:

Fashion deals:

Kitchen deals:

Beauty deals:

Bedding deals:

Health and Wellness:

Lawn and Garden:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

Want daily pop culture news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Entertainment & Life's newsletter.

]]>
aol_yahoo_life_260864682c2-e6dd-4e2a-b01c-219932f78001Rachel RoszmannYahoo LifeYahoo LifeFri, 01 Jul 2022 16:01:51 +000016566913432022-07-01T16:02:29+00:00headline
<![CDATA[The 8 best 4th of July tech deals on Amazon — laptops, TVs, headphones, air purifiers and more]]>Our team is dedicated to finding and telling you more about the products and deals we love. If you love them too and decide to purchase through the links below, we may receive a commission. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

Most people wait until Prime Day or Black Friday to find the best deals on tech products they’ve been eyeing for a while, but the 4th of July weekend is actually one of the most slept-on holidays for techdeals.

In fact, Amazon has some of the best 4th of July tech deals of the year, with best-selling products ranging from Bose headphones and a Lenovo laptop to a best-selling oscillating tower fan and a new Amazon Fire smart TV.

If you want to maximize the deals this weekend has to offer, we’ve rounded up the eight absolute best you’ll find, and the sales are all active right now.

Keep scrolling to check out each deal in a bit more detail.

1. Bose Sport True Wireless Earbuds, $149 (Orig. $179)

Credit: Amazon
$149 $179 at Amazon

These best-selling Bose earbuds have over 17,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, and shoppers say they're perfect for working out and everyday use. They're also weather and sweat-resistant, so you don't have to panic when they get wet.

2. WEWATCH Native 1080P 5G Projector, $99.09 with Ticked Coupon (Orig. $145.99)

Credit: Amazon
$99.09 $145.99 at Amazon

Projectors are taking over right now. Whether you’re looking for one to use for backyard movie nights or to replace your living room TV, this 1080P 5G LED projector is the best choice. It projects a 230-inch large screen and is compatible with HDMI, TV Stick, AV and USB.

3. Lenovo Chromebook C330 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop, $188 (Orig. $217.90)

Credit: Amazon
$189 $217.90 at Amazon

Convertible laptops are perfect, especially if you can’t decide whether to buy a standard laptop or a tablet. This Lenovo Chromebook gives you the best of both worlds with its two-in-one functionality. It also has an HD display and Chrome OS built in.

4. Aureday Upgraded 12-Inch Ring Light with Stand and Phone Holder, $29.99 (Orig. $48.99)

Credit: Amazon
$29.99 $48.99 at Amazon

For those days when you’re working from home, it’s important to be well-lit for video calls. This Amazon’s Choice ring light comes with a stand and phone holder and has several intensity and warmth settings to make sure you look your best.

5. Bagotte True HEPA Air Purifier, $59.99 with Ticked Coupon (Orig. $109.99)

Credit: Amazon
$69.99 $109.99 at Amazon

In the summer, an air purifier is a must-have, especially if you have mild-to-severe allergies. This sleek and slim Bagotte air purifier has a True HEPA filter, as recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Best of all, while it cleans the air, it remains extremely quiet.

6. Pure Enrichment PureZone Medium-Large Room Air Purifier with True HEPA Filter, $79.99 with Ticked Coupon (Orig. $129.99)

Credit: Amazon
$99.99 $129.99 at Amazon

Looking for an air purifier that’s even more customer-approved with a built-in light? The Pure Enrichment PureZone Air Purifier is the perfect choice. Like the previous option, it also has a True HEPA filter and helps get rid of bacteria, mold, pet hair, dust, smoke, pollen, germs and more.

7. Dreo Nomad One Oscillating Tower Fan with Remote, $62.99 (Orig. $69.99)

Credit: Amazon
$62.99 $69.99 at Amazon

Tower fans are perfect for cooling a space while staying out of the way, and the Dreo Cruiser Pro Tower Fan does this perfectly. Unlike most other tower fans, it oscillates a full 90 degrees and has 4 different speeds. There's also a quiet cooling function, and it comes with a remote control.

8. Amazon Fire TV 50-Inch 4-Series 4K UHD Smart TV, $299.99 (Orig. $469.99)

Credit: Amazon
$259.99 $469.99 at Amazon

Lastly, for those looking to upgrade their current TV setup, the already best-selling Amazon Fire TV 4-Series is worth every penny. It comes with everything you love about the Fire Stick built into the TV and includes Alexa along with intense, cinema-grade picture quality and more.

If you enjoyed this story, check out the eight best 4th of July laptop deals on Amazon from Lenovo, HP, Samsung and more.

More from In The Know:

The 35 best tech deals you need to snag this weekend — as low as $20

50+ major 4th of July Walmart deals you don't want to miss — laptops, dresses, fragrances, grills and more

If you get hot throughout the night, you need this cooling blanket that 'feels like ice-cold silk'

The 26 best menswear sales to shop this weekend — Nordstrom, Levi's, ASOS and more

The post The 8 best 4th of July tech deals on Amazon — laptops, TVs, headphones, air purifiers and more appeared first on In The Know.

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in_the_know_5003fd28273-d3f6-34de-a5fa-db6ee7f20eabMoriba CummingsIn The Know by YahooIn The Know by YahooFri, 01 Jul 2022 15:53:42 +000016566908222022-07-01T15:53:48+00:00headline
<![CDATA[California wildfire burns through 900 acres, 14 injured as hundreds of homes remain under threat]]>The fast-growing wildfire near South Yuba River State Park in California has grown to more than 900 acres in four days, prompting evacuation orders for hundreds of residents of nearby communities.

A fast-growing California wildfire near South Yuba River State Park has grown to more than 900 acres in four days, prompting evacuation orders for hundreds of residents of nearby communities, fire officials said.

The blaze, named the Rices fire, is in Nevada County about 70 miles northeast of Sacramento, according to information from the National Interagency Fire Center.

The fire began about 2 p.m. Tuesday near the Yuba River. As of late Thursday, firefighters had about 20% of the blaze contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported.

So far, 13 firefighters and one civilian have been injured, CalFire reported. The injuries were heat-related, such as dehydration.

Related video: Wildfires, hurricanes and floods - climate change already hitting US

Fatal mudslide:19 dead, dozens missing after heavy downpours cause mudslide in northeast India

Fourth of July 'travel drama': Airlines warn passengers to prepare for issues

Tweets by NevCoSheriff

Although some evacuation orders were lifted Thursday, Cal Fire says about 250 homes and other buildings remained under threat.

The small communities of Birchville, Sweetland, French Corral, Bridgeport, Rices Crossing and the Buttermilk area remained under evacuation orders Friday.

Firefighters managed to save this home along Troost Trail in California's Nevada County.

A firefighter assesses the approaching flames along Troost Trail in California's rural Nevada County as the Rices fire intensified.

Evacuation warnings also were issued for areas of neighboring Yuba County, meaning people there should be prepared to leave.

Contributing: The Associated Press. Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at nalund@usatoday.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: California Rices wildfire burns over 900 acres, prompts evacuations

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aol_usatoday_us_articles_59041967281-e644-3c12-b311-a04fa0f462b6Natalie Neysa AlundUSA TODAYUSA TODAYFri, 01 Jul 2022 15:51:54 +000016566987682022-07-01T18:06:12+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Who are the Proud Boys? Extremist group at the center of prime-time Jan. 6 committee hearings]]>At its third public hearing Thursday night, the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol unveiled harrowing new accounts of the day’s events, including never-before-seen footage and vivid testimony from officers who were overrun as the mob stormed the Capitol. 

The panel produced new details about the alleged involvement of two right wing groups in carrying out the attempt to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election results. One of those groups, the Proud Boys, saw five of its members charged earlier this week with seditious conspiracy for their role in the assault. 

Members of the Proud Boys march in Manhattan against vaccine mandates on Nov. 20, 2021 in New York City.

On Politics newsletter: Keep up with the latest breaking politics news

'Devastating piece of evidence': Filing reveals a Proud Boys plan to storm buildings Jan. 6

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Who are the Proud Boys? 

The Proud Boys are a far-right extremist group founded in 2016 by Gavin McInnes, a right-wing media personality who co-founded VICE media (McInnes is no longer affiliated with the company).

The group describes itself as “Western chauvinists” or “men who refuse to apologize for creating the modern world,” according to the Department of Justice. 

The Southern Poverty Law Center designates the Proud Boys a hate group, citing white supremacist and racist rhetoric from many of its members. 

In 2020, Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio told USA TODAY through a spokesperson that the group “has longstanding regulations prohibiting racist, white supremacist, or violent activity.” 

There were at least 72 Proud Boys chapters across the nation in 2021, according to a report by the SPLC. The exact number of members is unknown, according to Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation, but it is estimated to be in the thousands. Members carry different status levels within the group, with the highest status or degree obtained when a member commits violence in the group's name, according to the CISC. 

Proud Boys members have been a fixture at violent demonstrations across the country in recent years. 

One of its members helped organize the 2017  “Unite the Right” rally in Charleston that left a counter-protester dead, though McInnes, who left the group in 2018, denied at the time the group’s official involvement in the demonstration or that it was part of the "alt-right" groups that participated.

And the Proud Boys have clashed repeatedly with left-wing counter-protesters in the Pacific Northwest and were involved in confrontations with Black Lives Matter protesters in 2020 following the murder of George Floyd. 

Law enforcement and the Proud Boys: DC stabbing is yet another sign of how law enforcement favor extremist group Proud Boys

Tarrio, who was handed additional conspiracy charges this week in connection to Jan. 6, was sentenced to five months in jail last year for burning a Black Lives Matter flag in December 2020. 

Proud Boys leader's first Jan 6. charge: Enrique Tarrio charged with conspiracy in US Capitol insurrection

The Proud Boys were first thrust into the political spotlight during the September 2020 presidential debate when Donald Trump was asked to condemn violence from white supremacist groups and instead delivered a cryptic message. 

“Proud Boys stand back and stand by,” Trump said. 

On Thursday, the panel presented depositions from Proud Boys members who said that the former president’s comment led to an increase in the group’s membership. 

“Exponentially, I’d say it tripled probably,” one Proud Boys member said in his deposition. 

Footage of Proud Boys breaching the capitol and the excerpts from the Justice Department’s indictment alleging that the Proud Boys planned the assault weeks in advance were also shown at the hearing. 

Patriot Front: White supremacist group planned to 'riot' at Idaho Pride event

Who is the Proud Boys founder? 

McInnes is a Canadian right-wing news personality who helped found VICE media in the 1990s. He left the company in 2008, according to VICE. He left the Proud Boys in 2018 and now hosts a right wing podcast. McInness sued the SLPC in 2019 for defamation after it labeled the Proud Boys a hate group, USA TODAY reported. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Who are the Proud Boys? Jan 6. committee says they played role in riot

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aol_usatoday_us_articles_590da22711c-6410-3090-b4e7-333ae49cb3cdOrlando Mayorquin, USA TODAYUSA TODAYUSA TODAYFri, 01 Jul 2022 15:48:43 +000016566911602022-07-01T15:59:27+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Busy Philipps Arrested While Protesting After Roe v. Wade Overturned]]>Busy Philipps has taken a stand even if it means a run-in with the law. In photos and videos shared to her Instagram account on Thursday, the Girls5eva star chronicled herself protesting in Washington, D.C. before she was arrested.

"I’m doing this for you guys. I’m doing this for my kids. I’m doing this for my mom," she listed off in a video on her Instagram Story during the protest. "I’m doing this for my grandma and, obviously, I’m doing this for my grandfather."

In video footage, the actress — sporting a T-shirt that read "I will aid and abet abortion" — can be seen holding up the peace sign and smiling while seated on the ground as a police officer puts something on her wrist and then leads her away. In another video published by VICE News, Philipps said it was for "equality" that she came out and got arrested. ET has reached out to police and Philipps' rep for comment. 

Meanwhile, the star issued a lengthy statement on Instagram following her protest, which comes nearly a week after Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court, ending the constitutional right to abortion. 

"On Friday, the right to make decisions about our own bodies and lives – a right we’ve had for almost 50 years – was ripped away from us by this new Supreme Court, a Court whose personal belief’s are NOT shared by the vast majority of Americans. I am one of those Americans," the mom of two wrote. "I was proud to stand today alongside Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the Working Family’s Party, Reverend Barber and the Poor People’s Campaign, Catholic’s for Choice, The National Council of Jewish Women, mi Familia Vota, the Center For Popular Democracy Action and NARAL in an action of peaceful civil disobedience to let lawmakers but more importantly, the people who will be most impacted by this outrageous decision, know that we will not back down, we will not give in and we will not stop fighting until there is equality for all Americans. I can think of no better way to use my privilege and voice than to amplify the message that bodily autonomy IS a human right, as it is ACTUALLY the exact same thing as the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Busy Philipps protests in Washington, D.C.
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

She encouraged, "We must ensure that it applies to all of us. This is the fight of a lifetime, y’all. It’s not gonna be short, easy or without setbacks. But we must MUST MUST keep showing up and taking action. *YOU* must. I promise I will."

The actress emphatically concluded her lengthy statement with, "ENOUGH OF THIS. ENOUGH OF BEING BULLIED BY PEOPLE WHO DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOU OR ME. WE HAVE TO ALL SHOW THE F**K UP. I DON’T KNOW WHO NEEDS TO HEAR THIS BUT WE NEED TO SHOW THE F**K UP NOW."

The actress has previously shared her own experience with abortion as a teenager. "I had an abortion when I was 15 in Arizona," she recalled to Not Skinny But Not Fat's Amanda Hirsch, "and that abortion today would be, like, almost impossible I think for me to get — let's be real."

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Jodie Sweetin Shares Her Message After Police Pushed Her to the Ground

Ireland Baldwin Shares Abortion Experience Amid Roe v. Wade Decision

 

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aol_et_online_807b2440328-e4bf-3c54-83ff-7f58682c609aSamantha Schnurr‍ET OnlineET OnlineFri, 01 Jul 2022 15:48:14 +000016566978572022-07-01T17:51:01+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Pete Davidson's Rep Says Comedian Never Dated Olivia O'Brien]]>Olivia O’Brien is giving the world the story of her alleged quick romance with Pete Davidson. On the BFFs With Dave Portnoy, Josh Richards and Brianna Chickenfry podcast, the “I Hate U, I Love U” singer said that things were on, and then off, with the Saturday Night Live alum. 

When asked by the hosts about their alleged romance, O’Brien wondered how they knew. “Where did you hear that?” she asked. “How did you hear that?” 

When the hosts informed her that it was a blind item on the popular gossip site DeuxMoi, she opened up about her time with Davidson, whom she said she dated in October 2020. “I didn’t think that anyone knew about that,” she said. “I really didn’t.” 

When asked about Davidson’s appeal, O’Brien shared a few qualities about the King of Staten Island star. “He’s hot,” she said. “And he’s really funny and he’s really sweet. He’s a really sweet guy.”

Olivia O'Brien
Anna Webber/Getty Images

 

O’Brien claimed the actor ended things with her via text. “He texted me and he was like, ‘I'm seeing someone else, so like, I can’t,’” she said.  

O’Brien said that she understands why he ended things and noted that he was also talking to other women during the time they dated. 

“He lived in New York,” she said. “And we only hung out in person very few times, so I get it.”  

Shortly after ending things, Davidson began dating Phoebe Dynevor. The two were first spotted in the U.K. in March 2021. However, in August, the comedian and the actress split.  

After O'Brien claimed she dated Davidson, his rep told E! News that "there is no truth to this," adding that the pair "were friends and hung [out] a few times."

Pete Davidson
Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Now, Davidson is in a relationship with Kim Kardashian. The Kardashians star and the comedian were first spotted together in October 2021. 

Since then, the couple has taken romantic vacations, walked the carpet at the Met Gala and the White House Correspondents dinner, and according to a source, have gotten “super serious and in love.” The source also told ET that Kardashian and Davidson are “talking about their plans going forward as a couple.”  

Davidson hasn’t only built a strong relationship with the SKIMS founder, he’s good with her four children as well.  

"Seeing him with her children has made her fall even harder for Pete," the source said. "Kim and Pete are very invested in each other and feel closer than ever. They had an amazing time in Tahiti and can't wait for what the future holds." 

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Kim Kardashian on When She Decided Pete Davidson Could Meet Her Kids

Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson Are 'Super Serious,' Source Says

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Kim Kardashian Consulted Therapists Before Introducing Kids to Pete Davidson

 

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aol_et_online_807b661cce3-518f-3377-9470-403b45a10220Tionah Lee‍ET OnlineET OnlineFri, 01 Jul 2022 15:43:00 +000016566978732022-07-01T17:51:17+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Still Testing Positive for COVID-19 After 10 Days? What to Know]]>There's a new crop of omicron subvariants circulating around the country, and they seem to be extending our current COVID-19 wave. That's why at-home rapid antigen tests are still an important tool in keeping yourself and your community safe. But the results from rapid tests — and how to act on them — can also be confusing, especially if you're still testing positive late in your infection.

Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates most people who have COVID-19 can expect to see a positive result for five to nine days. But some people continue to get positive test results for even longer than that, and it's hard to know what to do in those circumstances.

Learn when to take a COVID-19 rapid test, how to interpret results and what to know about masking and isolating if you’re still testing positive at 10 days and beyond. 

When should you take an at-home COVID-19 test?

In the event that you develop any symptoms that might signal COVID-19, you should take a home test immediately, the CDC says

Those symptoms — congestion, sore throat, cough, fever — might be easily confused with other common illnesses, such as the flu, allergies or the common cold. But because we are still in the midst of a pandemic, it's a good idea to take a test to help rule out COVID-19 first, even if you may just be dealing with seasonal allergies.

If you've been exposed to a close contact who has COVID-19, you should take a test at least five days after your last contact with that person. And if you test negative, consider taking another test one to two days later to help confirm your results, the CDC suggests.

You can also take a test before attending an indoor gathering, especially if you know you won't be wearing a mask. Taking a rapid test can also help you determine whether to spend time with people who are particularly vulnerable to severe COVID-19 symptoms, like those with certain underlying health conditions.

The government is providing at-home COVID-19 tests to Americans for free. Every household in the U.S. can now order up to eight at-home rapid tests that get shipped directly to your address. The cost of other rapid tests should be covered by health insurance, and tests may be available at community health centers for people who don’t have insurance. 

And remember that even a faint line on a home COVID-19 test should be considered positive. If you’re not sure whether or not your test is truly positive, you should check with your doctor, get a PCR test or take a second rapid test the next day (and assume you really do have COVID-19 in the meantime). 

Related: How to properly store your at-home COVID-19 tests in warm weather

What should you do if you test positive for COVID-19?

If you test positive for COVID-19, you should follow instructions from your doctor and the CDC about isolation. And you can end your isolation after just five days if you never developed symptoms but should continue wearing a mask for a total of 10 days, according to the latest guidelines from the CDC

Or, if you did develop symptoms, you can leave isolation after you've been without a fever for 24 hours (without using fever-reducing medication), provided your other symptoms are resolving as well. That can be as early as after five full days of isolation, the CDC says. Continue to mask around other people for another five days.

The CDC also amended its guidelines to add that, if you have access to a rapid antigen test, you can take the test at the end of day five of your isolation (as long as you've been fever-free for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication). If it's negative, you can use that result to feel more confident about leaving isolation at that time, but continue to mask. If it's positive, the CDC says you should continue isolating through day 10.

Regardless of when you end isolation, anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should take precautions for 10 full days, the CDC says — including masking around others, avoiding travel and limiting contact with people who have a high risk for severe COVID-19. 

If it's challenging to figure out what all those guidelines mean for your specific situation, take a look at the CDC's new quarantine and isolation calculator tool.

Related: Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5: What to know about future coronavirus variants

How long do people normally test positive for COVID-19?

In the most general terms, people will likely test positive on an at-home rapid COVID-19 test for about six to 10 days, Dr. Stephen Kissler, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the department of immunology and infectious diseases, told TODAY.

But with PCR tests, which look for the virus's genetic material, people may test positive for even longer, Dr. Alberto Paniz-Mondolfi, associate professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, explained. "You can still have positivity that may persist for weeks and even months," he explained, noting that positive tests on PCR have been recorded for up to 60 days.

But there are a lot of factors that can affect how long someone may test positive. 

Considering that different tests may perform differently “and then you have all these variants, you’re changing the variables of the equation over and over again,” said Paniz-Mondolfi, who also leads the Saliva COVID Test Lab at Mount Sinai. That makes it difficult to predict exactly how many days someone will test positive.

Even with a rapid test, which detects molecules on the virus's surface as opposed to the virus's genetic material, it's not unheard of for people to test positive up to 14 days, especially for those who are unvaccinated, Kissler said. "We see a ton of variation between people in how long they test positive," he explained. "While that average is closer to six to 10 days, there are people who will hang on for longer than that."

Keep in mind that it's possible to get COVID-19 more than once — even three or four times. So if there's a gap of weeks or months in between your positive tests, you might be dealing with a new infection.

The use of at-home COVID-19 antiviral medications, like Paxlovid, may add another wrinkle: Some people are reporting that, after their symptoms resolve with treatment, the symptoms then return in a Paxlovid "rebound," Dr. Taison Bell, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Virginia, told TODAY previously. Along with the return of COVID-19 symptoms, it's also possible to get another positive test — even if you tested negative just a few days earlier, the CDC noted.

So, if you're trying to do your due diligence and testing at home frequently during your COVID-19 infection, know that it's possible for you to see positive results for a while.

Related: How many times can you get COVID-19? What to know about coronavirus reinfections

Can you still be contagious after 10 days?

As long as you continue to test positive on a rapid at-home test, you should still consider yourself potentially contagious, Kissler said. But exactly how contagious you are “will change depending on where you are in the infection,” he explained.

In a recent study published to a preprint server in April, researchers found that 17% of participants had active viral cultures beyond day five. Some had positive viral cultures for as long as 12 days after the onset of their symptoms, suggesting they could still be contagious. 

But people tend to be most infectious right at the beginning of their COVID-19 infection. So by the time you reach day eight, nine or 10, “you still have the chance to spread to other people, but it’s probably not as much as you did early in the course of your infection,” Kissler said. 

When you get to that point, you can start weighing your options. If it's essential that you start interacting with other people again (due to your job, for example), assess how you can do so as safely as possible. 

If you're still testing positive late into your infection, what should you do?

The safest strategy is to continue to isolate until you're no longer testing positive, the experts stressed. But if you must interact with others before testing negative, make sure to wear a high-quality mask, maintain distance from other people when you can, and avoid spending time in enclosed spaces around other people.

But for people for whom that might not be feasible, it’s not unreasonable to gradually leave isolation — even if you’re still testing positive on a rapid test, Kissler said. That's especially true if you're fully vaccinated, any symptoms you developed have resolved, and you continue to take other precautions (especially masking) until you get a negative result.

“You might be able to begin slowly sort of reintegrating while still being mindful of your contact," Kissler said. If you're going to be around other people, he recommended avoiding enclosed spaces with others and wearing a mask (ideally an N95, KN95 or KF94) when coming into contact with other people.

After 10 days, it's likely that "you're good to go, and you're even better to go if you keep practicing containment measures," Paniz-Mondolfi agreed. "Keep wearing your mask. Keep practicing social distancing."

And, of course, if you're concerned about how long you've been testing positive, check in with a health care provider for their guidance on your individual situation, Kissler said.

Related:

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aol_the_today_show_59414999676-337d-3e96-a94c-0e5c0d3f97eaSarah JacobyThe Today ShowThe Today ShowFri, 01 Jul 2022 15:41:04 +000016566978932022-07-01T17:51:39+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Will the Twitter-Musk deal close? 'Yes,' says the social media giant's chairman]]>

It's still all systems go for Twitter signing off on a deal to be owned by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, at least from the social media platform's perspective. 

"Yes," Salesforce co-CEO and Twitter Chairman Bret Taylor said on Yahoo Finance Presents when asked if the deal will close (video above). "I think Twitter is a platform has never been more relevant. And it's a privilege to be a part of such an important platform."

Twitter said recently in a SEC filing that its board of directors advised its shareholders to approve Musk's $44 billion deal. However, no date for the shareholder vote has been set. When (and if) the vote happens, it would cap off a wild ride through the deal making process for Twitter.

A man walks by a Twitter logo at the company?s headquarters in downtown San Francisco, California, U.S., April 25, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
A man walks by a Twitter logo at the company?s headquarters in downtown San Francisco, California, U.S., April 25, 2022. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Carlos Barria / reuters

Since revealing his stake in Twitter several months ago, Musk has behaved in typically erratic fashion. The world's richest person first disclosed himself as a passive investor before pivoting to become an active one. He initially agreed to be on the board but changed his mind on that front, too. 

And after reaching a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion or $54.20 a share on April 25, the CEO has repeatedly shown signs he's having second thoughts. More recently, he has pushed Twitter to disclose the number or fake accounts on the platform. 

Twitter shares currently trade around $37 — well below Musk's offer price — on fear he will walk away from the transaction. Should be do that, Wall Street thinks Twitter's stock could fall hard. 

"In the absence of a bid, we would not be surprised to see the stock find a floor at $22.50," said Jefferies analyst Brent Thill said Tuesday in a note to clients.

Taylor — who is credited with creating Facebook's 'Like' button — added that "it's a very unusual situation. I can't say much beyond what we send the proxy, but we're obviously committed to closing the transaction."

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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aol_yahoo_finance_433d2a9a469-e95e-3bf7-84e2-65eaad2bf7bcBrian SozziYahoo FinanceYahoo FinanceFri, 01 Jul 2022 15:40:02 +000016566980002022-07-01T17:53:29+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Anne Hathaway Discusses Roe v. Wade on Devil Wears Prada Anniversary: 'See You in the Fight']]>

Mike Marsland/WireImage

Anne Hathaway is speaking out.

On Thursday, the 39-year-old actress marked the 16th anniversary ofThe Devil Wears Prada with a post on Instagram and discussed how the country has changed since the iconic fashion film came out in 2006. Hathaway specifically shouted out the Supreme Court's recent overturning of Roe v. Wadeamid an uncertain future.

Posting a throwback carousel of scenes from the movie, Hathaway celebrated costume designer Patricia Field for dressing the cast in "the most incredible, iconic and joyful costumes which somehow keep serving 16 years later. That's magic."

"Looking back on photos of this beloved film that shaped the lives and careers of so many — mine included — I am struck by the fact that the young female characters in this movie built their lives and careers in a country that honored their right to have choice over their own reproductive health," she wrote. "See you in the fight xx."

Anne Hathaway

20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock

RELATED: Celebrities Who Have Talked About Their Abortions [PHOTOS]

The WeCrashed actress' latest message isn't the first time she has advocated for the right to abortion. In May 2019, soon after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill into law banning almost all abortions in the state (the ban was blocked by a federal judge), Hathaway again defended a woman's right to choose.

"Yes the anti-abortion movement is primarily about controlling women's bodies under the premise (for many, sincere) of saving lives, and yes this law is primarily the work of white men HOWEVER a white woman sponsored the bill and a white woman signed it into law," she captioned her Instagram post, featuring opened with a protest photo from the time. 

"As we're resisting, let us also call out the complicity of the white women who made this awful moment possible, and which – make no mistake – WILL lead to the unnecessary and avoidable deaths of women, a disproportionate number of whom will be poor and/or Black," she wrote. "Speak up. Show up. Don't give up."

RELATED: Hailey Bieber Expresses Disappointment After Roe V. Wade Reversal

Last Friday, the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade, ruling that there is no longer a federally-protected right to an abortion in the United States.

The 6-to-3 ruling reversed nearly 50 years of precedent, giving states the power to pass their own laws around abortion. Since the decision, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri and South Dakota have already banned abortion in their states, after putting "trigger bans" in place that governors enacted after the SCOTUS ruling.

"We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled," Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion. "The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision."

Protests have since erupted around the country, and President Joe Biden has spoken out against the ruling, which he called the "realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court."

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aol_people_articles_471a1ab634d-26ac-3d63-98b6-62604c08fa12Amethyst TatePeoplePeopleFri, 01 Jul 2022 15:24:14 +000016566979152022-07-01T17:52:06+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Genetic genealogy identifies suspect in 1990 murder of 17-year-old girl]]>A suspect has been identified in the 1990 cold case murder of a Seattle teenager through the investigative tool of genetic genealogy, Washington state officials announced.

But the suspect, Robert Brooks, won't stand trial, because he died in 2016 from natural causes, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

Brooks has now been linked to the sexual assault and murder of 17-year-old Michelle Koski, who was found dead on Aug. 25, 1990 in Snohomish, the sheriff's office said.

Brooks, then 22, had been released from prison four months before the killing, the sheriff's office said. He was staying with family just a few blocks from where Koski lived, the sheriff's office said.

Koski's case had already been unsolved for 15 years when it was picked up by the cold case team in 2005, the sheriff's office said. There wasn't a DNA match from the crime scene to anyone in the CODIS law enforcement database, officials said, and over the next 10 years, several suspects were ruled by testing their DNA.

Related video: Volunteer group takes on country's cold cases

MORE: He was found dead in 1963. Now this little boy finally has a name.

The case finally identified Brooks as a suspect by using genetic genealogy, which takes an unknown suspect's DNA left at a crime scene and identifies it using his or her family members who voluntarily submit their DNA samples to a DNA database. This allows police to create a much larger family tree compared with using only databases like CODIS.

A forensic genealogist spent about one year building family trees using the unknown suspect's DNA, which she eventually narrowed down to two brothers, officials said. Brooks' DNA was then matched to DNA at the crime scene, officials said.

PHOTO:  The suspect, Robert A. Brooks seen here was identified using investigative genetic genealogy. (Snohomish County Sheriff's Office)

"After more than 30 years of searching for answers following this terrible murder, we can finally provide Michelle’s family with some answers," Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney said in a statement.

"I have been praying for this day for a very long time," Koski's friend, Melissa Johnson, said at a news conference Thursday, as she thanked the officers and genealogists who worked on the case.

"Michelle and I met when we were just 10 years old," Johnson said.

"I often wonder what she would've been like had she still been alive, and how different my life would be, as well. ... I now pray that Michelle can finally rest in peace," Johnson said.

Genetic genealogy identifies suspect in 1990 murder of 17-year-old girl originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

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aol_abc_news_articles_665f931c254-2716-3427-ab72-4081989d98cfEMILY SHAPIROABC NewsABC NewsFri, 01 Jul 2022 15:16:41 +000016567216292022-07-02T00:27:11+00:00headline
<![CDATA['Extraordinarily rare' portrait of Princess Diana goes on public display for first time]]>Nelson Shanks (1937-2015) Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997)

Courtesy of Philip Mould & Company Princess Diana portrait         

An "extraordinarily rare" portrait of Princess Diana is going on display in London.

The oil painting, titled Diana, Princess of Wales, was completed by artist Nelson Shanks in 1994 — three years before Diana's tragic death in Paris — and will be featured in Philip Mould & Company's gallery in the British capital until July 6. 

In the artwork, the princess is shown wearing a green velvet Catherine Walker halter dress that she wore in the lead-up to her famous 1997 Vanity Fair magazine shoot. Diana later changed into a traditional white blouse and blue skirt for the final image.

Unusually for a royal portrait, it captures the princess looking pensively down at the floor, with a single earring providing a sparkle of light. 

RELATED: How Kate Middleton and Prince William Are Modeling Princess Diana's Parenting Style

Diana, Princess of Wales, wearing a beaded evening gown with a pink chiffon sarong style detail designed by Catherine Walker, attends a dinner hosted by Pakistani President Ghulam Ishaq Khan on September 25, 1991 in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Anwar Hussein/Getty Princess Diana         

"As royal painted portraits go, it is extraordinarily rare for an artist to capture both the public and private character simultaneously," said gallerist Philip Mould in a release, per CNN. "Shank's sketch uniquely fuses Diana's glamour with the affecting pathos of her final years. We felt it belonged in a British collection and are delighted to be able to display it in her home city."

The rare portrait depiction of the Princess of Wales joins the gallery as part of the Masterpiece Art Fair 2022 exhibit.

It was originally displayed at the Kensington Palace home Diana shared with sons Prince William, 40, and Prince Harry, 37, before it was later moved to her family estate at Althorp House in Northamptonshire, 75 miles north of London.

In January, the portait also sold for more than 10 times its projected sale price, fetching a price of $201,600 at a prestigious London auction house Sotheby's

Princess Diana

Brian Rasic/Getty Images Princess Diana         

The princess sat for more than 30 sittings at Shanks' studio in London to capture the image, which served as a preparatory study for a formal full-length portrait.

During this time, she built a close friendship with both the artist and his wife, Leona, later writing in a letter, "I do miss you and Leona in London, as coming to the studio was a safe haven, so full of support and love," according to Sotheby's.

The image was also painted at a key moment in Diana's personal life, as rumors of extramarital affairs and leaked telephone conversations slowly began to chip away at her marriage to Prince Charles.  

prince harry, princess diana, prince william

Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Princess Diana, Prince Harry and Prince William         

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On Friday, which would have been Princess Diana's 61st birthday, her two sons carried on her legacy by congratulating the latest recipients of the Diana Award, a worldwide philanthropy honor named for their mom.

Prince William wrote a letter to the award winners, thanking the 180 young philanthropists for helping "keep her voice alive."

Prince Harry appeared virtually at the ceremony, saying in the video address, "Today, we're reflecting on what would have been my mother's 61st birthday. And this year is also 25 years since her passing. There isn't a day during the past two and half decades where I haven't thought about the mark she left not only on me and my brother, but on all of our lives."

"I see her legacy in all of you," he continued. "I see her legacy in a Diana Award community that spans multiple generations. I see her legacy every time I meet with families, young people, and children from all corners of the world. And, I see my mum's legacy when I look at my own children every day."

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aol_people_articles_47125945033-6897-33b0-b454-653593c339eaBreAnna BellPeoplePeopleFri, 01 Jul 2022 15:14:42 +000016567097262022-07-01T21:08:51+00:00headline
<![CDATA[The 5 best air conditioners cool enough to turn you into a literal chill pill — including some major Fourth of July deals]]>Our team is dedicated to finding and telling you more about the products and deals we love. If you love them too and decide to purchase through the links below, we may receive a commission. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

When it comes to making it through the month of July (the entire summer, really — but the month of July is a special kind of awful), a reliable air conditioner is a must. Luckily, there are a ton of Fourth of July sales with great deals on air conditioners for you to take advantage of.

Whether you need an affordable unit that can also keep your home consistently cool because #WFHLife, or are looking for a small window unit with dehumidifying and air purifying benefits, there are plenty of air conditioners to shop online

Honestly, air conditioners have gotten so much more advanced in recent years. There are ones that feature smartphone apps and even ones with sleek modern paneling that can camouflage into any room. Yes, that means no more bulky units ruining your carefully curated home decor. Need a portable unit that you can easily roll away into your closet come winter? There's also that. Ah, thank you, internet.

Check out the best air conditioners you can buy — including some with excellent Fourth of July deals — and stay the chillest of all the chill cucumbers all summer long.

1. Windmill Air Conditioner, $345 (Orig. $365)

$345 $365 at The Home Depot

Why people love it: The sleek and modern design of the Windmill air conditioner is obviously the selling point. However, the actually easy installation, auto-dimming LED display and high-tech features — including connecting it to your smartphone, Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa — is the real reason this is the best air conditioner you can get for an apartment or small bedroom.

2. Frigidaire 5,000 BTU Window-Mounted Room Air Conditioner, $209.21

$209.21 at The Home Depot

Why people love it: In terms of bang for your buck, this Frigidaire unit is it. Not only does this air conditioner automatically maintain the preset room temperature, but it's also Energy Star certified and comes with an easily washable filter.

Editor's Note: I've owned this air conditioner for over a year now and have one in both my living room and bedroom. It's the perfect no-frills and affordable option for my one-bedroom apartment.

3. LG 15,000 BTU 115V Window Air Conditioner, $499

$499 at Walmart

Why people love it: If you have a larger space and need a more powerful air conditioner, the LG LW1516ER window unit is your guy, as it's ideal for cooling medium to large rooms. The certified unit has three cooling and fan speeds and a 24-hour timer to create a cooling schedule. As a fun bonus: If there is a power outage, the auto-restart feature will automatically turn your unit back on when power is restored.

4. July Window Air Conditioner, $479 - $529

$479 - $529 at July

Why people love it: The July Window Air Conditioner comes in two sizes and a variety of finishes and front panels to seamlessly blend into any room. It's super easy to install and features a user-friendly app for your smartphone. The real star feature is the air-purifying filters that help remove fine particulates like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites from your home.

5. Black + Decker 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Remote, $379.99 (Orig. $429.99)

$379 $429 at Wayfair

Why people love it: This three-in-one Black + Decker portable air conditioner can cool, dehumidify and circulate air to stand up against summer heat. It's also super quiet, so you don't have to worry about losing any sleep.

If you liked this story, check out the best deals to shop at Nordstrom Rack right now.

The post The 5 best air conditioners cool enough to turn you into a literal chill pill — including some major Fourth of July deals appeared first on In The Know.

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in_the_know_50061c5ca20-de69-3f37-8f82-e2647577928fSarah WeldonIn The Know by YahooIn The Know by YahooFri, 01 Jul 2022 15:09:23 +000016566881642022-07-01T15:09:30+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Michael Bay reflects on working with Shia LaBeouf as ‘Transformers’ turns 15: ‘He had a tough upbringing’]]>

Action. Crashes. Explosions. Bayhem. "Awesome."

Of all the words that come to mind when you think of Michael Bay, "fear" is not typically one of them.

But the veteran director admits he was worried head into his first go at Transformers, the mega-franchise that stomped into movie theaters 15 years ago starring Optimus Prime, Megatron and a couple of young up-and-coming actors named Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox.

"It was scary. Because if the robots didn't look dead real, [the movie would not have worked]," Bay told us during a recent interview promoting his spring heist thriller Ambulance (watch above). "But we broke a lot of visual effects ground on that."

Bay says he gained confidence after showing some early footage to a football-playing friend of his ("I surround myself with normal people, people not in the business," the filmmaker explains.)

Like many folks on the internet and still nascent-social media platforms, Bay's friend Mike was skeptical about the idea of turning Hasbro's beloved Autobots and Decepticons toy line into a live-action movie event.

"He goes, 'Bay, I don't know about that Transformer thing,'" Bay recalls. "We're having a beer, I'm like, 'Yeah, I know. It's a little scary.' Then I showed him the first scene, Scorponok jumping out of the desert, right behind Tyrese. I showed it to him. He goes, 'Oh, OK. Alright, I get it now.'"

Audiences got it, too. Transformers was the fifth highest-grossing movie of 2007, taking in $709 million worldwide. It has since spawned six sequels and spin-offs, including next year's Rise of the Beasts.

"It was a fun ride," Bay says. "You see the joy of the audiences around the world."

The film is also notable for turning LaBeouf and Fox into movie stars.

Despite a pattern of troubling behavior, including multiple arrests, LaBeouf eventually became something of a critical darling due to acclaimed performances in films like American Honey (2016), Honey Boy (2019) and The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019). But his career flatlined in 2020 after a series of disturbing allegations made by his ex-girlfriend Tahliah Debrett Barnett. The singer, known as FKA twigs, sued the actor for sexual battery, assault and emotional distress. The lawsuit claimed LaBeouf was also abusive to another ex-girlfriend as well.

LaBeouf has since taken an acting hiatus and sought inpatient treatment.

"Listen, he was a kid," Bay says when asked about his experience with LaBeouf, who grew up poor in Los Angeles with a father who battled alcohol and drug addictions.

"He was a kid when I worked with him. I sort of fathered him. A couple times he acted up but he's a very talented kid. He really is nice… He had a tough upbringing. But he's a fantastic actor," he said. 

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aol_yahoo_movies_30494722fc7-f2d5-30db-a85a-eaf3806fb871Kevin PolowyYahoo MoviesYahoo MoviesFri, 01 Jul 2022 15:00:27 +000016566980532022-07-01T17:54:17+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Delta Air Lines reportedly offers passengers $10,000 each to get off 'oversold' flight]]>Passengers on a Delta Air Lines flight from Michigan to Minnesota reported that the airline offered them $10,000 this week to give up their seat on an oversold flight.

Yes, $10K.

The airline offered the money to each passenger who volunteered to be bumped from a domestic flight out of Grand Rapids Monday morning, according to media outlets.

Delta did not immediately return a request for comment from USA TODAY.

Jason Aten, a tech columnist at Inc. magazine, wrote he was sitting on the outbound plane for waiting for the aircraft to leave the gate when a flight attendant got on the intercom. The crew was looking for eight volunteers to give up their seats on the "apparently oversold" flight, offering them $10,000 each. 

“If you have Apple Pay, you’ll even have the money right now,” the flight attendant said, Aten wrote.

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Aten told Fortune his group of eight – whose final destination was Alaska – didn't raise their hands because they didn't immediately know how many volunteers were needed.

"Had we known it was eight, we would have gotten off," he told the media outlet. "By the time that was clear, four or five people had already left."

"Spoiler alert: We did not take it for reasons I'm not going to get into because my wife is still not pleased about it," Aten wrote.

Waiting for a Delta Air Lines flight in Atlanta.

At least one other passenger confirmed Aten's account. 

"It’s a true story. I was on that flight!" Todd McCrumb tweeted. "Unfortunately, I could not take advance (sic) the offer, as I was flying with my wife who has very limited eyesight. She has to have me nearby when traveling."

Delta cuts 100 daily flights this summer: Here's what to know if yours is one of them.

Flying on July 4 weekend?: Delta has good news for you: No fare difference when rebooking travel

McCrumb told KTVB 7 the offer started at $5,000 but increased to $10,000.

"I looked at my wife and I thought, 'No way,'" McCrumb told the outlet. Although the couple did not volunteer, he said, but he saw at least four others accept the offer.

It was not immediately known how many people volunteered, but eventually the flight departed 20 minutes later than scheduled from Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, according to Cirium’s flight tracker.

It arrived in Minneapolis at 7:16 a.m. CT.

Delta CEO apologizes for flight delays 

On Thursday, Delta CEO Ed Bastian apologized for flight delays and cancellations that have tormented travelers in recent weeks as the airline's pilots took to picket lines to complain about overscheduling, "poor reliability" and contract disputes.

In a LinkedIn post, Bastian wrote: "If you’ve encountered delays and cancellations recently, I apologize. We’ve spent years establishing Delta as the industry leader in reliability, and though the majority of our flights continue to operate on time, this level of disruption and uncertainty is unacceptable."

Delta nixes fare changes: Flying on July 4 weekend? Delta has good news for you: No fare difference when rebooking travel

The move also comes on the heels of Delta announcing in late May it was cutting 100 daily flights this summer as travel demand heats up.

"From July 1-Aug. 7, we’ll reduce service by approximately 100 daily departures, primarily in markets in the U.S. and Latin America that Delta frequently serves," the airline announced on its website.

Earlier this week, the airline announced that passengers flying over the July Fourth weekend will not have a fare difference when rebooking travel.

Why are airlines canceling flights?

Airlines have been struggling with reliability throughout the summer. Thousands of flights were canceled around Memorial Day weekend, and more delays, cancellations and difficulties have been stacking up pretty much every day since.

In large part, it's a result of staffing shortages after airlines downsized earlier in the pandemic. Now, they're struggling to catch up – and staff up – to meet this summer's surging demand.

Contributing: Zach Wichter. Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at nalund@usatoday.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Delta offers passengers $10,000 each to get off oversold flight

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aol_usatoday_us_articles_590d84e03ab-1a6e-328c-a642-40659470a7d6Natalie Neysa Alund, USA TODAYUSA TODAYUSA TODAYFri, 01 Jul 2022 14:51:32 +000016566980712022-07-01T17:54:41+00:00headline
<![CDATA['Deal with the devil.' Secret Biden-McConnell deal on anti-abortion GOP judge enrages Democrats]]>LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Democrats are blasting President Joe Biden for agreeing to nominate an anti-abortion Republican to a lifetime federal judgeship in Kentucky, less than a week after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

"The president is making a deal with the devil and once again" and "the people of Kentucky are crushed in the process," Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Charles Booker tweeted after The Courier Journal broke the story Wednesday night.

"At a time when we are fighting to protect human rights, this is a complete slap in the face."

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, who confirmed Biden is poised to nominate Chad Meredith to U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, called it a "huge mistake."

More: Kentucky abortion clinics to reopen after judge grants temporary order

Chad Meredith

"Why you would pick him to fill a federal vacancy when you're a Democratic president is beyond me."

Yarmuth said the nomination is bad not only because Meredith is anti-abortion but because of his actions in the general counsel office when he helped former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin issue hundreds of controversial pardons at the end of his term that spurred outrage and a federal investigation.

Related video: Biden urges Congress to codify abortion rights

Gov. Andy Beshear, said Thursday he also strongly opposes the pick, saying his team was informed last week that Biden intended to nominate Meredith.

Beshear said his understanding is that Biden has not yet submitted the nomination, “which I hope means in the very least it's on pause.

“If the president makes that nomination, it is indefensible.”

What Trump did on Jan. 6: On Jan. 6, Trump was out of public view as aides urged him to act. A breakdown of those 187 minutes.

A GOP candidate in exchange for no more blocked nominees?

Biden was poised to nominate Meredith presumably as the result of an undisclosed deal with U.S. Mitch McConnell, Yarmuth told The Courier Journal.

McConnell has blocked the nominations of two lawyers for U.S. attorney positions there were recommended by Yarmuth. The presumption is that with Meredith's nomination, McConnell would agree not to hold up future federal nominations from the Biden White house, Yarmuth said.

"We were informed by White House staff that this nomination was coming," Yarmuth said. "I expressed my objections to it in the strongest terms I use."

Robert Steurer, a spokesman for McConnell, said he would have no comment until Biden makes his nomination.

There are currently no open federal judgeships in Eastern Kentucky. However, Eastern District Judge Danny C. Reeves is eligible for senior status when he turns 65 years old Aug. 1, while Judge Karen Caldwell is already eligible.

Neither Reeves nor Caldwell could be reached for comment.

Yarmuth said "clearly someone has agreed to resign and we don't know what deal has been made with that person, and I think that's something to media needs to try to figure out."

Beshear: Bevin pardons should be disqualifying 

Beshear said Meredith should be disqualified from a nomination for his work on Bevin's controversial pardons and commutations, saying Meredith “aided and advised on the most egregious abuse of power by a governor in my lifetime.”

The Courier Journal reported in 2020 that Meredith was one of the staff attorneys involved in string of controversial acts of clemency Bevin doled out at the end of his term in 2019.

Bevin administration documents showed Meredith was one of Bevin's general counsel staff to give recommendations to the governor on whether certain applicants deserve clemency.

More: What to know about Kentucky abortion services after the trigger law ban was suspended

One spreadsheet of clemency applicants from those records showed "Chad working" written next to the name of Patrick Baker — one of the most controversial pardon recipients, who was convicted of killing a man in a robbery and whose family hosted a fundraiser for Bevin at his home.

Former Gov. Matt Bevin (left) speaks with Eric Baker (right) and others guests at his campaign fundraiser on July 26, 2018 at the Corbin home of Baker.

“If you are a lawyer that advised on that and went along with it, you should be disqualified from serving in a role where you would hand out sentences," Beshear said. "I mean, these are individuals who are pardoned who are walking free today, despite committing terrible violent crimes.”

Meredith’s personal lawyer, Brandon Marshall, has told The Courier Journal Meredith had "no meaningful involvement with any of the most controversial pardons about which the media has made much.” 

Directing his attention back to Biden, Beshear added: “I don't know how the president could say he's for public safety if he makes this nomination.”

'A deal with the devil'

Booker, who is challenging Sen. Rand Paul for his seat, reacted with even harsher criticism to news of Meredith's pending nomination on Twitter, writing, "This is some bulls—." 

"The president is making a deal with the devil, and once again, the people of Kentucky are crushed in the process," Booker tweeted. "At a time when we are fighting to protect human rights, this is a complete slap in the face."

A White House spokesman declined to speak on the nomination, saying "we do not comment on vacancies."

Sign up: On Kentucky Politics newsletter delivered to your inbox weekly

Yarmuth said the Meredith nomination is obviously "some kind of effort to appease Mitch McConnell, which is something this state and country should be very upset about."

"Mitch McConnell was not elected by anyone outside of Kentucky, yet he is imposing his individual will on the federal judiciary and the president of the United States just because he has the power to do it, not because it makes sense good sense for our country."

Nicole Erwin, the spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates-Kentucky, issued a statement that did not directly address the Biden nomination but expressed concern.

"We need judges in place that prioritize the health and wellbeing of people in Kentucky and reflect the diversity and progressive values of the nation now more than ever — that means nominating qualified and unbiased judges to the bench,” Erwin said.

Nominee a Federalist Society member

Meredith is a Federalist Society member who served as deputy counsel to Bevin and more recently solicitor general for Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

Cameron is now a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor in 2023.

He defended a 2017 Kentucky abortion law requiring doctors who perform abortions to first perform an ultrasound and describe the image to the patient, losing first at a trial in federal court before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later upheld the statute. 

As the top appellate lawyer for Cameron, Meredith also successfully defended a state law in the Kentucky Supreme Court that stripped Gov. Beshear of his emergency power to implement COVID-19 restrictions.

More: Judge grants temporary order to restore abortion access in Kentucky

Meredith was being vetted for a federal judgeship in 2020 by President Donald Trump’s administration but was later dropped from consideration for that position. 

He is a longtime member of the Federalist Society, from which Trump drew nominees for the Supreme Court and other judgeships. 

Meredith previously practiced as a litigator with Frost Brown Todd in Louisville and Ransdell & Roach of Lexington. Since leaving the attorney general's office in January, he has worked at Cincinnati law firm Squire Patton Boggs. 

Reporter Caleb Stultz contributed to this story.

Reach reporter Joe Sonka at jsonka@courierjournal.com and follow him on Twitter at @joesonka. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today at the top of this page.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Biden-McConnell deal on judge enrages Democrats following Roe v. Wade

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aol_usatoday_us_articles_590578b85e4-b499-3dac-b3d6-dfc66c19cfa1Joe Sonka and Andrew WolfsonUSA TODAYUSA TODAYFri, 01 Jul 2022 14:48:11 +000016566975812022-07-01T17:46:27+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Who is the NBA's highest-paid player? Steph Curry, Lebron James lead the pack of top earners]]>It pays to play in the National Basketball Association. In fact, NBA players are on average the highest-paid athletes in the world, according to Statista.com. The average salary in the NBA for the 2021-2022 season is $7.3 million

The top ten highest salaries in the NBA for the 2021-2022 season are all north of $39 million, including superstars Stephen Curry from the Golden State Warriors, the Brooklyn Nets’ Kevin Durant and the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James.

Game 6: Steph Curry and the Warriors celebrate after closing out the Celtics.

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But who brings home the biggest bag, really?

Well, that depends on how you choose to slice it. If we’re talking who is the highest paid by an NBA franchise? Then Curry, who in August signed a guaranteed four-year $215 million extension with the Warriors, leads the pack by most accounts.

If we consider off-the-court deals, James is far and away the top guy, according to Forbes.  

Here are Spotrac.com's 10 highest paid NBA players based on their average annual value, which takes a player’s contract and divides it by the contract’s number of years.

By this calculation, Philadelphia center Joel Embiid trails only Curry on the list. Embiid signed a mega contract worth nearly $196 million over four years with the 76ers in August. 

Fifth on the list is reigning NBA champ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Greek power forward who led the Bucks’ roaring comeback against the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals after being down two games to zero in the best-of-seven series. Antetokounmpo signed a five-year, $228 million contract extension in 2020

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WHAT ABOUT IN MLS?:  Carlos Vela, Chicharito lead the way

LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo celebrate after helping Team LeBron win the All-Star Game.

Highest-paid NBA players by AAV (average annual value):  

  1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors; $53.8 million— $215.3 million over four years
  2. Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers; $48.9 million— $195.9 million over four years
  3. Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat; $48.7 million— $146.3 million over three years
  4. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets; $48.5 million—  $194.2 million over four years
  5. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks; $45.6 million— $228.2 million over five years
  6. Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers; $44 million— $176.2 million over four years
  7. Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers; $44 million— $176.2 million over four years
  8. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers; $44 million— $176.2 million over four years
  9. LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers; $42.8 million— $85.6 million over two years
  10. James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers; $42.7 million— $171.1 million over four years

Highest-paid NBA players by 2021-2022 season salary figure

Here are the 10 highest paid NBA players based on their 2021-2022 season salaries, according to ESPN. This figure accounts for the league’s annual salary cap, which it set at $112.4 million this season

  1. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors; $45.7 million
  2. James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers; $44.3 million
  3. John Wall, Houston Rockets; $44.3 million
  4. Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers; $44.2 million 
  5. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets; $42 million 
  6. Lebron James, Los Angeles Lakers; $41.1 million
  7. Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks; $39.3 million 
  8. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers; $39.3 million
  9. Kawhi Leonard, Los Angeles Clippers; $39.3 million 
  10. Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers; $39.3 million 

Make it four NBA titles and four Finals MVPs for LeBron James.

But when you account for earnings off the court, “King” James sits on the throne. The 37-year-old and four-time NBA champion is the second-highest paid athlete in the world, according to Forbes, bagging a projected $121.2 million in 2022. 

Curry and Durant are high on this list, too. Forbes projects each will scratch north of $92 million in earnings this year at the fourth and fifth spots in their rankings. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Highest-paid NBA players 2022: Steph Curry, LeBron James lead list

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aol_usatoday_us_articles_5900ad385a8-7762-38ac-8c88-221ec6a98e77Orlando Mayorquin, USA TODAYUSA TODAYUSA TODAYFri, 01 Jul 2022 14:32:22 +000016566887762022-07-01T15:19:43+00:00headline
<![CDATA[The 35 best tech deals to snag at Walmart, Target, Amazon and more this weekend — as low as $20]]>Our team is dedicated to finding and telling you more about the products and deals we love. If you love them too and decide to purchase through the links below, we may receive a commission. Pricing and availability are subject to change.

This weekend, there are so many other tech sales happening at our favorite retailers. Right now, stores like Walmart, Amazon and Target have the best tech deals covering all of the major categories shoppers are searching for.

With everything from Apple and Amazon devices to best-selling headphones, laptops and streaming devices, this weekend is the best time to shop for quality tech.

To make your shopping experience easier, we've broken down the 35 best tech deals we could find into four categories:

  • Limited Amazon Device Deals

  • Home Tech Deals

  • Headphone Deals

  • Computer, Tablet and Camera Deals

Proving how worthwhile these sales are, prices start as low as $20! If you're looking for a customer and editor-recommended multi-outlet surge protector with USB charging ports, this one from Huntkey is 50% off, bringing its price down to just $19.99. Also, with open-window season coming up, now's the best time to snag the best-selling electric Katchy Indoor Insect Trap for just $45.

Now is also the best time to snag an iPad for less. Both the 2020 iPad Air and the 2021 iPad Mini are on sale on Amazon.

Speaking of Amazon, some of the store's in-house tech best sellers are on super sale for as low as $30, including the Echo Dot, Echo Show 5, Blink Mini Smart Security Camera and more.

Check out all of the best tech deals this weekend below. Keep in mind that these deals are available only for a limited time, so shop now before the prices revert.

Best Limited Amazon Device Deals

Credit: Amazon

Best Home Tech Deals

Credit: Target, Amazon

Best Headphone Deals

Credit: Amazon, Walmart

Best Computer and Tablet Deals

Credit: Amazon, Walmart

If you enjoyed this story, check out the six best hardside carry-on luggage deals on Amazon, all under $50.

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The 8 best 4th of July tech deals on Amazon — laptops, TVs, headphones, air purifiers and more

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The 26 best menswear sales to shop this weekend — Nordstrom, Levi's, ASOS and more

The post The 35 best tech deals you need to snag this weekend — as low as $20 appeared first on In The Know.

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in_the_know_50076229a1d-041f-3070-8e28-8e4497f19fa3Moriba CummingsIn The Know by YahooIn The Know by YahooFri, 01 Jul 2022 14:32:02 +000016566859232022-07-01T14:32:07+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Name, image and likeness: Failures, successes and unknowns mark first year]]>One year ago, legislation related to name, image and likeness went into effect across college sports and erased the constant that had defined amateurism for more than a century: that student-athletes could not receive financial compensation as a result of their talent or celebrity.

A revolution has ensued.

What was expected to bring irreversible change to the long-standing amateur model has done exactly that and then some, shaking up the landscape to such an extreme degree that a timeline can be separated into the two distinct eras of before and after NIL.

"When NIL went into effect, we couldn’t think of a better group or community of people to represent our lifestyle and motto than college athletes," said Will Lawler, the athlete and brand relations lead for the apparel company Rhoback, which has agreements with over 2,000 athletes across all three NCAA divisions.

While the intended goal of NIL has been achieved, rule changes have birthed a variety of issues.

"The NIL process is still a work in progress," said David Kmiecik, a senior recruiting manager for Next College Student Athlete, which provides guidance and support to prospective athletes and their families.

STAY UP-TO-DATE:Subscribe to our Sports newsletter now!

One year into NIL (the legislation went into effect July 1, 2021) the feeling around college sports is one of frustration over the drastic changes already seen and unease over the changes set to follow in the future.

"I always say it’s like Keystone, Colorado, in 1850 without any sheriffs on the street," said Tom McMillen, the president and CEO of LEAD1, an association representing the athletics directors and programs in the Football Bowl Subdivision. "You go as far as you think you can go in some cases. There are other schools that are much more conservative. That lack of consistency has been a big concern for our schools."

Virginia linebacker Nick Jackson (6) has signed multiple NIL deals, including one with Rhoback.

What has gone wrong

From the start, universities and athletes have struggled with the lack of guidance from the NCAA, which issued a hands-off policy permitting athletes to receive NIL compensation last June and has waded into the issue just once in the months since.

From a recruiting perspective, this has created a Wild West-like atmosphere where NIL offerings have the potential to supersede more traditional selling points such as recent success and facilities.

Athletics directors "are not sure where the lines are drawn," McMillen said. "The concerns are that you have a patchwork of regulations due to all the states taking the initiative to pass something when there were no national standards. That structure is very difficult."

Third-party groups driven by donors have stepped into this power vacuum to amass large pools of money earmarked for NIL opportunities. Existing outside the gaze of university compliance departments, these collectives have drawn attention for rubbing against the baseline principle that no NIL deal can include compensation for athletic performance.

"I don’t think anybody anticipated this concept around collectives. That’s where probably, at least among people I’m talking with, there’s concern over how they may or may not be operating," said MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher.

Current NIL rules have also left behind foreign student-athletes in the United States on an F1 visa, which allows for immigration as a full-time student but prohibits off-campus employment for all but specific situations.

Allowing international athletes to access NIL deals is "something that could be changed and should be changed," McMillen said. And while doing so would require bipartisan support in Congress, "I think this is one area where you can get Mitch McConnell and Chris Murphy together on, because they all have international athletes."

One topic of interest among schools and athletes is the possible mental toll involved with NIL deals.

An NIL contract "brings certain levels of obligation," Steinbrecher said. "I don’t think we’ve looked at it necessarily as a mental health issue, per se. But clearly, there’s a time-demand element here."

These endorsements can be an issue "if you let it," said Virginia linebacker Nick Jackson, an all-conference pick who has signed multiple NIL deals, including one with Rhoback. 

"For me, I don’t think it’s my end-all, be-all. It’s just NIL to me. It’s a great opportunity but it’s not defining me."

What has gone right

As promised, NIL legislation has removed the guardrails against student-athlete compensation. In some cases, athletes have received life-changing endorsement deals totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars — or even reportedly in the millions for star players at a premium position in a premium sport, such as a five-star quarterback. 

"In many instances, it’s probably working and behaving exactly as one might hope it would," said Steinbrecher.

But the biggest impact of NIL is seen in the large deals signed by female athletes in non-revenue-generating sports; more so than any legislation this side of Title IX, NIL has created enormous gender equality where none previously existed.

“What really doesn’t get covered is the female swimmer or female softball player that could never monetize their NIL, never monetize themselves, for the first time being able to profit,” said Max Forer, an attorney at Miller Nash and former Oregon offensive lineman.

According to the NIL company Opendorse, women’s basketball players have accounted for 15.7% of overall compensation paid out to all athletes. Athletes in women’s sports make up five of the top nine sports in overall NIL activity, according to a tracking of transactions conducted by Opendorse.

“I think it’s just all about branding and what value you can add to the company,” Jackson said. “Companies are looking for a strong (return on investment). For our swimmers and divers, if a swimming company wants to get more sales, they’re going to go to the Olympians and try to pay them more. Just matter of fact, like that.”

NIL has given athletics departments the opportunity to educate athletes on topics previously unaddressed in the college space. Athletes are learning about financial literacy, entrepreneurship and brand-building, Steinbrecher said.

“Or communication skills. To learn a little bit about the law, about contracts, about public relations, or media relations or social relations. Take your pick.”

What comes next in NIL

Within the next year, companies involved in NIL deals may have a clear picture of the potential return on investment and act accordingly — doubling down on the number of endorsements or potentially reversing course to focus solely on football and men’s basketball.

The ability for female athletes to gain traction in the NIL market could lead to increased investments in women’s programs as universities see third-party interest.

“It does indicate the latent potential there,” McMillen said. “The fact that women can go into this publicity rights market and do so well is a very good signal for the future. It can only mean that women’s sports are going to be more popular, and women are going to continue to be able to benefit off the monetization of their publicity rights. But it’s not going to happen overnight.”

What seems inevitable is NIL trickling down to high school athletes and athletics.

Ten states already allow high schoolers to profit off NIL. One athlete in a state that allows NIL compensation, Los Alamitos (California) quarterback Malachi Nelson, told ESPN he expects to sign up to $1 million in endorsements by the time he enrolls at Southern California for the 2023 season.

“As that evolves,” Forer said, “what is private school going to look like, what is public school going to look like? What is their regulatory process?”

This evolution of NIL is the next great unknown in college athletics.

“After this first year of people kind of getting their feet wet with it, trying to better understand it, I think over the next couple of years we’ll really see what the impact is moving forward,” Kmiecik said. “It is constantly changing and it’s constantly evolving. It’s going to be constantly evolving.”

Follow colleges reporter Paul Myerberg on Twitter @PaulMyerberg

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Name, image and likeness legislation at year mark: What we learned

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aol_usatoday_us_articles_590cc1887d1-8a33-3650-86a8-1d968edf69b6Paul Myerberg, USA TODAYUSA TODAYUSA TODAYFri, 01 Jul 2022 14:28:46 +000016566936962022-07-01T16:41:41+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Record number of people expected to take road trips for Fourth of July weekend, AAA predicts]]>Near-record gas prices won't stop many of Americans from hitting the road this Fourth of July, as AAA estimates a record 42 million people will be taking road trips for the holiday weekend.

The estimation comes as part of the automobile and travel planning group's annual predictions of Fourth of July travel. AAA defines holiday travel as at least 50 miles away from home.

The increase in auto travel comes as gas prices have slowly dipped since reaching a record $5.01 a gallon on June 14, not adjusted for inflation. The average price is $4.96 as of Tuesday afternoon, according to AAA.

Hitting the road?: Sheetz lowers gas prices to $3.99 a gallon through July 4 weekend

Fourth of July fireworks: Make sure you know what the laws are in your state

"The volume of travelers we expect to see over Independence Day is a definite sign that summer travel is kicking into high gear,"  AAA Travel senior vice president Paula Twidal said in a statement. "Earlier this year, we started seeing the demand for travel increase and it’s not tapering off. People are ready for a break and despite things costing more, they are finding ways to still take that much needed vacation."

The Fourth of July weekend, which is from June 30 to July 4, is expected to be the busiest weekend for road trips in recorded history.

Including air travel, AAA predicts there will be 47.9 million people traveling for the weekend. It is a 3.7% increase from 2021 and brings travel records closer to pre-pandemic levels. 

It's estimated there will be 3.55 million people traveling by air for the weekend, and 2.42 million people will travel by bus, train or cruise. 

Although it is slightly more than the 3.5 million people that flew in 2021, AAA says the reason more travelers are choosing cars over planes is because of the recent surge of delays and cancellations at airports across the country.

Over 10,000 flights were canceled or delayed this past weekend in the U.S. in the busiest air travel period of 2022, and experts predict airline issues will continue throughout the summer thanks to the increased number of travelers and staffing shortages. The average lprice for a plane ticket is around $201, AAA says, a 14% increase from last year. 

'Travel Armageddon': Flight delays, cancellations pile up. What's going on?

Summer travel woes: What airlines owe you when flights are canceled, delayed

Calculating costs for your summer road trip?: Here's how to save money on gas.

"The best advice we can give travelers is to consider working with a travel agent who can help plan for the unexpected – like a flight cancellation. They are your best advocate," Twidal said. 

AAA said the most popular U.S. destinations for the Fourth of July weekend this year are:

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Seattle
  3. New York
  4. Anaheim, California
  5. Anchorage, Alaska
  6. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
  7. Las Vegas
  8. Honolulu
  9. Denver
  10. Chicago

AAA advises people book their travel plans sooner than later, as it's unlikely to find last-minute deals. 

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fourth of July traffic: AAA expects record number of road trips

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aol_usatoday_us_articles_59081b15b5d-89c0-3e40-a5e6-de483284fefeJordan Mendoza, USA TODAYUSA TODAYUSA TODAYFri, 01 Jul 2022 14:14:36 +000016566854462022-07-01T14:24:10+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Travis Barker's ex Shanna Moakler says he 'beat the odds' before and 'will do it again' amid hospitalization]]>

Shanna Moakler is praying for ex-husband Travis Barker amid his hospitalization with pancreatitis

"Thank you to everyone who has reached out with concern to my ex and father of my children," she said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight. "I know he is in great hands and surrounded by loving support and the best medical teams available and his beautiful wife Kourtney [Kardashian]."

She continued, "I pray for a speedy recovery and for the comfort of my children as I know they are very concerned and worried. Travis has beat the odds numerous times," having survived a 2008 plane crash and fire, which left 65 percent of his body covered in burns, "and I know with his support system he will do it again. I will always be there for him and my children."

The Blink-182 drummer — who shares Landon, 18, and Alabama, 16, with Moakler — has been hospitalized since Tuesday. Insiders told multiple news outlets the 46-year-old has pancreatitis.

NEW YORK - APRIL 6:  (U.S. TABLOIDS OUT)  From
Moakler and Barker promoting Meet the Barkers on MTV in 2005. (Photo: Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
Peter Kramer via Getty Images

He was photographed by paparazzi being wheeled into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on a stretcher Tuesday with Kardashian, whom he married in May, by his side.

"Travis was suffering from extreme stomach pain and could barely walk," a source told People of his symptoms. The person added that a "worried" Kardashian "won't leave his side."

Moakler's comments come after their daughter Alabama shared a photo of her dad in the hospital. On Thursday, the teen thanked fans for the "prayers and love."

Barker's stepdaughter Atiana De La Hoya — the 23-year-old daughter of Moakler and boxer Oscar De La Hoya also spoke publicly, saying the prayers were "heard, felt and appreciated."

Barker and Moakler, a Miss USA and Playboy Playmate of the Month, were married from 2004 to 2008 and starred in Meet the Barkers. They haven't always been on good terms since their divorce, but things have been better as of late.

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aol_yahoo_celebrity_53408250b01-c0bb-3651-8ba4-d01ecee2e097Suzy ByrneYahoo CelebrityYahoo CelebrityFri, 01 Jul 2022 13:56:12 +000016566967592022-07-01T17:32:42+00:00headline
<![CDATA[Bret Michaels hospitalized, Poison cancels Nashville show]]>Bret Michaels has been hospitalized. 

Members of Poison shared the news while on stage ahead of their scheduled show during their Stadium Tour with Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts on Thursday at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. 

“Bobby Dall, C.C. DeVille and Rikki Rockett want to give you all of our love and tell you that Mr. Michaels would like to be here to give you his love as well. But due to a bad reaction to a medication, he is currently in the hospital,” Bobby Dall told the crowd in a video shared on Facebook by Cheri Gail Wheet. “So unfortunately, we will obviously not be performing tonight.”

“We love you all and the reason that we’re out here to speak to you for a minute is to make a big round of applause for Joan Jett, Def Leppard and Mötley Crüe,” the musician continued. 

“So we’re gonna up our spot because of the illness and the weather and let the other three brands give you the wonderful performance you look like,” Dall added, before noting that they’d “be back in Nashville and we will rock this city very soon.”

The band did not further elaborate on Michael's health status, and a rep for Michaels did not immediately respond to TODAY’s request for comment.

On Friday, Michaels tweeted an apology to all his fans for "being unable to rock the stage" on Thursday night. 

"To the incredible fans in Nashville, thank you for all your well wishes!! I was truly fired up to get on stage in the Music City and perform, but due to an unforeseen medical complication & following hospitalization, it was not possible," Michaels wrote.

As far as future shows go, he said that he's "working on being back 100% very soon" and hoped that fans had a great time rocking out to Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. 

The Stadium Tour kicked off on June 16 in Atlanta, Georgia, with their latest show taking place on June 28 in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is unclear if Poison and Michaels will be performing at their July 2 stop in Jacksonville, Florida.

Michael has a history of health issues. In April 2010, he suffered an emergency appendectomy and two weeks later was hospitalized after suffering a brain hemorrhage.

Doctors later found a hole in his heart and the rocker underwent a heart procedure in 2011.

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aol_the_today_show_594eb6bf09b-5f31-3239-92ef-40a386fe8329Liz CalvarioThe Today ShowThe Today ShowFri, 01 Jul 2022 13:43:00 +000016567028962022-07-01T19:14:58+00:00headline
<![CDATA[‘Friends’ Creator Donates $4 Million Due to ‘Guilt’ and Embarrassment Over Show’s Zero Diversity]]>

Friends” creator Marta Kauffman told the Los Angeles Times that she’s so “embarrassed” by and feels such “guilt” over the lack of diversity on her classic NBC sitcom that she’s donating $4 million to create the Marta F. Kauffman ‘78 Professorship in African and African American Studies at Brandeis University. Kauffman said it was originally “difficult and frustrating” to have the show criticized for its lack of diverse characters, but she became critical herself after the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

“It was after what happened to George Floyd that I began to wrestle with my having bought into systemic racism in ways I was never aware of,” Kauffman said. “That was really the moment that I began to examine the ways I had participated. I knew then I needed to course-correct.”

More from Variety

All six main characters on “Friends” were white, and the show rarely featured actors of colors in prominent roles across 10 seasons and 236 episodes. The likes of Lauren Tom, Gabrielle Union, Mark Consuelos and Craig Robinson appeared on the show in small supporting roles, while Aisha Tyler, the most prominent actor of color featured on the series, only starred in nine episodes. Tyler played a paleontology professor who dated both Joey and Ross.

According to the LA Times, Kauffman’s $4 million African and African American studies program will “support a distinguished scholar with a concentration in the study of the peoples and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora. The gift will also assist the department to recruit more expert scholars and teachers, map long-term academic and research priorities and provide new opportunities for students to engage in interdisciplinary scholarship.”

“I’ve learned a lot in the last 20 years,” Kauffman said. “Admitting and accepting guilt is not easy. It’s painful looking at yourself in the mirror. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know better 25 years ago. ”

Kauffman said she’s “gotten nothing but love” since making the announcement, adding, “It’s been amazing. It surprised me to some extent, because I didn’t expect the news to go this wide. I’ve gotten a flood of emails and texts and posts that have been nothing but supportive. I’ve gotten a lot of ‘It’s about time.’ Not in a mean way. It’s just people acknowledging it was long overdue.”

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Click here to read the full article.

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aol_variety_168eba4e3b3-966f-3b73-978b-23b1241fb976Zack SharfVarietyVarietyFri, 01 Jul 2022 13:33:38 +000016567094722022-07-01T21:04:35+00:00headline
<![CDATA[June was an explosive, historic month in Washington. Here's what you might have missed]]>Across the legislature, Supreme Court and elections, June was a packed month for politics. Bombshell testimony from the Jan. 6 committee looked to connect former President Trump with the attack on the Capitol. The Supreme Court issued major decisions on abortion, gun rights and religious freedom. Millions went to the polls in primaries for midterm elections that will determine control of the House and Senate. 

June 2022 will be remembered for its unprecedented change and social upheaval. The constitutional right to an abortion, in effect for nearly fifty years, was overturned. For the first time in nearly thirty years, Congress passed reforms on gun ownership, while simulateously the Supreme Court overturned gun restrictions. 

The month marked fifty years since the break-in of the Watergate Hotel. Televised hearings into President Nixon's involvement swept the nation and led to his resignation. Now this year, a series of blockbuster televised hearings into Trump's involvement before, during and after the Jan. 6 riots has similarly gripped the nation. 

Anti-abortion protesters gather outside the Supreme Court in Washington on Friday, June 24, 2022. The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years, a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court's landmark abortion cases.

Stories: Seven members of Congress, seven personal stories of abortion

Here's what you might have missed in June: 

The end of Roe v. Wade leads to state laws and nationwide protests 

The outcome had already been leaked, but it was a decision that nevertheless shocked Americans.

In a 5-4 decision on Friday, the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, knocking down fifty years of a constitutional right to an abortion to any American. 

Now with abortion in states' hands, a web of laws limit where, when and under what circumstances someone may receive an abortion. 

For anti-abortion advocates, this was an outcome they'd waited decades for. Now their advocacy work moves to states, working to enact restrictions in state legislatures. Ten states already had trigger laws on the books that automatically outlawed abortion with the end of Roe. A dozen other states are poised to restrict or outright ban abortions through this summer and the end of the year. 

Across the nation, protestors decried the ruling as unconstitutional. Activists promised to keep fighting by donating to abortion funds and assisting people over state lines to procure abortions in states where it remains legal. 

An abortion-rights activist is detained after throwing red paint on the sidewalk outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Saturday, June 25, 2022. The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years, a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court's landmark abortion cases.

After Roe: 'This is not over': Harris warns Supreme Court may target gay marriage, contraception next

Plan B: CVS, Rite Aid set purchase limits on Plan B contraceptive pills as demand spikes after Roe v. Wade ruling

Birth control: What to know about birth control as Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Other Supreme Court opinions: guns, religious freedom and more

Roe was the highest-profile Supreme Court decision in years, but other rulings published in June will have ripple effects on Americans' lives. 

The court took aim at separation of church and state in a 6-3 decision over religious freedom. Former high school football coach Joseph Kennedy was fired for leading prayers on the field following games as the school district claimed it pressured players to take part. 

The majority on the Court argued Kennedy's 50-yard line prayers were a private matter and did not constitute the public school district enforcing Christianity. 

The decision has implications for religious practices at schools and government establishments in the future.

The Supreme Court also struck down a New York state law that required residents to have "proper cause" to carry a handgun in public, such as self-protection. 

The decision drew outcry from Biden and other Democrats who said increased access to guns will lead to more gun violence

Over a decade ago, the Court ruled that individuals had the right under the Second Amendment to possess guns in their homes but left open whether or not the right extended outside someone's front door. 

 Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh sided with the more liberal justices over immigration policy on Thursday. 

In a 5-4 decision, the Court allowed the Biden administration to end a Trump-era policy that required Central American migrants seeking U.S. asylum to stay in Mexico while awaiting a decision. 

Roberts said the policy "imposed a significant burden upon the executive’s ability to conduct diplomatic relations with Mexico," as the U.S. must negotiate migrant returns with Mexican officials instead of unilaterally returning all Central American migrants across the southern border.  

The ruling marks a key judicial win for the Biden administration. 

In other SCOTUS news, Justice Stephen Breyer retired at the end of the month. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton and served 28 years on the nation's highest court. 

Breyer was immediately/ replaced by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was confirmed by the Senate in April. Jackson is the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. 

More: Ketanji Brown Jackson's profound impact as the first Black woman confirmed to SCOTUS

History in the making: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson makes history as Supreme Court's first Black woman justice

Congress passes gun reform for first time in thirty years 

While the Supreme Court upheld public access to guns, Congress enacted sweeping gun reform legislation that provides more checks on gun ownership. 

Known as the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the bill began as a bipartisan effort to address gun safety following mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas

Along with providing more funding for school safety, mental health and state crisis intervention programs, the bill also takes steps to restrict gun access for those who could harm to themselves or others. 

The bill encourages states to develop better "red flag" laws that would deny guns to people who are deemed to be dangerous by a court. It adds dating partners to the list of domestic abusers who are prohibited from buying firearms, eliminating the "boyfriend loophole." The law also enhances background checks on those between the ages of 18 to 21. 

This is the first major gun legislation passed by Congress in nearly thirty years, but Biden and some Democrats want to go further when it comes to gun reform, like re-banning assault style weapons. 

'Upset no matter what happens': Senate gun deal leaves voters on both sides unsatisfied, frustrated

More: Who are the 29 Republicans who voted in favor of the gun safety bill? And why?

Jan. 6 committee holds public hearings, connects Trump to Capitol riot

A sophisticated, seven-part plan to overturn the election. An inner circle that knew election fraud claims weren't true yet continued to pressure state officials. An outraged president who wanted to join rioters at the Capitol. 

These are just a few of the revelations discovered over six hearings in June into the January 6 insurrection and former President Donald Trump. 

After months of over 1,000 closed-door interviews and review of over 100,000 documents, the House Jan. 6 Committee went live with their findings this month. 

Between surprise witnesses and bombshell evidence, the hearings felt made for television (they are, after all, produced by former ABC News president James Goldston). Ratings topped 20 million viewers for the first prime-time hearing. 

The committee has looked at the pressure campaign Trump and his personal lawyers put on election administrators in swing states like Georgia and Arizona. Another hearing looked at how Justice Department officials found no evidence of election fraud and repeatedly told this to Trump and his staff, yet Trump ignored their findings and pressured them to make public statements in his favor. Another hearing explored how Vice President Mike Pence stood firm against private and public attacks from Trump to not certify election results.

The committee will continue its public hearings in July. Upcoming hearings will look at the role of extremist groups the Proud Boys and the Oathkeepers in organizing the riots. They've also obtained video footage from Alex Holder, a documentary filmmaker who conducted interviews with Trump, his family and his closest allies before, during and after Jan. 6. 

Miss Day 6 of the Jan. 6 hearing?: Trump knew mob was armed and dangerous, bombshell witness says

More: Ketchup on the wall, scuffle at the wheel: Trump aide's testimony lands like grenade at Jan. 6 hearing

Millions headed to the polls in midterm elections 

June was arguably the peak of primary season, as voters in fifteen states headed to the polls to decide candidates for general elections in November. 

Trump wasn't on the ballot by name in Republican primaries and run-offs, but pro- and anti-Trump Republicans squared off in de facto referendums on the former president. In South Carolina, Reps. Nancy Mace and Tom Rice — both critical of Trump — faced primary challengers. Mace won her election after scaling back the anti-Trump rhetoric, filming an ad outside Trump Tower and telling voters she was one of his "earliest supporters in 2016." Rice — one of ten Republicans to vote to impeach Trump over Jan. 6 — doubled down on the criticism in his campaign and lost his seat. 

In California, prominent Democrats like Gov. Gavin Newsom and Sen. Alex Padilla sailed through primary races, but local elections proved mixed for the Democratic Party. San Francisco voters recalled District Attorney Chesa Boudin, a strong advocate for ending cash bail, reducing mass incarceration and cracking down on police misconduct. In Los Angeles, Democrat Karen Bass will head to a fall run-off against Republican billionaire Rick Caruso after failing to meet the 50% voter threshold. 

The November general elections will prove pivotal for Republican hopes in regaining control of the House and potentially Senate. Key states to look out for include Nevada, Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. 

'Rig the system': GOP candidates for secretary of state run on Trump's election denial platform

What does it take to be first?: These states want to replace Iowa on the presidential calendar

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: From abortion rights to Jan. 6 hearings, recapping a historic June

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aol_usatoday_us_articles_59091687acf-6bac-3658-92cf-5b07444b3ffdKatherine Swartz, USA TODAYUSA TODAYUSA TODAYFri, 01 Jul 2022 12:56:25 +000016567191182022-07-01T23:45:22+00:00headline