Moderna wants to increase the number of vaccine doses in each vial.

Moderna wants to increase the number of vaccine doses in each vial.


The upstart drugmaker Moderna is asking U.S. regulators to allow it to increase the amount of coronavirus vaccine put into each vial by as much as 50 percent, arguing that it can speed vaccines to patients by clearing away a simple manufacturing bottleneck: Getting medicine into bottles.

The Food and Drug Administration could decide within a few weeks how much more vaccine Moderna, the developer of one of the two federally authorized Covid-19 vaccines, can put into its vials. Moderna says it can raise the number of doses per vial from 10 to as much as 15.

The company has already been ramping up production of its vaccine, only to find a bottleneck in the bottling, capping and labeling process. With F.D.A. approval, more doses could start going into each bottle quickly, a welcome boost to the campaign to curb a pandemic that has killed more than 440,000 people in the United States alone. In a statement late Monday, Ray Jordan, a Moderna spokesman, said the constraint on dosage per vial was limiting Moderna’s output.

The Moderna proposal is part of a broader push by the Biden administration to speed vaccine distribution, including by clearing away obstacles in the “fill and finish” phase of manufacturing. On Tuesday, Jeffrey D. Zients, the White House’s Covid-19 response coordinator, said that the federal government would allocate a minimum of 10.5 million doses of coronavirus vaccines to states for the next three weeks, a bump of 5 percent resulting from an expected increase in manufacturing.

Although the nuts-and-bolts stage receives less attention than vaccine development, it has been identified for years as a constraint on vaccine production.

Moderna has discussed the possible change with the F.D.A. but has not yet submitted manufacturing data to support it, people familiar with the discussions said. Federal regulators may be receptive to the idea of more doses in each vial, but could balk at the notion of a 50 percent increase.

The industry standard has long been 10 doses per vial, and federal regulators may be concerned that the extra punctures by needles of the rubber covering of the vial and the time required to extract more doses could increase the risk of contaminating the vaccine with bacteria.

At some point, too much liquid can cause a vial to break. Moderna has tested what happens when it adds additional doses, and determined that the limit is 15 doses, according to people familiar with the company’s operations who were not authorized to speak publicly. Moderna’s proposal to the F.D.A. for the dose increase was first reported by CNBC.

Packing more vaccine into each Moderna vial is one of a number of options White House and health officials are exploring as they push to expand production before the spring, when officials are expecting a renewed surge of infections from emerging variants of the virus. Some proposals have already been considered and dismissed, including a suggestion to combine fractions of doses left over in vials.

The maker of the other federally approved vaccine, Pfizer, is unable to increase the amount of vaccine in its vials because its manufacturing is geared toward a particular size of vial that can hold only about six doses. But Moderna’s vial is big enough to hold more than the 10 doses now allowed.

Asked about Moderna’s proposal, a White House spokesman on Monday said that “all options are on the table.”

Prashant Yadav, who studies health care supply chains with the Center for Global Development in Washington, said Moderna might be able to “relatively quickly” make more of its vaccine if it received the green light to add doses to each vial.

But he said it would not be an instant change. “I don’t think Moderna has a surplus sitting around,” he said.

Mr. Yadav said the finish-and-fill process is intensely automated, devoted to warding off contamination and precise to the microgram. At top speed, as many as 1,000 vials of vaccine can be filled per minute, he said.

He said a 15-dose vial carries a trade-off: It could lead to more wasted doses if the health care professional runs out of people to get inoculated and has to throw out the rest of the doses. But in the midst of a raging pandemic, experts said, that may well be a risk that federal health officials would be willing to take.

32 BRILLIANT SUMMER HACKS

32 BRILLIANT SUMMER HACKS


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

ESSENTIAL LIFE HACKS FOR SUMMER

Hey, guys! Watch this video to find amazing life hacks that will make your life easier:
-We know a perfect recipe to cure mosquito bites: mix water and baking soda. Soak a cotton pad in this mixture and apply for several minutes
-Make a trap for insects to get rid of them while you are camping. Take a plastic bottle and mix brown sugar with yeast and hot water
-Toothpaste works perfectly to cure pimples. Also, toothpaste cures minor burns
-Make a natural repellent at home. You will need two ordinary ingredients: basil leaves and eucalyptus oil. Cut the leaves and boil them for 10 minutes, add eucalyptus oil and leave for 10 minutes. This spray will help you to get rid of mosquitoes as basil is the natural repellent.
-Use frozen aloe vera gel to treat sunburns
-You will be surprised by the method you can use to cure blisters. Watch our tutorial on how to cure blisters with whole grain bread and vinegar
-Sun may damage hair, especially if they are very dry. Always protect your hair when you relax at the beach. Also, we know how to moisturize your hair. You can make a perfect mask to moisturize your hair using avocado. Mix avocado with jojoba oil and apply this mask for 15 minutes and wash after
-Self-tanner may cost a lot and you don’t need to spend a lot of money. Mix body cream with raw cocoa and apply this mixture on clean skin
-If your ring is too loose, take a hot glue gun to resize it
– If you need to moisturize your feet or if your heels are cracked, mix whole milk with baking powder and soak your feet in this mixture. Repeat for three days

TIMESTAMPS:
00:10 Baking soda for insect bites
01:20 Toothpaste for pimples
01:58 Natural repellent
04:19 Avocado mask for dry hair
05:47 DIY Self-tanner

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Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This video is made for entertainment purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, safety and reliability. Any action you take upon the information on this video is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any damages or losses. It is the viewer’s responsibility to use judgment, care and precautions if one plans to replicate.

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Kajal Aggarwal Photos [HD]: Latest Images, Pictures, Stills of Kajal Aggarwal

Kajal Aggarwal Photos [HD]: Latest Images, Pictures, Stills of Kajal Aggarwal

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Kehinde Wiley’s Black Rock Resident Artists Are Named

Kehinde Wiley’s Black Rock Resident Artists Are Named


A Congolese painter whose art reflects how globalization and consumerism have transformed African society. A Nigerian-American filmmaker whose work focuses on cultures and experiences of Africans and the diaspora. A visual activist from Texas who forces her viewers to confront issues that are deemed difficult to tackle.

These are among the 16 artists selected for the 2021 residency at Black Rock Senegal, the seaside studio in the West African capital city of Dakar belonging to Kehinde Wiley, the painter best known for his portrait of former President Barack Obama.

The artists, who will spend several weeks at the lavish studio along a volcanic-rock-lined shore, express themselves in a variety of formats and come from across the globe. But many in this year’s group share Wiley’s passion for using art to explore social change.

His most recent works include the stained glass fresco of breakdancers in the Moynihan Train Hall and his “Rumors of War” statue in Richmond, Va. — a Black man with ponytailed dreadlocks on horseback in the style of monuments to Confederate war generals. Wiley is not part of the Black Rock selection committee, which aims to consider the class of artists as a whole and tries to pick a diverse group of residents, including personal identities and nationalities and the medium they work in.

Among the residents is Hilary Balu, from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, whose recent brightly colored yet sorrowful work “Voyage vers Mars” explores the tragedy of contemporary migration — in this case the flight of a population to another continent, like astronauts leaving a destroyed earth for another planet.

Abbesi Akhamie, who lives in Washington, is a Nigerian-American writer, director and producer whose latest short film, ​“The Couple Next Door” from last year, premiered at the Aspen Shortsfest and won the Audience Choice Award at the Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival.

Irene Antonia Diane Reece from Houston uses her family archives as a form of activism and liberation, with some of her work exploring family history and racial identity.

Other residents include Delali Ayivor, a Ghanaian-American writer; Mbali Dhlamini, a multidisciplinary artist, and Arinze Ifeakandu, a Nigerian writer who recently graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and writes about queer male intimacy. The residents will each spend several weeks at a time in the studio, with coronavirus restrictions in place, in staggered stages, beginning this month.

Some might overlap with Wiley, who has spent much of the past year in Dakar, using the global pandemic as an opportunity to pause and paint, sometimes working with Black Rock residents who have helped him in his work.

“I’m learning to view, discuss, and critique art that often depicts the Black body from a range of perspectives that span the globe,” Wiley said in an email exchange. “There’s an unending variety of rubrics through which artists are pushing the possibilities of representation.”


Canada judge won’t relax Huawei CFO bail conditions

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — A Canadian judge on Friday rejected a bid to ease bail conditions for a senior executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei who was arrested in Canada on a U.S. extradition warrant.

British Columbia Supreme Court Justice William Ehrcke said the current restrictions are the minimum required to ensure Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder and its chief financial officer, does not flee Canada.

The judge dismissed Meng’s application for changes to her bail conditions, which would have allowed her to leave her Vancouver home outside the hours of her overnight curfew without the presence of security.

Meng remains free on bail in her multimillion mansion.

Meng’s husband testified earlier this month that she has underlying health conditions and he believes she’s at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 because of her proximity to members of her private security detail whenever she leaves home.

However, Ehrcke said that Meng does not need to leave home except for court appearances, she doesn’t live a great distance from the Vancouver courthouse and her security detail always wear masks.

Meng is wanted in the United States on fraud charges based on allegations both she and the company deny. Her lawyers argue she has been subjected to abuse of process and should be freed.

Canada arrested Meng at Vancouver’s airport in late 2018. Her arrest infuriated Beijing. In apparent retaliation for Meng’s arrest, China detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig and Canadian entrepreneur Michael Spavor. China has also placed restrictions on various Canadian exports to China, including canola oil seed. China also handed a death sentence to a convicted Canadian drug smuggler in a sudden retrial.

Spavor and Kovrig remain in a jail where the lights are kept on 24 hours a day.

STROKE PAINTING TECHNIQUE EXPLAINED || 15 EASY DRAWING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

STROKE PAINTING TECHNIQUE EXPLAINED || 15 EASY DRAWING TIPS FOR BEGINNERS


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

ONE STROKE PAINTING TECHNIQUE FOR BEGINNERS

If you work a lot, hobby is the best way to relax after a hard day. A hobby is a perfect way to reduce the level of stress, especially if you don’t have a chance to have holidays and spend time at the beach. There are a lot of hobbies and craft stores to buy cheap supplies. You can choose a cheap hobby to make your life happier. Drawing has a lot of benefits as it could be a form of expression, in childhood, it was a form of communication to express some feelings. Do you remember how many times you have spent in childhood drawing? Adults also love drawing as it’s a very meditative process that helps you to relax.
If you love drawing, you don’t need to start with fundamental painting techniques as there are lots of painting techniques good for beginners. You will be surprised how much you can do with a single stroke of a paintbrush. The best thing is that you don’t need to buy expensive tools and a collection of brushes, you will need only one paintbrush. In this video, you will find basic tutorials of this technique. You will learn how to draw beautiful flowers, dolphins, fishes, and even fruits. You can achieve such effects as shading and highlighting in a single movement. Moreover, you can decorate your home with your pictures and create beautiful gifts for your friends.

TIMESTAMPS:
00:09 Stroke painting tutorials
00:34 How to draw a dolphin
03:27 Stroke butterfly
04:39 Palette knife painting

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Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This video is made for entertainment purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, safety and reliability. Any action you take upon the information on this video is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any damages or losses. It is the viewer’s responsibility to use judgment, care and precautions if one plans to replicate.

The following video might feature activity performed by our actors within controlled environment- please use judgment, care, and precaution if you plan to replicate.

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Tom Moore, Who Cheered Covid-Ravaged U.K. With Charity Walks, Dies at 100

Tom Moore, Who Cheered Covid-Ravaged U.K. With Charity Walks, Dies at 100


LONDON — Tom Moore, the redoubtable 100-year-old Army veteran whose charity walks raised $45 million for British hospitals and made him a national symbol of pluck in a country ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, died on Tuesday.

His death was announced on his Twitter account.

Mr. Moore had been treated for pneumonia in recent weeks and tested positive for the coronavirus last month, his daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, said on Twitter on Jan. 31. He was taken to a hospital because he needed help breathing, she said, and his condition then deteriorated.

Dapper, spry and droll, Mr. Moore ambled his way into the hearts of people across Britain 82 steps at a time — the number it took to cover the length of a brick patio beside his garden in Marston Moretaine, a village an hour north of London. He did 100 laps before turning 100 last April.

Mr. Moore’s feat, which grew out of a challenge from his son-in-law, became a media sensation when Ms. Ingram-Moore publicized her father’s walks and began an online fund-raising campaign for the National Health Service. With donors that included Prince William, who called him a “one-man fund-raising machine,” Mr. Moore quickly raised 32.8 million pounds, or $45 million.

In the process, Mr. Moore became a pop-culture phenomenon. His walks were broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NBC and Al Jazeera, and his face became a staple on the front page of British tabloids. Those newspapers nicknamed him Captain Tom, his military rank until he was made an honorary colonel by the Army Foundation College.

He negotiated a multi-book deal, recorded a chart-topping song and was granted a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II, who came out of seclusion for the first time since the pandemic began to bestow the honor at Windsor Castle in July.

At 94, the queen made a striking pair with Mr. Moore — living links to a British World War II history that has been invoked during the pandemic as an example of the courage and stoicism that the country needs today. As princess, Elizabeth worked as a young driver and truck mechanic during the war, and Mr. Moore was a decorated Army officer who fought in the infamous Burma campaign.

Mr. Moore’s last days were clouded slightly by criticism of a trip that he and his family took to the Caribbean island of Barbados in December. Some took to social media to question why a 100-year-old man would vacation overseas at a time when the government was discouraging such travel because of the pandemic.

Defenders of Mr. Moore pointed out that the flight, which was paid for by British Airways, happened before Prime Minister Boris Johnson tightened England’s lockdown rules on Dec. 19 after scientists detected a fast-spreading new variant of the virus.

There is no evidence that Mr. Moore became ill on the trip. On Dec. 18, he appeared in a picture posted on his Twitter feed, wearing shorts, with the caption “Enjoying a beautiful family day in the Barbados sunshine.”

Born in Keighley, a village in Yorkshire, to a family of builders, Mr. Moore was trained as a civil engineer. In 1940, at 20, he was conscripted and assigned to the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. First stationed in Cornwall, in southwestern England, he was chosen for officer’s training and deployed to India. He trained Indian recruits to ride motorcycles, a lifelong passion he had picked up as a boy.

Later, Mr. Moore was sent to Burma, now known as Myanmar. During his time there, the British mounted a counterattack on the Japanese occupiers in a coastal region now known as Rakhine. It was jungle warfare, fought against a fierce enemy in deplorable conditions, rife with tropical disease and insects.

“If you took your jacket off at night to hang it up, in the morning you had to shake it to shake out the spiders and the other little creatures,” Mr. Moore said in an interview with The New York Times in May.

But he added, “I don’t recall getting frightened at the time at all.”

Mr. Moore returned home after the war and built a comfortable life as the manager of a concrete company. He remained energetic until his late 90s, mowing the lawn, tending a greenhouse and driving his own car. But two years ago he fell in his kitchen, breaking his hip and a rib and puncturing a lung.

His hospitalization left him with an enduring appreciation for the doctors and nurses of the National Health Service. As the service struggled with an influx of coronavirus patients last spring, raising money for its beleaguered staff seemed a worthy cause.

“Never in 100 years, when we started, did we anticipate this sum of money would be raised,” Mr. Moore said.

Part of the money he raised is being used to create therapeutic facilities for doctors and nurses to decompress after their work treating Covid patients. Mr. Moore said he viewed his fund-raising as a way to support health workers, much as he recalled Britons supporting him and his fellow soldiers during the war.

“At that time, the people my age, we were fighting on the front line and the general public was standing behind us,” Mr. Moore said. “In this instance, the doctors and nurses and all the medical people, they’re the front line. It’s up to my generation to back them up, just as we were backed up.”

Even after turning 100, Mr. Moore had not lost his sense of adventure. In addition to Barbados, he expressed a desire to go back to India.

“That is something I would love to do, but at 100,” he said matter-of-factly, “you’ve got a certain time limitation.”

Venezuela hired Democratic Party donor for $6 million

MIAMI (AP) — Newly filed lobbying records show Venezuela’s socialist government previously hired a longtime Democratic Party donor for $6 million at the same time it was lobbying to discourage the U.S. from imposing sanctions on the oil-rich nation.

The documents, which were disclosed Thursday, show a U.S. subsidiary of Venezuela’s state oil giant PDVSA agreed to hire Marcia Wiss’ Washington law firm in March 2017. That’s the same month it signed a consulting deal for $50 million with scandal-tainted former Congressman David Rivera.

Wiss, an international trade lawyer with a history of donations to the Democratic Party, including a $1,500 contribution to Joe Biden last year, denies she did any lobbying work.

Her former client — now under new management — said it was unaware of the full extent of her work to determine if it constituted political activities benefitting Nicolás Maduro’s government. The PDVSA subsidiary also took the unusual step of registering retroactively as a foreign agent, disclosing the contracts with Rivera, Wiss and a third vendor.

The contracts have come to light as allies of opposition leader Juan Guaidó work with the Justice Department to uncover any corrupt dealings at another wholly owned PDVSA subsidiary, Houston-based Citgo, which for years operated as a cash cow for Venezuela’s ruling party. A Guaidó-appointed board wrested control of Citgo, the sixth-largest independent U.S. refiner, after the Trump administration recognized him as Venezuela’s rightful leader in 2019.

The same Guaidó-appointed officials behind the new foreign lobby filings last year sued Rivera for allegedly breaking his consulting contract. Federal prosecutors in Miami are also investigating whether the Republican broke foreign lobbying rules.

At the time both Wiss and Rivera were retained, Maduro was trying to curry favor with the Trump administration, avoiding outright criticism of the new U.S. president while funneling $500,000 to his inaugural committee through Citgo.

The contracts with Rivera and Wiss were part of an effort to discourage the then-new Trump administration and other governments from imposing sanctions on Venezuela, according to three people familiar with the deals who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the politically sensitive matter. Payments came from a little-known, Delaware-registered subsidiary, PDV USA, which provided shareholder services to PDVSA independent of Citgo’s oil operations.

The three people said the holding company was regularly used by Maduro’s government for political activities in the U.S.

The charm offensive failed. Backed by exiles in Miami, Trump in the early days of his presidency hosted the wife of a prominent jailed Venezuelan activist and in August 2017 imposed the first of gradually more restrictive sanctions on PDVSA. Democrats cheered the hardline stance and the European Union began targeting Maduro allies with restrictions of its own.

But in a similarly tactful approach now being tried again with the Biden administration, Maduro for a while sought to ease hostilities with the U.S., which had been Venezuela’s biggest trading partner for decades before sanctions drove him closer to U.S. adversaries like Russia, China and Iran. Also in the mix was U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, who PDVSA tried to recruit to set up a meeting with the head of Exxon at the same time the oil giant’s former CEO, Rex Tillerson, was serving as Trump’s secretary of state.

Wiss collected around half of the $6 million in monthly installments of $250,000 before being instructed, like Rivera, to bill PDVSA back in Caracas in April 2018, according to the filings. On one occasion, she traveled to Caracas to meet with then Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez, who was a PDVSA board member in charge of international relations, according to two of the three people familiar with the deal. Rodríguez is now Venezuela’s vice president.

Wiss said her law firm does not and never has provided lobbying services, She added that the firm never invoiced or ever received payment from PDVSA or any non-U.S. related party — suggesting that half of the contract went unpaid.

“Wiss was engaged to provide PDV USA and its affiliates with legal services only,” she wrote in an e-mailed response to questions.

But the Guaido-appointed board of PDV USA deemed that the hiring of Wiss, Rivera and a third company, Caribbean Style Inc., required it to register under foreign lobbying rules. The Texas-based Caribbean Style was paid $625,000 to place four full-page advertisements in the New York Times and Washington Post.

“The pro-Venezuelan and anti-U.S. sanctions content of these advertisements suggests they were intended to influence the U.S. government or the U.S. public’s perspective of the U.S. sanctions regime rating to Venezuela,” PDV USA said in its filing, which is dated. Dec. 31.

In total, PDVSA sent $89 million to PDV USA between 2015 and March 2017 to pay U.S.-based vendors, according to the filing, which was first reported by Foreign Lobby Report, an online news service that tracks the influence industry.

PDV USA said Wiss provided updates on disputes involving PDVSA and advice on immigration, insurance, and cryptocurrency.

But it added that “PDV USA is unaware of the full extent of the legal work that Wiss may have been performing under the retainer,” suggesting that what Guaidó-appointed officials consider a high fee may have covered additional services for which it has no record. The AP could find no record of Wiss appearing on behalf of PDV USA or PDVSA in federal court or in the large number of commercial claims against Venezuela before a World Bank arbitration panel.

Wiss wouldn’t say what legal services she performed, or whether she had traveled to Caracas as part of her work, citing lawyer-client privilege. “Your information is false and you are being again misled,” she added.

Lawyers for Citgo’s new board sued a consulting firm owned by Rivera last year for allegedly not fulfilling its obligations under the contract. According to the lawsuit, Rivera, the former roommate of fellow Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, failed to describe any work that his firm, Interamerican Consulting, had actually performed, preparing just two of seven promised bi-weekly progress reports while collecting the first $15 million of the agreed-to $50 million.

The goal of the contract was to improve PDVSA’s “long-term reputation” and “standing” among “targeted stakeholders” in the U.S., according to a copy seen by the AP.

Rivera’s political career unraveled amid several election-related controversies, including orchestrating the stealth funding of an unknown Democratic candidate to take on his main rival in a South Florida congressional race and a state investigation into whether he hid a $1 million contract with a gambling company. He has never been charged with a crime.

Rivera’s business deal is also under federal criminal investigation in Miami because Rivera never registered with the Justice Department, which would be required when lobbying U.S. officials on behalf of a foreign government.

Wiss also never registered as a foreign agent and there is no indication that she herself is under investigation.

Wiss was a longtime lawyer at Hogan Lovells, where PDVSA was a client, before starting her own boutique firm, Wiss & Partners, in 2016.

___

Associated Press investigative researcher Randy Herschaft in New York contributed to this report.

___

Joshua Goodman on Twitter: @APJoshGoodman

27 LIFE SITUATIONS THAT EVERYONE CAN RELATE TO

27 LIFE SITUATIONS THAT EVERYONE CAN RELATE TO


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

HILARIOUS SCENES FROM REAL LIFE

Everybody knows that life differs from movies and awkward moments follow us everywhere! We prepared a selection of scenes that shows the difference between expectation and reality. For example, we think that we look stunning in new leggings and crop top in a gym but in real life after 15 minutes of hard work you are totally wet and exhausted and look awful. But there is a positive side – you will have a perfect body 🙂 One more failure is when you are waiting for guests and cook a perfect pie crust but you have accidentally forgotten about a pie. The result is that you have burnt pie crust.
There are always two kinds of girls! The first type always looks glamorous and chic. She is well-groomed day and night, looks glamorous and prefers sexy dresses, high heels, and shorts. Moreover, she makes perfect photos and selfies on Facebook. The second type of girls prefers comfortable clothes and doesn’t like makeup. She makes funny photos and always has fun. Always remember that you should completely love yourself and accept yourself as you are.
Do you remember your first date? During the first date partners are very shy and sometimes behave very silly. When people start dating they try to look as good as possible. Boys properly prepare for dates, girls pretend that they eat only one apple a day. Girls are afraid that boyfriend will see them without makeup in the morning and shave legs every day. After a year, everything changes and we prepared a funny compilation that shows how the relationship changes through time.

TIMESTAMPS:
00:09 Expectations vs. Reality hilarious scenes
00:51 Expectation vs. Reality: high heels
02:20 Expectation vs. Reality: pajama party
03:48 Two types of girls
10:06 First date vs. long-term relationships

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For more videos and articles visit:
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Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This video is made for entertainment purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, safety and reliability. Any action you take upon the information on this video is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any damages or losses. It is the viewer’s responsibility to use judgment, care and precautions if one plans to replicate.

The following video might feature activity performed by our actors within controlled environment- please use judgment, care, and precaution if you plan to replicate.

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For Britain’s Art Dealers, Post-Brexit Trade Isn’t So Free

For Britain’s Art Dealers, Post-Brexit Trade Isn’t So Free


LONDON — “You could just jump in a van, drive to Europe and cross all the borders to buy decorative antiques. You’d drive straight back through French customs. It was seamless,” said Andrew Hirst, a British dealer specializing in old textiles, who in 2018 moved with his family to Ireland, after Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

Hirst’s business is still based in London, and he said he was concerned that the combination of Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic would put an end to his specialist trade.

Britain left the European Union in January 2020, but it followed E.U. rules until a new trade agreement negotiated with the bloc came into effect on Jan. 1. But British businesses across a range of sectors, including art and antiques, are now discovering trade is not quite as free as they had hoped.

Value-added tax, or VAT — a tax on goods and services that is usually paid by consumers — is now payable when importing artworks into Britain from the European Union, and vice versa. Dealers at every level of the trade are also encountering unforeseen administrative and transportation costs that are damaging their profitability.

“I won’t be going to Europe to buy antiques like that again,” Hirst said.

Britain was the world’s No. 2 market for art and antiques in 2019 after the United States, with $12.7 billion of sales — 20 percent of the total global market, according to the 2020 Art Basel and UBS Art Market Report. But owing to “turmoil with the rollout of Brexit,” the report added, Britain’s market declined 9 percent in 2019, while sales in France, Europe’s next biggest market, grew 7 percent.

Since Jan. 1, collectors based in the European Union, where member countries set their own tax rates, now face VAT bills varying between 5.5 percent (France) and 25 percent (Denmark) on art or collectibles imported from Britain. (Britain charges 5 percent for items coming from the bloc.)

“Brexit has made the U.K. a faraway country,” said Andre Gordts, a Belgian collector who is one of an unknown number of international buyers who quietly moved their collections after the Brexit referendum to avoid VAT payments.

“It just makes things extremely difficult, enhancing the trade of bureaucrats and punishing hard-working artists and honest tradesmen in their galleries,” Gordts said. In 2016, he sold his London apartment and moved permanently to Brussels. “The only way out for British based galleries, I think, is to open a branch in the E.U.”

Ursula Casamonti, the London-based director of Tornabuoni Art, a leading Italian gallery specializing in modern and contemporary art, with branches in Britain, France and Switzerland, said the dealership would now have to pay thousands of euros in administrative charges when moving artworks around to mount exhibitions.

“The administrative, tax, shipment and timing costs for doing business in the U.K. have now increased,” she said. “While we still love the city, we now have a more negative idea about London as an international center for modern and contemporary art.”

Victor Khureya, the operations director of Gander & White, one of Britain’s biggest specialist art shippers, said there had been a “quite significant” rise in the cost of transportation since Brexit.

“There is a lot of administration, a lot of documentation and there are a lot of teething problems,” Khureya said.

“It results in delays, which are costly,” he added, noting that a recent shipment had been delayed for 24 hours by a French customs officer who misunderstood the relevant forms.

Khureya said that a shipment that before Brexit had cost about 250 pounds, or about $340, was now almost £1,000.

If a work of art is worth many thousands of pounds, these shipping costs represent a relatively marginal increase. But Brexit has also resulted in punitive cost increases in the transportation of lower-value items.

In January, Thomas Heneage, a long-established dealer in London specializing in art books, sold an item for £75, or about $100, to a customer in France, he said in a recent interview. The courier added charges adding up to more than $60, including a “fuel subsidy,” “Brexit adjustment” and “duties and taxes” that were almost four times what they usually charged, he said.

The customer canceled the order, Heneage said.

Disruption at the top end of the auction market, however, appears to be minimal, said Sebastian Fahey, the managing director of European operations for Sotheby’s.

“For the vast majority of buyers and sellers at Sotheby’s, there is no change, post-Brexit,” Fahey said, adding that private individuals in the European Union represented only a “small minority” of the buyers at his company’s London auctions. He said that the new VAT charges for importing items into the bloc from Britain “will be no different to the situation they faced previously when they bought in non-E.U. locations, such as New York, or Geneva.”

Some dealers and collectors in European Union countries with high taxes on the art trade, like Germany, see Brexit as an opportunity.

“In terms of trade between Germany and the U.K., it actually has quite some advantages,” said Johann König, a leading Berlin contemporary art dealer who also has a gallery in London. König pointed out that art bought in Germany could be imported to Britain relatively cheaply and that pieces bought in Britain would be subject to import VAT of 7 percent, whereas Germany charged 19 percent on domestic transactions.

“I believe that in the long-term, once a period of adaptation, and Covid, has passed, London will retain its importance within the European and global landscape as a major cultural hub,” König said. “We are continuing our activities in the U.K. and probably are going to even build it out more.”

Hirst, the British textile dealer now living in Ireland, said he also saw opportunities in post-Brexit Britain — as long as he can stay in business.

Until December, when government imposed a more stringent lockdown in England, he had been flying from Cork, Ireland, to London each week to trade every Friday and Saturday from an open-air stall at the popular antiques market on Portobello Road.

Hirst said he expected thousands of small businesses to go bust, creating openings for those who survive.

“There will be a lot of bankrupt stock,” Hirst said. “I may have to sell contemporary fabrics, rather than the beautiful old stuff I used to buy in Europe.

“It’s adapt or die.”

UN urges countries to repatriate 27,000 children from Syria

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. counterterrorism chief is urging countries to repatriate the 27,000 children stranded in a massive camp in northeastern Syria, many of them sons and daughters of Islamic State extremists who once controlled large swathes of Iraq and Syria.

Vladimir Voronkov told an informal meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Friday that “the horrific situation of the children in Al Hol (camp) is one of the most pressing issues in the world today.”

The 27,000 children “remain stranded, abandoned to their fate,” vulnerable to be preyed on by Islamic State enforcers, “and at risk of radicalization within the camp,” he said.

Al Hol, the largest camp for refugees and displaced Syrians in the country, is currently home to almost 62,000 residents, according to U.N. humanitarian officials. More than 80% are women and children, many who fled there after Islamic State militants lost their last Syrian stronghold in 2019. There are a number of other camps in the northeast as well.

Voronkov said there are children from 60 countries in the camps who are the responsibility of their member states, not of Syria or the groups that control the camps. Kurdish fighters are guarding Al-Hol and other camps as well as thousands of Islamic State fighters and boys in prisons.

He said a number of countries — including Russia and Kazakhstan that convened the virtual meeting — “have collectively repatriated nearly 1,000 children and their family members.”

Voronkov said the experiences of the returnees are being compiled “and what we see thus far is that fears of security risks have been unfounded.”

The executive director of the U.N. Counterterrorism Center stressed that children “must be treated primarily as victims” and youngsters under the age of 14 should not be detained or prosecuted.

History has shown that children are resilient and can recover from violent experiences if they are supported in reintegrating into communities, Voronkov said.

“Every effort should be made to ensure children are not kept in institutions but allowed to reintegrate with family members within their communities,” he said.

Virginia Gamba, the U.N. special representative for children and armed conflict, told the Security Council that children catalogued as being associated with armed groups including the Islamic State and al-Qaida “are the children who have been left adrift by conflict, like flotsam in the sea.”

She echoed Voronkov’s call that they be treated “primarily as victims, not as security threats, and that detention be used as a measure of last resort and for the shortest possible period.”

The mental health, safety and overall development of foreign children held for a long time “in dramatic conditions” in camps in northeast Syria and Iraq “are at stake,” Gamba said.

“They’re exposed to further trauma and stigmatization and are at risk because of their proximity to members of designated terrorist groups,” she said.

Children have a right to a nationality and identity and must not remain stateless, Gamba stressed.

Gamba said the repatriation of foreign children should be prioritized “with the best interest of the child,” and they must be assisted in reintegrating and getting an education, health care and jobs.

“They must be given their childhood back in a safe environment where they can build a future away from violence,” Gamba said. “They deserve a chance at life, like any other child.”

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24 UNBELIEVABLY EASY HACKS FOR YOUR NAILS AND MANICURE IDEAS

24 UNBELIEVABLY EASY HACKS FOR YOUR NAILS AND MANICURE IDEAS


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

EASY DIY NAIL ARTS

Hey, girls, you should totally watch this video! You will find nail art ideas that are actually very easy to make at home! We share creative designs that will transform ordinary nail painting into real nail art.
Choose the nail art you like:
Watch this video and find easy tips on how to use ordinary items like rubber bands to create a perfect French manicure
Matte manicure looks very elegant and you don’t need to buy matte nail polish. Apply a layer of your favorite nail posh and keep your fingers over the pot of boil water. Be careful to avoid burns!
Marble nail art looks amazing and is so easy to make. All you need is nail polish and water. Firstly, cover your nails with a base coat. Take a glass of water and add drops of nail polish, layer by layer. Dip your finger on the water with nail polish at a 45-degree angle
A broken nail is a real catastrophe! But you can easily fix a broken nail with a tea bag. Follow the step by step tutorial: cut a tea bag into small squares. Cover the nail with clear nail polish and place a piece of this bag over the wet nail polish. Apply another coat of clear nail polish. Allow to dry and correct the form. Cover with any nail polish you like
Nail polish remover marker is a must-have tool when you make a manicure at home. To make this pencil you will need an old highlighter and nail polish remover
You can make nail polish at home using old eyeshadow and clear nail polish
Peel-off manicure is a perfect solution for those who love glitter nail polish and know that it’s really hard to remove it. Use PVA glue as a base coat and let dry. Cover this base coat with glitter nail polish

TIMESTAMPS:
00:09 French manicure tutorial
00:42 Water marble manicure
01:38 How to fix a broken nail
03:02 Nail art with hearts
04:34 Floral nail art
12:07 Spider gel designs

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Aleksei Navalny Appears in Court for Decision on Prison Sentence

Aleksei Navalny Appears in Court for Decision on Prison Sentence


MOSCOW — Aleksei A. Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, appeared in court on Tuesday at a hearing that could send him to a lengthy prison term in a far-flung penal colony for the first time.

The Russian authorities have signaled that they will not be swayed by public pressure to release Mr. Navalny, the 44-year-old anticorruption activist. They have put several of his top allies under house arrest, and on Sunday they deployed a huge police force in cities across Russia to quell protests calling for his freedom.

At Tuesday’s hearing, the court weighed the prosecution’s accusation that Mr. Navalny had violated parole on a three-and-a-half-year suspended prison sentence that he received in 2014.

Under the terms of that sentence, the authorities say he was supposed to check in with the prison authorities at least twice a month. But he repeatedly failed to do so last year, prosecutors said, including after being released from a Berlin hospital in September while recovering from an assassination attempt by poisoning.

In 2014, Mr. Navalny and his brother were convicted of stealing about $500,000 from two companies, a conviction that the European Court of Human Rights called “arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable.” Mr. Navalny and his allies, along with many independent analysts, see his prosecution as an effort by President Vladimir V. Putin to silence his loudest critic.

Mr. Navalny’s associates have said that only street protests can force the Kremlin to change course, and tens of thousands of people have rallied for Mr. Navalny each of the last two weekends in cities across Russia.

In anticipation of protests on Tuesday, riot police officers in body armor, camouflage and black helmets cordoned off the neighborhood surrounding the Moscow courthouse where Mr. Navalny’s hearing was held.

Officers stood in front of entrances to the nearest subway station, checking documents. Parking lots around the station were filled with police vans carrying reinforcements. At least 237 people were detained, the activist group OVD-Info reported.

In the courtroom, Mr. Navalny — confined to a glass box for defendants, as is typical in Russia — smiled often and maintained his sense of humor. When the judge, Natalia Repnikova, asked him to introduce himself, he replied, “Your honor, you forgot to introduce yourself.”

When Ms. Repnikova asked for his current address, he deadpanned: “Pre-trial Detention Facility No. 1.”

During a break in the proceeding, Mr. Navalny, in slacks and a dark hoodie, paced back and forth in his box. At one point he looked up at the depiction of the French philosopher Montesquieu and other luminaries on the grand courtroom’s wood-paneled wall.

The prosecution’s case for sending Mr. Navalny to prison relied heavily on technicalities. A prison service official, Aleksandr Yermolin, read in a soft voice from a stack of papers detailing Mr. Navalny’s alleged parole violations. The prosecution said the violations had begun before Mr. Navalny’s poisoning last August.

At one point Mr. Yermolin cited online posts showing that Mr. Navalny was moving freely across Germany while not reporting for his parole last year. At another point, the prosecutor, Yekaterina Frolova, responded to an argument from Mr. Navalny’s lawyers by taking issue with the day of the week on which the defendant had contacted the parole authorities.

“Jan. 9 was a Thursday, which has nothing at all do to with a Monday,” the prosecutor said.

Mr. Navalny and his lawyers, in a lengthy back-and-forth with the prosecution, insisted that they had properly notified parole officials of his inability to report in person because of his poisoning. Mr. Navalny noted that even Mr. Putin had publicly referred last year to Mr. Navalny’s being in treatment in Germany.

“Say, dear comrade captain, do you respect the president of Russia, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin?” Mr. Navalny asked the prison official, Mr. Yermolin.

Poking at the glass in front of him, Mr. Navalny added: “On what grounds do you say you didn’t know about my location?”

Mr. Navalny was confined to house arrest for much of 2014 and served repeated jail terms of several weeks at a time. Until now, though, he has never served a lengthy prison sentence.

Analysts say the Kremlin’s calculus has long been that Mr. Navalny could be more of a liability behind bars — as Russia’s most prominent political prisoner — than walking free as an often-controversial opposition activist.

That thinking appears to have changed as the Russian public’s frustration with Mr. Putin has increased, along with Mr. Navalny’s prominence.

In August, Mr. Navalny was poisoned with the military-grade nerve agent Novichok, in what he and Western officials have described as a state assassination attempt. The Kremlin has denied involvement.

He was airlifted in a coma to Berlin, where he recovered. He returned to Moscow last month, even though the Russian authorities made it clear that he would face years in prison.

He was jailed upon arrival, after which his team released a report by Mr. Navalny that described a purported secret palace built for Mr. Putin. The report has been viewed more than 100 million times on YouTube, energized the pro-Navalny protests and underscored the opposition leader’s ability to reach a huge audience on Russia’s mostly free internet.

But Mr. Putin seems poised to outlast the uproar over his treatment of Mr. Navalny. No signs have emerged of support for the protesters within the government, Parliament, big business or the security services, which all remain firmly in Mr. Putin’s grasp.

Fissions within the elite, nowhere to be seen at least on the surface in Russia, have been pivotal in the success of street movements in other former Soviet states.

The Kremlin on Tuesday again sought to minimize the significance of Mr. Navalny’s case, issuing a veiled warning to the European Union’s top foreign policy official, Josep Borrell Fontelles, who plans to visit Moscow this week.

“We hope that there will not be something as silly as tying the future of Russian-European relations to the case of this pre-trial detention center inhabitant,” the Kremlin spokesman Dmitri S. Peskov said, according to the Tass state news agency.

Ivan Nechepurenko contributed reporting.

For GameStop day traders, the moment they’ve dreamed about

WASHINGTON (AP) — They’ve endured a financial crisis. Two deep recessions. Mounds of student debt. Stagnant pay. Costly health care. Dim job prospects.

They’ve seen the uber-rich grow richer while a pandemic threw tens of millions of people out of work and left many more isolated and vulnerable at home.

Now, they feel, it’s payback time.

Nearly a decade after the Occupy protest movement left Wall Street more or less unscathed, the citadel of financial might faces a new assault.

Day traders, mobilized on a subreddit page, have poured about all the money they can find into the stocks of a struggling video game retailer called GameStop and a few other beaten-down companies. Their buying has swollen those companies’ share prices beyond anyone’s imagination — and, not coincidentally, inflicted huge losses on the hedge funds of the super-rich, who had placed bets that the stocks would drop.

Their strategy, of course, is freighted with risk. The prices of the stocks they’ve bought are now multiples above any level justified by revenue, earnings or future prospects. The danger is that at any time, the stocks could collapse.

Maybe so. But as one Reddit user wrote Friday, asserting that hedge fund financiers would drink Champagne as they looked down upon Occupy Wall Street protesters in 2011:

“I’d rather lose it all than give them what they need to destroy me … I’ll burn it all down just to spite them.”

Their rage and hell-bent drive to pick on powerful Wall Street financiers have sent shivers through ordinary investors and heightened fears about the fragility of the markets in general after a prolonged period of stock gains fueled by ultra-low interest rates. Those fears just caused the S&P 500 index to suffer its worst week of losses since October.

GameStop shares? They rocketed nearly 70% on Friday. Over the past three weeks, they’ve delivered a stupefying 1,600% gain.

“They figured out how to play the way Wall Street has been playing for a long time,” said Robert Thompson, who has long tracked cultural trends as director of Syracuse University’s Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture. “I’m amazed it didn’t happen earlier.’’

Feeding the frenzy have been young traders like 27-year-old Zach Weir, who this week bought five shares of GameStop.

“I’m a college student, so that’s basically a month’s rent for me,” said Weir, who is pursuing a master’s degree in marketing.

He did it, he said, because he believes in the cause: Protecting a cherished game store, where he would hang out as a teenager on Friday nights, from financial tycoons who want the company to fail.

And if he loses his investment?

“If my account goes to zero, it goes to zero,” Weir said. “At this point, it’s not about the money. I think this is bigger than the money now”

Frustration and rage over widening financial inequities in the American economy have been mounting for years. The richest 1% of Americans collected about 19% of pre-tax income in 2019, up from less than 11% four decades earlier, according to the World Inequality Database, run by Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, economists at the University of California, Berkeley, along with other researchers.

New York University economist Edward Wolff has found that the richest 10% of Americans own roughly 85% of stock wealth, a share that has grown steadily over time.

The financial crisis that ignited the Great Recession of 2007-2009 intensified resentment toward the bankers who had financed the dodgy loans behind the catastrophe and had ignored the obvious risks, only to receive bailouts from taxpayers and largely escape accountability. Rising outrage fueled the Occupy movement, in which protesters took over New York’s Zuccotti Park and other public spaces and demanded far-reaching financial reforms that mainly didn’t happen.

The coronavirus inflicted further pain, flattening the economy and causing more than 20 million Americans to lose jobs. This week, a report from the anti-poverty group Oxfam found that the world’s 10 richest men have swollen their collective wealth by $500 billion since the pandemic erupted in March. In the meantime, nearly 10 million people who lost jobs to the pandemic remain unemployed.

The stock market, the chosen target of the Reddit day traders, has long stood as America’s premier symbol of entrenched wealth. But technology, including forums like Reddit, has made it ever easier, faster and simpler for the aggrieved to mobilize, swap information and collectively plot strategy. And e-trading apps, notably Robinhood, allow amateur traders to buy commission-free stocks with one click.

They spotted a vulnerability in the market: The so-called short squeeze.

When hedge funds and other investors want to bet that a stock price will fall, they arrange a short sale: They borrow shares of, say, GameStop. Then they sell those borrowed shares, planning to buy back the stock later at a lower price and pocket the gain.

But shorting can backfire disastrously if the stock surges instead of falling. Then the short sellers can be forced to bail out of their bets by buying the target stock. Their buying, in turn, can send the stock price ever higher and makes things even worse for the short sellers in an intensifying feedback loop.

GameStop, its future imperiled by e-commerce and a pandemic that has kept customers away, is among the most heavily shorted stocks. Some of the Reddit rebels are gamers who want to protect the retailer from the predations of Wall Street. Or just deliver a righteous blow to hedge funds and financiers who have lived large as others have suffered hardships.

Not all the day traders are inflamed by anger. They just see an opportunity to make money and pay bills.

“A lot of people are having trouble paying rent,” said Alexis Goldstein, a veteran of the Occupy movement. “A lot of people are at risk of eviction. A lot of people are very desperate, quite frankly, for new ways to make money.”

Yet Goldstein worries that the revolt will ultimately fail.

For one thing, some of the Wall Street firms that are targets of the Redditors actually profit from the very volatility that the Redditors’ assault has whipped up.

And the most sophisticated professional traders are no doubt calculating how to capitalize on the chaos. Normally, they have to work hard and invest heavily to determine what their competitors are doing and to profit from that information. By contrast, the Reddit day traders are announcing their intentions, brazenly and publicly.

“I suspect it’s not Robinhood investors and Redditors who are making money,” Goldstein said.

She would like to see a different slate of reforms — reforms to rein in Wall Street’s excesses while helping those who’ve been left behind.

“Hopefully, we can ask fundamental questions about whether we want our markets to be speculation-driven or do we want them to create innovation and jobs,” she said. “Stop hustling so hard for a buck and instead rebuild the social safety net.”

Tom Osran, a 59-year-old Chicago lawyer, has been reading the WallStreetBets forum on Reddit for years. But it was only last week that he decided to act for the first time, buying into GameStop. His investment, he said, is up 1,000% from last week, though he declined to reveal the dollar amount.

Osran said he figures that its astronomical stock rise can save GameStop from hedge funds that are betting that a company with 40,000 employees will fail.

“It’s fun being part of a movement,” Osran said.

He knows he could lose everything he put into GameStop shares. Yet he’s philosophical.

“We’re all adults, we all know stocks can go up and down,” Osran said. “It’s been insanely lucrative so far, but it could be all gone tomorrow.”

___

Pisani reported from New York.

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31 MUST-KNOW HACKS FOR YOUR GARDEN

31 MUST-KNOW HACKS FOR YOUR GARDEN


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

GARDENING FOR BEGINNERS

If you are dreaming about the garden this video is totally for you! You will find easy instructions on how to easily grow different plants. You will learn how to grow watermelon, pumpkin, onion, cucumbers from seeds.
You can use eggshells as seeding pots. It’s a perfect way to save money and also eggshell is a natural fertilizer. When your plants outgrow their temporary homes, place them in eggshells into the soil. For example, you can grow tomatoes in these pots.
You will learn how to grow watermelons. But you should remember that growing watermelons require a lot of sun and space. Let’s grow watermelon from seed. Take a plastic box and place tissue inside. Place seeds over the tissue and spray them with water. Cover the box with wrapping plastic and make some holes. Wit for four days for the seeds to soften. After that place seeds in small pots. Remember that watermelons grow better at high temperatures and in sunny areas.
We have more ideas for you! You will find out how to make stylish décor items from popsicle sticks. You will learn how to make a vase, hanging pots and wall decoration. Another awesome idea is how to make a vertical garden from cardboard and plastic cups. Check out how to make a cute and small garden in the kitchen from a tin can. You can grow basil, rosemary, oregano and other herbs.
If you love to travel and don’t know how to water plants when you are away, we have a genius idea to share. Take a pot with water and cut a long piece of cotton or nylon twine. Place one end of the twine into a pot and the other end into a planter. Make sure that a pot with water is above the base of the plant.

TIMESTAMPS:
00:25 How to grow a pumpkin
00:52 Eggshell seeding pots
05:14 Cool garden decoration
06:15 Popsicle stick crafts
09:29 Vertical garden idea
10:38 How to grow herbs at home

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Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This video is made for entertainment purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, safety and reliability. Any action you take upon the information on this video is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any damages or losses. It is the viewer’s responsibility to use judgment, care and precautions if one plans to replicate.

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Analysis: Putin dismissed Navalny for years. Outrage over his jailing is now a big problem for the Kremlin

Analysis: Putin dismissed Navalny for years. Outrage over his jailing is now a big problem for the Kremlin


A recent exposé on an extravagant secret palace on Russia’s Black Sea coast, which an investigation by Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) said had been built for President Vladimir Putin, has more than 105 million views on YouTube, and helped fuel public outrage at what the FBK describes as official excess. CNN is not independently able to verify the FBK’s claims. Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has denied the Russian leader was linked to the estate.

But it’s the harsh treatment of Navalny, 44, and his bravery in the face of it, which really seems to have struck a chord.

Many Russians are outraged by Navalny’s horrific nerve agent poisoning in Siberia last year, which Navalny says was ordered by Putin and carried out by agents of Russia’s security service, the FSB. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied the allegations.

The fact that Navalny flew back to Russia from Germany after he recovered, only to face immediate detention by the Russian authorities — and possibly a long prison term — further galvanized sympathy, united Russia’s often splintered opposition and cemented his status as a serious threat to the Kremlin.

Just how serious is unclear.

The latest nationwide protest Sunday drew thousands of Navalny supporters on to the streets across Russia. More than 5,000 people were detained by police determined to thwart the unsanctioned demonstrations, according to OVD-Info, an independent site that monitors arrests.

People take part in an unauthorized rally in support of Alexey Navalny in St. Petersburg on Sunday.

Kremlin opponents

Putin has faced mass street protests in the past, notably between 2011 and 2012, when tens of thousands protested against parliamentary elections which critics say were flawed, and against Putin’s decision to return to the presidency after a brief spell as prime minister, circumventing a constitutional bar of more than two consecutive presidential terms. Calls for Putin to step down were ignored, and the Russian government last year pushed through constitutional amendments — ratified by a referendum — that potentially allow Putin to stay in office until 2036.

In the past, Kremlin opponents have been gunned down, poisoned or discredited in a bid to silence them. The Kremlin has always denied involvement.

Boris Nemtsov, a leading Russian opposition figure, was shot near the Kremlin in 2015 to international condemnation. He was then considered the most visible leader of the Russian opposition. Putin quickly condemned the killing, the Kremlin said at the time. Five Chechen men were found guilty by a Russian military court and were handed prison sentences for his shooting in 2017.
In 2006, Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya was gunned down in her Moscow apartment building. Five men were convicted over her murder but her former colleagues have said there is little hope that whoever who ordered the killing will be held to account. The Kremlin denied any connection to the killing.

Russia’s former richest oligarch, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, served more than a decade in jail. Convicted of tax evasion and fraud — charges he has argued were politically motivated — Khodorkovsky saw the dismantling of his oil company after he backed opposition groups and spoke out about official corruption.

Former Russian agent turned Kremlin critic Alexander Litvinenko died in Britain in 2006 after being poisoned with a rare radioactive isotope, polonium-210. A UK inquiry concluded in 2016 that Putin probably approved the operation by two Russian agents to kill Litvinenko. Russia’s Foreign Ministry at the time dismissed the UK inquiry as politically motivated.

Navalny is only the latest in a line of challengers to Putin’s power.

Court hearing

An early test will come on Tuesday, when a Moscow court is scheduled to decide if Navalny broke the terms of a suspended sentence for an embezzlement conviction, dismissed as politically motivated by critics.

Russian activist Navalny's foundation calls on Biden to sanction Putin's closest allies

If the court decides against Navalny, he may be ordered to serve the 3.5-year term behind bars.

Much will also depend on actions of the international community in general, and US President Joe Biden’s new administration in particular.

There have been strong words of condemnation from the Biden administration and from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, even a direct telephone call between the US and Russian Presidents in which Navalny’s treatment was raised.

But so far there’s been no action.

After years of relentless criticism in the media and in Washington of how former US President Donald Trump was soft on Putin, all eyes are watching whether Biden will get tough.

Fighting climate change in America means changes to America

Climate isn’t the only thing changing.

What comes next in the nation’s struggle to combat global warming will probably transform how Americans drive, where they get their power and other bits of day-to-day life, both quietly and obviously, experts say. So far the greening of America has been subtle, driven by market forces, technology and voluntary actions.

The Biden administration is about to change that.

In a flurry of executive actions in his first eight days in office, the president is trying to steer the U.S. economy from one fueled by fossils to one that no longer puts additional heat-trapping gases into the air by 2050.

The United States is rejoining the international Paris climate accord and is also joining many other nations in setting an ambitious goal that once seemed unattainable: net-zero carbon emissions by midcentury. That means lots of changes designed to fight increasingly costly climate disasters such as wildfires, floods, droughts, storms and heat waves.

Think of the journey to a carbon-less economy as a road trip from Washington, D.C., to California that started about 15 years ago. “We’ve made it through Ohio and up to the Indiana border. But the road has been pretty smooth so far. It gets rougher ahead,” said climate scientist Zeke Hausfather, climate and energy director at the Breakthrough Institute.

“The Biden administration is both stepping on the gas and working to upgrade our vehicle,” Hausfather said.

The end results of some of Biden’s new efforts may still not be noticeable, such as your power eventually coming from ever-cheaper wind and solar energy instead of coal and natural gas that now provides 59% of American power. But when it comes to going from here to there, that you’ll notice.

General Motors announced Thursday that as of 2035 it hopes to go all-electric for its light-duty vehicles, no longer selling gas cars. Experts expect most new cars sold in 2030 to be electric. The Biden administration promised 550,000 charging stations to help with the transition to electric cars.

“You will no longer be going to a gas station, but you will need to charge your vehicle whether at home or on the road,” said Kate Larsen, director of international climate policy research at the Rhodium Group. “It may be a whole new way of thinking about transportation for the average person.”

But it will still be your car, which is why most of the big climate action over the next 10 years won’t be too noticeable, said Princeton University ecologist Stephen Pacala.

“The single biggest difference is that because wind and solar is distributed you will see a lot more of it on the landscape,” said Pacala, who leads a decarbonizing America study by the National Academy of Sciences that comes out next week.

Other recent detailed scientific studies show that because of dropping wind, solar and battery prices, Biden’s net-zero carbon goal can be accomplished far cheaper than feared in the past and with health benefits “many, many times″ outweighing the costs, said Pacala, who was part of one study at Princeton. Those studies agree on what needs to be done for decarbonization, and what Biden has come out with ”is doing the things that everyone now is concluding that we should do,” Pacala said.

These are the type of shifts that don’t cost much — about $1 day per person — and won’t require people to abandon their current cars and furnaces, but replace them with cleaner electric vehicles and heat pumps when it comes time for a new one, said Margaret Torn, a senior science at the Department’s of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, who co-authored a peer-reviewed study Wednesday.

Part of the problem, said study co-author Ryan Jones, co-founder of Evolved Energy Research, is that for years people have wrongly portrayed the battle against climate change as a “personal morality problem” where individuals have to sacrifice by driving and flying less, turning down the heat and eating less meat.

“Actually, climate change is an industry economy issue where most of the big solutions are happening under the hood or upstream of people’s homes,” Jones said. “It’s a big change in how we produce energy and consume energy. It’s not a change in people’s day-to-day lives or it doesn’t need to be.”

One Biden interim goal — “a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035” — may not be doable that quickly, but can be done by 2050, said study co-author Jim Williams of the University of San Francisco.

Biden’s executive orders featured plans for an all-electric federal fleet of vehicles, conserving 30% of the country’s land and waters, doubling the nation’s offshore wind energy and funding to help communities become more resilient to climate disasters. Republicans and fossil fuel interests objected, calling the actions job-killers.

“Using the incredible leverage of federal government purchases in green electricity, zero-emission cars and new infrastructure will rapidly increase demand for home-grown climate-friendly technologies,” said Rosina Bierbaum, a University of Michigan environmental policy professor.

The next big thing for the administration is to come up with a Paris climate accord goal — called Nationally Determined Contribution — for how much the United States hopes to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. It has to be ambitious for the president to reach his ultimate goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but it also has to be doable.

His administration promises to reveal the goal, required by the climate agreement but nonbinding, before its Earth Day climate summit, April 22.

That new number “is actually the centrally important activity of the next year,” said University of Maryland environment professor Nate Hultman, who worked on the Obama administration’s Paris goal.

Getting to net zero carbon emissions midcentury means about a 43% cut from 2005 levels — the baseline the U.S. government uses — by 2030, said the Rhodium Group’s Larsen. The U.S. can realistically reach a 40% cut by 2030, which is about one-third reduction from what 2020 U.S. carbon emissions would have been without a pandemic, said Williams, the San Francisco professor.

All this work on power and vehicles, that’s easy compared with decarbonizing agriculture with high methane emissions from livestock and high-heat industrial processes such as steel-making, Breakthrough’s Hausfather said.

“There’s no silver bullet for agriculture,” Hausfather said. “There’s no solar panels for cows so to speak, apart from meat alternatives, but even there you have challenges around consumer acceptance.”

___

Read stories on climate issues by The Associated Press at https://apnews.com/hub/climate

___

Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter at @borenbears.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

27 SUMMER IDEAS FOR FRUIT LOVERS

27 SUMMER IDEAS FOR FRUIT LOVERS


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

NEW WAYS TO CUT A WATERMELON

Every summer we enjoy watermelons but usually eat them in traditional triangle shapes. But it’s too boring and we found a lot of creative ideas on how to cut a watermelon.
Here is a collection of life-changing watermelon hacks for a hot summer:
-If you are preparing for a romantic date, you can make a watermelon heart that looks adorable
-Make a basket out of a watermelon filled with watermelon balls. The good thing is that you don’t need to have any special cutting skill. You will only need an ice-cream scooper
-Watermelon has a very important benefit – it perfectly hydrates your body when it’s hot outside. And we know a cool idea of how to make watermelon juice. Cut a hole in a watermelon, use a whisk to beat the flesh. Add ice cubes and stir. Now you can make a juice dispenser
-Make a watermelon volcano! Make a whole and place inside some Mentos and pour soda. Enjoy!
-One more awesome idea is to make a watermelon cocktail for a beach party! You will need salt, chili pepper, lime, watermelon juice, lime juice and a bit of alcohol
-Reuse Pringles can slice a watermelon. Check out the tutorial!
-We know a recipe of super-easy dessert – watermelon jellies!
-One more delicious dessert is Cola watermelon. Cut two holes in watermelon, pour Cola inside and incredible dessert is ready!
-You will learn how to serve watermelon and to make your party table even cooler. Use wooden sticks to serve and eat watermelon. The best thing is that sticks will let your hands be clean
As a bonus, you will find fruit life hacks that will help you to cut fruits very quickly! Check out how to make mango flowers, how to make square oranges, how to serve pineapples and a lot more!

TIMESTAMPS:
00:22 DIY Watermelon juice dispenser
00:46 Watermelon volcano
02:29 Watermelon Jello
03:00 A new way to cut a watermelon
12:20 Mango roses

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Blue vs. Red Economic Records

Blue vs. Red Economic Records


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Has the economy fared better under Democratic presidents or Republican presidents over the past century? The sensible answer might seem to be: It’s probably been similar.

Presidents, after all, have only limited control over the economy. They don’t have much influence over the millions of decisions every day, made by consumers and business executives, that shape economic growth, jobs, incomes and stock prices. Over the course of a century, it seems logical that the economy would have performed similarly under Democrats and Republicans.

But it hasn’t.

The economy has fared far better under Democrats. The gap, as one academic paper puts it, is “startlingly large.” Here are the headline numbers:

And here is a ranking of presidents by average annual G.D.P. growth:

The gap exists not only for G.D.P. and jobs but also for incomes, productivity and stock prices. The gap also exists if you assume that a president’s policies affect the economy with a lag and don’t start his economic clock until months after he takes office. Virtually any reasonable look at the data shows a big Democratic advantage.

My colleague Yaryna Serkez and I have just published a piece documenting the pattern and the potential reasons. A few possibilities are easy to reject. It’s not about congressional control, nor is it about Democrats running up larger budget deficits. (Republican presidents have run up larger deficits in recent decades.)

Coincidence surely plays some role — but it’s highly unlikely to account for the entire gap, given its size, breadth and duration. Yaryna’s and my piece explores some of the most plausible explanations:

  • Republican presidents have been slow to respond to recessions and other crises — Donald Trump and both George Bushes being examples. (Herbert Hoover was too, and the partisan gap would be even bigger if the data went back far enough to include him.)

  • Recent Democratic presidents have been more pragmatic, willing to listen to the evidence about when the economy would benefit from deficit reduction and when it needs government support for education, infrastructure, scientific research and more.

  • Republican presidents over the past 40 years have pursued one economic policy above all other — tax cuts, skewed heavily toward the affluent — and there is little evidence that they do much for economic growth.

Our piece has more details and charts, as well as comments from both conservative and liberal economists. Find it all here.

  • A winter storm is heading north, after dumping at least 16 inches of snow on New York City. (For the giant pandas at the National Zoo, it was fun.)

  • Firsthand accounts accuse Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd’s neck last year, of using similar tactics on other detainees.

  • In a video talking about the Capitol riot, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she was a sexual assault survivor. “When we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other,” she said.

  • The actor Evan Rachel Wood accused the rock star Marilyn Manson of abuse. Several other women have made similar accusations against Manson.

  • Five women accused Mickey Callaway, a former manager of the Mets, of unwanted sexual advances, The Athletic reports.

  • The singer Tony Bennett learned he had Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, his wife said.

A Morning Read: “How do I tell my kids that they could possibly have 300 siblings?” The case of a Dutch serial sperm donor.

From Opinion: GM’s decision to stop making gas-powered vehicles by 2035 will put pressure on other automakers and force oil companies to diversify their businesses, Jody Freeman, a law professor, writes.

Lives Lived: Jamie Tarses had an eye for TV hits (“Friends,” “Mad About You”). At 32, she became the president of entertainment at ABC, the first woman to become a network’s top programmer. Tarses died at 56.

Dustin Diamond played Screech Powers, a sweet-natured, geeky underdog, on the NBC high school sitcom “Saved by the Bell” from 1989 to 1992. Diamond died at 44.

Hal Holbrook carved out an acting career in television and film but achieved his widest acclaim onstage, playing Mark Twain in a one-man show for decades. Holbrook died at 95.

What do Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, Shakira, the DJ Calvin Harris and RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan have in common? They have all recently sold all or part of the rights to their music catalog for large payouts. For these music publishing deals, “there’s never been a period as active as the past few months,” as Lucas Shaw and Thomas Seal write in Bloomberg Businessweek.

Why are artists opting to cash out? For one, the pandemic has prevented them from touring, which makes up a significant chunk of their income. But the musicians are also taking advantage of a bull market.

It’s largely because of the popularity of streaming services like Spotify, and projections that music revenue will continue to rise, Ben Sisario, who covers the music industry for The Times, told us. More buyers are also pouring into the market, driving up prices. A decade ago, a publishing catalog typically sold for roughly 10 times its annual earnings. Over the past few years, the multiple has grown to between 14 and 22, depending on the songs included.

Publishing rights of popular songs are alluring because they can provide a dependable flow of income. In the case of Dylan, Universal Music is now paid any time his songs are sold, streamed, covered by another musician, or used in ads and movies.

For more, we recommend this episode of “Popcast” with Ben, which explains the fascinating history of song licensing and royalties.

The pangrams from yesterday’s Spelling Bee were alloying, annoyingly and lollygagging. Today’s puzzle is above — or you can play online.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: B, in chemistry (five letters).


Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — David

P.S. Groundhog Day, the annual Punxsutawney tradition, will take place virtually today because of the pandemic. This 1910 story from The Times explained why you shouldn’t trust the rodent: “He Has Gone Back on Us for Three Years.”

You can see today’s print front page here.

Today’s episode of “The Daily” is about Biden’s climate agenda. On the latest “Popcast,” the first genuine pop phenomenon of 2021.

Claire Moses, Melina Delkic, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Yaryna Serkez, Tom Wright-Piersanti and Sanam Yar contributed to The Morning. You can reach the team at themorning@nytimes.com.

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New book sees a ‘New Possible’ emerging from 2020’s tumult

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This undated photo provided by Steve Humphreys shows Justin Rosenstein. Justin Rosenstein, Tristan Harris and Philip Clayton wrote essays for the book, “The New Possible”. “The New Possible,” is a collection of thought-provoking essays exploring how society can seize upon the recent upheaval to reshape technology, the economy, the environment, the food supply, government and community so we can eventually look back at 2020 as a reawakening instead of a death rattle.(Steve Humphreys/INM via AP)

1 of 4

This undated photo provided by Steve Humphreys shows Justin Rosenstein. Justin Rosenstein, Tristan Harris and Philip Clayton wrote essays for the book, “The New Possible”. “The New Possible,” is a collection of thought-provoking essays exploring how society can seize upon the recent upheaval to reshape technology, the economy, the environment, the food supply, government and community so we can eventually look back at 2020 as a reawakening instead of a death rattle.(Steve Humphreys/INM via AP)

SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — In pop culture, 2020 has been understandably reviled as the “hell year.” It tormented us with a lethal pandemic spiraling out of control, thousands of shuttered businesses, violent protests over racial injustice, raging wildfires and political extremism and lies that underpinned January’s harrowing coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol.

But what if all that tumult actually laid the foundation for societal revival? That’s the premise offered by an eclectic group of writers, academics, scientists, environmentalists, and technology engineers in “The New Possible,” a collection of essays that explore what and how the world might rebuild from the rubble of the past year.

The group behind the book doesn’t lack for ambition. People from science fiction novelist Kim Stanley Robinson to Buddhist monk Jack Kornfield suggest ways to reshape technology, the economy, the environment, the food supply, government and community in hopes that people can eventually look back at 2020 as a reawakening and not a death rattle.

“People can tell our systems are broken, and not just in a subtle way, not just like we need to tweak a few things or throw a few bad apples out,” said Justin Rosenstein, a former Google and Facebook engineer who contributed an essay on building a “democratic economy.” “The rules of the system are rigged against us. They are not designed to serve the interests of humanity, they are not designed to serve the interests of nature.”

Rosenstein was one of the driving forces behind the book, which was released last week. Some critics may see him as part of the problem, given that he invented the Facebook “Like” button that helped propel the success of a social network that has become a massive funnel of misinformation that has become a source of consternation and regret for him and other one-time Facebook backers like investor Roger McNamee. “It is very tempting to hate the players rather than look at the game and realize it’s the problem,” Rosenstein said. “We have new technology that can enable us to harness our collective intelligence in ways that has never been possible before.”

The book is backed by One Project, a nonprofit group Rosenstein started as part of his effort to improve the way we live and work. He also was a protagonist in “The Social Dilemma,” a Netflix documentary about the dark side of social media released four months before the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

Another “Social Dilemma” standout, former Google engineer Tristan Harris, founded the Center for Humane Technology in 2018r to nudge the industry away from building services and devices designed to attract and hold onto our attention. His considers his essay a kind of sequel to the Netflix documentary and its warning about how Facebook and Twitter can tear people apart instead of bringing them together.

“We have been screaming at the top of our lungs about this train running off the cliff for a long time and then it culminated in Jan. 6,” Harris told the AP, referring to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol incited by former President Donald Trump. “We have trapped the entire global psyche inside this Vegas-style dopamine machine that has become the host of our democratic conversations.”

“The New Possible” aims to spur change through 28 essays divided into 10 categories — Earth, Us, Change, Wealth, Work, Food, Education, Love, Community and Tomorrow. The contributors the gamut from best-selling author Michael Pollan to high school teen activist Anisa Nanavati.

The contributors quickly embraced idea last spring, said Philip Clayton, one of the book’s editors and president of the Institute for Ecological Civilization. In the eight months since work on the essays began, Clayton believes the sequence of events that bookended the Nov. 3 election have turned “The New Possible” into a Kairos book, referring to the ancient Greek word for an opportune time in history.

“This is the one of the few moments in life,” Clayton said, “when the world points to you and says, ‘Are you going to make that inner change or are you not going to transform?’”

31 AMAZING LIFE HACKS AND DIYS YOU HAD NO IDEA ABOUT

31 AMAZING LIFE HACKS AND DIYS YOU HAD NO IDEA ABOUT


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

CRAZY IDEAS FOR A BORING EVENING

Hey, guys! We prepared a collection of ideas that you will totally love! Nowadays, it’s really hard to make a cool picture. That’s why we share brilliant tips to make special shots to increase the number of followers. Bloggers will love the ideas on how to improve your social media photos. Beauty blogger, we have a cool idea for you! Try to make a cool slo-mo video using a cosmetic brush and glitter. Girls, we have one more incredible idea – make a waterfall of rose petals. The next idea sounds crazy but you can make your booty look bigger on photos using a pan!

You will be surprised how multifunctional lids from a pack of baby wipes might be! I bet you usually throw it away but you can reuse them and create an educational for toddlers game to learn different animals; to make a box for earrings or for photos. Moreover, open sockets are dangerous for children and you can use a wipes lid to cover them.
The next collection of ideas will teach you how to make inexpensive miniature accessories for a Barbie. Decorate Barbie’s bathroom with beautiful bottles of beauty products. Besides, your doll as every girl should have a makeup collection and again we know how to do it! Check out our step by step tutorial on how to make cool pink lipstick, nail polish, and mascara for your Queen. Check out how to make a glamorous backpack for your Barbie. If you want to make a doll’s house even cozier, decorate her room with miniature succulents made from felt and thimble.

TIMESTAMPS:
00:09 Photo ideas for bloggers
01:43 How to make a perfect sunset photo
03:16 Magic tricks to prank your friends
08:20 Educational game for toddlers
12:45 Miniature accessories for a Barbie

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Severe Punishment Awaits Protesters in Russia, Kremlin Says

Severe Punishment Awaits Protesters in Russia, Kremlin Says


MOSCOW — A day after protests swept across Russia in support of a jailed opposition leader, the authorities said Monday that some participants face harsh punishment, including spells in the prison system once known as the gulag.

The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, told journalists on a conference call on Monday that the protests included “a large number of hooligans and provocateurs” and that “the law should be applied with the utmost severity.”

For a second consecutive weekend, tens of thousands of people turned out Sunday in cities across Russia to call for the release of Aleksei A. Navalny, the opposition leader who was jailed for 30 days last month after returning to Russia.

Mr. Navalny returned following his recovery at a German hospital after he was poisoned in August with a military-grade nerve agent, an attack that was confirmed by German, French and Swedish laboratories.

Mr. Navalny, 44, an anticorruption activist who has been active in street protests in Russia for a decade, said the Kremlin was behind the poisoning and wanted to kill him. The Russian government has denied that and has questioned whether Mr. Navalny was really poisoned.

The near-fatal dose of poison, a sophisticated nerve agent called Novichok developed by the Soviet Union, was placed in Mr. Navalny’s underwear, according to the opposition leader, citing what he said was a taped confession by a Russian agent.

Mr. Navalny returned to Russia even though the authorities threatened to arrest him on arrival. He was then detained for violating parole on a 2014 financial crime conviction that the European Court of Human Rights had ruled was politically motivated.

Mr. Navalny said the financial crime was concocted by the Russian authorities and called accusations of violating parole absurd, since he could not report twice a month to a parole officer because he was evacuated from Russia to Germany while in a coma after the nerve agent attack.

He has been remanded to pretrial detention for 30 days. On Tuesday a court will consider imposing a prison sentence that could put him behind bars for several years.

The prosecutor general’s office issued a statement Monday saying that Mr. Navalny should be incarcerated for the parole violations, all but assuring that outcome as judges defy prosecutors’ requests in only a small number of instances in Russia’s criminal justice system.

Politically, imprisonment would indicate a shift in the government of President Vladimir V. Putin’s handling of Mr. Navalny. For years, he has been frequently jailed for short terms on minor charges but never imprisoned.

Imprisoning political dissidents mostly ceased in the immediate post-Soviet period but was revived, on a small and targeted scale, under Mr. Putin.

After street protests in Moscow in 2012, courts sentenced a few dozen out of the tens of thousands of protesters to long prison terms, seemingly as an example for others.

These few dozen cases were well-publicized to highlight the illegality of unsanctioned street actions, but the approach avoided angering large numbers of Moscow families in a prosecutorial onslaught, risking a spiral of repression and protest. In contrast, in neighboring Belarus, police have detained at least hundreds of antigovernment protesters since last summer for extended periods.

During Sunday’s protest, the police detained 5,300 people throughout Russia, though many were released later in the day.

It is unclear how wide a net the prosecutors will now cast. Several dozen cases were reported that could lead to spells in prison.

Mr. Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, referred to people who behaved “more or less aggressively” toward police when calling for severe punishments. “There can be no conversations with hooligans and provocateurs,” he said.

Supporters of Mr. Navalny said in a statement published online Monday that they expected prosecutors to justify riot charges against protesters based on two incidents: a police car that caught fire and a man on an otherwise empty street who walked into a line of police wielding a club. The police issued a statement saying they were investigating the car fire as vandalism.

The statement noted the two episodes were highlighted on pro-government media and could become a justification for prosecuting participants in the marches on rioting charges, which carry long sentences. Short sentences in Russia are served in jails while most longer terms are served in penal colonies.

Lawmakers push mental health days for kids amid pandemic

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — When she was growing up, Sophie Corroon struggled to get through a ballet class or soccer tryout without having an anxiety attack.

The idea of going to sleepovers or being home alone left her feeling panicked. Corroon’s anxiety grew even more during high school in Salt Lake City, when the pressures of getting into college left her in tears at school or toiling for hours on assignments.

Corroon, now 20, has struggled with her mental health since fourth grade, and she’s not alone. And now, the coronavirus pandemic has multiplied the pressures on kids — many have spent almost a year doing remote learning, isolated from their friends and classmates. The portion of children’s emergency-room visits related to mental health was 44% higher in 2020, compared with the year before.

State lawmakers are increasingly seeking more support for kids. This year, legislation proposed in Utah and Arizona would add mental or behavioral health to the list of reasons students can be absent from class, similar to staying out with a physical illness. Similar laws have passed in Oregon, Maine, Colorado and Virginia in the past two years.

Offering mental health days can help children and parents communicate and prevent struggling students from falling behind in school or ending up in crisis, said Debbie Plotnick, vice president of the nonprofit advocacy group Mental Health America. Plotnick said mental health days can be even more effective when paired with mental health services in schools.

“We know that this year has been extra hard, and we know that it’s hard for young people,” Plotnick said. “That’s why it’s so essential that students feel comfortable to come forward and say … ‘I need to take some actions to support my mental health.’”

In Arizona, Democratic Sen. Sean Bowie has introduced a mental health day measure for the second time after legislation stalled in March as the pandemic took hold. Republican Gov. Doug Ducey has taken an interest in youth suicide and mental health, and Bowie said he’s confident it will be signed into law. The bill passed the state Senate unanimously Thursday.

Conservative Utah passed a law in 2018 letting kids take time off school for a mental illness. A new proposal from Republican Rep. Mike Winder would allow absences for students to deal with other kinds of mental pressures to further normalize treating a mental health concern like a physical one.

“If a student has a panic attack today, because of some drama going on at home, that’s not mental illness necessarily,” Winder said. “But maybe they need that day to catch their breath and maintain their mental health.”

Under the Utah bill, which passed out of committee Friday and will move to the House floor, mental health days would be treated like any other excused absence, Winder said. A parent would need to excuse their child, and students would still be expected to make up their schoolwork.

In Arizona, specific mental health day policies would be up to each school district, Bowie said.

Theresa Nguyen, a licensed clinical social worker, said she’s concerned about the potential long-term mental and academic effects that students may face from the pandemic. In addition to growing reports of anxiety and depression, Nguyen said, many students say they don’t feel like they’re absorbing class material virtually and they’re not getting enough support.

“They feel like, ‘Nobody cares that I’m struggling, so I’m basically being communicated to that I need to just deal with it by myself,’” said Nguyen, Mental Health America’s chief program officer. “And for a lot of youth, that means increased self-harm and suicide.”

For the last few years, Utah leaders have searched for ways to reduce an alarming rate of youth suicides. The pandemic has lent urgency, with many young people isolated from friends and school activities.

Winder’s bill is modeled after a similar program in Oregon that his daughter, Jessica Lee, found through her work on a youth-focused committee with the Utah chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. In Oregon, students are given five excused absences every three months, and those can be either physical sick days or mental health days.

Lee, who is a senior at Southern Utah University studying clinical psychology, said she was inspired by youth activists who successfully championed the Oregon bill in 2019.

Lee and Corroon both work with the committee to help teenagers navigate their mental health. Over the years, Corroon learned to manage her anxiety with medication and therapy and is now a sophomore at the University of Washington, where she plans to study public health.

Part of her routine is taking a step back to prioritize her mental health — a chance she says other kids deserve, too.

“I definitely needed those days to just stay home or seek out a resource rather than forcing myself to go to school and putting more stress on my mental health,” Corroon said.

___

Eppolito is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

28 KOREAN BEAUTY HACKS THAT WILL MAKE YOU SHINE

28 KOREAN BEAUTY HACKS THAT WILL MAKE YOU SHINE


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

KOREAN BEAUTY SECRETS

Korean beauty culture and skincare products have become incredibly popular later all over the world. Skincare routine from Korea differs from the European ones and has new approaches, for example, it’s better to prevent skin aging problems than to treat them. In this video, we share the secrets of Korean natural skincare routine. You will find a lot of beauty recipes that you can easily make at home and save budget:
-If you are out of makeup remover, you can easily replace it with coconut oil
-Mix aloe vera gel with lemon juice, apply this mixture and leave for 5 minutes and rinse
-Make a facial toner from tomato juice and honey. Apply this mask using a makeup brush. Leave a mask for 5 minutes and rinse
-Mix rice flour, aloe vera, lemon juice. Stir properly. Gently exfoliate your skin
-You will be surprised but you can make a facial mask from green tea. Mix green tea with cucumber juice
-Facial serums are very pricey but you can save money by making it at home. You can make it out of natural ingredients: mix 2 tbs of jojoba oil, 1 tbs rosehip, 2 drops of carrot essential oil, 3 drops frankincense EO, 1 drop geranium EO, 8 drops lavender EO
-If you have dry skin try to make facial moisturizer to nourish your skin. In a bowl, mix rose petals, 5 tbs milk and beat using a blender. Add 2 tbs jojoba oil, aloe vera, vitamin E, 7 drops lavender essential oil. Facial moisturizer is a perfect way to prevent age lines and wrinkles
-There is another beauty recipe that you can use if you have ashy elbows, you will need rice flour, turmeric, yogurt, and water

TIMESTAMPS:
01:12 Homemade facial toner
02:06 Green tea sheet mask
02:51 Homemade facial serum
05:56 Whipped cream for dry hair
04:51 Use mouthwash to combat dandruff

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Australia pull out of South Africa Test tour because of coronavirus concerns

Australia pull out of South Africa Test tour because of coronavirus concerns


Breaking news

Australia have pulled out of their tour of South Africa in February and March because of coronavirus concerns.

The teams were due to play three Tests, subject to bio-secure protocols being agreed.

But Cricket Australia said it had “no choice” but to postpone the series because of the health situation in South Africa, where a more contagious variant of the virus has been reported.

The move means Australia cannot qualify for the World Test Championship final.

New Zealand are now guaranteed to qualify for the showpiece, which will take place in the UK this summer.

Although the schedule had not been confirmed, Australia had named a 19-man squad.

“It has become clear that travelling from Australia to South Africa at this current time poses an unacceptable level of health and safety risk to our players, support staff and the community,” said Cricket Australia interim chief Nick Hockley.

More to follow.

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Ashleel Teaser ► Neha K, Benny D, Tony K | Tuesdays & Fridays | Anmol Thakeria Dhillon, Jhataleka

Download Ashleel Teaser ► Neha K, Benny D, Tony K | Tuesdays & Fridays | Anmol Thakeria Dhillon, Jhataleka Song

#Ashleel #Teaser #Neha #Benny #Tony #Tuesdays #amp #Fridays #Anmol #Thakeria #Dhillon #Jhataleka Continue Reading Ashleel Teaser ► Neha K, Benny D, Tony K | Tuesdays & Fridays | Anmol Thakeria Dhillon, Jhataleka

Biden environmental challenge: Filling vacant scientist jobs

Polluting factories go uninspected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Leadership positions sit vacant at the U.S. Geological Survey’s climate science centers. And U.S. Department of Agriculture research into environmental issues important to farmers is unfinished.

The ranks of scientists who carry out environmental research, enforcement and other jobs fell in several agencies — sharply in some — under former President Donald Trump, federal data shows. Veteran staffers say many retired, quit or moved to other agencies amid pressure from an administration they regarded as hostile to science and beholden to industry.

That poses a challenge for President Joe Biden, who must rebuild a depleted and demoralized work force to make good on promises to tackle climate change, protect the environment and reduce pollution that disproportionately affects poor and minority communities.

“It’s going to take a long time to undo the damage that the Trump administration has done,” said Kyla Bennett, a former EPA enforcement official who now directs science policy for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a watchdog group. Bennett said many scientists left as Trump’s administration rolled back regulations and undercut climate work, leaving agencies with less experience, a work backlog and unfinished research.

Employment data shows more than 670 science jobs lost at the EPA, 150 at the U.S. Geological Survey, which researches human-caused climate change and natural hazards, and 231 at the Fish and Wildlife Service.

At the USDA, more than one-third of staff members — almost 200 people — left the agency’s Economic Research Service and its National Institute of Food and Agriculture in Fiscal Year 2019, after the Trump administration moved their jobs from Washington, D.C., to Kansas City.

“The loss of experienced staff was deep,” said spokesman Matt Herrick, who provided figures showing even deeper losses at one point. “We lost too many of the nation’s best economists and agricultural scientists.”

Gone are specialists working on such things as crops, wetland loss, climate policy and soil conservation, said Laura Dodson, acting vice president of the union representing research service workers.

The findings on science job losses are based on payroll records released to the advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists through a public records request and on USDA attrition data.

Not all agencies saw drops under Trump, and the drain of science jobs from USGS and EPA pre-dated him. The EPA lost more than 3,500 employees — 22% of its workforce — over the past two decades, according to budget documents. At the USGS, 1,230 science jobs were lost since 2000, a 17% drop.

Priorities change from one presidency to the next, said Daren Bakst, senior fellow with the conservative Heritage Foundation. Under Trump, the EPA emphasized cleanups of Superfund sites and shifted away from climate change.

“It doesn’t mean anything improper’s been done,” said Bakst. “There’s going to be ideological people within the federal government civil service, and some didn’t want to work in the Trump administration.”

But those who experienced cuts under Trump say his administration brought something new: intense political pressure on agencies in the way of its pro-industry agenda, and willingness to thwart legitimate science.

A 2018 Office of Inspector General investigation at the Department of Interior, which oversees USGS, found that 16 employees assigned new duties under Trump viewed their moves as retribution for work on climate change, energy and conservation. And the administration removed or blocked some knowledgeable scientists from boards that advise the EPA about everything from air pollution to toxic chemicals in favor of industry insiders, said Christopher Zarba, former director of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board.

“It’s very intentional, to get rid of experts because they stand in the way of unfettered industrial use of federal resources,” said Joel Clement, a former Interior Department climate scientist who resigned in 2017 and filed a still-pending whistleblower complaint following his reassignment to an accounting office. Clement is now a senior research fellow at Harvard University and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Scientists say federal environmental research could be hobbled for years by the loss of experienced scientists.

“We’re just not putting out as many reports; we’re not putting out as much research because there’s not enough staff to get it done,” said the USDA’s Dodson, who works on biotechnology issues, including genetically modified seeds.

The Trump administration said the relocation to Kansas City was to save money. But Dodson believes it was designed to get rid of career scientists, noting that then-acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney bragged the move helped streamline government by encouraging scientists to quit.

“This was meant to hinder the work of a scientific agency,” Dodson said.

At the EPA, remaining staff are taking on more work, leaving little time to train newer employees, said Justin Chen, an environmental engineer and union representative in the Dallas enforcement division.

Inspections and compliance monitoring by the agency fell 28% under Trump, EPA figures show. New civil enforcement cases fell more than 20%. Criminal cases increased over that period, although the number of defendants charged dropped sharply.

Almost 200 scientists left the EPA’s Office of Research and Development, including Dan Costa, who headed the climate and energy research program until 2018, when he said it became clear the Trump administration did not value scientists or climate research.

“We had a big bullseye on us,” said Costa. “People couldn’t use the word ‘climate.’”

The EPA did not answer emailed questions about staff losses. FWS did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

Key U.S. Geological Survey leadership posts went unfilled at regional climate science centers and approval of research grants was delayed, said Robin O’Malley, who spent 38 years with the agency and retired in 2019 as director of the center in Colorado.

“We could barely do anything,” O’Malley said. “It’s been a morale disaster and an operational disaster.”

Some delays occurred in research to help deal with increasingly intense wildfires in the Rocky Mountains, and in studies of migratory birds facing habitat losses, scientists said.

A USGS spokesman declined to answer questions about research delays and job losses but said hiring decisions are moving forward.

While Biden has promised to make climate science a top priority, scientists say it will take time to hire and train new staff.

Meantime, there are fewer experts to build criminal cases against polluters, said Joyce Howell, an EPA attorney in Philadelphia. The effects could be felt for years, she added, because it takes a long time to investigate and prosecute violations.

“You just don’t have as many environmental cases, you don’t prosecute everyone,” Howell said.

___

Webber reported from Fenton, Michigan, and Brown from Billings, Montana.

___

On Twitter follow Tammy Webber at https://twitter.com/twebber02 and Matthew Brown at https://twitter.com/MatthewBrownAP.

32 UNBELIEVABLY COOL DIY GIFT IDEAS TO MAKE UNDER 5 MINUTES

32 UNBELIEVABLY COOL DIY GIFT IDEAS TO MAKE UNDER 5 MINUTES


You, Will, Learn The New Lifehack that could help you in a more critical stage view and share the article with your friends.

CREATIVE GIFT WRAPPING IDEAS

Watch this video and learn how to wrap gifts like a professional thanks to our easy tutorials. You will learn how to learn various objects and kinds of gifts for beloved ones. Learn how to wrap sweets, boxes, bottles, flowers, sweets and more. All these tutorials are very easy and you don’t need to have special crafting skills.
If you don’t have wrapping paper at home you can wrap gifts in the potato-chip bag. Open a bag, clean the inner foil part and wrap your gift. Besides, it’s a great way to reduce the amount of waste.
Cash gifts are usually rather boring but we know cool ways how to turn a cash gift into something unforgettable. You will need a Ziplock bag, lighter and a knife. Check out the step by step tutorial! If your friend doesn’t like real flowers, you can make a bouquet out of face towels. Sweets look rather boring as a gift but you can make an amazing bouquet in 5 minutes.
If your girlfriend is a fan of Game of Thrones, you can easily make a ring box in the shape of a Dragon Egg. I bet the proposal will be unforgettable! You will learn how to make wax seals and to customize your gifts. If you need a tiny gift bag for jewelry, you can easily make it from wrapping paper. Another cute idea of how to decorate your gifts is to make cute stamps out of wine corks. You can cut out shape various shapes out of wine corks.

TIMESTAMPS:
00:09 Cash gift idea
00:53 Bouquet out of face towels
01:19 DIY Ring box
03:41 Creative ways to wrap gifts
02:28 How to wrap sweets

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Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com/ This video is made for entertainment purposes. We do not make any warranties about the completeness, safety and reliability. Any action you take upon the information on this video is strictly at your own risk, and we will not be liable for any damages or losses. It is the viewer’s responsibility to use judgment, care and precautions if one plans to replicate.

The following video might feature activity performed by our actors within controlled environment- please use judgment, care, and precaution if you plan to replicate.

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A Chinese Dissident Tried to Fly to His Sick Wife in the U.S. Then He Vanished.

A Chinese Dissident Tried to Fly to His Sick Wife in the U.S. Then He Vanished.


After learning that his wife had cancer, Yang Maodong, a prominent democracy activist in China, rushed to get a visa and air ticket to join her in the United States.

But Mr. Yang never landed there.

Border inspection officers at Pudong International Airport in Shanghai stopped him from joining a flight to San Francisco last week, his elder sister and friends said. “I must immediately get to the United States and pour all my energies into caring for her,” Mr. Yang had written in an open letter to Chinese leaders a day before his planned flight. He wrote that his wife “has given everything for me, and today it’s my turn to give everything for her.”

But after Mr. Yang sent out messages from the airport about his predicament, he disappeared, his sister and friends said. Calls to his phone over recent days have not been answered.

“He had hoped to strike a blow for the right of citizens to travel abroad normally,” Yang Zili, a friend and fellow activist who moved from China to the United States in 2018, said in a telephone interview. “We’ve been waiting for word but there’s been nothing since he disappeared at the airport.”

Mr. Yang ’s pleas to reunite with his wife and his apparent detention have ignited calls for his release from supporters in China and abroad. His case may become an early sign of how Beijing and the Biden administration handle contentious human rights issues.

The State Department said on Friday that it was disturbed about Mr. Yang’s disappearance, Voice of America reported. A spokesman for the United States Embassy in Beijing said by email on Tuesday that he could not confirm that Mr. Yang had received a visa because such records are confidential, and did not have immediate comment on the case.

A police officer in the Shanghai Pudong International Airport did not answer questions about Mr. Yang’s whereabouts, referring them to the city’s public security bureau, where officers did not answer questions. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not immediately respond to questions sent by fax.

Mr. Yang’s sister, Yang Maoping, said Chinese officials had initially indicated that they would let him travel to the United States. His wife, Zhang Qing, lives there and recently had an operation for colon cancer, and is about to start months of chemotherapy, Ms. Yang said.

“Now is a critical moment for his wife,” Ms. Yang said. “We hope that this is a temporary problem.”

Mr. Yang, 54, had long been one of China’s most obdurately determined democracy activists, and had spent more than a decade in detention and prison.

Best known by his pen name, Guo Feixiong, he took part in the pro-democracy protests of 1989, and made a living as a small-time publisher and novelist before pouring his energies into grass-roots campaigns and debating China’s political future.

Mr. Yang is among the Chinese dissidents who preferred passionate gestures and rallies over low-key methods such as litigation and online petitions. He made a name as a combative activist when organizing villagers near Guangzhou in southern China in 2005 to protest land seizures that they said were corrupt.

He was sentenced to prison in 2007 after being convicted on charges of illegal business activities related to his publishing. After his release in 2011, he plunged back into activism, and in 2013 joined protests at the Southern Weekend newspaper in Guangzhou, where journalists had denounced tightening censorship.

In 2015, Mr. Yang was sentenced to six years in prison on charges of disturbing public order and “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” — a vague accusation often leveled at dissidents — for his role in the newspaper protest as well as for supporting a public campaign for China to ratify an international rights covenant.

As Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party leader, has tightened censorship and punishment for dissent, many activists have stepped back from confrontation or given up campaigning.

Mr. Yang has said he rethought his tactics, but never retreated from opposition to one-party rule or from his belief that China would ultimately embrace constitutional democracy. He said he had refused opportunities to move to the United States, where his wife and two children settled in 2009 after leaving China.

“He said that a believer in freedom must also be a patriot,” Chen Min, a former editor in southern China who knows Mr. Yang, said by telephone. “He was dead set against leaving this land, but he did not imagine that his wife would get cancer.”

Nor did Mr. Yang retreat from his belief that public exposure could sometimes press the Chinese authorities into concessions. Last week, he repeatedly put out statements through his friends about wanting to join his wife in the United States — right up to when friends and journalists lost contact.

In a brief interview last week, Mr. Yang said that security officers in Guangzhou had initially told him that they were sympathetic to his plans to go to United States.

The security officers later told him they wanted Mr. Yang to travel to his home province, Hubei in central China, to discuss conditions for going abroad. He was wary of doing so. The Chinese police often demand that dissenters must stay silent if they are allowed to leave the country.

Instead, Mr. Yang flew from Guangzhou to Shanghai on Thursday, hoping to take a flight to San Francisco that night.

But airport officials told him he would not be allowed to board the plane because he was deemed a “national security risk,” Mr. Yang said in a series of messages. He said he would go on hunger strike in protest.

Soon afterward, Mr. Yang stopped sending messages.