Home Blog Page 2

Elizabeth Warren, other key Democratic senators investigate Fox News bonus payments to Trump aide Bill Shine

0
Elizabeth Warren, other key Democratic senators investigate Fox News bonus payments to Trump aide Bill Shine

Four Democratic senators are requesting the White House counsel’s office to provide documents and answer detailed questions about whether Trump aide and former Fox News executive Bill Shine is breaking conflict of interest laws as he continues to get paid by 21st Century Fox.

Read the letter to the White House.

The move to initiate an investigation comes as ethics experts publicly question whether Shine broke any laws after CNBC first reported last month on his continuing payments from Fox.

Walter Shaub, former director of the Office of Government Ethics, tweeted in November that Shine may have broken the “extraordinary payment regulation” which disallows federal employees to be paid in excess of $10,000 by a former employer, particularly if that company discovered an employee was being considered for a government position prior to their departure.

In their letter, the senators ask the White House whether Shine ever received the appropriate ethics waivers for not only these types of payments, but also his participation in meetings as it pertained to Fox News and 21st Century Fox.

The move to go after Shine also comes in the midst of Warren contemplating a run for president in 2020 and some within the Democratic Party questioning her decision to take a DNA test proving she had some form of Native American family origin. Warren took the test after Trump repeatedly mocked her as “Pocahontas” and questioned whether she had a Native American family background.

Jim Margolis, an advisor to former President Barack Obama during his 2008 and 2012 campaigns for president, told CNBC in an interview that he believes the timing of the test was ill advised because it coincided with the congressional midterm elections.

“I think her timing of doing it was really unfortunate,” Margolis said. “I thought it would come post 2018 and I don’t think it was helpful before the election. My guess is because it got so enmeshed in 2018 that she’s going to probably need to come back around to it,” he added.

Read More

Albums Of The Year: Tierra Whack’s Dizzying World-Building Will Give You Whiplash

0
Albums Of The Year: Tierra Whack’s Dizzying World-Building Will Give You Whiplash

In Tierra Whack’s world, MTV stands for “men touch vaginas,” ABC means “all boys cry,” and BET stands for “bitches eat tacos.” That’s according to “Cable Guy,” one of the most accessible points of entry on her shapeshifting, impressive debut, Whack World, a swirling realm all her own where songs vanish just as unsystematically as they materialize. Welcome to an entirely new dimension.

Of course, “accessible” seems like the wrong word to describe Whack’s ephemeral wonder. It’s surely immediate, but that actually undersells how easy the adventurous Whack World — which is comprised of 15 songs, all precisely one minute long — is to get lost inside of. Without much warning, bouncy beats suddenly lift and yield to toy keyboards or looping carnival melodies, the last phrase Whack sings still hanging in that half second of empty space.

Barely four minutes in and somehow already a quarter of the way into the experience, she deadpans, “I’m not perfect but I improvise.” A few tracks later, on a song called “Fuck Off,” Whack grabs hold of a cartoonish country twang to spew hexes involving ass rashes. It’s hilarious. It’ll also give you whiplash if you’re not careful.

Whack grew up in Philadelphia and battle-rapped in her teens under the name Dizzle Dizz. But she wanted more. She idolized Lauryn Hill and André 3000 for their innovation and creative command. “I’m like, I want to be like them. I want to be an artist,” Whack told MTV News in an interview at the top of 2018.

Eventually, after completing school in Atlanta, she cut the wild “Mumbo Jumbo” after a trip to the dentist left her mouth swollen. The track is nearly post-vocal, with Whack’s garbled delivery becoming more important than anything she could be communicating clearly. It came out under her given name in late 2017, but it was just a primer for what she’d soon prove to be capable of.

Whack World splits that kind of bold pioneering into 15 shards of shrapnel; Whack adopts new musical personas as she sees fit and discards them in seconds. For music obsessives, this kind of brevity evokes a key, if potentially obsolete, question: Is Whack World an album or an EP? If 2018 really is the year of the EP, long defined as a music collection of less than 30 minutes, and if albums are basically already dead anyway, then Whack’s contribution snugly works as an EP. Right?

Or maybe albums are just shorter now. This year, Kanye West oversaw an entire fleet of new albums clocking in at barely over 20 minutes. Rappers like Valee, Earl Sweatshirt, and Chris Crack crammed more songs onto releases by keeping them lean, yet brimming with unique flavor. Or maybe it doesn’t matter at all. Whack World, naturally, is unconcerned by these semantic squabbles. The artist has world-building to do.

Whack focused on crafting something complete and holistic, including a full-album visual that also doubles as a short film. She partnered with directors Thibaut Duverneix and Mathieu Léger for a series of interconnected, moody vignettes that allow Whack to inhabit precisely who she wants to be for each track — say, a bloated insect victim on “Bugs Life” and a childlike songbird in “Pet Cemetery”‘s Sesame Street-esque puppet sequence. On release day, Whack also unveiled each clip (and therefore, each song) individually on Instagram in the ultimate act of meeting music fans where they already live. After you’ve experienced the songs via the visual, it’s hard to hear them without conjuring those striking images. And maybe that’s the point.

Last week, at Billboard‘s Women in Music event, Whack presented the Trailblazer award to another pioneer in the field of (e)motion pictures, Janelle Monáe. But then Monáe flipped the script. In a series of escalating praises that left Whack shaking her head in gracious disbelief, Monáe delivered a knockout compliment. “I just want to thank you for sacrificing your time to present this award to me,” she said, looking directly at Whack.

There’s truth there. From the time Whack walked out onstage until when she walked into the back together with Monáe, the whole encounter lasted about six minutes. That’s six Tierra Whack songs right there.

Read More

Women’s Super League round-up: Fara Williams & Erin Cuthbert star – BBC Sport

0
Women’s Super League round-up: Fara Williams & Erin Cuthbert star – BBC Sport

Watch the best action from the weekend’s Women’s Super League as Reading’s Fara Williams scores another beauty and Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert produces a dazzling piece of skill.
Read More

Apple files appeal to overturn iPhone sales ban in China

0
Apple files appeal to overturn iPhone sales ban in China

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the Anti-Defamation League's










Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the Anti-Defamation League’s “Never is Now” summit in New York City, December 3, 2018

Apple has filed an appeal to overturn a broad iPhone sales ban in China, the company told CNBC Monday.

Qualcomm, which has been locked in a legal battle with Apple for years. The chipmaker is alleging patent violations on features that lets users reformat the size and appearance of photos and manage applications on a touchscreen when navigating through phone apps.

The two preliminary injunctions were granted Monday by the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China. Apple says that it did not violate these patents and that the ban goes beyond the scope of the injunction itself.

“Qualcomm’s effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world,” Apple said in a statement earlier Monday. “All iPhone models remain available for our customers in China. Qualcomm is asserting three patents they had never raised before, including one which has already been invalidated. We will pursue all our legal options through the courts.”

Apple claims the patents in question do not cover the company’s latest operating system that comes installed on all new iPhones.

General counsel for Qualcomm, Don Rosenberg, said in a statement Monday the orders aren’t specific to the operating system installed on the phones.

—CNBC’s
Jim Cramer
and
David Faber
contributed to this report.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

Read More

Nightmare for tech start-ups with R&D audit and encryption bill

0
Nightmare for tech start-ups with R&D audit and encryption bill

Quite frankly this legislation will not work in the way the government is saying … the only goons you are going to catch with this are the ones that don’t know that you can download an overseas version of WhatsApp to your Android phone with a few clicks.

Draconian overreach

It also goes without saying that if you poke holes in software so that the good guys can look in, then the bad guys may also have a sticky beak as well.

Encryption is not a tool of the bad guys, it is principally a tool to stop the bad guys.

To put this back in the context of the government hurting the local tech industry it pretends to want; what kind of message does this legislation send to the rest of the world about dealing with Aussie companies?

Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten reversed his party’s position opposing the anti-encryption legislation to avoid being accused of being soft on terror. MICK TSIKAS

To answer that question the politicians need only glance back at their talking points about banning Huawei from the NBN and 5G networks.

Buy services off an Australian tech company and accept that the government may take a look at your data if it feels like it (with the appropriate warrants of course). It’s not a great look is it?

Shame on the government for proposing draconian security overreach in the first place, but double the shame on Labor for capitulating and agreeing to pass it, just so they could go on holiday without worrying about being fallaciously blamed for anything bad that might happen.

Australia’s tech founders must now spend their (considerably shorter) holidays assessing whether this really is the right country to call home, when it has a political class so willing to dismiss their concerns and expertise as the nerdy fringe.

Read More

England v West Indies: Tourists’ Test squad unchanged for winter tour

0
England v West Indies: Tourists’ Test squad unchanged for winter tour
England have won their last five Test matches

England have named an unchanged 16-man squad for the three-Test series in the West Indies starting next month.

Joe Root’s team beat Sri Lanka 3-0 last month, with wicketkeeper Ben Foakes and opener Rory Burns making their debuts.

David Willey returns for the five-match one-day series starting in February, with Sam Curran, Liam Dawson and Olly Stone left out.

The squad for the three-match T20 series that completes the tour of the Caribbean in March will be named later.

Warwickshire seamer Stone, who made his ODI debut in Sri Lanka and took one wicket in three innings, remains in the Test squad with the younger of the Curran brothers, Sam, who has scored 404 runs and taken 14 wickets in his first seven matches.

Surrey left-hander Burns, 28, made a steady start to his Test career with 155 runs in six innings and a top score of 59.

Foakes, 25, impressed after being called in to cover for Jonny Bairstow, with a century and a fifty, plus eight catches and two stumpings.

Surrey batsman Ollie Pope was part of the original squad in Sri Lanka but left the tour ahead of the second Test to play for the Lions and is not included.

England have won only one Test series in the West Indies since 1968, when Michael Vaughan’s team sealed a 3-0 win in 2004.

The most recent tour in 2015 saw the Windies win the final match by five wickets to draw the series at 1-1.

Analysis

Jonathan Agnew, BBC cricket correspondent

It’s very rare for successive Test squads to be unchanged but such is the sense of achievement and therefore loyalty to those who beat Sri Lanka 3-0 that the selectors resisted the temptation to tinker.

That suggests support for openers Burns and Jennings – although they still have some work to do to cement all-important Ashes places – and also for Bairstow, a late but successful arrival at number three.

Jofra Archer hasn’t been included in either squad, his registration is still to be finalised, and surely this reduces his chances of being included for the World Cup.

England’s tour of the West Indies
15-16 January: warm-up match v WI Board XI, Barbados
17-18 January: warm-up match v WI Board XI, Barbados
23-27 January: 1st Test, Kensington Oval, Barbados
31 Jan-4 Feb: 2nd Test, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua
9-13 February: 3rd Test, Darren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia
17 February: one-day warm-up match v Vice Chancellor’s XI, Barbados
20 February: 1st ODI, Kensington Oval, Barbados
22 February: 2nd ODI, Kensington Oval, Barbados
25 February: 3rd ODI, National Stadium, Grenada
27 February: 4th ODI, National Stadium, Grenada
2 March: 5th ODI, Darren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia
5 March: 1st T20, Darren Sammy Stadium, St Lucia
8 March: 2nd T20, Warner Park, St Kitts & Nevis
10 March: 3rd T20, Warner Park, St Kitts & Nevis

Test squad: Joe Root (Yorkshire) (captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Keaton Jennings (Lancashire), Jack Leach (Somerset), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (Middlesex) (captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Tom Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Ben Stokes (Durham), David Willey (Yorkshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham)

Read More

Trump-Mueller investigation – LIVE: President warned of impeachment and jail time as probe escalates after explosive court filings

0
Trump-Mueller investigation – LIVE: President warned of impeachment and jail time as probe escalates after explosive court filings

Donald Trump has been warned he faces “very real prospect” of jail time as the fallout from the bombshell publication of court filings on Friday intensified.

As the probe into Mr Trump’s conduct both before and during office escalates, House Democrats are openly raising the prospect of impeachment or prison time for the US president if it is proved he directed illegal hush-money payments to women. 

Jerry Nadler, the incoming chairman of the house judiciary committee, described the details in prosecutors’ filings in the case of Mr Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, as evidence Mr Trump was “at the centre of a massive fraud”. 

Join Indpendent Minds

For exclusive articles, events and an advertising-free read for
£5.99
€6.99
$9.99
a month

Get the best of The Independent

With an Independent Minds subscription for just
£5.99
€6.99
$9.99
a month

Get the best of The Independent

Without the ads – for just
£5.99
€6.99
$9.99
a month


Among the developments this morning came directly from President Donald Trump.

 

Mr Trump took to his favorite social media platform this morning to decry the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016, which has sen him implicated in a felony campaign finance violation during the presidential campaign.

 

During those tweets, Mr Trump appeared to confirm the existence of payments to two women who had claimed they had affairs with him. Mr Trump had previously denied any knowledge of the payments at all.


The judge presiding over Paul Manafort’s case has set a status conference for Wednesday, overriding a previous deadline for the special counsel’s office to submit filings surrounding allegations the former Trump campaign chair lied during its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. 

 


Robert Mueller has been included in a shortlist for TIME’s Person of the Year awards, to be announced tomorrow. He is joined by Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed inside a Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this year, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and migrant families separated at the US-Mexico border. 

 


It appears Maria Butina — an alleged Russian agent who has been in jail while awaiting trial — is planning on pleading guilty in an upcoming court hearing, after initially pleading not guilty to multiple charges in July. It remains unclear whether she is changing those original pleas, or pleading guilty to new charges brought against her. 

Her next appearance in court could arrive one day this week, with new filings being reported today in which the defendant expressed a desire to change her plea in the coming days. 

 


It appears Special Counsel Robert Mueller is nearing the conclusion of his findings surrounding Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn and Michael Cohen — three men close to Donald Trump throughout the 2016 election who are alleged to have met and conspired with Russian officials throughout the campaign. 

But that doesn’t mean the end of the probe is in sight. NPR reports the investigation may still be a long road from its ultimate conclusion, with a slate of new controversial developments and potential indictments arriving at a moment’s notice. 


Here’s more from Democratic Senator Chris Murphy on whether Donald Trump should face impeachment over new developments surrounding Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election: 

 


Right-wing conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi filed a lawsuit along with Roger Stone Sunday seeking $350m in damages while accusing Special Counsel Robert Mueller of blackmail. 

The lawsuit alleges the special counsel requested Mr Corsi to falsely testify he coordinated exchanges between Mr Stone and Julian Assange. 

Mr Corsi reportedly sent an email to Mr Stone foreshadowing WikiLeaks’ major data dump targeting John Pedesta, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman. 


Top Democrat Adam Schiff, who is slated to become the next chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said the president could face jail time upon leaving office. 

“There’s a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him,” the congressman said Sunday on “Face the Nation”. “We have been discussing the issue of pardons the president may offer to people or dangle in front of people … The bigger pardon question may come down the road, as the next president has to determine whether to pardon Donald Trump.”


Senate Democrats are speaking out against Donald Trump’s apparent links to new developments surrounding Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying his supposed involvement in the issue has now reached impeachable territory. 

“The president has now stepped into the same territory that ultimately led to President Nixon resigning the office. President Nixon was an unindicted co-conspirator. Was certainly a different set of facts, but this investigation is now starting to put the president in serious legal crosshairs and he should be worried and the whole country should be worried,” Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said on Sunday’s “This Week”. 

“I would also counsel the special investigator to show his cards soon,” he added. “I mean I think it’s important for the special investigator to give Congress what he has sometime early in 2019 so that Congress can make a determination. If the president did, in fact, collude with the Russians to try to manipulate the election, or engage in multiple felonies with Michael Cohen, it doesn’t really make sense for congress to get that report from the special investigator in 2020, we need that next year. We need that as soon as possible.”


While Donald Trump has continued to cast doubt on a US intelligence conclusion that the Saudi crown prince ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a transcript of Khashoggi’s last words have been revealed. 

 

It makes for chilling reading.

 


GOP House leader Kevin McCarthy is now urging Democrats not to investigate Donald Trump, because the US is “too great a nation” to do such things. 

 


It’s fair to say noted Trump critic Mark Hamill, AKA Luke Skywalker, has gone in hard on the president’s administration this morning.


Here’s a reminder about just how often the Trump campaign spoke with Russians… including a Russian ambassador, a deputy prime minister, a pop star, a weightlifter, a lawyer, and a Soviet army veteran with alleged intelligence ties.

 

 


Republican majority leader in the House, Kivin McCarthy, has played down the Trump campaign’s many contacts with Russian during both the presidential campaign and the transition. 

 


Macron tells Trump to stop interfering in France’s domestic affairs

France’s government has told Donald Trump to stop meddling in the country’s affairs after the US president taunted Emmanuel Macron about violent protests in Paris.

Foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Mr Trump should “leave our nation be”, after the American leader blamed the unrest on efforts to fight climate change.

“We do not take domestic American politics into account and we want that to be reciprocated,” he told French TV channel LCI in an interview on Sunday…


Here is another headache for Donald Trump, who is threatening a government shutdown if his US-Mexico border wall does not receive the funding he wants. 

 


Nick Ayers announced on Sunday evening his departure as chief-of-staff to Mike Pence by the end of the year. He also revealed he would not serve under Donald Trump. 

 

He was reportedly Mr Trump’s No. 1 pick to replace John Kelly as his own staff chief.

 


As John Kelly becomes the latest to announce his exit from the White House, here’s a rundown of all the officials who have been sacked or quit the Trump administration over the past 22 months. 

 


Time magazine has announced – perhaps unsurprisingly – that Donald Trump is one of 10 on the shortlist for its 2018 Person of the Year. 

 

He is joined by figures including Vladimir Putin, Robert Mueller, Jamal Khashoggi, and Meghan Markle. 

 

 


In a story that did not receive as much attention as maybe it should, the Trump administration announced over the weekend it would continue to support for the Saudi-led bombardment of Yemen. 

 

“It sends a wrong message if we discontinue our support,” the state department said. 

 

It comes just days after congress voted to move forward with a resolution calling for an end to US involvement in the war. 

Please allow the blog a moment to load

“They would be impeachable offences,” Mr Nadler said. 

“There’s a very real prospect that on the day Donald Trump leaves office, the Justice Department may indict him, that he may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time,” said Adam Schiff, the incoming chairman of the House intelligence committee.

“The bigger pardon question may come down the road as the next president has to determine whether to pardon Donald Trump.” 

In the filings, prosecutors in New York for the first time link Mr Trump to a federal crime of illegal payments to buy the silence of two women during the 2016 campaign.

When asked what usually happened after such a filing, James Comey, the sacked former FBI director, told MSNBC: “That person would be in serious jeopardy of being charged.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller‘s office also laid out previously undisclosed contacts between Trump associates and Russian intermediaries and suggested the Kremlin aimed early on to influence Mr Trump and his Republican campaign by playing to both his political and personal business interests. 

Mr Trump has denied wrongdoing and has compared the investigations to a “witch hunt.” 

Mr Nadler said it was too early to say whether Congress would pursue impeachment proceedings based on the illegal payments alone because lawmakers would need to weigh the gravity of the offence to justify “overturning” the 2016 election.

Mr Nadler and other lawmakers said on Sunday that they would await additional details from Mr Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference and possible coordination with the Trump campaign to determine the extent of Mr Trump’s misconduct. 

Regarding the illegal payments, “whether they are important enough to justify an impeachment is a different question, but certainly they’d be impeachable offences because even though they were committed before the president became president, they were committed in the service of fraudulently obtaining the office,” Mr Nadler said. 

Support free-thinking journalism and subscribe to Independent Minds

Mr Mueller has not said when he will complete a report of any findings, and it isn’t clear that any such report would be made available to Congress. That would be up to the attorney general. Mr Trump on Friday said he would nominate former attorney general William Barr to the post to succeed Jeff Sessions. 

Mr Nadler indicated that Democrats, who will control the House in January, will step up their own investigations. He said Congress, the Justice Department and the special counsel needed to dig deeper into the allegations, which included questions about whether Mr Trump lied about his business arrangements with Russians and about possible obstruction of justice. 

“The new Congress will not try to shield the president,” he said. “We will try to get to the bottom of this, in order to serve the American people and to stop this massive conspiracy — this massive fraud on the American people.” 

Mr Schiff also stressed a need to wait “until we see the full picture.” He has previously indicated his panel would seek to look into the Trump family’s business ties with Russia. 

“I think we also need to see this as a part of a broader pattern of potential misconduct by the president, and it’s that broad pattern, I think, that will lead us to a conclusion about whether it rises to the level to warrant removal from office,” Mr Schiff said. 

In the legal filings, the Justice Department stopped short of accusing Mr Trump of directly committing a crime. But it said Mr Trump told Mr Cohen to make illegal payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of whom claimed to have had affairs with Mr Trump more than a decade ago. 

In separate filings, Mr Mueller’s team detail how Mr Cohen spoke to a Russian who “claimed to be a ‘trusted person’ in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign ‘political synergy’ and ‘synergy on a government level.”‘

Mr Cohen said he never followed up on that meeting. Mr Mueller’s team also said former campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to them about his contacts with a Russian associate and Trump administration officials, including in 2018. 

Republican senator Marco Rubio called the latest filings “relevant” in judging Mr Trump’s fitness for office but said lawmakers need more information to render judgment. He also warned the White House about considering a pardon for Mr Manafort, saying such a step could trigger congressional debate about limiting a president’s pardon powers. 

Such a move would be “a terrible mistake,” Mr Rubio said. “Pardons should be used judiciously. They’re used for cases with extraordinary circumstances.” 

Senator Angus King, a member of the Senate intelligence committee, cautioned against a rush to impeachment, which he said citizens could interpret as “political revenge and a coup against the president”,

“The best way to solve a problem like this, to me, is elections,” Mr King said. “I’m a conservative when it comes to impeachment. I think it’s a last resort and only when the evidence is clear of a really substantial legal violation. We may get there, but we’re not there now.” 

Democratic senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut urged Mr Mueller to “show his cards soon” so that Congress can make a determination early next year on whether to act on impeachment. 

“Let’s be clear: We have reached a new level in the investigation,” Mr Murphy said. “It’s important for Congress to get all of the underlying facts and data and evidence that the special counsel has.” 

Mr Nadler spoke on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Mr Rubio was on CNN and ABC’s This Week, and Mr Schiff appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation. Mr Murphy spoke on ABC, and Mr King was on NBC’s Meet the Press.

Additional reporting by AP

Read More

Homeowners are seeing the smallest equity gains in two years

0
Homeowners are seeing the smallest equity gains in two years

Homeowners in most places are still seeing their nest eggs get a little bigger, but the gains are shrinking quickly.

Read More

Anyika Onuora: Olympic medallist on body image confidence issues as a young athlete

0
Anyika Onuora: Olympic medallist on body image confidence issues as a young athlete
Onuora helped Great Britain win bronze in the 4x400m relay at the Rio 2016 Olympics

British Olympic medallist Anyika Onuora says she used to wear baggy clothes to hide her body because people “felt entitled to touch it”.

The 34-year-old, who won 4x400m relay bronze at Rio 2016, struggled with body image confidence as a youngster having gone to a predominantly white school.

As an athlete, she was often told she was “fat” because her body was naturally bigger than many peers.

“At times you would feel objectified,” said Onuora, who has Nigerian parents.

“I had an adult body at such a young age – I had hips, quite a big backside, and I didn’t know what to do with it or how to feel about it.”

Onuora – who started her athletics career as a 100m and 200m sprinter before moving to the longer distance – was speaking on BBC Radio 5 live’s The Sista Collective podcast.

She said she used to avoid wearing crop tops and short shorts while training because “no-one had the same body”, and chose to wear black clothes to avoid drawing attention to herself.

“When I was younger, I used to wear a big coat to cover my whole hips and backside, and my friends and family always used to ask me why I was covering up,” said the 2015 World Championship bronze medallist.

“It was because you have moments where people feel the need to just grab it, they feel entitled to touch because they are curious and it’s not something they see.”

She added: “When you’re around a bunch of white girls and their bodies look the same, and then there is yours, it messes with your self-esteem so much.”

Onuora (right) won Olympic 4x400m bronze alongside Christine Ohurougu, Emily Diamond and Eilidh Doyle in 2016

Onuora, a two-time European champion, claims she was told to lose weight by athletics bosses despite her muscular figure, and says she was often compared with the now-retired Christine Ohuruogu even though, she says, they are “not really the same size”.

She now wants to use her experiences to help instil body confidence in young girls.

“I remember being told a couple of times that I was fat, which was tough to go through at such a young age when you want to perform your best,” she said.

“But being told by the people at the top that maybe you need to lose weight, in reality because of what they perceive that someone who is small and petite is going to run fast, you’re not their ideal fit.

“I go into schools and do public speaking, and I have no issues with that because I know, as a black woman, I have been in the exact same position where you’re told ‘your body features aren’t good enough’, ‘you’re too fat’, or ‘you need to put your body parts away’.

“Even as elite female athletes, we can be the best in the world but it doesn’t mean we don’t have the same problems.

“I have seen the growth in myself over the years. Now, I love my body and I love what I do, I work hard for this, this is my job, my body is my engine.”

Download the full episode of the Sista Collective’s ‘Body image, BMI and Brazilian butt lifts’ podcast here

Read More

Supreme Court hamstrings efforts by Kansas and Louisiana to defund Planned Parenthood

0
Supreme Court hamstrings efforts by Kansas and Louisiana to defund Planned Parenthood

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it would not hear two cases brought by states seeking to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid funding, as Republican-appointed justices John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh sided with their liberal colleagues.

order announcing its decision not to hear the case does not list how each of the justices voted.

But Justice Clarence Thomas dissented from the decision. He was joined by fellow conservatives Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito. It requires four justices to agree to take up a case. The court’s decision would have been reversed had either Kavanaugh or Roberts, the chief justice, wanted to take up the case.

Kavanaugh’s decision is particularly notable. Anti-abortion groups celebrated his confirmation in October and many assumed his ascension to the bench would solidify a conservative majority that would take on abortion rights. The cases the court declined to hear Monday did not directly concern the legality of abortion, though Planned Parenthood is a frequent target of lawmakers who oppose it. Thomas linked the cases to abortion directly in his dissent.

The cases stemmed from controversial videos released in 2015 by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress.

The videos purported to reveal that Planned Parenthood was trafficking tissue from aborted fetuses, though subsequent investigations from Congress later cleared the group. Planned Parenthood has said that the videos were heavily edited and misleading. Those videos prompted a number of governors, including former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, to block Medicaid funding for the group.

Congress has prohibited the use of federal funds to pay for abortion, though Planned Parenthood receives government funding, largely through Medicaid, for other services it provides, such as cancer screenings and birth control.

In February, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Kansas, reasoned that states cannot cut off a provider’s funding for reasons “unrelated to the provider’s competence and the quality of the health care it provides.”

A panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Louisiana, reached a similar conclusion last year, and a later hearing by the full appeals court reached a 7-7 tie on the matter.

Following Monday’s announcement from the Supreme Court, both circuits’ restrictions on a state’s ability to limit Medicaid funding will stand.

In his dissent, Thomas wrote that the question before the court “has nothing to do with abortion.” He said he would have taken up the case in order to resolve a circuit split over whether Medicaid recipients have the right to challenge a state’s determination of what makes a medical provider “qualified.”

“Some tenuous connection to a politically fraught issue does not justify abdicating our judicial duty,” he wrote.

Read More

Must Read

- Advertisement -