Jul 11
Her eye on the news
‘Project Body Hair’

Billie, a “female-first” razor company, has defied years of advertising wisdom in its latest ad campaign by not only showing women shaving off real body hair — but also by directly stating that women do not have to be hairless to be beautiful. As part of a new campaign titled Project Body Hair, Billie pointedly observed that for decades razor commercials had shown women shaving legs and armpits that were already conspicuously hairless — sending the message that if one wants to be considered beautiful or be taken seriously, even the slightest hint of body hair is unacceptable. To help push back against this seemingly timeless message, Billie said that it had compiled an image library of women sporting body hair and that it is asking women to submit their own images to add to the collection. In their new ads, the razor supplier also showed women either shaving their body hair or choosing not to remove the hair.

“However, whenever, if ever you want to shave, we’ll be here,” the new ads conclude.

While women commenters on YouTube and social media reacted with enthusiasm to the new initiative, not everyone was fully convinced of the company’s sincerity. In an Op-Ed for Slate, Rachelle Hampton wrote that despite the new ads’ progressive tone the company was, in the end, in the business of selling razors and the message that women should shave their body hair remains fundamentally unchanged. Billie might also be ahead of the curve on responding to a larger cultural shift — while a 2015 study found that 85 percent of women removed body hair daily, another study from 2017 found that nearly one in four women between the ages of 16 and 24 no longer bother shaving their armpit hair.

Watch an ad for Billie’s Project Body Hair below.

Read the full story at StudyBreaks.


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No surprise here

In what should be a surprise to no one, Vice President Mike Pence still wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned. Pence appeared Tuesday on CNN in an interview with Dana Bash to discuss President Trump having nominated Brett Kavanaugh to succeed Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. The conversation quickly turned to whether Kavanaugh would become the swing vote that results in Roe v. Wade being overturned after more than 45 years.

“I stand for the sanctity of life,” Pence said. “This administration, this president are pro-life, but what the American people ought to know is that, as the president said today, this is not an issue he discussed with Judge Kavanaugh. I didn’t discuss it with him either.”

Bash then asked Pence point blank about whether he’d like to see the landmark ruling overturned, something he repeatedly said he wanted to happen during the 2016 race.

“I do,” Pence replied, ” but I haven’t been nominated to the Supreme Court.” On Tuesday, Pence accompanied Kavanaugh to Capitol Hill for a meeting with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell.

With the U.S. Supreme Court building in the background, Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh arrives with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence prior to meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 10, 2018. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Bash previously asked Pence about Kavanaugh’s testimony during a Senate confirmation hearing 12 years ago in which he said he “would follow Roe v. Wade faithfully and fully” and that the 1973 Supreme Court ruling is binding precedent,” and whether he was worried that Kavanaugh may not “follow through” the way some conservatives are hoping or expecting.

“What I can assure is that what the president was looking for here was a nominee who will respect the Constitution as written, who will faithfully uphold the Constitution in all of his interpretations of the law,” Pence said.

Watch the full interview, which touched on a number of topics including the separation of migrant families at the southern U.S. border, below.

Read the full story at CNN.


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Delicia Cordon, the estranged live-in girlfriend of Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy, was hospitalized after a brutal assault by an unknown assailant at McCoy’s Georgia mansion — an attack that Cordon insists was orchestrated by the star football player as a ploy to forcibly evict her from the residence. Cordon’s lawyer, Tanya Mitchell Graham, said that her client was asleep when a man entered the house around 3 a.m. on Tuesday morning and demanded that Cordon hand over “specific pieces of jewelry” given to her by McCoy. The assailant then savagely beat Cordon, leaving her face horribly bruised and bloodied.

A friend of Cordon’s, Mia Boykin, also accused McCoy of orchestrating the attack in an Instagram post in which she also claimed that the football star had previously beaten both his son and his dog, causing long-term health consequences in the case of the animal. The post, which has since been deleted, was a before-and-after photo showing a smiling Cordon in one image and Cordon hospitalized with severe facial wounds in the adjacent image. “The world needs to know what type of animal you really are!” the post read, according to PEOPLE. “This was just her yesterday on the left and now this morning this is her on the right!” Later Tuesday, Graham, Cordon’s lawyer, released images showing Cordon in the hospital with severe injuries after the brutal attack. Graham also released a full statement about the attack on her client.

Delicia Cordon after suffering a brutal attack on Tuesday. (Photos provided by the Law Offices of Tanya Mitchel Graham)

According to Georgia court records obtained by ESPN, McCoy has been trying to evict Cordon from the mansion since at least last July. The running back has taken to social media to deny the allegations against him as “totally baseless.”

Meanwhile fellow football stars Plaxico Burress and Richie Incognito also defended him — claiming that the women were lying “to gain exposure” for themselves or making “false assumptions” respectively. In a statement, Milton Police Captain Charles Barstow said that detectives were still investigating the case, but that “the preliminary investigation indicates that this residence was specifically targeted by the suspect or suspects.”

Watch video coverage of the story below.

Read the full story at The New York Daily News.


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‘Not political’

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, made waves for potentially ignoring a longstanding unwritten rule in which British royals eschew expressing political opinions. The Duchess reportedly told an Irish politician that she was “pleased” to see the result of Ireland’s groundbreaking referendum to legalize abortion. News of Markle’s apparent editorializing broke after Senator Catherine Noone of Ireland’s ruling Fine Gael party, a strong supporter of legal abortion, tweeted that she had met the Duchess during a garden party at the British Ambassador’s residence in Dublin.

“The Duchess and I had a chat about the recent referendum result — she watched with interest and was pleased to see the result,” wrote Noone.

While it may come as no surprise that Markle, a staunch feminist since childhood whose official royal bio describes her as a proud supporter of women’s rights, might hold such a position, Britain’s constitutional monarchy has required royals to abstain from making political statements since the 17th century. Noone apparently realized that after her tweet and followed it up with another post on Twitter that clarified: “I should say she seemed pleased — she was interested and very measured, not political at all.” Shortly afterward, Noone deleted both tweets, saying they were “misleading.”

Una Mullally, an Irish journalist and broadcaster, also wrote on Twitter that she had a great chat with Markle “about Repeal and the importance of her feminist activism.” Unlike Noone, Mullally has let her comment stand.

Read the full story at The Daily Beast.


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Unexpected outcome

In the recent weeks since President Donald Trump signed an executive order last month to end the separation of migrant families taken into custody after crossing the southern U.S. border, the spirits of many have been lifted by scenes of mothers being reunited with their children after taking legal action against the Trump administration. There was the woman from Guatemala who made a joyful reunion at an airport with her 7-year-old son, whom she hadn’t for more than a month. And, among many others, there was the woman from Brazil who regained custody of her 9-year-old son more than a month after they were separated by border officials. Smiles, hugs and tears of joy have been hallmarks of those occasions, as news cameras have documented.

But what about the parents who are being reunited with their toddler children? According to a report by The New York Times, those aren’t following such a cut-and-dry narrative of immediate joy. There is relief, of course, experienced by the mothers who are getting their young children back, but that is tempered with a sense of melancholy as some are finding that children under the age of 5 aren’t immediately recognizing their parents when they are reunited.

Mirce Alba Lopez, a 31-year-old mother who was reunited with her 3-year-old son Ederson in Phoenix on Tuesday, told The New York Times, “He didn’t recognize me.” The two had been apart for months after being separated at the border. “My joy turned temporarily to sadness.”

Brazilian migrants Lidia Karine Souza and her son, Diogo, were made a joyful reunion in Chicago in late June, but reunions of parents and much younger children haven’t all been so happy. (YouTube / The Associated Press)

Milka Pablo said she had a similar experience when she was reunited with 3-year-old daughter, Darly, in Phoenix. Pablo, 35, said Darly struggled to go back to the social worker who had been looking after her while Pablo had been separated from her. “I want Miss. I want Miss,” Darly said, crying, Pablo told the Times. The little girl had been potty trained the last time Pablo saw her, she said, but while away from her mother had gone back to wearing diapers.

As of Tuesday, federal officials were struggling to reunite migrant parents with their young children. Only about half of the 102 young children who had been separated from their parents at the border were reunited. The AFP reported that a judge on Tuesday extended the deadline, which had expired, by which the government must reunite all children who were separated from their parents during the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” crackdown on illegal immigration. The new deadline is July 26.

And it’s not just mothers who are experiencing sadness when they are reunited with little ones. The Times also spoke to the father of a 13-month-old girl whom he was reunited with after being separated for 20 days. But he and the girl’s mother told a heartbreaking story about how their baby acted when they finally got her back.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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Watch it

President Donald Trump arrived in Brussels for a NATO Summit on Wednesday and hit the ground running by immediately taking shots at Germany. His comments drew a sharp pushback from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Trump was at it early — during breakfast — when he opined that Germany was “totally controlled” by Russia. The comment was in reference to Germany striking a deal to purchase natural gas from Russia via a new pipeline that’s expected to open next year. “Germany is totally controlled by Russia, because they’re getting 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia — and a new pipeline. You tell me if that’s appropriate,” Trump said to the NATO allies gathered at the breakfast table. “Germany is a captive of Russia.”

The provocative remarks did not sit well Merkel, who pushed back with a statement of her own.

“I myself experienced a part of Germany that was controlled by the Soviet Union, and I am very happy today that we are united in freedom as the Federal Republic of Germany,” Merkel told reporters just before making her way into the NATO building. “We decide our own policies and make our own decisions, and that’s very good.” Watch her comments below.

While the morning got off to a rocky start between the two world leaders, who have been closely watched and had less than warm exchanges in the past, things seemed to mellow between them by later in the day, after they held a private meetings on the sidelines of the summit.

“We had a great meeting discussing military expenditure. We’re talking about trade. We have a very, very good relationship with the chancellor. We have a tremendous relationship with Germany. You’ve had tremendous success and I congratulate you,” Trump said to Merkel.

Merkel, through a translator, replied, “I am pleased to have this opportunity to be here for this exchange of views,” Trump nodded as he listed to the translator reveal Merkel’s thoughts on working toward “the future of our trade relations.” Her comments ended with: “We are partners, we are good partners, and wish to continue to cooperate in the future.” Watch that exchange below.

Read the full story at The Associated Press.


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