Jul 16
Her eye on the news
Letters of note

We’ve been riding a roller-coaster of Amelia Earhart news lately. First, there was a newly-discovered photo that appeared to prove she survived that mysterious 1937 flight during which she vanished and was never heard from again. Then, as a skeptical blogger pointed out, there simply wasn’t such a photo.

But this week, New York Times masthead editor Carolyn Ryan, who led the paper’s political coverage throughout the 2016 presidential election and was recently named to head up a recruiting effort there, supplied the internet with piece of Amelia Earhart memorabilia that sure looks like it won’t be debunked: a letter the legendary aviator sent to the Times in 1932, just after she’d flown across the Atlantic Ocean solo, in record time. Ryan posted a photo of the 85-year-old letter on Twitter and also noted on her Twitter feed that the missive was unearthed by her colleague, David Dunlap, “who knows all NYT history.”

If there’s any doubt about Earhart being “the true breakout feminist,” as she’s been described, the following anecdote might just cement her status as such. Earhart wrote a letter on June 28 to Arthur Hays Sulzberger, the publisher who led the paper for 26 years through a period of great expansion, to take issue with how the Times “constantly referred to” her in headlines: as “Mrs. Putnam.” She’d married book publisher George Palmer Putnam the year before, and prior to their nuptials, the Times had referred to her as “Miss Earhart” in headlines.

“Despite the mild expression of my wishes, and those of G.P.P., I am constantly referred to as ‘Mrs. Putnam’ when the Times mentions me in its columns,” she wrote to Sulzberger. “I admit I have no principle to uphold in asking that I be called by my professional name in print. However, it is for many reasons more convenient for both of us to be simply ‘Amelia Earhart.’ After all (here may be a principle) I believe flyers should be permitted the same privileges as writers or actresses.” Earhart had raised the point publicly as well in response to other newspapers referring to her by her husband’s name. In her letter to the Times, she hadn’t used the words “sexist” or “sexism,” but it appears that’s the crux of what she was getting at.

And her well-worded letter to the man at the top of the newsroom paid off. By the next month, a Times headline referred to the aviator as “Miss Earhart,” a reference it continued printing, and used five years later when her plane went missing. But, the everlasting effect of her letter is even more indelible than the words the paper uses to refer to her on its physical and digital pages. The effect of the letter lingers in the hallowed halls of The Grey Lady, too. Still hanging on a wall in the boardroom in the Times building to this day, Dunlap reports, is a photo of Earhart and her husband — which the aviator autographed in a satisfyingly cheeky fashion.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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Clipper Corp., which supplies uniforms and other goods to a range of high-profile businesses, is projected to earn about $40 million this year. But the company had humble beginnings. Its founder, Lina Hu, was inspired to launch the venture after interviewing for a job as a restaurant dishwasher.

According to The Los Angeles Times, Hu, 52, struggled to find work in the early 1990s after moving to the U.S. from China. Her job prospects were limited, she said, given her education and command of English when she arrived in California. She wanted to find a job as a waitress at a Chinese restaurant, but the owner of an eatery where she sought work said she didn’t have enough experience to work in the front of the house. So, she applied to be a dishwasher there, and during her interview, a light bulb went off.

“I saw the opportunity, while they interviewed me,” Hu told the Times. “They showed me the dishes, what products to wash. I saw all of the pots and pans, silverware, plateware. I thought ‘China has a lot of factories. They can make these things cheaper, and I can supply it for them.’”

Most companies rejected Hu’s calls. But Burger King eventually agreed to hear her pitch and became her first customer.

Working with manufacturers in China, Hu’s business now supplies “anything you cannot eat” to companies in the retail, food services, hospitality, and delivery industries. Clipper’s clients include Target Corp., Home Depot Inc., and FedEx Corp.

Hu, who was raised in China, said that the cards were stacked against her success. “One, you don’t speak English,” she told the Times. “Two, you don’t have any merchandise, you just have an idea. Third, you’re Asian, and they don’t respect you.”

But Hu refused to be deterred when she was met with failure. “For me, I don’t give up,” she said. “I called all of the other national chain restaurants. I said, ‘I can supply you with the same quality, but at reduced costs.’” Now she has a roster of some of the country’s largest corporations as clients. In 2015, Hu sat down for an on camera interview and elaborated on her humble beginnings and how she built her company from the ground up. Watch it below.

Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times.


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Empowerment song

After a very challenging few years, Kesha is finally back in business with a powerful song that might just become your new feminist anthem. After releasing comeback ballad “Praying” last week, she has now shared a video for “Woman,” a collaboration with the Dap-Kings, which is here to remind fans that she is still very much her own woman.

“Don’t buy me a drink, I make my money,” she croons. “Don’t touch my weave, don’t call me honey.” Kesha, who saw her sexual assault case against her former producer Dr. Luke dismissed, co-wrote the song with two men, Drew Pearson and Stephen Wrabel — and that’s no coincidence, as she explained in an essay for Rolling Stone. “It was such a beautiful experience to write such a strong female empowerment song with two men … because it reinforces how supportive men can be of women AND feminism,” she wrote. “I have always been a feminist, but for much of my life I felt like a little girl trying to figure things out,” she continued. “In the past few years, I have felt like a woman more than ever. I just feel the strength and awesomeness and power of being female.”

Watch the full video for “Woman” below.

Read the full story at USA Today.


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Photographers in Tanzania have captured photos a dramatic display of maternal instincts that’s so powerful wildlife experts are calling it a “once-in-a-lifetime event.” In the images, a wild lioness is nursing a 3-week-old leopard cub.

Interspecies suckling has been observed among captive animals, but carnivores, especially in the wild, are notorious for killing off members of any other species that might compete with them for food. On occasion, leopards and pumas have been known to adopt orphaned cubs of their own kind. But according to Luke Hunter, president and chief conservation officer of global wild cat organization Panthera, never before in history has anyone recorded an incident of interspecies suckling among large carnivores.

The photos of the lioness, known as Nosikitok, were taken on Tuesday by a guest at the Ndutu Lodge in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania. The fact that Nosikitok had given birth to three cubs of her own in late June, Hunter said, was the only reason this extraordinary interspecies mother-child relationship was possible.

“She is absolutely awash with maternal hormones and that instinct to take care of her own babies,” Hunter explained. “This simply wouldn’t have happened if she wasn’t suckling her own babies.”

Unfortunately, this seemingly fuzzy story is unlikely to have a happy ending. Normally, said Hunter, “lions kind of go out of their way” to kill leopards and other predators. And while lionesses leave their prides in order to give birth, lionesses will normally return to the pride with their new cubs once they’re about 8 weeks old. Even assuming Nosikitok continues to care for the young leopard, the cub would likely be killed by other lions once Nosikitok returns to the pride.

“That would be the most fascinating encounter to observe,” Hunter admitted. “I would love for this to end nicely. But I think the challenges facing the little leopard cub are formidable.”

See the remarkable photos below.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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‘Unwritten rules’

In the wake of a controversy over female journalists being removed from the Speaker’s lobby for wearing sleeveless dresses, shoulder-showing blouses, or even open-toed shoes, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has announced that the House will update their dress code to be more in line with “contemporary” business attire.

“It came to my attention that there was an issue about dress code,” Ryan told reporters on Thursday. “The sergeant-at-arms was simply enforcing the same interpretation of rules as under my predecessors. This is nothing new and certainly not something that I devised. At the same time, that doesn’t mean that enforcement couldn’t stand to be a bit modernized.”

“Decorum is important, especially for this institution,” added Ryan. “But we also don’t need to bar otherwise accepted contemporary business attire. So look for a change on that soon.” Watch his remarks, which begin at the 1:43 mark, below.

News of the move was greeted approvingly by women lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Prior to Ryan’s announcement, Democratic Representative Jackie Speier had been pushing colleagues to wear sleeveless dress for a “Sleeveless Friday” protest on July 14. Republican Representative Martha McSally also drew attention to the dress code on Wednesday, noting that the “professional attire” she was wearing that day included “a sleeveless dress and open-toed shoes.”

Even Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a major Ryan critic, took to Twitter to praise his decision, noting that the “unwritten rules” of the House dress code were “in desperate need of updates.” While details of how the dress code will change remain to be released, it is safe to assume that sleeveless tops will no longer be deemed inappropriate.

Read the full story at The Hollywood Reporter and Reuters.


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Graduating teen uses senior quote to make a final statement against school dress code