Sep 14
Her eye on the news
‘Get out’

After an Indian immigrant’s husband was murdered in a Kansas bar by a man screaming, “Get out of my country,” she found herself facing possible deportation because her husband’s death had caused his visa to be terminated, according to a New York Times report.

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an Indian-born engineer, was in the U.S. on an H-1B visa when a trip to the bar with a colleague ended after an enraged man harangued the two friends about whether they were in the country illegally and then shot them with a semi-automatic pistol. In wake of her husband’s murder, Sunayana Dumala wrote on Facebook that she was unsure whether immigrants such as herself could ever really belong in the U.S. And thanks to U.S. visa laws that ended her husband’s residency status upon his death, she almost didn’t even have a choice.

Congressman Kevin Yoder, a Republican representing Kansas’ third district, in which Dumala resided, had previously been more of an opponent to immigrants than a friend. But after hearing that Dumala might find herself barred from reentering the U.S. after leaving for India to attend her husband’s funeral, he helped her to return home and to obtain a 12-month employment authorization document to give her time to apply for an H-1B visa of her own. Yoder is now working to reform immigration law to ensure that similar miscarriages of justice can be avoided — as well as to change a legal stipulation that only allows seven percent of green cards issued each year to come from residents of any one country, forcing hundreds of thousands of Indian workers to wait for decades to obtain green cards.

“Many of us think this is an injustice, it’s discriminatory, and the system is failing people like Srinivas and Sunayana,” said Yoder. “You don’t get deported because your husband was murdered. They don’t come and grab you at a funeral and say, ‘Now you’ve lost your status.’”

Dumala, for her part, says the show of support has changed her mind on whether she belongs in the U.S. Speaking with The New York Times, she shared her thoughts on what America represents, and how people inside and outside of her community responded to the tragedy of her husband’s death.

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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A star is born

Twenty-three-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams unveiled her newborn daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. in posts made to social media on Wednesday. Video covering the entire course of Williams’ pregnancy — including when she won the Australian Open while eight weeks pregnant — was shared on YouTube by baby Alexis’s father and namesake, Alexis Ohanian, a co-founder of Reddit and Williams’ fiance. In the video, Williams, 35, can be seen holding her new baby, saying, “We had a lot of complications, but look what we’ve got.”

Even while pregnant, Williams had managed to keep busy by fighting for equal pay, raising awareness about domestic abuse, and by posing nude for the cover of Vanity Fair. Williams has said that she hopes to return to the tennis court as soon as January 2018.

Watch video of Serena’s pregnancy and baby Alexis below.

Read the full story at ESPN W.


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Ivanka Trump has hit back at Hillary Clinton and other critics who claim that she has been “complicit” in her father’s policies, telling The Financial Times that such complaints are the result of “unrealistic expectations.”

In a recent interview with Refinery29, Hillary Clinton had condemned Ivanka for either remaining “silent” or giving “lip service to contrary points of view” while her father runs roughshod over abortion rights and initiatives intended to combat the gender pay gap. But according to Ivanka, asking her to contradict her father in public is unreasonable.

“Some people have created unrealistic expectations of what they expect from me,” said Ivanka. “That my presence in and of itself would carry so much weight with my father that he would abandon his core values and the agenda that the American people voted for when they elected him. It’s not going to happen. To those critics, shy of turning my father into a liberal, I’d be a failure to them.”

Ivanka, a self-described feminist, had formerly been seen as a prominent and progressive figure in the art world — a reputation that led a number of artists to write letters to Ivanka asking her to try to reign in her father. Given that Trump himself was once a Democrat and pro-abortion rights before latching onto the birtherism movement and using it to launch himself into the political sphere, perhaps it’s understandable that some held out hope that Ivanka could make an impact on her father’s evidently impressionable psyche. But at this point, Ivanka says, “To voice dissent publicly would mean I’m not part of the team.”

Given how President Trump has reacted to others who have criticized him, Ivanka might be wise not to risk losing her father’s trust, her unique political position, and her leading role in the Trump organization by publicly opposing his policies. But there might be a glimmer of hope for those wondering if President Trump might still be convinced to return to some of his more liberal roots. On Thursday morning, Trump announced that he was moving closer to a deal with Democrats to shield nearly 800,000 immigrants from deportation.

Read the full story at Yahoo News.


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‘Proud American’

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, has revealed what she told her daughters when they asked her why she chose not to support Hillary Clinton in her bid to become the first woman to serve as president of the U.S.

In an interview given for Time magazine’s Firsts: Women Who Are Changing the World, Conway, the first woman to ever run a winning presidential campaign, said that she told her daughters that Clinton’s candidacy “showed that in this country anybody can do anything if they set their mind to it.”

“At the same time,” Conway said, “I tried to explain to them that you could be excited for someone with whom you disagree and share in that moment in history as a proud American.”

Conway, who described herself in the interview as “the highest ranking non-relative female in [Trump’s] White House,” also spoke about what it was like to begin her career as a research assistant for a Republican polling firm, describing it as “walking into the men’s locker room at the Elks Club, holding a bachelor party.” To succeed, Conway said, she had to think “like a man” and act “like a lady.”

“I harken back to Margaret Thatcher’s statement,” Conway added. “Being powerful is like being a lady — if you have to say you are, you probably are not.”

Conway has dealt with misogynistic criticism from both sides of the aisle since she helped lead Donald Trump to his electoral victory. She has condemned such critics for “[undercutting] modern feminism,” even as she eschews the label as feminist herself because she considers the term “anti-male.” In her interview with Time, Conway also shared her opinion on the current status of women in the U.S.

Watch the interview at Time.


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'Ultimate gift'

Selena Gomez took to social media on Thursday morning to share with fans that she’s been dealing with a serious health issue and underwent a kidney transplant. The 25-year-old singer acknowledged in an Instagram post that fans had noticed she’s been keeping a low profile of late, even though she recently released a new album. Battling lupus, Gomez had made the decision to receive a kidney transplant.

“I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of,” Gomez wrote in her Instagram post. “So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health.”

Gomez also revealed that the kidney donor is Francia Raisa, an actress best known for her role in The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and the singer’s longtime friend. She posted touching photo of herself and Raisa lying in hospital beds and holding hands the day of the procedure.

“There aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa,” Gomez wrote in the post. “She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis.”

I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you. Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery. And finally, there aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made. For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: -by grace through faith

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on


Prior to the transplant, Gomez had undergoing chemotherapy to combat the disease. She went on to say that she’s suffered anxiety and panic attacks as side effects of the disease and the decision to go ahead with a transplant was made “to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health.” Gomez also shared some photos of her post-op scar with fans as well.

Read the full story at People.


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Runway bump

During New York Fashion Week, designers always find new ways to surprise their audiences — and, in recent years, fashion designers have been making a concerted effort to broaden the perceptions of beauty. Design duo Eckhaus Latta might have just taken the cake this season. Their friend, artist Maia Ruth Lee, strode down the catwalk in a pale pink cardigan dress that was unbuttoned in the front so as to reveal her pregnant belly. While she’s not the first pregnant model to ever sashay down a catwalk, Lee, who is 35 weeks pregnant, is the first to actually bear her baby bump while doing it.


“To have a bunch of one gender that’s the same race and height and size and fit, wearing similar clothes and makeup — I don’t think we were ever interested in that,” Eckhaus Latta co-founder Zoe Latta said, explaining the decision to Vogue. Nicole Phelps, a famous fashion journalist had nothing but praise for the decision, writing on Instagram,  “I’ve been going to fashion shows for 21 years and I’ve seen a pregnant model on the runway exactly one other time. Something to think about.” Below, watch video of Lee strutting the runway at fashion week, an occasion she called “a special experience” in a post on Instagram.

Read the full story at Yahoo.


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