Nov 12
Her eye on the news

A little more than a year after a groundbreaking surgery at the Mayo Clinic, a young Minnesota widow met with the Wyoming man to whom she agreed to donate her late husband’s face. Lilly Ross was eight months pregnant when her husband, Calen Ross, 21, shot himself and died. Ross said she had already agreed to donate her husband’s lungs, kidneys, and other organs, to help people in need when she was contacted by LifeSource, a Midwestern nonprofit, that told her there was a man, Andy Sandness, in need of a face transplant. Despite her reservations, she said, she agreed to help a man whose failed suicide attempt a decade earlier had destroyed much of his face, and left him reclusive and ashamed of his appearance.

The 56-hour-long surgery last June was Mayo’s first face transplant — worldwide, only an estimated two dozen have been attempted. Sixteen months later, she finally met Sandness in person for the first time. She reached out and touched his face, and told him that his beard, like her husband’s, was missing a patch of hair in the middle.

“Meeting Andy, it has finally given me closure,” she said, her voice quivering. “Everything happened so fast.”

Going into the meeting, she said, she had been afraid that she would painfully reminded of her husband — but even with her husband’s face, Sandness looked distinctly different.

“It was amazing how good he looked and how well he’s doing,” she marveled. “I’m excited for him that he’s getting his life back.”

Watch video of their meeting below.

Read the full story at The Daily Mail.


New York City’s Central Park is slated to get its first statues honoring women, after city officials officially dedicated the future site of the “Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Woman Suffrage Movement Monument.” Currently, there are 22 statues of historical figures in the park, none of which are women. According to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, women make up only eight percent of public statues of individuals nationwide.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul have also announced that statues of suffragists Sojourner Truth and Rosalie Gardiner Jones will be erected in state parks. Of 25 commemorative statues on New York state property, only two statues currently depict women. The statue of Truth will reportedly be built on the Empire State Trail in Ulster County, where the famous abolitionist and suffragist was born into slavery. Jones, who led the National American Woman Suffrage Association march from New York to Washington, D.C. in 1913, will have a statue built in her honor near her home in Long Island’s Cold Spring Harbor State Park.

“We are proud to celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in our state and the bravery and perseverance of the women who paved the way,” said Cuomo in a press release. “As we recognize this important milestone in our history and reflect on how much progress has been made over the last century, we know we cannot rest as we continue to fight for true equality.”

Read the full story at


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A former publicist for NXIVM, a “self-help” group that claims to empower women, has alleged that Smallville actress Allison Mack has recruited as many as 25 women to serve as slaves for herself and the group’s leader, Keith Raniere.

Speaking with The Sun, former NXIVM publicist Frank Parlato said that Mack had been brainwashed by Raniere into gathering up women for a subset of the group called DOS, which he said stood for “dominus obsequious sororium” — Latin for “master over the slave women.” Emails shared with The Sun showed that “slaves” were expected to fast 12 hours a day, take cold showers to “build capacity for love through the tolerance of pain,” and to obey Mack’s commands 24 hours a day. The slaves were also reportedly required to provide “collateral” such as nude pictures, confessions to crimes, or financial information each month so that the group could be sure of their loyalty. Screenshots obtained by The Sun of a “collateral” Dropbox showed names of Mack’s alleged slaves — including Dr. Danielle Roberts, a licensed doctor who is under investigation in New York after allegedly branding women involved in NXIVM, as revealed in an explosive New York Times report last month.

According to Parlato, Mack “is both a victim and a perpetrator.”

“She is a victim because she has been brainwashed by Raniere and she is his ‘slave’. So she has to run 64 kilometers a week and keep a strict 500 to 800 calorie a day diet. But she has also recruited many women to this cult,” said Parlato. “One of the things that is a terrible concept to Allison is that she is ordered to find Raniere bed partners and she is conflicted because she really wants to be with him.”

In the interview with The Sun, Parlato spoke at length about the workings of the alleged cult — and the millionaire heiresses he claims fund the whole operation.

Read the full story at The Sun.


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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is independent of and separate from any views of The New York Times.

‘An inspiration’

A crowdfunding campaign has raised nearly $50,000 and counting in just four days for a 50-year-old mother of two who was fired after being seen giving President Trump’s motorcade the finger in a viral photo.

“Juli Briskman is an inspiration to us all,” reads the GoFundMe campaign, which is titled Thank You Juli Briskman. “She was fired from her employer for exercising her First Amendment rights.”

In an interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly, Briskman said she was on a bike ride when she saw Trump’s motorcade passing by her.

“All my frustration about this administration just welled up inside me and I started thinking about the things that I think are going wrong right now in the country,” Briskman told Kelly. “That was the only way I had to give him the message I wanted to give him. It felt great. It was like I got to tell him how I really feel.”

Briskman had told The Huffington Post that she was fired from her company, government contractor Akima LLC, after she made the viral photo her cover image on Facebook. She said company officials told her that posting “obscene” images in social media violated company policy. But speaking with Kelly, Briskman noted that she had once flagged a colleague’s obscene Facebook behavior.

“He did not get fired,” she told Kelly. “He was allowed to clean up his Facebook page. They clearly treated me differently. It was not equal application of their social media policy.”

Watch an excerpt of Briskman’s interview with Kelly below.

Read the full story at The Hill.


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A Sunday school teacher killed in the mass shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs reportedly saved her 18-year-old grandson by shielding him with her body, according to The Associated Press. The teenager then reportedly followed his grandmother’s example by risking his life to save a small child.

Peggy Warden, 56, was one of 26 people who were killed during the fatal shooting in Texas on Sunday. Her grandson, Zach Poston, survived the attack, and told Warden’s brother, Jimmy Stevens, about her selfless act of heroism while recovering in the hospital on Thursday.

“Basically, Peggy stood up and just shielded over him while the shooter was shooting. And when she got hit in the back he said he turned — because he heard her — and when he turned to see if she was OK, she passed away immediately,” said Stevens.

Stevens added that Poston had been shot in the arms, legs, and side, when he noticed a small child who was trying to stand up from underneath a pew. As Poston shoved the child back underneath it, he was shot once more in the leg.

“He took what Peggy gave him and he passed it on to help someone else,” Steven said. It is believed that the child also survived the attack.

Read the full story at The Associated Press.


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