Categories
Celebrities

Jeff Goldblum defends Woody Allen: ‘I would consider working with him again’

Jeff Goldblum has come to Woody Allen’s defense, saying he’d gladly work with him again because there’s a “presumption of innocence until proven guilty.”

The “Jurassic Park” star voiced support for the embattled director — who’s long been accused of sexually abusing his adoptive daughter Dylan Allen — in a new interview with the UK’s iNews.

“I think there is a presumption of innocence until proven guilty,” Goldblum said. “I know I enjoyed working with him many years ago and I sat in with his band once too.”

Goldblum worked with Allen on the 1977 film “Annie Hall.”

He added in the interview published Wednesday, “Even though I feel like this cultural shift [the #MeToo movement] is very, very positive and long overdue and I support it wholeheartedly and take it very seriously, I also admire his body of work. So I would consider working with him again, until I learned something more.”

Fans were quick to pile on.

“jeff goldblum defending woody allen is just further proof that even the nicest of men can be disappointments and that in itself is exactly the issue with hollywood,” one person wrote.

Others were tweeting that Goldblum was “canceled.”

The 83-year-old filmmaker saw much of Hollywood’s elite turn their backs on him after the molestation allegations resurfaced in 2017.

Amazon also backed out of a four-film deal with Allen in wake of the renewed scandal, prompting him to sue.

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TV & Movies

'Rock the Block': Alison Victoria Reveals Her Biggest Competition and Why She's 'Never Done Anything This Crazy'

There’s a new reno competition show in town, and it’s going to be fierce.

HGTV has done it again with Rock the Block, a female-led renovation competition that pits four incredibly talented hosts against one another as they transform four identical homes. The house that achieves the highest property value at the end will be declared the winner.

HGTV stars Leanne Ford (Restored by the Fords), Mina Starsiak Hawk (Good Bones), Jasmine Roth (Hidden Potential) and Alison Victoria (Windy City Rehab) will fight to the finish to “walk away with bragging rights and a street named after her on the most rocking block in the country.”

It all comes down to four women, four episodes, and one winner whowill be determined by real estate expert Drew Scott.

‘Rock the Block’ is a test of endurance and skill

These renovation experts don’t have an easy job — instead of appealing to their own taste or one client, they’ve got to appeal to anyone and everyone while still maintaining that high-end appeal. And they’ll have to do it in a short time period with a limited budget. Plus, none of the contests will have any idea what the others are doing.

But Windy City Rehab host Alison Victoria isn’t worried about a little healthy competition, even if this one was especially challenging “I’ve been with them [HGTV] 10 years and I’ve never done anything this crazy,” Alison Victoria said in an interview with Showbiz Cheat Sheet.

“It was the hardest that I’ve ever worked in my whole life. It’s the hardest I’ve ever pushed my body, physically, and emotionally — it was just draining.”

Alison Victoria saw one person as her biggest competition

While all the women on Rock the Block are undeniably talented renovators — if they weren’t, they wouldn’t have been selected for the show — one person stuck out to Victoria. When asked who her biggest competition on the show was, Alison Victoria didn’t hesitate to name Leanne Ford.

But even with the competitive nature of the program, Victoria said the women all forged a friendship in the face of a shared challenge.

“All of us really liked each other. All of us really admire one another. And I’ve never had that – I’ve never had that with anyone else on the network. So to have that love and support and have, you know, mutual admiration for one another. And I think that’s the craziest part of the show. We all really, really got along,” Victoria said.

She said the women even swapped furnitureat some points to help each other, even though they were technically competing.“Some women can be a little catty but it was nothing like that. It was truefriendships that formed,” she said.

Victoria says she’ll never do anythinglike ‘Rock the Block’ again

Though she found the whole experience rewarding, Alison Victoria has no intention of putting herself through the stress of a fast-paced renovation show like Rock the Block ever again.

When asked if the experience taught her anything, Victoria replied, “I learned that I’ll never do that again. You can’t put your body through that more than once in a lifetime.”

Will Alison Victoria best the competitionand get a street named after her? Will her Chicago urban glam style beat outthe competition? Tune in to find out.

Rock the Block premieres Monday, October 21 on HGTV.

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Science

Alien life could be discovered within 30 years, claims Nobel Prize-winning scientist

University of Cambridge professor Didier Queloz – who is one of three scientists to be awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics – said it was “entirely realistic” life could be found outside of Earth in the next 30 years. In October 1995, Professor Queloz along with Professor Michel Mayor announced the first discovery of an exoplanet – a planet outside the solar system. The Swiss pair made the scientific breakthrough using custom-made instruments at the Haute-Provence Observatory in southern France.

They were able to locate planet 51 pegs b – which has a radius of 135,830km and is located approximately 50 light-years away.

The discovery started a revolution in astronomy and more than 4,000 exoplanets have since been found in the Milky Way.

Professor Queloz said the discovery of exoplanets has led him to believe humans cannot be alone in the universe.

He said: “I can’t believe we are the only living entity in the universe.

“There are just way to many planets, way too many stars, and the chemistry is universal.

“The chemistry that led to life has to happen elsewhere.”

Professor Queloz said it was “entirely realistic” life could be found closer to home in the next 30 years, and even more likely in the next 100 years.

He added: “I do hope that this Nobel Prize will help give a further boost for this fascinating question when we think about life on another planet.”

Professor Queloz and Professor Mayor were awarded the prestigious prize for contribution to the understanding of the evolution of the universe and “Earth’s place in the cosmos”.

They shared the prize along with James Peebles, from Princeton University in New Jersey, who was honoured “for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology”.

Mr Peebles predicted the existence of cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation, the so-called afterglow of the Big Bang.

Ulf Danielsson, a member of the Nobel Committee, said: “Both these prizes tell us something essential, something existential about our place in the Universe.

“The first one, tracing the history back to an unknown origin, is so fascinating. The other one tries to answer these questions about: ‘are we alone – is there life anywhere else in the Universe?’”

Mats Larsson, chair of the Nobel physics prize committee said: “Cosmic background radiation was discovered in 1965, and turned out to be a goldmine for our understanding of how the Universe developed from its early childhood to the present day.

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“Were it not for the theoretical discoveries of James Peebles, the wonderful high-precision measurements of this radiation over the last 20 years would have told us almost nothing.”

The trio will share a nine-million kronor cash award (£742,864), a gold medal and a diploma.

The laureates will receive them at a ceremony in Stockholm on December 10.

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Science

Enhanced photo reveals Buzz Aldrin’s smile in Apollo 11 landing

Buzz Aldrin smiles on the moon in fascinating digitally enhanced photo that reveals his face inside his spacesuit during Apollo 11 landing in 1969

  • Andy Saunders, 45, brightened and darkened shades of the photo pixel by pixel to reveal Aldrin’s face
  • He spent hours tweaking saturation and contrast of tiny areas of Aldrin’s face, which can be seen grinning
  • The photograph was taken by fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong during the world-first 1969 Apollo 11 landing 

Standing beside the pitched American flag with the eternal darkness of space stretching on behind him, the picture of Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon is one of the most famous photographs ever taken.

But while millions of people will have viewed the image, most will have missed the astronaut’s face which is concealed by his tinted spacesuit.

However, 50 years on from the moon landing, an amateur photographer has used image-enhancing technology to painstakingly restore the picture and expose Aldrin’s smile.  

Andy Saunders, 45, brightened and darkened the shades of the photo, often a few pixels at a time, to slowly reveal a face beneath the hazy helmet glass.

Once the outline of Aldrin’s facial features became slightly clearer, Andy, a property developer from Culcheth, Cheshire, spent hours tweaking the saturation and contrast of tiny areas at a time. 

Buzz Aldrin’s face had previously been concealed by his tinted spacesuit, but now his smile has been exposed using image enhancement techniques


Fifty years on from the moon landing, an amateur photographer has used image-enhancing technology to painstakingly restore the picture and expose Aldrin’s smile

Andy Saunders, 45, brightened and darkened the shades of the photo, often a few pixels at a time, to slowly reveal a face beneath the hazy helmet glass

It revealed for the first time a clear shot of the astronaut giving a grin as he turned his head to face the camera – previously obscured by his reflective visor.

The image was taken by fellow astronaut Neil Armstrong just moments after Aldrin planted a pole with the American Flag into the lunar surface in July 1969.

It became one of the most famous photos of the twentieth century – with MTV using it to market itself, replacing the flag with its own logo.

Andy has released the image to celebrate the 50th anniversary year of the Apollo 11 landing.

He said: ‘I wonder how many people would realise based on the original image that Buzz is visible. It must have been viewed billions of times.

‘What’s interesting is it’s one of the most iconic images of all time and it has been holding this detail which I’ve managed to reveal.

Buzz Aldrin flew to the Moon in 1969 as part of the Apollo 11 space mission, posing for a photograph next to the US flag

Aldrin’s reflective visor on his spacesuit had initially made it virtually impossible to view his face

‘Although I’m the first to do it, it’s really not that technical. I just use photo-processing equipment and dedication.

‘I alter the contrast, reduce the sound and edit the highlights on the countless amount of layers.

‘I use what is called dodging and burning. It essentially makes the lighter bit light and the darker bits dark.

‘I was able to faintly make out the microphone across his face and from there I was able to spot his eyes.

‘Then I work with a collection of pixels at a time to expose what is underneath.

‘But nothing is copied into the photo. All the data is already there. I just enhance that. This one took me hours to do.’

Earlier this year Andy applied the same techniques to a photos of Neil Armstrong stepping off Apollo 11 in Nasa video footage. It took him several days.


Once the outline of Aldrin’s facial features became slightly clearer, Andy, a property developer from Culcheth, Cheshire, spent hours tweaking the saturation and contrast of tiny areas at a time

Andy added: ‘They’re such famous photographs and to be able to see both their faces on the 50th anniversary is really quite something.

‘Now you’re able to see the pair of them in space. It completes the Apollo 11 “set”.’

Dr Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society said: ‘There’s not many photos of astronauts’ faces in space.

‘You often see pictures of reflective visors so to see a human face beneath reminds us people had actually made it onto the moon rather than robot props.

‘We are looking to going back to the moon in the 2020s.

‘It’s quite refreshing to see the human journey told through pictures in the 1960s.’ 

The Apollo 11 crew photo showing astronauts Neil Armstong (left), Micahel Collins (middle) and Buzz Aldrin (right)

WHAT WAS THE APOLLO PROGRAM?

NASA photo taken on July 16, 1969 shows the huge, 363-foot tall Apollo 11 Spacecraft 107/Lunar Module S/Saturn 506) space vehicle launched from Pad A, Launch Complex 39. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), at 9:32 a.m. (EDT).

Apollo was the NASA programme that launched in 1961 and got man on the moon.

The first four flights tested the equipment for the Apollo Program and six of the other seven flights managed to land on the moon.

The first manned mission to the moon was Apollo 8 which circled around it on Christmas Eve in 1968 but did not land.

The crew of Apollo 9 spent ten days orbiting Earth and completed the first manned flight of the lunar module – the section of the Apollo rocket that would later land Neil Armstrong on the Moon.  

The Apollo 11 mission was the first on to land on the moon on 20 July 1969.

The capsule landed on the Sea of Tranquillity, carrying mission commander Neil Armstrong and pilot Buzz Aldrin.

Armstrong and Aldrin walked on the lunar surface while Michael Collins remained in orbit around the moon. 

When Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon, he said, ‘That’s one small step for (a) man; one giant leap for mankind.’

Apollo 12 landed later that year on 19 November on the Ocean of Storms, writes NASA.  

Apollo 13 was to be the third mission to land on the moon, but just under 56 hours into flight, an oxygen tank explosion forced the crew to cancel the lunar landing and move into the Aquarius lunar module to return back to Earth.  

Apollo 15 was the ninth manned lunar mission in the Apollo space program, and considered at the time the most successful manned space flight up to that moment because of its long duration and greater emphasis on scientific exploration than had been possible on previous missions. 

The last Apollo moon landing happened in 1972 after a total of 12 astronauts had touched down on the lunar surface.

Astronaut Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin unpacking experiments from the Lunar Module on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. Photographed by Neil Armstrong, 20 July 1969

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Sport

Yankees clinch first AL East title since 2012 behind brilliant Masahiro Tanaka

The Yankees donned AL East Champion hats and T-thirts and grabbed champagne and beer bottles Wednesday night as they watched the Rays-Dodgers game, hoping for a Los Angeles win that would clinch the AL East title and ignite a clubhouse celebration.

When the Rays prevailed, the hats and shirts went into the closet and the champagne and beer disappeared into the refrigerators.

Thanks to a 9-1 victory over the Angels on Thursday evening that was witnessed by 42,056 at Yankee Stadium and powered by Masahiro Tanaka, DJ LeMahieu and Brett Gardner, the Yankees copped their first division title since 2012 and the hats and shirts absorbed champagne and beer showers.

The victory came after MLB placed 18-game winner Domingo German on administrative leave while he is investigated for a domestic violence situation.

Tanaka gave up a run and four hits in seven innings. LeMahieu slugged a three-run homer and Gardner went 2-for-3 with a homer and drove in three runs.

The clincher sent the Yankees to the postseason for the 21st time in the past 25 years and for the third straight season.

It also allowed the 100-54 Yankees to pull one-half game behind the idle Astros in the race for home-field advantage in the AL postseason.

Having won 100 games a year ago, the Yankees reached the century mark for the second straight year. Since 1979, it is the second time the Yankees have won 100 or more games in two straight seasons. The Yankees did it in 2002, 2003 and 2004. They have an MLB-record 21 seasons with 100 or more wins.

Aaron Boone became the first man in MLB history to win at least 100 games in his first two years as a manager.

Since Tanaka dominated a limp Angels lineup that is without Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, the skeptics might not be impressed. Tanaka, however, was 1-2 with a 4.82 ERA in his previous five outings, so the Yankees will take Thursday night as progress. Tanaka’s first victory since Aug. 27 improved his record to 11-8.

Didi Gregorius contributed three sparkling defensive plays, a single and a stolen base. Cameron Maybin added a solo homer in the eighth that stretched the lead to 7-1 and Clint Frazier homered with Gardner on in the same inning to push the advantage to 9-1. Aroldis Chapman, who hadn’t pitched since last Thursday in Detroit, recorded the final three outs.

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Celebrities

Cassie Announces Engagement To Boyfriend Alex Fine

Cassie Ventura announced via Instagram on Tuesday that she got engaged to her boyfriend Alex Fine on Saturday in California.

The two have been dating since Cassie broke up with Sean Combs last year.

“My favorite day ever!” Cassie shared on Instagram. “#MrsFine 8.24”

“I love you best friend. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you,” she added..

Cassie and Fine shared a video on their social media pages, which shows Alex, donning a cowboy hat, getting ready for the big moment at the Compton Cowboys stable. It then shows Fine getting down on one knee to ask for Cassie’s hand.

Fine wrote, “This moment will always be so special to me. I get to marry my best friend in the whole world. How am I so lucky! #mrsfine.”

Cassie, currently expecting their first child, a baby girl, announced her pregnancy in June, following which Fine wrote a letter professing his love and commitment to their unborn child.

(Photo: lukeford.net)

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TV & Movies

Emmerdale spoilers: Al Chapman and Kim Tate plan to shut down the factory and sack all the workers

Newcomer Al Chapman is set to make waves in Emmerdale next week as he and Kim Tate plot to close the factory down, leaving the workers jobless.
Jai Sharma is left seething when he discovers that Nicola King has sold her shares of the troubled business to Al, who is Kim’s secret business partner.

Have the Sharmas lost their grip of the family business for good?
Last week Emmerdale fans worked out that Al – who’s played by Harry Potter actor Michael Wildman in the ITV soap – was Kim’s mystery business partner as they watched him make a suspicious phone call after tricking his son Ellis to accept his investment into his personal training business.
But just seconds later on the phone he was less complimentary about the village and the villagers to an unknown person on the phone, making clear his dodgy dealings.

The scene echoed Kim's phone call last week to her new mystery business partner, with whom she has nefarious plans for the factory – something potentially with an illegal twist.
After tonight's scenes, fans are more than convinced with one writing: "Chances of Al Chapman being in cahoots with Kim Tate?"
A second said: "Why do I get the feeling Al is Kim’s new business partner?"
Another added: "Al's GOT to be Kim's mystery business partner after that phone call!"


It isn't just the phone calls either, further evidence came when last night he explained how he had returned from working in Dubai.
He had been running an outdoor pursuits business in the hot country where Kim has only just returned from an extended business holiday.
And actress Claire King recently revealed how Kim would be teaming up with a new man from Dubai.
She told Inside Soap: "There is a Kim and Graham story coming up, which does involve family, but also Kim goes into partnership with a new guy who she worked with in Dubai when she went away on a business holiday.

"They're very, very similar, so whether they will click together or explode, who knows? Also, Graham doesn't like it too much, as he feels it's encroaching on his turf!"
Emmerdale producer Kate Brooks said in July: "Getting in bed with Kim Tate is like getting in bed with the Devil herself so it won't be plain sailing for [Jai].
"They are planning a new outdoor pursuit centre at the heart of the village – there will be kayaks, segways, a nice little eatery and will look fantastic and rejuvenate the village.
"It will bring new characters into the village and they can all have fun in the treetops and zipwires."

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Celebrities

‘American Idol’ alum Phillip Phillips is going to be a dad

Phillip Phillips had better practice those lullaby skills.

The Season 11 “American Idol” winner is expecting his first child, a baby boy, with wife Hannah Blackwell Phillips.

“Phillip and Hannah sittin’ in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G! First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage this fall!” Phillips, 28, captioned an Instagram photo of the couple and a “Gentleman”-inscribed baby onesie this week.

Hannah, sharing the same picture, added on her Instagram account: “We’ve been keeping a secret this year. New little guy coming in a few months.”

The couple tied the knot in 2015.

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Kids

Tori Spelling's Family Album

Tori Spelling has lived her life in the public eye. The actress has shared photos through the years of her family life, starting out with her upbringing with her famous parents Aaron and Candy Spelling, to now raising kids of her own.

Her love life has also played out publicly, especially her marriage to husband Dean McDermott. The couple, who wed in 2006, first got together in 2005 and have since welcomed five children together, including the birth of their fifth child, Beau, in March 2017. Scroll down to see the most adorable photos of the actress — and her brood!

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Celebrities

Record store bans Morrissey albums citing his far-right support

Morrissey’s controversial endorsement of British far-right political party For Britain has led at least one record store to ban his music. Spillers, which bills itself as “the oldest record shop in the world,” in Cardiff, Wales has announced it can no longer support the former Smiths’ frontman, Wales Online reports.

“I’m saddened but ultimately not surprised that Spillers is unable to stock Morrissey’s releases any longer,” Spillers owner Ashli Todd told Wales Online. “I only wished I’d done it sooner.”

Earlier this month, Morrissey wore a For Britain pin during his appearance on “The Tonight Show,” where he performed his version of Jobriath’s “Morning Starship.” Anti-Islam activist Anne Marie Waters founded the far-right UK political party For Britain. Following Morrissey’s “Tonight Show” stint, Waters thanked Morrissey for his support via a YouTube video.

Morrissey has always been one to share his often-caustic and divisive views, from demeaning fellow artists to spouting bigotry and racist remarks. In 2010, while discussing animal cruelty in China he told The Guardian, “You can’t help but feel the Chinese people are a subspecies.” Following the Norway massacre in 2011 where 77 people died, he reportedly told a Warsaw audience, “That is nothing compared to what happens in McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried shit every day.”

Morrissey’s covers album, “California Son,” will be released on Friday and features his renditions of songs by Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Roy Orbison, Dionne Warwick and Carly Simon, and guest collaborators include Billie Joe Armstrong and Grizzly Bear’s Ed Droste.

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Technology

These AI-powered gadgets do all the thinking for you

In case you haven’t been paying attention, gadgets with artificial intelligence are getting even smarter. Feel free to panic about “Terminator”-style robots taking over the world, but for now, these gadgets save us time by thinking for us. Some are so smart they trick a criminal into looking at a security camera; another senses how much detergent you need for your dirty clothes.

1. Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro

My favorite gadget of the year so far, the Vivint Outdoor Camera Pro can sense when someone is on your property. It will then play a whistle sound and snap a picture when the intruder looks at the camera. Brilliant. You can customize the sounds and how often the camera snaps pics.

2. Whirlpool Smart Front Load Washer

Finally, a washing machine that knows how much detergent you need! With a fill capacity for up to 40 loads, the Whirlpool Smart Front Load Washer automatically senses load size. Called Load & Go, it’s curiously omniscient. There’s also a matching dryer.

3. Lenovo Smart Clock

This Google-powered clock knows how to wake you up gradually. Connected to the lights in your home, the alarm clock can slowly increase the volume and lights as you wake up over a 30-minute period. The Google Assistant can even read the news.

4. Ring Door View Cam

You know a gadget is thinking for you when it can predict human behavior. The Ring Door View Cam is smart enough to know when someone knocks at the door instead of using the doorbell. A sensor detects the knock and alerts you. You’ll be able to see the visitor and respond.

5. CAR.O.L. Fitness Technologies Stationary Bike

Can machine learning actually help you lose weight? That’s the idea behind this stationary bike, which guides you through a short workout and adjusts tension automatically. All you have to do is pedal since the bike knows when to ease up or make you push harder.

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Kids

Al Roker’s Son With Special Needs ‘Doesn’t Let Anything Stand in His Way’

Full of admiration! Al Roker couldn’t be prouder of his 17-year-old son, Nick.

“He’s one of those people that doesn’t let anything stand in his way,” the Today anchorman, 64, told Us Weekly exclusively at the Figure Skating in Harlem’s 2019 Champions in Life Benefit Gala on Monday, April 29. “I don’t think he acknowledges whatever issues he’s got. ‘I’m just going to do this.’ [It’s] so great.”

When it comes to spending time with his teenager, the meteorologist likes doing “the average stuff.”

“Last night, we went to go see the Avengers: Endgame [movie],” Roker told Us. “You know, you’re in a movie, it’s not a lot of talking, but you’re together and then talking about it afterwards.”

The weather anchor opened up about raising Nick, who has special needs and is “somewhere on the spectrum and maybe obsessive-compulsive,” in Guideposts magazine’s May cover story.

“Nick blossomed, far more than Deborah or I could have ever expected, given his original iffy prognosis,” the weather anchor wrote. “I can’t begin to take credit for who Nick is and who he might become. All sorts of specialists can tell you about limitations for this and that. Nick never got that message.”

The NBC personality added: “Nick is a hard worker; he’s got a great sense of humor; he’s outgoing and a good swimmer; he’s developing a pretty good top-of-the-key basketball shot. He takes chess lessons a couple times a week, and he does OK. He’s also very affectionate — like his grandfather — and full of love to share.”

Roker and journalist Deborah Roberts tied the knot in 1995. They also share daughter Leila, 20.

With reporting by Lexi Ciccone

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Kids

Al Roker Opens Up About Teenage Son With Special Needs: ‘I Admire Him’

Proud papa! Al Roker opened up about raising his 17-year-old son with special needs and the many reasons he and his wife, Deborah Roberts, admire him.

“Nick is a hard worker; he’s got a great sense of humor; he’s outgoing and a good swimmer; he’s developing a pretty good top-of-the-key basketball shot,” the Today anchorman, 64, wrote for Guideposts magazine’s May cover story. “He takes chess lessons a couple times a week, and he does OK. He’s also very affectionate — like his grandfather — and full of love to share.”

While his son is “somewhere on the spectrum and maybe obsessive-compulsive” and the NBC personality gets “frustrated with” Nick sometimes, Roker added: “I remember my dad, how understanding he was. And Deborah reminds me that I have to show my son not only that I love him but that I like him as well. More than that, I admire him.”

When Nick was born in 2002, “we knew right from the beginning that he would be up against a whole different set of challenges,” the Ruthless Tide author recalled. “He wasn’t developing as fast as he should have, not holding our fingers as tightly, not always meeting our gaze, not as quick to crawl. At three, he hardly talked and could barely walk.”

Now the teenager not only has a wide range of hobbies, but loves serving on the worship team at a church and carrying the cross at the start of each service.

“Last year, he went on a mission trip to Haiti with teens from church, helping out at an orphanage, reading to the kids, playing games with them, doing chores,” Roker recalled. “When we picked him up at the airport, the first thing he said in the car was ‘I can’t wait to go back.’”

The meteorologist gushed about how “proud” he is of his son, going on to say, “Nick blossomed, far more than Deborah or I could have ever expected, given his original iffy prognosis. … I can’t begin to take credit for who Nick is and who he might become. All sorts of specialists can tell you about limitations for this and that. Nick never got that message.”

The weather anchor and his wife, 58, also share daughter Leila, 20. Al has another daughter Courtney, who was adopted during a previous marriage.

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Kids

How Daphne Oz Keeps Romance Alive With 3 Kids: We ‘Look Forward to Bedtime’

A full house! Daphne Oz and her husband have three kids at home and a fourth on the way — but they keep the romance alive in their relationship.

“Parents really start to look forward to bedtime a lot,” the former Chew cohost, 33, told Us Weekly exclusively at HealthCorps 13th Annual Gala, hosted by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Lisa Oz on Tuesday, April 16. “You can’t wait for your kids to wake up, and then for the whole day [you’re] trying to get them exhausted enough to go back to bed.”

Her husband, John Jovanovic, added: “I think we try to counterbalance really intensive family time with just time for the two of us. … Having parents who are happy really makes for a happy bond with the children. We sync great.”

The couple, who tied the knot in 2010, announced in March that they are expecting their fourth child.

“I do love to cook!” the Dorm Room Diet author captioned an Instagram post cradling her baby bump at the time. “Bun in the oven #4 coming your way later this year and we couldn’t be more excited!!”

The little one will join Philomena, 5, Jovan, 3, and Domenica, 16 months.

When it comes to raising her brood, the TV personality keeps this advice in mind. “Your children will always remember how you made them feel,” she told Us. “So, even if you’re not there every second of every day … [be aware of] how you make your children feel when you are with them, making sure that time is quality is the most important thing.”

Oz and the investment banker don’t think that their family dynamic will change too much when their fourth baby arrives. “The shift from one to two is really big, [but] after that, it’s sort of, like, the same,” Jovanovic told Us.

With reporting by Marc Lupo

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TV & Movies

Comedian Rob Beckett's all smiles after landing new primetime TV show on Channel 4

his big teeth but joker Rob Beckett is having the last laugh after landing yet another primetime TV show.

I can reveal the London comic will host Channel 4’s new madcap gameshow Anything Goes — after proving a hit presenting BBC1 singing contest All Together Now with Geri Horner.

Based on a French format called Vendredi Tout Est Permis Avec Arthur, each episode sees the host invites six celebs to take part in a series of entertaining games, including one on a huge set that tilts at 22 degrees.

A TV source said: “Rob has quickly become comedy’s golden boy and has really clicked with younger viewers, especially on All Together Now.

“There’s a huge demand for more fun gameshows, so the ­producers were delighted to get him on board for their next big series, Anything Goes.

“Rob starts filming on the show this week at the same studios in Paris where the French version is made.

“It’s going to be a bonkers series but one they hope all the family will watch together.”

Anything Goes is produced by Expectation, which brought us The Big Narstie Show and Travels In Trumpland With Ed Balls.

The format has been a hit in 23 countries. It follows a long list of TV shows Rob already presents, including E4’s Celebs Go Dating, the Beeb’s Wedding Day Winners and his Sky1 show with Romesh Ranganathan, Rob & Romesh Vs . . .

He also heads out with his new touring stand-up show, Wallop, later this year.

Rob must hope he can prolong his trip to France this week for a break.

Kate has a blast in steamy return

KATE Beckinsale made an explosive return to our TV screens this week – in every sense.

Kate has not been on the box in Britain for two decades, but she made a sensational comeback in steamy thriller The Widow, playing a woman who travels to the Congo in search of a husband she previously thought was dead.

Last night we saw her character, Georgia, cheat death after getting blown to the ground by a nearby car bomb, pictured.

Monday’s debut episode on ITV had an impressive 4.1million tuning in.

That beat rival drama The Victim, which aired at the same time on BBC1 and drew 3.5million viewers.


And millions of people are likely to stick with The Widow next Monday after yesterday’s cliffhanger – which showed that Georgia’s husband Will is alive after all.

Though I’m not sure any man married to Kate could live without her.

bizbit

EMMERDALE star Liam Fox has revealed he is engaged to fellow actor Jo Hudson.


Liam, who plays Dan Spencer, presented his fiancée with a diamond sparkler before writing on Twitter: “She only went and said yes . . .”

Pricey's made up

KATIE Price's unique style has kept her in the public eye for 23 years – and now fans can get a slice of it, too.

The former glamour model, whose Quest Red series My Crazy Life continues at 10pm on Monday, is offering punters the chance to get a Pricey-style makeover.

In an exclusive interview, Katie said: “I’ve got a new business that you’ll see on my reality show.

“Someone comes to me for two hours, I do their hair, make-up and I take pictures.

“You get a portfolio and it’s like an experience with me. I’ll teach you how to pose.

“I will eventually go into management but at the moment I can’t manage myself.”

Katie is banned from the roads until May after being found in charge of a vehicle while drunk. Yet somehow she continues to drive us all mad.

Who's up for gongs

THE longlist for nominations for the British Soap Awards’ Best Actor and Best Actress prizes has been unveiled – with Coronation Street, EastEnders, Hollyoaks, Emmerdale and Doctors all in the running.

In the women’s category, I reckon it could be Bhavna Limbachia's year after her character Rana Habeeb was killed off in the Corrie factory collapse. But she’s got stiff competition from

Emmerdale’s Lucy Pargeter, whose character Chas Dingle lost her baby to a rare heart condition, and EastEnders’ Tamzin Outhwaite, whose Albert Square comeback as Mel Owen was packed with twists.

In the Best Actor category, many see Emmerdale’s Jeff Hordley as a shoo-in after his Cain Dingle was embroiled in the Joe Tate “murder” plot.

But for me, I think it’s going to be a close battle between Walford’s finest Danny Dyer, who plays Mick Carter, and his co-star Zack Morris as Keegan Baker.

In the past few months, Mick has managed to see off evil Stuart Highway, faced a stint behind bars and re-won the heart of wife Linda. While Keegan has been battling a drug addiction following the murder of his best pal.

Public voting closes on April 23 before the shortlist is revealed on April 30.

soapbox

GARY ignores Rick’s phone calls in Coronation Street as he finishes Mary’s guttering but lies to her that it needs further work. She hires him – and Gary is riddled with guilt.

Rick drives him to an assisted living complex to con gullible pensioners into taking out high-interest loans. Gary is left in a moral conundrum. Elsewhere, Daniel looks on with pride as Sinead reaches the end of her treatment.

In Emmerdale, Maya is alarmed when Jacob tells her that he cannot keep lying to Liv and his dad. As she tries to deter Jacob from coming clean, she is stunned when he ends their relationship.

Meanwhile, Rhona relays a surprising offer and Jai calls a truce with Manpreet.

must watch

WHAT? Married At First Sight, 9pm, Channel 4.

WHY? As decision day looms in this reality show experiment, the two couples are put to the test to see if their marriages have a future or if it’s time to call in the lawyers.


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Kids

No, You Can't Just Dye All Your Food Green & Call it a St. Paddy's Party

St. Patrick’s day doesn’t just have to be about pulling out every green article of clothing you own and wearing them all simultaneously (although it should definitely be about that); it’s also a tribute to Irish traditions, from mythology to festive food. Well, and drinking. If you’re an adult, that is. But if you’re a kid? Even better: We’ve got all the St. Patrick’s day kids party ideas any parent can use to turn March 17th into a family-fun day for the ages.

With the recipes and DIYs below, kids will have a fantastic time — and you can sit back and enjoy a green beer while mentally high-fiving yourself for your crafting, cooking and general festivity skills.

While St. Paddy’s Day does inspire many of us (hi) to simply go wild with the green food coloring, there are also plenty of nongreen twists on classic Irish fare that will be a hit with adults and kids alike — and that look like delicious food rather than green alien slime.

Try these cabbage and corned beef egg rolls with homemade beer mustard (homemade. beer. mustard) or these Irish nachos or Irish tacos — a crowd-please perfect for a St. Paddy’s taco Tuesday. This Irish cheese and beer soup is a great way to warm up (also, it’s delicious and served in a bread bowl — what more could you ask?) For dessert, try these appropriately green and kid-friendly lime sherbet floats and shamrock chocolate-covered pretzels.

And speaking of green alien slime, try crafting this St. Patrick’s Day Slime recipe to keep kids plenty busy. It’s pretty much guaranteed hours of green, glittery fun that you may or may not need to pick out of your carpet the next day. These lucky Mason jar luminaries are a surprisingly straightforward craft for kids, and they can even change up the colors or the four-leaf clover design for their own unique spin. For the goofiest kids, these shamrock headbands are a quick and fun DIY you only need green felt, pipe cleaners and a headband to make. As for the really young kids? Include them in the crafting festivities with this rainbow Fruit Loops necklace — which they can eat too. Always a plus.

Decorations are a big part of any party; you have to set the stage, right? This faux moss table runner is an easy DIY for a simple and stylish table. It uses only a piece of thin artificial turf, some votive candles and a few fake (or chocolate) coins scattered around. If you’re looking for something a little more obvious, this lucky penny sign is perfect. Or let kids have a hand in decorating with these paper strip shamrocks — an effortless and quick decoration your kids can make using just green construction paper. Seriously. That’s it. Strips of paper. So easy.

And of course, a party isn’t a party without some entertainment. Make good on “pics or it didn’t happen” by providing partygoers with a festive green backdrop and these St. Paddy’s photo booth props for them to selfie to their hearts’ content. And if it’s nice outside, let kids wear themselves out searching for a pot of gold with this fun outdoor scavenger hunt.

And as the party winds down, awesome goodie bags are always great to send home with your tiny guests. These are beyond easy (and cheap) to assemble; simply print some St. Patrick’s Day coloring pages and tuck them a into gold paper cup with a rainbow of crayons. Add a green ribbon, and voila! Martha Stewart’s got nothing on you.

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Lifestyle

Americans feel guilty about almost a third of the food they eat

Nearly a third of all food Americans eat makes them feel guilty, according to new research.

The new study found that Americans, increasingly aware of healthier and more natural alternatives, feel guilt about 29 percent of the food they eat on average.

This ‘food guilt’ over eating choices and habits strikes approximately five separate times a week.

And in a time-starved world, your food guilt can add up. The pervasive feeling of food guilt lasts for nearly 20 minutes each occurrence, meaning you can spend more than three and a half days every year feeling guilty about what you eat.

The new survey of 2,000 Americans, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Chomps, found that food guilt is caused primarily by the awareness of food being unhealthy. High sugar content and overeating are also leading causes of guilt.

Dinner is the most guilt-inducing meal of the day, with 36 percent reporting feeling self-conscious and ashamed after they finish. That being said, 42 percent feel more guilty about snacking than main meals.

At a time when social media influences what we eat and can have a major impact on our mood, the study found that more than half (51 percent) of Americans said that food guilt lowers their self-esteem. Fifty-two percent of men and 39 percent of women said that these feelings can even ruin their day.

In fact, 30 percent of all meals are decided based on the food that will make Americans feel less guilty.

Guilty feelings aside, respondents revealed that many Americans even feel shame and embarrassment from snacking.

In fact, approximately half (49 percent) of Americans believe certain foods are “gendered” due to stereotypes, and more than one third (43 percent of men and 26 percent of women) say these stereotypes have stopped them from eating certain foods.

Foods that are seen overwhelmingly as feminine include salad (54 percent), cupcakes (57 percent), and fresh fruit (42 percent), while stereotypically masculine foods include beef jerky (56 percent), hamburgers (46 percent), steak (53 percent), and meat sticks (56 percent).

“We want people to feel empowered by their snack choices. The old stereotypes of some foods being better for men than women needs to be replaced by knowing what works best for you and keeps you energized through a busy day,” said Aarti Gopal, VP of Marketing at Chomps.

“While our snacks have historically been considered male-centric, we find over 70% of Chomps buyers are health-conscious women who want healthy protein snacks to keep them going.”

About five times a month, Americans feel guilty about breaking their diet/nutrition goals. This explains why 58 percent said they actively look for meals and snacks that will not make them feel guilty.

Although widespread, a majority of Americans (57 percent) feel that food guilt is a waste of their time.

“Food guilt is a waste of time,” said Gopal.

“There are so many healthy options today, like Chomps, that there is no longer a need to compromise between health and convenience. You can absolutely find snacks that keep you fueled throughout your day without any guilt!”

The 5 most guilt-inducing foods

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Kids

Which Name Did Kylie Jenner Almost Choose for Daughter Stormi?

Say it ain’t so! Kylie Jenner wasn’t always sold on the name Stormi for her daughter.

The Kylie Cosmetics CEO, 21, revealed that she considered many monikers for her first child with boyfriend Travis Scott. Jenner opened up about her other options during an Instagram Live video on Tuesday, March 12, noting that she was ultimately hesitant to disclose the names because she might “use those one day.”

“One name I will tell you guys, because I don’t think I’m ever going to name my daughter this [another daughter], but I wanted to name her Rose,” the Keeping Up Up With the Kardashians star shared. “I really liked that name. Shoutout to everyone named Rose.”

Although Jenner didn’t reveal the other names in the running, she teased that her second choice was a “very weird name, but I love it. It just didn’t work for her.”

The Life of Kylie alum almost decided on the name Storm, but added the “i” at the end so her daughter’s name would sound like her own. “When I was pregnant, I used to call her Stormi when I would talk to her in my belly,” Jenner explained. “It just always feels right. … I just couldn’t imagine any other name other than Stormi.”

Jenner was almost going to spell her baby girl’s first name as ‘Stormie,’ but made a “last-minute” decision to drop the “e” when filling out her birth certificate.

The businesswoman previously opened up about the origin of Stormi’s name during an October 2018 interview with makeup artist James Charles and noted that she was looking for something “earth-inspired,” like the name Willow.

Jenner, who threw Stormi a lavish first birthday party in February, “is absolutely obsessed with being a mom,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly after the celebration. “She loves motherhood and luckily, there hasn’t been any huge obstacles.” 

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Kids

Healthier Than Ever! Al Roker Dropped 40 Lbs on the Keto Diet

Living his best life! Al Roker is healthier than ever before, thanks to the keto diet.

The Today cohost Opens a New Window. , 64, dropped a significant amount of weight since he started the high-fat, low-carb routine in September 2018. Roker talked about his achievement while baking keto bread during the show’s food segment on Monday, March 4, and told Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie that he “lost about 40 lbs” on the program.

“My cholesterol, just had it checked out a few weeks ago, everything’s good,” exclaimed Roker, who has documented his weight loss journey via Instagram and frequently shares photos of his mouthwatering meals.  Opens a New Window.

The “Off the Rails” host also doesn’t shy away from slamming keto critics Opens a New Window. , including celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels.

“So @JillianMichaels says #Keto is a bad idea. This from a woman who promoted on camera bullying, deprivation, manipulation and more weekly in the name of weight loss,” he tweeted in January. “Now those sound like bad ideas to me.”

Roker also challenged Michaels, 45, on Today later that month: “My point is, what works for you, works for you. There’s science on both sides that says it’s not a great idea and science that says it is a good idea. I think it’s up to people — with their doctor, with their medical professional — [to make their own decision].”

Michaels, for her part, clapped back at the Emmy winner on the January 23 episode of her “Skimm’d From the Couch” podcast. “What’s so disappointing is that, for years, I’ve done the Today show,” she recalled. “For years, I’ve done segments with this guy. I was always greeted with the, ‘Kiddo,’ right? And the big hug and the ‘How’s the family?’ And, like, I always thought we were homies.”

The 6 Keys author defended her disapproval of the keto diet by adding: “I’m not just a fitness trainer. I have three certifications. I do continuing education. I’m a certified nutritionist. … And I’m not making up these studies.”

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World News

Five killed by Al-Shabaab car bomb in Somalia

Five people are killed by jihadi car bomb outside major hotel in the Somalian capital Mogadishu

  • At least five were killed when a car bomb went off in the Somalian capital
  • Witnesses described a massive blast and flames followed by a volley of gunfire 
  • The ambulance service reported another 25 wounded were carted to hospital 
  • Al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda liked terrorists, claimed responsibility for the attack 

At least five people were killed on Thursday when a car bomb exploded close to a major hotel in the capital of Somalia, medics said.

Al-Shabaab insurgents boasted a suicide bomber from their group was responsible for the killings, the latest in a long line of attacks the Al-Qaeda linked group has carried out.

Witnesses described how the blast ripped through one of the busiest streets in the seaside capital, as people were unwinding after work.

A volley of gunfire was heard after the explosion as people ran in terror through the packed city streets.

Al-Shabaab insurgents claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing near a major hotel in Mogadishu that killed at least five people


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‘Our teams have collected five dead bodies and 25 wounded people,’ Abdukadir Abdirahman, director of the Aamin Ambulance service said warning that the tally could rise. 

‘The teams are still working,’ Abdirahman said.

Mogadishu is regularly targeted by the Shabaab fighters in their long fight to topple the government.

They said their fighters were trying to kill senior officials staying in the famous Maka Al-Mukarama hotel.

Volunteers and rescue workers evacuate a victim following a car bomb blast in Mogadishu claimed by Al-Shabaab

‘There was a suicide blast followed by gunfire, in which the mujahedeen fighters targeted the commanders and officials of the Somali government who stayed at the hotel,’ the group claimed in a statement on a pro-Shabaab website.

There was also heavy gunfire after the blast.

‘There was a huge car bomb blast along the Maka Al-Mukarama road,’ said police officer Mohamed Farah. ‘It destroyed many businesses and vehicles.’

‘The whole area was in flames, and I could see the ambulances rushing to the scene,’ said Abdisamed Mohamed, a witness. ‘There was gunfire too, but we don´t know who was shooting.’

The deadly car bomb blast ripped through one of the busiest streets of Mogadishu in the early evening hours

A second blast was heard in the area a few minutes later, but it was unclear what caused that explosion.

Shabaab fighters fled their fixed positions they once held in Mogadishu in 2011, and have since lost many of their strongholds.

But they retain control of large rural swathes of the country, and continue to wage a guerrilla war against the authorities.

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World News

Refugee footballer Al-Araibi urges Bahrain F1 boycott

Refugee footballer who was detained in Thailand and threatened with extradition to the Middle East calls on F1 fans to boycott the Bahrain Grand Prix

  • Hakeem al-Araibi has urged fans to boycott the Grand Prix in Bahrain this year
  • He claims he feels threatened by authorities and is not safe from the government
  • Al-Araibi returned to Melbourne this month after being detained in Bangkok 
  • He has said that political figures use sporting events to raise their profile

Refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi has urged Formula One fans to boycott this year’s Grand Prix in Bahrain to protest human rights abuses, claiming he still feels threatened by authorities in his homeland.

The 25-year-old defender returned to Melbourne earlier this month after being detained during his honeymoon in Bangkok and threatened with extradition to his native Bahrain.

Bahraini authorities accuse him of offences linked to the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. But his detention sparked a worldwide outcry and he was eventually allowed back to Australia, where he had been granted asylum.

Refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi urges fans to boycott the Grand Prix in Bahrain to protest human rights abuses

Writing in The Guardian newspaper, al-Araibi repeated his claim that he was targeted for political reasons.

It follows his criticism of Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa, a member of Bahrain’s ruling family.

‘Evidently, it is a myth that sports and politics do not mix,’ he said.

‘Some people consider my release as a great victory. While I’m happy to be home, I cannot help but think that my personal fight is not over,’ he added.


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‘Even now, Bahrain has vowed to “pursue all necessary legal actions” to drag me back to the place I fled. My brother remains imprisoned there, and I don’t believe that I am safe from the Bahraini government.’

Al-Araibi claimed authoritarian states were using sports events to raise their profile, ‘but when athletes and individuals call attention to this practice they are imprisoned and forcibly silenced’.

He pointed to activist Najah Yousif, who human rights groups say was jailed for three years for criticising the kingdom’s hosting of the 2017 Bahrain Grand Prix.

 He was detained during his honeymoon in Bangkok and threatened with extradition to his native Bahrain

Prosecutors claimed she ‘broadcast false and biased news’ about conditions in Bahrain and ‘promoted terrorist acts’.

WHO IS HAKEEM AL-ARAIBI? 

– Born in Bahrain on November 7, 1993

– Played for the Bahrain national soccer team in 2013, member of the Olympic team

– Fled to Australia in 2014, was granted formal refugee status

– Al-Araibi was arrested on 27 November 2018, when he arrived in Bangkok with his wife for their honeymoon

– Bahrain asked Thailand to extradite Araibi for an arson attack that damaged a police station.

– He said this was false and the conviction was politically motivated. 

– After spending two months detained in a Thai prison, he was release and flew to Melbourne in February

‘Fans of Formula One racing need to help Najah,’ said Al-Araibi.

‘Formula One needs to be told that human rights abuses cannot be tolerated. I urge you to boycott this year’s Bahrain Grand Prix if Najah does not walk free before the Bahrain Grand Prix in March.’

He also called on major sporting bodies, including FIFA and the International Olympic Committee, to ‘step up’ even further against injustice after both intervened to help his case.

‘I believe they need to call for an investigation into the repression of athletes orchestrated by the [Bahraini] authorities in 2011,’ he said.

‘International sporting bodies, governments and individuals must unite to fight for the helpless,’ al-Araibi added.

He cited the case of jiujitsu fighter Mohamed Mirza, saying he was given an ‘unlawful’ jail sentence and ‘subjected to brutal torture’.

Rights groups have also claimed that athletes including footballers were tortured and abused during a crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Bahrain.

The 25-year-old said that authoritarian states are using sporting events to raise their profiles

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World News

Safe Communities and Neighbourhoods unit boards up Lethbridge drug house

Alberta sheriffs and the Lethbridge Police Service have boarded up another drug house in Lethbridge.

The Safe Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) unit closed the house on 15th Street North at noon Wednesday.

It’s alleged the house has been a hub for drug activity, with police executing search warrants last August and December that resulted in the seizure of drugs, weapons, stolen ID and property.

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Children found living in alleged Lethbridge drug houses: ALERT

Suspected drug house busted across from Lethbridge school: police

Officials called the bust an extensive collaboration between community members and police. SCAN said eight complainants in the neighbourhood made complaints of drug activity in the area, with traffic coming in and out at all hours of the day and night, stolen vehicles showing up and people both using and buying drugs.

Insp. Mike Letourneau​ with SCAN said the conditions in the home were very poor.

“It’s arguably one of the worst that we’ve seen,” Letourneau said. “There are hundreds of used needles in this property; it is filthy. An example of this is blood-stained walls with a target drawn on the wall where they are using it as a dart board with used syringes.”

The owner, who doesn’t live at the house, was warned after the first bust, but police said the illegal activity continued.
The house will be locked down for 90 days, but a community safety order is in place for a year, giving SCAN the authority to monitor the property until next February.

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Health

Why Steroid Shots Definitely Shouldn’t Be Your Go-To Allergy Treatment

If you’ve got allergies, you know the deal: For part of the year, you can venture outdoors breathing easily and seeing clearly. For the other, you’re stuck scratching your itchy eyes, sneezing constantly, and blowing your nose like crazy.

Turns out, there’s a super-potent steroid shot that offers relief from what feels like a truckload of pollen to the face. And only a few hours later, you’ll be breathing better! Sounds promising, right?

Well, like most things that sound too good to be true, there’s a catch…

What’s up with steroid shots for allergies?

First things first: You get allergies when your body overreacts to a substance (like pollen or cat dander) in an attempt to protect you from it. (Cue the congestion and watery eyes.)

A steroid shot is an aggressive remedy used to calm that response, says Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergy and immunology clinical assistant professor at NYU Langone Health. But while these steroid shots are extremely effective, they should only be administered “when all else fails,” warns Parikh.

That’s because there are long-term side effects of over use (if you exceed two shots in the same year and continue that practice every year): weight gain, diabetes, bone deterioration, and cataracts, to name a few, says Parikh.

Over-the-counter preventative medications should always be your first move, she says. But if you develop breathing problems, start wheezing, or contract a virus as a result of your allergies, then the shot might be right for you. Still, don’t make it a regular thing.

How do you get a steroid shot for allergies?

The steroid shot is administered by an allergist and injected into a muscle, usually in the arm. The steroid shot takes six hours to go into effect, and there’s no going back once it starts working. That means, if you have a bad reaction to the shot, you’ll need to deal with it until the shot wears off in a few weeks or months, says Parikh.

Thankfully, there’s a much less intense route: steroid-free immunotherapy shots. “That’s the best long-term solution,” says Parikh, who adds that these shots work by introducing small amounts of the allergen to your body, in an effort to help you slowly acclimate to it. “Over time, your body stops reacting,” she says.

Basically, steroid shots work on the symptoms of your allergies, while immunotherapy shots work with your body to lessen its defenses. The downside: Immunotherapy shots can take a year or longer before they provide relief.

If you’re a bit wary of needles, though, there’s another option still: nasal corticosteroids. While, yes, these contain steroids, “the steroid nasal sprays are very safe because very little of that steroid goes in your body,” says Parikh. Like the steroid shots, steroid nasal sprays also work to reduce inflammation.

Should I give steroid shots a try?

The sad truth: You can’t get rid of allergies. All you can really do is suppress them or slowly acclimate to them (via immunotherapy shots), says Parikh.

The best route is to start using steroid nasal sprays or oral allergy relief medicines before allergy season starts—at least two weeks in advance, says Parikh. If you don’t feel relief from that, then it might be time to consider immunotherapy shots.

If none of those options work for you, then (and only then) should you turn to steroid shots. And if that’s what you decide to do, make sure you limit them to one or two shots max, per year.

The bottom line: Steroid shots work, but they should be your last resort for allergy relief. It’s best to try OTC medicines, steroid nasal sprays, or immunotherapy shots first.

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Sport

The defensive force Yankees and Mets are both in on

LAS VEGAS — Freddy Galvis has the third-worst OPS-plus (minimum 3,000 plate appearances) among active players.

Yet both the Mets and Yankees have talked to his representatives because there are scenarios in which his bat and, more importantly, his glove could end up on their rosters.

As the Mets have contemplated whether to use Amed Rosario in a trade, notably for Miami catcher J.T. Realmuto, one question that has persisted among their executives is: How close is top prospect Andres Gimenez to the majors?

The internal belief is the shortstop could defensively handle the job now, but that the 20-year-old would be best served by one more year of minor league seasoning, particularly for his bat.

In that scenario, the Mets would need a bridge, and since they are not going to spend on Manny Machado and would probably want to use the bulk of their funds elsewhere, they would have to find a one-year, affordable stopgap.

That is why they have been in touch with the reps for Alcides Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria and Galvis. That trio ranks 1-2-3 for worst OPS-plus among active players. They have accumulated more than 3,000 plate appearances because of their gloves, and if the Mets were to add Realmuto to Robinson Cano with Yoenis Cespedes in the wings, they would feel their offense significantly upgraded and they could continue to emphasize defense up the middle.

I have heard Galvis is their top choice. His first four seasons in Philadelphia were with Ruben Amaro as GM, and Amaro is now one of Brodie Van Wagenen’s assistant GMs. Galvis is durable (162 games each of the past two years, in 2018 for the Padres), is a switch-hitter with a bit of pop, has a reputation as a heady player and a strong gloveman. Hechavarria is apparently No. 2 on the Mets’ list. I have heard the Mets, though, do have some interest in Escobar as a defense-first utilityman.

All of Galvis’ attributes are what moved the Yankees to at least make contact as well.

They are contemplating ways to cover for Didi Gregorius’ absence after Tommy John surgery. Brian Cashman has cautiously said he expects a return anywhere from June to August, so a significant portion of the season even optimistically.

The big play would be to sign Machado and have him play short, then move to third when Gregorius returns. But if the Yankees decided they don’t want to spend that kind of dough, they are going to need a fallback position.

They have considered plans in which Gleyber Torres moves to short and they obtain a second baseman, or in which they don’t mess with Torres and leave him at second and add a shortstop. Because of the projected strength of their lineup, the Yankees could decide the most important element in Gregorius’ absence is making sure they are defensively sound at short, especially because of the defensive concern with Miguel Andujar at third.

It is why they have to at least consider the glove-first possibilities with a player such as Galvis.

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TV & Movies

Al Murray shares his unmissable TV picks for Christmas and Boxing Day

The BBC has put lots of repeats into its schedule, so there’s every chance if you fell into a turkey-coma last Christmas Day you could wake up not knowing the difference. In which case you lucky sod, I envy you – you’ve been spared 2018.

I do understand why they do this though – the last thing you want on Christmas Day is to spend it with anyone new, so they wheel out the old favourites and you can relax, reassured that you’ve seen this Victoria Wood Special before, or the Royle ­Family or wait? What! NEW MORECAMBE AND WISE?

But there’s telly to watch this Christmas – tons of it, miles, acres – and if you’re the kind of family who are better off reclining after dining, and would rather not talk to each other, then tuck into my festive guide.

I’ll be honest, some of this stuff they didn’t let me watch yet what with it being top secret and that, some of it I’ve seen before and some of it I can reliably predict, but I hope this helps with those long necessary silences in your household. Cheers!

EastEnders

“PEACE and goodwill to all men” is the motto of Christmas, but for EastEnders it’s “terms and conditions apply”.

Year in, year out, the people of Walford look forward to Christmas, their happy little faces alive with the potential joy of the season, and then, SPLAT!, the scriptwriters take a great big Yuletide dump on everyone.

This year’s hot Christmas log lands on Kat and Alfie and it’s tidings of rumpo and Oi! She learns that he pulled a cracker just over nine months ago in the shape of her cousin Hayley – and he’s the father of newborn baby Cherry.

No matter how rotten your Christmas Day turns out to be, this episode will make you feel better about yourself, your life and the choices you made this year. One whole hour.

The ABC Murders

DRAMA, if it’s done properly, is murder – costumes, posh people having it off and lying about it, someone else getting murdered, detective turns up, another stiff cops it, game over in under an hour and a half.

And this is exactly that – Agatha Christie, spiced up. Cast a big American star in it and don’t get too bothered about his Belgian accent and there’s your ABC Murders. John Malkovich has stepped up as Hercule Poirot – so rather than David Suchet and his perfect ’tache, we’ve got some kind of goatee, which is going to upset the kind of divots who care about that sort of thing.

Poirot has to crack the case: People are being killed in alphabetical order but he’s got plenty of time to solve it – as his name starts with a P.

Ken Dodd: How We Were Tickled

KEN Dodd was a colossus, a titan of titters, one of the funniest men ever to tread the boards – and he left us this year in March, aged 90.

BBC2 has rolled out the red carpet in his memory, and it is a proper Christmas treat.

We have his one-liners – “Do I believe in safe sex? Of course, I do. I have a handrail around the bed” and “I do all the exercises every morning in front of the television – up, down, up, down, up, down. Then the other eyelid”. Then there are his shaggy dog stories, his tickle stick, his epic long shows, his hit records. He was an unstoppable one-man entertainment factory.

If I were you, I’d record this one and tuck it away as a sweet treat for that boring stretch between Christmas and New Year.

  • The Pub Landlord will be performing a special Christmas-themed show Twelve Days Of Christmas at London’s Leicester Square Theatre from December 11-23, while his new UK stand-up tour Landlord Of Hope And Glory starts in May 2019. See thepublandlord.com.

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Celebrities

Al Roker’s daughter has grown up to be gorgeous

There’s little doubt that America’s favorite meteorologist is Al Roker, who, over the course of his distinguished career has become a major face on morning television. Known for his big smile, trademark glasses, and sunny disposition, Roker has made quite the name for himself, penning several books, starring on Broadway, and breaking world records, to name a few. And his wife, Deborah Roberts, is no slouch either, as she’s an award-winning journalist and an author in her own right. What a power couple!

With parents like that, there’s no question that Roker and Roberts’ children are destined for great things. We’re especially interested in what Leila Roker is up to, given that she’s stepping out of her parents’ shadows and into a limelight all her own. So what’s the daughter of America’s weatherman interested in? Does she plan to light up the green screen just like her dad does? Here’s what we know about Leila Roker, who’s grown up to be seriously gorgeous.

Both science and faith helped bring Leila into the world

For some couples, getting pregnant is easy. But for the many other couples who struggle with infertility, getting pregnant and carrying a baby to term can be extremely difficult. The latter was the case for Roker and Roberts, who’ve been open about their reproductive struggles. That’s why, after losing one pregnancy after the two month mark, they turned to in vitro fertilization the second time around. It worked, and Roberts got pregnant again. “This time I was afraid to be too happy,” Roker penned in Guideposts. “I prayed every day, asking God to keep my wife and our unborn child in his hands.”

Nine months later, Roker’s prayers were answered, when at 9:17 AM on Tuesday, November 17, 1998, Leila Ruth Roker was born. Of course, Roker was overcome with gratitude. “Science may have helped us on our path to pregnancy, but it couldn’t get us all the way to the end,” he continued. “The only thing that could do that was the power and grace of God.” What a blessing!

Two parents with two distinct styles

Roker and Roberts have been married a long time — since 1995, y’all — and parenting for even longer, as Roker also has a child from his first marriage. And during that time, they’ve come to accept how different their parenting styles are. “I’m a little bit more involved and hands-on, I think, and Al is a lot more standoffish when it comes to meddling in their lives,” Roberts shared in an interview with Today. Sounds like “go ask your mother” is said a lot in their house!

That divergence of styles was especially apparent when Leila had a big decision to make. “Leila wanted to change schools… from middle school to high school,” Roker recalled. “She had been going to a private school, she wanted to go to a public school here in New York City. Deborah was kind of against it, I was for it!” So who won that battle? Given that Leila went to LaGuardia High School, it sounds like pops claimed that victory… this time.

A city slicker through and through

In 2016, the world got an intimate look at Leila’s life (and her adorably chummy relationship with her dad) on the Today show, when the pair ventured out together to Sequoia National Park for their first-ever camping trip. And both of them admit that they were surprised when Leila agreed to go, given her personality. “I am a city kid, so like, camping? I’m not good at that,” she admitted. So you know this is gonna be good!

Leila really wasn’t lying about being out of her element in the woods, either. “There are animals and trees everywhere,” she observed. “And I really don’t like birds because I’m afraid one will poop on my head.” Wait, what? Someone must be accustomed to dodging NYC pigeons! 

City mouse or country mouse, Leila couldn’t hide her wonder when she and her dad got to see American black bears up close and personal, just waking up from their winter hibernation. Plus, watching the duo try and set up a tent? Priceless.

She's a fashionista

New York City arguably offers some of the best people-watching opportunities in the world, given that it’s an international destination. So it’s not surprising that Roker has become something of a fashionista, able to slay looks with the best of them.

So what’s her fashion philosophy? “My style is fluid. Sometimes I like to be girly, and other times I like to be edgier,” she noted in Footwear News, which she shared in an Instagram post. That’s a solid approach, for sure! That also means she can really mix it up, depending on her mood. “Some weeks I’ll wear a lot of skirts; other weeks I’ll wear tomboyish styles,” she continued. 

Roker has regularly shared her fashion advice, particularly when it comes to shoes, several times in Footwear News. She also cites her celeb fashion idols, including Rihanna, Kylie Jenner, and Khloe Kardashian. We can’t wait to see what she’ll wear next!

Clapping back against the haters

As is all too real in the age of social media, becoming famous can make you the target of haters — especially if you’re a woman. That’s something Roker unfortunately has had to deal with, although she’s not afraid to confront people and shut them down when need be. 

In fact, that’s exactly what she did in an Instagram post she made in 2017. “I can wear what I want and do what I want,” she wrote, clapping back against the bullies who called her names. She also pointed out that she looks a lot better and has done a lot more in life than her trolls, which is painfully obvious to anyone looking. 

Still, Roker understands what kind of impact these hateful actions can have. “Thank you for continuing to be the barriers that set women back in being imprisoned by their looks,” she quipped sarcastically. Pay no mind to the peanut gallery, boo!

Sworn to the sisterhood

Roker is a feminist and isn’t afraid to let the world know it, which isn’t a surprise given how outspoken her mother has been about women’s issues. For one, the young Roker posts empowering images on her Instagram page that promote both body positivity and the importance of strong women. We are definitely here for that! 

Roker also goes deep on the issues, too, and has given her take on controversies on more than one occasion. For example, remember when the all-female Ghostbusters movie had a bunch of dudes feeling extra salty? Well, she had something to say about it. “Maybe guys would like Ghostbusters better if it was an all model production with Cara Delevingne, Kendall Jenner, Taylor Swift, and Adriana Lima,” she wondered in an Instagram post. “Instead of the equipped, renowned comedians already cast?” We’re picking up what you’re putting down, Leila!

Roker has also publicly lauded reporter Ronan Farrow, whose coverage of the #MeToo moment helped uncover the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

This is where she goes to college

One of the most important decisions in a young adult’s life is where to go to college, something Roker stressed about back in 2016. But of course, any worry she had was unfounded, as she was accepted to the University of Southern California’s class of 2021, according to a post on her Instagram page. Congrats, girl! 

Additionally, because Roker clearly knows how to live, she decided to spend her first year studying abroad at the American University of Paris. Oh la la! And while that does sound pretty close to paradise, Roker has been open about some of the difficulties she’s faced in the process, which are more complex than your usual freshman problems. “By spending my freshman year studying in Europe, I faced an even bigger culture shock,” she wrote in Forbes magazine. “I was suddenly faced with what it was like to be a young black woman in a predominantly white European world.” That cannot be easy.

Fortunately, Roker looks like she’s having a wonderful time in Europe, enjoying all it has to offer.

A chip off of the old block

Roker’s dad may be America’s weatherman, but it doesn’t look like she’ll be following in the meteorologist’s footsteps. Rather, Roker appears to be shaping up to take after her mother when it comes to her fledgling career. That’s right: she’s a self-professed “budding journalist,” according to her LinkedIn page. Looks like mom had a real impact!

Rather than waiting until finishing college to get real world experience, Roker has been busy writing for several different outlets. For one, she’s contributed several articles to Peacock Plume, the student newspaper for the American University of Paris. She’s also been published in Footwear News and Forbes, and has interned for Paper magazine. That’s a pretty impressive resume for someone her age! Roker is also interested in social media and public relations, in addition to fashion. Chances are you’ll be seeing her bylines in high places in the future.

Crusading against campus sexual assault

During her first few weeks of college life, Roker saw that something was different — something big. “I began to realize that many of the people around me held antiquated views on how men and women should carry themselves, and specifically, what the standards were for acceptable male behavior,” she penned in in Forbes magazine. Coming from progressive NYC, that had to be an intense discovery.

This in turn led to another revelation. “I was suddenly faced with having to create my own definition of what is considered to be sexual harassment and assault,” she continued. But rather than be overwhelmed or rest on her laurels, Roker sprang into action. She reached out to It’s On Us, a non-profit organization (started from the Biden Foundation) with the mission of getting men to be active in stopping sexual assault. As a digital fellow, she’s worked with her university to prevent sexual assault on campus. That is a prime example of leadership!

She's a certified yoga teacher

Where do you find Roker when she’s not studying, working on an article, spending time with her family, being an activist, or slaying on her Insta? Well, chances are good that you’ll find her pumping iron at the gym, as she’s no stranger to working out. And in June of 2018, she diversified her exercise portfolio, as if she wasn’t already busy enough. “Just completed a yoga teaching program, and in a couple of weeks I’ll have yoga teacher certification,” she wrote in an Instagram post. No wonder she looks so fit and strong!

The certification process was transformative for her, too, bringing positive new energy into her life. “So thankful for the life changing people and their souls I’ve met on this journey,” she continued. Judging from the way those headstands are coming along, maybe we’ll see more yoga selfies in the future.

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Sport

Honda sets the standard for all at Victory – even the goalkeeper

Much has been made of the on-field influence that Melbourne Victory's Japanese superstar, Keisuke Honda, has had on his new team, particularly in their recent four-game winning run.

Kevin Muscat has waxed lyrical about the high-profile midfielder's contribution and work ethic, while Kosta Barbarouses, in the wake of last weekend's resounding 4-0 triumph over Western Sydney Wanderers, spoke glowingly of Honda's commitment and leadership.

Team leader: Lawrence Thomas was full of praise for Keisuke Honda.Credit:AAP

Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas is the latest in the navy blue camp to extol Honda's virtues, saying his influence has quickly permeated all aspects of the squad, particularly in training sessions.

Honda, says Thomas, is happy to not only train hard, but train smart – even to the extent of helping the goalkeeper set up attacking moves from defence.

''I don't need to say too much. His career before speaks for itself. But I will give you one example.
It was maybe the third or fourth round in, he came to me maybe two days after a game and said 'Lawrence, I want to speak to you after training to discuss some of your options about playing out from the back.'

''So he stayed behind for half an hour and took me through some of the options I should be looking for, and what to play.

''He just has a real passion for the game, he is incredibly disciplined. Everyone at the club can pick his brain and really learn how to get to that top top level.''

''I asked him how he got so good [at English] so quickly. Apparently he wakes up at 5:30, 5:45 every morning and does two hours of English.

''He can probably write a better essay than I can, do a good speech.

''You see him every day at the same time doing his work before training, after training. After a game he comes in and does his stuff. That’s the only way really.

''You don’t get to his level, every day doing what he does. He sets a great example to the young boys and to myself as well. It’s an absolute privilege to have him here and he’s obviously producing on the field as well, it’s great to watch.

Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas.Credit:AAP

''For us now, four on the trot, we really need to keep going and really push our standards.

''We have had quite a lot of changes, personnel, the way we play, it's hard to remember exactly last year why we weren't winning games, but I think especially for us we are still quite far off where we want to be.

''As long we are learning things as we are winning. I think the first half [against the Wanderers] was quite solid, but second half we let them back into the game.

''A team on another night could have taken a few of the chances when we turned the ball over.

''Improving the second half is the main thing. We had a very good patch against the Mariners (in an eventual 4-1 win) early on, second half we let them back into the game as well.''

German defender Georg Niedermeier was in a particularly feisty mood at training on Wednesday, but Thomas put that down to the fact that he was frustrated because he had missed the last game due to injury. He expects both him and James Troisi, another absentee from the Wanderers win, to be available for selection for the visit of Adelaide this weekend.

''Jimmy’s well. He had a bit of sickness but he was out training and seems fine. Georg is back to normal, training today. They’re both in contention,'' he said.

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World News

Al Sharpton sells his life story rights for $531G — to his own charity

​​​​​​​The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks during a rally at the National Action Network, in New York, May 2, 2015. (Associated Press)

The Rev. Al Sharpton has found an eager buyer for the rights to his life story — his own charity.

The National Action Network agreed to pay the activist preacher $531,000 for his “life story rights for a 10-year period,” according to the non-profit’s latest tax filing, which was obtained by The Post.

NAN can apparently turn around and sell those rights to Hollywood or other takers at a profit, but neither the reverend nor the charity would identify what producers are waiting for such Sharpton content.

The document does not indicate when Sharpton, who is president of NAN, gets the cash, which is above and beyond the $244,661 he already pulled down in compensation from the group in 2017.

Sharpton also wouldn’t say when the cash would come in.

“What does that have to do with anything?” he said, speaking to The Post Saturday from South Africa, where he is hosting an MSNBC broadcast on the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.

Sharpton claimed the idea for the deal came from two NAN board members, whom he would not name.

He said they wanted to create a source of revenue for the civil-rights organization after he steps down in about a year.

“This way they make a profit from the beginning and all of the revenues,” he said.

Sharpton said he had contracts for two movies, with a third contract in the works. One of these movies is already in production, he claimed. He would not provide details of any of the projects.

He said a play was being shopped around and there were other assets that would generate revenue for NAN, including a recording where James Brown is singing and he’s talking, and video footage of him with Michael Jackson.

“You’ve got real property here. You’re not talking about just me as an activist. These are non-related NAN things that are the saleable items,” he said.

Sharpton said that the assets were appraised and the movie deals alone could bring in at least triple to NAN over what it was paying him for the rights.

The organization says a private donor put up the money to make the purchase, but did not name the donor.

Nonprofit experts said the transaction could be troubling because NAN — whose mission includes criminal justice reform and police accountability — was doing business with its president.

If NAN paid too much it could run afoul of IRS rules regarding excess benefits given to a nonprofit’s key officials, which might put its tax-exempt status in jeopardy, Marcus Owens, a former IRS official and a partner with the Loeb & Loeb law firm in Washington, DC.

“When I see this kind of thing, it just makes me roll my eyes because there’s so much potential for funny business,” said Linda Sugin, a Fordham University Law School professor and associate dean.

“When I see this kind of thing, it just makes me roll my eyes because there’s so much potential for funny business.”

The organization’s tax filing noted that the board’s unnamed “executive committee independently approved” the deal.

But Sugin questioned such how such independence was achieved.

“In this case, it’s really difficult because of his role in the organization and just because of his overall influence,” she said.

Daniel Borochoff, the head of Charity Watch, said the transaction would have been “a lot cleaner” if Sharpton sold the rights himself to a production company and then donated any profit in excess of $531,000 to NAN.

The Harlem-based National Action Network, which Sharpton founded in 1991, holds weekly “action rallies” at its House of Justice headquarters and an annual convention that has drawn President Obama as a speaker.

The event has been sponsored in the past by large corporations, including Walmart, PepsiCo and Ford.

The nonprofit took in $6.3 million in revenue last year, up from $5.8 million the year before, according to its tax filings. Its years of outstanding taxes were paid off in 2014.

Sharpton, who hosts the “PoliticsNations” show on MSNBC, managed to pay off a chunk of his tax debt to the state and feds in the last year.

He paid $172,112 to the state, but still owes $736,375 in personal income tax and taxes for three of his companies to Albany.

City records show a $1.3 million tax lien to the IRS was satisfied in February, but records show he still has $2.5 million in outstanding federal liens against him and one of his companies.

NAN has maintained that Sharpton is paying taxes on an installment plan. The liens don’t reflect partial payments.

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Lifestyle

Bachelor Nation’s Ashley I. Almost Celebrated Turning 30 By Freezing Her Eggs

Before she and fellow Bachelor in Paradise star Jared Haibon officially committed to one another, Ashley Iaconetti was planning for her future. As she revealed on her Almost Famous podcast with Ben Higgins, Ashley I was planning to freeze her eggs. During the Nov. 26 episode, Ashley said she had wanted to do the procedure for her 30th birthday. But now that she and Jared are together and getting married, the former reality star decided she didn’t need to take this extra step to ensure a pregnancy one day.

The Ben and Ashley I. Almost Famous Podcast is always a great listen for some Bachelor intel and updates on your favorite Bachelor Nation stars. And this episode, Ashley gave some insight on where her head was at before she got together with her longtime crush, Jared. "I was going to do it for my 30th birthday," Ashley said about freezing her eggs. "I was planning on it. I turned 30 in March." But she noted that her plans changed due to her relationship with Jared. "So I didn’t have to, which is really nice — it saved a lot of money there," Ashley said. "If he hadn’t come into the picture at that time, I definitely would have."

Although Ashley and Jared met in 2015 on Bachelor in Paradise Season 2, it took Jared until January 2018 to fully realize his feelings for her, as he said in their dating announcement video. They began publicly dating in May and by June, the pair was engaged. Viewers saw the proposal on Bachelor In Paradise Season 5 and their wedding is set for August 2019.

Fans likely won’t help but notice that the timeline for Ashley’s egg freezing overlaps with when she was dating Kevin Wendt. The pair met on Bachelor Winter Games and it seemed like Ashley had finally found lasting love on the reality TV dating franchise. But Entertainment Tonight revealed on March 12 — just six days after Ashley’s 30th birthday — that Kevin and Ashley had broken up. However, just because Ashley and Kevin were dating doesn’t mean she felt sure he was the person she would end up having children with. Obviously, she was right about that. Plus, it’s her prerogative to do with her body whatever she feels comfortable with.

The conversation came up when guest Sadie Murray of The Bachelor Season 9 came on the podcast to discuss her own experiences with freezing her eggs at the age of 35. (Through the course of the discussion, Ashley also gave a slight mea culpa for the time that she called Clare Crawley’s eggs old on Bachelor in Paradise.)

Sadie’s not the only Bachelor alum to have chosen this path. Ashley noted how Kaitlyn Bristowe had explained to her how the hormones you have to take before the egg retrieval had impacted her. The Bachelorette froze her eggs in 2017 with the support of friend/fellow Bachelor star Whitney Bischoff (who is a nurse specializing in egg freezing) and her then fiancé Shawn Booth. At the time, she tweeted her reasoning to her fans, saying, "I’m taking control of my future! As a woman there’s always pressure to have babies, and this puts my mind at ease for when IM ready."

Ashley didn’t reveal when she and Jared plan to have kids. But starting a family is obviously something that’s important to her. So it’s safe to say you should expect even more Bachelor babies in the future.

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World News

'We didn't expect all 13 out alive': Inside the Thai cave rescue

Summer rains were about due on the hot, humid Saturday afternoon of June 23 in the remote northern Thai border town of Mae Sai. The 12 young members of the Wild Boars soccer club and their 25-year-old coach, Ekapol "Ek" Chantawong, rode their bikes to the Tham Luang cave complex to go exploring for an hour after training. They hadn't told their parents and left their bikes propped casually outside the cave entrance. But then the monsoon rains came early, flooding the cave, and the Wild Boars were trapped. As days passed and the team grew weaker, they survived by drinking the water that had trapped them. Outside, an extraordinary rescue effort was underway, with divers and cave explorers from around the world travelling to save them. They spent nine long nights in the dark before the boys, aged between 11 and 17, and their coach, were found, emaciated and desperate for food, perched on a sandy shelf more than two kilometres into the cave. Another six days would pass before Thai authorities finally approved a rescue mission, after a former Thai Navy SEAL died while laying oxygen tanks along the exit route. An international contingent of divers would lead one of the most dangerous rescue missions ever seen.

The world held its breath.

Sunday, July 8 began like any other morning in Tham Luang cave complex. The Wild Boars woke early, as they always did, in the dark. The air inside the cave was humid, but as they entered their 16th day perched in the Nern Nom Sao cavern, they were feeling the cold, despite the space blankets and extra clothes they'd been given.

After being trapped for so long, the sandy bank on which they were perched felt smaller than ever. It was still only five to six metres wide, and about 20 to 25 metres long from the water's edge to the back of the cave, while the slope, at various points, was as steep as 30 degrees. The conditions in the cave – the darkness, the smell, the constant chill – were wearing them down.

The day before, some of the divers, including the Australian doctor and anaesthetist Richard "Harry" Harris, had visited and given them a detailed account of the rescue plan, which had been accepted by the Boars' families, despite their fears that it could end in disaster and tragedy. The boys were desperate to see their families again, to go home and sleep in their own beds. They were ready to be kids again, to stop being brave, to breathe fresh air, ride around on their bikes, play football and see their friends at school. The day had dawned with the promise of all these things and more. It was time.

After fasting in preparation for being sedated during the rescue, six of the boys had woken hungry. The rescue divers faced dawn that day with a faint feeling of dread. The British team of Rick Stanton, John Volanthen, Chris Jewell and Jason Mallinson, and Australians Richard Harris and Craig Challen, a retired vet, had all been in similar situations. They'd participated in some of the riskiest cave rescues the world had seen. They'd lost friends and undertaken salvage operations; they'd helped bring back the bodies of the dead. Maybe even cried afterwards, when it was all done. They'd also saved lives, brought people back to the surface – people who'd had no hope of being rescued. These guys were the best of the best.

The diving itself may not have been the most technically difficult, the most arduous or the deepest they'd experienced. But nothing like this had ever been attempted before; usually, by the time help arrives, it's already too late. There was no baseline against which to measure themselves. And no one in the rescue team had undertaken a mission like this before, with many millions of people watching, hoping, praying they would succeed.

The mission had been approved by Thailand's king and the government, and reviewed by teams of experts. In theory at least, it had a good chance of succeeding. But there were so many things that could go wrong at any point; they couldn't anticipate everything. The worst-case scenario – that some or even all of the boys would lose their lives – had been war-gamed again and again. If one of the boys woke up, panicked and ripped off his mask in an underwater section of the cave, he could endanger the life of his rescuer, as well as himself.

Everything possible had been done to prepare. For the boys, there were special wetsuits that would ensure they didn't lose too much body heat on the journey out, as well as full-face masks to fit the smallest of them. Oxygen and air cylinders had been placed at strategic points in various chambers throughout the cave.

But for all their careful preparations, most of the rescuers expected multiple casualties. As Challen would later recall, "It wasn't dangerous for us but I can't emphasise enough how dangerous it was for the kids. It was absolutely life and death. We didn't expect to be getting 13 people out of there alive."

Harris was perhaps the most pessimistic. "Personally, I honestly thought there was zero chance of success," he told a conference in Melbourne in late September. "I honestly thought there was no chance of it working. We set up a system for some feedback to come back after the first one or two kids [began their dive out] to me. If they hadn't survived the first sump [a hollow or depression in which water collects in a cave floor], which was the longest one but not the most difficult one, I was going to say, 'That's all I can do', and walk away at that point."

The deteriorating air conditions were one of the key reasons the rescue went ahead when it did. After final meetings were held outside the cave, with Thai officials checking every last detail of the plan, the rescue mission finally began at 10.08am when a team of 13 international divers entered the cave. Heavy rain had fallen overnight and, later that day, it would fall again, but at this hour the skies over Mae Sai were grey and threatening rain, underlining the urgency of the mission.

The 13 divers – Rick Stanton, John Volanthen, Chris Jewell, Jason Mallinson, Richard Harris, Craig Challen, Claus Rasmussen, Mikko Paasi, Erik Brown, Ivan Karadzic, Jim Warny, Josh Bratchley and Connor Roe – were some of the best cave divers in the world. They were closely supported by five Thai Navy SEALs as well as dozens of personnel from the Thai military, the United States, China and Australia positioned in the first three chambers of the cave.

Lights, dozens of air tanks and radios that can communicate with the outside world had been set up in chamber three – as had makeshift medical facilities, so the boys could be checked as they came out.

The area around the entrance swarmed with members of the Thai military, rescuers and medics. Thirteen ambulances were on standby, as they had been for days, while helicopters were prepped and ready to ferry the boys 70 kilometres to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital, where medical staff waited to receive them. The eyes of the entire world were on this corner of northern Thailand.

Thai rescue teams head deep inside the Tham Luang cave complex looking for the missing Wild Boars players and their coach.

Thai rescue teams head deep inside the Tham Luang cave complex looking for the missing Wild Boars players and their coach.Credit:AAP

About two hours after the rescue mission began, the local governor, Narongsak Osatanakorn, fronted the ever-expanding contingent of international media. The huge mountain range of Doi Nang Non, shrouded in clouds and mist, loomed over the new makeshift media centre and served as a constant reminder that the boys' fate was about to be decided. Narongsak began his press conference with words that would reverberate around the world: "Today we are most ready, today is D-Day. At 10am today 13 foreign divers went in to extract the children along with five Thai Navy SEALs."

A hushed excitement fell over the crowd gathered outside the operations centre as Narongsak continued: "We can say they are all international all-stars involved in this diving operation and we selected five of our best who can work with them. The kids are very determined and they are in high spirits. All 13 kids have been informed about the operation and they are ready to come out. If we don't start now, we might lose the chance."

Although the water levels had receded by as much as 30 centimetres in some sections of the cave, the divers had, at most, a three-day window before the forecast rain would make rescue impossible. Narongsak estimated that the first of the Boars would not emerge from the cave until at least 9pm that evening – 11 hours after the rescue began – and warned that the mission would not be finished in just one day: "It will take time. It's not that we start 10am today and everything is done. We will continue the mission until the last one is out."

A map of the rescue mission.

A map of the rescue mission.Credit:Adapted from a map Martin Ellis

Inside the cave, the 13 rescue divers had begun their slow journey through the nine chambers from the entrance to Nern Nom Sao. Most would position themselves at strategic points along the route, while Harris and four British divers – Volanthen, Stanton, Jewell and Mallinson – would travel all the way to the boys, where the Brits would be in charge. Each of the four British divers would take one boy all the way from chamber nine to the entrance. Almost every step of the way, a second diver would assist the man bringing them out.

The Brits, Harris and his dive buddy Challen went in first, as they had the longest dive ahead of them. Travelling in pairs, the six men set out from chamber three, where the diving began in earnest, at about 20-minute intervals. Over the next few hours they slowly made their way to predetermined points along the route. In spite of the lower water levels, the conditions were still very tough.

Challen, Rasmussen and Paasi were stationed in chamber eight, the first stop on the return journey for the four Brits as each came through with one boy. The route from Nern Nom Sao to chamber eight included a 350-metre dive that would be one of the hardest sections to negotiate. The rescue plan called for Challen, a retired vet, to be ready to deliver a "top up" injection to the boys in chamber eight to keep them sedated, if necessary. Harris revealed in late September that the night before the first rescue mission, he held a practice session for the divers involving a plastic drink bottle so they could get an (improvised) feel for what delivering an injection was like. The British rescuers were prepped and ready to deliver top-up injections on the way out, too, and the instruction from Harris was to err on the side of keeping the boys sedated.

In chamber six, Karadzic and Brown would be ready with air and oxygen tanks, and more medicine to inject into the boys if the effects of the sedative were starting to wear off.

Between chambers six and five, there was another 150-metre dive, then a 150-metre canal. And in chamber five, Roe and Warny would be waiting with more air, oxygen and medicine to help the divers and each of the boys through to chamber three. Along the way, there were two more dives of about 150 metres each before, finally, they reached chamber three.

Chamber three was relatively huge – perhaps half the size of a school gymnasium, according to Brown. In all, there were perhaps another 150 rescuers stationed between it and the exit.

In chamber three, each boy's vital signs would be checked by doctors and gauze placed over his eyes to protect them from the light outside the cave. Then he would be placed in a Sked stretcher and loaded onto the elaborate pulley system, or highline, which made it simpler and quicker to transport each boy through to the entrance. But some sections simply couldn't accommodate the highline, so he would still have to pass through a couple of hundred hands as he was brought out of the cave.

In theory, it sounded straightforward. The planning had been methodical, the staging of equipment and men meticulous. The mission was high risk, but it could work. But no one could anticipate, or plan for, how the boys would handle the situation. All the preparation and medication in the world would count for nought if one of the boys woke up mid-dive and panicked. If that happened, Thai authorities would be counting the number of casualties, not lives saved.

Meanwhile, at Nern Nom Sao, the boys were nervous; they knew what, and who, was coming. Although six of the Boars had fasted the night before, it was decided at some point that the divers would attempt to bring out only four boys that Sunday. After talking it through with coach Ek and the Thai Navy SEALs, who had stayed with them since they were found, they'd decided among themselves who would go out first. Volanthen, Stanton, Jewell, Mallinson and Harris had arrived at Nern Nom Sao after swimming and diving for close to two hours. Now it was time to get started.

Australian anaesthetist Richard Harris sedated the trapped boys, which was key to their rescue.

Australian anaesthetist Richard Harris sedated the trapped boys, which was key to their rescue.Credit:AAP

Richard Harris was ready to prime the needle; it was time to sedate the first Wild Boar. In consultation with army medic Dr Pak Loharnshoon as well as a team of Thai doctors outside the cave, Harris had calculated approximately what dose each boy would need. He would give each of the boys alprazolam – more commonly known as Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug – by mouth, then inject him in each leg with ketamine, a sedative.

Harris had devised a plan for handling the injections. Although he had visited them the day before, and someone had read the boys instructions in Thai, telling them what would happen at the start of the rescue, he didn't want the Boars watching while one of their mates was injected and then submerged. So he asked the Navy SEALs to take the other Boars up to the top of the Nern Nom Sao slope.

The instructions were to the point. First, each of the boys to be taken out that day would swallow a tablet, which would make him feel a bit strange, then he would join Harris at the bottom of the bank, near the water. There, he would be injected in both legs and go to sleep. When he woke up again, he would be in a hospital bed, out of the cave. The boys had listened intently to this plan and nodded along, questioning nothing. As the rescuers went about prepping the four boys one by one in their deliberate, careful fashion, they made the most of the boys' relative ignorance of what lay ahead, using it to their advantage.

While Harris prepared his sedatives, Pak briefed the kids again about the rescue plan. As he spoke to the boys in Thai, the doctor, who had already spent seven nights in the cave with the three SEALs, paid careful attention to whether or not the first four boys were ready for the mission. They were; they were eager to get started. Down by the water line, under unsteady torchlights, Harris was ready. He plunged the needle into 14-year-old Prajak "Note" Sutham's leg; he would be the first boy out. "They seemed to be very confident and having Dr Harris helped a great deal. He was in charge of giving the kids 'medicine' and he was great," Pak says. "He had techniques to talk to the kids, he hugged them and he was so great with them. Dr Harris was like a father or grandfather figure to them."

Harris's calm, reassuring bedside manner was vital in getting the kids to the point where they were ready to dive, and he left nothing to chance. Once the first boy was sedated, and his full-face mask fitted, Harris took the boy down to the water and pushed his head under water. It may have seemed like the wrong thing to do, but it was absolutely critical to test each full-face mask to make sure it fitted properly. After all, better to discover a problem immediately rather than a half-kilometre into the rescue mission.

After about 30 seconds, which passed with agonising slowness, the first Boar started breathing again; the mask worked, and the sedative had been administered in the right dose. Over the next three days, Harris would repeat this breathing test 12 times. The plan was to keep the boys and Ek completely "under" at least as far as chamber three. By the end, Harris had taken to horrifying the Brits with the procedure: "Watch this, he will stop breathing for a second…"

Narongsak would later confirm that the sedation plan was supposed to be kept quiet, but Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha let it slip.

After so long in the cave, a couple of the boys showed signs of the early stages of pneumonia; it was remarkable that more of them weren't ill. But the last boy to leave on that first day gave Harris a scare. After Harris administered the injections in each leg, the boy "behaved like a bad kid with a chest infection under anaesthetic – breath holding, he was over-sedated," he later recalled at a medical conference in Sydney. Harris lay down on the sand with the boy for half an hour, spooning him and listening to his breathing to ensure his airways remained open. It was one of many tense moments over the next three days. Harris later said he was "thinking this is what I predicted would happen, this is going to go really badly. Then he sort of fired up. He ended up needing another dose to put him back [under] in the water about 200 metres down the track."

To minimise the risk to the rescuers on the way out, it had been decided to err on the side of caution and administer two to four top-ups to each boy as he was brought out of the cave. Harris had consulted Thai medics and Australian ones about how to handle the situation, but he was the doctor on site, so he ultimately had to make the call. For the Brits, the sedatives had been non-negotiable. They simply wouldn't have undertaken the mission without Harris, in the cave, administering the doses that put the boys under.

Although the divers knew what to expect, and the water temperature was holding up well, still hovering around 20°C, those first few moments in the water were a shock. Each man had the life of a young boy in his hands; each of the boys was, at best, semiconscious and, even if he had been fully conscious, he would have been unable to fend for himself in this incredibly dangerous place.

It is unclear whether all the boys were completely unconscious. Some of the rescuers, such as Rick Stanton, have insisted they were, and would remember nothing. Ivan Karadzic, however, recalls that at least one had his eyes open, and was speaking Thai – "though my Thai isn't good enough to know what he was saying" – as they came out of the cave. Though he agrees with Stanton that it's unlikely the boys remember much, if anything, about the rescue mission.

Once Mallinson was in the water with the first boy, Note, the pair submerged for the initial 350-metre dive, which took them to chamber eight. As well as the wetsuit and full-face mask, Note was wearing both a buoyancy device and a harness that would keep him attached to Mallinson and also give the diver a handle to grab onto. Note also had an oxygen cylinder strapped to his front, and was positioned beneath Mallinson to ensure he didn't hit his head on the roof of the cave. Mallinson wasn't concerned about his own safety, but he was nervous about the fate of the 15-year-old he held in his hands.

"I was very nervous when we took them from the end point and you got into that first flooded section," Mallinson says. "Until you got a feel for the way their breathing rhythm was going, it was very nervous for the first five or ten minutes, you just wanted to see those air bubbles coming out of that mask all the time."

It was dark in the water, but the lights each diver wore helped him to see. The next step was to locate the path-finding line, which would help him to pull them through. Sometimes, the boy would be positioned to the left or the right of the diver, depending on where the guideline had been laid. At other times, the diver was so close to the boy that he could feel and see the air bubbles that would slowly escape from the face mask his young charge wore.

To get through the narrowest choke points, the diver would push the boy through first with the help of the other divers stationed throughout the cave. It was a painfully slow process, and took much longer than the couple of hours it had taken for them to reach Nern Nom Sao.

It was sometimes impossible to avoid bumping the boys into rocks and other obstacles. The key was to keep the boys' full-face masks on – a task that, as the hours passed, became mentally exhausting. One wrong manoeuvre, one wrong turn could dislodge them. If that happened in a section of deep water and there were still 100 or 150 metres left to dive, the diver would have only a matter of minutes to get the boy's head out of the water and into the open air before he drowned. The oxygen saturating the boys' systems would buy them a little extra time, but not much. The reality was that if a face mask came off, depending on where it happened in the cave, it could be impossible to save the boy, and the diver would have to carry a corpse out of the cave. The extra concentration required to protect these young lives would take a heavy toll on the divers.

Ahead of the daring rescue, a team of divers brings supplies
and food into the cave for the boys and their coach.

Ahead of the daring rescue, a team of divers brings supplies
and food into the cave for the boys and their coach.Credit:AAP

In chamber eight, Craig Challen, Claus Rasmussen and Mikko Paasi were enduring an agonising wait for Mallinson and Note, the first boy, to arrive. But as soon as they reached chamber eight, the trio swung into action. First, Challen checked the child's breathing; he was alive and breathing normally. The three men were flooded with relief. Now it was time to start removing Note's diving gear. A muddy, rocky section that was about 200 metres long lay ahead and the team would have to carry the boy on a stretcher then drag it through a section that included a narrow sump that was difficult to negotiate. The pumping that had been going on for more than a week had helped drain this section of the cave of most of its water.

Once they had cleared this section, Challen checked the boy again and the team began to put the kid's diving gear and full-face mask back in place. It was time to go back in the water – another dive, past chamber seven and through the T-junction and on to chamber six.

Sometimes the rescuers had to drag the boy after them. Sometimes, at the narrowest points, they would have to try different techniques to get him through sumps and openings that could be as narrow as 40 centimetres. At other times, a steep vertical climb or dip would present itself.

Although each of the boys had lost an average of a little over two kilograms, it was still difficult to wrangle them through the cave. Every obstacle would eat up precious minutes that raced by. Again and again on that first day it was a case of trial and error as the four British divers grappled with how exactly to get the boys through those first six chambers to chamber three, where a huge rescue team waited for them. At this point the divers had been working their way into and then back out of the cave for at least four hours.

In chamber six, about 100 metres past the T-junction, more help was waiting. Like the trio in chamber eight, Ivan Karadzic and Erik Brown had been sitting in the near darkness for about two and a half hours, although to them it seemed much longer. They were primed and ready for the moment the first boy and his diver would appear and they could check the Boar's breathing. But as Mallinson surfaced and started swimming with Note towards them, the two men were consumed by one fundamental question: was the boy still alive?

They had to face this over and over again, as each boy was brought into chamber six. Had some terrible mishap occurred? Was the diver bringing a dead child towards them?

Miraculously, one by one, the boys came through safely and were all fine. Canadian diver Erik Brown says he will never forget the moment when the first boy came through: "You're not sure what's about to happen, but you're optimistic. You're on edge, in the dark, and you finally see that little light appear. Your heart is going a million miles a minute. When they came through the darkness, that first time, it was in slow motion."

Thanaporn Promthep displays an image of her missing son Duangpetch (second right) and his coach “Ek” (right).

Thanaporn Promthep displays an image of her missing son Duangpetch (second right) and his coach “Ek” (right).Credit:AFP

One by one, Mallinson, Volanthen, Jewell and Stanton kept going calmly and methodically – diving through the canals, struggling through the mud and guiding each boy around rocks, through narrow openings, S-bends and sumps, and up rocky slopes. By the time they reached chamber three, where they were greeted by about 150 people, the divers were naturally exhausted. But each man would hug his boy before handing him over to the huge support team.



The atmosphere in the chamber was electric, and there was a murmur of excited voices as the rescuers carried out their tasks as quickly and efficiently as they could. Doctors and nurses checked the health of each boy while the rescue stretchers and the pulley system were made ready. Thai, American, Chinese and Australian personnel and more swung into action, helping the divers to get the boys through the final chambers and out to the waiting ambulances.

Jason Mallinson was the first man out with Prajak "Note" Sutham. He was followed by, in order, John Volanthen, Chris Jewell and Rick Stanton. The other three boys who came out on that first rescue day were 14-year-old Nattawut "Tle" Takamrong, 15-year-old Pipat "Nick" Pho and 17-year-old

Peerapat "Night" Sompiangjai.

The four divers had brought the first four boys to the brink of freedom, defying everyone's expectations as well as the harsh conditions. Just four of them, with nine men in support positions along the way, had swum, dived and dragged the boys for hours, through the hardest sections of the cave. The next day, they would have to do it all again.

Against all odds, all 13 Boars were saved over the next two days, while the brave Thai Navy SEALs who had stayed with the boys after their discovery survived, too – escaping the cave even as the pumps that had held back the tide of water failed. After a week in hospital, some hearty meals of stir-fry chicken with basil, and a short stint as ordained Buddhist monks, the boys returned to their families, school, homework and eventually to the football field. Their lives would never be the same again.

Edited extract from The Great Cave Rescue by James Massola (Allen&Unwin, $30), out November 14.

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