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The Japanese Love It When Their First Lady Criticizes Her Husband’s Policies

Jesselyn Cook | December 7, 2016 | World
Shinzo Abe will be the first sitting Japanese prime minister to visit Pearl Harbor when he makes the trip later this month to commemorate today’s 75th anniversary of the bombing attack. But his wife, Akie Abe, beat him to it when she made

Dozens Killed In Airstrike On ISIS-Held Town In Iraq, Medics And MPs Say

Nick Robins-Early | December 7, 2016 | World
Read More: Iraq, Isis, World News
BAGHDAD, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Air strikes on Wednesday killed dozens of people, including many women and children, in an Islamic State-held town near Iraq’s western border with Syria, two parliamentarians and local hospital sources said. They said the air strikes hit a busy market in the...

NSA Collected Data From People Using Cell Phones On Planes

Willa Frej | December 7, 2016 | World
In the trove of documents provided by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is a treasure. It begins with a riddle: “What do the President of Pakistan, a cigar smuggler, an arms dealer, a counterterrorism target, and a combatting proliferation target have in common? They all used their...

Donald Trump Picks Fossil Fuel-Friendly Oklahoma Attorney General To Head EPA

Kate Sheppard | December 7, 2016 | Politics
WASHINGTON ― President-elect Donald Trump has picked Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Reuters reported Wednesday. Pruitt has been a vocal critic of EPA regulations and defender of fossil fuel interests. Lawyers for Devon Energy, one...

Tim McGraw And Faith Hill's Random Act Of Kindness Will Put A Smile On Your Face

Carly Ledbetter | December 7, 2016 | Entertainment
  Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are not only country music royalty, they’re two of the kindest people in show business.  The couple recently made a few Walmart shoppers’ holidays a little brighter in Baker County, Florida, when they paid...

In The 'Game Of Real Life,' Not Everyone Has The Same Chance Of Winning

Andy McDonald | December 7, 2016 | Comedy
The “Game of Life” was originally created back in 1860 (then known simply as “Life”) and has since changed quite a bit, just like real life. But while we’ve made some fairly huge strides since the mid-1800s, “The Game of Real Life” still remains pretty great if you’re...

Lee Daniels: I Wouldn't Be Where I Am If I Embraced Racism

Brennan Williams | December 7, 2016 | Black Voices
On Tuesday’s episode of daytime talk show, “The Real,” Lee Daniels dished on creating his latest FOX musical drama, “Star.” The series, which stars Queen Latifah, Benjamin Bratt, Lenny Kravitz and newcomers Jude Demorest, Brittany O’Grady, and Ryan Destiny, follows the evolution of an Atlanta-based girl group ― comprised of three singers from diverse backgrounds ― as they encounter various obstacles in their pursuit of music stardom.   Like his previous projects, the “Empire” creator says it was important to incorporate some of the social issues ― such as racial inequality and criminal injustice ― affecting America today into the show. “This was before our president-elect was in. I felt that we were are at civil war. Black boys were being shot, and I didn’t understand,” he said. “So I wanted to explore politics, as I do with most of my work, what’s going on right now in America. So we explore the excitement and the glamor of the evolution of a group weaved in with a little bit of what’s happening now in the streets.”  Daniels added that he didn’t let racism play a role in his career and make him into an “angry black man.” “I wouldn’t be where I was if I embraced racism. If I embraced it, then it became real. And if it became real, I would be an angry black man,” he said. FOX’s “Star” premieres on Dec. 14 at 9pm. Check out more of Lee Daniels’ interview segment in the clips...

When You're Finally Happy And All Your Exes Can Somehow Sense It

Andy McDonald | December 7, 2016 | Comedy
You’ve done it. You’re at a place in your life where you’ve finally let someone in again. After months, or even years, of “me time,” you’re back in a relationship and you’re happy. And somehow, your exes know this. They must. Because they’ve been calling and texting you out of...

Pope Warns Media Over 'Sin' Of Spreading Fake News, Smearing Politicians

Paul Vale | December 7, 2016 | Media
Media that focus on scandals and spread fake news to smear politicians risk becoming like people who have a morbid fascination with excrement, Pope Francis said in an interview published on Wednesday. Francis told the Belgian Catholic weekly “Tertio” that spreading disinformation was “probably the greatest damage...

Why Diet Soda Could Actually Prevent You From Losing Weight

Anna Almendrala | December 7, 2016 | Healthy Living
Reaching for a diet soda may actually hinder weight loss efforts, a new study done in mice suggests. In experiments, researchers found that the artificial sweetener aspartame, which is found in some diet drinks, may contribute to the development of a condition called “metabolic syndrome,”...

Doctor In Hot Water For Asking Patients To Fund His Retirement

Ann Brenoff | December 7, 2016 | Fifty
Dr. Myron MacDonald -- a West Vancouver, Canada, general practitioner who, after 48 years in practice, sent his patients a two-page letter asking for their financial help so he could afford retirement -- may have gotten himself...

For Trans Women Killed By Oakland Fire, Struggle For Respect Continues In Death

JamesMichael Nichols | December 7, 2016 | Queer Voices
Instead of grieving for her friends, Scout Wolfcave has spent the last two days phoning news reporters and begging them not to disrespect the transgender women who died by calling them “men” in their reports and refusing to use their proper names. Feral Pines, Cash Askew and Em B were...

Keith Ellison Will Resign House Seat If Elected DNC Chair

Zach Carter | December 7, 2016 | Politics
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) said Tuesday he will step down from his seat in Congress if Democrats elect him head of the party. “In order to further their commitment and maximize my effectiveness, I have decided to resign as a member of Congress...

Santa Fat-Shames Boy By Saying 'Lay Off The Hamburgers And French Fries'

David Moye | December 7, 2016 | Parents
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Report Finding $125 Billion In Waste At Pentagon ‘Raises Serious Questions,' Says Top Democrat

Laura Barron-Lopez | December 7, 2016 | Politics
WASHINGTON ― A damning new report exposing that the Pentagon buried a study finding the department was wasting billions of dollars on business operations has enraged Senate Democrats. The Washington Post published a piece on Monday revealing details of a study...

Boxer Throws Table At Opponent During Bonkers Press Conference

Ron Dicker | December 7, 2016 | Weird News
This wasn’t the usual posturing for a pre-fight boxing press conference. Oh no, heavyweight Dereck Chisora lifted the proceedings to a whole new level. After an exchange of words Wednesday in Manchester, England, Chisora hurled a table at his opponent, Dillian Whyte. Security...

Democrats See Medicare Fight As Donald Trump’s Achilles Heel

Daniel Marans | December 7, 2016 | Politics
WASHINGTON ― Top Democrats spoke at a Wednesday press conference on Capitol Hill to warn President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican Congress against privatizing Medicare. It is not yet clear whether Trump has the same appetite as House Republicans to take on transforming the massive health care program for seniors and people with disabilities. But Democrats are not waiting for him ― or their congressional colleagues ― to make the first move, and vowed on Wednesday to hang any benefit cuts around the candidate’s neck like a millstone. And Democrats have a major advantage: Top Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) are eager to turn Medicare into a voucher, but Trump ran on protecting, not cutting, the program. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), speaking alongside incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and three other House Democrats, wielded Trump’s words against him.  “Let me begin with a quote made by a Republican candidate for president ― a candidate who reached out to working people and who reached out to senior citizens ―and during the campaign this is what that Republican candidate said. He said: ‘I am not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican. And I am not going cut Medicare or Medicaid. Every other Republican is going to cut them’ ― end of quote,” Sanders said. “Mr. Trump, we are going to hold you accountable!” he continued, drawing applause from the dozen or so activists in attendance. Ryan has discussed his interest in using legislation that would repeal Obamacare to transform Medicare as well. He has falsely claimed that the reform law hurt Medicare’s finances, when it actually extended its solvency. For years, Ryan has backed plans to transform Medicare from a government-provided insurance plan to a flat voucher with that seniors would have to purchase their own insurance. Many health care experts warn that the voucher plan could endanger traditional Medicare as private plans lure healthier, more affluent seniors away. They also warn that the voucher would almost certainly fail to keep pace with the cost of health care. Senate Republicans, wary of Medicare’s popularity, have already signaled they are less than enthusiastic about the idea. Trump has not spoken on the matter since the election. However, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), his nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, is an ardent supporter of voucherizing Medicare ― which some progressive advocates see as a sign that the president-elect may be yielding to Republican conservatives on health care issues. Wednesday’s press conference was only partly an attempt to scare Republicans away from touching Medicare, however. It was first and foremost an opportunity for Democrats, who are still struggling with how to counter Trump’s economic populism, to demonstrate their bona fides as champions of working Americans. “Republicans here in Washington are gearing up for a war on seniors ― and they shall not, they must not, prevail,” Schumer said. At one point, he feigned mercy on Republicans. “Democrats will not let them win this fight,” he said. “I say to my Republican colleagues: Turn back, because we will fight you on this tooth and nail. We will win, you will lose.” Schumer promised that Price, in particular, would face tough questioning during his confirmation hearing.   Schumer and several of the other lawmakers expressed confidence that if Republicans took on Medicare it would be a replay of 2004 and 2005, when congressional Democrats defeated then-President George W. Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security. The political win helped Democrats regain control the House of Representatives and Senate in the 2006 midterms.  Although messing with Medicare, an extremely popular universal program, is politically radioactive, block-granting Medicaid and repealing Obamacare may prove less controversial for Republicans. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) acknowledged as much. “The tip of the spear is really Medicare, because it is ubiquitous and so many families and Americans really get it,” she said. But she suggested cutting Medicaid would be more difficult than it seems as well, noting that many seniors depend on it for their long-term care services.  “It’s going to be very, very hard to cut these programs,” Schakowsky...

Rihanna's Beyoncé Diss Is Not A Real Thing, World

Cavan Sieczkowski | December 7, 2016 | Entertainment
Rihanna is twirling on the haters.  Internet users were buzzing after Rihanna liked an Instagram that seemingly threw shade at Beyoncé over one of her 2017 Grammy nominations. Beyoncé was nominated for nine awards Tuesday, including “Song of the Year” for “Formation.” Rihanna is nominated for...

23 Unique Gifts That Make You Look More Thoughtful Than You Are

Minou Clark | December 7, 2016 | Style
It’s time to get started on that holiday shopping for your friends and loved ones, and we think you should make this year extra special. That’s why we threw together this gift guide of amazing, affordable, personalized gifts to ensure that your presents this year are unique and...

From 'Moonlight' To 'Fences,' Movie Awards Season Bursts With Color

Brennan Williams | December 7, 2016 | Black Voices
If the Oscars turn out to be “so white” again next year, it will not be for a lack of candidates. A handful of critically acclaimed movies featuring people of color are vying for awards attention this year, ranging from a Pulitzer Prize-winning family drama to...