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Couple's 'Kinky' Night In Handcuffs Ends In Real Arrest

Lee Moran | February 13, 2016 | Crime
LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Feb 12 (Reuters) - An Arkansas couple's evening of "kinky" entertainment ended with one pair of handcuffs used for fun being replaced by another used for real in an arrest, police said on Friday. Dustin Taylor, 21, summoned police this week to...

ESPN Flips Out When Arcade Fire's Win Butler Praises Canada's Health Care System

Andrew Hart | February 13, 2016 | Entertainment
ESPN, surrender your cool credentials. You do not interrupt an indie rock hero just named the most-valuable player in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, especially to redirect him to talk about “celebrity stuff, not politics.” While being interviewed after winning the 2016 NBA All-Star Celebrity Game,...

American Electoral Day 4: Is South Carolina Really The Nastiest Primary?

Andrew Hart | February 12, 2016 | Politics
KEVIN BAKER: Sick and exhausted from our sojourn in New Hampshire and the death-defying drive that followed, we pried Jack’s frozen fingers from the steering wheel and hopped the Silver Meteor for Charleston, South Carolina.

Bewildered By 2016 Race, George W. Bush Returns To The Trail To Boost Jeb

Andrew Hart | February 12, 2016 | Politics
The 2016 campaign has bewildered and captivated George W. Bush. At home in Dallas, the 43rd president rises before dawn and reads political news online. He fires off emails to his old advisers to check on the latest campaign-trail ­gossip. He tunes into the debates, even though they stretch past...

Nic Lamb Wins Mavericks Big-Wave Surf Contest

Andrew Hart | February 12, 2016 | Sports
The size and power of the waves breaking for the 2016 Titans of Mavericks big-wave surfing contest should have kept everyone safely on land during Friday’s competition. But 24 elite surfers -- including Nic Lamb, who so accurately described the break as a moving mountain -- took to the...

Hillary Clinton Just Proved Michele Bachmann's Point

Sam Stein | February 12, 2016 | Politics
Hillary Clinton’s sartorial choices are once more in the news. As has been pointed out numerous times online, and late Friday afternoon in an article by The Hill, the yellow jacket she wore during Thursday night’s Democratic debate is the same one she wore during her...

The Koch Brothers' Dirty War On Solar Power

Andrew Hart | February 12, 2016 | Politics
After decades of false starts, solar power in America is finally poised for its breakthrough moment. The price of solar panels has dropped by more than 80 percent since President Obama took office, and the industry is beginning to compete with coal and natural gas on economics alone.  

This Mesmerizing Animation Is A Love Letter In Disguise

Kelsey Borresen | February 13, 2016 | Weddings
Crafting the perfect Valentine's Day love letter for your boo can be tricky. This year, why not let a video say what's in your heart instead?  The video above is a hand-drawn animation timed perfectly to the heartbeat rhythm of Donna Summer's classic "I Feel Love." So make sure to turn that volume way up. Creator Dana Zemack shot the video entirely on her iPhone, which she duct-taped to the top of a mason jar to keep the camera from moving because she didn't have a tripod.  To check out more of Zemack's work, follow her on Instagram.  Also on...

Talking To Marco Rubio: A Scripted Candidate Suddenly Gets Chatty

Andrew Hart | February 12, 2016 | Politics
Marco Rubio suddenly wants to talk. At 22,000 feet, sipping Dr. Pepper and sharing his stash of Twix bars. In a Cracker Barrel over blueberry pancakes. At a news conference until there are no more questions.

New York Mets Pitcher Jenrry Mejia Permanently Suspended By MLB

Andrew Hart | February 12, 2016 | Sports
New York Mets relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia has been permanently suspended by Major League Baseball for his third performance-enhancing substance violation, the league announced Friday.

An Italian Chef Reveals The Secret To A Perfect Homemade Pizza

Jessica Kane | February 12, 2016 | Travel
Italians will search for months for the place to enjoy a perfect pizza with friends. There are those who prefer them with a thick crust, Neapolitan-style, and those looking for the thin and crispy Roman-style. But they...

The U.S. Might Be Getting Closer To Expanding Its ISIS Fight

Akbar Shahid Ahmed | February 12, 2016 | Politics
WASHINGTON -- A deal to establish a central unified government in Libya may be reached by early next week, paving the way for the country to ask the U.S. and other international powers to act against the so-called Islamic State's presence there, according to a top official from the...

These Graphic Novel Authors Illustrate The Struggle Of Being Gay And In Love In Iran

Farah Mohamed | February 12, 2016 | World
In their best-selling graphic novel Zahra’s Paradise, Amir Soltani and Khalil Bendib captured the 2009 demonstrations in Tehran, Iran. Now, they're using that medium to give the world a look at another issue with which the country struggles: the acceptance of its LGBT community.    Yousef and Farhad tells the story of two young men struggling to gain acceptance from the people around them and to learn how to navigate life in a country that doesn't support their love. The WorldPost is publishing the comic, which is a collaboration with LGBT rights group OutRight Action International, in a four-part series this month. For Soltani and Bendib, Yousef and Farhad is more than just another graphic novel. They’ve taken what they learned with Zahra’s Paradise to try to connect with an online global audience -- but also to join a larger conversation about human interaction, freedom and what it means to love. "Language is very crucial in how we see and relate to each other," Soltani told The WorldPost. "And Iran has become a place where, in the name of orthodoxy, [people in power] generate a language of hatred and enmity where you’re either a heretic or an infidel or a spy or an apostate, an enemy against God." To combat this, he said, you have to use language as well. Labeling people begins the process of dehumanizing them, said Soltani, who left Iran when he was young. And that’s where his writing comes in. "There’s certain key words, like 'terrorist' or 'gay' or 'faggot' or 'animal' or 'apostate,' 'heretic' -- all of these words, they are such hateful instruments, and they can cause such extraordinary damage, that I think the ultimate goal for me as a writer is to take the venom and the force and the power and authority out of these words," he said. "And it’s not just happening with gays," he explained. "It’s happening with the Baha’i, it’s happening with secular Iranians, it’s happening with religious clerics -- it’s a question of power. I think as artists we can submerge it, we can challenge it. So that’s why we agreed to do this project." Language is very crucial in how we see and relate to each other. Bendib’s inspirations are similar. The graphic novel, he said, allows him to show the controversies in Iran and embrace the challenges they present.  "This is the most unadulterated, directly unabashedly narrative form," he said. The positive responses to Zahra’s Paradise inspired Bendib to continue illustrating complex social topics. "Wherever we went, France or Brazil or Italy, or Turkey or wherever, we’d have people com[ing] up to us and thanking us: 'Thanks to you, I was able to understand what goes on there because I don’t really read books on this topic, I don’t like to read newspapers. Television doesn’t do it either,'" he said. "They felt that this particular medium was perfect. It was such a heavy, complicated theme," he continued. "But having the help of the images really made the difference, especially for young people." So Soltani and Bendib welcomed the task of telling a gay love story that takes place somewhere where openly acknowledging an LGBT identity can land someone in prison and where gender reassignment surgery is presented as a "solution" because some people erroneously believe being gay means you're "trapped" in the "wrong" body. The graphic novel examines the question of how people in Iran think of homosexuality compared to other "criminal" acts.  In the beginning of Yousef and Farhad, for example, one character asks another why he is distressed about his son. She asks a series of questions to determine what the son could have done: Did he commit murder? Steal? The other man says no each time, indicating that his son did something worse. "I think it’s very important for the Iranian people to be able to claim … our right to define who we are and our right to put limits on others’ ability to infringe on our freedoms," Soltani said. "And when they attack your identity or sexuality or morality, when you’re constantly put on the defensive, that’s wrong. I think [the Islamic republic] should be on the defensive, not the Iranian people." He believes his work with Bendib is representative of a larger movement in the country. "It’s not just gays that are doing this," he said. "Iranian women are doing it. Everyone in Iran is in one way or another trying to place limits on the state’s ability to control both the public and the private sphere." "The obscenity is not that of the Iranian people," he said. "The obscenity is the Islamic republic. What’s obscene is killing people’s kids and then burying them and denying people the right to have proper funerals. Talk about violating the basics of Islamic religious belief."   Highlighting conflict is partly why Bendib finds the project so important.   "One of our major motivations was putting a human face on an entire culture, which tends to be defined by a lot of stereotypes and negative impressions," he said. "So we’re trying to bring to life real people and showing how they’re flawed like everybody else. They’re certainly not perfect, but they’re certainly not any more evil, devious than you or me." Soltani agrees, and said he hopes stories like Yousef and Farhad can help change that narrative. "Many parents of gay kids have been so homophobic until they discover that their kid is gay. And then they’re stuck between what they learned and what their beliefs are on the one hand, and what their love is on the other," he said. "And for us, I think it’s just coming back to this idea that love is what matters. Love and acceptance and tolerance." We’re trying to bring to life real people and showing how they’re flawed like everybody else. They’re certainly not perfect, but they’re certainly not any more evil, devious than you or me. Bendib, who is Algerian, said the Iranian revolution shows there is hope for the country. Soltani also said he is optimistic about the future of Iran. For him, the storytelling, activism and online campaigns boil down to one thing: love. "Iran [is] not a culture about hate and enmity," he said. "It’s a culture about love and unity. It’s not a culture that’s about East nor West, it’s a culture that’s about both the East and the West. … Iran belongs to all of us, and in some ways, it’s what’s best in us." Whether they're highlighting the atrocities that go on in a prison, the restrictions on women or the suppression of LGBT people, these two artists show they care about what it means when humans are forced to hide identity, to hide love. And they recognize that it doesn't have to be that way. "When you write, you’re trying to imagine," Soltani said. "You’re fighting for that Iran that maybe we’ve lost. … The Iran of all the poets. The Iran of my childhood. I guess I’m trying to reclaim a little bit of that. It’s still here, even though it’s in exile. It’s in exile, but it still has a voice." The WorldPost is publishing Yousef and Farhad over the next four weeks. Read the first chapter here. Read about OutRight Action's inspiration for the project here. Also on The...

Madeleine Albright Apologizes For Implying Female Bernie Supporters Will Go To Hell

Mollie Reilly | February 12, 2016 | Politics
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright apologized Friday for implying criticism of Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) young, female supporters, acknowledging her comments came in "the wrong context and the wrong time." While campaigning for Democratic presidential hopeful...

5 Reasons The Supreme Court's Climate Ruling Hasn't Destroyed The Planet. Yet.

Kate Sheppard | February 12, 2016 | Politics
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court issued a setback to the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to cut emissions from power plants this week, which tipped off an avalanche of stories bemoaning what a big blow this is...

No Doubt Is Getting Back Together Without Gwen Stefani

Carly Ledbetter | February 12, 2016 | Entertainment
There's no doubt this is going to be awkward.   No Doubt has formed a "rock supergroup," minus Gwen Stefani, according to a report from Billboard. Instead of the "Used To Love You" singer, AFI frontman Davey Havok will fill in. Sources told Billboard that...

HUFFPOST HILL - Paul Ryan Wondering Where Boehner Hid Emergency Cigs

Arthur Delaney | February 12, 2016 | Politics
Veterans groups haven't received any of that money Donald Trump said he raised for them, though Trump said he got a deferment because of some problem with his foot. John Kasich and Jeb Bush are having a huge fight over Medicaid, and it's just kinda sad because what they're basically...

Watch 'Em Fall, Flub And Flop In 'Best Fails Of The Week'

Ron Dicker | February 12, 2016 | Comedy
How was your week? Painful? Embarrassing? Watch the folks in Fail Army's "Best Fails of the Week" and you just might feel a little better. Unless of course you wiped out doing something for all the Internet to see.  H/T Tastefully Offensive Also on HuffPost:  

Ne-Yo Talks 'Formation': Beyoncé 'Has The Right' To Celebrate Her Black Identity

Rahel Gebreyes | February 12, 2016 | Black Voices
R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo totally supports Beyoncé's unapologetic celebration of her black identity, he told HuffPost Live on Thursday. Beyoncé's explosive release of "Formation" and the gravity-defying Super Bowl performance that followed left viewers divided over the song's overt blackness and political messages. While dedicated members of the Beyhive applauded the singer for her activist tone, politicians like former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani weren't happy with her performance. In fact, protesters are even planning an "Anti-Beyoncé" rally outside of the NFL headquarters to voice their concerns. But Ne-Yo, who wrote Beyoncé's hit song "Irreplaceable," thinks the issue may have been blown out of proportion a bit. If anyone has the right to speak out on racial issues, it's Beyoncé, he said. "I personally don't think that it was all that serious. ... The critics went a little far with where they took [the meaning of the song]," he said. "But I feel like overall, even if that was what was meant, so what? She has the right, she has the right. Everybody else has the right to talk about their culture and their race and be proud of it, so why can't we? Why can't she?" Ne-Yo praised Beyoncé's ability to authentically portray her multidimensional self through her music and questioned the notion that "Formation" is one of Beyoncé's boldest proclamations of her black identity. "I don't know what makes this more black than anything else she's ever done. Beyoncé knows how to toe that line between elegance and ratchet. She's the epitome of it," he told Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. As for the song's message, Ne-Yo said it's necessary considering the widespread conversation about police violence.   "I feel like it's a statement that needs to be made with everything that's going on right now with the whole Black Lives Matter [movement] and just the injustice that's happening with that," he said. "I don't see anything wrong with her celebrating her blackness, if that's even what you want to call it." Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Ne-Yo here.  Want more HuffPost Live? Stream us anytime on Go90, Verizon's mobile social entertainment network, and listen to our best interviews on iTunes. Also on...

Adele Is 'Healthier Than She's Ever Been.' Here's How She Got There.

Jamie Feldman | February 12, 2016 | Healthy Living
Of all Adele's many stellar qualities, her willingness to speak candidly and frankly about her life -- and her health -- is one of the top.  In a new interview with Vogue (she's the mag's March cover star), the songstress once again opened up. You may have already heard...