Chrissy Teigen on her ‘gut-wrenching’ year and the stigma surrounding infertility
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Crissy Teigan standing in front of an all blue back drop posting for the camera with her hands in her blue jean pockets

By Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY

While lying in a hospital bed last year, Chrissy Teigen shared near-constant updates to her Instagram account. She showed her 34 million followers the ingredients of her favorite sandwich and described the amount of blood she was losing. Eventually, she shared heartbreaking photos of the moment the couple said goodbye to the child they lost.

Teigen’s fans have come to know what to expect to from her. She opened up to them about undergoing IVF and celebrated with them when she welcomed her children with husband John Legend.

Now, she wants others to join her in speaking more openly about infertility and the toll it takes.

“I feel like the more we’re open about talking about something, the more normalized it becomes,” she tells USA TODAY.

“I’m happy to be the one to be able to yell loudly from the rooftops and talk about my uterus and talk about my everything. If that’s going to make other women feel that they can do it too, then I will be that person and I’m happy to do it.”

Teigen says women often suffer in silence when they are dealing with infertility issues, which prompted her to be frank about her own experiences.

“I didn’t realize what an un-talked about thing it was… The outpouring of love that we got when we shared those photos – honestly, since even Luna and Miles,” she says. “Everybody’s seen every high – and the highs are Luna and Miles – and then every low, and everyone’s been there for us.”

Despite the pain of last year, Teigen says she’s “doing great.”

“I’ve had to let go of so many things, so many really difficult times. Of course, things have been hard for everybody, but for our family especially, you know. We’ve been through the excitement of getting pregnant naturally, and then losing a baby and it’s just been gut-wrenching and crazy,” she says. “But I can honestly say at this time in my life now and after so much healing and therapy and such a community that has rallied around us, I feel really truly good and feeling very at peace.”

She says it was important to her to keep the conversation going.

“I didn’t want to just have my babies after having fertility struggles and then stop talking about it,” she says. “Hearing from other women made me know it was something that needed to be talked about more.”

She adds, “I always thought it was really important to share all of our challenges, and you know all of the good things, but most importantly all of the bad things,” she said. “Because in a year where we are really all in our own minds and bubbles, it can be really hard to understand or see things from an outside perspective.”

Click here to read the full article on USA Today.

Just In Time For Mother’s Day, OpenTable Reveals its 2021 List of the 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America
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A group of people is dining in a elegance restaurant or hotel

OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), recently released its annual list of the 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America for 2021.

As restaurant restrictions ease in the U.S, a recent OpenTable survey* shows 33% of Americans haven’t had an extended family gathering in more than a year, and OpenTable data shows Mother’s Day reservations are up 64% compared to 2019 (pre-pandemic levels) – a clear sign families are eager to reunite and celebrate with their loved ones this Mother’s Day.

“This Mother’s Day will be more meaningful than as it may be one of the first occasions that families are reuniting around the table since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Debby Soo, CEO at OpenTable. “We wanted to make sure diners had the best brunch restaurants at their fingertips as they make plans to celebrate this special holiday with their loved ones.”

Featuring restaurants coast-to-coast, across 24 states and Washington, D.C., the list is a comprehensive look at the best brunch spots in the country. The Best Brunch Restaurants in America list was culled from more than 12 million verified diner reviews of over 30,000 restaurants in 50 states and Washington, D.C. California is the most recognized state on the list with 17 restaurants honored, followed by Florida and Pennsylvania with eight winning restaurants. Illinois and Texas each boast seven winning restaurants and Georgia, Minnesota and Nevada claim six honorees.

From restaurants with just the right ambiance for both indoor and outdoor dining, like Foreign Cinema in San Francisco, to sweet and savory favorites at Yardbird Southern Table and Bar in Las Vegas and Miami to local big-city favorites like Perch in Los Angeles, the Best Brunch list features a wide variety of options for any type of menu and environment diners are looking for.

The annual list comes on the heels of OpenTable’s national “Frame the Feeling” promotion, an initiative to help families capture the moment as they reconnect this Mother’s Day. The campaign offers professional family photos for all reservations made on Mother’s Day at 14 select restaurants nationwide.

The 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America for 2021 according to OpenTable diners, are as follows (listed alphabetically):

  1. a’Bouzy – Houston, TX
  2. Ambar Capitol Hill – Washington D.C.
  3. Anis Cafe and Bistro – Atlanta, GA
  4. Atchafalaya Restaurant – New Orleans, LA
  5. The Aviary Restaurant & Bar – Swansea, MA
  6. Baldamar – Roseville, MN
  7. The Barn at Rocky Fork Creek – Gahanna, OH
  8. Beachcomber Cafe – Crystal Cove – Newport Coast, CA
  9. Beetlecat – Atlanta, GA
  10. Bistro at Edgewood Tahoe – Stateline, NV
  11. The Bistro at LaBelle Winery Amherst – Amherst, NH
  12. Bistro L’Hermitage – Woodbridge, VA
  13. Bistro Niko – Atlanta, GA
  14. Black Bass Hotel – Lumberville, PA
  15. Blue Bell Inn – Blue Bell, PA
  16. The Boathouse – Lake Buena Vista, FL
  17. Brennan’s – Multiple Locations
  18. Bristol Seafood Grill – Leawood, KS
  19. Brix – Napa, CA
  20. Buttermilk & Bourbon – Boston, MA
  21. Cabra – Chicago, IL
  22. Café Ba-Ba-Reeba – Chicago, IL
  23. Cafe Monte – Charlotte, NC
  24. Canoe – Atlanta, GA
  25. Cap City Fine Diner & Bar – Grandview – Columbus, OH
  26. Cappy’s Restaurant – San Antonio, TX
  27. Carson’s Food & Drink – Lexington, KY
  28. Cheever’s Cafe – Oklahoma City, OK
  29. Chianti Grill – Burnsville, MN
  30. The Dandelion – Philadelphia, PA
  31. Del Vino Vineyards – Northport, NY
  32. Duke’s La Jolla – San Diego, CA
  33. Eiffel Tower – Las Vegas, NV
  34. Eight4Nine – Palm Springs, CA
  35. Fabian’s Italian Bistro – Fair Oaks, CA
  36. Farmhouse at Rogers Gardens – Corona Del Mar, CA
  37. Flight Restaurant & Wine Bar – Memphis, TN
  38. The Food Market – Baltimore, MD
  39. Foreign Cinema – San Francisco, CA
  40. The Front Yard – North Hollywood, CA
  41. Good Day Cafe – Golden Valley, MN
  42. Grace’s – Houston, TX
  43. Great Maple – San Diego, CA
  44. Green Valley Grill – Greensboro, NC
  45. The Hampton Social – Multiple Locations
  46. Happy Camper – Denver, CO
  47. Haywire – Plano, TX
  48. Hazelwood – Bloomington, MN
  49. Hell’s Kitchen – Caesars Palace – Las Vegas, NV
  50. The Henry – Phoenix, AZ
  51. Honey Salt – Las Vegas, NV
  52. JOLO Winery & Vineyards – Pilot Mountain, NC
  53. La Merise – Denver, CO
  54. Lake Elmo Inn – Lake Elmo, MN
  55. Latitudes on Sunset Key – Key West, FL
  56. Le Diplomate – Washington D.C.
  57. Le Yaca – Williamsburg, VA
  58. Ledger Restaurant & Bar – Salem, MA
  59. Lindey’s – Columbus, OH
  60. Little Goat – Chicago, IL
  61. Lon’s at The Hermosa – Paradise Valley, AZ
  62. The Love – Philadelphia, PA
  63. Madison – San Diego, CA
  64. Meson Sabika – Naperville, IL
  65. Mon Ami Gabi – Las Vegas, NV
  66. Murphy’s – Atlanta, GA
  67. OBC Kitchen – Lexington, KY
  68. Old Ebbitt Grill – Washington D.C.
  69. Ouisie’s Table – Houston, TX
  70. Pacific Coast Grill – Cardiff By the Sea, CA
  71. Parc – Philadelphia, PA
  72. Perch – Los Angeles, CA
  73. Pier W – Cleveland, OH
  74. Poor Calvin’s – Atlanta, GA
  75. Preserved Restaurant – St. Augustine, FL
  76. Prime: An American Kitchen & Bar – Huntington, NY
  77. Print Works Bistro – Greensboro, NC
  78. RH – Multiple Locations
  79. The Rooftop by JG – Beverly Hills, CA
  80. Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant – Long Branch, NJ
  81. Root Down – Denver, CO
  82. Seed Kitchen + Bar – Marietta, GA
  83. Sheldon Inn Restaurant & Bar – Elk Grove, CA
  84. Simon Pearce Restaurant – Quechee, VT
  85. Soby’s – Greenville, SC
  86. Summer House Santa Monica – Chicago, IL
  87. Sunset Terrace – Omni Grove Park Inn – Asheville, NC
  88. Talula’s Garden – Philadelphia, PA
  89. The Tap Room at Dubsdread – Orlando, FL
  90. Tavern 4 & 5 – Eden Prairie, MN
  91. Terrain Cafe – Glen Mills, PA
  92. The Tropicale – Palm Springs, CA
  93. Ulele – Tampa, FL
  94. Union and Finch – Allentown, PA
  95. Vintage – Vail, CO
  96. WeHo Bistro – West Hollywood, CA
  97. Whiskey Cake – Plano, TX
  98. Wine Bar George – A Restaurant & Bar – Orlando, FL
  99. Yardbird Southern Table & Bar – Multiple Locations
  100. Zaytinya – Washington D.C.

The complete list may also be viewed at: https://pages.email.opentable.com/Top100BrunchUS. To learn more about the “Frame the Feeling” promotion, visit the OpenTable blog at http://blog.opentable.com/2021/mothers-day-2021-frame-the-feeling.

OT Best Brunch Methodology:
The 100 Best Brunch Restaurants list is generated solely from diner reviews collected between from April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021. All restaurants with a minimum rating and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to the sum of tags for which “brunch” was selected as a special feature.

*OT Survey Methodology:
OpenTable partnered with YouGov on April 19 – 20, 2021 to survey 1,326 adults (aged 18+) online within the U.S. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+).

About OpenTable
OpenTable, part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), powers reservations for the hospitality industry. OpenTable’s software seats more than 1 billion people per year and helps more than 60,000 restaurants, bars, wineries and other venues attract guests, manage capacity, improve operations and maximize revenue.

Stacey Abrams is Re-Releasing Three of Her Romance Novels
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Stacey Abrams standing in front of a microphone stand while smiling away from the camera.

By , Vulture

Get ready to swoon. Berkley, a Penguin Random House imprint, is rereleasing three Stacey Abrams romantic suspense novels that have been out of print for many years. Originally published under the pen name Selena Montgomery, Rules of Engagement, The Art of Desire, and Power of Persuasion will be out in hardcover and audio in 2022. According to a release, each of these novels, which were her first published books, features “international espionage, page-turning action, a core love story, Black heroines, and a diverse cast of characters.”

While the Democratic political leader and Team Spike fan has since written bestsellers on topics from voter suppression to leadership, she has never shied away from her romance-novelist roots. “As my first novels, they remain incredibly special to me,” Abrams said in a statement. “The characters and their adventures are what I’d wished to read as a young Black woman — stories that showcase women of color as nuanced, determined, and exciting. As Selena and as Stacey, I am proud to be a part of the romance-writing community and excited that Berkley is reintroducing these stories for new readers and faithful fans.”

Click here to read the full article on Vulture.

Vanessa Bryant launches clothing line in honor of late daughter Gianna
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Vanessa Bryant and her eldest daughter wearing the tie dye sweat suit set for MAMBACITA clothing while standing in front of an all black background

By Alexander Kacala, Today

Today would have been Gianna Bryant’s 15th birthday. Last January, the daughter of late basketball legend Kobe Bryant, died alongside her father and seven others in a helicopter crash.

Now, just over fifteen months since the crash, Vanessa Bryant, is working to further her husband and daughter’s legacies with her sports foundation, Mamba and Mambacita, that aims to empower young girls who are athletes.

A new Mamba and Mambacita apparel line in honor of Gianna and Kobe Bryant is being launched Saturday, and the 38-year-old philanthropist shared some sweet family photos with the announcement.

In one photo, the mother poses with her oldest daughter Natalia, 18, with both looking strong and resilient in matching black-and-white tie-dyed sweatsuits. Mambacita is written across the front of the outfits in bold red lettering, and a no. 2, in honor of Gianna’s basketball jersey number, is printed inside a red heart drawing on the front of each suit’s left pant leg as well.

In another photo also shared on Instagram, 4-year-old Bianka Bryant is captured mid-jump. She’s also sporting an adorable smile reminiscent of her late dad’s big grin. Her sweatsuit is white with a lavender tie-dye print and pink Mambacita lettering.

All the proceeds from sales of the Mambacita apparel will be donated to Mamba and Mambacita.

Bryant credits her late husband and daughter for giving her the strength to do all the work she is doing nowadays. “I guess the best way to describe it is that Kobe and Gigi motivate me to keep going,” she told People magazine back in March. “They inspire me to try harder and be better every day. Their love is unconditional and they motivate me in so many different ways.”

Click here to read the full article on Today.

Football Fitness improves balance, muscle strength and bone density in women treated for breast cancer
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Football sitting in the middle of a grass field with an unfocused city skyline behind it

Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc, News- Medical/Life Sciences

The University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Rigshospitalet, and the University of Copenhagen have come together to study the effects of Football Fitness on various health parameters and self-rated health following treatment for breast cancer.

The results of the project, called Football Fitness After Breast Cancer (ABC), have now been published in three scientific articles published in international sports medicine, cardiology, and oncology journals.

“The main conclusion is that Football Fitness is an intense and good form of training for women treated for breast cancer, with beneficial effects on balance, muscle strength and bone density,” says Professor Peter Krustrup, Head of Research at SDU’s Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, who has been studying the health effects of football and other sports for more than 15 years.

Twice weekly training sessions for a year
The researchers from SDU and the University Hospitals Centre for Health Research at Rigshospitalet joined with doctors and nurses from the Department of Oncology at Rigshospitalet and researchers at the University of Copenhagen to investigate whether Football Fitness offered twice weekly for 12 months can boost various health parameters in women treated for breast cancer.

The study involved 68 women aged 23 to 74, with an average age of 48, who were randomized 2:1 to a training group (46 participants) and a control group (22 participants). The trial ran for 12 months, during which the training group was offered Football Fitness training sessions twice a week comprising a warm-up, fitness and football drills, and small-sided games of 5v5 and 7v7 using two goals.

At the start of the study and after 6 and 12 months, respectively, health parameters such as fitness, bone and muscle strength, balance, body fat percentage, blood pressure, and cholesterol were measured and the participants completed questionnaires to rate their quality of life and energy in everyday activities.

It was also investigated whether participation in Football Fitness increased the risk of the participants developing chronic swelling (lymphoedema) on the side where they had been treated for breast cancer.

Football Fitness improves balance, strengthens muscle, and counteracts bone weakening
In an article just published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, the researchers show that 12 months of football training, performed on average 0.8 x 1 hour per week, gave the women better balance and greater muscle strength in the legs, while at the same time increasing bone density in the lumbar spine.

The participants who took part in at least one weekly session also achieved an improvement in bone strength in the femur.

“It’s encouraging that even a modest amount of training can produce these improvements because we know that treatment for breast cancer can accelerate the natural age-related loss of bone mass and thereby increase the risk of osteoporosis,” says Jacob Uth, assistant professor, and Ph.D. at University College Copenhagen, who has been the project leader in the study.

“The fact that balance and muscle strength are improved at the same time is a big plus because in the longer term this can reduce the risk of falls and broken bones,” he says.

Everyday activities become easier – but improving fitness requires more training
In another recently published article in the US journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, the researchers show that the intensity is high, corresponding to a heart rate of more than 80% of maximum heart rate for 70% of the time the participants are playing with two goals. But this did not improve the participants’ fitness compared with the participants in the control group over the 12 months of the intervention.

On the other hand, the study showed that, after 6 months of Football Fitness training, the participants reported that health-related problems were less of a barrier to participating in and accomplishing everyday activities.

Click here to read the full article on News- Medical/Life Sciences.

Oscars 2021: two female directors and nine actors of colour nominated in historic year
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Oscar nominee Emerald Fennell (centre) with Carey Mulligan, left, and Laverne Cox, right, on the set of Promising Young Woman.

By , The Guardian

Two female directors – Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell – are in the running for the best director prize at this year’s Oscars; the first time more than one woman has been in contention for the award.

Only five women have ever been in the running for the award; only one – Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2010 – has won.

British film-maker Fennell – perhaps best known for her acting work, playing Camilla Parker Bowles on Netflix’s The Crown – is nominated for her first ever feature, the rape revenge comedy Promising Young Woman. It is also up for best film, best original screenplay and best leading actress, for Carey Mulligan.

Zhao, meanwhile, goes into the race for both director and picture as the frontrunner, with Nomadland – an elegiac drama about the lives on the road of disenfranchised older Americans starring Frances McDormand – victorious in a sweep of preceding awards ceremonies.

Also up for best director are Thomas Vinterberg (for Another Round), David Fincher (for Mank) and Lee Isaac Chung (for Minari).

Mank, a black-and-white look at the backstage dramas around the writing of Citizen Kane, starring Gary Oldman as the screenwriter Herman J Mankiewicz, leads the scoreboard of nominations this year by some distance.

It is nominated for best film, best director, original screenplay, leading actor and supporting actress (for Amanda Seyfried), costume design, production design, score, cinematography and makeup.

Yet the film – one of a substantial number of nominees distributed by Netflix – is also one of the few significant players that have not advanced the Academy’s efforts to further inclusivity over the past year.

Nine of the acting nominees are people of colour, compared with one (Harriet’s Cynthia Erivo) in 2020. Riz Ahmed (for Sound of Metal), Steven Yeun (Minari) and Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) join Oldman and Anthony Hopkins (for The Father) in the best actor race. This is the first year two actors of Asian heritage have featured in the leading man category.

Boseman, who died from cancer aged 43 last August, is one of only seven actors who have earned Academy Award nominations after their deaths. Heath Ledger and Peter Finch are the only actors to have won posthumous Oscars.

Boseman’s Ma Rainey co-star Viola Davis, and Andra Day (for The United States vs Billie Holiday) will compete against Vanessa Kirby (for Pieces of a Woman), Mulligan and McDormand for best actress. But there was no space for Rosamund Pike, who took the best actress in a comedy or musical prize at the Golden Globes.

Newcomer Maria Bakalova is in the running for best supporting actress for her role in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, while the script is up for best adapted screenplay.

Sacha Baron Cohen missed out on a leading actor nod for that film, but did pick up a supporting actor nomination for his role as Abbie Hoffman in The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Aaron Sorkin’s courtroom thriller about countercultural protests at the 1968 Democratic national convention took six nominations on Monday, as did The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, Minari, Nomadland and Sound of Metal.

Collective, Another Round and Quo Vadis, Aida? lead the field in the best international film category; the former – about astonishing medical corruption in Romania – is also up for best documentary, along with Crip Camp, The Mole Agent, My Octopus Teacher and Time.

A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon was a surprise nominee in the best animated film category; it competes against frontrunner Soul.

The Guardian short film Colette, about a 90-year-old veteran of the French resistance, is up for best short documentary.

Notable snubs include The Mauritanian, Kevin Macdonald’s legal drama about Mohamedou Ould Salahi, imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay without charge, which won best supporting actress for Jodie Foster at the Golden Globes. That film was not nominated in any category.

Some have also highlighted a curious discrepancy in the lack of recognition afforded to black directors, despite their films being up for best film and multiple acting awards.

Neither Shaka King (for Judas and the Black Messiah), Regina King (One Night in Miami), George C Wolfe (Ma Rainey) or Spike Lee (Da 5 Bloods) were nominated. The omission of Delroy Lindo in the leading actor category for the latter film was also perceived to be an oversight.

Last year’s Oscars saw Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite take home best picture, as well as best director, original screenplay and international feature film. Joaquin Phoenix won best actor for Joker and Renée Zellweger best actress for Judy, while Laura Dern and Brad Pitt took supporting acting prizes for Marriage Story and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced in June that it was delaying all Oscar events in the light of the coronavirus pandemic. Eligibility for the prizes has been radically relaxed this year.

David Rubin, the current Academy president, revealed that this year’s ceremony will take place on 25 April in Los Angeles’s Union Station, as well as in the Dolby Theatre. As with last year’s Oscars, there will be no single host but a rota of presenters.

This announcement follows Sunday night’s well-received Grammy awards, which unfolded in a relatively traditional fashion with a socially distanced ceremony at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Click here to read the full article on The Guardian.

A Jane of all Trades: Tiffany Haddish Helps Foster Children
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Woman smiling at the camera

Actress, comedian, producer, and author Tiffany Haddish is a Jane of all Trades, and now she’s ready for her biggest new project: education. Launched for the first time in January, Haddish partnered up with organization Ready to Succeed in creating the SheReady Internship, a program designed to help young adults prepare for adulthood. The program is specifically for a group that is close to Haddish’s heart: foster children.

Growing up in the foster care system herself, Haddish founded the SheReady Foundation to help provide foster children with all of the necessary resources they need to succeed. This will now include young adults who grew up in the system in the age range of 18–25. Those chosen for the internship will be rewarded a plethora of tools designed to prepare them for the next step in their educational and career journeys. Along with a job, participants will have access to paid internship, mentoring, and networking opportunities. The cost of work-related finances, such as transportation, will also be covered by the organization.

The program promises that even those who do not get accepted into the program will receive the “consolidation prize” of career event access and professional training.

Through programs such as this, Haddish not only desires to help young adults who were in a similar situation to her own but to also aid in fostering more diversity in various workplaces.

“I believe that children that come from different cultures deserve a chance to work in the industry,” Haddish told The Hollywood Reporter, “and I would like people that look like me to be able to represent me too in the industry.”

Besides being a part of the foster care system, applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 25, eligible to work legally in the United States, and attending college. Currently, the program is exclusive to California residents, the birthplace of both the organizations.

For additional information and resources, feel free to visit https://readytosucceedla.org/she-ready/

Sources: Ready to Succeed and the Hollywood Reporter

The Queen returns to royal duties following Prince Philip’s death
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Queen Elizabeth wearing an all pink dress suit and a pink hat while looking away from the camera

By Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has held her first in-person engagement since the death of her husband, Prince Philip, last Friday. The 94-year-old monarch hosted a ceremony on Tuesday within the confines of Windsor Castle for Earl Peel, who recently left his post as Lord Chamberlain. The Lord Chamberlain’s Office orchestrates the Queen’s program of ceremonial events, including everything from garden parties and state visits to royal weddings and the state opening of Parliament.

The engagement was recorded in the Court Circular — a list of daily engagements and events conducted by the royal family.

“The Earl Peel had an audience of The Queen today, delivered up his Wand and Insignia of Office as Lord Chamberlain and the Badge of Chancellor of the Royal Victorian Order and took leave upon relinquishing his appointment as Lord Chamberlain, when Her Majesty invested him with the Royal Victorian Chain,” it read.

The monarch had previously held a telephone call with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday morning.

The Court Circular also revealed that Princess Anne joined a video call Tuesday for the Spring Conference of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, of which she is patron. Anne is the Queen and Prince Philip’s only daughter.

The royal family have been observing a two-week period of mourning since Friday, when it was announced that the Duke of Edinburgh had passed away peacefully at the age of 99.
Final preparations are underway for his funeral on Saturday at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

U.S. Women’s Team Clears Hurdle to Reviving Equal Pay Fight
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Megan Rapinoe at the U.S. versus Sweden match with teammates on the field

By Andrew Das, New York Times

A federal judge on Monday approved a partial settlement in the long-running dispute over equal pay between U.S. Soccer and its World Cup-winning women’s national team, but the players’ fight with the federation is far from over.

The ruling by Judge R. Gary Klausner, of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, rubber-stamped an agreement on working conditions that the sides had reached last year. When he rejected the players’ core arguments about equal pay last May, Klausner let them continue their claims about unequal working conditions in areas like team flights, hotels, venue selection and staffing support.

Before they could pursue an appeal of their equal pay defeat, the players needed to resolve those issues. With that agreement now in place, the players said, they will return to the core of their legal fight: an appeal of Klausner’s ruling that dismissed their demands for pay equal to what the men’s team earns.

“Now that this is behind us, we intend to appeal the court’s equal pay decision, which does not account for the fact that women players have been paid at lesser rates than men who do the same job,” said the players’ spokeswoman, Molly Levinson.

The women’s players sued U.S. Soccer in March 2019, contending they had been subjected to years of unequal treatment and compensation. Twenty-eight members of the team filed the initial lawsuit, which later grew to include anyone in a larger class of players who had been part of the women’s team since 2015.

The players pressed their equal pay argument for years — through on-field protests, interviews and social media campaigns — as they piled up victories and two World Cup championships on the field. Then Klausner rejected them in a single devastating paragraph last May.

In that decision, Klausner ruled that not only had U.S. Soccer not paid the women’s players less than their men’s counterparts, but also that he had been convinced that “the WNT has been paid more on both a cumulative and an average per-game basis than the MNT” over the years covered in the case.

It is unclear how long an appeal of his decision could take, or even whether it will be decided in a courtroom or at the negotiating table.

Click here to read the full article on the New York Times.

Universal child care could boost women’s lifetime earnings by $130 billion—and ensure more stable retirement options
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Woman working from home at her kitchen counter while her three kids surround her

By Megan Leonhardt, CNBC

Since last February, over 2.3 million women have dropped out of the workforce, compared to just 1.8 million men who left the labor force between February 2020 and 2021, according to data compiled by the National Women’s Law Center. And many of those women are still unemployed because they are caring for children who are not in school or daycare.

New research from Columbia University and the National Women’s Law Center finds that a universal child-care system — one that provides affordable, reliable child care from birth to age 13 — would not only help many of those out-of-work employees get back into the workforce, but would also dramatically increase the lifetime earnings and security of women across the country.

An average woman with two children could see a $97,000 increase in her lifetime earnings under universal child care, according to the report. Collectively, about 1.3 million women in the U.S. could experience about a $130 billion boost in income over their lifetimes.

Overall, the number of women working full-time would increase by 17% if the U.S. expanded access to stable and consistent child care. The number of women working without a college degree would jump by about 31%.

“When there’s an increased investment in child care, there’s a measured increase in women’s labor force participation,” says Melissa Boteach, vice president of income security and child care/early learning at the National Women’s Law Center. The highest gains can be seen for women in their 30s and 40s, since those are the decades when women are most likely to raise children, she adds.

This increase in workforce participation and lifetime earnings could also lead to a significant impact on women’s retirement situations, the report finds. Women would have an additional $20,000 in private savings on average and about $10,000 more in Social Security benefits. That adds up to about $160 per month in additional funding in retirement, the report finds.

Those extra earnings could especially help improve the financial situations of older women, who are more likely to experience poverty later in life than men. “Senior women have significantly higher poverty rates than senior men because of all the discrimination and all of the financial challenges that compound over their lives [and] stick with them in retirement,” Boteach adds.

Click here to read the full article on CNBC.

‘Kung Fu’ star Olivia Liang: ‘Our show is necessary right now’
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Olivia Liang as Nicky in “Kung Fu” holding a fist up ready to fight kung fu

By Lauren Sarner, NY Post

Olivia Liang said that she barely needed to act for her starring role in the CW’s new rendition of “Kung Fu.”

Olivia Liang said that she barely needed to act for her starring role in the CW’s new rendition of “Kung Fu.”

“After reading the pilot I was like, ‘Oh, OK, so Nicky is just me!’” Liang, 27, told The Post. “Our incredible showrunner and creator Christina Kim infused so much heart and nuance and specific experience into the script — it was the first time I had read something and I was like, ‘Yes, I get it.’”

Premiering Wednesday (April 7) at 8 p.m., “Kung Fu” follows Nicky Shen, a Chinese-American woman who drops out of college and goes on an adventure to China, learning martial arts skills at a monastery. After her mentor is murdered, she returns home to San Francisco — only to find it overrun with crime and corruption that requires her newfound abilities.

Meanwhile, she also reconnects with her family — including dad Jin (Tzi Ma), mom Mei-Li (Kheng Hua Tan), sister Althea (Shannon Dang), brother Ryan (Jon Prasida), Althea’s fiance Dennis (Tony Chug) and Nicky’s estranged ex-boyfriend, Evan (Gavin Stenhouse).

“My life experience gave me what I needed to play Nicky, because it was just so spot on and so specific,” said Liang, who has also appeared on The CW’s “Legacies.”

“Nicky’s mom is kind of a tiger mom who is easing up a bit, and that’s exactly what I had growing up. I’m also an older sister and Nicky has a younger brother in the show. The things that she goes through were just so relatable to me.”

However, there were a few aspects of Nicky’s life that were new to Liang.

“My experience with martial arts before this was simply driving my sister to her Taekwondo classes,” she said. “So I did have to learn it for the show, but it’s been really fun and rewarding and hard. It’s a really beautiful sport and art. If you add up everything, I’m probably doing about 65 to 70 percent of the stunts. Anything super-cool is my amazing stunt double, Megan Hui. I’m trying to do as many of the stunts as I can because it’s really important to me that I’m able to do the martial arts of it all.”

“Kung Fu” originated as a 1972 series starring David Carradine as a monk and martial arts expert traveling through the American West. (It also spawned a syndicated sequel series, “Kung Fu: The Legend Continues,” which aired from 1993-1997 with Carradine again starring.)

“That show was a little before my time, but my uncle and my mom growing up would watch it,” said Liang. “So it was very surreal to them when I got this part. I’m just really happy that we get to re-imagine it — and maybe do it the way that it should have been done, with Asian people at the forefront.”

Click here to read the full article on NY Post.

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