Donald Trump Warns That A Plane Flying Over New Hampshire Might Be Mexico Ready To Attack

Video: Trump sees a plane overhead, says "That could be a Mexican plane up there—they’re getting ready to attack."

— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) June 30, 2016

Donald Trump seems so intent on turning Mexico into America’s boogeyman that even a passing airplane got incorporated into his stump speech on Thursday.

“I respect Mexico. I respect their leaders, what they’ve done to us is incredible. Their leaders are so much smarter, so much sharper. And it’s incredible,” he said, then gestured upward as an aircraft passed. “In fact that could be a Mexican plane up there. They’re getting ready to attack.”

Trump was speaking in Manchester, New Hampshire — more than 2,000 miles from the Mexican border.

Not surprisingly, the presumptive GOP nominee for president appeared to have deviated from a prepared speech. 

I don’t really need those notes, because I don’t need notes. Aren’t I lucky?” he said, according to The New York Times. “Nice to have that ability, isn’t it? It’s a good ability to have.”


Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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It’s Time To Do Something About Prosecutors Who Break The Rules

My name is John Thompson. I am the victim of an attempted murder in New Orleans. The authorities know who the person is who tried to kill me, but they’ve never tried to bring him to justice. The man was a prosecutor, Jim Williams. He knew I was innocent, but he tried me for murder and argued for my execution. I spent 14 years on death row because of him, and four more in prison before I was exonerated in 2003.

Williams worked for Orleans Parish District Attorney Harry Connick, Sr., who was the D.A. for decades. I was not the only one to suffer because of Williams’ behavior — he secured death sentences against six other men — all of which were overturned, most because of prosecutorial misconduct. Connick’s prosecutors sent scores of innocent Black men up the river to Angola prison — either to die there or to live out our days on the plantation. Our lives didn’t matter. They still don’t. They wielded their prosecutorial power as they pleased, terrorizing the poor. They knew no one would care and no-one would pay attention. And they were right. No-one has ever tried to bring them to justice for it.

Jim Williams was so zealous in his pursuit of the death penalty that he even posed for a picture with the mini-electric chair on his desk on which he had taped the faces of the men that he had wrongfully sent to death row. The toy electric chair was his trophy for his kills. He posed with it like white men used to pose around the body of a Black man they had lynched. Proud. Defiant. The picture appeared in Esquire Magazine.

Williams could have been stopped. He could have been fired. He could have been brought to justice for what he did. But he wasn’t.

Williams could have been stopped. He could have been fired. He could have been brought to justice for what he did. But he wasn’t.

After some of the illegal behavior committed by prosecutors in the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office was exposed, Mr. Connick expressed concern to the public about what had happened on his watch, and named one of his loyal, young prosecutors, John Jerry Glas, as a special prosecutor to find out how these injustices had happened, and who was responsible. After looking into the misconduct, Glas told Connick that he was ready to indict Williams and possibly three others in the office, but Connick shut down the special grand jury.

Apparently, Connick wasn’t willing to come clean about what had happened after all.

In shock, Glas resigned. But no one cared and nobody took any action to hold Williams or his colleagues accountable for their shameful actions, or to stop the bloodthirsty culture of cheating.

So it was left to me to try. I sued the prosecutor’s office for what they did to me. A jury in Louisiana awarded me $14 million dollars for the 14 years of living hell they put me through. The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld my settlement, but the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the damages, ruling 5-4 that prosecutors can’t be held liable for their misconduct, even when they deliberately cheat to convict an innocent person. Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote the opinion, argued that prosecutorial ethics, education, and training, internal supervision, bar oversight, and even criminal sanctions are enough to make sure prosecutors behave properly. But he is wrong. Study after study, including one by the Yale Law Journal, has shown that prosecutors are almost never held accountable when they cheat or behave illegally. I helped to lead panel discussions across the country showing that the idea of accountability is a lie; a dangerous lie.

Prosecutors are almost never held accountable when they cheat or behave illegally.

I am one of many victims of this totally preventable crime. A new report released today by Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project shows that the prosecutors in the country who have sought the death penalty the most also committed misconduct at alarmingly high rates. Three of the top five deadliest prosecutors in America had misconduct found by courts in at least one-third of their death penalty cases. Four of the five deadliest district attorneys prosecuted, or oversaw the prosecution of, eight people who were later exonerated and released from death row. This total represents approximately one out of every 20 death row exonerations that have occurred nationwide.

My friend Glenn Ford was another one of the victims. He and I spent all 14 of my death row years together. He was exonerated in 2014 after 30 years on death row. He died a year later of cancer. A team of us cared for him around the clock in his final months. He was from Shreveport, one of the death penalty capitals of the South. He was prosecuted with the same kind of bloodthirsty lynch mob mentality that reigned in New Orleans in the 1980s and 1990s. Now they won’t compensate his family.

I’m scared for others like me, who will be ripped to shreds by our system because they are poor and Black.

Jim Williams left me for dead. My family, my people, my community and I will never fully move on from that. No one could. I’m scared for others like me, who will be ripped to shreds by our system because they are poor and Black. Their rights don’t matter. Their lives don’t matter. But I am also scared for you and me — neighbors in this city, this country where violent crime terrorizes us all too. For when prosecutors cheat with impunity, the wrong person goes to prison and the real perpetrators are out on the streets, free to commit more crimes. My family has been a victim of that kind of crime too. I don’t want it any more than you do.

The only people who benefit from prosecutorial misconduct are the real perpetrators of crime who have escaped justice while innocent men and women are locked up for their crimes, those who abuse their prosecutorial power, and the politicians who want to keep it that way.

It’s time for a change. Ideas have been proposed by New York Times editorial board and Mitchell Caldwell, a criminal law expert and professor at Pepperdine University School of Law.

The solution isn’t simple, but I’m sick of being told there’s no solution — that the torture I endured is just an inevitable byproduct of our system. What happened to me was no ethical lapse or minor infraction, it was premeditated attempted murder, and it was a completely preventable crime.

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8 Signs A Marriage Won’t Last, According To Divorce Lawyers

For the best relationship insight and advice, turn to a divorce attorney. After all, every day they have a front-row seat to the kinds of petty drama and missteps that lead couples to split up. 

With that in mind, we asked family law attorneys from across the country to share some of the most obvious signs that a couple is likely to divorce. 

1. They give each other the silent treatment

“It’s a bad sign if a couple bickers and it results in the silent treatment. Sure, fighting is healthy in a relationship but when it turns from playful to serious on a regular basis — and it ends in stonewalling — that doesn’t bode well for long-term success.” — Jason Levoy, an attorney and divorce coach in New York City

2. Their sex life is lackluster.

“This seems obvious and it is. People can go without sex, but the bottom line is that we are living creatures and sex is a natural desire. Yes, there are relationships that endure without sex, but as a divorce lawyer, it’s not a shock when a client tells me they have gone years without having sex with their partner.” — Randall M. Kessler, an attorney in Atlanta, Georgia

3. They have very little in common. 

“While it’s true that opposites attract, don’t assume that the qualities you fell in love with are going to keep a marriage together. For example, if someone is an extrovert and loves going out until the wee morning hours and the other spouse likes a warm bath at 7 p.m. followed by a glass of milk and a good book, there is no way the couple can sustain this lifestyle distance.” — Lisa Helfend Meyer, a divorce attorney in Los Angeles, California 

4. Their careers always come before the family. 

“It can be a problem when a partner always puts his or her career above everything else, including the relationship. This tends to be true, regardless of the agreement the couple has come to during the marriage. For example, my firm has represented laser-focused military members, whose partners initially agreed to take a backseat and raise the family so the military member could advance. But over the years, the stay-at-home spouse begins to resent the situation. Even the strongest relationships decay over time when one person puts their career aspirations ahead of the relationship.” — Christian Denmon, a divorce attorney in Tampa, Florida 

5. They have contempt for one another

“Eye-rolling, belittling and treating each other with disdain are key indicators that a relationship will eventually disintegrate. While spouses don’t have to always see eye-to-eye to have a happy marriage, they do have to respect each other and appreciate their differences, rather than viewing those differences as being signs that the other spouse is stupid or wrong.” — Karen Covy, an attorney and divorce coach in Chicago, Illinois 

6. They don’t respect each other’s love language. 

“Knowing your partner’s love language — being aware of how he or she feels appreciated — is crucial for long-term success in marriage. Although spouses may love each other, they may not feel loved if they have different love languages. For instance, if one spouse shows love by doing helpful things or by buying gifts, but the other receives love through verbal affirmations, loving touch or quality time together, the love may not really be received.” — Dennis A. Cohen, an attorney and mediator in Marina del Rey, California 

7. They’re not honest about their spending. 

“A marriage is a partnership and each person should be accountable to the other for their family’s finances. When the finances are split, it’s easy for both partners to overspend. A couple can keep separate or joint bank accounts, but when there is no transparency on how money is being spent and saved, it’s nearly impossible to set and reach financial goals like buying a home or planning for retirement. It becomes a growing frustration.” – Puja A. Sachdev, a divorce attorney in San Diego, California 

8. They never fight.

“Many spouses tend to avoid awkward situations and problems by either ‘shading the truth’ or ignoring something that has been on their mind. This leads to resentment. This person is your best friend, confidante and lover. You should be able to say anything to them. You should be able to to accept one another’s comments without destroying the bonds of matrimony.” – Douglas S. Kepanis, a divorce attorney in New York City 

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‘Dear Brock Turner’ Photo Series Gives A Voice To Silenced Rape Victim

A new photo series is reminding survivors of sexual assault that it is never their fault. 

The series titled “Dear Brock Turner” was created by photographer Yana Mazurkevich for the sexual assault awareness media platform Current Solutions. The project features images of six women holding signs that read phrases survivors of sexual assault and rape often hear such as, “You shouldn’t have been walking alone,” and “You should have expected this to happen.” 

Each phrase is written from the perspective of a victim — highlighting how survivors often blame themselves because society too often conditions women to believe they are responsible for their own assault. This sense of guilt and shame forces many survivors to stay silent about their assaults, ultimately choosing not to seek help or justice.  

Although nearly one in five women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, only one out of every three assaults are reported. 

“Victim-blaming isn’t just some side effect of sexual assault. It’s a harmful, painful reality that perpetuates the culture we live in today which has allowed this issue to be so taboo, yet so prevalent,” a spokesperson for the Current Solutions team told The Huffington Post. “Sexual assault is already such an under-reported crime, but victim blaming makes it even harder for survivors to come forward.”

Victim-blaming isn’t just some side effect of sexual assault. It’s a harmful, painful reality that perpetuates the culture we live in today.
Spokesperson for the Current Solutions team

The series is a powerful response to the recent Stanford sexual assault case in which former Stanford student Brock Turner sexually assaulted an unconscious woman. Although Turner was convicted on three felony sexual assault charges and was facing up to 14 years in prison, the 22-year-old was sentenced to only six months in county jail with three years probation. 

Some pointed to letters from Turner’s family and friends to the judge residing over the case, as the reason for the 21-year-old’s lenient sentence. Many of the letters, including ones from Turner’s father’s and childhood friend, blamed alcohol and the victim — not Turner — for the sexual assault. 

Beneath each image is a quote from the powerful letter written by Turner’s victims that captured the attention of politicians, news anchors and people around the world for a few weeks ago. The survivor’s letter, which was read aloud in court to Turner, is a powerful commentary on sexual assault and rape culture.

Mazurkevich told HuffPost that she was inspired to create the series because she was sexually assaulted during her freshman year of college. “It hit me like a ton of bricks that I was now part of the statistics: I was now the one in four women to get assaulted,” she said. “What’s scary is that I personally know friends who have been assaulted, and they know friends who have. That’s what is gut-wrenching — it’s so real and no one really realizes.” 

The images of women holding victim-blaming phrases paired with Turner’s victim’s heart-wrenching quotes give readers a glimpse at what so many sexual assault survivors go through.

As the Current Solutions spokesperson said: “If we can impact just one person by telling these stories, by putting faces to the statistics, then we will have achieved our mission.”

Scroll below to see the full “Dear Brock Turner” photo series. 

Head to Current Solutions’ homepage or Facebook page to learn more about their work.

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Brazil’s Undeclared War On Its Black Children

“Everyone for Biel. Justice, justice.”

This was the chant repeated by the friends and family of 11 year-old Waldik Gabriel Silva Chagas, all the way to his five-foot-long casket. It was surrounded by white and yellow flowers. We could only see his face.

Waldik Gabriel Silva Chagas was killed on Sunday, June 26 by the Brazil’s Metropolitan Civil Guard (GCM).

The slender black boy looked even younger than 11. He was shot in the neck by the GCM while sitting in the backseat of a Chevette. According to the GCM, the car had been fleeing a police chase.

Nilma Silva, Gabriel’s step-mother, said that the boy had gone to a local fair in the neighborhood with some friends. Regardless of the sequence of events, a single shot reached the car. It punctured the rear window, and hit an 11-year-old boy in the neck.

“Nobody knows whether he was involved in any wrongdoing. But even if he was, is this what he deserved?” asks Nilma.

“This is the last photo I took of him. I took him for a haircut and he asked me to take it,” says Biel’s father, Waldik Chagas, 37.

Many people came to Gabriel’s wake, including curious bystanders and journalists. At the front of the wake at the Municipal Cemetery of Vila Formosa, a black man looked on in silence.

Abisogun Olatunji, 34, a member of the Union of Collective Pan-Africanists, was there to show solidarity with the family.

Every 23 minutes, a black youth is brutally murdered in Brazil. This is ethnic cleaning as State policy. We need to confront this,” Abisogun said.

The Union of Collective Pan-Africanists is also in contact with the family of Ítalo Ferreira de Jesus Siqueira, a boy who was killed by military police in early June. He was 10 years-old.

“What hurts the most is to see the lack of response from society,” said Abisogun.

“We also carry out educational work, spread awareness and work on self-esteem. But for it to work, we need to be alert,” he said.

In addition to being active in the black movement, Abisogun is a history teacher in the municipal and state school system. In 2014, he was at a planning meeting at the school where he works, in the eastern zone, when he heard gunshots. The police had just killed a student in front of the school building.

“I live in Itaim Paulista and I have a 13 year-old son, Ayodele. The other day, I wanted to eat some chips at night and I thought of asking him to go buy some. But then, it hit me. [I said] ‘Stay here; I’ll go as there’s less chance of me getting killed.'”

In 2015, 25 years after the introduction of the Child and Adolescent Statute, UNICEF reported that the number of homicides of children and adolescents in Brazil had doubled in 20 years.

The majority of victims are black and poor children living on the margins of big cities, like Biel and Ítalo.

In 2013, 10,500 adolescent murders were recorded: An average of 28 children and adolescents killed per day. Brazil is in second place, behind Nigeria, with regards to murders of people under the age of 19.

This post first appeared on HuffPost Brazil. It has been translated into English and edited for clarity.

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How A Filipino Designer Helped Bring A Story Of Liberian Women To Life

“Eclipsed” made history this year as Broadway’s first all-female production –written, directed and acted by black women. The play, a story of five mothers and daughters fighting for survival during the Second Liberian Civil War, quickly drew crowds as it not only recounted an important history of resilience, but reminded audiences today that violence against women is hardly a thing of the past.

Another member of the “Eclipsed” team made history too — Clint Ramos, one of the few men on the creative side, who was tasked with bringing the play’s set and costume design to life. After winning a Tony at this year’s ceremony for his work on “Eclipsed,” he became the first person of color to win in the costume design category, and the fourth Filipino to have ever won the coveted Broadway award.

Although Ramos himself never appears on stage, his work is unmissable throughout the production. He crafted both the scenery and the clothing, painting a picture of Liberia onto the stages of New York City. He worked to transform five iconic actors of color — Lupita Nyong’o, Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah and Saycon Sengbloh — into women held captive as “wives,” who refer to each other as numbers rather than names. He worked to transform John Golden Theatre into a rebel camp, where the characters, forced into either sexual servitude or militant brutality, braved their days.

“Eclipsed” ended its run on Broadway on June 19, only to announce that a version of the production will head to San Francisco’s Curran Theater in 2017. (The west coast show will provide free tickets to 10,000 girls ages 16 to 24, as part of an initiative to bring under-served young women into the theater world.) Ahead of its transfer, Ramos spoke to The Huffington Post about his vision for “Eclipsed,” the importance of diversity on Broadway, and what it felt like to represent the Philippines. 

Check out Ramos’ descriptions of individual characters in the photo captions below:

On distinguishing the characters of “Eclipsed” through their clothes:

“That is sort of an incidental result of really just diving into the characters. It started with preliminary research and in-depth conversations with director Danai [Gurira] and Liesl [Tommy, the writer]. We really looked at the documentaries and the photographs of that war. But also Danai had actually gone to Liberia to interview these women. They’re older now, but the characters are based on real people. So we had this pretty solid idea of who they were — or what they ought to have looked like.

“I’ve had a long-standing relationship with Liesl and I’m actually able to have discussions with her about casting. She throws out ideas of actors with me and we sort of go back and forth on what their physical types are. When you really sort of parse the play, Danai has written it […] in a very Greek, classical way. And with those plays, the characters are really defined. But the way we defined our characters … it’s already in the writing, it’s in the research. So all we really needed to do was pay attention. For me, that was the only way, in a documentary fashion, to honor them, by replicating what’s in the research.”

On the ways women’s hair (and wigs and wraps) shape their identity:

“I do a lot of shows with people and women of color. One can never underestimate how hair is tied to women of color’s identities. And with this particular piece, we really needed to get it accurate. I work with one of the most brilliant wig designers in American theater. Her name is Cookie Jordan. She and I and the actors really took the conversation seriously.

“If you see hair braided on stage, it’s a wig. I cannot state the importance of it, how we went through so many iterations. For example, with Maima’s wig, I had this idea — with her fashion sense — that she is hair-obsessed. They talk about it in the play. Bessie says, ‘My hair has never looked so good as when [Wife] Number Two did it.’ So all of her braids are on point, her extensions are on point. That sort of shows when she braids Lupita’s hair, as a tight, upward braid too.

“And Lupita’s hair at the beginning was a huge discussion. We had to calibrate and recalibrate what the exact look was. Because we wanted it to be accurate historically and physically, but we also didn’t want it to distract because Lupita is wearing it. The reward for us is when she doesn’t get an entrance applause. Because she’s unrecognizable enough.”

On the universal emotions tied to clothes:

“One of the bigger challenges was to really make [the play] reach across the presidium and reach the audience. In a more direct way, make these women more familiar to an American audience.

“For example, the idea that we see a dress, one that gets seen and handled many times [as a prop], actually be worn on stage, is great. Like that yellow dress — the dress Bessie wears when she’s no longer pregnant. [Editor’s Note: It’s actually an altered Juicy Couture dress bought at Housing Works that is first seen on stage in a pile of loot the soldiers have brought back for the women at the camp.] Its meaning transfers throughout the story from, Oh, it could be the dress of Rita’s daughter, who’s missing, because you see Rita hold on to it for a moment. But then you see Bessie actually pick that dress and you see her wear it. Its meaning transfers.

“It was interesting to curate that loot, to see how much of it would be familiar and how much of it would be traditional. And by curating that, you’re showing a history, a swath of who the victims were. There are businesswomen’s clothing and men’s clothing and children’s clothing, with blood on them. It’s storytelling.”

On reminding the audience that this story — the story of violence against women — is still happening today:

“Somewhere in the middle of the run [of the play], we started to do these dedications, where women would come up after the performance and they would read one of the names of the Boko Haram girls — one or two names. And we would ask the audience to repeat the names. And the hashtag was #KnowHerName.

“The former UN ambassador came and said the youngest [Boko Haram] victim was three months old. It makes you want to throw up. And the oldest was 87 years old. Violence against women is an epidemic and the problem is that we don’t treat it that way. We think of these girls as a unit, who disappeared in this other nation with a machismo culture. But no. [Violence against women] happens everywhere. It’s infuriating.”

On the pressures that came with helping to tell such a profound story:

“I don’t want to speak for the ladies, but in conversations with them, I think most of them knew that it was such a powerful piece. But they came to understand it as so much bigger — the response was so much bigger. It was unbelievable. And for the performers, they had to work around that. It really took a toll on the actors. All of these actors come from the African diaspora, so it’s so personal. As much as they are all professional and highly trained actors, I think this particular piece was hard for them to automate. It’s hard to distance themselves from the characters and what happened and what’s happening in this world. They felt that pressure, they felt that responsibility, and in my opinion, they rose to it. They represented wonderfully. But it was a lot.”

On being the fourth Filipino person to have won a Tony — and the first person of color to win in the costume category:

“When I got the nomination, Lea Salonga, who was the first Filipino to win a Tony, tweeted about it and it sort of became bananas. I didn’t know I was the fourth. I thought there was just Lea and Bobby Lopez. And then I realized Jhett Tolentino, a producer, had already won. When it hit the Philippines, they took it very seriously. And all of a sudden it became a symbol of pride for the country. I have to say, it wasn’t fun, because there’s so much pressure. Masses in churches were doing offerings for this. My mother was texting me telling me that there was a mass offering in the town that I come from. It felt like the nomination wasn’t enough, I had to win.

“And I really did not think I was going to win. I thought Tom Scutt, the English designer who had been nominated for ‘King Charles III,’ would win. I saw that show and thought it was beautiful and detailed and lush. The costumes were phenomenal. I suppose I’m happy that the voters saw the other side of costuming. Usually those kind of shoes get rewarded; the sort of lavish, intricate works of fashion. It was refreshing, and made me happy, that a design like this could be rewarded.”

On this year’s Tonys diversity.

“Even at the ceremony, it was wonderful. My category was the first to be called — and of course, I had so many people to thank but when I looked out at the audience there was Oprah and I blanked. But also when I looked out, it really was a sea of diversity. It was so great to see the faces out there — it looked like the A train, but really well-dressed.

“I hope it’s not an aberration. I hope it’s a vision of the future. I still think there needs to be a little — no, a lot more work done on diversity and representation for people who work off stage and backstage. I think, of the creatives who got nominations,only six were of color. Of the designers, only two were of color. Paul Tazewell, of ‘Hamilton,’ was the other. We talked a lot about what it all really means. For us, it is a big responsibility, because we are not in a position of entitlement. And we cannot take it lightly. We need to show younger artists of color that there is a life in the theater for them. There is a place for them. When I was coming up, I had to seek them out, because I wanted to make sure a person who liked me could have a place in the American theater.

“There is an argument that we need to foster more writers of color so that there’s more work for people of color. Yes, that’s true, absolutely. But we also need to rework the ways we think of staffing and casting shows. Why couldn’t there be a multicultural check-off? Why couldn’t, for instance, ‘Three Sisters’ — a classic [written by Anton Checkov] — be three sisters from different places? When I see non-traditional casting, or color-conscious casting, it’s the first thing I notice but it’s the last thing I think about when I walk out of a show. Because I know that these actors of color are actors and they’re storytellers and they inhabit their characters, and I just walk out of there with a story.

“We have to make sure that kids know that there are options. And it really starts with producers and gatekeepers of color.”

On the importance of early access to the arts:

“We all started out as performers [at a younger age]. When you join a drama club you become enmeshed in a theatrical life, and not only is it awesome in terms of being able to perform and all that kind of stuff, it’s also a great liberal arts education. You get to go to places you’d never dream of. I’d get to immerse myself in specific cultures and periods of times and places that I would hardly have ever decided to visit if I wasn’t in theater. Even if that dream of, Oh, maybe I can be an actor, comes to an end, you still want to be a part of the theater. I wanted to be a part of a community. I liked the catharsis that comes from working in the theater. 

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Postpartum Anxiety Might Be Even More Common Than PPD

Jill Krause called her doctor, certain that she had cancer. It was about five months after she gave birth to her second baby five years ago, and Krause, a well-known blogger, noticed “a weird ridge” on her thigh she convinced herself was a tumor, rubbing it over and over until she bruised. A few days later — before her doctor could get her in for an appointment — she had what she believed was a stroke. Her body went numb, she felt dizzy and her heart raced. Perhaps the cancer had spread, she worried, and her body was shutting down.

Her doctor had a different diagnosis. The “tumor” on her leg was a bit of cellulite, and the “stroke” was a panic attack. Krause, 35, had developed a postpartum anxiety disorder, and it was pulling her under. 

“I had these obsessive thoughts that centered around death,” Krause said. “Me dying, my kids dying. My thoughts were always racing … and I had so much anger. I was mad all the time.”

As alarming as Krause’s symptoms might sound, a new study out of Canada suggests they are not at all uncommon among pregnant and postpartum women. Perinatal anxiety — a condition that can cause women to feel a constant, paralyzing sense of worry and make them unable to eat or sleep — could, in fact, be even more prevalent than postpartum depression (PPD), the researchers believe, and yet public awareness about the mood disorder remains relatively scarce.

The study, published in the Journal of Affective Disorders, included a group of 310 pregnant Canadian women whom researchers screened for anxiety. They also conducted in-depth follow-up interviews with any women who met the diagnostic criteria for the disorder around three months after they gave birth.

Nearly 16 percent of the mothers in the study had anxiety and anxiety-related disorders during pregnancy, while 17 percent experienced significant anxiety in the early postpartum period.

Rates of depression, on the other hand, were lower: 4 percent of pregnant women and nearly 5 percent of postpartum mothers were found to be depressed. Nichole Fairbrother, an assistant professor of psychiatry with the University of British Columbia and an author on the study, told The Huffington Post she believes those numbers are likely low and limited by the study’s small sample size. (Other estimates put the rates of PPD among women in the United States at closer to 15 percent of postpartum women.)

Fairbrother also clarified that the purpose of her study is not to take away from how common or debilitating depression is. Rather, it is to help spread the message that anxiety — which affects more than 40 million adults and children in the U.S., making it the most common mental disorder — may also be affecting new mothers in far greater numbers than women or their healthcare providers realize. 

“We’re doing a better job with postpartum depression in terms of public campaigns. Women are more comfortable talking about it now, and there’s more discourse around it,” Fairbrother said. “We screen for it. We ask about it. But unless a woman volunteers that she’s also experiencing anxiety — and she might not even be aware that she is — [care providers] may not ask.”

“It never occurred to me that what I’m experiencing was anything other than me really sucking at motherhood.”
Jill Krause

No one asked Krause, who realized only in hindsight that she’d grappled with a more mild bout of anxiety after the birth of her first child that went undiagnosed. 

“When I left the hospital after both of my kids were born with those pamphlets on postpartum depression, I don’t remember seeing anything about anxiety,” she writes. “At my six-week appointment, my midwife asked if I was suicidal, if I cried a lot, if I felt depressed. I didn’t. I still don’t. It never occurred to me that what I’m experiencing was anything other than me really sucking at motherhood.” Even Katherine Stone, founder of the blog and non-profit Postpartum Progress, which has done an enormous amount of outreach to spread awareness about perinatal mood disorders, has argued that the term postpartum depression can sometimes do “a disservice” to those women who struggle after having a baby, but don’t reach out for help because they think sadness is the only hallmark of a mental health problem. 

Even mothers who don’t fall entirely through the cracks, treatment-wise, can have their anxiety mis-diagnosed as depression. Certainly, some mothers experience both (a little over 4 percent of the women in the Canadian study had both anxiety and depression.) And many of the medications used to help manage anxiety and depression are the same. But the conditions are distinct and the types of therapy used to help treat them are different.

Ultimately, as researchers work to do a better job capturing the true rates of postpartum depression and anxiety disorders, the key to getting mothers the help they need is to educate them about the simple fact that postpartum anxiety exists. And to do a better job of screening and treating them.

After seeing her doctor, Krause went on an antidepressant, which quickly helped even her out, then went off it before she got pregnant with her third child. She felt good, but knew to be watchful for symptoms of anxiety. Sure enough, five or six months after her third child was born, Krause recognized the same crippling worry beginning to creep back in and immediately went back on her medication.

Krause is now pregnant with her fourth and is not currently being treated for anxiety, but she is fully prepared with a prescription and a game-plan should it recur. In a way, she is lucky, she says. At least she won’t be caught off guard by anxiety again.

“Since I first wrote about anxiety [in 2011], I’d say I’ve heard from at least one woman a week on average saying, ‘Thank you for writing about this. I had no idea,'” Krause said. “I 100-percent think there is a huge, gaping lack of information and knowledge about postpartum anxiety.”

“If you don’t know to look for help,” she continued, “if it doesn’t come across your newsfeed, you have no idea.”

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More Than Half Of State Judges Are White Men, Still

State trial and appellate courts don’t come close to reflecting the racial or gender diversity of the people they serve, according to a recent report from the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy. 

Not a single state has achieved gender parity among judges, the ACS found, while only seven have courts that are racially and ethnically representative of their population. And this is still true even though women and minorities have been entering the legal field at record numbers.

The report, aptly titled “The Gavel Gap,” rates all 50 states and the District of Columbia as follows: A for those that have achieved at least 90 percent parity, B for 80-89 percent parity, C for 70-79 percent parity, D for 60-69 percent parity and F for those below 60 percent.

More than half of the states earned an F for their lack of progress in putting women on the bench. The four that at least rated a B are Oregon, Nevada, the District of Columbia and New Mexico.

About two-thirds of the states are failing when it comes to racial and ethnic parity on the bench. But Hawaii, the District of Columbia, Oregon, New Mexico, Minnesota, Arizona and Maryland got an A grade.

State courts are the workhorses of the American judicial system. They rule on everything from traffic cases to civil suits to all kinds of criminal prosecutions. While the U.S. Supreme Court hears around 70 cases per year, state judges presided over 94 million cases in 2013, according to the report.

There are real-life consequences to the lack of diversity there.

Studies have shown that judges, like millions of their fellow Americans, hold implicit racial biases that can affect their decision making. White judges, for example, are more likely than black judges to dismiss claims of race-based discrimination.

In criminal trials, where 68 percent of the defendants are black or Latino, African-Americans who are found guilty are more likely to go to prison than their white counterparts, according to a study by the Rand Corporation.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Georgia state court ruling that would have allowed prosecutors seeking the death penalty against a black defendant to get away with eliminating all potential black jurors. Chief Justice John Roberts called the state’s arguments “nonsense.” The ACS ranked Georgia 34th out of 51 in overall judicial representativeness. 

The consequences of an unrepresentative judiciary affect women as well. Studies have shown that women are twice as likely to win sexual harassment and discrimination cases when the presiding judge is female.

The Obama administration has emphasized the need for representative courts and touted the fact that the federal judiciary is more diverse than ever. But clearly more work needs to be done at the state level.

While the ACS report did not include specific recommendations for action, other legal organizations, like the New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice, have offered best practices for states seeking both to mitigate the effects of a non-representative bench and to build a more diverse judiciary. These include teaching judges how to recognize and overcome their own implicit biases, increasing recruitment of female and minority judicial candidates, and appointing diversity compliance officers to keep up the push.

As Chris Kang, a former deputy assistant to Obama tasked with overseeing the judicial nomination process, said in a recent op-ed, “when the men and women who deliver justice look more like the communities they serve, there is greater confidence in our justice system overall.” 

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Pulse: The Intersection of Homophobia, Racism And Access To Guns

My heart is heavy for the Pulse nightclub victims and their families. I am sorry for this loss cutting our nation deeper than words can express, and deeply saddened that our immigration laws are preventing some families from even attending their loved one’s funerals.

These were our Latino siblings, friends and neighbors. They were LGBT people enjoying life at an iconic place of safety and acceptance for their community. They were the beating heart of American diversity, and of what makes this country great. And they were struck down in horrific violence; intentionally targeted for all of the good that they embodied.

The Orlando shooting was a homophobic and racist attack, perpetrated almost one year to the day after a similar attack targeting another vulnerable community at another place of sanctuary. Part of honoring the nine lives lost to a white supremacist’s gun at Emanuel AME Church in 2015 should have been taking steps to ensure a similar event never happened again. We didn’t then, and the question we must ask as 49 more souls are laid to rest and 53 remain injured is, will we do it now?

The seeds of hate crimes are sewn long before their victims are harmed, and the sad truth is that some in our society tolerate and even nurture this process. Every anti-LGBT policy proposal — from North Carolina’s H.B. 2 to the recent efforts by Congressional Republicans to undermine LGBT protections — contributes the demoralization of our fellow citizens. Every right wing talking point smearing Mexican immigrants only serves to further demean an already vulnerable population. It’s a not-so-subtle reminder that we have not achieved equality in our society, and that relative safety is a luxury afforded some communities much more than it is to others.

The result is sad, predictable and something we see far too often. Families, schools and places of worship refuse to accept someone for being LGBT. Transgender women of color, uniquely targeted at the intersection of transphobia, racism and sexism, face the constant threat of violence in our streets. 2015 was the deadliest year yet for transgender women, with 21 murders in the U.S. alone. Sadly, we’re on track to break that record in 2016, with 14 transgender women killed so far, and we’re only half way through the year. Before the Pulse shooting took place, the LGBT community already made up the highest percentage of hate crime victims. It’s not enough for lawmakers to hold moments of silence for the vulnerable people they’ve helped to victimize. In fact, less than two weeks after Orlando, many of the same Republicans who bowed their heads in silence are now planning a hearing on legislation that would enshrine in law a business’s right to discriminate against LGBT employees. The responsibility of leadership demands an end to these harmful political ploys that in no uncertain ways helps place a target on innocent backs.

Elevating our national discourse is a crucial first step, but that alone is not enough. The fact remains that in Orlando, someone with the intent to kill on a horrific scale was able to get his hands on a gun designed to do just that. We must find the political will to end this scourge, once and for all. That starts by recognizing that the perpetrators of gun violence benefit from our lax gun laws. The first accomplice to a mass murderer is a society that allows him to buy a gun, no questions asked. That is why it is vital for Congress to reauthorize the assault weapons ban. Since the law expired in 2004, assault weapons have become the one common factor connecting Orlando to Newtown and Aurora to San Bernardino. The motives vary as widely as the locations, but the weapons are notably the same.

As for the motives of this most recent mass murderer, his claimed allegiance to ISIS, al Queda and Hezbollah — three terrorist groups at war with one another — is a testament to just how confused and incoherent his views were. But his words also created an opening for those who would rather scapegoat Islam than deal with the difficult changes we so desperately need. It falls to decent people in every corner of our country to ensure that never happens. We cannot ignore the policies being pushed by elected officials that feed into the acceptance of discrimination in our society. We cannot sit by and allow another vulnerable community to be targeted as a result of one person’s horrific actions, and we cannot allow the voices of division to persevere.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. so eloquently said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Gone too soon, but never forgotten:

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old
Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old
Frank Hernandez, 27 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old
Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old

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How to Deliver the Perfect Business Pitch: 8 Tips Inspired by ‘Shark Tank’

        By Lindsay Kolowich A great business pitch is among the first of many hurdles an entrepreneur must jump to get their company off the ground. While it’s not necessarily an indicator of future success, it’s a critical moment for any business. A great pitch can bring valuable partnerships to the table — […]

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New Mexico’s National Park Service anniversary ignites new interest in historic buildings

The 100-year anniversary of the National Park Service is igniting new interest in the majestic Spanish-pueblo themed building that Lopez and other “CCC boys” built, along with other remote cabins, furniture and artwork of the 1930s that transformed and popularized national and state parks while putting millions of impoverished Americans back to work.