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Memorial Day Reflection

“This is why I am passionate about being a journalist; this is why I started SmartHER News. This is why I write. This is my sliver of service. We must protect our stories. We must tell them, accurately and compelling, so we don’t forget. “

Jenna Lee Babin, Founder, SmartHER News in a personal Memorial Day essay
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Now You Know

 

 

 

 

 

The history of Memorial Day is a story few ever know.

Now You Know

It Wasn’t Always
Memorial Day…

  • Tradition dates back to Civil War.
  • Leader of veterans group proclaimed May 30th – Decoration Day – a day to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice by decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers.
  • May 30th chosen reportedly because flowers bloomed nationwide.
Now You Know

About 25 Cities Claim Ties To First Memorial Day…

incl. Columbus, Miss., April 1866.

According to lore, a group of women visiting a cemetery to decorate the graves of Confederate soldiers, saw neglected graves of Union soldiers and decided to place flowers on ALL the graves despite the war ending a year earlier.

Now You Know

The first “Memorial Day” at Arlington spearheaded by Gen. Logan (Civil War vet who led a veterans group).

Fmr. Union General & soon-to-be-elected President Ulysess S. Grant attended.

About 5,000 people gathered & put small American flags on graves ~ About the same # of people attend in modern times and do exactly the same thing.

Now You Know

Federal Holiday: 1971
Last Monday of May

MEMORIAL DAY: “a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.

VETERANS DAY:  “largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service…”

Now You Know

“We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance...Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

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Current Events

The Art Of The Deal:

Is POTUS walking away to move forward?

 

Pres. Trump called off the June 12th meeting with North Korea. Is this all part of his strategy? We found something you have to see…

Current Events

“I was very much looking forward to being there with you. Sadly, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting….The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. That missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history.”

Pres. Trump's May 24 letter to Kim Jong Un cancelling their upcoming meeting.
Current Events

“Art Of The Deal”

“My tone was more hurt than outraged or angry. I can be a screamer when I want to be, but in this case I felt screaming would only scare them off.”

President Trump in his 1987 book "Art of The Deal". He was speaking about a real estate deal where he didn't want the other side to walk away. Considering the tone of his letter to North Korea, we thought this was worth your attention.
Current Events

Less Than 24 Hours After President Trump Sent His Letter…

North Korea says it’s still open to a sit-down.

“We express our willingness to sit down face-to-face with the U.S. and resolve issues anytime and in any format …. we are open-minded in giving time and opportunity to the U.S.”

Current Events

Are the tactics working? Hours before Trump officially called off the meeting, N. Korea *claimed* it dismantled its only known nuclear test site. Journalists were present; official investigators were not.

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Now You Know

QUICK QUOTES

“Straws are a luxury, we do not need straws to have our drinks, and I think it’s an easy step forward where we can have a great impact for our environment.”

Brooklyn City Councilman Rafael Espinal introduced a bill which would ban NYC establishments from providing plastic straws. Several million tons of plastic waste sit in our oceans, but studies show less than 5% consists of straws.
Now You Know

“Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook 2018 — 70% likelihood of 10-16 named storms of which 5-9 could become hurricanes, including 1-4 major.”

Gov't forecasters at the National Oceanic Atmosphere Admin predict a near-normal hurricane season for the Atlantic Ocean, which runs from June 1 to November 30.
Now You Know

“It wasn’t like a movie opening… it was like an earthquake.”

Actress Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia, later described "Star Wars" opening credits to Time Magazine. The 1st of the George Lucas' Star Wars movies "Episode IV: A New Hope" opened on this day in 1977 raking in $800M in worldwide ticket sales. The saga continues this weekend as "Solo" hits theaters.
Watch Now
Now You Know
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Worth-It-To-See

BLUE FLAMES AS HAWAII BURNS

 

 

Why it’s blue – and what has officials worried.

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Worth-It-To-See

Wait… BLUE Flames?

When the lava buries plants, methane gas is produced. Methane can seep into the ground & produces a blue flame when ignited.

The blue flames are only visible at night, making it hard to judge how widespread they are.

Scientists are now concerned the methane may cause explosions.

Worth-It-To-See

Mother Nature has put on quite a show... Kilauea’s eruption has also generated earthquakes, gushing molten rock, giant ash plumes & sulfur dioxide. No sign when it will end, but scientists say its similar to one in 1955 that lasted 3 months.

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Sports

NFL: Players Must Stand

 

 

 

Days ahead of Memorial Day, NFL announces new policy on national anthem. Turns out the *new* policy isn’t really *new* at all.

Sports

Important Context:

  • NFL players didn’t always come on the field for the national anthem – only since 2009.
  • “New policy” allows players to choose to yet again NOT go on the field for the national anthem.
  • *If* on the field, players must “stand and show respect” during the anthem or face a league fine & possibly a fine from the team.
Sports

Why Now?

NFL: “It was unfortunate that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic. This is not and was never the case.”
Something To Consider: Americans are watching less TV overall & NFL viewership has declined by millions since 2015. Some viewers say they boycotted the NFL because of the players on-field protests.

Sports

“This is fear of a diminished bottom line. It’s also fear of a president turning his base against a corporation. This is not patriotism. Don’t get it confused.”

Chris Long, Philadelphia Eagles defensive end, responding to the "new policy" via Twitter. Long supports players on-field protests and is an outspoken critic of President Trump.
Sports

Different sports have different policies for player etiquette during the national anthem. The NBA has a strict one - and Nascar - none at all.

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Current Events

Drive Towards Equality

 

 

 

Weeks away from lifting “ban” prohibiting women from driving, Saudi Arabia arrests women’s rights activists who fought for the cause.

 

Current Events

“Ban” Basics

Saudi Arabia: only country in world where women can’t drive.

No official law prohibits women from driving but only men are allowed to obtain driver’s licenses.  This changes on June 24 when women can get a driver’s license – part of a reform plan called “Vision 2030”

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Current Events

Saudi Arabia follows ‘Wahhabism‘, a form of Islam that says women:

  • should be separated from men they are not related to
  • wear veils to cover themselves while in public
  • be accompanied by a male guardian (usually a relative or husband) unless they receive written permission from a male guardian
Current Events

Why Now?

  • Crown Prince recently visited U.S., spoke about reform, including for women. He lobbied & secured major investment based on “Vision2030”.
  • In the past, he’s suddenly arrested groups of business men & controversial Islamic clerics.
  • Women under arrest reportedly called “traitors” by govt but little other explanation exists.
Current Events

"Rights activists say they (the women) are being targeted because the government doesn’t want human-rights advocates to claim credit for the lifting of the driving ban." WSJ

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Now You Know

QUICK QUOTES

“We will neither beg the U.S. for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us.”

Statement from Choe Son Hui, North Korea’s vice minister of foreign affairs threatening to call off President Trump & Kim Jong Un's June 12th Summit, calling VP Mike Pence a "political dummy."
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Now You Know

“We are writing the next chapter of Georgia’s future. Where no one is unseen, no one is unheard, and no one is uninspired. We are writing a history of a Georgia where we prosper — together.”

Stacey Abrams, in her May 22 victory speech after becoming Georgia's Democratic candidate for governor and our country's FIRST black female major-party gubernatorial nominee.
Now You Know

“This case requires us to consider whether a public official may, consistent with the First Amendment, ‘block’ a person from his Twitter account in response to the political views that person has expressed, and whether the analysis differs because that public official is the President of the United States. The answer to both questions is no.”

NYC federal judge ruling Pres. Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter.
Now You Know

“We urge parents, caregivers and retailers who sell them to heed our warnings and not use over-the-counter products containing benzocaine for teething pain.”

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb as federal regulators warn parents about the dangers of teething remedies that contain a popular numbing ingredient and asked manufacturers to stop selling their products intended for babies & toddlers.
Now You Know

“You know it’s been a while since we’ve done a show I had a little health issue — don’t we all…. But I have to tell you, I’m extremely happy to be back. The stage is kind of my home away from home and I have to admit I can barely stand on my feet tonight as I am a little bit nervous.”

Celine Dion, on May 22 return to the stage two months after cancelling a series of Las Vegas shows in order to undergo a minimally invasive surgery.
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Sports

NHL’S STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONSHIP

Underdog vs. Underdog

The Las Vegas Knights, a team that didn’t even exist last year, faces off against the Washington Capitals, a team tortured by playoff losses.

 

Sports

Vegas Golden Knights

  • New franchise: At one point, 500-1 odds to win championship.

“Everybody on this team has something to prove. We call ourselves ‘The Golden Misfits’ for a reason. We’re doing a good job of proving everybody wrong.”

Ryan Reaves, Golden Knights, helped score winning goal that sent team to the Final.
Sports

Washington Capitals

  • Tortured Past: First Stanley Cup appearance in 20 yrs, never won.

“It’s unbelievable… I can’t explain my emotions. I’m just happy for my boys, for our organization, our fans — finally!”

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals, regarded as this generation's great goalscorer. This is his 1st Stanley Cup final.
Sports

The best of 7 series starts Monday. Who ya got? Click for the full schedule for when to watch.

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Current Events

“Fearless” on Wall St.

 

 

 

The New York Stock Exchange names its first female President.
Perfect timing? The news comes as “Fearless Girl”, a symbol of female business prowess, is moved to a new home at the Exchange.

Current Events

NYSE’S GLASS CEILING
Great Strides Since 1792

  • 1940s: About 50 “Stock Market Girls” fill in for male clerks in WWII.
  • 1967: 1st female (Muriel Siebert) buys a NYSE seat – there was no female bathroom in lunch club.
  • 1995: 1st person (Maria Bartiromo) reports from trading floor.
  • 2018: Stacey Cunningham, NYSE’s COO, becomes its 1st female President.

 

Current Events

Can’t Stand the Heat…

And to naysayers who might say a woman’s place is in the kitchen – she’s got that covered, too.

Cunningham started her NYSE career as an intern in 1994, but she took a break from the stock exchange to go to culinary school, & has been known to whip up grilled peach and burrata snacks in the NYSE’s on-site kitchen.

Current Events

NYSE’s rival stock exchange, NASDAQ, also has a woman CEO, Adena Friedman. However, the latest Fortune 500 rankings out on Monday show that there were 24 women CEOs at the nation's largest corporations, a drop from 32 in the 2016 listings. Read more here.

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Health

RACE AGAINST TIME

 

 

 

Health officials call an unregulated… unlicensed… unnamed vaccine a “milestone” in strategy to prevent Ebola outbreak in Africa & you’re helping pay for it.

Health

‘rVSV-ZEBOV’

  • Experimental Ebola Vaccine
  • Donated by drugmaker Merck.
  • You can’t get it – under review by FDA (not legal to prescribe).
  • One trial in 2015. Good results.
  • “Ring vaccination” strategy – target the sick & vaccinate EVERYONE around them. Same strategy eradicated Small Pox.
Health

Challenges of The Congo

  • Currently: Most Ebola cases in a very remote area with “major logistical challenges.” Vaccine needs transport at perfect temperature – and some of the travel “has limited road access.”
  • The Concern: Several Ebola cases in a major city of 1M+. Limited # of vaccine doses avail.
Health

Why Ebola Is Dangerous

  • Quick Killer: Very infectious – Not very contagious. A small amount can make you fatally sick. But it’s actually difficult to spread. It’s not airborne, but it is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids, exposure to contaminated objects from an infected person, and by handling infected meat.
  • Ebola killed 11,000+ in Africa in 2014-2016; 11 cases in U.S.
Health

The Health and Human Services Secretary announced this Tuesday that the U.S. has contributed $8M to the efforts to contain the spread of Ebola in Congo - more than any other country. We'll watch for more $$ & updates.

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Health

HOPE & HEALTH

 

 

 

 

New study explores whether or not optimistic people live longer.

Health

“We find, indeed, that to be the case.”

Researchers Kelsey J. O’Connor & Carol Graham, Brookings Institution in their conclusion that hope impacts longevity.
Health

Study: Highlights

Women: “on average happier and more optimistic” (researchers looking at recent readings of “optimism” vs. what women felt in comparison data from 1968-75).

Those with less than a high school education (especially white Americans) suffered from greater declines in optimism over the years (and higher mortality rates).

Health

Why?

  • Does optimism lead one to pursue better quality of life? i.e. pursuing better health, jobs, education = longer lives.
  • TBD. Researchers found optimism fluctuated and longevity seemed impacted as well by $$ or education.
  • Past Study: Some researchers believe our physiology is healthier when we are more hopeful.
Health

Education may not *just* impact optimism, but also employment. The U.S. unemployment rate for those without a high school diploma is nearly 6%. With a college degree? 1.9% (U.S. unemployment rate: 3.9%).

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