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Messages - cadence4u

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Off-Topic / Re: Forgetting Something? Almost 55 % of Americans ‘think Joe Biden has dement
« on: August 11, 2020, 10:46:37 am »Message ID: 1335629
Has dement?  What is dement?  And you can't say 55% of Americans think anything unless you ask every American. Nobody ask me if Biden has dement. Just sayin.

Dementia is a collective term used to describe various symptoms of cognitive decline, such as forgetfulness. It is a symptom of several underlying diseases and brain disorders.

Dementia is not a single disease in itself, but a general term to describe symptoms of impairment in memory, communication, and thinking.

While the likelihood of having dementia increases with age, it is not a normal part of aging.

An analysis of the most recent census estimates that 4.7 million people aged 65 years or older in the United States were living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2010. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that:

just over a tenth of people aged 65 years or more have Alzheimer’s disease
this proportion rises to about a third of people aged 85 and older
Alzheimer’s accounts for 60-80 percent of all cases of dementia
This article discusses the potential causes of dementia, the various types, and any available treatments.

Fast facts on dementia
* there are an estimated 47.5 million dementia sufferers worldwide
* one new case of dementia is diagnosed every 4 seconds
* dementia mostly affects older people but is not a normal part of aging

A person with dementia may show any of the symptoms listed below, mostly due to memory loss.

Some symptoms they may notice themselves, others may only be noticed by caregivers or healthcare workers.

The signs used to compile this list are published by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) in the journal American Family Physician.

Possible symptoms of dementia:

* Recent memory loss – a sign of this might be asking the same question repeatedly.
* Difficulty completing familiar tasks – for example, making a drink or cooking a meal.
* Problems communicating – difficulty with language; forgetting simple words or using the wrong ones.
* Disorientation – getting lost on a previously familiar street, for example.
* Problems with abstract thinking – for instance, dealing with money.
* Misplacing things – forgetting the location of everyday items such as keys, or wallets, for example.
* Mood changes – sudden and unexplained changes in outlook or disposition.
* Personality changes – perhaps becoming irritable, suspicious or fearful.
* Loss of initiative – showing less interest in starting something or going somewhere.
* As the patient ages, late-stage dementia symptoms tend to worsen.

Dementia stages
Sometimes, dementia is roughly split into four stages:

Mild cognitive impairment: characterized by general forgetfulness. This affects many people as they age but it only progresses to dementia for some.

Mild dementia: people with mild dementia will experience cognitive impairments that occasionally impact their daily life. Symptoms include memory loss, confusion, personality changes, getting lost, and difficulty in planning and carrying out tasks.

Moderate dementia: daily life becomes more challenging, and the individual may need more help. Symptoms are similar to mild dementia but increased. Individuals may need help getting dressed and combing their hair. They may also show significant changes in personality; for instance, becoming suspicious or agitated for no reason. There are also likely to be sleep disturbances.

Severe dementia: at this stage, symptoms have worsened considerably. There may be a loss of ability to communicate, and the individual might need full-time care. Simple tasks, such as sitting and holding one’s head up become impossible. Bladder control may be lost.

Dementia types
There are several types of dementia, including:

* Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by “plaques” between the dying cells in the brain and “tangles” within the cells
  (both are due to protein abnormalities). The brain tissue in a person with Alzheimer’s has progressively fewer nerve
  cells and connections, and the total brain size shrinks.

* Dementia with Lewy bodies is a neurodegenerative condition linked to abnormal structures in the brain. The brain
  changes involve a protein called alpha-synuclein.

* Mixed dementia refers to a diagnosis of two or three types occurring together. For instance, a person may show both
   Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia at the same time.

* Parkinson’s disease is also marked by the presence of Lewy bodies. Although Parkinson’s is often considered a disorder
   of movement, it can also lead to dementia symptoms.

* Huntington’s disease is characterized by specific types of uncontrolled movements but also includes dementia.

Other disorders leading to symptoms of dementia include:

* Frontotemporal dementia also known as Pick’s disease.
* Normal pressure hydrocephalus when excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain.
* Posterior cortical atrophy resembles changes seen in Alzheimer’s disease but in a different part of the brain.
* Down syndrome increases the likelihood of young-onset Alzheimer’s.

Early signs

Early signs of dementia can include:

* Changes in short-term memory.
* Changes in mood.
* Trouble finding the right words.
* Apathy.
* Confusion.
* Being repetitive.
* Finds it hard to follow a storyline.
* Trouble completing everyday tasks.
* Poor sense of direction.
* Difficulty adapting to changes.

Dementia causes

Dementias can be caused by brain cell death, and neurodegenerative disease – progressive brain cell death that happens over time – is associated with most dementias.

However it is not known if the dementia causes the brain cell death, or the brain cell death causes the dementia.

But, as well as progressive brain cell death, like that seen in Alzheimer’s disease, dementia can be caused by a head injury, a stroke, or a brain tumor, among other causes.

Vascular dementia (also called multi-infarct dementia) – resulting from brain cell death caused by conditions such as cerebrovascular disease, for example, stroke. This prevents normal blood flow, depriving brain cells of oxygen.

Injury – post-traumatic dementia is directly related to brain cell death caused by injury.
Some types of traumatic brain injury – particularly if repetitive, such as those received by sports players – have been linked to certain dementias appearing later in life. Evidence is weak, however, that a single brain injury raises the likelihood of having a degenerative dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Dementia can also be caused by:

* Prion diseases – for instance, CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease).
* HIV infection – how the virus damages brain cells is not certain, but it is known to occur.
* Reversible factors – some dementias can be treated by reversing the effects of underlying causes, including
   medication interactions, depression, vitamin deficiencies, and thyroid abnormalities.

Diagnosing dementia
The first step in testing memory performance and cognitive health involves standard questions and tasks.

Research has shown that dementia cannot be reliably diagnosed without using the standard tests below, completing them fully, and recording all the answers; however, diagnosis also takes account of other factors.

Cognitive dementia tests
Today’s cognitive dementia tests are widely used and have been verified as a reliable way of indicating dementia. They have changed little since being established in the early 1970s. The abbreviated mental test score has ten questions, which include:

What is your age?
What is the time, to the nearest hour?
What is the year?
What is your date of birth?
Each correct answer gets one point; scoring six points or fewer suggests cognitive impairment.

The General Practitioner Assessment of Cognition (GPCOG) test includes an added element for recording the observations of relatives and caregivers.

Designed for doctors, this sort of test may be the first formal assessment of a person’s mental ability.

The second part of the test probes someone close to the patient and includes six questions to find out whether the patient has:

become less able to remember recent events or conversations
begun struggling to find the right words or using inappropriate ones
found difficulty managing money or medications
needed more help with transport (without the reason being, for example, injury)
If the test does suggest memory loss, standard investigations are then recommended, including routine blood tests and a CT brain scan.

Clinical tests will identify, or rule out, treatable causes of memory loss and help to narrow down potential causes, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The mini-mental state examination (MMSE) is a cognitive test which measures:

* orientation to time and place
* word recall
* language abilities
* attention and calculation
* visuospatial skills

The MMSE is used to help diagnose dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease and also to rate its severity and whether drug treatment is needed.

Dementia treatments

Brain cell death cannot be reversed, so there is no known cure for degenerative dementia.

Management of disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease is instead focused on providing care and treating symptoms rather than their underlying cause.

If dementia symptoms are due to a reversible, non-degenerative cause, however, treatment may be possible to prevent or halt further brain tissue damage.

Examples include injury, medication effects, and vitamin deficiency.

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can be reduced by some medications. There are four drugs, called cholinesterase inhibitors, approved for use in the U.S.:

* donepezil (brand name Aricept)
* galantamine (Reminyl)
* rivastigmine (Exelon)
* tacrine (Cognex)

A different kind of drug, memantine (Namenda), an NMDA receptor antagonist, may also be used, alone or in combination with a cholinesterase inhibitor.

Cholinesterase inhibitors can also help with the behavioral elements of Parkinson’s disease.

Other quality-of-life care
“Brain training” may help improve cognitive functioning and help deal with forgetfulness in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. This might involve the use of mnemonics and other memory aids such as computerized recall devices.

*Prevention of dementia certain risk factors are known to be associated with dementia. However, age is the biggest predictor. Other risk factors include:

*Smoking and alcohol use.
* Atherosclerosis (cardiovascular disease causing the arteries to narrow).
* High levels of “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein).
* Above-average blood levels of homocysteine (a type of amino acid).
* Mild cognitive impairment can sometimes, but not always, lead to dementia.

Support / Re: June posting bonus
« on: August 10, 2020, 10:23:02 am »Message ID: 1335490
How do I get bonuses?

Support / Re: Nude Photos Are Been Posted - Not Allowed
« on: August 10, 2020, 10:21:49 am »Message ID: 1335489
The posts were removed & user: kristakunt & Diaperfull were banned!

Off-Topic / Hundreds March Through West Hollywood During ‘Rescue America’ Rally
« on: August 10, 2020, 10:13:00 am »Message ID: 1335488
Hundreds March Through West Hollywood During ‘Rescue America’ Rally

Hundreds of Americans marched from West Hollywood to Beverly Hills on Saturday to show their love for the country.

The group gathered around 1 p.m. and quickly grew from about 200 to 400 people by 2 p.m., according to CBS Los Angeles.

The Walk Away Campaign organized the event to “show the radical left that they do not own America’s streets and that our country is filled with kind, loving, big-hearted Americans of every race, religion, background, and creed,” its website read.

The site continued:

#WalkAway Foundation is dedicated to pushing back on the radical Left. We will no longer tolerate the destruction of property and lives, the villainization of law enforcement, and the weaponization of tragedies. Our silence has been our consent! It is time for the Silent Majority to become UNSILENT!

The campaign tweeted video footage Saturday evening of the marchers holding “#WalkAway Walk Toward Civility” signs and others that read things such as “Former Democrat, Red Forever”:

#WalkAway Campaign
With your support, we won’t stop at Beverly Hills! Together we can RESCUE AMERICA!

Support The MOVEMENT:

#WalkAway #BeverlyHills

“What we did in Los Angeles earlier today was astounding. Historical. Epic. I have much to say about it,” campaign founder Brandon Straka wrote on Facebook. “I am so proud. It was absolutely revolutionary.”

The campaign also tweeted video of the marchers, carrying American flags and Trump flags, walking down a sidewalk as drivers honked in support:

Actor Scott Baio also addressed the crowd and said he loved America and wanted to save it because “I love that we’re a God-fearing nation. I love that we’re a law-abiding nation. I love our traditional values.”

When Fox 11 reporter Bill Melugin called the march a “right wing event” on Twitter, Straka replied and said the campaign was “proud to accept Trump supporters & right wingers into our family, but we are not a right wing or a Trump movement”:

Brandon Straka
Hey Bill #WalkAway is proud to accept Trump supporters & right wingers into our family, but we are not a right wing or a Trump movement. We are an anti-left movement whose only requirement for membership is a rejection of leftist hate & dogma & a quest for truth, civility & logic

Bill Melugin
Replying to @ScottC20012
Agenda setting? I’m not saying all  Trump supporters are right wing or that this is “alt right”, but this is a right wing event with some well known names from the right.

“So Los Angeles came out today to rescue America,” Straka commented during a video he took of the crowd:

“This is absolutely incredible… Because as we have watched for months, our cities, our states, our country being demolished and destroyed. Feeling outnumbered, feeling demoralized, feeling like we were completely outnumbered… look at this,” he noted.

“These people are energized. These people are ready,” Straka said of the marchers.

Off-Topic / Forgetting Something? Almost 55 % of Americans ‘think Joe Biden has dement
« on: August 10, 2020, 09:56:51 am »Message ID: 1335487
Forgetting Something? Almost 55% of Americans ‘think Joe Biden has dementia and 61 percent think he should publicly address it’

A NEW poll found that nearly 55 percent of registered American voters believe former Vice President Joe Biden has "some form of dementia."

Most voters surveyed in the Rasmussen poll, released on Monday, think that Biden is suffering from cognitive decline — and think he should address the issue publicly heading into Election Day.

The poll, conducted via telephone and online, surveyed 1,000 likely voters from Thursday to Saturday and has a sampling error margin of +/- three percentage points.

The voters said that based on what they've "seen and read," 48 percent don't believe he has dementia, while 14 percent said they aren't sure.

Per Rasmussen, 20 percent of Democratic voters believe he has dementia — while 66 percent of Republicans, along with 30 percent of voters that didn't identify with a major party, believed that, too.

"Dementia," as defined by the Mayo Clinic, "describes a group of symptoms affecting memory, thinking, and social abilities severely enough to interfere with your daily life."

"It isn't a specific disease, but several different diseases may cause dementia."

Rasmussen said they "did not define 'dementia' in its questions" as they polled voters.

Per the poll, 61 percent of voters think it's "important" for Biden to address the mental health concerns to the public, while 41 percent say it's "very important."

Another 36 percent said they feel it's "not important" for Biden to do so, and another 19 percent said it's "not at all important."

Rasmussen cited a previous poll from February that found 86 percent of voters think a candidate's health is important in order to get their vote, while 56 percent felt "all major presidential candidates should release at least their most recent medical records to the public."

Men were found to be more likely than women to believe Biden has some form of dementia.

Later on Tuesday, Biden said he's "been under constant testing" for possible cognitive decline.

“Look, all you’ve got to do is watch me. And I can hardly wait to compare my cognitive capability to the cognitive capability of the man I’m running against.”

Former President Barack Obama has endorsed Biden for the presidency, saying he "has the character and the experience to guide us through one of our darkest times and heal us through a long recovery."

President Donald Trump, however, had repeatedly question Biden's mental fitness and in recent weeks, "has fixated on Biden’s physical and mental acuity," according to The Washington Post.

Aides have said the Trump campaign has tried to schedule four presidential debates between Trump and Biden, as "they believe Biden will look weaker and will make more mistakes than Trump on the debate stage."

Biden has made several public gaffes along the campaign trail, and last week made another as he proclaimed that 120 million people have died from coronavirus.

Off-Topic / Large Rally for Police In Seattle: ‘S-P-D!’
« on: August 10, 2020, 09:46:43 am »Message ID: 1335486
Large Rally for Police In Seattle: ‘S-P-D!’

Hundreds of protesters supporting the Seattle Police Department gathered at midday Sunday in front of Seattle’s City Hall to show their support for law enforcement on the day before the City Council will vote whether to “defund the police.”

A pro-police “Back the Blue” rally is being held outside of City Hall. The Seattle Police Officers Guild helped organize the protest.

The group is calling on city council to not defund SPD.

Hundreds of people are gathered on the steps on City Hall holding signs that say “Protect Our Police” and “True to the Blue”.

On Monday, the council is expected to review a final set of amendments before taking a final vote on what some members say is the first step toward defunding Seattle police.

The council has already approved a series of amendments that eliminated the department’s mounted police, SWAT team and Navigation Team.

Turnout for the pro-police demonstration was large, with local news reporting a “large” rally:

Seattle has been at the epicenter of left-wing efforts to “defund the police,” and was the site of the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest,” or CHOP, which took over several city blocks for several weeks in June. The occupation began after local political leaders ordered the Seattle Police Department to abandon the East Precinct, over the objections of Chief Carmen Best.

It ended only after left-wing activists led a march to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s private residence, after which she ordered it dismantled.

Durkan and Gov. Jay Inslee had resisted President Donald Trump’s offer of federal law assistance in clearing the CHOP, which Durkan had described as a “Summer of Love” and a “block party.”

On Friday, the New York Times belatedly acknowledged that the CHOP had been a nightmare for local residents and small business, with bands of armed Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists commanding the streets.

There were several shootings in the CHOP, including the murder of Horace Lorenzo Anderson Jr. Police were reportedly obstructed by CHOP activists as they attempted to evacuate the wounded man.

In the aftermath of the removal of CHOP in early July, residents have faced continued violent protest from left-wing activists. Some riots have included the use of explosives.

Nevertheless, the Democrat-dominated City Council — with eight Democrats and one Socialist — approved a proposal last month to cut funding to the Seattle Police Department by 50%, and to “imagine life beyond policing.”

The council has acknowledged that the budget cannot be cut by 50% in 2020, but it proposing to cut 100 police officers from the force this year.

The final 2020 budget will be up for approval Monday.

Off-Topic / Black Portland Residents ‘Drowned Out’ by Black Lives Matter Protests
« on: August 10, 2020, 09:40:14 am »Message ID: 1335485
Black residents of Portland, Oregon, are reportedly feeling silenced and drowned out by ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, which have been dominated by nightly riots and violence caused by predominantly white Antifa extremists.

Chaotic and often violent protests against racial injustice have topped the headlines for days, but lost in the shouting are the voices of many Black Portland residents themselves — and their feelings about the unrest are nuanced and diverse.

Some feel the overwhelmingly white crowds of protesters — and particularly those committing vandalism — are co-opting the Black Lives Matter movement. Others welcome white demonstrators because with their larger numbers they can draw attention to the city’s racial inequity in ways that Black demonstrators alone can’t.

Some believe deeply that there can’t be a Black Lives Matter movement without defunding the police. Others say a recent vote to cut a specialized gun violence reduction unit is behind a sharp spike in shootings that’s devastated their community.

Primarily, there is a persistent worry that a critical opportunity for achieving racial justice in Portland’s tiny Black community could be lost.

The AP added that shootings have risen dramatically in the city since the protests began, following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Memorial Day:

In July, the city experienced a sharp rise in gun violence that has overwhelmingly hurt Black people. There were 99 shootings — more than triple the amount from the previous July — and the city has tallied 366 non-suicide shootings this year compared to 388 in all of 2019. Roughly two-thirds of the victims in July were Black, said police Sgt. Derrick Foxworth.

Meanwhile, Democrats and the mainstream media have generally defended the chaos in Portland as “peaceful protest.”

The Washington Post published a lengthy profile of the Portland demonstrators on Saturday, complete with artistic portraits of black-clad Portland rioters, celebrating the city’s tradition of violent radicalism:

Andy Ngô
As Portland experiences more than 70 days of violent protests, riots, arson attacks, soaring homicides & shootings, @washingtonpost actually published a glowing photo essay on #antifa riot fashion. What is wrong w/reporter @Marissa_Jae & the editors there?
The Post noted that the withdrawal of federal law enforcement from the city is seen by activists as a victory — the first of many demands they hope to achieve.

Meanwhile, riots and attacks on local police — and residents — have continued in the absence of federal officers.

Off-Topic / Zsa Zsa Gabor's bizarre farewell tour of Europe nearly four years after her deat
« on: August 09, 2020, 10:41:04 am »Message ID: 1335306
Zsa Zsa Gabor's bizarre farewell tour of Europe nearly four years after her death - in a gold urn carried by her NINTH husband who plans to finally lay her to rest in her native Hungary

* Widower plans to take Zsa Zsa Gabor's ashes on a 'farewell tour' around Europe
* Prince Frederic von Anhalt to carry urn in a Louis Vuitton designer dog carrier
* Her ashes will be buried in a national cemetery in Hungary as she is laid to rest

She was the original Hollywood It Girl, famous for her nine marriages, self-parodying glamour and witty quips.

Now, almost four years after her death, Zsa Zsa Gabor is going on a final ‘farewell tour’ – as her flamboyant widower plans to take her ashes on a trip around Europe before finally laying her to rest in her native Hungary.

‘Zsa Zsa is in a beautiful gold urn which hasn’t left my side since her funeral in January 2017,’ Prince Frederic von Anhalt told The Mail on Sunday last night.

‘I sleep with it and she goes everywhere with me. If I had my way I would stay with her until my end but I’ve just turned 77 and none of us knows what will happen with this pandemic so I decided it’s time to take her home to Hungary – but not without first taking her on a tour of her favourite places.’

Von Anhalt said he intended to carry his wife’s gold urn around Europe in a Louis Vuitton designer dog carrier that she bought for her favourite pet.

‘She would carry her shih tzu Macho around it in. She loved that dog so I think it’s appropriate.

‘We’ll go on one final tour of London, Paris, Vienna and Geneva and then head to Budapest.’

Zsa Zsa died of a heart attack in December 2016 just two months shy of her 100th birthday. She is widely credited with inventing modern celebrity and being the first of the ‘famous-for-being-famous’ stars.

The actress, whose husbands included hotel heir Conrad Hilton, actor George Sanders and investment banker Herbert Hunter, poked fun at her notorious love life with quips including: ‘I am a marvellous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.’

But even in death she is embroiled in controversy, with her former publicist Ed Lozzi criticising her widower’s plans.

He claimed that Zsa Zsa should be laid to rest alongside her daughter Francesca and sister Eva in Hollywood’s Westwood Cemetery.

‘That’s what she would have wanted,’ he said. ‘Instead, she’s being driven around in the glove box of a Rolls-Royce, going wherever her phony Prince husband wants to take her.’

Von Anhalt, who admits to buying his royal title from an impoverished German aristocrat, hit back: ‘I was devoted to that woman through 30 years of marriage.

‘She loved to travel. She loved Europe. Every year we would go to her favourite places.

‘Her daughter and sister are buried in LA, and the other sister and mother are in Palm Springs. Zsa Zsa never liked sharing the billing. Her final wish was to go home to Hungary where she was always treated as a star.’

Von Anhalt had reportedly even asked Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban for a state funeral for his late wife.

Zsa Zsa was born in Budapest in 1917 with the real first name Sari. She arrived in Hollywood with her mother, Jolie, and sisters, Eva and Magda, in 1941 to escape war in Europe.

She made more than 40 films, including Queen Of Outer Space, Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood, and Naked Gun 2½, but it was her wild private life that made her famous.

She was a regular on the talk show circuit, and in 1989, her notoriety grew when she was jailed for three days for slapping a Beverly Hills police officer who pulled over her car.

Her widower said she milked the incident for publicity.

‘The case should have lasted three days and her first lawyer wanted to settle but Zsa Zsa knew the power of scandal,’ he said.

‘That case went on for 14 days and made headlines around the world. She made millions from advertising and other work after that.

‘Anything people like the Kardashians do today, they learned from Zsa Zsa.’

Zsa Zsa’s ashes will be buried in Budapest’s national cemetery. There will be a granite headstone with her photograph on it – but no age.

‘After age 60 she demanded we stopped counting,’ Von Anhalt explained.

‘I’m going to put “20th Century icon” on there along with a picture of her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is what she would have wanted.’

'Only immediate press are invited’... Self-mocking quips of the first It Girl

I'm a marvellous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.

My next marriage will be a small affair. Only the immediate press will be invited.

I never hated a man enough to give him his diamonds back.

How many husbands have I had? You mean apart from my own?

A girl must marry for love – and keep on marrying until she finds it.

Getting divorced just because you don’t love a man is almost as silly as getting married just because you do.

A man is incomplete until he has married. Then he’s finished.

I want a man who’s kind and understanding. Is that too much to ask of a millionaire?

I know nothing about sex, because I was always married.

My husband said it was him or the cat. I miss him sometimes.

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend and dogs are a man’s best friend. Now you know which sex has more sense.

Remember – the only place men want depth in their women is in her decolletage.

There’s nothing wrong with a woman encouraging a man’s advances – as long as they are in cash.

It’s never as easy to keep your own spouse happy as it is to make someone else’s spouse happy.

Off-Topic / Simon Cowell hospitalised for surgery on broken back after falling off his elect
« on: August 09, 2020, 10:23:48 am »Message ID: 1335303
Simon Cowell hospitalised for surgery on broken back after falling off his electric bike in Malibu

* The 60-year-old was rushed to hospital on Saturday when he fell from his new electric bicycle whilst taking it for a test
   drive at his house in Malibu
* 'Simon has broken his back and will be having surgery this evening,' his representative revealed
* 'He hurt his back and was taken to the hospital. He's doing fine, he's under observation and is in the best possible
* The music mogul's girlfriend Lauren Silverman, 43 - with whom he shares son Eric, 6 - was spotted riding her own
   bike on Sunday 
* The father-of-one  is due to return to America's Got Talent next week, with the first live show set to air on Tuesday
   August 11
* Simon's other hit show Britain's Got Talent is due to film in the autumn, with the mogul scheduled to be in the UK for
   the live final in October
* He was previously hospitalized in October 2017 after falling down the stairs at his London home - prompting him to
   embark on a healthier lifetstyle

Simon Cowell has been hospitalized after falling off his bike.

The 60-year-old entertainment mogul was rushed to hospital on Saturday after falling from his new electric bicycle whilst taking it for a test drive at his house in Malibu, California.

'Simon has broken his back and will be having surgery this evening,' his representative has confirmed.

The rep explained: 'Simon had a fall from his bike on Saturday afternoon whilst testing his new electric bike in the courtyard at his house in Malibu with his family.

'He hurt his back and was taken to the hospital. He's doing fine, he's under observation and is in the best possible hands.'

It is not currently clear exactly what kind of back injury Cowell has, but a 'broken back' often refers to a fracture in a part of the spine. 

This involves a break in at least one of the vertebrae that make up the back bone and protect your spinal cord.

Fractures in the back can often cause severe pain and can severely restrict movement, with some patients needing a back brace while they recover.

If the spinal cord is also damaged the injuries can have more severe long term consequences. The higher up the spinal cord the more movement will be restricted.

MailOnline has contacted Simon Cowell's representatives for further comment. 

It's unclear whether or not he will now be able to participate in either the upcoming series of Britain's Got Talent or its US equivalent show.

Simon is due to return to America's Got Talent next week, with the first live show set to air on Tuesday August 11.

Last week it emerged that his commitment to the upcoming shows would be compromised due to a timetable clash.

The talent show maestro was already set to miss out on the BGT semi-finals this year for the first time as production takes place at the same time as America's Got Talent due to COVID-19 delays.

Prior to his fall, a source told The Sun: 'Simon is gutted to not be physically there for the semi- finals, but he'll be there virtually, casting an eye over the talent and imparting his views in every show. 

'Normally, schedules mean Simon can do both but AGT's dates haven't moved while BGT's have due to coronavirus.'

Simon is regularly seen on bike rides with his family around his Malibu home.

The star has embarked on a healthier regime in recent years, leading to a 60 lbs weight loss.

His new health regime has seen him committed to a diet of white meat, fruit, and vegetables as well as regular exercise.

The mogul decided to improve his health after he injured himself in a fall down the stairs at his London home in October 2017.

The star was taken to hospital in an ambulance, later explaining that he had fainted due to 'low blood pressure'.

The star blamed his injuries on his unhealthy lifestyle where he 'lived like a vampire', staying awake until 8am every day and vowed to take better care of himself.

He told The Sun at the time that the horrific fall had reminded him he was not 'invincible', and that he has a 'responsibility' to take control of his health as a father.

'Sometimes we get a reminder that we're not invincible and this was certainly mine. It was a huge shock,' he said.

Revealing the incident had been down to an underlying health problem, he continued: 'They think I fainted because I had low blood pressure and so I have got to really take good care of myself to sort that out.'

Before adding of his son Eric: 'After all I am a dad and have more responsibility than ever.'

The star was forced to pull out of the live Britain's Got Talent show the day after his fall, leaving Alesha Dixon to take his place on the panel for that week.   

Simon began his diet last year, and told The Sun in May he can't believe the results he's been getting, saying: 'I started this diet a year ago and I've lost 60 pounds.'

He has been sticking to his diet whilst in lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, but says he is always tempted to slip into old habits when his six-year-old son Eric - whom he has with Lauren - has a pizza for dinner.

He added: 'I'm doing a bit of cooking. I'm exercising. Funny enough, more during this time as well, sticking to the diet. The only difficult thing is when Eric orders a pizza...that's the number one thing I miss.'

Meanwhile, the America's Got Talent creator previously said he can't believe how good he looks since losing weight, as he managed to shave several inches from his waistline. 

He shared with The Sun: 'The most dramatic period was the first month where most of the weight comes off and you look at yourself and think 'wow.' I used to be 36 inch waist and now I've lost four inches. I'm really happy now.'

Referring to Corona Premium Lite he said: 'You can drink this light beer but you've got to be sensible about quantities. I have loads more energy and feel great.

'All I do is avoid just red meat - white meat is fine - and I eat loads of vegetables, salads and drink this great beer,' Simon said.

'I'm on a diet but it doesn't feel like it now because the food I eat is really healthy and I don't find it tedious. If it's boring you won't stick to it.' 

Simon became a household name when he appeared as a judge on the talent show, Pop Idols, which aired in 2001.

From there he created his own music show franchise known as the X Factor which launched in 2004 and showcased some of the country's best emerging talent including Little Mix, One Direction, and Leona Lewis.

Simon has become a staple on TV screens across Britain and a constant presence on his other show Britain's Got Talent which originally aired in 2007.

The semi-finals for the upcoming season will take place on Saturday nights during autumn in 2020.

What is a 'broken back'?

The 60-year-old music mogul has broken his back after falling from an electric bicycle while at his home in Malibu, California.

It is not currently clear exactly what kind of back injury Cowell has, but a 'broken back' often refers to a fracture in a part of the spine. 

This involves a break in at least one of the vertebrae that make up the back bone and protect your spinal cord.

The spinal cord sends transmits signals from the brain to the rest of the body, and any damage to it can cause paralysis.

A number of medical conditions such as osteoporosis or spinal tumours can naturally weaken the back. 

There are different types of fractures you can suffer such as a Chance fracture which involves the pulling of the bones in the vertebrae.

This is a common back injury for people who have been in car accident where the upper body is moved forward rapidly but the lower body stays in place.

Patients who suffer from bone weakness associated with osteoporosis can often get what is known as a compression fracture in which the vertebrae collapse.

Fractures in the back can often cause severe pain and can severely restrict movement, with some patients needing a back brace while they recover.

If the spinal cord is also damaged the injuries can have more severe long term consequences.

The higher up the spinal cord the more movement will be restricted.

Damage to the spinal cord in the back will result in paraplegia in your legs and potentially your stomach muscles.

And damage in the spinal cord in the neck will result in tetraplegia which can impact upon all of your limbs.

Off-Topic / Hurricane Isaias kills two as 85mph winds rip through trailer park in North Caro
« on: August 04, 2020, 11:14:17 am »Message ID: 1334579
Hurricane Isaias kills two as 85mph winds rip through trailer park in North Carolina leaving trail of smashed homes and flipped cars - as it barrels up the East Coast and New Yorkers brace for the biggest storm since Sandy 

* Three people have been killed since Tropical Storm Isaias hit North Carolina with 85mph winds Monday night
* Two people have died and three others are missing after Isaias spawned a tornado in Bertie County, NC
* Bertie County officials said the tornado tore through a mobile home park in the Cedar Landing community
* Two of the three individuals missing are children, Bertie County authorities said Tuesday morning
* The storm is being blamed for a third death in Maryland after strong winds toppled a tree onto a moving car 
* St Mary’s County authorities said the incident occurred along Three Notch Road in Mechanicsville, Maryland
* Isaias regained strength Monday night to become Category 1 hurricane as it made landfall in the Carolinas
* Five homes on Ocean Isle Beach, NC, were ripped apart by ferocious infernos caused by the hurricane
* Thirty people rushed out of a burning apartment complex in Surf City; no injuries have been reported 
* New York City forecasters said Monday that Isaias packs strongest punch since Superstorm Sandy from 2012

Tropical Storm Isaias has killed two people in North Carolina after it tore through a mobile home park with 85mph winds before making its way to Maryland where gusts toppled a tree onto car, killing one, as strong winds arrive in New York City where residents are bracing for the strongest storm since Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

A tornado ripped through the Cedar Landing community of Bertie County overnight, authorities said. Local officials said that 20 people were taken to a local hospital and three people, including two children, are still missing after the tornado hit the mobile home park.

Horrifying images show debris fields from mobile homes that were completely obliterated by the tornado. Isaias was downgraded to a tropical storm after hitting the Carolinas as a hurricane Monday night. By 6am Tuesday, the storm had moved into Virginia before hitting Maryland.

Maryland authorities reported multiple water rescues as the storm downed trees and flooded roads throughout the DMV area.

The area is expected to get hit with storm-force wind gusts, up to 6 inches of rainfall and life-threatening flash flooding before the storm closes in on New York and New Jersey.

Deputies from the St Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office reported one fatality in Mechanicsville Tuesday morning.

Authorities said strong winds from the storm caused a tree to topple over on a moving car, killing one person along Three Notch Road. No other details were immediately available.

More than a million people are without power as of Tuesday afternoon, according to New Jersey has the most with more than 417,000 customers impacted. Virginia is second with more than 287,000 followed by North Carolina, with 219,000. Maryland has 113,000 and Pennsylvania has more than 145,000 people without power.

A tropical storm warning extended all the way up to Maine, where flash flooding was possible in some areas on Wednesday. Forecasters also warned of possible tornadoes from eastern Virginia to southern New England later Tuesday.

It will continue to head up the coast of mid-Atlantic states and across the northeastern US later into the evening.

The US National Hurricane Center warned oceanside home dwellers to brace for storm surge up to 5 feet and up to 8 inches of rain in spots, as Isaias moved up the coast.

'All those rains could produce flash flooding across portions of the eastern Carolinas and mid-Atlantic, and even in the northeast US,' said Daniel Brown, senior hurricane specialist at the US National Hurricane Center.

Preparations for the storm's arrival have been underway in major cities along the East Coast, including New York, where officials say Isaias packs the strongest punch since Superstorm Sandy from 2012.

New York City started preparing for Isaias on Sunday. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city began its preparations by implementing flood measures learned from Sandy.

Temporary one-mile barriers were installed from Wall Street to Water Street in Manhattan. Photos showed workers preparing a hydro-dam in the lower Manhattan area to prevent storm surge from Isaias.

Vents were placed at the Flatbush Ave and Nostrand Ave entrance of the Flatbush Av/Brooklyn College 2 and 5 train station. Rain in New York City is expected to run from 1 to 6pm on Tuesday.

Forecasters have warned that New York City could see some of the strongest wind gusts since Superstorm Sandy.

According to the National Weather Service, winds of up to 70mph are forecast for New York City on Tuesday.

On October 29, 2012, the peak wind gust at John F. Kennedy International Airport was 69mph during Superstorm Sandy.

Meteorologist Ross Dickman told CNN that 'the wind and flooding impacts from Isaias will be similar to what the city has seen from some of the strongest coastal storms, but we haven't seen one this strong in many years'.

In a state, Gov Andrew Cuomo's office said state agencies continue to closely monitor the storm's track and have strategically pre-deployed resources to the Capital, Mid-Hudson, New York City and Long Island Regions.

'Tropical Storm Isaias has started moving through New York, bringing with it strong winds, torrential rain and the potential for flash flooding that can cause major disruptions, and I'm urging New Yorkers, particularly those directly in Isaias' path, to stay calm, be smart and avoid unnecessary travel,' Cuomo said.

'Our emergency response team has been pre-deployed to the areas projected to be the hardest hit, and we are prepared to assist our local partners in keeping New Yorkers safe,' the governor added.

Areas in the interior of the state could still see up to six inches of rainfall with stronger winds. Tropical storm warnings and tornado watches are in effect for the lower Mid-Hudson, New York City and Long Island Regions.

Localized storm surges of up to two feet are also a possibility along the coastline.

The National Weather Service has also issued a number of flash flood watches and wind advisories for areas throughout the northern Mid-Hudson, Southern Tier, Capital and North Country regions.

Tornado watches remain in effect for Philadelphia, all of Delaware and New Jersey until 4pm.

Photos from Philadelphia showed the city being inundated with flood waters as local officials initiated multiple rescues.

One image shows an officer rushing toward a person whose car became stuck in flood waters on Tuesday. 

New Jersey was under a state of emergency Tuesday as Tropical Storm Isaias made its way up the coast.

Gov Phil Murphy issued the order, telling motorists not be on roads unless 'absolutely necessary'.

Murphy said all state offices were closed and nonessential state government workers were told to stay home.

A tropical storm warning was in effect for most of New Jersey as Isaias threatened the state with high winds and heavy rainfall.

Weather forecasters are predicting 45 to 55mph winds with gusts to 70mph. Those winds threaten to down trees and power lines.

The state also advised businesses to take down all temporary structures, including outdoor dining tents and umbrellas that were erected during the coronavirus pandemic. The rainfall could cause flooding.

The National Weather Service also issued a tornado watch for the entire state. Hoboken officials told residents in flood-prone areas to park on higher ground.

Video recorded by Anthony Brooks shows a tornado on the ground near Ocean City, New Jersey. The NWS also said that trained spotters had seen a tornado near Ocean City.

In Delaware, Dover mayor Robin R. Christiansen issued a state of emergency for the city. Christiansen asked residents to stay in their homes and avoid unnecessary travel.

Local police have asked people to be mindful of downed wires and that people whose vehicles are parked on the street where trees are down to move their vehicles if it's safe in order to utility and cleanup crews.

Delaware currently had more than 58,000 residents without power. 

Video footage uploaded to social media by residents of Myrtle Beach show flooding induced by storm surge just before the hurricane was due to make landfall.

'Ocean Boulevard is just covered in storm surge,' Josh Morgerman tweeted. 

In the Carolinas, coastal residents secured patio furniture, ferry operators completed evacuations on the Outer Banks, and officials passed out sandbags and offered car space in elevated garages Monday as Isaias marched northward late on Monday.

Fire officials in North Myrtle Beach deployed high-water vehicles to rescue stranded drivers who got stuck in the floodwaters early Tuesday morning.

'We are seeing several areas of the city beginning to have ponding on the roadways from heavy rain as well as tidal flooding in Cherry Grove,' North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue posted on its social media.

Authorities are begging motorists to stay off the roads while the storm continues to impact the region.

'You being out and getting stuck somewhere you shouldn't be ties up Emergency Personnel that are needed for other incidents,' North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue posted on its social media.

As the storm neared the shore, a gauge on a pier in Myrtle Beach recorded its third highest water level since it was set up in 1976.

Only Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016 pushed more salt water inland.

In other parts of North Carolina, terrifying footage showed parking lots and roads flooded with water as wind and rain lashed homes when the hurricane hit at 11pm Monday night. 

In Oak Island, North Carolina, nine people and their dog were rescued from the area by Brunswick Sheriff. 'Four adults, five beautiful children and an adorable Basset Hound rescued on Oak Island,' a Facebook post from the sheriff's office said. 'Safely loaded in our MRAP (an armored tactical vehicle) and taken to safety!'

Just 15 miles down the coast, five homes on Ocean Isle Beach were ripped apart by ferocious infernos caused by the hurricane. And 80 miles north in Surf City, 30 people rushed out of a burning apartment complex.

In North Carolina, at least 124,000 power outages were reported in the Wilmington area the encompasses both Brunswick and New Hanover Counties

Duke Energy reported hundreds of thousands of power outages as heavy rains and winds battered areas including Wrightsville, Kure, and Carolina beaches in Wilmington, North Carolina.

'The high winds and heavy rains associated with this powerful tropical storm are expected to cause widespread power outages along the coastline and to points well inland,' a Duke Energy update stated.

'Updates on the estimated times of restoration may be delayed until the storm clears the area.'

Oceanfront streets throughout the area flooded as the sea ended up nearly 10 feet above low tide.

Up the coast in southern North Carolina, high winds from Isaias' inner core knocked down trees and power lines, blocking roads. No major damage was initially reported.

President Donald Trump on Monday described Isaias as 'very serious'.

'Storm surge and inland flooding are possible and everyone needs to remain vigilant until it passes,' Trump said.

Authorities in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, ordered swimmers out of the water to avoid rough surf and strong rip currents.

Still, many people were out enjoying the beach and walking their dogs under overcast skies.

Shops and restaurants appeared quieter than usual for a summertime Monday in North Myrtle Beach, but locals blamed COVID-19 more than Isaias.

No businesses were boarding up their windows, although some moved outside furniture inside.

Officials in frequently flooded Charleston, South Carolina, handed out sandbags and opened parking garages so residents on the low-lying peninsula could stow their cars above ground.

Ferry operators wrapped up evacuations from Ocracoke Island in North Carolina's Outer Banks on Monday, moving more than 3,500 people and 1,700 vehicles off the island over four days.

Island officials were taking no chances after taking a beating less than a year ago from Hurricane Dorian. Evacuation orders have also been issued for Hatteras Island north of Ocracoke.

Morgan Stewart said many evacuating residents had come into the store where she works in the inland community of Kinston to buy tarps, batteries, flashlights and other supplies.

'You can tell they're worried,' said Stewart, who saw cars parked on higher ground over the weekend as she secured her boat at a marina.

Isaias killed two people in the Caribbean and roughed up the Bahamas but remained at sea as it brushed past Florida over the weekend.

Isaias' passage near Florida was particularly unwelcome to authorities already dealing with surging coronavirus caseloads.

The storm brought heavy rain and flooding to the state, forcing authorities to close outdoor virus testing sights, as well as beaches and parks.

Officials attached signs to palm trees so they wouldn't blow away.

About 150 people had to keep masks on while sheltering in Palm Beach County, which had a voluntary evacuation order for people living in homes that can't withstand dangerous winds, said emergency management spokeswoman Lisa De La Rionda.

Isaias was blamed for two deaths in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, where it uprooted trees, destroyed crops and homes and caused widespread flooding and small landslides over the weekend.

The storm snapped trees and knocked out power Saturday in the Bahamas.

Shelters were opened on Abaco island to help people still living in temporary structures since Dorian devastated the area, killing at least 70 people in September 2019.

Photo of damage:

Off-Topic / Radio City Music Hall cancels the Rockettes' Christmas Spectacular for the first
« on: August 04, 2020, 10:46:08 am »Message ID: 1334571
Radio City Music Hall cancels the Rockettes' Christmas Spectacular for the first time in 87 years due to the coronavirus pandemic

* MSG Entertainment, which owns the Radio City Music Hall, announced Tuesday its decision to close the curtain on the
   iconic festive show for 2020
* The Christmas Spectacular was to run from November 6 to January 3
* It is known for its performances by the legendary Rockettes dance troupe
* MSG Entertainment is also laying off one-third of its corporate workforce   
* Sister company MSG Sports is also axing about 15 percent of its corporate staff

Radio City Music Hall has canceled the Rockettes' Christmas Spectacular for the first time in 87 years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

MSG Entertainment, which owns the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, announced Tuesday its decision to close the curtain on the 2020 festive show as infections of the deadly virus continue to surge across America.

The annual Spectacular, famous for its sparkling performances by the legendary Radio City Rockettes dance troupe, had been scheduled to run from November 6 to January 3 this year.

Its cancellation comes as the events giant also announced plans to lay off around one-third of its corporate workforce marking the latest business casualty to come from measures put in place to slow the spread of the virus.   

'We are disappointed for everyone involved with the show, as well as for the many fans who make the Christmas Spectacular a cherished part of their holiday tradition,' MSG Entertainment said in a statement announcing the Spectacular's canceling.

All tickets will be automatically refunded at the point of purchase and fans can start snapping up tickets for the show's return the following season.

'We look forward to welcoming audiences back for the 2021 production, which is on sale now,' the company added.

This marks the first time the Christmas Spectacular has been canceled since its debut in 1933 catapulted the show into becoming one of the highlights of the Big Apple's festive calendar.

The 90-minute long celebration of the holiday season centers around the legendary Rockettes, set up by Russell Markert back in 1925.

Around 80 Rockettes take to the stage in a typical season and more than 75 million people have flocked to watch them since the show first opened.

The shuttering of the holiday performance comes as MSG Entertainment also announced Tuesday plans to lay off 350 people or about one-third of its corporate workforce. 

MSG Sports, the sister company which owns the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers, is also planning to ax 50 jobs or about 15 percent of its corporate staff.

'This was a difficult decision for both companies, as we know that our success rests on the strength of our people, who consistently set the industry standard for excellence and professionalism,' the companies said in a statement.

'While we believe this is a necessary step to protect the long-term future of our businesses, we continue to actively pursue solutions that will allow us to safely reopen our doors, so we're able to bring as many employees back as quickly as we can, once a return date for live events is established.'   

Live performance organizers have been hard hit during the pandemic, with theater shows, music performances and live sports first forced to shutter back in March. 

In June, the Broadway League announced it was extending the closure of Broadway theaters for the rest of 2020.

Once the epicenter of the virus, New York City has recorded 222,522 cases of coronavirus and 18,927 confirmed deaths, with another 4,623 probable deaths.

Cases and deaths have been declining in the city and wider state but the outbreak is now spreading across the South and West of America, with Texas, Florida and California all hard-hit.

To date, more than 4.7 million Americans have tested positive for the virus and 155,000 have been killed.

Off-Topic / At least 10 dead as massive explosion rocks Beirut destroying buildings and 'lea
« on: August 04, 2020, 10:38:59 am »Message ID: 1334570
At least 10 dead as massive explosion rocks Beirut destroying buildings and 'leaving people covered in blood and broken glass'

* The country's health minster said the blast has left many people injured
* It reportedly destroyed the house of former PM  Saad Hariri, who has been confirmed safe by his party
* Dramatic footage shows smoke billowing from the port area shortly before an enormous fireball explodes
* Sources close to Lebanon's militant group Hezbollah denied theories the blast was an Israeli strike

A massive explosion in the Lebanese capital of Beirut has left at least 10 people dead and destroyed the home of the former prime minister.

The Future Movement Party confirmed that ex-PM Saad Hariri is safe, but the country's health minister said the blasts had caused a 'very high number of injuries' and huge damage. 

Medical sources told Reuters that at least 10 people been killed by the explosion, which appeared to follow a fire - the cause of which is unknown - at the port.

Dramatic footage shows smoke billowing from the port area shortly before an enormous fireball explodes into the sky and blankets the city in a thick mushroom cloud.

Witnesses have stressed the sheer enormity of the blast, which was reportedly heard in Cyprus, and likened it to a 'nuclear bomb'.

Lebanon's internal security chief Abbas Ibrahim said that the explosion occurred in a section housing highly-explosive materials - not explosives.

Witnesses pointed to videos which seem to show fireworks shooting out of the smoke, while experts said a combination of fireworks and highly flammable fertiliser could have sparked such an explosion.

Israel has denied any involvement amid escalating tensions with the militant group Hezbollah along the country's southern border. 

It comes just days before a United Nations tribunal is set to rule on the assassination of the country's former PM Rafik Hariri, Saad's father. 

The Middle Eastern country is passing through its worst economic and financial crisis in decades and has seen demonstrations.

Miles from the scene of the blast - which people in Cyprus even claimed to have heard -  balconies were knocked down, ceiling collapsed and windows were shattered.

Local media carried images of people trapped under rubble, some bloodied, and crowds were pictured fleeing down debris-covered streets.

The loud blast - so enormous it was heard in Cyprus -  was felt across large parts of the city, with some districts losing electricity.

Harrowing scene pictures show injured people walking from the debris, which was sprayed over the streets of Beirut.

Local Fady Roumieh was stood in the car park to shopping centre ABC Mall Achrafieh, around 2km east of the blast, when the explosion occurred.

He said: 'It was like a nuclear bomb. The damage is so widespread and severe all over the city. Some buildings as far as 2km are partially collapsed. It's like a war zone. The damage is extreme. Not one glass window intact.'

One witness said: 'I saw a fireball and smoke billowing over Beirut. People were screaming and running, bleeding. Balconies were blown off buildings. Glass in high-rise buildings shattered and fell to the street.'

Another witness said she saw heavy grey smoke near the port area and then heard an explosion and saw flames of fire and black smoke.

They said: 'All the downtown area windows are smashed and there are wounded people walking around. It is total chaos.'

'Buildings are shaking,' tweeted one resident, while another wrote: 'An enormous, deafening explosion just engulfed Beirut. Heard it from miles away'.

Online footage from a Lebanese newspaper office showed blown out windows, scattered furniture and demolished interior panelling. 

It comes amid political tension in Lebanon, with street demonstrations against the government's handling the worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

Late last year investigators revealed what was effectively a state-sponsored pyramid scheme being run by the central bank, which was borrowing from commercial banks at above-market interest rates to pay back its debts and maintain the Lebanese pound's fixed exchange rate with the US dollar.

In January mass protests against the corruption allegations and a faltering economy led to the fall of Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s government.

His predecessor , Independent Hassan Diab, cut the country’s budget by $700million and put in place a financial rescue plan a month later.

But Lebanon’s problems have persisted after the Covid-19 pandemic forced global border closures, and protests have returned after the Lebanese pound fell in value, despite a lockdown being imposed in March.

Many businesses have been forced to close, but as prices continue to rise with a devalued currency some are struggling to buy basic necessities, and the prime minister warned that Lebanon was at risk of a ‘major food crisis’.

Analysts suggest the crisis has been prolonged because of political sectarianism, with the president, prime minister and speaker split between the three largest cultural groups; Christians; Shia Muslim; and Sunni Muslims.

Parliament is also drawn down the middle between Christian and Muslim members.

With the country’s governance in need of unity between the competing groups, external powers have been able to interfere in the country. Iran, for instance, backs the militant Hezbollah Shia movement.

Off-Topic / Fixer Upper Returns On A New Network
« on: August 04, 2020, 10:00:31 am »Message ID: 1334558
Fixer Upper Will Return on Chip and Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Network

Get ready to bust out that shiplap — Fixer Upper is coming back to television. The hit renovation and design series will return with new episodes on Chip and Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Network, which launches in 2021. The Fixer Upper reboot will air exclusively on Magnolia and is set to premiere when the network launches.

"The day we wrapped our final episode of Fixer Upper, we really believed it was a chapter closed," said Chip and Joanna Gaines in a statement. "We knew we needed a break and a moment to catch our breath. But we also knew we weren't done dreaming about ways to make old things new again. These past few years, we've continued tackling renovations and projects, doing the work we're passionate about, but I don't think either of us anticipated how the show would become such a permanent fixture in our hearts. We've missed sharing the stories of these families and their homes with you, and we're excited to do that again very soon!"

Fixer Upper premiered on HGTV in 2013 and ran for five seasons, wrapping in 2018. The original series, which was the No. 1 unscripted show on all of cable television during its run, not only helped turn hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines into stars but also made a phenomenon out of their signature modern farmhouse style.

The Gaineses surprised Magnolia Network executives when they said they wanted to bring back Fixer Upper, network president Allison Page told Deadline. "We had not been planning with this network to include Fixer Upper," Page said. "When they said goodbye to the show three years ago next month, they said they needed a break but as it turns out — and thankfully — a break is literally what it was."

Magnolia Network, a joint venture between the Gaineses and Discovery, Inc., has also announced two more shows that will join its slate of original programming: an untitled project featuring interior designer Brian Patrick Flynn and Self Employed (working title) with entrepreneur Jonathan Morris.

Flynn's series will showcase his eclectic style as he and his team of skilled designers tackle decorating projects "on any budget or within any scope, all with a dash of humor." Self Employed, meanwhile, will follow Morris as he travels the United States and meets inspiring small business owners.

Other series in the works at Magnolia Network include Growing Floret, Home on the Road with JOHNNYSWIM, deVOL Kitchens (formerly known as Bespoke Kitchens), Family Dinner, Restoration Road with Clint Harp, The Fieldhouse, Super Dad, Home Work, The Lost Kitchen, and Inn the Works.

Fixer Upper returns on Magnolia Network in 2021.

Off-Topic / Help, I think my cat is broken! Owners share hilarious snaps of their felines in
« on: August 01, 2020, 10:30:10 am »Message ID: 1334168
Help, I think my cat is broken! Owners share hilarious snaps of their felines in VERY awkward positions

* Users from around the world posted in Reddit group WhatsWrongWithYourCat
* Some were seen staring at lights while another had head stuck in a watering can
* WhatsWrongWithYourCat has more than 200,000 members across the globe

Cats are well-known for being a source of endless fun - and sometimes trouble - for their owners.

But these pictures, posted in Reddit group WhatsWrongWithYourCat, prove that some felines are just fond of being a little off the wall. 

Many were snapped interacting with various objects, including hanging lights, a coat stand and a watering can. Others just looked as though they had malfunctioned. 

WhatsWrongWithYourCat has more than 200,000 members from around the world who enjoy sharing their very strange cats with the rest of humanity.

Check out a selection of the hilarious pictures below.

Photos here:

Off-Topic / First deadly 'murder hornet' is captured in Washington state by agriculture offi
« on: August 01, 2020, 10:16:39 am »Message ID: 1334166
First deadly 'murder hornet' is captured in Washington state by agriculture officials who are in a race against time to find the remaining nest before mating season begins

* The Washington Department of Agriculture captured its first Asian giant hornet with a bottle trap in Whatcom County
* It is the first Asian giant hornet caught in a trap rather than in the environment
* Officials have two months to locate and remove the remaining Asian giant hornets before mating season begins in mid-
* They are relying on a mix of traps and infrared cameras to track the species
* Asian giant hornets are also known as 'murder hornets' because of their fatalistic stings and aggressive attacks on prey
* They first arrived in the U.S. in December 2019, but sightings were reported earlier this year 

Agriculture officials have captured their first Asian giant hornet this month in Washington State - but are in a race against the clock to find the rest before mating season starts.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture revealed in a press release that state's first Asian giant hornet, nicknamed 'murder hornet', was trapped on July 14.

Officials set up bottle trap near Birch Bay in Whatcom County and, following a review at WSDA's entomology lab, confirmed the hornet's species on July 29.

This is the first hornet detected in a set trap, rather than found in the environment like the last five confirmed sightings in Washington.

'This is encouraging because it means we know that the traps work,' Sven Spichiger, managing entomologist for the department. said in the press release.

'But it also means we have work to do.'

Now, agriculture officials have just two months to locate the rest of the invasive species and remove them from Washington before mating season.

The department said that by mid-September the Asian giant hornet colony will begin reproducing new queens and drones.

'Destroying the nest before new queens emerge and mate will prevent the spread of this invasive pest,' the department said.

The WSDA said they will search for Asian giant hornets with infrared cameras and place extra traps to capture the insect alive.

'If they catch live hornets, the department will attempt to tag and track them back to their colony. Once located, the agency will eradicate the colony,' the department said.

WSDA added that in addition to the traps set up  by the department, citizen scientists and others have placed more than 1,300 traps throughout the state.

'If it becomes established, this hornet will have negative impacts on the environment, economy, and public health of Washington State,' the department website read.

The Asian giant hornet first arrived to the United States last year when there were two confirmed sightings near Blaine, Washington.

Asian hornets have a dark brown or black velvety body, have a yellow or orange band on the fourth segment of the abdomen and have yellow-tipped legs. They are typically around two inches long.

Asian giant hornets are more than double the size of honeybees, and have a wingspan measuring more than three inches.

They got it's nickname 'murder hornet' because it has a large stinger filled with venom that contains neurotoxin, which is capable of causing both cardiac arrest and anaphylactic shock.

Beekeeper Conrad Bérubé told The New York Times he was recently attacked by a swarm of the 'murder hornets' on Vancouver Island.

'It was like having red-hot thumbtacks being driven into my flesh,' Bérubé stated, adding that he was left bleeding from the attack.

Bérubé was stung seven times and was lucky to be alive.

But while the hornets can be deadly to humans, entomologists are more concerned that they could kill off bee populations in North America.

The WSDA said that Asian giant hornets attack and destroy hives- sometimes in a matter of hours. 

'The hornets enter a "slaughter phase" where they kill bees by decapitating them. They then defend the hive as their own, taking the brood to feed their own young,' the department said.

The bee population has been on a concerning decline for years and their eradication could have detrimental affects on the environment.

A survey by the U.S. National Agriculture Statistics Services showed that  the population declined from six million hives in 1947 to 2.4 million hives in 2008, a 60 per cent reduction.

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