Aly Raisman sues U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics for lack of action against Nassar

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman files lawsuit over Larry Nassar abuse.
Image: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for DirecTV

Aly Raisman, Olympic gold medalist and role model empowering women to speak out against harassment, is suing the United States Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics for lack of action taken against former team physician Larry Nassar.

After Raisman and more than 100 women spoke out and filed civil actions against Nassar, saying he had continually sexually assaulted them during treatment sessions over the years, he was sentenced to 40-to-175 years in prison for seven charges and 40-to-125 years for three additional charges. But in the months leading up to Nassar’s sentencing, Raisman called out the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics for not doing more to stop the physician from harming people.

The gymnast is now suing the two organizations, alleging they should have taken more action to prevent the abuse and conducted a thorough investigation, NBC News reported.

The lawsuit, filed in California, alleges that both U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Gymnastics had knowledge of Nassar’s history of past sexual abuse against minors but let the mandatory treatment of her and many other young women take place for years.

Despite the organizations being notified of his behavior, Raisman said Nassar was never punished and no one with the direct power to do so intervened in the situation. In fact, the lawsuit claims that when Maggie Nichols, a national team member, reported the abuse to USA Gymnastics in 2015, the organization took more than a month to alert the FBI. The document also claims that USA Gymnastics did not alert Michigan State University, where Nassar was also practicing medicine, of the situation at the time.

“After all this time, they remain unwilling to conduct a full investigation, and without a solid understanding of how this happened, it is delusional to think sufficient changes can be implemented,” Raisman said in a statement to NBC News. “I refuse to wait any longer for these organizations to do the right thing. It is my hope that the legal process will hold them accountable and enable the change that is so desperately needed.”

Raisman also said she still experiences depression, anxiety, and fear to this day as a result of Nassar’s abuse.

The lawsuit comes weeks after the USA Gymnastics board resigned amid the scandal. U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun’s resignation was also announced on Feb. 28, citing health issues, and the committee is launching a new set of guidelines to ensure athletes are protected in the future.

In addition to the two sentences for sexual assault charges, Nassar was also sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography crimes. Ultimately, Nassar got what amounts to a life sentence. As part of a plea deal, Nassar agreed to listen to victim impact statements from women and girls who reported abuse. More than 250 told their stories during sentencing hearings in two Michigan counties.

You can read Raisman’s full lawsuit against the USOC and USA Gymnastics here.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/03/02/aly-raisman-sues-usa-gymnastics-usoc-over-larry-nassar/

Teachers start powerful #ArmMeWith movement to speak out against guns in classrooms

In the wake of yet another tragic school shooting, teachers have started an eye-opening movement on social media to let the world know what preventative measures really need to be taken seriously to protect students.

In response to the recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, President Trump suggested that some teachers receive gun training so they can be armed in their classrooms. But rather than adding more guns to educational environments, teachers are using the hashtag #ArmMeWith to share far more peaceful resources they wish to be armed with, such as school supplies, mental health resources and funding, impactful changes in curriculum, and stronger gun control legislation.

The movement was started by two educators: Brittany Wheaton, a teacher in Utah, andOlivia Bertels from Kansas. Both 27-year-olds met through Instagram, according to Buzzfeed, and eagerly asked the online teacher community to share their personal thoughts on how to ensure the safety and proper education of students.

Teachers across the U.S. have been using the hashtag.

One high school English teacher requested a “curriculum that tells the truth, the ability to teach the truth, a society that believes the truth, and political leaders who make laws based on the truth.”

Others asked to be armed with more on-site mental health professionals, like school counselors and social workers, as well as self-care classes, bullet-proof glass, an enhanced library, and a range of other resources that focus on the physical, mental, and emotional care of students and faculty members.

#Armmewith is a movement by @thesuperheroteacher and @missbertels_ and I invite you to join in! Skip through my pics and post your own (I’ve included a blank template) or go to goo.go/52XggF to print your own out! . . . The Arm Me With movement is to make our leaders aware of what teachers really need in the classroom. As some of you know, I’m a gun owner and I can shoot a gun, but I do not believe guns belong anywhere near a classroom. Teachers have enough burdens and the classroom is an unpredictable place. Also teachers are outnumbered by kids 30:1 oftentimes. Guns are not the solution here, and I think they’d be catastrophic. Please flip through my ideal solutions and feel free to use the blank picture to create your own solution! . . . . . . #armwithme #schoolsafetynow #educatorsagainstgunviolence #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers

A post shared by The Whimsical Teacher (@the_whimsical_teacher) on

“Since teachers are the individuals in the classroom when it happens, I like to think we know what’s best for our students,” Wheatontold Buzzfeed. “If you’re an educator, you know that [more guns] is not a solution to stopping the violence that’s happening in our schools.”

For those looking to participate in the movement, Wheaton has shared a blank #ArmMeWith template that can be downloaded and filled out. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/02/23/armmewith-twitter-teachers-guns/

25+ Photos Of Dogs Before & After Their Adoption That Will Melt Your Heart

For us, adopting a pet is a huge responsibility, but it’s the best thing that can happen to shelter animals. To prove the power of a loving home, proud owners from all over the world are sharing photos of their new dogs before & after they were rescued. Bored Panda has decided to compile these heartwarming images into a list, and it will clear any doubts whether or not it’s worth picking up a pup from a kennel.

From sad faces in cramped cells to wide smiles on king size beds, these k9s found happiness in their new homes and can’t hide their emotions. You can understand the difference adoption makes to a shelter pet only if you see one, so scroll down and meet the lucky ones!

Stephen Miller falls asleep during Trump conference on school safety

Stephen Miller nods off during Trump speech about school safety.
Image: JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Between frothing about “cosmopolitans” or getting escorted out of CNN by security, it’s rare to capture Senior White House policy advisor Stephen Miller in a humanlike moment.

We take what we can. Like today for example, when Jim Lo Scalzo from EPA photos captured Miller asleep during President Trump’s wildly delusional over-an-hour-long briefing on school shootings.

I strongly encourage the Pulitzer committee or at least my mom to take a look at this person’s fine work. 

Image: JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

I can correctly blame Miller for the downfall of our nation, but I can’t quite penalize him for falling asleep during Trump’s speech, which was particularly divorced from reality today.

Image: JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Perhaps these quotes triggered the poor snowflake into sleep.

“We lose a lot with Canada.  People don’t know it.  Canada is very smooth.  They have you believe that it’s wonderful.  And it is — for them.  Not wonderful for us; it’s wonderful for them.  So we have to start showing that we know what we’re doing.”

“So we have to confront the issue, and we have to discuss mental health, and we have to do something about it. You know, in the old days, we had mental institutions. We had a lot of them, and you could nab somebody like this. Because, you know, they did — they knew he was — something was off.  You had to know that.”

Here’s what Twitter had to say.

Of course, Miller can in no way match Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s infamous nap during the State of the Union when she got a little white wine drunk.

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/02/26/stephen-miller-nap-trump-school-safety/

New Mexico boy, 9, with flu-like symptoms diagnosed with rodent-carried Hantavirus

George Hernandez hadn’t heard of “Hantavirus” until his 9-year-old son, Fernando, was diagnosed with the disease just days ago.

At first, Hernandez thought his son was sick with the flu. He was throwing up and missed a day of school around Jan. 28, but his dad sent him back when he started to feel better.

“I said, ‘You’ll be alright,'” Hernandez told Fox News. “He went to school, but when he came back, he was starting to get worse.”

The concerned father rushed Fernando to a nearby hospital in Farmington, New Mexico, where he was admitted for 10 days. Doctors ran tests after X-rays revealed spots on his lungs.

Without a confirmed diagnosis, Fernando was released from the hospital, along with some medicine and a couple of oxygen tanks. He was told to rest.

“His lungs will clear up,” Hernandez recalls doctors telling him.

But they didnt – and days later, “things got really bad,” Hernandez said.

Fernandez couldn’t breathe on his own and was taken back to the hospital. His condition was so serious, the hospital airlifted him to Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora.

Fernando Fernandez was airlifted to Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora in early February.  (George Fernandez)

Again, doctors ran several tests, but everything came back negative.

“They didn’t know what the hell was going on,” Hernandez said. “They were like a mechanic, picking at things here and there.”

At one point, doctors suggested mold was the cause of Fernando’s symptoms. Hernandez even called an expert to inspect his house in Farmington, but it came back clean.

Fernando’s heart nearly stopped and he underwent several surgeries before being hooked up to an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machine, a medical device that takes over the duties of the heart and lungs by pumping and oxygenating a person’s blood.

“[Doctors] didn’t know what the hell was going on. They were like a mechanic, picking at things here and there.”

– George Hernandez

This week, Hernandez finally got an answer: Hantavirus, a rare illness that is spread through contact with infected deer mice or their droppings or urine.

It’s rare. As of January 2017, a total of 728 cases had been reported across 36 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The majority of cases were reported in states west of the Mississippi River.

The virus, which kills a reported 36 percent of victims, cannot be transmitted from one person to another.

“Farmington is a farming community and they tell us it’s in the soil. I had my son help me clean the backyard two months ago – I just really hope it wasn’t that,” Hernandez said, adding that the sickness slowly attacks the body and symptoms don’t appear right away.

Fernando Hernandez, 9, is the second case of Hantavirus to be reported in Farmington, New Mexico, within the past two months.  (George Hernandez)

Fernando is the second case to be reported in Farmington this year. Last week, Julie Barron, told Fox News her 27-year-old daughter, Kiley, had the rare disease.

“We can’t sit back and let things like this be swept under the carpet,” Barron said. “I want people to know about the virus and to keep the name in open communications, so that nobody else has to go through this. Not one person.”

Hernandez got in touch with Barron after reading about her daughter’s condition. The pair plan to continue to spread the word in hopes of warning others in the community.

“I’d never heard of this virus until my son and [Barron’s] daughter,” Hernandez said. “We need to get it out there. There are people like me who didn’t even know. People need to know it exists.”

Family members set up a GoFundMe page Friday to cover medical expenses for the boy, who has been on life support for 21 days.

“There’s no cure. It all just depends on the person’s body, but my son’s immune system for some reason is not fighting it at all,” Hernandez said. “It’s chaos right now.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2018/03/02/new-mexico-boy-9-with-flu-like-symptoms-diagnosed-with-rodent-carried-hantavirus.html

Toxic Heavy Metals Found In E-Cigarette Vapor

In the latest to and fro on the science of e-cigarette safety, there’s fresh evidence to suggest that potentially unsafe levels of toxic metals could be making their way into e-cig vapors.

Scientists at John Hopkins University have found there’s lead, arsenic, chromium, manganese, and nickel in the vapor of modifiable vaping devices. As you can imagine, these are not good for you. Long-term exposure and persistent inhalation of the metals have been linked to lung, liver, immune, cardiovascular, and brain damage, and even cancers.

“It’s important for the FDA, the e-cigarette companies, and vapers themselves to know that these heating coils, as currently made, seem to be leaking toxic metals – which then get into the aerosols that vapers inhale,” senior author Ana María Rule, PhD, said in a statement.

In the study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers gathered 56 modifiable vaping devices from vape shops and vaping conventions around Baltimore. They then tested for the presence of 15 metals in the e-liquids in their coil-containing e-cigarette tanks, the refilling dispenser, and the vapor.

While they only found small amounts of toxic metal in the e-liquids alone, they discovered considerable amounts in the e-liquids that had been exposed to the heating coils. This indicates, the researchers say, that the metals almost “leak” from the metallic heating coils. They went on to show that the metals can then end up in the aerosols, i.e. the vapor, from the heated e-liquid.

“We don’t know yet whether metals are chemically leaching from the coil or vaporizing when it’s heated,” Rule said. The researchers added that concentrations of the nasty metals appeared to be higher in e-cigarettes with more frequently changed heated coils, suggesting that fresher coils might be the problem.

Although inhaling these metals has been associated with health risks in previous studies, the researchers now hope to see whether this particular form of exposure can also have an effect on a person’s health. 

“We’ve established with this study that there are exposures to these metals, which is the first step, but we need also to determine the actual health effects,” said Rule. 

The safety of vaping is a hot topic of debate, with a bundle of new studies on their safety coming out every single month, each seemingly saying something totally different from the last. Much more science needs to be done until the risks are crystal clear, but the current consensus is that e-cigarettes are most likely bad for your health, although they are considerably less bad for your health than smoking tobacco. 

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/toxic-heavy-metals-found-in-e-cigarette-vapor/

NRA defends itself after corporations pull away

The National Rifle Association defended itself in no uncertain terms Saturday after numerous companies sought to cut ties with the gun lobby following the nation’s latest mass shooting.

“Let it be absolutely clear,” the organization said in a statement. “The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend the individual freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation in the world.”

The statement came two days after Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s executive vice president, delivered a fiery speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland.

The NRA, which represents about 5 million members, has faced public outcry following a mass shooting Feb. 14 in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 people. That outcry has mostly taken the form of calls for gun control legislation and for boycotts of companies that partner with the NRA on discount offers and other consumer inducements.

On Saturday, United and Delta Airlines joined the list of companies separating themselves from the gun group. Previous companies to do so include MetLife, Symantec and rental car companies Hertz, Budget, Avis and Enterprise.

Those moves prompted Saturday’s response from the NRA, which asserted that those corporations had “decided to punish NRA membership in a shameful display of political and civic cowardice.”

NRA BACKLASH: THESE ARE THE COMPANIES CUTTING TIES

The NRA’s statement argued that other factors besides gun ownership were to blame for events like the Parkland massacre.

“The law-abiding members of the NRA had nothing at all to do with the failure of that school’s security preparedness, the failure of America’s mental health system, the failure of the National Instant Check System or the cruel failures of both federal and local law enforcement,” its statement said.

However, the Washington Post reported that the NRA fought the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which mandated federal background checks on firearm purchasers, suing the federal government once the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was up and running. The NRA had argued that the entire law, including the NICS provision, be struck down as unconstitutional, the report said.   

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/25/nra-defends-itself-after-corporations-pull-away.html

Segregation in baseball was the norm until this relatively unknown player stepped up.

As the pioneer and historical face of desegregation in sports, Jackie Robinson experienced taunts and death threats at every point of his Major League career as the first black player admitted to the league.

His bravery and persistence in the name of equal rights have been well-documented and honored not just in baseball history, but in the larger context of the struggle to end the disparate treatment of black citizens endemic to American institutions.

But Robinson’s success, in no slight to his considerable achievement, came as the result of the road paved by many less-celebrated predecessors, who, through their careers in the Negro Leagues, brought a resolve and speed to the game unmatched by their Major League counterparts.

In the shadow of Jackie Robinson’s legacy are the efforts of Andrew “Rube” Foster, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981, having earned the title of “the father of black baseball.”

Foster scoring a hit. Photo via digboston/Flickr.

Known to few modern-day baseball fans, Foster sought to ensure that black players were given the due attention and compensation they had long been denied in “separate but equal” America.

No individual before Foster or since has been as instrumental in legitimizing black baseball both internally and in the eyes of the fans and media. His achievements, though largely disregarded at the time, were integral in eventually affording all black players the right to play in the Major League.

For example, Foster quietly broke a baseball color barrier almost four decades prior to Jackie Robinson, playing with a semi-pro mixed-race squad out of Otsego, Michigan. Most notably, Foster served as the star pitcher for the Philadelphia X-Giants, pitching four of the team’s five wins in a contest dubbed the “colored championship of the world” in 1903.

In his era and in the decades following, Foster’s success on the mound was virtually unmatched. For instance, the current MLB record for most consecutive wins by a pitcher stands at 24 by the New York Giants’ Car Hubbell, whose streak ended on May 31,1937.

Foster won 44 games in a row three decades prior in 1902.

But as compelling as Foster’s accomplishments on the diamond were, it was his contributions to the game after his playing days that continue to endure almost a century later.

Foster’s goal was simple: Turn the largely overlooked black baseball leagues into a legitimate, respectable, and sustainable organization.

Before his involvement in league management, the black baseball leagues were deemed inferior — if they were considered at all. Yet Foster’s blueprint for a unified organization ushered in a new era that would prove crucial in eroding the Major League’s color barrier.

In 1911, a great step was taken toward legitimizing black baseball as Foster negotiated a partnership with the Comiskey family of Chicago to use the White Sox ballpark for his new team.  With a premiere venue and the team’s marketable aggressive style of play, the newly-formed Chicago American Giants skyrocketed in popularity, leading his once-marginalized club to draw more fans than the neighboring Cubs and White Sox.

Following the success of his own team, Foster immediately set his goal higher, aiming to help elevate all black players, not just those on his team.

Foster with a white player from Joliet, Illinois. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

In 1919, as his city of Chicago was embroiled in race riots, Foster felt a sense of urgency to unify black baseball players in one league. He wrote regularly in the Chicago Defender of the need for a league that would “create a profession that would equal the earning capacity of any other profession … keep Colored baseball from the control of whites [and] do something concrete for the loyalty of the Race.”

Gathering the owners of unaffiliated teams, Foster held a meeting at the Kansas City YMCA and shared his vision. The next year, on Feb. 13, 1920, the Negro National League was created, with Foster serving as both president and treasurer.

As other regions developed, they followed in Foster’s footsteps and established their own leagues for black players, serving as an economic boon not just for the players and front office, but for black communities as well.

Sadly, Foster’s oversight would prove to be short-lived as health issues forced him to step away from overseeing the burgeoning league he had created. But that didn’t end the progress he started.

Rube Foster plaque. Photo via Penale52/Wikimedia Commons.

Even though Negro Leagues shuttered due to the Great Depression and lack of leadership, many teams would return under the banner of the Negro American League in 1937. It was this organization that served as the springboard for Jackie Robinson to make his legendary inroads to Major League Baseball.

While Jackie Robinson remains a civil rights icon, desegregating baseball is an act that no one man can lay claim to. Rube Foster’s legacy may not be as well known as Robinson’s, but his efforts helped ensure equality not just for Jackie Robinson, but every black player who has played Major League baseball since.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/segregation-in-baseball-was-the-norm-until-this-relatively-unknown-player-stepped-up

This Goose Just Died At The Age Of 42, But That’s Not Exactly What Makes Him Notable

There are some stories that captivate us for their sheer weird awesomeness.

Often, there’s no way to know if others outside of your circle will appreciate the same beauty in what you’re seeing. But the people of New Zealand knew the story of Thomas the goose would resonate with others. Thomas lived to be 42, and before his death he was a local celebrity, but it’s not because he was old. It was because he lived and loved differently.

Thomas was blind — and bisexual. He fell in love with a black swan named Henry and they spent 24 years together. When another black swan, Henrietta, showed up, Thomas stayed with the couple.

Together, they raised 68 cygnets over six years, and that’s when he became a local interest for birdwatchers.

Henry died in 2009, and Henrietta flew off to be with another swan, leaving Thomas alone. He had his own children, but they were stolen by a goose named George.

Thomas was taken to the Wellington Bird Rehabilitation Trust to live out his last years as his health declined. He spent his days with other blind birds until he passed away.

Thomas will be buried near Henry in the place where they raised children together.

(via Metro)

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/bisexual-goose/