The Backstreet Boys Are Apparently A Country Boy Band Now

The 52nd annual Academy of Country Music Awards want it thaaaat way

Pop music is apparently very 2001, so the Backstreet Boys opted for some country twang on Sunday night with a little help from Florida Georgia Line.

The boy band joined the duo onstage for a ?must-see medley?, featuring their single, ?God, Your Mama, and Me.?

Of course, viewers got their money?s worth when the group closed the performance with a rendition of ?Everybody.?

Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood and the rest of social media was understandably shook. 

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Accused Sexual Predator Proclaims April National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

President Donald Trump, who has been publicly accused of sexual assault by more than 15 women and was caught on tape boasting he could grab women ?by the pussy? without their consent, has officially proclaimed April 2017 to be National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.  

In 2009, Barack Obama became the first president to officially proclaim April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, although activists had recognized the month as a time to boost awareness of sexual violence for several decades. Since 2009, a proclamation has been released each year by the White House. But 2017 brings us the first year that a president who has been accused of committing sexual assault has issued such a proclamation.

?At the heart of our country is the emphatic belief that every person has unique and infinite value,? reads the beginning of Trump?s statement. ?We dedicate each April to raising awareness about sexual abuse and recommitting ourselves to fighting it. Women, children, and men have inherent dignity that should never be violated.?

The statement goes on to affirm a commitment to reducing and ending sexual violence, calling on all Americans ?to support survivors of sexual assault and work together to prevent these crimes in their communities.?

The Trump administration?s first Sexual Assault Awareness Month proclamation hits many of the same general notes that Obama?s statement did in 2016 ? with a few notable changes.

The 2017 proclamation removes any references to military sexual assault and adds a line on the importance of fighting ?against the scourge of child pornography and its pernicious effects.? 

Most strikingly, the proclamation removes almost all references to rape culture, though Trump does acknowledge that ?research has demonstrated the effectiveness of changing social norms that accept or allow indifference to sexual violence.?

In its first paragraph, Obama?s 2016 statement called on Americans to ?stand up and speak out to change the culture that questions the actions of victims, rather than those of their attackers,? later ?reaffirm[ing] our commitment to shift the attitudes that allow sexual assault to go unanswered and unpunished.? 

There are no such allusions to a culture of victim-blaming in Trump?s 2017 statement.

Trump is currently facing a defamation suit filed by former ?Apprentice? contestant Summer Zervos, who has accused Trump of kissing and groping her without her consent in 2007, a year after she had appeared on his reality TV show.

Read Trump?s full proclamation below:

At the heart of our country is the emphatic belief that every person has unique and infinite value. We dedicate each April to raising awareness about sexual abuse and recommitting ourselves to fighting it. Women, children, and men have inherent dignity that should never be violated.

According to the Department of Justice, on average there are more than 300,000 instances of rape or other sexual assault that afflict our neighbors and loved ones every year. Behind these painful statistics are real people whose lives are profoundly affected, at times shattered, and who are invariably in need of our help, commitment, and protection.

As we recognize National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, we are reminded that we all share the responsibility to reduce and ultimately end sexual violence. As a Nation, we must develop meaningful strategies to eliminate these crimes, including increasing awareness of the problem in our communities, creating systems that protect vulnerable groups, and sharing successful prevention strategies.

My Administration, including the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services, will do everything in its power to protect women, children, and men from sexual violence. This includes supporting victims, preventing future abuse, and prosecuting offenders to the full extent of the law. I have already directed the Attorney General to create a task force on crime reduction and public safety. This task force will develop strategies to reduce crime and propose new legislation to fill gaps in existing laws.

Prevention means reducing the prevalence of sexual violence on our streets, in our homes, and in our schools and institutions. Recent research has demonstrated the effectiveness of changing social norms that accept or allow indifference to sexual violence. This can be done by engaging young people to step in and provide peer leadership against condoning violence, and by mobilizing men and boys as allies in preventing sexual and relationship violence. Our families, schools, and communities must encourage respect for women and children, who are the vast majority of victims, and promote healthy personal relationships. We must never give up the fight against the scourge of child pornography and its pernicious effects on both direct victims and the broader culture. We recommit ourselves this month to establishing a culture of respect and appreciation for the dignity of every human being.

There is tremendous work to be done. Together, we can and must protect our loved ones, families, campuses, and communities from the devastating and pervasive effects of sexual assault. In the face of sexual violence, we must commit to providing meaningful support and services for victims and survivors in the United States and around the world.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 2017 as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. I urge all Americans, families, law enforcement, health care providers, community and faith-based organizations, and private organizations to support survivors of sexual assault and work together to prevent these crimes in their communities.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.

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Need help? Visit RAINN?s National Sexual Assault Online Hotline or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center?s website.

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19 Tweets That Show Love Can Be A Radical Act

For HuffPost’s #LoveTakesAction series, we’re telling stories of how people are standing up to hate and supporting those most threatened. What will you stand up for? Tell us with #LoveTakesAction.

This Valentine’s Day, in addition to the usual barrage of couple photos and “single life” memes, another theme emerged on social media: love as a radical, political act.

On Feb. 14, the Women’s March and other groups launched the hashtag #RevolutionaryLove, asking followers “to fight for social justice through the ethic of love” and post love letters on social media written to others, to themselves and even to their opponents. On the same day, The Huffington Post launched the hashtag #LoveTakesAction, asking people what issues they’ll stand up for. 

The hashtags seemed to resonate with people online ― #RevolutionaryLove trended on Twitter at various times throughout the day ― at a time when most Americans are stressed about the country’s future, and waves of protesters are taking to the streets to oppose everything from President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees and immigrants, to the Dakota Access Pipeline, to recent immigration enforcement raids.

Here are 19 tweets from people declaring that, in the face of hateful acts and discriminatory policies, love can be a powerful act of resistance.

People showed love means standing up to hate and bigotry 

 

People spread love to those most affected by hate and injustice

 

People practiced self-love in the face of hate

 

People showed love of country means pushing America to be better

Know a story from your community of people fighting hate and supporting groups who need it? Send news tips to lovetips@huffingtonpost.com.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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African-American GIs of WWII: Fighting for democracy abroad and at home

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-conversation-us/african-american-gis-of-w_b_14719302.html

By Maria Höhn, Vassar College

Until the last decade, the contributions of African-American soldiers in World War II barely registered in America’s collective memory of that war.

The “tan soldiers,” as the black press affectionately called them, were also for the most part left out of the triumphant narrative of America’s “Greatest Generation.” In order to tell their story of helping defeat Nazi Germany in my 2010 book, “Breath of Freedom,” I had to conduct research in more than 40 different archives in the U.S. and Germany.

When a German TV production company, together with Smithsonian TV, turned that book into a documentary, the filmmakers searched U.S. media and military archives for two years for footage of black GIs in the final push into Germany and during the occupation of post-war Germany.

They watched hundreds of hours of film and discovered less than 10 minutes of footage. This despite the fact that among the 16 million U.S. soldiers who fought in World War II, there were about one million African-American soldiers.

They fought in the Pacific, and they were part of the victorious army that liberated Europe from Nazi rule. Black soldiers were also part of the U.S. Army of occupation in Germany after the war. Still serving in strictly segregated units, they were sent to democratize the Germans and expunge all forms of racism.

A soldier paints over a swastika.
NARA

It was that experience that convinced many of these veterans to continue their struggle for equality when they returned home to the U.S. They were to become the foot soldiers of the civil rights movement – a movement that changed the face of our nation and inspired millions of repressed people across the globe.

As a scholar of German history and of the more than 70-year U.S. military presence in Germany, I have marveled at the men and women of that generation. They were willing to fight for democracy abroad, while being denied democratic rights at home in the U.S. Because of their belief in America’s “democratic promise” and their sacrifices on behalf of those ideals, I was born into a free and democratic West Germany, just 10 years after that horrific war.

Fighting racism at home and abroad

By deploying troops abroad as warriors for and emissaries of American democracy, the military literally exported the African-American freedom struggle.

Beginning in 1933, when Adolf Hitler came to power, African-American activists and the black press used white America’s condemnation of Nazi racism to expose and indict the abuses of Jim Crow at home. America’s entry into the war and the struggle against Nazi Germany allowed civil rights activists to significantly step up their rhetoric.

Langston Hughes’ 1943 poem, “From Beaumont to Detroit,” addressed to America, eloquently expressed that sentiment:

“You jim crowed me / Before hitler rose to power- / And you are still jim crowing me- / Right now this very hour.”

Believing that fighting for American democracy abroad would finally grant African-Americans full citizenship at home, civil rights activists put pressure on the U.S. government to allow African-American soldiers to “fight like men,” side by side with white troops.

The military brass, disproportionately dominated by white Southern officers, refused. They argued that such a step would undermine military efficiency and negatively impact the morale of white soldiers. In an integrated military, black officers or NCOs might also end up commanding white troops. Such a challenge to the Jim Crow racial order based on white supremacy was seen as unacceptable.

The manpower of black soldiers was needed in order to win the war, but the military brass got its way; America’s Jim Crow order was to be upheld. African-Americans were allowed to train as pilots in the segregated Tuskeegee Airmen. The 92nd Buffalo Soldiers and 93rd Blue Helmets all-black divisions were activated and sent abroad under the command of white officers.

Despite these concessions, 90 percent of black troops were forced to serve in labor and supply units, rather than the more prestigious combat units. Except for a few short weeks during the Battle of the Bulge in the winter of 1944 when commanders were desperate for manpower, all U.S. soldiers served in strictly segregated units. Even the blood banks were segregated.

‘A Breath of Freedom’

After the defeat of the Nazi regime, an Army manual instructed U.S. occupation soldiers that America was the “living denial of Hitler’s absurd theories of a superior race,” and that it was up to them to teach the Germans “that the whole concept of superiority and intolerance of others is evil.” There was an obvious, deep gulf between this soaring rhetoric of democracy and racial harmony, and the stark reality of the Jim Crow army of occupation. It was also not lost on the black soldiers.

Women’s Army Corps in Nuremberg, Germany, 1949.
Library of Congress

Post-Nazi Germany was hardly a country free of racism. But for the black soldiers, it was their first experience of a society without a formal Jim Crow color line. Their uniform identified them as victorious warriors and as Americans, rather than “Negroes.”

Serving in labor and supply units, they had access to all the goods and provisions starving Germans living in the ruins of their country yearned for. African-American cultural expressions such as jazz, defamed and banned by the Nazis, were another reason so many Germans were drawn to their black liberators. White America was stunned to see how much black GIs enjoyed their time abroad, and how much they dreaded their return home to the U.S.

By 1947, when the Cold War was heating up, the reality of the segregated Jim Crow Army in Germany was becoming a major embarrassment for the U.S. government. The Soviet Union and East German communist propaganda relentlessly attacked the U.S. and challenged its claim to be the leader of the “free world.” Again and again, they would point to the segregated military in West Germany, and to Jim Crow segregation in the U.S. to make their case.

Coming ‘home’

Newly returned veterans, civil rights advocates and the black press took advantage of that Cold War constellation. They evoked America’s mission of democracy in Germany to push for change at home. Responding to that pressure, the first institution of the U.S. to integrate was the U.S. military, made possible by Truman’s 1948 Executive Order 9981. That monumental step, in turn, paved the way for the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education.

Hosea Williams, World War II Army veteran and civil rights activist, rallies demonstrators in Selma, Ala. 1965.
AP Photo

The veterans who had been abroad electrified and energized the larger struggle to make America live up to its promise of democracy and justice. They joined the NAACP in record numbers and founded new chapters of that organization in the South, despite a wave of violence against returning veterans. The veterans of World War II and the Korean War became the foot soldiers of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. Medgar Evers, Amzie Moore, Hosea Williams and Aaron Henry are some of the better-known names, but countless others helped advance the struggle.

About one-third of the leaders in the civil rights movement were veterans of World War II.

They fought for a better America in the streets of the South, at their workplaces in the North, as leaders in the NAACP, as plaintiffs before the Supreme Court and also within the U.S. military to make it a more inclusive institution. They were also the men of the hour at the 1963 March on Washington, when their military training and expertise was crucial to ensure that the day would not be marred by agitators opposed to civil rights.

“We structured the March on Washington like an army formation,” recalled veteran Joe Hairston.

For these veterans, the 2009 and 2013 inaugurations of President Barack Obama were triumphant moments in their long struggle for a better America and a more just world. Many never thought they would live to see the day that an African-American would lead their country.

To learn more about the contributions of African-American GIs, visit “The Civil Rights Struggle, African-American GIs, and Germany” digital archive.

The ConversationMaria Höhn, Professor and Chair of History, Vassar College

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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This Artist Absolutely Nailed It With His Comics About Anxiety

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2017/02/03/anxiety-comics_n_14630966.html

Life with anxiety or depression can feel like a constant struggle. And experts recommend drawing or writing as a healing way to express symptoms when talking just doesn’t seem to summarize them properly.

Enter these comics from artist Sow Ay, a reminder that no matter how scary anxiety feels, you aren’t alone.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

This Artist Absolutely Nailed It With His Comics About Anxiety

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2017/02/03/anxiety-comics_n_14630966.html

Life with anxiety or depression can feel like a constant struggle. And experts recommend drawing or writing as a healing way to express symptoms when talking just doesn’t seem to summarize them properly.

Enter these comics from artist Sow Ay, a reminder that no matter how scary anxiety feels, you aren’t alone.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

When Life Is In The Hands Of Human Traffickers / 14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez


Terminal 3 in Jose Marti International Airport in Havana (14ymedio)

14ymedio, Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, 4 February 2017 – The wifi signal barely crosses the glass. The wireless network at José Martí International Airport only covers the boarding area. But a woman presses her whole body against the opaque window that separates the travelers’ area to communicate with human traffickers who are holding her daughter in Mexico.

For half any hour the lady reveals her despair. “I don’t have that much money, if I had it I would send it right now,” she prays through IMO. The videochat is cut several times by the poor quality of the connection On the other side, the voice of a man repeats, without backing off, “Three hundred dollars so she can return on Tuesday.”

The woman wipes her tears and unsuccessfully asks for a reduction. Nearby, a maid who cleans the bathroom passes by, idly dragging a cart with cleaning supplies. A customs official walks by, absorbed, and pretends he is not listening to the disturbing request projected from the screen of the phone, “Don’t kill her, don’t kill her.”

The scene happens in a place crowded with people, most of whom are passengers about to board a transatlantic flight, or a new commercial route to the United States, and there are also the family members and friends who have come to see them off. No one shows any sign of hearing the drama developing a few feet away.

A tourist tosses back a beer just as the woman is asking the man for half an hour to “collect the money.” She starts the race against the clock. She calls several contacts from her IMO address book, but the first four, at least, don’t answer. On the fifth try, a shrill voice on the other end says, “Hello.”

“I need a huge favor, you can’t say no,” the lady stammers. But the head that can be seen on the screen shakes from side to side. “Are you crazy? And if after you pay this money they don’t let her go?” asks the voice. The tension makes the hand holding the phone start to tremble and her granddaughter, who has accompanied her, helps her hold on to it.

Several more calls and the money is not forthcoming. Finally a serious voice says yes, he can lend the money if the woman will pay it back “in two installments” to his sister in Havana. The mother agrees, promises she can “repay every cent,” although it sounds like a formula to get out of a bind. The man believes her.

Now they must arrange the details. The victim doesn’t have a bank account but the mother will send information about “how to send the money.” This is how the kidnappers get paid. Only then will they allow her to fly from Cancun to Havana, or at least that is what they promise.

In the middle of last year the Mexican authorities shut down a network trafficking in undocumented people from Cuba that operated in this tourist area in the Mexican state of Qunitana Roo. The end of the “wet foot/dry foot” policy this January has left many migrants in the hands of the coyotes, who don’t hesitate to turn to extortion to make up for the reduction in the flow of Cubans and, as a result, their loss of earnings.

The wifi signal is lost altogether, but the mother is feeling relieved. “She was in a large group, about 20 people,” she tells her granddaughter. A simple calculation allows us to know how much the captors will earn on “freeing” all those they are holding.

Nothing ends with the delivery of the money. “She is going to want to go again,” concludes the mother, the instant she hangs up from the last videochat. “I can’t stand it here, I can’t” she repeats, while walking toward the escalator filled with smiling and tanned tourists.

2014-11-04-14ymediobestlogo.jpg
14ymedio, Cuba’s first independent daily digital news outlet, published directly from the island, is available in Spanish here. Translations of selected articles in English are here.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yoani-sanchez/when-life-is-in-the-hands_b_14620542.html
a href=”http://translatingcuba.com/when-life-is-in-the-hands-of-human-traffickers-14ymedio-yoani-sanchez/terminal-aeropuerto-internacional-marti-habana_cymima20161221_0005_13-2/” rel=”attachment wp-att-52010″>
Terminal 3 in Jose Marti International Airport in Havana (14ymedio)

14ymedio, Generation Y, Yoani Sanchez, 4 February 2017 – The wifi signal barely crosses the glass. The wireless network at José Martí International Airport only covers the boarding area. But a woman presses her whole body against the opaque window that separates the travelers’ area to communicate with human traffickers who are holding her daughter in Mexico.

For half any hour the lady reveals her despair. “I don’t have that much money, if I had it I would send it right now,” she prays through IMO. The videochat is cut several times by the poor quality of the connection On the other side, the voice of a man repeats, without backing off, “Three hundred dollars so she can return on Tuesday.”

The woman wipes her tears and unsuccessfully asks for a reduction. Nearby, a maid who cleans the bathroom passes by, idly dragging a cart with cleaning supplies. A customs official walks by, absorbed, and pretends he is not listening to the disturbing request projected from the screen of the phone, “Don’t kill her, don’t kill her.”

The scene happens in a place crowded with people, most of whom are passengers about to board a transatlantic flight, or a new commercial route to the United States, and there are also the family members and friends who have come to see them off. No one shows any sign of hearing the drama developing a few feet away.

A tourist tosses back a beer just as the woman is asking the man for half an hour to “collect the money.” She starts the race against the clock. She calls several contacts from her IMO address book, but the first four, at least, don’t answer. On the fifth try, a shrill voice on the other end says, “Hello.”

“I need a huge favor, you can’t say no,” the lady stammers. But the head that can be seen on the screen shakes from side to side. “Are you crazy? And if after you pay this money they don’t let her go?” asks the voice. The tension makes the hand holding the phone start to tremble and her granddaughter, who has accompanied her, helps her hold on to it.

Several more calls and the money is not forthcoming. Finally a serious voice says yes, he can lend the money if the woman will pay it back “in two installments” to his sister in Havana. The mother agrees, promises she can “repay every cent,” although it sounds like a formula to get out of a bind. The man believes her.

Now they must arrange the details. The victim doesn’t have a bank account but the mother will send information about “how to send the money.” This is how the kidnappers get paid. Only then will they allow her to fly from Cancun to Havana, or at least that is what they promise.

In the middle of last year the Mexican authorities shut down a network trafficking in undocumented people from Cuba that operated in this tourist area in the Mexican state of Qunitana Roo. The end of the “wet foot/dry foot” policy this January has left many migrants in the hands of the coyotes, who don’t hesitate to turn to extortion to make up for the reduction in the flow of Cubans and, as a result, their loss of earnings.

The wifi signal is lost altogether, but the mother is feeling relieved. “She was in a large group, about 20 people,” she tells her granddaughter. A simple calculation allows us to know how much the captors will earn on “freeing” all those they are holding.

Nothing ends with the delivery of the money. “She is going to want to go again,” concludes the mother, the instant she hangs up from the last videochat. “I can’t stand it here, I can’t” she repeats, while walking toward the escalator filled with smiling and tanned tourists.

2014-11-04-14ymediobestlogo.jpg
14ymedio, Cuba’s first independent daily digital news outlet, published directly from the island, is available in Spanish here. Translations of selected articles in English are here.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Doctors Remove Live Squirming Cockroach From Woman’s Skull

A woman in eastern India woke up one day this week to a nightmarish sensation: the feeling that a bug had crawled up her nose.

The 42-year-old woman, a Chennai resident identified only as Selvi, made her son-in-law take her to a medical clinic Tuesday morning so doctors could examine her.

“I could not explain the feeling, but I was sure it was some insect,” she told The New Indian Express. “There was a tingling, crawling sensation. Whenever it moved, it gave me a burning sensation in my eyes.”

Clinic doctors sent her to Stanley Medical College Hospital, where doctors found a live cockroach nestled against the woman’s skull between her eyes. The insect was resting close to the brain, according to the Deccan Chronicle.

Dr. M. N. Shankar said he was amazed by the bugged-out discovery.

“It is rare to find a foreign body in the nose (unlike the ear) and here it’s an adult’s nose ― and that too, a live cockroach,” Shankar told the paper.

Doctors tried to remove the roach with vacuum suction, but it was too big. They finally snagged it with the aid of a nasal endoscope. The patient is reportedly feeling better.

Doctors said that if Selvi had ignored the scratchy sensation, the insect eventually would have died, causing an infection close to her brain that may have been fatal, according to South West News Service.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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div class=”embed-asset embed” data-type=”embed-asset” data-provider=”Embed” data-title=””>

A woman in eastern India woke up one day this week to a nightmarish sensation: the feeling that a bug had crawled up her nose.

The 42-year-old woman, a Chennai resident identified only as Selvi, made her son-in-law take her to a medical clinic Tuesday morning so doctors could examine her.

“I could not explain the feeling, but I was sure it was some insect,” she told The New Indian Express. “There was a tingling, crawling sensation. Whenever it moved, it gave me a burning sensation in my eyes.”

Clinic doctors sent her to Stanley Medical College Hospital, where doctors found a live cockroach nestled against the woman’s skull between her eyes. The insect was resting close to the brain, according to the Deccan Chronicle.

Dr. M. N. Shankar said he was amazed by the bugged-out discovery.

“It is rare to find a foreign body in the nose (unlike the ear) and here it’s an adult’s nose ― and that too, a live cockroach,” Shankar told the paper.

Doctors tried to remove the roach with vacuum suction, but it was too big. They finally snagged it with the aid of a nasal endoscope. The patient is reportedly feeling better.

Doctors said that if Selvi had ignored the scratchy sensation, the insect eventually would have died, causing an infection close to her brain that may have been fatal, according to South West News Service.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.