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‘Only Murders in the Building’ doesn’t miss a beat in getting back on the case

Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez are back on the case in 'Only Murders in the Building.'

OnPolitics: Democrats are getting closer to a social spending bill

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, second from left, talks with reporters outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, following a meeting with President Joe Biden. She is joined by, from left, Katherine Clark, D-Mass., Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., partially hidden,Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., right. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) ORG XMIT: DCSW108
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, second from left, talks with reporters outside the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, following a meeting with President Joe Biden. She is joined by, from left, Katherine Clark, D-Mass., Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Rep. Ritchie Torres, D-N.Y., Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., partially hidden,Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., right.

Good afternoon, OnPolitics readers.

Senate Republicans blocked a vote today to advance Democrats’ latest voting rights and election reform legislation.

The bill – the Freedom to Vote Act – is more scaled back than previous pieces of voting rights legislation, like the For the People Act, but would establish some federally mandated election rules.

What is in the revised voting act? The Freedom to salomon boots Vote Act would create a federal standard for voting by mail and drop boxes – means of voting that Trump and some Republican lawmakers attacked during the 2020 election. The legislation would also expand early voting options and access to mail-in ballots, battle dark money in elections and allow for same day registration on Election Day.

The bill comes after months of Democrats haggling on the issue and as former President Donald Trump and Republican state lawmakers continue to push “the big lie,” advancing baseless conspiracy theories to falsely argue the 2020 election was stolen.

But nine months into President Joe Biden’s term, Democrats have not been able to advance any legislation due to Republican filibustering.

It’s Amy and Mabinty with today’s top stories.

Biden looks to scale back social spending bill to $2.2 trillion or less

The leader of progressive House Democrats said Tuesday her members had a “really good, productive meeting” with President Joe Biden as the president works to get separate wings of his party to agree to a legislative package between $1.9 trillion to $2.2 trillion for his climate and social safety-net agenda.

“We all still feel even more optimistic about getting to an agreement on a really transformational bill that will fundamentally lift people up,” said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., chair of the House Progressive Caucus.

Jayapal said Biden is sticking to a topline number between $1.9 trillion and $2.2 trillion, down from his original $3.5 trillion Build Back Better proposal, in a push to gain the support of moderate Democrats.

“Look, it’s not the number that we want. We have consistently sperry shoes tried to make it as high as possible,” Jayapal said, but added progressive Democrats are now focused on getting the bill’s social and climate programs jump-started.

Two out of 50: Biden needs the votes of all 50 Democratic members to pass the bill in the Senate in a procedure known as reconciliation, but Manchin and Sinema have balked at the price tag. Manchin has said his limit is $1.5 trillion.

House progressives have said they won’t take up another piece of Biden’s domestic agenda – a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that passed in the Senate in August – unless the more expansive reconciliation package advances.

What does the package provide? Biden’s social safety-net agenda seeks to transform the economy. But many of the proposals — higher taxes on high-income earners and corporations to pay for free community college, universal prekindergarten, subsidized child care, national paid leave, Medicare expansion and other liberal priorities — are still being debated on and could get cut from the final deal.

Real quick: Stories you’ll want to read

  • Haiti’s ‘descent into hell’: The world now knows the 400 Mawozo gang, after it kidnapped a Haitian driver and one Canadian and 16 American missionaries. But at the commune of Croix-des-Bouquets bandits terrorizing the population have become part of daily life.
  • A new tactic to handle migrants: The Biden administration is stepping up drone surveillance and communications with other countries to help prepare for migrant groups that could come to the United States’ southern border.
  • The culture wars over education: Besieged by parent complaints about everything from critical race theory to questions about sexuality, boards are undoing efforts schools have made to include children of color and LGBTQ students and to teach about the full spectrum of the American experience.
  • The fight over vaccine mandates: The Supreme Court declined to hear an emergency appeal challenging a vaccine requirement imposed on Maine health care workers, the latest defeat for opponents of vaccine mandates.

The unlikely place COVID rescue funds are going: Housing

From Austin to Indianapolis, Minneapolis to Seattle and San Diego, mayors are steering substantial portions of their rescue funds to one of their most elusive challenges: housing. Plans include building affordable housing for low-income residents, bolstering housing trust funds to provide gap-financing to developers, expanding rental vouchers and – like Austin – securing housing for those who lack a permanent home.

A USA TODAY review of plans submitted by U.S. cities to the Treasury Department found replacing lost revenue to avoid budget cuts is the most common use of COVID-19 rescue funds. But when it comes to new investments, no area has seemingly gotten more attention than affordable housing and programs for the homeless.

A few examples: Seattle plans to spend $49 million in COVID-19 rescue funds on homelessness and affordable housing that includes the addition of 400 new affordably priced units. San Diego County signed off on $85 million for homeless services and $15 million more for other housing priorities. Milwaukee will spend $30 million on housing initiatives including gap-financing to support 326 mixed-income affordable housing units. Los Angeles County is devoting $400 million to house the homeless.

Willow Smith says she considered getting a Brazilian butt lift. Here’s why the procedure is so dangerous.

Wednesday’s episode of Red Table Talk dived deep into the dangers of the Brazilian butt lift (BBL), a trendy plastic surgery procedure designed to give people an Instagrammable behind and tiny waist. Yet while the procedure may be all over social media, it comes with serious risks — including death.

Jada Pinkett Smith and her daughter, ecco shoes Willow Smith, who host the Facebook Watch talk show with Jada’s mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, both admitted they were interested in having a BBL.

“Let’s be real. I considered getting the tiniest little bit,” Willow shared. “But then I just got in the gym and got it anyway.”

Jada joked that Willow’s gym routine was so successful, people started assuming she did have a BBL. However, Jada confirmed it was all exercise: “I told her, ‘You want a butt? The one thing your mother knows how to do is build a butt,’” the Gotham alum explained.

However, many people do decide to go under the knife to build a bigger butt and slim the rest of their body in the process. Sadly, not everyone survives the procedure. Later in the episode, the hosts brought on the sister and son of Alicia Renette Williams, an English teacher who, in 2019, died after having a BBL in the Dominican Republic.

In 2017, a report by the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF) said that 1 out of every 3,000 patients will die from the surgery. A 2020 survey from ASERF revised that mortality rate and said there is a 1 in 14,952 mortality rate — provided the BBL is performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Despite its name, the Brazilian butt lift actually isn’t exactly a “lift.” Dr. David Rapaport, a New York-based plastic surgeon, nike sneakers tells Yahoo Life that “a Brazilian butt lift, or BBL, is a nickname for liposuction — taking fat from somewhere on your own body — and fat transfer or transplantation, to the butt. So you’re taking from areas where you have relative excess, using liposuction, and instead of having that fat as medical waste, it’s kept sterile and put back into the body, and, in the case of the BBL, into the butt.”

The result is a perkier, fuller butt, typically with a slimmer all-around figure. That hourglass figure that’s all over Instagram? The popularity of the BBL likely has something to do with the prevalence of social-media-ready bodies.

Plastic surgeon marking a woman's body for plastic surgery. (Getty Images)
What is a Brazilian butt lift? A plastic surgeon explains the procedure.

While a BBL can help people achieve the look they desire, it’s important that people considering the procedure are aware of the potential risks.

“A large amount of fat transfer leads to higher risk, because there’s more pressure on that part of the body from that fat,” Rapaport says. “When there’s more pressure, there’s less blood supply, so a higher risk of a potentially devastating infection. An infection isn’t something that happens on the table — that’s something that happens in two days, maybe a week.”

Yet a major complication of the BBL can also occur during surgery — and it can even lead to death.

“What can happen on the table that people took time to figure out is that people thought you should be injecting fat into the muscle of the butt because there is more 3D space and you can get more volume. Initially, they thought that was a nike store good idea,” he explains. “Here and there, people would die from this, however. What they’ve found from injecting colored fat into cadavers is that when you go into the muscle, just the pressure of that fat can have the fat migrate into the very large veins of the pelvis, and lead to a fat embolism. That can cause death, instantly.”

Not every plastic surgeon feels comfortable performing BBLs. Dr. Myla Bennett Powell, who appeared on Red Table Talk, said she does the procedure only “rarely” due to the dangers associated with it. Rapaport stresses that it’s important to find a skilled surgeon if this is a procedure you are interested in.

“You have to go with someone who understands sterile technique very well,” he says. “This is not for the young person who just started doing this. It’s a procedure that has to be treated very seriously because bad things have happened in the world.”

While there will certainly be people who want to go under the knife to score a perkier butt, the Smiths seem keen to build their behinds in the gym — risk-free.

An expert says the Taliban have ‘almost no chance’ of getting their hands on the Afghan central bank’s nearly $10 billion in reserves that’s mostly stashed in New York

Taliban fighters display their flag on patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021.
Taliban on patrol in Kabul, Afghanistan.
  • The Taliban have “almost no chance” of getting the Afghan central bank’s reserves, an expert said.
  • “It’s all but impossible, to tell you the truth,” Cornell University professor Robert Hockett said.
  • The majority of Afghanistan’s reserves are reportedly held by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Taliban have “almost no chance” brooks shoes of getting their hands on the nearly $10 billion in reserves in Afghanistan’s central bank – and it’s likely that most of the assets will remain frozen in US bank accounts for decades to come, a legal and financial expert said.

“It’s all but impossible, to tell you the truth, both practically and legally,” Robert Hockett, a Cornell University professor of law and finance, told Insider on Wednesday of the likelihood that the Taliban obtain those reserves.

Hockett said it was essentially legally impossible because the Taliban are “not recognized as a legitimate government by the United States.”

“And the United States has the legal authority to freeze assets that were held by a government when that government is replaced by a nongovernment,” he added.

The “only way” that the Taliban could see the billions of dollars in reserves, according to Hockett, is “if it ceases to be the Taliban.”

“Because only if they were to cease being the Taliban, might they come to be viewed as a legitimate government of Afghanistan,” Hockett said.

Shortly after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan following the stunning collapse of the Afghan government last month, the US froze most of the roughly $9.5 billion in assets in the country’s central bank.

And the majority of those reserves are reportedly held by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where many governments and foreign central banks hold assets.

The former acting governor of the Afghan central bank, Ajmal Ahmady, previously told The New York Times that a stash of about $7 billion of the central clarks shoes uk bank’s reserves was held by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, while $1.3 billion was held in international accounts.

Those assets, Hockett said, could sit frozen in the US “indefinitely.”

“There’s no sort of time, date, or limit on how long that can be. It could literally be for hundreds of years, legally speaking,” Hockett said.

He added: “Afghanistan held assets in other countries, too, and they’re without a doubt all doing the same thing.”

Hockett pointed to how the US froze billions in Iranian assets after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, when Ayatollah Khomeini took control of the government. Iranian assets, in that case, were frozen for decades.

“With Iran, of course, it has gone on for decades,” Hockett said. “And with the Taliban, it could also go on for decades, if the Taliban itself goes on for decades.”

Another possibility with regard to Afghanistan’s reserves, Hockett said, is that the frozen assets are one day be used to pay damages from lawsuits filed by Afghan refugees who were airlifted out of the country by US and allied forces in the lead-up to the completion of the US military withdrawal from the region.

“I think it’s more likely than not that a bunch of those refugees will end up becoming plaintiffs in suits brought against the Taliban,” Hockett said. “I can imagine class-action suits … brought against the Taliban, or the sort of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, in US federal courts and seeking compensation out of those assets.”

It is likely lawsuits would “succeed,” Hockett said, “given that the US hasn’t even recognized the Taliban as a government, as distinguished from a sort of terror group.”

“I don’t think there’s any chance at all that the hey dude shoes Taliban gets this money back through any kind of legal argumentation or legal process,” Hockett said.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan is left in dire economic straits as the Taliban move to form a new government there.

The cash-strapped Taliban could “finance themselves in the way that they have over the last 20 years, which is through the illicit drug trade” or rely “on some sort of financing help from rogue elements in the world that have money,” Hockett said.

Additionally, the US could use the frozen assets “as a kind of bargaining chip in negotiations with the Taliban to prevail on the Taliban to do certain things,” Hockett added.

“This is yet another case in which the importance of the US in the global financial system ends up conferring a great deal of power on the US,” Hockett said. “It’s exactly in cases like this where you see just how important or how much power that role the US in the global financial system plays.”

The US Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department did not return requests for comment for this report.

A New York Fed official told Insider in a statement: “As a matter of policy, we do not acknowledge or discuss individual account holders.”

Airline employees took on new mission in Afghanistan conflict’s final days: Getting evacuees to the U.S.

Airline employees took on new mission in Afghanistan conflict’s final days: Getting evacuees to the U.S.

In 17 ½ years as a flight attendant for United Airlines, Hope Williams has worked thousands of flights.

But one recent flight will stay with her forever.

Williams recalled the mixture of fear, uncertainty, relief and hope on the faces of hundreds of Afghan evacuees on the day they boarded the Boeing 777-300 that would take them from Qatar to Germany, then on to the United States.

She was part of a crew of more than a dozen United employees who volunteered to work on one of the first Afghan evacuee flights operated by the carrier. Williams said they tried to make those onboard feel comfortable, but it was clear the trauma of leaving Kabul was fresh. hey dude The stories they told and the bruises on their bodies brought tears to her eyes. But her time with them also brought something else.

“It’s like my name: Hope,” she said. “To know they were that much closer to being safe, it’s something I know I will never forget.”

Williams and her colleagues were among thousands of employees at six commercial U.S. carriers who played roles in the massive evacuation to get Americans and allies out of Taliban-controlled Afghanistan before the Biden administration’s deadline. The final evacuation flights departed early this week as the United States vacated Afghanistan and the besieged Kabul airport, handing control to the Taliban after two decades of war.

In the air and on the ground, airline employees say they served as translators and troubleshooters. They stocked planes with diapers and teddy bears for hundreds of evacuated children and dug into their own pockets if supplies were needed. They delivered pizza to those awaiting processing who were stuck on planes at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, prompting the business taking the order to proclaim with glee: “Y’all we’ve got a big one. American Airlines!” the airline wrote on its company blog.

Hours before Delta’s first flight carrying evacuees was scheduled to arrive Aug. 23 at Dulles, the airline received word that several dozen children were among those on board. Three airline employees hopped into a van to stock up on diapers, formula and baby snacks.

Since that time, Delta flew 18 evacuation flights, bringing about 4,600 evacuees to the United States. United flew 4,000 people to the U.S. on 13 evacuation flights.

In all, U.S. officials said 122,000 men, women and children were flown out of the country in the unprecedented airlift. Of that total, 79,000 were evacuated by American military aircraft; the rest on charter and allied military flights. As of Friday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said 14,000 Afghan evacuees had arrived in Virginia.

The effort included 18 planes from American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta, Omni Air, Hawaiian Airlines and United. The aircraft were used to augment military flights under the Civil Reserve Air Fleet, a Department of balenciaga shoes Defense program created after World War II that allows the government to utilize commercial aircraft during a national defense crisis.

The commercial planes did not fly into Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, but ferried passengers from transit centers and U.S. military bases in nations such as Qatar, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates, where Afghans were processed for resettlement in other countries.

The first flights began landing in the U.S. last week. The vast majority touched down at Dulles, alongside reports that some evacuees were stuck on planes for as long as 12 hours as they waited to be screened and vetted by U.S. officials. The delays reflected the challenges of admitting thousands of people to the country in a short span of time.

The processing delays were largely resolved by the end of last week after officials opened more areas for evacuees to wait until they could be processed. One location, housed in a converted United maintenance hangar, proved spacious enough for some to play soccer – a reminder, employees said, that no matter where they land, kids will be kids.

Philadelphia International Airport began receiving flights over the weekend, relieving pressure on Dulles as the operation began to wind down.

United flight attendant David Rocca, who was with Williams on the flight from Qatar to Germany, said he was struck by how few possessions evacuees carried with them.

“No shoes, no luggage – just a few personal belongings in a plastic bag,” he said. It was a reminder, he said, of all they had left behind.

Monday evening, United Chief Executive Scott Kirby – in Washington for a meeting at the White House – met with a small group of employees at Dulles to praise their efforts.

“Thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart,” he said. “This is where we get the chance to do something that really makes a difference.”

Midway through the town hall, one employee reminded colleagues that stories seemingly far way can often hit close to home.

Mohammad Asif, who works at Dulles loading and unloading aircraft, is originally from Afghanistan and translated for the arriving evacuees. The former U.S. Marine translator told the room that he remains concerned for his wife, mother and younger sister and brother who are still in Afghanistan. He fears for their lives, he said, and hoped they could be helped.

Airline employees said being part of the evacuation effort lifted their spirits at a time when many have grown weary of the steady drumbeat of negative headlines: hurricanes, fires and the pandemic.

Mehdi Haririnia, a customer service supervisor with United who immigrated to the U.S. from Iran in 1988, served as a translator for arriving Afghans, helping to answer questions and explain the process new arrivals must follow after they land. The work, he said, reminded him that a friendly face speaking a familiar language steve madden shoes can be calming, even in the midst of turmoil.

United pilot Jennifer Shields, who is helping to fly groups of evacuees to Wisconsin, where some will be housed at Fort McCoy, called the opportunity the most meaningful of her career.

Alaska Airlines announced last week it would fly evacuees to military bases across the country that will serve as temporary homes for evacuees. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the military is prepared to house up to 50,000 Afghans at seven bases and facilities in the U.S.

Williams recalled the family that sat in Row 34, seats A, B and C, that made multiple trips to the Kabul airport before finally getting through. Then there was the translator who made it through the gates, only to lose track of his family at the end. He sat on the airplane frantically trying to sign on to the free Wi-Fi in hopes he could locate them, but was not successful.

“Life-changing,” she said. “And humbling. Very humbling.”

An Alabama mother who lost her son to covid says not getting the vaccine is her biggest regret

A selfie showing Curt Carpenter, his mother, Christy, and younger sister Cayla.

These days, Christy Carpenter finds strength in her family and faith. But on some days, one question keeps ringing in her head: “Why?”

After weeks of battling through oxygen treatments, her 28-year-old son died in the hospital two months after being diagnosed with covid-19.

Now in Carpenter’s Alabama home, the room belonging to Curt, her “beautiful baby boy” hey dude shoes and firstborn, remains empty – a painful reminder of a life that could have been saved if the family had decided to get vaccinated, she said.

“It took watching my son die and me suffering the effects of covid for us to realize we need the vaccine,” the mother said. “We did not get vaccinated when we had the opportunity and regret that so much now.”

Although for her it will always be impossible to understand the reason for Curt’s passing, Carpenter said she is determined to not let her son’s death be futile.

“If Curt were here today, he would make it his mission to encourage everyone to get vaccinated,” Carpenter said. “Cayla, his sister, and I are carrying out that mission in his memory.”

Curt Carpenter was a young and otherwise healthy man. While at home, his mother said, he would spoil her with the “best hugs” and a daily dosage of kindness. Curt was autistic, but Christy Carpenter said he “lived life to the fullest” and had a passion for all things Pokémon, trains, video games and frogs.

The pandemic dealt a big blow to the tightknit Carpenter family on March 5, when Curt, his younger sister and his mother were diagnosed with the virus, which has claimed about 610,000 lives across the nation.

At first, the three experienced mild symptoms that slowly began to alleviate. Then, a week later, everything took a turn for the worse.

When their oxygen saturation levels dropped dangerously, the mother and son were rushed to Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham. A day later, they both developed pneumonia, and Curt Carpenter was put on a ventilator.

The constantly changing oxygen levels paired with a pneumothorax – a collapsed lung – were too much for Curt Carpenter’s body. His organs began shutting down. He was declared dead May 2.

His last uttered phrase is still etched in Christy Carpenter’s mind: “This is not a hoax, this is real,” ecco shoes Curt said, according to his mother.

His mother said Curt Carpenter at first believed that the coronavirus was a hoax. The whole family was hesitant to get vaccinated when the shots became available.

“It took years to create other vaccines, and the coronavirus vaccine was created very quickly,” Christy Carpenter said. “That made us very nervous.”

The Carpenters’ reluctance is not unique in a state with the lowest vaccination rates in the country. According to data from the Alabama Department of Public Health, only 33.9 percent of the state’s eligible population has been fully vaccinated, and 41.6 percent has received at least one dose.

With cases beginning to climb in the state, health officials are attempting to boost confidence in the vaccine – but difficulties in rollout paired with distrust have become major hurdles.

“We find that there’s a lot of mistrust with messages that come from state government, from public health, in particular, from the media,” said Scott Harris, chief executive of the Alabama Department of Public Health. “It’s just a multilayered problem. There’s just a lot of different people who have a lot of different reasons for not getting the vaccine. And it’s just hard to address them in a big way.”

Much like the Carpenters, unvaccinated people are often the ones to endure the most severe effects of the virus. In Alabama, they account for more than 95 percent of the current covid-related hospitalizations, Harris said.

Yet, for some, the disease does not end with a negative coronavirus test. Its aftermath can be just as harrowing.

Even after being discharged from the hospital, Christy Carpenter said, she could not drive or work until late May. She said she has been on pulmonary therapy ever since and still struggles with fatigue, hair loss and “covid brain.”

“I lose my train of thought easily, can’t remember parts of conversations, brooks shoes can’t remember people’s names that I have known for years,” she said. “I sometimes think I’m going crazy, but I know I’m not.”

Even worse, she deals with the backwash of memories of her son – a “social butterfly who knew no strangers” and whose time was cut short. Yet his death has inspired a renewed appreciation for life and a mission to protect it.

“If we can help keep people healthier and possibly save lives by encouraging others to take the vaccine, then Curt’s death was not in vain,” Christy said. “Life is a precious gift from God.”

Hugh Grant denies getting married for ‘passport reasons’

Anna Elisabet Eberstein and Hugh Grant arrives at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Britain, February 2, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Hugh Grant is clarifying comments about his marriage to Anna Eberstein.

Hugh Grant is issuing a correction to the internet about his marriage.

The British actor made headlines skechers outlet in 2018 when he tied the knot for the first time at age 57. Now, he’s clearing up gossip about that union to Anna Eberstein, with whom he shares three children.

The Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love Actually star, now 60, shared a screenshot, sent by a friend, with search results for “Hugh Grants wife” which notes in the first hit that he married the Swedish TV producer “for passport reasons.”

“No I didn’t, internet,” Grant wrote. “I married her because I love her.”

The article in question leads back to an interview Grant gave USA Today a month after he was married. In it, he said he and Eberstein agree that “marriage is a pretty preposterous social construct” but it was “a nice thing to do” as parents of three children.

Though he noted that it also made traveling smoother.

“I didn’t like going through immigration into countries where they’d say, ‘Everyone with a Grant passport, over here, and all the others through there,'” he told the outlet, noting Eberstein “went through with the nannies. That seemed all wrong.”

When it was pointed out that swimmer Michael Phelps married to make travel easier ahead ahead of the Rio Olympics, golden goose sneakers Grant said, “Did he? Well, we’re very similar in many ways.”

Grant and Eberstein exchanged vows in a small ceremony in May 2018. Leading up to that, the movie star —whose exes including long-time love and still close friend Elizabeth Hurley — after developing a reputation for being marriage-averse. But he has since said that once he committed, he was happy he did.

“Well, I was just plain wrong,” Grant said in 2019 of being against marriage. “And children, you know. I used to roll my eyes. People would say, ‘Oh Hugh you don’t understand it,’ but they were right.”

Grant also became a dad later in life, welcoming his first child at age 51. In addition to the three kids kids he has with Eberstein, he has two with ex-girlfriend Tinglan Hong.

Vulnerable Dems fret after getting a shock: AOC’s campaign cash

As the midterm campaign’s first fundraising deadline approached this week, several vulnerable House Democrats got an unwelcome surprise in their accounts: $5,000 from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The New York Democrat sent the contributions to her colleagues to help keep the House majority ahead of a tough cycle without directly contributing to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, with which she’s publicly clashed. But Ocasio-Cortez’s largesse — and an oversight at the campaign headquarters — has instead raised awkward questions among her colleagues as some swing-district Democrats fret over whether to return her money before the GOP can turn it into an attack ad.

Some members whose campaigns got unexpected Ocasio-Cortez cash are seeking answers directly from DCCC Chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) and his top staffers. DCCC aides gave lawmakers’ wire transfer information to Ocasio-Cortez’s aides without the approval of more senior officials, according to multiple people familiar with the contributions.

Even if imperiled House Democrats refund her contribution now, Ocasio-Cortez’s name is almost certain to show up on their Federal Election Commission reports when they’re due this month — creating a liability for members of her party who have to win reelection in districts where her political brand is poisoned thanks to years of unrelenting Republican attacks.

While some are grateful for the infusion of cash, at least three Democrats have so far either declined the initial transfer or said they would return the money: Reps. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania, Carolyn Bourdeaux of Georgia and Elissa Slotkin of Michigan, according to multiple sources.

Several people involved with the episode described it as an unforced error by the DCCC, with the staff of its campaign arm failing to anticipate the political ramifications of putting their party’s most polarizing figure on their donor rolls of vulnerable members known as frontliners.

Chris Hayden, a spokesman for DCCC declined to comment on the details but said: “We appreciate Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s ongoing commitment to a Democratic majority. Due to a miscommunication, some transfers were made in error, but that has been addressed.”

Normally, swing-district Democrats are scrounging for every last dollar to help them secure their reelections, particularly in a first quarter that has been tougher than usual for candidates across the board. But the Ocasio-Cortez donation, these Democrats said, was unsolicited and came without warning. Many of their campaigns did not receive a heads-up from the DCCC about the donation until after it hit members’ accounts — a move that surprised senior aides and campaign consultants.

“The GOP has spent four years saying the frontliners are all socialists. Now they’ve got the receipts to prove it. Anyone telling themselves this won’t be in campaign ads is in denial,” said one Democratic consultant who works for swing-seat members.

In the political donation world, wire transfers are commonly used to quickly move large sums of money from one account to another, particularly in the final stretch of a fundraising quarter and during a pandemic. The Ocasio-Cortez transfers carried clear political risk for some members, however, and some sources pointed out that she could have alleviated the current anxiety by giving to the DCCC directly.

Still, other Democrats said they saw Ocasio-Cortez’s interest in helping endangered incumbents as a positive sign for party unity, even if they were stunned by the method. And privately, the liberal star already is personally close with some of the frontliners, many of whom were elected in the same blue wave that helped Democrats recapture the House in 2018.

She offered to make similar donations to frontline Democrats during the 2020 election cycle but only contributed to those who took her up on the offer, according to two sources familiar with her political operation.

The sophomore New York Democrat spent years at loggerheads with the campaign arm and is among several progressives who have refused to pay member dues to DCCC, in part because of its treatment of liberal primary challengers.

Her current round of donations alone — an intended total of $160,000 — amount to more than half of Ocasio-Cortez’s entire dues goal for the 2020 cycle, according to a dues report obtained by POLITICO.

Ocasio-Cortez is a prolific fundraiser with a campaign machine of her own that could be a major asset to Democrats as they attempt to hold onto their majority next fall. While she has given to some individual frontline Democrats in the past, such as Reps. Mike Levin and Katie Porter of California as well as Rep. Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, her past giving has been more selective.

This year’s crop of DCCC frontliners include 32 hand-picked Democrats who face some of the toughest elections in the country next November. The majority of them flipped GOP seats in 2018. Some, like Levin and Porter of California, proudly identify with the left wing of the party, and would face minimal political risk from an affiliation from the progressive icon.

But Ocasio-Cortez’s money poses a problem for Democrats such as Reps. Jared Golden of Maine and Slotkin, who represent more moderate turf and have sought to distance themselves from the left wing of the caucus. Many of the Democratic frontliners are particularly anxious this cycle after their party’s down-ballot disaster last November, which wiped out 13 incumbents. Even Democrats who clung onto their seats saw victory margins much closer than expected and remain shocked by inaccurate polling.

Now Republican campaigns have obvious fodder for attacks on many of those Democrats as “funded by” or “taking money from” Ocasio-Cortez. Past GOP attempts to elevate Ocasio-Cortez and other younger Democrats of color into bogeywomen haven’t paid huge dividends with independent voters, but their effectiveness in motivating the Republican base means they’re likely to continue — particularly as President Joe Biden looks to incorporate some of her priorities into his agenda.

Still, several Democratic operatives said they are expecting GOP candidates to run attacks yoking their members to Ocasio-Cortez and democratic socialist policies whether or not her contributions get returned.

“If the Republicans are going to hit us on AOC, they’re going to do it anyways,” said one Democratic source close to the process. “They don’t care about the truth.”

Gen Z is getting screwed by remote work, Microsoft survey finds

Microsoft’s Work Trend Index took data from people using its products and surveys around the world.

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Millions of people are embracing a new way to work. The coronavirus pandemic has compelled employers to largely accept remote-working arrangements to keep employees safe and flexible schedules to let workers take care of family. But though large margins of people Microsoft surveyed in January about work habits said they hope the flexible office will remain when COVID-19 subsides, Generation Z workers are struggling.

A new study from Microsoft, released Monday, found that among the more than 31,000 workers it surveyed, 73% hoped remote work options would continue when the pandemic ends. Even Gen Z applicants were slightly more likely to apply for a job with remote options than for one strictly in an office. But those workers are also facing particular drawbacks.

Gen Z workers, born roughly between the mid-1990s and mid-2010s, responded to Microsoft’s surveys generally by saying they’re more stressed and find they’re struggling more than their peers. They tend to be single, since they’re younger, leading them to feel isolated. And since they’re early in their careers, they don’t have financial means to create a good workspace at home if their employer won’t pay for it. And they’re not having those in-person meetings that sometimes help them land in career advancing projects, or even to get in good with the boss.