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A Minnesota surgeon was fired after he told a local school board only parents should make decisions on whether or not their kids wear masks

school kids elementary school children
Elementary kids wearing masks. 
  • A Minnesota surgeon told a school board parents should decide whether or not their kids wear masks.
  • “It’s still their responsibility. It’s not yours,” Dr. Jeffrey Horak said, opposing a mask mandate.
  • Horak said he was fired from his job nine days later without an explanation.

A Minnesota surgeon was fired bluetooth headphones after he spoke at a school board meeting and said parents should be the ones to decide whether or not their kids wear masks, KOMO News reported.

At an October 11 meeting in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Dr. Jeffrey Horak spoke out against the district’s mask mandate.

“Who does God put in charge of these kids? Their parents,” Horak said at the meeting, KOMO News reported. “God gave each one of these kids to their parents and they speak for them. They may be wrong, they may be dumb, they may be perfect in their decisions. But it’s still their responsibility. It’s not yours, God gave it to them, honor their wishes – either side of the fence.”

In a statement on his Facebook page, Horak said nine days after he made those comments his employer, Lake Region Healthcare, told him his views were “no longer congruent” with theirs and asked him to either resign or be fired.

“I wasn’t given a reason nor was I aware of any issues or complaints about me,” Horak said in his statement.

He added: “We live in America where freedoms are held close. I am a man who believes individuals have the right to do their research and decide what is best for them and their children when it comes to their health. I don’t believe governments or institutions should dictate that. It’s a position I’ve always have taken. And when skechers outlet the science doesn’t make sense it’s hard for me to go along.”

In a statement to Insider, Lake Region Healthcare said they did not make the decision to terminate Dr. Horak.

“Lake Region Healthcare is not Dr. Horak’s employer. Dr. Horak is part of Lake Region Medical Group, the partnership of providers that Lake Region Healthcare contracts with,” a spokesperson for Lake Region Healthcare told Insider.

Dr. Greg Smith, President, of Lake Region Medical Group Board told Insider in a statement that the board, made up of nine of Horak’s partners, decided to discontinue his contract after “a thorough review process,” but said the reasons for his separation were a “confidential matter.”

“To be clear, this was a decision that was made by Dr. Horak’s peers who serve on the Medical Group Board, not by Lake Region Healthcare, the community-based hospital where Dr. Horak practiced General Surgery,” the statement said.

Missing teenage girl who left Fort Worth home was perhaps persuaded to go, mother says

A teenage girl was likely persuaded by another person to leave her Fort Worth home last week and has not returned or been in touch with her relatives, her mother said on Wednesday.

Dashayla Wolfe, 14, has been missing since Oct. 20. She nike sneakers left between 11:30 p.m. and 4:30 a.m., her mother, Cynthia Wolfe, said at a news conference outside the Walls of Jericho Deliverance Church in the Stop Six section of the city.

The Baptist Ministers Union of Greater Fort Worth and the Ministers of Justice Coalition of Texas called the conference on the missing teenager.

A 14-year-old Fort Worth girl has been missing since Oct. 20, officials said. Dashayla Wolfe was last seen in her home.
A 14-year-old Fort Worth girl has been missing since Oct. 20, officials said. Dashayla Wolfe was last seen in her home.

Cynthia Wolfe and others offered a plea to her daughter to return home or for someone with information about her location to share it. Walls of Jericho Deliverance Church is offering a $5,000 reward in the case, its pastor, the Rev. John Reed, said.

Dashayla teaches Sunday school at the church and sings in its choir.

Her mother, who is a asics shoes minister at the church, said she believed that Dashayla had been “persuaded to leave in some kind of way.”

“Just come home or let someone know that you are OK,” she said.

A Fort Worth Police Department spokesperson did not answer questions from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about the case.

Dashayla Wolfe was described as biracial with brown hair and hazel eyes. She is about 5-foot-2 and weighs about 190 pounds.

Anyone with information should call Fort Worth police at 817-392-4222.

A California Construction Worker Asked a Speeding Motorist to Slow Down. He Was Shot Seven Times In Response.

The family of a California Black construction worker wants answers after their loved one was shot several times in what is now being looked at as a potential hate crime.

Bobby Gayle is still recovering, KCRA reported this week, after being shot seven times asics shoes this month in the town in California’s Central Valley. The incident took place on Oct. 8 while the 45-year-old man was on the job at a north Stockton restaurant.

Bobby Gayle (left), Michael Hayes (right) Credit: Family photo/Stockton Police Department
Bobby Gayle (left), Michael Hayes (right) Credit.

Bobby’s brother, Marlon Gayle, told the outlet that his brother had just finished the job when the shooting occurred. Marlon claims that Bobby saw a man driving at high speed through the parking lot and yelled for him to slow down.

The brother said the man, identified as Michael Hayes, 31, stopped his truck, got out and started shooting and spouting racial slurs. Marlon told the outlet he believes “it was a hate crime.”

He added, “The guy doesn’t know my brother. My brother doesn’t know him. Out of nowhere, he started calling him the N-word and started shooting him.”

On Friday, Hayes was charged with attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Police are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

Marlon Gayle said he learned of his brother’s nike sneakers shooting through several voicemails the father of five left on his phone. The shooter missed several major arteries, but Bobby was ultimately hit in his throat, upper arm, shoulder and two times in the face.

The brother says they “don’t know if he’ll be able to work at the same capacity.” He added, “The doctors are letting us know. Our first thing … is being able to see that he is breathing right. He’s talking right.”

Prior to Hayes’ arrest, Stockton Police shared photos of the man and his truck on Facebook. There was also a $10,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.

Stockton Police Assistant Chief Jim Chraska said that the department was “working with reporting to the California Department of Justice as well as the FBI. We have an officer on the FBI task force. So it’s important to us to make sure we get the community’s help.”

After the arrest, Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones thanked the “anonymous tipster and the hard work of our detectives for bringing a quick resolution to this case for the victim and his family.”

I moved from China to the US because of my daughter’s dyslexia. It was the only way to give her what she needed.

Ann and Michelle at the Confetti premiere
Ann Hu with her daughter. Courtesy of Ann Hu
  • Ann Hu, a director, moved from China to the US to help her daughter with her dyslexia.
  • Their story inspired her movie “Confetti.”
  • This is her story, as told to Kelly Burch.

When my daughter Michelle was 3 years old, her Chinese teacher took me aside. “Your daughter likely has dyslexia,” she told me.

I paused. I had gone to college in the United States and had a thriving career in consulting afterward. I made award-winning films in English. keen shoes But at that moment, my fluency wasn’t enough to understand what the teacher was saying.

“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?” I asked the teacher.

This time, her face froze. “It means she’ll need special attention,” she finally said.

Searching for answers

After speaking with Michelle’s teacher, I tried to find more answers, but it was impossible. It was the mid-2000s, and internet access was restricted in China. Even if I’d had the entire web at my fingertips I would have struggled, because dyslexia is not well known in China.

When Michelle turned 6, she enrolled in public school. Some kids in Michelle’s class could write 5,000 Chinese characters, but my daughter couldn’t write her name.

I decided to pour all my resources into helping Michelle. She went to school each day and met with tutors each afternoon, sometimes until 11 p.m. It didn’t seem to make a difference. Michelle’s classmates were making fun of her. Her teachers were powerless to help, because they didn’t understand dyslexia either. We were miserable, and I knew I had to do something about it.

Emigrating in search of a better education

Michelle had been born in the United States, and we were both US citizens. I had taken her to China as a baby because it was important to me that she learn Chinese and be raised in my culture. I figured she could move to the United States for high school or college, once her Chinese roots were well established.

Michelle’s dyslexia changed that plan. When she was 7, we moved back to New York.

At first our problems were nike outlet compounded. Michelle spoke the language, but it was Beijing English, not New York English. Her teachers had difficulty distinguishing which of her challenges were language-related and which were because of her learning disability.

Eventually I learned more about special education in the United States and was able to get Michelle into a school where she thrived. Today she’s a confident, happy teenager who just started her sophomore year.

Learning disabilities in China versus the US

My experience with the American school system taught me that the US doesn’t have the cure for dyslexia, as I had hoped. However, we do have a society that talks openly about learning differences and is willing to help kids learn in the way that works for them.

That’s what’s missing in China. There’s a total lack of awareness about learning disabilities. I was once asked if dyslexia is contagious. Because people don’t understand learning differences, children with them are stigmatized and marginalized. Soon they disappear from the mainstream education system.

The Chinese value education above all else. Raising Michelle has shown me that my culture needs to focus on more than just the volume of knowledge that we give our children; we need to make sure they are creative and confident too.

Why I share my story

Navigating learning disabilities can be daunting for any parent. My experience was compounded by my culture. I had to navigate an unfamiliar school system to get Michelle the support she needed, while also learning about a new concept and easics shoes xamining cultural ideas of what it means to be a successful student and a successful parent.

After 16 years of parenting Michelle, I’ve realized that dyslexia isn’t a curse, it’s a gift. People with different styles of learning have strengths that I can only dream of. I’ve watched my daughter blossom into a self-assured young woman who loves to interact with the world around her.

‘Lurching Between Crisis and Complacency’: Was This Our Last COVID Surge?

A woman receives a COVID-19 vaccination at the Unidos En Salud community vaccination and testing site in San Francisco on Aug. 1, 2021. (Mike Kai Chen/The New York Times)
A woman receives a COVID-19 vaccination at the Unidos En Salud community vaccination and testing site in San Francisco on Aug. 1, 2021.

After a brutal summer surge, driven by the highly contagious delta variant, the coronavirus is again in retreat.

The United States is recording roughly 90,000 new infections a day, down more than 40% since August. Hospitalizations and deaths are falling, too.

The crisis is not over everywhere — the situation in Alaska is particularly dire — but nationally, the trend is clear, and hopes are rising that the worst is finally behind us.

Again.

Over the past two years, the pandemic has crashed over the country in waves, inundating hospitals and then receding, only to return after Americans let their guard down.

It is difficult to tease apart the reasons that the virus ebbs and flows in this way and harder still to predict the future.

But as winter looms, there are real reasons for optimism. Nearly 70% of adults are fully vaccinated, and many children younger than 12 are likely to be eligible for hoka shoes their shots in a matter of weeks. Federal regulators could soon authorize the first antiviral pill for COVID-19.

“We are definitely, without a doubt, hands-down in a better place this year than we were last year,” said Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Policy and Research at Boston University.

But the pandemic is not over yet, scientists cautioned. Nearly 2,000 Americans are still dying every day, and another winter surge is plausible. Given how many Americans remain unvaccinated and how much remains unknown, it is too soon to abandon basic precautions, they said.

“We’ve done this again and again, where we let the foot off the pedal too early,” Bhadelia said. “It behooves us to be a bit more cautious as we’re trying to get to that finish line.”

Crushing the Curve

When the first wave of cases hit the United States in early 2020, there was no COVID vaccine, and essentially no one was immune to the virus. The only way to flatten the proverbial curve was to change individual behavior.

That is what the first round of stay-at-home orders, business closures, mask mandates and bans on large gatherings aimed to do. There is still debate over which of these measures were most effective, but numerous hey dude studies suggest that, collectively, they made a difference, keeping people at home and curbing the growth of case numbers.

These policies, combined with voluntary social distancing, most likely helped bring the early surges to an end, researchers said.

“And then the measures would be lifted, maybe memories would fade,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a public health researcher at Johns Hopkins University.

Eventually, cases would rise again, and similar patterns would play out. Businesses and local governments would reimplement restrictions, while people who had begun venturing out into the world again would hunker down and mask up.

During last winter’s surge, for instance, the percentage of Americans who reported going to bars or restaurants or attending large events declined, according to the U.S. COVID-19 Trends and Impact Survey, which has surveyed an average of 44,000 Facebook users daily since April 2020.

“The curve is shaped by public awareness,” Nuzzo said. “We’re sort of lurching between crisis and complacency.”

Delta arrived during a period of deep pandemic fatigue and at a moment when many vaccinated Americans felt as if they could finally relax. Data suggests that the new variant prompted less profound behavioral change than previous waves.

In mid-July, just 23% of Americans said that they always wore a mask in public, the lowest percentage since March 2020, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which compiles data from several sources.

By Aug. 31, the peak of the delta wave, that figure had risen to 41%, although it remained far below the 77% of people who reported wearing masks during the winter surge.

“If you just look around, people are much more living a normal life or a pre-COVID life,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the institute.

Still, even modest changes in behavior can help slow transmission, especially in combination, and delta prompted changes at both the individual and organizational levels. Schools adopted new precautions, companies postponed reopenings, and organizations canceled events, dr martens boots giving the virus fewer opportunities to spread.

Meanwhile, more temperate autumn weather arrived, making it possible for Americans in many regions of the country to socialize outside, where the virus is less likely to spread.

“We’re in a shoulder season, where it’s cooler in the South than it is in the middle of the summer and it’s warmer in the North than it is in the middle of the winter,” said David O’Connor, a virus expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Indeed, many of the current virus hot spots are in the northernmost parts of the country, from Alaska to Minnesota, where even cooler temperatures may be sending people back inside.

Increasing Immunity

Behavioral change is a temporary, short-term way to drive cases down. The true end to the pandemic will come through immunity.

The delta wave was the first major, national surge to occur after vaccines had become widely available, providing many adults with substantial protection against the virus. (Delta also probably led more Americans to get vaccinated.)

At the same time, the variant was so infectious that it spread rapidly through vulnerable populations, conferring natural immunity on many unvaccinated Americans.

Although neither vaccination nor prior infection provides perfect protection against the virus, they dramatically reduce the odds of catching it. So by September, the virus had a substantially harder time finding hospitable hosts.

“Delta is running out of people to infect,” said Jeffrey Shaman, an infectious disease public health researcher at Columbia University.

The fact that case numbers are falling does not mean that the country has reached herd immunity, a goal that many scientists now believe is unattainable. But the rising levels of vaccination and infection, combined with more modest behavioral changes, may have been enough to bring the surge to an end.

“It’s a combination of immunity but also people being careful,” said Joshua Salomon, an infectious disease expert and modeler at Stanford University.

Indeed, scientists said that a combination of factors, which might be different in different parts of the country, would ultimately determine when and why the virus waxed and waned.

“The different surges and waves depend on how big were the waves before that one, how many people have been vaccinated, when the schools reopened, the different variants,” said Alessandro Vespignani, director of the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University in Boston.

There is some randomness involved, too, especially because small numbers of “superspreaders” seem to play a disproportionate role in setting off outbreaks. “About 10 to 20% of the people are responsible for 80 to 90% of the infections,” said Christina Ramirez, a biostatistician at the University of California, Los Angeles.

That means that two similar communities might find themselves on radically different trajectories simply because one highly infectious person happened to attend a crowded indoor event, fueling a major outbreak.

Some patterns still defy explanation. In March and April, for instance, Michigan was hit hard by the alpha variant, delta’s slightly less infectious predecessor.

Other states were largely spared, for reasons that remain unclear, Murray said. “Why was Michigan the only state with a large alpha surge in spring?” he said. “We have no idea.”

The Winter Forecast

What comes next is hard to predict, but cases may not necessarily continue their steady decline, scientists warned.

Britain and Israel, which both have higher vaccination rates than the United States, are still struggling with outbreaks.

“That should be a wake-up call,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. “Do not go back into the pre-Fourth-of-July mindset again where everybody thought it was done and over with.”

Most experts said they would not be surprised to see at least a small increase in cases later this fall or this winter as people begin spending more time indoors and traveling for the holidays.

But because the vaccines remain highly effective at preventing hospitalization and death, any coming winter spikes may be less catastrophic than last year’s.

“It’s not likely that it will be as deadly as the surge we had last winter, unless we get really unlucky with respect to a new variant,” Salomon said.

The emergence of a new variant remains a wild card, as does the possibility that the protection afforded by vaccination could start to wane more substantially.

Our own behavior is another source of uncertainty.

“Predicting an outbreak is not like predicting the weather, because you’re dealing with human behavior,” said Nicholas Reich, a biostatistician at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. “And that’s a fundamentally really hard thing to predict: new policies that would come into force, people’s reactions to them, new trends on social media, you know — the list goes on and on.”

But our behavior is, at least, under our control, and it remains a critical variable as we head into the winter, scientists said. By and large, they did not recommend canceling holiday plans; many said they themselves would be celebrating with friends and relatives. But they did suggest taking sensible precautions.

There is still time to be vaccinated or encourage loved ones to be vaccinated before Thanksgiving. Wearing masks in certain high-risk settings, hosting events outdoors when the weather is nice and taking rapid COVID tests before holiday gatherings are all common-sense strategies for reducing risk, experts said.

“It doesn’t mean Lockdown Christmas No. 2,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virus expert at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan. “But it does mean that we should all just be mindful that this is not completely over yet.”

A Spanish hospital diagnosed a woman with homosexuality. It was all a mistake, they say.

Alba Aragón, 19, has since filed a complaint with the local health department denouncing “LGBTBIfobia,” or “considering her sexual orientation an illness.”

Alba Aragón did not shy away from sharing her sexual orientation during her first appointment with a gynecologist last week.

After all, Aragón is comfortable with her sexuality: She has been attracted to women since she was 15.

“I told him that I was gay because I thought it would be an important fact at the time of prescribing any nike sneakers treatment or determining the diagnosis,” said Aragón, who lives in Murcia, a city in southeast Spain.

But before the consult ended at the Hospital General Universitario Reina Sofía, doctor Eugenio López handed her a document diagnosing her with an illness that had nothing to do with the irregular and painful periods for which Aragón had sought treatment.

Instead, it read in Spanish, “Current illness: Homosexual.”

Aragón, 19, was taken aback when she reviewed the report.

“I thought it was incredible that up until this day, in the 21st century, these types of beliefs continue to exist,” she told The Washington Post.

Aragón has since filed a complaint with the local health department denouncing “LGTBIfobia,” or “considering her sexual orientation an illness.” The complaint – submitted by GALACTYCO, a Spain-based activist group that defends LGBTQ rights – demands a new diagnosis so that no mention of homosexuality as an illness will be found in Aragón’s medical records. It also urged the hospital to admonish López and calls for an apology to be sent to Aragón.

The doctor has told local media that the incident was a “mistake” that happened when transcribing the patient’s record.

“What can I do?” López told El Español. “It was a huge slip-up. I’m a human being. I clicked the wrong button.”

The hospital is defending that explanation.

“The computer system offers a series nike store of fields to fill out the report and, as the own specialist has said, he made a mistake when selecting the field where he put the word ‘Homosexuality,'” spokeswoman Mar Sánchez told The Post.

A man who answered the phone at the doctor’s office on Friday said López was not at his clinic. He declined to answer questions about the case, instead referring to interviews with local media.

The case – widely reported by Spanish news outlets – sparked national outrage, drawing the attention of local LGBTQ organizations and political leaders who denounced the incident.

On the morning of Oct. 4, a nervous Aragón walked into the public hospital for her first-ever gynecology appointment. Her mother and sister could not accompany her because of work obligations, Aragón’s mother, Santi Conesa, told The Post. But Aragón, who had already waited months to secure the appointment because of the pandemic, chose to go on her own.

By the time she got to the doctor’s office, Aragón answered a series of routine questions before voluntarily disclosing her sexual orientation, she said. Following the doctor’s examination, Aragón said she was asked whether her sexual orientation could be noted in her clinical file – a piece of information only the physician would be able to see.

“The surprise happened when I got home and I read the report,” Aragón said.

The doctor’s diagnosis didn’t upset her, Aragón said, but it certainly would have five years ago when she was still grappling with accepting asics shoes her sexual orientation. Aragón and her family reached out to GALACTYCO, the LGBTQ collective, to submit a complaint on behalf of people struggling with coming out. She doesn’t want anyone to feel that homosexuality is an illness, Aragón told The Post.

She added: “In the end, we wanted to tell this experience and publicize it so it doesn’t happen to other people.”

The complaint was presented to Murcia’s Consejería de Salud, the local health department, on Wednesday. A spokeswoman with the department confirmed the hospital has opened an investigation.

That same day, leaders there called Aragón to apologize, the hospital spokeswoman told The Post. The doctor also fixed the report the next day, the spokeswoman added.

Aragón and her mother have accepted the hospital’s apologies.

“My intention is that it does not happen again with me nor with anyone else,” Aragón told The Post.

Emily Ratajkowski accuses Robin Thicke of groping her breasts on ‘Blurred Lines’ set: ‘I was nothing more than the hired mannequin’

Emily Ratajkowski accuses singer Robin Thicke of touching her bare breasts while filming the
Emily Ratajkowski accuses singer Robin Thicke of touching her bare breasts while filming the “Blurred Lines” music video.

Emily Ratajkowski says Robin Thicke crossed the line while filming the music video for “Blurred Lines,” a Grammy-nominated song which critics say objectifies women and promotes rape culture.

The Sunday Times reports that Ratajkowski’s upcoming book — brooks shoes My Body, out Nov. 9 — alleges that the singer groped her bare breasts on the set of the 2013 music video, in which she and two other near-naked models appeared alongside Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I.

The 30-year-old actress and model alleges that Thicke took her by surprise by touching her chest “from behind.”

“Suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt the coolness and foreignness of a stranger’s hands cupping my bare breasts from behind,” she writes. “I instinctively moved away, looking back at Robin Thicke.

“He smiled a goofy grin and stumbled backward, his eyes concealed behind his sunglasses. My head turned to the darkness beyond the set. [The director, Diane Martel’s] voice cracked as she yelled out to me, “Are you OK?”

Though the alleged moment made her feel “naked for the first time that day,” the Gone Girl star was “desperate to minimize” the situation. She reasoned that Thicke, who has spoken about his past abuse of drugs and alcohol, was “a little drunk” and “didn’t seem to be enjoying clarks shoes uk himself in the same way” on set.

“I pushed my chin forward and shrugged, avoiding eye contact, feeling the heat of humiliation pump through my body,” she writes. “I didn’t react — not really, not like I should have.”

Diane Martel, who directed the video, corroborated Ratajkowski’s account, telling the Times, “I remember the moment that he grabbed her breasts. One in each hand. He was standing behind her as they were both in profile.”

The model and actress claims Thicke appeared to be
The model and actress claims Thicke appeared to be “drunk” during the alleged incident. 

Martel said she responded to the alleged assault by shouting at Thicke, who she claims was drinking, adding, “I don’t think he would have done this had he been sober.”

“I screamed in my very aggressive Brooklyn voice, ‘What the f*** are you doing, that’s it!! The shoot is over!!’” she told the U.K. newspaper, adding that she had taken measures to make women feel comfortable on the set.

“Robin sheepishly apologized,” Martel says. “As if he knew it was wrong without understanding how it might have felt for Emily.”

According to Martel, Thicke’s record company was told the shoot would be halted, though a “very professional” Ratajkowski assured her that “we could go on.”

“We kept on and Emily was phenomenal,” Martel told the Times. “She’s really the star of the video. hey dude shoes She’s fully mocking him and the male gaze with her beautiful shape and ferocious energy. She’s playful, not seductive. And quite hilarious.”

In her book Ratajkowski says she didn’t dwell on the alleged incident until she realized that Thicke, now a judge on The Masked Singer, had blocked her on Instagram.

“With that one gesture, Robin Thicke had reminded everyone on set that we women weren’t actually in charge,” she says of her experience. “I didn’t have any real power as the naked girl dancing around in his music video. I was nothing more than the hired mannequin.”

Thicke has not yet publicly responded to Ratajkowski’s allegations. Yahoo has reached out to his representatives for comment and will update with their response.

The Greatest Killer in New Orleans Wasn’t the Hurricane. It Was the Heat.

National Guard members distribute ice outside a community center in New Orleans on Sept. 1, 2021. The city was without power for days after Hurricane Ida made landfall. (Johnny Milano/The New York Times)
National Guard members distribute ice outside a community center in New Orleans on Sept. 1, 2021. The city was without power for days after Hurricane Ida made landfall.

NEW ORLEANS — In many ways, Iley Joseph’s one-bedroom apartment was an ideal place to ride out a hurricane. It was on the third floor — much too high to flood — of a building that was sturdy and new, part of a sleek, gated community for older residents like him.

But in the days after Hurricane Ida, his home began to feel like a trap. nike store The huge power failure that cut off electricity to New Orleans rendered Joseph’s air-conditioner useless and his refrigerator nothing more than a cupboard. Even worse, the outage froze the complex’s elevators in place, sealing him inside the building because his health problems prevented him from using the stairs.

Joseph, 73, insisted in telephone conversations with his sons that he was doing just fine. But in his apartment, No. 312, it kept getting hotter. On Sept. 2, the fourth day after the storm hit — the hottest yet — a friend found him lying still on the side of his bed.

“I call his name, he doesn’t respond,” said the friend, Jared Righteous. “I realized he was gone.”

Only in recent days, as the last lights flickered back on in New Orleans, have officials here discovered the true toll of Hurricane Ida. Unlike in the Northeast, where many who perished were taken by floodwaters and tornadoes, heat has emerged as the greatest killer in New Orleans.

Of 14 deaths caused by the storm in the city, Joseph’s and nine others are believed to be tied to the heat. Experts say there are probably more. And friends of those who died have begun to ask whether the government or apartment landlords could have done more to protect older residents before they died, often alone, in stiflingly hot homes.

“Heat is a hazard that we simply haven’t given sufficient attention to,” said David Hondula, a professor at Arizona State University who studies the effects of sweltering temperatures. “All cities are in the early stages of understanding what an effective heat response looks like.”

In New Orleans, officials set up air-conditioned cooling centers across the city and distributed food, water and ice around town. But for residents like Joseph who could not leave their buildings, the aid might as well have been worlds away.

All 10 people whose deaths have been tied to the heat were in their 60s and 70s, and they died over four broiling days, the last of which was Sept. 5, a full week after the storm.

Among the first was Corinne Labat-Hingle, a 70-year-old woman who had fled to Memphis during Hurricane Katrina but returned to New Orleans and was living at an apartment complex for older people near Saint Bernard Avenue, a short walk from the city’s largest park. She was found dead on Sept. 2, when the temperature reached 93 degrees outdoors and was most likely higher inside her apartment.

Two days later, another 93-degree day, four people were found dead, including Reginald Logan, 74, whose body was discovered after a neighbor saw flies in his window. On Sept. 5, the heat index reached 101, and one of the last victims of the heat was found dead:asics shoes Keith Law, a 65-year-old man who lived in the Algiers neighborhood.

Heat most likely contributes to more deaths each year than are officially recorded, Hondula said. Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports fewer than 700 heat-related deaths a year, some studies have estimated 5,000 to 12,000. Last month, The New York Times found that 600 more people died in Oregon and Washington in the last week of June, during a heat wave, than normally would have, a number three times the state officials’ estimates of heat-related deaths.

This comes as heat waves are growing more frequent, longer lasting and more dangerous. The 2018 National Climate Assessment, a major scientific report by 13 federal agencies, notes that the number of hot days is increasing, and the frequency of heat waves in the United States jumped from an average of two per year in the 1960s to six per year by the 2010s.

People who die from the heat may not recognize their symptoms as life-threatening, and heat-related deaths can also occur suddenly, with little warning. The most frequent cause is cardiovascular failure, when the heart cannot pump blood fast enough. Less frequent are deaths from heat stroke, when a person’s internal temperature rises by several degrees and the body cannot cool off, causing organs like the brain, heart or kidneys to fail.

Laura Bergerol, a 65-year-old New Orleans photographer, died on Sept. 5. She had planned to evacuate to Florida before the storm but told friends she had trouble finding a hotel room. By the time she arranged plans, it was too dangerous to leave. After the storm, an errant $400 charge on her bank account had left her without enough money to get out. She stocked up on candles and hunkered down in her second-floor apartment in an affordable complex built for artists in the Bywater neighborhood downriver from the French Quarter.

“Missed my window of opportunity,” she wrote on Twitter. “Curse you #HurricaneIda.”

Neighbors said Bergerol largely stayed in her apartment with the doors and windows closed. Still, she seemed to be surviving. On Sept. 3, she texted Josh Hailey,keen shoes  a neighbor, asking if she could visit his cat while he was out. “I have plenty of treats,” she wrote. The next day, she joined neighbors in the building’s courtyard for a showing of “Cinderella.”

On Sunday, Hailey let himself into her apartment when she did not answer the door. He found her lying on the floor and tried to resuscitate her, but it was too late. That evening, the neighbors played brass-band music in the courtyard and danced for Bergerol, recalling her vivid blue eyes and frequent, wide smile.

By then, city health officials had begun to realize the danger that older residents were facing. A day before Bergerol’s death, they evacuated eight apartments for older residents, including several where people had died. Now, city officials are considering mandating, during natural disasters, that subsidized apartments serving older or disabled residents have generators, conduct welfare checks or have a building manager on the property at all times, a spokesperson said.

The proposed measures are gaining momentum partly because of deaths like that of Joseph, the man stuck in apartment 312.

Joseph was well known at Village de Jardin, a relatively affordable complex in New Orleans East for people 55 and older. It is owned by the Louisiana Housing Corp., a state agency, and managed by Latter & Blum, a large real estate company that manages properties across several states. The housing agency said Latter & Blum had encouraged tenants to evacuate and then, after the storm, brought cooling buses to the property and supplies to tenants who chose to stay.

Joseph had retired years ago from a job selling car parts. He frequently chatted with neighbors, and his routine included grabbing coffee and beignets around town. He was known for his faith, his love of his family and, to some, his trademark reply, “Yes, indeed,” which led his grandchildren to call him Grandpa Yes Indeed. Many more people knew him for his humor, which is how he became friends with Righteous, 45, who was drawn to Joseph when he was cracking jokes at an event hosted by the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church.

In the days after the hurricane, neighbors looked out for Joseph, who was subsisting on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. One friend brought him a warm plate of food. A neighbor across the hall charged Joseph’s phone using a car battery and an inverter.

But Sept. 2 was the most grueling day yet. Around 1:45 p.m., the heat index was nearing 103, and Joseph’s phone had died again. He poked his head outside his door and motioned for a woman in the hallway to come closer. The woman, Rhonda Quinn, thought he looked unwell and asked if he needed some air. He brushed her off, joking that after days in the heat, he smelled too bad to go out, she said.

What he did need, he said, was to charge his phone to make a call. Quinn found someone to help, but when she tried to return the phone sometime before 3 p.m., he did not answer her repeated knocks. She assumed he had gone out, and she left.

Shortly after, Joseph’s friend from church, Righteous, pulled into the complex’s parking lot with a bag of oatmeal cream pies and other snacks. He, too, received no answer after knocking on Joseph’s door. When he opened it, he found Joseph slumped to the side of the bed, as if he had been sitting on its edge and looking out the window.

His death has left his two sons grief-stricken and stunned, unable to understand how their father could make it through the hurricane’s wrath without a scratch only to perish in the heat that followed.

“He didn’t die from flooding, he didn’t die from a lightning bolt,” said his oldest son, Iley Joseph Jr., 45. “It’s just, he’s gone.”

Only after he escaped did wife see how close she was to losing her husband in Afghanistan

It was a text message from a bloodbath.

And while the words had been said many times before, Zorah Aziz knew immediately that something was not right when she found the note from her husband, Nazir Ahmad Qasimi, who was trapped in Afghanistan and trying desperately to escape.

Nazir Ahmad Qasimi. (Courtesy Zorah Aziz)
Nazir Ahmad Qasimi.
“He said ‘I love you,’” Aziz said. “I just want you to know I love you and that was it. And I was so weirded out by it.”

So, as she had done countless times since Kabul fell to the Taliban, she texted him back with words of love and reassurance.

“Okay, I love you too,” she wrote. “It’s gonna be okay.”

It would be several days before Aziz found out how close she came to losing the love of her life and the father of the baby she is carrying.

Qasimi, she said, was just inside the hey dude gates of Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 26 when 13 Marines and more than 100 Afghans were killed in an ISIS-K suicide bombing.

“I didn’t know he was actually in the middle of all that,” she said.

Aziz, 30, said her husband is safe now in Germany and waiting at a U.S. military base for the greenlight to join her in California, where she lives amid the large Afghan émigré community. She said his papers are all in order, but he has to quarantine before being allowed into the U.S.

Four months pregnant with a child conceived during her last visit to Kabul, Aziz said it’s likely that they’ll be reunited before she gives birth.

“God, it means the world to me,” she said. “I was so worried he wasn’t going to be here for that.”

Just a few days ago, it seemed unlikely that Qasimi, 24, would ever escape. He and Aziz married in June 2019 after a four-year courtship over the internet and he’d already been approved for a visa by U.S. immigration. But his departure was initially delayed by the pandemic.

Then came the Taliban.

Three times, Aziz said, Qasimi joined the crowds of desperate Afghans trying to get into the airport. And three times, despite waiting for hours on end, his bid ended in failure.

On his third try, after a 40-hour wait, Qasimi managed to get close enough to the Marines guarding the gates and show them his passport and visa, she said.

“They looked through it,” Aziz said. “They flat out denied him. And so that was pretty much the last straw for all of us. I begged my husband. I said please just don’t go back to airport.”

Meanwhile, Aziz said, the stress was taking a toll on her.

“Every single pregnancy symptom that you can think of started around the time that all this was happening,” she said. “And the dr martens boots  doctor looked at me and said: ‘Well, you need to just stop. Like, you’re stressing yourself out.’”

“My husband was a mess over there, and I’m a mess over here,” she said.

But unbeknown to Aziz, Qasimi, who worked in Kabul as purchasing manager for a U.S.-based company, found another way into the airport, with a little help from work.

“His boss had a contract job with the military,” Aziz said. “I think they were, like, providing them with Porta-Potties and stuff like that inside the airport.”

So one day, Qasimi rode shotgun with the driver making the delivery and simply stayed.

“I don’t know exactly what he was doing,” Aziz said. “But yeah, he went through another three or four days of hell at the airport.”

Aziz said she had no idea that Qasimi was at the airport when the suicide attacks happened and, even though he’d texted her, she knew he’d been trying to get inside via the same gate where the massacre happened.

“Prior to this my husband told me, don’t ask any questions,” she said. “We may not talk for a few days.”

But not long after word of the bloody ISIS-K attack broke, Aziz said she got a text message from Qasimi’s boss that her husband was all right. And then, a few days later, Qasimi texted her a selfie from inside a crowded plane.

“I couldn’t breathe,” Aziz said. “I almost, like, just broke down on the floor.”

Aziz said she knows how lucky she is that Qasimi got out. She said her in-laws are still trapped, and thousands of other Afghans with ties to the U.S., and who fear what the Taliban might do to them, are in the same boat.

Born and raised in California, steve madden shoes Aziz said she understands and supports the decision to remove U.S. troops from Afghanistan after 20 years of war. But she says the evacuation was mishandled and too many people were left behind.

“The (U.S.) embassy could have finished up the cases they had and direct all the new cases to neighboring countries,” Aziz said. “It didn’t have to happen this way.”

Asked what she plans to do once she is finally reunited with her husband, Aziz said she will take him shopping. She said he escaped with just his documents and the clothes on his back.

“I just want to hold him, I just want to hug him,” she said. “And just to know that he’s safe and he’s with me.”

Christina Haack says smoking toad venom was a ‘life changing experience,’ shares new pics of boyfriend

Christina Haack is opening up further about a “life-changing experience” she had earlier this year.

Haack, 38, revealed more about her relationship and her spiritual journey on her Instagram story Saturday. The mother-of-three discussed intimate details about smoking toad venom, a psychedelic, explaining, “My experience felt like my ego was being ripped away from me — a much needed ‘ego death.’”

“A lot of people asking about the Bufo Toad Venom,” she added. “For more info, hey dude shoes watch this video. Smoking the Bufo Toad Venom is a life changing experience and different for every person. It can’t be summed up in a post. But @tonyrobbins and @miketyson talk about their experiences here.”

The “Flip or Flop” star posted a screenshot and linked out to a YouTube video from Mike Tyson’s podcast “Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson” featuring Tony Robbins. She followed with some new snaps of her trip to Tulum with her boyfriend.

The glands of a Bufo Alvarius toad secrete substances known as 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenine, which are known for their psychedelic properties and are considered controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Administration. In a recent European study, inhaling the vapor from dried toad secretion was shown to produce sustained enhancement of satisfaction with life, and easing of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after one single use. Regardless, it’s illegal to use in the United States.

Haack initially shared her experience with toad venom on Thursday, July 8, in an Instagram post announcing her new relationship. The reality TV star shared a photo of the back of the couple’s heads, using the caption to pen a lengthy message about this new chapter in her life.

“I met Josh when I wasn’t in a state of fear or fight-or-flight … I had taken time off social, hired a spiritual coach and smoked a Bufo toad (which basically reset my brain and kicked out years of anxiety in 15 mins),” she wrote. “When we met this past spring, the synchronicities hit us so hard and fast they were impossible to ignore. I felt immediately crazy protective over him and wanted to keep him for myself and get to know each other before the tornado (media attention) hit.”

Within the post, Haack took a moment to share how she has “loved every second” of getting to know her boyfriend over the past few months while keeping their relationship under wraps. The “Christina on the Coast” star went into detail about why she decided to keep her relationship private during its early stages, writing, ecco shoes“So called ‘fame’ provides so many things but it comes with a cost. They build you up then tear you down.”

She detailed a story when the couple were at the airport and she spotted a camera behind them, sharing that her hands began to shake while her heart pounded.

“And not for me but for him,” she said. “I know they dig and dig and I didn’t ever want to see him stress over the media stalking him and his family. Which obviously has already begun to a uncomfortable degree. False narratives being thrown around left and right.”

Christina Haack and her new boyfriend, Josh.
Christina Haack and her new boyfriend, Josh.

Haack cited the downfall of many celebrity relationships as social media and people who are just looking to stir up drama. This time around, she has taken the route of “what’s in the past, is in the past.”

“I may be a bit crazy and i’m definitely not perfect but I will never live my life based on other peoples judgments or opinions,” she said. golden goose sneakers“We pride ourselves on never judging others and always wanting others to be happy and we wish others would have the same respect.”

Haack concluded her post with a message to any haters, writing, “So yes ‘another relationship’ and guess what. I’m 38 – I’ll do what I want.”

On Sunday, she shared a second post on Instagram about her trip to Tulum alongside a carousel of images from the trip with her new beau.

“Thank you to my man for kicking off my 38th with a whimsical dream vacation,” she captioned the post.

Haack, who took back her maiden name in February, announced that she and her ex-husband, British TV personality Ant Anstead, would be separating after less than two years of marriage. The couple tied the knot in an intimate surprise wedding at their home in Newport Beach, California in December 2018 after meeting through a mutual friend the year prior. The former couple share one child together, a son named Hudson.

The reality star was previously married to Tarek El Moussa, her “Flip or Flop” co-star. The couple separated in 2016, finalizing their divorce at the beginning of 2018 after nine years of marriage. Haack and El Moussa share two children together: Taylor, 10, and Brayden, 5.