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What is SWIFT and why it might be the weapon Russia fears most

As Western governments threaten Russia with a package of unprecedented sanctions aimed at deterring President Vladimir Putin from ordering an invasion of Ukraine, there’s one measure in particular that appears to strike fear at the heart of the Kremlin: cutting the country off from the global banking system.
US lawmakers have suggested in recent weeks that hoka shoes for women Russia could be removed from SWIFT, a high security network that connect thousands of financial institutions around the world.
Senior Russian lawmakers have responded by saying that shipments of oil, gas and metals to Europe would stop if that happened.
“If Russia is disconnected from SWIFT, then we will not receive [foreign] currency, but buyers, European countries in the first place, will not receive our goods — oil, gas, metals and other important components,” Nikolai Zhuravlev, vice speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, said Tuesday, according to state media outlet TASS.
What is SWIFT?
The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication was founded in 1973 to replace the telex and is now used by over 11,000 financial institutions to send secure messages and payment orders. With no globally accepted alternative, it is essential plumbing for global finance.
US working with allies to shore up energy supplies if Russia invades Ukraine
Removing Russia from SWIFT would make it nearly impossible for financial institutions to send money in or out of the country, delivering a sudden shock to Russian companies and their foreign customers -— especially buyers of oil and gas exports denominated in US dollars.
“The cutoff would terminate all international transactions, trigger currency volatility, and cause massive capital outflows,” Maria Shagina, a visiting fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, wrote in a paper last year for Carnegie Moscow Center. Excluding Russia from SWIFT would cause its economy to shrink by 5%, former finance minister Alexei Kudrin estimated in 2014.
SWIFT is based in Belgium and governed by a board consisting of 25 people, including Eddie Astanin, chairman of the management board at Russia’s Central Counterparty Clearing Centre. SWIFT, which describes itself as a “neutral utility,” is incorporated under Belgian law and must comply with EU regulations.
What happens if Russia is removed?
There is precedent for removing a country from SWIFT.
SWIFT unplugged Iranian banks in 2012 after they were sanctioned by the European Union over the country’s nuclear program. Iran lost almost half of its oil export revenue and 30% of foreign trade following the hoka shoes disconnection, according to Shagina.
“SWIFT is a neutral global cooperative set up and operated for the collective benefit of its community,” the organization said in a statement Wednesday. “Any decision to impose sanctions on countries or individual entities rests solely with the competent government bodies and applicable legislators,” it added.
It’s not clear how much support there is among US allies for taking similar action against Russia. The United States and Germany have the most to lose if Russia is disconnected, because their banks are the most frequent SWIFT users to communicate with Russian banks, according to Shagina.
The European Union is ready to respond to a Russian invasion of Ukraine with “comprehensive sanctions never seen before,” Danish foreign minister Jeppe Kofod said on Monday. EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell said Tuesday that sanctions would be “the most consequential leverage that the West, or at least the European Union, has.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told lawmakers on Tuesday that his government was discussing the possibility of banning Russia from SWIFT with the United States.
NATO chief: Still a 'diplomatic way out' of Ukraine conflict, as military alliance prepares written proposal for Russia
“There is no doubt that that would be a very potent weapon [against Russia]. I’m afraid it can only really be deployed with the assistance of the United States though. We are in discussions about that,” Johnson said.
Russia’s countermeasures
Russia has taken steps in recent years to blunt the trauma should it be removed from SWIFT.
Moscow established its own payment system, SPFS, after it was hit by Western sanctions in 2014 following its annexation of Crimea early that year. SPFS now has around 400 users, according to Russia’s central bank. Twenty percent of domestic transfers are currently done through SPFS, olukai shoes according to Shagina, but the size of messages are limited and operations are limited to weekday hours.
China’s fledgling Cross-Border Interbank Payment System, or CIPS, may provide another alternative to SWIFT. Moscow could also be forced to resort to using cryptocurrencies.
But these are not appealing alternatives.
“SWIFT is an European company, an association of many participating countries. To make a decision on disconnection, a united decision of all participating countries is needed. The decisions of the United States and Great Britain are definitely not enough,” Zhuravlev said, according to TASS.
“I’m not sure that other countries, especially those whose share of trade with Russia is large in balance, will support the shutdown,” he added.

‘I’ve got terminal cancer. Here’s why I’m prioritizing travel’


Kris Sokolowski has always been active, spending his free time mountain climbing, running and practicing martial arts.
And at every opportunity, he could be found boarding a plane, en route to explore the world. On his first official date with his now wife, Sokolowski booked flights to South Africa for two weeks. The couple have a son, now 11, who also joins them on their adventures.
Sokolowski’s outdoor pursuits have helped keep him healthy. At his last yearly physical checkup in December 2020, his doctor called him “Iron Man.”
But around six months after that appointment, Sokolowski started experiencing what he describes as an “odd feeling” in his stomach.
“It was kind of like a gurgling, like you’re hungry. And it just wasn’t going away for a couple of days,” he tells CNN Travel today.
Sokolowski went to get checked out and was told it was olukai shoes likely acid reflux. He was given some pills and sent home. A couple days later, the gurgling sensation was still there, so he sought further medical advice and a scan, after which he was told to see a gastro specialist right away.
Sokolowski’s doctor told him there was a “big mass” on his colon and liver and he suspected late stage-four cancer. Stage four is the most advanced stage of cancer and usually means it has spread from its origin.
“My first reaction was, ‘How can this happen? I’ve never missed an appointment,'” Sokolowski recalls.
But at 48, Sokolowski hadn’t been old enough for recommended regular colonoscopies in the United States (the age has since lowered to 45). And until the gurgling sensation, he hadn’t experienced any symptoms.
An MRI scan, colonoscopy and tissue sample confirmed the worst: Sokolowski had stage four colon cancer.
“The MRI showed it in six places on my body,” says Sokolowski. “So it was my colon, my liver, my sternum, my spine, my lymph nodes, and the walls of my abdomen.”
Oncologists told him there was no cure for his condition.
“They gave me a lifespan between two and a half and five years to live,” he says.
Love of travel
The Sokolowskis traveled to China in 2015, here they are on the Great Wall.
Atlanta-based Sokolowski is the first-generation American son of two Polish immigrants. He says his love of travel stems from the many childhood summers he spent back in Poland. In his 20s, he started traveling whenever he could, regularly exploring Europe.
When Sokolowski met his wife Elizabeth in his thirties, the two realized they were united in a thirst to see the world. That first date in South Africa sealed the deal, and the couple were married six months later.
“When our son was born a year later in 2010, we made a commitment that every year, we would take him out of the country,” says Sokolowski.
It’s important to the couple to introduce their son to cultures and experiences outside of the US.
Since he was born, the family has been to 19 countries and counting.
“We both work for corporate America, but we save up all year, and usually take about three weeks to travel, whether it’s Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, wherever we can go.”
Solowski says he and his wife always look forward. They rarely return to the same place, and focus on how they can make the best of their current circumstances and plan something exciting for the future.
Here’s the family in Seoul, South Korea.
It’s that attitude that Sokolowski brought to his terminal cancer diagnosis.
He says he’s on the highest dosage of chemotherapy available. He was warned by doctors of side effects of fatigue, vomiting, hair loss and weight loss.
“I said, Look, I’m a young guy, I’m 48 years old, I have a 10-year-old at home. Throw everything you got at me now while I’m young and strong,” recalls Sokolowski.
So far, side effects have been minimal and he’s continued to exercise and run regularly.
“I’ve never been sick a day from it,” Sokolowski says. “Fatigue kicked hey dude in a little bit, but I was able to overcome it. So everything they told me was going to happen, didn’t happen with me.”
Sokolowski and his family canceled a planned trip to Iceland in summer 2021, but as the months rolled on, he was advised that, against the odds, his tumors were shrinking, and he was well enough to afford to skip one of his chemo treatments — which occur every two weeks — to go on vacation abroad.
Even catching Covid-19 in November 2021 didn’t put a stop to plans — fortunately Sokolowski was vaccinated and only mildly ill with the virus.
The Sokolowskis love to get outside on their vacations. Here they are exploring in Slovenia.
When he got the go ahead to travel with his family over the Christmas period, Sokolowski was thrilled.
“Even above my health, travel was still a priority,” Sokolowski says. “Because it was a commitment that we made when we got married, it was a commitment that we made to our son when he was born — that we would take him out of the country every year. So to me, that was always priority number one.”
Sokolowski and his wife Elizabeth and son Braden started planning a trip for Christmas and New Year. They settled on a three-week adventure in French Polynesia, heading to Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti.
Sokolowski traveled with his chemo pills, as well as a precautionary letter from his doctor to ensure he could get back into the United States — “just in case there was some kind of lockdown because of Covid. And that letter basically stipulated that ‘Kris has stage-four cancer that’s terminal, that he’s really dependent on his chemo.'”
While Sokolowski had avoided many side effects of his treatment, when departure day rolled around he was suffering from a condition called hand-foot syndrome, which can cause the bottom of your feet to become really tender and prone to blistering and swelling.
The Sokolowskis rarely go to the same place twice. Here’s the family on a past trip to Malta.
“When I was running before our trip, it caused me to have blisters on both of my feet, I think I had four on each foot and it was extremely difficult to walk — it was almost like walking on razor blades,” he says.
“So the day we were leaving for French Polynesia, we went through three different airports. We went through Atlanta airport, LAX and then in Tahiti, and in all three airports, I had to be in a wheelchair because I couldn’t walk, and that was kind of difficult.”
But Sokolowski says arriving in Bora Bora and red wing boots diving into the turquoise waters was almost instantly healing.
That was likely the salt water at work, he says. But Sokolowski also thinks the happiness and delight he felt at being on vacation in a beautiful place with his loved ones lifted his spirits, providing invaluable palliative care.
Under warm blue skies, the family enjoyed swimming with black tip sharks, jet skiing, exploring volcanic landscapes and relaxing.
“We spent an enormous time out on the water. I mean, how can you not? It’s crystal clear. It’s a turquoise color that you’ve never seen before. You know, you could see right down to the bottom where the fish are swimming. And it’s just very peaceful and relaxful.”
Kris, Elizabeth and Braden Sokolowski, pictured here on the island of Moorea, fell in love with French Polynesia during their trip at the end of 2021.
For Sokolowski and his wife, it was important to be candid with Braden about his father’s cancer, while also easing him into this new reality and supporting him through it.
Sokolowski says the family’s focus is on making memories, and continuing to encourage their child to embrace new opportunities and adventures.
One of Sokolowski’s favorite moments from the 2021 French Polynesia trip was watching Braden diving with sharks for the first time.
“He was a little apprehensive about getting into water with sharks. But then he saw us doing it. So he jumped in,” says Sokolowski. “And the first time a shark came up to his face and then turned around and just left — I was underwater with him and the look on his face, it was just — it was pure excitement, adrenaline and joy. And I saw how much he enjoyed it and he couldn’t get out of the water, I mean, it was fantastic.”
Diving with sharks in French Polynesia in 2021 was a highlight for the family.
Sokolowski has yet to take his son to Poland, but he says that’s on the agenda for future travels. He’d wanted to wait until Braden was old enough to understand and fully appreciate the trip.
While the family are currently based in Atlanta, the Sokolowskis are also seriously considering moving to French Polynesia, if they can make it doable with remote working and healthcare.
“For 15 days, I had a smile on my face, ear to ear,” Sokolowski says of the family’s time there. “I honestly believe if there’s anything that’s going to cure my cancer, it’s going to be living a life of positivity and happiness.”
Wherever they’re based, travel will remain a priority. In 2022, the family hope to travel to Pamplona, Spain to watch the annual running of the bulls festival — a longtime dream of Sokolowski’s.
Sokolowski hopes to defy expectations and statistics to recover from his illness. However much time he has left, he’s vowed to spend as much of it as he can exploring the world with his loved ones.
“I don’t know how long I have left on this earth, but I want to leave behind fond memories of travel and a legacy where my son can make our planet just a bit better,” he says.
Sokolowski has a blog where he recaps his own experiences with cancer. He’s become passionate about encouraging people with illness to travel if they can, and he’s similarly committed to encouraging people in their 40s to get a colonoscopy.
When he got his diagnosis, Sokolowski asked his gastroenterologist what the outlook would have been if he’d had a colonoscopy three years earlier.
“Before I even finished my sentence, he goes, ‘I would have pulled out a couple of polyps, and you wouldn’t even be sitting here, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.’ And that really struck me hard.”
Sokolowski says dwelling on this “what if” isn’t helpful for him.
“I do not look in the rearview mirror,” he says. “That doesn’t help me at all. It is what it is. And I only look forward, the only time that I look back is to tell people my story and say, ‘This is what happened to me. Don’t let it happen to you.'”
Instead, Sokolowski’s focus is on staying as healthy as possible, and looking forward to future adventures with his family.
His wife Elizabeth tells CNN Travel she has the same outlook.
“You need to live your life, you only get one life,” she says. “The memories is really what is going to make you happy in the end.”
Sokolowski adds: “The one thing I’ve always told people is get out of your bubble, get out of your city and go see the world.”
“It amazes me how many people are not interested in traveling — or interested and they tell me ‘Well, we can’t do this’ and they make excuses. Stop with the excuses and do it.”

Why The Cast Of Yellowstone Looks So Familiar


Paramount Network’s electrifying neo-Western saga Yellowstone has gone from a little extended cable series with a big name star to a ratings powerhouse that ranks among the most watched shows on television. And it’s done so by delivering a singular brand of primetime melodrama, with series creator Taylor Sheridan (Sicario, Hell or High Water, and Wind River) telling an epic tale of a ranching family fighting to keep their land and wrapping it up in a veritable spider’s web of political intrigue and classic Western mythos.

Simply put, there’s nothing else on television at  keen shoes  the moment quite like Yellowstone. But while the story is incredible and the action is bloody, there can be little question that the series’ obscenely talented cast is a big part of what keeps its viewership numbers steadily on the rise. However, most of the people in the series aren’t exactly A-list stars, but nevertheless, they’ve worked on some pretty high-profile movies and TV shows. So if there’s a particular face that you know you’ve seen before, well, here’s why the cast of Yellowstone looks so familiar.

Kevin Costner is a Hollywood legend

Kevin Costner in Yellowstone

Okay, so if there is one name on this list that you know — and really should know — it’s that of Kevin Costner. He is, after all, one of the most respected and revered actors in Hollywood, and has seen boundless success on both sides of the camera over his near four-decade career. While his work as Yellowstone’s steely-eyed and hard-hearted paterfamilias John Dutton is translating to a fresh wave of small screen success, Costner remains a bona fide movie star. After all, he’s appeared in a handful of legit iconic films, such as The Untouchables, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, and JFK among them.

Just FYI, Costner is hardly a stranger to the Western genre either, having already saddled up for a handful of big screen cowboy classics like Silverado, Wyatt Earp, Open Range, and his Best Picture-winning Western opus Dances With Wolves. That being said, we’re fully aware that Costner is probably best known among viewers with at least a little bit of grey in their hair. So for all of you youngsters out there who’ve never shared a beer and a tear with your dad while watching Field of Dreams, it’s entirely likely you know Mr. Costner from his work as Jonathan Kent in the DCEU’s Man of Steel.

You’ve seen Kelly Reilly in some high-profile projects

Kelly Reilly in Yellowstone

Hopefully, you’re at least mildly familiar with Kelly Reilly’s face because she’s one of those actors who’s been perpetually on the fringe of a big-time Hollywood breakout for a while now. That her breakout hasn’t come yet is all but criminal at this point. Fortunately, Reilly has managed to build a career as a scene-stealing supporting player in recent years.

With any luck, Reilly’s razor-sharp work as the lone female Dutton sibling will help her get the attention of a few more asics shoes producers who recognize a commanding screen presence when they see it. And yes, Reilly’s work as the fiery Beth Dutton is the very definition of commanding, with the actor bringing serious weight to a fascinatingly duplicitous character who would feel equally at home in a Shakespearean tragedy as she does among the Big Sky melodrama of Yellowstone.

If you’re having trouble figuring out exactly where you’ve seen Reilly’s face before, fans of HBO’s detective drama True Detective will almost certainly recognize her from her season two turn as the Lady Macbeth-like wife of Vince Vaughan’s fading tough-guy crime lord. But if you checked out on of True Detective after the first season — and we know many of you did — it’s probable you know Reilly from her work as Mary to Jude Law’s Watson in the first two installments of the Sherlock Holmes franchise or as the venom-spewing Caroline Bingley in Joe Wright’s pitch-perfect 2006 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice.

Luke Grimes starred in a very different type of TV show before Yellowstone

Luke Grimes in Yellowstone

When it comes to actors you should probably be way more familiar with, say hello to Mr. Luke Grimes. On Yellowstone, you know him as Dutton Ranch foreman, devoted father, and ex-Navy SEAL Kayce, but in reality, he’s another one of those perpetually “on the fringe of a breakout performers” who too often find themselves relegated to the role of side character.

Unlike many of those long-time supporting players, Luke Grimes is still at a relatively early stage in his career — though it certainly seems like he’s been around longer than he has. So while we’re sure that certain Yellowstone fans have taken full notice of Grimes’ roguish looks and hardened glare, we’re guessing many of you still aren’t entirely sure where you’ve seen them both before.

Grimes actually made his screen debut back in 2006, when he appeared in Jonathan Levine’s breakout horror flick All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. A couple of years later, Grimes made his small-screen debut with a season-long run on ABC’s family drama Brothers and Sisters, but most of you will likely remember Grimes for his memorable six-episode arc as the kind-hearted bloodsucker James Kent on HBO’s True Blood.

Wes Bentley made his name in an Oscar-winning film

Wes Bentley in Yellowstone

For fans of 1999’s acerbic Best Picture winner American Beauty, Wes Bentley certainly needs no introduction as he’s all but instantly recognizable as the drug dealing, plastic bag-adoring, would-be filmmaker Ricky Fitts. Of course, if you missed out on that millennium-ending gem and somehow haven’t stumbled upon it in the past 20 years, Bently may be a bit more of an enigma.

As it turns out, that description suits him quite well, and it suits his murderous Yellowstone alter ego equally well. On the show, Bentley plays one of the elder Dutton brothers, Jamie, and he currently serves as the Duttons’ personal attorney (and sometimes ranch hand). Like several nike sneakers of the Dutton kids, Jamie has often found himself in tragically choppy waters, even teetering on the edge of suicide in the wake of some seriously troubling actions.

As for Wes Bentley, he had a few troubles of his own throughout the early 2000s, as he secretly battled addiction, and he was largely non-visible after his American Beauty breakout. Luckily, the talented actor got his act together in the new decade, delivering memorable performances in The Hunger Games, Welcome To Me, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, and Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups. If you missed him in those films, you probably remember Bentley for his various turns on Ryan Murphy’s beloved horror anthology series American Horror Story.

Cole Hauser has always kept pretty busy

Kevin Costner and Cole Hauser in Yellowstone

While the sprawling Yellowstone narrative has made clear that the Dutton clan is no stranger to tragedy, the Dutton’s adoptive family member Rip Wheeler may be the most tragic figure of them all. Played by Cole Hauser with a visceral air of stoic, introverted intensity, Wheeler is a survivor of childhood abuse who put a bullet in his own father after the ruthless drunk took the lives of the youngster’s mother and brother. Trauma like that obviously left the young Rip with swathe of unchecked emotional issues — issues that the Duttons have made ample use of after adopting Rip and bringing him into the fold.

If you’re still trying to figure out where you’ve seen Hauser, well, there’s at least a half dozen or so movies and TV shows you’ve seen him in before. If you’re a fan of ’90s classic Dazed and Confused, you know him as the true-hearted football player Benny. If that’s not the case, you probably noticed Hauser as Matt Damon’s strong and silent running buddy Billy in Good Will Hunting or perhaps as the backstabbing law man in the sci-fi classic Pitch Black. Or maybe you remember him as the villainous Carter Verone in 2 Fast 2 Furious, bad boy Steve Curtis from E.R., or as Pinkerton Charlie Siringo in the short-lived Lifetime drama series The Lizzie Borden Chronicles.

If you’re a CW fan, you’ve definitely seen Kelsey Asbille before

Kelsey Asbille in Yellowstone

Of all the central players that currently occupy the screen on Yellowstone, we’d bet that Kelsey Asbille’s is one of the least known. On the show, she plays Monica Dutton, wife to Luke Grimes’ Kayce Dutton — a status that’s more than a little complicated due to her direct relations to ancestors and elders of the Broken Rock Indian Reservation. Fans of Yellowstone will need no more backstory than that, as the Broken Rock Res shares a border with the Dutton Yellowstone Ranch, and it’s regularly in direct conflict with John Dutton and his clan about who rightfully owns the land that said ranch occupies.

While Asbille continues to play her part of “strong but endlessly stuck in the middle” to a T on Yellowstone, the actor is delivering what may well go down as her breakout performance. However, we think she should’ve had that breakout moment long before now. After all, she’s given some pretty fantastic performances before Yellowstone, like her 18-episode stint as Gigi on the CW’s One Tree Hill. And she followed that stretch a few years later with a winning, 13-episode run on MTV’s Teen Wolf. Of course, Asbille was already on the radar of Yellowstone creator Taylor Sheridan after her heartbreaking turn as Natalie in Sheridan’s marvelous 2017 indie Wind River.

Danny Huston is one of the all-time great character actors

Danny Huston in Yellowstone

Historically speaking, the term “character actor” has been applied to career supporting players who best serve a story by disappearing into virtually any role and making a fully three-dimensional figure of them. And if you’re at all familiar with the decades-spanning career of Danny Huston, then you already know that the term “character actor” was basically invented for him. If you’re not, then we’d recommend you sit down and immediately watch The Proposition, Children of Men, The Constant Gardener, 30 Days of Night, Wonder Woman, seasons three and four of American Horror Story, and the first two seasons of HBO’s Succession.

Or you could just see the sublimely talented actor as Dan Jenkins on Yellowstone. And yes, Danny Huston’s ecco shoes work as the greedy land developer has been nothing short of transfixing, with the actor imbuing his character with surprising humanity, even as Jenkins is regularly driven by insatiable greed and a power-grabbing hubris that’s too often led him into the realm of morally compromised, if not down right villainous. In short, Huston’s work on Yellowstone is exactly the sort we’ve come to expect from one of cinema’s finest character actors.

Gil Birmingham has made a solid career out of supporting roles

Gil Birmingham Yellowstone

Yellowstone certainly has no shortage of devious politico sorts, but few of the series’ politicos have been quite as shifty as the current chairman of the Confederated Tribes of Broken Rock and warden of the Broken Rock Reservation, Mr. Thomas Rainwater. In fact, over the course of the show, Rainwater has proven a most formidable foe to the Dutton clan’s Yellowstone legacy, not to mention the land that the Dutton’s claim as their own.

If you’re wondering where you’ve seen the actor who portrays Thomas Rainwater, well, the options are almost too numerous to count because Gil Birmingham has been busy, busy, busy over the past couple of decades. Still, odds are you remember Birmingham from his brief arc on the original run of Veronica Mars or for his turn as Billy Black in the Twilight saga. If that’s not the case, it’s possible you recall Birmingham from a tense, four-episode arc on Netflix’s House of Cards. And if you missed Birmingham in those projects, it’s entirely likely you remember the actor from his quippy work as Jeff Bridges’ second-in-command in the Taylor Sheridan-penned Hell or High Water or his emotionally devastating turn as the grieving father in Sheridan’s Wind River.

Kristen Stewart on fame and why she’s only made ‘5 really good films’

Kristen Stewart opens up about fame and only having starred in a handful of
Kristen Stewart opens up about fame and only having starred in a handful of “really good” films.

Kristen Stewart’s latest cinematic turn, as Princess Diana in the upcoming Spencer, is generating plenty of Oscar buzz, but the actress says in a new interview that only a handful of her films are actually good.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Stewart opened up about the pressures of fame and how choosing which roles to take can be “a total crapshoot.”

The former child actor, whose credits include Panic Room, Twilight and Café Society, added, “I’ve probably made five really good films, out of 45 or 50 films? Ones that I go, ‘Wow, that person made a top-to-bottom beautiful piece of work!’”

When asked for examples of which films hoka shoes she felt hit the mark, Stewart pointed to the work of Olivier Assayas, who directed her in Clouds of Sils Maria and Personal Shopper; the former role won her a César, the equivalent of an Oscar in France, a first for an American actress.

“I love Assayas’s movies,” she said, but couldn’t immediately name other standouts. “I’d have to look at my credit list. But they are few and far between. That doesn’t mean I regret the experience [of making them]. I’ve only regretted saying yes to a couple of films and not because of the result, but because it wasn’t fun. The worst is when you’re in the middle of something and know that not only is it probably going to be a bad movie, but we’re all bracing until the end.”

She declined to single out any bad experiences.

“No! I’m not a mean person — I’m not going to call people out in public,” she said. “But it’s like starting to date someone and going, ‘Woah! I don’t know what we’re doing!’ But when you’re in the middle of a movie you can’t just break up.”

It’s unclear where her hit vampire teen franchise Twilight falls on that list, though Stewart, 31, did have this to say about the series hey dude that made her an international movie star: “If you’d told me we were going to make five Twilights when we did the first? I would not have believed you.”

Stewart also opened up about the expectations and attention that comes with being in the public eye, though she’s careful to compare her situation with that of the late Diana.

“I’m not running from anything,” she noted. “The attention is something I can see a parallel in, but the cumulative expectation? Not remotely there.”

At the same time, she knows firsthand what it feels like to live under a microscope.

“It’s feeling constantly watched, no matter what you do,” she said. “If you’re in public, someone in the room is looking at you at all times. Even if they’re not, it’s at the back of your mind. That is a feeling you only have if you’re extremely famous. It’s a completely different approach to being a human.”

She continued, “It is weird to inhabit a space where people are disappointed in your choices. The world is obsessed with celebrities in a way that’s comparable to how we treated the royal family. People want their idols to be a certain thing, because we want to be good people. We think, ‘If they can’t be good, then how the f*** am I meant to be good?’ But I’m not a figurehead. People choose their role models. But I’m not trying to be one.”

Why American workers are quitting in record numbers

The number of Americans quitting their jobs has hit record highs over the past several months in a phenomenon economists have been calling the “Great Resignation.” In August, 4.3 million U.S. workers — almost 3 percent of the entire American workforce — voluntarily left their positions, the highest number since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking “quits” in 2020.

Workers are quitting at high rates in every industry, hey dude but the trend has been especially pronounced for frontline businesses like restaurants, hotels, retail stores and health care providers. Recent quit rates are a stark contrast to early in the coronavirus pandemic, when the number of quits plummeted to the lowest levels in a decade, as COVID-related business closures put millions of Americans out of work.

The Great Resignation comes at a time when businesses across the country are struggling to find workers to fill open positions. There were 10.4 million job openings in August, down slightly from the record of 11.1 million openings the previous month.

Economists generally believe that relatively high quit rates are a signal of a healthy economy, since it suggests workers feel optimistic about their prospects and have leverage to improve their circumstances. In the short term, however, some worry that having so many companies unable to meet staffing needs could slow economic recovery and contribute to mounting supply chain issues.

Why there’s debate

Rather than offering one reason so many Americans are quitting their jobs, experts mostly believe the Great Resignation is the result of a variety of forces coming together. Something not on that list is employer vaccine mandates, which don’t appear to have caused a significant number of people to quit.

One of the most common explanations is that workers are simply burned-out. The high quit rates in customer-facing jobs and health care suggest that people in these fields have become exhausted after 18 months of extra hours, confrontations over COVID mitigation rules and fear of catching the virus. dr martens boots Many white-collar workers, on the other hand, may be eager to maintain some of the elements of pandemic-era work that benefitted them — like remote work and flexible hours — and willing to move on as their employers transition back to the office.

Others see the Great Resignation as the sign of a major shift in the power dynamic between workers and their employers. Labor Bureau data doesn’t track whether people quitting are finding another position, but record levels of job openings mean prospects for quitters have never been higher. While many have struggled financially during the pandemic, a large share of Americans have actually increased their savings — meaning they have more of a cushion to absorb a job transition. These factors mean workers have greater freedom to leave unsatisfying jobs to pursue something that suits them better.

On top of these short-term influences, some experts argue that the pandemic has had a more fundamental and lasting impact on Americans’ relationship with work. They argue that the human tragedy — and, in some cases, indifference from their employers — that workers have experienced over the past year and a half has led millions of people to deprioritize work in their lives.

What’s next

The big unanswered question about the Great Resignation is whether it’s a short-term phenomenon brought on by extreme circumstances or a more lasting shift in attitudes toward work. If it is in fact temporary, it’s possible there could be a correction in the near future that sees quits drop dramatically, some economists say.


Frontline workers are fed up

“Frontline workers in health care, child care, hospitality and food service industries, pushed to the brink of human endurance, decide that the grueling hours, inadequate pay, lack of balance and abuse by employers and clientele are no longer acceptable trade-offs for their mental and physical well-being.” — Karla L. Miller, Washington Post

Tough jobs became intolerable with the added stressors of the pandemic

“Covid-19 placed systemic problems in steve madden shoes sharp relief. Workers were expected to show up every day and risk their health for far less than a living wage, without the support of child care or benefits. What was a raw deal before became, for many, untenable.” — Laura Entis, Vox

Lots of job openings mean it’s easy for workers to move on to something better

“People have options. And because they have options, their demands and their interests and their tolerance for things that are not aligned with their values on how they want to live their lives, they’re going to leave and they’re going to look for it elsewhere.” — Tsedal Neeley, Harvard Business School professor, to PBS NewsHour

The balance of power has shifted in workers’ favor

“For at least two generations, workers have been on their back heels. We are now seeing a labor market that is tight, and prospects are becoming increasingly clear that it’s going to remain tight. It’s now going to be a workers’ market, and they’re empowered. I think they are starting to flex their collective muscle.” — Mark Zandi, economist, to Time

The pandemic accelerated a generational shift in attitudes toward work

“The Great Resignation is not a mad dash away from the office; it’s the culmination of a long march toward freedom. More than a decade ago, psychologists documented a generational shift in the centrality of work in our lives. Millennials were more interested in jobs that provided leisure time and vacation time than Gen Xers and baby boomers. They were less concerned about net worth than net freedom.” — Adam Grant, Wall Street Journal

Many employers took their workers for granted during the COVID recession

“See, since forever, the conventional wisdom held that in downturns, the employer could get away with almost anything; employees needed work and so would be grateful merely to have a job — frills and niceties were 100 percent unnecessary. But the common thread that runs through virtually every motivation for the Great Resignation departures we are seeing is a decision to no longer accept the unacceptable.” — Phillip Kane, Inc.

The pandemic led millions to reevaluate their priorities

“We know that when human beings come into contact with death and illness in their lives, it causes them to take a step back and ask existential questions. Like, what gives me purpose and happiness in life, and does that match up with how I’m spending my [life] right now? So, in many cases, those reflections will lead to life pivots.” — Anthony Klotz, psychologist, to Business Insider

Pandemic relief programs have given many workers more financial freedom

“Thanks to several pandemic-relief checks, a rent moratorium, and student-loan forgiveness, everybody, particularly if they are young and have a low income, has more freedom to quit jobs they hate and hop to something else.” — Derek Thompson, Atlantic

Some of the current wave of quits is simply making up for last year’s low quit rate

“It’s also possible that many of these mid-level employees may have delayed transitioning out of their roles due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, meaning that the boost we’ve seen over the last several months could be the result of more than a year’s worth of pent-up resignations.” — Ian Cook, Harvard Business Review

Why Many Black Americans Changed Their Minds About COVID Shots

TUSKEGEE, Ala. — By the time vaccines for the coronavirus were introduced late last year, the pandemic had taken two of Lucenia Williams Dunn’s close friends. Still, Dunn, a former mayor of Tuskegee, contemplated for months whether to be inoculated.

It was a complicated consideration, framed by the government’s botched response to the pandemic,brooks shoes its disproportionate toll on Black communities and an infamous 40-year government experiment for which her hometown is often associated.

“I thought about the vaccine most every day,” said Dunn, 78, who finally walked into a pharmacy this summer and rolled up her sleeve for a shot, convinced after weighing with her family and doctor the possible consequences of remaining unvaccinated.

“What people need to understand is some of the hesitancy is rooted in a horrible history, and for some, it’s truly a process of asking the right questions to get to a place of getting the vaccine.”

In the first months after the vaccine rollout, Black Americans were far less likely than white Americans to be vaccinated. In addition to the difficulty of obtaining shots in their communities, their hesitancy was fueled by a powerful combination of general mistrust of the government and medical institutions, and misinformation over the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.

But a wave of pro-vaccine campaigns and a surge of virus hospitalizations and deaths this summer, mostly among the unvaccinated and caused by the highly contagious delta variant, have narrowed the gap, experts say. So, too, have the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of a vaccine and new employer mandates. A steadfast resistance to vaccines in some white communities may also have contributed to the lessening disparity.

While gaps persist in some regions, by late September, according to the most recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a roughly equal share of Black, white and Hispanic adult populations — 70% of Black adults, 71% of white adults and 73% of Hispanic adults — had received at least one vaccine dose. A Pew study in late August revealed similar patterns. Federal data shows a larger racial gap, but that data is missing demographic information for many vaccine recipients.

Since May, when vaccines were widely available to a majority of adults across the country, monthly surveys by Kaiser have shown steady improvement in vaccination rates among Black Americans.

How the racial gap was narrowed — after months of disappointing turnout and limited access — is a testament to decisions made in many states to send familiar faces to knock on doors and dispel myths about the vaccines’ effectiveness, provide internet access to make appointments and offer transportation to vaccine sites.

In North Carolina, which requires vaccine providers to collect race and ethnicity data, hospital systems and community groups conducted door-to-door canvassing and hosted pop-up clinics at a theme park, a bus station clarks shoes uk and churches. Over the summer, the African American share of the vaccinated population began to more closely mirror the African American share of the general population.

In Mississippi, which has one of the country’s worst vaccination rates and began similar endeavors, 38% of people who have started the vaccine process are Black, a share that is roughly equal to the Black share of Mississippi’s population.

And in Alabama, public awareness campaigns and rides to vaccination sites helped transform dismal inoculation rates. A store owner and county commissioner in Panola, a tiny rural town near the Mississippi border, led the effort to vaccinate nearly all of her majority Black community.

Today, about 40% of Black Alabama residents — up from about 28% in late April — have had at least one dose, a feat in a state that has ranked among the lowest in overall vaccination rates and highest in per capita deaths from COVID-19. About 39% of white people in the state have had one dose, up from 31% in late April.

Health officials and community leaders say that those who remain unvaccinated have pointed to concerns about how quickly the vaccines were developed and what their long-term health effects might be, plus disinformation such as whether they contain tracking devices or change people’s DNA. The damage wrought by the government-backed trials in Tuskegee, in which Black families were misled by health care professionals, also continues to play a role in some communities, helping to explain why some African Americans have still held out.

“It’s less about saying, ‘This racial ethnic group is more hesitant, more unwilling to get vaccinated,’ and more about saying, ‘You know, this group of people in this given area or this community doesn’t have the information or access they need to overcome their hesitancy,’ ” said Nelson Dunlap, chief of staff for the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta.

When the U.S. Public Health Service began what it called the “Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male,” 600 Black men — 399 with syphilis and 201 without the disease — were told they would be treated for so-called bad blood in exchange for free medical exams, meals and burial insurance. In reality, treatment was withheld. Even after penicillin was discovered as an effective treatment, most did not receive the antibiotic.

The experiment began in 1932 and did not stop until 1972, and only after it was exposed in a news article. The surviving men and the heirs of those who had died were later awarded a settlement totaling about $10 million, and the exposure of the study itself eventually led to reforms in medical research. Still, the damage endured.

“Few families escaped the study. Everyone here knows someone who was in the study,” said Omar Neal, 64, a radio show host and former Tuskegee mayor who counts three relatives in the study and who wavered on a vaccine before finally getting one, his mind changed by the rising number of deaths. “And the betrayal — because that is what the study was — is often conjured whenever people are questioning something related to mistrusting medicine or science.”

Rueben C. Warren, director of the National Center for Bioethics in Research and Health Care at Tuskegee University, said the study was a real example in the long line of medical exploitation and neglect experienced by Black Americans, eroding trust in the government and health care systems.

“The questions being asked about the vaccine should be understood in the larger context of historic inequities in health care,” Warren said. “The hope, of course, is they finally decide to get the vaccine.”

A national campaign led by the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative, a coalition of experts, tackled the hesitation. This summer, a short-form documentary including descendants of the men in the Tuskegee study was added to the campaign.

When Deborah Riley Draper, who created the short-form documentary, interviewed descendants of the Tuskegee study, she was struck by how shrouded it was in myths and misconceptions, such as the false claim that the government had injected the men with syphilis.

“The descendants’ message was clear that African Americans are as much a part of public health as any other group and we need to fight for access and information,” she said.

In Macon County, Alabama, which has a population of about 18,000 and is home to many descendants of the Tuskegee trials, about 45% of Black residents have hey dude shoes received at least one vaccine dose. Community leaders, including those who are part of a task force that meets weekly, attribute the statistic, in part, to local outreach and education campaigns and numerous conversations about the difference between the Tuskegee study and the coronavirus vaccines.

For months, Martin Daniel, 53, and his wife, Trina Daniel, 49, resisted the vaccines, their uncertainty blamed in part on the study. Their nephew Cornelius Daniel, a dentist in Hampton, Georgia, said he grew up hearing about the research from his uncle and saw in his own family how the long-running deception had sown generational distrust of medical institutions.

Cornelius Daniel, 31, said he overcame his own hesitation in the spring because the risks of working in patients’ mouths outweighed his concerns.

His uncle and aunt reconsidered their doubts more slowly, but over the summer, as the delta variant led to a surge in hospitalizations across the South, the Daniels made vaccination appointments for mid-July. Before the date arrived, though, they and their two teenage children tested positive for the coronavirus.

On July 6, the couple, inseparable since meeting as students on the campus of Savannah State University, died about six hours apart. Their children are now being raised by Cornelius Daniel and his wife, Melanie Daniel, 32.

“We truly believe the vaccine would have saved their lives,” Melanie Daniel said.

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.

Will Smith explains why he disagrees with ‘defund the police’ sentiment

Along with Denzel Washington, Will Smith is one of the most famous movie cops in Hollywood thanks to his blockbuster Bad Boys franchise. In a wide-ranging new interview with GQ, the star of the upcoming Oscar hopeful King Richard touches on the complicated subject of real-world policing. Specifically, Smith addresses the “Defund the police” movement that gained traction after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in May 2020, four months after the third Bad Boys installment, Bad Boys for Life, racked up $200 million at the U.S. box office. And much like Washington — who recently told Yahoo Entertainment that he nike store has the “utmost respect” for real-life cops — Smith sounds a more cautious note about the movement’s goals.

“I would love if we would just say ‘Defund the bad police,'” he remarks, likening it to the conflicting messaging over critical race theory. “It’s almost like I want, as Black Americans, for us to change our marketing for the new position we’re in. So ‘critical race theory,’ just call it ‘truth theory.’ The pendulum is swinging in our direction beautifully.”

“This is a difficult area to discuss, but I feel like the simplicity of Black Lives Matter was perfect,” Smith continues. “Anybody who tries to debate Black Lives Matter looks ridiculous. So when I talk about the marketing of our ideas, Black Lives Matter was perfection. From a standpoint of getting it done, Black Lives Matter gets it done. ‘Defund the police’ doesn’t get it done, no matter how good the ideas are. I’m not saying we shouldn’t defund the police. I’m saying, just don’t say that, because then people who would help you won’t.”

Smith and Martin Lawrence reprise their roles as Florida super-cops in Bad Boys for Life (Photo: Ben Rothstein / © Columbia Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection)
Smith and Martin Lawrence reprise their roles as Florida super-cops in Bad Boys for Life 

Amid the Black Lives Matter protests last summer, Smith spoke up about his own interactions with police officers as a young man in Philadelphia, indicating that he was called the “N” word on multiple occasions. “I got stopped frequently,” he remarked on the podcast, On 1 With Angela Rye. “So I understand what it’s like to be in those circumstances with the police.”

Speaking with GQ, Smith explains that for much of his career he placed being an entertainer over being a spokesperson for any particular cause. “In the early part of my career….I wanted to be a superhero. So I wanted to depict Black excellence alongside my white counterparts. nike sneakers I wanted to play roles that you would give to Tom Cruise.” Now that he’s in his so-called “f***-it 50s,” though, he’s ready to incorporate politics into his art. That includes his upcoming Apple TV+ movie, Emancipation, which is based on the true story of “Whipped Peter,” an escaped slave and subject of a famous 19th century photo that captured the horrors of slavery in a single image.

Previously, Smith says he deliberately “avoided” appearing in movies about slavery — including Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, where he was offered the title role that eventually went to Jamie Foxx — but feels that Emancipation offers something different. “This was one that was about love and the power of Black love,” Smith says of the Antoine Fuqua directed movie. “And that was something that I could rock with. We were going to make a story about how Black love makes us invincible.”

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 06: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith attend Paramount Pictures' Premiere of
Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 2019 premiere of Gemini Man in Hollywood, California 

Speaking of love, Smith’s GQ interview also touches on the rumors surrounding his marriage to Jada Pinkett Smith, which is addressed in the actor’s upcoming memoir, Will, due in bookstores in November. “Jada never believed in conventional marriage,” ecco shoes the actor says, tacitly confirming that he and Pinkett Smith have a non-traditional union. “We have given each other trust and freedom, with the belief that everybody has to find their own way. And marriage for us can’t be a prison. And I don’t suggest our road for anybody. But the experiences that the freedoms that we’ve given one another and the unconditional support, to me, is the highest definition of love.”

Why some experts recommend upgrading to N95 masks to help fight the delta variant

The debate over masks is heating up again, with increasing calls for all Americans, regardless of coronavirus vaccination status, to return to wearing face coverings in indoor public places to help thwart the spread of the highly contagious delta variant. But some experts say the recommendations should specify the kind of masks people should be using.

“Delta is so contagious that when we talk about masks, I don’t think we should just talk about masks,” Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said during a recent appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I think we should be hey dude talking about high-quality masks,” such as N95 respirators.

In an interview with The Washington Post, Monica Gandhi, a professor of medicine and an infectious-disease expert at the University of California at San Francisco, expressed a similar sentiment: “We can’t say we’re going back to masks without discussing type of mask.”

Vaccinations, experts emphasized, remain the first line of defense against the coronavirus.”Far and away the best prevention we have are still the vaccines,” said Paul Sax, clinical director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “All of these things pale in comparison to getting the remaining people who are eligible for vaccination vaccinated.”

But amid concerns about the rapid spread of the delta variant, “it’s a fantastic idea at this point in time to move toward higher-quality masks,” especially if you’re unvaccinated or otherwise vulnerable to severe disease, said Chris Cappa, an environmental engineer and professor at the University of California at Davis. And for fully vaccinated individuals who may still be at risk of breakthrough infections, he noted, “the delta variant is a good reminder that we shouldn’t necessarily quit wearing masks when we’re in environments that might be prone to transmission.”

Here are factors that Cappa and other experts say you should consider about the use of N95 masks.

– Not all masks are created equal. The efficacy of a mask is based on its material and fit. Medical-grade respirators, such as N95 masks, can provide greater protection from infectious coronavirus particles than surgical masks or cloth masks, said Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech who studies airborne virus transmission.

And because the delta variant is much more easily transmissible than previously circulating strains of the coronavirus, “we really need highly protective masks along with everything else,” Marr said. “Where a simple cloth mask was helpful before, it’s not helpful enough now,” particularly for people who remain unvaccinated.

The woven material of many cloth masks isn’t as effective at filtering particles as the nonwoven, meltblown polypropylene used to make surgical masks and respirators, Marr said. And properly worn N95s have a leg up on standard surgical masks because they are designed to fit snugly to the face – which allows them to filter at least 95 percent of airborne particulates.

“A surgical mask is just a rectangle and you’re trying to pull it to your face,” she said. skechers shoes “Obviously, our faces aren’t in the shape of a flat rectangle, so you inevitably end up with lots of leaks.”

But, Marr noted, it’s important to be wary of counterfeit respirators. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an online guide with lists of N95 masks approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and tips for spotting counterfeit ones.

KN95 masks, which are manufactured in China and can be equivalent to N95s in effectiveness, have not gone through the NIOSH approval process. But the Food and Drug Administration had authorized some KN95s for emergency use by health-care workers when there was a shortage of N95 masks during the pandemic. While you can refer to that list to find effective and not counterfeit KN95 masks, Cappa said he would still recommend a NIOSH-approved N95. “I can have higher confidence that it is high quality,” he said, and “the ability and ease to get N95s has gone way up.”

– Fit and mask care matter. It’s also critical to wear N95s properly, experts said: There should be no gaps between the edges of the mask and your face. To test the seal of your mask, Marr suggested putting on your mask and cupping your hands around it to hold the edges down. If breathing becomes noticeably more difficult, that’s a sign that the mask likely isn’t well-fitted. People who wear glasses can also gauge if their mask is leaky by how much their lenses fog up, Cappa said.

Unlike cloth masks, N95s can’t be washed, so pay attention to the state of your mask. Gandhi said she typically swaps out an N95 every three days as long as it doesn’t become soiled. Between uses experts suggested letting masks air out, preferably in the sun. If there’s any visible signs of wear and tear, it’s time to get a fresh one.

When handling your mask, try to avoid touching the front and make sure to wash or sanitize your hands after, Marr said.

– Some people are more at risk. Switching to an N95 mask may especially be a good idea for more vulnerable people, experts said. This includes the unvaccinated as well as those who are vaccinated but may still be at increased risk, Sax said, such as the elderly and the immunocompromised or people with multiple medical problems. “If they need to be in settings where they’re mixing with unvaccinated people or they don’t know the vaccination status, then upgrading their mask is very reasonable.”

It may be less important for fully vaccinated healthy people to have a high-performance mask, experts said. Combining “really almost any mask-wearing” and vaccination still “provide generally quite good protection,” Cappa said.

He recommended that vaccinated, low-risk individuals make decisions about upgrading their masks based on situational factors. Keep in mind, he said, that the longer you’re in an enclosed space in proximity to other people, the more your odds of catching something go up. brooks shoes Community rates of transmission and hospitalizations should also be considered.

– There are other ways to boost protection. Although N95s are considered by many experts to be the gold standard, the respirators – which can become uncomfortable after prolonged use – may not be appropriate for all vulnerable populations. Take, for instance, children who are not eligible to receive vaccines but old enough to wear masks.

The CDC notes that NIOSH doesn’t approve any respiratory protection, such as N95s, for use among children. What’s more, standard N95s are likely going to be too big to fit tightly on a child’s face.

Because any face covering has to be worn properly to be effective, Gandhi said, you should prioritize making mask-wearing “palatable for children and easier to do.”

It’s also important to remember that children are generally less susceptible to contracting the coronavirus. But if a child is immunocompromised, Gandhi suggested increasing protection with a three-layer mask made of tightly woven fabric outer layers sandwiching a middle filter layer. Just be mindful that the filter layer needs to be replaced when the mask is washed.

– Activities and surroundings matter. Although mask debates are once again moving to the forefront of public attention, Sax said, the conversation should center on other factors that affect the spread of the coronavirus.

“A lot of the focus on transmission should shift not so much to the mask-wearing or not mask-wearing, but the activities” people are doing, Sax said, such as dining indoors or holding parties.

These are the settings where transmission is happening, especially if there is crowding or the ventilation is poor, he said. “And that’s occurring even more efficiently with the delta variant.”

A Texas Democrat explains why he called out Fox News on Fox News

Texas Democratic state Rep. James Talarico appeared Tuesday on Fox News Primetime where he sparred with guest host Pete Hegseth.

Something unusual happened during the 7 p.m. hour on Fox News on Tuesday night.

Host Pete Hegseth was pressing Texas state representative James Talarico about his decision to flee Austin skechers outlet with dozens of other Democratic lawmakers this week – a procedural gambit intended to block Republicans from passing strict voting laws back home.

The on-screen graphic called the Democrats’ exodus a “stunt,” and Hegseth’s interview with the 32-year-old lawmaker made it clear he agreed.

“We know you met with (Democratic Senate Majority Leader) Chuck Schumer and (Democratic House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi today,” the host told Talarico. “You’ve been told to say you’re protecting democracy, that Republicans are authoritarian and racist. . . . It kind of seems they’re using you as a prop, or a puppet.”

Talarico tried to argue his case – that former president Donald Trump’s false claims that the November election was rigged against him had inspired Republicans in Texas and other states to launch legislative attacks against voting rights. But all the while, Hegseth smirked, laughed into the camera, and constantly interrupted his guest.

It was standard Fox opinion fare – until about six minutes into the interview, when Talarico turned the tables.

“You have made a lot of money personally and you’ve enriched a lot of corporations with advertising by getting on here and spewing lies and conspiracy theories to folks who trust you,” Talarico told Hegseth.

He then gave the host a challenge: “Tell your voters right now that Donald Trump lost the election.”

Hegseth did not. The longtime Fox host had said in November that it was “premature to golden goose sneakers declare that Joe Biden is the president-elect,” even after his own network had called the race.

Sensing the host’s reluctance, Talarico pounced. “Is this an uncomfortable question for you?” he asked.

Talarico received plaudits from Democrats on social media for his performance, which quickly went viral. A version of the segment shared by Talarico on Twitter had been viewed approximately 700,000 times as of Wednesday afternoon.

Hegseth seemed less pleased. “It’s not your show, sir,” he told Talarico at one point in the interview. “I don’t really feel any obligation to answer anything from you.”

The clash felt like a throwback to bygone era in cable news – when cross-partisan rumbles were common on Fox opinion shows such as “The O’Reilly Factor,” hosted by flame-thrower Bill O’Reilly. They have become less common in recent years, as Democratic politicians have largely steered clear of Fox opinion shows, even while appearing with some regularity on the network’s news programs.

Talarico told The Washington Post he had no intention of clashing with Hegseth when he went into the interview. “I’m a former teacher, so I’m very conflict-averse typically,” he said. “That kind of stuff makes me anxious.”

The Democrat said he initially thought the appearance would be an opportunity to get his message across to constituents who watch Fox – but soon realized that Hegseth had no intention of letting him do so.

“I just kind lost my temper a little bit when I was being interrupted,” he said. “The train jumped the tracks a little bit during the interview,” he said. “I think I got angry. And I don’t like to get angry. . . . I didn’t anticipate the level of disruption, interruption, and unwillingness to even listen to each other. The aggressiveness is what took me aback.”

Talarico, who brushed up on Hegseth’s background quickly before the interview by watching a video of him on YouTube, said he ecco shoes discerned quickly that the host “was not interested in having a conversation.”

The lawmaker said he was surprised that Hegseth did not acknowledge Biden’s victory, even when asked directly.

“I knew it would make him uncomfortable, but I thought he would just say ‘yes’ and move on,” Talarico said. “The silence surprised me.”

Talarico said he would “love” to return to Fox News as a guest, even if his last experience “was a little traumatic.”

Representatives for the network, however, did not respond when asked about the clash and whether Talarico would be invited back.