Day: May 14, 2017

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Clapper makes media rounds…


Mr. Trump had a sharply different take on Mr. Clapper’s testimony.

“When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?” the president tweeted on Friday.

Mr. Clapper said on CNN that sensitive investigations were kept as compartmentalized as possible. In a separate appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” he said he had left counterintelligence investigations to the F.B.I.

Mr. Clapper also rebutted repeated assertions by the White House that Mr. Comey had lost the support of the F.B.I.’s rank and file, saying that the sudden dismissal on Tuesday was “very disturbing” to bureau employees.

The concerns about the firing have extended beyond Washington. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday showed that 29 percent of Americans approved of the decision, and 38 percent disapproved.

Nikki R. Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, also appearing on “This Week,” defended Mr. Trump’s firing of Mr. Comey.

“The president is the C.E.O. of his country,” Ms. Haley said. “He can hire and fire whoever he wants, that’s his right. Whether you agree with it or not, it’s the truth.”

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said the firing did not make him concerned about his own independence. He said he had a “great relationship with the president.”

“I will never compromise my own values,” Mr. Tillerson added. “And so that’s my only line. And my values are those of the country.”

He also responded to an Op-Ed article in The New York Times last week by Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, in which Mr. McCain argued that Mr. Tillerson’s remarks about decoupling foreign policy from human rights had “sent a message to oppressed people everywhere, ‘Don’t look to the United States for hope.’”

“I make a distinction between values and policy,” Mr. Tillerson said on “Meet the Press.” “A policy has to be tailored to the individual situation.”

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, also appearing on “Meet the Press,” advised Mr. Trump to rein in his public reaction to the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation.

“I would advise the president not to tweet or comment about the investigation as we go forward,” he said, adding, “The president needs to back off here and let the investigation go forward.”

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Spiciest chili record broken


Just a few bites of one of the world’s hottest peppers has been known to send tasters to the hospital.

But one competitive eater recently chomped his way to infamy by consuming 13 esophagus-burning, sweat inducing ghost peppers.

On May 3, competitive eater Kevin Strahle, known to fans as “L.A. Beast,” ate 13 ghost peppers (that’s over 121 grams of the bhut jolokia) in just two minutes—shattering the previous world record of just 66 grams of the chili.

INSIDE THE CRAZY CULTURE OF COMPETITIVE EATING

At more than 1 million Scoville units, the pepper, which originally comes from India, has been known to send those who consume it to the hospital.

According to Thrillist, Strahle spent a month practicing to break the record by chewing on dried ghost peppers. To overcome the inevitable burn, the competitive eater claims he uses a mind-over-matter strategy to mentally block out the pain.

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But even professionals can only take so much. After finishing his last pepper, Strahle, whose face turns a mild red by the end of the feat, is seen chugging a gallon of milk. 

Soon after the Guinness World Record official confirms Strahle’s victory, the eating champion doesn’t appear to be able to savor his own record-breaking accomplishment. As he runs off, he can be heard saying, “I’m not gonna make it.”



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Sex: What you're doing wrong


Americans are having less sex than they did in the 1990s, a recent study suggests. But when it comes to getting busy in the bedroom, quantity doesn’t always trump quality. In fact, a 2015 study published by the Society for Professional and Social Psychology found that the maximum bonding benefits of sex tend to cap out when couples get down and dirty once per week.

Dr. Maria Sophocles, a board-certified gynecologist and sexual medicine specialist, told Fox News that couples who are happy with their sex life shouldn’t worry over how much they’re doing the deed. However, communication about that aspect of the relationship is key for learning whether a partner isn’t getting his or her needs met.

“You should talk to each other to make sure you’re both happy and sexually satisfied,” Sophocles said. “If one or both of you are not, it may be time for a sex life makeover.”

5 UNEXPECTED BENEFITS OF DATING A YOUNGER PARTNER

To learn the top signs your sex life may need a makeover, Fox News talked to Sophocles and Dr. Tammy Nelson, a certified sex therapist and the author of “Getting the Sex You Want.”

1. Your bedroom has become your electronic office. 
If your laptop, smartphone or TV is deterring you from getting it on, you may want to reconsider their presence in the bedroom.

To avoid temptation, Nelson advised getting rid of all electronics in your bedroom except for an alarm clock. “Your bedroom should be a sacred space for sex and sleep,” Nelson told Fox News. “Cover your television, plug your laptop and phone in another room, and imagine a sexy harem tent or other space that the both of you can crawl into at night that is private and safe, where you can act out your every fantasy.”

The same thing goes for those work-specific electronics. “Your bedroom should be an oasis, not an extension of your work life,” Nelson said.

2. Sex feels like a chore.
If you view sex liking taking out the trash — that is, a chore that needs to be done weekly or daily — that’s a red flag you and your sweetie need to switch things up between the sheets.

To remedy this problem, Sophocles emphasized the importance of talking about your desires with your partner. “Communication is critical,” she said. Sophocles advised chatting outside the bedroom about what you used to enjoy about your sex life and how to bring back some of that fire.

THE 4 TYPES OF PEOPLE WHO CHEAT AND HOW TO SPOT THEM

3. You find yourself making excuses.
Have you ever eaten too much and complained you’re “too full for sex”? That’s just one common excuse you may be making to get out of being intimate with your partner. But you can change habits like those to improve your sex life, Nelson said.

“The food is a replacement for sex, and there is a reason you are eating instead of making love,” Nelson said. There can be a number of reasons for making that substitute, she explained. Maybe you’re not getting the sex you want or need, or maybe you’re not getting the affection you deserve. Whatever it may be, talk about it with your partner, Nelson said.

4. You do it the same way every time.
After having intercourse for a while with the same partner, you may fall into “maintenance sex” mode. This isn’t a bad thing — it means you’ve already learned what to do to make your partner feel good. But doing the same stuff over and over can turn good sex into boring sex quickly, Nelson warned.

“Don’t give up the maintenance sex,” Nelson said. “But add something new every once in a while.” Those changes can be as simple as bringing a new sex toy into the bed, using massage oil on your skin, or putting a scarf over the lamp to switch up the lighting.

“A small addition can make the whole night feel totally new,” Nelson said.

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5. It takes longer to get aroused.
Declining sex drive is an unfortunate product for people as they age, as well as for those couples in long-term relationships. However, don’t fret, Sophocles said, as you can easily get yourself in the mood with a few simple steps. It’s all about changing your frame of mind.

“You can bring erotic intimacy and imagery into yourself — whether it’s reading, magazines, or movies that reinvigorate your brain to want to have sex,” she said. “You can look at your partner not just as the guy taking the trash out or the woman picking up your children, but as your lover and as your intimate partner.” 



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UPDATE: 'KING ARTHUR' EPIC FLOP…


‘King Arthur’ is a flop of epic proportions after costing $175 million to make; ‘Snatched’ cost far less ($42 million) but opened well behind Amy Schumer’s ‘Trainwreck.’ Holdover ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ easily beat both new offerings.

The second weekend of summer at the North American box office took no prisoners.

Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow’s male-fueled King Arthur: Legend of the Sword — costing $175 million to make before marketing — is a flop of epic proportions after launching to $14.7 million from 3,702 theaters to mark the first big bomb of summer 2017 and one of the worst openings ever for a big-budget studio event film. It also is falling on its sword overseas, and could be facing a loss of well north of $100 million.

Piling on more bad news, the movie was topped in the U.S. by Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn’s Snatched in a surprise upset. The Mother’s Day action-comedy opened to $17.5 million from 3,501 theaters. Fox spent a relatively modest $42 million to make the R-rated movie, but was certainly hoping for a bigger bow, considering Schumer’s Trainwreck debuted to $30 million in summer 2015. Overall, it was one of the slowest Mother Day weekends in years in terms of revenue.

Produced by Chernin Entertainment, director Jonathan Levine’s Snatched follows a mother and daughter who find themselves trying to escape after being abducted on vacation in Ecuador. The comedy, which received mediocre reviews and a B CinemaScore, marks Hawn’s first turn on the big screen in 15 years, as well as Schumer’s first film since Trainwreck.

Schumer may be controversial, but Snatched succeeded in red states. The comedy overindexed in all parts of the country, save for the Rockies and Western states. Specific markets that overindexed included cities in Florida, as well as Oklahoma City and San Antonio. Females made up 77 percent of the audience, while 51 percent of ticket buyers were between the ages of 18 and 34.

“Teaming an edgy comedian with a comedian who is America’s sweetheart is like the consummate political ticket that makes sure all of your constituents are served,” said Fox president domestic distribution Chris Aronson.

Snatched placed No. 2 behind Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which easily stayed atop the box-office chart in its second weekend, declining a respectable 57 percent to $63 million from 4,347 theaters. (The Disney and Marvel sequel grossed $16.4 million on Friday alone, more than King Arthur did over its entire weekend.) Guardians Vol. 2 has now grossed $246.2 million domestically and $384.4 million overseas for a global haul of $630.6 million, including $80.5 million in China.

King Arthur, starring Charlie Hunnam as the mythical king, is a dark origin story about the future royal’s tough upbringing in the back alleys of his city. But once Arthur pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy. Jude Law, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen and Eric Bana also star.

“The concept didn’t resonate with a broad audience, and we’re disappointed. We had higher hopes,” said Warner Bros. domestic distribution chief Jeff Goldstein. The studio also missed with Pan (2015) and Jack the Giant Slayer (2013), which were likewise attempts to spin new live-action franchises based on classic IP, as leader Disney has done with any number of hits, including the recent Beauty and the Beast.

King Arthur, whose release was delayed numerous times, was skewered by critics, but received a B+ CinemaScore from audiences. Males made up nearly 60 percent of the audience.

Overseas, the pic lagged behind both Guardians Vol. 2, which raked in another $52.2 million in its third weekend, and the $42 million launch of Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant in 34 markets. Conversely, King Arthur debuted to a tepid $29.1 million from its first 51 markets, including a miserable $5.1 million in China. It still has numerous major markets in which to open, including the U.K. and Australia.

Rounding out the top five domestically were The Fate of the Furious and The Boss Baby.

Elsewhere on the North American chart, Lowriders, from Blumhouse’s BH Title and Imagine in association with Telemundo, cracked the top 10 despite playing in only 269 theaters. Targeting Hispanic audiences, the drama earned a pleasing $2.4 million to place No. 8.

The Met: Live in HD continued to prosper as Saturday’s live broadcast of Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier opera grossed $1.7 million from 900 screens to come in No. 10.

At the specialty box office, Eleanor Coppola’s Paris Can Wait, starring Diane Lane, Alec Baldwin and Arnaud Viard, fared nicely for Sony Pictures Classics, earning $101,825 from four theaters for a per screen average of $25,456, the best of the weekend for any film. It is the first narrative feature directed by Coppola, who is Francis Coppola’s wife.

May 14, 7:40 a.m. Updated with weekend estimates.

 

 

 

 

 

 



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Never shoot THIS animal


My wife was talking about my hunting with a friend of hers, to whom the subject is not only quite strange, but also more than a little creepy. “Has David ever shot an elephant?” asked the friend.

No, said my wife, he’s been chased by an elephant, but he’s never shot one.

There’s a fairly long list of animals I’ve never shot when I had the chance.

I’ve never shot a brown bear or a grizzly. It doesn’t seem right to destroy something like that, take the head and hide, and leave the rest for the scavengers. Finn Aagaard, for whom I had tremendous respect, would not do it either.

HOW TO HINGE-CUT TREES FOR MORE BIG BUCKS LATER

Finn did hunt elephants. In fact, he was obsessed with it. To him it was the highest form of hunting, but he was also very much aware that the tembos he killed were creatures with considerable intelligence, and a certain amount of self-awareness, like the apes, and ourselves.

“If you shoot the number-one sable bull out of a herd,” Finn said, “another bull will take his place and nothing will change. But if you shoot an elephant bull, his askaris will gather around the remains and say to each other, “My god, they killed Ralph. This is all that’s left of him.”

That may be why elephants that are treated “humanely” by zoos and circuses sometimes go berserk and start killing people. They’ve had enough of captivity, affronts to their dignity, which is very real, and being gaped at by creatures who are probably repellent to them. “Fine,” they decide one day. “Enough is enough. Now it’s time for payback.”

SHOTGUN SHOOTING TIP: TRUST YOUR FEELINGS

There are species that you can shoot one of in a lifetime, and no more. The sable comes to mind. A sable bull is one of the biggest and most impressive of all the antelope, but the beasts are not particularly bright. They will step out right in the open, inviting you to admire them, and there’s not much sport in putting one on the ground.

I got a very respectable sable bull very early on in my African hunting career, and a decade later I got a chance at a true monster, far, far better than the one I already had, destined to go way up in the record books. I didn’t shoot, and the professional hunters wouldn’t speak to me for a day. But I had sound reasons for not shooting. First was the cost of a sable license, which was considerable. But there was also the ethical problem. He was standing in the middle of a road no more than 25 yards away. Shooting would have been little more than murder.

Some people detest wolves, and kill them every chance they get. I think wolves are terrific animals, and they’ve never done anything to me. I also think they’ve been handed about as rotten a deal by humans as any predator, and we should now give them a break, even at the price of some of the species we like to eat ourselves.

THE 12 BEST CARTRIDGES FOR ELK HUNTING

Looking back, there are a good many times I could have pulled the trigger, and didn’t, and I’ve never regretted one of them. And there were times when I did shoot, usually against my better judgment, and as J.E.B. Stuart said, I have only regretted those once, and that was continually.



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Ohio investigators search three locations in Rhoden family murder probe


Investigators searched three properties in the past two days for evidence related to the unsolved killings of eight members of an Ohio family nearly 13 months ago, according to reports Saturday.

SWAT teams helped carry out the searches Friday and Saturday in Adams County and Pike County, according to media reports.

Fox 19 reported that police made no arrests in connection with the searches. The station reported that the searches marked a major development in the long-stalled probe.

Seven adults and a teenage boy from the Rhoden family who were found shot to death April 22, 2016, at four homes near Piketon in Pike County. They were shot execution-style.

It’s unclear what if anything was found during the searches, WLWT-TV reported.

“A lot of things run through your mind at night,” Leonard Manley told the station. His daughter Dana Rhoden was one of the victims, so were three grandchildren.

“It’s been a lot of sleepless nights,” he said.

The properties searched included a 71-acre farm in Adams County.

It belonged to a former boyfriend of one of the victims, 18-year-old Hannah Rhoden, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. She was found shot to death next to her 5-day-old baby girl who was not harmed.

Jake Wagner, 24, and Rhoden had a daughter in 2013 and he was given custody of the child after the killings, the paper reported. Records indicated Wagner may have sold the farm in March.

Another search took place at a farm in Piketon that belongs to relatives of Wagner, according to the paper.

A woman who answered a phone at the farm Saturday declined comment, the Enquirer reported.

The third property searched was a used car lot in Adams County owned by a man named Brian Brown, according to the paper.

Rhoden family members issued a plea last month on the first anniversary of the killings for anyone with information to contact police.



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Eric Shawn Exclusive: Exiled Iran prince vows mullahs' regime 'will fall'



Eric Shawn Exclusive: Exiled Iran prince vows mullahs' regime 'will fall'



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Mom accused of beating boy who gave Mother's Day card to grandma, not her


A South Carolina mother has been accused of beating her young son after the boy made a Mother’s Day card for his grandmother, but not one for her.

Spartanburg Police said Shontrell Murphy, 30, repeatedly hit her 6-year-old son after ripping up the card, Fox Carolina reported.

Murphy was charged with cruelty to children. She was released from jail on a personal recognizance bond.

Police said they found the boy crying when they went to the home Thursday for a report of a disturbance, the station reported. Officers said the grandmother told them her daughter slapped her grandson multiple times around the head.

Investigators said the boy’s sister told them their mother was upset because the Mother’s Day card her brother made wasn’t for her. She said the card was for their grandmother, according to the station.

The police report states that when Murphy realized the card wasn’t for her, she ripped it up and hit the boy repeatedly about the head, according to the station.

He was evaluated at a hospital and released.

The station reported that Murphy admitted to smacking the child but “does not believe it was in a hard or violent manner.”

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New Jersey family booted from JetBlue flight to Vegas after spat with crew member


A New Jersey family said they were removed from a JetBlue flight from New York to Las Vegas on Saturday over a birthday cake they brought onto the plane.

The Burke family told WABC-TV that the cake, which was initially stored in the overhead bin, was deemed a security risk. Cameron Burke was told to move the cake and he put it under the seat in front of him. The family said a second flight attendant confronted the first attendant about the cake.

“You know, you could see the gestures – then she was pointing to her, did you tell him he couldn’t put anything in the overhead compartment? I had approached them, and I said everything was fine, and she said, ‘sir, this does not involve you. When she told me I had been non-compliant, then I said ‘ma’am, had you been drinking?’ because her behavior was not normal,” Burke told the station.

The station reported that police at John F. Kennedy Airport were brought on board. An attendant then made an announcement that everyone had to get off the plane. That’s when the Burkes were removed.

Video posted to social media shows one of the Burke children crying after being told they were being kicked off the plane.

JetBlue refuted the story told by Cameron Burke. The airline said in a statement that he was yelling at the crew.

“(The customer) refused multiple requests from the crew to remove the items, became agitated, cursed and yelled at the crew, and made false accusations about a crew member’s fitness to fly,” the statement said.

Burke said he never cursed at crew members and at no point was it known why he and his family were getting booted from the plane.

Burke said they were all refunded at the terminal.

Click for more from WABC-TV.



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Exercises for a ripped chest


At this point, you, a well-informed fitness enthusiast, are fully aware of how important the bench press — and its alternatives! — are for developing upper body strength. It seems less likely, though, that this same depth of chest physiology knowledge extends to the pec fly. Whether performed on a bench, a cable machine, or a pec deck, this exercise provides that deep stretch that the regular ol’ bench press motion doesn’t allow for, and as a bonus, squeezing your chest at the apex of the movement makes you feel a little like you’re turning into the Incredible Hulk. Since you’ve probably been doing these things the same way for years, we asked a few friendly fitness professionals for their advice on how to keep things fresh and, uh, fly. (Sorry.)

Idalis Velazquez: Medicine ball press-outs
Assume a staggered stance with one foot slightly in front of theater for balance, holding the medicine ball close to your chest. Bracing your core, explosively press the ball away from your chest to a full extension. Hold for one second and return to start position. Complete three sets of 20 reps, and switch your front foot midway through each set. This is an especially great exercise for finishing out a long, hard chest workout.

Ben Booker: Band fly
Lay flat on your back and run a resistance band behind you (or even under the bench!) while holding on to both ends. Find the band resistance that allows you to, with effort, fully extend your arms straight above your chest and fully contract your pectorals. The variety of resistance levels that bands provide help you reach muscle fatigue faster, and the gradually increasing resistance at the top of the fly movement assists in building better separation between the pectoral muscles.

RELATED: 5 exercises to try instead of the shoulder press to get you sculpted for summer

Jay Cardiello: Towel spread-outs
With your body in push-up position, place a towel under each hand, keeping your feet hip width apart. Slowly lower yourself to the ground while sliding your hands outward as far as possible — using the towels will help make this movement smoother. This is not a push-up, so don’t bend your elbows. It’s more like a fly using the ground. Reverse direction and repeat, performing as many as you can in 30 seconds.

Gideon Akande: Wide-stance push-up pulse
With your hands in an extra-wide push-up position, perform the bottom half of the exercise only—the “pulse.” The constant tension maintained throughout the motion helps to develop definition in the “show muscles”—the pectorals, shoulders, and triceps. Gideon kindly demonstrates for us here.

Alexia Clark: Plate squeeze
Pick up a plate and, with your hands on the flat sides—not the edges, as if you were holding a steering wheel — squeeze it between your hands. Keeping the plate at shoulder level, press it straight out, and at full extension, squeeze your pectoral muscles together to pull the plate back in toward your body, as shown here. While a traditional fly stretches your pectorals out during only the negative phase of the movement, the squeezing motion fully engages your chest throughout the range of motion.



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