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Hate groups investigated – Canada News – Castanet.net

August 20th, 2019

The commander of the Canadian Army says the military will take action if an investigation finds that a reserve member in Manitoba participated in a hate group.

Master Cpl. Patrik Mathews, who joined the reserves in 2010, is a combat engineer with 38 Canadian Brigade Group in Winnipeg.

Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre said in Ottawa that he wouldn’t be discussing any individual cases, but did say that service members are expected to adhere to a high level of behaviour.

“Those that do not embrace those values, those who do not protect those values, have no place in this organization,” he said Tuesday.

The Department of National Defence said in a statement that Mathews has not been on any deployments.

It said the military was aware of “possible racist extremist activities” by a Canadian Armed Forces member in Manitoba prior to recent media coverage and was already investigating.

The allegations came to light after a story by an undercover reporter from the Winnipeg Free Press identified Mathews as being involved in the group.

The Free Press said Mathews would not comment on the allegation when approached outside his home Tuesday.

Brigade commander Col. Gwen Bourque said Mathews last worked with the unit in May and was to return in September.

“We are currently assessing what his employment is going to look like in September,” Bourque said in a teleconference.

“We were not aware of any possible racist, extremist activities.”

Bourque said the public shouldn’t jump to any conclusions.

“We also need to be very cognizant of due process. No military charges have been laid or have ever been laid against him, so there should not be any assumption of guilt at this time.”

Manitoba Mounties said they searched a residence in Beausejour, Man., on Monday night and seized a number of firearms.

An RCMP official said an investigation was ongoing and no one was in custody.

Eyre said disciplinary and administrative action can be taken against reservists, even for actions when they’re out of uniform, if it “reflects badly” on the Canadian Forces.

He said he doesn’t believe extreme views among members is widespread.

“Do I believe in my heart that this is systemic? Absolutely not. But when it comes to our attention that there are those who have views that are not aligned with our values we’re going to act.”

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the federal government will not tolerate racism or discrimination in the Canadian Armed Forces and expect all its members to uphold Canadian values.

“It is completely unacceptable for any member of the Canadian Armed Forces to engage in any sort of hateful conduct, whether through words or actions,” Sajjan said in an email.

“While the vast majority of our members adhere to the highest level of professionalism and personal conduct, members who engage in these types of activities undermine the confidence Canadians have bestowed in them.”

Last week, Sajjan asked Canada’s military ombudsman to investigate racism in the Canadian Forces following several high-profile incidents and a report linking service members to right-wing extremists and hate groups.

Sailors associated with the Proud Boys disrupted a Mi’kmaq ceremony in Halifax in 2017. There have also been media reports of other members associating with neo-Nazi groups such as the Atomwaffen Division.

A military intelligence report last year said officials were aware of 30 active service members who were part of a hate group or had made statements that were discriminatory or racist.

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Simon calls ‘AGT’ act ‘worst ever’ [Video] – Yahoo Entertainment

August 20th, 2019

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Nick and Lindsay Williams hoped to step up their opera-violin-knife-throwing act during the LIVE&nbsp;America’s Got Talent quarter finals, Tuesday night. But instead of wowing judges with their rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” they fell into a burning ring of fire, figuratively.” data-reactid=”25″>Nick and Lindsay Williams hoped to step up their opera-violin-knife-throwing act during the LIVE America’s Got Talent quarter finals, Tuesday night. But instead of wowing judges with their rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” they fell into a burning ring of fire, figuratively.

Unfortunately the song choice was a little too whimsical for Nick’s operatic style of singing. This resulted in both his tempo and pitch to be off.

Lindsay struggled with the knife throwing portion of the act, as only one of the several knives she threw actually stuck into the board. She was also off rhythm with Nick when she tried playing the violin.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="When it came time for critiques, Simon Cowell was fairly tough. “I think in the history of America’s Got Talent that was the worst live performance I’ve ever seen,” said Simon, “I love you two, but everything went wrong I mean it was like watching a murder.” And Twitter agreed with Simon, wholeheartedly.” data-reactid=”28″>When it came time for critiques, Simon Cowell was fairly tough. “I think in the history of America’s Got Talent that was the worst live performance I’ve ever seen,” said Simon, “I love you two, but everything went wrong I mean it was like watching a murder.” And Twitter agreed with Simon, wholeheartedly.

While all the judges agreed the act was bad, Julianne Hough thought it was bad like a fine moldy cheese. She said, “It was so bad it actually became good.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Whether or not Nick and Lindsay make it to the final round depends on America’s vote. Regardless of what happens, at least the husband and wife know they will forever live on in AGT infamy as the worst live-performance ever.” data-reactid=”34″>Whether or not Nick and Lindsay make it to the final round depends on America’s vote. Regardless of what happens, at least the husband and wife know they will forever live on in AGT infamy as the worst live-performance ever.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="America’s Got Talent results airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.” data-reactid=”35″>America’s Got Talent results airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Watch as Bachelor in Paradise fight results in two people being sent home:” data-reactid=”36″>Watch as Bachelor in Paradise fight results in two people being sent home:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:” data-reactid=”41″>Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Tell us what you think! Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, or leave your comments below. And check out our host, Kylie Mar, on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.” data-reactid=”46″>Tell us what you think! Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, or leave your comments below. And check out our host, Kylie Mar, on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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‘Bachelor in Paradise’: What to Know About Demi Burnett’s Girlfriend, Kristian Haggerty – Yahoo Entertainment

August 20th, 2019

Bachelor Nation, meet Kristian Haggerty! 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Demi Burnett's girlfriend joinedBachelor in Paradise on Tuesday night’s episode, becoming one of only a handful of contestants to hit the beach without having appeared on The Bachelor or Bachelorette. (Remember when Ashley Iaconetti brought her sister?)” data-reactid=”17″>Demi Burnett’s girlfriend joinedBachelor in Paradise on Tuesday night’s episode, becoming one of only a handful of contestants to hit the beach without having appeared on The Bachelor or Bachelorette. (Remember when Ashley Iaconetti brought her sister?)

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Her relationship with Demi had been known to fans since Paradise‘s season premiere, with Demi opening up about her sexuality, and mentioning her relationship with another woman. As she found out a few days into Paradise, her time with Derek Peth wasn’t what her heart desired, and Chris Harrison brought Kristian onto the show.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”18″>Her relationship with Demi had been known to fans since Paradise‘s season premiere, with Demi opening up about her sexuality, and mentioning her relationship with another woman. As she found out a few days into Paradise, her time with Derek Peth wasn’t what her heart desired, and Chris Harrison brought Kristian onto the show. 

But who exactly is the newcomer, and how did she and Demi meet? Here’s what you need to know. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="She’s&nbsp;Got a ‘Bachelor’ Connection&nbsp;” data-reactid=”20″>She’s Got a ‘Bachelor’ Connection 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Kristian is actually longtime friends with another alum from Colton Underwood's season of The Bachelor, Catherine Agro — and went with her to Coachella in April.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”21″>Kristian is actually longtime friends with another alum from Colton Underwood’s season of The Bachelor, Catherine Agro — and went with her to Coachella in April. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="She and Demi Didn’t Meet at Stagecoach&nbsp;” data-reactid=”23″>She and Demi Didn’t Meet at Stagecoach 

A fan tweeted at Demi on Tuesday night asking what we’re all thinking… did they meet at Stagecoach, like the rest of the Paradise cast? “Naw but Kristian and I both met Blake there 🤣🤣,” Demi replied. So, it seems they met the old fashioned way — through their mutual friend, Catherine. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="She’s a College Grad” data-reactid=”26″>She’s a College Grad

Kristian graduated from Stetson University in 2014, with a degree in Business Administration. Before college, she worked as a model and actress, but reportedly left her modeling career behind to pursue an education. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="She’s Funny&nbsp;” data-reactid=”29″>She’s Funny 

Demi might be one of the most entertaining people to ever grace the Bachelor Franchise, but Kristian can hang too. Kristian graduated from a program at SAK Comedy in Orlando in May 2017, before moving to Chicago, where she enrolled in an improv program at Second City. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="She’s No Stranger to Star Power&nbsp;” data-reactid=”32″>She’s No Stranger to Star Power 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="According to her website, Kristian’s gotten production experience while working with several big stars, like Jennifer Lopez, Hailee Steinfeld and Calvin Harris.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”33″>According to her website, Kristian’s gotten production experience while working with several big stars, like Jennifer Lopez, Hailee Steinfeld and Calvin Harris. 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="We'll learn more about Kristian when Bachelor in Paradise continues next week. The show airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Join ET’s Bachelor Nation Facebook group here.&nbsp;” data-reactid=”35″>We’ll learn more about Kristian when Bachelor in Paradise continues next week. The show airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. Join ET’s Bachelor Nation Facebook group here

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="RELATED CONTENT:&nbsp;” data-reactid=”36″>RELATED CONTENT: 

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content=" ‘Bachelor in Paradise’: Derek Has a Level 10 Meltdown Over Demi’s Choice to Pursue Kristian on the Show ” data-reactid=”37″> ‘Bachelor in Paradise’: Derek Has a Level 10 Meltdown Over Demi’s Choice to Pursue Kristian on the Show

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content=" Demi Burnett Moves to Los Angeles: What It Could Mean for Her ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Romance ” data-reactid=”38″> Demi Burnett Moves to Los Angeles: What It Could Mean for Her ‘Bachelor in Paradise’ Romance

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content=" ‘BiP’: Does Demi’s Love Crisis Open the Door for Derek As Our Next ‘Bachelor’? ” data-reactid=”39″> ‘BiP’: Does Demi’s Love Crisis Open the Door for Derek As Our Next ‘Bachelor’?

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Simon Cowell on terrible ‘AGT’ performance: ‘It was like watching a murder’ – Yahoo Entertainment

August 20th, 2019

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Nick and Lindsay Williams hoped to step up their opera-violin-knife-throwing act during the LIVE&nbsp;America’s Got Talent quarter finals, Tuesday night. But instead of wowing judges with their rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” they fell into a burning ring of fire, figuratively.” data-reactid=”25″>Nick and Lindsay Williams hoped to step up their opera-violin-knife-throwing act during the LIVE America’s Got Talent quarter finals, Tuesday night. But instead of wowing judges with their rendition of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” they fell into a burning ring of fire, figuratively.

Unfortunately the song choice was a little too whimsical for Nick’s operatic style of singing. This resulted in both his tempo and pitch to be off.

Lindsay struggled with the knife throwing portion of the act, as only one of the several knives she threw actually stuck into the board. She was also off rhythm with Nick when she tried playing the violin.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="When it came time for critiques, Simon Cowell was fairly tough. “I think in the history of America’s Got Talent that was the worst live performance I’ve ever seen,” said Simon, “I love you two, but everything went wrong I mean it was like watching a murder.” And Twitter agreed with Simon, wholeheartedly.” data-reactid=”28″>When it came time for critiques, Simon Cowell was fairly tough. “I think in the history of America’s Got Talent that was the worst live performance I’ve ever seen,” said Simon, “I love you two, but everything went wrong I mean it was like watching a murder.” And Twitter agreed with Simon, wholeheartedly.

While all the judges agreed the act was bad, Julianne Hough thought it was bad like a fine moldy cheese. She said, “It was so bad it actually became good.”

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Whether or not Nick and Lindsay make it to the final round depends on America’s vote. Regardless of what happens, at least the husband and wife know they will forever live on in AGT infamy as the worst live-performance ever.” data-reactid=”34″>Whether or not Nick and Lindsay make it to the final round depends on America’s vote. Regardless of what happens, at least the husband and wife know they will forever live on in AGT infamy as the worst live-performance ever.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="America’s Got Talent results airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.” data-reactid=”35″>America’s Got Talent results airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Watch as Bachelor in Paradise fight results in two people being sent home:” data-reactid=”36″>Watch as Bachelor in Paradise fight results in two people being sent home:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:” data-reactid=”41″>Read more from Yahoo Entertainment:

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Tell us what you think! Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, or leave your comments below. And check out our host, Kylie Mar, on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.” data-reactid=”46″>Tell us what you think! Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, or leave your comments below. And check out our host, Kylie Mar, on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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The Matrix: Keanu Reeves to reprise role for fourth chapter – BBC News

August 20th, 2019
Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves star in the original 1999 filmImage copyright Getty Images
Image caption Carrie-Anne Moss and Keanu Reeves star in the original 1999 film

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss will return in a fourth instalment of sci-fi franchise The Matrix, with Reeves reprising his lead role as hacker Neo.

Matrix co-creator Lana Wachowski will write, direct and produce the film, a third sequel to the original 1999 hit.

Ms Wachowski celebrated The Matrix’s return, saying many of the ideas it explores are “even more relevant now”.

The first three films in the franchise earned more than $1.6bn (£1.3bn) at the global box office.

Warner Bros Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich announced the new film on Tuesday, saying the studio “could not be more excited” about its return.

“Lana is a true visionary – a singular and original creative filmmaker – and we are thrilled that she is writing, directing and producing this new chapter”, he said.

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The original film was released 20 years ago and told the story of Neo and his discovery that humanity was trapped in a simulated reality. It proved a major hit and spawned two sequels – The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

The third instalment was the first film ever to be released simultaneously around the world at the same hour.

Rumours of a fourth chapter have been circulating since 2017, with reports at the time stating that Warner Bros was “in the early stages of developing a relaunch”.

In a statement on Tuesday, Ms Wachowski said she was “very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends.”

Follow us on Facebook, on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

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‘America’s Got Talent’: Comedian Ryan Niemiller snaps Simon Cowell’s brutal mean streak – USA TODAY

August 20th, 2019
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Kodi Lee, a blind singer with autism, moved the judges to tears again on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” USA TODAY

Simon Cowell is not impressed.

The British judge lived up to his grouchy reputation during Tuesday’s episode of “America’s Got Talent,” which marked the second round of quarterfinals.

The competition is not getting any easier – only seven of the 12 acts will advance – and neither are the critiques from the judges, primarily Cowell, who slammed several acts for not upping the ante during the live shows. 

Cowell gave Nick & Lindsay’s knife throwing/singing act a red X, saying, “In the history of ‘America’s Got Talent,’ that was the worst live performance I’ve ever seen.”

The harsh words didn’t stop there. Cowell said singer Charlotte Summers made a “terrible, terrible song choice,” prompting the 13-year-old to break out in tears. 

Last week on ‘America’s Got Talent’: Kodi Lee moves judges to tears in ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ with Paul Simon’s OK

Cowell called contortionist dancer Marina Mazepa “a bit boring,” adding he was “disappointed” and “hated the music as well.” The Sentimentalists also got the cold shoulder, with Cowell calling their lackluster mentalist act “a total mess.” 

“People think its tough for the contestants up there,” Cowell said. “There have been times over the years were I’m thinking, ‘This is tough for us, because we have made some terrible decisions.’ Certainly tonight … as to who we selected.” 

Cowell’s mean streak, however, was snapped by a couple of stellar performances. 

‘America’s Got Talent’: Comedian Ryan Niemiller got his start telling jokes in small towns

Stand-up comedian Ryan Niemiller brought the funny during his act, where he joked about failed New Year’s resolutions, trailer parks and his disability. (He was born with a congenital birth defect in both arms.)

“You are born to do this,” Cowell said. “Everything worked. … It was just one of those great, great performance. I really believe you are going to be in the semifinals.”

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Cowell even bowed down to golden buzzer-winning dance group V. Unbeatable following their sky-high performance, full of tricks, flips and fast-paced choreography. 

“Every time we see you guys, you push the boundaries,” he said, while Howie Mandel added, “This is the best performance I have ever witnessed on this show.”

‘AGT’:V. Unbeatable wows guest judge Dwyane Wade, wins Golden Buzzer

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But, leave it to Cowell to make more contestants cry before the night was over. He told the golden buzzer-winning dance group Light Balance Kids that they “didn’t have a wow factor.” He added, “This isn’t going to make me very popular.”

Thankfully, the fate of the contestants is not in the judges’ hands. It’s up to viewers.

Fans can vote up to 10 times for each act on NBC.com/AGTvote or through the “America’s Got Talent” app.   

Tuesday’s field also included two other golden buzzer winners – violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa and rapper Joseph Allen – along with Ndlovu Youth Choir and singers Chris Kläfford and Robert Finley.

The acts advancing to the semifinals will be revealed during Wednesday’s results show, which will include a guest performance from “Britain’s Got Talent” star Susan Boyle (NBC, 8 EDT/PDT).

Last week’s results: Is Kodi Lee moving on to the semifinals? 

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Where the Couples Stand on Bachelor in Paradise Season 6 – E! Online

August 20th, 2019

Bachelor in Paradise is at its best when it’s just a complete disaster. 

We’ve said this before, but truly, we’re having the best time when we’re struggling to keep track of what and who and why and something that also might have happened at Stagecoach. The problem is that we’re really actually struggling to keep track. Who’s with who? And who’s actually with who and who’s just exchanging roses back and forth in the hopes of meeting a newcomer?

Plus, what’s happening now that Demi’s girlfriend has finally arrived on the beach?  

We’re taking a moment here in the middle of this bonkers season to take stock of the couples currently on their way towards a season-ending engagement, or something to that effect. 

Demi and Kristian 

Demi couldn’t get Kristian out of her mind, and Kristian only came here for Demi, and so Demi immediately broke up with Derek for Kristian. So now Derek is very sad, but Demi and Kristian are living their best lives, going on dates and making out at every opportunity. 

Does it make any sense that Demi’s at-home, non-Bachelor Nation girlfriend is on the show with her? Nope! Do we care? Not really. Demi’s been the most entertaining, least annoying person on the beach all season, and a same-sex relationship on this franchise is looooooong overdue. So welcome, Kristian. Hopefully you’ll get some time to get used to the cameras while you’re there. 

Clay and Nicole

Despite her awkward dalliance with Christian that ended with his fight with Jordan, Nicole and Clay are solid. So solid that she’s willing to sing a terrible song for him on national television! 

Chris and Katie 

Chris and Katie were doing great-ish until the arrival of Jen Saviano. Chris liked Katie, and Katie liked Chris, but she couldn’t seem to show him how much she liked him, and couldn’t even tell him she was sad he was going on a date with Jen. So now they’re at a bit of an impasse. Probably. We kinda forgot about them after Demi’s girlfriend showed up. 

Hannah G. and Dylan

Now that Blake’s out of the picture, these two are just spending their days making out in the pool, which is nice for them. It’s a good change for them. 

Caelynn and Dean

Caelynn and Dean also like to make out in the pool, and while Caelynn had a momentary panic over Jen potentially picking Dean for their date, this did not actually happen. 

John Paul Jones and Tayshia

These two are doing just fine and honestly we’re most impressed by the fact that JPJ has still got those abs despite how much he’s shown eating. 

Mike and Sydney

The couple who does cartwheels and rips their pants together on the beach stays together? Seems possible! 

Blake and Caitlin and Kristina and ?? 

Kristina’s still up to her tricks, making Blake stay and watch Hannah move on while also giving him the opportunity to find love while also giving herself the opportunity to do the same. This made new girl Caitlin (who?) extremely unhappy. She hates Kristina, calling her a mosquito and “literally atrocious” and blaming her for stealing Blake away, even though it’s fully Blake’s decision to hand out a rose to whoever he wants to give a rose to. 

It was a fight that made no sense, and it makes no sense that Blake is still here, and it’s all literally atrocious. 

Tune in next week to apparently see another mysterious contestant we fully forgot about having a complete meltdown! 

Bachelor in Paradise airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC. 

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YouTube is removing its direct messaging feature in September – Engadget

August 20th, 2019

YouTube is removing its direct messaging feature in September  Engadget

YouTube’s direct messaging feature isn’t exactly Google’s most popular way to chat, but it was a convenient way to share videos on the platform, especially on m …

Microsoft, software

More women should be assessed for BRCA mutations, new recommendations say – KSL.com

August 20th, 2019

ATLANTA (CNN) — More women should be assessed for harmful mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that can increase risk of certain cancers, according to new recommendations.

Previously, it was recommended for women who have a family history of breast, ovarian, tubal or peritoneal cancer to be assessed for harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. That recommendation was last made in 2013 by the US Preventive Services Task Force, a volunteer panel of national experts that makes evidence-based recommendations for the primary care community.

Now the USPSTF is updating its recommendation for this risk assessment to include women who personally have been diagnosed with breast, ovarian or tubal cancer in the past but completed treatment and are considered “cancer free,” and those who have certain ancestries associated with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, such as being of Ashkenazi Jewish descent.

Women with positive results on the primary care risk assessment are then recommended to receive genetic counseling and possibly genetic testing for the mutations.

A draft of the updated recommendation was released in February. The final updated recommendation statement published in the medical journal JAMA on Tuesday.

Routine risk assessment is not recommended for women whose personal history, family history or ancestry does not suggest the possible presence of harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.

“It’s important for women to realize that, even though breast cancer is the second-most common cancer in women, that these mutations are actually pretty rare,” said Dr. Carol Mangione, a primary care physician and a professor of medicine and public health at the University of California, Los Angeles, who is a member of the US Preventive Services Task Force.

In the general population, BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations occur in an estimated 1 in 300 to 500 women and account for 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases and 15% of ovarian cancer cases, according to the USPSTF.

“Which is why the second part of the recommendation is important, too, that we recommend against routine risk assessment, counseling and genetic testing for women who don’t have a personal history, family history or ancestry associated with a harmful mutation,” Mangione said.

To update its recommendation statement, the USPSTF reviewed an evidence report that included 103 previously published studies on the accuracy of risk assessment tools, outcomes of genetic counseling and testing, and interventions to reduce the risk of BRCA-related cancer.

The updated recommendation notes that for women who are recommended for screening for BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, that genetic risk assessment and BRCA mutation testing is a multi-step process, which typically begins with assessing risk at a visit with a primary care doctor.

The risk assessment tool helps first to identify patients with family or personal histories of breast, ovarian, tubal or peritoneal cancer, or ancestry associated with harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. That assessment helps to determine whether the patient should then undergo genetic counseling, which can further evaluate risk, followed by genetic testing.

Some women found to have harmful BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations might then choose to take additional steps to lower their cancer risk, such as undergoing intensive screening, taking risk-reducing medications or undergoing risk-reducing surgeries, the choice famously made by actress and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie.

The updated USPSTF recommendation statement clarifies that primary care clinicians should assess women with a personal or family history of breast, ovarian, tubal or peritoneal cancer for possible BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations, said Dr. Banu Arun, professor of breast medical oncology and co-medical director of the Clinical Cancer Genetics Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who was not involved in the new recommendations.

“If patients fit the initial screening criteria and are referred for genetic counseling and testing is indicated, insurance should cover genetic testing,” Arun said.

“These recommendations also confirm that the use of validated risk screening tools are appropriate to use in the primary care setting.”

The updated USPSTF recommendation on BRCA genetic testing, as well as mammographic screening, “are vulnerable to criticism that breast cancer disparities are inadequately addressed,” according to an editorial that published in the journal JAMA Surgery on Tuesday.

“Disproportionately high breast cancer mortality rates in non-Hispanic black women represent a major public health problem. Addressing this disparity in the context of evidence-based guidelines is inevitably challenging because the highest-level evidence is often insufficient to account for breast cancer outcomes specific to” racial or ethnic minorities, wrote the editorial’s author, Dr. Lisa Newman of New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

The updated recommendation “provides an important service in recommending that primary care clinicians take a proactive stance in assessing risk for breast and ovarian cancer by documenting personal as well as family history of cancer and eliciting information regarding Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry,” Newman wrote.

“However, as with any other guideline, it remains imperative for clinicians to exercise clinical judgment and to be mindful of patient subsets that do not necessarily fit into recommendations designed for the majority or general populations.”

Dr. Rachel Yung, of the University of Washington in Seattle, and Dr. Larissa Korde, of the National Cancer Institute, co-authored a separate editorial that published in the journal JAMA Oncology on Tuesday.

The editorial mentioned that clinicians should be cognizant of the growing prevalence of direct-to-consumer genetic testing products and the complexities they may bring.

For instance, the US Food and Drug Administration last year granted marketing authorization to 23andMe for direct-to-consumer testing for three specific mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that are most common in people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent.

The prevalence of such a mutation “is estimated to be about 2% for women of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage but only 0.1% in women from other populations. This raises the possibility that a patient for whom comprehensive testing is warranted might be falsely assured by a negative test result and not seek further evaluation, or even that a clinician might wrongly assume that the patient does not require referral,” Yung and Korde wrote in the editorial.

They called for additional BRCA-related cancers to be considered when evaluating a person’s family history and improved access to genetic evaluation in the future.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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Trump calls off trip to Denmark because its PM isn’t interested in discussing sale of Greenland – National Post

August 20th, 2019

President Donald Trump on Tuesday abruptly called off a trip to Denmark, announcing in a tweet that he was postponing the visit because the country’s leader was not interested in selling him Greenland.

The move comes two days after Trump told reporters that owning Greenland “would be nice” for the United States from a strategic perspective.

Greenland is a self-governing country that is part of the kingdom of Denmark.

In his tweet, Trump said that while Denmark is “a very special country with incredible people,” he is postponing his scheduled meeting with Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen based on her statement “that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland.”

“The Prime Minister was able to save a great deal of expense and effort for both the United States and Denmark by being so direct,” Trump added. “I thank her for that and look forward to rescheduling sometime in the future!”

Over the weekend, Frederiksen had visited Greenland and told reporters there that Trump’s idea of buying the island was “absurd.”

Trump had been scheduled to visit Denmark in two weeks. He said Sunday that his visit was not related to his interest in Greenland.

“Not for this reason at all,” he said.

But his Tuesday night tweets made clear that the central purpose of his trip had in fact been discussion of a U.S. purchase of the massive, glaciered island, which holds increasing strategic value as melting sea ice opens new parts of the Arctic to shipping and resource extraction.

Trump had also jokingly acknowledged his interest in purchasing the island for the United States on Monday, when he tweeted a doctored photo of a huge gold Trump Tower planted on what appears to be a Greenlandic fishing village.

“I promise not to do this to Greenland!” Trump wrote.

Greenlanders, many of whom chafe at Danish rule, reacted with scorn to word last week that Trump was keenly interested in making an offer.

Both Danish and Greenland officials have said in recent days that the island is not for sale.

“Greenland is rich in valuable resources such as minerals, the purest water and ice, fish stocks, seafood, renewable energy and is a new frontier for adventure tourism,” Greenland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday in a tweet. “We’re open for business, not for sale.”

Trump’s interest, which was a closely held secret until last week, stems largely from the island’s potential as a hedge against Chinese and Russian expansion in the Arctic.

He told reporters Sunday that owning Greenland is “hurting Denmark very badly” and that “they carry it at a great loss,” although he did not immediately provide evidence to back up those claims.


Greenland: Beautiful and rich in resources, but not for sale.

Lucas Jackson/Reuters/File

Although many in the United States have mocked the idea, one Democratic lawmaker on Sunday voiced openness to considering it. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia said on CBS’ Face the Nation that “changes are happening” in Greenland as a result of climate change, “and the people up there understand it and they’re trying to adjust to it.”

“We have a very strategic base up there, a military base, which we visited,” Manchin said, referring to his visit to Greenland earlier this year as part of a bipartisan congressional delegation. “And I understand the strategy for that in that part of the world and the Arctic opening up the way it is now.”

On Tuesday night, Fox News host Pete Hegseth took an optimistic view of events, musing that perhaps Denmark was simply holding out in the hopes of getting Trump to reveal how much he was willing to pay for the island.

“It’s one of these big, bold ideas that no one would’ve thought of, that the modern era mostly bats aside and says would never happen,” Hegseth said of buying Greenland on Fox Business Network. “But hey, maybe it’s just an initial rebuff. Maybe it’s part of their negotiations. ‘Hey, we want a better price for Greenland.’ ”

“You never know,” he added. “You never know.”

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