Tumblelog by Soup.io
Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.

June 15 2017

This Incredible Airport With A Rooftop Pool Is About To Get Even Better

Experts recommend arriving at the airport up to three hours before taking an international flight. If you happen to be traveling out of Singapore’s Changi Airport, though, you might want to push that number to two days.

Its sparkling ratings for timeliness, service and “passenger sentiment” are great, but it also boasts amenities like indoor gardens, a movie theater and ― wait for it ― an outdoor pool and hot tub. 

If you’re not already scheming ways to get stuck at Changi, consider Jewel, the airport’s upcoming new terminal. The stunning, dome-shaped fantasy world is set to open in 2019.

The 134,000-square meter space will have a level called “Canopy Park” that boasts things you never dreamed of or never knew you needed in an airport, as demonstrated in the recently released video above.

Like two separate mazes, one made of mirrors. 

The other will be made of hedges: 


Something called “foggy bowls” look like they’ll keep traveling kids entertained.

And, most breathtaking of all, there are plans for a “rain vortex” indoor waterfall, which according to a video from Changi will be the tallest in the world. 

Excuse us while we save every penny we earn until 2019. Or, if you can’t wait that long, head to Changi’s website to learn more about its current 85 restaurants, 150-plus shopping destinations and, again, the rooftop pool, people. 

H/T Cosmopolitan UK 

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=593ece03e4b02402687bbb08,5824ccdde4b094483eef361c,58f16204e4b0b9e9848c31bf

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Alarming Video Shows United Worker Shoving An Older Passenger

<!-- TAG START { player: "HuffPost Default Player - Click to Play", for: "Huffington Post" } -->

<!-- TAG END { date: 6/14/17 } -->

A 73-year-old Texas lawyer is suing United Airlines after an employee shoved him to the ground and left him there.

On Tuesday, Houston news station KPRC aired surveillance footage of the 2015 incident at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport. 

The video shows passenger Ronald Tigner, then 71, talking with a United employee. According to the lawsuit filed last week, Tigner had asked him for help with getting a new boarding pass, and the employee laughed and cursed at him. Tigner reportedly told the employee to stop smiling, and that’s when the employee shoved him. The push is visible in the video.

The video shows Tigner lying on the ground as employees appear to offer no assistance. Not until a fellow passenger rushes over and kneels down beside him does someone call for help.

KPRC also obtained a 911 call from the incident in which a United employee says Tigner “has fallen down” and says he does not know why he fell.

The employee who shoved Tigner was later charged with injury to an elderly individual, KBRC reports. He was fined and ordered to apologize and attend anger-management classes.

Tigner tried to rectify things with the airline but wasn’t pleased with United’s slow response, his lawyer William Hoke told HuffPost. Tigner decided to file a lawsuit after seeing footage of Dr. David Dao being dragged off a United flight in April.

“[Tigner’s] main concern was getting his story out there so the traveling public knows about this, and instead of talking about core values [United] will actually do something to stop it,” Hoke said. “The most astonishing part is that nobody helped him.”

United apologized in a statement issued this week.

“We have seen the video from 2015 that shows completely unacceptable behavior by a United employee. This employee was terminated from United in August 2015 following the incident. The conduct shown here does not reflect our values or our commitment to treat all of our customers with respect and dignity. We are taking a thorough look into what happened here and reaching out to our customer to profusely apologize for what occurred and to make this right.”

United, along with other airlines, has taken heat lately for a string of unsavory exchanges between passengers and employees. Besides Dao, a disabled Florida woman sued United, claiming she was injured by employees during a flight from Houston in September. In May, a North Carolina father announced plans to sue United after he was accused of molesting his son on a flight.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

June 14 2017

6 Ways To Survive Summer Travel With A Chronic Illness

Two summers ago, I planned the family road trip of a lifetime. I bought an inexpensive and used camping trailer, loaded it up with everything from toiletries to food, and set out on a 21-day road trip through six western states. I planned our route meticulously, lining up activities and stops along the way, but what got lost in the shuffle was my own chronic health needs.

I assumed I would be able to stretch out my regular medical infusions to allow for my travel or refill my prescriptions on-the-go, but I quickly learned how wrong I was. I spent way too much of my vacation tackling my medical challenges instead of enjoying the sites, and I returned home worse for the wear.

That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to plan ahead for your health-related travel needs. Since my trip, I’ve learned how to better prepare for travel, and the trips I’ve taken since then have gone smoothly. Chronic diseases like neurological and gastrointestinal disorders, asthma or diabetes can require extensive monitoring and preparation. These tips from medical professionals, people with chronic diseases and their caregivers will help you safely navigate your next summer trip.

Start your packing list at least a month before your trip

It might sound like overkill, but that’s what Karen Toennis, a nurse at an Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) clinic in Houston, recommends. When patients with the neurological disease come to her with questions about travel planning, she advises them to keep a log of their daily activities for a week or two so they can better prepare for their needs on the road. “Analyze your daily routine – what equipment, supplies and medications do you need to add to the packing list? Make sure you pack enough for the duration of the trip and then extra of everything,” she says.  

Once you’ve identified what you’ll need to bring on the road, make sure you have enough of your prescription medications for the trip (including getting any necessary refills from your doctor beforehand). But don’t cut it close. “I always tell people to prepare and pack for the worst-case scenario,” says Toennis. This means packing extra of everything from medications to medical supplies. “Will that power outlet be where you need it? Probably not, so pack an extension cord,” Toennis said. “Will your flight be on time? Pack extra so you don’t risk running out of anything.”

Call ahead to ensure you’ll have what you need

It can be difficult to tell whether an accommodation will meet your needs from websites alone. Before you book a hotel or vacation rental, call to verify that their rooms will meet your needs. Be specific, and make sure you’re speaking to someone who works in the hotel you’ll be staying at instead of the national customer service line. This way, you’ll know of any potential challenges before you arrive.

The same thing applies for air travel. Wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, medical equipment and even medications can require extra security screening. The TSA offers a website with health-related policies that will help you plan ahead, and get through security faster.

If you require wheelchair assistance at the airport, let the airline know ahead of time. Make sure the airline is aware of your mobility limitations, particularly if you need help getting on and off the plane. Full-sized wheelchairs won’t fit through the narrow aisles, so you’ll need to request assistance if you’re not able to walk to your seat.

Keep in mind that service or therapy animals often require additional preparation (and fees). Contact your airline before you book your ticket to ensure you and your pet will have a smooth flight.

Identify your route ahead of time so you can plan your stops

If you’re traveling by car, bus or another form of public transportation, it’s important to know your route before you hit the road. This allows you to plot out possible stops for food that meets your dietary needs or for bathroom breaks. John Quinn, an ALS patient, says he seeks out hotel restrooms because the lobby bathroom is guaranteed to be compliant with the American Disabilities Act (for travel within the United States).

Monica C. is a patient with mitochondrial disease living in New York City. She says one of the challenges of traveling on the subway is knowing which stops have elevators. Identifying the accessible stops can mean the difference between a successful trip or not, and she’s found high-tech solutions to help. “If a subway stop doesn’t have an elevator, I know I’m going to pay for it so I always try to get off at stops that are accessible,” she says. “There’s an app I use that lets me know if a subway stop is wheelchair accessible.” Look for apps like these ahead of time to make travel easier.

Consider purchasing travel insurance — and make sure your medical insurance covers your trip

Every person with a chronic disease knows to expect the unexpected. “Easily my biggest struggle is that my chronic condition is unpredictable,” says Ana G., who suffers from gastroparesis, a digestive disorder. “I could be fine one day, and sick as hell within six hours. This makes planning extremely difficult.”

One way to protect your investment is by purchasing travel insurance for your summer vacation. Many plans are inexpensive, and provide peace of mind for people who worry that their health is unstable. If travel insurance isn’t feasible, look for refundable transportation and lodging.

Before you travel, check your medical insurance coverage. This is particularly important when you travel internationally, where many forms of insurance offer little or no coverage, but even domestic travel can impact your coverage when you find yourself in a state with few in-network providers. Dion Magee is a study manager for Clincierge, an organization that coordinates travel for patients participating in clinical trials. She suggests that patients with chronic diseases identify local facilities that cover them before they go, so they’ll be prepared in case of an emergency. It’s also important to pack a detailed list of health conditions and medications for emergency providers, along with the phone numbers of your health care providers.

Set realistic limits for yourself

No one wants to miss out on the fun, but it’s important not to push yourself too much to take in all the sites. “Make sure you have times throughout your travel to rest,” says Monica. “Your body will need it, even if you don’t think so.”

Whether this means planning designated rest breaks or listening to your body, come up with an approach that works for you and your health. Pack any specific foods that you’ll need while on the go, and make sure to stay hydrated—especially during the warm summer months. Keep in mind that you may need more rest than usual when you’re in the heat, and take precautions to limit sun exposure and avoid overheating.

Be flexible — and don’t stop traveling

It can seem overwhelming to fit a summer vacation in between infusions, doctor’s appointments and physical therapy. But no matter how much planning it takes to travel with a chronic disease, Guinn says it’s worth it.

“Don’t let your limitations stop you from traveling. I’ve made many wonderful memories and experienced so much the world has to offer with my family since my ALS diagnosis,” he says. “You can’t do everything that you used to be able to do, but you can still experience new places, foods and cultures.”

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

19 Epic, Endangered Places You Should Visit Before It's Too Late

The world is full of beautiful places, but not all of them will stay that way.

This week, UNESCO released its annual state of conservation reports, which outline which of its famous designated World Heritage Sites are in danger of losing the historic, cultural or natural characteristics that made them World Heritage Sites in the first place.

Places on the “Danger List” face threats like soil erosion, lack of water and poor land management, to name a few. The World Heritage Committee prepares conservation reports for these places so it can discuss ways to better protect and conserve them if needed.

Tourism can harm the world’s wonders, but it can also help them when done responsibly. Below, find 19 places from UNESCO’s conservation reports that warrant a responsible visit. To compile this list, we pulled spots that appear on the Danger List, omitting any that come with travel warnings form the U.S. State Department. While such places are no less important, it’s not recommended that you visit them now, typically because of war, crime, or other dangers. 

Peruse the options below, pack your bags, and check out UNESCO’s reports for more information on why these places are endangered and how you can help.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

The Revolutionary Street Art Project That Inspired Banksy And Empowered A City's Youth

John Nation just wanted to give teenagers in Bristol, southwest England, a safe place to spray-paint without fear of arrest and prosecution.

Little did the then 21-year-old youth worker know back in 1984 that his “Aerosol Art Project” at the Barton Hill Youth Center would go some way to shaping British and global street art over the coming years and decades.

It spawned an entire generation of influential and genre-defining artists ― including Banksy. But as Nation, now 54, told HuffPost in a wide-ranging interview, the initiative also almost ended up costing him his job, his reputation and his liberty.

Nation was just 18-years-old when, in 1981, he became an outreach worker at the youth center in his home neighborhood of Barton Hill. “We helped kids deal with the nitty gritty of life [...] providing sexual health awareness, talking about drugs, that kind of thing,” he told HuffPost. A trip to Amsterdam in 1982 sparked an interest in graffiti, which he saw adorning the Dutch capital’s streets. “I started reading whatever material I could.”

Coincidentally, some of the 14 to 19-year-olds attending the center were also becoming interested in the art form. Inspired by movies such as “Wild Style” and “Beat Street” and the painting of Bristol’s earliest-recognized graffiti artist 3D (a.k.a. Robert Del Naja from Massive Attack), Nation said they’d spend hours copying outlines of the work featured in the seminal book “Subway Art.”

When one teen returned from New York City with photographs of the graffiti he’d seen, Nation allowed the teen and his friends to paint the club’s front wall.

“Barton Hill was rough,” Nation said. “At that time the club was very territorial, seen as right wing, predominantly white and very hostile to outsiders.” Its exterior walls, he said, were mainly daubed with anti-authority slogans such as “No Police State in Barton Hill” or ones promoting the far-right movement, the National Front.

“These guys produced a piece that was so vibrant,” Nation said. “It helped break down some barriers. Lots of these guys listened to hip hop, reggae and black-inspired music. Lots of the artists they looked up to were black, hispanic and Puerto Rican, but they were in a predominantly white area. Being involved in graffiti opened their eyes and helped to lower their prejudices.”

I nspired by what the teens had produced, Nation sought permission from his employers at the now-defunct Avon County Council authority to set up the “Barton Hill Aerosol Art Project” — a place he envisioned would let the youngsters, some of whom were only a bit younger than him, to “express themselves freely and legally” on the center’s walls instead of tagging or painting unauthorized spots on public or private property which could lead to their arrest.

Cheo and Inkie were among the first generation of budding street artists to attend the center, which had the added appeal of being the only one in the city with an indoor skate ramp. Before long, the artists covered most of the building with their work.

“Once word got out that it was a safe environment to paint and look at books and photographs and watch films about graffiti, then people from across the city started coming,” Nation said. “Once you had that one group of people give it their seal of approval, others saw it was safe and followed suit.”

At its peak, more than 40 youngsters regularly attended the project. Graffiti writers from across the U.K. also visited, and it inspired other authorities from around the country to launch similar initiatives.

“It was a great atmosphere, very expressive, very creative,” Nation added. “There was never any bad vibes or competition, none of that element. It was all about being a crew and a togetherness and I still think that’s true to all the guys who still know each other and paint now.”

Not everyone was in favor of the project, however. Unbeknownst to Nation, from 1988 to 1989 the British Transport Police surveilled the center and several of its artists as part of a city-wide investigation into graffiti tagging and criminal behavior.

“There was never any bad vibes or competition, none of that element. It was all about being a crew and a togetherness and I still think that’s true to all the guys who still know each other and paint now.”

John Nation

Operation Anderson sought to profile graffiti artists suspected of criminal damage and culminated with a series of raids on properties across the region. Police arrested dozens of people, including Nation. Officers searched his home and the center. “Bearing in mind that I was running an aerosol art project, there was no way there wasn’t going to be any material at the center,” he said. “It was like an Aladdin’s Cave for them.”

Police seized a “massive stash of paint” Nation had procured from the project’s sponsors and his treasured 5,000-plus snaps of graffiti he’d either taken himself or been sent by writers from around the world.

Nation believes police thought the club was “some kind of ‘Axis of Evil’ that was the main meeting point for all of Bristol’s illegal graffiti writers and a place where other writers from across the country would come.”

“It wasn’t that at all though,” he said, although he acknowledges some of the artists were painting on unauthorized spots on their own. 

As was revealed in the BBC documentary “Drawing The Line,” (above), police matched tags on the artwork in the club to tags on illegal works across the city.

They charged several artists with criminal damage. Nation himself was charged with suspicion of conspiracy to incite individuals to commit criminal damage.

“Their main case against me was that the photos and books I had, if shown to a young person of impressional age, would incite them to go out and commit criminal damage,” Nation said. “They also said I was covering up for the young people and I was duty bound to divulge information on them. But I didn’t assist them whatsoever. I answered ‘no comment’ to pretty much everything.”

Several artists were found guilty of criminal damage and received fines. Nation’s charge, however, was dropped on the day his trial was due to begin after prosecutors offered no evidence of incitement. 

A post shared by John Nation (@johnnation) on Jun 1, 2017 at 8:53am PDT

Nation says he then consciously used the subsequent press coverage to promote his project’s work and to argue that without a place to legally paint, “the illegal culture of the art form just gets reinforced.”

Following the police raids, Nation says many of those involved in the city’s street art scene went “underground for a while.” “It was like they were regrouping,” he said. “Many of the guys arrested took a break, lessened their illegal activities, and some decided painting legally was the only way.”

Nation says the publicity did inspire, however, a new generation of artists to begin visiting the project ― with one of them being Banksy.

“As a young boy, he’d come to the center and watch people paint. He was heavily into hip hop culture, graffiti, and Barton Hill was where it was happening. Every weekend there was fresh work going up on the walls and people would exchange ideas,” Nation said.

“He says he called it his religious pilgrimage every weekend to go. Many of these guys had their own crazy, little dreams and he said what Barton Hill showed him was very powerful, that you could go on to follow those dreams.”

At that time, Nation says Banksy (who despite multiple attempts and theories has never been officially identified), wasn’t producing the political or social commentary pieces that he’s since become globally famous for.

As part of a crew with some slightly older teens, Nation says he was “into graffiti and letterforms and writing.” He also didn’t stand out “as one of the graffiti writers you’d call a ‘top boy,’” nor was he using his “Banksy” moniker either, says Nation. “The Banksy thing came later.”

Nation claims Banksy is “without doubt” the biggest contemporary artist in the world right now, but admits he didn’t foresee his rise to prominence during his early days of painting at the center. Instead, he believes Banksy truly began to make his mark when he changed his style and began using stencils.

“Not only could he paint quicker, he could paint more locations and produce more work. He started off with quite crude stencil work, like the rats, then he started progressing to more clean work, more sharper,” Nation said.

“These smaller stencils started appearing across the city and for me, it’s once he made that conscious decision to change the style of what he was painting and the content of what he was painting when he exploded,” he added.

Banksy himself admits in his book “Wall and Piece” that his switch in style came when aged 18 transport police chased him through a thorny bush after spotting him painting “LATE AGAIN” on the side of a train.

“The rest of my mates made it to the car and disappeared so I spent over an hour hidden under a dumper truck with engine oil leaking all over me,” he wrote. “As I lay there listening to the cops on the tracks I realized I had to cut my painting time in half or give up altogether. I was staring straight up at the stenciled plate on the bottom of a fuel tank when I realized I could just copy that style and make each letter three feet high.”

Nation said that change led Banksy to “strike an accord with first and foremost the Bristol public, and then the British public.” “Lots of people who wouldn’t be into street art could relate to the simplicity and the fun and the characters he was painting. As he’s become more mature, the images and message have become more hard-hitting — he’s a clever guy.” 

A post shared by Banksy (@banksy) on May 7, 2017 at 6:40am PDT

Nation does question how Banksy creates some of his works, such as the “Brexit” piece (above) that he unveiled in Dover, southeast England, in May as a commentary on the U.K.’s referendum vote to leave the European Union.

“Yes he painted it, but he’s got to have a team of people that set up the scaffold and he must have approached the people who own the property before that,” Nation said. “You can’t just rock up and set up a scaffold on the side of someone’s property without there being no questions asked. It’s a huge wall. It’s massive.”

With so much history between Nation and Banksy, one may assume the pair remain close and in touch. When faced with the suggestion, however, Nation responded with a stony silence before changing the subject.

While the legacy of the Barton Hill Youth Center often focuses on Banksy, many of the center’s other alum have also gone on to enjoy hugely successful careers.  Jody Thomas, who in April gave HuffPost a helping hand in unveiling its new logo (below), has painted and exhibited his signature photo-realistic style around the world:

<!-- TAG START { player: "HuffPost Default Player - Click to Play", for: "Huffington Post" } -->

<!-- TAG END { date: 6/6/17 } -->

But for him, it also all began at the center, which he first attended when he was just 15 years old after being encouraged by a school friend who’d described Nation to him as “outspoken, politically militant and not one to suffer fools.”

“It felt like I was being led to meet the leader of a despotic cult,” Thomas told HuffPost, adding that Nation “didn’t disappoint” when he finally met him.

“He immediately went through my school folder of work based around the comic art of 2,000 A.D. and classical painting and drawings,” he said. “I think he saw in me the opportunity to add a different artistic dimension to the club’s repertoire and left me to recreate on the walls of the club what I had on paper.”

“For me, John is the ‘Darwin’ of street art in the U.K. and gave me an opportunity to express the art that spoke to me all those years ago.”

Jody Thomas

Thomas credits Nation as being at “the forefront” of the street art movement at that time. “His energy and personality has garnered him an amount of respect amongst Bristolians on the level of any rock star or public figure,” he said. “For me, he is the ‘Darwin’ of street art in the U.K. and gave me a opportunity to express the art that spoke to me all those years ago.”

The admiration is mutual. Nation still remembers the day that Thomas first brought in his work which was “totally different” to what was being produced in the club at the time. “I thought to myself, ‘fucking hell, this is amazing. He’s 15 and painting like this?’ I thought, ‘this boy is going to go far,’” Nation said.

“At first he wasn’t accepted as much by the graffiti lads. Jody was into indie music and a lot of that music had dark imagery on its album sleeves,” he added. “He embraced that kind of artwork. He painted small pieces, then he painted these two black and white heads (below) and that was it. I have a lot of time for him. He didn’t stick to what everyone else was doing. He just wanted to be an artist and express his talents.”

Inkie, a.k.a. Tom Bingle, also emerged from the center. He’s since worked as a head of design at SEGA and hosted his own shows across the globe. Recently, he painted alongside Shepard Fairey, the artist behind the “Hope” poster that came to define former President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.

For Inkie, Nation’s project acted as a vital “central hub” for the city’s graffiti artists in the pre-internet era of the late ‘80s to mid-90s. “Without this center and John’s support of our artwork, Bristol would not have had the scene it maintains today,” he told HuffPost.

By 1991, however, Nation had become disillusioned with the restraints he felt the authority was putting on him and quit.

I was seen as being quite outspoken, left wing and a bit of a socialist,” he said. “But I’m proud of what I did back then. And the fact that people still talk about then and what I achieved for me is justification for what I did do.”

Nation went on to forge a successful career in promoting dance music events across the U.K. and the NASS action sports and music show in Somerset.

With the explosion in the popularity of street art, which he puts principally down to the rise of the internet and social media, he’s since come full circle ― and now gives regular tours of Bristol’s scene via the WhereTheWall tour.

“People from all over the world come, and no one tour is the same. Street art is here today, gone tomorrow. The art form is transient,” he said.

In April, Nation curated his first ever solo show, “Graffiti Nation,” at Bristol’s Upfest gallery, the home of Europe’s largest live street art festival.

He also worked with Inkie on the “See No Evil” art exhibition in 2011 and 2012, and remains a fierce advocate for spaces where artists can legally paint. He’s also set to feature in another BBC documentary, which will analyze the U.K. street art scene in the decades since Operation Anderson.

Nation’s pedigree, knowledge and influence of street art and the genres that umbrella term encompasses have seen him nicknamed the “Godfather” of the Bristol (and increasingly British) scene. But it’s a label that doesn’t sit well with him.

“I look back and I feel that all those years ago I was vilified and I could have possibly lost my job,” he said. “Then two years ago I’m being used as the face of Bristol tourism as someone who represents it as a progressive, cultural city. Who would have thought it?”

“I get called the ‘Godfather,’ but I’m not. I just had a faith and a belief in these young people when no one else would give them the time of day,” he added. “I’m just lucky enough that i’ve been involved in the graffiti scene and seen it emerge. Bristol is not what it is because of me, far from it. I’m just one cog in the wheel, just like Banksy and all the others.”

Check out John Nation’s Instagram, Facebook and the tour website for WhereTheWall.

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=58820c24e4b070d8cad1ead2,579cb2c8e4b0693164c17cb8,579cad7be4b0e2e15eb6172a,59019090e4b0026db1de2c71

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

June 13 2017

Pippa Middleton Stuns At Yet Another Wedding

Newlyweds Pippa Middleton and James Matthews are positively owning wedding season style.

The duo touched down in Europe to attend a friend’s nuptials in Sweden on Saturday after their epic honeymoon abroad. Pippa rocked a floor-length floral gown from Erdem and walked hand-in-hand with her new husband, who wore a tailored tuxedo and classic white bowtie.

Pippa really knows how to stand out at a wedding, as evidenced by her infamously poofy bridesmaid dress from the ‘90s (not to mention her other, more famous bridesmaid dress). 

Since their own ceremony last month, Pippa and James have flaunted their fashion prowess in Sydney, Australia and also holed up on a private island, presumably working on their tans. 

Clearly, this Middleton can rock any role at a wedding. We can’t wait for the next event!

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

June 12 2017

Nervous About Flying This Summer? Blame Trump.

<!-- TAG START { player: "HuffPost Default Player - Click to Play", for: "Huffington Post" } -->

<!-- TAG END { date: 6/12/17 } -->

Lately I have been thinking that the whole “obstruction of justice” issue that we are all focusing on has allowed President Trump and his supporters to evade the larger issue: what exactly is his relationship with the Russians all about and how much is it damaging our country?

I take exception to all the comparisons with Watergate. We all know that Watergate was about covering up a break-in into Democratic party headquarters. President Richard Nixon went down because he was caught on tape saying that the CIA should block the FBI from digging further into the break-in because he knew that following the trail would lead to the Oval Office and to him.

But even now no one argues that Nixon knew about the break-in, only that he directed the cover-up. Hence, obstruction of justice and Nixon’s resignation to avoid impeachment and, likely, conviction.

The Trump story is entirely different, as Monday’s New York Times reports. It’s not just the cover-up; it’s what he was covering up. More than that it is whether or not the president of the United States is working against the interests of our country, intentionally or not, out of some bizarre fealty to Russia.

The long investigative report by David Sanger and Eric Schmitt reveals that U.S. intelligence agencies have pretty much failed in their efforts to penetrate ISIS and thereby discover what the terrorist organization is planning in order to disrupt those plans. That is because “cyberwarfare techniques, first designed for fixed targets... must be refashioned to fight terrorist groups that are becoming more adept at turning the web into a weapon.” In other words, it’s a new day and U.S. and allied intelligence agencies are having a hard time keeping up.

But there is the occasional bit of good news too. According to the Times story, Israel has somehow figured out how to break into ISIS and eavesdrop on its plans. And they are sharing the information they gather with us.

According to the Times one of our “rare successes” against ISIS came when “top Israeli cyberoperators penetrated a small cell of extremist bombmakers in Syria months ago...That was how the United States learned that the terrorist group was working to make explosives that fooled airport X-ray machines and other screening by looking exactly like batteries for laptop computers.”

The Times called the Israeli intelligence “exquisite” because it “enabled the United States to understand how the weapons could be detonated...”

The result was the ban on laptop computers, iPads and other electronic devices (larger than cell phones) from being carried on to international flights from ten countries. The ban might be extended or dropped depending on future intelligence gathered from ISIS sources.

But how will we get that intelligence, given that the hole in ISIS’s communication system that was uncovered by the Israelis could now be blocked due to the actions of President Trump.

Trump, who had pledged during his campaign to redouble the war against ISIS, instead gave it an invaluable gift when, at a May 10 Oval Office meeting, he bragged to Russia’s foreign minister and its ambassador to the United States that we know all about ISIS’s plan to take down airliners by using laptops and iPads as weapons. The Russians, of course, are close allies of Syria and Hezbollah, both of which have their own convoluted relationships with the Islamic State, ensuring that the secret Israeli intelligence op is secret no more. And all thanks to Trump.

How bad is this? Former Yale Law professor, Alan Dershowitz, had it exactly right when he told CNN that if Trump did spill the beans to the Russians, it is the “most serious charge ever made against a sitting president of the United States.” When Dershowitz said that it was only a charge but now it has been confirmed by Trump himself.

During his visit to Israel in late May Trump responded to a reporter who asked him if he had given the Israeli intelligence to the Russians. His response: “Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name Israel in conversation. Never mentioned it.”

That, of course, was all the confirmation anyone needed. No one had accused him of telling the Russians “I got this information from Israel.” The Russians could reverse engineer that fact for themselves. The key point was that Trump told them about the intelligence itself. A few days later he tweeted that he had the “absolute right” to share any information he chose to with the Russians. Or anyone else, one assumes.

Now imagine if former President Obama or would-be President Hillary Clinton gave our secret intelligence about our worst enemy in the world, ISIS, to the Russians. Imagine how quickly impeachment proceedings would begin. Imagine how the word “treason” would be shouted from Fox News and from other outlets as well. Imagine the shame and despair of Democrats who, as Americans, would be appalled that the candidate they supported had behaved with such, at best, recklessness and dishonor.

But, of course, the president isn’t Obama or Clinton. It’s Trump and for his supporters in Congress and his voters in the heartland, everything he does is fine. Even if it makes getting on an airplane a lot scarier than it should be, along with everything else. After all, he’s not the black guy and he’s not the woman. That’s all they need to know.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

The 18 Most Beautiful U.S. Landmarks To Visit This Fourth Of July

For Architectural Digest , by Hannah Huber.

The Fourth of July holiday is rapidly approaching, promising crowded beaches, sunburns, and lots of travel traffic. Take your free weekend in a new direction and visit some of the most American landmarks this great country has to offer on the anniversary of its birth. From St. John’s Church (the site of Patrick Henry’s famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech) to the Alamo, this list of 18 historic landmarks proves America has much more to offer.

The Grand Canyon, Arizona

Hike or raft through one of America’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. The photos really don’t do its magnificence justice.

St. John’s Church, Richmond, Virginia

In this historic building, Patrick Henry gave a speech that would spark the revolution leading to the United States’ independence from Great Britain. To really feel the power of "Give me liberty or give me death," reserve a seat in the church on July 4th for a full reenactment of Henry's inspiring words.

Independence Hall, Philadelphia

Take a guided tour through the footsteps of our forefathers at the site where they penned the birth certificate of this nation, the Declaration of Independence.

The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

Visit the site of the infamous battle that led to Texas’s independence from Mexico.

More: The World’s Best Oceanfront Hotels

1 World Trade Center and 9/11 Museum, New York City

Standing a significant 1,776 feet tall and housing Condé Nast (and AD), 1 World Trade Center is the crown jewel of the New York City skyline and a beacon of resilience to Americans after the tragedies of 9/11. Visit the moving 9/11 Museum and the reflecting pools that stand in the footprints of the original Twin Towers, encircled by the names of those who lost their lives in the attacks.

The Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Though the Lincoln Memorial is a popular site for politically driven television shows and movies, its dramatic impact cannot be realized on film. After taking in the monument, check out the museum housed below Honest Abe.

Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

There is a sweet spot on a beautiful stretch of green between the Washington Monument and the Capitol building that is the perfect place for a Fourth of July picnic. Admire the Capitol’s neoclassical design from afar while enjoying some all-American cuisine.

Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia

Little-known fact: Arlington National Cemetery was originally Robert E. Lee’s front yard. Now the cemetery is the final resting place for thousands of American heroes.

More: 14 of the Most Luxurious Yacht Decks

The Intrepid, New York City

Serving in World War II, surviving kamikaze and torpedo attacks and the Vietnam War, and later used as a NASA recovery vessel, the Intrepid was decommissioned in 1974 and turned into a museum. This maritime miracle is located on the West Side of Manhattan at Pier 86.

The Freedom Trail, Boston

Stroll through history on this 2.5-mile stretch of 16 historical landmarks from Boston Common to the USS Constitution (affectionately known as Old Ironsides).

The Hoover Dam, Nevada

Built during the Great Depression, giving thousands of jobs to out-of-work Americans, the Hoover Dam is a revolutionary structure spanning 1,244 feet across Black Canyon to control flooding of the Colorado River.

The Hollywood Sign, L.A.

Gaze upon this icon of American dreamers — erected at the height of Hollywood glamour in 1923 — with starry eyes.

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

Visit the grim conditions of America’s first maximum-security prison, known as “the Rock.” The views from the island are spectacular.

More: 10 Hotels with Unbelievably High-End Amenities

Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, Virginia

Explore recreations of the ships Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery, which carried the original settlers of America to Jamestown in 1607. Afterward, take a walk back in time to Colonial Williamsburg, where you will find enthusiastic re-enactors ready to tell you all about this original colony.

Ellis Island, New York City

Few spots ring more American than Ellis Island. Greeted by Lady Liberty herself, immigrants used this entryway to the land of the free for more than 60 years.

Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida

One small step for man, one giant leap for America! Take the day to explore the nation's pioneering advancements into space. While you’re there, grab some astronaut ice cream to get the full space experience.

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Marvel at the beauty of one of America’s most visited national parks. The 3,500-square-foot park encompasses a number of canyons, natural hot springs, lush forests, and diverse wildlife.

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

Visit the larger-than-life renderings of four American presidents. If you are lucky, perhaps you will stumble into their heads and discover the hidden secret within Mount Rushmore.

More from Architectural Digest:

See What's Inside Donald Trump's Former Superyacht

10 Incredible Ski Resorts

The 10 Best New Luxury Cruises

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Interior Secretary Recommends Donald Trump Shrink Bears Ears Monument

<!-- TAG START { player: "HuffPost Default Player - Click to Play", for: "Huffington Post" } -->

<!-- TAG END { date: 5/5/17 } -->

WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has submitted an interim report recommending President Donald Trump shrink the boundaries of Utah’s 1.35 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument. 

Instead of former President Barack Obama designating such a large area, “it would have been more appropriate to identify and separate the areas that have significant objects to be protected,” Zinke wrote

Zinke also recommended Trump ask Congress to enable tribal co-management of the monument. The Interior Department is expected to complete a full review and offer more specific recommendations, including how much the monument’s size would change, later this year.

“It’s a little premature to throw out acreage,” Zinke said in a call with reporters Monday.

The move comes as little surprise, given Trump and Zinke’s previous comments criticizing recent monument designations. 

Bears Ears National Monument is protected public land in southeastern Utah, named after a pair of buttes and home to thousands of Native American archaeological and cultural sites. It is one of 27 American national monuments threatened by a pair of executive orders that Trump signed in April. 

One order tasks the Interior Department with reviewing all federal monuments 100,000 acres or larger that have been established or expanded under the Antiquities Act since Jan. 1, 1996. The other instructs the Department of Commerce to review all marine sanctuaries and monuments designated or expanded within the last 10 years. 

Bears Ears is at the center of the monuments controversy, and the issue has divided many in Utah.

In launching his review last month, Zinke insisted that “there is no predetermined outcome on any monument.” For those following closely, however, that seemed like nothing more than a talking point.

In April, when Trump signed the executive order tasking Zinke with reviewing 21 years of designations, he was flanked by Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) and the state’s U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R) and Mike Lee (R) — staunch opponents of the Bears Ears monument. Trump spoke as if a reversal was already a done deal, as he praised the three men for their “never-ending prodding” on the issue.

Trump also gave Zinke a shorter time frame to conduct his review of Bears Ears than any of the other monuments being considered. And the president said during the signing ceremony that Bears Ears was designated a monument “over the profound objections of the citizens of Utah” and “should never have happened.” 

Jennifer Rokala, executive director of the Center for Western Priorities, called Zinke’s recommendation “an undeniable attack on our national monuments and America’s public lands.” 

“Instead of reinforcing America’s conservation heritage, Secretary Zinke is recommending President Trump take actions that are both unprecedented and illegal,” she said in a statement.  “The law is clear: only Congress can modify or erase a national monument. This report, while disappointing, is not a surprise. President Trump made it clear the fix was in from the moment he signed the executive order, despite overwhelming public support for national monuments.” 

In a video posted to Twitter on Saturday in advance of Zinke’s announcement, Hatch said Trump’s executive order gave Utah residents, particularly those who live in San Juan County, “a powerful voice in the process of protecting these sacred lands.”

“I commend the president for acting decisively to right the wrongs of his predecessor,” he said, adding he would support whatever recommendation Zinke offered on Bears Ears.

Zinke, like Trump, has suggested the monument won’t survive as-is. In April, he said the Antiquities Act has “become a tool of political advocacy rather than public interest.” And during a visit to Bears Ears last month, Zinke said he believed the area should be preserved, but “the issue is whether the monument is the right vehicle.”

“It is public land,” he said. “It was public land before the monument. It will be public land after the monument. What vehicle of public land is appropriate to preserve the cultural identity, to make sure the tribes have a voice and to make sure you protect the traditions of hunting and fishing and public access?”

Zinke did not tour Bears Ears with representatives of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition — a group of five Native American tribes that came together to petition for monument status. Instead, he was joined by monument opponents, including Herbert and members of the San Juan County Commission, the county where Bears Ears is located. During his visit, which the Interior Department called a “listening tour,” Zinke seemed to lose his manners after a protester repeatedly asked why he hadn’t spent more time talking with tribal leaders. Holding up his finger, Zinke forcefully ordered the woman to “Be. Nice.”

Last month, the Interior Department denied reports that Zinke had already made up his mind and would recommend abolishing Bears Ears. San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman reportedly told E&E News that Zinke disclosed his plans during a meeting with the commission earlier that month.

Lyman insisted to HuffPost that E&E News had misquoted him and he didn’t say Zinke would definitely recommend abolishing the monument. However, “My impression is he’d like to rescind it,” Lyman said of the secretary.

It’s not clear where Trump got the idea that a majority of Utah residents oppose Bears Ears. An analysis conducted by the Center for Western Priorities last month found that 99 percent of the more than 685,000 public comments submitted during a recent 15-day comment period voiced support for the Obama-era monument.

Tump and Zinke’s comments about the Antiquities Act are also unfounded. In an April press release, the Interior Department wrote, “Since the 1900s, when the [Antiquities] Act was first used, the average size of national monuments exploded from an average of 422 acres per monument. Now it’s not uncommon for a monument to be more than a million acres.” 

During the executive order’s signing ceremony, Zinke noted that America’s first national monument, Devils Tower in Wyoming, was less than 1,200 acres. President Theodore Roosevelt designated the monument in 1906.

“Yet, in recent years, we’ve seen monuments span tens of millions of acres,” Zinke said, in a clear reference to marine monument designations and expansions by former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

The argument is that the law was established to set set aside small areas, and that recent administrations have abused this.

But the 422-acre figure is, at best, cherry-picked. In 1908, for example, two years after the Antiquities Act became law, Roosevelt — of whom Zinke is an “unapologetic admirer and disciple” — designated more than 800,000 acres of the Grand Canyon as a national monument. (Only a few Obama-era land monuments are larger.) Roosevelt also designated 20,629-acre Chaco Canyon National Monument and 610,000-acre Mount Olympus National Park. 

Republican presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover both designated monuments over a million acres. Coolidge designated Alaska’s Glacier Bay in 1925, and Hoover set aside California’s Death Valley in 1937.

The Interior Department did not respond to HuffPost’s numerous requests seeking clarification on the 422-acre figure.

Sixteen presidents have used the 1906 Antiquities Act to designate 157 monuments; however, no president has ever tried to revoke a designation. If Trump does indeed try, the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition and other groups have promised to sue

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

So THAT'S What The Numbers On Airport Runways Mean

Another great mystery of air travel is solved. 

There’s a fascinating explanation for those giant numbers and letters you see on the ends of airport runways: They provide some very handy direction for pilots, as explained in the video above from Business Insider. 

The numbers are always between 1 and 36, and the difference between the numbers on either end of the same runway is always 18. Sometimes, they’re followed by a letter with a meaning all its own, and sometimes, they change based on the earth’s magnetic north. 

Watch above for the riveting rundown.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

June 11 2017

Dining In London: After-Theater Supper With A Calabrian Accent At Radici In Islington

Whenever Jackie and I are planning a trip to London (which is as often as possible), we check to see what’s playing at the Almeida Theatre in the Islington district just north-east of the city center. The show frequently appeals to us, either because of the play itself or because of the cast and director, so we generally find ourselves up there a couple of times a year.

For after-theater supper, we used to despair of the somewhat awkward French restaurant right across the street: The Almeida. Then a couple of years ago the owners – the D&D London restaurant group – revamped the dining room and engaged a new chef, Tommy Boland; the food and service blossomed, and with it our fondness for the place, as I wrote for HuffPost at the time.

Mr. Boland later moved on, and in April 2017, after a major renovation, everything changed again. The Calabrian-born chef Francesco Mazzei has taken charge of the kitchen at what is now called Radici (Roots). We were much taken with the cooking at his former restaurant l’Anima, though its stark décor and noisy acoustic were a deterrent for us. In 2015 he set up shop at Sartoria (on Savile Row and under the same D&D umbrella) and continues there to produce stylish Italian food that’s at once refined and gutsy in luxuriously comfy surroundings.

Radici, on the other hand, is more informal than luxurious, though the large space is comfy enough for me with its bare tables and its calculatedly mismatched chairs. It isn’t a hushed restaurant, but the noise is mostly that of people having a good time. The staff is able, quick-witted, well informed about food and drink – and exuberantly friendly: the woman at the front door greeted us like old pals, not in a hokey way but in a manner that made us feel welcome and comfortable.

The food is exuberant and friendly too, if this can be said of something to eat. There are certainly plenty of southern Italian flavors, and these tend to make people happy. To call it home-style cooking would not do justice to Mr. Mazzei’s professionalism, but some dishes have something of the Italian grandmother about them. There are, for instance, spicy meatballs – listed as an antipasto, and served in a portion easily large enough to share or to eat as a main dish with a side order of, say, potato gattò (from the French gâteau): a Calabrian/Neapolitan potato cake enriched with cheese. And there’s spicy chicken Calabrese, which in Little Italys across the United States would probably, and wrongly, be called chicken cacciatore.

There are pizzas, made with excellent ingredients and beautifully baked in a wood-fired oven (other dishes are cooked in it too). We had a plain Margherita, which had all the virtues of Neapolitan pizza, simultaneously soft and chewy, with a puffed rim leopard-mottled from the heat of the oven and a center that grew soft and juicy as it took in the oil and sauce (good sauce – not just the plain tomatoes that purists might insist on, which is fine by me). The other pizzas are more creative but not pushed over the top by excess. Next time we’re in the restaurant, I’ll have my eye on the Siciliana, which suggests the flavors of pasta alla Norma: eggplant/aubergine and salted ricotta, in this instance smoked. Or maybe the ’nduja-and-chili Calabrese, because we know from Mr. Mazzei’s other restaurants that he has a way with ’nduja. (There’s no reason you couldn’t come to Radici and order just pizza and a beer.)

If you haven’t guessed already, main courses tend toward the hearty: calf’s liver rolls stuffed with pancetta, garlic and sage; that spicy chicken; smothered salt cod and potatoes. There is a lighter side too: we ate perfectly grilled prawns/shrimp with a gentle herbed oil-and-vinegar dressing and a little salad of pea shoots. As a side dish, we tried, but failed, to finish a giant haystack of fried shoestrings of zucchini/courgettes – which stayed crisp throughout the meal, so canny was the coating and frying.

Of course there is pasta, including ricotta-filled cannelloni and a lasagna variant using beef ragù, as well as vegetable and seafood options. We didn’t eat any the night we were there, however, because that would have left no room for pizza, much less dessert. What we did eat was something I wouldn’t have ordered if a friend hadn’t told us not to miss it: a pre-antipasto snack of peas in their pods, lightly oiled, grilled and salted, with a spritz of lemon added at the table. These were fantastic and fun to eat: You slip the pod into your mouth, then pull it out, using your teeth and lips to ease the sweet peas out and simultaneously scrape and suck off some of the char, oil and salt on the surface of the pod.

We were wise to save room for dessert: a babà was soaked in an aromatic syrup flavored with bergamot citrus (the source of the perfume of Earl Grey tea), and a wedge of fragile pistachio cake had a true flavor of ground nuts.

We drank a house variant on the Negroni made with pale rather than red ingredients, followed by a carafe of what else but Calabrian wine, which is well represented on the appealing list.

Islington is full of places to eat and drink that are open late, most of them hectic and unreliable. But there are now several good options for post-Almeida-Theatre supper (or lunch or dinner without theater) in a real restaurant, including Bellanger, the deservedly popular Parisian-Alsatian brasserie a few minutes’ walk down the main street (as opposed to the 20-second walk to Radici). I suppose we’ll alternate between the two, or flip a coin before booking our table.

Radici. 30 Almeida Street, London N1 1AD; +44 (0) 20 7354 4777; http://www.radici.uk/. Pizza and pasta dishes £8 to £13 ($10 to $16.50); a big dinner for two, with some dishes shared, might total £80 ($100), not including wine. Closed Monday.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

June 10 2017

9 Reasons You Should Go Abroad At Some Point In Your Life

Moving abroad – the most terrifying and exhilarating step that a person can take to completely turn their life upside down. It’s a thrilling and amazing adventure, riddled with challenges and learning opportunities, that will change you in ways you didn’t think were possible. Not only are you getting totally out of your comfort zone, but you are doing it in possibly one of the biggest ways possible. Some people who want to mix things up, change their job or car, maybe move houses; few people change all of those things at once – it’s a brave step, but totally worth it.

Here’s why everyone absolutely must live abroad at some point in their life:

Why experience only one place when you can experience many?
What is there to stay for? Friends? Family? They will still be there when you get back (or chasing you for epic vacations). Why stay put when you can roam free and experience the world?

Fostering an appreciation for the small things if you do return home!
Whether it’s boxed Mac ‘n’ Cheese or having a toilet INSIDE your home, there will be things you miss when you live abroad. But the challenges you will face will also change you in new ways, and teach you to appreciate the convenient wonderful-ness of life back home if you do decide to return.

I’m talking about learning the art of unclogging a toilet, how to wash your laundry in a bucket of cold water and how to crack open a tin of food with a knife type of life skills. You learn to adapt to your surroundings and utilize the things you have to make the best of your circumstances. In a different country, this means a whole lot of problem-solving as you understand how the everyday things work.

Access more opportunities.
At a time when the job market is THIS competitive, why limit yourself to one job market? You might just land your dream position whilst discovering your dream-land. Not to mention the fact that all your skills, cultural knowledge, and worldly experience will put you top of the applicant pile if you want to look for a new role.

The weather!
I guess this one really depends on where you’re from and where you’re going, but spending your weekends soaking up the sun on a Mexican beach might not be the worst life choice!

Broadening your social circle.
Meeting new people is a blast, no one ever complained that they had too many friends! Living overseas throws you straight out of your comfort zone and into a community full of strangers. Yes, it’s terrifying, but the end result is that you mingle with a whole new crowd, overcome the fear, and end up with a bunch of new friends whom you might not otherwise have met. Happy days!

Saying yes to all kinds of crazy new things.
Critics might suggest you can do this anywhere, but living abroad tends to open up chances to do things you wouldn’t have otherwise considered in your predictable life. I’m talking scuba diving in the Philippines, taking surfing lessons in Costa Rica, visiting a yoga retreat in Bali… there’s something about the people you meet and the places you visit throwing unexpected opportunities your way, and the resistance you put up just wanes and wanes.

Spend more time outdoors, enjoying the world.
Again, you could do this at home, but let’s face it, we get sucked into life-admin way too much. Living a different land encourages you to go out and explore, appreciating life and the world around you so much more.

With nothing to lose, and so much to gain, why not?!

It might seem like the most overwhelming and utterly bonkers decision you have ever made, but as someone who has been there, I promise you it will be the most amazing ride. The hardest decisions in life tend to end up being the most rewarding after all.

Originally written by Elisabeth Tuck on Unwritten .

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Flock Of Geese Poops On Disneyland Party

Geese dumped a very un-magical surprise on a group of Disneyland visitors on Friday.

Police say 17 people were struck with poop as a flock of the birds flew over the theme park in Anaheim, California, just before 9 p.m.

Hazmat crews attended an area near the Sleeping Beauty Castle following reports that 11 adults and six children had been “hit with fecal matter.”

Officers soon determined, however, that the geese who’d flown overhead were to blame.

NO crime occurred,” the Anaheim Police Department posted on Twitter. “No injuries and no transports. All guests are healthy and happy.”

HuffPost has reached out to Disneyland for comment.

According to the Orange County Register, park staff let all the people who had been pooped on wash themselves up in a private restroom.

Officials also provided them with clean clothes so they could return to the park.

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=58ffe940e4b0af6d71898d3b,58029b24e4b0985f6d157203,57f3bacde4b01b16aafefd7d,5787bc38e4b03fc3ee4fbecd

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

June 09 2017

Cruising Through Cuba’s Past and Present

This post originally appeared on ViewFind. 

If the U.S. and Cuba had to choose from a drop-down menu to describe their relationship, it’s no question which one it would be. That’s right: “It’s complicated.” And while the strained ties are gradually beginning to ease — with the last couple years even seeing the reopening of commercial flights and embassies between the two countries — the stigma of traveling from America to the “forbidden” island still lingers.

Not letting this deter her, budding documentary journalist Morgan Lieberman traveled to Cuba to photograph the island and form her own opinions instead. Through her images, she offers a fresh look at the vibrant and textured charm of the Caribbean country both proud of its past and confident in its future.

Holding a little more than a grudge, the relationship between Cuba and the US began to strain after Fidel Castro came into power in 1959. What ensued afterwards was decades of heated disagreements between the two countries, political grandstanding, and of course, the occasional international crisis.

 With Switzerland holding the role as mediator throughout the years, the two countries surprised the world in 2014 when they announced their governments would be restoring full diplomatic ties. Since then, the two countries have moved forward with thawing relations, but the long period of tension has left an impression.

“Everything I knew about Cuba was either very negative or very misconstrued to really old history books,” says Lieberman, describing what she remembers learning about the country in the American school system. “I think the overall consensus was that it’s a place stuck in the past, unable to escape the reigns of a Communist dictatorship,” she adds.

Traversing beyond the pages of her SparkNotes, Lieberman intentionally didn’t plan ahead for her trip: the last spring break hoorah of her college career. “I knew that having a camera would keep me focused on what I was seeing,” she says, “but I also knew that I didn’t want to go there with any expectations.”

With this openness, Lieberman felt very much at home in Cuba. Easing into the streets lined with colorful, eclectic cars — a look stemming from the results of the US trade embargo — she defines its aesthetics as “vintage but not outdated.”

Finding familiarity in the bold paint chipping off the outside of boxing gyms, she attributes her affection for the country to her own ingrained love of old things.

“One of my uncles has an antique shop in New York and my grandpa was an artist, so maybe it’s genetic,” she laughs while adding, “somehow everything in the past morphs into the present and you don’t realize it, but it affects you. Cuba felt that way for me.”

From securing taxi rides to lending out bicycles, Lieberman felt comfortable in a place where people genuinely seemed to want to help out. “Everything was arranged by word of mouth. It was all like, ‘Oh, let me call up my friend for that,’” she says. “There’s just a kindness that exists there that I really love and admire a lot.”

This warmness could be felt during the week as Lieberman covered the areas of Varadero, Vi ñ ales and Havana. “Each city and town offered very distinct characteristics from one another,” she says, “making the country so thrilling with infinite visual opportunities and experiences.”

Varadero, the ultimate getaway for many Cubans as well as millions of international tourists each year, boasted pristine waters and white sandy beaches. And Vi ñ ales provided a haven for both cigar and outdoor enthusiasts with its plethora of tobacco farms and stunning mountains and valleys.

For Havana, salty breezes and cigar smoke permeated the air. Friendly taxi drivers honked every time in passing, and freshly squeezed mojitoes flowed at the famous Hotel Nacional: the legendary establishment known for hosting iconic celebrities ranging from Nat King Cole to Frank Sinatra and John Wayne.

Despite these varying characteristics across the country, Lieberman noticed one consistent element intertwined into the fabric of Cuba as a whole: the way the light hit the streets, trees and buildings during golden hour. Even with hearing about it and looking at pictures before her trip, it felt like something she had recognized on her own.

“I’m still trying to figure it out, but it felt a bit like a painting,” she says. “All of the country felt like this, and I wish I would have read more Hemingway, because I know he loved Cuba, and I’d love to hear what he has to say.” But while the American novelist may have offered some insights, she needn’t look any further than the country’s very own Pedro Juan Gutiérrez who wrote, “Cuba may be the only place in the world where you can be yourself and more than yourself at the same time.”

While wrapping up her last spring break as a college student, Lieberman headed back to Columbia, Missouri, to finalize her degree in documentary journalism. As she takes on the future, she hopes to continue to channel the energy she felt in Cuba of being able to confidently ebb and flow with whatever life brings. “What I came across in that week of spontaneous adventures is that the Cuban people were not actively trying to be something else,” she says, “but rather embracing their sense of tradition and also, taking great pride in changes along the way.”

See more images on ViewFind.com

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Southwest's First Black Pilot Retires With A Tear-Jerking Sendoff

<!-- TAG START { player: "HuffPost Default Player - Click to Play", for: "Huffington Post" } -->

<!-- TAG END { date: 6/9/17 } -->

A 64-year-old Southwest Airlines pilot retired yesterday after nearly 37 years with the airline, and his celebration above is sincerely moving. 

When he started at age 25, Louis Freeman was Southwest’s first black pilot, though he didn’t know it at the time. He later became the first black chief pilot at any major U.S. airline, paving the way for pilots of color in an industry where minorities are scarce.

It never occurred to me, but when I got here I was the only pilot of color ― it didn’t take long to figure out,” he told the Associated Press. “I put a whole lot of pressure on myself because I had to get it right. I had to be perfect because I wanted them to hire more of us.”

Freeman is clearly beloved at the airline, where he mentored plenty of younger pilots. Five of them turned up at the gate for Freeman’s final flight from Dallas to Chicago on Thursday, the Chicago Tribune reports. 

For his last trip, Freeman flew a plane full of friends along with his wife, son and Champagne for his passengers. The former Air Force pilot landed to a water cannon salute. 

Congratulations, Captain Lou!

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

5 Things You Should Never, Ever Do When You're Filing A Travel Insurance Claim

When it comes to travel insurance, details matter. Just ask Shannon Carr.

Carr, a homemaker from Jefferson, Ga., was a guest on her niece's wedding cruise last year. But she missed the boat after suffering a shoulder injury. Although Carnival Cruises offered her a partial refund, Allianz Travel Insurance denied her claim for the remaining $861.

The problem? Her doctor had answered a question on one of her forms incorrectly, and she failed to notice it.

"I believe the doctor misunderstood what Allianz was asking," she recalls. As a result, the doctor filled in the form incorrectly -- and the claim was denied.

Fortunately, her story had a happy ending. Allianz Travel Insurance reviewed her claim and honored it. But the lesson isn't lost. When you're filing a travel insurance claim, every answer matters, especially the ones your doctor provides. Details count.

"Incomplete claim forms are the number one reason that claims reimbursements are delayed," says Daniel Durazo, a spokesman for Allianz. "When we receive incomplete information, we often have to go back to the customer or their doctor and this holds up the approval of the claim and ultimately the payment."

Here are five things you should never do when you're filing an insurance claim:

Travel insurance companies can be sticklers for deadlines. There's really no benefit to waiting to file a claim. Most policies give you 90 days to file a claim, but read your policy carefully. If you're unsure of something, call your travel insurance company and ask. "The sooner the provider is made aware," says Carolyn Leckie, a spokeswoman for the travel insurance site Squaremouth.com, "the faster the process will go."

Forget your manners
I've seen some insurance appeals undercut by salty language or angry rhetoric. So before you start filing your claim, remember to keep things professional. There's another person on the other side of the claim and they have some flexibility in the way they handle things. Threats to litigate may get your request routed to the legal department, where you could face additional delays.

Omit a required document
Travel insurance companies are not in the business of letting the paperwork slide. They actually publish lists of documents you need in order to file a successful claim (here's the Allianz Travel Insurance checklist page, for example.) So, for a dental expense, you would need to submit copies of all medical bills you receive and, if applicable, a copy of the relevant accident or incident report.

From time to time, I receive help requests from customers who file claims that are not entirely truthful. Every now and then, I'll also hear from an insurance adjuster who is trying to uncover the truth. It rarely ends well for the traveler. No need to try to embarrass anyone in making this point, but the bottom line is: Don't lie. Don't embellish the facts, omit relevant facts, or downplay important ones. The adjusters will find out, and when they do, your claim could be denied.

Lose your patience
Travel insurance claims typically take between two and four weeks to process, but some complicated claims that require more extensive research by an adjuster can take longer. Expect to receive a form acknowledgment of your claim, with a final decision within roughly a month, but no more than two months.

And one final thought: If you booked your insurance policy through a travel agent, remember to enlist your travel advisor when you file a claim. Consider what happened to one of Christina Ernst's clients.

"Last year, I had a young couple book their honeymoon through me," remembers Ernst, the president of VIP Southern Tours in Sautee-Nacoochee, Ga. "The fiancé died in a horrible car wreck eight days before their wedding and honeymoon."

Her surviving client was distraught. Ernst took care of all the paperwork, canceling the entire honeymoon.

"The client has been refunded and has also positively moved on with her life, especially after enduring such a traumatic experience," says Ernst.

Travel insurance can be complicated, but the claims process doesn't have to be. Travel insurance companies are working on ways to make it easier. For example, Allianz recently redesigned its claim forms to make it easier to understand and added the ability to file claims online from any device.

The rest is up to you. As long as you have a good sense of timing, remember your paperwork, provide all the necessary facts and mind your manners, your claim is far likelier to succeed.

After you've left a comment here, let's continue the discussion on my consumer advocacy site or on Twitter, Facebook and Google. I also have a newsletter and you'll definitely want to order my new, amazingly helpful and subversive book called How to Be the World's Smartest Traveler (and Save Time, Money, and Hassle).

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=58b95479e4b02eac8876cd52

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

The Best Island Honeymoon Destinations On Earth

The wedding is over, the guests have gone home and the rings on you and your partner’s entwined fingers are glistening. Just married, you stare into each other’s eyes; thoughts of tan skin, sand between toes and pina coladas at an infinity pool fills the imagination, and the wanderlust begins to kick in.

It’s time to escape to paradise as newlyweds, but with so many options to choose from, what are the best island honeymoon destinations? These 5 islands never disappoint, from beautiful nature and exotic adventure to luxury and of course- plenty of romance.


Island life can be enjoyed all over the world, but when it comes to romantic islands, it’s hard to compete with Mauritius, located just off the coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. It’s called “Paradise Island” for a reason; you’ll drink in the seemingly unreal beauty of endless white sand beaches and marvel at water of every blue shade, but what makes Mauritius stand out are the adventures that allow you to really soak in the local culture and explore this untouched jewel. Comb favorite shorelines such as Grand Bay, Pereybere and Belle Mare to get that postcard appeal. When relaxing gives way to exploration, nix expensive taxis and rent a car- Mauritius is known for its capable motorway that takes you through lush sugarcane plantations and bustling markets. Visit the village of Charamel for the infamous “Seven Colored Earth” and the highest waterfall on the island.

Koh Yao Noi, Thailand

Looking for complete peace and relaxation? Then consider Koh Yao Noi for your honeymoon- It is amongst the quietest islands in Thailand. Translating to “Small Long Island”, it’s located just a 30 minute speed boat ride from Phuket, and travel time is a breeze from Bangkok to Phuket National Airport. Koh Yao Noi is for couples seeking that solitude and tranquility you think of when it comes to a deserted tropical island, as it’s far different from other popular, tourist-laden beaches of Thailand. You won’t find backpackers, bars blasting dance music or traffic jams. Instead, it’s just you and your significant other, the balmy weather and the paradise Thailand is world famous for.

Maui, Hawaii

Maui has consistently been rated as one of the top islands for a honeymoon, and for good reason- it’s got everything you need to plan a quick getaway without sacrificing luxury, adventure or stunning tropical scenery. It has something for every couple in terms of island resorts, with popular areas including Ka’anapali in West Maui (which has a plethora of options), Wailea (for couples seeking something more upscale), Makena and Kapalua. Embrace the “aloha spirit” Hawaii is known for, enjoying every day living in the present and sharing life energy with the person you love more than anything in the world. Explore Maui’s infinite beauty by snorkeling with sea turtles, hiking to a waterfall or taking an evening sunset cruise.


January through May is the best time to visit the “Spice Island”, when honeymooners can count on warm, dry weather to get the most out of what this Caribbean dreamland has to offer. Grenada is known for its excellent sailing conditions, and it’s popular to charter a yacht or roll in on-board your own. Besides sailing, the island boasts 40 white sand and black sand beaches that will give you that salt and sun satisfaction you crave. Hike through thick rain forest at Grand Etang National Park or relax away in the lap of luxury with numerous honeymoon packages to choose from.

Koh Samui, Thailand

If you’re looking for a more well-known honeymoon destination that still takes you and your partner to an exotic part of the world, Koh Samui is the land for love, with exceptional options and packages available, from planning a destination wedding in Thailand to booking an all inclusive honeymoon with plenty of romance. This island has a little something for everyone. Ride a songthaew to see the Big Buddha Temple at the Northernmost point and enjoy the spectacular scenery along the way. For nature buffs, there are incredible rock formations to ogle, waterfalls to cool off in and walking trails to explore at Na Muang Safari Park, as well as scuba diving and snorkeling at Ang Thong National Marine Park. If you enjoy a bit of party time, Chaweng is a popular area to grab a drink, while Lamai allows you to lay back in a hammock and enjoy the Thai tropical bliss with a fresh coconut.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

June 08 2017

As Law That First Saved Grand Canyon Turns 111, Trump Takes Aim At Its Legacy

<!-- TAG START { player: "HuffPost Default Player - Click to Play", for: "Huffington Post" } -->

<!-- TAG END { date: 6/8/17 } -->

WASHINGTON — Today marks the 111th anniversary of the Antiquities Act, signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt and used by him and 15 other presidents, both Republicans and Democrats, to designate more than 150 national monuments.

The magnificent treasures that have been protected by the act include Wyoming’s Devils Tower, Arizona’s Grand Canyon, Idaho’s Craters of the Moon and Alaska’s Glacier Bay. 

Rather than celebrating that legacy, President Donald Trump has taken aim at the 1906 law, claiming that recent administrations have abused it to “lock up millions of acres of land and water.” 

Twenty-seven national monuments designated or expanded since 1996, spanning more than 11 million acres of land and about 760 million acres of ocean, are threatened by a pair of executive orders signed by Trump in April. By Saturday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is due to make a recommendation on what he thinks should happen to the 1.35-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, which is at the center of the current fight.

In announcing his monuments review, Trump spoke as if a Bears Ears reversal was a done deal, saying the Obama-era designation had been done “over the profound objections of the citizens of Utah” and “should never have happened.” No previous president has tried to revoke a monument designation and legal scholars argue that Trump lacks the authority to do so.

Conservationists and lawmakers took to social media on Thursday to celebrate the Antiquities Act, with many using the hashtag  and expressing outrage over the Trump administration’s actions. 

“On a day when we should be celebrating the anniversary of the law used to protect places like the Grand Canyon, Zion, and the Statue of Liberty, it’s outrageous that we’re facing down an unprecedented attack on our national parks and monuments by President Trump and Interior Secretary Zinke,” Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, said in a statement.

“People understand that this review is nothing more than an attempt to give away our public lands to the fossil fuel industry,” he added.

See below for some celebratory posts: 

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Woman Who Uses Wheelchair Sues United After Being Dropped On Flight

A Florida woman is suing United Airlines over injuries as well as damage to her wheelchair in what she calls “a flight from hell.”

Erica Fulton of Largo has a degenerative disease that requires the use of a wheelchair.

Last September, she was at Bush Airport in Houston on the way to visit her son in Austin when two contract workers for United offered to help her transfer from the wheelchair into her seat in first class.

Fulton told WFLA TV that one of them kept telling her, “Trust me, I’ve got you.”

She wasn’t so sure.

“Once he got me totally upright, I just saw this look of panic in his face and I said, ‘Oh my God, he’s gonna drop me,’” she told the station. 

Then the worst happened.

“I fell over this way. And all of my weight landed on my shoulder, right on the corner of my shoulder, hit just under the window of the airplane,” she said. “The pain was excruciating. I had tears rolling down my face. I’m huddled on the floor.”

Things got worse when her plane landed in Austin.

Sometime after Fulton boarded the plane in Houston and when she landed in Austin, someone dropped her $23,000 customized wheelchair, causing it to be crushed in the process, according to KPRC TV.

“I hardly recognized it,” she told the station.

United has paid for the wheelchair to be repaired. In a statement to KPRC, the airline said, “We sincerely apologize to Ms. Fulton for her experience while traveling with us and have covered the cost of the repair to the wheelchair.”

However, in a lawsuit filed in November, Fulton said she “sustained serious and permanent injuries” from the fall.

Despite surgery, she says she no longer has control of one arm.

“When you lose use of your legs you need your arms,” she told KPRC. “[United Airlines] never returned any of my calls and left me no recourse but to hire an attorney.”

Fulton said as a result of her injuries, she’s racked up nearly $200,000 in medical bills.

She’s suing United and the company that hired the man who dropped her because she believes they should pay for her medical care.

Fulton’s attorney, Jonathan C.C. Day, said her case is a travel horror story unlike any he’s ever heard previously.

“This is the worst story I have ever heard. Handicapped woman gets dropped, and then they drop her wheelchair on the same flight,” he told the New York Daily News.

He added: “They didn’t drag her off the plane at least,” referring to Dr. David Dao, the United Airlines passenger who became a cause celebre in April after being violently removed from his seat when the plane was overbooked.

HuffPost reached out to United, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

So THAT'S What Those 'Ding' Sounds During Flights Are All About

If you fly, you’re likely familiar with the ding sound made when the “fasten seat belt” sign turns off, signaling you’re free to move about the cabin. But discerning ears may have noticed the ding, or chime, occurs at other times during the flight, too: Sometimes it’s a single chime long before the seat belt sign turns off, and sometimes it’s a two-toned rhythm, with a high-pitched chime followed by a low one. Other times, the sound is more like a “boing.” 

Of course, these noises aren’t random. Turns out they’re all part of a carrier’s secret code for its cabin crew. Take Qantas Airways, for example. 

“On our Airbus aircraft you’ll hear the ‘boing’ sound shortly after take-off ― this sound lets crew know that the landing gear is being retracted. The second boing is usually when the seat belt sign is switched off,” the airline explained in a blog post last year. 

Qantas uses a single chime to alert crew when a passenger is asking for assistance at their seat. A high-low chime combination is the sound of the crew calling each other on their in-flight phone system. Three low chimes in a row signals an urgent warning from the captain, like heavy turbulence ahead. 

However, that’s just Qantas. There’s no hard-and-fast rule for these sounds because each airline customizes its sound system differently, Airbus spokeswoman Kara Evanko told HuffPost. 

United Airlines, for example, sounds a single chime when a passenger calls for assistance and when the fasten seat belt sign turns on. A ding-dong sound means pilots and flight attendants are calling each other on the inflight call system, spokesman Jonathan Guerin told HuffPost.

On other airlines, a chime might indicate the plane has reached 10,000 feet and it’s safe to use electronic devices, commercial pilot Patrick Smith told HuffPost. It could also mean the plane is landing soon and crew should start cleaning up the cabin. Other sounds usually come from the intercom system that cabin crew share with the cockpit.

“Think of it as a language between the pilots and flight attendants,” Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Cindy Hermosillo told HuffPost. On Southwest planes, a single chime means the seat belt sign has been turned off. The airline also uses high chimes, low chimes and a high-low chime combination for communication in the cabin, but declined to specify what each sound means, citing security. 

Likewise, an American Airlines spokesman said he couldn’t share information about the airline’s “internal mechanisms for communication between our flight attendants and pilots.”

While the true meaning of these sounds may remain secret on some carriers, it’s always helpful to learn about life in the sky if you’re a nervous flier. Next time you hear a chime on a flight, you can rest assured it’s typical crew talk.

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related... + articlesList=58f7dbd8e4b091e58f382505,58e7d466e4b05413bfe2bb2b,59393736e4b00610547fb96f,57acc99fe4b0718404104470

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Older posts are this way If this message doesn't go away, click anywhere on the page to continue loading posts.
Could not load more posts
Maybe Soup is currently being updated? I'll try again automatically in a few seconds...
Just a second, loading more posts...
You've reached the end.

Don't be the product, buy the product!