Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Teen Airplane Stowaway: ‘I Could See Through the Little Holes’

Teen Airplane Stowaway: ‘I Could See Through the Little Holes’

Teen Airplane Stowaway: ‘I Could See Through the Little Holes’

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 02:19 PM PDT

A teen stowaway who survived a ride from California to Hawaii in a passenger jet’s wheel well earlier this year told a California CBS affiliate Tuesday that he randomly selected the plane in which he hid during the five-and-a-half hour flight.

The interview was Yahye Abdi’s first since his harrowing journey, which has dumbfounded medical professionals — people typically quickly lose brain function when more 35,000 feet above the ground without oxygen or pressurization systems.

Abdi told KPIX the ride wasn't scary, though he couldn’t believe he survived. "It was above the clouds, I could see through the little holes," the teen said.

Abdi, a 15-year-old Somali immigrant, says he ran away from home in April because he was unhappy in California with his stepmom. The teen also said he wanted to see his mother, as the two have not been with one another since Abdi was 7-years-old.

“I only did it because I didn’t want to live with my stepmom,” Abdi said. “Second of all, I wanted to find my mom. I haven’t seen her since I was young.”

"I took that plane because it was the closest one I could find that was going to go West," he added. The teen is currently staying in a foster home, he plans to move to Minnesota to live with his aunt.

His advice for kids thinking about hopping on planes: “They shouldn’t run away, because sometimes they will end up dying.”


House Expects Business as Usual After Cantor Goes

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 02:16 PM PDT

The House Republican conference will likely vote House Whip Kevin McCarthy to the majority leadership post soon to be vacated by Eric Cantor on Thursday afternoon, capping an extraordinary 7-and-a-half year rise for the friendly Californian.

In the days after Cantor’s stunning defeat last Tuesday, McCarthy moved quickly to become the Virginia representative’s heir apparent, consolidating support and stamping out significant challenges from the right. And how will the House change under McCarthy? Not much, according to several congressmen that spoke to TIME.

"Why would it?" said Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.). “I wouldn't expect it to change at all.”

"[McCarthy and Cantor] have different styles, but a similar philosophy," said Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.). "I think it'll be not that different. I think it's just a renewed focus on listening to each other [and] keep trying to get to 218 [votes]."

One major difference between Cantor and his likely successor is that McCarthy represents a greater population of Latinos in his California district than Cantor did in Virginia. McCarthy—whose spokesman did not respond to a request to comment on this article—favors a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants, though not full citizenship, which gives some hope to pro-reform activists.

But representatives say that McCarthy’s election wouldn’t alter the Republican Party trajectory on immigration reform, which it has largely avoided talk of since releasing a set of broad principles in January. "That's an issue that's broader than one person," says Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Ohio). "In fact all those big issues, whether it's entitlement reform, tax reform, immigration reform, whatever reform, it's not only the Majority Leader who determines [what happens.] It's the conference, it's a larger group and a larger effort than just one person."

That sense that a vote for McCarthy would be a vote for the status quo has animated his lone rival, long shot candidate Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho). "McCarthy's promising change," the Tea Party favorite told TIME. "If you want change, you got to look at past actions to realize that there isn't going to be any real change."

So what would Labrador change? The Idaho congressman pledged in the closed door "candidate forum" Wednesday morning that, if he won the conference’s votes, he would distinguish himself by empowering the rank-and-file members. "I want members of Congress to be more relevant than the staff," he said, according to the transcript prepared for delivery. "Why are we even here if the leadership staff is going to make all decisions any way?"

But that desire for change only goes so far. Labrador brushed away questions about whether he would move faster than the current leadership on immigration reform, aspects of which he has supported in the past. "At this time we shouldn't even be talking about immigration reform," he said, in an interview.

Democrats insist they have no preference for Labrador or McCarthy, saying that it would be difficult to work with any Republican leader due to the ideological splits in the conservative conference. "It doesn't matter who's in the leadership on the Republican side," said Rep. Steven Israel (D-N.Y.), whose job it is as Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman to win back the speaker's gavel as soon as possible. "You can change the note on the door but they're still going to follow the base."

Alt-J Releases New Single: ‘Hunger of the Pine’

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 02:10 PM PDT

Alt-J released a new single, “Hunger of the Pine,” on Wednesday, which will be included in its upcoming sophomore album, This Is All Yours.

The group has been relatively quiet since 2012 when it released its first album, An Awesome Wave. Their debut album was met with high praise and featured singles like “Tessellate” that were enjoyed radio airtime for months.

The new single comes as somewhat of a departure from alt-J’s previous music, as the group is now a trio after bassist Gwil Sainsbury left. It also features a sample of Miley Cyrus singing “I’m a female rebel” from her song “4×4,” and was composed of spontaneous ideas the group came up with while writing their upcoming album, Keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton told NPR.

“It was written very quickly using some guitar chords and sounds being layered on Ableton, and seemed to signal a bit of a new sound for us. The lyrics mainly suggest the idea that missing someone — pining — can be a physical pain much like hunger,” Unger-Hamilton said.

This Is Yours comes out Sept. 22, but for now, listen to “Hunger of the Pine” above.

No, Antidepressants During Pregnancy Don’t Harm Babies’ Hearts

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 02:08 PM PDT

That should reassure the 8% to 13% of women who take antidepressants while expecting. Concerns about the risks of the drugs, primarily selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), on the developing fetus prompted the Food and Drug Administration in 2005 to add warnings about the risk of heart defects in babies born to moms taking antidepressants. While studies have shown up to a three-fold increase risk in some congenital heart abnormalities associated with antidepressants, doctors couldn't be entirely sure the higher risk wasn’t due purely to chance. Now, the New England Journal of Medicine reports that may indeed be the case, thank to the work of Krista Huybrechts, in the division of pharmacoepidemiology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and her colleagues.

In their analysis involving 949,504 pregnant women, 64,389 of whom used antidepressants during the first trimester, the rate of heart defects in newborns was similar between the groups. "Based on our study, there is no evidence to support a substantial increased risk of cardiac malformations overall," she says.

She and her team specifically focused on adjusting for potential confounding factors that could explain the heart malformations, such as age, how many children the women had had, diabetes, hypertension and use of psychotropic medications. Even after accounting for these effects, they found no strong association between antidepressant use and heart defects.

While the findings should be reassuring for expectant mothers who take antidepressants, Huybrechts says that "heart defects are one factor in a whole range of potential risks" associated with the drugs. Some studies hint, for example, that the medications may contribute to hypertension in newborns, as well as other adverse health conditions. "The study provides quite solid evidence of the low risk in terms of cardiac malformations, but the treatment decision should consider the whole range of other potential adverse outcomes," Huybrechts says. "[Decisions also need to consider] potential risk of not treating women who are severely depressed and required pharmacologic interventions. It's one piece of the puzzle but definitely not the whole answer."

Latest World Cup Defeat Marks End of an Era for Spain

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 02:06 PM PDT

Luxembourg Approves Same Sex Marriage

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 02:03 PM PDT

(LUXEMBOURG) — Lawmakers in Luxembourg, whose prime minister is openly gay, overwhelmingly approved changes in the small European nation’s legislation governing marriage that will allow people of the same sex to wed and to adopt children.

The Chamber of Deputies voted 56-4 to adopt the bill, which is said to be part of the most fundamental rewrite of Luxembourg’s laws on marriage since 1804. Its website said the new rules could take effect in early 2015, or six months after their official publication.

The Human Rights Campaign, a U.S.-based organization in favor of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, said Wednesday’s vote makes Luxembourg the world’s 19th nation to grant “full marriage rights” to all of its citizens.

Xavier Bettel, who became Luxembourg’s prime minister in December, is openly gay.

REVIEW: The Rover Goes Weirdly Western Down Under

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 01:58 PM PDT

A gruff man sits at a grungy karaoke bar in the desolate Australian outback. In the picture window behind him, we see something the man doesn't notice: a truck skidding by, fast and upside down, trailing fiery dust.

This image — so sudden, startling and comically surreal that it might be from a Road Runner cartoon — comes early in The Rover, a modern Western from writer-director David Michöd, who hatched the superbly sick family crime drama Animal Kingdom a few years back. The four men inside the overturned truck, thugs on an urgent getaway led by the vicious Henry (Scott McNairy), clamber out and quickly commandeer the only other vehicle in sight: a Peugeot owned by the gruff man, Eric (Guy Pearce). It must mean a lot to him, since he spends the rest of the movie, in the company of Henry's younger brother Rey (Robert Pattinson), chasing the guys who stole it. Eric's existential plea: "I want my car back."

(READ: Corliss's review of David Michöd's Animal Kingdom)

The Rover is really two movies: the gritty little revenge drama on the screen, and the grand geopolitical parable in its subtext, as explained by Michöd in the press notes. First the parable. The movie relocates the elemental animosities of the old Hollywood Western to the desolate Australian outback — a scorched purgatory for lost men. In imagining this desolate landscape and the creatures that might inhabit it, "Michöd thought a great deal about the violence and unrest of contemporary Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the writing of the film." All that thought led him to apply the lawlessness in West African nations to the classic nihilist Western: Sierra Leone meets Sergio Leone.

(READ: The life, death and troubled rebirth of the Western)

Michöd also flashes forward from the American past to the Australian near-future — or, as the movie tells us, "Ten years after the Collapse." What Collapse? Not a nuclear explosion or a Martian invasion but a financial meltdown. Michöd has said The Rover is "about the rapacious capacity for under-regulated Western economies to destroy themselves, and it’s about the seemingly inevitable shift of global power." As he sees it, Europe and the U.S. will soon choke on their greed, bringing financial ruin to what TIME cofounder Henry Luce proclaimed as "the American Century" and speeding the rise of the Asian Century — the Far East, plus Australia as "a resource-rich Third World power." Tough men, their ethics defined by their appetites, will come Down Under from around the world to work in the mines (for silver, copper, uranium, coal and natural gas) or to steal from those who do.

That’s a provocative dystopian forecast, but it’s just a backstory Michöd dreamed or nightmared up, since none of its larger points are in the movie. What we actually see is a Western pastiche, shot in South Australia’s picturesquely parched Flinders Ranges, about hombres who ride in Peugeots, not on Palominos. Eric loves and misses his car as intensely as Kirk Douglas cared for his aging horse in Lonely Are the Brave a half-century ago. He stalks through arid terrain similar to the charred landscape in the George Miller–Mel Gibson Mad Max movies. And he shares the clenched misanthropy of Clint Eastwood in Leone’s Man With No Name trilogy — except that Eric is the Man With No Car.

(READ: Apocalypse POW! — the Mad Max movies)

Even a loner needs a traveling antagonist. Abandoned and left to die by his brother, Rey becomes Eric’s hostage, his GPS system to Henry’s whereabouts and his chatty companion. (After a long monologue about his life back in the U.S., Eric asks, “Why’d you tell me that?”) Pattinson, freed from the fangirl celebrity of his Twilight Saga vampire movies, sports yellow teeth and a stench that could use a spritz of Dior Homme, the cologne the young star promotes in ads. He does a nice job portraying a slow-witted man who thinks he can charm or fool Eric, until the seeping of hope from his face testifies to his desperation.

Rey has little chance of ingratiating himself with Eric, a former farmer and soldier who long ago killed his wife and her boyfriend, and who shoots a dwarf point-blank out of little more than impatience. His most implacable enemies now are flies, the vultures of the insect kingdom, swarming around him but hardly earning his attention. When one takes home in his nose, Eric doesn’t so much as snort. A versatile actor whose résumé includes drag queen (The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert), ramrod-righteous cop (L.A. Confidential), reverse amnesiac (Memento) and Marvel supervillain (Iron Man Three), Pearce has the solid commitment if not quite the pearly charisma for a Western antihero.

(READ: Corliss on Guy Pearce in Iron Man Three)

Indeed, the movie’s most engaging characters are two women seen fleetingly: a bordello madam, Grandma (Gillian Jones), who when Eric won’t tell her his name smiles and says, “I’ll just call you My Baby,” and Dot (Susan Prior), a de-facto medic. Attending to Rey’s wounds, she offers a glimpse of how human feeling might conceivably survive after the Collapse.

But Michöd wants The Rover to be nearly as much an ordeal for the audience as for its denizens — from the arid locations to the clangorous sound track, an artful mix of metallic screeches, air raid wails, deranged wind chimes and the drone of an aboriginal’s didgeridoo — and, often, as much a mystery. As in: Why, when Eric gets the thugs’ truck running and soon catches up with them, don’t they just shoot him and take their vehicle back? And why, when they knock him unconscious and drive away, don’t they take the truck too? Michöd not only stints on the big backstory, he’s sometimes weak on story too.

For its writer-director, the movie marks a small slump between Animal Kingdom, with its much livelier and more complex criminal vectors, and his next project, The Operators, based on Michael Hastings’ book and starring Brad Pitt as U.S. Gen. Stanley McChrystal. The Rover has an appealing misanthropy, but it never tops that early image of the overturned truck: a metaphor for a machine, and the men inside it, careering topsy-turvy into the scrapheap of history.

#Popsexed: What We Learn About Sex From Pop Culture

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 01:56 PM PDT

Not every school has sex education, and many parents feel uncomfortable talking with their children about the birds and the bees. For girls, who mature earlier than boys, the lack of information can be especially confusing.

So many kids seek out information from other sources, namely popular culture. To find out what they’re learning, Bitch Media started a conversation via the hashtag #popsexed about what women found out about sex from pop culture. The response they got suggests that girls discover the facts of life from movies, TV shows and books ranging from Sex and the City to Dirty Dancing to author Judy Blume.

The other thing the submissions reveal is that pop culture isn’t always the best sex ed source. Women shared their experiences on Twitter about how what they saw in entertainment and other media made them feel ashamed of their bodies or confused about how to engage sexually with a boy.

Here are the best #popsexed responses:


READ MORE: What’s Desperately Needed In Sex Ed Now


Harley-Davidson Teases What Looks Like an Electric Motorcycle

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 01:55 PM PDT

In a teaser trailer released by Harley-Davidson Wednesday, a motorcycle is seen zooming down U.S. Route 66—except there’s none of the usual rumble of a gas-powered bike.

Instead, the motorcycle—possibly electric—powers down the road producing a sound like that of an airplane flying overhead. Closing with the text “6.19.14,” the video suggests that the old-school motorcycle manufacturer, which has yet to make an electric motorcycle, is only a day away from unveiling its newest bike.

Harley-Davidson was one of only two major U.S. motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression.

World’s Rarest Stamp Sets Auction Record

Posted: 18 Jun 2014 01:45 PM PDT

A tiny piece of paper with adhesive on the back just sold for $9.5 million.

Sotheby’s sold the British Guiana stamp to an anonymous donor over the phone Tuesday. The deal broke the previous stamp-selling record, held by an 1885 Swedish stamp, by more than $7 million.

What makes this stamp so special? It’s the only copy of the British Guiana One-Cent known to exist, but also its previous owner, John E. du Pont, was famous for murdering an Olympic wrestler.

Still, that’s a lot of paper for such a little piece of paper.


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