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George Summers 2021-06-10
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Actor Paul Freeman reflects on getting cast as smooth-talking archaeologist Belloq and his chemistry with Karen Allen.
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George Summers 2021-02-25
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Limited to 750 units, the exclusive Leica Q2 Daniel Craig x Greg Williams features gold accents and diamond-embossed leather.
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George Summers 2020-09-01
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From Huawei to Lenovo to Meizu, here's a breakdown of the players in the daunting landscape of Chinese smartphones.
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George Summers 2019-11-13

Amid some technical glitches and weird additions to other corners of the galaxy far, far away ("Maclunkey!

"), the new streaming service's first major draw was well worth the wait, even if UK audiences might not agree given the extra few months' delay.

Created by filmmaker Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Lion King) and developed by Favreau and animated Star Wars veteran Dave Filoni (The Clone Wars, Rebels), The Mandalorian is set in the years following the fall of the Galactic Empire in Return Of The Jedi.

Pedro Pascal is a charismatic actor (as those who’ve watched Game Of Thrones or Narcos know) and it’s perhaps a surprise that he spends the entire premiere episode still wearing his helmet.

Yet Pascal is still able to make him compelling, even working behind layers of metal.

True Mandalorian or not, he’s clearly linked to the people who made the armour, and little touches such as his distrust of droids are played for both characterization and comic relief.

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George Summers 2021-05-26
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Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are rumoured to be back together, suggesting drunk dialling your ex is sometimes a good idea. 

The pair dated in the early noughties and broke up after a two-year engagement. But now they’ve been snapped together again, with the actor appearing to wear a watch JLo gave him almost 19 years ago. 

The return of ‘Bennifer’ might make you nostalgic for loves lost, but rekindling an old flame is not always easy, says Jo Coker, a counselling psychologist who works with the College of Sex and Relationship Therapy. 

“It takes courage to go back and say: ‘This could have been good and we can make this good,’” she says. “It’s much harder, in some ways, to go back than it is to go forward.”

If you’re thinking about giving a past relationship another try, it has to be for the right reasons. So before you send that text, here are the biggest red (and green) flags.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in 2003.

Signs you should get back with your ex

1. You’ve both grown as individuals 

This is the big one, says Coker. If you still find the person attractive and the old compatibilities are still there, that’s great – but you need to have grown, too, if it’s going to work. 

“If you have matured and suddenly realised the things you thought were problematic before aren’t such a problem – maybe you were being picky, maybe you’ve matured and you think ‘I know how to work with those difficulties now’ – those are reasons to positively reconsider a relationship,” she says. 

A relationship may be better second time round, because both of you have had time to grow. “You may have learned a bit more about life in the intervening time,” she says. 

2. You’ve identified your triggers 

It’s really important that couples have conversations about how things will be different, says Coker. This includes discussing your trigger points – the things that caused you to break up in the first place – and ensuring they’re resolved.  

“If someone has a particularly frustrating trait for you, you need to think: ‘how has that changed, how is it going to stay changed and what are you going to do if it resurfaces again?’” she says. “Say someone is really careless with money, how are you going to cope with that, the two of you together? How will you communicate about it? Communication is key.” 

3. You’ve really processed infidelity 

If a breakup was trigged by infidelity or another form of betrayal, you need to get real about why it happened before getting back together. “People often see an affair as one person was good and the other was bad, but the reality is it normally comes out of difficulty in a relationship, which may be unspoken,” says Coker. “You need to consider whether that has been resolved.”

For a relationship to work after infidelity, a person must be willing to apologise for the affair and really mean it, she adds. The other person must be able to find forgiveness. If not, resentment will bubble under the surface of your second try.

4. You’re excited about the relationship 

Yes, getting back with an ex might require a bit of work, but you’ll know in your gut if it’s worth it. Are you excited to spend time with them again? Do you feel good about yourself? These are both obvious but crucial questions to ask yourself. 

Signs you shouldn’t get back with your ex

1. You’ve got a sense of déjà vu 

Does your ex make you feel 21 again? Have you slipped straight back into your old dynamic? That’s not necessarily a good thing. 

“If nothing has actually changed, if no thought or work or development or maturity has happened and you go back to it, it’s going to crash again,” says Coker. “It really is about how the couple has individually worked on their lives, on their development as humans and what they’ve learned in that time.”

If you’re largely the same people, the old problems will resurface and your ability to deal with them won’t have changed. “You’re kind of flogging a dead horse if the problems that were there are still there and you’re trying to work with them and nothing is moving,” says Coker. 

2. It was an abusive relationship 

Coker emphases how important it is not to be sucked in by promises of “it’ll be different this time” if a past relationship was abusive in any way. “If it was abusive, that’s a relationship never to go back in, because it is very unlikely to change,” she says. “That will always be there underlining it.”

For further support on abusive relationships, call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

3. You’re going back for other people 

“Sometimes people will go back because the family love the partner – ‘they thought she was great, so there must be something wrong with me if I don’t feel she’s great’ – those sort of things shouldn’t be factored in, it has to be your decision and not your family’s,” says Coker.

This can also happen with friendship groups. Ask yourself if you’re returning for the individual, or because you like their social scene. The latter will end in tears.

4. You’re settling 

Has the relationship has actually changed? And are you excited to rekindle the romance? Or are you going back because you can’t be bothered to keep dating, or you’re scared you won’t meet someone else?

“I think that is a real dilemma for people, particularly biologically for women as they get older, and it is something to consider,” says Coker. 

It can be difficult to recognise your own motivations for returning to a relationship, particularly if they’re wrapped up with loneliness or fear. Coker recommends speaking to a therapist to unpack your emotions and make the right decision for you. 

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George Summers 2021-02-15
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Videofeeds sometimes fail, defense attorneys can’t confer with clients, and witnesses have a hard time reviewing documents.
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George Summers 2020-08-29
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The QAnon supporters are expected to show up at official Trump rallies in Nevada and Georgia over the weekend.
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George Summers 2019-11-12
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This morning, users are reporting error messages when they try to stream content, along with other connection issues, crashes, bugs and more on the service’s first day out of the gate.

According to web monitoring site DownDetector, the Disney+ problems began around 6:08 AM EST and there have been thousands of problems reported since.

The majority (73%) of the problems being reported have to do with video streaming, while 26% are related to log-in issues.

Unfortunately, calling for help isn’t going to solve the problem here — the service is facing too many connection attempts at the same time, which is a common launch-day problem for streamers.

Thank you Disney+ for giving me a loading screen on my computer for selecting a short.

And cell from just going to the home screen.

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George Summers 2021-05-03
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Genesis unveiled the refreshed 2022 G70 sport-luxury sedan in October last year. Even though the G70 is among the first Genesis models to land stateside, it’s the last to inherit the brand’s ‘Athletic Elegance’ design philosophy after refreshing the G80, G90, and unveiling the all-new GV80 SUV. Pricing for the 2022 Genesis G70 starts at $38,570 (including $1,045 destination fees), … Continue reading
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George Summers 2021-02-15
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The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 will make its global debut on February 23, 2021, but Hyundai can’t stop itself from releasing teaser images of its newest all-electric crossover. The automaker unveiled a single image of the Ioniq 5’s interior recently after teasing us with the car’s exterior last month. “Ioniq 5 is a statement of design that offers an optimistic … Continue reading
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George Summers 2020-08-25
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“It will suck, until it suddenly stops sucking.”
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George Summers 2019-09-05

And honest-to-goodness antitrust investigations, which might have seemed unthinkable three years ago, are now underway.

I thought about McNamee’s point this morning while reading about the $170 million in fines levied against Google by the Federal Trade Commission and the state of New York as part of a settlement over alleged violations of child privacy.

It also alleges that the company tracked the viewing histories of children in order to serve them ads, which violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Critics included members of Congress, as Natasha Singer and Kate Conger reported in the New York Times:

Critics of the settlement, including Senator Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, described the $170 million penalty as a slap on the wrist for one of the world’s richest companies.

Then again, this is the largest-ever fine issued in connection with COPPA.

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George Summers 2021-03-30
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Sharon Stone has claimed that a surgeon gave her a breast enlargement without her consent, when she underwent reconstructive surgery 20 years ago.

The Hollywood star underwent a procedure in 2001 to remove benign tumours from her breasts, and chose to have reconstructive surgery.

However, following the operation, she has now said she discovered that the surgeon had made her breasts bigger without her say-so, as he felt she would “would look better with bigger, ‘better’ boobs”.

In her new memoir The Beauty Of Living Twice – an excerpt from which has been published in The Times – she explains: “When I was unbandaged, I discovered that I had a full cup-size bigger breasts, ones that he said ‘go better with your hip size’.

“He had changed my body without my knowledge or consent.” 

Sharon Stone pictured in 2019

Sharon’s new autobiography contains a number of revelations, including accounts of sexual abuse as a child.

She also details her experience making what is arguably her signature film, Basic Instinct.

Recalling making one of the film’s most infamous scenes, in which her character uncrosses her legs while not wearing underwear, Sharon says she was misled about how the moment in question would come across on screen.

“That was how I saw my vagina-shot for the first time, long after I’d been told, ‘We can’t see anything – I just need you to remove your panties, as the white is reflecting the light, so we know you have panties on’,” she writes.

“Yes, there have been many points of view on this topic, but since I’m the one with the vagina in question, let me say: The other points of view are bullshit.”

Sharon on the set of Basic Instinct in the early 1990s.

She continues: “Now, here is the issue. It didn’t matter anymore. It was me and my parts up there. I had decisions to make.

“I went to the projection booth, slapped Paul [Verhoeven, the director of Basic Instinct] across the face, left, went to my car, and called my lawyer, Marty Singer.

“Marty told me that they could not release this film as it was… And, Marty said, per the Screen Actors Guild, my union, it wasn’t legal to shoot up my dress in this fashion. ‘Whew,’ I thought. Well, that was my first thought. Then I thought some more.

“What if I were the director? What if I had gotten that shot? What if I had gotten it on purpose? Or by accident? What if it just existed? That was a lot to think about.”

Ultimately, Sharon says she “chose to allow this scene in the film”, noting: “It was correct for the film and for the character; and because, after all, I did it.”

“By the way,” she adds. “You probably don’t recall, but my name wasn’t at the top with Michael Douglas’s on the poster.”

Sharon Stone’s The Beauty Of Living Twice will be released on Thursday 1 April.

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George Summers 2020-10-07
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A policy launched in March allowing one parent to unilaterally withhold child contact from a co-parent on safety grounds is causing concern among domestic abuse campaigners and family support services who say it is “dangerous” and enabling abusers to control their victims further.

According to current guidance, if one parent is “sufficiently concerned” that complying with arrangements set out in a child arrangements order would be against current health advice, they “may exercise their parental responsibility and vary the arrangement to one that they consider to be safe”.

Any parent disagreeing with an ex-partner’s decision to withhold contact can apply to the Family Court – but only after the decision to stop contact has been enforced.

Dame Vera Baird, the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, is now calling on the government to scrap the policy, launched at the start of lockdown, after a House of Commons briefing confirmed that it was still in place.

Speaking to HuffPost UK, Dame Baird said: “This exception is much less needed, perhaps not needed at all now, because the Family Court is up and running with phone and Skype hearings said to be commonplace.

“Therefore the need to give one parent unilateral licence to change child parenting arrangements no longer exists. It is time this policy was scrapped.” 

Rosie Duffield MP, who moved the House of Commons to tears in 2019 with a speech where she opened up about her experiences with a violent ex-partner, said the guidelines were “clearly open and liable for abuse”.

“If, for example, a coercive former partner’s shared custody time coincided with a change of rules or tightening of lockdown, they could easily exploit this and refuse to hand the child back or take them home,” she told HuffPost UK. 

Rosie Duffield speaking in the House of Commons about her abuser.

Parents across the UK have been voicing their concerns on Facebook since discovering the rule was still in force. 

Michele Simmons, a researcher who specialises in the adoption process wrote: “I’m living and seeing the consequences of what can happen when a child has been isolated from a parent’s care for extensive periods. They can be poorly for life, and as a mother that makes me very concerned.”

A father, also on Facebook, said: “I suspect there will be legal challenges to it and we may find that in certain circumstances it might be seen as fair, for example where there is a high R rate in an area, or where travel is restricted and the other parent cannot travel within a local lockdown area.”

Laura Baxter, who produced the first UK database looking at contact arrangements during lockdown, said the guidance is “open to misinterpretation and abuse, particularly by separated parents playing a tit-for-tat custody game”.

Charities in the UK offering support to families have noted a significant increase in parents claiming they have been unjustly denied contact during lockdown. 

More than a third of respondents to a survey carried out by Women’s Aid who had child contact arrangements said contact had been used to further abuse, with children not returned as arranged or a mother’s access being restricted.

Lucy Hadley, campaign and policy manager at the charity, said it was trying to raise awareness of the dangers faced by adult and child victims of domestic abuse. “We are concerned about the safety of child contact arrangements for survivors of domestic abuse during the pandemic, and we are also concerned that the current guidance does not address these challenges,” she said.  

Billy McGranaghan, founder of the DadsHouse charity, which offers support and advice for single fathers, said dads were also being blocked from seeing their children during the pandemic.

“We have seen a rise in fathers facing allegations, which are often false, over their conduct. As every accusation made has to be checked by social services or Cafcass [Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service], these investigations take up a lot of time, which means dads are blocked from seeing their children for even longer periods. This policy is clearly dangerous, and will be used as a delay tactic by angry parents,” McGranaghan said. 

Despite the introduction of remote court hearings for contact disputes on March 23, some lawyers say the help available to parents who find contact withheld is limited – and often out of reach. 

Simon Bruce, senior counsel at law firm Farrer & Co, which specialises in family cases and also runs the law clinic at DadsHouse, said victims of abuse were being let down by the justice system.

“The government’s own coronavirus advice suggests that a parent who is not getting to see their children can make an application to the court to get redress or seek out the help of a mediator, but this ignores the reality that many clients don’t have the resources to invest in legal assistance and other forms of dispute resolution. Estranged parents are now left with nowhere to turn,” he said. 

People will now use this as a carte blanche to breach orders.

Anne Neale, who leads Legal Action for Women, an organisation that offers vulnerable mothers legal assistance, agrees with Dame Baird that the policy is not fit for purpose. “Preventing children having contact with their mothers is devastating for them, as well as their mothers, and this guideline should be scrapped and replaced with one emphasising that Covid must not be an excuse to renege on court agreements by denying contact with children,” she said.

Rosie Duffield back calls to update the policy. “I would support clarification in the guidance to prevent potential exploitation of the pandemic with regard to family separation and child care,” she told HuffPost UK.

This follows a meeting on October 1 in which domestic abuse victims spoke to members of the House of Lords about their experiences in the family courts.

Victims told peers they were often ignored in court, and made to share child contact with abusive ex-partners. After the meeting, the Victims’ Commissioner for London, Claire Waxman, said the treatment of domestic violence victims in the family courts amounted to “state-sanctioned abuse.” 

The government’s Domestic Abuse Bill, which includes creating a statutory definition of domestic abuse and training for professionals to spot controlling and coercive behaviour, awaits its second reading in the House of Lords.

Meanwhile, parents around the country have been left angry and confused. “I thought that contact was to continue unless one family is showing symptoms or has been around a person who has tested positive,” wrote one parent on social media. “People will now use this as a carte blanche to breach orders.”

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George Summers 2020-08-02
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I use it to pack pillows on a paddleboard. But you can also use it to pack guns. In space.
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George Summers 2019-08-06
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The World Economic Forum projects it will take 208 years to reach gender equality, economic and otherwise, in the US.

In response to that stat, philanthropist Melinda Gates is launching a campaign Tuesday called Equality Can't Wait to raise awareness of the issue.

In a video to promote the campaign, comedians including Sarah Silverman, Ilana Glazer, John Mulaney, Maya Rudolph and Carol Burnett reel off quips about having to wait so long.

"I don't know, 208 years isn't that long.

If you're one of those big fucking turtles that lives forever," Mulaney says.

"And that's why we don't smile more."

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George Summers 2021-06-10
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Actor Paul Freeman reflects on getting cast as smooth-talking archaeologist Belloq and his chemistry with Karen Allen.
George Summers 2021-05-03
img
Genesis unveiled the refreshed 2022 G70 sport-luxury sedan in October last year. Even though the G70 is among the first Genesis models to land stateside, it’s the last to inherit the brand’s ‘Athletic Elegance’ design philosophy after refreshing the G80, G90, and unveiling the all-new GV80 SUV. Pricing for the 2022 Genesis G70 starts at $38,570 (including $1,045 destination fees), … Continue reading
George Summers 2021-02-25
img
Limited to 750 units, the exclusive Leica Q2 Daniel Craig x Greg Williams features gold accents and diamond-embossed leather.
George Summers 2021-02-15
img
The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 will make its global debut on February 23, 2021, but Hyundai can’t stop itself from releasing teaser images of its newest all-electric crossover. The automaker unveiled a single image of the Ioniq 5’s interior recently after teasing us with the car’s exterior last month. “Ioniq 5 is a statement of design that offers an optimistic … Continue reading
George Summers 2020-09-01
img
From Huawei to Lenovo to Meizu, here's a breakdown of the players in the daunting landscape of Chinese smartphones.
George Summers 2020-08-25
img
“It will suck, until it suddenly stops sucking.”
George Summers 2019-11-13

Amid some technical glitches and weird additions to other corners of the galaxy far, far away ("Maclunkey!

"), the new streaming service's first major draw was well worth the wait, even if UK audiences might not agree given the extra few months' delay.

Created by filmmaker Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Lion King) and developed by Favreau and animated Star Wars veteran Dave Filoni (The Clone Wars, Rebels), The Mandalorian is set in the years following the fall of the Galactic Empire in Return Of The Jedi.

Pedro Pascal is a charismatic actor (as those who’ve watched Game Of Thrones or Narcos know) and it’s perhaps a surprise that he spends the entire premiere episode still wearing his helmet.

Yet Pascal is still able to make him compelling, even working behind layers of metal.

True Mandalorian or not, he’s clearly linked to the people who made the armour, and little touches such as his distrust of droids are played for both characterization and comic relief.

George Summers 2019-09-05

And honest-to-goodness antitrust investigations, which might have seemed unthinkable three years ago, are now underway.

I thought about McNamee’s point this morning while reading about the $170 million in fines levied against Google by the Federal Trade Commission and the state of New York as part of a settlement over alleged violations of child privacy.

It also alleges that the company tracked the viewing histories of children in order to serve them ads, which violates the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Critics included members of Congress, as Natasha Singer and Kate Conger reported in the New York Times:

Critics of the settlement, including Senator Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts, described the $170 million penalty as a slap on the wrist for one of the world’s richest companies.

Then again, this is the largest-ever fine issued in connection with COPPA.

George Summers 2021-05-26
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Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are rumoured to be back together, suggesting drunk dialling your ex is sometimes a good idea. 

The pair dated in the early noughties and broke up after a two-year engagement. But now they’ve been snapped together again, with the actor appearing to wear a watch JLo gave him almost 19 years ago. 

The return of ‘Bennifer’ might make you nostalgic for loves lost, but rekindling an old flame is not always easy, says Jo Coker, a counselling psychologist who works with the College of Sex and Relationship Therapy. 

“It takes courage to go back and say: ‘This could have been good and we can make this good,’” she says. “It’s much harder, in some ways, to go back than it is to go forward.”

If you’re thinking about giving a past relationship another try, it has to be for the right reasons. So before you send that text, here are the biggest red (and green) flags.

Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck in 2003.

Signs you should get back with your ex

1. You’ve both grown as individuals 

This is the big one, says Coker. If you still find the person attractive and the old compatibilities are still there, that’s great – but you need to have grown, too, if it’s going to work. 

“If you have matured and suddenly realised the things you thought were problematic before aren’t such a problem – maybe you were being picky, maybe you’ve matured and you think ‘I know how to work with those difficulties now’ – those are reasons to positively reconsider a relationship,” she says. 

A relationship may be better second time round, because both of you have had time to grow. “You may have learned a bit more about life in the intervening time,” she says. 

2. You’ve identified your triggers 

It’s really important that couples have conversations about how things will be different, says Coker. This includes discussing your trigger points – the things that caused you to break up in the first place – and ensuring they’re resolved.  

“If someone has a particularly frustrating trait for you, you need to think: ‘how has that changed, how is it going to stay changed and what are you going to do if it resurfaces again?’” she says. “Say someone is really careless with money, how are you going to cope with that, the two of you together? How will you communicate about it? Communication is key.” 

3. You’ve really processed infidelity 

If a breakup was trigged by infidelity or another form of betrayal, you need to get real about why it happened before getting back together. “People often see an affair as one person was good and the other was bad, but the reality is it normally comes out of difficulty in a relationship, which may be unspoken,” says Coker. “You need to consider whether that has been resolved.”

For a relationship to work after infidelity, a person must be willing to apologise for the affair and really mean it, she adds. The other person must be able to find forgiveness. If not, resentment will bubble under the surface of your second try.

4. You’re excited about the relationship 

Yes, getting back with an ex might require a bit of work, but you’ll know in your gut if it’s worth it. Are you excited to spend time with them again? Do you feel good about yourself? These are both obvious but crucial questions to ask yourself. 

Signs you shouldn’t get back with your ex

1. You’ve got a sense of déjà vu 

Does your ex make you feel 21 again? Have you slipped straight back into your old dynamic? That’s not necessarily a good thing. 

“If nothing has actually changed, if no thought or work or development or maturity has happened and you go back to it, it’s going to crash again,” says Coker. “It really is about how the couple has individually worked on their lives, on their development as humans and what they’ve learned in that time.”

If you’re largely the same people, the old problems will resurface and your ability to deal with them won’t have changed. “You’re kind of flogging a dead horse if the problems that were there are still there and you’re trying to work with them and nothing is moving,” says Coker. 

2. It was an abusive relationship 

Coker emphases how important it is not to be sucked in by promises of “it’ll be different this time” if a past relationship was abusive in any way. “If it was abusive, that’s a relationship never to go back in, because it is very unlikely to change,” she says. “That will always be there underlining it.”

For further support on abusive relationships, call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.

3. You’re going back for other people 

“Sometimes people will go back because the family love the partner – ‘they thought she was great, so there must be something wrong with me if I don’t feel she’s great’ – those sort of things shouldn’t be factored in, it has to be your decision and not your family’s,” says Coker.

This can also happen with friendship groups. Ask yourself if you’re returning for the individual, or because you like their social scene. The latter will end in tears.

4. You’re settling 

Has the relationship has actually changed? And are you excited to rekindle the romance? Or are you going back because you can’t be bothered to keep dating, or you’re scared you won’t meet someone else?

“I think that is a real dilemma for people, particularly biologically for women as they get older, and it is something to consider,” says Coker. 

It can be difficult to recognise your own motivations for returning to a relationship, particularly if they’re wrapped up with loneliness or fear. Coker recommends speaking to a therapist to unpack your emotions and make the right decision for you. 

George Summers 2021-03-30
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Sharon Stone has claimed that a surgeon gave her a breast enlargement without her consent, when she underwent reconstructive surgery 20 years ago.

The Hollywood star underwent a procedure in 2001 to remove benign tumours from her breasts, and chose to have reconstructive surgery.

However, following the operation, she has now said she discovered that the surgeon had made her breasts bigger without her say-so, as he felt she would “would look better with bigger, ‘better’ boobs”.

In her new memoir The Beauty Of Living Twice – an excerpt from which has been published in The Times – she explains: “When I was unbandaged, I discovered that I had a full cup-size bigger breasts, ones that he said ‘go better with your hip size’.

“He had changed my body without my knowledge or consent.” 

Sharon Stone pictured in 2019

Sharon’s new autobiography contains a number of revelations, including accounts of sexual abuse as a child.

She also details her experience making what is arguably her signature film, Basic Instinct.

Recalling making one of the film’s most infamous scenes, in which her character uncrosses her legs while not wearing underwear, Sharon says she was misled about how the moment in question would come across on screen.

“That was how I saw my vagina-shot for the first time, long after I’d been told, ‘We can’t see anything – I just need you to remove your panties, as the white is reflecting the light, so we know you have panties on’,” she writes.

“Yes, there have been many points of view on this topic, but since I’m the one with the vagina in question, let me say: The other points of view are bullshit.”

Sharon on the set of Basic Instinct in the early 1990s.

She continues: “Now, here is the issue. It didn’t matter anymore. It was me and my parts up there. I had decisions to make.

“I went to the projection booth, slapped Paul [Verhoeven, the director of Basic Instinct] across the face, left, went to my car, and called my lawyer, Marty Singer.

“Marty told me that they could not release this film as it was… And, Marty said, per the Screen Actors Guild, my union, it wasn’t legal to shoot up my dress in this fashion. ‘Whew,’ I thought. Well, that was my first thought. Then I thought some more.

“What if I were the director? What if I had gotten that shot? What if I had gotten it on purpose? Or by accident? What if it just existed? That was a lot to think about.”

Ultimately, Sharon says she “chose to allow this scene in the film”, noting: “It was correct for the film and for the character; and because, after all, I did it.”

“By the way,” she adds. “You probably don’t recall, but my name wasn’t at the top with Michael Douglas’s on the poster.”

Sharon Stone’s The Beauty Of Living Twice will be released on Thursday 1 April.

George Summers 2021-02-15
img
Videofeeds sometimes fail, defense attorneys can’t confer with clients, and witnesses have a hard time reviewing documents.
George Summers 2020-10-07
img

A policy launched in March allowing one parent to unilaterally withhold child contact from a co-parent on safety grounds is causing concern among domestic abuse campaigners and family support services who say it is “dangerous” and enabling abusers to control their victims further.

According to current guidance, if one parent is “sufficiently concerned” that complying with arrangements set out in a child arrangements order would be against current health advice, they “may exercise their parental responsibility and vary the arrangement to one that they consider to be safe”.

Any parent disagreeing with an ex-partner’s decision to withhold contact can apply to the Family Court – but only after the decision to stop contact has been enforced.

Dame Vera Baird, the Victims’ Commissioner for England and Wales, is now calling on the government to scrap the policy, launched at the start of lockdown, after a House of Commons briefing confirmed that it was still in place.

Speaking to HuffPost UK, Dame Baird said: “This exception is much less needed, perhaps not needed at all now, because the Family Court is up and running with phone and Skype hearings said to be commonplace.

“Therefore the need to give one parent unilateral licence to change child parenting arrangements no longer exists. It is time this policy was scrapped.” 

Rosie Duffield MP, who moved the House of Commons to tears in 2019 with a speech where she opened up about her experiences with a violent ex-partner, said the guidelines were “clearly open and liable for abuse”.

“If, for example, a coercive former partner’s shared custody time coincided with a change of rules or tightening of lockdown, they could easily exploit this and refuse to hand the child back or take them home,” she told HuffPost UK. 

Rosie Duffield speaking in the House of Commons about her abuser.

Parents across the UK have been voicing their concerns on Facebook since discovering the rule was still in force. 

Michele Simmons, a researcher who specialises in the adoption process wrote: “I’m living and seeing the consequences of what can happen when a child has been isolated from a parent’s care for extensive periods. They can be poorly for life, and as a mother that makes me very concerned.”

A father, also on Facebook, said: “I suspect there will be legal challenges to it and we may find that in certain circumstances it might be seen as fair, for example where there is a high R rate in an area, or where travel is restricted and the other parent cannot travel within a local lockdown area.”

Laura Baxter, who produced the first UK database looking at contact arrangements during lockdown, said the guidance is “open to misinterpretation and abuse, particularly by separated parents playing a tit-for-tat custody game”.

Charities in the UK offering support to families have noted a significant increase in parents claiming they have been unjustly denied contact during lockdown. 

More than a third of respondents to a survey carried out by Women’s Aid who had child contact arrangements said contact had been used to further abuse, with children not returned as arranged or a mother’s access being restricted.

Lucy Hadley, campaign and policy manager at the charity, said it was trying to raise awareness of the dangers faced by adult and child victims of domestic abuse. “We are concerned about the safety of child contact arrangements for survivors of domestic abuse during the pandemic, and we are also concerned that the current guidance does not address these challenges,” she said.  

Billy McGranaghan, founder of the DadsHouse charity, which offers support and advice for single fathers, said dads were also being blocked from seeing their children during the pandemic.

“We have seen a rise in fathers facing allegations, which are often false, over their conduct. As every accusation made has to be checked by social services or Cafcass [Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service], these investigations take up a lot of time, which means dads are blocked from seeing their children for even longer periods. This policy is clearly dangerous, and will be used as a delay tactic by angry parents,” McGranaghan said. 

Despite the introduction of remote court hearings for contact disputes on March 23, some lawyers say the help available to parents who find contact withheld is limited – and often out of reach. 

Simon Bruce, senior counsel at law firm Farrer & Co, which specialises in family cases and also runs the law clinic at DadsHouse, said victims of abuse were being let down by the justice system.

“The government’s own coronavirus advice suggests that a parent who is not getting to see their children can make an application to the court to get redress or seek out the help of a mediator, but this ignores the reality that many clients don’t have the resources to invest in legal assistance and other forms of dispute resolution. Estranged parents are now left with nowhere to turn,” he said. 

People will now use this as a carte blanche to breach orders.

Anne Neale, who leads Legal Action for Women, an organisation that offers vulnerable mothers legal assistance, agrees with Dame Baird that the policy is not fit for purpose. “Preventing children having contact with their mothers is devastating for them, as well as their mothers, and this guideline should be scrapped and replaced with one emphasising that Covid must not be an excuse to renege on court agreements by denying contact with children,” she said.

Rosie Duffield back calls to update the policy. “I would support clarification in the guidance to prevent potential exploitation of the pandemic with regard to family separation and child care,” she told HuffPost UK.

This follows a meeting on October 1 in which domestic abuse victims spoke to members of the House of Lords about their experiences in the family courts.

Victims told peers they were often ignored in court, and made to share child contact with abusive ex-partners. After the meeting, the Victims’ Commissioner for London, Claire Waxman, said the treatment of domestic violence victims in the family courts amounted to “state-sanctioned abuse.” 

The government’s Domestic Abuse Bill, which includes creating a statutory definition of domestic abuse and training for professionals to spot controlling and coercive behaviour, awaits its second reading in the House of Lords.

Meanwhile, parents around the country have been left angry and confused. “I thought that contact was to continue unless one family is showing symptoms or has been around a person who has tested positive,” wrote one parent on social media. “People will now use this as a carte blanche to breach orders.”

George Summers 2020-08-29
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The QAnon supporters are expected to show up at official Trump rallies in Nevada and Georgia over the weekend.
George Summers 2020-08-02
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I use it to pack pillows on a paddleboard. But you can also use it to pack guns. In space.
George Summers 2019-11-12
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This morning, users are reporting error messages when they try to stream content, along with other connection issues, crashes, bugs and more on the service’s first day out of the gate.

According to web monitoring site DownDetector, the Disney+ problems began around 6:08 AM EST and there have been thousands of problems reported since.

The majority (73%) of the problems being reported have to do with video streaming, while 26% are related to log-in issues.

Unfortunately, calling for help isn’t going to solve the problem here — the service is facing too many connection attempts at the same time, which is a common launch-day problem for streamers.

Thank you Disney+ for giving me a loading screen on my computer for selecting a short.

And cell from just going to the home screen.

George Summers 2019-08-06
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The World Economic Forum projects it will take 208 years to reach gender equality, economic and otherwise, in the US.

In response to that stat, philanthropist Melinda Gates is launching a campaign Tuesday called Equality Can't Wait to raise awareness of the issue.

In a video to promote the campaign, comedians including Sarah Silverman, Ilana Glazer, John Mulaney, Maya Rudolph and Carol Burnett reel off quips about having to wait so long.

"I don't know, 208 years isn't that long.

If you're one of those big fucking turtles that lives forever," Mulaney says.

"And that's why we don't smile more."