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Airline Made US-Territory Bound Passenger Take Pregnancy Test To Curb Birth Tourism

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A Hong Kong airline is getting heat for making a woman who the staff thought looked to be pregnant take a pregnancy test before allowing her to board a plain to a US territory.

Midori Nishida, a 25-year old Japanese citizen said in November, airport staff accompanied her to a public restroom where she was handed a strip to urinate on. Nishida was chosen for additional screening because she had indicated she was not pregnant in a check-in questionnaire, but appeared—to staff at least—to look like a pregnant woman.

The test came back negative and Nishida said she was embarrassed but boarded her flight as planned, then later filed a formal complaint.

At first the airline defended its policy citing the practice was to curb “birth tourism“, stating:

“In response to concerns raised by authorities in Saipan, we took actions on flights to Saipan from February 2019 to help ensure U.S. immigration laws were not being undermined.”

Saipan is part of the Northern Mariana Islands and in 2018, more babies were born to tourists than to residents. Because Saipan allows Chinese citizens to travel there without a visa, many women have used that visa-free loophole to  gain U.S. citizenship for their children.

The number of babies born to Chinese tourists has risen from 12 in 2009 to 582.

In 2018, tourists gave birth to 582 babies on the islands, while 492 were born to permanent residents, according to an annual health care report by the Commonwealth for the Northern Mariana Islands.

Now, while America allows pregnant foreigners to fly there, they cannot lie to immigration officials about their pregnancy status and must show they have sufficient funds to pay for the birth of their child and and a return ticket home.

Saipan tried to quell the birth tourism problem in 2017 by lowering time-frame a Chinese citizen can visit from 45 to 14 days.

Airlines, generally, do not allow a woman late in her pregnancy to fly for safety risks in case she goes into labor, and therefore women in their 9th month would not be allowed on a flight.

A pregnant woman who is, say 6 months pregnant, would have to return in 14 days, way before her due date. Problem solved, right?

Only,  a woman who can shield her late pregnancy from airline officials, could lie on her check in form about being pregnant and sneak in to have her US citizenship baby unless airline staff can catch her, hence why Nishida was singled out.

After the uproar from the incident and blow back from the airline’s response, Hong Kong Express suspended the practice of requiring pregnant-looking female passengers to submit to screening.

“We took actions on flights to Saipan from February 2019 to help ensure U.S. immigration laws were not being undermined,” the airline, which was acquired in July by Cathay Pacific, said in the statement. “We have immediately suspended the practice while we review it.”

A  Hong Kong Express Airways rep said in a statement to NBC News, “[w]e would like to apologize unreservedly to anyone who has been affected by this,”

The company also said: “Under our new management, we recognize the significant concerns this practice has caused.”

Nishida claimed in her complaint that the policy was an invasion of privacy and discriminated against women based on their appearance.

“The practice is also unheard of, and I thought it wasn’t the best way to address the issue of birth tourism, which is what they’re concern was,” Nishida told NBC News in an interview.

 

Meet Your New Year Money Goals With Financial Apps {21 To Get You Started}

The new year is a time to begin again — to reflect on what you’ve accomplished, get organized and set new goals. For many of us, that means working on our finances.

According to a Fidelity study, approximately one-third of people planned to make a financial resolution going into the next year. The most popular resolutions included saving more, paying down debt and spending less.

Despite the hope and good intentions a fresh calendar brings, statistics indicate that less than 10 percent of people accomplish their New Year’s resolutions. Financial goals, which often feel overwhelming at the beginning, are especially easy to neglect.

To make your New Year’s resolutions last beyond February, it’s important that you set realistic goals and implement a tracking system to hold yourself accountable.

To start, get a free credit report from one of the three reporting companies Equifax, Transunion and Experian.

You could also try to enroll in a Credit Score and Monitoring, Savings Recommendations and Identity Theft Protection.

You have probably seen a commercial for Credit Sesame which does all of that for free though they make their money off of upgrades to their basic services. So watch out!

A lot of utilities will now negotiate with you for delayed or skipped payments.

Third party companies like Bill Shark can help and 85% success rate negotiating bills for Cable TV, Wireless Phone, Satellite TV, Internet Access, Satellite Radio, and Home Security.

Also, a bunch of gamification apps that make saving a game but with that takes money from your paycheck and deposit it directly into a savings account have popped up. Long Games Savings rewards you with Crypto or Cash.

To help get you started, the folks at WikiBuy compiled a list of the best apps to help you monitor your financial life. From tracking daily expenses to creating better budgets, these apps will help you meet your 2019 financial goals.

MLK Day: Cities With Most Racial Inequity Progress



With Martin Luther King Jr. Day around the corner and 58 percent of Americans saying race relations are “generally bad,” the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2020’s States with the Most Racial Progress as well as accompanying videos.

To measure America’s progress in harmonizing racial groups, WalletHub measured the gaps between blacks and whites across 21 key indicators of equality and integration in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The data set ranges from median annual income to standardized-test scores to voter turnout.

This report examines the differences between only blacks and whites in light of the high-profile police-brutality incidents that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.

Most Racially Integrated States States with the Most Racial Progress
1. New Mexico 1. Wyoming
2. Hawaii 2. Texas
3. Wyoming 3. Mississippi
4. Texas 4. Georgia
5. West Virginia 5. New Jersey
6. Arizona 6. New Mexico
7. Kentucky 7. Florida
8. Montana 8. North Carolina
9. Maryland 9. South Carolina
10. Colorado 10. Idaho



Key Stats

  • The District of Columbia has the lowest gap in homeownership rates between whites and blacks, at 12.82 percent. Connecticut has made the most progress in closing this gap since 1970, with a change of 8.81 percent.
  • Hawaii has the lowest gap in median annual household incomes between whites and blacks, at 10.54 percent. Wyoming has made the most progress in closing this gap since 1979, with a change of 32.18 percent.
  • Vermont has the lowest gap in unemployment rates between whites and blacks, at 0.18 percent. North Dakota has made the most progress in closing this gap since 1970, with a change of 10.01 percent.
  • Hawaii has the lowest gap in poverty rates between whites and blacks, at 1.49 percent. Mississippi has made the most progress in closing this gap since 1970, with a change of 25.45 percent.
  • Vermont has the lowest gap in the share of adults 25 years and over with at least a bachelor’s degree between whites and blacks, at 1.25 percent.  Idaho has made the most progress in closing this gap since 1970, with a change of 4.82 percent.

To view the full report and your state or the District’s rank, please visit:

https://wallethub.com/edu/states-with-the-most-and-least-racial-progress/18428/

Serena Williams Wins First WTA Tourney As a Mom, Ready For Final Test

Serena Williams at Auckland finals 2020

Serena Williams has won her first professional tennis tournament as a mom this weekend when she triumphed at the World Tennis Association‘s Auckland Classic on Sunday.

It was 2017 when she last won a WTA title, the Australian Open against her sister and back then, she was weeks pregnant with her now 2-year old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr with her husband Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

This triumph marks her 73rd WTA championship title and also means she has been mounting tournaments for four decades, after capturing her first title in 1999 at the US Open against Martina Hingis.

Williams announced plans to give back to Australia during her winner’s speech.

“I’ve been playing in Australia for over 20 years and it’s been really hard for me to watch all the news and everything that has been happening in Australia with all the fire and… animals and people that have lost their homes,” she said. “I decided at the beginning of the tournament… I’d donate all my prize money for a great cause.”

With this win, she finally silences the naysayers who believe that pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood signal the end of a sportswomen’s career.

Although she is the most accomplished tennis champ since 1968 when the WTA only permitted professionals to compete, she still faces the final hurdle of earning her 25th Grand Slam title in the so called “Open Era” when amateurs were allowed to compete in Grand Slams. Margaret Court holds the record at 24 and ties with Serena at this point.

Williams can do it and in fact Court won three of her major titles after giving birth to her son in 1972.

Other moms have done it too.

Kim Clijsters won three of her 4 Grand Slams after the birth of her child.

Lindsay Davenport won 3 of her 55 Career titles after giving birth to her son.

And Olympic Gold medalist and seven times Grand slam winner, in 1914, Dorothea Lambert Chambers became the first mother to win a Grand Slam crown.

Mothers can do amazing things! Trust and believe!

 

Elon Musk’s Girlfriend Singer Grimes is Pregnant {Bag Secured}

 

Bag secured!

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and his Canadian musician girlfriend Grimes are expecting their first child together, a baby boy.

The ethereal 31-year old announced the pregnancy news by posting a photo of herself in the nude on her Instagram page, revealing a large baby bump with a photoshop of a fetus over it.

She replied to a fan who commented on the photo with “knocked up”.

The singer, real name Claire Boucher, orignially posted a version of the maternity portrait shot by photographer Eli Russell Linnetz that displayed her nipples which was ripped down by the social media site before she reposted an edited version

Comments from several celebrities, including from the singer Janelle Monae, expressed congratulatory and emotional messages to the singer.

Yesterday, Musk alluded to the baby’s sex by reposting the photo of Grimes with the comment, “X is Y”, and given the XY chromosome is indicia of a boy, most assume that’s what the couple who’ve dated off and on since 2018 are having.

Weekend Stylecast: One Jeans, Three Ways

three fashionable looks

three fashionable looks

This weekend’s style muse is style blogger and instagrammer Kyrzayda Rodriguez who knows how to work a distressed denim jeans. Anyone, of any size who wants to infuse style and flare in their weekend wear can build several looks around cuffed jeans.

My fave of a few of her looks floating around on Pinterest is in the center image.

I plan to get a similar look and I found a reasonably priced brown duster at Macy‘s by Hooked Up by IOT Juniors for  just $23.99! Woot! Get One Before I Do!

Wear underneath a graphic screen tee with a cartoon character. I found a dirt cheap Looney Tunes  tee in a similar fashion one for $15 (GET YOURS)!

Pair that with  a pair of distressed denims. I plan to cop Cover Girl‘s which runs from $13.99 to $34.99 depending on size. (size 1-24PLUS) and pull the entire look together by donning a pair of pumps in a very surprising color like these green satin pumps like these faux patent leather pointy toe pumps with adjustable buckle by J. Renee Mayettafor$89.95.

It’s a totally winning look I’d rock to a concert, meeting for cocktail with my girls or mom friends over the weekend, on a casual dinner date with the hubby, or people watching with my sisters at a pub.

 

 

You can  repurpose and remix the look by topping those same distressed denim jeans with various other tops and adding various accessories like a bright yellow sweater…

…A grey long sleeve screen tee or…

blogger style

 

 

…or a white tee with a blazer



Total Winning looks!

STUDY: Babies born to users are at higher risk for social, emotional problems.

woman rolling joint

woman rolling joint

Researchers in Minnesota and Iowa have found greater risks of social and emotional problems in infants whose mothers consumed marijuana during pregnancy.

Using results of a developmental screening tool for 1-year-olds, the researchers found that 9.1% of babies from marijuana users were at risk, compared to 3.6% of babies whose mothers didn’t consume the drug while pregnant.

Researchers said the size of that gap was surprising, along with screening results showing that 8% of mothers tested positive during pregnancy for the presence of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, said Dr. Elyse Kharbanda, lead researcher of the study from the Health­Partners Institute in Bloomington. Researchers from the universities of Minnesota and Iowa co-authored the study, which was published in the Journal of Perinatology.

“We think it clearly is concerning,” Kharbanda said.

The research was based on toxicology urine tests of 3,435 pregnant women during prenatal checkups, and the performance of their children around 12 months of age on a test known as ASQ:SE.

The screening assesses whether children show age-appropriate levels of communication, compliance and self-regulation.

The results don’t prove cause and effect. It’s possible that women who consume marijuana during pregnancy have other traits that cause their children to perform poorly on developmental screenings.

Women in the study who used marijuana during pregnancy tended to be younger and more likely to receive health insurance through Medicaid, which is reserved for people who are poor or who have disabilities.

When the researchers adjusted the screening results for these other demographic factors, the gap in the children’s performance fell below the threshold for statistical significance. That means it’s possible that the gap was a statistical anomaly.

However, Kharbanda said the gap was wide enough to raise concerns, especially considering reports that some mothers turn to marijuana during pregnancy to soothe nausea.

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The Results are In: The Most Anticipated Celeb Birth of 2019



A recent survey of the most searched celebrity baby revealed that the former Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s son Archie topped the list among the biggest viral moments of 2019.

The first photos of Baby Archie at Sussex Royal that were released to the public via social media garnered close to 3 million likes on Instagram alone.

Add those numbers to the close to 3 million that liked the photos of Archie with his grandparents and other members of the British Royal Family.

Finally, the photo of the infant with Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa during the Duchess and Prince’s trip to Africa, with the clergy man kissing the newborn on his forehead went viral and racked up close to 1.5M likes.

With close to 10M and more in engagment, Baby Archie won the Internet in 2019.

 

This is How Parents Of Sports Kids Plan to Be Better in 2020 {Survey}

A lot of parents have resolved to be better and more supportive sports moms and sports dads this year, according to a survey by team funding app FlipGive.

The poll of 1,000 American parents whose children are actively involved in organized sports looked to uncover parents’ biggest resolutions related to games, practices, schedules, and healthy lifestyle choices.

First off, some states have parents more committed than others. The top 10 states where parents are making resolutions to be better sports moms and dads are:

  1. Alabama — 73%
  2. Arkansas — 71%
  3. California — 69%
  4. Michigan — 67%
  5. Texas — 66%
  6. North Carolina — 65%
  7. New York — 64%
  8. Maryland — 63%
  9. Virginia — 60%
  10. Arizona — 57%

The survey yielded many other interesting insights on sports parents’ New Year’s resolutions as well.

For example, most parents (37%)  want to spend time helping their child practice/train (37%), with the runner up being arrive on time to games and practices (23%). Following these goals: volunteer to help out with team duties like carpool (21%), and bake time into their family’s schedule for meals together (19%).

Here are some additional findings:

  • Nationwide, 54% of parents plan on making New Year’s resolutions related to their child’s sports involvement this year, and of those, roughly 64% believe they will achieve them.
  • Nearly 63% of U.S. families make resolutions together, with 33% of parents saying their resolution will be taking time once a week to get outside and stay active together.
  • Overall, 30% of the respondents are hoping to support their family members by attending other family member’s matches or games.

“Parents can ensure they keep their resolutions for 2020 by setting forth goals that are realistic and measurable, defining clear steps on how to achieve them, and setting up progress checks points to ensure they’re on track,” FlipGive CEO and Co-Founder Mark Bachman said. “For example, if your resolution is to arrive on time to all games and practices, plan ahead so you and your young athlete can get out the door faster, and keep a log of your arrival times to track progress.”

Sounds great! Good Luck Parents!

Pregnant Women Warned to Avoid Travel to Japan



International travelers visiting Japan are advised by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure they are fully protected against the Rubella disease before arriving in Japan.

The CDC issued an updated Level 2 Travel Alert for Japan on January 3, 2020, says ‘there is an ongoing outbreak of rubella, which is a contagious disease caused by a virus.

As of December 18, 2019, Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases reported 2,288 rubella cases, Japan’s capital city of Tokyo reporting the most rubella cases, 854 during 2019.

For the majority of people, rubella, also known as German measles, is a mild infection, causing little more than a mild fever and a rash.

However, rubella is a very dangerous disease for pregnant women and developing babies.

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