• The problem with ‘vegan leather’ – is it really more sustainable?
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    The Independent

    The problem with ‘vegan leather’ – is it really more sustainable?

    The fashion industry is not one to jump on trends. It prefers to start them.But that’s not the case when it comes to vegan leather, a material that owes its zeitgeist stamp to the increasing popularity of plant-based diets and sustainable living.Because as more people reduce the amount of animal products on their plates, they’re beginning to take a similar approach to their wardrobes, prompting greater demand for “vegan” garments such as leather. And the brands that are taking note have flourished as a result.Earlier this week, shoe brand Dr Martens announced its profits had surged by 70 per cent in the year to the end of March thanks to the success of its vegan range of boots.The British label follows in the cruelty-free footsteps of Topshop and Adidas, both of whom have added vegan shoes to its collections in the last year. Meanwhile, labels that have always championed vegan leather, such as Veja, continue to be prosper among the street style set.Ethically, it makes sense to choose faux leather over the real thing, with animal rights campaigners pointing to the treatment of cattle that are farmed for beef and milk, of which leather is a byproduct. It's environmentally dubious too, given that no animal is reared purely for its leather and therefore producing it leads to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation just like beef and milk production. And that's before you’ve considered the consequences of tanning leather. While methods have improved, there are still some tanneries around the world, such as in Bangladesh, that use noxious chemicals such as chromium to tan their leather, which are filled in giant vats and often dumped into rivers once the process is complete.But vegan leather is also problematic, least of all because the term itself is an oxymoron. “There is no such thing as vegan leather,” says Dr Kerry Senior, director at the UK’s leather trade federation, Leather UK. “The term leather is defined by British, European and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards and refers only to the skins or hides of animals, tanned to be imputrescible,” Senior tells The Independent, describing the phrase as an “abuse of the term leather” that continues to be a bugbear for those working in the leather trade.Amy Powney, creative director of sustainable luxury label Mother of Pearl, explains that most leather alternatives are made using synthetic materials, hence why she prefers to use real leather instead. “If you are buying faux leather then you need to consider you are buying plastic,” she tells The Independent, adding how she prefers to use “best practice leather” that is long-lasting and has been made using natural tanning agents.In October, Patrick Grant, creative director of Saville Row tailors Norton & Sons made a similar remark when he criticised eco-conscious brands such as Stella McCartney for "encouraging us to use plastic instead of leather".> There is no such thing as vegan leatherDr Kerry Senior, Leather UKPlastic polymers polyurethane (PU) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are the most commonly used to produce faux leather fabrics thanks to their supple, vinyl and sometimes wrinkled texture. But both pose serious environmental threats given that they are usually manufactured from fossil fuels and are not biodegradable. Equally, these garments tend to have a short lifespan, meaning consumers may dispose of their faux leather items faster than a long-lasting hand-me-down, resulting in them being sent to landfill.Stella McCartney has admitted to using polyurethane and polyester as an alternative to leather in its products, which it says on its website are “not without concern”. But by using recycled polyester and producing garments that are not machine washable (meaning it avoids the issue of microfibre shedding), the brand claims to have a lower environmental impact than labels who choose to use real leather, citing a calculation from its Environmental Profit and Loss account. > View this post on Instagram> > Super-skinny Alter-Nappa boots with platform crepe soles, captured behind-the-scenes of the Winter 2019 Runway Show in Paris. ⁣ ⁣ Dedicated to the ones we love in the past, present and future. ⁣ ⁣ ThereSheGrows> > A post shared by Stella McCartney (@stellamccartney) on Mar 5, 2019 at 9:01am PSTThat said, like many others, the luxury British label is looking into new ways of producing faux leather fabrics that aren’t quite so environmentally questionable. These include lab-grown leather, which is being spearheaded by biofabrication companies such as Modern Meadow. Elsewhere, there’s Piñatex, a leather alternative made from the cellulose fibre of pineapple leaves that was recently used by H&M in its latest Conscious Collection.But there is development happening in the real leather trade as well.> Leather ticks all the boxes for a sustainable materialRachel Garwood, University of NorthamptonRachel Garwood, director at the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies at the University of Northampton, tells The Independent genuine leather is nowadays far more environmentally friendly than faux alternatives.“It ticks all the boxes for a sustainable material. The problem leather has is that it retains the stigma of historical production methods,” she says, pointing to contemporary methods used by modern tanneries – such as vegetable tanning – that are far less harmful than previous chemical-based processes involved in leather production.“Chemical companies and tanners are working closely with brands to offer reassurance of the clean technology and ethics in leather manufacturing,” Garwood adds, noting that various initiatives such as the Leather Working Group (LWG) rate tanneries on their environmental and ethical practices that help retailers and brands to better identify good practice in their supply chain.> View this post on Instagram> > Looking to complete your Nisolo collection? Our Summer Warehouse Sale begins tomorrow in Nashville. Follow @nisoloshowroom for live updates and consider a road trip to save on exclusive styles this weekend only. 📸: @stylethislife> > A post shared by Nisolo (@nisoloshoes) on Aug 9, 2019 at 10:40am PDTMatt Stockamp, impact associate at US-based footwear brand Nisolo, is constantly trying to improve his supply chain to ensure the leather he uses is ethically sourced and durable. “We know that a lot of our leather comes from farms in the US and northern Mexico,” he tells The Independent. “The majority of our tanneries are also certified by the LWG for their social and environmental practices, which includes a regular, thorough inspection of their water treatment facilities. Diving further into this is an ongoing priority of ours for 2019.” Nisolo’s leather products are designed to last for many years, Stockamp adds. “We’ll need to conduct thorough testing to make sure that any vegan materials also meet our brand’s standards for quality and longevity.”If you want to invest in a real, long-lasting leather garment but you’re not sure about the company’s supply chain, Leigh Mcalea, head of communications at anti-waste organisation Traid tells The Independent the best way forward it to forget about buying something new altogether. Instead, she advises championing circularity by making the most of the ample secondhand options available at charity and vintage shops: “Choosing secondhand displaces the loss of life to animals, environmental destruction and worker exploitation.”

  • Mothercare recalls baby sleeping bags amid fears infants will overheat
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    The Independent

    Mothercare recalls baby sleeping bags amid fears infants will overheat

    Mothercare is recalling baby sleeping bags labelled with the incorrect tog rating amid fears they may cause infants to overheat.The retailer issued the recall because a care labelling error stated he bags have a tog rating of 1, instead of 2.5.Togs are a measurement to determine how warm bedding and clothes are. The scale ranges from 1 tog (the coolest) to 15 tog (the warmest).The recalled product in question is the company's 2.5 tog grey star sleep bag which was sold separately and in a pack of two in Mothercare stores and online from May 2019.The products are labelled with the style numbers RA184 0-6 months and RA185 6-18 month.The sleeping bag is a white colour printed with grey stars and a grey trim. In a set, it is paired with a plain grey sleeping bag.In a warning published on the brand’s website, the recall states that the tog rating of the bags can be found on the care label under the words BS8510:2009.Mothercare warns customers who purchased the bags to check the care label. If the label states 2.5 tog, the retailer says that the product is “not affected”.However, if the care label states 1 tog, customers are advised to stop using the product “with immediate effect”.Shoppers are instructed to return the product to a Mothercare store for a full refund.A spokesperson from Mothercare tells The Independent: “The safety and well-being of our customers and their children is Mothercare's top priority, as a precautionary measure we have recalled a small number of sleeping bags with the incorrect labels.They continued, adding that the recall was a precaution against customers unknowingly using the incorrect tog of sleeping bag for their children.“We have engaged with Trading Standards to ensure we are taking the right action for our customers. We have taken this action to ensure that customers are fully informed to make the appropriate decisions regarding the tog rating of sleeping bags for their children,” they added.Customers with any queries are advised to contact Mothercare's customer services on 0344 875 5111.The two pack of '1 tog' sleeping bags for infants up to six months have been reduced in price from £32 to £16, while those sold for babies aged six to 18 months are now on sale for £18, as opposed to £36.According to the NHS, overheating can increase a baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).The organisation states that a folded blanket counts as two blankets on an infant and that lightweight, well-fitting baby sleeping bags are a good choice.“Babies lose excess heat through their heads, so make sure their heads can't be covered by bedclothes while they're asleep,” it adds.Earlier this year, Cow & Gate recalled jars of baby food over fears they may contain pieces of rubber.The baby food company said fragments of a thin blue rubber glove had been found in some jars of its Cheesy Broccoli Bake, made for babies over the age of 10 months.The recalled batch of baby food affected had the code 28122020 and a best before date of 28/12/2020.The jars were sold in a number of major supermarkets, including Asda, Boots, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, and Tesco.

  • Three gardens to visit this weekend
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    The Telegraph

    Three gardens to visit this weekend

    Characterful gabled Radcot House (not open) dates from the mid-17th century and the three-acre garden that surrounds it skilfully matches the venerable architecture as well as offering contemporary vibrancy. Tall yew and beech hedges and a long formal pool evoke the house’s origins, but the planting is fresh and modern with grasses and late-flowering perennials grouped in bold blocks for emphasis.

  • What is Lyme disease, what are the symptoms and how can it be treated?
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    The Independent

    What is Lyme disease, what are the symptoms and how can it be treated?

    Lyme disease is a bacterial infection which can lead to severe physical and mental problems if not diagnosed at an early stage.Individuals who spend the majority of their time outdoors are most at risk of being exposed to the ticks which spread the disease, the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) states.While certain regions have a higher reported incidence of Lyme disease, such as south-east England, south-west England and Scotland, NICE outlines that the disease can be caught in any area of the UK.So, what is Lyme disease and how is it transmitted?Here's everything you need to know: What is Lyme disease?Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.It is typically spread to humans via infected ticks, which will have already bitten an infected animal such as deer, mouse, vole or hedgehog. Other insects also carry the disease. Ticks with Lyme disease can be found across the UK, but are most prevalent in grassy, wooded areas.They are most active between March and October.The disease was first reported in the US in 1977 in Old Lyme, Connecticut, hence how it acquired its name. What are the symptoms?Symptoms can differ from person to person, but many people with Lyme disease will develop a circular red "bullseye" rash around the tick bite within four weeks of being bitten.However, not all those infected will develop a rash, the NHS states, with some people experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, joint pain and a high temperature.According to new draft guidance published by NICE in February, doctors are advised not to wait for a potential Lyme disease patient's blood test results if they have a "bullseye" rash."If a characteristic bull's eye rash is present, healthcare professionals should feel confident in diagnosing Lyme disease," said Professor Gillian Leng, director of health and social care at Nice.While most tick bites are harmless, you are advised to seek help from your GP if you’ve recently been bitten by a tick and subsequently experience the aforementioned symptoms.Research has also linked Lyme disease to a series of neuropsychological conditions, such as depression and anxiety. How is it treated?Lyme disease, when recognised, is usually treated with a course of antibiotics prescribed by a GP.Those experiencing severe symptoms - such as extreme fatigue, chronic pain and/or depression - may be referred to a specialist for stronger antibiotics.The majority of those infected will make a full recovery within a few months.However, infection does not lead to lifelong immunity and it is possible for sufferers to be re-infected and develop the disease again. How can you prevent it?The NHS advises covering your skin when walking in wooded and grassy areas, suggesting tucking your trousers into your socks.Insect repellant can also be helpful in detracting ticks, while wearing light-coloured clothing can make them easier to spot and brush off. What to do if you’re bitten by a tickIf you are bitten by a tick, you may not necessarily notice it as they aren’t always painful.If you spot one on your skin, you should use either tweezers or a specialist tick-removal tool to pull it upwards and out of your skin, the NHS recommends.Dispose of the tick safely, ensuring you do not squeeze it, and clean the bitten area with antiseptic. How common is it?According to Public Health England, around 1,000 cases of Lyme disease are serologically diagnosed in England and Wales every year.Incidents of Lyme disease may also be confirmed without any need for testing in a laboratory.NICE adds that the "true number of cases is currently unknown".The NHS states that symptoms of Lyme disease can develop in anyone, anywhere. However, researchers from the University of Liverpool recently found that older women living in more affluent rural areas in the UK are among the most at risk of contracting the condition.The study, published in the journal BMC Public Health, analysed the data of more than 2,000 hospital patients across England and Wales and found that people aged between 61 and 65, as well as children aged six to 10, were more likely to be diagnosed with the tick-borne condition.John Tulloch, an author of the study and researcher at the University of Liverpool, said that while the data shows a predominance of cases among white women over the age of 60, the reasons for this are “hard to explain”.Tulloch added that the findings could be related to differences in health-seeking behaviour between women and men and an increased exposure to tick habitats due to leisure activities in children and older people.The findings also showed that the local UK authorities with the highest number of cases were Purbeck, with 3.13 cases per 100,000 people per year, New Forest (2.58 cases) and East Dorset (2.32 cases).

  • Quentin Tarantino: the most iconic looks from his films
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    Evening Standard

    Quentin Tarantino: the most iconic looks from his films

    Decadent violence, razor-sharp satire and a collective soundtrack that could exist as your sole collection of music; yep, it’s a Tarantino film.The cult film powerhouse is adding another to the list of posters needed on every teen’s bedroom wall, and new release Once Upon a Time in Hollywood stays true to the classic Tarantino tenets we all know and love – including an impeccable sense of style.From the colour-blocked suits of Kill Bill to the monochrome ensembles of Pulp Fiction’s most iconic scene, we present to you the top looks from Tarantino’s repertoire. Outfit recreation is advised, naturally. Reservoir DogsLining the interior of a thousand student rooms is this image; the skinny black tie, black suit ensemble from Tarantino’s first film. It’s a look that’s been equated to the male version of the Little Black Dress, and with good reason. Pair it with sunglasses, and you’ve got yourself a day-to-night-to-diamond-heist kind of look. True Romance It’s no secret that cowboy culture is back in full swing for 2019, and Alabama Whitman’s cow-hide skirt with cowboy boots is the stuff of front row dreams. Add in a turquoise bra, subtract a top and you’ve got yourself a full look.Plus, it’s doubly on everyone’s radars thanks to Cassie’s Halloween costuming in Euphoria. Watch out for it come this year’s October 31. Pulp Fiction‘Tarantino who?’ they ask, blank faced. ‘You know, the John-Travolta-Uma-Thurman dance scene. With the legs,’ you say. Ah yes – it’s the scene everybody (and their dog) has seen. The crisp white tailoring and black kick flares, paired with a bob so blunt you could use it a ruler, make for a look that thoroughly deserves its iconic status. Natural Born KillersI didn’t know I needed to see Woody Harrelson in a red string vest until I saw this film. Now, it’s the only image I would permit to sit in prime position on my mantelpiece, and with good reason. It’s Woody Harrelson in a string vest and leather jacket! Jackie BrownIt’s an outfit that wouldn’t look out of place in Clueless, yet Jackie Brown definitely would be. Wearing a Kangol beret, oversized hoops and munching on Chinese, she is, as they say, ‘goals’. That, and the fact she tricks a group of gangsters and steals half a million dollars. Nice. Kill Bill: Vol 1Taking inspiration from Bruce Lee in Game of Death, Uma Thurman as The Bride is dressed in an all-yellow suit, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.Thanks to this film, it’s now the only outfit a trained assassin should ever be seen in – it’s easier to see them coming. Inglourious BasterdsIt’s the revenge outfit to end all revenge outfits. To carry out a mission this bold, you need to look the part. And for Shosanna’s final plan of the film, she dresses for the job; in blood red, with a funereal veiled hat to match. Blood and funereal being the operative words, in case you didn’t notice. Django Unchained A look that seems as if it’s straight from an oil painting – and it is. For Jamie Foxx’s Django look, costume designer Sharen Davis took inspiration from Thomas Gainsborough’s 1770 work, Blue Boy. Very camp, very ostentatious and very appropriate.

  • Invisible Men: Largest ever menswear exhibition in UK is coming to London
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    The Independent

    Invisible Men: Largest ever menswear exhibition in UK is coming to London

    The Westminster Menswear Archive has announced that it is opening the most extensive exhibition devoted to menswear in the UK this autumn.Titled Invisible Men, the four-week long show will cover the last 120 years of predominately British menswear through the display of over 170 garments, the majority of which have never been seen on public display. The exhibition will include pieces designed by some of the fashion industry’s biggest names including Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Craig Green, Liam Hodges and A Cold Wall*.Arranged into twelve sections, the show – which takes place between 21 October and 24 November – aims to explore the design language of menswear, which, the Westminster Menswear Archive says, mostly centres on functional garments for industrial, technical, or military use.Invisible Men will also look at how designers disrupt convention and how menswear has developed an almost fetishistic appreciation of “the working man in all his heroic iterations”, referencing the clothing of seafarers, soldiers, athletes, firefighters, road workers, and explorers. Professor Andrew Groves, the curator of Invisible Men, said he hopes the exhibition will help to tell the “untold story of menswear”, which he feels has been marginalised and excluded from the history of dress.“Both in museums of the decorative arts or dedicated fashion museums, menswear is significantly underrepresented,” Groves said.“I started the Westminster Menswear Archive in 2016 through frustration that students and designers in industry were unable to see historically important examples of menswear, which is not the case with womenswear which is readily available in exhibitions and galleries. > View this post on Instagram> > England Football Team Tracksuit Top 1990 Umbro navy zip-up long sleeved tracksuit top made by Replikit to replicate the England football team's 1990 kit. It features contrasting geometric ivory and red striped panelling all over the front body, including the letters 'FA' in reference to the Football Association. It has a navy zip closure with a silver square Umbro zip pull. There is a British coat of arms made up of the three lions shield design sewn onto the left chest. The collar is finished with a cotton blue and white stripe panel that runs around the top, ending in a white and red three lions motif embroidered onto the centre back of the collar. The back forms a diamond shape in ivory with a large Umbro logo in navy. It has ribbed cuffs and waistband. It comes with hexagonal cardboard Umbro Replikit swing tag attached with plastic Kimble to the zip (in object file). Country of Design: England Country of Manufacture: Thailand umbro umbrofootball england tracksuit englandfootball trackies sportswear universityofwestminster westminstermensweararchive football> > A post shared by Westminster Menswear Archive (@menswear_archive) on Mar 13, 2019 at 12:32am PDT“We are beginning now to tell the untold story of menswear, and I’m incredibly excited that this exhibition will allow the public to see highlights from the collection, most of which have never been on public display before.”Groves and Dr Danielle Sprecher, co-curator of the exhibition, state that highlights of Invisible Men include a section devoted to examples of Alexander McQueen’s early menswear designs covering the years from 1997 to 1999 and examples from contemporary British menswear designers including Craig Green, Burberry, and Palace.> View this post on Instagram> > C.P. Company Urban Protection Metropolis Jacket 2000 Black Dynafil jacket with multiple double opening wind protection pockets, large hood with a removable anti-smog face mask that was adjustable through openings in the hood. Detachable velcro fastening 'C.P. Company' brand patch. Made from Dynalfil TS-70 bonded to a nylon base. Designed by Moreno Ferrari the 'Metropolis' jacket, which the first piece in the C.P. Company Urban Protection line. Country of Design: Italy Country of Manufacture: Italy cpcompany urbanprotection up casualstyle menswear mensweararchive Dynalfil casuals wearables wearabletech casualoutfit> > A post shared by Westminster Menswear Archive (@menswear_archive) on Mar 9, 2019 at 3:54am PSTInvisible Men will run at the University of Westminster. Opening hours are Wednesday to Sunday 11am-7pm and admission is free.

  • Our favourite Scandinavian labels to note this Copenhagen Fashion Week
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    The Independent

    Our favourite Scandinavian labels to note this Copenhagen Fashion Week

    Scandinavian women are renowned across the globe for their minimalistic, comfortable and devastatingly cool clothes. So it’s no surprise that some of the hottest brands among the street style and influencer set hail from cities such as Copenhagen and Stockholm.Labels like Ganni and By Malene Birger have acquired a cult following in recent years, with the former loved for its kitschy tea dresses and retro smocks, the latter for its sharp tailoring and timeless prints.But there are some notable new faces emerging on the Scandi fashion scene – and they're pushing sartorial boundaries like never before.Leading the way is Saks Potts, the playful label whose statement fur-collared coats are loved by everyone from Cardi B to Lady Gaga.Elsewhere there’s Stine Goya, whose wallpaper prints and girlish drawstring bags have been lauded among fashion editors.As Copenhagen Fashion Week gets underway and the aforementioned brands showcase their latest collections, get ahead of the game with our roundup of the best Scandinavian fashion labels to note now. Saks Potts> View this post on Instagram> > COLLECTION 11 - PARIS PRESENTATION> > A post shared by Saks Potts (@sakspotts) on Mar 5, 2019 at 2:30pm PSTNorth West is a fan of this brash and vintage-inspired label – yes, the six-year-old daughter of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. The child was seen wearing one of the brand’s staple sequin co-ords to her birthday party last year. But Saks Potts makes clothes for grownups too. Excellent ones. Designers Cathrine Saks and Barbara Potts – see what they did there? – have created bespoke gowns for Emily Ratajkowski, crafted fur coats for Katy Perry and are responsible for designing the must-have tights of London Fashion Week last season: a monochrome pair emblazoned with the “SP” logo. The clothes don’t come cheap, with dresses and tops averaging at £220, but they pack a punch in terms of design and quality, making them worth every penny. Stine Goya> View this post on Instagram> > The AW19 goyamelody collection is now available online & instore 🖌 Shop drop one via link in bio stinegoya AW19 📸@hedvig_jenning Styling; @naomi_itkes Makeup; @trineskjoeth Hair; @mettethorsgaard Model; @ireneguarenas Set Design; @studio0405> > A post shared by STINE GOYA (@stinegoyastudio) on Jul 22, 2019 at 2:00am PDTThis Copenhagen-based label brings art and fashion together with infallible fusion. Every shirt, jumpsuit and dress is intricately designed, with grandiose patterns splashed across garments in unexpected palettes. There are the floral shirt dresses that look as if they’ve been plucked from a 1950s film about domestic goddesses and elsewhere are the stellar suits – this gingham one made from organic hemp is a particular showstopper. Prices range from £100 to £3,000. Ganni> View this post on Instagram> > 🏝 @emmafridsell wears our neon seersucker dress gannigirls ganni> > A post shared by GANNI (@ganni) on Jul 28, 2019 at 2:40am PDTGanni has been the definitive poster child for Scandinavian fashion for some time now. And for good reason. You'll have seen its famous slogan tees doing the rounds on the front row and will immediately crave its latest cult item: a neon check smock hailed by British Vogue as “the dress of the summer”. But don’t neglect Ganni’s other, less hashtagged, offerings. Its footwear, for example, is particularly noteworthy, with chunky flatforms that transport you back to Camden Market in its heyday and neon normcore trainers that wouldn’t look out of place in your dad’s wardrobe from the 1980s. Cecilie Copenhagn> View this post on Instagram> > Enjoying the waterside in Shirt O, Long Sleeves, Deep Blue 💦⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📸 @carolinehgroth ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ceciliecopenhagen handloompiece nowonline ootd outfitoftheday repost> > A post shared by CECILIE COPENHAGEN (@ceciliecopenhagen) on May 23, 2019 at 11:44am PDTGirl on the prairie meets sun-seeking nomad in this Danish label. Cecilie Copenhagen knows how good its prints are, because it produces several items in each of them, allowing its avid fanbase – which includes Rihanna – to snap up numerous garments in their favourite styles. There’s the sorbet pink polka dot pattern that you can find in a ruffled skirt or a baby doll dress, or for those looking to channel some Riviera style, you can don one of the yolk yellow sunray co-ords, which also come in monochrome. By Malene Birger> View this post on Instagram> > This collection eliminates the dilemma of “nothing to wear.” If you’ve got these pieces, you’ve got it all!> > A post shared by By Malene Birger (@bymalenebirger) on May 22, 2019 at 3:00am PDTThe influencer set loves this one. By Malene Birger was founded in 2003 but has gone from strength to strength in recent years as demand for the Scandi aesthetic has grown. The label's polished and pared-back collections have been praised for flattering the female form. The is a brand that trades in subtlety and reinvigorates otherwise humdrum workwear with slick cuts and jacquard prints. The accessories are lust-worthy too, with teams of on-trend sporty sneakers and clean leather tote bags.

  • Taylor Swift says rights are being stripped from 'everyone who isn't a straight white cisgender male'
    Style
    The Independent

    Taylor Swift says rights are being stripped from 'everyone who isn't a straight white cisgender male'

    Taylor Swift has opened up to American Vogue about being more outspoken about LGBT+ issues, saying that rights are being stripped from "basically everyone who isn't a straight white cisgender male".Earlier this year, Swift made a sizeable donation to an LGBT+ advocacy group in Tennessee, writing in an open letter that she is "inspired by the work" the organisation does to support LGBT+ rights.The singer's increased public support for the LGBT+ community has been noticed in recent years. In 2018, she marked the beginning of Pride Month by delivering a heartfelt speech at a concert where she expressed her hope that the world will become a place "where everyone can live and love equally".In the September issue of American Vogue, Swift explained that she realised she hadn't been "publicly clear" with regards to her support of the LGBT+ community in previous years, an understanding which she described as "devastating"."Rights are being stripped from basically everyone who isn't a straight white cisgender male," the 29-year-old said."I didn't realise until recently that I could advocate for a community that I'm not a part of."It's hard to know how to do that without being so fearful of making a mistake that you just freeze. Because my mistakes are very loud."Swift continued, explaining that when she makes an error, "it echoes through the canyons of the world", which is why she had felt the need to be cautious.During her interview with American Vogue, the Lover singer was also questioned about whether she was aware of sexism within the music industry throughout the early stages of her career.Swift admitted that when she was a teenager – having first signed with music publishing company Sony/ATV at 14 years old – she did not see or comprehend sexism in her profession."Then I realised that was because I was a kid," the musician said."The second I became a woman, in people's perception, was when I started seeing it."In 2017, Swift won a sexual assault case against radio DJ David Mueller.The "ME!" singer claimed the DJ groped her backside during a meet-and-greet in 2013.After being fired from his job following the claim, Mueller sued the star for $3m (£2.48m).Swift filed a countersuit seeking a symbolic one dollar in damages, which she was awarded.The coin Mueller gave Swift, she tells American Vogue, featured Native American woman Sacagawea, who famously helped the Lewis and Clark Expedition during the early 19th century.The musician speculated whether the DJ's choice of coin was meant to imply that Swift is "self-righteous and hell-bent on angry, vengeful feminism"."Hey, maybe he was trying to do it in honour of a powerful Native American woman. I didn't ask," Swift added.American Vogue's September 2019 issue is available on newsstands in New York and LA from 13 August, and across the US from 20 August.

  • YouTuber accused of animal cruelty over prank video says ‘I am not a dog abuser’
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    The Independent

    YouTuber accused of animal cruelty over prank video says ‘I am not a dog abuser’

    A YouTuber has addressed a widespread backlash after she uploaded unedited footage of her hitting, pushing, and yelling at her doberman. Brooke Houts, who regularly features her dog Sphinx in her videos, appeared to accidentally posted uncut footage. The video was originally meant to be a prank of her dog running into plastic wrap, but the 20-year-old instead posted a series of shocking clips which captured the attention of both fellow YouTubers and Peta.In a statement shared to Twitter, Brooke Houts attempted to explain and defend her actions.Houts began the statement by apologising to anyone who has been “affected negatively” by the footage, before informing her followers that her “outside life has been less than exceptional” recently, but that she is “not going to play the victim card”.> here’s the full leaked video:https://t.co/q18JypkJhF > > people making excuses for this like “haha as if you’ve never lost your temper!” are concerning. you dont punch, grab, slap, slam to the ground and SPIT on your pet out of frustration. what would spitting on a dog do???> > — shoe (@shoe0nhead) > > August 7, 2019> DOGS DESERVE RESPECT. IF YOU CAN'T TREAT DOGS WITH KINDNESS AND INSTEAD HIT THEM, DON'T GET ONE. > > ATTN @YouTube: Please remove Brooke Houts from your platform.https://t.co/CASgyiXlE2> > — PETA (@peta) > > August 7, 2019> i try my best to avoid slamming people on twitter because i know what it’s like to be on the receiving end (and rightfully so), but this video of that girl hitting & spitting on her dog is remarkably grotesque, and irks me for many reasons:> > — Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) > > August 7, 2019> 2.) discipline your animals should they misbehave. i get it. but despite the hitting, the spitting is a totally unwarranted, inappropriate, and vile display of energy that makes this woman completely unfit to own that dog> > — Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) > > August 7, 2019“That being said, this does NOT justify me yelling at my dog in the way that I did, and I’m fully aware of that. Should I have gotten as angry as I did in the video? No. Should I have raised my voice and yelled at him? No. However, when my 75 lb. Doberman is jumping up in my face with his mouth open, I do, as a dog parent, have to show him that this behaviour is unacceptable. But I want to make it known, REGARDLESS of what my dog does, I should not have acted that way towards him,” Houts wrote. > To everyone who has been commenting on my social media as of recently: pic.twitter.com/gnxUbfVHdf> > — b (@brookehouts) > > August 7, 2019She also defended herself against accusations that she is an animal abuser, stating that if her dog was “audibly and physically in pain” from her actions, it “would be a different story”.“I am getting my dog into training, and I’m looking at ways to improve how I personally train him at home. I am sorry you guys had to watch that footage and were upset by it, and I’m sorry to my dog for raising my voice and acting aggressively,” she adds. The lengthy statement also includes Houts’ explanation for briefly deactivating her Twitter account. Despite the apology, she has continued to face criticism for her behaviour, which is currently being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Animal Cruelty unit, TMZ reports.

  • McDonald's has launched spicy chicken nuggets in the UK
    Style
    Jessica Morgan

    McDonald's has launched spicy chicken nuggets in the UK

    They are the same price as normal chicken nuggets too

  • Hillary and Chelsea Clinton collaborate to release book about ‘gutsy women’
    Style
    The Independent

    Hillary and Chelsea Clinton collaborate to release book about ‘gutsy women’

    Hillary and Chelsea Clinton have announced they are to release a co-written book about "gutsy women" later this year.The book, titled The Book of Gutsy Women: Favourite Stories of Courage and Resilience, contains a collection of essays about more than 100 women who the former first lady and first daughter of the United States find inspirational.The mother and daughter duo shared the news of their collaborative project on Twitter, also sharing a video in which the pair discuss their latest venture."The Book of Gutsy Women is filled with essays that are reflections of our feelings about these women, what we think about them," the former Democratic presidential candidate said in the video.Hillary added that she and her daughter hope the book will "spark a conversation" about the women their readers admire."It's a continuation of a conversation we've been having my whole life about the women who motivate us and challenge us," Chelsea said."We always need this book, because we think it's always a good time to be celebrating and learning from and being inspired by gutsy women."Hillary explained that the co-authors originally wrote more than 200 essays for the book, which they had to cut down by half."That was probably the worst moment of our writing experience," the 71-year-old said, adding that the experience of writing The Book of Gutsy Women with her daughter was "exciting" and "frustrating".The compilation of essays will be available to purchase from Tuesday 1 October on Amazon.It is available to pre-order for £8.99 on Kindle and for £20 for a hardcover edition.Last month, Chelsea announced the birth of her third child with her husband, Marc Mezvinsky."This morning we welcomed our son, Jasper Clinton Mezvinsky," the 39-year-old tweeted."We are overflowing with love and gratitude and can't wait to introduce him to his big sister and brother."The couple's daughter Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky was born in September 2014, while their elder son Aidan Clinton Mezvinsky was born in June 2016.

  • Gwyneth Paltrow responds to fan who asks if she ‘actually’ cooks: ‘Yes I f***ing cook!’
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    The Independent

    Gwyneth Paltrow responds to fan who asks if she ‘actually’ cooks: ‘Yes I f***ing cook!’

    Gwyneth Paltrow has revealed that, as the author of four cookbooks, she does indeed cook.It might sound like an obvious revelation, but it’s one that a fan recently questioned during an Instagram Live Q and A at the weekend with the Goop founder, much to Paltrow’s irritation.The Avengers: Endgame actor was asked by one viewer: “Do you actually cook?”Paltrow, whose most recent cookbook, The Clean Plate: Eat, Reset, Heal, was published in January, replied: "Do I actually cook?“Yes, I f***ing cook. God dammit, you think I would pretend to write cookbooks if I didn’t cook?”Paltrow later thanked her more loyal followers for sending messages of support after the fan expressed doubts over her cooking abilities, adding: “F*** that person”.But Paltrow will soon presumably start to share the cooking responsibilities in her home, as the 47-year-old is moving in with her husband of one year, Brad Falchuk in a few weeks.“Married life has been really good,” Paltrow told InStyle of her relationship with the Glee co-creator. “We took a year to let everybody [in the family] take it in and let the dust settle. And now we’re moving in together this month.” Paltrow went on to say that she “adores” her husband, describing him as “brilliant and deeply kind”. “I feel like he’s a real equal too,” the entrepreneur added. “And he pushes me in the best ways. I really like being married. It’s fun.”The actor’s comments come just two months after she explained why her and Falchuk didn’t yet live together.> View this post on Instagram> > A post shared by Gwyneth Paltrow (@gwynethpaltrow) on Jun 2, 2019 at 5:15pm PDTSpeaking to The Sunday Times’ Style in June, Paltrow said the setup worked perfectly for the couple and was even a source of envy among her friends.“Oh, all my married friends say that the way we live sounds ideal and we shouldn’t change a thing,” she said.

  • Replacing red meat with chicken could reduce chances of getting breast cancer, study finds
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    The Independent

    Replacing red meat with chicken could reduce chances of getting breast cancer, study finds

    Swapping red meat for poultry could drastically reduce a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer, a new major study finds.Researchers from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in the US have found that while eating more red meat is associated with a greater risk of developing invasive breast cancer, eating more poultry such as chicken, turkey and duck is linked to a decreased risk of the disease.“Red meat has been identified as a probable carcinogen,” said Dr Dale Sandler, who led the study published in the International Journal of Cancer.“Our study adds further evidence that red meat consumption may be associated with increased risk of breast cancer whereas poultry was associated with decreased risk.”For the research, scientists looked at the meat consumption and meat cooking practices of 42,012 women over the course of seven years.In a follow-up study, 1,536 cases of invasive breast cancer were diagnosed. Participants who consumed the highest amount of red meat were found to have a 23 per cent greater risk of breast cancer than those who consumed the lowest amount.Meanwhile, women who ate the highest amount of poultry in their diet had a 15 per cent lower risk of the disease than those with the lowest consumption.The findings remained unaffected even when factors such as physical activity, obesity and alcohol consumption were taken into account.No links were established between the way the meat was cooked and breast cancer risks.Dr Sadler explained that while the mechanism through which poultry consumption decreases breast cancer risk is not clear, the study “does provide evidence that substituting poultry for red meat may be a simple change that can help reduce the incidence of breast cancer”.This is not the first time the consumption of red meat has been linked to an increased risk of cancer.In 2014, a study by Harvard School of Public Health found a link between a higher red meat intake during early adulthood and an increased risk of developing breast cancer.“Higher red meat intake in early adulthood may be a risk factor for breast cancer”, the authors said.“And replacing red meat with a combination of legumes, poultry, nuts and fish may reduce the risk of breast cancer.”Similarly, a 2019 study by the University of Oxford suggested that eating processed meats, such as sausages, bacon and ham, on just four days a week increases the risk bowel cancer by around 20 per cent, despite being well within government dietary guidelines.Guidelines from the Department of Health recommend anyone eating more than 90g of red or processed meat a day on average should aim to reduce it below 70g – roughly the UK average.

  • Jessica Alba says she gives ‘zero f**ks’ what people think about her body
    Style
    The Independent

    Jessica Alba says she gives ‘zero f**ks’ what people think about her body

    Jessica Alba has spoken out about how she used to feel "insecure" about her body, saying that now she gives "zero f**ks" what other people think of her.In an essay published in InStyle on Tuesday, the actor recalled how she starred on her first cover for the magazine in 2007, at the age of 26.During that period of her life, Alba explained that she was "still trying to figure out how to be in the public eye and have ownership" over her identity."Looking back, when I shot my first InStyle cover, I was insecure. I felt like I needed to be someone I wasn't in order to be accepted," the 38-year-old said."I allowed other people's ideas of who they thought I should be define me. Who am I now? I give zero f**ks. I have three children. They've exploded my body, and I'm cool with it."In 2013, Alba shot her second cover for InStyle magazine, having at that point married film producer Cash Warren and given birth to their two elder daughters, Honor and Haven."For the first time in my life I was really embracing my womanhood," the L.A.'s Finest star said."I was in my early 30s, and it had taken up until then for me to feel confident in my body."Alba added that at that point, she stopped allowing herself to feel objectified in the media "through a male's perspective"."I can flaunt what I want, cover what I want, and still feel good," the actor stated.In July 2018, Alba shot her third cover for the publication, seven months after giving birth to her son, Hayes.The Sin City star said that had she taken part in the photo shoot during an earlier stage of her life, then she would have been "obsessed with dieting and exercising"."But instead I thought, 'This is where I'm at. This is my life. And this is my body.'"In 2012, Alba founded The Honest Company, a "wellness" company which manufactures natural beauty and baby products.The actor stated that it was "very ambitious for an actress who didn't go to college" to launch a company.However, Alba believed she had the qualities needed to perform well as the head of an organisation."Here's the thing about good bosses: they enjoy managing all types of personalities and helping people develop professionally. I knew I had that in me," she said.Last month, Alba opened up about her beauty regrets, admitting that she feels "irritated" by two tattoos she had inked when she was younger.

  • Beyoncé’s historic Vogue portrait to be shown at Smithsonian
    Style
    The Independent

    Beyoncé’s historic Vogue portrait to be shown at Smithsonian

    A historic portrait of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter captured by photographer Tyler Mitchell for American Vogue’s 2018 September issue is to be put on display at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s permanent exhibition.In August last year, the fashion publication unveiled its September issue, featuring images of Beyoncé captured by 24-year-old Mitchell for the cover and within the folds of the magazine.The issue marked the first time that American Vogue had hired a black photographer to shoot the magazine's cover in its 126-year history.On Tuesday, Mitchell revealed on Instagram and Twitter that one of the photographs he took of Beyoncé – which shows The Lion King star wearing a gold sequinned Valentino dress and a gold sunshine-esque Philip Treacy headdress while leaning on a pillar – is to be included in a permanent art exhibition in Washington DC.“A year ago today we broke the flood gates open,” the photographer wrote in the caption.> View this post on Instagram> > A year ago today we broke the flood gates open. Since then it was important to spend the whole year running through them making sure every piece of the gate was knocked down. And now I’m glad to share this picture is being acquired into the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection> > A post shared by Tyler Mitchell (@tylersphotos) on Aug 6, 2019 at 6:09am PDT“Since then it was important to spend the whole year running through them making sure every piece of the gate was knocked down.“And now I’m glad to share this picture is being acquired into the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection.”The Smithsonian Institute’s National Portrait Gallery was founded in 1962, before being opened to the public six years later.The gallery commented on the acquisition of the photograph from its official Twitter account.“Our mission is to tell the story of America by portraying the people who shape this nation’s history, development, and culture,” the tweet read.“We are happy to work with Tyler to acquire his photograph of Beyoncé Knowles into the Portrait Gallery’s collection.”In response to a Twitter user who asked when the American Vogue portrait of Beyoncé will be available to view at the gallery, the National Portrait Gallery tweeted that it will be “sure to keep everyone posted when the portrait goes up”.Another photograph of the singer is already on display at the gallery – the image captured of Beyoncé for the cover of her debut solo album Dangerously In Love, taken in 2003.Several people have congratulated Mitchell over the acquisition of his momentous photograph by the Smithsonian.“A national treasure indeed. Congratulations Tyler!” author Elaine Welteroth commented on the photographer’s Instagram post.“CONGRATS! You’re paving the way for us all,” another Instagram user wrote.

  • The mistakes people make when making a BLT, according to a top chef
    Style
    The Independent

    The mistakes people make when making a BLT, according to a top chef

    A BLT may seem like a foolproof sandwich to make, but according to one top chef, there is a major mistake that most people make when it comes to the sandwich. On Sunday, Momofuku founder David Chang shared a “heretical statement” on Instagram, in which he claimed that BLTs should be made with “sh**ty hothouse tomatoes” instead of “perfectly ripe summer ones.” According to the chef, the reason people should skip summer tomatoes, which happen to be in-season and at their most flavourful, is because BLTs apparently taste better when they are made from tomatoes grown out of season in greenhouses. “Less juicy, right acidity and textually better in relation to iceberg lettuce and crisp bacon,” Chang explained. The chef also included another controversial opinion, adding that he believes avocado has no place on a BLT. > View this post on Instagram> > ‪Heretical statement:‬ ‪ I adore summer 🍅 season but I think BLT’s taste better with shitty hothouse tomatoes than perfectly ripe summer ones. Less juicy, right acidity and texturally better in relation to iceberg lettuce and crisp bacon‬. Keep that 🥑 out of there. 🧂 🍅 uglydelicous perfectsummerforever kewpie> > A post shared by Dave Chang (@davidchang) on Aug 3, 2019 at 9:06am PDT“Keep that avocado out of there,” he wrote. While Chang’s post has been liked more than 13,000 times, it has also prompted a debate in the comments, where many expressed their disagreement with the chef. “Disagree. Nothing like the super fresh seasonal tomatoes,” one person wrote, while someone else commented: “Well. We can’t be right all the time.”Another said: “Seriously, you are confounding at times. At times, I’m with you. On this topic you are waaaaay off. Hothouse tomatoes are mealy and have no flavour. “They add nothing to a sandwich other than making it more difficult to eat.” Even Netflix’s food Instagram seemed surprised by the chef’s opinion, commenting: “Dave, this is… bold.”However, according to actress Mindy Kaling, Chang was right about omitting avocado from the sandwiches. She wrote: “YES gtfo of here avocado.”This isn’t the first time Chang has shared his debatable opinions. In 2014, the chef wrote a piece for GQ in which he declared his love for “cheap, watery” beer and claimed he does not want “tasty beer”.

  • Kim Kardashian West sparks confusion with 1990s-inspired make-up photographs
    Style
    The Independent

    Kim Kardashian West sparks confusion with 1990s-inspired make-up photographs

    Kim Kardashian West has confused fans with her latest campaign for her eponymous make-up brand, with social media users complaining that she looks completely unlike herself.On Tuesday, the reality star the 38-year-old posted a photograph on Instagram and Twitter for her latest KKW Beauty collection, which is inspired by the 1990s.In the image, Kardashian West poses with her hands on her head and wears a black bondage-style top. She also appears to be wearing make-up from the collection, with her dark kohl-lined eyes and contoured cheekbones.“I’m so excited to announce my new 1990s inspired collection of all matte formulas – The Matte Smoke & Matte Cocoa Collections!!!” the mother-of-three wrote on Twitter alongside the image.“I get a lot of my make-up inspiration from the 1990s and love how nostalgic this entire collection is,” she added.But fans aren’t convinced by the photo and are complaining on social media that the Keeping up with the Kardashians star looks nothing like herself.“Okay but who is that in the photo?” one person asked.> Who is this ?> > — adoncurr (@dxtriii) > > August 5, 2019Several others tweeted simply: “Who is this?”, garnering hundreds of likes for asking such a question.> View this post on Instagram> > I’m so excited to announce my new 90’s inspired collection of all matte formulas- The Matte Smoke & Matte Cocoa Collections!!! I get a lot of my makeup inspiration from the 90’s and love how nostalgic this entire collection is. The collection features 2 10-Pan Eyeshadow Palettes, 6 Lipsticks in a brand new matte formula, 6 Lip Liners, and 5 Eyeliners. Matte Smoke & Matte Cocoa are two entirely different color ranges, so there are so many looks you can create with this collection. I can’t wait for you guys to try it!!! Launching to kkwbeauty.com on Friday, 08.16 at 12pm pst kkwbeauty> > A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Aug 5, 2019 at 1:14pm PDTMany people argued that the image had been heavily photoshopped, with some suggesting that she looked like a CGI character.> when your team photoshops your face so hard they end up making a composite person that’s not even you anymore> > — claudia (@cloudiatanknee) > > August 6, 2019On Instagram, Kardashian’s 145m followers were no less bewildered. “Kim is so stunning but this doesn’t look like her,” commented one fan. Another added: “Am I the only one who didn’t recognise sis for like a good 10 seconds? [sic]”. The comment received more than 1,552 likes.However, others focused on the new make-up collection, which Kardashian said will include two eyeshadow palettes, six lipsticks, six lip liners and five eyeliners. The collection launches online on 16 August at midday.“So excited for this,” wrote one person.“You’re unbelievable,” added another. “Love this collection”.

  • Gender-neutral pronouns reduce biases that favour men and improve positive feelings towards women and LGBT+ people
    Style
    The Independent

    Gender-neutral pronouns reduce biases that favour men and improve positive feelings towards women and LGBT+ people

    Using gender-neutral pronouns reduces the likelihood of people favouring male stereotypes and improves views of women and LGBT+ people, a new study suggests.Researchers from Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, analysed the impact of gender-neutral pronouns on the views of 3,393 Swedes.At the beginning of the study, participants were given a cartoon of a figure walking a dog.They were then split into three groups and asked to complete a sentence describing what they thought was happening in the picture.One group was told that they were only allowed to use neutral pronouns in their descriptions, another only female pronouns, while the third could only use male pronouns.Researchers then asked the volunteers to complete a short story in three sentences about a person who was running for political office and assign them a first name."Today, I met a person who is interested in running for political office. The person is....” the sentence began.Participants were also required to answer questions that analysed their views on women and LGBT+ people in public affairs.According to the findings, which were published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), participants who used gender-neutral pronouns during the cartoon description task were more likely to use non-male names in their short story.In addition, the researchers found the Swedish gender-neutral pronoun “hen” appeared to improve positive feelings towards women and LGBT+ people.As a result, they believe the word helped to tackle attitudes that favour men, and raise awareness of other genders among participants.In 2015, the Swedish Academy announced the country’s official dictionary of the Swedish language was to introduce the gender-neutral pronoun “hen”. The term sits alongside “han” (he) and “hon” (she).“Let’s assume there are societies that generally agree on being more inclusive of women and LGBT+ individuals, and there are more than a few,” said Efrén Pérez, a political scientist professor and co-author of the study at the University of California in Los Angeles.“Our findings suggest that the words we choose to use can matter in getting us a little bit closer toward reaching that ideal.”Last month, the city of Berkeley in California passed an ordinance to ban the use of gender-specific language in its municipal code.The new regulation means that terms like “manhole” and “firemen” are replaced with gender-neutral vernacular.In 2017, students and staff at the University of Sussex were told to use gender-neutral pronouns following students’ requests to help prevent transgender discrimination on campus.Sussex University Student Union (USSU) advised its members to “avoid making assumptions” and encourage the use of “them” and “they” instead of “he” or “she” when addressing a person whose gender identity has not been directly stated.

  • Selma Blair praised by fans as 'warrior goddess' after posting bikini photo to Instagram amidst MS treatment
    Style
    The Independent

    Selma Blair praised by fans as 'warrior goddess' after posting bikini photo to Instagram amidst MS treatment

    Selma Blair has been dubbed a “warrior goddess” by fans after posting a bikini photo to Instagram amidst treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In the photo, which the Cruel Intentions star posted on Monday, she is sitting with her legs crossed and her hands drawing her feet towards her body.Blair, who recently shaved her head with the help of her eight-year-old son Arthur Saint Bleick, is pictured next to a pool, wearing a red asymmetric bikini and stacks of bracelets and rings by Jemma Sands, which she calls a “summer staple.”The 47-year-old captioned the photo: “Sunday. Thank you. And thank you @jemmasands for my bracelets and rings. Summer staple. And my always favorite @eres bikini [sic]. “Happy mum. Hugs to you all.”Several of the actor’s famous friends and fans have since flooded the image with comments of support and adoration.While some referred to the actor as a “warrior”, others praised her for sharing her battle with the neurological condition. Grey’s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo commented: “Looking like the glam warrior you are... superhero”, while singer Miley Cyrus added: “So pretty”. > View this post on Instagram> > Sunday. Thank you. And thank you @jemmasands for my bracelets and rings. Summer staple. And my always favorite @eres bikini. Happy mom. ❤️ hugs to you all.> > A post shared by Selma Blair (@selmablair) on Aug 4, 2019 at 1:20pm PDTAnother person wrote: "You are fighting your battle in the public eye, a very challenging battle, all while living your best life with your handsome boy."You got this. Keep glowing and growing."The NHS states that MS is a condition that can affect the brain and spinal cord, causing a wide range of potential symptoms, including problems with vision, arm or leg movement, sensation or balance.It's a lifelong condition that can sometimes cause serious disability and is most commonly diagnosed in people in their 20s and 30s.> View this post on Instagram> > Insomnia. I am like a waking baby. Afraid and want to cry. I want my mom. I do. I will take a bath. And cry. The beginning is hard. I have to Remember. hsct baby> > A post shared by Selma Blair (@selmablair) on Jul 31, 2019 at 12:39am PDTThe photograph is the latest update from Blair who has posted many emotional photos to social media since her diagnosis in October 2018.> Earlier this week, Blair shared that she was having trouble sleeping due to the latest stage in her recovery.“Insomnia. I am like a waking baby. Afraid and want to cry,” she wrote alongside a photograph of her bruised legs as she sat in a bathtub. “I want my mum. I do. I will take a bath. And cry. The beginning is hard. I have to remember.”> View this post on Instagram> > Today is a banner day. I am being discharged from the care of an incredible team of nurses and techs and a visionary Dr. who believes in my healing as much as I do. This has been a process. And will continue to be one. I am immunocompromised for next three months at least. So no kisses please. I wanted to make sure any complications that might arise here were my private space. And we got through brilliantly. I thank you all for your love and support and that extra dose of great with a @people cover. I see things so much more clearly now. And I am excited to share this journey when I am ready. For now, I have recovery. And a great @the_alinker_world so I gotta split. Bye!!!!!! This is the best gift I could give to Arthur. newimmunesystem whodis? 🎂> > A post shared by Selma Blair (@selmablair) on Jul 25, 2019 at 8:12am PDTLast month, the actor marked the end of a round of treatment for her MS with a celebratory photo of her newly shaved head. In the photo, which the actress shared to Instagram, she smiles as she prepared to leave her hospital room with the help of an Alinker walking bike.The star captioned the image: “Today is a banner day. I am being discharged from the care of an incredible team of nurses and techs and a visionary doctor who believes in my healing as much as I do.“This has been a process. And will continue to be one. I am immunocompromised for next three months at least. So no kisses please. I wanted to make sure any complications that might arise here were my private space. And we got through brilliantly.”

  • Coca-Cola advert featuring gay couples kissing causes outrage in Hungary
    Style
    The Independent

    Coca-Cola advert featuring gay couples kissing causes outrage in Hungary

    Hungarian advertisements for Coca-Cola are drawing criticism from lawmakers in the country’s conservative party for promoting acceptance of LGBT+ people. The posters, which can be seen at train stations and bus stops in Budapest, have been displayed to coincide with a week-long progressive music festival that starts on Wednesday with the theme “Love Revolution”.Coca-Cola’s “Love is Love” campaign features images of gay couples smiling alongside slogans such as, “Zero Sugar, Zero Prejudice.”While the posters carry a positive message, not everyone is happy, including Boldog István, an MP from Hungary’s conservative, right-wing party Fidesz – which has held majority power in the country since 2010. István has called for a boycott of Coca-Cola products until the adverts are removed.On Sunday, István wrote on Facebook: “Until they remove their provocative posters from Hungary, I will not consume their products! I’m asking everyone!”A petition to remove the adverts from the subway has also been launched by unhappy protestors and has been signed by more than 25,000 people since Saturday.The page for the petition states: “We start by boycotting Coca-Cola. And in our petition we ask for help in removing the posters as soon as possible and in curbing a homosexual lobby aimed at children, families and society as a whole.”Coca-Cola has responded to the criticism of its campaign, stating that it is a “long-standing supporter of the LGBT+ community”.“The Coca-Cola Company strives for diversity, inclusion and equality in our business, and we support these rights in society as well,” a company spokesperson said a statement to CNN.“As a long-standing supporter of the LGBTQI community, we believe everyone has the right to love the person they choose. “The campaign currently running in Hungary reflects these values."Same-sex marriage is currently illegal in Hungary, and although registered partnerships were legalised in 2009, same-sex couples do not have the same rights as opposite-sex married couples.This is despite polls showing that a growing number of Hungarians support gay rights. In 2017, a survey by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association found that more than 60 per cent of the country's residents believe equal rights should be afforded to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.

  • Pregnant woman responds to stranger offering unsolicited advice about coffee
    Style
    The Independent

    Pregnant woman responds to stranger offering unsolicited advice about coffee

    A pregnant woman has shared the response she gives to strangers offering unsolicited advice regarding her pregnancy, after someone told her she should not be drinking caffeinated coffee.According to the expectant mother, who is six months pregnant and goes by the name Jax on Twitter, she was ordering coffee in Starbucks when another customer informed her that she should be “drinking decaf when you’re pregnant”.In response, the soon-to-be mother lied: “I’m not pregnant”, prompting the stranger to profusely apologise. “And that’s what you get for giving unsolicited advice,” Jax wrote on Twitter. The tweet, which has been liked more than 699,000 times, has prompted other mums and expectant mothers to share their own stories of receiving and declining unsolicited advice regarding the health of their babies. > (I am 6 months pregnant) > > Me after ordering my coffee: > > Stranger at Starbucks: you know you should be drinking decaf when you’re pregnant. > > Me: I’m... not pregnant. > > Stranger: (horrified) I am so, so sorry! > > And that’s what you get for giving unsolicited advice.> > — Jax ⚡️ (@Diamond_Jax) > > August 2, 2019“Once told a nosey colleague who said I shouldn't be drinking coffee that he shouldn't be practising medicine without a license but here we both were,” one person commented. Another said their response to unsolicited advice is usually: “Oh, that’s only if you’re carrying a HUMAN baby.” > Once a woman just came up and started rubbing my belly, so I just grabbed her boob. She was so shocked and offended for some odd reason. 😏> > — Denae M (@DenaeEdgeEdge) > > August 2, 2019> My favorite reply has always been: “Thank you, but we’ve chosen to raise her poorly.”> > — Daniel Abraham (@AbrahamHanover) > > August 2, 2019> Well, just make sure you lose ALL of that belly. > Strange lady, 40ish: "Oh, how nice - when are you due?" > Me, 55: "H'mm, let me calculate... Right. 21 years ago." > Strange lady: drops smile and slinks away.> > — Auntie Deb (@DeborrahS) > > August 2, 2019> I was breastfeeding & an old woman came up to say I ought to go to the washroom. I just said, "I'm so sorry abt your neck". She said there's nothing wrong w/ her neck. So I replied, "then turn your damn head & look away or there soon will be". She was so flustered, she left. 😂> > — Jessie M (@Jell0wYell0w) > > August 2, 2019“I had a woman next to me in line for a movie ask me about my birth plan,” another mum wrote. “I politely told her she was not part of the plan.”In response to one mother who sarcastically asked: “Isn’t it amazing how you become everyone’s property when you are pregnant?” Jax said: “You are absolutely regarded as communal property, that’s the perfect way to phrase it.”According to the NHS, pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to 200mg a day, or roughly two mugs of instant coffee. But, as some expectant mothers have pointed out in the replies, including Jax, many doctors will approve or advise continued coffee consumption throughout pregnancy to avoid side-effects from lack of caffeine such as migraines. > Drinking my doctor approved cup of coffee and reading these comments 😏☕️ pic.twitter.com/Ntb4mpnwc2> > — Jax ⚡️ (@Diamond_Jax) > > August 3, 2019While most people agreed with Jax’s response to the stranger, there were some who criticised her for lashing out at someone who was only trying to help. “You’re right, I don’t have any concern for my baby,” she responded. “I should follow the advice of random people at Starbucks instead of my doctors, midwives and the actual research.”

  • 12 tasty vegan and vegetarian dishes perfect for a summer picnic
    Style
    The Independent

    12 tasty vegan and vegetarian dishes perfect for a summer picnic

    As the temperature continues to rise over the summer, many sun-lovers will be heading outdoors at every given opportunity to make the most of the warmer weather.When you walk into any park during lunch or at the weekend, you will likely see hordes of people enjoying food-filled picnics with family members and friends.While picnics may often consist of dishes such as ham sandwiches, chorizo and barbecued burgers, there's no reason why a picnic cannot be enjoyed without the presence of meat.From halloumi to courgette, aubergine and turmeric-roasted cauliflower, there is a multitude of ingredients which can be utilised to create a range of delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes. Here are 12 vegan and vegetarian recipes which will definitely please the masses during summer picnics: 1\. Vegan: Grilled tahini, aubergine, chickpea and cherry saladThis tasty salad of red cherries, aubergine, courgette, chickpeas and more is an ideal picnic offering.The finishing touch to this dish is a tahini and pomegranate-molasses drizzle, giving it a flavoursome kick.Here are the ingredients you'll need: * 100g fresh red cherries * ½ shallot * 1 aubergine * 1 tbsp dukkah * 1 tbsp oil * 1 tbsp tahini * 200g courgette * 20g walnuts * 240g chickpeas (drained) * 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses * 2 tsp cumin seeds * 40g rocket * Medium handful of flat leaf parsley * Medium handful of fresh mintFor the method, click here. 2\. Vegan: Moroccan-inspired lentils with roasted cauliflowerCauliflower and turmeric are a succulent combination, made especially apparent in this recipe for Moroccan-inspired lentils with roasted cauliflower.This recipe is ideal if enjoying a picnic in the park on a cool summer's evening.Here are all the ingredients you'll need: * 1 cauliflower * 1 tsp turmeric * 2 tbsp oil * 20g flaked almonds * 2 garlic cloves * 1 brown onion * 180g cherry tomatoes * Large handful of fresh coriander * 1 vegetable stock cube * 240g black beluga lentils (drained) * 23g Moorish Moroccan spice pasteFor the method, click here. 3\. Vegan: Basil pesto tofu, courgetti and black olivesThis recipe is a creative take on a classic pasta dish, swapping spaghetti for courgetti and ragù for a sun-dried tomato variation.Here are all the ingredients you'll need: * ½tsp red chilli flakes * 1 red onion * 1 red pepper * 3tbsp oil * 200g passata​ * 2tbsp vegan basil pesto * 2tsp dried oregano * 2tsp sunflower seeds * 300g courgette * 300g firm tofu * 30g pitted black olives * 40g spinach * 60g sun-dried tomatoesFor the method, click here. 4\. Vegan: Spicy tofu summer rollsNo summer picnic is complete without a dipping station in the centre of the group.This spicy tofu summer rolls blends a variety of appetising flavours, from soy sauce in the marinade to bunches of crunchy vegetables for the fillings.Here are all the ingredients you'll need:(Makes eight to 10 rolls) * 8-10 x 22cm rice paper wrappersFor the tofu: * 1tbsp rapeseed oil * 300g firm or extra-firm tofuFor the marinade: * 50ml Chinese black rice vinegar, no substitutions, this ingredient is amazing * 1tbsp sesame oil * 2tbsp dark soy sauce * 1tsp light soy sauce * 25g piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced * 3 fat garlic cloves, minced * 1-2tbsp sweet chilli sauce * Squeeze of limeFor the summer roll fillings (your choice of the following): * Small bag of salad leaves, roughly chopped if too large * 9-10 breakfast radishes, sliced into matchsticks * 3 spring onions, sliced lengthwise into fine shreds * 1/2 medium cucumber, seeds removed and sliced into batons * 1/4 red cabbage, finely shredded * 1/3 each of red, green, yellow and orange peppers, sliced into thin lengths * 1 medium carrot, sliced into matchsticks * Handful of baby corn, sliced lengthways into 4 or 6 * 5 asparagus spears, woody part removed, halved lengthways if too thick * Handful of sugar snap peas, halved lengthways * Small bunch mint, leaves only * Small bunch coriander, leaves and stalksFor the method, click here. 5\. Vegan: Sweet potato and walnut koftasThese koftas are sure to be a hit at your summer picnic, whether they're served as finger food or stuffed into pittas.While koftas are typically made from minced or ground meat, this recipe proves meals can be just as delicious when made from plant-based ingredients.Here are all the ingredients you'll need:(Makes 12) * 1 small sweet potato, halved * 2 tbsp olive oil * 1 tbsp milled flaxseed * 100g lightly toasted walnuts * 50g panko breadcrumbs * 1 tsp dried oregano * 1 tsp ground cumin * ½ tsp ground coriander * ¼ tsp ground cinnamon * ½ tsp dried chilli flakes * Small bunch of fresh coriander, roughly chopped * 1 spring onion, very finely chopped * Sea salt flakes and black pepperFor the method, click here. 6\. Vegetarian: Aubergine, mozzarella and tomato pasta bakeFor all you cheese lovers out there, this dish is sure to tantalise your taste buds.Take aubergine, tortiglioni pasta, tomatoes, cheddar, mozzarella and what do you get? A winning pasta bake.Here are all the ingredients you'll need:(Serves two) * 1 aubergine * 1 garlic clove * 150g tortiglioni pasta * 1 can of chopped tomatoes * 1 tbsp tomato paste * 1 vegetable stock cube * 40g mature cheddar * 125g mozzarella * 125g cherry tomatoes * 10g basil * 1 tbsp dried oregano * 15ml balsamic vinegar * Olive oil, pepper, salt, and sugarFor the method, click here. 7\. Vegetarian: Spinach, olive and feta tartFor those who don't fancy picking who would rather not bring another salad dish to a summer picnic, making a nutritious tart is a creative alternative.While you can vary the ingredients of this dish to your choosing, the combination of spinach, olive and feta in this recipe is very pleasing to the palate.Here are all the ingredients you'll need:(Serves six to eight)For the pastry * 250g plain flour, plus a little extra for rolling out * 150g cold unsalted butter, diced, plus a little extra for greasing the tart tin * ¼ tsp fine sea salt * 1 large egg, yolk and white separatedFor the filling * Small knob of butter * Splash of oil, for frying * 1 large onion, finely diced * 300g spinach, leaves stripped from their stalks * 3 large eggs * 200ml crème fraîche * 200g feta * 100g pitted black olives * 1 tbsp chopped dill leaves, or 1 tsp dried dill * Salt and pepperFor the method, click here. 8\. Vegan: Jackfruit tacosWhen you think of tacos, your mind is probably drawn straight to traditional tacos filled with fillings such as beef, pork or seafood.Nonetheless, there is a vegan variety you can try instead – jackfruit tacos.Here are all the ingredients you'll need:(Serves six) * 1 x serving guacamole (shop-bought or homemade) * 1 x serving salsa (shop-bought or homemade) * 1 x 400g tin young green jackfruit in water * 1 white onion * 4 garlic cloves * 1 tbsp vegetable oil * 1 tbsp maple syrup * 100ml vegetable stock * ½ tsp Tabasco sauce * 4 limes * 1½ tsp ground cumin * 1½ tsp smoked paprika * ½-1 tsp chilli powder * ½ tsp salt * Handful fresh coriander * 12 crunchy taco shellsFor the method, click here. 9\. Vegetarian: Grilled summer vegetables with creamy shallot dressingNo matter what other dishes are served, no summer picnic is complete without a healthy serving of vegetables.The dressing is what gives this recipe its flair, combining components including runny honey, Dijon mustard and diced shallots for a flavour-filled taste.Here are all the ingredients you'll need:(Serves four)For the dressing * 60g echalion shallots, diced * 125ml olive oil * 60ml white wine vinegar * 2 tbsp runny honey or maple syrup * 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard * Sea salt and cracked black pepper For the vegetables * 3 large echalion shallots, sliced down the middle * 2 fennel bulbs, cut into large wedges * 2 tbsp rapeseed oil * Sea salt and cracked black pepper * 3 leeks, cut into 10cm lengths and sliced down the middle * 1 courgette, cut into large, diagonal slices * Packet of vine tomatoes * 125g asparagus spears, trimmed For the method, click here. 10\. Vegetarian: Harissa potato, halloumi and asparagus with coriander and lemon oil skewersIf your summer picnic features a barbecue, then this dish is a delicious alternative to the typical burgers and hot dogs made on the grill.The succulent taste of halloumi makes for a wondrous companion to asparagus, potatoes, and rose-petal-infused harissa.Here are all the ingredients you'll need:(Makes six to eight skewers) * 500g (1lb 2oz) Charlotte (or other salad) potatoes, sliced in half lengthways * 1 x 250g (9oz) bunch of asparagus, each stalk cut into 3 * 2 x 250g (9oz) packs of halloumi, cut into finger-thick wedges * 2 tbsp rose harissa paste, or to tasteFor the coriander and lemon oil: * 75ml (1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil * A small bunch of coriander (cilantro), leaves finely chopped (save the stalks for another dish, they are full of flavour) * Zest and juice of 1 lemon * ½–1 tsp caster sugar, to taste * Salt and freshly ground black pepperYou'll also need: * 6–8 kebab skewers, preferably metal onesFor the method, click here. 11\. Vegan: Stuffed red peppers, black beans and limeWhile peppers are great when sliced up and served in big dishes, they're also very appealing when stuffed with a horde of tasty ingredients.This Mexican-inspired recipe is a creative take on the stuffed pepper dish, which is often served with meat or cheese.Here are all the ingredients you'll need: * 1½tbsp oil * ½ lime * ½ vegetable stock cube * 1tsp smoked paprika * 240g black beans (drained) * 2 red peppers * 2tbsp sunflower seeds * 2tsp chilli paste * 40g baby spinach * 4 spring onions * 80g quinoaFor the method, click here. 12\. Vegan: Zesty hibiscus salad with red cabbage, chilli and orangeWhile you may usually associate hibiscus with being a flowering plant found in the garden, it can also be used as an ingredient in a refreshing summer salad.Here are all the ingredients you'll need:(Serves six) * ¼ of a medium sized red cabbage, sliced * 1 green serrano chilli, deseeded and sliced * ½ lime and zest * 1 orange and zest * ¼ red onion, sliced * ¼ bunch corianderFor the dressing: * 25ml extra-virgin olive oil * 25ml vinegar * Sea salt * Sugar * 15g hibiscus * 100ml waterFor the crisps: * Hibiscus from above (after hydration, dried then fried till crispy) * 100g pumpkin seeds, toastedFor the method, click here.To take a look at a variety of delicious recipes for you to try in the kitchen, click here.Help prevent hay fever symptomsWhile spring brings warmer weather it also marks the start of the hay fever season. If you’re one of the 18 million people affected in the UK, it makes sense to try to help prevent the symptoms of hay fever. A single dose of Pirinase Hayfever Relief For Adults 0.05% Nasal Spray in each nostril once a day could help relieve sneezing, a runny nose, nasal congestion, and itchy and watery eyes. Find out more here, or click here to buy onlineFor the relief of allergy symptoms. Pirinase Allergy 0.05% Nasal Spray contains fluticasone. Always read the label.Trademarks are owned by or licensed to the GSK group of companies.

  • Mental health advocate Matt Haig shares handwritten thank you note from Meghan Markle on Instagram
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    The Independent

    Mental health advocate Matt Haig shares handwritten thank you note from Meghan Markle on Instagram

    Mental health advocate Matt Haig has shared a thank you note he received from the Duchess of Sussex on Instagram.Earlier this month, Meghan Markle included one of her “personal favourite” odes to body positivity, written by best-selling author Haig, in the September issue of British Vogue, which she guest-edited. The piece is called “A Note From the Beach” and was taken from the author's book Notes on a Nervous Planet. On Sunday, the 44-year-old author posted a photograph of a handwritten note he received from the duchess, in which she praised Haig for being a “force for change”.The card, imprinted with a monogram of the duchess' initial with a crown, said: “Dear Matt, since reading 'Notes on a Nervous Planet' last fall, it instantly became a household favourite.“When I knew I would be guest editing the September issue of British Vogue I knew you had to be a part of it.“Thank you for being a force for change. The world needs more of you!”In the caption of the photograph, Haig explained how he discovered the envelope from Kensington Palace among his usual post of bills and magazines.> View this post on Instagram> > Got home to some unusual mail, amid all the bills and magazines. An envelope from Kensington Palace. HRH Duchess Meghan called me a ‘force for change’ and now I can die happy. This year is beyond anything I imagined, years ago, getting rejection after rejection from publishers. I would love to go back in time and tell my young hopeless suicidal self about all of this magic to stay alive for. Persist. (I have now enrolled for handwriting classes.)> > A post shared by Matt Haig (@mattzhaig) on Aug 3, 2019 at 11:07am PDTThe author, who has chronicled his experience with anxiety and depression, went on to explain how he wished he could tell his “young hopeless suicidal self about all of this magic to stay alive for”.Haig concluded the post by joking that he has enrolled in handwriting classes, referencing Markle’s flawless penmanship. Five years prior to her big break on TV series Suits, Markle supported her budding acting career by working as a calligrapher at Paper Source, a small shop for decorative papers and custom stationery, in Beverly Hills.During her time at the company, Markle advised customers on projects like invitations for special occasions and taught a two-hour long class on calligraphy.> View this post on Instagram> > Officially in vogue.> > A post shared by Matt Haig (@mattzhaig) on Jul 31, 2019 at 2:59pm PDTLast week, Haig commented on Instagram about Markle including his piece in British Vogue. “She calls it her ‘favourite poem.’ A surreal honour. Glad she digs my stupid humour,” he wrote. Body positivity is a topic that the duchess has touched on in the past.In October 2018, Markle discussed the impact of airbrushing and photo editing while visiting Live for Tomorrow, an online youth programme, at the Maranui Cafe in Wellington, New Zealand.“You see photos on social media and you don't know whether she's born with it or maybe it's a filter,” she said at the time.“Your judgement of your sense of self-worth becomes really skewed when it’s all based on likes.”

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle want you to choose who they follow on Instagram
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    The Independent

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle want you to choose who they follow on Instagram

    The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are calling on the public to help them choose which Instagram accounts to follow from now on.On Thursday, the royals’ Instagram account @sussexroyal posted a photograph of a blue square with the pair’s royal crest and the question: “Who is your force for change?”.In the caption to the image, Prince Harry and Meghan ask for their 9.2 million followers to let them know who they believe are forces for change in the world and who they should follow on the social media platform as a result.“Each month, we change the accounts we follow to highlight various causes, people or organisations doing amazing things for their communities and the world at large,” an excerpt from the caption reads.“Over the next few days please add your suggestions into the comments section: someone you look up to, the organisation doing amazing work that we should all be following, an account that inspires you to be and do better (or that simply makes you feel good), or the handle that brims with optimism for a brighter tomorrow.”> View this post on Instagram> > For the month of August we look to you for help. We want to know who YOUR Force for Change is.... Each month, we change the accounts we follow to highlight various causes, people or organisations doing amazing things for their communities and the world at large. Over the next few days please add your suggestions into the comments section: someone you look up to, the organisation doing amazing work that we should all be following, an account that inspires you to be and do better (or that simply makes you feel good), or the handle that brims with optimism for a brighter tomorrow. We will choose 15 accounts and follow them next Monday, as we spend the month of August acknowledging the Forces for Change in all of our lives.> > A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on Jul 31, 2019 at 4:00pm PDTThe couple explain that they will choose 15 accounts to follow from Monday 5 August for the month, as they spend “the month of August acknowledging the Forces for Change in all our lives”.At the time of writing, the post has been liked more than 167,000 times, with several of their followers posting suggestions as to which organisations and individuals the couple should support on Instagram.One user suggested the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is a national organisation that works in courts, legislatures and communities to defend individual rights and liberties.Several users suggested The Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge, while others threw Queen Elizabeth II’s name into the mix.Women’s charities and international humanitarian organisation Doctors Without Borders were also among the suggestions.The couple’s post comes days after British Vogue announced Meghan had guest edited the fashion publication’s September issue which is titled “Forces for Change”.The issue features 15 women on the cover, hailing from the worlds of politics, sports and the arts.The duchess told the magazine’s editor, Edward Enninful, that she wanted to “focus on the women she admires”, all of whom are regarded by British Vogue as being “brilliant female changemakers”.In April, Prince Harry and Meghan broke the record for the fastest time to gain one million followers on Instagram after launching their verified account.The account accrued 1 million followers in five hours and 45 minutes, according to the global authority on record-breaking achievements Guinness World Records.

  • 107-year-old woman says secret to long life is ‘never getting married’
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    The Independent

    107-year-old woman says secret to long life is ‘never getting married’

    A 107-year-old woman from the Bronx, New York has said her secret to living a long life is that she never got married.Louise Signore, born in Harlem in 1912, celebrated her milestone birthday on Wednesday with a party at the Bartow Community Center in Coop City attended by 100 guests.Speaking to CBS, Signore revealed some of her tips for longevity, which include dancing, playing bingo and eating Italian food.“I have to exercise,” she said, “I still do a little dancing. After my lunch, I play bingo.”Signore went on to explain how she thinks maintaining her single status has helped her live longer.“I think the secret of 107… I never got married,” she deadpanned. “I think that’s the secret. My sister says, ‘I wish I never got married!’”.Longevity seems to run in Signore’s family, as her sister is 102 years old and her mother lived to 97.> God bless this amazing woman who is 107 years old today! Big party with her friends and family in the Bronx. Lots of keys to living so long — including eating Italian food, dancing, and she emphasized never getting married 😂💕 pic.twitter.com/YJUD9iD5s2> > — Jessica Layton (@JLaytonTV) > > July 31, 2019As for nutrition, Signore, whose family come from Italy, explained how her diet has helped live longer.“Italian food is very good for you,” she explained. “I was brought up with very good food. No soda, no cake.”It’s not the first time someone has touted the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fish, olive oil, vegetables and whole grains and low in meat and dairy foods.The diet that is popular across countries bordering the Mediterranean sea, such as Greece and Italy, has been linked to lowering the risk of heart disease, depression prevention and reducing the risk of mortality in elderly people.