TORONTO – While working as a sexual health educator in Calgary several years ago, artist and activist Mikiki would often gently correct clients who said they had never met a gay person. Actually, you probably have but just didn’t know it, Mikiki would explain.Today, living and working in Toronto, Mikiki says similar conversations happen frequently about HIV.“When people say, ‘I don’t know anybody who’s HIV-positive,’ I’m like, ‘If you live in Toronto, you actually do,’” says Mikiki.“You’ve totally met people who are living with HIV. Do they feel comfortable to come out to you about their HIV status? Probably not.”Mikiki is one of 14 HIV-positive chefs who developed the menu and cooked the food at June’s HIV+ Eatery, a pop-up restaurant organized by Casey House, a Toronto hospital for people living with HIV and AIDS. The restaurant is named after the late June Callwood, one of the hospital’s founders, who was inspired to provide comfort and empathy to young men dying of AIDS after her 20-year-old son Casey was killed by a drunk driver.June’s is billed as Canada’s first HIV-positive restaurant and was launched to help dispel outdated myths. The idea came after a recent study found that half of Canadians said they wouldn’t knowingly eat or share food prepared by someone who is HIV-positive. Many incorrectly believed HIV could be transmitted through skin-to-skin touch, saliva, or by sharing glasses or cutlery.“The numbers are kind of staggering, but it wasn’t overly surprising,” says Joanne Simons, CEO of Casey House. “For the clients that Casey House serves, that stigma is very real on a very daily basis.”At the restaurant, the chefs wear aprons emblazoned with myth-busting slogans like “Kiss the HIV+ cook,” and “I got HIV from pasta, said no one ever.”Matt Basile, chef at Toronto’s Fidel Gastro, came on board to train the cooks and help them develop the menu.The experience level in the kitchen ranges “from the good to the bad to the ugly,” says Guy Bethell, one of the chefs on the crew, who has been living with HIV for 30 years.“I’m a soup and stew guy, I keep it pretty easy. But everybody had something to bring to the table, and Matt was able to pull threads from all of us.”June’s quickly sold out its two-night run and organizers hope to hold similar events in the future.Medical advancements related to HIV have changed dramatically in the last 30 years: once a terminal illness, it can now be treated with a combination of medications. But Simons says in many ways, public perception is stuck in the 1980s.“When it was a death sentence there was a lot of fear and a lot of misunderstanding about the disease,” she says. “We really need to take the opportunity to make sure people are educated about HIV and what it means today.”Mikiki says the representation of HIV in popular culture and media hasn’t caught up with medical advancements and often focuses on death and tragedy, or the criminalization of non-disclosure.While working at a Toronto clinic, Mikiki noticed that “the amount of anxiety that people would feel … was completely dismantled or diffused” if they knew at least one person living with HIV.“Sometimes I would use that as an opportunity to come out about my status and talk about how essentially normal and in a lot of ways boring my life can be, living with HIV, in terms of managing it as a health condition.”Simons says her ideal outcome from the pop-up restaurant would be a dramatic change in public awareness. She hopes that “if we were to run our stigma survey again in the next few months or years, the results will be much more favourable.”Mikiki says the experience of serving and preparing food allows people with HIV the opportunity to show the general public what living with the virus actually means.“It allows us to be seen as, honestly, just as humans.”
Former All-Pro NFL linebacker Joey Porter returned to Colorado State last week to complete his bachelor’s degree and to answer a long-standing arrest warrant.Porter, who is currently an undergraduate student assistant coach with the Rams’ football team, turned himself in early Wednesday morning at the Larimer County Jail for a failure to appear on a warrant that dates back to his time as a student at Colorado State University in 1999.On May 3, 1999, Porter received a ticket for speeding and driving with a restricted license. He made it to two court dates, but failed to show up on his final court date. The Fort Collins Police issued a warrant for his arrest on Oct. 10, 1999.Court Records show that Porter was a repeat offender for driving illegally in Larimer County, while he was a student at Colorado State.Colorado State football coach Jim McElwain said that Porter can use this as a teaching moment for young players to understand why they should stay out of trouble.
Love them or hate them, the Los Angeles Lakers long represented the closest thing the NBA had to a proverbial land of milk and honey. For the better part of three decades, the club often had a surplus of star players, a robust record, and the occasional championship trophy.Then they were hit with what equates to a biblical drought for their fans: a five-season stretch without a playoff berth.But on Sunday night, the sky opened up and watered the thirsting Laker franchise, as LeBron James, the world’s best basketball player, chose to join the Los Angeles club as a free agent, agreeing to a four-year, $154 million deal, according to Klutch Sports, the sports management agency that represents James.James’s choice will change the NBA landscape for obvious reasons. LeBron reached eight straight NBA Finals in the Eastern Conference, and his departure from his hometown Cleveland club almost certainly figures to put the Cavaliers back in the cellar, while also giving other teams in the badly diminished East — like Boston, Philadelphia and Toronto — a clearer path to the Finals.But the more pressing issue for the 33-year-old James is how quickly he and the young Lakers can become title contenders while Golden State essentially has a stranglehold on the league.The answer obviously hinges on the route Los Angeles takes next: either a more patient approach that lets the talented yet unseasoned Lakers develop around James, or a more aggressive one that involves trading some of that talent for a proven star like Kawhi Leonard.Regardless of which path the Lakers take, they will be considerably improved if LeBron can stay healthy the way he always has.According to CARMELO, FiveThirtyEight’s NBA player projection system, the current club with James would be projected to win 52 games, with an 11 percent probability of winning it all next season.1This assumes the Lakers would be keeping Julius Randle, who is currently a restricted free agent — one Los Angeles can exceed the salary cap to keep if it wishes. The projected win total would jump considerably, to nearly 60 victories with a 22 percent probability of a title, if the Lakers were to land Leonard in exchange for Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, Luol Deng and a first-round pick or two. Such a deal would sting — Ingram has incredible potential, and Kuzma’s an impressive young scorer — and you can bet on the Lakers doing all they can to resist surrendering this sort of haul. Yet Leonard’s stature as a top-five talent when healthy is impossible to deny, and he would quicken any timeline for contention. (The late-Sunday-night addition of Lance Stephenson didn’t figure to help the team much, per our projections, which essentially label the ex-Pacer as a replacement-level player at this point.)The first scenario, in which LeBron plays with the homegrown Lakers, would be a pretty far cry from 2014, when he started his second stint with Cleveland by playing alongside two other established scorers in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love and thrived in a wide-open offense that catered to James’s unique ability to drive and kick. The Lakers ranked near the bottom of the NBA in 3-point shooting and may need to scour the free-agent market for perimeter marksmen.And while Los Angeles boasts a much better defense than the Cavs had last year, the Lakers were similar to Cleveland in that they lacked a true rim-protecting presence on last season’s club. More than 30 percent of Lakers’ opponents shots came from within 3 feet of the basket, tied for the third-highest rate in the NBA last season, according to Basketball-Reference. (The Lakers also agreed to terms Sunday with JaVale McGee, who isn’t the most reliable on D. But he had his moments against James in the Finals and his wingspan helps him around the rim.)There would be at least one clear upside: After a year where James had to dominate the ball in Irving’s absence, he can now share that responsibility with second-year point guard Lonzo Ball. The two could connect quite frequently in transition, given that Ball is known for his uptempo style and long outlet passes, and James — looking to get a breather after some offensive possessions — will occasionally hang back and cherry-pick layups and dunks.Ball figures to be a part of the core going forward, even if the Lakers do push for Leonard. The Spurs — long seen as the league’s most straitlaced team — are rumored to lack interest in Ball, likely due to some of the off-court distractions that surround him. But having Leonard would carry obvious benefits. James — who hasn’t played on a roster without a prime-age All-Star-caliber teammate since the 2009-10 season2The 2015-16 season was the only one in that stretch where none of his teammates made the All-Star team, but Kyrie Irving only failed to make the roster because he was injured that year; his performance on his return was up to his usual standard. — wouldn’t have to shoulder nearly as much of the clutch-scoring burden. Perhaps more important: In a potential matchup with the Warriors, James wouldn’t necessarily have to defend Kevin Durant, as Leonard would be more than capable of handling that task.By no stretch of the imagination are the Lakers a force to be reckoned with yet. But after these last five years, the roughest dry spell in franchise history, this is a welcome shift. Depending on how aggressively Magic Johnson and the team’s front office handles the trade market, they could creep into Golden State’s rear-view mirror more quickly than many suspected. Nabbing LeBron James, even at damn-near 34 years old, will speed up just about any team’s process.— Neil Paine contributed to this story.CORRECTION (July 2, 2018, 12:25 p.m.): An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that LeBron James had not been on a team without at least one other prime-age All-Star since the 2009-10 season. In 2015-16, he was the only All-Star for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Random Toe-tally related stories ‘Yeti’ footprints seen by Indian Army raise ridiculous questions This might be the worst Bigfoot sighting video of all time 1 Yetis and UFOs and sea monsters, oh my! (pictures) Comment On Wednesday, the FBI Records Vault Twitter account brought our attention to an intriguing set of documents involving the agency’s role in a Bigfoot investigation in 1976 and 1977. The collection spans 22 pages of correspondence and newspaper clippings starting with a letter the FBI sent in response to Peter Byrne, director of The Bigfoot Information Center in Oregon. The New York Times profiled Byrne’s work in 1976. He’s a former professional hunter who took up the futile cause of trying to prove Bigfoot is real.Enlarge ImageThe FBI examined this mysterious hair sample. FBI Byrne asked the FBI to analyze a sample consisting of “15 unidentified hairs and tissue.” Byrne wrote he thought the hairs “may be of importance.” The documents reveal a history of Bigfoot-related letters and memos leading up to the FBI Laboratory agreeing to examine the mystery hair. After a battery of tests and comparisons, the FBI reached a definite conclusion. It was no Bigfoot. The sample came from a creature in the deer family.This no doubt came as a disappointment to Byrne, who’s known for his book The Hunt for Bigfoot. Byrne remains a notable and controversial figure among Bigfoot aficionados. His persistence with the FBI back in the ’70s has gifted us a very entertaining FBI Vault file to enjoy, but we’re still waiting on some hard evidence that shows Bigfoot isn’t just a fantasy. Share your voice In the ’70s, G-men untangled a hairy case. Now you can comb through the archives and brush up on the details. Feargus Cooney/Getty Images Back in the days of bell bottoms, the FBI was willing to entertain the notion that Bigfoot, the mythical giant furry humanoid, might be more than a flight of fancy. The FBI Records Vault is an online Freedom of Information Act Library stocked with thousands of scanned documents covering fascinating and bizarre topics ranging from the Roswell UFO incident to a background investigation of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Tags 13 Photos
.At least 20 fishermen, who ventured into the Bay of Bengal with a trawler on June 14, went missing near Sonarchar island of Kutubdia Channel after a cyclone, state news agency BSS reports.The trawler carrying 20 fishermen, had gone to the sea for fishing a week ago but other fishermen of Banskhali, Bahaddarhat Jolodaspara of Puichari village lost contact with them since Saturday morning.Hori Dhor Jolodas, owner of ill-fated boat ‘FV Jahourlal’ of Banskhali, Bahaddarhat Jolodaspara of Puichari village said, “We have tried to maintain contact with the trawler but got the information from others that the trawler went missing near Sonarchar island of Kutubdia Channel”.Officer-in-charge of Banskhali police station said that they are conducting a rescue operation to trace the fishermen.He informed that the owner of trawler filed a general diary with Banskhali police station.
A Vietnamese goalkeeper has been banned for two years for leading an extraordinary mannequin-style protest when his team stood still and let in three late goals to complain about a disputed penalty.Long An goalkeeper Nguyen Minh Nhut and Huynh Quang Thanh both received two-year playing bans, while the team’s coach and chairman were barred for three years, the Vietnam Football Federation said on its website.In footage which has gone viral, Nguyen Minh Nhut turned his back to let in the penalty, which was given in the dying moments with the scores at 2-2, and then somersaulted over the ball to concede again from the restart.With Long An’s players standing still and refusing to tackle their opponents, in a football version of the online “Mannequin Challenge” craze, Ho Chi Minh walked in another late goal to win the match 5-2.Fines totalling 160 million dong ($7,000) were handed out over the protest, which the federation slammed as “disrespectful” to the referee and damaging to the “prestige and honour of the Vietnam Football Federation”.The V-league is Vietnam’s leading professional competition but has endured a series of alleged corruption and match-fixing scandals over the years.Footballers and fans are also notorious for their extreme reactions to disputed refereeing decisions.Sunday’s protest came after a penalty was awarded against Long An for a soft-looking foul on an opposition striker with the game poised at 2-2 and minutes to play.It was the third disputed refereeing decision of the game which led to goals for Ho Chi Minh City.1)
Vladimir Putin. Photo: AFPInternational pressure mounted on Russia’s Vladimir Putin over the Cold-War style poisoning of a spy on British soil, as an ugly war of words took a stinging new turn with comparisons to Hitler in the 1930s.US president Donald Trump agreed with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron “on the need to take action to hold Russia accountable” following the attempted murder of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.Trump expressed “solidarity with the United Kingdom in the wake of Russia’s use of chemical weapons against private citizens on British soil,” the White House said Wednesday after a phone call between the pair.However the comments came a day after Trump called Putin to congratulate him on his re-election to the Russian presidency, drawing criticism for failing to condemn the poisoning or even mention the scandal.Britain and its allies say Russia was behind the attack on Skripal and his daughter, who remain in a critical condition after being poisoned in the English town of Salisbury with what London says is a Soviet-designed nerve agent.But Moscow has angrily rejected the claims and on Wednesday hosted a televised briefing for foreign diplomats at which a senior official mocked Britain’s “island mentality” and “Russophobia”.Foreign ministry official Vladimir Yermakov said London itself could have been behind the poisoning of Skripal, a former Russian officer who sold secrets to Britain and moved there in a 2010 spy swap.“The British authorities are either unable to ensure protection from such a… terrorist attack on its territory, or they directly or indirectly-I am not accusing anyone of anything here-directed the attack on a Russian national,” he said.Yermakov-the head of the ministry’s non-proliferation and arms control department-alternated between tough talk and quips and said in response to a question from a British official: “I am ashamed for you”.The diplomat rejected claims the chemical weapon “Novichok” was used in the attack, saying it would have killed people on the spot and suggested that Washington might have also had a hand in the incident.Hitler comparisonsThe deepening row has already seen Britain throw out 23 Russian diplomats, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Moscow which also closed the British Council cultural institute in Russia.British foreign secretary Boris Johnson said Wednesday that Russia had wanted to send “a sign” with the nerve agent attack on Skripal to warn defectors that they cannot escape Moscow’s power.In an appearance before a committee of MPs in London, Johnson said Russia chose a target in Britain because of London’s record of “calling out” Moscow’s abuses.“I think the reason that they picked the United Kingdom is very simple, it’s because this is a country that does have that particular set of values, it does believe in freedom, and in democracy and in the rule of law, and has time and again called out Russia over its abuses of those values.”Johnson also agreed with an MP who suggested Putin would exploit the 2018 football World Cup in Russia as Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler did the Berlin Olympics.Hitler wanted the 1936 Games to be a symbol of Aryan supremacy and famously refused to shake hands with American star Jesse Owens, the black track and field athlete who won four gold medals in Berlin.“I think the comparison with 1936 is certainly right,” Johnson said, envisaging Putin “glorying in this sporting event”.The spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry Maria Zakharova said in a Facebook post that “(Johnson) is poisoned by hatred and malice, a lack of professionalism and therefore rudeness”.“It’s terrible to think that this man represents the political leadership of a nuclear power,” she said.‘Drivel, rubbish, nonsense’Putin has dismissed allegations of Moscow’s involvement as “drivel, rubbish, nonsense”, while foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday urged the British government to “respond calmly” to the Skripals’ attempted murder.“If the British government continues taking some anti-Russian measures, we will hit back under the principle of reciprocity,” he said in Japan.“Overall, there is no doubt that the British leadership has knowingly chosen to undermine the British-Russian relationship.”Britain says only Russia had the capability, motive and intent to be behind the attack.
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, along with the Baltimore City School Board, introduced new CEO of the Baltimore Public Schools, Dr. Gregory Thornton, during a news conference Feb. 18 at John Eager Howard Elementary School. A life-long educator who once turned down an opportunity to study medicine free of charge because he was committed to becoming a teacher, Thornton comes to Baltimore after spending the last four years serving as superintendent of Milwaukee’s public schools. There, he helped raise graduation rates and improve student achievement scores at a rate higher than the national average, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress Trial Urban District Assessment for 2013. In her introductory comments, Rawlings-Blake spoke of some of the challenges facing the Baltimore public schools and touted the 21st Century Buildings initiative, an effort to build new schools and renovate existing ones with the aid of $1.1 billion in funds secured by the Baltimore delegation to the Maryland legislature in Annapolis. “Our city school buildings” explained the mayor, “still are the oldest in the state. Many were built in the early part of the 20th century and some unfortunately…are still standing from the 19th century,” she said. “Leaking roofs,…unreliable heating and cooling systems, unusable bathrooms and water fountains had become the norm in too many of our schools and I can’t tell you what it means to me that future generations of Baltimore’s children—current and future—will see new schools, renovated schools, and first-class schools right here in Baltimore.” The sorry state of the school buildings was also attested to by Marcellis McQueen, a fourth grader and reporter for Cool School News, the John Eager Howard Elementary School newspaper. “Our water is always green or brown. Our bathroom, it’s dirty and is always getting flooded and needs improving,” Marcellis said. The young student reporter also noted that he would like to see better gym facilities and a student lounge where kids could receive additional help in subjects such as math. Thornton, whom the Mayor described as “a seasoned administrator” and “an outstanding partner in working to provide [the] world class education that we all want for Baltimore’s children” will take over for interim CEO Tisha Edwards, who oversaw the implementation of Common Core State Standards in the Baltimore public school system in July. In addition to continuing the implementation of Common Core, Thornton will be tasked with overseeing increased access to technology for Baltimore’s public school students, an effort he also helped oversee during his time in Milwaukee. According to Thornton, “On any given day, my kids [in the Milwaukee school system] are out on job sites, not as laborers, they are out basically looking at the role technology plays in every aspect of life.” The necessary tech infrastructure will be installed as part of the 21st Century Buildings initiative, but Thornton said he wants to work to increase access to technology beyond the walls of the schoolhouse for Baltimore’s public school students. “Kids gotta have access at home,” he said. “What I think premiere cities are trying to do is to create a way in which, no matter where you plug in, any time—kid’s laying in bed and can’t sleep, he takes his cell phone and gets caught up. That’s my goal.” In addition to being a life-long educator, Thornton is a grandfather and is accompanied in his move to Baltimore by his wife and fellow educator, Theresa Thornton, whom he has known since they were both 15 years old.