Category Archives for Social Media

15+ Funny Tweets About Cats

Cats love to give their owners a hard time, but little do they know, many of those same owners have tweeted the truth about their feline overlords on Twitter!

While our own cat masters slept, we compiled this list of the funniest tweets about cats. Which one is the funniest? Vote below, or submit your own funny cat tweet below. If you dare!

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Residents fight back after town removes Christmas tree cross

(CNN)Some residents of Knightstown, Indiana, are retaliating after the cross on their town’s Christmas tree was taken down.

A lawsuit, picked up by the ACLU, was filed after a resident said the cross challenged his civil liberties.
    The town conceded the case, and crews removed the cross from the top of the tree on Monday.
    “It is with regret and sadness that the Knightstown Town Council has had the cross removed from the Christmas tree on the town square and is expected to approve a resolution at the next council meeting stating they will not return the cross to the tree,” the town said in announcing the settlement.
    But according to CNN affiliate WISH, residents say their fight isn’t over.
    “It’s just ridiculous,” resident Aaron Magee told WISH. “I’m very offended that the cross was taken down, and I want it put back up. We all want it put back up.”
    Protesters have started placing their own crosses on the tree and handing crosses out to those walking by.
    ACLU-Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk disagreed with the town and protesters.
    “The cross is not a Christmas symbol,” Falk said. “The cross is the pre-eminent symbol of Christianity and it reminds Christians not of the secular trappings of Christmas, but of the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus.”
    Most of the response from social media has sided with the town’s officials.
    One Indiana resident found religion an inherent part of the town’s history.
    Another cheered on the townspeople for taking the matter, and their crosses, into their own hands.
    But some posters agreed with Falk and the town’s decision.
    For now, Magee and other protesters hope to bring back what they see as the reason for the holiday season.
    “If you can’t have Christ in your heart, I don’t know what you can have,” said Magee.
    Another protest is planned for 1 p.m. Sunday.

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    The UK’s rapidly changing mixed-race population

    Image copyright Getty Images

    Meghan Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry will see her become the first mixed-race member of the Royal Family. How does the wedding reflect wider changes in UK society?

    The UK’s growing number of people of different ethnic origins is often seen as a sign of a rapidly changing country.

    Their experiences can highlight shifting social attitudes and greater integration – or, sometimes, a lack of it.

    That an American actress and model born to a white father and a black mother is marrying Prince Harry has been described as a milestone for the Royal Family.

    Across UK society as a whole, how do the experiences of other people of dual heritage compare with those from other backgrounds?

    How many mixed-race people are there?

    One of the most striking things about the mixed-heritage population of the UK is that while we know it has grown rapidly, we don’t know how large it actually is.

    The most reliable figures come from the census and those who report their ethnic group as one of four categories: white and black Caribbean; white and black African; white and Asian; other mixed

    These categories were introduced in 2001, when 1.3% of the population of England and Wales used them. By the time of the 2011 census, this had grown to 2.3%.

    Image copyright Getty Images

    This substantial increase was particularly apparent among children, as more were born to parents of different ethnic groups. For example, the number of dual heritage children up to four years old rose from 116,000 in 2001, to 220,000 in 2011.

    There has also been an increase in the adult dual-heritage population. This is because some immigrants are of mixed ethnicity and some people change how they describe their ethnicity over time.

    In the UK, population projections suggest that the mixed groups are the fastest growing ethnic groups. Between 2001 and 2011, all four groups included in the census grew substantially.

    For example, the number of people describing themselves as white and black African doubled from 0.15% to 0.3% of the population over this period.

    But the census undercounts those who might be considered to be of mixed ethnicity if we look at their parents’ ethnic groups.

    Only 30% of adults with parents of different ethnicities describe themselves as having mixed heritage, the UK Household Longitudinal Study suggests.

    This reflects the fact that people are free to identify themselves as they wish and may not feel that a particular category does – or should – apply to them.

    Indeed, Ms Markle has herself identified the problem of people wanting to ask her the question “What are you?” and, in a 2016 article for Elle, recalled being confused by an ethnicity question on a classroom census.

    She described herself as biracial and spoke of how she had come to “voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman”.

    Education, employment and earnings

    The overwhelmingly youthful mixed-race population of the UK is performing well in school.

    At GCSE level, mixed-ethnicity children are on a par with white British children: with 63% of both groups getting A*-C in English and maths.

    They also performed relatively well on the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), with 26.7% achieving it, compared with 23.7% of white British pupils.

    However, they performed less well than some minority groups – for example Chinese pupils, of whom 82.8% achieved A*-C in English and Maths and 52% achieved the EBacc.

    More stories like this:

    When it comes to employment, the picture is not quite as good.

    Among men and women aged 25-49, the mixed-race population had an employment rate of 75% for men and 68% for women, compared with 85% and 75% across all ethnic groups, at the time of the 2011 Census.

    Unemployment was nearly 10% for men and 7.5% for women, compared with 6% and 4.5% across all ethnic groups.

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media caption“It’s like when Obama became president”: BBC News talks to black Britons about the ‘Meghan effect’

    The picture of work among the mixed-ethnicity population for this age group is comparable to that experienced by other ethnic minority groups. Among the complex reasons explaining these differences in employment levels is possible discrimination among some employers.

    How far this will change when dual-heritage children currently at school reach adulthood remains to be seen.

    Poverty among mixed-race households is also high, according to 2016-17 government figures on households below average income.

    It shows that families headed by someone of mixed ethnicity have higher poverty rates (20%) than across households as a whole (16%).

    Nearly one in four mixed-race families is in the bottom fifth for income.

    Among the reasons for the greater rates of poverty is the lower levels of employment among the group.

    Changing attitudes

    Despite the financial challenges facing many mixed-race people, there are signs that the UK is moving towards a more integrated society in other ways.

    Analysis of the British Social Attitudes Survey, which acts as a barometer of changing national attitudes, has shown increasing openness to inter-ethnic partnerships.

    For example, the proportion of white respondents who say they would mind “a little” or “a lot” if a close relative married someone who was black or Asian fell from more than 50% in 1989 to about 25% in 2013.

    While the official number of mixed-race people remains relatively small as a proportion of the UK’s total population, it is significant that it has increased rapidly over the past decades.

    It is expected that it will continue to grow.

    This population shift may be taken as an indicator of a more integrated and cosmopolitan society.

    But the inequalities mixed-race people face in terms of employment and incomes shows that ethnic origins continue to shape people’s lives and opportunities.


    About this piece

    This analysis piece was commissioned by the BBC from an expert working for an outside organisation.

    Prof Lucina Platt is professor of social policy and sociology at the LSE.

    Follow her department’s work at @lsesocialpolicy.


    Edited by Duncan Walker

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    Scream Queens Recap: Who Doesn’t Love a Little Graveyard Anal?

    This week was part one of the two part Halloween extravaganza. I spent the majority of my viewing time wishing I had Emma Roberts' body so that I too could dress like Big Bird on a daily basis and look chic af while I did it.

    The episode starts with a better cold open than SNL has had in the last five years. Ryan Murphy, who clearly fears neither God nor Squad, unapologetically mocked Taylor Swift and her fan gifting spree that preceded the 1989 tour. It was beautiful, if ill-advised.

    Chanel Oberlin, philanthropist at heart, takes it upon herself every Halloween to put together care packages for her donkey-faced Instagram followers in the various armpits across America. She sends out these gifts for Chanel-O-Ween and demands that the (usually overwhelmed and sobbing) recipients record the entire experience on social media for her own validation. No description will do it justice, just go watch for yourself. If you listen carefully you can hear the furious clacking of Swifty keyboards around the world as they prepare their onslaught of Twitter vitriol. I honestly cant wait to see how it plays out.

    The episode actually starts right where we left off last week, in the living room of Kappa. Munsch is questioned by the campus police for about 30 seconds before she is declared innocent, much to the outrage of both Wes and Gigi.

    Rather than be concerned by this man who clearly has it out for her, Munsch sexually harasses Wes and then asks/commands him to be her date to the faculty Halloween party. Jamie Lee Curtis take on predatory cougaring is so convincing that I'm beginning to think she went full method in preparation for this role.

    Denise shows up, suspiciously late, to let everyone know that somewhere on campus a dicky dollar douche is running around without his arms, but is apparently alive. She also throws in a quick Zayday accusation, just for good measure.

    Grace and Pete have finally arrived at the home of the missing bathtub birth witness from 1995. She lives in a trailer park in the middle of nowhere, which is exactly the opposite of how your life is supposed to turn out post-sorority. They come up with a clever (read: unnecessary) ruse to dress up as early trick or treaters, and settled on the perfectly casted ensemble of Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaugheyfrom How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Its honestly uncanny. Pete proceeds to conduct the entire interview in a McConaugheyaccent and its frighteningly spot on, which honestly only lends more credibility to the theory that hes one of the killers.

    The old Kappa sees them and is like youre obviously here for the story about what went down in that bathtub 20 years ago, proving their outfits unnecessary but still the best couples costume Ive seen in years. However, shes still super down to tell them everything because she lives in a trailer park out in bumfuck nowhere and recounting her part in an innocent girls death is probably the only fun she gets to have these days.

    Flashback: After Munsch and the young, yet still large Ms. Bean discover the dead girl in the bathtub, they go straight into cover up mode. Sidenote: I felt bad before when Chanel burned Ms. Beans face off, but she literally opted for turning the dead girl into sausage and then feeding her to the rest of the Kappas, so maybe alls well that ends well.

    Munsch, the Greek liaison to the University at the time (single worst job in history), blindfolds the three avid TLC fans, drives them out to an undisclosed location, and makes them bury the body. She then effectively banishes them from campus and tells them to never speak to each other again. Post college life didnt work out so well for them, evident by the one who is telling this story and another who killed herself. Shout out to the one who made it as a successful Fox News anchor though. Megyn Kelly, if you can get past the negligent death of your sorority sister, you can handle whatever Donald Trump throws at you next.

    One last semi important thing: they find out the bathtub baby was a girl. Flash to Grace, whos face instantly screams yooooooooo, I am this baby. Jumping to conclusions 101.

    Unexpected pairing of the episode: Zayday and Earl Grey, the Dicky Dollar Scholar. They meet up for coffee to essentially plan a coup of Kappa and ultimately campus Greek Life. Earl Grey volunteers to help Zayd with her campaign for Kappa president, I guess out of the goodness of his heart? He claims to want to save Greek life, which is one hazing ritual and racist chant away from being eradicated completely (true), but Im skeptical of the kid who is both black and British showing up to save a society built almost exclusively for rich, white Americans. Stay tuned for his real intentions.

    Back at Kappa where everyone is carving their Chanel-O-Ween pumpkins, Zayday announces her candidacy. With the assistance of Earl Grey, she plans on holding a charity haunted house to raise money for Sickle Cell Anemia. Despite the fact that multiple people have been murdered on this campus by someone who is essentially running around in a Halloween costume, I have zero doubt in my mind that they will be allowed to hold this haunted house and rampant death will ensue.

    Running for president as a freshman is bold, but running for president as a pledge is probably straight up not allowed. Chanels confidence in her stability as president is a bit unfounded considering she committed cold-blooded (or in this case, hot-oiled) murder in front of the very people who are supposed to be voting for her, a fact that Zayday immediately points out.

    Cue a completely expected meltdown from Chanel. What isnt expected? That she takes to sharpening fucking butcher knives in her closet mansion while she sulks. Honestly its like no one on this show is even trying to not look suspicious.

    In an attempt to make her feel better, 3 and 5 brainstorm fundraisers that Chanel can hold to upstage Zayday. If anything, this was an opportunity to get truly offensive, but Ryan Murphy probably recognized that there would already be a hit out on him by the end of this episode and played it safe. The Chanels settle on a haunted pumpkin patch to benefit Black Hairy Tongue disease. Sure.

    Meanwhile, out in the boonies, the old Kappa is payed a visit by the red devil, who was presumably led there by Pete and Grace (or is Pete/Grace, who knows). She gets murdered in her trailer home while her pet rat looks on and Leprechaun plays in the background. Jurys still out on which part of that situation is the most depressing.

    In an episode sorely lacking Chad Radwell, we are granted one glorious scene in which he is literally jerking off in a graveyard at night to tombstones and I just CANT with this fuck.

    Hester/Chanel 6 appears out of the mist like the creepy single/white/female that she is to attempt to seduce Chad. Initially, youre shocked that it works so well, and then you remember he was literally just about to jizz on a tombstone and youre like right.

    The two bond of their moderate necrophilia kinks and the fact that Chanel is such a raging bitch. Hester reveals her master plan to Chad: help Zayday win Kappa president and then kill her and take her spot, effectively making her the HBIC of a house with a grand total of six living members. She then proceeds to taunt him with prospective spooky butt sex and he just about jizzes in his pants. Theyre set to rendezvous at another time and place, one that Hester deems creepy enough.

    In this weeks installment of wholly inappropriate movies to be showing students living on a campus stalked by a serial killer, Wes plays Children of the Corn for his film class. Its accompanied by another creepy monologue that inevitably foreshadows some later event, like a child coming back to murder a bunch of adults who fucked up in their youth. Wonder what that could possibly be alluding to?

    Grace shows up to confront Wes about her mother, because she literally doesnt go to class ever. Rolling with the sole information that the bathtub baby was born a girl (a literal 50/50) she assumes that it had to be her and accuses her dad of lying for her entire life and also being the murderer.

    Grace: Dad, was I born inside of Kappa house thus making me the ULTIMATE legacy??
    Wes: Yo are you on bath salts

    Grace vows to get to the bottom of this mystery and storms out before receiving a text from Pete to meet him at 53 Shady Lane. As per usual, he makes a creepy fucking murder face while he does it, so shit is probably going down.

    Grace arrives at 53 Shady Lane which turns out to be a creepy abandoned house. Have the police considered checking out the desolate, haunted house on campus during their search of a masked murderer? Absolutely not.

    She is met there by Pete (who somehow thinks theyre going to find the identity of the bathtub baby), Zayday and Earl Grey (who are scoping a haunted house location) and Denise (who did some research at the library and came to warn them all about how haunted the house was). How did Denise, the worst security guard in a world where Paul Blart exists, know to show up at Shady Lane to warn everyone? Idk, probably has something to do with her being the murderer.

    From what I gathered of the legend of the Old Hag on Shady Lane is that a senile old woman lived there and made weird wailing noises and avoided the college kids running around drunk in her front yard. It's a pretty half-assed urban legend as far as college towns go, but they have a real life murder spree happening now so I guess they made up for it.

    Reactions about this story range from suspicious (Grace), to indifferent (Earl Grey) to psyched because it makes for an even better haunted house venue (Zayday). Denise takes some time out of recounting ghost stories and yelling at everyone to accuse Zayday of murder again and honesty, its getting old. However, she refers to the haunted house as a buffet for murderers, so we cant completely disregard her. Denise would have had a fucking field day with PLL.

    Zayday comes right back at Denise with some accusations of her own. It turns out that Denise was a Kappa pledge for a hot sec in 1988 before they realized that there was a clerical error and that they gave a bid to a black girl. It was heavily suggested that she would not be the right fit for the house, and Denise promptly dropped out and enrolled in community college.

    Zayday thinks Denise is killing people because shes still mad about getting kicked out of Kappa. Denise thinks Zayday is doing it for reasons that I still dont really understand but have something to do with the chainsaw she found under her bed. I think that if the two of these teamed up with Earl Grey they could probably figure out the real killer in half an episode.

    The Chanels sit down in the cafeteria for an artfully packed lunch of cotton balls. Dont worry, there was dipping sauce. After Hester points out that it might actually kill them to solely consume cotton, Chanel goes on a wholly unexpected tirade about the extreme disconnect between beauty expectations for men and women. PSA: Not even Chanel Oberlin, quintessential shallow bitch and propagator of bulimia, is down for your fucking dad bods.

    Quote of the episode and also my life: I may die at the end of a serial killers blade, but I refuse to die hungry. Preach.

    Mere seconds after confronting body image, Chanel takes an aggressively feminist stance on cat-calling and rape culture, which leads me to believe that Ryan Murphy is trying to make up for the Taylor Swift jab at the beginning of the episode. Whatever the reasoning, Im all for it. After being approached and harassed by some inherently misogynistic frat boys, the Chanels proceed to beat the absolute shit out of them. Its a massacre. The entire cafeteria, much like myself, broke into a supportive round of applause.

    Chanel and Hester meet up for their freaky necrophilia motivated anal sesh in the haunted house on Shady Lane. Both of them received texts that the other didnt send, but decide this fact isnt worth addressing.

    They stumble upon a basement bedroom to bone in but soon discover that all the previously stolen dead bodies had been hidden in the house. They try to warn everyone to stay away from the haunted house full of actual corpses, which ends up being the best advertisement Zayday could have asked for.

    Pete, Grace, Zayday and Earl Grey show up and realize what none of the other attendees have yet to figure out: all these dead bodies are real. Everyone thats been murdered thus far makes an appearance, even poor Coney. Zayday tries to call the police but before she can convince them that this is an actual emergency and not just a super sick haunted house, shes tackled by the red devil.

    Everyone reconvenes at Kappa to discuss the issue at hand i.e: five dead bodies, most of which had gone unreported. Munsch refuses to recognize this as a university issue while everyone pretty much just screams at her.

    Grace is the only one who is moderately concerned about the fact that Zayday was abducted. I am the only one moderately suspicious that Zayday was abducted and not murdered. Could she be in #CAHOOTS with Boone? God, I hope so. I miss him.

    After being grounded in the house by her dad, a order that will absolutely get ignored, Grace reveals new newest theory to Pete: that the old hag on Shady Lane was actually taking care of the bathtub baby, hence the weird crying sounds that started up right around the time of the Kappa death. As she's explaining this the camera pans to Shady Lane, where the wailing has started back up. This time, it's not a baby making that God forsaken sound but Gigi, sitting in a rocking chair, shrouded in black and surrounded by baby dolls. No one should have been surprised that she's certifiably crazy, and this basically verifies what we've thought all along: Gigi was the brunette witness to the bathtub birth.

    Questions I'm left with:

    Why hasn't Gigi used the cover up to blackmail Munsch yet?

    Is Grace the baby or is she guilty of jumping to extreme conclusions again?

    How the fuck is that kid still alive after both his arms were cut off?

    Episodes since Boone:2

    Episodes until the Radwell family spin off: too many

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    Kids are glued to their screens – but parents are in no position to criticize

    A study has found teens are hyperconnected to their phones but many of their parents have a problem with their own screen time

    Parents lament their teenagers’ noses being constantly buried in their phones, but they might want to take stock of their own screen habits, according to a new report.

    Two-thirds of parents are concerned about the amount of time their “hyperconnected” teenage children spend in front of screens – and yet more than a third expressed concern about their own screen time, a US study published on Wednesday by the Pew Research Center found.

    And more than half of teens said they often or sometimes find their parents or caregivers to be distracted by their electronic devices when the youngsters are trying to have a conversation with them. The study calls teens’ relationship with their phones at times “hyperconnected” and notes that nearly three-quarters check messages or notifications as soon as they wake up. Parents do the same, but at a lower, if still substantial, rate of 57%.

    Big tech companies face a growing backlash against the addictive nature of their gadgets and apps, the endless notifications and other features created to keep people tethered to their screens.

    Sign up to receive the top US stories every morning

    Many teens are trying to do something about it themselves. A total of 52% said they have cut back on the time they spend on their phones and 57% did the same with social media.

    Experts say parents have a big role in their children’s screen habits and setting a good example is a big part of it.

    “Kids don’t always do what we say but they do as we do,” said Donald Shifrin, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, who was not involved in the Pew study. “Parents are the door that kids will walk through on their way to the world.”

    The study surveyed 743 US teens and 1,058 US parents of teens from 7 March to 10 April 2018. The margin of error is 4.5%.

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    White House correspondents’ dinner: star power, but according to who?

    Event may have lost its A-list celebrity appeal over the years, but maybe its the critics that fail to recognize what makes a mover and a shaker

    Each spring, Washington plays to its aspirations of being Hollywood-on-the-Potomac (though its more often known as Hollywood for Ugly People) with the annual White House Correspondents Dinner.

    This is ostensibly an opportunity to give scholarships to deserving journalism students in front of the stars and politicians those students aspire to cover. In reality, its a night of inter-Washington camaraderie that makes watchdogs shudder; a dinner during which the Beltway medias sense of self-regard shines brightly; and an opportunity for the DC elite to demonstrate their elite-ness by publishing selfies with the surely-sick-of-it celebrities in attendance.

    The last few years, however, the shine has come off the celebrity aspect of the evening: though Barack Obamas first WHCD in 2009 reportedly drew more star power than his predecessors, the rise of social media or at least selfie culture in the intervening years has caused a reportedchill in Hollywood toward invitations to the event.

    In 2014, the Hollywood Reporter explained that publicists were telling their clients This is a crowd that gropes and grabs.

    According to the source, there are way too many A-listers who have had pretty weird experiences at the dinner. A lot of the people who have gone say theyll never do it again. The room is so crowded. Its uncontrolled. Theres no limit to the number of people trying to get photos and autographs and theres no way to hide from it. Its like the stars are animals in a cage. People go crazy when they see them. They act like a bunch of kids at the Kids Choice Awards.

    The same article noted that it was the same for reality stars as for A-listers but that the reality stars perhaps enjoyed it a bit more.

    Still, the Washington Post speculated that year that the backlash to the celebrity culture of the dinner meant more reality stars and fewer star-stars, and the Guardian did so in 2015. But the fact of the matter is that the first celebrity WHCD guest in 1987 was Fawn Hall, the Iran-Contra document-shredder-turned-model, who came as the guest of then-Baltimore Sun reporter Michael Kelly. It generated buzz, not A-list celebrity wattage; he followed it up the following year by bringing Gary Harts rumored mistress, Donna Hall.

    And though the generators of buzz have changed as the tastes of Hollywood and the paparazzi (who often mingle with the guests just beyond the tiny red carpet of the Washington Hilton) have, its not like every WHCD of the celebrity-friendly Obama administration years has been no-Clooney (last seen in 2012) and all-Nene (a guest of the Washington Blade this year). Stars from teen-friendly television shows and reality television alike have been part of the mix all along.

    In 2009, for instance, American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi rubbed shoulders with both Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner (it was reportedly his last appearance because a drunken female guest flashed him), while frequent Fox guest, Gossip Girls Chace Crawford, shared oxygen with real-world hero Captain Chesley Sully Sullenberger.

    ABC regularly hosts the stars of its entertainment properties the cast of Modern Family (Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Sofia Vergara, Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet) have been guests at various points going back to 2010, and Kerry Washingtons has shown up several times since just after Scandal premiered.

    The media has played host to Olympians such as Lindsey Vonn (2010) and NFL players such as Cam Newton (2014) and to teen-friendly TV stars like Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev of The Vampire Diaries (2011) and the folks from Gossip Girl and Glee, depending on the season. (And, of course, the Jonas Brothers made an appearance in 2010 and promptly became the butt of a presidential joke.)

    At the height of Dancing with the Stars popularity, you could spot competitors Bristol Palin (Season 11, 2011), JR Martinez (Season 13, 2012) and William Levy (Season 14, also in 2012), who was still competing at the time of the dinner; the following year, it was all about Willie Jess and Korie Robertson from Duck Dynasty.

    Musical stars come and go and sometimes come back again and again: JC Chasez of NSync was Foxs guest in 2013, 2014 and will be this year; and Jon Bon Jovi went in 2009, 2010 and 2013 as the guest of ABC, NBC and the Huffington Post, respectively. CBS brought along then-Senator Scott Browns daughter, 2006 American Idol contestant Ayla Brown in 2010 (the Jonas Brothers year); Fox also had Richard Marx and Rick Springfield join them in 2014.

    This year, when last years New Yorker guest Larry Wilmore is hosting, is much of the same: Fox will be joined by WWE stars John Cena and Nikki Bella instead of Donald and Melania Trump, who they had last year; Thomson Reuters has It-Girls Illana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson of Broad City; USA Today is playing host to Kendall Jenner, of the Kardashian-Jenners; and the Boston Globe is hosting much of the cast of Spotlight, which is about the Boston Globe.

    The event has always been about using the well-known (celebrities) to get press for the lesser-known (the journalists). But those who complain that the star power at the event is in decline have perhaps, with their obsessive selfie-taking, contributed to it. At best, theyve failed to recognize which celebrities are actually the movers and shakers in 2016.

    Its been more than 35 years since an movie star captured the Republican nomination and then the presidency: nowadays, its a reality television star who is likely to capture the Republican nomination. Its not just at the WHCD that movie stars are being eclipsed; its, perhaps, in the White House itself.

    [In 2015, The Guardian hosted David Tennant and Alan Rickman; it is hosting Carrie Fisher and Tom Hiddleston in 2016.]

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    Brands had some amazingly bad tributes to Prince on Twitter

    Prince is dead. But if there’s one thing his highness truly enjoyed in life, it was brands and corporations profiting off his likeness.

    To that end, we salute these professional social media teams for their timely, heartfelt, and appropriate tributes, which we will now rank:

    Top Tier: Threadless, Bing, Lenovo, NASA, Spotify

    Can’t get too mad about these, they seem pretty genuine. But it’s OK to say this stuff on your personal accounts instead. We’re not looking to Bing for answers right now, and we can’t imagine Prince using a search engine.

    You Tried, Sort Of: TiVo, Best Buy, 3M, NVIDIA, Hamburger Helper

    I’m not convinced these brands really give a shit about Princetheir grief is a bit generic. Don’t feel great about the integration of your logos and mascots, either.

    Delete Your Account: Maker’s Mark, Four Loko, Getty Images, Cheerios

    You fucking serious with this shit? Trying to catch the viral sadness wave? Plastering your product directlyonto a cultural tragedy? OK then!

    Beyond Saving: Sharon Stone

    Sharon, you hashtagged this tweet with your own name. FYI.

    Anyway, at least Cinnabon understands.


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    Facebook, Google and Amazon could pay ‘fair’ tax under EU plans

    Tech firms would pay wherever they have digital presence, regardless of staff location

    Amazon, Google and Facebook could be made to pay a “fair” share of tax under new European Union proposals on digital companies that could heighten transatlantic tensions.

    The European commission called for large technology companies to pay a 3% tax if they make money from user data or digital advertising in a country, regardless of their bricks-and-mortar presence. As well as social media companies making money through user data, the move would also catch online market places, such as Airbnb and Uber.

    Tech giants have been rattled by the proposals, which are a departure from the current system under which companies are taxed on profits where they are headquartered, often in countries offering lower tax rates.

    European leaders will discuss the plans at an EU summit on Thursday, opening a fractious debate about how to capture revenue from digital firms.

    France has led the charge for a digital tax, sometimes nicknamed the Gafa tax, after Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. Smaller countries, such as Ireland, Luxembourg and Estonia, fear unilateral EU action could hand an advantage to the US, Japan, or even Brexit Britain.

    The plans have been in the works for months, before regulators called on Facebook to explain a data breach affecting 50m profiles, or a transatlantic dispute about steel tariffs.

    Despite the long gestation, the digital tax is likely to raise tensions between Brussels and Donald Trump’s White House. The US Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, told the New York Times that gross taxes on internet companies were “not fair”, on the sidelines of a debate among G20 finance ministers on taxation in Buenos Aires this week.

    The commission rejected claims that the plan was targeting US companies. “This is not an anti-American tax, this is not an anti-Gafa tax, this is a digital tax,” said Pierre Moscovici, the European commissioner for tax, who said 150 firms would be affected, including European, American and Asian ones.

    Moscovici said he had stressed this point to ministers at this week’s meeting in the Argentine capital, adding that the commission saw the plans as compatible with EU obligations under the World Trade Organization.

    The commission believes the tax will generate €5bn for European treasuries each year, but Moscovici suggested this sum would rise over time.

    The growing dominance of digital companies is seen as a long-term threat to Europe’s tax base, while also sparking questions of fairness. The commission estimates that digital businesses pay an effective average tax rate of only 9.5%, compared with 23.2% for bricks-and-mortar firms.

    The proposals must be agreed unanimously by EU member states before they become law, so details may change.

    The commission’s preferred option is reform of EU corporate tax rules that would include new ways to identify companies with a “digital presence”. A company would be deemed to have digital presence in a country if its revenues exceed €7m (£6m), or it has more than 100,000 users, or has signed more than 3,000 business contracts.

    Pending this bigger reform, the commission is looking at interim measures, such as the 3% tax on revenues from digital activities, which would include selling online advertising space. The measure would only apply to companies with global revenues of €750m and €50m in the EU.

    The commission hopes member states will agree the 3% tax by the end of the year, meaning it is likely the UK would have to apply it during a Brexit transition period mooted to end in 2021.

    EU officials have said they want to prevent European companies being undercut by their neighbour across the channel after Brexit.

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    Sandy Hook Mom Slams Megyn Kelly For Alex Jones Interview

    A mother of one of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting is speaking out against Megyn Kelly and NBC News for an upcoming pre-taped television interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

    In the past, Jones, a far-right radio personality, has called the massacre, in which 20 students and six school employees were murdered, “completely fake.” He also accused the parents of the young victims of being actors who pretended to mourn their children’s deaths.

    “Sandy Hook is a completely fake, with actors, in my view, manufactured. I couldn’t believe it at first,” Jones said. “I know they had actors there clearly. But I thought they killed some real kids.”

    Nelba Marquez-Greene lost her 6-year-old daughter Ana during the Newtown, Connecticut tragedy, and when she saw a clip released Sunday that promotes an interview between Kelly and Jones scheduled for next Sunday, she was completely outraged.

    The grieving mother posted a series of tweets slamming Kelly and NBC for giving Jones a platform.

    In another tweet, Marquez-Greene pointed out that the airing of the Jones interview also happens to be Father’s Day, and the timing was especially cruel to the fathers who lost their kids during the Sandy Hook shooting.

    Kelly, who received social media backlash for the interview, has defended it. She tweeted that it is her job to “shine a light” on Jones because he has been praised by President Donald Trump.

    She also noted that Jones’ InfoWars was given credibility when the site received White House press credentials.

    Márquez-Greene told the Washington Post that shining a light on Jones would only encourage him and his followers to “double down” on their efforts to label the horrific shooting as a hoax.

    “Shining a light works on cockroaches,” she told the outlet. “It doesn’t work on Alex Jones.”

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