3 Stories You Should Read 9/19/2019: Iran, Sean Spicer, LeeAnn Bienaime
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In the category of: Not just hot air
Iran’s foreign minister has warned of “all-out war” in the event of US or Saudi military strikes against his country, and questioned whether Saudi Arabia was prepared to fight “to the last American soldier.”
Javad Zarif told CNN that Iran hoped to avoid conflict, adding that the country was willing to talk to its regional rivals Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. But Iran would not hold talks with the US unless Washington provided full relief from sanctions as promised under the 2015 nuclear deal, Tehran’s top diplomat said.
He again denied that Iran was involved in weekend attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, which dramatically ratcheted up tensions in the region. Zarif said Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, who claimed responsibility for the attack, have stepped up their military capabilities and were capable of conducting a sophisticated operation such as the one that knocked out half of the kingdom’s energy production.
In the category of: The liars two-step
The real winner of Dancing With the Stars’ Sean Spicer controversy is Dancing with the Stars.
Dancing With the Stars has always taken a flexible approach to the term “star,” applying it liberally and loosely to Olympic athletes (gymnast Laurie Hernandez), NFL and NBA players (Antonio Brown; Lamar Odom), musicians (Normani), models (Nyle DiMarco), reality television personalities (Lisa Rinna; Erika Jayne), and a variety of other public figures, not all of whom are familiar faces in the average American household. Becoming more famous (Zendaya was on the show in 2013 when she was still just a fledgling star) or capitalizing on burgeoning fame (like Hernandez did after she and the US women’s gymnastics team won gold at the 2016 Olympics) is probably more important to the “stars” themselves than winning the competition.
And while the argument could easily be made that few of Dancing With the Stars’ contestants are true stars and that appearing on the show is just a shallow fame grab, casting “controversies” rarely amount to little more than an eye-roll. In Spicer’s case, however, joining season 28 was seen as an attempt to help erase his unsavory reputation in the minds of many Americans — and the show’s willingness to make him a “star” was seen as giving him a pass he didn’t deserve.
In the category of: The Not So Mystery of 3rd World Infant Mortality Rates
Unfortunately, LeeAnn Bienaime’s experience isn’t out of line with that of other black patients, specifically black mothers. Maternal mortality rates for black women are more than three times higher those of white mothers—more than half of those deaths occurred after the day of the delivery, reports the New York Times. And experts say health issues aren’t squarely to blame for why this disparity occurs.
One 2016 study cited in a recent Oprah Magazine article found oncologists who took an implicit bias test showed those doctors testing higher for bias had shorter interactions with their black patients. Those patients also reported feeling less supported in their interactions with doctors and said they had less confidence in the suggested treatments.
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