Smear test campaign drops ‘woman’ from text to encourage checks by transgender men

Launched on Monday, campaign material for Cervical Cancer Awareness Week now uses the phrase “everyone aged 25-64 with a cervix,” as opposed to “women aged 25-64,” as the charity looks to encourage a greater uptake in cervical screening, more commonly known as smear tests, among transgender men.

The campaign comes as cervical screening rates have fallen to a 20-year low in England. Every year more than 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 890 die, according to figures provided by The Times.

Material used on the charity’s social media campaign also looked to tackle some of the common misconceptions around smear tests such as nervousness and embarrassment some people feel which prevents them from getting tested.

Speaking on the new language, Fiona Osgun from Cancer Research UK said: “Cervical cancer develops in anyone who has a cervix,” adding that this “includes women as well as people with other gender identities such as trans men.”

The linguistic rejig also considered where “screening might not be relevant for all women such as those who have had a full hysterectomy,” Osgun said.

“We phrased our information on cervical screening awareness week to reflect this,” she added.

According to research gathered by Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, five million women in the UK are invited for cervical screenings each year, however, one in four do not respond.

A spokesperson for the charity told the Times that it too used the phrase “anyone with a cervix” to remind trans men they are also at risk. “But we use ‘women and anyone with a cervix’ in our messaging, so as not to isolate any groups,” it added.

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Passengers On Deadly Southwest Flight Receive $5,000 Checks

At least some passengers aboard a deadly Southwest Airlines flight have received $5,000 checks with “sincere apologies” from the carrier.

The airline issued the payments after a Tuesday flight from New York City to Dallas was rocked by an engine explosion in midair, killing one passenger. The crippled jet made an emergency landing in Philadelphia. 

In a letter accompanying the checks, Southwest said the payment was a goodwill gesture for the ordeal, CNN reported.

“We value you as our customer and hope you will allow us another opportunity to restore your confidence in Southwest as the airline you can count on for your travel needs,” the letter said, according to recipient Kamau Siwatu. “In this spirit, we are sending you a check in the amount of $5,000 to cover any of your immediate financial needs.”

Siwatu was among three aboard the flight to confirm receiving the letter. They also got a $1,000 voucher for travel on Southwest.

The company verified the report, telling HuffPost in an email on Friday: “Ours is a company and culture built on relationships. Many of the Customers on that flight have flown with us before. We can confirm the communication and gesture are authentic and heartfelt.” The airline declined further comment.

Aviation attorneys told USA Today on Thursday that passengers could likely collect millions of dollars in legal damages from Southwest.

Metal fatigue on a fan blade that snapped in the engine is suspected to be the culprit. Broken parts smashed into the fuselage, breaking a window, and a passenger who was partially sucked through the opening died from blunt impact.

Southwest had previously balked at the engine manufacturer’s recommendation for quicker inspections of the fan blades, The Associated Press reported.

This article has been updated to include comment from Southwest.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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44 Democrats Exempted Awans From Background Checks Before Granting Access To Classified Intel

As the Russian “hacking” episode continues to mire the Trump administration in nebulous innuendo and daily claims of collusion, Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller reminds us that House Democrats participated in an actual data breach conducted by Pakistani-nationals who were given access to highly sensitive intelligence as part of their duties providing IT support to members of Congress – and in particular, Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Gregory Meeks (D-NY).

Every one of the 44 House Democrats who hired Pakistan-born IT aides who later allegedly made “unauthorized access” to congressional data appears to have chosen to exempt them from background checks,” writes Rosiak.

All of them appear to have waived background checks on Imran Awan and his family members, even though the family of server administrators could collectively read all the emails and files of 1 in 5 House Democrats, and despite background checks being recommended for such positions, according to an inspector general’s report. The House security policy requires offices to fill out a form attesting that they’ve initiated background checks, but it also includes a loophole allowing them to simply say that another member vouched for them. –Daily Caller

Had any of the 44 House Democrats performed background checks, they would have discovered several red flags in Abid Awan’s past – including “a $1.1 million bankruptcy, six lawsuits against him or a company he owned; and at least three misdemeanor convictions including for DUI and driving on a suspended license, according to Virginia court records,” notes Rosiak.

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Internal border checks must stay until EU can "effectively protect" its borders – German minister

r border crossing point Germany/Czech


Internal border checks must stay in place in Germany for as long as the EU fails to protect its external borders, newly-appointed German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said, slamming the Schengen Agreement.

“As things stand now, there are not too many border points in Germany that are permanently occupied,” Seehofer told German weekly newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag.

“We will discuss whether that needs to change. After all, it is not just about preventing people from crossing borders illegally. Border controls also serve other protective functions.”

Seehofer lambasted the landmark Schengen Agreement, which allows border control-free travel within the passport-free Schengen zone, made up of 26 European nations.

“Internal border checks must be in place for as long as the EU fails to effectively protect and control the external borders,” the former Bavarian prime minister said. “At present, I don’t see it succeeding in this in the near future.”

Schengen has repeatedly faced severe criticism for allowing migrants and home-grown terrorists to pass through borders “safe and sound,” i.e. unchecked.

Some blamed weak border control systems for allowing Anis Amri to stage the mid-December 2016 Christmas market attack in Berlin, which killed 12 people. Following the fatal attack, Amri managed to escape Germany first into France and then into Italy, where he was finally tracked down and killed in a shootout with Italian police in late December, 2016.

In September 2015, Germany became the first EU country to reintroduce internal controls. Back then, authorities opened checkpoints along the border with the neighboring Austria, to curb the flow of tens of thousands of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. Border controls are also in place on flight connections from Greece.

Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and France (which reintroduced border checks after a series of deadly terrorist attacks in November of 2015) followed in Germany’s footsteps. The five countries were later authorized to extend their temporal border controls until May 12, 2018. France will continue to conduct checks at the borders with the other Schengen zone states until late April.

The Schengen Borders Code allows member states to reintroduce border control at the internal borders for up to six months in the event of a “serious threat to public policy or internal security.”

The duration of such a measure is strictly limited in time, allowed to be extended up to a maximum of two years.

Seehofer made waves earlier this week when he said that “Islam doesn’t belong to Germany.”

His stance is at odds with previous remarks from his own chancellor, Angela Merkel.

Merkel, who has faced backlash for agreeing to take in up to one million migrants, reaffirmed her view of a multi-ethnic Germany.

“There are now 4 million Muslims living in Germany and they practice their religion here and these Muslims belong to Germany, as does their religion – Islam,” she said on Friday.

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Robert Mueller Finds 30 Checks Written To Russians – Trump Flies Into Pure Panic Mode

One thing has been clear as the months of the Russia scandal have dragged on — the president and his team either have no idea how to act in accordance with their claims of innocence or they are hiding something. Trump has sought to obstruct the Russia investigation at what seems like every turn — but it’s continued to move forward anyway.

One of the four Trump associates to have so far faced charges related to the scandal is Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign manager. He and his associate were discovered by Mueller’s team to have carried on with a money laundering scheme meant to hide millions of dollars.

Now, Buzzfeed has some new revelations about the course of the Russia investigation that are similar to those that brought down Manafort, although what connection they may have to the Trump team remains unknown at this point.

According to the outlet, Mueller’s office, in line with its mandate to investigate any areas of interest that may arise during the course of their inquiry, is now looking into an array of suspicious financial transactions that the government had already been warned about.

The transactions under scrutiny include a $120,000 payout from the Russian Embassy to the now former Russian Ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, ten days after the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Kislyak is the Russian Ambassador who was in contact with Jeff Sessions in repeated instances that the now Attorney General conveniently thought weren’t relevant when being questioned.

Kislyak met with other Trump officials, too, like the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and the president’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has faced a charge of lying to the FBI for falsely representing what he’d discussed with him.Other transactions under scrutiny by Mueller’s office include “nearly 30 checks for a total of about $370,000” to employees of the Russian Embassy in the United States, all made out in between the dates of March 8 and April 7, 2014 and essentially all immediately cashed, making tracing the money after it went out from the embassy difficult — perhaps intentionally.

The dates of those checks are significant because they coincide with the 2014 Crimean status referendum meant to poll voters in Crimea on the question of whether or not they wanted to join Russia.

Unsurprisingly, considering the fact that Russia was involved to the point of having military in the region at the time, the referendum turned out in the Russians’ favor, but it was globally regarded as illegitimate.

Other points under investigation include someone having attempted to withdraw $150,000 cash from the embassy’s account just five days after Trump’s inauguration. Citibank blocked that transaction because of how abnormal it was.

Also under consideration are the facts that “[o]ver five years, the Russian Cultural Centre — an arm of the government… sent $325,000 in checks that banking officials flagged as suspicious” and that the D.C. Russian Embassy “sent more than $2.4 million to small home-improvement companies controlled by a Russian immigrant living not far from there” between 2013 and 2017.

Ironically, “home improvement” is the same thing that Manafort used some of his laundered money for.

What connection any of these payments have to Russian efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election remains to be seen. U.S. interests declined to comment and the Russian government insists that it’s innocent — and, of course, the president has been and by all appearances remains on the Russians’ side in this.via:bipartisanreports

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CNN, MSNBC Push Debunked Poll That 97% Support ‘Universal Background Checks’

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MSNBC’s Katy Tur Claims Background Checks Not Used in All States

MTP Daily
November 6, 2017
5:01:32 PM Eastern

KATY TUR: Tonight we’re once again following the developments of a mass shooting. We’ve gotten to the point it isn’t just that gun violence and mass shootings are a sad and predictable reality in this country, but where the political response to them is just as sad and just as predictable. When these things happen, pretty much all Republicans say: “Now is not the time to talk gun laws.” Democrats say, “Now is the exact time to talk gun laws.” The end result — nothing happens. And today, while the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas are mourning lost loved ones and praying for the wounded, both sides stuck to their usual scripts.

The Republican deflection once again on full display including from the White House.


TUR: Less than a week ago, eight people were killed in New York. It only took few hours then for the President to immediately call for policy changes. Of course, that was called a terrorist attack, and was caused by an Uzbek immigrant who came to the U.S. on a Visa.


TUR: Joining me now, is Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar, who represents the area of Texas where this shooting occurred.


TUR: You yourself are a big guns rights advocate. You get money from the NRA right after the Vegas shooting. You went on Fox to say gun regulations wouldn’t stop that sort of thing from happening. Now that it’s happened in your backyard, Congressman Cuellar, do you feel differently than you did a month ago?

HENRY CUELLAR: Well again, if somebody wants to kill somebody, Katy, they’re going to find a way. I mean, look what happened in New York. They used of a vehicle, used a truck. We’ve seen that in other parts of Europe. We saw 9/11 it was an airplane. We’ve seen people kill people with knives and even with their bare hands. So again, if somebody wants to kill somebody, they’re going to find a way to do it.

TUR [Interrupting Cuellar]: You know, we live in the only place in the entire world, Congressman, where these sort of shootings happen. The only place in the entire world. Yeah, you’re right. People will kill people if they want to kill people, but this is a 26-year-old person who walked into a church and killed victims as young as 18 months, babies, with a semiautomatic rifle, an AR-15. The same rifle we’ve seen used over and over again in mass shootings. Do you think it’s acceptable just to say that you know, someone wants to kill someone, they’re going to kill someone?

CUELLAR: Well, I mean, again, do you want to ban trucks, because a truck was used? Do you want to ban an airplane –

TUR [Interrupting Cuellar again]: I don’t really think we’re equivocating on this—

CUELLAR: Let me just finish. You asked me a question. I let you ask the question. Let me answer the question, if you can. So do you want to ban trucks because they used a truck in New York? Do you want to ban airplanes because a terrorist used it in 9/11? Again, you know, there were some laws in place. We’re going to find out why he was able to get the guns under the circumstances that you mentioned at the very beginning.


TUR: One other question. You’re one of the few who came out against, came out for a bill that became law earlier in the year that would have made it harder for people with mental illnesses to buy a gun. Do you have any second thoughts on that?

CUELLAR: No. Again, it’s who declares somebody to be mentally ill. Is it a judge or is it a bureaucrat? So — there is an issue. If you look at that vote. There was a little bit more behind it than just putting it just the way you said it. It’s who declares somebody to be mentally ill.

TUR: Do you think that there should be any limits at all to the Second Amendment?

CUELLAR: Any what again?

TUR: Any limits at all to the second amendment? You can’t scream “Fire” in a crowded theater, that’s a limit on the First Amendment. Should there be limits at all to the Second Amendment?

CUELLAR: I think there are limits already. I think–

TUR [Interrupting Cuellar a third time]: What are they?

CUELLAR: Laws that — well, I mean, not everybody can get a gun. I mean, there is some, some background. There is –

TUR [Interrupting Cuellar for the fourth time]: That’s not consistent around the entire country.

CUELLAR: Well, again, let me answer your question again. You asked me, there are some limits. There are some limits right now to the Second Amendment. Do I believe in the Second Amendment? Yes. Do I believe in the first amendment? Yes. Until we make some changes to the constitution, those are some of the basic constitutional rights that we have.

TUR: But I was hoping to find out whether or not you think there should be any limits. I presume your answer is, no?

CUELLAR: No. I just told you. There are some limits under the law right now.

TUR: Congressman Cuellar, thank you for your time …

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