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Black-and-white photos of women flooded Instagram in mid-July with the hashtag #ChallengeAccepted. So far, more than 6 million women have posted pictures using the hashtag and that number continues to increase. 

The trend, originally from a 2016 challenge to raise cancer awareness, reappeared with a new purpose this past month — a reminder of the femicide rates in Turkey and the importance of the Istanbul Convention, which was signed in 2011 to take measures that would prevent violence against women, protect victims and prosecute the perpetrators.

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Joe Villasana’s $641 vanished into the ether of the live entertainment industry.
He splurged for a ticket to see Rage Against the Machine at the 12,000-seat Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas, but the band’s reunion tour has since been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Villasana pleaded for a refund from two Ticketmaster representatives, but they thwarted his efforts. Instead, the pair ingrained in him their company’s new policy: “Ticketmaster cannot issue a refund until the concert is canceled.”

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You teach me that some love stories are viscerally beautiful up until the very moment of their end, but that does not mean they are meant to last. They are meant to be experienced only as a precursor to the other things life has in store for us.

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On June 6, the baby-boomer battles between left and right at a hallowed Long Island intersection collided with an outpour of younger people calling to end police brutality and systemic inequality. Over 250 peaceful protesters co-opted this battleground for a three-hour Black Lives Matter protest and unknowingly threw tradition by the wayside when nearly 100 of them crossed North Country Road — No Man’s Land — infiltrating the land held by the Patriots for nearly two decades. 

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The coronavirus swept the country, forcing me and almost everyone everywhere into quarantine – with shelter-at-home orders, remote learning for kindergarten-through-college classes and entire industries and small businesses shut down. I’m a creature of habit, but I’m adapting. Still, this change is different – scary, even – with health risks, uncertainty, rising death tolls and limited social contact with the outside world. 

But life in lockdown has had one silver lining for the Taku family. It has forced my family – all six of us – to eat dinner together at the dining room table almost every night. 

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