Rapper Snoop Dogg is reportedly lobbying to acquire a pardon for Death Row Records co-founder Michael ‘Harry-O’ Harris, as America prepares to find out who is on Donald Trump’s final list of pardons.
Mr Harris, 58, was convicted of attempted murder and kidnapping in 1988 and sentenced to 40 years in prison. During his time in jail, he has reportedly reformed his character and has become a vocal advocate for prison reform.
Snoop Dogg is working with two lobbyists, including Alice Johnson, a woman who became a criminal justice reform activist two-and-a-half years ago after her life sentence was commuted by President Trump following extensive lobbying by Kim Kardashian West.
“The president knows about it. I’ve spoken with Ivanka [Trump] and I’ve spoken with Jared [Kushner], and I’ve been told that President Trump is aware of the case and has been reviewing it,” Ms Johnson said. “In reviewing Michael Harris’ case, his story, and what he’s gone through, this is such an unfair case.”
Mr Harris attempted to gain early release earlier this year on compassionate grounds, citing the coronavirus pandemic. His request was denied.
Mr Harris was one of the founders and early financiers of Death Row Records, a rap label that in the 1990s boasted artists Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac on its roster.
Snoop’s attempts to secure Mr Harris’ release face a potential hiccup. Two years ago, Snoop clashed with Trump after he released a music video showing him shooting a fake gun at a clown that resembled the 45th President.
“Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!” Trump tweeted at the time.
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Chadwick Boseman’s widow paid an emotional tribute to the “most honest person”, fighting back tears as the actor was honoured posthumously during an awards ceremony.
Black Panther star Boseman died in August at the age of 43 after suffering from colon cancer for four years, keeping his illness private.
His performance in his final role, playing an ambitious trumpeter in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom alongside Oscar winner Viola Davis, was honoured at the Gotham Awards on Monday evening.
Nomadland, which stars Frances McDormand, another former Academy Award winner, as a middle-aged woman travelling through the American West, was named best feature and also won the audience award.
The Gotham Awards, hosted by the Independent Filmmakers Project (IFP), are seen as a reliable bellwether for the Oscars.
Accepting the actor tribute to Boseman, his wife, Simone Ledward Boseman, described him as “the most honest person I’ve ever met”.
She said: “He didn’t just stop at speaking the truth, he actively searched for it in himself, in those around him and in the moment.
More from Chadwick Boseman
“The truth can be a very easy thing for the self to avoid but if one does not live in truth, then it’s impossible to live in line with a divine purpose for your life.
“And so it became how he lived his life, day in, day out, imperfect but determined. In doing so he was able to give himself over fully to every moment, to be totally present in his own life and in the lives of the people he became.
“He was blessed to live many lives within his concentrated one.”
She said it was an honour to receive the award on her husband’s behalf, describing it as “an acknowledgement not only of his profound work but of his impact on this industry and this world”.
“Chad, thank you. I love you, I am so proud of you. Keep shining your light on us,” she added.
Usually taking place with a glamorous ceremony in New York, this year the Gotham Awards ceremony relied on a mix of live and virtual elements.
British star Riz Ahmed was named best actor for his portrayal of a drummer who becomes deaf in The Sound Of Metal, while best actress went to Nicole Beharie for her role as a single mother and former beauty pageant queen in Miss Juneteenth.
Another British star, Kingsley Ben-Adir, won the award for breakthrough actor for his portrayal of Malcolm X in One Night In Miami, while in the TV categories, Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You was named breakthrough series (short format), while the long format category was won by Watchmen.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom actress Davis and British filmmaker Sir Steve McQueen also received awards.
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Every year, like clockwork, most of us begin to plan our new year resolutions and write out our goals. Even after a truly unexpected year like 2020, I believe many of us are still quietly contemplating what we want out of our 2021. Some of us may have grand plans, while others may be hesitant to do so because of the year we just endured.
Wherever you may fall in the spectrum of goal setting and fulfillment, I’d like to encourage you not to view the beginning of a new year as a time to reset, but more so a time to revise. Resetting implies that you are starting at square one. Here’s the deal: There’s no such thing. We cannot erase what we’ve experienced and what we have learned. Regardless of how much we would like to try.
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we have to be flexible and everything we once believed were “have-tos” aren’t necessarily “need-tos.” 2020 gave us some hard lessons, but it also gave us the gift of recognizing how important it is to evaluate and take inventory of how we are living our lives.
So, in preparing for the new year, we can use the strength skills that emotional intelligence provides to help us better revise how we want our lives to look. Here are four ways you can use the emotional intelligence competency of self-awareness to help you create a better life by design.
Self-awareness with work
How often do you take the time to actually practice self and emotional awareness throughout the day? Asking yourself a simple question like, “How do I feel doing this task?” can help you to realize what you want to do more or less of in the coming year. Some things you may not enjoy at all. For those, can you delegate them to someone else or ask for assistance if it’s a task that doesn’t play to your strengths? Sometimes it isn’t about enjoyment, but more about the mental energy needed to complete the task.
Practicing self-awareness will allow you to recognize what part of the day you have the most energy to therefore schedule the more challenging tasks during those times. You want to use your brain optimally so that those self-check-ins are golden moments that will help you achieve what you want more efficiently.
How do the position, people, and processes make you feel? Being able to access how these things individually and collectively make you feel will help you to navigate whether you may need to switch teams, departments, or the company altogether. Not applying self-awareness can have us making rash decisions fueled by an emotional response rather than reflection.
It may not be that you need to quit your job, it could be that you aren’t being challenged enough or would be more satisfied working for a different leader. Consistent practice of self-awareness will encourage you to be more mindful and gather emotional and cognitive feedback to help guide your days and decision-making.
Self-awareness with activities
Similar to using self-awareness to better assess how you feel about your work, you can use this same skill to evaluate the day-to-day activities in your life. Are there some activities that take too much of your time or energy? Note that there can be activities that you deem positive, however, actively recognize if the timing of these activities works for you in this season.
Do you have the capacity to do these activities? Are they high on your priority list, or will they lose their luster because you are worn out with trying to do too many? Remember that sometimes even too much of a good thing can have a bad outcome.
Self-awareness with others
This goes for relationships as well. Who in your circle energizes you and who drains you? Often times we keep people in our lives long past their expiration date. We often miss red flags because we don’t slow ourselves down to really be present in the moment and check-in with ourselves. People will hurt us and we will quickly dismiss our own feelings in order to “keep the peace” while we ignore the war within.
This coming year, choose self-advocacy over self-abandonment. The latter is something that was learned as a way to survive. Giving voice to your feelings and validating them will provide you some clarity as to what new boundaries you need to put in place to help keep the good in and the bad out.
Self-awareness with yourself
Looking in the mirror is not a comfortable exercise. It’s an activity that we would otherwise not do because it means that we have to deal with the truth of who we are. Lean into courage and vulnerability and take more than just a glance. Really look at yourself. What habits do you have that help you or harm you? Give yourself permission to observe how you show up, think, and feel throughout the day. Ask someone you can trust to give you feedback. The more you are aware of who you are, the more authentically you will be able to show up in the world.
We can create better work-life alignment when we use emotional intelligence as part of our guide. Just by elevating the competency of self-awareness we can decrease unnecessary stressors and improve our overall satisfaction in multiple areas of our lives.
Farah Harris is a psychotherapist and the founder and CEO of WorkingWell Daily, a company committed to improving work environments by addressing work-life alignment, equity, and mental wellness.
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Chief Deputy Dave Pearsall with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office in Olympia, Washington, broke down in tears giving his final sign-off as he retired on December 31. Pearsall, who began his career with the sheriff’s office in 1982, made an emotional final radio transmission to dispatch from his patrol car, video shows. In the video, Pearsall said: “I’ll be out of service. End of watch. It’s been a great ride.” Credit: Thurston County Sheriff’s Office via Storyful
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A man who formerly expressed skepticism about the seriousness of COVID-19 has recorded video from his hospital bed after contracting the disease, saying, “I didn’t wear a mask. I should have.” Chuck Stacey posted a number of video updates showing him suffering the effects of the coronavirus, an experience he described to Storyful as “horrifying”. In the earliest of these, he says, struggling for breathe, “I didn’t wear a mask. I should have. I didn’t. I believed this was just a flu. That it was all gonna go away. That it was political. I didn’t think a mask would help.” He goes on to say, “You don’t want to end up like me. I’m having trouble breathing. I may have to be intubated if I get any worse.” Stacey and his wife both contracted COVID-19. In subsequent footage, Stacey suggested that people have wished him death. He said that he was improving, and told Storyful, “I’m still in a fight but I’m getting better.” He said that he had worn a face shield because he suffered from claustrophobia. He urged people to wear masks. He told Storyful: “All of this started [when] my wife and I were very sick at the beginning of 2020. We both had a respiratory illness that they could not figure out what it was. “A lot of doctors thought we had already had COVID. I have had a few very traumatic experiences in my childhood [that] have caused me to be incredibly claustrophobic. I can’t even wear rings, watches or belts. I’ve struggled with it my entire life,” Stacey said. “My doctor came up with the idea of a face shield with social distancing and being responsible with hand sanitizer and [minimizing] my contact in the field. I own an IT company so I can work from home. It’s worked for almost a year. “Nothing is 100% on this virus and even if I would’ve wore a mask I could’ve still gotten it. But the fact of the matter is we have to do everything that we can do to protect ourselves and to protect the people that are really at risk. I just thank God that I haven’t given this to someone and taken a life. I would not be able to handle that.” Stacey said he wanted to share his story because, “if what is happening to me can make one person do something that might save their life I’m good with it.” Credit: Chuck Stacey via Storyful
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Siraj had to bide his time on Saturday, as stand-in skipper Rahane Ajinkya opted for spinner Ravichandran Ashwin as first change bowler on a moist wicket in the morning.
The captain’s call proved a sound one, as Ashwin took two wickets to leave Australia shaky at 65 for three at lunch.
Siraj was finally thrown the ball after lunch and made his presence felt with a bouncer that struck Marnus Labuschagne on the helmet.
Though wicketless from his first spell, Siraj returned to remove danger man Labuschagne for 48, helped by fellow debutant Shubman Gill’s fine catch at backward square leg, and pointed to the sky with teammates after his first Test wicket.
Siraj then trapped Cameron Green lbw for 12 with a ball that nipped back in after lulling the young all-rounder with a number of deliveries that moved away.
With Ishant Sharma and Shami sidelined, there were fears in India that pacemen Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav would have to shoulder too big a burden over the remainder of the series but Siraj’s special day renewed hope the tourists might have the resources to claw their way back in Melbourne.
After India went to stumps at 1-36, Bumrah, who led India’s bowling with four wickets, praised Siraj for his impressive support role.
“Playing his first international [Test] match, he bowled really well and he showed confidence of using all his skills,” he said. “That’s a very heartening sign for us and hopefully he continues to play like this.”
Those who were on the verge of immigrating to Canada before the pandemic struck say the government’s sluggish effort to renew their immigration documents is causing them profound financial and emotional stress.
Thousands of approved applicants have been trapped in limbo because border closures delayed their departures, resulting in expired authorizations. Many had already sold their homes, liquidated their assets and pulled their children from school and are now stuck in their home countries.
One of them was Harleen Kaur, who was set to lay down new roots with her husband and their two daughters.
“I had tears in my eyes when I had to open my suitcase, the kids’ suitcase, and take the clothes out. Unpacking had been a difficult thing and I don’t know when we’ll be asked to pack again and move to Canada,” she said.
Kaur, who has a PhD in biotechnology, said her family has been living like refugees in their native India since they sold their property and most of their furniture in anticipation of the move to Canada.
She said she is increasingly exasperated by the lack of communication from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Despite sending emails and filling out online forms, she said, she has been unable to nail down a timeframe for resolving her case.
‘Why are you still here?’
Kaur said her situation feels like a dead end.
“It has emotionally been very draining because we are using our savings that we had saved for Canada, and now we are just depleting it. Our careers have come to a stall and emotionally, it’s very, very exhausting,” she said.
“Socially, we have become a subject of either mockery or sympathy when people ask, ‘Why are you still here? You already sold your furniture, how are you managing?'”
IRCC officials recently told MPs on the immigration committee that the department is dealing with about 10,000 cases of expired confirmation of permanent residency (CoPR). The department started reaching out to affected families in September and has so far contacted about 6,000 of them. Fewer than a thousand have received the necessary authorization and have landed in Canada, officials said.
Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said the process of eliminating the backlog is well underway, but it’s a laborious process.
“Officers have been reaching out directly to determine client eligibility and willingness to travel and reopen files as necessary. These efforts often require more time and effort than usual, but we will soon have contacted everyone affected,” he said.
Flights grounded to curb COVID-19 spread
For Olha Lambina, who was born in Ukraine and is now living in Qatar, the wait has been excruciating.
She had booked a ticket, quit her job and was already packing to join her partner to build a new life in Canada. Her travel plans were abruptly cancelled when flights were grounded around the globe to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Lambina has been filling out online forms and submitting documents to prove she is ready to move here permanently, and that she has a quarantine plan for her arrival.
But she has gotten only automated responses from IRCC advising her that her forms have been received — no personalized communications.
“It is an incredibly stressful situation to be in, in addition to the pandemic. There is no clarity when there will be any response from the IRCC team or what their further instructions will be,” she said.
“I’ve been looking forward to moving to Canada for so long and now it is heartbreaking not to be able to start my life there with my boyfriend and our future ahead of us.”
‘We should be treating them with more dignity’
Conservative immigration critic Raquel Dancho said Mendicino and IRCC officials have been “evasive” about their plans to help people stranded in their countries of origin — many of whom quit their jobs in preparation for the move.
“You need to recognize the urgency … for a lot of these people who presumably are going to come to Canada, contribute to our economy, become Canadians one day,” she said. “We should be treating them with more dignity in recognizing verbally and publicly the challenges that they’re going through and that hasn’t happened to date.”
NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan said the process of having IRCC officials reach out to each applicant — even when they already had been approved before the pandemic — is inefficient and a waste of resources. She’s calling on the government to take a blanket approach and honour all of the applications approved for permanent resident status.
“They would be able to come automatically and they would not be jammed in the system with an expired certificate of permanent residence, and would save the staffing resources of having to go through this arduous process … which the officials themselves acknowledge is extremely time-consuming,” she said.
Aditya Madan said he has submitted more than 20 online forms and multiple emails to his local visa office in Mumbai, but has received so far only generic responses in return.
His mounting frustration has prompted him to launch social media campaigns to push IRCC to act. His financial fears have been growing since he quit his job as a social media marketing professional — before his dreams of immigrating to Canada were dashed.
“Financial losses are still nothing when compared to the mental stress and anxiety that’s caused because of this delay and IRCC’s failure at handling the entire situation,” he said. “I’ve dealt with sleepless nights, extremely low days, and even thoughts about abandoning my immigration dream altogether.”
Madan said he also fears that the career disruption caused by the delays will raise questions for potential employers.
“The dilemma is whether to take up a new job in my home country and reset my life, or wait for just another month, and another one, and another,” he said.
A survey of nurses caring for children with heart issues reveals that more than half are emotionally exhausted. The findings, recently presented at The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2020, also show that good working environments are associated with significantly less burnout.
“Nurses’ well-being is central to ensuring the best outcomes for patients,” said study author Dr. Annamaria Bagnasco of the University of Genoa, Italy. “When wards have poor leadership and fragmented teams with no development prospects for nurses this should raise an alarm that there is a risk of burnout.”
Previous studies have shown that burnout rates are higher in pediatrics than in other specialties, and that burnout is connected to patient safety. Strategies to reduce burnout and its impact on patient safety are needed.
In the new study, the researchers evaluated emotional exhaustion in nurses who were providing routine care on pediatric cardiology wards and also looked at whether their exhaustion was related to the working environment.
Data were obtained from the RN4CAST@ITPed study. A web survey was distributed to 2,769 nurses working in children’s hospitals throughout Italy between September 2017 and January 2018.
A total of 2,205 (80%) nurses responded, of whom 85 worked in cardiology wards and intensive care units (ICUs). Additional data were collected from hospital administrations.
The study looked at workload (how many patients each nurse was caring for, or nurse-patient ratio); skill mix (the education level of nurses working in one unit and the number of nursing assistants providing support during each shift); work environment and emotional exhaustion.
Work environment was measured with the Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index (PES-NWI), which covers issues such as: having a nurse manager or immediate supervisor who is a good manager and leader; opportunities for advancement; opportunities to participate in policy decisions; and collaboration between nurses and doctors.
Emotional exhaustion was evaluated using the Maslach Burnout Inventory, which measures feelings about work. For instance, feeling emotionally drained, used up, fatigued in the morning, burned out, frustrated, working too hard, stressed, or “at the end of my rope.”
The study focused on responses from the 85 nurses working in cardiology wards and ICUs at five hospitals. Interviews were also conducted with these nurses. The findings show that more than half (58%) of the respondents were emotionally exhausted. The main causes were related to working conditions, including being responsible for high numbers of patients and the complexity of caring for sick children.
“The most important consequence was that 30% of the nurses we interviewed wanted to either go and work in another hospital or even change their career,” said Bagnasco.
The research team then evaluated the link between emotional exhaustion and the working environment. Improving the workplace environment was tied to an 81% drop in emotional exhaustion, even with the same skill mix and nurse-patient ratio.
“Our study shows that nurses value good leadership, being involved in decision-making, having chances to develop their career, and team working,” said Bagnasco. “The lack of these conditions is connected to burnout, which we know from prior research could compromise patient safety.”
Bagnasco noted that pediatric cardiac nurses must work with children and their families, who often feel concerned and afraid.
“Establishing a trusting relationship is essential but burned out nurses may find it ‘too heavy’ to bear emotionally. If the working environment is positive for the nurses who work in it, children and their families will receive better and safer care,” she said.
“It really hurts,” he said. “There’s no two ways about it. We’re all hurting at the moment. It was a good contest. It’s always a tough game and we’re going to go home, have a few beers and enjoy the end of the season.
“It’s been a really big year for a lot of us guys. The NRL has been under a microscope this year and the intensity … you’re always looking over your shoulder at the shopping centre [in case of a protocol breach].
“It was a whole different sort of year; everything has been amplified and intensified. Everyone is keen to put their feet up for a bit now.”
The most difficult aspect for Crichton to compute was his feeling that the Blues were not only in the physical contest but always in the game, even when they were down 20-6 and forced to defend their line time and time again.
With Christian Welch returning, Kurt Capewell adding some grit to the edges and Lindsay Collins once again outstanding off the bench, the Maroons forwards were a different proposition from game two. But Crichton felt the Blues pack was at least their equal for most of the night.
“I still felt like we were on top through the forwards there; I still felt from the get-go that we had [won] those collisions, I felt we were winning that,” he said. “Just a few little slip-ups led to easy yards for them and all of a sudden they were attacking our line.
“Throughout the whole game, I felt we were in it. Our defence was outstanding. We had a solid crack. They’ve got players like [Cameron] Munster and [Dane] Gagai that love bouncing back across the grain, that hurt us a bit.
An emotional Jeremy Cameron has spoken about his move to Geelong after the Cats and GWS agreed to terms just before the AFL trade deadline expired on Thursday night.
Cameron nominated Geelong as his destination of choice for 2021 but in a free agency first, the Giants matched their rival’s monster offer, reported to be worth approximately $5.7 million over six years.
“It was very emotional. I remember calling (GWS coach) Leon (Cameron) and saying, ‘Do you mind coming around to sit on the couch, we need to have a chat’,” Cameron said on Friday. “It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.
“I remember in my third season Leon took me in and said, ‘I can see the potential in you, you’re going to be a good B-plus or A-grade player but do you want to be an A-plus player? I can turn you into that’. It’s a conversation I’ve never forgotten.
“To have him sit in my loungeroom and hear that I’m leaving was obviously very tough and it’s still obviously a bit emotional now.”
Cameron said he was “very 50-50 for a number of weeks” about what decision he would make on his future, calling it the “hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life”.
“I haven’t had much sleep in the last two months to be honest. It definitely has been a tense period for myself and (partner) Indiana,” Cameron said.
“I’ve been so stressed out lately and I don’t really like it because I am a relaxed bloke, it’s been quite full-on.
“Very happy but at the same time there’s a bit of sadness as well. I have nothing bad to say about the Giants and its been an incredible 10 years with them.
“There were so many nights when I was went to sleep thinking I want to make the move and then I’d wake up and I wanted to be a Giant, that’s how intense it was for me.”