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Jazz saxophonist Bhumibol Adulyadej dies at 88

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Legendary jazz saxophonist Bhumibol Adulyadej is dead at 88 following a series of illnesses.

Strongly influenced by Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet and Benny Carter, Bhumibol specialized in dixieland and New Orleans jazz, and played the clarinet and trumpet as well as the sax. He famously performed with Benny Goodman, Stan Getz, Lionel Hampton, and Benny Carter, but was most renowned for his own compositions, which range from classical Waltzes to traditional Thai music. “But mostly jazz swing,” adds Wikipedia.

Adulyadej was also King of Thailand for 70 years and the world’s longest-reigning monarch.

A stabilizing force in the nation’s politics, he passes his crown to son Maha Vajiralongkorn, “regarded as erratic and virtually incapable of ruling” and who frequently avails himself of the nation’s laws against insulting royalty.

In a televised address to the nation, Prayut Chan-ocha said Thailand would hold a one-year mourning period and that all entertainment functions must be “toned down” for a month. “He is now in heaven and may be looking over Thai citizens from there,” he said of King Bhumibol.

The palace had warned on Sunday that the king’s health was “not stable”.
King Bhumibol was widely respected across Thailand, and thought of by many as semi-divine.

Bhumibol became a rare sight in public before his death. The nation’s strict lese-majeste laws, the BBC writes, mean there will be no public discussion of the succession.

Elizabeth II, queen of the United Kingdom and various other commonwealth nations for 64 years, is now the world’s longest-reigning monarch.

Photo: U.S. Information Office


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Watch The Beatles’ LEGO Submarine

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“The Beatles’ LEGO Yellow Submarine vs. the Sea Monster,” a promo video for The Beatles Yellow Submarine set due out next month. And yes, there’s a Blue Meanie included. The concept for the set came from the LEGO Ideas crowdsourcing program, a submission from a fellow named Kevin Szeto:

“As an amateur musician and songwriter, I have always been drawn to the music of The Beatles,” Szeto wrote. “The creation of the Yellow Submarine model was really my way of showing my affection for The Beatles, as well as trying to pay a small tribute to The Beatles phenomenon. The Yellow Submarine is bright, fun, and colourful, which also made it a good subject to translate into LEGO form.”

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Hungary’s Prime Minister shuts down opposition press, then goes after everyone else

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Noemi writes, “After closing down Hungary’s largest opposition paper (online archive included) Hungarian Prime Miniter Viktor Orban is steadily and methodically turning back the clock on 27 years of history, steadily edging back towards a dictatorship — except this time with a fascist face. He is testing how far the beleaguered EU will allow him to stretch the boundaries of democracy. This is where the attention of European democratic efforts need to be directed. Not in kindergarten tantrums about sandwich spreads.”
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Using the science of group conflict to understand Trump’s campaign

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In Five Beliefs That Propel Groups Toward Conflict, published in American Psychologist, a pair of researchers lay out the five beliefs that, when transmitted by leaders to their followers, creates a “group conflict” that propels the group forward.
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Rush Limbaugh complains about nonconsensual sex being called rape

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Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh had thoughts yesterday on the problems faced by Donald Trump, whose campaign for president is falling apart after a recording emerged of him boasting about sexually assaulting women.

RUSH LIMBAUGH: You know what the magic word, the only thing that matters in American sexual mores today is? One thing. You can do anything, the left will promote and understand and tolerate anything, as long as there is one element. Do you know what it is? Consent. If there is consent on both or all three or all four, however many are involved in the sex act, it’s perfectly fine. Whatever it is. But if the left ever senses and smells that there’s no consent in part of the equation then here come the rape police. But consent is the magic key to the left.

It’s tempting to think that somewhere in Limbaugh is a decent man on the precipice of an epiphany: yes, consent is key to understanding rape. Never has it been made clearer what the barrier is: a conservative moral system in which consent is irrelevant.

As Limbaugh is useless at both decency and conservatism, though, we’re left with the toxic sludge his paragraph represents—and all the men like Trump whose behavior it enables.


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Trump threatens to sue New York Times over new groping allegations

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Following new allegations of sexual assault aimed at Donald Trump by women, the millionaire presidential candidate is threatening the New York Times for publishing them.

In a “demand for retraction,” Trump lawyer Marc E. Kasowitz writes that the article is “reckless, defamatory and constitutes libel per se” and “nothing more than a politically-motivated effort.”

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The Guardian tallies the new allegations.

  • Two women, Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks, told the New York Times that Trump groped or kissed them without consent.
  • Another woman, Mindy McGillivray, claimed she was groped by the Republican nominee at a Trump foundation event at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida.
  • Natasha Stoynoff, a reporter for People magazine, who said Trump forced himself on her shortly before she was due to interview him and his wife in 2005.
  • Two Miss USA contestants claimed Trump deliberately walked in on them when they were naked in a dressing room. Five Miss Teen USA contestants also told Buzzfeed he had entered their dressing room while the young women – aged between 15 and 19 – were getting changed.
  • A recording emerged in which Trump appears to sexualise a 10-year-old girl, with a video recording him saying of the child: “I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?”
  • In separate recordings that emerged in the past week, Trump himself told Howard Stern in 2005 that he did in fact go backstage when contestants were undressing:

Trump’s election campaign appears to be falling apart. A recording of him boasting about groping women, and two dismal debate performances, have seen him slump in the polls as his party vacillates over ditching him to save itself.

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Save 50% on this quality Bluetooth speaker that brings big sound for its size

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The Braven 705 Bluetooth Speaker (50% off) may be lightweight and minimalist, but it delivers an impressive sound quality that’s rare for its size. Braven is known for creating speakers that are easy to carry around, but also durable enough to take with you practically anywhere without worrying. 

The Braven 705 comes packing a shock absorbent thermoplastic exterior and IPX5 water resistance. But the most notable characteristic is the sound quality. It’s built with two custom high-fidelity audio drivers: which means they’ll fill any area with rich, full sound.

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As you’d expect, it comes with a built-in mic and speakerphone that let you accept and end calls right from the speaker’s face, without having to find your phone. It also comes in a sleek gray or an array of bright, fun colors. All in all, it’s a seriously impressive speaker that is super portable, and currently, even affordable.

Upgrade your Bluetooth speaker with the Braven 705 for 50% off retail, just $49.99.

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