Thursday, 14 July 2016

33 people collapse in the street at the same time after smoking synthetic marijuana K2

33 people collapse in the street at the same time after smoking synthetic marijuana K2
33 people had to be taken to hospital (Picture: L Foehrenbach)

More than 30 people had to be taken to hospital in New York after a mass-overdose of synthetic marijuana, police have said.
They collapsed or were barely able to walk in the same neighbourhood of Brooklyn after smoking K2.

Witnesses reported seeing victims lying on the pavement, shaking and leaning against trees and fire hydrants.

In total 33 people were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said. It was not immediately clear what drugs the victims had ingested, but police said some of the victims had been smoking K2, also known as synthetic marijuana.

Dennis Gonzalez, of Bushwick, told WNBC-TV that K2 use in that part of Brooklyn was out of control.

THIRTY-THREE people collapse on the same New York street at 9AM after taking a bad batch of synthetic marijuana 'K2
They believed to have taken K2, synthetic marijuana (Picture: L Foehrenbach)

THIRTY-THREE people collapse on the same New York street at 9AM after taking a bad batch of synthetic marijuana 'K2
The use of K2 in the area has been described as being ‘out of control’ (Picture: L Foehrenbach)

‘It’s gotten out of hand,’ he said. ‘They even sleep in the street, we have to walk around them. It’s just too much to keep under control.’
The Health Department said it ‘recorded a spike in K2-related emergency room visits’ connected to the incident in Brooklyn. The department said it was investigating and monitoring casualty departments across the city.

‘We remind New Yorkers that K2 is extremely dangerous,’ the Health Department said.
‘The city’s public awareness efforts and aggressive enforcement actions over the past year have contributed to a significant decline in ER visits related to K2.’

THIRTY-THREE people collapse on the same New York street at 9AM after taking a bad batch of synthetic marijuana 'K2
They collapsed about 15 minutes after taking the drug (Picture: L Foehrenbach)

THIRTY-THREE people collapse on the same New York street at 9AM after taking a bad batch of synthetic marijuana 'K2
There’s a growing problem for people in Brooklyn (Picture: L Foehrenbach)


Although K2 affects the same area of the brain as marijuana, it contains chemicals made in laboratories and sprayed on to dry leaves. These chemicals are not derived from the marijuana plant, according to the Health Department.


K2 can cause extreme anxiety, confusion, paranoia, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, vomiting, fainting, kidney failure and reduced blood supply to the heart.
The production and sale of the drug was outlawed in New York City last October.

What is K2, or synthetic marijuana?

Synthetic marijuana – or to give it its proper name, synthetic cannabinoids – is a chemical-based designer drug created to mimic the effects of cannabis.
More specifically, it is to mimic the cannabinoid element of marijuana – such as THC.
The chemicals are sprayed or soaked into a base material, often plant-based, and sold for recreational use in head shops, convenience stores or online at less than the cost of real marijuana
A UK ban on legal highs – including Spice and similar synthetic cannabinoids – was imposed earlier this year (here’s everything you need to know about the ban of legal highs).
One of the first on the market was Spice, but more brand names – including K2 – have followed. See also: Yucatan Fire, Bliss, Blaze and fake weed, among others.

Synthetic marijuana can come with dangerous or unpleasant side-effects including vomiting, hallucinations, paranoia, seizures, cardiac problems, kidney damage, brain damage and death.
The effects can be much more severe than with natural marijuana because of the way the chemicals act in the brain and the dose in which they are taken.
The chemicals act in a more potent way than natural THC and bind to the brain cells more completely and the dose can be up to 100 times stronger.

A ‘bad trip’ from natural marijuana is relatively rare and passes more quickly when compared to a ‘bad trip’ caused by synthetic marijuana. A bad synthetic marijuana trip looks more like an amphetamine trip – the user can become ‘angry, sweaty and agitated’, according to Lewis Nelson MD from NYU’s Department of Emergency Medicine, Division of Medical Toxicology, speaking to Forbes.

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Man jailed for raping woman who was laying flowers on her son’s grave

Man jailed for raping woman who was laying flowers on her son's grave
Christopher Rhode attacked a woman who was visiting her son’s grave (Picture: INS)

A man has been jailed for raping a grieving mother as she placed flowers on the grave of her son.
The mourning victim, was visiting the grave in the garden of remembrance at a crematorium when the man knocked her unconscious with a small statue he snatched from a gravestone.

Christopher Rode carried out the double rape as the mother visited her son’s grave on the 20th anniversary of his 1996 death. He knocked her out before ripping off her clothes and raping her.
Rode showed little remorse however as he left the woman cowering on the ground surrounded by blood. He was sentenced to life in prison after he admitted assault causing grievous bodily harm and two counts of rape.
Judge John Reddihough heard that Rode’s victim had finished tidying her child’s grave and was about to walk back to her car when she heard a rustle coming from a bush.

INS News Agency Ltd 11/07/2016 A mourning mother who went to visit her sonís grave on the 20th anniversary of his death was raped TWICE, a judge heard. Vile Christopher Rhode muttered the chilling words ìI will kill youî as he forced his victim to the ground and covered her mouth with his hand to stop her from screaming. He knocked his victim out cold after striking her at least four times in the head with a grave memento he had stolen before ripping off her clothes and raping her. The victim begged for mercy as she told her Rode it was the anniversary of her sonís tragic death. Rode showed little remorse however as he left the helpless woman cowering on the ground surrounded by a pool of blood. See copy INSmourn
He anally raped her near her sons grave (Picture: INS)

Prosecuting, Michael Roques told Reading Crown Court: ‘She attempted to scream for help but a gloved hand was covering her mouth.
‘She tried to clamp her legs together in order to prevent her lower garments being further removed.’

The judge heard however that the victim was unable to fend off 30-year-old Rode, who anally raped her twice.
Judge Reddihough also heard that Rode, from Slough, was a notorious woman beater who had numerous convictions having beaten some of his former partners, including one who was pregnant.
Detectives searched the cemetery after the attack and found Rode. He was arrested on the scene and taken to a nearby station to be quizzed. The 30-year-old admitted one count of assault causing grievous bodily harm and two counts of rape at an earlier hearing.
Reddihough jailed him for life and told the defendant he would have to serve at least 14 years and eight months before he could be considered for parole.

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Mother facing jail over baby’s death to give birth to second child behind bars

Mother facing jail over baby's death to give birth to second child behind bars
Claire Riley is likely to be giving birth in prison (Picture: News Team)


A mother looks set to give birth in prison while serving time over the death of her daughter in a dog mauling.
Claire Riley, 23, admitted being in charge of a dangerously out of control dog and was due to be sentenced yesterday.

But she is pregnant and said she was too ill to go to court so sentencing has been adjourned until August.

At a previous hearing she failed to attend because of an anxiety disorder.
Riley and her mother Susan Aucott, 55, both appeared together on the same charge after six-month-old Molly-Mae Wotherspoon was mauled to death by an American pit bull.

Pregnant woman jailed
Susan Aucott, Molly Mae’s grandmother, will also be sentenced (Picture: News Team)

However, neither of them turned up for sentencing because of Riley’s illness, according to the BBC.
The dog, called Bruiser, was killed at Riley’s home.

Judge Justice Carr described their absence in court as ‘woefully inadequate’ but added: ‘I am no medical expert but I’m not sure the delay is in anyone’s interests, in any point of view.

‘The sentencing is going to happen and I am not going to delay it until after the birth. [Riley] has to be sentenced. The sooner that happens the better.’


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There could be a super-simple way to lose weight that doesn't involve diet or exercise

If you're trying to lose weight, then you've probably already replaced sugary drinks, like soda and juice, with water.
But scientists are beginning to get a better picture about the role that drinking water plays in weight loss. And it's leading to some interesting observations about how it affects our feelings of hunger.



A new study being presented this week at the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior looked at how different amounts of water interacted with the brain.
In the small study, researchers at Wageningen University in the Netherlands looked at 19 healthy men and gave them all a meal shake. That was followed by either 50 milliliters of water (about a shot glass worth of water) or 350 milliliters of water (roughly the amount of a can of soda). The researchers then looked at MRI scans to see how the liquids affected the stomach and brain.
Of those who drank more water, the participants' hunger was more suppressed and they felt more full than those who had only a gulp of water. They also noted more brain activity in those who had drunk more water after their shake.
This is also not the only study to find these kinds of connections with drinking water around mealtime.

Drinking water before or after meals

Alternatively, studies have looked at what would happen to people's weight loss if people drank water before eating. In a small 2015 study, researchers at the University of Birmingham found that, on average, people who drank water 3o minutes before some or all of their three meals a day lost between 5 and 9 pounds over the course of about three months.

For their study, researchers at the University of Birmingham looked at 84 people — 54 women and 30 men — who were on average 56 years old. About half of the participants drank 16 ounces — roughly two glasses — of plain, non-carbonated water 30 minutes before at least one meal a day. Some people ended up drinking water before all of their three meals a day, while others just did it for one or two.

To figure out if they were sticking with the plan, the researchers periodically surveyed the participants and monitored their urine to see how much water they were actually consuming.
The other half of the participants didn't drink any water before their meals. Instead, to encourage them to feel like an active part of the study, they were told to picture feeling full.

Overall, both groups of study participants lost a bit of weight — between 2 and 9 pounds — over the course of the study. Researchers can't say for sure why this happened, but several studies have found that simply being studied can have pronounced effects on behavior.
But people in the water-drinking group lost about 2.7 pounds more than the group that did not change their water-drinking habits.

Why would water make a difference?  
There are many factors that can contribute to weight loss, from an increase in exercise to a change in diet or mood.
The researchers in the Birmingham study tracked some of these factors over the course of their study, including participants' physical activity and how many calories they ate at each meal.
They noted that there wasn't much of a difference between the two groups in terms of how much they exercised — in fact, the group that wasn't drinking water before meals actually worked out a little longer, on average, than the group that did drink water.

They noted that there wasn't much of a difference between the two groups in terms of how much they exercised — in fact, the group that wasn't drinking water before meals actually worked out a little longer, on average, than the group that did drink water.
What likely contributed to the weight loss, therefore, wasn't exercise, and it wasn't necessarily changes in the contents of the participants' meals. They were given general nutrition tips, but they were instructed to eat whatever they wanted.

Yet the people in the water-drinking group ate fewer calories at each meal than the people in the group that didn't change their water-drinking habits.
The researchers thought that this decrease in calories at each meal could be chalked up to the obvious: Drinking water fills up your stomach, making you feel more full and less hungry.
The results from the Wageningen University study seem to back this up: Those who drank more water reported feeling more full and less hungry, and imaging showed more full stomachs.

Considering trying the 'diet'?
While this might have been the case for the participants in the study, other research has found that people continue to eat even when they feel full, so it might not be a foolproof plan for everyone.
Plus, the study sample included mainly white, middle-age adults who are men, so the "results may not be applicable to a general adult population."
So, in everyday life, drinking water to manage weight might fit in better as an addition to an overall healthy lifestyle, as opposed to being used on its own.

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All you want to know about using your passport this summer


© Provided by The Independent

The Leave vote in the referendum has led to speculation that we all need new passports, but like so much else, nothing will change until we actually leave the EU.
In the meantime, normal rules apply. And this summer, no doubt the usual stresses will emerge.
If you have just spotted your passport has run out, and you have urgent plans to travel, HM Passport Office has some limited possibilities to help out. The best place to start is by dialling the Passport Adviceline on 0300 222 0000.

You can apply in person for the Premium one-day service (£128), which is normally delivered four hours after your interview. Alternatively, the one-week Fast Track service (£103) may be sufficient. And if you are well organised and can allow three weeks for the renewal, the standard adult fee is £77.50 (£46 for a child).

Don’t be alarmed by some urban myths about passport validity - in particular stories that for some popular destinations you need months of validity remaining.
A British passport is valid up to and including the date of expiry for travel anywhere in the EU (which includes the Canaries), as well as the US.

Conversely, though, if you are heading beyond those destinations make sure you have enough validity remaining. Egypt, for example, demands six months from your date of entry into the country.
If you lose or have your passport stolen abroad, first report it to the police and obtain a report, and then apply to local British embassy or consulate for an emergency replacement. This usually takes a couple of days. To speed things up, take a photocopy of your passport’s information page and keep it separate to your documents so that you have the details to hand.

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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

The next Boko Haram? Nigerian attacks raise fears of new 'terror' threat

A woman in Benue State, north-central Nigeria. More than 80 people have been killed in the region in recent clashes.
A woman in Benue State, north-central Nigeria. More than 80 people have been killed in the region in recent clashes. Photograph: Emmanuel Arewa/AFP/Getty Images
More than 80 people are thought to have been killed in a series of brutal attacks in Benue State in central Nigeria, which locals say were perpetrated by groups of nomadic herdsmen.#

Although northern herdsmen have fought with locals over land and grazing rights for decades, what was a low-level conflict has recently spiralled into a full-blown crisis, leading to claims the men are “the new Boko Haram”.

On Monday #Benuemassacre began trending on social media on Monday as Nigerians criticised the government’s delayed response to the escalating conflict.
Reliable statistics on the total number of people killed are scarce, but according to the Global Terrorism Index, 1,200 people were killed in 2014 by herdsmen, and in 2015 the Index claimed they were “the fourth deadliest terror group in the world”.

But according to locals in Kogi, central Nigeria, the state’s new commercial airport was built on land previously used by herdsmen for cattle grazing. Across Nigeria, growing urbanisation, new infrastructure and the rising value of land has made life harder for nomadic groups.

Sola Tayo, an associate fellow at Chatham House, says the characterisation of the herdsmen as militants obscures the abuses they also face. “Media reports largely focus on attacks carried out by herdsmen. What is not so widely reported are claims from herdsmen of attacks again them and their communities.

“The current media narrative is of largely Christian settler communities being attacked by rampaging Muslim herdsmen, which is leading to further mistrust and division.”
Sanusi Baffa, chairman of an association of more than 300 Fulani herdsmen in the northern state of Kano, agrees that land scarcity is at the heart of the conflict, not politics or religion. “Since the commonwealth era, herdsmen had their own designated land to graze their cattle. But now much of that land has been taken over by politicians and the government,” he said.

He disputes the characterisation that the herdsmen are the aggressors. “Most of the affected people are the nomads. Our cattle is regularly stolen and killed. We are being persecuted even more because our land is restricted and the government have created this crisis for us.”

Women mourn after Fulani herdsmen attack the village of Jos in Nigeria’s south.
Women mourn after Fulani herdsmen attack the village of Jos in Nigeria’s south. Photograph: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

Headlines such as “Fulani Militants are more dangerous than Boko Haram” have further framed the herdsmen as an organised, political group.
Matthew Page, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and an analyst on Nigeria for the US State Department, says this designation is widely disputed by Nigeria experts.

“It unhelpfully labels one of west Africa’s largest ethnic groups as ‘terrorist’ based on the criminal acts of some Nigeria-based armed herdsmen. The heinous nature of several of the worst attacks have given domestic media outlets license to portray them as murderers and terrorists,” he said.

While the widespread comparisons to Boko Haram are in part a reflection of the intensity of the conflict, it also plays on the prejudices held in the predominantly Christian south about the northern Muslim regions.

“Terminate their lives! Anywhere you find a cow that is grazing on our ways… we will take them out… Enough of this political herdsmen operating as herdsmen but are Boko Haram, they are coming into south-west gradually, we are going to fight you.”

In Anambra, governor Willie Obianno has commissioned aerial surveillance to keep track of the herdsmen’s movements, while in Enugu, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has launched an inquiry to establish the causes behind the attacks.

But in a climate where ethnic sensitivities are heightening, and as the Nigerian economy continues to struggle, the challenge to find a peaceful resolution is becoming increasingly difficult.

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Analysis Buhari's crackdown in Nigeria fails to stamp out Boko Haram

A year ago at his inauguration the president promised to eliminate the terror group, still classed as one of the world’s most deadly.           

Time is up for Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president and former army general, who promised before his inauguration on 29 May last year to stamp out Boko Haram within 12 months – and has singularly failed to do so, despite a tough military crackdown in the country’s north-east.

While the terrorist group, blamed for 20,000 deaths over the past seven years, has taken a beating, it is down but not out. Analysts warn, meanwhile, that Buhari’s harsh approach to unrest of any kind may be causing more problems than it solves across Nigeria as a whole.

At a summit in Abuja earlier this month, Buhari appeared to admit the difficulty of fulfilling the task he set himself. The meeting included representatives from Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger. France, the US, Britain and the EU, who back the anti-Boko Haram campaign, also attended.

Despite increased support from London and Washington, which have each sent about 300 troops to the region in a training and advisory capacity, Buhari’s aim was yet closer military cooperation via an expanded international effort.

“I believe Buhari is acknowledging ... that it is not easy for the military to just go out there and eliminate Boko Haram,” Martin Ewi of the Institute for Security Studies told al-Jazeera. “The rural areas have always been neglected when it comes to security and that has always been the problem – the ungoverned places.”

Nigerian army offensives have won back territory from Boko Haram in the past year, and the number and frequency of terrorist attacks has fallen significantly.

Last year’s dramatic announcement by Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, that he was entering into an alliance with Islamic State appears to have been a propaganda stunt amounting to little in practical terms.

Yet when one of the 276 Chibok schoolgirl hostages abducted in 2014, Amina Ali Darsha Nkeki, was rescued earlier this month, Buhari made great play of it, having her flown to meet him in Abuja. The fuss looked like a slightly desperate bid to deflect attention from the fact the other girls remain unaccounted for.

Also contradicting the official “winning” narrative is evidence that faced by more determined military pressure, Boko Haram is resorting to wider use of suicide bombings, carried out by women and children, and increased attrition, including more hostage-taking.

According to the 2015 Global Terrorism Index, a survey by the New York-based Institute for Economics and Peace, Boko Haram remains the most deadly terrorist group in the world.
And there are growing fears that, evolving in parallel to the internationalisation of the counter-terrorism campaign, a once localised hardline Islamist movement is morphing into a regional jihadist threat.
The disastrous economic and social legacy of Boko Haram’s depredations, and a linked, ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad basin, has brought calls for Buhari to adopt a more constructive approach extending beyond crude military suppression tactics.

Amnesty International claimed recently that the Nigerian army, notorious for past human rights abuses, had killed 350 Muslim civilians in northern Kaduna state and secretly buried them in a mass grave.
In a statement linked to the Abuja summit, the UN security council urged regional states to pursue “a comprehensive strategy to address the governance, security, development, socio-economic and humanitarian dimensions of the crisis”.

The independent Brussels-based International Crisis Group said Boko Haram was “seemingly on a back foot, but it is unlikely to be eliminated in a decisive battle”. Regional powers should “move beyond military cooperation and design a more holistic local and regional response”.

In particular, the ICG said, Nigeria and its allies should more effectively collate and exploit information gathered from captured fighters, abductees, defectors and civilians in newly recaptured areas.

Nnamdi Obasi, the ICG’s senior analyst for Nigeria, warned that Buhari’s tough approach was having a negative knock-on effect in other Nigerian trouble spots. He pointed in particular to the south-east, where Igbo secessionist groups are demanding the restoration of the ill-fated republic of Biafra.

Nigeria’s Middle Belt has seen increasing levels of violence between local communities, while the 2009 peace deal that ended the insurgency in the oil-rich Niger Delta is unravelling, Obasi said. Up-and-coming militant groups included the so-called Niger Delta Avengers and the Egbesu Mightier Fraternity.

Peaceful manifestations of unrest had been met with harsh measures, including arbitrary arrests.
“Both groups have sent the government their lists of demands, mostly for local control of oil revenues, threatening even more crippling attacks if they are ignored. The government’s response – deploying more military assets and threatening an unmitigated crackdown – portends an escalation of the violence,” Obasi said.

Insecurity and social tension is being aggravated across Nigeria by its deteriorating economic situation, a 70% year-on-year devaluation of the national currency, the naira, fuel and power shortages, rising unemployment and continuing problems with endemic corruption, the ICG said.

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Neyo's and Crystal's love is a reality

They first met during a business dinner. Crystal was two hours late. She was doing a bit of research on Ne-Yo.
The Grammy-winning singer had been single for about a year and half. Having written hit singles for himself like “Closer,” “Mad” and “Miss Independent,” he was enjoying the single man experience 'until [he] met the pretty, little pistol’ that is Crystal Renay. Crystal Renay (successful in her own right) as a model, actress and multiplatform host had been single for about three years and was just minding her magical girl business when Ne-Yo came along.



The business meeting went well, but the two of them were still just friends who kept in touch. After a while, though, Crystal and Ne-Yo both realized that neither one of them were going anywhere and their friendship blossomed into a romantic relationship.

Ne-Yo proposed twice. The first time Ne-Yo proposed, he had a dream the night before. The couple talked about the dream. Ne-Yo wanted to marry Crystal. He didn’t want to lose her. Apparently the dream had frightened him into admitting his love for her. She said, “OK, well then propose.” However, Ne-Yo didn’t have a ring. “I don’t need a ring,” Crystal said.



The second time Ne-Yo proposed was on Crystal’s birthday. “The whole day went by. He didn’t give me a flower, a card or anything. I was mad,” Crystal recalls. Ne-Yo did, however, make sure that Crystal was with her family for a trip to Orlando, Florida, which she appreciated. At the end of the night, the jewellery guy’s assistant brought Ne-Yo the engagement ring in front of Crystal’s family and he proposed again.
Two proposals and years of love later, Crystal and Ne-Yo got married.

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One Proverbs a day keeps Foolishness away

Think carefully about the paths that your feet walk on.
Always choose the right ways.

Image result for wise decision
 Why don't you pause this morning to think carefully about the decisions that you have made.

Are you going to make a wise decision that will affect your future and produce good things or would it be the other way round.

What path are you in now? what is it that you want to accomplish today at work, home, school, family and business or even much more.


Think carefully because it is your feet that will walk in those paths.

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Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Rich kids of Dubai


Listen, if you’re going to shop you may as well do it properly.


rich dubai kids
… No doubt she’s just waiting in the queue for McDonald’s Drive-Thru.

rich kids of dubai

faheemwahid





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Ciara looking all great.










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Lil' Kim celebrating her 42nd birthday

Lil' Kim

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Lamar Odom’s Latest Behavior Will Have You Worried for His Life

After his miraculous recovery from a near-death overdose, Lamar Odom is getting dangerously close to rock-bottom once again. 

The former NBA player has been rumored to be off the wagon for months now, returning to his drinking and drug habits, but his latest behavior on a flight from Los Angeles to New York truly has people worried for his life. According to TMZ, Odom got wasted in the airport lounge while waiting for his flight, and then threw up all over the cabin as soon as he boarded. He even had to be escorted off the plane after flight crew deemed him too tossed to fly.

According to eyewitnesses, Odom was slamming beers and whiskey at the airport just before his flight. When he took his seat in first class, he reportedly immediately got sick and then threw up all over the galley and the bathroom. 

The flight crew "gently" escorted Odom off the plane, TMZ reports, but he reappeared ten minutes later with vomit on his clothes. Within minutes, he was making his way to the bathroom once again to vomit. It got so bad that he had to steady himself on the heads of other passengers as he walked down the aisle — and this was before the plane had even left the runway, so turbulence had nothing to do with it.

The crew reportedly removed him from the flight for good after a passenger said, "Don't you know his history? I don't want a dead body at 30,000 feet."

Utterly tragic. 

Odom has had a rough go of it lately, following his divorce from Khloé Kardashian and getting kicked out of the home she had rented for him during his recovery. According to reports, Khloé gave Lamar the boot as a form of tough love after he fell off the wagon and refused to get help. Sounds like nothing is helping the athlete when it comes to fighting his demons. We just pray that he gets help before it's too late...again.

Catch up on Khloé and Lamar's latest divorce with BET Breaks, above.

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Nicki Minaj looking good in pink



Nicki Minaj looking good in pink

Music stars hit the streets to protest police brutality

The Game, Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg and The Game

Janelle Monae
Janelle Monae

Freeway
Freeway

Nas, Russell Simmons, Kevin Liles
Nas and Russell Simmons

Killer Mike
Killer Mike

Tyrese
Tyrese brought his daughter, Shayla, along to protest. Dressed in all black, the singer/acto took part in the Black Out Hollywood Rally, where they marched throughout the streets of Los Angeles.

Public Enemy, Flavor Flav
Flavor Flav 

John Legend
John Legend

'What have white people ever done for us?'

Tweet of black man sitting on bench as whote man with assault rifle passes by
This tweet references one of the two black men shot dead by US police last week
In a week of angry demonstrations and soul-searching following the fatal shootings of two black men by police officers, and five police officers by a black gunman, the issue of race is again centre stage in US national debate.
These tensions have been reflected in several social media trends that express solidarity with the African-American community, notably the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag which has become the rallying cry for an active protest movement.
But in the last couple of days the double-edged use of newer tags such as #WhitePrivilegeMeans and #WhiteInventions has revealed further divisions and nuances when it comes to question of race.


On Monday morning #WhiteInventions was one of the top trends on Twitter in the US and was used more than 30,000 times. An early tweet widely shared using the hashtag came from Whitey McPrivilege, an account, which as its name might suggest, prides itself in annoying liberals. In the tweet Mr McPrivilege called on "caucasiophobes" to pipe down and be grateful for all the wonderful inventions that he credited to white people.
List of things white people invented


If this was intended to provoke a reaction then it worked. Some people responded in kind by posting that the first pinhole camera was invented by Arab physicist Ibn al-Haytham in 1021 AD. Others suggested that some of the discoveries on the McPrivilege list depended heavily on the pioneering investigation of algebra by the 9th Century Persian mathematician, Muhammad Al-Khwarizmi.


But there were several people who expressed support for the sentiments of Whitey McPrivilege.
Computer, social media etc
However, the tag was soon taken over, and given a sardonic spin.
Slave trade etc

This sort of hashtag hijacking was not an isolated case. Over the weekend #WhitePrivilegeMeans was used more 340,000 times mostly by people wishing to express the sentiment that non-whites get a significantly worse deal from US society than whites.
White privilege
Others mentioned Dylann Roof, the man accused of gunning down nine people inside a historic black church in South Carolina in 2015, who was bought a Burger King meal by police while he was in custody.
Dylann Roof
However several people used the tag to say that such a privilege does not exist and that it was time it stopped being mentioned.
Being called a racist tweet
Perhaps needless to say when views are as polarised as those revealed by the 'white' hashtags then statistics put up by one side are disputed by the other.
The statistical basis for the above tweet, for example, is contested by Sam Sinyangwe, who is a researcher who started the Mapping Police Violence project. He told the BBC:
"Black people are three times more likely to be killed by police in the United States than white people. More unarmed black people were killed by police than unarmed white people in 2014. And that's taking into account the fact that black people are only 14% of the population here."
However, a new study, spanning 10 years and looking at more than 1,000 cases, released by Harvard University, stated that while black men and women are more likely to be "touched, handcuffed, pushed to the ground or pepper-sprayed by a police officer", there was no evidence of intended racial bias when it came to shootings by police officers.
But whatever the figures underlying the existence or non-existence of "white privilege" some on social media feel the outbreak of racially-slanted hashtags is not doing anybody any good.
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