Cyntoia Brown, Sentenced to Life in Prison as a Juvenile Victim of Sex Trafficking, Will Finally Go Free

Cyntoia Brown, a Tennessee woman who has been incarcerated since the age of 16, has been granted clemency after spending 15 years in prison for killing a man who had bought her for sex in 2004. Activists and human rights organizers rejoiced at the decision, having fought a long battle to free Brown, who was serving a life sentence and was tried as an adult despite being convicted as a minor, and one who had been sex trafficked; juvenile sentencing laws in Tennessee have since been amended. In a statement, Brown reacted to the news: “With God’s help,” Brown said, “I am committed to live the rest of my life helping others, especially young people. My hope is to help other young girls avoid ending up where I have been.”

Brown’s case has attracted attention from celebrities including Rihanna, Ashley Judd, Amy Schumer, and Kim Kardashian West (who last year advocated for the release of Alice Johnson, another woman serving life in prison) for the harsh sentence Brown received both as a teenager and as a victim of sex trafficking. Prosecutors said that Brown, now 30, shot Johnny Mitchell Allen in the head while he was sleeping, and stole money and guns from him; her defense argued that Brown was worried for her life. Brown’s case has helped spark a debate about reviewing life-without-parole sentences imposed on teens in Tennessee and about treating juvenile sex-trafficking victims as just that—victims.

Governor Bill Haslam, who commuted Brown’s sentence to parole during his last days in office, said in a statement: “This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case. Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16. Yet, imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life. Transformation should be accompanied by hope.”

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This Is What Chrissy Metz Really Called Alison Brie at the Golden Globes

The catfight cliché is (sadly) alive and well. In the midst of an  overcooked Golden Globes  on Sunday night, the Twittersphere— and even some members of the crowd at the ceremony itself —became morbidly fascinated with a supposed female feud:  This Is Us  star Chrissy Metz maybe/possibly calling Alison Brie “such a bitch” on a hot mic during a Facebook Live interview (even if the last word Metz was saying wasn’t totally clear).   https://twitter.com/wheelsee/status/1082075320008798209   This story was widely written about and circulated like the hot gossip it purportedly was—because, again, catfights. The only problem is that Metz wasn’t actually calling  GLOW  star Brie a bitch, after all, as Metz quickly commented on Sunday night.   https://twitter.com/ChrissyMetz/status/1082097427966963712   One of the reporters interviewing Metz has now also swooped in to clarify that Metz wasn’t calling Brie a “bitch” but rather a “babe.” Big difference—huge! And when you listen to the above clip, it sure does sound like “babe.”  “While interviewing Chrissy during the HFPA Presents: Globes Red Carpet LIVE preshow and as our conversation came to its natural conclusion, we were told to wrap and toss over to our cohosts on another portion of the carpet, who were on standby with Alison Brie,” AJ Gibson said in a statement to   People .  “I jokingly asked Chrissy if she knew who Alison was, as a way to transition into the ‘toss,’ and she played along. She then referred to Alison as a ‘babe’ and the fun exchange ended.” Brie also responded via her Instagram Stories, saying, “Nothing but love” for Metz. “Rumors can’t keep us down.”  Sorry to disappoint everyone, but these two successful women don’t actually hate each other after all.   Read Full Article

The catfight cliché is (sadly) alive and well. In the midst of an overcooked Golden Globes on Sunday night, the Twittersphere—and even some members of the crowd at the ceremony itself—became morbidly fascinated with a supposed female feud: This Is Us star Chrissy Metz maybe/possibly calling Alison Brie “such a bitch” on a hot mic during a Facebook Live interview (even if the last word Metz was saying wasn’t totally clear).

https://twitter.com/wheelsee/status/1082075320008798209

This story was widely written about and circulated like the hot gossip it purportedly was—because, again, catfights. The only problem is that Metz wasn’t actually calling GLOW star Brie a bitch, after all, as Metz quickly commented on Sunday night.

https://twitter.com/ChrissyMetz/status/1082097427966963712

One of the reporters interviewing Metz has now also swooped in to clarify that Metz wasn’t calling Brie a “bitch” but rather a “babe.” Big difference—huge! And when you listen to the above clip, it sure does sound like “babe.”

“While interviewing Chrissy during the HFPA Presents: Globes Red Carpet LIVE preshow and as our conversation came to its natural conclusion, we were told to wrap and toss over to our cohosts on another portion of the carpet, who were on standby with Alison Brie,” AJ Gibson said in a statement to People. “I jokingly asked Chrissy if she knew who Alison was, as a way to transition into the ‘toss,’ and she played along. She then referred to Alison as a ‘babe’ and the fun exchange ended.” Brie also responded via her Instagram Stories, saying, “Nothing but love” for Metz. “Rumors can’t keep us down.”

Sorry to disappoint everyone, but these two successful women don’t actually hate each other after all.

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The Government Shutdown Is Now Endangering the Food We Eat

Not only are government employees with mortgages and bills not being paid under the ongoing nearly three-week-long government shutdown, but now there is a potential public health threat: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has drastically cut back on routine inspections of high-risk foods at manufacturing and processing plants across the country, leaving seafood, fruits, vegetables, and many other foods at high risk of contamination unchecked by federal officials.

“It’s not business as usual, and we are not doing all the things we would do under normal circumstances,” FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., told NBC News. He notes that meat and some poultry products are still being inspected by employees currently going without pay but “there are important things we are not doing.” While food companies may also self-check, the FDA provides an additional level of government regulation and oversight.

The FDA normally does an estimated 160 food domestic inspections every week for things like bugs, rodents, mishandled food, improper preparation, and other hazards—about one-third of plants are considered high risk, according to Gottlieb. At present, due to the shutdown conditions, “FDA inspectors are not looking for salmonella in breakfast cereal, E. coli in romaine lettuce, or listeria in ice cream,” NBC notes. According to a September 2018 report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that “48 million Americans—one in six—are made sick by contaminated foods annually. Those illnesses caused more than 125,000 hospitalizations and about 3,000 deaths.” (This is significantly more than the number of Americans killed by undocumented immigrants, despite what the president has said.)

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