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Patient shopper, savvy saver

The good bit is that saving for a house doesn’t have to be a lengthy, stressful and drawn-out affair. You need a good strategy and a level of patience though. And if you’re a savvy shopper already, then you’re going to stand in good stead when it comes to getting that deposit.

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Everyone loves to shop, right? Well, the biggest purchase that most people will ever make in their lives is that of their house. Choosing to go shopping for a house is a big deal, and if you are fortunate enough to be in a position of lining up viewings to go and make the biggest decision you could make for your wallet, embrace it. It’s not a position everyone is lucky enough to be in, and if you love to shop, this is about to be the best shopping trip of your life. The only real downside? The cost. A house is an expensive venture and you can’t just pick one off the shelf. There are rules, deposits, fees, legal requirements – so many hoops to jump through for the purchase of a house, and it’s all on you to ensure that you jump those hoops and make it work.

The good bit is that saving for a house doesn’t have to be a lengthy, stressful and drawn-out affair. You need a good strategy and a level of patience though. And if you’re a savvy shopper already, then you’re going to stand in good stead when it comes to getting that deposit.

Saving for a house deposit is an insane task, so you can’t look at the whole amount and try to save that. A good bit of advice is to break down those savings into more manageable bites; smaller goals are always far easier to achieve. The best piece of advice you will ever find is that you should be a far savvier shopper to get where you want to go. The more time that you put into saving, the bigger the deposit you will have, meaning that you could have far more choice for the home that you want, or you could put on a smaller deposit and use the rest of the cash to furnish the place. In the meantime, though, you need to decide whether you have the patience and the grit about you to manage to make the savings that you need to make and change your life to, well, change your life. Below, we’ve put together some of our favorite savings ideas to help you get to your dream home.

Shop Smart. A big part of buying a house is dreaming up how to furnish and decorate it, right? Well, if you start shopping at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DealDash, you’re going to get some fantastic deals and you’re able to bid on the items that you want. You could furnish your entire property and find some excellent statement pieces to ensure that your house is stylish and as up to date as your budget allows you to be.

Shop Savvy. You know your incoming and your outgoing amounts of money, right? Well, it’s time to look at what you buy and make some savvy swaps. Do you love the branded cheese at the store that costs $10? Did you know you could pretty much get the same flavor of cheese for $4 less by choosing the store brand? That $4 may not seem like a lot, but when you buy cheese every week, you could move that little bit of cash into your savings account and boom, you’ve saved $200 in a year. Being smart about your swaps while you shop can really make a huge dent in your savings account, and you won’t be putting anything to waste while you do it. You have to still make yourself happy, though, so don’t swap to things that you genuinely don’t like.

Income Smart. When you get your paycheck, you’ve already divided it up to go where you need it to go to make ends meet. So, it’s time to take your savings out of your total amount before you’ve even got your check. Are you aiming to save $400 a month and you earn $2500? Well, from now on you only earn $2100. That additional chunk of cash cannot be touched, and you can set up an immediate payment on payday each month so that you’re not tempted to touch it. Don’t try to live first and save second, because you’ll never make those savings that you are so desperate to make.

Income Savvy. If you don’t feel like your full-time job makes you enough money to save, it’s time to get savvy with your income. Pick up a second job at a bar or pull extra freelance work from home. You need to savvy with your income so that you can continue to live at a rate that you are accustomed and yet make it work with your savings at the same time. Pulling a second job doesn’t have to mean you spend every spare hour working but imagine how much that you could bring in by doing two evenings a week as a delivery driver. Those shifts driving around can change your income dramatically.

Sell Smart. That car that you barely use? Sell it. Those electronics gathering dust in the garage? Sell those, too. You can look at your whole house and see a goldmine of cash just sat there waiting for you to capitalize on. If you are smart about where you sell things, you can ensure that you get the best prices for them, and really ramp up your house deposit amount.

Sell Savvy. Don’t get ripped off when selling your things. Sure, you’re looking to make some quick money, but not quick enough that you are underpaid for the things you’ve put cash into. Don’t be taken for a ride, and don’t settle for less than what you truly want for your items.

Getting that house deposit together is not going to take you forever and if you are committed, you can really see that savings account grow over time. Don’t waste any time, either. The whole property market can shift on a dime and you could lose all your plans. Make a plan, stick to it and be patient. You’ve got this.

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L.A. Pride’s ‘march’ for #BlackLivesMatter is allegedly collaborating with police

The scheduled “march” in solidarity for #BlackLivesMatter organized in lieu of the L.A. Pride parade/festival/party is now getting slammed as a “collaboration” with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), considered tone deaf considering that the uprising happening in the US right now is a protest against police brutality.

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All PR; tone deaf; or ongoing learning process?

The scheduled “march” in solidarity for #BlackLivesMatter organized in lieu of the L.A. Pride parade/festival/party is now getting slammed as a “collaboration” with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), considered tone deaf considering that the uprising happening in the US right now is a protest against police brutality.

As earlier reported, an uprising has been happening in the US now, in protest of America’s long history of systemic racial injustice. This was again highlighted by the May 25 death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who – after being suspected of passing a fake $20 bill – died in Minneapolis, Minnesota after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes. Three other officers were involved; and none of them revived Floyd even when he was already motionless and had no pulse. Floyd was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

L.A. Pride – started right after the Stonewall uprising in New York City in 1969 – is, nowadays, more known for its festivals/parties than for being very political.

Christopher Street West (CSW), organizer of the annual LA Pride Parade and Festival, initially canceled all in-person events due to Covid-19. But on June 1, its board of directors voted to “peacefully assemble a protest in solidarity with the Black community.”

And now a letter from CSW to LAPD has been released online, with the former saying they look forward to organizing a #BlackLivesMatter gathering “collaboratively” with the LAPD.

I’ve been informed @LAPride is, in fact, working with police for their so-called “Black solidarity” march. Attached is a screenshot of an event producer’s letter to the LAPD underscoring “a strong and unified partnership with law enforcement.” Homos, this is not it. pic.twitter.com/7YkndfDUrV— Fran Tirado (@fransquishco) June 5, 2020

When called out, CSW said it will release “more information”; but none has been released so far.

pic.twitter.com/Al20JZc9DZ— LA Pride (@lapride) June 5, 2020

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Health & Wellness

Evidence supports physical distancing, masks, and eye protection to help prevent COVID-19

A comprehensive review of existing evidence supports physical distancing of two meters or more to prevent person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. Face masks and eye protection decrease the risk of infection, too.

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Image created by Alana Naylor. Submitted for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives - help stop the spread of COVID-19.

A comprehensive review of existing evidence supports physical distancing of two meters or more to prevent person-to-person transmission of COVID-19, says an international team led by McMaster University and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton.

Face masks and eye protection decrease the risk of infection, too.

The systematic review and meta-analysis was commissioned by the World Health Organization. The findings were published in The Lancet.

“Physical distancing likely results in a large reduction of COVID-19,” said lead author Holger Schünemann, professor of the departments of health research methods, evidence, and impact, and medicine at McMaster.

Schünemann is co-director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases, Research Methods and Recommendations. He also is director of Cochrane Canada and McMaster GRADE Centre.

“Although the direct evidence is limited, the use of masks in the community provides protection, and possibly N95 or similar respirators worn by health-care workers suggest greater protection than other face masks,” Schünemann said. “Availability and feasibility and other contextual factors will probably influence recommendations that organizations develop about their use. Eye protection may provide additional benefits.”

The systematic review was conducted by a large, international collaborative of researchers, front-line and specialist clinicians, epidemiologists, patients, public health and health policy experts of published and unpublished literature in any language.

They sought direct evidence on COVID-19 and indirect evidence on related coronaviruses causative of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The team used Cochrane methods and the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach which is used world-wide to assess the certainty of evidence.

They identified no randomized control trials addressing the three coronaviruses but 44 relevant comparative studies in health-care and non-health-care (community) settings across 16 countries and six continents from inception to early May 2020.

The authors noted more global, collaborative, well-conducted studies of different personal protective strategies are needed. For masks, large randomized trials are underway and are urgently needed.

The scientific lead is Derek Chu, a clinician scientist in the departments of health research methods, evidence, and impact, and medicine at McMaster and an affiliate of the Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton.

“There is an urgent need for all caregivers in health-care settings and non-health-care settings to have equitable access to these simple personal protective measures, which means scaling up production and consideration about repurposing manufacturing,” said Chu.

“However, although distancing, face masks, and eye protection were each highly protective, none made individuals totally impervious from infection and so, basic measures such as hand hygiene are also essential to curtail the current COVID-19 pandemic and future waves.”

The work was funded by the World Health Organization and involved close collaboration with the American University of Beirut, Lebanon and many international partners.

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Adoption agencies should be able to reject gay couples in the US, Trump’s administration argues

The Justice Department of the administration of US President Donald Trump filed a Supreme Court brief that backs a Catholic group that refuses to work with same-sex prospective parents. The gist of their argument: faith-based organizations should be allowed to discriminate according to their faith.

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LGBTQIA hate from the US of A.

On June 3, the Justice Department of the administration of US President Donald Trump filed a Supreme Court brief that backs a taxpayer-funded Catholic group that refuses to work with same-sex prospective parents.

This brief was filed in the case Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, which revolves around the refusal of Catholic Social Services (CSS), a religious nonprofit that operates a child welfare agency, to place adoptive and foster children with same-sex couples even if this violates the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance.

In 2018, CSS sued Philadelphia after the city ended its contract with the faith-based service provider when it learned that the organization refuses to consider same-sex couples as potential parents for foster children. CSS used the “it’s against our religion” card as defense, claiming that providing services to same-sex couples violated its constitutional rights to free religious exercise and free speech, including – in this case – to discriminate.

CSS initially lost the case in lower courts, which led to the appeal reaching the US Supreme Court.

By backing discrimination, Trump’s administration argues that organizations should be able to refuse to work with same-sex couples and others whom the group considers to be in violation of its religious beliefs.

For this administration, “Philadelphia has impermissibly discriminated against religious exercise,” and that the city’s actions “reflect unconstitutional hostility toward CSS’s religious beliefs.”

The right to discriminate is actually a common demand of religious denominations/organizations even when they are supposedly pushing for equality.

In the Philippines, for example, the Roman Catholic Church – via the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) – actually released a statement partially supporting the anti-discrimination bill in 2015. However, CBCP’s statement stressed its desire to still be allowed to discriminate, particularly in: 1) determining who should be admitted to priestly or religious formation, who should be ordained and received into Holy Order, or who should be professed as members of religious communities and orders; and 2) for Catholic schools to be allowed to discriminate on who they can admit or retain.

Back to the US, and as a side note: Eleven states actually have laws allowing state-licensed agencies to claim religious exemptions in the foster care and adoption process.

And yet in 2017 alone, it is estimated that about 443,000 children were in foster care across the US, according to a Department of Health and Human Services. Annually, around 50,000 children are adopted through the child welfare system, but about 20,000 others just “age out” before being placed with an adoptive family. Meaning: straight people won’t adopt them, but they won’t allow able LGBTQIA foster parents to adopt them either.

The US Supreme Court will hear Fulton v. City of Philadelphia in its next term, which starts this October.

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Health & Wellness

Bullying is common factor in LGBTQ youth suicides, Yale study finds

Death records of LGBTQ youth who died by suicide were substantially more likely to mention bullying as a factor than their non-LGBTQ peers.

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Researchers at the Yale School of Public Health have found that death records of LGBTQ youth who died by suicide were substantially more likely to mention bullying as a factor than their non-LGBTQ peers. The researchers reviewed nearly 10,000 death records of youth ages 10 to 19 who died by suicide in the United States from 2003 to 2017.

The findings are published in the current issue of JAMA Pediatrics.

While LGBTQ youth are more likely to be bullied and to report suicidal thoughts and behaviors than non-LGBTQ youth, this is believed to be the first study showing that bullying is a more common precursor to suicide among LGBTQ youth than among their peers.

“We expected that bullying might be a more common factor, but we were surprised by the size of the disparity,” said lead author Kirsty Clark, a postdoctoral fellow at Yale School of Public Health. “These findings strongly suggest that additional steps need to be taken to protect LGBTQ youth — and others — against the insidious threat of bullying.”

Death records from LGBTQ youths were about five times more likely to mention bullying than non-LGBTQ youths’ death records, the study found. Among 10- to 13-year-olds, over two-thirds of LGBTQ youths’ death records mentioned that they had been bullied.

Bullying is a major public health problem among youth, and it is especially pronounced among LGBTQ youth, said the researchers. Clark and her co-authors used data from the National Violent Death Reporting System, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-led database that collects information on violent deaths, including suicides, from death certificates, law enforcement reports, and medical examiner and coroner records.

Death records in the database include narrative summaries from law enforcement reports and medical examiner and coroner records regarding the details of the youth’s suicide as reported by family or friends, the youth’s diary, social media posts, and text or email messages, as well as any suicide note. Clark and her team searched these narratives for words and phrases that suggested whether the individual was LGBTQ. They followed a similar process to identify death records mentioning bullying.

“Bullies attack the core foundation of adolescent well-being,” said John Pachankis, the Susan Dwight Bliss Associate Professor of Public Health at the Yale School of Public Health and study co-author. “By showing that bullying is also associated with life itself for LGBTQ youth, this study urgently calls for interventions that foster safety, belonging and esteem for all young people.”

Other authors on the study include Anthony J. Maiolatesi, doctoral student at Yale School of Public Health, and Susan Cochran, professor at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

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Lifestyle & Culture

The benefits of playing online casino games

Casinos are a gold mine if you are willing to become a talented gold hunter.

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Online kasyna games, just like physical casino games, can equally make you an instant millionaire, especially when you master the art of becoming a successful gambler. The world has the richest people in Las Vegas who depend on gambling as a source of livelihood and even use the same to access top-of-the-range cars in the world. In other words, casinos are a gold mine if you are willing to become a talented gold hunter.

For instance, you will only increase your chances of winning big and more in any online casino if you build a massive bankroll to play as many games as possible or a single game as many times as possible. Remember, successful gamblers choose what they are best at and stick to that.

So, what are some of the benefits that come with playing online casino games? Well, they include but aren’t limited to the following:

Instant wins 

As mentioned, online kasyna games can make you an instant millionaire, especially when you master the art of winning. Simple games like slots don’t even require any special skills to win. All you need to do is to stake and press a button. And the best thing about slots is that you even get to compete for a multimillion jackpot with a simple amount of stake.

Life skills

Some skills that gambling impacts on players are indispensable in real day-to-day life. For instance, playing casino games teaches you the art of patience, a valuable skill that can help you succeed in business and careers. As a player, you also get to become a strategist because, on most occasions, you train yourself to foresee the future.

Free bonus and offer

Playing sloty games with free bonuses and offers can be the best thing especially when you know how to differentiate risks and opportunities. Bonuses and offers are mainly awarded to new customers as welcome prizes or existing customers as loyalty prizes. The best thing about bonuses and offers is that you can use them to wager on the riskiest but most profitable game without feeling the pinch of your hard-earned cash. In most cases, the professional gambler would recommend that you use no deposit bonuses and offers to build a bigger bankroll that will give you a competitive edge over the house.

Variety of games

Lastly, it will also interest you to know that online casinos have more than enough games to accommodate what you may prefer. Slots games alone exist in thousands, and you’ll never play all games even in a lifetime. In other words, there is something that is always tailored to match everyone’s expectations and needs. All you need to do is register in your favorite platform and explore the array of games available to discover where you are best at. The same technique doesn’t only apply to slot games but across the board.

Many people are always so fast to criticize gambling without considering the beneficial part of participating in the games. For instance, interacting with live dealers in a live casino has psychological benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked at all costs.

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Lifestyle & Culture

The physical signs of stress and how to fix them

Sometimes it’s getting it out in the open that makes things better, not having a solution to fix whatever the problem is straight away.

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Stress can sometimes become so intense that it actually manifests into physical symptoms. Now, this doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s important that you notice the signs if it begins to happen to you. In this article, we’re going to be looking at some of the physical signs of stress and how you can fix them.

Keep reading if you want to find out more.

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The Symptoms

Some of the symptoms that you might experience if you are suffering from the physical symptoms of stress are as follows: Aches and pains, nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate, cold or flu, and so on. There are a few more, but these are the most common, so if you know that you have been stressed lately and now you are experiencing these symptoms, then you’ve got to do something about your stress levels sooner rather than later.

These symptoms are just going to make your life more miserable than just the mental stress alone, so it’s important that you take charge and make some changes to your life.

Try To Relax

You need to relax. We know that this is easier said than done, but it’s something you have got to do if you want any chance at fighting the stress and getting rid of the physical symptoms. Now, there are lots of ways that you can do this, and they won’t all work for everyone, but there is sure to be some way that will fit you. You can look at cheap ounces in Canada if this is something that you want to try as it has been known to be a stress reliever. Just make sure you know what you’re doing before you get involved with this. Or, you could sit down with your friends and watch a movie or TV show together. 

There are sports that you can play, places that you can go together, books that you can read, family that you can see and so on. There are so many things that you can do to relieve your stress, and you might not even realize that they would be an effective way to relax. Try a few and see what works best for you.

Talk It Through With Someone

It might be the case that to help get rid of your stress, you need to talk it through with someone. If you have noticed that your skin has become irritated, this is also an indication of stress, but once you’ve opened up and shared some of your troubles, you might notice that this starts to ease. You might not even be looking for help or advice, just someone to listen and tell you that they understand what you feel.

Sometimes it’s getting it out in the open that makes things better, not having a solution to fix whatever the problem is straight away.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now understand some of the physical signs of stress and how you can fix them. Good luck.

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