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U.S. Customs Officers Allegedly Assaulted Coworkers In ‘Rape Table’ Ritual

Several officers of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency have come forward with bombshell allegations against their colleagues at Newark Airport in New Jersey.

Three officers told NBC New York they were sexually assaulted as part of disturbing rituals that involved being duct-taped to a table other officers called the ?rape table.? The victims said that while no one ever removed their clothes, other officers would forcibly rub their genital areas on the victims strapped to the table, as well as grab them. This practice has been happening for years, according to the officers.

One victim said that ?hazing? is an understatement of what happened to them.

?Hazing wouldn?t do this justice,? CBP officer Vito Degironimo told NBC. ?This is complete assault. They take you in a room and your fellow officers are all watching as officers grab you.?

Read and watch the whole interview at NBC 4 New York.

Diana Cifuentes and Dan Arencibia told the station they managed to avoid the table, but experienced other horrific harassment from colleagues. At one point, Cifuentes said, someone pointed a gun at her in the office.

Degironimo filed an internal complaint after months of alleged abuse, and he and the two others eventually went to a lawyer and are considering a lawsuit.

Charlie Smith, who was identified by the Daily Beast as a CPB agent,? corroborated the trio?s allegations in an interview?with the news outlet, saying he?s heard stories of 17 similar assaults.

?Everybody has the same story,? he told The Daily Beast. ?Their MO is always the same. There?s a supervisor who turned the lights off in the room. They?d call [the victim] into the room, so it was pitch-black when he came in. They threw him down on the table and did what they did.?

Smith, who began working at Newark in 2015, said he was ?recently? transferred out for his own protection after he reported the assault against Degironimo to whistleblower hotlines for Senators Ron Johnson and Claire McCaskill.

He also told the Daily Beast that Degironimo had already reported the attack to his own supervisors, but instead of launching an internal investigation, management simply removed the table.?

CPB confirmed to HuffPost in a statement that it is working with the Department of Homeland Security to investigate the allegations.

?We do not tolerate corruption or abuse within our ranks, and we cooperate fully with all criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, whether it occurs on or off duty,? a CPB spokesperson said in a statement. ?An investigation of the hazing allegations is ongoing, led by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General with the assistance of the CBP Office of Professional Responsibility.??

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‘Veronica Mars’ Has A New Streaming Home And Its Name Is Go90

Listen up, marshmallows.

All three seasons of ??Veronica Mars??will be available for streaming on go90 under a new deal between Verizon?s mobile video platform and Warner Bros. Entertainment. (Verizon owns The Huffington Post?s parent company, AOL.) And if you are fan of genre series with badass female leads, you?ll probably enjoy the other offerings, including ?Fringe,? ?Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,? ?Stalker,? Babylon 5,? ?Almost Human? and ?Believe.?

The free streaming service, which is already home to original programming, sports and live music, recently added the new network go90 Saga, an online hub for fans of sci-fi and genre TV. ?Veronica Mars? was previously available to stream on Amazon Video until that agreement ended in January ? which makes go90 the only place to grab episodes without paying extra for them.

?To be able to bring these seven titles to our users is a great opportunity to continue to double down on a genre that?s performed well for go90 and attract users who have been demanding these series or may be discovering them for the first time,? Chip Canter, GM of Verizon Digital Entertainment, said in a statement. ?These series are a great fit for our go90 Saga network.?

Fans will have to wait until May to screen the beloved CW series, but full seasons of the rest will be available for streaming on go90 April 4.

And if you were wondering how Veronica Mars would take down the president if she had to, well, Kristen Bell has already thought through that one.

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Mashup Of ‘It’ And ‘Cat In The Hat’ Will Scare The Laugh Out Of You

Pennywise and the Cat in the Hat are very different clowns, but when they combine forces they?re one fiendishly funny nightmare.

Watch what happens when the trailer for the upcoming ?It? reboot?and Mike Myers? ?The Cat in the Hat? get?mashed up.?

You?ll never sleep again.

Now that?s comedy.

?

h/t Tastefully Offensive

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Baseball’s New Rules Are Even Sillier Than We Thought

It?s opening day for most major league teams, so you?d better brush up on the new rules established in the off-season.

Actually, MLB didn?t get much done in its mission to speed up the game, but Funny or Die has a report on a few other changes to baseball?s rules that we must have missed.

Mandatory gloves on each hand? Beer chugging after every run? Genius!

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Desperate Search Launched For 22 Seamen On Capsized Freighter

A frantic search has begun to locate 22 crew members of a massive South Korean cargo ship that sank in the South Atlantic over the weekend.

Two Filipino crew members stranded in a life raft were rescued on Saturday. Authorities spotted the raft after an official on board the 1,020-foot freighter known as the Stellar Daisy texted the vessel?s South Korean owner, Polaris Shipping, that it was taking on water. At the time, the freighter was about 1,500?miles off the coast of Uruguay, Reuters reported.

Other life boats were seen in the water as well, but they were empty,?South Korea?s Yonhap news agency reported on Sunday.?Searchers also spotted fuel and debris in the water.

?A ship observed an oil sheen and debris in addition to smelling a strong petroleum odor, which indicates that the stricken vessel has sunk,? the Uruguayan navy said in a statement.

?The more hours pass, the less the chances are of finding? survivors, ?a spokesman for the navy told Reuters.

According to the Fleetmon maritime news site, one of the rescued crewmen said he went to the starboard deck wearing a life vest when the freighter began listing about 15 degrees. Several other seamen, also in life vests, were gathered on the deck when the crewman spotted several cracks in the ship. He watched as at least one crew member jumped into the water and swam away from the ship. The vessel reportedly capsized very quickly, broke apart and sank.

The Uruguayan navy alerted merchant ships in the area about the incident, and a search for the missing freighter was launched.?

?A search operation is continuing for the 22 people,? said a South Korean foreign ministry official. Eight of the missing crew members were South Korean nationals, and 14 were Filipino.

South Korea has asked for additional help from the Brazilian navy. A Brazilian destroyer with a rescue helicopter is steaming to the scene, and is expected to arrive on Tuesday.

Cause of the capsize was not known; however, the weather was calm and likely didn?t play a role.

When it disappeared, the freighter was hauling iron ore from Brazil to China.

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Simple Ways To Save Money When Your Family Is Growing

Babies can be enormously expensive. A middle-income family with two children can expect to spend around $233,000 on raising a child from birth to age seventeen, according to a recent report released by the Department of Agriculture. The study applies to middle-income families with two children, although the average annual child rearing costs of $13,000 can vary widely by region.

We?ve partnered with H&R Block to highlight simple ways to bring those costs down during your baby?s first year. Here?s how to make the nursery more wallet-friendly, so you can focus on making memories instead.

H&R Block believes that healthy finances are more important than ever when your family tree is growing. For more than 60 years, H&R Block has been a go-to source of guidance and expertise for families who are looking to make the most of their tax returns, with simple ways to file online for free. Because we want you to focus on spending more time with your family and less time on your taxes.?

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Billionaire Mark Cuban Says Trump’s Too Clueless To Collude With Russia

?Shark Tank? billionaire Mark Cuban is plowing into politics again with some interesting perspectives on President?Donald Trump. The owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team tweeted a backhanded defense of the president on Saturday, arguing that Trump is essentially too clueless to have pulled off any collusion with Russia during his campaign.?

?No chance this is a DJT-led conspiracy,? Cuban wrote on Twitter. Trump ?isn?t detail oriented, organized or big picture enough? to orchestrate it, he added.

As ?people with Russian connects came into the campaign,? Trump ?had no clue that those connections were possibly being influenced by Russia,? Cuban speculated. Trump likely ?had no idea this was happening,? according to Cuban. ?He was doing what he was told to do. Stick to the script and read what was written for him.?

Russians probably ?took advantage? of Trump?s greed, Cuban said, by ?back channeling coordinated misinformation in an attempt to influence voters? that they apparently suspected Trump would exploit.

It?s hardly the first time Cuban ? who hasn?t ruled out a run for the presidency in 2020 ? has attacked Trump?s intelligence. Cuban earlier this month slammed Trump as the ?Zoolander? president for his narcissism and intellectual shortcomings.?Last September, Cuban offered to pay $10 million to a charity of his choosing if Trump would meet him in a four-hour interview to explain his own policies. Trump snapped back that Cuban wasn?t ?smart enough to understand what?s going on.?

Beyond being unaware of the mechanisms of his campaign, Cuban believes Trump also stumbled into trouble because he failed to act like a politician and made decisions based on business concerns.

?Russians have made him a lot of money buying condos and investing in his buildings and hosting his beauty pageant,? Cuban tweeted, describing his Trump theory. ?That makes them his friends. He ignored their backgrounds.? Trump praised Putin because he hoped it would shake some Russian funds loose for Trump?s business deals, according to Cuban?s view.

Cuban is also convinced that Trump was simply ?thinking like a businessman? when he hired Paul Manafort as his campaign manager. Bringing on board a man with Russian ties and lucrative contracts with Russian movers and shakers would have been a ?win-win? in Trump?s eyes, Cuban tweeted. Manafort would either help him win the election, or help him get Russian business if Trump lost, Cuban noted. He closed out with a reminder that this is all just conjecture: ?That?s what I think happened. Feel free to agree or disagree.?

Trump, for his part, has tweeted about Cuban dozens of times. Just last month, after Cuban hinted he was thinking about a presidential run of his own, Trump tweeted that the investor ?isn?t smart enough?to run for president.?

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WWII Veteran Comes Out As Transgender At The Age Of 90

A British soldier who served in World War II is now coming out as transgender at the age of 90.

Patricia Davies of?Leicestershire, England,?spent 87 years of her life known as ?Peter? to the outside world.

Now she says life?s too short to not be who she really is.

Patricia is taking estrogen to transition.

?It feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.?I was living a lie,??she said, according to HuffPost UK. ?I have been keeping quiet. I have slowly started to tell some of my neighbors. Everybody said ?Don?t worry, as long as you?re happy.??

Davies says she has known she was a woman since the age of three.

?I didn?t want to play with girls? toys. I didn?t want toy soldiers. I wanted an ironing board,??she said, according to the Mirror. ?My mother seemed to go along with it. We went to see ?Peter Pan? and I wanted to be a fairy. She made me a wand. She didn?t say it was strange.?

Although Davies knew she was really a woman, expressing it was not an option. The term ?transgender? was unknown back then.

She kept her true self a secret to friends, family and the British Army, in which she served from April 1945 until April 1948.

?I had to keep my mouth shut about being transgender, you couldn?t flaunt that as that would have been a disaster,? she said, according to HuffPost UK. ?I would have been classed as homosexual, which would have caused problems in the Army. I would have ended up in prison. But I got through it.??

Prior to her transition, Davies was married to a woman for 63 years.

?I was 60 when it all came pouring out to my wife, she was very sympathetic and helped me all the way but we agreed to keep it quiet,? Davies said, according to the Independent.??She used to buy me jewelry and she would call me Patricia. I kept it a complete secret.?

Davies? wife died six years ago. Davies continues to wear her ring during interviews.

Davies finally decided to transition in 2015 after seeing ?Boy Meets Girl,? a BBC sitcom featuring transgender characters.

The show made her feel that the world had progressed to the point where she could be herself.

?It?s not 100 percent safe now but it?s much better than it was. People that I have told seem to be very accommodating and haven?t thrown abuse at me,? Davies said, according to HuffPost UK.??I?m known to pretty much all the old faces in the village. I?m quite content now and I wear a skirt and blouse. I don?t wear any men?s clothes any more.?

?If people don?t like what they see then I don?t care but no one seems to be causing me any trouble. Nobody questions it though. Nobody seems to bat an eyelid, they accept me as I am.?

David Moye covers weird news and viral stories. Tips? Feedback? Send an?email?or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.?

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Frida Kahlo’s Many Self Portraits Are Now Emoji, Or Rather, FridaMoji

Step aside Kim Kardashian, there?s a new emoji queen in town. A set of 160 emoji featuring the stunning face of feminist art icon Frida Kahlo is headed to the App store this month. They?re called FridaMoji, and they?re pretty damn cute.?

The emoji are the brainchild of Sam Cantor, a Los Angeles-based gallerist and graphic designer. After previously creating a series of art history emoji featuring artists like Van Gogh, Basquiat and Yayoi Kusama, Cantor sought to hone in on one artist in particular. Kahlo, who devoted her life to creating searing self-portraits that communicated her shifting states of pain, passion, isolation and ambition, was the clear choice.?

?Frida was just perfect for the project,? Cantor told Artsy in an interview. ?She conveyed her emotions so honestly and openly in her work. What better artist to translate into emoji, which we use to express emotion today??

Cantor knew, when embarking upon the project, he wanted the emoji to convey more than just a flower crown and a unibrow. So he dove deep into the archives of Frida?s work, visiting Mexico City to see the legendary images in person. He eventually rendered 400 speculative FridaMoji and later narrowed the lot to 160.?

Art nerds will get a kick out of matching FridaMoji to the Kahlo paintings they?re based on, including ?Self Portrait with Monkeys? and ?The Two Fridas.? And hungover FridaMoji users will surely be thrilled to finally have a proper symbol to express their woes with the emoji inspired by ?The Wounded Deer.??

We cannot quite imagine how Kahlo would react to seeing her many emotions channeled into cartoon creatures. But we feel confident that if Kahlo was alive today, the woman who showed the power of self-representation, the strength in vulnerability, the beauty in pain, would have had a great online presence.?

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Donald Trump Ducks Questions About Administration’s Ties To Russia

President Donald Trump on Wednesday ignored shouted questions about his administration’s reported ties to Russia.

During a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, Trump took two questions from U.S. media outlets about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the Iran nuclear deal.

Neither of those questions centered on Russia ― the biggest issue this week that ultimately led to the resignation of Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who served less than 30 days at the post.

When CNN’s Jim Acosta tried to ask Trump about Flynn, the president smiled, thanked the audience and walked away.

Wednesday’s event marked the third straight press conference where reporters were not able to ask the president about the biggest issue of the day. Trump has mostly called on friendlier outlets in the conservative space: The New York Post, Fox News, Sinclair’s ABC7, The Daily Caller, Christian Broadcasting Network and Townhall.com.

Appearing on MSNBC after the press conference, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chair Mark Warner (D-Va.) said the public remained in the dark about Trump’s administration and Russia.

“We don’t know what the president knew and when he knew it,” he said.

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Watch A Youth Team Vote To Forfeit Its Season Instead Of Banning Girls

Now that’s teamwork.

A New Jersey Catholic Youth Organization basketball team of 5th grade boys and girls just made the play of the season ― and no score was necessary.

Told by the league director to remove the two girls from the team or forfeit the season, the St. John’s Chargers of Clark, New Jersey, voted unanimously before a game Friday to stand by their teammates, NJ.com reported.

The opposing team and officials departed the gym, leaving St. John’s to play an intrasquad scrimmage with many wearing #unitygames” T-shirts, For The Win noted.

Watching those hands go up in the vote after the kids were briefed on the consequences ― the cancellation of the game and no playoffs ― is one of the more touching moments you’ll see in sports at any level.

“These kids are doing the right thing,” team parent Denise Laskody said through tears.

According to NJ.com, the team had been coed for several years and was alerted two weeks ago that the presence of the girls would be an issue. Jim Goodness, spokesman for the archdiocese of Newark, told the outlet that rules “specifically state the teams should be boys or girls only.” But parents said there simply wasn’t enough interest from girls to form their own team.

No matter the rules, one player in the clip could not envision advancing to the postseason without all his teammates. “It’s not fair that we get to move on and they can’t,” he said.

h/t For The Win

 

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.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2017/02/13/watch-a-youth-team-vote-to-forfeit-its-season-instead-of-banning-girls_n_14719414.html
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Now that’s teamwork.

A New Jersey Catholic Youth Organization basketball team of 5th grade boys and girls just made the play of the season ― and no score was necessary.

Told by the league director to remove the two girls from the team or forfeit the season, the St. John’s Chargers of Clark, New Jersey, voted unanimously before a game Friday to stand by their teammates, NJ.com reported.

The opposing team and officials departed the gym, leaving St. John’s to play an intrasquad scrimmage with many wearing #unitygames” T-shirts, For The Win noted.

Watching those hands go up in the vote after the kids were briefed on the consequences ― the cancellation of the game and no playoffs ― is one of the more touching moments you’ll see in sports at any level.

“These kids are doing the right thing,” team parent Denise Laskody said through tears.

According to NJ.com, the team had been coed for several years and was alerted two weeks ago that the presence of the girls would be an issue. Jim Goodness, spokesman for the archdiocese of Newark, told the outlet that rules “specifically state the teams should be boys or girls only.” But parents said there simply wasn’t enough interest from girls to form their own team.

No matter the rules, one player in the clip could not envision advancing to the postseason without all his teammates. “It’s not fair that we get to move on and they can’t,” he said.

h/t For The Win

 

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