5 News Stories That Aren't Mueller-Related

5 Things To Read About Instead of the Mueller Drama

Because you've already read enough.

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Since it was announced that Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election on Sunday, the topic has been covered relentlessly by the news media. It is the subject of every headline and every late-night news show...and it hasn't even been released yet. Though I'm sure its contents will be significant, for now, most details of the report remain up in the air. So if you've tired of reading all about it this week, I recommend catching up on these other (important) news stories you might have missed.

The Ongoing Flint Water Crisis

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The Flint water crisis first made national headlines in 2014, when the Michigan city announced that it would switch its water supply to the Flint River to save money. A year later, test results by the EPA and Virginia Tech found dangerous lead levels in the water, sparking health issues across the city. A study led by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician at Hurley Medical Center, found that the number of children with elevated lead levels in their blood nearly doubled since the city switched its water supply. Although Flint officially switched its water source back to Detroit in October 2016, pipelines corroded by lead still threaten the city's water. Residents rely on a limited supply of water bottles to keep their needs met.

The Measles Outbreak And Anti-Vaccine Movement

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between January 1 and March 21, 2019, 314 cases of measles have been confirmed in 15 states. Six outbreaks have been reported in Rockland County, New York, New York City, Texas, Washington, Illinois, and California. The increase in measles cases comes on the heels of the anti-vaccination movement gaining momentum across the United States. Although most states require that children be vaccinated against measles, many allow nonmedical exemptions, putting vaccination choices in the hands of parents. As vaccine misinformation continues to spread over the internet, measles outbreaks may reach new areas.

Puerto Rico's Continuing Struggle to Recover After Hurricane Maria

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In September 2017, Hurricane Maria brought the first wave of destruction to Puerto Rico. Two years later, the small island is still trying to recover from the Category 5 hurricane that left houses destroyed and citizens without water. Part of its slow recovery can be attributed to the federal government's hesitation in granting aid to Puerto Rico. Although power has been restored to most areas, thousands of homes remain roofless and many remain out of a job as businesses have yet to reopen. A report released from the Government Accountability Office on Monday called out the federal government's slow action in getting block grants to places most affected by the hurricane.

The Most Diverse Group of Candidates in History Takes Over 2020 Presidential Election

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Since July 2017, 17 people have come forward as presidential candidates for the upcoming 2020 election. With this large group of candidates has come an unparalleled amount of diversity — the most ever seen in a U.S. presidential election. Of the candidates, six are women, and four belong to minority groups. Although it may not seem like a lot in an ever-growing field of contenders, it's certainly a milestone in a country that has yet to elect a woman as president, and has had only one non-white president to date. The shifting backgrounds of U.S. presidential candidates are beginning to reflect more accurately the diversity among America's electorate, changing the politics of presidential elections.

The U.S. Women's Soccer Team is Suing the U.S. Soccer Federation For Gender Discrimination

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On March 8, twenty-eight members of the world-cup winning team filed a lawsuit against their employer on the basis of discrimination not only with regard to income, but in many other areas as well. The team has argued for years the unfairness in outperforming the men's team while earning less than them. This lawsuit comes on the heels of a previous win for the women in 2017, when, using their high-profile influence in the soccer world, they coerced FIFA into doubling the prize money for the last Women's World Cup. The team's continued efforts to bring more equality into U.S. soccer serves as inspiration to other U.S. women's teams seeking the same goal.

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How To Stop Being The Toxic Person That You Would Normally Cut Out Of Your Own Life

It's so much easier to pin a problem on someone else than it is to look deep within yourself and take responsibility for the things that you've done. But that's all part of growing up.

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I'm sure you've heard it before...

"Cut someone out of your life if they negatively impact your mental health."

"You need to cut off friends, family, anyone that is bad for you and your future."

"You will be so much better off once _____ is gone from your life."

At this point in your life, you've probably cut off one or more people who you believed weren't good for you. You were prioritizing yourself, and that meant letting go of someone, regardless of the memories, bond, and love that you had for them. It was probably difficult, but somewhere down the line, you knew that you did what was best for you. And you stood by that decision.

But how many times have you been the problem?

How many times have you sat down and took the time to analyze a situation, only to come to the conclusion that YOU'RE the one that's messing up? And that if you changed x, y, and z, you could save or help your relationship with your friend, family member, or significant other.

Probably not very often.

It's so much easier to pin a problem on someone else than it is to look deep within yourself and take responsibility for the things that you've done. But that's all part of growing up. At some point, I hope you realize that you weren't so perfect either, after all. And when you do, this is what I want you to think about:

We all go through different phases of our lives, and it's okay to understand and acknowledge that this phase doesn't represent the best version of yourself. Character development isn't a strict upward slope, where you start off being a shitty, underdeveloped, immature person, but then progress into being an angel. There are going to be ups and downs. There are going to be moments where you're really disappointed in yourself, and can't believe that you let yourself slip up to that degree. We all have flaws, we all make mistakes. But also all have so much potential.

As long as you're willing to put in the effort to change (because everyone around you deserves that), then you're on the right track. And I'm proud of you for having the emotional maturity to self reflect and be better. That's the first step.

And the next step is going to involve putting everything you're saying into practice. I can't promise you that it's going to be easy. And I can't promise you that you're going to drastically permanently change overnight. If I did, I would be lying. But what I can promise you is that everything you're going to do will be worth it in the long run. I hope that's enough of a reason to dig deep for a new you.

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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.

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1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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