Maine Wedding Infected 177 People With COVID-19, and Killed 7 People Who Weren’t Even Guests!

A Maine wedding reception of 55 people left more than half of its guests infected with COVID-19, affecting a total of 176 people despite Maine’s current public health guideline of a 50-person limit for indoor gatherings. Seven people have already died, but what’s more disturbing is that they did not even attend the wedding.

The management of Big Moose Inn, where the wedding was held, said that they misinterpreted the state’s 50-person cap for indoor events. “We did make an error in the interpretation of that rule,” the management said in a statement. “Our interpretation was that we could take a wedding party of more than 50 persons, and split them between two rooms as long as it didn’t exceed our total capacity or a specific room’s capacity.”

How Did It Spread So Far and So Fast?

According to Dr. Nirav Shah, the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one of the guests who attended the event infected their parents, who then infected one of their children, who infected their co-workers. All of these events happened within a span of 2 ½ weeks.

Outbreaks at the Maplecrest Rehabilitation and Living Center and the York County Jail were connected to the wedding after one staff member from each facility was found to have attended the event. The York County Jail, which is 200 miles away from the wedding reception, now has 80 cases confirmed while 39 people from the rehabilitation center have tested positive.

Health officials have traced cases linked to the wedding throughout August, with 24 cases initially. By the end of the month, it grew to 123 cases and by September 3, the recorded number was at 143.

Maine has recorded 4,415 COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with an average of 29 per day. The US has had 11.3 million cases of COVID-19 to date, with 247,000 deaths and counting.

Mass Gatherings: How Many is Too Many?

Social distancing has been a key phrase in the past months, being the most important factor in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. However, despite social distancing measures, other factors come into play, such as how susceptible we are to infection, the frequency of contact we have with people, and the duration of those contacts.

Respiratory infections appear to be the most common infectious disease transmitted during gatherings. The World Health Organization has advised governments to seriously consider postponing any gathering that brings people together, potentially amplifying the virus through close contact.

And while everyone wants to know what exact number of people is too many, what really matters is keeping gatherings small and considering the social dynamics that may be involved in the crowd. The sheer size of the group is not the only factor to consider; for example, small groups of five people can be as risky as a big event with 100 people. There is no magic number that we can consider safe for gatherings, but reducing the amount of contact

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Shopping for a bargain on NYC’s Billionaires’ Row

Gary Barnett is losing money. Over the past decade, the chairman of Extell Development, New York’s foremost developer of super-luxury properties, has bequeathed to the Manhattan skyline not one but two of the super-tall towers that have rechristened 57th Street as “Billionaires’ Row”.

In one of those towers, One57, Extell sold the penthouse to computer mogul Michael Dell for a then-record $100.5m in 2014.

But now the city’s luxury property market is in the grip of a once-in-a-century pandemic. With foreign buyers unable or unwilling to even visit the US to shop for real estate, Barnett expects to take a hit on three of his residential projects — he won’t say which. On others he may just break even after undertaking the Herculean task of erecting a new building in Manhattan.

“It’s very, very, very frustrating to build the most beautiful buildings in the world — super quality, super finishes — and to have to sell at a loss,” he laments.

A three-bedroom, $17.5m condo on the 43rd floor of Central Park Tower, a 1,550ft ‘dagger in the skyline’, with most of its 179 units unsold
A three-bedroom, $17.5m condo on the 43rd floor of Central Park Tower, a 1,550ft ‘dagger in the skyline’, with most of its 179 units unsold © Evan Joseph for Extell/MEGA

But to property buyers, a luxury developer’s pain may well be their gain. Across New York City, developers are cutting prices on luxury properties in a desperate attempt to move inventory. They are also picking up closing costs and throwing in other inducements for those brave — or foolish — enough to jump into a market and commit to a multimillion-dollar purchase just as a second wave of Covid-19 is bearing down on the city.

“It’s a golden opportunity to buy now,” Barnett says, estimating that “bottom fishers” were benefiting from price cuts of about 20 per cent. “The only reason not to buy now would be if you think that either the pandemic is going to continue for a much longer time, or you think that the world won’t come back to more or less normal post-pandemic.”

Whether the market will come back — and over what time period — is hardly certain. New York City’s luxury property sector had been mired in a slump before Covid-19. Some properties were so wildly overpriced, developers admit, that even a 20 per cent discount may not be much of a bargain, after all.

Gary Barnett, chairman and founder of Extell
Gary Barnett, chairman and founder of Extell © AP

Then there is the pandemic. It has closed en masse restaurants and theatres that supply joy to the city, while pushing up crime and homelessness. It might seem obscene even to contemplate buying a luxury property during a week in which governor Andrew Cuomo warned of a wave of coronavirus infections that threatens to overwhelm New York’s hospitals.

Or it might be just the time. Frances Katzen, a broker at Douglas Elliman, sold a penthouse this month for $18m. It had been listed at $19.9m. Another
client submitted an offer last Friday for a different property. Three others are looking, she adds.

“The big money really wants to

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Is there formaldehyde in my skin and beauty products?

A client gets a hair-straightening treatment known as the Brazilian Blowout. High levels of formaldehyde used in the original treatment has caused concern, both for stylists and their clients.

A client gets a hair-straightening treatment known as the Brazilian Blowout. High levels of formaldehyde used in the original treatment has caused concern, both for stylists and their clients.

AP file

Most people know formaldehyde as a chemical commonly found in cigarettes, some building materials and used as an embalming fluid.

What you might not know is that this colorless chemical compound could also be lurking in your beauty and skin care products.

See how formaldehyde can affect your skin, how to spot it on an ingredient label and which formaldehyde-free skin care products are my favorites.

What is formaldehyde and why is it used in skin care?

Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring gas that consists of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon. Because of its effectiveness as a preservative, liquid formaldehyde is used in a variety of products, including some skin and beauty items.

When inhaled in its gaseous form, formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and can cause a number of adverse health effects.

As more information has become available about the risks of using formaldehyde in personal care products, some big brands have stopped using this ingredient as a preservative in their products. However, many others continue to use it.

The European Union has banned formaldehyde-releasing ingredients in skin and beauty products.

Formaldehyde and skin allergy

In both its gaseous and liquid form, formaldehyde is a known skin allergen and can cause contact dermatitis even at low-exposure levels.

If you are struggling with a skin allergy, consider checking your products for formaldehyde-containing and formaldehyde-releasing ingredients, many of which are included in this list from the Environmental Working Group:

DMDM hydantoin

Imidazolidinyl urea

Diazolidinyl urea

Quaternium-15

Bronopol (2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol )

5-Bromo-5-nitro-1,3-dioxane

Hydroxymethylglycinate

Formaldehyde can also be found in nail polish, eyelash glues, soaps, hair products, shampoos, lotions and many other personal care products. So be sure to check the ingredient lists on all of the products in your daily routine if you think formaldehyde could be at the root of your skin allergy.

How to find formaldehyde-free skin care products

There are plenty of formaldehyde-free skin care products out there — you just have to sift through ingredient labels. Avoid the ingredients listed above when choosing new skin care products. If you’re not sure about a particular product, ask your dermatologist for formaldehyde-free recommendations for your skin type.

For more skincare tips and tricks, be sure to follow Baumann Cosmetic on YouTube, or follow @BaumannCosmetic on Instagram or Facebook.

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8 stunning coffee accessories for design snobs

What happened? Just days ago, it was 2010. We were all sitting in hipster coffee shops. A guy in a flannel with a handlebar mustache poured hot water from a Hario kettle into a Chemex. He waxed on about single origins beans, light roasts, and third wave coffee.

Third wave coffee has certainly stuck around. But the aesthetic of our coffee tools, like all trends, is changing. A world once defined by barnyard wood and steel is now about brutalism and brass. Coffee is more gorgeous than ever, whether you have $1,500 to spend or just $5. Here are some of our favorite objects on the market.

[Photo: AnZa]

Brutalist espresso

If you want easy apartment espresso, Breville makes a great little machine. But if you want a statement piece, and full manual control? AnZa offers an appliance like you’ve never seen: An espresso maker encased in a concrete block. If that’s too rough around the edges for your taste, we get it. They also offer the same machine in seamless Corian. It’s honestly hard to decide which model we like more. $1,180

[Photo: Ssense]

Concrete pour over

If you have a concrete espresso maker, well, you just have to have a coffee maker to match it! The Basi coffee stand lets you make pour over coffee (basically what a stock coffee maker does, but with a lot more love), with a sturdy, self-standing base that won’t easily tip. $600

[Photo: Ssense]

Sculptural cold brew

Making cold brew coffee isn’t hard. You can just stick some ground beans into water and let it sit in your fridge. But cold brew towers can be beautiful accessories that celebrate the slow process—especially when they’re made of hand blown glass, like the Dashi. You put beans and water in the top vessel. Then, after soaking, you release a spigot to pour and filter the sludge into a delicious refreshment. $990

[Photo: Tom Dixon]

Tea service…but for coffee

Stovetop espresso, like that made from Moka pots, is popular across Europe. But Tom Dixon elevates that experience to new heights. He coats the steel bodied kettle with a glimmering brass finish. And the best part? You can get accessories to match, including cups, a tray, a scoop, caddy, and even a French press. Items start at $50 and range up to $300. The espresso kettle costs $240.

[Photo: Fellow]

A minimal grinder

A good burr grinder is essential to absolutely any type of coffee you want to make. Unfortunately, most are hideous. Not so with the Ode Grinder, by Fellow. It has a minimalist black posture that evokes strong Richard Sapper vibes. As an extra plus, it’s designed to grind quieter than competitors, so that you don’t wake your significant other while getting the caffeine going. $300

[Photo: MoMA Design Store]

An electric kettle with poise

Once you try an electric water boiler, you may never use that teapot again. They are fast, mindless…and did we say fast? We love the Plissé Electric Kettle, by

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Christine Centenera: ‘Fashion is all subjective: nothing is right or wrong’

My personal style signifier is a well-cut blazer and leggings, which is what I’ve worn in my professional life for as long as I can remember. It frames my shape, which I like, and makes me feel confident no matter what situation I’m in.

I used to wear black all the time. Travelling a lot, I found it was the best way to pack, because it would always look good and working with one tone meant endless outfit options. But in the past 12 months I’ve been actively buying more colour – mainly different shades of blue, from cornflower to sky. I think these days I need a bit of optimism in what I put on my body.

Ceramics made by Centenera at home on her kiln
Ceramics made by Centenera at home on her kiln © Jake Terrey

The last thing I bought and loved was a kiln for the house I share with my partner, the actor and filmmaker Joel Edgerton, in Sydney. I’d done classes here and there in LA and Venice, but I found the whole scene around ceramics and pottery a bit much. It can be quite elitist. So this year we got our own kiln – it’s manual and you can’t leave it unattended, so when you fire it you have to commit to being home day and night. It can be on for between 10 and 14 hours. I just do hand-building rather than using a wheel – I like the thumbprints and the slow pace. I often make large-scale pieces, which take a bit of time. I give a lot of the finished pieces away – I gave one to Virgil [Abloh] for his 40th. I’m also not very good – it sounds like I’m some expert, but I’m really not. 

And on my wishlist is a thriving Freedom Garden – I know the project’s founder Lily Kwong, who is a landscape designer, and have been following her mission to encourage people to grow their own edible gardens. I don’t have an outdoor space in New York, so it’s a novelty to have soil and grass while I’ve been in Sydney. I went down this rabbit hole of looking at regenerating soil and planting things that were in season, and we’ve changed our whole garden to include more native plants. It’s starting to grow and now we’re able to eat the produce. freedom-gardens.com

Centenera at her house in Sydney © Jake Terrey
Bondi Beach. Centenera lives between Sydney and New York
Bondi Beach. Centenera lives between Sydney and New York © Jake Terrey

My earliest fashion memory is dressing up with my four sisters. We were born within eight years of each other, so we’re close. Even though we had the same upbringing, we were all completely different, and that was reflected in what we chose to wear. I learned from a young age that you could express yourself through clothes. One thing that I love about fashion is that it is all subjective, and nothing is right or wrong. 

A recent “find” is a store called Yaoya in Guéthary.

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Against all odds: South Sudan’s daring drive on women’s football | Football

South Sudan gained independence in 2011 and its history is so short that it is a regular low-scoring answer on the popular quiz show Pointless. Much less trivially, for a majority of its existence the country has been in civil war, with peace and a new national unity government in place only from February of this year.

For a country clawing its way back from the devastating effects of a conflict that has seen hundreds of thousands killed and 1.5 million internally displaced, where nearly half of girls are married by 18, child marriages are increasing and sexual violence was used tactically during the war , it would be easy to assume that football, let alone women’s football, would be nonexistent.

Yet on Friday, just over a year after its women’s national team competed for the first time, the South Sudan Football Association launched a four-year strategy for women’s and girls’ football, Stars Unite, that aims to increase the number of participants by at least 70%.

South Sudan captain Amy Lasu



South Sudan’s captain, Amy Lasu. ‘Football has been considered a men’s sport,’ she says. Photograph: South Sudan FA

South Sudan, where women were at the heart of the peace drive and a 35% quota has been set for women’s participation in government, is not an outlier: the idea that women should not play football is as prevalent there as it is in many other parts of the world. The captain of the women’s national team, Amy Lasu, who began playing in Kenya before returning to play in her home country, says: “It is challenging because for the longest time football has been considered a men’s sport. It was considered a taboo for girls to play.”

Her mother played basketball and her father football, and they would buy her shirts and boots and take her to academies, but for Maryln James, a grassroots player, the story is a little different.

“If you tell your parents that you are going to play football you get asked why you’re going to play with men,” she says. “I just had one person supporting me, my mother. When I started my father would beat me when I came back from training. But my mother said this was not only for men, she can play.”

Far from bowing to the pressures and expectations on girls, the federation is challenging them. “We want to show to the world that South Sudan is growing in women football, and we also want change the mindset of some people who still don’t believe that women can play football,” says Helen Terso Aninyesi, the project manager for Stars Unite and women’s development officer.

South Sudan’s national team, who played their first game last year.



South Sudan’s national team, who played their first game last year. Photograph: South Sudan FA

The plans are bold. The FA has committed to training more female coaches, administrators, referees and scouts; girls’ football will be promoted in schools; there will be community outreach programmes; it will launch a new national league with player licensing; and it promises increased participation for

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India sees 1st arrest under controversial new “love jihad law”



INDIA-POLITICS-SOCIAL-RIGHTS-PROTEST


© MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty
INDIA-POLITICS-SOCIAL-RIGHTS-PROTEST



a group of items on display: Activists belonging to various human and civil rights organizations protest against various Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)- led state governments pushing for laws against


© Provided by CBS News
Activists belonging to various human and civil rights organizations protest against various Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)- led state governments pushing for laws against

New Delhi — Police in India’s Uttar Pradesh state made their first arrest this week under a controversial new law targeting something right-wing Hindu groups call “love jihad” — an alleged religious conversion conspiracy by Muslim men to lure Hindu women into marriage and away from their faith. 

Owais Ahmed, a Muslim man, was arrested on Wednesday after a Hindu man accused him of coercing and trying to lure his daughter away from her Muslim husband and into converting to Islam. Ahmed appeared in court and was remanded in custody for 14 days pending trial. 

“This is the first arrest under the new law,” senior Uttar Pradesh state police officer Rajesh Kumar Pandey was quoted as saying by Indian media. 

Speaking to Indian news outlet The Print, Ahmad maintained his innocence and said he has no current connection with the woman, a former high school classmate who got married a year ago to a Hindu man and remains in that marriage. 

Ahmed was the first person arrested under the Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020. The new legislation, which has come to be known colloquially in India as the “love jihad law,” was adopted (only hours before Ahmed’s arrest) this week by the regional government in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state with almost 200 million residents.

The law is ostensibly aimed at protecting people against “forced” or “fraudulent” religious conversion. A section of the legislation says no person shall convert or attempt to convert any other person from one religion to another by “use or practice of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage nor shall any person abet, convince or conspire such conversion.” 



Yogi Adityanath, Yogi Adityanath holding a sign: Activists from various human and civil rights organizations protest moves by various Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state governments to pass laws against


© Provided by CBS News
Activists from various human and civil rights organizations protest moves by various Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state governments to pass laws against

People convicted of violating the law can face up to 10 years in prison without the possibility of bail, along with hefty fines. The law places the burden of proof of innocence on the accused, rather than plaintiffs having to prove their claims to a court. 

Critics have called the new legislation Islamophobic, regressive, and politically motivated, and warned that it may lead to harassment of Muslims in the Hindu majority country. Some believe it will drive interfaith couples to hide their relationships. 

On Friday, it emerged that Uttar Pradesh police had also stormed a wedding on Wednesday underway between a Hindu woman and a Muslim man in the state capital of Lucknow. They halted the celebrations and brought both families to a local police station, where officers told the families they would need to get permission from the state government before going ahead with the ceremony, to ensure the new law was not being violated.  

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Livestream Shopping Is Here to Stay. Here’s How to Nail the Art of Making Sales Entertaining

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, if you wanted real-time advice on how to style a trendy Rebecca Minkoff sweater with an equally fashionable handbag, your best bet was to head to a retailer, such as Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s, and track down a clerk. Post-Covid, Rebecca, the founder of the eponymous brand, will show you herself, right from her closet.

Minkoff is one of many retailers leaning into an e-commerce trend that the pandemic has helped accelerate: livestream shopping. Think of it like a QVC broadcast where brands and influencers pitch products but specifically for social media and e-commerce platforms where you can instantly click through to make a purchase. 

In China, livestream shopping is already a massive business, estimated at $63 billion. Thanks to Covid lockdowns, the trend is finally taking off in the U.S. Retailers now have a plethora of platforms to try. Google, YouTube, Amazon, Instagram, and Facebook have all launched live shopping offerings. Meanwhile, venture capital-backed startups NTWRK, Popshop Live, ShopShops, Moda Operandi, and others cater to more niche audiences. Some of these platforms are invite-only; others are open to any company who wants to start broadcasting.     

The payoff of making a live, direct pitch to potential customers is real: Minkoff says that generally every live video the brand produces, whether it’s on Amazon or Instagram, generates a 20 percent lift in traffic to its website. Lillebaby, a Golden, Colo.-based maker of baby carriers, has been using Amazon Live since the e-commerce giant rolled out a beta test with select retailers in 2018. On Amazon Prime Day Oct. 13, the brand says it saw an average video click-through rate of 20 percent, with 9 percent of those viewers making a purchase. 

To find out what it takes to succeed on livestream shopping platforms, Inc. spoke with both the entrepreneurs using them and the ones who created them. 

1. Figure out what your audience finds compelling. 

“We’re in the business of entertainmentizing retail,” says Aaron Levant, founder of Los Angeles-based NTWRK, a live shopping platform launched in 2018 that focuses specifically on curated product drops. NTWRK, whose audience is about 75 percent male, saw its revenue double between March and April. The platform features only products that can’t be found elsewhere, so retailers benefit from exclusivity and scarcity as part of the sales pitch.

The most successful product drops on his platform are the ones that have a great story, Levant says.

“Does it matter? Is anyone going to give a shit? Does it evoke an audible reaction?,” he says. He recommends that brands experiment with, say, showing the process of how a product is made or even pulling back the curtain on your own struggle as an entrepreneur. 

Minkoff says her customers want something much more practical: “Our girl wants to know the good, the bad, the ugly about the bag,” she says. “She wants the goods and wants to know where buy them and at what price.”

Lillebaby does a mix of content, from baby-carrier fit

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Indian police make 1st arrest, break up Muslim-Hindu wedding under controversial new “love jihad law”

INDIA-POLITICS-SOCIAL-RIGHTS-PROTEST
Activists belonging to various human and civil rights organizations protest against various Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)- led state governments pushing for laws against “Love Jihad,” in Bangalore, December 1, 2020.

MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty


New Delhi — Police in India’s Uttar Pradesh state made their first arrest this week under a controversial new law targeting something right-wing Hindu groups call “love jihad” — an alleged religious conversion conspiracy by Muslim men to lure Hindu women into marriage and away from their faith. 

Owais Ahmed, a Muslim man, was arrested on Wednesday after a Hindu man accused him of coercing and trying to lure his daughter away from her Muslim husband and into converting to Islam. Ahmed appeared in court and was remanded in custody for 14 days pending trial. 

“This is the first arrest under the new law,” senior Uttar Pradesh state police officer Rajesh Kumar Pandey was quoted as saying by Indian media. 

Speaking to Indian news outlet The Print, Ahmad maintained his innocence and said he has no current connection with the woman, a former high school classmate who got married a year ago to a Hindu man and remains in that marriage. 

Ahmed was the first person arrested under the Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020. The new legislation, which has come to be known colloquially in India as the “love jihad law,” was adopted (only hours before Ahmed’s arrest) this week by the regional government in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state with almost 200 million residents.

The law is ostensibly aimed at protecting people against “forced” or “fraudulent” religious conversion. A section of the legislation says no person shall convert or attempt to convert any other person from one religion to another by “use or practice of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage nor shall any person abet, convince or conspire such conversion.” 

INDIA-POLITICS-SOCIAL-RIGHTS-PROTEST
Activists from various human and civil rights organizations protest moves by various Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state governments to pass laws against “Love Jihad,” in Bangalore, December 1, 2020.

MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty


People convicted of violating the law can face up to 10 years in prison without the possibility of bail, along with hefty fines. The law places the burden of proof of innocence on the accused, rather than plaintiffs having to prove their claims to a court. 

Critics have called the new legislation Islamophobic, regressive, and politically motivated, and warned that it may lead to harassment of Muslims in the Hindu majority country. Some believe it will drive interfaith couples to hide their relationships. 

On Friday, it emerged that Uttar Pradesh police had also stormed a wedding on Wednesday underway between a Hindu woman and a Muslim man in the state capital of Lucknow. They halted the celebrations and brought both families to a local police station, where officers told the families they would need to get permission from the state government before going ahead with the ceremony, to ensure the new law was

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Prince Harry mistaken for Christmas tree salesman as he went out tree shopping with Meghan Markle

Prince Harry mistaken for Christmas tree salesmen as he went out tree shopping with Meghan Markle

Duke of Sussex Price Harry was reportedly mistaken for a Christmas tree salesman as he went out tree shopping with his wife Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle.

According to reports, Prince Harry was mistaken for Christmas tree salesman by a little boy, who was not familiar with the Duke.

The royal couple was spotted shopping for Christmas on Wednesday and reportedly bought their Christmas tree for the season.

A twitter user, who works as a salesman at Christmas tree lot confirmed in a tweet, later deleted, that the royal couple came to them and they sold them Christmas tree.

He further said there was one another family in there alongwith their little son at the time when Meghan and Prince Harry were inside. The boy, who was not familiar with the royal family ran through trees up to Harry and asked if he worked there.

The salesman described Harry as a ‘chill lad’ and Megan as ‘very kind’.

The royal couple is set to celebrate this year Christmas in their Montecito home with son Archie.

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