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Basketball

Guard Quentin Grimes gets waiver to play this year for Houston


Houston guard Quentin Grimes has received a waiver to play immediately this season, the school announced on Tuesday.

Grimes left Kansas last May after withdrawing from the NBA draft and ultimately chose Houston over Texas A&M in late June. Under NCAA rules, transfers usually have to sit out a year before being eligible for their new school, but Houston applied for a waiver and the NCAA granted it this week.

He will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Grimes, a 6-foot-5 guard, is a former McDonald’s All-American and top-10 recruit from the 2018 class. He opened his Kansas career with 21 points and six 3-pointers against Michigan State in the Champions Classic last season but was up and down the rest of the way. He started all 36 games and averaged 8.4 points and 2.0 assists.

With Grimes in the fold, Houston is a legitimate contender in the American Athletic Conference. The Cougars won 33 games last season but lost all three of their perimeter starters. Grimes, sophomore Nate Hinton and junior DeJon Jarreau should form one of the most talented trios in the league.



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Baseball

MLB to look into claims against Astros executive Brandon Taubman


HOUSTON — Major League Baseball said in a statement Tuesday that the league will interview relevant parties regarding allegations published Monday night in a Sports Illustrated article.

According to the report by SI’s Stephanie Apstein, during the celebration in the Houston Astros‘ clubhouse after the team’s 6-4 win over the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the ALCS on Saturday, assistant general manager Brandon Taubman turned to a group of female reporters — including one wearing a purple domestic violence awareness bracelet — and repeatedly yelled, “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so f—ing glad we got Osuna!”

Last season, Astros closer Roberto Osuna, 24, served a 75-game suspension for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy. Osuna, while a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, was charged in May 2018 with domestic assault; the charge was later withdrawn when the woman he is alleged to have assaulted made it clear she would not travel from Mexico to Toronto to testify.

The SI report Monday was corroborated by multiple witnesses present in the clubhouse at the time.

MLB declined to comment directly on the allegations, instead saying in a statement Tuesday, “Domestic violence is extraordinarily serious and everyone in baseball must use care to not engage in any behavior — whether intentional or not — that could be construed as minimizing the egregiousness of an act of domestic violence. We became aware of this incident through the Sports Illustrated article. The Astros have disputed Sports Illustrated’s characterization of the incident. MLB will interview those involved before commenting further.”

In a statement released Monday after the SI report was published, the club claimed the report was “misleading and completely irresponsible,” adding, “Our executive was supporting the player during a difficult time. His comments had everything to do about the game situation that just occurred and nothing else — they were also not directed toward any specific reporters.”

On Tuesday, Taubman apologized for his behavior via a statement released by the team but maintained that his comments were misinterpreted.

“This past Saturday, during our clubhouse celebration, I used inappropriate language for which I am deeply sorry and embarrassed,” Taubman said. “In retrospect, I realize that my comments were unprofessional and inappropriate. My overexuberance in support of a player has been misinterpreted as a demonstration of a regressive attitude about an important social issue. Those that know me know that I am a progressive and charitable member of the community, and a loving and committed husband and father. I hope that those who do not know me understand that the Sports Illustrated article does not reflect who I am or my values. I am sorry if anyone was offended by my actions.”



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Football

Reality check: Texans still need to fix ‘self-inflicted’ mistakes – NFL Nation


HOUSTON — The day after the Houston Texans pulled off an exciting victory against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Week 6, coach Bill O’Brien stood at the podium at NRG Stadium to address the media, aware the Texans had a lot of football left before they could say they had accomplished anything.

“We’ve got to do a better job,” he said.

“He’s got to take care of the ball better.”

“There’s a lot to improve on.”

And then, finally, “I’m telling you guys, I think you just have to take the approach that you have to improve. I think it’s an improvement league. I think the teams that improve the most over the 16-game season are the ones that end up being where they want to be. I think if you don’t continue with that theme – I’m talking about individual players, individual coaches, I’m talking about units and then obviously the team, then I think you’re going to be in a bind. We’ve got to just take the approach of trying to get better.

“This is a very, very humbling league.”

O’Brien was trying to caution against making too much of a 4-2 team coming off a big win, pointing out how good the Colts are and that it would be a challenge. And while nobody is suggesting the Texans overlooked their trip to Indianapolis, their 30-23 loss to the Colts on Sunday provided a dose of reality and showed that while Houston still has a good team, they have to fix the mistakes to be considered real contenders in the AFC.

“We did a great job last week versus Kansas City [and] had the opportunity to step up against this week,” safety Justin Reid said. “We just had too many mistakes, too many flags.”

For the second week in a row, the Texans were called for 10 penalties, something that was mentioned over and over in the locker room.

“[We’re] out there just shooting ourselves in the foot from the get go and it just happened throughout the game, especially on defense as well,” outside linebacker Whitney Mercilus said. “We were about to get off the field and then all of a sudden there was a pass interference or roughing the passer or unnecessary roughness – just something like that.”



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Soccer

NWSL Louisville a sure sign of life for young league – Equalizer Soccer


The National Women’s Soccer League finally did what so many of us have been imploring it to do for years: expand. On Tuesday, league president Amanda Duffy returned to her old stomping grounds, where she once served as the president of Louisville City FC, and announced that the club will add an NWSL team — in 2021.

After extremely short run-ups to launch for every other team in league history — including the eight founding teams in 2013 — the team currently known as NWSL Louisville will have just shy of a year and a half before playing a competitive match.

So, when team president Brad Estes said, “We’ll have to hire a general manager,” it does not automatically set off a series of alarm bells about who and when. Eighteen months can sneak up on you in a hurry, but in the grand scheme of things, there is plenty of time. And that is just the idea. NWSL expansion may not need the same taxi time as the Major League Soccer franchise announced Monday for Sacramento (entering that league in 2022), but there are only positives than can be taken from making this announcement now.

On the field, any technical staff hires made ahead of the 2020 season can dive deep into scouting players potentially available in an expansion draft or trade market, and the new coach can put proper resources into the college season next fall. Off the field, a more deliberate marketing campaign — including in-stadium advertising during Louisville City matches next season — will help develop a more organic fan base. The extra year will also give the organization time to better figure out staffing.

Lauletta: Assessing each team’s NWSL semifinal performance

Estes said the NWSL club would have an entirely different technical staff but there was no mention made about front-office hires. It has long been a point of consternation inside franchises balancing women’s team with men’s, that there are not enough resources specifically geared toward making the women’s team function. Time will tell how such matters are handled inside NWSL Louisville.

One area that is on firm ground is the stadium. Tuesday’s announcement happened inside Lynn Family Stadium, and the occasional odd angle — not to mention a few hard hats — showed a building still under construction. The new facility is on schedule to open in time for the 2020 Louisville City FC season and accommodate up to 14,000 fans (over 11,000 permanent seats). The new stadium is also the reason club officials cited for not wanting to jump into the NWSL in the 2020 season.

This early announcement will also be beneficial to the existing clubs. For years, coaches have attempted to make moves with half an eye on future expansion, but that expansion didn’t happen. There is still a better than likely chance of expansion for 2020 — and coaches are preparing as if there will be — and there could be more than just Louisville joining for 2021. But teams will now know for sure that, when they build rosters for next season, that some players may wind up in Louisville a year down the road.

To that end, expansion will also put more pressure on the current teams, particularly those without much recent success. The four playoff teams this season were the same as last season, which of course means all five teams that did not make it are on multi-year streaks of missing out. For Sky Blue FC and the Houston Dash, they are both on a half dozen years running without a playoff match. (In the case of the Dash, that means forever.) Expansion means teams losing players and likely being pushed down the draft order. So, teams will have their work cut out for them to catch up.

***

The expansion announcement comes on the heels of an announced agreement with sports and entertainment agency Octagon, whose global media rights consulting and marketing divisions will be advising the NWSL on media rights, sponsorship, and marketing. Both announcements are indicators that the league is indeed alive and breathing — two things that have been rightly called into question throughout the year.

In a year that saw the biggest and best-ever World Cup boost to the NWSL attendance and visibility — all nine clubs saw attendance rise in 2019 — the league has been conspicuously quiet. Operating without a communications manager since the days after the 2019 NWSL College Draft more than nine months ago, Duffy has been nearly impossible to reach, and there has been little in the way of official league comment on most issues. Duffy declined to speak with media at recent U.S. women’s national team and NWSL matches — behavior that runs counter to many of her contemporaries around professional sports.

When things did go well, like the week of the World Cup final when ESPN and Budweiser both joined as partners, the announcements were hastily arranged and poor in their timing (2 a.m. EDT anyone?) and execution.

How an era ended: The mysterious final months of the Boston Breakers

Also in 2019, the NWSL ended its once lauded deal with A+E, which cost the league appointment television exposure each week. A subsequent agreement with ESPN — which will air Sunday’s NWSL Championship — promised to be for the long haul. But as Sunday’s season finale creeps closer, the NWSL is again preparing to go into an offseason without any agreement in place to broadcast and distribute its matches in 2020. Meanwhile, a too-tight window for last weekend’s semifinals means that Sam Kerr scoring the signature goal of her club career — and the Red Stars existence — happened on the backup channel while the other semifinal was in extra time. And for all the good vibes that emanated out of Sky Blue this season, the club is currently without a confirmed venue for 2020.

Everyone who has chimed in about Louisville City FC has sung the praises of their business practices and of the fan experience at their current venue. It would seem that an astute business group wouldn’t throw itself into the NWSL fray without a fairly strong inclination that things are indeed trending in the right direction. Yet, other expansion groups, including one that went public with its desire to play in Hartford with Kristine Lilly in charge of soccer operations, have gotten the cold shoulder from the league.

The 2019-2020 offseason will be rife with questions and challenges. If we want to call the Louisville announcement the unofficial start to the offseason, then they’re off to a great start. But there are many more questions to be answered, and many more obstacles to overcome.

Subscribe to The Equalizer Extra today!

NWSL Attendance Watch

Here are the all-time NWSL playoff attendances. Note that finals in 2013 and 2014 were hosted by the higher seed and not announced in advance:

2013
Semifinal in Western New York: 7,316
Semifinal in Kansas City: 4,016

NWSL Championship in Western New York: 9,129

2014
Semifinal in Seattle: 4,540
Semifinal in Kansas City: 2,997

NWSL Championship in Seattle: 4,252
played at Starfire Stadium

2015
Semifinal in Seattle: 5,021
Semifinal in Chicago: 3,031

NWSL Championship in Portland: 13,264

2016
Semifinal in Portland: 20,086
Semifinal in Washington: 4,249

NWSL Championship in Houston: 8,255

2017
Semifinal in Portland: 18,193
Semifinal in North Carolina: 10,017

NWSL Championship in Orlando: 8,124

2018
Semifinal in Portland: 14,179
Semifinal in Portland: 4,646
Courage home match, moved due to Hurricane Irma

NWSL Championship in Portland: 21,144

2019
Semifinal in Chicago: 9,218
Semifinal in North Carolina: 7,422

NWSL Championship in North Carolina: TBD

Free Kicks

— I really didn’t think the Chicago Red Stars would hang on to win 1-0 on Sunday defending as much as they did. I was wrong. In the end, Yuki Nagasato put on a clinic in killing off a game, eschewing late defending for some slick possession skills.

— The Portland Thorns finished the season playing their worst stretch of soccer in the Mark Parsons era. It’s not necessarily time to clean house, but there are questions to be answered in Portland for 2020. Among them, was Lindsey Horan always less than 100 percent physically this season or has she already peaked? Is it time to find a new, true striker? And what to do with Emily Sonnett, assuming she is not gobbled up in expansion?

— I have mixed emotions about the 4-1 scoreline in North Carolina. On one hand, it was an appropriate representation of how much the Courage dominated the match. On the other, it belies just how tough the Reign played them over the opening 98 minutes of the match.

— Debinha’s free kick was the first NWSL playoff goal scored directly off a free kick since Tobin Heath’s goal in the 2013 NWSL Championship. And it was taken about as well as a free kick can be taken.

— Lauren Barnes was called for a penalty and charged with an own goal, and yet played a very strong match. As Tom Sermanni often says: “It’s a funny old game.”

— Paul Riley is now 6-1 in semifinals, including his two seasons in WPS, both of which ended in finals losses with the Philadelphia Independence. He has one two championships in those four finals, one on penalties following the draw in 2016.

— Kerr joins Amy Rodriguez, Denise O’Sullivan, and Lindsey Horan as players to score in 1-0 NWSL playoff games.

— Four years ago, players on FC Kansas City and Seattle Reign FC talked about how cool it would be to be the first players to win the World Cup and NWSL Championship in the same season. In the end, FCKC won making Lauren Holiday, Amy Rodriguez, and Becky Sauerbrunn the first three to do so. There will be a new group this year. It will be either Abby Dahlkemper, Crystal Dunn, Jess McDonald, and Sam Mewis for the Courage; or Morgan Brian, Julie Ertz and Alyssa Naeher for the Red Stars.

— The only Red Stars player to have appeared in an NWSL Championship before? Sam Kerr, for the 2013 Western New York Flash.







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Tv Shows

Almost Family Coming Under Fire From People Who Were Conceived In Real Life Doctor Sperm Scandals



Fox’s new drama Almost Family has a rather wild premise revolving around a group of people sharing a father due to a sperm donor scandal, but what’s even more wild is that there are quite a few individuals living in America that are real-life products of such scandals. Victims and children of fertility fraud are now speaking out about the way the show is handling the sensitive topic, and they’re not happy.

A group of adults who were products of fertility fraud committed by Dr. Donald Cline and Dr. Kim McMorries have shared their thoughts on Almost Family, and the general consensus is they view the Fox series as “horrifying.” Many are upset with the way the show positions the fertility fraud of a doctor as some form of unifying and uplifting event.

Eve Wiley spoke specifically of one point in Almost Family‘s premiere, in which Emily Osment’s character Roxie is thrilled she suddenly has a new family she didn’t know about. Roxie later goes on to bond with the doctor who committed fraud and even hugs him and refers to him as “dad.” Wiley told Daily Beast she had a far different reaction after learning her sperm donor was not the man her family had been told (whom she connected and bonded with) but their family doctor.

Many of the fertility fraud victims are aware Almost Family was based on the Australian series Sisters, but have noted the Fox series takes a far more light-hearted approach to the concept thus far. Of course, it’s still early on in the series, so it’s possible Almost Family could have a tonal shift as Season 1 goes on. For now, many of these victims are offended, and worried the show’s premise could undermine how the public views their cause.

That cause being a push for harsher penalties for doctors who engage or have engaged in fertility fraud by using their own sperm in lieu of others. Julie Manes thought the premise of Almost Family was disgusting, and feels the show tries to present a controversial and criminal act in a flattering light.

Fertility fraud victims aren’t the only ones down on Almost Family. Season 1 currently has a 27% critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Audience reception is notably higher, with around 26 reviews giving it an 88% approval rating. Ratings-wise, the show is struggling in its time slot, even with The Masked Singer as its lead in. There’s still a lot of the first season left, though the controversy and disappointing viewership could cause Fox to pull the plug as opposed to renewing for Season 2.

Almost Family airs on Fox Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend for all that latest happening in the world of television and movies.



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Wellness

Warming Miso Soup | Nutrition Stripped


Give your immune system a boost with our favorite delicious Warming Miso Soup.

Using both red and white miso gives this soup an earthy-sweet complexity. Nutrient-rich wakame seaweed, portobello mushrooms, and tofu creat a soup that not only is delicious and versatile, but it’s incredibly easy to make!

Miso for the ages

Miso has been around for a really long time. Records of miso production date all the way back to year 701 in Japan and have been used in popular recipes ever since. There are many different types of miso to try, and an endless amount of information and history surrounding it. With most of the coveted types of miso taking several years to ferment, it’s safe to say that good miso is a form of art.

Check your labels

For gluten allergies, make sure to use white and red miso that is gluten-free. Red miso frequently contains barley, wheat, and rye, so make sure to check the labels if you have gluten sensitivity. We have personally used Miso Masters Organic miso for years which is gluten-free and perfect for this Warming Miso Soup.

Warming Miso Soup isn’t the only way to get the health benefits from adding miso to your diet. Try adding it to salad dressings, sauces, and glazes. You can even use it in baking!

Stripped

Miso boasts an impressive nutrient profile and is brimming with vitamins and minerals like manganese, vitamin K, copper, and zinc (17). Keep in mind that it’s also high in sodium, so keep consumption in moderation and pair with plenty of other fermented foods for best results.

For more information on gut health and incorporating more fermented foods into your diet, check out our article on improving Digestive Health with fermented foods.



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Technology

Classic Maps We Want For The New Modern Warfare


What Makes It A Classic: Shipment is great for people who enjoy the thrill of a virtual shotgun burst, whereas Backlot is perfect for players of all playstyles. Whether it’s sniping or running around with a shotgun and the Martyrdom perk activated (I hated you), Backlot’s multidimensional map design made for some of the most fun I’ve had playing Call of Duty 4.

Backlot is perfect for more tactical games, as every corner is designed with spaces skilled players could utilize to capture points but not so much so that they were untouchable. At our best, my buddies and I would have the full arsenal drawn and ready to cover every vantage point. That was until someone’s mom told them dinner’s ready and an enemy would tear us all to pieces. Few contemporary maps can match the balance of Backlot, and as the old saying goes: If you can’t beat them, put them in your multiplayer suite as free DLC.

Why It Works With Modern Warfare: The visual aspect of Backlot works so well with the gritty world Infinity Ward is creating that I’m honestly surprised it hasn’t been announced yet. Creating maps with a monochromatic look is difficult, but with its destroyed cars and burnt-out buildings, the map is instantly recognizable for anyone who’s put a Call of Duty game into their disk tray.

Outside of it fitting aesthetically with the reboot, the balanced nature would slide in perfectly with game types such as Cyber Attack. Trying to capture the bomb at the center of the rubble while avoiding both sniper and mounted turret fire sounds like prime Modern Warfare fun that should have its place in the 2019 reboot.



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Music

Little Dragon Announce Tour, Share New Song “Tongue Kissing”: Listen


Little Dragon have announced 2020 tour dates. The first show takes place next March in Stockholm, Sweden. The band will then play European shows for the rest of the month, followed by North American concerts in April and May. Check out Little Dragon’s tour poster below. Get tickets here. (Pitchfork may earn a commission from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.)

Along with the tour announcement, the band has shared a new single titled “Tongue Kissing.” In a statement, Little Dragon said, “The song is very much about taking brave steps.” They continued, “Facing your own demons and tongue kissing with life in a way, not holding back but going all in with all that it entails, every moment in your face.” Hear “Tongue Kissing” below.

Little Dragon released their Lover Chanting EP in 2018. They shared the album Season High the previous year.



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Movies

Marvel’s Jon Favreau Responds To Scorsese And Coppola Criticism Of The Superhero Genre



It seems like the moment legendary directors Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola started to speak up about their alleged disapproval of the superhero genre of films, there was almost instantaneously a bunch of responses that were ready to counter those feelings. And yet, when it came time for director Jon Favreau to throw his hat in the ring, he did something pretty amazing: he accepted them as par for the course.

During an interview to promote The Mandalorian for Disney+, Favreau expressed these thoughts on the opinions of Scorsese and Coppola:

In a refreshing turn of events, Jon Favreau has taken the supposed displeasure of a genre he’s helped craft into its current fighting form, and honored those comments as merely the opinions of the people that inspired him in the first place. It’s an amazingly classy move, because instead of treating these thoughts as controversial, Favreau values the place that such opinions have in a proper discourse over cinema.

This isn’t to say the disappointment that fellow comic director James Gunn has felt about Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola’s remarks is invalid. Rather, Favreau’s view on those same opinions applies to Gunn’s thoughts as well. Everyone in this conversation has valid thoughts, and while they vary, they all have a position that various stripes of moviegoers can decide to agree with on their own terms.

In his interview with CNBC, Jon Favreau took the comments that have been seen as attacks on comic book movies like Avengers: Endgame, or even Favreau’s own work on Iron Man and Iron Man 2, and turned them into simple commentary rather than the invective they could be interpreted as. Even in the face of Francis Ford Coppola ostensibly calling Marvel and DC films “despicable”, as well as his own battles with the MCU brass, the man honors how he drew inspiration from their great works, and just goes on with his work.

Favreau’s work on the Marvel’s Cinematic Universe’s Phase 1 could be seen as something on par with Martin Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola’s efforts as young filmmakers that redefined the cinematic landscape of the day. And surely, there were those who thought that the men behind Taxi Driver and Apocalypse Now were totally out of their heads with the stories they were telling at that time.

But that certainly didn’t stop either of them from moving forward, and it’s sure as hell not going to stop Jon Favreau for bringing his blockbuster style talents to new and exciting stories in gigantic universes built on pre-existing IP.

You can catch Jon Favreau in both Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, once again playing the role of Happy Hogan, on Digital HD, 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD. Also, if you’re looking forward to The Mandalorian, you’ll be able to see what the fuss is all about when it debuts on Disney+ when the platform opens its doors on November 12.



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Trending News

19-Year-Old Beabadoobee on Her Pop-Punk Phase, Touring With Clairo, and Writing Songs for Her BFF


Listening to 19-year-old Filipina-British singer-songwriter Bea Kristi, a.k.a. Beabadoobee, is like curling up in your favorite oversized band hoodie, binge-watching My So-Called Life, and airing out your latest existential musings in your diary: it’s warm and fuzzy, deeply nostalgic, and ultra-cathartic, all at once.

The London musician signed to Dirty Hit Records (The 1975, Pale Waves) first drew attention with her independent 2017 debut single “Coffee,” a dreamy little acoustic ballad strummed on Bea’s guitar (which she learned to play that very same year) and uploaded to her YouTube channel on a whim. It went viral, and what followed — a string of songs and EPs (2018’s Lice and Patched Up, 2019’s Loveworm) marked by Bea’s ‘90s alt-rock love letter sound, soulbearing lyrics about growing up, and sugar-sweet vocal delivery — captured the hearts of teen listeners searching for an introspective Gen-Z voice they could relate to.

Bea’s latest EP, the aptly-titled Space Cadet (released October 14), finds the artist leaning heavily into the frustration of being misunderstood and the awkward uncertainty of inching closer towards adulthood. Over an emotive soundbed of fuzzy indie-rock (“Sun More Often,” “I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus”), melancholic grunge (“Are You Sure”), and breezy pop-rock (“Space Cadet,” “She Plays Bass”), Bea reassures listeners that it’s okay not to fit in.

Teen Vogue caught up with Beabadoobee to chat about her “pop-punk phase,” touring with Clairo, and why she wants her fans to embrace what makes them different.

TV: You’re currently on tour with Clairo. What’s your relationship with her like?

BK: I have a lot of respect for her. We talked on DM for a while [before we started touring together]. She’s an amazing artist, and when I met her, she was so lovely and welcoming. It was weird because I remember listening to her [2015 song] “Bubble Gum” and falling in love with the song, and now I’m on tour with Claire. It’s amazing.

TV: You write about lots of complex and personal topics, from growing up to mental health. What are some of the most challenging, or perhaps cathartic, topics you’ve tackled?

BK: I was young and a teenager when I was negatively influenced by a lot of things that college kids usually do, and it brought me to a really dark place that I felt like I couldn’t get out of. It was a mixture of that and some childhood traumas I had to face. It was really hard, and it’s still really hard, but [the more I] grow, the better it gets.

TV: Your music also speaks to issues and feelings that teens often experience. Do you find that teenagers and young people, who are often patronized to, are beginning to be taken more seriously by society?



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