Red, White & New: Fresh Ideas For Holiday Entertaining | Times Free Press


Red- and blue-striped straws make a festive display in a Mason jar. Tiki tabletop candles add color and ambient lighting and help repel mosquitoes. Photo by Photo: Tiki Brand Easy, colorful decorating is as simple as inserting flags into pots of flowers. Photo by Photo: Tiki Brand enlarge photo July Fourth is all about grilling and chilling. The long holiday weekend thanks to the Fourth falling on Friday this year calls for relaxing with family for food, fireworks and backyard fun. Decorating in festive red, white and blue is the expected choice for any Independence Day party, but designer Kellie Clements has some ideas to put a fresh spin on your family fun.
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Send them on a free holiday: China’s new method of taking on dissidents

Faced with little opportunity for education and employment, she first turned to prostitution, for which she served time in prison. Fortunately, she was talented and those who could present her with opportunities soon recognized her musical gifts. While many young black women face the constraints that beset Holiday before she turned 21, few can rely on musical talent or the opportunity to perform as a way out of poverty. As an adult, Holiday began to use heroin, and her drug addiction was criminalized rather than treated. Similarly, contemporary black women who experience sexual abuse, domestic violence and drug addiction make up the fastest-growing prison population.
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Loving Billie Holiday Doesn’t Mean Black Girls Aren’t Suffering | The Nation

“We would spend up to 1,000 yuan ($160) on a single meal.”‘Stability maintenance’China’s ruling Communist party keeps a tight grip on power, frequently detaining those who speak out against government abuses.Over the last decade domestic security spending has soared, regularly exceeding Beijing’s declared military outlays.It has built a vast “stability maintenance” apparatus and President Xi Jinping has sought to further stifle dissent since his 2012 ascension to the top of the ruling party.State-enforced travel spiked this year ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown — where the army killed hundreds of protesters — on 4 June.According to US-based advocacy group Human Rights in China, 15 people were taken on forced vacations beforehand.”I’ve just returned from Beijing after being travelled,” Yan Zhengxue, a painter and government critic, told AFP.Police “went with me everyday, and paid for everything” on a trip to Ningxia in the northwest, including the towering dunes of the Tengger desert.”If you refuse to go travelling, there will be consequences,” he said. “You have to go. Even though you are at tourist sites, you have been forced to go, so you’re not in the mood to enjoy it.”Government personnel relish the trips, some regular forced travellers suggest.”We ate the best food, and drank the best alcohol. The security officials enjoyed it too. Not just any security official can go on this kind of trip, they need to be above a certain rank,” said environmental campaigner Wu Lihong, adding he was taken to the ancient city of Xian for two weeks in March.”Quite a few” officials from Beijing’s secretive ministry of state security accompanied him, he said.They stayed at Xian’s “best hotel”, he said, and saw the Unesco-listed Terracotta Warriors, as well as the “Wild Goose Pagoda”, a Tang dynasty tower that hosts night-time laser shows.”They are usually stuck inside using their computers and reading the papers, but by accompanying me they have a chance to travel and eat well,” he added.’Moving jail’When Chinese citizens travel to Beijing seeking redress from higher authorities for local government abuses they risk detention in makeshift “black jails”, where they are sometimes beaten before being sent home.More persistent ones, though, are targeted for holidays.”If you’re really grassroots you’ll be held in a black jail. Forced travel is for fairly well-known activists,” said Maya Wang, of US-based campaign group Human Rights Watch.”It’s a form of illegal detention,” she added.
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