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No team more hated than Warriors, says Cousins

No team more hated than Warriors, says Cousins

3:31 AM ETNick FriedellESPN Staff Writer CloseNick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.Ahead of his long-awaited debut with the Golden State Warriors, All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins said he believes he’ll be joining up with the “most hated team in sports.”In a sit-down interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols, Cousins said he hasn’t focused on the reaction from fans since he signed as a free agent with the Warriors this past summer.”I don’t really pay attention to storylines,” Cousins told ESPN. “I mean, they’re gonna say what they have to say. They’re gonna add their opinions. We’re the most hated team in sports.”The best shooter ever: Steph Curry is still completely unfairYou’re not supposed to be able to score from these spots.Warriors’ Plan A: re-sign Durant. But what’s Plan B?Plan A would be to re-sign Kevin Durant, but what is the Warriors’ backup plan if Durant walks in free agency this summer?Curry makes history with three-game 3-point runStephen Curry drained nine 3-pointers Wednesday against the Pelicans, many from far beyond the arc, to become the first player in NBA history with eight or more 3s in three straight games.Cousins, who is set to return Friday at the LA Clippers after missing almost a year because of a left Achilles tendon tear, signed a one-year, $5.3 million deal with Golden State in hopes that a rehabbing season with the reigning two-time NBA champions would help him find the massive payday he was seeking before the injury. When Cousins signed, it set off an avalanche of criticism from fans who thought his presence on a Warriors team that already had four All-Stars was unfair to the rest of the league.Now, neither Cousins nor his teammates care about what the reaction will be when he returns.When asked by Nichols if he really believes the Warriors are the most hated team in sports, Cousins didn’t back off his original point.”Can you name another?” he said.When Nichols answered with the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Yankees, Cousins responded by saying, with a laugh, “Well, put us up there. I would say the Warriors are for sure. You know they hate Kevin [Durant]. They hate me. I think the only guy they really like is Stephen [Curry]. Actually, they may hate him, as well. They hate Draymond Green. But I mean, it is what it is. I can’t worry about that.”
What Cousins is worried about is making an impact on a team counting on him to produce at center. Warriors players and coaches aren’t sure exactly what Cousins will be able to offer after almost a year of rehab, but they’re hopeful he will provide a dynamic low-post presence they haven’t had on the roster before.”When he’s focused, when he’s doing the little things, he’s the best big man in the game,” Warriors All-Star swingman Klay Thompson said. “I can’t wait ’til we get him; he adds a whole new dimension to our team. He gives us a low-block presence we haven’t had in a while; and we can throw it to him at any point to get hot. And with the floor spacing our team creates, he’s gonna be a monster.”As he fought through the arduous recovery process, Cousins said one person he leaned on most for advice was Basketball Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, who tore his right Achilles in 1992.”He just basically tells me to attack it,” Cousins said. “Once you realize you are healed, like, don’t think about it. Just go forward.”One thing that Dominique also spoke on is — they don’t know your heart, and they don’t know your drive. So, you know, the people that do know me, they know I can be very stubborn. I don’t like to be proved wrong.”Cousins is confident he’ll able to return to his All-Star form over time.”I’m back, and I’m not looking back,” Cousins said. “I’m moving forward. I’m leaving it on the floor every night. And I plan on coming back for that top spot.”

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Legislation to preserve Russia sanctions stalls, despite bipartisan push – Fox News

Legislation to preserve Russia sanctions stalls, despite bipartisan push – Fox News

A resolution to oppose the Trump administration’s decision toreduce sanctions against Russiastalled in the Senate Wednesday, even as several Republican broke with the party’s leadership to back the legislation.

The Senate failed to cut off debate on the resolution. The vote was 57-42, but it needed 60 yeas to end debate, and so fell short.


Eleven Republicans had brokenwith Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Tuesday to vote to start debate on the resolution. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin went to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to meet with Republicans and defend the decision to remove some of the sanctions.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mnuchin said, “We have been tougher on Russia with more sanctions than any other administration.” He said the sanctions “shouldn’t be a political issue.”

The resolution had been crafted by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who said the resolution told “Putin he can’t run the show no matter what President Trump and his administration try to do.”


“If Republican senators agree with Leader McConnell, who said that Putin is a ‘thug’ – they’ll vote yes tomorrow,” he said Tuesday.

The resolution called for maintaining sanctions on companies linked to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. The measure would block a Treasury Department move, announced in December, to lift penalties against the aluminum manufacturing giant Rusal and two other companies connected to Deripaska.


The Treasury Department says the Russian companies have committed to separating from Deripaska, who will remain blacklisted as part of an array of measures announced in early April that targeted tycoons close to the Kremlin. It also warns that the sanctions could upset global aluminum markets.

Schumer called the Treasury Department decision “sanctions relief for President [Vladimir] Putin’s trusted agents.”

Fox News’ Chad Pergram and Gregg Re contributed to this report.

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In latest reversal, Gillibrand now supports letting illegal immigrants get driver’s licenses

In latest reversal, Gillibrand now supports letting illegal immigrants get driver’s licenses

After initially opposing the idea of her home state granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has had a change of heart.“I think we have to make it possible for people to provide for their families,” the New York Democrat said Wednesday, as she was leaving to attend her 2020 presidential campaign kickoff event.Gillibrand’s new stand on the issue is in contrast from the position she took during her days in the House, when she opposed then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s controversial 2007 plan to allow illegal immigrants living in New York to obtain driver licenses.KYLE SMITH: NEWLY RADICAL KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND HAD A BETTER CHANCE OF BEING PRESIDENT 10 YEARS AGO”I do not support giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants,” Gillibrand said back then, the Washington Free Beacon reported. At the time, Gillibrand said she supported legislation that required anyone seeking a drivers’ license to show proof of citizenship first.NEW YORK DEMOCRAT GILLIBRAND MOCKED FOR SAYING FUTURE IS ‘FEMALE’ AND ‘INTERSECTIONAL’At a Wednesday news conference in Troy – a city of about 50,000 residents just outside Gillibrand’s birthplace, the state capital Albany – the second-term senator said her heart has guided her policy reversals on issues such as gun control, granting amnesty to illegal immigrants and her opposition to sanctuary cities, according to the Washington Free Beacon.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPOn Tuesday, she announced the formation of an exploratory committee for a 2020 White house bid, during an appearance on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show.” She will head to Iowa on Friday for a meeting and fundraiser with local Democrats.
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Michigan family of 5 killed in wrong-way crash in Kentucky

Michigan family of 5 killed in wrong-way crash in Kentucky – Fox News

A family of five headed home to Michigan from a Florida vacation was killed in a head-on crash in Kentucky early Sunday

A family of five headed home to Michigan from a Florida vacation was killed in a head-on crash in Kentucky early Sunday
(Instagram/City of Dearborn, Michigan)

Five family members from Michigan were killed early Sunday after a suspected drunken driver heading the wrong way on Interstate 75 in Kentucky struck their vehicle, authorities said.

The southbound pickup truck driver drove into the northbound lanes struck the family’s SUV at around 2:30 a.m. in Lexington, Lexington police said. The SUV caught fire and all five occupants of that vehicle died, along with the pickup truck’s driver.

“I thought I was seeing something, honestly,” Kenneth DeGraaf, a witness who saw the pickup truck driving toward him prior to the fiery wreck, toldWLEX-TV. “He was in the center lane. I was in the center lane. I had to merge out of the way at the last second to get to the right lane. I mean, he was flying. Absolutely flying.”


The family from Northville, Mich., was returning from a vacation in Florida, the Fayette County coroner’s office said. The coroner identified the family members as Issam Abbas, 42 and Rima Abbas, 38, along with their children, a boy Ali Abbas, 14; and girls Isabella Abbas, 13, and Giselle Abbas, 7. The family had initially delayed their trip because of a death in the family, according to theDetroit Free Press.

Habib Abbas of Dearborn, who identified himself as a cousin of the father, toldThe Detroit Newshe didn’t believe news of the crash at first and went about his day as if nothing had happened.

“I thought it was a rumor or something and then saw it again and called his sister. She and the family are even more in denial,” he told the newspaper.

The coroner’s office identified the pickup truck driver as Joey Lee Bailey, 41, of Georgetown. Authorities believe Bailey was driving under the influence and toxicology tests were planned.

Lexington police were asking the public for help in their investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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May battles to keep Brexit on track after no-confidence win

May battles to keep Brexit on track after no-confidence win

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Theresa May is reaching out to opposition parties and other lawmakers in a battle to keep Brexit on track after surviving a no-confidence vote.
European Union countries are also debating Thursday on how to move forward now that the U.K. Parliament has rejected May’s Brexit deal with the bloc and with the March 29 exit date looming.
Parliament overwhelmingly rejected the deal on Tuesday night, in a crushing defeat for May. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn immediately called for a no-confidence vote, but May’s government survived it on Wednesday night.
May invited opposition leaders for talks about how to secure another Brexit deal and avoid leaving the EU without a deal. But Corbyn has declined unless May takes the “no-deal” possibility off the table.

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Second man charged with capital murder of Jazmine Barnes

Second man charged with capital murder of Jazmine Barnes, 7 – Fox News

A second suspect has been charged with capital murder in the death of Jazmine Barnes, a 7-year-old who police say was killed in a case of mistaken identity.

Larry Woodruffe, 24, was charged Tuesday in connection with Barnes’ death on Dec. 30, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said in anews release. He was initially charged with felony drug possession pending further investigation.

Larry Woodruffe, left, and Eric Black Jr., right, have both been charged with capital murder in the drive-by shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes.<br><br>

Larry Woodruffe, left, and Eric Black Jr., right, have both been charged with capital murder in the drive-by shooting death of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes.

(Harris County Sheriff’s Office)

Another suspect, Eric Black Jr., 20,was previously charged with capital murder after he allegedly confessed to taking part in the shooting.


Investigators allege Woodruffe was the gunman and Black the getaway driver. The duo — both men were both taken into custody on Saturday — were identified as suspects “based on a tip,” officials said.

Barnes was in a car with her mother and her three sisters as they were leaving a Walmart parking lot in Houston late last month. They were fired upon and Barnes was fatally hit; her mother, 30-year-old LaPorsha Washington, was injured.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday that it suspects the shooting arose out of a case of mistaken identity.


“All evidence gathered so far in the Jazmine Barnes Homicide case supports investigators’ strong belief that she and her family were innocent victims,” the sheriff’s office tweeted early Sunday.

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Saudi women runaways rebel against system of male control

Saudi women runaways rebel against system of male control

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Another Saudi woman has turned to social media for protection from her father, just days after Canada granted refuge to Rahaf al-Qunun, the 18-year-old Saudi who fled her family.
Identified only as Nojoud al-Mandeel on Twitter, her case differs from that of al-Qunun. She has not fled the kingdom, has not revealed her face and has only made her pleas for help on Twitter in Arabic.
While their circumstances are different, the claims of abuse by the two women mirror those of other female Saudi runaways who have used social media to publicize their escapes.
There has been speculation that al-Qunun’s successful getaway will inspire others to copy her. However, powerful deterrents remain in place. If caught, runaways face possible death at the hands of relatives for purportedly shaming the family.
Saudi women fleeing their families challenge a system that grants men guardianship over women’s lives. This guardianship system starts in the home, where women must obey fathers, husbands and brothers. Outside the home, it is applied to citizens, often referred to as sons and daughters by Saudi rulers who demand obedience.
Hala Aldosari, a Saudi scholar and activist, said the male guardianship system replicates the ruling family’s model of governance, which demands full obedience to the king, who holds absolute power in decision-making.
“This is why the state is keen to maintain the authority of male citizens over women to ensure their allegiance,” she said, adding that this “hierarchical system of domination” necessitates “keeping women in line.”
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who’s introduced social reforms loosening restrictions on women, told The Atlantic that doing away with guardianship laws has to be done in a way that does not harm families and the culture. He said abolishing these laws would create problems for families that don’t want to give freedom to their daughters.
The issue of guardianship is extremely sensitive in the kingdom, where conservative families view what they consider the protection of women as a man’s duty.
More than a dozen women’s rights activists have been detained, many since May, after they campaigned against the guardianship system. Some had also wanted to create alternative shelters for women runaways.
Regardless of their age, women in Saudi Arabia must have the consent of a male relative to obtain a passport, travel or marry. In the past, a travel permit was a paper document issued by the Interior Ministry and signed by a male relative.
Today, Saudi men download a government mobile app that notifies them of a woman’s travel. Through the app, men can grant or deny a woman permission to travel. Some young women who have fled the country had managed to access their father’s phone, change the setting and disable its notifications.
In a statement read to reporters in Canada on Tuesday, al-Qunun said she wants to be independent, travel and make her own decisions.
“I am one of the lucky ones,” she said. “I know there are unlucky women who disappeared after trying to escape or who could not change their reality.”
That’s especially true for women from conservative tribal families, like al-Qunun’s.
Al-Qunun, one of 10 children, posted online that her father, Mohammed Mutliq al-Qunun, is the governor of the city of al-Sulaimi in the hilly hinterland of Ha’il — a province where nearly all women cover their face in black veils and wear loose black robes, or abayas, in public. The family belongs to the influential Shammar tribe, which extends to Iraq, Syria and other parts of the Middle East. Her father has considerable clout as a prominent town official and member of a powerful tribe.
Al-Qunun, who barricaded herself in an airport hotel room in Thailand last week to avoid deportation, said she was abused by a brother and locked in her room for months for cutting her hair short. She said she would have been killed if sent back to her family.
According to government statistics, at least 577 Saudi women tried to flee their homes inside the country in 2015, though the actual number is likely higher. There are no statistics on attempted or successful escapes abroad.
Shahad al-Mohaimeed, 19, who fled abuse and an ultraconservative family in Saudi Arabia two years ago, said fear is a powerful deterrent.
“When a Saudi girl decides to flee, it means she’s decided to put her life on the line and take a very, very risky step,” said al-Mohaimeed, who now lives in Sweden.
Al-Qunun’s plight on social media drew international attention, helping her short-circuit the typically complex path to asylum. A little more than a week after fleeing Saudi Arabia, she was in Canada, building a new life, posting pictures of wine, bacon and donning a dress above the knees.
Back in Saudi Arabia, the woman identified as Nojoud al-Mandeel posted audio on Twitter on Monday alleging her father had beaten and burnt her “over something trivial”. She posted a video looking onto a neighbor’s gated pool, where she says she jumped from her bedroom window before a friend picked her up and they escaped.
“Don’t tell me to report to police,” she said, explaining that in a previous attempt, police just had her father sign a pledge saying he would not beat her again.
After her story gained some traction online, she was promised attention by a protection hotline in Saudi Arabia for domestic abuse victims. Prosecutors also reportedly began looking into her allegations of abuse, according to Saudi news sites.
She was placed in a domestic abuse shelter, but on Tuesday complained on Twitter about the shelter’s restrictions over her movements.
Al-Mohaimeed said Twitter is where Saudi women can share stories and be heard. She and two other Saudi women took over al-Qunun’s Twitter account, writing messages on her behalf during the height of her pleas last week to avoid deportation.
“I was not born in this world to serve a man,” al-Mohaimeed said. “I was born in this world to fulfill my dreams, achieve my dreams, grow, learn and be independent — to taste life as I hold it in my hands.”
Follow Aya Batrawy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ayaelb .

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Shah of Iran modernized his nation but vacillated in crisis

Shah of Iran modernized his nation but vacillated in crisis

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — At the height of his power in 1971, Iran’s Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi drew world leaders to a wind-swept luxury tent city, offering a lavish banquet of food flown in from Paris to celebrate 2,500 years of Persian monarchy in the ruins of Persepolis.
Only eight years later, his own empire would be in ruins.
The fall of the Peacock Throne and the rise of the Islamic Revolution in Iran grew out of the shah’s ever-tightening control over the country as other Middle East monarchies toppled. While successfully riding rising oil prices in the 1970s, the shah failed to see that Iranians had begun to expect more as the country’s people moved from the countryside to cities like Tehran.
And as the crisis reached a fever pitch, the shah’s inability to act and poor decisions while secretly fighting what would be a fatal cancer doomed him.
“He was, as one diplomat said, almost Hamlet-like in his indecision,” said Abbas Milani, a professor at Stanford University who wrote a book on the shah. “Shakespeare said sometimes greatness comes to the great, sometimes greatness is thrust upon them. And he had a kingdom thrust upon him.”
Born in 1919, Mohammad Reza Shah was the son of Reza Shah, then an army officer. By 1925, Reza Shah became shah after forcing out the previous Qajar dynasty with the backing of the British. He named his nation Iran, which was still known as Persia until he ordered foreign diplomats to cease using the name.
But Iran’s strong trade ties with Germany, Reza Shah’s push for neutrality in World War II and Western fears over its oil supplies falling to the Nazis ultimately led to a Russian-British invasion of the country in 1941. Reza Shah abdicated in favor of his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, at the insistence of the occupying British forces.
His full embrace of autocratic power came after the political chaos of 1953. Liberal Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh sought to nationalize Iran’s oil industry. The British sought to keep their control of Iran’s oilfields and its refinery at Abadan, then the world’s biggest. Meanwhile, the U.S. feared Soviet influence expanding in Iran.
Out of these fears came TPAJAX, a CIA-backed coup plot to overthrow Mossadegh. Declassified U.S. documents show the CIA boasting that it had both leading security officials in its pocket, as well as hopes it could use the “powerfully influential clergy” within Shiite Iran to back the coup.
The Western plotters soon found one of their biggest problems to be the shah himself.
“His inability to take decisions coupled with his tendency to interfere in political life has on occasions been (a) disruptive influence,” the U.S. Embassy in Tehran warned in February 1953. Ultimately, his twin sister, Princess Ashraf, and a U.S. general helped convince him to back the coup.
When the coup initially appeared to have failed, the shah fled to Baghdad and on to Italy. But protests supporting the shah, fanned in part by the CIA, led to Mosaddegh’s fall and the monarch’s return.
As time went on, monarchs in Egypt and Iraq fell to nationalistic army officers. The shah felt the pressure, growing increasingly suspicious of Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Iraq. He focused on the threats from abroad by pouring money into his military.
As Britain withdrew from the Middle East, the U.S. increasingly looked at the shah as a stabilizing force. He allowed U.S. and British spies to monitor the Soviet Union from secret bases in Iran. He also recognized Israel as a state in 1959, long before any Arab nation struck a peace deal.
Meanwhile, the shah reaped the benefit of skyrocketing global oil prices, which he himself had a hand in raising on his own and through Iran’s membership in OPEC. He sought to industrialize and educate Iranians through his 1960s “White Revolution,” as well as abolish the feudal state of much of its countryside.
The land reforms angered Iran’s gentry and saw the rural poor move to the cities. There, they would become fresh recruits for the revolution.
Shiite clerics railed against the shah’s relationship with Israel, his acceptance of those of the Baha’i faith they viewed as heretics and the capital’s raucous nightlife and sexual mores. They also opposed the shah granting suffrage to women as well as his opening of private universities, because the clerics had once had sole dominion over Iran’s educational system.
Among those clergymen was Ruhollah Khomeini, a cleric who would be imprisoned and who would later go into exile. He would return as a triumphant ayatollah in 1979, riding the revolution to become Iran’s first supreme leader.
As the economy improved, the shah increasingly seized more and more power. Everything down to the minutiae of the state needed to pass his desk. And slowly, he lost control by trying to take all of it.
“He eliminated the center of Iranian politics, he certainly eliminated the left and he even eliminated much of the right and the only political force that was allowed to continue and expand . was the Islamists,” Milani said. “He never saw where the threat came from. He wasn’t alone. The CIA didn’t. MI6 didn’t.”
Also hidden from view was his cancer. He had secretly taken chemotherapy for years but knew he had little time left. He took Valium and other medication as well, likely only adding to his indecisive nature.
There had been a crackdown against political opponents, seeing thousands imprisoned and tortured by his feared SAVAK intelligence service. State media in Iran now typically refer to the shah as “despotic,” focusing on the abuses and his lavish lifestyle.
Iran today, however, faces criticism from international human rights groups for arbitrary arrests, mistreatment and torture of prisoners. It is one of the world’s top executioners, putting to death hundreds each year. It also has faced accusations that it detains people with Western ties and uses them as bargaining chips.
Instead of fighting and holding onto power, the shah instead chose exile 40 years ago, flying away on a jetliner that he himself piloted. He died in July 1980 at the age of 60, the last monarch Iran has ever known.
Asked in exile by interviewer David Frost if he wished he had “stayed and died fighting in the streets,” the shah said no.
“If I was not a king, surely I would have done that,” the shah said. “A crown, a throne could not be based on the not-too-very-solid foundation of blood.”
Follow Jon Gambrell on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jongambrellap .

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Life in limbo: Leftover embryos vex clinics, couples

Life in limbo: Leftover embryos vex clinics, couples

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Tens of thousands of embryos are stuck in limbo in fertility clinics, leftovers from pregnancy attempts and broken dreams of parenthood.
Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and can’t be found. In other cases, couples are struggling with tough decisions.
Jenny Sammis can’t bring herself to donate nearly a dozen of her extras to research. She and her husband agreed to do that when they made their embryos 15 years ago, but her feelings changed after using some of them to have children.
“I have these two gorgeous, smart people who came from this process,” Sammis said. “These embryos are all like seeds that could become potential people. That reality to me was all abstract when they were in the freezer.”

Tank failures at two clinics in Ohio and California last year revealed hidden issues with long-frozen embryos, including some from the 1980s when IVF began. A few years ago, medical groups developed sample consent forms clinics could use for new patients, spelling out what could happen to unused embryos. But that hasn’t resolved what to do with ones made long ago.
“It’s a real dilemma for these clinics,” said Rich Vaughn, a Los Angeles lawyer who headed the American Bar Association’s assisted reproduction committee for many years. “We don’t quite know what to do with them and everyone’s afraid to act” for fear they’ll be sued if people surface decades later and want their embryos.
The number is growing as more couples try IVF and because of changes in how it’s done. The old way was to mix eggs and sperm in the lab and transfer multiple fresh embryos to a womb, hoping at least one would lead to pregnancy. Now, couples usually freeze many embryos, test for health problems and transfer the most viable one at a time to avoid multiple births. That often means leftovers once the desired family is complete.
How many embryos are in storage isn’t known — centers don’t have to report that. One study estimated there were 1.4 million in the U.S. Researchers think 5 to 7 percent are abandoned, though it’s as high as 18 percent at some clinics. Some define that as a year of no contact or storage payments after reasonable efforts to find the owners; others draw the line at five years. Some clinics search social media and hire investigators to find owners when abandonment is suspected.
“It has vexed our field” from the start, said Dr. Mark Sauer, a fertility specialist at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School who is on the ethics committee of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine.
It also has vexed couples, many of whom never expected so many leftovers. Sara Raber of New York’s Long Island had five extras after conceiving two children.
“Your goal in the beginning is just to get pregnant,” so making a lot of embryos seems necessary because you don’t know how many tries it will take, she said. But disposing of extras brings a finality to family building that’s different for IVF couples than it is for those who conceived naturally.
“You’re making a conscious decision not to have a baby anymore,” said her husband, Howard Raber. “That’s what makes it hard.”
Even after the Rabers agreed to donate theirs to research, which usually means to a fertility clinic to let staff practice IVF, the paperwork sat on her desk for months, Sarah Raber said.
In Arlington, Virginia, Sammis is having a similar struggle. “I get to the point of signing the papers and I just can’t deal with it,” she said.
Sammis said a friend who couldn’t decide what to do with her embryos moved away and “didn’t give the fertility center her forwarding address … That was her way of dealing with it.”
When couples have abandoned embryos, “it was largely because they did not want to be responsible for making a very difficult decision. They would rather let the program do it,” Sauer said.
Andrea Braverman, a health psychologist at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, said it’s not an easy choice. A study of 131 couples in Canada found that one third had not returned for frozen embryos after five years. Another study found that up to 70 percent of couples delayed a decision for at least five years and many changed their minds about what they thought they’d do after they had IVF.
“This is a fluid decision. It is not a one-and-done,” Braverman said.
Dr. Craig Sweet, who runs a fertility clinic in Fort Myers, Florida, knows the problem well. About 18 percent, or 300, of his clinic’s frozen embryos are abandoned, some for 25 years. A study he did found that couples were more likely to abandon embryos if they had stored them a long time, had a low education level, already had many children or owed the clinic money.
One of his patients with more than a dozen leftover embryos forged her husband’s signature on forms giving permission to use them because she wanted more children and he did not. The plan fell apart when the clinic insisted on seeing him personally.
“Things happen. Life happens, divorce happens, depression, financial changes” — many things can lead a couple to disagree about using embryos, Sweet said.
The courts view an embryo as something between person and property, said Susan Crockin, a reproductive law expert at Georgetown University. When it’s in the lab as opposed to being in a womb, “people have equal rights to it” and most courts will not allow one member of a couple to use an embryo over the other’s objection, she said.
The actress Sofia Vergara and her ex-fiancé Nick Loeb fought over frozen embryos they made, but a court said Vergara could not be forced to procreate against her wish and denied Loeb use of the embryos after the couple split.
States may try to rewrite legal precedents. Last April, Arizona’s governor signed legislation allowing one member of a divorced couple to use embryos created during a marriage even if the ex-spouse doesn’t want a child.
Clinics try to avoid being in the middle.
“What we tell couples is that if you’re divorced, nobody gets to transfer the embryos until we get something from a court” that says who has control of them, said Dr. Richard T. Scott Jr., scientific director of Reproductive Medicine Associates, one of the nation’s largest clinics with centers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.
In 2005, Sweet began requiring patients to agree not to destroy unused embryos. He also started Embryo Donation International to provide embryos to couples willing to use them to have children. He accepts embryos from 62 facilities in North America and has more than 400 available; 50 to 60 were used in 2017, he said.
“It just didn’t make sense to us that people were discarding perfectly normal, useful embryos,” he said.
His IVF coordinator, Rebecca Ruano, had 18 leftover embryos after the birth of her twins, and agreed to donate the extras to people unable to have children. “I was not willing to destroy or donate them to science. We worked too hard for them,” she said.
Frozen embryos remain viable for decades as far as anyone knows. Last year, the National Embryo Donation Center in Tennessee reported a birth using an embryo that had been frozen for 24 years.
Sweet supplied a Chicago woman an embryo that had been frozen for 17 years and made one request:
“When the baby is born,” he said, “I want you to see if you can register the kid to vote.”
Follow Marilynn Marchione: @MMarchioneAP
The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Ocasio-Cortez attacks fact-checkers for ‘false equivalency,’ ‘bias

Ocasio-Cortez attacks fact-checkers for ‘false equivalency,’ ‘bias’ – Fox News

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lashed out at fact-checkers just days after taking office, accusing them of “false equivalency” and “bias” toward her in their columns examining her statements.

Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has been called out by fact-checkers at a steady clip since her upset primary win last year over then-Rep. Joe Crowley. She’s apparently had enough. On Monday, she took aim at PolitiFact and The Washington Post fact-check unit for supposedly singling her out.

“Facts are facts, America. We should care about getting things right. Yet standards of who gets fact-checked, how often + why are unclear,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Monday. “This is where false equivalency + bias creeps in, allowing climate deniers to be put on par w/ scientists, for example.”

Her argument was not so much that the columns were wrong but that they should be scrutinizing the Trump White House more. Ocasio-Cortez complained that PolitiFact fact-checked her the “same” amount of times as White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.


“For example, it looks like @PolitiFact has fact-checked Sarah Huckabee Sanders and myself the *same* amount of times: 6,” she said. “She’s been serving for 2 years. I’ve served 4 days. Why is she fact-checked so little? Is she adhering to some standard we don’t know about?”

She added: “Another question for @politifact: some officials’ statements (ex. Andrew Cuomo) get rated ‘true’ frequently. I say true things all the time – I’d hope most do. When does Politifact choose to rate true statements? Is there a guide? I’d be happy to repost if there is.”

A reporter for the Washington Post, which regularly publishes a fact-check column assigning “Pinocchios” based on the level of falsehood in statements made, hit back, noting there is a way to “avoid” being fact-checked — and stressing they scrutinize the Trump administration plenty.


“No one likes to be fact-checked. There’s a simple way to avoid it. And there’s a big difference between the colossal amount of time we spend fact-checking Trump (7,645 false/misleading claims and counting) and TWO fact-checks of @AOC,” Post reporter Sal Rizzo tweeted.

Ocasio-Cortez then seemed to back down.

“Fact-checking is critically important. It’s not always fun. But that’s okay! It pushes me to be better. It is important that if fact-checkers are referees, everyone know the rules –and those rules be as clear + fair as possible for all to play,” she said. “Thank you for the work you do.”

Ocasio-Cortez, in an interview Sunday on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” was asked about the criticism over factual errors and argued it’s more important to be “morally right.”

“I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually, and semantically correct than about being morally right,” Ocasio-Cortez said.


But she said it’s still important to be factually correct and she owns up when she says something “clumsy.”

“But it’s not the same thing as the president lying about immigrants. It’s not the same thing at all,” she said.

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