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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Christian mom blogger reveals she is dating disgraced soccer star Abby Wambach in her latest confessional post sharing sweet selfie of them together


A Christian mommy blogger has announced she is dating retired soccer star Abby Wambach.
Glennon Doyle Melton posted a smiling picture of herself and Wambach on Sunday, with the caption: 'Oh my God, she is so good to me. She loves me for all the things I've always wanted to be loved for. She's just my favorite. My person.'
Both are newly single.
Wambach, who lost her sponsors after a DUI last April, is currently in the process of divorcing fellow soccer star, and wife of three years, Sarah Huffman. While Melton announced her divorce from Craig Melton, her husband of 14 years, in August.

Glennon Doyle Melton posted a smiling picture of herself and Wambach on Sunday to announce their relationship
In the caption she wrote: ' Feels like the world could use all the love it can get right now. So today, I'm going to share with you my new love'




The relationship may come as something of a surprise for fans of the Christian author - whose book Love Warrior was featured in Oprah's Book Club.
But regular readers of her blog Momastery won't be surprised by her openness about the new relationship.
Melton, a mother-of-three, is known as the ultimate confessional writer, for her honest portrayals of her struggling marriage, addiction and eating disorder, according to the Washington Post.
She has also been a champion of LGBT rights, and insists that same-sex marriage is not contrary to the church.
Since coming out about her first gay relationship, some fellow Christian bloggers have offered their support on her Facebook post.
The Christian mommy blogger Glennon Doyle Melton (left) announced she is dating retired soccer star Abby Wambach (right) on Sunday



On Sunday, Melton revealed the relationship on Facebook saying; 'Feels like the world could use all the love it can get right now. So today, I'm going to share with you my new love.
'Her name is Abby. You might recognize her from soccer.' 
She said her ex-husband Craig supports her relationship with Wambach and that they make 'beautiful, modern family' together.
Melton said her children also loved the soccer star, branding her 'an M&M because she looks tough on the outside but inside she's really mushy and sweet. '
'They're lucky kids, to be surrounded by so much love. We have family dinners together — all six of us — and Abby cooks. (She is an AMAZING chef because Jesus loves me). We go to the kids' school parties together. We are a modern, beautiful family. Our children are loved. So loved. And because of all of that love, they are brave.' 
Melton announced her divorce from Craig Melton (pictured with her and their children) her husband of 14 years, in August

Wambach, who was one of the inspirational guests of honor on Melton's book tour, The Together Tour, in September, has been more private about their new relationship.
But she too has been blisteringly honest about her past. 
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Wambach (pictured in her mugshot after DUI arrest)
In the memoir, released earlier this year, the retired US national team star recounts her career, revealed her struggle with alcohol and prescription drugs for years prior to her arrest for driving under the influence this past April.
Chapters in the book are words that she has been labeled: tomboy, captain, lesbian, and addict.
Wambach spends a good portion of the book detailing her bouts with vodka and pills, which included Vicodin, Ambien and Adderall. 
But she says she has been sober since the night she was pulled over in Portland, Oregon, after dinner with friends. 
Wambach said that night was a culmination of events as her life spiraled out of control. Her marriage was on the rocks, she was wrestling with her retirement and her direction, and she had just taken a new job with ESPN.
Melton has a spiritual bent on her writing and a coveted place on the Oprah Book Club list
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In the memoir, released earlier this year, the retired US national team star recounts her career, revealed her struggle with alcohol and prescription drugs for years prior to her arrest for driving under the influence this past April (pictured playing Japan in the FIFA Women's World Cup, 2011)
She issued a statement on Facebook after she was released from jail the next morning, taking full responsibility for her actions and apologizing to her friends, family and fans. 
In the aftermath, the car company MINI USA withdrew her from its heavily promoted advertising campaign, which also starred tennis great Serena Williams.
Melton's news comes just two months after her friend Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat, Pray, Love fame, also announced her lesbian relationship.
Gilbert, whose book about her struggle to find herself, announced in September she was in a romantic relationship with her female best friend, just two months after divorcing over the summer.
Both Gilbert and Melton share a spiritual influence on their writing and much more - a coveted place on the Oprah Book Club list.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

When Melania Trump Met Michelle Obama, Their Clothes Did Some of the Talking

Melania Trump and Michelle Obama met for tea on Thursday in the White House

Whatever their feelings about Donald J. Trump winning the presidential election, President Obama and the first lady have been careful to demonstrate that it is time “to now come together, work together, to deal with the many challenges that we face,” as Mr. Obama said when he met the president-elect at the White House on Thursday. Hillary Clinton began the messaging when she wore a purple-lapel Ralph Lauren pantsuit for her concession speech on Wednesday morning, uniting red and blue in a single shade as she urged the country to unite. And Michelle Obama continued the subliminal signals when she chose a purple Narciso Rodriguez dress with an orange aftershock sunburst curve for her meeting with Melania Trump.It was a nice bit of color diplomacy.But it also wasn’t without implicit references to Mr. Obama’s administration and legacy. After all, it was the second time she wore Mr. Rodriguez this week, the first time being for her final speech for Mrs. Clinton in Philadelphia, delivered in a navy coat by the designer.Mr. Rodriguez is, as it happens, Cuban-American, the son of immigrants and a classic American success story. He is currently the subject of a retrospective at the Frost Art Museum in Miami, chosen in part, the curator told The New York Times, because “It is very important to incorporate the accomplishments of Latin American artists, architects and designers into the canon of history.”Mr. Rodriguez was also the designer of the black and red dress that Mrs. Obama wore when her husband gave his victory speech in Chicago in 2008.Something of a contrast was, not surprisingly, provided by Mrs. Trump. For the visit to Washington on Thursday, she wore a streamlined sleeveless black sheath dress, a matching coat and Christian Louboutin heels. Thus far, as was the case throughout the campaign, no brand has issued the traditional news release about Mrs. Trump wearing its designs, most likely because she buys her clothes herself, rather than working through a stylist or brand. (The shoes were recognizable because of the brand’s signature red soles).Whether that will change when she is in the White House remains to be seen. In the meantime, the fact she wore black instead of her usual white or pastel shades has got some people riled up. (“Melania Trump wore a funereal black dress to the White House,” Yahoo News cried.)Personally, I think it’s too early to judge whether Mrs. Trump thinks about her clothes in communications terms, so I’m going to hold off on reading too much into the shade. Rather, I’d say she looked polished and professional, and as if she wasn’t trying to call attention to herself, though that is kind of unavoidable.Indeed, as Mrs. Obama showed over the past eight years — and reiterated on Thursday — a wardrobe can be a powerful platform for a first lady, making points without her having to say a word. Given Mrs. Trump’s reported antipathy for public performance, it might serve her very well as she assumes her new role 

Emma Stone Says Ryan Gosling "Has a Restraining Order Against" Her



Could La La Land be the last movie that Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling make together? If the actor has anything to say about it, quite possibly.
The famous redhead joked about their longtime friendship to E! News while making her way into InStyle and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's 2017 Miss Golden Globes bash in Los Angeles last night, and the actress seems to think that Gosling is getting sick of her. "He has a restraining order against me now," Stone said with a laugh. "I'm just going to have to stay like a hundred feet at everything else we do together. No, it's so much fun to work with him and I don't know if they'll let us do anything else."
But fans of the onscreen duo shouldn't worry—the star was only kidding. "The restraining order isn't real, could you tell that I was joking?" she said reassuringly. "It's not real, it's not real."

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Turkey must accept it needs Israel, says Tayyip Erdogan

“Israel is in need of a country like Turkey in the region,” Erdogan said in remarks to Turkish reporters. —AFP/File
“Israel is in need of a country like Turkey in the region,” Erdogan said in remarks to Turkish reporters. —AFP/File
ISTANBUL: Turkey must accept that it needs Israel, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday, as the two countries seek to thrash out a deal on normalising ties. Nato member Turkey was a key regional ally of Israel until the two countries fell out over the deadly storming by Israeli commandos in 2010 of a Turkish aid ship, the Mavi Marmara, bound for Gaza. Erdogan further raised hackles in Israel with his sometimes inflammatory rhetoric towards the Jewish State. But the atmosphere was transformed following the revelation last month the two sides were making progress in secret talks to seek a rapprochement. “Israel is in need of a country like Turkey in the region,” Erdogan said in remarks to Turkish reporters published in leading dailies Saturday. “And we too must accept that we need Israel. This is a reality in the region,” said Erdogan. “If mutual steps are implemented based on sincerity, then normalisation will follow. “Ambassadors were withdrawn in the wake of the 2010 crisis and Erdogan said Turkey's three conditions for a normalisation were clear — a lifting of the Gaza blockade, compensation for the Mavi Marmara victims and an apology for the incident. Israel has already apologised and negotiations appear to have made progress on compensation, leaving the blockade on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip the main hurdle. Indicating possible progress on the blockade, Erdogan said Israel had suggested it would allow goods and construction materials into Gaza if they came via Turkey. “We need to see a written text to ensure there is no deviation from the agreement,” he said. Analysts have suggested that Turkey's rapprochement with Israel has been accelerated by the need for Ankara to make up for its crisis in ties with Moscow after the shooting down of a Russian warplane. Erdogan last month held closed-door talks with Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal but it was never disclosed what the president discussed with the leader of the the Palestinian Islamist movement. Israel also wants Turkey to prevent senior Hamas operative Salah Aruri from entering its territory and acting from there. Ankara has never confirmed his presence in Turkey.

Solitude and doodh patti in Iceland

Zoha Waseem is a doctoral student at King’s College London and a senior editor for the Strife Blog.
Zoha Waseem is a doctoral student at King’s College London and a senior editor for the Strife Blog.
ZOHA WASEEM — UPDATED JUN 02, 2015 05:18PM

 According to the big bang theory, the earth is 4.54 billion years old. Iceland, the youngest land mass to emerge out of the Atlantic Ocean floor, formed by volcanic eruptions, is between 16 and 20 million years old. This was not in my knowledge when I boarded the flight from London to Reykjavik. In fact, there was little apart from Iceland’s location on a world map that I knew prior to my departure – except that there are no McDonald’s or Starbucks in the entire country.

Iceland’s landscape is dotted by volcanoes, glaciers, rivers, small villages and farms.
Iceland’s landscape is dotted by volcanoes, glaciers, rivers, small villages and farms.
I arrived at Reykjavik, the smallest big city or a big village depending on how you look at it, to a cold spring and endless daylight. Reykjavik, literally meaning the ‘smoky bay’ or ‘steamy bay’ (named after hot springs located around the city), is the world’s northernmost capital, lying just below the Arctic Circle. It is home to about two-thirds of the country’s population, estimated at over 320,000. 

To give you a rough idea, the entire island has fewer residents than Karachi’s NA-246.

View of Reykjavik from the Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral. Colourful rooftops dot the picturesque city and can be spotted from various locations given the hilly terrain.
View of Reykjavik from the Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral. Colourful rooftops dot the picturesque city and can be spotted from various locations given the hilly terrain.
Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral is a landmark in Reykjavik and also one of the tallest buildings. Icelanders avoid building skyscrapers to preserve the scenic landscape that ribbons the city.
Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral is a landmark in Reykjavik and also one of the tallest buildings. Icelanders avoid building skyscrapers to preserve the scenic landscape that ribbons the city.
Reykjavik’s old harbour opens up the city to the North Atlantic Ocean, from where tourists can indulge in various boat tours. Here, travellers are ideally positioned to take day tours around the southern and western coasts, or, if feasible, rent a car and drive around the ring road that circles the island.
The Settlement Exhibition is a must-see for history buffs. The exhibit tells the stories of Iceland’s first settlers, the Vikings.
The Settlement Exhibition is a must-see for history buffs. The exhibit tells the stories of Iceland’s first settlers, the Vikings.

Reykjavik’s old harbour overlooks the North Atlantic Ocean.
Reykjavik’s old harbour overlooks the North Atlantic Ocean.
My first trip outside Reykjavik took me hiking around The Golden Circle, a popular route for travellers as it’s close to the capital and encompasses three core destinations: Thingvellir, the Gulfoss waterfall and the Geysir. Thingvellir or the 'Parliament Plains' is where the world’s oldest parliamentary assembly (Althingi) was formed in AD 930. It moved to Reykjavik, nine centuries later. Iceland was initially ruled by Norway and then Denmark, gaining full independence on June 17, 1944. Iceland has no standing army, but under a defence agreement, an American military base was present from 1951 to 2006. The Parliament Plains has a location colloquially referred to as ‘no continent’s land’. Iceland is the only country on the mid-Atlantic ridge, divided between the American and European continents. But at one spot on the Plains, neither continents lay claim.

The Parliament Plains, where the oldest parliament was formed in AD 930.
The Parliament Plains, where the oldest parliament was formed in AD 930.

Gulfoss waterfall, part of Iceland’s Golden Circle.
Gulfoss waterfall, part of Iceland’s Golden Circle.
The ‘Geysir’ is a popular attraction on the Golden Circle.
The ‘Geysir’ is a popular attraction on the Golden Circle.
Black sandy beaches, high tides, wicked lava rock formations intruding into the ocean, gales strong enough to cause road blocks, and mountain glaciers towering over the beaches make a visit to Iceland’s shores an overwhelming experience. Next on my hiking trail was Iceland’s southern shore, together with an afternoon of glacier hiking – a first for me. Icelanders learn fairly early on in their lives to wrap ‘clamp-ons’ under their shoes and walk the glaciers, with blue ice-caves and fresh spring water flowing underneath. Ice axe in hand, I am guided by an experienced climber – a young, self-trained Icelander with a flair for picking routes at random. Approximately one per cent of Iceland’s population volunteers for search and rescue operations across the island. One of my hosts, a local Icelander, is also a volunteer, as is our guide on this glacier hike. He asks me if there are any glaciers in Pakistan. I tell him about the highest battleground – the Siachen glacier. He nods solemnly. My next stop is the Seljalandsfoss waterfall. I hike up to the middle of the waterfall, walk behind it, get generously sprayed upon and drenched, and return feeling victorious. We drive by Eyjafjallajokull (pronounced: eh-ya-fyat-la-jo-kutl). It is referred to by some as simply ‘E-15’ (the letter E followed by 15 other letters), since very few non-Icelanders can pronounce it correctly. Eyjafjallajokull is famous for its 2010 eruption that resulted in volcanic ash disrupting thousands of flights across the European continent. On average, there is a volcanic eruption in Iceland every four years.
Litla-Hraun is Iceland’s oldest prison formed in 1929. There are reportedly 150 prisoners in Iceland’s prisons. Some can have a waitlist of up to 5 years.
Litla-Hraun is Iceland’s oldest prison formed in 1929. There are reportedly 150 prisoners in Iceland’s prisons. Some can have a waitlist of up to 5 years.
The Skogafoss waterfall is one of the biggest in Iceland with a drop of 60 metres.
The Skogafoss waterfall is one of the biggest in Iceland with a drop of 60 metres.
Glacier hiking on Solheimajokull glacier on the Katla volcano. Much of this is expected to melt away by July. More than 10 per cent of Iceland is covered by glaciers.
Glacier hiking on Solheimajokull glacier on the Katla volcano. Much of this is expected to melt away by July. More than 10 per cent of Iceland is covered by glaciers.

A view of Eyjafjallajokull, a volcano that erupted in 2010, causing thousands of flight disruptions around Europe.
A view of Eyjafjallajokull, a volcano that erupted in 2010, causing thousands of flight disruptions around Europe.
My host recommends I visit the the Snaefellsness Peninsula, a less-visited detour off the ring road. Viking villages, homes and burial grounds encompass this western leg of the island. Irish monks were present in Iceland when Viking explorers arrived. Due to the ruthless aggression of the latter, the monks fled. The Vikings stayed, becoming the oldest settlers on the island. Their origins date back to AD 871.

Black-sand beaches on the south coast.
Black-sand beaches on the south coast.

Spot the rainbow: Seljalandsfoss waterfall.
Spot the rainbow: Seljalandsfoss waterfall.

Hiking up and behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall shown in the picture above.
Hiking up and behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall shown in the picture above.

A 19th century home allegedly constructed by the Vikings in Borgarnes, near the Snaefesllness Peninsula.
A 19th century home allegedly constructed by the Vikings in Borgarnes, near the Snaefesllness Peninsula.
Legend has it that when Adam and Eve lived in Iceland, they had a lot of children. One day, God announced that He wanted to visit the family. Eve began preparing a feast and bathing all the children, but she did not have time to bathe them all. When God arrived, Eve hid the dirty ones. When God asked Eve if these were all her children, she lied. And God said, ‘Well, so it shall be!’ And these unbathed children are today known as the elves that live in hills and stones in Iceland. It is best not to ask the locals if they believe in Icelandic myths and legends. They probably don’t, but they’ll seldom admit it.
Stunning rock formations layered with moss are home to seagulls on the west coast of the Snaefellsness Peninsula.
Stunning rock formations layered with moss are home to seagulls on the west coast of the Snaefellsness Peninsula.
After hours: the Blue Lagoon. Noted as one of the 25 wonders of the world, the Blue Lagoon is dense with silica mud and minerals, it is said to have naturally healing effects.
After hours: the Blue Lagoon. Noted as one of the 25 wonders of the world, the Blue Lagoon is dense with silica mud and minerals, it is said to have naturally healing effects.

Viking horses are the only breed of horses allowed in Iceland. Once a horse leaves, he cannot be brought back. Over centuries, Viking horses have adapted to the island’s versatile terrain.
Viking horses are the only breed of horses allowed in Iceland. Once a horse leaves, he cannot be brought back. Over centuries, Viking horses have adapted to the island’s versatile terrain.
On one occasion, while preparing to embark upon a Viking horse just outside of Reykjavik, I am told by the stable owner that while she had never had a Pakistani visitor before, she once owned a saddle that was made in Pakistan. Given that there are just three Pakistani families in the country, some Icelanders confessed they had never before met a Pakistani. It was humbling to see the excitement locals depicted upon hearing that I am from Pakistan. One day, I was pointed in the direction of the only Pakistani restaurant in Iceland, Shalimar. The owner and head chef is from Lahore. He greets me warmly, offers a strong cup of doodh patti on the house, and proceeds to tell me about his own love affair with Iceland. It began with his realisation, fairly early on during his stay, at how pleasant and peaceful the Icelanders are. There is no competition and nobody is status conscious, he tells me. Connivance and corruption are not traits you will find amongst the locals here.
Taking a break on a cliff on the south-western coast.
Taking a break on a cliff on the south-western coast.
Pass the word: Keflavik International Airport is decorated with Icelandic sayings and quotes. Here, songwriter Bjork’s lyrics are a perfect away to wrap the trip.
Pass the word: Keflavik International Airport is decorated with Icelandic sayings and quotes. Here, songwriter Bjork’s lyrics are a perfect away to wrap the trip.

For fellow travellers adding this island to their bucket list, my advice would be to get out of your comfort zone, but do not get lost. Iceland’s topography is constantly changing because of its extremely active geology, which means it is still forming and there will be hidden locations across the island that are yet to be discovered. You don’t want to be stuck on unmarked off-road trails with unpredictable weather conditions. Keep multiple maps handy and talk to the locals (almost all Icelanders speak English and are incredibly trustworthy people). Cities and villages are great for wandering aimlessly. Enjoy the solitude. Don’t fret over maxing out your cameras’ memory cards, which is a real possibility; turn off the gadgets and take in some of the most naturally stunning environments you might ever find yourself in. Pictures just don’t do it justice. In the words of one local, ‘everything here is on a small scale, except for the beauty of this country’. —

All photos by author