I Taught Gloria Steinem How to Be a Playboy Bunny

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Handout

Gloria Steinem and I briefly crossed paths 60 years ago—and I’m finally coming to terms with it. I was Gloria’s training Bunny at the New York Playboy Club in 1963. In her two-part Show magazine article, “A Bunny’s Tale,” she referred to me as the “Chinese Bunny who stuffed her costume with gym socks.”

Gulp, that was me—a 19-year-old, third-year math major at Hunter College, teaching 28-year-old Gloria Steinem, a Smith College graduate, how to do the Bunny dip while serving a gin rickey.

At the time, Gloria was also employed as a journalist assigned to write an exposé on the newly-opened Manhattan Playboy Club. I didn’t know that at the time. No one did.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Secret Russian ‘School’ Churning Out Minions for Putin

Photo Illustration by Erin O’Flynn/The Daily Beast/Getty Images

The Kremlin has begun cooking up a new influence operation in the city of Rostov-on-Don in Russia, according to an assessment from the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine this week.

The operation is focused on training up new propagandists in Russia from occupied territories in Ukraine so they can later spread Kremlin lines there, the assessment from the National Resistance Center of the Special Operations Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine states.

While many pro-Moscow mouthpieces in Kremlin-occupied territories in Ukraine are Russian, the apparent goal of the new training scheme is to tutor local residents on spreading the Kremlin’s influence, and try to create an image of local support for the invasion there.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Seven of Trump’s Co-Defendants Are Already Rolling the Dice

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Getty

It’s been a dizzying week in Fulton County Superior Court.

As Donald Trump and his 18 co-defendants in Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ sprawling racketeering case surrendered to jail and negotiated bonds, at least eight of them also filed what became a flurry of legal motions, arguing for their cases to be delayed, moved, or expedited.

But former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani has some advice for all 18 co-defendants: make a deal—soon.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Russia’s ruthless minefields aren’t just handcuffing Western tanks. Each day the war drags on the mines get more buried — and are likely to haunt Ukraine for many years to come.

Soldiers prepare to clear an anti tank mine by using rope to remove the detonator during a mine clearance training exercise on July 11 2023, in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine; Unexploded munition collected by de-mining unit of National Guards of Ukraine before they will be destroyed seen in near Kherson.

Ed Ram/For The Washington Post/Getty Images; Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images

Ukraine is now believed to be one of the most mined country in the world since the Russia invasion.It could takes years to clear the minefields, allowing them to get more buried under dirt and snow.The demand for prosthetics and therapy could also overwhelm Ukraine long after the fighting stops.

Russia’s prolific use of land mines has indiscriminately maimed Ukrainians and hamstrung Western tanks, but the challenges posed by the minefields won’t end once the war does.

“I highly doubt the Russians will ever tell the rest of the world where all the mines were laid,” Dr. Aaron Epstein, a former defense contractor and doctor with expertise in military medicine, told Insider. “It’s going to be a really unfortunate, nasty discovery process.”

An organization Epstein founded, the Global Surgical and Medical Support Group, sent physicians to Ukraine last year to train military medics, physicians, surgeons, and even civilians on how to treat combat injuries. GSMSG ran combat casualty care courses out of gymnasiums and schools for a hundred people at a time and gave Ukrainian surgeons with other specializations crash courses in how to be trauma surgeons.

Some of the worst injuries coming out of the war have been amputations, many caused by the countless land mines Russia placed across broad swaths of Ukraine. Ukraine is now one of the most mined countries in the world, with an area roughly the size of Florida littered with the weapons, according to The Washington Post, which cited data from the Ukrainian government and from an independent organization. The minefields have posed issues for the much-anticipated counteroffensive that Ukraine launched in June. Western tanks have struggled to advance through them, with some getting so badly damaged that Ukrainian soldiers were abandoning them and proceeding on foot, according to a top Ukrainian general.

“What Russia did throughout the war was just scatter these things everywhere,” Epstein said, adding Russia has tiny mines purposefully made to look like leaves that can barely even be spotted on the ground. “You step on it, it kind of blows your foot off and it doesn’t kill you, but it maims you.”

The use of anti-personnel land mines in war was banned by the 1997 Mine Ban Convention. Despite having signed the treaty, Ukraine has been accused by Human Rights Watch of using banned “butterfly” mines against Russia. Russia, on the other hand, has never signed on to the treaty, nor has the US.

Even if the war ended tomorrow, it would take years of tedious, dangerous work to clear the minefields, but the longer it drags on, the worse the situation gets. Epstein said that the mines are only going to get more and more buried under dirt and snow.

“Even if a city is liberated, it will take a very long time to just make it so it’s really safe to live there,” he said. For all the towns, fields, and farmlands where mines have potentially been laid, he said there will also be a difficult question to answer: “How deep do we need to scrape the surface of the Earth to really make these places safe to live?”

It could be several years before the mine-clearing operations make it safe in some areas of Ukraine. At that point, even scraping away the top three feet of dirt might not be enough to feel safe, he said. What if the mines are now buried six feet underground? Or eight?

Serhii, a Ukrainian soldier who lost a leg from a land mine while fighting in Ukraine, is assisted by Rebecca Gonzalez at the physical therapy department at Staten Island University Hospital on July 21, 2023 in New York City. The soldier, who is preparing to return to the war against Russia, was brought to New York through a program with the non-profit Kind Deeds.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The other long-term issue mines pose for Ukraine is the care that’s going to be required for those who have been injured. Between 20,000 to 50,000 Ukrainians are estimated to have had an amputation since Russia invaded, reaching levels not seen since World War I, according to The Wall Street Journal. While Epstein said Ukraine has a good medical system, the demand for care will likely be overwhelming.

“The prosthetics and the prosthetic therapy services that are going to be required for this population are going to be something on the scale that the US military has for all of the veteran populations,” Epstein said, noting the US dwarves Ukraine in population size and GDP. Ukraine might simply not have enough resources for everyone who needs it.

There are also the psychological services and therapy that many Ukrainians will need, even those who have not been physically injured, after living under the fear of Russian artillery fire and trying to dodge mines placed in everyday items like toys and refrigerators.

Tanisha Fazal, a professor at the University of Minnesota who studies medical care in war, told Insider that war-induced psychological trauma is a hidden cost of war that often gets overlooked. The issue has been compounded in recent decades because advancements in medical care mean people are “surviving injuries they would not have survived in the past,” she said.

Right now Ukrainians are, understandably, focused on the present, or winning the war and treating the wounded, but injuries like amputations are going to be a “long term-cost of war for the Ukrainians.”

“This is something that’s going to have to be part of rebuilding in Ukraine, dealing with veterans but also I think probably civilians with serious wartime injuries, both physical and mental,” she said.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at [email protected].

Read the original article on Business Insider

Nepo Babies of the Week: Why Is the Cyrus Family Feuding?

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The mother of Hannah Montana marrying an actor from Prison Break shouldn’t be a big deal. In fact, it sounds like one of those factoids you accidently discover eight years later via a hyperlink on Miley Cyrus’ Wikipedia page.

Unfortunately for Tish Cyrus, though, she has some very messy children—and not just the one who twerked on Robin Thicke at the VMAs, had a beef with Nicki Minaj once, and insulted the entire genre of hip-hop. I’m talking about Tish’s other famous daughter Noah and her not-that-famous son Braisson, both of whom ditched her wedding last weekend to go to Wal-Mart and take selfies. (Or maybe they weren’t invited. Who knows!)

Now, Tish’s formerly irrelevant nuptials are the subject of a huge nepo-baby scandal. Is there a civil war brewing among one of Hollywood’s most famous musical families? The evidence, so far, is leaning toward a big, fat “yes”—although no one’s exactly sure why yet. However, the alliances seem pretty clear.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

This Is the Absolute Cringiest Right-Wing Media Reaction to Trump’s Arrest


Right after former President Donald Trump was arrested and booked in Georgia, rapper Forgiato Blow, the self-described “Mayor of MAGAville,” dropped “Real America,” his new single fuming about the most recent criminal indictment against the ex-president.

While the song is your run-of-the-mill pro-Trump propaganda from a man who calls himself “Trump’s Nephew,” the video goes full cringe mode by casting several personalities from far-right conspiratorial network One America News, including the channel’s 82-year-old owner decked out in shades.

The song shares its title with the primetime OAN show hosted by Dan Ball, who features prominently in the video and introduces the song with a monologue about how “patriots are fed up” because Trump has been indicted for the fourth time by the “corrupt Biden regime justice system.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

CEO Who Fired Employees Via Zoom Sees Stock Crash Spectacularly

Scott Rosenthal/Wikimedia Commons

Share prices for the mortgage lender Better.com tanked Thursday, hours after the company went public and nearly two years after CEO Vishal Garg unceremoniously laid off hundreds of employees via Zoom. By Friday morning, shares in the newly launched Better Home and Finance were trading at a more than 90 percent discount.

The crash was not entirely unexpected for Better, which built its business on lightening-fast home loans during the millennial home-buying spree that was the coronavirus pandemic. When the company first eyed going public in a SPAC merger with Aurora Acquisition Corp in 2021, it was valued at an eye-watering $7.7 billion. But in recent years, as mortgage rates skyrocketed and the housing market slowed, Better’s business has declined precipitously. According to SEC filings, the company lost $89 million in the first quarter of 2023 and more than $1 billion in the last two years combined. It also reported axing 91 percent of its staff in the last 18 months.

It didn’t help matters that Garg, 55, was making national headlines for his behavior toward staff. On top of the aforementioned Zoom layoffs, during which he congratulated himself for not crying, Garg also called his employees “dumb dolphins,” said they were “embarrassing” him, and referred to a major investor as “sewage.” In an incident exclusively reported by The Daily Beast last year, Garg brought an ax into the office as a gift for an executive who had laid off a number of employees.

Read more at The Daily Beast.