ShowBiz Minute: R. Kelly, Star Wars, Lauren

Judge says R. Kelly’s lawyers have week to answer lawsuit; Mark Hamill says he hopes he’s done with the Jedi; Ralph Lauren receives honorary knighthood in London. (June 20)

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This Teacher Was Fired Over A Topless Photo. Now, The’s fighting back.

Bellport, NY is a small town of 2,000 that’s made international headlines because of a picture of breasts. Lauren Miranda, a former math teacher at Bellport Middle School, was fired after a topless selfie sent to her boyfriend in 2016 — got into the hands of students. It’s a private matter that has thrust her onto a public platform where she refuses to be shamed.

Lauren’s situation isn’t unique. According to a 2016 study, roughly 10.4 million Americans have had their nude photos posted without their permission. Now, she’s speaking out about the double standard of sexualizing the female body.

“How do girls feel when this happens to them?,” Miranda told VICE News. “Their photo gets shared without their permission or consent. And what do we say to them: Crawl in a hole”

She’s suing the school district for her job back or 3 million dollars. She is basing her case on gender discrimination. “I’m saying that because you’re a man that you and I are 100 percent equal,” Miranda said. “Whatever you do to one side you have to do to the other.”

The community has been divided on whether Miranda’s firing has been the right call. Monique Armann, a parent of a student who attended the middle school just a year ago, now runs a forum on Facebook for residents, including parents of kids at the school, where they can debate Lauren’s firing — privately.

VICE News reached out to several South Country Central District school officials for comment–they said they don’t comment on active litigation. Lawyers for the school district are expected to depose Miranda on May 2nd.

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Why It’s So Hard For Millennials To Buy Homes

Buying a house is harder for millennials than it was for their parents’ generation, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Depending on where you want to live, how much debt you have, and how much you have saved, buying a house might not be out of the question—if you’re willing to compromise.

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Following is a transcript of the video:

Alyssa Pagano: When I was born, the median price for a house was $108,900. Now, it’s $337,200. Even if you account for inflation, that’s about a 45% increase in cost. But buying a house is something I would like to do. So I’m trying to figure out if I can.

The odds are pretty stacked against me. I’m a millennial, and I graduated college in 2010, right in the middle of the recession. When I entered the workforce, the job market was rough. Like many of my peers, I have student loan debt. And on top of that, there aren’t very many starter or mid-price homes on the market. My personal financial situation has to do with choices I made. I changed careers at 27, I took out loans to go back to grad school, and I didn’t manage to save any money before that. But that’s not abnormal for someone my age.

According to a LinkedIn study, it’s common for millennials to change jobs about three times in the first five years after college. And in the eight years I’ve been out of college, I’ve lived in New York City the whole time. Median cost of a home here? $770,000. I certainly can’t afford that. When I look at my income, cost of living and student loan debt, the idea of buying something as expensive as a house seems nearly impossible.

My dream home would look something like this. Or this. But even if my boyfriend and I took our combined income of $100,000 a year, that apartment is a pipe dream. I went to Business Insider’s own financial planner, Lauren Lyons Cole. I figured if anyone could help me, it would be her.

Lauren Lyons Cole: When you’re just starting out, you can calculate a general price range by taking your annual income and multiplying it by three. With a combined income of about $100,000 a year, that means a home that costs around $300,000 would be a good starting point.

Pagano: That’s not as bad as I was expecting, but I have no idea what I can get for that price.

Cole: With a budget like that in New York City, you probably aren’t gonna find that many options. So you might have to make sacrifices, which could even mean relocating to another city. But then you have to figure out what kind of job options are there, and how much could you get paid to do the work you want to do. You have to think about which amenities you really want and which ones you can do without.

Pagano: I’ve always wanted some kind of outdoor space, like maybe a balcony. A two-bedroom would be nice… big windows… maybe a turret. What? I’m a millennial. I’m idealistic.

Cole:  Once you have an idea of what you can afford and what you’re willing to give up, you can take the next step and start looking at listings that are available in your price range.

Pagano: With the budget Lauren and I came up with, I browsed options in a few cities I could see myself living in. I wasn’t amazed with anything I came across, but there were some that were nice. Not so much in New York, especially when I compare it to the apartment I live in now, which is below market rent.

I also checked out Grand Rapids, Michigan because it was number one on Business Insider’s list of best housing markets for millennials. There, I did find some amazing places within my budget, but I can’t see myself picking up and moving there right now. For me, owning a place isn’t worth living somewhere where I don’t know anyone and I don’t have a job lined up. So I think for now I’m gonna keep renting and try to save up for a down payment. Maybe in a few years the price of avocado toast will go down, and I’ll be able to afford that dream castle.

Maybe a balcony… a two-bedroom would be nice… big windows… maybe a turret.

New Laws May Require Teachers To Get Training In Teaching Kids About Sexual Consent (HBO)

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Lauren Atkins is a 17-year-old high school senior in Norman, Oklahoma. She thinks she might want to run for president someday. Last year, she was junior class homecoming princess.

And that year, she says she was raped at a high school party, after drinking so much she says she was unable to consent.

“I was passed out — like throwing up on a toilet. He shouldn’t have even thought about having sex with me,” she told VICE News in an interview. “If that’s not a sign that I’m not able to make my own decisions then I don’t know what is.”

The incident inspired Atkins to work with Oklahoma activist Stacey Wright and freshman Democratic state Rep. Jacob Rosecrants to pass legislation she believes will help prevent similar incidents in the future.

The bill, nicknamed “Lauren’s Law,” would establish training for Oklahoma public school teachers to educate their students on sexual consent in the classroom.

In a series of Snapchat messages and texts Atkins exchanged with the boy in the days following the incident, which were shared with VICE News, they argued about whether they had intercourse, and he says she gave consent earlier in the night. Atkins denies this, and filed a police report, but the District Attorney declined to prosecute.

VICE News made multiple unsuccessful attempts to reach the boy. The DA’s office said through a spokesperson that they didn’t have enough evidence to move forward with a case.

Oklahoma law defines consent as “the affirmative, unambiguous and voluntary agreement to engage in a specific sexual activity during a sexual encounter which can be revoked at any time,” and says consent can’t be given by an individual who’s “mentally or physically incapacitated either through the effect of drugs or alcohol or for any other reason.”

Atkins believes that, if the boy had known this, he might not have done what he did.

​This segment originally aired on February 26, 2018, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

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Ralph Lauren races out of Manhattan into fall fashion

American fashion royalty Ralph Lauren races into fall 2017 by inviting Diane Keaton, Jessica Chastain and Katie Holmes to his garage to watch a stunning runway show inspired by his passion for rare automobiles. Models Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner were among those dazzling the runway next to Lauren’s car collection in Bedford, New York.