The president lobbed an inaccurate attack at several Democratic lawmakers on Sunday, saying they should "go back" to the countries they came from.
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When someone is confronted by illness, we can’t resist being intrusive and speculative. This month my dear friend died from cancer, leaving behind a young family. A continent apart, we talked about her illness and what it meant. She told me that she wasn’t afraid of dying and I believed her because she knew the rich legacy she had created. But in the aftermath of her death a post her daughter released tore me asunder. In it, my friend recalls the reaction of strangers to her illness. “How could you contract this disgusting illness?” one wailed. “You could easily have another five years,” shrugged another. (She just made it past one.) An acquaintance was angry at not having been told sooner. Another was perplexed by her equanimity, leading to an ambush at the elevator: “You know this is terminal, right?” Someone wanted to know the exact site of cancer. Another recalled the relative of a relative who died of exactly that kind of cancer not so long ago. My friend’s tone contained calm and a dry wit, but the hurt was palpable. If I am sick, it asked, what good does it do to remind me of my plight? I want to give her a hug of apology but it’s too late. Also, what would I say? That when someone is confronted with a serious illness, we humans can’t resist being thoughtless, intrusive and speculative? It’s in the context of this loss that I’ve found myself drawn to the public commentary around the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who has experienced three episodes of tremors at public events. The tremors have surfaced suddenly, she has tried to control them with dignity and poise and persevered at the function. Her staff have blamed dehydration. She herself has hinted that things might take time to settle and has shown insight in stating that she hopes her health will permit her to work while she puts into place plans for her succession. The protective German public has largely granted her privacy. But this hasn’t stopped the world’s media from not simply reporting her tremors but also zooming in on her shaking hands and unreadable expression while asking doctors to hazard a guess at the diagnosis. A woman in her 60s working extremely long hours in a demanding role at a challenging time develops an episodic tremor while standing in the heat. What’s wrong with her? Dehydration or Parkinson’s disease? Deep fear or multiple sclerosis? Raging sepsis or dementia? This ridiculous question would rightly be thrown out of a medical curriculum because any reasonable clinician would insist on the need for a detailed history and examination followed by appropriate tests and often further observation before pronouncing a diagnosis, especially one with serious consequences for the patient and family. So why the rush to diagnose Merkel from television footage? We would like to think it’s in the public interest. After all, my dear friend, for all her troubles, only left behind hundreds of grieving family and friends, and some of my patients die such a lonely death that the council has to bury them. Merkel is one of the most consequential leaders in the world today so, if she sneezes, perhaps we all fear catching a cold. But if we were to be really honest, we might care to admit that when we see her shake we are not suddenly concerned about the plight of refugees, climate policy or global stability as much as we are mindlessly curious to know what on earth could be going on. I use the word “mindless” deliberately. Recently I told a patient that her cancer had metastasised to the brain and hence her prognosis was guarded. The next day she was sobbing on the phone, distraught by a throwaway remark that she looked far too well to be dying from brain cancer. That one mindless utterance set into motion indescribably sad and weighty emotions in the mind of one who had many other priorities. Surely, we can do better by our fellow travellers. The public interest argument has essentially drawn a long bow between Merkel’s tremor and looming neurological decline. If this were true, we ought to be similarly concerned about the impact of a late-night Twitter tirade, a wild night of drinking or an extramarital affair on the ability of world leaders to make good decisions. After all, obesity, hypertension, alcoholism, lack of sleep, confabulation, lack of fitness, stroke and prostate cancer can be more consequential than a tremor. It’s just that they are silent, out of the view of cameras. It’s also worth asking: could we (again) be holding a woman to a different standard? Australians overlooked the philandering of Bob Hawke but saw fit to denigrate the country’s only female prime minister, Julia Gillard, by joking about her breasts, buttocks and “barrenness” during a particularly low point in politics. The New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark was similarly hounded for her looks, clothes and sexuality owing to her “self-imposed childlessness”. If Merkel were to look to a male leader for inspiration, where would she go? Indeed, there is a rich tradition of male world leaders concealing serious maladies from the public. Franklin D Roosevelt’s polio-induced paralysis and dependence on a wheelchair was not public knowledge during his four terms in office. Ronald Reagan’s physicians denied it but many, including his family, suspected early signs of dementia when he was president. François Mitterrand received treatment for metastatic prostate cancer for many years in office and was deemed medically unfit to govern in the last six months because he was too exhausted to focus. The medical bulletins declared him fine while his doctors improvised ways to hang drips among coat stands. Winston Churchill suffered crippling periods of depression and wouldn’t stand too close to express trains, wary of the result of “a few drops of desperation”. It’s easier to find videos of Boris Yeltsin’s drunken escapades than political contributions, but Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria leads the field by clinging to office for two decades without being seen for six years after suffering a stroke. Massive street protests forced him to resign amid questions as to whether he was even alive. Could a female leader have survived any of these things? Would we brook a female leader whose depression tied her to her bed on many mornings, who needed cancer treatment between summit meetings or had a serious drinking problem that just occasionally saw her wandering the street unclothed? Angela Merkel is a global figure but she is also a human being who deserves dignity and understanding, not prurient interest. People with an unfolding or unclear illness need space to digest things. If this turns out to be something that affects her capacity to govern, we should then expect her and her physicians to act with integrity and share the relevant details without baring every aspect of her private life. Until then, we diminish ourselves through gossip and speculation. I have seen through the eyes of my patients the destructive toll of dealing with uninformed commentary about illness, self-limiting or serious. All I can say is that it affects the individual long after everyone else has moved on, and it behoves us to tread lightly. I am happy to sit out the medical pop quiz about what’s wrong with Merkel. I will wait for her to tell us. . Ranjana Srivastava is an Australian oncologist, award-winning author and Fulbright scholar. Her latest book is called A Better Death
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Congratulations are in order for Steph McGovern and her girlfriend! The BBC Breakfast presenter has confirmed that she is expecting her first child, some 18 months after she was forced to deny pregnancy rumours. Taking to Twitter, Steph wrote: "I see my news is out! Yep, I am no longer with pot belly...... I am now with child. babyonboard."Her celebrity friends replied on Twitter, with weather presenter Carol Kirkwood writing: "Wonderful news GG! Congratulations." "Ummm... WOW!" Dawn French posted, while former Strictly star Stacey Dooley shared love heart emojis. "AMAZING news! Congratulations xx," Helen Skelton added.Steph is expecting her first child with her girlfriendIn January 2018, Steph was forced to refute pregnancy claims with her typical good humour, sharing on Twitter: "For those who are congratulating me on my 'pregnancy'. I am not 'with child', I am 'with pot belly'."MORE: Prince George and Princess Charlotte enjoy day out with grandparents - detailsAt the time, Steph explained to Mail Online: "I'd definitely be in the wrong job if I got offended by comments like that. Even my own auntie asked me once if I was pregnant after seeing me on the telly - that's just life on camera. I just decided to tweet a reply about it because I'd had a run of a few celebratory tweets and I wanted to clarify I wasn't and get in there before my boss started arranging my maternity cover!"The TV presenter is best known for starring on BBC BreakfastSteph, 37, tends to keep her private life out of the public eye. Her girlfriend's name has not been revealed but it's known that she works as a TV executive. According to The Sun on Sunday, Steph is due in November. The report went on to say that the mum-to-be suffered badly with morning sickness in the early stages of her pregnancy.MORE: Fans are desperate to know Gemma Atkinson and Gorka Marquez's baby's nameSteph is best known for presenting the business segment of BBC Breakfast since 2010. She also co-presents Shop Well for Less with her good friend Alex Jones, who has just welcomed her second son with husband Charlie Thomson - baby Kit. Steph also joined the BBC Watchdog presenting team in 2016.Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.
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Who is Anastasia Karanikolaou? Kylie Jenner’s best friend stassiebaby before and after surgery, plus her parents, age and net worth
You might have noticed Kylie Jenner has a new sidekick: Anastasia Karanikolaou, who also goes by the name Stassie or Stassie Baby on Instagram. With her former BFF Jordyn Woods all but excommunicated from her close circle following an alleged fling with Tristan Thompson (though new reports suggest the pair were recently civil to each other at a party) Stassie might appear to have taken the role of Jenner's new Instagram bestie. But in fact, the pair go way back. Stassie has known Forbes' youngest self-made billionaire for nine years, with Stassie so close to Kylie Jenner that at one point she even moved into her home. The pair also have matching tattoos that read 'Stormi' - the name of Jenner's child. View this post on Instagram green & purple got me goin in circles A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on Jul 14, 2019 at 8:11pm PDTAt the weekend the pair - along with some of Kylie's other close friends, including Sofia Richie - hopped on a private jet for a lavish holiday to the Turks and Caicos Islands to celebrate Jenner's new line, Kylie Skin. View this post on Instagram just when you thought the twin pics were over 💍 A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby) on Jul 14, 2019 at 12:15pm PDTClearly fans of a joint photo shoot, once there they changed into an array of co-ordinating looks to pose on their Instagram feeds, including powder blue dresses by Jacquemus and Yeezy bodycon leggings. View this post on Instagram It’s ya birthday it’s ya birthday bad bitch contest you in first place 🥇 💗💗💯💯🎉🎉 A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on Jun 9, 2019 at 2:25pm PDTThis isn't the first time the friends have planned their looks. View this post on Instagram go watch my story to see us hit a hole in one A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby) on Jun 10, 2019 at 3:20pm PDTTo celebrate Stassie's birthday in June, they spent days together which included a pool party, a night out, a quick golfing expedition in matching Chanel outfits and finally a The Handmaid's Tale-themed viewing party (which was poorly received on Twitter). View this post on Instagram lover 💕 A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby) on Aug 29, 2018 at 2:47pm PDTBeyond being Jenner's "most consistent and loyal friend", Stassie is also a popular social media influencer and plastic surgery fan, speaking openly about her procedures on social media. Who is Anastasia Karanikolaou? View this post on Instagram 🍊@showpo showpoambassador A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby) on Apr 29, 2019 at 12:46pm PDTAnastasia Karanikolaou is a model and social media star, who is also known online as Stas, Stassi or Stassie Baby. With over 4 million Instagram followers and 200,000 YouTube followers, Karanikolaou frequently models outfits for her audience and occasionally vlogs about her life, including one popular video about her entire plastic surgery journey.She has also worked with brands including PrettyLittleThing and Good American on limited fashion collaborations and campaigns. View this post on Instagram last day :( A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby) on Apr 5, 2019 at 11:45am PDTShe and Jenner have been friends for a very long time, with Jenner revealing on Instagram that the pair’s friendship goes back 9 years. To celebrate Stassie’s birthday, Jenner shared a picture of the pair and wrote, “9 years later and you’re still a real one. I love you forever and always.” View this post on Instagram I can’t even begin to describe how proud and happy i am for you. I love you both so much and I’m excited for this new chapter in life. I can’t wait to spoil her and watch her grow😢❤️ A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby) on Feb 4, 2018 at 1:31pm PSTKendall Jenner is also close to Stassie and Kylie revealed on Instagram stories that “Stas basically lived with me growing up, and it was the 3 of us always.” View this post on Instagram night king eyes A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby) on May 2, 2019 at 6:52pm PDTStassie is also close to Kylie’s former best friend Jordyn Woods, who was excommunicated from the Kardashians after rumours surfaced that Khloe Kardashian’s boyfriend had cheated on her with Woods. Stassie has not posted an image with Woods since October 2018. Who are Anastasia Karanikolaou’s parents?Stassie’s father is Periklis Nikolaos Karanikolaou, a Greek-born broker for World Financial Group, according to LinkedIn. The pair appear to be close and he has previously featured in vlogs and on her Instagram.On father’s day, she shared a snap of her dad cradling her as a baby and wrote, “thank you for always being there for me when i need you, for showing me unconditional love, for knowing how to cheer me up when i’m sad, and for dealing with my annoying ass on a daily basis. i couldn’t have asked for a better dad. i love you to the moon and back. happy father’s day.” View this post on Instagram thank you for always being there for me when i need you, for showing me unconditional love, for knowing how to cheer me up when i’m sad, and for dealing with my annoying ass on a daily basis. i couldn’t have asked for a better dad. i love you to the moon and back. happy father’s day❤️ A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby) on Jun 17, 2018 at 12:35pm PDTShe also couldn’t resist a sly dig at her father’s expense, as she posted a photo of Periklis sleeping surrounded by booze. She captioned it, “my dad is me”. View this post on Instagram my dad is me A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby) on May 24, 2016 at 11:12pm PDTHer mother is Nicolette Karanikolaou, who wished Stassie happy birthday on Instagram this week. She wrote, “You are such an amazing young woman with a beautiful life ahead. I wish you only success and happiness in your life and I am so thankful that life brought us together.” View this post on Instagram Happy Birthday to my sweet girl @stassiebaby You are such an amazing young woman with a beautiful life ahead. I wish you only success and happiness in your life and I am so thankful that life brought us together!! loveyouwithallmyheartandsoul A post shared by Nicolette Karanikolaou (@nkaranikolaou) on Jun 9, 2019 at 5:53am PDTIt appears that Nicolette may not Stassie’s biological mother but rather a stepmother, as in a birthday post addressed to Periklis, she wrote, “i know the last years have been challenging for you and we are journeying together onto new territory’s [sic] and watching your girls and my son’s grow! blendedfamily Thank you for being open to live and love again.” View this post on Instagram My love it’s your Birthday today and we will celebrate you and all the love you give to us!!! 48 today!! Always young at heart and definitely on the dance floor! I know the last years have been challenging for you and we are journeying together onto new territory’s and watching your girls and my son’s grow! blendedfamily Thank you for being open to live and love again. οανδραςμου partnerincrime dancingpartner masterchefperry greeceforever more I love you and all that you are. ❤️ A post shared by Nicolette Karanikolaou (@nkaranikolaou) on Mar 8, 2019 at 7:59am PSTStassie also has a sister called Alexia Karanikolaou, who works as a hairstylist and also features regularly on her Instagram. What did Anastasia Karanikolaou look like before and after plastic surgery?Stassie has been incredibly open about her experience with plastic surgery and has revealed over the past few years that she has had two breast augmentations. They were both done by celebrity plastic surgeon Dr Ashkan Ghavami, who is also the man behind Iggy Azalea’s breast and nose procedures. View this post on Instagram so excited to have met with @drghavami to discuss something I've been thinking about for a while! Stay tuned for more❤️️ A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby) on Jan 23, 2017 at 9:49am PSTShe and Ghavami spoke candidly to Harper’s Bazaar about her first procedure. It turns out that one of Stassie’s breasts was nearly a full cup size up than the other one, which made it difficult to find bras which fit. View this post on Instagram filmed a video for this look with @makeupbysamuel on his YouTube channel! link in bio 💎 @mavlashextensions A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby) on Dec 28, 2016 at 1:02pm PSTFollowing the procedure Stassie told Harper’s Bazaar, “I was very open to sharing-plastic surgery is nothing be ashamed of. A lot of people think plastic surgery is only for cosmetic reasons, to change something you're insecure about.”She continued, “All my comments were saying, 'you're so insecure, you're so insecure,' which is the complete opposite. If I was insecure, I wouldn't have showed it. I wanted to show people that there's nothing to be ashamed of- that it's so common for girls to have this issue and you can do something to fix it.” View this post on Instagram 4.11.17 👀 A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby) on Apr 5, 2017 at 3:07pm PDTAfter her first breast augmentation, Stassie had another one in the same year to increase the size of her breasts. In fact, she even shared an entire 15 minute vlog about her experience which takes her YouTube audience into her consultations with Dr. Ghavami and through the process behind it.She explained her reasoning behind the surgery, saying, “When I lost all my weight, [my boobs] just like shrunk. And I just want them to be like cute again. I don’t know. Judge me if you wish.”At the end of the video, she showed off her new chest at a post-op appointment with Dr Ghavemi. View this post on Instagram No bra?!? lol thanks to @drghavami 😂❤ A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby) on Apr 15, 2017 at 4:11pm PDTStassie has also been open about the fact that she uses lip fillers. What is Anastasia Karanikolaou’s net worth? View this post on Instagram GIVEAWAY TIME!! Must be following @whitefoxswim and me for five $250 vouchers! Tag 2 friends who would also like to win in the comments. Giveaway is worldwide and winners will be announced on @whitefoxswim insta! A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby) on Jun 4, 2019 at 6:28pm PDTWhile Stassie’s exact net worth isn’t known, her massive social media following has netted her a few lucrative brand sponsorships. She's also worked with a number of swimwear brands including White Fox Swim, Elise x Elisia, Hoaka Swimwear and designers Oh Polly and Showpo.A source told Entertainment Tonight that Stassie “won’t post anything on Twitter or Instagram for less than $5,000”. However given that the source said this back in 2015, her rate has probably increased since then - especially since she now boasts an Instagram following of over 4 million. What is Anastasia Karanikolaou’s age? View this post on Instagram 22 tomorrow 💸 A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby) on Jun 8, 2019 at 2:14pm PDTStassie is 22 years old and celebrated in style, with her best friend Kylie Jenner throwing her a major birthday extravaganza. From a questionable The Handmaid’s Tale-themed viewing party to some poolside antics in matching pink bikinis, she and Kylie have spent the past few days together, which culminated in the pair attempting to play golf in matching Chanel outfits. Stassie’s birthday is on June 9. How did Anastasia Karanikolaou and Kylie Jenner become friends? View this post on Instagram 22💕 A post shared by Anastasia Karanikolaou (@stassiebaby) on Jun 9, 2019 at 2:00pm PDTJenner and Karanikolaou have previously talked about how the pair became close friends. On Stassie’s birthday, Jenner shared a series of Instagram stories which detailed their nine year friendship - but it began just before the pair were attached at the hip.Jenner explained, “So it all started when I met a beautiful bomb ass blonde at Barnes and Nobles.” View this post on Instagram out of office 💛🌴 A post shared by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on Jun 10, 2019 at 11:38am PDTAccording to Page Six, they met at the bookstore when Stassie attended a fan event which Kylie Jenner was a part of. Following that, Stassie became a close friend of the family and spent a lot of time with her before moving into a shared house with Jenner and her formerly close friend Jordyn Woods. In an interview with Teen Vogue, Jenner said, "You’ve been the most consistent and loyal friend in my life, and I feel like without you, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Because I wouldn’t be weird anymore. I’d be trying to be normal."