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UK swelters on another hottest day

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Image caption Sunseekers enjoyed the weather on Weymouth beach on Tuesday

The UK has been enjoying – or enduring – another hottest day of the year, with a health warning for heatwave conditions in place for some.

Tuesday saw a top temperature of 30.6C in Porthmadog, Gwynedd – beating Monday’s peak of 30.1C in west London.

The warning, issued by the Met Office, says there is an 80% chance of temperatures being a risk to health.

The hot weather is expected to last until the weekend, when temperatures are forecast to slowly drop off.

The health warning, for the south-west, north-west and north-east of England, and the West Midlands, lasts until Thursday evening.

It is intended to help social and healthcare teams prepare for the potential dangers a heatwave can present, especially to the very young, the elderly or those with chronic disease.

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Media captionHow to keep your baby safe in hot weather

There’s also bad news for hay-fever sufferers as very high levels of pollen are forecast across England, Wales and Northern Ireland throughout the week.

Some schools have said they are cancelling sports days because of the “extreme heat”.

Hottest day… so far

In England, the hottest spot on Tuesday was Rostherne, Cheshire, with a temperature of 30.3C.

Aviemore recorded Scotland’s peak, with 26C, while Castlederg in County Tyrone was Northern Ireland’s high point, with 27C.

The Met Office says the UK could reach 33C on Thursday.

  • How are you handling the UK heatwave? You can share your experience by emailing fill out the form at the end of the page.

But the temperature is expected to fall short of the British record for June of 35.6C, reached in London in 1957 and again in Southampton in 1976.

The highest June temperature for Wales is 33.7C, in 2000, and for Northern Ireland it is 30.8C, last recorded in 1983.

Scotland’s record temperature for June has stood for 125 years. Ochtertyre in Perth and Kinross recorded 32.2C in 1893.

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BBC Weather presenter Ben Rich said Wednesday could start out “cloudy and murky” on the east coast of Scotland and eastern England but that the skies would clear over the course of the morning.

He said: “Then it is another plain sailing day, with long spells of hot sunshine, and by this stage even Northern Ireland and Scotland will be close to 30C.”

The heat will continue until the weekend, with cooler weather in eastern areas and the chance of a shower on Sunday, he said.

The heatwave has been attributed to the jet stream looping to the north of the UK, and then back down to eastern Europe, creating an area of high pressure over the country which is not shifting.

However, for Greece, the direction of the jet stream has produced very stormy conditions.

Fears that railway tracks could buckle in the heat prompted Network Rail to introduce speed restrictions.

The railway infrastructure operator said track temperatures could reach as much as 20C above the air temperature, meaning the steel rails can expand markedly. The reduced speeds are intended to lower the force exerted on the track, reducing the risk of buckling.

Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption Network Rail said the heat can cause tracks to buckle

Meanwhile, police have urged people to be careful of the temptation to swim in open water in the hot weather.

The warning came after the body of a man was recovered from a lake in Nutfield, Surrey, on Monday.

A search is continuing for a missing 13-year-old, named as Ryan Evans, at Westport Lake in Stoke-on-Trent.

The RNLI has urged those heading to the seaside to seek out beaches with a lifeguard.

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    And St John Ambulance is urging people to avoid heatstroke by remembering to wear suncream, keep covered up and stay hydrated.

    The heat also started a wildfire across two square kilometres of moorland in Greater Manchester.

    And in York, police officers smashed the windows of two cars to rescue dogs “struggling to breathe” inside. Police said they had referred the car owners to the RSPCA for prosecution.

    Homeless people can also be vulnerable if exposed to strong sunshine and heat while sleeping rough, the housing and support charity Evolve said.

    It called on the public to donate things like suncream, water, and sun hats to homeless people either directly, or through a shelter or charity.

    Heatwave health warnings explained

    Green – minimum state of vigilance during the summer.

    Yellow – Alert and readiness – Social and healthcare services are on standby to reduce harm.

    Amber – Heatwave action – Care services target high-risk groups, like the elderly, with specific help. General advice is given to keep homes cool, drink plenty of fluids, and so on.

    Red – National emergency – Reached when a heatwave is so severe that illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy, not just among high-risk groups.

    Threshold temperatures for triggering these warnings range from 28C in north-east England to 32C in London.

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    30 Retro Products Thatll Send You Back in Time

    Step back a few decades with these retro items inspired by the past!

    We hope you find these handy products as awesome as we do. Just an FYI: 22Words is a participant in the Amazon affiliate program, and may receive a share of sales from links on this page.


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    This London Pub Owner Is Changing Its Name In Honor Of Trump’s Visit

    A London pub owner is changing his establishment's name to The Trump Arms to celebrate the president's visit to Britainand he says hes expecting Nigel Farage and Steve Bannon to join him for opening night.

    Trump arrives in the U.K. next week and, away from the tens of thousands expected to protest his arrival, there will be a small pocket of Trump supporters gobbling down cheeseburgers and hot dogs at a three-day event to celebrate the special bond between Britain and America.

    The Daily Beast went down to the pub, normally known as The Jameson, to have a pint with the eccentric pro-Brexit Irish landlord Damien Smyth who said he wanted to do something to ensure Trump doesn't return to the U.S. thinking every single person in Britain hates him.

    Were having a gathering of good supporters of Trump and the American people who value the relationship between both countries, said Smyth, sitting in a big comfy armchair flanked by one enormous British flag and an equally massive American flag, as if he was the leader of both countries.

    The man [Trump] isnt absolutely perfect but are there any of us who are perfect? Let the first fella stand up who is perfect and well have a look at him. Was Bill Clinton perfect? You know, every man has his own faults. This man is not 100 percent perfect, but hes doing a lot of progressive things, doing a lot of good things for the world.

    The Jamesonwhich is quiet on a Thursday afternoon but the kind of place you can imagine would rupture your eardrums during an England World Cup matchis already decked out with U.S. bunting. There are high-profile names of the guest-list for the celebrations, according to Smyth, including Brexit leader Nigel Farage, who apparently regularly frequents the pub, and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon.

    The Daily Beast asked both men to confirm their attendance at the event, but neither have yet done so.

    The fact that one tiny enclave of London will celebrate the visit of a sitting U.S. president shouldnt be extraordinary, but the anticipation for Trump's visit is almost entirely negative. As we were sitting in the pub, news broke that London mayor Sadiq Khan had approved a request to fly a huge balloon shaped like Trump in a nappy over the city during the visit.

    Moreover, huge protests of tens of thousands are planned during the visit in London and Scotland. Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters played a gig in Glasgow last week and unveiled a huge sign saying Trump is a bawbagbawbag being a famous Scots word for the human scrotum.

    But Smythwhose only negative words about Trump were that his policy of separating migrant families was probably badly handledthinks its important to show support and he vowed not to be put off by any negative reactions to his three-day festival of Trump and America.

    I was talking to the locals here about Trump coming and we were saying how it was great that hes coming to the country and theres such good relations between our countries, said the Irishman. We wanted to make the man welcome and to welcome the American people because… the Americans are our best friends in the world. Germany is not our friend and France is not out friend.

    We deciphered from that comment that Smyth is no fan of the EU, and indeed he goes on to say he voted for Brexit in 2016. He said he wished Trump was in charge of Brexit negotiationsechoing a sentiment from British foreign secretary Boris Johnsonand proposed a somewhat radical solution to Britain leaving the EU while still retaining the sanctuary of being in a larger group of nations.

    The natural proper union that should be is the British, the Irish, the Americans, and the Canadians, he said, as this reporter sipped on a pint of premium French lager provided by the landlord. These four guys could sit around the table and make a deal in half an hour or an hour. Whereas this carry-on of the 27 European and Germans and French and Spanish and the whole worksit would take them 20 years to make a deal.

    The Irishman went on: These are four sensible countries who speak the same language and can make a deal and have the same population in the other 27 countries, you know.

    Smyth, whose wife is from New York, is effervescent in his praise for Trump and even said he hopes his daughter Ivankashes driven, can make things happen, shes a good looking womangoes on to succeed him.

    What [Trump] has done, in my bookand Im not to be taken as the authority on if hes good or notbut he has done 90 percent or 95 percent proper stuff that needed to be done," said the pub landlord. This man didnt have to do this job. He didnt need this job. He didnt need the pressure and his family didnt need it. This man has sacrificed his life and his time and his familys security to do this for America and for the world.

    If people do object to his Trump celebration, said the landlord, he will be disappointed in them. We respect free speech, he said. Let them protest, thats fine, let them at it. What I dont want is the president going home and thinking that the people of Britain are completely against him.

    The celebration at The Trump Arms will kick off next Thursday and will run to Saturday. Smyth and his staff will proudly serve American food and drink and play classic U.S. music. He said he wasn't seeking controversy and is just looking forward to a weekend of good fun with nice people.

    And then well have England in the World Cup Final on Sunday, hopefully.

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    In Defense of the Vegan Hot Dog

    The Fourth of July is a holiday consecrated in meat smoke. On this day, lovers, neighbors, children, and friends gather around a BBQ, cold beers sweating in hand, to stare into piles of pork belly, strip steak, burger patties, and row after row of red hot dogs. We watch the embers char the flesh as we discuss the tragedies and triumphs of our United States.

    It is my favorite holiday. I love the heat of it, the fact that it doesn’t revolve around gifts or religious beliefs (unless you consider America itself to be a religion, which, fair). But mostly I love it because it’s built for eating meat. And I am here for meat, especially when squeezed into a perfect intestinal casing. Like Mitt Romney, hot dogs are my favorite food, and I won't be ashamed. I love kosher beef franks, and spicy red hots. I go to baseball games for the chance to eat tubesteaks. I served bratwurst at the rehearsal dinner for my wedding, which fell on July 4.

    But right now, I’m here to stan for vegan hot dogs, and for all imitation meat. These strange-colored, meat-resembling objects will be on your grill this holiday if you have vegetarian friends, or friends whose doctors have told them to cut out meat, which has been linked to increased risk of everything from high blood pressure to cancer. They, and the meat-averse souls waiting to consume them, deserve to be treated with respect. They haven’t been getting much of it lately, and I’ve had enough.

    What put me over the top was a comment on a television show normally devoted to inclusion: Queer Eye, in which five experts fix the life of a clueless man. In the second episode of the new season, the gang went to the home of two vegetarians in Georgia. When it came time for famously milquetoast food person Antoni to do his thing, he opened their freezer and found some imitation meat products. “It's like, why?” he chided. “If you're going to be vegetarian just like, eat veggies.”

    No. No. Nope. There is so much wrong with that statement. First, the lack of understanding of the protein needs of vegetarians, who in fact can’t “just eat vegetables,” actually. It also shows a shocking ignorance about the evolution of “fake meat” as an industry and what that has meant to vegetarians. And most of all it reveals Antoni doesn’t know how delicious fake meat can be.

    Protein for Everyone

    All people need protein in their diet, and for many Americans protein equals meat. Our preference is partially evolutionary. “Humans at least in part evolved to identify and prefer meat because it's a really rich source of many many nutrients,” says Gary Beauchamp, a behavioral biologist1 at the Monell Chemical Senses Center who studies the mechanisms of taste. It also has something to do with how much land we have for grazing cattle.

    But meat isn’t necessary for survival, and not everyone shares the love. With the advent of agriculture, meat-light and vegetable-based diets sprang up around the world in areas where water and arable land are plentiful–like India, parts of China, and ancient Egypt. In these cultures, and for vegetarians anywhere, people get protein nutrients other ways–from vegetables, grains, and legumes.

    In Western cultures, though, vegetarians remained mostly on the fringes for many years. Catesby Holmes, a writer and life-long vegetarian from Virginia, remembers her grandmother thought her vegetarianism meant she was just fussy and would only serve her chopped vegetables for dinner. "She called me Rabbit,” Holmes says.

    Then in 1982 a restaurateur in London named Gregory Sams invented the veggie burger, and everything changed. Veggie burgers made sense to people like Holmes’ grandmother. They allowed a vegetarian diet to fit into the American food paradigm. Suddenly, vegetarians had a place at the proverbial grill.

    “People misunderstand that vegan patties and hot dogs are branded like that to be comprehensible as a product. Not because vegetarians want meat,” Holmes says. Vegetarians just want to be understood. They also want to be able to eat snack foods and fried foods once in a while like everyone else.

    Those first veggie burgers, simply trying to stand in for meat, earned a reputation as cardboard-tasting hockey pucks instead. “My own impression of those kinds of things is that they are terrible,” Beauchamp says. “And I think they are terrible for a reason, and that is that they don’t have all the sensory properties that we’ve come to expect.” Vegetable fats can’t taste like meat fats. The only fake meat that can likely ever approximate the taste of real meat is the lab-grown kind, which is meat at a cellular level, but doesn’t come from dead animals. That’s great, but not vegetarian, and won’t satisfy my doctor’s mandate to cut out red meat.

    It Tastes Good

    The thing about vegetarian meat is that when it’s good, it’s not trying to pretend to be meat. Instead it embraces its veggieness, as vegetarian burgers and hot dogs have over the past decade. Holmes’ favorites involve black beans and beets and lentils.

    Today, plant-based protein is a massive industry. Even in beef-eating, chest-thumping America, more than seven million people are vegetarians, according to a 2008 study by the Vegetarian Times. Nearly 23 million more eat meat sparingly. Nestle and other major food companies have made huge investments in feeding them. “Plant protein is among the fastest growing categories in all of retail,” Dan Curtin, president of alternative protein at massive meat distributor Maple Leaf Foods, told Fast Company last year. “Consumers are still eating meat, but they are also looking for additional protein choices, and plant protein is the natural solution to meet that demand.”

    Maple Leaf Foods recently purchased Field Roast, the company that makes my favorite fake meat product, a Mexican Chipotle sausage made of wheat gluten. Each red hot dog link comes wrapped in individual plastic casing—the better to keep the spicy juices in—but looks and feels nothing like a real hot dog. It’s its own, delicious thing.

    Vegetarians just want to be understood. They also want to be able to eat snack foods and fried foods once in a while like everyone else.

    Yes, I, a person currently wearing a “Carnivore” sweatshirt from my second favorite butchery, and who cried real actual tears when my first favorite butcher shop closed in San Francisco eight years ago, love fake meat. My freezer is stocked with fake chicken nuggets (our favorites are Quorn brand), which my toddler is obsessed with.

    When I tell Beachamp how much my son loves fake meat, he’s skeptical. I can sense that he thinks I’m tricking my son into eating something he’d choose not to if he was old enough to know the difference. Beauchamp advises me to do a proper scientific test, pitting real meat against fake meat on a plate to see which my son prefers.

    I worry about the ethics of experimenting on my child. “Everything I’ve ever done I’ve tried on my kids first and then my grandkids,” Beachamp responds. And then I realize, isn’t parenting itself a massive experiment, the results of which we can’t know until our children are grown and in therapy?

    So I take Beachamp’s advice. To get a sample size greater than one, I gather three toddlers together ranging in age from one and a half to four years old. The mother of the youngest is a pediatric anesthesiologist, so the whole thing is overseen by a medical professional.

    I serve three different kinds of fake hots and two meat dogs: a kosher beef frank, a pork sausage, a wheat gluten dog, a tofu hot dog, and a spiced tofu sausage. Like the rest of America, these children don’t agree on much. Each wants his dog served differently. The youngest needs teeny-weeny non-chokable pieces scattered in a bowl—his favorite blue bowl, not the red one. My son, the slightly older boy, wants bigger pieces in a “real” (read: breakable) bowl and covered in “all of the ketchup, all of it.” The oldest wants a plate, long hot dog slices, and no ketchup. No one wants a bun.

    But they all agree that the vegetarian imitation hot dogs are yummy. The kids clear their plates. I can't tell which ones they like best, because they eat all of them one after the other and ask for more indiscriminately. Their parents prefer the pork sausage, the gluten dog, and the spiced tofu sausage. No, those latter dogs don’t taste like meat. But that isn’t the point.

    The point is to let everyone—even people who don’t or can’t eat meat—slide an oblong tube of protein between two buns on a hot day in good company. At this year's BBQ, Holmes will marinate her fake meat in the steak marinade her carnivore husband makes. "I don't want to be left out," she says. No one does. Isn’t that what America's birthday is all about?

    Correction on 7/04/2018 at 8:50pm: This article has been corrected to specify that Gary Beauchamp is a behavioral biologist.

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    Do Thundershirts Really Calm Dogs During Fireworks or What?

    The dogs will lose their minds. They always do. Every Fourth of July in America, as children stay up past their bedtime to watch colors explode in the sky and adults sit on the back of pickup trucks drinking beer and marveling at a pyrotechnic technology 12 centuries old, pets across the country panic with every boom.

    Sound phobias are very common for dogs—and cats—making this holiday a nightmare for millions of animals. “Half of the dogs in my practice are dealing with fireworks fear this week,” says veterinarian and animal clinical behavior resident Amy Learn, whose clinic in Richmond, Virginia, sees more than 2,000 clients annually. For many dogs, the nightmare has already begun. A quick search on Twitter shows people across the land complaining about neighbors popping fireworks off early. In Boston, where I live, they first started exploding in the middle of last week. The German shepherd next door has been pacing back and forth every night since, nails skittering across the floor.

    That behavior is typical for dogs with loud noise phobia. Learn says you’ll know if your animal has abnormal fear of loud sounds if they don’t recover from the initial shock of hearing the sound right away. If your dog is pacing, howling, panting, and trying to run as far away from the sound as possible; if your cat is hiding, its ears cocked back, its eyes dilated, they need help. Every year around this date, people flock to Google to search “How to keep a dog calm during fireworks.” One answer that frequently shows up at the top of the results: anxiety shirts or thunder vests.

    These come in two main designs—a spandex T-shirt that’s meant to give an animal a balanced hug, and a vest with straps designed to put pressure on particular parts of the body. “Their job is to squeeze,” Learn says. “It's postulated that it feels like a hug."

    Animal anxiety shirts were directly inspired by research into humans with severe anxiety or autism. The insight that certain kinds of touch and pressure can have a calming effect was first popularized and championed by livestock behavior expert and autism-awareness-advocate Temple Grandin, who invented a “hug machine” for humans with autism after noticing the way a light squeeze calmed cows before slaughter. Grandin’s work is specifically called out on the website for Thundershirt, the major player in the animal anxiety wrap market. Deep Pressure Therapy is now widely used to help calm people with autism, and many different studies suggest the therapy shows real results.

    But the science is less clear about whether pressure therapy really works for dogs.

    Michelle Mullins, an animal behavior expert and board member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, first learned about animal anxiety shirts two decades ago. But they have only gone mainstream in the last 10 years with companies like Thundershirt. “As we often are wont to do when we look at science, we want to say if it works for humans it will work for our pets. In some cases it's true and in many cases it's not,” Mullins says. “Unfortunately we don’t have a huge amount of scientific studies about this.”

    There’s only been one study to date into the use of anxiety shirts to deal with sound phobias, and it had a small sample size of 18 participants. Published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior in 2013, the study compared owner-reported anxiety levels before and after prolonged use of anxiety wraps, and found that 89 percent of dog owners felt the shirts helped. Most importantly, the study found that even for those animals who saw no benefit, there were no adverse side effects. But one study is hardly conclusive evidence, and along with small sample size the study is also hindered by relying on self-reporting, which is often highly unreliable.

    That leaves pet owners and people who care for animals to depend on anecdotal experience. “This is one of those things that isn't super scientific," says Learn. "A lot of it is subjective. It's the owner saying, 'Oh, my dog feels better.'" But owners apparently feel that way a lot.

    “I rarely if ever recommend them as a cure all,” says Mullins, “but I have seen many dogs successfully use these as part of their therapy.”

    Both Learn and Mullins report working with animals that appear to be helped by these shirts. They always recommend owners use the shirts in combination with other interventions, like medication or specific behavioral modifications. A hallmark of Mullins' long-term behavioral work with sound-phobic animals is to desensitize the animals by exposing them to loud sounds slowly over time. Clearly, for people searching Google for a solution in the days before the Fourth of July, it’s too late for that. For them, an anxiety shirt may be the easiest option this year. You can get them quickly, and put them on your animal immediately.

    Learn often suggests that people spray “dog-appeasing” pheromones on the anxiety shirts, a treatment that has been more widely studied—though its effectiveness is still up for debate. One study shows dog-appeasing pheromones can calm canine noise-associated anxiety, but two others were inconclusive. Learn reports that she has treated pets who have separation anxiety with only pheromones and found they worked well.

    These results, of course, are also subjective. "It's hard to say to a pet, 'Are you calmer?'" says Learn. Neither anxiety shirts no pheromones is a "golden pill that solves all problems," she adds.

    But Mullins and Learn emphasize that here’s no harm in trying them. Neither has seen any adverse effects, unlike popular anti-anxiety medications—which can cause increased heart rate, lethargy, more stress, and vomiting. The worst that happens with thunder shirts is that animals find it annoying to be dressed. “These are not a miracle pill that you put on and all your problems are solved,” says Mullins. But if you know your dog is going to be scared during Fourth of July, one of these shirts or vests might help.

    A few other things you can do to calm your dog down? First of all, says Mullins, be smart: Don’t bring your dog to the fireworks BBQ. If possible, remove them from anywhere the noise will be particularly loud. She suggests you turn on a fan or a white noise machine to help drown out the explosions. Give your animal something to distract them from the noise, like a kong toy filled with food. Give them a safe space like or a crate or a closet where they can hunker down.

    And the good news is when it’s all over, and the sky has gone dark and the air smells of potassium nitrate, you have the experts' blessing to go ahead and give your dog a real, actual, comforting hug.

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    Police Beat and Arrest Protesters Defying Istanbul’s LGBT Pride Parade Ban

    ISTANBUL As dusk approached on Sunday, the streets filled with smiling faces that sparkled with glitter, along with ululating pop music and drums. All around, rainbow flags fluttered in the sky as the crowd gathered. Dont be quiet, dont shut up, shout, homosexuals exist, they shouted

    On both sides of the peaceful, joyful crowd stood lines of police in riot gear, waiting with their shields add batons, the tension building.

    An estimated 1,000 protesters advocating gay rights clashed with Turkish security forces in Istanbul in an attempt to defy a ban on the annual LGBT Pride Parade.

    At least 11 people were reported arrested, according to lawyers and activists, as police fired teargas along the citys most famous commercial street. The police also fired rubber bullets, according to The Times of Israel and ITV News.

    The protesters could claim a measure of victory. Thanks to negotiations between organizers and police, protesters could gather on a side-street, waving rainbow flags and chanting, even as they were barred from marching.

    We are saying we are here, we are part of the community, and we are queer

    This is the fourth year we are getting banned and attacked from the police, said Hakan, a 27-year-old employee of an aid organization who asked that his last name not be published.

    Being LGBTI is getting harder. We are part of the society and we are here saying we want rights like all minorities. But today, they dont even let us enter the street because of the way look and because we are carrying rainbow flags. We are saying we are here, we are part of the community, and we are queer.

    In a press statement, Pride organizers said, We LGBTI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) are here with our pride despite all vain attempts to prevent us and we do not recognize this ban.

    Sundays protest marked the first high-profile confrontation between the government of Turkeys leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his cultural and political opponents since he won the June 24 election that gave him enhanced powers as the nation's first executive president.

    Some had hoped that Erdogans victory and five-year term might give him the leeeway to ease up on dissidents and civil society activists who oppose his vision for Turkey, and who have been jailed or purged from their jobs.

    The decision to ban the Pride Parade and the harsh response by security forces suggest Erdogan will continue what his critics have described as an authoritarian path.

    Istanbul's annual pride march was once considered a shining example of tolerance for the LGBTI community in the Muslim world.

    Pride became a colorful and vibrant annual party, with hundreds taking the pedestrian-only throughway Istiklal Street in Turkeys commercial and cultural capital.

    As mayor of Istanbul and leader of Turkey, Erdogan used to boast about the march as a symbol of the countrys cosmopolitanism and tolerance.

    But beginning in 2015, he and his Islamist-rooted political party began cracking down on the march, dismaying civil rights activists as well as LGBT advocates.

    At first, Istanbul banned the march over what it described as security worries amid a spate of large-scale terrorist attacks that struck the city. Then it cited the marchs coincidence with the Holy month of Ramadan.

    This year, the march fell well after Ramdan, yet authorities continued the ban, informing organizers mid-week that they had no permission to march over what was described as public sensitivities.

    Protesters were undeterred. They came with rainbow banners. They blasted Lady Gaga on portable stereos. They danced in the street.

    Police sought to avert confrontations by allowing a small protest along the street that included a speech. But the numbers continued to swell, as groups of mostly young protesters came streaming in, defying the armed, black-clad cops looming along Istiklal and the narrow side streets.

    We have no visibility in any space in the workplace, many LGBTIQ people have to cover their gender or their sexual orientation, said Meri Aytekin, an activist from the Pride Committee. Or in the education system, they have to cover themselves. And this [Pride] is the only one intensive place to come out, to show yourself, what you are, what you like, and what you love, you know? And the visibility helps us change the political system, to change the law.

    As protesters sought to move onto the main street, a mele ensued. Police in riot gear, along with police dogs and armored vehicles ordered protesters to disperse. But the crowd continued to move.

    I cant believe that much force on a girl. Policemen are using force and they are beating women. Policemen are using violence on women and they are not ashamed of it. They are not ashamed

    Then came the pop-pop of teargas canisters shot at the crowd. Protesters, along with passersby, began to run attempting to stay together while the police tried to herd them into separate smaller streets.

    Police followed protesters, menacing them with threats, while occasionally grabbing demonstrators, pulling them into awaiting vans, or hitting them if they resisted.

    Did you see? said Selcan Gorgun, a 27-year-old trans woman who works in IT, as she watched a woman being pulled away and beaten, her eyes filling with tears. I cant believe that much force on a girl. Policemen are using force and they are beating women. Policemen are using violence on women and they are not ashamed of it. They are not ashamed.

    As the evening wore on, police fanned out along Istiklal, blocking entrances to both the avenue and the side streets. They appeared to be stopping anyone wearing bright colors, carrying a rainbow, or sporting an asymmetrical haircut.

    Organizers called march this year a success, despite the crackdown. Tulya Bekisoglu, a 20-year-old member of the Pride Committee and an artist, said more people attended this year than last year.

    I see more young people coming out and I see more people identifying themselves not only with the visible identities, she said. Even in high school and primary school they have started identifying themselves more specifically and that makes me happy and excited for the future.

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    A bad shelter experience inspired this woman to help bring dogs and people together.

    Debi Krakar had a golden retriever named Riley who wanted to give love to everyone she met.

    Riley was so loving, in fact, that Krakar couldn’t keep her sweetness all to herself. In 2006, she decided to get her pup certified as a therapy dog; the process involved training to give affection and comfort in places such as hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.

    Whenever Krakar’s kids had friends over, the children immediately gravitated toward Riley, so once she was certified, Krakar focused primarily on taking her to schools. Riley taught students how to interact safely with dogs and, in the process, helped even the most timid kids learn social skills.

    Photo courtesy of Debi Krakar.

    “[She] had a true gift for knowing when to lay down and be still — for the elderly or for a scared child — and when to be her happy, bouncy self,” Krakar says.

    The students adored Riley. Anyone who looked into her big, dark eyes couldn’t help but smile.

    After witnessing how Riley could brighten up a classroom, Krakar wanted everyone to have the chance to enjoy their own canine companion.

    She had already been volunteering with a German Shepherd rescue organization that found homes for homeless dogs, and she loved helping match rescue dogs with their forever families.

    However, getting dogs adopted was harder than she had ever expected. Many rescue organizations have strict rules for potential pet parents. In fact, Krakar had experienced firsthand how their requirements could sometimes rule out responsible families.

    Back in 2003, she had applied to foster dogs for a golden retriever rescue group, but they told her she wasn’t a good fit. “They said my house was too clean and they didn’t think I could handle the fur,” she says, laughing. “But I cleaned it because [they] were coming over — that’s what my mama taught me!”

    A child reads to a therapy dog named Bacchus. Photo by The Dog Alliance.

    When she watched Riley in the classroom, Krakar thought back to that discouraging experience. She became determined to help responsible families adopt the dogs they deserve. So she began taking dog training classes to learn more about what makes a stellar dog owner.

    “I just immersed myself in everything dog and learned what I could,” she says.

    Slowly but surely, she developed a business plan for an organization that would run therapeutic dog-related programs including training classes, an education center, and promoting youth literacy by having children read to dogs.

    With help from volunteers, Krakar transformed her plan into reality and officially opened The Dog Alliance in Austin, Texas, in late 2006.

    The Dog Alliance teaches owners how to train their dogs, which helps create stable homes for the dogs themselves. The idea is that people are more likely to keep their dogs if they know how to deal with common problems like misbehavior.

    Owners and dogs can also sign up as therapy dog teams to spread joy to people in hospitals, workplaces, and schools, just like Krakar and Riley once did. The organization currently has about 175 teams visiting people at over 300 sites where the dogs help relieve stress with their wagging tails and cuddly personalities.

    Buzz the therapy dog at work. Photo by The Dog Alliance.

    However, despite the program’s success, the Dog Alliance was still missing something: a service dog program for veterans. People would often ask Krakar if her team trained service dogs for veterans with PTSD or other disabilities. Even though she saw the need for it, she didn’t think the organization was ready for such a complicated project at first.

    “It’s a huge undertaking,” she explains.

    While the training process is similar to that of therapy dogs, service dog training is different. Therapy animals are still considered pets, whereas service dogs are working dogs who have to learn to perform tasks like waking their handler from nightmares or retrieving medication.

    However, many of The Dog Alliance staff members and volunteers were passionate about the idea of working with veterans. They knew from the veterans in their lives that service dogs can help heal trauma. Plus, their therapy dogs already had a calming effect on elderly and disabled residents in veterans homes.

    So in 2016, after much consideration, Krakar decided to start Hounds for Heroes, a program that provides veterans with service dogs for free.

    Staff Sgt. Patrick Stockwell with his service dog, Jenny. Image via The Dog Alliance.

    The Dog Alliance trainers select and train shelter dogs for the program, and many of their trainees become successful service dogs.

    However, some of the dogs aren’t quite right for the task. Service dogs for veterans don’t just need specific training — they need to have the right temperament and a clean bill of health.

    Some of that criteria is simply impossible to determine in a shelter dog. For example, since shelter dogs don’t come with complete family trees, Krakar’s team can’t screen for genetic health problems. For a dog that’s helping its handler with mobility issues, a genetic issue like weak hips might make it hard for the dog to work later in life.

    With that in mind, The Dog Alliance started its very own breeding program to produce dogs with the ideal mental and physical traits for veterans. They’ve actually just had their first litter of eight adorable pups.

    Roxy with her puppies, the first litter from The Dog Alliance breeding program. Photo by Emily McCall Photography, used with permission.

    The puppies were born in March 2018 and are already preparing for service dog life with socialization, obedience classes, and exposure to a variety of settings. They’ll be ready to go home with their handlers when they’re 14 to 18 months old.

    Krakar looks forward to the day when the puppies are thriving in loving homes and giving veterans the help they need to heal.

    “[A service animal] gives veterans hope,” says Krakar. “They feel like theyre not out there all by themselves. Theyre sharing [their lives] with someone.”

    That sense of hope motivates her to keep expanding The Dog Alliance to reach more people in need.

    Debi Krakar with two service dog puppies. Photo by Emily McCall Photography, used with permission.

    When she first volunteered with Riley, she didn’t expect to end up creating her own nonprofit. She didn’t even have the experience for such an endeavor. But that didn’t stop her from changing lives, both human and canine.

    While Riley passed away in February 2016 from cancer, she inspired an incredible group of dogs and trainers. She even helped Krakar come out of her shell and make friends within a community of dog lovers — a gift that continues to give to this day.

    “She taught me how soothing a dog could be to those under stress,” says Krakar. “All of us at The Dog Alliance strive to be as nonjudgmental and accepting as Riley.”

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