Restaurant Anxieties

What would you add?
P.S. What to order on dates, and the best place to listen to podcasts.
(Illustration by the wonderful Mari Andrew.)… Read more
The post Restaurant Anxieties appeared first on A Cup of Jo.

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Our friend Reagan Baker is a genius when it comes to all things hair. Back by popular demand, she’s here to recommend an easy look for trips.… Read more
The post How to Do a Fishtail Pony appeared first on A Cup of Jo.

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On Tuesday, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued its 228-page 2018 Annual Report (full text). A press release from USCIRF summarizes its key points:A key component of the report is USCIRF’s recommendations of countries for designation as “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs, under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). CPCs are governments that engage in or tolerate systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.       In its 2018 report, USCIRF recommends 16 countries for CPC designation: 10 that the State Department so designated in December 2017—Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—and six others—Central African Republic, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Syria, and Vietnam.The report also includes a second category, USCIRF’s Tier 2, for countries where the violations meet one or two, but not all three, of the elements of the systematic, ongoing, egregious test. In its 2018 report, USCIRF places 12 countries on its Tier 2: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, and Turkey.In addition, the report contains USCIRF’s recommendations of “entities of particular concern,” or EPCs, a designation created by the 2016 Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act for non-state actors committing systematic, ongoing, egregious violations. The act defines a non-state actor as “a non-sovereign entity that exercises significant political power and territorial control; is outside the control of a sovereign government; and often employs violence in pursuit of its objectives.” Based on their conduct and control of territory in 2017, USCIRF recommends three groups for designation as EPCs in 2018: the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria; the Taliban in Afghanistan; and al-Shabaab in Somalia.The Report also contains a series of recommendations to the Administration and to Congress.

Source: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2018/04/uscirf-issues-2018-annual-report.html

A class action lawsuit was filed last week on behalf of 87 Christians, Mandaeans, and other persecuted religious minorities from Iran who (through family members in the United States) have applied for refugee status under the Vienna-based Lautenberg-Specter program. The refugee applicants are currently in Vienna. In February 2018 their refugee applications were denied en masse

According to the District of Columbia Department of Corrections, the prison sentence of Rabbi Barry Freundel has been shortened by more than a year.  Under a plea agreement, in 2015 Freundel was sentenced to six and one-half years in prison on 52 counts of voyeurism.  Freundel had secretly videotaped 150 women in the changing room of the mikveh (ritual bath) at Washington’s Kesher Israel Synagogue. (See prior posting.)  JTA reports that the sentence reduction for good behavior was granted because Freundel participated as an instructor in an educational program for inmates.  Freundel’s new release date is Aug. 21, 2020.

Source: http://religionclause.blogspot.com/2018/04/rabbi-freundels-voyeurism-sentence.html

Buy Clotilde’s latest book, The French Market Cookbook!

You know how sometimes, in the morning, you feel you should eat something because it would give you energy, but you’re not actually that hungry? Or maybe you need to get out of the house early, and you would rather have something later, when you get into work, but something un-complicated and un-messy?
These are the very situations when you’ll be glad you’ve befriended this tahini and date coconut smoothie.

It is as simple as it sounds, a smoothie made with coconut milk thinned with water (you can also use all coconut water if you like) made creamy with a few tablespoons of tahini (or other nut butter) and lightly sweetened by medjool dates.
The idea for this comes from a reader of Chocolate