These Two Univ. of Minnesota Teammates Open Up About Falling In Love

This article originally appeared on Outsports

You can read Justin Rabon?s full coming-out story here.

You can read Brad Neumann?s full coming-out story here.

Brad Neumann and Justin Rabon are teammates in love.

The two Univ. of Minnesota Golden Gophers were both struggling on their college track teams just a couple years ago when they found the courage to come out to one another via text message.

That was late in 2014 ? They have been together almost since that day.

While they have been out for much of the last two years, it was only recently that we tracked them down on Instagram, where they do not shy away from sharing photographs of one another and the love they share.

Theirs is a relationship the likes of which we are hearing about more and more, between two gay teammates. Though, they weren?t exactly teammates when they first started dating, but for that story you?ll have to read the wonderful coming-out pieces these two great guys wrote for us.

You can read Justin Rabon?s full coming-out story here.

You can read Brad Neumann?s full coming-out story here.

For more from OutSports, check out these stories:

Tennis legend Margaret Court compares gays to Hitler

US Soccer will don gay apparel for Pride Month

Miami tennis player wants to end bisexual confusion

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February 20, 2018

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The New York Times Is Eliminating The Public Editor Role

The New York Times is eliminating the position of public editor, an accountability role the paper created in 2003 in the wake of the Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal, according to sources familiar with the decision. 

Elizabeth Spayd, a former Washington Post managing editor who was named the paper?s sixth public editor last year, was expected to remain in the position until summer 2018. 

Spayd did not respond to requests for comment. A Times spokesperson declined to comment. 

The decision comes a day after the Times announced the creation of a ?Reader Center? led by editor Hanna Ingber. One role of the new ?Reader Center? is to improve how the Times ?respond(s) directly to tips feedback, questions, concerns, complaints and other queries from the public,? according to a Tuesday memo. 

Several news organizations, including The Washington Post, have phased out the position of ombudsman or public editor in recent years. Post editor Marty Baron justified ending the role by pointing out that the paper receives plenty of criticism from ?all quarters, instantly, in this Internet age.?

It?s true that major news organizations face scrutiny from traditional media critics and reporters covering the press, along with partisan outlets across the spectrum and members of the public on social media. But by being in the newsroom, public editors and ombudsmen can often get responses from management that outside reporters and critics can not. 

This is a breaking news item. Please check back for updates. 

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February 3, 2018

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An Endangered Lizard From Indonesia May Hold The Key To Treating Superbugs

Komodo dragons, the 10-foot, 300-pound lizards found in Indonesia, do not bite humans unless attacked, but when they do, it can prove deadly. Not only is the venom in their teeth potentially fatal, they may also harbor bacteria in their mouths that is dangerous to their prey (typically, deer and pigs).

The question of whether Komodo dragons deliver fatal bacterial infections to their prey when they bite has been somewhat controversial: A 2013 study, refuting previously accepted common wisdom, swabbed the mouths of 16 captive Komodo dragons and found they had less bacteria than other predators, such as lions. 

Nonetheless, Komodo dragons in the wild eat carrion and live in environments rich in bacteria yet rarely become infected, though local prey such as water buffalo do. And one reason may be because of a special resistance to dangerous bacteria in the form of cationic antimicrobial peptides, a type of protein that fights off harmful bacteria and that researchers have found in the animals? blood.

?Komodo dragons are known to harbor high levels of bacteria in their mouths. They don?t suffer from negative effects of bacteria in their own mouths,? said Barney Bishop, one of the study?s authors and an associate professor at George Mason University?s chemistry and biochemistry department. 

Using the peptide in the dragon?s blood as inspiration, the researchers designed a synthetic chemical called DRGN-1, which imitates Komodo dragon blood.

As superbugs become more resistant to antibiotics, scientists are turning toward bioprospecting ? or looking to nature for potential medicines. In a recent study published in Biofilms and Microbiomes, researchers from George Mason University found an answer in Komodo dragons, which are native to Indonesian islands.

?We thought the best place to look was animals that are known to thrive under adverse conditions,? Bishop said. 

Since the 1940s, antibiotics have reduced deaths from infectious diseases, but they?ve become so widespread that the bacteria the antibiotics are supposed to kill have adapted. Now, every year, at least 2 million people become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and at least 23,000 people die from their infection.

The military?s Defense Threat Reduction Agency funded this research, hoping the team could look to ?extreme animals? to find new ways to defend against infections. This could possibly lead to new drugs to fight superbugs and protect people from bacterial bioweapons.

?We?re in an age of emerging antibiotic resistance,? said Monique van Hoek, one of the study?s authors and an associate professor at George Mason University?s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases. ?We think it?s very important to take these new approaches to discover new ways to kill bacteria. By going into nature, we?re finding a new starting point for this.?

The team found that when DRGN-1 was used to treat infected wounds, these wounds healed significantly faster than untreated wounds or wounds treated with other peptides. That?s in part because DRGN-1 breaks down biofilms, a film of bacteria that sticks to a wound?s surface, which is not addressed by conventional antibiotics.

?It both clears the bacteria out of the wounds and it helps the wounds to heal,? van Hoek said.

The Komodo dragon is currently a vulnerable species with about 6,000 animals remaining, but the researchers collected less than four tablespoons of blood for testing from Tujah, a captive Komodo dragon that lives in the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park in Florida. Tujah was not harmed in this process.

?This allows us to test endangered animals or very small animals because we don?t need a very large sample,? van Hoek said.

Bishop and van Hoek, who have been collaborating on antimicrobial discovery research since 2009, have also studied American alligators, Chinese alligators, Siamese crocodiles and saltwater crocodiles for possible treatment.

Right now, the DRGN-1 research is still in the preclinical phase, and the team is at the early stages of trying to commercialize the peptide. But down the road, DRGN-1 may help fight the superbugs of the future.

?When we started this project, it was a high-risk project. The DTRA took a gamble on us,? Bishop said. ?The fact that we saw a complexity of peptides from the animals we?re testing on, there?s still a lot to learn. It?s very enriching.?

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January 24, 2018

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2017 Dean

The combination of windy conditions and the demands for game management and confident putting have created a logjam at the top of the leaderboard.

December 18, 2017

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unstraying

Metallica is loved by all. They are the most consistently innovative metal band of the 1980s and 90s with a surprisingly melodic sound. metal band. They have a wide pool of followers and has been recorded to have caused different

December 16, 2017

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Emmanuel Macron Swerves Donald Trump To Hug Angela Merkel Instead

Did Emmanuel Macron just intentionally leave Donald Trump hanging?

Video footage has emerged that appears to show France?s newly elected president appearing to dodge his U.S. counterpart at the NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday.

In the clip, Macron walks up a red carpet toward a group of world leaders. He seems to be making a beeline for Trump, whose hands are outstretched, apparently in anticipation of a warm welcome.

But just feet away, Macron deftly swerves and embraces German chancellor Angela Merkel instead. He then shakes hands with other leaders, before eventually entering into another fierce handshake-off with Trump. 

Macron shared the above video via his official Twitter account late Thursday.

It?s unclear whether the possible snub was deliberate. But it came amid a summit in which Trump took aim at NATO?s European allies for ?not paying what they should be paying.?

His post is now going viral, with many fellow tweeters appearing to appreciate his apparent throwing of shade:

Trump?s nine-day jaunt to the Middle East and Western Europe has been marked by multiple awkward moments ? from him ignoring Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau?s wave request and Pope Francis looking super sad in a photo call to other weird handshake incidents with Macron and Tajikistan?s strongman president, Emomali Rahmon.

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December 7, 2017

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Montana Republican Wins Special U.S. House Race Despite Assault Charge

Republican Greg Gianforte overcame an election eve assault charge filed against him that sparked national attention, defeating Democrat Rob Quist in the race for Montana?s open U.S. House seat Thursday.

Gianforte received 50.7 percent to Quist?s 43.5 percent with 97 percent of precincts reporting late Thursday. Libertarian Mark Wicks picked up 5.8 percent of the vote.

The result is a major disappointment for progressive activists who poured money into the campaign to help Quist, a banjo-playing songwriter and political newcomer, in a bid to notch a symbolically important win against President Donald Trump.

?Your voices were definitely heard in this election,? Quist told supporters after the results were final. ?I know we came up short, but the energy in the state and the grassroots movement in the state goes on.?

The defeat is especially demoralizing for Democrats in light of the misdemeanor assault charge against Gianforte, a multimillionaire tech entrepreneur and social conservative, for allegedly ?body slamming? Ben Jacobs of The Guardian on Wednesday while the reporter was asking about the GOP health care bill. Gianforte?s campaign blamed Jacobs, casting him as a ?liberal reporter? who acted ?aggressively? toward the Republican as he was about to be interviewed by a TV crew. But Alicia Acuna, the Fox News reporter who was slated to interview Gianforte, corroborated Jacobs? version of events, and the incident spurred widespread condemnation of the Republican.

?Last night I made a mistake,? Gianforte said in his victory speech Thursday night. ?I should not have responded in the way that I did, and for that I?m sorry.?

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the liberal group MoveOn.org had blasted Gianforte with a last-minute ad campaign highlighting the incident as evidence he was ?unfit to serve? and had ?no business being in Congress.?

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) urged Gianforte to apologize earlier Thursday and called his behavior ?wrong.? And three Montana newspapers withdrew their endorsement of him.

The Missoulian newspaper said ?there is no doubt that Gianforte committed an act of terrible judgment that, if it doesn?t land him in jail, also shouldn?t land him in the U.S. House of Representatives.?

A factor likely benefiting Gianforte was that before news broke of Wednesday?s altercation, more than one-third of Montana?s registered voters had cast early ballots, according to state election officials. Still, Quist?s loss will inevitably fuel criticism that the national Democratic Party got involved in the race too late.

Even before Thursday?s results were known, Jeff Hauser, a veteran progressive political strategist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research?s Revolving Door Project, had told HuffPost that ?the national Democrats who provided financial assistance after mail-in voting had already begun will have to question anew their initial reluctance to engage in the race in March and early April.?

?Early funding might have ensured more consistent tracking on Gianforte,? Hauser added, referring to the attack on the reporter. ?It almost seems like you never know when Gianforte might commit a crime under a modicum of scrutiny.?

Under almost any circumstances, a Democratic win would have been an upset. Even as Quist?s standing improved in the campaign?s final weeks, none of the polls released in advance of the race showed him ahead of Gianforte.

Montana?s at-large U.S. House seat opened up in December when Trump tapped Ryan Zinke as his interior secretary. Republican Zinke had cruised to re-election in November by nearly 16 percentage points. Trump carried the state over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by 20 points.

Democratic presidential candidates have triumphed in the state just twice since 1952, most recently when Bill Clinton won it in 1992.

Still, in a state with a sizable segment of independents, Democrats at times have held their own in down-ballot races. One of them is current Gov. Steve Bullock, who won re-election in 2016 when he defeated Gianforte by 4 percentage points.

Quist, 69, a native-born rancher?s son from the Flathead Valley and founder of the popular Mission Mountain Wood Band, had the profile to repeat Bullock?s success. But Montana?s GOP leanings proved insurmountable in a traditionally low-turnout special election.

?When this race started, I thought Quist had a 1-in-5 chance,? Jorge Quintana, a Democratic National Committee member from Montana, told HuffPost. ?I don?t think any Democrat has been disappointed with the way Quist has behaved in this campaign. He has raised a ton of money. And he has hit the state hard ? Montanans expect that.?

With grassroots opposition to Trump prompting a wellspring of national protests and small-dollar fundraising for progressive causes, Democratic leaders looked for a victory in Montana to signal waning public support for the president in historically Republican territory ? and spook GOP leaders.

But Quist?s loss comes on the heels of similar disappointments for the party. Earlier this month in Omaha, Democrat Heath Mello failed to unseat Republican Mayor Jean Stothert. In April, progressive Democrat James Thompson lost an unexpectedly close race for an open House seat in deep-red Kansas.

In 2017?s highest-profile race, Democrat Jon Ossoff fell less than two percentage points short in April of an outright win in Georgia?s 6th Congressional District, a seat Republican Tom Price gave up to become Health and Human Services Department secretary and that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich once held. Ossoff faces Republican Karen Handel in a June 20 runoff election.

Democrats were able to flip two state legislative seats on Tuesday ? one in New York, the other in New Hampshire.

Quist, known throughout sprawling Montana for his music and poetry, barnstormed across the Treasure State in what at first seemed a quixotic campaign. He encouraged supporters to organize new Democratic committees in counties long neglected by the party. Until late last month, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee virtually ignored the race.

Quist was buoyed by support from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who Quist backed in the 2016 Democratic presidential campaign. Sanders, who won Montana?s primary over Clinton, headlined four separate campaign events for Quist this past weekend that drew thousands of supporters.

Gianforte sought to capitalize on Trump?s popularity in the state. Donald Trump Jr. and Vice President Mike Pence campaigned on his behalf. Both the president and Pence recorded a last-minute robocalls for him.

Still, Quist?s campaign gained ground as House Republicans passed the deeply unpopular healthcare bill and the White House became engulfed in a series of self-inflicted scandals. Party leaders tripled their initial investment in the race to $600,000 as polls showed it tightening earlier this month.

Quist raised more than $5 million, with his average individual donation amounting to $25 ? $2 below the figure that Sanders? constantly touted during his presidential run. Quist received more than $550,000 after Gianforte waffled on his support for the American Health Care Act that would repeal and replace Obamacare.

The 56-year-old Republican praised the bill, which threatens the health insurance coverage for at least 70,000 Montanans, in a private call to conservative lobbyists. Days later, Gianforte walked back his comments amid voter outrage after The New York Times earlier this month published audio of the call.

Quist, whose medical expenses nearly bankrupted him in the 1990s after a botched surgery left him unqualified for affordable health insurance, hammered his opponent with slogans like ?hands off our health care.?

Quist also depicted Gianforte, who sold a software company in 2011 to tech giant Oracle for $1.5 billion, as an out-of-touch millionaire guy from outside the state. The cowboy hat-clad son of Montana ranchers repeatedly skewered Gianforte as a ?New Jersey billionaire.? The Republican, born in San Diego, spent years in the Garden State before moving to Montana in 1995. His reported net worth is estimated at between $65 million and $315 million.

Gianforte raised more than $3.4 million, including a $1 million loan he made to his campaign.

Republicans attacked Quist for failing to pay commercial taxes on a barn he converted in the 1990s into a concert space and rental property. Quist defended the property in an interview with the Billings Gazette, insisting his son lived there, ?so that?s not a rental property. It?s just something that?s kind of family-owned.?

A lengthy report in the conservative Washington Free Beacon cast doubt over the botched gallbladder surgery Quist frequently cited as the pre-existing condition that prevented him from getting health insurance.

Quist?s loss may heighten Democratic concerns about the re-election prospects next year for Sen. Jon Tester, a party moderate.

Quintana, though, said he believes Tester is in good shape for a third term.

?He looks out for Montana. He?s setting himself up quite nicely for 2018,? Quintana said.

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December 5, 2017

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Onion Begs Gianforte To Beat Its Bad Staff Because They All Ask Questions

The wisecrackers at The Onion are pleading with Montana congressional candidate Greg Gianforte to please beat up its reporters because they?re so bad about asking politicians questions.

The tongue-in-cheek cheek provided a bit of comic relief in the stunned wake of Gianforte?s witnessed ?body slamming? of a Guardian reporter who dared to ask him about Trumpcare.

GOP billionaire Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault after the altercation Wednesday night, the eve of the special election for Montana?s lone congressional seat. He?s running against Democratic folk musician Rob Quist, and polls close Thursday night.

At least three newspapers yanked their endorsement of Gianforte, backed by Donald Trump, after a Fox News crew said they witnessed him grabbing reporter Ben Jacobs by the neck, hurling him to the floor and punching him after the journalist asked him about the Congressional Budget Office report on the GOP health care replacement bill.

The satirical Onion professed total understanding that such questions can be bothersome to politicians from the ?power-mad, out-of-control media.? The press, obviously, should ?subserviently? provide a ?mouthpiece to trumpet the will and intentions of the ruling class without question and without complaint,? it added.

Therefore, The Onion noted, it?s ?imperative? that those who ?hold the reins of power put us in our place and punish us, preferably with considerable physical force.?

If ?any of our journalists have ever made Mr. Gianforte feel threatened in any way … by holding a recorder too close to his face … seeking clarification on a point … we encourage him to use his fists, knees, elbows, or a blunt object of his choice to make it known through repeated physical blows how we have upset him,? The Onion added.

Gianforte was even invited to The Onion?s offices, where he can walk along rows of desks ?so that he may assault each and every one of us.?

Few others were laughing. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Gianforte should apologize to Jacobs. The Helena Independent Record declared: ?Democracy cannot exist without a free press, and both concepts are under attack by Republican U.S. House Candidate Greg Gianforte.

Gianforte?s camp said the candidate had been provoked to action because Jacobs ?shoved a recorder in his face? and grabbed his wrist, which was not supported by witness accounts. Montana?s Democratic governor responded that not only was Gianforte?s assault outrageous, but so was his defense.

?It is unsettling on many levels that Greg Gianforte physically assaulted a journalist and then lied, refusing to take responsibility for his actions,? Gov. Steve Bullock, who defeated Gianforte in his 2016 reelection bid, said in a statement.

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December 3, 2017

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Leaders Of Senate Russia Probe Given ‘Blanket Authority’ To Issue Subpoenas

WASHINGTON ? The Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to give its leaders ?blanket authority? to issue any subpoena they deem appropriate in their investigation into Russian interference in the U.S. election and possible ties between Moscow and President Donald Trump?s campaign.

Under regular committee rules, Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and ranking member Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) could only issue subpoenas after a full committee vote on the matter. Thursday?s vote, however, allows the two leaders to act jointly without the approval of their fellow members ? thus speeding up the process.

On Wednesday, the committee issued two new subpoenas specifically targeting former national security adviser Michael Flynn?s businesses, Flynn Intel LLC and Flynn Intel Inc.

Flynn was fired earlier this year over failing to disclose that he had had conversations with Russian officials prior to Trump?s inauguration.

Burr and Warner maintained that Flynn?s decision to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination does not apply to his businesses and documents, adding he could be subject to a contempt charge if he doesn?t turn over the materials.

?We would like to hear from Gen. Flynn,? Burr told reporters on Wednesday. ?We?d like to see his documents. We?d like him to tell his story because he publicly said, ?I?ve got a story to tell.? We?re allowing him that opportunity.?

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December 1, 2017

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Progressives In Congress Call For $2 Trillion In Infrastructure Spending

WASHINGTON ? Progressive members of Congress on Thursday unveiled their own plan to overhaul the nation?s crumbling roads, bridges and waterways ? an ambitious proposal that dwarfs plans offered both by President Donald Trump and Senate Democrats.

The so-called ?21st Century New Deal for Jobs? invests $2 trillion over the next 10 years to make badly needed repairs to the nation?s transportation, water, energy and information systems. It contains several progressive priorities, including the use of Davis-Bacon prevailing wage standards, maintenance of racial and gender equity in hiring, focus on low-income communities and carbon-free energy production.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), who spearheaded the effort, said the plan would employ 2.5 million Americans in its first year.

?This is how we take our country back. This is how we do job creation,? he said at a press conference organized by the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Capitol Hill.

Unlike Trump?s $1 trillion infrastructure plan, which prioritizes tax incentives to fund infrastructure projects by a 5-1 margin, the progressive initiative relies directly on public investment. The CPC says it would be paid by the closing of unspecified corporate tax loopholes, a new tax on Wall Street transactions, and by repatriating funds held by U.S. companies overseas.

While Trump has yet to release his promised infrastructure plan, its broad outlines look very different from the wish list offered by progressives. The president?s proposal is said to include only $200 billion in public spending. The remainder of the initiative is said to rely on private tax incentives meant to spur investment in infrastructure projects. Such funding mechanisms, known as public-private partnerships, often involve privately financed toll roads.

Deficit-averse Republicans in Congress are unlikely to consider a big spending proposal. The progressive infrastructure effort, rather, attempts to offer a clear contrast between Democratic and Republican policies ahead of the 2018 midterm election.

?President Trump has suggested that he will address the infrastructure gap. His ideas, however, are insufficient. They are riddled with fancy and unnecessary gimmicks, and laced with tax breaks for his wealthy friends,? the CPC says. ?We cannot afford to accept a plan like this that helps Wall Street investors, but leaves ordinary Americans behind.?

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November 27, 2017

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Pigeon Grounded After It’s Caught Smuggling Drugs In Tiny Backpack

A homing pigeon in Kuwait is no longer flying high after it was caught carrying a tiny backpack filled with drugs, according to reports.

Kuwaiti customs nabbed the feathered drug mule while it was flying near Iraq?s border, Al Arabiya English reported.

Photos from news site show the bird wearing a light blue pouch cut open to expose a number of white pills.

Reporter Abdullah Fahmi, with the Kuwaiti paper al-Rai, told the BBC that the drugs were identified as a type of ketamine, which is an anesthetic that can be abused as a ?club drug,? according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Some of its effects include hallucinations and amnesia.

Fahmi said this was the first time law enforcement officials there had caught a bird carrying such contraband, though they said they knew drug smugglers were using the bird-brained scheme.

In 2015, authorities in Costa Rica captured a similar drug-run by a pigeon. Prison guards reportedly found that bird carrying cocaine and cannabis.

Then in 2011, police in Colombia reportedly found a pigeon struggling to fly over a prison wall because a large amount of cocaine and marijuana had been strapped to its body.

Unsurprisingly, social media users had a field day over the Kuwaiti pigeon.

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November 24, 2017

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