TIME Television

Diane Sawyer to Leave ABC’s World News

Diane Sawyer attends A Celebration of Barbara Walters Cocktail Reception Red Carpet at the Four Seasons Restaurant on May 14, 2014 in New York.
Diane Sawyer attends A Celebration of Barbara Walters Cocktail Reception Red Carpet at the Four Seasons Restaurant on May 14, 2014 in New York. D Dipasupil—Getty Images

Veteran newscaster will leave World News in September, ABC says

News anchor Diane Sawyer will step down from ABC’s World News this September.

“After wonderful years at “World News” I decided it is time to move to a new full time role at ABC News,” said Sawyer.

Beginning September 2, weekend World News anchor David Muir will assume her position, becoming Anchor and Managing Editor of the program. The World News switch is not the only change—George Stephanopoulos, anchor of GMA, will become Chief Anchor for ABC News.

Sawyer, who once anchored Good Morning America and Primetime, will continue to appear across ABC platforms, tackling, “big issues and extraordinary interviews,” said ABC.

“I’ll be joined by an incredible team of journalists dedicated to enterprise reporting, innovative approaches to breaking news and new ways of thinking about big issues and events around the world,” Sawyer said. “I can’t wait to continue bringing more of my specials to prime time and appearing on all ABC News broadcasts, as well.”

TIME beauty

They’ve Created a Monster: The ‘Perfect Female Celebrity’

Enjoy!

The ‘Perfect Female Celebrity’ will haunt your dreams.

This franken-starlet, composed of “perfect” celeb body parts Photoshopped together, is actually an advertisement for Botched, E!’s new show about people going under the knife to correct previous cosmetic surgery catastrophes. (It even has a reality show pedigree: Dr. Terry Dubrow and Dr. Paul Nassif , two husbands from the Real Housewives franchise, are the star doctors.)

The composite image has Blake Lively’s legs, Rihanna’s abs, Sofia Vergara’s boobs, Gabrielle Union’s arms, Jessica Alba’s smile, Carrie Underwood’s hair and Mila Kunis’ eyes. It’s not the first time we’ve created a crazy composite: Witness the results of a 2013 survey of men and women’s idea of the perfect female face.

And sure, in theory, we might all wish we had those individual parts, but that doesn’t make this piece of Photoshop excess any less frightening. After all, if there’s one thing we don’t need is another unattainable goal.

[h/t Jezebel]

 

TIME Food & Drink

Starbucks Raises the Pride Flag Above Seattle Headquarters

Starbucks marked the 40th anniversary of Seattle Pride by raising an 800-square-foot flag at its corporate headquarters as a group of employees and CEO Howard Schultz watched from below in Seattle on June 20, 2014.
Starbucks marked the 40th anniversary of Seattle Pride by raising an 800-square-foot flag at its corporate headquarters as a group of employees and CEO Howard Schultz watched from below in Seattle on June 23, 2014. Nate Gowdy

Starbucks gets into Seattle's Pride Weekend

Starbucks made a very prominent declaration of its support for LGBT rights on Monday when company headquarters raised a rainbow flag in honor of the Seattle Pride Parade.

This isn’t the first time the national coffee chain has used its prominent brand to advocate for the gay community. In 2012, Starbucks was on a list of companies endorsing the legalization of same-sex marriage in Washington state, the Seattle Times reported.

“Given our public stance on diversity and inclusion of all people, particularly on this issue, it makes sense to raise the flag in celebration,” Executive Vice President Lucy Helm said in a statement.

The flag will remain raised throughout the weekend.

TIME space

NASA’s Curiosity Rover Takes Selfie to Mark First Year on Mars

NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover captures a selfie to mark a full Martian year -- 687 Earth days -- spent exploring the Red Planet.
NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover captures a selfie to mark a full Martian year -- 687 Earth days -- spent exploring the Red Planet. NASA/JPL

NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover will complete its first Martian year on June 24th. The rover took a ‘selfie’ to commemorate its 687-day stay on the Red Planet — Earth days, that is.

Curiosity made some groundbreaking findings in its first “year” on the planet. In Aug. 2012, Curiosity succeeded in its main mission, to determine if Mars ever harbored the environment to support microbial life. The Curiosity rover drilled into the Martian Gale Crater, in the Yellowknife region, finding a former lakebed containing what NASA called “essential elemental ingredients for life.”

This spring, the rover spent its time collecting sandstone samples in Windjana, an area south west of the original Bradbury Landing site. The rover will continue moving south west towards Mount Sharp, its final destination.

TIME Religion

Sudanese Woman Sentenced to Death for Apostasy Freed

Meriam Ibrahim sits in her cell a day after she gave birth to a baby girl at a women's prison in Omdurman on May 28, 2014.
Meriam Ibrahim sits in her cell a day after she gave birth to a baby girl at a women's prison in Omdurman on May 28, 2014. AFP/Getty Images

After giving birth in jail, Meriam Ibrahim finally reunites with her husband.

A Sudanese woman sentenced to death for apostasy after she refused to reject her Christian faith has been freed and reunited with her husband and family, reports CNN.

Meriam Ibrahim was convicted of renouncing her faith by a Sudanese court in May. Eight months pregnant, the 27-year-old was sentenced to be hanged, as well as receive 100 lashings for alleged adultery. She eventually gave birth in jail, the Telegraph revealed—with her legs reportedly still shackled.

The controversy stemmed from Ibrahim’s upbringing, CNN said. Her father was Sudanese Muslim and her mother a Christian. However, her father left her at the age of 6, and Ibrahim’s mother raised her as a Christian. Ibrahim married her husband Daniel Wani, also a Christian, but because of her father’s faith, the marriage was considered invalid. Her own brother filed a report against her, CNN reported.

The case gathered international attention from human rights groups and politicians, including release requests from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State John Kerry and British Prime Minister David Cameron, reported the Telegraph.

Ibrahim’s initial conviction was found faulty in an appeals case, said her lawyer.

[CNN]

TIME Crime

Wife of Mugshot Heartthrob Upset Over Attention

Jeremy Meeks Stockton Police Department

Back off, social media: Blue-eyed convict Jeremy Meeks is off the market

The wife of handsome felon Jeremy Meeks is reportedly fed up by the internet’s continuing obsession with his mugshot, according to a friend.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t see her at all in the cameras, because she’s upset,” said friend Simone Johnson for CBS Sacramento. “She’s furious. Her man is in there and people are taking it as a joke, thinking it’s funny talking about his looks, saying all kinds of crazy things.”

Meeks was charged with gang membership, firearm possession and a probation violation, reports CBS. He has already spent two years in prison for grand theft in 2002.

Despite his stunning good looks, Meeks’ bail was raised to $1 million, says CBS. His arraignment continues June 27th.

[CBS]

TIME Foreign Policy

Syria’s Last Chemical Weapons Shipped Out of Country

Danish navy vessel HDMS Esbern Snare leads the Danish-Norwegian-British task force in the OPCW program outside southern Cypriot coastal town of Larnaca on May 13, 2014
Danish navy vessel HDMS Esbern Snare leads the Danish-Norwegian-British task force in the OPCW program outside southern Cypriot coastal town of Larnaca on May 13, 2014 Yiannis Kourtoglou—AFP/Getty Images

Now, the stockpile of weapons must be safely destroyed

Updated 5:09 pm

The last batch of Syria’s identified chemical weapons was removed from the country on Monday, the latest step in an unprecedented program that began just 9 months ago.

Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Ahmet Üzümcü made the announcement from The Hague in the Netherlands.

“Never before has an entire arsenal of a category of weapons of mass destruction been removed from a country experiencing a state of internal armed conflict,” said Üzümcü. “And this has been accomplished within very demanding and tight timeframes.”

The OPCW program has been a collective effort between 30 different countries, each helping to provide needed equipment and transportation to facilitate the destruction of Syria’s stockpile of arms.

John Kerry paid tribute to the work done by OPCW to rid Syria of chemical weapons after the death of over 1,000 in an August 2013 attack.

“It’s very important, however, even as we mark this moment of removing 100 percent of the declared weapons, that we understand that our work is not finished to ensure the complete elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons program. There are still some serious issues that remain to be addressed, and we are not going to stop until those have been addressed.”

Now, the chemical weapons must be safely delivered for destruction on board the U.S. vessel Cape Ray and at commercial facilities in Finland, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

TIME Drugs

New York Poised for Legal Medical Marijuana

Will be 23rd state

New York was on the cusp of becoming the latest state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes Friday.

The state Senate passed a bill that would limit consumption to edibles, pills, and oils—prohibiting the smoking or sale of actual marijuana plants. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to sign the bill, which passed the Senate 49 to 10 after state leaders announced a legislative compromise Thursday.

“This legislation strikes the right balance,” Cuomo said in statement Thursday when the compromise was first reached. “Medical marijuana has the capacity to do a lot of good for a lot of people who are in pain and suffering, and are in desperate need of a treatment that will provide some relief. At the same time, medical marijuana is a difficult issue because there are risks to public health and safety that have to be averted. I believe this bill is the right balance, and I commend the members of the Legislature who worked so hard on this measure.”

New York will be the 23rd state to legalize medical marijuana, according to the New York Daily News.

The state Department of Health will be charged with the regulation and licensing of medical marijuana manufacturers and distributors. The bill will place a seven-cent tax on marijuana sales.

MORE: Inside a Christian Pot Shop

TIME health

Africa’s Ebola Outbreak Is ‘Out of Control’

GUINEE-HEALTH-EBOLA
Members of the Guinean Red Cross distribute information leaflets during an awareness campaign on the Ebola virus on April 11, 2014 in Conakry, Guinea. Cellou Binani—AFP/Getty Images

The deadly Ebola virus continues to devastate West Africa

The Ebola outbreak sweeping across West Africa is “totally out of control,” a health official said Friday.

“The reality is clear that the epidemic is now in a second wave,” Bart Janssens, a Doctors Without Borders official, told the Associated Press. “And, for me, it is totally out of control.

“It’s the first time in an Ebola epidemic where [Doctors Without Borders] teams cannot cover all the needs, at least for treatment centers,” Janssens added.

Ebola causes high fevers, vomiting, diarrhea and often death. The latest epidemic that has left more than 330 dead in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The outbreak started in heavily populated areas of Guinea and Liberia.

“I’m absolutely convinced that this epidemic is far from over and will continue to kill a considerable amount of people,” Janssens told AP,
“so this will definitely end up the biggest ever.”

[AP]

TIME World

More Than 50 Million People Are Displaced, the Highest Number Ever Recorded

Pakistan Daily Life
An Afghan refugee girl holds her younger sister in an area where Pakistani health workers are searching for children that need vaccination against polio, on the outskirts of Islamabad, Pakistan, Feb. 26, 2014. Muhammed Muheisen—AP

Refugees continue to pour out of Syria, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports

The global population of people who were forced to flee their homes has exceeded 50 million­­, according to the United Nations — levels not seen since comprehensive record-keeping began in 1989.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees released its annual Global Trends report Friday, aggregating data from governments and outside organizations. The report says 51.2 million people were forcibly displaced from their homes at the end of 2013. The U.N. formally considers 16.7 million of them to be refugees, while another 33.3 million are internally displaced persons who’ve fled their homes but not left their country of origin. Yet another 1.2 million of them are currently seeking asylum.

“We are seeing here the immense costs of not ending wars, of failing to resolve or prevent conflict,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said Friday, which is also World Refugee Day. “Peace is today dangerously in deficit.”

Many of today’s refugees have fled the ongoing conflict in Syria, which has produced 2.5 million refugees and another 6.5 million displaced persons who lack formal refugee status. Those who have fled Syria, along with Afghanistan and Somalia, account for over half the total number of displaced people.

The UNHCR’s plan to accommodate the increasing influx of Syrian refugees calls on countries to admit up to 30,000 refugees for resettlement by the end of 2014, its report says. So far, 21 countries have agreed to the UNHCR idea and pledged to admit more Syrians. The United States has promised to accept an open-ended number of people in need.

Despite the record number of displaced people, many countries continue to keep their doors open. Iran, Pakistan, and Lebanon hosted the largest number of refugees in 2013, according to the UN.

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