San Diego Border Patrol seizes $3 million

(CNN)Border Patrol agents in California hit a jackpot this week in terms of cash seizures: $3 million.

For the agency that deals with border security, it was a major intercept of smuggled cash. The Border Patrol noted most of its past seizures have been in smaller amounts: $300,000, $51,000 and $43,000.
“This is one of our larger cash seizures,” said Ralph DeSio, spokesman for the San Diego office of US Customs and Border Protection. Normally, he said, the big figure reported is the value of confiscated drugs.









Minors lured to U.S., forced into slave labor



The San Diego Border Patrol agents made a dent in the cash flow Tuesday when they arrested two men in Escondido, just north of San Diego and about 40 miles from the Mexican border.
An agent pulled over a Kia Forte and found nearly $34,000 stashed in the console, the agency said. A 53-year-old American was arrested.
Other agents were able to locate a Volkswagen Passat suspected of having driven in tandem with the Kia, the agency said. They arrested the driver, a 41-year-old Mexican national, for suspicion of currency smuggling.
The trunk of the Passat is where they then recovered $3,018,000, the agency said.
The Border Patrol turned over the two suspects to Homeland Security, and they now face federal charges for currency smuggling.

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Canada’s stolen daughters: Sex traffickers target indigenous Canadians

Winnipeg, Canada (CNN)As Lauren Chopek painfully details her story, she does so with the reticence of a survivor, as if somehow remaining silent would have been better.

“I used to blame myself for everything. But, like I, I would say I let them do that to me. I am dirty. It’s my fault,” says Chopek through tears.
But Chopek is finally speaking out, determined to shake the guilt and shame that she knows should stalk her perpetrators instead of her.
“Now I see that I was just a child,” says Chopek, now sitting serenely in a safe house, a healing lodge in rural Manitoba that cradled her in the love and protection she so needed when she escaped her life on the streets.
Now 19, Lauren was just 14 when she was sexually exploited and trafficked for sex in her hometown of Winnipeg. But as an indigenous girl in Canada, her story is hardly rare.
Canada’s indigenous population is very small — just 4% of the population — yet more than 50% of all sex trafficking victims in Canada are indigenous. The reasons are complicated and varied but are ultimately rooted in a legacy of poverty, racism and abuse.
“I was actually making these bad choices for a reason,” explains Chopek. “You know when you experience sexual abuse it’s really confusing. You never know if it’s your fault or is it theirs.”

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Inside Houston’s sex slave trade

(CNN)Esperanza was waiting for her cousins outside her high school in Mexico one day, when a strange man drove up in a car, forced her inside with him and sped away. At that moment, Esperanza had in effect become a sex slave.

For fugitives on the run, time is running out. Check out “The Hunt with John Walsh” Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT and #JoinTheHunt.
“He beat and raped me,” she told CNN’s “The Hunt with John Walsh.”
She said the man — who called himself Poncho brought her to a madam who showed Esperanza how to charge clients and how to use a condom.
A few times Esperanza tried and failed to escape, but she said Poncho, now age 47, always tracked her down, and then beat her.
Eventually, Esperanza realized she was pregnant. Three months later, she said Poncho drove her across the Mexican-US border and on to Houston, Texas, where he forced her to work in a cantina called La Costenita.
She gave birth to a baby girl, but Poncho took the infant away as insurance that Esperanza would keep working as a sex slave and wouldn’t escape.










Trafficking victim: Cantina was a front for a brothel



“We realized early on that we had potential financial crimes, money laundering involved in the case, so we got the [Internal Revenue Service] involved in it,” said Bradley. The IRS began following the money, reviewing bank statements, locating assets.
“We did an estimate on how much she made from the room rental, entrance fee, and the condoms for the whole entire period she was operating Las Palmas and that estimated to be about $12.5 million,” said IRS Special Agent Lucy Tan.
When it was time for police to move in and raid Las Palmas, 13 people were arrested. Diaz-Juarez wasn’t among them. But Tencha was.
Twelve pleaded guilty.
Prosecutors charged Tencha with one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, one count of conspiracy to harbor aliens, three counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to money launder.
Tencha pleaded not guilty.

Anger triggers testimony

When Tencha began crying in front of the judge, saying she was innocent and she had no idea what was going on, it stirred something inside the freed women who once worked for her.
They began to get angry.
One by one they decided to take the stand and testify against their former captor.
“You didn’t have to speak Spanish to see how much pain they had over what had been done to them, and what they had had to do,” remembered Bradley. “You could just see it in their face, hear it in their voice.”
Ultimately, the jury found Tencha guilty and the judge sentenced her to life in prison.
Despite the legal victory against Tencha, authorities are disturbed by the fact that Diaz-Juarez remains free.
“It’s very important to get Poncho arrested and prosecuted, because he will not stop doing what he does until he is arrested and put behind bars,” said Chapuseaux.
Laura, who still fears Poncho, admits she’ll “feel safer when he is captured. There aren’t any words to describe what a terrible person he is.”

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What cities need to know about drones

As drones increasingly fly through our cities in the coming years delivering our latest order from Amazon or other on-demand retailers the regulation of our airspace and the environment in which we co-exist with flying robots becomes more and more present and real.

The conceptual shift that we have gone through even with the term drone is quite dramatic. Mentioning drones in conversation two years ago might have prompted thoughts of warfare, human rights or national defense strategy. Now commerce is top of mind.

In fact, when we talk about drones today, the average person most likely thinks about how retailers could deliver goods to them, whether another hobbyist has been flying too close to airports or even the White Houseor even how local governments can use them to monitor infrastructure. The way we think of drones and the things we use them for is changing

When it comes to drone usage and operation, there is a critical role for cities both in relation to community residents using these tools and through the regulation of the space we all enjoy and use every day. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicts there will be 7 million drones in use by 2020, so it is not a matter of when cities will have to deal with them, but how.

From the government standpoint, there are a range of areas where drones can be incredibly useful. This technology has the potential to replace potentially hazardous operations like fire-fighting or infrastructure inspection, help find missing persons, allow construction crews to monitor sites for safety hazards and empower hospitals to transport urgently needed medication to remote locations.

Additionally, many retailers, like 7-Eleven and Walmart, are exploring the use of drone technology for delivery service. The increased accessibility and popularity of drones has everyone ranging from realtors to inspectors to photographers and others clambering to use them to better analyze the world around them. Drones have the potential to revolutionize many industries, particularly as their technology advances.

However, drones also present challenges for cities. They raise safety, privacy, nuisance and trespassing concerns, all of which are compounded by the lack of accountability associated with most drone operations.

Cities will be the critical connector that brings together this future we are all flying toward.

There are safety issues that must be faced, for instance, when operators fly drones over people or near planes. Additionally, city residents often have privacy concerns when any small device hovering nearby could potentially be taking photos or video. The fear of a drone trespassing into previously non-shared space is heightened when these vehicles can be operated remotely. This anonymity makes it increasingly difficult to identify operators who fly recklessly, harass individuals or cause injury to persons or property.

Cities and Dronesserves as a primer on drones for local officials, providing insight on the recently released FAA rules relating to drone operation, as well as offering suggestions for how local governments can craft their own drone ordinances to encourage innovation while also protecting their cities.


The helpful thing about the FAA rule is that it moved to establish categories for operators, guidelines for safe operations and a minimum threshold for FAA investigations. This allows local and state authorities to still have an opportunity to legislate on appropriate operating space and behavior, as well as enforcement. Our new report makes recommendations for how cities can focus their energy when enacting their own drone-related ordinances.

The power of land use and zoning helps cities designate when and where drones may take off, land and operate, as well as any operational limitations or criteria. Additionally, cities can punish operators for operating an unmanned aircraft in a manner that recklessly endangers persons or property while considering appropriate enforcement infrastructure.

Both commercial and recreational drone operation can powerfully benefit cities, and rather than ban them outright, cities have an opportunity to consider how this new technology might serve or enhance city operations and residents.

Additionally, the startup activity that the new regulatory environment should facilitate could be a boon to economic development efforts in cities. With the rules of the road now established, businesses that want to use drones as auxiliary business tools or start whole new services will be well-served moving forward.

The lines between convenience and privacy continue to be blurred across so many emerging disruptive technologies and frankly, the idea of regulating airspace that is so (physically) close to people is something that is rightfully concerning, because people dont want drones dropping on their heads or looking in their windows.

When the previously unimaginable becomes the new normal, it is critical to have our mayors and other local leaders out in front to address these abrupt transitions. At the end of the day, certain aspects of drone regulation might look different in different places depending upon the type of activity taking place.

It is necessary for city officials to address the spheres of drone activity that will most impact our cities, from private to commercial and public use. As drones whirring overhead become mainstream, we will become more familiar and comfortable with them as tools, rather than threats.

The enhancement and development of this technology presents a number of opportunities for cities. The challenge for local elected officials will be crafting policy and regulations that enable this drone technology to serve their cities in the best, most appropriate ways, embracing innovation while still considering safety.

Cities play such a vital role in the ongoing autonomization of society. Within this broader shift toward autonomous vehicles, robots in the workplace and broader community life, and, of course drones, city leaders share the primary goal to protect their community members while promoting innovation and economic growth. As drones fly through the sky and land on lawns, rooftops and more, cities will be the critical connector that brings together this future we are all flying toward.

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This Guy Quit His Job With The Most Savage Greeting Card Ever

In movies and TV shows and daydreams, everyone is always quitting their jobs in dramatic, stupendous fashion.

But in real life you want a recommendation from your boss, so no matter how badly you want to poke their eyes out with your toes (“toe their eyes out”), you don’t.

You smile and pretend to be sad and try not to piss on the floor as you wait for that final elevator ride to freedom.

Thankfully, there are some among us who are brave. Some among us are dreamers. Some among us live as we can only wish.

One Imgur user is one of those people.

They gave their two weeks notice with a Hallmark card designed, I can only assume, to be given to someone who has just lost a loved one. (Side note: Who is handing people a mass-produced card when their mom dies and thinking that it will help? How is this industry surviving?)

But the quitter in question customized the card to fit his or her purposes.The final product is as delightful as it was ingenious.

View post on


I can only imagine that handing someone this makes you feel like you are, let’s say, a rocket ship with a full tank of condensed space fuel breaking out of Earth’s atmosphere into the pure open black bliss of space.

In other words: really good.

I hope this inspires those of you out there to follow in this human’s beautiful footsteps.

Fly free, capitalist day laborers! Fly free!

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Women Who Live Outside Of Major Cities Live Longer, According To Study

Living in a huge urban center like New York City is pretty awesome, but it turns out all your friends who opted for the suburbs and greener pastures may have been onto something.

According to a new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, women who live in places surrounded by a lot of vegetation, trees and greenery basically have lower chances of dyingthan women who dont.


Researchers fromHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as well asBrigham and Womens Hospital studied 108,630 women from2000 to 2008 to try to find out if there was any connection between residential greenness and mortality, aka nature and death, according to thestudys abstract.

Previous research has shown the potential benefitsyou can get by living near nature, including better sleep, improved mental healthas well as lower blood pressure and lower pulse rate.

But, these scientists were specifically looking at mortality rates, and what they found was remarkable.

According to Cosmopolitan, women living in the greenest spaces (as seen by satellite imagery) had a 12 percent lower overall mortality rate than the women living in the least green spaces.

Whats even crazier is how stark the differences in mortality were for cancers and respiratory illnesses.


Women who had very little greenery and nature around their homes had a 34 percent chance higher rate of death by respiratory illness and a 13 percent higher rate of death by cancer, Cosmopolitan reports.

So basically, if you dont have trees, plants, bushes, a garden or some kind of nature near your homeand are a woman, you have a much higher chance of dying from cancer and respiratoryillnesses.

The researchers concluded,

Higher levels of green vegetation were associated with decreased mortality. Policies to increase vegetation may provide opportunities for physical activity, reduce harmful exposures, increase social engagement, and improve mental health. While planting vegetation may mitigate effects of climate change, evidence of an association between vegetation and lower mortality rates suggests it also might be used to improve health.

Ignoring the casual bomb the researchers dropped about how increased vegetation can also help fightclimate change, it seems adding just a little bit of greenery and nature around your home can go a long way to improving your long-term health.

Subscribe to Elite Dailys official newsletter,The Edge, for more stories you dont want to miss.


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The most sexist moments at the Olympics so far

Image: NurPhoto via Getty Images

It’s Olympics time that special time when the world’s strongest, toughest and bravest women come together to prove they’re still not as good as men.

As least, that’s what some Olympics commentators seem to think, based on the stories that have been circulating in the last 72 hours alone. Even though female athletes are breaking records and shattering glass ceilings, that’s still not enough for the polo-shirted CommentBros of the world. They’re still not enough. Plus, women’s leg muscles look all funky when they exercise too much is a flimsy gold medal really worth that excess calf weight?

A study recently published by Cambridge University Press analyzed language in over 160 newspapers, magazines and blogs and found some unsurprising results. Men were three times as likely to be referred to in a sporting context, attached to the words “strong, big, real, great or fastest,” and women were disproportionately likely to be associated with the words “aged, pregnant or unmarried.”

More women are competing in the Olympics than ever before but that hasn’t stopped some commentators from serving up hot plates of sexist garbage. Here are just a few of the entrees on the menu:

1. The time NBC said women not advertising dollars were the reason they were showing so many commercials.


NBC was loudly criticized across the internet for showing too many commercials during Friday night’s five-hour opening ceremony. But instead of taking some of the blame, or openly admitting that they were just trying to chase a few dollars down (the media giant has already sold $1.2 billion in national Olympics ads), NBC spokesman John Miller found a more convenient scapegoat women.

“The people who watch the Olympics are not particularly sports fans. More women watch the Games than men, and for the women, they’re less interested in the result and more interested in the journey. It’s sort of like the ultimate reality show and mini-series wrapped into one. And to tell the truth, it has been the complaint of a few sports writers. It has not been the complaint of the vast viewing public.”

Women enjoy commercials more than men: fiction or fiction?

2. The time the Chicago Tribune referred to a female Olympic bronze medalist as a “wife” in their headline.


Image: sam greenwood/Getty Images

For some, being married is an achievement. Also an achievement: being one of the most successful female athletes in the entire universe.

But when trap shooter Corey Cogdell-Unrein won her second bronze medal at the Rio Olympics this year, The Chicago Tribune seemed a little bit more interested in the details of her marriage to Bears lineman Mitch Unrein than her actual medal. Their headline doesn’t even mention the sport in which she medaled: “Corey Cogdell, wife of Bears lineman Mitch Unrein, wins bronze in Rio.”

The newspaper’s tweet about Cogdell was even more egregious and did not mention her name, reading: “Wife of a Bears’ lineman wins a bronze medal today in Rio Olympics.”

While it’s fair for the Tribune to mention the marriage at some point in the piece, imagine if the newspaper had done the reverse: “Husband of Olympic medalist Corey Cogdell, wins big game in Chicago.”

The article included other insipid gems like this one: “This is Cogdell-Unreins third Olympic games, but Unrein, a defensive end in his second season with the Bears, was unable to get away from training camp to join her in Rio and see her in the Olympics for the first time.”


3. The time NBC called a female athlete’s husband responsible for her gold medal.


Winning an Olympic medal takes strength, determination and, if you’re a woman, a monogamous wiener by your side.

On Saturday, Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszu shattered the world record in the 400-medley. The Olympian broke the record by nearly two seconds a lifetime in Olympian time. But instead of crediting her for her own victory, NBC commentator Dan Hicks chose to highlight her husband and coach Shane Tusup as the man “responsible for her victory.

Because clearly, Hosszu’s body wasn’t her own. It was simply an empty vessel for her magical husband, who used his natural powers of telekineses to move her through the water at mind-blowing, record-breaking speeds.

4. Male spectators who mansplain how to play sports to the world’s greatest female athletes.

On Sunday, Olympian and cyclist Annemiek Van Vleuten was involved in a devastating crash that terrified everyone who watched. Van Vleuten appeared to be headed for a spectacular victory when the accident occurred, leaving her with a concussion and three spine fractures.

When Van Vleuten went to Twitter to thank her fans, some offered words of support and encouragement, while one male fan who is not, technically, an Olympian actually offered the groundbreaking athlete words of advice:

Keep your anger steady ladies . . . whether fast or slow.

5. When one NBC commentator said that the towering US Women’s Gymnastics team looked like they “might as well be standing in the middle of a mall.”


Image: tom pennington/Getty Images

The USA’s Women Gymnastics team may prove to be one of the country’s most dominant yet. On Sunday, however, shortly after the team destroyed the competition during the qualifying round, one unidentified commentator argued that the smiling victorious women looked like they “might as well as be standing in the middle of a mall.”

To clarify, these women were not standing in a mall chit-chatting over Frostees, but instead celebrating their success in one of the most prestigious arenas in the world.

However, if the U.S. team would like to come to my local mall and perform, I’d welcome them with open arms (and many supporting mats).

6. When The Daily Mail referred to a record-breaking female swimmer as the “female Michael Phelps.


Image: vaughn ridley/Getty Images

U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky broke her own her own world record during the women’s 400 meter freestyle Saturday night. Still, commentators couldn’t recognize her success for what it was, but instead chose to recognize her in relation to a male athlete Michael Phelps.

In the comments, people couldn’t stop exclaiming that Ledecky swam like a “man.” What exactly swimming likes a man looks like (you have bigger . . . feet? You have very boring haircuts?) is unclear, but one thing is evident: Ledecky rocks.

The Olympics end on August 21st, but the struggle and the righteous listicles will go on.


BONUS: Pomeranians react to ‘React’ videos



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Stunning views from inside Transylvania’s subterranean theme park

(CNN)Deep in the Transylvanian countryside lies an ancient salt mine dating back over two millennia.

Today Salina Turda has become an unlikely tourist attraction, with thousands of visitors descending its vertical shafts each year to play mini-golf, go bowling and row around its underground lake. This submerged wonderland even has a healing center for people with lung conditions.

    RELATED: Rescuing Angola’s stunning historical cinemas

    British photographer Richard John Seymour recently traveled to Salina Turda in his quest to document human-altered landscapes. “Photographing this space was a challenge due to its sheer scale. Humans are put into perspective and the difference between nature and man-made features is blurred.”

    Salina Turda filled the coffers of Hungarian kings and Habsburg emperors — especially during the 13th century, when salt was more valuable than gold — and sustained the local community for centuries.

    Since mining activity ceased in 1932, it has had many lives. It was used as a shelter in World War II and has even served time as a cheese storage center. Salina Turda reopened as a visitor attraction in 1992, bolstered by 6 million investment 16 years later, which cemented its adaptive reuse as a museum and theme park.

    Head to The Spaces for more on the salt mine turned playground.

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    Standing room only at lonely WW2 soldier funeral – BBC News

    Media captionStewart Cooney’s funeral was no quiet affair

    It was standing room only at the funeral of a World War Two veteran following a social media appeal for mourners.

    Stewart Cooney, 95, served with the Royal Artillery and died in a care home in Leeds last month.

    Hundreds attended his funeral earlier, including Royal British Legion standard bearers, a piper and soldiers from his old regiment.

    One organiser, Martyn Simpson, said: “We never let a brother go alone.”

    ‘Old soldier’

    Other mourners included Army Reserve soldiers, a motorbike escort from the Royal British Legion Riders and members of the public.

    All the seats inside the crematorium were taken and mourners left outside watched the service on television screens.

    When the funeral was arranged it was believed Mr Cooney had no surviving relatives, however two women understood to be his sisters came forward after hearing of his death.

    As the mourners stood outside the chapel awaiting Mr Cooney’s final journey to Pudsey church, Barry Fretwell, president of Mirfield Royal British Legion, said: “It was incredibly heart-warming how people had responded”.

    Stacey Williams, carer at Carlton Lodge where Mr Cooney died, said he would have been overwhelmed by the turnout from strangers.

    “He was the kind of man who just didn’t expect that kind of thing.”

    At the scene: Alex Moss, BBC Online, from Rawdon crematorium

    Image caption The crematorium was full after social media appeals

    Hundreds of people rallied round to ensure soldier Stewart Cooney got the send-off he deserved.

    This tide of strangers stood together, united in effort to ensure Mr Cooney’s passing was marked by more than just a gathering of social workers, care workers and a priest.

    The hearse was escorted to the crematorium by dozens of motorbikers from the Royal British Legion – clad in leather, regimental numbers on their arms identifying them as former servicemen.

    Recalling Troop Sergeant Major Cooney’s military life, celebrant Lynda Gomersall described how he had served in many places including Egypt, Syria and Italy’s battle of Monte Cassino. She spoke of his deep love for his wife ‘Barnsley Betty’ and his adopted son Niall.

    Quiet laughter filled the chapel when she recounted his days at the nursing home, he was described as a “cheeky chappie” who “tried his luck with the ladies”.

    Read more: The man with no-one to mourn him

    Image caption Mr Cooney’s service number was displayed in flowers in the hearse
    Image copyright Alamy

    Image caption Mr Cooney’s funeral had military pomp to recognise his part in World War Two
    Image copyright Cooney family

    Image caption Stewart Cooney during his wedding and on service

    Who was Stewart Cooney?

    • Enlisted in the Royal Artillery in 1943 and fought in Egypt and Sicily, before taking part in the Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944
    • Married Betty, a telephonist in the Royal Artillery, at Dalmeny Church in Midlothian in 1944
    • Adopted a son, Niall, in 1953
    • Worked as a loom tuner (looking after weaving machines) at a mill in Farsley, near Leeds
    • Died at Colton Lodges Nursing Home in June 2016

    Mr Simpson, who served in the RAF and is a Royal British Legion standard bearer, said having seen the online appeals he also helped spread the word and had been amazed by the response.

    “It’s a marvellous thing, I feel quite emotional. He served in World War Two and I don’t know his history but anybody who served deserves this,” he said.

    Dougie Eastwood, who works for the company that runs Colton Lodges in which Mr Cooney died, started the appeal after he noticed Royal Artillery insignia in Mr Cooney’s room.

    Mr Eastwood, who also served in the Royal Artillery for 25 years, said: “He outlived his wife and son.”

    He added: ” I got in touch with 269 Royal Artillery based in Leeds and it just went viral.

    Image copyright Cooney family

    Image caption Mr Cooney’s coffin was draped in the Union flag and bear World War Two medals and a Royal Artillery cap

    “I couldn’t see his funeral only attended by a couple of care workers, a social worker and a priest.

    “I’m quite happy he’ll go the way an old soldier like him should do.”

    The Yorkshire Evening Post also appealed for mourners to attend the funeral.

    Lynda Gomersall offered her services after seeing the appeal on Facebook. She spoke to Mr Cooney’s carers and looked through old records to write the eulogy.

    “I don’t think anybody should go without recognition, especially soldiers,” she said.

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    What I’ve Learned About Love, Life And Fashion From My 70-Year-Old BFF

    My best friend is 70 years old, and she is more stylish and fabulous than Ill ever be.

    When we walk down the streets of New York together, people stop and stare.

    And they arent staring at me.

    They are looking at her in her colorful coat and signature paper towel hat.

    People always stop us to admire her outfits and ask if they can take a picture of her.

    She thanks them and poses gracefully, and she usually invites them to the party she’s throwing at her apartment in the West Village the following week.

    My best friend is Debra Rapoport, and she is one of the stars of the Advanced Style series, which celebrates the life and style of vital older men and women.

    Last summer, Debra and I celebrated milestone birthdays together.

    She turned 70, and I turned 21.

    We drank wine, contemplated life and reflected on four fabulous years of friendship.

    I first met Debra when I first came to New York as a lost and lonely 17-year-old.

    Ever since, she has been my friend, fashion consultant and confidant.

    Here are five essential lessons on life and aging she has taught me and that will continue to inspire me as I grow older:

    1. Aging doesnt always look the way you think it does.

    I used to picture myself at 70 as an old lady with gray hair and brittle bones who sat alone in my house and played cards all day.

    But when I met Debra, her bright pink hair and outgoing personality completely shattered this image.

    Her schedule is always packed, and she is constantly on the go.

    She’s teaching workshops, meeting with photographers for photoshoots and hosting parties for her never-ending list of friends who visit the city.

    Age does not determine your ability to stay vital and outgoing.

    2. Start taking care of yourself now.

    We take our bodies and health for granted, but its important to treat our bodies with love and respect, regardless of our age.

    Debra is a pro at this.

    She listens to her body and knows what it wants to eat, how it wants to move and what it wants to wear.

    She wakes up early for 7 am yoga and cooks a pot of fresh oatmeal for breakfast each day.

    She prepares nutritious meals with ingredients from the farmers market, but she also indulges in chocolate and adds salt to her salted caramel ice cream when she wants.

    Balance is key.

    3. Black is boring.

    Being normal and blending in is too easy.

    Embracing color in your life does not mean you have to dress in bright patterns.

    Its about mixing things up and changing areas of your life that feel black and worn out.

    Debra has taught me to not only be intentional about the way I dress, but also in the way I express myself.

    None of us should have to wait 50 years to start being bold and stop caring what other people think.

    Express yourself freely, and people will be drawn to you.

    Dont be afraid to stand out.

    4. Its never too late.

    Honey, dont worry! Youre so young and have your whole life ahead of you to figure it out, Debra always says.

    When she tells me I have nothing to worry about and that it will all work out, I know I can trust her because she has years of experience under her belt.

    Sometimes I feel like I will never have another opportunity to pursue my passions and find out who I am if I dont do it now.

    But, I forget that its never too late to discover new interests and switch paths.

    Debra has been everything from a professor to a designer, and she speaks fondly about each career she has pursued.

    She only recently began her professional modeling career after she turned 65, and she looks more confident in her skin than many young models Ive seen.

    Its OK to take a deep breath and slow down.

    There is plenty of time to figure things out.

    5. Dont be afraid of getting old.

    Growing old isnt something we should fear; it is something to look forward to.

    Debra has taught me that even though our bodies age, we can still choose to stay young at heart.

    You can stay young by seizing opportunities, embracing love and taking care of yourself.

    More important than your age is who you are, how you feel and how you choose to express yourself.

    Age truly is just a number.

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