Michelle Obama writes actress Yara Shahidi college recommendation letter

Published: Monday, March 13, 2017 @ 4:33 PM
Updated: Monday, March 13, 2017 @ 5:23 PM


            WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 11: First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama (L) and actress and activist Yara Shahidi participate in panel discussion at Glamour Hosts 'A Brighter Future: A Global Conversation on Girls' Education' with First Lady Michelle Obama at The Newseum on October 11, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Glamour)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 11: First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama (L) and actress and activist Yara Shahidi participate in panel discussion at Glamour Hosts 'A Brighter Future: A Global Conversation on Girls' Education' with First Lady Michelle Obama at The Newseum on October 11, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Glamour)

Former first lady Michelle Obama visited a Washington, D.C., school on International Women's Day, and she also recently did something else to promote a teenage girl's education.  

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“Black-ish” star and social activist Yara Shahidi, 17, is currently undergoing the process of applying to colleges. Last fall, she told People magazine that she was applying to universities along the East and West coasts, including Harvard University — Obama’s alma mater. It is also where Malia Obama will attend when she finishes her gap year this fall. Vanity Fair reported Sunday that Shahidi has applied to four universities, including the Ivy League school.

Shahidi has a leg up on the competition thanks to the former first lady agreeing to write a letter of recommendation for the young star, who plans to double-major in African-American studies and sociology, W magazine reported.

The actress first met Obama when they shared the stage at Glamour’s “International Day of the Girl” event in October. Since then, Shahidi has met with Obama several times. She said Obama has been a source of encouragement.

“She is very amazing and such a supporter, which is something very surreal to say,” Shahidi said of the former first lady in the interview with W magazine.

Like Malia Obama, Shahidi plans to take a gap year, a choice that many criticized the former first daughter for making.

“What’s interesting is I know so many people that are deferring. It’s more than to just roam around or just sit down and stare at a wall, but it will also give me an opportunity to work,” Shahidi told People of her decision to do a gap year. “I’ve been working more than half of my life, and that’s always been balanced with school and all of the other responsibilities, so to have a year to focus on work and to focus on specified interests will be nice before I pick a career and choose what I want to study and my life path.”

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We, too, sing America #YESWECAN #YESWEDID

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Thief fails three-point-turn, flees after he can’t get truck out of driveway

Published: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 10:40 PM

A thief failed to steal a truck when he could not complete a three-point turn. (Photo: Screengrab via Bensalem Police/YouTube)
A thief failed to steal a truck when he could not complete a three-point turn. (Photo: Screengrab via Bensalem Police/YouTube)

A thief failed to steal a truck because he could not complete a three-point turn to get around another vehicle in a driveway and then fled the scene, surveillance video shows

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Video posted by the Bensalem Police Department shows a man trying to steal the unlocked truck early Wednesday morning. 

The man, who appears to be in his 20s, tries unsuccessfully to reverse, nearly hitting another vehicle parked in the driveway multiple times. Eventually, he gives up and flees the scene.

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WATCH: 'Permit Patty' appears to call police on girl selling bottled water in viral video

Published: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 9:00 AM

File photo of bottled water. A white woman who appeared to call the police on a biracial San Francisco girl selling bottled water to raise money for a Disneyland trip has gone viral, sparking the hashtag #PermitPatty.
denvit / Pixabay.com
File photo of bottled water. A white woman who appeared to call the police on a biracial San Francisco girl selling bottled water to raise money for a Disneyland trip has gone viral, sparking the hashtag #PermitPatty.(denvit / Pixabay.com)

A white woman who appeared to call the police on a biracial girl selling bottled water to raise money for a Disneyland trip has gone viral, sparking the hashtag #PermitPatty.

>> Huge cookout held at Oakland park where cops called on black family's barbecue

According to USA Today, the girl's mother, Erin Austin, captured the alleged phone call on video, which has been viewed millions of times since it was posted Saturday. She said the incident occurred outside her apartment near AT&T Stadium in San Francisco.

"This woman don't want to let a little girl sell some water," Austin says in the 15-second clip, focusing the camera on a woman holding a phone. "She's calling the police on a 8-year-old little girl."

As the woman, identified by HuffPost as Alison Ettel, crouches behind a concrete wall, Austin adds: "You can hide all you want; the whole world's gonna see you, boo."

"And illegally selling water without a permit? Yeah," Ettel says, pointing to her phone.

"On my property," Austin interjects.

"It's not your property," Ettel replies.

>> Watch the video here

Austin and the girl's cousin, Raje Leeshared the footage with the hashtag #PermitPatty, USA Today reported.

"Make this [expletive] go viral like #bbqbecky," Austin captioned the video, referring to the hashtag used after a different woman was recorded calling the police on a black family for using a charcoal grill at an Oakland park. "She's #permitpatty."

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The posts sparked a debate about whether Ettel's actions were racist.

"For all of you saying it's not about race why didn't she stop to harass the white [men] that [were] selling tickets and teeshirts but thought calling the police on a child was okay?" Lee tweeted. "Don't answer. Just ask yourself that."

>> See the tweet here

"I didn't think in San Francisco my biracial child would have to go through something like this," Austin told KNTV.

Ettel told HuffPost that race had nothing to do with it, adding that she didn't really call the police. 

"They were screaming about what they were selling," Ettel said, claiming she had no problem with the girl, only Austin. "It was literally nonstop."

She added: "I completely regret that I handled that so poorly. It was completely stress-related, and I should have never confronted her."

The drama seemed to have a happy ending for Austin's daughter, who received four free tickets to Disneyland from a Twitter user who saw the video, Lee tweeted.

>> See the tweet here

Read more here or here.

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5 arrested for murder of New York teen who was hacked to death with machete

Published: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 8:19 PM

Lesandro Guzman-Feliz was attacked and brutally murdered Wednesday. (Photo: NYPD)
Lesandro Guzman-Feliz was attacked and brutally murdered Wednesday. (Photo: NYPD)

Police arrested five people Sunday in connection with a brutal machete attack on a teen outside a Bronx bodega earlier in the week. 

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Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, 15, was pulled out of the Cruz and Chiky grocery Wednesday by members of the Dominican gang Trinitarios, who beat him, hacked him with a machete and left him to die on the sidewalk outside the store in what officials believe was a case of mistaken identity, according to the New York Post

Gang members wrongly believed Guzman-Feliz was in a revenge sex video posted online that featured a relative of one of the attackers, according to the Post

A leader of the gang later apologized on Facebook for the mistake, according to WPIX

The teen’s mother said her son was a good boy who had never been in a gang. He was a member of the NYPD Explorers Program for Youth and dreamed of one day becoming a detective, Leandra Feliz told the Post

“Since he was 5 years old, he told me, ‘Mommy, I want to be a police,’” she said. 

The identities of the suspects have not yet been released.

GoFundMe account, set up to help the family pay for funeral expenses and other costs has raised more than $125,000 as of Sunday evening.

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4 children killed in violent police standoff laid to rest in Florida

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 8:31 PM

The children killed in an Orlando police standoff with their mother's boyfriend are from top left (clockwise) Lillia Pluth, Irayan Pluth, Dove Lindsey and Aidan Lindsey. The children were laid to rest Saturday in Orlando.
The children killed in an Orlando police standoff with their mother's boyfriend are from top left (clockwise) Lillia Pluth, Irayan Pluth, Dove Lindsey and Aidan Lindsey. The children were laid to rest Saturday in Orlando.

Funeral services for four Orlando children killed during a 21-hour police standoff  with their mother’s boyfriend were held Saturday. 

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The services, which were open to the public, took place at St. James Catholic Cathedral in Orlando, according to an attorney representing the family.

The funeral marked a difficult day for the family of Dove Lindsey, 1, Aiden Lindsey, 6, Lillia Pluth, 10, and Irayan Pluth, 12.

The day also proved too emotional for the children's mother, Ciara Lopez. 

"I remain stuck in that one night, that one night where everything changed, standing outside that apartment, waiting for different news," she said in a statement. 

Detectives believe Gary Lindsey, 35, shot the children either shortly before or after police officers came to the door of his apartment June 10 in response to a domestic battery call from Lopez. She had escaped the apartment.

Lindsey fired at the responding officers, seriously wounding Officer Kevin Valencia, who remains in a coma. Lindsey was then holed up in the apartment for almost a full day. Officers found him dead in a closet when they entered the apartment the following day.

>>Related: Wife of Orlando officer in coma: ‘My kids need a daddy. This community needs a real hero'

The children were found in their beds, police said. 

Some of the officers who worked during the standoff went to the service. 

"It's heartbreaking to see, obviously a small casket, with an infant inside," said Orlando Police Chief John Mina. 

Lindsey was Lopez’s boyfriend and the mother of all four children. Lindsey was the father of two of the children.

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