Tom Price resigns as health secretary over private flights and Trump criticism

Former Georgia congressman resigns after president says decision imminent, having apologized and repaid some costs

The health and human services secretary, Tom Price, has resigned, after revelations that he spent more than $1m of taxpayers money on travel including chartered flights.

Reports about such travel by Price and other cabinet members including the EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, interior secretary, Ryan Zinke and veterans affairs director, David Shulkin had undermined Donald Trumps promise to drain the swamp of corruption in Washington.

Price, already in a precarious position with the president after repeated failures to repeal the Affordable Care Act, had come under fire for spending so much money on private flights instead of commercial travel. On Thursday, he apologized for taking the flights and offered to reimburse the treasury for the relevant costs.

In statement on Friday, the White House said Price offered his resignation and Trump accepted it. Trump had teased the news, telling reporters an announcement was forthcoming.

Trump called Price a very fine man but said he did not like the optics of members of his cabinet the wealthiest ever assembled flying at great expense to taxpayers.

Im not happy, OK? Trump said, before departing Washington to spend the weekend at his New Jersey golf club. I can tell you, Im not happy.

The statement said Trump intended to tap Don Wright to serve as acting secretary, starting at midnight on Friday. Wright is currently deputy assistant secretary for health and director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

In a copy of his resignation letter posted to Twitter, Price thanked Trump for the opportunity to serve the American people.

I have spent 40 years both as a doctor and public servant putting people first, he wrote. I regret that the recent events have created a distraction from those important objectives.

Tom Price, M.D. (@SecPriceMD)

Thank you @POTUS for the opportunity to serve the American people alongside the dedicated folks of @HHSGov. It’s been an honor & privilege.

September 29, 2017

In his statement of apology on Thursday, he had said: All of my political career Ive fought for taxpayers. It is clear to me that in this case, I was not sensitive enough to my concern for the taxpayer. I know as well as anyone that the American people want to know that their hard-earned dollars are being spent wisely by government officials.

As a Georgia congressman, Price branded himself as a fiscal conservative, railing against the use of private jets by members of Congress. In a 2009 interview with CNBC, he called such expenditure fiscal irresponsibility run amok and criticized a Democrat who argued such flights were necessary for certain department heads.

Trump became frustrated with Price as a series of reports by Politico detailed his secretarys spending over the last several months.

Politico first reported Prices extensive use of private charter planes for business travel last week, revealing that the secretary had taken at least 24 flights since May at a cost of more than $300,000. His predecessors in the job flew commercially when traveling within the continental US.

Price traveled twice on government-funded private jets to destinations where he and his wife own property, and paired official visits with meetings with colleagues and family members, according to Politico.

On Thursday, the website reported that the White House approved Prices use of military aircraft to travel to Europe, Asia and Africa for official business, at a cost of more than $500,000.

The total combined cost for Prices flights exceeded $1m, according to a Politico analysis.

In an appearance on Fox News on Thursday, Price said he believed he had the confidence of the president and called Trump a remarkable leader. But he said Trump had expressed his displeasure clearly.

On Friday, the House speaker, Paul Ryan, called Price a good man who he said had spent his entire adult life fighting for others.

Ryan said: He was a leader in the House and a superb health secretary. His vision and hard work were vital to the Houses success passing our healthcare legislation. I will always be grateful for Toms service to this country and, above all, his continued friendship.

The Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, criticized Prices determination to repeal the ACA, saying: The mission of the health and human services secretary should be to support Americans healthcare, not take it away. The next HHS secretary must follow the law when it comes to the Affordable Care Act instead of trying to sabotage it.

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Desperate Puerto Ricans are drinking water from a hazardous-waste site

Dorado, Puerto Rico (CNN)Jose Luis Rodriguez waited in line Friday to fill plastic jugs in the back of his pickup truck with water for drinking, doing the dishes and bathing.

But there is something about this water Rodriguez didn’t know: It was being pumped to him by water authorities from a federally designated hazardous-waste site, CNN learned after reviewing Superfund documents and interviewing federal and local officials.
Rodriguez, 66, is so desperate for water that this news didn’t startle him.
    “I don’t have a choice,” he said. “This is the only option I have.”
    More than three weeks after Hurricane Maria ravaged this island, more than 35% of the island’s residents — American citizens — remain without safe drinking water.
    It’s clear some residents are turning to potentially risky sources to get by.
    Friday afternoon, CNN watched workers from the Puerto Rican water utility, Autoridad de Acueductos y Alcantarillados, or AAA, distribute water from a well at the Dorado Groundwater Contamination Site, which was listed in 2016 as part of the federal Superfund program for hazardous waste cleanup.
    Residents like Rodriguez filled small bottles from a hose and piled them in their vehicles. Large trucks with cylindrical tanks on their backs carried the water to people elsewhere. Some of the trucks carried the name of the municipality of Dorado. Others simply were labeled with the words “Agua Potable,” Spanish for potable water.
    In announcing the addition of the Dorado site to the Superfund program, the US Environmental Protection Agency says the area was polluted with industrial chemicals, including tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene, which “can have serious health impacts including damage to the liver and increasing the risk of cancer,” according to the EPA.

    EPA ‘gathering more information’

    It’s unclear whether there are public health risks from this particular well, however.
    The EPA said it plans to do testing in the area over the weekend.
    “The EPA is gathering more information about the quality of water from the wells associated with our Dorado groundwater contamination site, as well as other Superfund sites in Puerto Rico,” the agency said in a statement issued to CNN on Friday. “While some of these wells are sometimes used to provide drinking water, the EPA is concerned that people could be drinking water that may be contaminated, depending on the well. We are mindful of the paramount job of protecting people’s health, balanced with people’s basic need for water.”
    Regional EPA spokesman Elias Rodriguez confirmed the location is part of a Superfund site.
    Autoridad de Acueductos y Alcantarillados, the water authority, was unaware that this well site was part of the Superfund program until CNN provided maps showing that this was the case, according to Luis Melendez, sub-director for environmental compliance at the utility.
    Melendez maintained the water is fit for public consumption. The well was opened on an emergency basis and is not part of the regular drinking water supply, he said.
    In 2015, this well in Dorado, which is located near a shopping center, was found by the EPA to be safely within federal standards for PCE and chloroform, two industrial chemicals.

    ‘I’ve never seen this before’

    Martyn Smith, a professor of toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley, told CNN the levels of PCE and chloroform would be essentially safe for human consumption. “I wouldn’t have any problem in drinking this water if these were the only chemicals in it,” he said. The problem with Superfund sites, he said, is that you don’t know what else is present.
    “I’ve never seen this before,” he said, referring to the idea a Superfund site would be used as a source of public drinking water. Boiling the water, he said, would reduce possible contamination. And it’s somewhat understandable, Smith added, that people in Puerto Rico would turn to possibly questionable drinking water sources given the scope of the crisis.
    Still, a Superfund site — a location with known health risks — is just about the last place a person would want to turn to find drinking water, even in a crisis, said Erik Olson, head of the health program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group.
    “There are thousands of chemicals out there that could be in a Superfund site and only a relative handful are covered by standards,” he said. “What I would be worried about is stuff that isn’t showing up on EPA’s drinking water standards. It just sounds really risky to me to be serving water out of a Superfund well.”
    People waiting in line for water on Friday were largely unaware of these concerns. Some of them had heard the EPA announced this week that it had received reports that Puerto Ricans were getting water from Superfund sites. But those interviewed assumed that wasn’t this well.
    Mayra Perez, a 59-year-old retiree, expressed pride in the quality of the water.
    “I’m sure there are no chemicals in this water,” she said.
    Aixa Chevere, a mother of two, said she would find a new source of water if this site was shown to be contaminated. Already, the family spends three to four hours per day waiting in lines for basic services and goods, including water. “We would boil the water or search for bottled water” if it were dangerous, she said. “We would find some other alternative.”
    That day, however, she loaded the water into her trunk of her car.

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    Aaron Hernandez’s Fiance Sues The NFL & New England Patriots Over Athlete’s Severe CTE Diagnosis

    Aaron Hernandez

    ‘s fiancée has launched a lawsuit against the

    For those who don’t know, CTE stand for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, which is a progressive degenerative brain disease found in those with repeated brain trauma, usually athletes. According to Boston University, common symptoms include “memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, suicidality, parkinsonism, and eventually progressive dementia.”

    The BU CTE Center released a statement on the examination conducted on Aaron’s brain, stating:

    Shayanna claims both the NFL and Patriots were aware of the symptoms, but failed to disclose it with the late football player, stating they “were fully aware of the damage that could be inflicted from repetitive impact injuries and failed to disclose, treat or protect him from the dangers of such damage.”

    It’s unclear how much she’s suing for on behalf of their child, but her suit says she’s looking for “redress for the loss of parental consortium she has experienced based on the negligent conduct of Defendants that deprived her of the companionship and society of her father, Aaron Hernandez.”

    We’ll continue to update you with more details.

    [Image via Bizu/WENN.]

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    Nokia pulls out of OZO VR hardware, lays off 310, steps up in health and patents

    Nokia, the once-mighty phone maker that eventually retreated to a business based around networking equipment and targeted verticals like health and imaging, is rethinking its business strategy once again. Today, the company announced that it would cease building its pricey OZO virtual reality cameras after finding that the VR market was developing “slower than expected”. It will instead shift its focus more to health products and patent licensing. Nokia Technologies is laying off up to 310 people as part of the move. Nokia Networks is unaffected.

    The reductions will happen mainly in the U.S., U.K. and Finland, the company said, and account for about 35 percent of the 1,090 employees in Nokia Technologies, as the unit overseeing VR efforts (along with Health and licensing of patents) is called.

    Nokia Technologies is at a point where, with the right focus and investments, we can meaningfully grow our footprint in the digital health market, and we must seize that opportunity,” said Gregory Lee, president of Nokia Technologies in a statement. “While necessary, the changes will also affect our employees, and as a responsible company we are committed to providing the needed support to those affected.”

    Nokia’s OZO VR cameras made their debut around 2015 at a time when Nokia looked like it had all but given up on hardware, after seeing its mobile phone business — once the biggest in the world — get decimated by the rise of Android and the iPhone and eventually sold off to Microsoft (which continued to wind it down after also failing to resuscitate it).

    The company said that it will continue to support those who have already purchased devices.

    Tapping into the growing interest in VR, the company doubled down on its imaging prowess — it was known to have some of the best camera technology in its smartphones, with the patents to underpin it — and went hell for leather into VR cameras.

    Partly because of the tech involved, and partly because of the relative immaturity of the market, these cost a fortune, upwards of $60,000 when they finally started to ship, meaning that there was never going to be a mass market for the products, unless VR really took off.

    In the end, it hasn’t — or at least not like Nokia thought that it would. With competitors making lower-priced equipment, one interesting turn has been how VR tech has made its way into more ordinary products, rather than developing on a specialist-equipment trajectory. (In the VR headset space, for example, that has meant headsets that let you use your own smartphone as the display screen.)

    Nokia kick-started its digital health business about a year and a half ago with the €170 million ($200 million in today’s currency) purchase of French smart health gadget maker Withings, which had made a name for itself in activity trackers, smart scales, blood pressure monitors and other health and fitness devices. Nokia rebranded the services as Nokia earlier this year.

    Patent licensing has been one of Nokia’s mainstays throughout a lot of its other ups and downs. Part of this is related to the company’s technology legacy, and part of this is still in progress of being built by way of Nokia Bell Labs.

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    Take a ‘cell-fie’ using your phone and this small microscope adapter

    Capitol Police remove a demonstrator in a wheelchair from the Graham-Cassidy hearing.
    Image: chip somodevilla/Getty Images

    How do we say this nicely, Senator Cassidy and Senator Graham: everyone hates your dumb healthcare bill. 

    Well, at least a solid majority of Americans do, and pretty much everyone who came to watch the Graham-Cassidy hearing Monday afternoon. Activists from the grassroots disability rights group ADAPT disrupted the hearing multiple times, causing Senator Hatch to briefly recess the hearing and prompting Capitol Police to arrest protestors, some of them in wheelchairs.

    Their protest centered around the large concern that passage of the bill would severely deplete medicaid funding. But many other worries exist about how the bill would not include essential health benefits, cause millions to lose their insurance, and shrink the Obamacare protections for people with preexisting conditions.

    The footage of police forcibly removing the ADAPT protesters is both inspiring and predictably heartbreaking.

    Here is Senator Hatch ordering that the hearing be recessed as protestors in wheelchairs are pulled away by authorities:

    And Senator Cassidy responding with his characteristic charisma, aka a zombie-like yawn:

    Under Graham-Cassidy, at least 1.4 million adults with disabilities would lose Medicaid, per the Center for American Progress. Depending on how deep the cuts go (and what version of the bill we’re looking at) that number could easily climb to 1.8 million. 

    A protestors looks on as other demonstrators are taken out.

    Image: tom williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc.

    With fewer services, advocates fear that folks with disabilities could be forced back into institutions and otherwise pushed out of the workforce.

    Organizers estimated that the number of arrests today would hover around 100.

    Capitol Police arrest a demonstrator for reportedly disrupting the hearing.

    Image: chip somodevilla/Getty Images

    ADAPT has a long history of disruptive protest in defense of people with disabilities. The group’s grassroots efforts have been instrumental in bringing attention to issues across America for the past 40 years. 

    Capitol police drag a blind protestor out of the hearing.

    Image: chip somodevilla/Getty Images

    This isn’t the first time Capitol Police have thrown activists with disabilities out of a hearing. In June, 43 demonstrators assembled by the organization were arrested outside of McConnell’s office to protest cuts to Medicaid

    Senators McCain, Paul, Collins, and Murkowski have all expressed either opposition or extreme reservations about the bill, which was supposed to be scheduled for a vote sometime this week.

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    Scalise returns to Capitol Hill for first time since shooting, declares ‘I’m back’

    Majority Whip Steve Scalise made a surprise and triumphant return Thursday to the floor of the House of Representatives, for the first time since he was badly wounded in the June mass shooting at a congressional baseball practice. 

    Colleagues erupted in applause and gave Scalise a standing ovation as he entered the chamber on crutches, wearing a dark suit and a striped red tie. Colleagues embraced him as he walked to the podium, to deliver a first-hand and emotional telling of the journey that brought him back to Washington these past three months. 

    “It starts with God,” Scalise said, recalling how when he was laying on the ballfield that day and unable to move, “I just started praying.”

    “Pretty much every one of those prayers were answered,” Scalise said. “He really did deliver for me and my family, and it just gives you that renewed faith and understanding that the power of prayer is just something that you cannot underestimate.”

    He added, “I’m definitely a living example that miracles really do happen.”

    Scalise went on to laud the heroic actions of the Capitol Police officers on the scene who helped take down the shooter, crediting them for saving lives. 

    The Louisiana Republican has spent months in recovery, first undergoing multiple surgeries followed by extensive rehabilitation at an in-patient facility.

    Scalise’s office said in a statement the congressman is “returning to work at the United States Capitol.” The congressman will also complete “an extended period of out-patient rehabilitation over the coming months,” his office said. 

    “I’m back,” Scalise tweeted, along with a photo of him looking out across the National Mall. 

    Scalise met earlier with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

    “I don’t have words right now,” Ryan said after the meeting. 

    Scalise and several others were shot on June 14 when gunman James Hodgkinson opened fire at a Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. The gunman was later killed by police.

    Scalise sustained a single rifle wound, entering his left hip and passing through his right hip, also known as a trans-pelvic gunshot wound.

    The round did substantial damage to bones, internal organs and blood vessels, according to Dr. Jack Sava, the director of trauma at MedStar Washington Hospital where Scalise had been treated after the shooting.

    Scalise, a top-ranking member of GOP leadership, returned to Capitol Hill a day after his colleagues unveiled a far-reaching tax reform plan – expected to be the party’s top legislative priority, after several failed attempts at passing health care legislation.  

    What role Scalise will play in Republicans’ fall agenda is unclear. But he has gradually been returning to the spotlight, giving an interview with “60 Minutes” set to air Sunday.  

    Lobbyist Matt Mika, House GOP aide Zack Barth and Capitol Police Officer Crystal Griner also were shot in the June rampage, while Capitol Police Officer David Bailey and Texas Rep. Roger Williams were injured.

    The shooting fueled concerns about the adequacy of security for lawmakers traveling in large groups, as well as the broader threat of political tensions turning violent.

    At the time, one witness told Fox News that the apparent gunman specifically asked whether Republicans or Democrats were on the field, before the shooting broke out.

    Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

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    “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli Has Been Jailed Early For The Most Bizarre Reason Ever

    Martin Shkreli is by all accounts a rather despicable human being. A self-titled “pharma bro”, he was formerly the head of a drug manufacturer that, among other things, jacked up the price of a life-saving treatment for AIDS patients by 5,000 percent. Mercifully, he was arrested in 2015 and found guilty on three counts of fraud in August 2017.

    He had been let loose on the public once again after paying $5 million in bail, but Shkreli – who has been described as both a “greedy little man” and “snake” and a “dick” – couldn’t help himself. Known for being an aggressive social media troll at the best of times, he recently shared something rather ridiculous on Facebook.

    “The Clinton Foundation is willing to KILL to protect its secrets,” he blustered. “So on HRC’s book tour, try to grab a hair from her. I must confirm the sequences I have.

    “Will pay $5,000 per hair obtained from Hillary Clinton.”

    Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, upon hearing this, ordered that Shkreli be jailed immediately and his bail forfeited, as this post clearly shows that he’s a “danger to the public.” This means that this particular pharma bro is being incarcerated ahead of schedule.

    For his part, Shkreli apologized to the court, and claimed that he’s not a violent person. His defense – that the comments were protected by American free speech laws – was flat-out rejected. Remarkably, his lawyer argued that Donald Trump has tweeted and said similarly awful things, exclaiming that the President isn’t in jail, so why should Shkreli be punished?

    “He doesn’t have to apologize to me,” Matsumoto told reporters. “He should apologize to the government, the Secret Service and Hillary Clinton.”

    All in all, he faces 20 years behind bars for his fraud charges.

    After the drug price hike – and the purchase of the most expensive album ever made – propelled him to infamy, Shkreli was arrested by the FBI for investment fraud, which meant that he had gained investors on the basis of false information. Ultimately, he was charged on two counts of fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

    The start of the trial took longer than anyone expected because it was difficult finding jurors that were impartial. One described him as “the most hated man in America.” Others took a different approach. “He disrespected the Wu-Tang Clan,” one noted.



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    A new breast cancer study has good news, but not everyone can celebrate equally.

    Image by Tyler Hoehne.

    For years, breast cancer patients, survivors, and their families have wondered if decades of walks, ribbons, fundraising, awareness, and dedicated activism were making a difference.

    On Tuesday, a new batch of results came in.

    A statistical analysis published by the American Cancer Society found that mortality rates from breast cancer fell 39% between 1989 and 2015.

    The decrease amounts to 322,600 saved lives in 26 years, according to the paper’s authors. Researchers attribute the drop to increased early detection and more effective treatment options.

    The percentage of women over 40 who have had a mammogram in the prior two years grew from 29% in 1987 to 64% in 2015. Meanwhile, options for combatting the disease have increased, thanks to the advent of new drugs and therapies.

    Hundreds of thousands of fewer people dying is good news.

    The bad news is that black women continue to die from the disease at higher rates than any other demographic.

    While a lower percentage of black women are dying from the disease overall, their fatality rates are still nearly 40% higher than those of white women, a rate that has remained maddeningly persistent for decades.

    “The reason for the black and white difference is primarily related to economic status and lack of insurance on part of black women,” Harold Freeman, former director of the American Cancer Society, told NPR in a 2014 interview.  “But also, we have a health care system that doesn’t treat everyone equally.” He cites a lack of ability to pay for preventive care and subconscious assumptions that lead some medical professionals to ignore black women’s concerns as contributing factors.

    The study also found that the racial mortality gap varied heavily by region. Disparities were worst in eight mostly southern states: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Virginia, Indiana, and Michigan.

    Eliminating the racial disparity when it comes to breast cancer diagnoses will require more than ribbons and walks to solve — and organizations are already rising to the challenge.

    Groups like Breast Cancer Action have made racial justice a core plank, citing the need to address the disparities in education, housing, and economic power that exacerbate the mortality gap at its root.

    As a stopgap, programs like the CDC’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program help provide early detection screenings to low-income and uninsured people.

    While some states indeed showed large, persistent racial disparities in mortality rates, according to the study, the gap was nearly nonexistent in several others. Three states — California, Massachusetts, and Delaware — made significant, verifiable progress in making outcomes more equal over the 26-year span.

    “This means that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Carol DeSantis, lead author of the study, told The Washington Post. “Some states are showing that they can close the gap.”

    For the 252,710 people expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year — and hundreds of thousands more in the years to come — the progress in treating the disease is a welcome sign.

    The work to make sure they all have an equal shot at a full recovery remains.

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    8 Powerful Women Who Have Opened Up About Their Struggles With PCOS

    Happy PCOS Awareness Month, everyone! While it’s always important to stay informed when it comes to your reproductive health, this month provides a special opportunity to learn a thing or two more about polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the most common hormonal disorder there is, affecting about 10 million women in the world. If you’re personally coping with PCOS, always remember that you are not alone. In fact, even some major celebrities with PCOS have used their platform to speak out about their struggles (and triumphs!) with the disorder, and cultivate awareness in our society.

    To gain a little more background on what exactly PCOS is, Elite Daily spoke with Dr. Mark Perloe, director of Georgia Reproductive Specialists, who says while women with PCOS don’t always have actual cysts, the condition is most basically characterized by a series or string of cysts on the ovaries. He also mentions that PCOS is not a “one-size-fits-all” condition, and that it affects everyone differently.

    He tells Elite Daily,

    PCOS is a complicated metabolic disorder. There is an underlying genetic predisposition. Environment and lifestyle play a role in how it manifests.

    PCOS can also, unfortunately, be somewhat difficult to diagnose, because its wide variety of symptoms can be attributed to many different things. While what causes PCOS is not totally known, the variety of symptoms can include infertility, irregular periods, cystic acne, hair loss, unwanted hair growth, chronic fatigue, and insomnia.

    Dr. Perloe clarifies that women are typically diagnosed by having at least two of the following three symptoms: irregular or absent menstrual cycles, elevated levels of male hormones, and/or ovaries with cysts.

    But again, friends, if this is a condition you contend with, allow these well-known, strong ladies be a reminder that you can not only cope, but lead a fantastic, influential life, regardless of diagnosis.

    1. Jillian Michaels

    Celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels has been outspoken and frank about coping with both PCOS and endometriosisand how struggles with infertility led her to adoption.

    She keeps the condition under control with exercise (duh), nutrition, and focusing on her well-being above all else.

    2. Harnaam Kaur

    Harnaam Kaur is a former teaching assistant turned model, activist, and and Guinness Book Record holder.

    Kaur sports a full beard as a result of living with PCOS. At age 16, Kaur was baptized Sikh, which meant a commitment to letting her hair grow out in accordance with religious beliefs. Proud and beautiful!

    3. Daisy Ridley

    Getty Images/J. Kempin

    The actress took to Instagram about her rollercoaster with treating the acne that has been a symptom of her PCOS. She spoke openly about the necessity and importance of keeping track of your health and taking care of your body no matter what:

    From your head to the tips of your toes, we only have one body, let us all make sure ours are working in tip-top condition, and take help if it’s needed.

    4. Victoria Beckham

    Beckham has talked openly about the effects PCOS and irregular periods have had on her fertility, as well as her ability to focus on maintaining a lifestyle that keeps her health and well-being in check and properly cared for.

    5. Diamond

    Diamond was featured on an episode of , a talk show about health and wellness, in which she bravely sharing her experience with constant facial hair growth and the relentless bullying she received as a result.

    She found out on the show that she had PCOS. Her story is truly an inspiration to women everywhere.

    6. Simone Ormesher

    Getty Images/Don Arnold

    Ormesher, a contestant on , recently opened up about her PCOS diagnosis and the importance of speaking out about health conditions.

    When it comes to looking out for her well-being, she explained in an Instagram post,

    In order to cope with my symptoms, I make sure I maintain a well-balanced life, I exercise regularly, and I eat lots of good wholesome foods and surround myself with supportive people.

    7. Jools Oliver

    Getty Images/Ian Gavan

    Children’s book author, wife of Jamie Oliver, and mother of five, Jools Oliver has been quite transparent about her struggles with miscarriage in relation to her PCOS diagnosis.

    After enduring multiple hormonal treatments for the condition and battling fertility issues as a result, Oliver is now content, raising a big, happy family.

    8. Emma Thompson

    The Oscar-winning British actress and humanitarian has been honest with the public not just about living with PCOS, but also about coping with clinical depression.

    Cheers to these beautiful women who continue to inspire us each and every day.

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    NHS workers demand 3.9% pay rise

    Image copyright Science Photo Library

    Unions representing nurses and other NHS staff have written to the chancellor to demand a 3.9% pay rise and an extra £800 to make up for the “cut” they have seen in recent years.

    Fourteen unions have joined together to ask for the increase, saying pay has fallen by 15% since 2010 once inflation is taken into account.

    They said it was unfair ministers had selectively lifted the cap by agreeing a rise for police and prison officers.

    The unions have over a million members.

    But the British Medical Association, the doctors’ union, has not put its name to the letter, which has also been sent to the devolved nations.

    In it, the unions argue that increasing pay would help tackle the shortages of staff being seen in the health service.

    Public sector pay rise cap to be lifted

    Reality check: Is public sector pay higher than private sector?

    UK inflation rises to 2.9%

    Earlier this year, research by the Royal College of Nursing suggested there were 40,000 posts unfilled – one in nine of the total.

    The cost of the pay rise, which the unions want implemented across the UK from next year, would total £2.5bn.

    It comes after ministers agreed to give police officers a 1% rise plus a 1% bonus, with prison officers getting a 1.7% rise – both funded from existing budgets.

    The health unions, which represent a wide range of staff including nurses, midwifes, cleaners, porters, pharmacists, paramedics and dental technicians, said that still represented a pay cut.

    Image copyright Science Photo Library
    Image caption Nurses will be balloted on taking industrial action unless a 1% pay cap is dropped, says the RCN

    Since 2010, pay has been frozen and then capped at 1% for public sector workers.

    Unison head of health Sara Gorton said: “Health workers have gone without a proper pay rise for far too long.

    “Their wages continue to fall behind inflation as food and fuel bills, housing and transport costs rise.”

    RCN general secretary Janet Davies said it was important the money to pay for the rise would have to be found by the Treasury rather than taken from the NHS budget.

    “When ministers hold pay down, it drives too many nurses out of the NHS,” she added.

    A government spokeswoman said: “Public sector workers, including NHS staff, do a fantastic job, and the government is committed to ensuring they can continue to deliver world-class public services.

    “The government will continue to ensure that the overall package is fair while also being affordable to taxpayers as a whole.”

    She added next year’s pay award would be “discussed and agreed” as part of the Budget process and through the official pay review bodies and would be “set out in due course”.

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