Oxford Union attempts to entice Taylor Swift to speak

first_imgThe Oxford Union on Wednesday uploaded a video of its most famous recent guest speakers edited into a rendition of Taylor Swift’s hit song ‘Shake It Off’.The video was then tweeted to the American superstar along with the invitation “Fancy joining us in Oxford? #shakeitoff”. Swift is yet to respond to the tweet.It has been well-received by Taylor Swift fans around the world, and features Morgan Freeman, Stephen Fry, Malala Yousafsei, Sir Ian McKellan, Piers Morgan, Sepp Blatter, Psy, A$AP Rocky and a number of other prominent recent guests.Oxford Union President Charles Vaughan said, “We made this video to showcase some of the great speakers the Oxford Union has hosted in the past couple of years. The video took a solid week to make, so we’re glad people seem to like it!”Swift’s busy touring schedule has been cited as her reason for not having accepted previous invitations which have been extended to her. It is yet to be seen whether the Union’s new, public strategy will pay off, but the possibility is likely to excite many members.Lottie Ritchie, who has finished her final year of PPE at Christ Church, told Cherwell, “I can’t imagine Bridge without Taylor Swift any more, which means that my life wouldn’t be the same without her. Bringing her to the Union would give me the chance to tell her that.”The Oxford Union’s term card for Michaelmas 2015 will be published during Freshers’ Week.last_img read more

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Critics Urge Suffolk to Drop Proposed Kratom Ban

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Kratom, an herb that Suffolk County lawmakers proposed banning, was likened to heroin and a miracle cure by a dozen people speaking for and against the bill at a public hearing Tuesday.The majority of speakers, including several Long Island residents who use kratom as an alternative painkiller, anti-depressant and anti-anxiety treatment, were opposed to making sales or distribution of the herb a misdemeanor punishable by fines up to $1,000 and one year in jail.“This legislation, we believe, is misguided, misinformed and unwarranted,” said Chris Cartar, a 40-year-old Greenlawn man, member of the Botanical Legal Defense and kratom user who maintained it helps him manage pain stemming from a hockey injury. “We think that this is just a kneejerk reaction.”The Food and Drug Administration, which deemed kratom a dietary supplement, banned its importation. The Drug Enforcement Administration termed it a drug of concern, although possession is legal on the federal level. Five states nationwide have also banned the herb, according to the American Kratom Association, and New York State lawmakers are also considering a ban.Suffolk County Legis Steve Stern (D-Huntington), who’s term limited and running for Congress, proposed the ban in March out of concern that it’s a gateway drug to narcotics such as heroin. Cartar was one of eight speakers who urged the Democratic-controlled Suffolk Legislature to vote against the bill at their next meeting on May 10.The four proponents included three local substance abuse experts and Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy Sini, who noted that detectives have noticed an increase in online chatter about kratom. Steve Chassman, executive director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, questioned the effectiveness of anecdotal reports that some heroin addicts use kratom to get sober.“This is not an evidence-based practice for opioid dependence treatment,” Chassman said. “Not everything that grows in Mother Earth is healthy.”Proponents and opponents alike suggested that more research needs to be done to better understand kratom, although both sides differed on whether it’s addictive or has medicinal value. Several lawmakers noted that they never heard of kratom until Stern proposed banning it.Legis. Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore), who indicated that he’s leaning toward voting for the ban, said, “The concern that I have…is this is not regulated.”last_img read more

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