Day One of 2020 World's Strongest Man Canceled – BarBend

 
Another hurdle has hit the 2020 World’s Strongest Man (WSM) competition. Due to poor weather conditions in Bradenton, FL, caused by hurricane Eta, day one of WSM’s qualifying stage has been canceled. A spokesperson from WSM told BarBend:
“Due to inclement weather conditions, the World’s Strongest Man competition will not take place today. We are continuing to closely monitor the weather and are working with the Holmes Beach Police Department and local authorities to prepare for various scenarios as the situation continues to develop.”
 
 
A post shared by markfelixwsm (@markfelixwsm) on Nov 1, 2020 at 12:50pm PST

[Related: Laurence Shahlaei Talks World’s Strongest Man (And Which Strongman Records Are Legit)]
There was speculation that the WSM competition schedule might have to change due to foreseeably bad weather conditions as the contest is set to take place entirely outdoors. During the first episode of the WSM Facebook Live stream, on Nov. 10, 2020, Event Director Collin Bryce mentioned that the squat event might have to be replaced with a deadlift due to wind.
On the second episode on November 11th, Bryce stated that the schedule was being pushed back a day. This means that all the scheduled events will still take place as intended with the cost being the rest day for the strongmen that was scheduled on Friday. When the full list of WSM events was officially announced, the qualifying stage was to take place on Nov. 11-12, 2020, so that athletes could rest that following Friday before competing in the finals from Nov. 14-15, 2020. Not having a rest day between the qualifying stage and the finals isn’t new as that was the schedule for the 2019 WSM contest as well.
 
 
A post shared by The World’s Strongest Man (@theworldsstrongestman) on Nov 11, 2020 at 8:24am PST

During Bryce’s event walkthrough with former BarBend Editor Nick English, he mentioned that depending on “how wet” the conditions are, the equipment or events may have to change. Unfortunately, his words have rung true. BarBend will continue to post updates as soon as they are made available.
Featured image: World’s Strongest Man

BarBend is an independent website. The views expressed on this site may come from individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the view of BarBend or any other organization. BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting.
Have a question or comment? Get in touch:
Email us: info[at]barbend.com

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“Big Ramy” Mamdouh Elssbiay Tests Positive for COVID-19 – BarBend

 
Bodybuilder Mamdouh “Big Ramy” Elssbiay was prepared to compete at the 2020 Europe Pro Show in Alicante, Spain this weekend with hopes to win and earn an automatic invite to the 2020 Mr. Olympia contest. (That contest is scheduled to take place the weekend of December 18th through the 20th.) That will no longer be happening as Elssbiay has tested positive for COVID-19. The popular bodybuilder from Egypt self-reported his status on Instagram late in the day on October 8th.

I would like to make the official statement that I have tested POSITIVE for COVID-19. Therefore, I will not be able to compete this Sunday 11/10/20 at @npceuropean championships. I wanna wish good luck to the athletes and the promoter of the show my friends @emilio_martinez_romero and gian rico . I am devastated with this news as this is completely out of my control and it is the second preparation i loose cause of this virus… I stayed 5 months stranded in dubai after the cancelation of arnold australia and now another big chance to qualify for olympia just vanished in front of my eyes… But life goes on and the show must go on if it was just about me i would go and compete!! I have a little cough but nothing that bad but it would be irresponsible for me to risk older people life…So I will fight this little virus and get back to doing what i love the most :Bodybuilding… I want to thank everyone around the world for always supporting me YOU ARE MORE THAN FANS YOUR FAMILY . Please, know that I will be taking all precautions to not transmit this virus to anyone, i will quarantine myself a couple weeks and return stronger and healthier than ever.. I wanna thank my sponsor @dragonpharma_llc for supporting me all the time and providing me with great products for my preps and this time i will use their new Rx Line to boost my immune system and fight this corona #bodybuilding #BigRamy #teamdragonpharma #DragonPharma #TeamBigRamy ps: please understand the state of mind i am in right now i will take a couple days off social media thanks for those who will understand God bless everyone
A post shared by BIG RAMY (@big_ramy) on Oct 8, 2020 at 5:39pm PDT

“I would like to make the official statement that I have tested POSITIVE for COVID-19. Therefore, I will not be able to compete this Sunday 11/10/20 at @npceuropean championships. I wanna wish good luck to the athletes and the promoter of the show my friends @emilio_martinez_romero and Gian Rico . I am devastated with this news as this is completely out of my control and it is the second preparation I lose cause of this virus.”
Elssbiay went on to say that he is dealing with a cough, but otherwise is feeling okay. He also shared that he didn’t want to risk the health of others to compete and thanked fans for their support. He was also supposed to compete at the 2020 Arnold Australia earlier this year, but the early stages of the pandemic led to the cancellation of that event.

Spain 🇪🇸 can’t wait 💪🏽 #BigRamy #DragonPharma #teamdragonpharma #TeamBigRamy #mrolympia #bodybuilding #fitness #beast
A post shared by BIG RAMY (@big_ramy) on Oct 4, 2020 at 8:07am PDT

Due to the rescheduling of events and the Olympia, the top three finishers of this contest would earn qualification positions on the big stage in Las Vegas, Nevada. With Elssbiay out of the contest, the favorites going in appear to be Regan Grimes of the USA as well as James Hollingshead and Samson Dauda of the United Kingdom.
Elssbiay wasn’t officially qualified to compete in the Olympia this year as of yet. He placed 3rd at the Arnold Classic in March and is currently sitting in the third position of the season points standings, which allows the top three non-victorious competitors an opportunity to make it to the Olympia. He hasn’t seen the first place position onstage in three years. His last victory was the 2017 Arnold Europe.
He had fans and experts buzzing about how he was going to fare onstage after sharing recent photos of how he looked going into the final week of his contest prep. His midsection and core appeared to be tight with very visible definition.
Because of Elssbiay’s diagnosis, he will have to isolate until he can test negative. By the time he would be able to compete again, there would be no more contests available for him to enter for him to qualify for the Olympia. So if he is to compete, he would likely have to do so by earning a position on the points standings.
Featured Images: Instagram/big_ramy

BarBend is an independent website. The views expressed on this site may come from individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the view of BarBend or any other organization. BarBend is the Official Media Partner of USA Weightlifting.
Have a question or comment? Get in touch:
Email us: info[at]barbend.com

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Feed Your Late Model Muscle Car the Air It Needs and Regear your GM Truck – PowerNation

One of the simplest upgrades you can make on your late model muscle car is installing a new intake. Even if you’re new to the car enthusiast life or someone who’s done this forever, you know that an intake can net you some extra ponies with little effort.
If you own a 4-wheel drive GM truck or SUV and added bigger wheels, tires, or a heavy lift kit, its current gearing configuration may not be the ideal setup. Fortunately, that can be fixed.
If you have some basic tools around and an hour to spare, you should use the opportunity to install a K&N Cold Air Intake and feed your late model Charger/Challenger, Camaro, or Mustang the cold, dense, power-building air it needs. K&N guarantees its intakes flow up to 50 percent more air for dyno-proven power increases. One example provided by Summit Racing found that a 2014 Mustang GT with a 57 Series FIPK intake increased 10 horsepower and 16.2-pound-feet of torque to its rear wheels. That’s quite a power boost for an hour of your time.
Have you added bigger wheels, tires, or a heavy lift kit to your GM pickup or SUV? If so, it often requires a new set of ring and pinion gears to restore its performance. Although it’s a big job, getting a complete kit for both axles will take some of the sting out of it.
For example, Motive Gear makes a complete front and rear differential kit that comes with ring and pinion gears plus bearing kits with high-quality Timken bearings. You’ll also get some nice gears. All Motive Gear ring and pinion sets are made using a state-of-the-art manufacturing process that delivers unmatched reliability. Motive Gear also has an in-house quality control lab that continuously checks gear sets for strength, tolerance, and hardness.

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Judy Asks: Will the Afghanistan Debacle Change Your Country's Foreign and Security Policy? – Carnegie Europe

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It’s too early to tell. There are, of course, lingering questions about whether there is a larger U.S. retreat in order for Washington to focus on China, and the consequences this might have, as well as questions on the robustness of consultations across the Atlantic.
The consequences this retreat will have for how the United States sees its role in the world is ultimately what will impact us—and that remains to be seen.
The UK entered the war in Afghanistan confident that it knew how to defeat insurgencies. After more than four hundred and fifty British deaths, it has left, chastened and with less appetite for involvement in distant conflicts. The rapid departure of U.S. forces, and the subsequent collapse of the Afghan government and fall of Kabul to the Taliban, should force a deeper policy reappraisal.
There are several lessons to learn:
Firstly, know who you are fighting against and who you are fighting with. The Taliban could not have won without popular support; government forces would not have lost with less corrupt, brutal, and unpopular leadership.
Secondly, don’t believe your own propaganda. France was pessimistic about the resilience of the Afghan government and started to withdraw its nationals and vulnerable Afghans early; the UK professed confidence in the government and left it too late to get everyone out.
Finally, don’t become too reliant on one ally, however powerful. When the House of Commons debated Afghanistan on August 18, 2021, even Conservative MPs argued that the UK should be less dependent on the United States. Yet Britain can’t afford to go it alone in defense and security; so it needs to work with a wider range of democratic partners, including those in Europe.
Postwar Germany has never been a natural interventionist and participated rather hesitantly in military interventions—if at all. The Kabul debacle has provided traditional skeptics of military intervention with a welcome cause to make either pacifist or isolationist arguments. These arguments usually have a told-you-so quality and involve an ideal of a Germany that looks like a big Switzerland.
These critics do acknowledge that non-intervention can be a problem, too. Just take Syria. But they argue that military intervention will usually cause bigger challenges, whether these interventions are conducted on humanitarian grounds (Libya) or self-defense (Afghanistan) and whether they do include nation-building (Afghanistan) or not (Libya).
The chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan is certainly not helping the ongoing debate about Germany’s contribution to international security and the country’s role in the world.
In fact, the debate is regressing. Rather than engaging in an evaluation of the Afghanistan mission’s failures, the critics simply conclude that it is better not to intervene. Germany’s European and transatlantic partners are hopeful that the September 26 federal election could generate a mandate for the next German government to do more on the international stage. They will likely be disappointed.
Norway had three objectives when participating in the international coalition: to support the United States and safeguard NATO’s continued relevance; to support the international fight against terror; and to help build a stable and democratic Afghanistan.
Being a good ally lies at the core of Norwegian security policy. Our dependence on NATO and especially U.S. support in a potential crisis shape our foreign and security policy.
Russia remains the defining factor in Norwegian security policy, and after twenty years out-of-area, Norway welcomes the return to the alliance’s principal task: promoting security and stability in the North Atlantic area.
However, valuable lessons have been learned in Afghanistan on intelligence sharing and joint operations as well as the need to watch out for “mission creep.”
The war on terror is no longer at the top of the security agenda in a world increasingly defined by great power competition and emerging security threats, such as cyber and hybrid attacks, AI, disruptive technology, disinformation, and climate change.
These threats, how they are reflected in NATO’s new strategic concept, and what role the United States will play in the alliance, will increasingly impact Norway’s foreign and security policy.
The very short answer is no.
For the Mario Draghi government, the EU must become serious on European defense; but this effort must be carefully balanced with a renewed focus on transatlantic cooperation—which also implies refraining from direct criticisms of President Joe Biden’s administration. This remains Rome’s approach also after the chaotic ending to NATO’s mission to Afghanistan. Strategic autonomy, for Italy, means a more balanced NATO, with Europe able and willing to manage crises in its neighborhood.
And, after the Libyan debacle more than the Afghanistan one, Italy is aware that limited and targeted military deployments are a condition for geopolitical leverage in critical regions; joining Operation Takuba in the Sahel is a case in point.
Two important internal constraints, however, bear on this issue: budgetary constraints and ambivalent public support for military commitments.
Italy sees a potential opportunity post-Kabul, as well as a potential new challenge. The opportunity, despite all the difficulties, relates to its G20 presidency: engaging China and Russia on counterterrorism and the looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. The challenge is an additional migratory pressure: Italy has so far failed in ensuring European solidarity on this front. And this is where foreign policy becomes domestic politics.
The Afghanistan debacle will only have an indirect effect on Poland’s security and defense policy. There is little discussion about the lessons learned for crisis management. If any, they rather confirm Polish thinking on the need to limit larger military interventions abroad that have yielded questionable results thus far and to concentrate on collective defense.
Poland does not support voices calling for creating a European intervention force in order to achieve more autonomy from the United States in conducting crisis management operations.
The Afghanistan debacle does, however, have an impact on how Poland perceives the Biden administration.
The withdrawal from Afghanistan is seen in the context of the shifting U.S. focus to global competition with China and Russia. However, the manner it was conducted in has raised additional questions—on top of those relating to the United States’ Nord Stream 2 deal with Germany—about the reliability of the Biden administration.
Together with the controversies around the rule of law and media freedom, which have resulted in frostier U.S.-Polish relations, this will have some impact on Poland’s security and defense policy. The priority of developing cooperation with the United States will remain, but Warsaw is increasingly looking to strengthen regional ties in security and defense with countries like Turkey and Romania.
In short, Lithuania’s foreign and security policy will not be affected. We have always emphasized the importance and irreplaceability of strong transatlantic links. Now we can see that after the Afghanistan mission ended, more precisely after how it ended, we must all draw lessons from it and do so very seriously.
Twenty years of war and the first ever activation of NATO’s Article 5 at the request of the United States have placed a collective responsibility on us all. There was a constant refrain that we would come in together and leave together. However, gaps in coordination, proper consultation, and communication have been obvious. It doesn’t have to happen again.
On the other hand, it is worrying that the voices calling for Europeans to act autonomously are growing stronger. Some ideas that are being revived, like that of a European army, are unrealistic and damaging.
On both sides of the Atlantic, we must take a very responsible approach to all security-related ideas and in ways that counter those who favor isolation or the erosion of transatlantic ties. Breaking the alliance’s cohesion would be a far greater failure than the Afghan debacle.
Before 2021, Spanish diplomacy already had a negative assessment of military operations that involve state-building efforts in complex countries.
The other two precedents of major Western missions in the last twenty-five years—Kosovo and Iraq—have been particularly controversial. Although international affairs issues are hardly politicized in Spain, both cases turned out to be a nightmare for political leaders and officials, ending with an abrupt withdrawal of troops.
With these precedents, what has happened in Afghanistan will hardly change a foreign and security policy that is wary of overly ambitious democratic peace operations. Spanish armed forces have continued to participate in missions abroad, but only those with a very specific scope, such as monitoring the Mediterranean Sea, counter-piracy off the Horn of Africa, and supporting some Sahel countries in peacekeeping and counterterrorism missions.
From a more long-term perspective, for Madrid this Euroatlantic debacle will serve to highlight two important problems: firstly, the weakness of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), not to mention its Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP); and secondly, the fact that the United States—even with Donald Trump out of the White House—continues to take unilateral decisions without consulting its European allies. But this does not mean change in Spanish foreign and security policy, either.
Not really, although it has caused a lot of reflection. From the Estonian perspective, the U.S. contribution to defense and deterrence with regard to Russia remains indispensable in the foreseeable future. This is not changed by the failure of the United States—and NATO collectively—in Afghanistan. There are even some hopes that leaving Afghanistan would allow the United States to focus more on other priorities—above all China and the Indo-Pacific, but also Russia.
At the same time, the need for Europeans to strengthen their defense capabilities and political resolve to take more responsibility for their own security is well known, but it is a painfully slow process, as the example of Germany shows.
The Baltic states continue to see NATO as the primary framework for strengthening European defense. The debate on European strategic autonomy, once again activated by the Afghanistan debacle, does not address the most important security concerns of the Baltic countries.
Afghanistan has also raised questions about whether such state-building missions are meaningful and worth the effort, resources, and loss of human lives, including, in the Afghanistan case, nine Estonians who served in the mission. Yet the dominant view in Estonia stresses the value of participation for the sake of the country’s relations with key allies.
The debacle in Afghanistan will mark a turn to orthodoxy in Danish foreign and security policy: an embrace of NATO as the anchor of hard security policy and U.S. engagement; a desire to pursue soft developmental and stabilization policy via the EU; and an inability to consider Europe as part of Danish and collective defense needs.
Naturally, Denmark has been dismayed by the lack of U.S. consultation and coordination in the retreat from Kabul, but the idea that Europe should respond by getting its act together is rekindling Denmark’s longstanding political skepticism of EU federalism.
Denmark has an EU defense opt-out and no political intention whatsoever of challenging it (in a referendum). More seriously, Denmark has no political imagination to speak of when it comes to European defense leadership and how Europe might develop the military muscle that would effectively renew the transatlantic partnership.
Denmark is more comfortable separating military (NATO) from developmental (EU) affairs and then cultivating its status as a privileged U.S. ally—bolstered by the kingdom’s Arctic territory, notably Greenland. How this can help rebalance and renew the transatlantic alliance is not clear, and Denmark is not about to offer answers.
No, but it has encouraged debate about military capacity and fed into the work of the Commission on the Future of the Defence Forces, which is due to report at the end of the year.
The deployment of nine members of the Irish Army’s special forces’ Army Ranger Wing (ARW)—along with two diplomats from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)—to coordinate the return of Irish citizens highlighted (again) serious deficiencies. In the event, the successful operation, launched just seven days in advance of the August 31 deadline, secured the repatriation of twenty-six out of a total of thirty-six citizens and their dependents.
However, in the absence of any Irish strategic airlift capacity, the Emergency Civil Assistance Team (ECAT) had to rely on EU partners France and Finland as well as the UK for deployment, extraction, and outbound flights for repatriates.
In terms of foreign policy, Ireland’s positionas UN Security Council chair this month, has foregrounded Irish commitments on gender, with the ambassador insisting that the rights of women and girls was a red line issue and Irish diplomats working with colleagues, most notably Mexico and Norway, to insert language into UN statements on the defense of women’s political rights in Afghanistan.
To many, the Afghan debacle sounds like a vindication of France’s diplomacy.
On Afghanistan itself, France was the first NATO ally to end its mission as early as 2014. It was also among the first nations to kickstart the evacuation operations from Kabul last May. The French insistence on reinforcing European defense capacities may well gather a new momentum as the Afghan crisis has shown a weaker US commitment to defend its allies.
Yet, as the French military presence in the Sahel region, supported by several EU members, risks morphing into another forever war, there may be a need for change with lessons to be learned from the Afghan experience.
The French military intervention in Mali is not comparable to the Afghan case. But so far the response by the EU coalition to the regional jihadist threats, combining counter-insurgency operations and nation-building efforts, is giving mixed results.
More involvement of regional African leaders, closer attention to the genuine needs of the local population, and a cautious peace dialogue with the least radical jihadist groups could drive a more effective policy. It would also show that the West is still capable of making peace and is not on an irreversible slope to decline.
In a bid to curb the growth of extreme parties, the moderate parties took over their anti-European positions. Consequently, over the years, the Netherlands became Euroskeptic. Surprisingly, in her 2020 Defence Vision 2035 the Dutch Minister for Defense made a very strong statement in favor of European defense cooperation. NATO will remain important, but acting unanimously “is no longer a given. Europe has to be able to act more independently, but cannot yet do so.”
Thanks to former president Donald Trump, America’s pivot to Asia, and the recognition that American and European interests do not necessarily align, realism has entered Dutch politics.
Believers in the transatlantic cause hoped that under President Joe Biden, everything would return to normal. But Biden explicitly mentioned China as a reason for leaving Afghanistan, thus indicating that the pivot to Asia was here to stay.
Moreover, Biden said that nation-building has never been an objective. But for many Europeans, this was the main reason for deploying troops in Afghanistan.
Biden’s rhetoric, the way he ended American involvement, and the excellent cooperation between the Netherlands and Germany during the disastrous final days of the Afghan war accelerated the shift in foreign and defense policy as spelled out in the Defence Vision 2035.
Carnegie does not take institutional positions on public policy issues; the views represented herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Carnegie, its staff, or its trustees.
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16 stylish-but-comfy pieces to refresh your wardrobe this fall (and everything's under $75!) – Motherly Inc.

From school pickup to working from home, these pieces will freshen up your closet without breaking the bank.
What is trending in the world of fashion changes every year. Keeping up with what’s in style is challenging when you’re a busy mama who’s constantly cleaning up, preparing meals and working all day. That’s a fact, so how can you possibly be expected to keep up with the latest clothing trends?
During the height of the pandemic, many of us became comfortable dressing down, going braless, and saying goodbye to snug jeans. But who says we can’t tackle a look that is cozy and polished? From 2021-2022: biker shorts have begun replacing short-shorts, bright colors are trending, tie dye and retro patterns are making a major comeback, and let’s not forget, joggers are the new skinny jeans. The accessories you choose will help others determine whether or not you’re lounging around town post-yoga class or preparing for a job interview.
Replacing your entire wardrobe every year, however, is too expensive. But purchasing a few clothing items within your budget will help boost your self-esteem and keep you feeling proud with what you’re wearing every day.
Bearing in mind that no two moms are alike, we narrowed down a list of must-have clothing items—there is a little something for everyone. And the best part? Each garment costs less than $75.
Not only is the color of this mid-length dress perfect for autumn but it’s also lined and tiered with ruffle details, providing an added layer of warmth. The end of the sleeves and waist area have elastic for lovably chic vibes, and the v neck isn’t too low cut for play dates and strolls through the park.
Go ahead: check out dresses, loungewear, and activewear on any clothing website and you’re bound to find a wide array of tie dye options. Pair these high-quality, affordable joggers with a form fitting tee or crop top in the warmer months or a matching hoodie in the fall and winter.

Every one of Nancy Rose Performance’s tanks are dyed by hand, so no two are the same. To make this an even better purchase, this flattering top is anti-odor, UV resistant, protective against germs and bacteria, and the fabric promotes healthy skin—does it get any better than that? The body hugging fit is comfortable, not too tight, and can be worn out of the house or even as a cozy pajama tank.

This loose-fitting shirt jacket literally matches with everything from dresses and rompers to joggers and jeans. We can’t get enough of how delicately soft the 100% cotton feels—it’s almost like you’re wearing a throw blanket around your body.
Available in four color variations, this flowy dress is an absolute staple in any moms’ wardrobe. Some people prefer dressing it down with a pair of flip flops or sneakers, while others wear heels and a trendy scarf—making this an excellent option for any occasion. Bonus points: it’s made from a buttery soft material, doesn’t shrink in the wash, and there’s even side pockets for convenience.
So long, short-shorts—biker shorts are trending for good reason: they’re versatile and cute as heck. You can wear them to a morning yoga class and then throughout the remainder of your day, while embracing the comfortability and vintage appeal. Smash + Tess is bringing sexy back with these dusty rose-colored shorts that can be worn with a loose-fitting tee, crop top, or camisole—honestly, there isn’t much they can’t match.

You’re choosing both quality and affordability, and who doesn’t want that? This romper comes in heather grey or black taupe and it’s soft as jersey sheets. You can dress it up with a pair of wedges, sunglasses, and a casual cardigan, or pair this loose-fitting piece with flip flops for a chill and cozy appearance.

Doesn’t every mama need a sexy black dress for date nights and special occasions? With Everstretch material, M.M.LaFleur’s midi dress will quickly become your go-to for night’s out in the town.

A shirt that can be worn in four different ways, how unique is that? You can wear this as an all black shirt, a solid black shirt with a keyhole in the front, a printed shirt, or a printed shirt with a keyhole at the top of the front. Talk about convenience—you could wear the same shirt four times in one week and no one would be the wiser.

Why can’t moms dress in cool clothing on the weekend or after work hours? Be daring: opt for a dress that has a low cut v-neck and also shows just enough of your back to make you feel sexy without being too revealing. The purple hues within the floral pattern are seriously gorgeous.

Flattering on all body types, these retro inspired gym shorts are made from ultra soft French terry rib fabric. No joke, you will want to wear these all day, forego pajamas, and keep these cuties on while you’re sleeping at night.
This one piece incorporates two of the biggest trends this year, tie dye and biker shorts. ONZIE created a form fitting outfit that can be worn at the gym, during your fave hot yoga class, or as a stylish option for everyday wear. We promise, you’ll look like the coolest mom everywhere you go, because let’s be real, you already are.
Resembling fluffy cotton candy clouds, these joggers stretch to fit pregnant, postpartum moms (even if your kids are all grown up). Their timeless look blended with maximum comfort makes for the perfect pair of pants.

Not only is this crop top affordable, but you can quite literally match it with anything: biker shorts, skinny jeans, leggings, or skirts. The ruffled lettuce edge adds a nice touch, setting this shirt apart from all of the rest. Let’s get rid of the stereotype that moms must cover up—why don’t we show a little belly, feel proud of our bodies, and strut our stuff once in a while?
The loose fit of this tie dye shirt causes total comfort, and who doesn’t want that? This tee pairs well with biker shorts, leggings, and skinny jeans. They’re available in pink or green, so you can pick your fave or perhaps buy both!
Affordable pricing? Check. High quality clothing? You bet! These joggers are made from extra soft, recycled nude pink fabric. For a matching set, you can add their cute cami to your shopping cart and still, your purchase will only come to a total of $60. We can’t recommend this brand’s clothing selection enough!
This dress can transition from summer to fall if you throw on a nice jacket and brown boots. Depending on how you choose to accessorize, you can dress it up casually or professionally.

Muscle tees are making a huge comeback for men and women alike. When the soft cotton material is cloaked in a feminine pattern, we’re all bound to fall in love.

Take notes, all you other brands, this is how it’s done
This article is sponsored by H&M. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.
We spoke to Chris Bright (he/she/they), Director of Public Training at The Trevor Project, who works closely with H&M. Chris shared with us the Trevor Project’s important mission, and what all brands should do to best support LGBTQ youth today.
1. For those that do not know, what is The Trevor Project’s mission? What is it all about and its impact on society?
The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people, and LGBTQ youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight or cis peers. Our mission is to end suicide among the estimated 1.8 million LGBTQ youth under the age of 25 in the U.S. who seriously consider suicide each year.
Founded in 1998, The Trevor Project launched TrevorLifeline, the first 24/7 national lifeline supporting LGBTQ youth in crisis alongside HBO’s broadcast of the Academy Award-winning short film Trevor. The first calls were answered that night. Since then, we have grown from reaching several thousand LGBTQ youth per year to becoming the preeminent resource for LGBTQ young people in crisis, directly serving over 200K LGBTQ young people in the last fiscal year alone. We work tirelessly to save young lives by providing support through our free and confidential crisis programs on platforms where young people spend their time — online and on the phone. In addition to TrevorLifeline, we offer 24/7 digital crisis services including TrevorText and TrevorChat, as well as TrevorSpace, the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth.


H&M + The Trevor Project
2. Can you describe the nature of the relationship/partnership the Trevor Project has with H&M?

Our collaboration with H&M has been remarkably successful, with H&M driving awareness of The Trevor Project and our services among its audience while also demonstrating its strong support of LGBTQ young people. H&M first partnered with us in December 2020 during our “Every Single One” holiday campaign, where they donated $250K in matching funds for Giving Tuesday. This helped The Trevor Project have our best-ever Giving Tuesday moment.
Our work together has had extensive impact, allowing H&M to engage employees, customers, and community members in conversations about LGBTQ Allyship through Trevor’s resources and mission. We’re thankful for H&M’s support, which helps us continue to operate and improve our 24/7 life-saving crisis services so we can serve more LGBTQ young people.
3. Why was H&M the right company to partner with?
H&M is an established yet relevant brand that has the attention of young people, and we’re always so thankful to partner with youth-facing brands that can not only spread messages of love and support, but also can increase the awareness of our crisis services and resources. We know that H&M genuinely cares about creating a better future for LGBTQ young people.
4. What do you see as the biggest challenge or struggle for LGBTQ kids today?
LGBTQ youth are incredibly diverse, with so many intersecting identities and unique experiences — making it difficult for me to pinpoint what might be the single biggest challenge or struggle for all LGBTQ youth today.
What I can say, however, is our research reveals numerous challenges or struggles that may be more prevalent across the board for LGBTQ youth. According to our 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, which captures the experiences of nearly 35,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13 to 24 across the U.S., nearly 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth. Over 94% of LGBTQ youth reported that recent politics negatively impacted their mental health and more than 80% of LGBTQ youth stated that COVID-19 made their living situation more stressful.
What’s clear is that while there is no single biggest challenge or struggle for our LGBTQ youth today, it’s critical that we find ways to uplift and support each and every LGBTQ young person that we can.
5. Since it’s back to school time, are there stressors or situations that are uniquely heightened for LGBTQ youth, other than the standard new school year jitters, that people don’t necessarily know about?
Our research has found that LGBTQ youth who reported having at least one LGBTQ-affirming space had 35% reduced odds of attempting suicide in the past year, with LGBTQ-affirming school environments having the strongest association with reduced suicide attempts. Since the onset of COVID-19, the volume of youth reaching out to us has significantly increased, at times nearly double our pre-COVID volume. Feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anxiety have been heightened as a result of the pandemic, further emphasizing the need for LGBTQ youth to have access to spaces that affirm their identities, such as gender-neutral bathrooms, trans-inclusive sports, and positive extracurricular activities such as Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs).
LGBTQ youth who reported having at least one accepting adult — whether it be teachers, coaches, or counselors — were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt in the past year. The Trevor Project created the Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention, which includes requirements for teacher training, mental health instruction for students, and policies and procedures for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that as in-person learning returns, schools provide LGBTQ students with safe learning environments where they can feel empowered, supported, and accepted by their peers and educators.
H&M + the Trevor Project
6. In what way is the support that The Trevor Project provides crucial to LGBTQ youth, especially as it pertains to suicide prevention?

The support that The Trevor Project provides is so crucial because suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people — and LGBTQ youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight or cis peers. LGBTQ youth reach out to Trevor because we are LGBTQ-affirming and a trusted provider of crisis services. All of our volunteers are highly-trained to answer calls, chats, and text from LGBTQ youth 24/7 when they are feeling suicidal or need a safe, non-judgmental place to talk.
Almost three-quarters of youth stated that they either would not or were unsure if they would have another service if The Trevor Project did not exist. We aim to be there for every young LGBTQ person in crisis with a clear message: you are loved, your life has value, and you are never alone.
7. What do you think the responsibility is for brands to be involved in pro-social, activism-related work?
Everyone can play a role in creating change and building progress in our society. Brands — especially those with large platforms and influence — have a responsibility to fulfill that role as well. We recognize H&M and our other brand partners for helping spur progress on important issues, and we encourage others to follow suit. Beyond the essential financial support that brands can provide to nonprofits like The Trevor Project, there’s also a direct benefit for the community when brands are loud about their support of Pride; we’ve found that more than half of youth said brands who support the LGBTQ community positively impact how they feel about being LGBTQ. Finally, it’s important to remember that Pride doesn’t begin and end in June — the opportunity to support Pride is 365 days a year. We are thrilled to have H&M as a year-round partner for The Trevor Project, demonstrating their authentic support for our work.
8. What is one of the biggest impacts or positive results you have seen come from the partnership between The Trevor Project and H&M?
We wouldn’t be able to do the work we do and make the progress we’ve made without our brand partners like H&M. The Trevor Project has experienced significant growth in the last few years with the implementation of our five key program areas: crisis services, peer support, research, education and public awareness, and advocacy. Since 2019, we’ve been working to scale our volunteer training to increase the number of crisis services counselors on a yearly basis. In addition to original, intersectional monthly research briefs, our research team launched the world’s largest survey of LGBTQ youth mental health in 2019, and has released a total of three national, annual reports. We’ve ramped up Trevor’s advocacy work on the local, state, and federal levels to protect the rights of LGBTQ people, including bills to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy that have been in introduced in 40 states. H&M’s partnership helps us advance this work by raising significant funds and awareness for our mission. During June 2021, when H&M served as one of our key Pride Partners, our crisis counselors served over 19,500 crisis contacts with free, confidential support via phone, chat, and text.
9. How important is it for LGBTQ+ youth to see allies in popular culture, be it a celebrity or high profile person, mainstream brand, etc.?
LGBTQ representation in the mainstream media is extremely important as it makes LGBTQ youth feel seen, validated, and confident that they are not alone. Over 80% of youth said that celebrities who are LGBTQ positively influence how they feel about being LGBTQ, and more than half of youth said brands who support the LGBTQ community have a positive impact on their LGBTQ identity. As we continue to see increased visibility for marginalized communities in popular culture, diverse images will become normalized, which in turn creates a safer, more accepting world for all of us.
10. For people who want to get involved with a cause like The Trevor Project, what is the best way to make a difference?

There are a number of ways to get involved with The Trevor Project – from making a donation (TheTrevorProject.org/Donate) to applying to be a volunteer (TheTrevorProject.org/Volunteer) to spreading the word about our resources.
Affirming spaces and support systems work to save young LGBTQ lives. People can be active in their communities to ensure that more safe, affirming spaces are available and thriving. Even making an effort to respect someone’s pronouns and encouraging those around you to do the same can make a huge difference. Our research has also found that LGBTQ youth who report having at least one accepting adult were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt. If you get the opportunity, be that one person for a young person in your life.
If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project’s trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678678.
My only complaint? I’ve slept through my alarm twice.
When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who’s going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner’s snoring are total wildcards.
One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)
I’ve always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that’s run by “curators of soft, seekers of chill” who “believe in comfort over everything,” it’s safe to say I’ve been converted.
Honestly, it’s no wonder. Originally designed as a better blanket for luxury hotels and engineered with textile experts to create this uniquely soft fabric, it has made my bed into the vacation I so desperately want these days.
The comforter is made up of two layers. On one side is their signature knit “snug” fabric which out-cozies even my most beloved (bought on sale) cashmere sweater. The other, a soft quilted microfiber. Together, it creates a weighty blanket that’s as soothing to be under as it is to flop face-first into at the end of an exhausting day. Or at lunch. No judgement.
Miraculously, given the weight and construction, it stays totally breathable and hasn’t left me feeling overheated even on these warm summer nights with just a fan in the window.
Beyond being the absolute most comfortable comforter I’ve found, it’s also answered my minimalist bed making desires. Whether you opt to use it knit or quilted side up, it cleanly pulls the room together and doesn’t wrinkle or look unkempt even if you steal a quick nap on top of it.
Also worth noting, while all that sounds super luxe and totally indulgent, the best part is, it’s equally durable. It’s made to be easily machine washed and come out the other side as radically soft as ever, forever, which totally helps take the sting out of the price tag.
My only complaint? I’ve slept through my alarm twice.
The bedroom anchor I’ve been looking for— the Snug Comforter.
Because this degree of coziness needs portability, I’m totally putting the throw version on my list. It’s washable, which is a must-have given my shedding dog and two spill-prone kiddos who are bound to fight over it during family movie night.
What’s a cozy bed without a pile of pillows?
Promoting sleep by creating total darkness and relaxation, I’ve bookmarked as my go-to gift for fellow mamas.
We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You’ve got this.
The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.
Taking a birth class is a pregnancy milestone. Whether you’ve been excited to take a birth class for a long time or have just recently decided that you wanted to take one, sitting down for that first lesson feels big—spoiler alert, this is really happening! But finding time for a birth class isn’t as easy as it would seem.

We know new parents are busy (hello, understatement of the year). Between diaper changes, pediatrician appointments, healing from birth and the general adjustment to #newparentlife, the days can fill up quickly. But a lot of people are caught off guard by how busy pregnancy can be, too! That first trimester is so often full of symptoms—like nausea and fatigue—that can make previously easy or simple tasks exhausting. The second trimester begins and (usually) we start to feel better. But then our days get filled with planning out baby registries and deciding on questions like, “Where will this tiny new human sleep?” And before you know it, it’s the third trimester—and, well, then you’re in the home stretch. Plus there are so many appointments!
All this to say that we get how busy you are—and how hard that might make it to fit in a birth class.
Think you’ll want to watch each lesson a few times over? Great!
Due date’s next week and you need the option to take a birth class very quickly? No problem!
Like everything at Motherly, we designed this class with you in mind.
Taught by Certified Nurse-Midwife Diana Spalding (who also wrote “The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama“), this class is broken into 12 lessons—and you get to control how and when you watch them. We’ll teach you about what your (amazing) body is up to in labor, how to decide when it’s time to head to the hospital or birth center (or when to call your home birth midwife), what your options are for coping with pain and so much more.
When you sign up for The Motherly Birth Class, you’ll get access to a downloadable workbook and meditations. Plus, you’ll be invited to join our supportive private online community (where you can chat with the class instructor!)
Oh, one more thing: Your insurance or flexible spending account might even able to able to cover the cost of this class.
Pregnancy is wonderful—but it’s a lot. You deserve a birth class that works for you and empowers you to have your best birth. Because vaginal or Cesarean, unmedicated or medication, birth is incredible. And you are the star of it all.
You’ve got this.
Take our completely digital birth class from the comfort of your living room. We’ll help you have your best birth—because you deserve it.
We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You’ve got this.
They transition seamlessly for indoor play.
Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it’s warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it’s cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.
So with that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.
Tiny thrill-seekers will love this kid-powered coaster which will send them (safely) sailing across the backyard or play space. The durable set comes with a high back coaster car and 10.75 feet of track, providing endless opportunities for developing gross motor skills, balance and learning to take turns. The track is made up of three separate pieces which are easy to assemble and take apart for storage (but we don’t think it will be put away too often!)
This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.
Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.
Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.
Whether you’re hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that’s perfect for sand stamping. They’re also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.
Filled with sand or water, this compact-sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama’s ideal trifecta 😉). It’s big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it’s going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.
Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they’re learning.
Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord “stick” is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don’t let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.
Whether they’re digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It’s made from recycled plastic milk cartons.
Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it’s thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.
There’s just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it’s tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.
This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.
Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it’s a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.
Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they’re great for indoors as well.
We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You’ve got this.
If it feels like you don’t have much else to give right now, it’s because you don’t.
Dear mama,
I know that first-trimester exhaustion can weigh on you like a heavy fog. Like you’re running on empty. Each day brings a new intense emotion—even if that emotion is numbness. Or fear. Or overwhelm. There are even moments where you forget that you’re pregnant, and then you remember all over again. I know sometimes the future looks so overwhelming, or exciting. Or both.
I know it’s hard to act like nothing has changed, but inside you feel like everything is changing. The exhaustion is real, and yet they can’t see it. It’s easy to doubt, it’s easy to question if you’re making it all up—looking for excuses to go easy on yourself for the first time—maybe the first time ever.
Your body is working so hard, mama. Did you know that right now your body is developing a beating heart, limbs, even toes? So much of that energy that you used to use for yourself, and your full life, your body is using it elsewhere now.
So remember that when you start to feel guilty that you’re not doing enough—that you’re not exercising, that you haven’t responded to that email, that all you can muster is plain toast. Remember how hard you are working, just by living and breathing.
Because life happens whether you’re on the clock or not.
If there’s one thing we’ve all learned during these past 18 months, it’s that we’re capable of being a lot more flexible than we probably ever thought we could be. Because, well, we’ve had to be. Primarily when it comes to work.
Raise your hand if you’re a woman and you’ve found yourself apologizing to your colleagues and supervisors about having to duck out of work or call off because your kids are sick. How about going into immense detail to “justify” why you need to take time off for your family? Yep, I see you’ve all got your hands raised!
Though employees, women in particular, have basically been conditioned to do these things, this LinkedIn post basically gives us the validation that it’s OK to not be a machine—because life happens.
Megan Witherspoon, the Vice President of Communications at Altria, wrote about flexible working hours from a manager’s perspective and it quickly went viral. Why? Well, it’s a must-read. So go ahead and dive in.
“I DO care that your daughter is home with yet another ear infection,” she writes. “I DO NOT care that you’ll be offline for 2 hours this afternoon for her doctor’s appointment.”
Since we’re all in for an anxiety-ridden school year when it comes to sicknesses—even the common cold ignites panic in most of us now—this line is especially validating to read.
“I DO care that a bus driver shortage means you don’t have reliable transportation for your son,” she continues. “I DO NOT care if you need to get back to me in an hour after picking him up from school.”
Witherspoon also talks about the importance of taking vacation time and prioritizing your mental health, because a healthy employee is a happy employee. And happy employees stick around—because they want to.
She concludes her post by reinforcing the idea that, as a boss, she cares about the things that are happening in the lives of her employees. And that as long as your work is done and done well, it shouldn’t matter how or when you do it. Especially now, amid an ongoing pandemic that impacts our lives in ways both big and small every single day.
Life happens. Flexibility is a valuable currency—at home and at work.

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Glute activation workout to include in your warm-up – Stylist Magazine

Posted by for Workouts
Strong Women
Don’t forget to add activation into your warm-up for stronger glutes.
You know about the importance of warming-up before working out to get your muscles feeling looser, work through your range of motion and mentally prep for your training session. While a mix of cardio and mobility training before working out is always advised, a good warm-up shouldn’t neglect muscle activation – particularly of the glutes.
Why these muscles in particular? Well, it all comes down to counteracting the impact of sitting down. 
The gluteus maximus are the biggest muscles in the body, which is why they’re often referred to as the ‘powerhouse’. They help keep your core, hips, and back in alignment, and are responsible for helping to keep you upright and putting one leg in front of the other when you walk or run. 
Unfortunately, modern life isn’t designed with our glutes in mind. The body performs best at the activities it does most often – so in the case of a modern-day desk worker, your body has mastered the art of sitting down. “We spend so long without the glutes working or moving that we need to almost wake the muscles up,” says Emma Obayuvana, fitness trainer from the Strong Women Collective.  
It is in this all-too-common seated position that the hip flexor muscles shorten and the glute muscles become less loaded. That means that when you then jump into your workout to perform lower-body strengthening exercises, your glute muscles might not be primed to take the load. But it’s also about setting up the neurological pathways, too: “For me, activation is about establishing a mind to muscle connection,” says Emma. “It is frustrating when you’re just not feeling an exercise like you should. Activation allows you to get into your body and think about form.”
Think of it this way: activation is to your muscles, as coffee is to your brain – helping them to ‘wake up’, in a sense. In a 2017 study in the British Medical Journal, researchers found that “gluteal activation exercises as part of a warm-up will facilitate the use of the gluteal muscle group during activity.” Essentially, this means that activating your muscles puts more emphasis on your glutes in your training, making them stronger and helping you avoid pain and injury. 
While glute activation is ideal to do before performing lower-body moves to really make sure you are targeting the muscles, it is also important that you activate the glutes before you run. This is because the glutes can properly stabilise the hips and avoid ‘knee valgus’ (when the knees rotate inwards). 
Doing activation alongside mobility training will also “support your joints so you can truly move through a full active range of motion,” says Emma. 
So how do you do it? Using these isolation moves to target the glutes. “I like to use a resistance band, placed just above my knees, to really target the glute quickly, but they are still effective without,” says Emma. “If you don’t have any bands to add, work with tempo by going a little slower and really focus on the mind to muscle connection.”
Repeat 20 times.  
Repeat 10 times each side. 
Repeat 15 times on each side. 
Repeat 10 times each side. 
Repeat 15 times each side. 
Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk’s fitness brand Strong Women. When she’s not writing or lifting weights, she’s most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).
Copyright © 2010–2021 Stylist

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Mumbai Activists Oppose Proposal To Fell 11 Trees For Bullet Train Project: Report – Swarajya

More than 300 citizens in Mumbai have signed a letter opposing the proposal to fell and transplant trees for the bullet train and the Metro 7A line projects.
The letter was sent to the Gardens department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which issued public notices seeking suggestions for and objections to the proposal to fell and transplant trees.
For the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), the proposal is to fell 11 trees and transplant 141 trees.
For the Metro 7A line between Andheri East and Terminal 2 of the Mumbai International Airport, 55 trees will be axed, and another 84 trees will have to be transplanted, reports The Indian Express.
“The Bandra-Kurla Complex is already notorious for high air pollution. The removal of trees will further worsen the area’s air quality and increase flooding intensity as tree roots prevent flooding by absorbing water. The 3.2km-long Metro 7A line will connect Andheri East to the Mumbai Airport. For this small stretch, BEST bus routes should be strengthened instead,” read the letter sent to the BMC by the activists’ group.
While the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) implements the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) executes the metro projects.
Both the agencies have approached the BMC seeking permission for the tree-felling exercise.
An Appeal…
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