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The life of the politician who dared to take on Donald Trump

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Third time may be a charm for Joe Biden in today’s election race, as the career politician has dreamed of becoming president for over three decades. 

His long, distinguished political career has been full of success, scandals, gaffes and intense heartbreak.

But Biden hopes his Pennsylvanian upbringing and inspirational life story can win back the blue-collar voters who were so pivotal in electing Donald Trump in 2016.

Though Trump claims he has done more in 47 weeks than the Democrat has in 47 years, Biden has stayed resolute vowing to “restore the soul of America” if he is made US President on November 3.

Who is Joe Biden?

Joseph R Biden Jr, was born in working-class mining town Scranton, Pennsylavania in 1942 to a Roman Catholic family.

His father struggled to find work after losing his job as an oil businessman and eventually became a used car salesman to support his wife and Biden’s two brothers and sister.

As a child and teenager, he struggled with a stutter bravely overcoming the affliction through public speaking.

He played American football as a freshman in college and is a sports car enthusiast.

He graduated from the University of Delaware and Syracuse Law School to become a lawyer.

His 2020 bid comes four years after he opted against challenging Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic contest so soon after the death of his first son Beau.

Four years older than Mr Trump, Biden would be 78 on inauguration date if he won – the oldest president ever elected for the first time.

Political career highlights so far

Biden was elected to the senate aged just 29. In 1979, he secured the passage of arms limitation agreements between the United States and the Soviet Union, reducing the risk of global nuclear disaster.

He first ran for president in 1988 keeping his campaign centrist and vague to appeal to the majority of American voters.

But his dream fell apart when he was accused of plagiarising some of his speeches including most famously a debate in Iowa where he lifted large sections of then Labour leader Neil Kinnock’s “1,000 generations” speech.

Biden, channelling Kinnock, told the crowds: “Is it because I’m the first Biden in a thousand generations to get a college and a graduate degree that I was smarter than the rest?” He also pointed to his wife in the crowd just as Kinnock did.

Biden later would take the blame for his mistakes during the campaign. “All I had to say was ‘Like Kinnock.’ If I’d just said those two words, ‘Like Kinnock,’ and I didn’t. It was my fault, nobody else’s fault,” he said. 

“I’ve done some dumb things, and I’ll do dumb things again.”

In 1994, he sponsored the original Violence Against Women Act leading to a major decline in intimate partner violence, from 2.1 million victims in 1994 to 907,000 in 2010.

The Democrat ran for President again in 2008 but failed to get his campaign off his ground against a youthful, charismatic Barack Obama who promptly made him his vice president for two terms.

As vice president to Obama, he played a pivotal role in lifting the USA out of the Great Recession in 2008 and helped pass the Affordable Care Act, guaranteeing health coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions and 20 million who were previously uninsured.

A spokeswoman for Obama said he had relied on Biden’s “knowledge, insight, and judgment throughout both campaigns and the entire presidency”.

He also became a popular meme topic, depicted as a hellraiser compared to Obama’s calm persona, fuelled by his occasional gaffes. 

How’s he been on the campaign trail

Dismissed as ‘Sleepy Joe’ by Trump, Biden has been criticised for spending too much time in the basement during the pandemic. Whilst Trump favours huge, usually maskless, rallies in the red states, Biden opts for virtual benefits so as not to spread the risk of coronavirus.

Biden is well-known nationally and popular in some places Democrats have lost recently, such as working-class swing states Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, his birthplace.

During the second presidential debate, Biden accidentally referred to far-right militia the Proud Boys as ‘the poor boys’ as he attacked Trump’s record on tackling racism.

He also confused his wife with his sister on stage at a rally in California in June. “By the way, this is my little sister Valerie!” Biden said while grabbing his wife’s right hand.

“And I’m Jill’s husband,” he went on while reaching for his sister’s.

Biden recently faced new questions in regards to greeting strangers at political events, with several women coming forward to say he had made them feel uncomfortable.

He has apologised and said he recognised standards for personal conduct had evolved in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Biden and Trump went head-to-head twice during the campaigning period. The first US presidential debate descended into an ugly brawl, with Trump repeatedly interrupting Biden and the White House rivals hurling insults at each other as they clashed over everything from the economy and race relations to the coronavirus pandemic.

At one point, Biden became so exasperated he told the president: “Would you shut up, man.”

The second debate was a more controlled affair with neither candidate landing a fatal blow to his opponent’s hopes but Biden crucially emerged unscathed. After Trump claimed that no US President had done more for the black community since Abraham Lincoln, Biden countered powerfully: “Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history. He’s pours fuel on every single racist fire… This guy has a dog whistle the size of a fog horn.”

Policies

Biden is known as a moderate Democrat and Trump’s attempts to paint him as a dangerous left-wing radical have largely failed.

As opposed to Trump, Biden recognises the threat of climate change and has put forward an ambitious, $2 trillion plan to have a carbon-free power sector by 2035 and invest in a green economy.

Biden’s plan for health care would attempt to make the Affordable Care Act passed under Obama-Biden easier to navigate with more choices whilst insuring an estimated 97 per cent of Americans.

He opposes Brexit, putting him at odds with Downing Street, and he said a Biden White House would push to protect the Northern Ireland peace deal.

Biden has also put forth several plans to address the coronavirus pandemic, pledging to follow the science and heed the advice of experts.

Family Life

The month after being first elected senator in a shock victory in 1978, Biden’s wife Neilia and their one-year-old daughter Naomi were killed in tragic accident in Hockessin, Delaware.

Biden’s sons Beau and Hunter suffered a broken leg and a minor skull fracture, and doctors feared they would never recover.

In his autobiography, Biden wrote that he considered suicide before vowing to survive to raise his remaining sons. He wrote: “Most of all I was numb but there were moments when the pain would cut through like a shard of broken glass.”

– The Evening Standard



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Life style

Mix of nostalgia and modernity among the young

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As a fashion studies major,the greatest interest has been seeing how younger generations are slowly changing the fashion world without really noticing. Many fandoms, as well as influencers, have created many important changes in fashion such as starting new trends through popular social media platforms.

Meanwhile how Younger Generations Have Influenced Fashion

Many people have considered that interests brought by younger generations such as fandoms and fashion are two different worlds, that younger generations and fandoms focus a lot on pop culture and other entertainment interests, and that fashion enthusiasts focus on the latest garment and color trends.

However, many don’t really realize how much pop culture, fandoms liked by younger generations have influenced fashion and vice versa simply because there has been a line made to divide these two into two worlds that most likely will never intersect, though this line has slowly disappeared within the most recent years, creating a fashion aesthetic strictly inspired by popular fandoms and pop culture.

Not only that but many people began creating and designing clothing that features strawberry designs inspired by the popular trending dress. This was a huge influence that younger generations have had in the fashion world, but this fashion trend also inspired many anime fandom artists to unleash their imaginations and create a wonderful world with their favorite characters wearing this magnificent dress.

This influence is only one of the many influences that pop culture, fandoms, and the younger generations have had in the fashion world. There have been many other fashion aesthetics that have trended and inspired many new garments and colour combinations. One of the popular aesthetics or commonly known as “core” was the cottagecore trend.

What is cottagecore? It is the aesthetic surrounding life in a rural and peaceful environment. This aesthetic has left an important impact on fashion because garments such as flowy and delicate dresses, sun hats and more headgear, sweater vests, among other styles of clothing have become quite popular as well due to the influence younger generations have had in the fashion world. Another important pop-culture interest has been the many entertainment sections such as many different series, anime, dramas, music and band groups, comics and manga, influencers etc which has led to the creation of many fandoms that have influenced the fashion world heavily.

But how has this been done? Well, with the rising popularity of pop culture and every entertainment loved by younger generations, designers and brands have decided to change their fashion path into a more laid back and casual but just as a trend and exquisite specifically made to appeal to Millennials and Gen-Z which are the cause in this sudden change in the fashion industry.

Popular stores have been the spotlight of fashion influenced by these generations and pop culture. Stores like these have a wide range of many innovative and creative fashion garments which were either inspired by a tv show, a band, an anime, a comic or manga, or even Disney and Nickelodeon classics and have been designed specifically to appeal to Millenials and Gen-Z by creating unique and playful accessories as well as garments. These stores have managed to make pop culture fashionable and made fashion more hip and exclusive for those lovers of pop culture. Another way of how younger generations have influenced fashion has been by making past trends come back to our modern times. For some reason, Millennials and Gen-Z have actually been so interested in old fashion trends, or more commonly known as retro fashion aesthetic. Many past fashion garments have made a very strong comeback, and young generations have even recreated its original style into a mix of nostalgia and modernity, giving this certain fashion trend a complete and new innovative aspect. Another interesting aspect of retro fashion was the incorporation of retro sources of entertainment into popular fashion aesthetics.

Many younger generations have been very innovative and unique in creating trends, sometimes they do not notice the impact that they are making for an entire industry and the inspirational fashion garments created due to the trends created by these generations but it is undeniable that the fashion industry has entered a world where the younger generations are determining how the game is played and introducing new and exciting trends that are fun, fashionable, and fresh. Embracing tradition, as well as modernity, has been the tool that the younger generations have made great use of when establishing new, wonderful, catchy and popular trends.

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How Young People Are Changing the Fashion Industry

New York Fashion Week is here and there is a growing fashion movement that has the potential to fundamentally change the industry: sustainable fashion. If designers want to endear themselves to Gen Z, they’ll take note of this important shift.

The last ten years have seen a dramatic rise in the educated consumer, one who thinks not just about the quality and value of the finished product, but how it got on the shelf — where the materials come from, who made it and under what conditions. This desire to understand the backstory of consumer goods has spread to fashion, and young people are forcing brands to take a look at what they do and how they do it. Gen Z, in particular, wants to align themselves with brands that stand for something (hello, Nike). Sustainability and ethical fashion are quickly becoming a part of this generation’s values set, as the negative impacts of fast fashion come to light (think environmental hazards and human rights issues).

But while there is a cohort of front-row influencers, celebrities and brands such as Allbirds, United by Blue, Girlfriend Collective, Reformation, Outerknown and Everlane that devote themselves to sustainable fashion, the movement still has a long way to go before it’s mainstream. Most young people today would consider sustainable fashion more of an ethical bonus or nice-to-have, not a requirement. The primary reason: The cost.

Most sustainable fashion naturally comes with a higher price point because of the devotion to ethically sourced fabrics, thoughtful construction methods, improved factory conditions, and improved pay for workers. When the average cost of one eco-friendly item is about $80 (at the low end), young people often have no choice but to shop elsewhere. Especially when you can buy several outfits at stores such as Forever 21 or Old Navy for that same amount. Young people are still in that fashion phase of wanting to wear the latest looks — and changing up their outfits daily. They don’t yet have that mindset to buy more higher-quality clothes and keep them for a long time.

–Vogue

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How Celebrities Influence Fashions

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Celebrities have always shaped and influenced the ongoing fashion trend.

Celebrities both Hollywood and Bollywood influence fashion by wearing whatever is in fashion and also sometimes they create their fashion trend by wearing something enormous, created by the world’s leading fashion designers.

Some of them are known to having better knowledge with fashion than other celebrities, we look to them as fashion icons. They are numerous ways celebrities can influence fashion.

Celebrities set the rule on how to dress to a certain event or how you should dress at a certain age. A lot of times celebrities will promote certain fashion trends. People dress a certain way because their favorite celebrity that they stalk on social media is wearing the same thing.

Fashion can be influenced by social media, the person wearing a certain type of designer or a piece of clothing from that designer.

Research says the some individuals who are referred to as opinion leaders has a major impact on what society thinks of a certain type of fashion. With having celebrities as a fashion opinion leader it leads to higher percentage of market sales. It is agreed that they tend to have more knowledge about fashion than a regular person would, even though if they do not dress accordingly to society at the time. The key aspect of fashion on celebrities is to be seen in the public eye which helps the consumer/designer get more clients or fame.

When it comes to celebrities and trends, clothing is one of the easiest ones to follow. It doesn’t matter what article of clothing celebs have on, if it’s in a magazine or on an Instagram feed, the next day stores are selling the same piece of clothing that said celebrity wore in a photo. It is easier to keep up with the changing trends because of Instagram and TikTok where many celebrities will post videos of their outfits when going out for an event or just spending the day at home. Everyone has their own unique sense of style but how do celebrities influence our style, and are we really dressing in the clothes we choose because we like them, or are we doing it to follow a trend?Celebrities have been known to popularize trends even after they go out of style. One of the reasons why people are so drawn to the styles celebrities wear is because many will choose to dress in a style that brings back nostalgia.

For example, some fashion trend that has been in and out of style for the last couple of years. Various stores and clothing brands have been selling items from tthis fashion collection for a while such as Hot Topic, Forever 21, and Urban Outfitters. But the downside to clothing trends is that we realize “I’m never gonna wear this again,” or “I don’t even like this style, why did I buy this?”

Celebrities are good at advertising the clothing items they’re given because it’s part of their job, but sometimes they don’t even like the items they wear. So, why do we continue to follow clothing trends? They have been given lots of beautiful pieces of clothing to wear and when we see them in it and how people respond to them, we want the same reaction they get, so we choose to follow the trend people say

These celibritiescan also influence where clothing is sourced from. Some of the clothes that we wear are made from animals and harmful products that we don’t even realize are made from insects (silk), goats (cashmere), and sheep (shearling). Numerous celebrities have taken a stand against animal products in clothing, and have chosen to wear clothing that is vegan and animal-free.

For example, Ariana Grande’s wedding dress was made from stating vegan which, according to VeganFashionWeek, has “the soft and lustrous texture of satin to create the perfect wedding gown for Arianna Grande. Satin is made from synthetic materials (polyester, nylon, rayon fibers…)” The choice to buy ethically can influence fans’ styles because they may be inspired to purchase clothing that is made from vegan materials and animal-free products.

Another reason could be because many items that celebrities wear can be used on various occasions. Because celebrities have millions of fans who follow everything that they do, some celebrities have their own clothing lines designed to fit every size and every occasion so that they’re fans can dress comfortably and stylish. Cardi B partnered with Fashion Nova, Kendall and Kylie Jenner have a namesake clothing line, as do many other celebrities. It gives fans the confidence to expand their wardrobe, and it has made people feel comfortable in their own skin.

More positively, celebrities can influence our style by advertising to their fans to dress as themselves and not for anyone else. Angelina Jolie shared her views on fashion in an article last year, saying, “I think we all know boldness when we see it. Nothing makes me smile more than when I see someone being fully themselves, with their own individual style and character, whatever that is.”

Remember: celebrities have their own individual styles that match their own unique personalities and so do you. They can influence our styles because we might like how they look in movies, TV shows, and Tiktoks. It is worth mentioning that celebrities have stylists who dress them for special occasions, and designers who want them to wear their clothes. Style and clothing should be about self expression and instead it has become about trends and influence. Clothes are the reflection of the person you are on the inside so instead of following a clothing trend that’ll be over in a few weeks, dress for yourself.

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Sade Greenwood Miss Sri Lanka world 2022, speaks about Fitness and lifestyle 

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by Zanita Careem

The reigning Miss Sri Lanka world Sade Greenwood gives insight into the importance of a balanced and healthy lifestyle for achieving goals and overall wellbeing.

Sade is currently a student at Tokyo International University in Japan where She studies International Relations. She hopes to make a difference in her country using her degree, where she hopes to be involved in youth programmes and education. When Sade is not studying she is usually doing her charity work which involves environmental services and animal welfare. .

Sade with her sparkling personality and penchant for positivity personifies ‘beauty with a purpose’. She has brought immense pride to us all with her ‘walking the talk’ through her numerous charitable endeavors.

Q• Sade tell us about your journey from modelling to competing nationally, and winning the coveted Miss Sri Lanka World 2022 title?

A•

It’s been a surreal journey! Definitely a lot of adjusting as it was a huge shift in my life but all the same I’m so grateful and blessed to be able to represent my country on the  international stage. 

Q• You have always been in model shape. Have You had to change your workout routines when focusing on the beauty industry? 

A• I think I more so needed fitness to help me balance my busy schedules. It was always great to have a release from everything through fitness, it’s definitely something I used more for my mental and physical health in becoming a stronger version of myself.

Q• Being a part of The Fitness Connection Family and working out at the Gym what do you feel has been the biggest change? 

A• I think learning to achieve my goals. One thing about fitness is that consistency plays a huge role but so does diet! Learning to cut out on some of my favourite food is a little tricky!

Q• I know You have a hectic schedule and many commitments. How have your workouts at the gym impacted you positively? 

A• It’s impacted my mental and physical health and overall helped me balance my life and find a release from all the stress and strain.

Q• As you and your pathway have inspired so many, what advise would You give to those looking to balance their goals with their everyday lives? 

A• Make sure you love what you do! That makes it easier to balance anything in life because you’re putting your heart and soul into what you do. It doesn’t feel like ‘work’ then, so train your mind!

Q• What motivates you the most, and gets you moving even on the most tiring of days? 

A• My goals and how the future version of myself would be proud that I made the decision to do something then and there.

We are all looking forward to your next chapters in what is definitely going to be an exciting and fulfilling journey. I will surely be speaking with you again soon!

*Sade Greenwood photographed at The Fitness Connection,

Racecourse Colombo 07

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