Watching Serena’s US Open defeat was a stinging reminder of my own age and ambition

(CNN)I stress-watched the US Open women’s final on Saturday between Serena Williams and Bianca Andreescu, frantically texting friends at every missed first serve and line-call challenge. Watching Serena, something the world has done collectively since she won her first Grand Slam title in 1999, has been more than just a spectator sport. It has been a live-action study in women’s ambition, and how it changes — or doesn’t — over time. We have watched Serena grow from a teenager to a woman on the court. We’ve seen her revolutionize the sport — especially for girls and women of color. She’s faced racism, sexism, and public criticism, not to mention a number of health issues. Despite these challenges, she’s become not …

Those who come after us will either curse us — or thank us

(CNN)I first saw that climate was changing in 2000, when I went to Antarctica to study penguins. A senior scientist showed me how much a glacier near the research station had shrunk during his 20 years there. I later saw accelerated melting in the high Arctic in Svalbard, Norway, and in southern Alaska, I saw entire forests dying because winters were now warm enough for bark beetle infestations. It will get worse. The scientifically measured predictions have panned out and the bad times have begun. Centuries of burning fossil fuels and raising countless billions of farm animals have put so much heat-trapping, ocean-acidifying gas into the atmosphere that the planet is overwhelmed. Join us on Twitter and Facebook But in …

A chilling sign of today’s America

(CNN)Even in a week of bleak headlines, the one about the soaring sales of bulletproof backpacks for kids stood out. Other diagnoses of the problem pointed at mental illness and video games, to explain the carnage. But Peter Ambler, an El Paso native who’s the executive director of the Giffords gun safety organization, said this is just a distraction. “There is no evidence that our country has significantly higher rates of would-be terrorists than other developed countries,” Ambler wrote. “We also have comparable rates of mental illness to similarly developed countries — and we should also never forget the vast majority of people with a mental health diagnosis are not dangerous to others. What we have is weak gun laws.“ …

SE Cupp: Our gun laws make it too damn easy for haters to kill

(CNN)It’s been one week since 31 people were killed in mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. It’s worth pointing out that those two shootings followed another, one week earlier, in Gilroy, California, where three people, including a 6-year-old and a 13-year-old, were killed by an angry guy with a gun. But I am no longer a NRA member. Being right no longer feels righteous. Because in the wake of more mass shootings, acts of senseless violence that sent innocent people running for their lives, leaving children orphaned and loved ones dead on the ground, I know we must do something about guns. We have a problem in this country — and the problem is hate. One of …

Marianne Williamson: What I learned raising my daughter in an affluent suburb

(CNN)In the late 1990s, I lived in Grosse Pointe, an affluent suburb of Detroit, Michigan, while raising my daughter. During that time, there were people in inner city Detroit who would rent apartments in Grosse Pointe, several families at a time, to enable their children to attend Grosse Pointe South High School, a top-notch public school. Sometimes families would get caught, and their children would be removed from the school in a humiliating fashion. I remember thinking what an injustice this was. I saw the human consequences of basing a significant portion of our educational funding on local property taxes. And I realized that if a child grows up in a financially advantaged home, his or her chances of a …

Trump calls it off

(CNN)“Let’s call the whole thing off,” sang Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, as they pondered their romance, danced on roller skates and argued over whether it’s pronounced “tomayto” or “tomahto” in the 1937 musical, “Shall We Dance.” Trump has no good options on Iran after pulling out of the nuclear deal last year, Bergen noted in an earlier piece. As the US sought to pin blame on Iran for attacks on tankers in the region, it encountered doubts about the reliability of the underlying intelligence. Samantha Vinograd wasn’t surprised: “Trump has sown mistrust by questioning his own intelligence community, withdrawing from critical international coalitions and spreading disdain for the media.” Biden under attack Is Joe Biden out of touch with …

I don’t wear high heels for anyone but me. Got that, boss?

(CNN)Nearly 20,000 people in Japan have signed a petition calling for an end to work dress codes which make wearing heels mandatory for women. The campaign is just one of several worldwide efforts over the last several years to undo arcane rules which require women to work in shoes which are uncomfortable, impede their performance at work, and can even be dangerous. A Japanese government minister went so far as to say Wednesday that heels are “occupationally necessary and appropriate.” In fairness, he appears to be doing a sub-par job without them. I have mixed feelings about heels at work. A decent metal spike under your feet can feel powerful, almost warrior-like. As a relatively short person (I’m 5 feet, …

What’s behind the absurd gamble on women’s rights and health

(CNN)Last week, Georgia joined the ranks of states in a sudden rush to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks after conception — before a woman may even know that she is pregnant. Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio passed similar laws this year. Alabama is taking its fight against choice even further, with a bill that not only bans abortions but makes it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion. The Supreme Court, first in Roe v. Wade in 1973, in Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992, and yet again in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt in 2016, has made it clear that placing an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose …

The word that made history this week

(CNN)Every presidential investigation gives us new phrases that stick. “What did the President know, and when did he know it,” Sen. Howard Baker asked during the Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon. “Snitty” turned out to be an apt word for much of the reaction to this week’s events. Our legal analysts couldn’t have differed more strongly on what it all meant. Paul Callan wrote, “Barr did not deserve Mueller’s snit nor any of the snitty abuse heaped on him for doing his job. His interpretations were a defensible analysis of a report that was poorly written.” Elie Honig painted a much different picture. He called Barr’s testimony before a Senate committee “a master class in obfuscation, backtracking …

Ana Navarro: Joe Biden is normal — and that sounds really good to me

(CNN)Joe Biden is finally making it official. He is set to announce Thursday that he is running to be the Democratic nominee for President. I have given up any realistic hope of Donald Trump getting a serious challenge in the Republican primary. He will be the Republican nominee. Also, I have zero expectations that Trump will be impeached. Make no mistake, regardless of how obnoxious and horrible in every way many Americans find him, Trump will not be easy to beat. He will have a daunting war chest and all the advantages that come with incumbency. He also has the support of a cult-like base who believe he can do no wrong. I am begging and pleading with Democrats not …

We’re not equipping reality stars for internet fame. That must change

(CNN)Stars of reality dating shows become our constant companions during the weeks and months they grace our screens. What we’re currently not doing is equipping reality stars for fame in an internet era. Jonny Mitchell — who appeared on “Love Island” alongside Thalassitis — created a Change.org petition that called on ITV to provide after-show support to all its contestants. In the petition, which has since received more than 83,000 signatures, Mitchell reveals he was “trolled more than most” after “Love Island.” And though he says it didn’t affect him, he says he was never contacted by the show to see if he was in need of support. “For younger people going into that environment, being shot to fame literally …

Here are some HIV headlines you may have missed

(CNN)Last Monday, researchers shared the case of a London man who is being hailed as “functionally cured” of HIV. By Tuesday, that announcement was on the home page of virtually every paper of record in the world. Over the past week, this news has caused ripples of celebration, analysis and follow-up, including reports of a third patient who received the same treatment as the London man but whose recovery remains at a more tentative stage. This breakthrough absolutely deserves to be met with enthusiasm and earnest discussion. For the second — and possibly even third — time in history, a marrow transplant from a donor with a protective genetic mutation appears to have allowed its recipient to control HIV without …

“Smart” pills are here and we need to consider the risks

(CNN)In the new Broadway musical “Be More Chill,” the main character is a bullied teenager who doesn’t fit in with the popular kids at his high school. The play purports to be science fiction. But is it? Sign up for our new newsletter. Join us on Twitter and Facebook Ultimately, in “Be More Chill,” the lead character decides that the drug poses more risks than benefits. Acknowledging the clashing teenage impulses in his head, he sings, “They scream and shout. I tune them out, then make up my own mind.” It won’t be long before many of us will have to make up our minds about these smart pills as well. Hearing these concerns in harmony and rhyme can raise …

Trump’s ‘domestic gag rule’ is un-American

(CNN)In an attempt to keep one of his many outlandish campaign promises, the so-called most “pro-life” president has cemented his willingness to attack the millions of people who obtain confidential and affordable health care via Title X, the federal program that provides millions of low-income Americans with birth control and other reproductive health services. Title X is the only US federal grant program dedicated to expanding access to birth control and comprehensive reproductive health care. According to the Guttmacher Institute, Title X patients are “disproportionately low-income, one-third are people of color, and one in 10 have limited English proficiency.” By stripping federal funding from health care facilities that provide comprehensive reproductive care that includes abortion and medically accurate information about …

The hate Jussie Smollett is accused of faking happened to me

(CNN)My ex-boyfriend and I were walking home along Hollywood Boulevard late one night about 15 years ago, when, out of nowhere, we were blindsided by two men and their fists. It all happened so quickly, I don’t actually remember how it began. My first memory is pushing off one guy and turning around to see my boyfriend on the ground being kicked by the other. They were shouting anti-gay slurs at us. I ran over to my boyfriend, yelling for the guy to get off of him. That’s when either a boot or fist knocked me on the chin. I stumbled, dazed for a minute, and the next thing I remember was the blood pouring from my jaw onto the …