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Delta Wants To Replace Human Check-In Agents With Facial Recognition Kiosks

Delta Air Lines announced on Monday that it?s testing a check-in kiosk that uses facial recognition to ensure passengers? faces match their passport photos. If all goes well, the new kiosk could replace check-in agents altogether. 

The kiosk will be one of four to debut at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport this summer. Each will allow passengers to print their own bag tags for checked luggage and load it onto a conveyor belt, a spokeswoman told HuffPost. One kiosk will have facial recognition technology so passengers can finish checking in right then and there, while the rest will still require check-in with a human.


The idea is to let travelers check themselves in so Delta agents can be available to help in other ways, executive Gareth Joyce said in a statement.

?We see a future where Delta agents will be freed up to seek out travelers and deliver more proactive and thoughtful customer service,? Joyce said.

Previous technological upgrades such as ticketing kiosks and mobile check-in have already ?transformed congested lobby areas and drastically improved customer satisfaction scores,? Joyce added.

The facial recognition kiosk will only work for passports; travelers with other forms of ID will still need to go through human processing. The kiosk will delete traveler photos after confirming passport matches, the spokeswoman said.

Delta?s facial recognition test is separate from a Customs and Border Protection project that?s also piloting facial recognition in airports, though for security purposes.

If this is the future of air travel, then you?d better be ready for your close-up. 

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Here’s A Great Way To Explain What It Means To Be Gay To Kids

It?s been one year since our favorite queer web series for kids launched with an episode breaking down gay identity for kids.

In the months since, creator Lindsey Amer and her sidekick Teddy have become an invaluable resource, unpacking LGBTQ themes and experiences in ways that are both educational and accessible for kids. In celebration of the ?Queer Kid Stuff? one-year anniversary, Amer is releasing a remastered version of the first episode explaining what it means to be gay.

?I originally started making queer work for kids through theater,? Amer told HuffPost. ?I wanted to make work that would have help me as a confused little queer kid trying to navigate the world. One day, I decided to google ?what does gay mean?? and all that turned up was a dictionary definition and a few resources for parents and teachers, but there was nothing there to help kids answer that question themselves. I wanted to provide that resource so that kids can learn about the world around them through a diverse and queer-inclusive perspective.?

Congrats on one year of crucial and successful videos! Haven?t seen other episodes of ?Queer Kid Stuff?? Head here.

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Top Obama Aide Endorses Tom Perriello In Virginia Governor’s Race

Valerie Jarrett, who served as a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama for the duration of his presidency, endorsed former Rep. Tom Perriello in Virginia?s hotly contested Democratic gubernatorial primary race.

Jarrett made the announcement on Twitter Saturday, praising Perriello?s vote for the Affordable Care Act as a freshman congressman from a conservative district in central Virginia. Perriello went on to lose his reelection bid amid a backlash to the law that fueled a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives.

The Perriello campaign confirmed that the tweet represented an official endorsement of his candidacy.

Perriello thanked her for the endorsement.

Jarrett was a close confidante of Obama?s from Chicago long before he became president. She joined Obama in lobbying Democratic National Committee members to elect former Labor Secretary Tom Perez as chairman in his successful race against Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison in February.

As a member of Congress, Perriello distinguished himself for his support of Obama?s agenda despite living in a district that was increasingly hostile to the then-president. He went on to head the Democratic-aligned Center for American Progress action fund and serve in the Obama administration State Department. 

Jarrett?s use of the phrase ?political courage? appears to be a reference to Obama?s speech last week upon accepting the Profile in Courage award at the John F. Kennedy Library on Sunday. He dedicated the award to the Democrats in Congress who lost their elections after voting for the ACA, commonly known as Obamacare.

?These men and women did the right thing,? Obama said. ?They did the hard thing. Theirs was a profile in courage.? 

Perriello, 42, is campaigning as a defender of the law in the wake of the recent House vote to repeal the ACA.

In an advertisement released moments after the House passed the repeal legislation, Perriello stands in front of an ambulance being crushed in a compactor symbolizing GOP attempts to overturn health reform. Speaking over the loud noise of the compactor, he touts his vote for Obamacare as a congressman and promises to prevent a figurative ambulance-crushing scenario in Virginia.

But Perriello?s vote for Obamacare is fraught with controversy as well. He was one of 64 House Democrats to support the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, a measure that would have prohibited Obamacare subsidies from being available for insurance plans that cover abortion. The amendment temporarily held up the landmark law before an alternative compromise replaced it.

Since launching his gubernatorial campaign, Perriello has expressed ?regret? for the decision to back Stupak-Pitts, claiming it was based on a promise to constituents to oppose federal funding for abortions. He now supports repealing the Hyde Amendment, the law barring federal funding for abortions.

The more uniformly pro-abortion rights record of Perriello?s opponent, sitting Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, 57, earned the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Northam, a pediatric neurologist and Army veteran, helped lead the fight against a Republican-led trans-vaginal ultrasound proposal in the Virginia legislature.

He has also fought to implement the ACA in Virginia, advocating for the expansion of Medicaid and the creation of a state-run Obamacare insurance exchange.

Jarrett?s endorsement is a significant pickup for Perriello, who has cast himself as the progressive favorite in the contentious primary.

The lieutenant governor is not without his own controversial health policy record, however. He twice voted for former President George W. Bush, a staunchly anti-abortion Republican who appointed two Roe v. Wade opponents to the Supreme Court. (He has said he was not following politics closely at the time.)

And as a state senator in 2011, he called health care a ?privilege? in a debate with an opponent, even as he defended measures to make it more affordable. (He has since said he believes ?affordable health care? is a ?right.?)

Notwithstanding these complexities, Jarrett?s endorsement is a significant pickup for Perriello, who has cast himself as the progressive favorite in the contentious primary. Northam has the support of virtually the entire Democratic establishment in Virginia, including Gov. Terry Mcauliffe, and Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

He was viewed as a shoo-in until Perriello jumped into the race in January in a move inspired by President Donald Trump?s election. Perriello has since picked up endorsements from top progressive leaders such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), along with Our Revolution, the nonprofit successor to Sanders? presidential campaign. 

Perriello and Northam are now neck-in-neck in the polls ahead of the June 13 primary.

The general election is Nov. 7. The current frontrunner in the Republican primary is Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee.

This article has been updated throughout.

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Recent research indicates that 50 percent of all mental illness cases in adults start before the age of 15.The research further reports on statistics that in every 10 children aged between 5 and 16 years, one has a diagnosed mental disorder. The specialists say that you can?t get rid of lice until you kill every existing egg on your head, which is difficult to do on your own, that is the reason why professional lice treatment offered by different clinics is so popular. With half of all mental problems beginning before the age of 15, and seventy-five percent by age 18.

NYT Publisher Writes To Those Who Ditched Subscriptions Over Bret Stephens

WASHINGTON ? In an effort to win back their support, the publisher of The New York Times sent a ?personal note? to readers who canceled subscriptions over the publication?s hiring of Bret Stephens, a former opinion writer at The Wall Street Journal and a denier of mainstream climate science. 

In an email that went out Friday afternoon, Arthur Sulzberger Jr. said he wanted to ?provide a bit more context? about the Times? decision to hire Stephens. The email, first reported on by Politico and later sent to HuffPost by a former subscriber, appears to have gone out to all those who cited Stephens in their decision to cancel.

?First, it?s worth underscoring that The Times?s newsroom, which functions separately from our Opinion department and is led by executive editor Dean Baquet, has sharply expanded the team of reporters and editors who cover climate change,? Sulzberger wrote. ?No subject is more vital.?

Sulzberger goes on to provide a number of examples of the newspaper?s climate coverage ? journalism, he said, that is ?unrivaled in its sophistication and imagination.?

The Times hired Bret Stephens, a conservative columnist who identifies as a ?climate agnostic,? last month ? a move many argued conflicts with its mission of publishing the truth. Michael E. Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University, launched the hashtag #ShowYourCancellation ? and a number of readers did just that

In his debut column, titled ?Climate of Complete Certainty,? Stephens ? who Vox recently dubbed a ?climate change bullshitter? ? calls the 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit by which Earth has warmed since 1880 ?modest.? Leading climate scientists, including Mann, responded with an open letter blasting the Times for allowing Stephens to publish ?inaccurate and misleading? statements on climate change.

As the publication has done previously, Sulzberger defended hiring Stephens in his email Friday. He said that the Times? opinion pages ?remain an independent and unblinking forum for debate from a wide range of viewpoints among open-minded, informed writers and readers? and that it is ?very fortunate to have a principled, independent-minded conservative writer like Bret Stephens join our team.?

Sulzberger continued: 

Our editorial page editor, James Bennet, and I believe that this kind of debate, by challenging our assumptions and forcing us to think harder about our positions, sharpens all our work and benefits our readers. This does not mean that The Times will publish any commentary. Some points of view are not welcome, including those promoting prejudice or denying basic truths about our world. But it does mean that, in the coming years, we aim to further enrich the quality of our debate with other honest and intelligent voices, including some currently underrepresented in our pages. If you continue to read The Times, you will encounter such voices ? not just as contributors, but as new staff columnists.

I?m grateful for the support you have provided to our journalism in the past, and I hope you may consider supporting it again in the future. You?ll always have a home here at The Times and we welcome your feedback at

Of all the people who canceled a subscription since Stephens was hired, less than 6 percent cited the columnist as their reason, a NYT spokesperson told Politico?s Hadas Gold. 

In their open letter early this month, Mann, climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe and dozens of other scientists urged the Times to apply the same rigorous fact-checking to editorial writers as it does to its news reporters.

?Facts are still facts, no matter where in the paper they appear,? they wrote. 

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