The World’s Most Beautiful B&B Bedrooms

By Caroline Costello for Bedandbreakfast.com

 
 

A beautiful space where you can retreat after day spent exploring is essential to a picture-perfect vacation. So we enlisted guest judge and interior stylist Kirsten Grove to help us uncover 10 truly exquisite rooms in B&Bs around the world. These light-filled, inviting and stylish spaces are full of beautifully integrated furnishings and accents, from custom local artworks to precious antiques. Here are 10 inspirational B&B bedrooms that set the bar for interior design.

 
 
 

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The Macao Room at Siolim House

 

Goa, India

 
 

The Macao Room is “by far the best room at Siolim House,” says Varun Sood, owner of this 17th-century heritage manor inn located in Siolim Village, in the Northern Part of Goa on the River Chapora. Sood describes the room as “a magnificently large bedroom with wood floors and a wood false ceiling between the tile roof and the room. …Hand-painted frescoes on the walls make this room a historical wonder to sleep in. [The room has] antique furniture and collectibles sourced from across Goa and India, to match the style of the time, and an antique four-poster bed. The room itself is situated on the first floor of the main building, [and is accessed] via the old staircase and through an ancient large wooden trap door that would have been a security feature in the original house.”

 
 

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The Pearl Gazvin Room at Embassy Circle Guest House

 

Washington, D.C.

 
 

Laura Saba, owner of Washington, D.C.’s Embassy Circle Guest House, tells us, “The Pearl Gazvin room is named after its beautiful antique Persian carpet. The goals of the room design are comfort, spaciousness and light. The furniture and art are a mix of antique and modern. It is great fun when we are able to repurpose antique furniture–the elegant wall mirror is actually the door to the armoire that is serving as the first-floor bookcase. All four original paintings and collages are composed by guests who have stayed with us.”

 
 

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Meem Two at Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm

 

Albuquerque, New Mexico

 
 

Built by celebrated New Mexico architect John Gaw Meem, and full of precious artwork made by local craftsmen, Los Poblanos is a manifestation of the region’s deep artistic heritage. Nancy Kinyanjui, general manager of the property, told us that Meem Two was reconstructed “with painstaking attention to detail, to be true to John Gaw Meem’s architectural and interior designs.” The room features re-purposed beams and other elements salvaged from John Gaw Meem properties, as well as Mexican-tiled bathrooms and New Mexico artwork. There is a kiva fireplace and a king-size bed. A private patio offers beautiful views of the Sandia Mountains.

 
 

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Guest Room Overlooking the Pacific at the Awtrey House

 

Nehalem, Oregon

 
 

The Awtrey House is one of the few places where you can spend the night in a space created by famed architect James Cutler. Dennis Awtrey, who owns the Awtrey House with his wife Peggy, tells us that the sea-facing rooms (there are just two rooms at the intimate inn) allow guests to “gaze at the hypnotic Pacific Ocean from a private terrace, watch the shadows play on the wood beams of soaring ceilings, fall asleep to the peaceful song of the ocean and wake to the morning sunlight filtering through walls of floor-to-ceiling glass.” What’s more, says Awtrey, “The guest rooms flow outside to a wind protected terrace, allowing for year-round outdoor enjoyment of the ever-changing ocean.”

 
 

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The White Suite at Kimber Modern

 

Austin, Texas

 
 
 

According to Kimber Modern innkeeper Kimber Cavendish, the White Suite at this Austin, Texas, property is “in a class of its own.” With a king-size bed custom-built from maple, a glass desk, floor-to-ceiling windows, a large frosted-glass bathroom that has a six-foot Kaldewei soaking tub and large walk-in shower, and a complimentary fully stocked mini bar, the White Suite is a well-designed wonderland within the Lone Star State’s capital city.

 
 

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The Deluxe Double Room at Relais Genius Loci County Inn

 

Bevagna, Italy

 
 

Old World romance flourishes within the beautifully designed Deluxe Double Room at Relais Genius Loci County Inn. According to the inn’s owner, Mary Thomas, “As an art historian, context and clarity of purpose in decor guided us throughout this project. Each room is distinct, with a focus on an important antique piece. …Our goal was to ensure that the decor not only ‘belonged’ stylistically to the 1850s farmhouse and villa that is Relais Genius Loci, but also to the timeless Umbrian views from the rooms’ windows. We strived for coherence among these important aspects.” The features of the Deluxe Double Room, from the terracotta floors to the exposed hand-hewn beams in the ceiling, join style with history in this classically graceful Italian villa inn.

 
 

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The King Luxury Room at Farmhouse Inn

 

Forestville, California

 
 
 

The King Luxury Room at Farmhouse Inn, an award-winning California Wine Country B&B, has a spacious private deck with a double-sided fireplace, surrounded by forest; heated marble floors, a steam shower and a large Whirlpool tub in the bathroom; and a poured-concrete fireplace made to look like fieldstone. The enormous 700-square-foot room, decked in clean white decor with country-flavored accents of plaid, stone and gnarled wood, was created by noted interior designer Myra Hoefer.

 
 

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The Sunrise Room at Port D’Hiver

 

Melbourne Beach, Florida

 
 

From a large latticed balcony with French doors and ocean views to a roomy spa tub for two, The Sunrise Room at Port D’Hiver, an oceanfront boutique B&B, has all the luxurious trimmings your beach vacation calls for. The room’s bright but clean design mixes upscale elegance with tropical flair. The focal point of the room is a big, beautiful four-poster bed carved from mahogany and dressed in crisp white down.

 
 

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The Presidential Yurt at Gan Hamlachim

 

Amirim, Israel

 
 

Nestled in a village in Upper Galilee, you’ll find Gan Hamlachim, a couples-only retreat with two distinctive lodging options: a yurt and a suite. The Presidential Yurt made our list thanks to its stunning design and uniqueness. (It is, after all, a yurt.) According to Yuval Eli, owner of Gan Hamlachim, “We chose to combine the simplicity of a yurt with a minimalist design … and the best technology to enhance the experience.” The fully soundproof space contains a king-size bed, a home theater system with a 3D LED smart TV, a Jacuzzi bath, a fireplace and a kitchen. Catch views of the Sea of Galilee from the private balcony.

 
 

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The Senator’s Cottage at Tickle Pink Inn

 

Carmel, California

 
 
 

The historical Senator’s Cottage at Tickle Pink Inn is the last remaining structure from the century-old estate of State Senator Edward Tickle. According to inn owner Al Gurries, “This two-bedroom hideaway includes a wood-burning fireplace, living room, kitchenette and Whirlpool tub. Its large private patio overlooks the ocean.” A skylight above the bed drenches the room in light, and wide windows yield views of the surrounding flowers and pines.

 
 

This article originally appeared on BedandBreakfast.com. BedandBreakfast.com is the world’s most comprehensive site for discovering unique accommodations and booking bed and breakfast getaways. With more than 10,000 properties and nearly 75,000 rooms, BedandBreakfast.com connects travelers with extraordinary B&Bs, country lodges, urban inns and small hotels worldwide.

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Donald Trump Wants To Make America A Bit More Like ISIS

 
 
 
 

Donald Trump wants to waterboard. He wants to “go after” the families of terrorists. He wants, in other words, to make the United States a little more like terrorists because by his reasoning, if the country isn’t on “somewhat of an equal footing,” officials will “never, ever knock out ISIS.”

 
 

“We have a law that doesn’t allow right now waterboarding,” the GOP presidential front-runner said during Thursday’s CNN debate in Miami. “They [ISIS] have no laws, they have no rules, they have no regulations. They chop off heads, they drown 40, 50, 60 people at a time in big steel cages, pull them up an hour later, everyone dead — and we’re working on a different set of parameters.”

 
 

Trump didn’t specify whether he wants U.S. officials to be able to practice the cage tactic. He acknowledged that America must follow laws and treaties governing torture, but he thinks they’re too strict and should be loosened to allow more extreme techniques. 

 
 

“We have to expand those laws because we have to be able to fight on at least somewhat of an equal footing or we will never, ever knock out ISIS and all of the others that are so bad,” he said. “We better expand our laws or we’re being a bunch of suckers and they are laughing at us. They are laughing at us. Believe me.”

 
 

Unless ISIS lets up, the only way to get on an “equal footing” is to bring the United States down to their level. 

 
 

In December, Trump said, “We’re fighting a very politically correct war. And the other thing is with the terrorists, you have to take out their families.”

 
 

He recently clarified that he doesn’t actually want to necessarily kill terrorists’ families, but he does want to pursue them.

 
 

“I didn’t say kill,” Trump said in a recent CNN interview. “We have to go after them.”

 
 

Editor’s note: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

 
 
 
 
 

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Donald Trump Encourages Violence At His Rallies. His Fans Are Listening.

 
 

Yasmeen Alamiri was standing in the press pen at a Donald Trump rally in Radford, Virginia, late last month when a man in the crowd called her a terrorist.

 
 

The slur didn’t register, perhaps because Alamiri, a 31-year-old Arab-American, had heard it before, or more likely because she was focused on her work as a reporter for RarePolitics.com. It was another reporter who told her about the epithet.

 
 

Forty-five minutes later, as Alamiri walked to the edges of the press pen to get a good angle for her Facebook Live feed, it happened again. Another man in the crowd walked by and motioned to a nearby police officer. “Are you there for this terrorist?” he asked, gesturing to Alamiri.

 
 

She said she was spooked. Though she enjoys a good relationship with Trump’s staff, the rally was tense. “It felt like something could happen,” she told The Huffington Post.

 
 

At one point, Alamiri left to find a bathroom and approached a student from Radford University — where the rally was being held — to ask for directions. The young woman refused to help. “You are a member of the media,” she said, “and you are disgusting and sleazy.”

 
 

Alamiri was struck not just by the unprompted vitriol, but by the word choice. Trump had used the same adjectives to describe the press corps during his speech. “I was like, these supporters are just mimicking what he is saying and his anger, however staged it is, is resonating,” she recalled thinking.

 
 

After she finished covering the event and began walking to her car a few miles away, Alamir noticed herself moving briskly and not making eye contact with people in the crowd.

 
 

“I’m a foreign policy reporter. My family lives in Iraq and I go to Iraq every year,” she said. “For me to be scared of something says a lot, since I’m going to active war zones.”

 
 

Alamiri, in a perverse way, is one of the lucky among those who find themselves on the receiving end of Trump supporters’ abuse. Her incident in Virginia didn’t end in a physical altercation.

 
 

But another reporter’s did. At that same event, a Secret Service staffer grabbed a Time magazine photographer by the neck and slammed him into a table. The veteran White House photographer, Christopher Morris, had stepped out of the press pen to get a better shot of protesters. He later said he regretted his role in the confrontation, but called the agent’s response “unnecessarily violent.”

 
 
 
 

Racial slurs, nasty rhetoric and violence at Trump rallies have become commonplace against protesters, bystanders, and reporters. Assaults are committed not only by rowdy Trump fans, but by the staff he employs to keep the events safe. But rather than denounce these incidents, Trump is making them part of his brand, and uses them to rev up crowds.

 
 

“There may be somebody with tomatoes in the audience,” Trump warned people at a rally in Iowa last month. “If you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Okay? Just knock the hell — I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees.”

 
 

Trump has even threatened to personally get in on the action. “I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell ya,” he said of a protester on Feb. 22.

 
 

Threats against reporters have become so pervasive at Trump rallies that many of those who cover the Republican front-runner seem to have a personal story. As Katy Tur, the Trump embed for NBC News, described in a Tweet, “Trump trashes press. Crowd jeers. Guy by press ‘pen’ looks at us & screams “you’re a bitch!” Other gentleman gives cameras the double bird.”

 
 

As Trump moves closer to winning the Republican nomination, the tension at his events has grown.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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Things spilled over this week, when Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields said she was pulled down by Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, while attempting to ask the candidate the question. Trump’s campaign denied the incident, going so far as to personally attack Fields because she had reported an assault before. Fields had bruise marks on her arm, and a Washington Post reporter wrote about witnessing the incident.

 
 

On Wednesday, meanwhile, a 78-year-old white male audience member at a Trump rally in North Carolina was videotaped sucker-punching a black protester being escorted from the event by police. The man, John McGraw, was later charged with assault and battery. But it was the protester who ended up in handcuffs at the rally.

 
 
 
 
 
 

While that punch and the Lewandowski incident sparked criticism of Trump on Thursday, violence has been an undercurrent — if not an outright characteristic — of Trump rallies for months.

 
 

At an October event at the Richmond International Raceway in Virginia, a Republican attendee described seeing an, “irate gentlemen in the crowd spit in another gentleman’s face.” That same month, a student protester was violently dragged out of a Miami rally by his shirt collar. A month later, video showed a gang of men kicking and punching a Black Lives Matter protester at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama, a city historically known for a strong Ku Klux Klan presence.

 
 

When asked about the Alabama incident, Trump blamed the victim. “Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”

 
 

In December, multiple incidents of violence were reported at a Trump rally in Raleigh, North Carolina. The New York Times described a man “peppering accusations of fascism with profanity,” who was “forcefully shoved into a metal barrier by a Trump supporter.” A female protester claimed a woman in the crowd punched her after a verbal confrontation.

 
 

The next month, a Sikh protester was physically pushed out of a Trump rally in Iowa, while fans yelled, “Trump! Trump! Trump!” The protester described it later as “a fascist rally in a school gym.” Last week, yet another video emerged of grown men at an event in Kentucky forcibly shoving a young black woman.

 
 

As long as Trump continues to encourage this violence, it’s not going to stop. The fan charged with assault for sucker-punching a black protester on Wednesday has reportedly expressed no regrets.

 
 

“The next time we see him, we might have to kill him,” he said.

 
 

Editor’s note: Donald Trump is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Prepare Kids for a Physical Vacation

Family vacation means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Some think the perfect vacation is sticking their toes in the sand at the beach for a week. Others think hiking and camping offer perfection for relaxation. Still others want to stay in a comfortable hotel with room service. You can take the kids on your family vacation no matter the type – the trick is to prepare them!

 
 

Prepare the Kids for a Physically Demanding Vacation

 
 

Once upon a time the kids spent a lot of time running around and climbing trees. Now, PE is a dying subject in school and kids spend a lot of time on electronic devices. They are not automatically physically fit. If you take kids on a demanding trip where you are walking hours a day or hiking for hours a day – you’ll get tired feet and whiney kids. Prepare ahead of time so everyone is ready!

 
 

*Get moving.

 
 

Most years we take the kids for walks a mile or so at first and then work up to two miles. This gets them in good shape for most types of sight seeing walking. In bad weather we put them on the treadmill! One kid was really interested in the buttons on the treadmill so I had to stand nearby and put rules on how fast they could go.

 
 

Certain destinations require more demanding preparation that just walking a mile on a flat surface. To prepare for our adventure to Peru which would require more hiking than walking so the preparation needs to be different. We are starting with one mile and including the hills in the neighborhood until we work up to 3 miles at a time.

 
 

*Get the kids interested!

 
 

Each year we make a chart to keep track of how many miles the kids are walking/hiking. The chart is made with pictures and illustrations based on each kids interest.

 
 

With each mile, the child earns one $ of whatever the destination currency is….Euro, Turkish Lira, or Peruvian Nuevo Sol. Order foreign currency at your bank. A picture of the currency is glued on the chart. When the trip time arrives, the chart pictures are exchanged for real money. The kids use the money they earn for spending money.

 
 

*Teach the kids about money.

 
 

Learning about money is an important life skill and one that the schools teach, but nothing is like real world application. When the kids earn some spending money, they get to handle the money, learn what it looks like and count it. When the it comes time to spending it, they practice real world skills like seeing a price and deciding whether or not they have enough money for the purchase, which bill should they give, how much change should they get, talking to the shop keeper or cashier, waiting for change, looking people in the eye and thanking them.

 
 

*Wear good shoes!

 
 

Good shoes and good socks are a must for little feet.Cobblestones and rough surfaces are harder on feet than you think. Buy good gear even though it seems pricey as it makes all the difference in the world between happy travelers and misery. You can get a good deal on last season’s colors at online outlet centers.

 
 

*Mentally prepare the kids.

 
 

While you are walking, discuss what you’ll be seeing. Discuss that you might have to walk a long way. Practice carrying a backpack or water. This is also a great time to listen. Listen to what the kids are thinking about and what is happening at school. Remember, it is all a big deal to them – listen now so they’ll come to you one day with the ‘really’ big stuff.

 
 

Kids are strong and resilient and capable. Prepare them and then watch with a smile when they handle a physically demanding family vacation with ease! Happy travels!

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8 Oscar Movies Based On True Stories That Forgot MAJOR Details

 

Harry Potter” is probably more true-to-life than some of the riddikulus movies that are supposedly “based on a true story.” And we solemnly swear that anyone who says different is up to no good.

 

But every once in a while, even Hollywood exaggeration doesn’t live up to what really happened. In honor of the 88th Academy Awards, here are eight true stories that were more intense than the Oscar-nominated films they inspired.

 

1. After getting attacked by the bear, the real Hugh Glass had maggots eat his dead, rotting flesh. 

 
 
 

Leonardo DiCaprio had a tough time filming “The Revenant.” (We get it, bro. It was cold.) No offense to Leo, but the real Hugh Glass had it a little tougher.

 

In addition to getting mauled by a real bear, making a 200-mile journey after being left for dead and setting his own broken leg, Glass reportedly used maggots to eat his dead flesh to prevent gangrene from spreading.

 

2. The “Lone Survivor” goat herders were probably sent on purpose. 

 
 

In the movie and the real-life story of “Lone Survivor,” the Navy SEALs let a group of goat herders go after the herders stumble across their position. It’s believed the herders then alerted the Taliban to the special forces, leading to the deaths of everyone but the “lone survivor,” Marcus Luttrell. So was letting the goat herders go the right decision?

 

It turns out the SEALs were probably in trouble either way.

 

They were most likely being tracked right after landing. The Taliban then probably sent the goat herders to pinpoint their location. “Lone Survivor” director Peter Berg learned this was a tactic used by Taliban forces, he told Jeff Goldsmith on the “Q&A” podcast. This explains how the attackers were able to mobilize so quickly after the SEALs’ goat herder encounter.

 

3. In addition to “dancing moods,” plantation owner Edwin Epps also had “whipping moods.”

 
 
 

Incredibly, the heart-wrenching movie “12 Years A Slave” could have been even harder to watch. In addition to his “dancing moods,” in which plantation owner Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender) made exhausted slaves dance, the real Epps also had “whipping moods.”

 

In the book, Twelve Years a Slave, Solomon Northup describes how a drunk Epps would often go around the yard looking for unsuspecting slaves to whip. “Sometimes for hours he would keep them running in all directions,” writes Northup.  

 

4. “A Beautiful Mind” left out John Nash’s homosexual experiences.

 
 

Director Ron Howard apparently brought to life a simplified version of John Nash in “A Beautiful Mind,” notably excluding Nash’s reported homosexual experiences. In Nash’s biography, A Beautiful Mind, author Sylvia Nasar recalls many instances of the mathematician’s curiosity about the same sex, saying Nash had “special friendships” with two other men. 

 

One was Nash’s “first experience of mutual attraction” and another supposedly involved a friend who became “more than friends.” 

 

5. Dr. Dre’s violence toward women “forever impacted” his life, but it somehow wasn’t important enough to make it into “Straight Outta Compton.” 

 
 
 

Journalist Dee Barnes reflected on “Straight Outta Compton” for Gawker, writing about a 1991 incident where Dre “straddled” her and beat her “mercilessly” on the floor of the women’s restroom at the Po Na Na Souk nightclub. (Dre, who later told Rolling Stone “I just threw her through a door,” eventually pleaded no contest to the attack.)

 

Dre’s former girlfriend Michel’le has also gone on record saying she was just “a quiet girlfriend who got beat up and told to sit down and shut up.”

 

While Dre has not addressed individual allegations, he publicly apologized for his actions last year in a statement to The New York Times, saying, “I apologize to the women I’ve hurt. I deeply regret what I did and know that it has forever impacted all of our lives.”

 

6. Howard Hughes was more of a drugged-out womanizer than you thought.

 
 

The most impressive thing about Martin Scorsese‘s Howard Hughes biopic, “The Aviator,” might be that “the real Howard Hughes is not in it.”

 

At least, that’s according to Hughes biographer Michael Drosnin. He adds, “Leonardo simply doesn’t begin to suggest the power that Howard Hughes radiated.”

 

Among the movie’s omissions, Hughes’ womanizing is hugely downplayed, the website Crosswalk notes. The real Hughes had possibly hundreds of romantic liaisons with women, including Jean Harlow, Gloria Vanderbilt, Linda Darnell, Billie Dove, Ginger Rogers, Lana Turner, Jane Russell and underage girls. It’s rumored that he also became heavily addicted to prescription drugs, though his doctor has disputed this.

 

7. William Wallace’s execution was more brutal and included castration.

 
 
 

Wallace’s real-life execution was actually more brutal than what Mel Gibson had to go through in “Braveheart.” In addition to being hanged until he was semiconscious, stretched and disemboweled, Wallace was supposedly stripped and dragged naked by horses for miles, according to Documents Illustrative of Sir William Wallace.

 

The execution is said to have included castration; his bowels were removed and burned, his head was cut off and placed on a spike and he was also cut into pieces. Uh … ouch, man.

 

8. The real Wolf of Wall Street was “even worse” than the film.

 
 
 

Though Jordan Belfort’s parties supposedly didn’t include tossing little people, the real Belfort told The Hollywood Reporter his life was even crazier than portrayed in the movie. 

 

Belfort told THR that the drug use and scenes with hookers were “really accurate,” but he added, “In some respects, my life was even worse than that. Though I’d say I did more quaaludes than cocaine.”

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UK Review Says NHS Should Give Pregnant Women Money To Cover Birth Costs

 

Expectant mothers in England are due for some extra assistance from the National Health Service (NHS).

 

An independent review of maternity services concluded that the NHS should offer a “Personal Maternity Care Budget” to pregnant women to cover the costs of medical care and birth. According to The Guardian, the budget would in most cases amount to 3,000 pounds (around 4,200 dollars) — the cost of “uncomplicated births” to the NHS. 

 

The goal of the personal budget is to give women greater control over the kind of support they receive, be it from an existing NHS care provider or a midwifery practice. In addition to traditional hospital options, NHS-accredited birth services could include home births, midwife-assisted births, water births and postpartum breastfeeding support. 

 

The NHS commissioned the independent review after a 2015 investigation found that failures at one the UK hospital’s “dysfunctional” maternity ward contributed to the deaths of at least 16 babies and three mothers. 

 

This new review suggests that the way to avoid future failures and losses is to give women safe care options and more control when it comes to maternal health.

 

Baroness Julia Cumberlege, who chaired the review, is quoted on the NHS website stating: 

 
 

“To be among the best in the world, we need to put women, babies and their families at the center of their care. It is so important that they are supported through what can be a wonderful and life-changing experience. Women have told us they want to be given genuine choices and have the same person looking after them throughout their care. We must ensure that all care is as safe as the best and we need to break down boundaries and work together to reduce the variation in the quality of services and provide a good experience for all women.”

 
 

Three cheers for safe healthcare for expectant mamas.

 

H/T BuzzFeed

 

Also on HuffPost:

 

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Here’s What The FBI Actually Asked Apple To Do

Apple stood up to the government in a big way on Wednesday. But what exactly did the FBI ask Apple to do that’s got everyone whipped into a lather?

 

It’s a little confusing, so we’ll take you through it.

 

On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered Apple to help FBI agents access data stored on the iPhone of Syed Farook, a suspect in the December terror attack in San Bernardino. Apple refused to comply with the order on the grounds that creating software to unlock Farook’s phone could make iPhones everywhere less secure, according to a letter from Apple CEO Tim Cook.

 

To be clear, Apple cannot extract information directly from Farook’s, or anyone else’s, iPhone. All data on an iPhone is encrypted. The security measures for iOS 8, which rolled out in 2014, ensure that no one, not even Apple, can access information on an iPhone by sneaking through a software “backdoor.”

 

That’s because “the files to be extracted are protected by an encryption key that is tied to the user’s passcode, which Apple does not possess,” according to an explanation Apple posted on its website in 2014.

 

What the government was really asking Apple to do was to help the FBI guess the passcode for Farook’s iPhone, according to technology security expert Bruce Schneier.

 

“What was being asked for was not a way to get at the iPhone, but a way to get the iPhone password,” Schneier told The Huffington Post on Thursday.

 
 

Apple could have done that pretty easily, because the phone in question — an iPhone 5C, manufactured in 2013 — has a serious security defect, according to Schneier. All iPhones, even newer ones, have this issue, he added.

 

While the data is encrypted, the software controlling the phone is not,” Schneier wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Post on Thursday.

 

In other words, the part of iOS that handles passcode security could be breached, he told HuffPost.

 

“[S]omeone can create a hacked version of the software and install it on the phone,” he wrote in the Washington Post.

 

The hacked software the FBI wanted Apple to install on Farook’s iPhone could have disabled two key security measures, Schneier said.

 

The software could have bypassed a feature that wipes all of an iPhone’s data after 10 failed attempts to guess the passcode. And it could have disabled another feature that prevents users from rapidly entering one passcode after another.

 

If Apple had bypassed those two measures, Schneier wrote, the FBI would have been able to use what’s known as “brute force” to unlock the iPhone — a method that employs high-powered computing to repeatedly test passcodes until one works.

 

“This is a backdoor that exists in Apple phones that anyone could exploit,” Schneier told HuffPost.

 

Apple’s refusal to create a backdoor for law enforcement is the latest move in an ongoing confrontation between technology companies and the government over data privacy. Law enforcement agencies maintain that accessing mobile phone data can help prevent and solve crimes.

 

But Apple insists that creating a way for law enforcement to access encrypted phone data would threaten the privacy of iPhone users everywhere.

 

“Building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a backdoor,” Apple’s CEO wrote on Wednesday. “And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.”

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