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The Team That Digs Deeper to Have Fun

Mikaela Foecke, center, co-captain of the University of Nebraska women’s volleyball team, has helped the Cornhuskers win two national titles in the past three years.
Mikaela Foecke, center, co-captain of the University of Nebraska women’s volleyball team, has helped the Cornhuskers win two national titles in the past three years. Photo: Nebraska Athletic Communications

How do you climb to the top of a crowded college sports landscape? Locker room dance parties and Ultimate Frisbee games are part of the winning formula for the University of Nebraska’s women’s volleyball team.

“In the off-season, building camaraderie is just as important as building strength,” says Mikaela Foecke, a senior and co-captain. “Because you rely heavily on your teammates, it’s important to get along on and off the court.”

Ms. Foecke stands 6-foot-3 and is a rare six-rotation player, responsible for duties in the front and back rows.
Ms. Foecke stands 6-foot-3 and is a rare six-rotation player, responsible for duties in the front and back rows. Photo: Nebraska Athletic Communications

The Cornhuskers have more wins than any other NCAA Division I college program and five national championships. Ms. Foecke, 21, has been a dominant force on the team. She was twice named most outstanding player of the final four, including last fall, when she helped lead the Huskers to their second national crown in three years.

Ms. Foecke means business on the court. When the team needs a score, her teammates jokingly say, “Feed the beast.” That means getting the ball to Ms. Foecke, who is known for her kills—unreturnable spikes or attacks that lead to a point. But she also values fun at practice.

With three to four freshmen in this season’s starting rotation, it was crucial to use the off-season to bond. The team uses unconventional workouts as a way to tune up their skills and get to know each other. Games like Ultimate Frisbee and flag football, Ms. Foecke says, help improve team communication, while also working hand-eye coordination and cardio.

“Throwing a football spiral is actually quite similar to hitting a volleyball,” she says. “Plus, it’s more fun to throw to your teammates and it helps with our speed and reaction time.”

Players also take a DiSC personality assessment test ahead of the season. They use the results to help improve team communication. “The test helps us understand how different players approach conflict or deal with stress and pressure,” Ms. Foecke says. “If someone is having a rough day, you need to know how to handle it.”

Ms. Foecke played middle blocker in high school in Fort Madison, Iowa, where she earned the 2014-15 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year honors. She played outside blocker her first two seasons with the Huskers. Last year head coach John Cook asked her to become a six-rotation player, responsible for duties in both the front and back rows.

Few players have the versatility to attack, defend and pass, says Huskers strength coach Brian Kmitta: “Mikaela is that rare athlete who can do a little of everything really well.”

Ms. Foecke, an animal science major, says she would like to play volleyball professionally after graduation, but first plans to attend veterinary school. The Huskers finished the weekend ranked third nationally.

Ms. Foecke gets her core muscles firing ahead of practice by performing crunches.
Ms. Foecke gets her core muscles firing ahead of practice by performing crunches. Photo: Terry A. Ratzlaff for The Wall Street Journal
The Workout

Two mornings a week the team hits the weight room for an hour, focusing on the low back, quads, calves, glutes, shoulders and abs. Muscle-activation exercises help ensure the players use their core rather than their back when hitting the ball.

“There can be a lot of wear and tear on the body if you aren’t engaging the right muscles,” she says. When she does crunches or holds plank pose, she focuses on firing her abdominal muscles. To activate her hamstrings and quads, she’ll do deep walking lunges backward.

The team practices for three hours, five afternoons a week. Basic skills drills cover blocking, serving and hitting. Ms. Foecke says agility is especially key when playing the back row. Rather than just have them do wind sprints or ladder drills, Mr. Kmitta might ask the women play tag or a game called rabbit and hound. “The rabbits can choose what cones to run to and in what order, and the hounds have to follow them,” he says.

As the season progresses, practices focus on fundamentals and six-on-six scrimmages. Recovery is essential to stay injury-free throughout a season that runs from August through December. Ms. Foecke relies on regular massage work and ice baths. She also uses compression leg sleeves after games.

Ms. Foecke says games like Ultimate Frisbee and flag football have helped her team bond while also building important skills like agility and eye-hand coordination.
Ms. Foecke says games like Ultimate Frisbee and flag football have helped her team bond while also building important skills like agility and eye-hand coordination. Photo: Allyssa Hynes/Nebraska Athletic Communications
The Diet

Breakfast is either oatmeal or eggs and multigrain toast. She’ll have a protein shake with berries, spinach, flaxseed and almond milk after a morning strength session. She eats a turkey sandwich loaded with vegetables on whole grain bread for lunch. Dinner is usually chicken with broccoli and a starch, like potatoes. “A good, soft chocolate chip cookie is my favorite splurge,” she says.

The Gear

“Knee pads and elbow guards are essential,” Ms. Foecke says. Adidas is the official supplier of the Huskers athletics program. When it comes to apparel, she loves her Apple Watch. “I don’t wear it when I play, because I’m afraid I’ll crack the screen,” she says. “But during workouts, it’s super interesting to see my heart rate change and calories burned.”

The Playlist

The team is known for its locker room dance parties. Favorite songs include “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus and “Cupid Shuffle” by R&B singer Cupid.

Ms. Foecke, a senior, has already surpassed 1,000 kills—unreturnable spikes or attacks that lead to a point—in her college volleyball career.
Ms. Foecke, a senior, has already surpassed 1,000 kills—unreturnable spikes or attacks that lead to a point—in her college volleyball career. Photo: Allyssa Hynes/Nebraska Athletic Communications

Laugh Together, Win Together

Mary Fry, director of the University of Kansas Sport and Exercise Psychology Lab in Lawrence, Kan., says Mikaela Foecke and her teammates are wise to make off-season activities fun.

Academic research backs it up, she says, adding, “When athletes are having fun, it follows that they try harder, enjoy social interactions with their teammates and have greater commitment to their sport.” Exercisers who make their workouts more fun might have similar success. “Making physical activity fun is key to sustaining workout motivation over time,” says Dr. Fry.

Upping the fun factor can be as simple as putting on music to lighten the mood, or for individuals, asking a friend to join, says Warrick Wood, a lecturer of sport psychology at Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand. Mr. Wood says by turning basic drills, particularly warm-ups, into some type of game, you get the added bonus of working on spatial awareness and communication.

“It’s likely that games will use different muscles, so athletes also get a chance to rest the muscles they use all season while still getting a workout in,” Dr. Fry says.

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14 Lip Tints That Are Pretty, Easy, and Hydrating

If you happened to dart into a beauty retailer recently, you might’ve noticed something. Alongside the boatload of matte lip finishes and liquid lipsticks, a different formula is taking hold. Gentle, easy lip tints and stains are hitting shelves left and right from brands as skin-friendly as Origins and as dramatic as Pat McGrath Labs. It’s not hard to see why: Lip tints combine the best parts of lip gloss and lipstick (shine, gorgeous color) without the downsides of either formula (stickiness, difficulty of application). And on top of that, they come in tons of shapes and forms. Whether it’s the gorgeous, sheer colors of Essence and the options of Dior, or the glisten of CoverGirl’s and the juicy, tinted lip oils of Lâncome, one way or the other, your lips end up with a wash of natural color, and hydrated to boot. Ahead, find the best lip tints out there.

This Rotten Week: Predicting First Man, Bad Times At The El Royale, And Goosebumps 2 Reviews

We are now a week into October, a month known for launching awards-hungry titles, auteur projects, and horror movies, and this week we have all three. We take a walk on the moon, visit a motel that isn’t what it seems, and dive back into the world of R.L. Stine books. Get ready for First Man, Bad Times At The El Royale and Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween.

Just remember, I’m not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they’ll end up on the Tomatometer. Let’s take a look at This Rotten Week has to offer.

It’s pretty crazy that about 50 years after the moon landing First Man is the first big-budget Hollywood film made about what is arguably the most iconic and historical event of the 20th century. Here we get Ryan Gosling portraying Neil Armstrong in the lead up and execution of the Apollo 11 space mission. It details the stress, unknowns and danger involved with the first mission to have a man walk on the moon, and also has the backdrop of how it played within the Armstrong family. It’s easy to think about this mission as a breezy, easy success now, but at the time it seemed impossible.

Damien Chazelle directs after working with Gosling on La La Land 91%) , which was his second Best Picture nominated feature after his directorial debut, Whiplash (94%). His latest is garnering a fair amount of critical acclaim following festival premieres with the Tomatometer sitting at 89% with close to 80 reviews counted. Writers seem ti agree both the story and the lead carry the film, and I doubt we see the score drop all that much over the course of the week. It looks like a sure-fire winner.

How The Walking Dead’s Premiere Death Was Different From The Comics

Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn’t yet watched The Walking Dead’s Season 9 premiere.

While it might not have seemed possible a year ago, AMC’s The Walking Dead mirrored its comic book source material by permanently taking the backstabbing slimeball Gregory out of the picture. It was quite a shocking way to end the episode, even for comic fans who knew it was inevitable, since Gregory’s death wasn’t handled in quite the same was as it went down in the comics.

It’s always interesting to see how The Walking Dead matches up its big moments, especially when death is involved. As such, we’ve taken a look at the ways Gregory’s death compared and contrasted to his illustrated demise.

When Gregory’s Death Happened

For one, Xander Berkeley’s second-tier villain survived deeper into the storyline following the time-jump that glossed over the post-War timeframe . Comic Gregory made it through 14 issues after the “New Beginning” arc began, with much of it centered on his duplicitous actions, but he didn’t even escape the first episode of Season 9. I definitely hadn’t expected Gregory to still be causing chaos in Episode 14, but offing him in the season premiere was an enjoyable surprise.

It’s perhaps a testament to Xander Berkeley’s performance that The Walking Dead didn’t need another half-season to exposit further justification for killing Gregory off. I mean, he could have met the business end of Rick’s hatchet minutes after his introduction, and no one would have batted a sympathetic eye. But his acts in the Season 9 premiere, combined with all the ways he sided with Negan during the All Out War and his other crappy behavior, made him ripe for any negative repercussions he had coming.

What Led To Gregory’s Death

A kernel of a narrative thread is shared by both the comic and TV deaths, as well as the name Tammy Rose, in that Gregory brought other Hilltop citizens into his vengeful plotting against Maggie. In Robert Kirkman’s original take on the character, Gregory preyed on the anger of parents Morton and Tammy Rose, whose son Brandon and his friend were assaulting Comic Sophia and were then severely beaten by a shovel-wielding Carl. This clearly couldn’t have adapted for the show, since those characters are long dead now.

One similarity between the comic and the show is that Gregory ended up convincing the father character that Maggie should die. Only instead of Morton pulling the evening sneak attack that Earl drunkenly botched, Comic Gregory straight-up poisoned a glass of wine he’d offered Maggie, during what was meant to be a peacekeeping conversation. Jesus walked into the room right as Gregory was gloating far too early about his assassination attempt, and the latter then failed to convince anyone that he was innocent of anything.

This is a case where I found the TV show was really successful in changing up a major comic death, and if anyone was worried about Gregory not truly deserving it in live-action, his later attempt to stab Maggie should have eased it. John Finn’s Earl is believably crushed after hearing about his son Ken’s death, and Brett Butler’s Tammy Rose is believably eager to cut Maggie down over it, so it’s easier to grasp why they might be more susceptible to Gregory’s influence, not recognizing that he was really just finding someone else to do his dirty work.

As well, Earl and Tammy Rose’s genuine emotions stood in opposition to everything Gregory has ever done, which provides a deeper understanding behind Maggie’s decision to punish Gregory so harshly while still sparing Earl. Considering Earl’s murder attempt had him pushing over baby Hershel’s stroller, which was as monstrous a move as anything seen on this show before, Earl better shape up and not carry on any of Morton’s other shitty behavior from the comics.

How Gregory’s Hanging Went Down

After Maggie and Gregory’s confrontation, in which she got to use her paraphrased comic line — “You want to lead this place? You can’t even murder someone right.” — the TV show mimicked the comic book in a certain way. Rather than depicting the minute-by-minute lead-up to the noose getting slipped around Gregory’s head, both versions pulled focus from the villainous turd and used Rick as the communal voice of reason echoing back on itself.

On the show, Andrew Lincoln’s Rick was partially successful in convincing Maggie to keep helping the former Saviors at the Sanctuary, despite her overwhelmingly hateful feelings about Negan. Soon after she declared to Rick that she couldn’t solve their problems, the scene shifted to the nighttime setting for Gregory’s hanging, offering a most telling juxtaposition.

Issue #141 of the comics takes place after the previously described events, and centers almost entirely on Rick dealing with an issue involving the imprisoned Negan. The issue comes to its near-close with Rick telling Andrea that it’s so important to prove that they can survive without death being used as the only form of punishment, and that everything could fall apart if they were to return to their more savage ways. And then — BOOM — the last page of the issue is the gruesome shot of Gregory’s wide-eyed and drooling face as his body hangs. Thankfully, Maggie’s line “Cut him down” was retained for the death’s media transition.

We’ve still got a lot of questions after the premiere, with a big one being, “Is Maggie really going to leave the Hilltop this season after finally getting Gregory to shut the fuck up for good?” And then there’s…well, okay, maybe that’s the main question that was inspired by the shithead’s death. Although if new showrunner Angela Kang and her creative team are willing to change up the comics this much with Gregory’s death, what if they’re willing to change more? Like, what if Maggie’s story is altered so that Gregory won’t be the only one to face corporal punishment during Maggie’s rule within the Hilltop? Things could get way more intense, especially for an already exiting character like Rick.

The Walking Dead will continue to bring comic moments to fans, both faithful and remixed, every Sunday night on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. A lot of other great TV has been hitting primetime recently, and everything can be found in our fall TV premiere schedule.

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How The Walking Dead Set Maggie And Rick Apart As Leaders In The Season Premiere

Warning: major spoilers ahead for the Season 9 premiere of The Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead has finally returned for its ninth season to pay off on the Season 8 finale that saw Rick spare Negan, resulting in some of his closest allies secretly turning on him. Maggie in particular was furious about Rick denying her vengeance for what Negan did to Glenn, and Season 9 was bound to show how she handles leading Hilltop differently from how Rick leads Alexandria. Here’s how the premiere handled it.

The significant time jump between the end of Season 8 and the beginning of Season 9 gave Maggie the time to develop as a leader as well as give birth to her baby off-screen without forcing the show to address the growing difficulties of a zombie apocalypse pregnancy. It was revealed early in the episode that she only relatively recently became the official leader of Hilltop, as ousted leader Gregory had called for a vote.

Since Gregory didn’t completely change his character during the 18-month time jump, it probably wasn’t a terribly close election. While one would think that the position of leader at Hilltop would be a pretty sweet gig, Maggie was visibly frustrated for much of the episode, even before the reveal that she executed Gregory. She was visibly irritated when Rick would make calls for the entire group when her people were involved, and she refused to go back to Alexandria where Negan was, even if going to Alexandria might have been more practical.

It couldn’t have helped that she was getting grief from just about all sides, despite the fact that her community was flourishing. As it turns out, the other settlements were largely reaping the benefits without contributing a whole lot in return. Nothing could even grow in the factory of the Sanctuary, let alone produce enough to share with other settlements. Hilltop wasn’t thrilled that they were working so hard and other communities were gaining from it. It was a no-win for Maggie.

Rick was getting “bless you” and rounds of applause from the former Saviors while Maggie was being forbidden from the funeral of one of her own people because of something that went wrong and was not at all her fault. She was being blamed at Hilltop for sharing food with the Saviors, as if everything else wasn’t enough. So, when Gregory got in the head of the dead boy’s father and encouraged him to seek revenge on Maggie, she didn’t have a hole lot of restraint. Although she successfully got rid of him — and therefore enabled viewers to stop wondering when somebody was finally going to snap and just kill Gregory — by hanging him, his influence remains. Not everybody is happy with Maggie.

Unfortunately, the parallels between Maggie and Negan aren’t too hard to spot. We can probably be confident that she’ll never play “eenie meenie miney moe” with people while wielding a barbed wire baseball bat. Still, she has adopted his attitude to a certain degree. She eventually demanded that the people of the Sanctuary give up resources that they were already short on, and she argued that they’re lucky enough that they were allowed to survive after surrender. At Hilltop under Maggie, the punishment fits the crime, and so Gregory was hanged.

She won’t be Negan 2.0, but if people at Hilltop begin to grumble that their new leader shares some qualities with the man who once ruled over them, it won’t be difficult to understand why. So that is who Maggie has become as a leader after the time jump. What about Rick?

For his part, Rick doesn’t seem to enjoy his celebrity among the Saviors or the warm welcome he receives when he visits the Sanctuary, but he doesn’t exactly protest too much. He laughed it off when Michonne teased him about it and then spent a happy night with the woman he loves. While there’s nothing wrong with Rick enjoying his lot in life after so much suffering, seeing him happy and in love while Maggie struggles under all kinds of pressure and Daryl wallows in misery as leader of the Sanctuary isn’t easy.

It also gives the impression that Rick has gotten overly comfortable with the respect he receives as the leader who stopped the war back in the Season 8 finale. He does deserve credit for ending the conflict that could have killed them all, even if it came at the cost of alienating his allies by sparing Negan, but it seems like he hasn’t really developed as a leader the way others have. Rick would be perfectly happy to have Daryl come home to Alexandria and seemed quite eager to have Maggie back, even if only as a guest.

Basically, The Walking Dead Season 9 premiere planted some seeds of potential resentment from Maggie toward Rick while not necessarily alerting Rick to the fact that trouble is brewing among his former bosom buddies. Rick doesn’t seem to realize that they’re not the friends they once were, and that friendship would have had to change with Maggie becoming a leader even if she wasn’t furious about Negan’s survival. The conversation between Rick and Maggie at Hilltop and the subsequent hanging of Gregory likely clued him in that Maggie isn’t the woman she was back when she was a faithful follower.

The differences between Maggie and Rick could make for some intriguing developments in the first half of Season 9, especially considering both Lauren Cohan and Andrew Lincoln are on their way out. The Walking Dead could very well bring Maggie back, but the odds are pretty good that Rick will bite the dust sometime before the final credits on the midseason finale roll. If Rick does die, could that motivate Maggie to change her ways and perhaps leave Hilltop in search of a place where she doesn’t have to be a ruthless leader? Will they have a showdown that results in Daryl stepping up as the new leader? What will go down with King Ezekiel now that Carol is a priority for him?

Only time will tell. New episodes of The Walking Dead air on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. The promo for next week’s episode promises the return of Negan as well as tensions rising between the various settlements. And all this before The Whisperers even make their first appearance!

4 Horror Movies To Look Forward To In October 2018

Technically the new movie is in continuity with the first, though it follows a whole new group of characters. Jeremy Ray Taylor (IT) and Caleel Harris (Castle Rock) star as friends who find their way into R.L. Stine’s abandoned house and discover a never published book: Haunted Halloween. Unlocking the tome results in the return of Stine’s most horrifying creations, including the evil ventriloquist dummy Slappy. Ari Sandall (The Duff) is at the helm, and Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween‘s ensemble cast includes Madison Iseman, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Chris Parnell, and Ken Jeong. If this film can successfully be just as fun as its predecessor, it could wind up being the second family-centric horror treat this fall after Eli Roth’s The House With A Clock In Its Walls (which is still in theaters, by the way).

The Walking Dead Season 9 Premiere Featured A Big And Shocking Death

Major spoilers below for anyone who hasn’t yet watched The Walking Dead’s Season 9 premiere.

For two seasons, The Walking Dead was home to one of TV’s most sniveling and cowardly dirtbags in the form of Xander Berkeley’s Gregory, who would always be quicker to steal a shirt than to accept it as a free gift. Alas, his reign of flagrant fuckery came to an abrupt end in the Season 9 premiere, as Gregory was hung to death for conspiring a plan to murder Maggie.

It may have been “A New Beginning” for everyone else, but Gregory found himself facing a brand new kind of ending within The Walking Dead. Well, not so new within a biblical context, but different from how the shows’ protagonists have done things in the past. Particularly in relation to how Rick chose to handle Negan at the end of the All Out War, with the Saviors’ leader merely getting imprisoned for his myriad crimes, as opposed to being sentenced to death.

Maggie was making all kinds of statements when she chose to string Gregory up. One was to the people of Hilltop (and then the other communities by trickling hearsay), and it boiled down to “If you commit a crime that’s worthy of punishment by death, then that death is imminent.” A lesson like that obviously isn’t the most hyperbolic request, seeing as how most communities get by just fine without deadly subterfuge happening at the highest order. Her tactics were heavy-handed, but effective nonetheless. I guess it would be heavy-bodied in this case.

The soon-to-be-gone Rick Grimes was the other target of Maggie’s statement, and even if that wasn’t immediately obvious to the characters on the show, the episode’s editing made it loud and clear for viewers. After Rick came to her with his request to help the food-strapped Saviors, she agreed, but only by her specific stipulations. She ended that exchange by saying the Sanctuary residents got their salvation when they weren’t killed after Negan was captured, and that she couldn’t solve their problems…which immediately cut to the hanging scene, as hinted at in the newly produced opening credits.

The final minutes of this episode told us a lot about Maggie’s place in the world right now, both authoritatively and emotionally. Those who fucked up beyond belief in the past have run out of sympathetic passes, and anyone who continues to pay the non-Maggie piper will only get to hear funeral dirges. With that in mind, if any Walking Dead character was fit to be the lead example for Maggie’s reestablished world order, it was most certainly Gregory. Let’s just hope Rick doesn’t become her next target.

I’m still stunned that Gregory managed to stay alive between the All Out War’s conclusion and the current timeline, and I have to assume he was in some kind of heavy coma the whole time. Seeing as how it took him all of two-thirds of an episode to commit all the atrocities he did. Which included, but aren’t limited to: feeding alcohol to someone who had been intentionally sober, stoking emotional fires within the parents of dead children, convincing an inebriated person to commit assault and murder, and tricking Maggie into walking into his trap by telling her that someone had defaced Glenn’s grave.

All right, if I’m being completely honest with myself, Maggie had probably already decided she was going to kill Gregory long ago if the situation ever presented itself. And had the weaselly bastard only conceived the murder plan in a way that didn’t require her to be in a specific spot in or around anyone’s grave, his life might have well been spared. But once Glenn’s name came into it, especially in such a hateful context, his fate was probably sealed tighter than the casket that Sasha died in.

Will any Walking Dead fans out there actually miss Gregory? I’ll definitely miss Xander Berkeley’s performances, since no one will ever deliver a more impactful line delivery of the word “rhetorical” than the actor. It’s a testament to his work that Gregory gets on every last one of my nerves, and it’s rare to dislike a character as much as I am fond of the person portraying it. I cannot say I’m sorry to see him go, though. Or that I hope for him to return in a later season, as others are doing in Season 9. That final-second shot of his body falling to the ground was disturbingly perfect.

Another Walking Dead character died in the episode, which was previously hinted at in one of the clips that was released ahead of the premiere. Although AJ Achinger’s Ken wasn’t a major character by any stretch of the imagination — he only got introduced earlier in the same episode — his death was the inciting incident that led to Gregory’s last big scheme. As such, it’s definitely important enough to bring up here, even if it’s equally as unsaddening as Gregory’s.

The biggest character trait that audiences could have possibly picked up about Ken is that he was an animal lover, and that he’d clearly put more focus on pet care than honing his survival skills in the years after zombies took over the planet. In the aftermath of the chaotic wagon retrieval in Washington D.C., when a batch of walkers shambled up to the group sorting their travel obstacles out, Rick called for everyone to abandone the wagon. (Even though the group was large enough to handle the threat just fine.) And it was Ken’s love of our non-human brethren that led to his downfall.

When attempting to free the horses from becoming walker chow, Ken timed things terribly and got bitten by the nearest slow-moving zombie. Things got weirdly intense in the ensuing moments as everyone crowded around and tried to make it sound like he could be saved. It was as if AMC had given Ken a standalone web series that set him up for a shocking premiere death.

Ken’s death was obviously important to his parents Earl and Tammy Ray, respectively portrayed by John Finn and Brett Butler, to the point that they came at Maggie both verbally and physically. This whole ordeal was a version of events that took place in the comics, which could mean that Earl doesn’t get to become the genial friendly face that he was in the source material. That would be a shame, but a justifiable one, if Gregory had to die for it to happen.

The Walking Dead will be around to kill off more characters (and other stuff) every Sunday night on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what other new and returning shows are on the way, our fall TV premiere schedule has everything you need.

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Kim Kardashian’s Bodyguard From Paris Incident Being Sued

The legal battle over Kim Kardashian West after her terrifying Paris robbery from a couple years ago isn’t over yet. The insurance company that paid the reality television star after the robbery is hoping to get some compensation from Pascal Duvier, the former security chief whom insurance company AIG feels is at least somewhat responsible for the incident. AIG is reportedly taking Duvier to court and expecting him to cough up a whole lot of money. To be more exact, AIG is looking to receive a whopping $6.1 million (!) in damages. Here’s what we know about the situation.

E! News reported on the latest update in the Kim Kardashian West scandal. As they note, Pascal Duvier is being sued for negligence, as he was reported to be with Kourtney Kardashian and Kendall Jenner at a nearby club when the robbers broke into Kim Kardashian West’s residence, tied her down and stole several personal items. The horrifying occurrence has been recounted by Kim Kardashian West on E!’s popular reality television series. The insurance company paid Kim Kardashian West $6.1 million after the robbery, and now, they’re looking to get that money back from Pascal Duvier.

Beyond leaving Kim Kardashian West alone in the apartment, the insurance company claims Pascal Duvier failed to secure several security breaches. That includes a malfunctioning intercom and a lock that wasn’t up to the task. The legal documents obtained by E! News claim that these safety precautions were either known by the man in charge or, at least, they should have been known, and the irresponsibility or negligence on Duvier’s part is partially responsible for the incident happening in the first place. They also claim the incident could’ve resulted in the loss of limb, life or property, and the high degree of danger was apparently evident but not acted upon. As a result, the robbers were able to break into the apartment.

The incident has been reported upon in no short order since it happened two years earlier, and it clearly remains a difficult and heartbreaking story for Kim Kardashian West to discuss and reflect upon. Since it happened, however, Kim Kardashian West has avoided robberies and other break-ins inside her new home, and it has caused the celebrity to look at life in a whole different way. Specifically, Kim Kardashian claims it made her less “materialistic” and more focused on her family and well-being. Hopefully, however, this recent legal case will provide at least a little bit of closure for what went down during this terrifying incident, and we hope that Kim Kardashian has found some peace since the incident, particularly with its two-year anniversary arriving earlier this week. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to write about the latest celebrity news and updates as they arrive right here at CinemaBlend.

Taylor Swift Just Made a Rare Political Statement

Taylor Swift has built a career on writing deeply personal song lyrics about her relationships, friendships, reputation, and more—but there’s one aspect of her personal life she’s always kept private: her political opinions. The singer is famously apolitical, and many have criticized her for not endorsing a candidate in the 2016 election.

That changed today, though. The singer just posted a lengthy message on Instagram that explained why she’s been silent until now, as well as making it unequivocally clear which way she’ll be voting in the upcoming midterm elections.

“I’m writing this post about the upcoming midterm elections on November 6th, in which I’ll be voting in the state of Tennessee,” Swift wrote. “In the past I’ve been reluctant to publicly voice my political opinions, but due to several events in my life and in the world in the past two years, I feel very differently about that now.”

One of those events Swift may be referring to is Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court yesterday. The timing is notable given that last year Swift won a symbolic $1 after a former radio DJ was found guilty of groping her during a 2014 meet-and-greet.

But it seems sexual assault isn’t the only reason Swift’s been moved to speak out. “I always have and always will cast my vote based on which candidate will protect and fight for the human rights I believe we all deserve in this country,” she wrote in her post. “I believe in the fight for LGBTQ rights, and that any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is WRONG. I believe that the systemic racism we still see in this country towards people of color is terrifying, sickening and prevalent.”

Swift then made it very clear who she will and will not be voting for in the upcoming midterm elections. “I cannot vote for someone who will not be willing to fight for dignity for ALL Americans, no matter their skin color, gender or who they love. Running for Senate in the state of Tennessee is a woman named Marsha Blackburn. As much as I have in the past and would like to continue voting for women in office, I cannot support Marsha Blackburn,” she wrote. “Her voting record in Congress appalls and terrifies me. She voted against equal pay for women. She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values. I will be voting for Phil Bredesen for Senate and Jim Cooper for House of Representatives.”

She ended the message by encouraging her fans to vote. “Please, please educate yourself on the candidates running in your state and vote based on who most closely represents your values. For a lot of us, we may never find a candidate or party with whom we agree 100% on every issue, but we have to vote anyway,” Swift wrote. “So many intelligent, thoughtful, self-possessed people have turned 18 in the past two years and now have the right and privilege to make their vote count. But first you need to register, which is quick and easy to do. October 9th is the LAST DAY to register to vote in the state of TN. Go to and you can find all the info. Happy Voting!”

See her full post, below:

Related: Taylor Swift Gave a Moving Speech About Her Sexual Assault Trial During Her Concert