U.S. Customs Officers Allegedly Assaulted Coworkers In ‘Rape Table’ Ritual

Several officers of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency have come forward with bombshell allegations against their colleagues at Newark Airport in New Jersey.

Three officers told NBC New York they were sexually assaulted as part of disturbing rituals that involved being duct-taped to a table other officers called the ?rape table.? The victims said that while no one ever removed their clothes, other officers would forcibly rub their genital areas on the victims strapped to the table, as well as grab them. This practice has been happening for years, according to the officers.

One victim said that ?hazing? is an understatement of what happened to them.

?Hazing wouldn?t do this justice,? CBP officer Vito Degironimo told NBC. ?This is complete assault. They take you in a room and your fellow officers are all watching as officers grab you.?

Read and watch the whole interview at NBC 4 New York.

Diana Cifuentes and Dan Arencibia told the station they managed to avoid the table, but experienced other horrific harassment from colleagues. At one point, Cifuentes said, someone pointed a gun at her in the office.

Degironimo filed an internal complaint after months of alleged abuse, and he and the two others eventually went to a lawyer and are considering a lawsuit.

Charlie Smith, who was identified by the Daily Beast as a CBP agent,  corroborated the trio?s allegations in an interview with the news outlet, saying he?s heard stories of 17 similar assaults.

?Everybody has the same story,? he told The Daily Beast. ?Their MO is always the same. There?s a supervisor who turned the lights off in the room. They?d call [the victim] into the room, so it was pitch-black when he came in. They threw him down on the table and did what they did.?

Smith, who began working at Newark in 2015, said he was ?recently? transferred out for his own protection after he reported the assault against Degironimo to whistleblower hotlines for Senators Ron Johnson and Claire McCaskill.

He also told the Daily Beast that Degironimo had already reported the attack to his own supervisors, but instead of launching an internal investigation, management simply removed the table. 

CPB confirmed to HuffPost in a statement that it is working with the Department of Homeland Security to investigate the allegations.

?We do not tolerate corruption or abuse within our ranks, and we cooperate fully with all criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, whether it occurs on or off duty,? a CPB spokesperson said in a statement. ?An investigation of the hazing allegations is ongoing, led by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General with the assistance of the CBP Office of Professional Responsibility.??

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Nicki Minaj Is Starting An ‘Official Charity’ To Pay Off Student Loans

Last weekend, hip-hop living legend Nicki Minaj made waves when she decided ? seemingly spontaneously ? to start making tuition and student payments for straight-A students who reached out to her via Twitter. 

On Friday, Minaj followed up over Instagram, describing some of the payments she?d made for the students ? at least one of whom started crying, she said. She also said she would go on ?another impromptu payment spree? sometime in the next couple months.

Most notably, Minaj announced that she was in the process of launching an ?official charity for Student Loans/Tuition Payments,? meaning kids who are having trouble paying their way through school could soon get some much-needed help.

?You?ll be able to officially sign up! I?ll keep you posted!? she wrote. 

Considering the amount of student loan debt in the U.S. has ballooned to over $1 trillion, we?re going to need quite a big charity. 

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5 Science-Backed Ways To Have A Happier Morning

Before I became a mom, I woke up naturally, as bluebirds pulled back my covers with their little beaks and doe-eyed deers brought me my slippers. At least that?s my sleep deprived memory of it all.

One thing is for sure, with or without kids, getting up in the morning with a smile on your face can sometimes be hard.

For those of not predestined to be ?morning people,? you can try to counter this grumpy mood by investing in a good, comfortable mattress, getting enough sleep (but not too much) and waking up slowly.

If you usually have a case of the grumps when you first open your eyes try these tips to turn that early morning frown upside down.

1. Get things tidy the night before

A few simple steps taken before bed can make all the difference to our morning happiness. For me, that means placing a bottle of water on my nightstand (I always wake up thirsty,) and making sure the coffee pot is programmed to start brewing the minute my eyes are pried open by an enthusiastic toddler.

Try laying out your clothes for the day, prepare your lunch and if you are feeling really ambitious have your gym bag packed and ready at the door.

A study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that that women who described their homes as ?messy? or ?cluttered? were more prone to depression, fatigue, and anxiety. Having a quick tidy before bed ensures you wake up without a list of chores to do. 

2. Do some quick stretches

Most people get up too quickly in the mornings without giving their body time to wake up. Instead try lying in your bed for a while and stretching out all your muscles, then slowly rise and do more simple stretches

Scientific American reported on a study that shows even small amounts of physical activity can make you feel good.

3. Indulge in the bathroom

Instead of just jumping in the shower and sudsing with a basic soap take the time to make this a mini spa experience. Use a luxe shower gel, body lotion and invest in fluffy towels. Add some whale song for the ultimate in gentle waking.

Innovative thought and creativity can strike you in the shower, bolstering happiness and self worth, according to Washington University psychologist R. Keith Sawyer.

4. Eat, even if you don?t feel like it

Make something really tasty that gets you down the stairs and fuelled up for the day?s work. If you can?t bear to eat early in the morning try a liquid breakfast like a smoothie or veggie juice with mood boosting ingredients.

A study in Psychological Science found that by being organized with a little pre-planning we naturally make better nutritional decisions.

5. Plan something fun for later

If all else fails, having something to look forward to during the day really helps to chase away the early morning blues. Plan to make your favorite meal for supper, arrange to get coffee with a friend, or send a sexy text message to your honey.

After all anticipation, itself can make you happy.

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