Imagine being able to swim in crystal clear water "infested" with sharks and stingrays that greet swimmers like old friends. Perfectly safe, these swimmers experienced an up close encounter with some of the moist feared animals in the ocean. But the reality is that the sharks and stingrays are no threat to humans, and this wonderful encounter demonstrates this very well. Nito, known in the scuba diving world as "Big Sexy" is world renowned for his diving skill and his serious approach to a sport that requires training, careful planning, and attention to detail. He takes great pride in guaranteeing his clients safety while under his care. But he also has a fun-loving side that makes diving with him an experience that will not be forgotten. Big Sexy has a love for the ocean, the reefs, and all of the animals that live there. He strives to educate his guests and to provide them with encounters that educate and that foster a similar love for the animals. The first step in making people comfortable is make sure that they are relaxed unafraid. When this beautiful day of scuba diving was finished, Big Sexy treated his guests to a bonus swim at a place that the locals call "Shark/Ray Alley". It is here in this marine sanctuary that the animals are protected and safe, yet free to come and go as they please. The animals have learned that humans here pose no threat and they have developed a trust and curiosity that brings them up close for face to face encounters. The water is not deep and the clients were able to leave their scuba gear in the boat. Big Sexy hopped into the water with his delighted group to swim among these predators. While very few sharks are an actual danger to humans unless threatened, these nurse sharks are particularly docile and gentle. They are scavengers who eat injured or dead fish, playing an essential role in keeping the reef clean and healthy. They are still wild animals and they must be treated with respect, but the sharks have no desire to bite people, even when they are close enough to do so. The stingrays are an equally misunderstood animal, having an undeserved reputation as savage killers. The tragic death of the beloved Steve Irwin cemented this fear for many people. But stingrays are curious and docile creatures with no desire to harm humans either. Their main predators are sharks that attack from behind and above. The stingray will reflexively stab at something that surprises them with contact in this way, but they will never attack people who don't try to handle them improperly. This video actually shows one of the swimmers being met by a stingray that swims straight into his arms and makes no move to escape when it is lifted gently. The curious stingray initiated the contact on its own terms and the swimmer is obviously thrilled. Big Sexy has been introducing new scuba divers to the ocean, and accompanying seasoned scuba veterans for more than two decades. He was taught to dive by his father who grew up on the island of Ambergrise Caye in the town of San Pedro. This truly is "La ISla Bonita" and it is easy to see why Big Sexy loves it so much. Belize is one of the top scuba diving destinations in the world. Big Sexy can be found at Chuck & Robbie's Dive Instruction right on the beach and he is always waiting to take another group out to experience his "playground".
Ronny Jackson, congressman and former doctor to US presidents, has disputed alleged misdeeds.
Elon Musk's concept space vehicle completes a test flight but then destroys itself in flames.
- Associated Press
Wayne Ellington scored 25 points and the Detroit Pistons beat the virus-depleted Toronto Raptors 129-105 on Wednesday night to snap a three-game losing streak. Ellington was 8 of 11 from 3-point range and the Pistons were 20 for 41 overall from long range. Detroit’s backups had 56 points, with Rodney McGruder and Saben Lee each finishing with 20.
- The Week
The White House announced on Tuesday evening it withdrew the nomination of Neera Tanden as director of the Office of Management and Budget. In a statement, President Biden said he accepted Tanden's request to have her name withdrawn, adding that he has "the utmost respect for her record of accomplishment, her experience, and her counsel, and I look forward to having her serve in a role in my administration. She will bring valuable perspective and insight to our work." The White House also released a letter from Tanden, who wrote that she appreciated Biden's support, but it "now seems clear that there is no path forward to gain confirmation, and I do not want continued consideration of my nomination to be a distraction from your other priorities." Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, faced criticism from Republican senators who accused her of having made "thousands of negative public statements" about people like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). After Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) announced last month that he would not be backing Tanden, she needed the support of at least one Republican in order to win confirmation. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she was considering whether to vote for Tanden, and on Tuesday told reporters she was still undecided. More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearanceThe Republican grievance perpetual motion machineTrump wants revenge on Alaska's Sen. Murkowski. His advisers think he won't follow through because the flight is too long.
The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is forcing the Senate clerk to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, a procedural move that will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.During that time, Republicans will propose amendments — some unrelated to COVID relief — intended to force uncomfortable votes for Democrats, in a practice known as vote-a-rama.Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) promised Thursday that the Senate will stay in session "no matter how long it takes" to finish voting on the "American Rescue Plan."Because the bill is being considered under the budget reconciliation process, it only requires a simple majority to pass, rather than the usual 60-vote Senate threshold for major legislation.Driving the news: Speaking on the Senate floor ahead of the vote to proceed, Schumer accused Johnson of going to "ridiculous lengths" to show his opposition to a COVID relief package widely supported by the American public — including a majority of Republicans.What they're saying: "It will accomplish little more than a few sore throats for the Senate clerks who work very hard day in, day out to help the Senate function," Schumer said."Still, we are delighted that the senator from Wisconsin wants to give the American people another opportunity to hear what's in the American Rescue Plan. We Democrats want America to hear what's in the plan," he continued."Oh, yes, when the senior senator from Wisconsin reads, the American people will get another chance to hear about the tax breaks for low-income workers, and assistance for American families struggling with child care — two measures that help make the American Rescue Plan one of the single largest anti-poverty bills in recent history."Go deeper: Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief voteLike this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
A New Orleans police officer groomed and raped a 14-year-old girl he was assigned to take to a rape kit exam, a lawsuit alleges
The lawsuit alleges the officer began grooming the girl as they sat in the waiting room of a New Orleans children's hospital.
- The Week
Trump inadvertently boosts Biden's stimulus messaging with another statement raging against McConnell
Former President Donald Trump has released a new post-presidency statement, and Democrats might just be glad he did. The former president, who remains permanently banned from Twitter, released a statement Thursday once again raging against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), blasting him as the "most unpopular politician in the country" while blaming him for Republicans' Senate losses in Georgia — losses for which Trump himself has been blamed by other Republicans. One of the reasons Republicans lost the two Georgia Senate runoffs in January, Trump argues, was "Mitch McConnell's refusal to go above $600 per person on the stimulus check payments when the two Democrat opponents were touting $2,000 per person in ad after ad." The statement offered "quite the pre-stimulus political gift to Democrats," wrote National Journal's Josh Kraushaar, while The Washington Post's Dave Weigel noted that Trump "remarkably" used this opportunity to "validate Biden's messaging on the $1,400 checks instead of whacking him and Democrats for curtailing them." Remarkably, Trump also uses this statement to validate Biden's messaging on the $1400 checks instead of whacking him and Democrats for curtailing them. "The $2000 will be approved anyway by the Democrats." https://t.co/M9dXoX13VS — Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) March 4, 2021 Indeed, Trump writes that "the $2,000 will be approved anyway by the Democrats," while offering no comment on the fact that the new checks are actually for $1,400, nor on Biden's recent compromise that narrows the eligibility. Politico's Gabby Orr observed that Trump "could have put out a statement saying the income phase-outs in the Biden stimulus bill are going to mean he gave checks to more Americans," but "instead he's still targeting his own party with stuff like this." This was just Trump's latest statement in this vein after he released another one last month describing McConnell as an "unsmiling political hack." He also mentioned McConnell in a recent Conservative Political Action Conference speech, in which he took credit for McConnell's recent re-election. McConnell told Fox News he "didn't watch" the speech and that "we're dealing with the present and the future, not looking back to the past." More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearanceThe Republican grievance perpetual motion machineTrump wants revenge on Alaska's Sen. Murkowski. His advisers think he won't follow through because the flight is too long.
- Business Insider
How much YouTube pays influencers for 100,000, 1 million, and 150 million views, according to top creators
We spoke with creators on YouTube who broke down how much money they've made on a single video from Google.
- The Week
Trump wants revenge on Alaska's Sen. Murkowski. His advisers think he won't follow through because the flight is too long.
Don't bet on former President Donald Trump traveling to campaign against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) — and not because of any sudden change of heart. A new report from The Washington Post discusses the Alaska Republican's influence during President Biden's administration, as well as the fact that Trump is "vowing publicly and privately to work to oust her" as she seeks a fourth Senate term in 2022. Murkowski was one of seven Republican senators who voted to convict Trump in his second impeachment trial, and she's reportedly "higher on his list of enemies" than other lawmakers, coming in just under Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) At the same time, the Post reports that while Trump "does want to spend money against" Murkowski, some "people in his circle doubt, though, that he will be as much of a potent force in the race because traveling to campaign against her would require such a long flight, which Trump generally avoids." There's also the fact that, the Post says, Trump's advisers "recognize the complexity of winning in Alaska," which uses ranked-choice voting, though the report adds that it's likely Murkowski will face pro-Trump opposition in the race in some form. Trump recently went after Murkowski during his first speech since leaving office at the Conservative Political Action Conference, naming her while he slammed a series of Republican "grandstanders" and called on supporters to "get rid of them all." Murkowski has defended her vote to impeach Trump, saying she couldn't "be afraid of" the political repercussions and that if Alaska voters decide that "because I did not support my party that I can no longer serve them in the United States Senate, then so be it." More stories from theweek.com7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump's CPAC appearanceThe Republican grievance perpetual motion machineWhich states best handled the pandemic? There's no clear answer.
- Business Insider
Biden supports making a temporary $3,000 payment to parents in the stimulus bill permanent going forward
Senate Democrats want to make the larger tax credit permanent and give families an option to receive monthly checks. Biden wants a permanent one too.
Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle's wedding-dress embroiderer says she hasn't heard from the royal family since revealing she's on the brink of homelessness
"It just makes me feel like I don't exist," Chloe Savage, who worked on Kate Middleton's and Meghan Markle's wedding dresses, told Insider.
Sarah Silverman apologizes to Paris Hilton 14 years after making jokes about her jail sentence at the 2007 MTV Movie Awards
Earlier this week, Hilton called the comedian's jokes at the 2007 MTV Movies Awards "cruel" and "mean."
- Business Insider
Jeffrey Epstein's New York home is about to sell for $50 million, more than $40 million under asking price
Proceeds from the sales will go to Epstein's estate, which established a victim's fund for women accusing Epstein of sexually abusing them as minors.
- Business Insider
Rudy Giuliani, who helped lead Trump's bogus election-fraud conspiracy theory, is being mocked after warning of the dangers of misinformation
After spending months pushing Trump's election fraud conspiracy theory, Giuliani unexpectedly warned of the dangers of misinformation.
- Business Insider
GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn says being called a 'Neanderthal' is actually a good thing after Biden criticized states for lifting mask mandates
They're "hunter-gatherers, they're protectors of their family, they are resilient," Blackburn said of Neanderthals, who are now extinct.
- Business Insider
Unemployment benefits will expire in 10 days if Congress doesn't pass a stimulus bill. Here's what else could expire this month.
Unemployment benefits will expire on March 14 without a stimulus bill. Also on the table: paid sick leave, small business aid, and housing aid.
The broadcaster announces the dating show will return this summer, but doesn't confirm the location.
- Associated Press
Bay Hill was bustling Thursday morning, just like golf before the pandemic. The fans were limited in numbers but they all wanted the same dose of entertainment provided by Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau. First it was McIlroy, slowly feeling better about his game, and with good reason.
- Business Insider
Porsche just debuted a taller, more rugged Taycan EV with matching e-bikes - tour the $91,000 Cross Turismo
Porsche calls it a crossover, but we all know the 2021 Taycan Cross Turismo for what it is: an all-electric wagon. It also has matching e-bikes.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
The pastor has since “taken a leave of absence and is seeking professional counseling,” the church said.