Jeremy Corbyn is wrong. You don’t have to be a member of the EU to be part of the single market.

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Jeremy Corbyn said on Sunday that a Labour government would leave the single market because remaining in it is ‘dependent on membership of the EU’.

Commentators have been quick to point out that there are four countries in the single market that are not members of the EU. But is there more going on here for Labour?

FactCheck investigates.

What is the single market?

The European single market allows free movement of goods, services, money and labour between member countries.

‘Free movement’ means that things and people can cross borders without paying tariffs.

Many of those who campaigned for Leave in the EU referendum said that single market membership means no control over immigration and being subject to too many EU rules and regulations.

Although a number of pro-Brexit campaigners – including Daniel Hannan, a senior figure in the Vote Leave organisation – said before the referendum that they wouldn’t want the UK to leave the single market after Brexit.

But after the referendum, the Institute for Fiscal Studies said that full membership of the single market ‘substantially reduces the cost of trade within the EU’, which they say in turn leads to higher living standards for people in the UK.

Four countries are single market members but not in the EU.

On Sunday, Mr Corbyn said that membership of the single market is dependent on membership of the EU. But the status of four European countries suggests that’s not the case.

The single market is bigger than the EU. It has 32 members: the 28 EU states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Would campaigning for single market membership be politically feasible for Labour?

On that technical point, then, Mr Corbyn is wrong. Based on the experience of the four non-EU members of the single market, there’s no reason why the UK couldn’t leave the EU but remain in the single market.

But recent comments by his shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, suggest that Labour may have rejected single market membership because they think the alternative is too politically challenging.

In June, Mr McDonnell said that the party would seek ‘tariff-free access to the single market’ (it’s worth noting that ‘access’ to the single market is not the same as ‘membership’ of it).

He went on to say, when pushed on single market membership, that Labour ‘are respecting the decision of the referendum […] I think people will interpret membership of the single market as not respecting that referendum’.

Could Labour’s rejection of the single market alienate its own members?

From Mr McDonnell’s comments, it seems that senior figures in Labour fear that staying in the single market will alienate pro-Brexit voters, and might be seen as a rejection of the referendum result.

But Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, said in June that he wouldn’t want to take single market membership ‘off the table’.

And after Mr Corbyn’s interview on Sunday, Chuka Umunna, Labour MP for Streatham and Chair of the organisation Vote Leave Watch, was quick to point out that there are four non-EU members of the single market. Mr Umunna later said that ‘Taking Single Market and Customs Union membership off the table in the Brexit talks is the Tory position, it should not be Labour’s’.

Recent polling by the Party Members Project suggests that Mr Umunna may be onto something. According to that data, two-thirds of Labour party members think Britain should definitely stay in the single market. Just 4.2 per cent said they thought the UK should give up single market membership after Brexit.

What does the EU make of the UK’s future in the single market?

So there’s some disagreement within Labour’s ranks on whether the UK should stay in the single market. But perhaps more important is what the key figures on the other side of the negotiating table think.

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said in January that the UK could not ‘cherry-pick’ the terms of its future relationship with the EU after Brexit. And the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has said that it won’t be possible for the UK to achieve the ‘frictionless trade’ for which the government has advocated if we leave the single market.

FactCheck verdict

Jeremy Corbyn is wrong that single market membership is ‘dependent’ on being in the EU – there are four countries in the single market that are not part of the Union.

On a political level, Labour seem conflicted on this issue. Senior members of the party apparently fear that staying in the single market will alienate pro-Brexit voters and might look like they are rejecting the referendum result.

But if that really is Labour’s assessment, it’s a big gamble: many of its own members want the UK to stay in the single market after Brexit.   

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Check out this video of Gal Gadot meeting a teary-eyed Wonder Woman fan.

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Gadot came through big time for a young fan.

Wonder Woman came to the rescue of a young fan at Comic-​Con — and honestly, it just got a little dusty in here. I’m cryin’.

A young girl, dressed as Wonder Woman, approached Gal Gadot in tears during a meet and greet with the "Justice League" cast. According to the girl’s mom, children’s author Christine Keller, the girl was so overcome with joy that she couldn’t stop crying.

"There’s no reason to cry," Gadot can be heard telling the young fan in a video of the encounter, captured by Variety. "Here we are together."

"Your ability to cry is what makes you such a warrior," Ezra Miller, one of Gadot’s "Justice League" co-stars chimed in. "Come join the Justice League whenever you get ready."

"These characters matter and can have a huge influence on young people," wrote Keller on her Facebook page. She’s not alone in thinking that either.

"What a great role model and genuine, nice person. My daughter will always remember this moment for the rest of her life. Thank you, Gal Gadot!"

Back in June, "Wonder Woman" director Patty Jenkins shared some awesome feedback she received from a kindergarten teacher.

Around the time of the film’s release, actress Viola Davis posted a photo of her daughter dressed as the iconic character and has talked about how Wonder Woman helped inspire her to be brave and stand up to bullies when she was growing up.

Boys have plenty of iconic heroes they can see themselves in on the big screen: Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, 12 different iterations of The Doctor on "Doctor Who," and on and on. That’s why when an awesomely badass character like Wonder Woman gets a chance (and absolutely nails it, by the way), it’s worth taking note.

There’s even more good news for Wonder Woman fans: In addition to the upcoming "Justice League" movie, Warner Bros. confirmed that there’s going to be a "Wonder Woman" sequel.

Check out this Wonder Woman-focused "Justice League" sneak peek that debuted at Comic-Con. *makes loud, excited noises*

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Nock Co. x One Star Leather Fodderstack XL

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http://toolsandtoys.net nock-co-x-one-star-leather-fodderstack-xl

Since early 2015, the nylon Fodderstack XL case by our friends at Nock Co. has been a useful way to carry your favorite pocket notebook (or stack of index cards) and a nice pen or two.

Last week, they unveiled a collaboration with Keegan Uhl of One Star Leather Goods — the same guy who makes awesome stuff like the Park Sloper wallet + notebook cover and Hobonichi Techo planner cover — for a leather version of the Fodderstack XL. In their own words, the Leather Fodderstack XL “brings the same style and fit to the table, but in a beautiful and durable tan leather that will age wonderfully.”

Get it for $60 at Nock Co.


Check out our April 2015 review of the original (non-XL) Fodderstack. (Spoiler alert: We love it.)

Buy Now

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The 5 nicest things that happened on this week’s ‘Game of Thrones.’

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Welcome to “A Song of Nice and Fire” Upworthy’s weekly series recapping one of the most brutal shows on TV. Since brutality is not really in our wheelhouse, Eric March has taken it upon himself to dig deep, twist and turn, and squint really hard to see if he can find the light of kindness in all the darkness. He may not always succeed, but by gosh if he won’t try his best.

Here’s what he found on this week’s "Game of Thrones."

If seven years of bumping around Westeros has taught me anything, it’s that the game giveth, and the game taketh away. No more so than for those of us who recappeth the game on the internet.

Poor snowy horsemen. Image by Helen Sloan/HBO.

Last week was full of human kindness. This week, not so much. So … I’m going to do things a little differently.

I’m going to summarize the down and dirty of what happened in each location. Then, I’m going to give the nicest person in that location special props. An award, of sorts. Named after the kindest, gentlest soul ever to visit there.

Let’s give this a shot, shall we?

Dragonstone

The episode opens just a few days (weeks? months? What timescale are we operating at here again, anyway?) into Daenerys’ triumphant homecoming to Dragonstone, where she and Varys are just not getting along.

The spymaster tries to whisper sweet, manipulative nothings to the breaker of freaking chains to no avail because, of course, there’s the tiny matter of Varys trying to have Dany killed way back in season one. Varys does manage to slip back into the dragon queen’s good (or, let’s be honest, medium) graces by playing the complete and total honesty card and declaring his loyalty to the continent’s smallfolk, a concern Daenerys purports to share, even though she will shortly be raining dragonfire down on a fair percentage of them.

"So. Who saw Spider-Man?" Image by Helen Sloan/HBO.

Later, Melisandre shows up for some light exposition about gender neutral pronouns in high Valyrian, and Dany’s 4/5 badass female war council hash out their battle plans for taking back the Seven Kingdoms. Could Tyrion’s encyclopedic knowledge of the Casterly Rock sewer system finally be about to pay off?

Perhaps not if Daenerys heeds Olenna’s advice to "ignore all men."

On the eve of battle, Missandei and Grey Worm decide they can’t hide their terribly hidden feelings from each other anymore. What follows is about as tender a love scene as we’re likely to ever get on "Game of Thrones," which means…

The Shireen Baratheon Award of Generosity goes to: Missandei and Grey Worm: She for teaching a eunuch how to love and he for apparently being the only man on either continent who’s heard of cunnilingus. I mean, do the women have to put it in a raven, guys? This isn’t rocket science.

Winterfell

In response to an invitation from Tyrion, Jon and Davos discuss plans to meet up with Daenerys and her dragons — and Sansa is like, "You guys."

Then, Jon tells all the northern and Eyrie lords about his plan to get down with a Targaryen restoration — something none of them are particularly stoked about, given Dany’s focus on killing lords and masters and the human burning that happened during the last go-around — to save the world from the White Walkers and Sansa is like, "YOU GUYS."

Unlike previous iterations of the Stark-men-go-nobly-unto-their-certain-doom show, both Jon and Sansa sort of have a point here. Sansa is darn sure correct that Jon is way too trusting of some self-appointed queen whose dad killed their grandpa and uncle only, like, 15 years ago. But Jon really has seen the White Walkers, and they really are scary, and they really do need the dragons to re-dead them. Anyway, the whole thing ends with Jon naming Sansa temporary Warden of the North in his absence, which is something his dad/secret uncle never would have done.

Somewhere in there, Jon grabs Littlefinger by the neck in the crypt, because Stark men grabbing Littlefinger by the neck always seems to end well, and tells him to lay off Sansa, which will definitely happen because Littlefinger respects the wishes of others, especially Stark men who grab him by the neck.

Your hilariously empty threats give me life. Image by Helen Sloan/HBO.

Finally, Jon trots off toward his destiny and Sansa manages to give ’em a lil’ wave goodbye.

But her eyes are still clearly screaming, "YOU GUYS!!!!"

And the Maester Luwin Medallion of Ultimate Kindness goes to: If you think about it, it was really nice of the tombs of previous generations of Starks to provide a hard surface for Jon to strangle Littlefinger on. Even if it was short-lived and Jon will likely live to regret it before too long, boy did Littlefinger have it coming.

Oldtown

Deep in the stacks, Archmaester Ebrose and Sam argue over the title of Ebrose’s Westerosi history thriller about all the wars we just saw happen over the previous six seasons — Ebrose thinks it really needs to pop, while Sam thinks it should be more "poetic." (If you were ever wondering if HBO and George R. R. Martin haggled over "Game of Thrones" versus "A Song of Ice and Fire," for the series title well … now we probably know.)

Image by Helen Sloan/HBO.

Meanwhile Jorah is no longer zombie-handling Sam from the confines of his cell — instead, he’s sitting in a dank room receiving a depressing prognosis and contemplating suicide-by-sword.

It’s a relief, then, when Sam approaches him with a tray full of sharp metal implements, a jug of rum, and a plan to cure him by straight-up carving the disease off Jorah’s body. It’s a gross process, made all the grosser by an end-of-scene match cut between Jorah’s gooey back knifings and a bowl of creamy soup hundreds of miles away. I mean … GOSH.

And the Little Sam Prize for Pure Goodness goes to: Sam. Obviously. For literally scraping the leprosy off Jorah’s back. Come. On.

The Riverlands

Fresh off a righteous around-the-fire chill session with Ed Sheeran, Arya catches up with Hot Pie (Hot Pie!) who gives her a killer pie crust tip and fills her in on the goings-on with her surprisingly alive siblings, which gets the tiny assassin sidetracked on her mission to kill Cersei and points her north.

Image by Helen Sloan/HBO.

Later on, trying to warm herself with the world’s most pitiful fire, Arya finds Nymeria! Her direwolf! And asks her to come back to Winterfell with her! And because this is "Game of Thrones," she does and they live happily ever after!

Just kidding. The direwolf unceremoniously trots in the opposite direction. Because, as Arya realizes, "that’s not her." (Not, as in literally not her, but as in that’s not her style to come along. Apparently, this was a reference to a line from season one? Gotta stay past the credits, I guess.)

And the Brienne of Tarth Honor of Heartwarmingness goes to: Hot Pie, for giving Arya his secret pie recipe. First brown the butter, before slaughtering your enemies’ family members and baking their digits into the filling. Gonna stow that one away for Thanksgiving.

The high seas.

Below deck, all is smooth sailing in the Iron Fleet on its way to collect the Dornish army. The Sand Snakes lay in their hammocks fantasizing about the various Lannisters they’re going to whip/throwing star to death while Yara and Ellaria get to know one another a little-to-a-lot better.

Of course, then Uncle Euron ruins the moment when he comes flying in like the lead singer of Rhode Island’s third best Iron Maiden tribute band and spoils everything, slaughtering various extras and the two Sand Snakes you probably didn’t care about, while taking the one Sand Snake you also didn’t care about but at least definitely recognized, Ellaria, and Yara hostage. Confronted by his father’s brother holding his sister at ax-point, Theon takes a deep breath, screws his courage to the sticking place, and … bravely jumps into the sea.

Oh well. You’ll get him next time, Theon.

And the Ser Davos Seaworth Herald of Compassion goes to: Random piece of shipwreck, for holding Theon afloat after he abandons ship. Perhaps he doesn’t deserve it — he sexually harassed his sister, killed two innocent farm boys, and sold out the entire North to a crazed serial killer — but hey, everyone deserves a 27th chance. Right? Way to come through in the clutch, hunk of driftwood!

Random Acts of Niceness

  • It was cool of those wolves not to eat Arya’s horse, who was definitely like "screw this" throughout that entire scene.
  • Varys is a "small-d" democrat? Could we be headed toward a revolution of the Westerosi political system? Five years from now, will we be arguing about Pentosi interference in the Targaryen-Lannister election?
  • Ser Davos knows how to read! All those lessons with Shireen finally paid off. Thanks, Shireen! Wonder whatever happened to that scamp.

That’s all for now, folks! Join me next week when hopefully Daenerys and Jon bro out over their vinyl collections, the Night King helps paint the Wall a lovely burnt umber, and Randall and Dickon Tarly’s father-son road trip back to Horn Hill ends in a tearful game of catch.

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This ‘Project Runway’ for fifth-graders makes us want to go back to school.

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Shani Perez combined her love of teaching with her passion for fashion to help kids express their individuality.

When your school year ends like this, having to go back in the fall doesn’t seem as bad.

In May, classrooms are full of kids daydreaming about finally being done with their last test and jubilantly running headlong into the nearest pool. School is something you look forward to running from, not toward — that is, unless you’re moving down an actual runway.

At the end of every school year, instead of sitting around and staring at some dirty white fan oscillate back and forth, kids in Shani Perez’s class at Public School 51 in New York City get up off their chairs and create a full-on runway fashion show.

Shani Perez with her students at PS 51. All images via Old Navy.

That’s right, New York City’s hottest underground fashion show is put on entirely by fifth-graders.

This underground fashion show otherwise known as "PS 51 Project Runway" is the brainchild of Shani Perez — an educator with a passion for fashion.

Perez is that teacher, the one you can’t wait to see each day. She combines her love of teaching with her degree in fashion design to create a unique and engaging program for her students.

More than just a fashion show, this program teaches kids the fundamentals of fashion design, from drawing out concepts for portfolios to sewing and working with fabric. In addition, each show has a theme, like candy or history, that helps guide the young designers and foster creativity.

Perez joins other educators from across the country who partnered with Old Navy‘s cause platform ONward! to create an album of songs that encourages kids to let their unique selves shine through.

A project like this is about so much more than clothes.

Even if her students don’t go on to careers in fashion or design, getting them involved in a large-scale project requires them to organize, delegate, and problem-solve — important life skills for anyone.

Plus, giving students the opportunity to show off an outfit they created themselves is an awesome way to promote self-confidence and individuality.

The songs are catchy and sure to get you strutting yourself, but the most important message of all is for the kids: Own your personal style, and be confident in your individuality.

It’s educators like Perez who turn school into something more and events like PS 51 Project Runway that help kids discover who they are and what they — and a functional school-to-playdate ensemble — is made of.

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How this special ed teacher got creative in composing a crucial message to his students.

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"What I’m about to tell you will change everything in an instant."

The last person you might expect to give a booming spoken-word performance is a seemingly soft-spoken teacher.

But Craig Duchemin, a special education teacher at Charles Hart Middle School in Washington, D.C., found that it was one of the best ways to reach his students — namely, those with autism.

He uses unique strategies to connect with kids of all backgrounds, and poetry set to music is his most recent approach.

Watch Craig’s video below:

Duchemin joins other educators from across the country who partnered with Old Navy‘s cause platform ONward! to create an album of songs that encourage kids to let their unique selves shine through.

While students in his classroom face a number of challenges, ranging from mild behavioral problems to autism, Duchemin is able to forge special relationships with all of them and communicate with them so effectively that he was recognized for it with an Award for Excellence in Teaching.

All images via Old Navy.

His message, "I choose you," is loud and clear: Each of his students are special, unique, and valuable based on their individual merits as people, not outside factors like appearance or clothes.

"I care more about who you are than who you wear. I choose the brain that oozes creativity, not your hairstyle," he says in his performance piece. "I choose you being different because your difference is brilliance. You are more than a label, more than a definition."

Special educators are truly some of the hardest workers in teaching — and Duchemin is no exception.

In 2009, Teach for America brought him to teach at Hart Middle School, where students also face economic challenges: 100% of students there qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

That’s why his work is so important. Duchemin strives to show kids that their individual challenges are part of what make them who they are — and that who they are is special.

His efforts reach beyond the lessons of the classroom, teaching kids to be confident in their own unique selves.

Duchemin’s special relationships with his students is what keeps him going.

"That’s the easiest part, loving these students and really getting to know them and developing relationships with them," Duchemin told reporter Carolyn Phenicie in a 2016 interview.

For some of these children, communication can be their #1 barrier to a career, social life, and other opportunities, so a tireless advocate like him can help provide the resources and strategies they need to communicate messages of strength, hope, and self-confidence.

"You are fearless, and worthy, and valuable," he speaks. "You, my friend, matter. You are what this world needs."

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Microsoft Teases ‘Next Generation’ HoloLens

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Microsoft have been hinting for a while that the current version of the HoloLens is only ‘version 1.0’. New information has now emerged suggesting what Microsoft has in mind for the future of its mixed reality (MR) headset.

Microsoft Research engineer Doug Burger has revealed some details about the upcoming revision of the HoloLens to Bloomburg, explaining that there will be a new version of its ‘Holographic Processing Unit’ or HPU that will feature an Artificial Intelligence (AI) coprocessor to complement the HPU and allow better data analyses using deep neural networks.

Neural networks are a major part in how modern artificial intelligence works and provide the basis for the extremely rapid data processing needed for AR, a feature that could be extremely helpful when processing the ‘real world’ data required for true MR applications.

Burger also mentioned Microsoft’s plans to develop ‘The number one AI cloud’, with the new HoloLens featuring AI technology, it seems likely that it will fit inside that framework, though exact details on how that will work have not yet been revealed.

The current iteration of the HoloLens is currently only available to developers and is still waiting on a commercial release. The latest news has already sparked speculation that Microsoft are planning on waiting for the arrival of the ‘HoloLens 2’ before marketing the product commercially.

There is no word on when an official release date for the HoloLens 2 can be expected, though some analysts are predicting that it will arrive some time in 2019.

VRFocus will continue to report on new developments regarding Microsoft’s HoloLens as it becomes available.

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