NATO Fast Facts


Here’s a look at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

The organization’s charter states that the signing parties will “seek to promote stability and well-being in the North Atlantic area,” and will “unite their efforts for collective defense and for the preservation of peace and security.”

April 4, 1949 – NATO is established.

2014-present – The current secretary general is Jens Stoltenberg, former prime minister of Norway. On March 24, 2022, Stoltenberg’s tenure was extended by one year due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

March 14, 2024 – The secretary general’s annual report is released.

Albania (2009)
Belgium (1949)
Bulgaria (2004)
Canada (1949)
Croatia (2009)
Czech Republic (1999)
Denmark (1949)
Estonia (2004)
Finland (2023)
France (1949)
Germany (1955, as West Germany)
Greece (1952)
Hungary (1999)
Iceland (1949)
Italy (1949)
Latvia (2004)
Lithuania (2004)
Luxembourg (1949)
Montenegro (2017)
Netherlands (1949)
North Macedonia (2020)
Norway (1949)
Poland (1999)
Portugal (1949)
Romania (2004)
Slovakia (2004)
Slovenia (2004)
Spain (1982)
Sweden (2024)
Turkey (1952)
United Kingdom (1949)
United States (1949)

April 4, 1949 – The 12 nations of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States sign the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington, DC.

July 25, 1950 – First meeting of NATO Council Deputies in London. US Ambassador Charles M. Spofford is elected permanent chairman.

December 19, 1950 – US General Dwight Eisenhower is appointed the first supreme allied commander. The position leads NATO’s military operations.

March 12, 1952 – Lord Ismay is named the first secretary general of NATO and appointed vice chairman of the North Atlantic Council, which oversees NATO’s political decisions.

April 16, 1952 – NATO establishes its provisional headquarters in Paris at the Palais de Chaillot.

April 28, 1952 – First meeting of the North Atlantic Council in permanent session in Paris.

May 6, 1952 – West Germany joins NATO.

May 14, 1955 – The Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries form the Warsaw Pact in response to West Germany joining NATO.

July 26, 1956 – Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal. France and Great Britain use troops to intervene, against the wishes of the United States, causing a rift in NATO.

October 22-23, 1963 – NATO and the United States demonstrate the size and speed of emergency forces when flying 14,500 US troops into West Germany for maneuvers.

March 10, 1966 – France formally announces intentions to withdraw from the military structure of NATO, accusing the United States of having too much influence in the organization.

March 31, 1967 – Opening ceremony of new NATO headquarters in Casteau, near Mons, Belgium.

August 14, 1974 – Greece, angered at NATO’s response to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, withdraws from the military arm of NATO.

October 20, 1980 – Greece rejoins the NATO military structure.

May 30, 1982 – Spain joins NATO.

October 3, 1990 – Germany is reunified after 45 years. East Germany leaves the Warsaw Pact and is incorporated into NATO. In 1991, the Warsaw Pact is dissolved.

December 13, 1991 – For the first time, the Soviet Union takes part in meetings at NATO as part of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council.

December 21, 1991 – Eleven of the republics of the former Soviet Union create a new Commonwealth of Independent States. On December 25, the Soviet Union is officially disbanded with the resignation of Mikhail Gorbachev as president and supreme commander-in-chief of Soviet Forces.

February 28, 1994 – NATO forces shoot down four Bosnian Serb planes violating the UN-imposed no-fly zone. It is the first time NATO has used force.

November 21, 1995 – After the Dayton Peace Accords, the war in Bosnia Herzegovina ends. In December, NATO deploys Implementation Force (IFOR) to support the agreement.

January 13, 1996 – Russian troops are deployed to support IFOR in Bosnia.

May 22, 1997 – NATO and the Russian Federation sign a security and cooperation pact, the “Founding Act” which establishes a NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC).

March 24, 1999 – NATO launches air strikes against Yugoslavia to end Serbian aggression in the Kosovo region.

September 12, 2001 – For the first time, NATO invokes Article V, the Washington Treaty, its mutual defense clause, in support of the United States after the September 11 terror attacks.

May 28, 2002 – NATO and Russia form the NATO-Russia Council (NRC), which makes Russia an associate member of the organization. The NRC replaces the PJC.

November 21-22, 2002 – During the Prague Summit, NATO invites seven former Eastern Bloc countries, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, to discuss entry into the organization.

December 4, 2002 – US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz speaks before NATO in Brussels and requests that member nations contribute forces to a potential campaign in Iraq.

January 22, 2003 – France and Germany block discussion on war preparations submitted by the United States. The US proposal included provisions for Turkey’s defense, the use of NATO equipment, and NATO’s postwar role in Iraq.

February 10, 2003 – France, Germany and Belgium block a US request that NATO provide Patriot missiles, Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, and other equipment to Turkey. The United States had made the request anticipating that Iraq will retaliate against Turkey in the event of war. Turkey invokes article IV of the NATO charter, which requires the organization as a whole to discuss security threats to any member nation.

February 16, 2003 – NATO produces three defensive plans for Turkey, in the event of a US war with Iraq:
– Deployment of NATO AWACS aircraft;
– NATO support for the deployment of theatre missile defenses for Turkey;
– NATO support for possible deployment of Allied chemical and biological defenses.

March 29, 2004 – NATO is expanded from 19 to 26 members when seven nations, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia, join in an accession ceremony in Washington, DC. All are former communist states in Eastern Europe.

August 10, 2004 – NATO AWACS begin patrolling Greek airspace prior to the Olympic and Paralympic games. NATO’s presence at the Olympics is nicknamed Distinguished Games and includes AWACS and the Multinational Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Task Force.

September 14, 2006 – Ukraine announces that it is shelving its aspirations to join NATO, due to opposition by the Ukrainian public and Russia.

April 2-4, 2008 – NATO leaders hold a summit in Bucharest, Romania. Croatia and Albania are invited to join the alliance.

June 17, 2008 – French President Nicolas Sarkozy announces France will soon rejoin NATO’s military command, 40 years after it left.

April 3-4, 2009 – The 23rd NATO summit also marks NATO’s 60th anniversary. During the summit, France rejoins NATO’s military command.

November 19, 2010 – NATO adopts the Strategic Concept “Active Engagement, Modern Defence” for the next 10 years.

March 24, 2011 – NATO takes command of enforcing a no-fly zone imposed on Libya by the United Nations.

March 29, 2011 – The Council of Europe rules NATO, among others, responsible for the 63 deaths of African immigrants left adrift for two weeks while attempting to reach European shores from Libya.

May 19, 2012 – Demonstrators take to the streets of Chicago prior to the start of the NATO summit. Anti-NATO protests near Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s home focus on the cost of the summit to the city and city budget cuts to mental healthcare.

May 20-21, 2012 – The 25th Summit is held in Chicago. During the summit, NATO accepts US President Barack Obama’s timetable to end the war in Afghanistan by 2014.

March 5, 2014 – In regard to the crisis in Ukraine, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announces that NATO has decided to “put the entire range of NATO-Russia cooperation under review” to send “a clear message Russia’s actions have consequences.”

December 2, 2015 – NATO extends an official invitation to Montenegro to join the alliance.

February 11, 2016 – Secretary General Stoltenberg announces that NATO is deploying ships to the Aegean Sea to try to deter smugglers from trafficking migrants from Turkey to Greece.

June 5, 2017 – Montenegro officially becomes a member of NATO.

March 27, 2020 – North Macedonia officially joins NATO.

March 24, 2022 – NATO leaders issue a joint statement in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Leaders call on President Vladimir Putin to withdraw Russian military forces, and call on Belarus to end its complicity.

May 15, 2022 – Finland’s government says it intends to join NATO, ditching decades of neutrality and ignoring Russian threats of possible retaliation as the Nordic country attempts to strengthen its security following the onset of the war in Ukraine. Sweden’s ruling party later said it will also support joining the alliance.

April 4, 2023 – Finland becomes the 31st member of NATO.

March 7, 2024 – Sweden officially joins NATO, becoming the 32nd member.

April 4, 2024 – Allied foreign affairs ministers meet at the headquarters in Brussels, commemorating the 75th anniversary of NATO.


Chemicals in your garage may boost ALS risk

A new study finds that storing chemicals in a garage at home may be linked with an increased risk of ALS.

Over the last decade, researchers at University of Michigan continue to find that exposure to environmental toxins—from pesticides used in agriculture to volatile organic compounds in the manufacturing industry—is linked to the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

The buildup of exposures, which researchers call the ALS exposome, is possibly associated with recreational activities such as woodworking and gardening.

“Identifying disease-provoking exposures can inform and motivate interventions to reduce exposure, risk, and, ultimately, the ALS burden,” says first author Stephen Goutman, director of the Pranger ALS Clinic and associate director of the ALS Center of Excellence at University of Michigan.

“Exposures in the home setting are an important part of the ALS exposome, as it is one place where behavior modifications could possibly lessen ALS risk.”

Storage containing volatile chemicals in garages is extremely common, whether it’s in a car or motorcycle, equipment like a chainsaw, or solvents, cleaners, paints, and other items.

Investigators assessed exposures in the residential setting from a survey of more than 600 participants both with and without ALS. Through statistical analysis, they found that the storage of chemicals—including gasoline and gasoline powered equipment, lawn care products, pesticides, paint, and woodworking supplies—were significantly associated with ALS risk.

All of the reported chemicals linked to disease development were volatile with toxic components. Most participants reported storing several of the items in their attached garage.

Storing chemicals in a detached garage, however, did not show as strong of an association with risk.

The researchers say the flow of air and airborne pollutants from attached garages to the living space may explain the finding.

“Especially in colder climates, air in the garage tends to rush into the house when the entry door is opened, and air flows occur more or less continuously through small cracks and openings in walls and floors,” says Stuart Batterman, senior author and professor of environmental health science at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

“Thus, it makes sense that keeping volatile chemicals in an attached garage shows the stronger effect.”

The latest building codes, Batterman notes, tackle this problem by specifying measures to reduce or eliminate these air flows.

“We are beginning to see risk factors across multiple settings that may associate with a greater ALS risk; we also see some relationships across the studies, for example, woodworking and woodworking supplies and gardening and lawn care supplies,” Goutman says.

“This begs the question: is it the activities that associate with ALS risk or the exposures to related products? This requires further research.”

In 2016, the research team found that people with ALS had higher concentrations of pesticides in their blood compared to people without the condition.

A subsequent study published in 2019 linked organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBS, to worsening survival for ALS.

“With each study, we better understand the types of exposures that increase the risk of developing ALS,” says senior author Eva Feldman, director of the ALS Center of Excellence at the University of Michigan.

“We now need to build on these discoveries to understand how these exposures increase ALS risk. In parallel, we must continue to advocate to make ALS a reportable disease. Only then we will fully understand the array of exposures that increase disease risk.”

Studies to understand how environmental exposures contribute to the development of ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases, both of people with and without family history of the condition, are underway.

The research appears in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration.

Funding for the study came from the National Institutes of Health, The National ALS Registry/CDC/ATSDR, the ALS Association, the NeuroNetwork for Emerging Therapies, the Robert and Katherine Jacobs Environmental Health Initiative, the NeuroNetwork Therapeutic Discovery Fund, the Peter R. Clark Fund for ALS Research, the Sinai Medical Staff Foundation, Scott L. Pranger, and the University of Michigan.

Source: University of Michigan


Lawmakers send message to White House on impending Iran drone attack to Israel: 'Stand firm'

Lawmakers reacted after Iran launched drones from its own territory toward Israel late Saturday, calling for the White House to “stand firm” and “stop coddling Iran.” 

Speaker Mike Johnson pledged America’s “full resolve” to stand with Israel.

“As Israel faces this vicious attack from Iran, America must show our full resolve to stand with our critical ally,” Johnson said in a statement. “The world must be assured: Israel is not alone.”

Johnson promised to “insist upon a proper response” from the White House.

“I will continue to engage with the White House to insist upon a proper response,” he said. “The Biden Administration’s undermining of Israel and appeasement of Iran have contributed to these terrible developments.”


Speaker Mike Johnson standing in front of former President Trump

Speaker Mike Johnson speaks about an election integrity package at a press conference with former President Trump. (Getty Images)

“Now more than ever, we must stand with Israel,” former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., wrote in an X post.

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., the highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that the U.S. commitment to Israel is “unwavering.”

“This is the moment for the United States to show we stand together with our allies. Our shared enemies, including Iran and their proxies, need to know our commitment is unwavering,” he said in a press release. “We must join with Israel to ensure that Iran’s aggression is met with resolute action and resounding strength.”

Ted Cruz during Senate hearing

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, attends a Senate Judiciary Committee markup in Hart Building, May 11, 2023, in Washingston, D.C. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, condemned the Iran attack on Israel, while placing the blame on the Biden administration.

“Iran has encircled Israel and has been attacking our Israeli allies from almost every front for months. They have launched attacks from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, the West Bank, Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon, and of course the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Now they have escalated by launching attacks directly from Iranian territory,” Cruz said in a statement. “These attacks are enabled and financed by deliberate policy choices made by Joe Biden and Biden officials, who have allowed roughly $100 billion to flow to Iran since 2021. Americans and Israelis have been made catastrophically more vulnerable by these policies.”

Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., said that President Biden must “stand firm” with Israel and “stop coddling” Iran.

“Iran’s drone strikes show us President Biden’s approach with Iran and the Middle East is backwards,” she wrote in an X post. “Now as we risk entering WWIII, the U.S. must stand by Israel’s commitment to democracy. The president must stand firm, and stop coddling Iran immediately.”

Representative Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., said that the Iranian regime’s “consistent” use of proxies “warrants” immediate U.S. action.

“Enough is enough-the Biden administration must take concrete steps to support Israel, our closest ally,” Lawler said in a press release. “This is a direct Iranian attack, after the regime has consistently used it proxies, warrants immediate U.S. action to back any Israeli response.”

Kristi Noem speaks

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem gestures as she speaks at the Calvin Coolidge Foundation conference at the Library of Congress, Feb. 17, 2023, in Washington, D.C.  (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem wrote that she “expects” the Biden administration to “hold Iran accountable.”


“We stand with the people of Israel against this brazen and callous attack,” Noem wrote in an X post. “Iran hates democracy, freedom, and basic human rights — making them an enemy of Israel and the United States.”

“I expect the Biden Administration to stand up for these shared principles and hold Iran accountable,” she wrote.

Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., wrote that the attacks against Israel were a “direct result” of Biden’s “lack of leadership.”

“Iran just launched drone strikes on innocent Israeli civilians. This is a direct result of Joe Biden’s lack of leadership,” Mast wrote in an X post. “The White House should be standing resolutely with Israel. Instead, they’ve spent months kissing up to the terrorist regime in Tehran to appease a few loud, far-left, and anti-American lawmakers in Congress.”

White House return

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on April 12. (Samuel Corum/AFP via Getty Images)

On Friday, Biden was asked how imminent a potential attack on Israel is from Tehran following an Israeli strike on Iran’s Damascus consulate in Syria.

“I don’t want to get into secure information, but my expectation [is] sooner than later,” he replied.

“We are devoted to the defense of Israel,” he added. “We will support Israel. We will defend, help defend Israel and Iran will not succeed.”


When asked what his message to Tehran was, Biden simply said: “Don’t.” When he was asked to elaborate, he walked away. 

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-M.D., echoed Biden’s statement Friday, saying that Israel has America’s “full support.”

President Joe Biden

President Biden speaks while in Israel for an Israeli war cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv, Oct. 18, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and Hamas. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

“Last week, President Biden sent a definitive message to Iran about this pending attack: ‘don’t.’ I reiterate what Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin made clear to Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant just last week – Israel has America’s full support in defending against Iranian aggression,” Hoyer wrote in a press release. 

“We stand by our ally as it exercises its absolute right to defend itself,” he said.

U.S. officials have reaffirmed their country’s “ironclad” support for Israel while calling for a deescalation. 


“We are devoted to the defense of Israel. We will support Israel. We will help defend Israel, and Iran will not succeed,” Biden said on Friday. 

The Pentagon and State Department have expressed similar positions.


April 12, 2024 – Israel-Hamas war

A view of damaged houses and burning vehicles after a raid by Israeli settlers on a town near Ramallah, West Bank on April 12.
A view of damaged houses and burning vehicles after a raid by Israeli settlers on a town near Ramallah, West Bank on April 12. Issam Rimawi/Anadolu/Getty Images

Hundreds of armed Israeli settlers stormed a village in the occupied West Bank on Friday, setting fire to several homes and cars in one of the largest attacks by settlers this year, according to Palestinian officials. 

At least one Palestinian man was killed when shots were fired by Israeli settlers in the village of Al-Mughayyir, east of Ramallah, according to the head of the village council Amin Abu-Alia. He said he identified the killed Palestinian as his 26-year-old relative named Jihad Abu-Alia, who was meant to get married this summer.

At least 25 others were injured in the rampage, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, the scale of which has not been seen since hundreds of settlers stormed through the villages of Turmusayya and Huwara in two separate incidents last year. 

Between 1,000 and 1,200 settlers surrounded the village, and around 500 stormed it just after midday local time on Friday, blocking all the roads in the area, Abu-Alia told CNN.

He added that Israeli security forces informed Palestinian officials that the settlers were looking for a 14-year-old Israeli boy who had gone missing earlier in the day.

They attacked the village, raided homes and fired gunshots at residents, Abu-Alia said. Videos obtained by CNN show parts of the village burning, with smoke billowing over several buildings and settlers lobbing rocks. Houses and cars are seen completely burnt up, with sounds of gunfire and clashes heard in the background.

According to Abu-Alia, the Israeli military arrived at the scene at around 3 p.m. and didn’t stop the settlers from attacking the village. Israeli soldiers allowed them to raid homes, prevented Palestinian residents from moving around and blocked ambulances from reaching the injured, he added.  

Abu-Alia told CNN settlers stole approximately 70 sheep from the Palestinian village.

In response to a question by CNN, the IDF said “violent riots were instigated in multiple locations in the area” following the search for the boy.


'Golden Bachelor' star Theresa Nist wears wedding ring after announcing divorce from Gerry Turner: PHOTOS

Hours after “Golden Bachelor” stars Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist announced their divorce on “Good Morning America,” the 70-year-old Nist was spotted wearing her wedding ring. 

In photos obtained by Fox News Digital, Nist was seen leaving work in New Jersey April 12. Though her hands were full carrying various bags, one thing noticeably present was her engagement ring. 

Designed by famed jeweler Neil Lane, the ring showcased a princess cut diamond surrounded by two baguette cut diamonds with 128 smaller round diamonds rounding out the design, according to People.

It has a total weight of 3.15 carats and is estimated to be worth around $40,000.


Theresa Nist

Theresa Nist stepped out wearing her wedding ring despite “Golden Bachelor” Gerry Turner filing for divorce.  (Mega)

Turner filed for divorce from his wife of three months in his hometown of Petersburg, Indiana, April 12, citing “irreconcilable differences,” according to US Weekly. His filing came several hours after the couple’s “GMA” announcement. 


“Theresa and I have had a number of heart-to-heart conversations,” he said. “We’ve looked closely at our living situations, and we’ve kind of come to the conclusion mutually that it’s time for us to dissolve our marriage. The things that strike me the most in our conversations (is) how dedicated both of us are to our families. So, we look at these situations, and I think we just feel like it’s best for the happiness of each of us to live apart.

Theresa Nist walking

Nist’s engagement ring is reportedly worth around $40,000.  (Mega)

“I still love this person, there’s no doubt in my mind. I root for her every day.”

Nist added, “We have received so much love and support from so many people who watched ‘The Golden Bachelor,’ and I don’t think we can tell you how many people told us that it gave them so much hope. We want none of that to change for anybody.”

Gerry Turner and Theresa Nist on "The Golden Bachelor"

Turner and Nist announced their separation during an appearance on “Good Morning America.” (John Fleenor/Disney)

Later that same day, former contestants of the reality show, Susan Noles and Kathy Swarts, broke their silence on the former couple’s divorce announcement, saying they are “heartbroken for them.”


“We just watched it on TV. I’m just heartbroken for them. It is sad. It is tragic,” Swarts said in the video. “Please people, be kind. These are our friends. The love didn’t work out, but they’re great people, and our hearts are breaking for them.”

Noles and Swarts spoke with Fox News Digital at the iHeartRadio Music Awards earlier this month about the challenges the couple had been facing in their relationship. 

One major challenge the former contestants said the couple was “working through” was living in separate states three months into their marriage.

Kathy Swarts and Susan Noles at the iHeartRadio Music Awards

Swarts and Noles told Fox News Digital Turner and Nist not living together was a challenge for them. (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

“I think it’s hard when you bring together two families, with children and grandchildren. It’s hard to just pick up and move from one place and not have dual households. That’s a tough spot to be in,” Swarts told Fox News Digital.


Fox News Digital’s Lori A Bashian and Emily Trainham contributed to this report. 


Iran launches barrage of strikes toward Israel

An anti-missile system operates as seen from Ashkelon, Israel, on Sunday.
An anti-missile system operates as seen from Ashkelon, Israel, on Sunday. Amir Cohen/Reuters

Iran has warned that it will respond with more force if Israel retaliates over this weekend’s strikes, which Tehran said were themselves a reply to an Israeli attack earlier this month on its embassy complex in Syria’s capital Damascus.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not hesitate to exercise its inherent right of self-defense when required,” Iran’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN, Amir Saeid Iravani, said in a statement.

Should the Israeli regime commit any military aggression again, Iran’s response will assuredly and decisively be stronger and more resolute,” Ambassador Iravani added.

Citing self-defense against repeated Israeli military aggressions, Iravani said the strikes were specifically in retaliation to an Israeli attack on April 1 against what Iran says were diplomatic facilities in Damascus.

Iran claims the attack violated international law and led to the death of seven Iranian military advisors, including key commanders from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The statement also criticizes the United Nations Security Council for “failing to uphold international peace,” allowing Israel to “breach” established international norms and “escalate” regional tensions.

Additional context: Israel has carried out numerous strikes on Iran-backed targets in Syria, often targeting weapons shipments allegedly intended for Hezbollah, a powerful Iranian proxy in Lebanon. 

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the April 1 attack which destroyed an Iranian consulate building in the capital Damascus, including Mohammed Reza Zahedi, a top Revolutionary Guards commander.

However an Israel Defense Forces spokesman told CNN that their intelligence showed the building was not a consulate and was instead “a military building of Quds forces disguised as a civilian building.”


UConn's Dan Hurley addresses importance of mental health advocacy for men: 'It's a crisis'

Dan Hurley has captivated college basketball fans for years, most recently leading the UConn Huskies to consecutive national championships almost with ease. But part of the allure of Hurley lies in his reliability. 

In an interview with OutKick’s “Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich, Hurley spoke out about the importance of prioritizing mental health, especially with men. 

Dan Hurley walks off the court

UConn head coach Dan Hurley celebrates with center Donovan Clingan, left, after defeating Illinois following an Elite 8 college basketball game in the men’s NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 30, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

“Being vulnerable about things, I think it shows true strength,” Hurley, who has been open about his own struggles, said Friday.  


“You have an opportunity here – for me as a man and as somebody that pushes himself and somebody that’s in his 50s now and understands a lot more than he did when he was younger – just how you need to continually work on yourself and take care of yourself. Whether that’s by what you read or what you listen to in terms of podcasts and books and mindfulness practices.”

After winning his first national title last season, Hurley revealed that he suffered a panic attack just days after cutting down the nets. He recalled the incident in a conversation with reporter Seth Davis in November, telling him that it happened when the coach was invited to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

Dan Hurley cuts down the nets

Connecticut head coach Dan Hurley celebrates during the net-cutting after the men’s national championship college basketball game against San Diego State in the NCAA Tournament on Monday, April 3, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)


“Don’t get me wrong, [winning the title] was an incredible feeling in the moment,” Hurley told Davis. “But it hasn’t fulfilled me in a way that maybe I thought it would. I was probably chasing that championship, thinking there’d be some level of healing. It’s like realizing there’s no Santa Claus.”

On Friday, Hurley spoke again about his personal experiences and the things that keep the elite coach elite. 

“My spirituality as a Christian and my faith in God and also my understanding that there are things that you need to talk to a therapist about, a counselor, a psychologist, a psychiatrist – things that maybe you’re not comfortable talking to your friends or your wife or your brother or your parents that are things that maybe eat away at you or things that happened in your childhood or in your adult life that you need a third party that you trust.”

Dan Hurley walks off the floor

UConn head coach Dan Hurley leaves the court at the end of an NCAA college basketball game against Providence, Saturday, March 9, 2024, in Providence, R.I.  (AP Photo/Mark Stockwell)


He continued, “I don’t think it shows any weakness. I think it shows tremendous strength. Obviously, it’s a crisis with men. Men are afraid to talk about their emotions and their feelings. I think what allows me peace of mind is that I’m authentic, and I’m not a phony. I am who I am, and if people don’t like it, I don’t care.” 

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New theory may clarify ‘mysteries’ of Parkinson’s disease

Researchers have a new theory about the origins and spread of Parkinson’s disease.

The nose or the gut? For the past two decades, the scientific community has debated the wellspring of the toxic proteins at the source of Parkinson’s disease.

In 2003, a German pathologist, Heiko Braak, first proposed that the disease begins outside the brain. More recently, Per Borghammer with Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark and his colleagues argued that the disease is the result of processes that start in either the brain’s smell center (brain-first) or the body’s intestinal tract (body-first).

A new hypothesis paper unites the brain- and body-first models with some of the likely causes of the disease—environmental toxicants that are either inhaled or ingested.

The authors of the new study argue that inhalation of certain pesticides, common dry cleaning chemicals, and air pollution predispose to a brain-first model of the disease. Other ingested toxicants, such as tainted food and contaminated drinking water, lead to body-first model of the disease.

“In both the brain-first and body-first scenarios the pathology arises in structures in the body closely connected to the outside world,” says Ray Dorsey, a professor of neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center and coauthor of the study published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

“Here we propose that Parkinson’s is a systemic disease and that its initial roots likely begin in the nose and in the gut and are tied to environmental factors increasingly recognized as major contributors, if not causes, of the disease. This further reinforces the idea that Parkinson’s, the world’s fastest growing brain disease, may be fueled by toxicants and is therefore largely preventable.”

Lewy bodies

A misfolded protein called has been in scientists’ sights for the last 25 years as one of the driving forces behind Parkinson’s. Over time, the protein accumulates in the brain in clumps, called Lewy bodies, and causes progressive dysfunction and death of many types of nerve cells, including those in the dopamine-producing regions of the brain that control motor function. When first proposed, Braak thought that an unidentified pathogen, such as a virus, may be responsible for the disease.

The new study argues that toxins encountered in the environment, specifically the dry cleaning and degreasing chemicals trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE), the weed killer paraquat, and air pollution, could be common causes for the formation of toxic alpha-synuclein.

TCE and PCE contaminates thousands of former industrial, commercial, and military sites, most notably the Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune, and paraquat is one of the most widely used herbicides in the US, despite being banned for safety concerns in more than 30 countries, including the European Union and China. Air pollution was at toxic levels in nineteenth century London when James Parkinson, whose 269th birthday is April 11, first described the condition. April 11 is World Parkinson’s Day.

Parkinson’s tremors

The nose and the gut are lined with a soft permeable tissue, and both have well established connections to the brain. In the brain-first model, the chemicals are inhaled and may enter the brain via the nerve responsible for smell. From the brain’s smell center, alpha-synuclein spreads to other parts of the brain principally on one side, including regions with concentrations of dopamine-producing neurons.

The death of these cells is a hallmark of Parkinson’s disease. The disease may cause asymmetric tremor and slowness in movement and, a slower rate of progression after diagnosis, and only much later, significant cognitive impairment or dementia.

When ingested, the chemicals pass through the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Initial alpha-synuclein pathology may begin in the gut’s own nervous system from where it can spread to both sides of the brain and spinal cord. This body-first pathway is often associated with Lewy body dementia, a disease in the same family as Parkinson’s, which is characterized by early constipation and sleep disturbance, followed by more symmetric slowing in movements and earlier dementia, as the disease spreads through both brain hemispheres.

Environmental role

“These environmental toxicants are widespread and not everyone has Parkinson’s disease,” Dorsey says. “The timing, dose, and duration of exposure and interactions with genetic and other environmental factors are probably key to determining who ultimately develops Parkinson’s. In most instances, these exposures likely occurred years or decades before symptoms develop.”

Pointing to a growing body of research linking environmental exposure to Parkinson’s disease, the authors believe the new models may enable the scientific community to connect specific exposures to specific forms of the disease. This effort will be aided by increasing public awareness of the adverse health effects of many chemicals in our environment.

The authors conclude that their hypothesis “may explain many of the mysteries of Parkinson’s disease and open the door toward the ultimate goal—prevention.”

In addition to Parkinson’s, these models of environmental exposure may advance understanding of how toxicants contribute to other brain disorders, including autism in children, ALS in adults, and Alzheimer’s in seniors.

Dorsey and his colleagues at the University of Rochester have organized a Brain and the Environment symposium in Washington, DC, on May 20 that will examine the role toxicants in our food, water, and air are playing in all these brain diseases.

Additional coauthors of the hypothesis paper are from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Aarhus University Hospital.

Source: University of Rochester


Bill Maher skewers Trump, GOP's shift on abortion: 'So killing babies is OK in some states?'

“Real Time” host Bill Maher took aim at former President Trump and Republicans for their dramatic shift on abortion as the 2024 election steadily approaches. 

Maher kicked off the panel discussion on the Arizona Supreme Court’s landmark ruling upholding a near-total abortion ban in the state, a direct result of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, which Trump has repeatedly taken credit for. 

He told the panel that Republicans are “the dog who caught the car.”

“For 50 years, they talked about getting rid of abortion. They did it and it’s super unpopular, and now they have to basically lie,” Maher said Friday night. “I mean, Trump — some of his statements on this — it sounds like what he said about healthcare: ‘Make both sides happy… 15 weeks seems to be a number people can agree.’ Can he lie his way out of this?”


Bill Maher on Real Time

HBO’s Bill Maher knocked former President Trump and Republicans for supporting states to decide their abortion laws, questioning their pro-life stance. (Screenshot/HBO)

After insisting Arizona will “definitely be in play” for Democrats and that the election will be a battle of “immigration versus abortion,” the HBO host poked a hole in the conservative right’s evolving abortion argument. 

“A lot of people think it’s murder. That’s why I don’t understand the 15-week thing, or Trump’s plan is, ‘Let’s leave it to the states.’ You mean, so killing babies is OK in some states?” Maher asked. “I can respect the absolutist position. I really can. I scold the left when they say, ‘Oh, you know what, they just hate women, people who aren’t pro-choice.’ They don’t hate women. They just made that up.” 

He continued: “They think it’s murder and it kind of is. I’m just OK with that. I am. I mean, there’s 8 billion people in the world. I’m sorry, we won’t miss you. That’s my position on it.”

After an uncomfortable silence from the panel and his audience, Maher doubled down: “Is that not your position when you’re pro-choice?!”


Former President Donald Trump

Former President Trump has been outspoken in recent days with his position about leaving the abortion debate to the states instead of backing a federal ban.  (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

British TV personality Piers Morgan, who is pro-choice, conceded that he agrees with Maher’s blunt description of their position and called out Trump for his “complete U-turn” on the issue for “political reasons.”

“He did it in 2016 to get the Evangelicals with him. He said, ‘I’m gonna pack the court, I’m gonna get this done and overturn Roe v. Wade.’ So they all came with him, and I think now he thinks he’s got them,” Morgan told Maher. “I don’t support what he’s doing, but I do understand the political reasons he’s doing it, and I think he could be quite effective actually in neutralizing what is becoming a massive banana skin for the party. And I think that’s what he’s recognized and he’s getting ahead of it. I think it could work for him.”


Piers Morgan on Real Time

Piers Morgan criticized former President Trump’s “political” shift on abortion but acknowledged “it could work for him” in the general election. (Screenshot/HBO)


Earlier in the week, Trump released a statement declaring that abortion should be left to the states. 

“… the states will determine by vote or legislation, or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land — in this case, the law of the state,” Trump said. “Many states will be different. Many states will have a different number of weeks… at the end of the day, it is all about the will of the people.”