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Person to Person: How to protect yourself against adult bullies

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Person to Person: How to protect yourself against adult bullies

Do people you know make comments about an ugly divorce you experienced? Do your in-laws tell secrets about your spouse that cause embarrassment for both of you?

If so, you’ve experienced adult bullying. It’s hurtful, and it can cause you decades of bad feelings. To protect yourself, think ahead.

“Jealous people can carry some very sharp sticks,” says a psychologist we’ll call Jason. “Those who see you as happy, moving on with your life and financially secure can be mean. It pays to practice going temporarily deaf when certain people are around.”

Jason says that adults bullying each other follows the same patterns as teenagers bullying each other. But the key is to avoid the bullies as much as possible. Attend family functions, but simply keep your distance. Do decide which individuals are friends or foes.

“Mean people are very unhappy people,” says Jason. “I’ve heard all kinds of stories about women cutting down other women in family groups. Insults from calling someone fat to making fun of family members who aren’t having luck with getting pregnant are common. The ones doing the insulting are not satisfied with their own lives.”

It pays to live life from your own perspective. Stay in control of your own goals and plans. Seeking approval from other adults is a dangerous way to live.

“My 30-year-old son is a full-time musician,” says a nurse practitioner we’ll call Liz. “My family members always made fun of him and labeled him as a loser. Last year, a top music publisher chose three of his songs for a very famous singer. My son is now making more money than anyone in the family.”

If someone is making fun of your lifestyle or choices in life, remember to be true to yourself. Ask yourself the following questions:

Where do I want to be 20 years from now? To get where you want to go, you have to focus like a laser beam. Getting distracted by bullies is not an option.

What daily routine do I enjoy? Your overall lifestyle must support what you’re trying to accomplish. That’s why you have to plan the “rhythm” of each day. This harmony protects your mental health.

Is my lifestyle hurting anyone else? As long as your goals and projects aren’t injuring your spouse or family, you have the right to stick to your chosen path. Review what’s going on periodically, and do make changes if you have to.

“When I started a home remodeling business, my two brothers-in-law made fun of me,” says a small business owner we’ll call Tyler. “They are stuck working for other contractors, but I had the nerve to borrow money and hire my own crew.”

Tyler says that reaching for more always causes conflict. Every single time you do something, there will be somebody who doesn’t like it.

He’s absolutely correct. Each of us make others look a little inferior if we’re trying something different. People can grow jealous of you because there’s a chance you will succeed.

“Make sure you like yourself, feel comfortable within your own skin, and desire to invest your time in reaching your own unique goals,” says a career coach we’ll call Robert. “When you feel good about yourself, you can look any bully in the eye and ask, ‘Well, what’s eating you today? Do you need some new goals?’ ”

Avoiding bullies doesn’t mean we can’t confront them. “By asking a question of the bully,” says Robert, “you’re giving that person a little shove backwards. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

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Ricardo Arroyo ‘considering’ bid for Suffolk County District Attorney

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Ricardo Arroyo ‘considering’ bid for Suffolk County District Attorney

Boston City Councilor Ricardo Arroyo is the latest name floated to be in the running for the open Suffolk County District Attorney seat.

The former public defender confirmed he’s fielding calls and “considering” a bid but was otherwise tight-lipped about his aspirations for higher office.

Arroyo is fresh off his reelection to his second term representing District 5.

Sources close to the city councilor say he’s motivated to ensure former Suffolk County District Attorney turned U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins’ criminal justice reform movement carries on in her absence. Politico first reported Arroyo’s interest in the seat.

Rollins was sworn in as the top federal prosecutor in Massachusetts under President Biden on Jan. 10, becoming the first Black woman to hold the role.

Arroyo was born in Hyde Park — the district he now represents — to parents Felix D. Arroyo, a former Boston city councilor and the current register of probate for Suffolk County and Elsa Montano, a retired Boston Public Schools teacher.

Gov. Charlie Baker appointed Sex Offender Registry Board Chair Kevin Hayden to serve out the rest of Rollins’ term as Suffolk district attorney. He formerly served as an assistant district attorney in the county he now serves as district attorney. Hayden hasn’t yet said if he plans to run for a full term in the upcoming November election.

No one has formally jumped into the 2022 Suffolk district attorney’s race yet, but it’s expected to draw multiple hopefuls.

Fellow councilor Michael Flaherty has been rumored as another potential candidate.

Flaherty, an attorney, also once served as an assistant district attorney in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. The Boston native has spent a collective 16 years as a city councilor.

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Microsoft buys game maker Activision Blizzard for about $70B

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Microsoft buys game maker Activision Blizzard for about $70B

By MATT O’BRIEN

Microsoft is paying the enormous sum of nearly $70 billion for Activision Blizzard, the maker of Candy Crush and Call of Duty, a deal that would immediately make it a larger video-game company than Nintendo while raising questions about the deal’s possible anti-competitive effects.

The all-cash $68.7 billion deal will turn Microsoft, maker of the Xbox gaming system, into one of the world’s largest video game companies. It will also help it compete with tech rivals such as Meta, formerly Facebook, in creating immersive virtual worlds for both work and play.

If the deal survives scrutiny from U.S. and European regulators in the coming months, it could be one of the biggest tech acquisitions in history. Dell bought data-storage company EMC in 2016 for around $60 billion.

Activision has been buffeted for months by allegations of misconduct and unequal pay. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addressed the issue Tuesday in a conference call with investors.

“The culture of our organization is my No. 1 priority,” Nadella said, adding that ”it’s critical for Activision Blizzard to drive forward” on its commitments to improve its workplace culture.

Activision disclosed last year it was being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission over complaints of workplace discrimination and in September settled claims brought by U.S. workforce discrimination regulators. California’s civil rights agency sued the Santa Monica-based company in July, citing a “frat boy” culture that had become a “breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women.”

Wall Street saw the acquisition as a big win for Activision Blizzard Inc. and its shares soared 25% in trading Tuesday, making up for losses over the past six months since California’s discrimination lawsuit was filed. Shares of Microsoft slipped about 2%.

Last year, Microsoft spent $7.5 billion to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of video game publisher Bethesda Softworks, which is behind popular video games The Elder Scrolls, Doom and Fallout. Microsoft’s properties also include the hit game Minecraft after it bought Swedish game studio Mojang for $2.5 billion in 2014.

The Redmond, Washington, tech giant said the latest acquisitions will help beef up its Xbox Game Pass game subscription service while also accelerating its ambitions for the metaverse, a collection of virtual worlds envisioned as a next generation of the internet. While Xbox already has its own game-making studio, the prospect of Microsoft controlling so much game content raised questions about whether the company could restrict Activision games from competing consoles, although Nadella promised the deal would help people play games “wherever, whenever and however they want.”

The acquisition would push Microsoft past Nintendo as the third-largest video game company by global revenue, behind Playstation-maker Sony and Chinese tech giant Tencent, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives.

“Microsoft needed to do an aggressive deal given their streaming ambitions and metaverse strategy,” Ives said. ”They’re the only game in town that can do a deal of this size with the other tech stalwarts under massive tech scrutiny.”

Meta, Google, Amazon and Apple have all attracted increasing attention from antitrust regulators in the U.S. and Europe, but the Activision deal is so big that it will also likely put Microsoft into the regulatory spotlight, Ives said. Microsoft is already facing delays in its planned $16 billion acquisition of Massachusetts speech recognition company Nuance because of an investigation by British antitrust regulators.

Microsoft is able to make such a big all-cash purchase of Activision because of its success as a cloud computing provider. But after years of focusing on shoring up its business clients and products such as the Office suite of email and other work tools, Ives said Microsoft’s failed 2020 attempt to acquire social media platform TikTok may have “really whet the appetite for Nadella to do a big consumer acquisition.”

Pushback against the deal was immediate from consumer advocacy groups.

“No way should the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice permit this merger to proceed,” said a statement from Alex Harman, competition policy advocate for Public Citizen. “If Microsoft wants to bet on the ‘metaverse,’ it should invest in new technology, not swallow up a competitor.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki had no comment on Microsoft’s announcement at her briefing Tuesday, but emphasized the Biden administration’s recent moves to strengthen enforcement against illegal and anticompetitive mergers.

Started in 1979 by former Atari Inc. employees, Activision has created or acquired many of the most popular video games, from Pitfall in the 1980s to Guitar Hero and the World of Warcraft franchise. Bobby Kotick, 59, has been CEO since 1991.

Microsoft said it expects the deal to close in its 2023 fiscal year, which starts in July. It said Kotick will continue to serve as CEO. After the deal closes, the Activision business unit would then report to Phil Spencer, who has led Microsoft’s Xbox division and will now serve as CEO of Microsoft Gaming.

Kotick survived a number of executive shakeups at Activision last year after a series of controversies stemming from allegations of a toxic workplace culture. A shareholder lawsuit in August said the company failed to disclose to investors that it was being investigated in California and that it had workplace culture issues that could result in legal problems.

Activision reached a deal in September with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to settle claims that followed a nearly three-year investigation. The agency said Activision failed to take effective action after employees complained about sexual harassment, discriminated against pregnant employees and retaliated against employees who spoke out, including by firing them.

Microsoft has also been investigating its own practices toward sexual harassment and gender discrimination, opening an inquiry last week sought by investors at its annual shareholders meeting in November. The company committed to publishing a report later this year on how it handles harassment claims, including past allegations involving senior leaders such as co-founder Bill Gates.

AP writer Darlene Superville in Washington contributed to this report.

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Cleveland Browns lineman spotted walking around naked, arrested

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Cleveland Browns lineman spotted walking around naked, arrested

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. — Malik McDowell, a defensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns who stands 6 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 290 pounds, drew concern when he was spotted walking around naked in Deerfield Beach and then attacked a deputy, according to an arrest report.

McDowell punched the deputy several times in the head and then ran across a large roadway, ultimately requiring up to six deputies to try to subdue him, the Sheriff’s Office said.

After being detained with help from a stun gun, McDowell was arrested Monday on charges of public exposure and beating a deputy in a “violent attack” that left the officer “dazed,” according to an arrest report.

McDowell’s defense attorney, Adam Swickle, said, “Apparently, somebody may have slipped him something or given him something he was unaware of — which explains some of his bizarre behavior.”

Sheriff’s deputies reported that they got a call of the naked man shortly after 1 p.m., according to the incident report obtained by the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Tuesday. Assistant State Attorney Eric Linder told judge Phoebee Francois that McDowell was in an area near a learning center for children and that it was in session.

A deputy reported he wasn’t able to avoid a confrontation with McDowell, and was unable to use his weapon, or “de-escalation tactics.” The deputy fought back in an effort to “take him to the ground,” but McDowell slipped through his grasp and fled, the report said.

A sheriff’s spokeswoman said after McDowell “charged at one of the deputies and punched him multiple times in the head, McDowell then started to run through both westbound and eastbound traffic on Hillsboro Boulevard and crossed all six lanes of the roadway.”

She said it took “at least six deputies and Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue personnel” to assist with the arrest. A deputy used a Taser to place McDowell in handcuffs.

McDowell was taken to Broward Health North for treatment and evaluation before he was booked at the Broward County Main Jail. She said the deputy was treated at Broward Health North for injuries to his face and lower leg.

McDowell appeared before a Broward County judge Tuesday. “We believe throughout the investigation there will be things that will come to light, which will explain what took place,” Swickle said.

McDowell’s future with the Browns is unclear.

“We are aware of the very concerning incident and arrest involving Malik McDowell and are in the process of gathering more information. We understand the severity of this matter and our thoughts are for the well-being of all involved. We will have no further comment at this time,” the Browns organization said in a statement Tuesday.

McDowell played in 15 games and recorded 33 tackles, 3.0 sacks and a recovered fumble for the Browns this season.

The 25-year-old had been seeking a second chance in the NFL with the Browns.

McDowell was a second-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 2017 out of Michigan State. But he got into an ATV accident weeks before training camp was scheduled to begin in late July of that year and was placed on the team’s injured list for the 2017 season.

McDowell was arrested in September 2017 on a DUI charge in Michigan and got 12 months of probation. He was arrested again in December 2017 on a disorderly conduct charge in Atlanta in connection with a nightclub incident.

McDowell also spent the 2018 season on Seattle’s injured list.

He was arrested in February 2019 on the charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, resisting arrest and assault. He was sentenced to 153 days in jail for that offense and got credit for 66 days served. The Seahawks released him one month later in March 2019 and he was issued a two-game NFL suspension.

In April 2019, he was charged with receiving and concealing stolen property after he was found with a stolen pickup, authorities said. He got 244 days in jail in that case.

According to the Broward Sheriff’s incident report, he was on probation in Michigan at the time of this latest incident.

McDowell, whose address is listed as Farmington Hills, Michigan, is being held at the Broward Main Jail on a $31,000 bond.

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