Burger King and Tim Hortons in talks

The merged company would become the world’s third largest fast-food chain


Burger King has said it is in takeover talks with Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee and doughnut chain.

A merger would create the world’s third-largest fast-food combine, one with a stock market value of about $18bn (£10.9bn; 13.6bn euros).

At close of the US stock market on Monday, Burger King’s shares were up by 19.5%, and those in Tim Hortons by 19%

The firms have said that any new group would have its HQ in Canada, where corporate taxes are lower.

These so-called tax inversion deals are attracting increasing criticism in the US, where President Barack Obama is understood to be looking at how they can be prevented in future.

The US corporate tax rate is 35%, but 26.5% in Ontario, Canada, where Tim Hortons is based.

Burger King’s majority shareholder, 3G Capital, would stay in overall control

The New York and Rio de Janeiro-based investment company bought Burger King in 2010 for about $3.3bn and floated the company in 2012, holding on to nearly 70% of the shares

If a deal goes ahead, the remaining shares will be distributed between the current shareholders of Burger King and Tim Hortons

According to reports, the companies will retain their separate brand identities but save costs by sharing corporate services.

Combined, Burger King and Tim Hortons would have an estimated revenue of $22bn a year from around 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries.

Tim Hortons used to be owned by US fast-food chain Wendy’s, before being spun off as a separate company in 2006

Al Gore sues Al Jazeera America

Presenter of Al Jazeera America in front of studio backdrop.


Former American Vice President Al Gore is suing Al Jazeera America over the sale of a TV network he founded.

Mr Gore and his partners agreed to sell Current TV to the Qatari-owned broadcaster last year.

But Mr Gore and other former shareholders in the company claim Al Jazeera America is trying to retain $65m (£39m) of the purchase money.

They have filed a lawsuit claiming the terms of the contract have not been honoured.

Mr Gore’s lawyer, David Boies, said in a statement Al Jazeera America wants to give itself a discount on the purchase price that was agreed to nearly two years ago

Al Jazeera bought Current TV in August 2013 from a group of shareholders including the channel’s former chief executive, Joel Hyatt. Other investors included Comcast, and the supermarket magnate, Ron Burkle, as well as Mr. Gore

It is Mr Hyatt and Mr Gore who are alleging fraud and breach of contract over the sale, lodging their suit at a Delaware court

They say a portion of the sale price was placed by Al Jazeera into an account to be paid to them this year, but that the money has been withheld

A summary of the case, released by Mr. Gore’s lawyer, stated that Al Jazeera America is in express violation of the merger agreement

Current TV was originally designed as a progressive channel to counter conservative-leaning broadcasters such as Fox News.

Al Jazeera America has not commented on the lawsuit.

Pope beatifies South Korea martyrs

Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Seoul: There was a huge cheer at the beatification of 124 of South Korea’s first Catholic martyrs

Pope Francis has celebrated a large open air Mass to beatify 124 of South Korea’s first Catholics at a ceremony in the capital Seoul.

He paid tribute to the Koreans, who died for their faith in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Saturday’s Mass came on the third day of his visit – his first trip to Asia since becoming pope in March 2013.

Pope Francis met survivors of the Sewol ferry disaster and delivered his first public Mass in the region on Friday.

The beatification ceremony was held at Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul, with hundreds of thousands of people in attendance.

Beatification, or declaring a person “blessed”, is the necessary prelude to full sainthood.

Analysis by Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, Seoul:

There is something in the manner of Pope Francis that seems to win people over, Catholics and non-Catholics, wherever he goes. And he has done it again here in South Korea.

His lack of formality has shone through. On Friday he stopped in the middle of a prepared speech to a gathering of young Catholics and said he wanted to “speak directly from his heart, without reading from a piece of paper,” but that his English was not good enough”. “No!” shouted the 6,000 teenagers in one voice.

There is also plenty of talk, in this status-conscious society, about the Pope’s use of a tiny hatch-back as his official car, most of it approving. The Church is seen in South Korea as a supporter of the poor and the politically dispossessed, so much so that the Korean right has accused it of being ‘socialist’.

In South Korea Pope Francis seems to have found a Catholic clergy and believers who share his vision of what the Church of Rome should be.

The Pope is spending five days in South Korea, where the Catholic Church is growing. It currently has just over 5.4 million members, some 10.4% of the population.

Crowds of worshippers lined the streets leading up to Gwanghwamun Plaza for Saturday’s ceremony The square was the site where unrepentant Catholics were paraded before they were publicly executed

They were willing to make great sacrifices and let themselves be stripped of whatever kept them from Christ  possessions and land, prestige and honour – for they knew that Christ alone was their true treasure, Pope Francis told the crowd in his sermon.

They challenge us to think about what, if anything, we ourselves would be willing to die for.

This is a very significant and poignant moment for the Catholic Church in South Korea because the people who were beatified today were the founders of the church 200 years ago, says the BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes in Seoul.

They were also unique because they were not converted by missionaries who came to Korea but they learnt about Catholicism themselves and brought the books back to Korea to spread the Catholic Church and were executed by the royal authorities for doing so, he adds.

Before Saturday’s Mass got under way, he met some of the survivors and relatives of the South Korean ferry disaster that killed more than 300 people in April this year.

He was later greeted by a rapturous crowd of some 10,000 youths in Dangjin, where he spoke briefly off-the-cuff in English, acknowledging his difficulties with the language

The Pope also flew southeast of Seoul to the hilltop Kkottongnae community established by a priest in the 1970s to look after sick and disabled Koreans. He stopped to pray there at a monument to aborted babies

Meanwhile, China’s leadership failed to receive a telegram sent by the Pope as he flew over the country on his way to South Korea, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said on Friday

It is traditional for the pontiff to send blessings to the leadership of a country he flies over, but this was the first time a pope had been permitted to use Chinese air space

The gesture is seen as significant because the Vatican and China have had no formal ties since the Communist party took power in 1949.

A technical glitch was thought to have stopped the message from being received, which was later resent via the Italian embassy in Beijing, Mr Lombardi said

When mental illness affects your family

Editor’s note: In the comments section below, read the results of a live chat about mental illness between readers and CNN Digital Correspondent Kelly Wallace, mental health expert Dr. Charles Raison, CNN’s Kat Kinsman, who has written about her personal battle with depression and anxiety, celebrity publicist and mental health advocate Terrie M. Williams and clinical social worker Devra Gordon Renner.

(bursa escort) — When we lose a beloved superstar like Robin Williams to an apparent suicide and learn he had been battling severe depression before his death, it’s natural to think about our own loved ones.

We might look around at our adult family members and friends who are suffering and try to get them the help they need, but what we might not see is children and adolescents can get depressed and anxious, too.

And it’s more common than we probably realize.

On any given day, according to studies, it is estimated that about 2% of elementary school age children and about 8% of adolescents suffer from a major depression, and 1 in 5 teens has had a history of depression at some time, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

But how does a parent differentiate between what might be considered normal irritability and moodiness, especially during those teenage years, and signs that something more serious is afoot?

READ: Going public with depression

I think you should start worrying anytime there’s enough of a change when you go, ‘Oh my God they don’t seem like themselves,'” said Dr. Charles Raison, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.

Raison says the timeline is key; parents should perk up if for two to three weeks their children are “unremittingly down,” feeling hopeless and negative, if they start to withdraw from friends and activities, and if they experience dramatic changes in sleep.

Depressed teens might have difficulty falling asleep, not be able to fall back asleep after they wake up in the middle of the night or wake up very early in the morning. At the other end of the spectrum, they could be getting excessive amounts of sleep, sometimes sleeping 12 hours or more, psychiatrists say.

For younger kids, detecting depression gets “more complicated” for parents, Raison said, because children below the age of puberty don’t necessarily show the same signs of depression as teens and adults.

The younger the kid, the more scrambled the symptoms can be, he said. “They’re easily upset. They cry more. They’re scared to sleep alone at night. They become irritable. They act out more.

In younger children, parents aren’t likely to see the “classic depressive pattern, Raison said. But you’re still looking for that same larger idea, which is if your kid shows a real maladaptive change in their emotions (and) their behavior, the light needs to go off in your head because something isn’t right

READ: Depression and anxiety: What worked for me

Melissa Atkins Wardy, a mom of two in Janesville, Wisconsin, and author of Redefining Girly, said she was never aware that children as young as her daughter Amelia, who is now 8, could develop anxiety outside of a traumatic experience.

But halfway through first grade, Amelia said she didn’t want to go to school, and reluctance to go to school “morphed into tears and nausea every day and then tears and worry at bedtime, too,” said Atkins Wardy, founder and CEO of the company, Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies, which creates empowering T-shirts for girls and boys.

Eventually things just spiraled downward in second grade where her light just went out, she said. I was like her happy childhood had been swallowed up in a dark hole.

Her daughter was eventually diagnosed as suffering from general anxiety and has been seeing a “wonderful” therapist, Atkins Wardy said, for about a year.

When help is needed

Atkins Wardy knew something was wrong and eventually sought professional help, but often parents seek reassurance by telling themselves their child will grow out of the behavior or get better, said Dr. Robert Hendren, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco.

When the behavior is going on for weeks, it’s really time to assess what’s happening, Hendren said.

READ: What you need to know about childhood depression

The first step in the case of tweens and teens is being direct and discussing the issue head on, asking them, for instance, how they are feeling and if anything happened to make them feel unusually sad, he said.

Most adolescents will answer, said Hendren, who is also a past president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. One of the things that we learn a lot as health care providers is the majority of the kids that we miss who have depression and who may go on and be at risk of suicide are kids who were just never asked.

Parents can also get more information by talking to the people around their child  teachers, coaches, youth directors, even parents of friends.

The parent is trying to gather data: Is my kid just acting unhappy, uncharacteristically unhappy like this at home, or is it being noticed elsewhere outside? because … if it’s also outside, then we’re talking about a larger issue, said psychologist Carl Pickhardt, author of the book Surviving Your Child’s Adolescence” and host of a weekly blog for Psychology Today.

Of course, not many children, if any, will be excited to run off to a therapist’s office if their parents determine they need outside help.

Pickhardt says he deals with this all the time. He tells parents to tell their kids that they don’t have to go and see anybody by themselves, but they do need to go see someone with their parent.

You can choose to say something or not, but at least you can be here to hear what my concerns are and hear what the other person has to say, said Pickhardt, relaying the script he gives parents to use with their children.

I’ve never had a kid not participate, he added.

Signs of suicide risk

Another huge challenge for parents is trying to determine when their child is at risk of suicide.

Hendren, who is also a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, recommends parents ask their children who appear depressed if they ever feel like their life is not worth living, or if they have ever thought about taking their own life.

Raising the issue does not give children the idea of suicide, said Hendren, putting to rest concerns that many parents might have.

All the studies seem to indicate that you don’t have somebody start thinking about suicide by asking them about it. They’re either thinking about it or they’re not

READ: Robin Williams and depression: We all wear a mask

That doesn’t mean it’s an easy discussion for any parent, said Devra Gordon Renner, a clinical social worker in Northern Virginia who has helped hundreds of families deal with childhood depression and anxiety.

Saying to somebody, Are you thinking of harming yourself?  that’s not a comfortable conversation for a parent to have with a child. But it is a healthy conversation, because it is acknowledging that your child may be feeling really bad and letting them know you are there to help and you are taking them seriously, said Gordon Renner, who is also the co author of Mommy Guilt.

When a child says he or she has thoughts that life is not worth living and has considered suicide, those are “ominous signs” that would call for an evaluation by a medical professional experienced with depression and suicide, Hendren said.

If alcohol or other substances might be involved, then the risks really jump because in an altered state of mind, kids seem at a higher risk of doing something that might be harmful.

The stigma remains

Because of the stigma of depression and suicide, too many people are still hesitant to talk about it, even when talking about it helps people who are suffering realize they are not alone, experts say.

It’s amazing that once you start talking about this, other people pop up with, ‘Oh, my cousin had this, my sister had that, said Gordon Renner.

Depression is an illness and it’s a treatable illness, and in some cases it can metastasize and be fatal for some people, and I think it’s important to know that, but it’s rare, she added.

READ: Postpartum depression: One mom’s mission becomes a movement

It was the stigma, in part, that drove Atkins Wardy to publicly share her daughter’s battle with anxiety on Facebook. At first she questioned whether she was compromising her daughter’s privacy.

But since her daughter’s battle was already public as far as her school community was concerned, and after getting private messages from mothers looking for advice to help their daughters who also struggled with anxiety, Atkins Wardy decided the issue was bigger than her and her daughter.

Ultimately, the reason I have continued to share our journey with childhood anxiety is that it is so greatly misunderstood and parents need help, she said.

Had people who had experienced childhood anxiety not been brave enough to reach out to me and teach me what Amelia was experiencing, I think I would have made some really bad parenting choices.

As for her daughter, who went on a low dose of medication a short time ago, she is pretty much back to her old self again.

We have our girl back. This is the person I knew was hiding under the mask of anxiety and I was willing to do anything to get her out.

Have you or any of your loved ones ever battled depression or anxiety? Share in the comments or tell Kelly Wallace on Twitter or CNN Living on Facebook.

For any information on how to talk to a child about depression or where to find help, contact the National Association of Mental Illness.

The British police on armed routine patrol

This picture with armed officers attending a routine disturbance sparked controversy


In a little-noticed move, a small number of police officers are now routinely carrying sidearms while on patrol in parts of the mainland UK. How did this come about, and does it alter the relationship between the constabulary and the public?

Saturday night in Inverness. Outside a McDonald’s restaurant, a scuffle between two men breaks out. Three police officers arrive to intervene. So far, so mundane.

Except that strapped around the hips of each of the policemen approaching the brawl is a holstered Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol.

It’s a sight that once would have been unthinkable. In this corner of the Scottish Highlands – an area with one of the lowest crime rates in the UK – the officers showing up to a relatively workaday disturbance are armed.

Although every police force has a firearms unit, for decades it has been an article of faith that in the mainland UK, almost uniquely among major industrialised nations, the police do not carry guns as a matter of course.

But with little fanfare at first, a policy of routinely allowing specialist officers to wear sidearms as they walk the streets of Scotland has come into being.

After the incident in Inverness was captured by a local photographer on 12 July, local politicians expressed fears that the tradition of an unarmed constabulary was being surreptitiously eroded – a charge that would have implications for everyone in the UK.

John Finnie, an independent Member of the Scottish Parliament and former police officer, was approached by a constituent who said he had seen armed officers at the finishing line of the Highland Cross biathlon in the sleepy town of Beauly. The man told the MSP he “felt less safe”, assuming some sort of major incident was under way.

Other sightings of armed officers in incongruous settings had emerged – at a bakery in the village of Brora, at a branch of Aldi in Inverness. They were also photographed at a routine traffic incident in Glasgow city centre.

Police Scotland, the single Scotland-wide force, says when specialist officers are not deployed on active firearms duty, it is expected that they carry out normal policing duties while carrying their sidearms. It says it is not the first force in the UK to routinely arm officers, and that 42 forces in England and Wales “carry the same standing authority and deploy similarly”.

There seems however to be a lack of clarity about how widespread the practice is. A spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers says Police Scotland’s policy has precedents in London in 2009 and Bedfordshire in 2012. The Metropolitan Police, however, says its officers on routine patrols are not armed.

This policy was introduced by the former Strathclyde force in 2008, and followed by Tayside in 2009 and Northern Constabulary just before the single force was created in 2013. Hitherto, firearms officers had to retrieve their weapons under a senior officer’s authorisation from a locked safe in an armed response vehicle.

Until this point, most people hadn’t actually noticed that the policy had altered. Jimmy Gray, the leader of Highland Council, says Northern Constabulary’s Joint Police Board was not fully informed what the change would mean. “It horrifies most people around here,” he says.

The British position

Why British police don’t have guns

Following an outcry, however, the Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill addressed MSPs at Holyrood on Tuesday to defend it. He said the public “understands and accepts” the need for a “small number” of officers to be armed and for the chief constable of Police Scotland, Sir Stephen House, to have operational independence over their deployment.

But in the Highlands, where 16 officers are authorised to routinely carry sidearms, hostility remains strong among elected representatives, who fear that the change in tactics will only encourage criminals to arm themselves more heavily.

Finnie, MSP for the Highlands and Islands, has led the opposition in the Scottish Parliament. He says it is unnecessary as officers are walking around “the safest place in the UK” with sidearms, and that the policy will only serve to frighten people.

Critics pointed out the widening of the policy comes after figures for 2012-13 showed firearm offences in Scotland had fallen by 32% to the lowest for 10 years. Homicides, attempted murders and robberies in which firearms were involved were all down too.

Petitions opposing the policy were started by local MP Danny Alexander and the Inverness Courier newspaper. Some 59 of 80 Highland councillors supported a motion tabled at the full council calling for a review.

But following a meeting with Highland councillors in July, divisional commander Ch Supt Elaine Ferguson said the policy was unlikely to change.

Ever since Robert Peel created the Metropolitan Police in 1829, the British force’s unarmed status has been central to its identity. Some in London were issued with revolvers prior to 1936, but after that date only trained officers ranked at sergeant or above were issued with guns, and even then only if they could show a good reason.

This was underpinned by the principle of policing by consent – the notion that officers owe their primary duty to those they serve, rather than to the state. Historically the only forces in the UK which were routinely armed were in Northern Ireland, the Ministry of Defence Police and the Civil Nuclear Constabulary.

According to Richard Garside, director of the Centre of Crime and Justice Studies, the sight of armed police has become more common in recent decades at airports and at places like the House of Commons. Cases like the murder of PC Sharon Beshenivsky, shot dead during a robbery in 2005, or of the three plain-clothes officers murdered by Harry Roberts in west London in 1966, have led to calls for the police to be armed.

In November 2011, Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe called for police response officers to be routinely armed with Tasers and in 2007 the centre-right think-tank Policy Exchange found 72% of 2,156 adults wanted to see more armed police patrols.

But a 2006 survey of 47,328 Police Federation members found 82% did not want officers to be routinely armed on duty, despite almost half saying their lives had been “in serious jeopardy” during the previous three years.

Nonetheless, Garside says the policy in Scotland represents an “escalation” and will appear surprising to a public which still cherishes a Dixon of Dock Green ideal of policing.

“It does change the dynamic between the police and the public,” he says. “It’s always slightly alarming or unusual to see police officers in the UK carrying guns.”

Police Scotland insists that it is a long way from routinely arming those who serve in it. There has been no increase in the number of armed personnel. Out of 17,318 Scottish officers, only 275 routinely carry guns while on duty – 1.6% of the total. Because they work shifts, a much smaller number will be on duty at any one time.

In a statement, Deputy Chief Constable Ian Livingstone said the change in policy was necessary to correct a “previous postcode lottery of services”, adding that shootings in Dunblane, Cumbria, Hungerford and Northumberland demonstrated that rural areas were not immune from the threat of gun crime.

He added that it made sense for armed officers “to support their colleagues in local policing divisions through regular patrols and routine tasks” when they are not carrying out their specialist duty – citing the example of a 79-year-old woman who was rescued from the Caledonian Canal in Inverness by armed officers, who were the closest unit on hand to assist.

But Finnie says it isn’t necessary for them to wear sidearms strapped to their hips while they carry out this kind of assistance. During his 10 years as a dog handler, he says, he would regularly be called to assist colleagues dealing with robberies or domestic violence incidents, but “I didn’t take my 90lb snarling animal along with me”.

In addition, Dr Mick North, whose five-year-old daughter Sophie died at Dunblane Primary in 1996, hit out at the force for citing the tragedy in support of its policy. He said changes to the system would not have helped as “the incident was all over in three minutes”.

Police Scotland say they have only received one complaint from a member of the public about the policy, but a quarterly review in September “will take account of the views raised so far”.

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Sickness health and saying I do

Marriage decisions are especially difficult for couples facing a terminal illness.


(escort bursa) — As wedding season gears up this month, the words “in sickness and in health and till death do us part will lie at the heart of many vows.

For couples who are facing a terminal illness, these promises are a bittersweet reminder of the limits of time gratitude for the days and months they have, ache for those they might not.

On June 1, residents of Illinois will witness their state’s first day of marriage equality, but for Pat Ewert, 66, the day’s expressions of love will be tempered by a slight pang as she watches many of her friends lawfully unite.

I don’t have that person to celebrate with. It’s painful, but I’m so happy for all my friends,” Ewert says.

On November 27, 2013, Ewert and Vernita Gray, her partner of five years and one of Chicago’s most steadfast gay rights activists, were granted an expedited marriage license by a federal judge. It was the state’s first legally recognized same-sex marriage, and there was a purpose to the haste: Gray’s breast cancer had metastasized in her sternum and eventually, her brain.

“These two women, who have loved and cared for each other in good times and bad, through sickness and through health, will get to know what it means to be married,” Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project director for Lambda Legal, an LGBT rights organization, said in a statement shortly after the decision.

For Ewert and Gray, marriage is and was the ultimate display of commitment.

“It was weird for me to start using ‘wife,'” Ewert says. “There is a real difference.”

Gray passed away on March 19, 2014, at the age of 65 — just shy of the couple’s four-month wedding anniversary.

Ewert says the marriage ceremony was a moment of pure, unbridled joy that had been a long time coming (the couple had been engaged since Christmas 2009), but that they had always been “just a couple of little old ladies who live in a condo in Chicago” with the wish that “at some point, people will get that we’re just another couple.”

“[She’s] the first thing that I think about when I wake up, and the last thing at night,” Ewert says of her late wife.

When a boyfriend dies, does the grief mean less?

Caring for both parties

Diana Denholm, a psychotherapist, wrote the book “The Caregiving Wife’s Handbook,” after her personal life and professional expertise overlapped. Her own husband, John Sammond, was diagnosed with colon cancer, then congestive heart failure.

Her husband received his diagnosis in 1994, one month into their engagement, along with the information that he was facing a 20% survival rate.

“It’s a big decision, and it’s not an easy decision. I know after my husband got his diagnosis, he let me out of saying ‘yes,'” Denholm says.

But she walked down the aisle, and took care of Sammond until the time of his death 11½ years later on January 31, 2006.

Since then, she’s devoted her professional career to helping people understand the realities of the day-to-day while partners navigate terminal illness. It might include issues of intimacy, household management or most importantly, the well partner’s own self-care.

Denholm says it’s primarily important to manage expectations of how hands-on the healthy spouse will be in the caretaking, for instance, if they will quit their job and focus on caretaking full-time.

“I can’t stress that enough, and if you don’t, then you’re in it,” Denholm says.

There’s also guilt and denial: Guilt of being vilified if the relationship doesn’t work out while one partner remains sick, and the guilt of “why them, not me,” if it does.

Ewert readily admits she was in denial until Gray’s final moments. Gray had survived breast cancer before, and Ewert was sure she could again.

“I told her she owed me another 19 years. You owe me more,” Ewert recalls telling Gray, despite Gray admitting this time was different.

“Some of that [denial] is good. If we went into everything with a horrible outlook, that wouldn’t be helpful,” psychotherapist Denholm says.

Beyond that, Denholm explains, it’s important to understand the concept of enabling; the healthy spouse often feels the need to do every single task, turning the sick person into an invalid. If it’s something the afflicted person can manage, let them do it. It’s about collaboration, not animosity.

When the relationship becomes more like that of a parent and child, intimacy is lost, she says.

Denholm stresses that physical affection and connection may no longer be expressed as “intercourse” in the sense most people understand it; it could just mean lying next to the person, gently holding their hand or massaging them.

“Intimacy can remain until the very end, and in some ways the intimacy can strengthen,” she says.

Even though that’s helpful for the couple on their journey, someone is eventually left behind to go it alone.

“No matter how prepared you are for when they die, it’s always painful when they die,” Denholm says.

‘Hanging on a moment’

Jeff Lang just celebrated what would have been his wife’s 36th birthday at her favorite gelato shop. For him, the wound is still raw.

“A lot of people say, ‘You’ll get over it.’ I don’t want to. I want to get on with it, but with this being a huge part of what has shaped my life and love now, I will always honor that,” Lang said in an e-mail this week.

Lang married Jen Bulik-Lang in July 2013. She was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in December 2012, but had recently been told that even after five months of treatments, continuing treatment would not help her prognosis.

The couple decided it was now or never.

Their wedding captivated the national media after an event planner, Erica Becks, got local vendors to step up and create their dream ceremony — all the way down to a New Orleans’ style Second Line.

The couple’s first dance was to an acoustic version of Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory.”

“That line — ‘hanging on a moment with you’ — that’s what we’re doing right now. We really don’t know what’s next. Even though we got this bad news, we’re not letting that defeat us, we’re still on that edge of glory,” Lang told CNN in August right after their wedding.

“I’m choosing to live and be part of his life for how long forever is,” Bulik-Lang said at the time.

Bulik-Lang passed away in their Mountain View, California, home three months later on October 12, 2013.

“Jen said to me once, ‘I’m not afraid, I’m just sad’ and we lived it that way,” Lang says now, seven months after her passing. “We knew we would miss it if it was gone, so we made the most of every minute.”

Lang says that not having a future dictated their outlook on life, and it is how he continues to live.

“I don’t see accomplishments and money as the prime drivers of my day-to-day life. I love, and I have relationships that are deep and meaningful, I go out of my way to make that happen,” he says.

Funny obits bring new life to a dying art

A wedding wish

Wedding planner Liz Guthrie always cherished the “special day,” but she didn’t quite know how special it could be to couples facing serious health problems until she began organizing a dream wedding giveaway in 2009 to couples who had endured some sort of hardship.

More than 400 applicants applied, and Guthrie noticed many had a common theme: Limited time together.

From there, she founded Wish Upon A Wedding, a nonprofit devoted to providing weddings and vow renewals to couples who are facing terminal illness. The organization is now working on its 65th wedding wish

The ceremony itself is so important to so many people, Guthrie says.

Tina and Lance Martin of St. Louis were granted their ceremony by the organization on June 27, 2011. When the couple first met, Tina was undergoing chemotherapy for stage 4 non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Tina’s chemotherapy treatments ended in February 2009, and she is now five years in remission.

Shortly before their engagement in March 2011, Lance was himself diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a kidney disease that results in renal failure if not treated regularly with dialysis or, more permanently, a transplant.

Medical details and prognosis limits did not define their wedding day. Their moments however many they had left were at the core of the celebration.

Now, three years later, their story is still being written.

Getting married to the love of my life is the greatest blessing, Tina says. “It was nice not to have to think about medical and health problems during this time, and we were able to focus on something bigger and better– our marriage.”

“Every day is a struggle, but we have one goal in mind,” she says. “Happily ever after.”

Have you faced a terminal illness in your relationship? Share your story in the comments, on Twitter @CNNLiving, or on CNN Living’s Facebook page.

Putin orders retaliatory sanctions

A shopper in a Moscow supermarket (photo taken last year)


Russian President Vladimir Putin has banned or curbed agricultural imports from countries imposing sanctions on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

In a decree (Russian text), he ordered the measures, which also apply to food imports, to be introduced for one year.

Meanwhile, renewed fighting in eastern Ukraine has forced the suspension of a search for the remains of the victims of crashed flight MH17.

The attack on the jet has heightened tensions between Russia and the West.

The Malaysia Airlines aircraft was brought down in July, killing all 298 people aboard, most of them Dutch citizens.

The US and the EU accused pro-Russian separatist rebels of attacking the jet, mistakenly, with a missile supplied by Russia. The rebels and the Russian government deny the accusation.

Efforts to investigate the cause of the crash, and to recover the remains of the dead, have been hampered by fighting between the rebels and the Ukrainian military, which is attempting to retake territory in the east.

On Wednesday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the mission to recover the remains had been suspended because of renewed unrest.

“It doesn’t make sense to continue the repatriation in this manner,” he told reporters in The Hague. “We have done what we could under the circumstances.”

Analysis: Steve Rosenberg, BBC News, Moscow

Does this mean no more English cheddar at my local Moscow supermarket? No more German sausages? Or American chicken?

That’s unclear. The Kremlin decree doesn’t specify which items will be affected. Instead, President Putin has ordered his government to draw up the list of food and agricultural products to be limited or banned.

The Russian authorities clearly believe these restrictions will hurt foreign exporters more than the Russian economy. Moscow is already looking elsewhere for its food imports. It will hold talks this week with Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil.

Judging from the language coming out of Moscow, there is no sign of the Kremlin backing down over its support for armed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Russia’s deputy prime minister made it clear his country would defend itself “in a tough way, consistently and proactively” against foreign sanctions.

Government departments in Russia have been instructed to come up with a list of products subject to the sanctions order.

Russia has imposed import bans on other states in the past, but normally on grounds of public health.

Wednesday’s decree did not specify which countries would be affected by the new measures. However, the EU and US recently tightened sanctions on Russia, with Brussels applying restrictions to sectors of the economy as well as individuals.

Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted an official from the country’s agricultural and veterinary watchdog as saying that the new sanctions would apply to all agricultural products imported from the US.

“Fruits and vegetables from the European Union will also be under full ban,” the official, Alexey Alekseenko, is quoted as saying.

Russia buys fruit and vegetables from the EU worth an annual 2bn euros (£1.6bn; $2.7bn), and food and agricultural products from the US worth about 1bn euros.

Last week Russia banned most agricultural imports from Poland on grounds of public health in what was seen as a thinly veiled retaliation for Poland’s advocacy of tough action over Ukraine.

The Russian decree cites “national interests” as grounds for the latest measures.

The list of goods being affected should be ready by Thursday, according to the Russian business daily Vedomosti. Wine and baby food will not be affected, it added.

Russia, which was first subjected to sanctions after annexing Crimea in March, has been accused of fomenting the armed rebellion in Ukraine’s eastern regions.

Brussels hardened its sanctions at the end of July, amid growing anger over the downing of the Malaysia Airlines jet.

The new EU sanctions targeted close allies of Mr Putin such as billionaire tycoon Arkady Rotenberg but they also hit exports of oil industry and defence technology and affected Russian state banks’ access to Western capital.

In other developments: