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Landslide Kills More Than 150 People In Colombia

A landslide in Colombia?s southwestern border province of Putumayo sent mud and debris crashing onto houses overnight, killing at least 154 people and injuring scores, officials said on Saturday.

Heavy rains caused several rivers to overflow, pushing sediment and rocks onto buildings and roads in the provincial capital of Mocoa and immobilizing cars in several feet of mud.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos flew to Mocoa, population 345,000, to oversee rescue efforts on the city outskirts and speak with affected families.

?We will do everything possible to help them,? Santos said after confirming the death toll. ?It breaks my heart.?

Officials were working to determine the number of missing, Santos said. Nearly 200 people were injured, the defense ministry said, and more than 1,100 soldiers and police officers were called in to dig people out.

?We have sent a team of 150 people to make our response effective and machinery began work immediately,? Carlos Ivan Marquez, head of the national disaster unit, said in a statement.

Even in a country where heavy rains, a mountainous landscape and informal construction of homes combine to make landslides a common occurrence, the scale of the Mocoa disaster was daunting. By comparison, a 2015 landslide killed nearly 80 people in Salgar, Antioquia.

?It?s a big area,? Mocoa Mayor Jose Antonio Castro, who lost his house, told Caracol radio on Saturday. ?A big portion of the many houses were just taken by the avalanche.?

He said that people were warned ahead of time and many were able to get out, but several neighborhoods and two bridges had been destroyed.

Photos posted on Twitter by the air force showed neighborhood streets filled with mud and damaged houses, while videos on social media showed residents searching for survivors in the debris and struggling to move through waist-high water during the night.

(Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb and Nelson Bocanegra; Editing by Bill Trott and Mary Milliken)

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Activist Glenn Martin ‘Grateful’ #CLOSErikers Campaign Was A Success

Mayor De Blasio announced a 10 year plan to close the notoriously violent New York prison facility Rikers Island on Friday afternoon. The decision comes after a year of aggressive crusading to shut down the prison from the #CLOSErikers campaign, which was founded by activist and former Rikers prisoner Glenn E. Martin.

In a statement sent to The Huffington Post, Martin said that he?s ?grateful? the mayor has realized that the only solution to the prison?s problematic nature is to close it.

?For too long, New Yorkers ? especially poor people of color ? have languished in this grist mill, where human rights abuses are routine,? Martin said. ?Countless failed attempts at incremental reform have proven that the only viable solution is to close Rikers.?

The campaign, which Martin founded in 2016, has done everything from follow the mayor to Florida to ensure he hears their concerns surrounding the prison to create a commercial calling the mayor out on his inaction around Rikers.

Martin, who was imprisoned at Rikers twice and currently has a brother in the prison, said the mayor?s announcement was ?especially meaningful? to him.

?Mayor de Blasio has finally heard the demands of the #CLOSErikers campaign, and we thank him for recognizing that the problem with Rikers is Rikers,? he continued.

Martin is also a member of the Lippman Commission which, in a 97 page report provided to the mayor, outlined ways to successfully go about closure of the prison.  

Aside from his intent to close the island and open other jails in its place, the mayor?s full plan has not yet been released. But is expected to include some of the suggestions from the commission?s report.

You can read more about the mayor?s announcement here

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The Best Easter Ham Recipes

It doesn?t feel like Easter if there isn?t a great big ham crowning the table. And since you know just how much ham you need for your holiday feast, and just how long you need to cook it, the only thing you need now is a recipe.

You?ve come to the right place. We have just the recipes you need for a beautiful Easter ham. Pick a recipe and get started on this glorious meal ? just be sure you don?t forget dessert! (We have stunning spring desserts and cute Easter-inspired sweets for you to choose from.)

But first, the hams…

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These Powerful Photos Of Women ‘Flip The Bird’ At Society’s Standards

Photographer Julia Busato?s ?Mannequin Series? is meant to break the mold.

Inspired by Instagram and (briefly) banned by Facebook, the 46-year-old?s body-positive series shines a light on women of all shapes and sizes. It all happens with the help of a unique prop ? a mannequin she had in her closet. 

?A friend of mine said she would love to flip the bird at society?s standards so we grabbed the mannequin and started shooting,? Busato told The Huffington Post via email. ?From there it just evolved as more people came forward asking to be part of it and answering my requests for volunteers.? 

The subjects used in the photos are not all professional models, and are mostly locals from Busato?s town in Guelph, which is near Ontario, Canada. The mannequin used in the photos is nicknamed ?Lucy? after Lucille Ball. According to Busato, posing with Lucy helps the women loosen up and laugh during the shoot.

The mannequin also helps people share their stories, which Busato says range from body issues to mental and physical health.  

?Each person has their own personal story about how they don?t fit the standards expected from society. It?s not just about weight anymore, its about being happy in your own skin,? the photographer told The Huffington Post.

If there?s one thing people ? and women in particular ? take away from the shoot, Busato hopes that it?ll encourage women to come together in support of each other around the globe. 

?I really want to show the world that no matter what size, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, physical/mental limitations or social status; we are all women and all strong enough to get through this together,? Busato said. ?I just want women to love themselves unconditionally because we are all beautiful in our own way.? 

To see more of her photos, scroll through the slideshow below: 

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– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.