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The conventional wisdom in Washington is that Iraq is heading for partition. The argument is that Iraq is on the cusp of being broken into three states: a Sunni, a Shiite, and a Kurdish state to replace the current state of Iraq. But while many of the proponents of this view contend that the Iraqis themselves want this because they simply cannot live together, I believe nothing could be further from the truth..

Yesterday The New York Times published a feature article about plus size fashion bloggers after Gabi Gregg of Gabi Fresh appeared on the Today show to talk about how she posted a picture of herself in a bikini on her blog (photo at left) and received an overwhelmingly positive response. (Watch the interview below.)Many other plus size fashion bloggers were featured in The New York Times piece, and all of them seem to agree: Larger woman should not be afraid to relish in the fashion world, show their bodies to the world, and embrace their own unique style.The discussion of plus size models and the ever present portrayal of grossly thin women in the media has certainly been around for a few years, but this new group of fashion bloggers seem to signify another step in the evolution: These women are embracing their own bodies, and given the amount of readers they have, society is following suit.The article also cites an earlier Times piece about female actresses and celebrities who have also been more outwardly accepting of their curves, including Gretchen Wilson, Adele, Lena Dunham, and even Lady Gaga’s recent “unapologetic” weight gain.There is no doubt that the topic ignites heated conversation. People wonder if our culture is enabling the acceptance of unhealthy BMIs even obesity or just fostering a healthier standard for naturally large women.To shed light on how larger women in the media affect the standard of beauty, a new study published this week in PLOS ONE revealed that when women observe bigger women (those with BMIs between 36 and 42) in images, they are less likely to be obsessed with thinner figures than when they observed thinner women (those with BMIs bewtween 11 and 14).RELATED: Photoshop reversal! These celebs and models have been modified to look bigger, curvier, and less muscular.So where does that leave us? In Gregg’s Today interview, she said that she’s on a journey to health.

The warning came as the society’s monthly index showed yet further rises in house prices. The UK average price rose 0.6pc in the last month to 177,846 9.4pc higher than in February 2013. This is still around 3pc below the peak in 2007, but growth shows no signs of slowing..

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