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AUTO REVIEW: 2020 Kia Soul

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The 2020 Kia Soul maintains its boxy shape; I don’t know that it would be a Soul without it. And Kia continued to call it an urban runabout. It has virtually annihilated its competitors but more in the form of crossovers are here and are or on their way. What Kia wanted to do with the next generation was to keep the Soul fun to drive, functional and funky. They pretty much hit all three marks.

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By Frank S. Washington, AboutThatCar.com

SAN DIEGO – It doesn’t seem like it has been around that long but we’re about to get a look at the third generation of the Kia Soul. This car has defied all odds. It struck a chord with consumers and Kia parlayed an innovative advertising campaign that corralled the public psyche and turned this vehicle into near icon status.

The 2020 Kia Soul maintains its boxy shape; I don’t know that it would be a Soul without it. And Kia continued to call it an urban runabout. It has virtually annihilated its competitors but more in the form of crossovers are here and are or on their way.

What Kia wanted to do with the next generation was to keep the Soul fun to drive, functional and funky. They pretty much hit all three marks.

The 2020 Soul has a sleeker design, more power, a better ride and more models. There are now six trim lines: the LX, S, X-Line, GT-Line, EX, EX-Designer Collection and that does not include the Soul EV.

There were two engine choices. A 2.0-liter normally aspirated four cylinder made 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. It could be mated to a six-speed manual transmission or what Kia has branded as an Intelligent Variable Transmission, Kia’s in-house developed CVT. With the I-VT it got 27 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg combined.

The first thing I noticed when we got in the 2.0-liter was that it didn’t have push button start stop nor entry. Still, the engine was relatively smooth and quiet. The new Soul was certainly comfortable and roomy.

I found the transmission to be pretty good. The I-VT simulates gear shifts and that got rid of the monotonous drone and rubber band feel that accompanies most CVTs. The 147-horsepower engine did work to get the car up and over a couple of steep hills and they were not that steep.

The 1.6-liter twin-scroll turbocharged direct injected four-cylinder engine made 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. It was mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This engine got 27 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg combined.

We drove the turbo back from lunch. This car had power. The dual clutch was sharp. We got lost more times than I’m going to admit. But it gave us a chance to test the Soul’s maneuverability in the form of U-turns. The new Soul’s turning radius was 34.8 ft.

Turns were tight on the way back, but I never felt the frame warp during the tight turns or handling the twisting two lane state roads here. The frame was 35 percent stiffer.

I climbed into the back seat and found lots of room. Because the Soul is front-wheel-drive, the floor in the rear of the passenger compartment was almost flat. There was a sport-tuned suspension and with the seats folded the Soul had 62.1 sq. ft. of cargo space.

The interior of the car was sharp; the infotainment screen dominated. The 1.6-liter had heated seats, a heated steering wheel, push button start stop and it also had a sunroof.

Although the 2020 Soul had the same silhouette and stance as the old car, the headlights had been narrowed. And the three-dimensional wrap around LED taillights that were added looked like reverse boomerangs that formed ribbons. They narrowed the front headlights and the daytime running lights ran the width of the car and formed a thin ribbon under the headlights.

There was a larger grille with a two-tone treatment. They added some heft to the front fenders and there were three roof rack mounting points. The C pillars were designed to look like airplane wings, but I couldn’t see it. There was also a new Soul graphic on the C pillar.

Kia turned up the volume on the Soul’s audio system. The interior space continues to evolve in terms of sound. Available mood lighting emitted soft light from the center door panels and a 3D pattern surface was on the upper door panels. That light can synchronize the beat of the music with the interior lights.

Other interior technology included a rainbow of customizable colors, wireless charging, dual automatic climate controls and the Soul’s signature tweeter speakers.

The 2020 Soul was a little longer by two-inches. The width and height were unchanged but the wheelbase was a little more than one-inch longer. That inch gave the Soul a smoother ride.

The new Soul picked up a little more leg room in the front and lost a little in the rear. The headroom was unchanged, so was the shoulder room in the front and rear. However, the Soul picked up 5 more cu. ft. of cargo space with the rear seats up for a total of 24.2 cu. ft. It will need it because most of its new competitors will be small crossovers.

The liftgate was wider and lower making putting stuff in easier. The Soul had a dual cargo board so that it could accommodate taller cargo. The front doors were larger because of sculpted panels. What they’ve done is make a snazzy vehicle a bit more practical too.

The new chassis used more advanced high strength steel than the old model and it had more hot stamped components and more structural adhesive.

It is all about being connected in today’s automotive universe. The 2020 Soul had a 10.25-inch color touchscreen with split screen capability, depending on the trim line. It had a rearview monitor and parking guidance. There was Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, a heads up display and a premium audio system that included 10 speakers and twice the wattage of the current car.

Kia offered a suite of what it calls Drive Wise features including forward collision avoidance, lane keeping assist, lane changing assist, driver attention warning, blind spot collision warning, rear cross collision warning, smart cruise control and high beam assist.

The car goes on sale this spring. Prices start at $17,490 for the Kia Soul LX 2.0-liter with the six-speed manual transmission and range up to $27,490 for the GT-Line 1.6 turbo with the seven-speed dual clutch transmission. And add the $995 freight charge.

Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com

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IN MEMORIAM International Soccer Icon Pelé Dies at 82

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), Pelé became a Brazilian national hero. According to Britannica, he combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves. 

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Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Pelé, the international star who was instrumental in three World Cup championships with Brazil across three decades and who energized U.S. soccer with the New York Cosmos in the 1970s, has died.

The 82-year-old legend had been hospitalized since November, and his doctors reported that Pelé’s cancer had advanced, requiring care related to renal and cardiac dysfunction.

He has been receiving regular treatment since doctors removed a tumor from his colon in 2021.

“Father. My strength is yours,” the international star’s son, Edinho, posted on social media.

Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento in Três Corações, Brazil, on Oct. 23, 1940, Pelé became soccer’s first superstar.

He led the Brazilian national teams to World Cup glory in 1958, 1962, and 1970.

In 1956, he joined the Santos Football Club, where he played inside left forward, winning nine São Paulo league championships and, in 1962 and 1963, the Libertadores Cup and the Intercontinental Club Cup.

Sometimes called “Pérola Negra” (“Black Pearl”), Pelé became a Brazilian national hero. According to Britannica, he combined kicking power and accuracy with a remarkable ability to anticipate other players’ moves.

“After the 1958 World Cup, Pelé was declared a national treasure by the Brazilian government to ward off large offers from European clubs and ensure that he would remain in Brazil,” Britannica researchers wrote.

On Nov. 19, 1969, in his 909th first-class match, he scored his 1,000th goal.

Pelé made his international debut in 1957 at age 16 and played his first game in the World Cup finals in Sweden the following year.

The Brazilian manager was initially hesitant to play his young star. But, according to Britannica, when Pelé finally reached the field, he had an immediate impact, rattling the post with one shot and collecting an assist.

He had a hat trick in the semifinal against France and two goals in the championship game, where Brazil defeated Sweden 5–2. At the 1962 World Cup finals, Pelé tore a thigh muscle in the second match and had to sit out the remainder of the tournament.

Nonetheless, Brazil went on to claim its second World Cup title.

Researchers said rough play and injuries turned the 1966 World Cup into a disaster for Brazil and Pelé, as the team went out in the first round, and he contemplated retiring from World Cup play.

Returning in 1970 for one more World Cup tournament, he teamed with young stars Jairzinho and Rivelino to claim Brazil’s third title and permanent ownership of the Jules Rimet Trophy. Pelé finished his World Cup career, scoring 12 goals in 14 games.

Pelé’s electrifying play and penchant for spectacular goals made him a worldwide star.

His team Santos toured internationally to take full advantage of his popularity. For example, in 1967, he and his team traveled to Nigeria, where a 48-hour cease-fire in that nation’s civil war was called to allow all to watch the great player.

Pelé announced his retirement in 1974 but, in 1975, agreed to a three-year $7 million contract with the New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League and to promote the game in the United States. He retired after leading the Cosmos to the league championship in 1977.

Pelé was the recipient of the International Peace Award in 1978. In 1980 he was named Athlete of the Century by the French sports publication L’Equipe, and he received the same honor in 1999 from the International Olympic Committee. In 2014 the Pelé Museum opened in Santos, Brazil.

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COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips

THE AFRO — Although it cannot be medically diagnosed, burnout can lead people to lose their sense of self and feel as if they are not accomplishing enough. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Psychological Association found that the risk of burnout has increased for workers due to extra stress, increased household demands and longer working hours. 
The post COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Megan Sayles | AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member
msayles@afro.com

We’ve all heard the age-old saying that “hard work pays off.”  But, sometimes, working too hard can do more harm than good.

“Burnout” is a form of work-related stress in which an individual experiences physical, emotional or mental exhaustion caused by their job’s demands. It can also make workers feel distanced from their jobs and engender negative feelings about them, according to the World Health Organization.

Although it cannot be medically diagnosed, burnout can lead people to lose their sense of self and feel as if they are not accomplishing enough. Since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Psychological Association found that the risk of burnout has increased for workers due to extra stress, increased household demands and longer working hours.

This makes it even more important for people to know the signs of burnout and the strategies to combat it.

Natasha Charles is the founder and CEO of Intuitive Coaching with Natasha Charles, a comprehensive life coaching and consulting firm. She created the business after gaining 20 years in senior administration roles.

Charles was motivated to open the firm in 2018 out of a desire to create a business focused on inspiring continuous improvement. There, she works with individuals and executives to create lives that they love and offers them personalized solutions to address critical work and business challenges.

“It’s really about thinking about you, the person, and all that you are,” Charles said. “People tend to be very focused on one aspect of their life, and a lot of times, it’s about their career, so it’s really about making space for all of your goals and all of your dreams.”

When someone experiences burnout, Charles said they could be actively doing their job while simultaneously worrying about their other responsibilities and priorities, whether personal or work-related. She also stressed that burnout can be experienced no matter what profession you are in and what you are being paid.

Aside from the physical and mental impacts of stress, burnout can impact finances if it causes an employee to take extended periods of time off or miss work, according to Charles. It can also reduce their productivity.

In the beginning of 2022, the term “quiet quitting” emerged, and for some, it’s being used as a method to avoid burnout. It involves individuals meeting the minimum requirements of their job descriptions, investing no extra time or effort than what is mandatory.

For Charles, quiet quitting is a signal that a person is not fulfilled by their job and may need to think about changing workplaces or careers.

“I get that people are not always able to up and quit, and it can take time to find what that next role is,” Charles said. “I would come from a space of encouraging the person to start thinking about what that is. What is it that you ultimately desire to be doing in your life and seeing your work?”

One of the most important steps in reducing and preventing burnout is educating yourself about the syndrome, so you can be aware of the warning signs, according to Charles. She also said it was crucial for employers to talk to their employees about it.

Awareness can help prevent the shame and guilt that comes with burnout and allow people to give themselves grace.

After a person has weighed whether they are experiencing burnout or not, they should think about how they want to confront it. This could include engaging in self-care, asking for extra support at work or home, and creating stronger boundaries between their personal and professional lives.

When burnout is impacting your performance, it’s time to consider making a career change, Charles said.

To ensure your work life does not invade your personal life, Charles said people need to assess the goals they have for all areas of their life. Once you’ve set goals, it’s easier to devise a plan and set the necessary boundaries to achieve them.

Charles also said it’s important to carve out time for yourself where you’re not constantly checking your phone or email for work reasons.

“There is life beyond your work. There is an entire world out there to be discovered,” Charles said. “There’s a world within us to be discovered as well, and I encourage everyone to invest in discovering those pieces.”

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

The post COMMENTARY: Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin: Avoid Burnout with These Simple Tips first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting 

NNPA NEWSWIRE — The case fired up social media and highlighted the misogyny that still reigns in hip hop. Many on Twitter routinely attacked Megan, accusing her of lying among other vicious vitriolic comments.
The post Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting  first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Canadian rapper Tory Lanez faces more than 20 years in prison and deportation after a jury in Los Angeles found him guilty in the 2020 shooting of hip hop star Megan Thee Stallion.

Lane, 30, was found guilty of three felony counts, including assault with an unregistered semiautomatic weapon, carrying a loaded gun, and discharging a firearm in a vehicle with gross negligence.

The case fired up social media and highlighted the misogyny that still reigns in hip hop. Many on Twitter routinely attacked Megan, accusing her of lying among other vicious vitriolic comments.

The 27-year-old Megan, whose real name is Megan Pete, testified that Lanez offered her hush money and didn’t care about her injuries and pain suffered because he shot her.

Lanez, who declined to testify, claimed there was another shooter, Pete’s friend who was also arguing with the hit maker as they drove home from a party.

“[Lanez] told me to dance,” Pete told the jury, adding that he also cursed at her following the shooting.

Sentencing for Lanez is scheduled for Jan. 27.

“You showed incredible courage and vulnerability with your testimony despite repeated and grotesque attacks that you did not deserve,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said, referring to Pete.

“You faced unjust and despicable scrutiny that no woman should ever face, and you have been an inspiration to others across LA County and the nation.”

The post Tory Lanez Found Guilty in Meg Thee Stallion Shooting  first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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