‘Hide the Pain Harold’ meme inadvertently used by Stockholm health authority to call elderly for Covid-19 vaccinations

A popular internet meme in which a man seems to be smiling through suppressed pain was unwittingly deployed by a Swedish healthcare provider while encouraging elderly residents in Stockholm to come forward for their Covid-19 jabs.

The capital’s health authority said it was unaware of the internet’s use of the ‘Hide the Pain Harold’ meme, which features an old man who is smiling but has sad-looking eyes.

On Monday, the viral image, which is commonly used on social media to indicate hidden discomfort, was removed from the Covid injection booking section of Vardguiden’s website. It first appeared on Sunday as Stockholm invited people aged 75 and over for their jabs, before health bosses became aware of the image’s comedic value.

“We became aware that it was a meme via an email to the editorial staff,” a spokeswoman for the Stockholm regional authority said in a statement to Swedish broadcaster SVT. She said the image was “not in itself misleading or inappropriate” and had not damaged public confidence in the vaccine.

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The meme features Hungarian man Andras Arato, who posed as a model for a number of stock photos between 2008 and 2009.

The retired electrical engineer shot to worldwide fame in meme form and has since gained further prominence after participating in a TEDx talk, a campaign for German retailer Otto, and an advert for Russian beer brand Klinskoye, among other appearances.

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Next man up: Bellator chief says ‘army of Nurmagomedovs’ set to descend on fight league as Khabib cousin Usman prepares for debut

Khabib Nurmagomedov may have retired but the seemingly never-ending conveyor belt of talent from one of MMA’s most famous fighting families is showing no sign of slowing as Usman Nurmagomedov prepares for his Bellator debut.

The undefeated, 11-0 Usman has very much lived up to the success of his world champion cousin Khabib thus far in his burgeoning mixed martial arts career, but ahead of what many suggest is an uptick in competition in the world’s number two promotion Bellator MMA, the fight league’s chief Scott Coker says that Usman’s upcoming debut this Friday against the 7-4 Mike Hamel is just the latest example of the ‘Nurmagomedov army’s’ takeover of the sport. 

The Dagestani lightweight has been tapped to compete in what will be Bellator’s first event in four months as they continue to emerge for the Covid-19 slumber which has ground many global sports to a halt throughout the course of the past year, and with the most successful member of the family, Khabib, now fully confirmed to have retired, Usman is one of the names who appear more than capable of filling the void.

As Coker told Insider, the success of the likes of Usman, as well as UFC prospects Umar Nurmagomedov and Islam Makhachev, has been made possible by Khabib walking the same path before them.

He was a great fighter coming into training at [American Kickboxing Academy], competing in the UFC, and becoming one of the greatest fighters and the greatest lightweight of all time,” Coker said of the 29-0 Khabib. 

And then he’s got all his guys and they all train, they all fight, and he’s got a great team.

They were in Vegas training, taking it seriously, and getting ready. Khabib’s there, Usman, another brother, and it’s like an army coming to the Mohegan Sun Casino, April 2, live on Showtime.

It’s a big deal for [Usman]. Can you imagine training with Khabib? And Usman has had great fights all around the world, but now you’ve got to deliver. There must be a certain amount of pressure that comes with that.

Coker’s experience in guiding members of AKA throughout the early stages of their mixed martial arts careers is well noted. Two other members of the AKA fraternity, Daniel Cormier and Luke Rockhold, both made their names in Coker’s previous promotion Strikeforce on their path to eventually becoming UFC world champions – and Coker says that Usman Nurmagomedov is walking a similar path.

Javier Mendez who trains Khabib at AKA told me, ‘Hey, you should look out for this kid [Usman].’

So we signed him and what I’m excited about is not just the fighter he is right now but the fighter he is under the tutelage of Javier, AKA, that gym, and with all the great fighters it has put out. It’s like a fight factory, really.

He’s got it all; the stand-up, the ground-game, the wrestling.

He’s not a fighter you’ll be able to take advantage of because he’s weak in one area or another. He’s a fighter who’s got a well-rounded game, with excellent hands and complete striking ability.”

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And as for that army of Nurmagomedov’s this coming Friday? Usmar confirmed that the family’s general will be on hand in his corner.

Yes, Khabib will corner me,” Usman said. “And by God’s will, we’re gonna win this fight also.”

Another of Khabib’s cousins, Umar, made a successful UFC debut in January when he submitted Sergey Morozov in the second round of their fight, while the man personally anointed as Khabib’s successor in the UFC’s lightweight fold, Islam Makhachev, improved his career ledger to an impressive 19-1 with a submission win of his own against the tough Drew Dober earlier this month. 

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Under the wings of The Eagle: Khabib with Usman and Umar Nurmagomedov, and Islam Makhachev. © Instagram @khabib_nurmagomedov
Band of brothers: The men UFC icon Khabib is bidding to push to the pinnacle of MMA

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‘Russia’s most beautiful policewoman’ loses bid to get back badge & gun as court rejects claims against department over dismissal

Anna Khramtsova, who once won a competition to be dubbed ‘the Beauty of the Russian Guard,’ has lost a lawsuit against her former police chiefs after being fired from the force, reportedly over a security-breaching Instagram post.

In January, a court in the Ural region, where Khramtsova previously worked in the country’s internal military service, confirmed that she had brought a case “demanding she be reinstated in the agency and compensated for the harm caused” by her dismissal.

However, the local E1 news outlet reported on Wednesday that a spokesman for the Ekaterinburg court had confirmed “the claim has been completely denied.” In comments to the reporters, Khramtsova said that she would appeal the decision. “They are vilifying my identity as an employee,” she said.

READ MORE: Siberian woman dubbed Russia’s ‘most beautiful police officer’ sues service in bid to win back her badge & gun

Since winning the service’s Russia-wide National Guard beauty contest in 2019, she claimed her working life had become harder. “The competition I won only aggravated everything, and now there is a prejudiced attitude towards me,” she insisted.

Khramtsova became an internet sensation after claiming the title, but her otherwise promising career was cut short in December over a video posted to her Instagram, where she has 27,000 followers. It was reported that the clip offered a glimpse inside the high-security station where she worked, and she was sacked shortly afterwards.

READ MORE: Russian beauty queen FIRED from National Guard over Instagram video after claiming her success made female colleagues jealous

The former guardswoman said, however, she had no interest in switching careers and becoming a full-time influencer or model. She previously told journalists that “service to the state, and my family, is my priority… it’s not just a job for me.”

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‘He thinks he’s a fighter… he’s never fought a day in his life’: Ex-champ Rockhold blasts ‘egotistical’ UFC boss Dana White

Former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has laid into the organization’s president Dana White.

Speaking on the Rippin’ It podcast, the American brawler took the opportunity to lay into the divisive leader, who he has often clashed with over the years. 

“Fighting is like a mafia. They have these very mafioso-type tactics in negotiations, they try to f*ck with you. I’m not having any of it,” scoffed Rockhold.

“If you don’t know your worth someone will tell you your worth and it’ll be less than your worth, so know your worth,” Rockhold continued.

“Once I lost the world title [in 2016 to Michael Bisping], Dana White came up to me and tried to beat me down mentally and I was like ‘f*ck you,’ straight up,” Rockhold went on.

“I was like I’m going to go do my own thing, if you’re going to try and offer me this and that bullsh*t, you know who I am and what I did, that’s the only reason I went out and got a modeling contract so I could leverage myself.”

Expected to return to the octagon over the summer, Rockhold has not been seen in MMA since a 2019 knockout loss to light heavyweight ruler Jan Blachowicz, and also had shoulder surgery last year. 

Now trained by Khabib Nurmagomedov, Rockhold doubled down on White by saying: “We don’t have [a] governing body. We’ve got an egotistical guy that’s a bit of a tyrant.

“No one is going to try and fight you, you’ve got to put your a** on the line, stand your ground, take risk, otherwise you get treated like a b*tch,” he explained. 

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‘It’s unfortunate, a guy like that, he thinks he can fight, he thinks he’s a fighter. I don’t understand why he’s trying to belittle all the fighters when you’ve never fought a day in your life. You’re a promoter,” Rockhold said of White.

“We need a governing body to give people what they deserve, he doesn’t play the game right,” he concluded. 

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Conservative host Steven Crowder claims voter fraud on YouTube, gets restricted & demonetized, in the latest blow from Big Tech

BlazeTV host Steven Crowder has had his YouTube channel restricted after posting a video that reportedly challenged the legitimacy of the recent US presidential vote, and after also being restricted by Twitter.

YouTube banned conservative commenter Steven Crowder from uploading videos for a week and demonetized his account by suspending his main channel from the YouTube Partner Program. This means that Crowder is no longer able to run ads and profit from them.

Crowder has taken to Instagram, saying that YouTube has a “purpose of removing any and all Conservative voices of dissent,” and that, for “the crime of investigative journalism, we are forbidden from uploading, posting or live-streaming for an entire week on the main channel.”

Crowder’s latest video, which has since been removed, reportedly challenged the legitimacy of the vote in Nevada. YouTube has been quoted as saying that the video had violated their presidential election integrity policy under which the platform “removes content that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election uploaded on or after December 9.”

Crowder, a former contributor at Fox News, hosts Louder with Crowder, a daily political podcast, on his YouTube channel. He’s also faced multiple restrictions on Twitter, the latest one occurring last week, and claims Twitter has failed to explain why.

In February, Crowder’s Twitter account was restricted after he posted a video investigative piece claiming that numerous voter addresses in the 2020 presidential election were fakes. Twitter temporarily locked Crowder’s account for, as he himself believes, violating its rules on spreading misinformation and blocked the tweet from being liked, retweeted, or responded-to, due to “a risk of violence.”

Crowder challenged Twitter to disprove his claims and said he would testify to the validity of his reporting under oath and penalty of perjury. He insisted that fake addresses did prove that at least some level of voter fraud existed. “I can confirm to you that these people — who may not be real people — have voted from addresses that do not exist,” he said.

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Crowder also often faces criticism for what’s been described as ‘racist tirades’. In June 2019, his YouTube videos were investigated over racist and homophobic slurs to describe a fellow journalist. At the time YouTube also demonetized the account, citing community guidelines. The restrictions were later removed.

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