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Updated: 21 min 54 sec ago

Trump Praised Philippines President Duterte For Drug War That Has Killed 9,000 People

44 min 35 sec ago


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President Donald Trump opened a brief April phone call with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte by commending the strongman’s bloody war on drugs, according to a transcript obtained by The Washington Post and the The Intercept.


“I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” said Trump. “Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you that.”


Trump then criticized former President Barack Obama, who had spoken out against Duterte’s violent anti-drug offensive that killed an estimated 9,000 people, including many small-time users and dealers, in less than a year.


“I understand that and fully understand that and I think we had a previous president who did not understand that, but I understand that and we have spoken about this before,” Trump said, according to the transcript.


A senior Trump administration official told the Post the transcript is accurate, but would not speak on the record about a “leaked” document.


The transcript, provided to the outlets by a source in the Philippines and authenticated by Rappler, a Philippines news outlet that partnered with the Intercept, is further confirmation of Trump’s uncharacteristic friendliness toward autocratic world leaders. It also is likely to raise fears that harsh rhetoric from Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions on what they call the scourge of drug abuse and addiction may give way to more militant action in the future.


In his call with Trump, Duterte similarly called drugs “the scourge of my nation,” according to the transcript.


White House officials initially characterized the April call as “a very friendly conversation,” during which Trump had invited Duterte to visit Washington. That development reportedly surprised White House staffers and drew widespread condemnation from human rights groups, which have accused Duterte of condoning a lawless drug war that has terrorized the nation with a campaign of extrajudicial killings carried out by vigilantes and police officers. Duterte has seemingly embraced this barbaric depiction, comparing himself with Adolf Hitler on a mission to kill millions of drug addicts.


“By essentially endorsing Duterte’s murderous war on drugs, Trump is now morally complicit in future killings,” John Sifton, Asia advocacy director of Human Rights Watch, told The New York Times in April. “Although the traits of his personality likely make it impossible, Trump should be ashamed of himself.”


Trump’s support for Duterte’s tactics also mark a significant departure from the policies of Obama’s administration, which had shown a willingness to confront the Philippines president on the issue of drug enforcement. Ahead of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in September, Obama said he’d bring up the drug war during a planned meeting with Duterte, because he believed in the need to “have due process and to engage in that fight against drugs in a way that’s consistent with basic international norms.”


Duterte responded by calling Obama a Taglog phrase for “son of a bitch,” and the meeting was canceled.


Trump and Duterte, during their call, also discussed escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, and expressed concerns about North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, whom Trump called a “madman with nuclear weapons.” Days later, Trump said he’d be “honored” to meet with the North Korean dictator.


Trump and Duterte agreed that China would play a pivotal role in keeping North Korea in check, and warding off the possibility of military action.


“We have a lot of firepower over there. We have two submarines – the best in the world – we have two nuclear submarines – not that we want to use them at all,” said Trump, according to the transcript. “I’ve never seen anything like they are but we don’t have to use this but he could be crazy so we will see what happens.”


Click here for the full story from The Intercept.

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Categories: News Monitor

Boy Comes Home From School And Finds Dad Has Been Deported

46 min 16 sec ago


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Joel Massie came home from school last week only to realize something was different. His father was no longer around.


Arino Massie, of Metuchen, New Jersey, was deported back to his native country of Indonesia, a place he fled 16 years ago because of religious persecution.


Now Joel is going to grow up without a father in the U.S., where he was born. He still finds it hard to accept this.


“He’s been with me for 13 years, because I was born with him, of course. And for those 13 years, he’s been kind, happy and loving,” Joel told WPIX TV. “It’s been sad, stressing. We’ve been fighting for the past week and a half to stay.”


Arino Massie is a Chinese Christian who lived in Indonesia, but missed a deadline to apply for amnesty shortly after his arrival in the U.S.


After he overstayed his tourist visa, Massie was ordered to leave the country in 2006. However, the Reformed Church of Highland Park struck a deal with Immigration and Customs Enforcement to allow him three other Indonesian-born Christians stays of removal if they checked in with ICE every year. 


But this year ICE took the men into custody, and on May 18 an immigration judge ordered that Massie and the others be deported, according to News12.com. 


A spokesperson for ICE released this statement:



Arino Massie, who was a visa overstay, was ordered removed on July 17, 2006 by an immigration judge with the Department of Justice’s Executive Office of Immigration Review. After exhausting all legal remedies, on May 18, 2017, ICE Enforcement and Removal Officers removed Arino Massie to Indonesia.



Frederick Rattu, a friend of Massie’s who came to the U.S. from Indonesia in 1994 with a tourist visa and became a legal resident a few years later, worries about what might happen to Massie when he to Indonesia.


“Can you imagine someone applying for asylum and then going back to Indonesia? How are they going to treat him,” Rattu told USA Today.


The newspaper notes that Massie is one of 41,000 suspected undocumented immigrants who were arrested during President Donald Trump’s first 100 days. That’s a 40 percent increase from the same period last year.


The Trump administration has broadened the scope of those subject to deportation to include people such as Massie, who don’t have criminal records.


That’s a misuse of resources, according to Rev. Seth Kaper-Dale, of the Reformed Church of Highland Park.


“There’s no reason to send him away right now; he’s absolutely not a criminal. These are family people who happen to have final deportation orders,” Kaper-Dale told the Associated Press. “Our folks got caught up in that new dragnet.”


An immigration attorney is arguing to legal authorities that Massie needs to come back to America to be with his son, Joel.


He may have a harder time explaining what’s happening to Joel.


“What I don’t understand is why he’s being deported,” Joel told News12.com. “He’s been cooperative. He hasn’t done anything against the law. He has a clear record.” 

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Categories: News Monitor

This 'Famine Food Truck' Is Countering Trump's Budget

1 hour 12 min ago


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There’s a new food truck driving around Washington this week ― but it’s not serving people lunch. Instead, it’s dishing out information about President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts to humanitarian aid.


Staffers from nonprofit Oxfam America are manning a “Famine Food Truck” to spread awareness of food crises leaving 20 million people across Somalia, Nigeria, Yemen, and South Sudan on the brink of starvation.


The group is asking Americans to urge Congress to counter Trump’s proposed budget. Outlined in March and detailed on Tuesday, the document makes major cuts to development and food aid to other nations.


“President Trump’s budget proposal is immoral, short-sighted, and un-American,” Paul O’Brien, Oxfam America’s vice president for policy and campaigns, said in a statement. “If enacted, this budget would mean death for many vulnerable women, children and men around the world.”


“‘America First’ must not mean the rest of the world goes to hell,” O’Brien added.


The U.N. declared a famine in parts of South Sudan in February, and international officials fear that Yemen, Somalia and Nigeria could soon face similar fates. Several factors contribute to these crises, according to Oxfam, including drought, climate change, conflict, and poor governance.


In response to Trump’s proposed foreign aid cuts, staffers on Oxfam’s truck are handing out food boxes. But instead of food, they contain information about the budget, Ben Grossman-Cohen, the group’s global campaign manager, told HuffPost. 



Thank you @RepBarbaraLee for your continued support of Oxfam's passion to #fightfamine and for visiting the #faminefoodtruck pic.twitter.com/62djhjRTyI

— Oxfam America (@OxfamAmerica) May 23, 2017


The side of the truck lists a number that people can text to help contact political leaders. When I texted “Famine Truck” to 97779, for instance, I was texted a link to a site, which prompted me to input my zip code and address. It then populated with a pre-written email to send to my state lawmakers. 


Once someone has texted the number, Oxfam can continue to send prompts to help spur further action, such as calling members of Congress, Grossman-Cohen said.



Trump’s proposed budget would cut $11.5 billion ― or 29 percent ― from the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), according to The Washington Post. It notably eliminates a program that buys food from U.S. farmers for emergency food aid.


The United Nations, meanwhile, has said the world is facing “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II,” according to NPR, and has requested at least $4.4 billion by July to fight extreme hunger. 


Trump “is proposing cuts that we have not seen in recent memory from either party,” Grossman-Cohen said. “There has been strong bipartisan support for international poverty assistance programs ... until now. It is unprecedented.”



Oxfam, which relies mostly on charitable donations for its operations, would not be affected by the budget cuts, Grossman-Cohen said.


Members of Congress from both parties signaled that Trump’s budget had no chance of passage. The lawmakers will draft their own budget soon.


The Famine Food Truck is driving around D.C. until Friday, Grossman-Cohen said. It can be located by searching #FamineFoodTruck on Twitter.



Thanks to everyone who came out to the national mall to learn more about #famine! Follow #faminefoodtruck for our next location! pic.twitter.com/WY1I6HkuSF

— Oxfam America (@OxfamAmerica) May 23, 2017

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Categories: News Monitor

Rudy Giuliani Now Says He Had Nothing To Do With Trump's 'Muslim Ban'

1 hour 21 min ago


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NEW YORK ― Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor and campaign surrogate for President Donald Trump, told a federal judge on Monday that he played no role in Trump’s executive order banning Muslim travelers, apparently contradicting his prior statements.


Giuliani’s words have been cited by courts as evidence that Trump intended to target members of a particular religion with his travel ban, a conclusion that has led judges to block the federal government from enforcing it nationwide.


A day after Trump issued the first version of the ban, Giuliani said on Fox News that the president had asked him to put a commission together and look for ways to make the executive order legal.


“What we did was we focused on ― instead of religion ― danger,” Giuliani said at the time. “The areas of the world that create danger for us, which is a factual basis, not a religious basis. Perfectly legal, perfectly sensible, and that’s what the ban is based on.”


But in an affidavit Giuliani filed Monday in federal court in Manhattan, the Trump confidante disavowed involvement in shaping the executive order, which has been watered down to address legal deficiencies and remains blocked by a pair of court rulings.


“Neither I nor my firm has represented the Trump Administration,” Giuliani wrote in the filing, which was submitted as part of an unrelated dispute over his legal representation of a Turkish gold trader accused of violating sanctions against Iran.



For clarity, I have not participated in writing any of the executive orders on that subject issued by the Trump Administration.
Rudy Giuliani


“In particular, I have not served on any Trump administration Commission relating to the so-called Muslim Ban Executive Orders,” read the affidavit. “For clarity, I have not participated in writing any of the executive orders on that subject issued by the Trump Administration.”


Giuliani’s filing appears carefully worded to suggest that his involvement, if any, was ad-hoc and not part of official government acts. The affidavit was first reported by the New York Law Journal.


Earlier this month, a federal judge in Michigan ordered the Trump administration to turn over a memorandum that Giuliani is believed to have produced to help make the travel ban a reality. The judge in that case gave the government until last Friday to come up with the memo, but the Department of Justice refused to provide it, claiming the document request was premature and overly broad.


“The memo will help shed light on the intentions behind the President’s Executive Order,” Nabih Ayad of the Arab American Civil Rights League, which is suing over the travel ban, said in a statement. “And if those intentions support the public statements that Mr. Giuliani made about looking for a legal explanation for a ban on Muslims, the court needs to know this.”


In addition to that ongoing dispute, two federal appeals courts are expected to rule soon on whether to lift national injunctions that have stopped Trump’s travel order from being enforced.

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Categories: News Monitor

Sikhs In Manchester Offer Accommodations, Food After Terror Attack

2 hours 17 min ago

A suspected suicide bomber killed 22 people and himself at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England on Monday night. At least 59 people were injured in the explosion.


As people frantically search for loved ones and scrambled to evacuate the concert venue, members of the local Sikh community stepped up to offer their support. 


Harjinder Singh, a well-known Sikh entrepreneur, tweeted that a number of gurdwaras, or Sikh temples, would open their doors to offer food and accommodations to anyone who needed it.



Sikh Temples in Manchester, UK offering food & accommodation. They are open for ALL people. #PrayForManchester #ManchesterArena #England pic.twitter.com/l52J9B5JjN

— Harjinder S Kukreja (@SinghLions) May 23, 2017


The blast took place near the box office of Manchester Arena, the largest indoor arena in Europe, just after the show ended. Many parents were awaiting their children outside to take them home after the sold-out show.


“You could feel it in your chest,” Catherine Macfarlane, a witness, told Reuters news agency. “It was chaotic. Everybody was running and screaming and just trying to get out.”


Taxi driver AJ Singh offered free rides to people looking for loved ones and making their way to the hospital after the explosion.



Sikhs offering free taxi rides in Manchester all Sikh places of worship are also open for all in need pic.twitter.com/Xym6Ccw3SO

— Dal Khalsa UK (@DalKhalsaUK) May 23, 2017


As vigils and demonstrations of support got underway, Sikh groups were there in full force handing out food and water and marching in solidarity.



#Manchester crowd welcomes Sikh group to #AlbertSquare... pic.twitter.com/3ewfVgVkW9

— Allan MacLeod (@BBC_Allan) May 23, 2017



Some Sikhs have put up water points for prayers & vigils while others are marching in solidarity #Manchester #WeStandTogether #Sikh #UK #RT pic.twitter.com/RPKQVZWy5A

— Harjinder S Kukreja (@SinghLions) May 23, 2017



Manchester Sikh community handing out free food to those at vigil pic.twitter.com/K13Gbn85wl

— The Mancunion (@THEMANCUNION) May 23, 2017



Free refreshment from Manchester Sikh Community, who arrived in Albert Square singing to a round of applause #Manchester #WeStandTogether pic.twitter.com/lWqUL5nRl3

— Chris Long (@RhinocerYes) May 23, 2017



Members of Sikh community have travelled from Birmingham to hand out free water in Albert Sq, where the vigil took place. #Manchester pic.twitter.com/bDNWEjv1zX

— C Chelsom-Pill (@charlottejourno) May 23, 2017



Sikh community out in #Manchester giving out free snacks and drinks. pic.twitter.com/VTANmuPjil

— Jack Dawkins (@JackDawkinsAD) May 23, 2017


Bhai Amrik Singh, chair of the Sikh Federation (UK), responded to the attack in a statement on Facebook, saying: “The lives of 22, including children have horrifically been cut short by this evil act of terror. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those killed and injured in this vile attack.”

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Categories: News Monitor

How Frightened Parents Are Talking To Their Kids About The Manchester Attack

2 hours 45 min ago


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Following the suicide bomb attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, people around the world have expressed their horror at the senseless violence, condolences for the victims’ loved ones and fears the future. 


Given that so many of the concert attendees were teens and kids with their parents, this tragedy has particularly hit home for parents. Among the first victims confirmed dead are 8-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos and 18-year-old Georgina Callander. 


A U.K. ambulance official reported that the 59 injured victims include 12 children under age of 16, and parents are still desperately searching for their missing kids.



As a parent all you want is for your children to stay safe and have fun. I can't imagine the pain...thoughts and prayers Manchester. Mark

— Sam & Mark (@samandmarktv) May 23, 2017



As a parent, It's hard to fathom that, not knowingly, some mum n dads said goodbye to their Child for the last time #PrayForMancester

— Ashton Sims (@ashtonsims26) May 23, 2017


HuffPost spoke to several parents about their reactions to the tragic news and how they are talking about it with their children. Due to Grande’s young fan base, kids are more aware of this concert attack than they might be of other major world events.


“As a parent, my heart was broken by the news last evening!” author Lyss Stern said. “I made sure to give my children extra hugs and kisses last night. I want to scream for the families hurt and affected by this act or horror.”


Stern added that she and her husband spoke to their 9- and 13-year-old sons over breakfast after the boys saw news of the attack on TV. 



“I really wish we did not have to have these discussions with our children. But this is the new world we are living in and unfortunately, we need to have these open and honest conversations,” she said. 


“We talked about how there are angry and hurt people in this world, and they want to make others feel as they do,” parenting blogger Adam Cohen told HuffPost. “It’s a tough day all around as we try to explain the senseless to the ones who ask the most questions.”


In the aftermath of the attack, many parents on social media shared a video with advice that has become rather iconic in times of crisis ― Mr. Rogers’ “Look For The Helpers.”



As a parent, I may need to explain what happened at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester to my son.

This message from Mr. Rogers helps. pic.twitter.com/2lMUSItwgP

— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) May 23, 2017


New York Times bestselling author and special education teacher, Rachel Macy Stafford echoed Rogers’ message about the power of a parent’s guidance and reassurance.


“Children can feel safe through the daily presence of one caring adult, no matter how dark and scary the world is,” she told HuffPost. “The most powerful kind of protection is not about security walls, bulletproof vests, or staying out of harm’s way; the most powerful kind of protection comes from daily offerings of presence, wisdom, acceptance, and unconditional love.”


Stafford said she always tells her children the truth about the state of the world in a way they can understand and also reminds them that they have the power to “negate the bad.” Said the mom, “Instead of worrying about harm that is beyond our control, we try to focus on spreading love, kindness, and positivity to the world through our words and actions. This approach gives my family hope, no matter what has happened in the world.” 



Thinking of #Manchester today ❤️ pic.twitter.com/BrdnOXn3Sm

— Katie (@hurrahforgin) May 23, 2017


The circumstances of the tragedy felt all too familiar to many parents, especially those with young daughters. 


“My daughter is 7, and she absolutely loves pop music and Ariana Grande,” said blogger Heather Spohr, who has taken her daughter to large concerts in the past and has tickets to more upcoming shows.


“The Manchester attack really hits home for us,” she explained. “Having lost a child myself, my heart is ripped open for the parents whose children were injured and killed.”


Though Spohr normally tries to shield her kids from this kind of unsettling news, she didn’t want her daughter to hear about the Manchester bombing at school first. “My husband and I kept it simple: We told her that someone did something very bad, and many people were injured and some even died,” she said, adding that they didn’t go in-depth but answered all of the little girl’s questions as honestly as they could without oversharing.


“It’s really hard, and devastating, and something I wish no parent had to try to explain to their children.”



Last month, my 11yo went to see Ariana Grande w/ a friend. It was almost all kids there. My thoughts are w/ Manchester parents tonight ❤️

— Sarah T. (@SarahThyre) May 23, 2017


Jim Lin of The Busy Dad Blog was particularly struck by the news because he’s planning to take his 7-year-old daughter to a big concert next weekend. 


“I’d be lying if I told you it didn’t cross my mind to reconsider when I heard the news. At the end of the day, however, violence (whether terror, crime, or random) is prevalent in so many forms that you simply cannot predict or avoid it,” he explained. “What you can do as a parent is to explain to your children to the intellectual and emotional degree they can comprehend it that this stuff happens and it’s going to affect them in some way directly or indirectly during their lifetimes.”


Lin emphasizes giving kids coping mechanisms so that they can trust their gut and know how to make quick decisions in potentially dangerous situations. “I would rather my child walk around with a healthy distrust of this world than a naive assumption of security,” he said.



Prayers for Manchester. That children cannot be safe to sing, dance... horrific and heartbreaking.

— Rebecca Woolf (@GirlsGoneChild) May 23, 2017


Still, the tragedy has left many parents with a sense of uncertainty. 


“Part of me is angry. The fact that there are people capable of targeting kids is unthinkable,” said blogger Lauren Cormier. “Part of me is scared. I wish I could keep my kids in a protective bubble, safe from physical harm and the knowledge of all the evil in the world. But another part of me knows that if we let fear win, we’ve given the terrorists exactly what they want. I don’t have any good answers on how to deal with something like this. I wish I did.”


Author Ilana Wiles expressed similar sentiments. “Going to her first concert is something my 7-year-old has recently started talking about, and I was excited to have that experience with her. Now I am scared to take her to one,” she said. “On the one hand, I think fear is the terrorists winning. On the other hand, this is our children, and obviously, we don’t want to put them in any potential danger.”



My heart goes out to all the mothers trying to make their daughters' dreams come true in Manchester last night.

— Ilana Wiles (@mommyshorts) May 23, 2017


Ultimately, parents see their children as beacons of hope for a future of love and tolerance. Blogger Mike Reynolds affirmed his family’s commitment to living life to the fullest and raising their kids to be a force for good.


“Our plan will be to continue to teach our daughters about the importance of trying to help people in ways they see they might need help and that while these events most definitely occur, there are more of us who want to help,” the dad said.


“We’ll also make sure we keep doing the things that bring us joy and bring us pleasure,” he added. “So we’ll dance in the kitchen and sing songs we make up to do our part to bring joy.”

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Categories: News Monitor

Trump Praises Bahrain Days Before Brutal Crackdown

3 hours 5 min ago


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Days after President Donald Trump praised U.S. ties with Bahrain and vowed to mend any “strain” in the countries’ relationship, the Gulf state launched a violent security raid that led to the death of one protester and dozens of arrests. 


Bahraini security forces on Tuesday raided the home of prominent Shiite cleric Sheikh Isa Qassim in the village of Diraz. Demonstrators had been taking part in a sit-in outside Qassim’s after authorities revoked the cleric’s citizenship last year on vague charges of aiding a foreign state.


Bahrain’s suppression of human rights and violent put-down of protests has created tensions with the U.S in the past. Former President Barack Obama’s administration advocated for reforms and restricted some arms sales. But Trump has taken a different approach, appearing to ignore human rights concerns in dealings with Bahrain, potentially giving the kingdom a free hand to quell dissent.


Trump met with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on Sunday, and pledged more amicable relations. 


“Our countries have a wonderful relationship together, but there has been a little strain, but there won’t be strain with this administration,” Trump said during the meeting.


The raid continues a crackdown on dissidents by Bahrain’s Sunni authorities, who have targeted activists and prominent members of the country’s Shiite majority since political uprisings swept the region in 2011.



The shift in White House rhetoric on Bahrain continues Trump’s conciliatory line on strongmen and authoritarian governments that have shared interests with Washington. During Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia last weekend, he praised a Saudi airstrike campaign in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians, and complimented Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for “doing a tremendous job.”


Trump’s first foreign visit has seen a prominent focus on securing arms deals and bolstering support for regional powers that want to constrain Iran. Trump announced Saturday that he had struck a $110 billion sale of arms to Saudi Arabia.  


In late March, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson decided to waive human rights conditions on the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Bahrain. The Obama administration struck the deal, worth billions, with the caveat that Bahrain refrain from certain rights abuses. Human rights groups condemned the Trump administration’s move to remove those assurances, saying that it would give Bahrain a green light to ramp up repression.


Human Rights Watch issued a statement following Tuesday’s raid in Bahrain, saying that the timing of the operation, two days after Trump’s friendly meeting, “can hardly be a coincidence.” 


Although the U.S. has a long history of looking the other way on human rights when it is strategically or economically beneficial, the Trump administration has at times signaled that it is willing to do away with even the most milquetoast of condemnations if it could jeopardize potential deals.


Tillerson summarized the White House view in a speech  this month to State Department employees, in which he said that putting too heavy of an emphasis on other nations accepting American values “really creates obstacles to our ability to advance our national security interests, our economic interests.” Despite that sentiment, he claimed that the U.S. would not leave its values on the sidelines.

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Categories: News Monitor

The Manchester Attack And The Resilience Of Teen Girls

3 hours 45 min ago

In Manchester on Monday, what should have been a joyful evening of music and dancing at Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” concert turned into horrific tragedy. Just as fans were filing out of the arena, many with pink balloons in hand, a young man standing in the ticket area detonated a bomb.


The terror attack claimed at least 22 lives, and left nearly 60 injured. It was the deadliest attack in the U.K. since 2005. 


We don’t yet know what the proclaimed motivations of the attacker who terrorized Manchester Arena were ― the 22-year-old man who carried out the attack died in the blast ― but what we do know is that the majority of Ariana Grande’s fans are young women and girls. By all reports, the arena was filled with children, mothers and daughters, teen and tween girls who had traveled to the show in pairs or packs.



Teen girls learn how to express passion and love with abandon in a world that largely devalues, objectifies and mocks them.



Pop concerts like Grande’s provide a space where fandoms thrive. And Grande’s fandom, known affectionately as Arianators, is comprised largely of teen girls and LGBTQ youth. (“SO EXCITED TO SEE U TOMORROW,” 18-year-old Georgina Callendar, the Manchester bombing’s first-identified victim, tweeted at Grande on Sunday.) One can surmise that Monday’s concert-goers, ranging in age by decades, many wearing their idol’s signature cat ears and high pony, went out for a night into a space they believed would bring them (or their children) joy and a chance for unencumbered self-expression. For a few hours, the fans in attendance could sing along, losing themselves in the music and soaking up a bit of Grande’s subtle, transgressive sexuality.


Any terror attack flips the switch from assumed safety to fear, from light to darkness, evoking mourning from around the world. But there is something especially hideous about the targeting, whether intentional or not, of young people ― especially young people leaving a space that was supposed to belong to them, at least for a night.


As the New York Times’ Ceylan Yeginsu, Rory Smith and Stephen Castle wrote of the attack:



The violence is intended to stoke fear and to deliver a message. And it was the message of the Manchester blast that was so chilling: the slaughter of teenagers, the anxiety of parents who had been waiting to take their children home, the frantic search for loved ones amid chaos and sirens.



Teen girls are magical beings. I don’t consider this a political statement, more a statement of fact. And, no, Twitter trolls, this does not mean I believe teens are physically immune to the ravages of a terror attack. It means that teen girls learn how to express passion and love with abandon in a world that largely devalues, objectifies and mocks them. It was depressing but unsurprising that in the hours just after the Manchester bombing, at least one male journalist found it an appropriate moment to show disdain for Grande’s music and her largely girlish fan base on Twitter. (The tweets have since been deleted.) 


Teen girls can find joy in drugstore glitter, as well as deeply intimate friendship. They can be smart as hell. They can read up about politics and racial inequality and gender-based violence with just as much enthusiasm as they do about their favorite bands and YouTube stars. And, as Harry Styles articulated in a widely-shared Rolling Stone interview last month, when they find meaning in a musician and their songs, they show up for that artist, again and again and again: “Teenage-girl fans ― they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there.” That artist becomes the recipient of their unbound love.  


You see this same love manifesting between teen girls (and boys and adults of all genders) in the wake of the Manchester bombing. In the hours following the attack, there was an outpouring of collective grief and support for victims, their loved ones and Grande herself ― both online and from within Manchester. 


Members of other fandoms, from Justin Bieber’s Beliebers to Demi Lovato’s Lovatics to One Direction’s Directioners, each community named after their chosen idol, vowed they’d be there for Arianators.



Directioners are here and so are the others, We will #StandTogether with you Ariana and Arianators. We love you #Manchester pic.twitter.com/6tXggQfOm2

— azizah (@horanbrightz_) May 23, 2017


Twitter, which sometimes feels like nothing more than a cruel cesspool, showed up for Georgina Callendar’s best friend Sophie after she posted a beautiful remembrance of her on Twitter.


“To my beautiful best friend I hope you rest in peace my darling. I love you so much and will always miss you,” she tweeted.


The messages began pouring in.


“I’m so sorry for your loss. I do not know you but I am sending you all my thoughts and endless amounts of my love,” one young woman wrote


“i know saying sorry won’t help but i really am. u have so many people that are here for u in this time,” tweeted another


(Strangers tweet their condolences to Callendar’s BFF, below.)



And in Manchester, the community is rallying, as flowers fill the streets near the arena, and blood banks are overwhelmed with donations.


Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca received an email from a 23-year-old who lives in Manchester, which she posted on Twitter just after midnight on Tuesday. 


“We in this city have not reacted to this terror attack with vitriol; or with fear,” the author of the email wrote. “Our first reaction has been to take to the streets with water, with supplies, to open our homes to those who are stranded and also, sadly, to guide the families who have lost their children through to the centre of a city they don’t know. If you do choose to write about us, please know that [we] reacted with kindness, empathy and love. Not with hate.” 



Got this from a 23-year-old Manchester resident. Take a moment to read it? pic.twitter.com/Xviju8rYzG

— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) May 23, 2017


Nothing can fix the senseless violence and loss of life that occurred in Manchester. There is no making it better, and there is no undoing the trauma and violation that those directly touched by the terror attack ― and those impacted by any terror attack around the world ― experienced.


But what we can do is remember that, like the young women who fill concert halls to dance and laugh and bond, choosing unfettered love and joy whenever possible is the only way forward. 

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Categories: News Monitor

Trump's Policies May Cost The U.S. $1.3 Billion, And That's Just In Travel

3 hours 47 min ago

The U.S. will likely miss out on more than $1.3 billion in travel-related expenditures this year, in part due to the Trump administration’s policies, one international business travel group predicts.


A loss in that range could mean thousands of lost jobs, and some other analysts project the overall monetary losses will be much higher.


Political events like Brexit, President Donald Trump’s executive order “travel bans,” new laptop bans in the U.S. and U.K. and rumors of an expanded U.S. laptop ban have created “uncertainty” that’s keeping some international travelers from visiting the U.S., according to a new report from the Global Business Travel Association, which represents corporate travel managers and professionals.  


The organization’s researchers analyzed airfare bookings, figures like GDP and oil prices and a Department of Commerce survey to come up with an “uncertainty forecast” of $1.3 billion in losses in hotel, food, rental car and shopping spending related to travelers. The figure also includes $175 million in lost business travel-related wages for Americans during 2017.


“This devastating economic impact could take years to recover from,” wrote GBTA’s executive director & COO Mike McCormick. 


Staff at Oxford Economics said that projection is far too low. The global advisory firm is predicting an even bigger drop in travel to the U.S. this year, one that would result in a total loss of over $2.4 billion. The cause, they say, is Trump’s harmful rhetoric affecting perceptions abroad.


“’America first’ rhetoric, which was pronounced during the campaign and Trump’s inauguration speech, is finding consistent expression in policy,” said Adam Sacks, president of Oxford Economics’s tourism department. “International markets are receiving a message that America is no longer a welcoming destination.”



The federal government estimates the value of international travel and tourism to the U.S. at about $250 billion annually, with three percent growth projected every year, said Patrick Surry, chief data scientist at travel site Hopper. The GBTA’s forecasted $1.3 billion loss represents about a .5 percent shift. But that’s too conservative in Surry’s eyes: Hopper’s recent research shows a more pronounced drop in U.S. travel interest since Trump took office. Chinese travelers, for example, have searched for flights to the U.S. 40 percent less than average since Trump took office.


The Middle East represents a particularly big hit, according to both the GBTA and Oxford Economics.


“We’re seeing a 30 percent decline in travel to the U.S. from the Middle East at the moment,” Sacks said. “This means that the U.S. economy stands to lose about $1 billion from Middle East travelers alone [this year].” 


Emirates Airlines recently cut service to the U.S. after demand weakened in the wake of Trump’s travel bans and the Department of Homeland Security laptop ban, which was enacted in late March. And in a GBTA poll conducted after Trump’s initial travel ban, about half of European business executives said they would plan their travel elsewhere.


Amid Trump’s review of certain work visas and rumors of an expanded laptop ban, “global travel markets will take further cues that the U.S. is not as welcoming as it once was,” Sack said.


Ouch.

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Another Day, Another Stunning Photo Of The Obamas Living It Up In Italy

4 hours 45 min ago

Michelle and Barack Obama are still living their best lives under the Tuscan sun.


The two were spotted out and about in Italy exploring Tuscany on Monday. For the outing, Michelle looked effortlessly cool in a $160 Jamia top from Club Monaco with green, wide-legged linen pants and tan slides.


Barack looked stylish in a light blue button-up shirt with black pants and black shoes. 




Some lucky people spotted the two walking the streets!  



《Where the others go down, we fly high》 ~Michelle Obama @michelleobama44 #michelleobama #unadonnastupenda #elegance #style #usa #italy #tuscany #siena #piazzadelcampo #scattirubati

A post shared by Fefèè (@tangredifederica) on May 22, 2017 at 2:16pm PDT





#obama #siena #tuscany #palazzopubblico #museum #theobamas #obamaintuscany #igersiena #travel

A post shared by Federica Damiani (@federicadamiani0) on May 22, 2017 at 10:01am PDT




The former president, who arrived earlier this month for a talk about climate change, was spotted playing golf over the weekend. Michelle was also out and about, sightseeing with some friends. 




Barack Obama is back on the golf course and looking great. https://t.co/THHNsjSK4P

— POPSUGAR (@POPSUGAR) May 20, 2017


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The 1975 Stop Concert To Pay Tribute To Manchester Attack Victims

4 hours 46 min ago


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On Monday night, a horrific terrorist attack claimed the lives of 22 people and left 59 injured at Manchester Arena, in England, where Ariana Grande had just finished a concert. 


The “Into You” singer, along with a slew of other stars, responded to the news on social media with touching notes to those affected by the tragedy.


Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words,” wrote Grande.


The 1975, a band that hails from Manchester, was also among those who spoke out about the terrible incident. In between songs during the band’s show in Detroit, Michigan, Monday night, lead singer Matt Healy expressed his sadness and anger about the attack. 


“I’m bored of nationalism and I’m bored of racism,” he told the crowd. “It’s over. Nationalism, religion, all these regressive things ― they’re over. We can’t carry on in the way that we’re carrying on.” 


He continued, “We’re from Manchester, right? And where we used to hang out — the actual place that we used to hang out ― someone put a bomb in there tonight, and then killed a bunch of kids that were going to a fucking show. In Manchester.”


Healy went on to call the attack “bullshit,” noting, “I don’t know what it’s in the name of, so I apologize if it’s not in the name of religion, if it’s not in the name of nationalism, but these are things that keep happening and I’m fucking pissed off about it. And I’m sorry, but you’re the only people I’ve got to talk to about it.” 


You can watch his entire speech in the video above. 

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Categories: News Monitor

Iran's Election Marks The Deepening Of Democratic Culture, Says Former Iran President

5 hours 17 min ago

Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, the first president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, came to power in 1980 following the revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini. He spoke to The WorldPost from his home outside Paris, where he lives in exile.


In Iran, the main pillars of power are controlled by the unelected supreme leader. And President Hassan Rouhani has declared that the president must be submissive to the supreme leader. Given the president’s limited power, what is the role of elections in Iran?


As you said, the main pillars of power are under the control of the supreme leader, who also dictates overall socioeconomic and foreign policy. Despite this, elections, especially the presidential election, are regarded with the utmost importance because it is obvious that, without them, a theocratic regime on its own lacks popular legitimacy. More importantly, elections provide an aspect of legitimacy domestically and internationally, especially in a region ruled largely by oil-fueled monarchies.


Elections also register the balance of power within the body politic. Though not a democracy in the Western sense, when reformist forces turn out strongly and win at the polls, it provides them with a margin to maneuver. Still, one has to accept that the main winner of the election is the regime of the ayatollahs since, irrespective of who gets the vote, it is they who claim legitimacy for it.



Many millions voted out of fear, partially over more economic sanctions and even war if Raisi had been elected.



By all accounts, the turnout was huge  reportedly over 40 million people. Why did Iranians vote in such numbers now?


First, the claim of 40 million who voted should not be taken at face value. After all, the counting took place behind closed doors without observers. However, there is no doubt that many millions voted ― and the main reason is fear.


The main fear was that Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi could become president. His nickname is “Ayatollah Death” since he was the head of one of the teams who, in the summer 1988, executed thousands of prisoners who were already sentenced and were serving their sentence. In this respect, the current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, took Iranians hostage, telling them that they either have to get out and vote or “Ayatollah Death” would become their president.


There was also the fear of poverty. During the presidential debates, it was revealed that around 18 million Iranians are living in shantytowns. Further, there were related fears over more economic sanctions and even war if Raisi had been elected. In short, there was fear of a change for the worse.



For the first time since the early days of the revolution and the rule of Mossadegh, the core debates were about human rights, the rights of citizenship and democracy.




Can we say that this election is a major marking point on the path toward democracy in Iran?


Democracy is a culture in which people have the habit of exercising their rights, something that doesn’t occur without constant struggle in a theocracy like Iran’s. In this election ― for the first time since the early days of the revolution itself and the rule of our democratic Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, back before the shah ― the core debates were about human rights, the rights of citizenship and democracy. I am a good barometer to measure this shift, after all, since I was forced out of office in those early revolutionary days by the ayatollahs for promoting these values.


This gives us reason to believe that democratic culture is spreading and deepening in Iran. In effect, the public forced the candidates to address these game-changing issues.


Also, the mere fact that the hardliners, the so-called principlists, could not find anyone to nominate except “Ayatollah Death” shows that the regime has reached a dead end. Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolutionary concept of “velayat-e-faqih” ― absolute rule by a religious leader — has become so discredited within the traditional Islamic mainstream that it cannot be used as an excuse for despotism anymore.



Khomeini’s concept of absolute rule by a religious leader has become discredited within the traditional Islamic mainstream.



During his visit to Saudi Arabia, President Donald Trump made it clear that America’s goal was to counter Iran’s influence. How do you think the victory of Rouhani affects such a policy?


Former President Barack Obama’s policy was to create a balance of power between Iran on the one hand and Saudi Arabia, Israel and Arab sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf on the other. Trump has reversed that policy, embracing an anti-Iran alliance with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf sheikhdoms.


If Khamenei understands the criticality of the situation and lets Rouhani implement his regional foreign policy, then Iran’s situation in the world will change drastically and such alliances will become irrelevant. It would avoid what I call the six wars — terrorism, economic war, religious war between Sunni and Shiite, propaganda war, diplomatic war and military war through direct intervention by outside powers.


Let’s also remember that Trump made two moves that favored Rouhani’s policies in recent weeks. Just a few days before the election, the American president signed the suspension of certain sanctions, which was part of implementing the Vienna nuclear agreement. At the same time, he increased the sanctions directly related to the regime’s missile program, which was a warning to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.


These actions both align with the reform side in Iran. I would venture to say that the reelection of Rouhani makes it more difficult for Trump to make things harder on Iran.

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Categories: News Monitor

Defiant, Uplifting Poem At Manchester Vigil Shows City's Enduring Spirit

5 hours 32 min ago


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A Manchester poet on Tuesday reminded his city and the world after a terrorist attack on a pop concert killed 22 and injured 59 that the people of his city won’t ever back down from adversity.

At a vigil less than 24 hours after a suicide bomber’s deadly explosion erupted outside Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert, mourners paid their respects. Poet Tony Walsh ― affectionately referred to as Longfella ― read his poem “This Is The Place.” Though written in 2013, the poem’s descriptions of the resilient nature of Mancunians, as city residents are known, holds strong.


Walsh’s poem discusses the highs and lows of the city he so loves.


“And this is the place with appliance of science, we’re on it, atomic, we struck with defiance,” Walsh bellowed to the crowd. “And in the face of a challenge, we always stand tall, Mancunians, in union, delivered it all.


“Such as housing and libraries and health, education. And unions and co-opts and the first railway stations,” Walsh continued. “So we’re sorry, bear with us, we invented commuters. But we hope you forgive us, we invented computers.”


The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Officials identified the bomber as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, who was killed in the blast.


The five-minute reading spoke of the people of Manchester’s ability to “thrive and survive and to work and to build,” and how the spirit of Manchester can never dissolve, even in its worst times:



“Because this is a place that has been through some hard times: oppressions, recessions, depressions, and dark times.


But we keep fighting back with greater Manchester spirit. Northern grit, northern wit, and greater Manchester’s lyrics.


And these hard times again, in these streets of our city, but we won’t take defeat and we don’t want your pity.


Because this is a place where we stand strong together, with a smile on our face, greater Manchester forever.”



Thousands gathered for the vigil at Albert Square, according to The Guardian.


Walsh ended his poem with a reminder of what makes his city great.



“Because this is the place in our hearts, in our homes.


Because this is the place that’s a part of our bones.


Because greater Manchester gives us such strength from the fact that this is the place, we should give something back.


Always remember, never forget, forever Manchester.”



“Choose love, Manchester,” Walsh finished. “Thank you.”

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Categories: News Monitor

Two Men Were Publicly Caned For Having Gay Sex In Indonesia

5 hours 46 min ago


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Religious police in Indonesia caned two men for gay sex on Tuesday, with hooded men inflicting 82 lashes on each of them as hundreds of people watched the punishment ordered by an Islamic court.


Cheers and applause went up from a crowd gathered outside a mosque in the city of Banda Aceh, capital of the conservative province of Aceh, as the masked men took turns to flog the pair on a raised platform.


The men stood quietly, their heads down, as spectators heckled them and shouted insults.


The punishment, condemned by rights groups, marked the first application of anti-homosexuality laws introduced in the province in 2014.



Aceh has long had a reputation as Indonesia’s most conservative region. It is the only province that criminalizes same-sex relations and that uses Islamic law as its legal code in addition to the national criminal code.


Up to 1,000 people, many filming with smartphones, watched as the two men received 82 lashes each. Many others watched the punishment being meted out on a livestream video.


Some in the crowd carried banners rejecting the presence of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Aceh.


“I hope there won’t be any more such cases of homosexuality, it is shocking,” said Eni Tri Retnaningsih, a 20-year-old student who said she had watched others caned before for other offenses such as adultery.



At least eight other men and women were caned for other offenses ahead of the punishment of the two found guilty of having gay sex.


Police separated men and women in the crowd as proceedings began, with 10 men in brown robes and hoods preparing a bundle of canes in case any broke during the flogging.


 


UNDER PRESSURE


The beatings were delivered on the clothed backs of the men and women, some of whom cried out in pain with each stroke. In some cases, the caning was suspended briefly if the offender signaled they were in too much pain.


At the end of the lashing, the two men were helped off the platform. They were free to return to their families, authorities said.


Aceh is Indonesia’s most westerly province, on the northern tip of Sumatra island, where Islam first took hold in the archipelago.


The province caned 339 people in 2016 for a range of crimes, according to Human Rights Watch. 



Indonesia has the world’s largest population of Muslims but is officially a secular country. Most Muslims practice a moderate form of the religion.


Religious police in Aceh have also been known to rebuke Muslim women without headscarves or those wearing tight clothes, and people drinking alcohol or gambling.


Aceh is the only province allowed to implement sharia Islamic law under a special agreement that was signed in 2005 to bring an end to a bloody separatist movement.


Homosexuality is not illegal under Indonesian national law, but the LGBT community has come under pressure since government officials expressed reservations last year about activism by its members.



Police in the capital, Jakarta, detained more than 140 men in a raid on a gay club on Sunday on suspicion of violating pornography laws.


Rights groups and activists have raised concern over the persecution of minorities, moral policing and violations of privacy and expression.


A presidential spokesman declined to comment on the caning.


 


(Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by John Chalmers, Robert Birsel)








 


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Categories: News Monitor

Child Therapist Gives Gorgeous Explanation Of What Good Parenting Looks Like

6 hours 51 min ago

An Australian mom’s brief exchange with a child therapist produced a beautiful lesson about motherhood that all parents can appreciate.


On Sunday, popular blogger and author Constance Hall posted a photo of herself with her kids at a restaurant on Facebook.





”A couple of weeks ago a child therapist that I know looked at my kids and said, ‘You’re such a good mum,’” she wrote in the caption.


Hall said she responded that she doesn’t feel that way about herself, as she struggles through the chaos of raising her kids, losing her temper and feeling impatient.


The therapist’s reply stuck with her:



“Babies cry, it’s how they communicate. Toddlers scream, children whinge and teenagers complain. 


Then mums say the words ‘for fuck sake under their breath before every responding. It’s how we communicate.


But guess what Con? It’s better then silence.


A house full of screaming kids and fighting teenagers and a parent who’s being thrown every question and request is a healthy one to me. 


It’s the silent children, the scared toddlers, the teenagers that don’t come home and the parents who aren’t in communication with their children that I worry about.


And kids don’t drive you crazy, you were crazy already. That’s why you had them.”




With that statement, Hall said she started to feel like a good mom again. The mother concluded her post by urging her fellow parents to take deep breaths and remember they are doing a good job as well. 


Hall’s post received over 300,000 likes and was shared nearly 150,000 times.


Many parents praised the message and shared their own experiences in the comments section.


“I have 6 kids and my house is always a crying, tantrum throwing, hormonal, crazy loved filled mess ... go us queens we’ve got this,” wrote one mom.


“To all of us crap mums who are so desperately worried that they are stuffing their kids up..... GROUP HUG!!!!!!!!!!!!!” added another. “Now go and stop the kids from killing each other, and remember it’s almost wine time again.”


Group hug for all the parents doing the best they can!


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Elon Musk Is 'Cautiously Optimistic' After Talking To Trump About Paris Climate Pact

6 hours 59 min ago


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WASHINGTON — Tesla founder Elon Musk, one of nearly 20 business leaders advising President Donald Trump, says he is “cautiously optimistic” about the U.S. staying in the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.


A Twitter user named Danny Keller asked Musk on Monday if he would “reach out directly with some and tell [Trump] to stay in the accord?”


“I spoke directly with The President three weeks ago about Paris,” the billionaire tech entrepreneur responded. “Many others have too. Cautiously optimistic of a positive decision.”


Musk did not elaborate or respond to follow-up questions on Twitter. 



@BigDAK54 I spoke directly with The President three weeks ago about Paris. Many others have too. Cautiously optimistic of a positive decision.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 22, 2017


Trump, a longtime climate change skeptic who has dismissed the phenomenon as “bullshit” and a Chinese “hoax,” promised on the campaign trail that he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate pact. Members of Trump’s inner circle now find themselves split on how to proceed: Daughter Ivanka Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are in favor of renegotiating terms, while senior adviser Steve Bannon and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt are pushing for the president to back out altogether. White House sources told HuffPost earlier this month that Trump is leaning toward an exit.


Last week, Pruitt — who has called the Paris Agreement a “bad business deal” for the U.S. — told Fox News that he expects a decision will be made after the conclusion of a G-7 summit in Italy later this month.


Under the landmark climate accord, nearly 200 countries committed to slashing carbon emissions in an effort to prevent global temperatures from increasing 2 degrees Celsius ― the “magic number” scientists say the world must stay below to prevent the very worst effects of climate change.


Oil giants Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil Corp., along with hundreds of other businesses, have warned Trump against withdrawing the U.S. from the agreement. Musk and several other CEOs signed an open letter first published in The Wall Street Journal earlier this month, expressing “strong support” for staying in the pact. 


In addition to opposing Trump’s apparent stance on Paris, Musk was one of just two of Trump’s business advisers to condemn the president’s executive order targeting MuslimsTesla and SpaceX, Musk’s other brainchild, joined more than 100 other companies in speaking out against the order restricting immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.


Musk has also defended his decision to join the Presidential Advisory Forum. He tweeted in February that “activists should be pushing for more moderates to advise President, not fewer.” 



Activists should be pushing for more moderates to advise President, not fewer. How could having only extremists advise him possibly be good?

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 5, 2017

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Manchester Responds To Concert Attack With Beautiful Acts Of Kindness

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 23:25


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The city of Manchester, England, united to help those affected by Monday night’s devastating terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert.



When terrorism makes you question humanity, look to the heroes. In Manchester thousands are rushing to aid those in need. #RoomForManchester

— Jack Slater (@Jack_Slater) May 23, 2017


Following the attack, which left at least 22 people dead and 59 injured, residents banded together to offer free rides, accommodations, food, drinks and blood donations to first responders and victims of the blast.


Here are just a few of the heroic and generous acts of kindness:


Taxi drivers offered stranded concert-goers free rides out of the city.

As concert attendees fled Manchester Arena following the explosion, authorities shut down transportation networks so security services could investigate the attack, which left people stranded. 



Lots of panicked people. Dozens saying they can't get home. No trains out of Manchester at all.

— Hannah Al-Othman (@HannahAlOthman) May 22, 2017


So taxi drivers turned off their meters and offered free rides.



"Free taxi if needed," this sign says. I've heard so many stories of people reaching out to help. #ManchesterArena #Manchester pic.twitter.com/aZBE7djHQd

— Adam McClean (@AdamMcCleanITV) May 23, 2017


A.J. Singh, a taxi driver in Manchester, is one of those drivers who helped out.



Not just Gurudwaras in Manchester offering victims food & accommodation, this Sikh cab driver is offering free taxi service to the needy #RT pic.twitter.com/AJNXL6JurW

— Harjinder S Kukreja (@SinghLions) May 23, 2017



Taxi drivers, hotel workers and the emergency services have worked through the night to help those caught up in the Manchester attack pic.twitter.com/tElF2ekm41

— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) May 23, 2017


“I’ve had people who needed to find loved ones, I’ve dropped them off to the hospital, they’re not had any money, they’ve been stranded,” he told Channel 4 News.


“Manchester, we’re glue and we stick together,” he added.


A company called Street Cars Manchester also helped out.





Some social media users also reported that black cabs offered free rides throughout the night.



@SaveTaxi good to see black taxis in Manchester are helping in this terrible tragedy. A group of cabbies from Liverpool are heading down too

— The Porsche Fan Club (@RudderlessR) May 22, 2017


Residents, places of worship and hotels provided shelter for the night.

Manchester residents began using the hashtag #roomformanchester shortly after the attack to offer free shelter to those in need.



I live 5 mins from the Manchester Arena. I have sofa bed, food/drink and phone chargers if anyone needs any help #roomformanchester

— Nick Q (@QHNick) May 23, 2017



If you need a bed, a cup of tea, a charged phone etc. - I'm 15 mins from Manchester Arena. DM me, they're open! #RoomForManchester

— Rachel Ellis (@rachelkellis) May 22, 2017


Hotels and pubs near the venue also offered to take in people caught up in the attack.



#Manchester #RoomForManchester This lady is willing to help! pic.twitter.com/M0KRvHTnA4

— Georgía (@Queendaisydavis) May 23, 2017



Huge thanks to Ainscow hotel in Manchester for looking after my sister / 10 year old niece and her best friend. #Manchester pic.twitter.com/8Ul9XQQNLF

— Andy Leeman⚽️ (@AndyLeeman91) May 23, 2017


Sikh temples also offered food and accommodations.



Sikh Temples in Manchester, UK offering food & accommodation. They are open for ALL people. #PrayForManchester #ManchesterArena #England pic.twitter.com/l52J9B5JjN

— Harjinder S Kukreja (@SinghLions) May 23, 2017


A rabbi brought police officers coffee and pastries.

Rabbi Shneur Cohen brought officers standing outside Manchester Arena some refreshments on Tuesday morning.



Rabbi bringing tea for police at the cordon. "We are Manchester. We are together" pic.twitter.com/Rca7TsJXqb

— Emily Dugan (@emilydugan) May 23, 2017



VIDEO: Rabbi Shneur Cohen delivers coffees and pasteies to officers outside the #Manchester arena saying the city will come together: @LBC pic.twitter.com/MR2Lx40jAF

— Vincent McAviney (@Vinny_LBC) May 23, 2017


 Residents and restaurants offered free food and drinks.

#Manchester the wonderful staff at @SoupremeC are offering hot food & comfort to police & ambulance staff @gmpolice pic.twitter.com/q5yjkyK7z0

— jenny (@jennyamygreen93) May 23, 2017



#roomformanchester anyone stranded in central #Manchester, we have a sofa, floor, and 1000 cups of tea at our flat 15 mins away. Please DM.

— The Allotment (@allotmentvegan) May 23, 2017



I've seen so much of this today. Been offered so many free sandwiches. Thank you Manchester. pic.twitter.com/dgFWAFG3X8

— Hannah Al-Othman (@HannahAlOthman) May 23, 2017


Signs of solidarity spread across the city.

Message for Manchester in city centre streets pic.twitter.com/kvCXdN3nkq

— alex thomson (@alextomo) May 23, 2017




Our man in #Manchester shows how an estate agent has replaced the houses for sale with simple posters:
I ❤️ MCR pic.twitter.com/1gvJusfZWY

— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) May 23, 2017




A charity offered free counseling to those affected by the attack.

We are offering free counselling to those affected. @TLC_Charity #WeStandTogether #Manchester #ManchesterArena pic.twitter.com/Mag8YViYJ8

— Paige Hughes (@PaigeHughesTLC) May 23, 2017


People gave money and donated blood. 

The local newspaper Manchester Evening News set up a JustGiving page, which has raised more than $530,000 for families of victims.


Muslims for Manchester also set up an online campaign to raise funds. 



#MuslimsForManchester is an initiative by @HumanAppeal to support falmilies of victims from last night. To donate, https://t.co/UHIjsUzgbT pic.twitter.com/5WmtfUbYUZ

— atik (@atikur_r_) May 23, 2017


Others flocked to blood banks to donate their blood



Mancunians answer call to donate blood after Arena bomb attack. One in the queue tells me they're all "throwing their arms around the city" pic.twitter.com/l6ff84ubz8

— Rob Smith (@robsmithitv) May 23, 2017


A Twitter user said merchandise vendors outside the arena tended to the victims, using T-shirts as bandages.

the people who sell the fake merch outside the venue were giving out shirts and using them as towels for people who were bleeding

— abby *:・゚✧*:・゚✧ (@aIunasgeorge) May 22, 2017

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Categories: News Monitor

Ariana Grande Tour In Limbo Following Manchester Attack (UPDATE)

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 23:24


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UPDATE 12:45 p.m. ET:  The “Dangerous Woman” tour has not been canceled, Entertainment Weekly reported. Ariana Grande’s team is currently assessing their options, and the London arena where she is slated to perform later this week is standing by for an announcement, the venue tweeted


PREVIOUSLY:


Ariana Grande has reportedly suspended the remainder of her “Dangerous Woman” world tour after a terrorist attack during her performance at Manchester Arena on Monday killed 22 and injured at least 59


ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack, which included children among the dead and injured. 


TMZ was first to report the tour had been “indefinitely suspended.” CNN reported that the singer was “physically unharmed.” HuffPost has reached out to Grande’s representatives and will update this post accordingly.


A fan-run “Dangerous Woman” Twitter account called on Grande’s fans to focus on the tragedy and its victims instead of the tour, stating: “I’m sorry but the remaining tour dates aren’t very important at the moment.”



If Ariana decides to cancel the rest of this tour that's her decision.
Stand by it & support her. #DangerousWomanTour

— Dangerous Woman Tour (@DWTourUpdates) May 23, 2017



Focus your energy on what's happening right now! I'm sorry but the remaining tour dates aren't very important at the moment.

— Dangerous Woman Tour (@DWTourUpdates) May 23, 2017


Grande was meant to perform Thursday and Friday in London before moving on to other European countries including Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, France and Italy. “Dangerous Woman” was then scheduled to move to South America and Australia.


“From the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words,” the singer tweeted soon after the attack.



broken.
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.

— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017

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Categories: News Monitor

News Roundup for May 23, 2017

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 23:09

News gives the blues.


1. Three more lawsuits alleging racial discrimination and sexual harassment have been brought against Fox News. Nobody is surprised. More here.


2. An explosion in Manchester last night killed 22 and injured 59 people. Children are among the dead and ISIS are once again first in line to claim responsibility. More here.


3. Jury selection has begun for the Bill Cosby trial. Hope they have Jello pudding pops in jail. More here.


4. Trump asked intelligence chiefs to help him push back against the FBI probe into his links with Russia. Is it time for impeachment yet? More here.


5. Sir Roger Moore has died at 89, making 2017 the year of B-list celebrity deaths. More here.

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Philippine President Duterte Declares Martial Law After ISIS-Linked Attack

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 22:49

May 23 (Reuters) - Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday declared martial law in southern Mindanao province after fighting raged in southern Marawi City between the army and militants linked to Islamic state.


Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella made the announcement in Moscow, where the president is on a visit.


A meeting with Dmitry Medvedev will be canceled on Wednesday but Duterte will remain in Russia, Foreign Minister Alan Peter Cayetano said in a televised news conference.

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