Parents Defend David Beckham After Criticism For Kissing His Daughter On The Lips

David Beckham has joined the ranks of moms and dads who?ve been publicly shamed. Luckily, his fellow parents came to his defense.

While on vacation in Tanzania on Thursday, the retired soccer star posted a photo of himself kissing his 5-year-old daughter on the lips on Instagram. In the caption, he wrote, ?Kiss for Daddy.? 

A post shared by David Beckham (@davidbeckham) on

The photo received over 1.8 million likes on Instagram, and the comments section is filled with positive messages to the dad. However, there were some negative reactions as well.

?Disgusting u pervert,? wrote on commenter. ?Tbh kissing your daughter on the lips is a little weird…? wrote another.

?This is perverse,? another commented. ?DISGUSTING! What a sick man kisses a little girl? This poor girl, enduring that, will never be able to have a relationship with a man, will just see the exploitation.?

In response to the vitriol, fellow parents shut down the shamers. 

?I kiss my children all the time! That?s how they know that they?re loved! Lovely photo!? one person commented. ?People who see this as wrong have something wrong in their heads. I still kiss my 6 year old son on the lips,? wrote another. 

?So beautiful. My daughter?s daddy kisses her all the time. It?s called showing affection and love,? added another.

Beckham and his wife, Victoria, have four kids ? 18-year-old Brooklyn, 14-year-old Romeo, 12-year-old Cruz and 5-year-old Harper.

His post comes almost a year after his wife came under fire for sharing a similar photo.

Commenters described the former Spice Girl?s photo as ?very disgusting? and ?emotionally scarring.?

In December, Hilary Duff clapped back at commenters who shamed her for kissing her 4-year-old son on the lips.

A post shared by Hilary Duff (@hilaryduff) on

?For anyone commenting that a kiss on the lips with my four year old is ?inappropriate? go ahead and click unfollow with your warped minds and judgment,? she wrote.

Can we all just put an end to the parent shaming?

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Progressives Launch Campaign Against Anti-Choice, Anti-LGBTQ Judicial Nominee

WASHINGTON ? Progressive groups that banded together for the Women?s March on Washington in January are teaming up again: They want to take down one of President Donald Trump?s anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ judicial nominees.

Trump has nominated John Bush, a Kentucky lawyer, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit. On Wednesday, 10 organizations urged Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject the nominee. 

?Bush has expressed biased and offensive positions on wide-ranging issues,? reads a letter from the groups, including NARAL Pro-Choice America, the American Federation of Teachers and MoveOn.

?He likened abortion to slavery, calling these issues ?the two greatest tragedies in our country,?? the letter continues. ?He applauded Mike Huckabee for saying he ?strongly disagree[s]? with ?the idea of same-sex marriage.? Writing about the 2016 election, Bush claimed that Democrats were just trying to ?substitute woman for Black.??

Bush has also mocked climate change, and he celebrated that ?the witch is dead? when he thought the Affordable Care Act might not be enacted.

The full letter is here (story continues below):

A White House spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

Progressive groups dug up many of these details about Bush from a blog he maintained on a right-wing website called Elephants in the Bluegrass. He used the pseudonym ?G. Morris,? which he disclosed in a questionnaire that all judicial nominees submit to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The organizations plan to mobilize their members ? millions of people ? to pressure Democrats and Republicans on the committee to reject Bush. NARAL, which is leading the campaign, has dubbed him a ?shady blogger? and is publicizing his record of pushing anti-choice policies during his time with the conservative Center For Constitutional Jurisprudence.

The reproductive rights group has experience waging war on a court nominee: It helped tank one of President Barack Obama?s court picks, Michael Boggs, a conservative Democrat from Georgia who drew the ire of progressives because of his anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ, anti-civil rights record.

Another group, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, announced Wednesday that it will also fight Bush?s nomination.

?John K. Bush is unworthy of a lifetime appointment as a federal judge,? said Vanita Gupta, the organization?s president and CEO. ?His extreme ideology and record clearly shows an open and unabashed hostility to women and LGBT people, campaign finance reform, and Democrats. … We urge the Senate to reject this nominee.?

Trump nominated Bush in early May, but the Judiciary Committee hasn?t scheduled his nomination hearing yet. A spokeswoman for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who chairs the committee, did not respond to a request for comment on when it might happen.

Denying Bush a court seat will be an uphill battle for progressives because Republicans control the Senate. But if they can sway all Democrats to oppose Bush, it would only take three Republicans siding with them to kill his nomination when (or if) he makes it to the Senate floor. A handful of GOP senators support abortion rights, and moderates may have issues with some of Bush?s past remarks.

For now, progressives are focused on building momentum against Bush before he faces the committee with the power to approve or deny his nomination.

?In sum, John Bush is an extreme and biased nominee who also lacks the independence and temperament to be appointed to a lifetime position on the federal bench,? reads their letter. ?President Trump is trying to use federal court nominations to elevate his extreme agenda; Bush?s record makes it clear that he will be nothing more than a rubber stamp.?

This article has been updated with comment from Vanita Gupta. 

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After 18 Years, TLC Still Doesn’t Want No Scrubs

In January 1999, the girl group TLC dropped a hit to end all hits: ?No Scrubs.? The song became an anthem against men who don?t treat women well, aka ?scrubs,? who can most closely be compared to present-day ?fuccbois.?

On Monday night, comedian and actor Paul F. Tompkins tweeted an inquiry into TLC?s current anti-scrubs sentiment:

A response from the official TLC Twitter account appeared mid-afternoon on Tuesday:

So, to clarify, no, these ladies still don?t want no scrubs, and there are still guys who can?t get no love from them.

A rep for TLC also emphasized that the lyrics? definition of ?scrubs,? referring to them as ?busters,? still stands:

In case you need a full refresher, please enjoy below:

In the years since the song exploded onto the scene, the trio has become a duo. Lisa ?Left-Eye? Lopes was killed in a car accident in 2002, leaving Tionne ?T-Boz? Watkins and Rozonda ?Chilli? Thomas to continue the TLC legacy together. Watkins and Thomas recently released their first music video in 14 years, titled ?Way Back.?

Oh, and if you were wondering whether the group still does not endorse ?chasing waterfalls,? a rep for the group clarified their current stance on that, too:

Bless you, TLC. 

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Farmer’s Same-Sex Marriage Views Got Him Barred From Local Market

A Michigan man whose farm was shut out of a local market over his same-sex marriage views believes his free speech rights have been violated. 

Stephen Tennes, who owns and operates Country Mill Farms in Charlotte, Michigan, filed a lawsuit Wednesday after his farm was barred from selling produce at farmers markets in East Lansing because he opposes marriage equality, Religion News Service reported. In his suit, Tennes cited his ?Catholic belief that marriage is a sacramental union between one man and one woman.? 

The married father of five told Fox News that his farm serves and employs members of the local LGBTQ community, but he nonetheless expressed his opposition to marriage equality twice on Facebook, once in August and again in December. After the August post sparked a backlash, Tennes said Country Mill Farms would no longer host weddings of any kind. By December, the farm announced that weddings would resume on the property, but only for heterosexual couples. 

?It remains our deeply held religious belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and Country Mill has the First Amendment Right to express and act upon its beliefs,? read the December post, which can be found below. ?For this reason, Country Mill reserves the right to deny a request for services that would require it to communicate, engage in, or host expression that violates the owners? sincerely held religious beliefs and conscience.?

When Tennes applied to be a part of the East Lansing farmers market in January, his permit application was denied. In an interview with Lansing State Journal, East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas confirmed that Country Mill Farms? permit had been turned down, citing the city?s civil rights ordinance, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in ?all business practices.? ?When they applied,? he said, ?we decided to exclude them from the market based on that.?

Tennes said he was ?surprised? by the decision. ?For over seven years, we?ve been serving all the customers with no complaints, no issues, no protests,? he said in the above video produced by the religious freedom advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing him.

He wants a judge to order East Lansing to not only allow Country Mill Farms to sell produce at the market once again, but also stop the city from being allowed to extend its policies to businesses outside of its bounds. ?Never before would I ever have thought that the faith that we have here in our family, in our home, at our farm,? he said, ?would prohibit us from being allowed to participate in the community.? 

The Alliance Defending Freedom?s Marissa Mayer echoed those sentiments in a Friday blog post on the group?s website. ?The Tennes family?s statement of their religious belief in biblical marriage was the only reason for their farm?s expulsion from the market,? she wrote. ?East Lansing can?t preach diversity, then turn around and discriminate against people of faith because those people hold and express views the city does not like.? 

Lahanas has adamantly defended East Lansing?s decision to reject Tennes? application. ?It?s because of their business practice of excluding people, [that?s] the issue,? he said in a Thursday interview with The State News. ?They can have any belief they want, but if they?re excluding people, that?s the difference.?

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Why You Should Let Maggots Feast On Your Leftover Food

They may be icky, but we should really start appreciating maggots, considering that they could play a crucial role in combatting the problem of food waste.

These voracious eaters are able to consume massive amounts of leftovers. Over the course of four hours, two pounds of maggots can eat about 4 pounds of food. Maggots also help expedite the composting process, and they can be dried and turned into animal feed.

For now, due to varying regulations, maggots are being used in a limited way on farms across the globe, but activists are hopeful that this will eventually become an industry norm. 

This comes at a time when the food waste crisis has hit global proportions. One-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, and when it?s sent to landfills to decompose, it releases methane, an extremely potent greenhouse gas. Using maggots to dispose of uneaten food could reduce the amount of food sent to landfills.

For example, a farm in southwestern China has embraced maggots, buying up leftovers from restaurants and feeding them to the larvae of black soldier flies. The fattened up insects, in turn, are then used as high-protein animal feed and their feces as organic fertilizer, according to science news site 

In China, each person discards about 65 pounds of food a year, per

Identifying innovative ways to reduce food waste is critical in the U.S., where it?s an even greater issue than in China. According to a 2011 report from the United Nation?s Food and Agricultural Organization, the average American squanders about 250 pounds of food a year.

Serving up insect larvae to livestock is restricted in the U.S., but it?s being used for some specific types of animal feed. 

Some dried black soldier fly larvae, for example, have been approved for use in commercial salmon feed.

A number of companies are seeking broader regulatory approval for the use of larvae in commercial animal feed, said Nicole Civita, an attorney at Handel Food Law LLC and director of the Food Recovery Project at the University of Arkansas School of Law.

People who raise animals at home aren?t subject to government regulations, and Civita encourages them to let their livestock dine on such insect ?delicacies.?

Turning maggots into compost is a more common practice in the U.S. There?s even a name for it: black soldier fly composting. When the larvae are introduced, food scraps are turned into compost at a more rapid pace, compared to conventional methods, Civita added.

Such processes are also helpful in promoting closed-loop agriculture. That?s when all nutrients and organic matter on a farm are recycled back into the soil they grew in.

Civita, who also works at Sterling College in Kansas, said her students are ?excited? about black soldier fly composting and are looking into developing a pilot program on the university?s farm. 

?Enlisting some of our smallest planetary neighbors in the fight against food waste is a promising idea that can support adoption of more agro-ecological practices,? Civita told HuffPost.

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Protest In The Era Of Donald Trump

PORTLAND, Ore. ? The flier, stapled to a telephone pole on North Killingsworth Street, promised training in self-defense against neo-Nazis.

?We will fight them with our every ounce,? it read. ?By working together we can push back white supremacy on the 4th.?

Area activists and strategy game experts, the flier advertised, were scheduled to run a workshop Saturday that would physically and mentally prepare locals for Sunday, when a rally in support of President Donald Trump was coming to town and, along with it, the possibility of violent clashes.

But the training never happened. Word on the street was that white supremacists had caught wind of the event, shared it on social media and threatened to show up and fight.  

A 27-year-old Portland native named William was at the forefront of the preparations. He, like many of his cohorts whom HuffPost spoke with, refused to fully identify himself for safety reasons (neo-Nazis are known for releasing a breadth of personal information online).

William is an organizer for the Pacific Northwest Anti-Fascist Workers Collective, one of many anti-fascist (or ?antifa?) groups across the country. It?s a relatively decentralized force, made up of dozens of groups that often work to confront white supremacists and hate groups, as well as the police and government policies.

They?re recognizable as the masked figures dressed in black who show up to counter-protests and fight white nationalists. They shut down a speech by conservative media personality Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Berkeley, in February by throwing rocks; several of them were injured in the fracas. Their violence, like that of the neo-Nazis, is condemned in many circles on the left and right.

The antifa groups don?t have an overarching mission regarding violence. Many groups advertised peace prior to Sunday?s event, but the anti-fascists also noted that they were ready to defend themselves at all costs. Police confiscated dozens of weapons from them at the rally, including bricks, batons and knives.

The antifa groups, along with their far-right counterparts, are among America?s fringe ? emboldened by the current administration, amplified by social media and happy to battle it out in the street.

The United States is at a turning point of protest, with demonstrators deciding in real time whether the peaceful Women?s Marches earlier this year solved anything and whether violence is the next step. Over this weekend, Portland became a flashpoint for that discussion.

Saturday?s event was supposed to prepare the anti-fascists of Portland for a pro-Trump rally Sunday, an event that had been on the calendar before the hate-fueled slashing that left two dead on a MAX train on May 26. The incident gained national attention and emboldened far-right groups to make travel plans for the rally.

The antifa groups were expecting neo-Nazis, white nationalists and well-known figures of the so-called alt-right.

?There?s always violence when they come out,? William told HuffPost outside a labor union hall in southeast Portland, where the training was supposed to take place. ?These guys are trying to come out and suppress activism. We?d really appreciate it if they stopped coming into our city and spreading their hateful message and trying to scare protesters.?

By Sunday morning, hours before the protests were supposed to start, the two sides were squaring off by shouting at one another across the street. Each group had bought a permit for their own section of a downtown park in Chapman Square. SWAT teams created a human barrier between the groups to make sure they didn?t attack each other.  

Because of that barrier, the antifa group ended up sparring with police instead. In the afternoon, police ordered them to disperse and they resisted, at which point police lobbed tear gas canisters at them to drive them away. The alt-right demonstrators and Trump supporters across the street cackled and celebrated as they watched the melee.

At the end of the day, the battle each side had been preparing for all week never actually happened, thanks to a heavy presence of police from several jurisdictions, including the federal Department of Homeland Security and a local SWAT force.

The Fringe Is No Longer The Fringe

While these two groups never really clashed violently, as many expected, they fuel concerns that our short stretch of peaceful protests is coming to an end.

Millions protested peacefully in Women?s Marches across the globe in January. Peace also reigned at the global March for Science protests, as well as at the Climate March in late April. Thousands upon thousands more have taken to the streets in several anti-Trump demonstrations without much incident.

?Many would argue that having hundreds of thousands if not millions show up is a huge success,? said Dana Fisher, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland who?s researched protests for nearly 20 years. ?But some people may very well feel that it?s not working anymore. Depending on the goal, the resistance can be seen as failing.?

She noted that it appears the ?radical flank? of both the left and right have been mobilized; far-leaning groups that aren?t often accepted by popular culture are now becoming more mainstream and recognizable. Enter the antifa groups and the alt-right.

Of course, she said, that doesn?t necessarily mean that violence is inevitable. On the contrary, a relatively peaceful day on Sunday between protesters signals that progressive ideals of activism, in which throngs of people speak their mind without hurting one another, are winning.

However, the growth of violent fringe groups ? especially right-wing extremists and white supremacists ? is explosive, terrifying and requires a reaction, many say.

Indeed, the far-right has been mobilized. Joey Gibson, a Californian who regularly organizes pro-Trump events in progressive, liberal cities like Portland, has reportedly coordinated six similar rallies in this city and nearby Vancouver, Washington, over the past six months, including the event Sunday.

Even when the far right doesn?t attract many bodies to its rallies, it sometimes attracts the worst of the worst: On April 29, slashing suspect Jeremy Joseph Christian was seen throwing up Nazi salutes and screaming racial epithets. On May 26, he stood accused of knifing three men on a MAX train, killing two of them, as they defended two girls from racial and religious insults.

The demonstrations Sunday proved that a small number of voices can mobilize hundreds upon hundreds of people. It leaves a burning question: Which protest are we going to see next: another peaceful Women?s March or a clash between America?s expanding fringe groups?

Fisher says she?s wary of the future ? it?s anybody?s game.

?We have a whole bunch of people who are progressive who are pissed off, and Trump has appealed to the conservative fringe in this country,? she said. ?I don?t know what?s going to happen, and I don?t know how to fix it.?

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Besides the high packaging cost problem that was solved by A left handed person can now receive a grant if the fill out the application.. Plastic bags and bottles constitute ninety-five percent of the litter some of which makes its way to rivers and other water bodies. Huge tracts of land have been converted into dumping sites leading to wastage of land, air pollution and a breeding place for all disease causing organisms.

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This Might Be The Most Sexist Baseball Team Promotion Ever

A minor-league baseball team just announced a majorly sexist promotion ? and on Tuesday it appeared to be benched.

The Ogden (Utah) Raptors on Saturday published a news release on ?Hourglass Appreciation Night,? posting a cartoon of models in bikinis while promising fans the chance to pose for pictures with ?gorgeous women whose curves rival those of any stud pitching prospect!?

The Los Angeles Dodgers? farm club lamely tried to peg Hourglass Appreciation Night to the ?timeless nature? of baseball that ?connects generations.? 

Then came this gem of a transition. ?The home team hosts the Billings Mustangs, but the real thoroughbreds will join Raptors broadcaster A.P. Harreld in the booth. Since August is the eighth month of the calendar year, and an 8 looks tantalizingly similar to an hourglass, be there a better way to remind the world that baseball needs no clock than to feature 18 hourglass-shaped color commentators??

Not surprisingly, the news media attention and social media backlash presumably prompted the team to delete the notice early Tuesday.

Perhaps the team thought it knew its audience.


The Huffington Post reached out to the Raptors for comment.

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Keith Olbermann Apologizes to UK: ‘Trump Is Not Of Sound Mind’

A somber Keith Olbermann apologized to Britain for Donald Trump?s insensitive comments attacking the competence of London?s mayor in the wake of Saturday?s attack on London Bridge. ?Donald Trump is not of sound mind,? explained Olbermann in the latest offering of GQ?s ?The Resistance.? ?We are working to correct the problem as soon as possible.?

But it won?t be easy, he added. Unlike most jobs in the nation ? and on Trump?s own former reality program ?The Apprentice? ? it?s extremely difficult to fire a president, no matter how incompetent, Olbermann said.

?Amid all that he creates ? mass confusion, charges of corruption, hints at collusion ? there is a stark reality. In almost any other job in this country, assuredly in any other private sector job … Donald Trump, our national embarrassment, our international disgrace, would have been fired by now,? he said.

?His complete incompetence, his complete failure, and his complete inability to see his incompetence and his failure as anything except personal brilliance would get him fired everywhere from the boardroom at Microsoft to the deep fryer at McDonald?s.?

It?s not only Trump?s startling Twitter comments after the terrorist attack that are worrying, noted Olbermann. The president has also stumped Americans by complaining about the ?watered-down? travel restrictions for citizens of several predominantly Muslim countries (which he has tried to institute through executive orders) that are about to be defended in the Supreme Court by the Department of Justice. He insisted that it absolutely is a ?travel ban? ? which may make it even more difficult to defend.

Then there was his puzzling reference in a tweet last week to the head-scratching ?negative press confefe? ? which Trump perhaps typed as he fell asleep or ?otherwise lost awareness,? said Olbermann. 

?The meaninglessness, the lack of focus, the carelessness, the self-pity, the irresponsible redefinition of the language itself that has symbolized this fifth-rate administration from the moment of Trump?s inaugural address onwards was summarized in five words plus some kind of typographical error.?

Check out the rest above.

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Ivanka Trump Comes Down To Earth In A $35 Dress From Target

For just one day, Ivanka Trump has ditched her designer duds for a more down-to-earth approach.

The 35-year-old special advisor to the President Trump stepped out in a $35 dress from Target on Monday (and it?s actually on sale right now for $17.50). The simple black dress with a ruffled bottom and two lilies is from Victoria Beckham?s line for Target. As of now, the dress is still available on the retailer?s website. 

When first stepping out for the day, Trump paired the dress with a black purse, lace-up black heels and minimal jewelry. To see those exclusive pictures, head over to the Daily Mail. 

Ivanka?s look is a far cry from the typical designer labels the Trumps tend to favor.

During Melania Trump?s first official trip as first lady, she drew ire by wearing a $51,500 Dolce & Gabbana jacket in Italy. The median American family income in 2015 was $55,775. 

We can?t wait to see if Ivanka pulls more Target out of her closet. 

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‘Moonlight’ Fans Have The Best Name For Crayola’s New Blue Crayon

Earlier this year, Crayola tragically announced the retirement of its beloved yellow crayon, Dandelion. Shortly after, it became apparent that the classic 24-pack would never be the same.

Perhaps in an effort to help fans through the grieving process, the company quickly unveiled Dandelion?s replacement ? a nameless blue crayon ? along with an announcement that its official pigment title would be chosen by the public. 

The #NameTheBlue campaign was born.

The campaign officially closed last week, but not before a frontrunner suggestion emerged, thanks to ?Moonlight? playwright and screenplay co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney. 

?Chiron,? he tweeted, with a link to coverage of Crayola?s new blue, referencing the main character of the Oscar-winning film about a young, queer black man coming of age in Miami, Florida.

Barry Jenkins, who also co-wrote and directed the movie, shared the message, and a flood of retweets rolled in. One look at a still from ?Moonlight? ? or a quick reminder of the movie?s defining line, ?In moonlight black boys look blue? ? made it clear to many that ?Chiron? is the perfect choice for Crayola?s deep new pigment.

The blue crayon has been temporarily dubbed ?YInMin,? a mashup of the elements that make up the color ? Yttrium, Indium and Manganese. Researchers in Oregon ?accidentally? discovered the specific shade of blue several years ago

At the moment, ?Chiron? seems to be the fan-favorite name for the Crayola addition. It is, in our humble opinion, much, much better than the alternative: Yes, people have suggested covfefe. 

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When working on a design for a webpage, you need to have all the required tools to design the ideal page for your business. You need a friendly environment so when people access your page, they can navigate easily. I took my kid to school in GA the other day, and I’ve seen the teacher with botox. provides the best tools to build your website and deliver the best user interface to your clients. Using different tools ensures the customer has a variety of features they can accessto without compromising the usability of the page.

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‘Terrorism Has No Religion:’ Muslims Across The UK Slam London Attackers

In a rallying cry against religious extremism, Muslims across the United Kingdom are denouncing Saturday night?s deadly attacks in London, calling the violence cowardly acts by people who hide behind a religion that is not theirs.

?Terrorism has no religion,? Imam Abdul Quddus Arif, of the local Ahmadiyya Muslim community, told HuffPost UK on Sunday, slamming the assailants? twisted beliefs. ?Basically, not in my name, not in the name of Islam. I want to make that very clear.?

His stern words of condemnation follow witnesses describing one of the night?s assailants as calling out the name of Allah amid the attacks. The militant group the Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack, which follows another attack credited to the group last month at a Manchester arena.

?Islam is not a religion as portrayed by these so-called Muslims. Islam is a religion that says if you kill an innocent soul it?s akin to killing the whole of humanity, and if you save an innocent soul it?s akin to saving the whole of humanity,? he said, amid prayers for the victims and first responders. ?A true Muslim, he only has two purposes. One is fulfilling the rights of God, and second is to fulfill the rights of his fellow beings.?

Arif?s message was echoed by other Muslim organizations across the country, condemning Islamic extremism.

?It shouldn?t even have to be said, but this is not Islam. Their warped view of the world doesn?t belong here in our country. Frankly, it doesn?t belong anywhere in the world. It should die with them,? New Horizons in British Islam charity said in a statement.

Their warped view of the world doesn?t belong here in our country. Frankly, it doesn?t belong anywhere in the world. It should die with them.”
New Horizons in British Islam

The Muslim Association of Britain also expressed heartbreak with determination to stand up to acts of terror.

?As members of British Society, we must continue to condemn all acts of terror, and we must not allow these criminals to spread hatred and fear; and we must foil their attempts to divide us,? they stated.

Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, also expressed his revulsion at the attacks.

?Muslims everywhere are outraged and disgusted at these cowards who once again have destroyed the lives of our fellow Britons,? he said. ?That this should happen in this month of Ramadan, when many Muslims were praying and fasting only goes to show that these people respect neither life nor faith.?

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Trump’s EPA Chief Rebukes Critics As ‘Climate Exaggerators’ After Quitting Paris Accord

WASHINGTON ? Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt said he doesn?t ?know what it means to deny the climate? in a defiant rebuke of his critics one day after President Donald Trump announced the United States? withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement.

?People have called me a climate skeptic or climate denier,? Pruitt said at a White House press briefing on Friday. ?I would say that they were climate exaggerators.?

To back up his point, Pruitt read from Bret Stephens? controversial debut column in The New York Times, in which the former Wall Street Journal opinion writer rebuffed environmentalists and climate scientists who took issue with his earlier work defending the conspiracy theory that manmade global warming is either overblown or a hoax.

?I don?t know if you saw this article or not,? Pruitt said. He then read aloud a passage in which Stephens understated the findings of a 2014 United Nations climate report, a mischaracterization that forced the Times to append the article with a correction.

?What the American people deserve is a debate ? objective, transparent discussion ? about this issue,? Pruitt said.

?Global warming is occurring, human activity contributes to it in some manner,? Pruitt said, staking out an argument frequently employed by what The New Republic describes as the ?kinder, gentler climate-change deniers.? ?Measuring with precision, in my perspective, the degree of human contribution is very challenging.?

The nation?s top environmental rulemaker, who is credited with convincing President Donald Trump to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, repeatedly refused to say whether the commander-in-chief believes in the widely accepted science that emissions from burning fossil fuel, deforestation and industrial farming are warming the planet.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer was equally cagey, telling reporters who asked him Friday about the president?s beliefs, ?I have not had the opportunity to have that discussion.?  

On Tuesday, Spicer also dodged questions on what the president thinks about climate change. ?Honestly, I haven?t asked him,? he said. ?I can get back to you. I don?t know. I honestly haven?t asked him that specific question.?

People have called me a climate skeptic or climate denier. I don’t know what it means to deny the climate.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt

Typically, White House press secretaries don?t tell reporters they?ll come back with an answer unless they really plan to, knowing that the reporter who asked the question will bring up their pledge again a few days later.

Countries around the world, including most major U.S. allies, condemned Trump?s decision to pull out of the historic accord to cut planet-warming emissions. Democrats, environmentalists and top executives from big corporations also voiced their concern.

Pruitt also spoke in the White House Rose Garden Thursday after Trump announced his plan to withdraw from the pact. The EPA administrator?s comments were clearly directed at Trump, who was standing a few feet away and apparently enjoying the lavish praise. In his two-minute speech, Pruitt said ?you? 21 times, but ?Paris? just three.

On Friday, Pruitt called the decision a ?courageous? and ?informed, thoughtful decision,? insisting the U.S. has ?nothing to be apologetic for.?

?Paris, truly, Paris at its core was a bunch of words committed to very, very minimal environmental benefits,? he said, but added that the U.S. was willing to rejoin the agreement under renegotiated terms.

Other countries have said they have no plans to reopen negotiations.

Pruitt fueled doubt that the administration is genuinely open to re-entering a global climate pact, saying any deal to cut U.S. emissions would require consent from the Senate. But he said the White House would circumvent Congress in any deal that allowed the U.S. to export technology for coal mining or hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial method for extracting natural gas.

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