L’Oreal’s first hijab-wearing hair care model steps down over Israel tweets

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 5:07 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 @ 5:11 PM

Amena Khan, L’Oréal’s First Hijab Wearing Hair Care Model, Steps Down Over Tweets

UPDATE Jan. 24:

L’Oreal Paris recently made history when it featured model Amena Khan in its new hair product campaign, but when tweets she penned in 2014 made the rounds online, she announced she would step down

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution was not able to view the now-deleted tweets, but screenshots of Khan’s comments showed she referred to Israel as a “sinister state” and said the country is full of “child murderers.”

>> Read more trending news 

On Monday, she shared a statement with her more than 570,000 Instagram followers and wrote, “I recently took part in a campaign, which excited me because it celebrated inclusivity. With deep regret, I've decided to step down from this campaign because the current conversations surrounding it detract from the positive and inclusive sentiment that it set out to deliver.”

A post shared by Amena (@amenaofficial) on

Khan made a second post Wednesday to clear up any misunderstandings. 

“I stand by, grieve for and am outraged by the suffering of children whether they’re victims of war or any other type of abuse,” she wrote. “My choice of words in the 2014 tweets could have been worded better as I know there was genuine hurt in a community that I sounded like I was generalizing.”

💜💚

A post shared by Amena (@amenaofficial) on

The reaction to Khan’s stepping down has been mixed as some Twitter users were frustrated that she apologized in the first place.

ORIGINAL STORY Jan. 19:

L’Oreal Paris  made history when it featured model Amena Khan in its new hair product campaign.

Khan, a British beauty blogger, model and co-founder of Ardere Cosmetics, is the first hijab-wearing model to star in a hair campaign for a major international brand.

>> Read more trending news 

She revealed the video campaign to her more than 570,000 Instagram followers last week, calling it a “game changing” project. 

On Twitter, L’Oreal and Khan received their share of praise and backlash. 

In an interview with Vogue UK published Sunday, Khan lauded the European brand for its commitment to inclusion. “They're literally putting a girl in a headscarf — whose hair you can't see — in a hair campaign ... because what they're really valuing through the campaign is the voices that we have,” Khan said.

Related: Muslim women support Nike as backlash over sports hijab sparks #BoycottNike

"You have to wonder – why is it presumed that women that don't show their hair don't look after it?" she said. "The opposite of that would be that everyone that does show their hair only looks after it for the sake of showing it to others. And that mindset strips us of our autonomy and our sense of independence. Hair is a big part of self-care.”

On Twitter, L’Oreal and Khan received their share of praise and backlash

The campaign reignited a controversial discussion about the hijab, with many arguing that the garment promotes oppression of women.

Last March, when Nike announced its new sports hijab, many Muslim women defended their choice to wear the hijab.

Muslim feminist Hanna Yusuf has also addressed critics of the hijab in the past and said that wearing hers is a feminist statement. 

“In a world where a woman’s value is often reduced to her sexual allure, what could be more empowering than rejecting that notion?” she said in a video for The Guardian.

But, Yusuf said, her concern with the hijab being unfairly portrayed as oppression is not a denial of the fact that some women are forced to wear it in some parts of the world.

Related: Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad’s new Barbie doll is the first to wear a hijab

Still, some users felt that including a hijab-wearing model to promote hair products was “#pointless” or was just the company's attempt to make a statement.

Khan was also criticized for some of her previous tweets, in which she referred to Israel as a “sinister state.” Those tweets have since been deleted.

For reference, President Donald Trump recently recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, an action that the United Nations voted to condemn.

For decades, the U.S. has remained silent on the issue, amid warnings from world leaders concerned that such a declaration “could inflame tensions in the volatile Mideast,” The New York Times reported. The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in 1967, for their capital.

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North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, South Korean president meet Saturday in surprise visit to Demilitarized Zone

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 11:33 AM

North and South Korean Leaders Meet in Surprise Visit

The leaders of North Korea and South Korea met for a second time in a surprise visit Saturday.

South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly discussed efforts to continue work on the peace declaration declared in April between the two countries.

They also affirmed a commitment to working on diplomacy talks between North Korea and the United States, after President Donald Trump announced he was canceling a summit between the two countries in Singapore. 

Update May 26, 8:13 a.m. EST: President Trump has tweeted in response to a New York Times report that there is dispute within the White House on how to address diplomacy talks with North Korea.

 

The White House announced on Saturday it will send an advance team to Singapore “in order to prepare should the summit take place,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement to NBC

Original story: South Korean president Moon Jae-in held the second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone between the two countries, according to the Blue House, South Korea’s official media source.

>> Read more trending news 

The two leaders discussed how to carry out the peace declaration agreed upon on April 27, which hopes to bring a new era of peace and denuclearization on the Korean peninsula. 

South Korean officials said that the two leaders also discussed the cancelled summit between the United States and North Korea. 

The two leaders concluded that direct communication between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is needed, and pledged to continue making efforts to work on relations, according to the Blue House

The meeting at the border truce village comes after Trump said the highly anticipated summit between the U.S. and North Korea may be back on.

Trump tweeted that if the summit does happen, it will likely take place June 12 in Singapore as originally planned. 

 
This is a developing story, check back for updates.

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Alan Bean, NASA Apollo moonwalker, dies at 86

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 2:14 PM

Astronaut Alan Bean Dead at 86

NASA astronaut Alan Bean, the fourth person to walk on the moon, has died at the age of 86.

Bean’s family has released the following statement on NASA’s website:

Family Release Regarding the Passing of Apollo, Skylab Astronaut Alan Bean

The following is an obituary article released on the behalf of Alan Bean’s family:

Alan Bean, Apollo Moonwalker and Artist, Dies at 86

HOUSTON, Texas — Apollo and Skylab astronaut Alan Bean, the fourth human to walk on the moon and an accomplished artist, has died.

Bean, 86, died on Saturday, May 26, at Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. His death followed his suddenly falling ill while on travel in Fort Wayne, Indiana two weeks before.

“Alan was the strongest and kindest man I ever knew. He was the love of my life and I miss him dearly,” said Leslie Bean, Alan Bean’s wife of 40 years. “A native Texan, Alan died peacefully in Houston surrounded by those who loved him.”

A test pilot in the U.S. Navy, Bean was one of 14 trainees selected by NASA for its third group of astronauts in October 1963. He flew twice into space, first as the lunar module pilot on Apollo 12, the second moon landing mission, in November 1969, and then as commander of the second crewed flight to the United States’ first space station, Skylab, in July 1973.

“Alan and I have been best friends for 55 years — ever since the day we became astronauts,” said Walt Cunningham, who flew on Apollo 7. “When I became head of the Skylab Branch of the Astronaut Office, we worked together and Alan eventually commanded the second Skylab mission.”

“We have never lived more than a couple of miles apart, even after we left NASA. And for years, Alan and I never missed a month where we did not have a cheeseburger together at Miller’s Cafe in Houston. We are accustomed to losing friends in our business but this is a tough one,” said Cunningham.

On Nov. 19, 1969, Bean, together with Apollo 12 commander Charles “Pete” Conrad, landed on the Ocean of Storms and became the fourth human to walk on the moon. During two moonwalks Bean helped deploy several surface experiments and installed the first nuclear-powered generator station on the moon to provide the power source. He and Conrad inspected a robotic Surveyor spacecraft and collected 75 pounds (34 kilograms) of rocks and lunar soil for study back on Earth.

“Alan and Pete were extremely engaged in the planning for their exploration of the Surveyor III landing site in the Ocean of Storms and, particularly, in the enhanced field training activity that came with the success of Apollo 11. This commitment paid off with Alan's and Pete's collection of a fantastic suite of lunar samples, a scientific gift that keeps on giving today and in the future,” said Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 lunar module pilot and the only geologist to walk on the moon. “Their description of bright green concentrations of olivine (peridot) as ‘ginger ale bottle glass,’ however, gave geologists in Mission Control all a big laugh, as we knew exactly what they had discovered.”

“When Alan's third career as the artist of Apollo moved forward, he would call me to ask about some detail about lunar soil, color or equipment he wanted to have represented exactly in a painting. Other times, he wanted to discuss items in the description he was writing to go with a painting. His enthusiasm about space and art never waned. Alan Bean is one of the great renaissance men of his generation — engineer, fighter pilot, astronaut and artist,” said Schmitt.

Four years after Apollo 12, Bean commanded the second crew to live and work on board the Skylab orbital workshop. During the then-record-setting 59-day, 24.4 million-mile flight, Bean and his two crewmates generated 18 miles of computer tape during surveys of Earth’s resources and 76,000 photographs of the Sun to help scientists better understand its effects on the solar system.

In total, Bean logged 69 days, 15 hours and 45 minutes in space, including 31 hours and 31 minutes on the moon’s surface.

Bean retired from the Navy in 1975 and NASA in 1981. In the four decades since, he devoted his time to creating an artistic record of humanity’s first exploration of another world. His Apollo-themed paintings featured canvases textured with lunar boot prints and were made using acrylics embedded with small pieces of his moon dust-stained mission patches.

“Alan Bean was the most extraordinary person I ever met,” said astronaut Mike Massimino, who flew on two space shuttle missions to service the Hubble Space Telescope. “He was a one of a kind combination of technical achievement as an astronaut and artistic achievement as a painter.”

“But what was truly extraordinary was his deep caring for others and his willingness to inspire and teach by sharing his personal journey so openly. Anyone who had the opportunity to know Alan was a better person for it, and we were better astronauts by following his example. I am so grateful he was my mentor and friend, and I will miss him terribly. He was a great man and this is a great loss,” Massimino said.

Born March 15, 1932, in Wheeler, Texas, Bean received a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Texas in 1955. He attended the Navy Test Pilot School and accumulated more than 5,500 hours of flying time in 27 different types of aircraft.

He is survived by his wife Leslie, a sister Paula Stott, and two children from a prior marriage, a daughter Amy Sue and son Clay.

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WATCH: Punches fly when man refused beer on American Airlines flight to Florida

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 3:42 PM

VIDEO: Fight Breaks Out on American Airlines Flight

A fight broke out between two passengers on an American Airlines flight headed to Miami from Saint Croix on Wednesday.

>> Read more trending news 

Passenger Bill Bolduc captured the fight during American flight 1293 on his cell phone and posted a series of videos on YouTube on Friday.

The two passengers begin arguing during the food and beverage service, because a flight attendant refused to serve one of the men another beer.

The flight attendant can be heard in the background saying, “Please sit down, I’m not bringing you any more beers.”

The second man tried to help and that’s when things got violent, Bolduc told WPLG.

“Hitting the chair, swearing, yelling at other passengers, spitting at people at some point,” Bolduc said.

FBI officials told WPLG that he threatened to kill the other man and spit blood on him. 

The two men began punching and other passengers jumped in to try to separate them. 

In one of the videos, other men stand up to try to help the passenger calm down, telling him to “chill” and “relax” while he banged his head on the overhead compartment.

At some point, everyone returned to their seats and the plane landed safely at the Miami International Airport, according to WPLG. The man was taken into custody by Miami-Dade Police. No flight attendants were hurt.

American Airlines stated it is proud of how the flight crew handled the situation. 

WSVN reports that the FBI is now investigating.

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Teacher credited with stopping shooter at Noblesville West Middle School in Indiana

Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 8:04 PM
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 4:25 PM

Teacher Credited With Stopping Shooter At Indiana Middle School

Students at Indiana’s Noblesville West Middle School are hailing a science teacher as a hero for his actions Friday, when a boy opened fire on classmates at the school.

>> Read more trending news

A teacher, identified by The Indianapolis Star as Jason Seaman, sprung into action after a student asked to use the bathroom Friday morning and returned to the classroom with a pair of handguns, police said.

Seventh-grader Ethan Stonebraker told The Associated Press that students were taking a test when the unidentified student walked into the classroom and opened fire.

>> Noblesville, Indiana middle school shooting: 2 injured, student in custody

“Our science teacher immediately ran at him, swatted a gun out of his hand and tackled him to the ground,” seventh-grader Ethan Stonebraker told The Associated Press. “If it weren’t for him, more of us would have been injured for sure.”

President Donald Trump congratulated Seaman on his bravery in a tweet Saturday.

 

The Star reported that Seaman was shot three times and underwent surgery Friday. An unidentified student was also injured, according to police.

He released a written statement to media Friday evening: 

“First of all, thank you to the first responders from Noblesville and Fishers for their immediate action and care. I want to let everyone know that I was injured (but) am doing great. To all the students, you are all wonderful and I thank you for your support. You are the reason I teach.”

 

Jason Seaman’s brother, Jeremy Seaman, told the Star that he was not surprised by reports of his brother’s actions.

“He’s not really ever been the person to run away,” Jeremy Seaman told the Star. “When the safety of the kids is at hand, it’s not surprising to me that he was going to do what he had to do.”

Jason Seaman has been a teacher in Noblesville for four years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has also served as head football coach for seventh-graders for two years.

Jeremy Seaman  told the Star that his brother is married with two young children.

Jason Seaman played college football for Southern Illinois from 2007 to 2010, according to ESPN. The team's head coach, Nick Hill, said in a statement Friday that Jason Seaman "was a great teammate (and) one of the team's hardest workers." 

"You could always trust him to do the right thing," he said.

 
Jason Seaman continued to recover Friday. Police continue to investigate the shooting.

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