An online backlash greeted Ivanka Trump on Sunday, after US President Donald Trump’s daughter tweeted a picture of herself cuddling her two-year-old son at the same time that widespread news reports detailed children being taken from their mothers by US border agents.
The comedian Patton Oswalt was one of thousands to draw a connection between the tweet and the separation of families at the border under policies pursued by the Trump administration.
“Isn’t it the just the best to snuggle your little one — knowing exactly where they are, safe in your arms?” Oswalt wrote. “It’s the best. The BEST. Right, Ivanka? Right?”
Outraged reaction to Ivanka Trump’s tweet included responses by many mothers who asked the first daughter to contemplate being forcibly separated from her child.
“You’re a mother of 3,” wrote a user with the Twitter handle @litbrit. “So am I. Imagine someone in an ICE uniform takes away your precious baby, and you never get to see him or her ever again.”
“This is what’s going on, thanks to your Dad’s policy. DO SOMETHING,” the user added.
Brian Klaas, a fellow at the London School of Economics and former Democratic strategist, wrote: “This is so unbelievably tone deaf, given that public outrage is growing over young kids being forcibly ripped from the arms of their parents at the border — a barbaric policy that Ivanka Trump is complicit in supporting.”
Previously, families suspected of crossing the border illegally were allowed to stay together until their cases were resolved. In early May, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a “zero tolerance” policy on illegal immigration.
A US Department of Homeland Security official told reporters that “those apprehended will be sent directly to federal court under the custody of the US Marshals Service, and their children will be transferred to the custody of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement.”
Laura St John of the Florence Project — an Arizona nonprofit that provides legal services to migrant families — on Friday told Chris Hayes of MSNBC that the policy had been in effect for months, directing border agents to separate children as young as one year old from their parents.
In April, a New York Times report concluded that “more than 700 children have been taken from adults claiming to be their parents since October, including more than 100 children under the age of four.”
Since her personal telephone number was posted online, Hong Kong democracy advocate and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions chairperson Carol Ng has received menacing calls from strangers and been bombarded with messages calling her a “cockroach.” She is not alone. A sophisticated and shady Web site called HK Leaks has ramped up its “doxxing” — where people’s personal details are published online — of Hong Kong democracy advocates, targeting those it says have broken Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Promoted by groups linked to the Chinese Chinese Communist Party and hosted on Russia-based servers, HK Leaks has become the most prominent “doxxing”
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Australia is notorious for its venomous spiders, snakes and sea creatures, but researchers have now identified “scorpion-like” toxins secreted by a tree that can cause excruciating pain for weeks. Split-second contact with the dendrocnide tree, a rainforest nettle known by its Aboriginal name gympie-gympie, delivers a sting far more potent than similar plants found in the US or Europe. A team of Australian scientists said that they now better understand why the gympie-gympie’s sting haunts those unlucky enough to brush up against its leaves. Victims report an initial sting that “feels like fire at first, then subsides over hours to a pain reminiscent