Daily Mail’s ‘Legs-it’ headline slammed for sexism

“It wasn’t quite stilettos at dawn,” read the Daily Mail’s front-page tease, alongside a photograph of British Prime Minister Theresa May and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Not that shoes had anything to do with it, given that the photo was taken at a meeting between the two leaders to discuss Britain’s strategy for leaving the European Union and how that might affect the relationship between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

But for the Mail, these weighty matters were of far less concern than how the two leaders looked. “Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!” shouted the headline on the British tabloid’s print edition.


The headline drew fury from politicians and commentators, angry that the paper was — not for the first time — objectifying women to boost sales.

“It’s 2017. Two women’s decisions will determine if United Kingdom continues to exist,” tweeted Yvette Cooper, a prominent MP in the opposition Labour Party. “And front page news is their lower limbs. Obviously.”

Harriet Harman, a former deputy leader of the Labour Party, called it “moronic.”

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn also took a dim view of the Mail’s headline choice, saying that such sexism “must be consigned to history.”

The Mail has not responded to a CNN request for comment about the headline, which also drew criticism from prominent journalists in the UK.

Alan Rusbridger, the veteran former editor-in-chief of the left-leading Guardian newspaper, highlighted the ridiculousness of judging leaders on their physical attributes by tweeting “Nice pins” above a famous picture of wartime leaders Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin at the Yalta conference in 1945.

Cathy Newman, a news anchor for the Channel 4 network, wrote: “Two powerful female leaders, and this is the headline?!?!”

Other social media users were more acerbic. “Hello, Daily Mail? 1972 called. They want their casually sexist & demeaning front page headline back,” said one Twitter user.

Another drew comparisons between the tabloid media’s approach to women and last year’s presidential campaign, in which Hillary Clinton struggled against sexist tropes in her failed White House bid.

“Ignoring an actual story in an attempt to demean & humiliate successful women..dated, unimaginative & so, so boring,” tweeted a user identified as Chloe Wood.

The paper’s Scottish edition used a different headline: “Oh so frosty! Secrets of Nicola and PM’s talk-in.”

Brexit meeting

May and Sturgeon were meeting ahead of the UK government’s plans to trigger Article 50 on Wednesday, the formal announcement of a separation from the EU.

Sturgeon, Scotland’s leader, has complained that plans to activate the clause have gone ahead without consultation with the Scottish Parliament, or the other constituent governments of the UK.

Lawmakers in the capital Edinburgh are set to vote Tuesday on proposals for a new Scottish referendum. Sturgeon has made plain her view that Britain is heading for a “bad deal” on Brexit. In the June vote, 62% of Scots voted against leaving the EU.

The Daily Mail strongly supported Brexit in the run-up to last June’s referendum, when 52% voted to leave the EU.

Politically incorrect

The British tabloid press has a long history of female objectification.

Perhaps the most obvious example is the Sun’s Page 3 — a daily feature of topless models launched 1970 by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. It was dropped in 2015.

The Daily Mail is one of the UK’s most commercially successful tabloids, and its website — churning out upwards of 1,600 stories a day — is the most-read online newspaper in the world.

A prominent feature of its hugely successful Mail Online portal is what is colloquially known as the “sidebar of shame,” — a lascivious rundown of short pieces, heavily illustrated with photographs. It usually features celebrity news, focusing on women and their bodies through stories about diets and bikini choices.

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London attacker’s wife condemns his actions

The wife of Khalid Masood, who killed four people and injured dozens in an attack outside the British parliament last week, has described her shock at his actions and condemned the outrage.

Rohey Hydara also expressed her condolences to the families of the victims and wished a speedy recovery to those who were injured.

In a statement released to the UK’s Press Association via the Metropolitan Police on Tuesday, Hydara said: “I am saddened and shocked by what Khalid has done. I totally condemn his actions.

“I express my condolences to the families of the victims that have died, and wish a speedy recovery to all the injured. I would like to request privacy for our family, especially the children, at this difficult time.”

Hydara spoke after Masood’s mother, Janet Ajao, said Monday in a statement that she was “deeply shocked, saddened and numbed” by the attack and had “shed many tears” for her son’s victims.

Masood, 52, rammed a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge on Wednesday, killing three people and leaving dozens injured.

After crashing the vehicle he fatally stabbed an on-duty police officer at an entrance to Parliament. Another officer shot him dead.

London’s Metropolitan Police say they don’t believe Masood, who was born in the south-east of England and used multiple aliases, was directed by ISIS or al Qaeda.

He reportedly lived with his family in Birmingham, central England, until December.

American tourist Kurt Cochran, 54, British citizen Aysha Frade, 44, and police constable Keith Palmer, 48, died in the attack.

A fourth victim, 75-year-old Leslie Rhodes of south London, died Thursday night after his life support was withdrawn, police said.

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2 undercover Miami-Dade officers shot, taken to hospital in pickup truck

A pickup truck carrying two wounded Miami-Dade police officers sped up to the doors of Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital on Monday night.

The officers, who are members of a violent crime task force, were ambushed at about 10 p.m. while they were conducting surveillance at an apartment complex in the 1900 block of Northwest 59th Street as part of a multi-agency operation on gang activity, Maj. Hector Llevat said.

“One of the officers was able to return fire,” Llevat said. “Individuals like this that have the audacity to ambush a vehicle unprovoked and open fire like that, are individuals in this community that are causing havoc and terrorizing this community day in and day out. These are the officers that were out here to put a stop to that.” 

Officers in the area sprung to action after the shooting.

“They could smell the gunpowder,” Miami-Dade police Director Juan Perez said. “They were running after the smell of gunpowder, trying to find these individuals.”

The wounded officers were rushed to the hospital in the bed of a pickup truck and were able to limp inside with the help of their colleagues. 

“We do whatever we have to do to save our officers,”  Perez said. “We got lucky tonight that the officers will survive. It’s not going to deter us. In fact, what this does is the opposite. This burns a fire inside of us right now to continue to work even harder.” 

The officers were in stable condition at the hospital Monday night while the shooters remained at large. 

“These are the people who are shooting our kids,” Perez said. “These are the people that shoot at the Martin Luther King parade. These are the people who are causing that havoc in our community. And we’re not going to stop. This isn’t going to deter us from doing our jobs. This is going to ignite a bigger fire within us to protect our citizens, our communities, and our neighborhoods here in Miami-Dade.”

Perez asked the public for prayers for the two injured officers and called on anyone with information about the shooting to come forward. 

“That’s what these guys are, murderers in our community. So let’s get together, let’s work together, to find a resolution to what occurred here tonight,” he said. “Point us in the right direction.”

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez echoed Perez’s message and said attacks on officers will not be tolerated.

“You can see by the tone and also the look on their faces, we’re all united. Whoever perpetrated this crime against our two officers, we’re going to do everything in our power to arrest them and bring them to justice,” Gimenez said.

He then asked for those with information to come forward.

“If they can shoot a police officer, they can shoot at anybody,” Gimenez said. “So we want to put these perpetrators away before they hurt anyone else or, God forbid, kill somebody else, because they have no regard for anything in our community. They don’t deserve to be walking the streets of Miami-Dade County.” 

Police released a description for one of the two shooters. 

That person is described as being between 17 to 18 years old and was last seeing wearing a dark colored hooded sweatshirt that was closed in a way that only his eyes were shown. 

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. 


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Kissimmee Fire Department receives donation of pet oxygen masks

Kissimmee Fire Department first responders are now best-equipped to save a pet’s life in a time of need.

Invisible Fence of Central Florida donated five pet oxygen mask kits this week to the department.

The donation from Invisible Fence is a small part of the brand’s Project Breathe program, which has the goal of equipping every fire station in North America with pet oxygen masks.

The masks allow firefighters and EMS staff to give oxygen to pets who are suffering from smoke inhalation when they are rescued from fires, and could help save pets’ lives.

Invisible Fence has donated a total of more than 12,400 pet oxygen masks to fire stations all over North America so far. More than 150 pets have been reported to be saved by the donated masks so far, according to the company.

In the photo (above), a donated pet-sized oxygen mask is used by a Kissimmee firefighter in 2015 on a small dog.

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Gionta scores in 1,000th game, Sabres beat Panthers 4-2

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Sabres captain Brian Gionta scored while playing his 1,000th career game and Buffalo beat the Florida Panthers 4-2 on Monday night.

Ryan O’Reilly, Zach Bogosian and Marcus Foligno also scored for the Sabres, who led 3-0 after Gionta’s goal 1:25 into the second period. The goal drew a large cheer from the crowd after the 15-year NHL veteran was honored during a pregame ceremony.

Gionta received a pass to the left of the net, then cut across the crease, drawing goalie James Reimer out of position. After Gionta’s first attempt was denied by Reilly Smith, he flipped a bad-angle shot toward the net that deflected in off the hands of defenseman Jason Demers.

Robin Lehner stopped 30 shots, including punching his glove hand out to get a piece of Smith’s backhander on a penalty shot 5:23 into the third period. Buffalo improved to 4-1 in its past five and earned its 76th point to move one back of the 13th-place Panthers in the Eastern Conference standings.

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