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Gender neutral emojis hit screens in new Apple update

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Apple has put out new gender neutral emojis of most of its people icons — including punks, clowns and zombies — as part of an update to its mobile operating system.

The tech giant has offered growing numbers of inclusive emoji designs in recent years, putting out a range of skin tones and occupations, with Google’s Android publishing its own non-binary faces in May.

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A wheelchair, guide dog and a flexing prosthetic arm are among Apple’s latest batch — put out on Monday with the iOS 13.2 upgrade — that users can slip into messages to get their points across.

The new gender neutral emojis differ slightly from the male and female ones.

In some, the style and color of their clothes is changed. In others the haircuts are different and a “gender neutral facial structure” is used, says the Emojipedia website.

The attempt at on-screen inclusivity has not pleased everyone however, with some suggesting the icons indicate how gender-nonconforming people should look.

“How do u determine that these emojis are how gender-neutrality should be represented or that these emojis even represent most gnc people,” wrote one Twitter user.

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“I don’t understand why they weren’t just all neutral to begin with,” wrote another.

“Regular old smileys were neutral. I don’t know why we had to go and start gendering everything in the first place.”

When it unveiled the designs earlier this year, Apple said they would “bring even more diversity to the keyboard” and “fill a significant gap” in the selection of emojis.

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“Users will now be able to select any combination of skin tone, in addition to gender,” it said.

Apple also serves up some niche offerings in the new update including a plate of falafel, a skunk and a banjo.

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Businesses have paid increasing attention to becoming more inclusive in recent times.

Toy maker Mattel for example released gender-neutral dolls last month with none of the curves or large muscles of the traditional Barbie or GI Joe, while many small fashion brands and make-up companies are marketing non-binary products


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‘Trump became what we feared’: New Lincoln Project ad accuses Trump of using the Bible as a prop to boost his polls

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A brutal new ad from the GOP group The Lincoln Project called "War Zone" is attacking President Donald Trump for becoming what Americans have feared he would.

He didn't come out of hiding this week to help calm the nation or to bring Americans together.

"He wasn't there to offer words of calm and comfort," the ad said. "Instead, he became what we all feared. Evoked the worst of our past. Threatened our governors and states. He ordered our own soldiers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan to flood the streets, instructing them to turn against Americans. Used churches and the Holy Bible as political props. He didn't invoke the Lord to give us wisdom, but to boost his polls."

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Jane Goodall warns humanity will be ‘finished’ after COVID-19 without ending ‘absolute disrespect for animals and the environment’

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"Our disrespect for wild animals and our disrespect for farmed animals has created this situation where disease can spill over to infect human beings."

In a webinar Tuesday about pandemics, wildlife, and intensive animal farming, world renowned primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall warned of dire consequences if humanity fails to rapidly reform the global food system and stop destroying natural habitats.

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James Mattis takes swipe at Trump: We have gone ‘three years without mature leadership’

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On Wednesday, The Atlantic reported that President Donald Trump's former Defense Secretary James Mattis has written a furious condemnation of the president, saying he is incapable of "mature leadership" and accusing him of deliberately trying to turn Americans against one another.

“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” wrote Mattis, according to the article. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand — one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation ... We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

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