In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today!

The US government's denials of accessing internal Google and Yahoo cloud data appear to rely on eliding the distinction between between "data at rest" and "data on the fly": "The NSA and GCHQ do not break into user accounts that are stored on Yahoo and Google computers. They intercept the information as it travels over fiber optic cables from one data center to another."

[Content Note: Guns; self-harm] The suspected gunman who walked into Paramus, New Jersey's Garden State Plaza mall yesterday and fired six shots has been found dead of an apparent suicide. No one else was injured in the shooting.

The US Supreme Court has declined to take up a major medication abortion case, but: "This victory may be short-lived. Texas recently enacted a similar law that restricts medication abortions as well, and a challenge to the law is headed to the Supreme Court."

The Department of Transportation has issued new rules governing travelers with disabilities, including mandatory accessible websites and "free, prompt wheelchair assistance, upon request."

Marine biologists and ecologists will launch "an extensive survey this week along the coasts of California, Washington state and Oregon to determine the reach and source of [a disease that appears to be ravaging starfish in record numbers along the US west coast, causing the sea creatures to lose their limbs and turn to slime in a matter of days], known as 'star wasting disease'." Sadface.

Rich families are hoarding cash, because of course they are.

Astronomers "have calculated for the first time that in our galaxy alone, there are at least 8.8 billion stars with Earth-size planets in the habitable temperature zone. ...A study [published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science] finds the Milky Way is teeming with billions of planets that are about the size of Earth, orbit stars just like our sun, and exist in the Goldilocks zone—not too hot and not too cold for life." Neat!

[CN: Violence] Have you heard that Republican Senator Rand Paul is a dirty plagiarist? Well, he is! And he's definitely not happy about being called out on it, saying that his accusers make him wish "dueling were legal in Kentucky" and pouting: "I think I'm being unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters." Sure.

Do you like spooning? Then you might be interested in this story about Australian medical students who claimed the world record for simultaneous spooning!

[CN: Homophobic slurs] Eminem still doesn't get it.

Heads-up, Pratchett-heads! Rhianna Pratchett is adapting her dad's lady-led YA book Wee Free Men for film. Huzzah!

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