In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today!

Surprise! Despite claims to the contrary, the NSA tracks the locations of cellphones worldwide: "The NSA collects 5 million billion records a day in order to track the movements of individuals, according to documents and intelligence officials interviewed by the Washington Post. The agency taps into cables that connect cellphone networks globally. The NSA does not purposefully target American devices, but collects data on Americans' locations 'incidentially,' according to the Post."

[Content Note: Worker exploitation] A woman named Laurentina answers questions about working at McDonald's and why she's striking today.

[CN: Clergy abuse] In July, Pope Francis made it a crime to abuse children in the Vatican. Now he is "creating a commission to prevent the abuse of minors and to support victims of abuse, Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley announced Thursday in Rome. The new commission is expected to tell church officials to collaborate with civil authorities and report cases of abuse, O'Malley said." I don't hand out cookies for doing the bare minimum, but I will congratulate Pope Francis on finally doing the bare minimum, which his predecessors couldn't be arsed to do.

[CN: Misogyny; slavery; violence] I was out of town when this story first broke, but MSNBC journalist Martin Bashir said on-air that former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's is "an outstanding candidate" for "a dose of discipline from Thomas Thistlewood," a slave owner who violently punished and humiliated people he enslaved, including making them shit in each other's mouths. Following a leave of absence, he has now resigned (because apparently there's nothing so bad any male journalist can say about a woman to warrant his firing). And the statement from MSNBC President Phil Griffin is fucking incredible: "Martin Bashir resigned today, effective immediately. I understand his decision and I thank him for three great years with msnbc. Martin is a good man and respected colleague—we wish him only the best." A good man and a respected colleague. There is also apparently nothing so bad any male journalist can say about a woman to warrant not calling him a good man a respected colleague.

Heads-up: Two million Facebook, Google, Yahoo, and Twitter passwords have been stolen in a massive hack. If your account was affected, you will be notified. But, as always, be careful of phishing scams, which will almost certainly increase after this news. Hover over URLs in emails to make sure they direct back to the site whence they claim to emanate.

Scientists have found "ancient human DNA from a fossil dating back about 400,000 years, shattering the previous record of 100,000 years." Whoa!

[CN: Violence] The Massachusetts teenager accused of killing his teacher in October has pleaded not guilty. There is still no known motive in the murder.

Senator Elizabeth Warren says she will not run for president in 2016. That doesn't preclude her being asked to run as veep on the eventual nominee's ticket, though! HILLARY?

Supermodel Joan Smalls bluntly calls out racism on the runway: "People hide behind the word aesthetic. They say, 'Well, it's just that designer's aesthetic.' But when you see 18 seasons in a row and not one single model outside a certain skin color…? There are people in the industry who are advocates, who support diversity. And there are people who do not. I don't get it. Beauty is universal. These doors have to open."

Gal Gadot is your new Wonder Woman. I don't know who she is, but good luck, Gal Gadot! I hope you make a terrific Wonder Woman! Too bad you're not getting your own movie and have to be shoved into the background of a Superman and Batman movie!

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