In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Death; injury; destruction; images of disaster at link] The gas explosion which caused the collapse of two apartment buildings in Harlem yesterday killed at least seven people and injured more than 60. Search crews are still making their way through smoldering rubble, in the hopes of finding survivors or recovering bodies. It's a dangerous scene for the crews, as "debris continued to flare up at times as rescuers clawed through the rubble," and dangerous for local residents, because of the lingering dust and smoke polluting the air. I feel so desperately sad for everyone with ties to the neighborhood. My condolences to those who lost family, friends, or colleagues. I hope the survivors get the help and support they need.

[CN: Drunk driving; death; injury; images of scene at link] Two people were killed and 23 others injured by a drunk driver who careened into a crowd at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin. "Senior police officer Jermaine Kilgore told The Washington Post that the suspect drove through temporary barricades set up for the festival at 9th and Red River streets after a police officer attempted to make a traffic stop on the vehicle. The suspect then fled, going the wrong way on 9th Street, a one-way street, and drove into the crowd, striking several pedestrians and colliding with a moped and a taxi. After the suspect came to a stop, he attempted to flee on foot. He was eventually tased and taken into custody, Kilgore said." The driver will be charged with capital murder.

[CN: Airline diastser] There is still no definitive information about what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, and every day brings new conflicting information, most of which is just discredited by the end of the day. The Wall Street Journal reports the plane flew on for hours after disappearing from radar, but Malaysian acting Transportation Minister Hishammuddin Hussein disputes that report. Meanwhile, Chinese satellite photos show debris that could indicate a crash site, but some experts say that square floating debris would be unlikely. Basically, we're still no closer to answers about what happened.

[CN: Death; political unrest] Protests continue in Venezuela, where three more people have died in the violent clashes with security forces. The tension over restrictive policies of the current government has absolutely boiled over, and the leadership isn't listening. I have a family friend in Caracas, an older man, and he is essentially confined to his house because of the violence on the streets, which continues to escalate because of the not listening. (That sounds reductive, but it is also the essential problem.)

The FDA has recommended a that a test which detects the DNA of human papillomavirus, or HPV, be approved as a primary screening tool for detecting cervical cancer. "The Pap test, which is well entrenched and has been highly successful, will not go away quickly, if at all, however. Assuming the FDA itself agrees with its advisory committee and approves the new use of Roche's test, it would become just another option, not a replacement for the older testing regimens. And many doctors will not adopt the new test unless professional societies recommend it in guidelines, which could take years."

[CN: Transphobia] The Affordable Care Act has increased insurance access for transgender USians, but there are still vagueries and loopholes that leave room for discrimination and insufficient coverage.

[CN: Racism] Former Republican Vice Presidential nominee and current Republican Congressman Paul Ryan is now defending his thinly veiled racism against black men ("We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with"), and this shit is just incredible: "This has nothing to do whatsoever with race. It never even occurred to me. This has nothing to do with race whatsoever." First of all: Bullshit. Second of all: Even if it were true that "it never even occurred to" Ryan that his words were racially loaded, the ignorance of that evident context is itself racist. This fucking guy!


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