In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed Crimea part of Russia and signed a treaty to annex the peninsula. "The Obama administration is expected to react quickly with a new round of sanctions targeting three groups: Russian government officials, the Russian arms industry and Russians who work on behalf of government officials, the latter called 'Russian government cronies' by a senior American official." In response, Putin says he'll "release a list of U.S. officials who will be sanctioned, which likely means a freeze on their assets in Russia and a prohibition on travel there." His retaliation list reportedly includes Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, "who recently co-authored a resolution criticizing Russia's invasion of Crimea," to which Durbin responded: "My Lithuanian-born mother would be proud her son made Vladimir Putin's American enemies list."

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is using this international crisis to scold President Obama in the Wall Street Journal, because of course he is. Granted, it's hardly unusual for politicians to criticize each other in the papers, but Mitt Romney doesn't need to be stomping on sour grapes to make red whine about anyone else's supposed failure of leadership when he led two presidential campaigns in a row straight into a dumpster.

[Content Note: Anti-choice terrorism] "As Susan Cahill Faces a Vandalized Clinic, a Reminder of Her Contribution to Abortion Access: "Susan Cahill, along with her colleague and friend Rachel Atkins, was a pioneer in bringing APCs [advanced practice clinicians] into abortion care, and thus in expanding access to the procedure in underserved areas. Currently, according to NAF, APCs are providing medication abortion in 15 states and aspiration abortion in six. Indeed, one of the few current bright spots in the beleaguered abortion providing world, at this time of unending states restrictions—the recent passage in California of legislation allowing APCs to provide aspiration abortion (they already were permitted to perform medication abortion)—can be seen as a legacy of the revolution that Cahill, Atkins, and their allies started some 20 years ago."

[CN: Misogynoir; prosecutorial malfeasance] Color of Change is calling for the firing of Florida State Prosecutor Angela Corey, following her office's announcement that they will seek a 60-year sentence instead of the original 20 years for Marissa Alexander, in addition to her failure to secure murder convictions for George Zimmerman, who killed Trayvon Martin, and Michael Dunn, who killed Jordan Davis. Sign the petition here.

[CN: Survivor exploitation] Diane Whitmire, Shafiqah A. Hudson, and Amanda Levitt have started a petition demanding "a retraction, written apology, and creation of social media ethics by the journalists who exploited Steenfox."

[CN: Bullying; gender essentialism; victim-blaming] A nine-year-old boy in North Carolina was violently bullied for his My Little Pony lunch bag, so his school responded by telling him to leave the bag at home, as it had "created a disruption in the classroom." Not the bullies, who harassed and assaulted their male classmate for liking something "girly," but the bag. Rage. Seethe. Boil.

Andrei Linde, who is "one of the main authors of inflation theory—the idea that the universe expanded incredibly rapidly just after it was born in the big bang," got a neat surprise yesterday when Stanford physics professor Chao-Lin Kuo showed up at his door to personally deliver the news that the theorized gravitational waves have been detected.

Amazon's planned game console is likely to be a dongle rather than a box. (Resist the jokes. RESIST THE JOKES.) That is, it's likely to be a plug-in piece like the Chromecast rather than a brick like the AppleTV. Streaming games, then. Which is less future now than present. Too bad we don't have the internet infrastructure to support this future-present.

In other gaming news, Wal-Mart "plans to let video game owners trade in used video games online and in Wal-Mart stores for store credit but not cash. The credit can be used in both Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores. Previously they offered trade-ins on a more limited basis online. It will also offer refurbished used games in its stores for the first time." Well, why would they let GameStop stay in business? Fuck every other company ever etc.

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