In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Rape culture] As today is Tax Day in the US, here is our annual reminder for assholes that to describe what has "been done to you" by the IRS and/or US Government by requiring you to pay taxes is not "rape." Thank you and have a nice day.

[CN: Terrorism; gun violence; death; racism] Today is the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombing. There will be many moving pieces in the media today about the survivors, and about the first responders, and about a city that is recovering from a grave trauma. And, without diminishing the importance of those stories, I want to also recommend this piece [cn: appropriative "blindness" language], about the violence in Boston that doesn't get recognized in the same way, the victims who aren't mourned in the same way.

[CN: School violence] The teenager who stabbed classmates and a school security guard last week reportedly made threatening calls to two classmates the night before the stabbing. Also: A bunch of video game stuff was found at the alleged attacker's home. News.

[CN: Terrorism; antisemitism] Frazier Glenn Cross, who killed three people at Jewish centers earlier this week, will likely be charged with a hate crime, but not with a terrorist act.

[CN: Transphobia; misogynoir] Monica Jones is a social work student at Arizona State University and a black trans activist who was arrested and "convicted through controversial anti-prostitution programme she fought against." Here is why it is important to #StandwithMonica.

[CN: Racism; profiling; police harassment] Former Chicago Cub Doug Glanville writes a powerful piece about being racially profiled in his own driveway in Hartford, Connecticut: "He'd been outside his jurisdiction—the representative from internal affairs had confirmed this. That meant a police officer from another town had come to my house, approached me while I was shoveling my own driveway, and—without any introduction—asked me a very presumptuous question. All of this had put me in an extremely vulnerable situation. In one moment, I went from being an ordinary father and husband, carrying out a simple household chore, to a suspect offering a defense. The inquiry had forced me to check my tone, to avoid sounding smug even when I was stating the obvious: that I was shoveling the driveway because the house belonged to me."

[CN: War; violence] Ukraine Moves Against Separatists as Medvedev Evokes Civil War: "The government in Kiev started the operation after fighting between its forces and pro-Russian separatists turned deadly this week. The U.S. and the European Union also deliberated deepening sanctions against Russia, which they blame for stoking the unrest, as Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin remained at odds over who was at fault."

India's Supreme Court has issued "a landmark verdict recognizing transgender rights as human rights, saying people can identify themselves as a third gender on official documents. ...Previously, transgender Indians could only identify themselves as male or female in all official documents. The decision was praised as giving relief to the estimated 3 million Indians who are transgender. The court noted that it was the right of every human being to choose their gender while granting rights to those who identify themselves as neither male nor female. 'All documents will now have a third category marked 'transgender.' This verdict has come as a great relief for all of us. Today I am proud to be an Indian,' said Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a transgender activist who, along with a legal agency, had petitioned the court."

[Note: The language and culture of the third sex in India differs in some ways from the Western paradigm. Also: Trans Indians have the option to identify as male or female if they have sex-reassignment surgery, which does still leave a problem for people who want to identify as male or female but don't want or can't afford surgery.]

Welp: "New documents released by the FBI show that the Bureau is well on its way toward its goal of a fully operational face recognition database by this summer." Welcome to America 2.0.

All right then: "For a moment, it seemed like Google and Facebook were about to pursue two different techniques to deliver internet signals from the sky: Google with weather balloons, and Facebook with high-flying drones. But now, it seems that Google will own drones as well. Google has just bought Titan Aerospace, the very company that Facebook was rumored to be acquiring."

And finally: Here is a ridiculously adorable story about a mama cat adopting a baby squirrel. I mean.

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