In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Disaster; death] Almost 300 people are still missing after a ferry carrying 459 people capsized off the shore of South Korea. "The ferry, carrying mainly school students, was travelling from the port of Incheon, in the north-west, to the southern resort island of Jeju. A major rescue effort is under way, involving dozens of ships and helicopters. Those brought to safety were taken to a nearby island. ...There are fears this could turn out to be South Korea's biggest maritime disaster for more than 20 years, says the BBC's Martin Patience in Seoul." So terribly sad. I haven't yet been able to locate any numbers or websites made available for inquiries about survivors, possibly because they've not been set up yet. Please feel welcome and encouraged to leave info in comments, as and when you see it.

[CN: Racism; Islamophobia; police misconduct] This is good news: "The New York Police Department has ended a program that sent plainclothes detectives into Muslim neighborhoods to eavesdrop and spy on individuals, the New York Times reported Tuesday. The unit, known to many as the Demographics Unit, would track where people ate, prayed and shopped, according to the Times. The police mapped neighborhoods and kept detailed files on where people in traditional Islamic clothing went both in and out of the city."

BUT. As the ACLU points out, the Demographic Unit was not the only means by which the NYPD has engaged in unconstitutional surveillance of Muslims: "Before we celebrate the end of bias-based policing, we need to ensure that the other abusive tactics employed by the NYPD meet the same fate as the unit."

[CN: Fat bias] Another terrible blow for the people who love to shout "CALORIES IN CALORIES OUT!" at fat people: "For a long time scientists thought ghrelin levels fluctuated in response to nutrients that the ghrelin met in the stomach. So put in a big meal, ghrelin responds one way; put in a small snack and it responds another way. But that's not what Crum found in her milkshake study. If you believed you were drinking the indulgent shake, she says, your body responded as if you had consumed much more. ...[T]he usual metabolic model—calories in and calories out—might need some rethinking, because it doesn't account in any way for our beliefs about our food."

[CN: Guns] Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to take on the NRA. Good luck with all that. (Normally I'm not so defeatist, but I just don't think there's enough political will to take on the NRA, no matter how much money urges otherwise. I hope I'm wrong, though!)

[CN: Sexual violence; clergy abuse; descriptions of abuse at link] Doug Phillips, one of the most prominent leaders of the Quiverfull movement, has been sued by a woman whom he victimized for years. Anyone who is shocked by sex abuse inside a movement that reduces women to nothing but breeding machines for men is kidding themselves about how crucial bodily autonomy and sexual agency are as resistance to rape culture. I hope this brave survivor wins her case, and I wish her justice and peace.

Researchers are close to developing artificial blood: "The technique highlights the prospect of a limitless supply of manufactured type-O blood, free of disease and compatible with all patients." Whoa.

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll has found that USians increasingly prefer Democrats to Republicans on healthcare. Welp, I guess that's just the kind of good fortune that ACTUALLY HAVING A PLAN buys ya!

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