In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Abduction; terrorism; misogyny; abuse] Following the mass abduction of nearly three hundred girls in Nigeria a month ago, the terrorist organization who has claimed responsibility, Boko Haram, released a video showing dozens of the girls being held. At least one mother "spotted her daughter among the girls sitting on the ground and wearing veils, said Dumoma Mpur, parent-teachers association chairman at Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, northeastern Nigeria." I can't even imagine. Meanwhile, the United States has deployed aircraft to the area, and, per a Pentagon official, has "shared commercial satellite imagery with the Nigerians and are flying manned ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance) assets over Nigeria with the government's permission." Further, a US team "of 30 experts in intelligence gathering, counter-terrorism, and hostage negotiations is in Nigeria to assist the government's search."

[CN: Climate change] Welp: "A large section of the mighty West Antarctica ice sheet has begun falling apart and its continued melting now appears to be unstoppable, two groups of scientists reported on Monday. If the findings hold up, they suggest that the melting could destabilize neighboring parts of the ice sheet and a rise in sea level of 10 feet or more may be unavoidable in coming centuries. ...'This is really happening,' Thomas P. Wagner, who runs NASA's programs on polar ice and helped oversee some of the research, said in an interview. 'There's nothing to stop it now. But you are still limited by the physics of how fast the ice can flow.'"

In GOOD NEWS, Circuit Judge Chris Piazza struck down Arkansas' ban on same-sex marriage, calling it an "unconstitutional attempt to narrow the definition of equality." Right the fuck on! Further, he "did not stay his ruling in anticipation of an appeal." Awesome.

[CN: Homophobia] In TOTALLY PREDICTABLE NEWS, former Arkansas governor Mike "I'm not homophobic" Huckabee says that Judge Piazza should be immediately impeached. Jesus Jones. Go suck an egg, Huckabee.

[CN: Food insecurity] Yesssssssss: "More Than 25,000 Schools Can Become Hunger Free: The Community Eligibility Provision is a powerful new tool to ensure that low-income children in high-poverty neighborhoods have access to healthy meals at school. Established in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, next year community eligibility will allow more than 25,000 schools in high-poverty neighborhoods to offer nutritious meals through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs to all students at no charge. ...Community eligibility is making a profound difference for students and schools. In schools in Illinois, Kentucky, and Michigan that participated in community eligibility for two years, lunch participation rose by 13 percent, which resulted in more than 23,000 additional children eating lunch daily, and breakfast participation increased by 25 percent, which resulted in more than 29,000 additional children eating breakfast daily."

[CN: Guns; violence; disablism. Video may begin automatically at link.] Oscar Pistorius' trial for murdering Reeva Steenkamp continues, now with the defense claim that Pistorius has generalized anxiety disorder, which makes him "more willing to fight than to flee when faced with what he considered a threat." Prosecutors are rightly unhappy with the introduction of this assertion at this point in the trial: "His initial defense was putative self-defense. Then I thought his defense was adapted to automatic firing. Now psychiatrist says he suffers from a mental disorder. We don't know which of the three versions [is his defense]." I believe this defense strategy is known as Throw Everything at the Wall and See What Sticks.

All right then: "More than five centuries after Christopher Columbus's flagship, the Santa Maria, was wrecked in the Caribbean, archaeological investigators think they may have discovered the vessel's long-lost remains—lying at the bottom of the sea off the north coast of Haiti. It's likely to be one of the world's most important underwater archaeological discoveries." Sounds momentous! I know at least one sailing ship history nerd who's going to find this very interesting!

Wow: Grace Choi, a Harvard Business School graduate, has figured out how to 3D-print makeup from any home computer: "'The makeup industry makes a whole lot of money on a whole lot of bullshit,' Choi said at TechCrunch Disrupt this week. 'They charge a huge premium on something that tech provides for free. That one thing is colour.' By that, she means colour printers are available to everyone, and the ink they have is the same as the ink makeup companies use in their products. She also says the ink is FDA approved. Choi created a mini home printer, Mink, that will retail for $US300 and allow anyone to print makeup by ripping the colour code off colour photos on the Internet." That is incredible.

Norwegian Major General Kristin Lund, who has served in Lebanon, the first Gulf war, Bosnia, and Afghanistan, has been appointed to command a United Nations peacekeeping force—making her the first woman ever appointed as commander of peacekeeping force.

Comedy Central has announced that Larry Wilmore will replace Stephen Colbert: "The 52-year-old writer-actor, who has been with Comedy Central's The Daily Show as its 'Senior Black Correspondent' since 2006, will get the 11:30 p.m. half-hour beginning in January. A twist on the former occupant's title, the show is called The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore." I guess it's "a twist" on The Colbert Report insomuch as they both have "report" in the title, but the former centered the host's name, and the latter centers the host's ethnicity. I get the joke and everything. I just find it interesting, ahem, that when we finally do see some diversity in late night, that diversity is permanently advertised right in the title. Welp.

Ibhrahim Hamato is a ping-pong player who competes by holding the paddle in his mouth, because he lost his arms in an accident as a child. And he is basically amazing.

And finally! A US veteran was saved by his service dog, who repeatedly dialed 911 when his human guardian had a seizure. Then the dog "went to the front of the house and waited at the curb for police and medics, then brought them to his" guardian, who says: "I probably would have been in severe trouble if he wouldn't have called." GOOD DOG!

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