In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Abduction; misogyny; terrorism; abuse] As the search for the Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram continues, the United States "has deployed 80 troops to Chad to augment efforts to find the [girls], the White House announced Wednesday, a significant escalation of Washington's contribution to a crisis that has created global consternation. The force, made up largely of Air Force personnel, will conduct surveillance flights and operate drone aircraft but will not participate in ground searches, according to US military officials." I have such fervent hopes that the girls will be found, and yet I know they are suffering mightily in the interim, and the words of Boko Haram analyst Jacob Zenn always hang in my memory: "Any effort to rescue them will have to be done in a very piecemeal fashion and might take over a decade."

[CN: Torture] US District Judge Gladys Kessler has ordered that Guantánamo Bay officials "must hand over dozens of secret force-feeding videos" as she hears arguments regarding the force-feeding of hunger striker Abu Wa'el Dhiab. "Kessler ultimately ordered the government to hand over approximately 34 secret videos, which show Dhiab, a Syrian who has been held without charge since 2002, being forcibly extracted from his prison cell and then force-fed with tubes through his nostrils. ...The Obama administration has said force-feeding hunger strikers, although decried by various human rights activists, is the most humane way of keeping detainees alive as they protest their indefinite detention." I guess not indefinitely detaining people is just too radical.

[CN: Abduction; sexual violence; emotional abuse] A woman who was taken hostage by her mother's then-boyfriend a decade ago has escaped. "After the victim contacted a sister through Facebook she found the courage to contact police." Amazing strength. I hope she has access to all the resources she needs to process the trauma she has survived. I hope she finds justice and peace.

[CN: Worker exploitation] Fast food employees continue to make noise in pursuit of a liveable wage: "More than 100 McDonald's employees and some labor and clergy members were arrested after protesting for increased wages near the fast-food chain's headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois. The event, the latest in a series of demonstrations by workers demanding $15-an-hour pay and the right to form a union, began at 1 p.m. local time yesterday, on the eve of McDonald's Corp.'s shareholder meeting."

Congratulations to Judge Diane Humetewa, the first Native American woman ever confirmed by the US Senate as a federal judge! "Humetewa was confirmed 96-0 to serve on the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. She is a former US attorney in Arizona and a member of the Hopi tribe. She is now the first active member of a Native American tribe to serve on the federal bench and only the third Native American in history to do so."

[CN: Racism; slavery; abuse] Ta-Nehisi Coates makes the case for reparations.

[CN: Racism; Native American slur] Fifty United States Senators have now "called for a change to change the name of the Washington Redskins in a letter to National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell." This protracted "debate," such as it is, is so fucking stupid and cruel. JUST CHANGE THE NAME ALREADY. JESUS FUCKING JONES.

[CN: Fat hatred; body policing] "In 2014, The Classical World Still Can't Stop Fat-Shaming Women." A piece about how male critics can't get past a woman's not-thin body, irrespective of her immense talent.

Minnesota Just Became the First State to Ban Anti-Bacterial Soap: "The Minnesota ban, which doesn't actually go into effect until January 1, 2017, applies to pretty much any retail consumer hygiene products that includes triclosan as an active ingredient—including about 75 percent of anti-bacterial soaps. The FDA claims there's no evidence that triclosan soap is any more effective at washing away germs than non-antibacterial soap and water. What's more, according to recent studies, triclosan can 'disrupt hormones critical for reproduction and development, at least in lab animals, and contribute to the development of resistant bacteria.' So not only is this chemical not doing you any real good, it could actually be harming you, too."

Neat: "Newly developed observational capabilities now enable us to study exploding stars in ways we could only dream of before. We are moving towards real-time studies of supernovae," says Avishay Gal-Yam, an astrophysicist in the Weizmann Institute's Department of Particle Physics and Astrophysics.

And finally! Life as a loved dogT, amirite?

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