In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

Today, President Obama will "outline his vision for a new chapter in American foreign policy...with a speech aimed at quelling growing criticism of US isolationism following troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan and recent decisions against military intervention elsewhere. In an address to graduating officers at West Point that White House officials say will map out America's new role in the world, the president is expected to argue there is a middle way between interventionism and isolationism that will not drag the US into unnecessary conflicts in future." A new policy that will last as long as until the next time we've got a Republican president.

[Content Note: Abduction; misogyny; terrorism; abuse] The Nigerian army announced that it now knows the location of (at least some of) the girls being held hostage by Boko Haram, but they "have ruled out the use of force to rescue them and turned down a deal to exchange prisoners who are members of Boko Haram for the girls' release, so it is unclear what their next step will be." This morning, it was reported that Nigeria's former president Olusegun Obasanjo is meeting with "people close to Boko Haram in an attempt to broker the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the militants." The meeting "was focused on how to free the girls through negotiation." Dear Maude I hope these negotiations are productive.

[CN: Food insecurity; death] The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is warning that nearly "200,000 children under the age of five could die from severe malnutrition in Somalia by the end of the year, unless the United Nations receives emergency funds to stave off mass hunger. ...Only $15m has been received against the appeal by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) to donor states for $150m to provide vital health services to more than three million women and children in the Horn of Africa nation this year." If you would like to donate to UNICEF, go here.

The Illinois state senate has voted "to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). If it moves forward in the state House, Illinois will become the 36th state to ratify the ERA." Maybe we can get this done in the next 100 years!

[CN: Guns; violence; dehumanization] Joe the Plumber continues to be a despicable shitbird: In an open letter to the families of the victims shot by Elliot Rodger, he writes: "I am sorry you lost your child. I myself have a son and daughter and the one thing I never want to go through, is what you are going through now. But: As harsh as this sounds—your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights." Fuck. You.

[CN: Homophobia; racism; misogyny] Speaking of shitbirds: "Phil Robertson, the controversial star of the hit TV show 'Duck Dynasty' will address the upcoming Republican Leadership Conference on Thursday." Ha ha "controversial." Which is a neat way of saying "a man who spews unrepentant homophobia, racism, and misogyny under the guise of being a Christian."

[CN: Privilege; class warfare] Emma Thompson is talking some real shit about working moms who don't have the same privilege that she does. Her comments stand in such stark opposition to what Angelina Jolie said just last week about how her wealth gives her so much parenting privilege.

And finally: Student-Run Business Bringing Joy of Puppies to Those Who Can't Own. And finding forever homes for a lot of puppies in the process. Yay!

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