In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: War] Iraq is disintegrating into chaos: "Iraq is facing its gravest test since the US-led invasion more than a decade ago, after its army capitulated to Islamist insurgents who have seized four cities and pillaged military bases and banks, in a lightning campaign which seems poised to fuel a cross-border insurgency endangering the entire region. The extent of the Iraqi army's defeat at the hands of militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) became clear on Wednesday when officials in Baghdad conceded that insurgents had stripped the main army base in the northern city of Mosul of weapons, released hundreds of prisoners from the city's jails and may have seized up to $480m in banknotes from the city's banks. Iraqi officials told the Guardian that two divisions of Iraqi soldiers – roughly 30,000 men – simply turned and ran in the face of the assault by an insurgent force of just 800 fighters. ...The developments seriously undermine US claims to have established a unified and competent military after more than a decade of training. The US invasion and occupation cost Washington close to a trillion dollars and the lives of more than 4,500 of its soldiers. It is also thought to have killed at least 100,000 Iraqis." Seriously undermine. That's polite.

[CN: War; drones] Meanwhile, in Pakistan: "Pakistani intelligence officials say a suspected US missile strike has killed at least 10 people in a north-western tribal district near the Afghan border. Two officials say a pair of American drones dropped three missiles on a militant compound and a vehicle early on Thursday in the town of Ghulam Khan in North Waziristan. ...The strike came hours after a strike, also in North Waziristan, killed three militants on Wednesday night, marking the resumption of the CIA-led programme in Pakistan after a hiatus of nearly six months."

[CN: Guns; violence; death] At the intersection of guns and racism and a shitty economy: "Shortly after midnight Friday, 23-year-old Junior Jordan Montero was trying to repossess a 10-year-old pickup truck on Conde Road in Fauquier County. The owner of the truck came out shooting, authorities said, and the tow truck and pickup truck ended up in a water-filled ditch. Divers tried to rescue Montero, but there was nothing they could do to save him."

[CN: Guns] Speaking of guns: "A West Virginia hospital plans to raffle off a set of firearms later this month in an effort to raise funds to construct a new hospital facility. Preston Memorial Hospital in Kingswood, W.V. advertises a 'community BBQ and firearm fundraiser' on its website at a cost of $20 per ticket. All proceeds go to benefit the 'PMH Foundation Building for a Healthy Future Capital Campaign,' the ad reads." Welp. That sounds like a perfect idea.

In better healthcare-related news: 95% of Minnesotans now have health insurance. "The percentage of uninsured Minnesotans has dropped to the lowest level in state history, and the second-lowest level in the nation, following the end of enrollments under the Affordable Care Act." IMPEACH OBAMA! THIS CANNOT STAND!

[CN: Poverty; death; carcerality] We have to stop criminalizing need in this country: "A mother of seven died in a Pennsylvania jail over the weekend while serving a two-day sentence. Eileen DeNino, 55, was put in the cell where she died because she could not pay thousands of dollars in fines relating to her children's truancy from schools in the Reading, PA area."

WHO'S A GOOD KITTY-CAT? YOU ARE! "A 17-year-old cat named Ashton is being credited with saving his family and his fellow pets, along with their home, when he woke his petmom to alert her to a fire burning in the garage. ...'We'd gone to bed, and this cat started nudging my wife in the face. She told him, 'Ashton, leave me alone, I want to sleep,' and she sat up in bed to put him on the floor. Then she said 'there's smoke in the house!'" Give that cat ALL THE TREATS! All of them!

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