In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: War] The latest from Iraq: "Iraqi security forces battled insurgents targeting the country’s main oil refinery and claimed to regain partial control of a city near the Syrian border Wednesday, trying to blunt a weeklong offensive by militants who diplomats fear may have abducted some 100 foreign workers. ...U.S. President Barack Obama will brief lawmakers later Wednesday at the White House on what options his wary country could take. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, meanwhile, struck an optimistic tone after soldiers abandoned their posts in the wake of the initial offensive, promising his nation would teach the attackers a 'lesson.' 'We have now started our counteroffensive, regaining the initiative and striking back,' al-Maliki said."

[CN: Violence] In other Iraq-related news: "A US government prosecutor on Tuesday chronicled for a jury the alleged conduct of four Blackwater security guards accused of killing 14 Iraqis and wounding 18 others in downtown Baghdad nearly seven years ago. In opening statements at the trial of the four guards, assistant US attorney T Patrick Martin said some of the victims were 'simply trying to get out' of the way of gunfire from Blackwater guards. 'Fourteen died, 18 injured. For what?' he said. One component of the prosecutors' case is that the Blackwater guards harbored deep hostility toward Iraqis and boasted of indiscriminate firing of their weapons." They hate us for our freedom. Ahem.

[CN: Victim-blaming] Meanwhile, Glenn Beck says liberals were right and the US should never have gone into Iraq. But if you're suspecting there's a catch, you're right: Beck was really just making the point to blame Iraqis: "Now, in spite of the things I felt at the time when we went into war, liberals said: We shouldn't get involved. We shouldn't nation-build. And there was no indication the people of Iraq had the will to be free. I thought that was insulting at the time. Everybody wants to be free. They said we couldn't force freedom on people. Let me lead with my mistakes. You are right. Liberals, you were right. We shouldn't have." So, basically, Beck is saying that all the failures in Iraq are basically just the fault of Iraqis, and he's suggesting that liberals were pushing back on the "spreading freedom" rhetoric because we believed there was something inherently flawed in the Iraqi people's ability to self-govern, as opposed to urging interventionalists to allow the Iraqi people to self-govern. What a mendacious shit.

[CN: Misogyny] Congratulations to Syeda Ghazala, who made history this week by becoming the first female police chief of Karachi, Pakistan's largest city. "Now, Ghazala manages a 100-unit police force, made up of only men, in Clifton, a Karachi suburb with a population of more than 18 million people." That is a brave lady. I wish her safety and success.

[CN: Rape culture] Well, this is progress: "The US Congress is on the verge of approving an additional $41m in grants to process tens of thousands of unprocessed sexual assault DNA kits, adding to the $1.2bn the federal government has spent over 10 years trying to reduce a nationwide backlog. ...Some rape kits sit for years in police storage lockers in local jurisdictions. ...A 12,000-kit backlog was recently discovered in Memphis. Detroit reportedly has an 11,000-kit backlog. Cleveland, Dallas, and Las Vegas reportedly have 4,000-kit backlogs. ...There is no official nationwide accounting of unprocessed kits." Suffice it to say, it's a fuckload.

[CN: Rape culture] Wagatwe Wanjuki is the amazing woman behind the #SurvivorPrivilege hashtag on Twitter, in response to George Will's fuckery, and she is also a vocal activists who speaks plainly about being expelled from Tufts University after being raped.

[CN: Racism; slur] Wow and yay: "The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled six federal trademark registrations for the name of the Washington R*dskins, ruling that the name is 'disparaging to Native Americans' and thus cannot be trademarked under federal law that prohibits the protection of offensive or disparaging language." Definitely a case of better late than never, I guess. Still. Dan Snyder can fuck off.

[CN: Death penalty] This headline pretty much says it all: "US executions continue despite concerns over secretive drugs." We are really determined to kill people.

[CN: Racism] HA HA HA oh now everyone's all concerned about nepotism, once the black president helped his black daughter get a one-day job. Give me a fucking break. Call me when the Obamas get their daughter a governorship.

And finally! All the blubs forever at this story of Bolt the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, who finally found his forever home after 550 days in a shelter. "He slept for almost two days straight when we first got him home and it was lovely to see him so relaxed," said one of his new guardians, Nikki Shaw. "It was as if all the stress of being homeless had finally been lifted from him." Love.

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