In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

Michael Sam, the first out gay NFL player, received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award last night at the ESPYs and gave a terrific acceptance speech: "The way I see it, my responsibility at this moment in history is to stand up for everybody out there who wants nothing more than to be themselves openly." [Please note there are references to self-harm in his address.]

[Content Note: Human rights violation] A major demonstration is scheduled for tomorrow in downtown Detroit to protest the water shutoffs, which the UN has declared a human rights violation: "Protesters will assemble at Cobo Hall at 12:30 p.m. before marching to Hart Plaza for a rally. During the rally, registered nurses plan to call for a 'public health emergency' as the city continues to shut off water to delinquent residents. ...About 15,000 of the roughly 17,000 active residential accounts have been shut off."

[CN: Environmental hazard] "In relative obscurity, a nuclear waste dump takes shape beside Great Lakes." Um. "With surprisingly little press coverage or public debate, a Canadian nuclear-plant operator is moving forward with plans to build an underground vault for radioactive waste within a mile of the Great Lakes—specifically Lake Huron, near the Ontario tourist community of Kincardine. Ontario Power Generation does not propose to store spent fuel in the repository. But everything below that highest grade of waste—from discarded reactor-core parts, at the hotter end of the scale, to ash from incinerated cleaning materials at the other, all of it accumulating aboveground since the 1960s—would be buried in what appears to be the first deep-storage dump for nonmilitary nuke waste in North America." NO THANK YOU. There has to be a better place for this than immediately beside the largest surface freshwater system on the planet.

[CN: Appropriation] Who needs evolution in public high schools when you can teach Koch Bros. ideology instead? "Billionaire activists Charles and David Koch have financed and participated in the making of programs designed to steer high-school students in Georgia, Kansas, and Missouri toward embracing conservative business principles... [T]he program was conceived in 1989 as a way to lead participants toward becoming 'liberty-advancing agents' while still in high school, before they could learn 'harmful' progressive concepts after enrolling in college." Again, if you want to know what conservatives are doing, just look at what they're accusing progressives of doing. Indoctrinating children? Check!

[CN: Fat bias; body shaming; sexual policing] Samm Newman is a fat teenage girl who posted a pic of herself in her underwear to Instagram. Instagram removed the photo. When she contacted Instagram to point out similar images of thin women had not been removed, Instagram deactivated her account. Newman made noise about it, and Instagram was shamed into apologizing, as if this is the first time this has happened. Fuck Instagram.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) "updated its pregnancy discrimination guidelines this week for the first time in over 30 years. The new...guidelines make it clear that an employer cannot discriminate against a worker based on pregnancy, childbirth or any related medical condition. They also disallow discrimination against someone based on whether or not they have been pregnant in the past, or want to get pregnant in the future." Good.

A giant hole, 262 feet in diameter, has opened up in Siberia, and no one can figure out why. I'm just going to go ahead and propose a theory that a ghost sasquatch dug its way from Siberia to Indiana. SCIENCE.

[CN: Self-harm; fire] This is a terribly sad story about a minister and social justice advocate who immolated himself in the hopes of inspiring change as a final act. But his radical action barely made the news, and his family has been left in grief. I don't know what else to say but this: I'll remember you, Rev. Charles Moore. I will remember your passion for social justice, and I will remember that the resistance of this world to change drove you to a place many people can't or won't understand. Rest in peace.

[CN: Fire; video may begin playing automatically at link] And finally! An adorable dog named Ace saved the life of his 13-year-old deaf guardian who was asleep when a fire broke out in the home. Ace licked Nick's face until he woke up and was able to escape. In other good news: A firefighter was able to rescue the family cat from the blaze. Yay!

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