In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note for next three paragraphs: War; death] There is still no official report on whence came the missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine yesterday, although US ambassador to the UN Samantha Powers has said "that surface-to-air missiles fired from a pro-Russia separatist area in eastern Ukraine was likely responsible... Power said the US can't rule out help from Russian personnel in downing the plane."

Among the 295 passengers and crew who were killed were about 100 people "heading to Melbourne for a major AIDS conference," including several top AIDS researchers.

And at least one family lost people in both Malaysian Airlines disasters: "Kaylene Mann's brother Rod Burrows and sister-in-law Mary Burrows were on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 when it vanished in March. On Friday, Mann found out that her stepdaughter, Maree Rizk, was killed on Flight 17." Heartbreaking.

[CN: War; death] The Obama administration, via State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, made a tepid statement about Israel for failing to do more to protect Palestinian civilians: "'The tragic event [of four children being killed on a Gaza beach by an Israeli strike] makes clear that Israel must take every possible step to meet its standards for protecting civilians from being killed,' Psaki said. 'We will continue to underscore that point to Israel.' Asked whether the U.S. believes Israel has not done enough to prevent civilian casualties, Psaki said: 'We believe that certainly there's more that can be done.'"

[CN: Police brutality; racism; death] Eric Garner, a black man who lived in Staten Island, died after a violent encounter with the NYPD yesterday. Garner, who had broken up a fight according to witnesses, was stopped and accused by police of selling untaxed cigarettes on the street. When Garner verbally protested, officers moved in to arrest him, throwing him to the ground and handcuffing him, while multiple officers piled on top of him and smashed his head into the pavement, all of which is viewable in video of the incident taken by a witness who protests Garner's innocence. Garner, who has asthma, repeatedly shouts that he cannot breathe. The police ignore him, and, upon realizing something has gone terribly wrong, start shooing people away from the scene. Nothing can justify this use of force. Nothing. Even if Garner had been illegally selling cigarettes, there is no fucking reason half a dozen cops needed to pile on top of him. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends. I am so sorry, and I am so angry.

[CN: Rape culture] The University of Connecticut has "settled a federal lawsuit filed by five women who claimed the school responded to their sexual assault complaints with indifference." UConn will pay settlements to the women ranging from $25,000 to $900,000, but "did not admit any wrongdoing." Fuck them.

[CN: Misogyny; coercion] Slate is the latest publication to feature a piece [donotlink] urging Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for president. Under the headline "Run, Elizabeth, Run!" (since I guess they're on a first-name basis with the Senator), author John Dickerson writes: "If Warren joined the race, she would not win, but she would till the ground, putting grit and the smell of earth in the contest. She would energize the Democratic Party's liberal base, which would then stir up other Democrats who seek to moderate or contain that group. Warren would challenge the Democratic Party on issues like corporate power, income inequality, and entitlements. She would be a long shot and she would have nothing to lose... Whether you agree with Warren's ideas or whether she would even make a good president is immaterial to the benefits of her candidacy. She would keep the campaign lively and focused on ideas." Can you even fucking imagine being in a position to claim that a woman running for the US presidency has "nothing to lose"? Can you even fucking imagine thinking it's okay to tell any human being that they should run for president, just to "keep the campaign lively"? Jesus Jones.

RIP Elaine Stritch.

Good news! "For the first time in 50 years, a nesting bald eagle pair was spotted on San Clemente Island, one of the islands in the Channel Islands chain off the coast of California. The sighting means that bald eagles have now returned to five out of the eight islands, a forward progress that has conservationists cheering after decades of recovery efforts." Yayayayayay!

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