In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Misogynoir; domestic violence; guns] This week is the Standing Our Ground Week of Action in support of Marissa Alexander. You can find and/or organize local actions here.

[CN: War; death] In Israel and Gaza: "Israeli missiles slammed into a second United Nations school packed with sheltering Gazan refugees Wednesday, killing at least 16 people and wounding more than 90 others during a period of heavy bombardment of the besieged enclave. The attack preceded a temporary, limited and unilateral cease-fire imposed by Israel. ...More than 200,000 displaced Palestinians, many heeding Israeli evacuation warnings, have taken shelter in U.N. schools and buildings across the besieged territory. The U.N. said it had communicated to the Israeli military 17 times prior to Wednesday's attack, including once just hours before the fatal shelling, that thousands of internally displaced Palestinians had sought refuge in the school." Again I will note that the cavernous disproportion of this offensive cannot be ignored.

[CN: War on agency; misogyny] Hobby Lobby continues to be terrific: "When a very pregnant Felicia Allen applied for medical leave from her job at Hobby Lobby three years ago, one might think that the company best known for denying its employees insurance coverage of certain contraceptives—on the false grounds that they cause abortions—would show equal concern for helping one of its employees when she learned she was pregnant. Instead, Allen says the self-professed evangelical Christian arts-and-crafts chain fired her and then tried to prevent her from accessing unemployment benefits."

[CN: War on agency; reference to Satanism] Welp: "The Satanic Temple—a faith community that describes itself as facilitating 'the communication and mobilization of politically aware Satanists, secularists, and advocates for individual liberty' [and a group that 'falls somewhere between satire, performance art, and activism']—has launched a new campaign seeking a religious exemption to certain anti-abortion laws that attempt to dissuade women from ending a pregnancy. The group says they have deeply held beliefs about bodily autonomy and scientific accuracy, and those beliefs are violated by state-level 'informed consent' laws that rely on misleading information about abortion risks. Now that the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, the Satanists point out, it strengthens their own quest to opt out of laws related to women's health care that go against their religious liberty. 'Because of the respect the Court has given to religious beliefs, and the fact that our our beliefs are based on best available knowledge, we expect that our belief in the illegitimacy of state­ mandated 'informational' material is enough to exempt us, and those who hold our beliefs, from having to receive them,' a spokesperson for the organization said in a statement."

In good news: "Control of Detroit's massive municipal water department, which has been widely criticized by the United Nations and others for widespread service shutoffs to thousands of customers, has been returned to the mayor's office. The move comes a week after the department said it would temporarily suspend shutoffs for customers who were 60 days or more behind on bills for 15 days, and a few months ahead of the expected handoff of financial control of the bankrupt city from a state-appointed manager back to Detroit's elected leaders."

[CN: Wildfires. Video may begin to play automatically at link.] Damn: "A wildfire raging in and around Yosemite National Park swelled to more than five and a half square miles despite hundreds more personnel being sent to tackle the blaze." In addition to displacing people and doing millions of dollars of property damage, the fire is also threatening Yosemite's Giant Sequoias.

[CN: Animal injury, but with a happy ending] And finally! Joanie and Chachi, a stray pitbull and her companion, a little chihuahua with an injured eye whom she carried around in her mouth, were rescued from their grim and treacherous existence. And in the happiest ending ever, they found a forever home—together. ♥

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