In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note covering following two paragraphs: War; death] In Israel and Gaza: "A 72-hour Gaza cease-fire crumbled only hours after it began Friday, with at least 50 Palestinians killed by Israeli shelling, Israel saying one of its soldiers may have been abducted amid a gunfight in a Gaza tunnel, and both sides trading accusations of violating the truce." There are reports that two Israeli soldiers were also killed.

Although both sides may be "trading accusations of violating the truce," the US is firmly taking one side: In a statement, US Secretary of State John Kerry says that the US "condemns in the strongest possible terms today's attack, which led to the killing of two Israeli soldiers and the apparent abduction of another. ...Hamas, which has security control over the Gaza strip, must immediately and unconditionally release the missing Israeli soldier... The international community must now redouble its efforts to end the tunnel and rocket attacks by Hamas terrorists on Israel and the suffering and loss of civilian life." There is no mention in the statement, apart from the vague reference to "the suffering and loss of civilian life," which is not made to appear specific to Gaza, of the deaths in Gaza, which are approaching 1,500.

[CN: Homophobia; transphobia] In (tentative) good news, Uganda's Constitutional Court has ruled that the nation's "Anti-Homosexuality Act" is "null and void" because "not enough representatives were in the room for the vote when it was passed by Parliament in December 2013." Which unfortunately gives the Parliament plenty of room to try to pass it again. But Ugandan LGBTQI activists are hopeful, and so is Amnesty International: "Even though Uganda's abominable Anti-Homosexuality Act was scrapped on the basis of a technicality, it is a significant victory for Ugandan activists who have campaigned against this law. Since it was first being floated in 2009, these activists have often put their safety on the line to ensure that Ugandan law upholds human rights principles."

(You can watch John Oliver's terrific interview with Ugandan activist Pepe Julian Onziema here.)

[CN: Transphobia; violence] There are some of the usual problems with this piece (talking about trans women being "born male," as opposed to "assigned male at birth," for instance, and reporting irrelevant birth names), but it's nonetheless a strong piece about the murders of two black trans women in Baltimore this month, in eerily similar crimes, and how it has affected their community, via interviews with women who are part of that community.

[CN: Carcerality] Sarah Solon for the ACLU: "Want Safer Communities? Throw Fewer People Behind Bars." A great piece on how increasing carcerality is not, in fact, an effective solution to improving the safety of a community.

[CN: Climate change] California's drought continues to worsen, and now 58.4% of the state is in "exceptional drought," which is the most severe category for drought that exists.

Here's a great headline: "Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is a rising Republican power in House, as well as a whip." Well, that is very good news for him, and virtually no one else.

Here's another great headline: "Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016." Matt K. Lewis, you had me at the picture of Mitt Romney standing in front of a giant flag, right at the top of your article!

This is just a really incredible story about the brooding habits of female octopi generally, and about a specific octopus who spent the last four years and five months of her life clinging to the same spot on a rock, to give her embryos time to develop in the cold water.

And finally! This is just the best story of a recently rescued cat who saved her new family's home from a house fire: "Tillie's family had planned to adopt a dog when they visited their local RSPCA adoption centre in Melborne, Australia one day three weeks ago. Instead, they came home with the tabby cat who had been flea ridden and covered in the scratches she got in fights, and had recently given birth to a litter of kittens. ...Matt's wife and children had already left for the day when Tillie stopped him as he tried to leave for work on the morning of the fire. The concerned cat meowed persistently and gazed up at the ceiling, leading Matt to reach up and feel heat coming from above. He gave a gentle tug to a ceiling light and smoke poured into the room, leading him to call firefighters to the scene in time to save the home." WAY TO GO, TILLIE!!!

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