In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Harassment; abuse] Following the gross harassment of Zelda Williams on Twitter, which prompted her to leave the social media site, Twitter has vowed to improve their policies. 1. I'll believe it when I see it. 2. I agree with my pal Andrea Grimes, who noted: "I am legit sorry that RW's daughter was harassed, but WoC in particular have been asking for this for AAAAGES." Case in point: Imani Gandy.

[CN: Violence; racism] Speaking of Imani, here she is being very smart (as always) and connecting what's happening in Ferguson to the movement for reproductive justice: "I'm going to say it again: police brutality—especially against pregnant women—is a #reprojustice issue. ...Black women are raising children and fearing that their children are going to be gunned down in the street. That affects their ability to parent freely." YES.

[CN: War] In Israel and Gaza: "Hamas and Israel have agreed five more days' truce to allow further talks after a tense final countdown to the end of the current 72-hour ceasefire on Wednesday night. ...Gamal Shobky, the Palestinian ambassador in Cairo, told the Guardian shortly before midnight there would be a five-day ceasefire to give more opportunity for negotiation. 'We are very close but there are still some things to resolve.'" Fingers crossed.

[CN: Violence; disablism] Eastsidekate pointed me to this story about the high levels of violence at the Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn, which prompted the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue "a citation against Brookdale in the Brownsville neighborhood for violating federal worker safety laws and failing to protect hospital employees." The whole time I was reading the article, I'm thinking, "Is this because ERs have become substitutes for mental healthcare facilities?" And then I come to the final line: "It's been a growing problem as emergency rooms have become a dumping ground for people with mental health issues." Welp.

[CN: Domestic violence] A new law in Louisiana will "grant an immediate divorce in domestic violence situations. New Orleans Senator JP Morrell says before today, even if you had tons of evidence that you were a victim of domestic violence, you'd still have to wait 6 months to a year before you get a divorce. 'That's obviously problematic because until that divorce is granted, the abuser still has all the rights of a spouse,' said Morrell. Morrell says now if someone has reasonable proof that they've been abused and can show that in court, they will be able to divorce the abuser right away." That is a very good law.

[CN: Racism; classism; carcerality] Also in Louisiana: New Orleans has instituted "a radical policy stating that a criminal record will no longer trigger an automatic rejection for public housing." Because people with criminal records (or in "some instances, just a record of arrest, even without charges") have historically been banned from public-housing assistance, it can be extremely difficult, to put it mildly, for people with criminal records to secure housing after their release. (Bootstraps!) But: "Under federal law, local public-housing authorities are empowered to create their own guidelines for admission [to section 8 HUD housing], provided they adhere to the Fair Housing Act of 1968." This is a critically important move by New Orleans.

Here is Jeff Bridges, being full-tilt Jeff Bridges: "I consider myself a lazy guy, but I do a bunch of stuff, and I'm so busy that in my downtime, I like to be with my wife, who I'm just madly in love with. We've been married 37 years, and it keeps getting better and better and more fun. I don't have too much time to jam with the rest of Hollywood." I love that guy.

And finally! A cat stuck up a tree for four days (!) gets rescued by the cunning use of a treat. Huzzah!

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