In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Police militarization] At ProPublica, Hanqing Chen has collected a "few facts you might have missed about the flow of military equipment and tactics to local law enforcement." It's a terrific round-up.

[CN: Police violence; racism] At the ACLU, Nusrat Choudhury documents that the "killing of black men in incidents that begin as investigatory police stops are anything but unusual in America. In this sense, Ferguson is Everytown, U.S.A."

[CN: Guns; death; racism; victim-blaming] Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin's mother, pens a heartbreaking and powerful letter to Michael Brown's family: "Further complicating the pain and loss in this tragedy is the fact that the killer of your son is alive, known, and currently free. In fact, he is on paid administrative leave. Your own feelings will bounce between sorrow and anger. Even when you don't want to think about it because it is so much to bear, you will be forced to by merely turning on your television or answering your cell phone. You may find yourselves pulled in many different directions by strangers who may be well-wishers or detractors. Your circle will necessarily close tighter because the trust you once, if ever, you had in 'the system' and their agents are forever changed. Your lives are forever changed."

[CN: Guns] In Florida, a 7-year-old boy is in critical but stable condition after being shot by his grandmother, who thought he was an intruder: "Just before 1 a.m. EST, she heard a chair that she had put against the bedroom door handle for extra protection sliding on the wood floor. Thinking it was an intruder, she fired a shot in the dark from a .22-caliber revolver she kept by the bed, authorities said. 'Seconds after firing, she heard the screams of her grandson, Tyler,' the sheriff's office said in statement." I don't even have fucking words.

[CN: War on agency] Welp: "Seven in ten Americans don't think the government should enact any new laws to further restrict abortion, according to a new national poll commissioned by NARAL Pro-Choice America. ...[The poll] offered respondents more detailed options to indicate their opinions on abortion than simply asking them whether they're 'pro-choice' or 'pro-life.' Respondents could choose between the following statements: 'I believe having an abortion is morally acceptable and should be legal,' 'I am personally against abortion for myself and my family, but I don't believe government should prevent a woman from making that decision for herself,' or 'I believe having an abortion is morally wrong and should be illegal.' About 45 percent of respondents chose the middle category, indicating that they personally oppose abortion but don't necessarily support enacting further restrictions on it. NARAL says that this is the sector of the population that's typically underrepresented in polls."

(I wish I thought that this would slow down anti-choice fuckery in state legislatures, but I don't think that legislators who don't care what women et. al. want for our own bodies will care what respondents in a poll want, either. I hope I'm wrong, though!)

[CN: Homophobia] Ugandan refugees who fled the country's vile anti-gay law are finding life just as difficult in Kenya, where homosexuality is also illegal. "The United Nations' refugee agency has taken note of the difficulties facing the refugees and has expressed its intention to expedite the relocations of the 35 Ugandan refugees officially registered as LGBT with the U.N." So awful.

[CN: Animal abuse] A new study has found that poaching African elephants for their ivory is now outpacing the elephants' birth rates, leaving elephants in critical danger of becoming extinct within 100 years, failing meaningful intervention. Jesus Jones. No one needs an elephant tusk except for an elephant!

[CN: Violence] Keanu Reeves is going to star in a television series for the first time, about "contract assassin who specializes in taking out his targets by making it look like death by natural causes." Does that sound like something you would watch? It doesn't sound like something I'd watch, except for the fact that Keanu Reeves is in it, which means I will definitely give it a try!

Congratulations to obstacle courser Meagan Martin, who became the first woman ever to complete the Jumping Spider obstacle on American Ninja Warrior last night. SO EXCITING! WOOT!

And finally! 2,217 pets were adopted on Empty the Shelter Day in the Dallas area, which was started to help contend with the overcrowding in shelters during summer months. "[Irving Animal Services manager Corey Price] said people camped out in tents Friday at Collin County Animal Services to get a chance to adopt pets." Amazing. ♥

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