Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Violence; murder; terrorism] ISIS reportedly demanded a multimillion dollar ransom from the US before killing James Foley: "The group pressed the United States to provide a multimillion-dollar ransom for his release, according to a representative of his family and a former hostage held alongside him. The United States—unlike several European countries that have funneled millions to the terror group to spare the lives of their citizens—refused to pay. The issue of how to deal with ISIS, which like many terror groups now routinely trades captives for large cash payments, is acute for the Obama administration because Mr. Foley was not the lone American in its custody. ISIS is threatening to kill at least three others it holds if its demands remain unmet, The New York Times has confirmed through interviews with recently released prisoners, family members of the victims, and mediators attempting to win their freedom. Sensitive to growing criticism that it had not done enough, the White House on Wednesday revealed that a United States Special Operations team tried and failed to rescue Mr. Foley—a New Hampshire native who disappeared in Syria on Nov. 22, 2012—as well as the other American hostages during a secret mission this summer." So awful. A totally untenable situation for the Obama administration, which can either fund terrorism or risk the lives of US citizens. Fuck.
[CN: Police brutality; racism] One of the police officers who was involved in killing John Crawford is already back on the job. Because of course zie is.
Welp: "Bank of America has agreed to pay a record $16.65bn to settle charges it sold flawed mortgage securities in the run up to the financial crisis, the largest fine ever levied by US authorities on a single company. ...The bank will pay $9.65bn in cash to the Justice Department, six US states, and other government agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). A further $7bn in aid will go to consumers struggling with home loan payments and towards demolishing derelict properties." This was a major financial crime they committed. And, so far, no one is going to jail. And no one has been shot by the cops.
[CN: Rape culture; victim-blaming] Some male college students are finding that all this talk about campus sexual assault is really harshing their groove. And, by the way, it's totally unfair to expect men not to rape their female classmates: "Some men feel that too much responsibility for preventing sexual assault has been put on their shoulders, said Chris Herries, a senior at Stanford University. While everyone condemns sexual assault, there seems to be an assumption among female students that they shouldn't have to protect themselves by avoiding drunkenness and other risky behaviors, he said. 'Do I deserve to have my bike stolen if I leave it unlocked on the quad?' Herries, 22, said. 'We have to encourage people not to take on undue risk.'" I mean. Leaving aside that here is yet another dude comparing the abuse of women's bodies to property theft, he's basically admitting that a woman being drunk around men (him?) is an "undue risk." Um.
[CN: Illness; death; misogynoir] One of the most under-reported issues in the coverage of the Ebola outbreak is that women are disproportionately succumbing to the disease, and here is a good example of why that is: "The current outbreak of Ebola has killed more than 1200 people in West Africa, with Liberia having the largest increase in deaths according to the latest reportable data. Although the death toll from the virus itself is astounding, many people—including pregnant mothers—are also dying as hospitals and clinics shut their doors."
[CN: Transphobia] In good news, trans teen Rachel Pepe will be allowed to return to school as Rachel, and the staff at her school will "undergo lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender sensitivity training," in order to try to ensure she has a safe learning environment.
[CN: Homophobia] Corporations continue to want to have it both ways: Props for diversity, and no one complain when they donate to politicians who oppose same-sex marriage.
[CN: Heart attack] And finally! This hero cat totally saved her guardian's life, by alerting that he was having a heart attack. And then she "refused to leave his side throughout and upon his return from hospital stayed with him around the clock until he was back on his feet." Oh cats. ♥