In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: War; death. Covers next three paragraphs.] In Israel and Gaza: "Israel declared a seven-hour 'humanitarian window' in Gaza on Monday amid international outrage at the third deadly attack on a UN school sheltering displaced Palestinians and mounting pressure for the bloodshed to end. ...It slowed violence but shortly after it started two Israeli missiles hit a house in the Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza, killing one, the Red Crescent and a Gaza health official said. Later in Jerusalem one person was killed when a man rammed a construction excavator into a bus in an ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood close to the unofficial line between the Jewish and Arab areas of the city. Shortly after the excavator attack, Israeli media reported that a gunman on a motorcycle shot and seriously wounded an Israeli soldier."

The US Department of State released a statement to the press condemning the school shelling: "The United States is appalled by today's disgraceful shelling outside an UNRWA school in Rafah sheltering some 3,000 displaced persons, in which at least ten more Palestinian civilians were tragically killed. The coordinates of the school, like all UN facilities in Gaza, have been repeatedly communicated to the Israeli Defense Forces. We once again stress that Israel must do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties. UN facilities, especially those sheltering civilians, must be protected, and must not be used as bases from which to launch attacks. The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians."

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told (and does not deny telling) US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro that the United States is "not to ever second guess me again" on how to deal with Hamas. Which highlights the US' complicated relationship to Israel, as the US is providing billions of dollars of aid every year, most of which is funneled to Israel's defense, making us a primary underwriter of their defense even as their Prime Minister reminds us we don't have a vote on how it's used and, frankly, our opinion isn't especially welcome.

[CN: Disaster; death] A 6.1 magnitude earthquake in southern China's Yunnan province has killed at least 398 people, injured more than 1,800, and destroyed about 12,000 homes. Many people remain missing, and nearly 30,000 have been displaced. Fuck.

[CN: Police brutality; sexual assault] Having apparently learned absolutely nothing after killing Eric Garner, whose death has been ruled a homicide, New York City police officers put another asthmatic person, 48-year-old Denise Stewart, in a choke hold until she passed out: "A Brooklyn woman answered the door in a towel, only to be dragged into the hallway by a dozen male police officers... The video shows [Stewart] struggling to get away from the cops, yelling, 'I can't breathe' as they hold her against the wall. Stewart, who has severe asthma, passed out and dropped to the floor wearing nothing but underwear. Officers stood around, not bothering to cover her up, for about two minutes. Officers say they received a call to the apartment building without a specific apartment number and heard noise coming from Stewart's apartment. Stewart's lawyer told the New York Daily News the 911 call came from an apartment on a different floor." In addition to everything else that's wrong with this, if anyone else dragged a woman out of her apartment and choked her until she passed out and then left her in public view wearing only her underwear, I'm pretty certain that would be considered a sexual assault.

[CN: Disaster; death] In California, a state desperately in need of rain, thunderstorms over the weekend caused flash floods and mudslides, killing at least one person and leaving many others stranded. Damn.

[CN: Death penalty; torture] In yet another state execution that went horribly awry, a man being put to death by the state of Arizona took two hours to die, spending an hour "gasping and snorting" until he finally succumbed. End the death penalty now.

[CN: Bullying] Misha G. has written a really terrific post about how apologia makes one a strategic asset for bullies: "In a more general way, online communities where the prevailing 'wisdom' is that Internet harassment should just be ignored are a fantastic opportunity for bullies. If online harassment actually is an effective bullying tactic (which, again, the overwhelming weight of the evidence suggests that it is), then a community where online harassment is hand waved away as 'something you should just ignore' is the perfect place to bully."

If this is true, it would be incredible: Paul Feig, director of Bridesmaids and The Heat, may reboot Ghostbusters with an all-female cast. YES PLZ.

And finally! Here is just the best video of a guy who works on an electric crew comforting a fawn by rubbing his tummy until he was reunited with his mother. Awwwwwwwwww.

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