In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: War] Welp: "The U.S. Congress gave final approval on Thursday to President Barack Obama's plan for training and arming moderate Syrian rebels to battle Islamic State, a major part of his military campaign to 'degrade and destroy' the militant group. The Senate voted 78-22, in a rare bipartisan show of support for one of Obama's high-profile initiatives. With the House of Representatives approving the legislation on Wednesday, the measure now goes to Obama to sign into law. Ten Senate Democrats and 12 Republicans voted no." The one thing on which bitter partisan rivals can always agree: Funding war!

[CN: War; anti-immigrationism] Speaking of war, North Carolina Republican congressional candidate Mark Walker says he'd totes go to war with Mexico: "I will tell you if you have foreigners who are sneaking in with drug cartels to me that is a national threat. And if we got to go laser or blitz somebody with a couple of fighter jets for a little while to make our point, I don't have a problem with that either. So yeah, whatever we need to do. ...We [went to war with Mexico] before. If we need to do it again, I don't have a qualm about it." He seems nice.

[CN: Illness; death; racism] Since March, "more than 300 local health workers, including doctors, have contracted [Ebola] in three hardest-hit countries: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. ...But it was only in late July, when two American volunteers working at a Liberian hospital contracted the virus, that global attention turned to the story. Beyond questions of attention, the focus on the lives of Western aid workers has brought the inequalities in the medical treatment of expatriate and local health workers into stark relief. While American and European workers were evacuated to better care in developed countries, the locals have been left to die or struggle under a lower standard of care in their home countries." This is a must-read piece.

[CN: Sexual violence] Congress has renewed the Debbie Smith Act, named for a survivor of rape whose case languished for years while the evidence went unexamined. The program "provides federal grants to state and local law enforcement agencies so they can speed their analyses of untested evidence kits. ...The Senate used a voice vote Thursday to give final approval to the bipartisan bill. The measure was approved by the House in April, and it now goes to Obama for his signature. The legislation renews the program through 2019. Without congressional action, the program would have expired on Oct. 1."

Laverne Cox's new special The T Word will air on MTV and Logo on October 17: "For many of us, the 'T' in LGBT means more than transgender; it also means truth. The cast members in this documentary are fearlessly living their truths and in sharing their stories will send the message to other trans youth that it's okay to be who you are."

One of the things I really like about Chrissy Teigen is that when she talks about her private life, especially her love life, as female celebrities are inevitably obliged to do, is that she tends to acknowledge not everyone's life looks the same. This is what works for us, but it might work some other way for you. I've seen her do the same thing in interviews about body shape/body image. Thumbs-up!

And finally! Here is just a really solid video about a cat looking at itself in a mirror, lol.

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