In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: War on agency] Fuck fuck fuck: "The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately. ...The clinic may decide to appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court." I'm sure there will be a lot of weighing whether appealing the decision would be wise, given the current ideological make-up of the court. To have this one go the wrong way at the Supreme Court would be devastating.

[CN: War on agency] Meanwhile: "Chances are good that, if Republicans seize control of the U.S. Senate on Election Day, they will try to push through a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks' gestation nationwide." You know I am not in the business of telling people how, or whether, to vote. But if you're in the US and on the fence about voting in the midterms, well, this is a pretty compelling reason to head to the polls.

Protests, protests everywhere:

* In Spain, "a massive feminist strike paralyzed the streets of Barcelona, with thousands of women and their allies shutting down traffic and the subways, spray-painting feminist slogans all over city walls and occupying the offices of powerful political and economic institutions." The protest "brought together more than 600 different feminist and community groups over the course of a year of organizing that culminated in one riot grrrl-like takeover of Barcelona." Wow!

* In Burkina Faso, demonstrators have taken to the streets in protest of a planned (and now canceled) parliament vote which "would have paved the way for extending the president's 27-year rule."

* In Hungary, 100,000 people protested a per-megabyte tax on Internet traffic proposed by the government. "The issue has come to stand for the alienation of Hungarians from the mainstream political parties, and has left the government backpedalling, now offering to cap the maximum monthly tax bill at about $3/connection—down from the approximately $294 that the original proposal would have levied on each household (this being equal to the monthly rent on a nice apartment in Budapest)."

* In Hong Kong, a photo booth with a yellow backdrop is being used to try to capture the spirit of the now month-long democratic protest. "'We wanted to use what we know to get involved in this movement, to let people know what is happening here. Because in the news, people will see some violent actions involved and maybe in our photos, we show other faces of the people here,' explained Max Wong, one of the organisers."

* In Minnesota, thousands of protestors are expected to participate in a protest of the Washington R*dskins team name, when they show up to play the Vikings.

* In New York, hundreds of students protested Columbia University's mishandling (ahem) of rape cases, in solidarity with Emma Sulkowicz, who pledged to carry her mattress around campus until her rapist is expelled.

[CN: Illness] In other news, Kaci Hickox, the nurse who was forcibly quarantined in an unheated tent in New Jersey for three days after returning from working with Ebola patients, went for a bike ride, so cue everyone losing their shit.

[CN: Sexual violence; war on agency] Republican Ohio Governor John Kasich "repeatedly refused to answer questions about why he signed into law a budget that included a provision prohibiting state-funded rape crisis counselors from referring women to abortion services." Huh. Maybe that's because there's literally no legitimate reason to have done such a thing.

[CN: Sexual violence] Roman Polanski was questioned in Poland but "Deputy Foreign Minister Rafal Trzaskowski said the charges against Polanski have expired in Poland, providing no grounds for an extradition." Shocking.

[CN: Misogynist terrorism] Anita Sarkeesian was on The Colbert Report last night. Yay!

And finally! This story about Lentil, a French bulldog who was born with a cleft palate who has become a therapy dog for children with craniofacial differences, is pretty much the best thing ever. Lentil got surgery to correct his functional issue, thus allowing him to eat and drink on his own, but not to correct his physical difference, so children with facial differences can bond with a dog who also has facial differences. Blub.

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