In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Extreme weather; death] The snow has slowed in and around Buffalo, after a truly epic (in the old sense of the world) snowstorm, which caused 13 deaths, including two elderly residents of a nursing home yesterday, who died during an evacuation when the roof began buckling. Buckling roofs and busted doors and windows are the major concern now, and, once such an enormous amount of snow starts melting, flooding will be a major concern. I've been there, after major snows, and it's incredibly stressful. My profound sympathies to everyone who's dealing with this stuff right now.

[CN: Police brutality; racism] Police are arresting protestors every night in Ferguson, because of course they are.

[CN: War on agency] Ohio Republicans are really determined to be choice-restricting assholes: "This week, Republican lawmakers in Ohio pulled out all the stops to advance an extreme anti-abortion bill in the state's lame duck session. They added the legislation to the schedule at the last minute on Thursday morning, and even restructured a House committee—replacing the legislators who oppose the measure with different legislators who support it—to ensure the bill's passage. HB 248, which now heads to a vote in the full House, would criminalize abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, something that typically occurs around six weeks of pregnancy. That shaves off about 17 weeks from the window that [pregnant people] can access legal abortion services under Roe v. Wade. It's also so early that many [people] may not even realize they're pregnant at that point."

[CN: Misogyny] BIG TENT! "House Republicans filled every one of their open committee chair spots with men even though there are more women in Congress than ever before. All nine of the new committee chairs are men, and all are white except for Devin Nunes (R-CA), who is of Portuguese descent and will chair the Intelligence committee. Of 21 House committees, only one will be headed by a woman, Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI), who will chair the House Committee on Administration. The Senate is also likely to only include one female committee chair out of 16, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AL), with the other 15 chairs being white men." It continues to be a real mystery why Republicans aren't connecting with a majority of female voters.

[CN: Homophobia] Goddammit: "Gambia's leader Yahya Jammed signed a bill into law that would imprison citizens for homosexual acts." People who are found guilty of "aggravated homosexuality" will be sentenced to life in prison. Why is this shit happening in Africa now? In large part because of US conservative Christians who are peddling their violent hate gospel over there.

[CN: Privacy violations] Privacy schmivacy! "The ACLU is filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request today for information about a newly revealed Marshals Service program that uses aircraft to suck up location data from tens of thousands of people's cell phones at a time. The U.S. Marshals Service program, exposed last week by the Wall Street Journal, involves Cessna planes equipped with 'cell site simulators' flying from at least five airports around the country. Cell site simulators, also called IMSI catchers, impersonate a wireless service provider's cell tower, prompting cell phones and other wireless devices to communicate with them instead of the nearest tower. In doing do so, the simulators can learn all sorts of information that facilitates accurate location tracking, including the electronic serial numbers and other information about the phone and the direction and strength of the phone's signal." Neat! America 2.0 is terrific!

An older sister shared (with permission) her younger brother's text conversation with his best friend during which he came out to him. It is probably the best thing you'll read all day.

This is just an amazing video of a crow using the lid of a jar to ski down a roof. The great thing about being a skiing bird is that you've got your own build-in ski lift!

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