In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Sexual violence; descriptions of assault] My friend Jessica Luther wrote a story for Sports Illustrated on the Vanderbilt rape case. It is difficult but important reading. One of the most horrific details: "When the police contacted the woman on June 26, three days after the assault, she says that she at first told them what Vandenburg had told her had happened: In the afternoon on the day of the assault, she testified that 'he told me that I had gotten sick in his room and he had to clean it up and that it was horrible and that he had to spend the night taking care of me and it was horrible.' In response to hearing this, she said, 'I apologized. I was embarrassed.' Later when Vandenburg told her he feared that he and his teammates 'might get kicked off the football team' because he was 'getting blamed for stuff that didn't happen,' she vowed to help him clear his name." Only later did she find out the truth. Rapists are liars. Manipulative, contemptible liars.

[CN: Terrorism; death] Terrible: "U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday confirmed the death of Kayla Mueller, a U.S. aid worker who had been held hostage by Islamic State militants, saying the United States would 'find and bring to justice the terrorists who are responsible.' Mueller's family also said in a statement that they were 'heartbroken' to learn of her death. ...Mueller was determined to have died after her Islamic State captors privately contacted her family over the weekend, a White House spokeswoman said." Goddammit. I can't even imagine. Not only losing her, but finding out because the terrorists who killed her called to tell you.

Senator Elizabeth Warren is going all in on HSBC: "The US Department of Justice is considering bringing criminal charges against HSBC and its executives as part of its investigation into whether the bank's Swiss subsidiary helped US clients evade taxes. Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren called on prosecutors to 'come down hard' on HSBC if the bank is found to have colluded with tax evaders on Tuesday. ...'The government comes down hard on individuals who break the law time after time, and it should do the same for large financial institutions,' the Massachusetts senator said in a statement to the Guardian on Tuesday. 'The new allegations that HSBC colluded to help wealthy people and rich corporations hide money and avoid taxes are very serious, and, if true, the Department of Justice should reconsider the earlier deferred prosecution agreement it entered into with HSBC and prosecute the new violations to the full extent of the law.'" Right on.

[CN: War on agency; hostility to consent] I don't even have words: "In the aftermath of a high-profile legal battle over a brain-dead woman who was kept on life support against her family's wishes because she was pregnant, one Texas lawmaker is readying a bill that would re-open the contentious debate. According to the Dallas Morning News, a Republican lawmaker is preparing to introduce a piece of legislation that would appoint legal representation for fetuses in future disputes over whether pregnant women should remain hooked up to life support. State Rep. Matt Krause (R) believes that will allow a judge to hear both sides of the issue before making a decision about what to do. 'You'll hear what the family wants, and you'll also give the pre-born child a chance to have a voice in court at that same time,' Krause [said]."

[CN: War on agency] In good news: "Far too many students graduate from law school with little to no academic exposure to reproductive rights law. ...This month, however, Foundation Press has published the first legal textbook available on the subject, which can aid instructors and assist students campaigning for courses on their campuses. Berkeley Law professors and faculty directors at the Center on Reproductive Rights and Justice Melissa Murray and Kristin Luker co-authored Cases on Reproductive Rights and Justice to fill the gap in existing educational materials, define the parameters of the field, and upend the conventional treatment of the topics by consciously exploring both rights- and justice-based frameworks." YES.

[CN: Class warfare; worker exploitation] My contempt is cavernous: "Staples Threatens to Fire Staff for Working More Than 25 Hours a Week: In 2015, an Affordable Care Act provision requiring large employers to offer health insurance to staff working more than 30 hours a week kicked into effect. Now, some part-time staff at Staples say management has become extra vigilant about limiting their hours."

[CN: Homophobia] Former senior White House adviser and chief campaign strategist David Axelrod says President Barack Obama "was 'bullshitting' his opposition to gay marriage and support for civil unions during his 2008 presidential campaign." Yeah. We know.

Whooooooooooooooops don't complain about your new job on Twitter before you've even started it! A good rule is not complaining about your job on Twitter full-stop.

And finally! This is the cat you were looking for: An even grumpier cat!

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