In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Extreme weather; death] The cold that's gripping much of the country is setting record lows in many places and causing an enormous number of safety issues, resulting in a number of injuries and deaths: "By Thursday in Tennessee, one of the states hardest hit, 11 people had died because of subzero temperatures. ...According to Tennessee emergency management, five people died of hypothermia-related conditions in the state and six more died in motor vehicle accidents or from an inability to reach medical care, stemming from the continued icy conditions on the southern state's roads." There are parts of the US right now that are having weather for which their infrastructure and road design just aren't built to accommodate.

[CN: War] The United Kingdom and the European union badly misread Russia in the run-up to the fighting in Ukraine: "The UK and the EU have been accused of a "catastrophic misreading" of the mood in the Kremlin in the run-up to the crisis in Ukraine. The House of Lords EU committee claimed Europe 'sleepwalked' into the crisis. The EU had not realised the depth of Russian hostility to its plans for closer relations with Ukraine, it said. ...The committee's report said Britain had not been 'active or visible enough' in dealing with the situation in Ukraine. It blamed Foreign Office cuts, which it said led to fewer Russian experts working there, and less emphasis on analysis. A similar decline in EU foreign ministries had left them ill-equipped to formulate an 'authoritative response' to the crisis, it said."

[CN: Terrorism; death] Boko Haram is terrorizing Chibok again: "Boko Haram militants fleeing a Nigerian army offensive killed 21 people on Friday in attacks near the village of Chibok, close to where the rebels abducted more than 200 schoolgirls last year, a military source said." Fucking hell. I am so angry.

[CN: Homophobia; sexual policing] Not that anyone should need a reminder that marriage equality isn't the magical singular cure for homophobia, but: "Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana arrested two men last week under a statute prohibiting 'unnatural carnal copulation by a human being with another of the same sex.' Meanwhile, the Supreme Court declared bans on sex between consenting adults [unconstitutional] more than a decade ago." The "crime against nature" charge was eventually thrown out, but the men are still being held for "trespassing."

[CN: Terrorism] Here we go again: "Cue up another conservative tantrum: DHS issues warning about threat from right-wing terrorists."

[CN: Transphobia; bathroom panic] Autumn Sandeen writes a really terrific piece about the restroom pictogram found at San Diego's LGBT Center and at the San Diego Airport, which sends entirely the wrong message.

[CN: Racism] Giuliani says his "Obama doesn't love America" commentary couldn't have been racist, because Barack Obama has a white mother: "Some people thought it was racist—I thought that was a joke, since he was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people." Fuck this guy.

[CN: Fat hatred; eliminationism] Here's just a real headline in the world: "Global progress against obesity 'unacceptably slow.'" Another way of saying that: "We are not eliminating fat people quickly enough." Wonder not why I call anti-obesity campaigns eliminationist.

[CN: Scatological humor about actual scat] This is a terrific story from Indiana: "Frozen fecal matter closes I-65 exit ramp." Best Indiana poop story since the giant poop bubbles of 2010.

And finally! All the blubs forever at this story about a rescue dog who saved his owner, aided by a police officer who viewed the dog as in need rather than dangerous. A great story all around.

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