In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: War; death] The fighting continues in Ukraine: "Up to 16 civilians have been killed and dozens more injured in the space of 24 hours in fighting in eastern Ukraine, as the UN warns that the fresh surge in violence is proving 'catastrophic.' ...Civilian casualties have risen sharply in recent weeks amid a rebel offensive. ...UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said there had been a 'clear breach of international humanitarian law which governs the conduct of armed conflicts.' 'Bus stops and public transport, marketplaces, schools and kindergartens, hospitals and residential areas have become battlegrounds in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine,' he said in a statement. 'Any further escalation will prove catastrophic for the 5.2 million people living in the midst of conflict in eastern Ukraine,' he added. According to the UN, the death toll now exceeds 5,350 people and more than 12,000 other people have been wounded in the fighting." Fuck.

Here's some good news (that Republicans are already endeavoring to ruin): "President Barack Obama's $4 trillion budget proposal includes a major change to the Social Security Act that would allow same-sex couples to receive spousal benefits even if they live in states that don't recognize such unions. Under current law, [same-sex] couples who move from one of the 36 states that permit same-sex marriage to one that does not lose the Social Security benefits [different-sex] couples enjoy. 'Under this proposal, such married couples would have access to these benefits,' according to the budget."

Not that it will do any good for most of the people whose lives were ruined: "Ratings firm Standard & Poor's will pay $1.5 billion to resolve a series of lawsuits over its ratings on mortgage securities that soured in the runup to the 2008 financial crisis, the company said on Tuesday. The settlement comes after more than two years of litigation as S&P fought allegations it issued overly rosy ratings in order to win more business. S&P parent McGraw Hill Financial Inc said it will pay $687.5 million to the U.S. Department of Justice, and $687.5 million to 19 states and the District of Columbia, which had filed similar lawsuits over the ratings. Late Monday, the firm also reached a separate $125 million settlement with public pension fund California Public Employees' Retirement System, which had sued S&P in 2009, claiming its inaccurate ratings caused the firm hundreds of millions of dollars in losses."

Not only did Republican Congressman Aaron Schock have his office decked out like Downton Abbey (whut), but he also accepted the design work free of charge, which could be an ethics violation. Good grief.

I love this stuff: "The big ticket items—the Space Launch System, the Orion capsule, the Commercial Crew program—grabbed the big bucks and the headlines, as NASA unveiled the White House's 2015 budget proposal. But some astronomers and science fans are most excited about the inclusion of a new mission: a trip to Europa, Jupiter's fourth largest moon." I'm pretty excited about that, too!

Harper Lee will publish a second novel: "The novel [titled Go Set a Watchman and rediscovered last July] was completed in the mid-1950s, in the midst of the civil rights movement. It takes place 20 years after To Kill a Mockingbird. Though it's effectively a sequel, Ms. Lee actually wrote Go Set a Watchman first. The 304-page novel takes place in the same fictional town, Maycomb, Ala., and unfolds as Scout Finch, the feisty child heroine of To Kill a Mockingbird, returns to visit her father, Atticus. Ms. Lee said in a statement released by her publisher that her editor at the time was taken with Scout's childhood flashbacks, and told her to write a different novel from Scout's perspective. 'I was a first-time writer, so I did as I was told,' Ms. Lee, 88, a native of Monroeville, Ala., said in the statement." Wow.

Terry Crews, "BIG feminist," is super excited about the new Ghostbusters movie. He's the best! I love him on Brooklyn Nine-Nine soooo much.

This is lovely and terrific: "Keith Anderson, a devoted dad in Ontario, has found a unique way to remember his son Kai's childhood—his right arm is covered in tattoos based on drawings by his son that he has been getting every year since Kai was 5 years old."

Meet Harry the Baby Pygmy Hippo! OMG his toesies! So cute!

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus