In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Police brutality; racism] Hundreds of high school and college students and other local people rallied at the Wisconsin state capitol yesterday, seeking justice and accountability after black 19-year-old Tony Robinson was shot and killed by a Madison police officer Friday. Black Lives Matter.

This gal! That guy! Poll. According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll of registered voters, a majority of respondents "see 2016 frontrunners Hillary Clinton (D) and former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush (R) as a 'return to the policies of the past.' ...Fifty one percent of registered voters view Clinton's policies as retreads of the past, but she's viewed much more favorably with Democrats. Only twenty three percent hold that view, and 73 percent believe she'll provide 'new ideas for the future.' Bush's numbers aren't as strong. Sixty percent of registered voters, and 42 percent of Republicans, see his policies as leaning backwards." Welp.

[CN: War on agency] RH Reality Check, Young Invincibles, and Daily Kos have jointly launched a petition asking HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to allow people who become pregnant to sign up for maternity care coverage outside of Obamacare's open enrollment period. "On February 20, the Department of Health and and Human Services (HHS) decided against allowing women who become pregnant to sign up for maternity care coverage outside of Obamacare's open enrollment period. Women lacking maternity coverage who become pregnant could face $23,000 in medical bills during pregnancy—and that is without complications. HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell can change this without Congress, and she should do just that." Yep.

[CN: Racist slurs; eliminationism] Today in post-racial America: "University of Oklahoma football players, head coach Bob Stoops, and athletic director Joe Castiglione were among a crowd that gathered on campus Monday to protest against racist chants from members of the university's Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity. The chants, which declared that 'there will never be a n***** in SAE' and referenced lynching—'you can hang 'em from a tree but they'll never sign with me,' the students chanted—were caught on a video that surfaced over the weekend. In what the team said was a 'captain's decision,' players, along with Stoops and other coaches, also linked arms in a protest during a scheduled spring practice time Monday afternoon." Rage. Seethe. Boil.

[CN: Attempted abduction and abuse] A ten-year-old boy in Ireland saved his sister from being abducted by a convicted sex offender: "The criminal, who was on bail for robbery, attempted to abduct the girl (12) on the side of a country road near the village of Cullahill in Laois. She was playing with her two brothers near their home when the man stopped and asked for directions to the local priest's house. He then jumped from the stolen vehicle and grabbed the girl. But her younger brother lunged through the driver's window at the would-be kidnapper punching him as the jeep began to drive away. The brave boy distracted the driver long enough so that his sister could jump from the moving vehicle." Amazing.

[CN: Fat hatred] Facebook is defending its "feeling fat" status and accompanying emoji, despite the fact that many, many, many people have spoken up to tell them that fat is not "a feeling." For fuck's sake. Get it together, Facebook.

[CN: Rape culture] Jesse Eisenberg, Bruce Willis, and Kristen Stewart are the latest assholes to sign up to star in a Woody Allen movie.

Husband and wife team Jason Da Silva, who has multiple sclerosis, and Alice Cook have created "AXSmap, a crowdsourced map to rate businesses based on how accessible they are. ...AXSmap functions as both a directory of accessible places and a way for people to leave their own reviews. Users can rate locations on a number of easy-to-understand metrics like how accessible the entryway and bathroom are, the number of steps to the front door, whether or not a place is guide dog friendly, how quiet it is, and more. All of AXSmap's rating are designed to be informative for people who have a wide variety of disabilities." Awesome. Totally awesome.

LOVE: "The Women of the Supreme Court Are Now Awesome LEGOs: Created by Maia Weinstock, these minifigures represent the first four female Supreme Court justices of the United States. Banded together under the badass name, 'Legal Justice League,' the LEGO versions of Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan work together at the legal justice library and interpret laws at the bench."

[CN: War; mines; images of rats at link] This story is absolutely spectacular: Bart Weetjens had the remarkable idea to train giant African giant pouched rats to sniff out landmines. "Though their forebears have already helped to reclaim millions of square metres of land in Angola and Mozambique—the latter of which is expected to be declared mine-free soon—this cadre of rats could find themselves deployed to Cambodia, where Apopo is working to clear up the explosive legacy of three decades of conflict. ...Not only are the animals intelligent and blessed with a sense of smell to rival that of dogs, they live for up to eight years and are—at an average weight of about a kilo—too light to set off pressure-activated anti-personnel mines." This whole story is just THE BEST!

And finally! Home Depot employees built a cart for an older dog with bone cancer. His guardian, Risa Feldman, went to the DIY store to see about having the cart built, and: "Employee Ernesto Moran said he’d think about it and give her a call. He and Coworker Justin Wadman designed a special wagon for Ike that would have a ramp to help him climb up on his own. And the best part? They did it for free. ...Feldman was overjoyed, and shared the kindness with local ABC station KABC. 'I just wanted people to know that there are still people out there who do good things, really.' She knows this will bring so much comfort to Ike. 'It's almost like a smile. His face–it lights up.'" BLUB.

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