In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Drowning] Another terrible capsizing of a migrant boat on the Mediterranean: "More than 40 people have drowned in the latest sinking of a migrant boat between Libya and Italy. The Italian navy rescued four people, Almost 10,000 migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean have been plucked from the sea in recent days. Hundreds have died since the start of the year. Italy has called for more help from the EU to handle the crisis. Earlier this week, about 400 people were believed to have drowned when their boat capsized. ...Earlier on Thursday Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said Italy had 'not had an adequate response from the EU.' But the European Union has said it has no 'silver bullet' for the problem of thousands of migrants trying to reach Europe." Fuck.

[CN: Police brutality; racism] Congress finally thinks it needs to do something about police brutality against black people: "Top US lawmakers are to discuss ways of tackling the killing of black suspects by police amid signs that the hitherto muted political response to a spate of recent controversies is giving way to more concerted attempts at reform. ...Citing the police killings of Scott, Eric Garner in New York and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, New York representative Hakeem Jeffries asked what else Congress needs to see in order for lawmakers to be convinced that some form of action is required. 'Over the last year we've seen a parade of [horrible] examples of police violence caught on video for all of America to see. We're compelled to ask the question: what more does Congress need to see in order to understand that we've got a problem? That requires Democrats and Republicans, people in the House and the Senate, working in partnership with the president, to address,' Jeffries said."

[CN: Police misconduct; racism] In related news: "Private Company Conspired with Police to Hold Poor People for Ransom, Lawsuit Charges." At this point, a lot of police forces are behaving like just another for-profit organization making money on the exploitation of poor people, especially in communities of color.

[CN: Homophobia] Um, Apple? What are you even doing? "Apple is refusing to explain how and why the Russian language version of its voice-controlled virtual assistant, Siri, provided homophobic answers to queries relating to gay or lesbian topics. ...When contacted by the Guardian, Apple refused to give further comment, replying with a single sentence saying only that Siri's responses had been 'fixed.' Follow-up questions regarding the specific cause of the problem, and whether steps had been taken to ensure the incident wasn't repeated, Apple declined to comment."

[CN: Addiction; drug-induced psychosis] Flakka is the newest synthetic drug that is reportedly pushing people over the edge during extreme highs. There is a lot of scary shit on the streets these days.

[CN: Racism; video may autoplay at link] Last night on American Idol, one of the contestants, a black teenager named Quentin, was upset after his best friend was revealed to be up for elimination, and said that the situation was "wack." It was patently obvious (at least to Iain and me, watching at home) that he was just expressing an entirely understandable sadness about his BFF being in the bottom two, but the whole thing spiraled the fuck out of control, with Harry Connick, Jr. telling him he was being disrespectful and Jennifer Lopez lecturing him on keeping his emotions together and OMFG. Like, the response was so out of line with what actually happened that Iain and I were like: This is racism, right? This has to be racism. They are seeing an Angry Black Man where an upset teenager is. It was soooo fucked up.

[CN: Misogyny] Paul Feig continues to be utterly contemptuous of the all-dude Ghostbusters remake trying to upstage his all-female remake. "I've got my four funny ladies, and that's all I care about."

Y'all know I don't know or care about Doctor Who (I'M SORRY!) but I figure those of you who do will like this, so here is Christopher Eccleston talking about classism and racism and misogyny: "You can't blame Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, and others taking their opportunities, but it will lead to a milky, anodyne culture. To an extent that's already happened. I confess I don't watch much film or television drama but I'm aware of the predominance of white, male roles. It's not just about the working class. There's not enough writing for women or people of colour. It frustrates me when they insist on doing all-male Shakespearean productions—a wonderful intellectual exercise, maybe, but it's outrageous because it's putting a lot of women out of work." P.S. I can totally blame Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch for taking many of the roles they've taken!

And finally! "The 15 Goofiest Animals Who Make the World a Happier Place." Obviously.

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