In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Drowning] The latest in an ongoing series of terrible migrant boat disasters in the Mediterranean: "Rescuers scrambled on Monday to reach two boats in distress in the Mediterranean even as the search continued for survivors of what it is feared will be one of the worst disasters involving migrants attempting the perilous crossing to Europe from Africa. Officials estimate that 700 people may have drowned after a ship carrying hundreds of migrants sank in the Mediterranean Sea on Saturday night, though that number could rise sharply. Bodies were seen floating in the water, and rescuers said that some remained trapped inside the vessel. Only 24 bodies had been recovered by Sunday evening." And there is still no viable plan from the EU about how to address this problem.

[CN: Police brutality; racism; death] Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man from Baltimore, died "one week after he was rushed to the hospital with spinal injuries following an encounter with four Baltimore police officers. Gray, who died Sunday morning at a University of Maryland trauma center, was stopped by Baltimore police officers on bike patrol April 12. Police have said Gray was running away from the officers when he was arrested and placed in a transport van. About 30 minutes later, Gray was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, according to police. Billy Murphy, an attorney for Gray's family, said Sunday that 80 percent of the man's spinal cord had been severed near his neck." What in the hell happened to Freddie Gray? And is anyone going to be held accountable for it?

[CN: Police brutality; domestic violence] And in another heinous example of how "Stand Your Ground" laws are only for privileged white men: An Alabama woman shot and wounded her estranged husband who entered her house with a gun. When her mother, who lived with the woman, called police, police arrived and found the woman still holding her shotgun and shot her. Luckily, she is expected to survive.

(Meanwhile, gun advocates want women to arm themselves to deter misogynistic violence. Yeah. That's going to work out great for women.)

[CN: Unlawful prosecution; death penalty] Holy hell: "The FBI has admitted 'errors' in evidence provided by its forensics laboratory to US courts to help secure convictions, including in death penalty cases, over more than 20 years. A report by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) noted 'irregularities' in the hair analysis unit. ...Flawed forensics were used in at least 60 capital punishment cases, the OIG report found. Fourteen defendants were either executed or died in prison, says the Washington Post, which first reported the story at the weekend."

[CN: Misogyny] This Politico story on "The Secret History of Women in the Senate" opens with this anecdote: "Kay Hagan just wanted to swim. It was late 2008, and the Democrat was newly arrived on Capitol Hill as North Carolina's junior senator-elect. But Hagan was told that the Senate pool was males-only. Why? Because some of the male senators liked to swim naked." Good grief. Only 44 women have ever served in the US Senate, and it's pretty damn clear that most of the men who serve there would like the number to be zero.

[CN: Racism; misogyny] Woooooof: "Democrats' hunt for the white working-class male voter." Literally, this is the exact opposite of what Democrats should be doing. Stop pandering to white men, and start creating and advocating policy that will benefit poor women of color. (Pro-Tip: Any policy that will benefit poor women of color will ultimately benefit us all. The same cannot be said, at all, about policies designed specifically to benefit white men.)

[CN: Racism; police brutality; sexual violence] Would you like to read an interview with the amazing Toni Morrison? Well, here you go! Someday I want someone to be able to describe my voice as having "a faint suggestion of thunder." Damn.

This is interesting: "Space debris has become a matter of concern for space agencies. As per estimations, there are around 500,000 pieces of debris, including defunct parts of old satellites, rockets and spacecraft, of varying sizes like the size of a marble, or larger are orbiting Earth. ...Now, a team of researchers from Japan's Riken research institute have come up with a plan to get rid of this debris. ...After detecting the junk [using the infrared telescope of the European Space Agency's Extreme Universe Space Observatory], the proposed plan would be using a fiber-based laser system to shoot the debris items till the time they are eliminated from the orbit and destroy while re-entering into Earth's atmosphere."

[CN: Video will autoplay at link] Have y'all seen the new trailer for Batman v Superman? I don't think it looks very good. Check it out.

[CN: Video will autoplay at link] Haha j/k! Here's the real trailer. Which definitely stinks! I'd rather see a movie of that screaming pug.

Speaking of trailers: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer Viewed 88 Million Times In 24 Hours." Zoinks!

Paul Feig's all-female remake of Ghostbusters has already had its budget cut, because of course it has. $169 million to $154 million might not sound like a big deal, but that's 10% of the budget—gone.

[CN: Video will autoplay at link] And finally! Here is Cookie the Lionhead Rabbit being adorable. OMG.

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