In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Terrorism; death penalty] After a month-long trial, a jury "of seven women and five men began deliberations Tuesday on Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's role in the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon. Tsarnaev, 21, faces 30 criminal counts covering the twin blasts at the race's finish line, which killed three and injured 260, plus the killing of an MIT police officer three days later, a carjacking, and a shootout in suburban Watertown, Massachusetts, where Tsarnaev's older brother and alleged co-conspirator died. Of those counts, 17 carry the death penalty. If Tsarnaev is found guilty of any of them, the trial will move to a second phase to decide whether he should be executed. A conviction on at least some counts is all but assured because Tsarnaev's defense team acknowledged on the first day of the trial that he was responsible. Their strategy is to save him from the death penalty by persuading the jury that he was manipulated by his radicalized Muslim brother, Tamerlan, 26." I hope he does not get the death penalty, because I do not support the death penalty on principle, even leaving aside the many issues the US is having with executing prisoners without torturing them to death.

[CN: Rape culture] The University of Virginia chapter of Phi Kappa Psi, which was identified as the fraternity at which an alleged gang rape featured in Rolling Stone's roundly-criticized article, is now suing Rolling Stone: "In a statement, UVA's chapter of Phi Kappa Psi said they would 'pursue all available legal action against the magazine'. The chapter said its members were ostracised and the fraternity house was vandalised as a result of the article, which was read by millions."

In US jobs news: "US job openings surged to a 14-year high in February, a sign that the labor market remains on a solid footing despite a sharp slowdown in job growth last month. Job openings, a measure of labor demand, increased 168,000 to a seasonally adjusted 5.1 million, the Labor Department said in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey on Tuesday. That was the highest level since January 2001." That sounds great, except: What kind of jobs are they? Are they full-time jobs with benefits and a livable wage?

[CN: Homophobia] Grody Rand Paul has officially announced he's running for president.

[CN: Environmental damage] Oh fuck: "Radiation from Japan's 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has for the first time been detected along a North American shoreline, though at levels too low to pose a significant threat to human or marine life, scientists said. Trace amounts of Cesium-134 and Cesium-137 were detected in samples collected on 19 February off the coast of Ucluelet, a small town on Vancouver Island in Canada's British Columbia, said Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientist Ken Buesseler. 'Radioactivity can be dangerous, and we should be carefully monitoring the oceans after what is certainly the largest accidental release of radioactive contaminants to the oceans in history,' Buesseler said in a statement." I want to underline that the levels of radiation are too low to be a significant threat, but it's not good news all the same, since contaminated water has been leaking for a year.

[CN: Sexual violence; anti-choicery; Christian Supremacy] Fucking hell: "The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing the Obama administration for documents it says will show religious organizations are restricting access to abortions for unaccompanied immigrant children. The civil rights groups is concerned that unaccompanied immigrant teenagers who have been raped are being denied access to emergency contraception and abortion because of the religious beliefs of groups providing care. In particular, the government contracts with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to care for unaccompanied immigrant children." Why the fuck is the USCCB even getting these contracts? Dammit.

[CN: Incitement of violence] Rick Santorum, the worst of the worst, says that US rightwingers "must 'begin to push back and rise up' against left-wing officials who are bent on 'imposing their will on people of faith.'" Good grief. Again, this is the dude who wants Christian Bibles in schools. Projection much, asshole?

[CN: Islamophobia] Jack Jenkins at Think Progress: "Has Bill Maher Finally Gone Too Far?" That ship sailed about a thousand years ago.

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS: "A new documentary on the life and times of legendary Jamaican musician and supermodel Grace Jones has been approved by BBC... According to a press releases, the documentary will be, 'a cinematic journey into the private and public worlds of Grace Jones, mixing intimate personal footage with unique staged musical sequences.'"


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