In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Gun violence; gang violence; white supremacy] Over the weekend in Waco, Texas, two rival motorcycle gangs, the Bandidos and the Cossacks, had a major shootout in a busy shopping plaza that left nine bikers dead and 18 others wounded. The two gangs have a rivalry that goes back to the 1960s, and, last year, "two members of the Bandidos, including the president of the Abilene chapter, were indicted on charges of stabbing two men, in what the police said was a conflict with the Cossacks. The feud formed the backdrop of the shootout here on Sunday afternoon, when a gathering intended to discuss bikers' rights and how to work on issues of mutual concern erupted into gunfire."

Below is a screen cap of the headline and accompanying image from the New York Times' coverage of the shootout (from the first-linked article above):

screen cap of a story at the New York Times about the biker brawl, with the headline '9 Are Killed in Biker Gang Shootout in Waco' and a media photo showing white bikers detained by police but not cuffed and using their cell phones

[CN: Videos may autoplay at links] Nine people killed, 18 more wounded, and 170 arrested after a shootout in a public place during which gang members shot at police—yet the police somehow managed to take a number of white bikers into custody alive and without handcuffs and while retaining access to their mobile phones. Welp.

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[CN: War] Meanwhile, in the fucking mess we created: "The use of Shi'ite militias to try to take back the Iraqi city of Ramadi from Islamic State risks unleashing more sectarian bloodletting, current and former U.S. officials said, but Washington and Baghdad appear to have few other options. The prospect of Iranian-backed militias leading efforts to retake Ramadi underlines Washington's dwindling options to defeat Islamic State in Iraq, with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi's grip on power weak, a national army still in its infancy, and Tehran increasingly assertive." Good thing we spread all that freedom over there.

[CN: Transmisogynoir; violence] RIP London Chanel: "London Chanel, a 21-year-old transgender woman, was stabbed to death in North Philadelphia early Monday, a city official told BuzzFeed News. Chanel is the eighth transgender woman of color killed in the United States this year—a trend that anti-violence advocates have called an epidemic. And as in many of the cases, Chanel was misgendered in early reports." Goddammit. My condolences to her friends and family and community.

[CN: Cancer] This is pretty remarkable: "When New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) headed to Havana on a historic trade mission in April, he returned with the promise of an important commodity: a Cuban-developed lung cancer vaccine. The vaccine, called CimaVax, has been researched in Cuba for 25 years and became available for free to the Cuban public in 2011. The country's Center for Molecular Immunology signed an agreement last month with Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York to import CimaVax and begin clinical trials in the United States."

[CN: War on agency; reproductive coercion] This fucking guy: "Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) publicly opposes abortion and has repeatedly run for office as a pro-life candidate. Last week, he was one of 242 House members to vote for a proposed 20-week abortion ban that has become one of the top priorities for the current GOP-controlled Congress. An anti-abortion Republican casting a vote in favor of an abortion restriction is not typically newsworthy. However, DesJarlais' positions on the subject are particularly controversial, thanks to evidence that emerged in 2012 that revealed he has advocated for at least three legal abortions in his personal life. [He] once pressured a 24-year-old woman to have an abortion after she told him she was pregnant with his child." I mean, yes, he is a hypocrite etc., but he's also an abusive shitlord who's engaging in reproductive coercion.

"Former Cuban castaway Elián González, now 21, would like to visit US: He would like to see a baseball game, visit Washington museums, and talk to Americans." This kid.

A follow-up on the case at the center of the Serial podcast: "The Maryland Court of Special Appeals granted Adnan Syed an opportunity to call a woman who said in an affidavit she saw him at a library around the time of the murder of his ex-girlfriend and high school classmate, Hae Min Lee, on Jan. 13, 1999. Syed appealed his 2000 murder conviction arguing that his legal counsel was ineffective for not interviewing the witness, Asia McClain, and for not seeking a plea deal."

Oh hello: "A 400-year-old botany book contains what could be the only known portrait of Shakespeare made in his lifetime, according to an academic expert." Turns out he looks like a Brooklyn hipster who's into the moustache scene BIG TIME.

Are you a fan of both Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Taye Diggs? Then you'll probably be pretty excited about this news!

And finally! A collection of pictures of giraffes sleeping! OMG SQUEE!

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