In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Environmental disaster; video may autoplay at link] Fucking hell: "A broken pipeline spilled 21,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean before it was shut off Tuesday, creating a slick stretching about 4 miles along the central California coastline, the U.S. Coast Guard said. ...The pipeline was shut off about three hours [after the spill was reported] but by then the slick stretched four miles and 50 yards into the water. The 24-inch pipeline is owned by Plains All American Pipeline, which said it shut down the flow of oil and the culvert carrying the oil to the ocean was blocked. 'Plains deeply regrets this release has occurred and is making every effort to limit its environmental impact,' the company said in a statement."

LOVE: "Betty Reid Soskin, 93, is thought to be the nation's oldest active park ranger, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior. She has worked at Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California, since 2003. Soskin recently discussed with the Today Show how she sees her job as being about much more than preservation; as the great-granddaughter of a slave, she says she's truly an advocate. 'I still love this uniform,' she told the show. 'Partly because there's a silent message to every little girl of color that I pass on the street or in an elevator or on an escalator...that there's a career choice she may have never thought of.' Soskin helped develop the plans for the national park, which opened in 2001 to honor the working women of World War II. Today, she leads a tour called 'Untold Stories and Lost Conversations' to tell the history of wartime female laborers. She also shares her personal stories as a political activist and an African-American woman in the workforce."

[CN: Class warfare] Yesterday, Los Angeles became the largest city to adopt a $15/hour minimum wage. Which sounds like good news, except the $15/hour minimum wage won't go into effect until 2020, and right now there isn't a single part of LA where $15/hour is a livable wage. Welp.

But no cops, no guns, no jail time: "Five of the world's largest banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc, were fined roughly $5.7 billion, and four of them pleaded guilty to U.S. criminal charges over manipulation of foreign exchange rates, authorities said on Wednesday. A fifth bank, UBS AG, will plead guilty to rigging benchmark interest rates, the U.S. Justice Department said."

[CN: Sexual assault; coercion] What in the fucking world: "Two female college students said they were forced to endure almost weekly vaginal probes as part of a medical diagnostic sonography class at [Valencia College in Orlando, Florida], according to a civil rights lawsuit filed in federal court. ...Carol Traynor, a spokeswoman for Valencia College, said in a statement on Monday that using volunteers, including students, for medical sonography training was a nationally accepted practice. The women's lawsuit contends they protested but were bullied into submission. 'Valencia's established and widespread policy was to browbeat students who did not consent to those invasive probes and threaten plaintiffs' academic standing as well as their future careers until the students complied,' the lawsuit states."

[CN: Health issues] Another prominent Republican has abandoned his party after realizing that Obamacare is a good thing that could help him out a hell of a lot.

[CN: Class warfare; healthcare access] Here, though, is a reminder that we still need comprehensive healthcare reform that gets private, for-profit insurance out of the way of healthcare access.

[CN: Rape culture] Today, there will be a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the backlog of rape kits across the nation. At RH Reality Check, Sofia Resnick reports: "A three-month investigation by RH Reality Check has revealed that the agency charged with overseeing this effort, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has been unable to answer these rudimentary questions, leaving advocates at a loss to explain why so little progress has been made on the backlog even while the Obama administration has identified it as a top priority for sexual justice."

[CN: Misogyny] So, as soon as I heard that the Cannes Film Festival was denying entry to women wearing flat shoes, I thought: That's gonna be a real problem for some women with disabilities. And sure enough: "Film producer Valeria Richter, who has part of her left foot amputated, says she was stopped at the Cannes Film Festival for not wearing high heels." Get it together, Cannes. Fuck's sake.

Gallup's latest poll finds that 60% of US respondents believe that same-sex marriages should be legal, with the same rights as different-sex marriages.

All right then: "A mysterious robotic space plane launched its secretive mission for the US air force on Wednesday, its fourth long orbital flight in five years. ...The spacecraft's mission, including the technology on board and what its objectives are, are secret, but the air force has revealed at least one detail. In a statement, the air force said the X-37B will test a new electric engine called a Hall thruster, described as an 'electric propulsion device that produces thrust by ionizing and accelerating a noble gas, usually xenon.'"

[CN: Rape] Senator Claire McCaskill tells Game of Thrones to GTFO following that horrendous rape scene.

Dogs are the best: "Service Dogs That Sniff out Seizures Give Kids Better Lives: "Life shouldn't be so complicated at 5. Take a child who has a condition. Give them a dog. The dog opens up a world for this child. It's important for a child's life."

[CN: Animal injury, but with happy ending] All the blubs forever! A man adopts a very frightened and injured cat he rescued from the highway: "'I've got too much invested in this baby to let him fail,' Richard Christianson, who aptly named the cat 'Freeway,' told ABC 15. ...Christianson, who already has three dogs and four cats, said he'd been planning on adopting Freeway from the beginning and was able to bring him home Thursday. 'He was hurt, but his life is going to be way different now,' he told Catster in April." ♥

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