In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Environmental disaster] Prosecutors have begun an investigation into the Plains All American Pipeline oil spill off the California coast Tuesday: "Clean-up crews are working around the clock as investigators look into how tens of thousands of gallons of oil spewed into the sea off California. More than 6,000 gallons (22,700 litres) of oil have been mopped from the beach—a fraction of the 20,000 gallons officials say spilled into the sea after a pipe burst on Tuesday. Federal officials are to excavate the pipe to find clues to how it ruptured. California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency on Wednesday to help the state 'quickly mobilise all available resources.' ...State and local prosecutors are investigating the incident to see if criminal charges could be brought or if there are grounds for civil liability."

This is amazing: Detroit high school teacher Nadirah Muhammad donated one of her kidneys to student A'Ja Booth in December. "On Tuesday, Booth returned to West Side Academy for the first time since her surgery. According to The Associated Press, students 'threw confetti' as the teen and her teacher walked down a red carpet in the gymnasium. Muhammad has been hailed as a 'hero,' but the teacher insists that she only did what she knew she had to do." Blub.

[CN: Assisted death] Assisted death for terminally ill people is not about deciding to end their own lives, but about knowing their lives are ending and taking control over when and how that will happen. That's not a choice everyone wants to make, but it should be a choice all of us have the option to make. So this is very good news: "In a move that's being described as 'historic,' and could potentially set a nationwide precedent, the California Medical Association (CMA) has formally dropped its decades-long opposition to laws that allow physicians to help terminally ill patients take lethal medication to end their lives." Again: To end their lives on the day of their choosing. That's not semantics; it's the crux of the issue.

[CN: Sexual abuse of children] A British investigation into allegations of child abuse, known as Operation Hydrant, has expanded to include 1,433 men who "have been identified in reports of alleged abuse by victims, since the operation was set up in 2014. Of these 216 are dead, 76 are politicians, both national and local figures, 43 are from the music industry, 135 from TV, film or radio and seven from the world of sport. The cases include recent high-profile convictions, including Rolf Harris, Gary Glitter, and Max Clifford. Hundreds of institutions have been identified by victims of non-recent abuse as places where their abuse took place. These include 154 schools, 75 children's homes, 40 religious institutions, 14 medical establishments, 11 community groups, nine prisons or young offender institutions, nine sports venues, and 28 other places including military establishments."

[CN: Exploitation] Four cancer charities run by a single family defrauded donors of $187 million from 2008 to 2012: "Most of the $187 million the groups raised went to pay professional fundraisers, who took as much as 90 cents of each dollar contributed, the complaint says. Much of what was left went to pay the salary of Reynolds and a network of at least two dozen extended family members and close friends of top executives. In the end, less than 3% of the donations were used for goods and cash distributed to the patients they claimed to serve, the complaint says." This is an awful story, but there is a lot of administrative and fundraising waste in many legitimate charities, which is one of many reasons that money should be given directly to people in need, wherever possible.

[CN: Homophobia] Anti-gay hatemongers are using the story of two gay men, who had to resort to an adoption agreement to protect their relationship when same-sex marriage wasn't legal, to suggest that same-sex marriage legalization is leading to father-son marriage. Utterly despicable.

[CN: Misogyny; ageism] Maggie Gyllenhaal: "There are things that are really disappointing about being an actress in Hollywood that surprise me all the time. I'm 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made feel angry, and then it made me laugh."

I was a major Clearly Canadian head in the '90s, so I am preeeeeeetty excited about its return!

And finally! This whispering dog is adorbz the end.

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