In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

Nine FIFA officials and five corporate executives have been indicted for racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering conspiracies, and other offenses "in connection with the defendants' participation in a 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through the corruption of international soccer. ...The defendants charged in the indictment include high-ranking officials of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the organization responsible for the regulation and promotion of soccer worldwide, as well as leading officials of other soccer governing bodies that operate under the FIFA umbrella. Jeffrey Webb and Jack Warner—the current and former presidents of CONCACAF, the continental confederation under FIFA headquartered in the United States—are among the soccer officials charged with racketeering and bribery offenses. The defendants also include U.S. and South American sports marketing executives who are alleged to have systematically paid and agreed to pay well over $150 million in bribes and kickbacks to obtain lucrative media and marketing rights to international soccer tournaments." Welp.

[Content Note: Extreme weather; death; displacement] The bad weather continues in parts of Texas and Oklahoma, and the National Weather Service has issued a new flash flood warning for Houston while, outside Dallas, people were being evacuated due to the threat of a dam likely to burst. If you've been wondering if some of this flooding has anything to do with a lack of investment in infrastructure, unfortunately it does.

[CN: War on agency; medical malfeasance] This is an incredible piece by Imani Gandy, RH Reality Check's Senior Legal Analyst and all-around terrific person, examining the case of Dr. Byron Calhoun, who lied to a patient about finding a 13-week old fetal skull in her uterus, and how anti-choice doctors manipulate patients in order to bring anti-abortion lawsuits.

[CN: Poverty; class warfare; victim-blaming] Such important research to counter the garbage bootstraps narrative: "What's most striking—and in some circles, controversial—about their work is...their assertion that scarcity affects anyone in its grip. Their argument: qualities often considered part of someone's basic character—impulsive behavior, poor performance in school, poor financial decisions—may in fact be the products of a pervasive feeling of scarcity. And when that feeling is constant, as it is for people mired in poverty, it captures and compromises the mind. This is one of scarcity's most insidious effects, they argue: creating mindsets that rarely consider long-term best interests. 'To put it bluntly,' says Mullainathan, 'if I made you poor tomorrow, you'd probably start behaving in many of the same ways we associate with poor people.' ...Typically, he explains, when the poor remain stuck in the grip of poverty, policymakers tend to ask what's wrong with them, pointing to a lack of personal motivation or ability. Rarely, he continues, do we as policymakers ask, 'What is it about this situation that is enabling this failure?'"

[CN: Racism; class warfare] Another example of using municipal violations to police and exploit a community: "Among the things that will be 'closely monitored' through the spring and summer, according to a newsletter that recently went out to residents: Pants worn too low or grass grown too high. Children riding bikes without helmets. Barbecue pits or toys in front yards. Basketball hoops in the streets. There's no loitering—described in city code as 'the concept of spending time idly' or 'the colloquial expression hanging around.' And, despite a citywide 20 mph speed limit, there's no playing or walking in the street."

[CN: Police brutality; racism] Six months before the US Justice Department made a deal with Cleveland Police to improve their abusive policing, a similar deal was made with Albuquerque: "But more than six months after Albuquerque and the DoJ announced they had reached a deal, and 13 months after the federal agency issued their damning report, activists caution that reforms have not been finalised and a fundamental shift in the police department's culture remains a long way off."

I hope you're sitting down, because here is some exciting presidential primary news: Rick Santorum has announced that he's going to announce that he's running for president again!

In other presidential primary news, Bernie Sanders wants guaranteed vacation time for every US worker. Good idea!

Have y'all been watching the new Netflix series Grace and Frankie, starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda? If not, you should check it out! And then celebrate that it's already been given a second season. Woohoo!

And finally! Nico the adopted shelter dog had no training in rescue, but knew exactly what to do when he heard two people caught in a riptide yelling for help. GOOD DOG!

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