In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Misogynoir; war on agency] Murder charges have been dropped against Kenlissa Jones, a 23-year-old black woman from Georgia, who was "facing a charge of 'malice murder'—a crime that is punishable by the death penalty—after allegedly ending her pregnancy by taking abortion-inducing medication that she purchased online." Greg Edwards, the Dougherty County District Attorney, issued a statement saying he had dismissed the malice murder charge because "Georgia law presently does not permit prosecution of Ms. Jones for any alleged acts related to the end of her pregnancy." But Kenlissa still faces "a misdemeanor charge of possession of a dangerous drug." If you're on Twitter, you can keep up with the latest on Kenlissa's story following the #JusticeforKenlissa hashtag.

Two things:

1. Stories like these are going to become more and more common with ever greater restrictions on access to abortion—because making legal abortion inaccessible does not stop pregnant people who do not want to be pregnant from terminating their pregnancies; it merely stops them from doing it legally and safely.

2. The attempts to criminalize self-terminations (and/or miscarriages) are being wielded disproportionately against women of color: Kenlissa Jones, Purvi Patel, Bei Bei Shuai. That's partly because of the usual racist double-standards, and partly because of the institutional racism that makes women of color more likely to lack access to legal abortion.

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[CN: War; terrorism] The Obama administration is preparing to increase our presence in Iraq again: "Alistair Baskey, a White House spokesman, said officials were considering a number of options, including sending additional trainers, 'to accelerate the training and equipping of Iraqi security forces in order to support them in taking the fight to [the Islamic State].' ...If the plan is approved, the administration is expected to send around 400 additional troops to advise Iraqi forces. There are now 3,080 U.S. service members in Iraq."

[CN: Clergy abuse; sexual violence] Pope Francis has approved "the creation of a tribunal to hear cases of bishops accused of covering up child [sex] abuse by [predator] priests. ...A statement from the Vatican said the department would come under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Its aim would be 'to judge bishops with regard to crimes of the abuse of office when connected to the abuse of minors,' the statement added. ...Initially the complaints would be investigated by one of three Vatican departments, depending on whose jurisdiction the bishops were under. They would then be judged by the doctrinal department." Some survivors' groups are happy about this, so that's good. I have to say, I'm honestly not optimistic that an investigatory body and tribunal run by the Vatican is going to be effective, but I hope I'm wrong.

EMILY's List has targeted Republican Indiana Governor Mike Pence for defeat. Good! There is already at least one Democratic female candidate who has announced her desire to unseat Pence: State Senator Karen Tallian, who is a progressive and a cool lady and could really use donations, if you have money to give and are looking for a good place to which to direct it.

[CN: Train crash] The NTSB has released an update on its ongoing investigation into May 12, 2015, derailment of Amtrak Train 188 in Philadelphia.

[CN: Injury] Secretary of State John Kerry is getting it done, even with a broken leg from a bicycle crash. Get well soon, John Kerry!

[CN: Homophobia] A couple of straight dipshits in Canberra, Australia, are fixing to get divorced to protest the legalization of same-sex marriage. Sounds reasonable. "If our federal parliament votes to change the timeless and organic definition of marriage later on this year, it will have moved against the fundamental and foundational building block of Australian society and, indeed, human culture everywhere." Case closed, your honor!

This is just a real thing in the world: The stunt doubles for Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy on Mad Max: Fury Road fell in love while making the movie. How are we even supposed to deal with that?! ♥

In other Fury Road-related stuff: The Clan of the Boltcutter. [Spoiler warning!]

[CN: Medical crisis, but happy ending] A rescued pit bill named Ember probably saved 10-year-old Tre Daniels' life by alerting his sleeping parents when he had a seizure and fell into the bathtub. And now she sleeps with him every night, to watch over him and make sure he's okay. Blub.

[CN: Animal injury, but happy ending] And finally! These pictures (!!!!!!!!!!!) of a baby koala hugging his mama during her surgery to repair her injuries after being hit by a car. "A spokesperson for the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital told BuzzFeed News that Lizzy is recovering nicely and that Phantom is still right by her side." THE BEST.

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