In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: White supremacy] In other Confederate flag news, Democratic Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has ordered that the Confederate flag "no longer be an option on Virginia specialty license plates." Good.

[CN: War] Holy fuck: "The U.S. military will be sending dozens of tanks, Bradley armored fighting vehicles, and self-propelled howitzers to allied countries in the Baltics and Eastern Europe in response to Russian actions in the Ukraine, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Tuesday. The equipment, enough to arm one combat brigade, will be positioned in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland, Carter announced at a press conference with U.S. allies in Estonia. Carter said the equipment will be moved around Europe for training and exercises." For "training and exercises" based on the fact that Putin is an unpredictable nightmare. Yikes.

[CN: Heat wave; death] Nearly 700 people have died in an extreme heat wave in Pakistan: "On Tuesday, Sindh province Health Secretary Saeed Mangnejo said that 612 people had died in the main government-run hospitals in the city of Karachi during the past four days. Another 80 are reported to have died in private hospitals. Many of the victims are elderly people from low-income families. Thousands more people are being treated, and some of them are in serious condition. Hot weather is not unusual during summer months in Pakistan, but prolonged power cuts [which have restricted the use of air-conditioning units and fans] seem to have made matters worse." Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has ordered the National Disaster Management Authority "to take immediate action."

[CN: Worker exploitation] Welp: "President Barack Obama's Pacific Rim trade pact moved closer to a final U.S. Congress vote, with lawmakers agreeing on Tuesday to limit debate on legislation that would grant Obama authority to speed trade deals through Congress. A Senate vote on the legislation, known as fast-track negotiating power, was expected on Wednesday. ...Obama needs fast-track authority to complete the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, central to his signature foreign policy push to strengthen U.S. ties with Asia."

[CN: Climate change; food insecurity] This may be the most terrifying sentence you'll read all day: "New research supported by the United Kingdom's Foreign Office and insurer Lloyd's of London finds that, absent major changes, humanity risks a catastrophic collapse in its ability to feed itself by mid-century, due in significant part to human-caused climate change."

[CN: Cancer] In good news: "A study released Monday in Pediatrics found that Gardasil 9, the newest version of the vaccine protecting against the human papilloma virus (HPV), remains effective for years after it's given to pre-teen and teen girls and boys. ...'We have four cancers we know this vaccine is going to prevent and one cancer we know it should prevent. You're preventing five cancers for your child,' [Dr. Stanley Block, co-author of the study said]. 'Do I need to say anything more?'" Nope!

Heads-up if you purchase bottled water: "A California bottling firm is voluntarily recalling several brands of bottled water out of 'an abundance of caution' after one of its sources was contaminated with E. coli. ...'The overwhelming likelihood is that all the bottled water is fine,' [Niagara spokesman Stan Bratskeir said]. 'The water we got from that source was clean. We test it all.' ...The recalled water was sold under the brand names of Acadia, Acme, Big Y, Best Yet, 7-11, Niagara, Nature's Place, Pricerite, Superchill, Morning Fresh, Shaws, Shoprite, Western Beef Blue, and Wegmans."

[CN: Misogyny] This is a cool article about a 16-year-old French girl named Melissa Mayeux who "made history this weekend when she apparently became the first woman ever to be added to MLB's international registration list. As a result, she can be signed by a Major League Baseball team as soon as July 2. You know, NO BIG DEAL OR ANYTHING." It's cool except for the first line, which is: "Move over, Mo'ne Davis." Because Maude forbid there be enough room for two female people in the same male-dominated sport. For fuck's sake.

RIP Dick Van Patten. Not only was Van Patten a successful actor, but he also "co-founded Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Pet Foods in 1989. He founded National Guide Dog Month which began in 2008 to raise awareness and money for non-profit guide dog schools in the United States accredited by the International Guide Dog Federation."

RIP James Horner, a film score composer and songwriter whose vast body of work probably contains at least one melody that will be familiar to anyone who sees movies even infrequently. "His Titanic soundtrack–with its hit Celine Dion song, 'My Heart Will Go On,' written with Will Jennings–became the biggest-selling movie-score album of all time, selling an estimated 30 million units worldwide." Among his other credits are: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Krull, The Journey of Natty Gann, An American Tail, Willow, Field of Dreams, Glory, Patriot Games, Legends of the Fall, Braveheart, Apollo 13, Deep Impact, Troy, Avatar, and The Amazing Spider-Man.

[CN: Privacy] The fuck? "Privacy campaigners and open source developers are up in arms over the secret installing of Google software which is capable of listening in on conversations held in front of a computer. First spotted by open source developers, the Chromium browser—the open source basis for Google's Chrome—began remotely installing audio-snooping code that was capable of listening to users. It was designed to support Chrome's new 'OK, Google' hotword detection—which makes the computer respond when you talk to it—but was installed, and, some users have claimed, it is activated on computers without their permission. ...Google responded to complaints via its developer boards. It said: 'While we do download the hotword module on startup, we do not activate it unless you opt in to hotwording.' However, reports from developers indicate otherwise." Shit.

All right all right all right: "The film Interstellar should be shown in school science lessons, a scientific journal has urged." Sounds good to 12-year-old me!

And finally! "Orphaned Lion Cub Is Adopted by Dog." Well, that's just totally freaking adorable!

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