In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Racism; housing discrimination] In another important Supreme Court decision, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Community Project, Inc., the court found that "housing policies could be deemed discriminatory based on 'disparate impact.' This means that plaintiffs could prove discrimination by showing that the impact of a housing policy was discriminatory, even if there was no conscious attempt to discriminate." This is big news because: "At the most basic level, the Supreme Court recognized fight against discrimination is not over, concluding, 'The Court acknowledges the Fair Housing Act's continuing role in moving the Nation toward a more integrated society.' That's a very big deal." Yes, yes it is.

[CN: Transphobia; anti-immigrationism] Last night, during an LGBTQ event at the White House, trans immigration activist Jennicet Gutiérrez interrupted President Obama's address to request: "President Obama, release all LGBTQ immigrants from detention and stop all deportations!" There is video at the link. "As a transgender woman who is undocumented, Gutiérrez said she could not celebrate while some 75 transgender detainees were still being exposed to assault and abuse in ICE custody at this very moment." Gutiérrez was shushed by the room and dismissed by the President, and I have all kinds of thoughts about that, but instead I will just note: Lots of people are talking about Gutiérrez today and about the reason she interrupted the President. GOOD.

[CN: Terrorism; white supremacy] A Baptist church in Charlotte, North Carolina, which has a predominantly black congregation, was destroyed by a fire early Wednesday, and it is now being investigated as arson. "The church building sustained excessive damage to its back left wing, used as an education building. [Senior Fire Investigator David Williams] said it is close to a total loss. The rest of the property, including the sanctuary and gymnasium, has smoke damage. He said they estimate total damage is more than $250,000."

[CN: Racist violence] Today, funerals begin for some of the victims in the AME Shooting. "The services for Ethel Lee Lance and Sharonda Coleman-Singleton will both take place after viewings at Baptist churches in North Charleston. Ms Lance, 70, worked for the church for 30 years and was a mother of five. Ms Coleman-Singleton, 45, was a speech therapist, pastor and high school track coach, as well as a mother of three. Their funerals will be the first two of nine, with five more to take place on Friday and Saturday." State Senator Rev. Pinckney's funeral will be held tomorrow.

[CN: Terrorism] Government officials are, in the wake of the AME shooting, talking about what measures need to be taken to address the increasing threat from ideological terrorists who act alone (though not in a vacuum): "Security experts in and out of the Obama administration say this trend—which transcends national boundaries and even specific ideologies of violence—requires a major overhaul of their counter-terrorism strategies, not just debates about gun control or the Confederate flag flying over the South Carolina state house." Yep.

In honor of the two-year anniversary of the Wendy Davis filibuster, Ana Mardoll has created an automated twitter bot that will post curated tweets from the Texas transcript project: @StandWithWendy. Woot! (Shared with Ana's permission.)

To celebrate her 66th birthday, Meryl Streep "decided to send letters to every member of Congress asking them to revive the Equal Rights Amendment." Because of course she did!

[CN: Injury; plane crash] Wow: Maria Nelly Murillo, 18, and her one-year-old son Yudier have been found alive "five days after their plane crashed in the jungle of western Colombia. ...Ms Murillo had some injuries and burns while her baby appeared to be in good health." After the plane crash was located, the pilot was found dead and there was no sign of Maria or Yudier. "But according to Col Hector Carrascal of the Colombian Air Force, rescuers took hope when they noticed that the cabin door was ajar. ...'We didn't have a clue what had happened to them: they could be lost in the jungle trying to survive or they could have died already.' But then the rescuers found clues which led them to believe Ms Murillo and her baby could still be alive. Coconut shells near the plane and a discarded flip flop in the jungle lifted their hopes. They also found the baby's birth certificate near a tree, which convinced them that Ms Murillo was trying to leave a trace of her path through the jungle. ...Finally, on Wednesday, they located Ms Murillo about 500m from the site of the crash in a ravine on the banks of a river." Amazing.

WHUT! "New observations with ESO's Very Large Telescope have revealed that the giant elliptical galaxy Messier 87 has swallowed an entire medium-sized galaxy over the last billion years. ...'We are witnessing a single recent accretion event where a medium-sized galaxy fell through the centre of Messier 87, and as a consequence of the enormous gravitational tidal forces, its stars are now scattered over a region that is 100 times larger than the original galaxy!' adds Ortwin Gerhard, head of the dynamics group at the Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany, and a co-author of the new study." (I love the exclamation point at the end of Gerhard's comment.)

[CN: Image of critter at link] Neat: "It's white. It's hairy. It's elusive. It's a yeti…crab. Meet Kiwa tyleri, the newest member of the yeti crab family and the first to be found in the cold waters off Antarctica."

[CN: Pet hospice] This is an incredibly moving video about a sanctuary and hospice for elderly dogs in Gaithersburg, Maryland, which is run by a woman named Sher Polvinale and a team of volunteers. Major blubs.

And finally! "This Bunny Understands Short People Problems." YOU KNOW MY LIFE, LITTLE BUN!

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