In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today..

[Content Note: Terrorism; bombing; death] Terrible news from Turkey: "A bomb attack in the Turkish town of Suruc has killed at least 30 people during a meeting of young activists to discuss the reconstruction of the neighbouring Syrian town of Kobane. Around 100 others were wounded in the explosion, which may have been caused by a female suicide attacker from the Islamic State group, officials say. Kobane has seen heavy fighting between IS militants and Kurdish fighters. It was retaken by the Kurds from IS forces earlier this year. ...The Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF) is reported to have had at least 300 members staying at the Amara Culture Centre in Suruc, where the explosion happened. The young people had been planning to travel to Kobane to help with rebuilding the town. A photo taken earlier in the day showed members of the group relaxing in the garden." I'm just so goddamn sad and so goddamn angry.

[CN: War on agency] Republican Governor of Wisconsin and presidential candidate Scott Walker has signed legislation banning abortion at or after 20 weeks in the state: "Under the new law, doctors who perform an abortion at or after 20 weeks in non-emergency situations could be charged with a felony punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and three and a half years in prison. Doctors could also be sued for damages. No exception is made for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. Doctors would be allowed to perform abortions beyond 20 weeks only if the mother was likely to die or suffer irreversible injuries within 24 hours." This is one of the so-called "fetal pain" bills being introduced and passed in state legislatures across the nation, despite the fact that they're based on garbage propaganda not actual science.

[CN: Flooding; death] More heavy rains in the Midwest has caused flash flooding in several states—among them Ohio, where 32-year-old Victoria Kennard, who was pregnant, "was killed along with two of her children when their mobile home was swept away during a weekend torrential downpour, a coroner said Monday as authorities began assessing damage to homes and roads in southern Ohio. ...Her fiance and two other sons were rescued. Authorities said one of the boys was found in a tree." Devastating. I'm so sorry for her finance and their surviving children. If it seems to you like these sorts of stories are increasingly common, you're not wrong: The more extreme storms intensified by climate change are also more frequent.

[CN: Terrorism] President Obama met today at the White House with newly elected Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari "to shore up relations between the US and the nation with Africa's largest economy and to seek additional assistance in the fight against the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. The group has killed thousands across the country's north."

[CN: Carcerality] Last week, President Obama visited El Reno federal prison, a medium-security facility in Oklahoma, and he said typically smart and sensitive things: "When they describe their youth, these are young people who made mistakes that aren't that different from the mistakes I made, and the mistakes that a lot of you guys made. The difference is that they did not have the kind of support structures, the second chances, the resources that would allow them to survive those mistakes." And this is just incredible: President Obama "is the first sitting president to visit a federal prison." Wow. Wow.

[CN: Racism; violence; death] Elizabeth Day for the Guardian: "#BlackLivesMatter: the birth of a new civil rights movement." It's a really excellent profile of the movement, and I love this quote from Alicia Garza, even though I grieve she has to feel this way: "I have to be honest: I feel like I live in a constant state of rage and I think a lot of black people do… It's more than depressing to me. It makes me angry, particularly when people try to deny it's happening."

[CN: Hacking; privacy violations] Whooooooopsfuck: "Adultery website has been hacked, potentially exposing names, addresses, and sexual preferences of millions of would-be cheaters just as the site's owner was preparing to go public. ...A group or individual called The Impact Team has claimed responsibility for the attack, and has already leaked maps of company servers, staff information, and company bank accounts, according to cyber-security blog Krebs on Security. In a message overlaid on the AshleyMadison homepage, the hackers threatened to publish the stolen information unless the site and its peer are taken offline."

[CN: Rape culture; sexual assault] Rapists lie and predators prey: "New details from Bill Cosby's 2005 deposition were published Saturday by the New York Times—among them confessions that Cosby hid his relationships with other women from his wife and details about how he seduced women. The excerpts of Cosby's 2005 deposition, which was obtained by the New York Times, elaborate on, as the Times puts it, Cosby's 'calculated pursuit of young women.'"

[CN: Rape culture; sexual assault] Relatedly, on the subject of sexual assault and celebrity, this piece by Ann Powers on "The Cruel Truth About Rock and Roll" is a must read: "Here's the truth: The history of rock turns on moments in which women and young boys were exploited in myriad financial, emotional and sexual ways. This most sordid secret history lurks in the background, but it's not incidental: from the teen-scream 1950s onward, one of the music's fundamental functions has been to frame and express sexual feelings for and from the very young, and its culture has included real kids, the kind who feel free but remain very vulnerable, relating to older men whose glamour and influence encourages trust, not caution. The worst, weakest and most self-deluded of these men have stepped over moral lines, over and over again."

[CN: Eating; food access] USians don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. There are a whole lot of reasons for this, and a whole complex set of solutions we need to engage to change this system. Suffice it to say: "People are lazy and make bad choices!" is not The Reason for this dynamic.

And finally! Tooooooo cuuuuuuuute: "Came home to my roommate's dog protecting my kitten from the loud thunder and lightning outside." Aww!

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