In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Police brutality; racism; death] Another black person is dead after being pulled over for what should have been a routine traffic stop: 43-year-old Samuel Dubose was shot in the head by University of Cincinnati Campus Police Officer Ray Tensing following an altercation during a traffic stop for a missing front license plate. Dubose's family awaits answers as the investigation is ongoing. Protesters are demanding accountability.

[CN: Transphobic violence; death] In the past week, two more trans women have been killed in the US: In Florida, 25-year-old India Clarke, a black trans woman, was found beaten to death outside Tampa's University Area Community Center. In California, 66-year-old K.C. Haggard was fatally slashed in the throat outside a Fresno bar she liked. Eleven trans women have been murdered in the US so far this year. My condolences to Clarke's and Haggard's families, friends, and colleagues, and to all those in their communities who are feeling alienated, angry, and unsafe. I fervently hope their deaths will be vigorously investigated and their killers found.

[CN: Guns] In a wide-ranging interview with the BBC (a full transcript of which is available here), President Obama says that "his failure to pass 'common sense gun safety laws' in the US is the greatest frustration of his presidency." I'll bet.

[CN: Police brutality; racism; death] Lots of people have lots of questions about the information available about Sandra Bland's arrest, detainment, and death. Ryan Broderick has compiled a bunch of those questions at BuzzFeed.

I'm sure this will work out great for everyone: "The health insurer Anthem said on Friday that it had agreed to acquire its rival Cigna for $48.3 billion in a deal that would further concentrate the United States market to just a few major players. ...Earlier this month Aetna agreed to acquire Humana, the smallest of the big five insurers, for $37 billion in cash and stock. If both transactions are completed, the number of major health insurers in the United States will shrink to three."

[CN: Fat hatred; dehumanizing image at link] I have all the thoughts about this story about a very fat man who is riding a bike across the US in order to lose weight and win back his wife. I hate that lots of people will only care about this guy because he's doing something intense and weird to lose weight, and I hate that he and all the people who will follow his journey are putting pressure on his wife to take him back because of this grand romantic gesture. Fuck this whole thing.

[CN: Racism; religious intolerance] "For generations, members of the Apache Native American tribe have viewed Oak Flat as a holy, sacred place. Located about an hour due east of Phoenix, Arizona, the land has long served as a site for traditional acorn gatherings, burial services, and rite of passage ceremonies for young women. The flat is tucked inside Arizona's Tonto National Forest, and has historically been protected by the federal government. 'It's our sacred land—it's where we come to pray,' Carrie Sage Curley, an Apache woman, told ThinkProgress. But last year, the land quietly became something else: A proposed site for a massive copper mining project spearheaded by Resolution Copper, an organization run by two multinational corporations based in the United Kingdom and Australia. ...'It's the same thing as a church,' Curley said. 'We protect these temples, why can't we do the same for our sacred land?'" Good question.

[CN: Class warfare] Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has scheduled a vote to repeal ObamaCare, because of course he has.

Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift have squashed their beef, and I really love both of them and how they handled this situation (I mean, I don't love how Taylor Swift fucked up, but I love how she comported herself afterwards). TEAM BOTH LADIES.

Images of Pluto "taken by the New Horizons spacecraft have been combined with color data to paint a new and surprising portrait of the dwarf planet," and the result is breathtakingly spectacular!

I love everything about this post by Kaiser about Alejandro Iñárritu's new film The Revenant, especially these final lines: "Why would it have been such a big deal to enhance the natural light? Because that wouldn't have been authentic to the time period? Guess what? Neither is your movie camera." LOL FOREVERRRRRRR.

And finally! This is an absolutely amazing story about a baby seal who lost her way, was discovered by a herd of cows, whose curiosity alerted a bird watcher, who collected the seal and got her to safety with a rescue organization. What a series of events!

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