In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

RIP Bobbi Kristina Brown. My condolences to her family, friends, and fans.

[Content Note: Police brutality; racism; death] Native American activist Rexdale W. Henry, 53, was found dead on July 14 inside his cell at the Neshoba County Jail in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where he was being detained following his arrest on July 9 for failure to pay a fine. "Detention officers found Henry's body around 10am; he was last seen alive 30 minutes earlier. The state crime lab in Jackson conducted an autopsy and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is looking into the case. ...Henry's arrest came one day after 39-year-old Jonathan Sanders died after a police stop in nearby Clarke County, which MBI is also investigating." Rage. Seethe. Boil.

[CN: Police brutality; racism] In Cleveland, during the first Black Lives Matter conference, a transit police officer pepper-sprayed a crowd who were protesting the arrest of a 14-year-old black boy. Great, heaving, angry sigh.

[CN: Police brutality; racism] Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in an interview with ABC news this weekend that Sandra Bland's death "highlights the concern of many in the black community that a routine stop for many members of the black community is not handled with the same professionalism and courtesy that other people may get from the police." Which is such an excellent point, and such a diplomatic way of putting it.

[CN: Police brutality; racism] Relatedly, over the weekend, Mediate published a slam piece on black activist DeRay McKesson, accusing him of being a conspiracy-monger for asking questions about Sandra Bland's death. The thing is: Refusing to uncritically accept official narratives isn't conspiracy mongering. Asking questions and challenging the status quo is central to the pursuit of social justice. Sometimes it turns out there are indeed reasonable explanations for things that seem unreasonable at first blush. That doesn't make the asking wrong. Anyone who's mad that people don't trust official narratives need to direct their ire at all the officials who have repeatedly been untrustworthy.

[CN: War] President Obama is trying to find a way to help the grim situation in South Sudan: "Mr. Obama, accompanied by Ms. Rice, now his national security adviser, convened a meeting on Monday to try to forge a peace in South Sudan, in his most direct personal intervention since the violence broke out more than 18 months ago. During a visit here to the Ethiopian capital, he sat down with regional leaders to try to build a consensus behind a peace proposal, and to come up with a backup plan, in case that fails, involving increased sanctions and possibly an arms embargo." I don't have a lot of faith, which is not a commentary on President Obama's solid diplomatic skills, but instead a commentary on just how dire the situation is in South Sudan, and has been for a year and a half now.

[CN: Clergy abuse] Goddammit: "The Jehovah's Witnesses Church in Australia failed to report more than 1,000 alleged child sex abusers to the police, an inquiry has heard. ...One elder told the hearing that notes relating to abuse claims were destroyed so they would not be discovered." Grr.

Damn: "The U.S. auto safety watchdog, toughening its stance against manufacturer defects, announced on Sunday a record $105 million in fines against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV over lapses in safety recalls involving millions of vehicles. The Italian-U.S. automaker's consent agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration contains an unprecedented buyback option covering hundreds of thousands of vehicles, including more than 1 million Jeep sport utility vehicles, whose owners can receive a trade-in or a financial incentive to get their vehicles repaired."

This is terrific: "The Strange Inside Story of the Legendarily Bad, Never-Released Fantastic Four Movie from 1994."

Key & Peele have announced this season will be the last of their Comedy Central sketch show. Good call, guys. Go out on a high note!

I love this: Trigueros del Valle, a small town in Spain with a population of around 300 people, has become the first place to recognize animals as "non-human residents" after Mayor Pedro J. Pérez Espinosa "introduced the animal rights bill, called the Renedo Declaration, to the new town council, who voted unanimously to approve it. 'Dogs and cats have been living among us for over a thousand years,' Espinosa said. 'And the mayor must represent not just the human residents but must also be here for the others.'" ♥

[CN: Video autoplays at link] This is just an incredible video about the ASPCA's rehabilitation of a traumatized puppy mill dog, and her journey into her forever home.

And finally! Baby hedgehogs making adorable noises!

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