In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: War; terrorism; death] Damn: "Two women shot at the U.S. consulate in Istanbul on Monday and at least eight people were killed in a wave of separate attacks on Turkish security forces, weeks after Ankara launched a crackdown on Islamic State, Kurdish and far-left militants. The NATO member has been in a heightened state of alert since starting its 'synchronized war on terror' last month, including air strikes against Islamic State fighters in Syria and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in northern Iraq. It has also rounded up hundreds of suspected militants at home. A far-left group that killed a Turkish security guard in a 2013 suicide bombing of the U.S. embassy in Ankara claimed it was involved in Monday's attack. The Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C), considered a terrorist organization by the United States and Turkey, said one of its members was involved, and called Washington the 'arch enemy' of the people of the Middle East and the world."

(As an aside, I love, ahem, how every report I've read notes the shooters were "two women." As opposed to the usual "militants" or "armed radicals" or any of the genderless language traditionally used.)

This is an interesting piece by Paul Krugman about how little criticism there was for President Obama in the first Republican debate. "The shared premise of everyone on the Republican side is that the Obama years have been a time of policy disaster on every front. Yet the candidates on that stage had almost nothing to say about any of the supposed disaster areas. And there was a good reason they seemed so tongue-tied: Out there in the real world, none of the disasters their party predicted have actually come to pass. President Obama just keeps failing to fail."

[CN: Class warfare] Speaking of failures: "Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul said on Fox News on Sunday that income inequality is 'due to some people working harder.'" Hahahaha fuck you.

In good news: "Starting this fall, transgender people who work for the City of Chicago can start getting medical insurance coverage for gender alignment surgery, under a change in policy announced by Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday. ...The new policy, which is expected to get final approval from the city Benefits Committee by mid-August, will only apply to non-union workers, but Mayor Emanuel says he is working with unions to make a similar change. ...Once the policy takes effect on October 1, Chicago will become the largest city to provide transition-related care to its employees. San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. have also started including transgender-specific health care in their insurance plans." [NB: Not all trans people want, nor should any public policy require them to get, gender alignment surgery.]

[CN: Sexual assault] This is a pretty big fucking whoops, Uber: "Uber has pledged to improve its vetting procedures after admitting that a man arrested in Dallas on suspicion of sexually assaulting a passenger was granted approval to drive for the company by mistake." Fucking hell.

Here's a real headline in the world today: "You're Not Actually Seeing a Ghost on Mars."

In other news from the heavens: SPACE SALAD! "For the first time ever, NASA astronauts are set to dine today on 'Outredgeous' red romaine lettuce grown in the micro gravity environment at the International Space Station. The harvest comes from NASA's Veg-01 experiment, which is studying how plants grow in orbit—potentially giving astronauts on future long-haul missions the ability to grow their own meals and enjoy fresh produce in space." Cool!

And finally! Cats in Underpants. Yup.

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