Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Industrial accident; death; injury; video autoplays at link] Multiple explosions at the site of hazardous chemical warehouses in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin has killed at least 50 people and injured at least 500 more, 71 of whom are in critical condition. Twelve of the dead include firefighters, and dozens of firefighters are among the countless people still missing. "The first explosion was huge, but the second was even more powerful—the equivalent of 21 metric tons of TNT or a magnitude 2.9 earthquake, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center." The blasts destroyed homes in the area and shattered glass in a wide radius. Rescue teams are still searching for survivors in the rubble. Absolutely devastating.
[CN: Bombing; terrorism; death; injury] In Baghdad, a truck bomb set off near a popular food market in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood has killed at least 67 people and injured more "in one of the deadliest single blasts in the Iraqi capital in years. The Islamic State group [who are Sunni militants] claimed responsibility for the explosion, saying it targeted a gathering place of Shiites and vowed more such attacks." Fucking hell.
[CN: Illness] Former President Jimmy Carter, 90, has disclosed that he has cancer: "Recent liver surgery revealed that I have cancer that now is in other parts of my body. I will be rearranging my schedule as necessary so I can undergo treatment by physicians at Emory Healthcare. A more complete public statement will be made when facts are known, possibly next week." I wish him the best for whatever he wants along this journey, whether that is to aggressively pursue treatment, or to just be comfortable for as long as possible, or anything in between.
[CN: Sexual violence; description of sexual assaults at link] Three more women have come forward with accounts of being sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby, bringing the total number of women making allegations to nearly 50.
[CN: Racism; video autoplays at link] This is a terrific piece by Van Jones on the importance of #BlackLivesMatter activists disrupting the Democrats, the importance of meaningful policy for black people, and the importance of black people to Democratic candidates, if they want to win.
[CN: Carcerality] Here is a good read on Chicagoland's Cook County Jail's urban farming project. I am exceedingly anti-prison at this point, but, as long as we're stuck with the current criminal model, I'd prefer to see way more of these programs.
[CN: Police brutality; racism] Janelle Monáe, y'all: "Singer-songwriter and producer Janelle Monáe led a rally and march in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in Philadelphia on Wednesday. She was joined by rapper and Wondaland Records labelmate Jidenna, as she addressed the crowd of gathered protestors. 'They say a question lives forever, until it gets the answer it deserves,' Monáe said. 'Won't you say their names? Can we say their names right now? Can we speak their names, as long as we have breath in our bodies?'...Before playing a gig later on Wednesday evening, Monáe and Jidenna led chants of the names of black women and men who have died either in police custody or during altercations with the police."
[CN: Homophobia] "U.S. District Judge David Bunning has ruled that [Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis] must comply with the Supreme Court's decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide and that her personal religious beliefs do not supersede her oath of office." Good.
This is a really interesting and touching article about how people who take their ill pets for experimental treatments are contributing to medical advances for humans. "[Dr. Nicola Mason] says she never imagined when she was getting into veterinary medicine that she'd be helping people. Now, she says it's the way medicine should be practiced: 'It's a two for one approach.'" Blub.
And finally! Pit bull in a ball pit! ADORBZ!!!