In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Terrorism; death; images of aftermath and descriptions of gore at link] A bomb has exploded outside the Erawan shrine in the Chidlom district in central Bangkok, killing at least 12 people and wounding dozens more. Some unconfirmed reports put the number of dead even higher. "There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Thai forces are fighting a low-level Muslim insurgency in the south of the predominantly Buddhist country, although those rebels have rarely launched attacks outside their ethnic Malay heartland. The country has also been riven for a decade by intense and sometimes violent rivalry between political factions in Bangkok and elsewhere." My condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of those lost; my thoughts are with the injured survivors.

[CN: Death; white supremacist violence] Fifty years after white seminarian Jonathan Myrick Daniels stepped in between a white supremacist and a black teenage girl named Ruby Sales, that girl, now a 67-year-old woman and a former college professor, advocate for civil and welfare rights, women's rights, and LGBT rights, and head of the SpiritHouse Project, a program that uses the arts, education and spirituality to bring about racial, economic, and social justice, talks about the past, the present, and how she didn't expect to be fighting the same fights 50 years on.

[CN: Sexual assault] Wow, this guy: "While riding the No. 3 train Wednesday morning at the [New York City] Bergen Street station in Park Slope, [37-year-old Maurice Osborne] said he heard screams from a woman, who investigators said was being sexually assaulted by 40-year-old Alvaro Dennica. Dennica had been allegedly fondling himself in the last subway car before chasing the victim onto the platform and jumping on top of her, [Matt Kozar] reported. Osborne, a fit 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, leaped into action and grabbed Dennica by the collar, as he demonstrated on Kozar during the interview. 'He said he did didn't do anything,' Osborne said, when asked what the alleged assailant's reaction was. Osborne said he continued grabbing the man by his shirt, pulling him all the way up the subway station's steps and across Flatbush Avenue to the 78th Precinct, where he turned him in to police. The 28-year-old victim was following close behind and told investigators what had happened, Kozar reported. ...Despite getting six stitches above his left eye and a swollen right hand that looked more like a water balloon, Osborne said he'd do it all again. Asked if anyone else was going to help the woman, Osborne said, 'Nope. I wish someone else did. I wish the conductor stayed. The conductor didn't even stay. The train left.'" Osborne explained his bravery thus: "As soon as she said that he was trying to rape her, I just reacted." Osborne is living in a shelter in the Bed Stuy section of Brooklyn while studying to become a medical assistant: "I like helping people. It makes me feel useful." Blub.

[CN: Sexual assault] Meanwhile, in New Hampshire: "Details of a practice authorities say was called the 'Senior Salute' were spelled out in stark terms by a former student at [the elite prep school St Paul's School in New Hampshire], who is charged with raping a 15-year-old girl on the roof of a campus building in May 2014. Owen Labrie, now 19, has pleaded not guilty to several felonies. ...Labrie, of Tunbridge, Vermont, talked openly about the tradition when he was interviewed by Concord police. On a campus where upperclassmen studiously avoid their younger peers in most settings, Labrie told a detective some students 'take great pride' in having sex with [sic] younger students before they leave school. Labrie also told the detective of a contest where boys compete to 'score' with the most girls, keeping a running tally written in indelible marker on a wall behind washing machines. The school kept painting over the scoreboard so it eventually was moved online. He acknowledged to the detective he was 'trying to be number one,' the detective wrote."

In good news: "A federal judge Thursday temporarily blocked an Alabama law that had forced one of the last remaining abortion clinics in the state, the West Alabama Women’s Center in Tuscaloosa, to be closed since January. ...The American Civil Liberties Union sued in July 2015 on the center's behalf, arguing the [TARP] provision was unconstitutional and requesting the court block it so the clinic can reopen. Thursday's order grants that request. There is no time limit for the order; it will remain in place as the trial continues." Phew. Fingers crossed for continued good news there.

[CN: Rape; war on agency] Today in Mike Huckabee Is a Terrible Human Being: "Huckabee is defending Paraguay's controversial decision to deny an abortion to a 10-year-old girl who became pregnant after being raped by her stepfather. Appearing on CNN's State of the Union on Sunday, the Republican presidential candidate said it was 'horrible' that the girl, now 11, was raped. 'But does it solve the problem by taking the life of an innocent child?' he asked." Fuck. You.

This is very interesting: "A new YouGov survey has found 49% of 18-24 year-olds in Britain don't identify as 100% heterosexual. Respondents were asked to put themselves on a Kinsey scale where 0 is exclusively heterosexual and 6 was completely homosexual." Fully 43% of respondents placed themselves in the non-binary area between 1 and 5, while only 52% placed themselves at one end or the other. "Of these, only 46% say they are completely heterosexual and 6% as completely homosexual."

[CN: Murder] "Prosecutors in South Africa have filed papers calling for Oscar Pistorius to be convicted of murder, days before he is due to be released on probation. Pistorius has spent 10 months in jail for shooting dead [Reeva Steenkamp, who was dating Pistorius at the time], after his conviction for manslaughter last year. The Olympic athlete insists he mistook Ms Steenkamp for an intruder. State prosecutors want his conviction to be reviewed and converted to murder, with a minimum sentence of 15 years." Days away from being released. Unbelievable.

"A new 'drinkable book' has pages that turn raw sewage into drinking water: As many as 358 million people in sub-Saharan Africa do not have reliable access to drinking water. Now, researchers have come up with a book on water safety whose pages can be used to filter water."

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Here is Tom Hardy talking again about how he's just fumblefucking his way through his career, to pretty spectacular results.

Hahahaha: "Meet the Real-Life Flying Spaghetti Monster." Which doesn't actually fly, but TECHNICALITIES!

And finally! "Unusual Friendship Between Wolf and Bear Documented by Finnish Photographer." Amazing.

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