In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Terrorism; death] An update on the possible Bangkok bomber, and, as always, I will caution that this information is preliminary, in the sense that this man is wanted for questioning only at this point: "Video footage has emerged of a key suspect police want to question in connection with the deadly bomb blast in the Thai capital, Bangkok. The footage, from a CCTV camera, shows a man in a yellow shirt leaving a backpack in the Erawan Hindu shrine. At least 20 people died in Monday's blast, about half of them foreigners, and more than 120 were injured. ...In the new footage, he is shown carefully and deliberately removing his backpack inside the shrine, getting up without it and immediately leaving the scene. The spot where he was sitting is precisely where the bomb went off a few minutes later, says the BBC's Jonathan Head in Bangkok."

[CN: Misogyny] The US Army Ranger School will graduate its first-ever female students this week: "Two female soldiers will graduate from the Army's grueling Ranger School on Friday, becoming the first women to ever complete one of the U.S. military's premier courses to develop elite fighters and leaders, Army officials said Monday night. The accomplishment marks a major breakthrough for women in the armed services..." Which naturally was immediately met with this bullshit: "Some skeptics, especially in the military, have questioned whether the women were given an easier path to graduation." Ah, yes. The famously easy path for women in the military! Fuck. Off.

[CN: Anti-choice terrorism] This should be at least as newsworthy as the Planned Parenthood videos, but it won't even get a mention by most news outlets: "A 19-year-old from Wichita is in custody after authorities said he brought a small homemade explosive device into a women's health care clinic that provides abortions in south-central Kansas. Officers responded to the South Wind Women's Center in Wichita around 3:30 p.m. Monday after an on-site security officer inspected the backpack the man brought in and found knives and the explosive device, Wichita Police Department Capt. Doug Nolte said. ...The clinic is one of three in Kansas that provide abortions. It opened in 2013 in the same building where Dr. George Tiller provided abortions until an anti-abortion opponent shot and killed him in 2009 in his church. That building has long been the site of anti-abortion violence. Tiller was also shot and wounded in both arms there in 1993 by an abortion opponent, and his clinic was bombed in 1996." Any chance any of the millions of people running for president might mention this act of domestic terrorism? *crickets*

[CN: War on agency] Relatedly: "As state-level investigations into Planned Parenthood continue to find that the health-care provider has not broken any laws by donating fetal tissue for medical research, the Obama administration is now saying that it has found no evidence of wrongdoing among either government researchers who work with fetal tissue or companies that supply it." No shit.

[CN: Police brutality; racism; death] This is a sickeningly familiar story: "When Radazz Hearns was shot seven times by police in Trenton, New Jersey earlier this month, police claimed the 14-year-old pulled out a gun and attempted to shoot them while running. Now, the attorney general's office says those allegations are unsupported, and an eyewitness says Hearns was actually unarmed and trying to pull up his pants as he ran."

[CN: Police brutality; racism; disablism; death] And in New York: "Samuel Harrell, 30, died of a homicide at the hands of 20 correctional officers and none of them have faced any punishment. The New York Times reported that inmates at Fishkill Correctional Facility in New York who witness the death said that Harrell was acting erratically on the evening of April 21 because he had bipolar disorder. A confrontation with officers led to Harrell being thrown to the ground, a witness said. About 20 officers—some of them from what was known as the 'Beat Up Squad'—reportedly kicked and beat the inmate. According to written accounts from inmates, they heard officers shouting racial slurs at Harrell, who was black. ...Four months after Harrell was pronounced dead, corrections officials have refused to provide details about the death, citing an ongoing investigation." No disciplinary action has been taken against any of the officers involved.

[CN: Police brutality; death] Meanwhile: "A former Fairfax County police officer was charged with second-degree murder Monday, nearly two years after he shot and killed an unarmed Springfield man who stood with his hands raised in the doorway of his home. The indictment of Adam D. Torres in the killing of 46-year-old John Geer, who had a holstered gun at his feet when he was shot, marks the first time in the 75-year history of the Fairfax County Police Department that an officer has faced criminal prosecution in connection with an on-duty shooting." The victim in this case, John Geer, was white.

[CN: Transphobic violence; death] "A transgender woman is dead after being run over repeatedly by the driver of an SUV in Kansas City early Saturday in a possible hate crime. Tamara Dominguez, 36, is the latest victim in an epidemic of anti-trans violence that's claimed the lives of 17 women this year, 15 of whom were black or Hispanic." I am so sad and so fucking angry. My condolences to her family and friends and community.

Of course: Donald Trump "has won his party's trust on top issues more than any other Republican presidential candidate, and now stands as the clear leader in the race for the GOP nomination, according to a new CNN/ORC poll. The survey finds Trump with the support of 24% of Republican registered voters. His nearest competitor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, stands 11 points behind at 13%." What a terrific party Republicans are!

LeBron James is sending over 1,000 kids to college: "Through a partnership between the school and his LeBron James Family Foundation, the 1,100 children currently in his 'I Promise' program will receive a fully sponsored scholarship. 'I think it's probably one of the best things I've ever been a part of,' James said. He continued, 'This is very special to me. As a kid growing up in the inner city and as an African-American kid, you don't really think past high school because it's not possible or your family can't support you.'" James made the announcement on Twitter in THE BEST way: "Every single kid who finish my program will go to college for FREE!" Yay!

Neat: "Space enthusiasts and sci-fi fans, rejoice: The space elevator may be one step closer to reality. A Canadian space company was recently awarded a patent for a space elevator that would reach about 12 miles (20 kilometers) above the Earth's surface. Although space elevators have been considered a theoretical technology, they have been billed as a cheaper alternative to rocket launches, especially when it comes to sending heavy objects or people into space. According to Thoth Technology Inc., the company that was awarded the patent, the U.S. patent allows for an elevator that would be 30 percent cheaper than the fuel required by a conventional rocket. Also, the system would be fully reusable, further reducing costs, the company said. 'Astronauts would ascend to 20 km by electrical elevator,' inventor Brendan Quine said in a statement. 'From the top of the tower, space planes will launch in a single stage to orbit, returning to the top of the tower for refueling and reflight.'" Space elevator!!!

This close-up video of a hummingbird's iridescent feathers is extraordinary!

And finally! "August 15, 2015, was a historical day for animal lovers and shelter pets across the United States. This, thanks to the nationwide adoption drive sponsored by 11 NBC owned television stations, the New England regional news network necn, 17 Telemundo owned stations, and More than 400 shelters participated and a total of 18,860 pets found forever homes. ...The public's response was unexpected on the day of the event that many places had long lines—even before doors opened. Once pets were officially adopted, social media feeds exploded with images of happy adopters and pets." Blub.

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