Here is some stuff in the news today...
THE COOLEST NEWS: "Liquid water runs down canyons and crater walls over the summer months on Mars, according to researchers who say the discovery raises the chances of being home to some form of life. The trickles leave long, dark stains on the Martian terrain that can reach hundreds of metres downhill in the warmer months, before they dry up in the autumn as surface temperatures drop. Images taken from the Mars orbit show cliffs, and the steep walls of valleys and craters, streaked with summertime flows that in the most active spots combine to form intricate fan-like patterns. Scientists are unsure where the water comes from, but it may rise up from underground ice or salty aquifers, or condense out of the thin Martian atmosphere. 'There is liquid water today on the surface of Mars,' Michael Meyer, the lead scientist on NASA's Mars exploration programme, told the Guardian. 'Because of this, we suspect that it is at least possible to have a habitable environment today.'"
[Content Note: War on agency; self-harm; criminalization of need] Andrea Rowan has written a new report for the Guttmacher Institute about prosecuting women who self-induce abortion, which will only become increasingly common as access to abortion is further limited. "As the legal barriers to abortion care mount, reproductive health advocates expect that more women may resort to inducing abortion themselves. Not only can self-inducing put a woman's health at risk, but punitive laws and overzealous prosecutors can place these women in double jeopardy. ...The criminalization of pregnant and miscarrying women and women who self-induce abortion does not advance women's health or address the underlying societal and public health issues." I strongly encourage you to read the whole thing.
[CN: Racism; white supremacy; police brutality] Senator Elizabeth Warren gave an amazing speech on racial injustice in the US and the Black Lives Matter movement, which the WaPo's Wesley Lowery calls "perhaps the most full-throated endorsement to date by a federal lawmaker for the ongoing protest movement." Said Warren: "A half-century ago...entrenched, racist power did everything it could to sustain oppression of African Americans, and violence was its first tool. Lynchings, terrorism, intimidation. ...But violence was not the only tool. African Americans were effectively stripped of citizenship when they were denied the right to vote. The tools varied—literacy tests, poll taxes, moral character tests, grandfather clauses—but the results were the same. They were denied basic rights of citizenship and the chance to participate in self-government. The third tool of oppression was to deliberately deny millions of African Americans economic opportunities solely because of the color of their skin." It is terrific: There is video and a full transcript available here.
[CN: Misogyny] Hillary Clinton, who in 1995 famously said at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, "If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights, once and for all," has angered Chinese misogynists by tweeting about President Xi Jinping's women's rights record, thus pretty much demonstrating the need for her continued criticism. Misogynists are experts at nothing so much as PROVING THE POINT MORE.
[CN: Homophobia] Your progressive Pope: "Although the Argentine-born pontiff delved into some of the United States' thorniest political debates during his visit, he never specifically referred to a controversy over same-sex marriages, which the Church firmly opposes. ...On the flight back to Rome, he was asked if he supported individuals, including government officials, who refuse to abide by some laws, such as issuing marriage licenses to gays. 'Conscientious objection must enter into every juridical structure because it is a right,' Francis said."
[CN: Illness] The Guardian asked women living with endometriosis to describe their experiences, and "more than 600 women responded in just 24 hours." They compiled a selection of the responses, and it is extraordinary to see so many women speaking frankly about endo in one place.
Ian Millhiser has "Everything You Need to Know about the Big Supreme Court Cases the Justices Will Hear This Term: Next Monday, the Supreme Court will gavel in its newest term and the justices will take the bench for the first time since last June, when the conservative Roberts Court handed down a string of uncharacteristically liberal decisions. This term, however, liberals will need to swim upstream, with the justices poised to consider a number of issues—unions, voting rights, race, and abortion—where the members of the Court's conservative bloc have not often show a penchant of heterodoxy."
[CN: Video autoplays at link] I know this is a corporate production sponsored by Kleenex, and I don't even care, because it's so great: Atlanta-area nurse Renee Hendrix has worked as a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) nurse at WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Georgia, for 33 years. "In honor of Neonatal Nurses Day on Tuesday, Kleenex brand wanted to show this miracle worker how much she's appreciated by the parents and children she has served." LOVE.
Simpsons Spoiler Alert! Smithers is going to disclose to Mr. Burns that he is gay on an upcoming episode of The Simpsons.
And finally! A baby emu tries to get hir doggy friend to play with hir, but the dog isn't having it! Still, the trying is VERY hilarious and adorable!