Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: War] Just fuck: "Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has visited Moscow on his first overseas trip since the civil war broke out in his country in 2011. During the surprise visit, he held talks with President Vladimir Putin. ...The US and Russia agreed a deal on Tuesday to ensure their air forces do not clash in the skies over Syria, after Washington said last week their planes had 'entered the same battle space' and came within miles of each other." And I'm sure President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are THRILLED that immediately after this agreement, Putin was yukking it up with his BFF Assad.
[CN: War; description of bombing and injuries; death] The US military may have planned the attack on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, despite the many minimizing and deflecting stories provided by the US government: "The US military initially conceded only that their airstrike might have caused 'collateral damage' to the hospital. The top commander in Afghanistan, John F Campbell, later admitted—in the fourth attempt at explaining the devastating attack—that the hospital was 'mistakenly struck.' Since then, a former intelligence official has told the Associated Press that American special operations forces who planned the attack knew it was a hospital because they had been gathering intelligence on it for days. They believed it was being used to coordinate Taliban activity, and considered the strike justified. The report said it was not clear whether the commanders in the gunship firing on the site knew it was a hospital or the details of the allegations." Fucking hell. What the fuck are we even doing? Rage. Seethe. Boil.
[CN: War on agency] GOOD: "This week, women's healthcare providers in Ohio and Oklahoma challenging anti-abortion legislation have succeeded in blocking dangerous TRAP laws in two of the most hostile states in the nation for reproductive rights. On Tuesday, in a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio, a federal court issued a preliminary injunction blocking the enforcement of HB64, a 2015 measure which automatically suspends ambulatory surgical facilities (ASFs) licenses should the state's Department of Health deny an application for variance or neglect to process it within 60 days of receipt. ...Meanwhile in Oklahoma, a state court judge ordered a measure banning dilation and evacuation abortions (D and Es)—the most common second-trimester termination procedure—be blocked on Wednesday." Very good news on both counts. But this isn't the last we'll see of either of these measures. Republican legislatures will keep trying and keep trying, and pro-choice advocates will have to keep fighting and keep fighting.
[CN: Transmisogynistic violence; death] Goddammit: "A Washington, D.C. man charged with the murder of transgender woman Zella Ziona on October 15th in Montgomery County shot his victim multiple times because she embarrassed him in front of his friends... Capt. Darren Francke, commander of the Montgomery County Police Major Crimes Division, said 'it's clear that this was an absolutely premeditated murder…Leblond sought out the victim and killed her.'" I can't even find the words to describe how angry and sad this makes me.
Former Vice-Presidential candidate and zombie-eyed granny starver Paul Ryan will deign to be the next Speaker of the House, as long as members of his party meet a few conditions, like "an understanding that he would have a free hand to lead without a constant fear of intra-party reprisals." Neat job requirement! As long as you never disagree with me or try to hold me accountable if I fuck up, then I will totally take this job!
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Just remember as you read this that Ronald Reagan was once a b-movie actor considered a total joke before he was a two-term president and patron saint of modern conservatives: "Donald Trump leads the Republican presidential field in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, not only in vote preferences but in expectations as well—a remarkable feat for the non-politician who's surprised the GOP establishment with his staying power as well as his support. ...Trump also fares well on many key attributes. Nearly half of leaned Republicans—47 percent—view him as the strongest leader; 39 percent think he'd be best able to handle immigration; 32 percent feel he is closest to them on the issues; and 29 percent say he 'best understands the problems of people like you.'" Holy cow.
[CN: Nuclear disaster; worker harm] Damn: "More than four years after thousands of workers converged on Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power during its meltdown to turn it off, reports have surfaced of the first cancer diagnosis linked to exposure to radiation during the recovery. Japan's ministry of health, labor, and welfare recently announced that an unnamed worker has developed acute myelogenous leukemia—a cancer of the blood and bone marrow—that was contracted in the course of duties performed on the grounds of the plant. The man, in his early 40s, worked on No. 3 and No. 4 reactors between 2012 and 2013." He will only be the first of many. So fucking awful.
Adele's new album is imminent, and I AM SO RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED FOR IT, but damn if I don't want her to feel like she has to apologize for the length between albums. She doesn't owe us an album, so she sure doesn't owe us an apology.
NEAT! "A Microbiologist Recreated 'Starry Night' with Bacteria in a Petri Dish."
[CN: Moving gifs at link, but you can access the video without seeing them if you just don't scroll down] And finally! This video of a fawn named Fonzie being confused and delighted by a rubber ball is THE BEST!