In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Terrorism; death] "The suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, was among those killed in a French police raid on Wednesday, prosecutors say. They confirmed the Islamic State (IS) militant had died in a flat in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis. ...In another development, nine arrests were made in Belgium after searches in connection with Friday's attacks."

[CN: War on agency] Fuuuuuuuck: "Nearly 9,000 Rhode Islanders have lost comprehensive abortion coverage through their insurance plans, thanks to a budget bill signed in June by Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo—and some of them may not be aware of the change. Article 18 of the 2016 budget appropriations bill requires health insurers that offer plans on Rhode Island's health insurance exchange to also offer plans that exclude coverage for elective abortions. As of November 7, according to a press release issued by Rhode Island's health insurance exchange, HealthSource RI, 30,680 individuals had signed up for coverage through the exchange for plan year 2016. Almost all of those people are enrollees whose plans were automatically renewed for next year through a common process called 'mapping,' by which HealthSource RI either keeps enrollees in their same health plan, or switches them to a comparable one. Many of these 'comparable' plans offer only minimal coverage for abortion—in cases of rape, incest, or if the mother's life is in danger—as required by law. Close to 9,000 HealthSource RI customers were automatically re-enrolled in plans that exclude abortion coverage, according to Rhode Island Public Radio. These customers have until December 23 to switch plans. If they don't, they may not become aware that their plans do not cover elective abortions until they need one."

[CN: Refugee crisis; xenophobia] Well, the fearmongering is working rage seethe boil: "Most Americans want the U.S. to stop letting in Syrian refugees amid fears of terrorist infiltrations after the Paris attacks, siding with Republican presidential candidates, governors, and lawmakers who want to freeze the Obama administration's resettlement program. The findings are part of a Bloomberg Politics national poll released Wednesday that also shows the nation divided on whether to send U.S. troops to Iraq and Syria to fight the Islamic State, an idea President Barack Obama opposes, and whether the U.S. government is doing enough to protect the homeland from a comparable attack. Fifty-three percent of U.S. adults in the survey, conducted in the days immediately following the attacks, say the nation should not continue a program to resettle up to 10,000 Syrian refugees." Uh, that's not "most Americans." It's a majority, unfortunately, but it's not most.

[CN: Refugee crisis] And all the handwringing about "proper vetting," despite the fact that refugees are extremely well vetted: "Unless you go through it, you don't realize how emotionally taxing this is."

Here's just a cool headline about a cool guy: "Donald Trump has big plans for 'radical Islamic' terrorists, 2016 and 'that communist' Bernie Sanders."

Meanwhile, the latest Public Policy Polling survey finds that Trump is still leading the GOP field "with 26%, followed by Ben Carson at 19%, Ted Cruz at 14%, and Marco Rubio at 13%. No one else in the GOP field even gets more than 5%. Jeb Bush reaches that mark followed by Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee at 4%." Gross. (Which part? All of it.)

On the other side of the aisle: "O'Malley's presidential campaign is perilously close to financial collapse." Whooooops!

Whoa: "Galactic Monster Mystery Revealed in Ancient Universe: Astronomers have detected something baffling at the furthest frontiers of our observable universe: massive galaxies—lots of massive galaxies—that shouldn't even exist. Depending on the wavelength you observe the universe in, different celestial objects and cosmic phenomena present themselves. This rule is especially true when looking deeper into the universe—the further you look, the farther back in time you can see. Because the universe is expanding, the most ancient light traveling over these vast distances becomes more difficult to observe. ...In an effort to reveal galaxies that have remained hidden from view at these vast distances, the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) at the ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile has revealed some of the youngest galaxies discovered to date, galaxies that were born a mere billion years after the Big Bang. But there's something weird going on: There's lots of them. And they're monsters." Rrrowwwrrr!

Whoa, Part Two: "This Parasite Is Really a Micro-Jellyfish: A group of parasites that scientists formerly thought were protists—a huge category of microorganisms—are actually members of Cnidaria, the phylum that includes jellyfish and coral. Somewhere along the evolutionary line, the recently re-classified parasites, myxozoans, left behind all forms of mouths, guts or ability to survive outside of a host. ...'Because they're so weird, it's difficult to imagine they were jellyfish,' [Paulyn Cartwright, an evolutionary biologist and an author of a new paper that reclassifies the creatures] says in the release. But they did retain one key feature: Myxozoans still have a complex structure that looks like the stinging cells of jellyfish, called a nematocyst... The researchers aren't sure what caused the parasites to change so drastically from their jellyfish-like ancestors, but they are interested in finding out more. 'Myxozoa absolutely redefines what we think of as animal,' says Cartwright."

"This is fresh. This came from a different space."—Producer Tony Visconti on David Bowie's forthcoming new album Blackstar. I CAN'T WAAAAAAIT!!! Do you think the different space it came from is a secret monster galaxy? I bet it is!

Loooove: "To woo potential mates, the blue-capped cordon bleu performs a high-speed tap dance too fast for the human eye to see."

And finally! Willow the Piglet is very excited about a pile of leaves! LOL aww!

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