In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Terrorism; anti-Semitism] Welp, this interview with San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook's father is just all kinds of fucked up: "The man told the newspaper his son 'shared the ideology of [ISIS leader Abu-Bakr] al-Baghdadi to create an Islamic state, and was obsessed with Israel.' 'I would always tell him: Stay calm, have patience, in two years Israel won't even exist,' he told the journalist. 'The geopolitics is changing: Russia, China, even America, no one wants the Jews down there. They'll take them back to Ukraine. What's the point of fighting? We already did that and we lost. You can't beat Israel with armies but with politics. But nothing changed, he was obsessed,' the man said." Blink. Blink.

[CN: Terrorism; violence] At a London tube station Saturday, a man attacked two people with a knife, leaving one with serious injuries: "Scotland Yard named the suspect as Muhaydin Mire, 29, from east London, who is charged [with attempted murder] over the attack of a 56-year-old man on Saturday evening at Leytonstone underground station. ...Two men were reportedly attacked at the station by a knife-wielding man whom eyewitnesses said had declared: 'This is for Syria.' The disturbing episode was captured by fellow commuters, who filmed it on their phones and spread it on social media. The man was eventually overpowered by police officers, who used a Taser to disable and disarm him." Fuck.

[CN: Police brutality; racism] Wow: "The US Justice Department will open an investigation into the Chicago police department after protests over how it handled the case of a black teenager shot by a white police officer, according to several reports. The 'patterns and practices' investigation will determine whether the department systematically violates constitutional rights, according to Reuters. No further details were revealed about the investigation. A spokesman for the Chicago police department could not confirm the civil probe, which is expected to mimic those in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting death of Michael Brown in 2014." This would be much better news if Justice Department investigations actually resulted in meaningful long-term changes.

[CN: Transphobia] And from suburban Chicago: "Over the past few months we've been reporting on Suburban Chicago's Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211, which decided to defy a U.S. Department of Education ruling and discriminate against a transgender student by barring her from the female locker room. The school's decision risked the school district $6 million in federal funding until last week, when the school district reached a settlement with the Department of Education... Now, school officials are saying they might back out of the deal because they are furious about how the deal has been portrayed to the media, and over a hypothetical: what if Student A doesn't use the privacy curtains (which btw, she says she will)." The ACLU is representing the student and continues to fight with these dipshits to do their goddamn jobs and treat her like a human being.

[CN: Sexual violence; rape culture] Melissa Gira Grant on "How Stoya took on James Deen and broke the porn industry's silence: That silence was filled almost immediately by other porn performers, some with allegations similar to Stoya's, and about the same man, and saying that, despite what the reporters and critics and fans might have been wondering, yes, no matter what you see on screen, a porn performer has a right to her boundaries, on-set and off—and that yes, they believed her. That chorus of voices that followed Stoya's shook the porn industry. They reverberated, and now the public is hearing, perhaps as loudly as ever, about the particular structural problems the porn industry contends with, and the persistent and pernicious idea that sex workers are by definition unrapeable."

[CN: Racism; terrorism] Donald Trump continues his rampage of horrendousness: "Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump says the country's 'tremendous problem' with radical Islamic terrorism will get solved once President Barack Obama 'gets the hell out' of office. Trump slammed the president Sunday for not using the term 'radical Islamic terrorism' to describe the terror attacks in Paris and this past week's mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, hitting on a frequent Republican criticism of the Obama administration's language used to describe terrorism. 'Until he admits that this is a problem, we're never gonna solve the problem,' Trump said on CBS' Face the Nation. 'But he's only gonna be there, fortunately, a little bit more than a year. Because the problem will get solved when he gets the hell out.'"

[CN: Terrorism; guns] John Kasich is obviously a genius: "Republican presidential candidate John Kasich warned over the weekend that people on the terrorist watch list should be able to buy guns or it could 'tip somebody off' that they are being watched. ...'When our law enforcement stops somebody that's on the watch list, we don't tell them they are on the watch list,' he explained. 'We want to make sure we can exploit all the information that we can possibly get. So, if all of the sudden you tell everybody that’s on the watch list that you can't do this or that then guess what happens? Then we lose our ability to track, we lose our ability to gather information,' he added. 'So I think we have to be careful.'"

Damn: "In the mid 1900s, the most popular banana in the world—a sweet, creamy variety called Gros Michel grown in Latin America—all but disappeared from the planet. At the time, it was the only banana in the world that could be exported. But a fungus, known as Panama Disease, which first appeared in Australia in the late 1800s, changed that after jumping continents. The disease debilitated the plants that bore the fruit. The damage was so great and swift that in a matter of only a few decades the Gros Michel nearly went extinct. Now, half a century later, a new strain of the disease is threatening the existence of the Cavendish, the banana that replaced the Gros Michel as the world's top banana export, representing 99 percent of the market, along with a number of banana varieties produced and eaten locally around the world. And there is no known way to stop it—or even contain it." Because, spoiler alert, we should have addressed the way bananas are grown, not just switched to another variety and hoped the same thing wouldn't happen again. Sadface.

And finally! Do you want to see an adorable video of baby sloths learning to climb? Well, then you are in luck!

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