Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Accident] Oh dear: "Two marine helicopters have collided off the Hawaiian island of Oahu with a total of twelve people onboard, the US coast guard has said. ...Darkness and high surf, however, are complicating the search efforts, according to [Chief Petty Officer Sara Mooers of the coast guard], who said that a high surf advisory was in effect for waves 10 to 15 feet high building throughout the morning. ...Marine Captain Timothy Irish stated that the crash involved two Sikorsky CH-53E transport helicopters, also known as Super Stallions, from the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing from Marine Corps Base Hawaii, and that an active search and rescue was under way. ...There was no immediate word on what had caused the collision or if any survivors have been found." Here's hoping that some of the marines survived the crash and will be found soon.
[CN: War on agency; privacy violations] Goddammit: "A North Carolina law requiring abortion providers to submit an ultrasound to state officials for every abortion and induced miscarriage performed after the 16th week of pregnancy took effect on January 1. The law, signed by Governor Pat McCrory in June, demands all doctors performing abortions after 16 weeks to send the State Department of Health and Human Services an ultrasound of the fetus proving the measurements used to determine the fetus' 'probable gestational age.' ...As part of the new requirements, doctors performing abortions after 20-weeks must also submit to the state whatever evidence was used to determine that the abortion qualified as a medical emergency. Essentially, the law forces women to share their private medical information with state officials. 'State bureaucrats have no business coming between a woman and her doctor and collecting medical records that should be personal and private,' said Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic Executive Director Melissa L. Reed who has called the law 'medically unnecessary and purely politically driven.'" This is so fucking gross.
[CN: Clean water access] The water crisis in Flint is awful: "The National Guard arrived in Flint on Wednesday to help distribute bottled water and filters to some 30,000 households amid a mounting outcry against Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's response to a full-blown public health crisis. ...Snyder, having ignored the problem for months, declared a state of emergency on January 5, and called for reinforcements to help stem the spiraling crisis. By Friday an estimated 30 Guardsmen are expected to be assembled in the predominantly Black city of about 99,000 residents, where American Red Cross volunteers are poised to join the door-to-door distribution effort."
[CN: Homophobia] Just like Jesus would do: "The Anglican Church yesterday punished the U.S. Episcopal church for its inclusiveness of gay people and gay marriage by suspending it for three years from any committees or decision-making within the church." I would say that's unbelievable, but, of course, it's perfectly, terribly believable.
"Lindsey Graham endorses Jeb Bush for president." Aww.
[CN: Misogynoir] Akiba Solomon explains that "The Real Problem with the #BlackGirlMagic Backlash is That You're Missing the Point: That Elle.com—a site predominantly for White women—would run a takedown of 'Black girl magic' is why Black women won't stop saying 'Black girl magic.' This expression is not about us being saddled with martyrdom. It's us making our own light and love. You can't tell me that's not magic."
[CN: Sedition] LOLOLOL: "Gifts of sex toys, glitter, and nail polish are not what the armed protesters who seized a U.S. wildlife refuge in Oregon were expecting when they put out a public call for supplies to help get them through the winter. The occupiers, who took over buildings at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2 in the latest conflict over the U.S. government's control of land in the West, had been hoping for snacks, fuel, and warm clothes when they provided sympathizers with a local mailing address. Instead, as they angrily showed online, they received sex-related toys and food that would be of little use as they braced for a long standoff with federal law enforcement agents who have kept watch from a distance. 'It was really mind-blowing to me that people would actually spend their money...on all this hateful stuff to send out to us,' one of the occupiers, Jon Ritzheimer, said in a Facebook video this week in which he displayed items including a large sex toy and a bag of penis-shaped candies." Helpfully, a dude sent them "55 gallons of lube to go with those dildos." That was thoughtful!
[CN: Misogyny] Um: "A 16m-high (55ft) glass church in the shape of a high-heeled shoe has been built in Taiwan, apparently in a bid to attract more women. ...'There will be 100 female-oriented features in the church like maple leaves, chairs for lovers, biscuits and cakes,' government spokesman Zheng Rongfeng is quoted as saying in local media." All right then.
A Friends reunion is happening (YAY MORE ROSS GELLER I CAN'T GET ENOUGH ROSS GELLER PIVOT! PIVOT! PIVOT!) but Matthew Perry won't be there. Could that be any more of a bummer?
And finally! "Groundbreaking Study Shows Dogs Can Truly Understand Emotions." So can cats. They just don't GAF.