Here is some stuff in the news today...
RIP Glenn Frey. Fuck. I know nothing about the man personally, but, like most people of a certain age, I know all the lyrics to all his many hits, without ever having tried to learn them. 2016 is not being kind.
The Supreme Court has "agreed to hear President Barack Obama's bid to resurrect his plan to shield more than 4 million illegal immigrants from deportation, a unilateral executive action he took in 2014 to bypass the Republican-led Congress. Obama's action was blocked by lower courts after Texas and 25 other Republican-governed states sued to stop it, contending he exceeded his presidential powers under the U.S. Constitution. The case will be argued before the high court in the coming months, with a ruling due by the end of June." Fingers crossed.
[Content Note: Violence; misogyny; racism; police misconduct] "A recent spate of cases involving Native American women from northern Minnesota being murdered or going missing has raised questions about how seriously such disappearances are taken by the police and other authorities. As Duluth, Minnesota, marks trafficking awareness month, local activists say some of the disappearances and deaths are linked to this issue, and argue that the invisibility of the Native American population contributes to neglect by police, media and social services and point to the need for better data collection in order to track the number of missing and murdered women." The US could take a lesson from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau here, about how to address this issue seriously.
[CN: War; terrorism; violence; displacement] Fucking hell: "The UN says violence suffered by civilians in Iraq 'remains staggering,' with at least 18,800 killed between 1 January 2014 and 31 October 2015. Some 3.2 million people have also been displaced internally over the same period, according to a new report. The UN accuses so-called Islamic State of systematic and widespread violence, including holding some 3,500 mainly women and children as slaves. ...UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein said the report 'starkly illustrates what Iraqi refugees are attempting to escape when they flee to Europe and other regions. This is the horror they face in their homelands.'" This is the "freedom" spread in our names by former President George W. Bush and his collection of neocon miscreants.
[CN: Class warfare; access to water] Good grief: "Florida Senator and presidential contender Marco Rubio told reporters Monday night that he has not been 'focusing on' the lead contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan, which has left tens of thousands of residents without drinkable water and with possibly irreversible damage to their health. While admitting to not know much about the situation, Rubio did say he believes the federal government should stay out it."
In related news: "The mayor of Flint, Mich., is in Washington, D.C., trying to get a meeting with President Obama, but she took time out on Tuesday to endorse her pick for the next occupant of the Oval Office. 'I want Hillary,' Mayor Karen Weaver said in a conference call with reporters. 'She has actually been the only, the only candidate, whether we're talking Democratic or Republican, to reach out and talk with us about, 'What can I do? What kind of help do you need?'' Clinton mentioned the water crisis in Flint during her closing statement at the Democratic debate Sunday, saying 'every single American should be outraged' that a predominantly African American, low-income community in the United States has been drinking and bathing in lead-contaminated water while their complaints went unanswered for months. 'I'll tell you what, if the kids in a rich suburb of Detroit had been drinking contaminated water and being bathed in it, there would've been action,' Clinton said."
In other endorsement news: If Sarah Palin endorses Donald Trump, Ted Cruz spokesperson Rick Tyler says he'd "be deeply disappointed." LOL okay.
[CN: White supremacy] "Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that hands out the Oscars, released a public statement late yesterday expressing regret over the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominees. ...'I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion. This is a difficult but important conversation, and it's time for big changes. ...As many of you know, we have implemented changes to diversify our membership in the last four years. But the change is not coming as fast as we would like. We need to do more, and better and more quickly."
[CN: Images of creepy-crawly at link] This is a really cool piece about the 12 centimeter long (!) stick insect that inhabits Lord Howe Island, and how researchers worked to recover its dwindling population, even as it still faces an uncertain future.
And finally! This cat really wants a sandwich. LOL. For the record, Olivia's food fixation is so much worse it makes this cat look polite!