In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Terrorism; death] Goddammit: "Armed militants stormed a university in volatile northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing at least 20 people and wounding dozens a little more than a year after the massacre of 134 students at a school in the area, officials said. A senior Pakistani Taliban commander claimed responsibility for the assault in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, but an official spokesman later denied involvement, calling the attack 'un-Islamic.' The violence nevertheless shows that militants retain the ability to launch attacks, despite a country-wide anti-terrorism crackdown and a military campaign against their strongholds along the lawless border with Afghanistan. A security official said the death toll could rise to as high as 40 at Bacha Khan University in the city of Charsadda. The army said it had concluded operations to clear the campus six hours after the attack began, and that four gunmen were dead."

[CN: Climate change] In unsurprising news: "2015 smashed the record for the hottest year since reporting began in 1850, according to the first full-year figures from the world's three principal temperature estimates. ...Experts warned that the record-breaking heat shows global warming is driving the world's climate into 'uncharted territory' and that it showed the urgency of implementing the carbon-cutting pledges made by the world's governments in Paris in December."

[CN: Misogyny; carcerality] Rage seethe boil: "Incarcerated California women are denied abortion services, prenatal care, and even menstrual pads, according to a scathing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California report released Tuesday that finds some county jails deny, delay, and ignore prisoners' reproductive health care. ...'Jails are putting people's health at risk by denying, delaying, and ignoring crucial reproductive health care,' Melissa Goodman, one of the report's authors and director of the LGBTQ, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project at the ACLU of Southern California, told RH Reality Check in an interview. A jail has 'a legal obligation to provide medical care to the people it incarcerates, but sadly that often ignores reproductive health,' Goodman continued."

[CN: White privilege] "Activist DeRay McKesson was a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday (January 18), and he pulled no punches in his discussion of police violence and white privilege. The co-founder of Campaign Zero, which seeks to eliminate police violence against citizens, discussed the backlash to the Black Lives Matter Movement" and police violence. And "things got really interesting when Colbert asked for tips on identifying and dismantling his privilege," prompting McKesson to educate Colbert "about using his privilege to be an ally to the movement."

[CN: White supremacy] "Oscar-winning actor George Clooney has accused the Academy Awards of 'moving in the wrong direction' amid controversy over lack of diversity. ...Clooney, who has won two Academy Awards, said: 'We need to get better at this. We used to be better at it.'" Oh. Well, Mr. Clooney, you're a producer, so maybe you could start by getting better at producing films with people of color in them.

[CN: Extreme weather] Oh shit! "The latest forecast data are insistent that a severe winter storm will unleash [debilitating] snow and strong winds over much of the D.C. area Friday through Saturday night. The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Watch for the entire metro region due to the potential blinding combination of snow and powerful winds. 'Potential life-threatening conditions [are] expected Friday night into Saturday night,' the National Weather Service says. 'Travel is expected to be severely limited if not impossible during the height of the storm Friday night and Saturday.' While there is still time for shifts in the exact storm track, which could alter snow totals some, the consensus of forecast models indicate more than a foot of snow will fall in many areas." Fuck.

[CN: Creepy-crawlies] "According to a new study, our houses can contain more than 500 different kinds of arthropods, a category that includes insects, spiders, mites and centipedes. The most commonly identified critters in the study were flies, spiders, beetles, and ants. How did the researchers determine this great abundance of biodiversity inside human dwellings? By scouring them from top to bottom and collecting over 100,000 specimens." I am not creeped out by bugs (obviously, since I have two tattooed on me) so that sounds like a super fun job to me!

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Welp! "New evidence suggests our solar system contains a ninth planet—a strange body far more massive than Earth lurking at a mind-boggling distance from the sun, scientists said in a study released Wednesday. Astronomers have been looking for a so-called 'Planet X' for decades and have proposed any number of candidates, only to be shot down. But a ninth planet is now 'much more of a possibility with this new work,' said astronomer Scott Sheppard of the Carnegie Institution of Science in Washington D.C."

Cute Overload takes a bow. Thank YOU for the decade of cute!

And finally! "3 Huskies Become Best Friends with a Cat After Saving It from Dying." Awwwwwww. I bet those dogs never let that cat forget it, either. "You're in my favorite seat EVEN AFTER I SAVED YOUR LIFE?!" Dogs.

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