Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Holocaust; anti-Semitism] "Dozens of elderly Holocaust survivors lit candles at Auschwitz on Wednesday, exactly 71 years after the Soviet army liberated the death camp that has become the most powerful symbol of the human suffering inflicted by Nazi Germany during World War II. The commemoration at the former death camp in southern Poland, an area under Nazi occupation during the war, is part of the U.N.-designated International Remembrance Day, marked by politicians, survivors, and others in ceremonies and events across the world. At Auschwitz some of the survivors wore sashes or scarves that recalled the striped pajama-style clothing that prisoners were forced to wear. They placed candles and wreaths at a wall where many prisoners were executed before gathering with the presidents of Poland and Croatia for official ceremonies. The Nazis killed more than 1 million people at Auschwitz, most of them Jews but also Roma, non-Jewish Poles, and others. This year's commemorations come as a resurgence of anti-Semitism casts a shadow over a new generation of European Jews, something that is driving thousands of them each year to leave the continent. 'We must be honest enough to admit that more than 70 years after the Shoah, anti-Semitism is still alive in our 'civilized' European Union,' Federica Mogherini, the European Union's top foreign affairs representative, said in a statement."
[CN: Toxic water; reproductive injustice] Kanya D'Almeida explains how the Flint water emergency is a reproductive health crisis: "Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that pregnant women and lactating mothers who are exposed to lead are at heightened risk of gestational hypertension. And since lead can persist in bones for decades, especially in pregnant and lactating women, mothers and their babies remain exposed to lead long after external sources of contamination have been eliminated. 'This is a reproductive health crisis of monumental proportions that you would not expect to see in a developed country and certainly not in a state…like Michigan, which ironically is surrounded by one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world,' Dr. John Hebert, director of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program at the Hurley Medical Center, told RH Reality Check."
[CN: Misogynist terrorism; harassment] Scaachi Koul on the Gregory Alan Elliott harassment verdict and why "There's No Such Thing as Digital-Only Torment: The feelings are the same. You're trapped, you're worried this will escalate into something you can't outrun, you don't want this person to know where you live or who's in your family. People will blame you for this regardless—Were you wearing a short skirt? vs. Were you trolling him?—and your recourse is limited. People feel bad for you, sure, but no one can really do anything." YES.
[CN: Police brutality; racism; death] I don't even have words anymore, only rage and grief: "Before he was killed in Chicago for allegedly swinging a bat at a police officer, 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier tried calling 911 three times. But audio recordings released this week by the Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) reveal that two dispatchers ignored LeGrier's pleas for police assistance. ...When Officer Robert Rialmo arrived at the scene, he shot LeGrier seven times. He also shot a neighbor in the chest, killing her accidentally."
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Of course: "Back at work after last weekend's snowstorm shuttered the federal government, [Senator Lisa Murkowski] the Republican senator from Alaska noted that she shared something in common with every single person in the room. No, Republicans and Democrats didn't magically come together during the weather break and agree on something. Every single person in the room was a woman. Every. Single. One."
IMPORTANT RIHANNA NEWS! "The singer released a brand new single from her forthcoming album Anti early Wednesday, amid rumors that her long-anticipated record could arrive soon. The track, called 'Work,' features Drake and debuted on Tidal. The release comes after Billboard published reports that Rihanna would drop a new song on Wednesday at 8 a.m. ET and that Anti would debut Friday." Yay!
[CN: White supremacy] Keith Reid-Cleveland on why Nate Parker's The Birth of a Nation couldn't have come at a better time: The film—which tells the story of Nat Turner's 1831 slave rebellion and shares its name, very deliberately, with the D.W. Griffith original that is, to put it succinctly, super fucking racist—"was the brainchild of Nate Parker and took the public by storm almost a week after the Academy Awards announced that they, once again, shutout actors and actresses of color for nominations." The film "recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim. The attention was so sudden that there was a bidding war the very next morning that ended when Fox Searchlight, the same studio that released 12 Years a Slave, bid $17.5 million to distribute it."
[CN: Racism; blackface; appropriation] In other film news: "Joseph Fiennes to play Michael Jackson in 9/11 road-trip drama." I'm sorry WHUT.
Neat! "Astronomers have discovered the largest known solar system, consisting of a large planet that takes nearly a million years to orbit its star. The gas giant is one trillion kilometres away, making its orbit 140 times wider than Pluto's path around our Sun. ...The planet, known as 2MASS J2126-8140, is between 12 and 15 times the mass of Jupiter. ...This system is nearly three times the size of the previous widest star-planet pair. The star and its planet were found by a survey of young stars and brown dwarfs in Earth's neighbourhood."
And finally! This is a moving video about miniature horses who work as therapy animals. I love horses so much.