In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Terrorism] The latest from Malheur: "Federal authorities are planning to cut off the power of the wildlife refuge in Oregon that has been taken over by militia, exposing the armed occupiers to sub-zero temperatures in an effort to flush them out. Armed militants will begin their third day at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a remote federal outpost in eastern Oregon, on Tuesday, and have vowed to remain for months in protest over the treatment of two local cattle ranchers. A federal government official told the Guardian that authorities were planning on Monday to cut the power at the refuge. 'It's in the middle of nowhere,' said the official, who is based in Washington, DC, and has knowledge of the planned response to the militia. 'And it's flat-ass cold up there.' ...'After they shut off the power, they'll kill the phone service,' the government official added. 'Then they'll block all the roads so that all those guys have a long, lonely winter to think about what they've done.'"

[CN: Guns; threats; misogynist terrorism] Two female Brooklyn state legislators, Democratic State Senator Roxanne Persaud and Democratic Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon, support gun control, so "the National Rifle Association targeted the two female lawmakers with an image of bullets next to their pictures." And tweeted the image. Because they don't fear any meaningful consequences for threatening female legislators. "Twitter has a new abuse policy but representatives for the social media site haven't yet responded as to whether the tweet violates the company's terms of service." For fuck's sake.

[CN: War on agency] YES! "The Obama administration on Monday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a Texas abortion law that has shuttered nearly half the clinics in the state, saying the Republican-backed regulations would harm rather than protect women's health. Intervening in the Supreme Court's first abortion case since 2007, the administration said the new Texas rules for clinics and physicians who perform abortions are far more restrictive than other regulations upheld by the justices over the years. If allowed to take full effect, U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli wrote, the law would close many more of the state's clinics and force hundreds of thousands of Texas women to travel great distances if they seek to terminate pregnancies. 'Those requirements are unnecessary to protect—indeed, would harm—women's health, and they would result in closure of three quarters of the abortion clinics in the state,' Verrilli wrote." Thank you, Mr. President!

Wow: "Within hours of being sworn in, [newly elected Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney] signed an executive order rescinding Philadelphia's participation in Immigration and Customs Enforcement's PEP-Comm program... Similar to cities that rejected the DHS program Secure Communities, Philadelphia is thus far ensuring its residents' safety by maintaining a bright line between local law enforcement and federal deportation efforts, something that advocates say is especially necessary as recent ICE raids spread unprecedented fear throughout immigrant communities."

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has detailed her plan "to Support Children, Youth, and Adults Living with Autism and their Families." I'm not an expert in this area by a long shot, so I'm not qualified to assess this plan; I hope those of you who know more than I do about the subject, particularly readers who are themselves on the spectrum, will give your impressions of the plan in comments.

Whooooooooooops! "A spokesman for Jeb Bush's campaign told BuzzFeed News on Monday that Bush had 'mistaken and conflated' his story about receiving the National Rifle Association's 'statesman of the year' award. The former Florida governor has told the story on several occasions, saying he received a rifle from then-NRA president Charlton Heston and was the recipient of the group's 'statesman of the year' honor in 2003. While the NRA rates the records of politicians on gun issues, the group does not hand out a statesman of the year award. In 2003, the NRA held its annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, with Bush as the keynote speaker. The NRA's meeting page from that year makes no mention of Bush receiving any award."

[CN: Video autoplays at link; discussion of disablism] Jess Thom talks about having Tourette's, about discomfort with visible disability, and why she wants us to laugh with her.

[CN: Misogyny] Rey is missing from the new Star Wars Monopoly game, and Hasbro has (exhaustingly) responded by saying it's because they didn't want to spoil the movie. Well, here's an idea: If you can't release the game with the film's star without spoiling the film, then maybe wait to release the game until later!

"Twitter may soon go beyond 140 characters. The company has been exploring extending the length permitted in a tweet on the service for months. Now Re/code reports the character limit for tweets could grow to 10,000, the same limit on direct messages on its service. And the new character limit could take effect early this year, the technology news service says, citing anonymous sources." The reason Twitter is Twitter is because of the character limit. If you want to write something longer, start a blog! Never have I seen a technology company so determined to ruin what people like about it.

And finally! "Birds Taking Care of Their Babies." Oh birds. How I adore you.

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