Here is some stuff in the news today...
Hot damn! This campaign advertisement featuring Shonda Rhimes, and the stars of three of her hugely successful shows—Viola Davis from How to Get Away with Murder, Kerry Washington from Scandal, and Ellen Pompeo from Grey's Anatomy—endorsing Hillary Clinton is pretty fucking cool. I can't even imagine how jazzed Clinton must be!
In other endorsement news, Dr. Ben Carson has endorsed Donald Trump. Sure.
On the other hand: "The AFL-CIO, the largest U.S. federation of labor unions, will launch digital attack ads targeting Republican front-runner Donald Trump next week as part of a multi-pronged effort to derail the New York billionaire's bid for the White House and dampen union workers' enthusiasm for him. Officials at the AFL-CIO, an umbrella group of 56 unions representing 12.5 million workers, told Reuters the ads will depict Trump as anti-union, and will appear on Facebook and Twitter. ...'Donald Trump has tapped into the very real and understandable anger of working people. But while he says he's with America's working people, when you look close, it's just hot air,' AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka told Reuters. 'Donald Trump is nothing but a house of cards, and once we educate people, the house of cards comes crashing down,' he said."
[Content Note: War; displacement; descriptions of rape, murder, and violence] The United Nations Office of Human Rights has published an incredibly difficult but equally important report on the vast scope of brutal human rights violations in South Sudan, in which a civil war between government and opposition forces has been waging since 2013. Women and children are especially singled out for vicious abuse and sexual violence, and UN investigators found that the South Sudanese army have allowed their affiliated militias "to rape women in lieu of wages while fighting rebels. ...According to the UN report, militias operated under a 'do what you can and take what you can' agreement that allowed them to rape and abduct women and girls as a form of payment. They also raided cattle and stole personal property, it added. The scale and type of sexual violence committed in South Sudan constitute some of the most horrendous human rights abuses in the world, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said." And still the world continues to refuse to meaningfully intervene.
[CN: War on agency] In Indiana, the state legislature is attempting to pass another abortion restriction so extreme that even some Republicans are objecting: "Under HB 1337, which both chambers of the legislature passed this week, women would be prohibited from seeking an abortion if they discover their fetus has genetic abnormalities. ...According to a Planned Parenthood statement, the legislation is 'particularly cruel in that it's designed to shame and demean a woman who is facing tragic circumstances with a lethal fetal anomaly.' Essentially, a grieving pregnant woman grappling with the news that her unborn child won't survive outside the womb would be required to receive information dissuading her from ending the doomed pregnancy. ...'The bill does nothing to save innocent lives. There's no education, there's no funding. It's just penalties,' Rep. Sharon Negele, a Republican who has sponsored anti-abortion legislation in the past, said this week at a hearing regarding HB 1337." When Sharon Negele says you've gone too far, you have truly derailed.
[CN: War on agency] Meanwhile, in Utah: "A Utah bill requiring doctors to administer anesthesia to a fetus at 20 weeks' gestation or later during an abortion procedure now heads to the governor's desk, after Republicans on Thursday pushed through the measure during the legislative session's final hours. The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Curt Bramble (R-Provo), hinges on the unsubstantiated notion that a fetus at 20 weeks' gestation feels pain, despite an exhaustive scientific review saying that's simply not the case. SB 234 passed in the house in a 56-13 party line vote, after clearing the state senate this month over Democratic opposition. Republicans control both chambers of the Utah legislature."
[CN: Fat hatred; video may autoplay at link] Fucking hell: "A new commercial that is part of Lane Bryant's body positive campaign may never get a chance to air. A representative for the clothing company tells People it has been rejected by multiple TV networks including NBC and ABC. ...In a statement to People, a representative for NBC said, 'As part of the normal advertising standards process, we reviewed a rough cut of the ad and asked for minor edits to comply with broadcast indecency guidelines. The ad was not rejected and we welcome the updated creative.'" Um, okay. Let me guess: These "indecency" issues with fat female bodies would definitely not be a problem with thin female bodies.
[CN: Holocaust survival] Yisrael Kristal, an Auschwitz survivor, is now the world's oldest known man, at age 112 and 178 days. "As he received his Guinness World Records certificate, Mr Kristal said he did not know the 'secret for long life' and that he believed everything was 'determined from above.' 'There have been smarter, stronger, and better looking men then me who are no longer alive,' he added. 'All that is left for us to do is to keep on working as hard as we can and rebuild what is lost.'" Blub.
"This Incredibly Deep Space View Could Solve One of the Mysteries of Our Universe." COOL.
And finally! Baby aardvark! That last picture is THE BEST.