Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Terrorism; rape; genocide. Video may autoplay at link.] Today, Secretary of State John Kerry said during a State Department press conference that "the United States has determined that [the Islamic State's] action against the Yazidis and other minority groups in Iraq and Syria constitutes genocide. 'My purpose here today is to assert in my judgment, [IS] is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control including Yazidis, Christians, and Shiite Muslims." ...Kerry said that in 2014, ISIS trapped Yazidis, killed them, enslaved thousands of Yazidi women and girls, 'selling them at auction, raping them at will and destroying the communities in which they had lived for countless generations,' executed Christians 'solely for their faith,' and also 'forced Christian women and girls into slavery.' ...This is the first time that the United States has declared a genocide since Darfur in 2004."
[CN: Water contamination] Flint is not alone: "Startlingly elevated levels of lead were found in the water in Mississippi's capital in June, but a warning was not issued by government officials until January, the Guardian has learned—a contamination that bears some resemblance to the crisis in Flint, Michigan. As with Flint, the problem in Jackson appears to be related to inadequate corrosion control, and the months of delay in state action raises shades of Flint, something that Michigan governor Rick Snyder will testify on before a congressional committee on Thursday. An astonishing 22% of homes in Jackson, Mississippi, exceeded the federal 'action' lead level of 15 parts per billion, according to government tests done in June. ...But Mississippi officials did not notify the city of Jackson of the results until January, and it was not until February that the state issued a warning for pregnant women and small children. A sampling of 101 homes in January and February this year showed 11% of homes above the federal lead limit—a number that is still worrisome, under federal regulations. The residents of Jackson are stunned."
[CN: War on agency] "Indiana's lawmakers are once more inserting themselves into Hoosiers' private medical decisions by trying to pass HB 1337, an anti-abortion bill that shames, coerces, and demeans pregnant people at a time when they most need support and accurate medical information." Sign the petition to Stop Indiana's HEA 1337 and Protect Pregnant Hoosiers.
[CN: Childhood sexual abuse by clergy; description of self-harm] "Three Franciscan friars charged with allowing a suspected sexual predator to hold jobs where he molested more than 100 children have been removed from their religious assignments in Florida and Minnesota. Robert D'Aversa, 69; Anthony Criscitelli, 61; and Giles Schinelli, 73, are scheduled to surrender Friday, said Jeffrey Johnson, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania attorney general's office. They're charged with child endangerment and criminal conspiracy. The friars served successively as ministers provincial who headed a Franciscan religious order in western Pennsylvania from 1986 to 2010. In that role, each assigned and supervised the order's members including the late Brother Stephen Baker, who allegedly molested scores of children, most of them at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown where he was assigned from 1992 to 2000. ...Baker killed himself at the Franciscan monastery by plunging two knives into his heart in January 2013. That occurred nine days after Youngstown, Ohio, church officials announced settlements involving 11 students who accused Baker of molesting them at schools there in the late 1980s." Baker was allowed to harm children for decades because of men who were more concerned with the church's reputation than with the safety of children in their care. I'm glad they are being held accountable, but it will not be justice. Justice will be no child ever being harmed again, and their harm aided abetted by the indifference of cruel men.
[CN: White supremacist imagery] Welp: "PBS News Story on First-Time Trump Voters Prominently Displays Longtime White Power Tattoos." Without, naturally, identifying them. Just another day in Trumptown!
[CN: Misogyny] What a shocker: "Half of U.S. women say they have a 'very unfavorable' view of [Donald Trump], according to Reuters/Ipsos polling, up from the 40 percent who felt that way in October. The survey was taken from March 1-15, and included 5,400 respondents. The rise in anti-Trump sentiment among women could pose a problem for the New York billionaire in his quest for the White House. Women form just over half of the U.S. population, and they have turned out at higher rates than men in every election since 1996, according to the U.S. Census Bureau." Frankly, I can't believe it's only half of women who have a "very unfavorable" view of that dirtbag.
Here are some things you might not know about Ted Cruz! You probably also don't care about them! But do you want to hear about how he got bit by an octopus, though?
[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Heads-up if you buy/eat Bumble Bee tuna: "Bumble Bee Foods, LLC. is recalling 31,579 cases of canned Chunk Light tuna over possible contamination issues. The company voluntarily recalled the product on Wednesday due to process deviations at a packing facility, according to a statement. ...According to the company, no one has become ill from the product. The recall affects the following products: 5 oz. Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna in Water; 5 oz. Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna in Oil; and 4-pack of 5 oz. Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna in Water. The products were produced in February 2016 and distributed across the country, according to the statement. The recall affects products with a can code that starts with a T and has best by dates in February 2019."
Interesting: "The presence of a protective magnetic field was one of the necessary ingredients that helped life thrive on Earth, apart from our planet's rocky surface, liquid water and a blanketing atmosphere, a new study has found. The study of the young, Sun-like star Kappa Ceti shows that a magnetic field plays a key role in making a planet conducive to life. 'To be habitable, a planet needs warmth, water, and it needs to be sheltered from a young, violent Sun,' said Jose-Dias Do Nascimento of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics (CfA) in US and University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN) in Brazil."
[CN: Auto-moving image at link] If you don't like snakes, skip this one. But if do, check out this baby snake taking her first breath. Aww! Hello there! Welcome to the world!
And finally! Mama Cat rescues baby squirrels who fell from their nest during a storm. Too cute!