In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

RIP former First Lady Nancy Reagan, who died at age 94 over the weekend. My condolences to her family, friends, and admirers.

Do you want to see US gymnast Gabrielle Douglas' amazing floor routine at the American Cup? Well, here it is! She is terrific and that routine is outstanding! Yayayayay!

[Content Note: War; terrorism; death] "Tunisia's government said Monday that 45 people have been killed after extremists attacked a town near the border with Libya. The Interior and Defense ministries said in a statement that the Tunisian government has closed its two border crossings with Libya because of the attack. ...The gunmen targeted a police station and military facilities at dawn in the border town of Ben Guerdane in eastern Tunisia, Interior Ministry spokesman Yasser Mosbah told the Associated Press. ...The Tunisian military sent reinforcements and helicopters to the area around Ben Guerdane, and authorities were hunting several attackers still at large. Authorities urged residents to stay indoors. The violence comes amid increasing international concern about Islamic State extremists in Libya."

[CN: Terrorism] Relatedly: "The UK is facing the threat of 'enormous and spectacular attacks' by Islamic State as the extremist group attempts to wage war on western lifestyles, the national head of counter-terrorism has warned. The Metropolitan police assistant commissioner, Mark Rowley, said in a briefing to journalists on the UK terror threat that while in recent years Isis had urged would-be jihadis to attack the police and military, its mission had since widened. ...Rowley said Isis was encouraging supporters who had received military training in Syria to enter northern Europe to stage attacks."

[CN: Refugee crisis] Meanwhile: "European Union leaders are holding a crucial summit with Turkey on ways of dealing with Europe's worst refugee crisis since World War Two. The EU is pressing Turkey, through which many migrants transit, to take some back in return for $3.3bn in aid. ...Turkey is currently sheltering more than 2.5 million refugees from the civil war in neighbouring Syria. The EU wants it to take back thousands of migrants who do not qualify for asylum. In return Turkey is seeking full access for its citizens across the EU's visa-free zone and accelerated talks on EU membership."

[CN: War on agency] In domestic news: "The Supreme Court on Friday blocked a law that would have left Louisiana with only one doctor to perform abortions in the state. The law at issue, Act 620, was signed by former Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) in June 2014. It mandates doctors who provide abortion care must obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital. The law was scheduled to begin on September 1, 2014" but the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) sued in August 2014 to keep the doors open. Finally, after more back-and-forth legal wrangling: "CRR sought emergency relief from the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that because of the Fifth Circuit's ruling, all but two doctors in the state have been forced to stop providing abortions and have been turning away women with scheduled appointments. ...In a brief order, the Court nullified the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling that permitted the law to go into effect, providing a last-minute reprieve for patients in Louisiana seeking abortion care." A huge relief, but goddammit this fight for basic reproductive healthcare. FUCK.

[CN: Homophobia] In other SCOTUS news: "The U.S. Supreme Court overturned an Alabama court order that had prohibited a lesbian from having contact with the three children she adopted and helped raise in neighboring Georgia while in a long-term relationship with their biological mother. The ruling, without published dissent, reinforces gay rights less than a year after the court legalized same-sex marriage across the country. The justices didn't hear arguments in the case, instead summarily reversing the Alabama Supreme Court."

[CN: Animal endangerment] This is very good news, but only so long as the population is protected: "An international team of researchers has discovered 8,000 Sumatran orangutans which were as yet uncounted. The huge number of this critically endangered species of large apes was found living in mountains, as well as in areas west of Lake Toba. With this discovery, the population of the Sumatran orangutan is now estimated at about 14,600. ...'It was very exciting to find out that there are more Sumatran orangutans than we thought, but this does not mean that we can be complacent,' says Serge Wich of Liverpool John Moores University. 'Numerous development projects are planned in the area that—if they are not stopped—could sharply reduce the number of orangutans over the coming years.'"

Why hello there! "In the ocean near Hawaii, more than 2 1/2 miles underwater, scientists have discovered a small, delicate-looking and ghostlike little octopod—possibly a new species. The animal was discovered by Deep Discoverer, a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV—picture a small, unmanned submarine equipped with cameras and a robotic arm—that was working to collect geological samples. Michael Vecchione, of the National Marine Fisheries Service, described the Feb. 27 discovery on the NOAA website: 'As the ROV was traversing a flat area of rock interspersed with sediment at 4,290 meters, it came across a remarkable little octopod sitting on a flat rock dusted with a light coat of sediment. The appearance of this animal was unlike any published records and was the deepest observation ever for this type of cephalopod.'"

And finally! "Dog from Australia Makes Adorable Real Estate Agent." Awwwww lol!

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