In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Police misconduct; racism] "Just weeks after reaching an agreement with leadership in Ferguson, Missouri, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is working to clean up the police department in another U.S. city. [On March 30], the DOJ announced that it has reached a settlement with the city of Newark, New Jersey, that stands to completely overhaul the way local police interact with citizens. In July 2014, the DOJ concluded an investigation into Newark Police Department (NPD) practices that found a 'pattern of constitutional violations' that disproportionately infringe on the rights of Black residents. The new consent decree, which still needs to be approved by a federal judge, aims to address those violations. 'We found a series of troubling practices—including unconstitutional stops, searches and arrests, the use of excessive force and theft by officers—in violation of the First, Fourth and 14th Amendments,' Vanita Gupta, head of the DOJ's Civil Rights Division, said in a press conference. 'We found practices that not only broke the law, but also eroded trust. We found policies that not only harmed residents, but also lacked accountability. And we found systems that not only failed the community, but also failed officers themselves.' The agreement calls for comprehensive reform in 12 areas." More details at the link.

[CN: Pranking] Have I mentioned pranks are the fucking worst? Pranks are the fucking worst. "Google disables April fool joke amid user fury after prank backfires." Fuck pranks.

Karl Rove thinks maybe voters should go spin since they're voting for people the Republican establishment doesn't like: "Donald Trump excites a lot of enthusiasm. But he also excites a lot of anger within the Republican Party and outside of the Republican Party. And a fresh face might be the thing that could give us a chance to turn this election and win in November against Hillary." Welp.

Meanwhile: "Republican pace-setter Donald Trump has held talks with party leaders as tensions grow over his loyalty and policies in his presidential bid. His meeting at the Republican National Committee (RNC) in Washington lasted 30 minutes but details were scant. ...Sources present at the RNC meeting on Thursday afternoon told CNN and Bloomberg that it focused on the summer convention ahead, and the pledge and abortion remarks were not discussed. 'The chairman and Mr. Trump had a productive conversation about the state of the race,' said RNC spokeswoman, Lindsay Walters. Mr Trump tweeted after the meeting that it was 'very nice.'"

[CN: Domestic violence; death; misogynoir] This is very good news: "A Connecticut jury on Thursday found 24-year-old Cherelle Baldwin not guilty of murder in the death of her ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Brown after she had spent nearly three years behind bars." This was the second time Baldwin was tried after killing Brown during an extended attack on her, following months of harassment and abuse. The first trial, in 2015, ended in a hung jury and a mistrial was declared. This time, Baldwin again faced murder charges: "The jury could have decided to convict her of a lesser charge, such as manslaughter or negligent homicide, which would carry a lesser penalty. But, following a two-week trial, the jury acquitted her of all charges, allowing her to walk out of court a free woman." She has already spent three years in the state women's prison because her bond "was set at $1 million, an amount that her family was unable to afford." I am glad she is free again.

[CN: Video may autoplay at link] Oh, my heart is breaking for Iman, who has now lost her mother just two months after losing her husband of 24 years, David Bowie. My condolences to her and her family.

This is why Paul Feig rules (among other reasons, like his being hilarious and a snappy dresser): "Paul Feig continues to act as a much-needed champion for women in film. The Ghostbusters director and co-writer said that he would add an equity clause to his future film contracts that would require gender-balanced casting for minor roles. He told The Associated Press, 'I think we need to set these things in stone so it forces everybody to think that way.'" A+

The US Navy just approved the military's best tattoo rules: "Sailors will be allowed to have neck tattoos, sleeves, and even markings behind their ears under the new policy, the most lenient of any military service. Only their heads are off limits under the new policy, which the Navy's top sailor has called a reality check on the permanent art favored by sailors. 'We just got to the point where we realized we needed to be honest with ourselves and put something in place that was going to reflect the realities of our country and the needs of our Navy,' Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens said in a March 30 interview." Smart. Naturally, tattoos that are "obscene, sexually explicit, and or advocate discrimination based on sex, race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin," as well as tattoos that "symbolize affiliation with gangs, supremacist, or extremist groups" will still be prohibited.

"Microsoft has quietly announced a few early partners that plan to bring their Windows 10 apps to the Xbox One. In a press release from its 2016 Build developers conference, Microsoft mentioned that Nickelodeon, Dailymotion, NASCAR, and Hulu will launch Xbox versions of their Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps later this year. All four partners already offer apps in the Windows Store, and all but Nickelodeon have upgraded to universal Windows 10 apps, which is supposed to make for an easy transition to Xbox." All right then!

And finally! Remember the massive two-day ASPCA adoption event which resulted in all 524 homeless dogs and cats being adopted? The ASPCA is sharing stories from the adoptive families about their pets settling into their new homes, and it is probably the best thing I'll read all day! ♥

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