In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

Congratulations to Senator Bernie Sanders for winning the Wyoming caucus! He is the first Jewish presidential candidate ever to do so! Wyoming has only 14 delegates, and Sanders and Hillary Clinton each walked away with 7 of them. Here's an explanation of how that happened, for anyone who's interested in how the process works.

I haven't been mentioning a lot of endorsements for Clinton and Sanders, for a number of reasons, but I think this one is newsworthy: "Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) endorsed Hillary Clinton on Sunday, after months of staying neutral in the presidential contest because of his post as the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform." It's notable (to me) not so much in that Cummings is endorsing Clinton over Sanders, but because he was the ranking Democrat on the Congressional Benghazi panel that questioned Clinton for 11 hours, and his endorsement ought to matter to people for whom that's an issue. (But probably won't!)

Whoooooooooooooops! "While plenty of New Yorkers say they'll cast their votes for native son Donald Trump in next week's Republican primary contest, two of Trump's own kids won't be among them. Trump confirmed in a Monday call-in to Fox News his children Ivanka, 34, and Eric, 32, never registered to vote in New York's closed primary." Sad trombone!

[Content Note: Class warfare] This is what class warfare looks like: "The Rich Live Longer Everywhere. For the Poor, Geography Matters." And, of course, it's not just geography, but the specific reasons that certain locations in the US are more conducive to supporting poor people's health (and which poor people).

[CN: Racism; class warfare] A report out of California details yet another example of how the (over)use and enforcement of municipal violations disproportionately affects people of color: "African Americans and Latinos in California are more likely than others to lose their driver's licenses because of unpaid tickets and then to be arrested for driving with suspended licenses, according to a report released Monday. The report, by the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, examined U.S. Census Bureau data, records from the California Department of Motor Vehicles and information from 15 police and sheriff's departments in the state to document by race the impact of unpaid traffic fines. 'Individuals who cannot afford to pay an infraction citation are being arrested, jailed, and prosecuted, and are losing their licenses and their livelihoods,' the report said. 'The communities impacted by these policies are disproportionately communities of color.' Black drivers were found to be arrested at higher rates than whites for driving with licenses suspended because of unpaid tickets, the report said. The highest suspension rates in 2014 were found in poor neighborhoods with large percentages of black and Latino residents."

Again I will recommend [CN: video autoplays] this John Oliver segment on municipal violations if you haven't yet seen it. It does a really good job of explaining how municipal violations are (mis)used, are unequally enforced, and can ruin people's lives, just because they don't have the money to pay the original fine.

[CN: Misogyny; rape culture] Fucking hell THIS AGAIN: "Teenage girls at a New Zealand high school have reportedly been told to lower their skirts to knee level so as not to 'distract' male students and teachers. Around 40 students in year 11 at Henderson high school in Auckland were called to a meeting and told by deputy principal Cherith Telford that their skirts would need to be lowered to knee level, Newshub reports. Telford said the move was designed to 'keep our girls safe, stop boys from getting ideas, and create a good work environment for male staff.'" Insert my usual commentary about tasking girls with the responsibility to prevent sexual assault and about communicating to boys that they can't and needn't control themselves. And what the FUCK is going on with the "male staff" at that school? And why are we worried about girls "creating a good work environment" for them, instead of about them creating a safe educational environment for girls?!

[CN: Video may autoplay] Melissa McCarthy's new film The Boss, which I haven't seen, won the box office this weekend, beating Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice in its third weekend. That's pretty amazing! I think it's safe to say she's a genuine box office star, at this point.

Wow, this is such good news: "The world's count of wild tigers roaming forests from Russia to Vietnam has gone up for the first time in more than a century, with 3,890 counted by conservation groups and national governments in the latest global census, wildlife conservation groups said Monday. ...But while experts said the news was cause for celebration, they stopped short of saying the number of tigers itself was actually rising. In other words, it may just be that experts are aware of more tigers, thanks to better survey methods and more areas being surveyed." In either case, the point is, there are more tigers than we'd thought, though they are still critically endangered.

[CN: Animal cruelty] This is huge news! The USDA has proposed historic welfare standards for animals raised under the "organic" label: "The announcement marks the first, comprehensive set of regulations governing on-farm treatment of animals ever proposed by the federal government. ...The proposed rule would, for the first time, specify minimum indoor and outdoor space requirements for all species and prohibit certain physical alterations of animals. The ASPCA is in good company welcoming these momentous changes. We joined our voice with 13 consumer advocacy, health, environmental, and animal-protection organizations to demand stronger animal welfare regulations under the organic program; together with our friends at the Animal Welfare Institute and Farm Animal Concerns Trust, we amassed the support of over 60 farmers who believe that high animal welfare is a benchmark of organic production; we rallied more than 30 ASPCA veterinarians who urged USDA to release meaningful animal welfare standards; and we heard from a world-renowned animal welfare expert attesting to the importance of outdoor access. Today's proposed rule marks a major milestone in the legal protection of animals raised for food."

And finally! What an amazing idea: "The Westin Ottawa is known to guests as being very accommodating and dog-friendly, so its recent initiative comes as little surprise to many: A few months ago, they partnered with Ottawa Dog Rescue and turned the lobby into a foster home for shelter dogs until they are adopted." Love.

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