Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Earthquake] Just one day after a powerful earthquake rattled Japan near Kumamoto city on the island of Kyushu, an even more powerful magnitude-7.1 quake at a depth of 10km hit Kumamoto. "A tsunami warning was issued, but has now been lifted." Nine people were killed in the earlier quake; it is not known yet whether there have been any casualties from the second quake and/or the tremor that followed. Damn. I'm hoping for the best.
[CN: War on agency; harassment] For fuck's sake: "The National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF) on Thursday was the target of an apparent cyber attack, as emails with anti-choice messages were sent from NNAF's email address to donors and supporters of the organization. Thursday's attack marked the second one this week, according to a NNAF statement emailed to Rewire. One email included an image of a fetus and an infant with a thought bubble that included the words 'I hope I grow up big enough to go bowling someday.' The statement was an apparent reference to the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon fundraising campaign."
[CN: War on agency; racism] "A bill to outlaw abortions based on sex or race that Democratic lawmakers and advocates have called a 'nightmare' made its way to the US House of Representatives committee floor late on Thursday, where Republicans invoked Frederick Douglass, the Book of Matthew, and Thomas Jefferson in arguing that abortions they believe to be discriminatory should be criminalized. 'It took the civil war to make the state-sanctioned practice of human slavery come to an end,' said Representative Trent Franks, the bill's sponsor, at a House judiciary subcommittee hearing on Thursday. He said that while the US has 'made great progress' in the advancement of civil rights and bringing an end to racial discrimination, 'one glaring exception is life itself, the most foundational civil right of all.' The Prenatal Discrimination Act (PRENDA) seeks to make it illegal to have an abortion based on the sex or race of the fetus. But advocates argued the proposal would force physicians to report on patients they suspect of having an abortion for those reasons without having any real way of knowing. They warn it would also effectively institutionalize racial profiling on the part of doctors and violate the physician-patient relationship. 'This bill is so horrendous that I could not believe it when it was first brought up,' said Representative Judy Chu of California. 'It is a nightmare.'" I highly recommend reading this piece by Imani Gandy, which she was obliged to write in response to the abortion-slavery conflation two years ago.
[CN: Police brutality; racism] "From the dashcam video that showed a police officer shoot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times to the youth-led activism that pushed out the state's attorney who many felt covered up that shooting, Chicago has been under fire of late for its race problem. Now, a new report from the Police Accountability Task Force outlines exactly how much racism informs the city's justice system." Spoiler Alert: It's a lot.
[CN: Religious supremacy; class warfare. Video may autoplay at link] Do you want to read the speech that Bernie Sanders gave at the Vatican? Well, if you do, here you go!
[CN: Homophobia; eliminationism] Rage seethe boil: "Alexandra, Judd, a waitress in Charlotte, North Carolina, says that instead of a tip, a customer left her the Leviticus Bible verse calling for death to gay people. ...The bottom of the receipt had a message for her as well: 'Praying for you!' ...Wrote Judd on Facebook: 'I don't care what anyone says, this is the most disrespectful thing you can do. Don't pray for me darling, I have everything I could possibly want and need in my life.'" Terrific response, although I am very sad and very angry that she was obliged to say it in the first place.
Interesting: "The Czech Republic wants to be known as 'Czechia' to make it easier for companies and sports teams to use it on products and clothing. The country will retain its full name but Czechia will become the official short geographic name, as 'France' is to 'The French Republic.' If approved by parliament, the name will be lodged with the United Nations."
[CN: Image of bug at link] "The eighth biblical plague that tortured Egypt was a plague of locusts. As described in Exodus 10:5, 'And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field.' Flip the aforementioned 'they' from locusts to cicadas, and that's actually a pretty apt description of what residents in some parts of Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia will experience next month when the soil warms to 64 degrees and billions of cicadas rise from the ground to mate. This particular group of insects has a 17-year-life cycle that begins underground and culminates in the air as they swell and swarm and scream and sing, issuing deafening cries as the males desperately seek mates. This current 17-year-cycle, which began in 1999, begins to end next month, reports Cicada Mania. As billions of insects emerge, they can reach a density of 1.5 million cicadas an acre in some areas." Neat!
Sharon Stone wants to know how much acid Bernie Sanders has taken: "'I wonder, like, how much acid has this guy taken?' she says. 'I really do, that's not a joke. We were so aggressive asking people, 'Did you smoke pot?' But in reality, how much acid has Bernie Sanders taken? Because there's a certain edge to his personality and way about his behavior that makes me wonder, 'How much LSD have you taken?'' I have to say, I dropped a lot of acid back in the day, and I definitely recall feeling less like Bernie Sanders and more like Ben Carson.
And finally! BLUBBBBBBB: "It was a really bad thunderstorm and Dennis McDonald was driving his truck when he saw a supposedly dead cat on the side of a road in British Columbia, Canada. McDonald had a strange feeling that the kitty might still be alive, so he turned back to check on him and discovered that the cat was still breathing." The cat was severely injured, but is expected to make a full recovery. And he now has a new forever home with McDonald. ♥