Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Climate change] This is a really great piece about climate change, the Paris Agreement, and what it's really going to take to make a difference: "Representatives from more than 150 countries will gather at the United Nations on Friday to officially sign a global accord aimed at slashing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing climate change. But in the four months since that historic pact was negotiated in Paris, a drumbeat of grim scientific findings has underscored that staving off the worst consequences of global warming may take far more aggressive actions. ...Amid these bleak signs, there is general consensus that the Paris accord is simultaneously an important milestone worth celebrating—Friday is expected to draw the largest number of countries to sign a U.N. agreement on a single day—and, by itself, only a start to what must be a more aggressive effort to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. ...'I can't overestimate the political importance that every country is involved. That's absolutely crucial,' [Paul Bledsoe, a former Clinton adviser on climate and now an independent consultant] said. 'It really is a testament to a profound political evolution. But we do have to recognize what it is and what it isn't. It's an incredibly important step that gets us halfway there, but it's not in and of itself the ultimate solution.'"
[CN: Environmental pollutants] In related news: "More than half of the US population lives amid potentially dangerous air pollution, with national efforts to improve air quality at risk of being reversed, a new report has warned. A total of 166 million Americans live in areas that have unhealthy levels of of either ozone or particle pollution, according to the American Lung Association, raising their risk of lung cancer, asthma attacks, heart disease, reproductive problems, and other ailments. The association's 17th annual 'state of the air' report found that there has been a gradual improvement in air quality in recent years but warned progress has been too slow and could even be reversed by efforts in Congress to water down the Clean Air Act."
Today, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will reportedly announce "a decision to keep Alexander Hamilton on the front of the $10 bill and put leaders of the movement to give women the right to vote on the back of the bill, sources tell POLITICO. Treasury will also announce that it plans to replace former President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill with Harriet Tubman, the sources said. There will also be changes to the $5 bill to depict civil rights era leaders." Though getting rid of some of these old white dudes is an idea whose day has definitely come, I refer you back to Jay Smooth addressing the complicated symbolism of replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill.
[CN: Anti-choice terrorism; Islamophobia] "The man behind a pair of 2013 arson attempts at a Planned Parenthood health center in Joplin, Missouri, has pleaded guilty, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta and Tammy Dickinson, the U.S. attorney of the Western District of Missouri, said Joplin resident Jedediah Stout, 32, also pleaded guilty to committing arson at the Islamic Society of Joplin mosque in 2012. The plea led to one count related to damage to the mosque, two counts of arson at the Planned Parenthood clinic, and one count of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. Stout told federal, state, and local investigators that he attacked the mosque because he didn't 'like Islam as a religion,' according to the Justice Department release. ...Stout during the recent court hearing admitted that he used the same kind of incendiary device in the mosque arson that he used during the arson attempts at Planned Parenthood in October 2013. He admitted that he targeted the clinic because it provided reproductive health services, federal officials said." This fucking guy.
[CN: Misogynist violence; human rights violations] "Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik has won part of a human rights case against the Norwegian state. The court upheld his claim that some of his treatment amounted to 'inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.' ...In her ruling, judge Helen Andenaes Sekulic said the right not to be subjected to inhuman treatment represented 'a fundamental value in a democratic society' and also applied to 'terrorists and killers.' Breivik had challenged the government over his solitary confinement, which saw him kept alone in his cell for 22 to 23 hours a day, denied contact with other inmates and only communicating with prison staff through a thick glass barrier." I couldn't have less sympathy for this guy, or more anger about what he did, but this is the right ruling nonetheless.
[CN: Transphobic violence; misogynoir] "James Dixon, 25, will be sentenced to 12 years in prison for beating to death a 21-year-old Black trans woman, Islan Nettles, in August 2013 in New York City. ...'This is not a win for the trans community,' Lourdes Hunter, co-founder and national director of the TransWomen of Color Collective (TWOCC), told Rewire in a phone interview. 'James Dixon going to jail will not stop trans murders, it will not bring Islan Nettles back, it will not bring peace to Delores Nettles [Islan's mother], who for many years sat in anguish as the murderer of her child roamed the streets due to the negligence of the New York Police Department and the New York District Attorney.' ...Both [Shelby Chestnut, co-director of community organizing and public advocacy with the New York City-based Anti-Violence Project] and TWOCC's Hunter agree that locking Dixon up will not stem the tide of violence against the trans community, since mass incarceration has proved to be an outright failure in terms of preventing crime. 'Sending someone to prison is not 'justice,'' Chestnut said. 'We need to address the bigger, systemic issue, which is: Why is violence like this allowed to permeate our society? And how are we investing in modes of prevention and education for everyone, so that a young, trans women of color can walk down the street and not be killed simply for who she is?'"
[CN: Classism; bigotry] "In the wake of a dominant victory in Tuesday's New York primary, Donald Trump delivered a victory speech that was subdued by his standards. In a sign that he's possibly toning things down ahead of the general election, the Republican frontrunner avoided the incendiary rhetoric that has characterized his campaign to date. But Trump made a more subtle incendiary statement by choosing to deliver his victory speech while standing next to 2010 New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino. Paladino, a real estate developer who rode the tea party wave to a surprising victory in that year's Republican primary before he was trounced by Democrat Andrew Cuomo in the general contest, is mostly remembered for a series of ridiculous and offensive things he said and did (during and before his campaign)... Trump attempted to try to use his victory speech on Tuesday night to moderate his tone and pivot to the general election. But if you were wondering whether Trump has really changed, just look behind him."
Welp: "The chairman of the Senate Republican campaign arm is telling vulnerable colleagues in tough races to stay away from the GOP presidential convention this summer. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman, warns that a fight between supporters of candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz at a contested convention in Cleveland is the last place vulnerable Republicans need to be. 'If there's going to be a brouhaha, I'm advising candidates to be present for more unifying events,' Wicker told The Hill."
OMG: Senator Ted Cruz whined in a fundraising email to supporters how hard it is running for president and how many personal sacrifices he was having to make, and Senator Elizabeth Warren was not having it! A+
[CN: Harassment] "Sanders' supporters are lashing out, but here's how they might be hurting his campaign." Spoiler alert: It's by harassing people.
[CN: Racism] BuzzFeed has apologized for its ill-considered (ahem) "27 Questions Black People Have For Black People" video, promising they "want to get better at earning the trust of our black audience." But they haven't taken down the video.
LOLOLOL: "The Guggenheim's monstrous golden toilet sums up the obscene art world." Coincidentally, it also sums up Donald Trump's obscene presidential campaign!
Always cool: "The occurrence of Lyrid meteor showers has started and the meteor showers will peak Friday onwards. NASA stated that they have been active for three days and are going to last up to April 25. The meteor showers are expected to peak in the mornings of April 22 and April 23. A peak meteor shower is the time of maximum activity and the moment when the most meteors are visible. Stargazers can probably witness 10-20 Lyrids per hour under ideal conditions. As per PennLive, during these days, a full moon night can hinder the ability of seeing meteors. Regardless of the moon obstacle, stargazers worldwide have been gearing up to see the event."
And finally! This is TOO CUTE!!! "Rescue Dogs Hug When Asked 'Who's Your Best Friend?'" Awwwwww! ♥