Here is some stuff in the news today...
RIP Prince. The singer has reportedly died at his estate, at age 57. [UPDATE: His publicist has now confirmed the unfortunate news that he has indeed died.] I don't even know what to say. His innovative music was extraordinarily influential; he was one of the most successful singers in history, having sold over 100 million albums globally. He was a total weirdo (which is a word I trust you know by now I don't use in a mean way), and I am just so sorry to all his fans who loved him and his work.
RIP Chyna: "Former pro wrestling star Joanie 'Chyna' Laurer was found dead in her home today, according to her manager. She was 45 years old. Her official Twitter and Facebook accounts both confirmed the news." I'm not a fan of wrestling, so I don't know a whole lot about Chyna, but I know that she meant a lot to female wrestling fans.
2016: You have a lot to answer for, you cruel shit.
[Content Note: Drones; war; death and injury] "Because US drone strikes are cloaked in secrecy, occur in remote or dangerous locales and target people presumed to be terrorists, Americans rarely hear from survivors or their relatives. But a theme emerges in interviews the Guardian has conducted with more than half a dozen drone survivors: the pain from the strike never ends, as the apparatus of secrecy renders closure unobtainable." A difficult but very important read, on the human cost of the US' drone warfare.
[CN: Guns] "Hillary Clinton slammed the abundance of guns in the United States on Thursday, in her latest remarks stressing the need for a national movement to blunt the influence of the gun lobby and end the cycle of violence perpetuated with firearms. 'It is just too easy for people to reach for a gun to solve their problems. It makes no sense,' Clinton said in remarks preceding a panel in Hartford, Connecticut, that featured family members of gun-violence victims, including at nearby Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012. 'And we can do this consistent with the Second Amendment, we can do this with the support of responsible gun owners, and that is exactly what we will do. And I want you to know that I know I don't have all the answers.' Prefacing her remarks in Connecticut ahead of the state's Tuesday primary, Clinton said, 'I'm not here to make promises I can't keep. I am here to tell you I will use every single minute of every single day if I'm so fortunate enough to be your president looking for ways that we can save lives, that we can change the gun culture.'"
[CN: Misogyny] "The Young Turks' Jimmy Dore: Clinton Campaign 'Devalues' the Term Misogynist; 'If Bernie Sanders Is a Sexist, Everybody Is a Sexist." Bernie Sanders is magically immune to internalized misogyny despite being socialized in a patriarchal culture! Film at 11!
[CN: Transphobia] "Transgender people should be able to use whatever bathroom they want, Donald Trump said Thursday. 'Oh, I had a feeling that question was going to come up, I will tell you. North Carolina did something that was very strong. And they're paying a big price. There's a lot of problems,' the Republican presidential candidate said during a town hall event on NBC's Today. Referring to comments from an unnamed commentator who on Wednesday said North Carolina should 'leave it the way it is right now,' Trump said he agreed. 'Leave it the way it is. North Carolina, what they're going through with all the business that's leaving, all of the strife—and this is on both sides. Leave it the way it is,' he said, referring to companies that have canceled plans to move or expand businesses in the state as a result of the law, which bans transgender individuals from using a bathroom that does not match their gender at birth. 'There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go. They use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate,' Trump said. 'There has been so little trouble.'" Fucking hell. Welp. When Donald Trump is the voice of reason on transgender issues, you know you have derailed. (Countdown to Trump backpedaling from this momentary lapse of decency in 3...2...)
[CN: Bigotry] If you are suffering from insomnia and need something to help you fall asleep, maybe you could try reading John Kasich's interview with the Washington Post editorial board. Also if you're feeling chilly, you could print it out and burn it!
[CN: Transphobia] Curt Schilling, yet another sports-dude of whom I'd never heard until he said something profoundly offensive, has been fired for a transphobic Facebook rant. Good.
Kids these days! Get ON my lawn! "Last week, two new wearable technologies gained a spotlight when their creators were awarded the Lemelson-MIT student prize, a yearly cash award to a handful of collegiate inventors. The twist? These promising technologies weren't developed by major corporations or experienced PhDs—some were developed by people who can't even legally drink alcohol. ThinkProgress spoke with a few of the winners about exactly how their inventions work, and how they hope they will transform the ability to communicate with two different populations: children with autism and deaf users of American Sign Language."
"VW reaches US deal in emissions scandal: Final details of the packages offered will be announced in June, but a court had given VW and regulators until Thursday to reach a deal in principle. Last year, US regulators discovered that VW cars were fitted with software that could distort emissions tests. The German giant subsequently said 11 million cars worldwide were affected. Details of the preliminary agreement were announced in a California court. US district court Judge Charles Breyer said the settlement would include a buyback offer for nearly 500,000 2.0-litre vehicles. He did not give details of how much car owners would offered in compensation, but said the deal between Volkswagen, the US government and private lawyers would be 'substantial.' Judge Breyer said VW would also pay into an environmental fund and commit other money to promote green car technology."
[CN: Moving GIF at link] And finally! All the blubs foreverrrrrrrr: "Rescue Pit Bull Gets His Own Kitty; Loves Her Like a Daughter." ♥ ♥ ♥