Here is some stuff in the news today...
Today is Earth Day. Happy Earth Day, Earth! Sorry we treat you like crap!
President Obama is in the UK today, and, during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, he urged the UK to remain part of the European Union because "it increases UK power and security to be part of the European Union," while Cameron said "being a member of the EU strengthened Britain's 'special relationship' with the US."
[Content Note: Racism] Meanwhile, London Mayor Boris Johnson, an advocate for leaving the EU who is critical of Obama for what he perceives as meddling in UK affairs, "wrote about the decision of the Obama administration to remove a bust of Britain's wartime leader Winston Churchill from the Oval Office. 'Some said it was a snub to Britain. Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan president's ancestral dislike of the British empire—of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender,' said Johnson in an article designed to hit back at Obama after the US president waded into the EU referendum debate on Friday." I mean.
[CN: Shooting; death] "Shootings with multiple fatalities were reported along a road in rural Ohio on Friday morning, but details on the number of deaths and the whereabouts of the suspect or suspects weren't immediately clear. The attorney general's office said a dozen Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents had been called to Pike County, an economically struggling area in the Appalachian region some 80 miles east of Cincinnati. Spokesman Dan Tierney says the Pike County Sheriff's Office requested state help at 8:20 a.m. Tierney had no information on whether a suspect was in custody. He also had no confirmation on the number of fatalities. BCI spokeswoman Jill Del Greco said there are multiple crime scenes along the same rural road. Several news outlets reported that at least one shooting was in or near a residence." Obviously, I have no idea what happened, but this sounds like it could be a family shooting at multiple sites of relatives who lived near one another. I hope no one else is harmed. My condolences to the whole community.
[CN: War on agency; racism; classism] "Planned Parenthood (PP) announced on Wednesday (April 20) that the multi-year legislative campaign against the organization is now threatening health care access for 500,000 people. Twenty-four states have moved forward with attempts to cut funding to the provider, which offers birth control, STI screening and abortion care to millions of people around the country. ...We've covered why threats to PP disproportionately impact people of color, but it's also worth noting that many of the pink states in the map above have significant populations of people of color who rely on the threatened services. In fact, the organization says that 29 percent of the people who are at risk of losing access are Latino."
[CN: War on agency; racism] "Dozens of people of color sent a letter to Congress Thursday expressing outrage over the introduction of the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA) of 2016 (HR 4924), which they say threatens the future of abortion care and codifies dangerous racist and sexist stereotypes against Asian American and Pacific Islanders, Black people, and Latinas. Introduced by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, the bill seeks to impose criminal penalties on providers who perform abortions knowing that they are sought on the basis of the fetus' race or sex. It also seeks to criminalize anyone who coerces a person into seeking a race- or sex-selective abortion; anyone who raises funds for the procedure; or anyone who transports a woman into the United States or across state lines to obtain the abortion—and imposes a penalty ranging from a fine to a five-year prison term. Cloaked in the language of 'nondiscrimination,' the act would achieve the opposite goal, the letter says, by singling out women of color for additional scrutiny based on, among other things, the 'gross mischaracterization' of Asian-American communities, in particular, as having a preference for male over female children."
[CN: Misogyny] "Turnover was pretty high for the top jobs at North America's largest companies last year, rising to 14.3 percent, the highest in three years. But even with all that new hiring for the job of CEO, women still couldn't get their foot in the door. Of the 87 new CEOs hired at the biggest companies, just one was a woman, according to a report from PwC's Strategy&. That woman was Andrea Greenberg, picked to lead MSG Networks, the new name for Madison Square Garden's businesses. Women's chances of getting one of these top jobs at large American companies is declining—while Greenberg represented 1 percent of all incoming CEOs, women made up 4 percent in 2014 and more than 7 percent in 2012. In fact, 2015 was the worst year for women getting hired as CEO since PwC began tracking figures in 2004."
[CN: Self-harm] Here's something you may have missed in lots of reporting about the increasing suicide rate in the US: "The largest increases in suicide were seen among middle-aged men and women 45 to 64 years old, and girls 10 to 14 years old. ...The suicide rate among women increased more quickly than among men."
In good news: "Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia will use his executive power on Friday to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 convicted felons, circumventing his Republican-run legislature. The action will overturn a Civil War-era provision in the state's Constitution aimed, he said, at disenfranchising African-Americans. The sweeping order, in a swing state that could play a role in deciding the November presidential election, will enable all felons who have served their prison time and finished parole to register to vote. ...'There's no question that we've had a horrible history in voting rights as relates to African-Americans—we should remedy it,' Mr. McAuliffe said Thursday, previewing the announcement he will make on the steps of Virginia's Capitol, just yards from where President Abraham Lincoln once addressed freed slaves. 'We should do it as soon as we possibly can.'"
This is a lovely piece by my BNR colleague and friend JP: "In the crowds standing behind Hillary, I see people who look like me, and I can do so without straining my eyes. That's exciting to me. That's what I want tomorrow's America to look like—a place where, no matter where you come from or who you are, there is a spot for you. At a time where bigotry is on the rise, that's radical. In fact, that's revolutionary."
Team Cruz has produced another garbage advert, this time imagining Hillary Clinton and her team as a bunch of monsters who can't stop Ted Cruz. What a fun dream for him! "Though Cruz's fictional Clinton campaign is worried about facing him in the general election, a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Clinton beating Cruz 46 percent to 44 percent." Ha!
Neat! "The Hubble Space Telescope may be turning 26 years old this weekend, but its vision is still out of this world. Case in point: [a] jaw-dropping view of the Bubble Nebula to celebrate the iconic space observatory's birthday."
And finally! Baby clouded leopards! "'Hand-rearing of these endangered exotic cats is an established practice that's critical for their well-being as cubs and their later participation in the Species Survival Plan program for Clouded Leopards,' said staff biologist Andy Goldfarb. Goldfarb has spent three decades caring for and raising endangered cats, and is known internationally as an expert in raising Clouded Leopards. The cubs each weighed around 13 ounces, or just about three-quarters of a pound, at their first checkup. It's still too early to tell their genders for certain, and they have yet to be named. The zoo will issue a news release and post to its Facebook page when details are available on how the public can help name the cubs."