In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: War; bombing] "President Obama will make a historic trip to Hiroshima, Japan, on May 27, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit the site of the world's first atomic bombing. The White House formally announced the visit Tuesday after weeks of speculation that Obama would stop in the city after attending the Group of 7 economic summit in Ise-Shima. The president is expected to deliver a speech on nonproliferation of nuclear weapons. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will join Obama on the visit, where the president will 'highlight his continued commitment to pursuing the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons,' the White House said in a statement."

Oh for fuck's sake these Bundys: "Environmental groups have called on the government to round up Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's cattle with a mass seizure of livestock that some fear could lead to a tense standoff between armed militia groups and federal authorities. A coalition of wildlife organizations wrote to the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Monday urging the agency to remove Bundy's cattle in the Gold Butte area of Nevada where the 70-year-old has for years allowed his cows to graze freely on public lands in defiance of federal land-use restrictions. ...Although the Bundy men are locked up, the cattle are still grazing without restrictions in an area that the government and environmentalists say is critical habitat for the Mohave desert tortoise, a threatened species. ...BLM, however, currently has no seizure plan for the livestock, agency spokesman Jeff Krauss said in an email. 'Mr Bundy's cattle continue to be in trespass. There are no plans for a gather at this time as we continue to cooperate with the Department of Justice on the ongoing legal matter.'"

[CN: Police brutality; racism] "A police officer charged in the Freddie Gray case chose Tuesday to stand trial before a judge rather than a jury, eliminating a potential wild card in the divisive and emotionally charged case. Officer Edward of six officers charged, faces assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office charges. His trial is scheduled to begin Thursday and is expected to last about five days. The trial is seen as a bellwether case for the other two arresting officers who face the same charges. They have all pleaded not guilty. Nero is the second officer to stand trial. Late last year, a jury couldn't reach a unanimous decision in the case against Officer William Porter, who checked on Gray several times after he was put in the police van."

[CN: War on agency; NB: Not only women need abortions] "A new Utah law that goes into effect on Tuesday will force doctors to shirk their promise to 'do no harm' by dangerously over-anesthetizing women who seek a later abortion. Informed by anti-abortion state lawmakers rather than by medical experts, the 'Protecting Unborn Children Amendment' requires physicians to administer an anesthetic to any women seeking an abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later, to 'eliminate or alleviate organic pain to the unborn child.' Like many anti-abortion laws on the state level, Utah's law rests on the unscientific belief that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation. ...Utah physicians have strongly opposed the bill since its inception, arguing that unscientific opinions from state lawmakers have no place in a safe doctor-patient relationship—especially if they put a woman's life at risk." Rage seethe boil.

[CN: War on agency; anti-choice terrorism] Another must-read by Jessica Mason Pieklo: "This distinction—between spiritual violence and physical violence—is exactly the cover the radical anti-choice movement has sought from the law for decades. And that's exactly what the Dillard jury gave them when they found Dillard not liable for threatening Means out of providing abortions in Wichita. Although the circumstances of the cases are obviously different, the idea that being spiritually compelled toward the threat of violence should be enough to excuse that threat in the court of law echoes the reasoning used by other anti-choice extremists."

[CN: Rape culture; sexual exploitation and assault] My god: "An Arkansas judge has resigned his position after thousands of nude photos of defendants who appeared before him in court were discovered on his computer. Judge Joseph Boeckmann reportedly swapped sex with young, white, male defendants for reduced sentences of 'community service' at his home. At least one of Boeckmann's victims was under the age of 18. Beckmann allegedly gave his victims a hand-written note with his phone number accompanying the 'community service' sentence. Photos recovered from Boeckmann's computer show that Boeckmann had a penchant for paddling his victims before posing them for nude photographs." I take up space in solidarity with his victims. And with survivors in this community. Just more terrific encouragement for survivors to trust the justice system.

[CN: Islamophobia] Newly-elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan "has rejected US presidential hopeful Donald Trump's offer to make the new London mayor an 'exception' to a ban on Muslims travelling to the US. 'This isn't just about me. It's about my friends, my family and everyone who comes from a background similar to mine, anywhere in the world,' he said. Mr Khan also warned that Mr Trump's 'ignorant' views of Islam 'could make both our countries less safe.'" A+

[CN: Misogyny; objectification] This is polite, ahem: "Trump's crude talk on-air with Stern between 1990 and 2005 was part of an image the businessman cultivated as a Manhattan playboy who had so many women that he barely had time to sleep... That reputation was useful as Trump, in his 40s and 50s, built a brand designed to equate his name with success and the high life. But it is problematic as Trump, 69, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, tries to wash away his tabloid past and fashion a more dignified persona—as a potential commander in chief and leader of the free world." Problematic. Yes.

[CN: Misogyny; dehumanization] Good grief: "Mika Brzezinski and a panel of four men reinforced Donald Trump's disgusting attack on Hillary's marriage, with Brzezinski saying there were 'unanswered questions' and that Hillary should start acting 'vulnerable.' ...Mike Barnicle opined that Hillary is 'capable of real emotion.'" Can you even imagine being a dude who thinks it's his place to be the auditor of whether a woman running for the presidency is an actual human being? JFC.

[CN: Climate change; displacement] Yiiiiiiiikes: "Rising sea levels that submerge entire islands were supposed to be a distant possibility of an apocalyptic future. But in the idyllic Pacific, that future is here. Five of the Solomon Islands have completely disappeared under water over the past seven decades, one drawing its last breath as recently as 2011, according to a study published in Environmental Research Letters. Another six islands have lost more than 20% of their surface area, forcing communities to relocate as the shoreline closes in on their homes. 'The human element of this is alarming. Working alongside people on the frontline who have lost their family home—that they've had for four to five generations—it's quite alarming,' the study's lead author, Simon Albert of the University of Queensland, told CNN."

And finally! "Gentoo Penguins Hatch at Edinburgh Zoo." Sooooo cute! "Due to the decline in their populations, Gentoo Penguins are listed as 'Near Threatened' on the IUCN Red List. ...Penguins have been an integral part of RZSS Edinburgh Zoo for over 100 years and the Zoo has the largest outdoor Penguin pool in Europe. They were one of the first species that arrived, and the Zoo and the Society became world renowned when they were the first outside the southern hemisphere to breed King Penguins. The world famous daily Penguin Parade began in 1951 when a keeper accidentally left the gate open and the penguins went for a short walk and then returned to their enclosure; keepers still open the gate every day at 2.15pm and birds who voluntarily want to take part go for a short walk outside their enclosure."

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