Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Refugee crisis; death] This is just so awful: "Up to 30 migrants are feared dead after a boat capsized in the Mediterranean off the Libyan coast while some 50 were rescued by EU vessels from the sea. Ships from an EU task force and Italy's coast guard raced to the scene 35 nautical miles (65km) off the coast as survivors clung to the hull or swam. The alert had been raised by a Luxembourg reconnaissance plane which saw the capsized boat. The Italian navy rescued 562 migrants from a capsized boat on Wednesday. Some 6,000 migrants trying to reach Europe have been rescued from flimsy craft in the Mediterranean this week alone. Aid agencies say the crossing between Libya and Italy is the main route for migrants since an EU deal with Turkey curbed the number sailing across the Aegean to Greece." Just a constant, slow-moving tragedy. People losing their lives desperately trying to save their lives.
[CN: Video may autoplay] I'm sure they are: "President Obama said world leaders are 'rattled' by Donald Trump as the likely Republican nominee for the U.S. presidency. 'They are paying very close attention to this election,' the president told reporters Wednesday in Japan of his discussions with world leaders. 'They are surprised by the Republican nominee. They are not sure how seriously to take some of his pronouncements but they're rattled by him, and for good reason.' Trump has shown an 'ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines instead of actually thinking through what it is required to keep America safe and secure and prosperous,' Obama said."
[CN: Video may autoplay] And in related news: Trump is no longer just the "likely" Republican nominee but "has reached the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican Party's presidential nomination. Based on ABC News' analysis of pledged delegates won and commitments made by unbound delegates, Trump has enough support to secure the Republican nomination for president. He now has 1,239 total delegates, according to ABC News' estimates of both pledged and superdelegates."
Meanwhile: "Donald Trump trails Hillary Clinton by 7 percentage points among middle-income voters in the Rust Belt, a key demographic he almost certainly needs to become president. Likely voters with annual family incomes of $30,000 to $75,000 in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin back Clinton over Trump, 46 percent to 39 percent, the latest Purple Slice online poll for Bloomberg Politics shows."
Relatedly: The United Automobile Workers union endorsed Clinton yesterday. "'Hillary Clinton understands our issues on trade, understands the complexities of multinational economies and supports American workers, their families and communities,' said UAW President Dennis Williams."
[CN: Rape culture] In news that will not shock anyone but should infuriate everyone: "Kenneth Starr, bête noire of liberals in America, is making a comeback, though not entirely of his choosing. Starr, the president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, is facing mounting pressure over how the university has handled reports of rape and assault by football players. The university says its governing board is still studying the results of an internal investigation and has refused to confirm speculation that Starr will be ousted." Not entirely of his choosing. As if it's not a choice whether to uphold rape culture and treat victims with indifference and disdain.
[CN: Homophobia; transphobia] Oh for fuck's sake! "An energy and water bill was killed in the House on Thursday as the result of an ongoing battle in Congress over LGBT rights and so-called 'religious freedom.' Openly gay New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney successfully added an amendment onto that bill late Wednesday which would ban federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Specifically, Maloney wanted to ensure the enforcement of President Obama's 2014 executive order that prohibits such discrimination. However, two Republican representatives, Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) and Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), also successfully added a 'religious freedom' amendment and an amendment that would have banned the Obama administration from withholding federal funds from North Carolina over HB 2. The pro-LGBT amendment from Maloney combined with the anti-LGBT amendments from Pitts and Pittenger were enough to kill the bill altogether."
Heads-up! "A new documentary is set to examine the evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement, from its start as a hashtag campaign to its impact on the ground in cities across the nation. Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement is directed by Laurens Grant (producer on The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution and Freedom Riders). Activist and actor Jesse Williams served as executive producer on the project. It's the latest installment in BET's The Truth Series, which launched last July." You can catch it tonight on BET at 9pm ET.
And finally! "Tiny Cat Has Been Best Friends with His Horse Since He Was a Kitten." Awwwwww!