In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: War; terrorism; displacement] "Islamic State militants in central Fallujah are believed to have prevented at least 20,000 residents from leaving the city and are offering fierce resistance to advancing Iraqi forces. A string of cautious early engagements, which are believed to have killed scores of Isis members and a smaller number of Iraqi troops, have set the scene for a protracted and difficult fight for Iraq's fourth city that will likely expose large numbers of trapped civilians, whom the group is using as human shields." Fucking hell.

Hillary Clinton got a couple of major endorsements today: The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Action Fund endorsed her, which is the "first time it's backed a presidential candidate." And Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown endorsed her, ahead of the California primary, saying she's the nominee a majority of voters have decided they want. In case you aren't familiar with Brown, he ran a presidential campaign in 1992 very similar to Bernie Sanders', which he ultimately lost to Bill Clinton.

[CN: Authoritarianism] Buried deep, deep within this Washington Post article is a chilling quote from Donald Trump that should terrify anyone with a basic sense of history: "Politicians have used you and stolen your votes. They have given you nothing. I will give you everything. I will give you what you've been looking for for 50 years. I'm the only one." SHIVER.

Relatedly, I've got a piece up at BNR about Trump's tirade at the media earlier today: "Donald Trump launched a vicious attack on the media today, who have, until this point, been treating him with kid gloves and disproportionately favorable coverage. It was a chilling view into how a Trump administration would try to undermine, intimidate, and silence the press."

[CN: ICE raids] This is an interesting interview with Father John Olenick, pastor of Visitation Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Parish in Philadelphia, a city which has been designated a "sanctuary city" because of its refusal to cooperate with deportation and having put an end to police-ICE collaborations. "The church is also one of 19 member congregations in the New Sanctuaries Movement. When Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced in January plans for mass immigration raids, New Sanctuary members and staff set up the emergency hotline and 'Know Your Rights' training sessions for undocumented immigrants."

In (tentative) good news: "Nearly 40,000 striking Verizon employees will return to work Wednesday after reaching a tentative contract agreement that includes 1,300 new call center jobs and nearly 11 percent in raises over four years but also makes health care plan changes to save the company money, the company and unions said Monday. The pact, subject to approval by union members, stands to end one of the largest strikes in the United States in recent years. Workers and Verizon Communications Inc. had reached an agreement in principle Friday but hadn't released details or a date for the workers' return. The strike began in mid-April."

[CN: Domestic violence; abuse apologia; gaslighting] This piece by comedian Doug Stanhope, "Johnny Depp Is Being Blackmailed by Amber Heard—Here's How I Know," is despicable trash. For about a million different reasons, not least of which is this: Trust that a defender of Polanski knows how to preemptively gaslight someone he's abused by telling friends she's out to get him.

[CN: Rape culture; sexual assault] Speaking of Polanski: "Roman Polanski faces a fresh extradition challenge after the Polish government announced Tuesday it would appeal a court decision not to force him to face U.S. courts over a 1977 child sex conviction."

[CN: Guns; death] My god: "At least 60 people were shot, six fatally, over the Memorial Day weekend in Chicago. That is fewer homicides than the holiday weekend last year, when 12 people were killed, but the overall shooting rates in Chicago continue to be higher than the year before, according to the Chicago Tribune's ongoing tally. ...Memorial Day weekend, which falls midway through the year, is an annual, unofficial indicator of a city's gun violence landscape, as the warmer summer weather is typically met with a jump in crime rates. In New York City, at least one person was fatally shot and 16 others injured in shootings over the weekend. But shooting rates in other major cities continue to pale in comparison to those in Chicago, the third-largest city in the US. While fewer homicides occurred in Chicago over the holiday weekend compared to last year, in the first five months of 2016, more people were shot each month than in the same month a year earlier. This time last year, 957 people had been shot, according to the Tribune. On Tuesday, the number for 2016 was around 1,500, the newspaper said."

RIP Lou Richards: "A member of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League that was immortalized in the 1992 film A League of Their Own has died. Lucille 'Lou' Richards was 90. ...She was a shortstop for the Racine Belles and the South Bend Blue Sox in 1945 as part of the first women's professional baseball league." My condolences to her family, friends, teammates, and fans.

Neat! After some delay and trial and error and sticktoitiveness, the International Space Station finally has its new room!

And finally! This collection of photographs of Galgos (Spanish Greyhounds) is THE BEST. Yayayayay!

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