In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Airline disaster] "Signals have been detected from one of the black boxes of the EgyptAir plane that crashed last month, French investigators have confirmed. They were picked up by the French vessel Laplace as it was searching the Mediterranean Sea. ...'The signal from a beacon from a flight recorder has been detected,' said Remi Jouty of France's Bureau of Investigations and Analysis. A priority search area has been established, he added. Laplace is using acoustic detection systems to listen to the locator 'pings' given off by the black boxes underwater. A specialist vessel carrying robots able to dive to 3,000 metres (3,280 yards) is due to arrive next week to help retrieve the devices." Fingers crossed that this will help provide much-desired answers for the family and friends of those lost.

[CN: War on agency] Restricting access to abortion doesn't stop abortion. It just forces pregnant people to turn to other methods of ending their pregnancies. "Five years into a wave of anti-abortion legislation that is without historical precedent, Johnston is not surprised. In fact, she is part of a rising chorus of abortion providers and activists who wonder if they are witnessing, as a direct result of those laws, a spike in women who are attempting to take matters into their own hands. ...Until recently, abortion rights activists treated stories like these as harbingers of the future if states continued to erode abortion rights. Thirty-eight states have passed more than 300 new abortion restrictions since 2010, laws that have shuttered dozens of abortion clinics across the south, west and midwest. But a growing number now reject the idea that these anecdotes represent the worst-case scenarios. And a small body of research has emerged to support them. Among the most eye-catching is a report, released in November, projecting that anywhere from 100,000 to 240,000 women of childbearing age in Texas—the site of the nation's most bruising abortion fight—have at some point attempted to induce their own abortions." Fucking hell.

In good news: "An influential body of rabbis passed a resolution last week calling for synagogues to be 'explicitly welcoming' to transgender people. As the country debates which bathrooms transgender people can use, the rabbis of Conservative Judaism officially declared their support of transgender rights. ...The Rabbinical Assembly called on synagogues, camps, schools, and other institutions affiliated with the Conservative movement to make sure their facilities meet the needs of transgender people and to use the names and pronouns that people prefer. It also encouraged Conservative institutions to advocate for national and local policies on behalf of transgender people. 'That is always the first job of the religious community, the faith community: to bring our Jewish values to bear on our real-life situations and the real people around us,' said Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, the executive vice president of the organization of 1,700 rabbis."

Relatedly: "Should it reach his desk, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, says he'll sign the House version of a transgender rights bill which has been stalled in the legislature for several months. ...'The bill approved by the Senate and the version that is set to be passed by the House on Wednesday would allow people to use the restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity and would protect transgender people from discrimination in barber shops, malls, libraries, restaurants, and other public accommodations.'"

In more (qualified) good news: "US survey shows dramatic rise in acceptance of same-sex relationships: US public acceptance of sexual activity between two adults of the same sex has nearly quadrupled since 1990. According to a national survey of more than 30,000 Americans, those who view sexual activity between two adults of the same sex as being 'not wrong at all' increased from 13% in 1990 to 49% in 2014. The shift was even greater for adults under the age of 30, with the proportion rising from 15% to 63% during the same time period." The qualification, of course, is that it's still not 100%. But quadrupled acceptance is still pretty terrific!

[CN: Police brutality; racism; death] "Just over a month after a jury found him guilty of killing Eric Harris, an unarmed Black man, former Tulsa County Reserve Sheriff's Deputy Robert Bates has been sentenced to four years in prison. Tulsa World reports that yesterday (May 31), District Judge William Musseman concluded a four-hour hearing by following the jury's sentencing recommendation of four years for the second-degree manslaughter conviction. It is the maximum punishment allowed for the charge." But real justice will not come until no more Black people are murdered by police.

[CN: Racism; class warfare; homelessness] "While the path from kindergarten through college can be tough for anyone, two government reports released this month outline the particular difficulties facing poor black and Hispanic students, as well as the higher education hurdles confronting homeless and foster youth. One Government Accountability Office (GAO) study shows increasing isolation of poor students of color in K-12 education. And, their schools have fewer resources. Another GAO report says homeless and foster youth graduate from college at a sharply lower rate than other students. The two groups also have a difficult time navigating bureaucratic rules that make it harder for them to secure financial aid for college." Only in a nation of bootstraps fairytales could we even imagine that it could be any other way.

[CN: Rape culture] Baylor University chancellor Ken Starr is reportedly resigning "as a matter of conscience." Oh. I guess that means he feels pretty guilty that he got busted not giving a shit about football players raping people.

Hillary Clinton is going after Donald Trump as a con man. That is a pretty good and also very accurate strategy!

Good grief: "Donald Trump Actually Does Not Know What Brexit Is." Of course he doesn't.

Neat! "Close-up imagery of Pluto's surface has scientists wondering how the dwarf planet's terrain came to be. The photos, which show expansive mountain ranges and valleys, were taken by the New Horizons probe in July 2015 and were released by NASA this week. 'We traveled 3,000 miles and found something a lot like the Earth,' says Alan Stern, New Horizons' principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. 'It was a big surprise.'" (What Stern means is that they traveled 3,000 miles around Pluto, I believe, since Pluto is 4.67 billion miles from Earth, lol.)

And finally! A compilation of joyous cats greeting their humans after long separations. Because dogs shouldn't get all the attention for loving their people!

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