In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Authoritarianism; video may autoplay at link] "Donald J. Trump's blustery attacks on the press, complaints about the judicial system and, bold claims of presidential power collectively sketch out a constitutional worldview that shows contempt for the First Amendment, the separation of powers and the rule of law, legal experts across the political spectrum say. Even as much of the Republican political establishment lines up behind its presumptive nominee, many conservative and libertarian legal scholars warn that electing Mr. Trump is a recipe for a constitutional crisis." No kidding.

[CN: Disenfranchisement; war on agency] Another must-read piece at Rewire by Ally Boguhn: "Conservative Attacks on Voting and Abortion Rights Share Tactics, Goals: The pushes for voting and abortion restrictions use similar tactics, slowly eroding the rights of women, people of color, and those with low incomes in particular."

[CN: Racism; slurs; death] I don't even have fucking words: "After being chased through the streets of Staten Island by a group of mostly white young men who shouted racial slurs, 16-year-old black teenager Dayshen McKenzie collapsed and died last week. The New York Daily News reports that the fatal incident began outside of a hamburger restaurant last Friday. McKenzie and his friends were outside the restaurant when they came across a group of white teenagers. According to one of McKenzie's friends, Harry Smith, the two groups got into an argument. The fight ended when the white teenagers left. But things turned violent when that group drove back and started chasing McKenzie and his friends. 'They were calling us n----rs,' Smith said of the chase. 'I just heard a lot of racial slurs. They were mixed—some white, some of them were Hispanic. But nobody was black.' At least one of the assailants had a gun. The black teenagers say they were eventually cornered, but caught a lucky break when police officers were heard nearby. The attackers ran away, but McKenzie showed signs of distress. 'It's mad hot,' he said, before falling to the ground. McKenzie, who'd forgotten his inhaler at home, was unable to breathe. Ex-NYPD officer Diana Fatigati witnessed the chase and heard the white teenagers yelling racial slurs. When she arrived to stop the attack, McKenzie was down. She tried to save him, but the 16-year-old died at the scene. While the cause of his death hasn't been confirmed, many believe he died from an asthma attack. 'To me, it's murder,' Fatigati said. 'They were chasing him—that's a crime. You're hunting them because they're black … You're calling them a n----r.' Nobody has been arrested yet."

[CN: Water contamination] Welp: "The Philadelphia water department, accused by some experts of having water testing 'worse than Flint,' is facing a class action lawsuit and a lead-testing campaign mounted by citizens concerned about water quality. On Thursday, hours after the Guardian published an investigation into the water-testing practices of 33 cities east of the Mississippi river, the Hagens Berman law firm announced a class action lawsuit against Philadelphia, based in part on the city's outdated test practices. 'Studies have shown that the kind of construction the city is carrying out creates the perfect storm for lead pipe corrosion,' said Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, in a statement. 'Yet the city has decided to conceal this growing health hazard from its own citizens …To add insult to injury, the city of Philadelphia has actively concealed this issue by rigging its lead-testing procedures.'" Fuck.

[CN: Violent imagery] What the hell is wrong with this guy? "Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) says Hillary Clinton would be torn apart in a debate with Donald Trump. 'Donald Trump will peel her skin off in a debate setting and actually, he'll peel it off this evening out in San Jose as well,' Perry said on Fox News when asked about a potential debate between the two presidential contenders." GROSS. STOP IT.

[CN: Flooding; displacement; death] Oh dear: "Floodwaters in Paris continue to rise with the River Seine due to hit a peak of up to 6.5m (21ft) later on Friday. ...The number of dead in the floods has now risen to at least 15—10 in southern Germany, two each in France and Romania, and one in Belgium. More downpours are forecast for the weekend across a band of central Europe from France to Ukraine. Several towns in southern Germany have been devastated. Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, and Poland have also been affected. Thousands of people have been forced from their homes." My thoughts are with everyone affected. Damn.

[CN: Moving gif at link] This is pretty cool: "Astronomers using the upgraded Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array in New Mexico have produced the most detailed radio map yet of the atmosphere of Jupiter, revealing the massive movement of ammonia gas that underlies the colorful bands, spots and whirling clouds visible to the naked eye."

And finally! "The question, 'Where do domestic dogs come from?', has vexed scholars for a very long time. Some argue that humans first domesticated wolves in Europe, while others claim this happened in Central Asia or China. A new paper, published in Science, suggests that all these claims may be right. Supported by funding from the European Research Council and the Natural Environment Research Council, a large international team of scientists compared genetic data with existing archaeological evidence and show that man's best friend may have emerged independently from two separate (possibly now extinct) wolf populations that lived on opposite sides of the Eurasian continent. This means that dogs may have been domesticated not once, as widely believed, but twice." Neat!

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