Here is some stuff in the news today...
[Content Note: Terrorism; bombing; death] "Islamic State claimed responsibility for a triple suicide attack on Thursday evening near a Shia mausoleum north of Baghdad that killed at least 35 people and wounded 60 others, according to Iraqi security sources. The attack on the mausoleum of Sayyid Muhammad bin Ali al-Hadi reignited fears of an escalation of the sectarian strife between Iraq's Shias and Sunnis. ...The strike in Balad is being seen in Baghdad as another indication that after losing much of the territory it has held for the past two years, Isis is once again trying to inflame tensions by attacking soft civilian targets and holy sites." Fucking hell.
[CN: Racism; emotional auditing] This is a must-read: "Stop Condemning My Bitterness, Start Condemning the System: My anger is functional. My bitterness is rational. If I am not outraged at the injustices faced by myself, my community, my children, who will be?"
The State Department, which suspended its investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails while the FBI complete its investigation, has now resumed its investigation, and the FBI may now launch another investigation following Republican lawmakers' announcement that they intend to request the FBI investigate whether Clinton lied to the committee during their invesigation. So, everything's normal with our government.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton continues to run to be the leader of a government intent on making it clear she's better than we deserve, and has a shortlist of veep candidates that reportedly includes: Sen. Tim Kaine, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and Secretary of Labor Tom Perez. Please, Maude, anyone but Tim Kaine.
Newt Gingrich, who is being vetted by Donald Trump for his veep, because no one else wants the job, says of Trump: "I think he is a remarkable figure." I guess? That's not exactly a clear compliment.
And in other supercool election news: "Bernie Sanders has been invited to continue his underdog bid for the White House by the Green party's probable presidential candidate, who has offered to step aside to let him run. Jill Stein, who is expected to be endorsed at the party's August convention in Houston, told Guardian US that 'overwhelming' numbers of Sanders supporters are flocking to the Greens rather than Hillary Clinton." Doubtful.
[CN: War on agency] Go read this terrific piece by Pam Merritt (aka Shark Fu): "Missourians have had enough. That's what brought local progressive activists together, led by Reproaction Missouri organizer Zoe Krause, to launch Show-Me Accountability. We gathered on the sidewalk in front of Thrive, one of at least 65 CPCs anti-choice lawmakers champion despite the fact that the centers have a history of lying to patients seeking reproductive health care. Missouri lawmakers have even pushed legislation to guarantee CPCs aren't subject to regulation or oversight. We chose Thrive as the location of our launch to illustrate the contrast between what Missouri politicians fund, prioritize, and protect, versus what Missourians actually need them to focus on. Someone turned the sprinklers on at Thrive just as activists started showing up, providing a nonstop shower that drenched people walking or standing on much of the sidewalk in front of the building. It was an old-school disruption move that made it clear they knew we were coming and weren't happy about it. We shifted down the sidewalk and started to get in formation."
Good news: "A year after the U.S. Supreme Court's marriage equality decision, state courts are still sorting out the implications for same-sex couples when it comes to disputes over children. The Maryland Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, ruled Thursday that a non-adoptive same-sex partner is still entitled to legal recognition in a custody dispute. ...Maryland isn't the only state still figuring out how to sort out the legal recognition of same-sex parents. Just last week, a federal judge ordered Indiana to list both parents in a same-sex couple on their child's birth certificate, following a similar ruling against Utah last year."
"A ban on women serving in close combat units in the British military has been lifted by Prime Minister David Cameron. Women, who have previously served on the front line in support roles, will now be allowed to enter the cavalry, infantry, and armoured corps. ...The PM's decision follows a government review in which the head of the Army, General Sir Nick Carter, recommended the ban should be lifted. Announcing the move at a Nato summit in Warsaw, Poland, Mr Cameron said: 'It is vital that our armed forces are world-class and reflect the society we live in. It will ensure the armed forces can make the most of all their talent and increase opportunities for women to serve in the full range of roles."
Whoa: "Scientists have designed a robotic stingray that could help our understanding of the human heart. The miniature robot, one-tenth the scale of the actual fish, moves using heart cells taken from a rat. Researchers hope the robotic ray will give new insight into the heart's ability to pump blood and its potential implications in heart disease."
Stunningly beautiful: "A detailed image of the core of the famous Crab Nebula, captured by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, reveals the 'beating heart' that, with every pulse, breathes life into the expanding cloud of gas and debris surrounding it."
And finally! "Photographer Captures the Fun Side of Ground Squirrels." TOO CUTE.