In the News

Here is some stuff in the news today...

[Content Note: Police force; sexual assault; racism; video may autoplay at link] AP: "Federal report blasts Baltimore police over bias, force." Federal report confirms what Black people have been saying about their lived experiences for decades, but has been ignored because we don't regard marginalized people as authorities on their own lives. Don't get me wrong: This report is necessary so that meaningful changes can be implemented. Still. It is horrifying and infuriating that it took so long for officials to listen. The Washington Post has excerpts from the report, and they are deeply troubling and rage-making and difficult, but important, to read.

[CN: Police brutality; death] Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of Michael Brown being killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri. I highly recommend this October 2015 piece by Sarah Kendzior: "Ferguson in Focus." And, at Colorlines, Akiba Solomon has a Q&A with Marc Lamont Hill on "Michael Brown, Imperfect Victims, and Getting Past Survival Mode."

[CN: Racial wealth gap] Goddamn: "The wealth gap between blacks and whites in America will take hundreds of years to close—if ever. If current trends persist, it will take 228 years for black families to accumulate the same amount of wealth as whites, according to a report released this week from the Corporation for Economic Development and the Institute for Policy Studies. For Latino families, it will take 84 years. Over the past 30 years, the average household wealth of white families has grown 85% to $656,000, while that of blacks has climbed just 27% to $85,000 and Latinos 69% to $98,000. 'We're seeing wealth concentrating in fewer and fewer hands and those hands are overwhelmingly white,' said Josh Hoxie, who leads the project on opportunity and taxation at the Institute for Policy Studies."

[CN: Police shooting; death] How the hell did this happen? "A 73-year old woman was killed during a police community seminar on Tuesday in Punta Gorda, Florida, during a routine training exercise. Mary Knowlton was taking part in a police-hosted informational meeting by the Punta Gorda police academy, when she was fatally shot during an exercise that was supposed to simulate a hypothetical crisis situation. The 'shoot/don't shoot' scenario—a demonstration that was part of a two-hour-long citizens' police academy event—is intended give guidance about how police determine when to use lethal force in a potentially deadly, real-world confrontation. ...It is not clear why a loaded weapon was used in the exercise, given that such demonstrations are often conducted with fake or unloaded weapons." Incompetence? Carelessness? Indifference?

[CN: Street harassment] "You can now call into a hotline and talk to someone about your experience with street harassment, in the same way as you might call a national hotline to turn to someone for support after a sexual assault. The organization Stop Street Harassment has partnered with Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and Defend Yourself to create the first-ever national street harassment hotline. The phone hotline launched last month and the online hotline, which you can find on the SSH website, launched on Wednesday. The new tool is evidence of how much the conversation around street harassment has recently changed—from one that accepts harassment as a fact of life (mostly for women) to one that challenges the assumption that harassment is simply an inevitable and harmless part of life."

[CN: Homophobia] Seethe: "Female athletes at the Olympic games in Rio are being taunted by crowds chanting 'bicha,' a homophobic slur comparable to 'faggot.' According to the LA Times, journalists said it was the first time they heard 'bicha' being used at a women's game in Brazil. During the opening games of the soccer tournament on August 3rd, fans on the sidelines chanted the slur—often used during men's soccer in Brazil—directed at Australian keeper Lydia Williams, Canadian goalie Stephanie Labbe, and other players."

Submitted without comment: "Bernie Sanders now has one thing in common with the millionaires and billionaires and other 1 percenters he so frequently attacked on the campaign trail: he now owns his very own summer home. Vermont magazine Seven Days reported Tuesday that the 74-year-old senator and his wife, Jane Sanders, have purchased a four-bedroom house on the shore of Lake Champlain for roughly $600,000. Jane told Seven Days that they had recently sold a house in Maine that had belonged to her family since the 1900s, and used the proceeds to purchase the new property, which is located in North Hero (population 803, as of the 2010 census). With this purchase, Sanders now owns at least three houses, the others being in Burlington, VT, and Capitol Hill in D.C."

Whoa: "Surviving in the wilderness of space takes more than a sleeping bag and a packet of wet wipes, and so to explore how humanity can stay alive in the cold dark beyond, NASA is canvassing designs for new deep space habitats. The agency's Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) program ask private companies to build ground-based prototypes of various modules, meeting a number of criteria from basic life support to fire safety tech and radiation mitigation. ...NASA is hoping these habitats will eventually be part of its crewed mission to Mars in the 2030s, an ambition that has occupied the space agency for the last six years."

And finally! This is wonderful: "A missing Kansas City dog was recently reunited with her family largely thanks to herself. ...Tabitha was safe and being cared for by a family who believed she didn't have a home. As fate would have it, the woman caring for her had the news on when this story aired, and Tabitha heard it. She started going bonkers, responding to Kelly's description of how she called for Tabitha. The woman knew instantly because of the dog's reaction and her photos that this was definitely Tabitha. The temporary caregiver contacted the Schaefers and a reunion was soon underway." ♥

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