news you should know about

newsmongering 07/20 (the “apparently I have to go somewhere, so this is short. Bye!” edition)

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> The UN has declared a famine in Somalia, as the Horn of Africa is hit by the worst famine in 60 years.

The UN says nearly half of the population in Somalia is facing a humanitarian crisis and in urgent need of aid. The number of people in crisis has increased by more than 1 million in the last six months. More than 166,000 Somalis have fled the country since the start of the year, with more than 100,000 of those leaving since May.

…One in 10 children in parts of Somalia is at risk of starving to death, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said last week. The independent aid agency, one of very few with access to Somalia’s worst-hit areas, said that even in the Bay and Lower Shabelle regions, Somalia’s traditional breadbaskets, nearly 11% of children under five had severe acute malnutrition.

Fifty percent of Somalia’s camels have perished of dehydration, and in some areas, total livestock deaths have reached 85%. About two-thirds of Somalia’s population depend on livestock for survival.

> The UN has arrested the last remaining suspect wanted for war crimes in former Yugoslavia. Goran Hadzic, 52, led Serbian separatist forces in Croatia during the 1991-1995 war.

Mr Hadzic faces 14 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including persecution, extermination, and torture.

He is held responsible for the massacre of almost 300 men in Vukovar in 1991 by Croatian Serb troops and for the deportation of 20,000 people from the town after it was captured.

More from Salon here.

> So apparently the third episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day features a somewhat explicit scene betwixt Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and some random guy. In the British BBC broadcast, the scene has been cut. In the American Starz broadcast, it’s been left in. Now reread those last two sentences and tell me that’s not just a bit opposite of what you’d typically expect.

After a few moment’s reflection, it’s a bit less of a reversal of everything you know and trust in the universe – you can show stuff on American cable that you can’t show on Britain’s public stations – but still. Usually we’re the ones who wind up looking like prudes.

> China and Nepal have a longstanding disagreement (since 1856!) regarding the height of Mount Everest. I did not know this. China measures to rock height, while Nepal measures to snow height, which adds some four meters. That’s a lot of snow. Anyway, in an attempt to “resolve” this “dispute,” Nepal is officially re-measuring the mountain. Although I expect Nepal will measure to snow height, and China will continue to measure by rock height, so I’m not precisely sure how this will solve anything.

> Seventy percent of LGBTetc. murder victims are people of color.

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs released its annual report on hate violence motivated by sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and HIV status last week. The report documents 27 anti-LGBT murders in 2010, which is the second highest annual total recorded since 1996. A whopping 70 percent of these 27 victims were people of color; 44 percent of them were transgender women.

The study also found that transgender people and people of color are each twice as likely to experience violence or discrimination as non-transgender white people. Transgender people of color are also almost 2.5 times as likely to experience discrimination as their white peers.

“It wasn’t a shock,” said Morales, whose organization is among the 17 anti-violence programs from across the country that contributed data to the NCAVP report. “For the last four years we’ve seen that trend—of transgender women and people of color in our communities experiencing higher levels of violence. Sadly that continues.”

> So at a museum in San Francisco, a security guard told a lesbian couple that they weren’t allowed to hold hands in his museum, thank you very much. Interestingly, the women were touring an exhibit on Gertrude Stein (who totally would have laughed in the guard’s face and then asked Picasso to paint an ugly picture of him or something). Anyway, the lesbians raised a righteous stink and guard has been reprimanded.


Written by whackanarwhal

July 20, 2011 at 11:22 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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