Friday News Bites: Cosby Comeuppance, Confederacy Crackdown + More

Happy Friday, one and all. I am looking forward to the weekend because my birthday is on Sunday, but yes, yes, let’s get to the actual news. Lots to cover, so let’s get started:

The Confederate flag is coming down in South Carolina: Governor Nikki Haley signed legislation to have it removed by 10 a.m. on Friday.

On a related note: A coalition of U.S. Muslim groups are raising money to help rebuild the black churches burned across the South. “All houses of worship are sanctuaries, a place where all should feel safe,” a statement from the fundraiser reads.

In Toronto, police shot and killed Andrew Loku, a mentally ill black man from Sudan. According to witnesses the whole incident occurred in “seconds.”

LGBTQ+ News:

The woman behind the “relentlessly gay” fundraiser turns out to be a scammer. Booooo…

Did you see that Humans of New York post where a gay teen was super-upset that no one would like him? Oh man, did I want to hug that kid. Hillary Clinton responded to the post, and whether it’s a calculated move or not, it’s still a lovely message of support.

Marriage equality is coming to Puerto Rico! Starting July 15, same-sex couples can apply for marriage licenses.

Unfortunately, some county offices in the U.S. are not doing their jobs: A couple in Kentucky has video of the Morehead County office denying them a marriage license. Similarly, a couple in Texas is suing for their right to get married.

A new study from professors of sociology at Rice University indicates that bisexual Americans face higher health disparities than their gay, lesbian, and straight counterparts. This includes both physical and mental health.


It’s not too often I end up reporting on sports around here, but in case you (somehow!) missed it, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team defeated Japan, 5-2, and became the first team to win the Women’s World Cup three times.

One would think that would equal a hefty payday, but it turns out that the women’s team is paid much, much less than their male counterparts.

Related: Here’s an interesting story on how Venus Williams secured equal pay for women playing at Wimbledon.

(Speaking of Wimbledon: Serena Williams will play Garbiñe Muguruza in the Women’s Singles Final. Friday brings Murray v. Federer and Djokovic v. Gasquet in the Men’s Semi-Finals.)

The US Trademark Office has canceled the trademark for the Washington Redskins, since it’s hella racist. This doesn’t make them change the name, but it does make it harder for them to make money off the name, which might be an incentive (besides the obvious) to change it anyway.

In Other News:

Transcripts from a 2005 deposition show Bill Cosby admitting to drugging “at least one” woman in order to have sex with her. Despite dozens of women saying that Cosby did this to them, apparently we have to have a decade-old admission in order to believe them… *side-eye*

The LAPD has decided to disregard the statute of limitations and is investigating any sexual assault accusations against Cosby, no matter when the assault occurred.

If you would like to know where the current U.S. Presidential Candidates stand on legalizing marijuana, here’s a handy roundup.

In Montana, there’s a new ballot initiative looking to legalize the drug, and where do my achy, chronically-ill muscles sign?

Speaking of chronic illnesses I have: Researchers in Norway have discovered that a drug intended to treat lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis is also reducing the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Here’s hoping funding for that research continues.

And speaking of drugs: President Obama intends to commute the sentences of nonviolent drug offenders.

21.5 million people were affected by a large scale hack into the Office of Personnel Management, which contains the files of people who have applied for government jobs.

Also, mysteriously, the New York Stock Exchange briefly stopped all trading on Wednesday, and United Airlines grounded all flights. Both companies cited a “computer glitch” as the reason. Uh-huh.

And speaking of computer manipulation: After a fake restaurant became the highest-rated in Italy, Trip Advisor is still denying that their rating system is flawed.

Reddit users protested the firing of Victoria Taylor by making several of its communities inaccessible. Taylor was largely in charge of preventing abuse, and she was responsible for the increased popularity of the site’s celebrity Ask Me Anything posts.

If you saw that post floating around about potential life on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, don’t believe the hype.

However, we may soon have an image of a black hole:

So, how do you see something that is invisible? The answer leads us to the most advanced sub-millimeter telescopes in use — telescopes that detect wavelengths of light longer than the human eye can see.

The EHT team is going to zoom in on a miniscule spot on the sky toward the center of the Milky Way where they believe to be the event horizon of a supermassive black hole weighing in at 4 million times the mass of our sun.

Monsoon season took a break in Tibet, just in time to celebrate the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday.


Actor Irwin Keyes, best known for his many appearances in horror movies, died on July 8. He was 63.

Poet James Tate also died on Wednesday, at age 71.

In Entertainment:

Panda Daycare is a thing that exists.

It’s not looking good so far, Hannibal fans:

Remember those Fisher Price record players that came with their own plastic discs? Have you ever wanted to make your own discs that will play on them? NOW YOU CAN.



Until next time, friends.

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Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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