Friday News Bites: #BringBackOurGirls Update, Books for Sailors and Prisoners + More

We have a grab bag of serious stories, entertainment news, and one more way Amazon is becoming our overlord. Let’s get to it:

The U.S. African Command and other American officials will be working closely with the Nigerian government‘s fight to recover the over 200 girls abducted by terrorists three weeks ago. Mothers of the girls spoke out this week, pleading with the kidnappers to return their daughters.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is introducing a bill that would allow students to refinance their education loans, proposing “The Buffett Rule” tax reform as a way to pay for it.

And in Seattle, the tide is slowly turning towards raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Surprise, surprise, the health insurance offered through is quite a bit cheaper than many states’ exchange programs.

Congress has decided to subpoena the Veterans’ Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki “over allegations of delays at VA hospitals that may have caused as many as 40 deaths of patients waiting for care.” The VA hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, is also be investigated over sub-standard care.

In better U.S. military news: The Navy is introducing a new project called NeRD — Navy eReader Device — which will provide sailors with preloaded eReaders, filled with “bestsellers, classics, professional development and entertainment, all chosen by the Navy.”

With new rules set by the Ministry of Justice, UK prisoners are no longer allowed to be sent books or other small packages by family members. Understandably, this has a lot of people (authors like Philip Pullman included) upset, including one female prisoner who is suing the ministry.

And in other books and packages news: Amazon is now delivering to certain cities on Sundays. All hail the inexpensive overlords? *looks nervously at advertising sidebar*

Former Misfits singer (and my very first childhood crush) Glenn Danzig is suing bassist Jerry Only over merchandise sales rights, particularly when it comes a deal made with Hot Topic without Danzig’s permission. Not cool, Jerry. Not cool.

The real-life dude behind the Richard Linklater film Bernie is about to be released from prison … into the custody of Richard Linklater. Yeah, I don’t know either.

And finally, tennis player Roger Federer and his wife Mirka welcomed a set of twin boys to their family on Tuesday. This is the second set of twins the couple have, with their daughters born in 2009. Wow, is all I can say. That’s something.

Until next time, friends.

By 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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