Friday News Bites: Equality Setbacks, Health Advisories, Sports + More

It’s not too often that I have much to say on the subject of sports, but we’ve got a few stories of note this week, as well as some new hurdles to LGBT equality. Throw in some medical/science-y bits, and we’ve got ourselves a newsy roundup. Let’s get to it:

You’ve likely heard by now that Argentina will face Germany in the 2014 World Cup final. This comes after Germany’s 7-1 stomping against Brazil, and Argentina winning penalty kicks 4-2 against the Netherlands. It’s hard to know who to root for, what with a German last name and a love of Argentinian food and wine. Who do you hope wins?

Also this week, Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer to win this year’s Wimbledon tournament. The match went five sets after Federer’s impressive fourth set comeback, but if I had to make a prediction, I bet Federer plays the U.S. Open and then announces retirement.

In Health News:

Consumer Reports is suggesting that parents suspend using spray-on sunscreens on their children. “Of particular concern to us is the possibility that people might accidentally breathe in the ingredients, a risk that’s greatest in children, who — as any parent knows — are more likely to squirm around when they’re being sprayed,” says its website.

Mildly disturbing: The CDC issued a statement saying that a box of “forgotten” vials containing the small pox virus were discovered in the U.S. The vials are being analyzed in a secure facility in Atlanta, GA.

Washington state began selling marijuana for recreational purposes this week, which I consider health news. I’m just saying that maybe hypothetically some people might not be in a position to get a medical card, and maybe hypothetically use pot for pain relief and allegedly would appreciate less hassle in doing so. So fingers crossed for this new legality to spread to other states.

Hey, speaking of Washington state, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) is heading the “Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act,” which according to a summary provided to MSNBC, “ensures that employers cannot interfere in their employee’s decisions about contraception and other health services.”

In P-Mag related business: Our very own Bryn Donovan has a story up at xoJane about her experience donating a kidney to a stranger. High-five, lady!

And it’s not human health, exactly, but it’s still important: Plants bought from major U.S. retailers contain a chemical that is killing off bees: “Testing showed that 51% of store-bought plants had levels of a group of harmful pesticides known as neonicotinoids that were high enough to kill honey bees, bumble bees and other pollinators ‘outright.'”

In Equality News:

The state of Indiana won’t yet recognize the same-sex marriage licenses given last month because the law against them, despite a judge declaring it unconstitutional, is still “in full effect.”

Meanwhile, a new study says that children of same-sex couples are often happier than their peers:

Children from same-sex families scored about 6 percent higher on general health and family cohesion, even when controlling for socio-demographic factors such as parents’ education and household income, Crouch wrote. However, on most health measures, including emotional behavior and physical functioning, there was no difference compared with children from the general population.

Crouch suggested the greater social cohesion among same-sex families comes from an equal distribution of work. He said same-sex couples are likely to share responsibilities more equally than heterosexual ones.

Also, in light of the Hobby Lobby ruling that effectively allows employers to discriminate on religious grounds, 100 faith leaders across the country have written President Obama “urging him not to include religious exemptions in a forthcoming executive order prohibiting federal contractors from using hiring polices that discriminate against LGBT people.”

Although this is not necessarily LGBT-related, it still involves socio-economic equality: Sarah Kendzior has an interesting opinion piece up at Al Jazeera regarding “The Peril of Hipster Economics” and gentrification.

In Entertainment News:

J.K. Rowling published a new Harry Potter story this week, effectively crashing the Pottermore site with everyone’s excitement. The story meets up with Harry and friends as adults. I haven’t read it yet because I’m still on The Goblet of Fire (I know, I know, I’m the last dinosaur), but maybe the site is working well enough for the rest of you now.

And finally, as is my sacred duty as an overly-enthusiastic Doctor Who and Peter Capaldi fan, I must share with you the photo released on Thursday, taken from Season 8’s impending premiere, “Deep Breath.”

Doctor Who: "Deep Breath"

Can you feel my excitement? Look at my Scottish boyfriend. I’ll let you all fight for David Tennant, who is indeed beautiful, but my love’s going to this guy right here. Yes, this is serious Friday News Bites business. Of course it is.


See you all next week, 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.

4 replies on “Friday News Bites: Equality Setbacks, Health Advisories, Sports + More”

I’m totally hoping Argentina wins! I have some friends from there who are the most wonderfully positive vocal fans during this year’s World Cup, so I’m throwing my support in with ’em!

Also, that Rita Skeeter article made me want to read more in the Potterverse but not actually about Harry and the gang. I’m really hoping there is another article out July 31st like it implies, but more so I hope J.K. one day writes in the Potter world again and explores other characters and places in it, maybe touch on the Potters in passing or show Neville as a professor to the main character so we get to visit old friends.

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