Friday News Bites: Indiana’s Discrimination Bill, Germanwings Crash + More

Happy Friday, everyone. Is it Springtime where you are yet? I hope so. This week’s newsy roundup has a lot of political stories, but we’ll end with good news. Let’s get started:

Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a “religious freedom” bill into law on Thursday that’s really just legislating the ability to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Gen Con, the large hobby games convention that brings in $50 million to Indiana per year, has threatened to no longer hold their events in the state if this law is in effect. Let’s see if they follow through.

Unfortunately, Montana’s State Legislature is considering a similar bill, and I really, really hope that it doesn’t even make it as far as our governor. (Though I don’t picture him signing it into law. At least I hope not.)

Also frustrating in MT government: A whole host of beneficial bills for Native Americans have stalled or failed.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is running for president, and he’s apparently forgotten that women are still people and not just baby-vessels.

Cruz made his announcement at Liberty University, a Christian school in Lynchburg, VA. (Yeah, that’s the actual name of the city. How morbidly appropriate. Oh, by the way, infamous bigot Jerry Fallwell founded the school.) Students were required to attend the speech as part of a convocation ceremony, otherwise they faced a fine. (Warning: Auto-loading video)

Also, Ted Cruz’s wife, Heidi, took an unpaid leave of absence from Goldman Sachs (because of course it was Goldman Sachs) to join his campaign, and this means the family needs health insurance. So what does the vocal opponent of Obamacare say he’s going to do?

“We will presumably go on the exchange and sign up for health care, and we’re in the process of transitioning over to do that,” Cruz, a Republican candidate for president, told The Des Moines Register on Tuesday.

How can anyone really take this dude seriously? Come. On.

And speaking of the Affordable Care Act, hospitals have saved over $2 billion since the program’s implementation, and the cost of these services dropped by one-fifth nationwide. So, you know, it’s working.

Representative Dina Titus (D-NV) has introduced The Veterans Spouses Equal Treatment Act, which “would correct discriminatory provisions of the law governing the U.S. Department of Veterans (VA) that forces the VA to look to the state of residency when determining whether or not to recognize a marriage.” Hopefully, it moves out of the House.

FEMA is enacting new rules saying that in order for states to receive disaster relief, they need to recognize climate change as a thing that exists. The new rules go into effect March 2016.

In Other News:

Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the Southern Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board. Investigators are now saying that the co-pilot deliberately crashed the plane.

Richard III’s remains, which were famously discovered beneath a carpark, have now been officially reburied at Leicester Cathedral in EnglandMaclean’s has a really interesting write-up of the former King’s remaining descendants, who are now based in Canada.

Amy’s Kitchen has recalled more than 73,000 cases of products containing organic spinach because of possible Listeria contamination. Click through for product listings and the dates affected.


Bernice Steadman, one of the original “Mercury 13” at NASA, has died. She was 89.

Actress Alberta Watson, known for roles on 24 and Nikita, died from cancer at age 60.

I hadn’t heard about this story until now, but holy shit: “Missing Food Network Star’s Remains Were Discovered In A Wood-Burning Oven:”

Christie Schoen Codd and her husband Joseph Codd were discovered in a wood-burning stove belonging to their neighbor, Robert Owens. In an even more gruesome turn of events, Christie was five months pregnant at the time of her disappearance.

In Entertainment:

Suge Knight collapsed in court after his bail was set at $25 million. Knight was “charged with murder, attempted murder and two counts of hit-and-run with an allegation that he committed a violent felony while out on bail in another case.”

The BBC finally fired Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, with the final straw being the “violent altercation” he started with a producer. Well, I shouldn’t say fired; they conveniently declined to renew his contract. Clarkson’s rampant misogyny and racism is the reason I stopped watching the show, so I’m in favor.

Jon Hamm announced this week that he has completed a 30-day program for alcohol addiction. At Pajiba, Courtney Enlow talks about why his announcement is so important.

Also, Pajiba has rounded up the best Twitter responses to a ridiculous Deadline article that equated TV’s people of color a “fad,” at the expense of white people. (?!?) WTF, indeed.

In the New York Times, Angelina Jolie Pitt has written about her decision to have her ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed, so as to prevent cancer. This comes two years after her double mastectomy for the same purpose.

Ferguson Library Director Scott Bonner has won the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity:

The Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity was established in 2014 by the American Library Association in partnership with Daniel Handler. The prize, which is co-administered by ALA’s Governance Office and the Office for Intellectual Freedom, annually recognizes and honors a librarian who has faced adversity with integrity and dignity intact. The prize is $10,000, a certificate and an odd, symbolic object. Bonner will be joining last year’s prize winner, Laurence Copel, who was honored for her work in the Lower Ninth Ward Street Library of New Orleans.

And finally, THE X-FILES ARE COMING BACK. I’m one of those indulgent fans who liked all nine seasons and both movies, so I am on board.

Here’s my current favorite Scully gif, in honor of this news:


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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