Friday News Bites: Walter Scott Shooting, LGBTQ Laws + More

Happy Friday, unicorns. We’ve got some updates on those “Religious Freedom” bills that keep trying to pop up in different states, some other LGBTQ-related news, and information the Walter Scott shooting. So let’s get started:

RFRA Business:

Missouri’s state government passed a bill similar to Indiana’s “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” It goes to the governor for a potential signature next.

Both Arkansas and Indiana amended their versions of the law, after public outcry on the implied discrimination.

In South Carolina, Rep. Todd Rutherford would like to amend the state’s existing to law so that it protects LGBTQ people from discrimination.

You probably heard about the bigoted Indiana pizzeria owners who received over half a million dollars in donations, which is so ridiculous, I don’t even know where to start. In response, publisher Engine Books decided to start a GoFundMe page for LGBTQ writers who live in Indiana. The grant will be awarded to writers chosen by a committee, and they will also buy said writers a pizza.

In somewhat related news: President Obama has taken a stand against “conversion therapy” for LGBTQ minors. [Warning: Auto-loading video]

Walter Scott:

After video emerged showing the officer shooting Walter Scott in the back and then not seeking medical care, North Charleston, South Carolina police fired Officer Michael T. Slager and arrested him for murder.

By the way, American police have killed 111 people in March alone, which is more than double the number UK police have killed since 1900. Just let that sink in.

On a related note: The city of Ferguson has elected two black city council members, which now makes the six-person council 50% black, 50% white.


The Large Hadron Collider will be restarted soon to search for dark matter.

A Seattle Children’s Hospital doctor thinks he’s close to figuring out a cure for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

The brontosaurus is back!

NASA’s chief scientist Ellen Stofan predicts that we will find life elsewhere in the universe within the next decade.

A gif of Tom Baker as The Doctor waving and saying hello

In Other News:

Rand Paul is running for President, and he’s already dodging abortion questions.

Here’s a follow-up on what went wrong with Rolling Stone‘s University of Virginia campus rape story. They call it “An Anatomy of Journalistic Failure.”

And speaking of news failures, here’s a story about what’s gone down at NBC News after Comcast purchased them and what led to Brian Williams’ suspension.

Sabra has recalled certain packages of their Classic Hummus due to a potential listeria contamination.


Geoffrey Lewis, character actor and father of Juliette Lewis, died this week at age 79.

Author Ivan Doig died Thursday morning from “multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells, from which he’d suffered for eight years.” He was 75.

In Entertainment:

Diane Sawyer will interview former Olympian Bruce Jenner on April 24th. Presumably, this will address the rumors about Jenner being trans*, but ABC has declined to comment on the interview’s specifics.

I thought this interview with Frances Bean Cobain was interesting. Cobain is an executive producer of the new HBO documentary on her father’s life, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck.

Serial fans: the Adnan Sayed story will continue in a new podcast called Undisclosed Episodes begin April 13.

And finally, Doctor Who will definitely be around until at least 2020. Hooray!

Doctor Who dancing

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.

2 replies on “Friday News Bites: Walter Scott Shooting, LGBTQ Laws + More”

And yet try telling any police officer here that the problem is not with them specifically (usually) but that it’s SYSTEMIC. And they look at you like you’re just trying to hate on cops. I am not trying to hate on cops. My brother is one. My dad was one. And the system can still suck as far as training goes. Also, our country is a teenager compared to other countries. And teenagers need to LEARN.

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