Friday News Bites: Santa Barbara Oil Spill, Waco Biker Arrests + More

We’ve got a few big stories to mention this week, plus an interesting interview with The Notorious RBG. Let’s get started:

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will face the death penalty for his role in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. As horrible as the crimes are, I’m not pro-death penalty, so we’ll just leave it at that.

After last week’s Amtrak crash that killed eight people and injured more than 200, the company is working to improve safety.

Not that House Republicans are making it easy, with their votes to cut Amtrak funding.

After an underground pipeline ruptured, approximately 105,000 gallons of crude oil have spilled into the ocean near Santa Barbara, California. No, but please, Republicans, tell me again how faultless these massive pipelines are and how we don’t need to fund infrastructure.

In Waco, Texas, a biker gang shoot-out killed nine people and wounded eighteen. 192 people were arrested with organized crime-related charges, and police found hundreds of weapons stashed at members’ residences.

But I bet you can guess what the police response looked like, what with all these white folks committing the crimes.

On a possibly brighter note, President Obama is now limiting the use of military equipment in police departments. (Not that we saw it to any large degree in Waco.)

In other, um, security news, someone hacked a digital billboard and uploaded the goatse photo. Lovely?

Meanwhile, in North Korea, government Photoshoppers are hard at work making it look like they have successfully launched a submarine missile.

In Better News:

Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders is proposing that we make college free to anyone attending a state school.

Here’s a great interview with The Notorious RBG herself, Ruth Bader Ginsberg:

What would it be like if there were four or five or more women on the court?

It would be great. People ask me, “When will there be enough?” and I say, “When there are nine.” There have been nine men forever and nobody is doing anything about that.

If there were nine women on the court, would there be a different kind of consensus-making, collegiality or sensibility?

As far as opinion writing is concerned, some of my colleagues write rather snippy dissenting opinions or even criticize a dissent when they’re writing for the majority. They’ll say something like, “The dissent or the majority is sorely misguided.” Or, “The opinion of my colleague is not to be taken seriously.” Or, “It is Orwellian or profoundly mistaken.” Women tend not to write like that. They just give the reasons for why the court decides as it does, and they don’t make those distracting associations. Women are accustomed to dealing with put-downs by not reacting in anger. That doesn’t work, that doesn’t get you anyplace. Maintaining a sense of humor does.

Once stolen by the Nazis, Matisse’s painting, “Seated Woman,” has finally been returned to its rightful home.

The Girl Scouts continue kicking ass by saying they welcome transgender members in their troops. Predictably, bigots object.

In Entertainment:

David Letterman officially retired from The Late Show last night, with a show that was really all Dave.

At Pajiba, Dustin Rowles has a great tribute to the man, including how Dave’s show helped inspire the site’s name.

Jared Padalecki (of Supernatural, in case you’re of the 5% of internet users who haven’t encountered its persistent fandom over the past 9 years) had to cancel some of his upcoming appearances because of his depression. Refreshingly, he has been very honest about his struggles with the illness.

Agent Carter is officially getting a second season. Rejoice!

Agent Carter: I know my value
Karen Hallion Illustrations (Society6)

Fairuza Balk has weighed in on the upcoming remake of The Craft. (Would you believe that I grew up in the ’90s, yet I’ve never seen it?)

Curses! Last week I was all excited that Cate Blanchett was maybe not straight, but apparently she was misquoted.

And finally, blues legend B.B. King died at age 89, after suffering from ill-health over the past few months. Play us out, man…

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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