Friday News Bites: #SpringValleyHigh, Meaty Bits + More

Hello, unicorns. This week’s News Bites have more entertainment stories than usual, but some weeks, maybe we need that. First though, let’s get into more serious matters:

After video surfaced of a South Carolina officer physically assaulting a student at Spring Valley High School, the officer was fired. But not until we got to hear a bunch of bullshit excuses that come down to “kids are mouthy.”

Never mind the fact that the student had just lost her family and was placed in foster care. Never mind the fact that they arrested her classmate for filming the exchange. Never mind that this is another case of violence being inflicted a disproportionate rate against black children. Oh no, let’s talk about kids being defiant and how that somehow makes this okay. Please.

U.S. Political News:

Lincoln Chafee has dropped out of the Democratic Presidential primary race. To the surprise of… well, there must be someone surprised. Maybe. [auto-playing video]

Hillary Clinton has made a new campaign pledge that she’ll stop accepting money from private prisons, and that for-profit prisons should not be a thing. Bernie’s stances are making her more publicly progressive by the day, ha.

Speaking of Hillary, even some Republicans are admitting that the Benghazi hearings were a waste of time. [auto-playing video]

Except the hearings did give us this gif, so… win for the internet?

Brush that dirt off your shoulders.
Brush that dirt off your shoulders.

During a forum on criminal justice, President Obama talked about how the Black Lives Matter movement needs to be taken seriously. But, again, tell me how protest doesn’t work, apparently? [auto-playing video]

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has added state regulations banning discrimination against transgender people. Previously, the non-discrimination laws did not account for gender identity.

The GOP candidates in the Republican primary had yet another debate this week. The Frisky covers its “Best Moments In Bullshit” here.

In Other News:

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair sorta-kinda apologized for his involvement in the war in Iraq.  Cool deflection, bro.

Hurricane Patricia ended up being not as bad as initially forecasted. Here’s a roundup of the damage in Mexico.

China plans on ending its one-child-per-family policy:

The decision to allow families to have two children was designed “to improve the balanced development of population” and to deal with an aging population, according to the statement from the Community Party’s Central Committee carried by the official Xinhua News Agency (in Chinese) on Thursday.

Hobby Lobby CEO, Steve Green, and his family had several Christian artifacts seized by U.S. Customs officers because they were illegally stolen from Iraq. The family, of course, claims they had no idea these items were ill-gotten. Uh-huh.

I reported awhile back that TSA was supposed have some coalition that would be looking into the fair treatment of transgender airline passengers. The Advocate reports that those claims of “regular meetings” on the subject are not exactly true.

Maureen O’Hara — known for her role in John Ford’s The Quiet Man, among others — died this week from natural causes. She was 93.


Everyone freaked out for a minute when they thought bacon could give them cancer. Then some people figured out that correlation does not necessarily equal causation.

Also, speaking of processed meats or fake meats, some hot dogs and sausages (including some vegetarian brands) have human DNA in them. Well, so do a lot of things, I’d reckon, but we’d rather not know, wouldn’t we? But this is just one study from one organization, so other studies’ mileage may vary.

(Me, I don’t even like bacon or hot dogs, so I felt quite smug for about half a second this week, ha.)

And speaking of food and studies, this one’s more palatable: Turns out food stamps do a lot more to fight poverty than previously thought.

And here’s one to freak you out because it is Halloween: A man failed a paternity test because the DNA used was from his vanished twin.

Entertainment News:

Here’s another excuse to listen to the new Adele song again:

David Bowie will have a new album out in January, called Blackstar. Hooray!

If you need more DoctorDonna in your life: Big Finish is bringing back David Tennant and Catherine Tate for some new Doctor Who audio adventures. Though they won’t be released until May 2016, you can pre-order now.

Here’s a look into the recently-cancelled America’s Next Top Model, and Tyra’s distasteful business practices.

Laura Dern and Reese Witherspoon are set to produce a TV series based on Cheryl Strayed’s book Tiny Beautiful Things. The three previously worked together on the film adaptation of Strayed’s Wild.

And finally, mainly because it pleases me, here’s Noel Gallagher singing with U2 at their recent O2 Arena gig.

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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