Friday News Bites: Umpqua and Election Updates, Nobel Prizes + More

Greetings, everyone. This week, I have lots of links related to the Umpqua Community College shooting and other matters of gun violence, but we’ve got a few bright spots to cover too, so let’s get started.

President Obama is beyond “saddened” at this point — he’s more firmly calling for action on behalf of Congress to address gun violence.

Liberal Bastion of All Things Holy Bernie Sanders (What? I’m still voting for him; leave me be) is unfortunately a bit pro-NRA when it comes to guns. Perhaps his views will evolve. Let’s hope.

But at least he’s not like Jeb Bush and saying, “Stuff happens,” when it comes to mass shootings. And he isn’t victim-blaming and acting like he’d be a heroic badass like Ben Carson.

Here’s an interesting interview with tactical experts saying that the “heroic fantasy” of taking a shooter down isn’t based on reality.

Even the father of the Umpqua shooter says we need to have stricter gun control laws.

People magazine published the phone numbers of all 535 Congress members in their latest issue, asking their readers to push for gun control legislation, which is quite a big deal for a mainstream publication.

Because if we don’t do something, we’re still going to have horrible tragedies and stories like this Michigan woman who opened fire on shoplifters at Home Depot.

White Americans are the biggest terror threat in the U.S., according to a new study. I’d go further and say, white American men.

In Other News:

The group of black women who were kicked off a Napa Valley train for “laughing too loud” are suing for racial discrimination.

U.S. military carried out an airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan, which ended up killing 19 and injuring 37 people at a Doctors Without Borders hospital. President Obama has apologized, but some are calling it a war crime.

New Pope still like Old Pope News: The Vatican fired a Polish priest the same day he came out and revealed he had a male partner.

Governor Jerry Brown made assisted suicide legal in the state of California, signing the bill into law on Monday.

In Montana, the death penalty has been put on hold indefinitely as a District Court judge ruled “that Montana’s use of the drug pentobarbital in execution doesn’t comply with the statute that governs lethal injection in Montana.”

(Quick Montana Side Note: Apparently a guy here escaped a bear attack by putting his arm down the bear’s throat.)

An American Airlines jet had to make an emergency landing this week after the pilot died during the flight. The airline has not yet released the name of the pilot or the cause of death.

Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has a history of not paying her staff members: She still owes employees around $500,000 from her failed Congressional campaign.

In “Water is Wet” News: Trump supporters have the worst grammar compared with supporters of other presidential candidates.

The elections in Canada also have their share of ridiculousness: A Conservative party candidate told a Nigerian man he should “renounce his heritage” if he didn’t want to be in danger of being deported.


Scientists have grown a primitive kidney in a lab using stem cells. Neato.

More “Water is Wet” News: An anti-vaxxer-funded study still reported that vaccines do not cause autism.

Here are this year’s Nobel Prize winners, including physicists Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald for their work with neutrinos.


Catherine Coulson, perhaps best known as the “log lady” on Twin Peaks, died last week from cancer. She was 71.

Belgian director Chantal Akerman died on Monday, aged 65.

In Entertainment:

Nicki Minaj has some further words for Miley Cyrus, if Miley wants to continue appropriating black culture.

Members of the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show — yes, including Tim Curry! — appeared on the Today Show for the film’s 40th Anniversary[auto-playing video]

And finally, construction has begun on the LGBTQ homeless youth shelter funded through late actress Bea Arthur’s will. Hooray!

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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