Evening News Wrap Wednesday 4 December 2013.
- ANGUISH AND FEAR: Recordings of 911 calls to the Newtown, Connecticut police department during the Sandy Hook school massacre are released after AP and other news outlets file freedom of information requests. NRA probably listens to recordings and shrugs. (NY Times)
- ASSASSINATION: Hezbollah commander Hassan al-Laqis is gunned down outside his Beirut home; Israel denies involvement. (USA Today)
- "STRUCTURES AND PASTURELAND": An Arizona state agency is blamed for putting those interests over the safety of firefighters, 19 of whom perished battling a massive wildfire earlier this year; the fine is all of $559,000. (NY Times / LA Times)
- FIVE BILLION: That’s the number of cell phone records the National Security Administration collects overseas each motherfucking day. (WashPo)
- A truck carrying radioactive cobalt-60 was found soon after it was stolen in Mexico, its cargo container opened but with the material intact; unfortunately for the idiot(s) who opened it, they could die soon. (CNN / AP)
- BANKS A LOT: The feds will announce new mortgage fraud cases against banks in early 2014. (Reuters)
- Weeks after House Republicans move to cut billions of dollars in SNAP benefits, an analysis shows that the GOP is more likely to represent districts with high levels of participation in the food stamp program than do House Democrats. Republicans shrug. (Time)
- Meanwhile, President Obama calls on Americans to confront income inequality, the “defining challenge of our time.” Republicans shrug again. (Al Jazeera)
- Three former Ukrainian presidents back protesters angry at their government’s decision not to align with the European Union. (BBC)
- A year after going online-only, Newsweek is back in print. (Guardian)
- Pittsburgh Steelers coach acts like a dickhead on the field during a game, gets fined $100,000 and could cost his team a first round draft pick. (NY Daily News)
- KICKER: Scientists announce the oldest human DNA ever recovered — 400,000 years old — and show an “unexpected link” between Neanderthals in what is now Spain and another ancient predecessor of modern humans, the Denisovans from faraway Siberia. Apparently also discovered: the first-ever long-distance relationship. (NBC News)
(Scientific rendering of the Sima de los Huesos people, who lived 400,000 years ago in what is now Spain, by Javier Trueba / Madrid Scientific Films via NBC News)
Take a little boy and a little girl. A little boy falls down and the first thing we say as parents is ‘Get up, shake it off. You’ll be OK. Don’t cry.’ When a little girl falls down, what do we say? ‘It’s going to be OK.’ We validate their feelings. So right there from that moment, we’re teaching our men to mask their feelings, don’t show their emotions. And it’s that times 100 with football players. You can’t show that you’re hurt, you can’t show any pain. So for a guy to come into the locker room and he shows a little vulnerability, that’s a problem. That’s what I mean by the culture of the NFL. And that’s what we have to change.
… What’s going on in Miami goes on in every locker room. But it’s time for us to start talking. Maybe have some group sessions where guys sit down and maybe talk about what’s going on off the field or what’s going on in the building and not mask everything. Because the longer it goes untreated, the worse it gets.”
Chicago Bears receiver BRANDON MARSHALL, offering the most thoughtful appraisal yet of the Jonathan Martin bullying case.
If only there were more people like Brandon in the macho NFL. And if only more members of the media covered the story from this point of view.
(Chicago Tribune via Deadspin)
Morning News Read 1 November 2013.
- NAY-S-A: The leaders of Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and and AOL have a simple message for the NSA’s extensive surveillance activities: take it down several notches. (WashPo)
- BACKWARDS COURTS: In Texas, an appellate court overturns a lower court decision that would’ve rolled back parts of the state’s restrictive abortion laws, while in New York a federal court has halted restrictions on the NYPD’s “stop-and-frisk” laws and removed the judge, Shira Sheindlin, from overseeing the case. Ugh. In caps. UGH. (NY Times)
- FIVE BILLION CUT: The nation’s food stamps program is cut by that amount today, thanks to Republicans who apparently never go hungry and never have needed a safety net to ensure their families’ well-being and health. (NBC News)
- GALL STREET: Meet the man who is holding Wall Street accountable by filing multi-billion-dollar lawsuits against the world’s biggest banks — a “onetime engineer who earned his law degree at night.” Superhero. (NY Times)
- Authorities have found a drug-smuggling tunnel between Tijuana and the U.S. complete with lighting and a “rail system.” (The Guardian)
- EWWWWW: A report looks the use of “gutter oil” to cook foods in China — oil that is made from waste and animal remains. (The Atlantic)
- JOE BYE-DEN? A new book says the Obama campaign team talked about replacing Joe Biden with Hillary Clinton on the 2012 ticket. (Chicago Sun-Times)
- BIG PAPI… E.D.? This probably won’t be the first of many post-2013 World Series columns asking if David Ortiz — who batted over .700 in the Fall Classic — was juiced. Sad. (LA Times)
- Some dude drove from New York City to L.A. in under 29 hours, averaging 100 MPH. (USA Today)
- SAFETY: For the first time in NFL history, a football game that went into overtime ended with the quarterback being tackled in the opponent’s end zone - a safety. Final: Miami 22, Cincinnati 20. (CNN)
- And finally… LIKE FATHER… Here’s video of Republican Ted Cruz’s dad saying awful things about Barack Obama back in 2012, including the familiar Tea Party refrain of sending the President “back to Kenya.” Ted Cruz probably high-fived him afterward. (Time)
(Photo of Rafael Cruz, father of GOP Senator Ted Cruz, probably saying something ignorant, racist and vile by Michael Ainsworth / Dallas Morning News)
I guess the coffee takes seven games to kick in.
Weekend News Read 12 October 2013.
- INDIA: Cyclone Phailin makes landfall in Orissa state, from which nearly half a million residents have fled. Massive coastal flooding struck, the result of Phailin’s sustained 138 mile-per-hour winds covering an area “larger than France.” (AP)
- ITALY: Another ship smuggling migrant workers from Africa capsizes, killing at least 34. (Reuters)
- SHUTDOWN: House Republicans complain as they fail to reach deal to avert default, but really all House Speaker John Boehner had to do was call a God-damned vote and end the GOP—led government shutdown, but he’s still scared of the Tea Party for some reason. Now it’s onto the Senate to fix this shit. (NY Times / WashPo)
- Some states are taking matters into their own hands, using their own money to open federal parks and attractions. (WashPo)
- The New Jersey Supreme Court will hear arguments — brought by governor Chris Christie — against a recent decision legalizing marriage equality in the state. (Bergen Record)
- SCHUCKANEERS: Three members of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are infected with MRSA; locker rooms and equipment undergo sterilization. (CNN)
- FUNDERWEAR: Walter White’s skivvies fetch $10,000 at auction. (NY Daily News)
- And finally… SELLOUTS: Macy’s, which hosts the annual Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, caves into pressure and becomes the latest retailer to throw open its doors during the holiday. Well, at least we’ll get to work off all that turkey and stuffing pushing through crowds on Black Thursday. (NY Post)
(Photo of a pedestrian using a Macy’s shopping bag to cover her head during a rainstorm by Zoran Milch / Reuters via The Post)
“Players don’t want to be reminded about their concussions. They don’t want to be known as the guy who went down with one. They downplay it. Then it happens to me and I start wondering how these guys go back to being hit, taking all that punishment, a week or two later.”
Fox Sports sideline reporter Pam Oliver, who got hit in the head with a thrown football during a pre-season NFL game last month, was diagnosed with a concussion.
(via The New York Daily News)
Seems a football villain is in the making.
(Photo of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel gesturing to a teammate during a win against Rice on Saturday by the AP via The New York Post)
“No helmet system can protect you from serious brain and/or neck injuries including paralysis or death. To avoid these risks, do not engage in the sport of football.”
From a warning label on football helmets manufactured by SCHUTT SPORTS; this particular warning has appeared on their products for the past decade.
The macho stuff aside, yes, let’s acknowledge that football is a dangerous sport, and that just because some people are overly concerned about what could happen to them, or their sons or brothers or cousins or friends or husbands or partners on the football field, doesn’t mean their concerns are invalid.
Just ask the folks who make football helmets.
(via the New York Times)
PRO TIP: If you’re a professional football player and you’re gonna (allegedly) shoot and kill someone, don’t do this kind of selfie first, you asswipe. (Photo of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez posing with a gun because that’s what gun nuts do via TMZ / The New York Post)