Looks like Angel Haze is relishing her crossover success. The openly queer rapper just dropped a track with Ludacris for the soundtrack of the upcoming “22 Jump Street” featuring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. The uptempo track features Haze singing and rapping the film’s theme song. The film hits theaters on June 13.
Here’s some of what I’m reading up on this morning (feel free to skip to the koala cuteness, of course):
- It’s the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
- The Taliban releases video of Bowe Bergdahl’s handover.
- Republicans are pleased with results from last night’s election, although Mississippi remains too close to call.
- The private sector adds less jobs than expected for May.
- Hey, Instagram 6.0!
- Jonah Hill is sorry.
- Veteran’s Affairs maintained secret waiting lists that placed vets at risk.
- Researchers figure out why koalas hug trees.
Seattle beat out San Francisco yesterday to become the city in the nation with the highest minimum wage: $15-an-hour. Workers won’t see the bump in their paychecks until 2017 though. The increase will be phased in over three to seven years depending on the size of the business. In exchange for providing health insurance, businesses with 500 or more employees have a year’s extension giving them four years to implement the wage increase. Yesterday’s vote is being described as historic and a model for the rest of the country where continued fast food worker protests have drawn increasing attention to employees’ struggle to improve wages.
Some local businesses support the compromise plan reached after months of negotiation but many are torn, as the PBS News Hour video shows. One business group, the International Franchise Association plans to file suit, calling the increase “unfair” and “discriminatory.”
Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning:
- Syrians head to the polls in what appears to be a sham election.
- During his trip to Europe, Obama reassures European allies.
- Scrutiny over Bowe Bergdahl’s father’s Twitter account.
- Two 12-year-old girls are being charged as adults for stabbing their friend for “Slender Man,” a fictional Internet character.
- Seattle passes a $15 an hour wage ordinance.
- Tyson Foods and Pilgrim’s Pride (yes, there’s a company called that) are in a bidding war to take Hillshire Brands, which is itself trying to acquire Pinnacle Foods.
- Sony will phase out PSP by the end of this year.
- RiRi sparkles at the fashion designer’s awards.
- Donald Sterling faces a lawsuit for sexual harassment and racist slurs.
- E-cigarette ads are reaching children and teens.
While Los Angeles public schools have dramatically cut their suspension rates, some youth advocates warn that the seeming improvements don’t tell the whole story.
The Los Angeles Times’ Teresa Watanabe reports on allegations of principals turning to off-the-books suspensions to continue punishing students while still reporting dips in suspensions:
The principal at Manchester Elementary in South Los Angeles was removed earlier this year following allegations that he sent at least 20 students home while directing staff not to mark them absent or suspended, according to two knowledgeable sources who asked for anonymity to avoid retaliation. A district official confirmed Gregory Hooker’s removal “pending the outcome of an investigation” but declined to provide further details.
A confidential report by two community organizations in 2012 found that some principals were using “work-arounds” to district mandates to reduce suspensions. Maisie Chin, executive director of CADRE, a South Los Angeles nonprofit that has long worked on the discipline issue, declined to release the report but said it showed that some students were being sent home, sometimes with no given reason, depriving them of the due process rights in the formal suspension process.
Los Angeles schools have faced pressure to cut their suspension rates as the school-to-prison pipeline has become a national conversation. But this kind of cut is probably not what Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had in mind when he decried the overuse of suspensions in the nation’s schools. Read the rest at the Los Angeles Times.
Scott Fistler didn’t do too well in the 2012 election. The Republican ran (and lost) as a write-in candidate against Rep. Ed Pastor, a Democrat. But Fistler seems to have had a novel idea to take the 7th district—which is largely Latino—later this year.
About six months ago, Fislter petitioned a judge for a name change—to Cesar Chavez, ostensibly after the labor leader. He’s also switched parties and is now a Democrat running on the ticket to, once again, try to win. It’s unclear if any of his political views have changed.
But it gets better. Chavez’s election website (“CESAR CHAVEZ for CONGRESS 2014!”—that also includes a Spanish language translation) features images of masses of people wearing red t-shirts with the name Chavez plastered on them. But those folks aren’t out on the streets of Arizona for candidate Chavez; they’re on the streets of Venezuela for now-deceased President Hugo Chávez.
To be fair, however, this wouldn’t be the first time someone would confuse Cesar Chavez and Hugo Chávez for the same person.
(h/t Arizona Capital Times)
“If you want to do something evil put it inside something boring. Apple could put the entire text of “Mein Kampf” inside the iTunes user agreement and you’d just go: Agree. Agree. Agree.” “Mein Kampf,” according to former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver’s metaphor, is the end of net neutrality. The iTunes user agreement is FCC hearings convening this year to establish a two-tier Internet system: a fast lane for those who can pay and another lane for those who can’t. The proposed Internet overhaul, advocates say, will strip Davids of their slingshots and cede ground to Goliath companies like Comcast. And that’s why in just 13 minutes, John Oliver in his new HBO show explains why the term “net neutrality” should hereafter be known as, “preventing cable company fuckery.”
Check out the clip from last night’s episode. Stay tuned to the end, where Oliver lets you know how you can do something about it. And learn more about the revolving door between companies like Comcast and the FCC.
Here’s what I’m catching up on this morning:
- The Obama administration trades five Guantanamo detainees for a sergeant being held prisoner in Afghanistan.
- The EPA wants to cut carbon dioxide emissions from polluting power plants by 30 percent.
- China appears to be disrupting Google services ahead of the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square.
- Ready for iOS8?
- Justin Beiber apologizes for a racist joke caught on video.
- V. Stiviano’s attorney says she was attacked by white two men yelling racist slurs.
- Speaking two languages is beneficial to aging brains.
- NASA releases a beautiful video illustrating a solar eruption.
Can you spell words like “thymelici” and “holluschick?” The 14- and 13-year-old Indian-American winners of last night’s Scripps National Spelling Bee can. For the first time in 50 years two students tied for first place in the Bee and not for the first time, their “American-ness” was questioned soon after. Journalist Jeff Chu last night Storified some of America’s on-going paroxysms over who gets to belong and when. Last night, according to the AP, marks the seventh year in a row that a student of Indian descent has won the Bee.
It’s Friday. Yay! Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning:
- Authorities in India arrest three of seven men accused of raping and killing two teenage Dalit sisters.
- Amid calls for his resignation, VA Chief Eric Shinseki apologizes for systemic problems ahead of a meeting with Obama.
- Consumer spending unexpectedly dropped 0.1 percent in April (it was expected to rise 0.2 percent).
- Mark Zuckerburg and Priscilla Chan donate $120 million to Bay Area Schools—which will hopefully not be wasted like it was in Phili.
- Ansun Sujoe and Sriram Hathwar tie for champions at the Scripps Spelling Bee, and some folks are pretty furious they’re not white.
- Maybe “Breaking Bad” isn’t done yet. Maybe.
- The measles are back. Thanks, anti-vaxxers.
All I know is that the World Cup starts in two weeks. Two weeks! Here are other things I’m reading up on this morning:
- Pro-Russian separatists shoot down a Ukrainian helicopter, killing 14.
- More confusion about Malaysian Air Flight 370.
- Dish Network will start accepting payments through Bitcoin starting this fall.
- Nearly half of all adults in the U.S. were hacked in the last twelve months.
- Lavar Burton raises nearly $2 million in 24 hours to bring Reading Rainbow to the web.
- Versace’s World Cup shirt is as amazing as it is expensive.
- Despite health and safety issues, scientists are recommending the WHO not classify e-cigarettes as tobacco products.
- Wasps’ piercing organ is essentially a zinc-tipped drill bit.
Google’s Senior VP of People Operations will appear on a PBSNewsHour segment this evening to release the company’s race and gender diversity numbers. Watch the 6pm EST livestream here.
Google’s disclosure of EEOC diversity data is a reversal of course for the company. It’s expected that this will increase pressure on other tech companies to do the same.
A Miami apartment complex has been hit with a discrimination suit alleging discrimination against African-Americans in favor of Hispanics. When Zipporah Hayes went to view an apartment in a Miami housing complex, the rental manager told her there were no units available. Two hours later when Alexandra Del Rosario stopped by, the rental manager showed her an apartment. Hayes is African-American. Del Rosario is Hispanic. After this scenario repeated two other times this year with other “testers”—fake apartment hunters—the Miami Herald yesterday reported that a local fair housing group filed suit
Housing discrimination is very difficult to prove. One of the only ways to do so is by “testing.” That’s when a local fair housing group sends fake apartment hunters and homeowners to visit buildings or housing areas suspected of discrimination. Otherwise, done right, potential homebuyers and renters don’t know for sure when they’re facing discrimination.
It’s unclear from the reporting whether the Miami complex is reacting to the potential renter’s skin color or last names. If the allegations are true, how, for example, would the rental manager react to black Latinos?
(h/t Miami Herald)
Here’s what I’m reading up on this Wednesday morning:
- After announcing a plan to leave nearly 10,000 troops in Afghanistan yesterday, Obama is expected to talk more foreign policy at West Point today.
- Police in France standoff against undocumented migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan and Eritrea.
- Edward Snowden tells NBC he was trained as a spy, working oversees undercover.
- An Associated Press/Equilar study reveals the 50 highest-paid CEOs.
- A go button, an emergency button, and no steering wheel: Google’s new car.
- The Beastie Boys sue Monster energy drinks for using the group’s music in promo video.
- Donald Sterling is or isn’t ok with Shelly Sterling selling the Clippers.
- Ads for cancer centers may be misleading.
A Texas woman says she was given no choice but to give birth in a solitary cell—after which her baby died.
Nicole Guerrero says that she was under arrest for drug possession at a Wichita County jail when she was placed in solitary confinement on the night of June 11, 2012. In a lawsuit charging malpractice and that she was denied due process, Guerrero says she was told by the jailhouse doctor she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant. Yet on the night of June 11, when she began pressing the emergency button because of labor-like symptoms, she was initially ignored for more than four hours. Guerrero was then placed in a solitary cell instead of being transported to a hospital. The following morning, at about 5:00 a.m. on June 12, a guard helped Guerrero deliver her baby. But the baby, who was placed in a jail rag towel, was pronounced dead. The lawsuit indicates there was no attempt to resuscitate the newborn.
Guerrero’s lawsuit claims that because she was ignored despite her cramping and obvious suffering, she was forced to deliver her child in a solitary confinement—which resulted in serious “permanent, physical and psychological injuries.”
At least 60,000 immigrants worked for the detention centers they were being held in in 2013—many for just a dollar a day. That’s according to Ian Urbina, in new report in the New York Times, where Urbina also found that some immigrants work in county jails for free. Out of the roughly 30,000 detainees held daily, some 5,500 work for pennies an hour, doing the essential cooking and cleaning.
Detainee workers also include those seeking asylum, permanent residents and even U.S. citizens. Pedro Guzmán, a 34-year-old whose visa was erroneously revoked, says he was threatened for not working through a fever:
“I went from making $15 an hour as a chef to $1 a day in the kitchen in lockup,” said Pedro Guzmán, 34, who had worked for restaurants in California, Minnesota and North Carolina before he was picked up and held for about 19 months, mostly at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga. “And I was in the country legally.”
Mr. Guzmán said that he had been required to work even when he was running a fever, that guards had threatened him with solitary confinement if he was late for his 2 a.m. shift, and that his family had incurred more than $75,000 in debt from legal fees and lost income during his detention. A Guatemalan native, he was released in 2011 after the courts renewed his visa, which had mistakenly been revoked, in part because of a clerical error. He has since been granted permanent residency.
You can read the story in full over at The New York Times.
Elliot Rodger’s college-town rampage in Isla Vista, Calif. and holiday weekend shootings in New Orleans come a few days after two Democratic senators introduced legislation last week to jumpstart gun violence research at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This latest effort recognizes the role that public health research may play in policy discussions around gun control and gun violence.
Gun violence research funding dried up in 1996 after an NRA intervention. Since 2007 the CDC has spent roughly $100,000-a-year on firearms-focused work. As a result, Americans know the number of homicides each year but not basic information like, how many Americans survive shootings, Pro Publica reports.
The NRA considers legislation allotting $10 million a year to the CDC to conduct gun violence research “unethical.” Michael Martinez, the father of Christopher Michaels-Martinez, one of Rodger’s victims, continues to speak out against the NRA and politicians, whom he blames for his son’s death. He reportedly wants to meet with Rodger’s father as well. Christopher, 20, was his only child.
Rodger killed six people and wounded 13 others before turning the gun on himself, according to the latest reports. Gun violence in New Orleans this holiday weekend left four dead, 15 wounded.
For the latest on gun violence policy and politics, follow ProPublica’s ongoing series.
Misogyny played a huge role in the Isla Vista shootings this past Friday night but so did race, say sociologists Michael Kimmel and Cliff Leek. Citing 22-year-old Elliot Rodger’s 140-page manifesto (not linking), Kimmel and Leek flag Rodger’s feelings towards men of color calling his, “a voice of white male aggrieved entitlement.”
And then this black boy named Chance said that he lost his virginity when he was only thirteen! In addition, he said that the girl he lost his virginity to was a blonde white girl! I was so enraged that I almost splashed him with my orange juice. I indignantly told him that I did not believe him, and then I went to my room to cry…. How could an inferior, ugly black boy be able to get a white girl and not me? I am beautiful, and I am half white myself. I am descended from British aristocracy. He is descended from slaves. I deserve it more. … If this is actually true, if this ugly black filth was able to have sex with a blonde white girl at the age of thirteen while I’ve had to suffer virginity all my life, then this just proves how ridiculous the female gender is. They would give themselves to this filthy scum, but they reject ME? The injustice!
Rodger’s 20-year-old roommates Chen Yuan Hong and Weihan “David” Wang, and their friend, George Chen, 19, whom he stabbed to death, are of Asian descent. Kimmel and Leek also question whether police who’d visited Rodger’s at a family member’s request would have determined he posed no threat had he been black and expressing a similar rage found in his YouTube videos. (The AP reports that deputies had not seen Rodger’s videos when they called on him last month).
(h/t NY Daily News)
Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning:
- New details are emerging from the Isla Vista killings.
- Nigeria claims it’s located the schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram.
- Malaysia finally releases Flight 370 data, three months after the plane disappeared.
- Pope Francis announces that he will hold mass with sexual abuse survivors at the Vatican.
- Three people are missing following a mudslide in Colorado.
- Durable goods are up 0.8 percent for April.
- Toshiba updates its detachable laptops.
- Rap Genius’s Mahbod Modghadam resigns after making misogynist annotations.
- A swarm of some 20,000 honeybees is pulled down from a weak tree branch in New York’s Upper West Side.
After singing the national anthem in mariachi dress during Game 3 of the NBA Finals last June, Sebastien de la Cruz received praise but also became a target of racist attacks. This year 12-year-old Sebastien is still singing and, showing off his latest trajes de charro. He’s today’s profile subject and Day 6 in a New York Times journey along Interstate-35 that looks at “how America is being changed by immigration.” I-35 is a middle America highway stretching from Laredo, Texas near the Mexican border to Duluth, Minnesota. Central questions for the series: Are immigrants [from south of the border] Americans? How has life along I-35 changed after decades of northward migration? Are newcomers integrating into American life?
Four stories precede Sebastien’s. I’ll get to them this weekend but after reading Sebastien’s brief profile, it strikes me that this journey north could show that many folks like Sebastien aren’t newcomers. They’ve been here—in many cases just as long or longer than other “preferred Americans” whose immigration status and roots aren’t similarly questioned.
The New York Times is asking folks to tell them where to go along I-35. Give ‘em a hand. Help shape the story.