Judge overturns Arkansas’s obviously unconstitutional 12-week abortion ban

However, this wasn’t a total win: The judge upheld the law’s requirement that the patient receive an ultrasound and be told if a heartbeat is detected–for no medically necessary reason whatsoever.

via Judge overturns Arkansas’s obviously unconstitutional 12-week abortion ban.

Great Animated GIFs by Kurt McRobert – The Fox Is Black

Brooklyn-based illustrator Kurt McRobert has been making some GIFs recently and I really like them. The one above is a particular favourite. It shows the dangers and challenges of life as a cyclist in New York City and features suspense, drama, action and comedy! In all honesty, what more could you want from a four second loop? It really does have everything!

via Great Animated GIFs by Kurt McRobert – The Fox Is Black.

Weekend Gun Report: March 14-16, 2014 – NYTimes.com

Four people were shot and wounded in Greensboro, N.C., early Sunday. Three siblings were killed and a woman was critically injured in a shooting at a home in Beaumont, Tex., Sunday afternoon. Four people were wounded in a shootout at a party venue in Burke County, Ga., early Sunday. Three people, including a 17-year-old, were shot and wounded at an after-hours club on the northeast side of Columbus, Ohio, early Sunday.

via Weekend Gun Report: March 14-16, 2014 – NYTimes.com.

100 serial rapists identified after Detroit finally processes untested rape kits

Back in 2009, over 11,000 kits were found abandoned in a Detroit Police storage facility. After processing just 1,600 of them so far, Detroit has identified about 100 serial rapists and ten convicted rapists. Those perpetrators have moved on from Michigan to commit similar crimes in 23 other states.

Of course, Detroit is not alone. Nationwide, there’s an estimated 400,000 untested rape kits. One of our favorite actress/activists Law and Order: SVU’s Mariska Hargitay (read her Feministing Five interview here) has been raising awareness about this issue for awhile now. Her organization, The Joyful Heart Foundation, has launched a project called End The Backlog to pressure cities and states to prioritize testing their kits. (She’s also producing a documentary about the problem.) And thankfully, 17 states have proposed new legislation to address their backlogs.

There’s a ton of reasons that the rape kit backlog is national shame. For one thing, as Hargitay notes, “One would assume that if someone endures a four- to six-hour invasive examination, that that evidence would be handled with care.” And while police departments say testing evidence is expensive and they just don’t have the resources, they’re making choices about which cases they believe are worth moving forward. Sarah Tofte, the director of policy and advocacy for Joyful Heart, explained to ThinkProgress, “They’re making subjective judgments about whether they’re likely to get a conviction, what this rape looks like, whether the victim is credible, and what the victim’s worth to society is…Ultimately, it’s about, does this victim deserve justice?”

via 100 serial rapists identified after Detroit finally processes untested rape kits.

Five richest UK families have more wealth than the 12m poorest Brits

The five richest families in the UK are wealthier than the bottom 20 per cent of the entire population and the gap between the rich and the rest has grown significantly over the last two decades, according to new figures published today by Oxfam.

The agency warned that just five UK households have more money than the poorest 12.6 million Britons – almost the same number of people as those living in households below the UK poverty line.

Oxfam’s figures also show that over the past two decades the wealthiest 0.1 percent have seen their income grow nearly four times faster than the least well off 90 percent of the population. In real terms, that means a wealthy elite have seen their income grow by £24,000 a year, enough to buy a small yacht or a sports car, whilst the bottom 90 percent of Britons’ incomes have gone up by only a few pounds a week. The average UK salary is £26,500-a-year.

via Five richest UK families have more wealth than the 12m poorest Brits.

Arrest of Ruki Fernando and Father Praveen | Groundviews

Last night’s arrest of Ruki Fernando and Fr. Praveen in Kilinochchi on terrorism charges, soon after the arrest of Jeyakumari Balendran and her young daughter on suspicion of harbouring a criminal, is extremely disturbing and an urgent call to action. In stark contrast to what the Government says in Geneva is what it does in Sri Lanka. Human rights activists are being arrested under draconian laws which permit the authorities to interrogate them in isolation for extended periods of time. It is clear the government wants to go after those who flag human rights abuses. This is happening when deliberations at the Human Rights Council on Sri Lanka are taking place, demonstrating the regime’s scant regard for international opinion and scrutiny. It is an urgent call to hold the government accountable and use all means necessary, in Geneva and elsewhere, to secure the safety of Ruki, Fr. Praveen, Jeyakumari, her daughter and others similarly under arrest and detained. Failure to do suggests that words aside, the international community accepts the democratic deficit in Sri Lanka.

via Arrest of Ruki Fernando and Father Praveen | Groundviews.