Death Valley Reaches 130 Degrees, Setting Records and Alarming Climate Activists

The Ice Cream Truck Song Has a Racist Past ; Threat to Kill Wild Boar That Stole Nude Bather’s Laptop Prompts Outcry; and More Picks

Death Valley, 130 degrees, heat record, climate change
The author writes, “Death Valley, California — considered one of the hottest places on the planet — reached a scorching 130 degrees Fahrenheit Sunday in what could be the highest temperature reliably recorded in a century, according to meteorologists, while climate scientists and activists sound alarms about irreversible global warming.” Photo credit: faungg’s photos / Flicker (CC BY-ND 2.0)
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Why the Unrest in Chicago Has Been Decades in the Making (Dana)

The author writes, “It’s been a summer of unrest in Chicago. The homicide rate spiked. Protesters have clashed with law enforcement. There’s been looting. There’s been violence. At least once Mayor Lori Lightfoot described the actions of demonstrators as ‘anarchy.’ But what did city and state officials think would happen? You can’t slowly build a powder keg and then be surprised when it explodes. As someone who grew up on Chicago’s South Side, graduated from Chicago Public Schools and lived in the city most of my life, I’m certainly not.”

Seattle City Council Votes to Require Youths Have Legal Advice Before Being Questioned by Police (Reader Steve)

From the Seattle Times: “The Seattle City Council Monday unanimously approved an ordinance that, in many cases, would require youth who are in police custody to have legal advice before being questioned. Monday’s passage of the measure — which Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said she will sign — comes as local and state officials seek changes to make policing more equal and fair. Speaking before the vote, City Councilmember Tammy Morales cited the fact that children of color are disproportionately detained and charged by law enforcement as a reason the bill is needed. Morales, the bill’s main sponsor, said it would give legal protections to young people ‘whose lived experience dictates that law enforcement does not necessarily have their best interest in mind.’”

The Threat to Vote by Mail Isn’t Fraud. It’s Disinformation and Sabotage (Dana)

The author writes, “Attacks on mail-in voting aren’t new, but they do come at a time when a record number of people in the US are expected to request absentee ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic. … Sending in your ballot is the next logical step when trying to stay safe. The real danger is that these attacks damage the credibility of our entire democratic system. Election security officials have long warned that disinformation over votes is more concerning than the potential for someone to tamper with ballots. If you can get people to believe that results aren’t legitimate, it doesn’t matter whether fraud actually happened.”

The Ice Cream Truck Song Has a Racist Past (Dan)

The author writes, “Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA is putting the ‘good’ in Good Humor, partnering with the sweets vendor to create a new ice cream truck jingle as a free alternative to the well-known and problematic tune ‘Turkey in the Straw.’ The rapper-producer unveiled the catchy new song … in a video acknowledging the racist history of ‘Turkey in the Straw,’ which has long been associated with minstrel shows and racist imagery.”

Threat to Kill Wild Boar That Stole Nude Bather’s Laptop Prompts Outcry (Mili)

The author writes, “A wild boar that has become a frequent visitor at a lakeside bathing resort in Berlin is attracting a growing band of supporters following authorities’ suggestion that it could have to be killed. The animal, nicknamed Elsa, has earned something akin to celebrity status after a series of photos of it and its piglets stealing a nude bather’s laptop at Teufelssee lake in west Berlin went viral this month. The owner of the laptop was captured in bare-bottomed pursuit of the boar, which later abandoned its booty, presumably having discovered it was not edible. Subsequent sightings of the creatures rifling through bathers’ picnic baskets and rucksacks and apparently showing no timidity have prompted Berlin foresters to label them a danger to humans.”

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