Morning Reads

Good morning!

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It was established by the UN 15 years ago to commemorate the November 25, 1960, murders of the Mirabel sisters, three women who were bludgeoned to death as a result of their vocal opposition to Rafael Trujillo’s 30-year dictatorship in the Dominican Republic.  Others had been tortured or killed under Trujillo’s orders, but the murders of the three sisters was perceived as different, and may have played a role in Trujillo’s own assassination — possibly with the CIA’s backing — the following year. 

Stat of the day: 32,975 — the number of arrest warrants for nonviolent offenses served on the city of Ferguson’s 21,135 citizens last year.


Baked into the cake –> The World Bank issued a report concluding that whatever we do, we are already “locked” into a climate 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial times. That translates to about double the amount of warming the planet’s seen so far. NBC News reports that “such an increase could have potentially catastrophic consequences for mankind, causing the global sea level to rise more than 30 centimeters by 2100, droughts to become more severe and placing almost 90 percent of coral reefs at risk of extinction.”

Why have violent crime rates plummeted? –> At The Marshall Project, Dana Goldstein looks at ten theories — from the decline in lead paint to the prevalence of abortions post-Roe v. Wade — for the historic decline.

Deadly ideology –> A Florida man who set his home on fire in order to ambush responding police and firefighters — and then killed one sheriff’s deputy and wounded a second before being killed in a shoot-out with police — held “anti-government” views, according to ABC News, and may have been part of the Sovereign Citizens movement. In August, a Sovereign Citizen in Dallas, Texas, set a trash dumpster on fire with the intent of ambushing first responders, but despite gunshots being fired nobody was hit in that incident.

How’s the weather? Depends on your politics! –> WaPo’s Chris Mooney writes that a new study suggests that “the climate issue may have become so politicized that our very perceptions of the weather itself are subtly slanted by political identities and cues.”

Big controversy in Israel –> The Israeli cabinet approved a controversial draft of a law that would define the country as “the homeland of the Jewish people” rather than a “Jewish and democratic state.” The proposed law has been the source of massive controversy — critics contend that it codifies the second-class citizen status of Israel’s non-Jewish population. NPR’s Krishnadev Calamur reports. AND: Barak Ravid and Jonathan Lis report for Ha’aretz that the State Department weighed in on the bill on Monday, saying the US “expect[s] Israel to stick to its democratic principles.” ALSO: AFP reports that Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups allege that Israeli security officials have been “encouraging a shoot-to-kill policy after a wave of incidents in which police shot dead Palestinians involved in, or accused of, attacking Israelis.” (Via: GlobalPost)

Operating “exactly like the Mafioso” –> A newly hired police chief in the border town of Calexico, California, has called in the FBI to investigate his own department and members of the city council for what he alleges to be a host of corrupt practices. This one can’t be easily summarized — read Tom Boggioni’s rundown at The Raw Story.

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