Today in the news:
Hollywood is still white. This is hardly news to anyone who elected to review this year’s Oscar contestants, yet somehow, study after study continues to be produced with the same shock after each one. It is even more unforgivable, given the actors and actresses that were snubbed, including Michael B. Jordan in Creed, Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation, Samuel L. Jackson in The Hateful Eight, and Mya Taylor in Tangerine. Unfortunately, it isn’t just black people that are being neglected on the big screen. Every racial minority is woefully unrepresented in Hollywood, and as if that weren’t bad enough, LGBT actors were hardly represented at all. One could argue that Eddie Redmayne’s character Lili Elbe in the movie The Danish Girl brings some diversity to the table, but that is not true if the actor is cisgender. Suffice to say this has caused a certain amount of outrage among the trans community.
The Middle East remains tragically dangerous. A suicide bomber attacked an Afghan clinic that day before peace talks are scheduled to begin between the United States, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in Kabul. However, the United States and Russia did decide to temporarily cease hostilities, with diplomacy proving to be this source of the reduction in hostility.
The United States Congress finally did something. After 869 days, the Senate approved of President Obama’s nomination to be ambassador to Norway. In addition, ambassadors to Sweden, Luxembourg, and Trinidad and Tobago were also approved. This process was held up, due to Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), as a single senator is capable of holding up the entire process and Senator Cruz was protesting the nuclear deal with Iran.