Nightly Newsy: Matt Lauer’s Missteps, Trouble for Airbnb + More
Thursday! The week is almost over! But it’s not the weekend yet, so you’re still plugged into the world. We’ve rounded up the biggest news stories of the day to catch you up on what’s going down:
1. Baltimore County police are dismissing rape cases without investigating them: A new BuzzFeed investigation has revealed a number of police departments across the country with abnormally high rates of “unfounded” rape accusations. Baltimore County, unlike the other departments, shared a year’s worth of case files deemed unfounded (42 total), and reporters found that “police routinely did little to no detective work,” and officers frequently dismissed cases without even meeting with the victims. While the report focuses on Baltimore County, and on one particular case, this appears to be a nationwide problem.
2. Gary Johnson didn’t know what Aleppo is: The average American can perhaps be forgiven for not immediately recognizing the name of a city in Syria, even one that’s been in the news as often as Aleppo. But Gary Johnson is running for president. Now, granted, he’s running with the Libertarian Party and he’s not going to win, but you should still be able to name the center of the Syrian refugee crisis if you’re running for leader of the free world. Unfortunately for Gary, it became abundantly clear this morning during an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that he did not recognize the city’s name. Asked what he would do, if elected, about Aleppo, Gary responded, “And what is Aleppo?” What, indeed. (He released a statement later in the day explaining that he hadn’t realized the question was about the Syrian conflict, admitting “there were many things [he] didn’t know off the top of [his] head” when he was governor of New Mexico, and pointing out that as president he would “clearly” have daily security briefings to keep him up to date.)
3. School shooting in Texas: Alpine, Texas made the news today when an as-yet-unnamed high school student shot a classmate and then herself. The shooter died, and the status of the other student she shot is unknown. NBC News reported that a semiautomatic gun and ammunition have been found. According to Teen Vogue, a federal officer was injured during the accidental discharge of another officer’s gun. One student told CNN she saw blood on the floor in the cafeteria as the school was being evacuated.
4. Matt Lauer made a lot of people mad at yesterday’s presidential forum: When moderating a forum for presidential candidates you’re almost certain to catch some flak from someone, but when every single person who watched thinks you messed up, well… you may have messed up. Wednesday night was NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum, which Matt hosted, and during which he asked both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump questions about national security and the military. (Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein weren’t there.) It started bad and only got worse for Matt: He spent so much time on the issue of Hillary’s emails that he seemed to rush her later answers on other topics and he failed to follow up on her position on Syria and troops in Iraq. But the bulk of the criticism came when Donald claimed he’d opposed the Iraq War from the beginning and Matt didn’t push back. There’s ample evidence to refute what Donald said, as everyone on Twitter was quick to note.
5. Airbnb is trying to fight its reputation for racist discrimination: #AirbnbWhileBlack has become a popular rallying cry lately, thanks to a growing number of complaints that the popular short-term rental site is discriminating against black people seeking to rent spaces. To prove the point, many people have applied for Airbnb approval under different names and pictures that give the impression that they’re, well, not black… only to see an immediate change in responses. The company is now trying to change its policies to discourage that behavior from renters: It released a report today on the nondiscrimination policy it will roll out and the “community commitment” it wants users to agree to by November 1. But it remains to be seen how much the new policies will do, and the company is still facing a class-action discrimination suit.
(Photos via Alpine Avalanche/Facebook, Airbnb)