Finally, someone is speaking up for the hot dogs.
Laura Ustick of Wheeling, Ill., was so upset when she discovered that no hot dog emoji exists, she did what any reasonable person would do: She started a petition, begging President Barack Obama and early emoji creator Shigetaka Kurita to join forces to create one (there are nearly 300 signatories so far). "People are demanding a hot dog emoji," Ustick, the general manager of the Superdawg Drive-In, told The Wall Street Journal. "It's a slight against the hot dog community."
So Ustick is harnessing the power of social media to attempt to right this wrong, spreading memes like "May the #HotDogEmoji Be With You." She has the 25 other members of the Hot Dog Emoji Coalition standing behind her, in addition to her customers. "It kind of hurts your feelings that the hot dog emoji is not here," Tika Johnson told The Wall Street Journal. "You cannot have a real text without emoji." Who knew hot dog lovers were such a sensitive bunch?
#GiveThemWhatTheyWant #HotDogsForever #ActuallyIPreferCornDogs Catherine Garcia
Back in March, the conservative Spanish government passed a law sharply limiting the right of public protest. It is set to take effect tomorrow, and groups including Greenpeace are protesting in advance, calling it a "gag law."
The law prescribes, among other things, fines up to €600 for not notifying the authorities in advance about a protest, up to €30,000 for disturbing the peace around government buildings, and up to €600,000 for spontaneous demonstrations near certain infrastructure, such as power stations or transit hubs.
Human Rights Watch has denounced the measure as a clear infringement of the right of peaceable assembly and protest, and opposition parties have promised to repeal it if elected in elections later this year. Ryan Cooper
Never mind that his approval rating is now the highest it's been in two years, apparently fueled by last week's successes with marriage equality, the Affordable Care Act, the widely applauded eulogy he delivered in Charleston, the GOP about-face on the Confederate flag, and the success in Congress of his Trans-Pacific Partnership. Nope, to the contrary, last week was not, in fact, Obama's greatest ever.
"In terms of my best week, now my best week, I will tell you, was marrying Michelle. That was a really good week," Obama said when asked by a journalist during a press conference on Tuesday. "Malia and Sasha being born, excellent weeks."
The president paused, thinking.
"There was a game where I scored 27 points," he said. "That was a pretty good week."
Still, Obama went on to agree that his victories last week were indeed "gratifying." "In many ways, last week was simply a culmination of a lot of work we've been doing since I came into office," the president said. Right. No biggie. Watch the video below. Jeva Lange
A new Florida state law mandating that women wait 24 hours before getting an abortion was set to go into effect on Wednesday. But on Tuesday — just one day before — Chief Circuit Judge Charles Francis blocked it. After Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill into law, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit on the grounds that the law interfered with a woman's right to privacy and to have an abortion. In the judge's opinion, state officials didn't exactly have evidence to prove the contrary.
This is the second ruling this week in favor of abortion rights. On Monday, a Supreme Court ruling blocked a lower court ruling that would have closed down all but a few Texas abortion clinics. Becca Stanek
Clashes in Yemen have led to 1,200 prisoners escaping — and members of al Qaeda are thought to be among them, Reuters reports.
"Groups of al Qaeda supporters... today attacked the central prison in the city of Taiz," the state news agency, Saba, reportedly quoted an official as saying. "More than 1,200 of the dangerous prisoners escaped."
In an apparently similar case in April, 270 prisoners were broken out of a prison in Al Mukallah by al Qaeda militants; among those freed were senior al Qaeda officials.
Yemen remains in the throes of an ongoing power struggle between the forces of former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and Houthi rebels. Both Hadi and the Houthis are opposed by al Qaeda. Yemen also has its own Islamic State jihadist group, which is another al Qaeda antagonist. (Learn more about the various power players with this helpful BBC explainer.)
Germanwings announced Tuesday that it will be offering "emotional damage payments" to the relatives of the 150 victims of the March 24 plane crash, Reuters reports. The payments of 25,000 euros, the equivalent of $27,958, are intended as compensation for pain and suffering. This offering, which is outside the norms of German law, is an addition to the 50,000 euros that the airline paid to the families for immediate assistance. Emotional damage payments will be made to parents, spouses, partners, and children of the victims.
Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit and deliberately crashed the Dusseldorf-bound plane in the Alps on March 24, killing all 150 people on board. Becca Stanek
A dozen officials from Clinton Correctional facility, including its superintendent, have been placed on administrative leave in the wake of the investigation into the recent escape of two prisoners from the maximum-security prison. The New York State Department of Corrections said that three of the officials are members of the prison's executive team and nine are security staff.
The FBI is investigating Clinton Correctional, exploring possibilities of drug trafficking and other criminal behavior. A new inquiry is also being fueled by evidence uncovered by authorities while investigating Richard Matt and David Sweat's jailbreak. Corrections officer Joyce Mitchell has been accused of smuggling in the tools Matt and Sweat used to break out of prison, while another prison worker, Gene Palmer, is charged with delivering those tools.
Matt was killed before capture; Sweat was shot in the torso and remains in stable condition. Sweat has told authorities that he and Matt began preparing for their jailbreak six months before actually making their escape, The New York Times reports. The pair practiced the escape the night before they enacted it for real on the morning of June 6. Jeva Lange
Oklahoma's high court ruled Tuesday that the Ten Commandments monument in place at the state's Capitol indirectly benefits the Jewish and Christian faiths, and thus must be taken down, the The Associated Press reports.
Though it was funded with private money, the 6-foot monument violates the state's Constitution, which prohibits the use of public property for religious benefit.
In defense of the display, Attorney General Scott Pruitt cited a nearly identical monument in Texas, which the U.S. Supreme Court found to be constitutional. Other lawmakers have argued it serves a historical, as opposed to religious, purpose. That argument, however, led other groups — including Satanists and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster — to advocate for permission to erect displays at the Capitol marking their own historical events. Stephanie Talmadge