The Daily Fix: Miss America Talks About Abusive Ex, EU to Fight Islamic State, and Hurricane Hammers Baja

All the news that’s fit to fix on Monday, Sept. 15.

Miss New York, Kira Kazantsev, poses after being crowned winner of the 2015 Miss America competition. (Photo: Adrees Latif/Reuters)

Sep 15, 2014· 2 MIN READ
Nicole Pasulka is a writer and reporter who lives in New York City. She has written for Mother Jones, BuzzFeed, The Believer, and the New York Observer.

Kira Kazantsev, Miss New York and the winner of Sunday's Miss America pageant, had a particularly important and timely platform: domestic violence. The 22-year-old, whose parents are Russian immigrants, said she chose the platform—called "Love Shouldn't Hurt: Protecting Women Against Domestic Violence"—because she was in an abusive relationship in college. She said that when she was in the relationship she felt "helpless" and didn't know about resources for victims of domestic violence.

"I want people to stop asking, 'Why doesn't she just leave?' " Kazantsev told NPR. "Every woman is an expert in her own case, and there are so many extenuating circumstances that lead to a woman staying with her abuser."

Intimate partner violence was back in the news last week after a video of NFL player Ray Rice hitting his then fiancée so hard she lost consciousness became public. As always, there's a great need for high-profile advocacy on behalf of domestic abuse victims. Hashtags like #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft, in which many tweeted about the reasons they remained in these relationships and what finally got them to leave, have also drawn attention to the complex reasons people stay. Miss Delaware and Miss Virginia also made domestic violence their platforms.

Kazantsev works with Safe Horizon, a domestic violence services agency for victims.

In other news…

EU Pledges to Fight Islamic State: In a summit in Paris this weekend, 30 countries said they'd offer military support for Iraq and Syria in conflicts with the Islamic State. On Saturday, the Islamic militant group released a video of the beheading of British aid worker David Haines. This is the third time since August the Islamic State has released a video of a hostage being beheaded. (via BBC News)

Last Day to Comment on Open Internet: Today is the final day the public can submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission about the open Internet proposal. The proposal would allow service providers and online services, or websites, to strike deals that would give some faster Internet service. Opponents of the proposal are advocating for net neutrality rules that would prohibit "fast lanes" and "slow lanes" online. (via San Francisco Gate)

The People's Pope Strikes Again: In yet another progressive move, Pope Francis publicly married 20 couples on Saturday, including some who already lived together and had children. Francis has previously expressed cautious tolerance for gay people and criticized consumerism and free markets. (via Reuters)

Odile vs. Vacationers: Category 3 Hurricane Odile brought 125-mile-an-hour winds and heavy rains to Mexico's Baja California peninsula this weekend. It's the strongest storm on record to have hit Baja California. (via NBC News)

Scotland to Vote on Independence: This week Scottish voters will decide whether to become independent from Great Britain. If Scotland breaks away, it would have to reapply to join the European Union and NATO. (via AP)

Mom Blames Racism in Son's Shooting: On Wednesday Saratoga Springs, Utah, police shot and killed 22-year-old Darrien Hunt. In a statement on Saturday, officers said Hunt, who is black, lunged at them with a sword. But the family's attorney said an autopsy revealed that Hunt was shot numerous times in the back while running away from officers. According to a county deputy attorney, "There is currently no indication that race played any role in the confrontation between Mr. Hunt and the police officers." Hunt's mother believes he was killed because he was black. (via Deseret News)

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