Thursday threads to read

"Confirmed: Angela Merkel is a robot," observes Slate's Elliot Hannon after viewing how Merkel stared into the face of a sobbing asylum seeker from Palestine and explained why she cannot stay in Germany: "Politics is sometimes hard" (at 9,000+ shares now). Charles Leonard at Mail & Guardian responds, "Yes, made so by people like you, Frau Merkel!" Guardian's Jonathan Haynes remarks, "Why should where you are born matter so much?" Paul Harris at Al Jazeera America concludes, "Not a great week for Germany's international image." Vox's Dylan Matthews puts it another way: "BREAKING: Angela Merkel is not a very good human being."

We interrupt that, however, to bring you breaking news that the U.S. Navy has been tweeting reports of a shooting at a Navy reserve center on the Amnicola Highway in Chattanooga, Tennessee as well as another Navy building in the city. It's been a bit confusing on Twitter, but CNN reports that two witnesses saw someone fire shots at a military recruiting center and NBC News reveals that one officer reportedly is "down."

While we're waiting for more confirmations on that story, former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao just declared that the trolls are winning the battle for the Internet. "I have just endured one of the largest trolling attacks in history," Pao writes. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of rape kits are going untested across the USA. "Wow, USA Today identified 70,000 untested rape kits at police departments across the country," reacts Huffington Post's Ben Hallman. The Associated Press boasts another get in the form of TLC canceling "19 Kids and Counting". "Ba-bye Duggars," summarizes AP's Shelley Acoca. And here's the latest on the Pluto fly-by that's understandably captivated the world. "Researchers refer to dark patch on Pluto’s moon as Mordor, and an area on the sorta-planet itself as Cthulhu," notices Casey Seiler of the Albany Times Union.

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