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SPOTLIGHT: MASS KILLINGS AND MENTAL INSTABILITY

A knife-wielding man killed 19 people in their sleep and injured at least 25 others overnight at a care center for people with mental disabilities in the Japanese city of Sagamihara. The man has been identified as 26-year-old Satoshi Uematsu, a former employee of the center, and has turned himself him to the police after what is an extremely rare mass killing in one of the most peaceful countries in the world.


There is early evidence that the killer himself suffered from mental illness, or was at least unfit to live in society: He had previously threatened to kill hundreds of disabled people and was committed to hospital before being released after two weeks.


In what otherwise have been much different circumstances, the recent perpetrators of attacks in Nice, Munich and Orlando had also previously displayed outward signs of mental instability. This is a reminder of the importance of better understanding and intervening in cases of mental illnesses, especially as our visually connected world spreads images of one killing that can trigger others. No doubt many will describe this morning's attack in Japan as "senseless," even as it becomes harder to differentiate the wave of Islamic-inspired terrorists from other mentally disabled killers. Still, no matter the combination of causes that lead to such acts, we should never forget that prevention of violence is not just the work of police.

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Ideas

Yes, Her Too: A Feminist Reading Of The Depp Vs. Heard Case

The Johnny Depp-Amber Heard defamation suit has become a Hollywood media (sh*t) storm, but there are troubling real consequences in the way domestic violence is being portrayed, when the victim is less-than-perfect.

Fans welcome Johnny Depp with "Justice For Johnny" signs at the defamation trial against Amber Heard.

Catalina Ruiz-Navarro*

First the background: Johnny Depp and Amber Heard met in 2012. They started a relationship when Depp was still with Vanessa Paradis, and eventually married in 2015. Fifteen months later, Heard filed for divorce, accusing Depp of domestic violence and asking for a restraining order.

In the lawsuit, Heard said, ”I endured excessive emotional, verbal and physical abuse from Johnny, which has included angry, hostile, humiliating and threatening assaults to me whenever I questioned his authority or disagreed with him.” They then made a million-dollar settlement, and soon after, Heard asked for the restraining order to be dropped.

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