Biden Bombs Yemen - The Friday AM Quickie 1/12/24

I'm consciously over-caffeinating today, which makes it OK. Jacob's got you covered on Monday! - Corey

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World Tour: Drought Goes Global

  • U.S. and Britain Bomb Yemen in Retaliation for Houthi Attacks on Shipping Lanes "I will not hesitate to direct further measures to protect our people and the free flow of international commerce as necessary," President Joe Biden says; Prime Minister Rishi Sunak says "the United Kingdom will always stand up for freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade." via the Associated Press, the New York Times and BBC News.
  • Iranian Navy Boards and Seizes Greek-Managed Oil Tanker Previously Confiscated By the U.S. The St. Nikolas, formerly the Suez Rajan, was the subject of a legal dispute that ended with the Justice Department seizing a million barrels of Iranian oil; the Navy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has now responded to that "theft" by taking the "American" tanker "in accordance with a court order." via Politico and Al Jazeera.
  • Israel Blames Aid Groups for Mass Starvation Facing Gazans, of a Kind Unseen in Generations Meanwhile, records show the U.S. Air Force has helped Israel identify targets in Gaza, and Vermont socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders has scheduled a Tuesday vote on his resolution concerning Israel's human rights violations. via the New York Times.
  • Biden Promises to Defend Europe After Trump Says He Would 'Never' "'You need to understand that if Europe is under attack we will never come to help you and to support you,' Trump told European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in 2020 [in a conversation that became public this week.] Trump continued: 'By the way, NATO is dead.'" via Politico.
  • Germany's Olaf Scholz Denounces AfD's Neo-Nazi Alliance as Italy's Giorgia Meloni Maintains 'Embarrassing' Silence on Fascist Rally in Rome "In recent days, at least one major figure in [Prime Minister] Meloni's party — the head of the Senate, Ignazio La Russa, who owns a collection of Mussolini memorabilia — has publicly questioned whether the [fascist] salute might be legal in the context of a remembrance ceremony." via the Washington Post and the Guardian.
  • Sounds Familiar: Low Wages, Costly Housing Are Young Voters' Top Issues in Taiwan Elections William Lai Ching-te "from the independence-leaning DPP, has been ahead in the polls for months. But his two opponents – New Taipei mayor Hou Yu-ih, from the Beijing-friendly Kuomintang, and Ko Wen-je, the former Taipei mayor from the Taiwan People's Party – have narrowed the gap in the past few weeks." via the South China Morning Post, BBC News and Al Jazeera.
  • 'Guayaquil is a Desert': At Least 14 Dead in Ecuador's 'Internal Armed Conflict' Despite new President Daniel Noboa's declaration of war on "terrorist" gangs in the streets and prisons, "inmates managed to increase to 178 the number of corrections personnel they are holding hostage" yesterday. via the Guardian, the AP and NBC News.
  • Vast Ancient City with Roads and Canals, Inhabited for 1,000 Years, Found in Amazon "It changes the way we see Amazonian cultures. Most people picture small groups, probably naked, living in huts and clearing land - this shows ancient people lived in complicated urban societies," says researcher Antoine Dorison. via BBC News.

Never Mind the Bomb Threat: No Penalty for Very Special Defendant Who Ranted at Trial Judge

"Please control your client," New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron told Donald Trump's lawyer, Christopher Kise, as Trump went on a six-minute rant at the end of his civil fraud trial yesterday, ignoring and insulting the justice in a way that would have gotten any other American dragged out of the courtroom by bailiffs and charged with contempt of court. "You can't listen for more than one minute," Trump told Engoron. "Your honor, look. I did nothing wrong. ... I am an innocent man. I've been persecuted... They should pay me for what we've had to go through." And on and on. "Mr. Kise, this could have been done differently," Engoron concluded. After adjournment, state Attorney General "Letitia James calmly walked down the steps of the courthouse to deliver a statement. 'This case has never been about politics, personal vendetta, or about name calling. This case is about the facts and the law, and Mr. Trump violated the law,' she said." Also noteworthy: the Associated Press reports that Trump's outburst "took place hours after authorities responded to a bomb threat at the judge's house." It's a trend!

Law & Order Roundup: The Gangs of LA

  • Ohio Grand Jury Declines to Indict Woman Arrested and Charged with 'Abuse of a Corpse' After Miscarriage A nurse at St. Joseph Warren Hospital in Youngstown called the Warren City Police Department about 34-year-old Brittany Watts' miscarriage; the cops then "took the entire toilet out of her home to the morgue to retrieve the fetus." via the New York Times.
  • Phoenix Cops, Backed By City Leaders, Refuse to Comply with Justice Department Civil Rights Probe "The 2,600-officer police force has been ranked among the most violent in the nation, leading the United States with 23 fatal police shootings in 2018. Its officers also faced sanctions for using excessive force and false charges against protesters during social justice demonstrations in 2020." via the Washington Post and the Associated Press.
  • Drunken Gang of LA County Cops Pick Fight Outside Bowling Alley, Shout Slurs, Flash Gun, Punch Teen in the Face – No Charges "Two of the men in the group — one deputy and one sergeant — admitted to investigators that they had tattoos officials linked to a deputy gang: the Industry Indians, based out of the City of Industry sheriff's station." via the Los Angeles Times.
  • Alabama Man Who Died in Prison Was Returned to Family 'Without His Organs, Including His Brain' The University of Alabama pathology department performed an autopsy on Charles Edward Singleton, who died aged 74 in state custody, and sent his body to the funeral home in a "noticeable state of decomposition," with missing vitals. via the Guardian.


  • FAA to Investigate Boeing Over 'Discrepancies' Found in Passenger Jets "A bipartisan group of senators also wrote to Boeing on Thursday asking what steps the company was taking to identify safety issues in light of disclosures by United and Alaska [airlines] that loose hardware and other problems were found in other [737] Max 9 jets in their fleets." via the Washington Post.
  • 'Too Many Tax Breaks to Corporations' in Congressional Spending Deal, Some Democrats Complain Meanwhile, crackpot Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and other Republican extremists "are actively trying to renegotiate" the deal Budding Theocrat House Speaker Mike Johnson struck with Democrats last weekend. via NBC News and Politico.
  • Bigoted Republican Legislation Increasingly Targets Trans Adults as Well as Kids With a fresh round of anti-trans bills coming this year, a federal appeals ruled yesterday that Alabama can immediately enforce its ban on puberty blockers and hormone therapy for trans youth. via the Associated Press.
  • Billionaire Who Pushed for Harvard President's Ouster 'Is Completely Losing It' Over Stories About His Wife's Plagiarism Red-pilled hedge funder Bill Ackman has been lobbying Axel Springer, the German media conglomerate that owns Business Insider, to retract stories about plagiarism in his wife Neri Oxman's doctoral dissertation, but the company isn't having it, calling Ackman's extremely long-winded complaints "outrageous and not based in reality." via the Guardian.


58 percent

That was the share of "bad debt" held by U.S. hospitals that was owed by people with health insurance in 2022, up from 11 percent in 2018, the Guardian reports.


1/12: It's Casual Friday! Sam and Emma speak with Osita Nwanevu, contributing editor at The New Republic, to discuss his most recent piece on free speech and to round up the week in news.


Trump Can Legally Assassinate Political Rivals As POTUS, Lawyer Argues

Meanwhile the New York Times plumbs the intellectual depths of "independent" voters who don't know what to think about Trump.

Fetterman’s Disturbing South Africa Rant Should Alarm Democrats

Give me a hoodie-wearing progressive politician who isn't a tool.


"We didn't think structures on this scale were possible. ... These oddities keep getting swept under the rug, but the more we find, we're going to have to come face-to-face with the fact that maybe our standard model needs rethinking. As a minimum it's incomplete. As a maximum we need a completely new theorem of cosmology."

-- Alexia Lopez, a PhD student at the University of Central Lancashire, speaking to the Guardian about her astronomy team's discovery of a cosmic megastructure made of galaxies some 1.3 billion light years in diameter, larger than existing models of the universe allow. They called it the "Big Ring."

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