MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12 This week of preempted tragedy, honored politicians, and a ferocious ratcheting up of violence in the Middle East kicks off in Arizona, where a woman stands accused of punishing her husband for failing to vote by running him over with her car. The drama went down this past Saturday in a parking lot in the town of Mesa, where witnesses "reported a lot of yelling just before [28-year-old Holly Solomon] got into a Jeep SUV and began chasing her husband," as ABC 15 News reports. "[Daniel Solomon, 36,] reportedly took refuge behind a light pole while Holly drove around the pole several times while continuing to yell at him. She eventually struck her husband and he was pinned underneath, between the vehicle and a curb." As for motive: Police say the argument started over her husband's failure to vote in the recent general election. "Holly Solomon apparently believed her family was going to face hardship as a result of President Barack Obama's reelection," reports ABC. Mr. Solomon was taken to Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center, where he was deemed to have "massive injuries, including a broken pelvis, torn arteries to his bowels, and possible permanent disfigurement," according to the Daily Mail. He remains in critical condition, while Ms. Solomon was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, reckless driving, and disorderly conduct. "Police said there were no indications that Holly was impaired by alcohol or drugs during the incident," reports ABC 15. "Daniel told police his wife is six months pregnant."
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 13 In better political news, the week continues in Olympia, where today state senator Ed Murray, most recently celebrated as the prime sponsor of Washington's marriage equality law, was elected the new senate majority leader. "With his election, he becomes the first openly gay caucus leader in state history and the only openly gay state senate leader currently serving in the nation," reports the Washington State Senate Democrats blog, The Hopper, before citing Murray's previous accomplishments, including but not limited to serving as chair of the senate Ways & Means Committee (where Murray "led the writing of the first truly bipartisan state budget in memory") and successfully sponsoring a bill banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. "We have work to do in Olympia—prioritizing education, creating jobs for the middle class, and ensuring Washingtonians have the health care they need," said Murray at today's caucus meeting. "These are not simple challenges, but they are solvable. We can find solutions that work for all of Washington."
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14 In worse news, the week continues in the Middle East, where today, after months of intensifying Palestinian rocket fire, Israel commenced air strikes on Gaza. The fighting will continue through the end of the week and beyond, with Israeli aircraft bombing hundreds of militant sites (including underground rocket-launching sites, smuggling tunnels, training bases, and weapons storage facilities), and Palestinian rocket-launchers doing what they can to retaliate. "International efforts to wrest a cease-fire from the two sides has picked up steam despite the escalated hostilities," the Associated Press will report on Sunday. "The two sides have put forth widely divergent demands, but the failure to end the fighting could touch off an Israeli ground invasion, for which thousands of soldiers, backed by tanks and armored vehicles, have already been mobilized and dispatched to Gaza's border." By the end of the week, Israeli air strikes will have killed 84 Palestinians (half of them civilians) and injured 720 others, while Palestinian rocket fire will have killed three Israeli civilians and wounded dozens of others.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15 Proving the idiom "No news is good news," here's some news that is not good. Our setting: Midland, Texas, where this afternoon nearly two dozen military veterans and their spouses were seated on a parade float decorated with American flags and a banner reading "Heroes on Board" that was making its way to a veteran-honoring banquet. Tragically, the parade route involved a railroad crossing, which the parade float was attempting to traverse when a freight train slammed into the float. "The train was sounding its horn and people were jumping off the decorated flatbed truck," reports the Associated Press, which notes that the truck was hemmed in on both sides by other floats and unable to move. "Two people died at the scene, while two others died at Midland Memorial Hospital. Six people remained hospitalized Thursday night, including at least one in critical condition."
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16 The week continues with another awful story, albeit an awful story with a relatively happy ending. Our setting: Bolivar, Missouri, where yesterday a woman contacted police over concerns that her son "may have intentions of shooting people" during the opening weekend of Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part Two. Upon questioning by police, the woman's son—20-year-old Blaec Lammers—revealed his alleged plan. "Lammers told authorities he had purchased tickets to a Sunday Twilight screening in Bolivar, Missouri, at the B&B Bolivar Cinema 5 theater, and that he had planned to go on a shooting rampage inside the theater," reports the Examiner. "Lammers also said that alternatively he might 'just start shooting people at random' at a Walmart outlet less than a mile away from the cinema. He said he had purchased two assault rifles and 400 rounds of ammunition, and if he ran out of bullets, he would 'just break the glass where the ammunition is being stored [in the Walmart] and get some more and keep shooting until police arrived.'" Charged with first-degree assault, making a terroristic threat, and armed criminal action, Lammers, whom police noted was "off his medication," remains held on $500,000 bail. Cheers to Lammers's mother, who likely saved a bunch of lives by making one extremely difficult phone call. Jeers to a country where a young man with well-documented mental health problems (Lammers was committed against his will for four days in 2009) can buy two assault rifles and 400 rounds of ammunition the same week he hopes to use them to gun down strangers.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 In better news, Last Days is determined to close out this week of bombings and crushings and narrowly averted tragedy with some less traumatizing news, so please join us in celebrating the birth of several wonderful people, including Canadian crooner Gordon Lightfoot (born on this day in 1938), peerless American film director Martin Scorsese (1942), drag queen/recording artist/TV mogul RuPaul (1960), and songwriter extraordinaire Kimya Dawson (1972).
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18 Nothing happened today, unless you count the ongoing horror in the Middle East, or the 34th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre, wherein charismatic psychopath Reverend Jim Jones led members of his Peoples Temple cult (almost a third of whom were children) to commit suicide in Guyana.
Better news next week, I promise. Send hot tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.