Police barricades at UW: Yesterday, Hannah reported that UW placed police-guarded barricades at all entrances of the Quad, representing the first crackdown on student protesters in six days of peaceful camping. A spokesperson told Hannah the barricades were temporary, but did not address protester concerns about the police presence. Also, there was Charlie Kirk, founder of the far-right student organization Turning Point USA. His organization pushes conservative politics in high schools, colleges, and universities. In recent years, Kirk has embraced white nationalist talking points and figures. 

Protesters had asked the University to cancel his appearance, concerned about the far-right agitators he may draw to their encampment. Kirk’s Turning Point USA team asked campers to debate him at his nearby event, but they declined. The Daily at UW reported that his crowd outside the HUB peaked at 200. Later that night, Kirk spoke at the HUB Ballroom. The Seattle Times reported that a protest group marched from the nearby light rail station to form a protective barricade around the encampment. Counter-protesters showed up, chanted "USA!" a bunch, and cleared out around 9:30 pm. 

 

 

 

 

Joe Biden is on his way: The least popular president in 75 years is coming to Seattle for a campaign fundraising event this Friday. FOX 13 reports the time and location have yet to be announced and that Biden may participate in other activities organized by the White House. Like every presidential visit, it’s probably going to disrupt the movement of every person in this city.

Ex-Yakima officer was investigated before his death: Elias Huizar killed himself during a police chase last week after he abducted his infant son and allegedly killed his ex-wife Amber Marie Rodriguez and teen girlfriend Angelica Santos. Papers have reported that Huizar was suspected of sleeping with Santos before she was of legal age, but documents now show he was suspected of doing the same with Rodriguez in 2009—when she was 17 when he was 24—years before he was a police officer. Before he died, Huizar was also suspected of raping Santos’s 16-year-old friend. 

Plane catches on fire and it is not Boeing’s fault: Passengers on Delta flight 604 from Cancún to Sea-Tac evacuated via emergency slides after a fire broke out in the nose of the plane. Sparks caused the apparent fire, which was out by the time Port of Seattle firefighters arrived, but they gave the area a good soaking anyway. In a sympathetic gesture to Boeing’s beleaguered public relations department, God, or whatever cosmic forces control us, made the fire on Airbus A321neo instead of a 787.

Tree-killing beetles found in Bothell: KING 5 reports the invasive California fivespined ips have been navigating north since the 1990s. They were first found in Oregon in 1999 and in Washington just two years ago. US Forest Service entomologist told the station he thought they’d only made it as far as Joint Base Lewis-McChord south of Tacoma. Then pines started dying in Seattle, Renton, and University Place, which scientists linked to the beetle, which can kill a tree in a year. Despite their destructive potential, stopping their advance is out of the question and also there’s no plan to eradicate them. But if you see a pine topped with red needles, it might be the beetles, and you should consider contacting the DNR at this link.

All eyes on Rafah: The Israeli Defense Forces seized the Rafah border crossing, a vital entry point for humanitarian workers and exit for injured people seeking medical care outside of Palestine. Another border crossing, Kerem Shalom, has reopened. Al Jazeera reports that thousands of Palestinians have fled Rafah to set up makeshift shelters in central Gaza. The Kuwaiti Hospital, one of the last functioning health facilities in Rafah, reported 35 dead and 129 wounded people. One of the dead was a 4-month-old child. Foreign leaders in Australia, Germany, Qatar, and elsewhere have condemned Israeli operations in Rafah. Officials confirmed to CNN that the US paused a bomb shipment to Israel last week over concerns the country would use them in a ground operation there.

Stormy Daniels testified: The former porn actress and star witness of Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial in New York City described her 2006 encounter with him in great detail. She has recounted the awkward, upsetting encounter before, and the subsequent $130,000 payment to keep it secret, but never under oath and in court. Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche blustered that Daniels’s testimony was “inappropriately prejudicial” and moved for a mistrial. The judge denied his request.

TikTok sues US: The app and its parent company ByteDance say the potential ban is an unconstitutional violation of American users’ First Amendment right to free speech. The White House did not comment on the lawsuit, but President Joe Biden and congressional leaders have argued the law was necessary to protect user data from the Chinese government. The government still hasn’t produced any evidence that the app has used data from American users for spying or the proliferation of propaganda, despite what some congressional leaders believe. A number of them said they were motivated to ban the app over videos about Palestine.

Boy Scouts rebrand: After 114 years, Boy Scouts of America is changing its name to Scouting America next year. A fresh start is probably a good idea, as it’s been a rough, but dynamic era for the organization. Five years ago, it opened the program to girls, and before that, queer kids and gay scout leaders. But in 2019, an outside report revealed sex abuse was more widespread than previously thought. That led to a bankrupting mudslide of 82,000 lawsuits and the establishment of a $2.4 billion fund to settle those claims. The name change is meant to make an expanding legacy institution feel more welcoming to everyone it already allows in, but some Conservatives are trying to cash in on anti-woke rage by insisting the “left” took the “boy” out of Boy Scouts.

The FDIC is toxic, report finds: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is supposed to be regulating the bankers, but can’t even keep their own employees from harassing women and people of color at work. The report, prompted by an investigation from the Wall Street Journal, cited 500 people, several of whom alleged FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg bullied and verbally abused workers. Investigators concluded sexual harassment, racial discrimination, and bullying were pervasive at every level and senior leadership looked the other way. Gruenberg has apologized to staff over the report.

Shh! The whales are talking: Researchers studying thousands of recorded sperm whale calls are decoding what they call a phonetic alphabet of clicking noises. Scientists think different distinct bursts of clicks, which they call codas, serve as the building blocks of language, which vary in duration, rhythm, and tempo. They’re still not sure if a coda works more like a word or a vocal sound such as a vowel or consonant. Their next step is to try to link codas with specific behaviors and eventually discover what they’re talking about. I imagine it’s something like, “Clean all this plastic shit out of the ocean!”