Another day, another speaker vote: Will this ever end? Rep. Mike Johnson, a Louisiana congressman who supported Donald Trump's plan to overturn the election, earned the party nomination for Speaker of the House late yesterday, but it is unclear if he will get the 217 votes needed to win. Rep. Tom Emmer lost his bid yesterday. Hours after Republicans nominated him for Speaker, the far-right flank of the party pressured him to drop out, and Trump called him a “Globalist RINO” (aka Republican in name only) on Truth Social. Johnson is the fourth congressman to try for Speaker since House republicans ousted Rep. Kevin McCarthy.
UN Secretary General calls for cease-fire in Gaza: The Israeli military is stepping up the airstrikes killing Palestinian civilians in Gaza. UN Secretary General António Guterres said the Hamas attack in Israel on Oct 7 does not justify continued “collective punishment.” The health ministry in Gaza said 704 civilians died on Tuesday, which is the largest single-day death toll since the war began, according to the New York Times. Australia’s foreign minister, Penny Wong, called for a "humanitarian pause" to make way for aid and evacuees. Meanwhile, the White House said a cease-fire would only "benefit Hamas." British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the most important principle is that Israel has "a right to defend itself."
The hospital explosion case continues:
Israeli and U.S. intelligence officials believe that a projectile captured on videos shortly before the Ahli Arab Hospital explosion was a Palestinian rocket.@nytimes Visual Investigations found that this object was launched from Israel, and likely unrelated to the deadly blast. pic.twitter.com/zW35bLQBt0— Aric Toler (@AricToler) October 25, 2023
Hold the onions: Bagged, pre-cut onions are the cause of a major salmonella outbreak that sickened 73 people in 22 states, 15 of whom ended up in the hospital. The company, Gills Onions of Oxnard, California, recalled several varieties of its pre-cut vegetables: yellow onions, red onions, a mix of celery and onions, a mix of onions, and a mix of onions and carrots (or mirepoix for home chefs). All packages have a use-by date of August 2023, but they could still be in people’s freezers. If you’ve got them, THROW THEM OUT! Under no circumstance should you eat these onions or serve them to others.
Abortion is still largely inaccessible in the South: The Georgia Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state’s six-week abortion ban. The ruling reversed a lower court decision in 2022 that struck down the law on the grounds of constitutionality. Carol McDonald, CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said in a statement that its health care centers would remain open to provide what limited legal health care they could. The law has few exceptions to the six-week rule, including rape, incest, and pregnancies that endanger the life of the parent.
Tacoma police trial continues: The medical examiner determined Ellis died of asphyxiation after three Tacoma police officers put him in restraints during an arrest. A medic with the Tacoma Fire Department offered an alternative theory in testimony yesterday called “excited delirium.” Major medical and psychiatric associations, including the American Medical Association, have rejected the validity this diagnosis. Yet Tacoma and Pierce County still embrace the term, which has no real definition. It’s often used by law enforcement to describe suspects they believe are on drugs, who possess supernatural strength, resist physical pain and then die in police custody. The state of California now refuses to accept “excited delirium” as an explanation for deaths.
Kent police officer shoots and kill man during arrest: Officers chased two men into a neighborhood Tuesday afternoon after the men had reportedly ditched a stolen vehicle in someone’s driveway. During the pursuit, an officer radioed that one of the two men had a knife. After the man ran behind a house in the 27200 block of 33rd Place South, a police officer shot him, according to the Seattle Times. The man died at the scene, and the officer was put on administrative leave. Police did not say what led to the shooting or if the man threatened the officer, nor did they respond to the Seattle Times' repeated requests for comment.
Another AI issue: The UK-based Internet Watch Foundation says government regulators need to get a handle on AI before deepfaked photos of child sexual abuse overwhelm law enforcement. In September, a man in South Korea was sentenced to two years in prison for the hundreds of child abuse images he created with AI. In Spain, police are investigating teens who allegedly used AI to create nude photos of their classmates. Analysts from the IWF have discovered AI-created images made from existing child porn to create new content of abuse victims.
📓We have discovered online manuals dedicated to helping criminals fine-tune AI image generators to produce more realistic AI child sexual abuse imagery. Now, with criminals using real children as models for AI image generation, our expert analysts say new imagery can be created… pic.twitter.com/kESw9nZEtD— Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) (@IWFhotline) October 25, 2023
Apple backs right-to-repair legislation: The White House announced that Apple will make parts, tools and provide documentation to consumers and repair shops around the country. Right-to-repair laws allow consumers to avoid paying manufacturers for costly repairs, but will anyone think of the Apple Geniuses?
Mushrooms and airplanes don’t mix? The off-duty Alaska Airlines pilot who allegedly tried to cut a commercial jet’s engines mid-flight told police he had not slept in 40 hours and had taken psychedelic mushrooms two days before the flight. Joseph David Emerson, 44, has been charged with 83 counts of attempted murder. After wrestling with pilots in the cockpit, he walked to the back of the plane and told flight attendants to cuff him “right now or it’s going to be bad.” Research shows the effects of psilocybin mushrooms last about 4-6 hours after consumption, so it’s unclear how linked they are to the crime.
Chilly weather ahead: A weather system will bring freezing arctic air from British Columbia to the Washington lowlands this week. The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a frost advisory that starts tonight at 10 pm and continues into Thursday. Friday should bring freezing temperatures, which can kill any sensitive plants outside. In the Cascades, snow is already falling.
Happy Wednesday! Precipitation continues to fall across the region. Snow is on the ground in the mountains - use caution if traveling up today. Cool air is also on its way, with possible frost conditions setting up tomorrow morning.#wawx pic.twitter.com/OvTG3ymuTL— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) October 25, 2023
Walla Walla prison guard going to prison: No, Leticia Rodriguez didn’t love her job so much that she wanted to live there. The 44-year-old was sentenced to five years for conspiracy to sell drugs. Rodriguez was a corrections officer and a driver for a large drug trafficking operation in Eastern Washington that used the Kennewick business Affordable Landscaping as a front. She was arrested at work.
It’s scream season, bb: The Stranger compiled a list of the best practical—and impractical—places to scream in Seattle. You have a week before some of these are socially unacceptable, so hop to it.
(screaming externally) https://t.co/Ftt8fdG4D0— The Stranger 🗞 (@TheStranger) October 24, 2023