Explosion kills Hamas leader in Lebanon: Deputy political head Saleh Arouri, 57, died in a drone strike on a suburban apartment building yesterday after years of exile and living as a top Israeli target. He'd maintained a low profile since October 7. Six other Hamas members, including two military commanders, also died in the strike. Lebanese state-media blames Israel for the blast. Israel has declined to comment.

Palestinians say Israel held thousands without charges for weeks in degrading conditions: Human Rights Watch said Israeli soldiers allegedly stripped Palestinian laborers naked and photographed them, put them in diapers, sicked dogs on them, dragged them in the gravel, and deprived them of food and water. These accounts are yet to be independently verified, but photos and videos that showed the abuse and humiliation of civilians circulated in October and December. As of today, 22,000 Palestinians have died, including 9,100 children. An additional 57,000 Palestinians have been injured. At least 7,000 are missing.

First council meeting: The council unanimously elected conservative Council Member Sara Nelson as president. Rob Saka’s daughter swore him in, and during his introductory speech he mentioned 9/11 and his desire to be the “king of potholes.” Maritza Rivera promised better police response times with all the cops we don’t have. Big applause for Joy Hollingsworth. Cathy Moore gave the Mayor a shout-out. Bob Kettle said Seattle needs to be safe for businesses big and small. People used public comment to say hi. Yep. It’s gonna be an awesome four years.

Republican joins WA AG race: Ladies and gentlemen, meet Pete Serrano. This Eastern Washington lawyer loves guns, hates COVID health mandates, and wants to be your Attorney General! Serrano, who directs the conservative nonprofit Silent Majority Foundation, told the Tri-City Herald that he’s all about law and order. Anyway, he’s currently representing a gun manufacturer that Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing under the state's consumer protection laws for allegedly continuing to sell high-capacity magazines after a ban went into effect.

No tax credit for Cybertruckers: Some electric car owners who expected a meaty $7,500 tax credit this year are shit out of luck after new Biden rules came down Monday. The administration winnowed a list of more than two dozen cars to 13. The administration cut anything manufactured with Chinese battery parts. The lucky ones saw their credit slashed to a still-sizable $3,750. Others, including owners of Tesla’s Cybertruck and Ford’s E-Transit van, lost theirs entirely. *Cue Price is Right horn*

All you need is a little bit of magic murder: One of the earliest versions of Mickey Mouse from “Steamboat Willie” entered the public domain at the stroke of midnight Monday. Like Winnie the Pooh, Mickey is already out for blood. A trailer for the horror-comedy Mickey Mouse Trap was out on day one.

ICYMI: A viral video appeared to show drones arranged in the shape of a giant vulva in front of the Space Needle on New Year's Eve. I had to find the truth.

Ohio Republican Governor vetoes anti-trans legislation: Mike DeWine, a guy who wanted teachers to have guns in class, surprised Ohio Republicans Tuesday and vetoed two anti-trans bills they introduced: The “Save Adolescents from Experimentation” and “Save Women’s Sports” acts. (If those names sound familiar—Republicans introduced these copycat bills in several states last year as part of a national legislative tirade.) Alongside Arkansas’ Asa Hutchinson, DeWine is only the second Republican governor to veto anti-trans legislation since 2021.

Harvard President Claudine Gay resigns: Gay faced two big accusations from conservative activists and publications. The first claim was that she too closely copied language from academic papers, plagiarizing when she meant to paraphrase, something many scholars at Harvard and beyond have said was not true. She was also accused of not properly investigating antisemitism on Harvard’s campus after October 7. For his part, Washington conservative activist Chris Rufo took credit for Gay’s resignation.

A wintry mix: I live for the cold. I like to sit in front of my open window wrapped in a blanket like a Thomas Mann character. The rain sort of ruins the alpine vision, but expect no sun with temps in the 30s and 40s this week. King County isn’t likely to get slush, but Whatcom and Snohomish counties could.

Demolition permits submitted for First Hill building: I hate to see historic mixed-use buildings go, but on New Year’s Day the second fire in two years brought 100 firefighters to the vacant four-floor pre-war apartment complex with retail space at 823 Madison Street. We're not even sure if one unknown person made it out alive. I see the case for doing something. Seattle’s Department of Construction said it expected full removal would take weeks.