IVF procedures start freezing in Alabama. After the Alabama Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that fertilized frozen embryos were considered life, the University of Alabama health system put a pause on its in vitro fertilization procedures for fear of criminal prosecution. The IVF process can continue through egg retrieval, a UAB spokesperson said, but "fertilization and embryo development is paused for now." UAB is the first clinic to announce this IVF freeze, but more clinics are expected to follow in the wake of this ruling. It must be exhausting to be pro-life in this country considering all these mental gymnastics they do to fit a self-serving ideological agenda

In case you think I'm being dramatic about that last point: Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Parker, the guy who handed down the opinion about fertilized frozen embryos being property, essentially said American law should be rooted in the Bible. He supports the Seven Mountains Mandate, "the belief that conservative Christians are meant to rule over seven key areas of American life, including media, business, education and government." In an interview, Parker said, "God created government, and the fact that we have let it go into the possession of others, it’s heartbreaking," and then he added, "That’s why he is calling and equipping people to step back into these mountains right now."

Man arrested for stealing Magic the Gathering cards: Police arrested a 28-year-old man for allegedly stealing $40,000 worth of Magic the Gathering cards from the Ballard warehouse where he worked. The warehouse noticed discrepancies in its inventory and traced the stolen cards back to their worker after finding similar cards being hawked online. Police found the man's address after buying a card and seeing the man's name and return address on the delivery. Look, I don't know much about this table top gaming world, but I know these cards go for a pretty penny. So, I'm hereby petitioning Hollywood to make an Ocean's 11-style heist movie about Magic cards. 

Trump can't delay penalties: In the conclusion of his civil fraud trial last week, Donald Trump "was ordered to pay a $354.8 million fine plus interest and was barred from leading any New York company for three years." His defense requested a 30-day delay of the enforcement of the penalties to facilitate "an orderly post-judgment process." Judge Arthur Engoron denied the request, telling Trump, "You have failed to explain, much less justify, any basis for a stay."

Maybe some exciting weather on the horizon? 

Having trouble filling your prescriptions? Maybe it's because of all the fucking pharmacy closures in Washington. Last year, a record number of pharmacies—about 60—shut down in Washington state. More than half of the closed businesses were owned by Rite Aide, a company that filed for bankruptcy back in October. Rite Aide acquired Seattle's Bartell Drugs chain back in 2020. Now, more than 20 Bartells have closed in Seattle. 

Digital media's death rattle continues: Vice Media will stop publishing on its website and will layoff hundreds of staffers. The publisher's new private equity ownership assessed that the way Vice had distributed its content was "no longer cost-effective." The plan is to make changes to the "strategic vision," and also maybe sell the company. This news comes at the same time as significant layoffs from BuzzFeed. All of this is sad. The weird, fun outlets who sculpted online writing into what it is today are crumbling. Having fewer voices to report on what's going on in the world—and fewer non-establishment media voices—is a bad thing. 

High-speed rail plows forward: The plan to put a high-speed rail line between Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, British Columbia is chugging along—slowly, of course, but still chugging. Washington state recently awarded $500,000 in grant money toward the planning process, and the Legislature set aside $50 million for the line in the transportation budget. Half of that transportation budget money could go toward receiving $250 million in federal grant money to begin actual development. That grant requires a $25 million investment from the state budget. 

Car crash nightmare in China: A weather system of extreme cold snaps, freezing rain, and snow is sweeping across southern and central China. The conditions led to a 100-car pile up on an iced-up overpass in Suzhou. Remarkably, only three people were hospitalized from their injuries.

And, now a word from Ashley. 

Charges against SPD cop head to City Attorney Ann Davison: After the King County Prosecutor declined to press criminal charges against Seattle police officer Kevin Dave for hitting and killing of Jaahnavi Kandula as she walked in a crosswalk, the Seattle Police Department referred the case to City Attorney Ann Davison’s office for a possible traffic infraction of negligent driving in the second degree with a vulnerable user victim. If she decides to issue the traffic ticket, then Dave could face a penalty of up to $5,000 and the suspension of his driving privileges for 90 days. Alternatively, the court could require Dave to pay a $250 dollar fine, attend a traffic school, or perform community service that could not exceed 100 hours.
Thanks, Ashley! Back to me. 
The US has something for Russia: It's new sanctions! That's the gift you get from your global superpower arch nemesis when you (allegedly) kill your biggest critic while he's serving time in an Arctic prison camp for holding opposing beliefs. The sanctions are also a response to the ongoing war in Ukraine. Saturday is the second anniversary of the conflict. 
US returns to the moon: For the first time in 50 years, a US craft has landed on the moon. This, time, however, the moon pursuit was funded and executed by a private company, Intuitive Machines. The lander, Odysseus, settled right-side-up on the moon, though its signal back to mission control was weak. Hopefully the lander is not plagued by the same obstacles as its namesake and can return home to its wife and son. 
Racist hair policy allowed: A Texas judge ruled Thursday that it isn't unlawful for a school to place a dress code limit on the length of a male student's natural hair. The case was a result of high schooler Darryl George, who sued the Barbers Hill Independent School District after he faced months-long suspension for the length of his locs.