Pro-Palestine Google employees protest the company: Workers led sit-ins in Seattle and in other cities on Tuesday to stop Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian and Google CEO Sundar Pichai from providing technology to Israel. Demands included dropping a $1 billion cloud and AI contract with the Israeli military called Project Nimbus, and ceasing alleged intimidation, harassment, and retaliation against Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim employees who speak out. Protesters claim numerous workers have quit Google because their mental health has suffered as a result of the company’s relationship with Israel.

All Alaska Airline flights grounded: In a press release, the company said it ran into a snag “while performing an upgrade to the system that calculates our weight and balance," the Seattle Times reports. Update: The planes are back in the air. 

SeaTac city attorney charges 46 pro-Palestine protesters with misdemeanors: On Monday, police arrested protesters for stopping rush hour traffic on the Airport Expressway. Thirty demonstrators were booked into the South Correctional Entity (SCORE Jail) in Des Moines, while the other 16 were booked into King County Jail. All were released after making $500 bail. Protesters were demanding an end to the war in Gaza, and they cited SeaTac-based Alaska Airlines’ partnerships with EL AL Israel Airlines and with Boeing, which supplies planes and weapons to the IDF, as the reason for stopping cars at the airport. Across the country, protesters blocked a terminal at O'Hare in Chicago and shut down the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco as part of the same global action.

Hundreds of student academic employees at UW will rally today: Organizers wrote in a release that their rally and practice picket will be a taste of what the university’s administration can expect if they don’t get a fair contract before April 30. At the end of last month, roughly 1,000 academic student employees rallied on campus to voice their frustration with the pace of bargaining. The administration’s latest compensation offer was below projected rates of inflation. They also want to remove a 220-hour quarterly maximum, which raised concerns about overwork.

Dave Reichert’s anti-gay, anti-trans speech: If elected, Reichert would be Washington’s first Republican governor since 1985–with the opinions to match. As Rich wrote in The Stranger yesterday, Reichert told a group of Pierce County Republicans that he believed “marriage is between a man and a woman” during a rant about “transgender men” playing sports against women and girls. Opponent Bob Ferguson hit Reichert hard on the marriage comments, but initially ignored the transphobic part.

Semi Bird's previously unreported financial crime: The Republican gubernatorial candidate told the Seattle Times there's "no excuse" for his 1993 misdemeanor conviction for bank larceny. At 30, he pled guilty to lying on a credit application by using his father's name and Social Security number. The military veteran and former Richland School Board member said the crime came at a difficult time in his life, which included debts and other legal problems.

Drought! The state Department of Ecology declared a drought emergency for most of Washington Tuesday (excluding Everett, Seattle, SeaTac, and Tacoma) because of a meager snowpack and anticipated warm, dry spring and summer seasons. The department declares a drought for an area when it has three-quarters of its typical water supply, which brings a risk of “undue hardship.” The Department expects “serious impacts for water users” (who is not a water user?) over the next few months. Some areas may see their lowest levels of streamflow on record, threatening fish populations.

Seven jurors seated for Donald Trump’s hush-money trial: They included a salesman originally from Ireland, an oncology nurse with a fiancé, an unmarried corporate lawyer, an older Puerto Rican man who said his hobby was family (aw), a young Black woman who teaches English at a charter school, a software engineer, a recent college grad with three roommates in Chelsea, and a civil litigator who lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The former President was seen flipping through the jury questionnaire and leaning back in his chair. Court is out of session today, but jury selection will resume Thursday and will continue until five more jurors and six alternates are chosen. 

The few who used the IRS’s direct file software loved it: This tax season, people in 12 states including Washington could try the IRS’s new free-to-file alternative to commercial tax prep services. It worked pretty much the same as something like Turbotax, with a question-and-answer format that makes filing easy (I took a look myself and it was miles better than Turbotax and didn’t cost a thing). Despite rave reviews from tech reporters and others, only 100,000 people tried Direct File, a fact that tax company shills are exploiting to push a narrative that the free software is unpopular and unnecessary. Want to know what’s even more unnecessary? Paying those people every year.

USC canceled a Muslim valedictorian’s speech because pro-Zionist groups complained: In a campus-wide letter, University of Southern California provost Andrew T. Guzman claimed that threats to disrupt the commencement ceremony began pouring in shortly after it published Asna Tabassum’s name and biography. On- and off-campus groups, including We Are Tov, the Hebrew word for “good,” targeted her pro-Palestinian views, Instagram likes, and opposition to genocide. USC has never prevented valedictorian from speaking before.

Republicans are beating Democrats at state-level fundraising: Local and state elections matter more than national elections in determining how a community functions day-to-day, from the seemingly boring machinations of government to matters of personal freedom like reproductive and voting rights. So fundraising for those races is important, and Democrats are lagging far behind their conservative counterparts. This year, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, the primary group getting Dems elected to statehouses nationwide, set a personal best in quarterly fundraising: $6.9 million. Not bad, but reporting from Mother Jones shows the Republican State Leadership Committee and its affiliate, the State Government Leadership Foundation, raised $12 million. Consider the total raised for the 2024 election cycle, and conservatives are eclipsing liberals by $19 million.

US congressional committee claims China is subsidizing the fentanyl crisis: An investigative report found that China provides value-added tax rebates to companies that manufacture fentanyl analogues and other synthetic opioids as long as they’re sold outside of China. Some of the substances have no known legal use worldwide, according to the report. The Chinese embassy in Washington said the US blaming China for its fentanyl problem won’t solve it. In January, China and the US launched a joint counter-narcotics group after Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to restrict the production and export of fentanyl.

Dept. of Interior rejects mining road plan in Alaska: The Biden administration is expected to side with environmentalists and reject Ambler Metals' proposed 211-mile long industrial road to a massive copper deposit in the Alaskan wilderness that's worth $7.5 billion. The Ambler Access Project would cross through ecologically sensitive land, threatening both wildlife and Indigenous tribes who depend on hunting and fishing. Caribou and salmon in the region are struggling already, and the road would deepen their troubles, ecologists say. Ambler claims the untapped copper deposit is crucial for the construction of wind turbines and photovoltaic cells needed for renewable energy production.