Local unions will rally to support Gaza: On Saturday, Pacific Northwest Labor Unions, which represent 150,000 workers, will rally outside of the Federal Building in Seattle to call for a ceasefire in Gaza and to end United States military aid to Israel. The unions, which include MLK Labor, UFCW 3000, SEIU 775, UAW 4121, OPEIU 8, Restaurant Workers United, Seattle Education Association, Tacoma Education Association, and Protec 17 are asking elected officials “to fight to to fund our communities, not war,” according to a press release. 

SPD is not for the girls: At least, that’s what a lawsuit filed by four women who work at the Seattle Police Department says. The $5 million lawsuit alleges sexual discrimination and harassment. This comes on the heels of a February report detailing women employees' experiences of sexual harassment and SPD's "good ol' boy's club" environment that prevented women from climbing the ranks. Additionally, in the last six months two senior women officers sued SPD for discrimination in separate lawsuits. This most recent lawsuit lists the "primary perpetrators" as Chief Adrian Diaz, Lt. John O’Neil, and Human Resource Manager Rebecca McKechnie. I can't say I'm surprised to hear that cops are virulent misogynists. 

AI boom: Well, artificial intelligence seems to be padding Microsoft's already-padded wallet. The company boasted a 20% increase in quarterly profits. The total revenue this quarter? $61.86 billion. That's an increase of 17% over last year. While Microsoft didn't explicitly list the earnings from its AI products, the boom comes after the company's investment into the technology. 

Out like a wet lamb: In its last days, April is doing its best to give us the showers we were promised. Friday will be wet with off-and-on showers. 

Can Burien just chill? Burien's city leaders are so pissy because the King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) won't arrest poor people just for being poor. The anti-camping ordinance, passed earlier this year, criminalizes homelessness by making it illegal to sleep outside. Burien's mayor is furious because he can't enforce his evil law without police, and the KCSO provides policing for Burien under an inter-local agreement. On Thursday, according to Publicola, the mayor and three Burien city council members held a press conference to talk shit about the KCSO. 

Bad year for babies: Last year, US birth rates fell, continuing their steady, decade-long slip downhill. Only 3.6 million babies were birthed in 2023. For the past two years, births ticked up slightly as couples who likely put off having babies during the thick of the pandemic got pregnant. Now, birth rates are falling for all women under 40. Teen pregnancies, which have been steadily decreasing, are flattening out, which researchers assume may be the impact on the repeal of Roe v. Wade or a decline in sex education. 

Big news for suburbanites: People on the Eastside will get to ride public transportation for the first time in their car-centric lives when the six-mile, eight-station light rail starter line opens on Saturday. 

Bird flu could be in the cows: Colombia restricted the import of American beef and beef products from states where dairy cows have tested positive for bird flu. That includes Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota and Texas. So far, no cows slated to be turned into beef have tested positive for the flu. Starting this week, the US government required people to run bird flu tests on all dairy cows shipped between states. Alternative-milk drinkers, the lactose intolerant among us, vegetarians, and vegans must be feeling pretty good about themselves right now. 

Mass graves uncovered at Gaza hospital: Gaza authorities uncovered three mass graves containing nearly 400 bodies outside the Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis. Some of the bodies were still cloaked in surgical gowns, CNN reports. Reports from the scene, which CNN said it was unable to verify for sure, say some of the bodies showed signs of torture. The Israel Defense Forces said it did not dig these mass graves, but that Palestinians in Gaza did. Gazans said they buried some 100 dead months ago, but not in a giant, collective grave. The original graves, they said, had been dug up.

Most horrifying headline of the week: Baby saved from dead mother's womb in Gaza dies

Some things from college campus protests and sit-ins across the country: Wow, welcome to one of those flash-point-in-history moments. Students across the country are protesting the war in Gaza and their schools' financial interests in the war effort. University reactions have varied. At the University of Southern California, over 90 protesters were arrested and the school completely canceled this year's commencement ceremony. The police response toward young people exercising their First Amendment rights has been shocking. Well, I guess not that shocking for anyone who knows anything about policing in America. 

Take, for instance, what happened on Emory's campus: At the Emory campus in Atlanta, police arrested dozens of students. The arrests, which CNN caught on video, were forceful. Economics professor Caroline Fohlin expressed concern over a particularly violent arrest as she passed by a scene, and then a cop hurled her to the ground, with a CNN camera filming the entire thing. Fohlin was charged with simple battery against a police officer. 

New EPA rule: The Biden administration is finally getting strict on the power sector. A new Environmental Protection Agency rule will require coal-fired power plants "to capture smokestack emissions or shut down." Any plants that stay open through 2032 will need to cut their emissions by 90% by that date. This is the first time the US government has restricted carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.

Something interesting: Your favorite song might have an uncredited featured artist—the loon. Spooky, haunting loon calls are looped into the backing tracks of lots of popular music. Do the loons get any royalties for this? No, they're birds. 

A loon song for your Friday: This baby was one of the songs that first pioneered the loon call sample. Can you hear it? 

[Eds note: bonus loon song:]