21-year-old man charged in fatal New Year's Eve shooting: The man allegedly fired a gun into a crowd at Occidental Square and hit a 24-year-old man. He then shot the man again as he tried to get up, the Seattle Times reports. The suspect claims that he has memory loss from drinking that night.
US sends 74 firefighters to help in Australia: At least two are from Washington. Several are from the Northwest. This aid is part of a long-standing tradition between the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. The US hasn't sent firefighters to Australia since 2010. But the Aussies helped Washington out in 2018 when our wildfire season raged out of control. You may remember that they got the true US experience when they were shot at by hunters while they were here.
Australia needs help from Australians: Since November, 24 Australians have been arrested for intentionally setting fires in the midst of a horrific wildfire season.
Big weather day: There are avalanche warnings in the Cascades after heavy mountain snow transitioned into rain. In the lowlands of the Puget Sound region—specifically near Snoqualmie River and around Carnation and Skykomish—flood warnings abound. Landslides are also a risk. The rain is continuing to fall today. I feel like there should be a certain point, like day nine or something of rain, where everyone's allowed to stay home for the day. Should we start a petition?
I think I'm onto something here: The rain isn't stopping! And don't get me wrong, I love it, but even the National Weather Service is calling the weather unsettled.
The Pentagon assures that it will not commit war crimes: Despite what the president has threatened. (Trump threatened to attack 52 sites significant to the Iranian people.) But, when asked if these sites would be targeted (you know, a war crime), Defense Secretary Mark Esper said, "We will follow the laws of armed conflict.”
A deadly stampede at Soleimani’s funeral: A funeral procession in Kerman, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani 's hometown, attracted millions of mourners. Stampedes ensued, killing dozens. About 40 people are believed to have been killed and more than 200 were injured.
Tempe, Arizona, has bigger problems: It is "under siege," as the AV Club puts it, by a person who won't stop graffitiing the phrase "PENIS MAN" on everything. It's on buildings, it's on traffic signs. It's been spray-painted 40 times in just a month across the city. Who is this
hero vandal? The best part of the TV news segment is when a woman is interviewed about how she doesn't think it's appropriate and her boyfriend says he thinks it's kind of funny.
Facebook will fight deep fakes: The social-media behemoth is going to ban videos modified by artificial intelligence on its platform. These are otherwise known as "deep fakes" and are designed to look real. These are essentially what the big villain is in the movie Spider Man: Far From Home, which I recently watched on a plane and enjoyed thoroughly. Anyway, Facebook is going to try to stop these manipulated videos from spreading misinformation on their site. Will they do it with a fancy algorithm? Nope. They're using people!
The People's Court has failed us: Judge Judy just endorsed Michael Bloomberg for president. Goddamnit, Judy.
Will China go plant-based? That's the question Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat will find the answer to as the plant-based meat companies attempt to expand into the Chinese market. China is the largest consumer of meat in the world. These companies want to persuade meat eaters to make the switch to plant-based meat, but it's not as simple as it is in the United States (and it's not that simple in the US) because of China's different relationship with meat. It is seen as a status symbol by many, and they have different ideas on how it should be prepared.
There was a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in Puerto Rico: According to CNN, it's likely the "most damaging earthquake in over a century." It's the second major quake to hit Puerto Rico in two days, after a 5.8 magnitude shook the island one day earlier.
Things I love: This train wreck of a sequence from the Warriors and Kings game.
Kentucky counties want to be sanctuaries: For the Second Amendment.
Today's best entertainment options in Seattle include: EJ Koh in conversation with The Stranger's Rich Smith, a show with Surrey-born rapper Merkules, and one of the last chances to see the Brighter Future: To be heard. To be seen. To be free. group show at King Street Station. See more on our EverOut Things To Do calendar.