Let's get into tonight's evening news round-up. Up first...
Michelle Obama is getting a podcast, baby: Today, the former First Lady announced her exclusive deal with streaming giant Spotify to debut her podcast called, err, The Michelle Obama Podcast. There will be many "candid, human, and personal conversations" about the pandemic and our "nationwide reckoning with race." The podcast will be released to Spotify subscribers beginning July 29.
Mayor Teargas has declared the busted ass West Seattle Bridge a "civil emergency": Mike Lindbloom at the Seattle Times writes that the move "may increase the odds of winning federal or state money" and may accelerate repairs. As @seattledot continues to mitigate traffic impacts and stabilize the bridge, this emergency proclamation will give Seattle the tools we need to expedite permitting and procurement, and strengthen our efforts to receive state and federal funding.https://t.co/gTyBnsdmWA
— Mayor Jenny Durkan (@MayorJenny) July 16, 2020
As @seattledot continues to mitigate traffic impacts and stabilize the bridge, this emergency proclamation will give Seattle the tools we need to expedite permitting and procurement, and strengthen our efforts to receive state and federal funding.https://t.co/gTyBnsdmWA
Gov. Inslee says your birthday parties and other shenanigans need to be limited to 10 people or less: And that's if your county is one of the over 15 counties currently in Phase 3 of Washington state's four-phased reopening strategy. The new state rule reduces the original Phase 3 gathering limit from 50 to 10. The gathering limit for Phase 2 remains at "no more than five people outside your household per week." The limit is self-enforced, so far. (King County is in Phase 2, ICYMI!)
Inslee reiterated that "today's rollbacks may be a forerunner to additional rollbacks": "We cannot rule out the potential for another stay-at-home order this year," Inslee said at his presser today. Inslee attributed the surge in current coronavirus cases to younger Washingtonians. "We really need the young generation to lead us," said Inslee. More from Patch:
According to the State Department of Health, during the first weeks and months of the pandemic younger people accounted for just 22 percent of coronavirus cases. By June, that doubled to 45 percent.
Hospitalization and death rates have risen recently but not at the same level as the infection rate. Inslee says that's likely because so many infections are just in young people, but worries that the cases will not end there.
Yesterday, Washington state announced 742 new confirmed COVID-19 cases: Today, we set a record: 1,267 new COVID-19 cases. While we only reported six new deaths today, 1,267 is nearly twice the average number of cases per day over the last two weeks. Get ready for a rollback!
Local businesses aren't prepared for another round of closures: "I think the big fear for everybody who’s made it through is the fear of a rollback. We’re all sitting here like, 'if you roll us back, those doors won’t open again,'" the owner of The Lumberyard Bar told Matt Baume in a piece published today.
Have you been watching Ziwe Fumudoh's Instagram Live talk show where she asks people direct and uncomfortable questions about race? Well you should. If only so you can watch Insta-famous chef Alison Roman list off the number of Black friends she has (eek) or how she did nothing to advocate for people of color while working at Bon Appétit—it's wild. E. Alex Jung interviewed Fumudoh for Vulture today and it's a great profile. Also, you must watch this video of Rose McGowan role playing calling the police on a Black person:
Couple whose remains were found on a West Seattle beach in plastic bags last month identified: The King County Medical Examiner has said the remains belonged to Jessica Lewis and Austin Wenner who are estimated to have died around June 10. Lewis's cause of death was from multiple gunshot wounds, while Wenner died of a single gunshot wound, reports Elise Takahama at the Seattle Times. In mourning the death of their loved ones, surviving family members have expressed frustration with city council members' support of defunding the police by 50 percent, worrying it will prevent detectives from solving cases like Lewis and Wenner's.
Supreme Court allows Florida to enforce law preventing people with felony convictions from voting if they still owe fines or fees associated with their convictions, potentially affecting about three-quarters of a million otherwise eligible (mostly Black and Democratic) people. The ruling was announced in an unsigned order—with Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Elena Kagan dissenting—and will prevent voters from registering in Florida's August primary and maybe even the general election in November, says CNBC.
The Justice Department executed second death row prisoner this week after 17-year hiatus: This morning, Wesley Ira Purkey was killed by lethal injection at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana for the murder of a teen girl in 1998, reports the New York Times. This comes after many legal challenges over his execution—including that Purkey was not mentally competent—were struck down by the Supreme Court.
A quote from our White House press secretary: “The president has said unmistakably that he wants schools to open. And when he says open, he means open in full, kids being able to attend each and every day at their school. The science should not stand in the way of this."
Three suspects have been arrested in connection to a shooting that left one 25-year-old man dead in Sammamish on Wednesday night: Investigators believe that a "drug deal that went bad" led to the shooting. Two of the suspects that fled on foot were apprehended earlier this morning and the other was arrested several hours later, reports KING 5.
Georgia's governor is suing Atlanta’s mayor and city council to stop the city from enforcing a mask mandate: We don't even know where to begin with this one. Let's just stare into the sun and burn out our eyes.
NASA and the European Space Agency's Solar Orbiter captured the closest images ever taken of the Sun: The pictures were taken 47,845,581 miles from the star in the mission's perihelion pass. You can see small solar flares called "campfires" that are much smaller than the solar flares we can see from Earth, reports CNN. Honestly, the closer humanity gets the Sun, the more it looks like a giant, flaming ball of pizza.
#SolarOrbiter has made its first close pass by the Sun, studying our star and space with a comprehensive suite of instruments — and the data is already revealing previously unseen details. This is #TheSunUpClose. https://t.co/rVMjz45DoY pic.twitter.com/YLKBXRNQZb
— NASA Sun & Space (@NASASun) July 16, 2020
BREAKING! A local ball of fire!