The first Asian giant hornet has been caught in a trap in Washington state: The so-called "Murder Hornet" was found in a trap set near Birch Bay in Whatcom County. The next step for the Washington State Department of Agriculture is to search for nests using infrared cameras and set more traps so they can catch one of these suckers ALIVE.
They're hoping they can track a live one back to the colony: So that it can be eradicated before mid-September when the nest creates more queens and drones. Ha! Ha ha! 2020 is about to turn all the way up!
Microsoft and other companies are reportedly in talks to buy up TikTok from its parent company ByteDance: This comes as President Donald Trump has repeatedly threatened to ban the Chinese-owned video app over concerns that it is susceptible to influence from the Chinese government when it comes to sharing personal and location data. It is unclear how advanced the talks between TikTok and other companies are.
Womp womp: Skillet is closing down both its food truck and catering operations. Their Capitol Hill, Denny Regrade, and SeaTac locations remain open for business.
There's a wildfire burning near Lake Crescent: It began yesterday and was estimated to be around 60 acres in size. The National Parks Service believes it was human-ignited. They're asking for anyone who has noticed human activity in the area to call into their tip line.
Today, the city council met to discuss the nitty gritty details of defunding the Seattle Police Department by 50 percent: It's not as clear-cut as some might've imagined. According to David Kroman at Crosscut, only CM Kshama Sawant offered a straight-forward 50 percent cut of SPD's remaining 2020 budget. Everyone else offered proposals that would cut 100 full-time positions from the department through layoff, attrition, and reshuffling. More from Kroman:
Members of the council emphasized, with near unanimity, that this was the beginning of a longer path toward rebuilding the city’s public safety systems and that the conversation would continue as the council transitioned into planning for the 2021 budget this fall. Council staff estimated Friday that the council's proposed cuts and transfers from the Seattle Police Department could result in nearly $170 million in budget cuts next year — or over 40 percent of the department's budget.
But, in the immediate term, a resolution introduced Friday that laid out the council’s long-term goals and timeline acknowledges that “the Council is unable to immediately effect all the changes demanded by community” in 2020.
The voting on the resolution and proposed amendments to SPD's budget will begin next week.
Another stunningly labor-unfriendly statement by Herbold. Probably meets the standard for bad-faith negotiations, and as such is an unfair labor practice.
— SCC Insight (@SCC_Insight) July 31, 2020
The city council is discussing selling the police's horses
— David Kroman (@KromanDavid) July 31, 2020
A Florida teen was arrested for allegedly hacking famous people's Twitter accounts earlier this month: Graham Ivan Clark, 17, faces 30 felony charges after he posted tweets under the identities of people like Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk that directed followers to send money to his Bitcoin accounts, reaping $100,000 in one day. Don't tell him to target student loan companies! How horrible would that be ;)
Dr. Anthony Fauci and other top health officials testified in front of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Response today: The most notable comment came from Fauci, who serves as the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He said he was "cautiously optimistic" about a COVID-19 vaccine getting approved by the end of the year for mass distribution in 2021. Fauci also pushed back on a study promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine as an effective treatment—which is favored by Trump—calling it "flawed."
Rep. Jim Jordan was looking for a fight when he pushed Fauci on whether or not the government should limit Black Lives Matter protesting, a claim loved by conservatives but not based in actual fact. The doctor clearly thought the line of questioning was ridiculous.
Rep. @Jim_Jordan asks if protests should be limited.
Dr. Anthony Fauci: "I'm not going to opine on limiting anything. I'm telling you what it is the danger is. You can make your own conclusion about that. You should stay away from crowds no matter where the crowds are." pic.twitter.com/DfgmahK35F
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 31, 2020
Governor Jay Inslee clarified the new coronavirus rules: Indoor seating is allowed at taverns, breweries, wineries, and distilleries if there's a "reasonable" number of food items on the menu. However, bar-area seating is prohibited at all of those establishments. Summer camps will not be open to individual campers until Phase 4 and members of a single household can sleep in a cabin of up to 10 people.
Speaking of camps and COVID: 260 cases of coronavirus have been linked to campers and staff at a North Georgia YMCA children's camp. It's one of the "largest known super-spreading events in the state." A CDC report stated that though staff was required to wear masks, campers were not.
Seattle media outlets will appeal the Seattle Police Department's subpoena for their footage: This comes after Superior Court Judge Nelson Lee added a provision to his original ruling that he or a special master will first review the footage from the five media outlets before deciding if it should be turned over to the SPD. “While we appreciate the judge’s addition of an intermediary—possibly himself—to review the material and select what to hand to the police—we strongly believe this decision poses a risk to the independence of the media and to the safety of photojournalists,” said Michele Matassa Flores, Seattle Times' Executive Editor.
Cooler temperatures are on their way: Let's soak in the heat while we can.
After 11 years, noted white supremacist and former head of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke, is banned from Twitter: The social media site permanently suspended his account on the basis of "repeated violations of the Twitter Rules on hateful conduct." Duke was also banned from YouTube last month and banned from Facebook in 2018 for his participation in the white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, VA that year.
More bad news for Ellen DeGeneres stans (if they have the misfortune of existing): Buzzfeed went deep on the toxic culture behind the scenes of The Ellen Show where former employees allege rampant sexual misconduct and harassment by the daytime talk show's executive producers. DeGeneres has apparently apologized to her staff and there are rumors she's looking to exit her show.
A federal court vacates the death sentence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev a.k.a. The Boston Bomber: Tsarnaev, along with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, planted several homemade bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013 which killed three people and injured hundreds more. The court also set aside three of his 30 convictions, says CNN, but Tsarnaev will remain in federal prison for the rest of his life.
Montlake Bridge is closed for repairs on Saturday: In case you were thinking of taking a nice weekend stroll.
Beyoncé goes to Africa with her new visual album, Black Is King: The whole thing is streaming on Disney+ as it's technically for their quickly forgotten live-action Lion King. Anyone got a login they want to share?