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The Pfizer vaccine is a go in the United Kingdom: Britain is the first country in the world to formally authorize a vaccine against the coronavirus. Made by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, the vaccine was 95% effective in clinical trials. The first 800,000 dose shipment should be delivered to the Brits "within days." The U.K ordered 40 million doses which, with a two-dose vaccine, will only go to 20 million people.
Pfizer's vaccine could be delivered to states by Dec. 15: And the Moderna vaccine could be shipped out by Dec. 22, according to an Operation Warp Speed document sent to governors. Those dates are contingent upon the Food and Drug Administration authorizing each vaccine.
Interpol warns organized crime may try to steal vaccines: Interpol warned crime control agencies across the globe that organized crime networks could try to steal vaccine shipments or pawn off fake vaccines. The attacks range from physical disruptions of supply chain networks to online disinformation campaigns peddling fake cures for profit.
United Nations removes weed from the list of most dangerous drugs: The U.N. reclassified marijuana for medicinal purposes as a less-lethal drug in a move that may have big impacts on scientific studies and legalization efforts worldwide. The World Health Organization first made a recommendation to reclassify weed in 2019, but the political divisiveness delayed the vote. Ultimately, the measure passed 27 to 25. Ukraine abstained.
Two dead in car crash: A wrong-way driver on State Route 167 caused two semis, three cars, and a motorcycle to crash. The motorcycle rider was killed and so was a pick-up truck driver.
Fresh from a pardon, Mike Flynn has something to say: Oh, what's that? He's telling the president to "temporarily suspend the Constitution" and to "envoke Marshall Law" in order to have a military-run revote of only federal candidates?
Big pro-authoritarian energy in Trumpland today:
The president's (recently pardoned) former national security adviser, Mike Flynn, shared a message encouraging President Trump to "temporarily suspend the Constitution," impose martial law and "silence the destructive media." pic.twitter.com/cQh0wl7oWw
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) December 2, 2020
Mayor Jenny Durkan: Signed the 2021 budget.
Justice Department investigates a potential bribe for a presidential pardon: Okay, the court documents related to this case are heavily redacted. This is what we know: Two people attempted to lobby senior White House officials for a presidential pardon for a third person. In exchange for clemency for that third person, the two anonymous people would make "a substantial political contribution," NPR reported.
King County animal cruelty cases are up: Please, stop hurting your animals. The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed 19 cases of animal cruelty this year and more cases are expected to be processed this week, according to the Seattle Times. In 2019, the PAO filed nine cases and in 2018 it filed 10 cases. I really don't want to describe the types of things people have done to their animals this year, but "dragging a cat behind a bike" isn't even the worst one included in this article.
A chilly morning and a windy day:
Gusty east winds continue this morning near the Cascade gaps and between around Enumclaw to North Bend. Expect gusts up to 30-40 mph, with stronger gusts closer to Cascades. #wawx pic.twitter.com/RC0k2L4ozh
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) December 2, 2020
Murders are up in Tacoma: By about 26% compared to last year. So far in 2020, Tacoma reported 29 murders.
Staten Island restauranteur declared himself an "autonomous zone" from COVID-19 restrictions: The co-owner of Mac's Public House was arrested and charged with, among other things, obstructing governmental administration and was released.
China's lunar probe touched down on moon rock yesterday: China's robot probe Chang'e-5 is ready to collect some rocks and dust in a nearside region of the moon known as Oceanus Procellarum. The last time a probe went to the moon was the Soviet Luna 24 mission from 44 years ago. Here's the landing:
YOU GUYS! HERE IT IS!!
Video of the descent and landing of the Chang'e-5 spacecraft, which touched down in the basaltic plains of Oceanus Procellarum on the lunar nearside yesterday.
Look at that landscape! It's craters all the way down!! 😍 pic.twitter.com/qiW9vNzKXE
— Paul Byrne (@ThePlanetaryGuy) December 2, 2020
Amazon gets some good PR: An Amazon driver in Florida was dropping off some packages when he heard screams down the street. A house was on fire! He ran in and helped an elderly man escape. A hero. Maybe Amazon will give him a gift card or something as a pat on the back for saving a life.
New York City has barely heard any criminal trials during the pandemic: The state and federal courts in the city have only been able to hear nine criminal trials since March. Last year, the system heard around 800 trials. Cases are piling up, peoples' constitutional rights to a speedy trial are potentially being violated, and, as COVID-19 cases soar, jail volumes are growing with people in pretrial detention.
K-pop stars can defer mandatory military service: In South Korea, men aged 18 to 28 must serve around two years in the military to help defend against North Korea. K-pop stars who stimulate the economy and boost the country's culture can now defer enlistment until they're 30, according to a new amendment passed by South Korea's parliament.
This is a Twitter thread about majestic pigeons: If you click the tweet you will see more sexy pigeons. Need I say more?
I knew about fancy domestic pigeons, but I didn't realize there were so many stunningly beautiful wild pigeons, too.
This is the Victoria crowned pigeon. When it's born, it looks like a muppet that fell into a blueberry pie, but it eventually matures into an imperial majesty pic.twitter.com/Kex2OdpmBe
— Ferris Jabr (@ferrisjabr) December 1, 2020
If you need it: Here's a free crossword puzzle.