In one of their biggest acquisitions yet, Amazon buys Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in $8.45 billion deal: According to the New York Times, that offer is 40% more than any other prospective buyers thought the 97-year-old film and TV studio was worth. All of MGM's pre-1986 film library had been auctioned years ago, but the Amazon deal comes with a "crown jewel": the James Bond franchise (though the e-commerce giant only has 50% creative control over the property). The deal is huge for Amazon's (shitty and hard to navigate) Prime Video catalog, especially now that everyone and their grandma wants to start their own streaming service. We are truly living in a monopolistic hellscape!
Police declared a riot in downtown Portland last night: Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside the Multnomah County Justice Center on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd's murder. According to Oregon Live, some protesters "lit fireworks and a dumpster fire," tagged the Justice Center, and broke windows at Portland City Hall. After police declared a riot at 10 p.m., they made five "targeted arrests" and claimed to have found "frozen water bottles, eggs, and metal spikes" after clearing the demonstration.
Memorial Day weekend travel is gonna get hectic: If you have any Memorial Day plans—whether in-state or out-of-state—make sure to time everything accordingly. The Seattle-Tacoma Airport projects over 100,000 passengers and 40,000 outbound passengers per day on Thursday and Friday will bustle through the airport, reports the Seattle Times. As for roads, AAA projects "around 787,000 people in Washington will travel 50 miles or further from home by car this weekend." Make a Virgo organize all of your last minute plans.
That said: Maui's mayor is contemplating additional beach and parking fees for visitors as Hawaii sees more travelers come their way.
President Biden down to accept lower offer for his infrastructure plan: Republican senators say the president "signaled openness" to a $1 trillion price tag for his infrastructure bill—significantly lower than the $1.7 trillion the White House offered last week. GOP negotiators say they plan to make the counteroffer on Thursday, though they haven't agreed yet on how exactly to fund the measure.
You can hide Like counts on Facebook and Instagram posts, if you want: Facebook announced that users across both platforms can now choose whether or not they want to see how many Likes posts get. According to TechCrunch, the Like-hiding tests began in 2019, but were put on pause due to the pandemic. The impetus behind the project was to remove the pressure of Likes posts recieve, to make infinitely scrolling either platform a less anxious experience. Would you choose to hide your likes on Instagram and/or Facebook? Comment! I'm curious.
More art installed on the AIDS Memorial Pathway: If you had the opportunity to mosey on by the AMP yesterday afternoon, you could see crews installing Christopher Paul Jordan's Andimgonnamisseverybody. Located on the Central Plaza near the light rail station, the 20 foot by 20 foot sculpture is composed of dozens of silent speakers in the shape of an "X." The formation is a "symbol for love and a symbol for banishment and exclusion, a symbol for unknown" and can also be read as a positive sign tilted on its side. Jordan's Andimgonnamisseverybody is one of the final art pieces to be installed on the AMP, after design firm Civilization's protest signs and Storme Webber's photo series. Next up: Horatio Hung-Yan Law's "Ribbon of Light."
.@cpauljordan's "Andimgonnamisseverybody" is almost fully installed at The AMP: AIDS Memorial Pathway. When we asked him what was the most surprising thing about it, now that it's actually here, he said: "That it came out exactly how I wanted it to." 1/2 pic.twitter.com/CigANnegEd
— Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (@SeattleArts) May 26, 2021
It's likely that many more people have died of COVID-19 in India than previously thought: According to the New York Times, the country's official virus figures "grossly understate the true scale of the pandemic." Working with dozens of experts, the NYT has come up with several possible estimates for the real devastating impact COVID-19 has had on India. In a conservative scenario, the paper posits that if the infection rate is 15x higher than reported and the infection fatality rate is 0.15%, then 404.2 million people are estimated to have gotten COVID with 600,000 estimated deaths. That's double the current reported death toll. Read more about each scenario here.
John Cena apologized to China for calling Taiwan a country: In a video posted to Chinese social media site Weibo, the actor—in Mandarin—asked for forgiveness for his "error." “I am very very sorry for my mistake. You must understand, I really love and respect China and Chinese people," he said. For background, the Chinese government sees Taiwan as a breakaway province, while the Taiwanese people see their island as its own country.
What's with pizza chains in the Seattle area? First Pagliacci, and now Zeeks Pizza. A proposed class-action lawsuit claims Zeeks "withheld wages, tips and other money owed to delivery drivers," says the Seattle P.I. Filed on behalf of a proposed class of 100 people, the lawsuit claims that Zeeks “engaged in a systematic scheme of wage and hour abuses against its pizza drivers."
The Tokyo Olympic Games are cursed: Asahi Shimbun, a major newspaper and sponsor of the games, has called for the Tokyo Olympics to be canceled. Scheduled to open July 23, Asahi is one of the first major papers to call for the cancellation due to a worrying increase in COVID cases. “We cannot think it’s rational to host the Olympics in the city this summer,” it wrote in its editorial about their decision. According to AP, there is "no indication the International Olympic Committee or local organizers have any plans to pull the plug on the games."
I missed the Super Flower Blood Moon this morning: My girlfriend (the moon) is so beautiful:
Local recycling and yard waste drivers strike might not happen: According to KOMO, Teamsters Local 117 says it has reached a tentative deal over pay with employer Republic Services. The union is expected to vote on the five-year contract later this week. `
Elizabeth Taylor's sixth husband is dead: Former Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia died yesterday of heart failure at the age of 94.
Protester who claims she was denied seizure medication while in custody sues Seattle, King County, and police and jail officers: In the lawsuit, Samantha Six says after her July 25 arrest she suffered "multiple seizures throughout the night while repeatedly and continually requesting her anti-seizure medication." The city and county, the lawsuit claims, are responsible for negligence and multiple violations of her constitutional rights during the 24-hour period she spent in jail. The lawsuit also names two SPD officers and five police and jail officers as defendants. Lewis Kamb from the Seattle Times has more on the lawsuit here.
Florida high school digitally altered 80 yearbook photos to mask cleavage: The school claims they did so because the students' outfits "did not match the district's student code of conduct" which prohibits "immodest, revealing, or distracting" clothing. Many girls have heard that pervy conservative bullshit before! On that tip...
For your listening pleasure: "My Body. My Future." by Kristy Harper featuring Samirah Raheem.