Sweden votes in its first female prime minister: Magdalena Andersson will be the first woman to lead the Scandinavian nation, reports the BBC. Her election came after her party did a last-minute deal with the opposition Left party, and she will replace Stefan Lofven as head of the center-left Social Democrats. Before Andersson's win, Sweden was the only Nordic country to have never elected a woman as a prime minister.
Weather update: Today, it looks like we will be spared rain, but Thursday will mark the beginning of yet another fucking atmospheric river in Western Washington. According to KOMO, there will be not one but THREE air rivers between now and next week, with the second one coming this weekend. There's a possibility that much of that rain could be focused in areas already heavily affected by flooding near the Canadian border. Stay safe (and dry) out there, bubs!
Good for travel today across the state. Few flurries in the mountain passes, but otherwise a dry day today across the state. Rain will move in on Thurs. It will be rain, except for a little light snow in the passes and eastern Washington early before it turns to rain.
Happy Thanksgiving or whatever: With around 20 million people expected to travel for the holiday, hospitals are preparing to deal with an influx of COVID patients. The U.S. is seeing over 92,000 new cases daily with more 1,000 deaths on average every day, reports The Guardian. The hope is that vaccinations will help keep hospitalizations and deaths much lower than this time last year. Either way, hospitals are "hiring as many nurses and clinicians as possible."
Oh, and another health hazard: Thanksgiving leftovers. You've got until Monday to eat what's left of the autumnal feast before the risk of getting a stomach bug increases.
T-Mobile has to pay up: The Bellevue-based company will fork over $19.5 million in a settlement with the FCC "over a 12-hour nationwide outage in June 2020 that resulted in thousands of failed 911 calls," reports KING 5. As part of the settlement, T-Mobile also has to commit to improving outage communication to 911 call centers, whatever that means.
Washington state GOP lawmakers are getting litigious: Several Republican state representatives are suing four Democratic leaders and House Chief Clerk Bernard Dean over COVID-19 policies down at the state legislature, reports the Seattle Times. These dinguses say that new policies, which require lawmakers to show proof of vaccination to get onto the House floor and visitors to show the same (or else a recent negative test) to sit in the House gallery, “unlawfully limits access to House facilities.” Democratic Speaker Laurie Jinkins said in a statement that this lawsuit is meritless.
I watched King Richard last night: The biopic starring Will Smith as Richard Williams, Venus and Serena Williams's father. The film follows Richard as he tries to get his two daughters out of Compton and onto the professional tennis courts. While watching, I kept holding my breath out of concern the girls wouldn't make it like I didn't already know they are two of the greatest athletes of all time. The movie is good (and very long), but reminded me of one of the best videos on the internet:
Deliberations at the McMichael-Bryan trial go into second day: Jurors have still not come to any conclusions in trial of Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William "Roddie" Bryan Jr., who face charges of killing Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black man, in Brunswick, Georgia. According to CNN, today the jurors requested "to review two video clips" from the scene of the shooting "as well as the audio of Gregory McMichael's 911 call that day."
A test of what could be Earth's last, best hope against the apocalypse: That is, if the apocalypse came in the form of a giant asteroid colliding with our planet. Late last night, NASA launched the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft from California. According to the New York Times, the mission is putting the 1,200 pound spacecraft on course to "slam into a small asteroid named Dimorphos at 15,000 miles per hour next year" to test whether humans can alter the course of a wayward asteroid. Its success would mean there's one less thing for anxious people like me to worry about.
Asteroid Dimorphos: we're coming for you!
Riding a @SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, our #DARTMission blasted off at 1:21am EST (06:21 UTC), launching the world's first mission to test asteroid-deflecting technology. pic.twitter.com/FRj1hMyzgH
— NASA (@NASA) November 24, 2021
Also launched today: Russian module Prichal headed for the International Space Station on top of a Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan earlier this morning, reports Space.com. Watch the launch here.
Need to verify your COVID-19 vaccination status? There's a QR code for that: Via the online WA Verify, Washington state will "generate a digital vaccination record card that includes a QR code" you can scan to use as proof of vaccination, reports KING 5. The QR code will have your name, date of birth, vaccination types and dates, and must be scanned by a Smart Health Card reader.
New Zealand to open its borders in stages by the end of April: But, trust, there will be hella restrictions for visitors, including a mandatory seven-day isolation, and COVID tests on arrival and departure. And in the United States, the Biden administration will now require all essential, non-resident travelers to be fully vaccinated starting on January 22, putting them in line with the requirements for leisure travelers.
Woman missing for the past four days found alive near Blewett Pass: After going missing on Thursday, authorities said they found 68-year-old Lynell McFarland "injured but conscious with signs of hypothermia" inside her damaged Mitsubishi Eclipse in a ravine off Highway 97, reports the Seattle Times. She was then transported to Wenatchee hospital to make a full recovery.
Uhhhhhh what? Weekly unemployment claims have dropped to 199,000 as of last week, the lowest that number has been since 1969. According to CNBC, the Labor Department hasn't given any explanation as to why those numbers are so freaking low, but observed the drop could be due to "seasonal adjustments." Continuing claims also fell this week, down 60,000 to 2.05 million, a new pandemic-era low.
Bookmarking to read later: A belated obituary from the New York Times for Ruth Polansky, who "booked concerts at influential nightclubs in the 1980s, bringing exposure to up-and-coming artists like the Smiths and New Order."
For your listening pleasure: Cosha and Shygirl's "Lapdance from Asia."