Biden is in Brussels today meeting with other world leaders about the now month-long war raging in Ukraine, reports the New York Times. This morning, his administration announced that the United States would bring in 100,000 Ukrainian refugees who have been displaced by the fighting. The U.S. will also donate $1 billion to European countries dealing with the migrant surge. Further, the NY Times is reporting that they expect Biden to announce additional sanctions on Russia, targeting elites close to Putin and 40 Russian defense companies.
Ahead of the meeting: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked Biden and other NATO leaders to give "effective and unrestricted" support to his country, including weapons, reports CBS News. He also alleged that Russian forces have used phosphorus bombs, a weapon banned by the Geneva Convention, of which Russia is a signatory. Zelenskyy also urged Russians disgusted by the their country's aggression "to leave Russia so as not to give your taxes to the war," reports Insider. Now that's a strategy!
Bummer: Seattle Parks and Recreation confirmed to West Seattle Blog that Alki Beach will again have an early closing time this year at 10 pm during the summer. The policy was first implemented last summer following a deadly shooting in July, but the exact launch date and other implementation details have not yet been solidified.
But good news: After two years off due to the pandemic, the Fremont Solstice Parade and Fair is back from June 18 to 19 this summer. The parade route will look a little different this year, but it will still feature painted cyclists all the same. According to MyBallard, organizers are also planning a week-long art "extravaganza" to make up for the past couple of years. Register for the parade here—see ya there!
We lost a Black quarterback, but maybe we can gain another one? Former 49er QB Colin Kaepernick (!!!!) came to Seattle this week to do a workout with Seahawks receiver Aaron Fuller, which apparently means the team might be considering drafting him. Kaepernick hasn't played in the NFL in five years following his tenure in San Francisco and the outrage he caused by kneeling for the national anthem. If the 'Hawks drafted him, they'd definitely gain a bandwagon fan in me!
No thought or experience is original: I thought I was the only person who had a weird but deep belief that cold water is most delicious out of a giant cup. There's got to be an evolutionary explanation for this.
Big Cup Theory was the most important thing I learned in college. A roommate of mine my 5th year told me about it. Drinks, especially water, taste better out of BIG cups. Big Cups should be plastic and from either a sporting event or a movie but brought home for use as a Big Cup pic.twitter.com/pMRftM3vLZ
— A-List Actor Dave McNamee (@DaveMcNamee3000) March 22, 2022
In a resignation letter, Manhattan prosecutor Mark Pomerantz wrote that he and others working on his team investigating Trump's business practices had "no doubt" that the former president "committed crimes," reports The Guardian. Pomerantz said that new district attorney Alvin Bragg's decision to not continue with the case against Trump "will doom any future prospects that Mr. Trump will be prosecuted for the criminal conduct we have been investigating.”
People are leaving cities: In a new analysis of Census data, the New York Times determined that "substantial population loss" from major cities like New York and Los Angeles was the "primary reason 2021 was the slowest year of population growth in U.S. history." A combined 700,000 people left NYC, LA, Chicago, and San Francisco from July 2020 to July 2021 while smaller cities like Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, Austin, and Atlanta gained over 300,000 residents. Some quick context to that information:
The pandemic played a role, as the number of people dying rose substantially and many Americans left cities for smaller places. But experts say that skyrocketing housing costs were also to blame, and that some of the changes are a continuation of fundamental shifts in American demographics that began before the pandemic, such as the steadily falling birthrate and steep drop in immigration.
The mountain is out: And good morning!
Click through to see one very knowing emu: Earlier this week, Woodland Park Zoo celebrated the 30th birthday of the fluffy Windana, one of the oldest living emus in North America, reports the Seattle Times. He has some arthritis in his joints—which is totally normal—and nommed on apples, grass, romaine lettuce, and bamboo for his b-day treat.
Madeleine Albright is dead: The first female U.S. Secretary of State and the first American official to meet Putin died of cancer, reports CNN. She was 84 years old. Nominated to her position during the Clinton administration, her legacy includes defending the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children and pulling peacekeeping forces from Rwanda during the 1994 genocide.
Also dead: The guy who invented the GIF. Stephen Wilhite died of COVID last week at the age of 74, reports The Verge. And, for the record, he very strongly intended for GIF to be pronounced "jif." So, all you "gif"-sayers can shove it.
I know most of you don't give a shit about Real Housewives of New York: But I am personally thrilled at the news that Bravo and showrunner/chaos agent Andy Cohen will split the series in two: One all-new cast composed of a more diverse group of women, and another cast made of up of former members of the show. It's such a weird move that follows one of the most abysmal seasons ever of the reality TV series, but I'm more than ready for TWO overlapping series of RHONY pandemonium. A gay dream.
For your listening pleasure: Last night I had the great honor to be in attendance at underground Ghanian highlife star Ata Kak's first American show EVER. Originally slated to come just before COVID hit in 2020, he played one of the most energetic sets I've ever seen at The Sunset in Ballard. Clad in sunglasses, a black tee, and jeans, Ata Kak danced and rapped and taught the crowd his lyrics and jumped around the stage for 45 minutes, singing tracks from his first and only release, 1994's Obaa Sima. It was one of those shows that reminded me of why I love music. Listen in his "Daa Nyinaa" here: