The city of Seattle was going to put a kids playground in a well known LGBTQ+ nudist park but residents complained so now they're not going to. Who in the world would let their kids play on that jungle jim??
The United States was the only veto in an emergency United Nations vote for a ceasefire in Israel this weekend. According to the UN, the resolution was “put forward by the United Arab Emirates and backed by over 90 Member States. There were 13 votes in favour and the United Kingdom abstained.”
The U.S. gave this reason for the veto: “Unfortunately, nearly all of our recommendations were ignored [leading to an] imbalanced resolution that was divorced from reality that would not move the needle forward on the ground in any concrete way. And so, we regretfully could not support it.”
Once again the explanation was because the resolution did not condemn Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel. Does language matter when civilians are dying at such high rates?
Israeli newspaper Haaretz published a report this weekend showing that the Israeli army is carrying out “unprecedented killing” in Gaza. A sociology professor at the Open University of Israel showed that the civilian death rate for previous raids on Gaza in the last decade ranged between 33 and 40%. That is still terrible but not when you compare it to the raid that has been happening since October 7. According to the report, the civilian proportion of total deaths rose is now 61%. That is higher than the average civilian toll in all the conflicts around the world during the 20th century.
Hunter Biden will face nine indictments from the Justice Department after a grand jury agreed on the matter. They all have to do with tax evasion.
The Justice Department says that, "if convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 17 years in prison" although they warn that actual sentences are "typically less than the maximum penalties."
This came out of the Special Counsel investigation by David C. Weiss.
Hunter Biden's attorney Abbe Lowell told CNN that these indictments are unfair targeting of the president's son and that they are unfair because Hunter was going through a bad time.
"The charges in this new tax indictment talk about a period where Hunter was at the lowest ebb of his addiction," Lowell said. "And like people in that regard, and I know everybody in America either has somebody in their family or friends who suffer from addiction, he certainly did things that he's not proud of."
The law doesn't allow for people to break it when they are going through a bad time.
Hunter Biden has yet to be indicted for acting as a foreign agent, trafficking young girls or hiring prostitutes but the Justice Department says that this is still ongoing so more indictments could be forthcoming.
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Saturday Night Live tried to make a joke out of a recent congressional hearing about antisemitism on campus but it is not a joke. The sketch fell flat as most SNL sketches do these days but it missed what is actually tragic about this incident.
Top university presidents from Harvard, UPenn and MIT testified about disciplinary practices on college campuses due to the threat to Jewish students in the wake of the war in Israel. Clips went viral in which the women refused to say that threats to Jewish students were punishable by their schools' codes of conduct.
Penn president Liz Magill apologized the next day, explaining that she had been erroneously focused on the constitutional right to free speech. The day after that, she resigned.
Now New York Governor Kathy Hochul says that the state of New York is going to get involved and take "aggressive enforcement action and refer possible Title VI violations to the federal government" if universities do not denounce antisemitism or calls for genocide.
This is a fraught issue, making it poor fodder for sketch comedy. Calls for harm are already code violations but political opinions are not. This will dragnet legitimate anti-government protests and could cut both ways. Couldn't a Palestinian student use the same law to say that a protest against a ceasefire was a call for genocide too? Hate and hostility are protected emotions. Violence is not.
A bigger problem, as pointed out by CNN's Fareed Zakaria, is that universities have been practicing politics for decades and coddling some groups and not others. In this environment, it's only natural that Jewish students would wonder why they don't get protection like, oh, say, transgender students. But universities should be a place for uncomfortable ideas and they haven't been in a long time. I agree with Zakaria that they should "retrain their gaze on their core strengths and rebuild their reputations as centers of research and learning."
Portugal is the first country to change its national flag explicitly for ideological reasons. The Portuguese flag adopted in 1910 has been altered almost beyond recognition.
The flag since 1910 had symbols of castles and crests to symbolize the socialist government after the last monarchy was overthrown. It was a symbol of committing to a government of the people but that is now a canceled concept.
The Portuguese government spent €74,000 to redesign it and get rid of those castles and crests and they came up with…two rectangles and a circle. Optimo.
The government said this about the redesign: “It is a new and distinct symbol, representative of the Government of the Portuguese Republic, which responds more effectively to new contexts, determined by the sophistication of dynamic digital communication and a reinforced ecological awareness.” They added that the image is “also inclusive, plural and secular.”
Adam Driver is trending for this Saturday Night Live opening monologue from this weekend.
The singer Tyla is trending because she identified herself as “coloured” and people outside of South Africa don’t understand this term and want to tell her not to use it. In South Africa, “coloured” means someone who is mixed race. It is not a slur. Comedian Trevor Noah calls himself “coloured” in his book “Born a Crime.” From AfricaNews.com: “South African experts caution against imposing American perspectives on Tyla's identity, emphasizing the importance of respecting her self-identification.”