Back live Wednesday!
Tens of thousands of Israelis on Saturday night protested in Tel Aviv against the new right-wing government’s plans to fundamentally overhaul the judicial system, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of trying to weaken the country’s democratic institutions just weeks after returning to power.
The protest was organized by grass-roots activists and backed by the leaders of Israel’s centrist and left-wing opposition parties. The Israeli news media estimated a turnout of 80,000 people by 8:30 p.m., despite a steady rain, and thousands more joined protests in Jerusalem and Haifa.
The protests were an early indication of the backlash facing the government, the sixth led by Mr. Netanyahu, and a clear illustration of widening political division and polarization in Israel.
Mr. Netanyahu, barely three weeks after his government was sworn in, is seeking to curb the powers of the country’s Supreme Court and has argued that the top court has too much influence.
Critics call the move a power grab that would limit judicial independence and oversight and give politicians the upper hand in appointing judges and government attorneys.
Ehud Barak, a former Israeli prime minister and former army chief of staff, who attended the protest in Tel Aviv, said Mr. Netanyahu’s proposals would “crush” the judicial system.
A new threat is being found in dangerous street drugs by researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the effects can have a horrifying effect on users.
The substance is an animal tranquilizer used by veterinarians called Xylazine. Its slang name is “Tranq,” and it’s being detected mainly in heroin, but it has also been found in party drugs like cocaine, Molly, and ecstasy.
“It is in the Charlotte area, it is in the drug supply,” said Lauren Kestner with the non-profit group Queen City Harm Reduction. “We have definitely found Xylazine.”
Kestner says it’s being cut into a variety of drugs, and doctors say it can cause skin ulcers, even leading to amputations.
Senators approved several resolutions during Tuesday’s Legislative Session, which was recessed and will continue on Dec. 29.
Sen. Alma Francis Heyliger, sponsor of Bill No. 34-0295, requested a legal opinion from the Legislature’s Legal Counsel Amos Carty Jr., regarding a key piece of the legislation.
The billwas a Resolution petitioning the President of the United States of America to issue a posthumous pardon to Rothschild “Polly” Francis for his unjust conviction for the federal crimes of criminal libel, contempt, and embezzlement, but there were questions about whether it should instead be directed to the Virgin Islands governor.
Carty explained that while the Virgin Islands was under control of the Navy at the time Francis was prosecuted in a federal court, he was convicted of local offenses, so the pardon request should be directed to the governor.
The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano eruption on January 15, 2022, has set a new record for the greatest concentration of lightning ever detected. According to data from Vaisala’s Global Lightning Dataset GLD360, nearly 400 000 lightning events were detected within just six hours of the eruption, making it a truly exceptional phenomenon.
On January 15, 2022, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano in the Pacific Ocean erupted, triggering over 600 000 lightning events. The eruption was the largest in over 100 years, and it caused significant damage to the Kingdom of Tonga and other Pacific states.
According to data from GLD360, around 200 000 lightning events took place on January 13 and 14 but the majority occurred on January 15, with nearly 400 000 events detected in just six hours.1
This made it the greatest concentration of lightning ever recorded, with at the peak of the eruption, nearly half of all global lightning concentrated around the volcano.
As we suspected and asked from Day 1 of the George Floyd incident, where’s the police body-cam footage? Meanwhile, as major racial strife swept the land, the corrupto star chamber Attorney General of Minnesota, Keith Ellison, sat on the evidence, controlled the narrative and failed to provide proper transparency to the public.
Even two months later, the body-cam footage was still being withheld by this skulduggery corrupto. However, attorneys for one of the defendants — officer Thomas Lane, 37, who is charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder — secured written transcripts of the videos from three of the officers.
Finally during the trial more body cam was released. You can view it for yourself. There is also a verbal exchange transcript to follow – although it is mostly gibberish and incomprehensible.
Mostly it shows Floyd acting hysterically. He is put into the back seat of the police cruiser. The police are dealing with a non-compliant hard case. After being instructed to calm down and sit, inexplicably in the last portion of the clip the officers take him back out on the street side. To my eyes this action makes zero sense and is suspect.
According to the transcript from his body camera video, officer Lane asked to see Floyd’s hands at least 10 times. The transcript shows Floyd repeatedly asked the officers not to shoot him, saying he had been shot before (not true).
Obviously, Floyd is highly agitated and paranoid from his drug cocktail. It’s also evident that he’s having heart and respiratory difficulties. Even so, he fails to comply with the officer. If you have heart issues, it is recommended that you not “bounce off the walls” as Floyd is seen doing. Instead stay calm and inactive. But Floyd sealed his own fate.
In Virginia, four more high schools have announced that they are also guilty of withholding National Merit Award notifications for students.
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology came under fire in November for withholding the awards when a parent discovered that neither she nor her child was notified of the award. This led to an apology, and the awards were delayed long enough that the students couldn’t use them on early acceptance applications. It was because the high school wanted to promote equity.
The headlines from this scandal prompted other high schools to acknowledge their situation.
A giant World War II-era military structure fell down a sandy cliff and onto a San Francisco beach.
The incident at Fort Funston, a city park with 200-foot oceanside bluffs, is the latest in a series of landslides across Northern California caused by a deluge of heavy rainstorms.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area reported the incident and shared a photo on Twitter on Monday.
"Beachcombers at Fort Funston will share the beach today with a WWII military structure undermined when saturated bluff sand slid onto the beach," the tweet said.
Children under age 14 are dying from fentanyl poisoning at a faster rate than any other age group in the U.S., according to a new analysis from Families Against Fentanyl.
In the past two years, synthetic opioid (fentanyl) deaths among children surged.
Fentanyl-related deaths among infants (children under age one) quadrupled from 2019 to 2021; more than tripled among children between the ages of 1 and 4 and nearly quadrupled among children between the ages of 5 and 14.
Since 2015, fentanyl-related deaths among infants increased nearly 10-fold; among children ages 1 to 14, deaths increased 15-fold, an increase of over 1,400%, FAF said.
Nationally, fentanyl deaths also doubled over the same time period.
The majority of deaths were poisonings, meaning they resulted from fentanyl being ingested without the person’s knowledge. In 2021, less than 1% of fentanyl-related fatalities were suicides.
MAGA Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar have been given committee assignments after being stripped of them in 2021 by a Democrat-controlled House.
It’s a promise new House Speaker Kevin McCarthy made, and has now kept.
Greene (R-GA) will be sitting on the House Homeland Security and Oversight Committees while Gosar (R-AZ) will take part on the House Natural Resources and Oversight Committees.
Gosar’s assignments are basically a reinstatement to committees he served on before his removal.
Ernest Ramirez says he wanted to do the right thing for his son, so he decided to have 16-year-old Ernesto take the COVID-19 vaccine.
After all, what was the harm? Ramirez was told the vaccine was 100 percent safe.
Soon after his son's death, Ramirez says, he received a call from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. According to him, agency officials asked him to change the cause of death for his son to "COVID."
Ramirez says they offered to help him financially in exchange for doing so.
More than 90 countries have expressed their "deep concern" in a statement on Monday at Israel's punitive measures against the Palestinian people, following a UN request for an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The UN General Assembly voted 87-26 with 53 abstentions on 30 December in favour of the resolution calling for the ICJ to give an opinion on the legality of Israeli policies in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
In a statement, the signatories called for a reversal of Israeli measures, saying regardless of their position on the General Assembly's resolution, "we reject punitive measures in response to a request for an advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice".
In response to the successful Palestinian initiative at the UN, Israel's new far-right government seized $39m of tax revenues collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The radicals worshipped at the site in breach of the longstanding status quo governing it, according to Palestinian sources.
Israeli forces reportedly began harassing Muslim worshippers at the site from early Tuesday to clear the way for the incursion.
Under the agreement, Muslims alone are permitted to pray at Al-Aqsa, the third-holiest place in Islam and the most-sacred Muslim site in Palestine. Non-Muslims are, however, able to visit.
Ghassan Majali was stopped at Bab al-Asbat (Lions' Gate), leading to the mosque, and asked to present permission to visit the site.
The envoy then left in protest, according to Palestinian media reports.
Israeli police said they didn't refuse Majali from entering, according to the Times of Israel.
The number of earthquakes recorded in Pahala, a town in the south of the Big Island of Hawaii, has increased 70-fold since 2015, and seismologists have used modern imaging techniques to attribute the sharp rise to a web of magma connected to a nearby volcano.
Pahala is a small town that had a population of around 1,500 at the time of the 2020 census and was once a home to a sugar plantation. According to the United States Geological Survey it is the 'most seismically active area' in Hawaii.
As the number of people experiencing homelessness increases across the country, more cities and states have passed laws making it illegal to live out of tents and cars or sleep in public spaces.
More than 100 jurisdictions have had such bans on the books for years, according to the National Homelessness Law Center. In recent months, high-profile measures have been approved targeting homelessness in many western U.S. cities and across entire states.
Federal data shows 582,462 people were experiencing homelessness on a single night in January 2022. Experts warn more people will enter homelessness as housing costs increase, as has been the case for decades in cities such as New York and in much of California.
A school board meeting in Greeley, Colo., kicked off this month with a newly restrictive public comment policy — the fourth iteration in a year marked by such vitriol over masks and books that one member suggested suspending comment altogether. Two opportunities for citizens to address the board for a total of four minutes had already been slimmed to one three-minute chance. Now speakers would have two minutes.
In Rochester, Minn., where public comment at city council meetings has featured personal attacks on the mayor and baseless accusations about the library promoting pedophilia, speakers since October have been permitted to comment just once a month — and the board is considering further restrictions.
And in Salem, Ore., the school board in September closed meetings to the public and began taking comments by Zoom or phone or in writing, following what the superintendent called an “escalation of disruptive behavior” that had turned in-person comment into a “public forum for political agendas.”
China’s population shrank for the first time in decades last year as its birthrate plunged, official figures showed Tuesday, adding to pressure on leaders to keep the economy growing despite an aging workforce and at a time of rising tension with the U.S.
Despite the official numbers, some experts believe China’s population has been in decline for a few years — a dramatic turn in a country that once sought to control such growth through a one-child policy.
Many wealthy countries are struggling with how to respond to aging populations, which can be a drag on economic growth as shrinking numbers of workers try to support growing numbers of elderly people.
Amid a nursing shortage that is worsening poor health outcomes in Mississippi, nursing programs at the state’s public universities are turning away hundreds of potential students every year because of insufficient faculty sizes.
Alfred Rankins Jr., Mississippi’s commissioner of higher education, said at a legislative hearing Tuesday that nursing programs have struggled to retain faculty members because of the state’s lower-than-average salaries for public university employees.
“Unfortunately, our nursing programs must turn away approximately 300 qualified nursing applicants each year because of limited faculty numbers,” Rankins said.
Federal prosecutors declined Tuesday to seek the death penalty for the alleged Walmart shooter who killed 23 shoppers in an El Paso branch of the store in 2019.
The decision is consistent with the Department of Justice’s practice of not pursuing capital punishment in federal cases since President Joe Biden took office, according to local reports.
Patrick Crusius is accused of driving 10 hours from Allen, Texas and casing the busy Walmart to make sure it was filled with Hispanic people before gunning down 23 shoppers with an AK-47 and injuring 22 others on Aug. 3, 2019.