Monday, May 22, 2017

Today's blog is not about Donald Trump -- a blessed respite during his absence.

Believe it or not, other things than Trump are happening in the world.   Trump sucks up all the oxygen and the attention, but occasionally some other story peeps through.  Yesterday, we looked at the presidential election in Iran.  Today, here are a few more varied news stories.

1.  FoxNews creator and disgraced CEO Roger Ailes died at age 77 following a fall in his home and a resulting brain injury.   As the New York Times' newest columnist and resident conservative Bret Stephens put it:  ". . . nobody did more than Ailes to broaden the reach of conservative ideas . . . .  Except in this respect:  If Ailes broadened, he also debased.   The man, who did so much to engineer the ascendancy of conservative media, paved the way to its moral and intellectual decline -- much as his own accumulation of vast corporate power created openings for his abuse of it."

2.  North Korea fired yet another ballistic missile into the waters off its east coast.   South Korea says this interferes with hopes for peace under its new president.

3.  About one-third (82) of the Nigerian school girls that were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists in 2014 have been reunited with their families.   The government
is providing a rehabilitation program for the girls, who are now 18 to 21 years old.

4.  The dire economic situation in Venezuela continues;  many people lack even basic subsistence food.  Street protests are continuous and growing in urgency and violence.

5.  Sweden has dismissed the rape charges against Julian Assange, the Wikileaks guy who has spent the last five years in the Ecuardorian embassy in London, where he sought asylum to avoid those very charges, which he claims are made up.   Sweden is not conceding, just accepting the stalemate.   Assange still faces other charges if he leaves the embassy:  from England, for failing to appear in court;  and then he would face extradition to the US, where he is under investigation regarding the classified documents released on Wikileaks.

6.  The girls'  soccer team AEM Lleida in Spain has won the league championship in an otherwise all-male, junior division.   Yeah!    You go, girls.

7.  Anti-LGBTQ Republican legislators in Texas are stealthily introducing amendments to must-pass legislation, in the late days of the session, that would allow doctors, nurses, and pharmacists to discriminate in providing services that are contrary to their own personal religious beliefs.   In contrast, Oregon has passed a provision for a third option for sex on drivers licenses and other state issued ID's.  One can opt for "male," "female," or "non-binary."   The only objection from any legislators was over the cost of reprogramming, not the idea itself.

8.  Hillary Clinton's long-time aide, Huma Abedin, has filed for divorce from disgraced husband Anthony Weiner, who has recently pleaded guilty to transferring obscene material to a minor.   His sentence, which could include years in jail, will be decided in September.

9.  Nearly 150 students and family members walked out when Vice President Mike Pence began his commencement address at Notre Dame University.   One wore a rainbow-colored cape, others had on rainbow colors -- in protest of the former Indiana governor's anti-gay policies and his infamous signing of the "religious freedom" (aka anti-gay discrimination) bill that was quickly modified when cancellations began to flood in from scheduled NCAA and concert events and from corporate and tourist sectors.

10.  Pippa Middleton, sister to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and sister-in-law to Prince William, was married on Sunday to hedge fund manager James Matthews.  Pippa's niece Princess Charlotte and nephew Prince George were in the wedding party.  Prince Harry and some other royal family members also attended.   It wasn't quite a royal wedding, but plenty of royal relatives in attendance made it seem so.   Pippa had made quite a hit with the media when she was the very photogenic younger sister at the Royal Wedding of William and Kate.

Check out the photo below of  the future Queen Catherine performing bridesmaid duties for her sister.  Shortly before, she had been shepherding Princess Charlotte and Prince George into their places as flower girl and pageboy.

                                   photo by Samir Hussein, via Getty Images
See, there's lots of news, even when Himself is away.


No comments:

Post a Comment