Wednesday, September 27, 2017

West Nile virus is here, White House says "No!" to Puerto Rico, morning headlines

Posted on Wed, Sep 27, 2017 at 8:59 AM


The power of the pen

Washington poet laureate Tod Marshall, a Spokane native, took a metaphorical knee in a Seattle Times column, ripping President Trump for his continuing attacks on NFL players exercising their First Amendment rights.

Another one bites the (coal) dust
The Washington State Department of Ecology denied a crucial water quality permit to a massive coal terminal in Longview that would result in 16 trains a day through Spokane.

In search of solutions
Spokane City Council wanted your solutions to homelessness: Here they are.


West Nile virus is here
click to enlarge Two cases of mosquito-spead West Nile virus have been reported in Spokane County.
  • Two cases of mosquito-spead West Nile virus have been reported in Spokane County.

The first instances of West Nile virus have been reported in Washington — specifically, two cases in Spokane County. The disease is commonly spread through mosquito bites. (Spokane Public Radio)
• From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: What you need to know about West Nile virus.

White House says "No!" to Puerto Rico
Despite requests from members of Congress, the Trump administration refused to waive nearly century-old shipping restrictions in order to get much-needed fuel and supplies to the 3.4 million Americans on hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, citing the island's damaged ports. (The Hill)
• The "very big ocean" between the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico is no excuse for the lack of aid to the island, one week after it was struck by Hurricane Maria. (Washington Post)
• The New York Times examines the Jones Act, which bans shipping between coasts by any but U.S.-flagged vessels and was intended to make Alaska dependent on Seattle; it was named after its sponsor, a four-term Washington senator who died in office.

Moore wins in Alabama
Roy Moore, the "Ten Commandments Judge" who has twice been removed from the bench  and has stated that "homosexual conduct should be illegal," won Alabama's GOP Senate runoff, defeating current Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to succeed longtime Sen. Jeff Sessions — now Attorney General — earlier this year. (Washington Post)
• In a state where President Trump won 62 percent of the vote last November, his support was no help to Strange, whose loss set the stage for a GOP civil war. (Washington Post)
• Trump, not known to delete his tweets, did just that last night after Strange lost. (The Hill)

DEA head to step down
Reportedly "dismayed" by President Trump's lack of respect for the law, Chuck Rosenberg, acting head of the Drug Enforcement Agency and a former federal prosecutor, will resign by the end of the week. (New York Times)
• Rosenberg was no friend of cannabis and those who used it, both recreationally and medicinally, but his replacement could be far more hostile. (Leafly)

Disloyalty oath at Interior?
In a speech before the National Petroleum Council, President Trump's Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a former Montana congressman, asserted that 30 percent of Interior Department personnel are disloyal to President Trump and promised "huge" changes in the department. (Washington Post)

Trump invokes Tillman
Former Arizona Cardinals safety and Army Corporal Pat Tillman, who was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004, has become the latest partisan symbol in the battle over NFL players who kneel during the national anthem after to one of Trump's most recent tweets; his widow, Marie, isn't happy about it. (New York Times)

How 20th-century of them
Saudi Arabia's King Salman issued a decree that the kingdom would, for the first time, lift a ban on allowing women to drive. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world to forbid women from driving; women who drive in public risk being arrested and fined. (BBC)

Twice the inanity
Twitter announced plans to test doubling the text limit of a post on its service, from 140 to 280 characters. (New York Times)
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