Happy Wednesday. You’ve probably been advised not to bite off more than you can chew. Unfortunately, a 4-year-old bullmastiff boxer mix from Cleveland, TX had heard no such warning – when his owner tried to feed him a slice of pumpkin pie, he gobbled down both the pie and the fork, later requiring surgery to remove the utensil from his stomach.
“Knowing what must be done does away with fear.”
– Rosa Parks
Race to the White House: 7th Democratic Debate
The seventh Democratic debate was held at Drake University in Iowa last night, and featured just six candidates – Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, and Tom Steyer. The candidates touched on a wide range of issues ahead of the Iowa caucus, including foreign policy, healthcare, and women in politics.
A deeper dive into…
Foreign Policy: Both Sanders and Warren emphasized the need to pull out of the Middle East, while Biden cautioned against letting ISIS come back in the region. Both Klobuchar and Buttigieg said they were opposed to a conflict with Iran.
Healthcare: While Warren is a co-sponsor of Sanders’ current Medicare for All bill in Congress, the two candidates have separate plans for how to pay for it and what the transition process would look like. Check out a breakdown of each candidate’s stance on the issue.
Women in Politics: A CNN report late Monday claimed that in a private meeting in December 2018, Sanders told Warren he did not believe a woman could be president. Sanders repeated his denial of the report last night, while Warren pointed out that the two women on the debate stage were the only ones never to have lost an election.
What’s next? The Iowa caucus – the first presidential nominating contest in 2020 – is scheduled for Feb. 3. Next up will be the eighth Democratic debate on Feb. 7 in New Hampshire, followed by the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 11.
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Chemical Explosion in Spain
An explosion at a chemical plant near Tarragona, Spain has reportedly killed at least one person and injured eight others. Officials have said the explosion was likely the result of a chemical accident, and confirmed that no toxic substances have been released as a result.
In a statement released Monday night, Apple disputed Attorney General William Barr’s claim that they failed to provide “substantive assistance” in unlocking two iPhones used by a suspect in the Pensacola Navy base shooting. The company said it had provided gigabytes of relevant information to the FBI, but reiterated a refusal to provide the U.S. government with a backdoor into the phones.
Britain, France, and Germany have formally accused Iran of breaking the terms of the JCPOA nuclear agreement Iran signed with six other countries in 2015 (which the U.S. withdrew from in 2018). Iran announced earlier this month that its nuclear program would no longer abide by any operational restrictions imposed by the JCPOA.
On Monday, Boeing said both new orders and deliveries for 2019 had fallen to their lowest point in over a decade as a result of the global grounding of their 737 MAX line. The Chicago-based plane maker delivered 380 aircraft over the past year (compared to 863 deliveries by rival Airbus) and brought in new orders for just 246 commercial jets in 2019, compared to 333 cancellations.
Yesterday, Amazon announced they have ended their temporary ban on FedEx’s Ground and Home services for Prime shipments from third-party sellers using their website. An Amazon spokesperson said the reinstatement was because FedEx had been consistently meeting Amazon’s on-time delivery requirements with their service.
Cracking the Code
As first reported by the Washington Post ($), in recent weeks Microsoft has patched a major vulnerability in its Windows operating system that was brought to their attention by the NSA. The software giant said it had not seen active exploitation of the flaw before it was patched.
Kris Rotunda met his trusty dog and best friend Jordan at a Tampa animal shelter when she was three years old. After Jordan passed away at the age of 14, Kris made a promise that he’d give back to other animals who lived in shelters, as Jordan herself once had. He started his nonprofit organization, Jordan’s Way, because he found that many shelters lack the resources required to give animals the food and care they need.
Kris raises money for Jordan’s Way by performing athletic stunts to attract media attention to his efforts – as a bodybuilder, he has accomplished awe-inspiring feats for the cause, including pulling a 250 lb. tire for 100 miles in New York’s Central Park over the course of nine days. Last week, Kris spent 10 nights in shelter cages, and posted his experience on social media in order to raise money and awareness for shelter animals. Jordan’s legacy lives on in Kris, who repays his best friend for her love and loyalty by paying it forward to other animals in need.
For the past six years, the sleepy village of Blackhall Colliery in County Durham, UK has had a mystery on its hands. Anonymous good Samaritans were leaving wads of cash on the streets for passersby in need, each one meticulously hand-rolled and amounting to more than $2,000. But the mystery was solved last week, when two benefactors stepped forward and claimed responsibility for the good deed, telling local authorities they’d routinely left the cash to be used by those who were down on their luck.
The mysterious benefactors chose locations with populations they thought could use the money, targeting the elderly and those with lower income. Although the generous strangers wish to remain anonymous, they claim their motivation was to give a small boost to anyone who had fallen on hard times, and that they expected no favor or credit in return. Though relatively small to them, the strangers’ generosity was a grand gesture to those in need, proving that love and kindness exist all around us if we just look for it.
According to Vietnam’s Tuoi Tre News, about 40 percent of the ~95 million people in Vietnam share the last name of ‘Nguyen.’ The name has periodically either been forced upon the public by the rule of law, or adopted voluntarily for various reasons throughout history.