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Jamal Khashoggi case: Saudis defy ‘threats’ over missing writer

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Media captionJamal Khashoggi: What we know about the journalist’s disappearance

Saudi Arabia rejects political and economic “threats” over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a source quoted by state news agency SPA says.

The country would respond to any punitive action “with a bigger one”, the unnamed senior source said.

Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, vanished on 2 October after visiting its consulate in Istanbul.

US President Donald Trump said he would “punish” Saudi Arabia if it were found responsible for killing him.

The authorities in Istanbul believe Mr Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate by Saudi agents – claims Riyadh has dismissed as “lies”.

Britain and the US are considering boycotting a major international conference in Saudi Arabia this month.

What is the latest from the Saudis?

The source quoted by SPA said: “The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats or attempts to undermine it whether through threats to impose economic sanctions or the use of political pressure.

“The kingdom also affirms that it will respond to any action with a bigger one. The Saudi economy has vital and influential roles for the global economy.”

The Saudis have come under considerable international pressure over the disappearance.

Diplomatic sources told the BBC’s James Landale that both US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox might not attend next month’s investment conference in Riyadh, which has been dubbed “Davos in the Desert”.

The event is being hosted by the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to promote his reform agenda. Several sponsors and media groups have decided to pull out.

A joint statement of condemnation, if it is confirmed that Mr Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents, is also being discussed by US and European diplomats.

What has Mr Trump said?

The president has said the US will inflict “severe punishment” if Saudi Arabia is found to be responsible for the death of Mr Khashoggi.

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Media captionDonald Trump says he’d be very angry if Saudi Arabia ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

He said he would be “very upset and angry if that were the case”, but ruled out halting big military contracts.

“I think we’d be punishing ourselves if we did that,” he said. “If they don’t buy it from us, they’re going to buy it from Russia or… China.”

Where is the investigation now?

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevut Cavusoglu said Saudi Arabia had not so far co-operated with the investigation – despite a statement from Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz saying his nation wanted to uncover “the whole truth”.

Mr Cavusoglu has urged the kingdom to allow Turkish officials to enter the consulate.

Saudi share reaction

On Sunday, stocks on the Tadawul All-Shares Index plummeted 7% in early trading, wiping out all the gains made this year, before recovering slightly around noon.

In two sessions it lost $50bn (£38bn) of its $450bn capitalisation, AFP news agency reported.

Salah Shamma, of Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity, told Reuters: “The market is reacting negatively to sentiment around the Khashoggi case.”

What is alleged to have happened in Istanbul?

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Media captionCCTV footage shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

A Turkish security source has told the BBC that officials had audio and video evidence proving Mr Khashoggi, who wrote for the Washington Post, was murdered inside the consulate.

Reports suggest an assault and struggle took place in the consulate after Mr Khashoggi entered the building to get paperwork for a marriage.

Turkish sources allege he was killed by a 15-strong team of Saudi agents.

Turkish TV has broadcast CCTV footage of the moment Mr Khashoggi walked into the consulate.

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Media captionSecretary General Antonio Guterres told the BBC’s Kamal Ahmed “we need to know exactly what has happened”

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Nepal storm kills several climbers in Himalayan peak Gurja

An ice avalanche is shooting down an icy rock slope Image copyright Frank Bienewald/Getty
Image caption Nepal is home to eight of the world’s 14 highest peaks

At least eight climbers died when a violent snowstorm destroyed their camp on a Himalayan peak in western Nepal.

A five-member South Korean expedition team and four Nepali guides were at the base camp of Mount Gurja when the storm struck, police said on Saturday.

A rescue helicopter at the scene confirmed seeing eight bodies in the ruins of the camp, but was unable to stay due to bad weather conditions.

The ninth climber has yet to be found but is feared dead.

“Five South Korean climbers are dead, three Nepalese nationals are also dead. One Nepali guide is missing,” police spokesman Sailesh Thapa told the BBC.

Image copyright AFP/Getty
Image caption Kim Chang-ho has won awards for his mountaineering efforts

Local media report that South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho, the fastest person to summit the world’s 14 highest mountains without using supplemental oxygen, is among the dead.

“The camp was completely destroyed,” the BBC heard from Myagdi district official Liladhar Adhikari. “[A recovery team] could see the bodies of the climbers scattered near the camp.”

He said another recovery team would be sent on Sunday, weather conditions permitting.

Expedition organisers raised the alarm after losing contact with the group, which set off on 7 October, for nearly 24 hours.

The climbers had been waiting for a window of good weather so they could reach the summit, when the storm hit Friday.

The base camp, which is at least one-day’s trek from the nearest village, is at 3,500m (11,483ft), on the 7,193m-high mountain.

The rarely-climbed Mount Gurja sits in Nepal’s Annapurna region, next to avalanche-prone Dhaulagiri, the world’s seventh highest mountain.

According to the Himalayan Database, no-one has stood on Gurja’s summit since 1996.

Only 30 people have successfully climbed to its peak compared with more the than 8,000 people who have reached the summit of the world’s highest mountain, Everest.

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Influences

I’m way too angry to do this point form, so we’re breaking out the old panel by panel analysis!

Panel One: I know I’ve been saying it out loud for about a week or so now, but I’m still amazed she just out and said it’s about Sal making them look like bad parents. Because you two sure had nothing to do with your own bargain basement bin low quality parenting, did you, Linda? Charles also doesn’t really seem all that concerned where she was or what she was doing, so I’m giving that a point too. I won’t give him one for being concerned she’s smoking though. That’s reasonable. Fuck you, Walkerton Parents Count: 3

Panel Two: And we all know what she means by that too. I wonder if Marcie would be a ‘bad influence’ if she were middle class and her parents were documented immigrants? Actually, nah, I think Linda’d still have ‘a bad feeling’ anyways. Regardless, I’m giving that a count because fuck off, Marcie’s stable and came out of her childhood, so far as we’ve seen, with considerably fewer issues than Sal has. Fuck you count: 4.

Panel 3: I love Sal. So much. Calling out her mom on her hypocrisy (yeah, I know, she SHOULD be worried her preteen/young teen is smoking so young, but she hasn’t said shit about her age, just that she smokes, so I’m calling hypocrite) and pointing out where that influence came from. I’m also appreciating that piece of info that Marcie did not in fact smoke yet. Interesting. I wonder when she took that up? Fuck you count: 5 for hypocrisy.

Panel 4: Fuck off. Marcie hasn’t done anything wrong so far as we can tell and Linda has no good reason to ban her from seeing Marcie except Marcie is poor and brown and Sal’s finally having enough of her mother’s bullshit so Linda’s blaming her friend. Count: 8 because all three of those reasons piss me off.

And you go, baby Sal for defending your friend.

Panel 5: Linda, this might shock you, but even if Marcie’s parents ARE shit, she cannot help that. She doesn’t get to decide where they live either because she is 12-13. And yeah, she probably hangs around with kids who live in her low income area, so clearly she’s co-signing everything they say and do even though we know she objects when her friends do things that make her uncomfortable or upset or she thinks are wrong.

And frankly? I’m not convinced her parents are shit. Bare minimum, they took her side when she was being bullied (even though they couldn’t help her much). More than you did, you fucking hellbeast. Better parents than YOU is the dictionary definition of damning with faint praise though, so I won’t waste too much time insulting the Diazes, you piece of shit.

Also, even if the kids in her neighbourhood ARE awful, Marcie pretty clearly prefers Sal. So I dunno what Linda’s Wannabe Perfect Upper Middle Class Suburban Americana ass is whining about. Fuck you count: 13.

Panel 6: Again, I’m so so proud of Sal here. She deserved better parents. Yeah, I see you there not saying anything about the bullshit your wife’s spewing, Charles, so I’m giving you a count too. Fuck you count: 14.

Panel 7: And yeah, totally dismissing Sal’s concerns about how she’s treated and belittling/ignoring her. Who wants to bet she’s done this before? Fuck you count: 15.

Holy fucking shit, I hate these two and I really wish Sal had better fucking parents.

Dumbing of Age

Hurricane Michael leaves ‘unimaginable destruction’

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Media captionAerial footage shows the destruction in Mexico Beach, Florida

Hurricane Michael left “unimaginable destruction” as it ploughed into coastal areas of Florida, the state’s governor, Rick Scott says.

“So many lives have been changed forever,” he said. “So many families have lost everything.”

The worst hit areas of Florida’s northwest coast saw houses ripped from their foundations, trees felled, and power lines strewn across streets.

Hurricane Michael struck on Wednesday with winds of 155mph (250km/h).

It weakened to a storm as it moved inland towards the north-east, but at least six people have died, most of them in Florida.

More than 370,000 people in Florida were ordered to evacuate but officials believe many ignored the warning.

Governor Scott said the US Coast Guard carried out 10 missions overnight, saving at least 27 people.

Which areas are worst affected?

Michael ploughed into Florida’s Panhandle coast near the town of Mexico Beach at 14:00 (18:00 GMT) on Wednesday, one of the strongest storms to ever hit the US mainland.

Ranked four on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale and with a storm surge of 9ft (2.7m), it lifted homes from their foundations and heavily damaged others in districts closest to the sea in Mexico Beach, CNN helicopter footage showed.

Twenty survivors were found in the town overnight, AP reports, but 285 had refused to obey warnings to evacuate.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mexico Beach saw widespread destruction

Head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Brock Long, called Mexico Beach “ground zero” due to the damage.

Trees were downed in Panama City, northwest of Mexico Beach, buildings flattened, boats and electrical cables scattered.

Apalachicola, with 2,300 residents, was also badly affected, the mayor reporting that downed cables were making it difficult to get through the town.

Debris and floodwater are also making some of the worst-hit areas difficult to reach.

Governor Scott urged residents not to return until the authorities “make sure things are safe”, given the danger from power lines and other debris.


Silence and sun

By Gary O’Donoghue, BBC News, Mexico Beach, Florida

One of the first things you notice as you walk into Mexico Beach is the stillness.

No wind, almost no-one on the street, just the beating hot Sun and the debris: debris everywhere, tossed and scattered – the calling card of a monstrous storm.

And then you hear faint bleeping sounds coming from all directions – a dissonant symphony of high-pitched notes that turn out to be myriad small alarms, still transmitting their warnings from the batteries which power them.

On the left, as we walk, there’s a mattress slumped at the roadside, on the right a Dean Koontz novel lies in the dirt.

Picking our way through a mass of rubble and detritus that was once a house, we spot an American flag on the ground; in amongst it all there is also a toy car and a cracked glass plate from a microwave.

A little further on, and a woman, accompanied by a friend, is sifting through the remains of her home, loading what she can salvage into the boot of a car. This was her dream retirement place she tells me – the last four years spent doing it up. “I’ll never step back in there,” she says through her tears.

The sheer force of Hurricane Michael has been well analysed, but it’s only when you see the everyday stuff of people’s lives crushed, broken, smashed to pieces, that you realise they will be living with this long after we have gone.

Who are the victims?

Six deaths have been confirmed – four in Florida, one in Georgia and one in North Carolina.

Florida officials say one man died when he was crushed in an incident involving a tree in Gadsden County.

In Seminole County, Georgia, a metal car-shelter lifted by a gust of wind hit a mobile home, killing a girl of 11.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Residents of Mexico Beach have returned to find homes heavily damaged

Travis Brooks, director of Seminole County’s emergency management agency, told ABC News there was “complete and total devastation”.

Michael earlier reportedly killed at least 13 people as it passed through Central America: six in Honduras, four in Nicaragua and three in El Salvador.

Winds have knocked out power to more than 900,000 homes and businesses across Florida, Alabama, the Carolinas and Georgia.

Around 6,000 are thought to have sought refuge in official shelters, mainly in Florida.

What is the storm doing now?

With reduced winds of 50mph, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Michael has moved north-east crossing Georgia and is now bringing heavy rain to North Carolina and Virginia.

The NHC warned that communities in north-west Florida and North Carolina faced the threat of life-threatening flooding as rising water moved inland from the coast.

The Carolinas are still recovering from the floods of Hurricane Florence.

States of emergency have been declared in all or parts of Florida, Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina.

And further north, in Virginia 202,000 people are without power, officials said.

Hurricanes

A guide to the world’s deadliest storms

Hurricanes are violent storms that can bring devastation to coastal areas, threatening lives, homes and businesses.

Hurricanes develop from thunderstorms, fuelled by warm, moist air as they cross sub-tropical waters.
Warm air rises into the storm.

Air swirls in to fill the low pressure in the storm, sucking air in and upwards, reinforcing the low pressure.

The storm rotates due to the spin of the earth and energy from the warm ocean increases wind speeds as it builds.

When winds reach 119km/h (74mph), it is known as a hurricane – in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific – or a typhoon in the Western Pacific.

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. Well, we’re about to get punched in the face.”
Florida Mayor Bob Buckhorn, ahead of Hurricane Irma (2017)

The central eye of calmer weather is surrounded by a wall of rainstorms.
This eyewall has the fastest winds below it and violent currents of air rising through it.

A mound of water piles up below the eye which is unleashed as the storm reaches land.
These storm surges can cause more damage from flooding than the winds.

“Urgent warning about the rapid rise of water on the SW FL coast with the passage of #Irma’s eye. MOVE AWAY FROM THE WATER!”
Tweet from the National Hurricane Center

The size of hurricanes is mainly measured by the Saffir-Simpson scale – other scales are used in Asia Pacific and Australia.

Winds 119-153km/h
Some minor flooding, little structural damage.
Storm surge +1.2m-1.5m

Winds 154-177km/h
Roofs and trees could be damaged.
Storm surge +1.8m-2.4m

Winds 178-208km/h
Houses suffer damage, severe flooding
Storm surge +2.7m-3.7m

Hurricane Sandy (2012) caused $71bn damage in the Caribbean and New York

Winds 209-251km/h
Some roofs destroyed and major structural damage to houses.
Storm surge +4m-5.5m

Hurricane Ike (2008) hit Caribbean islands and Louisiana and was blamed for at least 195 deaths

Winds 252km/h+
Serious damage to buildings, severe flooding further inland.
Storm surge +5.5m

Hurricane Irma (2017) caused devastation in Caribbean islands, leaving thousands homeless

“For everyone thinking they can ride this storm out, I have news for you: that will be one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your life.”
Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin ahead of Hurricane Gustav, 2008

Click arrow to proceed

Loading …

Swipe to progress


Are you in the area? If you’ve been affected by Hurricane Michael and it’s safe to share your experiences, please email [email protected].

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

source

Storm Michael: Record-breaking ‘hell’ storm mauls US

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Media captionDevastation as Michael makes landfall

The third-strongest storm in recorded history to hit the mainland US has battered north-west Florida, flooding beach towns and snapping trees.

Hurricane Michael made landfall on Wednesday afternoon as a category four storm with 155mph (250km/h) winds in the state’s Panhandle region.

Two people, including a child, were killed by falling trees, officials say.

Michael was downgraded to a tropical storm as it weakened over Georgia on its way to the Carolinas.

Storm-surge warnings are in place between Panama City Beach and Keaton Beach in Florida, and between Ocracoke Inlet and Duck in North Carolina, the US National Hurricane Center says.

There are fears for people who ignored evacuation warnings in some of the areas now flooded.

Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses were left without electricity in Florida, Alabama and Georgia.

Florida officials said a man was killed when he was crushed by a tree in Gadsden County while a child died when a tree fell on a home in Seminole County, Georgia, CBS news reports.

Michael earlier reportedly killed at least 13 people as it passed through Central America: six in Honduras, four in Nicaragua and three in El Salvador.

How powerful was Michael when it hit?

Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, at around 14:00 (18:00 GMT) on Wednesday.

Only the unnamed Labor Day hurricane, which hit Florida in 1935, and Hurricane Camille, which struck Mississippi in 1969, made landfall with greater intensity.

The Labor Day storm’s barometric pressure (the lower the number, the stronger the storm) was 892 millibars and Camille’s was 900, while Michael blew in with 919.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Trailer homes were ravaged in Panama City, Florida

Michael was so powerful as it swept into Florida that it remained a hurricane as it moved further inland.

Its rapid intensification caught many by surprise, although the storm later weakened.

Unusually warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico turbo-charged the storm from a tropical depression on Sunday.

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Media captionHurricane Michael strikes Florida

Only on Tuesday it was a category two hurricane but by Wednesday morning it had reached borderline category five, the highest level.

How badly was Florida hit?

More than 370,000 people in Florida were ordered to evacuate but officials believe many ignored the warning.

The coastal city of Apalachicola reported a storm surge of nearly 8ft (2.5m).

“There are so many downed power lines and trees that it’s almost impossible to get through the city,” local mayor Van Johnson was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.

Images from Mexico Beach show many homes submerged in water, and there was severe damage to buildings in the state’s Panama City area.

“We are catching some hell,” Timothy Thomas, who rode out the storm with his wife in their home in Panama City, told the Associated Press news agency.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption This McDonald’s sign was twisted by the storm in Panama City Beach

The storm knocked out power to a quarter of a million homes and businesses, as power lines were smashed by falling trees.

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Media captionHurricane Michael as seen from space

Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Brock Long said at the White House that he was especially concerned about buildings constructed before 2001, and not able to withstand such high winds.

“We just hope those structures can hold up,” President Donald Trump responded. “And if not, that they’re not in those structures.”

Hurricanes

A guide to the world’s deadliest storms

Hurricanes are violent storms that can bring devastation to coastal areas, threatening lives, homes and businesses.

Hurricanes develop from thunderstorms, fuelled by warm, moist air as they cross sub-tropical waters.
Warm air rises into the storm.

Air swirls in to fill the low pressure in the storm, sucking air in and upwards, reinforcing the low pressure.

The storm rotates due to the spin of the earth and energy from the warm ocean increases wind speeds as it builds.

When winds reach 119km/h (74mph), it is known as a hurricane – in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific – or a typhoon in the Western Pacific.

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face. Well, we’re about to get punched in the face.”
Florida Mayor Bob Buckhorn, ahead of Hurricane Irma (2017)

The central eye of calmer weather is surrounded by a wall of rainstorms.
This eyewall has the fastest winds below it and violent currents of air rising through it.

A mound of water piles up below the eye which is unleashed as the storm reaches land.
These storm surges can cause more damage from flooding than the winds.

“Urgent warning about the rapid rise of water on the SW FL coast with the passage of #Irma’s eye. MOVE AWAY FROM THE WATER!”
Tweet from the National Hurricane Center

The size of hurricanes is mainly measured by the Saffir-Simpson scale – other scales are used in Asia Pacific and Australia.

Winds 119-153km/h
Some minor flooding, little structural damage.
Storm surge +1.2m-1.5m

Winds 154-177km/h
Roofs and trees could be damaged.
Storm surge +1.8m-2.4m

Winds 178-208km/h
Houses suffer damage, severe flooding
Storm surge +2.7m-3.7m

Hurricane Sandy (2012) caused $71bn damage in the Caribbean and New York

Winds 209-251km/h
Some roofs destroyed and major structural damage to houses.
Storm surge +4m-5.5m

Hurricane Ike (2008) hit Caribbean islands and Louisiana and was blamed for at least 195 deaths

Winds 252km/h+
Serious damage to buildings, severe flooding further inland.
Storm surge +5.5m

Hurricane Irma (2017) caused devastation in Caribbean islands, leaving thousands homeless

“For everyone thinking they can ride this storm out, I have news for you: that will be one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your life.”
Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin ahead of Hurricane Gustav, 2008

Click arrow to proceed

Loading …

Swipe to progress

States of emergency have been declared in all or parts of Florida, Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina.

Schools and state offices in the area are to remain shut this week and Florida has activated 3,500 National Guard troops.

What happens next?

As of early Thursday morning local time, the storm winds had dropped to 60mph, the NHC said.

It warned that communities in north-west Florida and North Carolina faced the threat of life-threatening flooding as rising water moved inland from the coast.

The Carolinas are still recovering from the floods of Hurricane Florence.


Are you in the affected region? What preparations have you made? If it is safe to do so, please get in touch. Email [email protected].

Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

source

Asher

So many notes!

– Sal, Marcie’s known you since you were five. She knows where this is going – straight off a cliff.

– It’s sweet Marcie doesn’t seem to blame Sal for what happened, although she seems to have more realistic expectations for her situation (and as such may not appreciate those comments – or, at least, not believe them).

– Sal’s face in that last panel. She’s BREAKING ME guys.

– Sal’s still clinging to that hope of this being temporary. Thanks a LOT, Charles.

– Shit. Sal’s smoking already? Oww. That can seriously mess you up. It can take up to 15 years to reverse damage done by cigarettes. I found that out googling health benefits for quitting for a story (and kinda felt pretty good about making my parents quit 18 years ago).

– I’m not quite sure what Marcie would mean. That Sal doesn’t smoke and Marcie wouldn’t approve? If so, why did Marcie take up smoking? Does it mean she already smokes? Did she meant Sal doesn’t chill?

– This Asher kid worries me. Sal’s said before she and Marcie have bad taste in people, other than each other, so I’m worrying we’re going to see this.

*clapping meme* Let. Sal. Have. Friends.

Just. Not. This. One.

Dumbing of Age

Louisville Voter Guide Takes It Up A Notch Locally

Louisville Voter Guides have in the past left something to be desired.  The official state guide at govoteky.com only gets a voter to register and understandably it leaves out most of the candidate information.

Louisville voters guide

Sean Delahanty’s campaign site similarly must remain neutral as a judge must remain nonpartisan but his voter guide includes candidates website links when available, and a side by side tweeter comparison for the Louisville Metro Mayor‘s race.  This adds a more rich experience to visitors looking for more than just a piece of the puzzle.

Local Election Coverage

The Complete Voter Guide as it is termed on the site aims to form a puzzle from all of the pieces of other sites.  Jefferson County Clerk’s site provides precinct and voter statistics, the Kentucky Secretary of State’s site provides voter information lookup capabilities and various mapping sites provide legislative districts for State House, State Senate, Metro Council Districts and suburban cities.

What District Am I In?

When Louisville merged with Jefferson County decades ago it did a secular thing in leaving all of the other cities in the county in tact.  This means that in addition to Louisville election districts the same voters may have additional cities and districts to vote upon.  The cities of Shively, St. Matthews and Jeffersonville are the largest of these examples.  Some cities barely cover a couple blocks such as Stratford Manor.  The voter guide at Sean Delahanty’s site provides a Louisville Neighborhoods and Districts map to aid voters in those regards.

Metro Council Districts Map
Metro Council Districts map in voter guide

Comparatively other voter guides are actually used in the voter guide such as Vote411.org and Ballotpedia.

Election Polling and Statistics

Its an interesting collection of info and insights that Louisville voters don’t usually see in local elections.  Polling is almost nonexistent at this level but the voter guide still makes an attempt with their polling for entertainment purposes.  The site’s inclusion of crime data for the last ten years is also unique as it divides incidents by category and zip code.

Its a good guide from a nonpartisan candidates campaign.

Alphabet

Do you want to support me on Patreon but don’t like Patreon and wish you could support me in some other-but-similar way, possibly a way that currently has fewer features and perks than Patreon and is still in beta?  Then I have a Drip!  Drip is like Patreon, but by the Kickstarter folks!  And there’s just two days (one?) left to join my Drip and be forever labeled a “Founding Member.”  What does being a Founding Member entail?  I don’t know!  I think it’s just a title to make you feel special.

I’m really good at selling this, you guys, you have no idea of the level of my craft!

Dumbing of Age

Value

To me, the issue with Walky’s joke/honestly I actually read it as him sincerely asking her for money was that Sal was clearly concerned at the time. Note here that Sal DOESN’T buy it because she feels so guilty (and probably feels guilty about thinking of spending money on Frivolous Things when Marcie Needs Her, which is its own brand of ‘kiddo NO.’)

Walky wasn’t displaying any concern for Marcie at all – hell, he came off as asking ‘if you only get $250 can we spend it on snacks since it won’t cover the bills anyway?’ Walky never mentions Marcie at all. That’s pretty insensitive given she’s Sal’s best friend. Not surprising given Walky and their supremely fucked sibling relationship, but still insensitive as hell.

That said, while Walky was being pretty bratty, the people I really blame for this are the elder Walkertons, for all the reasons outlined yesterday and upthread. This burden should never have fallen on the 12-year-old. The Walkertons have extremely influential contacts who could be convinced to raise this money with a very small amount of PR spin. The Walkertons could help contribute to the ambulance bill and it would almost certainly strain their finances less than it would the Diazes. The Walkertons could, at the very least, spearhead a town fundraiser on Marcie’s behalf and almost certainly raise more than $250 in the process. They are not. And if they aren’t willing to help, then Charles telling Sal exactly how much the ambulance costs contributes nothing to the situation except piling on more guilt for Sal.

If the Diazes had told Sal that information, it wouldn’t be great (again, way more than any 12-year-old can do anything about or emotionally handle,) but at least they would be doing so because their daughter is hurt, they can’t pay for her expenses, and people do not always react well under that stress. (The GoFundMe amount probably did come from them, but without knowing anything about Marcie’s parents but a lot about Sal, my guess is Sal was insisting on helping raise the money and they agreed to the crowdfunding because it can’t hurt and might help the clearly traumatized kid feel less powerless. We also don’t know who set the page up, for that matter – the way Walky phrased things last strip made me think Sal, but it’s at least as likely to be the Diazes and Sal just latched onto it. In which case, being frank about what they need on the page is totally the right call and they’re NOT expecting Sal to shoulder all this.)

But the Walkertons are supposed to be on their daughter’s side. They’re supposed to be looking out for Sal. And part of that is not letting a kid take so much on her shoulders, and keeping her from blaming herself, and telling her the best thing she can do for Marcie isn’t to worry about money or medical treatments, it’s to be there and be her friend and do nice things for each other while she’s going through something tough. They did not do any of this. Charles actively made the situation worse. So yeah, they suck.

Dumbing of Age

Trump apologises to Kavanaugh over ‘unfair’ treatment

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Media captionBrett Kavanaugh spoke of his record of promoting women

President Donald Trump has apologised to his new Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh for what he described as a “campaign of lies” during the confirmation hearings.

He was referring to the acrimonious debate over Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination, after sexual assault allegations were made against him.

Mr Kavanaugh said he was not bitter despite the “contentious” confirmation.

He has denied the claims made by several women.

The judge was confirmed by the Senate on Saturday, in a 50-48 vote that largely followed party lines.

It is seen as a major victory for President Trump, tilting the balance in the nation’s highest court in favour of conservatives for years to come.

One of the women accusing the judge, Prof Christine Blasey Ford, said Mr Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a house party in 1982 when they were high school students.

She provided testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee and Mr Trump initially called her a “compelling” witness – but he later questioned her credibility and mocked her at a rally.

What did Mr Trump highlight?

As the White House ceremony got under way on Monday, Mr Trump said: “On behalf of our nation, I want to apologise to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure.”

And he decried a “campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception”, adding that “under historic scrutiny”, he had been “proven innocent”.

Last week, the FBI completed a report on sexual misconduct allegations against Mr Kavanaugh – but the findings have not been released to the public.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionTrump: “The main base of the Democrats have shifted so far left we’ll end up being Venezuela.”

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionDonald Trump’s nominee has been embroiled in a bitter battle over sexual assault allegations.

Prof Ford has been unable to move back home because of “unending” death threats, according to one of her lawyers.

Mr Trump says Democrats will lose in the 6 November congressional elections, which will shape the remainder of his presidency.

What did Justice Kavanaugh tell the ceremony?

The 53-year-old justice told the White House gathering that he would not let the “bitter” confirmation process affect his work on the highest court in the land.

“The Senate confirmation process was contentious and emotional,” Justice Kavanaugh said.

“That process is over. My focus now is to be the best justice I can be,” he added.

Without mentioning the sexual assault allegations, he touted his record of promoting women – and the fact he has become the first justice to have an all-female staff.

He will take his seat on Tuesday – on the far right of the bench, next to Justice Elena Kagan – hearing immigration and other cases.

Who wants Mr Kavanaugh impeached?

A handful of Democratic lawmakers, including congressmen Luis Gutierrez of Illinois and Ted Lieu of California, have pressed for Justice Kavanaugh’s removal over the allegations.

But top Democrat Nancy Pelosi has said trying to impeach the new justice “would not be my plan”.

A petition to impeach Justice Kavanaugh has more than 150,000 signatures.

Ms Pelosi says she will file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to make public the confidential FBI investigation into the claims against Justice Kavanaugh.

Justice Kavanaugh also faces more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints over his public statements as a nominee to the Supreme Court.

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