His PR team is sweating. YANA PASKOVA/GETTY IMAGES
The interim SPD chief has fired eight officers for misconduct since taking the position: But he hasn’t fired anyone for the use of excessive force. Last week, SPD Chief Adrian Diaz overturned the Office of Police Accountability’s findings that SPD should discipline an SPD officer who used excessive force during the notorious pink umbrella incident last June. In that update, Diaz listed each officer he’d fired since taking over the role of chief in the fall of 2020. According to a new report from Publicola, Diaz keeps these fired officers’ badges in a box on his desk. Are they… trophies? He fired the officers for being dishonest or displaying biased policing. Based on what he says in this piece, Diaz views those transgressions as more significant transgressions than excessive use of force.
The Bill Gates tea is hot: Here comes the drama. Earlier this month, Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates announced they were divorcing. We’re starting to figure out what exactly the trouble in multi-billion-dollar paradise was. According to a New York Times report: Gates had a history of making advances on women at work, he defended a colleague who allegedly sexually assaulted a woman, and he hung out with Jeffrey Epstein quite a bit. These behaviors reportedly made French Gates, who has used her platform to advocate for female empowerment, deeply uncomfortable. She put the wheels in motion to divorce Gates after the Times reported in 2019 on his relationship with Epstein.
The Daily Beast went deeper on Gates’s relationship with Epstein: Gates “enjoyed holding court” at Epstein’s townhouse, visiting far more than previous reports show. Epstein apparently even offered Gates advice on Gates’s “toxic marriage.” He enjoyed the exclusive “men’s club” atmosphere at the sex trafficker’s home. This “irritated Melinda.” Gates’s PR team refutes all of this.
Israel’s just… tweeting through it: This morning, Matt gave you a rundown on the most recent horrors in the conflict between Palestine and Israel. I’m here to give you something else. In a bizarre PR strategy, the country of Israel’s official Twitter account started tweeting out hundreds of rocket emojis in a tweet thread.
— Israel ישראל (@Israel) May 17, 2021
Israel ended its thread with some perspective, claiming that those emojis represent the number of rockets Hamas has shot at Israeli citizens. Twitter users jumped on Israel for the propaganda, replying with stats of Israel’s killings. One user sent a tweet filled with baby emojis representing how many Palestinian children Israel had killed. Israel also has a Tik Tok. The most recent video on there shames the supermodel Bella Hadid for sharing pro-Palestine messages on Instagram.
Just to give you all some perspective, these👆are the total amount of rockets shot at Israeli civilians. Each one of these rockets is meant to kill. #IsraelUnderAttack
— Israel ישראל (@Israel) May 17, 2021
Meanwhile, Biden approved a weapons sale to Israel: According to The Hill, the Biden administration just signed off on a $735 million sale of precision-guided weapons to Israel. Later on Monday, during a call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Biden called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
In case Instagram infographics aren’t teaching you enough about the conflict: Try this 10-minute video from John Oliver on Last Week Tonight:
Abortion rights under fire yet again: Well, the good news is that Mississippi’s new idiotic state law that won’t allow a woman to abort a fetus after 15 weeks is under review. The bad news is the Supreme Court—which has three Trump appointees on it—will be making the decision. Lower state courts previously rejected Mississippi’s law for violating a Supreme Court precedent that allows all abortions before a fetus can survive outside the womb. Still, given the makeup of this court, reproductive rights activists are ringing alarm bells. The decision probably won’t come until 2022, but it’s never too early to feel so angry you might throw up.
Get a jab and some Dick’s at the University of Washington’s pop-up vaccine clinic today and tomorrow.
@UW is hosting a walk-in vaccine clinic in Madrona Hall. Everyone who gets vaccinated will receive a Dick’s burger! Open today until 3:30 p.m. & tomorrow 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Thank you @DicksDriveIns, @SeattleChamber, @businesshealthtrust & Safeway for making this possible! pic.twitter.com/p8v2aLU3TP
— UW Government & Community Relations (@UWGOV) May 17, 2021
Ariane Grande is married: The singer married real-estate agent Dalton Gomez at her home in Montecito, California this weekend.
Don’t want E. coli? Throw away the Pure Eire Dairy yogurt you bought from PCC Community Markets and you should be good. Those yogurt products from the Othello-based company are the likely source of an E. coli outbreak coursing through multiple Washington state counties.
Texas scraps pandemic unemployment benefits: Gov. Greg Abbott is ending the $300 weekly unemployment supplements from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program. Abbott said that Texas’s economy is booming and that the state has more jobs now than it did the month before the pandemic hit in 2020. The pandemic unemployment benefits will stop for Texans on June 26.
King County Equity Now calls on Seattle to invest $300 million from the federal American Relief Plan Act (ARPA) directly into local Black-led organizations and Black communities. Seattle School Board District Director Brandon Hersey said in the press conference that “we need to keep our black community at the forefront of our mind hearts and budgets” and that “the opportunity gap has almost certainly widened during covid.” He cited how Jeff Bezos’s and Elon Musk’s wealth has grown tenfold during the pandemic. “Soon it will be easier for folks to buy a ticket to the moon than it will be for black families to buy a home,” Hersey said. “If we do not take this opportunity before us right now then we are complicit in that truth.” The Seattle City Council will meet tomorrow to discuss how to spend ARPA funds.
You could get a free drink because of your shot: The Washington Liquor Control Board just allowed liquor license holders to give away a free beer, glass of wine, or cocktail with proof of vaccination.
Crime app accuses the wrong guy of starting LA fire: Citizen, the phone app that sends users real-time location-based safety alerts (so like Next Door but somehow way worse?), sent out a notice on Saturday alerting Los Angeles residents of an arson suspect in the Topanga Canyon/Pacific Palisades fire that broke out this weekend. The app sent a man’s picture and advertised a $30,000 reward for him to all of its users—more than 860,000 LA residents. Only Citizen didn’t substantiate the claim that the man in the photo was actually an arson suspect. Police contacted him, interviewed him briefly, and didn’t have enough evidence to detain him.
Hosts of the broadcast are repeating unsubstantiated “tips” as facts and asking people to “hunt this guy down”. One of the tips just played out in air as being a lie. The hosts are flummoxed but continue the broadcast.
— Cerise Castle (@cerisecastle) May 16, 2021
A path toward street cafe permanence? The Seattle City Council unanimously approved free permitting changes for restaurant street cafe seating through May 31, 2022. Councilmember Dan Strauss indicated that he would like to see street cafes, which the city allowed to help restaurants during the pandemic, become a permanent change in a post-COVID Seattle.
Fully vaxxed Target and CVS patrons can raw dog the air: The retailers dropped their mask mandates in response to Centers for Disease Control masking guidance for fully vaccinated people. However, Target stores will comply with whatever the local jurisdiction’s masking policy is. Costco, Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Starbucks previously announced updated masking rules for vaccinated customers.
Seattle and King County may reevaluate masking guidance, too: Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) will give an update this week on the indoor mask mandate.
Public Health – Seattle & King County is considering whether ending the indoor mask mandate is the best option in King County at this time and if additional guidance or clarification is needed. We will provide an update later this week.
— Public Health – Seattle & King County (@KCPubHealth) May 17, 2021
Wait… : But Dr. Jeff Duchin, a health officer for PHSKC, said he “strongly recommends” that everyone keeps wearing their masks indoors.
I strongly encourage all KC residents (not just unvaccinated people) to continue wearing face masks when in indoor public spaces & strongly encourage KC businesses to continue their policies to ensure all customers & workers wear masks when in indoor public spaces. https://t.co/8KdPoQZjgq
— Jeffrey Duchin, MD (@DocJeffD) May 17, 2021
Elon take the wheel: A Tesla on autopilot crashed into a Snohomish County deputy’s patrol car in Lake Stevens. No one was hurt.
Shrimp heist on Capitol Hill: