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Friday, August 29, 2014

Good Morning, News!

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Fri, Aug 29, 2014 at 9:19 AM

VLADIMIR PUTIN IS LAUGHING AT YOU. The Russian leader is deflecting from the obviousness of his technical invasion of Ukraine by comparing the Ukrainian government soldiers to Nazis, insisting that no one can tell the difference between Russians and Ukrainians anyway, and also, for good measure, threatening to spread his war with the West into the Arctic.

A dozen Americans, maybe fewer, are believed to have traveled to the Middle East and joined up alongside ISIS, according to intelligence and police agencies who fret the militant group—because of its swaggering and territory-conquering ways—has become more popular and just as dangerous as Al-Qaida.

Remember terror alerts? Britain still has them, and they've raised their threat level in light of all this ISIS business.

The Gaza cease-fire may yet crumble into the rubble of disappointment. Hamas is refusing calls from not only Israel—but also some pro-Palestinian world powers—that it disarm itself and lead the demilitarization of the tiny strip it controls.

Ebola has jumped to another West African country, its fifth, after a case was confirmed for the first time in Senegal. Meanwhile, scientists have figured out that all of the cases in one of those other afflicted countries, Sierra Leone, all seem to have come from one funeral—a rare and terrifying "super spreader" event. They've also learned that the West African strain of Ebola is different from the one from Central Africa that's most famous.

Google has revealed its increasingly un-casual dalliance with the world of delivery drones, like Amazon. It's been experimenting in Australia, using aerial devices to drop chocolate bars on farmers.

Democrats finally seem to be figuring out that the investigative furor over Benghazi—which has seen two different Republican-led House committees (reluctantly) clear the Obama administration—has long since stopped being about Obama. Benghazi is now about Hillary Clinton. And yes, you already knew that.

A bill defining consent during sex was approved by California's Legislature. It's pretty simple. It amounts to actually saying "yes," instead of not saying "no." Colleges who receive state funding will need to apply that to their sexual assault policies if Governor Jerry Brown signs it.

Today's Portland-relevant depression: "The rising demand for, and tight supply of, apartments means landlords can now afford to be more exacting in their standards, if not outright aggressive in replacing renters with those who can pay more. In the second quarter of this year, the rental vacancy rate sunk to its lowest in almost 20 years, while rents, in inflation-adjusted dollars, remained close to their peak. Some advocates for tenants said that court filings were just the tip of the iceberg — many renters have been displaced by rising rents, threatening letters, one-time payoffs and condo conversions, without ever going to court."

I'M ALL OF OUT FAITH. THIS IS HOW I FEEL.

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