Israel retaliates, strikes Iran: In a response to Iran's strike on Israel last weekend, which was in itself a response to an Israel attack on an Iranian diplomatic compound in Syria earlier this month, Israel launched a drone attack against a military base and nuclear site near the city of Isfahan. Israel's allies urged against this retaliation. Now, more world leaders are calling for both Iran and Israel to chill out, take some deep breaths, and not vault this thing into another all-out war in the region. 

Israel also sent drones to southern Syria: However, the drones caused only material damage. 

Meanwhile, on Friday, the Group of Seven foreign ministers chastised Iran for its attack on Israel earlier this week and dangled a threat of new sanctions.

US rejects Palestine from joining UN: A resolution to admit Palestine into the United Nations failed after the US vetoed it and the United Kingdom and Switzerland abstained from voting. Twelve other nations voted in favor of the resolution. While the resolution failed, the support Palestine received shows how many nations in the world recognize their statehood. 

Columbia students stage "Gaza Solidarity Encampment" on campus: In a peaceful protest calling for "divestment of genocide," students set up tents and occupied the South Lawn. Columbia's president called for police to remove the students as their actions violated university rules and polices around trespassing. On Thursday, police arrested more than 108 protesters, including Rep. Ilhan Omar's daughter, Isra Hirsi. Here's a scene from the protest last night:

More headaches for West Seattle commuters: West Seattle's lower swing bridge will close to traffic—yes, even for pedestrians and drivers—for nine days as crews "move the span’s control tower cables," according to the Seattle Times. This is part of a planned multiyear renovation program for the low bridge to modernize "moving parts and underwater footings." The low bridge will close at 6 am on April 20 and reopen after 5 am on April 29. 

Finally, some good news: The Everett bikini baristas can don their bikinis again after the city council voted unanimously to change the city dress code that required the baristas to wear at a minimum shorts and a tank top. With this vote, a 15-year battle between prudes in Everett and the bikini barista stands comes to a close. Part of what ushered this conflict toward a resolution was an October 2022 ruling by a US District Court judge that found the city's dress code restrictions on the bikini baristas unconstitutional. So, now Everett can again finally enjoy their coffee with a side of semi-clothed ass 'n' titties, as god intended. 

Bittersweet weather news: Today will be the warmest day for the next week. Cherish it while you can. 

A Trump trial update: The historic criminal hush-money trial now has its 12 jurors. On Friday, the court will continue selecting alternates. Opening arguments should start next week. 

Jan 6 lawsuits can go forward: On Thursday, Trump lost his bid to pause a slew of civil cases blaming him for inciting the Jan 6 insurrection. A US District judge denied the defense's request to pause the civil cases while other his other more criminal lawsuits (like the criminal case concerning his conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election results) play out. 

UW Husky pleads not guilty to rape: Football player Tylin “Tybo” Rogers has been charged with second- and third-degree rape for the alleged sexual assault of two women. Both women—one a Seattle Central College student, the other a University of Washington student—outlined separate, disconnected incidents where Rogers violently assaulted them despite their continued pleas for him to stop. Rogers, a sophomore running back on the UW football team, pleaded not guilty. 

Bird flu could jump to humans: The World Health Organization is extremely concerned about the H5N1 bird flu spreading to humans. The outbreak, which originally started back in 2020 when it killed millions of poultry. In the years since, the disease has spread to mammals and, most recently, jumped to infecting goats and domestic cattle in the US. Scientists were surprised by this most recent development, according to The Guardian, since "they were not thought susceptible to this type of influenza." If humans do contract bird flu, the biggest fear is that the disease will evolve to spread from human to human. Historically, when humans have contracted bird flu, it was due to human contact with animals. The WHO warned of the  “extraordinarily high” mortality rate since humans have no immunity to the virus.

You just cannot make it up: Louisiana lawmakers are so committed to helping bottom lines that they're slashing workplace benefits and lunch breaks for—wait for it—child laborers. A House committee voted to repeal a law requiring employees give their child workers lunch breaks and unemployment benefits. Don't worry, the lawmakers also cut benefits for laboring adults in Louisiana, too, with other legislation. 

The rent is too damn high: And, in Seattle, it keeps getting higher. According to the Seattle Times' FYI Guy, in the past 12 months, 64% of Seattle rents saw their rent increase. For 54% of those people, the rent went up by at at least $100.  

A song for your Friday: I cannot care less that Taylor Swift released another album of middling songs and I cannot in good faith recommend anything from that despite how topical it is, so I will just leave you with this Beyoncé song I keep listening to and everyone else keeps listening to: