First felony sentencing for insurrectioner: Paul Hodgkins, 38, is the Florida man who stormed the Capitol and waved a Trump 2020 flag on the Senate floor during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Hodgkins will go to jail for eight months for obstruction of an official proceeding. The sentence is significantly lower than the 15 to 21 month recommended sentence. At the sentencing, the judge said, "It was an assault on the Capitol and it was an assault on Democracy. It left a stain that will remain on us and on our country for years to come."
U.S. gymnast tests positive for COVID-19: Ahead of the Olympics this week, Kara Eaker, 18, an alternate for the U.S. women's gymnastics team tested positive for the coronavirus. Eaker and her fellow alternate, Leanne Wong, have been placed in isolation following Eaker's positive test result.
Canada will open its borders to fully vaxxed Americans starting on Aug. 9. The rest of the world can enter Canada with their vaccine proof on Sept. 7. Fully vaccinated visitors will not have to do a 14-day quarantine upon entry, Canadian officials said. Unvaccinated kids traveling with vaccinated parents also won't have to quarantine, but they can't participate in group activities.
An outbreak in Vancouver, Washington: Fourteen people including patients and staff at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center have tested positive for COVID-19. Only five of the confirmed cases occurred in unvaccinated people. However, only the unvaccinated people are showing symptoms.
Weather today: No smoke in the forecast. Yet.
Sunny & flirting with 80 today.
And the beat goes on.
— Seattle Weather Blog (@KSeattleWeather) July 19, 2021
Israeli spyware firm allegedly used Amazon's services to surveil journalists, politicians, and activists. Amazon cut off services to NSO Group after reports circulated this past weekend about how the group's malware, Pegasus, has been used by multiple governments to target devices worldwide. Amazon's CloudFront service apparently played a big role in these malware attacks. Amazon condemned the attacks and acted swiftly, though Gizmodo reports that the tech giant stayed mum on similar reports about its tech being used in malware attacks last year.
Fugitive gives away her location: The Tulsa Police Department in Oklahoma posted a photo of Lorraine Graves, a suspect charged with accessory to murder, on Facebook as part of their weekly "most wanted" series. Graves herself then left a comment asking about the reward money for her arrest. Police tracked her down and arrested her the next day.
Robots have rhythm now I absolutely abhor everything in this uncanny video of horrors. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but with a robot dog doing the mashed potato on a bed of human skulls.
Imagine what AI powered machines will be able to do in the next 5-10 years.
Boston Dynamics machines flawlessly and soulfully dancing in rhythm. pic.twitter.com/1PHmurRo1k
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) July 17, 2021
Now over to Stranger staffer Rich Smith with a little election PAC update.
New PACs on the scene: A PAC called Fuse Votes and another called SEIU 775 Quality Care Committee are raising and spending money on behalf of local candidates. The leaders of progressive organization Fuse Washington run Fuse Votes, and so far SEIU 775's $15,000 accounts for the PAC's largest contribution. Fuse endorsed Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda and Port of Seattle candidate Hamdi Mohamed, so money could end up in both of their pots, but it looks like the most recent action relates to the mayoral race; the SEIU PAC paid the Fuse PAC $10,000 in digital ads for Lorena González. In other PAC news, the pro-Colleen Echohawk PAC brought in $25,000 from commercial developers and sports executives. Professional rich guy Nick Hanauer dropped $25,000 into the pro-Jessyn Farrell PAC. Meanwhile, the pro-Bruce Harrell PAC is enjoying a steady stream of large contributions from real estate brokers and investors.
Wild pigs are contributing to the climate crisis: When wild pigs scavenge for food, they churn up the soil with their pesky hooves, releasing the carbon dioxide trapped within the dirt into the atmosphere. Scientists recently conducted a global study to see how much of a problem these pigs were worldwide. They found that pigs churning soil across the world accounts for more carbon emissions than over a million cars.
Speaking of nuisance pigs: U.S. parents say that the incredibly popular British children's show Peppa Pig has made their children speak in British accents. Linguists aren't so sure about the claims, but American parents insist that their toddlers have gone posh.
Whoops: A Philadelphia bakery made a cake for the Philadelphia police department. The bakery used a clip art stock photo of the Philly police shield for the cake decorations. Instead of the motto "honor, service, integrity" on the shield, the version the bakery used said "coffee, donuts, corruption."
A Philadelphia woman was stunned when she received this cake from The Bakery House in Bryn Mawr. She got the cake for her friend’s 25th anniversary @PhillyPolice. Bakery shop says they are mortified and it was an honest mistake and have nothing but respect for our officers @6abc pic.twitter.com/SRTlJxhCnH
— Jaclyn Lee (@JaclynLeeTV) July 19, 2021
Texas Democrats contract COVID-19: Five of the Texas Democratic legislators who fled the state to delay a vote on a suite of voter suppression bills have contracted COVID-19. All of them were vaccinated. The lawmakers fled to D.C. where they met with Vice President Kamala Harris and her staff. Her office said Harris wasn't in close contact with any of the Texas Dems who now have COVID-19.
Pediatricians recommend kids mask-up in school: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children—regardless of vaccination status—wear masks when returning to school this fall.
The Blue Origin team is ready for launch: Jeff Bezos, his brother Mark, 18-year-old high school grad Oliver Daemen, and aviation legend Wally Funk are all going to pile into a spaceship tomorrow. Not to be superficial, but why is Jeff wearing those ugly-ass boots into space? Oh. Is it a "space cowboy" thing?
Do you think they'll listen to this song on repeat as they ascend?