List the usual suspects. The scientist in charge of Iran’s nuclear program is dead, the country’s Defense Ministry announced, “assassinated by terrorists.” While it’s unknown who ambushed Mohsen Fakhrizadeh 44 miles east of Tehran in a bomb and gun attack, Iran's foreign minister blamed Israel, which reportedly gunned down al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader on a Tehran street Aug 7. An adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to “strike as thunder at the killers of this oppressed martyr.” The action comes after unconfirmed reports of a clandestine summit between Israel and Iran’s other regional foe, Saudi Arabia.
“Voters, not lawyers.” That’s who should be choosing the next president, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals opined in a Friday ruling against President Donald Trump’s suit to stop certification of Pennsylvania ballot totals. It’s the latest of many seemingly futile maneuvers to overturn results that denied him reelection, but this week Trump did say he’d leave the White House if the Electoral College decides for Democratic President-elect Joe Biden. Trump hasn’t conceded, though, and clings to hopes that vague, unsupported declarations of fraud will sway a conservative Supreme Court with three of his appointees.
While Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine awaits approval from the Food and Drug Administration, a global supply chain is taking shape. United Airlines began charter flights yesterday to position supplies of the inoculations, which must remain deeply frozen, where they can quickly be distributed. It’s the nearest to approval of many immunizations being developed, with a Moderna vaccine close behind, while an easier-to-ship AstraZeneca/Oxford University shot wrestles with doubts about its efficacy. But months remain before widespread availability, and even then issues over who gets priority and who’s willing to be vaccinated will remain.
It could be the ultimate gift wrapping for Donald Trump’s waning presidency: a Supreme Court laden with his appointees deciding on immigration, his signature issue. On Monday government lawyers will ask justices to permit the exclusion of undocumented immigrants from census counts. If the high court agrees, it will not only negate migrants’ numbers from population tallies but also decrease representation in Congress of areas with large undocumented communities. That means fewer Democrat-controlled legislative seats on all levels. Such a decision, which would also affect federal funding, would change two centuries of precedent counting “residents” and not just “citizens.”
Stephen King, eat your heart out. You’ve probably heard of the mutant coronavirus strain that’s spread via Danish mink farms, forcing the slaughter of 5 million of the silky-furred critters. If that didn’t make people feel bad enough, the mink have come back to haunt the guilty: Denmark’s agriculture minister has resigned and hasty burial has resulted in the bloated corpses popping up, zombie-style. Remaining agriculture officials plan to dig the bodies up and burn them, hoping to put the zombiemink, as the local press calls them, down once and for all.
It’s the free market answer to free tuition — an idea that sputtered with Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid. And income share agreements aren’t even new. Bill Clinton ISA’ed his way through Yale. Students sign away part of their future salaries, which can even become financial products, with investors betting grads will get good jobs and pay off even more than their education was worth. Sometimes, ISAs are cash cows for dubious programs that milk paychecks even from dropouts, leading experts to advise students to learn what caveat emptor means before signing up.
They’re as cute as a toxic button. Little kids have always discovered the world around them by ingesting anything small enough to put into their mouths. While coins remain No. 1 on that list, batteries have exploded into second place, with hospital admissions for battery eating multiplying 150 times from 1995 to 2015, OZY reports. The culprit? Experts suspect it’s the proliferation of button batteries in toys and other devices. So, parents, teach your children to avoid these hazards, and most of all, if the kids are out of your sight, the electronics should be out of theirs.
It sounds fishy, but that’s an illusion. Emulating Beyond Meat and the creators of McPlant, modern-day food alchemists are turning vegetable matter into convincing crab, tuna and shrimp substitutes. Sure, you’ve had fake crab legs, but those are made with fish whose habitats are harvested to the breaking point — sometimes with slave labor. But Big Seafood may have met its match: The faux fish industry, including firms like Good Catch, has grown 29 percent in two years from almost nothing to take its place in major U.S. supermarkets. So now you can get your shrimp on and still sleep at night.
Is it the old GOAT vs. the GOAT of seasons yet to come? Few would scoff at calling Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady the greatest of all time. But after winning six Super Bowls and leaving New England and coach Bill Belichick, many believe his time has passed. Now reigning Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs have a phenom in Patrick Mahomes, who has a chance to even his 1-2 record against Brady on Sunday. And while many would count Brady out, Mahomes isn’t one of them, saying, “I don’t know if I’m on his level yet.”