Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Saying prayers for the Queen of Soul

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Tuesday 8.14.18

Ready to make a move? Maybe this list of the world's most liveable cities will introduce you to your new home. Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

By Doug Criss
Peter Strzok
Peter Strzok's out of the FBI, and his attorney's not happy about how it all went down. Strzok, now a former FBI agent, made headlines after his anti-Trump tweets went public. He was pulled off the Russia investigation because of them. Aitan Goelman, Strzok's attorney, said an agreement was in place to suspend his client for 60 days, but then FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich went ahead and fired him. Goelman said the decision was driven by politics; the FBI denies this. Of course, President Trump was thrilled about the firing and gloated about it on, what else, Twitter. He called Strzok a "total fraud" and used this as yet another opportunity to whack the Russia investigation.

It's primary day in Connecticut, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Vermont. Wisconsin is the headliner of those four, with all eyes on the Democratic gubernatorial primary there. It's a wide open race, with the winner facing off against incumbent GOP Gov. Scott Walker in the fall. And he looks vulnerable. A recent poll actually shows Walker trailing state education Superintendent Tony Evers, the current front-runner in the Democratic primary. The contests in Wisconsin and Minnesota kick off the Democrats' effort to capitalize on Donald Trump's unpopularity and retake control in Midwestern battlegrounds they once dominated.
Migrant crisis

There's another ship of full of migrants stranded in the Mediterranean, and once again nations in the region are squabbling over what to do about it. The ship, a search-and-rescue vessel named the Aquarius, picked up 141 migrants late last week off the coast of Libya. Included in the group are dozens of children and two pregnant women. Malta and Italy refused to let the ship dock. Italy said it wouldn't assume responsibility for the migrants because the Aquarius sails under the flag of Gibraltar, a British territory. So now Gibraltar has moved to strip the Aquarius of its registration, but it's unclear if that will change Italy's stance.

The Aquarius, which is operated by the charities SOS Méditerranée and Doctors Without Borders, was also briefly stranded back in June with 630 migrants aboard while Italy, Malta and France fought over which country would take them in. Spain finally agreed to accept the migrants, and the diplomatic tussle revealed just how fractured Europe is in this crisis.

China's hitting back against claims it has imprisoned more than a million Uyghur Muslims in camps. A group out of Germany called the World Uyghur Congress told a United Nations committee that the Muslims were being held -- and tortured -- in political indoctrination camps. China said that's "completely untrue," but added that some people convicted of minor offenses had been sent to "vocational educational and employment training centers." For months, China has reportedly been cracking down on Muslim residents in its far-western province of Xinjiang.

China is dealing with issues in Hong Kong, too. That's where Andy Chan, a pro-independence activist, said in a speech that Hong Kong was being "colonized" by the Chinese like it was once colonized by the British. Chan's speech was met with protests by pro-China groups and government attempts to censor it.
Aretha Franklin

The Queen of Soul is in hospice care. That devastating news was shared with CNN's Don Lemon by a source close to Aretha Franklin, who is being cared for at her home. The 76-year-old musical icon's health had deteriorated in recent years, and she appeared frail in photos, but she kept her struggles private. Although she announced last year she would stop touring, she was still booking concerts. Her last known performance was at a private gala for the Elton John AIDS Foundation last November. Franklin's contributions to music are almost immeasurable, and many say the singer of such classics as "Respect" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" is quite simply the greatest voice they've ever heard.

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.

Too much of a good thing
Easter Island may be way off the beaten path, but it still attracts a ton of tourists. So much so that the island is limiting tourism to save itself.

Wet wedding
The day of "I do's" brought flooding too, but police in New Jersey helped a bride escape the floodwaters that threatened her big day.

Hair-raising reboot
Remember Melissa Joan Hart as the bubbly "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" back in the day? Well forget about that. The new "Sabrina" reboot is downright scary.

Quelle horreur!
Folks in Paris are ready to storm the Bastille over open air urinals that have been installed in a few locations to combat public urination.
Headed to court
Michael Drejka, who shot and killed a man during a dispute over a parking space in Florida, has been charged with manslaughter. He'll make a court appearance this afternoon in the controversial "stand your ground" case.
Car crash
A car crashed into security barriers outside the British Parliament this morning, injuring two people. The driver has been detained.
Office chatter
Don't feel awkward enough around the office? Then let this list of Michael Scott's best "misquotes" from "The Office" give you some ideas. (Click to view)

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