Five in a Flash – September 6, 2017

Alvin Baez / Reuters

In today’s news: Hurricane Irma, Syrian civil war, Sheriff Clarke, sign stealing, Ezekiel Elliott, and the Zika virus.


Puerto Rico and tiny islands in Hurricane Irma’s path fear for the worst (Washington Post) – “Irma is predicted to become the strongest hurricane on record to hit the Leeward Islands, a band of territories and commonwealths stretching southeast from Puerto Rico. At 5 a.m. Wednesday, as the National Hurricane Center declared it ‘potentially catastrophic,’ the tropical cyclone was barreling toward the Leewards’ northernmost islands. Irma’s eye passed over Barbuda around 1:47 a.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.”

Syrian government forces used chemical weapons more than two dozen times (Reuters) – “Syrian forces have used chemical weapons more than two dozen times during the country’s civil war, including in April’s deadly attack on Khan Sheikhoun, U.N. war crimes investigators said on Wednesday. A government warplane dropped sarin on the town in Idlib province, killing more than 80 civilians, the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria said, in the most conclusive findings to date from investigations into chemical weapons attacks during the conflict.”

Sheriff Clarke was in talks for a Trump White House job – then John Kelly killed it (The Daily Beast) – “. . . Clarke had been in consideration for a White House post over the past seven weeks. But on Tuesday, the controversial former Milwaukee County lawman signed on with an outside group instead. He will serve as a spokesman and ‘senior adviser’ for the pro-Trump super PAC America First Action. Four sources working in and close to the Trump White House said his failure to land a gig in the West Wing or at the Department of Homeland Security, where Clarke unsuccessfully sought a job earlier this year, was in large part the result of opposition from White House chief of staff John Kelly.”

Red Sox used Apple Watches to help steal signs against Yankees (NY Times) – “The Yankees, who had long been suspicious of the Red Sox’ stealing catchers’ signs in Fenway Park, contended the video [of a recent Red Sox-Yankees game] showed a member of the Red Sox training staff looking at his Apple Watch in the dugout. The trainer then relayed a message to other players in the dugout, who, in turn, would signal teammates on the field about the type of pitch that was about to be thrown, according to the people familiar with the case.”

Ezekiel Elliott’s 6-game ban upheld, will play vs. Giants ( – “An arbitrator upheld Ezekiel Elliott’s entire six-game NFL suspension after denying his appeal on Tuesday, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. Although the suspension was upheld, the NFL is allowing the Dallas Cowboys running back to play Sunday against the New York Giants due to the timing of the decision, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported. Arbitrator Harold Henderson’s decision comes after last week’s three-day appeal hearing that included sworn testimony from Elliott regarding domestic violence accusations made against him last year. The NFL suspended Elliott last month for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.”


Zika virus used to treat aggressive brain cancer (BBC) – “Until now, Zika has been seen only as a global health threat – not a remedy. But latest research shows the virus can selectively infect and kill hard-to-treat cancerous cells in adult brains. Zika injections shrank aggressive tumours in fully grown mice, yet left other brain cells unscathed. Human trials are still a way off, but experts believe Zika virus could potentially be injected into the brain at the same time as surgery to remove life-threatening tumours, the Journal of Experimental Medicine reports.”


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Connor Mighell is a third-year law student at the University of Alabama School of Law with an undergraduate degree in Political Philosophy from Baylor University. He is a contributor at Merion West and the curator of "Five in a Flash," a weekday newsletter. His work has been featured at The Federalist, SB Nation, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Hill, The Dallas Morning News, and The New Americana.

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