Five in a Flash: October 11, 2017

Mike Blake / Reuters

In today’s news: California wildfires, Catalonia, Harvey Weinstein, Marsha Blackburn, Roger Goodell, and Apple not buying Google.


Northern California wildfires claim at least 15 lives as more than 100k acres burn (NBC News) – “Fierce wildfires whipping up nightmare conditions in Northern California have killed at least 15 people, destroyed more than 1,500 structures and turned wineries into charred wastelands. The death toll continued to climb Tuesday as fire crews battled at least 17 large fires, while more than 20,000 people in the paths of the fast-moving infernos fled their homes . . . Gov. Jerry Brown declared an emergency in the affected counties, which include Napa and Sonoma, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency agreed to the state’s request for federal funds to help the fires, the Department of Homeland Security said.”

Catalan president stops short of declaring independence (Washington Post) – “In a long-awaited speech, Catalan regional president Carles Puigdemont affirmed on Tuesday the right of Catalonia to be an independent country. But he notably stopped short of declaring the region an independent polity, calling for further dialogue with the Spanish government. By suspending the secession process, Puigdemont signaled an overture to critics and observers in Spain and across the European Union who feared the rise of separatism in the increasingly embattled 28-state bloc. He said that Catalonia’s conflict with Spain could be resolved in a rational way and suggested exploring international mediation as a possible solution. Earlier Tuesday, the Spanish government rejected any offer of negotiation.”

Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and others say Harvey Weinstein harassed them (NY Times) – “Several days ago, additional actresses began sharing with The Times on-the-record stories of casting-couch abuses. Their accounts hint at the sweep of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged harassment, targeting women on the way to stardom, those who had barely acted and others in between. Fantasies that the public eagerly watched onscreen, the women recounted, sometimes masked the dark experiences of those performing in them.”

Twitter reverses decision, will allow Blackburn to promote Senate ad (Politico) – “[Twitter] on Monday said a line in Blackburn’s video referencing ‘baby body parts’ was ‘inflammatory’ and violated its guidelines, a decision that Blackburn and other Republicans quickly criticized. Blackburn said Tuesday morning the company should apologize. A Twitter spokesperson said Tuesday: ‘Our ads policies strive to balance protecting our users from potentially distressing content while allowing our advertisers to communicate their messages. . . . While we initially determined that a small portion of the video used potentially inflammatory language, after reconsidering the ad in the context of the entire message, we believe that there is room to refine our policies around these issues.'”

Roger Goodell sends letter to NFL teams, wants players to stand during anthem (ESPN) – “The NFL has developed a plan to ‘move past’ its ongoing debate about player protests during the national anthem and could enact it next week, commissioner Roger Goodell wrote Tuesday in a letter to all 32 teams. Goodell made it clear in the letter . . . that he wants players to stand during the anthem. He did not provide specifics on how he intends to ensure it, but he wrote that it would ‘include such elements as an in-season platform to promote the work of our players on these core issues.’ The issue will be discussed, and likely acted upon, during the NFL’s regularly-scheduled fall meetings on Oct. 17-18.”


Dow Jones said that Google was buying Apple, and the bots bought it (TechCrunch) – “[Tuesday] morning Dow Jones shot some fake news out over the wires announcing that Google was acquiring Apple for $9 billion. For a brief second, the news sent Apple’s stock up about $2 to $158 per share. To the benefit of everyone’s morning, both stock prices quickly returned to normal. The story went something like this. Larry Page and Steve Jobs started discussing an acquisition back in 2010. Jobs outlined the plans in his will, which dictated the sale to close tomorrow. Google would get nine Apple shares for each Google share at a deal value of $9 billion. Insane to a human, logical to a bot.”


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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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