Tornado drops family photo 130 miles from home – National & International News – MON 13Dec2021

This beloved family photo was deposited 130 miles from home by tornados and fierce winds.

 

 

Tornado drops family photo 130 miles from home. CA governor vows assault weapon ban based on TX abortion law. North Korea seeks ‘peace’ amid reports of famine.

 

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Tornado death toll probably less than feared; old family photo dropped 130 miles from home

There’s some good (or at least ‘less terrible’) news after a cluster of tornados rampaged across 5 states this weekend. The total number of dead may be considerably less than feared.

Earlier this weekend, Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky said he believed the death toll from the storms in his state alone would be over 100. The largest contributor to this figure was the collapse of a candle factory, where authorities feared as many as 70 were dead. But it turns out that many of the workers who were initially unaccounted for had safely made their way home after the storm hit but had been unable to check in with anyone due to communication blackouts.

The total number of dead from the Mayfield Consumer Products factory now stands at 8 with 8 others unaccounted for. With that revised figure, Gov. Beshear said the number of dead in Kentucky might be as few as 50. There are about 14 total confirmed fatalities at this moment from the other states affected. At least 6 were killed in a partial collapse of an Amazon warehouse in Illinois.

The winds managed to carry an old family photo (pictured above) 130 miles from Dawson Springs, KY, to New Albany, IN, which is across the Ohio River from Louisville, KY. Katie Posten came out Saturday morning to find the photo deposited on the windshield of her car. She posted the photo, bearing the legend “Gertie Swatzell & J.D. Swatzell 1942” to social media in hopes of locating its owner. The post was shared widely and was eventually seen by a close relative of the owner. Posten plans to return the photo later this week. 

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Tables turn: CA governor vows assault weapon ban based on TX abortion law

One of the most talked about features of Texas’ recently passed law banning abortions after 6 weeks is its enforcement mechanism. The law, rather than have the state impose criminal penalties, “deputizes” private citizens from any state to bring lawsuits against anyone “aiding or abetting” an abortion in Texas after 6 weeks. Anyone who brings a successful suit collects a settlement of at last $10,000, with their legal fees paid by the defendant.

The structure of the law, experts say, is specifically designed to curtail a constitutional right in a way that thwarts judicial review. This is because even months after its passage, it’s unclear who to sue when challenging the law’s enforcement and validity. The Supreme Court has now twice cited this law’s “novel features” in decisions that neither struck down nor upheld the law, leaving thousands of Texan women and abortion provides in a legal limbo.

Now, California Gov. Gavin Newsom says his office will be using the Texas template to craft a similar law banning assault weapons in his state. Newsom’s office will work with the state’s legislature and attorney general to draft a law that would empower private citizens to sue “anyone who manufactures, distributes, or sells an assault weapon or ghost gun kit or parts in the State of California”.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

North Korea seeks “peace” amid reports of famine

For months, reports have been filtering out from North Korea (DPRK) of shortages of food and basic medicine. The famine creeping across the country has been compared to the “Arduous March”, a years-long famine in the 90s during which as many as 3.5 million North Koreans died. There are multiple reasons this could be happening now. For the last 2 years, DPRK has shut its doors more tightly to the outside world than usual to stave off a COVID outbreak. This has meant temporarily severing ties with China, DPRK’s only major ally and source of material and economic aid. Years of punishing sanctions the U.S. are also playing a role.

Against this backdrop, DPRK has been negotiating with South Korea and the U.S. seeking a formal end to the Korean War. The shooting war lasted from 1950 to 1953. But the hostilities ended with an armistice rather than a formal peace treaty. South Korean President Moon Jae-In, say the parties have agreed “in principle” to a peace treaty. But talks have not progressed much further than the principle agreement stage. This is because the North insists that the U.S. abandon its “hostile policy” towards them before the North makes any concessions. This likely refers to the economic sanction as well as battle drills with South Korea near North Korean waters.

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