Waking up to a new political reality 

Monday 09.24.18

The reviews are in: The latest iPhone is a winner, but is it really worth running out and replacing your current phone? Here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

By AJ Willingham
Brett Kavanaugh
Brett Kavanaugh's nomination just got more complicated. After days of uncertainty, lawyers for Christine Blasey Ford confirmed yesterday that she will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in an open hearing on Thursday regarding her allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. Ford's camp has not been pleased with how the committee has handled the possibility of Ford's appearance -- they say the committee put undue pressure on the timing of her appearance, and "important procedural and logistical issues remain unresolved." Ford also asked that the FBI investigate the matter, which will not happen, and no additional witnesses will currently be called before the committee
Iran terror attack
It's still not clear who is responsible for a terror attack that killed 29 people at a military parade in Iran over the weekend. Iran is blaming Saudi Arabia for allegedly supporting perpetrators of the attack, and the US for allegedly provoking and providing materials to attackers. To make things even more complicated, ISIS shared a video the day after the attack claiming to show three of the four alleged attackers, but none of them said they were actually working for ISIS. 
India healthcare
The Prime Minister of India has launched the world's biggest health care program, with the rollout of free coverage for an estimated half a billion of India's poorest citizens. Narendra Modi said his plan -- which is being dubbed "Modicare" -- will cover an estimated 100 million "poor and vulnerable" families to the tune of 500,000 rupees ($7,800) in hospital costs per year. While some are hopeful the plan improves the quality of life for India's poorest citizens, critics say the announcement was timed to elicit a boost ahead of national elections early next year, and questioned Modi's ability to deliver on his promise.
The Maldives is adjusting to a new political reality today after surprising results from a highly anticipated presidential election this weekend. The country's president, Abdulla Yameen, appears to have been beaten out by his opposition, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. This is critical to the Maldivan people because of Yameen's controversial rule. Yameen came to power in 2013 in a disputed election that opponents say was rigged. Since then, he has been accused of eroding democracy, cracking down on dissent and jailing opposition leaders. Earlier this year, the country was plunged into a political crisis when Yameen defied a Supreme Court ruling to reinstall opposition members of parliament and release political prisoners.
The bizarre series of cases involving needles in strawberries has now spread from Australia to New Zealand. A major New Zealand supermarket chain is removing Australian-brand Choice strawberries from shelves across the country after needles were found in a container from Western Australia purchased in Auckland. The Countdown supermarket chain said the move is a "precautionary measure," and the chain is working with Australian authorities.

If you think it all sounds a little ridiculous, the Prime Minister of Australia has some STRONG words for whoever's behind the needling. "It's not a joke. It's not funny. You're putting the livelihoods of hardworking Australians at risk and you're scaring children," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said last week. "You're a coward and you're a grub, and if you do that sort of thing in this country, we will come after you."
The latest death toll in last week's ferry disaster in Tanzania. We may never know how many people actually died in the capsizing, since there was no record of the total number of passengers. 

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Tiger Woods won a PGA Tour event for the first time since 2013 
"Wow, Tiger Woods is still playing?!" -- Everyone who doesn't follow golf

Two-headed copperhead found in Virginia 
Which means you gotta run twice as fast and say "nope!' twice as much. 

Meghan Markle hid something meaningful in her wedding veil
And it wasn't a granola bar, which seems like a wasted opportunity

A congressional candidate got six of his opponent's siblings to be in a political ad against their brother 
The word "awkward" was made for moments like these

Amazon wants its Alexa voice assistant to be everywhere
Just remember to be polite to it. When the robot uprisings come, you'll be the last to go


Sometimes, life gives you lemons. Sometimes, it gives you bananas. And sometimes, it gives you something you'd never expect!

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, after discovering $18 million in cocaine hidden in a shipment of bananas. 
Wooo pretty...
Not quite ready for the week yet? Just hypnotize yourself with this painting technique and you'll be all good to go. (Click here to view)

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