A payback for a predator, crunch time for climate change and a blow to the ISIS money machine. It’s Friday, and here are the five things you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.
Payback for a predator: For months, Oklahoma City cop Daniel Holtzclaw preyed on poor, black women whom he stopped for traffic violations. He raped and sodomized them, prosecutors said. He picked them based on their criminal histories, figuring their drug or prostitution records would make them unsympathetic witnesses if they ever came forward. Yesterday, karma came back to bite him. A jury found Holtzclaw guilty of 18 of the 36 charges against him. It was his 29th birthday. Jurors want him put away for 263 years.
Tick tock tick talk: It’s crunch time at the big climate change confab in Paris where the world needs to come up with a plan to cut carbon pollution. Noble goal, but try getting 195 countries to agree on anything. Already, the deadline’s been pushed back from today until tomorrow. Still hopes are high. But China, the world’s biggest polluter, could always throw a monkey wrench.
SAN BERNARDINO SHOOTING
Friends in low places: The couple behind the San Bernardino attack flew under the radar for years, but they weren’t flying alone. The hubby’s circle of associates included a group busted in 2012 for trying to join al Qaeda. One member, Sohiel Kabir, was especially noxious, recruiting and radicalizing others. (He’s doing time now.) Yesterday, we also learned that divers were searching a small lake — likely looking for the hard drive from the couple’s computer. (A handy roundup of the latest in the case is here).
Badge blues: Has there ever been a time when police shootings were under such scrutiny? In Louisiana, two cops were indicted on murder charges yesterday. They’re accused of killing a 6-year-old boy when they unloaded 18 rounds into his father’s car after a police pursuit. Out in California, protesters want the San Francisco police chief’s head on a platter after three cell phone videos showed a sea of officers gunning down a man with a knife.
How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb:
The U.N.: It’s time to haul North Korea to court for human rights abuses.
North Korea: Nuh-uh. Have you noticed we’ve got a hydrogen bomb?
Experts: Nah. They’re just saying that to improve their bargaining hand.
Experts: But we can’t be sure. Everything’s clouded in such secrecy there.
But wait, there’s more …
Four people were killed when a medical chopper carrying a patient crashed in California … Honduran soccer player Arnold Peralta was shot dead at a shopping mall while on vacation but no one knows why … The ISIS money machine was dealt a blow when its finance minister was killed in a U.S. airstrike … And New Zealand is this close to picking a new national flag.
People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.
Quote of the day: “A Christmas miracle”
President Obama, signing into law a sweeping new education reform bill. Goodbye “No Child Left Behind.” Hello “Every Student Succeeds.”
Ku Klux Klutz
Y’all are cadets at the prestigious Citadel and you risk it all by posing with white pillowcases on your heads? Boneheaded move, dudes.
From the Dept. of Too Good To Be True
Despite what you read on your Facebook feed, El Chapo DID NOT threaten ISIS with a world of hurt for messing with his drug shipments. Would’ve been cool though.
Insane in the membrane
The Empire strikes out
You can’t just build a Death Star out of thin air. You’ll need a giant asteroid, NASA says. Darth Vader just got schooled.
Apple and Google’s list of the year’s best apps have only three overlaps: Jet, Robinhood and HBO Now. We’ll wait while you go download.
WHAT FOR LUNCH
Here’s what’s coming up later.
Kicking the can: Today’s the deadline for Congress to pass a funding bill or the government shuts down. But what to do when you’re not done bickering? You buy yourself more time with a five-day extension. The Senate did that last night. The House follows today.
AND FINALLY …
This roundup of awesome people doing awesome things this year is beyond awesome.