CBS 2 Meteorologist Tammie Souza has the 7 a.m. forecast for Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020.
- The Independent
Human remains found at blast site of bomb-rigged vehicle playing message that it was about to explode
Police believe the act was intentional
- Associated Press
Four people have been arrested in connection with the 2018 crash of a helicopter that killed a central Mexican governor and her husband — who had preceded her as governor — authorities said Friday. The Agusta 109 helicopter crashed in flames 10 minutes after takeoff on Dec. 24 that year while carrying newly installed Puebla Gov. Martha Erika Alonso and her husband, former Gov. Rafael Moreno Valle, as well as three other people. The Puebla state prosecutor's office said the four suspects worked for a Rotor Flight Services, a company “related to the functioning of the aircraft,” It said the suspects were accused of culpable homicide, damage to another's property and false testimony.
A top Japanese defence official on Friday urged U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to "be strong" in supporting Taiwan in the face of an aggressive China, calling the island's safety a "red line." In an interview, Nakayama, Japan's deputy defence minister, urged Biden to take a similar line on Taiwan as outgoing President Donald Trump, who has significantly boosted military sales to the Chinese-claimed island and increased engagement.
- The Telegraph
Royal Caribbean, the world's largest cruise company, is trying to prevent victims of the 2019 New Zealand volcanic eruption from suing in the US. Passengers from the Royal Caribbean ship Ovation of the Seas took a trip to White Island, a popular tourist site, last December, when a volcano suddenly erupted, killing 27 visitors and injuring 25 more. Ivy and Paul Reed, from the US state of Maryland, who suffered burns as a result of the eruption, and Australians Marie and Stephanie Browitt, who lost family members because of the eruption, filed separate lawsuits against Royal Caribbean claiming that the cruise line did not properly explain the dangers of visiting White Island. Peter Gordon, a lawyer for the Browitt family, told the Australian Broadcasting Company that Royal Caribbean should have known that the volcano could erupt before allowing its passengers to visit White Island.
- The Independent
‘You cannot be pardoned for future crimes,’ says Andrew Weissman
- The Conversation
Perhaps you’ll unearth a can of Crisco for the holiday baking season. If so, you’ll be one of millions of Americans who have, for generations, used it to make cookies, cakes, pie crusts and more. But for all Crisco’s popularity, what exactly is that thick, white substance in the can? If you’re not sure, you’re not alone.For decades, Crisco had only one ingredient, cottonseed oil. But most consumers never knew that. That ignorance was no accident. A century ago, Crisco’s marketers pioneered revolutionary advertising techniques that encouraged consumers not to worry about ingredients and instead to put their trust in reliable brands. It was a successful strategy that other companies would eventually copy. Lard gets some competitionFor most of the 19th century, cotton seeds were a nuisance. When cotton gins combed the South’s ballooning cotton harvests to produce clean fiber, they left mountains of seeds behind. Early attempts to mill those seeds resulted in oil that was unappealingly dark and smelly. Many farmers just let their piles of cottonseed rot.It was only after a chemist named David Wesson pioneered industrial bleaching and deodorizing techniques in the late 19th century that cottonseed oil became clear, tasteless and neutral-smelling enough to appeal to consumers. Soon, companies were selling cottonseed oil by itself as a liquid or mixing it with animal fats to make cheap, solid shortenings, sold in pails to resemble lard.Shortening’s main rival was lard. Earlier generations of Americans had produced lard at home after autumn pig slaughters, but by the late 19th century meat processing companies were making lard on an industrial scale. Lard had a noticeable pork taste, but there’s not much evidence that 19th-century Americans objected to it, even in cakes and pies. Instead, its issue was cost. While lard prices stayed relatively high through the early 20th century, cottonseed oil was abundant and cheap.Americans, at the time, overwhelmingly associated cotton with dresses, shirts and napkins, not food. Nonetheless, early cottonseed oil and shortening companies went out of their way to highlight their connection to cotton. They touted the transformation of cottonseed from pesky leftover to useful consumer product as a mark of ingenuity and progress. Brands like Cottolene and Cotosuet drew attention to cotton with their names and by incorporating images of cotton in their advertising. King CriscoWhen Crisco launched in 1911, it did things differently. Like other brands, it was made from cottonseed. But it was also a new kind of fat – the world’s first solid shortening made entirely from a once-liquid plant oil. Instead of solidifying cottonseed oil by mixing it with animal fat like the other brands, Crisco used a brand-new process called hydrogenation, which Procter & Gamble, the creator of Crisco, had perfected after years of research and development. From the beginning, the company’s marketers talked a lot about the marvels of hydrogenation – what they called “the Crisco process” – but avoided any mention of cottonseed. There was no law at the time mandating that food companies list ingredients, although virtually all food packages provided at least enough information to answer that most fundamental of all questions: What is it?In contrast, Crisco marketers offered only evasion and euphemism. Crisco was made from “100% shortening,” its marketing materials asserted, and “Crisco is Crisco, and nothing else.” Sometimes they gestured towards the plant kingdom: Crisco was “strictly vegetable,” “purely vegetable” or “absolutely all vegetable.” At their most specific, advertisements said it was made from “vegetable oil,” a relatively new phrase that Crisco helped to popularize.But why go to all this trouble to avoid mentioning cottonseed oil if consumers were already knowingly buying it from other companies? The truth was that cottonseed had a mixed reputation, and it was only getting worse by the time Crisco launched. A handful of unscrupulous companies were secretly using cheap cottonseed oil to cut costly olive oil, so some consumers thought of it as an adulterant. Others associated cottonseed oil with soap or with its emerging industrial uses in dyes, roofing tar and explosives. Still others read alarming headlines about how cottonseed meal contained a toxic compound, even though cottonseed oil itself contained none of it.Instead of dwelling on its problematic sole ingredient, then, Crisco’s marketers kept consumer focus trained on brand reliability and the purity of modern factory food processing. Crisco flew off the shelves. Unlike lard, Crisco had a neutral taste. Unlike butter, Crisco could last for years on the shelf. Unlike olive oil, it had a high smoking temperature for frying. At the same time, since Crisco was the only solid shortening made entirely from plants, it was prized by Jewish consumers who followed dietary restrictions forbidding the mixing of meat and dairy in a single meal.In just five years, Americans were annually buying more than 60 million cans of Crisco, the equivalent of three cans for every family in the country. Within a generation, lard went from being a major part of American diets to an old-fashioned ingredient. Trust the brand, not the ingredientsToday, Crisco has replaced cottonseed oil with palm, soy and canola oils. But cottonseed oil is still one of the most widely consumed edible oils in the country. It’s a routine ingredient in processed foods, and it’s commonplace in restaurant fryers. Crisco would have never become a juggernaut without its aggressive advertising campaigns that stressed the purity and modernity of factory production and the reliability of the Crisco name. In the wake of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act – which made it illegal to adulterate or mislabel food products and boosted consumer confidence – Crisco helped convince Americans that they didn’t need to understand the ingredients in processed foods, as long as those foods came from a trusted brand. In the decades that followed Crisco’s launch, other companies followed its lead, introducing products like Spam, Cheetos and Froot Loops with little or no reference to their ingredients.Once ingredient labeling was mandated in the U.S. in the late 1960s, the multisyllabic ingredients in many highly processed foods may have mystified consumers. But for the most part, they kept on eating.So if you don’t find it strange to eat foods whose ingredients you don’t know or understand, you have Crisco partly to thank. [ You’re smart and curious about the world. So are The Conversation’s authors and editors. You can read us daily by subscribing to our newsletter. ]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. Read more: * A backlash against ‘mixed’ foods led to the demise of a classic American dish * How Spam became one of the most iconic American brands of all time * The Prohibition-era origins of the modern craft cocktail movementHelen Zoe Veit does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.
DUBAI (Reuters) -Iran has won U.S. approval to transfer funds for coronavirus vaccines from overseas, the central bank chief said on Thursday, as its daily death toll fell to a three-month low. Central Bank governor Abdolnaser Hemmati said an Iranian bank had received backing from the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control to transfer the money to a Swiss bank to pay for the vaccines. There was no immediate U.S. reaction to Hemmati's remarks.
- The Telegraph
Boris Johnson has "totally capitulated" on fishing in the EU trade deal negotiations, but both sides have compromised, EU diplomatic sources have claimed. On Thursday Mr Johnson finally accepted the bloc’s final offer of returning 25 percent of the value of fish caught in UK waters to British fishermen. It was a “big move”, sources said, because he had been demanding 35 percent of the value of the catch. French officials claimed that the British had made major last minute concessions. The UK and EU settled on a five and a half year transition period before annual negotiations over fishing opportunities would begin. There was satisfaction in Brussels at having forced the prime minister into the climbdown but anxiety he will not be able to sell the deal to hardline Brexiteers in his party. “It won’t be a total victory. It never is,” an EU diplomat said. “I am a little concerned that London has not got the landing rights for the deal with its constituents.” “Whatever happens will be presented as a great victory. The Europeans will yawn,” another source said before confidently predicting that Mr Johnson has the European Research Group of MPs “in his pocket”.
- The Independent
Christmas clemency for women convicted of murder and manslaughter
President Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey would like to have better ties with Israel, but criticized Israeli policy toward Palestinians as "unacceptable" and a "red line" for Ankara, adding that intelligence talks resumed between the two sides. The two countries have had a bitter falling out in recent years, despite strong commercial ties, expelling ambassadors in 2018. Ankara has repeatedly condemned Israel's occupation in the West Bank and its treatment of Palestinians.
- The Telegraph
A beaver rescued by police this week was among the first of its kind to be reintroduced to the wild in Britain for nearly 400 years The 20kg creature had escaped from a specially designed re-wilding enclosure near Poole Farm in Plymouth. Local officers say they were confronted with the “unusual sight” of the beaver at large on Monday and posted a photograph on social media of the runaway creature in the city. They tweeted yesterday: “An unusual sight for one of our crews on Monday night shift: Plymouth's resident beaver spotted out and about! “He has apparently been caught since and is back home for Christmas.” The male had been released into the wild at Forder Valley in November – the first in the city for 400 years. The Eurasian Beaver was originally caught in late September in the wild from the Tay Catchment in Scotland and was released as part of a nationwide trend to reintroduce beavers in the wild. The beaver’s behaviour and actions will now be monitored in the hope that its actions will reduce flooding further downstream and create habitats for wildlife in the Bircham Valley. This comes after a 25kg young male beaver was spotted in Italy for the first time in nearly 500 years, after it walked over the border from Austria or Slovenia into the Dolomites. The first clues that the rodent might be back on Italian soil were noticed by a hunting guide who spends his days roaming the mountains and forests. Forester Reinhard Pipperger had noticed at the time young trees had been felled along a stretch of the Sesto river in Northern Italy. The beaver was later photographed by a camera set up along the river by wildlife rangers.
- The Conversation
In 1921, in a Munich beer hall, newly appointed Nazi party leader Adolf Hitler gave a Christmas speech to an excited crowd. According to undercover police observers, 4,000 supporters cheered when Hitler condemned “the cowardly Jews for breaking the world-liberator on the cross” and swore “not to rest until the Jews…lay shattered on the ground.” Later, the crowd sang holiday carols and nationalist hymns around a Christmas tree. Working-class attendees received charitable gifts. For Germans in the 1920s and 1930s, this combination of familiar holiday observance, nationalist propaganda and anti-Semitism was hardly unusual. As the Nazi party grew in size and scope – and eventually took power in 1933 – committed propagandists worked to further “Nazify” Christmas. Redefining familiar traditions and designing new symbols and rituals, they hoped to channel the main tenets of National Socialism through the popular holiday.Given state control of public life, it’s not surprising that Nazi officials were successful in promoting and propagating their version of Christmas through repeated radio broadcasts and news articles.But under any totalitarian regime, there can be a wide disparity between public and private life, between the rituals of the city square and those of the home. In my research, I was interested in how Nazi symbols and rituals penetrated private, family festivities – away from the gaze of party leaders.While some Germans did resist the heavy-handed, politicized appropriation of Germany’s favorite holiday, many actually embraced a Nazified holiday that evoked the family’s place in the “racial state,” free of Jews and other outsiders. Redefining ChristmasOne of the most striking features of private celebration in the Nazi period was the redefinition of Christmas as a neo-pagan, Nordic celebration. Rather on focus on the holiday’s religious origins, the Nazi version celebrated the supposed heritage of the Aryan race, the label Nazis gave to “racially acceptable” members of the German racial state.According to Nazi intellectuals, cherished holiday traditions drew on winter solstice rituals practiced by “Germanic” tribes before the arrival of Christianity. Lighting candles on the Christmas tree, for example, recalled pagan desires for the “return of light” after the shortest day of the year.Scholars have called attention to the manipulative function of these and other invented traditions. But that’s no reason to assume they were unpopular. Since the 1860s, German historians, theologians and popular writers had argued that German holiday observances were holdovers from pre-Christian pagan rituals and popular folk superstitions. So because these ideas and traditions had a lengthy history, Nazi propagandists were able to easily cast Christmas as a celebration of pagan German nationalism. A vast state apparatus (centered in the Nazi Ministry for Propaganda and Enlightenment) ensured that a Nazified holiday dominated public space and celebration in the Third Reich.But two aspects of the Nazi version of Christmas were relatively new. First, because Nazi ideologues saw organized religion as an enemy of the totalitarian state, propagandists sought to deemphasize – or eliminate altogether – the Christian aspects of the holiday. Official celebrations might mention a supreme being, but they more prominently featured solstice and “light” rituals that supposedly captured the holiday’s pagan origins. Second, as Hitler’s 1921 speech suggests, Nazi celebration evoked racial purity and anti-Semitism. Before the Nazis took power in 1933, ugly and open attacks on German Jews typified holiday propaganda. Blatant anti-Semitism more or less disappeared after 1933, as the regime sought to stabilize its control over a population tired of political strife, though Nazi celebrations still excluded those deemed “unfit” by the regime. Countless media images of invariably blond-haired, blue-eyed German families gathered around the Christmas tree helped normalize ideologies of racial purity. Open anti-Semitism nonetheless cropped up at Christmastime. Many would boycott Jewish-owned department stores. And the front cover of a 1935 mail order Christmas catalog, which pictured a fair-haired mother wrapping Christmas presents, included a sticker assuring customers that “the department store has been taken over by an Aryan!” It’s a small, almost banal example. But it speaks volumes. In Nazi Germany, even shopping for a gift could naturalize anti-Semitism and reinforce the “social death” of Jews in the Third Reich.The message was clear: only “Aryans” could participate in the celebration. Taking the ‘Christ’ out of ChristmasAccording to National Socialist theorists, women – particularly mothers – were crucial for strengthening the bonds between private life and the “new spirit” of the German racial state.Everyday acts of celebration – wrapping presents, decorating the home, cooking “German” holiday foods and organizing family celebrations – were linked to a cult of sentimental “Nordic” nationalism.Propagandists proclaimed that as “priestess” and “protector of house and hearth,” the German mother could use Christmas to “bring the spirit of the German home back to life.” The holiday issues of women’s magazines, Nazified Christmas books and Nazi carols tinged conventional family customs with the ideology of the regime.This sort of ideological manipulation took everyday forms. Mothers and children were encouraged to make homemade decorations shaped like “Odin’s Sun Wheel” and bake holiday cookies shaped like a loop (a fertility symbol). The ritual of lighting candles on the Christmas tree was said to create an atmosphere of “pagan demon magic” that would subsume the Star of Bethlehem and the birth of Jesus in feelings of “Germanness.” Family singing epitomized the porous boundaries between private and official forms of celebration. Propagandists tirelessly promoted numerous Nazified Christmas songs, which replaced Christian themes with the regime’s racial ideologies. Exalted Night of the Clear Stars, the most famous Nazi carol, was reprinted in Nazi songbooks, broadcast in radio programs, performed at countless public celebrations – and sung at home. Indeed, Exalted Night became so familiar that it could still be sung in the 1950s as part of an ordinary family holiday (and, apparently, as part of some public performances today!). While the song’s melody mimics a traditional carol, the lyrics deny the Christian origins of the holiday. Verses of stars, light and an eternal mother suggest a world redeemed through faith in National Socialism – not Jesus. Conflict or consensus among the German public?We’ll never know exactly how many German families sang Exalted Night or baked Christmas cookies shaped like a Germanic sun wheel. But we do have some records of the popular response to the Nazi holiday, mostly from official sources. For example, the “activity reports” of the National Socialist Women’s League (NSF) show that the redefinition of Christmas created some disagreement among members. NSF files note that tensions flared when propagandists pressed too hard to sideline religious observance, leading to “much doubt and discontent.” Religious traditions often clashed with ideological goals: was it acceptable for “convinced National Socialists” to celebrate Christmas with Christian carols and nativity plays? How could Nazi believers observe a Nazi holiday when stores mostly sold conventional holiday goods and rarely stocked Nazi Christmas books?Meanwhile, German clergymen openly resisted Nazi attempts to take Christ out of Christmas. In Düsseldorf, clergymen used Christmas to encourage women to join their respective women’s clubs. Catholic clergy threatened to excommunicate women who joined the NSF. Elsewhere, women of faith boycotted NSF Christmas parties and charity drives. Still, such dissent never really challenged the main tenets of the Nazi holiday. Reports on public opinion compiled by the Nazi secret police often commented on the popularity of Nazi Christmas festivities. Well into the Second World War, when looming defeat increasingly discredited the Nazi holiday, the secret police reported that complaints about official policies dissolved in an overall “Christmas mood.”Despite conflicts over Christianity, many Germans accepted the Nazification of Christmas. The return to colorful and enjoyable pagan “Germanic” traditions promised to revitalize family celebration. Not least, observing a Nazified holiday symbolized racial purity and national belonging. “Aryans” could celebrate German Christmas. Jews could not.The Nazification of family celebration thus revealed the paradoxical and contested terrain of private life in the Third Reich. The apparently banal, everyday decision to sing a particular Christmas carol, or bake a holiday cookie, became either an act of political dissent or an expression of support for national socialism.This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. Read more: * Hitler at home: How the Nazi PR machine remade the Führer’s domestic image and duped the world * How Charles Dickens redeemed the spirit of Christmas * Can astronomy explain the biblical Star of Bethlehem?Joe Perry has received funding from the German Academic Exchange Service and Georgia State University.
- NBC News
The decision potentially sets up the Trump administration to schedule the execution after President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
- The Week
You know Dasher and Dancer and Roger and Kushner — but do you recall, the most consequential pardon of all?President Trump has issued a flurry of late-term pardons in the lead-up to his departure from office, the most recent of which includes Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, and Charles Kushner, father of Jared Kushner. But two of the president's pardons this week have flown relatively under the radar, despite offering a potential glimpse into Trump's own future.John Tate and Jesse Benton were two of 26 people granted clemency on Wednesday, receiving pardons for their 2016 convictions on campaign bribery charges. The two men, who were aides to former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, were found guilty of funneling $73,000 to a state senator in exchange for an endorsement of Paul during his 2012 presidential bid, The Des Moines Register reports. The payments were executed through a third-party vendor.What Tate and Benton did, however, looks an awful lot like an LLC used by the Trump campaign to funnel non-FEC registered payments. The company was reportedly created in part by Jared Kushner, per Business Insider.In the White House's official statement on the pardons, it said Tate and Benton were convicted based on an "unclear" and "not well established" campaign reporting law.As the Center for Responsive Politics' Anna Massoglia points out, their conviction was one of few campaign finance cases "resulting in substantial consequences," and the pardoning of the two could send "a very specific message that it is okay to violate FEC ultimate vendor disclosure rules."> THREAD: Trump's John Tate & Jesse Benton pardons are an even bigger deal than they initially seem, sending a very specific message that it is ok to violate FEC ultimate vendor disclosure rules—which Trump's 2020 campaign allegedly violated by routing money through shell companies https://t.co/AK4AC6MHq2> > — Anna Massoglia (@annalecta) December 24, 2020More stories from theweek.com The Christmas of 1918 Wonder Woman 1984 is shockingly regressive What would actually happen if Trump tried the 'martial law' idea?
- Reuters Videos
People in India's southern Tamil Nadu state on Saturday (December 26) paid tribute to the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami on the 16th anniversary of the tragedy that killed around 200,000 people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and nine other countries. On the morning after Christmas Day in 2004, a 9.1 magnitude quake off northern Sumatra island triggered a tsunami with waves as high as 57 feet that swept over vulnerable coastal areas. Survivors and family members of the victims in southern Chennai and Puducherry cities lit candles, and prayed for the victims who perished in the disaster.
George Blake, who died in Russia on Saturday at the age of 98, was the last in a line of British spies whose secret work for the Soviet Union humiliated the intelligence establishment when it was discovered at the height of the Cold War. Britain says he exposed the identities of hundreds of Western agents across Eastern Europe in the 1950s, some of whom were executed as a result of his treason. His case was among the most notorious of the Cold War, alongside those of a separate ring of British double agents known as the Cambridge Five.
- The Telegraph
Israel was reported to have launched air strikes against military targets in Syria last night, after war planes flew low over Lebanon, terrifying local residents. The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) quoted a military source blaming Israeli “aggression” for launching a “barrage of missiles” from the north of the Lebanese city of Tripoli towards Masyaf, in Syria’s Hama province. The source claimed that most of the missiles were intercepted by Syrian air defences, but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, said that a warehouse and missile factories had been destroyed, with “at least” six casualties. Explosions were reported after midnight in the area around Masyaf, north-west of Homs, which is a significant military area for President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, containing a military academy and scientific research centre believed to have been used to create chemical weapons. The Israeli military said it would not comment on reports in foreign media, but it has allegedly launched dozens of attacks against Iranian militias and other targets in Syria in recent years, with jets regularly crossing over Lebanese air space. Witnesses said that the Christmas Eve flights were louder than usual, however, frightening residents of Beirut who are still traumatised by the August 4 explosion at the city’s port that killed more than 200 people. The catastrophic blast, which destroyed large areas of the city, was caused after a huge store of ammonium nitrate was ignited by a fire. Tamara Qiblawi, a CNN producer based in the Lebanese capital, shared a video apparently showing “illegal overflights” of four Israeli jets. “You very often hear them here but very rarely do you see them,” she added. “These were exceptionally low altitude. Houses shook. Cats freaked out. Chills down people’s spines.” Quoting “reliable sources”, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the “Israeli strikes targeted military posts of regime forces and Iranian militias”. Syrian activists observed ambulances rushing to the scene of the explosions and the dead were all foreign paramilitaries loyal to President Assad, it added. One attack also targeted the research centre, where ground-attack missiles are developed and stored, and which has been hit several times by Israeli strikes in recent years, the Observatory said. The most recent attack in June, killed nine people, including four Syrians. The United States military has previously claimed that sarin gas, a deadly nerve agent, was being developed at the centre, which the Syrian authorities have denied. According to the SANA report, air defences hit “most” missiles before they reached their target. “Our air defences intercepted an Israeli attack on the Masyaf area,” it said.
- CBS News
Nashville police and the FBI are asking anyone with information about the RV to contact them with tips.
- The Independent
Speech came hours after Mr Trump golfed in Florida with Lindsey Graham
A doctor in Boston with a shellfish allergy developed a severe allergic reaction after receiving Moderna's coronavirus vaccine on Thursday, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing the doctor. Dr. Hossein Sadrzadeh, a geriatric oncology fellow at Boston Medical Center, said he had a severe reaction almost immediately after being vaccinated, feeling dizzy and with a racing heart, the NYT reported. It is the first severe reaction publicly linked to Moderna's vaccine, which is in its first week of a nationwide rollout.