The Rock of Talk 'Daily Blast' for Monday, September 13th 2021

The Download, Top 10 Links, U.S. News Briefing, Global News Briefing, and Questions of the Day

GOOD MORNING FROM THE ROCK OF TALK!

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HERE’S THE BLAST!

Reading Time: 7 minutes 30 seconds

Living well is the best revenge.

— George Herbert

The Download

Forecast from the KIVA Weather StationSunny. High 93F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.

Today is Monday, September 13th, the 256th day of 2021. There are 109 days left in the year. It is Bald is Beautiful Day, Positive Thinking Day, Roald Dahl Day, Scooby-Doo Day, Uncle Sam Day, National Celiac Awareness Day, National Defy Superstition Day, and National Peanut Day.

This Day in History

In 1501, Michelangelo began work on his statue of David.

In 1541, after three years of exile, John Calvin returned to Geneva to reform the church there under a body of doctrine known as Calvinism.

In 1609, explorer Henry Hudson reached the river that would later be named after him.

In 1788, the Philadelphia Convention set the date for the first presidential election in the United States.

In 1814, in a turning point in the War of 1812, the British failed to capture Baltimore. During the battle, Francis Scott Key composed his poem “Defence of Fort McHenry,” which went on to become the U.S. national anthem.

In 1847, six teenage military cadets known as Niños Héroes died defending Chapultepec Castle in the Battle of Chapultepec, as American troops under General Winfield Scott captured Mexico City.

In 1848, Vermont railroad worker Phineas Gage survived an iron rod being driven through his brain; the reported effects on his behavior and personality stimulated discussion of the nature of the brain and its functions.

In 1862, Union soldiers found a copy of Robert E. Lee’s battle plans in a field outside Frederick, Maryland several days before the Battle of Antietam.

In 1948, Margaret Chase Smith was elected to the U.S. Senate, becoming the first woman to serve in both congressional chambers.

In 1968, Albania left the Warsaw Pact.

In 1985, Super Mario Bros. was released in Japan for the Nintendo Entertainment System, starting the Super Mario series of platforming games.

In 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shook hands with Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat at the White House after signing the Oslo Accords.

In 2001, civilian aircraft traffic resumed in the United States after the September 11 attacks.

In 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall on the Gulf Coast of the United States, causing heavy damage to Galveston Island, Houston, and surrounding areas.

This Day in Music History

In 1952, Jo Stafford’s “You Belong to Me” went to No. 1.

In 1965, The Beatles released “Yesterday.”

In 1979, ABBA started its first and only tour of North America with a show at the Edmonton Sports Arena.

In 1996, Tupac Shakur died, six days after being shot while riding in a car driven by his label boss, Suge Knight.

In 2019, Eddie Money died of esophageal cancer at age 70.

Today’s Birthdays

Animator, director, and producer Don Bluth is 84. Actress Jacqueline Bisset is 77. Musicians and singer-songwriter Peter Cetera is 77. Actress Jean Smart is 70. Singer-songwriter and musician David Mustaine is 60. Singer-songwriter Fiona Apple is 44.

Top 10 Links: News, Commentary, Audio, and Video

  1. One dead after stabbing in Portales

  2. Vendors and fairgoers speak on low crowds at state fair

  3. ‘This is the hill to die on’

  4. Prominent immunologist now regrets voting for Biden

  5. Democrats see $3.5T spending goal is slipping away

  6. Voters to decide Gov. Newsom’s fate in Tuesday recall election

  7. Reality Jolt: Arctic September Minimum Sea Ice Extent Trend RISING Over Past 10 Years – Norwegian Data

  8. No Politics and No Dirty Jokes: Jay Leno Wants to Have Good, Clean Fun With ‘You Bet Your Life’ Revival

  9. FBI releases new document in probe of possible Saudi complicity in 9/11 attacks

  10. Dog steals ball during Irish cricket match in adorable viral video

Mainstream U.S. News Briefing

(Bolded for your attention / analyses)

Tailgating, face-painted fans back in force at NFL stadiums

Tailgating, face-painted fans returned in full force at stadiums around the country as the NFL opened its doors to capacity for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic. Some wore masks, some didn’t. Some are vaccinated, some aren’t. Restrictions varied in different cities with the Seattle Seahawks, Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints the only teams requiring fans to provide proof of vaccination to enter. The defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers welcomed 65,566 fans Thursday night to kick off the season and 15 teams were set to host more than one million fans in Week 1.

4 injured after apartment building explosion near Atlanta

DUNWOODY, Ga. — An explosion rocked an apartment building in suburban Atlanta, causing the three-story complex to partially collapse and leaving four people with minor injuries. The cause of the explosion was unknown, but authorities say a local utility had received a call from a resident about a strong odor of gas shortly before the midday blast. Four people sustained minor injuries. Rescuers haven’t been able to enter the most heavily damaged apartments due to instability of the overall structure. The building and several others nearby were evacuated. Residents were told that Monday was the earliest they could return to their homes.

Firefighters advance on blaze that shut California highway

CASTAIC, Calif. — Authorities have reopened nearly all lanes of a major Southern California highway as firefighters made progress on a wildfire that jumped across the road. The fire erupted Saturday on a dry hillside near Castaic in northern Los Angeles County and grew to more than half a square mile, prompting highway authorities to temporarily shut a stretch of Interstate 5. The fire remains uncontained due to the mountainous terrain, but officials say firefighters are making progress with the help of water-dropping aircraft and an aggressive ground attack. Meanwhile, a fire that erupted Sunday afternoon prompted Mendocino County authorities to evacuate parts of Calpella, a community on the Russian River about 6 miles north of Ukiah.

‘Shang-Chi’ tops box office again with $35.8 million

NEW YORK — Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings stayed on top at the box office, collecting $35.8 million in ticket sales in its second weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday. That total was good enough for the best second-weekend gross of any film during the pandemic, edging out the previous Marvel movie, Black Widow. This year, relatively few films have held well in theaters either because they’ve been simultaneously streaming at home or because moviegoers’ attention fades. Shang-Chi is playing exclusively in theaters. Malignant, a horror thriller directed by James Wan, was the only sizable new competition for Shang-Chi. It debuted softly with $5.6 million. Malignant is also streaming on HBO Max.

Britney Spears gets engaged with ‘lioness’ engraved ring

LOS ANGELES — Britney Spears has announced her engagement to her boyfriend Sam Asghari with an exuberant post displaying a diamond ring engraved with the word lioness. The news comes days after her father filed to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. She announced the engagement with a short video of the couple winking, smiling and kissing. The couple met on a music-video set in 2016. The singer told a judge in June she wanted to marry Asghari and have a baby with him as she made an impassioned plea to end the conservatorship.

Mainstream Global News Briefing

(Bolded for your attention / analyses)

North Korea says it tested long-range cruise missiles

SEOUL — North Korea says it successfully test fired what it described as newly developed long-range cruise missiles. The tests over the weekend would be the country’s first known testing activity in months that underscored how it continues to expand its military capabilities amid a stalemate in nuclear negotiations with the United States. The Korean Central News Agency said the cruise missiles, which had been under development for two years, successfully hit targets 1,500 kilometers away on Saturday and Sunday. The North hailed its new weapons as a “strategic weapon of great significance” that meets leader Kim Jong Un’s call to strengthen the country’s military might.

Taliban: Women can study in gender-segregated universities

KABUL — The higher education minister in the new Taliban government says women can study in universities, including at post-graduate levels, but that classrooms will be gender-segregated and that Islamic dress is compulsory. The minister, Abdul Baqi Haqqani, laid out the new policies at a news conference Sunday, several days after Afghanistan’s new rulers formed an all-male, all-Taliban government. Haqqani said female university students would be required to wear a hijab. He did not elaborate on whether this only meant a compulsory headscarf or also mandatory face coverings. The announcement came as a diplomatic delegation from Qatar arrived in the Afghan capital — the highest level delegation to visit since the Taliban announced their interim Cabinet.

Frontrunner to replace Merkel on defensive in TV debate

BERLIN — The frontrunner to replace Angela Merkel as German chancellor has faced tough questions over whether his ministry had a role in obstructing money-laundering probes. Olaf Scholz of the center-left Social Democrats denied in a pre-election debate Sunday that his finance ministry was being directly investigated by prosecutors who carried out searches at the finance and justice ministries. The first debate two weeks ago was widely called for Scholz, whose party leads in opinion polls ahead of Merkel's center-right Union bloc. Its candidate Armin Laschet has struggled to gain traction in the campaign. Green party candidate Annalena Baerbock largely refrained from personal attacks on her rivals and focused instead on social justice and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Brazil protests show low street support for impeachment push

RIO DE JANEIRO — Turnout at protests across Brazil against President Jair Bolsonaro have been far smaller than rallies the president called earlier this week, underscoring that pressure from the streets remains insufficient to drive efforts seeking his impeachment. Many of those protesting Sunday dressed all in white, as instructed by political groups that organized the demonstrations in at least 19 states. There was a notable absence of participation at the protest of leftist political parties, which diminished turnout. Unlike during the last impeachment process, in 2016, Brazilians aren’t broadly united behind an alternative leader or project. In addition, many political leaders want to resolve the political crisis with the 2022 elections, when Bolsonaro is expected to seek another term.

Polish nun, cardinal who defied communism are beatified

WARSAW — Polish political leaders have attended the beatification of two revered figures of the Catholic church in a Warsaw church. One is the cardinal who led the Polish church’s resistance to communism and the other is a nun who devoted her life to helping the blind. The beatification of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski and Mother Elzbieta Roza Czacka took place at a time of declining church attendance and as some Poles have been leaving the church over sex abuse scandals and the church’s support for a new abortion law. In a time of growing secularization and deep societal divisions, the celebration was a reminder of the moral authority and the unifying power the church once held in Poland.

Questions of the Day (Please Answer in Comments)

  1. Are the members of the Saudi “royal family” the worst people in the world?

  2. Is bald beautiful?

  3. Should “America the Beautiful” replace “The Star-Spangled Banner”?

  4. Do you follow the NFL?

  5. Peanuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, or cashews?

  6. Is Britney Spears bonkers?

  7. Do you prefer politics-free comedy?

  8. James and the Giant Peach or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?

  9. Chicago’s best song?

  10. Is living well the best revenge?

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