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US Congressman Posts Family Christmas Photo With Guns Just Days After Deadly School Shooting (Maria)

The author writes, “A US Congressman on Saturday posted a Christmas picture of himself and what appeared to be his family, smiling and posing with an assortment of guns, just days after four teenagers were killed in a shooting at a Michigan high school. ‘Merry Christmas! ps. Santa, please bring ammo,’ US Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky wrote on Twitter.”

CIA Files Say Staffers Committed Sex Crimes Involving Children. They Weren’t Prosecuted. (DonkeyHotey)

From BuzzFeed News: “Over the past 14 years, the Central Intelligence Agency has secretly amassed credible evidence that at least 10 of its employees and contractors committed sexual crimes involving children. Though most of these cases were referred to US attorneys for prosecution, only one of the individuals was ever charged with a crime. Prosecutors sent the rest of the cases back to the CIA to handle internally, meaning few faced any consequences beyond the possible loss of their jobs and security clearances. That marks a striking deviation from how sex crimes involving children have been handled at other federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Drug Enforcement Administration. CIA insiders say the agency resists prosecution of its staff for fear the cases will reveal state secrets.”

A Black Couple ‘Erased Themselves’ From Their Home to See if the Appraised Value Would Go Up. It Did By Nearly $500,000 (Reader Steve)

From the San Francisco Chronicle: “Paul Austin thought things were going well when the appraiser came to his Marin City home last January. The appraiser complimented the views of the San Francisco Bay, and he was sure to point out all the improvements, Austin recalled at an Oct. 13 meeting of a state reparations task force. So he and his wife Tenisha Tate-Austin were shocked when the appraisal valued their home at $995,000 — nearly half-a-million dollars less than another appraisal 10 months earlier.”

War With China in 2027? (Doug)

The author writes, “When the Department of Defense released its annual report on Chinese military strength in early November, one claim generated headlines around the world. By 2030, it suggested, China would probably have 1,000 nuclear warheads — three times more than at present and enough to pose a substantial threat to the United States. As a Washington Post headline put it, typically enough: ‘China accelerates nuclear weapons expansion, seeks 1,000 warheads or more, Pentagon says.’ The media, however, largely ignored a far more significant claim in that same report: that China would be ready to conduct ‘intelligentized’ warfare by 2027, enabling the Chinese to effectively resist any U.S. military response should it decide to invade the island of Taiwan, which they view as a renegade province. To the newsmakers of this moment, that might have seemed like far less of a headline-grabber than those future warheads, but the implications couldn’t be more consequential. Let me, then, offer you a basic translation of that finding: as the Pentagon sees things, be prepared for World War III to break out any time after January 1, 2027.”

NHL Partnership With Chemical Company Leaves Environmental Watchdogs Cold (Laura)

The authors write, “For over a decade the N.H.L. has promoted its commitment to the environment, using hockey’s birth on frozen ponds to connect the sport to the natural world and to portray its protection as a corporate imperative. But a new report questions that commitment and accuses the league of using its N.H.L. Green program to endorse refrigerants that will contribute to irreversibly warming the planet. The N.H.L. has a partnership with the chemical company Chemours that involves promoting Opteon, a group of refrigerants produced by Chemours that are used in chillers underneath the ice at rinks. A news release issued [in October] announced a multiyear renewal of the partnership, which began in 2018, saying the deal would provide ‘environmentally and economically sustainable refrigerant solutions’ to ice rinks across North America. But Opteon refrigerants have a high global warming potential, especially compared with ammonia, a chemical that does not warm the planet and is already used in the chillers of thousands of ice rinks.” 

Cat Bacteria Treats Mouse Skin Infection, May Help You and Your Pets as Well (Mili)

The author writes, “Researchers identify a strain of bacteria on healthy cats that produces antibiotics against severe skin infections. The findings may soon lead to new bacteriotherapies for humans and their pets, wherein cat bacteria is applied via topical cream or spray.”

Florida Woman Dials the Wrong Number for 20 Years and Builds a Friendship With a Stranger (Dana)

The author writes, “Gladys Hankerson has spent the last 20 years calling the wrong number — a beautiful mistake that has turned into an unlikely friendship. All those years ago, Gladys was trying to call her sister in Maryland, but kept dialing area code 401, instead of 410. Mike Moffitt from Rhode Island was on the other end of the phone. ‘I was raised by my dad, you always answer your phone, you never know who it is,’ Moffitt said. So, he answered the phone.”

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