Patterico's Pontifications


Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:22 am

[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

Russia must pay for the rebuilding of Ukraine:

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced legislation Wednesday to allow the U.S. to seize frozen Russian assets to pay for Ukraine’s reconstruction.

The top Democrat and Republican on the panel were confident that Senate leadership viewed the legislation, called the REPO Act, as a priority for passage amid stalled efforts to deliver on further assistance for Ukraine.

Note: The vote was 20 to 1, with Sen. Rand Paul voting “no”.

It’s been said before, but can’t be said enough:

Whatever the price of helping Ukraine is, it’s cheaper than fixing the world if Ukraine doesn’t win.

Second news item

But will it produce good journalists?:

The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY is going tuition-free, its namesake Craig Newmark and the school’s dean, Graciela Mochkofsky, told Axios.

…It will be the first journalism graduate school to offer a tuition-free program — a move intended to help widen opportunities for journalists from more diverse backgrounds.

“If we’re serious about the future of trustworthy journalism as democracy’s immune system, we’ve got to create ways to make the pipeline and product more resilient to economics and shifting moods. Endowments help do that,” Newmark said.

The lofty “journalism as democracy’s immune system” is new to me. So much could be said…

Third news item

Supreme Court rules on wire barrier in Texas:

A divided Supreme Court on Monday temporarily allowed the Biden administration to remove a wire barrier Texas placed at the U.S.-Mexico border, amid a dispute over Border Patrol’s access to Eagle Pass.

The brief 5-4 order vacated a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit that had prevented Border Patrol agents from cutting the concertina wire along the Rio Grande, part of a legal fight between Texas and the federal government over immigration enforcement in that area.

Twenty-five Republican governors are supporting Texas. And Donald Trump has entered the fray too, encouraging states to send their troops to the border.

Fourth news item

Raise your hand if you’re surprised:

The United States on Friday suspended funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the humanitarian body that works with Palestinians, in light of allegations that 12 UNRWA employees were involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks in Israel…“Any UNRWA employee who was involved in acts of terror will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution,” Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA commissioner-general, said…The Biden administration, a strong supporter of UNRWA, said on Friday it is taking the allegations seriously.

“The United States is extremely troubled by the allegations that twelve UNRWA employees may have been involved in the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement. “The Department of State has temporarily paused additional funding for UNRWA while we review these allegations and the steps the United Nations is taking to address them.”


Fifth news item

But wait, they keep telling us that Israel is the problem, not the Jews:

A pair of Jewish-owned businesses in Scarsdale, N.Y., nearby a Jewish community center were vandalized overnight on Wednesday by an unknown vandal who spray painted “genocide supporter” on their front windows…The incident took place inside the congressional district represented by Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), a critic of Israel who has himself accused Israel of genocide…Hundreds of community members turned out on Thursday to show their support for the two businesses…Law enforcement officials are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

Read the whole thing to see Bowman’s response, as well as his primary opponent (and Israel supporter) Westchester County Executive George Latimer’s response to the anti-Semitism.

Sixth news item

Not good news for Evan Gershkovich:

A court in Moscow Friday extended the pretrial detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, arrested on espionage charges, until the end of March, meaning the journalist will spend at least a year behind bars in Russia.

United States Consul General Stuart Wilson attended the hearing at Lefortovo District Court, which took place behind closed doors because authorities say details of the criminal case against the American journalist are classified.

In video shared by state news agency Ria Novosti, Gershkovich was shown listening to the ruling, standing in a court cage wearing a hooded top and light blue jeans. He was pictured a short time later walking towards a prison van to leave the court.

The RSF accuses Gershkovich of “acting on the instructions of the American side, collected information constituting a state secret about the activities of one of the enterprises of the Russian military-industrial complex.”

The report notes that espionage trials can last for more than a year in Russia.

Seventh news item

They seem pretty proud, don’t they:

Have a great weekend!


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