US cautions travelers on China’s “exit bans”
US Dep’t of State
Why Chinese shoppers don’t want to bite the Apple
— The first iPhones in China in 2009 brought Apple record profit. But the launch last year of its most expensive handset ever – priced 9,599 yuan ($1,397) – coincided with economic downturn and a slowing smartphone market, while deteriorating Sino-U.S. trade relations stoked support for local rivals.
— Poor iPhone sales in China prompted Apple on Wednesday to lower its quarterly revenue forecast for the first time in over a decade, hammering its shares and those of its suppliers. Chief Executive Tim Cook blamed the trade war and the economy.
>>> The Bad Stuff That the Stock Market Worried About Is Starting to Happen
Monarch butterflies are now wintering in Florida
— Using a technique called stable isotope analysis, researchers sampled the wings of a subset of a non-migratory population of monarchs located in south Florida. What they found was unexpected: Almost half of their sample—forty-eight percent—came from elsewhere. The monarchs had grown up as far away as the Midwest and Texas, parts of the monarch’s broad summer breeding range, which suggests that most of them made the trip deliberately, rather than just being blown off-course during their flight south. In southern Florida, unlike their overwintering in central Mexico, the monarchs just hang out and mix with the local population.
Yosemite visitors turn roads into toilets as shutdown crises mount at national parks
… In California, Yosemite National Park officials have closed the Wawona and Hodgson Meadows campgrounds, along with the Mariposa Grove of redwoods, after finding human feces and urinebeside Wawona Road, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“It’s a free-for-all,” Dakota Snider, who lives in Yosemite Valley, told The Associated Press. “It’s so heartbreaking. There is more trash and human waste and disregard for the rules than I’ve seen in my four years living here.”
Californians Can Now Get Earthquake Alerts On their phones
— Millions of people in Southern California can now receive alerts on their smartphone seconds before shaking from an earthquake is about to strike, marking the first time large numbers of Americans will have access to such early warning technology.
— Launched this week, ShakeAlertLA will alert users when a magnitude 5.0 or greater earthquake has been detected in Los Angeles County.
“I am old enough to remember Ronald Reagan denouncing the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union and calling that nation an evil empire. And I’ve lived long enough to see a GOP president endorse that invasion. Now what?”
— Brian J. Karem on Twitter
Government Shutdown Halts Most Immigration Court Hearings
— Shutting down the country’s massive system of immigration courts will gum up an already congested judicial process, immigration judges and attorneys say.
— In federal immigration court, judges often hear cases in quick succession, a process some have compared to hearing “death penalty cases heard in traffic court settings.” A swift deportation may become a death sentence if a person is forced to return to a violent homeland.
China lands probe on dark side of the Moon
— BEIJING, Jan 3 – A Chinese space probe successfully touched down on the far side of the moon on Thursday, China’s space agency said, hailing the event as a historic first and a major achievement for the country’s space programme.
— The Chang’e-4 lunar probe, launched in December, made the “soft landing” at 0226 GMT and transmitted the first-ever “close range” image of the far side of the moon, the China National Space Administration said.
— The moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate as it orbits our planet, so most of the far side – or “dark side” – is never visible to us. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side, but none has landed on it.
Chinese coffee startup, in business 1 year, surpasses Starbucks
After only a year in business, startup Luckin Coffee said Thursday it will open 2,500 stores this year to dislodge Starbucks and become China’s largest coffee chain.
Lindsey Graham: Quitting on the Wall would end Trump presidency
— “If he gives in now, that’s the end of 2019 in terms of him being an effective president. That’s probably the end of his presidency. Donald Trump has made a promise to the American people. He’s going to secure our border.”
——> Actually, a solid majority of the American people oppose The Wall. (Per Quinnipac, Rasmussen, The Hill and Pew Research.) So what Lyin Lindsey really meant was, Trump promised his Deplorables he’d build The Wall, and that Mexico would pay for it.
Three killed as police chase ends with car in frozen river
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Two robbery suspects and an innocent child
— A man and woman killed in a New Year’s Eve police chase that ended when the SUV they were in crashed into the Kinnickinnic River are believed to have been involved in two violent armed robberies earlier in the day, officials said.
— Charles L. Barefield, 29, and Shannon M. Nehmer, 19, were killed in the crash that also killed Nehmer’s 2-year-old daughter Annamelia Hernandez.