Interesting stuff happening or happened Thursday, April 18, 2024. Not an exhaustive list. Definite liberal truth bias. By Jan Blixt (@janblixt on Threads). 

Voting will run in 7 phases from April 19 to June 1 for India’s national elections, THE biggest democratic exercise in history. 969 million voters are expected to vote using 5.5 million voting machines across 44 days. Results will be announced on June 4.
Voting in India runs in phases to allow equipment and poll workers to shift focus around the country. Indians are voting for 545 representative seats in the Lok Sabha (House of the People) – with the coalition winning a majority of seats forming the next government and choosing the PM. They are also voting for ⅓ of the 245 seats in the Rajya Sabha (Council of States), kinda like their Senate.

An international team of scientists has determined that a planetary body roughly twice the size of Switzerland likely collided with non-planet Pluto cataclysmicly creating “Tombaugh Regio,” the heart-shaped splotch.

In more news of flooding in places where it usually doesn’t flood, the same record-breaking rainstorms that smashed through the Arabian Peninsula have caused downpours in southeast Iran requiring Department of Environment to issue a warning about “short-nosed crocodiles” being forced out of their natural habitats and being aggressive towards people trying to move their property out of the flood waters.

In NY, a jury of 12 has been empaneled in the first of DJT’s criminal trials after two who had been empaneled yesterday were released this morning: one for lying about past criminal issues and the other as she had been outed by Fox’s Jesse Waters and asked to be released. The jurors’ social media posts were read aloud to show bias and pool reporters say DJT was bothered by them. Tomorrow they will continue voir dire for the rest of the alternates. Temperature in the courtroom today was very chilly – no really, everyone was complaining to the judge about the cold.

The US vetoed a motion in the UN Security Council today on whether to recommend that Palestine receive full UN membership, which would effectively recognize its statehood. At this time, the UN considers Palestine a “nonmember observer state” – the Vatican (or “The Holy See” as it’s listed) seems to be the only other of these that I could find. Observers have the right to speak at United Nations General Assembly meetings, but not vote on resolutions.

I can’t believe I’m even writing this one, for multiple reasons: A Louisiana House committee has voted to repeal a law requiring employers to give child workers lunch breaks. Rep. Roger Wilder, who also owns many “Smoothie Kings” restaurants, sponsored the legislation and when asked, said he filed the bill in part because children want to work without having to take lunch breaks.

15 adult members of the Kennedy Family, including Kathleen (RFK Jr’s sister) endorsed Joe Biden for president. No family endorsements yet for RFK Jr or DJT.

Stanford researchers announce findings as to why women get autoimmune disorders in much higher numbers than men: the X chromosome. The Y chromosome contains only a few active genes, the X has hundreds. With two Xs, the cells risk overproduction of proteins – which can be fatal. Early in embryogenesis, in females, the cell basically shuts down one of the two doubles in a process called X-chromosome inactivation (Jan’s scientific/legal/jargon term of the day). That inactivation seems to be the main cause of autoimmune issues. Note: there are some other causes, which is why men can also get them, but most appear to be caused this way.
(For the purposes of this news story, “female” is defined as two X chromosomes and “male” as an X and a Y. Please note: there are plenty of people who have XXY or XYY or XXX and many other variations on the standard model.)

A British sheep farmer says Axe body spray prevents her rams from getting aggressive with each other.

A $95bn US security package destined for Ukraine, Taiwan, and Israel, will be voted on as early as Saturday says Speaker Mike Johnson. The aid package, that has bipartisan support and would pass easily if it comes to a vote, has been stayed by MAGA House Republicans, loyal to DJT, who have threatened to oust Johnson if it comes to the floor.

Late entry (and I promise not to spend too much time on DJT, just what’s currently happening.) Judge Merchan ordered the jury be ready for opening statements and witness testimony Monday. Defense councel asked the prosecution for the list of witnesses set to appear early next week. This a standard courtesy in a criminal trial. The prosecution council (Steinglass) says that’s a courtesy they will not be extending in this case as DJT tweets (just gonna use tweets for shorthand) about witnesses. Judge concurs and says he will not order it.

There’s tons more, it’s a big world, but that’s a quick clip.