The Top Stories on the Internet Today (Thursday January 24)

January 24, 2019

Here are today’s top stories.

With votes scheduled, Washington gropes for way out of shutdown

It may look like a typical Washington farce, but a pair of Senate show votes this week might just be the first, tentative step on a long road out of the longest government shutdown in history.

The Washington Post: Former White House aide describes ‘absolutely out of control’ White House staff in new book

Former White House communications aide Cliff Sims describes scenes of an “absolutely out of control” White House staff, President Donald Trump berating the then-speaker of the House from his own party over loyalty and the President walking out of policy meetings in his upcoming book, according to excerpts published by The Washington Post.

Can the Congo save itself, and its near-mythical okapi?

Half zebra, half giraffe, the okapi was only discovered in 1901. Much like the country it is native to, its future looks disastrously uncertain.

Macau syndicate smuggled $4.4 billion out of China, police say

Chinese authorities say they have busted an underground money-smuggling ring used to launder more than $4.4 billion through the Asian gambling hub of Macau.

Oscars 2019: See who’s nominated

The nominees for the 91st Academy Awards were revealed Tuesday morning.

SCOTUS order on transgender ban helps Trump push America backward

It takes a special kind of hubris to deny qualified, devoted servicemembers the opportunity to serve and still call yourself a representative of American greatness and military power, writes Jill Filipovic. The courts are supposed to be bulwarks against such arbitrary and biased exclusions.

Serena Williams loses at Australian Open, so no Osaka rematch

Serena Williams will have to wait for a record-tying 24th grand slam title — and rematch with Naomi Osaka — after she missed four match points in a quarterfinal defeat at the Australian Open to Karolina Pliskova.

Stefanos Tsitsipas: YouTube star and now grand slam semifinalist

Stefanos Tsitsipas upset Roger Federer two days ago before becoming the youngest man to reach the Australian Open semifinals in 16 years, confirming his status as one of the brightest hopes in all of tennis.

Zimbabwe troops ‘used systematic torture’

A government-appointed human rights group in Zimbabwe has accused soldiers of using “systematic torture” in a crackdown on protests. The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission strongly criticised authorities for using troops to quell demonstrations. Unrest broke out more than a week ago following a sharp rise in fuel prices.

Model says ‘racist’ D&G ad ruined career

The Chinese model featured in a Dolce & Gabbana ad campaign accused of racism has said the controversy almost ruined her career. Three videos, released in November, showed Zuo Ye struggling to eat Italian food including cannoli and pizza with chopsticks.

‘My abusive relationship with R Kelly’

For two years, Asante McGee was a girlfriend of the now-disgraced R&B superstar, R Kelly, but in the summer of 2016 she went to live in his house in Georgia. There were other women there, she discovered – and very strict rules.

Brexit prompts Sony’s Europe HQ move

Sony will move its European headquarters from the UK to the Netherlands to avoid disruptions caused by Brexit. The company said the move would help it avoid customs issues tied to Britain’s exit from the EU, according to AFP. Despite the move, Sony won’t shift personnel and operations from the existing UK operations.

Drone Sighting Halts Operations At Newark Liberty Airport

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – Flight arrivals at Newark Airport were briefly suspended Tuesday evening after a drone was spotted over another nearby airport, officials said, in the latest incident of the unmanned aircraft affecting commercial air travel.

Jimmy Fallon Gets Inside Trump’s Head And Reveals His Innermost Thoughts

Jimmy Fallon, host of “The Tonight Show,” channeled President Donald Trump on Tuesday night, revealing his innermost thoughts as he looked out a window of the White House. Faux Trump pondered the federal workers who’ve been furloughed due to his government shutdown, the wall he desperately wants to build and his wife, Melania.

Caterer Stiffed By Fyre Festival Organizers To Receive $169,000 From GoFundMe

A Bahamian restaurant owner who sunk $50,000 of her savings into catering the disastrous 2017 Fyre Festival only to never receive compensation will finally be getting a paycheck thanks to thousands of strangers.

Arizona Lawmaker Wants Porn To Fund Trump’s Border Wall

A GOP lawmaker wants to fund President Donald Trump’s border wall by squeezing money out of every Arizonan who patronizes pornographic websites. Republican state Rep. Gail Griffin, R-Hereford, recently introduced House Bill 2444, which would require electronics manufacturers to preinstall porn-blocking software on all electronic devices bought or sold in the state, AZ Central reported.

John Kerry: Donald Trump Should Resign

Former Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday sent a pointed message to President Donald Trump: Resign. The former Democratic senator from Massachusetts hesitated for a few moments when asked during a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, what he would tell Trump if he were next to him.

Sinkhole opens up a block from the White House. Yes, another one.

It figures that in the midst of the longest government shutdown in American history, the earth would literally open up a block from the grounds of White House. Yet another sinkhole – a depression in the ground caused by a collapse of land – has opened up in Washington D.C., this time just a block from the presidential residence.

Dog and dolphin swim together like lifelong friends

A dog and dolphin were spotted swimming together in Australia.

‘Black Panther,’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ score multiple Oscar nominations

Is it already Oscar season? Was it not just yesterday, or perhaps 10 years ago, that we watched the epic Moonlight/La La Land flub and then called it a night? That was actually almost two full years ago, so time is a construct and we’re back to the Hollywood hills in preparation for the 2019 ceremony.

‘Black Panther’ made Oscars history and all the stars are thrilled

It’s official: Black Panther is a Best Picture nominee. Sure, Marvel’s first movie of 2018 was the top-earning release in the U.S. for the year, but there was every reason to expect a snub. This is the first Best Picture nod for a superhero flick in Academy history, after all.

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