EARLY EDITION: Five Quick News Stories For Your Water Cooler Chat (Fri. Jan 27)

Todays Stories include: Putin Angle On Koran Burning; Priest burned alive; Best class project ever; Angry cops rioting; Shades of '08 crash

Here are the stories that no one is talking about … but should be.

1. Plot twist in Sweden’s Koran-burning protest

Any hope of Turkey agreeing to Sweden joining NATO was already hanging by the slimmest of threads. They are miles apart on how the Kurds. But any chance they had of reconciling went up in smoke when one guy in Sweden used a burning Koran outside Turkey’s embassy as part of a protest.

Needless to say, Islamic people and countries did not handle that news well. Whatever reports may have described his reasons early on, they have been given an entire new framing now.

A former writer for two Russian news outlets, Chang Frick, not only paid the administration fee for the protest, he pledged to cover any damges incurred by Rasmus Paludan as a result of torching a Koran.

In case his motives were unclear, we can look to Frick’s social media account, where his Twitter feed shows him wearing a Putin T-shirt.

To Putin, paying a little cash out of pocket to inflame intra-NATO divisions to keep Turkey from approving Sweden must seem a little like finding a dollar and using it to buy a winning lottery ticket.

2. Persecutions continue … 1 priest shot, colleague burned to death

Nigeria is currently one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a Christian. (#6 on the 2023 Open Doors World Watch List) and here is an other example of why:

Two Catholic priests suffered violence — and one died — at the hands of gunmen in Northern Nigeria. Attackers were unable to gain entry to the priests’ residence at 3am, so they set it ablaze. Father Achi was burned alive, Father Collins fled. He was shot, but not fatally as he made his escape.

The motive was not stated, but this attack occurred in Northern Nigeria, where there is a long history of kidnapping Christians to hold them for ransom. You may remember Michelle Obama holding up a ‘bring back our girls’ sign after a girls’ shool was attacked, and students carried away to the jungle to suffer God-knows-what indignity. This is related.

3. Classy act of kindness in Tennessee

Sergio Peralta, 15, had a problem. His right hand was not fully formed. He tried to hide it and downplay it.

Little did he imagine that his disability would be the focal point of a project that would bring his entire class together. Henderson High School had a class taught by Jeff Wilkins, called ‘Engineering: Design and Development’. The entire point of the class is go beyond the philosophial by bringing it into the tangible world.

The teacher, hearing about Sergio’s issue gave the class a simple goal: build Sergio a prosthetic hand.

After several weeks’ work, sizing, 3D printing, and all of that, they came together, made friendships, and built a hand complex enough that could even let Sergio play a game of catch.

In Sergio’s words, ‘changed my life’. Truth be told, that teacher probably changed all of their lives with this one project.

4. After more than a dozen cops are killed, police are rioting.

Haiti has never been known for its political stability, but you can really tell if things have gone off the rails when the people BREAKING the law in a violent mob are the same people who have been charged with upholding it.

Criminal gangs in the capital city of Port-Au-Prince have killed (so far this year) as many as 14 police officers. A human rights group puts that number at about 78 officers killed since 2021.

When police saw the government was not taking meaningful action in response, they found a way to get the Public’s attention. Cameras were broken, tires burned, and vehicles damaged as more than 100 activists took to the streets.

This issue remains unresolved.

5. Overheated housing markets could see a crash like the one in ’08.

Goldman Sachs has identified four US cities where it predicts a housing crash of a kind not seen since 2008 will crater housing prices and wipe out many investors.

They do not predict this become a national ‘contagion’ like what we saw in 2008. The fundamentals are upside-down in a few cities, but others — like Miami and even Baltimore — might see housing prices continue to rise.

What for cities are they bearish on? The four cities they think will take a bath are: San Jose; Austin; Phoenix; San Diego.

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