New York votes in primary—
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clashed in a democratic debate in New York on Thursday, less than a week away from the crucial New York primaries. The two candidates sparred throughout the night, questioning each other’s judgment and even bringing out personal jabs. During the debate Sanders referred to Clinton’s vote on the war in Iraq. Clinton returned with a critique about Sanders’ difficulty with providing specifics on his plans as president. Like many states in this election, there have been critiques about the nomination process. Long lines, inefficient polling systems and—on the democratic side—a closed primary were all raised as complaints by New Yorkers. The primary itself took place on Tuesday, April 20. Donald Trump won the primary with 60.5 percent followed by Kasich and then Cruz. New York is a critical battleground state for the democratic candidates, with 247 delegates hanging in the balance. Hillary Clinton won a 15 point lead on Sanders who only garnered 42 percent of the vote.
Judge Rules that UW Doesn’t Have to Follow Landmark Rules—
A judge ruled on Thursday that because the University of Washington is an educational institution it does not have to abide by Seattle’s landmarks-preservation ordinance, according to the Seattle Times. UW sued the City of Seattle and a local preservation group after the preservationists designated More Hall Annex for landmark status. UW plans to tear down the building to build a new computer-science center. Preservationists worry that if UW does not have to follow the landmark ordinance that buildings with modernist-style architecture could be in danger. The More Hall Annex and many other buildings on the campus were designed by modernist Pacific Northwest architects and some worry that new construction would destroy that lineage. The judge ruled that the university does not need to follow landmark rules because the purpose is to develop the campus to meet the growing educational needs of the state. The university plans on going ahead with the demolition of the 55-year-old building and construction of the new computer science center.
Earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan—
On Saturday, a magnitude-7.8 earthquake hit Ecuador and a magnitude-7.0 hit Japan, according to CNN. The death toll was 272 in Ecuador and 32 in Japan at the time of this writing, and both are expected to rise as rescue teams continue to go through the rubble. Japan also suffered a smaller earthquake on Thursday of last week. Over 2,500 people were injured in the strongest earthquake to hit Ecuador in decades and a state of emergency is in effect for six provinces: Guayas, Manabi, Santo Domingo, Los Rios, Esmeraldas and Galápagos. Ecuador has deployed 10,000 soldiers and 4,600 police officers in a rush to help residents of the affected areas. Two portable hospitals have also been mobilized to the cities of Pedernales and Portoviejo. More than 135 aftershocks followed the Ecuador quake and authorities expect even stronger ones in the coming hours and days, urging residents to be prepared. In Japan, over 100 evacuation centers have opened and offer food, water and blankets to citizens in need. 7,262 people have sought shelter since Friday.
FDA Allows Folic Acid to Stop Birth Defects—
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agreed to allow folic acid to be added to corn-masa flour last Thursday. The corn-masa flour is used to make tamales, corn tortillas and other Latin American food staples. The FDA had been allowing the B vitamin used to fortify wheat and rice flours for two decades, and announced on Thursday that the vitamin can now be immediately added to corn-masa flour. According to NBC News, Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps cells grow, and if a pregnant woman does not have enough of the vitamin, the baby could be born with severe birth defects. The Seattle Times published a thorough investigation in December 2015 of Washington state’s response to a yearslong spike in birth defects, which led to the state’s rewriting of a Medicaid-coverage rule to give more women access to vitamins that can help prevent the disorder. Advocacy groups like the March of Dimes, a charity committed to preventing birth defects, have petitioned the FDA to allow the vitamin to be added to corn-masa flour.
Amazon Offering a Building for Temporary Homeless Shelter—
Amazon responded to Washington’s state of emergency on homelessness by collaborating with Mary’s Place, a non-profit that works with homeless women and their families, to house more than 200 people for the year. Amazon acquired the building back in 2014, but the construction won’t start until 2017. “We had a building that’s not being utilized and we had a crisis in our city. It’s an opportunity for Amazon to be a good neighbor and do the right thing,” John Schoettler, Amazon’s director of global real estate and facilities told the Seattle Times. The building will offer shelter to between 60 and 70 families and, in some cases, pets. Amazon executive John Schoettler said the company hopes to offer additional housing in another nearby building that Amazon owns.
SPD Sergeant Arrested for Allegations of Child Abuse—
A sergeant for the Seattle Police Department named Daniel Amador was arrested after allegations that he repeatedly abused his two daughters. The daughters filed a report with the Seattle Police Department on April 1, claiming that Amador had abused them. After handing over his badge and gun, the sergeant was arrested on Friday. The same man was investigated in 2013 by police and child protection services, but prosecutors declined to pursue the case because of insufficient evidence. He was also sued in 2009 for excessive force in a jaywalking incident. If the sergeant is found guilty of this felony, his status will change to unpaid administrative leave.