Seven Dead in London Attack
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Vol. 6, No.146
London Bridge: Seven people are dead and as many as 48 injured after a van mowed down pedestrians on the London Bridge last night and three men armed with large knives emerged to attack people in nearby Borough Market. All three assailants were killed by the police.
British authorities are calling it a terrorist incident and Prime Minister Theresa May declared “enough is enough” as she announced the government will ramp up counter-terrorism efforts. “Our society should continue to function in accordance with our values. But when it comes to taking on extremism and terrorism, things need to change,” May said.
The van drove up on the sidewalk of the bridge a little after 10 pm and, shortly after, witnesses reported seeing a bearded man with a large knife. BBC reporter Holly Jones, who was on the bridge at the time, said the van was going about 50 miles an hour and, “He hit about two people in front of me and then three behind.”
One witness told the BBC he saw a woman being stabbed “10 or 15 times” by men shouting, “This is for Allah”.
President Trump immediately used the incident to campaign for his travel and immigration ban. He tweeted, “We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!”
This morning, America’s intellectual 8-year-old tweeted, “Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now? That’s because they used knives and a truck!”
Rule of Law: Coincidentally yesterday, Justice Neil Gorsuch, who will have a vote if and when Trump’s travel ban gets to the Supreme Court, spoke up for the powers of judicial review during an appearance at Harvard. He said, “the government can lose in its own courts and accept the judgment of those courts.” He added, “I know there is a lot of cynicism about government and the rule of law today,” he said, “but I don’t share it.”
Alas, Poor Yorick: Figuring out what motivates President Trump has become an industry. Why Trump chose to leave the Paris Climate Accord has some opinionators wondering whether it was really for economic or even environmental reasons.
Michael Grunwald writes for Politico that, “It was about extending a middle finger to the world, while reminding his base that he shares its resentments of fancy-pants elites and smarty-pants scientists and tree-hugging squishes who look down on real Americans who drill for oil and dig for coal.”
Grunwald goes on to say that in pulling out of the Paris deal, Trump “was also leaning into his political identity as Barack Obama’s photographic negative, dismantling Obama’s progressive legacy, kicking sand in the wimpy cosmopolitan faces of Obama’s froufrou citizen-of-the-world pals.”
Final Frontier: The SpaceX private space exploration company launched its first recycled cargo container to the International Space Station in its continuing quest to reduce the cost of space travel. The Dragon capsule carrying 6,000 tons of supplies was first used three years ago. Re-using the Dragon and Falcon launch rockets is the key to make the recycling effort profitable.
Breakfast of Champions: Celebrated rock climber Alex Honnold became the first person to climb the sheer face of Yosemite’s El Capitan without ropes or safety gear. He set out at 5:32 am and went over the top three hours and 56 minutes later. Honnold had a breakfast of oats, flax, chia seeds, and blueberries, which seems to work for him.