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          Slog AM: State Department Blocks Trump-Ukraine Witness, China Wars with NBA, Southwest Pilots Sue Boeing      
https://www.thestranger.com/slog/2019/10/08/41620656/slog-am-state-department-blocks-trump-ukraine-witness-china-wars-with-nba-southwest-pilots-sue-boeing
by Nathalie Graham
The ire of China: The Houston Rockets. Also South Park. And Hong Kong. Its a whole thing.
The ire of China: The Houston Rockets. Also South Park. And Hong Kong. It's a whole thing. Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

Seattle City Council limits environmental reviews: Wait! Don't sharpen those pitchforks just yet. This is a good thing. The council has curbed State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) appeals because they are a hindrance to progress and used as a speed bump by critics of projects. SEPA has been weaponized to slow down controversial construction. The council will ban SEPA appeals on all up-zoning projects around transit stations, allowing multifamily units on single-family zoned parcels, and more. There will also be a 120-day limit for appeals unless both sides agree to more. Maybe this will speed up the ol' Seattle process?

State Department orders Trump-Ukraine witness not to speak: Gordon Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, has been ordered by the Trump administration to not appear for his scheduled hearings in front of three House committees on Tuesday. He has no choice but to comply, according to his attorneys. The House Democrats have warned the Trump administration not to interfere in the investigation. This could be used as evidence of obstruction, something on par with impeachment, in the House's opinion. Trump and his team are attempting to quell further cooperation.

Representative Adam Schiff speaks up: Mike Pompeo also missed a Friday deadline to produce documents. The House has now subpoenaed those. One witness has failed to show and another has been pressured not to. Other witness testimonies this week are shakier now.

Sondland's testimony and his evidence are held hostage: According to Schiff, the State Department is holding onto Sondland's texts and e-mails that are on his personal device:

Cause of Ballard fire still unknown: Crews had yet to determine the cause of a three-alarm fire in Ballard on Monday that caused the total destruction of five beloved small businesses. The first 911 call came when a Supercuts employee smelled smoke. A GoFundMe was established by the Ballard Alliance and has, of Tuesday morning, raised a little over $9,000.

Everyone should have naloxone: Listen, the opioid crisis isn't going anywhere and it's even deadlier since fentanyl, the synthetic opioid stronger than heroin, is so prolific. It's safe to assume that any given drug could be tainted with fentanyl. While health officials have tests that can determine whether fentanyl is in a drug, there's no way to tell how much. Everyone should have naloxone, the overdose-reversal drug. There's a statewide prescription.

It's nippy out today: How did we ever get anything done in the winter? It's too cold to even leave my bed right now. I think I might have to be buried here. Or maybe it's time to turn the heat on in our house.

Don't drink and e-scoot: Oktoberfest attendees in Germany found that out the hard way. There were 414 people who were caught driving e-scooters while intoxicated during the Munich beer festival. They lost their licenses.

And now a dispatch from Lester Black: Dave Segal promised that Tinariwen's trance-like blues rock would "flow like medicine for the heart," and Monday night's show at Benaroya Hall proved the prescience of those words. Tinariwen wove a dazzling mix of chants, guitar riffs, and Taureg percussion into an epic tour de force while the crowd danced in the aisles of the symphonic venue, providing demonstrable proof that Seattleites have no rhythm. Although maybe it was just a weird crowd; I saw one goateed man burst into tears during one of opener Lonnie Holley's rambling psychedelic masterpieces.

Southwest Airlines is suing Boeing: Because of the grounding of the 737 MAX 8 planes, the aircraft responsible for two fatal plane crashes. Southwest Airlines had more than 30,000 flights canceled, which cost pilots more than $100 million in lost wages.

China dumps South Park: The most recent episode of the animated series has offended the Chinese government and the show is now banned in China. It took aim at China's censorship practices and how media companies (cough Disney cough) must capitulate to Chinese standards in order to do business there. Anyway, it's a whole hubbub. This is the apology that Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park's creators, issued:

Wait, what was that about the NBA and China? The general manager of the Houston Rockets tweeted a message over the weekend in support of the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. China is not happy. The NBA quickly groveled, apologizing for the comments and trying to separate them from the league itself. This week, the Lakers and the Brooklyn Nets will play two exhibition games in China. The most recent development is that the Taiwanese owner of the Brooklyn Nets called the Hong Kong protests a "separatist movement," echoing the language Beijing has used.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver defended the pro-Hong Kong tweets: And now China is reevaluating their entire relationship with the NBA. They have suspended the current broadcast arrangement for preseason games in China.

California will allow HIV prevention pills without a prescription: It's the first state to do so.

Happy Tuesday: I hope it can be at least a little bit like this video.

Today's EverOut picks are: A talk on US transit systems with Christof Spieler, the quasi-adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, Austen's Pride, and a show with much-loved '70s-era punks Stiff Little Fingers. See more on our EverOut Things To Do calendar.

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