A massive car bomb explosion recently shook Lebanon's southern Beirut, with at least four dead and 65 injured at last count in the suburb called Dahyeh. "As expected, Beirut's new yr off to violent start. bombing in sth suburbs. 3 dead so far," tweeted Rania Abouzeid with Al Jazeera America, before adding even more sourly, "Congratulations Beirut. We're on our way to fully reclaiming the cliched title of being synonymous with car bombs (& bikinis)." Also in Beirut, Journalist Venetia Rainey reflected, "Everyone knew it was coming, but I don't think anyone expected it to come this fast." Another picture of the explosion was also shared from a pro-Hezbollah twitter account, which has also been tweeting what are alleged to be pictures of the victims.
And with the new year comes a new plea from The New York Times -- a plea of amnesty for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. "The @nytimes calls for Edward Snowden to be offered a plea deal or amnesty. Co-sign!" was the enthusiastic tweet from Brian Ries at the Daily Beast. "U.S. should end Edward Snowden’s vilification and give him an incentive to return home," Reuters' Pierre Briançon summarized the editorial. First Look Media's Glenn Greenwald retweeted this noteworthy tweet from Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former Obama State Dept official: "I agree with @nytimes on Snowden."
January 1 also marked the beginning of Bill de Blasio's term as mayor of New York. From Azi Paybarah , Mike Allen and Jimmy Vielkind at Capital New York comes an analysis of de Blasio's transition strategy called "De Blasio’s snow day." It begins with this:
A snow-storm today and tomorrow will test de Blasio with “up to 9 inches of snow and near-blizzard conditions … gusting winds up to 40 mph and single-digit temperatures.” With progressives nationwide hoping de Blasio can prove that they can be trusted to run cities, plowing the streets on-time will be his first chance to prove it."
"If he does it right, can he come to D.C. next?" wondered Pat Garofalo with U.S. News & World Report. Leslie Larson with the New York Daily News also pointed out this scoop in CNY post: "Lis Smith - Eliot Spitzer's love interest, won't follow de Blasio to City Hall via @capitalnewyork."
But before anyone takes these signs as good omens, something slightly less auspicious happened: The New York Post reports the historic FDR Bible that de Blasio was sworn in on suddenly went missing after the ceremony. Long story short, it was fortunately found, but the chronicling of the panicked search that ensued was a roller coaster ride of a read indeed:
And in both the best/worst category of reactions ...