Friday, May 20, 2022

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

The good:

President Biden touched down in South Korea on Friday in the first visit to Asia of his presidency, kicking off a five-day tour designed to underscore his administration’s diplomatic and economic commitment to the region in the face of a rising China.

Biden’s first remarks here nodded to a top domestic priority for the administration, calling for final passage of a sweeping bill in Congress meant to boost U.S. competitiveness against China that House and Senate negotiators are scrambling to finalize.  [snip]

Before he spoke, Biden toured a Samsung facility that will serve as a model for a plant the company is building in Texas — a sample of the president’s “foreign policy for the middle class” ethos that has guided his administration. The new Samsung plant, located northeast of Austin, will produce computer chips used in electronic items and will create about 3,000 new jobs, according to the White House.

The bad:

Videos from Bucha, Ukraine, appeared to show a group of Ukrainian captives being led at gunpoint by Russian troops moments before they were executed.

The videos, obtained and verified by The New York Times, were taken on March 4 by a security camera and a civilian who witnessed the ordeal.

The security camera footage showed a group of nine Ukrainians hunched over, holding the pants of the person in front of them and some with their hands placed over their heads, crossing a street in a single file. Two Russian soldiers with guns can be seen at the front and back of the group, directing the line.

Eight witnesses told The Times the captives were then taken behind an office building, gunshots were heard, and the group did not reappear. 

Additional drone footage obtained by The Times confirmed the witness accounts, showing the groups' bodies beside an office building as Russian soldiers stood over them.

The ugly:

SpaceX, the aerospace firm founded by Elon Musk, the world's wealthiest man, paid a flight attendant $250,000 to settle a sexual misconduct claim against Musk in 2018, Insider has learned.

The attendant worked as a member of the cabin crew on a contract basis for SpaceX's corporate jet fleet. She accused Musk of exposing his erect penis to her, rubbing her leg without consent, and offering to buy her a horse in exchange for an erotic massage, according to interviews and documents obtained by Insider.

The incident, which took place in 2016, is alleged in a declaration signed by a friend of the attendant and prepared in support of her claim. The details in this story are drawn from the declaration as well as other documents, including email correspondence and other records shared with Insider by the friend.

According to the declaration, the attendant confided to the friend that after taking the flight attendant job, she was encouraged to get licensed as a masseuse so that she could give Musk massages. It was during one such massage in a private cabin on Musk's Gulfstream G650ER, she told the friend, that Musk propositioned her.

There are some things money can't buy -- like character.

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