In the News: Week of January 5th

What happened in the world from January 5th - 11th

Happy Sunday morning everyone! It has been a wild week in the news, to say the least, so let’s jump right in and not waste any time.

In the news this week

President Trump backed away from further conflict with Iran on Wednesday. His announcement came the day after Iran retaliated by launching missile attacks on two military bases in Iraq where American and Iraqi forces are stationed. There were no casualties from the strikes, and some Trump administration officials believe that Iran’s missiles intentionally missed areas populated by Americans. If Iran’s strikes had killed Americans, there could have been a further escalation in the conflict. For now, it looks like the conflict has been de-escalated.

A Boeing 737 crashed in Tehran, Iran early Wednesday morning, killing all 176 on board. The jet was operated by a Ukranian carrier, and bound for Ukraine. The plane that crashed was a 737 Next Gen, not the ill-fated 737 MAX. The cause of the crash was not immediately known; an Iranian official told the Islamic Republic News Agency that an engine had caught fire and the pilot was unable to regain control. American officials said Thursday that the intelligence community had a high level of confidence that an Iranian missile accidentally shot down the plane. On Friday, Iran admitted the plane was shot down due to human error.

Video of the crash shows the plane being hit by what appears to be an Iranian missile. The plane did not explode when the missile hit the plane, and turned around and headed back towards the airport. The plane then exploded and crashed before it made it back to the airport. Consequences for Iran’s actions are unclear at this point.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will send articles of impeachment to the Senate next week. President Trump will be acquitted in the Republican-led Senate. The proceedings could have impacts on the Democratic primaries; almost half of the candidates could be stuck in the Senate leading up to the Iowa caucus on February 3rd.

Bernie Sanders jumps to a small lead in a major Iowa poll. In a Des Moines Register poll, Senator Bernie Sanders led the Democratic field in Iowa with 20% of the vote, followed by Warren at 17%, Buttigieg at 16%, and Joe Biden at 15%. Iowa is far from the biggest state in the U.S., but they vote first in the primaries, which means they often have a major impact on the race. 

The odds of winning the Democratic nomination changed noticeably after the DMR poll came out; in the 538 primary forecast, Joe Biden’s odds of winning the nomination dropped 4% to 37%, Bernie Sanders’ odds increased 2% to 24%, and the odds of no candidate capturing over 50% of pledged delegates remained at 14%. Elizabeth Warren’s odds are at 13% and Pete Buttigieg is at 10%. All other candidates combined have about a 1% chance of capturing the nomination.

Headline of the Week: Is This Horse Living in a Third-Floor Apartment?

This is a great headline but there’s no meat behind the story. The picture is pretty funny though, so I would recommend clicking the link and checking it out. Unfortunately it isn’t a real horse, but a horse statue. I have a dream that one day horses and humans can cohabitate and live together in harmony, but unfortunately that day is not today.

Recommended Reading: Everyone Knows Memory Fails as You Age. But Everyone Is Wrong.

Finally, some positive news about aging. This short article is written by a neuroscientist, and he argues that memory doesn’t fail as much as we think as we age. Short-term memory lapses occur throughout every decade of life, and our ability to restore the contents of short-term memory declines only slightly in each decade after 30. The difference is not age, but how we describe lapses in short-term memory. When young people have memory lapses, they chalk it up to a lack of sleep or being busy. When older people have memory lapses, they become concerned about their brain health.

In the absence of a brain disease, older adults show little or no cognitive decline until age 85-90.

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