April 16, 2017: What to Know 

  • Bingo Barnes
  • Today—Easter Sunday—marks the holiest day of the Christian calendar and Pope Francis stood before thousands in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican this morning to condemn terrorism and corruption, according to the BBC. "May [God] in a particular way sustain the efforts of those who are actively working to bring healing and comfort to the civilian population of Syria, the beloved and martyred Syria, who are victims of a war that does not cease to sow horror and death," he said.
  • Meanwhile, a University of Texas scholar penned an interesting story this morning in the Houston Chronicle, explaining why today's holiday is called "Easter." It turns out that that there was a pre-Christian goddess by the name of Eostere, referred to in the writings of the Venerable Bede, a British monk from the late seventh or early eighth century. Bede wrote that the primary month when English Christians celebrated the resurrection of Christ was better known as Eosturmonath, which celebrated the goddess Eostere. The name stuck and, soon thereafter, the English and Germans began referring to the festival of Jesus's resurrection as Eostere or Easter.
  • North Korea's latest show of force was decidedly un-forceful this morning, as a much touted missile launch resulted in the weapon fizzling into the Sea of Japan. NBC News reports the failed launch came one day after North Korea showed off its military hardware in a parade to celebrate the so-called Day of the Sun, commemorating the 105th birthday of the nation's founder, Kim Il Sung—grandfather of the nation's current despot, Kim Jong Un. This morning's missile failure came just hours before Vice President Mike Pence arrived in South Korea. Meanwhile, the USS Vinson aircraft carrier continues to head toward the waters off the Korean Peninsula.

click to enlarge More than 300 citizens attended the Tax Day rally April 15 at the Idaho Statehouse. - IDAHO DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS
  • Idaho Democratic Caucus
  • More than 300 citizens attended the Tax Day rally April 15 at the Idaho Statehouse.
  • About 300 people gathered Saturday on the steps of the Idaho Statehouse to participate in one of dozens of Tax Day demonstrations across the nation. Protesters pushed back against President Donald Trump's executive actions and saber rattling, while repeating their demand for the president to release his tax returns. "Trump is content with making money off of the presidency while the rest of us grapple with real, everyday problems—including paying our taxes on Monday," Idaho House Rep. Melissa Wintrow (D-Boise) said Saturday. "And that’s why millions of Americans are gathering today to demand that our president be accountable to us—the people who voted for him and those who did not." NPR reports demonstrations across the country called on Trump to do something every president since Gerald Ford has done: release his individual tax returns. While Trump continues to insist most Americans don't care about the issue, a recent poll found 51 percent of Americans believe it is "somewhat" or "very" important for Trump to release his returns.
  • The Treasure Valley should enjoy a pleasant Easter Sunday with a mix of sun and clouds and a high in the upper-60s. That's a stark contrast from Easter 1969, when more than 7 inches of snow fell, according to the National Weather Service. Boise's coldest Easter was in 1945, when Peter froze his cottontail in 24-degree weather. The warmest Easter was in 1897, when Boise hit 86 degrees. This year, Boise should see some clouds on Monday and showers return to the region Tuesday.

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