December 21, 2018: What to Know 

BINGO BARNES
  • Bingo Barnes
  • 'Twas the day before the day before the day before the day before Christmas and all through the nation's capital, things were a mess, as lawmakers and federal workers felt nothing but stress. President Trump warned early this morning that a threatened government shutdown "will last for a very long time" if he doesn't get funding for a U.S./Mexico border wall attached to a budget to keep the federal government functioning. A new spending plan must be approved by midnight tonight in order to avoid nine government departments—including Homeland Security, Justice and the State department—shutting down, leaving more than 420,000 federal employees without pay.

  • click to enlarge Rev. W. Thomas Faucher - ACSO
    • ACSO
    • Rev. W. Thomas Faucher
    Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said Thursday's sentencing of Rev. W. Thomas Faucher brought to close "one of the most difficult cases the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Unit has ever investigated." Faucher was sentenced to 25 years in prison for possessing and distributing child pornography, plus additional drug charges. "I also want to extend my gratitude to the Ada County Prosecutor's Office for their collaboration and diligence in seeing this troubling case through to a successful resolution," said Wasden. "This was not an easy case to take on, but the prosecutors never wavered and, as a result, justice has been served."
  • The BBC reports that flights resumed this morning at Britain's Gatwick Airport, nearly 36 hours after drones first flew over its runway, canceling 800 flights at Gatwick and disrupting air traffic across Europe.

  • Here's something that might beat the stress at some U.S. airports, including Boise's, today: Alaska Airlines will give priority boarding to all passengers wearing... well, let's say "crazy" or "festive" sweaters today. Today is National Ugly Sweater Day and Alaska is joining in on the fun.

  • click to enlarge NASA
    Today is the Northern Hemisphere's winter solstice, also known as the day when it gets the least sunlight. In America's northernmost metropolitan area, Fairbanks, Alaska, which is only 120 miles south of the Arctic Circle, they will only see 3 hours and 41 minutes of daylight today.

  • Three Soyuz Space Station astronauts, an American, German and Russian, returned to Earth Thursday after spending a stunning 197 days in orbit. Space.com says the trio safely touched down in a very snowy Kazakhstan, one minute ahead of schedule.

  • Variety reports this morning that the top price for a movie ticket in London has inflated to an eye-popping 40 pounds (that's more than $50). The new ODEON Luxe in midtown London's Leicester Square is charging the new steep price for screenings of Mary Poppins Returns. Theater owners say the seat is a "full recliner," but of course, soda and popcorn is extra.

  • Ticket prices range from $20 to $75 for today's Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, which will kick off this afternoon at Albertsons Stadium on the campus of Boise State. The BYU Cougars will take on the Broncos of Western Michigan. Kickoff is 2 p.m. and the game will be televised by ESPN.
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