December 9, 2016 Last Updated 9:55 am

More government turnover as South Korea Parliament votes to impeach president

Morning Brief: Alabama inmate put to death despite recommendation of jury of life in prison without parole, Supreme Court fails to intervene

These days the swapping out of one smartphone for another is a chore no one looks forward to. But my travails involving getting an appointment at an Apple Store and eventually getting a phone that works finally are over – except for the part of moving all those apps into their proper folders.

These days Apple doesn’t make things easy. In order to get my appointment I needed to have someone else do it for me because without a working phone there is no way to get a Genius Bar appointment. The way Apple wants you to do it is to go online, sign-in with your Apple ID, then Apple sends a code to… your iPhone. Brilliant system, right?

Oh well, it’s almost done. Almost.

Meanwhile, another government has fallen, this time in South Korea. It’s hard to keep track… Italy, New Zealand, the UK the US…

The Associated Press:

S. Korea PM officially becomes acting president

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been officially stripped of power after being impeached.

The suspension of Park’s power was made Friday when her office received a copy of the impeachment motion hand-delivered by National Assembly officials.

Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn now steps in as acting president until the country’s Constitutional Court deliberates on whether to formally end her presidency or reinstate her. The court has up to 180 days.


Park Geun-hye impeached: Did a puppy bring down South Korea’s president?

president_park-270The political scandal engulfing South Korea has culminated in Park Geun-hye’s impeachment but according to one account, it all started with an argument over a puppy…

…In perhaps some of the most extraordinary testimony heard in South Korea’s parliamentary chamber, Mr Ko described how trouble was brewing between him and Ms Choi.

In 2014, the businesswoman asked him to take care of her daughter’s puppy. Mr Ko brought the dog to his house, then left it there as he went out to play a round of golf.

When he returned, he found Ms Choi in his home, furious with him for abandoning the puppy. The two had a “huge fight”, he said.

One fears with a government not adverse to lying, that anything kind of behavior is possible.

The Guardian, Sean Ingle:

Russian state doped more than 1,000 athletes and corrupted London 2012

The London 2012 Olympics were “corrupted on an unprecedented scale” by Russia’s government and sports authorities, who colluded to ensure the country’s sportspeople were able to take a cocktail of banned performance-enhancing drugs yet evade doping tests, it has been revealed.

A report by the respected Canadian law professor Richard McLaren on behalf of the World Anti-Doping Agency also found evidence that more than 1,000 Russians athletes across more than 30 sports – including football – were involved in or benefited from state-sponsored doping between 2011 and 2015.

The International Olympic Council said that the findings showed “there was a fundamental attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and in sport in general.” It announced it will examine all samples collected from Russian athletes during London 2012, following the findings the report.

I don’t know what your views of the death penalty may be, but one should be able to agree that if a jury recommends that someone convicted of murder be confined to prison for the rest of their life, and not be put to death, that this would be the end of it. But not in Alabama, where a judge can override the verdict of the jury and sentence a man to death anyways.

That is why Ronald B. Smith was put to death by lethal injection yesterday in Alabama.

The defense brought the case to the US Supreme Court in order to get the judge’s ruling overturned, but as the court currently is divided 4 to 4 along ideological lines, the court could not reach a consensus. It cost a man, albeit a murderer, his life. As the NYT article reminds up, Justice Thurgood Marshall had already pointed out the absurdity of Alabama’s system:

The death penalty’s cruel and unusual nature is made all the more arbitrary and freakish, when it is imposed by a judge in the face of a jury determination that the appropriate penalty is life imprisonment.

The New York Times, Adam Liptak:

Alabama Inmate Executed After Supreme Court Refuses a Stay

Mr. Smith was convicted in 1995 of murdering Casey Wilson, a convenience store clerk, the previous year. By a vote of 7 to 5, the jury rejected the death penalty and recommended a sentence of life without parole. The judge overrode that recommendation, sentencing Mr. Smith to death…

…Alabama law allows judges to override jury recommendations in either direction: from life to death or from death to life. But Alabama judges mostly use their power in favor of death.

Since the United States Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, a recent report found, judges in Alabama have overridden recommendations of life 107 times and of death 11 times.

A reminder, as if one is really needed, that so-called ‘fake news’ didn’t start with Breitbart or other far-right websites…

Al Jazeera English, Andrew Mitrovica:

Mainstream media fashioned post-truth, not Trump

The amnesia is convenient. While it may be exculpatory and comforting, it shouldn’t absolve the establishment press of its demonstrable culpability.

The US media would do well to remember its undisputed role not only in regurgitating, but also in providing their impressive imprimatur to a litany of lies that led a nation and a coalition of the gullible into calamitous, never-ending wars that have caused so much death and suffering to so many, in so many places.

Not so long ago, these apparently lie-allergic media titans sold a war armed with the following “facts” that, weaved together, constituted the “broad consensus” – that’s a euphemism for the truth – about Saddam Hussein and Iraq.

Remember? Saddam possesses weapons of mass destruction. Saddam is poised to deploy those weapons quickly and thus destroy a lot of Westerners within minutes.

More B2B titles are leaving print and emphasizing events. This time it is UBM.
Folio, Greg Dool:

UBM Takes Several Titles Digital-Only as Strategic Shift Continues

UBM is ending 2016 by taking several of its trade magazines out of print.

The Americas divison of the global B2B information firm, which has not been shy about its aggressive transition from trade publisher to “events-first” company, confirmed to Folio: today that Design News, MD+DI, Qmed, and Packaging Digest will cease print production following their respective December issues and enter 2017 as digital-only brands.

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