Slog AM: Shootings in Seattle, Wages Rising Statewide, and Bret Stephens Is Back in Trouble

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One man was shot on a local highway last night. Another was shot on Capitol Hill.

One man was shot on a local highway last night. Another was shot on Capitol Hill. Roger T. Hagan / Getty Images

Capitol Hill shooting: It occurred last night on the block that holds the Baltic Room. The shooting victim, 26 years old, was reportedly hit in the leg. Back in October, a fight inside the Baltic Room preceded another shooting on that same block. The October shooting injured two people. A Seattle Police Department detective told the Seattle Times that it’s not yet clear whether last night’s shooting involved Baltic Room patrons. “It was outside, so I can’t link it to it,” he told the newspaper.

Highway 509 shooting: It also happened last night. Details are sketchy, but a man driving a car near the South Park neighborhood was reportedly shot in the face.

Facebook quietly takes down “false” ads about PrEP: The medication commonly known as PrEP has been a breakthrough in preventing HIV transmission. But in recent months, health officials have become alarmed that “false” Facebook ads have been setting the stage for a “public-health crisis” by claiming PrEP leads to seriously damaging side effects. Beginning on Friday, reports the Washington Post, Facebook started “retroactively labeling some of [the ads] as rule violations in its archive, limiting their visibility. The company’s third-party fact-checkers concluded the ads were misleading and lacked context.” But given how long this took, and the fact that Facebook at first refused to take down the ads, activists are still concerned about the company’s ad practices and its ongoing role in spreading misinformation.

A decade of major demographic changes in the Seattle area: Bellevue became majority minority, Seattle became a “city of millennials,” the local population exploded due to Amazon’s explosive growth, and the median household income in Seattle hit $93,500. These developments and more make Seattle Times FYI Guy Gene Balk’s list of the top demographic changes during the decade that closes on Tuesday.

Another major change this past decade: The creation of Balk’s “FYI Guy” column, which didn’t exist in the aughts but became, during the 10s, the most reliable source of data-driven information about what’s really changing—and what’s really not changing—in Seattle.

The minimum wage is going up: Starting in 2020, thanks to a voter initiative that passed in 2016, workers all around Washington State will see their minimum wage rise to $13.50 an hour. Sound low? Maybe that’s because you live in Seattle, where a separate push for minimum-wage reform has been going on a lot longer and in 2020 will bring workers in this city a minimum wage of $16.39 per hour (if they work for a large employer) or $15.75 per hour (if they work for a small employer). Will that solve the housing affordability crisis? Nope. As The Stranger reported earlier this year, “minimum wage earners in Seattle would need to work 91 hours per week to afford a studio, 100 hours per week to afford a one-bedroom, and 122 hours per week to afford a two-bedroom.”

Science! It’s out of favor in Donald Trump’s Washington, but it’s still producing discoveries and forward leaps in this Washington. Crosscut has a rundown of some of the “wildest” scientific breakthroughs in this state in 2019, including one that led to the breeding of millions of “cockles.” Terrified? Been calling for more cockles since before you can remember? Here’s what they are.

John Lewis has pancreatic cancer:

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The latest Bret Stephens controversy: “The right-wing New York Times columnist Bret Stephens has sparked furious controversy online for a column praising Ashkenazi Jews for their scientific accomplishments, which critics say amounts to embracing eugenics,” the Guardian reports. The column has since been revised by the Times.

And was this actually the best decade ever for the poorest people on the planet? Axios argues it was, pointing out that “the rate of extreme poverty around the world was cut in half over the past decade (15.7% in 2010 to 7.7% now),” and also noting “massive declines in mortality rates for women and infants,” massive increases in education and literacy, and a near-doubling of incomes for “the world’s bottom 50% of earners” since 1980. Why do you have the distinct impression that this wasn’t a great decade to be poor or even middle class? It might be because you’re focused mainly on life in wealthy countries (like this one) where the 1 percent sucked up vast amounts of money over the last decade while, according to Axios, “the 49% of people below them, which includes almost everybody in the United States and Europe, lost out, and their incomes stagnated.”

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