News to know: America’s religion, ‘too many’ women, giving Trump credit, grief during the holidays and genocide in Ethiopia


Is Mormonism America’s religion? McKay Coppins thinks so. In an in-depth piece, months in the writing, Coppins delves into the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with a journalistic eye and weaves in his own experience as a member. He asks the question:

What happens when a religious group discovers that it’s spent 200 years assimilating to an America that no longer exists?

As their native country fractures and turns on itself, Mormons are being forced to grapple with questions about who they are and what they believe.


Coppins joined Boyd Matheson on his Therefore, What? Podcast to talk about the process and what he learned while researching and writing this piece. Worth a listen.  

Fined for hiring too many women: The mayor of Paris, France, Anne Hidalgo, has been fined for not having gender equity in her senior leadership positions in 2018. “I am happy to announce we have been fined,” she said at a city council meeting, adding that the fine of 90,000 euros ($110,00) filled her with joy. In 2018, she had 11 women and 5 men in positions of leadership, breaking a rule that said that no more than 60% of Paris’ management positions could be the same gender. (She had 69% women). Hidalgo said she would personally pay the penalty in person and she would be bringing along her deputy mayors and all the women in her administration. (That rule has since been repealed.) 

Biden should give Trump credit for Operation Warp Speed Marc A. Thiessen, columnist for the Washington Post, writes there is one simple way for President-elect Joe Biden to keep his promise to “unite us here at home:” Give President Trump credit for the “stunning success of Operation Warp Speed.” The fastest vaccine development prior to this year’s COVID-19 vaccine was four years to develop the current mumps vaccine. Operation Warp Speed took 9 months. The genius of Operation Warp Speed, says Theissen, is running the vaccine development process in parallel rather than sequentially.

Podcast: Relentlessly Resilient In this podcast hosted by Jennie Taylor, whose husband Brent was killed in Afghanistan and Michelle Scharf, whose husband died of metastatic prostate cancer, they share some of their thoughts on creating meaningful celebrations of life and handling grief during the holidays. The holidays can be tender times and it always helps to know you are not alone. 

Genocide risk increasing in Ethiopia A group of Ethiopian refugees living in Utah marched in Salt Lake City on Wednesday to bring attention to brutal mass killings occurring in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. Violence erupted in November when an army base in Mekelle was taken over, prompting military action and subsequent escalation. The government has cut communication lines to the area and has closed off roads, making it impossible to get any kind of “food, health and other emergency supplies” into the region. Two of my sons were born in Mekelle – this feels very personal to us.