Daily Digest: Iran threatens embargo, school district still under fire, Linsanity

John Hageman

In the wake of international sanctions, Iran is threatening to cut off oil from some of its largest buyers, according to the New York Times. The threats come in response to a planned oil embargo by Europe against Iran. Iran's threat is the latest development in increasing tensions between Iran and Western states that are looking to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. In all, Italy, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Greece and Portugal were warned about the potential embargo. Last month, the European Union decided to impose an oil embargo on Iran effective July 1. Recent sanctions on the country have made importing basic supplies difficult, straining its economy.

Although the Anoka-Hennepin school district voted to eliminate its neutrality policy regarding LGBT issues, but it is still facing litigation from former students who claim they were bullied in its schools because of their “real or perceived” sexual orientation, according to the Pioneer Press. Mediation will continue in early March. The civil rights groups that filed a lawsuit last summer on behalf of the students wrote in a statement that "the repeal of this policy is an important first step, but the district must do much more to create a safe, welcoming and respectful learning environment for all students, including (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) students and gender non-conforming students, and those perceived as such.”

As the only newsroom editor here who has a deep appreciation for professional basketball, I feel it’s my duty to write about possibly the biggest story in the NBA this year, Jeremy Lin. If you aren’t familiar, Lin is the first American-born player of Chinese or Taiwanese decent in the NBA and a Harvard graduate who went undrafted a few years ago. After bouncing around the league for a couple years, he landed in New York, where he rode the bench until Feb. 4 when he scored 25 points as a backup. He’s been in the starting lineup ever since, and the Knicks are on a six-game winning streak. Last night, he hit a 3-pointer with .5 seconds to beat Toronto. “Linsanity” has reached such a fever pitch that his jersey the most popular since Feb. 4, and people are even attempting to trademark the term “Linsanity,” according to the Washington Post. Perhaps the most fascinating part of the Lin saga is that he came out of thin air. Few second round draft picks make a dent in the NBA (not to mention the rarity of undrafted players like Lin), and players don’t typically flourish suddenly after being cut from two teams. And in a day when all NBA stars are living in the lap of luxury, Lin has only recently stopped sleeping on other people’s couches.

This day in history: On Feb. 15, 1898, the USS Maine suddenly exploded in Cuba’s Havana harbor, killing 260 crew members and igniting the Spanish-American War. At the time, the blame was put squarely on Spanish forces. But in 1976, American naval investigators concluded that the explosion was likely caused by a fire in the ammunition stocks of the ship. Go figure.