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The Year in Pictures; criminal justice bill a big marker for Booker | Morning Newsletter

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Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and Eagles quarterback Nick Foles celebrates after beating the New England Patriots for the Super Bowl LII title on Sunday, February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis.
Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and Eagles quarterback Nick Foles celebrates after beating the New England Patriots for the Super Bowl LII title on Sunday, February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis.Read moreYONG KIM / YONG KIM / Staff Photographer

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

Friday might be the first day of winter, but the Philadelphia region should be more worried about flooding than snow. The forecast is calling for up to 2.5 inches of rain between today and tomorrow. The good news? We’ve got a bit of a treat for you this morning, in the form of the year in pictures. Our photographers have worked all year to tell the region’s stories with their cameras. If you get stuck inside thanks to the weather, you can travel time and space with a look back at 2018.

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— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn,

From Super Bowl celebrations to the Starbucks protests, from the opioid epidemic to Election Day to the Cosby trial, the photojournalists of the Inquirer and the Daily News captured the spirit of 2018 in their work this year.

Their photos offer a glimpse into the lives and souls of others from around the Philadelphia region, from everyday moments to once-in-a-lifetime events and beyond. Take a look back with us and keep an eye out for stories from behind the lens as we commemorate the Year in Pictures: News | Entertainment | Sports | People

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf joined a “Twitter Townhall” Wednesday in which he answered questions from Twitter users on a number of issues.

When one user asked, “When will PA catch up and make recreational marijuana legal?” he tweeted, “I think it is time for Pennsylvania to take a serious and honest look at recreational marijuana.”

It appeared to be Wolf’s strongest consideration of legalization yet, just as a new legalization bill is set to be introduced in January.

This week the Senate approved and President Trump endorsed a sweeping criminal justice reform bill that, among other things, will reduce some mandatory-minimum sentencing for drug felonies and include more opportunities for inmates to shorten their sentences.

That’s good news (and good timing) for Sen. Cory Booker, as the bill might be his most significant policy achievement in Washington.

The New Jersey Democrat has made criminal justice reform a central cause of his time in Congress and he’s nearing a decision about whether to run for president in 2020.

What you need to know today

  1. Eliciting immediate backlash and expressions of shock from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who worry the decision could be a mistake, the Trump administration said Wednesday that it plans to pull all U.S. troops out of Syria

  2. In meeting with residents of Bucks and Montgomery Counties whose water was tainted by chemicals from nearby military bases, officials said Wednesday they could not answer residents' biggest question: what potential adverse effects do the chemicals have on their health?

  3. Chester County District Attorney Thomas P. Hogan’s office is launching a criminal investigation into construction of the contentious Mariner East pipelines. Hogan said state officials have failed to protect local residents.

  4. In rural parts of Pennsylvania, opioids are just one part of the drug epidemic residents need to worry about. An explosion of meth trafficking has compounded the problem.

  5. Last month, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia established a program to acknowledge and compensate victims of clergy abuse. But an entire class of victims is being left out.

  6. An Ogontz man was ordered Wednesday to stand trial for murder in the February death of 23-year-old Tyisha Timmons. Authorities say he shot the woman while she was driving after mistaking her van for a vehicle that had been involved in an earlier shooting. 

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

It almost looks like a starry night, @filladelphie.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting

  1. The internet had a lot to say about Will Smith’s look for the upcoming live-action adaptation of Aladdin. Reporter Brandon T. Harden, for one, fully supports his ponytail.

  2. A new mass-transit station for SEPTA and Delaware’s DART buses is coming to the Pennsylvania-Delaware state line. A developer has donated 15.5 acres to make it possible.

  3. Philly chef Marc Vetri’s latest bet is a new restaurant at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, the second outpost of his famed Spruce Street eatery, Vetri Cucina. 

  4. Eagles fans will be happy to note that, after once again being called from the bullpen to keep the Birds' dreams alive, quarterback Nick Foles is staying calm and comfortable under pressure.

  5. Imagine getting a drug delivery device the size of a grain of rice implanted into your eye. The treatment could make a big difference for millions with a blinding disease. 

  6. Now that the Met Philadelphia is open, concert-goers will need nearby restaurant recommendations. Of course, critic Craig LaBan has plenty


“That struggle between truth and fiction revealed a deep and troubling schism in the black community. In essence, it showed that when social media tells them to do so, too many black millennials are willing to abandon the very rights our ancestors died to give them.” — Columnist Solomon Jones on the Russia disinformation campaign’s manipulation of black voters.

  1. Though the Boy Scouts of America is considering filing for bankruptcy, writes Daniel Templar, a Scout executive and the CEO of Cradle of Liberty Council, Boy Scouts of America, local Scouts are committed to service and safety.

  2. Antony Davies of Duquesne University and James R. Harrigan of the University of Arizona have written an open letter to Democrats taking control of the House next month about how they need to win over “flyover” country.

What we’re reading

  1. As the opioid epidemic ravages communities near and far, the Washington Post is shedding light on the African American heroin users too often overlooked, calling the nation’s capital “ground zero.” It’s a devastating report. 

  2. The story of a Philly lawyer who helped free a Delaware man who was locked up for 39 years after a shoddy investigation is a must-read at Metro Philadelphia.

  3. Trey Brown, a 12-year-old from Delaware County, already has an impressive resume as a fashion designer, and a motivational speaker. WHYY has the inspirational tale. 

  4. Bibliophiles will find a kindred spirit in library fanatic Briana Morgan, reports Philly. She’s launched a blog about visiting all of Philadelphia’s libraries

  5. Today in “what hath the internet wrought”: the Atlantic reports that Instagram influencers, including teens, are faking sponsorship deals to look cool on social media. Sigh. 

Your Daily Dose of | Anatomy

You have never, ever seen a Christmas tree like the one at the Mütter Museum. It’s hung with giant, smiling colons and wreaths of human hair. Yes, really.