Senator mistakes Western Australia for Washington State

Ted Cruz deleted a tweet railing against coronavirus rules being implemented on the other side of the world

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) mixed up Western Australia with Washington State in a rant against Covid-19 rules that prohibited dancing, blasting the Democrats for restrictions that had actually been imposed on a different continent.

After the Western Australian government announced this week that dancing was “strictly not permitted” for New Year’s Eve parties in the state – part of its latest efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19 following an outbreak – Cruz lashed out in a since-deleted tweet.

“Blue-state Dems are power-drunk authoritarian kill-joys,” the senator wrote. “Washington State: NO DANCING ALLOWED!!! Any rational & free citizen: P*** off.”

Social media users were quick to point out that Cruz had misinterpreted the statement from ‘WA Government’ as having been issued by Washington State, which shares the same abbreviation as the state of Western Australia.

Since @tedcruz deleted this, I’ll post as a reminder to all of us to DO YOUR RESEARCH before posting misinformation. WA means “Western Australia” not Washington state.

— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) December 30, 2021

The “WA government” here is Western Australia. Not everything revolves around the US all the time.

— Grace Panetta (@grace_panetta) December 30, 2021

“Hey Ted, WA is Western Australia. But cool tweet,” responded Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-CA), while Georgia State University law professor Anthony Michael Kreis mocked, “I, like Ted Cruz, am upset I cannot dance in Western Australia because I wanted to club in Perth.”

Others defended Cruz, however, and acknowledged that it was an easy mistake to make.

What should scare you is the fact it sounds believable that a state like Washington would ban dancing on New Year’s, and if they did, there’d be journalists defending it,” argued conservative Tennessee congressional candidate Robby Starbuck.

Minister’s mom comes out to media to apologize for him

New Zealand’s Covid-19 response minister was late for his press conference, but his mother was there to say sorry to journalists for the delay

New Zealand Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins was almost half an hour late for his press conference on Thursday, but his mom came out to the waiting journalists and apologized for her son.

The media event was held outdoors in a nature reserve some 50 kilometers northwest of Wellington, not far from the place where Hipkins and his family were spending Christmas holidays.

The journalists were already there when the minister’s press secretary told them that Hipkins was running late.

But then the cabinet member’s mother came down the track and also apologized to the media for the inconvenience caused by her son.

“She didn’t need to, but mums will be mums. Such a treat,” Katrina Bennett, of NZME media company, who witnessed the scene, wrote on Twitter.

Nice thing about working at this time of year, is that rather than a horde of political minders at today’s Covid presser, @chrishipkins‘ mum came & apologised to us for her son running late 😂 She didn’t need to, but mums will be mums. Such a treat.

— Katrina Bennett (@KatrinaZBWgtn) December 30, 2021

According to Bennett, the woman told them that her 43-year-old son didn’t take his suit with him for the holiday and had to drive back to his home in Upper Hutt in the morning to retrieve it, but got stuck in traffic.

Hipkins eventually made it to the press-conference and was dressed properly, with his much-anticipated arrival – the man approached the media from the bushes – becoming fodder for a bunch of memes on social media.

Stone Cold Chris Hipkins always giving us the meme-able gold 🤣🤣🤣🤣

— Michel Mulipola (@bloodysamoan) December 30, 2021

Is that Big Foot?
No, it’s just Chris Hipkins arriving late from the bush for his presser.

— Jeremy Jupiter Jones (@jeremy_pm) December 29, 2021

The minister told the journalists that around a hundred people in the country were told to self-isolate due to having contact with an Omicron-positive person.

The carrier was British DJ Dimension, who came to New Zealand to perform at a festival, and started partying before receiving the result of his day-nine coronavirus test in violation of the rules.

Hipkins also assured the media that the government wasn’t considering a lockdown due to the emergence of the more contagious, mutant Covid-19 strain in the country. “At this point there is no case to reinstate any boundaries,” he said.

Massive Israeli airstrikes on Latakia, Syria

Massive Israeli airstrikes on Latakia, Syria

Latakia: December 28, 2021: Steven Sahiounie, journalist and political commentator reporting at the scene.

The Israeli air force struck the port at Latakia at 3:21 am. today.  This was the second Israeli attack this month at the main commercial port of Syria on the Mediterranean Sea.  The attack today was massive, which inflicted heavy damage to the port infrastructure as well as massive loss of cargo containers full of civilian imports such as: cotton threads used in fabric factories of Aleppo, car tires, automobile parts, baby milk for pharmacies and many other commercial cargoes for civilian use.


The fire raged for hours and the thick clouds of black smoke are billowing still at 4:00 pm.  No civilian deaths are reported so far, but fire fighters suffered smoke inhalation, and residents in their homes nearby suffered mild to moderate injuries from flying window glass in their homes.  The private hospital opposite the port, Nada Hospital, suffered broken window glass along their front façade. Restaurants and cafes along the Western Corniche have suffered glass damages in one the finest residential areas in Latakia opposite the port.


On December 7, the port at Latakia was attacked by Israeli missiles fired from the Mediterranean Sea at about 1:00 am.  The Syrian air defenses reacted to the strike which produced five large explosions which rocked the nearby residential neighborhoods, with some residents reporting broken windows in the bitterly cold night.


Dozens of shipping containers were destroyed and damaged.  Photos from the scene show packages of coffee scattered among the debris, as evidence of commercial food, having been destroyed.  The port is used by private businesses to import medicines, food products, and supplies for Syrian residents who are suffering from devastating US-EU sanctions which prevent importing materials for rebuilding after 10 years of armed conflict.

The food products destroyed in the attack were imported by private businesses.  These merchants are now faced with financial ruin.  Many such merchants have left the country, but the ones who have stayed have suffered greatly from the US-EU sanctions which prevent the transfer of money from Syria to pay for shipments. These merchants have provided vital supplies for the Syrian public.  The Israeli attack on the shipping containers may cause merchants to give up ordering the supplies the residents need, such as medicines and food, for fear of loss of the cargo to an attack.  This may be part of a siege and blockade strategy on Israel’s part.


Israel has staged hundreds of strikes on targets inside Syria over the years, some of which have targeted the main airport in the capital Damascus.

Israel has acknowledged that it targets the bases of Iran-allied groups, such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah that has fighters deployed in Syria. It says it attacks arms shipments believed to be bound for the groups.

Israel says Iranian presence on its northern frontier is a red line, justifying its strikes on facilities and weapons inside Syria. However, it was Iranian- backed soldiers who have fought to eradicate ISIS and Al Qaeda from Syria in coordination with the Syrian and Russian military.

In two separate Israeli attacks in October, five pro-Iranian militiamen were killed near the Syrian capital Damascus, while nine Syrian soldiers were killed near the T4 airbase east of Palmyra in central Syria, a UK-based rights group said.

On November 3, Israel launched an aerial attack with several missiles targeting an area on the outskirts of the Syrian capital of Damascus.

On November 24, Israeli missile attacks in the west of Homs province killed five people, including civilians, and wounded seven in what was the fourth Israeli attack in the month.

Israel attacked the city of Latakia in 2018, when an Israeli jet-firing missiles hid behind a Russian military plane, in a maneuver called “shadowing.”  Because of this tactic, a Russian plane carrying Russian soldiers was shot down with a great loss of life, which caused serious tensions between Israel and Russia. Israel has also carried out raids against targets in Latakia in 2014 and twice in 2013.

Steven Sahiounie is a two-time award-winning journalist