Weekly Review — May 24, 2016, 12:55 pm

Weekly Review

A kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirl is found, an EgyptAir flight vanishes, and U.S. doctors perform the first successful penis transplant.

WeeklyAvatar-SM.pngAn EgyptAir flight en route from Paris to Cairo vanished from radar for unknown reasons and then plunged into the Mediterranean Sea.[1] Search parties from Egypt and the United States recovered baggage and human remains from the wreckage but were unable to locate either of the plane’s black boxes.[2] All 66 passengers and crew members were presumed dead, including six from the Nile settlement of Mit Badr Halawa. “Grief is camped over this village,” said a local resident.[3][4] In Syria, at least 78 people died in coordinated suicide attacks by the Islamic State on two government-
held cities; and in Yemen, at least 40 army recruits died when an Islamic State militant detonated a car bomb outside the home of a senior general.[5][6] An American drone strike in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan killed Taliban leader Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, and an antigovernment demonstration in Baghdad’s Green Zone resulted in the deaths of four people.[7][8] In France, police staged a rally in the Place de la République to denounce cop hatred, and a mob set a police car on fire. “Justice,” they chanted, “nowhere.”[9] Authorities in Hong Kong prepared for the visit of a top Chinese politician by reinforcing sidewalks with glue to prevent bricks from being used as weapons, and the Chinese military carried out helicopter-assault exercises near Taiwan days before the inauguration of the island’s first female president. “Relevant persons,” said China’s defense ministry, “shouldn’t read too much into it.”[10][11]

Officials in China denied selling cans of marinated human flesh to African supermarkets, and a schoolgirl kidnapped from the Nigerian town of Chibok two years ago by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram was found wandering in a forest with a four-month-old baby and a man claiming to be her husband.[12][13] Earthquakes of magnitudes 6.7 and 6.8 struck western Ecuador, floods and landslides killed at least 92 people in Sri Lanka, and temperatures rose to a record 123.8 degrees Fahrenheit in India’s desert state of Rajasthan. “My buffalo is giving only one third of the normal milk,” said a farmer.[14][15][16] The U.S. Supreme Court ordered a new trial for a black man sentenced to death by an all-white jury, and an Austrian presidential candidate with the Freedom Party, which was founded by former Nazis, narrowly lost the election.[17][18] Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto proposed legalizing same-sex marriage, Canadian parliament members introduced legislation that would ban discrimination against transgender people, and teenagers in Chester, Vermont, wore “Straight Pride” T-shirts to protest a new policy at their high school that allows transgender students to use whatever bathroom accords with their gender identity.[19][20][21] A Louisiana lawmaker proposed and then withdrew legislation that would have required dancers at strip clubs to weigh less than 161 pounds. “I can’t strip, either,” said the representative. “I’m a little overweight.”[22]

The regional government of Castile and León, Spain, introduced a law to ban the killing of bulls at a centuries-old festival, and it was reported that the owner of central Arizona’s Raging Cajun Smoking Barbecue food truck demanded a sacrifice from his six-year-old son and then snapped the neck of the family poodle and set its corpse on fire.[23][24] Two lions were shot at a Chilean zoo after a man jumped into their cage to commit suicide.[25] At the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, a gelding named Homeboykris won the opening race and then died of an apparent heart attack, and a four-year-old filly named Pramedya fractured her cannon bone and was euthanized on the track.[26] An 86-year-old Florida man who said he could no longer afford his wife’s medication shot her in the head while she slept.[27] Firefighters in Iowa rescued a naked man who got stuck in a chimney while playing hide-and-go-seek, a teacher at a high school in Texas was found to have played jump rope with students using the intestines of a cat, and a 13-year-old girl in Alabama died for unknown reasons during a game of tug-of-war.[28][29][30] Scientists from Austria, Finland, and Hungary found that trees may sleep at night, and, in Massachusetts, a cancer patient received the first-ever penis transplant in the United States. “We belong together,” he said.[31][32][33]

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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