Weekly Review — January 11, 2017, 2:58 pm

Weekly Review

A man kills five people at an airport in Florida, McDonald’s opens a restaurant in the Vatican, and Michigan bans banning plastic bags

WeeklyReviewJK-captionTwenty-six-year-old Esteban Santiago, who last year told the FBI that the CIA was forcing him to join the Islamic State and that voices in his head had ordered him to commit acts of violence, flew from Alaska to Florida’s Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport, walked into the baggage-claim area, and allegedly opened fire on travelers, killing five people before running out of ammunition for his semiautomatic handgun, which he had transported legally in his luggage, and which police in Alaska had two months earlier confiscated and then returned to him after finding no evidence he was mentally ill.[1][2][3] Dylann Storm Roof, a South Carolinian white supremacist who last year shot and killed nine people at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church with a handgun he was able to purchase because of errors in the FBI’s background-check system, told his trial judge that there was “nothing wrong” with him “psychologically”; and the owner of the Daily Stormer, an anti-Semitic and white-supremacist website Roof was known to visit, announced that he would hold an armed march in opposition to the Jewish community in Whitefish, Montana, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.[4][5][6][7] A Brazilian priest was stabbed in the back of the neck by a man he was trying to embrace during a televised mass; a 48-year-old Catholic priest was accused of advertising 15 of his lovers on a wife-swapping site, organizing orgies in his home, and concealing pornographic home videos in cases labeled with the names of popes; and, in Vatican City, cardinals protested the opening of a McDonald’s. “It’s,” said a cardinal, “perverse.”[8][9][10]

The U.S. National Intelligence Council warned of increasing risk of conflicts around the world.[11] The Taliban claimed responsibility for two bombings near the Afghan parliament building in Kabul that killed at least 30 people, and the Council on Foreign Relations found that in 2016 the United States dropped a cumulative 26,171 bombs on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, and Yemen, a rate of about three per hour.[12][13] In Colombia, U.N. delegates sent to serve as impartial observers of the peace process aimed at ending the half-century-long war between the FARC and the Colombian government were chastised after they were filmed dancing and getting drunk with FARC fighters at a New Year’s Eve party, and a bridge near the city of Villavicencio collapsed because of increased holiday foot traffic.[14][15] Newly elected Ghanaian president Nana Akufo-Addo delivered his inauguration speech, in which he plagiarized the inauguration speeches of former U.S. presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.[16] Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, announced that he would execute any mayor involved in the drug trade if they didn’t resign immediately. “I might go down in history,” he said, “as ‘the butcher.’”[17]

A Dutch clinic reportedly opened an investigation into whether 26 women had been fertilized with the wrong man’s sperm, and a man in Ohio was arrested for using a syringe to squirt at least 12 women with his semen.[18][19] It was reported that Michigan lawmakers banned local governments from banning plastic bags, and one of the United Kingdom’s largest landlords published guidelines banning “battered wives” and plumbers, among others, from renting his more than 1,000 properties. “It’s just economics,” he said.[20][21] A flight simulator in Germany malfunctioned and set Frankfurt Airport on fire.[22] The electronics manufacturer Samsung, whose smartphones were recently recalled for catching on fire, announced that it would begin making water-resistant phones.[23] In Florida, a man was arrested after multiple security cameras filmed him breaking into a store that specialized in selling surveillance equipment, and a man in Orange County who was arrested for public intoxication choked himself, screamed “Fuck Donald Trump,” and then urinated on a police officer.[24][25] Google reported that the word Floridians most frequently didn’t know how to spell was “tomorrow.”[26]

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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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