[Weekly Review] | February 10, 2015, by Camille Bromley | Harper's Magazine

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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review


Islamic State militants execute a Jordanian pilot, archeologists find a “rape dungeon” beneath a former reform school in Florida, and police in Vietnam admit to burying thousands of live cats

“His Majesty Frank Penguin, King of the Brutes” (January 1857)

The Islamic State released a video in which militants appeared to execute a Jordanian fighter pilot by burning him alive in a cage. Two imams and four civilians in Mosul, Iraq, who condemned the killing on Facebook were executed by members of the Islamic State. Jordan retaliated by hanging two Iraqi prisoners alleged to have ties to Al Qaeda and carrying out 56 airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Syria. “The only problem we’re going to have is running out of fuel and bullets,” Jordanian king Abdullah II is reported to have said.[1][2][3][4][5] U.S. officials denied claims made by the Islamic State that Kayla Mueller, an American aid worker held hostage by the group since August 2013, was killed during the Jordan-led airstrikes.[6] Boko Haram raided villages in Niger and Cameroon, where 30 people were kidnapped and an estimated 100 others were killed; Benin, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria announced plans to assemble 8,750 troops to combat the group, which killed at least 10,000 civilians in Africa last year.[7] Twenty-five people died in a riot at a Cairo soccer game.[8] Five bombings killed 40 people in and around Baghdad, which, later in the day, lifted the midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew that had been in place since the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. “Maybe it’s a little dangerous,” said an Iraqi woman, “but I just want to live my life for a moment.”[9]

A New York jury found Ross Ulbricht, known by the alias Dread Pirate Roberts, guilty of narcotics conspiracy for running the Silk Road, a now-defunct online marketplace where users could anonymously purchase illegal drugs.[10] The Arizona attorney general’s office sought to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a prison employee who was raped while administering a GED exam to seven sex offenders in an unmonitored classroom. “The risk of harm, including assault, always existed at [this] prison,” wrote the assistant attorney general. “She could have done something about it.”[11] Two dozen inmates escaped through the front door of a Brazilian prison after guards were seduced by women in sexy police costumes and given whiskey spiked with sedatives.[12] A Japanese man was arrested for drugging and raping more than 100 women who believed they were participating in a clinical sleep study.[13] A report by anthropologists excavating at Florida’s Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys said that the school, which was closed in 2011, operated a “rape dungeon,” and an Oregon judge ruled that a man who took a photo up the skirt of a 13-year-old girl inside a Target store did not break the law. “It’s incumbent on us as citizens,” said the man’s attorney, “to cover up whatever we don’t want filmed in public places.”[14][15] In Missouri, a six-year-old boy’s family who considered him “too nice” to strangers was arrested for hiring a man to lure the child into a truck and tell him he’d be “nailed to the wall of a shed” and never “see his mommy again.” “Their primary intent,” said police, “was to educate the victim.”[16]

Sacramento firefighters rescued a horse stuck in a bathtub; police in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, escorted a woman and her service kangaroo out of a McDonald’s; and officials in Salem, Oregon, warned residents that an owl had been caught stealing hats off the heads of joggers.[17][18][19] Vietnamese police admitted to confiscating, then burying alive, thousands of cats that had been smuggled from China for culinary use.[20] It was reported that, at the Bristol Zoo, a rare golden lion tamarin monkey fell into a pond and was eaten by otters, and a warty pig named Elvis ate his piglets and then began consuming his mate’s buttocks.[21][22] At the Alexandria Zoo, two men beat monkeys with sticks and ate their bananas.[23] A shortage of condoms in Venezuela raised the price to $755 for a pack of 36. “We have to wait in line even to have sex,” said a Venezuelan man. “This is a new low.”[24] It was reported that a teenager in China, known as “Little Wang,” cut off his left hand in an effort to cure his addiction to the internet; a conservative Hindu organization in India threatened to forcibly marry couples found to be expressing love in public or on social media; and Ryanair ground workers at Dublin Airport drew a giant penis in the snow. “Art isn’t their forte,” said a spokesman for the airline. “They’ve clearly forgotten to draw wings on their snow airplane.”[25][26][27]

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