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Weekly Review

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Saluting the Town (Weekly)

In Copenhagen, a 22-year-old man named Omar El-Hussein shot and killed a documentary filmmaker at the Krudttonden cafe, where Lars Vilks, a cartoonist known for having once depicted the Prophet Mohammed’s head on the body of a dog, was holding a talk called “Art, Blasphemy, and Freedom of Expression.” An organizer of the event led Vilks to refuge in a cold-storage room where, she said, they “told each other bad jokes.” Hussein, who recently spent time in prison for knifing a stranger on a commuter train, fled the scene, killed a man standing guard outside a synagogue bat mitzvah service, and was killed by police.[1][2][3][4] Malaysia’s top police officer tweeted requests for help tracking down a dissident cartoonist who has been critical of the arrest and detention of an opposition leader. “Unlike other Twitter trolls,” said a Malaysian talk-radio host, “he has the power to arrest you.”[5] Two Al Jazeera journalists imprisoned in Egypt for allegedly spreading false news and damaging the country’s reputation were released on bail.[6] Netflix launched in Cuba.[7] Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and the United States closed their embassies in Yemen, which has been run by Houthi militiamen since the government collapsed last month. The senior Houthi leader said that he was eager to establish ties with the country’s former allies, including the United States, despite his militants’ motto being “Death to America.” “It’s not meant to suggest harming American people,” he said. “This is just a slogan.”[8][9]

A Muslim family was shot to death in their apartment in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by a neighbor who called himself an “anti-theist” and was angry over their use of a parking spot he coveted. “One of the things I know about him,” said the shooter’s wife, who denied that the attacks were religiously motivated, is that “everyone is equal.”[10][11][12] Miss Universe, a Colombian, said she would consider the FARC’s invitation to attend its peace talks with the government.[13] After negotiators from France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine gathered for more than 16 hours in Minsk to establish a ceasefire between government forces and pro-Russian separatists, rebel fighters attacked the town of Debaltseve, killing at least 18 people. During a two-day window before the truce took effect, the Ukrainian army attacked a hospital in Donetsk, and the U.S. State Department accused Russia of helping separatists make last-minute land grabs. “Let them bite your finger, they will bite your whole hand, and then your head,” said the leader of Ukraine’s Radical Party. “This is a well-known folk wisdom.[14][15] It was reported that doctors in Arizona mistakenly believed a 17-month-old girl had been bitten by a scorpion after she ingested her aunt’s methamphetamine; Texans looted a demolished piñata store; and a woman in Boise, Idaho, was charged with attempting to convert a Jewish acquaintance by pulling her hair and stepping on her neck while demanding that she accept Jesus. “Eventually,” said the prosecutor, “the victim had to comply.”[16][17][18]

An explosion at a chemical warehouse in Catalonia spread an orange cloud over the homes of more than 60,000 people; a leak at an Easter-egg dye factory in Chelyabinsk, Russia, tinted snow baby blue and gave residents sore throats.[19][20] An Indian woman found to be 95 percent genetically male gave birth to twins, and it was reported that an infant in Hong Kong was diagnosed with fetus-in-fetu after doctors found two of her siblings gestating in her abdomen.[21][22] Indian prime minister Narendra Modi tweeted his dismay that a group of people who believe he is divine had erected a temple in his name, and it was reported that the Universal Society of Hinduism protested the sale of edible Ganesh statues at a chocolate store in Manhattan. “Ganesh was meant to be worshiped,” said the group’s leader, “not to be eaten casually.”[23][24] A garbage-truck driver rescued a drunken couple in Tampa who had sought warmth in a casino dumpster. “Had the trash been compacted,” said a sheriff’s office spokeswoman, “this case would have ended very differently.”[25]

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Correction: a previous version misidentified Minsk as the capital of Ukraine  

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