[Weekly Review] | March 11, 2015, by Joe Kloc | Harper's Magazine

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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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The Department of Justice clears Darren Wilson of violating Michael Brown’s civil rights, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea is stabbed in the face, and a woman beats up her friend for sitting on a hamburger

WeeklyReviewJK-captionAt the request of Speaker of the House John Boehner (R., Ohio.), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a speech before the U.S. Congress warning that a deal being negotiated between President Barack Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei in Iran would start an arms race in the Middle East. President Obama called the speech “theater,” and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said listening to it brought her “near tears.” Thirty thousand people gathered in Tel Aviv to call for Netanyahu to be replaced in the next election. “Bibi, you’ve failed,” the protesters chanted. “Go home.” Forty-seven Republican senators signed an open letter to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran explaining that Iranian officials might not “fully understand our constitutional system.”[1][2][3][4] The U.S. Justice Department cleared former Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson of violating the civil rights of Michael Brown, an unarmed eighteen-year-old African American teenager he shot and killed last August. “There is no evidence,” the D.O.J. wrote. In another report on the Ferguson Police Department, the D.O.J. found that city officials emailed one another racist jokes, and that black people in Ferguson were twice as likely as white people to be searched by police, despite the fact that drugs were more frequently found on white people.[5][6] Florida governor Rick Scott abandoned his efforts to pass a law requiring welfare applicants to submit to drug tests.[7] Officials at the Rikers Island jail complex in New York City ended a shutdown in which 6,800 inmates were locked in their cells for 34 hours while guards searched for drugs and weapons. “I’m hoping and praying that this initiative reduces violence,” said the president of the union for assistant deputy wardens. “However, we must have a Plan B.”[8]

It was reported that only 18 percent of workers employed by the Vatican are female, and Germany passed a law requiring more than 100 large corporations in the country to give at least 30 percent of seats on their supervisory boards to women.[9][10] McDonald’s said it would begin phasing out the use of chickens raised with antibiotics that are also used on humans.[11] The physician for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey announced that one of the rooms in the leader’s 1,000-room palace will house a food-testing laboratory to detect possible assassination attempts.[12] A South Korean man who opposed joint military exercises between his country and America slashed the U.S. ambassador in the face.[13] It was disclosed that, as U.S. secretary of state, Hillary Clinton used a private email address that kept her correspondence from being entered into the public record.[14] Edward Snowden, the former intelligence worker who has been living under asylum in Russia since he leaked a trove of secret N.S.A. surveillance documents to the media in 2013, said, through his lawyer, that he’d like to return to the United States if he could be guaranteed a fair trial.[15] Russian president Vladimir Putin announced that he would take a 10 percent pay cut.[16] A retired mailman in France was fined $4,500 and given a suspended sentence for stealing 13,694 letters and 6,000 postcards, which he kept, often unopened, in his attic. “He told police he was attracted by the color and shape of certain letters,” said his lawyer. “Like a magpie drawn towards shiny objects.”[17]

The actor Harrison Ford crashed a World War II-era plane on a golf course, and a plane traveling from Atlanta to New York’s La Guardia Airport skidded off the runway and into a snowbank while attempting to land during a storm. “Look at this shit!” a passenger wrote beneath a photo of the crash. “I shoulda stayed my ass at home.”[18][19] Researchers in Arkansas trained a dog to sniff out thyroid cancer in patients’ urine samples.[20] Judges in New Jersey ruled that a man who burned his face while eating a fajita at Applebee’s couldn’t sue the restaurant, because the food presented an “open and obvious” danger.[21] A café in Finland built a 16-foot-tall hamburger to advertise local food and then fed it to 23 dogs.[22] A twenty-two-year-old woman in Atlanta was charged with aggravated assault after she beat her friend unconscious for accidentally sitting on her hamburger. “It cannot,” said her friend, “be about a hamburger.”[23]

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