[Weekly Review] | May 26, 2015, by Sharon J. Riley | Harper's Magazine

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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review


The Islamic State seizes Palmyra, McDonald's employees protest in Chicago, and the brains of nine animals are found on a street in New York

the magnificent bird of paradise.

the magnificent bird of paradise.

Financial regulators in Britain and the United States fined Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, the Royal Bank of Scotland, UBS, and Bank of America nearly $6 billion after it was discovered that bankers conspired to set foreign-exchange rates in invitation-only online chat groups they named “the Cartel” and “the Mafia.” “If you ain’t cheating,” said one Barclays employee in a chat room, “you ain’t trying.”[1][2] The Islamic State in Syria seized the ancient city of Palmyra, conducted door-to-door roundups of state loyalists, shot and beheaded 400 people, and left mutilated bodies in the streets. It was reported that the Islamic State now controls more than half of Syria, and it was predicted that militants would destroy the first-century ruins of the Temple of Bel in Palmyra. “It’s bad today,” said a director of a museum on the site, where employees were loading artifacts into trucks to take them into hiding.[3][4][5][6][7][8] A video was released that appeared to show Islamic State militants in Syria executing a teenage prisoner with a bazooka, 10 children were arrested in Montreal after they attempted to leave Canada to become jihadists, and a Belgian court convicted seven women of radicalizing girls and persuading them to join the Islamic State. “They tried to advertise it,” said the European Union’s counterterrorism coordinator, as “the ultimate place with swimming pools and easy living.”[9][10][11]

It was revealed that reading material recovered during the U.S. raid of Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan included Popular Science, Time, silk-screening instructions, and a suicide-prevention manual called “Is It the Heart You Are Asking?”[12] A police officer in Cleveland was acquitted of manslaughter after a judge ruled that it couldn’t be proven whether he caused the death of an unarmed African-American couple in 2012 when he climbed onto the hood of their 1979 Chevrolet Malibu and, along with 12 other officers, fired a total of 137 shots into the vehicle; and six cyclists were arrested in Minneapolis after attacking off-duty police officers with squirt guns at the PedalPub mobile bar. “I don’t even have a water bottle!” said one cyclist as he was being arrested.[13][14] It was reported that the Boy Scouts of America banned water guns, potato guns, spear guns, and “marshmallow shooters that require placing a straw or similar device in the mouth”; Disney World banned the use of selfie sticks on rides; and a woman in Russia accidentally shot herself in the temple while taking a selfie.[15][16][17] The Los Angeles city council voted to increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020, and thousands of employees of McDonald’s protested outside the company’s headquarters near Chicago, demanding their wages be increased to $15 per hour. “I can’t afford any shoes,” said one employee in attendance, “and I want Versace heels.”[18][19]

Women attending the Cannes Film Festival reported that they were denied entry because they were not wearing high heels; wives and girlfriends of NASCAR drivers ran a 50-yard dash in three-inch heels to raise money for charity; and a lamb was rescued from a brothel in Berlin.[20][21][22] Nine animal brains were found along a street in Gouverneur, New York, and it was reported that robots have difficulty folding towels and inside-out onesies.[23][24] Ireland became the first country to legalize gay marriage by popular vote, and double rainbows appeared in the sky over Dublin.[25] A woman in India placed the country’s first same-sex marriage advertisement in a Mumbai newspaper, seeking a groom for her 36-year-old son. “As long as he is vegetarian,” said the son.[26] U.S. companies warned of a nationwide egg shortage after an avian flu outbreak in the Midwest forced farmers to kill 38.9 million chickens and turkeys.[27][28] A woman in England claimed her chickens began laying double-size eggs after she started playing them heavy metal, a man in Inverness, Scotland, was sentenced to six months in prison for hiding heroin in Kinder Surprises, and it was reported that a security guard in Pinghu City, China, allegedly stole 1,000 eggs from the factory where he worked.[29][30][31] A memorial was planned in Chicken Lane, England, for a cow named Bessie who was shot by six police marksmen while being tracked by a helicopter and at least 15 police vehicles.[32] A man in Sarasota, Florida, was arrested after falling asleep on a sofa in the house he was robbing, a naked man in Fort Lauderdale was rescued after getting stuck on top of a raised drawbridge, and a woman in Michigan was found guilty of killing and dismembering her 32-year-old son in his bathtub. “I’m not,” she said, “mother of the year.”[33][34][35]

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