[Weekly Review] | June 2, 2015, by Miranda Popkey | Harper's Magazine

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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review


Baltimore records its highest monthly murder total since 1971, Oklahoma police shoot an assistant pastor, and 30 people are kicked out of a hotel for fighting over a waffle maker.

HarpersWeb-WeeklyReview-Popkey-big The U.S. Department of Justice indicted 14 officials and corporate associates of FIFA, the international soccer governing body, on charges of wire fraud, money laundering, racketeering, and offering an estimated $150 million in bribes and kickbacks over a 24-year period. Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, who was accused of accepting $10 million from South Africa in exchange for his support of the country’s bid to host the 2010 World Cup, turned himself in to authorities in Trinidad. “Nelson Mandela made jail. Gandhi made jail. Castro made jail,” Warner said. “So who’s Jack Warner?”[1][2][3][4][5] The U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois charged former Speaker of the House of Representatives J. Dennis Hastert with trying to conceal $1.7 million in bank-account withdrawals, which the FBI alleged he paid to a male acquaintance in order to cover up misconduct he committed during his tenure as a teacher and wrestling coach between 1965 and 1981. “It was,” said a law-enforcement official, “sex.”[6][7][8] Former New York governor George Pataki and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum both announced they would seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, former Baltimore mayor Martin O’Malley announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination, and Baltimore recorded 43 murders in the month of May, the highest monthly total since December 1971.[9][10][11][12] Violent storms and tornadoes hit central Texas, Oklahoma, and the Mexican state of Coahuila; a homecoming queen in Texas was killed on her way home from prom when a flood swept her car off the road; and an assistant pastor was shot by an Oklahoma highway patrol officer who claimed he was urging the man and his brother to abandon their stalled truck and seek higher ground.[13][14][15]

The IRS said that it had paid nearly $50 million in refunds on fraudulent income-tax returns, and a report by the Social Security Administration’s inspector general revealed that $20.2 million in benefits were paid to U.S. residents suspected of being Nazis. [16][17] The credit-reporting agency Equifax agreed in a lawsuit settlement to enter New York City resident God Gazarov’s name into its database, and Secretary of State John Kerry removed Cuba from a list of state sponsors of terrorism. “Iran’s leaders,” said former Florida governor Jeb Bush, “are surely taking note.”[18][19][20] Authorities in England rescued two teenage boys who got stuck up to their waists in mud, an employee at Tokyo’s main train station discovered the body of an elderly woman in an unclaimed suitcase, and a 68-year-old woman was found in the California desert with the body of her 79-year-old husband. “I’m hoping she’s going to make a full recovery,” said one of the off-road drivers who discovered the couple, “but she’s going to do it alone.”[21][22][23] A Philadelphia man with a machete severed two of his neighbor’s fingers after the neighbor accused him of vandalism, a 69-year-old Utah woman fought off a carjacker, and a woman in New York suffered broken bones when her 50-year-old son intentionally drove his Chevrolet Tahoe into her living room, running her over. “He drove right in,” said a relative, “like it was a garage.”[24][25][26]

It was reported that a Vatican-approved exorcist warned against playing Charlie Charlie Challenge, a game in which players attempt to conjure a Mexican demon using a Ouija board fashioned from two pens and a piece of paper.[27] Singer Enrique Iglesias was injured trying to grab a drone camera during a concert in Mexico, and Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov announced on his personal Instagram that he is set to star in a feature film titled Whoever Doesn’t Understand Will Get It.[28][29] The Japan Dairy Association said they were facing a butter shortage, a Muslim chaplain aboard a United Airlines flight was told she could not be served an unopened Diet Coke because it could be used as a weapon, and 30 people in Michigan were ordered to leave an America’s Best Value Inn after a dispute broke out over a waffle maker.[30][31][32] At Biglerville High School in Pennsylvania, dress-code guidelines for an awards assembly told female seniors that “we don’t want to be looking at ‘sausage rolls,’” and in Denver, four first-grade students found a 27-year-old teacher’s aide unconscious in a bathroom with a syringe hanging from her arm and a clear plastic bag containing white powder by her side.[33][34][35] A tribunal in DeKalb County, Georgia, recommended that a teacher who allegedly bought condoms for students and allowed them to have sex in the storage closet next to his classroom be fired, and a Muslim televangelist in Turkey warned viewers against masturbation. “Those who have sexual intercourse with their hands,” he said, “will find their hands pregnant in the afterlife.”[36][37]

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