A state-run Chinese newspaper wrote that the country was “not afraid to start a war” with the United States after the White House deployed a guided-missile destroyer near Pacific islands claimed by China. Kogalymavia Flight 9268 broke apart over the Sinai Peninsula en route from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to St. Petersburg, killing all 217 passengers and seven crew members. A 243-foot military surveillance blimp became unmoored in Aberdeen, Maryland, dragged a 6,700-foot tether across Pennsylvania that cut off power to tens of thousands of local residents, and crashed near Moreland Township, where the state police shot it about 100 times. Read more...
China announced that it would end its 36-year-old one-child policy and, beginning in March, allow families to have two children without incurring punishment; and a Chinese economist recommended legalizing polyandry to address China’s large population of single men.  A state-run Chinese newspaper wrote that the country was “not afraid to fight a war” with the United States after the Navy deployed a guided-missile destroyer near Pacific islands claimed by China. Kogalymavia Flight 9268 broke apart over the Sinai Peninsula en route from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, to St. Petersburg, killing all 217 passengers and seven crew members.  A 243-foot military surveillance blimp became unmoored in Aberdeen, Maryland, dragged a 6,700-foot tether across Pennsylvania that cut off power to tens of thousands of local residents, and crashed near Moreland Township, where state police shot it about 100 times. The last British national held in Guantánamo Bay, Shaker Aamer, known as the “Professor,” was freed after 14 years of imprisonment. Deso Dogg, a German-born former rapper and alleged Islamic State recruiter, was killed by a U.S. airstrike near Raqqa, Syria; and a Saudi-led coalition destroyed a Doctors Without Borders hospital during an airstrike in Yemen. Baghdad flooded after intense rainstorms, which prompted the government to declare a holiday, and scientists speculated that parts of the Middle East will be nearly uninhabitable by the end of the century because of climate change.
A sheriff’s deputy in South Carolina was fired after footage emerged of him throwing a 16-year-old student to a classroom floor and dragging her across the room. In Washington, D.C., a police officer broke up a confrontation between teenagers by participating in a dance-off to the song “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).” Several police unions called for a boycott of Quentin Tarantino’s films after the director participated in a protest against police brutality, and it was reported that officers in Anderson, California, have begun using nunchucks. “I see the value and the safety they bring,” said an officer, “to me.” A West Virginia man turned a drug-filled cooler over to the police after hearing President Obama speak about addiction, and two panels about video game culture at the South by Southwest Interactive event were canceled following “threats of on-site violence.” It was reported that judges in several Georgia counties threw out breathalyzer results because the drivers were too inebriated to consent to the tests, and a communications lecturer at Victoria University in Melbourne claimed that alcohol-induced slurring caused the Australian accent. “Drunken Aussie-speak continues to be taught,” he wrote, “to children.”
In West Virginia, a man was arrested twice in one day for entering a middle school and then a daycare center and attempting to sing Justin Bieber songs over the intercom, and police charged an 85-year-old international jewel thief with stealing a pair of Christian Dior earrings. A 61-year-old man in Georgia was convicted for the second time of stealing loggerhead sea turtle eggs, and the arts-and-crafts retail chain Hobby Lobby was investigated for illegally importing looted biblical artifacts. An Alabama school district announced there would be no punishment for an elementary-school teacher who dressed in blackface for his Kanye West Halloween costume. “He didn’t mean to offend anyone,” said the superintendent, “if he did.” An Israeli soldier costume for children and the “Sheik Fagin Nose” accessory were both pulled from Walmart’s shelves, and North Carolina State University debuted a new webpage to help students determine how offensive their costumes are, cautioning against “Hey Amigo Mexican” and “Tighty Whitey Rapper.” It was reported that a New Mexico man beat his roommate to death with an electric guitar and a microwave to prevent him from becoming a zombie, and a driver in Tacoma, Washington, was pulled over for using a “zombie baby” Halloween doll to gain access to the carpool lane. In Salem, Massachusetts, a witch sued a warlock for harassment. “I guess I get it,” said the warlock’s lawyer of the attention the case has received. “It’s Halloween.”
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