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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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In Italy, where more than 30,000 people die annually because of air pollution, the town of San Vitaliano banned the use of wood-burning pizza ovens. A British man in Kyrgyzstan was arrested on suspicion of racial hatred after he compared a sausage dish to a horse’s penis, and a priest in the Philippines was suspended by the Catholic Church for using a hoverboard during Christmas Eve Mass. China’s Communist Party released an official rap song featuring President Xi Jinping. “Corruption,” he rapped, “must be punished.” Read more...

HarpersMagazine-1853-12-bootsSaudi Arabia executed 47 people charged with terrorism, including a prominent Shiite cleric.[1] Protesters set fire to the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, after which Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan cut diplomatic ties with Iran.[2] An Al Qaeda affiliate released a recruiting video that included an excerpt from a speech given by Donald Trump, and a poll of Americans found Trump tied with Pope Francis for second place as the most admired man.[3][4] Prosecutors in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, charged Bill Cosby with sexual assault; Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke pleaded not guilty to charges that he murdered Laquan McDonald, a black teenager he shot 16 times; and it was reported that at least 965 civilians were killed by police shootings in the United States in 2015.[5][6][7] In Temixco, Mexico, a mayor was assassinated less than a day after she took office, and in Mardan, Pakistan, at least 26 people were killed in a suicide bombing targeting a government office.[8][9] Ethan Couch, a Texas teenager who recently violated his probation sentence for killing four people in a drunk-driving accident in 2013, was found and detained in Mexico. “He hasn’t committed a crime,” said Couch’s lawyer, “in Mexico.”[10]

An earthquake in India killed eight people, and floods in Mississippi left at least 24 people dead.[11][12] In Oregon, an armed militia occupied a national wildlife refuge to protest the prison sentences of two ranchers who set 139 acres of federal land on fire. “What other choice do we have?” said one militiaman.[13][14] A survey found that Americans prioritize preserving the religious freedom of Christians over that of Muslims.[15] Sweden and Denmark created new border controls to limit the influx of migrants, and 35 asylum-seekers in Sweden requested relocation because they feared their refugee shelter was haunted.[16][17] In Italy, where more than 30,000 people die annually because of air pollution, the town of San Vitaliano banned the use of wood-burning pizza ovens.[18] A British man in Kyrgyzstan was arrested on suspicion of racial hatred after he compared a sausage dish to a horse’s penis, and a priest in the Philippines was suspended by the Catholic Church for using a hoverboard during Christmas Eve Mass.[19][20] China’s Communist Party released an official rap song featuring President Xi Jinping. “Corruption,” he rapped, “must be punished.”[21]

A Turkish court ruled that the eviction of a woman’s pet cat was inhumane.[22] A man in Nebraska sued the Funny Bone Comedy Club, claiming to have broken his leg while under hypnosis during a show.[23] In California, a 900-pound elephant seal held up traffic for two days while trying to cross a highway; in Rome, roads were closed when bird droppings reportedly led to car accidents; and in Auckland, New Zealand, firefighters were called to rescue a pigeon trapped in a tree.[24][25][26] More than 30,000 dairy cows were killed in a blizzard in Texas, and temperatures at the North Pole rose above freezing.[27][28] An artificial-intelligence company in California claimed it would be able to bring the dead back to life by 2045, and a New York company announced it would begin selling kosher marijuana.[29][30] Facebook blocked attempts to post photographs of a famous Danish statue because it violated the site’s nudity rules. [31] Five Hong Kong booksellers mysteriously disappeared, and the copyright of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf expired.[32][33] In Kentucky, a mall was shut down after fights broke out involving up to 2,000 people. “We always plan for worst-case scenario,” said a police officer, “but this exceeded that.”[34]

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