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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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A teenager in Melbourne was charged with conspiring to prepare for a terrorist attack after he was recorded discussing plans to paint the Islamic State flag on a kangaroo, pack the animal full of explosives, and release it in the vicinity of police officers. Two 71-year-old Americans sailing from Norway to the United States were rescued, for the ninth time, after their boat caught fire from a candle they left burning while they were out buying groceries. “This fire is definitely not typical,” said one of the men. Read more...

HarpersWeb-WeeklyReview-avatar-WCS-bigThe World Health Organization declared a public-health emergency over the outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which has been reported in 23 countries.[1] The virus, which increases a fetus’s risk of developing an abnormally small head, was detected in 2,116 pregnant women in Colombia.[2] Salvadoran officials asked female citizens not to get pregnant until 2018, the Brazilian government announced it would deploy 220,000 soldiers to hand out informational leaflets, and a director at the Centers for Disease Control suggested bringing back DDT.[3][4][5] In Flint, Michigan, where the water supply has been contaminated by lead, it was reported that state employees were provided with purified-water coolers last year.[6][7] A U.S. Senate report found that the Department of Health and Human Services had accidentally placed at least a dozen unaccompanied children fleeing gang violence in Central America into the custody of human traffickers, and the United Nations launched an investigation into claims that peacekeepers in the Central African Republic offered young children cookies and bottled water in exchange for oral sex.[8][9] U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon negotiated the release of an Israeli vulture that had been detained on suspicion of spying for Mossad.[10] In Iowa, a Chinese citizen pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal patented corn seeds; and the Federal Highway Administration de-authorized the use of the 12-year-old Clearview font on highway signs, in favor of its predecessor, Highway Gothic. “This is a big deal,” said one of Clearview’s designers. “They don’t understand design.”[11][12]

Oregon state police shot and killed a 55-year-old antigovernment militiaman who had occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge for nearly a month.[13] In Renton, Washington, a 29-year-old man carrying a gun in his waistband because of a concern about mass shootings accidentally shot a woman during a showing of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.[14] In New Jersey, a police officer pleaded not guilty to charges that he crashed his car into his ex-wife’s and then shot her a dozen times while their seven-year-old daughter watched from the front seat.[15] In Stockholm, nearly 100 masked men with links to football gangs threatened to beat up North African immigrants with bats and knives in retaliation for the fatal stabbing of a 22-year-old social worker by a 15-year-old Somali asylum seeker.[16] A teenager in Melbourne was charged with conspiring to prepare for a terrorist attack after he was recorded discussing plans to paint the Islamic State flag on a kangaroo, pack the animal full of explosives, and release it in the vicinity of police officers.[17] Two 71-year-old Americans sailing from Norway to the United States were rescued, for the ninth time, after their boat caught fire from a candle they left burning while they were out buying groceries. “This fire is definitely not typical,” said one of the men.[18]

French president François Hollande canceled lunch with Iran’s visiting president, Hassan Rouhani, after Rouhani requested that no wine be served during the meal.[19] Chinese state media warned that a shortage of donkey gelatin, a popular traditional medicine, has resulted in imitations made from horse and mule hides, pig skins, and old shoes.[20] PETA offered to convert the house where the Silence of the Lambs was filmed into an “empathy museum,” where visitors could reflect on wearing animal skins.[21] In China, six members of an online group called the Animal Lovers were sentenced to between four and six months in prison for luring two people to a remote forest, cutting their hair off, and forcing them to eat cat feces.[22] Paul Allen, a Microsoft cofounder and marine conservationist, destroyed 80 percent of a coral reef in the Cayman Islands with his 330-foot yacht.[23] A Minnesota man on vacation in Hawaii punched a 14-foot tiger shark when it started to gnaw on his paddleboard; and an eight-year-old female tiger shark in Seoul’s aquarium ate one of her male tank mates.[24][25] Scientists found that bedbugs in Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio have developed an immunity to insecticides.[26] A Spanish bullfighter was investigated for child endangerment after he posted a photo of himself holding his five-month-old daughter while training in the ring; and in Turlock, California, nearly 3,500 samples of bull semen were stolen from the back of a truck. “The loss of all those units of semen,” said the truck’s owner, “is very frustrating.”[27][28]

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