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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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The United Kingdom issued an advisory against North Carolina in response to the state’s passing of a law in March that requires transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender on their birth certificates. A 30-year-old man in Philadelphia accidentally killed his four-year-old daughter while waving a gun around a room full of children, then attempted to frame his nearby five-year-old daughter by wiping the blood from his hand onto her shirt. A man in India cut off the hands of a teenager accused of raping his then-seven-month-old daughter. Read more...

HarpersWeb-WeeklyReview-avatar-WCS-bigThe Turkish consulate in Rotterdam requested that Netherlands-based Turkish organizations report anyone defaming the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.[1] A leader of Germany’s Pirate Party was arrested in Berlin for insulting a “representative of a foreign state” while reading from a satirical poem about Erdogan, a Dutch journalist who tweeted criticism of the president was barred from leaving Turkey, and four academics were tried for spreading “terrorist propaganda” after they signed a petition to end the hostilities between Kurdish rebels and the Turkish government, which seized a number of significant churches and properties in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir.[2][3][4][5] European leaders visited a refugee camp in Nizip, Turkey, and praised the country for its treatment of migrants. “Turkey,” the president of the European Council said, “is the best example for the whole world.”[6] Police in Tehran enlisted 7,000 undercover morality officers to report men wearing necklaces and women sporting glamorous hairstyles and loose-fitting hijab, and North Korea banned body piercings.[7][8] In China, a former cryptographic-institute computer technician was sentenced to death for selling more than 150,000 classified documents to foreign agencies, and the government released posters warning young female government workers against dating handsome foreign men in case they are spies. “Some Chinese women,” said a Beijing saleswoman, “are naive.”[9][10]

Three government workers in Michigan were charged with tampering with reports and misleading state authorities about the safety of Flint’s water, and Governor Rick Snyder promised to drink Flint tap water at home for at least a month, before his staff announced he was leaving for Europe.[11][12][13] President Obama ate lunch with Queen Elizabeth II for her 90th birthday, golfed with prime minister David Cameron, and told Londoners that Black Lives Matters activists “can’t just keep on yelling.” [14][15] An investigation found that Veterans Affairs offices had shredded documents required to fulfill patients’ healthcare claims, and 125,000 Democratic voters were found to have been dropped from the rolls and prevented from voting in the party’s New York primary.[16][17] It was reported that 73 percent of the members of California’s American Independent Party—which opposes taxes, food labeling, gay marriage, and “liberalism”—erroneously believed they were registering as independent voters.[18] In Virginia, 206,000 former convicts were given back their voting rights.[19] The governor of Utah, whose residents have the country’s highest per capita consumption of pornography, signed legislation declaring pornography “a public health crisis.”[20] In Oswaldtwistle, England, a 70-year-old woman was given a suspended jail sentence for beating her 78-year-old husband with a meat tenderizer because she caught him watching porn. “He hasn’t touched me for over ten years,” she said.[21] An 18-year-old from Ohio pleaded not guilty to livestreaming her friend’s rape, and in Wilmington, Delaware, a 16-year-old girl was fatally beaten in a school bathroom by two female students during a fight over a boy.[22][23] The United Kingdom issued an advisory against North Carolina in response to the state’s passing of a law in March that requires transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding to the gender on their birth certificates.[24][25] A 30-year-old man in Philadelphia accidentally killed his four-year-old daughter while waving a gun around a room full of children, then attempted to frame his nearby five-year-old daughter by wiping the blood from his hand onto her shirt.[26] A man in India cut off the hands of a teenager accused of raping his then-seven-month-old daughter.[27] In Pike County, Ohio, eight members of one family were shot execution-style at four different homes, some of which had marijuana-growing operations.[28] The Finnish postal service announced it will begin mowing lawns on Tuesdays, and at least ten people tried to send their tax returns from the Coachella music festival’s pop-up post office. “How do they have their taxes here?” said a postal worker.[29][30]

In Rio de Janeiro, two people were killed when a $12.5 million elevated bike path constructed for the Olympics was knocked down by a wave, and marketing agencies installed two billboards that smell of human sweat to attract mosquitoes. “You’re pulling in hungry mosquitoes,” said a pest-control expert, “and providing them with exposed human flesh.”[31][32] A 15-year-old boy in Ohio was fatally electrocuted while attempting to replicate a Jacob’s Ladder experiment that he had seen on YouTube.[33] In Cameroon, an SUV in the convoy of the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations hit and killed a seven-year-old boy, and a two-year-old who lived across from Tufts Medical Center was struck by an ambulance.[34][35] A Munich circus ostrich freed by two animal-rights activists was run over by a car ten minutes after its release.[36] In Eugene, Oregon, a pet-store owner was arrested for paying a prostitute with a bushbaby and money donated to his shop for Girl Scout cookies.[37] Police in Ontario were called to break up a domestic disturbance between a drunk man and his parrot.[38] British researchers found that lonely people are more likely to die of heart disease.[39] Discalced Carmelite nuns in Littleton, Colorado, requested a taller fence to prevent members of the public from hopping into their convent and trying to catch them.[40] In Chisinau, Moldova, a man was caught on CCTV stealing pavement, and in Khorezm, Uzbekistan, bank robbers were arrested for stealing 45 sacks of cash, worth $2,600. “I have the same amount of money,” said a local man, “in my pocket.”[41][42] Prince died, leaving behind an estimated 2,000 unreleased songs in a bank vault.[43]

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