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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review


Migrant children were teargassed; carbon dioxide levels have reached three to five million year high; missionary killed by remote tribe

In Afghanistan, 55 people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked the Uranus Wedding Palace in Kabul during a religious event; some 27 soldiers were killed on an Afghan Army base after a bomb exploded at a mosque during Friday prayers; 20 police officers were killed during an ambush in western Farah Province; and 10 soldiers were killed at an army checkpoint in northern Afghanistan.1 2 3 4 It was reported that the US-led coalition has dropped almost as many bombs on Afghanistan this year as it did in 2011, when a record high of 5,411 were dropped, and a report from the United Nations concluded that 289,867 people had been displaced as a result of violence in Afghanistan this year.5 Dozens of people were arrested in Tijuana, Mexico, when hundreds of migrants fleeing violence and poverty in Central America and who had been participating in a peaceful protest, pushed past the police, and attempted to climb a border fence and enter the United States, prompting the US Border Patrol to fire tear gas into the crowd and to temporarily close the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry between Tijuana and San Diego.6 7 President Donald Trump told reporters that the nearly six thousand soldiers positioned at the US–Mexico border were authorized to use lethal force against asylum seekers trying to enter the country from Central America, and the US Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that a record 14,000 unaccompanied immigrant children are currently in US custody.8 9 Trump said the CIA’s report that concluded Saudi Arabia’s crown prince ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was based on “feelings,” and insisted the US relationship with Saudi Arabia was too important to jeopardize.10 In a statement that began with “America First! The world is a very dangerous place!” the president elaborated, “If we foolishly cancel these contracts [with Saudi Arabia], Russia and China would be the enormous beneficiaries – and very happy to acquire all of this newfound business. It would be a wonderful gift to them directly from the United States!”11 It was reported that women’s rights advocates imprisoned in Saudi Arabia were being beaten, administered electric shocks, flogged, and otherwise tortured.12

On the busiest shopping day of the year, the federal government released its 1,656-page congressionally mandated National Climate Assessment, which found that the continental United States is 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than it was 100 years ago; has suffered increased wildfires, more intense heat waves, and severe crop failures linked to climate change; and forecast the potential for hundreds of billions of dollars in crop losses, property damages, and reduced productivity.11 12 Carbon dioxide levels in Earth’s atmosphere reached levels not seen in three to five million years, and were 46 percent higher than levels before the Industrial Revolution. Researchers found that climate change was forcing harvests of wine grapes to be carried out earlier in the season; that climate change may be increasing the rate of miscarriages among women on the east coast of Bangladesh; and that climate change in southern Europe could lead to the extinction of black truffles.13 14 15 16 Scientists found that heat waves linked to climate change could decrease the quality of the sperm of beetles.17 New York City celebrated its coldest Thanksgiving Day since 1901 and hundreds of sea turtles washed up on the shores of Cape Cod, in Massachusetts, after being “flash-frozen” by cold temperatures, “flippers in all weird positions like they were swimming.”18 19 The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, said he was considering moving permanently to Mars.20

It was claimed that the world’s first gene-edited babies were born in China.21 A man in Ocala, Florida, was sentenced to 40 years in prison for plotting to bomb Target stores across the East Coast in the hopes of lowering the retailer’s stock price; a monk in Cambodia was arrested and defrocked for killing a former girlfriend he had met on Facebook; and a Moroccan woman living in the United Arab Emirates was accused of murdering her boyfriend and cooking his remains into a traditional rice and meat dish, after her boyfriend’s tooth was found in her blender.22 23 24 Farmers in Turkey have been accused of stockpiling onions in order to drive up prices.25 “Nobody has the right to sell expensive products to my citizens,” said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A man in Amsterdam was arrested and charged with money laundering after he was found to be hiding $400,000 in a washing machine.26 An 18-year-old caught speeding in Germany lost his driver’s license 49 minutes after having been issued it.27 It was determined that a man in England who died in a forklift accident was killed when his Jack Russell terrier pushed a lever in the cab and ran him over; a dog was found in Florida after going missing from its home in Brooklyn, New York, 18 months ago after its owner died in a gun accident; and it was reported that a woman in China was filing a lawsuit after she was paralyzed when a dog fell from a building and landed on her head.28 29 30 In Vancouver, British Columbia, an otter took up residence in a classical Chinese garden and began eating the garden’s prized koi population.31 A 26-year-old evangelical missionary from Vancouver, Washington, was killed by the Sentinelese, a tribe of a few dozen people living on an Indian island in the Bay of Bengal, after he approached the island by kayak, singing songs and offering fish.32 Writing in his journal shortly before his death, he mused, “Is this island Satan’s last stronghold?”33Sharon J. Riley

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