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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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Debate over Trump’s wall that maybe isn’t a wall continued; Ukraine ended martial law; fireworks banned on the Galapagos Islands because they cause animals to tremble

Referring to a proposed wall across the southern border, funding over which has caused a government shutdown that went into its second week, delayed immigration court cases, and led to the expiration of the Violence Against Women Act, outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly said, “To be honest, it’s not a wall.”1 2 3 Donald Trump, who tweeted “President and Mrs. Obama built/has a ten foot Wall around their DC mansion/compound. I agree, totally necessary for their safety and security. The US needs the same thing, slightly larger version!” ordered a pay freeze for federal employees in 2019, and the Office of Personnel Management, by accident, tweeted a sample letter for furloughed workers implying they would do odd jobs for cash during the shutdown.4 5 6 Rodrigo Duterte, president of the Philippines, told an audience that, as a teenager, he had molested his family’s maid and been fondled by a priest during confession; a spokesman for the president later said that these statements were a “laughable anecdote” to “dramatize the fact of sexual abuse that was inflicted on him and his fellow students when they were in high school.”7 In Cairo, Egypt, a roadside bomb killed three Vietnamese tourists, and security forces responded by killing 40 suspects in three separate raids; in the Congo, protesters marched on and burned parts of a medical center after the government disallowed sections of the country from voting because of outbreaks of Ebola; and in Paris, France, yellow-vest protesters rallied and set cars on fire in their seventh week of protests.8 9 10 Ukraine ended martial law.11

In North Carolina, the state election board was dissolved by court order for being unconstitutionally composed before it could adjudicate the 9th District election in which Mark Harris, a pastor who has said women should not work, won by 905 votes by hiring a political operative to illegally collect absentee ballots from voters; Bangladesh held elections during which 17 people died in clashes, workers from the ruling party monitored election sites, and one candidate was stabbed.12 13 Nancy Grace Rowan, the first chief of astronomy and woman to hold an executive position at NASA, died at 93.14 Police in Harahan, Louisiana, announced some meth sold in the state may be laced with Zika virus, and in Seattle, Washington, police found three Molotov cocktails on top of a bank and put them out.15 16 A cyberattack caused several Tribune newspapers to delay weekend editions, and someone stole the personal information of 997 defectors from a South Korean resettlement agency’s computer.17 18 On the Galapagos Islands, fireworks were banned because they cause animals to tremble; in Hamburg, Germany, 850 kilograms of fireworks were seized from a 23-year-old’s home; and outside of Millville, Pennsylvania, a woman remembered that she was “just watching television and I heard the world go up in flames” after a storage shed of fireworks exploded.19 20 21

A Lehigh University student tried to flee back to China to avoid prosecution for poisoning his roommate by placing thallium in and among other food and drink, his mouthwash, and milk.22 Archaeologists unearthed a petrified horse with a bronze saddle in Pompeii, Italy.23 Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize marijuana.24 A bald eagle named Clark released before the College Football Playoff semifinal game circled the stadium several times and, instead of going back to his handlers, landed on the arm of Tuyen Nguyen, a Vietnamese refugee who works as a carpenter on Notre Dame’s campus, and stayed there for several minutes.25 “He looked pretty tired,” said Nguyen.26Jacob Rosenberg

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