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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review


The town of Garfield, New Jersey, was plagued by feral cats.

Amid an impeachment inquiry into allegations that Donald Trump demanded an investigation by Ukraine of presidential rival Joe Biden and his son in return for White House access and foreign aid, Trump publicly asked China to investigate Biden’s son for a 2013 business deal, and it was reported that Trump had earlier pressured the prime minister of Australia to help the U.S. attorney general uncover the origins of the Mueller probe.1 2 Trump tweeted a meme that used a music video by the Canadian rock band Nickelback, which was subsequently removed by Twitter for copyright violation; the president also tweeted a video in which he was rendered as a pencil drawing in the manner of the music video for the Norwegian new-wave band A-ha’s 1984 hit “Take on Me.”3 4 Nickelback saw an immediate uptick in both sales and streams, while A-ha’s keyboardist responded, “Even blind pigs can find truffles.”5 6 Trump denied that he has suggested plans for his border wall that include moats, alligators, and “skin-piercing spikes,” as well as the notion that he would ever “normally” use the word “moat.”7 Following a phone call with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the U.S. president abruptly abandoned support for American-backed Kurdish forces and approved a plan for the Turkish military to move across the border and into northern Syria.8 China celebrated 70 years of Communist rule with a military parade in Tiananmen Square featuring 100,000 performers, as well as jets, tanks, supersonic drones, and hypersonic nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles.9 In Hong Kong, a teenage protester was shot in the shoulder at point-blank range by the police, another protester was charged with assaulting a police officer by using a megaphone that was too loud, and authorities banned the use of masks by anti-China protesters, prompting a demonstration of tens of thousands of people wearing masks.10 11 12 13

A Missouri man stopped a fleeing hit-and-run suspect by pretending that his fingers were a gun, 1.1 million Gordon folding knives were recalled by Harbor Freight Tools for posing a “laceration hazard,” and climate activists in London lost control of a fire hose they were using to spray fake blood on the headquarters of the British Treasury.14 15 16 The Colombian Navy rescued three shipwrecked drug traffickers staying afloat on bales of cocaine, and three Spanish police officers arrested four drug smugglers who had rescued them after their boat capsized during a high-speed chase.17 18 The band Kiss announced plans to perform a concert on a boat off the southern coast of Australia that will be played, via underwater speakers, to an audience of fans in a submarine and great white sharks. “They’re attracted to rock and roll,” guitarist Paul Stanley said of the sharks.19 The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service classified an extinct population of caribou as endangered; six elephants in Thailand died trying to save one another from falling down a waterfall; and the town of Garfield, New Jersey, was plagued by feral cats.20 21 22

The Galveston, Texas, police released body-cam footage showing two officers on horseback leading a homeless black man through the streets by a rope. “This is going to look so bad,” one of the officers can be heard to say.23 A Chattanooga, Tennessee, woman sued two police officers for forcibly baptizing her after a traffic stop in Soddy Lake; a Texas police union sued the state over a new policy mandating limits for officers’ waistlines; and a Russian man sued Apple because his iPhone turned him gay.24 25 26 A federal judge authored a 69-page ruling preventing New York City from enforcing zoning laws pertaining to adult bookstores and strip clubs.27 Facebook decided to exempt political advertisements from its ban on false advertising, the FBI director claimed that new privacy measures implemented by the company would be a “dream come true for predators and child pornographers,” and a team from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service refused to disclose details about a ceremony at which they were awarded a prize for transparency.28 29 30 The Quebecois provincial government considered ways to ban the greeting “Bonjour, hi.”31

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