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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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Alaska representative Don Young headbutted a camera in response to a reporter’s question about election meddling.

During a visit to Washington, Ilham Ahmed, president of the executive committee of the Syrian Democratic Council, the Syrian Kurdish civilian government, accused Turkey and its forces of continuing their offensive into northern Syria and conducting ethnic cleansing against Kurds, despite the Trump Administration’s claims that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan had halted operations.1 Ahmed stated that, since the start of the incursion, 509 civilians and 412 Syrian Democratic Forces soldiers had been killed in the area by Turkish drones, artillery, and militias.2 Turkey’s defense ministry blamed Syrian Kurds—who have been holding almost 12,000 Islamic State members from 54 countries, including Syria, Iraq, the United Kingdom, and Germany, in prisons across northern Syria—for a car bomb explosion in the town of Tal Abyad that killed 13 and wounded at least 20 people; the Turkish advance has led to the displacement of about 200,000 people.3 4 Hours before President Trump tweeted “ISIS has a new leader. We know exactly who he is!,” the group identified the successor to former leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed during a U.S.-led raid, as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi.5 6 At a rally in Tupelo, Mississippi, the president said that the Delta Force had “punched out [al-Baghdadi’s] ticket to hell,” and ridiculed the Academy Awards’ low ratings.7 Alaska representative Don Young headbutted a camera in response to a reporter’s question about election meddling.8 Trump announced that he and wife Melania were moving their statutory residence from New York, where he said he has “been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state,” to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which does not levy personal income taxes and has no estate tax.9 The cofounder of Students for Trump, who had posed online as a lawyer, pleaded guilty to $46,000 in fraud charges.10

In Beirut, tens of thousands of people gathered to protest government corruption and also in response to a destructive Hezbollah rampage through a recent protest site that helped force the resignation of Lebanon’s prime minister, Saad al-Hariri.11 12 In Iraq, mass anti-government and anti-Iran protests in Baghdad and Kut shut down major roads, and President Barham Salih said that Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi would resign if his replacement could be agreed upon, while security forces who have been cracking down on the insurrection killed at least 250 people.13 Hundreds of people on Yemen’s island of Socotra demanded that the United Arab Emirates withdraw from their land; India revoked Kashmir’s constitutional autonomy and split it into two federal territories, in a bid to integrate it fully into India, setting off protests in Pakistan and diplomatic battles with both Pakistan and China; the Ethiopian prime minister’s spokeswoman said that at least 78 people were killed in protests against the treatment of the activist Jawar Mohammed; in Algiers, thousands calling for government reforms and accusing leaders of corruption converged as Algeria marked the 65th anniversary of its war of independence from France; a knife-wielding man shouting pro-Beijing slogans bit off the ear of a pro-democracy politician during a flash-mob rally in Hong Kong.14 15 16 17 18 

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison threatened to outlaw climate boycotts because they hurt the economy.19 A koala named Corduroy Paul that escaped a bushfire in New South Wales is recovering in a koala hospital.20 Delhi’s chief minister likened the city to a gas chamber as pollution levels reached almost 400 times the amount deemed healthy.21 A swingers’ club in western Germany was evacuated when a carbon monoxide alarm went off and guests reported feeling sick.22 Higher than normal rainfall has affected more than one million people in East Africa, where in Somalia alone more than 180,000 people have been displaced.23 New research shows that by 2050 rising sea levels will erase southern Vietnam.24 McDonald’s apologized for using the slogan “Sundae Bloody Sundae”—a reference to a day during the Troubles when the British killed 14 demonstrators in Northern Ireland—in a Halloween campaign for its ice cream, and the chain’s CEO was fired because he dated an employee.25 26 A new study found that fact-checking is less convincing when “truth scales” are used.27 According to U.S. Department of Education research, two out of three of the nation’s children did not meet reading-proficiency standards on a federally administered exam. A man wearing a shirt that said “It’s not a crime unless you get caught” was caught on camera vandalizing and robbing a laundromat.28 29Justin Stewart

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