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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review


President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan measure that, for the first time, makes certain acts of animal cruelty, such as animal crushing, a federal crime.

The Iraqi parliament approved Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s resignation during a session held in Baghdad in which it also recommended the resignation of the prime minister’s chief of staff and arranged for a temporary caretaker government.1 The move follows the deadliest period yet of the antigovernment protests that have raged since October, with 45 demonstrators fatally shot by security forces; on the same day, protestors torched the Iranian consulate to oppose to Tehran’s influence in Iraqi affairs.2 U.N. secretary-general António Guterres denounced Iraqi army forces for their use of live ammunition and a lack of restraint in the mainly Shiite southern cities of Nasiriya and Najaf, centers of much of the violence.3 Amid an investigation into the death of a prominent journalist—who was investigating possible corruption in the Maltese government and was killed by a car bomb in October 2017—Malta’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, said that he will resign in mid-January.4 Eight thousand people gathered at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art to support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was recently indicted on bribery, fraud, and breach of trust charges, and to protest the alleged conduct of the state prosecutor in the lead-up to the indictment; days later, five thousand demonstrators gathered in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square to demand the resignation of Netanyahu, who one protestor said was “the most cowardly prime minister we’ve ever had.”5 6 Luis Lacalle Pou of the center-right National Party won the Uruguayan presidential election after the candidate of the liberal coalition, which has governed Uruguay for 15 years, conceded defeat.7 Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro said that Leonardo DiCaprio had financed the burning of the Amazon rainforest.8

Twenty-eight-year-old Usman Khan, who was sentenced in 2012 to 16 years in prison for his role in planning a terrorist training facility but who was released in 2018, was shot dead by the police after he threatened to detonate a hoax explosive device and went on a knife-wielding rampage near the London Bridge that left two dead and three injured; a convicted murderer on day release, a man carrying a fire extinguisher, and a Polish chef with a narwhal tusk were among the bystanders who helped end the attack, for which the Islamic State claimed credit.9 10 11 12 An eight-foot minke whale washed ashore on the Thames, the third beaching of a dead whale on the river in two months.13 In The Hague, a man stabbed three teenagers in a crowd of Black Friday shoppers.14 A woman in Texas was killed in what was only the United States’s fifth documented deadly hog attack in nearly two hundred years.15 A man was arrested for dumping buckets of liquefied fecal matter on several victims in a series of attacks at or near two Toronto universities, and a package marked “highly contagious” that forced the evacuation of a Washington State movie theater showing Frozen 2 was confirmed by police examiners to be a urine sample.16 17 In Van Buren, Maine, a man died of injuries sustained at his home after a handgun that was booby-trapped to fire upon intruders went off.18 After police officers in Utah found a 75-year-old woman dead during a routine welfare check at a retirement home, they also discovered her husband’s body in a freezer, where it may have been stored for as many as 11 years.19 A regulation took effect in China that requires people to have their faces scanned when registering new mobile phone services, complementing the country’s effort to create a national database that compiles fiscal and governmental information to give a rating to each citizen.20 A Florida woman’s dog died while in the care of an employee of the dog-walking app Wag, at least the 15th dog Wag has lost or killed since 2015.21

President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan measure that, for the first time, makes certain acts of animal cruelty, such as animal crushing, a federal crime.22 Starbucks fired a barista who, on Thanksgiving, printed the word pig on five drinks for police officers.23 Sonny Perdue, who as agriculture secretary has overseen massive factory-farming deregulation and reduced oversight of animal-welfare abuse, said changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (changes that, according to a new study, will cause 3.7 million Americans to lose food subsidies) will “restore the dignity of work.”24 The Ohio legislature introduced a bill that could imprison doctors who don’t attempt to reimplant ectopic pregnancies, a procedure that is not medically possible.25 On an unannounced holiday trip to Afghanistan—Trump’s first—he served a meal to U.S. troops, lamented being pulled away from his own “gorgeous piece of turkey” for photos, announced that the United States and the Taliban have been engaged in peace talks, and insisted that the Taliban wants to make a deal to end the 18-year war; the statement surprised Taliban leaders, as Trump had called off talks in September.26 27 A Texas teacher who was fired after asking Trump on Twitter to remove undocumented Mexicans from her school won an appeal to get her job back; a fake university set up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to entrap immigrants snared another 90 students, bringing the total to 250; and ICE deported to Honduras a worker who was injured in the partial collapse of the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans, where the man had worked construction for 18 years.28 29 30 The German Defense Ministry posted an image of a Nazi-era uniform on Instagram as an example of retro, haute-couture fashion.31 A businessman spent $600,000 on Nazi memorabilia at a Munich auction because “he did not want these objects to fall into the wrong hands.”32Justin Stewart

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