A 71-year-old Japanese man was arrested after placing 24,000 customer complaint calls with his cell-phone service provider because he could not get his phone to play radio broadcasts.
At the NATO summit in London, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada was recorded on a hot mic mocking President Donald Trump’s behavior during a conversation with world leaders including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Princess Anne of the United Kingdom; Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands; and President Emmanuel Macron of France, who last month said that NATO was suffering from “brain death” due to a lack of U.S. leadership.1 In response, Trump called Trudeau “two-faced,” left the summit before his final press conference, and then was caught on a different hot mic saying, “That was funny when I said the guy’s two-faced, you know that.” “The rhetoric is not always excellent, but the substance is perfect,” said the U.N. secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, regarding NATO; two days later, the Turkish government announced that it would block a new NATO defense plan for Poland and the Baltic states.2 3 Senator Kamala Harris of California, Governor Steve Bullock of Montana, and the retired admiral Joe Sestak ended their campaigns for the Democratic presidential nomination, and Joe Biden was filmed calling an 83-year-old Iowa voter “a damn liar” and “fat,” and challenging him to a push-up contest and an IQ test.4 5 6 7 8 Nancy Pelosi announced that House Democrats would officially begin drafting articles of impeachment against Trump, who claimed that the EPA was investigating a national water “situation” in which Americans have to flush their toilets ten or fifteen times with each use.9 10 “They take a shower, and water comes dripping out,” said the president. “Just dripping out, very quietly dripping out.”
A U.S. naval officer in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, used service weapons to kill two people and then himself, and in Pensacola, Florida, a second lieutenant in the Saudi Air Force who was being trained by the U.S. military shot and killed three sailors several days after hosting a dinner party at which he showed guests videos of mass shootings.11 12 13 In Miami, 19 law-enforcement officials from five agencies fired over 100 rounds at a UPS truck, which had been hijacked by two jewelry thieves, in the middle of a highway during rush hour; the robbers, the UPS driver, and a man who had been riding in another car were killed.14 15 “We appreciate law enforcement’s service,” said a UPS spokesperson. New information suggested that civilians were killed by U.S. helicopters during the raid that killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, an operation that the Department of Defense had claimed “protected all of the non-combatants,” and newly released documents revealed that the U.S. government systematically misled the public about military failures in the war in Afghanistan.16 17 The government of Iran, which has killed hundreds of protesters in recent weeks, was reportedly demanding payment from victims’ families for bullets and destroyed property, in return for their loved ones’ bodies.18 In North Korea, Kim Jong-un attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Samjiyon, a new town that state media heralded as the “epitome of civilization,” and a North Korean official warned the United States that the country would be sending a “Christmas gift.”19 20
The Samoan government shut down for two days to combat a measles outbreak, posting red flags outside unvaccinated households and arresting a prominent anti-vaccination activist, who posted a message on Facebook as he was being detained advising people to cure measles with “1000mg vit C sodium ascorbate taken dissolved in 1/4 cup water every 3 hours.”21 22 23 Nearly one million French workers went on strike to protest pension cuts, and the Indian finance minister dismissed public outcry against soaring onion prices.24 “I come from a family that doesn’t care much for onions,” she said.25 A Russian man was arrested for constructing a fake border outpost near Finland and charging would-be migrants $10,000 for passage to what he told them would be the European Union; a 71-year-old Japanese man was arrested after placing 24,000 customer complaint calls with his cell-phone service provider because he could not get his phone to play radio broadcasts; and an Australian woman who used a photo of Kate Upton on her LinkedIn profile and impersonated her own employers during reference checks was sent to jail for lying on her résumé.26 27 28 A Hindu guru wanted for charges of rape and abduction in India announced the formation of a new Hindu nation off the coast of Ecuador called the Republic of Kailaasa, and the Church of Atheism was denied nonprofit charity status in Canada.29 30 The Chevrolet Suburban sport utility vehicle was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.31 A neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, was evacuated after a man claimed to have received burns from a homemade “quantum physics generator.”32 It was revealed that Chipotle employs nurses to contact employees who have called in sick to verify that they are not merely hungover, and Wisconsin was found to be home to twelve of the twenty drunkest cities in the United States.33 34 Austria reported an unprecedented rise in acts of violence committed by Krampuses.35