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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

The House voted on two articles of impeachment; Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison apologized for going on vacation; two Carnival Cruise ships collided

Shortly before he became the third American president to be impeached, Donald Trump asked campaign rally attendees in Battle Creek, Michigan, “Did you notice that everybody is saying Merry Christmas again?”1 2 During the House’s debate on the articles of impeachment, representatives were given 30 seconds to speak; Ohio Republican Bill Johnson used his time to hold a moment of silence for Trump voters.3 Three times more people subscribed to Christianity Today than canceled their subscriptions after the evangelical magazine’s editor wrote an editorial endorsing Trump’s removal from office, and the viewership of the most recent Democratic debate was three times less than the first two debates of this election cycle, which were held on June 26 and 27.4 5 In response to escalating protests against the country’s new Citizenship Amendment Act, which expedites naturalization for some religious minorities but not for Muslims, police across India fired tear gas into a university library, arrested and beat demonstrators, including a prominent Gandhi biographer, and killed three civilians.6 7 8 9 Tens of thousands of civilians fled northwestern Syria as bombs and air strikes from Russian and Syrian forces devastated the region; according to a Syrian Civilian Defense representative, “the cold and poverty” of refugee camps on the Turkish border “have pushed many to say they would rather die under bombardment than leave their homes.”10 An internal watchdog with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security found that immigration officials had acted appropriately in the deaths of a seven-year-old migrant girl and an eight-year-old migrant boy, both of whom died from sepsis in Border Patrol custody, and it was reported that, although White House policy advisor Stephen Miller’s plan to plant ICE agents at the Office of Refugee Resettlement was rejected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the department did grant ICE permission to collect fingerprint data from parents at the ORR who were claiming custody of migrant children.11 12 An Iowa man campaigned to reacquire custody of Drifter, his physician-approved emotional support coyote, and six months after a suspected thief was videotaped face-planting into a door at a Pizza Hut in New Mexico, police used DNA evidence swabbed from the door to identify and arrest him.13 14

The Department of Agriculture removed Wakanda, the fictional hyperadvanced African country featured in the Black Panther comic book franchise, from its list of free-trade partners.15 Congress allocated $25 million for gun violence research, which hasn’t been funded in over 20 years, and New Zealand announced that their “no questions asked” firearm buyback program, instituted after the Christchurch mosque shootings and subsequent assault rifle ban, had taken more than 56,350 weapons off the streets.16 17 Twin brother whistle-blowers accused the Mormon Church of hoarding more than $100 billion intended for charitable use.18 Brothers Fredrick and Efrain Jimenez, who made over $1 million from videos published on the website GirlsDoPorn, were charged with obstructing a sex-trafficking investigation, and Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro insisted he was not calling a journalist gay after describing the journalist’s face as “terribly homosexual.” 19 20 21 Reporters discovered a horoscope poster that had been designed by the Australian government to dissuade Sri Lankan migrants from seeking asylum in the country; it asserted that if you’re a Taurus, “you will be ashamed of your actions” and if you’re an Aquarius, “you and your family will lose everything.”22 Scott Morrison, Taurus sign and Australian prime minister, apologized for taking a family vacation to Hawaii as 121-degree temperatures melted roads across the state of South Australia.23 24 25 A Wisconsin family discovered an intruder in their closet after he said “Ho ho ho” and asked that they not ruin the “Christmas surprise” by opening the door.26

A 12-year-old Thai girl won the annual World Drone Racing Championship for the second time.27 Eleven skeletons, many without feet, were excavated in the ruins of a millennium-old Peruvian gravesite, and a tenth skeleton was found on the site of a 17th-century Spanish monastery in Taiwan.28 29 It was announced that nine months of credit card data collected at all Wawa convenience stores had been hacked.30 Eight West African countries disassociated their currencies from the French franc, and a study found that converting the entire world to clean energy would pay for itself in seven years.31 32 In a Mexican port, a cruise ship owned by Carnival Cruise Line crashed into another one of the company’s cruise ships, destroying a dining hall and injuring six people.34 A listeria outbreak that spread to five states was traced to eggs hard-boiled by a food manufacturer in Gainesville, Florida.35 Cuba designated its first prime minister in four decades, union workers across France organized general strikes against pension reform for the third week in a row, Georgia became the second state this week to remove hundreds of thousands of registered voters from its rolls, and an Atlanta family found an owl in their Christmas tree.36 37 38 39 —Jordan Cutler-Tietjen

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