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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review


In response to a major volcanic eruption, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines vowed he would “eat that ashfall. I’m even going to pee on Taal, that goddamned volcano.”

Articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump alleging two counts of high crimes and misdemeanors were delivered to the Senate from the House of Representatives.1 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi named seven members of Congress, three of whom are women, as impeachment managers.2 On the evening the articles were delivered, Trump complained at a rally that “women” have told him that dishwashers only provide “four drops of water,” even when you “press it twelve times,” and appointed to his legal team Alan Dershowitz, who was an attorney of Jeffrey Epstein’s, and Ken Starr, who led the investigations of Bill Clinton that preceded his impeachment and whom Trump has previously called a “lunatic.”3 4 5 (Dershowitz has called Starr “dangerous to our liberties,” and Starr was also on Jeffrey Epstein’s defense team.)6 7 The Trump Administration proposed a rule to repeal the public-school nutritional standards that were introduced by Michelle Obama and broaden the definition of “snack” to include hamburgers, and the National Archives apologized for digitally altering signs critical of Donald Trump that were visible in a photograph of the 2017 Women’s March.8 9 The U.S. Space Force debuted camouflage uniforms, and a researcher demonstrated the U.S. government’s IT vulnerabilities by “Rick-rolling” the National Security Agency.10 11 Washington, D.C., was declared the bedbug capital of the United States.12

Smoke from Australian bushfires had circled east across the globe and reached Australia’s western coast, and in areas plagued by fires on the country’s eastern coast, heavy rains caused flash flooding and baseball-size hail destroyed cars.13 14 15 Scientists discovered that a warm “blob” in the Pacific Ocean in 2015 and 2016 was responsible for the deaths of one million seabirds, and the Calgary Zoo canceled a “penguin walk” because the cold weather was dangerous to the king penguins.16 17 In Russia, where less than half the population believes that climate change is a major threat, a representative in the Duma blamed the nation’s warm winter on an American “climate weapon.”18 The United Kingdom’s Counter Terrorism Policing force published, and later disavowed, a brochure that listed the climate-change activist group Extinction Rebellion alongside Islamic terrorist and white-supremacist organizations, and the Texas Department of Public Safety issued a warning about the violent threat posed by involuntary celibates.19 20 “What begins as a personal grievance due to perceived rejection by women,” the report’s authors wrote, “may morph into allegiance to, and attempts to further, an Incel Rebellion.” The FBI arrested three neo-Nazis in Virginia, and Governor Ralph Northam banned guns at the Virginia State Capitol and declared a state of emergency ahead of a Richmond rally against new statewide gun-control measures that attracted some 22,000 people.21 22 The West Virginia Senate encouraged neighboring Frederick County of Virginia to join their state.23

The rapper Akon finalized an agreement with the Senagalese government under which he was granted 2,000 acres to build Akon City, in which the official currency will be Akon’s own cryptocurrency, AKoin.24 West Point officials acknowledged that one of the academy’s cadets had launched a GoFundMe to help him pay the travel expenses for a porn star to join him at a formal academy banquet.25 The Transportation Security Administration apologized to an Ojibwa activist after a TSA agent in Minneapolis grabbed her braids as though they were a horse’s reins and told her to “Giddyap!” and Facebook apologized for a “technical issue” in which President Xi Jinping of China’s name was translated as “Mr. Shithole.”26 27 In response to a major volcanic eruption, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines vowed he would “eat that ashfall. I’m even going to pee on Taal, that goddamned volcano,” and the Mexico City transit authority blamed frequent escalator breakdowns in the subway system on “corrosion due to urine.”28 29 “When we open the escalators,” said an assistant transit manager, “there is always urine.” The discovery of a Parioscorpio venator fossil in Wisconsin suggested that the first animal in earth’s history to breathe on land was a scorpion.30

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