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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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A Mennonite accountant was charged with defrauding his Amish neighbors.

Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, who has previously argued in favor of bombing Iran and killing American citizens with drones, said that he had firsthand knowledge of the president’s withholding of U.S. military aid to Ukraine for political gain; the Senate voted not to let Bolton testify at Trump’s impeachment trial; Bolton’s lawyer sent a copy of his upcoming book containing the allegations to the White House; Trump said the accusations were a lie; and Trump’s attorney said the book couldn’t be published because it was classified.1 2 3 4 5 Alan Dershowitz, who once described himself as “a neutral civil libertarian when it comes to the Constitution,” testified on behalf of Trump that withholding the military aid to influence an election was not an impeachable offense.6 7 The United Nations announced that $730 million in humanitarian aid was needed to feed 9.4 million people living in poverty in Afghanistan, where, since October 2001, the U.S. has spent $1.5 trillion waging war, and the congressional budget office announced that the U.S. deficit this year would top $1 trillion dollars.8 9 10 The European Parliament voted nearly unanimously to approve the United Kingdom’s Brexit terms; MEPs then sang “Auld Lang Syne,” told British MEPs to “put your flags away and take them with you,” and asked the 27 remaining member states via email if they approved of the withdrawal terms, to which they replied yes.11 12 The United Kingdom left the European Union, and the majority of Scots said they wanted to exit the United Kingdom.13

In China, the death toll from coronavirus climbed to 425, and the doctor who was interrogated by the police last year for attempting to warn people about the emergence of the pathogen contracted the disease.14 15 China reportedly began sending the bodies of coronavirus victims directly to crematoriums without first identifying them, Russia closed its 2,600-mile Chinese border, and U.S. secretary of commerce Wilbur Ross said the coronavirus would bring jobs back from China to the United States and Mexico.16 17 18 It was announced that the longest smuggling tunnel ever discovered was found between Tijuana and San Diego, Trump signed the USMCA, and a section of border wall installed under Trump collapsed in high winds, with debris landing on the Mexican side.19 20 21 The Trump Administration loosened restrictions on the use of landmines, which are banned by 160 countries for the frequency with which they kill civilians, and it was reported that a factory in Iran is producing 2,000 U.S. and Israeli flags a month for protesters to burn.22 23 The Iowa Democratic caucuses remained undecided in part because of an app programming error.24

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry recommended releasing one million tons of radioactive water from the melted-down Fukushima Reactor 1 into the ocean.25 The forestry union in Turkey estimated that 90 percent of the 11 million trees planted by the government three months ago have died because they were planted by amateurs at the wrong time of the year, and the administration of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who himself planted some of the trees, denied the claim, stating a 95 percent survival rate for the trees, which under ideal conditions have a 65 to 70 percent survival rate.26 A man in Tennessee was arrested for smoking marijuana in open court while facing charges of marijuana possession, and the judge on the case was later reprimanded for saying he was going to work like a “regular white man” and not a “slave” because “they don’t allow that anymore.”27 28 A police officer in Maryland pulled over a driver, said he smelled PCP, handcuffed the man, placed him in the back of his police cruiser, and then shot him seven times, killing him.29 An entire class of 30 Georgia state troopers was kicked out of trooper school for cheating on a speed-gun operator exam, a postal worker pleaded guilty to hiding 1,500 pieces of mail in a storage unit because he “felt pressured” to deliver it, and a man being chased by a police officer attempted to escape by carjacking an undercover police officer.30 31 32 A Mennonite accountant was charged with defrauding his Amish neighbors, and France’s agriculture ministry announced that the country intends to make it illegal to put live male chicks in a shredder.33 34Joe Kloc

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