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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

The Pentagon banned Confederate flags in a memo that neither included the word “ban” nor the word “Confederate.”

The World Health Organization reported the largest single-day increase in COVID-19 deaths since May 10, bringing the pandemic’s death toll to nearly 600,000 over seven months.1 “Think of this . . . if we did half the testing, we would have half the cases,” said the president. “You cut that in half, we would have, yet again, half of that. But the headlines are always testing.”2 The Trump Administration, which is attempting to block $25 billion for testing and contact tracing from a coronavirus relief bill, has ordered hospitals to bypass the CDC and send COVID-19 data directly to the Department of Health and Human Services; Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that some human rights are worth defending, while others are not; and the U.S. Department of Justice executed three people—Daniel Lewis Lee, Wesley Ira Purkey, and Dustin Lee Honken—in the first federal executions since 2003.3 4 5 6 Purkey’s last words were “This sanitized murder really does not serve no purpose whatsoever. Thank you.”7 White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, whom Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot recently called a “Karen,” said that “science should not stand in the way” of reopening schools, and a Florida law firm began offering free living wills to teachers forced to return to their classrooms.8 9 10 “I think central Florida, as we get into the next month, is probably in pretty good shape,” said the state’s governor, Ron DeSantis.11 In Portland, Oregon, unidentified federal agents in unmarked vehicles seized nonviolent protesters off the streets and detained them without explanation; later, outside the city’s federal courthouse, agents teargassed a group of mothers who were wearing yellow and holding flowers.12 13 14 “We are trying to help Portland, not hurt it,” Trump subsequently tweeted. “We must protect Federal property, AND OUR PEOPLE.” “Typical gangster logic,” said Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong in response to Trump’s order to end the territory’s special economic status.15 The government of Turkmenistan stated that the country is free of the coronavirus, but asked citizens to wear masks in public in order to stop “dust.”16

Polish president Andrzej Duda, who has called LGBT rights more destructive than Communism and whom Trump has said is “doing a terrific job,” won reelection; Duda later told a Russian prank caller claiming to be the UN secretary-general that Trump had not called to congratulate him.17 18 19 After Jeff Sessions lost Alabama’s runoff for the Republican Senate nomination to Tommy Tuberville, a former football coach at Auburn who has never held public office, Trump tweeted how excited he was that Tuberville had won.20 “It’s time for this Republican Party to listen to the Donald Trump agenda,” Sessions said. National Weather Service accounts were unable to post vital storm warnings and updates after Twitter locked out all verified users in the wake of a massive hack by Bitcoin scammers, and TikTok’s general manager in Australia told journalists and lawmakers that the app never shares user data with foreign governments, even though the company’s transparency report shows hundreds of instances when it shared user data with foreign governments.21 22 23 The Pentagon banned Confederate flags in a memo that neither included the word “ban” nor the word “Confederate.”24 A Canadian police department launched a hate-crime investigation after a pro-Nazi monument was vandalized.25 “We regret any hurt caused by misinformation that suggests that the Service in any way supports Nazism,” the department said as it carried out the investigation. Over Zoom, the Asheville, North Carolina, city council voted unanimously to provide reparations for Black residents, but did not specify any direct payments.26 Washington’s NFL team announced that it would stop using the racist slur in its name, and 15 former female employees came forward with sexual-harassment allegations against the team.27 28 The Vatican urged, but did not require, bishops to report sexual abuse to the police.29 A Ukrainian news anchor did not visibly react when, as she reported on the pandemic, her tooth fell out.30

Two Republican senators, Marco Rubio and Dan Sullivan, posted photos of the recently deceased Black congressman Elijah Cummings in their attempts to pay tribute to the more recently deceased Black congressman John Lewis.31 Ninety-nine years after the Tulsa race massacre, the city began an excavation of the suspected mass graves; Russian investigators confirmed that bones found in a forest in 2007 are the remains of Nicholas II and his family; and a body found in Allenhurst, Georgia, was revealed, upon the arrival of the coroner, to be a sex doll.32 33 34 It was revealed that Ghislaine Maxwell has a secret husband, whose name she would not reveal, and that she wrapped her cell phone in tinfoil “to evade detection.”35 36 Queen Elizabeth, who recently released a brand of gin made from bay and mulberry leaves from Buckingham Palace’s backyard, appeared in person before the public for the first time since March to knight a 100-year-old World War II veteran who had raised $40 million for the country’s National Health Service by walking 100 laps in his garden; Sir Thomas did not kneel.37 38 An Australian shark-attack victim yelled “I still love sharks” from her gurney.39 Iceland has invited people to send recordings of their loudest screams to be broadcast into the country’s wilderness.40 The head of the country’s official tourism website said, “We feel this is just what the world needs.”—Clara Olshansky

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