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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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Facebook said that it would halt all new political ads in the week before Election Day—but that it would not take down existing ads—in order to stop the spread of misinformation.

An explosive gender-reveal device ignited a wildfire at a park in San Bernardino County, California; the fire, which is 16 percent contained, has forced 21,000 people to evacuate.1 2 3 4 The wildfires in California—where there have been at least 22 so far this year—have burned more than 2 million acres, a new record.5 6 The Pacific Gas and Electric Company, which provides power to 40 percent of Californians and charges double the national average rate, announced a round of planned blackouts while 99 percent of the state was under excessive heat warnings or advisories; spontaneous rolling blackouts are also expected.7 8 9 10 In San Francisco, Facebook said that it would halt all new political ads in the week before Election Day—but that it would not take down existing ads—in order to stop the spread of misinformation, and a salon owner released security-camera footage of a maskless Nancy Pelosi getting her hair done.11 12 When asked whether she took responsibility for not wearing a mask, the speaker of the House responded, “I take responsibility for falling for a setup.” A federal court ruled that prisoners at Guantánamo Bay are aliens and therefore not entitled to due process; another court found that the NSA’s bulk collection of domestic phone logs was illegal; newly declassified documents revealed that a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge wrote that the FBI had committed widespread violations by gathering emails without warrants, but had nonetheless extended the program for another year; and the Democratic Party launched an entity to share data about voters among campaigns, state parties, super PACs, and other independent groups.13 14 15 16 Pete Buttigieg, a former Navy intelligence officer, and Susan Rice, a former national security adviser, joined Joe Biden’s transition team.17 18

Donald Trump—who authorized a $738 billion military budget for the 2020 fiscal year, proposed allocating $46 billion for nuclear weapons programs in the 2021 fiscal year, and restored the rank of a Navy SEAL who had been convicted of war crimes—was accused of calling American troops who died in World War I “suckers” and “losers.”19 20 21 22 The president denied the accusation, reversed the Pentagon’s decision to shut down the newspaper Stars and Stripes, and secured endorsements from the Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police union in the country, and Noor bin Ladin, a niece of Osama bin Laden.23 24 25 Five vessels sank during a pro-Trump boat parade in Texas, and a ship flying a flag reading make the liberals cry again took on water.26 A damaged section of a dock was mistaken for a casket and removed from a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, and crew members on two flights approaching Los Angeles International Airport reported seeing a man flying with a jet pack.27 28 It was revealed that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu privately allowed the Trump Administration to sell weapons, including Reaper drones, to the United Arab Emirates before publicly decrying the deal, and Saudi Arabia announced that it would open airspace to Israeli flights for the first time, following a request from the UAE.29 30 Thousands of protesters in Budapest, Hungary, joined students occupying a university building in a bid to secure institutional autonomy from Viktor Orbán’s right-wing government, and several members of Emmanuel Macron’s government argued that ensauvagement—a term coined by Marine Le Pen that suggests that the increasing population of non-white French is making the country unsafe—was a real phenomenon.30 31 “It’s time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history, about our traditions, and about our culture, and we stopped this general bout of self-recrimination and wetness,” said British prime minister Boris Johnson of the BBC’s decision not to gather a live audience to sing “Rule, Britannia!” and “Land of Hope and Glory” for a televised concert.32

A study revealed that this year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, a large gathering of riders in South Dakota, was a coronavirus superspreader event that cost public health agencies an estimated $12.2 billion.33 Fleas in South Lake Tahoe, California, tested positive for the bubonic plague.34 It was reported that gun jugging, the theft of guns left in cars, is on the rise in Texas.35 36 “When you’re leaving a place like [a gun range], you have to look at your surroundings,” said one gun-club trainer. Two members of the Boojahideen, a subgroup of the Boogaloo movement, were arrested after attempting to donate money to Hamas.37 Several women exposed to tear gas during protests in Seattle have experienced irregular menstruation, including one who had three menstrual cycles over the course of 28 days.38 An organ that is playing a piece of music in a performance intended to go on for 639 years changed chords.39Violet Lucca

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