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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

Election officials in Sacramento County, California, pleaded with voters to stop disinfecting their mail-in ballots.

At dueling town-hall events airing at the same time, Joe Biden spent six minutes responding to a question about black voter apathy, asserting that “the vast majority of people of color are behind an eight ball,” and Donald Trump claimed to know nothing about the beliefs of QAnon followers except that they “are very much against pedophilia.”1 2 A woman who had complimented Trump’s smile during his event later said, “I wish he would smile more and talk less.”3 At a mask-optional rally in Janesville, Wisconsin, where 1 in 138 people have recently tested positive for COVID-19, Trump spoke for 93 minutes, telling the crowd that the first lady had told him he was the handsomest president ever and reiterating his support for the Second Amendment.4 5 6 The state of Michigan, home to the militia responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing and the recently apprehended Wolverine Watchmen, issued an order banning the open carry of firearms in polling places; election officials in Sacramento County, California, pleaded with voters to stop disinfecting their mail-in ballots; and a federal panel upheld an order by the Republican governor of Texas to limit counties to one ballot drop box apiece, forcing densely populated counties to remove dozens of boxes and leaving thousands of voters to wait in hours-long lines.7 8 9 10 11 In Bolivia, exit polls projected that Luis “Lucho” Arce, Evo Morales’s former finance minister, resoundingly won the presidential election, but the country’s electoral tribunal has not given a deadline for releasing either the full count or the quick count.12 13

Twitter suspended fake accounts claiming to be those of black Trump supporters; Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will ban Holocaust denial after a two-year public refusal to do so; and a high school principal in Boca Raton, Florida, who was fired after saying that he “can’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event” was rehired by the same school district.14 15 16 In Pittsburgh, special agents from the Postal Service raided the home of a mail carrier who regularly shared QAnon conspiracy theories about Pizzagate, “staged race riots,” and the model Chrissy Teigen’s supposed links to pedophilia; the mail carrier had hoarded and thrown out at least eight bags of mail.17 Rudy Giuliani provided emails and photos from Hunter Biden’s laptop, obtained from a computer repair shop, to reporters, and Donald Trump Jr. complained that his “Instagram algorithms” were getting “crushed” and that fewer people were seeing his posts.18 19 During a military parade in North Korea that unveiled new ballistic missiles, Kim Jong-un tearfully apologized for his failure to raise living standards in the country and thanked citizens for their sacrifices.20 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the United States and Brazil to reduce imports from China, and Britain refused to resume trade talks with the European Union.21 22 University students were the largest group to receive used coronavirus tests from the Birmingham City Council, in England; quarantining students at the University of York were told “to allow non-isolating individuals to exit” first in the event of a fire; a group of students at Brigham Young University–Idaho were alleged to have intentionally exposed themselves to COVID-19 in order to sell convalescent plasma; and a Utah landlord evicted an eighteen-year-old for “disturbance of the peace” after she confided in her roommates about experiencing suicidal thoughts.23 24 25 26 Amid an ongoing lawsuit, Florida’s Broward County school district demanded that parents of Parkland students who were killed in a mass shooting turn over psychiatric records in order to prove their mental anguish.27

A statue of Jesus was reported to the police as a homeless man sleeping on a bench just twenty minutes after it had been installed outside a Cleveland church.28 In Florida, sheriff’s deputies responding to a car accident ran over the victim’s body on their way to the scene.29 A Brazilian senator was caught hiding cash between his butt cheeks during an anti-corruption raid; the Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs promised that security officials would shoot at pro-democracy protesters “humanely”; and the Thai government, facing growing political demonstrations, blocked Change.org after it hosted a petition aiming to prevent the king from spending most of his time in a villa in the Bavarian Alps with an entourage of women.30 31 32 33 Walmart executives announced a plan to reduce crowding during the holiday season by offering three Black Fridays.34 Comcast’s president of technology lost his internet connection mid-interview while boasting about the superiority of cable Wi-Fi over cellular data.35 The FBI launched an investigation after the second sighting of an unidentified man with a jet pack flying above Los Angeles International Airport.36 Canada’s last remaining ice shelf collapsed into the ocean, taking with it an Arctic research station used by leading scientists studying ice shelves.37 A new report by climate researchers at the United Nations warned that the world is at risk of becoming an “uninhabitable hell.”38Ani Wilcenski

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