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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

Following a public outcry, the decision to close a coronavirus-testing site at a major transit hub in Los Angeles in order to shoot scenes for the remake of 1999’s She’s All That was reversed.

Officials with Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. government’s initiative to develop and distribute vaccines against COVID-19, told states that 6.4 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine would be distributed across the country in mid-December, under the assumption that the FDA will issue approval following an advisory meeting on December 10.1 British prime minister Boris Johnson said that a separate vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca, had “the makings of a wonderful British scientific achievement”; a day later, it was revealed that the most effective results from the vaccine’s trial did not include participants older than 55.2 It was reported that although American manufacturers had produced more than 200,000 ventilators since the spring, there are not enough health-care workers trained to operate them, and an oncology nurse in Salem, Oregon, was put on administrative leave after posting a TikTok video in which she revealed that she does not wear a mask or follow other coronavirus guidelines when not at work.3 4 A record 83,870 Americans were hospitalized with COVID-19 on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, when more than a million others traveled through U.S. airports—the greatest single-day number since the pandemic began.5 6 The Supreme Court struck down New York State restrictions on religious gatherings, and Pope Francis, who met maskless indoors with five NBA players to learn about racial-justice protests, published an excerpt from his upcoming book, writing, “It is all too easy for some to take an idea—in this case, for example, personal freedom—and turn it into an ideology.”7 8 Following a public outcry, the decision to close a coronavirus-testing site at a major transit hub in Los Angeles in order to shoot scenes for the remake of 1999’s She’s All That was reversed.9 Oxford Languages, publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary, declined to choose a word of the year, citing overwhelming changes to the way people use English amid the pandemic—a word whose use is up 57,000 percent this year.10 Dictionary.com, which chose “pandemic” as its word of the year, announced that searches for the word had exceeded routine lookups such as “to,” “two,” and “too.”11

A new study found that 6 percent of parents in the United States regretted having children because of climate change, and a survey of English pediatric psychologists revealed that climate fears were harming children and adolescents.12 13 First Minister Nicola Sturgeon encouraged Scots to support another referendum on independence from the United Kingdom in 2021, and President-elect Joe Biden announced that John Kerry, who as U.S. secretary of state signed the Paris Agreement with his granddaughter on his lap, would be the special presidential envoy for climate change.14 15 16 Biden also announced that he would nominate Janet Yellen—who lowered interest rates to nearly zero during her 2014–18 tenure as Federal Reserve chair—to be the next treasury secretary and Neera Tanden—the head of a think tank that has received funding from Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Northrop Grumman, and the United Arab Emirates—to oversee his Office of Management and Budget.17 18 19 20 It was reported that Donald Trump has raised nearly $170 million since Election Day.21 The stock market reached record highs; unemployment filings rose by more than 100,000 compared with the first week of November; and 12 percent of Americans, including a quarter of unemployed Americans with children, said that they did not have enough food to eat over the past 12 days.22 23 24 25 Archaeologists uncovered the remains of a wealthy landowner and an enslaved person who died together at Pompeii nearly 2,000 years ago.26

On Black Friday, background checks for gun sales were down 8 percent from last year.27 A new study linked mindfulness and meditation practices to narcissism and “spiritual superiority,” a psychological construct measured by prompts such as “the world would be a better place if others too had the insights that I have now.”28 A North Korean man who claimed to be a former gymnast defected to South Korea by vaulting over a 10-foot fence; South Korean border guards asked him to verify his story by vaulting over it twice more.29 The Austrian town Fucking, which is across the border from the German town Petting, announced that it would change its name to Fugging on January 1, 2021.30 Rudy Giuliani—a serial adulterer who claimed he had been only tucking in his shirt in a hotel-room scene in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm—allegedly requested a preemptive presidential pardon.31 32Cameron French

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