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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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“There’s no question—none—that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” said the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, several minutes after voting to acquit Trump.

Former president Donald Trump was acquitted at the conclusion of his second impeachment trial; falling short of a two-thirds majority, the Senate voted by a 57–43 margin to convict him of inciting an insurrection on January 6 at the U.S. Capitol.1 “There’s no question—none—that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day,” said the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, several minutes after voting to acquit Trump.2 The majority leader of the Michigan Senate—who had called the Capitol riot a “hoax from day one” and described it as “staged”—apologized and then was captured on a hot mic saying, “I frankly don’t take back any of the points I was trying to make.”3 Tennessee lawmakers introduced legislation that would allow men to prevent women they impregnate from receiving abortions; an Iowa state legislator put forward a bill permitting disabled Iowans to hunt from motorized scooters; and the Texas lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, after learning that the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks had gone 13 games without playing the national anthem, announced that he would prioritize passage of the Star Spangled Banner Protection Act, which would require the song to be played before “all events that receive public funding.”4 5 6 “We ARE the land of free [sic],” Patrick noted on Twitter.

It was reported that Trump had been on the verge of being put on a ventilator when he was infected with COVID-19 in October; Representative Ron White of Texas became the first sitting congressman to die of the disease; and scientists identified seven different variants of the virus around the United States.7 8 9 The city of Seoul began offering free COVID-19 tests to cats and dogs. Daniel Kritenbrink, the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, released a rap song in which he refers to himself as “the boy from Hanoi” and professes fondness for the city’s “hot spots and hot pots,” as well as cà phê sữa đá, a traditional iced coffee drink.10 11 The Philadelphia police union demanded a 5 percent “accountability pay” salary increase in exchange for agreeing to wear body cameras, and a Beverly Hills police officer was accused of playing music by the Nineties ska-punk band Sublime while being filmed by a civilian so that the video would be subject to copyright infringement charges if it were posted on social media.12 13 New Zealand’s Parliament amended its dress code after the co-leader of the Māori Party likened neckties to “a colonial noose.”14

A mathematics professor at the National University of Singapore delivered a nearly two-hour online lecture while on mute, a Minnesota congressman entered an online meeting of the House Financial Services Committee upside down, and a Texas prosecutor partook in a Zoom hearing while equipped with a filter that made him appear to be a kitten.15 16 17 A survey of graves at the nation’s oldest continuously operating pet cemetery found that the most popular pet name of the last century was Princess.18 A Tennessee border collie named Lulu inherited $5 million, and Yorkshire and Panepinto micropigs learned how to play video games, though researchers noted that their ability fell short of “full mastery.”19 20 The video-game publisher Victura announced the development of a previously canceled “tactical shooter” called Six Days in Fallujah, reassuring customers that it was not a U.S. Army recruitment tool, and the arms manufacturer Kalashnikov announced production of a “gadget” shotgun with a built-in computer that would be marketed to “hipsters.”21 22 Scientists determined that the songs of fin whales could be used to map the ocean floor, and a musician managed to play C, C-sharp, and D notes on a 17,000-year-old wind instrument made from a conch shell that was discovered in a French cave.23 24 25

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