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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

The Miss India 2020 runner-up rode to a victory rally at her alma mater in her father’s auto rickshaw.

The United States surpassed 500,000 COVID-19 deaths, and nearly every state experienced freezing temperatures.1 2 In Texas, the cold weather caused pipes to freeze and burst, and the increase in electricity usage overwhelmed the state’s power grid, leaving millions of Texans without power and potable water and driving a 27-year-old father to burn a baby gate for warmth.3 4 Senator Ted Cruz traveled to Cancún with his wife and daughters to meet his college roommate David Panton because, as Cruz later explained, he wanted to “be a good dad”; following widespread criticism, Cruz returned to Texas, apologized while wearing a state-flag face mask, and posted photographs of himself handing out bottled water to Texans.5 6 7 8 “I didn’t want all the screaming and yelling about this trip to distract even one moment from the real issues that I think Texans care about, which is keeping all of our families safe,” the senator said. During an interview on the invite-only app Clubhouse, an Instagram influencer—whom opposition leader Alexei Navalny alleges is a daughter of Vladimir Putin—said that she believes the Kremlin has the right to poison people because the Illuminati created COVID-19.9 10 Navalny’s appeal of his prison sentence was denied, and he was fined for slander.11

A man at a quarantine hotel in Thailand was threatened with a defamation suit after he posted photographs of cockroach legs he had found in his macaroni.12 The Cambodian government, which in December jailed a woman for wearing a revealing outfit while livestreaming a clothing-and-makeup sale on Facebook, announced plans to implement a national internet gateway that, in addition to restricting access to certain websites, will require users to complete identification forms before going online.13 14 Facebook, which has been blocking pro-vaccine advertisements as part of its attempts to stop the spread of anti-vaccine content, prohibited the sharing of all news articles in Australia after the lower house of its Parliament passed legislation that would require the company to pay media companies for links to their coverage.15 16 17 Google fired a second prominent AI ethicist for “exfiltration of confidential business-sensitive documents and private data of other employees.”18 “It gives me the evil eye every time I leave home,” said Yevgenia Kvasova of the House of Soviets building in Kaliningrad, Russia, that has been scheduled for demolition because of structural defects.19 A drug-sniffing dog discovered 44 pounds of cornflakes coated with sugar and cocaine that were en route to Hong Kong.20

The Miss India 2020 runner-up rode to a victory rally at her alma mater in her father’s auto rickshaw.21 The luxury fashion brand Proenza Schouler cast Kamala Harris’s stepdaughter in its runway show, held in the Hamptons, because she represents “a whole new chapter” in American life; Hermès reported a 43 percent increase in sales in Asia; and a shopping-mall baron predicted that housebound consumers will soon begin “revenge shopping.”22 23 24 San Francisco plastic surgeons reported an increasing demand for smaller breast sizes, and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery released a statement warning those who have had their lips injected with filler to exercise caution with the COVID-19 vaccine because it can cause temporary lip swelling.25 26 “This [vaccine] is the hottest commodity that is out there right now,” said a health official in Orange County, Florida, where young women were caught attempting to receive shots while “dressed up as grannies,” and in Manatee County, Florida, a pop-up vaccination site with a “VIP list” was constructed for people living in its two richest zip codes.27 28 Mercedes-Benz recalled 1,292,258 cars in the United States because the eCall feature sent inaccurate vehicle locations to emergency responders.29 A butane tank exploded inside a Texas Walmart and forced shoppers to evacuate the store; customers were permitted to reenter one hour later.30Jensen Davis

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