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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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An elementary school student with COVID-like symptoms was placed in isolation inside a storage closet because of spacing limitations.

Illinois governor J. B. Pritzker signed a law ending cash bail and requiring police officers across the state to wear body cameras; the bill will take effect in 2023.1 In Rochester, New York, a grand jury declined to charge any of the seven officers who were on the scene last March when they handcuffed Daniel Prude, placed a mesh bag over his head, and pressed him into the pavement until he lost consciousness; Prude, who was black, was experiencing a suspected psychotic episode and died a week after the incident.2 “We certainly do not want people to misinterpret the officers’ actions and conflate this incident with any recent killings of unarmed Black men by law enforcement nationally,” wrote a Rochester deputy police chief who advised against releasing body-cam footage of the incident. An American soldier who was indicted for conspiring with neo-Nazis to ambush his unit during a planned deployment to Turkey asked for the case to be dismissed because the grand jury didn’t include enough black and Hispanic members.3 The U.S. government released a four-page report concluding that Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, had personally authorized the dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, and announced sanctions against the Saudis involved in the killing except for the crown prince.4 Russian diplomats escaped from North Korea on a hand-pushed railcar, and after a refugee set herself on fire, Greek officials charged her with arson.5 6 The Chinese government planned to restrict political candidates in Hong Kong to those it deems “patriots.”7

In the first known use of military force by the Biden Administration, seven 500-pound bombs were dropped in Syria to retaliate against rocket attacks from an Iran-backed Iraqi militia; the attack killed 22 people, though international monitoring groups dispute how many of the dead belonged to the group being targeted.8 The U.S. Senate parliamentarian judged that a federal minimum-wage hike could not be passed under budget-reconciliation rules because it does not affect the national debt; the White House chose not to challenge the ruling.9 A new poll found that 20 percent of Americans would dump their partner in exchange for the ability to travel immediately.10 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new one-shot COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson and Johnson, which announced that it would begin testing the efficacy of its vaccine on, among other age groups, newborns, and an elementary school student with COVID-like symptoms was placed in isolation inside a storage closet because of spacing limitations.11 12 Boston Dynamics, a company originally funded by the military but now attempting to expand into the civilian market, condemned a performance-art piece in which attendees will be able to remotely drive Spot, one of the company’s quadruped robots, around an art gallery while it is outfitted with a paintball gun on its back.13 “They said they would give us another two Spots for free if we took the gun off. That just made us want to do this even more,” wrote one of the artists, who referred to the robots as “war dogs.” In India, a man died after being stabbed in the groin by his rooster after he had attached a knife to the bird for an illegal cockfight, and a university exam was postponed after it was revealed that the curriculum attributed special abilities to Indian cows as compared with foreign ones, such as that they have deeper emotions and that their dung can reduce radiation.14 15

During Ted Cruz’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Florida, where two men pushed a golden statue of Donald Trump down the halls of the Hyatt Regency hotel, the Texas senator promoted his podcast, criticized government public-health advisories regarding COVID-19, assured the crowd that the actress Gina Carano was “standing with us,” claimed that 60 percent of women named Karen had definitely voted for Joe Biden, and said that “Orlando is awesome. It’s not as nice as Cancún—but it’s nice!”16 17 A plastic surgeon in California joined his traffic-court hearing via Zoom from the operating room, at one point showing a patient on the operating table.18 “Yes, I’m in an operating room right now,” said the surgeon. “I’m available for trial. Go right ahead.” The University of Michigan closed and then reopened one of its libraries after discovering three venomous Mediterranean recluse spiders in the basement.19Cameron French

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