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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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A town in Missouri said that it will consult state law to determine how to fill positions on its board of trustees after an election in which not a single vote was cast.

Workers at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, voted against joining a union by a margin of 1,798 to 738.1 Amazon, which hired 400,000 workers last year and is America’s second-largest employer, had last faced a union vote in 2014, and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union said that it would contest the Bessemer results, arguing that some of the tactics used by the company, such as asking the USPS to install a mailbox at the facility the day before voting began and then to remove it after voting ended, were illegal.2 In Kentucky, the Republican-led legislature passed a bill expanding voting rights, and a town in Missouri said that it will consult state law to determine how to fill positions on its board of trustees after an election in which not a single vote was cast.3 4 After multiple companies announced boycotts of Georgia in the wake of new laws limiting voter access, Senator Mitch McConnell, whose super PAC in 2020 accepted a combined $475 million from corporations and corporate CEOs, said that corporations should “stay out of politics” before adding, “I’m not talking about political contributions.”5 JetBlue resumed donating to one of the lawmakers who voted against certifying Biden’s Electoral College victory, and Mad Dog PAC, which once received a $5,000 donation from Anthony Scaramucci, paid for a billboard in Crestview, Florida, that reads matt gaetz wants to date your child.6 7 8 In a deposition as part of the NRA’s attempt to claim bankruptcy and move from New York to Texas, the association’s executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, said that after the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and a high school in Parkland, Florida, he feared so much for his safety that he took refuge on a friend’s yacht called The Illusion.9 “This was the one place that I hoped could feel safe,” LaPierre said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that despite a pandemic-driven reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions last year, atmospheric carbon dioxide reached its highest levels in the past 3.6 million years; the planet was 7 degrees warmer and sea levels were 80 feet higher when carbon-dioxide concentrations were most recently so high.10 In Taiwan, which is experiencing its worst drought in 56 years, a man was able to recover a cell phone he had dropped into Sun Moon Lake last year because the water level has decreased by nearly 40 feet.11 12 “I had fish disappear,” said Reince Priebus, the former White House chief of staff who once acted out a script Donald Trump had written about winning the 2020 election, of his 200-gallon home aquarium.13 14 The Brooklyn district attorney announced that he would move to dismiss as many as 90 previous drug convictions because a detective in the narcotics unit was charged with perjury.15 In the trial of Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer accused of killing George Floyd, a pulmonologist pinpointed the exact moment of Floyd’s death on video; in Oregon, one of only six states that originally refused to ratify the 15th Amendment, the House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill making Juneteenth a state holiday; and in Selma, Alabama, a group calling itself White Lies Matter stole a chair worth $500,000 from the United Daughters of the Confederacy and threatened to turn the seat into a toilet unless the UDC hung a banner with an Assata Shakur quote at its headquarters.16 17 18 19 The White House announced that it would reverse a Trump-era policy and resume sending humanitarian aid to Palestinians, New York State announced a $2.1 billion fund to provide payments to undocumented residents excluded from past federal pandemic-relief legislation, and border agents announced that in March they had encountered nearly 19,000 children at the border, the largest number ever recorded in a single month.20 21 22 A police officer in Kansas testified that the state’s Senate majority leader, Gene Suellentrop, had driven the wrong way with double the legal limit of alcohol in his blood, called the officer “donut boy,” and claimed that he could “take” the officer because he had played sports in high school.23

A Minnesota woman was fined after accidentally setting a swamp on fire while she was making maple syrup, and in Ontario, a couple making maple syrup accidentally exploded part of their porch after they left a propane burner on while they watched the sunset.24 25 The Australian government announced that it has given up its goal of vaccinating the entire population by the end of the year, and that legislators, judges, and public servants will no longer be exempt from rules against sexual harassment in the workplace.26 27 TUI Airways revealed that on a flight between Birmingham, England, and Majorca, Spain, it had underestimated by 2,600 pounds the amount of thrust needed for takeoff because its software system had automatically classified every passenger identified with the title “Miss” as a child, registering their weight as 77 pounds.28 The current Mrs. World was arrested after tearing a crown from the head of the winner of the Mrs. Sri Lanka pageant and falsely claiming on live TV that the woman, who was later hospitalized, was in fact divorced and thus ineligible for the competition.29 The BBC received a record-breaking number of complaints for what viewers felt was excessive coverage of Prince Philip’s death.30 “Why [not] just put it on one channel for those that want to listen to that drivel and the rest of us can have a bit of music,” read one complaint.—Cameron French

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