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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

More than 100 people lined up outside of an abandoned Bay Area gas station for the chance to sniff a corpse flower in bloom.

Sasha Johnson, a prominent Black Lives Matter activist who had received numerous death threats, was shot in the head at a house party; London police are investigating whether she was the intended target.1 At the behest of President Aleksandr Lukashenko, a Belarusian fighter jet forced a commercial airplane that was flying from Athens to Vilnius, Lithuania, to land in Minsk; once grounded, passenger Roman Protasevich, a journalist who had co-founded a Telegram channel that was critical of Lukashenko’s government, was immediately arrested.2 Indian police arrested a muralist who painted a crying woman draped in a Palestinian flag along with at least 20 pro-Palestinian protesters in Kashmir.3 “[The Jammu and Kashmir] Police is keeping a very close watch on elements who are attempting to leverage the unfortunate situation in Palestine to disturb public peace and order in the Kashmir valley. We are a professional force and are sensitive to public anguish,” tweeted local law enforcement.4 Israel and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire that brought an end to 11 days of bombing and rocket attacks that killed at least 248 Palestinians and 13 Israelis, and destroyed 258 buildings in the Gaza Strip.5 6 7 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted, “We regret every loss of life, but I can tell you categorically, there is no army in the world that acts in a more moral fashion than the army of Israel.”8 Two days later, Israeli police beat and arrested Palestinian worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.9 “Are the violent protests violating human rights? Of course,” said Colombian president Iván Duque in a professionally produced English-language video; in accompanying videos that were distributed over WhatsApp and addressed other questions about the ongoing nationwide protests—which have lasted over three weeks and resulted in the disappearances of at least 168 people—Duque suggested that the unrest was being supported by Venezuela, leftist and former presidential candidate Gustavo Petro, and those who “want to promote chaos.”9 10 11 12 An arraignment was held for an arsonist known as “Joker” who set fire to the San Gabriel Mission in San Diego, California, and cryptocurrency investors lost approximately $800 billion.13 14

An alliance of human rights organizations reported that the COVID-19 vaccine industry has created nine new billionaires, including the CEO of Moderna, and that their combined wealth would be “enough to fully vaccinate all people in low-income countries 1.3 times.”15 16 Germany, where new billionaire BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin is a citizen, blocked travel from the United Kingdom as a COVID variant first observed in India spread to 86 of the island’s regions; England, Wales, and Scotland loosened social distancing restrictions; and an outbreak on Mount Everest caused more than 100 climbers and Sherpas to contract the virus.17 18 19 Flanked by children and adults holding signs that read #stoptheabuse, the governor of Iowa signed a law forbidding schools and local municipalities from issuing mask mandates, and in an interview Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was fined for not wearing a mask on the House floor, likened mask requirements to restrictions leading up to the Holocaust.20 21 To incentivize residents to get COVID vaccines, New York and Ohio established million-dollar lotteries, while Maryland announced daily prizes of $40,000 for the newly immunized.22 23 More than 100 people lined up outside of an abandoned Bay Area gas station for the chance to sniff a corpse flower in bloom.24 Alabama repealed its 28-year ban on yoga in public schools but expressly prohibited meditation, hypnosis, and the greeting “namaste.”25 In front of an audience of 45 men and 8 women, the governor of Texas signed a law banning abortions of fetuses after six weeks; in response, the Satanic Temple filed a lawsuit against the state alleging that the law violates its members’ First Amendment rights to an abortion ritual, “a ceremonial affirmation of self-worth and bodily autonomy.”25 26 “She was a little younger than me, so it was like a Romeo and Juliet story,” said a Wyoming state senator and U.S. House candidate about his relationship with and impregnation of a 14-year-old girl.27 Arizona’s secretary of state called for the permanent decertification of Maricopa County voting machines investigated by Cyber Ninjas as part of an audit during which ballots were inspected for bamboo fibers that would prove they were shipped from Southeast Asia.28 29 In response to an uptick in salmonella cases across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requested that Americans not “kiss or snuggle backyard poultry.”30 There were chicken wing shortages in the United States.31

A Michigan town council refused to count a resident’s Juliana pig as a therapy animal, citing concerns that cows and chickens could be next.32 Federal law enforcement impounded 69 maltreated big cats, including tigers, lions, lion-tiger hybrids, and a jaguar, from Tiger King Park in Oklahoma.33 “Joe Exotic and Jeff Lowe ran slipshod operations,” an animal rights activist said, “and the chickens have come home to roost.”34 An iceberg, now the world’s largest, calved from Antarctica.35 During a memorial procession for a Colorado man who died in a motorcycle crash, the deceased’s mother crashed one of her son’s old motorcycles and died, and a Sonoran woman stabbed her husband with a knife after finding photos of him with someone she initially assumed to be another woman and later realized was herself.36 37 Tens of thousands of newly emerged cicadas suffered fungal infections that rendered them genital-less, bisexual, and unusually concupiscent.38 “Everyone’s having a good time while they’re infected,” a mycologist said, “so I don’t imagine there’s much pain.”—Jordan Cutler-Tietjen

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