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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

“Partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy,” said Senator Joe Manchin, announcing that he would vote against his own party’s election reform bill.

The far-right, anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party lost a state election by a significant margin to the Christian Democratic Union; socialist Pedro Castillo maintained a narrow lead over far-right conservative Keiko Fujimori in Peru’s presidential election; Democrat Melanie Stansbury won by a wide margin in New Mexico’s special House election to replace interior secretary Deb Haaland; and Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu alleged that the coalition that intends to unseat him as prime minister was the result of the “greatest election fraud . . . in the history of any democracy.”1 2 3 4 “Partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy,” said Senator Joe Manchin, announcing that he would vote against his own party’s election reform bill, which would, among other reforms, expand early voting, limit gerrymandering, and create automatic voter registration.5 Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who stated a Myanmar-style coup “should happen here” during a livestreamed conference, denied his support for a Myanmar-style coup in the United States through his Parler account and his attorney Sidney Powell.6 Roxana Lizarraga, who was summoned to testify about the irregular purchase of tear gas following the U.S.-backed coup against Bolivian president Evo Morales, applied for political asylum while under arrest in Florida, and Nigeria’s telecoms firms blocked Twitter following the deletion of a tweet that seemed to threaten genocide written by President Muhammadu Buhari, who first ruled the country in 1983 after participating in a military coup against democratically elected president Shehu Shagari.7 8 9 “The only good thing that will come out of this is a lot of stupid people will be killed off,” an anti-vax talk show host said of current efforts to vaccinate shortly before he was hospitalized with COVID-19.10

The FDA approved a drug intended to slow the decline of mental functioning and memory in Alzheimer’s patients even though the agency acknowledges its manufacturer’s studies do not support its efficacy, and Auschwitz survivors decried Arizona’s plan to execute death row inmates with Zyklon B.11 12 Google’s head of diversity was removed for expressing anti-Semitic sentiments, and the company apologized for listing Kannada as the “ugliest language in India” in one of its fact boxes.13 14 Microsoft blamed the global disappearance of images of “Tank Man,” who participated in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, from its search engine on “accidental human error,” and Hong Kong police arrested the organizer and at least six participants of a vigil commemorating the protests.15 16 President Xi Jinping instructed diplomats and members of the press to project a “credible, lovable, and respectable image of China.”17 “When you listen to Donald Trump talk now, when you hear the language he’s using now, it is essentially the same things that the Chinese Communist Party, for example, says about the United States and our democracy,” said Representative Liz Cheney, whose father, the former vice president, worked with Donald Rumsfeld to establish an alternative intelligence agency within the Pentagon in order to provide evidence to support the second Iraq War.18 19 “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” the former president’s blog, was permanently shuttered because of low readership, and an Ohio veterans’ group cut the microphone of its Memorial Day keynote speaker after he mentioned the contributions of formerly enslaved people to the holiday’s history.20 21 On the first day of Pride Month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis banned transgender girls and women from playing on school sports teams, and boaters in Washington reportedly shouted homophobic slurs at another vessel until their own boat burst into flames.22 23

Pope Francis signed a law that will, among other reforms, remove clerics who sexually abuse minors from office.24 A father in Florida faced child abuse charges for throwing his infant at a deputy during a high-speed chase, and it was reported that a man who yelled, “You guys like protecting pedophiles?” at police through a megaphone during the January 6 riots had served jail time for raping a 14-year-old girl.25 26 It was reported that California prison guards did not notice when a “self-styled Satanist” convicted of murder beheaded and dissected his cellmate, and archaeologists discovered an “exceptionally high” number of decapitated bodies at a Roman burial site.27 28 “Do not push bears,” said a 17-year-old in California who was filmed protecting her dogs by pushing a bear off a wall. “Don’t do what I did. You might not have the same outcome.”29 Fifteen elephants in China were seen wandering through a city 300 miles from their nature reserve home, a migration that experts cannot explain.30Clara Olshansky

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