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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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Senate Democrats killed a Republican-sponsored bill that forbade the creation of “certain human-animal chimeras.”

Dominic Cummings, a former adviser to Boris Johnson who wrote a nearly 3,000-word blog post that called for “unusual software developers” and “weirdos and misfits with odd skills” to apply to civil service jobs at 10 Downing Street, testified before Parliament that the prime minister had once suggested that a doctor inject him with COVID-19 on live television to downplay the seriousness of the virus.1 2 3 Johnson, who was infected off-camera, denied this and other statements, including his preference to “let the bodies pile high in their thousands” rather than institute another lockdown.4 “Boris seems to have been able to do what Henry VIII couldn’t do,” said Christopher Lamb of Johnson’s secret marriage to his third wife, Carrie Symonds, which was recognized by the Catholic Church.5 An Indian couple were investigated for violating COVID-19 restrictions after they were married aboard a chartered SpiceJet flight with an estimated 160 unmasked guests, and the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Johnson & Johnson, which had aggressively marketed its baby powder to black and Hispanic communities while failing to disclose its carcinogenic ingredients, and ordered the company to pay $2 billion in damages to women who developed ovarian cancer from their talc products.6 7 8 Germany formally recognized its genocide of the Herero and the Nama peoples, and agreed to pay Namibia $1.35 billion for future development projects but nothing to the survivors’ descendants; Emmanuel Macron acknowledged but did not apologize for France’s role in the Rwandan genocide; a mass grave of 215 indigenous children was found in British Columbia on the grounds of a former residential school, which was run by the Catholic Church and dedicated to assimilating the children into white Canadian society; and Hatwrks, a hat shop in Nashville, Tennessee, announced via an Instagram post that it was selling $5 Star of David patches that read not vaccinated.9 10 11 12

Facebook released a report that Russia still produces the largest amount of fake news, and issued a statement that it will not remove content that claims COVID-19 is man-made “in light of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19 and in consultation with public health experts.”13 14 OSHA reported that Amazon, the second-largest private employer in the United States, has the highest amount of workplace accidents in its warehouses, nearly double the rate of non-Amazon warehouse workers; the company faced criticism when it posted a video of AmaZen, an interactive kiosk the size of a telephone booth where warehouse employees can watch, among other mental health content, videos on mindfulness practices.15 16 “We don’t set unreasonable performance goals,” said Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, whose company will turn every Echo speaker and Ring security camera into a shared wireless network, a move decried by security experts, unless owners manually opt out within the next five days.17 Harvard researchers called the U.S. Census Bureau’s privacy controls used for redistricting data unreliable, and watchdog groups filed legal complaints against Clearview AI, which provides advanced facial recognition technology to an unknown number of private institutions and law enforcement agencies, for violating E.U. privacy laws.18 19 20 The world’s largest meat processing company resumed slaughter and the packaging of flesh after being halted by a ransomware attack, and the NFL promised to stop “race-norming”—a standard practice in injury law that, among other legally supported assumptions, asserts that black men have lower IQs than Caucasians and therefore deserve less money for cognitive impairments—when determining settlements for players who have suffered brain injuries.21 22 23 “I thought it was some weird social experiment at first,” said Rebecca Smith, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, resident who, along with four other jurors, was pulled off the street and forced to serve the day a personal-injury trial began.24 Scientists predicted that the tick population would be significantly larger than past seasons.25

New research suggested that long, hot baths offer similar benefits to a long run, and that COVID-19 vaccines could offer immunity to the virus for a year to a lifetime.26 27 A Greenback, Tennessee, woman was arrested after she drove her car through a COVID-19 vaccination tent while yelling “no vaccine,” and William Shakespeare, the first man to receive an official COVID-19 vaccination, died of a stroke.28 29 A British drug dealer whose identity was revealed after he posted a photo of himself holding a block of blue Stilton cheese in a grocery store was sentenced to over 13 years in prison, and a bad dream led a Sherpa to postpone scaling Mount Everest for the 26th time until next year.30 31 Senate Democrats killed a Republican-sponsored bill that forbade the creation of “certain human-animal chimeras.”32 “It was very moving,” said Aussie Ark president Tim Faulkner of the birth of seven Tasmanian devils that were born in a semi-wild nature preserve, roughly 3,000 years after the animals had gone extinct in Australia.33 China reported the first human case of H10N3, a rare strain of bird flu.34Violet Lucca

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