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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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A U.S. federal judge ordered Facebook to release records of all posts promoting violence against the Rohingya ethnic group that the company had previously declined to share because of privacy concerns.

After a video of U.S. Border Patrol agents on horseback rounding up Haitians along the southern border prompted public outrage, the Department of Homeland Security halted its horse patrol in Del Rio, Texas; the Biden Administration has continued to deport Haitians, disregarding Haiti’s plea for a humanitarian moratorium.1 2 3 “It’s obviously horrific, the footage,” said the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki.4 Two men, from Arkansas and Illinois, became the first plaintiffs to sue under Texas’s new abortion law.5 “I’m not pro-life,” said one of the men. “If this is a free-for-all, and it’s ten thousand dollars, I want my ten thousand dollars.” The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals scheduled the execution of Julius Jones despite a parole board vote the week before that recommended his sentence be commuted to life imprisonment, and John Hinckley Jr. was granted an unconditional release.6 7 8 A U.S. federal judge ordered Facebook to release records of all posts promoting violence against the Rohingya ethnic group that the company had previously declined to share because of privacy concerns; a whistleblower who released vast quantities of information about Facebook’s internal investigations into its negative effects on users, such as the correlation between eating disorders in teenage girls and increased time on Instagram, has agreed to testify before Congress; and it was reported that since January the company has been deploying its news feed to promote positive stories about itself in a program called Project Amplify.9 10 11 The president of El Salvador, who earlier this month declared bitcoin an official currency, changed his Twitter bio to “the coolest dictator in the entire world.”12 13

Hospitals across New York State faced staffing shortages and rolled back services such as elective surgeries after the state’s vaccine mandate for health care workers went into effect.14 Overriding the recommendation of the agency’s own advisory board, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for booster shots for frontline workers who have received the Pfizer vaccine.15 “Those of us overseeing vaccine rollouts don’t have a clear idea of what to do,” said the COVID-19 czar of West Virginia, where Governor Jim Justice—a coal-mining tycoon and the state’s richest man—threatened to sue members of a school board that declined to hire the governor to coach the Greenbrier East High School boys’ basketball team.16 17 The school board suggested that Justice, who already coaches the girls’ team, was too busy. “I’ll have to have great assistant coaches,” Justice said. “To be perfectly honest, they’ll have to do the work.” A Republican politician in Florida has called for a review of all vaccine mandates in the state, including those for polio and diphtheria, a bacterial infection once known as “the strangling angel of children.”18 19 An engineering student in Kraków, Poland, created a chair that automatically disinfects itself with ultraviolet light, and a new prototype for male birth control proposes soaking testicles in water and using ultrasound waves to “heat up your balls from the inside.”20 21

“I felt a chill go down my spine when I heard that,” said a man in India after a bonnet macaque who had been relocated traveled 13 miles to resume harassing him.22 A naturopath in Canada took legal action after he was banned from selling pills made from human feces as treatment for autistic children in Mexico, and an actor at a haunted house in Berea, Ohio, conceded that using a real bowie knife in his performance was a bad idea after he accidentally stabbed an 11-year-old boy.23 24 Following student protests, a school board in Pennsylvania rescinded a ban on some antiracism resources; the list included a children’s book about Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafzai’s autobiography, and CNN’s Sesame Street town hall on racism.25 The mayor of Hudson, Ohio, asked members of the local school board to resign after they failed to screen the book 642 Things to Write About from a senior composition course; the book’s prompts include “write a sermon for a beloved preacher who has been caught in a sex scandal,” “describe your favorite part of a man’s body using only verbs,” “write a sex scene you wouldn’t show your mom,” and “rewrite the sex scene from above into one that you’d let your mom read.”26Cameron French

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