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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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Major General Christopher Donahue was the last American soldier to leave Afghanistan, marking an end to the United States’ longest war, the cost of which lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee have mentioned only once since September 11, 2001.

Hurricane Ida swept northward after cutting power to more than one million residents of Louisiana, sending toxic chemicals from oil refineries into the air, and wedging a cow into a tree in St. Bernard Parish.1 2 3 The pipeline formerly known as Plantation, which transports gasoline from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast, reported a power outage at a terminal in Baton Rouge, and the Whitney Plantation, which is the only museum in the state of Louisiana focusing on the lives of enslaved people, closed indefinitely after multiple structures were destroyed in the storm.4 5 6 At least 50 people were killed by flooding in the Northeast, including a family of three in Queens, New York, who drowned in a basement apartment that had been illegally rented to them.7 8 “You’re never gonna see a politician do that,” said Curtis Sliwa, the Republican nominee for New York City mayor, as he reached into a drain in a flooded building in Queens.9 Major General Christopher Donahue was the last American soldier to leave Afghanistan, marking an end to the United States’ longest war, the cost of which lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee have mentioned only once since September 11, 2001.10 11 The Pentagon denied reports that American service dogs had been abandoned in Kabul, and a Republican congressman and former mixed martial artist attempted to rescue five Americans in Afghanistan but never made it into the country.12 13 14 “#Ordinarypeopledoingextraordinarythings,” he wrote on Instagram.15

In Tripoli, Libya, gunfire broke out between two opposing militias, the 444 Brigade and the Stabilization Support Force, ending a ceasefire that began last year.16 Muammar Qaddafi’s son Saadi was released from prison as part of a reconciliation process, while another son, Saif, who had a warrant issued for his arrest because of suspected connections with the Russian mercenary group Wagner, remains at large.17 18 A leaked audio recording revealed election workers being trained to falsify votes and forge signatures in Moscow’s upcoming parliamentary elections; Jair Bolsonaro told supporters at a rally that “only God will oust me” and that Brazil’s electronic voting system is “a farce”; a January 6 rioter and self-described “digital soldier” was returned to jail after he violated the terms of his release by consuming internet conspiracy content such as MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s 72-hour cybersummit on China’s supposed interference in the 2020 presidential election; and in Texas, where 0.0006 percent of voters over the past 17 years have been prosecuted for voter fraud, Republicans passed a new law restricting voting access in the hopes of combating the crime.19 20 21 22 23 Six hundred and sixty-six other new laws went into effect in the state, including House Bill 19, which protects companies like Uber and Lyft from lawsuits brought by victims of commercial vehicle crashes, and Senate Bill 8, which enables private citizens to sue individuals who have “aided and abetted” abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, including Uber drivers who provide transportation to clinics.24 25 26 27 28 At one Fort Worth clinic, 77 patients waited for ultrasounds to determine whether they would be able to have abortions under the new legislation.29 The Dallas Zoo announced the birth of a tiger cub from the endangered Sumatran subspecies and reported that staff members were working “around the clock” to care for the cub, the first born at the zoo since 1948.30 31 Big cats and primates at the Jacksonville Zoo, in Florida, will receive COVID-19 vaccinations, and a judge in Ohio reversed an emergency order that compelled a hospital to administer ivermectin to a COVID-19 patient in a medically induced coma after his wife obtained a prescription from an outside physician.32 33 “We don’t know where it comes from,” said a resident of El Salvador when asked about the government’s overwhelmingly unpopular decision to recognize bitcoin as legal tender and offer $30 worth of the currency to citizens.34 35

China ordered broadcasters to stop promoting effeminate men on air.36 A Vietnamese woman who was indicted for refusing to quarantine against COVID-19 in a state facility fought off police officers in the nude.37 In Port Alberni, British Columbia, a customer in a Dairy Queen urinated on a counter after being asked to wear a mask.38 “You do not have a brain,” he told staff members. A Lyndhurst, New Jersey, woman was charged with selling forged vaccination cards and soliciting pharmacy and hospital workers to submit the names of the cards’ buyers into state databases after a TikTok user exposed the scheme by posing as a Walgreens employee.39 40 In Leicester, England, a judge sentenced an 18-year-old who downloaded a bomb-making manual to probation and ordered him to read novels by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, and Anthony Trollope. “I will test you, and if I think you are [lying to] me, you will suffer,” said the judge.41 A 34-year-old man who concealed 176 fentanyl pills inside a stuffed Baby Yoda was charged with drug possession, and after an earlier failed attempt, the Mars rover Perseverance drilled into a rock formation north of the planet’s equator and collected a sample that will take at least a decade to return to Earth.42 43Sara Krolewski

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