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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

A school in Belgium alerted parents that their children had been playing games they had seen on Squid Game and beating up the losers as a way to approximate killings in the show.

A day after a former Facebook product manager revealed that she had released internal documents from the company to The Wall Street Journal, the platform and all its associated apps became inaccessible for over six hours, which diminished Mark Zuckerberg’s personal fortune by more than $6 billion.1 2 3 In addition to issuing an apology for the outage, Facebook announced that it would ban the sale of parts of the Amazon rain forest on its Marketplace.4 5 In an attempt to target companies like Facebook and Amazon that have established headquarters in low-tax jurisdictions, 136 countries agreed to an accord that would set a global minimum corporate tax of 15 percent.6 “This accord opens the way to a true tax revolution for the twenty-first century,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire of the agreement, which also includes a two-year ban on new taxes for those companies, the six largest of which have underpaid over $149 billion in taxes and headline rates in the last 10 years.7 8 9 It was found that, among COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, Moderna has shipped the largest proportion of its doses to wealthy nations, in addition to charging some countries, including Botswana and Colombia, twice as much for doses as the United States.10 “It is sad,” said Moderna chief executive Stéphane Bancel. A school in Belgium alerted parents that their children had been playing games they had seen on Squid Game and beating up the losers as a way to approximate killings in the show.11

One week after Pope Francis requested clemency for convicted murderer Ernest Lee Johnson, state officials at a prison in Bonne Terre, Missouri, executed Johnson, who was born with fetal alcohol syndrome and had an IQ score of less than 80.12 13 14 London’s Metropolitan Police Service announced that Prince Andrew, ninth in the line of succession to the British crown and friends with convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein as well as convicted gun smuggler Tarek Kaituni, will no longer be the subject of a sexual assault investigation.15 16 17 Saud al-Qahtani, an aide to the Saudi crown prince who stands accused of ordering the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, was spotted in the royal court after disappearing in 2018; Britain’s high court found that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the vice president, prime minister, and minister of defense of the United Arab Emirates as well as the ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, used Israeli spyware to hack the phones of his ex-wife and her legal team; and, for the first time in over 50 years, a Jewish couple were wed in the Emirate of Bahrain.18 19 20 21 22 “While I know that every mother thinks their child’s wedding is monumental, this one truly was,” tweeted Bahrain’s former ambassador to the United States.23 Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose factory in Fremont, California, has more OSHA violations and fines than the big three automakers combined from 2014 to 2018, announced that he was moving the company’s corporate offices to Austin.24 25 “You go to our Fremont factory, it is jammed,” said Musk. “We’re like Spam in a can.” Citing job losses, pension changes, and Kellogg’s threat to remove the union’s logo from cardboard cereal boxes, 1,400 unionized workers at all of Kellogg’s cereal factories went on strike.26 One day after employees at a Target distribution center in Charleston Township, Michigan were given a $2 an hour raise during the busy lead-up to the holiday season, some employees received fortune cookies with the messages “The fortune you seek is in another cookie” and “I see money in your future; it is not yours though.”27

A 911 call of a man complaining he was stuck in traffic and therefore could not urinate was released.28 In Santa Barbara, firefighters and drones were dispatched to rescue a woman hanging off a cliff who turned out to be a mannequin.29 Former Navy nuclear engineer Jonathan Toebbe was arrested and charged with attempting to sell foreign agents secret information about U.S. submarines, which he had loaded onto an SD card and placed inside of a peanut butter sandwich.30 “One day, when it is safe, perhaps two old friends will have a chance to stumble into each other at a cafe, share a bottle of wine and laugh over stories of their shared exploits,” Toebbe wrote to the undercover FBI contact.31 A column of gas and ash from the Cumbre Vieja volcano eruption on the Spanish island of La Palma collided with a cap of dry air and formed concentric circles of clouds in the sky, which will subside as the lava ebbs.32 33Sara Krolewski

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