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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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A medical school in Japan discovered that it had mixed up plumbing and, for the past 30 years, had been serving toilet water for “drinking, washing hands, and gargl[ing].”

President Jair Bolsonaro and 69 others, including three of his sons, were accused of crimes against humanity by a Brazilian congressional panel on the grounds that his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic—which included pursuing herd immunity and joking that vaccines would turn recipients into alligators—had killed 300,000 Brazilians, half of the country’s COVID-19 death toll.1 “It’s inappropriate in a democracy and of absolutely no use to the nation or any individual,” said a man in Kerala, India, who is petitioning the government to get a new COVID-19 vaccination certificate without Narendra Modi’s face on it.2 Nightlife organizers in the United Kingdom warned of a dearth of bouncers, and in the United States, federal employment numbers showed that people returned to the workforce faster in the 25 states that did not eliminate the $300 per week bonus unemployment benefit from the federal government.3 4 Alec Baldwin, star and producer of the western film Rust, accidentally killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza on the film’s set, where, earlier the same day, union crew members had walked off in protest of poor safety conditions, accommodations that were 50 miles away from the set, and long hours, and were then replaced by a smaller nonunion crew.5 6 In response to the incident, California state senator Dave Cortese, chair of the State Senate’s labor committee, announced that he would introduce legislation that would ban live ammunition from film and theatrical sets.7 Republican lawmakers in Washington filibustered the Freedom to Vote Act, a voting-rights bill championed by Democratic senator Joe Manchin, who is responsible for the reduction of paid family leave in President Biden’s new social spending bill to one twentieth the length that Estonians are granted.8 9 Acquiescing to a request from the national archivist, President Biden deferred releasing documents related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, a tranche of classified information whose public release had been scheduled for 29 years ago but has been repeatedly pushed back.10 A medical school in Japan discovered that it had mixed up plumbing and, for the past 30 years, had been serving toilet water for “drinking, washing hands, and gargl[ing].”11

Ask Delphi, an AI bot developed to offer ethical advice with the imprimatur of machine learning, was launched and made pronouncements such as “being a white man is more morally acceptable than being a black woman,” and approved of Elon Musk’s painting his face on the moon if it made him happy.12 Space Adventures, a space tourism company, canceled an upcoming launch with SpaceX because it couldn’t get enough passengers.13 14 After the FBI hacked and dissolved a ransomware group known as REvil, other ransomware gangs complained that the government was unlawfully targeting them.15 “Only time will tell who the real bad guys are here,” one member wrote. A former plastic surgeon convicted of murder confessed that it was “immature” to throw his wife’s body from an airplane into the Atlantic Ocean in 1985.16 “That is pretty sickening to me, to be honest with you,” said a Nevada man while claiming that his dead wife’s ballot had been stolen, and who is now being charged with forging her signature and returning the ballot himself.17 Days before the exhibition Forever Is Now was scheduled to show her sphinx-inspired sculpture next to the pyramids of Giza, Ai-Da, an “ultra-realistic” robot artist, was detained in Cairo because customs officials suspected her of being enmeshed in an espionage plot.18 “The ancient Egyptians were doing exactly the same thing with mummification,” said Ai-Da’s creator. “Humans haven’t changed: we still have the desire to live forever. But all of that comes to naught if we can’t get her released.”

Scientists reported that poaching had led to the proliferation of a gene that prevents female elephants from growing tusks and that might also prevent the development of male embryos.19 A court in Ohio ruled that Colombia’s “cocaine hippos”—a herd descended from those owned by Pablo Escobar now roaming the Andes—are legally people.20 “The surgery itself isn’t the most complicated part,” said a vet tasked with castrating the hippos. “We don’t have those drugs for such enormous creatures available in Colombia.”21 Elsewhere, Colombian security forces captured Dairo Antonio Úsuga, a drug kingpin previously indicted by a Brooklyn court for smuggling 73 metric tons of cocaine into the United States.22 New reporting revealed that Leos, at 70 percent, were the most vaccinated zodiac sign in Salt Lake County, Utah, whereas Scorpios, at 46 percent, were the least vaccinated. The tourism board of Vienna joined OnlyFans to showcase holdings of its museums, such as the Venus of Willendorf, that have been censored for nudity on Facebook, which plans to change its name to reflect Mark Zuckerberg’s aspirations of transforming it into a “metaverse company.”23 24 The remains of Brian Laundrie were discovered in Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park in North Port, Florida; a farm in the Tampa Bay area memorialized Gabby Petito with its annual corn maze; and it was reported that at least nine other missing bodies were discovered during the two-month search for the couple.25 26 27Cameron French

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