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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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Taliban officials instructed taxi drivers in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province to refuse rides to gunmen unaffiliated with their organization.

After three months of negotiations, the United States House of Representatives passed a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill that, among other goals, aims to improve public transportation; expand broadband internet access; establish a Women of Trucking Advisory Board, motivated in part by findings that female truck drivers are 20 percent less likely than their male counterparts to be involved in a crash; and impose the same taxes on cryptocurrencies as on stocks and other securities.1 2 3 4 The “play-to-earn” cryptocurrency SQUID, named after Squid Game, lost an investor $28,000—his life savings—when the developers abruptly abandoned the project because they were “depressed from the scammers,” and New York City’s mayor-elect, Eric Adams, announced in a tweet that he will receive his first three paychecks in Bitcoin.5 6 At least 10 attendees of the January 6 rally leading up to the riot at the U.S. Capitol were voted into office; the Federal Election Commission ruled to allow foreign donors to finance referendum campaigns; and after governor-elect Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia, a memo from an influential group of Republican House members advocated for future candidates to follow his lead and make the fight against imposing “critical race theory” in schools central to their campaigns.7 8 9 10 It was discovered that the winner of a Florida congressional Republican primary was a convicted felon and therefore ineligible to hold political office; Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega, who in 1967 was imprisoned for seven years for robbing a bank to help fund resistance against the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza Debayle, won reelection after jailing seven rival presidential candidates and dozens of members of the opposition; and Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for brokering a peace agreement with Eritrea, said of Tigrayan rebels advancing toward the capital, “We will sacrifice our blood and bone to bury this enemy.”11 12 13 14 15 Taliban officials instructed taxi drivers in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province to refuse rides to gunmen unaffiliated with their organization.16

The judge presiding over the trial of the three men accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery noted that there “appears to be intentional discrimination” in the selection of the jury, which includes 11 white people and one black man in a county that is more than 25 percent black, but did not take steps to correct the imbalance or halt the legal proceedings.17 18 Minneapolis residents voted against a measure to replace the city’s police with a more public health–focused Department of Public Safety, Cleveland residents voted in favor of a proposal to increase civilian oversight of the police department, and Philadelphia’s mayor signed a law that will make the municipality the first major city in the country to ban traffic stops for minor violations.19 20 21 A man in Scotland was arrested for possession of roughly $190,000 worth of marijuana after he accepted a ride during a blizzard from police officers, who noticed the smell coming from his suitcases.22 Igor Danchenko, a Russian analyst who provided information for the 2016 Steele dossier, alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia, was charged with five counts of lying to FBI investigators.23 IRS files showed that at least 18 billionaires received CARES Act stimulus checks in the spring of 2020, after reporting taxable income below the government’s eligibility threshold.24 In a move denounced by the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Elon Musk promised to abide by the results of a Twitter poll as to whether he should sell 10 percent of his Tesla stock to pay his taxes, and the crew of a SpaceX capsule were forced to wear diapers on their flight back from the International Space Station after the ship’s toilet broke.25 26 27 28 29 “You know, space flight is full of lots of little challenges,” said NASA astronaut Megan McArthur.

An analysis of participants at the COP26 climate change conference identified 503 people linked to the fossil fuel industry, a total exceeding the number of delegates from any single country in attendance.30 31 “There is a process to transition that’s under way,” commented a spokesperson for the International Emissions Trading Association, a group whose speakers at the summit included the CEO of BP, “and carbon markets are the best way to make sure that transition takes place.” In Brazil, a man was eaten by piranhas after jumping into a lake to escape a swarm of bees.32 “Be realistic,” said a retired utility worker in Maryland after winning a $2 million lottery prize for the second time in his life.33 “As long as you enjoy what you are doing, win or lose, you’ve already won.” After eight people died and hundreds of others were injured at a Travis Scott concert in Houston, the rapper partnered with BetterHelp—an online therapy service that has been criticized for poor patient care and underpaying practitioners—to offer one free month of sessions for attendees who are struggling with grief, trauma, and survivor’s guilt.34 35 36 37Clara Olshansky

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