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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

A school district in Missouri announced that it will be hiring its own high school students as cooks, maintenance workers, and childcare providers to compensate for staffing shortages.

Kyle Rittenhouse, an 18-year-old who last year killed two people and wounded a third during protests against police brutality in Kenosha, Wisconsin, with an AR-15 style rifle, was acquitted of five charges, including first-degree intentional homicide and use of a dangerous weapon.1 In response to the decision, President Joe Biden, returning to the White House after a routine colonoscopy, said, “I stand by what the jury has concluded”; minutes later, the president pardoned the national Thanksgiving turkey, Peanut Butter, and a backup turkey, Jelly.2 3 “That’s what I like for lunch,” he said. “Peanut butter and jelly.” “I do not know how many more years I have to be creative,” said Muhammad Aziz, 83, after his conviction for killing Malcolm X was overturned by a judge who found that he and Khalil Islam, who died while serving his sentence, did not receive a fair trial, and that J. Edgar Hoover withheld information about FBI informants who were present at the assassination.4 5 6 In Oklahoma, governor Kevin Stitt commuted the death sentence of Julius Jones, convicted of first-degree murder during a carjacking he carried out as a 19-year-old, hours before Jones was set to die by lethal injection; in New York, a judge said he “agonized” and prayed over a case involving a 20-year-old man who pleaded guilty to rape in 2018 before sentencing the man, Christopher Belter, to probation; in China, an accomplished 35-year-old tennis player, Peng Shuai, vanished after accusing former Chinese vice premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault on the social media platform Weibo; and in England, the mother of a woman whose daughter’s corpse was violated in a morgue by a necrophiliac electrician called for the head of the hospital to resign.7 8 9 10 “I will take this fight to a decisive end,” said an Indian official affiliated with the BJP, a Hindu nationalist party, in reference to a stand-up routine performed in Washington, D.C., by the Indian comedian Vir Das that criticized the prevalence of sexual assault in India, where more than 28,000 cases of rape against women were reported last year.11 12 “I want Vir Das to be arrested so that no one can malign the nation like this.”

Five people—three of whom were members of the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies—died in Waukesha, Wisconsin, after an SUV plowed through a Christmas parade whose theme was Comfort and Joy.13 14 “We’ll massacre all the scum you’ve been financing,” said Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko when a reporter mentioned that 270 NGOs in his country, such as the Office for Rights of Disabled People and the Centre for Animal Lovers, had been shut down since July.15 After clashes between Polish border police and migrants, many of whom were supposedly lured from the Middle East by Belarusian tourism agencies and then pushed into Poland as part of Lukashenko’s alleged attempt to destabilize the European Union, more than a thousand migrants were moved from an outdoor camp on the border of the two countries to a logistics center in Belarus.16 17 Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a vocal critic of the European Union who said he wishes to remain in it in order to “reform” it, asked the bloc to drop its case against Hungary, in which it alleges that the country uses unfair asylum-seeking procedures.18 19 A new report revealed that the U.K. government spent an estimated £4.3 million per year in administrative costs fighting successful asylum appeals between 2013 and 2017, and an Iraqi man who was denied asylum died when the homemade bomb he carried into a taxi in Liverpool exploded.20 21 Turkish authorities arrested the world-famous Syrian singer Omar Souleyman, who was displaced by the Syrian war, on suspicion of being a terrorist, and 39 Palestinians who were displaced by the Nakba requested asylum during a layover in Spain.22 23 Ty Inc., the manufacturer of Beanie Babies, said that it has chartered over a hundred flights from China to O’Hare International Airport in Chicago to deliver shipments of the stuffed animals, normally transported by boat, and bypass supply chain issues.24 “Christmas is not canceled,” said the Ty Inc. CEO, billionaire, and convicted felon Ty Warner.

A survey found that more than half the police officers in the New York City Police Department, the New York City agency that is seeking the highest number of COVID-19 vaccine exemptions, wish they had never joined the police force.25 26 A school district in Missouri announced that it will be hiring its own high school students as cooks, maintenance workers, and childcare providers to compensate for staffing shortages.27 A 13-year-old who recovered from a rare, life-threatening blood disorder asked the Make a Wish Foundation to feed the unhoused in his city for a year.28 Vietnamese police summoned for questioning a noodle seller who imitated Nusret Gökçe, the Kurdish chef known as “Salt Bae,” soon after the Vietnamese minister of public security was filmed eating a gold-covered steak that costs around £1,450 at Gökçe’s London restaurant.29 The Conservative Political Action Conference forbade the Sesame Street characters Elmo, Big Bird, and Bert and Ernie from attending the conference in February in response to a Twitter announcement about Big Bird’s vaccination status.30 For the first time, the United States was put on a list of backsliding democracies.31Sara Krolewski

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