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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

Tesla announced that it would no longer allow motorists to play video games on their car’s touchscreen while driving.

Thousands of flights were canceled across the United States because of bad weather and surging COVID-19 positivity rates among airline staff.1 Days before, the CEO of Delta had asked the CDC to reduce the recommended isolation and quarantine time for COVID-positive patients without symptoms and those exposed to the virus, and, following the cancelations, the CDC announced that it would be halved.2 3 “We want to get people back to the jobs—particularly our essential jobs that keep our society running smoothly,” said Dr. Fauci, who was dubbed the “sexiest man alive” by the Guardian.4 5 In New York state, which cut isolation and quarantine time for essential workers before the CDC did, just over 200 out of 100,000 people tested positive for COVID-19, as did more than 17 percent of people incarcerated on Rikers Island.6 7 8 9 “I implore you to ask the courts to … consider every available option to reduce the number of individuals in our jail,” wrote Vincent Schiraldi, the commissioner of New York City’s Department of Correction, in a letter addressed to no one in particular.10 Eric Adams, New York’s mayor-elect, announced that he would postpone his January 1 inauguration in deference to the spike, then doubled down on his defense of “punitive segregation” after 29 City Council members wrote him an open letter pointing out that solitary confinement is “considered by the United Nations, human rights organizations, and medical and mental health experts to be a form of torture.”11 12 Israel, which launched its second air strike on a Syrian port, announced that it would administer a fourth dose of vaccines; the United States, which in March bought enough vaccines to dose its adult population three times over but at present has only vaccinated 61.8 percent of its population, began promoting boosters; and the World Health Organization reminded wealthy nations that unequal global vaccine distribution worsens and prolongs the pandemic.13 14 15 16 17

The first omicron cases were confirmed in Sacramento County, the birthplace of Joan Didion, who died six days after the Californian essayist Eve Babitz passed away in Los Angeles and three days before the Nobel Prize–winning South African activist and archbishop Desmond Tutu.18 19 20 21 Two years after Clotilda, the last known ship used to transport enslaved people from Africa to the United States, was identified in the Mobile River in Alabama, archaeologists said they might be able to trace the DNA from those on board.22 Kellogg’s workers won a five-year contract after a nearly three-month-long strike, during which the company threatened to replace workers in four states, which the National Labor Relations Board considers an unfair labor practice.23 24 25 After the eighth week of another one of the largest strikes to sweep across the country this year, Columbia University refused to settle with graduate student workers calling for wage increases, healthcare, and neutral arbitration in sexual harassment cases.26 The United Mine Workers of America, a 131-year-old union, called on Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia to support Biden’s economic recovery plan, which includes the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, after the senator from the state with the second lowest median income in the country demurred.27 28 29 30 31 Moments after opening on Monday, the S&P 500 was up 22.82 points, a record high.32

Daniel Sturridge, a former Liverpool F.C. striker, was ordered to pay over $30,000, the quantity he offered for the return of his lost Pomeranian, to the Los Angeles–based rapper Killa Fame, and the Taliban asked for the $800,000 it accidentally sent to the Afghan Embassy in Tajikistan to be returned promptly.33 34 After Lithuania green-lighted a Taiwanese Embassy–like office in Vilnius, China threatened to throw the nation into “the garbage bin of history.”35 A professor in Japan invented a lickable TV loaded with 10 flavor canisters, and Tesla announced that it would no longer allow motorists to play video games on their car’s touchscreen while driving.36 37 Professional ham sniffers in Spain tasked with testing the quality of their company’s meat experienced an olfactory surge in which they were required to smell hundreds more hunks of pork per day than usual.38 “I will find a way to sniff 801,” a sniffer said. “Perhaps 802 is possible.” “The dogs only looked on and did not engage in biting,” German police said after two canine owners began fighting over proper pet discipline.39Sam Needleman

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