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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

A court in Spain ruled that animals are sentient beings and thus eligible for considerations like joint custody after their owners’ divorce.

A fire at a low-income housing unit in Philadelphia killed 12 people, including eight children, from a single family; all the building’s smoke detectors failed, despite being deemed in good working order in a May inspection by the city’s housing authority, an agency that estimated the cost of its outstanding repairs to top $1 billion in 2016.1 2 Four days later, an apartment fire in the Bronx killed at least 19 people, including nine children, after “unprecedented” smoke conditions suffused the 19-story building, whose owner is on New York City mayor Eric Adams’s transition team for housing.3 “Close the door, close the door,” said Adams at a press conference about the catastrophe.4 “If we can drill that in, we can save lives by closing the doors, not only in the city, but across the entire globe.” As part of a response that elicited support from Russian and Chinese leaders, the president of Kazakhstan authorized security forces to “fire without warning” on protesters after what started as peaceful demonstrations against the rise in fuel prices.5 Liz and Dick Cheney joined a moment of silence to commemorate the first anniversary of the riot at the U.S. Capitol; Representatives Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene suggested that should their party retake control of the legislature in November, they would turn the House committee investigating the January 6 attack into an investigation of whether federal agents stoked the violence against Congress; and Lindsay Graham accused the Biden Administration of politicizing the insurrection.6 7 8 Citing harm to the local biosphere, Turkmenistan’s president announced that he wants to extinguish the ever-burning fires in the Gates of Hell.9

The U.S. reported a new single-day record of more than one million new coronavirus cases.10 The governor of Maryland mobilized 1,000 National Guard members to support health care providers during the next month, and providers in Massachusetts said that there were no ICU beds left in the state.11 An at-home testing program in Los Angeles was paused after too many of the workers contracted the virus, and a Texas teacher was put on administrative leave after she put her COVID-symptomatic son in the trunk of her car for the drive to a testing site.12 13 A report suggested that to contend with the omicron variant of the virus, the world would need an additional 22 billion mRNA vaccinations.14 A panel unanimously moved to revive a suit accusing Pfizer, Roche, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson of paying bribes to win health care contracts in Iraq, which in turn funded violence that led to the deaths of American citizens.15 President Emmanuel Macron said that French society should “mire in excrement” those who are still declining vaccination.16 Though avowing “nothing but love for the Jewish people,” the Entrata entrepreneur David Bateman speculated in an email to fellow tech CEOs and businessmen with the subject line “Genocide” that the COVID-19 vaccine is part of a Jewish conspiracy to depopulate the earth and covertly assume control of the Catholic Church.17 18 In Montreal, first-time vaccinations quadrupled after liquor and marijuana stores announced they would require proof of vaccination next week.19

A court in Spain ruled that animals are sentient beings and thus eligible for considerations like joint custody after their owners’ divorce.20 Four beekeepers were arrested in Chile after they brought an estimated 10,000 bees to a protest in front of the presidential palace, which stung seven guards.21 “I’m free of the bothersome things that accompany relationships but can ease people’s sense of loneliness,” said a Japanese “Do-Nothing Rent-a-Man.”22 The former celebrity madam Heidi Fleiss announced that she would be moving out of Pahrump, Nevada, because someone had shot one of her pet parrots.23 A British supermarket chain announced it would remove “use by” dates on 90 percent of its milk containers and instead encourage consumers to employ the sniff test.24 It was reported that President Biden has done fewer media interviews in his first year than his six most recent predecessors.24 In Fort Worth, Texas, a woman with a gunshot wound explained that she had started multiple fires inside a store in order to bring emergency responders to the scene because she didn’t think that an employee was otherwise going to call for aid.25—Cameron French

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