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A Czech folk singer who intentionally contracted COVID in the hopes of acquiring a “recovery pass” to the local sauna died.

The underwater volcano Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha‘apai erupted with a force 500 times stronger than the atom bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, sending a plume of ash and water vapor beyond the earth’s stratosphere, producing the loudest sound in over a century, and severing the nation of Tonga’s sole fiber-optic cable.1 2 3 4 New Zealand’s largest navy ship brought emergency supplies and fresh water to the ash-stricken island; an Australian aid flight turned around midair because a crew member tested positive for COVID-19.5 6 The pastor of an Oklahoma church apologized for massaging his spit into the face of a parishioner.7 “Receiving vision from God might get nasty,” he had prefaced. The British native Malik Faisal Akram held a rabbi and three congregants hostage inside a Colleyville, Texas, synagogue for 11 hours and demanded the release of Aafia Siddiqui, an MIT-educated neuroscientist imprisoned in Fort Worth, Texas, who has been the subject of many hostage release demands from ISIS and the Taliban, as well as from moderate Muslim advocacy groups like the Council on American–Islamic Relations; all four hostages were unharmed and Akram was shot dead by the FBI, who first said Akram’s act was not anti-Semitic, then said that it was.8 9 10 11 While presiding over the year’s first legislative session maskless, the president of the Utah Senate said he had twice tested positive for COVID-19 the day before, then said that he was just kidding and had twice tested negative, then later conceded that he had indeed twice tested positive.12 A Czech folk singer who intentionally contracted COVID in the hopes of acquiring a “recovery pass” to the local sauna died.13

As Russia expanded its military presence along its borders with Ukraine, British intelligence warned that Vladimir Putin planned to replace Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, with a puppet ruler.14 15 “If this will be war, it’s going to be a very strong war, and everyone will lose,” Zelensky told a reporter.16 Russian officials dismissed the claim and canceled the visas of those in the U.S. diplomatic service, including the private chef for the deputy chief of the Moscow embassy.17 Nestlé, who along with Cargill, Barry Callebaut, Mars, Olam, Hershey, and Mondelēz was sued for child slavery in the Ivory Coast, announced that they intended to “focus on [the candies’] personalities rather than their gender.”18 19 “I think we all win when we see more women in leading roles, so I’m happy to take on the part of supportive friend when they succeed,” said the green M&M.20 A plan to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt—the largest plan in U.S. history, written by an unelected board helmed by the former Ukrainian minister of finance Natalie Jaresko—was approved.21 22 New York City’s mayor, Eric Adams, committed to converting his first mayoral paycheck into Bitcoin and Ethereum and reinstating a unit of plainclothes police officers.23 24 The cryptocurrency market crashed.25 To ward off a “moderate” murder of crows occupying Sunnyvale, California, city employees were, for an hour every night, agitating them with green lasers and a boom box.26

“There are some 16-year-olds you would feel comfortable with and others you wouldn’t,” said a public health professor about an Australian plan to ameliorate supply chain issues by letting teenagers drive forklifts.27 A former member of the Royal Protection Command alleged that Andrew Edward, whose mother took away some of his royal titles because he has been accused of serially sexually assaulting a teenager, required dozens of stuffed animals to be arranged nightly on his bed per a laminated diagram.28 “I implicitly thought [that this] was a work event,” said Boris Johnson about one of the bring-your-own-booze garden parties he lied about then apologized for attending at his home during Britain’s 2020 lockdown.29 30 During a virtual congressional hearing about the widespread health issues caused by burn pits on military bases, research about which was suppressed for over a decade by Veterans Affairs, Representative Madison Cawthorn spent several minutes cleaning his pistol.31 32 Marlon Bundo, the Pence family rabbit, died.33 Paleontologists determined that the first preserved dinosaur cloaca, although “shaped in its perfect, unique way,” was likely not used for sex.34 After overrunning its budget 10-fold, avoiding 344 potential points of failure, and flying almost a million miles, the James Webb Space Telescope arrived at a point of perfect balance between the earth and the sun.35 36 37 —Jordan Cutler-Tietjen 

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