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The general manager of a café in Australia fired an employee who, she said, “didn’t add any smiley faces” to a text message.

Days before Russian president Vladimir Putin’s trip to the Middle East, President Biden met with two heads of state who have not admitted to the deaths of journalists at the hands of their respective forces: Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who approved the assassination of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who, like his predecessor Benjamin Netanyahu, has denied that Israeli police were responsible for killing the Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh.1 2 3 4 5 6 7 It was reported that after leaving office, President Obama emailed the White House physician expressing dismay over the doctor’s suggestion that Biden might not be mentally well enough to be president.8 “We cannot accept such an email at face value,” said Mahinda Yapa Abeywardenena, the parliamentary speaker of Sri Lanka, after the nation’s president, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, remotely resigned following mass protests against fuel shortages and corruption.9 10 11 Angolans argued over where to bury the body of the former dictator José Eduardo dos Santos, and tens of thousands of Argentinians marched in the streets of Buenos Aires to protest rising rates of poverty and unemployment under President Alberto Fernández.12 13 “As somebody who has helped plan coups d’état—not here but, you know, other places—it takes a lot of work,” said John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, while discussing the January 6 House select committee hearings.14 15 A tourist fell into Mount Vesuvius while attempting to retrieve his phone, which he had dropped after taking a selfie.16

As the U.S. military faces a historic shortage of recruits, the House of Representatives approved a military budget of $839 billion with a bipartisan vote of 329–101, and Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, committed over $1.5 billion to his nation’s northern border.17 18 19 The director of the Arizona Department of Corrections told the state’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee that local communities would “collapse” without inexpensive state and private prison labor.20 Citing fears of Russian gas supply reduction, the European Union exempted member states from its carbon emissions reduction standards when asking them to replace their natural gas use with coal, while temperatures in parts of Europe soared to 115 degrees Fahrenheit as wildfires raged throughout the southern part of the continent.21 22 23 It was revealed that Amazon shares footage from its Ring doorbell products with police using a platform called Neighbors Public Safety Service, with which more than 2,000 law enforcement agencies are registered.24 25 A man in Missouri was convicted in the murder of his pregnant wife, who googled “what to do if your husband is upset you are pregnant” before going missing, while Texas sued the federal government for mandating hospitals to provide abortions when patients face medical emergencies.26 27 A disabled woman in Wales was fined over £1,000 for parking her car in a space for disabled visitors to her apartment complex; the parking spot that was assigned to her is not wheelchair accessible.28

Three men were charged with selling counterfeit handwritten lyrics to “Hotel California.”29 “Whether out of fatigue or hunger we’ll never know, but this morning she finally let herself be caught,” a spokesperson at Boston Logan International Airport said, referring to a cat who was apprehended there three weeks after escaping from a pet carrier, while police in North Carolina chased a nine-year-old who absconded with a Mini Cooper.30 31 The general manager of a café in Australia fired an employee who, she said, “didn’t add any smiley faces” to a text message, and the mayor of Mulanay, in the Philippines, ordered all government employees to smile while working in public.32 33 Police asked for help identifying a man in Houston who robbed a store wearing a face mask he purchased there.34 “It was just doing the back and forth that really took it out of me,” said Bob Salem, a man in Colorado Springs, after pushing a peanut to the top of Pikes Peak.35 With her husband abroad, Jill Biden attended a conference in Texas, where she complimented Latinx people in the United States for being “as unique as the breakfast tacos here in San Antonio.”36Sam Needleman

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