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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

A study found that people who perceive themselves as attractive are less likely to wear a mask.

On January 8, supporters of Jair Bolsonaro stormed Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court, and presidential offices under the false belief that Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva had stolen the election.1 The rioters, who destroyed a clock given to King João VI, the absolute monarch who fled Napoleon’s armies and established the Portuguese court in Brazil, were arrested.2 3 Bolsonaro was hospitalized in Florida with severe abdominal pain, and it was reported that former president Donald Trump sought to trademark the phrase “Rigged Election!”4 5 For the first time in 100 years, the U.S. Congress failed to elect a Speaker of the House on a first ballot, paralyzing Congress for over five days; representatives-elect were unable to pass legislation, receive classified briefings, or provide constituent services, although Republicans did remove metal detectors that were installed after the January 6 riot and launched a web page for a Congressional investigation of the Biden family.6 7 8 9 Over the course of 15 rounds of voting, children, a dog, and a golden football helmet were seen on the House floor, a Republican accused Democrats of drinking alcohol in the chamber, and Mike Rogers of Alabama was physically restrained after yelling at Matt Gaetz of Florida, who had accused Kevin McCarthy, who was once described as “a golden retriever of a man,” of squatting in the Speaker’s office.10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 The deadlock was broken after concessions from McCarthy and phone calls to recalcitrant Republicans from Trump, who had previously referred to McCarthy as “my Kevin” and who once received from him a jar of Starburst candies containing only his favorite flavors.18 19 20 “It’s painful to watch,” said Steve Womack of Arkansas. “And I’m sorry the American public’s having to witness this.”21 In a Monday Night Football game viewed by nearly 24 million people, an NFL player collapsed and went into cardiac arrest after making a tackle; his first question to doctors upon regaining consciousness was whether his team had won.22 23 24 As Chinese hospitals were overwhelmed by a COVID-19 surge, it was reported that twentysomethings were infecting themselves with the virus.25 26 A study found that people who perceive themselves as attractive are less likely to wear a mask.27

South Sudan detained six journalists accused of releasing footage of President Salva Kiir appearing to urinate on himself while standing for the national anthem at an official event.28 Iranian authorities arrested a reporter who interviewed the families of death row inmates sentenced in connection with protests, as well as a chef–cum–Instagram influencer who posted a recipe for Persian cutlets, an apparent reference to the condition of Qassem Soleimani’s body after a U.S. drone strike.29 30 The U.S. State Department announced that, in accordance with the United Nations’ attempt to distance the country from the bird, it would henceforth refer to Turkey as “Türkiye,” and it was reported that in the Polish district of Cipki, a slang term equivalent to “pussies,” the village of Suche, the plural feminine form of “dry,” had ceased using that name.31 32 Russia unilaterally declared a ceasefire with Ukraine and continued to shell several cities.33 A six-year-old Virginian shot a teacher.34 The mother of the Uvalde gunman was arrested after allegedly threatening to kill the man with whom she was living, and a Family Dollar employee who had been disciplined for taking excessive sick days was reported to have threatened her manager with a gun and attacked her with a stapler.35 36 A software engineer inspired by the movie Office Space was reported to have stolen over $300,000 from his employer in small amounts, and a former sheriff’s deputy who worked as a security guard at Home Depot expressed confusion after being charged with a felony, because he claimed to have never stolen more than $750 at a time.37 38 A fugitive fighting extradition to the U.S. asked for bail, complaining that fellow prisoners were taunting him by singing “Leaving on a Jet Plane.”39

Nearly 200,000 people visited the coffin of Pope Benedict XVI, and 230,000 lined up to mourn Pelé.40 41 It was reported that the mother of a star player on the U.S. national soccer team, unhappy with her son’s World Cup playing time, reported the team’s coach for kicking his then-girlfriend in 1991.42 After a video was released of the UFC’s president, Dana White, hitting his wife in the face, TBS delayed the debut of his slap-fighting league by one week.43 44 Fans of Joe Rogan took to New York’s East River after a podcast guest claimed that 500,000 woolly mammoth tusks had been dumped there, and fortune seekers descended on a Dutch village after the release of a map believed to show the location of buried Nazi treasure.45 46 Leaks from Prince Harry’s memoir revealed that Prince William encouraged him to wear a swastika to a costume party, that he killed 25 people in Afghanistan, and that his penis had frostbite at his brother’s wedding.47 “The only thing I am guilty of is loving you SOOOOOOOOOO MUCH,” a woman charged with repeatedly poisoning her husband with animal euthanasia drugs was reported to have emailed him.48 A fire at a dairy plant left a canal in Wisconsin clogged with butter.49 “Try and throw a stone that looks like a potato,” said a mathematician who calculated that heavier rocks are best for skipping.50 A former inmate in search of food and a place to sleep smashed a jailhouse door with a stone hours after being released, and an unhoused man was arrested after falling through the ceiling of a shelter into which he was trying to sneak.51 52 “I believe our economic vision is working,” said President Joe Biden.53 “We’re off to a pretty darned good start.” —Jon Edelman

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