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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

It was reported that octopuses may have nightmares.

After the cash balance in the U.S. Treasury dwindled to $38.8 billion, nearly five times smaller than Elon Musk’s net worth, President Joe Biden and the GOP congressional leader Kevin McCarthy reached a deal to lift the debt ceiling until after the next presidential election.1 2 3 4 The agreement, which caps discretionary spending, except for defense, imposes new work requirements for some recipients of government aid, and eliminates $10 billion from the IRS’s budget for catching tax cheats, was pilloried by House Republicans, who under former President Donald Trump voted to raise the debt ceiling three times without preconditions.5 6 During a break from debt ceiling negotiations, Marjorie Taylor Greene bid $100,000 for a tube of Chapstick that had purportedly been used by McCarthy, and the Georgia congresswoman, who yelled that Biden was a liar during this year’s State of the Union address, was greeted with laughter when she called for decorum during a hearing.7 8 Ron DeSantis announced his presidential candidacy on a Twitter audio stream, which was beset by glitches and met with heckling, and it was revealed that police officer candidates who had been recruited as part of DeSantis’s $13.5 million bonus program had been arrested for kidnapping and murder.9 10 It was reported that the National Labor Relations Board had reinstated the right of union members to use heated language, including occasional profanity, during disputes with management.11 The Writers Guild of America strike against Hollywood studios and streaming companies entered its fourth week, with showrunners refusing to participate in publicity for their work, and former President Barack Obama took part in a promotional discussion for his Netflix series, a Studs Terkel–inspired show called Working: What We Do All Day.12 13 14 “My hope is, as someone who believes in storytelling and the craft of it, that they will be compensated,” said Obama during the panel.15

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has raised the minimum wage three times in the past year and a half to combat widespread unhappiness with his rule, won reelection in a runoff vote, extending his potential tenure to 25 years.16 17 Election observers said that the contest was largely free, although it was reported that Erdogan had appeared on a state-sponsored television network for 32 hours last month, and his opponent for 32 minutes.18 “We will be together until the grave,” he said in a victory speech. Buckingham Palace declined to repatriate the remains of an Ethiopian prince who was kidnapped and taken to England after the Battle of Maqdala in 1868, and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson was referred to the police over additional breaches in COVID-19 precautions when he was in charge.19 20 The Polish Supreme Court ruled that a writer who called President Andrzej Duda a “moron” should not be punished, and a Vietnamese noodle vendor was sentenced to five and a half years in prison for a video in which he mocked a top official for eating a gold-encrusted steak at the restaurant owned by the chef known as “Salt Bae.”21 22 It was reported that, in India, where the drought-prone area has increased by 57 percent since 1997, a food inspector who had dropped his phone in a reservoir had rented a diesel pump and drained enough water to irrigate 1,500 acres of farmland; the phone, when found, was inoperable.23 24 Taylor Swift fans attempted to sell containers of rainwater from a Massachusetts show for $250.25

A survey found that nearly one in eight men under 35 have brought a condom to a funeral, and the state of Georgia reminded residents to wear clothes in self-submitted driver’s license photos.26 27 A Texas high school had to reschedule its graduation after only five students qualified for diplomas.28 “I’m not a reader, I’m not a book person,” said the Florida mother who successfully petitioned a school to restrict access to several titles, including The ABCs of Black History and poetry by Langston Hughes and Amanda Gorman.29 A lawyer who used ChatGPT for research asked for forgiveness from the court after submitting a brief full of quotations from decisions that didn’t exist.30 It was reported that a Duluth landlord intentionally set his apartment on fire while blasting Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” and a Louisville man was arrested for shooting his roommate “in the ass” because he ate the last Hot Pocket.31 32 A Floridian claiming to be a time traveler who threw a brick through a window was reported to claim that he was trying to save a baby from an unspecified future event, and a man accused of breaking into a house in Daytona Beach said that he was fleeing a ghost.33 34 It was reported that octopuses may have nightmares and that a small group of possibly traumatized orcas off the Iberian coast had started ramming boats, sinking three.35 36 The city of Kyle, Texas, which attempted to set a record for the largest gathering of people with the same first name, was reported to have fallen 835 Kyles short.37Jon Edelman

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