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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

Scientists announced that neurotic people probably shouldn’t colonize Mars.

The annual summit of the BRICS group of major emerging economies commenced in Johannesburg, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly refused to get out of his airplane when he was not greeted by a sufficiently senior official upon his arrival.1 2 3 The conference was attended in person by the leaders of each member of the trade bloc with the exception of Russian President Vladmir Putin, who appeared virtually at the request of the host nation, which would have been obligated to arrest him for war crimes.4 5 Putin delivered a speech in which he blamed the West for Russia’s war in Ukraine and appeared in a prerecorded video in which his voice was dubbed or altered to sound much lower than usual, drawing comparisons to the soul singer Barry White.6 7 The next day, a plane carrying the Wagner mercenary group’s leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who staged a daylong mutiny against Putin’s forces two months ago, crashed halfway between Moscow and St. Petersburg, killing everyone aboard.8 The Kremlin denied involvement, and Putin required Wagner soldiers to sign a loyalty oath.9 10 “This was a person,” said Putin, “with a complicated fate.” It was reported that Brazil’s former president Jair Bolsonaro, who is under investigation for forging his COVID-19 vaccine records, for allegedly ordering police to pull over his opponent’s supporters on election day, and for his possible involvement in a riot to keep himself in power, was being investigated for accepting proceeds from a jewelry store in a Pennsylvania mall, which bought gifts he had received during his presidency. “My brand is honesty and always will be,” Bolsonaro said. “There is nothing concrete against me.”11 Japan began realizing its plan to dump more than 1 million tons of treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear disaster into the Pacific Ocean, and China announced that it would suspend seafood imports from Japan.12

In Zimbabwe, where more than 70% of the citizens believe the country is going “in the wrong direction,” incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa was reelected, shoring up the power of his party, which has ruled since the nation’s independence from Great Britain in 1980.13 Police arrested independent election monitors, flyers were distributed claiming that Mnangagwa’s main opponent did not want people to vote, and Zimbabweans camped out overnight to cast ballots because they were not delivered to polling places on time.14 15 “I am now doubting if these elections will produce credible results,” said one resident, “because if the start is this bad, it means nothing good will happen at the end.” The first Republican presidential primary debate took place in Milwaukee, and six of the eight candidates said that they would support former President Donald Trump if he were convicted of a crime.16 Trump, who chose not to attend the debate, surrendered to Atlanta police, who fingerprinted and photographed him, and his campaign began selling merchandise featuring his mug shot and the phrase NEVER SURRENDER!17 18 “We shouldn’t pay attention to idiots and stupid people,” said the chief of the Spanish soccer federation, who decried “false feminism,” after he was forced to step down for nonconsensually kissing a player on the lips following Spain’s victory at the Women’s World Cup.19 20 A Missouri appeals court ruled that an officer squeezing an inmate’s penis during a search is not protected by qualified immunity, and in Montenegro, a woman was fined for hitting a man who sexually assaulted her.21 22

A Florida school superintendent said that “there was no malice intended” after black elementary students were separated from their classmates, told that they were underperforming on standardized tests, and admonished that if they didn’t succeed, they could go to jail or be killed.23 Police accused an Indiana man of drunk-driving a Power Wheels jeep, and truck crashes caused milk, orange juice, red wine, fuel, and liquid feces to spill on American roadways.24 25 26 27 28 Five women were reported to have intentionally clogged the toilet of a chicken eatery and brawled with staff in Tampa, and researchers revealed that the most socioeconomically diverse places in America are affordable chain restaurants.29 30 In Virginia, a man with two parrots on his head and one on his shoulder was reported to have robbed a man outside a McDonald’s; in California, burglars took nearly $200,000 worth of wigs from a Beverly Hills shop; and in Georgia, a man was charged with stealing his neighbor’s entire front porch.31 32 33 An 83-year-old Philadelphian was reported to have killed his roommate following an argument over a dog, and a survey found that 91% of Americans who invited someone to “make themselves at home” later regretted it.34 35 India became the first country to land a spacecraft on the moon’s south pole, a feat it accomplished for less than the budget of the film Gravity, and scientists announced that neurotic people probably shouldn’t colonize Mars.36 37 The FBI arrested a Capitol rioter who attacked police with a metal baton, a broken table leg, a floor lamp, a speaker box, and a shoe, and a man who chased Black Lives Matter protesters while wearing a glove outfitted with blades was convicted of attempted murder.38 39 It was reported that wolverines may be reintroduced to Colorado.40 —Jon Edelman

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