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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

“We have to jump on this trend,” an El Salvador funeral home owner said of his new pink, Barbie-themed coffins.

The airspace over Niger, a nation that serves as a strategic base for thousands of French and American military personnel, was shut down in anticipation of foreign intervention after the junta that recently led the region’s seventh coup since 2020 failed to meet a midnight deadline set by a coalition of neighboring countries to reinstate deposed President Mohamed Bazoum—who has, while under house arrest, received visitors, spoken with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and written an op-ed for the Washington Post.1 2 3 4 5 6 Coup leaders revoked a slew of defense cooperation agreements with France, suspended broadcasts of French news outlets, and inquired as to whether the Wagner group would support it in a possible fight against Western-backed forces, while protesters in Niamey waved Nigerien and Russian flags and set fire to the French embassy.7 8 9 President Joe Biden issued a statement in support of the Nigerien people’s “right to choose their leaders,” and Vladimir Putin praised the country’s resistance to “neo-colonialist” forces.10 11 Two Navy soldiers were arrested in California for allegedly relaying military secrets to the Chinese government, and the Philippines condemned the Chinese coast guard for using a water cannon against one of its boats in the hotly contested South China Sea in an “excessive and offensive” way.12 13 A district court in northern Pakistan sentenced former Prime Minister Imran Khan to three years in prison for buying and selling over six hundred thousand dollars worth of gifts during his time in office, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that he was separating from his wife.14 15 16 Former President Donald Trump, who already faces 34 felony counts in New York and 40 felony counts in Florida, faces up to 641 years in prison after being charged with four additional Washington, D.C.–based felony counts as part of a third criminal indictment for his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.17 18 “We’re going to start slitting throats on day one,” said presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis, who in an interview also insisted that enslaved Americans learned useful, transferable skills, such as blacksmithing, and that “Joe Biden’s the president.”19 20 21

The Biden Administration was sued by immigration lawyers over a new rule that would require asylum seekers to schedule a formal appointment with border officials through a smartphone app, which they claim is difficult to access and riddled with technical glitches and poor English-to-Spanish translations.22 The FBI concluded a monthslong investigation into which unknown federal agency had illicitly purchased spyware from a blacklisted Israeli company, discovering that it had been the FBI itself.23 Russian opposition figure Aleksei Navalny, who was poisoned in 2020 with a nerve agent linked to the Russian intelligence service and is currently serving prison sentences of nine years for fraud and over two years for parole violations, was levied with an additional 19 years for supporting “extremism,”  and the American basketball player Brittney Griner, who in 2022 faced a nine-year prison sentence in Russia on smuggling charges, announced she would be skipping two Phoenix Mercury games to focus on her mental health.24 25 26 A Somali sports official was suspended for alleged “abuse of power, nepotism, and defaming the name of the nation” after the country’s contestant in the World University Games 100-meter sprint finished more than 10 seconds behind the winner.27 Chinese officials were criticized for using smaller cities adjacent to Beijing as a “moat” for the capital during its heaviest rains in at least 140 years.28 “It certainly does recognize a higher power,” a Louisiana lawmaker said of a new bill requiring every classroom in the state to display at least one paper sign bearing the slogan “In God We Trust,” and the College Board was informed that AP Psychology is now effectively illegal in Florida, where leprosy is newly on the rise.29 30 31

Iraqi Airways said it wasn’t responsible for a bear that escaped the cargo hull of one of its passenger planes; a zoo in China issued a statement insisting that its Malayan sun bears were real and not humans in disguise; and a 500-pound black bear accused of breaking into more than 20 homes in the Lake Tahoe area was captured by state officials who plan to relocate it to Colorado.32 33 34 “We have to jump on this trend,” an El Salvador funeral home owner said of his new pink, Barbie-themed coffins.35 “I’m all about experimentation,” said a Maine woman of a watermelon that began leaking foam on her kitchen counter, a phenomenon that experts say has become more common across the state this summer.36 “You’ll have a real opportunity to personally contribute towards this fascinating mystery,” said a spokesperson for Scotland’s Loch Ness Center, which is encouraging “budding monster hunters” to join the largest search for the creature since the 1970s.37 “This is a dark comedy,” said the U.S. women’s soccer team midfielder Megan Rapinoe after a loss to Sweden that ended her team’s chances at winning a third consecutive World Cup trophy.38 “What betrayed him was his passion for football,” said an Italian police spokesman of the arrest of a 60-year-old Mafia-connected fugitive who had successfully evaded capture for 11 years before he was spotted celebrating a victory of the football team S.S.C. Napoli in May, after which he fled to Greece and was arrested while riding a moped on the Ionian island of Corfu.39 “Of course, they were disappointed about having their holiday plans changed,” said the manager of a 220-bed Swedish mountain lodge that was temporarily closed because of a stomach bug that spread rapidly among its guests.40 “We can assure you they are more than fine,” a Florida sheriff’s office said of a recent spate of manatee orgies, urging residents to stop calling the cops.41Maya Perry

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