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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

Twelve largely politically indifferent New York jurors with interests ranging from live music to the outdoors convicted former President Trump on all 34 counts of falsifying business records to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

The United States, Egypt, and Qatar called on Hamas and Israel to accept a three-phase ceasefire proposal.1 2 “It’s time for this war to end,” Biden said; Hamas said it viewed the proposal “positively,” while Netanyahu called permanent ceasefire a “nonstarter.”3 4 Israel has now taken over 32 percent of Gaza by “systematically demolishing neighborhoods” to create a buffer zone and a central axis dividing it, and humanitarian aid entering Gaza has dropped 67 percent since Israel launched its Rafah military offensive earlier this month.5 6 7 After at least 45 people were killed in an Israeli air strike on a displaced persons camp in Rafah last week with a U.S.-made precision bomb, the Biden Administration, which declared last month it would not supply Israel with offensive weapons to invade Rafah, said there was “no mathematical formula” for determining when Israel’s attack on Rafah crosses its “red line.”8 9 10 11 “There used to be red lines, full of threats, not anymore,” the Ukrainian MP Yehor Cherniev said before Biden reversed a long-standing ban on the use of American weapons for Ukrainian strikes within Russia, a policy the intelligence community warned earlier this year could prompt Putin to escalate with nuclear weapons.12 13 “For unknown reasons, they underestimate the seriousness of the rebuff they may receive,” threatened Russia’s deputy foreign minister.14 Mexicans voted for president, mayors, and town council members after a campaign season that has seen about 27 candidates murdered; Indians voted to reinstall Modi, following a heat wave that killed at least 33 poll workers; and South Africans refused to deliver an absolute majority to the African National Congress for the first time since the end of apartheid, with 15 percent of the vote going instead to the upstart party of former President Jacob Zuma, who has stood trial for rape, has faced 783 corruption charges, and was sentenced in 2021 to 15 months in prison.15 16 17 18 19 20

Twelve largely politically indifferent New York jurors with interests ranging from live music to the outdoors convicted former President Trump on all 34 counts of falsifying business records to influence the outcome of the 2016 election; “the American principle that no one is above the law was reaffirmed,” President Biden said in a televised statement from the White House. “Political retribution,” said House Speaker Mike Johnson; “political malpractice,” complained Senator Mitt Romney; “fascism,” railed Senator J.D. Vance; “the kind of thing you would expect to see in the communist U.S.S.R.,” groused GOP co-chair Lara Trump.21 22 23 24 Users on Truth Social demanded retribution and violence; “Third World Problems Require Third World Solutions,” read a post that went viral on X reupping a video of the 2020 military coup in Myanmar.25 26 Trump, who called himself a “political prisoner” in a fundraising pitch, announced over $50 million in contributions within 24 hours of the verdict, at least double his prior record; at present, he faces no formal campaign restrictions.27 28 29 Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito refused to recuse himself from upcoming cases concerning the 2020 presidential election or the January 6 insurrection in the wake of revelations that flags associated with the “Stop the Steal” movement flew at his homes, despite the recent adoption of an ethics code stipulating that justices should disqualify themselves where their “impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”30 31 Kansas’s Supreme Court looked for the “fundamental right to vote” in its constitution and found that it “simply [was] not there.”32

South Korea threatened North Korea with “unbearable” retaliation after it floated hundreds of balloons attached to detritus including cigarette butts, scraps of cloth, wastepaper, and vinyl over the border; Kim Jong-Un’s sister called the balloons “sincere presents to the goblins of liberal democracy.”33 34 “Delicate” discussions between the Smithsonian and the China Wildlife Conservation Association have borne fruit for the National Zoo, which will receive a pair of giant pandas, Bao Li and Qing Bao, after a six-month drought; “care for China-U.S. relations just as you care for pandas,” instructed the Chinese ambassador.35 New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who appointed the first rat czar and frequently utters “I hate rats!,” received a rodent violation ticket for the fifth time since the beginning of his term.36Jasmine Liu

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