Weekly Review — March 31, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Utah reinstates the firing squad, the United Kingdom holds its first same-sex prison wedding, and Pope Francis announces he will auction off a Kia Soul

HarpersWeb-WeeklyReview-avatar-WCS-bigAndreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of a Germanwings Airbus A320 en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, flew the plane into a mountain, killing all 150 people on board. It was variously reported that Lubitz suffered from depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and vision problems; and that his ex-fiancée had dumped him the previous day because he was too controlling. “He wasn’t interested in what was on the menu,” said the owner of a pizzeria that was frequented by the co-pilot, “he had to have it his way.”[1][2][3][4][5] Afghanistan’s supreme court upheld a 20-year sentence for a police officer who murdered a photojournalist, and the U.S. State Department expressed concerns after Thailand’s Prime Minister had threatened to “deal with the media” using a “dog-headed execution device.”[6][7] Islamic State militants in Iraq stoned a man and woman convicted of adultery, beheaded three men for having ties to a Kurdish leader, and threatened to give 80 lashes to anyone who watched the El Clasico soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.[8][9] Utah reinstated the firing squad.[10] Chinese authorities executed three people, locked up a Muslim man for growing a beard, and announced that they would begin forcing all public square dancers to follow pre-choreographed routines after receiving complaints that elderly dancers were making too much noise.[11][12][13]

Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas) became the first official candidate to enter the 2016 presidential race. Cruz told reporters that 9/11 sparked his interest in country music; that he will acquire insurance through Obamacare while continuing to advocate for its repeal; and that “part of the problem” he faces with American voters is that the White House isn’t in Texas.[14][15][16][17] Senator Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said that he would be retiring from Congress for reasons unrelated to a recent injury sustained when his exercise equipment malfunctioned. Barney Frank, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives who is gay, said he believes there are closeted gay members of Congress; and Indiana governor Mike Pence signed a law that will permit business owners to refrain from serving members of the LGBT community. “Hoosiers don’t believe in discrimination,” said the governor. “I mean this is not about discrimination.”[18][19][20][21] The United Kingdom’s first same-sex prison wedding took place between a convicted pedophile and an inmate who murdered a 57-year-old man because he was gay. “Hopefully,” said the victim’s brother, “they will strangle each other.”[22][23] A U.S. Marine stood trial in the Philippines for drowning a transgender woman in his hotel room toilet, the Justice Department reported that ten DEA agents had participated in sex parties hosted by drug cartels, and Colombian leaders accused U.S. soldiers and military contractors of sexually abusing at least 54 children in the country.[24][25][26] In Scottsdale, Arizona, a 32-year-old yoga teacher was arrested after she attended a bar mitzvah at which she allegedly performed fellatio on one boy and encouraged others to fondle her new breast implants; and a salon owner in Dallas surrendered to authorities after administering illegal hydrogel butt injections that are thought to have caused the death of a 34-year-old woman. “She wanted a big booty,” said the woman who raised the victim. “But she got hooked on them booty shots.”[27][28][29]

A compromised gas line in New York City’s East Village caused an explosion that led to the collapse of three buildings; 1,200 homes in London were evacuated following the discovery of an undetonated World War II–era bomb; and a Massachusetts landlord found that his house had been wired to explode when a light switch was flicked.[30][31][32] The Ottawa Senators asked their fans to stop throwing hamburgers onto the ice during games and to donate to food banks instead.[33] Pope Francis announced he would aid the poor by raffling a Kia Soul.[34] In Nairobi, Kenyan authorities closed down a Chinese restaurant that had previously adopted a “No-African after 5 pm” policy, and a white man in St. Louis was charged with punching a black man at a gas station after telling him to “go back to Ferguson.” “I’m going to let the authorities handle this,” said the victim, a former Major League baseball player, “but I’ve had enough of St. Louis.”[35][36][37] In Hudson, Florida, a 12-year-old boy fatally shot himself and his six-year-old brother in a dispute over food; a Texas teen shot and killed his parents’ dogs after his mother refused to give him $20; and a 27-year-old man in Pekin, Illinois, donned a mask and attempted to rob his mother at knifepoint.[38][39][40] Police in Detroit arrested a woman who confessed to killing two of her children before storing their bodies in her freezer for over a year. “There is no greater blessing,” she wrote in January on her Facebook page, “than being called Mom.”[41][42]

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