Weekly Review — July 14, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

South Carolina removes the Confederate flag from its State House, El Chapo escapes from prison again, and the soundtrack to a pornographic film plays over the PA system of a Target in California

HarpersWeb-WeeklyReview-Popkey-bigThe South Carolina state legislature voted to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State House, where it has flown since 1962.[1] State Representative Michael Pitts attempted to stall the passage of the bill by attaching 54 amendments, including one that would have required the U.S. flag to be flown upside down on the dome of the state’s capitol building. “To remove the flag,” said Harvey Peeler Jr., one of three senators who voted against the legislation, “would be like removing a tattoo from the corpse of a loved one.”[2][3][4] After Greece missed a loan payment to the International Monetary Fund, it was reported that hotels began stockpiling food and citizens began investing in appliances and jewelry.[5][6] A representative for the American Psychological Association said psychologists should no longer participate in government interrogations after a report found that the association had inappropriately adjusted its ethics guidelines in order to comply with the CIA’s torture program; and the FBI admitted that a flawed background check system allowed Dylann Roof, the white supremacist accused of killing nine people in a historically black church in South Carolina, to purchase a gun.[7][8] The city of Albuquerque agreed to pay $5 million to the family of a homeless man killed last year by police; in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a 35-year-old African-American man died after police pepper-sprayed him; and the Philadelphia Police Department opened an internal investigation after the release of a video showing a 22-year-old African-American man being kicked, punched, and tasered by as many as 12 officers. “This,” said the president of Philadelphia’s Fraternal Order of Police, “is good policing.”[9][10]

It was reported that the value of the Shanghai Composite Index dropped by more than $3 trillion in less than a month, and the New York Stock Exchange was shut down for more than three hours after engineers loaded the wrong software during a system upgrade.[11] At Iowa State Penitentiary, a convicted armed robber escaped from his cell through the prison’s piping; and in Mexico, Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, head of the Sinaloa cartel, broke out of Altiplano, the country’s most secure prison, using a tunnel dug beneath his shower.[12][13] A statue of Bill Cosby was removed from Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park following the release of deposition transcripts in which the comedian admitted he obtained prescription drugs intending to give them to women he wanted to have sex with. “I give her Quaaludes,” said Cosby, of his encounter with a 19-year-old. “We then have sex.”[14][15][16] A freshman quarterback was dismissed by Florida State University’s football team after video footage showed the 19-year-old punching a woman at a bar; a Florida State University running back was suspended indefinitely after it was alleged that he too had punched a woman; and a defensive end for the New York Giants had his right index finger amputated following a fireworks accident.[17][18][19] At a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre of Bosniak Muslims by Serbian forces, attendees pelted Serbia’s prime minister with stones, water bottles, shoes, and other objects, one of which struck his lip. “It can be seen,” said the Serbian interior minister, Nebojša Stefanovic, “as an assassination attempt.”[20][21] The mayor of Baltimore fired the city’s chief of police following a recent spike in murders, and Reddit’s chief executive resigned after a petition demanding that she step down gathered over 213,000 signatures. “Ding dong the witch is dead,” wrote a user named testicle_kebabs.[22][23][24][25]

In Delhi, a 26-year-old man was rescued by police after becoming trapped inside an ATM he had been attempting to rob; in Berlin, a man allegedly stole a bicycle, launched it through a restaurant window, entered the restaurant, and drank half a bottle of Tabasco sauce; and in Miramas, France, authorities opened an investigation into the theft of roughly 200 detonators from a military site.[26][27][28] In Orlando, a woman was charged with aggravated stalking for playing loud workout music on repeat through several speakers in an attempt to annoy her neighbor; at a Target in San Luis Obispo, California, the PA system played an audio track of pornography; and in Florida, the head coach of a softball team resigned after his son, who volunteered as an assistant coach, was charged with sending under-age girls sexually explicit images via text. “I did do this,” the coach’s son told detectives. “I was bored one night and thought, hmm, let’s see what would happen.”[29][30][31]


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