Weekly Review — August 18, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The Greek parliament approves a $95 billion international loan package, Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Consortium considers taking legal action against Pornhub, and a naked man in Wisconsin rams his pickup truck into two police cars

HarpersWeb-WeeklyReview-Popkey-big A series of explosions destroyed a warehouse in the northeastern Chinese port city of Tianjin, tossing vehicles into the air, shattering windows, twisting doors out of their frames, and killing at least 112 people.[1][2] It was reported that Rui Hai International Logistics, which owns the warehouse, was using it to store as much as 700 tons of sodium cyanide, 70 times the legal limit.[3] Following the explosions, 50 websites and 360 social-media accounts were suspended or shut down by the Chinese government, allegedly for spreading rumors or misinformation.[4] The Greek parliament approved a $95 billion international loan package, and the Chinese central bank devalued the country’s currency, the renminbi, by 2 percent, the largest devaluation since 1994.[5][6] Virginia Wesleyan University filed a motion requesting that a former student, who is suing the university over an alleged sexual assault, provide the names of every individual with whom she has had sexual intercourse; a United Nations police officer in the Central African Republic was accused of raping a 12-year-old girl; and an 11-year-old girl in Paraguay delivered a seven-pound, 13-ounce baby via caesarean section. The girl, who was allegedly raped by her stepfather, was earlier denied an abortion by the country’s health ministry. “It was like any other caesarean,” said the director of the Reina Sofia maternity hospital, “but with the age difference.”[7][8][9][10]

Secretary of State John Kerry attended a flag-raising ceremony at the recently reopened American Embassy in Cuba, becoming the first American secretary of state to travel to the country since 1945.[11] In Mississippi, a suit was filed challenging a state law that forbids adoption by same-sex couples; in Ohio, a judicial-conduct board announced that judges who perform marriages must wed same-sex couples; and the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, who stopped issuing all marriage licenses when same-sex unions became legal, did not show up for work after receiving a court order to resume issuing licenses.[12][13][14] The chief of police in Arlington, Texas, fired an inexperienced white police officer who shot and killed Christian Taylor, an unarmed 19-year-old black man; a study concluded that prosecutors in Caddo Parish, Louisiana, dismissed prospective black jurors through use of peremptory challenges, which generally require no explanation, three times more often than they did prospective white jurors; and it was reported that, in 1996, a court granted a six-week order of protection to a woman who claimed that Andre Anderson, who is now serving as interim police chief in Ferguson, Missouri, struck her in the face.[15][16][17][18][19] A third-string linebacker was released by the Jets after punching the team’s first-string quarterback in the jaw, and a courtroom sketch artist expressed regret over her rendering of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who is appealing a four-game suspension. “I apologize to Tom Brady,” she said, “for not making him as good-looking as he is.”[20][21][22]

Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese Consortium announced it was considering legal action after the website Pornhub used its name in an advertisement that “vulgarly aimed at making a profit from the exploitation,” the company alleged in a statement, “of the fame gained by Parmigiano-Reggiano.”[23] In East Yorkshire, England, an 84-year-old man was caught driving a Nissan Micra at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour; in Pembrokeshire, Wales, a man paralyzed from the waist down was arrested for drunk driving; and in Waukesha, Wisconsin, a naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.[24][25][26] Firefighters in Seattle rescued a woman who was stuck in a four-by-six-foot charity clothing donation box; and Bumble Bee Foods agreed to pay $6 million to settle criminal charges filed after an employee burned to death in a pressure cooker filled with six tons of tuna.[27][28] A Michigan state legislator claimed he faked a gay sex scandal in order to expose blackmailers who were threatening to reveal his affair with a female lawmaker; and a 71-year-old man was arrested for attacking the 74-year-old mayor of Talladega, Alabama, with a baseball bat after allegedly catching the politician on a hidden camera having sex with his wife. “It gives me hope,” said an attorney who claimed to have seen part of the tape, “for when I’m seventy.”[29][30][31]


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