Weekly Review — October 1, 2015, 6:00 am

Weekly Review

Pope Francis comes to America, Volkswagen recalls 11 million vehicles, and a Washington State school bans tag

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A stampede broke out during the hajj, killing 769 people and injuring at least 934 more. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani accused Saudi officials of incompetence, and Saudi prince Khaled al-Faisal, head of the Central Hajj Committee, blamed the incident on “some pilgrims with African nationalities.”[1][2] Pope Francis arrived in the United States for a six-day visit, his first as pontiff, during which he addressed a joint session of Congress, held mass at Madison Square Garden, spoke to the U.N. General Assembly, prayed with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, visited a prison, canonized the Spanish missionary Junípero Serra, and attended an event hosted by the actor Mark Wahlberg.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9] Chinese president Xi Jinping made a commitment to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC rebel leader known as Timochenko agreed to sign a peace deal within the next six months.[10][11] In Menlo Park, California, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi visited the headquarters of Facebook, where he broke into tears after mentioning his mother; and Russian president Vladimir Putin responded to Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio’s characterization of him as a “gangster.” “How can I be a gangster,” asked Putin, “if I worked for the KGB?”[12][13][14]

An explosion of unknown origin occurred aboard a speedboat on which the president of the Maldives was riding, and British prime minister David Cameron denied that he put his genitals in the mouth of a dead pig.[15][16] Martin Shkreli, head of Turing Pharmaceuticals, agreed to lower the cost of Daraprim, a drug that treats toxoplasmosis, after he was criticized for raising the price more than 5000 percent, from $13.50 to $750 a pill. “We’re doing something very good,” said Shkreli.[17][18] A judge ruled that the copyright on the song “Happy Birthday to You” was not valid.[19] Ford Motor Company recalled 342,000 Windstar minivans over concerns that their faulty rear axles were incorrectly repaired during a 2010 recall.[20] Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn resigned after admitting that over 11 million of the company’s diesel cars had been equipped with technology that artificially lowered emissions during Environmental Protection Agency inspections.[21][22] A junior minister in the Greek government resigned after comparing the European Union to Auschwitz; and Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, facing a possible government shutdown and attacks from his party’s right wing, announced he would resign from Congress. “Beware,” said Boehner, “of false prophets.”[23][24][25]

In New Jersey, an eight-year-old girl was suspended for violating her school’s dress code by wearing a shirt that was the wrong shade of green.[26] In Washington State, the Mercer Island School District banned the game of tag as part of its “hands off” policy, before reinstating the game days later. “Kids get hurt,” said a parent who opposed the ban. “It’s an unfortunate part of life.”[27] Anti-gentrification protesters in London carrying pigs’ heads and torches burned a police officer in effigy outside a cereal café, and a Florida man was charged with a felony after allegedly stealing a metal spoon worth $1.12 from a Walmart so that he could eat his Cap’n Crunch.[28][29] A man in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who shot himself in the penis was arrested after lying to police about the incident, and a man in Brooklyn who was startled by police while publicly urinating accidentally shot himself in the groin.[30][31] In Florida, a man was shot and killed by a sheriff’s deputy after pointing a stapler at the officer. Polk County sheriff Grady Judd defended the deputy’s actions. “We don’t choose to shoot people,” he said. “People choose for us to shoot them.”[32]

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