Weekly Review — November 17, 2015, 11:04 am

Weekly Review

The Islamic State carries out two suicide bombings in Beirut, U.S. officials say they are reasonably sure they’ve killed Jihadi John, and an eight-year-old boy is accused of killing a one-year-old girl

HarpersWeb-WeeklyReview-Popkey-bigEight Islamic State militants carried out a series of shootings and suicide bombings in Paris, killing more than 130 people.[1] The attackers detonated a bomb outside a sports stadium, opened fire at restaurants in the 10th and 11th Arrondissements, and held over 1,000 spectators hostage at a music venue.[2][3] “My neighbor, a man of about fifty, was shot right in the face,” said a survivor. “Bits of brain and flesh fell on my glasses.”[4] French president François Hollande called the attacks an “act of war” and declared a nationwide state of emergency.[5] Police identified Ismaël Omar Mostefaï, one of the shooters who blew himself up, using a severed finger that was found at the scene. “The little lamb,” said one of Mostefaï’s former neighbors, “turned into a monster.”[6] The Islamic State also claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings in a majority-Shiite neighborhood in southern Beirut that killed at least 43 people.[7] Authorities in the United States said they were “reasonably certain” that an airstrike had killed the man known as Jihadi John, a member of the Islamic State who was filmed executing American, British, Japanese, and Syrian hostages; and Turkish police arrested a French citizen believed to be planning a terrorist attack after the suspect had a hair-transplant procedure at a beauty salon.[8][9] In Ohio, a man was arrested on a terrorism-related charge after he reposted the names and addresses of 100 U.S. servicemembers on social media and called for them to be killed. “Just thinking about getting martyred,” he tweeted, “puts a smile on my face.”[10]

Russian athletes were banned from international track and field events after the World Anti-Doping Agency published a report that alleged the existence of a state-sponsored doping program involving bribes, false identities, secret-service intimidation, and fraudulent urine samples.[11][12] The president of the University of Missouri and the dean of students at Claremont McKenna College stepped down after protests at both institutions over administrators’ handling of racial tensions on campus.[13][14] In Utah, a judge reversed his initial order that a foster child should be taken away from a lesbian couple and given to a heterosexual couple, and approximately 1,500 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints formally resigned their membership after the church declared that it would not allow children of married same-sex couples to be baptized until they were 18.[15][16] The program director for the Nebraska Family Support Network and his wife were accused of withholding food from their eight-year-old son and locking him in his room for days at a time; German police arrested a 45-year-old woman in Bavaria after discovering the bodies of eight babies she is believed to have given birth to; and an eight-year-old boy in Alabama was accused of killing a one-year-old girl.[17][18][19] In Tuscaloosa, police officers responding to a noise complaint tasered and possibly clubbed a University of Alabama student, and the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a police officer who shot and killed a suspect who was fleeing in his car. “How is that for being proactive?” the police officer had said after the shooting.[20][21][22]

The Canadian Judicial Council was reviewing a judge’s behavior in a 2014 trial in which a 19-year-old woman alleged she had been sexually assaulted. “Why,” the judge had asked the woman, “couldn’t you just keep your knees together?”[23] In Ontario, a woman was arrested for drunk driving after her nine-year-old son, who was in the car with her, called the police; in Ohio, a man was arrested after he forced a nine-year-old neighbor to drive him to a gas station to buy barbecue sauce; and in Florida, an officer scheduled to receive an award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving arrived at the ceremony too drunk to accept it.[24][25][26] A Florida woman was arrested after she called 911 and asked the dispatcher to bring her chicken wings and cigarettes, and two British police officers made tea for an elderly couple who had called an emergency hotline because they were lonely.[27][28] In Connecticut, a black Labrador started a kitchen fire when he tried to steal a slice of pizza from a box that had been placed atop an oven; in Germany, a sea lion named Holly was found beaten to death in her zoo enclosure; and in Indonesia, the National Narcotics Agency proposed housing individuals on death row for drug offenses in a prison on an island guarded by crocodiles, tigers, and piranhas. “You can’t,” said the agency’s chief, “bribe crocodiles.”[29][30][31]

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