Weekly Review — November 24, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Gunmen kill 22 people at a hotel in Mali, a poet in Saudi Arabia is sentenced to death, and a Florida mayor tries to pay an ethics fine with 360,000 pennies and nickels 

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French police carried out 793 raids across the country, arresting 90 people, seizing illegal drugs and weapons, and killing Abdelhamid Abaaoud, a Belgian member of the Islamic State suspected of organizing the recent attacks in Paris.[1][2] French legislators extended a nationwide state of emergency for three months, enabling the government to conduct warrantless searches, prohibit assembly and protest, and restrict press freedoms.[3][4] Thirty-one U.S. governors said they would block the White House’s efforts to resettle Syrian refugees in their states, despite having no authority to do so.[5] Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush called for the United States to prioritize refugee status for Syrian Christians, provoking questions about how applicants would be vetted. “You can prove you’re a Christian,” said Bush.[6] Islamist fighters stormed a Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali, taking more than 170 hostages and killing 22 people.[7] Suicide bombers attacked open-air markets in the Nigerian cities of Yola and Kano, killing 47 people and injuring at least 130 others.[8][9] It was reported that 2,043 people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list have legally purchased a gun in the United States within the past 11 years.[10] A mosque in Ontario was set ablaze, a Toronto woman wearing hijab was punched and harassed while picking up her children from school, and a shop in Colorado called Isis Books & Gifts was vandalized for the fifth time. Those responsible, said the owner, are “people believing that somehow the terrorists have a store, a gift store, in the middle of Denver.”[11][12][13]

In Antalya, Turkey, the Group of 20 nations agreed not to engage in cyber espionage for commercial purposes.[14] President Obama called for a halt to China’s island construction in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, and China began shutting down mobile service for Xinjiang residents who evaded government firewalls.[15] Explosives detonated at two electricity pylons on the Crimean peninsula caused an outage that affected almost 2 million people.[16] Russia resumed nuclear trade with Iran.[17] A poet in Saudi Arabia was sentenced to death for apostasy.[18] Vatican prosecutors indicted five people in connection with a leak of confidential papal documents, and the pastor of a Singaporean megachurch was convicted of fraud for diverting $36 million in church funds to advance his wife’s singing career.[19][20] Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced a deal to acquire the Irish drug manufacturer Allergan for $160 billion and move from the United States to Dublin.[21] The Food and Drug Administration approved genetically engineered salmon for human consumption.[22] Ethiopian Airlines operated its first flight staffed entirely by women, Salt Lake City elected its first openly gay mayor, and two 35-year-old men became the first gay couple to wed in Ireland.[23][24] The National Institutes of Health announced that it would end its use of chimpanzees in biomedical experiments, and an animal-rights group sued a Louisiana amusement park for allowing a chimpanzee named Candy to smoke cigarettes and drink Coca-Cola.[25][26]

A 1,111-carat diamond was unearthed in central Botswana, and a landslide near a jade mine in Myanmar buried 100 workers.[27][28] A Japanese man broke the world record for the fastest 100 meters running on all fours, and participants in Bangkok’s half-marathon were promised free T-shirts after a route error caused them to run an extra four miles.[29][30] In Philadelphia, a pair of zebras escaped from a circus.[31] A Massachusetts woman won the lottery for a second time, and a Florida mayor tried to pay an ethics fine with 360,000 pennies and nickels.[32][33] A man sued Pennsylvania state police who detained him for 29 days when they mistook his homemade soap for cocaine, and a Florida police officer was fired for singing with a death-metal band while on duty.[34][35] Audience members at Zimbabwe’s fourth annual Mister Ugly competition protested after the reigning champion was dethroned by a 42-year-old man with several missing teeth. “He is ugly,” said a rival, “only when he opens his mouth.”[36]

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