Weekly Review — December 8, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

A married couple kill 14 people at a center for the disabled, Chicago’s police chief resigns, and a teenager named Bud Weisser is arrested for trespassing at a Budweiser brewery

HarpersWeb-Weekly-ON-tallIn San Bernardino, California, a married couple armed with semi-automatic rifles and pistols attacked the holiday party of a social-services center for the disabled, killing 14 people and injuring 21 others.[1] “None of the fourteen who perished had a chance,” said one of the 40 to 50 doctors who treated the victims. “That’s what really bothers me.”[2] Hours after the shooting, local, state, and federal officers followed the couple to a nearby residential street and opened fire on their SUV, killing them.[3] Authorities later reported finding a remote-control model car outfitted with three pipe bombs at the social-services center.[4] Television reporters who were allowed access to the shooters’ apartment broadcast footage of the social-security card of the husband’s mother.[5] Officials announced that the weapons used in the assault had been purchased legally, and a congressional candidate in Nevada resigned from the National Rifle Association in protest of the organization’s opposition to gun control.[6][7] The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the assassination of the governor of the city of Aden in Yemen.[8] British Parliament voted to authorize airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria, President Obama asked Congress to authorize the use of military force against the group in Syria and Iraq, and one of the leading imams in France announced that up to 160 mosques in the country would likely be closed for either operating illegally, preaching hatred, or accusing Muslims of apostasy. “Being Muslim in France,” said the cofounder of an Islamic reformation organization, is “a complicated condition.”[9][10][11]

Cameroonian forces carried out a raid against Boko Haram, killing 100 militants and freeing 900 hostages.[12] The U.S. Justice Department announced plans to investigate the Chicago Police Department following the release of a video depicting an officer shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, and the city’s police superintendent was fired.[13][14] Former New York State assemblyman Sheldon Silver, who was forced to resign from his position after being convicted of corruption, filed for his state pension.[15] U.S. defense secretary Ashton Carter ordered the military to open up all combat roles to women.[16] Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan announced the birth of their daughter and pledged to donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares, which are currently worth about $45 billion, over the course of their lifetimes.[17] Former president Jimmy Carter said that he was cancer-free.[18] The International Monetary Fund approved China’s yuan as a reserve currency, and at least three workers’ rights activists were arrested in southern China following a spike in labor unrest.[19][20] In Beijing, officials issued the first ever “red alert” over high smog levels, ordering the owners of cars with even and odd numbered license plates to drive on alternating days.[21]

A New Hampshire police officer paid for a shoplifter’s stolen items after realizing they were ingredients for her child’s birthday cake, and a Pennsylvania man was arrested after he was filmed breaking into his former place of employment wearing a sweatshirt with his name stenciled on the front.[22][23] The porn actress known as Stoya accused the porn actor James Deen of rape.[24] A 19-year-old named Bud Weisser was arrested for trespassing at a Budweiser brewery in Missouri; and, in Florida, an expert on driving under the influence was arrested for driving under the influence.[25][26] Reddit users launched a campaign to deliver Christmas cards to the only child attending school on the Scottish island of Out Skerries.[27] The president of Mauritania was suspected of ending a championship soccer game out of boredom.[28] A court in Turkey recommended the convening of an expert panel to assess whether being compared to Gollum is an insult after a doctor was arrested for juxtaposing images of the Lord of the Rings character with those of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.[29] A woman attending Art Basel in Miami Beach stabbed another woman in the neck with an X-Acto knife. “I thought I saw a performance,” said one bystander, “but it was real blood.”[30]

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"Gun owners have long been the hypochondriacs of American politics. Over the past twenty years, the gun-rights movement has won just about every battle it has fought; states have passed at least a hundred laws loosening gun restrictions since President Obama took office. Yet the National Rifle Association has continued to insist that government confiscation of privately owned firearms is nigh. The NRA’s alarmism helped maintain an active membership, but the strategy was risky: sooner or later, gun guys might have realized that they’d been had. Then came the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, followed swiftly by the nightmare the NRA had been promising for decades: a dedicated push at every level of government for new gun laws. The gun-rights movement was now that most insufferable of species: a hypochondriac taken suddenly, seriously ill."

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