Weekly Review — March 23, 2016, 12:39 pm

Weekly Review

The Islamic State kills 34 people in Brussels, Raul Castro tells the United States to leave Guantanamo Bay, and Seattle police search for a masturbating ninja

President Obama met in Havana with Cuban president Raúl Castro, becoming the first U.S. president to visit the country in 88 years.[1] During a joint press conference, Obama promised to ask Congress to end the U.S. trade embargo should Cuba improve its human rights record, and Castro asked the United States to leave Guantanamo Bay.[2] President Obama nominated 63-year-old appeals-court judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court.[3] Republican senators announced they would not hold a confirmation hearing for Garland under any circumstances, and a group of Republican congressmen supported a resolution to recognize magic as a national treasure.[4][5] Trump promised supporters in Arizona he would act more presidential and told a reporter “you’d have riots” if his party attempted to nominate a different candidate at a contested convention.[6][7] Russia began pulling its military out of Syria after almost six months of bombing antigovernment and Islamic State targets.[8] The European Union and Turkey reached a deal whereby Turkey will admit all migrants whose asylum applications are rejected in Greece, and the EU will resettle up to 72,000 Syrian migrants currently in Turkey.[9] French authorities finished dismantling the southern half of the Calais migrant camp known as the Jungle; three Germans, including a local firefighter, were sentenced to prison for firebombing a refugee shelter in Salzhemmendorf; and Germany banned a neo-Nazi group known as the White Wolves Terror Crew.[10][11][12] French schools allowed students to smoke cigarettes because of the country’s ongoing state of emergency.[13]

Attackers in Brussels detonated two bombs at the city’s international airport and a third in its subway, killing at least 34 people and injuring hundreds more; and Belgian police arrested the last-surviving alleged participant in the November 2015 Paris attacks while investigating a suspiciously large pizza order made from the house where he was hiding.[14][15] In North Korea, a University of Virginia junior was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for attempting to steal a propaganda sign from the Yanggakdo International Hotel in Pyongyang.[16] Residents of London’s Notting Hill district invoked the Human Rights Act to compel a neighbor to demolish an elaborate tree house that overlooked their garden.[17] A man in Euclid, Ohio, was arrested for egging a neighbor’s house more than 100 times and pelting it with grapefruits and onions.[18] Authorities in Florence, Italy, tried to discourage graffiti by allowing tourists to leave messages on digital tablets located at historical sites.[19] A North Carolina man sentenced in 2006 to 30 years in prison for conspiracy and racketeering had his conviction overturned because his lawyer had slept during the trial “almost every day,” and a Michigan man who was convicted of unlawful imprisonment and carrying a concealed weapon sang Adele’s “Hello” at his sentencing hearing. “I love Adele’s music,” said the judge before sentencing the man to 17 years in prison.[20][21][22] In Massachusetts, DJ Boogy was fined $50 for playing NWA’s “Fuck tha Police” as officers cleared an overcrowded Westfield bar, and law enforcement warned Charlton residents to be on the lookout for a group of men in an SUV who were pulling up to teenagers and challenging them to rap battles. “One of the occupants had exited the vehicle and asked if they wanted to come in,” said the sergeant, “to spit some bars.”[23][24]

In India, a Mussoorie official was investigated for assaulting a police horse, and an Uttar Pradesh man beheaded his sister-in-law, whom he suspected of being a witch.[25][26] Maryland’s senate voted to revise the lyrics of the state song, “Maryland, My Maryland,” which refer to “Northern scum” and call Abraham Lincoln a “despot” and “tyrant.”[27] In Iowa City, a white man wearing a surgical mask attacked a black man, claiming to be “allergic to black people.”[28] In Long Island, Farmingdale State College went on lockdown when a toy light saber wielded by a student was mistaken for a gun, and a Wisconsin thrift store closed after employees discovered three grenades in a box of donated goods.[29][30] Police in Seattle searched for a masturbating ninja, and the government of Aichi, Japan, announced a search for six ninjas who will encourage tourism ahead of the 2020 Olympics. “Our ninjas have to be good at talking,” said an official, “and some dance moves.”[31][32]

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