Weekly Review — April 12, 2016, 1:32 pm

Weekly Review

Leaked documents reveal that heads of state around the world hide money in offshore accounts, NASA researchers report that climate change has altered the Earth’s wobble, and scientists find that touching the genitals of robots arouses humans.

“His Majesty Frank Penguin, King of the Brutes” (January 1857)

“His Majesty Frank Penguin, King of the Brutes” (January 1857)

An unidentified employee at the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca leaked the final installment of more than 11 million company documents to a German newspaper, exposing the use of offshore bank accounts and shell companies by associates of heads of state in Argentina, China, England, Iceland, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.[1] The prime minister of Iceland resigned following protests in Reykjavik, where 10,000 people banged drums, blew whistles, and waved bananas.[2] British prime minister David Cameron admitted he had previously owned a stake in his father’s Bahamas-based trust fund, which he did not pay taxes on.[3] The president of the Chilean branch of Transparency International, an organization that monitors corruption, resigned after being linked to five offshore companies; and China blocked Internet searches of the word Panama.[4][5] “Any publicity,” said a bookstore owner in Panama City, “is good.”[6] In Macedonia fighting broke out between migrants attempting to climb a border fence and police officers, who deployed tear gas, stun grenades, and water cannons.[7] One hundred twenty migrants were deported from Greek islands to Turkey, and 149 migrants entered Greece from Turkey.[8] It was reported that 1,000 Afghan and Syrian migrants rioted for six hours at a detention camp on Chios, where only one asylum service official was employed to process refugee applications.[9][10] In Leicestershire, England, a seven-year-old Afghan boy trapped in a locked truck with 14 other migrants sent a text message to a volunteer aid worker who had given him a cell phone in Calais. “I ned halp,” he texted. “Darivar no stap car no oksijan.”[11]

Federal prosecutors revealed that former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert had sexually abused four boys when he was a high-school wrestling coach in the 1960s and 70s and had paid one of his victims $1.7 million in hush money.[12] Belgian authorities arrested Mohamed Abrini, who is suspected of being one of the three bombers who carried out the Brussels airport attacks in March.[13] In Damascus, Islamic State militants abducted more than 300 cement-factory workers.[14] North Korea announced it had designed an engine for a ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States. [15] Facebook removed pages that were selling handguns, rifles, submachine guns, anti-tank weapons, rocket launchers, heavy machine guns, portable anti-aircraft systems, and grenade launchers.[16] Explosions during a fireworks show at a religious festival in India killed 106 people.[17] A NASA study found changes in the Earth’s wobble, caused in part by Greenland’s annual loss of 272 trillion kilograms of ice. “There is nothing to worry about,” said a space researcher at the University of Texas. “It is just another interesting effect of climate change.”[18]

Elementary school students in England launched a stuffed toy dog into space using helium balloons, and two high-school students in Auckland were hospitalized with neck wounds incurred during their opening-night performance of Sweeney Todd. [19][20] The Tokyo Fire Department announced that 104 people had been hospitalized for acute alcohol intoxication during this season’s cherry-blossom viewing parties.[21] Sweden’s tourism agency installed a phone line for anyone in the world to call “a random Swede,” and suggested discussing the northern lights, darkness, meatballs, and suicide rates. [22] In California, two men began stabbing one another in the head and neck after one defecated on the other’s lawn.[23] A Bronx man who had hired an Uber to travel from Philadelphia to Herkimer, New York, took over driving so that the driver could nap, led police on a highway chase, and crashed into a guardrail.[24] In Germany, the town of Tegernsee stripped Adolf Hitler of his “honorary citizenship”; a fight broke out in the buffet line at a Mercedes shareholder meeting when a man took more than the two sausages he was allotted; and 90 people were evacuated from a casino after a vibrating penis ring in a men’s restroom trash can made ticking and humming noises.[25][26][27] California researchers found that touching the genitals and buttocks of robots arouses humans.[28] In Guangzhou, a restaurant terminated its robot service staff for incompetence.[29]

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