Weekly Review — April 19, 2016, 5:27 pm

Weekly Review

Earthquakes strike Japan and Ecuador, Bernie Sanders meets Pope Francis, and the National Weather Service stops writing in all caps 

HarpersWeb-Weekly-ON-tallA 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Ecuador buckled major highways and destroyed hundreds of buildings, killing at least 413 people.[1] Japan issued a tsunami warning when two earthquakes of magnitudes 6.2 and 7.0 struck the country, and the National Weather Service announced that they would end their 150-year-long practice of broadcasting forecasts in all caps.[2][3] The Centers for Disease Control confirmed that Zika infections cause microcephaly, a condition in which infants are born with small heads and brain damage. “A bite from a mosquito can result in a devastating malformation,” said the CDC’s director.[4] In the largest synchronized vaccine switch in history, 155 countries began using a new polio vaccine.[5] In Ethiopia, more than 140 civilians were killed by gunmen near the border with South Sudan; and in North Korea, a ballistic missile launched to commemorate the 104th anniversary of Kim Il-sung’s birth blew up shortly after taking off.[6][7]

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff was impeached by the country’s lower house of Congress, over a thousand demonstrators assembled in Cairo to demand the resignation of Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and Volodymyr Groysman was appointed prime minister of Ukraine by the country’s Parliament following the resignation of prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.[8][9][10] Pope Francis relocated 12 Syrian refugees to Rome. “They are guests of the Vatican,” he said.[11] Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders met Pope Francis and gave a speech at the Vatican.[12] House speaker Paul Ryan ruled out a run for president, and newly released court documents implicated former New York State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver in two extramarital affairs.[13][14] An official of Harvard’s oldest all-male club wrote, in the club’s first public comment since 1791, that permitting women to join would increase the risk for sexual misconduct. “That decision is ours, not Harvard’s, to make,” he said.[15][16]

Officials in the Czech Republic proposed Czechia as a new short-form name for the country, citing the perpetual confusion of foreigners. “It would be good to set the record straight,” said the foreign minister.[17] A Welsh court of appeals blocked a woman from naming her child Cyanide after the poison that killed Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels. [18] A Wisconsin man found a World War II–era bazooka rocket while cleaning his basement.[19] Residents of an Alaska town reported that a drone was peeping into their windows.[20] A Washington State woman who had eaten Ruffles potato chips every day for 20 years discovered she had throat cancer after a chip injured her tonsil.[21] It was reported that a seal in Ireland was scared away from a seafood restaurant by a photo of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, a gorilla was filmed dancing at a British zoo, and employees of an aquarium in New Zealand revealed that an octopus named Inky escaped into a nearby bay, leaving behind his tank mate Blotchy. “He managed to make his way to one of the drain holes,” said the aquarium’s manager, “and off he went.” [22][23][24]

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