Weekly Review — August 16, 2016, 2:50 pm

Weekly Review

U.S. swimmer Simone Manuel becomes the first black woman to win a gold medal in the 100-meter event, a congressman in the Philippines calls for Trump to be banned from the country, and the mayor of Cannes, France, bans the burkini

A FAMOUS PLAY ILLUSTRATED - "THE LYON'S MAIL."

A FAMOUS PLAY ILLUSTRATED – “THE LYON’S MAIL.”

At the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Simone Biles became the first U.S. gymnast to win three gold medals in a single year, defeating a gymnast from Uzbekistan and a gymnast from India who each tried unsuccessfully to land a dangerous maneuver known as the “vault of death,” which Biles did not attempt. “I’m not trying to die,” she said.[1][2][3] U.S. swimmer Simone Manuel became the first black woman to win a gold medal in the 100-meter event, and U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps recorded his 13th individual Olympic victory, besting a 2,168-year record held by the runner Leonidas of Rhodes.[4][5] Two swimming pools mysteriously turned green and, according to a German diver, “smelled like a fart”; a Kenyan coach was dismissed for posing as an athlete for a urine test; and a fencing match was halted when a French fencer’s cell phone fell out of his pocket.[6][7][8][9] Four members of the U.S. swim team who were returning to the Olympic Village from a party at the France House were held up at gunpoint by men dressed as police officers, and a Belgian medalist in judo was punched in the face and robbed on Copacabana Beach.[10][11] At some venues, it was reported that only 20 percent of Brazilian volunteers showed up for work. “Volunteers,” said a spokesperson for the Games, “are one of the things we are fine-tuning.”[12] Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told supporters in North Carolina that “maybe” there would be something “Second Amendment people” could do to stop his opponent, Hillary Clinton, and called Barack Obama the “literal” founder of the Islamic State, before later explaining he was “being sarcastic.” “But not that sarcastic,” he said.[13][14] A Filipino congressman called for banning Trump from the Philippines after the candidate referred to the country as a “terrorist nation” and called its denizens “animals,” and a Trump supporter from Virginia traveled to New York City and climbed 16 stories of Trump Tower with suction cups to demand an audience with the candidate, who was campaigning in Virginia at the time.[15][16] It was reported that Trump’s campaign manager received $12.7 million in “undisclosed cash payments” from a pro-Russian political party in 2012, and Clinton’s tax returns revealed that 96 percent of her charitable donations last year were made to the Clinton Family Foundation.[17][18] A black coating of biofilm was found growing on monuments across Washington, D.C.[19]

In Milwaukee, a police officer shot and killed an 23-year-old black man* who was fleeing a traffic stop with a gun, and rioters burned down an auto-parts shop, a beauty-products store, and a gas station.[20] The U.S. Department of Justice released a report finding that the Baltimore Police Department had engaged in racist practices that regularly infringe upon the civil rights of African Americans.[21] The report “reads more like a description of the Jim Crow South than what you would hope for a modern American city in 2016,” said one law professor.[22] U.S. officials claimed to have killed the leader of the Islamic State in Afghanistan and Pakistan with a drone strike, and U.S.-backed fighters captured the Islamic State–held Syrian city of Manbij, whose residents celebrated by trimming their beards, burning niqabs, and smoking cigarettes.[23][24] The German interior minister announced plans to tighten the country’s security laws through increased surveillance, expedited deportation for foreign criminals, and provisions to strip German dual nationals of their citizenship if found guilty of terrorism; and the mayor of Cannes, France, banned the full-body swimsuit known as the burkini.[25][26] A Chinese tourist in Duelmen, Germany, who was attempting to report a stolen wallet accidentally applied for asylum and was housed in a migrant hostel for almost two weeks. “He said Europe was not what he had expected,” recalled a Red Cross official.[27]

A 10-year-old boy in Kansas was decapitated on the world’s tallest waterslide, three girls in Tennessee were hospitalized when they fell more than 30 feet from a Ferris wheel whose rivets had disintegrated, and a train in Iowa derailed and crashed into a trackside bar named Derailed.[28][29][30] An F-22 fighter jet was grounded after becoming covered in 20,000 bees, and a protester in India ended her 16-year hunger strike by licking honey. “I just want a normal life,” she said.[31][32][33] In Italy, a legislator called for parents who feed their children vegan diets to be sentenced to up to six years in prison, and in Sweden, a woman attempted to vindicate her theft of six pairs of underwear by claiming she had severe diarrhea.[34][35] A British crime syndicate was suspected of poisoning a tennis player with rat urine at Wimbledon.[36] The DEA declined to remove marijuana from the Schedule I list of drugs, and workers in Pyongyang were reportedly forced by the government to take a form of crystal meth in order to expedite the completion of a large-scale construction project.[37][38] Miners unearthed the mummified remains of an unidentified creature in Siberia, and archaeologists discovered a number of magic spells in a 2000-year-old burial ground in Serbia.[39][40] Scottish police asked the Catholic Church for help addressing a complaint about supernatural activity, including accounts of flickering lights, clothing moving of its own accord, and a pet Chihuahua mysteriously sitting atop a 7-foot hedge. “How do you handle,” asked one police spokesperson, “a poltergeist?”[41]

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Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly gave the age of the shooting victim in Milwaukee as 18. He was 23. We regret the error.

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Afew months before the United States invaded Iraq, in 2003, Donald Rumsfeld, the defense secretary at the time, was asked on a radio show how long the war would take. “Five days or five weeks or five months,” he replied. “It certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that.” When George W. Bush departed the White House more than five years later, there were nearly 136,000 US soldiers stationed in the country. 

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Before he died, my father reminded me that when I was four and he asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I said I wanted to be a writer. Of course, what I meant by “writer” then was a writer of Superman comics. In part I was infatuated with the practically invulnerable Man of Steel, his blue eyes and his spit curl. I wanted both to be him and to marry him—to be his Robin, so to speak. But more importantly, I wanted to write his story, the adventures of the man who fought for truth, justice, and the American Way—if only I could figure out what the fuck the American Way was.

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Sarah was four years old when her spirit guide first appeared. One day, she woke up from a nap and saw him there beside her bed. He was short, with longish curly hair, like a cherub made of light. She couldn’t see his feet. They played a board game—she remembers pushing the pieces around—and then he melted away.

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In the fall of 1969, I was a freelance journalist working out of a small, cheap office I had rented on the eighth floor of the National Press Building in downtown Washington. A few doors down was a young Ralph Nader, also a loner, whose exposé of the safety failures in American automobiles had changed the industry. There was nothing in those days quite like a quick lunch at the downstairs coffee shop with Ralph. Once, he grabbed a spoonful of my tuna-fish salad, flattened it out on a plate, and pointed out small pieces of paper and even tinier pieces of mouse shit in it. He was marvelous, if a bit hard to digest.

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The family was informed they would be moving to a place called Montana. Jaber Abdullah had never heard of it, but a Google search revealed that it was mountainous. Up to that point, he and his wife, Heba, had thought they’d be moving from Turkey to Newark, New Jersey. The prospect of crime there concerned Heba, as she and Jaber had two young sons: Jan, a petulant two-year-old, and Ivan, a newborn. 

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