Weekly Review — March 24, 2017, 12:26 pm

Weekly Review

A British man runs over three people on London’s Westminster Bridge, the FBI confirms it is investigating possible ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, and a raccoon rides a garbage truck in Washington, D.C.

HarpersMagazine-1853-12-bootsNorth Korea, which recently fired four intermediate-range ballistic test missiles into the Sea of Japan, conducted a ground test of its new high-thrust rocket engine.[1][2] “He’s acting very, very badly,” said U.S. president Donald Trump of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.[3] In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, an anti-Islam, anti-immigration, and anti–European Union populist with bleached-blond hair who has said that Islam is the “ideology of a retarded culture” and that the Koran has “more anti-Semitism than Mein Kampf,” lost the Dutch parliamentary elections for prime minister.[4][5][6] In India, Yogi Adityanath, a priest turned politician who supports the criminalization of homosexuality, believes women should be “protected not independent,” has been charged with attempted murder, and has promised to “kill 100 Muslims for every Hindu murdered,” was appointed chief minister of the state of Uttar Pradesh by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party.[7][8][9] President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines dismissed calls by human-rights organizations for an investigation into his “war on drugs,” which has killed more than 7,000 Filipinos since he took office. “Human rights, United Nations, that’s fine,” said Duterte. “But still, I will kill you.”[10][11]

A British-born man known to MI5, the United Kingdom’s domestic counterintelligence and security agency, drove an Enterprise rental car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, killing three people and injuring at least 50 before crashing the vehicle outside the Houses of Parliament and fatally stabbing a police officer.[12][13] At a hearing before the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, FBI Director James Comey confirmed an ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, including links with the Trump campaign, and NSA Director Mike Rogers denied claims alleging he asked British intelligence, on behalf of Barack Obama, to wiretap Donald Trump during the election.[14] Trump said that he might not have been elected president “if it wasn’t for Twitter,” Snoop Dogg released a music video in which he is shown shooting a toy gun at a clown named Ronald Klump, a Fox News host suggested that the Secret Service should kill the rapper for creating the video, and Walt Disney refused Malaysian censors’ request to cut gay scenes from its live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.[15][16][17]

More than 250 skulls were reportedly discovered during excavations of an alleged drug-cartel mass-burial site in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and farmers from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu demonstrated for a drought-relief package by sitting alongside the skulls of farmers who had committed suicide.[18][19] A pastor in Sierra Leone unearthed a 706-carat diamond.[20] Researchers reported that the world’s healthiest hearts belong to the Tsimane people of the Bolivian jungle, whose diet consists mainly of monkey, wild pig, piranha, tapir, and capybara; that a vaccine has been discovered that may protect gorillas and chimpanzees from Ebola; and that humpback whales are now mysteriously congregating in groups of between 20 and 200 off the coast of South Africa.[21][22][23] In Washington, D.C., it was reported that a raccoon was found riding on a garbage truck.[24] The White House released its first budget blueprint, which proposes $54 billion in wide-ranging cuts, including the elimination of programs to feed the poor and house the homeless, and significantly reduces funding for scientific research on climate change and disease prevention.[25] The Chinese government responded to toilet-paper thieves in Beijing’s public restrooms by installing dispensers with facial-recognition software, which allows each visitor only one sheet, approximately two feet in length, every nine minutes. “The sheets are too short,” said one visitor.[26]

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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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