Weekly Review — April 12, 2017, 12:24 pm

Weekly Review

Trump launches a missile strike in Syria, Russia declares Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremest organization, and human flesh is found not to be very nutritious

HarpersMagazine-1853-12-bootsIn Syria, President Bashar al-Assad allegedly ordered a chemical-weapons attack on the town of Khan Shaykhun, which killed 86 civilians. [1] Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton said the United States should attack Syrian airfields, and president Donald Trump, who while debating Clinton last year said it was a mistake for the United States to go after Assad and who twice attempted to ban Syrian refugees from coming to the United States, launched 59 Tomahawk missiles from the Mediterranean Sea into an airfield in the Syrian village of al-Shayrat.[2][3][4][5] “These tactical strikes make clear that the Assad regime can no longer count on American inaction,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, who in 2013 voted against giving the Obama Administration congressional authorization to respond to a more deadly chemical-weapons attack by Assad, describing such action as a “feckless show of force.”[6] After the strike, two jets took off from the al-Shayrat airfield and attacked eastern Homs, and stock prices for the company that manufactures Tomahawks rose 3 percent.[7][8] The White House announced that it would proceed with the sale of military aircraft to the Nigerian government, and Trump sent an aircraft carrier and several other warships toward the Korean peninsula and announced he was prepared to “solve North Korea.”[9][10] A man in Stockholm hijacked a beer truck and drove it into a department store, killing four people, and the Islamic State claimed responsibility for bombings that killed 47 people at two Coptic churches in Egypt.[11][12] Israel temporarily closed its border to Egypt, and the country’s opposition party announced it was delaying its primary elections by 24 hours because of a Britney Spears concert.[13][14]

After months of infighting, Trump demanded reconciliation between Steve Bannon, a white supremacist with no government experience who serves as his chief adviser, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a 36-year-old New Jersey real-estate heir whom Trump placed in charge of his administration’s policy for the Middle East, Canada, China, Mexico, veterans affairs, and the opioid crisis.[15][16][17] Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who led at least 79 filibusters against Obama Administration judicial nominees, changed longstanding Senate rules to block Democrats from filibustering the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court, and Gorsuch was then confirmed and sworn in as the court’s 101st associate justice, filling a seat left vacant since Antonin Scalia’s death in February 2016.[18] Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly hired the lawyer of former president Bill Clinton to advise him on workplace sexual-harassment allegations, Trump defended O’Reilly, and it was reported that Fox was using footage of Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women in a human-resources training video.[19][20][21] Trump proclaimed April to be National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.[22]

Marvel recalled an X-Men comic after hidden Koranic messages were discovered in its illustrations, a British DJ was sentenced to a year in jail by a Tunisian court after playing a remix of the Muslim call to prayer in a nightclub, and Jehovah’s Witnesses were added to a list of extremist organizations in Russia.[23][24][25] The U.S. Department of Labor accused Google of “systemic compensation disparities against women,” and Google released a market survey claiming that its subsidiary YouTube was the “coolest” brand, that Google itself was the third-coolest brand, and that its competitor Yahoo was considered uncool.[26][27] Pepsi withdrew a controversial million-dollar advertising campaign in which model Kendall Jenner portrayed a protester handing a can of soda to a riot-uniformed police officer, and Coca-Cola announced that cans of Cherry Coke in China would feature the face of Warren Buffet, the company’s largest single shareholder, who has said that he has seen no evidence that he would live longer if he switched out Coca-Cola products for “water and broccoli.”[28][29] A decomposing bat was found in a packet of Walmart organic salad mix in Florida, $45,000 worth of romaine lettuce was heisted from a truck in Canada, and a new study on cannibalism found that humans are not very nutritious.[30][31][32]

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Correction: The story originally stated that President Bashar al-Assad ordered a chemical-weapons attack on the town of Khan Shaykhun. The sentence has been changed to reflect that Assad denies this accusation.

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