Weekly Review — June 12, 2018, 11:56 am

Weekly Review

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump meet at a former POW site, Jeff Sessions denies asylum to victims of domestic abuse and gang violence, and the National Sheriff Association announces a new initiative to protect pets

The leaders of Canada, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, the UK, the United States, and 12 other countries gathered for the annual G7 summit, held this year in Charlevoix, Quebec.[1] US president Donald Trump arrived late to a meeting on gender equality, missed a meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron, refused to sign the summit’s joint communiqué shortly after agreeing to sign it, and said that Russian president Vladimir Putin should have been invited.[2][3][4][5] Trump left the summit early, after less than 24 hours in Canada, in order to travel to Singapore for what he described as a “get-to-know-you situation” with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at a five-star resort on the island of Sentosa, which was once known as the Island of Death from Behind for housing a Japanese execution site during World War II and now has a theme park and two golf courses.[6] Doug Ford, a label and packaging magnate who is the brother of Toronto’s late mayor Rob Ford, who was once filmed smoking crack, was elected premier of Ontario, Canada’s most populous province.[7] In Surrey, British Columbia, it was reported that feral peacocks were attacking cars after seeing their own reflections.[8]

Austria’s government announced that it would close seven mosques, and the government of Bavaria, Germany, made it mandatory that every public building display a Christian cross at their entrance, and said that it would consider using private jets to deport migrants seeking asylum.[9][10][11] US attorney general Jeff Sessions ordered federal immigration judges to “generally” deny “claims by aliens pertaining to domestic violence or gang violence perpetrated by non-governmental actors,” and to complete a quota of 700 cases a year; the US government plans to transfer 1,600 detained immigrants, including asylum seekers, to federal prisons; and an Ecuadorean pizza-delivery man was arrested after trying to deliver pizza to a military base in New York.[12][13][14] It was reported that children had been separated from their parents while attempting to cross the US border in 1,768 cases over 17 months, and a Senator touring a detention facility said that children were being kept in “big cages.”[15][16] A Massachusetts kindergarten teacher rewrote “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” with the lyrics “Lockdown, lockdown, lock the door. Shut the lights off, say no more” as part of a drill for school shootings.[17] A two-year-old boy died after being shot by his 13-year-old brother in Ohio; a four-year-old boy was shot in South Carolina after playing with a gun he found under a mattress; a 10-year-old boy was shot while playing in his yard in Mississippi; a two-year-old boy was shot in the head and a nine-year-old boy was shot in the stomach while shooting targets in Tennessee; a four-year-old boy was shot at a gas station in Missouri; a five-year-old boy was shot while sitting on a porch in Louisiana; a five-year-old boy was shot in Pennsylvania; a six-year-old boy in Kentucky died when a gun he was playing with went off; a 12-year-old girl died after being shot by two teenagers in Georgia; five-year-old boy was shot by his eight-year-old brother and seven people were shot at a child’s birthday party in Illinois; and a ten-year-old boy was shot in the head at a birthday party in Virginia.[18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29] NRA Family, the National Rifle Association’s website “for families and beginning shooters of all ages,” posted a “Fun Friday Quiz” titled “Which Rifle Are You?”[30]

A member of the National Guard was arrested after leading police on a two-hour chase in a stolen armored vehicle in Virginia.[31] Police in Mesa, Arizona, released a video showing a group of police officers punching and kneeing an unarmed 33-year-old black man because he wouldn’t sit down on the floor; a 24-year-old black man in Chicago was killed after being shot in the back by police; and the National Sheriff Association announced a new program to teach police how to reduce the use of lethal force against pets.[32][33][34] A pastor conducting a baptism in a lake in Ethiopia was killed by a crocodile, a woman in Florida was dragged into a lake by an alligator while she was walking her dogs, and a cashier on her break at a Florida Home Depot was attacked in the parking lot by a spider monkey named Spanky.[35][36][37] It was reported that Chinese demand for donkey skins was causing a decline in Kenyan donkey populations.[38] A 340-ton machine in Tennessee that can calculate 200 quadrillion mathematical equations per second overtook a Chinese mainframe to become the world’s fastest supercomputer, and it was reported that researchers in Germany were developing a robot that gives good hugs.[39][40]

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In 1973, when Barry Singer was a fifteen-year-old student at New York’s Yeshiva University High School for Boys, the vice principal, Rabbi George Finkelstein, stopped him in a stairwell. Claiming he wanted to check his tzitzit—the strings attached to Singer’s prayer shawl—Finkelstein, Singer says, pushed the boy over the third-floor banister, in full view of his classmates, and reached down his pants. “If he’s not wearing tzitzit,” Finkelstein told the surrounding children, “he’s going over the stairs!”

“He played it as a joke, but I was completely at his mercy,” Singer recalled. For the rest of his time at Yeshiva, Singer would often wear his tzitzit on the outside of his shirt—though this was regarded as rebellious—for fear that Finkelstein might find an excuse to assault him again.

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About fifteen years ago, my roommate and I developed a classification system for TV and movies. Each title was slotted into one of four categories: Good-Good; Bad-Good; Good-Bad; Bad-Bad. The first qualifier was qualitative, while the second represented a high-low binary, the title’s aspiration toward capital-A Art or lack thereof.

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For time ylost, this know ye,
By no way may recovered be.
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I spent thirty-eight years in prison and have been a free man for just under two. After killing a man named Thomas Allen Fellowes in a drunken, drugged-up fistfight in 1980, when I was nineteen years old, I was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Former California governor Jerry Brown commuted my sentence and I was released in 2017, five days before Christmas. The law in California, like in most states, grants the governor the right to alter sentences. After many years of advocating for the reformation of the prison system into one that encourages rehabilitation, I had my life restored to me.

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