Weekly Review — January 23, 2019, 11:21 am

Weekly Review

More than 30,000 public school teachers and staff went on strike; 10 percent of TSA agents called in sick; Chiitan, a mascot of tourism for Susaki, Japan, did not have its contract renewed by city officials

More than 30,000 public school teachers and other staff in Los Angeles went on strike to demand smaller class sizes, which are currently capped at 42 high school students; an increase in the number of nurses, psychological and academic counselors, and librarians, since many schools do not employ these support staff; a 6.5 percent salary increase for educators; and the hire of additional teachers.1 2 Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent Austin Beutner, who led a US State Department team during the Clinton Administration to transform Russia’s centralized economy into a free-market one, said of the action, “The strike is a rallying cry, but what does it lead to? Maybe we just have a different view on how you build consensus and how you’re trying to move something forward.”3 4 In Ontario, Doug Ford’s government announced the end of free college tuition for low-income students and a 10 percent cut in tuition fees across all secondary education institutions, and a schizophrenic woman who was suffering delusions before she attempted to travel from Canada to Syria in order to join the Islamic State was found guilty of four terrorism charges.5 6 7 In an hours-long attack on an upscale shopping center in Nairobi, Kenya, militants from the Shabaab killed 21 people, including a businessman who had survived the 9/11 attacks, and 21 people died after a car bomb exploded at a police academy in Bogotá, Colombia.8 9 10 The US Supreme Court has upheld the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender troops.11

A Ghanaian journalist who uncovered corruption in the nation’s football association was shot dead by men on a motorbike, a Dutch journalist was deported from Turkey because of her reported ties to al-Nusra, and an American journalist who works for an English-language Iranian state news program was arrested on arrival at the St. Louis Lambert International Airport.12 13 14 Canadian air-traffic controllers purchased more than 350 pizzas for their American counterparts, and the Transportation Security Administration, which held a “fast-track” hiring event at the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport over the weekend, reported that 10 percent of its agents, who have not been paid for the past 33 days, have called out sick.15 16 17 18 In Zimbabwe, at least three people died during protests following President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s decision to increase the price of fuel by 150 percent, which has prompted protests and led to the government arresting hundreds of demonstrators and shutting off the nation’s internet.19 Julián Castro, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Tulsi Gabbard, congresswoman from Hawaii, and Kamala Harris, senator from California, announced that they were running for president of the United States in 2020, and Kirsten Gillibrand, senator from New York, declared that she was forming a presidential exploratory committee.20 21 Donald Trump bought food from McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Domino’s, and Burger King for the Clemson Tigers, who were visiting the White House after winning the College Football National Championship Playoff.22 “It’ll be very interesting to see at the end of this evening how many are left,” said the president during the event; he later recounted the event via Twitter, writing “[there were] over 1000 hamberders etc. Within one hour, it was all gone. Great guys and big eaters!”23 24 A poet who was a member of the Swedish Academy resigned after it was revealed she had leaked the names of Nobel winners.25

A YouGov poll revealed that, if given another vote, Britain would vote to remain in the European Union.26 Brazilian legislators announced that they would sue far-right guru Olavo de Carvalho over mean comments made about their trip to China in a YouTube video.27 Three Chicago police officers were acquitted of conspiracy, misconduct, and obstruction of justice charges in the case of Laquan McDonald, a 17-year-old who had been shot 16 times by their colleague, and the parents of Nick Sandmann, a teenager who attends a private Catholic school in Kentucky, retained the services of RunSwitch, a PR firm that specializes in crisis management, after footage of the boy and his classmates at a rally in Washington, D.C., went viral.28 29 30 31 Arizona’s governor announced that the state will buy back its capitol building, which had been sold during a budget shortfall in 2010, and Chiitan, a mascot of tourism for Susaki, Japan, did not have its contract renewed by city officials because it had spent too much time trying to make viral videos and not doing PR for the city.32 33 A life-size sculpture of Ronald McDonald being crucified was removed from a museum in Haifa, Israel, after protests.34Violet Lucca

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