Weekly Review — August 13, 2019, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Antigoverment demonstrations continued in Hong Kong; Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his prison cell of apparent suicide

Antigovernment demonstrators in Hong Kong, who have used the dating app Tinder to recruit more protesters and the game Pokémon Go to circumvent prohibitions against marches, arranged a general strike that resulted in an estimated 350,000 people staying home from work and caused more than 200 flights to be canceled at Hong Kong International Airport, the eighth busiest in the world.1 2 3 In Moscow, a week after upwards of 1,000 protesters were detained, tens of thousands marched to demand free elections for the city legislature.4 Sudan’s ruling military council and pro-democracy demonstrators signed a constitutional declaration that will allow a transition to civilian rule after the months of civil unrest that have followed the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir.5 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials with search warrants arrested 680 workers who were believed to be undocumented immigrants at chicken processing plants across Mississippi, which left many of their children stranded at home or school; none of the U.S. citizens who had illegally hired the immigrants were arrested.6 7 A diabetic man—who was born in Greece, had lived in the United States since he was young, and spoke no Arabic—died after being deported to Iraq, perhaps because of an inability to procure insulin in Baghdad.8 A 20-year-old white man wearing body armor and carrying a rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition was arrested at a Walmart in Missouri for causing a panic, an action he says was a test of whether the store would honor the Second Amendment; a 23-year-old white Las Vegas man who allegedly had planned to attack Jews and L.G.B.T.Q. bar patrons was arrested on suspicion of possessing materials to make a bomb; and a white 19-year-old and a white 18-year-old turned themselves in to Tennessee police after they stole an AR-15 rifle and a tactical combat vest from a school in Macon County.9 10 11 Vodka made from contaminated grains and water from the Chernobyl exclusion zone went on sale, and in the worst Russian nuclear accident since Chernobyl, at least seven people died after a reactor exploded during an experimental missile test.12 13

Jeffrey Epstein, who was indicted on charges of sex trafficking and implicated in an international prostitution ring, was found dead in his prison cell of apparent suicide, a day after a tranche of previously sealed legal documents was released detailing that, among other offenses, he had confiscated the passports of underage girls he took to his island and had “lent out” a teenager to have sex with Prince Andrew, who later groped the girl while another girl posed with a puppet of himself from the satirical British TV show Spitting Image.14 15 16 17 President Trump, whose name appeared on the flight logs of Epstein’s private jet and in depositions by girls Epstein allegedly abused, retweeted without comment a conspiracy theory that Epstein had been assassinated by the Clintons; earlier that week, a baby whose parents had been killed in the El Paso mass shooting was brought back to the hospital Trump was visiting for a photograph with the president and his Trump-supporting aunt and uncle.18 19 20 “Trump never necessarily says go hurt somebody, but the message is absolutely clear,” said the lawyer for a Montana man accused of attacking a 13-year-old boy who declined to take his hat off during the national anthem at a rodeo.21 Harvey Weinstein, who is barred from leaving New York and Connecticut while he awaits trial for an accusation of rape, was denied his request to spend 10 days in Italy.22 Attorney General William P. Barr, whose father published a science fiction novel in which alien aristocrats create an intergalactic pedophilia sex-slave ring because they are bored shortly before he hired Epstein to teach math at the Dalton School, said, “It’s satisfying to see justice done,” in response to a question about why Americans are drawn to movies about vigilante justice.23 24 The Hunt, a new film about a secret cabal of ultra-wealthy jet-setters who abduct, isolate, and then hunt down poor white people for sport, was pulled from theaters after the president decried Hollywood and an unnamed movie as “racist”; distributors also voiced concerns about sensitivity following the two mass shootings.25

After not making a public appearance for weeks and being rumored dead, the president of Turkmenistan appeared on state television and drove a rally car around The Gates of Hell, a crater of gas that has been burning since it was discovered in 1971.26 27 An Indian man who was disappointed not to receive a Jaguar for his birthday pushed his BMW into a river.28 The world champion of short-track speed skating was banned from the sport for a year after pantsing a teammate.29 Police in Wales posted a mug shot on social media of a wanted man; after thousands of commenters mocked the man’s receding hairline, the police warned the commenters in turn could be arrested for harassment.30 The attorney general of Ohio directed prosecutors not to charge people in marijuana cases, because lawmakers legalized hemp without realizing that law enforcement officers are not yet equipped to distinguish between the two.31 A bear fell onto a police cruiser, smashing the hood and windshield and causing it to burst into flames; the resulting wildfire was contained to about 2,000 square meters, and both the driver and bear were okay.32 33 Officers at a base for the Delaware National Guard, where a 10- by 30-foot mural of Adam and Eve gazing at a C-97 military cargo plane has stood since the Vietnam War and in which Eve drops the apple instead of eating it, walked back plans to cover the figures’ bare butts.34Cameron French

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