Weekly Review — August 20, 2019, 2:26 pm

Weekly Review

The acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services interpreted the sonnet affixed to the Statue of Liberty; John Hickenlooper ended his presidential campaign

India celebrated the 72nd anniversary of its independence from Britain, temporarily relaxed, and then reimposed restrictions it had placed on residents of Jammu and Kashmir, which prevent them from using the internet, making phone calls, receiving prescriptions from doctors, and moving around freely.1  Several musicians released songs praising the revocation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which had given the Muslim-majority state its own flag, constitution, and internal administration; the songs also celebrate the opportunity to buy land in Jammu and Kashmir and for men from other states to marry Kashmiri wives.2 More than 4,000 Kashmiris who have staged protests every day since the revocation were arrested under a law that allows extended imprisonment without charge or trial.3 “Today every Indian can proudly say, ‘One India, One Constitution,’” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a televised address that could not be viewed in Jammu and Kashmir.4 In Bangladesh, 10,000 people were left homeless after a fire razed a slum during Eid al-Adha.5 “May God ruin him,” said Muftia Tlaib, the 90-year-old grandmother of U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib, about Donald Trump, who pressured Israel to ban Tlaib and fellow representative Ilhan Omar from visiting Israel and Palestine, where Tlaib’s grandmother lives; Israel offered Tlaib the opportunity to visit the West Bank so long as she would not advocate for boycotts of Israel, which she at first accepted and then declined.6 7 8 The Israel Defense Forces allegedly prevented Palestinian ambulances from accessing an enclave in the north of the Gaza Strip for hours after an I.D.F. helicopter and a tank attacked the area, killing three Palestinians.9 “I never thought I would start my week defending the bald eagle and end my week defending the Statue of Liberty,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said after committing the state to take legal action against the Trump Administration for weakening protections ensured in the Endangered Species Act and asserting that immigrants who use or are likely to use government benefits such as Medicaid, housing vouchers, and food stamps may be denied green cards and visas come October.10 11 12 The acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, who announced the latter measure, said that the sonnet affixed to the Statue of Liberty, written by a woman whose ancestors fled to America from Brazil, refers only to the European tired, European poor, and European huddled masses.13 A family was forced to abandon their Florida vacation home after a committee of black vultures vomited and defecated in their back yard and pool.14

It was reported that, in the days leading up to Jeffrey Epstein’s death inside the Metropolitan Correctional Center, he gave at least three other inmates money and repeatedly emptied the two vending machines adjacent to the attorney-client room where he and his team of lawyers would meet for up to 12 hours at a time.15 The night of his death, 18 workers, 10 of whom were working overtime, were guarding 750 prisoners in the jail; one of the two guards assigned to check his cell every 30 minutes reportedly fell asleep on the job. Following an autopsy, the New York City medical examiner determined that Epstein committed suicide by hanging, and his lawyers vowed to conduct an investigation that would arrive at a more satisfactory conclusion.16 An A.C.L.U. test of facial recognition technology on police body cameras incorrectly identified 26 California legislators as suspected criminals, and a federal court case revealed that the police in Portland, Oregon, digitally removed a black man’s extensive facial tattoos from a mugshot used to connect him to a spate of bank robberies.17 18 More than 2,000 people signed a petition to reinstate Sergeant Butters, a tabby cat, to the Mocksville Police Department in North Carolina.19 20 Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, who was once mistaken for a journalist at a debate, ended his Democratic presidential campaign.21 Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams announced that, instead of joining the 23 Democrats still competing for the nomination, she would helm a new nationwide initiative to end voter suppression.22 23

Eleven thousand people attended the ninth and final BronyCon, a convention for adult fans of the show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.24 A woman survived a 5,000-foot fall from a plane over Quebec after her skydiving parachute failed to deploy.25 A girl in a wheelchair survived falling off a dock during a cruise stop in the U.S. Virgin Islands after two local men jumped in to save her from drowning.26 NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family survived his private jet’s crash landing by escaping the plane minutes before it burst into flames on a Tennessee highway.27 A man rescued a family of four from a wolf attack in a Canadian national park by kicking the wolf’s butt.28 Tennessee police implored locals to not flush drugs down their toilets and so risk creating “meth-gators,” and scientists worried about the implications of an Israeli lunar lander accidentally letting thousands of tardigrades, microscopic animals that can survive for years without food or water, loose on the moon.29 30 It was reported that a Chinese tanker surreptitiously changed its name from Pacific Bravo to Latin Venture in the middle of the Indian Ocean in a failed attempt to avoid U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil.31 A federal judge in South Carolina ruled in favor of personal-injury lawyer George Sink Sr., who had sued his son, George Sink Jr., for using his own name at his competing law firm.32 A county commissioner in Florida who once referred to Parkland student activists as “little monsters” received a box of dildos.33Jordan Cutler-Tietjen

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The second-worst thing about cancer chairs is that they are attached to televisions. Someone somewhere is always at war with silence. It’s impossible to read, so I answer email, or watch some cop drama on my computer, or, if it seems unavoidable, explore the lives of my nurses. A trip to Cozumel with old girlfriends, a costume party with political overtones, an advanced degree on the internet: they’re all the same, these lives, which is to say that the nurses tell me nothing, perhaps because amid the din and pain it’s impossible to say anything of substance, or perhaps because they know that nothing is precisely what we both expect. It’s the very currency of the place. Perhaps they are being excruciatingly candid.

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Every year in Lusk, Wyoming, during the second week of July, locals gather to reenact a day in 1849 when members of a nearby band of Sioux are said to have skinned a white man alive. None of the actors are Native American. The white participants dress up like Indians and redden their skin with body paint made from iron ore.

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At Ivanwald, men learn to be leaders by loving their leaders. “They’re so busy loving us,” a brother once explained to me, “but who’s loving them?” We were. The brothers each paid $400 per month for room and board, but we were also the caretakers of The Cedars, cleaning its gutters, mowing its lawns, whacking weeds and blowing leaves and sanding. And we were called to serve on Tuesday mornings, when The Cedars hosted a regular prayer breakfast typically presided over by Ed Meese, the former attorney general. Each week the breakfast brought together a rotating group of ambassadors, businessmen, and American politicians. Three of Ivanwald’s brothers also attended, wearing crisp shirts starched just for the occasion; one would sit at the table while the other two poured coffee. 

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