Weekly Review — October 16, 2019, 8:30 am

Weekly Review

Trump abandoned Kurdish forces in Syria; a police officer in Fort Worth, Texas, shot Atatiana Jefferson; limited edition sneakers that have holy water from the Jordan River in their soles sold out in minutes

After a phone call with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to whom President Trump apologized after 15 Turkish officers were indicted for attacking protesters outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington, Trump ordered the withdrawal of 1,000 troops from areas in northern Syria, abandoning Kurdish forces who have been key U.S. allies in the fight against the Islamic State but are considered terrorists by Turkey.1 2 3 4 Rather than confront the Turkish military, Kurdish leaders ceded control of two cities, Manbij and Kobani, to Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian forces.5 6 Despite the plan to retreat, U.S. forces were shelled by the Turks; after, the Russian military began patrolling the Syrian-Turkish border.7 8 When asked to justify his widely condemned decision to withdraw, Trump said of the Kurds, “They didn’t help us in the Second World War. They didn’t help us with Normandy.”9 Senator Lindsey Graham, who this week exhorted his followers to “pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration,” admitted that he had delayed voting on a bill in August in order to take a call from Russian pranksters, who were posing as the Turkish minister of defense.10 11 In the call, Graham described Kurds as a “threat” and suggested an unofficial, “quiet” phone call between Trump and Erdogan.12 An Irish author believed he had won the Nobel Prize for Literature after receiving a hoax call from a Swedish phone number.13 A man in Schererville, Pennsylvania, called the police after being cornered in his garage by wild turkeys, and groundhogs in Belleville, Illinois, bit two people, took over a historic district, and climbed trees.14 15 It was reported that Jair Bolsonaro told Trump “I love you” at U.N. headquarters.16

A gunman in Halle, Germany, tried to livestream an attack on a synagogue during Yom Kippur, failed to get through the locked front door, and killed two people outside the building; a 12-year-old girl was arrested in Overland Park, Kansas, after making a gun shape with her fingers and pointing them at classmates; and Dick’s Sporting Goods destroyed $5 million worth of assault rifles.17 18 19 After a neighbor placed a nonemergency call, a police officer in Fort Worth, Texas, shot Atatiana Jefferson through her bedroom window, killing her as she was playing video games with her nephew, whom earlier she had entertained by placing a fruit sticker on her forehead.20 21 Organizers at a conference at the Trump National Doral Miami, which was attended by Donald Trump Jr. and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, showed a clip from the film Kingsman: The Secret Service in which Donald Trump’s head was superimposed onto the actor Colin Firth’s as he massacred people whose heads were replaced with news-organization logos, the text “Black Lives Matter,” and the faces of political opponents such as Maxine Waters; the video was exhibited as part of a meme exhibit.22 Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer sent a letter to Congress, written in Comic Sans, that stated they would not furnish documents relating to two associates who were arrested for their role investigating Joe Biden’s actions in Ukraine.23 China, which has previously banned Winnie the Pooh because the bear too closely resembles Communist Party head Xi Jinping, rescinded a partnership with the Houston Rockets after the team’s general manager tweeted support for Hong Kong protesters, and the N.B.A ejected fans at preseason games in Philadelphia and Washington who were holding signs with pro–Hong Kong messages.24 25 26 The limited edition Nike Air Max 97s, white sneakers that have holy water from the Jordan River in their soles and have frankincense-scented insoles, sold out in minutes.27

A Utah woman was charged for lewdness after her children saw her topless in her garage. “I should be able to wear exactly what my husband wears,” she told the kids at the time.28 A 71-year-old man in Germany made a five-day-long closing statement at his trial for bank robbery; he was previously convicted of a series of bank robberies in the Seventies and Eighties, and in 1990 led a five-day riot in Hamburg’s Fuhlsbüttel prison.29 A new chapter of The Tale of Genji, often acknowledged as the world’s first novel, was discovered inside a Japanese home, and a student at Mie University received top marks for her paper about a visit to a ninja museum that was written in invisible soybean ink.30 31 Hundreds of Germans lost their driver’s licenses after driving e-scooters while drunk during Oktoberfest, and in Billings, Montana, a team of sled dogs escaped from a training session and led police on a low-speed chase.32 33 A driver in Florida who struck another man with his car was accused of offering the victim food from Chili’s if he agreed not to call the police, and an Oklahoma woman was nonfatally shot in a pickup truck when her dog stepped on her gun; in a recording of the 9-1-1 call, the driver could be heard telling the Labrador retriever, “Oh, Molly, you’re the one that pulled the trigger. Don’t give me no shit.”34 35 —Cameron French

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