Weekly Review — November 19, 2019, 12:35 pm

Weekly Review

The aftermath of a coup in Boliva; Erdoğan played propaganda on his iPad; feral hogs in Tuscany destroyed a stash of cocaine worth $22,000

Despite an agreement to hold a new election in Bolivia after irregularities in the October vote were identified by the Organization of American States, President Evo Morales—whose nearly 14 years in office had seen the country’s real GDP per capita double; its unemployment nearly halve; and its poverty rate decline by 42 percent—resigned because of pressure from the military.1 2 3 Luis Fernando “El Macho” Camacho Vaca, a prominent critic of Morales, broke into the presidential palace following Morales’s resignation and recorded a video in which a pastor declared, “The Bible has reentered the palace. Pachamama [the Andean earth goddess] will never return!”4 5 Dozens of politicians from Morales’s party, MAS, have resigned out of fear for their safety; 20 members of Bolivia’s executive and legislative branches sought asylum in Mexico, as did Morales. Adriana Salvatierra, the former president of the Bolivian Senate who had resigned in protest, was blocked from entering the legislature’s chambers by the police, allowing Jeanine Áñez, the far-right vice president of the Senate, to swear herself in as president, despite the lack of a quorum of lawmakers to do so.6 7 8 9 The interim interior minister, Arturo Murillo, directed a special arm of the prosecutor’s office to arrest pro-MAS demonstrators and legislators for sedition against the interim government; Murillo later announced that protests were “down by half”; and interim president Áñez barred Morales and his former vice president from running in the forthcoming election, which she has not yet scheduled.10 11 12 13 Donald Trump released a statement praising Morales’s departure: “These events send a strong signal to the illegitimate regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua that democracy and the will of the people will always prevail.”14

During a meeting at the White House, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan showed Trump and a group of Republican senators an anti-Kurdish propaganda video on an iPad.15 Lindsay Graham then asked Erdoğan, “Well, do you want me to go get the Kurds to make one about what you’ve done?” James Le Mesurier, a former employee of Richard Clarke’s security firm and founder of the White Helmets, a volunteer rescue group, was found dead in front of his apartment in Istanbul.16 Syrian president Bashar al-Assad commented on Le Mesurier’s death, comparing it to Jeffrey Epstein’s demise in a U.S. federal prison.17 “They turned into a burden once they had played out their roles,” Assad said. “A dire need to do away with them surfaced after they had fulfilled their roles.” While being interviewed about his relationship with Epstein and about accusations that he had sex with at least one underage girl, Britain’s Prince Andrew revealed that he had, for an undisclosed number of years, lost the ability to sweat after being shot at during the Falklands War.18 An American cofounder of Galt’s Gulch, a libertarian community in Chile, drove through a crowd of protesters in Reñaca and opened fire on them; he later posted a selfie with the police who arrested him.19 Michael Bloomberg, who successfully petitioned to alter New York City’s term-limit law so that he could serve a third term as mayor, apologized for supporting the N.Y.P.D.’s use of stop-and-frisk, which disproportionately targeted black and Latinx people.20 21

Shortly after the Regional Council of Veneto, in Italy, voted against climate-change legislation, its chambers were flooded.22 Feral hogs in Tuscany destroyed a stash of cocaine worth $22,000; the blood from 47,000 pigs that were slaughtered to prevent the spread of African swine fever in South Korea caused the Imjin River to turn red; and a New Jersey country club sued one of its waiters for spilling red wine on a $30,000 handbag.23 24 25 An event for the book Triggered: How The Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us ended after 20 minutes when the “groyper army,” neo-Nazi supporters who are fans of the president, heckled author Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend off of the stage.26 A bank teller in Maryland attempted to break into the home of a 78-year-old man who had made a large withdrawal earlier that day.27 The founder of Cirque du Soleil was arrested for growing cannabis on his private island of Nukutepipi.28 A new study found that the legalization of marijuana could lead to misuse of the drug, and the Ohio House of Representatives passed a law that would allow students to give incorrect answers on science tests if the questions relate to their religious beliefs.29 30 The Leonid meteor shower peaked.31Violet Lucca

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This is what I feared, that she would speak about the news . . . about how her father always said that the news exists so it can disappear, this is the point of news, whatever story, wherever it is happening. We depend on the news to disappear . . .
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