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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Addressing the graduating cadets at West Point in May 1942, General George C. Marshall, then the Army chief of staff, reduced the nation’s purpose in the global war it had recently joined to a single emphatic sentence. “We are determined,” he remarked, “that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other.”

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A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he.

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Harold Jamieson, once chief engineer of New York City’s sanitation department, enjoyed retirement. He knew from his small circle of friends that some didn’t, so he considered himself lucky. He had an acre of garden in Queens that he shared with several like-minded horticulturists, he had discovered Netflix, and he was making inroads in the books he’d always meant to read. He still missed his wife—a victim of breast cancer five years previous—but aside from that persistent ache, his life was quite full. Before rising every morning, he reminded himself to enjoy the day. At sixty-eight, he liked to think he had a fair amount of road left, but there was no denying it had begun to narrow.

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1. In 2014, Deepti Gurdasani, a genetic epidemiologist at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in England, coauthored a paper in Nature on human genetic variation in Africa, from which this image is taken. A recent study had found that DNA from people of European descent made up 96 percent of genetic samples worldwide, reflecting the historical tendency among scientists and doctors to view the male, European body as a global archetype. “There wasn’t very much data available from Africa at all,” Gurdasani told me. To help rectify the imbalance, her research team collected samples from eighteen African ethnolinguistic groups across the continent—such as the Kalenjin of Uganda and the Oromo of Ethiopia—most of whom had not previously been included in genomic research. They analyzed the data using an admixture algorithm, which visualizes the statistical genetic differences among groups by representing them as color clusters. The top chart shows genetic differences among the sampled African populations, in increasing degrees of granularity from top to bottom, and the bottom chart shows how they compare with ethnic groups in the rest of the world. The areas where the colors mix and overlap imply that groups commingled. The Yoruba, for instance, show remarkable homogeneity—their column is almost entirely green and purple—while the Kalenjin seem to have associated with many populations across the continent.

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Ten yards was the nearest we could get to the river. Any closer and the smell was too much to bear. The water was a milky gray color, as if mixed with ashes, and the passage of floating trash was ceaseless. Plastic bags and bottles, coffee lids, yogurt cups, flip-flops, and sodden stuffed animals drifted past, coated in yellow scum. Amid the old tires and mattresses dumped on the riverbank, mounds of rank green weeds gave refuge to birds and grasshoppers, which didn’t seem bothered by the fecal stench.

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