Weekly Review — December 17, 2019, 11:12 am

Weekly Review

The Labour Party suffered its largest electoral defeat since 1935; the House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment; a professional golfer was arrested in a prostitution sting called Operation Santa’s Naughty List

The British Labour Party suffered its largest electoral defeat since 1935, losing 59 seats in Parliament while the Conservative Party gained 47.1 Many of these losses were in the “red wall,” a group of former Labour strongholds across central and northern England. Dennis “the Beast of Bolsover” Skinner, who had held his seat for 49 years, lost to the Conservative Mark Fletcher, a Cambridge alumnus who had served as chief of staff to Lord Popat of Harrow in the House of Lords and director of communications for Synergix Health, a company based in the British Virgin Islands; Ian Levy, who claimed to be a National Health Service nurse in a series of Facebook posts that have since been edited to reflect his actual title, nursing assistant, became the first Conservative since 1950 to represent Blyth Valley; and Dehenna Davison, a 26-year-old who once asked her 68-year-old grandfather to accept her 60-year-old husband on the reality TV show Bride and Prejudice, became the first Conservative to win in Bishop Auckland since the seat was created in 1885.2 3 4 5 6 7 8 “[Thatcher] destroyed the fishing industry, steel industry, the coal industry, you name it, it all went downhill from there,” said Kelly Brown, a welfare recipient in Grimsby, a port town that elected a Tory MP for the first time since 1945. “But now, I’m hoping Conservatives look back on their mistakes, and I’m hoping they’re going to bring some things back.”9 Nationalists won a plurality of seats in Northern Ireland for the first time since the partition of Ireland, and Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party, which won 48 of 59 of Scotland’s parliamentary seats in Westminster, said that Scotland “cannot be imprisoned in the union against its will.”10 11 Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who hid in a freezer on Election Day to avoid being interviewed by a reporter for ITV’s Good Morning Britain, has asked his ministers to review decriminalizing nonpayment of the BBC’s licensing fee.12 13 14 Jeremy Corbyn, who read Wilfred Owen’s poem “Futility” at the 2015 Remembrance Sunday ceremony, announced his resignation as Labour leader.15 16 In the two days following Labour’s defeat, the 100 largest companies listed on the London Stock Exchange gained almost £50 billion in value.17

President Trump cited an all-time high of the stock market, increased employment, the improved performance of 401(k)s, and “129 records that we have in, really, fairly much—substantially less than three years” at the White House’s Congressional Ball, which was attended by six House Democrats, and the House Judiciary Committee approved two articles of impeachment.18 19 20 The wife of the Chattooga County, Georgia, commissioner was arrested after pouring soda pop on a reporter’s head before the start of a budget meeting.21 A new, automatic voter-registration system in Contra Costa County, California, erased the party preferences of what might be tens of thousands of voters, who would be disqualified from voting in primaries unless they correct the errors themselves, and a judge in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, purged about 234,000 voters from the rolls because they had moved.22 23 Two shooters—one of whom has connections to the Black Hebrew Israelites—killed six people, including a police officer, in a cemetery and a kosher supermarket in Jersey City; the pair has also been linked to the death of an Uber driver who was fatally shot near the White Glove Moving Company in Bayonne, New Jersey, earlier this month.24 25

A Los Angeles police officer’s body cam recorded him fondling the breasts of a dead woman, and the officer posted his $20,000 bail a few hours after his arrest.26 Thousands of fat innkeeper worms, also known as “penis fish,” washed up on Drakes Beach in California.27 The professional golfer Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey, who was in Florida for a charity golfing event, was arrested as part of a prostitution sting called Operation Santa’s Naughty List, and law-enforcement officials in Florida’s Sumter and Manatee counties issued a warning to horse owners after a number of the animals had been killed for their meat.28 29 Alberta premier Jason Kenney opened the Canadian Energy Centre, a new organization that will promote “hopeful, unifying and uplifting” messages about the province’s oil fields. “Our starting point is that Canadian oil and gas makes the world a better place,” said the organization’s CEO.30 Over 100 bushfires burned across Australia, which among countries has the second-highest carbon emissions per capita because of its reliance on coal; the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has issued a code-red alert, as temperatures could reach over 50 degrees Celsius.31 32 33 At U.N. climate negotiations in Madrid, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison promised to reduce emissions “at a canter.” 34Violet Lucca

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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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