90 Miles From Tyranny : 10 Mind-Blowing Things That Happened This Week (11/23/18)

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

10 Mind-Blowing Things That Happened This Week (11/23/18)

Keeping up with the news is hard. So hard, in fact, that we’ve decided to save you the hassle by rounding up the most significant, unusual, or just plain old mind-blowing stories each week

This week, with the dust finally settled and the US midterms receding in the rearview mirror, it was time for stories from the rest of the world to take center stage once again. Away from American shores, Russia received an unexpected humiliation, Cambodia reopened some old wounds, and Papua New Guinea went more than a little nuts. But there were still at least a couple of stories coming from the States. And, once again, one of them involved guns. Quelle surprise.

10A Mass Shooting Hit A Chicago Hospital

Photo credit: Rick Majewski/Newscom

For years, 32-year-old Juan Lopez had cultivated a troubling track record of threatening people with guns.[1] Despite these warning signs, authorities failed to take his concealed carry permit away from him. On Monday, the inevitable happened. After getting in an argument with his ex-fiancee at Chicago’s Mercy Hospital, Lopez pulled out his Glock and started shooting. He didn’t stop until responding officers shot him dead. 

Lopez killed not just his ex, Doctor Tamara O’Neal, but also pharmacy resident Dayna Less and police officer Samuel Jimenez. While it’s debatable whether his actions qualified as a mass shooting (the standard definition is a shooting that results in four deaths, but not every source agrees on whether to count the perpetrator among them), they certainly qualified as yet another depressing example of American gun violence in a year that’s been full of them. 

At the heart of the story was Lopez’s clear psychological unfitness to own a firearm. He’d threatened O’Neal with a gun before. He’d threatened to shoot up his old workplace. Sadly, authorities ignored these warning signs.

9Russia Lost The Interpol Presidency In A Shocking Vote

Photo credit: Kang Kyung-kook/AP

Back in September, Interpol’s president mysteriously vanished in his native China. Aside from showing that Beijing is super serious about going after anyone who stands against it, the disappearance of Meng Hongwei meant Interpol suddenly had a vacant seat at the head of the table.

This week, all 94 member nations voted on who would replace Hongwei. Going in, the strong favorite was Russia’s Alexander Prokopchuk, already vice president of Interpol. Although the US and some European nations campaigned against him, it was believed the vote was in the bag.

Well, it wasn’t. In a shock move, Interpol’s presidency instead went to its Asian VP, South Korea’s Kim Jong-yang.[2] The debacle demonstrated just how severely isolated Moscow has become following the attempted nerve agent assassination of a spy in Britain.

There was more drama at the summit on the sidelines. While Russia was getting locked out of the presidency, Russian allies Serbia were ensuring Kosovo’s application to join the body was rejected. Pristina has responded by slapping 100-percent tariffs on goods from Serbia.

8PNG’s Parliament Was Attacked By Its Own Security Forces

Photo credit: AFP

In the normal course of things, a nation’s security forces are the guys meant to stop protestors from smashing the Parliament up. But things are rarely normal in Papua New Guinea (PNG), an impoverished nation that ranks as one of the poorest countries in the world. On Tuesday, hundreds of police officers and soldiers stormed the Parliament in Port Moresby. Their reason? The government hadn’t paid their wages.[3]

Earlier this month, PNG hosted the Apec summit, an important gathering of Pacific nations that is traditionally very expensive to police. To ensure that none of Port Moresby’s violent criminal gangs made off with the delegates or anything, the government promised thousands of police and army regulars a 350-kina ($104) bonus to police the event. They then failed to pay up. Security forces took out their frustration on the Parliament.

Windows and furniture were smashed during the hours-long riot, and a small number of lawmakers were beaten up. The government seems to have now gotten the message, promising to pay bonuses as soon as possible.

7We Redefined The Kilogram

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