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Omicron, Michigan, Rockefeller Center: Your Weekend Briefing

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Here are the best stories of the week and a glimpse into the future.

1. Omicron has plunged the world into collective uncertainty.

The highly mutated variant of the coronavirus has reached more than 40 countries and has been detected in 12 US states. According to scientists in South Africa, the Omicron appears to spread faster than any other variant, thanks to a combination of contagiousness and the ability to dodge the body’s immune defenses. But the contribution of each factor is not yet certain.

2. The parents of a Michigan teenager accused of shooting four classmates have been arrested after a manhunt.

The couple, James and Jennifer Crumbley, have pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter charges. Officials said their 15-year-old son Ethan Crumbley carried out the shooting at Oxford High School on the outskirts of Detroit using a handgun his parents bought him.

The Crumbleys, who had not come forward for arraignment and had apparently fled the city, were arrested yesterday at a commercial building in Detroit after police received a tip. “They didn’t resist,” said the Detroit police chief, describing the couple as “in distress”.

The actions of Oxford High School officials are also scrutinized under a microscope, which raises questions about the school’s accountability. School officials let Ethan Crumbley return to a classroom despite concerns about his behavior.


3. President Biden will meet with President Vladimir Putin this week, days after the US secret service revealed that Russia was preparing for a possible invasion of Ukraine.

An unclassified US intelligence document details Moscow’s plans for a military offensive involving around 175,000 troops as of early next year. Experts say the Ukrainian army would have little chance.

US officials stress that Putin’s intentions remain unclear and intelligence does not show that he has decided to implement the apparent war plan. But about half of the Russian forces that would be used in an invasion are already near the Ukrainian border. Tuesday’s video call comes as US-Russian relations crumble.

4. Featured presenter Chris Cuomo has been fired by CNN more her efforts to help her brother, former Governor Andrew Cuomo, fight a sexual harassment scandal.

The move came just days after a new batch of testimony and text messages released by the New York attorney general revealed that the CNN presenter had played a bigger role in his brother’s political affairs than the network did. had said it before.

The ad ended an astonishing downfall for Chris Cuomo, CNN’s top-rated presenter who had built a successful career in broadcasting outside of his famous political family. Andrew Cuomo resigned as governor of New York in August, unable to withstand an avalanche of sexual harassment allegations.


5. The Mississippi abortion case highlights changing and competing views on the role of the Supreme Court.

For decades, conservatives have argued that Roe v. Wade amounted to judicial activism and was not a constitutional right. Now, after nearly half a century of precedent, the argument may have come full circle. Many Liberals say toppling Roe would amount to blatant political activism. Both arguments are based on concerns about the legitimacy of the court.

In the Times Magazine, the writer Merritt Tierce reflects on the abortion she never had: “It was traumatic for me to become a mother when I did, and I want to be able to recognize it openly, without this recognition being act like some kind of curse on my son’s life. “


6. A drug empire is blossoming from the ruins of a decade-long war in Syria.

A Times investigation found that an illegal drug industry in Syria has grown into a multibillion-dollar operation, eclipsing legal exports and making the country the world’s newest narco-state.

Powerful associates and close friends of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad manufacture and sell an illegal amphetamine called captagon. Drugs are now the country’s most valuable export, far exceeding legal products. Last year, the market value of seized captagon in the world may have reached $ 2.9 billion.

In Europe, the Belgian port city of Antwerp is grappling with a flood of cocaine accused of an upsurge in violence. Customs officials in Antwerp are on track to intercept 100 tonnes of cocaine this year, roughly double the volume seized across the European Union 10 years ago.


7. The percentage of American workers leaving their jobs is historically high. Many say “I stop” loud and clear.

People celebrate their resignations in Instagram reels or “QuitToksAnd tweeting screenshots of texts to their bosses stating that they have quit. Even the general managers make public demonstrations of resignation. Last week, Twitter boss Jack Dorsey shared on his own platform that he was stepping down.

If the dropouts think they can fight back against their former bosses without alienating future employers, they might be right. The supply-demand curve of the labor market works in their favor.


8. For two decades, Correll Jones has been the man to ask questions about New York’s most famous tree. – and where to find public toilets.

Jones is the main host at Rockefeller Center. His company-issued business card reflects his status: “CJ Mayor of Rockefeller Center.” And each winter, as countless visitors arrive to view the Christmas tree, Jones essentially becomes his janitor. For him, it’s “the best job in the world”.

While New Yorkers may hate crowds on vacation, they have bigger issues to deal with these days: a schmear shortage. Supply chain issues that have plagued businesses across the country threaten New York’s quintessential treat of a fresh bagel with cream cheese.