MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17 This week of Eastern European tragedy, alleged urine-based battery, and hilarious self-shootings kicks off in Hanford, California, where today the Food Safety and Inspection Service suspended operations at Central Valley Meat Co. due to "insanitary conditions." As CNN reports, today's isn't the first iffy doing at Central Valley Meat Co.: "In October, Central Valley Meat recalled more than 89,000 pounds of ground beef, saying it may contain small pieces of plastic, according to the USDA. No illnesses were reported." As for today's operation-suspending "insanitary conditions" (a phrase that handily evokes both filth and mental illness): By Wednesday, the Central Valley Meat Co. will have taken the corrective actions necessary to resume operations.
•• Speaking of troubled meat, tomorrow Nestlé USA will announce its recall of two varieties of Hot Pockets that are suspected of containing meat from "diseased and unsound animals."
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 18 In lighter news, the week continues in Tennessee, where a Woodlawn man remains in critical condition after shooting himself in the back. Details come from the Tennessean, which identifies our self-shooter as 39-year-old Reuben Tripp, who "told Montgomery County deputies that he had been drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana before playing with a handgun at his Indian Mound Road home. According to a police report, Tripp said 'he was playing with the weapon and pulled the hammer back on the pistol. Reuben then laid the pistol on the couch and sat on the floor, bumping the pistol.'" Arriving at the scene of the shooting last night, deputies found a bleeding-from-his-back Tripp being tended to by his wife, Dinah. "The first thing Reuben Tripp told officers is that his wife did not shoot him and that it was an accident," reports the Tennessean. "The Montgomery County Sheriff's office is investigating."
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19 Meanwhile in Florida, an elementary-school teacher in Coral Spring was arrested on charges of "battery on a child by exposure to urine." As South Florida's Sun Sentinel reports, the teacher stands accused of "ordering a 10-year-old to remove wet wads of paper towels with his bare hands from a urinal in a boys' restroom at Broward Community Charter School." As the boy told investigators, he attempted to execute the task by using dry paper towels to retrieve the urine-soaked wads from the urinal, but the urine soaked through the dry towels onto his hands. "During questioning, [the teacher] admitted to telling the student to 'clean the paper towels out' of the urinal without providing him anything to prevent contact with the urine," reports the Sun Sentinel. "She told police she saw nothing wrong with what she had done until she was arrested." Tomorrow, the accused teacher will be released on $1,000 bond.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20 In fifty million times worse news, the week continues in Ukraine, with so much history-altering awfulness we're not sure what to do, so thank God for the Guardian for putting it into words: "The conflict over Ukraine's future escalated on Thursday into the bloodiest day of violence since protests began... Dozens died and hundreds were injured in a day of dramatic violence that turned into a seesaw contest and saw thousands of riot police scuttling from territory they seized on Tuesday... Police deployed snipers and used live ammunition... Guardian reporters saw 21 corpses on Independence Square, the crucible of the mass rebellion against [President] Yanukovych, and in a nearby hotel converted into a makeshift field hospital. But the full death toll was impossible to verify: Oleh Musiy, head doctor for the opposition movement, said 70 protesters died on Thursday, bringing the death toll in 72 hours to about 100. The health ministry said 67 people had been killed and 562 wounded since Tuesday. The interior ministry said three police were killed on Thursday." As Ukrainian professor of medicine Dr. Olga Bogomolets told the Guardian, "All the people killed here had no guns or arms... What is happening right now in Ukraine is criminal and anti-human." (Twisting the knife: So great is the Ukrainian horror that the world has largely ignored similar deadly violence unfolding in the streets of Venezuela, where by week's end, protests by antigovernment demonstrators (and retaliation from the anti-demonstration government) will result in roughly 150 injuries and 13 deaths.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21 In significantly stupider news, the week continues in Florida, where a man did his part to carry out this week's theme of "Shot with His Own Gun." The setting: the side of a road in Palm Beach, where a man driving home from a firearms safety class yesterday had pulled over to inspect his new Glock 17. During the inspection, the Palm Beach Post reports, the gun discharged. Treated at the scene by a fire-rescue team, he remains hospitalized today for the gunshot wound in his right leg.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22 Nothing happened today, unless you count the end of the 10-year search for Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán, reported by the Associated Press to be the world's most powerful drug lord and leading supplier of cocaine to the United States, who was arrested without incident today in Mazatlan.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23 The week ends as it began—with a big wad of unsound meat doing something dumb with a gun. Our protagonist: the 36-year-old Michigan man who was giving his girlfriend a gun-safety demonstration tonight when he accidentally fatally shot himself. "The girlfriend told authorities that the man had been drinking all day and was explaining to her that his three handguns are safe when they aren't loaded," reports the Detroit Free Press. "He demonstrated by placing the guns against his head and pulling the trigger. When he pulled the trigger on the third handgun, it discharged. The man was pronounced dead at the scene."
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