Yearly Archives: 2000

Weekly Review — December 26, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Bethlehem was empty this Christmas, devoid of lights or trees or public celebrations, having been sealed off by the Israeli army.Jerusalem’sChristian churches endorsed Palestinian demands for sovereignty in East Jerusalem; they condemned Israeli violence against demonstrators and noted that an oppressed people living under a military occupation has the moral right to resist its overlords.The United Nations Security Council rejected Palestine’s request for U.N. peacekeepers; United States Ambassador Richard Holbrooke commented that “this is a resolution that will never be adopted.” The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe ordered President Robert Mugabe to come up with a viable land-reform program, declaring his …

Weekly Review — December 19, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

An international team of scientists announced that they had finished the first complete genetic sequence of a plant; Arabidopsis thaliana, or thale-cress, is related to cauliflowers and brussels sprouts and previously was a worthless weed.A new study found that marijuana slows the swimming of sperm in a test tube.The United StatesArmy was funding research aimed at allowing humans to hibernate.Experts on a National Toxicology Program panel said that estrogen should be listed as a carcinogen.Switzerland banned the sale of beef on the bone because of mad-cow concerns.Cargill Turkey Products recalled 16.7 million pounds of turkey products after it was linked …

Weekly Review — December 12, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Pentagon investigators acknowledged that American troops had massacred unarmed Korean civilians near No Gun Ri at the beginning of the Korean War, but claimed there was no evidence of direct orders from superiors to kill the Koreans, which would constitute a war crime.Former Congressman Pete McCloskey, a member of the civilian advisory panel to the investigation, pointed out that in fact one officer and nine enlisted men said they had received such orders.Many countries were trying unsuccessfully to get the United States to join the International Criminal Court; Henry Kissinger and other former U.S. government officials, who perhaps had good …

Weekly Review — December 5, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Chile’s former dictator General Augusto Pinochet was arrested, in Chile.The terms of the amnesty he negotiated upon his abdication included murder but not kidnapping, and the bodies of nineteen people who were abducted by the “Caravan of death,” a helicopter-borne death squad led by one of Pinochet’s close aides, were never found, world-historical ruthlessness giving rise to world-historical ironyâ??which then devolved into farce when an appeals court suspended the arrest order.Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, his government about to fall, called for an early election.Mary Robinson, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, recommended sending international monitors to the …

Weekly Review — November 28, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Peru’s dictator Alberto Fujimori stopped in Japan on his way to an economic summit, decided he liked it there, and quit his job, via fax; Peruvians were generally pleased with the development, and within days Fujimori was named in a corruption investigation.Slobodan Milosevic was reelected president of the Socialist Party of Serbia.Madeleine Albright asked to meet with Serbia’s new president, Vojislav Kostunica, at a meeting in Vienna; she was snubbed.Jean-Bertrand Aristide (promising “Peace in the Head. Peace in the Belly.”) was reelected president of Haiti in an election boycotted by major opposition parties, who said it was rigged.The United Stateselection …

Weekly Review — November 21, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

The European Commission announced its intention to test all beef cattle for mad cow disease. Italy banned the importation of French beef. Sales of beef in France dropped, even at McDonalds, even though France has rigid controls on the provenance of its homegrown beef cattle (each cow is given a “passport” at birth documenting its parentage and place of origin, which must be submitted to the slaughterhouse). Evidence that Kuru, a disease spread by eating human brains, is more widespread in Papua New Guinea than previously thought, suggested that the European epidemic of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human variant of mad …

Weekly Review — November 14, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Israelassassinated a Palestinian paramilitary commander by blowing up his vehicle with missiles fired from helicopter gunships; two women who were standing nearby were also killed. One witness described seeing the women’s bodies with “their intestines and livers hanging out.” An Israeli general said that he hoped the assassination would “reduce the violence and bring reason back to this area.” Heavier fighting followed; two Israeli soldiers and more Palestinians, including a twelve-year-old boy, were shot dead.Yasir Arafat, the Palestinian leader, asked the United Nations Security Council to send a multinational peacekeeping force to the Occupied Territories.The U.N. General Assembly for the …

Weekly Review — November 7, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

The Mexican government was upset about a Mexican citizen on death row whom Texas failed to notify of his right under the Vienna Convention to contact his government’s embassy; the Mexican government did not find out about his arrest until a year after he was condemned.Germany has sued the United States in the World Court over a similar case involving two brothers executed last year in Arizona.A fifteen-year-old boy with a loaded 9mm pistol took a pregnant teacher and eighteen other children hostage in a Dallas school; police saved the day.Governor George W. Bush admitted that he was convicted in …

Weekly Review — October 31, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak called “timeout” and decided to make peace with Ariel Sharon, the right-wing opposition leader, instead of with the Palestinians.Gun sales in Israel were on the rise.The United States Congress increased military aid to Israel by $60 million, bringing the total up to $1.9 billion; Israel put a rush on its order for a new German submarine; according to some reports, the submarine will be equipped with nuclear weapons.Islamic students demonstrated in front of the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, chanting “Kill All Jews.” Music by Richard Wagner was performed in concert in Israel for the …

Weekly Review — October 24, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

The Texas Defender Service issued a report on the death penalty; the report said that the Texas system was “a national embarrassment” due to racial bias, prosecutorial misconduct, and other problems.One psychologist, who was expelled from the American Psychiatric Association for producing diagnoses without performing examinations, testified for the prosecution in 390 capital cases.According to a newspaper analysis of Texas governor George W. Bush’s time records, Bush spent an average of fifteen minutes reviewing each death-penalty case that crossed his desk; as governor, he worked about six hours a day.The town of Jarrell, Texas, hosted a “Running of the Bulls, …

Weekly Review — October 17, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Safeway, the supermarket chain, recalled its house brand of corn taco shells after food critics discovered that the shells contained StarLink, a type of genetically modified corn that was not approved for human consumption. Taco Bell previously recalled its shells.The National Grain and Feed Association demanded the names of some 2,000 farmers who have planted StarLink crops; the manufacturer, Aventis Crop Science, refused to provide the names.Advanced Cell Technology, a company in Worcester, Massachusetts, announced that it had cloned an Asian guar; the embryo was gestating in an Iowan cow. The company plans to clone the extinct bucardo mountain goat …

Weekly Review — October 10, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Thousands of Chinese who worked as slaves for Japan in World War II filed suit in California against Japanese companies that might have profited from their servitude; Japanese military occupiers enslaved over ten million Chinese on the mainland and some 50,000 in Japan.Hundreds of members of the Falun Gong, a banned Chinese meditation cult with mildly apocalyptic doctrines, were beaten and arrested in Tiananmen Square.Turkey’sparliament considered loosening restrictions on free speech as well as the summary dismissal of thousands of Islamic civil servants; General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, who fancies himself to be the guardian of the secular Turkish state, suggested the …

Weekly Review — October 3, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

A Dutch archaeologist claimed to have identified a papyrus containing the signature of Cleopatra; the document, which dates from 33 B.C., was written by a secretary, except for one word, “genestho,” Greek for “make it so.”Saddam Hussein sent senior spies to Serbia to help Slobodan Milosevic, who lost last week’s presidential election and was facing daily protests demanding that he leave office; Milosevic’s wife, Mira, was said to favor fleeing the country.A New York jury ordered Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb war criminal, to pay $4.5 million in damages for presiding over a policy of rape, torture, and genocide in …

Weekly Review — September 26, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

A new book claimed that anthropologists working in Venezuela in the 1960s deliberately infected the Yanomami people with measles, killing hundreds, perhaps thousands, in order to test theories about evolution and eugenics; the same anthropologists, who were working in association with the United States atomic energy commission, also injected Americans with radioactive plutonium without their knowledge or permission.Kraft Foods recalled taco shells that contain StarLink, a type of genetically modified corn that was approved for animal consumption but specifically disapproved for humans.The corn was altered to produce a form of Bt, a pesticide, that might cause allergic reactions; Taco Bell …

Weekly Review — September 19, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

The Palestinian Central Council voted to postpone its declaration of an independent state; in Gaza, members of the Gaza Accountants Association fought with police after several accountants were arrested for firing their weapons in the air.Spanish police arrested twenty Basque terrorists.Someone fired a mortar at a Royal Ulster Constabulary station in Armagh, Northern Ireland.Protesters prevented the distribution of gasoline in England, causing 90 percent of the country’s filling stations to run dry; Prime Minister Tony Blair refused to reduce fuel taxes.Similar demonstrations over fuel prices took place all across Europe.Jos Bov, the Frenchfarmer who vandalized a McDonald’s while protesting globalization, …

Weekly Review — September 12, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

The Vatican proclaimed, not for the first time, that the Roman Catholic Church was the one true Church of Christ and that worshippers of false gods were in a “gravely deficient situation” with respect to their eternal souls.A group of Jewish scholars and rabbis called on Jews to let go of their ancient fear of Christians.A Canadianpolice ship successfully navigated the Northwest Passage in about one month.President Bill Clinton shook hands with Fidel Castro at a luncheon in New York; it was the first time Castro had shaken hands with a sitting American president.The judge in the Wen Ho Lee …

Weekly Review — September 5, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Albert Einstein’s theory that a massive spinning object will twist space-time around it received support from X-rays emanating from three neutron stars detected by the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, a NASAsatellite. President Bill Clinton’s lawyers argued in court that disbarment was too harsh a penalty for lying in a deposition about his sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky; they also repeated the President’s claim that he did not technically lie. The Supreme Court issued an emergency stay preventing California from allowing the medical use of marijuana. President Clinton went to Colombia and met with President Andres Pastrana, who three years ago …

Weekly Review — August 29, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Data from the Galileo spacecraft yielded evidence that Europa, Jupiter’s second moon, may have salty liquid oceans beneath its icy shell, increasing the likelihood of finding life there. Austrian scientists discovered bacteria living among the clouds. The National Institutes of Health issued rules allowing researchers who receive federal funds to use human embryonic stem cells in their studies. Richard Hatch won the Survivor game show. Three men beat a Gypsy woman, a mother of eight, to death in Slovakia. Experts urged the United Nations to improve its peacekeeping department by adding an intelligence unit. Against the advice of senior Justice …

Weekly Review — August 22, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

The Motion Picture Association of America succeeded in convincing a federal judge in Manhattan that publishing or linking to a free computer program that allows people to play DVDs on their Linux computers will lead to widespread copying of DVDs; the judge rejected arguments that computer source code, or links pointing to such code, is expressive speech and is thus protected under the First Amendment. Ole Miss won the right to prevent spectators from waving the Confederate battle flag at sporting events. Bill Clinton signed the T-shirt of a woman who then stripped it off and waved it over her …

Weekly Review — August 15, 2000, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

A National Academy of Sciences report found that most U.S. nuclear bomb-making facilities, including the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, will be contaminated “in perpetuity.” Defense Secretary William S. Cohen delayed making his recommendation to President Clinton concerning the wisdom of building a national missile defense program. The contents of a top secret report on the likely consequences of the anti-missile program were leaked to the news media, confirming numerous public statements by Chinese and Russian government officials that they would deploy more missiles. A standoff between workers and government agents continued at one of Russia’s premier vodka factories; President Vladimir Putin …

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