Weekly Review — January 30, 2001, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Australianresearchers, who were trying to use genetic engineering to sterilize mice, accidentally created a deadly, immune-system-destroying strain of the mousepox virus, a cousin of the human smallpox virus. Two biotechnology companies announced that they had sequenced the rice genome. Uganda’s most recent outbreak of Ebola fever seemed to be over. Someone sent a letter filled with orange powder, which looked like anthrax, to the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, causing the evacuation of a building. E. coli, whose genome was recently sequenced, has a habit, researchers said, of picking up new genes from bacteriophages, viruses that infect bacteria, which could explain its extraordinary virulence. Montana officials were preparing to gut their state’s environmental laws. After a tanker ran aground, some 240,000 gallons of diesel fuel was spreading through the Galápagos Islands, poisoning the once pristine home of the flightless cormorant, the miniature Galápagos penguin, the waved albatross, and the masked booby. The tanker had been carrying fuel for tourist cruises. Fishermen were trying to skim fuel off the surface of the ocean with buckets.

The new government symbolized by George W. Bush continued to insist that it would deploy a national missile defense system despite the fact that the program, developed with equal parts fraud and wishful thinking, would upset the balance of terror with Russia??not to mention the world-historical irony that it might easily drive China to sell missile technology to the very “rogue” nations the program seeks to neutralize. A man with no security clearance managed to walk right up to President George W. Bush in the Capitol and shake his hand; the same man did the same thing at President Bill Clinton’s second inaugural. President George W. Bush, on the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, ordered that federal funds be denied to foreign aid groups that have anything to do with abortion. A construction worker in Philadelphia accidentally cut off his hand with a miter saw and then, in an apparent attempt to end it all, shot himself a dozen times in the head with a nail gun. He lived. Thailand’selection commission ordered revotes in 62 districts because of widespread cheating, though it confirmed the overall victory of the Thai Love Thai party, whose leader, the new prime minister, is under investigation for corruption. Florida’s 67 county election supervisors called for uniform voting standards. A federal appeals court in Louisiana heard arguments that a Texas death-row inmate should be given a new trial because his lawyer slept through much of his murder trial. Rats dream, researchers found. A grill cook at a Whataburger restaurant in Dallas, Texas, was arrested for lacing a taquito sold to a police officer with marijuana. Kentucky’s governor proposed mandatory curbside garbage collection as a solution to the hillbilly propensity to throw garbage off the back porch. Fairfax County, Virginia, secured the approval of the state senate to require residents to sleep in their bedrooms.A United Nations report suggested strongly that Saudi Arabia was barbaric.

A Jewish settler who beat a ten-year-old Palestinian boy to death (after kicking the little boy to the ground, Nahum Kurman placed his foot on the boy’s neck and repeatedly struck his head with a pistol butt) was sentenced to six months of community service. O. J. Simpson lost an appeal of the $33.5 million civil judgment that was entered against him for killing his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman. Authorities in Great Falls, Montana, were prosecuting a child molester who was accused of making “little boy stew” and then feeding it to neighbors. Congo’s president Laurent Kabila was buried; he was killed by his bodyguards, all of whom were recruited by Kabila as children when he was a rebel commander. They said they did it “because of suffering.” Johnny and Luther Htoo, a pair of twin boys who until last week were the leaders of the Burmese rebel group God’s Army, admitted that they did not have magic powers or an invisible army under their command; Luther told a reporter that he just wanted “to live as a family” with his parents. The United Nations said the world needed to create 500 million new jobs over the next ten years. Egypt began enforcing a seat-belt law; drivers were mounting strips of cotton in their cars, securing them with safety clips. Five members of the Falun Gong meditation cult set themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square. One thousand Texascattle were quarantined after it was discovered that they were fed ground-up ruminants in violation of a ban designed to prevent mad cow disease. Paleontologists named a newly discovered dinosaur, Masiakasaurus knopfleri, after Dire Straits guitarist Mark Knopfler; the beast apparently had strange teeth. Millions of cattle were freezing to death in Mongolia.

Share
Single Page

More from Roger D. Hodge:

From the October 2010 issue

Speak, Money

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

March 2017

City of Gilt

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Tyranny of the Minority

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Texas is the Future

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Family Values

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Itchy Nose

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Black Like Who?

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Texas is the Future·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

Illustration (detail) by John Ritter
Post
The Forty-Fifth President·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

Photograph (detail) by Philip Montgomery
Article
Itchy Nose·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

Artwork (detail) © The Kazuto Tatsuta/Kodansha Ltd
Article
A Matter of Life·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

Photograph (detail) by Edwin Tse
Article
Black Like Who?·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

Photograph © Jon Lowenstein/NOOR

Number of Supreme Court justices in 1984 who voted against legalizing the recording of TV broadcasts by VCR:

4

A Spanish design student created a speech-recognition pillow into which the restive confide their worries, which are then printed out in the morning.

Greece evacuated 72,000 people from the town of Thessaloniki while an undetonated World War II–era bomb was excavated from beneath a gas station.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Who Goes Nazi?

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."

Subscribe Today