Weekly Review — June 5, 2001, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Crown Prince Dipendra of Nepal reportedly shot and killed most of the royal family, including his mother, Queen Aiswarya, and his father, King Birendra Bir Birkram Shah Dev (who as king was thought to be an incarnation of Vishnu, the Hindu god). Prince Dipendra then shot himself through the temple; he was crowned king as he lay unconscious in a hospital, and promptly died. Prince Gyanendra, his uncle, ascended to the throne and claimed that the royal deaths were the result of the “accidental firing of an automatic weapon.” Riots ensued. Indonesia continued to disintegrate; parliament voted 365-4 to begin hearings to impeach President Abdurrahman Wadid a few days after the attorney general absolved him of corruption charges; great mobs of his supporters ran amok. President Ange-Félix Patasse of the Central African Republic put down a coup attempt. Idriss Déby was reelected president of Chad and promptly arrested the other six candidates. President George W. Bush frowned and shook hands with Al Gore at a funeral. Alejandro Toledo was elected president of Peru; 13 percent of the voters cast blank ballots, possibly to protest rumors that Toledo once used cocaine in an orgy with five hookers. Senator John McCain, a Republican, spent the weekend with Senator Tom Daschle, a Democrat; rumors of McCain’s imminent defection were denied. Chen Shui-bian, president of Taiwan, visited Texas and received a nice gift from Rep. Tom DeLay: a new pair of eel-skin boots, embossed with the president’s initials as well as the Texas and American flags, intertwined. China’s official news agency reported that 3 million Chinese drink their own urine every day. Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban decreed that foreign women may no longer drive cars because such driving is “against Afghan traditions” and has a “negative impact” on Afghan society. Timothy McVeigh, who killed 168 people in the Oklahoma City bombing, decided to ask for a stay of execution; his lawyer said that “the most important thing in his life is to help bring integrity to the criminal justice system.” In Israel, a Palestiniansuicide bomber blew himself up on a crowded sidewalk outside a beachside nightclub frequented by teenagers, killing at least 20 and wounding almost 100. Arms, legs, bits of flesh and bone, were scattered all over the sidewalk.

France’sparliament passed a law that permits the government to ban religious groups that it considers “sects,” but backed away from plans to outlaw “mental manipulation.” Colombian police arrested three young women who were accused of smearing a narcotic on their breasts and standing seductively by the roadside until men were induced to stop and lick their breasts, whereupon the men lost their wits and surrendered their wallets and car keys. A beaver attacked a Finnish hiker and sunk its long yellow teeth into the man’s neck. In Austria, a flasher was caught by police after he caught his penis in his zipper and was unable to flee. An Indian man, diagnosed with a hernia after suffering unexplained pains for years, turned out to have a fully developed female reproductive system: fallopian tubes, ovaries, and a uterus. The warden of the Washington, D.C., city jail and three other officers were fired after some children who were touring the jail were strip-searched by prison guards. Billy Barnes, an eight-year-old Canadian boy who was suspended from school for pointing a chicken finger at another child and saying “Bang,” was declared innocent by his local school board.

Nkosi Johnson, a twelve-year-old South African boy, died of AIDS; Nkosi once managed to shame President Thabo Mbeki into walking out of an AIDS conference after he pleaded with the government to give AZT to pregnant mothers, a course of treatment that might have prevented his own infection. Two French scientists said they had detected 35 times the normal amount of arsenic in some of Napoleon’s hair. President Bush’s twin daughters were in trouble with the law after they tried to order drinks at Chuy’s, a restaurant in Austin, Texas; Jenna, the bad twin, even tried to use a fake I.D. A nominee to be an agriculture bureaucrat was in trouble for making an ill-considered remark linking economic success to race. The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service said it would expedite visa applications for a mere $1,000 rush fee. Race riots broke out in Oldham, England; firebombs were thrown, cars were burned. Hugo Chávez, the president of Venezuela, said that he was still considering declaring a state of emergency, which would allow him to rule by decree, in order to fight poverty. New Yorkpolice, acting on a tip, entered an apartment and found a bathtub filled with bloody water and a severed head under the sink; two men were arrested for killing and cutting up the victim with a hacksaw so they could get his apartment. The suspects threw the victim’s hands out the window when police knocked on the door. Swedish biologist Susanne Wiigh-Masak developed a process that quickly recycles a human corpse into roughly 65 pounds of fertilizer. Some brown bears started a wildfire in Alaska. In Canada, a black bear killed a man. The Vatican wheeled out the body of Pope John XXIII, dead since 1963, in a fancy new coffin; he was wearing a lace tunic, a red velvet cape, and an ermine-trimmed hat.

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

August 2016

Four in Prose

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Don the Realtor

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Atlas Aggregated

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Origins of Speech

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Four in Verse

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Sigh and a Salute

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
Martin Amis on the rise of Trump, Tom Wolfe on the origins of speech, Art Spiegelman on Si Lewen, fiction by Diane Williams, and more

In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.

Illustration by Darrel Rees
Article
Don the Realtor·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"If you have ever wondered what it’s like, being a young and avaricious teetotal German-American philistine on the make in Manhattan, then your curiosity will be quenched by The Art of the Deal."
Photograph (detail) © Polly Borland/Exclusive by Getty Images
Article
The Origins of Speech·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"To Chomsky...every child’s language organ could use the 'deep structure,' 'universal grammar,' and 'language acquisition device' he was born with to express what he had to say, no matter whether it came out of his mouth in English or Urdu or Nagamese."
Illustration (detail) by Darrel Rees. Source photograph © Miroslav Dakov/Alamy Live News
Article
A Sigh and a Salute·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Si told me that various paintings had spoken to him, but he wished they had been hung closer together 'so they could talk to each other.' This observation planted a seed that would come to fruition years later in his mature work."
Artwork (detail) by Si Lewen
Article
El Bloqueo·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Amid the festivities and the flood of celebrities, it would be easy for Americans to miss that the central plank of the long-standing cold war against Cuba — the economic embargo — remains very much alive and well."
Photograph (detail) by Rose Marie Cromwell

Chances that a Republican man believes that “poor people have hard lives”:

1 in 4

A school in South Korea was planning to deploy a robot to protect students from unwanted seductions.

Nuremberg’s Neues Museum filed a criminal complaint against a 91-year-old woman who completed a crossword puzzle that was in fact a $116,000 piece of avant-garde Danish art.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Mississippi Drift

By

“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”

Subscribe Today