SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
Serbia‘s prime minister gave Slobodan Milosevic to The Hague to be tried for war crimes even though doing so was technically illegal; the prime minister of Yugoslavia resigned in protest. The International Court of Justice rebuked the United States for executing two German brothers in 1999 without following established international law, which required the German consulate to be notified of the men’s arrest and conviction. American and British warplanes bombed Iraq again, killing three people. Dissidents from the Ivory Coast filed suit against President Laurent Gbagbo in Belgium, whose courts, oddly enough, have universal jurisdiction in crimes against humanity. Ethnic violence broke out in the central Nigerian state of Nasarawa. United States troops intervened in the Macedonian conflict by escorting several hundred rebels out of a Macedonian town; riots ensued in Skopje, the capital, and an American diplomat was shot, apparently by accident, by a Macedonian soldier. A mob of students in Paterson, New Jersey, beat a homeless drunk to death with his own beer bottle. Sweden, whose police recently shot unarmed protesters with live ammunition, ratified the International Criminal Court. Uganda held parliamentary elections; one candidate fired a gun into a crowd of opponents; the bodyguard of another candidate killed a protester and was lynched by an outraged mob. Poles started getting checks from Germany to make up for having been enslaved by the Nazis. Wang Guoqi, a former Chinese army doctor, testified before Congress that he removed corneas, skin, and other body parts from executed prisoners; in one case, Wang said, he was forced to remove the skin from a man who was still breathing. Wang currently works in a restaurant in New Jersey.
Vice President Dick Cheney received a pacemaker to regulate his heartbeat. Vladimiro Montesinos, formerly Peru’s answer to Rasputin, was arrested in Venezuela, having become a liability to Hugo Chávez, and was sent home in shackles to face a life sentence for arms trafficking, money laundering, death-squad activities, torture, arms kickbacks, and bribery. President Vicente Fox of Mexico accepted the resignation of an old friend who took responsibility for the purchase of $400 towels, $1,500 sheets, and $17,000 electric curtains for the presidential palace. President Abdurrahman Wahid of Indonesia said he would declare a state of emergency and use the military to prevent parliament from removing him from office; the military suggested that it would do no such thing. Secretary of State Colin Powell stood next to Yasir Arafat and endorsed the idea of international observers to help enforce a cease-fire with Israel; later, standing next to Ariel Sharon, Powell clarified his previous statement, which had seemed clear enough, and said he did not support “some outside group of forces coming in.” Powell’s trip also included a visit to Jordan, where King Abdullah let him drive at the “king’s speed limit” in his custom silver BMW convertible. New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani was said to be spending his nights at the apartment of a Queens car dealer as he considered moving out of Gracie Mansion to get away from his wife. Jack Lemmon died. A New Orleans woman was charged with ten counts of attempted murder after an argument over an ugly baby; the woman threw fuel on ten people, three generations of one family (including two infants), and tried to set them on fire. Her match failed to light. Police in Aachen, Germany, were called in to quell a domestic dispute that arose after a man visited a brothel and discovered his wife working there. Researchers found that Italian mothers are the most anxious mothers in Europe. A three-year-old Italian boy was fined for peeing on a tree in a park in Rome; the traumatized boy, fearing another arrest, was said to be having a difficult time going potty.
A giant cloud of dust from the Sahara blew across the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, reducing air quality and visibility in Texas. The Bush Administration admitted that the federal budget surplus might just disappear. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced that he would ask Congress to retire the MX missile, also known as the “Peacekeeper.” Bob Dole had an aneurysm. A movement was afoot in North Dakota to change the state’s name to “Dakota” because of fears that the word “north” was giving people the wrong idea. A large hippopotamus killed a security guard on a golf course in Johannesburg, South Africa. Scientists found that dairy cows produced more milk while listening to REM’s “Everybody Hurts” or the Pastoral Symphony by Beethoven than when listening to “Back in the USSR” by the Beatles or Wonderstuff’s “Size of a Cow.” Ireland announced that thousands of children in 1973 received a livestock vaccine (Tribovax) instead of a human one (Trivax) for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Californian matadors were fighting bulls, gently, with velcro-tipped banderillas. Interpol’s headquarters was evacuated because of a package containing rotten meat and excrement. NASAlaunched an observatory to study the afterglow of the Big Bang. Homosexuals in London were given the right to register their relationships with the government. The United Nations General Assembly defined AIDS as a political, human rights, and economic issue; formerly AIDS was a venereal disease. Buckingham Palace was trying to cut corners. Children were starving in Sierra Leone. Millions of anchovies were dying in Oregon.
More from Roger D. Hodge:
Freddie Grayâ€™s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the cityâ€™s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighborsâ€™ loud lovemaking.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Donâ€™t worry, we wonâ€™t sell your email address!
â€śMatt 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. 'Iâ€™m glad everyoneâ€™s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supportsÂ my lifestyle.'â€ť