Weekly Review — November 27, 2001, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Advanced Cell Technology Inc. of Worcester, Massachusetts, announced that it had cloned a human embryo in order to mine it for stem cells; the company said that it had taken “extreme measures” to prevent the embryo from being placed in a womb. Independent experts dismissed the cloning experiment as a failure. Mad cow disease continued to spread in Japan. Scientists at Oxford University said up to 1,500 Britishsheep could have been infected with the disease. A new study confirmed that abuse of stimulants used to treat attention-deficit disorder, such as Ritalin, was rampant among children and teens. “People don’t realize what these drugs are,” one scientist said. “The similarities between them and cocaine are much greater than the differences.” Holiday tours were cancelled at the White House; “Evil knows no holiday,” explained President Bush. Afghanfarmers were planting opium again. Boxes of American food aid fell through the roofs of several houses in Herat, Afghanistan; an old shrine to a Persian poet was also damaged. Several children in Afghanistan were injured and killed when they picked up remnants of American cluster bombs, which did precisely what they were designed to do.Commenting on the new $25,000,000 bounty placed on the head of Osama bin Laden, who was said to be hiding in a cave somewhere, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that he was hoping for “a large number of people to begin crawling through those tunnels and caves looking for the bad folks.”

The United Nations Committee Against Torture warned Israel to stop torturing Palestinians. Yaakov Levy, an Israeli delegate, told the committee that a “close reading” of the 1987 Convention Against Torture, which Israel signed, “clearly suggests that pain and suffering, in themselves, do not necessarily constitute torture.” An Israeli death squad killed a Hamas leader in the West Bank who was suspected of planning suicide attacks. Five young cousins walking to school near their refugee camp in Gaza were killed by a bomb that was set by an Israeli special forces unit. A 22-year-old Palestiniansuicide bomber blew himself up at a checkpoint, injuring two Israeli border guards. The war crimes tribunal at The Hague handed down a new indictment of Slobodan Milosevic for genocide. In Bosnia, 305 bodies were exhumed from a mass grave; the victims were probably from Srebrenica, where 7,000 unarmed men and boys were massacred in 1995. Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon was issued a summons to appear before a court in Belgium in a lawsuit stemming from his role in the 1982 massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon; Belgian law permits lawsuits concerning crimes against humanity and genocide no matter where the crimes occurred. Some American police chiefs were refusing to go along with the federal government’s order to round up and question 5,000 legal Muslim immigrants, saying it smacked of racial profiling, which is illegal. Spain announced that it would not extradite eight men who were arrested for participating in the September 11attacks unless the United States agreed to give them a civilian trial; the military courts envisioned by the Bush Administration would violate the European Convention on Human Rights. An unnamed military source told a reporter that all the public might learn about such a trial was the defendant’s name and his sentence. A ninety-four-year-old woman in Connecticut came down with respiratory anthrax and died; a state representative appealed for calm: “We can’t panic,” she said, “until we know where it came from.”

An airliner crashed near Zurich. The U.S. government was looking to hire 28,000 airport screeners; one expert said that the perfect candidate might be an older widow who was good at finding things in a cluttered room. Al Gore decided to become vice chairman of an obscure financial services company in Los Angeles after he failed to persuade anyone on Wall Street to hire him. Germany’sGreen Party, rejecting one of its defining principles, voted to go along with Chancellor Gerhard Schrder’s decision to send troops to Afghanistan. The Society for the Protection of Wolves said that a pack of wolves had wandered into eastern Germany and settled there. Three students in New Bedford, Massachusetts, were charged with plotting a massacre at their high school; they wanted it to be “bigger than Columbine.” An Illinois man ran amok in a mall: he set himself on fire, shouted “Freedom and liberty for all!” and started throwing flaming objects at shoppers. Wild elephants rampaged through two villages in Bangladesh, killing four people. The animals in Kabul’s zoo were barely hanging on. In Florida, a man riding a jet ski at about 55 mph died after he collided with a flying duck. A British vicar banned yoga from his church hall to protect his flock from the temptations of Eastern mysticism. Scientists found that mentally visualizing exercise can substantially increase one’s strength. In Ohio, legislators were considering a bill banning discrimination against people who ride motorcycles or wear biker colors. “You really sometimes are made to feel like a second-class citizen,” complained one biker, who is known as the Beast. Scientists said that last month was the warmest October in history. China was planning to put a man on the moon. President Bush rubbed a soldier’s bald head in Kentucky.

Share
Single Page

More from Roger D. Hodge:

From the October 2010 issue

Speak, Money

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

December 2014

Gateway to Freedom

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Guns and Poses

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Christmas in Prison

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Poison Apples

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Growing Up

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Beeper World·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The beeper, for a certain kind of Miami teenager in the Nineties, was an essential evolutionary adaptation.”
Photograph by Curran Hatleberg
Article
Hammer Island·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The place could have sprung from someone’s jealous dream about white people.”
Photograph by Emily Stein
Article
Growing Up·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The best coming-of-age stories have a hole in the middle. They pretend to be about knowledge, but they are usually about grasping, long after it could be of any use, one’s irretrievable ignorance.”
Photograph by Ben Pier
Article
Guns and Poses·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“‘It’s open shopping,’ he said. ‘A warehouse. The whole of Libya.’”
Map by Mike Reagan
Article
Christmas in Prison·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Just so you motherfuckers know, I’ll be spending Christmas with my family, eating a good meal, and you’ll all be here, right where you belong.”
Photographer unknown. Artwork courtesy Alyse Emdur

Amount that President Obama has added to America’s “brand value” according to the Nation Brands Index:

$2,100,000,000,000

A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.

A Utah woman named Cameo Crispi pleaded guilty to having drunkenly attempted to burn down her ex-boyfriend’s house by igniting bacon on his kitchen stove.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today