Weekly Review — April 30, 2002, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

The Pope apologized to victims of pedophile priests and said there was no place in the Church for priests who abuse children, but he also noted that the power of Christian conversion must not be underestimated. American cardinals indicated that they definitely wanted to have a way to get rid of “notorious” pedophiles but that pedophiles who were not “notorious” might be dealt with in some other way. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago said he thought “zero-tolerance” policies were potentially unjust and that bishops should have “a little more wiggle room.” Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia met with President George W. Bush down at the ranch in Crawford, Texas, and went for a ride in the President’s pickup truck. “Saudi Arabia made it clear,” Bush said, “and has made it clear publicly, that they will not use oil as a weapon.” Senior Bush Administration officials told reporters that they were still hoping to invade Iraq but acknowledged that Ariel Sharon’s invasion of the West Bank, which was getting high ratings in Israel, had put off the war until early next year; they estimated that the new war, which until recently was on the fall schedule, would require the use of up to 250,000 troops. Israel refused to allow a United Nations fact-finding mission to travel to the Jenin refugee camp to investigate allegations of war crimes. Yehuda Lancry, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, told Secretary General Kofi Annan that the mission, if it proceeds, would be permitted to gather facts but not to make any “observations” about the facts. Amnesty International said it had “credible evidence” that war crimes were committed in the Jenin camp. An Israeli sergeant who fought there told an American reporter that he and his men had received orders to “put a bullet in each window”: “It’s not true that there was a massacre, because guys did not shoot at civilians just like this,” he said. “However??and this is terrible??it is true that we shot at houses, and God knows how many innocent people got killed.”

Three Palestinians disguised as Israeli soldiers invaded a Jewish settlement in the West Bank and murdered a five-year-old girl in her bed; three other settlers were also killed. Ariel Sharon declared that he would never discuss the removal of a single Jewish settlement while he was in power. Three Palestinian men were publicly shot by masked gunmen for collaborating with Israel; a television camera captured images of one man begging God for help as his blood pooled around him. Palestinians trapped by Israeli soldiers inside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem were surviving on a broth made from boiled grass. Muslim prosecutors in Nigeria said they were seeking the death penalty for two men accused of converting to Christianity; the men denied converting and said they had always been Christians. Hindu-Muslim violence continued in western India. Abu Zubaydah, an Al Qaeda leader who was captured in Pakistan last month, told American officials that his comrades were close to building a crude “dirty” nuclear bomb. Twelve women and children were killed in Karachi when a bomb blew up in a mosque. Raja Qureshi, the Pakistani prosecutor in the trial of four men accused of killing Daniel Pearl, the American reporter, filed a motion to remove the judge in the case because at least one of the defendants looked at Qureshi and tugged his chin, which is considered a threatening gesture. He is worried that the judge cannot control the defendants. “I feel my life is in danger.” The State Department said it was investigating whether grant money from the National Endowment for Democracy was used to help finance the recent coup attempt in Venezuela. Fifty members of the National Movement of Anti-U.S. Chicken Legs demonstrated in front of the American embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, where they burned a giant chicken leg.

Dr. J. Craig Venter, the head of Celera Genomics, revealed that much of the DNA that his company has sequenced is his own and that consequently he has started taking anti-fat medication. Swedish scientists found that french fries and other starchy foods that have been fried or baked at high temperatures contain very high concentrations of acrylamide, a “probable carcinogen” that can also cause genetic, neurological, and reproductive damage. Several British tourists who were arrested for “plane-spotting” in Greece last year were convicted of “illegally obtaining state secrets.” All England was aghast. A kilo of heroin was found in the suitcase of a five-year-old girl who was traveling alone on a commercial flight from Colombia. Robert Blake, the television actor who played Baretta, a tough police detective with a pet cockatoo, was charged with murdering his wife. Iraqis celebrated Saddam Hussein’s 65th birthday. Atlanta policemen were riding around town on $9,000 Segway scooters. California’s state assembly was considering legislation to limit the weight of school textbooks because of concerns about small children carrying heavy backpacks. Some people in Nevada were upset about new license plates that have a picture of a nuclear mushroom cloud on them. Siemens, the German train manufacturer, said that it had spent $14.5 million trying to simulate the run-down conditions of British rail lines in order to test an order of 785 new train cars purchased by an English railroad company. Sales of deer, goat, and dog penis were down in China due to the popularity of Viagra. Linda Lovelace died. Two Japanese researchers announced that they had grown fully functional tadpole eyeballs in a test tube. “None of the eyes were rejected and none dropped out,” said one. “All the frogs can see.”

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

August 2014

The End of Retirement

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Octopus and Its Grandchildren

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Francis and the Nuns

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Return of the Strongman

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The End of Retirement·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“For those riding the economy’s outermost edge, adaptation may now mean giving up what full-time RV dwellers call ‘stick houses’ to hit the road and seek work.”
Photograph (detail) © Max Whittaker
Post
The Many Faces of Boko·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“People want education. Open a school and they will rush.”
Photograph © The author
Article
The Octopus and Its Grandchildren·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On Stanford University’s origins and vision
“The pervasive fantasy that Silicon Valley doesn’t need the government obscures the role of that government in funding much of the research that built it.”
Photograph © Sallie Dean Shatz
Post
God Lives on Lemon Street·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Bethel was Oz-like for me. I mean that with all the awe, utter hopefulness, and mythic fear with which Dorothy and her friends had approached that magical city.”
Photograph (detail) ©© Clemens v. Vogelson (Flickr)
Article
Francis and the Nuns·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“A year and a half into his papacy, Pope Francis is looking an awful lot like his predecessors.”
Photograph (detail) © Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Ratio of the top weekly fee paid a Munchkin in 1939′s The Wizard of Oz to the weekly fee paid for Toto:

4:5

Czech and German deer still do not cross the Iron Curtain.

The Japanese artist Rokudenashiko was arrested for distributing 3D-printer schematics of her vagina in exchange for donations intended for the construction of a kayak.

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