Weekly Review — December 3, 2002, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

United Nations weapons inspectors began their work in Iraq; among the first installations to be inspected were Al Dawrah and Al Nasr, two factories that Tony Blair and George W. Bush, citing satellite photographs, had claimed were sites of renewed production of nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. Inspectors found nothing but ruins. Another factory (known as Al Furat) that the United States has cited as evidence of a nuclear weapons program was also inspected and showed no signs of illegal activity. It was reported that one of the weapons inspectors is the co-founder of Black Rose, “a Washington-area pansexual S&M group.” A UN spokesman admitted that no background checks were performed before the inspectors were hired but said that the man is “someone who has expertise in warheads and munitions, and that’s what’s important.” American forces were preparing for large-scale war games in Qatar, which is expected to be the base for command and control operations during the invasion of Iraq. President Bush signed the Homeland Security bill and named Tom Ridge as secretary. Many families of September 11 victims were appalled by the bill, which is laden with pork. A new report found that the Capitol complex was still vulnerable to terrorist attack. The Canadian official who called George W. Bush a moron was forced to resign, and the president, who tried very hard to prevent the creation of an independent commission to investigate the September 11 attacks, named Henry Kissinger to be the commission’s chairman. Kissinger, who has been accused of committing war crimes in Vietnam, Cambodia, East Timor, and Chile, said he did not expect to discover any conflicts of interest between his work on the commission and his work as an agent for various undisclosed transnational corporations and foreign powers. The Disney Magic cruise ship returned to port with more than 180 vomiting passengers.

Brit Hume of Fox News took credit for the Republican election victory: “It was because of our coverage that it happened,” he told a right-wing radio host who specializes in denouncing liberal bias in the media. “People watch us and take their electoral cues from us. No one should doubt the influence of Fox News in these matters.” Polls found that many Americans dislike Republican policies but dislike the Democrats as individuals even more. Plastic surgeons in Britain were debating whether face transplants, which will be technically possible within the next few months, are ethically permissible. The Bush Administration was trying to decide whether to create an agency devoted exclusively to spying on the American people. Some officials, such as “homeland” secretary Tom Ridge, have argued that domestic espionage should be left to the FBI. Germany’s Foreign Intelligence Service, worried about its bad image, announced plans to sell a line of designer underwear bearing its logo and terms such as TOP SECRET, CLASSIFIED, and CONFIDENTIAL. The Justice Department requested that documents relating to claims that the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal causes autism and other disorders be sealed; a spokesman said that the law creating a government fund to compensate people injured by vaccines gives the government control over such information and that the government was merely acting to preserve that right. Lawmakers, bureaucrats, and others in Washington, D.C., were all trying to figure out who was responsible for the inclusion of a measure in the Homeland Security bill that gave vaccine makers additional protection from lawsuits. People who believe that vaccines caused their children’s autism were also somewhat curious.

Terrorists attacked Israelis in Kenya: a shoulder-fired missile just missed a passenger jet on its way to Tel Aviv, and suicide bombers blew up the Israeli-owned Paradise Hotel in Mombasa, killing 13. “It was just like being back home,” said one survivor. “It really was.” Umar Dangladima Magaji, the state commissioner of Nigeria’s Zamfara state, issued a fatwa against Isioma Daniel, a fashion writer whose article in a newspaper set off the Miss World riots: “What we are saying is that the holy Koran has clearly stated that whoever insults the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, should be killed.” Fighting continued in the Ivory Coast. A bag of money fell off a security truck on Interstate 94 in St. Paul, Minnesota, scattering $50,000 all over the road; drivers stopped and picked up most of the money and turned it in. Zsa Zsa Gabor broke some bones in a car crash. Wildlife officials in Hawaii said they planned to capture the three last po`ouli birds in existence; the three birds live within 2 miles of one another but have never met. Scientists said they had genetically engineered a strain of super-rice by giving it a gene taken from E. coli bacteria. An Italian doctor announced that a human clone will be born in January. A group of scientists was debating whether to make a mouse-human hybrid. One scientist said that the experiment could have results “too horrible to contemplate,” such as a mouse that produces human sperm mating with a mouse whose eggs were made with human cells. Japan was suffering from a plague of giant jellyfish.

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

September 2016

Land of Sod

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Only an Apocalypse Can Save Us Now

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Watchmen

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Acceptable Losses

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Home

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Tennis Lessons

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
 
Andrew Cockburn on the Saudi slaughter in Yemen, Alan Jacobs on the disappearance of Christian intellectuals, a forum on a post-Obama foreign policy, a story by Alice McDermott, and more
Artwork by Ingo Günther
Article
Land of Sod·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Just a few short years ago, Yemen was judged to be among the poorest countries in the world, ranking 154th out of the 187 nations on the U.N.’s Human Development Index. One in every five Yemenis went hungry. Almost one in three was unemployed. Every year, 40,000 children died before their fifth birthday, and experts predicted the country would soon run out of water.

Photograph by Mike Slack
Article
The Watchmen·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Just a few short years ago, Yemen was judged to be among the poorest countries in the world, ranking 154th out of the 187 nations on the U.N.’s Human Development Index. One in every five Yemenis went hungry. Almost one in three was unemployed. Every year, 40,000 children died before their fifth birthday, and experts predicted the country would soon run out of water.

Illustration by John Ritter
Article
Acceptable Losses·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Just a few short years ago, Yemen was judged to be among the poorest countries in the world, ranking 154th out of the 187 nations on the U.N.’s Human Development Index. One in every five Yemenis went hungry. Almost one in three was unemployed. Every year, 40,000 children died before their fifth birthday, and experts predicted the country would soon run out of water.

Photograph by Alex Potter
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

Chances that college students select as “most desirable‚” the same face chosen by the chickens:

49 in 50

Most of the United States’ 36,000 yearly bunk-bed injuries involve male victims.

In Italy, a legislator called for parents who feed their children vegan diets to be sentenced to up to six years in prison, and in Sweden, a woman attempted to vindicate her theft of six pairs of underwear by claiming she had severe diarrhea.

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