- Current Issue
SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
Need to create a login? Want to change your email address or password? Forgot your password?
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!
Six American soldiers, including a general, were facing court martial over the torture and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison, which was famous for its torture chambers under Saddam Hussein. Photographs of the abuse were broadcast on U.S. television; one image depicted a hooded prisoner standing on a box with wires attached to his genitals.BBCOther photos showed prisoners masturbating; several showed U.S. soldiers smiling and posing next to their victims.New York TimesSome of the soldiers blamed mercenaries for the abuses;Guardianothers said that military intelligence was in control of that cellblock.New York TimesPhotographs were published of British troops beating an Iraqi man and urinating on him; the pictures also showed a soldier striking the man in the genitals with a rifle; the victim’s jaw was reportedly broken and his teeth were smashed before he was thrown off the back of a moving truck.Daily MirrorPresident Bush condemned the abuse. “Their treatment does not reflect the nature of the American people,” he said. “That’s not the way we do things in America.”Associated PressThe Urban Institute released a study showing that in some U.S. counties 30 percent of the population is in prison, and anNew York Timesabortion provider in Kansas City was accused of practicing fetal cannibalism.Wichita EagleThe United States used F-15E and F-16 warplanes, F-14 and F-18 fighter-bombers, AC-130 gunships, and AH-1W Super Cobra helicopters to bomb Fallujah. British Tornados were also used. Some three dozen laser-guided 500-pound bombs were dropped, and at least one building was blown up by accident.New York TimesA Cobra helicopter fired a missile at a mosque and knocked over its minaret.New York TimesU.S. forces, fearing a public relations disaster, pulled back from the city and left a new Iraqi force in charge under the command of General Jasim Muhammad Saleh, who served in the Republican Guard under Saddam Hussein. There was some confusion among American officials, however, as to whether the general was really in charge and whether he had actually served in the Republican Guard.New York TimesIraq’s Governing Council unveiled a new national flag that was immediately condemned for its strong resemblance to the flag of Israel, which features the same shade of blue.Washington Post
“Brother Guide” Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya arrived in Brussels, along with his white stretch Mercedes limo and four female bodyguards wearing tight uniforms, to meet with European officials. He called on the United States and China to rid themselves of nuclear and chemical weapons. “Hopefully,” he said, “nothing will force us to go back to the days when we used our cars and explosive belts.”New York TimesTerrorists in Syria fought with police and blew up a bomb outside a former United Nations office in Damascus, and militantsScotsmanin Saudi Arabia attacked the offices of a Western engineering company and killed several people; one American engineer was dragged away behind a car.New York TimesThe United Nations Security Council voted to ban “non-state actors” from possessing nuclear weapons.New York TimesPolice killed more than 100 Muslim militants armed with machetes in southern Thailand.ReutersVandals defaced 127 graves with swastikas and other Nazi symbols in a Jewish cemetery in Alsace, and theNew York TimesAnti-Defamation League released a report showing that European anti-Semitism is on the decline, though negative attitudes toward Israel are up.Jewish Telegraphic AgencyThe Likud Party, in a referendum, rejected Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s plan to withdraw unilaterally from the Gaza Strip, where a pregnant Israeli woman and her four daughters, ages two to 11, were murdered by Palestinian gunmen.New York TimesChild abductions were on the rise in Afghanistan, and the United Nations was having a hard time recruiting peacekeepers for its mission in Haiti.New York Times
President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney met for several hours with the 9/11 commission, though they refused to permit the interview to be recorded or transcribed; two Democratic members of the commission had to leave early because they had other appointments.Seattle TimesIt was reported that more than $5 billion in antiterrorism money for local governments and agencies has been held up by red tape, andNew York Timesthat last year the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control assigned only four employees to work on terrorist cases; in contrast, almost two dozen were investigating violations of the Cuban embargo. Since 1990, the office has opened 93 investigations into terrorist finances and 10,683 relating to Cuba.Associated PressPresident Bush declined to investigate China’s unfair trade practices, and tenCleveland Plain Dealernew countries joined the European Union.Associated PressBosnian Serb officials revealed six new mass graves containing victims of the Srebrenica massacre.ReutersCalifornia banned Diebold’s electronic voting machines, and expertsNew York Timessaid that the United States is losing its dominance in science and technology.New York TimesScientists developed a type of computer made of DNA that they hope could someday diagnose and treat diseases from inside the particular human cells that require treatment.UPISARS continued to spread in China.International Herald TribuneResearchers discovered a molecule, used by some cancer tumors, that prevents cells from dying.New ScientistArchaeologists found an underground Egyptian maze filled with mummies, and scientistsNew Scientistdiscovered that women tend to marry men who look like their fathers.New ScientistA Russian museum of erotica announced an exhibit featuring Grigory Rasputin’s penis.Moscow News
More from Roger D. Hodge:
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Rank of Detroit among major U.S. cities whose residents give the largest portion of their income to charity:
A South Dakota researcher concluded that only scant blood spatter results when chain saws are used to dismember pigs.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature