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The 9/11 commission released its report and catalogued the many failures of intelligence and law enforcement that permitted Al Qaeda to carry out the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; the commission concluded that “we are not safe.”New York TimesRepublicans were trying to blame it all on Bill Clinton.New York TimesFrench authorities evacuated the Eiffel Tower but failed to find a bomb.New York TimesLinda Ronstadt was booed off the stage at the Aladdin casino in Las Vegas after she dedicated “Desperado” to Michael Moore; the casino’s management removed Ronstadt from the building and refused to let her return to her hotel room.BBCA homeland-security officer was in big trouble for beating up a Chinese tourist.Associated PressPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals released a videotape of workers in a chicken factory stomping on live chickens and throwing them against a wall; the undercover investigator who documented the abuse said that he saw hundreds of cruel acts, including squeezing birds till they explode.New York TimesDemocrats said they were planning to be “positive” at their convention in Boston.NewsdayIraqi militants continued to abduct foreign workers and threatened to cut off their heads unless their employers leave Iraq. “We have warned all the countries, companies, businessmen, and truck drivers,” said one statement given to reporters, “that those who deal with American cowboy occupiers will be targeted by the fires of the mujahedeen.”New York TimesAn Egyptian diplomat was kidnapped.TelegraphSaudi authorities found the severed head of an American hostage.The AgeThe Dow Jones industrial average fell below 10,000.Washington Post
Europe and the United States both continued to threaten Sudan with economic sanctions unless it stops the genocide in Darfur, where government-sponsored Arab militias have been slaughtering and raping black farmers.ReutersA woman in South Africaaccidentally put a 100-year-old gold coin into a Cape Town parking meter.ReutersThe president of Malawi asked parliament to move out of its new building so that he could live there.ReutersCounty commissioners in Jefferson County, Texas, voted to change the name of Jap Road, which was reportedly named 100 years ago in honor of a Japanese rice farmer.ReutersThe Government Accountability Office said that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are running $12.3 billion over budget this year.New York TimesSamuel Berger, Bill Clinton’s national security adviser, was in trouble for removing classified documents from the National Security Archive.New York TimesGreat Britain announced that it will reduce the size of its armed forces by 15,000.New York TimesThe United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution demanding that Israel obey the World Court’s ruling and remove the West Bank wall.New York TimesPresident Jacques Chirac told Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon that he was no longer welcome in France.Deutsche WelleA miner in Guinea found a 182-carat diamond.Associated PressRussian police broke up a summer camp for young thieves.New York Times
Janssen Pharmaceutica Products, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, warned doctors that it had “minimized potentially fatal risks, and made misleading claims” about Risperdal, an anti-schizophrenia drug; the drug can cause stroke, diabetes, and other fatal complications, the company said, and contrary to claims on the label it is not safer than similar drugs. It was reported that some boys who were given Risperdal in Florida, where it is used as a “chemical restraint” in state facilities, developed lactating breasts.Miami HeraldThe Bush Administration has decided that consumers should not be able to sue manufacturers of drugs that have been approved by the FDA.New York TimesA new study of the evidence suggested that Napoleon died from getting too many enemas.New ScientistFormer Mexican president Luis Echeverría was indicted for his role in the killings of student protesters in 1971; the next day a judge refused to issue an arrest warrant.New York TimesAn Italian city banned the practice of keeping goldfish in bowls.Agence France-PresseWest Nile encephalitis killed a man in California, andReutersofficials there were considering closing national forests to prevent fires.Associated PressAn alligator bit off a landscaper’s arm in Florida.CNNIt was reported that one of the first lesbian couples to get married in Canada filed for divorce within five days, though Canadian law does not yet recognize same-sex divorce.Globe and MailThe European Space Agency found that rogue waves more than 25 meters high are not uncommon and may have sunk more than 200 supertankers over the past 20 years.Sydney Morning HeraldThe International Whaling Commission released a report concluding that military sonar harms whales and is to blame for the increasing numbers of whale strandings.Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor found wide genetic variations among healthy people; many people lack large sequences of DNA; others have multiple copies.NewsdayResearchers found that monkeys with good mothers are less likely to be aggressive, even if they have a gene that codes for aggression.New ScientistScientists discovered that yawning is contagious among chimps.New Scientist
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 â€śhallwayâ€ť must have a nautical name. Why didnâ€™t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet heâ€™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 theyâ€™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 donâ€™t belong to, that doesnâ€™t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isnâ€™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 â€” because ocean life pays better than money! â€” 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.
Number of people stopped and frisked by the NYPD in 2011 for â€śfurtive movementsâ€ť:
The faces of Lego people were growing angrier.
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.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature