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The Labor Department reported that the economy created a mere 96,000 jobs last month, thus failing to keep pace with the expansion of the nation’s work force and confirming that George W. Bush has the worst job creation record of any president since Herbert Hoover. The White House reacted to the bad news by declaring that the poor job numbers prove that the president’s tax cuts have been working.New York TimesThe Iraq Survey Group issued its final report and concluded that Saddam Hussein dismantled his nuclear weapons program in 1991 and did not attempt to revive it. The inspectors said that there was no evidence that Iraq continued to possess chemical or biological weapons, and they concluded that Hussein refused to admit he had disarmed because he wanted to maintain a deterrent against Iran.New York TimesPresident Bush said that the report proved that Iraq was “a gathering threat.”New York TimesL. Paul Bremer, President Bush’s former proconsul in Iraq, told an audience of insurance agents that “we never had enough troops on the ground” and that “the single most important change â?? the one thing that would have improved the situation â?? would have been having more troops in Iraq at the beginning and throughout.” Bremer said that he had argued for more troops but that his requests were denied. The Bush Administration first denied that Bremer asked for more troops and then admitted that, yes, in fact, he did.Washington PostJacques Derrida died of pancreatic cancer.New York TimesSecretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited Iraq and told soldiers that the violence there will probably get worse; while he was in the country two car bombs went off in Baghdad, killing 11 people.Los Angeles TimesAlu Alkhanov was sworn in as president of Chechnya.New York TimesOpposition politicians complained that the Afghan presidential election was fraudulent, and anNew York TimesIraqi politician was indicted for suggesting that the country open negotiations with Israel.New York TimesBombings in three Egyptian resort towns killed at least 33 people and wounded 149. Many of the victims were vacationing Israelis.New York TimesA suicide car bombing killed at least 39 people at a rally in central Pakistan, and theReutersgovernment banned public meetings except for Friday prayers.New York TimesRebels and government soldiers were abducting, torturing, and killing civilians in Nepal.ReutersThe genocide in Sudan was continuing.New York TimesIn Haiti, supporters of former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide were going after policemen with machetes; some were beheaded.New York TimesA Washington, D.C., policeman arrested, cuffed, and jailed a woman for eating a candy bar in the subway.Associated Press
The Bush campaign denied rumors that the president was wired with an earpiece to receive help during his first debate with Senator John Kerry.Associated PressRepublicans in Michigan were calling on authorities to prosecute Michael Moore for offering to give clean underwear to college students if they would promise to vote.Associated PressRepublicans in Oklahoma were running television ads showing dark-skinned hands accepting welfare checks, andAssociated PressHouse majority leader Tom DeLay was again rebuked by the House Ethics Committee for having “created an appearance that donors were being provided special access to you regarding” pending legislation.New York TimesVice President Dick Cheney and Senator John Edwards had harsh words for each other during their debate;New York TimesCheneyclaimed that he had never before met Senator Edwards; newspapers then published a photograph of the two men smiling and speaking together at a prayer breakfast.New York TimesMartha Stewart began her five-month prison sentence for telling lies.Associated PressSwaziland’s police commissioner was detained for several hours in the Atlanta airport when he was traveling to the Interpol General Assembly in Mexico.New York TimesKing Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia abdicated his throne.New York TimesRodney Dangerfield died.New York TimesFederal tax revenue was lower than it was in 2000,New York TimesChicago experienced its first murder-free night in five years, andNew York TimesSupreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that “sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged.”Guardian
Britain suspended the license of the factory in Liverpool that was supposed to manufacture almost half the American supply of this year’s flu vaccine.New York TimesPublic health experts have long warned that it is insane for the United States to depend on two companies for the country’s flu vaccine.New York TimesThe World Health Organization released a study, based on an unscientific “spot-check” sampling, concluding that Indonesian villagers in Buyat Bay, Sulawesi, have not been poisoned by a gold mine, owned by the Newmont Mining Corporation, that dumped about 2,000 tons of mine tailings a day into nearby waters.New York TimesThe Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations called on hospitals to prevent “anesthesia awareness,” which is the term for when a patient can feel the pain of surgery but is unable to move or cry out.Associated PressCongress agreed to permit the Energy Department to redefine some highly radioactive nuclear waste in South Carolina and Idaho so that it can be left in tanks rather than being pumped out for deep burial.New York TimesThree hundred pounds of weapons-grade plutonium from the United States arrived in France.New York TimesMexico declined to stop the construction of a Wal-Mart next to the ancient ruins of TeotihuacĂˇn, and paleontologistsReutersin China discovered 130-million-year-old fossils of Dilong paradoxus, an ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex, with impressions of feathers all over its body.New York TimesScientists sequenced the genome of a Hereford cow.Associated PressWeather experts said that the United States experienced a record number of tornadoes in August and September, andNew York TimesElfriede Jelinek, the Austrian novelist, won the Nobel Prize in Literature.Associated PressScientists were investigating the appearance of hermaphrodite fish in Colorado’s South Platte River; the fish were found near two wastewater discharge pipes.USA TodayKorean and Italian researchers developed a tiny robot with multiple legs designed to crawl through a patient’s guts.New ScientistScientists with NIZO Food Research developed an artificial throat that breathes, salivates, and swallows.New ScientistA nineteen-year-old Singapore man set a world record for the number of hamburgers he could stuff in his mouth. “I’m on top of the world right now,” he said,” because everyone’s going to know that I can shove more than three burgers in my mouth.”Associated Press
More from Roger D. Hodge:
Flor Arely SĂˇnchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San JuliĂˇn region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases â€” first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didnâ€™t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Average amount of time a child spends in Santa Claus’s lap at Macy’s (in seconds):
Beer does not cause beer bellies.
Following the arrest of at least 10 clowns in Kentucky and Alabama, Tennesseans were warned that clowns could be â€śpredatorsâ€ť and Pennsylvanians were advised not to interact with what one police chief described as â€śknuckleheads with clown-like clothes on.â€ť
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â€śMatt 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. 'Iâ€™m glad everyoneâ€™s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supportsÂ my lifestyle.'â€ť