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At least 42,000 people died in an earthquake in Pakistan,ABC Newsand hundreds of people in Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador were buried alive in mudslides caused by Hurricane Stan.Science DailyBritain accused the Iranian Revolutionary Guard of providing Iraqi Shiite groups with the technology to carry out bombing attacks.BBC NewsA suicide bomber in Iraq blew himself up on a bus, killing ten people,BBC Newsand the Supreme Court of Israel ordered the Israeli Army to stop using Palestinians as human shields.BBC NewsThe CIA announced that it would not punish any of its employees for intelligence failures leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001,LA Timesand the FBI was thinking it might start hiring people who have admitted to using illegal drugs.Chicago Sun-TimesThe U.S. Senate passed a $440 billion defense-spending bill; the bill includes an amendment that places limits on the torture of military prisoners. President George W. Bush promised to veto the bill if it was passed containing the amendment.USNews.comBetween 470,000 and one million French workers demonstrated in support of labor rights,APand two New Orleanspolicemen were arrested for severely beating a 64-year-old man.MSNBCBoth Democratic and Republican senators were questioning the qualifications of Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, who has never argued a case before the Supreme Court but has been often referred to as President Bush’s “work wife.”The Seattle TimesSlate.comUNICEF released a short film that shows an airstrike attack on a village of Smurfs.News.telegraph
President Bush expressed concern over bird flu and asked Congress to consider legislation that would allow the U.S. Army to enforce quarantines in case of a pandemic.IndyStar.comThe Church of England confirmed Dr. John Sentamu, who was born in Uganda, as the 97th Archbishop of York,BBC Newsand the Catholic Church of Scotland published a guide to the Bible stating that the account of creation in the book of Genesis is “symbolic.” The virgin birth of Jesus, however, is still considered to be fact.The ScotsmanIt was claimed that President Bush had told a group of Palestinian ministers in 2003 that he acted on divine orders. “God would tell me,” Bush said, “â??George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan.â?? And I did, and then God would tell me, â??George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq . . .â?? And I did.” The White House described these claims as “absurd.”BBC Press OfficeNew Zealand HeraldAl Gore gave a speech in New York City. “Something,” he said, “has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America’s fabled â??marketplace of ideasâ?? now functions.”The Mercury NewsCountry music star Chris Cagle announced the birth of a new child and asked for privacy. “Both mother and child are in good health,” he wrote on his website. “Since the birth, however, we have discovered that biologically, the child is not mine.”AZCentral.comIt was announced that Tom Cruise had impregnated Katie Holmes,Peopleand it was also announced that a great white shark named for Nicole Kidman had been tracked as it swam from South Africa to Australia and back. “We suspect,” said a scientist, “that she went for reproductive reasons.”ReutersAn Indiana lawmaker proposed a bill that would require women who want to be artificially inseminated to prove both that they are married to someone of the opposite sex and that they have participated in faith-based activities.365Gay.comAn Oregon woman was suing her doctor for trying to heal her lower back pain by having sex with her. The doctor was also in trouble for charging the state $5,000 for giving the woman the treatment.ReutersA British reverend told a group of 12-year-olds that Harry Potter was “not the only gay in the village”.CNN.com
It was revealed that during the Hurricane Katrina disaster no one actually shot at a helicopter outside of the Louisiana Superdome, and that reports of homicides and rapes at the Superdome were mostly false. The repetition of rumors by the media, it is believed, slowed the official response to the disaster.Washington PostDick Cheney’s chief of staff I. “Scooter” Libby wrote a letter to New York Times journalist Judith Miller, giving Miller permission to testify about their confidential conversations. “Out West,” wrote Libby, “where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work–and life.” Many felt that Libby was writing in some kind of code.Editor & PublisherA Sicilian man woke from a more-than-two-year coma and said that he had heard everything that happened around him while he was unconscious,The New York Timesand the Vatican was expected to announce that it will allow gay men to become priests if the men have lived chastely for three years.CBC NewsA new vaccine that prevents cervical cancer was found to be 100 percent effective.CNN.comA registered sex offender in Medford, Oregon, was arrested after he asked a group of four girls for a ride to the mall. The police said that the suspect was covered in feces, but the man insisted he had just been rolling in tomato paste.SFGateA Florida teacher was fired after he mistook a ninth-grade student’s beeping insulin pump for a ringing cell phone and ripped it from the boy’s body,Local6.comand two Oklahoma teens were arrested for shooting eight cows and videotaping the massacre. “Cows,” said one of the teens in the video. “I hate cows more than coppers.”KTUL.comA Cambodian couple was in trouble for biting their 12-year-old daughter so that they might drink her blood,APand in Australia a worker at a forensics laboratory was under investigation for stealing parts of human brains so that they could be injected into racehorses in order to make the horses run faster.News.com.auIn Kent, Washington, a man named Neelesh Phadnis, accused of shooting his mother and father, defended himself by claiming that the murder was carried out by a gang of obese Samoans and their girlfriends.The Seattle TimesNew York City was bracing for a terrorist attack on its subways, possibly by terrorists wielding bomb-filled strollers,Sign On San Diegoand Londoners were concerned about crack-addictedsquirrels.The RegisterAmericans celebrated Columbus Day, except in Berkeley, California, where they celebrated Indigenous People’s Day.LA Times
More from Paul Ford:
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in Californiaâs ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as âinvasive,â âexotic,â âalienâ â all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as âindigenously Californianâ elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a âhome without its mother.â Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the âworldâs biggest selfies,â and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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âShelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.â