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In Baghdad at least 28 people were killed when two suicide bombers attacked the Interior Ministry.BBC NewsWalter Cronkite called for the U.S. to withdraw from Iraq,CBC.comand Iraq’selectoral commission ruled that 99 percent of ballots cast on December 15, 2005, were valid.Forbes.comU.S. troops continued to be plagued by improvised explosive devices, or IEDs. “They blow up,” said a Marine corporal, “and you can’t find the triggerman. You’re mad, and you just want to kill someone, and you can’t find them.”The Wall Street Journal/A1The United States bombed Pakistan. The missiles were intended to kill Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was expected at a dinner; instead, 18 people were killed, including women and children, and al-Zawahiri remains alive.ReutersTony Blair’s government was planning to lift a 40-year prohibition against spying on members of Parliament. British officials, including the Secretary of State for Defense, were opposed to the plan.The IndependentBlair also admitted to smacking his children.The GuardianNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-Il rode an armored train to China, where he toured hi-tech firms. BBC NewsIn Kenya, 2.5 million people were close to starvation; police raids showed that those who were supposed to be handing out food were instead selling it.ReutersAn Indonesian girl died of bird flu, and Turkey had killed 306,000 birds.BBC NewsBBC NewsA skinhead shouting “I will kill you” stabbed eight people at a Moscowsynagogue,BBC Newsand the U.S. Senate made Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito’s wife cry.NBC11.com
A former NSA agent named Russell Tice claimed that the NSA had repeatedly spied on American citizens. “I believe I have seen some things that are illegal,” he said.Democracy Now!U.S. senators insisted that attacking Iran must remain an option.Boston.comShots were fired during a New Orleans parade intended to celebrate unity, and four people were hospitalized with gunshot wounds.APScientists announced that the Donner family had not actually been cannibals; it was in fact other pioneers, six miles away, who cooked and ate each other.SFGate.comAt Ohio State University a 47-year-old chimpanzee named Sarah (who knows the numbers from zero through six) attacked a student,The Guardianand Amnesty International released reports detailing even more torture at Guantánamo Bay.Forbes.comPat Robertson apologized to Ariel Sharon’s son, Omri, for being “inappropriate and insensitive” when he said that Sharon’s illness was God’s punishment. It remained unclear, however, whether Robertson would once again be permitted to build a theme park by the Sea of Galilee.BBC NewsIn Saudi Arabia 345 people were trampled to death while attempting to finish the “stoning-of-the-devil” ritual of the Hajj. “This was fate,” said a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, “destined by God.” Officials said that they were working out a plan to allow 500,000 people to stone the devil per hour.The Seattle TimesIn Zimbabwe, a pair of twins named Tafadzwa and Tapiwanashe Fichiani were charged with indecent exposure after entering an upscale mall wearing traditional goatskin loincloths known as nhembe. “We do not care what people say or think about us,” explained Tapiwanashe, “because we regard them as colonized.”News24.comFiremen in Japan were celebrating the end of a fire awareness event when a fire broke out, severely damaging their station.CNN.comFurther investigation showed that it may have been the wind rather than a burning mouse that caused a house fire in New Mexico. The homeowner held to his story, however: “I have an awful hate for those critters.”CNN.comSheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, 78, the ruler of Kuwait, died. Sheikh Saad al-Abdulla al-Sabah, 76, was named to replace him.Al-Jazeera
A Marylandschool superintendent decided to lift a ban on the book The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things in high-school libraries; the ban remained in effect for middle-school libraries.WGAL.comA study found that 24 percent of Americans find fat people less attractive than thin people; this represents a significant change from 20 years ago when 55 percent of Americans said that they were repulsed by fat people.Seattle PIWestern Australian Premier Geoff Gallop resigned due to depression. “I now need the space required,” he said, “to start the process of full recovery.”ABC News OnlineIn Aberystwyth, Wales, a woman was banned from the local seafront after she repeatedly attempted to drown herself. BBC NewsA soon-to-be revealed world map was offered as evidence that Chinese sailors discovered America; the map is said to be a 1763 copy of the 1418 original made during the reign of Emperor Yongle.BBC NewsA Minnesota man named Jonathan “The Impaler” Sharkey, who claims to be a vampire, announced that he would run for governor and promised that if elected he would personally impale murderers and child molesters. “I’m a Satanist who doesn’t hate Jesus,” he explained.ReutersBritish researchers were hoping to fuse human cells with rabbit eggs in order to generate stem cells. “The fertility of rabbits,” noted a researcher, “is legendary.”The GuardianScientists in Taiwan bred three glowing pigs,ABC Newsand a noseless one-eyed kitten died in Oregon.APAriel Sharon twitched his eyelids and cried.Forbes/AP
More from Paul Ford:
For the past three years my dosimeter had sat silently on a narrow shelf just inside the door of a house in Tokyo, upticking its final digit every twenty-four hours by one or two, the increase never failing â€” for radiation is the ruthless companion of time. Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly. During those three years, my American neighbors had lost sight of the accident at Fukushima. In March 2011, a tsunami had killed hundreds, or thousands; yes, they remembered that. Several also recollected the earthquake that caused it, but as for the hydrogen explosion and containment breach at Nuclear Plant No. 1, that must have been fixed by now â€” for its effluents no longer shone forth from our national news. Meanwhile, my dosimeter increased its figure, one or two digits per day, more or less as it would have in San Francisco â€” well, a trifle more, actually. And in Tokyo, as in San Francisco, people went about their business, except on Friday nights, when the stretch between the Kasumigaseki and Kokkai-Gijido-mae subway stations â€” half a dozen blocks of sidewalk, which commenced at an antinuclear tent that had already been on this spot for more than 900 days and ended at the prime ministerâ€™s lair â€” became a dim and feeble carnival of pamphleteers and Fukushima refugees peddling handicrafts.
One Friday evening, the refugeesâ€™ half of the sidewalk was demarcated by police barriers, and a line of officers slouched at ease in the street, some with yellow bullhorns hanging from their necks. At the very end of the street, where the National Diet glowed white and strange behind other buildings, a policeman set up a microphone, then deployed a small video camera in the direction of the muscular young people in drums against fascists jackets who now, at six-thirty sharp, began chanting: â€śWe donâ€™t need nuclear energy! Stop nuclear power plants! Stop them, stop them, stop them! No restart! No restart!â€ť The police assumed a stiffer stance; the drumming and chanting were almost uncomfortably loud. Commuters hurried past along the open space between the police and the protesters, staring straight ahead, covering their ears. Finally, a fellow in a shabby sweater appeared, and murmured along with the chants as he rounded the corner. He was the only one who seemed to sympathize; few others reacted at all.
Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:
Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.
An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as â€śa nation of oppressors and exploiters.â€ť
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â€śHe could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein â€” literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.â€ť