Weekly Review — March 14, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Humbug, December 1853]

The U.S. State Department issued a report criticizing human rights abuses in China, North Korea, Iran, and Cuba. It also criticized the rights records of Jordan and Egypt, two countries where the United States has sent detainees to be interrogated. The report noted that the United States’ “own journey towards liberty and justice for all has been long and difficult,” and is “far from complete.”The New York TimesThe IndependentA bombing at a Shiite market in Sadr City, Iraq, killed at least 50 people; Shiite vigilantes responded by abducting four men, beating and executing them, and hanging them from lampposts.The New York TimesIn Baghdad 37 corpses were found, including 18 bodies stacked in a minibus. The corpse of American peace activist Tom Fox was found in a trash heap in western Baghdad; Fox and three other members of Christian Peacemaker Teams had been kidnapped in November 2005 by the Swords of Righteousness Brigade.The New York TimesThe New York TimesThe Iraqi government hanged 13 insurgents,AP via Yahoo! Newsand it was reported that Iraq’sShiite party had ordered the Health Ministry to stop recording deaths that resulted from execution-style shootings.The Washington PostAmericans had nearly $800 billion in credit-card debt.TribStar.comU.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow warned Congress that the United States was about to exceed its debt limit of $8.2 trillion,The Toronto Starand a five-year study into alternative methods of managing hog waste produced no feasible alternative to the current practice of filling massive lagoons with excrement.WRAL.comIn rural Nepal fathers were being paid in piglets if they agreed not to sell their daughters into servitude,The Christian Science Monitorand a farmer in Germany said that he got the idea of feeding a friend’s corpse to pigs from a lecture about Buddhism.MSNBCThe Sheaf, a University of Saskatchewan campus newspaper, was criticized for publishing a cartoon showing Jesus Christfellating a talking pig,The Gatewayand the House voted to renew the Patriot Act.CNN.comA New Zealand miner drowned in a flooded shaft,Stuff.co.nzand photographer and director Gordon Parks died.The Washington PostAfter 213 years as a nonprofit, the New York Stock Exchange became a public company.The New York TimesA new species of blind, furry, lobster-like crustaceans was discovered in the South Pacific.CNN.com

Former Texas Governor Ann Richards announced that she had been diagnosed with cancer.AP via Yahoo! NewsTom DeLay (R., Tex.) won the Republicanprimary for his congressional seat,Capitol Hill Blueand scientists were investigating a family of mentally retarded Kurds in Turkey who walk on all fours. “However they arrived at this point,” said a scientist, “we have adult human beings walking like ancestors several million years ago.”Time-warp family who walk on all foursThe House passed legislation that, if approved in the Senate, will make it far more difficult for states to put warning labels on food; under the new rules all warnings will be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. “What’s wrong,” asked Representative Henry Waxman (D., Calif.), “with our system of federalism?”Canada.comBritain planned to kill one third of its wild badger population–about 100,000 badgers–in order to slow the spread of bovinetuberculosis; critics of the plan argued that slaughtering badgers will speed the spread of bovine tuberculosis.The GuardianMad cow disease was found in Alabama,The New York Timeswhere three college students were arrested for setting nine churches on fire. One of the students, Benjamin Moseley, was planning to appear in a school theater production called “Young Zombies in Love.”The New York TimesA sociology professor at Suffolk University, Boston, was suspended after being caught browsing Internetporn sites while teaching a class; he was unaware that his computer was connected to a display behind him.7News BostonIn Licking County, Ohio, a man was accused of making 2,623 obscene phone calls over 20 days,SFGate.comand in Arizona a 52-year-old Deputy Fire Chief named Leroy Johnson was seen dragging a lamb into a neighbor’s barn. The lamb??s owner, Alan Goats, entered the barn to confront Johnson. “You caught me, Alan,” said Johnson, zipping up his wet pants. “I tried to fuck your sheep.” Police described the victim as small, gray, three feet tall, and four feet long.The Smoking GunTwo British preschools were criticized for having children sing “Baa baa rainbow sheep.” “There are much better ways,” said a representative of another preschool, “of addressing these issues.”BBC NewsDetails from recently released Guantánamo Bay transcripts continued to emerge. “We lost our goats,” explained one prisoner. “That’s why we were looking through binoculars.”The Christian Science MonitorYanni was arrested for allegedly hitting his girlfriend.The Smoking Gun

The Cassini spacecraft, said NASA, found what appeared to be water on Saturn’s moon Enceladus.The Washington PostThe Nigerian government, hoping to avoid the panic and rioting that broke out during the eclipse of 2001, warned its citizens that they may experience “psychological discomfort” during the eclipse of March 29.Reuters via Yahoo! NewsSlobodan Milosevic died of a heart attack in prison at the Hague; it was unclear whether his death was a murder, a suicide, or from natural causes.Bloomberg NewsVenezuela debuted a new flag. “The white horse,” explained President Hugo Chavez, “is now liberated, free, vigorous, trotting toward the left.”CNN.comIn Chicago between 300,000 and 500,000 people marched to protest a House bill that calls for increased border protection to limit immigration,CBS2Chicago.netand Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano ordered more soldiers to patrol the Mexican border. “We are not,” she said, “at war with Mexico.”The Washington PostTwo more bodies from the Hurricane Katrina disaster were found in New Orleans.ABC News OnlineA Dutchstudy found that 50 percent of the products returned to stores for malfunctions actually work fine but are just too complicated to use.ReutersAl Qaeda was communicating via social networking website MySpace.com,ABC Newsand a Pentagon-funded medical consortium, researching techniques to regenerate body parts, was hoping to create a working finger within five years.The Charlotte Observer

Share
Single Page

More from Paul Ford:

From the May 2010 issue

Just like heaven

Weekly Review March 23, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review November 24, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

March 2015

A Sage in Harlem

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Man Stopped

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Spy Who Fired Me

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Giving Up the Ghost

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Invisible and Insidious

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Fourth Branch·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Both the United States and the Soviet Union saw student politics as a proxy battleground for their rivalry.”
Photograph © Gerald R. Brimacombe/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
Article
Giving Up the Ghost·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Stories about past lives help explain this life — they promise a root structure beneath the inexplicable soil of what we see and live and know, what we offer one another.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
Article
The Spy Who Fired Me·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In industry after industry, this data collection is part of an expensive, high-tech effort to squeeze every last drop of productivity from corporate workforces.”
Illustration by John Ritter
Article
No Slant to the Sun·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 minister’s lair — became a dim and feeble carnival of pamphleteers and Fukushima refugees peddling handicrafts.

One Friday evening, the refugees’ 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: “We don’t need nuclear energy! Stop nuclear power plants! Stop them, stop them, stop them! No restart! No restart!” 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.

Photograph © Stuart Franklin/Magnum Photos
Article
Invisible and Insidious·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly.”
Photograph © 2011 Massimo Mastrorillo and Donald Weber/VII

Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:

1

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 “a nation of oppressors and exploiters.”

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Driving Mr. Albert

By

He 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 — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.

Subscribe Today