Weekly Review — April 11, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Christian martyr, 1855]
A Christian martyr.

A car bomb killed 10 people at a Shiite shrine in Najaf, Iraq, and a suicide bombing killed 85 people at a Shiite mosque in Baghdad. BBC NewsThe U.S. military announced that 1,313 Iraqi civilians had been killed in the sectarian violence of March. “Civil war,” said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, “has almost started among Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, and those who are coming from Asia.”BBC NewsChron.comThe case against Abdul Ameer Younis Hussein, an Iraqi cameraman for CBS who was arrested in April 2005 after filming the wreckage of a car bomb, was finally dismissed for lack of evidence.ABC NewsThe Bush Administration continued to plan a major air attack on Iran; a highly placed government consultant said that President George W. Bush believes that “saving Iran is going to be his legacy.”The New YorkerDoctors in London reported that a man who has taken 40,000 doses of Ecstasy was having trouble with his short-term memory.The GuardianA physicist in Connecticut was looking for funding for time-travel experiments. His proposed machine, he said, “uses light in the form of circulating lasers to warp or loop time.”PhysOrg.comA chiropractor in Ohio was in trouble for telling his patients that he could cure their ills by traveling back in time to when the injury occurred (a practice he calls “Bahlaqeem”), MSNBCand a Swedish doctor in Norway was fired for using an “anal massage” technique to cure different kinds of pain, such as headaches. “I am different,” explained the doctor.The LocalDoctors reattached a section of Ariel Sharon’s skull.The New York TimesThe Massachusetts legislature voted to make health insurance mandatory for all state residents by July 2007.The New York TimesAustralia agreed to sell uranium to China,The Australianand an Australian nudist, attempting to kill a spider, suffered burns over 18 percent of his body after he poured gasoline into the spider’s hole and lit a match.The Sydney Morning Herald

A translation of the Gnostic Gospel of Judas was released. In the text, originally written in Greek and translated into Coptic around 300 A.D., Jesus Christ asks his favorite disciple Judas Iscariot to turn him over to the Romans for sacrifice.The New York TimesIt emerged that I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby told a grand jury that when he leaked classified information favorable to the case for war in Iraq to New York Times reporter Judith Miller, he was acting under the specific authorization of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Bush authorized the leak even though the intelligence in question (regarding Saddam Hussein’snuclear ambitions) was considered unreliable by key administration members such as then Secretary of State Colin Powell.The New York TimesAn independent study of AIDS in Africa, funded by an international consortium and performed in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, found that 3 percent of Rwandans age 15 to 49 are infected with HIV, a much lower figure than the 30 percent estimated by some researchers or the 13 percent estimated by the United Nations. Infection rates, the study found, were similarly overstated throughout East and West Africa, although in southern Africa the rate of infection remained extremely high: for example, 34.9 percent of Botswanans in the 15 to 49 age group are infected with HIV. “From a research point of view,” a British economist said of UNAIDS, “they’ve done a pathetic job.”The Washington PostThe 7,000-man African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur was under investigation for raping and abusing local women and girls.The New York TimesA whistleblower accused AT&T of providing the NSA with full access to customer phone calls and Internet usage records.Wired NewsGermanscientists announced that cells from mice testes can act like embryonic stem cells; a private company in California said that it had achieved similar results with cells from human testes, and that it had grown new brain, heart, and bone cells from the human testes cells.CBS NewsReutersFirst Lady Laura Bush welcomed 51 egg artists to the White House for the annual egg display.New KeralaKatie Couric announced that she would leave NBC’s “Today” show to become the anchor of “The CBS Evening News,”The New York Timesand a dead, noseless, cyclops kitten was sold to a creationist museum in New York.KSAT.comPaleontologists announced that they had discovered a 375-million-year-old fossil in Canada that they believe is the “missing link” between water-dwelling and land-dwelling animals.Practical fishkeepingScientists in Brazil discovered a new species of tube-snouted ghost knifefish.Practical fishkeepingIn China a woman was selected from 70 volunteers to live for seven days in a cage with Internet access and 300 birds,All Headline Newsand three New York women were suing a plastic surgeon for making their breasts too large.All Headline News

It was announced that Slobodan Milosevic had died of natural causes.The New York TimesIn North Carolina, Duke University cancelled its lacrosse season after an African-American stripper was allegedly gang-raped by white lacrosse-team members. Soon after the allegations emerged, Duke lacrosse player Ryan McFadyen sent an email to fellow team members inviting them to another party featuring strippers. “i plan on killing the bitches as soon as the walk in,” he wrote, “and proceding to cut their skin off while cumming in my duke issue spandex.”The Smoking GunCalifornia legislators were considering a law that would make it a significant crime for a murderer to rape a victim’s corpse; corpse rapists currently receive only 16 months of prison time for that portion of their crimes.RecordNet.comSomeone was mutilating and killing the dogs of Superior Township, Michigan,WHIO-TVand former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R., Tex.) announced that he would not run for reelection to Congress. “I’ve never done anything in my political career,” said DeLay, “for my own personal gain.”TimeResearchers in Connecticut said that global warming has led to a massive decline in the lobster population of the Long Island Sound; however, if the polar ice caps melt and sea levels rise 30 feet, colder water might bring the lobsters back.The Stamford AdvocateCTV.caChicago Sun-TimesPolls found that while only 36 percent of Americans worry a great deal about global warming, 90 percent were prepared to fight its effects by caulking.Jurnalo.comMany scientists said that it was too late to stop climate change and that the earth was “past the point of no return.” “We are looking for the devil,” said a geochemist, “and we have found ourselves.”Jurnalo.comThe Stamford AdvocateThe Connecticut Post

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 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

September 2015

Tremendous Machine

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Goose in a Dress

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Genealogy of Orals

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Neoliberal Arts

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
New Television·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In Season 5 of Louie (FX), Louie is a new kind of superhero. Like Wonder Woman, the canonical superhero he most resembles, Louie’s distinctive superpower is love.”
Illustration by Demetrios Psillos
Article
Romancing Kano·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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 California’s 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 “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — 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 “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” 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.

Article
The Prisoner of Sex·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“It is disappointing that parts of Purity read as though Franzen urgently wanted to telegraph a message to anyone who would defend his fiction from charges of chauvinism: ‘No, you’ve got me wrong. I really am sexist.’”
Illustration by Shonagh Rae
Article
Gangs of Karachi·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In Karachi, sometimes only the thinnest of polite fictions separates the politicians from the men who kill and extort on their behalf.”
Photograph © Asim Rafiqui/NOOR Images
Article
Weed Whackers·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Defining 'native' and 'invasive' in an ever-shifting natural world poses some problems. The camel, after all, is native to North America, though it went extinct here 8,000 years ago, while the sacrosanct redwood tree is invasive, having snuck in at some point in the past 65 million years.”
Photograph by Chad Ress

Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:

65

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 “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Subways Are for Sleeping

By

“Shelby 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.”

Subscribe Today