Weekly Review — April 4, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Runaway Raft on the Tigris, March 1875]
Runaway Raft on the Tigris.

In Iraqa suicide bomber killed 50 people and a car bomb killed 10 people. At least 15 U.S. troops were also killed. Hostage Jill Carroll was freed.CNN.comCNN.comU.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited England but cancelled a visit to a mosque there in order to avoid protesters. Rice and British foreign minister Jack Straw then visited Iraq, where they told the Iraqi leadership that it must form a unified government immediately.BBC NewsThe New York TimesIt was reported that Al Qaeda member Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was forced to step down as the leader of a coalition of Iraqi militant groups; he was replaced by a native Iraqi.BBC NewsIraq’s ruling parties accused the United States of killing 37 unarmed civilians at a mosque. “There’s been huge misinformation,” said U.S. Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli.News.com.auA federal jury in Virginia determined that Zacarias Moussaoui was responsible for some of the deaths of September 11, 2001, and thus eligible for execution.The New York TimesIn France 2.6 million people went on strike to protest changes in employment law,Reutersand ChineseInternet users were spending two billion hours online each week.ForbesAstronaut Marco Pontes became the first Brazilian in space.CNN.comPalestine fired a larger-than-usual missile into an Israeli kibbutz, without any casualties,BBC Newsand Canada cut off all relations with the Palestinian government.CBC NewsAriel Sharon was about to undergo head surgery.BBC News

Earthquakes in western Iran damaged 330 villages and killed 70 people.ReutersAt least 48 people drowned when a cruise boat capsized off the coast of Bahrain,FOX Newsand thunderstorms–along with at least 63 tornadoes–killed 27 people in Tennessee, Missouri, and Illinois.CNN.comIn Colorado a school banned flag-waving.ABC NewsThree quarters of Africa’s farmland lacked the basic nutrients needed to grow crops. “We must,” said Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, “feed our soils.”The New York TimesBritain assigned 4,000 officers to the new Serious Organised Crime Agency, an elite and secretive organization intended, according to a former detective, to “catch people in the highest echelon of organized crime.”BBC NewsIn Washington, D.C., President George W. Bush gave a speech about democracy. “One of the great things about America,” he said, “one of the beauties of our country, is that when we see a young, innocent child blown up by an IED, we cry.”The White HouseWith watering eyes, Andy Card stood next to Bush and resigned as White House chief of staff. “You’re a good man, Mr. President,” Card said before being replaced by budget director Joshua Bolten.MSNBCScientists in Michigan determined that children behave better after their tonsils are removed.ForbesThe U.S. Capitol building lost its power and was evacuated,CNN.comand the King of Tonga appointed Dr. Frederick Vaka’uta Sevele as prime minister, even though Sevele is not an aristocrat.Matangi: Tonga ONLINECaspar Weinberger died.Charleston Daily Mail via BlackEnterprise.comA Las Vegas ambulance company was using a special extra-large ambulance to deal with extremely obese patients; the company said that it had served 75 patients weighing over 600 pounds in the last 6 months.WBAY.comIt was revealed that lobbyist Jack Abramoff had once helped look for a child’s missing hamster.The Miami Herald

British scientists found that the air temperature in Antarctica was rising three times faster than in the rest of the world.The TimesFormer Liberian president Charles Taylor was caught attempting to flee Nigeria and was sent to Sierra Leone, where he pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of war crimes.The New York TimesThe First Secretary of Rwanda was briefly arrested in Uganda after he was caught sleeping with the wife of a Ugandan businessman. “This,” said a Western diplomat, “will not help matters.”CNN.comDoctors in North Carolina announced that they had successfully implanted lab-grown bladders into several patients,New Scientistsa Swedishstudy linked heavy cell-phone use to malignant brain tumors,The Jerusalem Postand scientists successfully sent muon neutrinos from Illinois to Minnesota in order to prove that some neutrinos do transform, most likely to tau neutrinos.Chicago Sun-TimesCatholics commemorated the one-year anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II.San Jose Mercury NewsIn Valletta, Malta, a man described as a “dark-skinned foreigner” walked into the Church of Our Lady of Jesus during mass and destroyed a 200-year-old mother-of-pearl crucifix. “Christians,” said the man, “do not live up to what they preach.”The Times of MaltaThere was a total eclipse of the sun.BBC News

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Nobody in academia had ever witnessed or even heard of a performance like this before. In just a few years, in the early 1950s, a University of Pennsylvania graduate student — a student, in his twenties — had taken over an entire field of study, linguistics, and stood it on its head and hardened it from a spongy so-called “social science” into a real science, a hard science, and put his name on it: Noam Chomsky.

At the time, Chomsky was still finishing his doctoral dissertation for Penn, where he had completed his graduate-school course work. But at bedtime and in his heart of hearts he was living in Boston as a junior member of Harvard’s Society of Fellows, and creating a Harvard-level name for himself.

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