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In Iraq car bombs killed 24 people,BBC Newsand a British helicopter was shot down over Basra, killing all five crew members.The GuardianIn Anbar, at a ceremony for new Iraqi soldiers, the graduates were told that they would be sent outside of their home province to serve, leading several soldiers to tear off their clothes in protest.The Washington PostIraqipoliceshot a 14-year-old boy named Ahmed Khalil in the head for being a gayprostitute.Gay.comIn Afghanistan the power of the Taliban was growing.The New York TimesAnalysts found that President George W. Bush had claimed exemption from 750 laws,The Boston Globeand Bush said that the best moment of his presidency was when he caught a seven-and-a-half-pound perch.ReutersThere was a marked increase in cases of fishlice.Practical FishkeepingIn England the Archbishop of York played African drums and led a conga line as he wore a hoodie,BBC Newsand in New York City, an Italian tourist was attacked and suffered a broken arm after he sat down on a motorcycle that was parked outside the local Hells Angels clubhouse.The New York PostA man in Brooklyn, angry because someone asked him to stop drinking, shot and killed a 3-year-old girl.The New York TimesThe cost of the memorial for the victims of the World Trade Center attacks was estimated at around $972 million, or about 26 percent of the original cost of the World Trade Center.The New York TimesDue to extreme inflation, toilet paper in Harare, Zimbabwe, cost $145,750 per roll (or U.S. $0.69).The New York Times
A plane flying from Armenia to Russia crashed into the Black Sea, killing 113 people.BBC NewsPresident Bush said he would like to see the prison at Guantánamo Bay closed,Reutersand CIA Director Porter Goss resigned, as did Goss appointee Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, the executive director of the CIA; Foggo is under investigation for his relationship to two defense contractors who allegedly bribed former congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham and Pentagon officials.AP via Breitbart.comUPIABC NewsAfter being sentenced to life in prison for his role in planning the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Zacarias Moussaoui asked a judge to consider a “not guilty” plea instead. “I now see,” said Moussaoui, “that it is possible that I can receive a fair trial even with Americans as jurors.” The judge denied the request.BBC NewsIranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sent a letter to President Bush seeking to improve relations between Iran and the United States; the White House denounced the letter but would not confirm whether the President had read it.BBC NewsA 1918 letter emerged that appears to show that the members of the YaleSkull and Bones society stole the skull of the Apache leader Geronimo from its grave, and may have used it in rituals.Yale Alumni MagazineA study found that white middle-aged Britons were, on average, healthier than white middle-aged Americans,The Guardianand Prince Henrik of Denmark, honorary president of the Danish Dachshund Club, told an interviewer that he enjoys eatingdogs.The New York Sun
Chinesescientists said that the glaciers of the Tibetan plateau were evaporating. “The melting glaciers,” said Dong Guangrong, “will ultimately trigger more droughts, expand desertification, and increase sand storms.” One such storm recently dumped over 300,000 tons of dust in Beijing; technicians cleaned away some of the dust by firing seven rocket shells filled with silver iodide into the air to produce four-tenths of an inch of rainfall.The IndependentChina ViewScientists in Korea revealed a new, attractive female robot that understands 400 words and can blink. “We are working,” said one roboticist, “on upgrading the android with the aim of making it move its legs by the end of this year.”The Korea TimesAn Australianpainter named Tim Patch unveiled a portrait of Prime Minister John Howard that he had painted with his penis,News.com.auand the head of the Iranian Physical Education Organization banned effeminate-looking athletes.Breitbart.comIn Hungary, it was widely reported, construction workers renovating a house discovered, and drank, a barrel of rum; when the barrel was empty they found that it contained a pickled human corpse (the story was later revealed as an urban legend).The AdvertiserIn Valparaiso, Indiana, a deaf man got into a fight with a man with two prosthetic legs; police later arrested the deaf man via a note.Breitbart.comScientists in Colorado said that the ozone layer was recovering,ReutersQatar announced $60 million in aid for New Orleans,The New York Timesand Kansas raised its minimum marriage age to 15.MSNBC
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