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

Weekly Review

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

Palestinian militants conducted a raid in Israel and abducted an Israeli soldier, whom they carried to Gaza via a secret tunnel. Israel retaliated by bombing Gaza’s main power plant, two bridges, the offices of Palestine’s prime minister and interior minister, and a soccer field, and by arresting as many as 64 Palestinian officials. Palestinian militants demanded that Israel release all Palestinian prisoners who are women or under the age of 18. A number of Israeli and Palestinian officials speculated that Israel’s actions were intended to weaken or topple Palestine’s Hamas government.VOA NewsIn Iraq, where 14 U.S. soldiers died, bombings killed 62 people in a poor Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad, 17 people at a market in Hilla, and 18 people in Khairnabat.ReutersGuardianSan Francisco ChronicleReutersReutersThe bodies of seven men were discovered in the Tigris River south of Baghdad, and the bodies of two men were found in the Euphrates river south of Baghdad. All the bodies showed signs of torture.ReutersReutersicasualties.orgReutersIraqi and U.S. authorities freed 495 prisoners,AP via KTARand Iraq’s national security adviser announced that the body of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had been buried in “a marked but secret place.”ABC News (Australia)Saddam Hussein’s eldest daughter and first wife were added to the Iraqi government’s list of “most wanted” terrorist figures.ReutersFour U.S. soldiers in Iraq were being investigated for raping a woman, then killing her and three other members of her family; it was suggested that the accused may have spent up to a week planning the attack.Times Online (U.K)It was reported that Iraqi insurgents have started using sophisticated armor-penetrating mines that propel jets of molten metal at military vehicles. Telegraph.co.ukThe U.S. Supreme Court ruled that President George W. Bush had overstepped his authority in establishing military tribunals for Guantnamo Bay detainees. “I’d like to close Guantnamo,” said Bush, “But . . . we’re holding some people that are darn dangerous.”Yahoo! NewsBreitbart.comThe President went jogging with a soldier who lost both his legs in Iraq,.local6.comand Vice President Dick Cheney’s heart was said to be functioning properly.Associated Press

Floods killed dozens of people in Romania, Pakistan, China, and the northeastern United States.ReutersA subway derailment near Jesus station in Valencia, Spain, killed 34 people.Washington Post680 NewsScotsmanScotsmanEnglishsoccer fans, said German breweries, were endangering the Germanbeer supply.Mirror.co.ukIn Britain the wives of soldiers serving in Iraq were receiving strange phone calls from Iraqi militants,Telegraph.co.ukandit wasannounced that the Royal Familycost U.K. taxpayers about $68 millionlast year. “Our key aim,” said the Keeper of the Privy Purse,”is not to try and achieve a low-costmonarchy.”ScotsmanA three-foot-long escaped porcupine named Twinkle was captured in Langwathby, England.BBCPresident Bush said that it was “disgraceful” for newspapers to report on a secret intelligence program to trace bank records,New York Timesand China announced that media outlets would be fined up to $12,500 if they reported on any “sudden events” without prior authorization.New York TimesThe library of the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas, cancelled its subscription to the New York Times.MySA.comIn Florida thieves stole the 31-year-old remains of a 6-year-old boy,wftv.comand a trailer park was under criticism for recruiting sexual predators. “Everybody,” said a coordinator of Habitat for Offenders, “deserves a second chance.”local6.comBruno the bear was shot and killed by German authorities, ending his seven-week rampage through Germany and Austria; Bruno, officially tagged Rampant Brown Bear JJ 1, had killed sheep and rabbits, stolen honey, eluded Finnish bear trackers and elkhounds, and squashed a guinea pig. “Sexual frustration,” said a German official, “may be a reason for the random killings.”Times Online (U.K)Rush Limbaugh was detained at an airport when authorities found Viagra in his luggage.Hamilton Spectatorlocal6.comA Vermont teenager was convicted of stealing the bowtie and eyeglasses from a corpse and cutting off its head to make a bong,NBC5.comand in Nigeria a professor at Olabisi Onabanjo University was found dead behind Poopola Hospital in Ijebu-Igbo; Professor Oyedola is believed to have been killed by one of two warring campus cults–either the Eiye Confraternity or the Buccaneers.VanguardIn Rajasthan, India, a low-caste bridegroom on a horse was stoned by onlookers when a camel in his wedding procession ran amok,Hindustan Timesand David Hasselhoff hit his head on a chandelier while shaving. AP via AOL News

It was revealed that Hillary Clinton’s ancestors were English coal miners,Northern Echoand scientists in Borneo found a snake that can spontaneously change color from reddish-brown to white.ReutersIn India an autopsy determined that the rogue elephant known as Master Killer died from multiple organ failure. “I had lost my two children,” said the elephant’s distraught trainer. “But when I discovered this naughty tusker . . . I thought, ‘Here’s a newborn that will help me forget my own loss.’”The PeninsulaAustralian scientists studying the use of dingo urine as a kangaroo repellent found that the urine startles kangaroos.Yahoo! NewsEngineers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology announced the creation of a machine that can record and reproduce smells. “We can tell a green apple from a red apple,” said TIT scientist Pambuk Somboon.GuardianA study showed that rich people get more sleep than poor people, white people get more sleep than black people, and women get more sleep than men,Reutersand another study found that money does not buy very much happiness.LiveScience.comA gang of marauding transvestite thieves was terrorizing New Orleansbusinesses,New Orleans City Businessand sScientists were trying to create tomatoes containing an HIV vaccine.New ScientistIt was revealed that a Minnesota Timberwolves basketball player crashed his SUV into a parked car because he was drunk and masturbating to porn.wcco.comA man who killed himself in Eureka, Montana, also killed a 16-year-old girl when a bullet traveled through his head and struck the girl in the chest,wftv.comVladimir Putin kissed a boy on the stomach,Daily News & Analysisand a prison inmate in Pakistan awoke to discover a lightbulb in his anus, which surgeons removed several days later. “Thanks Allah,” said the man. “Now I feel comfort.”Reuters

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“One of the peculiar things about economic inequality is that the people who are most articulate about it are not poor, while the poor themselves have said little, at least in print, about their situation.”
Photograph © Reuters/Brendan McDermid
“It would be nice to get through this review without recourse to the term ‘writer’s writer.’ The thing is, in the case of Joy Williams, I have seen the cliché made flesh.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
“Miniatures originated in Persia and were brought to the Indian subcontinent when the Mughals conquered it in the sixteenth century. They could take on almost any subject: landscapes or portraits; stories of love, war, or play.”
Painting by by Imran Qureshi.
“The business of being a country veterinarian is increasingly precarious. The heartland has been emptying of large-animal vets for at least two decades, as agribusiness changed the employment picture and people left the region.”
Photograph by Lance Rosenfield
“Rosie and her husband had burned through their small savings in the first few months after she lost her job. Now their family of five relied on his minimum-wage paychecks, plus Rosie’s unemployment and food stamps, which, combined, brought them to around $2,000 per month, just above the poverty line.”
Illustrations by Taylor Callery

Ratio of children’s emergency-room visits for injuries related to fireworks last year to those related to “desk supplies”:


The ecosystems around Chernobyl, Ukraine, are now healthier than they were before the nuclear disaster, though radiation levels are still too high for human habitation.

The Islamic State opened two new theme parks featuring a Ferris wheel, teacup rides, and bumper cars.

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Subways Are for Sleeping


“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.”

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