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After an Israeli bombing raid killed 54 people, including 37 children, in the Lebanese village of Qana, Beirut residents set fire to a U.N. headquarters.Daily Star (Lebanon)Israel agreed to suspend some bombing operations for 48 hours in order to investigate the deaths, though Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ruled out a ceasefire.BBCIsraeli bombs struck a U.N. post in southern Lebanon, killing four peacekeepers. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said the targeting was “apparently deliberate,” and Olmert called Annan’s comments “premature and erroneous.”BBCAl JazeeraThe United Nations began relief operations.ReutersHezbollah guerillas fired several hundred rockets into towns in northern Israel, hitting a laundry detergent factory and a cemetery, and injuring at least 31 people.CGGLNine Israeli soldiers were killed in an ambush, and Israeli officials claimed to have killed some 200 Hezbollah “operatives” since the outset of hostilities.APAP via Dispatch OnlineBBCLebanese were receiving late-night phone calls from the Israeli government. “I just wished I could talk back to the voice,” said one woman, “but it was a recorded message.” Hezbollah responded by sending mobile-phone text messages to dozens of Israelis.SFGate.comHaaretzReuters via thestaronlineThe Israeli military deployed llamas in southern Lebanon.YnetnewsJTARadical Sunni groups usually hostile to Shiites urged support for Hezbollah,Ynetnewsand Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, condemned Israel’s military actions; Howard Dean called al-Maliki an “anti-Semite.”APThirteen U.S. soldiers died in Iraq, where the U.S. military was planning to deploy 5,000 more troops. icasualties.orgAt least 34 gunshot bodies were found in Baghdad, all showing signs of torture.local6.comReutersShiite militia groups in Baghdad were setting up checkpoints, demanding that passersby provide identification, and shooting Sunnis on the spot. “The gangs also raided houses and shouted at the people there, ‘You pimps, Sunnis, we will kill you,’” explained an eyewitness. “And they did.”ReutersNewsweekGunmen in Mosul set fire to government-run food-ration shops. ReutersA marine sniper who has killed as many as 60 insurgents in Iraq said of his work, “It’s like hearing classical music playing in my head.”USA TodayIt was reported that Private Steven D. Green, who is charged with raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, then killing her and members of her family, had said that, in Iraq, “killing people is like squashing an ant, I mean, you kill somebody and it’s like, ‘All right, let’s go get some pizza.’” Washington PostThe coach of the Iraqi national soccer team resigned and fled to Kurdistan. ABC (Australia)Saddam Hussein demanded that he be shotâ??not hangedâ??if he is found guilty of murdering Shiites in Dujail in 1982. “This case,” said Hussein, “is not worth the urine of an Iraqi child.”Scotsman.comIn Minnesota people in zombie costumes were arrested for carrying “simulated weapons of mass destruction.“local6.com
Hot weather killed 141 people (as well as 25,000 cattle and 700,000 fowl) in California, at least 170 people in France, Italy, and Spain, and dozens of racing dogs in Oregon, and shut down MySpace.CBSTwo people in England were killed by a giant inflatable sculpture named Dreamscape.USAgNet.comAFP via Taipei TimesCape Timeslocal6.comlocal6.comBBCRadiologists announced that many Americans were becoming too fat for X-rays,Reutersand a man in Sumatra was squashed by an elephant.news24.comDoctors in India removed a 15-year-old dead fetus from a woman’s womb,Times of IndiaPresident George W. Bush apologized to British Prime Minister Tony Blair for improperly shipping bombs to Israel via Scotland,BBCand Britain considered legislation to establish $1,859 fines for cyber-bullying.Daily MailBaboons were harrassing construction workers in Liverpool,Washington Postand a school headmaster in China burned down 10 classrooms when the dogmeat he was cooking burst into flames.The AustralianAn American scientist claimed that parrots are as intelligent as five-year-old children,ABC (Australia)and Georgian soldiers were injured in a battle in a gorge in Georgia, according to government official Georgy Arveladze.Reuters via tvnz.co.nzIt was reported that detainees at the GuantĂĄnamo Bay prison have attacked their guards with spit, feces, semen, and a bloody lizard tail.AP via Breitbart.comSenators Hillary Clinton and John McCain held a vodka-drinkingcontest,New York Timesand in Maryland one U.S. Senate candidate said he did not knowingly pay for 20 heroin addicts to come to his campaign rally, while another was arrested for raping his 19-year-old mail-order bride. Washington TimesOfficials in Mississippi claimed to have their beaver problem under control.wjz.comNortheast Mississippi Daily Journal
Geneticists were optimistic about their plans to sequence and compare the genomes of such primate species as the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), the orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), and the gorilla (Gorilla gorilla). medicalnewstoday.comA Tennesseeelephant named Winkie was found not to have killed her handler on purpose,AP via Forbesand a British jockey apologized for headbutting his horse.Daily MailA large praying mantis statue was frightening children in Tokyo,NDTV.compoisoned pigeons rained down in Schenectady, New York,AOL Newsand Texas was overrun by butterflies.New York TimesA man in Prey Veng province, Cambodia, killed a 76-year-old nun by strangling her with a krama, then attempted to assassinate a monk, while the victims slept at a wat.Phnom Penh PostAn influential Italian banker and member of Opus Dei was found dismembered under a bridge in Parma,Independent (U.K.)and Mel Gibson was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. “Are you a Jew?” Gibson is reported to have asked a sheriff’s deputy. “What do you think you’re looking at, sugar tits?” he demanded of a female sergeant.TMZChinese scientists were preparing to test an artificial sun.UPILubbock, Texas, prayed for rain,KCBD.comand fish fell from the sky in Manna, India.Mail&Guardian
More from Rafil Kroll-Zaidi:
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