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Hezbollah declared victory in its 34-day war with Israel. “I guess,” said President George W. Bush, “I would have done the same thing if I were them.” Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pledged that Israel would “do better” in what Defense Minister Amir Peretz referred to as “the next round.” An official said killing Hezbollah leader Sheikh Nasrallah was a top priority.The Daily Telegraph (Australia)Dan Halutz, chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, was under fire for selling all of his stocks in the hours before the war began.The Wall Street JournalThe New York TimesThe Daily Telegraph (UK)The New York TimesBreitbart.comIsraeli troops detained a Hamas legislator in the West Bank and engaged Hezbollah guerillas in a shootout near Boudai, Lebanon.The Wall Street JournalIn South Africa, Shlomo Goldwasser, father of an Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hezbollah on July 12, urged the world to defeat his son’s captors. “If Israel won’t finish the job, you will find them here,” he said. “They will kidnap your sons.”Independent Online, South AfricaPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced that it was willing to work with Hezbollah to aid suffering Lebanese animals. CNSNews.comSyrian President Bashar Assad called those who doubted Hezbollah “half men,” an Arab newspaper called Assad a rose that failed to bloom, Jerusalem Postand VirginiaSenator George Allen called an Indian-American man with a mullet a “macaca.”Washington Post
Snipers killed 20 pilgrims at a Shiite festival in Baghdad; a government employee noted that it was an improvement over last year, when nearly a thousand died in stampedes. The New York TimesSenatorBarack Obama called the Iraq war “dumb.” Harrisburg Daily RegisterRussia sent text messages to Chechen rebels telling them to stop fighting,St. Petersburg Timesand Rwanda announced plans to end the death penalty for genocidiers.BBCThe Sri Lankan air force bombed an orphanage and killed dozens of schoolgirls, and the Tamil Tigers failed to kill the High Commissioner of Pakistan with an exploding rickshaw.GuardianIran was launching missiles at Kurds and cracking down on “decadent” satellite dishes. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed the country would continue to pursue its nuclear program “forcefully,” and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the United States “should be disarmed.” Middle East TimesShimon Peres had dinner with ConnecticutDemocratic Senate nominee Ned Lamont, The New York TimesThe Penninsula (Qatar)The New York Timesand Republicans were, in general, neglecting their party’s candidate in favor of Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, who said that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld should resign. The New York TimesPacifist ex-NaziGünther Grass got to keep his Nobel Prize, The New York TimesThe Australianand Pluto retained its status as a planet. The New York TimesAn epidemic of bird flu among geese in northern China was driving up the price of badminton shuttlecocks,CNNand two wild swans in Lake Erie contracted a low-grade strain of the virus.Yahoo! NewsColombia began exporting its big-butt queen ants (Hormiga culona), which taste like juicy popcorn when toasted.The Penninsula (Qatar)An empty submarine suspected of cocaine smuggling was found floating off the coast of Spain,BBCVenezuelans were spending their oil money on Scotch whiskey, The New York Timesand American guitars were dominating Japan. MSNFive Uighurs found life in Albania “better than Guantánamo” but longed to move to Toronto.The New York Times
In Thailand, a preoperative transsexual named John M. Karr claimed to have been present for JonBenet Ramsey’s 1996 death, which he called “an accident.” The New York TimesBenedict XVI complained that being pope is “really tiring” and emphasized that “seeing the funny side of life” is crucial to his ministry. Yahoo! NewsIt was reported that U.S. military recruiting violations rose in 2005, as did the number of troops discharged for homosexuality.Washington PostHouston’s rising crime rate was blamed on refugees from New Orleans, which has been gripped by a baby boom.The New York TimesBreitbart.comOfficials in Canton, Ohio, decided that a 13 percent pregnancy rate among its high schools’ females justified moving beyond an abstinence-only approach to sex education, LA TimesLocal6.comand a secretly pregnant 21-year-old in Florida went into labor, sneaked out of her parents’ house, crashed her car into a canal, then delivered standing up in the wreckage. She named the baby Myracle.Palm Beach PostDoctors in India speculated that the birth of a one-eyed girl might be attributable to her mother’s exposure to Cyclopamine, a cancer drug derived from wild corn lily that causes cyclopia in sheep.Wired NewsSouth Korean DNA tests on tissues obtained during a 2003 hysterectomy indicated that a Frenchwoman was the mother of two rotting infant corpses found in a freezer at her home in Seoul, but she and her husband denied any relationship to the dead babies.Digital ChosunilboIn Germany a man was struck on the back of the neck by projectile human feces, then robbed of $9,554 by three people who offered to clean him off.ReutersSir Mick Jagger lost his voice, The Daily Maila Chicago ice-cream-truck driver was shot dead behind the wheel,Local6.comand a tree in Texas was mysteriously spouting water from its bark.San Antonio Express-News
More from Christian Lorentzen:
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