Weekly Review — October 17, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Storks, 1864]

Research by U.S. epidemiologists and Iraqi physicians found that 654,965 Iraqis have died as a result of the Iraq war, though half of households surveyed were unsure of who to blame for the deaths of their family members. President George W. Bush said that he did not consider the study “a credible report.”Johns Hopkins UniversityReutersThe United StatesArmy was planning to maintain current troop levels in Iraq through 2010, and to replace its advertising slogan, “An Army of One,” with a new slogan, “Army Strong.”APInsurgents in Baghdad fired a mortar round at an ammunition dump on a U.S. military base, setting off large explosions that were felt miles away,Army TimesChina Dailyand the judge in Saddam Hussein’s genocide trial once again expelled Hussein from the courtroom; one of Hussein’s co-defendants then called the prosecutors “pimps and traitors” and punched a bailiff. Another defendant declared, “I wish to be executed and finish with this court.”AFP via BreitbartNorth Korea’s Dear Leader Kim Jong Il was said to be at risk of losing his access to McDonald’s hamburgers and Hennessy cognac if sanctions on luxury goods are imposed in response to his country’s recent nuclear testing.All Headline NewsU.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld showed reporters a satellite image of North Korea. “Except for my wife and family,” said Rumsfeld, “that is my favorite photo.”Daily MailCanadian troops in Afghanistan were finding it difficult to destroy forests of ten-foot-tall marijuana plants where the Taliban hide. “That damn marijuana,” said one soldier.Reuters via CNN.comRight-wing columnist Christopher Hitchens confessed that he had eaten a dog.Daily Mirror

Two trains collided while traveling in opposite directions between the French city of Nancy and the grand duchy of Luxembourg, killing six people.AFX via Hemscott.comFloods killed 37 people in Thailand, and Israeli airstrikes in Gaza killed nine people.AFP via Yahoo! NewsAP via CBS NewsLibya announced that it would provide laptop computers for 1.2 million schoolchildren,AP via local6.comand ChineseWal-Mart workers unionized.International Herald TribuneAmericans were claiming political asylum in Britain.Sun OnlineIn China’s Shanxi and Shaanxi Provinces, families with dead sons complained that corpse brides were in short supply.scotsman.comA study suggested that an increasing number of British students are working as prostitutes in order to pay their university tuition,timesonline.co.ukand California researchers found that women dress more fashionably when they are ovulating.ReutersA Vietnamese death-row inmate convicted of possessing heroin worth more than one billion dong had her sentence commuted to life in prison when she was discovered to be pregnant.BBCA Virginia couple were trying to give back their fifteen-year-old adopted son, who turned out to be a sexual predator. “They just told me he was hyperactive,” said the boy’s mother. Washington PostA Pennsylvania woman was arrested for beating her baby’s father with the baby.AP via New York TimesIn Bombay, where the city courts faced a backlog of 16,234,223 cases, police arrested a drunk three-foot-tall man for extorting money from people with a meat cleaver. “Everyone pampered him because he was so small and cute,” said the man’s brother. “But he has brought great misfortune for the family.”Mumbai MirrorMumbai MirrorA Minnesota school principal resigned after shooting two orphaned kittens on school property.AP

In Israel, four doctors were arrested for carrying out illegal, non-consensual medical experiments on their patients;Haaretzthe U.S. Department of Justice accused blacks of suppressing the white vote in Mississippi;New York Timesand Adam Pearlman, the “American Al Qaeda,” was charged with treason, making him the first U.S. citizen so indicted since World War II.CBS NewsDubai’s ruling family was sued for enslaving children as camel jockeys. A family representative argued that the suit was spurious, since Dubai has replaced child camel-jockeys with robots.BBCIndia’s Supreme Court ordered the seizure of 300 macaques who had terrorized bureaucrats and destroyed top-secret defense documents,BBCand the Philippines rejected a plan to help a monkey-infested island by importing monkey-eating eagles.gulfnews.comIn Uganda, a mob armed with spears, machetes, and clubs killed a lioness, mutilated the carcass, and imprisoned the remains.The Monitor via allAfrica.comThousands of villagers in the Indian state of Jharkhand fled their homes in order to avoid a herd of rampaging elephants. “The elephants,” said a forestry official, “are out to avenge.” “They destroy our crops in the field,” complained a farmer. “Sometimes they damage our houses also.” ReutersANI via DailyIndia.comDonkeys were increasingly popular with Mexican farmers.Christian Science Monitor via Arizona Daily StarSwiss researchers in Syria discovered the remains of an extinct species of giant camel, iol.co.zaand a Virginiabiologyteacher was suspended after compelling her students to pose with the bones of a century-old corpse in Pocahontas Cemetery.North Country GazetteWalnut-related crimes were on the rise in the United States,.Appeal-Democratand a pile of jelly left over from a wedding party’s jelly-fight sparked a terrorism alert near Leipzig, Germany.One Bakersfield OnlineMumbai MirrorAn Italian sociologist moved into a cave, where he plans to spend the next three years;BBCtwo Indianapolis morticians ran into a burning building to save three corpses;Metro.co.ukand fish leapt from the ocean near Hawaii in anticipation of an earthquake.local6.com

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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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“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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