Weekly Review — October 10, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Saluting the Town, March 1854]

Further allegations emerged regarding the behavior of recently-resigned Congressman Mark Foley (R., Fla.) with underage pages. “He didn’t want to talk about politics,” said one former page. “He wanted to talk about sex or my penis.” Congressman Jim Kolbe (R., Ariz.) said that he had confronted Foley over inappropriate contact with pages as early as 2000, and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert vowed not to resign over the scandal.ABC NewsSouth Korean soldiers fired 60 warning shots after North Korean soldiers crossed into the demilitarized zone, but it was not clear if North Korea’s action was a deliberate provocation or an attempt to go fishing.CNNChicago Sun-TimesCNN.comNorth Korea later detonated a nuclear bomb.BBC NewsIn Kut, Iraq, as many as 450 policemen were hospitalized with what was suspected to be food poisoning after sharing a Ramadan meal (although other reports gave the number as 1,350 hospitalized and seven dead).The New York TimesIn Iraq, four U.S. soldiers were killed in one day,Stuff.co.nzand in Afghanistan, it was reported that NATO and Afghan troops had killed 52 insurgents.Irish ExaminerA ministry in Atlanta, Georgia, was sending camouflageddevotionals to U.S. soldiers serving overseas,WTVM.comand an aid group in Afghanistan was showing children a movie about landmines. “I learned,” said an 11-year-old girl, “that you should stay away from fields that have red stones.” At the end of the film, a puppet named Chuche is given back his arms and legs. The Christian Science MonitorJournalist Anna Politkovskaya, who criticized Russia’s Chechnya policy, was found shot to death in an elevator.InterFax

An explosion at a chemical plant near Apex, North Carolina, forced as many as 17,000 people to flee their homes.BBC NewsTower Records, which is bankrupt, announced that it had been sold and that its assets would be liquidated,The Hollywood ReporterGoogle announced that it would buy YouTube for $1.65 billion,BBC Newsand Starbucks announced plans to add 28,000 new locations to its extant 12,000. Starbucks’ new store-opening goal: 40,000The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to a record 11,862, even though two thirds of its stocks are trading below their January 2000 values,ABC News Onlineand dog-feces-cleanup franchises were opening across the United States. It’s the “best job in the world,” said Matt Boswell, the Chief Excrement Officer of Texas-based Pet Butler, which operates in 14 states.The Seattle TimesMSNBCThe Supreme Court refused to consider the constitutionality of Ignacio Sergio Acosta v. state of Texas, a case that challenged the Texas law that makes it illegal to promote genitalia-shaped sex toys.ABC NewsIranian Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei announced that intentional masturbation during Ramadan breaks the fast,YNetNews.comand the British Minister of State for Public Health said that pregnant British teens, seeking to ease their labor pains, were smoking to reduce the birth weight of their babies.BBC News

Researchers found that Human-Elephant Conflict, or H.E.C., was on the rise. “Where for centuries humans and elephants lived in relative peaceful coexistence,” said professor Gay Bradshaw of Oregon State University, “there is now hostility and violence.” Bradshaw hypothesized that elephants are suffering from species-wide chronic stress brought on by poaching, habitat loss, and other traumas, which may explain why young male elephants have been observed raping and killing rhinoceroses.The New York TimesIn Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, a man named Charles Carl Roberts IV, who said he was angry with God, entered a one-room Amish schoolhouse with guns, a bag of nails, a bucket, chains, clamps, and a tube of KY jelly, and shot ten girls, killing five; he then shot and killed himself. “We must not,” said the grandfather of one of the slain girls, “think evil of this man.”BBC NewsPresident George W. Bush visited George W. Bush elementary school in Stockton, California, and promised to improve school safety.CNNCNNNBC12MSNBCWhitehouse.govIn Newport News, Virginia, former President George H. W. Bush attended the christening of the aircraft carrier George H. W. Bush. When ominous thunder marked his speech, Bush looked at the sky. “I’m finishing, Lord!” Bush said to God. “I’m finishing!”The New York TimesA new group called Scientists and Engineers for America vowed to promote a pro-sciencepresident in 2008.New ScientistHarvard professor Edward O. Wilson told a group in Bozeman, Montana, that half of the world’s species could be extinct by 2100,Fox NewsJohn Mather and George Smoot won the Nobel Prize in physics for their research into cosmic microwave background radiation,Bloomberg.comand Britain’s Prince William played bingo.Reuters

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I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.

I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

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