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Iran criticized Australia, Bahrain, Britain, France, Italy, and the United States for carrying out a practice naval exercise in the Persian Gulf, then announced ten days of “Great Prophet II” war games.AP via International Herald TribuneBreitbartThe International Atomic Energy Agency said that it has been approached by at least six Arab countries interested in developing their own nuclear programs,Reuters via Yahoo! Newsand the U.S. government shut down its “Operation Iraqi Freedom Document Portal” website after the New York Times pointed out that it contained instructions for building an atomic bomb. “It’s a cookbook,” explained a senior diplomat in Europe.New York TimesIran began offering cash incentives in a program designed to bring in more foreign tourists; travel agents will receive $20 for every Western vacationer but only $10 per Asian.CNNThe White House announced that there is mounting evidence that Iran and Syria are conspiring with Hezbollah to overthrow the government of Lebanon.The AgeTwo of the suspects arrested in Britain in August for plotting to blow up U.S.-bound airplanes were released due to insufficient proof,New York TimesCNNand Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by hanging.ABC NewsA leaked “Index of Civil Conflict” from Central Command in Iraq indicated that the country is sliding from the green zone of “Peace” towards a red zone marked “Chaos.”New York TimesU.S. Army personnel were accused of telling potential recruits that the war was over, ABC Newsand John Kerry apologized for implying that American soldiers in Iraq are stupid.New York Times
Republicans were “glum” as the party prepared to lose at least fifteen seats in the House of Representatives.New York TimesMachines used for early voting began to malfunction in Florida,.Miami HeraldTennessee G.O.P. officals claimed smart cards were missing from a Memphis polling place,WMCTVand a paper-shredding service truck was seen approaching the Cheney compound at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.WonketteThe Homeland Securitywebsitetexasborderwatch.com began broadcasting live footage of the United States – Mexico border.AP via Yahoo! NewsSt. Louis was named America’s most dangerous city. “You made my day!” said Mayor Gwendolyn Faison of Camden, New Jersey, which was formerly ranked most dangerous. “There’s a new hope and a new spirit.”AP via Yahoo! NewsBangalore, the high-tech capital of India, renamed itself “Bengalooru,” to more closely resemble the city’s medieval name, “Bendakalooru,” or “town of boiled beans.”Reuters via Yahoo! NewsCornfarmers in the Midwest were resisting bids for their ethanol plants by Wall Street firms;New York Timesscientists claimed that at the current rate of consumption, global seafood supplies will be obliterated by the year 2048;Washington Postand the World Meteorological Organisation said that the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere had hit a record high.BBC NewsChannel 4, Britain’s second largest television network, announced that Google’s U.K. advertising revenues would outstrip the broadcaster’s own by some hundred million pounds this year. “People need to wake up and realize that this is not just a cyclical issue,” said the network’s chief executive. “There is deep structural change, rather like global warming.”Times of LondonDue to the Lebanon war, Israel was facing an eight-fold increase in the cost of marijuana.Reuters via Yahoo! News
Australia announced plans to detain up to 1,200 deadbeat moms and dads at airports during the upcoming holiday season,Northern Territory Newsand the United States said it would fund millions of dollars’ worth of abstinence-only sexual education for adults.USA TodayIn Beijing, volunteers giving out free hugs were detained by police. “Embracing is a foreign tradition,” said one citizen. “Chinese are not accustomed to this.”Reuters via Yahoo! NewsJapanese law enforcement arrested a fetishist who had filled a warehouse with 5,000 pairs of stolen children’s shoes,Mianichi Daily Newsand in South Korea, where miniskirts will soon be legalized, police have begun using “cyber terror units” to curb the rise of online bullying by the mob.Reuters via Yahoo! NewsBBC NewsIn Aurora, Colorado, chubby girls robbed younger children of their trick-or-treatingcandy,ABC 7 Denver and a New Hampshireorthodontist bought back local kids’ spoils for two dollars per pound.WSBTV AtlantaGrieving Maya in Mexico exhumed the bodies of their beloved in order to clean them;Reuters via Yahoo! Newsa Frenchnewspaper declared the death of Halloween.Reuters via Yahoo! NewsRising floodwaters trapped a herd of 100 horses on a Netherlands islet,New York Timesa cache of unsent letters to God was found off the Atlantic City shore,AP via Yahoo! Newsand researchers in Japan captured a dolphin with legs.Chicago Tribune
More from Miriam Markowitz:
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 California’s 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 “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — 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 “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” 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 “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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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.”