Weekly Review — February 6, 2007, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

“Into the palace parlor they stepped; her hand in his paw the old bruin kept,” 1875

The U.S. director of national intelligence released a declassified version of a new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq; the report found that “the term ‘civil war’ accurately describes key elements of the Iraqi conflict” and that “widespread fighting could produce de facto partition.”Office of the Director of National IntelligenceIraqi refugees were flooding Syria and Jordan, where they now account for 5 and 12 percent of those countries’ total populations,AP via Yahoo!NEWSand a massive bombing in a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad killed 130 people, making the attack the second deadliest in the country since the March 2003 invasion. The News (Pakistan)In Hillah, where a further 45 people were killed, a police officer attempted to smother the blast from a suicide bomber. “He hugged him” said a witness, “and the explosives tore apart both bodies.”Los Angeles TimesThe U.S. military announced that insurgents had shot down four helicopters in the past two weeks in Iraq,.Al Jazeeraformer National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski warned that the White House was looking for an excuse to attack Iran,World Socialist Web Siteand President George W. Bush asked for an additional $100 billion to fund the United States’s wars through the end of the current fiscal year.Reuters via Boston GlobeDetainees at Guantánamo Bay complained of “infinite tedium and loneliness,”AP via Yahoo!NEWSand a German court issued an arrest warrant for 13 CIA operatives involved in the abduction and torture of a German citizen.New York TimesFormer U.S. Vice President Al Gore was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. “Al Gore,” said a Norwegian lawmaker, “has made a difference.”AP via BREITBART.COMPresident Bush staged an impromptu visit to the Sterling Family Restaurant in Peoria, Illinois, but few of the diners wanted to talk to him. “Sorry to interrupt you,” said Bush. “How’s the service?”Newsweek via MSNBC

Taliban forces were on the rise in Afghanistan,.BBCMaoist rebels were taking over coffee plantations near Ooty, India,andhracafe.comand Moro rebels in Jolo captured a number of senior Philippine military officers including General Dolorfino, Colonel Ramon, and Colonel Baboon.Sun.Star DavaoDelawareSenator Joseph Biden praised Illinois Senator Barack Obama. “I mean, you got the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” said Biden. “I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”salon.comThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced that global warming was expected to heat up the atmosphere by 4 to 7 degrees within the next century,New Scientistand the Bush Administration suggested that scientists find ways to counteract greenhouse-gas emissions by blocking out the sun. “Possible techniques include putting a giant screen into orbit,” read one newspaper’s paraphrase of the suggested U.S. recommendations. “[Or] thousands of tiny, shiny balloons.”Guardian“Hot” patients who had recently received medical treatment using radioisotopes were setting off Homeland Securityradiation detectors,Reuters via Yahoo!NEWSand the U.S. market for female-arousal liquids continued to grow.Advertising AgeA mob of Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem overpowered policemen and stole a woman’s corpse to prevent an autopsy but later gave it back.news24.comJapanese Health Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa apologized for calling women “birth-giving machines,”AP via International Herald Tribunehospital staff in Yekaterinburg, Russia, were gagging crying babies,BBCand in Cambodia a Briton named Bowel Anpaul was arrested on charges of pedophilia.Phnom Penh PostRubber genitals were stolen from the set of the new “Hannibal” movie,Sunan Argentinesoccer fan who asked for a tattoo of his team’s logo received instead a tattoo of a large penis,TheDenverChannel.comand a Chinese man whose genitals were eaten by a dog when he was a child was said to be happy with a new penis built from his chest muscles and hip bones.XinhuaWang You-theng, a fugitive Taiwanese tycoon, was seized by U.S. immigration officials.China PostHIV, said scientists, can avoid destruction by hiding out in the testicles.BBC

Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan was awarded France’s highest civilian honor, the Legion d’Honneur, and was kicked in the head by a camel. AP via CHINAdailyReuters via iol.co.zaTerri Irwin, the widow of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin, urged her late husband’s fans to respect stingrays, which she described as “cute little pancakes in the ocean.”contactmusic.comBritain’s top female paraglider was mauled by eagles. “Eagles,” said a colleague, “are the sharks of the air.”NZPA via stuff.co.nzThe IndianArmy was preparing to hunt down man-eating leopards in Kashmir,Mumbai Mirrorand elephants in Thailand were head-butting and robbing trucks.Reuters via iol.co.zaNew Jersey warned its residents against eating heavy metal-contaminated squirrels,AP via ThePittsburghChannel.comroboticists announced the creation of a teddy-bear robot that will help men meet women,Gizmodoand an Australian man sold his life on eBay.AFP via Yahoo!NEWSNew York Governor Eliot Spitzer told Republican Assemblyman James Tedisco, “I am a fucking steamroller and I’ll roll over you or anybody else,” Reutersand James Taylor was about to go on tour.jamestaylor.comAfter it ransacked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Washington, D.C., residence, a small black bird was captured in a brown bag and released. “She kept thinking to herself,” said a spokesman, “??Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”??Washington Post

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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.

Photograph (detail) by Karine Laval

Age at death last March of the sturgeon Nikita, Khrushchev’s gift to Norway, after an accidental immersion in salt water:

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