Weekly Review — February 27, 2007, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: All In My Eye, December 1853]
An American cattleman.

An appeals court in Washington, D.C., ruled that the writ of habeas corpus does not apply to prisoners in the American concentration camp at Guantánamo Bay,Cuba.Washington PostAmericans celebrated the 275th birthday of George Washington, and President George W. Bush compared the War on Terror to the American Revolution: “General Washington understood that the Revolutionary War was a test of wills, and his will was unbreakable.”Washington PostBritish Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that he would bring home more than 1,600 of the 7,100 British troops in Iraq. Vice President Dick Cheney said that the withdrawal was “an affirmation that there are parts of Iraq where things are going pretty well”; he also said that breaking “the will of the American people” was Al Qaeda‘s strategy. “They win because we quit.” “Dick was always very realistic,” said Kenneth Adelman, an arms-control official in the Reagan Administration and friend to Cheney. “I don’t really understand how month after month he gets briefings showing Iraq’s getting worse and worse, and he engages in all this happy talk.” Washington PostFox NewsWashington PostThe day after a Sunni imam in Fallujah issued a condemnation against Sunni militants, a truck bomb exploded beside his mosque, killing 36 worshippers and wounding at least 62 more. A suicide bomber at a Baghdad university blew herself up, killing more than 40 people and scattering purses, pens, textbooks, and fingers. New York TimesNew York TimesFor its temporary embassy in Washington, D.C., the Iraqi government purchased a $5.8-million Tudor-style mansion across the street from the home of Dick Cheney on Massachusetts Avenue. The mansion features a built-in espresso machine, heated floors, soft pistachio carpeting, and a Jacuzzi.Washington PostTed Wells, Scooter Libby’s defense lawyer, gave his closing argument. “He’s been under my protection for the last month,” Wells told the jurors, “now I’m entrusting him to you.” Then, he sobbed, “Give him back! Give him back to me!” Wells then went back to his chair and sniffled.Washington Post

It was discovered that Abdul Tawala Ibn Alishtari, an indicted terrorist financier, gave more than $15,000 to the National RepublicanCongressional Committee. “We need to be careful,” said the NRCC in a statement, “not to rush to judgment.”Talking Points MemoABC NewsAn audit of the Justice Department’s statistics on terrorism released by the Inspector General revealed that successful efforts in counterterrorism had been inflated, and the statistics in general were wrong. Washington Post.Satelliteradio companies XM and Sirius announced plans to merge but faced opposition from the National Association of Broadcasters. “In coming weeks,” said Dennis Wharton, a NAB spokesperson, “policymakers will have to weigh whether an industry that makes Howard Stern its poster child should be rewarded with a monopoly platform for offensive programming.” Washington PostResidents of New Orleans celebrated Mardi Gras with brass bands, parades of Zulu warriors and Day-Glo feathered Indians, vats of gumbo, and pounds of turkey necks and pigs’ feet. “It’s back, y’all,” Mayor Ray Nagin exclaimed. “It’s back!” Washington PostAt an ethanol-enzyme production plant in North Carolina,President Bush slipped into a white lab coat and safety glasses, hoisted a beaker of clear ethanol, and said that he “quit drinking in ’86.” Washington PostScientists said “quasicrystalline” designs in medieval Iranian architecture indicated that Islamic scholars had made a mathematical breakthrough that Western scholars achieved only decades ago and concluded that ancient Iranian culture was very, very smart. Chicago Tribune

Congress approved the Defense Department’s request to spend $18 million to convert, in preparation for a post-Castro Cuba, a U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo into a shelter that could house 500,000 fleeing Cubans.Miami HeraldChildren at a circus performance in Colombia watched as an attacker shot and killed two clowns, and in Guatemala a dozen homes and two teenagers were swallowed up by a 330-foot-deep sinkhole.BBC NewsNew York TimesTwelve senior citizens on a beach excursion in Costa Rica during their Carnival Cruise Line vacations drove off two muggers, while a 70-year-old American put a third in a headlock, broke his clavicle, and strangled him to death.ABC NewsWith its new slogan “The Light is On for You,” The Archdiocese of Washington launched a marketing blitz that included ads on buses and subway cars, 100,000 brochures, and a highway billboard in an effort to get Catholics to confess.Washington PostKentucky Fried Chicken president Gregg Dedrick wrote a personal letter to Pope Benedict XVI asking him to bless the company’s 99-cent Fish Snacker.Restaurant NewsCatholic leaders criticized New York City for distributing 26 million subway-themed condoms,News-Medical.netand José, the first native beaver seen in the city in 200 years, was spotted swimming up the Bronx River.Yahoo NewsAfter widespread opposition from residents of Utah and Nevada, the Pentagon canceled its plan to test a large non-nuclear bomb as part of Operation Divine Strake.Washington PostIt was revealed that the British Ministry of Defense once hired psychics to find Osama bin Laden, and Defense Minister Des Browne announced that Prince Harry, the 22-year-old son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, who is third in line to the throne, would be deployed to Iraq.Daily MailWashington PostPhoenix International Airport security officials using Smart-Check, the airport’s new X-ray vision scanner, could see travelers’ weapons, collarbones, and bellybuttons.New York TimesResearchers at Johns Hopkins University confirmed that mothers suffering from heartburn are likely to give birth to hairy newborns, and scientists in Senegal watched chimpanzees fashion spears from sticks and use their weapons to stab sleeping bush babies. The Seattle Post-IntelligencerWashington PostThousands of spectators at the Rose Monday parade in Mainz, Germany, watched a float of President Bush being spanked by the Statue of Liberty.Yahoo News

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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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