Weekly Review — July 3, 2007, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A grasshopper driving a chariot, 1875]

Tony Blair alighted on a mission to bring cohesion to Palestinian institutions,Jerusalem Postand his successor Gordon Brown proposed stripping British prime ministers of the power to declare war.TelegraphPolice found a pair of Mercedes-Benz sedans filled with gasoline and nails parked in the center of London, and two men crashed a Jeep Cherokee into the glass doors of Terminal One at Glasgow Airport. The vehicle failed to penetrate the doors, but the driver poured gasoline over himself and the Jeep, and the Jeep blazed. The throng of travelers in the terminal stampeded away from the inferno, and the flaming driver staggered out of the Jeep, threw punches, and shouted, “Allah, Allah.” The crowd of travelers in the terminal stampeded away from the fireball. Stephen Clarkson, a bystander, pounced on the burning man. “I managed to knock the fellow to the ground,” said Clarkson. “His clothes had partially burned from his body. His hair was on fire. His whole body was on fire.” Police arrested the charred driver and the unscathed passenger. The discovery of a suspicious device on the driverâ??s person resulted in the evacuation of the hospital where his burns were being treated, and authorities blew up a suspicious car in the hospital parking lot. Detectives blamed an eight-person Al Qaeda cell controlled by someone they called “Mr. Big” and commenced raids. Three suspected collaborators of the would-be suicide bombers, including a 27-year-old woman, were apprehended.TelegraphAt least 11 successful suicide bombings were reported in Iraq,.GuardianGuardianMcClatchyand Scottish jurists cast doubt on the conviction of a Libyan intelligence official jailed for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie.KUNAMSNBCLA TimesUSA TodayToronto StarElsewhere in Scotland, a buzzard assailed a jogger, puncturing the manâ??s scalp with its talons. “I donâ??t know why the bird went haywire like that,” said Kevin Barclay, a psychiatric nurse. “I think it was nesting and must have been intimidated by me.”ScotsmanA New York man attacked a peacock he claimed was a vampire, My Wayand wildfires ravaged the forests of Romania.FOCUSPhilanthropist clothing designer Liz Claiborne died,New York Timesand I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Jr. was set free.Newsday

“Is it a surprise to anybody in this room that if you donâ??t have any money, you donâ??t get any justice?” asked Alaska Senator Mike Gravel at the third debate of the Democratic presidential candidates. Gravel called for the abolition of the income tax and the war on drugs, OhioCongressman Dennis Kucinich called for the abolition of NAFTA and the WTO, and Hillary Clinton predicted that global warming would create jobs for millions of Americans. Joseph Biden and Barack Obama reminisced about getting tested for HIV, New York Timesand researchers posited that humans became susceptible to AIDS a million years ago when hominids evolved immunity to a now extinct virus known as PtERV1; it was thus speculated that gene therapy might prove an effective treatment for AIDS sufferers wealthy enough to afford it. EconomistScientists said that global warming, overfishing, and pollution are stressing out coral, causing an outbreak of lethal herpes in the worldâ??s reefs. “The coral,” said microbiologist Forest Rowher, “is actually losing control of its microbial community.”Live ScienceAn Oregon teenager was arrested after being videotaped molesting a horse,Corvallis Gazette-Timesand the CIA released documents known as the “Family Jewels,” detailing its surveillance of journalists, its opening of Jane Fondaâ??s mail, and its plans to kill Fidel Castro. The documents describe the unrealized assassination plot, which was reported in the 1960s, as “a sensitive mission requiring gangster-type action,” and say that the recruited gangsters preferred poisoning Castro with a pill to shooting him. Responding in his newspaper column, “Reflections of the Commander in Chief,” Castro called the United States a “killing machine” and reasserted that Lee Harvey Oswald was a CIA operative and that a second shooter must have assisted him in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.New York Times

Hundreds of Kosovar Albanians demanding independence from Serbia threw toilet paper at the parliament in Pristina,Washington Postand hundreds of Kosovar Serbs gathered in the village of Gazimestan to commemorate their ancestorsâ?? routing at the hands of the Ottoman Turks in 1389.Radio Free EuropeNATO air strikes killed 45 civilians and 62 Taliban fighters in the Helmand province of Afghanistan.GuardianBenign forms of E. coli had learned to reproduce in sand, indicating higher overall microbe content for American beaches; scientists advised beachgoers to bathe after their outings, and researchers warned that children digging holes at beaches, at construction sites, and in sandboxes often die when their holes collapse.Live ScienceWashington PostIt was reported that orders given by Vice President Dick Cheney in 2001 to reverse the flow of waters in the Pacific Northwest, against rules set by the Endangered Species Act, left 77,000 salmon rotting on the shores of the Klamath River. The ensuing “commercial fishery failure” required $60 million in federal disaster aid to local fishermen. Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, where President George W. Bush and his father took him fishing. “Fishing,” said former President George H. W. Bush, “is good for the soul.” New York TimesWashington Post

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Discussed in this essay:

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.

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“Now may be the unlikeliest time for us to grow a conscience about how our rapacity is endangering other species, since we’re now aware of how frightfully our rapacity is endangering us.”
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