Weekly Review — February 19, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Caught in the Web, 1860]
Caught in the Web, 1860.

Senator Barack Obama beat Senator Hillary Clinton by huge margins in primaries in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, and Senator John McCain beat former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. The close Democratic race worried party superdelegates, who will play a decisive role in choosing a candidate. Nancy Larson, a lobbyist and superdelegate from Minnesota, characterized superdelegates in general as “big schmucks.” Alaskan superdelegate Cindi Spanyers received a call from former president Bill Clinton, who recalled his wife’s work on a fish cannery slime line there, and Obama was endorsed by the fishing village of Obama, Japan. McCain was endorsed by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and ex-president George H. W. Bush. New York TimesWashington PostLos Angeles TimesWashington PostAP via Fort Worth Star-TelegramLos Angeles TimesStar TribuneAnchorage Daily NewsGuardianLATAP via GoogleRepresentative Tom Lantos (D., Calif.), a Holocaust survivor and superdelegate who was expected to back Clinton, died. At a memorial service, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni compared Lantos to “a shining blue Star of David emblazoned on an American Air Force jet.” Bono led mourners in an a cappella version of John Lennon’s “All You Need Is Love,” and Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R., Florida) interrupted the closing speech by Elie Wiesel with a call for a vote to adjourn.New York TimesJerusalem PostPoliticoWashington PostWashington PostJewish Telegraphic AgencyAn album of hair collected from the first twelve presidents was displayed at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. “It is an awesome sort of sight,” said curator Robert Peck. “Pieces of presidents.”Philadelphia Inquirer

President George W. Bush visited Africa to tout the success of his policies there, including his decision not to try to stop genocide in Darfur. “I’m not one of these guys that really gives a darn about elite opinion,” he explained. “What I really care about isâ??are we saving lives?”BBCNew York TimesWashington PostNew York TimesSudanese aircraft and Janjaweed militiamen attacked three villages in West Darfur, killing as many as 114 civilians and driving 12,000 more refugees into neighboring Chad, where they joined hundreds of thousands of refugees already there. New York TimesReutersChadian President Idriss DĂ©by declared a state of emergency.New York TimesReutersHezbollah commander Imad Mughniyah was killed by a car bomb in Syria,Washington PostLos Angeles TimesWashington PostNew York Timesand JosĂ© Ramos-Horta, the president of East Timor, was shot and seriously injured.BBCNew York TimesNew York TimesBBCA graduate student in social work, specializing in mental health, shot up a classroom at Northern Illinois University, killing five people and then himself. Chicago TribuneNew York TimesChicago TribunePatty Hearst attended the Westminster Kennel Club dogshow with Diva, her French bulldog. “When people find out it’s me,” said Hearst, a veteran of the Symbionese Liberation Army, “it’s like it doesn’t make sense.”Star TribuneA suicide bomber killed at least 100 spectators at a dogfight near Kandahar, Afghanistan.BBCNew York Times

It was revealed that the U.S. Treasury Department met with Iran last month to discuss terrorist financing, and that the CIA wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on a failed counterterrorism plan involving fake companies overseas. New York TimesLos Angeles TimesA suppressed RAND report from late 2005, critical of every aspect of the Iraq war planning, was leaked, New York Timesand French writer Alain Robbe-Grillet, author of such novels as The Erasers, died.BBCThe Bush Administration announced that it would seek the death penalty for six men allegedly linked to the 9/11 attacks. It will build its case in part on confessions elicited with Starbucks coffee rather than on earlier confessions obtained through waterboarding.Washington PostStarbucks announced that 7,100 stores will close for three hours so that 135,000 employees can learn again how to make coffee. Seattle TimesA bill that would have made permanent the government’s expanded surveillance powers and granted immunity to companies that helped the government spy on American citizens passed the Senate but failed in the House.Washington PostNew York TimesNew York TimesThe Centers for Disease Control reported that fewer children died while playing the “choking game” last year than in the two years prior.Pittsburgh Post-GazetteIn a thousand-square-mile, low-oxygen zone growing along the coast of Oregon and Washington, every fish, crab, and sea worm was dead,Seattle PILos Angeles Timesand the floppy ribbon worms of Antarctica were expected to meet their first predators in millions of years due to warming water.BBCA moose fell from a 150-foot cliff in Alaska, just missing state trooper Howard Peterson. Peterson thought the moose might have been lonely, as the area is populated mostly by sheep, but state wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott disagreed. “They occasionally have bad days,” he said of moose, “like the rest of us.”Anchorage Daily 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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