Weekly Review — April 8, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Storks, 1864]

The United States marked the fortieth anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. “He was normal as a person could be,” said his sister Christine King Farris. “I want people not to think of him as some mythic character from out of space.” Speaking from the Memphis hotel, now a museum, where King was shot, John McCain was booed after describing how he had voted against creating a federal holiday in King’s honor, and Hillary Clinton, speaking from the church where King delivered his last sermon, called for the creation of a poverty czar.CNN.comKUTV.comNY TimesThe Clintons released thirty years of tax returns, showing they had earned more than $109 million since the year 2000; Bill Clinton said that Hillary was “in tears” when he called to say that $250,000 had been raised for her at a Pennsylvania event.NY TimesThe Times TribuneThe United Nations found that women make up 70 percent of the world’s poor, own only 1 percent of the world’s titled land, and are discriminated against in almost every country.BBCnews.comOregon was holding a health insurance lottery for the state’s 600,000 uninsured citizens,BBCnews.comangry Americans boycotted Absolut vodka after the company ran an ad showing much of the western United States as part of Mexico,MSNBC.comand DNA found in ancient feces indicated that people lived in the United States much earlier than previously thought.ReutersUtah-based Internet provider OnSat Network Communications was preparing to shut off service for the entire Navajo Nation,CNN.comand foreclosures were forcing Americans out of their mansions. “People had in their head, ‘I need a mud room, I need giant columns, I need a media room,’” said a Virginia real estate researcher, “‘and I’m going to do anything to get it.’”Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin crashed a gala on the last day of the NATO summit in Bucharest. “Let’s be friends, guys,” he said.Washington PostPresident George W. Bush snuck out early from a summit meeting on operations in Afghanistan,.Washington Post.comand it was reported that more than 1,000 Iraqi soldiers and policemen had abandoned their posts during the Basra siege last week.NY TimesDeaths of Iraqis were up 50 percent across the country compared to the previous month.BBCnew.comSecretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she believed peace in the Middle East will come about before President Bush leaves office in January.BBCnew.comDoctors in Al-Anbar province connected a deadly malarial infection to Blackwater, whose contract the U.S. State Department recently renewed and who are currently under investigation by the FBI for the killing of 17 Iraqi civilians.IPS.orgBBCnews.comThe Vatican’s newspaper reported that Islam had overtaken Roman Catholicism as the world’s largest “single religious denomination.” “While Muslim families, as is well known, continue to make a lot of children,” said Monsignor Vittorio Formenti, “Christian ones on the contrary tend to have fewer and fewer.”Times OnlineA church exploded in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. “People say miracles don’t happen now days,” said the town’s deputy fire chief, who was shielded from the blast by the bell tower. “I firmly believe they do, because one just did.”Today’s TMJ4 MilwaukeeAn Iowa man with a lengthy and violent criminal record was serving an eight-Sunday church sentence, andQuad-City TimesCharlton Heston, the actor and NRA spokesman who had called Martin Luther King, Jr, “a twentieth-century Moses for his people,” died at 84.NY Times

Hadijatou Mani, a former slave from Niger, was suing her government for not implementing protective laws after it ended slavery four years ago.BBCnews.comZimbabwean President Robert Mugabe demanded a recount and refused to release the results of his country’s recent presidential election, which he probably lost,NY Timesand a Burmese man was fined $1 and sentenced to life in prison for staging a silent protest outside the U.S. embassy in Rangoon.BBCnews.comNew codes were drawn up to provide the United Kingdom’s 900 working beach donkeys with such protections as vacation time, decent housing, and rider weight restrictions.BBCnews.comBillionaire Ted Turner told Charlie Rose what will happen if global warming proceeds unchecked: “Most of the people will have died,” he said, “and the rest of us will be cannibals.”AJC.comGlobal temperatures were expected to decrease in 2008.BBCnews.comA Vidalia, Georgia, man who had married the widow of the man whose suicide provided him with a heart transplant twelve years ago committed suicide;.MSNBCit was reported that the organs donated by a New York teenager had spread cancer to all four of the recipients, killing two of them;CBS 13and scientists hoped that a cure for the contagious cancer wiping out Tasmanian devils was to be found in a tumor-resistant devil named Cedric.BBCnews.comA New Zealand man threw a hedgehog at a 15-year-old boy; “He was arrested shortly afterwards for assault with a weapon,” said Sergeant Bruce Jenkins of the Whakatane police. “Namely the hedgehog.”AFP

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Nobody in academia had ever witnessed or even heard of a performance like this before. In just a few years, in the early 1950s, a University of Pennsylvania graduate student — a student, in his twenties — had taken over an entire field of study, linguistics, and stood it on its head and hardened it from a spongy so-called “social science” into a real science, a hard science, and put his name on it: Noam Chomsky.

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Nobody in academia had ever witnessed or even heard of a performance like this before. In just a few years, in the early 1950s, a University of Pennsylvania graduate student — a student, in his twenties — had taken over an entire field of study, linguistics, and stood it on its head and hardened it from a spongy so-called “social science” into a real science, a hard science, and put his name on it: Noam Chomsky.

At the time, Chomsky was still finishing his doctoral dissertation for Penn, where he had completed his graduate-school course work. But at bedtime and in his heart of hearts he was living in Boston as a junior member of Harvard’s Society of Fellows, and creating a Harvard-level name for himself.

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