Weekly Review — August 5, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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

Senator “Uncle” Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican in the Senate and “Alaskan of the Century,” was indicted for seven felonies related to unreported gifts worth $250,000 from an oil-services company. The alleged gifts included a Land Rover, a Viking gas grill, and construction that doubled the size of his home. “There is a lot of comity on our committee,” said an unnamed Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee. “I don’t think any of this is going to have an impact on his earmarks.” Anchorage Daily NewsPoliticoAnchorage Daily NewsWPA Department of Justice report found that senior aides to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales broke federal law by screening candidates for career positions using political and religious criteria, sexual rumors, and database searches for terms like “abortion,” “guns,” “homosexuality,” and “Florida recount.”TPMNYTAmerican intelligence officials claimed that Pakistani spies helped plan the July 7 bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan,.NYTAFP via BreitbartNYTand the United Nations agreed to oversee India’s civilian nuclear facilities, a key step toward a U.S.-India nuclear pact desired by the Bush Administration.LATThe House Judiciary Committee cited Karl Rove for contempt,NYTand members of the Ute Mountain Ute and Southern Ute tribes performed a Native American blessing near the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado, site of the upcoming Democratic Convention. DNCC

The U.S. unemployment rate continued to rise, as the total number of jobs lost this year reached 463,000. Housing prices seemed to plunge, but some critics of the leading housing-price index said that it exaggerates the market’s downside due to the high number of foreclosures. The White House projected a $482 billion federal deficit, and thirty states faced total deficits of $40 billion. “If they gave out Olympic medals for fiscal irresponsibility,” said Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota, “President Bush would take the gold, silver, and bronze.” NYTWPCNNSF ChronicleSF ChronicleNYTMcClatchy via Miami HeraldNYTConservative rabbis proposed a new kosher certification favoring food companies that provide health insurance and retirement benefits to workers.ForwardBoston GlobeWal-Mart warned thousands of its managers that a Democratic president would likely make it easier for their subordinates to unionize. “I am not a stupid person,” said a customer-service supervisor from Missouri. “They were telling me how to vote.”WSJCongress voted to adjourn for summer vacation, blocking a vote on a bill to lift the ban on offshore oil drilling. Several dozen Republicans refused to leave, speaking to tourists and a troop of visiting Boy Scouts even after the microphones and lights were turned off. “This is the people’s house,” cried Rep. Thaddeus McCotter. “This is not Pelosi’s politburo.” The HillWPUSA TodayThe HillPoliticoPoliticoPoliticoAlexandr Solzhenitsyn died, as did Robert “Bob” Hamilton, the model for Norman Rockwell’s 1944 portrait of a Boy Scout. NYT

A black bear with its head stuck in a jug was killed by police in Frazee, Minnesota, after it wandered into the town’s Turkey Day celebration. The starving bear felt “high anxiety,” said Rob Naplin of the Department of Natural Resources, “and frustration with its predicament.”SF ChronicleNearly 150 people died in a stampede at a Himalayan temple to the goddess Naina Devi, brought on by the rumor of a landslide.AFP via Google NewsBruce E. Ivins, a top biodefense researcher at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, in Maryland, died in an apparent suicide. Ivins was the prime suspect in an FBI investigation into the fall 2001 anthrax attacks, which killed five people and were widely linked at the time to Saddam Hussein. “He was going to go out in a blaze of glory,” said Jean Duley, a social worker who claimed that Dr. Ivins shared his homicidal fantasies with her. “He was going to take everybody out with him.” Ivins also wrote letters to his local newspaper about his religious views. “You can get on board or be left behind,” he wrote shortly after the 2004 election, “because the Christian Nation Express is pulling out of the station!” Some scientists doubted that a vaccine researcher like Ivins would have the skills needed to make inhalable anthrax, and others questioned the FBI’s methods, which included using bloodhounds to track the mail. “I think the pressure got to him,” said Ivins’ brother Tom. “He’s not a man like I am.” Frederick News-PostWPLATBaltimore SunSalonSalonNYTNYTNYTNYTBaltimore SunLAT

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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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