Weekly Review — September 2, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Tempest, December 1878]

One million people fled New Orleans to avoid Hurricane Gustav, which landed in Louisiana as a weakened category-2 hurricane and caused relatively little damage. Mississippi officials ordered people still living in the FEMA trailers erected after Hurricane Katrina to evacuate, and John McCain canceled opening-day ceremonies for the Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. “This is a time when we have to do away with our party politics and we have to act as Americans,” said McCain. “Not as Republicans.”GuardianIOL.co.zaNew York TimesUSA TodayYahoo!McCain picked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, 44, as his running mate. Palin, an evangelical Christian, supports the death penalty, believes that the “jury’s still out” on global warming, opposes abortion, and is mother to five children: Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, and five-month-old Trig, who has Down syndrome. Rumors arose that Bristol, 17, was the actual mother of Trig; in response, Palin announced that Bristol was actually five months pregnant with the child of a man named “Levi” and would soon marry him.Telegraph.co.ukWashington TimesWashington PostIndependent1.2 million people were left homeless by monsoon floods in the Indian state of Bihar.BBC

Foreclosure rates were rising in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. “We’ve got a housing issue, [but] evidently not in Dallas,” said President George W. Bush to a recent gathering of Houston G.O.P. donors, “because Laura’s over there trying to buy a house today… I said: ‘Honey, weâ??ve been on government pay now for 14 years. Go slow!’”FWBusinessPressNew York TimesCitibank, facing huge losses, asked its bankers to stop making color photocopies and to start printing internal presentations on both sides of the page,New York Timesand hip-hop mogul P. Diddy announced that the rising price of fuel had forced him to give up private-jet travel. “Can you believe this, I’m actually flying commercial!” he said. “Gas prices are too motherfuckin’ high. I want to give a shout-out to all my Saudi Arabian brothers and sisters and all my brothers and sisters from all the countries that have oil. If y’all could please send me some oil for my jet, I would truly appreciate it.”E!OnlineJapanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda resigned,New York Timesand Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin saved a television crew from attack by shooting an escaped Siberian tiger with a tranquilizer gun.YahooPutin also announced a ban on poultry imports from 19 U.S. companies, explaining that their chicken failed to meet sanitary standards and that the ban had nothing to do with ongoing political tensions over Georgia.NovostiA pregnant woman sued JacksonvilleJaguars receiver Dennis Northcutt, claiming he arranged for his cousin to beat her up in an attempt to harm her unborn child,Sports Illustratedand the attorney for a nearly half-ton Texas woman said she could not have beaten her toddler nephew to death because her obesity limits her movement.CNNAn Ohioan named China Arnold was convicted of microwaving her one-month-old baby, Paris Talley, to death.BBC

A United Nations investigation of last week’s coalition airstrikes in Afghanistan found that the United States had killed 90 civilians, including 60 sleeping children,New York Timesand Nigerian religious leader Mohammadu Bello Abubakar, who is 84, accepted an Islamic decree that would force him to divorce 82, or 95 percent, of his 86 wives.BBCAn Australian plastic surgeon who received oral sex from a patient before providing her with a nose job was fighting to keep his medical license. “Knowing her nose better than anyone else,” said Dr. Martyn Mendelsohn, “I was in a unique position to take care of the problem.”News.com.auA man concerned that he had injected air into his veins while shooting cocaine tried to amputate his own arm with a butter knife, and then a butcher knife, at a Denny’s Restaurant in California,.CBSand European officials warned that Botox injections could have dangerous side effects, including death.BreitbartNearly half a million people in developing nations were manufacturing virtual weapons and mounts to sell to players of online video games such as World of Warcraft,BBCand the Pentagon launched a program that aims to create an artificial brain within the next decade.WiredNASA confirmed that laptops in space had been infected with the virus Gammima.AG,BBCand Australianscientists determined that sponges have the genes necessary to express nerves.LiveScienceScientists studying the Permian-Triassic Mass Extinction, which annihilated much of life on Earth 251 million years ago, attributed the die-off to floods of reeking Siberian lava, which released carbon dioxide and created a greenhouse effect, thereby starving oceans of oxygen and poisoning the atmosphere. “In the late Permian,” said geoscientist Lee Kump, “Earth itself was the villain. But today we’ve stepped in as the villain.”McClatchyDC.com

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The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.

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