Weekly Review — January 13, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

The war between Israel and Hamas entered its third week as Israeli forces pushed into heavily populated areas of Gaza City. A UN resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire, which passed through the Security Council by a vote of 14 – 0 with the United States abstaining, was ignored by both sides; the UN suspended aid to Gaza after two of its workers were killed by an Israeli tank. Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Vatican’s Council for Justice and Peace, described Gaza as “one big concentration camp.”New York TimesYahoo!The Daily MailYahoo!Roughly 900 Palestinians had died in the fighting, half of them civilians and one third of them children. Fourteen Israelis had been killed. Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert, reported that Israel was “getting close to achieving the goals it set for itself” and “must not miss out, at the last moment, on what has been achieved through an unprecedented national effort.”The New York TimesJoe Biden visited Baghdad, where eight people died in bombings,New York Timesand Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher announced that he will be traveling to Gaza to report on the war. “Being a Christian,” Wurzelbacher said, “I’m pretty well protected by God, I believe.”WNWO NBC 24Laura Bush sold the rights to her memoirs,New York Timesand a four-year-old Ohio boy shot his babysitter after he stepped on his foot.Breitbert

Russia agreed to restore shipments of Russian gas to Europe through Ukrainian pipelines,New York TimesVenezuelan President Hugo Chavez suspended a program that gave free heating oil to towns in Alaska (but changed his mind a few days later),Anchorage Daily Newsand fighting between the Taliban and Pakistani troops in northwestern Pakistan left 46 dead.New York TimesA group of ex-prostitutes accused South Korea of encouraging them to have sex with American soldiers stationed there, and thereby to become “dollar-earning patriots.” “Our government,” said a former prostitute, “was one big pimp for the U.S. military.”New York TimesThe Illinois House of Representatives voted 114 to 1 to impeach Rod Blagojevich, and his appointee to the U.S. Senate, Ronald W. Burris, went to Washington, D.C., to take his seat, and was at first turned away, but later told his appointment could be confirmed.New York TimesNew York TimesThe SwampNew York TimesDefeated Republican Senator Norm Coleman filed a lawsuit contesting Al Franken’s recount victory in Minnesota,The Star Tribuneand six candidates for the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee debated at the National Press Club, where they discussed ways to appeal to younger voters. “We have to do it in the Facebook,” said incumbent Chairman Mike Duncan, “with the Twittering.”Washington PostPresident-elect Barack Obama tapped former congressman and Clinton chief-of-staff Leon Panetta to head the CIA,.Fox Newsand the Army acknowledged that it had accidentally sent 7,000 letters to family members of dead soldiers with the salutation “Dear John Doe.”NewYork TimesLarry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild founder Joseph Francis sought a $5 billion government bailout for the porn industry. “It’s time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America,” said Flynt.Australian Broadcasting CorporationAn Australian woman was charged with murder following the death of her husband, whose genitals she had doused with alcohol and set afire while he slept. “I just wanted to burn his penis so it belongs to me and no one else,” explained the woman. “I didn’t mean this to happen.”The Guardian

George W. Bush gave his final press conference. “Abu Ghraib was a huge disappointment,” he said. “Not having weapons of mass destruction was a significant disappointment.” He added that he strongly disagreed “with the assessment that our moral standing has been damaged” by his presidency. “I can’t envision myself,” he said of his future, “in a big straw hat and a Hawaiian shirt sitting on a beach somewhere, particularly since I quit drinking.”New York TimesGerman billionaire industrialist Adolf Merckle killed himself by lying down in front of a train on railroad tracks near his home.Der SpiegelScientists discovered the “magnetosphere,” a layer of ions and electrons surrounding the earth described by one physicist as a “warm plasma cloak,” National Geographicand a study suggested that the Milky Way is traveling through space 100,000 miles per hour faster than previously thought, meaning it will collide with the galaxy Andromeda far sooner than predicted. “The galaxies will be dramatically stirred up,” said Gerry Gilmore of the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge University, “but they are very squidgy, so they will stick together and eventually all the stars will die out, and it will become one huge, dead galaxy.” The TelegraphsA six-year-old boy and a five-year-old-girl were detained in Germany, on a train to the airport; they explained to police that they planned to fly to Africa to be married. The couple, disguised in sunglasses, had brought along several suitcases, a pink blow-up doll, swim fins, and the boy’s seven-year-old sister, who planned to act as witness. “What struck us was that the little ones were completely on their own,” said a police spokesman, “and that they had lots of swimming gear with them.”The Guardian

Share
Single Page

More from Christopher Beha:

From the May 2016 issue

Metaphysics In a Teacup

Annie Dillard gets pickled

Commentary May 22, 2015, 1:10 pm

Part of the Problem

Jonathan Chait’s flawed attack on David Bromwich’s critique of Barack Obama’s presidency

Commentary May 4, 2015, 12:53 pm

A Legitimate Distinction

In defense of the PEN America Center’s decision to give Charlie Hebdo its Freedom of Expression Courage Award

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

August 2016

Atlas Aggregated

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Origins of Speech

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Four in Verse

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Sigh and a Salute

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Four in Prose

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Don the Realtor

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
Martin Amis on the rise of Trump, Tom Wolfe on the origins of speech, Art Spiegelman on Si Lewen, fiction by Diane Williams, and more

In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.

Illustration by Darrel Rees
Article
Don the Realtor·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"If you have ever wondered what it’s like, being a young and avaricious teetotal German-American philistine on the make in Manhattan, then your curiosity will be quenched by The Art of the Deal."
Photograph (detail) © Polly Borland/Exclusive by Getty Images
Article
The Origins of Speech·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"To Chomsky...every child’s language organ could use the 'deep structure,' 'universal grammar,' and 'language acquisition device' he was born with to express what he had to say, no matter whether it came out of his mouth in English or Urdu or Nagamese."
Illustration (detail) by Darrel Rees. Source photograph © Miroslav Dakov/Alamy Live News
Article
A Sigh and a Salute·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Si told me that various paintings had spoken to him, but he wished they had been hung closer together 'so they could talk to each other.' This observation planted a seed that would come to fruition years later in his mature work."
Artwork (detail) by Si Lewen
Article
El Bloqueo·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Amid the festivities and the flood of celebrities, it would be easy for Americans to miss that the central plank of the long-standing cold war against Cuba — the economic embargo — remains very much alive and well."
Photograph (detail) by Rose Marie Cromwell

Amount traders on the Philadelphia Stock Exchange can be fined for fighting, per punch:

$1,000

Philadelphian teenagers who want to lose weight also tend to drink too much soda, whereas Bostonian teenagers who drink too much soda are likelier to carry guns.

Nuremberg’s Neues Museum filed a criminal complaint against a 91-year-old woman who completed a crossword puzzle that was in fact a $116,000 piece of avant-garde Danish art.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Mississippi Drift

By

“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”

Subscribe Today