Weekly Review — May 26, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Tempest, December 1878]

Democrats in Congress denied President Barack Obama the $80 million he sought to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and move its prisoners to maximum-security prisons in the United States. “We don’t want them around,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said of the prisoners. Obama, speaking in the rotunda at the National Archives where the Constitution is kept, insisted that he would move the prisoners despite resistance from Congress and put forth a new policy of “prolonged detention,” whereby terrorism suspects can be held indefinitely without trial. Vice President Joe Biden said that the White House had been evaluating Guantanamo prisoners with a “fine tooth comb.” “It’s like opening Pandora’s Box,” he said. “We don’t know what’s inside.”Fox NewsNew York TimesNewsweekThe Republican National Committee released an ad comparing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with Pussy Galore from the James Bond film Goldfinger,CBS NewsPoliticoand Secretary of State Hillary Clinton circulated a memo indicating that the State Department will start offering equal benefits and protections to the same-sex partners of diplomats.New York TimesAfter a Republican-written energy bill failed in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, committee chairman Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) and Edward Markey (D., Mass.) drafted 946 pages of compromise legislation that proposes to reduce CO2 emissions to 17 percent of their 2005 level by 2050; House Democrats hired a speed reader in case Republicans force the bill to be read aloud.Wall Street JournalHouston ChronicleWall Street JournalIn Sandy, Utah, 11-year-old Fin Keheler set a new world record by putting 43 snails on his face for ten seconds,Associated Pressand in Artesia, New Mexico, former president George W. Bush told high-school students that his life was “returning back to normal.”MSNBC

Police in western Germany arrested a 26-year-old man suspected of being the “rabbit ripper,” responsible for the deaths of 58 rabbits (31 of which were found without heads) since January 2008; when arrested the man was carrying two boxes of guinea pigs.Australia Herald SunHorst Koehler, of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, was re-elected as president of Germany,.The Telegraphand German officials announced that a Romanian teen who auctioned her virginity on the Internet to help fund her education in Mannheim will be taxed at a rate of 50 percent, with the possibility of an additional 19 percent value-added tax.Daily MailA commission investigating child abuse in Ireland’s church-run state orphanages, reformatories, and schools released a 2,600-page report that documents physical, emotional, and “endemic” sexual abuse of thousands of children over a 60-year period; the forms of abuse include “punching, flogging, assault and bodily attacks, hitting with the hand, kicking, ear pulling, hair pulling, head shaving, beating on the soles of the feet, burning, scalding, stabbing, severe beatings with or without clothes…[and beatings] while hanging from hooks on the wall.”New York TimesIn Britain MP Peter Viggers admitted that he had attempted to seek state reimbursement of $2,600 spent at his country estate for a duck hut. “I am ashamed and humiliated, and I apologize,” said Viggers, who sought $47,660 for gardening expenses over three years. “As has been reported, my claim for the duck house was rightly ‘not allowed’ by the Fees Office. I paid for it myself, and in fact it was never liked by the ducks.”New York TimesDaniel Carasso, the 103-year-old Catalan who popularized yogurt, died, as did Edwin Shneidman, a 91-year-old authority on suicide, and Wayne Allwine, the actor who voiced Mickey Mouse for 32 years.New York TimesNew York TimesAssociated PressBelgium’s bodybuilding championship was canceled when anti-doping officials appeared unannounced and all twenty competitors grabbed their belongings and ran away.ESPN

Iran tested medium-range ballistic missiles capable of reaching Europe or Israel,.The Telegraphand North Korea announced that it had successfully conducted a second nuclear test.New York TimesA Japanese company introduced toilet paper printed with novellas by Koji Suzuki, the author of the “Ring” series, intended to provide “a horror experience in the toilet.”Associated PressThe former president of South Korea, Roh Moo-hyun, committed suicide by jumping off a cliff. “Don’t be too sad,” wrote Roh, who was accused of corruption, in a note to his wife and two children. “Don’t be sorry. Don’t blame anyone. Accept it as fate.”New York TimesAfter a Chinese government investigation determined that Love Land, the country’s first sex-themed park, “had an evil influence on society,” the park was shut down, leading to the immediate demolition of a giant pair of women’s legs wearing a red thong. The GuardianTraffic on Haizhu Bridge in the Chinese city of Guangzhou was stopped while a man named Chen Fuchao, who had amassed debts of $293,000 in a failed construction project, decided whether or not to jump. After five hours, a man named Lai Jiansheng broke through a police cordon, greeted Chen, and shoved him off the bridge onto an emergency air cushion. “Jumpers like Chen,” explained Lai, “are very selfish.”BBC

Share
Single Page

More from Moira Weigel:

Weekly Review March 24, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

September 2014

Israel and Palestine

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Washington Is Burning

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On Free Will

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

They Were Awake

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
Arab artists take up — and look past — regional politics
“When everyday life regularly throws up images of terror and drama and the technological sublime, how can a photographer compete?”
“Qalandia 2087, 2009,” by Wafa Hourani
Post
“There was torture by the previous regime and by the current Iraqi regime,” Dr. Amin said. “Torture by our Kurdish government, torture by Syrians, torture by the U.S.”
Visiting His Own Grave © Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Article
The Tale of the Tape·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Heroin isn’t the weakness Art Pepper submits to; it’s the passion he revels in.”
Photograph (detail) © Laurie Pepper
Criticism
The Soft-Kill Solution·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Policymakers, recognizing the growing influence of civil disobedience and riots on the direction of the nation, had already begun turning to science for a response."
Illustration by Richard Mia
New Books
New Books·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

 
“Almond insists that watching football does more than feed an appetite for violence. It’s a kind of modern-day human sacrifice, and it makes us more likely to go to war.”
Photograph by Harold Edgerton

Chance that a movie script copyrighted in the U.S. before 1925 was written by a woman:

1 in 2

Engineers funded by the United States military were working on electrical brain implants that will enable the creation of remote-controlled sharks.

Malaysian police were seeking fifteen people who appeared in an online video of the Malaysia-International Nude Sports Games 2014 Extravaganza, and Spanish police fined six Swiss tourists conducting an orgy in the back of a moving van for not wearing their seatbelts.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today