Weekly Review — June 23, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Protesters supporting Mir Hussein Moussavi clashed with security forces throughout Iran as Moussavi called for further civil disobedience and the nullification of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election as president. “I am ready for martyrdom,” said Moussavi. Hundreds of people were arrested and at least a dozen were killed; Iran blamed the deaths on “armed terrorists” and announced a special court to try the protesters. President Barack Obama called on Iran’s leadership to stop its “violent and unjust” response to the protests. Iranian police detained five relatives of former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who supports Moussavi, and photographs of pro-Ahmadinejad rallies were manipulated to make crowds seem larger. Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who blamed the unrest on foreign governments and media, called on Iran’s Guardian Council to examine some claims of voter fraud but warned that opposition leaders who failed to stop protests “would be responsible for bloodshed and chaos.” An initial election probe revealed that 50 locales had more votes than voters.New York TimesNew York Daily NewsYahoo NewsNew York TimesNews GristMy Way NewsNew York TimesLos Angeles TimesThe United States was spying on a 2,000-ton freighter believed to be carrying missile components from North Korea to Burma; North Korea responded by threatening “unlimited retaliatory strikes” against South Korea, and Japanese intelligence officials suggested that North Korea may attempt to fire a Taepodong-2 missile toward Hawaii on July 4th, leading Hawaii to deploy its anti-missile defenses. “Without telegraphing what we will do,” said Defense Secretary Robert Gates, “we are in a good position, should it become necessary, to protect Americans and American territory.”New York TimesThe Daily MailThe CIA was recruiting laid-off New York City bankers.Reuters

After seven months of imprisonment, two reporters–one Afghan and one American–escaped from a Taliban compound in North Waziristan by keeping their Taliban guards up late playing board games and, once the guards were asleep, using a 20-foot rope to climb over the compound wall.New York TimesA suicide bombing at a mosque in northern Iraq killed 67 people and wounded about 200.VOA NewsA woman in Switzerland was sentenced to eight years in prison for killing her wealthy French lover during sex. She had asked the man, who wore a flesh-colored latex suit, for a million dollars as proof of his love; he replied that the sum was “a lot of money to pay for a whore,” at which point she shot and killed him, cleaned the sex toys and antiques, and threw the gun into Lake Geneva. “I am a woman who is desperately in love with a man,” she told the victim’s family, “and I remain so.”BBC NewsFour people were arrested in Florida for making a 12-year-old Boy Scout drink urine,Click Orlandoand 70-year-old Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner was videotaped breaking up a fight amid a crowd of 20 teenagers. ”Come here, fatso,” Finkbeiner yelled. ”Tubby, get your butt out of here.”New York TimesA fox in Germany was found to have stolen more than a hundred pairs of shoes,Der Speigeland a mother in Squamish, British Columbia, fought off a cougar that attacked her three-year-old daughter, who then asked: “Why didn’t the kitty play nice?”CBC News

Greenland, ruled by Denmark since 1721, replaced the national language, Danish, with the Inuit dialect of Kalaallisut and began to use the island’s Inuit name, Naalakkersuisut, in government documents. “It’s a new relationship based on equality,” said prime minister Kuupik Kleist, who compared Greenland and Denmark to partners in a marriage. “From today, the man in the house has as much say as the wife.”New York TimesA group of prominent fathers, including Run DMC’s Darryl McDaniels, skateboarder Tony Hawk, and Vice President Joe Biden, spoke as part of a White House Father’s Day celebration. “My number two son,” said Biden, “he wanted to go to law school, he went to Yale. Now, I don’t like those Ivy League schools, I went to a state school. But all kidding aside, he went to Yale.”SlateThe sixth dead body in seven years was found at the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee.Chattanooga Times Free PressTwo copilots safely landed a plane in Newark Liberty Airport after the pilot died of a heart attack mid-flight,Fox Newsand the mother and grandmother of a six-year-old girl in Queens, New York, were arrested after setting the girl on fire as part of a voodoo “Loa” ritual, during which the mother poured accelerant over the child, burning 25 percent of her body.ABC NewsA man in Brooklyn was arrested after six years of dressing as his dead mother–in a wig, sunglasses, dress, and nail polish–to collect more than $100,000 in Social Security and rent benefits. “I held my mother when she was dying and breathed in her last breath,” the man explained, “so I am my mother.”NBC News

Single Page

More from Christopher Beha:

From the Vault February 7, 2014, 3:15 pm

John R. Tunis’s “The Olympic Games” (1928)

Is it worth carrying on with the Olympic Games?

From the December 2013 issue

Does Mailer Matter?

The Young Writer and the last literary celebrity

Six Questions May 24, 2013, 8:00 am

The World Is a Carpet: Four Seasons in an Afghan Village

Anna Badkhen on life in rural Afghanistan and the friction between violence and beauty

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

United States Canada



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


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
“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
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
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!


In Praise of Idleness


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