Weekly Review — October 6, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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

The International Monetary Fund said that the global economy was improving and that banks would probably have to absorb another $1.5 trillion in losses in addition to the $1.3 trillion already written off. There remained, the IMF said, “risk of a reintensification of the adverse feedback loop between the real and financial sectors.” At Anadolu University in Istanbul, a student threw a white Nike shoe at IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn and shouted, “Get out of the university, IMF thief!” NYTNYTU.S. unemployment rose to 9.8 percent, underemployment rose to 17 percent, and the average American workweek shrank by six minutes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, raising its earlier estimates, reported that eight million jobs had vanished in the recession so far, the largest mass layoff since the end of World War II. “This is what a recovery looks like,” said former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan. Ninety-nine of the hundred largest metropolitan areas had lost jobs in the past year. The exception was the area around McAllen, Texas, a border town where per-capita income is $12,000 and the incidence of heavy drinking is sixty percent higher than the national average. President Obama called the new jobs figures “sobering.” John “Bootsie” Wilson, the last surviving member of the Silhouettes, the soul group that sang the 1958 hit “Get a Job,” died. NYTBloombergPittsburgh Business TimesNYTNew YorkerCNNYouTubePhiladelphia Daily NewsNYTSarah Palin announced that the co-author of her forthcoming memoir Going Rogue will be a fundamentalist Christian named Lynn Vincent. “Many Muslims are kind and gentle people,” Vincent co-wrote in an earlier book, “but about one in ten, according to scholars who study Jihad, have declared war on our way of life.” Alaskan porcupines were in heat, Juneau Empireand David Letterman told a long joke about his affairs with coworkers.Entertainment WeeklyLovebugs near Hilton Head, South Carolina, emerged en masse to mate and die. The Beaufort Gazette

An earthquake in Indonesia killed more than six hundred people, floods in India killed 271, a tsunami in the Samoas killed more than 160, and soldiers in Conakry, Guinea, fired on pro-democracy marchers, killing 87. “What upsets me most,” said opposition leader Sidya Toure, “is that they destroyed my library.” TelegraphLATCNNUSA TodayAP via LATThe United Kingdom opened a new Supreme Court with carpets by Sir Peter Blake, who also designed the cover of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,BBCand one hundred thirty-one walruses in northern Alaska died in a walrus stampede. Alaska Daily NewsChicago’s Field Museum announced that it would exhibit the body of a one-month-old woolly mammoth, possibly dislodged from Siberian permafrost by climate change, Chicago Tribuneand Catholics and Episcopalians brought pets to church to be blessed, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.Rome churches bless animals; â??This is a way to remind ourselves that (animals), too, are part of his creation.â??Columnist William Safire, who called himself a language “maven”â??a word of Yiddish origin, first popularized in a 1960s ad for pickled herringâ??died, NYTNYTand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accidentally revealed that his original, Jewish surname is Sabourjian, Persian for “weaver of the prayer shawl.” Telegraph

Scientists announced the discovery of a 4.4-million-year-old hominid primate skeleton that is 1 million years older than the Australopithecus afarensis known as Lucy. The bipedal creature, named Ardi, had more useful big toes than we have. WPNYTScienceScienceNational Geographic BlogsNational GeographicKraft Foods agreed not to call a new mix of Vegemite and cream cheese “iSnack2.0,” after Australian consumers complained. The creator of the name, said one protestor, should be made to run down the street “wearing nothing but a generous lathering of old-fashioned Vegemite as retribution for his cultural crime.” Asia TimesTimes UKBBCChicago lost to Rio de Janeiro in a bid to host the 2016 Olympics. “If they have Obama,” said soccer superstar Pele, “we have Pele.” TelegraphChina celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the socialist People’s Republic of China under the democratic dictatorship of the Communist Party and Chairman Mao, AFP via Googleand the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, under chairman Max Baucus, finished its proposed health-care reform bill, after striking down the “public option” favored by 57 percent of Americans. The Senate Finance version of the bill will now be analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office, then melded with a more liberal version by the Senate Health Committee, and sent to the Senate floor for debate. Las Vegas Review-JournalNYTWPChicago TribuneAP via Miami HeraldKaiser Health NewsKaiser Health NewsLATWPElk in the Rocky Mountains were gathering their harems for mating, and tourists gathered to listen to their eerie bugling. “At the end, they let out two to three grunts and spray urine on their abdomen, chest, and neck,” explained Bob Kreycik, a retired veterinarian in Loveland, Colorado. “The more they smell, the more the cows like it.” Loveland Reporter-HeraldBoulder Daily Camera

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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.

Photograph (detail) by Karine Laval

Age at death last March of the sturgeon Nikita, Khrushchev’s gift to Norway, after an accidental immersion in salt water:

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