Weekly Review — November 17, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other accused September 11 plotters would be tried in federal court in lower Manhattan. “It is fitting that 9/11 suspects face justice near the World Trade Center site,” said New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, adding that the city had sufficient resources to safely hold the trials. “I’m concerned,” said former mayor Rudy Giuliani, “that we no longer believe we’re at war with Islamicterrorists.” Five other detainees will be tried before military commissions.New York TimesNew York TimesNew York TimesNew York TimesPresident Barack Obama traveled to Shanghai,China, where he addressed a town-hall meeting attended by members of the Chinese Communist Party Youth League, whose questions were pre-screened. The president described himself as “a big supporter of non-censorship.” The meeting, which the White House called the “marquee event” of Obama’s trip to China, was not mentioned in official Chinese government news broadcasts. References to Obama’s remarks on Chinese websites were removed within hours. Washington PostOfficers from Beijing’s Industry and Commerce Administration stopped the sale of “ObaMao” merchandise showing Obama dressed as Mao Zedong.Washington PostThe Republican National Committee said that its health-insurance plan would no longer pay for abortions.PoliticoThe Cheesecake Factory agreed to pay $345,000 to six male employees who were sexually harassed by other male employees, the number of Americans lacking dependable access to food reached its highest levels on record, and a New York woman who cut off her father’s penis and burned it on the stove began taking cooking classes in jail.The Arizona RepublicReport: More Americans going hungryNew York Daily News

Sarah Palin published a memoir, “Going Rogue,” in which she offered her views on evolution (“I didn’t believe in the theory that human beings–thinking, loving beings–originated from fish that sprouted legs and crawled out of the sea”), the war on terror (“I knew the history of the conflict, to the extent that most Americans did”), and political experience (“There’s no better training ground for politics than motherhood”).New York TimesScientists found water on the moon.New York TimesLou Dobbs left CNN, and families in Mexico were sending “reverse remittances” to support unemployed relatives in the United States.CBCNew York TimesA bomb-sniffing dog that went missing in action in Afghanistan more than a year ago after its handler was wounded in a gunfight was found by U.S. soldiers and returned to its Australian unit; Sabi, a black lab, is eligible for both the War Dog Operational Medal and the Canine Service Medal.CBCA Greek Orthodox priest in Tampa Bay was beaten with a tire iron by a Marine reservist whom he approached for directions. The reservist, Jasen Bruce, insisted that Father Alexios Marakis had made sexual advances and yelled “Allahu Akbar.” “That’s what they tell you right before they blow you up,” explained Bruce.St. Petersburg TimesGeneral Motors announced quarterly losses of more than $1 billion. “We’ve been encouraged by the results we’ve seen,” said CEO Fritz Henderson.Washington Post

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd issued a national apology for the country’s role in the forced migration throughout the Commonwealth from the 1930s to the 1970s of 150,000 poor British children, whose relocation was intended to relieve social-service costs in Britain and improve the “good white stock” of the Empire.The New York TimesGerman art collector Udo Fritz-Hermann granted his mistress custody of their daughter in exchange for the rights to two works by Damien Hirst, including a 20-foot-long pill cabinet entitled “In this terrible moment we are victims clinging helplessly to an environment that refuses to acknowledge the soul.”Bloomberg NewsWindow Media, the nation’s largest publisher of gay and lesbian newpapers, folded.Washington PostWorld leaders agreed not to agree to a comprehensive climate-change deal at next month’s Cophenhagen conference,New York Timesand Jeffrey “Matches” Boyle, who served two years of a six-year arson sentence for starting at least 20 fires, was granted a $50,000 annual pension by the Chicago fire department, from which he retired before beginning his prison term.Chicago TribuneA goat born with six legs, four testicles, and three penises was granted a reprieve from sacrifice in the Indian city of Varanasi. “I have seen goats with the name of Allah or the holy number 786 on their bodies,” said one resident, “but a goat with six legs is definitely unique and special.”The Times of India

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October 2015

Lives by Omission

Lifting as We Climb

Cattle Calls

Getting Jobbed

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“One of the peculiar things about economic inequality is that the people who are most articulate about it are not poor, while the poor themselves have said little, at least in print, about their situation.”
Photograph © Reuters/Brendan McDermid
“It would be nice to get through this review without recourse to the term ‘writer’s writer.’ The thing is, in the case of Joy Williams, I have seen the cliché made flesh.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
“Miniatures originated in Persia and were brought to the Indian subcontinent when the Mughals conquered it in the sixteenth century. They could take on almost any subject: landscapes or portraits; stories of love, war, or play.”
Painting by by Imran Qureshi.
“The business of being a country veterinarian is increasingly precarious. The heartland has been emptying of large-animal vets for at least two decades, as agribusiness changed the employment picture and people left the region.”
Photograph by Lance Rosenfield
“Rosie and her husband had burned through their small savings in the first few months after she lost her job. Now their family of five relied on his minimum-wage paychecks, plus Rosie’s unemployment and food stamps, which, combined, brought them to around $2,000 per month, just above the poverty line.”
Illustrations by Taylor Callery

Ratio of children’s emergency-room visits for injuries related to fireworks last year to those related to “desk supplies”:


The ecosystems around Chernobyl, Ukraine, are now healthier than they were before the nuclear disaster, though radiation levels are still too high for human habitation.

The Islamic State opened two new theme parks featuring a Ferris wheel, teacup rides, and bumper cars.

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Subways Are for Sleeping


“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”

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