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Arizona Governor Jan Brewer passed a bill requiring state law-enforcement officers to demand documentation of any person they suspect may be in the United States illegally. “That means that anyone who drives in the city of Phoenix and gets pulled over,” said Phoenix Vice Mayor Michael Nowakowski, “better have a passport or a visa.” The law, said one elected official, “is literally designed to terrorize undocumented immigrants.” Protestors smeared refried-beans swastikas on the state capitol’s windows. The state’s House of Representatives passed a bill requiring future presidential candidates to present a copy of their birth certificates to the Arizona secretary of state. “This is one way,” said the bill’s sponsor, Representative Judy Burges, “to bring back integrity and transparency to the voting system.”Washington PostThe Arizona RepublicTalking Points MemoAZCapitol TimesGoogle disclosed that the United States government had made more than 3,500 requests for the personal information of Internet users.Christian Science MonitorEmails released by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations revealed that Goldman Sachs benefited from the 2007 crash of the mortgage market. “There will be very good opportunities as the market goes into what is likely to be even greater distress,” one executive wrote, “and we want to be in position to take advantage of them.” The Washington PostA report by the inspector general of the Securities Exchange Commission found that after the start of the mortgage crisis SEC employees dramatically increased the amount of pornography they viewed on office computers; one staff attorney admitted that he spent as many as eight hours a day looking at porn.Washington PostThe United States Treasury released the new $100 bill. Wall Street Journal
Iraqi officials acknowledged that Iraq’s security forces had imprisoned more than 400 northern Sunni Muslims in a secret prison, torturing dozens, before the country’s human rights minister intervened last month to close the prison. NYTimesThe Pentagon reported that Iranian paramilitaries were operating in Venezuela and that Iran is supplying weapons and explosives to insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan.Washington TimesBombay’s Oberoi hotel reopened, and the California Highway Patrol was forced to temporarily shut down its South Lake Tahoe office after they mistook an “anal vibrator” for a bomb.CBSTahoe Daily TribunePhilippines President Gloria Arroyo named her manicurist to the board of a government agency that oversees housing. “Having a relationship of trust with the president,” said Arroyo’s spokesperson, “should not count against someone.”APThe French justice minister demanded legal action against a man who was photographed wiping himself with the tricolor, and the European Union declared vacationing a human right and unveiled a scheme to subsidize vacations for the poor.BBCNational PostEighty people died in Uganda after drinking homemade banana gin. BBCApartment-building owners in New York City reached a labor deal with the union representing doormen, narrowly avoiding a strike. “It would definitely be a big inconvenience,” said one West End Avenue resident. “Our doorman told me probably 50 percent of the people in our building have takeout delivered on any given night.”New York Times
Dorothy Height, whom President Barack Obama called “the godmother of the civil rights movement,” died at the age of 98.San Francisco ChronicleThe Supreme Court upheld the right to record women crushing small animals with their feet, and a 41-year-old woman in Wisconsin was arrested for shooting blow darts at pedestrians so that she could hear them say “ouch.”ABA JournalStevens Point JournalThe police chief in Papau, Indonesia, barred applicants to the police force from enlarging their “vital organs,” claiming that an unnaturally large penis causes a “hindrance during training.” ReutersA bishop in Germany resigned after he was accused of beating children in a Bavarian orphanage, a bishop in Ireland quit for failing to report abuse to the police, and the longest-serving bishop in Belgium stepped down after revealing that he had sexually abused a boy in his “close entourage.”New York TimesAZ CentralNew York TimesGovernment officials in the United Kingdom apologized to the Pope for a leaked memo that suggested his upcoming trip to Britain be accompanied by the launch of a Pope Benedict-brand condom. Daily TelegraphThe Hubble Telescope turned twenty, and astrophysicist Stephen Hawking warned against making contact with aliens. “If aliens visit us,” said Hawking, “the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans.” Christian Science MonitorBBC
More from Genevieve Smith:
From the May 2014 issue
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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“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.”