Weekly Review — October 19, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Tempest, December 1878]

Thirty-three Chilean miners who had spent sixty-nine days trapped 2,000 feet underneath the Atacama Desert were rescued. The miners were carried one-by-one to the surface in a custom-made capsule. Most were in good health. One miner emerged and began leading chants of “Chi-chi-chi, le-le-le!” Another juggled a soccer ball, and a third embraced his mistress. After being rescued, each miner received free sunglasses and a music player from corporate donors, $10,000 from a Chilean businessman, and an open invitation for a striptease. Edison “the Runner” Peña, who jogged each day in the mine while listening to Elvis Presley songs, was offered free trips to the New York Marathon and Graceland. More than one thousand international journalists observed the miraculous rescue, along with Rolly the Clown. “You could call me a psychologist of sorts,” Rolly said. “People need a clown at their side when they are grasping for solutions.” NBC News correspondent Kerry Sanders added: “You know what? I think we need this as a world. I think we do.”NYTNYTTelegraphNYTNYTZimbabwean farmers were selling their daughters for maize, the United Nations reported that some fifteen thousand rapes were committed last year in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and a tenth of Germans said that they would prefer that a “Führer” take over their government. Daily News (Zimbabwe)Al JazeeraNYT

Newly released real-estate data showed that more than 100,000 U.S. properties went into foreclosure in September, a new record, and the Obama Administration lifted its moratorium on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico six weeks ahead of schedule. ReutersAPThe U.S. Army began testing a new, tighter uniform for women, with “more material ? to accommodate the buttocks,” and a Federal judge ordered the military to cease discharging openly gay soldiers under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law. AFPWSJNYTThe Obama Administration announced its plan to appeal the order, and the Justice Department appealed a Massachusetts judge’s ruling that authorized gay marriage in the state. AFPCarl Paladino, Republican candidate for governor of New York and former landlord of two gay bars in Buffalo, told constituents that he opposed children being “brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option.” The next day, he appeared on the Today show and criticized Democratic opponent Andrew Cuomo for attending a gay pride parade with his children. Fox NewsNY Daily NewsNYTPhilippine police and health officials seized 1,500 pounds of “hot meat”??tainted pork??from a market in Metro Manila.GMANews.tvThe Archbishop of Belgium described AIDS as a “sort of inherent justice,” then clarified that he was not referring to people who contracted the disease through blood transfusions, but to those exposed to HIV through sex. A mob of 6,000 Serbians clashed with riot police at a gay pride march in Belgrade, throwing bricks at authorities and chanting “Death to homosexuals.” NY PostReuters

NATO officials in Afghanistan admitted they had provided safe passage for Taliban leaders into Kabul and had overseen preliminary talks between them and the Afghan government about a possible peace accord. NYTThe U.S.-led mission in Afghanistan named its transition process from foreign to local security forces “Inteqal,” which means “transfer” in Dari and Pashto, the country’s two main languages. In Urdu, the official language of neighboring Pakistan, it means “dead.” RFERLQari Hussain Mehsud, a Pakistani Taliban leader, was reportedly killed in a U.S. drone attack. He has been reportedly killed twice before.Washington TimesKabul residents were enduring an epidemic of cutaneous leishmaniasis, a skin disease spread by sand flies that leaves disfiguring scars on people’s hands and faces.BBCThree Palestinians in the West Bank drowned in a pool of olive oil runoff.ReutersA vandal spelled the words PIG and CHUMP in strips of bacon on the sidewalk outside a South Carolina mosque, and a Russian court seized a woman’s piglet??her most valuable possession??to pay off some of her debts.Christian Science MonitorreutersAn 8-year-old Florida boy watched the pet turtle he’d just donated to the Gulfarium be eaten by an alligator. “Oh no, alligator,” he screamed. “Let it go!” The boy’s mother made him look away from the scene, but they could still hear the turtle shell crunching between the gator’s teeth. Fort Walton Beach Daily NewsSome dogs, scientists determined, were pessimists. ReutersLiu Wei, a 23-year-old armless man who plays the piano with his toes, won the first season of “China’s Got Talent.” Liu, who was offered a three-month stint performing in Las Vegas, said, “At least I have a pair of perfect legs.”Reuters

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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