Weekly Review — November 16, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Babylonian lion, 1875]

The Group of 20 met in Seoul. World leaders accepted new policies meant to avoid “currency wars,” but Barack Obamaâ??s proposal of a 4 percent limit on national trade deficits was stymied by China and Germany, and the summit was largely a failure. “Instead of hitting home runs, sometimes weâ??re going to hit singles,” Mr. Obama said. “But theyâ??re really important singles.” NYTimesIsraeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to push his cabinet to freeze most construction on West Bank settlements for 90 daysâ??in exchange for a $3 billion package from the United States in security incentives and fighter jetsâ??so that peace talks could continue. NYTimesFormer Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma since 2006, was moved from a hospital to his ranch in the Negev Desert, but only for a few daysâ?? visit. “The third floor of his house has a 360-degree panoramic view,” explained former aide Oren Magnezy.NYTimesJTAThe government of Haiti reported that over 900 people had died in a cholera epidemic and over 14,000 had been hospitalized; the United Nations previously estimated that 200,000 Haitians could contract the disease as it spreads across the country. ReutersFifty thousand students marched in London, protesting plans to raise university fees and cut funding; 200 students occupied the building that houses Conservative Party headquarters, smashing windows, waving black flags, and recording the events on their cell phones. When a fire extinguisher was thrown off the roof, the crowd below began to chant, “Stop throwing shit.” Chants of “Tory scum” were also heard.Guardian

A cruise ship stranded for three days off Mexico, with no hot water, air conditioning, or heated meals for its 3,000 passengers, was towed to shore. “I never saw a hot-dog salad before,” said passenger Tom Fisher. “We had yogurt on bread for dessert.”ReutersBoxers, socks, and velveteen slippers formerly belonging to con artist Bernie Madoff were sold at an auction to raise money for his victims, and a Florida truck dealership offered free AK-47s to used-truck buyers.NYTimesA South Carolina man was tased by police after being found naked, and apparently drugged, with a mouse in his rectum.WISTVRepresentative John Shimkus (R., Ill.) announced that he opposed cap-and-trade legislation because God would not allow the Earth to be destroyed by global warming. “I do believe that God said the earth would not be destroyed by a flood,” he clarified. Raw StoryOn Veteran’s Day, the comic strip “Garfield” provoked outrage with a story about Garfield threatening to kill a spider, who warns the cat that if he is smashed, other spiders will hold a national day of remembrance. The final panel shows a classroom of spiders and their teacher speaking about “National Stupid Day.” Series creator Jim Davis apologized. ReutersThe FBI announced a $20,000 reward for information on the person who has been shooting at the Pentagon and other military sites in Washington, D.C.http://blog.washingtonpost.com/spy-talk/2010/11/fbi_offers_reward_for_tips_on.htmlFollowing a disagreement about a tractor, a Kentucky man had his beard shaved by two men and was forced to eat it. “One thing led to another,” Harvey Westmoreland said, “and before I knew it, there were knives and guns and everything just went haywire.” MSNBC

Turkmenistan laid the foundation for a $5 billion, 388-acre “Olympic complex.” “Sportsmen from all over the world will compete here in major international contests,” said President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov, who rode a bicycle and a horse at the ceremony, “and important successes will be accomplished.” Todays ZamanThe tuberous bushcricket was discovered to have the largest testes, relative to body weight, of any creature on earth.YahooThe Pope told athletes that they should respect their bodies and not use steroids. Boston GlobeNew York became the latest state to move toward banning the beverage Four Loko, one can of which contains as much as alcohol as three beers and as much caffeine as two small cups of coffee.Eater.comSeattle P.I. NY1“The Daily Beast” merged with Newsweek, and McDonaldâ??s was offering nutrition workshops to schoolchildren. “I learned that McDonald’s can be very healthy for you if you make the right choices,” said Shannon Mullings, age 11. Zack Kyzer, also 11, said the workshop was “the best thing that ever happened to me.”NPRCT Post

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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.

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