Weekly Review — April 19, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Small Family, May 1874]
A Small Family.

While being questioned about his abuses of power, ousted 82-year-old Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak reportedly suffered a heart attack and was rushed to a hospital in the beach resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. GuardianMubarak’s sons, Gamal and Alaa, were taken for questioning from the hospital, in a police van that was pelted with stones, bottles, and flip-flops; they joined former Egyptian ministers in Tora Farm prison. “Bear in mind they are very broken,” said a prison officer of the influx of inmates, who added that Tora Farm was known as a “five-star prison” only because “those who come to it are from the elite of society.”NYTimesGBP News24 World NewsNYTimesItalian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi denied accusations that he paid a teenage runaway for sex, explaining that he gave $65,000 to a bellydancer who goes by the name of Ruby the Heartbreaker to help her escape a life of prostitution by launching a beauty parlor, and that he thought she was Hosni Mubarak’s granddaughter.GuardianHundreds of thousands of protesters in Yemen denounced President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and tens of thousands of Syrians marched in Damascus, calling for an end to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. “If theyâ??re going to stay in power,” historian Amr al-Azm said of the Syrian government, “theyâ??ll have to either really massacre people or theyâ??ll have to get very serious about reform.”GuardianNYTimesAntigovernment forces trying to oust Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi fled Ajdabiya after a rocket attack by government forces, confessing they had insufficient weapons and were frustrated with the lack of airstrikes. “Maybe NATO took off Saturday and Sunday,” said rebel spokesman Mustafa Gheriani.NYTimesDonald Trump, who is giving “serious, serious thought” to running for president in 2012, outlined his Libya policy: “Either Iâ??d go in and take the oil,” he said, “or I donâ??t go in at all.”Financial Times

The Tokyo Electric Power Company, which plans to bring the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant to the stable state of “cold shutdown” within nine months and will pay $12,000 to each household forced to evacuate because of leaking radiation, sent robots and remote-controlled helicopters into Units 1 and 3 of the plant, which brought back images revealing that the buildings were still too radioactive for workers to enter.WSJNewserNYTimesMusashi Waki of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party shouted at Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan about the slow progress. “You should be bowing your head in apology,” he said. “You clearly have no leadership at all.”AOPreviously unseen emails revealed that BP tried to control independent research into the consequences of the Gulf oil spill.GuardianBolivia prepared to pass the Law of Mother Earth, which will grant nature rights equal to those of humans, although it is not yet clear how the legislation will be implemented. WiredA “family” of tornadoes travelled from Oklahoma to North Carolina, killing at least 43 people.NYTimesHydraulic fracturing companies, an investigation revealed, injected hundreds of millions of gallons of hazardous or carcinogenic chemicals into wells in at least 13 states between 2005 and 2009, as well as salt, instant coffee, and walnut hulls, to stimulate the release of natural gas from underground reserves.NYTimesAn outbreak of Legionnaires disease at the Los Angeles Playboy mansion that left more than 70 people ill was traced to a hot tub.Telegraph

President Obama, who apparently forgot to turn off his microphone after a fundraising event, was overheard discussing his recent budget negotiations with Republicans and complaining about the White House technology to donors. “Whereâ??s the fancy buttons and stuff and the big screen comes up?” he asked.NYTimesScientists identified the part of the brain integral to embarrassment by asking subjects to listen to their own karaoke renditions of the Temptations’ 1964 hit “My Girl” played back without the musical accompaniment, and homeless men in St. Petersburg, Florida, claimed that they were paid $25 to $50 to be beaten by scantily-clad women for a website. “I’m still in a little bit of pain from a couple of weeks ago,” said a man who had taken part in one of the “beatdowns.” “I’m just trying to deal with it mentally right now.”Science DailyTampabay.com“Big Joey” Massino became the first official boss of a New York crime family to testify as a government witness, having offered his cooperation to avoid facing the death penalty after seven murder convictions and charges on an eighth. “Some people, they kill. Some people, they earn,” Massino explained. “It takes all kinds of meat to make a good sauce.”New York PostABCA retired greengrocer from Southampton, England, spent 400 hours knitting a three-tier wedding cake to celebrate the upcoming marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. “It’s not based on a pattern,” said 74-year-old Sheila Carter. “I just made it up.”Daily Mail

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In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.

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