Weekly Review — May 31, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: All In My Eye, December 1853]
An American cattleman.

Europe’s most wanted war-crimes suspect, former general Ratko Mladic, was arrested for the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica. Supporters said the 68-year-old Bosnian Serb had suffered two heart attacks and three strokes over the years, and that his condition should preclude a jail sentence. “If you put a bird in a cage you can give them whatever it wants, but it??s not going to be happy,” said his lawyer and friend Milos Saljic.New York TimesNew York TimesA U.S. federal judge ruled that Jared Loughner was not competent to stand trial for attempting to assassinate Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a decision that came after Loughner was evicted from the courtroom for an outburst in which he reportedly said “Thank you for the freak show.” New York TimesThe final episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” aired.New York TimesFewer than 15 minutes before the expiry of the Patriot Act, President Barack Obama signed an extension to the law from Paris with an autopen, the first time a president has used the instrument to ratify legislation.New York TimesObama was on a six-day trip to Europe, during which he flubbed a toast to Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, continuing to speak even though the orchestra had started playing “God Save the Queen.” “That’s very kind,” said the Queen to Obama.Althouse

Democrat Kathy Hochul won a special election to become the CongressionalRepresentative for New York’s District 26, a seat Republicans have held for four decades. Republicans denied that Hochul’s victory was a response to their proposal to privatize Medicare, even though Hochul was thought certain to lose until she began attacking her opponent for supporting the plan. New York TimesTests revealed that DNA found on the shirt of a Manhattan hotel maid belonged to former I.M.F. leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn, whom the maid had accused of sexual assault. The Globe and MailTwo New York City police officers were acquitted of charges that they raped a drunken woman after helping her into her apartment; one officer had admitted to snuggling with the woman while she wore only a bra. New York TimesA Kansas women??s group launched a campaign to send spare tires to state representative Pete DeGraaf for his defense of a bill that prohibits general health insurance plans from covering abortions, even for victims of rape and incest. “We do need to plan ahead, don??t we, in life?” DeGraaf had said, suggesting women buy a separate plan to cover abortions. “I have a spare tire on my car,” he added. Wichita EagleScientists revealed that to avoid unwanted sexual advances, female copper butterflies close their wings. BBC

Ninety-four-year-old Surrealist (and former lover of Max Ernst) Leonora Carrington died, as did 104-year-old heiress Huguette Clark at New York’s Beth Israel Medical Center, surrounded by the French dolls she had collected since childhood.New York TimesParaguay’s Asunción zoo sought a mate for Coco, the last known male hyacinth macaw in the country, and officials said the College National Finals Rodeo in Casper, Wyoming, would take place despite a deadly outbreak of horse herpes in the West. Associated PressDenver PostA truck driver in New Zealand was almost killed after falling buttocks-first onto an active compressed-air hose. Doctors said they were surprised the man??s skin didn??t burst, since the air separated his fat from his muscle. BBCInfrared satellite images of Egypt revealed 17 previously unknown pyramids. BBCIn England, police used a helicopter to apprehend a teenager who accidentally broke a window while playing soccer outside with his friends, and a school banned pupils from exchanging handshakes, high-fives, and hugs. AnanovaAnanovaA 34-year-old high school chemistry teacher in California was arrested for helping three students get high with chloroform; a Salt Lake City mother tried to sell her 13-year-old daughter’s virginity for $10,000; and activists fought to get a measure outlawing circumcision for boys younger than 18 onto Santa Monica’s November 2012 ballot. In response to concerns that HIV rates would rise as a result, measure-supporter Jena Troutman said, “If you’re raising a dumb kid who won’t use a condom, then go ahead and cut off two thirds of his nerve endings and one half of his penile skin.” Merced Sun-StarWLS 890AMLA Times

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For the past three years my dosimeter had sat silently on a narrow shelf just inside the door of a house in Tokyo, upticking its final digit every twenty-four hours by one or two, the increase never failing — for radiation is the ruthless companion of time. Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly. During those three years, my American neighbors had lost sight of the accident at Fukushima. In March 2011, a tsunami had killed hundreds, or thousands; yes, they remembered that. Several also recollected the earthquake that caused it, but as for the hydrogen explosion and containment breach at Nuclear Plant No. 1, that must have been fixed by now — for its effluents no longer shone forth from our national news. Meanwhile, my dosimeter increased its figure, one or two digits per day, more or less as it would have in San Francisco — well, a trifle more, actually. And in Tokyo, as in San Francisco, people went about their business, except on Friday nights, when the stretch between the Kasumigaseki and Kokkai-Gijido-mae subway stations — half a dozen blocks of sidewalk, which commenced at an antinuclear tent that had already been on this spot for more than 900 days and ended at the prime minister’s lair — became a dim and feeble carnival of pamphleteers and Fukushima refugees peddling handicrafts.

One Friday evening, the refugees’ half of the sidewalk was demarcated by police barriers, and a line of officers slouched at ease in the street, some with yellow bullhorns hanging from their necks. At the very end of the street, where the National Diet glowed white and strange behind other buildings, a policeman set up a microphone, then deployed a small video camera in the direction of the muscular young people in drums against fascists jackets who now, at six-thirty sharp, began chanting: “We don’t need nuclear energy! Stop nuclear power plants! Stop them, stop them, stop them! No restart! No restart!” The police assumed a stiffer stance; the drumming and chanting were almost uncomfortably loud. Commuters hurried past along the open space between the police and the protesters, staring straight ahead, covering their ears. Finally, a fellow in a shabby sweater appeared, and murmured along with the chants as he rounded the corner. He was the only one who seemed to sympathize; few others reacted at all.

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Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:

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