Weekly Review — July 5, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

An angry-looking, monkey-like creature showing its teeth.
A kinkajou, 1886.

Christine Lagarde, the finance minister of France, was appointed managing director of the International Monetary Fund, making her the first woman to hold the position. “While I was being questioned for three hours by 24 men,” Lagarde said on French television, “I thought, â??Itâ??s good that things are changing a little.â??”New York TimesAssociated Press via Washington PostThe bail conditions imposed on former I.M.F. managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn were relaxed after prosecutors disclosed that the hotel maid who accused him of rape had lied to them about her personal history, and had previously made a false claim of rape. An anonymous source close to thedefense said the woman is a prostitute.GuardianNew York TimesCounty of New York District Attorney’s Office, via Globe and MailNew York PostTexas legislators approved a bill that would make the state the largest to defund Planned Parenthood, while two Wisconsin government agencies opened probes into allegations by state Supreme Court justice Ann Walsh Bradley that fellow Supreme Court justice David Prosser had put her in a chokehold. PoliticoMilwaukee Journal SentinelAn Ohio grandmother was arrested after spraying her grandson in the face with a high-powered hose because heâ??d eaten too much bacon, and a drunken Ohio mother lactating in Illinois was charged with assault after striking her husband, locking herself in her car, and spraying deputies with breast milk. “This is a prime example,” said Delaware County sheriff Walter L. Davis, “of how alcohol can make individuals do things they would not normally do.”Philly.comReuters

In the Netherlands, MPs passed a law banning the slaughter of unstunned animals. Although the head of the Dutch Party for the Animals said the bill wasn’t targeted at religious minorities, Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs told parliament, “One of the first measures taken during the Occupation [by Nazi Germany] was the closing of kosher abattoirs.”BBC NewsAs San Franciscan bureaucrats sought to ban the sale of live animals not intended for eating, the United States plotted to kill East Coast barred owls in order to save West Coast spotted owls, and the United Nations lauded the death of rinderpest â?? the second disease, after smallpox, it has eradicated.Los Angeles TimesYahoo! NewsNew York TimesOntario beekeepers got $244,000 to create a superbee. CBC NewsThe U.S. waged a drone war in Somalia. New York TimesProtests in Greece, Egypt, Syria, and Bahrain were met with violence from government forces, and 21 people were killed during a suicide assault on the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul. Among the dead were the nine attackers, one of whom provided cell phone updates of the siege to the Taliban, which claimed 50 of its targets had died. Associated PressAl Jazeera EnglishAl Jazeera EnglishAssociated PressAssociated Press

It was reported that lightning had killed 15 people in Uganda and three in Rwanda, disrupted flights at London’s Gatwick Airport, and been blamed for a North Korean loss at the Women’s World Cup. Associated PressallAfrica.comBBC NewsYahoo! SportsJapanese sumo wrestlers were ordered not to play golf so that they would be nervous when fighting, while mice in the Lake District found refuge in tennis balls from Wimbledon. Yahoo! NewsGuardianAn Illinois judge permitted a nine-year-old boy to attend religious services with his mother over the objections of the father, who worried it would hurt his sonâ??s chances of becoming a scientist. Chicago TribuneAn American mathematician and a Belgian physicist exposed the secrets of Tibetan ritual singing bowls, and reporters probed researchers about the auto-frottage of a tiny water boatman, which makes the loudest animal sound relative to body size. Said Dr. James Windmill of the noise, which occurs when the bug rubs its penis against its abdomen: “We really don’t know how they make such a loud sound using such a small area.”BBC NewsBBC Nature NewsJournalists proclaimed that Yingluck Shinawatra, sister of disgraced exâ??prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, would be the first female prime minister of Thailand, and investigated a preschool in Sweden where gender distinctions are frowned upon.Bangkok PostAssociated Press via Yahoo! News

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He made them groom and feed the half-dozen horses used to transport the raw bricks to the furnace. Like the horses, the children were beaten with whips.
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The new docudrama The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX) isn’t really about Orenthal James Simpson. It’s about the trials that ran alongside his — those informal, unboundaried, court-of-public-opinion trials in which evidence was heard for and against the murder victims, the defense and the prosecution, the judge, the jury, and the Los Angeles Police Department, to say nothing of white and black America. History has freed us from suspense about Simpson’s verdict, so that the man himself (played here by Cuba Gooding Jr.) is less the tragic hero he seemed in the mid-Nineties than a curiously minor character. He comes to the center of our attention only once, in Episode 2, at the end of the lengthy Ford Bronco chase scene — which in real life was followed by a surreal cavalcade of police cars and media helicopters, as well as an estimated 95 million live viewers — when Simpson repeatedly, and with apparent sincerity, apologizes for taking up so much of so many people’s time. It is an uncannily ordinary moment of social decorum, a sort of could-you-please-pass-the-salt gesture on a sinking Titanic, in which Simpson briefly becomes more than just an archetype.

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With its lens shifting from the courtroom to the newsroom to people’s back yards, the series evokes the way in which, for a brief, delusory moment, the O. J. verdict seemed to deliver justice for all black men.
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