Weekly Review — August 2, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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

Democratic and Republican leaders concluded a week of fierce debate by agreeing on a “framework” deal to resolve the U.S. debt-ceiling crisis. Were the House and Senate to approve the deal, the ceiling would be raised for the seventy-ninth time in fifty years, increasing in the near term by $900 billion alongside an immediate $917 billion cut in federal discretionary spending. A bipartisan committee would be convened to seek ways of reducing the deficit by at least an additional $1.5 trillion in the next decade. The provisional agreement was reached only two days after the House passed and the Senate rejected John Boehner??s bill to cut spending by $917 billion. “Sausage making is not pretty,” said California senator Dianne Feinstein, “but the sausage we have, I think, is a very different sausage from when we started.”CNNNYTLATBarack Obama??s approval rating fell to 40 percent, the lowest mark of his presidency, and Apple Computer Inc. had more cash on hand than the U.S. Treasury.LATFinancial PostCongressman David Wu (D., Ore.) said he would step down because of allegations that he had a sexual encounter with the teenage daughter of a close friend.USA TodayEdwin Edwards, the octogenarian former governor of Louisiana, married his 32-year-old prison pen pal.IB TimesThe White House Rickrolled a man via Twitter.Billboard

The commander of Turkey’s armed forces, as well as the chiefs of its army, navy, and air force, resigned in protest following the arrest of about 250 officers on charges of conspiring against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is developing a new constitution to improve Turkish democracy.ReutersNational PostThousands of Salafists assembled in Cairo??s Tahrir Square to call for the implementation of shari??a law, and Syrian security forces killed 136 demonstrators in a single day.NYTThe AustralianFrance’s trade minister warned the German ambassador to Paris that plans to ban foie gras from a Cologne food fair would have “global repercussions,” Belarus proposed prohibiting people from standing in groups, and Malta legalized divorce.TelegraphNYTGuardianResearchers reported that the use of pink in awareness campaigns discourages women from donating to breast-cancer research.Ad AgeThe City of Dallas won the right to shut down The Playground, a local swingers’ club featuring topless dancers and bedroom services, which had been operating as an officially designated religious institution. “Just because they don??t agree with what we believe in, they want to throw it under the bus,” said the club??s owner, an Internet-ordained minister. “But can you throw the Catholic religion under the bus because of a few incidents with a few priests?”Dallas NewsA costumed Chuck E. Cheese mascot in New Mexico was accused of flipping off a four-year-old boy in a birthday photograph. “All Corbin really wanted was a hug from Chuck E. Cheese,” said the boy’s grandmother. “You know how little kids are with their idols.”El Paso TimesA latex mask of Casey Anthony sold for almost a million dollars on eBay.Examiner

After twenty-three years of analysis, psychologists established that “The Champ” (1979), which stars Jon Voight as an over-the-hill boxer who dies in front of his young son after a prizefight, is the saddest film ever made; “Kramer vs. Kramer” came second.CTV NewsMcDonald’s announced that it would add apple slices to Happy Meals.NYTScientists determined that saturated fat deters negative emotions, that rats can be vaccinated against heroin addiction, and that dolphins can detect electric fields with the whisker-pits on their snouts.CNNWPDiscover MagHours after seeing a cougar in his backyard, a Wisconsin sheriff shot a 20-year-old relative who was pretending to be the cougar as a prank, and a California woman accidentally shot her 12-year-old daughter with a miniature revolver she thought was a novelty cigarette lighter.WJFWLATAn elderly California man attempted to remove a hernia from his stomach with a butter knife, an ex-convict sought to hijack a New York City subway train with a screwdriver, and investigators revealed that at least 122 weapons recovered from crime scenes in Mexico were originally brought to the country as part of Operation Fast and Furious, a U.S. drug-trafficking sting.KTLANYDNNYTA San Francisco judge struck down a ballot measure to ban circumcision except when medically necessary, and an Australian woman whose face was injured while she was having sex in her hotel room during a business trip filed suit to demand worker??s compensation. “This case … is as much about slipping in the shower or being beaten by a gang of thugs or being shot by a jealous rival,” said the woman??s lawyer. “Having sex is just one of those things.”SF GateSMH

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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.

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