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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 Boehnerâ??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 Obamaâ??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 Cairoâ??s Tahrir Square to call for the implementation of shariâ??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 donâ??t agree with what we believe in, they want to throw it under the bus,” said the clubâ??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 workerâ??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 womanâ??s lawyer. “Having sex is just one of those things.”SF GateSMH
More from Justin Stone:
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in Californiaâs ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as âinvasive,â âexotic,â âalienâ â all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as âindigenously Californianâ elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a âhome without its mother.â Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the âworldâs biggest selfies,â and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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âShelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.â