Weekly Review — September 13, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Babylonian lion, 1875]

The United States observed the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people on September 11, 2001. Thousands of mourners gathered at the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, at the Pentagon, and in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Relatives and loved ones read out the names of the victims, bagpipers played, and six moments of silence were observed, one for each airliner and one for each of the twin towers. President Barack Obama visited all three sites in the course of the day. In New York City, he read from Psalm 46, and former president George W. Bush read from a letter to a grieving mother by Abraham Lincoln; the crowd cheered Bush, and Paul Simon performed “The Sound of Silence.” In Pennsylvania, the president and his wife laid a wreath, after which some in attendance chanted “USA! USA!” and a man shouted “Thanks for getting bin Laden!” At his final event of the day, in Washington, Obama spoke about the wars that grew out of 9/11: “Our strength is not measured in our ability to stay in these places,” he said. “It comes from our commitment to leave those lands to free people and sovereign states, and our desire to move from a decade of war to a future of peace.”NY TimesAP via Washington PostNY TimesDespite fears of a potential attack on the ceremonies, no disturbances were reported. Among other false alarms, F-16s were dispatched to escort two flights after passengers reportedly spent too long in the bathrooms, and a plane carrying Oliver North was evacuated in St. Louis after a toilet was found stuffed with paper towels.Atlantic WireBig GovernmentStLToday.comIranian authorities continued a summerlong crackdown on youth water fights, following confessions by arrestees on state TV that they were motivated by “foreign invitations” and had been supplied with pistols. “This is not simply a game with water,” said judiciary spokesman Gholam Khossein Mohseni Ejehi. “This act is being guided from abroad.”AP

The Tanzanian region of Zanzibar began a three-day mourning period after the MV Spice Islander capsized, killing at least 200 of the 800 passengers on board. “I realized something strange on the movement of the ship,” reported Yahya Hussein, 15. “It was like zigzag or dizziness.”BBCA pipeline exploded in Nairobi, killing at least 75; a bomb exploded near the Delhi High Court in India, killing 11; two suicide bombers attacked the home of a high-ranking military officer in Quetta, Pakistan, killing 23; and 24 people were shot in as many hours in New York City.APBBCAPDaily NewsRising opera star Salvatore Licitra, thought by many to be the heir to Luciano Pavarotti, died from injuries suffered during a scooter accident, and 44 players and staff from Russiaâ??s Lokomotiv hockey club died when their plane crashed after takeoff. “We have no team anymore,” said a Lokomotiv spokesman. “They all burned in the crash.”GuardianNY TimesNY TimesAs Texas wildfires raged, governor and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry called watching one from the air “surreal.” “I have seen a number of big fires in my life,” he said. “This one is as mean-looking as Iâ??ve ever seen.”Texas TribuneAt the Republican presidential debate, moderator Brian Williams mentioned that 234 executions had taken place in Texas during Perryâ??s tenure, and the crowd applauded.Telegraph

A poll of 30,000 people in 15 countries found that the world still thinks America is the coolest, and in St. Petersburg, Florida, a blood-covered, half-naked 22-year-old woman was arrested for biting the face and arm of a 69-year-old man who had been sleeping in a motorized wheelchair in front of a Hooters. “Iâ??m a vampire,” the woman said, according to an affidavit. “I am going to eat you.”ReutersSmoking GunPolice in Ogden, Utah, responded to a report that a man was slaughtering a cow in his driveway. “The cow was in the process of losing its head,” said officer Troy Burnett of the scene upon his arrival. “Itâ??s not illegal, but itâ??s absurd that people would think slaughtering a cow in their driveway is okay. Maybe on the west side of the county on one of the farms.”Standard-ExaminerHarbor, an eight-year-old black and tan coonhound from Boulder, Colorado, set the record for longest ears on a dog, a Swedish elk was found drunk up a tree after eating too many fermented apples, and Filipinos captured a 20-foot-long, 2,370-pound crocodileâ??the largest on record, though a larger one was believed to be at large.BBCYouTubeBBCGuardianA maintenance worker in Yuma, Arizona, may have caused a power failure that affected nearly 6 million people in California, Arizona, and Mexico; Google was found to be using more electricity than Salt Lake City; and the Federal Trade Commission halted the sale of AcneApp and AcnePwner, two smartphone apps that claimed to treat acne, one of them using red and blue lights. “Smartphones make our lives easier in countless ways,” said FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz, “but unfortunately, when it comes to curing acne, thereâ??s no app for that.”NY TimesGizmodoPolitico

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I sat in a taxi with Emma and her son, Stak, all three bodies muscled into the rear seat, and the boy checked the driver’s I.D. and immediately began to speak to the man in an unrecognizable language.

I conferred quietly with Emma, who said he was studying Pashto, privately, in his spare time. Afghani, she said, to enlighten me further.

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