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President Barack Obama announced that his administration would stop deporting illegal immigrants who entered the country before age 16 and are now under 30, have been continuous residents for at least five years, are military veterans or high school students or graduates, and do not pose a criminal or national-security risk. Obama cast the move as a response to the failure of Congress to pass the DREAM Act, which had been intended to create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. “This is a temporary, stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely,” said the president. “This short-term policy will make it harder to find a balanced and responsible long-term one,” said Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.). A Republican National Committee website designed to court Latino voters displayed a banner featuring stock photography of Asian children; Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.) called the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision “uninformed, arrogant, naïve”; and it was reported that casino mogul Sheldon Adelson had donated or pledged more than $71 million to Republican Super PACs and nonprofits. Five weeks after JPMorgan Chase announced trading losses of at least $2 billion, CEO Jamie Dimon appeared before the Senate banking committee, where he criticized the Dodd–Frank Act and warned against the further tightening of financial regulations. Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta was convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud. “He didn’t turn into a criminal in the seventh decade of an otherwise praiseworthy life,” said one of Gupta’s lawyers. Rodney King, whose videotaped beating by Los Angeles police precipitated the 1992 L.A. riots, was found dead in a swimming pool at age 47. An Arkansas veterinarian sought a home for 50 Cent, a goose who had been shot seven times with a pellet gun, and the entourages of musicians Drake and Chris Brown reportedly engaged in a bottle-throwing fight over Rihanna at a New York City club. Male Cardiocondyla obscurior ants were observed chemically tagging newly pupated rivals for future attacks. Male Nephilengys malabarensis spiders who castrated themselves while mating were found to become better fighters.
The conservative New Democracy party won a plurality in a revote of parliamentary elections in Greece, earning enough seats to form a government with other pro-bailout parties and likely keep the country in the Eurozone. Three days after an Egyptian high-court ruling invalidated parliamentary elections won by the Muslim Brotherhood in January, the party claimed that its candidate had been elected president of Egypt, and the country’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces declared that new parliamentary elections couldn’t be held until a new constitution had been drafted. Saudi crown prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud died at 78, and at least 125 people were killed in bombings targeting Shiites in Iraq. The United Nations issued a report claiming that the Syrian government had used children as human shields and tortured the children of suspected dissidents, and suspended its monitoring activities in Syria. “There has been an intensification of armed violence across Syria over the past 10 days,” explained General Robert Mood. Burmese opposition leader and former political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi accepted the Nobel Peace Prize awarded her in absentia in 1991. “Wherever suffering is ignored,” she said, “there will be the seeds of conflict, for suffering degrades and embitters and enrages.” A woman selected to run the @sweden Twitter feed tweeted jokes about how one recognizes Jews, posted a photo of strawberries “dripping with milk an urine,” and called her children “Monglorious.” “Marie Curie had vaginal fungus,” she wrote. “That was what the radium originally was for.”
A British parliamentarian introduced a bill to help identify Internet trolls, and an English vicar apologized for allowing a band to sing and dance on graves during a celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. “In their enthusiasm to entertain,” said Reverend Jolyon Trickey, “the music group strayed.” Two American border-patrol agents were suspended after attending a Cirque du Soleil performance at which they allegedly engaged in fellatio, during which the male agent high-fived a young child and after which the female agent assaulted a woman who complained. In Austria, wildlife cameras captured a politician having sex in a forest, and in Australia, a deputy coroner ruled that a dingo likely took the baby of Lindy Chamberlain from a bassinet and devoured her in 1980. James Joyce fans read freely from Ulysses on the first Bloomsday since the novel’s copyright elapsed, while scholars fought lawsuits over the rights to certain Joyce works. “We are in the same position as a nation state that has long been ruled by a tsar or a shah or any dictator,” said one biographer. “Once the repression has been lifted, the factionalism that has been repressed is free to give expression to itself.” HBO apologized for an episode of the show Game of Thrones that depicted George W. Bush’s severed head on a pike. In Montana, where an outhouse labeled “Obama Presidential Library” and painted with trompe-l’oeil bullet holes was displayed outside the state G.O.P. convention, a writer reportedly shot himself to promote his memoir, Kindness in America. A man in Oregon contracted plague while saving a mouse from a cat.
More from Jeremy Keehn:
Weekly Review — November 19, 2013, 8:00 am
Casualty counts and corruption in the Philippines, protest and repression in Russia, and the usual news from Toronto
Official Business — November 15, 2013, 11:53 am
Introducing the Harper’s app
Weekly Review — October 8, 2013, 8:00 am
The U.S. government shuts down, African migrants capsize in the Mediterranean, and miscellaneous global crushings
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Rank of Detroit among major U.S. cities whose residents give the largest portion of their income to charity:
A South Dakota researcher concluded that only scant blood spatter results when chain saws are used to dismember pigs.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature