SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
In Tel Aviv, a bomb exploded on a city bus and an Israeli man carrying a knife, an ax, a pitchfork, and a red bag attacked a guard at the U.S. Embassy. In Cairo, representatives of Israel and Hamas brokered a ceasefire agreement, ending eight days of conflict in Gaza that had resulted in the deaths of five Israelis and 162 Palestinians. “This is a point on the way to a great defeat,” said Khaled Meshal, the exiled chairman of Hamas. “Israel failed in all its objectives.” At a meeting with U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who served as Israel’s proxy negotiator in Cairo, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would continue to take “whatever action is necessary” to protect his people. “This,” he said, “is something I don’t have to explain to Americans.” Clinton praised Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, Hamas’s representative in the discussions, for his “responsibility and leadership”; the next day, Morsi issued a decree that expanded his presidential powers, allowing him to fire Egypt’s prosecutor-general and exempt himself from judicial review. The Egyptian Judges’ Club threatened to strike, protesters in Alexandria set fire to the headquarters of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, and thousands of demonstrators, some armed with stones and Molotov cocktails, gathered in Tahrir Square. “God willing we will remove Morsi,” said one man, “as we did Mubarak.” Peace, one of two turkeys pardoned by President Obama last Thanksgiving, fell ill and was euthanized; Liberty continued to thrive.
The Free Syrian Army captured a special-forces base near Aleppo, seizing five tanks, two armored vehicles, two rocket launchers, two artillery cannons, and a large stockpile of mortars and rifles. “There has never been a battle before,” said General Ahmad al-Faj, “with this much booty.” Rebel soldiers also took control of a military airport outside Damascus. “Watch, people,” said a fighter in a video showing medics attending to a government soldier. “Watch Assad’s dogs! How we’re treating them with tenderness.” At least 112 workers died in a factory fire in Bangladesh, and 14 workers were killed in a gas-leak explosion at a hot-pot restaurant in northern China. Roman students protested cuts in education spending, royalists in Bangkok marched against the prime minister, who they claimed had ignored insults to the Thai monarchy, and Madrid’s trash collectors went on strike, prompting local residents to dump their garbage on the doorsteps of banks. “Make sure you check,” tweeted a protester, “that it’s not where someone sleeps.” New York police were investigating the provenance of two corpses discovered in two parks in Queens by workers cleaning up after Hurricane Sandy, and South Pacific explorers bound for Sandy Island, which Google Maps identified as being midway between Australia and New Caledonia, found only ocean. “Time,” said Marlene Moses, chairwoman of the Alliance of Small Island States, “is clearly not on our side.” Mexico and the United States reached a new deal to share water from the Colorado River, and Mexican president Felipe Calderón suggested removing “Estados Unidos” from his country’s official name.
A man from Yonkers died clowning at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and spectators on Manhattan’s Upper West Side found shredded police-department documents amid the confetti. The parade’s organizers provided free transportation to residents of Rockaway Beach. “It’s nice for the city to treat us,” said one man, “when we have nothing.” Black Friday began on Thursday. “We’ll miss the actual being there with family,” said a Michigan woman who spent Thanksgiving camped outside a Best Buy, “but we’ll have the rest of the weekend for that.” A milk-truck driver in Wisconsin ran over two cows; a deer in Whitehouse, Texas, chased two men into the bed of a pickup truck, then ate a pack of cigarettes; and scientists reported that apes have midlife crises. An explosion in Springfield, Massachusetts, damaged 42 buildings, blowing out the windows of a tattoo parlor and flattening a Scores Gentlemen’s club, and a German woman was accused of trying to smother her boyfriend with her DD-cup breasts. “Treasure,” the man quoted his girlfriend as saying, “I wanted your death to be as pleasurable as possible.”
More from Ryann Liebenthal:
Weekly Review — May 19, 2015, 8:00 am
An Amtrak train derails, a Bangladeshi blogger is hacked to death, and an African-American boy who was maced at an anti–police-brutality protest is grateful he wasn’t shot
Weekly Review — February 17, 2015, 8:00 am
A Muslim family is killed over a parking space in North Carolina, Netflix launches in Cuba, and an Indian woman who is 95 percent genetically male gives birth to twins
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 California’s 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 “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — 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 “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” 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 “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“Shelby 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.”