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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 — November 12, 2013, 8:00 am
One of the most powerful storms on record strikes the Philippines, the mayor of Toronto has a problem, and cheeseburgers as post-coital couture
Weekly Review — October 22, 2013, 8:00 am
The U.S. government shutdown ends, Saudi Arabia turns down a U.N. Security Council seat, and an Alaskan town debates a successor for its cat-mayor
Weekly Review — August 13, 2013, 8:00 am
The U.S. government responds to an alleged terrorist plot, Ramadan ends in violence in parts of the Muslim world, and Swedish men guard their testicles from pacu fish
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