Weekly Review — July 2, 2013, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The U.S. Supreme Court gets in on the Voting Rights and Defense of Marriage acts, Egypt threatens revolution, and a harsh Crimean punishment for borscht-dumping

Saluting the Town (Weekly)The U.S. Supreme Court voided a section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that determined which states and counties were required, based on their histories of curtailing voting rights “on account of race or color,” to obtain federal preapproval for changes to their election laws; nullified Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriage; and overturned the portion of the 1996 U.S. Defense of Marriage Act that denied same-sex partners the federal rights extended to married couples. “Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet,” wrote Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her Voting Rights Act dissent. “The Constitution neither requires nor forbids our society to approve of same-sex marriage, much as it neither requires nor forbids us to approve of no-fault divorce, polygamy, or the consumption of alcohol,” wrote Antonin Scalia in his DOMA dissent, which referred to the majority opinion as “legalistic argle-bargle.”[1][2][3][4][5][6] A secret CIA memo about the leaking of secrets was leaked.[7] A U.S. Treasury inspector general found that IRS employee credit cards had been used to purchase stovepipe hats, kazoos, bathtub toys, romance novels, Internet porn, and diet pills.[8] A California immigration officer was indicted for soliciting a bribe of 200 egg rolls, and the U.S. Senate voted 68–32 to pass a comprehensive immigration-reform bill.[9][10] The Texas state senate failed to pass a stringent antiabortion bill before the midnight end of a special legislative session. The vote was delayed by Senator Wendy Davis (D.), who held a nearly 11-hour filibuster that required her to speak continuously while standing without the aid of a platform or a restroom break, and that ended after Republicans claimed she’d broken rules by going off-topic and accepting help in donning a back brace. Hours after the bill failed to pass, governor Rick Perry announced a second special legislative session commencing July 1. “It’s just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example,” said Perry of Davis, whose mother received only a sixth-grade education. “What if her mom had said, ‘I just can’t do this. I don’t want to do this.’ ”[11][12][13][14][15]

In Egypt, at least seven people died amid demonstrations to protest fuel lineups, power outages, unemployment, and sectarian divisions, and to demand the resignation of President Mohamed Morsi on the one-year anniversary of his election. Police openly revolted against the government and refused to intervene as protesters shone laser pens to identify targets inside the darkened headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood party, then hurled Molotov cocktails at them. Party members discharged birdshot to defend their offices and assembled to defend the presidential palace armed with batons, pipes, and woks. Defense Minister and Army Commander-In-Chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi warned on state TV that if Morsi didn’t respond to protesters within 48 hours, the military would impose its own “road map” for Egypt’s future. “Do you have an initiative?” a Morsi spokesman asked journalists at a midnight news conference. “We’re willing to consider it seriously.”[16][17][18][19][20] Palestine’s prime minister resigned two weeks into his appointment because of conflicts with his deputies, and the emir of Qatar transferred power to his 33-year-old son.[21][22] Costa Rica accused a Venezuelan state company of attempting to launder $9.7 million by purchasing 10 million bars of soap, prosecutors in Rome were investigating Monsignor Nunzio Scarano for plotting to shelter $26 million at the Vatican Bank, and the owner of the Yorkshire Tavern in Albufeira, Portugal, was fined €700 for gambling with biscuits on a bingo game with other British and Irish expats.[23][24][25] A black bear broke into the Knoxville Zoo, a memorial was held for 50,000 bees killed in an Oregon parking lot by the pesticide Safari, and seven hikers were rescued in Hawaii’s Palolo Valley after they got lost while fleeing a group of wild pigs.[26][27][28] Transport Canada investigated three claims that Mississauga, Ontario, was being bombarded by fecal matter leaking from airplane restrooms. “There’s no way one bird could have done it,” said a man whose driveway was soiled, “unless it was a pterodactyl.”[29][30]

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

A Crimean man stabbed his neighbor to death after she dumped his homemade borscht into a toilet.[31] A man in Erie, Pennsylvania, had his condom stolen at knifepoint; a naked man high on hallucinogenic mushrooms broke into an Ypsilanti, Michigan, middle school and tore off part of his penis; and a California woman who cut off her ex-husband’s penis and dumped it into a garbage disposal was sentenced to life in prison. “Deep down,” said her former spouse, “I was hoping for a stronger sentence.”[32][33][34] Two brothers who busk in New York City’s Times Square as the film characters Alien and Predator were questioned by police about a ballpoint-pen attack allegedly committed by a busker named Beer Man against a rival busker named Weed Man in a Box.[35] Scientists revealed that plants are capable of complex arithmetic, and Wales’s Powys Council admitted that it had been trimming the wrong lawns for 15 years.[36][37] “Cooling centers” were opened in Arizona, California, and Nevada to help residents prepare for a record-breaking heat wave.[38][39] In the Indian state of Uttarakhand, where more than 1,000 people died in flash floods and landslides, a TV reporter was fired for filming a broadcast from atop the shoulders of a flood survivor. “You have to be a part of the people,” said the reporter’s boss, “and not ride on them.”[40]


Sign up and get the Weekly Review delivered to your inbox every Tuesday morning.

Share
Single Page

More from Ryann Liebenthal:

Weekly Review December 9, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Americans protest police brutality, 188 Muslim Brotherhood supporters are sentenced to death in Egypt, and 14 people are arrested for using the Domino’s pizza-ordering app to test stolen credit card numbers.

Weekly Review October 28, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Ebola arrives in New York, a high school student opens fire on classmates in Washington, and protestors in Hong Kong worry that Kenny G is an agent of the Chinese government

Weekly Review September 16, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Obama announces air strikes in Iraq; a monsoon superfloods India; and California nudists cover up for the Man

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

January 2015

Come With Us If You Want to Live

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Body Politic

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Problem of Pain Management

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Game On

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Love Crimes

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Body Politic·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“‘He wrote all these love poems, but he was a son of a bitch,’ said a reporter from a wire service.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
Article
Love Crimes·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“If a man rapes a woman, she might be forced to marry him, because in Afghanistan sex before marriage is dishonorable.”
Photographs © Andrew Quilty/Oculi/Agence VU
Article
Game On·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union had posed a truly existential threat.”
Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Come With Us If You Want to Live·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I was startled that all these negative ideologies could be condensed so easily into a positive worldview.”
Illustration by Darrel Rees
Article
Christmas in Prison·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Just so you motherfuckers know, I’ll be spending Christmas with my family, eating a good meal, and you’ll all be here, right where you belong.”
Photographer unknown. Artwork courtesy Alyse Emdur

Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:

36,000

A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.

Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today