Weekly Review — July 9, 2013, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Sexual assault amid Egyptian upheaval, adult breast-feeding in China, and the empathy of taxidermist George Dante

A Humbug (Weekly)In a televised address from Cairo, General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi announced the temporary suspension of Egypt’s constitution and the interim appointment of judge Adli Mansour to replace Mohamed Morsi, who was elected last summer with 52 percent of the popular vote, as president. “We understand it as a military coup,” said a Morsi adviser. “The conviction and culture of the Egyptian armed forces doesn’t allow following the policy of ‘military coups,’” said the country’s senior officers in a statement. The regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, which was conducting a ten-day offensive on the city of Homs, urged Morsi to recognize that “the overwhelming majority of the Egyptian people reject him.” At least 51 protesters were shot while holding a vigil for Morsi outside the officers’ club in Nasr City where he was reputedly being held, and demonstrators in Tahrir Square reported as many as 169 cases of mob sexual violence. “We call it the circle of hell,” said one woman.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] [8][9][10] A fire lasting nearly 36 hours broke out when a parked train carrying 73 cars filled with crude oil derailed and rolled into downtown Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. Forty buildings were destroyed, a third of the town’s population was evacuated, and at least 13 people died. “It’s terrible,” said one man. “The Metro store, Dollarama — everything that was there is gone.”[11][12] The British discount retailer Poundland stopped selling Chinese lanterns after cameras showed one floating into a Smethwick recycling plant and starting a fire that eventually burned through 100,000 tons of plastic. “They are spectacular things,” said a local member of parliament. “I am loath to ban them.”[13][14][15]

Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who is thought to be living in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, released information on Tempora, a system devised by Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters for recording Internet traffic. “It snarfs everything in a rolling buffer,” said Snowden, “without missing a single bit.”[16][17] Bolivian president Evo Morales, arriving home from an oil summit in Moscow, admonished France and Portugal for denying his plane permission to fly through their airspace on suspicion that Snowden might be aboard. “This young man isn’t a suitcase,” said Morales.[18][19] Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport, injuring 182 passengers and killing two Chinese students.[20][21] Conservative lawmakers in Costa Rica appealed to President Laura Chinchilla to veto a bill they’d accidentally voted for that modified the Law of Young People to allow gay marriage, and male anti-abortion activists gathered at the Texas State Capitol with signs reading “I regret my abortion.”[22][23] Ohio governor John Kasich approved legislation requiring that women seeking an abortion be made aware of their fetus’s heartbeat and declined to loosen controls on the ownership of spider monkeys.[24] A technician carrying out maintenance on a rooftop LED billboard in China’s northeastern Jilin province accidentally broadcast ten minutes of The Forbidden Legend: Sex and Chopsticks, and a nanny agency in Shenzhen reported that wealthy adults were paying to be breast-fed. “People become perverts,” wrote a user of the microblogging service Sina Weibo, “when they are too rich.”[25][26] Nestlé announced plans to lower infant-formula prices across China by 20 percent.[27]

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

Police in Seattle gave water to a pig in sweatpants, and Florida banned chicks of color.[28][29] The president of a Venetian gondoliers’ association proposed that canalmen be breathalyzed.[30] Biologists determined that jerboas outjump jirds and that male hawk moths ward off predators through the ultrasonic jiggling of their genitals.[31][32] Llama owners extolled the benefits of camelid husbandry. “You can tell them all your secrets and your problems,” said one woman. “They’re like potato chips,” said another.[33] An apiarist in Tintinara, Australia, designed a beekeeping suit for his Labrador; officials on the French Riviera mounted a search for two black panthers; two Britons holidaying in Iceland rode a bus to Reykjavík with a spew-covered gyrfalcon; and a Goffin’s cockatoo named Pipin picked five locks to retrieve a cashew.[34][35][36][37] At a Wells Fargo in Montebello, California, a man with cancer was mistaken for the Surgical Mask Bandit.[38] Students primed with unconscious thoughts of death were found to write funnier New Yorker cartoon captions.[39] Tens of thousands of carp and sea bream died following a molasses spill near Acatlán de Juárez, and eruptions from Popocatépetl coated Mexico City in ash.[40][41] A moon of Pluto was renamed Styx, a truckload of dish soap spilled into Virginia’s Purgatory Creek, and New Jersey taxidermist George Dante prepared the body of Lonesome George, the last of a subspecies of Galápagos tortoise, for exhibition. “You feel for him,” said Dante. “You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t.”[42][43][44]


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

Share
Single Page

More from Anthony Lydgate:

From the July 2014 issue

Vulgar Materialism

Weekly Review April 8, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Afghanistan votes, the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of wealthy political donors, and China standardizes its pets 

Weekly Review February 25, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Upheaval in Ukraine, yobbery in the United Kingdom, and a historic douche in the United States

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

United States Canada

  • el_chap

    Lonesome George’s taxidermist is actually named GEORGE Dante, not John. It says it pretty clearly in the NY Times article you footnoted!

    • http://harpers.org/ Harper’s Magazine

      Quite right, thanks. The fact-checker had caught it, but the editor misread the note.

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

October 2014

Cassandra Among the
Creeps

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Today Is Better Than Tomorrow”

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

PBS Self-Destructs

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Monkey Did It

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
 
Rebecca Solnit on silencing women, a Marine commander returns to Iraq, the decline of PBS, and more
Article
Cassandra Among the Creeps·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On silencing women

Astra Taylor discusses the potential and peril of the Internet as a tool for cultural democracy

Photograph © Sallie Dean Shatz
Post
Ending College Sexual Assault·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“This is not a fable about a young woman whose dreams were dashed by a sexual predator. Maya’s narrative is one of institutional failure at a school desperately trying to adapt.”
Photograph © AP/Josh Reynolds
Article
“Today Is Better Than Tomorrow”·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Astra Taylor discusses the potential and peril of the Internet as a tool for cultural democracy

Photograph by Benjamin Busch
Post
Astra Taylor on The People’s Platform·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Taking back power and culture in the digital age
“There’s a pervasive and ill-advised faith that technology will promote competition if left to its own devices.”
Photograph © Deborah Degraffenried

Chance that a civilian who died in a 20th-century war was American:

1 in 62,000

A physicist calculated that mass worldwide conversion to a vegetarian diet would do more to slow global warming than cutting back on oil and gas use.

“All I saw,” said a 12-year-old neighbor of visits to the man’s house, “was just cats in little diapers.”

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