Weekly Review — September 10, 2013, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The Syria debate continues, the NSA breaks encryption routines, and a Windischeschenbach tubist complains about sex

Babylonian LionThe Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved, by a vote of 10 to 7, a resolution whose passage in both houses of Congress would authorize the Obama Administration to attack Syria for 60 days. The White House released 13 videos that showed men convulsing and dying after an alleged sarin gas attack outside Damascus on August 21, and a deserter from Syrian antigovernment forces leaked a video that showed fighters shooting seven government soldiers in the backs of their heads. Bashar al-Assad denied to American talk-show host Charlie Rose that he was responsible for any use of chemical weapons. Russia said that it had provided a 100-page report to the United Nations in July detailing the use of sarin gas by antigovernment forces in a March attack on a suburb of Aleppo, and deployed four warships to the eastern Mediterranean. “There is no viable path forward,” said the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. “Sure, [Assad] could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week,” said secretary of state John Kerry, “but he isn’t about to do it and it can’t be done.” Russia and Syria announced their support for Kerry’s proposal that Syria give up its chemical arms, and the two millionth refugee fled the Syrian civil war. “I dream,” said a five-year-old boy who had been displaced to a refugee camp in Iraq after being separated from his parents, “that Bashar al-Assad is bombing my mother, my brother, and my father.” During a Senate hearing on the proposed U.S. intervention, John McCain (R., Ariz.) was photographed playing a smartphone game called VIP Poker. “I had fun,” he said.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13] Coordinated suicide bombs killed 60 Baghdad residents, and in Egypt, assassins tried and failed to kill the interior minister with a remote-controlled bomb.[14][15]

The New York Times and the Guardian revealed that the National Security Agency had defeated encryption technologies that were previously believed to protect emails, searches, chats, and online phone calls from government surveillance, in part by offering consultation services to manufacturers of encryption software and leveraging those relationships to insert vulnerabilities into Internet security programs. “I think there are legitimate concerns,” said President Barack Obama, “that technology is moving so quick.”[16][17] A remote-controlled-helicopter enthusiast decapitated himself in Brooklyn, and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was revealed to have traveled by helicopter to last year’s Burning Man festival in Nevada in order to serve grilled-cheese sandwiches.[18][19] A Croatian ice-cream shop debuted a Facebook flavor, Chobani recalled yogurt manufactured in its Idaho plant because it contained unwanted mold, and a Houston man discovered a chilled dead snake inside an 18-pack of Bud Light.[20][21][22][23] A drunk driver struck and killed a Colorado marijuana activist.[24] A 107-year-old man in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, who had threatened to shoot his granddaughter with a handgun because he didn’t want to move to an apartment, was killed exchanging fire with a SWAT team.[25][26] In New York City, a jury awarded $280,000 to a woman whose boss called her a “nigger” during a lecture on unprofessionalism, and in Casper, Wyoming, NAACP representatives met for the first time with members of the Ku Klux Klan. “I’m not trying to push my issues on anyone,” said Imperial Wizard Bradley Jenkins.[27][28] NAACP president Benjamin Jealous announced that he would step down in December. “We’ve spent five years,” he said, “in the black.”[29]

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

A white-magic practitioner on the Maldivan island of Guraidhoo declared an immature coconut that had been inscribed with Koranic verses and left near a polling station to be black-magic-free.[30] Indonesia’s health ministry announced that it would require high school students to self-report the size and shape of their genitals, Spain raised its age of consent to 16 from 13, and an Indian village council ordered a six-year-old girl to marry the eight-year-old son of a 40-year-old man who had raped her.[31][32][33] In Windischeschenbach, Germany, a fire-brigade tubist filed suit against two neighbors who had damaged his Citroën Picasso by having sex on its hood. “The windscreen was so smeared you couldn’t see through it,” he said.[34] In London, where glare from a skyscraper melted a Jaguar, a woman sued her date for stealing her BlackBerry because she couldn’t pay for drinks.[35][36] Officials at men’s prisons in England and Wales were found to be separating same-sex couples, and a Bedfordshire retiree spoke out against a judge who had fined him $117 for shampooing his semi-erect penis on a bus. “I was treated,” the man said, “like a hardened criminal.”[37][38]


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

Share
Single Page

More from Jesse Barron:

Weekly Review November 18, 2014, 10:43 am

Weekly Review

World leaders plan to boost GDP, the E.S.A. lands on a comet, and an artist looks for a needle in a haystack

Weekly Review September 30, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Student protests in Hong Kong, two sex-scandal resignations, and the CIA’s lust for lemon pound cake.

Weekly Review August 12, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Police in Missouri kill an unarmed teenager, the U.S. government expands its terrorist database, and Justin Bieber saves a Russian fisherman

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

July 2015

One Day Less

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Dressed to Kill

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Wrong Prescription?

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Travel Day

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Fugue State

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Avian Voices·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The mockingbird’s bath is an orgy of thrashing and writhing about. When he has finished, one of the innocents alights on the rim of the basin and looks with disbelief at the thimble of water remaining.”
Illustration by Eric Hanson
[Browsings]
Before the War·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I’m worried that what the Houthis did to push Yemen into a civil conflict in September 2014, the Saudis may end up doing again when they end their campaign by eliminating the Houthis.”
Photograph by Alex Potter
Article
The Speakeasy·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In order to understand how Marty’s could survive as an institution, I returned a year after my first visit to spend a week at what was sure to be the world’s bleakest comedy club.”
Photograph by Mike Slack
Post
The Lost Land·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I had first encountered some of these volumes—A Swiftly Tilting Planet, The Giver—as a child, and during adolescence, they registered as postcards from a homeland recently abandoned.”
Photograph by the author
Article
Wrong Prescription?·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Whatever the slogans suggested, the A.C.A. was never meant to include everyone.”
Illustration by Taylor Callery

Estimated cost of the environmental damage caused each year by the world’s 3,000 largest companies:

$2,200,000,000,000

Two thirds of U.S. teenagers experience uncontrollable rage.

Beekeepers began extracting 1 million honeybees living beneath the siding of a house in New York State.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Subways Are for Sleeping

By

“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.”

Subscribe Today