Weekly Review — October 22, 2013, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

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

Saluting the Town (Weekly)Sixteen days into a U.S. federal government shutdown, on the evening before the Treasury Department was set to exhaust the extraordinary accounting measures it has been using since May to pay down U.S. debts, Congressional Republicans agreed to pass a bill that would fund the government until January 15, 2014, and would raise the country’s debt ceiling until February 7. “If we learn nothing else, I hope we learn we shouldn’t get behind a strategy that has no endgame,” said Senator Kelly Ayotte (R., N.H.). “The snowshoe hare, every ten years, multiplies sixfold,” said a Republican strategist explaining on CNN the thinking of Texas senator Ted Cruz, who played a crucial role in precipitating the shutdown. “I’m high. Totally high.”[1][2][3][4][5] A House stenographer interrupted voting on the bill in order to deliver a speech about God and the Freemasons. “This is not ‘One Nation Under God.’ It never was,” she said. “Had it been, it would not have been.”[6][7] Alcatraz Island reopened, the U.S. Forest Service recommenced logging, the National Zoo reconnected its panda cam, and North Carolina resumed disbursing welfare benefits to children. Hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal employees returned to work, among them Internal Revenue Service auditors, issuers of permits to Alaskan crabbers, and laborers at the White House vegetable garden, where squirrels were found eating rotting tomatoes and a fox had taken up residence. “I can tell that the alcohol industry missed us,” said Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau specialist Renee Yankey.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15] Newark mayor Cory Booker (D.) won a special election for New Jersey’s vacant U.S. Senate seat, and Saudi Arabia rejected a seat that it had won on the United Nations Security Council. “Double standards existing in the Security Council prevent it from performing its duties,” said the Saudi foreign ministry. “Should have thought of that,” said Guatemala’s ambassador to the U.N. “before competing for the seat.”[16][17][18][19]

JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Justice $13 billion in order to end federal probes into its sales of mortgage-backed securities.[20] A teenager was arrested in a New York City Victoria’s Secret store while shoplifting with a fetus in her handbag, and a Thai man was arrested for trying to donate approximately $95 worth of methamphetamine to a flood-relief center. “I want to do good deeds and help people,” said the man. “I took five yaba pills before coming here.”[21][22] Canada and the European Union reached a comprehensive free-trade deal after Canada agreed to import more cheese, and Belgian authorities lured the Somali pirate leader known as Loud Mouth to Brussels by offering to make him an adviser on a nonexistent documentary film about his life.[23][24] Peter Fitzek, the self-appointed ruler of New Germany, a 22-acre plot of land in Saxony-Anhalt, was jailed for driving without a valid license. “I do own a license,” said Fitzek at his trial in Neustadt. “That of my kingdom.”[25] An Iranian prisoner who awoke in a mortuary after being hanged was ordered hanged again.[26] Authorities in Florida recaptured two convicted murderers who were released after court officials received a forged order from a judge. “We’re kind of like the post office,” said a courts spokeswoman. “It comes in and we move it along.”[27][28]

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

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force investigated a spate of green-laser attacks on the cockpits of New York–bound passenger airplanes, flights out of LAX were grounded after a dry-ice bomb exploded in an employee restroom, and a Melbourne airport terminal was shut down after a kangaroo hopped into an airport pharmacy.[29][30][31] Fukushima Industries introduced as its mascot a flying egg named Fukuppy.[32] Bootleg liquor killed 42 people in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, New Mexican hazmat crews battled a chili-powder cloud, and California bacteriologists agreed to self-censor publication of the gene sequence of botulinum toxin H, the deadliest substance yet discovered.[33][34][35] Paleoanthropologists posited that a 1.8 million-year-old prehuman skull discovered in Georgia might collapse the distinctions between Homo erectus, Homo rudolfensis, and Homo habilis.[36] Arachnologists discovered the missing link between spiders and scorpions, and archaeologists claimed that Mesolithic settlers ate roast toad at Blick Mead.[37][38] Two Utah men were receiving death threats for upsetting a hoodoo at a 170-million-year-old Jurassian red-rock formation in Goblin Valley.[39] Kentucky herpetologists accused Pentecostal serpent handlers of starving their snakes to render them impotent, a Peruvian magistrate outlawed the eating of cats, and residents of Talkeetna, Alaska, discussed possible successors for Stubbs, the town’s ailing cat-mayor. “Anything’s better,” said one citizen, “than a human.”[40][41][42]


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

Share
Single Page

More from Ryann Liebenthal:

Weekly Review May 19, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

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

Weekly Review

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

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.

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

June 2015

Loitering With Intent

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Polite Coup

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Findings

What Went Wrong

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Shooting Down Man the Hunter

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
What Went Wrong·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“In the seventh year of his presidency, Barack Obama was presenting himself as a politician who followed the path of least resistance. This is a disturbing confession.”
Photograph by Pete Souza
Article
Surviving a Failed Pregnancy·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“If this woman — who spent her days studying gray screens for early signs of gestation — could not see my pregnancy, what were the chances that anyone else would?”
Illustration by Leigh Wells
Article
Interesting Facts·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“My husband is forty-six. I am forty-five. He does not think that, in my forties, after cancer, chemotherapy, and chemically induced menopause, I can get pregnant again, but sisters, I know my womb. It’s proven.”
Photograph by McNair Evans
Post
Kid Chocolate’s Place·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Cuban eyes often look close to tears.”
Illustration by the author
Article
Thirty Million Gallons Under the Sea·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“If you short-circuit the bottom, you threaten the entire cycle,” Joye told me. “Without a healthy ocean, we’ll all be dead.”
Illustration by John Ritter

Length in days of the sentence Russian blogger Alexei Navalny served for leading an opposition rally last year:

15

Israeli researchers developed software that evaluates the depression of bloggers.

A teenager in Singapore was convicted of obscenity for posts critical of Lee Kuan Yew, the country’s founding father, that included an image of Lee having sex with Margaret Thatcher.

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