Weekly Review — November 5, 2013, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Syria finishes destroying its chemical-weapons facilities, the United States kills the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, and Axe body spray fells eight New York City students

An American Mastiff.

An American Mastiff.

Syria finished destroying its chemical-weapons production and mixing facilities, and the World Health Organization confirmed the country’s first polio cases since 1999 and warned that the rapid migration prompted by its civil war would likely cause the disease to spread.[1][2] A United Nations official announced plans to convert Jordan’s largest camp for Syrian refugees into a fully functioning city. “At the beginning we counted our exile in months,” said Khaled Zoabi, a refugee interviewed at a men’s social club. “Now maybe decades.”[3] In Beijing, three men suspected of being Xinjian separatists crashed an SUV outside the gates to the Forbidden City, killing themselves and two tourists, and in North Waziristan an American drone strike killed Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban. “Draconian prevention of violent terrorist attacks is part of the mission in maintaining order,” said Communist Party secretary Guo Jinlong. “Every drop of Hakimullah’s blood will turn into a suicide bomber,” said a Taliban spokesman.[4][5][6] An Italian newspaper reported that Russia had given world leaders attending the G20 summit in St. Petersburg earlier this autumn USB drives and mobile-phone chargers designed to download their communications.[7] U.S. National Security Agency director Keith Anderson claimed that European spy agencies had collected and shared with the NSA the phone records of millions of European citizens. “I am persuaded,” said Russia’s foreign minister, “that everyone knew everything.”[8][9] Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden published a “Manifesto for the Truth” in a German newsmagazine and started a tech-support job at a Russian Internet company.[10][11] Forbes magazine named Vladimir Putin the most powerful person in the world.[12]

The judges presiding over the trials for inciting deadly violence of deposed Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi and other members of the Muslim Brotherhood stepped down after state security agencies refused to allow the defendants in the courtroom.[13] A federal appeals court blocked an order requiring an independent monitor to oversee the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk program and removed from the case the judge who had ruled that the program violated the civil rights of minorities.[14] Students at Brown University booed New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly off the stage before he could begin a lecture on proactive policing.[15] Nevada assemblyman Jim Wheeler apologized to anyone offended by his assertion that he would vote to institute slavery if asked to do so by his constituents. “That’s what a republic is about,” said Wheeler. “You can live with the consequences.”[16] A 23-year-old man carrying an assault rifle shot and killed a behavior-detection officer for the Transportation Security Administration at the Los Angeles International Airport, and a woman was arrested for attempting to smuggle three pumpkins filled with cocaine into Montreal from Haiti.[17][18] Trick-or-treaters in Casper, Wyoming, discovered condoms among their candy.[19] Irwindale, California, filed a complaint against a hot-sauce factory whose odor it claimed was causing headaches, Dell offered replacement laptops to customers who had complained that their computers smelled of cat urine, and emergency crews hospitalized eight New York City students after responding to a complaint of hazardous fumes that turned out to have been from another student’s Axe body spray.[20][21][22][23]

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

In Siberia, a member of the punk band Pussy Riot went missing while being transferred between penal colonies.[24] Edward Bruce Johnson was arrested in Florida after smoking a crack pipe filled with Cialis.[25] The journal Sex Roles published a study finding that both men and women spend more time looking at women’s bodies than at their faces.[26] The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services removed a photograph of a woman’s face from the welcome page for HealthCare.gov, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius apologized before Congress for the flawed launch of the website but said that it was nevertheless functional. “The website never crashed,” said Sebelius, at roughly the same time site users began receiving a message telling them it was down.[27][28] The Federal Aviation Administration revised its rules to allow airplane passengers to use electronic devices during takeoff and landing, a California motorist was given a ticket for driving while wearing Google Glass, and an Arizona truck driver who struck a police officer was reported to have been viewing photographs of prostitutes on his cell phone.[29][30][31] A third of Swedish children responding to a survey said their parents pay too much attention to their smartphones, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that parents limit teenagers’ access to smartphones in their bedrooms. “If you have a 14-year-old boy and he has an Internet connection in his bedroom, he is looking at pornography,” said the policy’s lead author.[32][33] An Ohio grand jury declined to press charges against a couple whose public sex act was photographed and posted on social media. “We should behave,” said the county prosecutor, “as if our family is always watching.”[34]


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

Share
Single Page

More from Jacob Z. Gross:

Weekly Review July 29, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The quixotic quest for a Gaza ceasefire; West African doctors face mortal peril; and Russian gecko porn, restored

Weekly Review June 17, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

ISIS launches a major offensive in Iraq, the 2014 World Cup begins, and Florida keeps on being Florida

Weekly Review April 29, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The U.S. Supreme Court and L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling remark on race and opportunity, the FCC prepares to end net neutrality, and white supremacists propagandize children’s Easter eggs

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

August 2016

Don the Realtor

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Atlas Aggregated

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Origins of Speech

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Four in Verse

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Sigh and a Salute

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Four in Prose

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
Martin Amis on the rise of Trump, Tom Wolfe on the origins of speech, Art Spiegelman on Si Lewen, fiction by Diane Williams, and more

In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.

Illustration by Darrel Rees
Article
Don the Realtor·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"If you have ever wondered what it’s like, being a young and avaricious teetotal German-American philistine on the make in Manhattan, then your curiosity will be quenched by The Art of the Deal."
Photograph (detail) © Polly Borland/Exclusive by Getty Images
Article
The Origins of Speech·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"To Chomsky...every child’s language organ could use the 'deep structure,' 'universal grammar,' and 'language acquisition device' he was born with to express what he had to say, no matter whether it came out of his mouth in English or Urdu or Nagamese."
Illustration (detail) by Darrel Rees. Source photograph © Miroslav Dakov/Alamy Live News
Article
A Sigh and a Salute·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Si told me that various paintings had spoken to him, but he wished they had been hung closer together 'so they could talk to each other.' This observation planted a seed that would come to fruition years later in his mature work."
Artwork (detail) by Si Lewen
Article
El Bloqueo·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Amid the festivities and the flood of celebrities, it would be easy for Americans to miss that the central plank of the long-standing cold war against Cuba — the economic embargo — remains very much alive and well."
Photograph (detail) by Rose Marie Cromwell

Estimated temperature of Hell, according to two Spanish physicists ‘ interpretation of the Bible:

832°F

The ecosystems around Chernobyl, Ukraine, are now healthier than they were before the nuclear disaster, though radiation levels are still too high for human habitation.

A TSA agent in Seattle was arrested for taking up-skirt photos of women in the airport, a Maryland police officer was arrested for taking up-skirt photos of an off-duty colleague, and the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled that taking up-skirt photos is legal in the state.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Mississippi Drift

By

Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'

Subscribe Today