Weekly Review — December 3, 2013, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Walmart celebrates Black Friday with protests and police reports, Amazon experiments with drone delivery, and Republicans salute the end of racism 

Babylonian LionOn Black Friday, thousands of Walmart employees and union supporters staged protests to demand annual wages of at least $25,000 for the 825,000 workers who make less than that amount and supplement their incomes with an average of $1,000 annually in Medicaid and food stamps. “The protest is sad,” said a Southern California shopper, “because Walmart has good prices.” Police arrested a man dressed as Santa Claus outside an Ontario, California, Walmart; a shopper stabbed and pulled a gun on another shopper during a dispute over a parking space outside a Claypool Hill, Virginia, Walmart; police pepper-sprayed one shopper and ticketed another for spitting on a stranger’s child at a Garfield, New Jersey, Walmart; a police officer was hospitalized for injuries sustained while breaking up a fight outside a Rialto, California, Walmart; and a bomb threat led police to evacuate a White Plains, New York, Walmart. “Black Friday is the Super Bowl of retail,” said Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon. “We ran a play that only Walmart could deliver.”[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] The prime minister of Latvia resigned after taking responsibility for the November 21 collapse of a Maxima supermarket in Riga, which killed 54 people, and Maxima’s head of operations for Latvia was fired. “May those who feel real responsibility resign,” he said. “I can look people in the eye.”[9][10] Protesters in Gafsa, Tunisia, set fire to the regional headquarters of the country’s ruling Islamist party during a demonstration to demand economic investment in poor areas, and police in Cairo beat several women and stripped a photographer while ending a peaceful demonstration against military trials of civilians and a law banning gatherings of more than 10 people.[11][12] Icelandic police shot and killed a civilian for the first time, then apologized for it.[13]

In Thailand, protesters calling for the removal of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra — whose brother was unseated by a 2006 military coup following accusations of corruption and abuse of power — threw fireworks at riot police and sought to enter Shinawatra’s residence by breaking barricades with garbage trucks. Former deputy prime minister Suthep Thaugsuban called on his supporters to besiege every government office in the country, many of which subsequently closed, and antigovernment “yellow shirts” engaged in shootouts with pro-government “red shirts” that left three people dead. “I will remain here,” said Shinawatra. “I may be a woman, but I have the courage to face all possible scenarios.”[14][15][16][17] Silvio Berlusconi was expelled from the Italian Parliament over his conviction for tax fraud, prompting his 28-year-old girlfriend to appeal to Pope Francis on his behalf. “It was the right thing to do,” said a lawmaker who supported the expulsion. “Otherwise we would have had the law of the jungle.”[18][19][20] Amazon released a promotional video for its experimental drone-delivery service that depicted an unmanned octocopter flying a yellow box containing a rollerblade-adjusting tool to a father and son. “It’s a symphony of people,” said CEO Jeff Bezos, “it’s a symphony of software, it’s a symphony of robots.”[21][22] Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.[23] The ACLU filed a lawsuit alleging that an Albuquerque prison guard had used pepper spray on an inmate’s vagina, and a Swedish prisoner with a toothache escaped to visit the dentist, then returned to jail.[24][25]

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

Croatia voted to ban gay marriage, and France began investigating Bob Dylan for inciting ethnic hatred against Croats in an interview he gave to Rolling Stone in 2012. “If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that,” Dylan said. “Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.”[26][27] The Republican National Committee commended Rosa Parks on Twitter for “ending racism,”; a white employee of a 99p store in Withim, England, accused his nonwhite employers of treating him like a slave; and a Plantation, Florida, police officer was arrested after he refused to remove his Guy Fawkes mask during an anti-Obamacare protest.[28][29][30] It was revealed that the National Security Agency collected data on the pornography habits of six young Muslim men believed to be connected to terrorist groups, with the aim of harming their reputations.[31] ProPublica reported that Karl Rove’s fundraising group, Crossroads GPS, violated the terms of its tax-exempt status by awarding grant money to right-wing political organizations. “That’s called bullshit,” said a former IRS official, “with a serving of horseshit on the side.”[32] A Mormon bishop who attended a service in Utah disguised as a homeless man in order to teach his ward about compassion was asked by a congregant to leave, The Fast and the Furious star Paul Walker died in a car crash, and the mayor of Hampton, Florida, was arrested for buying and selling Oxycodone. “We will not tolerate illegal drug activity,” said the county sheriff. “This isn’t Toronto.”[33][34][35]


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 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

April 2015

The Joke

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Abolish High School

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Beat Reporter

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Going It Alone

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Rotten Ice

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Life After Guantánamo

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

[Browsings]
Photograph by the author
Article
Rotten Ice·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“When I asked if we were going to die, he smiled and said, ‘Imaqa.’ Maybe.”
Photograph © Kari Medig
Article
Life After Guantánamo·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“I’ve seen the hell and I’m still in the beginning of my life.”
Illustration by Caroline Gamon
Article
Going It Alone·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The call to solitude is universal. It requires no cloister walls and no administrative bureaucracy, only the commitment to sit down and still ourselves to our particular aloneness.”
Photograph by Richard Misrach
Article
No Slant to the Sun·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“She didn’t speak the language, beyond “¿cuánto?” and “demasiado,” but that didn’t stop her. She wanted things. She wanted life, new experiences, a change in the routine.”
Photograph © Stuart Franklin/Magnum Photos

Acreage of a Christian nudist colony under development in Florida:

240

Florida’s wildlife officials decided to remove the manatee, which has a mild taste that readily adapts to recipes for beef, from the state’s endangered-species list.

A 64-year-old mother and her 44-year-old son were arrested for running a gang that stole more than $100,000 worth of toothbrushes from Publix, Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS stores in Florida.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Driving Mr. Albert

By

He could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.

Subscribe Today