Weekly Review — March 11, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

A plane vanishes over Southeast Asia, Russia and Ukraine stake out their positions on Crimea, and Canada expands its Moose Sex Project

ALL IN MY EYE.Ten nations were searching for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared on Friday afternoon, shortly after leaving Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 239 passengers and crew on board. Forty ships and 34 aircraft patrolled the seas off Vietnam and Malaysia, and international intelligence officials investigated possible terrorist activity among passengers listed on the flight’s manifest. It was discovered that passports belonging to an Italian citizen, Luigi Maraldi, and an Austrian, Christian Kozel, which had been reported stolen in Thailand, were used by two passengers whose tickets were purchased in the Thai town of Pattaya by an Iranian man known to police as Mr. Ali. Interpol confirmed that Malaysian authorities had not checked the passports against its Stolen and Lost Travel Documents database, a failure it said occurred at airports worldwide more than a billion times in the past year. “It’s usually a matter of resources and money, and sometimes a lack of interest,” said airport-security expert David Trembaczowski-Ryder. “If it all looks legitimate,” said Malaysia Airlines executive vice president Hugh Dunleavy, “we will load them on the plane.”[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] The Russian government vowed to honor the results of a March 16 referendum in which Crimean voters are expected to confirm a decision by the territory’s Moscow-backed parliament to leave Ukraine and join Russia, and U.S. and European Union leaders denounced the vote as a violation of international law. “No one in the civilized world will recognize the decision of the so-called referendum of the so-called Crimean authorities,” said interim Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. “I do not believe that Crimea will slip out of Russia’s hand,” said former U.S. defense secretary Robert Gates. “It’s not a done deal,” said deputy national-security adviser Tony Blinken. “It’s a real nail-biter,” said former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.[8][9][10][11][12] Vitaliy Lukyanenko earned Ukraine’s first gold medal at the Winter Paralympic Games in Sochi, winning the 7.5km visually impaired biathlon over a field that included five-time world champion Nikolay Polukhin of Russia, and former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was recently released from prison, began treatment for three slipped discs at Charité hospital in Berlin, where doctors were confident they could restore her ability to walk. “Whether she can still take part in the pole vault,” said a hospital executive, “I can’t say.”[13][14]

Iraqi prime minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of providing weapons and financial support to terrorists in Iraq and Syria, and of “leading an open war against the Iraqi government.” At a checkpoint in the southern city of Hilla, a suicide bomber detonated a truck filled with explosives, killing at least 45 people and wounding more than 100. “I was sitting in the car waiting to be searched by the police when suddenly it became dark,” said college student Ahmed Muhammed. “Then my car was going back and my legs were no longer there.”[15] Newsweek published an article alleging that Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, long believed to be a pseudonymous coder, was actually a 64-year-old California resident named Satoshi Nakamoto; Lieutenant Colonel Joseph “Jay” Morse, the U.S. Army’s top sexual-assault prosecutor, was suspended for allegedly groping a colleague at a conference on sexual assault; and British policy adviser Patrick Rock, who helped draft proposals for the United Kingdom’s Internet porn filters, was arrested for offences related to child pornography.[16][17][18] U.S. senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) confirmed that the Central Intelligence Agency was conducting a review of its surveillance of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into CIA interrogation tactics. Upskirt photos were expressly legal in Massachusetts for a day.[19][20]

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

In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. “There was a ‘woof’ sound,” said a witness, “like falling on your face into your pillow.”[21][22] A Tampa woman gave birth to a healthy son while she, her boyfriend, and her two daughters were hospitalized from eating bottom round steak purchased at Walmart that had been laced with LSD, and scientists at Edinburgh University found evidence that the plant extract quercetin could ease the symptoms of children with floppy-baby syndrome.[23][24] An Ottawa two-year-old was suspended for sneaking a cheese sandwich into a daycare, a Montana man was arrested for allegedly having his two-year-old son smoke marijuana, and an Atlanta elementary school investigated allegations that four kindergarteners had engaged in sexual activity in the classroom. “You have to consider all the facts,” said a father of a student. “I don’t want to be too judgmental.”[25][26][27][28] Private landowners donated 205 acres on the Chignecto Isthmus between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s Moose Sex Project, and London Fire Brigade investigators blamed a building fire in South London on a bird that carried a lit cigarette to its rooftop nest. “Smokers,” said neighborhood baker Richard Scroggs. “What can you say?”[29][30]

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

Single Page

More from Sara Breselor:

Weekly Review April 14, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Michael Slager is charged with murder, Hillary Clinton declares her candidacy for president, and a Utah television personality gets probation for kicking a barn owl

Weekly Review January 20, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The Pope says climate change is mostly man made, Al Qaeda claims responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo, and residents of a town in Denmark agree to have sex more often

Weekly Review December 23, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

North Korea attacks the U.S. film industry, Pakistan reinstates the death penalty, and a Pennsylvania electrician stabs a Virgin Mary lawn ornament in the head

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

United States Canada



October 2015

Lives by Omission

Lifting as We Climb

Cattle Calls

Getting Jobbed

view Table Content


“One of the peculiar things about economic inequality is that the people who are most articulate about it are not poor, while the poor themselves have said little, at least in print, about their situation.”
Photograph © Reuters/Brendan McDermid
“It would be nice to get through this review without recourse to the term ‘writer’s writer.’ The thing is, in the case of Joy Williams, I have seen the cliché made flesh.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
“Miniatures originated in Persia and were brought to the Indian subcontinent when the Mughals conquered it in the sixteenth century. They could take on almost any subject: landscapes or portraits; stories of love, war, or play.”
Painting by by Imran Qureshi.
“The business of being a country veterinarian is increasingly precarious. The heartland has been emptying of large-animal vets for at least two decades, as agribusiness changed the employment picture and people left the region.”
Photograph by Lance Rosenfield
“Rosie and her husband had burned through their small savings in the first few months after she lost her job. Now their family of five relied on his minimum-wage paychecks, plus Rosie’s unemployment and food stamps, which, combined, brought them to around $2,000 per month, just above the poverty line.”
Illustrations by Taylor Callery

Ratio of children’s emergency-room visits for injuries related to fireworks last year to those related to “desk supplies”:


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.

The Islamic State opened two new theme parks featuring a Ferris wheel, teacup rides, and bumper cars.

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


Subways Are for Sleeping


“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