Weekly Review — March 25, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Malaysia declares Flight 370 lost, the Westboro Baptist Church loses its patriarch, and Hawaiian police officers fight for their right to have on-duty sex with prostitutes

An American Mastiff.

An American Mastiff.

Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak announced that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, had crashed into the southern Indian Ocean. The airline sent a text message to inform the missing passengers’ relatives, a few of whom had been briefly locked up in a hotel room three days earlier after they stormed a press conference. “I tell you, this was the wrong way to release this information,” said a sobbing representative of the families. “Don’t film,” shouted a man as he kicked a TV camera operator. “I’ll beat you to death!”[1][2][3][4] Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a treaty formally annexing Crimea and ordered a fireworks display in celebration. Ukraine began withdrawing its troops from the region and reported that a group of “aggressive women” had overtaken its naval headquarters in Sevastopol. “Putin gives us hope,” said a woman in the breakaway Moldovan republic of Transdniester. “He is reuniting the Soviet Union.” The G7 nations suspended their participation in the G8, and U.S. president Barack Obama announced expanded sanctions against several members of Putin’s inner circle, prompting Putin to bar nine American officials, including Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.), from entering Russia. “I guess this means my spring break in Siberia is off,” said McCain. “The only things that interest me in the U.S. are Tupac Shakur, Allen Ginsberg, and Jackson Pollock,” said a sanctioned Russian official. “I don’t need a visa to access their work.”[5][6][7][8][9][10][11] Documents released by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden exposed details of a voice-interception system called MYSTIC that allows the NSA to record every telephone call made in a foreign country and play it back up to a month later, and revealed that the United States had hacked the servers of Huawei, a telecommunications company suspected of having ties with the Chinese military.[12][13] An Israeli real-estate agent threatened to sue the attorney of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy after learning that, in an effort to avoid wiretaps, Sarkozy had conducted business on a phone registered in the agent’s name, and former American president Jimmy Carter offered advice on evading government surveillance to panelists on NBC’s Meet the Press. “When I want to communicate with a foreign leader privately,” he said, “I type or write a letter myself, put it in the post office, and mail it.”[14][15] Microsoft was found to have uncovered the identity of a former employee who leaked secrets to a tech blogger by searching the blogger’s Hotmail account.[16]

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was allegedly heard alluding to his involvement in corruption in recordings that circulated last month on social media, ordered that Twitter be blocked, prompting traffic originating from Turkey on the microblogging service to increase 138 percent, and announced that Turkish forces had shot down a Syrian warplane after it crossed into Turkey. “If you violate my airspace,” said Erdogan, “our slap after this will be hard.”[17][18] Syrian government forces captured the Crac des Chevaliers, a twelfth-century Crusader castle near Homs, from antigovernment fighters; Israel shut down all 103 of its foreign missions after its diplomats went on strike; and an Egyptian court sentenced 529 Muslim Brotherhood supporters to death for the murder of a police officer last August.[19][20][21] American authorities arrested a 20-year-old National Guardsman from California who was allegedly planning to join up with Islamist militants fighting in Syria. “I would love to join Allah’s army,” he posted on Instagram under the name Assad Teausant bigolsmurf, “but I don’t even know how to start.”[22] Police in Houston raided a 1,200-square-foot house where more than 100 people smuggled into the country from Latin America were living and sharing a single toilet, and Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission opened an investigation into the apparent suicide of an eight-year-old girl after she was detained while trying to cross into the United States.[23][24] New York City authorities admitted that a Rikers Island inmate named Jerome Murdough had likely died because the temperature in his cell had risen above 100°F. “He basically baked to death,” said an official.[25]

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

Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, which filed for bankruptcy last month, discovered $116 million worth of bitcoins in an old wallet.[26] Police officers in Hawaii lobbied to retain a provision in the state legal code that permits them to have sex with prostitutes while on duty, and customs officials in Leipzig were reported to have seized a package of cocaine-filled condoms destined for the Vatican.[27][28] Catholic League president Bill Donohue called for a boycott of three beer companies that pulled their sponsorship from St. Patrick’s Day parades over bans on the participation of gay and lesbian groups, and applied to march in New York City’s gay-pride parade carrying a banner reading “Straight Is Great.”[29][30] Hundreds of gay couples in Michigan married after a federal judge struck down a state constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage and before an appeals court temporarily reinstated it.[31] A man stole meat from a New Jersey grocery store by claiming to have AIDS and threatening employees with a syringe, and preacher Fred Phelps, whose Westboro Baptist Church picketed the funerals of military service members and AIDS victims in order to spread its antigay message, died at 84. “There will not,” said Phelps’s daughter, “be a funeral.”[32][33]


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

  • GT

    Wrong again. All “Snowden documents” were given to journalists nine months ago.

    Documents released by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden exposed details of a voice-interception system called MYSTIC that allows the NSA to record every telephone call made in a foreign country and play it back up to a month later, and revealed that the United States had hacked the servers of Huawei, a telecommunications company suspected of having ties with the Chinese military.

    • http://harpers.org/ Harper’s Magazine

      The quoted passage is focused on what was revealed by the documents last week; it isn’t concerned with when the documents were released.

  • Anon

    Citation 27 appears to link to a piece about “affluenza” as opposed to anything related to sex workers in Hawaii. Please feel free to remove this comment.

    • http://harpers.org/ Harper’s Magazine

      Fixed, thank you.

  • http://?ustom-papers.us/ сustom-papers

    It’s very good review! thanks

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
Legends of the Lost·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“A bond with reality has gone, and sometimes you wonder whether that fosters our feeling that movies are a fleeting art.”
Photograph by Alexander Perrelli
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

Number of British women killed last fall by lightning conducted through their underwire bras:

2

British women wear heels for fifty-one years on average, from the ages of twelve to sixty-three.

Thousands of employees of McDonald’s protested outside the company’s headquarters near Chicago, demanding their wages be increased to $15 per hour. “I can’t afford any shoes,” said one employee in attendance, “and I want Versace heels.”

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