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

Babylonian LionFighters for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) executed at least 500 members of Iraq’s Kurdish-speaking Yazidi minority, and the country’s human rights minister reported that an unspecified number had been buried alive in mass graves in and near the northwestern town of Sinjar. At least 520 Yazidi girls and women were reported kidnapped by ISIL, whose fighters were reportedly using them as human shields and for sex. “[They] say they are taking them to paradise,” said a Yazidi parliamentarian. U.S. planes delivered 6,822 gallons of water to Yazidis who were besieged on the Sinjar mountains, and dropped at least two 500-pound bombs on ISIL fighters advancing toward Erbil, the Kurdish capital. “We are promised heaven,” said one ISIL fighter. “Do you think death will stop us?”[1][2][3][4][5][6] In Baghdad, President Fouad Massoum nominated the deputy speaker of parliament, Haider al-Ibadi, to replace Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whom John Kerry had criticized for his failure to form a coalition with the minority Sunnis.[7] The World Health Organization announced the 961st death from an outbreak of Ebola in West Africa this year, and two American physicians who had contracted the disease in Liberia and had been flown to the United States in a chartered Gulfstream jet were responding positively to an experimental treatment.[8][9][10][11] In Cairo, Israel withdrew from truce negotiations with Palestinians after a 72-hour ceasefire ended when two rockets launched from Gaza landed in Israel then agreed to return to talks if a new ceasefire held. “Our demands are purely humanitarian and need no negotiations,” said a Hamas spokesman, “because it is the right of human beings to live.”[12][13] In Ferguson, Missouri, an unarmed black 18-year-old named Michael Brown who was on his way to visit his grandmother was fatally shot by police. “He put his arms up to let them know that he was compliant,” said witness Piaget Crenshaw, “and they shot him twice more.”[14][15]

Leaked classified documents revealed that the U.S. government’s no-fly list is now 47,000 names long, and that more than 40 percent of the 680,000 names contained in the U.S. Terrorist Screening Database, which is shared with law enforcement, private contractors, and foreign governments, are of people with “no recognized terrorist group affiliation.”[16] A lawyer for Edward Snowden announced that Russia had granted her client three more years of residency in the country, and a Milwaukee Internet-security company announced that a group of Russian hackers were using a stolen database of 1.2 billion usernames and passwords to post advertisements on social media.[17][18] In response to Western economic sanctions, Russia banned imports of American and European food products.[19] In the Yakutia Republic of Siberia, a bear was scared off from attacking a fisherman when his cell phone began to play Justin Bieber’s “Baby.”[20] Authorities in Racine, Wisconsin, brought murder charges against a 15-year-old boy who had posted on the online music-sharing service SoundCloud a rap in which he appeared to take credit for the shooting of a 19-year-old man.[21] Police in Beavercreek, Ohio, killed a 22-year-old man who was holding a pellet gun on sale at Walmart.[22] In Colorado, a nine-year-old handed a gun to a five-year-old, who used it to shoot a three-year-old in the chest.[23]

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

In Fremont, California, a petition to ban a high school sex-education textbook that includes information on bondage and vibrators garnered at least 2,265 signatures.[24] Malaysian police were seeking fifteen people who appeared in an online video of the Malaysia-International Nude Sports Games 2014 Extravaganza, and Spanish police fined six Swiss tourists conducting an orgy in the back of a moving van for not wearing their seatbelts.[25][26][27] Wikipedia continued to refuse to remove photographs by a British photographer who gave his camera to monkeys to take selfies, claiming that he could not own the copyright since he did not take the picture. “The monkey was my assistant,” said the photographer, “and I had my assistant press the button.”[28] In Norway, arctic reindeer sought refuge from the summer heat in an automobile tunnel, and a man crashed his car after a wasp stung him in the crotch.[29][30] At a zoo in Crimea, a foal named Telegraph was born to a zebra and a donkey. “Such things don’t happen,” said a spokeswoman for a zoo in Moscow, “in civilized zoos.”[31]


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.

Six Questions July 1, 2014, 2:02 pm

Christopher Beha on Arts and Entertainments

Christopher Beha discusses sex tapes as literary vehicle, the celebrity impulse, and the problematic absence of religion in American literature

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

September 2016

Land of Sod

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Only an Apocalypse Can Save Us Now

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Watchmen

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Acceptable Losses

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Home

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Tennis Lessons

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
 
Andrew Cockburn on the Saudi slaughter in Yemen, Alan Jacobs on the disappearance of Christian intellectuals, a forum on a post-Obama foreign policy, a story by Alice McDermott, and more
Artwork by Ingo Günther
Article
Land of Sod·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Nobody in academia had ever witnessed or even heard of a performance like this before. In just a few years, in the early 1950s, a University of Pennsylvania graduate student — a student, in his twenties — had taken over an entire field of study, linguistics, and stood it on its head and hardened it from a spongy so-called “social science” into a real science, a hard science, and put his name on it: Noam Chomsky.

At the time, Chomsky was still finishing his doctoral dissertation for Penn, where he had completed his graduate-school course work. But at bedtime and in his heart of hearts he was living in Boston as a junior member of Harvard’s Society of Fellows, and creating a Harvard-level name for himself.

Photograph by Mike Slack
Article
The Watchmen·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Nobody in academia had ever witnessed or even heard of a performance like this before. In just a few years, in the early 1950s, a University of Pennsylvania graduate student — a student, in his twenties — had taken over an entire field of study, linguistics, and stood it on its head and hardened it from a spongy so-called “social science” into a real science, a hard science, and put his name on it: Noam Chomsky.

At the time, Chomsky was still finishing his doctoral dissertation for Penn, where he had completed his graduate-school course work. But at bedtime and in his heart of hearts he was living in Boston as a junior member of Harvard’s Society of Fellows, and creating a Harvard-level name for himself.

Illustration by John Ritter
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
Acceptable Losses·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Nobody in academia had ever witnessed or even heard of a performance like this before. In just a few years, in the early 1950s, a University of Pennsylvania graduate student — a student, in his twenties — had taken over an entire field of study, linguistics, and stood it on its head and hardened it from a spongy so-called “social science” into a real science, a hard science, and put his name on it: Noam Chomsky.

At the time, Chomsky was still finishing his doctoral dissertation for Penn, where he had completed his graduate-school course work. But at bedtime and in his heart of hearts he was living in Boston as a junior member of Harvard’s Society of Fellows, and creating a Harvard-level name for himself.

Photograph by Alex Potter

Chances that college students select as “most desirable‚” the same face chosen by the chickens:

49 in 50

Most of the United States’ 36,000 yearly bunk-bed injuries involve male victims.

In Italy, a legislator called for parents who feed their children vegan diets to be sentenced to up to six years in prison, and in Sweden, a woman attempted to vindicate her theft of six pairs of underwear by claiming she had severe diarrhea.

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