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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review


The United States Supreme Court upheld the University of Michigan law school’s use of affirmative action in its admissions process and overturned a Texassodomy law, saying that “the state cannot demean [homosexuals’] existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime.”New York Times“This opens the door to bigamy, adult incest, polygamy, and prostitution,” said the head of the FamilyResearch Council.New York TimesThe court also ruled that a California law that retroactively abolished the statute of limitations on sex crimes is unconstitutional; California’s attorney general said that the ruling will lead to the release of about 800 child molesters.Associated PressNevada was planning to levy a “live entertainment” tax on whorehouses.New York TimesThe Senate Rules Committee proposed a new rule forbidding senators from stealing furniture and artwork from the Capitol.ReutersA State Department intelligence analyst told a congressional hearing that he had felt pressure to make his reports conform to the administration’s position on Iraq.New York TimesDonald Rumsfeld, the secretary of defense, made the surprising claim that “before the war, there was no debate about whether Iraq had unconventional weapons.”New York TimesHe also said that he doesn’t “know anybody in any government or any intelligence agency who suggested that the Iraqis had nuclear weapons“; it was immediately pointed out that Vice President Dick Cheney made precisely that claim in March.New York TimesAmerican forces recovered some prototype uranium-enrichment equipment from Iraq’s old nuclear-weapons program that was buried in a scientist’s garden twelve years ago.CNNA German gardener lost his driver’s license for driving a lawn mower while intoxicated.Reuters

The Environmental Protection Agency issued its first comprehensive report on the American environment but failed to give much attention to global warming; it was reported last week that White House officials edited the passages that had originally focused on the subject.New York TimesJoshua B.Bolten, the president’s nominee to direct the Office of Management and Budget, told senators that the president was through with tax cuts for now, unless the economy for some reason fails to improve.New York TimesThe Internal Revenue Service reported that the nation’s wealthiest 400 taxpayers earned an average $174 million in 2000 (totaling 1.1 percent of all reported income); in 1992 that group averaged $46.8 million (0.5 percent of all reported income).New York TimesHoward Dean, a Democratic presidential candidate, announced that he had raised almost $9 million, an achievement that shocked his opponents, and it was noted that he was now a serious candidate.New York TimesPresident Bush was nursing a torn calf muscle, a running injury that was exacerbated by his initial decision to run through the pain; his 6:45 mile slowed to about 9 minutes but is now back down to 8:45.The president was hoping to get back to a 7-minute mile as soon as possible.New York TimesScientists found that some people are better able to tolerate pain than others.Science DailyA samurai swordsman killed two people in an Albertson’s supermarket in Irvine, California.Associated Press

Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade agreed to a temporary cease-fire,New York Timesand Israel began to pull back from its positions in the Gaza Strip.American and British soldiers continued to die in Iraq.New York TimesThe occupying forces responded to the continuing attacks with several large operations.”We want to send a message of ‘Don’t mess with us,'” said one officer.”They will see that we have the flexibility to bring firepower.That ability is almost magical.”New York TimesL. Paul Bremer, the overseer of Iraq, warned Iraqi malcontents that resistance was futileNew York Timesbut nonetheless decided to pay the salaries of 250,000 unemployed Iraqi soldiers.New York TimesA new study commissioned by the Council on Foreign Relations and led by former senator Warren Rudman concluded that the United States is still spending far too little to prepare for another domestic terrorist attack.New York TimesAmerican soldiers were beginning to grumble about “the nickel and dime treatment [they] are getting lately” from the Bush Administration.Army TimesKofi Annan, the secretary general of the United Nations, called for an international peacekeeping force in Liberia; President Bush called for the resignation of President Charles Taylor; Taylor invited Bush to send American troops to make peace.New York Times, Associated PressThe World Health Organization was consulting with corporations such as Coca-Cola, Pepsico, Nestle, and McDonald’s in order to devise a plan to encourage consumers to eat healthy food, lose weight, and exercise more.New York TimesThe Recording Industry Association of America said that it will start suing people who use peer-to-peer music-swapping software.Washington PostFive pairs of donkeys were married in India in an attempt to make the rains come.Sydney Morning HeraldStrom Thurmond finally died, andAssociated PressScientistsscientists successfully infected mice with AIDS.New Scientist

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November 2008

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