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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

[Image: A Humbug, December 1853]

President George W. Bush traveled to France to attend a ceremony commemorating the D-Day invasion and attempted to play down his dispute with President Jacques Chirac over the invasion of Iraq; Bush told French journalists that he was never angry with the French or with Chirac for his refusal to endorse the war, and he even invited Chirac to visit the ranch down in Crawford, Texas. “If he wants to come and see cows, he’s welcome to come out here and see some cows,” Bush said, apparently unaware that Chirac, a former agriculture minister, is a cattle expert.New York TimesGeorge Tenet resigned as director of the Central Intelligence Agency; he claimed that he was quitting for personal reasons, though there was no shortage of professional ones. Much speculation followed concerning who would be next.Washington PostVice President Dick Cheney was interviewed by prosecutors investigating the illegal disclosure of a covert CIA agent’s identity, and theNew York TimesWhite House confirmed that President Bush has contacted a private lawyer to represent him if he is called before the grand jury.New York TimesAhmad Chalabi, the former Iraqi exile who once sat next to Laura Bush at a State of the Union address, was accused of telling an Iranian intelligence agent that the United States had broken Iran’s secret communications code, and theNelson ReportIraqi Governing Council announced a new interim government that includes Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, and Christians.Guardian, New York TimesBlasts from five mortar shells were heard during the ceremony, which was not attended by any senior American officials, and a car bomb blew up just outside the “Green Zone.”New York Times

The Department of Energy announced that it will cut the nation’s stockpile of nuclear weapons “almost in half,” and theNew York TimesSenate voted to permit the reclassification of some high-level nuclear waste so that the Energy Department can leave the waste in leaky shallow tanks.New York TimesThe price of rice was up in Haiti.New York TimesNine people died when a bomb blew up in a market in southern Russia, near Kazakhstan.New York TimesDoctors Without Borders suspended its activity in Afghanistan after one of its teams was massacred by the Taliban, and 100ReutersIraqi policemen who were sent to Najaf reportedly deserted and ran away.CNNIn Colorado, a man in an armored bulldozer went berserk and destroyed several buildings and then killed himself.Associated PressMicrosoftpatented the “double-click,” and oilNew Scientistprices went up to $42 a barrel; OPEC responded by agreeing to raise production.GuardianGood Jobs First, a Washington, D.C., research group, reported that Wal-Mart has received more than $1 billion in subsidies from state and local governments around the country.Elizabethton StarThirty prisoners and one guard died in a prison uprising in Brazil.New York TimesArkansas released 680 prison inmates early because of overcrowding, and theNew York TimesArmy decided to extend the service commitment of all soldiers bound for Iraq.New York TimesThe attorney general of New York sued GlaxoSmithKline for suppressing studies that showed that its antidepressant drug Paxil might cause adolescents to have suicidal thoughts.New York TimesPresident Bush met with the pope, andAssociated PressRonald Reagan finally died.CNN

The Pentagon denied that a new “non-lethalray gun that fires millimeter-wave electromagnetic energy, which penetrates the skin and instantly heats water molecules to 130 degrees, might be used as a torture device. No one has been able to stand the pain caused by the weapon, known as the “Active Denial System,” for more than 3 seconds.Sacramento BeeThe acting U.N. high commissioner for human rights said that the American abuses of Iraqi prisoners might qualify as war crimes.New York TimesThe Special Court for Sierra Leone, a United Nations-sponsored war-crimes tribunal, opened, though the prime suspect, former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, was enjoying political asylum in Nigeria.New York TimesAn 11-year-old Japanese schoolgirl fatally stabbed a classmate during their lunch hour, and twoAssociated PressSwedish teenagers were charged with planning to kill people at their school to commemorate the Columbine massacre.New York TimesA judge in California ruled that the Partial-Birth Abortion Act is unconstitutional, and anAssociated PressIsraeli study found that 48 percent of doctors’ neckties carry at least one infectious disease.Associated PressColombian police arrested a woman for drugging a pregnant mother and kidnapping her unborn child, whom she cut out of the mother’s womb with a kitchen knife.BBCNorth Korea banned cellphones.New York TimesZimbabwe proposed censoring private email.New York TimesScientists in California deleted huge chunks of DNA from the mouse genome to see what would happen to the animals and were surprised to find that they couldn’t tell any difference.New ScientistA horticulturalist in Florida unveiled a new low-carbpotato.University of Florida

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November 2008

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