[Weekly Review] | October 13, 2015, by Osita Nwanevu | Harper's Magazine

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[Weekly Review]

Weekly Review

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The president of FIFA’s Thai federation was suspended for 90 days for violating the organization’s ethics code, the mayor of Rome resigned after it was revealed that he charged more than $22,700 for personal outings and dinners to his official credit card, and John Ashe, a former president of the U.N. General Assembly, was charged with tax fraud for failing to declare to the IRS a $1.3 million bribe, which he used to lease a BMW, build a personal basketball court, purchase Rolexes, and pay off the mortgage on his house. “Everyone is expected to report all of their income,” said an IRS special agent, “including bribes.” Read more...

HarpersWeb-Weekly-ON-tallIn Syria, Russian forces struck antigovernment targets with 26 long-range cruise missiles and carried out 11 airstrikes on Islamic State training camps in Hama and Raqqa.[1] It was reported that since late September, when Russia began its offensive in Syria, it has deployed both concrete-busting and thermobaric bombs in the country.[2] “Our task is to stabilize,” said president Vladimir Putin, “by military means.”[3] U.S. officials announced the end of a $500 million campaign to train Syrian fighters to combat the Islamic State after a top general told the Senate Armed Services Committee in September that the unit, which was expected to include some 5,400 troops, had fewer than a dozen fighters. “We’re talking four or five,” he said.[4][5] Unidentified attackers detonated two bombs at a peace rally in Ankara, Turkey, killing at least 95 people; three suicide bombers in Damaturu, Nigeria, killed at least 18 people; and, in Yemen’s Dhamar province, a Saudi-led coalition launched an airstrike against a wedding hosted by a pro-Houthi tribal leader, killing at least 23 civilians.[6][7][8][9] The president of FIFA’s Thai federation was suspended for 90 days for violating the organization’s ethics code, the mayor of Rome resigned after it was revealed that he charged more than $22,700 for personal outings and dinners to his official credit card, and John Ashe, a former president of the U.N. General Assembly, was charged with tax fraud for failing to declare to the IRS a $1.3 million bribe, which he used to lease a BMW, build a personal basketball court, purchase Rolexes, and pay off the mortgage on his house. “Everyone is expected to report all of their income,” said an IRS special agent, “including bribes.”[10][11][12][13]

A freshman opened fire at Northern Arizona University, killing one student and wounding three others; hours later, a student at Texas Southern University killed one student and injured another.[14] The November 2014 police shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice at a park in Cleveland was found “objectively reasonable” by independent reports.[15] House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy abruptly withdrew from the race being held to replace outgoing Speaker of the House John Boehner, who last month unexpectedly announced he would retire; and Congressman Paul Ryan refused calls to enter the race. “It is total confusion,” said Congressman Peter King, “a banana republic.”[16] The Justice Department announced plans to release 6,000 inmates from federal prisons beginning at the end of the month, and Tehran’s Revolutionary Court convicted Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post reporter who has been imprisoned in the country for more than a year, of espionage.[17][18] Thousands converged on Washington, D.C., for a rally commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, and approximately 100 union activists broke through the gates surrounding the headquarters of Air France and interrupted a meeting, tearing the shirts off executives.[19][20] It was reported that a 12-year-old Texas girl has been sneezing as often as 12,000 times a day for the past month. “Even in my dreams,” said the girl, “I sneeze.”[21]

U.S. airman Spencer Stone, who was slashed with a box cutter two months ago while thwarting a terrorist attack on a train in France, underwent surgery after he was stabbed in a brawl with six men outside a Sacramento nightclub. “He is quite a fighter,” said the serviceman’s doctor.[22] A Chilean television station obtained video of Pope Francis calling a group of activists who were protesting a bishop accused of sexual abuse “dumb.”[23] In China, a bottleneck caused by a newly implemented checkpoint on the G4 Beijing–Hong Kong–Macau Expressway led to a 50-lane traffic jam.[24] The Facebook account of a 30-year-old British man legally named Something Long and Complicated was suspended and then reinstated after he provided proof of his identity.[25] The owner of the Moonlite Bunny Ranch brothel in Nevada announced that he would match his employees’ student loan payments for two months. “I look forward to obtaining my degree and helping people,” one prostitute said, “with their sexual issues.” [26]

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