Sharon J. Riley

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Weekly Review — June 12, 2018, 11:56 am

Weekly Review

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump meet at a former POW site, Jeff Sessions denies asylum to victims of domestic abuse and gang violence, and the National Sheriff Association announces a new initiative to protect pets

Weekly Review — April 17, 2018, 2:23 pm

Weekly Review

Trump fires missiles at Syria, a former FBI director likens Trump to a Mafia boss, and New Yorkers mistake a racoon for a tiger

Weekly Review — March 20, 2018, 1:38 pm

Weekly Review

Donald Trump says teachers should carry guns, a school resource officer mistakenly fires his gun at a middle school in Virginia, and the United States receives its worst-ever ranking on the World Happiness Report

Weekly Review — April 26, 2017, 4:46 pm

Weekly Review

Marine Le Pen qualifies for the second round of the French presidential election, Bill O’Reilly is fired from Fox News, and Russia announces it is not “creating a Terminator.”

Weekly Review — March 16, 2017, 2:17 pm

Weekly Review

South Korea’s president is removed from office, Kellyanne Conway suggests that Barack Obama could have spied on Donald Trump using “microwaves that turned into cameras,” and a lake in Australia turns pink.

Weekly Review — November 29, 2016, 4:01 pm

Weekly Review

Fidel Castro dies at 90, snow falls in Tokyo for the first time in 50 years, and scientists suggest that the speed of light has declined.

Weekly Review — November 1, 2016, 5:56 pm

Weekly Review

The FBI continues its investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails, a Russian weapons manufacturer unveils a missile capable of destroying Texas, and a chimpanzee in North Korea smokes a pack of cigarettes 

Weekly Review — September 27, 2016, 3:22 pm

Weekly Review

A man kills five at a Macy’s in Washington, North Carolina scientists find that men are more likely to believe in God after sex, and researchers in Norway train horses to communicate with people

Weekly Review — June 28, 2016, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The United Kingdom votes to leave the European Union, Donald Trump fires his campaign manager, and a man named Larry Gambles wins the lottery for the second time

Weekly Review — June 7, 2016, 12:37 pm

Weekly Review

Flooding in Germany kills 10 people, a giant panda is born in Belgium, and a man in El Paso challenges his daughter to a duel

Weekly Review — April 5, 2016, 10:58 am

Weekly Review

Syria recaptures Palmyra, the first home-shopping network for weapons goes live, and a sinkhole in China swallows 25 tons of fish

Weekly Review — March 15, 2016, 1:47 pm

Weekly Review

North Korea claims it could destroy Manhattan with a hydrogen bomb, a Utah lawmaker compares pornography to polio, and a man sells his newborn daughter online

Weekly Review — January 19, 2016, 11:54 am

Weekly Review

The United States lifts economic sanctions against Iran, Mein Kampf sells out in Germany, and Auckland bans mermaid swimsuits

Weekly Review — December 29, 2015, 11:32 am

Weekly Review

Somalia bans Christmas, Canada runs out of candy canes, and a monkey steals a bus

Weekly Review — October 27, 2015, 11:29 am

Weekly Review

Justin Trudeau becomes prime minister-designate of Canada, a three-year-old boy drives a car, and Malaysia bans the Love and Sex with Robots conference

Weekly Review — September 22, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Hungarians seal their border, a 14-year-old Somali-American is arrested for brining a clock to school, and scientists launch the Campaign Against Sex Robots

Weekly Review — July 7, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Boko Haram kills 200 villagers in Nigeria, the mayor of Sacramento files for a restraining order against his city, and a teenager in Arkansas finds a four-inch centipede in his ear.

Weekly Review — May 26, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The Islamic State seizes Palmyra, McDonald’s employees protest in Chicago, and the brains of nine animals are found on a street in New York

Weekly Review — April 21, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

A suicide bomber kills 35 people at a bank in Jalalabad, Hillary Clinton doesn’t tip at Chipotle, and a chiropractor admits to bartering treatments for sex

Weekly Review — March 17, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The Taliban blows up two Christian churches in Pakistan, Vladimir Putin disappears for ten days, and Pope Francis says he misses eating pizza

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August 2019

The Last Frontier

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A Play with No End

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The Call of the Drums

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The Last Frontier·

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The San Luis Valley in southern Colorado still looks much as it did one hundred, or even two hundred, years ago. Blanca Peak, at 14,345 feet the fourth-highest summit in the Rockies, overlooks a vast openness. Blanca, named for the snow that covers its summit most of the year, is visible from almost everywhere in the valley and is considered sacred by the Navajo. The range that Blanca presides over, the Sangre de Cristo, forms the valley’s eastern side. Nestled up against the range just north of Blanca is Great Sand Dunes National Park. The park is an amazement: winds from the west and southwest lift grains of sand from the grasses and sagebrush of the valley and deposit the finest ones, creating gigantic dunes. You can climb up these dunes and run back down, as I did as a child on a family road trip and I repeated with my own children fifteen years ago. The valley tapers to a close down in New Mexico, a little north of Taos. It is not hard to picture the indigenous people who carved inscriptions into rocks near the rivers, or the Hispanic people who established Colorado’s oldest town, San Luis, and a still-working system of communal irrigation in the southeastern corner, or a pioneer wagon train. (Feral horses still roam, as do pronghorn antelope and the occasional mountain lion.)

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A Play with No End·

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When I caught up with the Gilets Jaunes on March 2, near the Jardin du Ranelagh, they were moving in such a mass through the streets that all traffic had come to a halt. The residents of Passy, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Paris, stood agape and apart and afraid. Many of the shops and businesses along the route of the march, which that day crossed seven and a half miles of the city, were shuttered for the occasion, the proprietors fearful of the volatile crowd, who mostly hailed from outside Paris and were considered a rabble of invaders.

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The Call of the Drums·

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The Great Kurultáj, an event held annually outside the town of Bugac, Hungary, is billed as both the “Tribal Assembly of the Hun-­Turkic Nations” and “Europe’s Largest Equestrian Event.” When I arrived last August, I was fittingly greeted by a variety of riders on horseback: some dressed as Huns, others as Parthian cavalrymen, Scythian archers, Magyar warriors, csikós cowboys, and betyár bandits. In total there were representatives from twenty-­seven “tribes,” all members of the “Hun-­Turkic” fraternity. The festival’s entrance was marked by a sixty-­foot-­tall portrait of Attila himself, wielding an immense broadsword and standing in front of what was either a bonfire or a sky illuminated by the baleful glow of war. He sported a goatee in the style of Steven Seagal and, shorn of his war braids and helmet, might have been someone you could find in a Budapest cellar bar. A slight smirk suggested that great mirth and great violence together mingled in his soul.

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Brutal from the Beginning·

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Celebrity sightings are a familiar feature of the modern N.B.A., but this year’s playoffs included an appearance unusual even by the standards of America’s most star-­friendly sports league. A few minutes into the first game of the Western Conference semifinals, between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston ­Rockets—the season’s hottest ticket, featuring the reigning M.V.P. on one side and the reigning league champions on the other—­President Paul Kagame of Rwanda arrived with an entourage of about a dozen people, creating what the sports website The Undefeated called “a scene reminiscent of the fashionably late arrivals of Prince, Jay-­Z, Beyoncé and Rihanna.”

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The Alps·

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A Toyota HiAce with piebald paneling, singing suspension, and a reg from the last millennium rolled into the parking lot of the Swinford Gaels football club late on a Friday evening. The HiAce belonged to Rory Hughes, the eldest of the three brothers known as the Alps, and the Alps traveled everywhere together in it. The three stepped out and with a decisive slam of the van’s side door moved off across the moonscape of the parking lot in the order of their conceptions, Rory on point, the middle brother, Eustace, close behind, and the youngest, ­Bimbo, in dawdling tow.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

“What’s the point?” said Senator Tim Scott, who is paid at least $174,000 per year as an elected official, when asked whether he had read the Mueller report.

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HARPER’S FINEST

Happiness Is a Worn Gun

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“Nowadays, most states let just about anybody who wants a concealed-handgun permit have one; in seventeen states, you don’t even have to be a resident. Nobody knows exactly how many Americans carry guns, because not all states release their numbers, and even if they did, not all permit holders carry all the time. But it’s safe to assume that as many as 6 million Americans are walking around with firearms under their clothes.”

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