Weekly Review — April 23, 2002, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

White House officials admitted that senior members of the Bush Administration met with the Venezuelan coup plotters in the weeks before they attempted to overthrow President Hugo Chávez. Some officials claimed that they had discouraged the plotters, others that they had encouraged them. One, asked if the Administration recognized Chávez as the legitimate president of Venezuela, replied that “legitimacy is something that is conferred not just by a majority of the voters.” Ari Fleischer, the White House spokesman, said: “I think you have to be very careful about advance knowledge of a specific act and general talk of unease in a nation like Venezuela that has been marked by a very difficult internal democratic situation.” Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut observed that the Administration’s performance on Venezuela cried out for “more adult supervision.” The government of the Netherlands resigned after a report by a human rights group concluded that the Dutch government must share the blame for the 1995 massacre of more than 7,000 unarmed Muslim men and boys by Serbs in Srebrenica, Bosnia, where a small battalion of Dutch peacekeepers had been stationed. Prime Minister Wim Kok, who was deputy prime minister at the time of the massacre, said that “the accumulation of international and national shortcomings must have political consequences.” An American F-16 dropped a 500-pound bomb on some Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan and killed four of them. The Senate defeated President George W. Bush’s plan to open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration. A plague of locusts was attacking crops in northern Afghanistan.

Secretary of State Colin Powell failed to achieve anything notable in his mission to the Middle East, and President Bush, after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon refused to “heed the call,” backed down from his demand that Israel withdraw from the West Bank. Journalists and aid workers were finally admitted to the Jenin refugee camp, which was largely destroyed by the Israeli army. Residents told reporters that there were mass graves under several piles of rubble; reporters could confirm only that the piles of rubble were the product of Israeli bulldozers and that they stank of decomposing flesh. “Combating terrorism does not give a blank check to kill civilians,” said Terje Roed-Larsen, a senior United Nations envoy who visited the camp. “However just the cause is, there are illegitimate means, and the means that have been used here are illegitimate and morally repugnant.” A Palestinian suicide bomber attacked a military checkpoint in the Gaza strip. President Bush called Ariel Sharon a “man of peace.” Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense, was dispatched to address a large pro-Israel demonstration in Washington, D.C. When Wolfowitz, who is known to be fond of war, mentioned that “innocent Palestinians are suffering and dying in great numbers,” he was loudly booed. One pro-Palestinian demonstrator was arrested for throwing an ice cream sandwich. President Bush pledged to help rebuild Afghanistan and said that the country would not find “true peace” until its roads, health-care system, schools, and businesses were rebuilt. A new order of insects was discovered in Africa. Scientists reported that a supercolony of Argentine ants now dominates southern Europe. The colony stretches 6,000 kilometers, from northern Italy to southern Spain, and comprises millions of nests with billions of individual ants. Experts speculated that the introduction of the alien species into Europe might have led to an evolutionary situation in which cooperation was favored over aggression. One scientist called the colony “the greatest cooperative unit ever discovered.” Two teenage members of the Movement of Young Socialists squirted French prime minister Lionel Jospin in the face with tomato ketchup. Jean-Marie Le Pen, the French fascist, beat Jospin by one percentage point in the first round of the presidential elections and will face President Jacques Chirac in the runoff. Thousands of Muslim pilgrims were traveling to Fergana, Uzbekistan, to see a miracle lamb born with the image of Mohammad on one side and the name of Allah in Arabic on the other. Hizb-ut-Tahrir, a banned Muslim group, denounced the reverence being paid to the lamb: “We should worship Allah not the animal.”

The Pope summoned all the American cardinals to Rome to discuss the continuing sex-abuse scandal. Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles said that he expected to hear discussions concerning the ordination of women and whether priests should be permitted to marry. A Roman Catholic bishop in Germany was forced to resign because of accusations that he molested a woman during an exorcism. A survey in Ireland conducted by the Royal College of Surgeons found that 42 percent of women and 28 percent of men were victims of sexual abuse. The Supreme Court overturned a ban on simulated child pornography. A British woman living in Florida was diagnosed with mad cow disease.Researchers found that trace amounts of atrazine, a common herbicide that is found almost everywhere in the environment, causes frogs to develop multiple sex organs. “I’m not saying it’s safe for humans,” said Dr. Tyrone B. Hayes. “I’m not saying it’s unsafe for humans. All I’m saying is that it makes hermaphrodites of frogs.” The Food and Drug Administration approved the use of botulism to paralyze facial muscles to do away with frown lines. An appeals court in California ruled that a “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?” contestant was not libeled when two radio announcers in San Francisco called her a “local loser,” a “big skank,” and a “chicken-butt.” The court said that the terms were “too vague to be capable of being proven true or false.” A Saudi newspaper editor who grew up with Osama bin Laden said that his old friend loved watching American TV shows, particularly “Fury” and “Bonanza.” A little boy from Minnesota was awarded patent number 6,368,227 for “a new method of swinging on a swing.”

Share
Single Page

More from Roger D. Hodge:

From the October 2010 issue

Speak, Money

Get access to 167 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

November 2017

Preaching to The Choir

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Monumental Error

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Star Search

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Pushing the Limit

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Bumpy Ride

Bad Dog

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Pushing the Limit·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In the early Eighties, Andy King, the coach of the Seawolves, a swim club in Danville, California, instructed Debra Denithorne, aged twelve, to do doubles — to practice in the morning and the afternoon. King told Denithorne’s parents that he saw in her the potential to receive a college scholarship, and even to compete in the Olympics. Tall swimmers have an advantage in the water, and by the time Denithorne turned thirteen, she was five foot eight. She dropped soccer and a religious group to spend more time at the pool.

Illustration by Shonagh Rae
Article
Star Search·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On December 3, 2016, less than a month after Donald Trump was elected president, Amanda Litman sat alone on the porch of a bungalow in Costa Rica, thinking about the future of the Democratic Party. As Hillary Clinton’s director of email marketing, Litman raised $180 million and recruited 500,000 volunteers over the course of the campaign. She had arrived at the Javits Center on Election Night, arms full of cheap beer for the campaign staff, minutes before the pundits on TV announced that Clinton had lost Wisconsin. Later that night, on her cab ride home to Brooklyn, Litman asked the driver to pull over so she could throw up.

Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Monumental Error·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In 1899, the art critic Layton Crippen complained in the New York Times that private donors and committees had been permitted to run amok, erecting all across the city a large number of “painfully ugly monuments.” The very worst statues had been dumped in Central Park. “The sculptures go as far toward spoiling the Park as it is possible to spoil it,” he wrote. Even worse, he lamented, no organization had “power of removal” to correct the damage that was being done.

Illustration by Steve Brodner
Article
Bumpy Ride·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

One sunny winter afternoon in western Michigan, I took a ride with Leon Slater, a slight sixty-four-year-old man with a neatly trimmed white beard and intense eyes behind his spectacles. He wore a faded blue baseball cap, so formed to his head that it seemed he slept with it on. Brickyard Road, the street in front of Slater’s home, was a mess of soupy dirt and water-filled craters. The muffler of his mud-splattered maroon pickup was loose, and exhaust fumes choked the cab. He gripped the wheel with hands leathery not from age but from decades moving earth with big machines for a living. What followed was a tooth-jarring tour of Muskegon County’s rural roads, which looked as though they’d been carpet-bombed.

Photograph by David Emitt Adams
Article
Bad Dog·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Abby was a breech birth but in the thirty-one years since then most everything has been pretty smooth. Sweet kid, not a lot of trouble. None of them were. Jack and Stevie set a good example, and she followed. Top grades, all the way through. Got on well with others but took her share of meanness here and there, so she stayed thoughtful and kind. There were a few curfew or partying things and some boys before she was ready, and there was one time on a school trip to Chicago that she and some other kids got caught smoking crack cocaine, but that was so weird it almost proved the rule. No big hiccups, master’s in ecology, good state job that lets her do half time but keep benefits while Rose is little.

Illustration by Katherine Streeter

Number of cast members of the movie Predator who have run for governor:

3

A Georgia Tech engineer created software that endows unmanned aerial drones with a sense of guilt.

Roy Moore, a 70-year-old lawyer and Republican candidate for the US Senate who once accidentally stabbed himself with a murder weapon while prosecuting a case in an Alabama courtroom, was accused of having sexually assaulted two women, Leigh Corfman and Beverly Young Nelson, while he was an assistant district attorney in his thirties and they were 14 and 16 years old, respectively.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Report — From the June 2013 issue

How to Make Your Own AR-15

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"Gun owners have long been the hypochondriacs of American politics. Over the past twenty years, the gun-rights movement has won just about every battle it has fought; states have passed at least a hundred laws loosening gun restrictions since President Obama took office. Yet the National Rifle Association has continued to insist that government confiscation of privately owned firearms is nigh. The NRA’s alarmism helped maintain an active membership, but the strategy was risky: sooner or later, gun guys might have realized that they’d been had. Then came the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, followed swiftly by the nightmare the NRA had been promising for decades: a dedicated push at every level of government for new gun laws. The gun-rights movement was now that most insufferable of species: a hypochondriac taken suddenly, seriously ill."

Subscribe Today