Weekly Review — May 6, 2003, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

The United States, the United Nations, Russia, and the European Union, acting collectively as “the Quartet,” presented Israel and Palestine with the famous “road map” to peace that President Bush promised to reveal once the Palestinians acquired a prime minister independent of Yasir Arafat. A suicide bomber, who turned out to be a British citizen, responded to the confirmation of Mahmoud Abbas as prime minister by blowing up a nightclub in Tel Aviv, leaving body parts scattered along the shore. A day later Israeli tanks invaded a crowded neighborhood in Gaza and killed 12 Palestinians, mostly civilians, including a two-year-old boy, in a hunt for a Hamas weapons smuggler.New York TimesUNICEF reported that since the beginning of the second Palestinian intifada 92 Israeli and 436 Palestinian children have been killed. American soldiers shot and killed 15 Iraqi civilians who were demonstrating against the occupation on Saddam Hussein’s birthday; a few days later another demonstration was held to protest the killings, and soldiers shot a few more.New York Times Anonymous Bush Administration officials were beginning to speak more candidly about the president’s rationale for invading Iraq, saying that Iraq’s potential as a military threat was less important than its strategic location and the president’s desire to make a “global show of power and democracy.”Independent.co.uk Officials continued to play down the possibility that any significant weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq; one senior White House source speculated that what might turn up were some “precursors,” and said that Saddam Hussein “couldn’t put them together as long as the inspections were going on.”New York TimesPresident Bush landed on an aircraft carrier in an S-3B Viking airplane and, clad in a military jumpsuit with the words “Commander in Chief” printed on the back, he informed the assembled sailors, whom he said were “the best of our country,” that the war on Iraq had been won. The commander in chief, who served as a pilot in the Texas National Guard during the Vietnam War, told reporters that he had briefly flown the airplane. “I miss flying,” he said. Few publications mentioned the president’s long unexplained failure to report for duty during that period, and his daring arrival was widely hailed as a “Top Gun moment.”New York Times NBC officials confirmed that Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman will both appear on a future episode of Friends.Denver Post

William J. Bennett, the author of The Book of Virtues, The death of Outrage, and The Moral Compass, among other books, was revealed to be a high-stakes gambler who has blown up to $8 million over the last decade playing high-limit slot machines and video poker. Bennett acknowledged that he has never condemned the vice of gambling.Washington Monthly Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld declared that “major combat” was over in Afghanistan;New York Times Rumsfeld also made a victory tour of Iraq and was photographed autographing a Baghdad street sign that some soldiers had apparently taken as a souvenir.New York TimesResearchers in England discovered that wood mice construct signposts out of leaves and twigs to keep themselves from getting lost.New Scientist Consultants concluded that the Davis-Besse nuclear reactor in Ohio, which was shut down more than a year ago after it was discovered that acid had nearly eaten through its reactor vessel, still has problems with its “safety culture.”New York TimesSalomon Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse First Boston, and several other firms agreed to a $1.4 billion settlement for fraudulently enticing millions of investors to buy billions of dollars’ worth of stock they knew to be essentially worthless.New York TimesEnron, MCI, and other companies that overstated their earnings in order to inflate the value of their stock were in the process of filing for hundreds of millions of dollars in tax refunds from the government on the profits they fraudulently claimed.Wall Street JournalTom Ridge, the secretary of homeland security, acknowledged that a number of his former aides are now actively lobbying him but denied that he would be swayed by personal connections.New York Times A few days later Ridge’s department announced that it was establishing ethics rules.New York Times German archaeologists working in Iraq announced that they might have found the tomb of Gilgamesh.BBC

The Bush Administration proposed giving the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon the power to issue “administrative subpoenas” for personal and financial information on American citizens without court approval.Attorney General John Ashcroft revealed that the Justice Department used secret warrants 1,228 times last year.New York Times The U.S. State Department complained in a report that Canada’s contribution to the war on terrorism was being hampered by its obsession with civil liberties and personal privacy: “Canadian laws and regulations intended to protect Canadian citizens and landed immigrants from government intrusion sometimes limit the depth of investigations.”The Ottowa Citizen via Canada.com The United States Commission on Civil Rights was ordered to pay an Hispanic employee $165,000 in damages for discriminating against her.Washington TimesPresident Bush issued a proclamation declaring May 1 “Loyalty Day,”Whitehouse.gov and Prime Minister John Howard of Australia was rewarded for his country’s service in the invasion of Iraq with a sleepover down at the Presidential Ranch in Crawford, Texas, where he was served green-chili cheese grits for supper.New York TimesUnited Nations employees looted restaurants at the organization’s headquarters in New York after food-service workers staged a wild-cat strike. “It was chaos, wild, something out of a war scene,” said one witness. “They took everything, even the silverware.”Time.com India said it would reestablish diplomatic relations with Pakistan, Nepal opened negotiations with its rebels, the United States made a truce with an Iranian-backed guerrilla army in Iraq, and mercenaries in Ivory Coast murdered a rebel leader who told them to lay down their weapons.New York Times It was reported that Hilary Rosen, the CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, has agreed to help rewrite Iraq’s copyright laws.Register.com Pilgrims who bought tickets to see the pope on his visit to Spain were given a McDonald’s hamburger, medium fries, medium drink, and either an ice cream sundae or an apple pie. Also included in the ticket price was a “pilgrim’s bag” with a baseball cap, a rosary, a copy of the Gospel According to St. Mark.BBC A new study estimates that a shadow economy largely driven by marijuana, porn, and the labor of illegal aliens now constitutes up to 10 percent of the American economy.Guardian Automobile pollution damages human sperm, Italian scientists found.New Scientist Tissue engineers in Boston succeeded in growing penile tissue that contains nerve cells. “This is exciting and extends their work logically in several directions,” said a reconstructive surgeon.New Scientist Kroger and Albertsons agreed to label farm-raised salmon so that consumers will be made aware of the fact that such salmon, which is naturally gray, has been dyed pink.Associated Press Boston’s city council decided to repeal a law mandating that all Indians in the city be jailed.New York TimesNew ScientistScientists discovered that fish can feel pain.

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Addressing the graduating cadets at West Point in May 1942, General George C. Marshall, then the Army chief of staff, reduced the nation’s purpose in the global war it had recently joined to a single emphatic sentence. “We are determined,” he remarked, “that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other.”

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A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he.

I rose long before dawn, too thrilled to sleep, and set off to find my tribe. North from Greenville in the dark, past towns with names like Sans Souci and Travelers Rest, over the border into North Carolina, through land so choked by kudzu that the overgrown trees in the dark looked like great creatures petrified in mid-flight. The weirdness of this scene would, by the end of the weekend, show itself to be appropriate: my trip would be all about romanticism, and romanticism is a human collision with place that results, as Baudelaire put it, “neither in choice of subject nor exact truth, but in a way of feeling.” My rental car’s engine whined as it climbed the mountains. Day was just breaking when I nosed down a hill to Orchard Lake Campground, where tents were still being erected in the dimness.

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Harold Jamieson, once chief engineer of New York City’s sanitation department, enjoyed retirement. He knew from his small circle of friends that some didn’t, so he considered himself lucky. He had an acre of garden in Queens that he shared with several like-minded horticulturists, he had discovered Netflix, and he was making inroads in the books he’d always meant to read. He still missed his wife—a victim of breast cancer five years previous—but aside from that persistent ache, his life was quite full. Before rising every morning, he reminded himself to enjoy the day. At sixty-eight, he liked to think he had a fair amount of road left, but there was no denying it had begun to narrow.

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1. In 2014, Deepti Gurdasani, a genetic epidemiologist at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in England, coauthored a paper in Nature on human genetic variation in Africa, from which this image is taken. A recent study had found that DNA from people of European descent made up 96 percent of genetic samples worldwide, reflecting the historical tendency among scientists and doctors to view the male, European body as a global archetype. “There wasn’t very much data available from Africa at all,” Gurdasani told me. To help rectify the imbalance, her research team collected samples from eighteen African ethnolinguistic groups across the continent—such as the Kalenjin of Uganda and the Oromo of Ethiopia—most of whom had not previously been included in genomic research. They analyzed the data using an admixture algorithm, which visualizes the statistical genetic differences among groups by representing them as color clusters. The top chart shows genetic differences among the sampled African populations, in increasing degrees of granularity from top to bottom, and the bottom chart shows how they compare with ethnic groups in the rest of the world. The areas where the colors mix and overlap imply that groups commingled. The Yoruba, for instance, show remarkable homogeneity—their column is almost entirely green and purple—while the Kalenjin seem to have associated with many populations across the continent.

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Ten yards was the nearest we could get to the river. Any closer and the smell was too much to bear. The water was a milky gray color, as if mixed with ashes, and the passage of floating trash was ceaseless. Plastic bags and bottles, coffee lids, yogurt cups, flip-flops, and sodden stuffed animals drifted past, coated in yellow scum. Amid the old tires and mattresses dumped on the riverbank, mounds of rank green weeds gave refuge to birds and grasshoppers, which didn’t seem bothered by the fecal stench.

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At Ivanwald, men learn to be leaders by loving their leaders. “They’re so busy loving us,” a brother once explained to me, “but who’s loving them?” We were. The brothers each paid $400 per month for room and board, but we were also the caretakers of The Cedars, cleaning its gutters, mowing its lawns, whacking weeds and blowing leaves and sanding. And we were called to serve on Tuesday mornings, when The Cedars hosted a regular prayer breakfast typically presided over by Ed Meese, the former attorney general. Each week the breakfast brought together a rotating group of ambassadors, businessmen, and American politicians. Three of Ivanwald’s brothers also attended, wearing crisp shirts starched just for the occasion; one would sit at the table while the other two poured coffee. 

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