Weekly Review — July 15, 2003, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

The White House admitted that President Bush’s claim in his last State of the Union address that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from Niger was based on “unsubstantiated” intelligence;CNNGeorge Tenet, the director of central intelligence, took the blame for the president’s discredited claim and said that “these 16 words should never have been included in the text written for the president.”BBCTom Daschle, the Senate minority leader, said that this matter “ought to be reviewed very carefully.”CNNHoward Dean, the former governor of Vermont and a Democratic presidential candidate, said that “this government either is inept or simply has not told us the truth.”BBCPresident Bush, asked whether he regretted his false claim about the uranium, responded by saying there was “no doubt” in his mind that he was right to conquer Iraq.”And there’s no doubt in my mind, when it’s all said and done, the facts will show the world the truth.”New York TimesCondoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, said that the president’s discredited claim was still technically a true statement: “The British government did say that.”New York TimesAmerican soldiers continued to die in Iraq,Associated Pressand the U.S. Central Command reported an average of 13 armed attacks on American forces each day.Asia TimesPresident Bush’s approval rating was down to 59 percent, according to a new poll, and 52 percent of respondents said that the level of American casualties in Iraq was “unacceptable.”SlateIraq’s new interim Governing Council was announced.Its first act was to abolish six holidays associated with Saddam Hussein; April 9, the date of the fall of Baghdad, was declared a new national holiday.New York TimesDanish troops in Iraq received a supply shipment of lawn mowers and snowplows.Agence France-Presse

President Bush traveled to Africa where he and his family were entertained by the sight of two elephantsmating.New York Times, SlateMrs. Bush read a book about Clifford the big red dog to some HIV-infected children in Uganda; the children responded with a song: “AIDS has no mercy to the youth,” they sang. “We all die young.”ReutersThe Food and Drug Administration was planning to make it easier for companies to make misleading health claims about their food products. “Many Americans are not getting clear information on how the foods they choose affect their health,” said the FDA’s commissioner about the initiative. “We need to do a better job on this urgent public-health problem.”New York TimesIt was discovered that clown fish can change their sex as they move up in social status.New ScientistBritain proposed giving transsexuals the right to get married in their adoptive sex.Daily TelegraphJerry Springer, the talk-show host, filed to run for the Senate in Ohio.ReutersGerman Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder cancelled his Italian vacation in retaliation for insulting remarks about German tourists made by Italy’s tourism minister; regional officials asked the Italian government to declare a “state of calamity” to compensate for the anticipated loss of German tourist business.New York Times, BBCA racist factory worker in Mississippi who was angry at being forced to attend sensitivity training killed five co-workers and then himself.New York TimesThe federal commission investigating the September 11 attacks complained that the Justice Department and the Pentagon were not cooperating.New York TimesPresident Bush was photographed holding hands with the president of Senegal.New York TimesA new study found that marriage significantly undermines the careers of scientists and criminals.Daily Telegraph

The World Meteorological Organization said that the extreme weather conditions observed this spring across the globe (very high temperatures in parts of Europe, 562 tornadoes in one month in the United States, a heat wave in India that killed at least 1,400 people) were strong evidence that global climate change is happening now and that the number of such extreme weather events can be expected to increase.WMO Press ReleaseEastern equine encephalitis, a mosquito-borne disease which mainly affects horses, was said to be “unusually active” this year.New ScientistThe Food and Drug Administration reported that a feed company in Washington State had admitted to violating rules designed to prevent the spread of mad cow disease.ReutersFishermen in Italy were using live kittens to catch giant sheat fish in the Po River.IndependentCustoms agents in Hong Kong seized 10,000 endangered turtles on their way from Malaysia to China, probably to be eaten.Associated PressKraft Foods, apparently worried about tobacco-style lawsuits from obese people, announced that it was committed to producing healthier foods.Daily TelegraphEleven people in Texas were quarantined with SARS-like symptoms.New York TimesLegionnaires’ disease was on the rise.Associated PressA giant flyborg, an artificially intelligent robot balloon, escaped from the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Britain.BBCIt was discovered that some women ovulate more than once a month.New ScientistSingapore lifted its ban on chewing gum.Reuters

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In February 1947, Harper’s Magazine published Henry L. Stimson’s “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb.” As secretary of war, Stimson had served as the chief military adviser to President Truman, and recommended the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The terms of his unrepentant apologia, an excerpt of which appears on page 35, are now familiar to us: the risk of a dud made a demonstration too risky; the human cost of a land invasion would be too high; nothing short of the bomb’s awesome lethality would compel Japan to surrender. The bomb was the only option. Seventy years later, we find his reasoning unconvincing. Entirely aside from the destruction of the blasts themselves, the decision thrust the world irrevocably into a high-stakes arms race — in which, as Stimson took care to warn, the technology would proliferate, evolve, and quite possibly lead to the end of modern civilization. The first half of that forecast has long since come to pass, and the second feels as plausible as ever. Increasingly, the atmosphere seems to reflect the anxious days of the Cold War, albeit with more juvenile insults and more colorful threats. Terms once consigned to the history books — “madman theory,” “brinkmanship” — have returned to the news cycle with frightening regularity. In the pages that follow, seven writers and experts survey the current nuclear landscape. Our hope is to call attention to the bomb’s ever-present menace and point our way toward a world in which it finally ceases to exist.

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The Ambassador Bridge arcs over the Detroit River, connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, the southernmost city in Canada. Driving in from the Canadian side, where I grew up, is like viewing a panorama of the Motor City’s rise and fall, visible on either side of the bridge’s turquoise steel stanchions. On the right are the tubular glass towers of the Renaissance Center, headquarters of General Motors, and Michigan Central Station, the rail terminal that closed in 1988. On the left is a rusted industrial corridor — fuel tanks, docks, abandoned warehouses. I have taken this route all my life, but one morning this spring, I crossed for the first time in a truck.

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But the exercise of labor is the worker’s own life-activity, the manifestation of his own life. . . . He works in order to live. He does not even reckon labor as part of his life, it is rather a sacrifice of his life.

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To look at him, Sweet Macho was a beautiful horse, lean and strong with muscles that twitched beneath his shining black coat. A former racehorse, he carried himself with ceremony, prancing the field behind our house as though it were the winner’s circle. When he approached us that day at the edge of the yard, his eyes shone with what might’ve looked like intelligence but was actually a form of insanity. Not that there was any telling our mother’s boyfriend this — he fancied himself a cowboy.

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What We Think About When We Think About Soccer, by Simon Critchley. Penguin Books. 224 pages. $20.

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Factor by which single Americans who use emoji are more likely than other single Americans to be sexually active:

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