Weekly Review — January 20, 2004, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Storks, 1864]

Five military lawyers who represent detainees at Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that President Bush has exceeded his constitutional authority in setting up military tribunals for their clients and the other detainees. “Under this monarchical regime,” they wrote, “those who fall into the black hole may not contest the jurisdiction, competency or even the constitutionality of the military tribunals.”New York TimesOne hundred seventy-five members of the Britishparliament, including five former law lords, also filed a brief attacking the administration’s detainment policy. “The exercise of executive power without the possibility of judicial review,” they wrote, “jeopardizes the keystone of our existence as nations, namely the rule of law.”New York TimesThe Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal challenging the government’s post-September 11 policy of secretly seizing and imprisoning Muslim men.Associated PressItaly’s constitutional court struck down a law that gave Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi immunity from prosecution, a ruling that will revive the corruption charges the law was written to nullify.Washington PostThere were reports that Berlusconi had a bit of work done around the eyes, and some liposuction to the abdomen.London TimesPrime Minister Ariel Sharon, who is also the target of a corruption investigation, said that Israel might decide to change the route of the wall it is building around the West Bank but not because of any demands made by Palestinians, the United Nations, or the International Court of Justice.New York TimesA 22-year-old Palestinianmother killed herself and four Israelis. “I was hoping,” she said in a videotaped statement, “to be the first woman where parts of my body can fly everywhere.”ABC NewsThe Israeli ambassador to Sweden attacked and damaged an artwork at the Historical Museum in Stockholm; the work, by an Israeli artist and his Swedish wife, consists of a portrait of Hanadi Jaradat, a Palestinian suicide bomber who killed 19 people at a cafe in Haifa, on a boat floating in a pool of red liquid. The ambassador ripped electrical wires out of the piece and threw a light into the pool.Reuters“There will be a purge on God’s orders, and evil will be eliminated like shadows,” said the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the cult leader and owner of the Washington Times, in a recent speech. “Gays will be eliminated, the three Israels will unite. If not then they will be burned. We do not know what kind of world God will bring but this is what happens. It will be greater than the Communist purge but at God’s orders.”New York Press

It was revealed that the U.S. military found a directive in the possession of Saddam Hussein telling his followers not to cooperate with foreign Arab jihadists who might enter Iraq to fight the Americans, because their agendas are incompatible.New York TimesThe Bush Administration, worried that it might not be able to hand over Iraqi sovereignty before the U.S. presidential election, decided to ask the United Nations for help.Globe and MailL. Paul Bremer, the American proconsul of Iraq, said he was willing to compromise with the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani (who has declared that only direct elections will legitimize a new government) but said any changes would be very limited, and that direct elections would not be considered.New York TimesA U.S. Army study concluded that the tactics of the Iraqi guerrillas are getting more sophisticated; officials said that they feared the guerrillas were studying the flight patterns of American helicopters and other aircraft.New York TimesAn Apache helicopter was shot down near Habbaniya.ReutersThe Army War College published a report concluding that the conquest of Iraq was a “detour” that undermined the war on terrorism.New York TimesAl Gore denounced President Bush as a “moral coward.”Los Angeles TimesPresident Bush changed his mind and decided to let Canada bid on Iraqi reconstruction projects, and he announced a new plan to spend $1.5 billion to promote heterosexual marriage.New York Times“You got a pretty face,” President Bush told Scott Reid, a senior strategist for Prime Minister Paul Martin of Canada. “You’re a good-looking guy. Better looking than my Scott, anyway.”Globe and Mail

President Bush ordered NASA to build a permanent base on the moon and and to make preparations to send men to Mars; NASA responded by abandoning future maintenance missions for the Hubble Space Telescope, thereby condemning the telescope to a premature death.Space.comKing Mswati III of Swaziland ordered nine palaces to be built for his wives, even though many people in his country are starving.Associated PressPolio was spreading from Nigeria to other countries in Africa.AllAfrica.comDisease experts warned that the bird flu infecting humans in Vietnam could combine with the human influenza virus and start a global pandemic.ReutersThe United States placed an import embargo on civet cats, which apparently carry SARS, andNew York TimesTanzania banned the importation of used underwear.New York TimesSpanish bordello owners were protesting a court ruling that the owner of an “alternative club” in Seville must pay social-security tax on the prostitutes who work there. The owners, who claim that the women are technically freelance marketing consultants, said that paying such taxes would turn them into pimps.New York TimesSeveral communities in California were competing to host the murder trial of Scott Peterson.New York TimesAfghanistan’s supreme court reimposed a ban on television images of women singing on TV, just a few days after the Taliban-era ban was lifted.ReutersGermany said that it accepted “moral responsibility” for the 1904 massacre of 65,000 Hereros in Namibia, its former colony.ReutersMississippi was declared the most corrupt state in the nation.Associated PressSouth Korea was incinerating tons of American beef products.New York TimesPeople in Indiana were still eating deep-fried cow brain sandwiches. The brains puff up nicely when cooked.Associated Press

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The city was not beautiful; no one made that claim for it. At the height of summer, people in suits, shellacked by the sun, moved like harassed insects to avoid the concentrated light. There was a civil war–like fracture in America—the president had said so—but little of it showed in the capital. Everyone was polite and smooth in their exchanges. The corridor between Dupont Circle and Georgetown was like the dream of Yugoslav planners: long blocks of uniform earth-toned buildings that made the classical edifices of the Hill seem the residue of ancestors straining for pedigree. Bunting, starched and perfectly ruffled in red-white-and-blue fans, hung everywhere—from air conditioners, from gutters, from statues of dead revolutionaries. Coming from Berlin, where the manual laborers are white, I felt as though I was entering the heart of a caste civilization. Untouchables in hard hats drilled into sidewalks, carried pylons, and ate lunch from metal boxes, while waiters in restaurants complimented old respectable bobbing heads on how well they were progressing with their rib eyes and iceberg wedges.

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Every year in Lusk, Wyoming, during the second week of July, locals gather to reenact a day in 1849 when members of a nearby band of Sioux are said to have skinned a white man alive. None of the actors are Native American. The white participants dress up like Indians and redden their skin with body paint made from iron ore.

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