Weekly Review — June 1, 2004, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Runaway Raft on the Tigris, March 1875]

Runaway Raft on the Tigris.

President Bush unveiled his new “five-point plan” for Iraq during a speech at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and offered to destroy the Abu Ghraib prison if Iraqis want him to; the president also promised to give Iraq a modern prison system.New York TimesThe Bureau of Justice Statistics announced that 1 in 75 American men were in prison or jail last year, and itAssociated Presswas reported that interrogators from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, went to Iraq last fall and trained military intelligence teams at Abu Ghraib prison.New York TimesIyad Alawi, a doctor who has long been on the CIA payroll, was chosen to be the new Iraqi prime minister when “limited sovereignty” is handed over to an interim “caretaker” government on June 30, thoughNew York TimesAmerican officials and the Iraqi Governing Council were still fighting over who would be the interim president.ReutersRichard Perle, James Woolsey, and other right-wing American allies of Ahmad Chalabi met with Condoleezza Rice to announce their displeasure at what they called the recent smear campaign against the Bush Administration’s former favorite Iraqi.New York TimesA Chilean court stripped former dictator Augusto Pinochet of his immunity from prosecution.New York TimesThe International Atomic Energy Agency said that looters have carried off whole buildings from Iraqi military and industrial sites,New York Timesand police in Philadelphia found some children playing with a bazooka.WPVI TV Philadelphia

Attorney General John Ashcroft asked the American public for help finding terrorists who he said are planning to “to hit the United States hard”; a number of officials criticized the announcement and said that the government had no new information about terror threats.Sacramento Bee, New York TimesThe FBI sent out a warning of an “imminent” terrorist attack but then retracted the warning within a few hours.New York TimesA report by the General Accounting Office found that government agencies are engaged in at least 199 data-mining projects, 36 of which involve personal information taken from private sources.Computer WorldThe governor of Georgia declared a state of emergency in six counties because of the “potential danger” posed by demonstrators at the Group of 8 meeting.New York TimesRussia ordered its border guards to be nice.AnanovaPrime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel was still trying to convince his coalition to go along with plans to withdraw from part of the Gaza Strip, and he threatened to fire cabinet members, such as Benjamin Netanyahu, who oppose him.Financial TimesA British journalist who was arrested in Israel for talking to Mordechai Vanunu, the scientist who exposed Israel’s nuclear weapons program, was released from custody and complained that he had been stuck in a dungeon with excrement-covered walls; Vanunu was released last month after 18 years in prison and has been ordered not to talk with foreigners.GuardianAs part of a land-claim settlement with the Canadian government, the Inuit people of northern Labrador agreed to form a 28,000-square-mile autonomous territory called Nunatsiavut.New York TimesSuspected Al Qaeda militants killed 22 people and took many hostages in an attack on the oil industry town of Khobar, in eastern Saudi Arabia.ReutersAn Army Corps of Engineers email revealed that Vice President Dick Cheney’s office “coordinated” Halliburton’s multi-billion-dollar Iraq contract; Cheney has said that he had nothing to do with the contract, which was awarded without competing bids.Agence France-PresseA performer with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus fell to her death in front of an audience.Associated PressThe New York Times published an extraordinary editors’ note admitting that the newspaper had been manipulated by members of the Bush Administration and by Iraqi exiles such as Ahmad Chalabi into running false stories (especially on the subject of Iraq’s nonexistent weapons of mass destruction) that advanced the administration’s war agenda and had failed to follow up aggressively on many of those stories, and had failed, in those instances when it did follow up, to make prominent note of the fact that the stories were false. The retraction was published on page A10, where many readers would fail to notice it.New York Times

A researcher at the University of Michigan found evidence that the large increase in asthma and allergies over the last twenty years has been caused by antibiotics.New ScientistA Russian scientist died of Ebola fever, and authoritiesNew York Timesin Texas killed 24,000 chickens after avian flu was found on a farm near Sulphur Springs.New York TimesThe first U.S. case of West Nile virus in 2004 was reported in New Mexico.New ScientistKirin Brewery Co. announced that it had geneticallyengineered a cow, which has not yet been born, that will be immune to mad cow disease.ReutersThirteen million pounds of raw almonds were recalled because of salmonella contamination.New York TimesMTV declined to air advertisements for Super Size Me, a documentary about a man who eats nothing but McDonald’s food for a month, because it was determined that the ads unjustly disparage fast food.ReutersMalibu banned smoking on the beach.New York TimesIt was reported that Las Vegas is still growing.New York TimesScientists discovered in a seven-year study that mice with the highest metabolic rates lived 35 percent longer, a finding that challenges the usual understanding of the relationship of metabolism and life span.Eureka AlertChina sent one of the Buddha’s fingers to Hong Kong.New York TimesArmin Meiwes, the famous German cannibal, was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to eight and a half years in prison.GuardianDoctors in Kentucky, who have been practicing face transplants on dead bodies, asked for permission to give a living person a new face.BBC

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

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.

Preaching to The Choir

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

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
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
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
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

Estimated portion of French citizens with radical-Islamist beliefs who grew up in Muslim families:

1/5

Human hands are more primitive than chimp hands.

Trump declared flashlights obsolete as he handed them out to Puerto Ricans, 90 percent of whom had no electricity in their homes; and tweeted that he wouldn’t keep providing federal hurricane relief “forever” to Puerto Rico, a US territory that the secretary of energy referred to as a “country.”

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