Weekly Review — January 11, 2005, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Twisted Creature]

Mahmoud Abbas was elected president of the Palestinian Authority. He dedicated his victory to “the soul of the brother martyr Yasir Arafat and to our people.”New York TimesEarlier in the week, Abbas called Israel the “Zionist Enemy” at an election rally,The Indian Expressthen announced he would pursue peace talks with it.ReutersIsrael shut the border at Gaza,Xinhuathen offered Abbas personal security in Jerusalem, which he refused.Azcentral.comKofi Annan visited the site of the South Asia tsunami disaster and said, “I have never seen such utter destruction.”CBS NewsColin Powell toured Indonesia and called it “amazing” and “heartbreaking.”ABC NewsHe also said providing disaster relief was a good public relations move.The Washington PostReligious leaders blamed God for the tsunami,The Washington Postthe United Nations said pirates were threatening relief supplies,CDNNand the Indonesian government made it illegal to leave Aceh province with a sixteen-year-old.CFRA.comAid efforts were temporarily halted when an airplane carrying emergency supplies hit a herd of cows.Abqtrib.comNearly 25 percent of Iraq will not be secure for the election, according to one U.S. military commander, who still insisted the poll date should not be changed. “I think there is a greater chance of civil war with a delay than without one,” he said.The New York TimesIraqi Security Force General Mohamed Shahwani said the insurgents outnumber the U.S. military,The Telegraphand President Bush called the upcoming Iraqi elections “hard.”New York TimesA suicide bomber killed twenty people at the Baghdad Police Academy,New York TimesIraq’s thirteen police dogs weren’t getting enough to eat,WYFFand the U.S. Army Reserves were “rapidly degenerating into a ‘broken’ force,” a high-ranking officer said.BBCThe Iraqi government extended a state of emergency for the country for another 30 days.The New York TimesThe U.S. killed as many as fourteen people in one family when it bombed the wrong house in northern Iraq,The Los Angeles Timesand the second assassination attempt on the governor of Baghdad succeeded.The New York Times

Congress officially ratified President Bush‘s election victory after a two-hour debate about voting irregularities in Ohio.The New York TimesSenator Richard Lugar called the lifetime detention of untried terrorism suspects a “bad idea,”The Washington Postand Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales said he did not approve of torture.The New York TimesFederal authorities arrested a New Jersey man for menacing a jet with a hand-held laser.The New York TimesA U.S. appeals court told Evel Knievel that a website that called him a pimp probably meant it as a compliment and that he could not sue.CNNScientists discovered that gecko feet are self-cleaning.The New York TimesThe Chilean Supreme Court ruled Augusto Pinochet fit to stand trial for his crimes,The Guardianand Edgar Ray Killen was arrested in connection with the 1964 murder of three voter-registration workers in Mississippi.BloombergAirlines cut pricesUSA Todayand tried to cut pensions.National Public RadioThe U.S. decided not to classify the sage grouse as endangered,GJ Sentineland the evolution of the great tit, a kind of bird, contradicted Darwin.London TimesChina said it would make aborting a female fetus a crime.CBCFrancois Vacavant won a Parisian bakers’ confederation award for the best Epiphany cake,The New York Timesa Pennsylvania man tried to kill workers in a fast-food restaurant when they ran out of french fries,Ananovaand a $20 million art project described as a “visual golden river” broke ground in New York’s Central Park.The New York Times Veteran foreign policy experts met with Kofi Annan to teach him how to lead,The New York Timesand gun sales in South Africa were down.The New York TimesPolitical leaders in Sudan signed a peace deal that did not include Darfur.News.com.auShirley Chisholm, the first black woman to serve in Congress, died,ABC Newsas did Nelson Mandela’s last surviving son.ReutersAndrea Yates’s conviction for murdering her five children was overturned because an expert witness didn’t watch enough television.National Public Radio

Representative Alan B. Mollohan said recent congressional rules changes “would seriously undermine the ethics process in the House.”The New York TimesCongressman Zach Wamp said the changes made him feel like he had “just taken a shower.”The New York TimesTom DeLay was still not indicted.The Christian Science MonitorDonations to the Bush inauguration reached $18 million,The Washington Postand federal regulators made it easier to kill wolves.The New York TimesJennifer Aniston dumped Brad Pitt,News.com.auSandra Bullock gave $1 million to charity,News 8 AustinScott Peterson’s ex-girlfriend called him a liar,MSNBCand Bill Gates announced the arrival of the digital lifestyle.Smart MoneyThen his computer crashed.VNUnet.comDirector Oliver Stone blamed audiences and the critics for the box office failure of “Alexander.”New Age Media ConceptsRecent studies showed that women are using less birth control.The Washington PostThe Dingman family of Virginia was auctioning off the right to pay for surgery on a tumor infecting their 9-year-old son. Bids reached as high as $200.The Washington PostKrispy Kreme Doughnuts announced that it has bad credit and that the Atkins diet was not to blame.The New York TimesHouston was named the fattest city in the U.S. for the fourth time in five years,The New York Timesand researchers found that commercial diet programs don’t work very well.New York TimesSales of Ford automobiles were down.MSNBCOnline jewelry sales were up.Jeweler’s Circular KeystoneThe American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry told consumers to watch out for bad veneer jobs.The New York TimesThe song “Snappy the Little Crocodile” made the Top Ten in Germany, with its signature lyric “Schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp.”AnanovaBoston announced a crackdown on illegally parked garbage cans,The New York Timesand scientists found that organic ketchup fights cancer better than the regular kind.The Daily TelegraphThe Vietnamese government executed 450 ducks.Reuters

Share
Single Page

More from Theodore Ross:

Weekly Review June 22, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review May 4, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review February 9, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Get access to 169 years of
Harper’s for only $23.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

March 2020

The Old Normal

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Out of Africa

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Waiting for the End of the World

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In Harm’s Way

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Fifth Step

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A View to a Krill

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Old Normal·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.”

At the time Marshall spoke, mere months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. forces had sustained a string of painful setbacks and had yet to win a major battle. Eventual victory over Japan and Germany seemed anything but assured. Yet Marshall was already looking beyond the immediate challenges to define what that victory, when ultimately— and, in his view, inevitably—achieved, was going to signify.

This second world war of the twentieth century, Marshall understood, was going to be immense and immensely destructive. But if vast in scope, it would be limited in duration. The sun would set; the war would end. Today no such expectation exists. Marshall’s successors have come to view armed conflict as an open-ended proposition. The alarming turn in U.S.–Iranian relations is another reminder that war has become normal for the United States.

Article
More Than a Data Dump·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Last fall, a court filing in the Eastern District of Virginia inadvertently suggested that the Justice Department had indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and other outlets reported soon after that Assange had likely been secretly indicted for conspiring with his sources to publish classified government material and hacked documents belonging to the Democratic National Committee, among other things.

Article
The Fifth Step·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

The best part of those days—assuming it wasn’t raining, snowing, or too cold—was the nine-block walk to Central Park after breakfast. Although he carried a cell phone and used an electronic tablet (had grown dependent on it, in fact), he still preferred the print version of the Times. In the park, he would settle on his favorite bench and spend an hour with it, reading the sections back to front, telling himself he was progressing from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Article
Out of Africa·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

Article
In Harm’s Way·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

El Río de los Remedios, or the River of Remedies, runs through the city of Ecatepec, a densely populated satellite of Mexico City. Confined mostly to concrete channels, the river serves as the main drainage line for the vast monochrome barrios that surround the capital. That day, I was standing on a stretch of the canal just north of Ecatepec, with a twenty-three-year-old photographer named Reyna Leynez. Reyna was the one who’d told me about the place and what it represents. This ruined river, this open sewer, is said to be one of the largest mass graves in Mexico.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

An Iraqi man complaining on live television about the country’s health services died on air.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Jesus Plus Nothing

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

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. 

Subscribe Today