Weekly Review — March 1, 2005, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

A photo of a smiling George W. Bush standing at a podium, with a photo of Martin Luther King, Jr. behind him.

White House photo.

A suicide bomber in Iraq killed over one hundred people as they stood waiting to join the Iraqi National Guard,New York Timesimesand four American soldiers and thirteen Iraqis were killed in other incidents.Khaleej TimesRichard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pointed out that insurgencies tend to last from seven to twelve years,Reutersand the U.S. military increased its bonuses to encourage reenlistment.USA TodayAmerican forces opened negotiations with Iraqi insurgents.TimeCanada declared that the U.S. must get permission before launching missiles over Canadian airspace,Canada. comand Pakistani soldiers were ordered to shoot at U.S.troops who enter Pakistan without permission.HindustanTimes.comAn earthquake in southeast Iran killed six hundred people,ReliefWeband the Iranian military was preparing for an attack by the United States.SFGateIn the U.K., Bournemouth University announced that it has developed two artificial mass graves, each containing about thirty fake skeletons, to be used to train Iraqiwar-crimes investigators.GuardianBhutan banned public smoking,BBC Newsthe president of Togo stepped down,USA Todayand Tom Ridge joined the board of Home Depot.MarketWatch

The Anglican Communion was nearing a schism.BBC NewsThe attorney general of Kansas demanded that clinics in his state turn over the medical records of girls who have received abortions and women who have had late-term abortions.CNNDennis Rader, an active Lutheran and a Cub Scout leader in Wichita, Kansas, confessed to six killings as the BTK (“bind, torture, and kill”) serial killer, wanted for thirty-one years.An Illinois court ruled that a man could sue his ex-lover for using his sperm, acquired via oral sex, to impregnate herself,Chicago Sun-Timesand Britain’s Labour party was forced to drop Christine Wheatley as a candidate for Parliament after it was revealed she had once worked as a prostitute in Paris. “It was usually only three minutes,” said Wheatley.TelegraphThe pope underwent a tracheotomy,BBC Newsand the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case challenging the Alabama law that makes it a crimeâ??punishable by a year in jail and a $10,000 fineâ??to sell vibrators, dildos, anal beads, and artificial vaginas.ReutersUNICEF reported that 180 million children aged five to seventeen are forced into the “worst forms” of labor, including the sex and slave trades.HindustanTimes.comProgressive rock was making a comeback.New York TimesimesNASAscientists resurrected bacteria that had been frozen for 32,000 years,New York TimesimesRussia agreed to sell nuclear fuel to Iran,LA Timesand at a summit in Bratislava, Vladimir Putin accused George W. Bush of firing Dan Rather.Washington PostA Swiss court lifted the ban on using “Bin Ladin” as a brand name. The name is registered to Osama bin Laden’s half-brother.CANOEIsrael planned to build 6,391 new homes for settlers in the West BankReutersand refused to hand over security control of the West Bank to Palestinians.CTV.caWest Banksettlers were given stickers to prove their residency, so that they might drive more quickly through checkpoints,Ha’aretzand a suicide bomber killed five in Tel Aviv. Israel blamed Syria, which hosts Islamic Jihad, for the attack. Syria handed over Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hasan al-Tikriti, Saddam Hussein’s half-brother, to Iraqi authorities,Economistand the pro-Syrian government of Lebanon dissolved itself.ABC NewsGovernor Arnold Schwarzenegger said he had no regrets about his past steroid use,Sports Illustratedand a New Hampshirecrematorium was found to be throwing pacemakers and metallic hips into a dumpster.7 News Boston

Maoists killed fifteen in Nepal, Times of Indiaand Nepalese soldiers killed dozens of Maoists .ReutersThe financial records of 1.2 million federal employees were stolen from or lost by the Bank of America; Senator Pat Leahy’s credit-card number was among the missing.BBC NewsHalle Berry received a “Razzie” award for the worst actress of 2004 for her role in the film “Catwoman.” “I want to thank Warner Brothers for casting me in this piece of shit,” she said. George W. Bush won the worst actor award for his role in “Fahrenheit 9/11,”Reutersand a poll found that 57 percent of parents would not like their children to grow up to be president.Chicago Sun-TimesUSA Next, a group with ties to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, attacked the AARP for its position against Social Security reform,Newsweekand Arthur Shawcross, a cannibalserial killer, was writing a cookbook.New CriminologistCanadianscientists announced that they could treat depression by electronically stimulating the brain.Scotsman.comSenatorJohn McCain called for permanent U.S. military bases in Afghanistan, The Guardianwhere one woman dies of a pregnancy-related illness every thirty minutes.ArabNews.comQueen Elizabeth announced that she would not attend the wedding ceremony of her son, Charles, and Camilla Parker Bowles, but insisted this was not a snub; New York TimesimesPrinceCharles complained that the British had “tortured” him over his relationship with Parker Bowles.News.com.auAtrocities continued in Darfur, BBC NewsSomalia denounced plans to deploy foreign peacekeepers, BBC Newsand Eritrea was facing a major food crisis.BBC NewsAn Orangeburg, New York, man beat his toddler daughter to death for refusing a peanut-butter sandwich, The WGAL Channeland in Edinburgh, Scotland, a blind man bit his guide dog.The Scotsman

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Progress is impossible without change,” George Bernard Shaw wrote in 1944, “and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” But progress through persuasion has never seemed harder to achieve. Political segregation has made many Americans inaccessible, even unimaginable, to those on the other side of the partisan divide. On the rare occasions when we do come face-to-face, it is not clear what we could say to change each other’s minds or reach a worthwhile compromise. Psychological research has shown that humans often fail to process facts that conflict with our preexisting worldviews. The stakes are simply too high: our self-worth and identity are entangled with our beliefs — and with those who share them. The weakness of logic as a tool of persuasion, combined with the urgency of the political moment, can be paralyzing.

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On a balmy day last spring, Connor Chase sat on a red couch in the waiting room of a medical clinic in Columbus, Ohio, and watched the traffic on the street. His bleached-blond hair fell into his eyes as he scrolled through his phone to distract himself. Waiting to see Mimi Rivard, a nurse practitioner, was making Chase nervous: it would be the first time he would tell a medical professional that he was transgender.

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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.

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