Weekly Review — July 12, 2005, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Silver-Spangled Hamburgs, 1890]

Visiting Scotland for the G8 summit, President George W. Bush fell off his bicycle after running into a policeman. Bush was hurt, but not badly. The policeman hurt his ankle. “I should act my age,” said Bush.APIOL.co.zaTerrorists set off bombs on three trains and a bus in London, killing fifty-two people, despite the fact that in 2003 Dick Cheney said that “our military is confronting the terrorists, along with our allies, in Iraq and Afghanistan so that innocent civilians will not have to confront terrorist violence in Washington or London or anywhere else in the world.”The ScotsmanThe White HousePresident Bush condemned attacks on innocent folks by those with evil in their hearts. “The war on terror,” he eulogized, “goes on.”The White HouseSeveral London hotels increased their rates in response to the bombings.BBC NewsBritish MP George Galloway said that “London has reaped the involvement of Mr. Blair’s involvement in Iraq.”Democracy Now!In Iraq, a suicide bombing killed twenty-one people, eight members of the same Shiite family were shot and killed, and suicide car bombs killed seven people near the Syrian border. Washington PostIraqi police detained twelve suspected militants inside a metal box under the Iraqi sun; nine died from the heat, and one of the survivors complained that he had been given electric shocks by the police.BBC NewsSilvio Berlusconi announced that Italy would start pulling its troops out of Iraq in September,The Guardianand in Afghanistan, the Taliban beheaded ten Afghan soldiers and killed a Navy SEAL.The GuardianThe commander of Guantánamo Bay was fired,Washington Postand a nine-year-old boy fell into a hot-spring pool at Yellowstone National Park and was burned on over 40 percent of his body.Jackson Hole Zone

A South Carolina courthouse was vandalized by a goat,TheKansasCityChannel.comand New York Times journalist Judith Miller was sent to jail in Virginia for refusing to appear before a grand jury in connection to the Valerie Plame case. At the jail, where Zacarias Moussaoui is also an inmate, she had to sleep on the floor. Karl Rove’s lawyer acknowledged that Rove spoke about Valerie Plame to Time Magazine reporter Matt Cooper; Rove released Cooper from his promise of confidentiality, allowing the journalist to testify and avoid jail.The New York TimesAFPLeaders at the G8 meeting decided to give $3 billion to Palestine.ReutersThey also decided to double the aid sent to Africa to $50 billion. “Too little,” said a Uganda aid activist, “too late.”ReutersIsrael planned to ask the United States for $2.2 billion to help them pull out from Gaza.ReutersThe European Parliament voted 648 to 14 against software patents.BBC NewsSeattle’s new energy-efficient city hall building was found to be using 15 to 50 percent more electricity than its larger predecessor.The Seattle Post IntelligencerPolar bears were dying in greater numbers due to global warming,Washington Postand a man was arrested for paying children to yell at him because he is fat.The Salt Lake TribuneMcDonald’s corporation asked Russell Simmons, P. Diddy, and Tommy Hilfiger to redesign the company’s uniforms. CNN MoneyThe United Church of Christ endorsed same-sex marriage.The GuardianFour teenagers were charged with urinating into the holy water at the Saint Pius X church in Rochester, New York,The Pittsburgh Channeland Cedric, a seventy-year-old turtle prone to attacking drainpipes and lawn mowers, was wandering loose in Borrowash, Derbyshire.BBC News

U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow said that Canadian oil was important to American security.Houston ChronicleBulls gored four people in Spain,Reuterscats were suffering from plague in Wyoming,USA Todayand Air Supply played the Karl Marx theater in Cuba.ABC13.comHurricane Dennis killed thirty-two people in the Caribbean.ReutersBoth factions in the Ivory Coast war agreed to disarm by October.ReutersPaula Jones announced that she would visit the Clinton Library,APand a study found that circumcised men are less likely to contract HIV.The AdvocateThe Godfather was being made into a video game.The New York TimesIt was announced that up to 4,700 birds, including burrowing owls, red-tailed hawks, and golden raptors, were being killed each year by a wind farm in Altamont, California.The GuardianA Hungarian-speaking parakeet was loose in Vermont,APand a Massachusettsparrot appeared to understand the concept of zero.MSNBCScientists found that taking regular showers could cause brain damage,Daily Mailfour hundred sheep killed themselves in Turkey,IOL.co.zaand at a funeral in Pennsylvania a corpse was given a pack of cigarettes, a beer, and a remote control and allowed to watch football.Post-Gazette

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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