Weekly Review — June 6, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Humbug, December 1853]

In Iraq, a car bomb in Basra killed at least 33 people, CNNa mortar attack in southern Baghdad killed 9 people,Yahoo! Newsand 8 U.S. soldiers died.icasualties.orgPolice found 22 bodies with bullet wounds and signs of torture in Baghdad;Reutersnorthwest of the city, at an improvised checkpoint, 19 civilians were dragged from their cars and shot.Kuwait News AgencyTwenty-one Kurds and Shiites, many of them high school students, were ordered off a bus and executed in Ain Laila.Belleville News DemocratIn Baquba 7 policemen were killed,BBCand the heads of 8 Sunni men were found in Dole banana boxes.Indian ExpressReutersSix more policemen were killed in Mosul.Kuwait News AgencyA Baghdad pet market was bombed, killing 5 people and several doves.Guardian UnlimitedCanada.comIt was reported that a U.S. Marine had been traumatized by his experiences cleaning up and documenting the alleged massacre of civilians by other marines in Haditha. “He called me many times,” said the marine’s mother, “about carrying this little girl in his hands and her brains splattering on his boots.”Los Angeles TimesA U.S. soldier was sentenced to 90 days’ hard labor for threatening a prisoner at Abu Ghraib with a dog in 2003. “You can . . . end up losing the whole dang war,” said the prosecuting attorney, “basically for boneheaded decisions and misjudgments.”The Washington PostThe United States announced that it would join 5 other nations in demanding that Iran immediately suspend uranium-enrichment activities, although the country would in the future be allowed to develop some civilian nuclear technologies. Iran said it would refuse to engage in talks unless all conditions were dropped, and Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the United States could endanger its oil supply if it makes a “wrong move” toward Iran.The Washington PostAPThe Daily StarIran’s military was reported to have planned a campaign of decentralized guerilla warfare in the event of a U.S. invasion, The Washington Timesand oil rose to $73 a barrel.AP via Drudge ReportJohn Allen Muhammad, the Beltway Sniper, was sentenced to 6 consecutive life sentences.Baltimore Sun

It was determined that New Orleans was sinking faster than previously thought.BreitbartA potent drug cocktail killed at least 48 people in Detroit,Detroit Free Pressmonsoon storms killed more than 40 people in and around Bombay,Daily Timesand an earthquake in Iran killed one little girl.Daily TimesPresident George W. Bush named Goldman Sachs Group Chairman Henry Paulson Jr as the new Secretary of the Treasury,The Washington Postand an Ohio coin dealer named John Noe pleaded guilty to charges that he illegally funneled more than $45,000 to Bush’s reelection campaign.The Mercury NewsBritish police were patrolling seaports and airports in order to prevent football hooligans from attending the World Cup in Berlin, This is Londonand the European Court of Justice ruled that E.U. airlines are not required to provide passenger data to the United States.BBCCalifornia Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered 1,000 National Guard soldiers to the Mexican border.The Los Angeles TimesThe United States declared a moratorium on wind farms in Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.PhysOrg.comTed Nugent denied both poking his erect penis through a map of West Virginia and urinating on a nun.Belfast TelegraphIt was reported that Umberto Billo, a Venetian hotel porter, had slept with 8,000 women,New York Daily Newsand the worldwide rate of HIV infections stabilized for the first time in history.BreitbartMontenegro declared independence from Serbia,Chron.comand the first wild bear seen in Germany since 1835 continued to attack farm animals and elude capture. “For security purposes,” said Bavarian Environment Minister Werner Schnappauf, “the permission to open fire must be maintained.” Authorities said the brother of the bear had killed Swisssheep last summer.Fox NewsElizabeth Taylor denied reports that her health was failing,Breitbartand archaeologists in Romedug up a 3,000-year-old female skeleton.The New York Times

Researchers studying a shipwreck off Cape Cod discovered the remains of a nine-year-old pirate named John King,Los Angeles Timesa zoo in Vancouver was charged with cruelty to a hippo,The Calgary Sunand officials in south India said that they had captured an alcohol-abusing, homicidal rogue elephant named Master Killer.New KeralaThe PeninsulaIn Chinadoctors were trying to determine which left arm to remove from a three-armed baby.BBCIn New Jersey a 13-year-old girl was arrested for attempting to kill her 91-year-old neighbor;The Press of Atlantic Cityin Washington, D.C., a 13-year-old girl won the Scripps National Spelling Bee by correctly spelling “Ursprache”;ABC Newsand in New York City a 13-year-old girl (who may be an exotic dancer) abducted a 3-year-old boy.7Online.comDutchpedophiles founded a political party that will push to lower the Netherlands’ age of consent from 16 to 12, and eventually to scrap it altogether. “A ban,” said a party co-founder, “just makes children curious.” ReutersBritishscientists powered a small fan by feeding chocolate to bacteria, New Scientist Techan Ohio man was awarded a patent for a cordless jump rope,local6.comand a Japaneseacoustics expert recreated the voice of the Mona Lisa. “My true identity,” said the virtual Mona Lisa, “is shrouded in mystery.”Yahoo! NewsPakistan banned The Da Vinci Code. “Degradation of any prophet,” said Minister of Culture Ghulam Jamal, “is tantamount to defamation of the rest.” Yahoo! NewsTwo people died when a plane owned by Pat Robertson crashed off the coast of Connecticut,Bloombergand a snake bit a woman at a Wal-Mart in Florida. “Thank goodness for sweat pants with elastic,” said the woman, “because he tried to climb up my britches’ leg.”WFTV.comA woman married a cobra in the Indian state of Orissa. “Though snakes cannot speak or understand,” said the bride, “we communicate in a peculiar way.”BreitbartA senior citizens’ community in Washington was overrun by marmots.Yakima Herald-RepublicA cave in Israel was found to contain a complete ecosystem that had been sealed off for millions of years, National GeographicgGeologists identified the impact site of a giant meteor that is suspected of having wiped out most life on earth a quarter-billion years ago, BBCand an international team of scientists announced that the North Pole was once an ice-free area with tropical temperatures. “Basically,” explained palaeoecologist Appy Sluijs, “it looks like the earth released a gigantic fart of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”BBCIt was declared that Batwoman will be a lesbian.BBC

Share
Single Page

More from Rafil Kroll-Zaidi:

From the January 2020 issue

Findings

From the December 2019 issue

Findings

From the November 2019 issue

Findings

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

January 2020

Vicious Cycles

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Oceans Apart

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Forty-Year Rehearsal

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Whale Mother

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Click Here to Kill

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Click Here to Kill·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On a sunny July day in 2018, Alexis Stern was sitting behind the wheel of the red Ford Fusion her parents had given her the previous year when she’d learned to drive. Robbie Olsen, the boy she’d recently started dating, was in the passenger seat. They were in the kind of high spirits unique to teenagers on summer vacation with nothing much to do and nowhere in particular to go. They were about to take a drive, maybe get some food, when Stern’s phone buzzed. It was the police. An officer with the local department told her to come down to the station immediately. She had no idea what the cops might want with her. “I was like, am I going to get arrested?” she said.

Stern had graduated from high school the month before, in Big Lake, Minnesota, a former resort town turned exurb, forty miles northwest of the Twin Cities. So far she had spent the summer visiting family, hanging out with her new boyfriend, and writing what she describes as “action-packed and brutal sci-fi fantasy fiction.” At sixteen, she’d self-published her first novel, Inner Monster, about a secret agent named Justin Redfield whose mind has been invaded by a malevolent alter ego that puts the lives of his loved ones at risk. “It isn’t until his inner demon returns that he realizes how much trouble he really is in,” the synopsis reads. “Facing issues with his girlfriend and attempting to gain control of his dark side, the tension intensifies. Being the best agent comes at a price, a price of kidnapping, torture and even death.”

Article
Oceans Apart·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I had been in Domoni—an ancient, ramshackle trading town on the volcanic island of Anjouan—for only a few summer days in 2018 when Onzardine Attoumane, a local English teacher, offered to show me around the medina. Already I had gotten lost several times trying to navigate the dozens of narrow, seemingly indistinguishable alleyways that zigzagged around the old town’s crumbling, lava-rock homes. But Onzardine had grown up in Domoni and was intimately familiar with its contours.

Stocky in build, with small, deep-set eyes and neatly trimmed stubble, Onzardine led me through the backstreets, our route flanked by ferns and weeds sprouting from cracks in the walls and marked by occasional piles of rubble. After a few minutes, we emerged onto a sunlit cliff offering views of the mustard-colored hills that surround the town, dotted with mango, palm, and breadfruit trees. We clambered down a trail, past scrawny goats foraging through piles of discarded plastic bottles, broken flip-flops, and corroded aluminum cans, toward a ledge where a dozen young men were waiting for the fishing boats to return to shore, gazing blankly out across the sea.

Article
Vicious Cycles·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

This is what I feared, that she would speak about the news . . . about how her father always said that the news exists so it can disappear, this is the point of news, whatever story, wherever it is happening. We depend on the news to disappear . . .
—Don DeLillo, “Hammer and Sickle”

What a story. What a fucking story.
—Dean Baquet, on the election of Donald Trump

a circular conversation

What is the news? That which is new. But everything is new: a flower blooms; a man hugs his daughter, not for the first time, but for the first time this time . . . That which is important and new. Important in what sense? In being consequential. And this has been measured? What? The relationship between what is covered in the news and what is consequential. Not measured. Why? Its consequence is ensured. Ensured. . . ? It’s in the news. But then who makes it news? Editors. Editors dictate consequence? Not entirely. Not entirely? It matters what people read and watch—you can’t bore them. Then boredom decides? Boredom and a sense of what’s important. But what is important? What’s in the news.

Article
The Forty-Year Rehearsal·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On the evening of May 8, just after eight o’clock, Kate Valk stepped onstage and faced the audience. The little playhouse was packed with hardcore fans, theater people and artists, but Kate was performing, most of all, for one person, hidden among them, a small, fine-boned, black-clad woman, her blond-gray hair up in a clip, who smiled, laughed, and nodded along with every word, swaying to the music and mirroring the emotions of the performers while whispering into the ear of the tall, bearded fellow who sat beside her madly scribbling notes. The woman was Elizabeth LeCompte—known to all as Liz—the director of the Wooster Group, watching the first open performance of the company’s new piece, Since I Can Remember.

It had been a tense day, full of opening-night drama. Gareth Hobbs, who would be playing a leading role, had been sick in bed for days with a 103-degree fever, and he’d only arrived at the theater, still shaky, at three-thirty that afternoon. During the final closed rehearsal, performer Suzzy Roche fell on her elbow, then felt faint and had to lie prone while her colleagues fanned her and fetched ice. At one point, Erin Mullin, the stage manager as well as a performer, shouted: “We have one hour left, and we’re on page eight of fifty!” Not to mention that the piece still had no ending.

Article
Election Bias·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In the spring of 2018, Tequila Johnson, an African-American administrator at Tennessee State University, led a mass voter-registration drive organized by a coalition of activist groups called the Tennessee Black Voter Project. Turnout in Tennessee regularly ranks near the bottom among U.S. states, just ahead of Texas. At the time, only 65 percent of the state’s voting-age population was registered to vote, the shortfall largely among black and low-income citizens. “The African-American community has been shut out of the process, and voter suppression has really widened that gap,” Johnson told me. “I felt I had to do something.”

The drive generated ninety thousand applications. Though large numbers of the forms were promptly rejected by election officials, allegedly because they were incomplete or contained errors, turnout surged in that year’s elections, especially in the areas around Memphis and Nashville, two of the cities specifically targeted by the registration drive. Progressive candidates and causes achieved notable successes, capturing the mayor’s office in heavily populated Shelby County as well as several seats on the county commission. In Nashville, a local measure was passed introducing a police-accountability board.

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.

The Chevrolet Suburban sport utility vehicle was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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