Weekly Review — August 8, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Lost Souls in Hell, 1875]

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert insisted that the war with Lebanon would continue, and the Lebanese government rejected an internationally-brokered peace plan, claiming it favored Israel.Washington PostHezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah boasted that his forces were inflicting “maximum casualties” and warned Israel that if it “bombed our capital Beirut, we will bomb the capital of your usurping entity”; he also called on his fellow Arab leaders to “be men for just one day.”NY TimesCNNLebanon’sstock exchange reopened,NY TimesNY TimesBBCand the mayor of Beirut said war with Israel was bad for the environment.Globe and MailEnglish Prime Minister Tony Blair said there was an “arc of extremism” stretching across the Middle East that could be defeated, he proposed, by “an alliance of moderation.”BBCIn Cairo, Muslims took to the street carrying posters of Hassan Nasrallah, chanting “O Sunni! O Shiite! Let’s fight the Jews.”NY TimesIn Iraq, President Jalal Talabani vowed to “terminate terrorism” by 2007;BBCin Baghdad, 100,000 Shiites attended a “million-man” march in support of Hezbollah. The AustralianU.S. General John Abizaid told the Senate Armed Services Committee that “Iraq could move toward civil war.”NY TimesA lawyer who represents one of four American paratroopers accused of murdering three Iraqi detainees told a military court in Tikrit that the dead men “got exactly what they deserved,”BBC and BBCand Staff Sergeant Frank D. Wuterich sued CongressmanJack Murtha for defamation of character.Washington PostCorporal Phillip E. Baucus, 28, nephew of U.S. SenatorMax Baucus, was killed in action in Iraq,Bloomberg via Google Newsand Lance Corporal Mark Beyers, an Iraq war veteran and double amputee, was attacked and robbed outside a restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland.Local6.com

The Senate Permanent Investigations subcommittee reported that law enforcement agencies were powerless to prevent the super-rich from cheating on their taxes, NY Timesand the Food and Drug Administration almost approved over-the-counter sales of the oral contraceptive Plan B.NY TimesPresident Bush encouraged the people of Cuba to seek regime change,Reutersand SenatorHillary Clinton called on Donald Rumsfeld to resign.allheadlinenews.com via Google NewsIn California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said Tony Blair should be named United Nations secretary-general when he steps down as prime minister. “It’s a big job that he has right now,” Schwarzenegger said, “and I think whatever job he wants he will get, because he has such a great success rate at home and he has done such a remarkable job, I think.”CNNThe London School of Economics determined that good-looking couples are 36 percent more likely than their ugly counterparts to have femaleoffspring,Washington Postand a Chicago woman was suing Borders Books after she was “permanently disfigured” in a toilet seat accident.CBS2 ChicagoA study conducted at Texas A&M University found that cigarette smoking reduced the impact of alcohol on inebriated rats. “I hope people won’t interpret that as a good thing,” said lead researcher Wei-Jung Chen.Seed MagazineScientists at the Centers for Disease Control failed in their attempts to create a more virulent strain of bird flu,Washington Postand threatening letters sent to federal officials by Donald Ray Bilby, 30, who is currently serving time for auto theft in Trenton, New Jersey, included his full name, signature, and inmate number.Mail and GuardianNaveed Afzal Haq, the man accused of an anti-Semitic shooting attack in Seattle, was described as a “hothead” with a “chip on his shoulder,” by his former boss, Thomas de Winter: “He didn’t take instruction well.”UPI via Google News

In Japan, on the Day of the Dog, Princess Kiko prayed for the safe delivery of her third child.BBCIn China 50,000 dogs died in Yunnan province when government-authorized “killing teams” crept into villages at night and beat the dogs to death.Local6.comBasketball player Yao Ming announced he would no longer eat shark finsoup because “endangered species are our friends.”NY TimesIn New Delhi, the commuter rail authority was using a black-faced langur monkey to frighten other monkeys,BBCand in New York a man bit the head off a rooster that he accused of harming his pigeon.AOL NewsEngland’s Alton Towers theme park canceled “National Muslim Fun Day,”Reutersand hotel owners in Italy made plans to open women-only Muslim beaches.Breitbart.comWild bison took over a small Canadian town. “Try and get an insurance claim done after your car was kicked by a buffalo,” said one local resident. “The adjustor will just laugh at you.”Mail and GuardianA 14-foot blue marlin stabbed angler Ian Card in the chest during a fishing rodeo off Bermuda.Daily MailRacer Cristiano da Matta’s Champ Car collided with a deer in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin,cnnsi.comand a laser-equipped research aircraft owned by NASA was being used to locate woodpeckers in the Mississippi Delta.CNNAn English paleobiologist announced that the crests of giant prehistoric flying reptiles signified sexual maturity, much like a “giant cockerel’s comb.”BBCAt least 25,000 chickens died in Indiana from the heat,CNNand geologists in Ohio were baffled by the earthquakes in suburban Cleveland.CNNNacreous clouds, which occur only in temperatures lower than minus 176 degrees Fahrenheit, were observed above Antarctica,Yahoo Newsand a fireball streaked through the night sky over Lakeway, Texas.Local6.comBungs, drugs, and wholesale cheating were declared to be the norm in all major sports.Observer UK

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Thirty miles from the coast, on a desert plateau in the Judaean Mountains without natural resources or protection, Jerusalem is not a promising site for one of the world’s great cities, which partly explains why it has been burned to the ground twice and besieged or attacked more than seventy times. Much of the Old City that draws millions of tourists and Holy Land pilgrims dates back two thousand years, but the area ­likely served as the seat of the Judaean monarchy a full millennium before that. According to the Bible, King David conquered the Canaanite city and established it as his capital, but over centuries of destruction and rebuilding all traces of that period were lost. In 1867, a British military officer named Charles Warren set out to find the remnants of David’s kingdom. He expected to search below the famed Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, but the Ottoman authorities denied his request to excavate there. Warren decided to dig instead on a slope outside the Old City walls, observing that the Psalms describe Jerusalem as lying in a valley surrounded by hills, not on top of one.

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Eleven years ago, on a bitter January night, dozens of young men, dressed in a uniform of black berets, white T-­shirts, and black pants, gathered on a hill overlooking the Nigerian city of Jos, shouting, dancing, and shooting guns into the black sky. A drummer pounded a rhythmic beat. Amid the roiling crowd, five men crawled toward a candlelit dais, where a white-­robed priest stood holding an axe. Leading them was John, a sophomore at the local college, powerfully built and baby-faced. Over the past six hours, he had been beaten and burned, trampled and taunted. He was exhausted. John looked out at the landscape beyond the priest. It was the harmattan season, when Saharan sand blots out the sky, and the city lights in the distance blurred in John’s eyes as if he were underwater.

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The Catholic School, by Edoardo Albinati. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1,280 pages. $40.

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