Weekly Review — May 22, 2007, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Paul Wolfowitz announced that he would resign as president of the World Bank on June 30; the Bank in turn said that it accepted Wolfowitz’s assurances that he had acted “in good faith” when he oversaw a promotion for his girlfriend Shaha Riza.Fin24MSNBCThe GuardianJames B. Comey, deputy for former attorney general John Ashcroft, testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that on March 10, 2004, Alberto Gonzales and Andrew Card had attempted to persuade Ashcroft (who was hospitalized and had temporarily given up his authority as attorney general to Comey) to reauthorize the Bush Administration’s domestic surveillance program, even though the Justice Department had just determined that the program was illegal; Ashcroft, Comey said, refused.The Washington PostSenateDemocrats called for a vote of no confidence in Gonzales, and Senator Charles Schumer called the Attorney General a puppet.The New York TimesJimmy Carter said the Bush Administration was “the worst in history” in terms of its impact on the world but later said that his words were “careless or misinterpreted.”Times OnlineJerry Falwell died. “Dr. Falwell,” said Senator John McCain, “was a man of distinguished accomplishment.”The New York TimesThe HillArizonadogs were advised to not swallow hallucinogenic toads.Tucson Citizen

For the first time since the Korean War a train traveled between North and South Korea and a North Korean cargo ship docked in a South Korean port.ABC Radio AustraliaHamas was fighting Fatah in Gaza and sending Qassam rockets into Israel, which was bombing Gaza in return,Reutersand troops in northern Lebanon were fighting against Fatah Islam, a splinter group from a Syrian-backedPalestinian splinter group.BBC NewsKazakhstan’s parliament voted to allow President Nursultan Nazarbayev to stand for unlimited terms,BBC Newsand Jeb Bush joined the board of Tenet Healthcare Systems, which in 2006 agreed to pay $725 million to resolve claims that it cheated Medicare.Seattle Post-IntelligencerIn Sre Leav, Cambodia, villagers were raiding the graves of those killed by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. “I’m afraid,” said a farmer named Srey Noeun, “that the owner will take revenge on me because she died with nothing but her earrings, and now I have taken them. She’ll say, ‘Please give them back. They are all I had.'” On the other hand, Noeun pointed out, she had been able to buy some pork.The New York TimeObserving the bent light from cluster CL0024+17, astronomers inferred that a ring of dark matter 5 billion light years away had been formed by colliding galaxy clusters.Physorg.comOff the coast of Monterey, California, a new kind of sea anemone–small, white, and cube-shaped–was found inside a whale’s corpse,LiveScienceand scientists in the Antarctic discovered hundreds of new worm and crustacean species, along with a new kind of gourd-shaped carnivorous sponge.Reuters via Scientific AmericanMicrosoft announced that it would acquire online media and advertising firm aQuantive for $6 billion,MediaWeekThomson Corp. agreed to buy Reuters for $17.2 billion,Reutersand the editor of a California news website, explaining that editors and interns “are extremely demanding and produce inferior work,” hired two new reporters who will cover Pasadena from India.The GuardianOnly 38 pupfish remained in Devil’s Hole, Death Valley.AFP via Yahoo! News

Ten people, including a schoolboy, were killed in an Afghanistansuicide bombing,New York Timesat least 15 U.S. troops died in Iraq,AP via Yahoo! Newsand Iraqi President Jalal Talabani flew to the United States, where he hopes to lose weight.Reuters via Yahoo! NewsHillary Clinton released a video on YouTube. “So now I’m turning to you, the American people,” said Clinton in the clip. “Here’s the issue: what do you think our campaign song should be?”YouTube.comThe Defense Department said that it was cutting off soldiers’ access to YouTube and MySpace because the military wanted to “get ahead of the problem before it became a problem.”Wired.comKuwait stopped pegging the dinar exclusively to the dollar, raising doubts that a Gulf currency union will take place by 2010,FT via Yahoo! Newsand China announced that it would invest $3 billion in the New York?based private equity group Blackstone.The New York TimeA group of deep-sea explorers in Tampa, Florida, announced that they had recovered $500 million in sunken treasure from a shipwreck in the Atlantic Ocean,China Viewand the 138-year-old tea clipper Cutty Sark burned in London.BBC NewsA Galveston, Texas, man microwaved his daughter,Click2Houston.comand in Orange County, Florida, a woman was helping her father move out of his home when she discovered photographs of both her father and her deceased mother molesting her daughter.Local6.comNew stars were hatching near the head of Orion,Science Dailyand a gorilla named Bokito ran amok at a Rotterdam zoo, biting a woman and breaking her arm. “He is and remains,” said the woman from her hospital bed, “my darling.”The GuardianReuters

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In 1973, when Barry Singer was a fifteen-year-old student at New York’s Yeshiva University High School for Boys, the vice principal, Rabbi George Finkelstein, stopped him in a stairwell. Claiming he wanted to check his tzitzit—the strings attached to Singer’s prayer shawl—Finkelstein, Singer says, pushed the boy over the third-floor banister, in full view of his classmates, and reached down his pants. “If he’s not wearing tzitzit,” Finkelstein told the surrounding children, “he’s going over the stairs!”

“He played it as a joke, but I was completely at his mercy,” Singer recalled. For the rest of his time at Yeshiva, Singer would often wear his tzitzit on the outside of his shirt—though this was regarded as rebellious—for fear that Finkelstein might find an excuse to assault him again.

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About fifteen years ago, my roommate and I developed a classification system for TV and movies. Each title was slotted into one of four categories: Good-Good; Bad-Good; Good-Bad; Bad-Bad. The first qualifier was qualitative, while the second represented a high-low binary, the title’s aspiration toward capital-A Art or lack thereof.

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America’s Constitution was once celebrated as a radical and successful blueprint for democratic governance, a model for fledgling republics across the world. But decades of political gridlock, electoral corruption, and dysfunction in our system of government have forced scholars, activists, and citizens to question the document’s ability to address the thorniest issues of modern ­political life.

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For time ylost, this know ye,
By no way may recovered be.
—Chaucer

I spent thirty-eight years in prison and have been a free man for just under two. After killing a man named Thomas Allen Fellowes in a drunken, drugged-up fistfight in 1980, when I was nineteen years old, I was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Former California governor Jerry Brown commuted my sentence and I was released in 2017, five days before Christmas. The law in California, like in most states, grants the governor the right to alter sentences. After many years of advocating for the reformation of the prison system into one that encourages rehabilitation, I had my life restored to me.

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