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 February 1947, Harper’s Magazine published Henry L. Stimson’s “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb.” As secretary of war, Stimson had served as the chief military adviser to President Truman, and recommended the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The terms of his unrepentant apologia, an excerpt of which appears on page 35, are now familiar to us: the risk of a dud made a demonstration too risky; the human cost of a land invasion would be too high; nothing short of the bomb’s awesome lethality would compel Japan to surrender. The bomb was the only option. Seventy years later, we find his reasoning unconvincing. Entirely aside from the destruction of the blasts themselves, the decision thrust the world irrevocably into a high-stakes arms race — in which, as Stimson took care to warn, the technology would proliferate, evolve, and quite possibly lead to the end of modern civilization. The first half of that forecast has long since come to pass, and the second feels as plausible as ever. Increasingly, the atmosphere seems to reflect the anxious days of the Cold War, albeit with more juvenile insults and more colorful threats. Terms once consigned to the history books — “madman theory,” “brinkmanship” — have returned to the news cycle with frightening regularity. In the pages that follow, seven writers and experts survey the current nuclear landscape. Our hope is to call attention to the bomb’s ever-present menace and point our way toward a world in which it finally ceases to exist.

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The Ambassador Bridge arcs over the Detroit River, connecting Detroit to Windsor, Ontario, the southernmost city in Canada. Driving in from the Canadian side, where I grew up, is like viewing a panorama of the Motor City’s rise and fall, visible on either side of the bridge’s turquoise steel stanchions. On the right are the tubular glass towers of the Renaissance Center, headquarters of General Motors, and Michigan Central Station, the rail terminal that closed in 1988. On the left is a rusted industrial corridor — fuel tanks, docks, abandoned warehouses. I have taken this route all my life, but one morning this spring, I crossed for the first time in a truck.

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But the exercise of labor is the worker’s own life-activity, the manifestation of his own life. . . . He works in order to live. He does not even reckon labor as part of his life, it is rather a sacrifice of his life.

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To look at him, Sweet Macho was a beautiful horse, lean and strong with muscles that twitched beneath his shining black coat. A former racehorse, he carried himself with ceremony, prancing the field behind our house as though it were the winner’s circle. When he approached us that day at the edge of the yard, his eyes shone with what might’ve looked like intelligence but was actually a form of insanity. Not that there was any telling our mother’s boyfriend this — he fancied himself a cowboy.

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What We Think About When We Think About Soccer, by Simon Critchley. Penguin Books. 224 pages. $20.

Begin, as Wallace Stevens didn’t quite say, with the idea of it. I so like the idea of Simon Critchley, whose books offer philosophical takes on a variety of subjects: Stevens, David Bowie, suicide, humor, and now football — or soccer, as the US edition has it. (As a matter of principle I shall refer to this sport throughout as football.) “All of us are mysteriously affected by our names,” decides one of Milan Kundera’s characters in Immortality, and I like Critchley because his name would seem to have put him at a vocational disadvantage compared with Martin Heidegger, Søren Kierkegaard, or even, in the Anglophone world, A. J. Ayer or Richard Rorty. (How different philosophy might look today if someone called Nobby Stiles had been appointed as the Wykeham Professor of Logic.)

Tostão, No. 9, and Pelé, No. 10, celebrate Carlos Alberto’s final goal for Brazil in the World Cup final against Italy on June 21, 1970, Mexico City © Heidtmann/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

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