Weekly Review — October 9, 2007, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Tempest, December 1878]

Burma’s junta claimed that peace and stability had been restored following its crackdown on mass pro-democracy protests in which at least 30 people, but likely far more, were killed. Up to 6,000 monks had been arrested, Internet service to the country was almost completely cut off, and the army was paying 20,000 kyat to the families of non-protesters who had been accidentally killed. “Myanmar people,” said a demoralized taxi driver, “have no blood in their veins.” VOABBC NewsBloombergBBC NewsThe AgeSylvester Stallone, filming the sequel to “Rambo” near the Burmese border, described the country as “a hellhole beyond your wildest dreams.”AP via MyWayThree thousand two hundred South African gold miners were rescued without injury after a power cable accident trapped them underground; the last group of miners emerged within 40 hours of the accident, dehydrated and exhausted, singing and stamping their feet.The Canadian PressBBCIt was reported that the U.S. Justice Department, despite calling torture “abhorrent” in 2004, had secretly endorsed brutal interrogation techniques on terror suspects,NYTand the Iraqi government launched an official investigation into the role of U.S. military contractor Blackwater in last month’s civilian shootings in Baghdad, calling the incident a deliberate crime and raising the number of people killed in the shootings from 11 to 17.RadioFreeEuropeIn Iowa,Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson continued to attest to the existence of WMDs in Iraq. “We can’t forget the fact that although at a particular point in time we never found any WMD down there, [Saddam Hussein] clearly had had WMD,” he said; Thompson ended his speech by asking for applause.MSNBCRepublican Senator Larry Craig was selected for induction into the Idaho Hall of Fame and announced that he would not resign from the Senate, despite being denied his request to withdraw his guilty plea of disorderly conduct resulting from a sex sting at an airport men’s room.CNNAP

A Nepalese eighth-grader who felt pity for policemen facing street demonstrations invented a crowd-controlling robot that can “charge at the mob with baton, use water canon, lob tear gas, and even shoot.”Nepal NewsCanadianresearchers found that lonely, bullied, or ostracized children have sex earlier than happier children,Canada.comand the mother of a bullied Jacksonville, Florida, boy brandished a gun at his bus stop, asking his fellow pupils, “Does anyone have something to say?”Local6In England, American gray squirrels were bullying diminutive, mild-mannered indigenous red squirrels.NYTA Thai restaurant in London was cordoned off by police after passersby mistook the smell of its extra-spicy homemade chili sauce for a chemical outbreak,Cape TimesSky Newsand a volcano erupted on the Red Sea island of al-Tair.BBCIvory Coast was fighting chronic lateness, known as “African time,” with a contest that offered a $60,000 villa as its grand prize. The winner, legal adviser Narcisse Aka, is known by his colleagues as “Mr. White Man’s Time” and said that his punctuality made him feel like “an extra-terrestrial.”ReutersStudies found that nearly two-thirds of HIV-positive patients in the United States are overweight or obese. “It would be very sad to survive HIV,” said an epidemiologist, “and die of something else that was preventable.”Local6

American pastors were luring teenage boys to church by installing large-screen game consoles equipped for group sessions of the video game “Halo.” Responding to concerns that the explicit and realistic violence in “Halo” is at odds with Christian values, Gregg Barbour, a youth minister in Colorado, stated, “We want to make it hard for teenagers to go to hell.” “Teens are our ‘fish’,” he wrote in a letter to parents. “So weâ??ve become creative in baiting our hooks.”NYTBritish clergy were condemning the nomination of video game “Resistance: Fall of Man,” which features a fire-fight scene set in Manchester Cathedral, for an award. “For a global manufacturer to recreate one of our great cathedrals with photo-realistic quality,” said the Bishop of Manchester, “and encourage people to have gun battles in the building is beyond belief and highly irresponsible.” vnunet.comThe Middlebury Institute, a liberal advocacy group opposing the Iraq War, and the League of the South, which displays a Confederate Battle Flag on its banner, met in Tennessee to discuss their shared goal of secession from the Union. APA white family in Florida found three burning crosses in its back yard.Local6An autopsy could not reveal the identity of a baby found in a Big John’s Pickled Sausage jar and left in a Florida cane field,Miami Heraldand researcher Craig Venter announced that he has constructed a synthetic chromosome out of laboratory chemicals, creating the first artificial life form on Earth.Guardian

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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.

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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 . . .
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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.”

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