Weekly Review — January 20, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Tempest, December 1878]

Israel and Hamas agreed to a one-week ceasefire in Gaza, where Gazan officials estimated that 1,300 Palestinians had died.Hamas Agrees to One-Week Cease-Fire in Gaza Conflict“My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszow,” said Sir Gerald Kaufman, a British MP who was raised as an Orthodox Jew. “A German soldier shot her dead in her bed. My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers.”UK Jewish lawmaker: Israeli forces acting like NazisA Berlin court ruled to allow the display of Hamas flags and paraphernalia at anti-Israel protests, while at a pro-Hamas rally in the city of Duisburg, German police stormed an apartment to tear down an Israeli flag hanging from its balcony.Germany OK’s Hamas Flags at Rallies… Rips Down Israeli Flags South Korea put its military on alert after North Korea announced it had “weaponized” enough plutonium for four to five nuclear weapons and threatened “an all-out confrontational posture.” SKorea army on alert after North’s military threatTom Cruise, visiting Seoul, said “I’ve always wanted to kill Hitler.”North Korea says plutonium “weaponized” and off-limitsTom Cruise ‘Always Wanted to Kill Hitler’ At the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., President-elect Barack Obama greeted joyful crowds gathered in anticipation of his inauguration. Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, Bono, Jon Bon Jovi, Mary J. Blige, and Garth Brooks performed. “Anything,” said Obama, “is possible.”‘Anything possible,’ Obama tells joyous crowdThe Obama family prayed at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church. “Martin Luther King walked so that Barack Obama could run,” said one boy. “Barack Obama ran,” said another, “so that all children could fly.”19th St. Baptist’s Glory: The ObamasA Mississippi man was arrested for posting his plans to kill the President-elect on a UFO-spotting website. “It’s not because I’m racist that I will kill Barack,” wrote the man, “it’s because I can no longer allow the Jewish parasites to bully their way into making the American people submit to their evil ways.”Man charged with threatening Obama on websiteVice-president-elect Joe Biden announced that he was “the most experienced vice president since anybody.” He continued: “The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The Bush-Cheney relationship hasn??t tasted very good. Not a single person you can name for me… can tell you that the pudding has tasted good.”Biden Outlines Plans to Do More With Less PowerMore Americans were joining the military,More Americans Joining Military as Jobs Dwindle and more Missourians were eating raccoon.The other dark meat: Raccoon is making it to the table

In New York City, a plane collided with a flock of “big, dark-brown” birds and crashed into the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were successfully rescued. One passenger cried with relief as he imagined reuniting with his daughter. “When I get home, I am going to take my nose and put it by her ear, her little warm body and give her a nice kiss from Daddy. I’m alive.”All 155 safe after pilot ditches jet in NYC riverBird strike confirmed in US crash U.S. Airways crash: survivor accounts in their own wordsAt a monster-truck rally in Tacoma, Washington, a metal part flew loose from a truck doing doughnuts, killing a six-year-old boy. “You go out for a night of fun,” said Jessie Hizey, the boy’s father, “and you lose your son.”Parts of Monster Truck Examined After Boy’s Death Little Debbie snacks containing peanut-butter paste were recalled after they were linked to an outbreak of salmonella,F.D.A. Cautions on Peanut Butter and a study warned that Vicks VapoRub may cause bronchial inflammation and suffocation if used on children younger than two.Vicks VapoRub may put infants at risk, study findsAllergan, the drug company that developed Botox, announced the release of Latisse, a new prescription medication for growing longer, thicker eyelashes.Love the Long Eyelashes. Who??s Your Doctor? A judge in New York refused to jail Bernard Madoff, who is under house arrest until he can be tried for securities fraud, saying that the financier was neither a flight risk nor a danger to the community. Prosecutors had argued that Madoff broke the terms of his bail by mailing more than $1 million worth of diamond-studded jewelry to family and friends. Madoff’s lawyer, Ira Lee Sorkin, defended his client by telling the judge that many of the items mailed were relatively inexpensive, such as a pair of $200 mittens.U.S. loses another bid to jail Madoff$173 Million in Madoff Checks Reportedly Found

Environmental researchers announced that performing two Google searches generates the same amount of carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle.Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searchesAndrew Wyeth died,Andrew Wyeth, Painter, Dies at 91 and the former rock star Boy George was sentenced to 15 months in prison for imprisoning a Norwegian escort, handcuffing him to a bed, and beating him with a chain.Boy George: A hero destroyed by drug ‘degradation’Sri Lanka’s army killed eighteen civilians in attacks on Tamil Tigers bases,Civilians ‘killed’ in Sri LankaPeru’s highest court ruled that workers cannot be fired for being drunk on the job,You can’t fire me, I’m drunk!and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof announced his third “Win A Trip” contest, offering college students the chance to accompany the reporter around the world. “If you want to save the world, you first must understand it,” wrote Kristof. “For my first win-a-trip journey I chose a Mississippi student, Casey Parks, who had never been out of the country. In rural Cameroon, we came across Prudence Lemokouno, a mother of three who was dying in childbirth. We gave money and donated blood in hopes of saving Prudence. We failed, and we watched Prudence??s life ebb away.”Win a Trip You Won??t Forget Astrophysicists said that the aural jitters picked up by a German gravitational-wave detector may indicate that we all live in a giant and blurry cosmic hologram.Our world may be a giant hologram

Share
Single Page

More from Gemma Sieff:

Weekly Review February 3, 2017, 12:17 pm

Weekly Review

Donald Trump bans citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, a Trump supporter is charged with killing seven people at a mosque in Quebec, and the last man on the moon dies

From the February 2016 issue

Isn’t It Romantic?

Looking for love in the age of Tinder

Weekly Review January 6, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

October 2019

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Constitution in Crisis·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

Does the path out of our current era of stalemate, minority rule, and executive abuse require amending the Constitution? Do we need a new constitutional convention to rewrite the document and update it for the twenty-­first century? Should we abolish it entirely?

This spring, Harper’s Magazine invited five lawmakers and scholars to New York University’s law school to consider the constitutional crisis of the twenty-­first century. The event was moderated by Rosa Brooks, a law professor at Georgetown and the author of How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon.

Article
Good Bad Bad Good·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

Some taxonomies were inarguable. The O.C., a Fox series about California rich kids and their beautiful swimming pools, was delightfully Good-Bad. Paul Haggis’s heavy-handed morality play, Crash, which won the Oscar for Best Picture, was gallingly Bad-Good. The films of Francois Truffaut, Good-Good; the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, Bad-Bad.

Article
Power of Attorney·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In a Walmart parking lot in Portsmouth, Virginia, in 2015, a white police officer named Stephen Rankin shot and killed an unarmed, eighteen-­year-­old black man named William Chapman. “This is my second one,” he told a bystander seconds after firing the fatal shots, seemingly in reference to an incident four years earlier, when he had shot and killed another unarmed man, an immigrant from Kazakhstan. Rankin, a Navy veteran, had been arresting Chapman for shoplifting when, he claimed, Chapman charged him in a manner so threatening that he feared for his life, leaving him no option but to shoot to kill—­the standard and almost invariably successful defense for officers when called to account for shooting civilians. Rankin had faced no charges for his earlier killing, but this time, something unexpected happened: Rankin was indicted on a charge of first-­degree murder by Portsmouth’s newly elected chief prosecutor, thirty-­one-year-­old Stephanie Morales. Furthermore, she announced that she would try the case herself, the first time she had ever prosecuted a homicide. “No one could remember us having an actual prosecution for the killing of an unarmed person by the police,” Morales told me. “I got a lot of feedback, a lot of people saying, ‘You shouldn’t try this case. If you don’t win, it may affect your reelection. Let someone else do it.’ ”

Article
Carlitos in Charge·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I was in Midtown, sitting by a dry fountain, making a list of all the men I’d slept with since my last checkup—doctor’s orders. Afterward, I would head downtown and wait for Quimby at the bar, where there were only alcoholics and the graveyard shift this early. I’d just left the United Nations after a Friday morning session—likely my last. The agenda had included resolutions about a worldwide ban on plastic bags, condemnation of a Slobodan Miloševic statue, sanctions on Israel, and a truth and reconciliation commission in El Salvador. Except for the proclamation opposing the war criminal’s marble replica, everything was thwarted by the United States and a small contingent of its allies. None of this should have surprised me. Some version of these outcomes had been repeating weekly since World War II.

Article
Life after Life·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

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.

A group of researchers studying the Loch Ness Monster did not rule out the possibility of its existence, but speculated that it is possibly a giant eel.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Happiness Is a Worn Gun

By

“Nowadays, most states let just about anybody who wants a concealed-handgun permit have one; in seventeen states, you don’t even have to be a resident. Nobody knows exactly how many Americans carry guns, because not all states release their numbers, and even if they did, not all permit holders carry all the time. But it’s safe to assume that as many as 6 million Americans are walking around with firearms under their clothes.”

Subscribe Today