Weekly Review — May 4, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Babylonian lion, 1875]

In New York City, a Nissan Pathfinder filled with gasoline, propane, dud firecrackers, alarm clocks, and eight bags of fertilizer failed to explode in Times Square. Janet Napolitano, U.S. secretary of homeland security, characterized the attempted car bombing as a “one-off,” not indicative of an organized terrorist plot, while New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly called it a “sober reminder” that “people want to come here and do us harm.” A “furtive” man in a red shirt was being sought in connection with the bombing, and in Albany, Kevin Parker, an African-American state senator, claimed that he was “fighting the forces of evil,” by which he meant “these long-term, white-supremacist, you know, Republican senators.”NY TimesNBCCBS via DrudgeCongressman Duncan Hunter, a CaliforniaRepublican, advocated amending the Constitution so that American-born children of illegal immigrants would not be citizens and could be deported along with their parents. “You can look and say, ‘You??re a mean guy, that??s a mean thing to do’,” Duncan said. “[But] it takes more than just walking across the border to become an American citizen.”NBCArizona’s undocumented immigrants were “biding their time” and “weighing their options.”Reuters Florida independent senatorial candidate Charlie Crist was considering whether he should accept Republican money, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rendered Manuel Noriega to France so that he could be tried on drug-trafficking crimes related to his presidency in Panama.USA TodayBBC NewsPresident Barack Obama continued his efforts to channel money to Muslim business interests, the United Nations distributed “rugged laptops” to Palestinian children in the Gaza Strip, and a report by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom confirmed that Muslims hate Christians, that Christians hate Muslims, and that they all hate the Jews.BBC NewsBBC NewsCNN

Senior executives from Goldman Sachs testified before Congress about the realities of the American financial system, noting that major banking firms have no ethical, fiscal, or legal obligations to act in the best interest of their clients. Democrats, who were trying to pass a finance-reform bill, acted aghast to learn that banks often bet against investments that they sell to their clients. “They were all doing this,” said Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri. “It was lemminglike.”NY TimesNY TimesOil leaking from a British Petroleum drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico reached the shores of Louisiana and Mississippi after the Coast Guard failed in its attempts to stanch the flow by lighting the Gulf on fire. “If this oil comes ashore, it’s all over for us,” said Jimmy Rowell, a shrimp and oyster fisherman in Pass Christian, Mississippi. “Nobody wants no oily shrimp.” CNNMiami HeraldUSA TodayNY TimesIn Afghanistan, General Stanley A. McChrystal, commander of NATO and U.S. forces, struggled to understand a PowerPoint presentation depicting the interplay of cultural, military, and political relationships in that country. “When we understand that slide,” said the general, “we??ll have won the war.”NY TimesThree Israeli military officers were disciplined for killing Palestinian civilians in the village of Burin last March, wealthy Qataris were eating themselves into Western-style obesity, and a mob in southern Lebanon lynched an Egyptian man suspected of killing two children.BBC NewsNY TimesBBC NewsIraqis continued to live in fear.BBC News

Reporters in Washington, D.C., complained that President Obama didn’t provide them with enough information and that he gave too much to the New York Times.Politico via DrudgeThomas Hagan, the only person jailed for the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X, was released from prison.NY TimesA British schoolteacher who attacked a 14-year-old student with a barbell while making a “low-level howling noise” and shouting “die, die, die” was described by a colleague as “detached from reality.”BBC NewsThe American Lung Association announced that Los Angeles remained the most dangerous American city for breathers.Los Angeles TimesResearchers learned that a giant earthworm wasn’t giant, that chocolate doesn’t cure depression but makes it worse, and that the earth’s oceans may have been seeded with ancient extra-terrestrial liquid.NY TimesBBC NewsBBC News“Total crop failure” was threatening Niger.BBC NewsTexas Governor Rick Perry used a laser-sighted .380 Ruger to kill a coyote who appeared to threaten his puppy. “Something catches my eye and it’s this coyote,” Perry said. “I did the appropriate thing and sent it to where coyotes go.”Washington Post

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That night at the window, looking out at the street full of snow, big flakes falling through the streetlight, I listened to what Anna was saying. She was speaking of a man named Karl. We both knew him as a casual acquaintance—thin and lanky like Ichabod Crane, with long hair—operating a restaurant down in the village whimsically called the Gist Mill, with wood paneling, a large painting of an old gristmill on a river on one wall, tin ceilings, and a row of teller cages from its previous life as a bank. Karl used to run along the river, starting at his apartment in town and turning back about two miles down the path. He had been going through the divorce—this was a couple of years ago, of course, Anna said—and was trying to run through his pain.

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