Weekly Review — August 3, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Small Family, May 1874]

A Small Family.

Monsoon rains caused the worst flooding in Pakistan’s history, wiping out entire villages and killing more than 1,100 people. “We saw destruction during the three years of the Taliban and then during their fight with the army,” said Fazal Maula, whose house in the Swat Valley was destroyed by the flooding. “But the destruction we have seen in the last three days is much more.” The United States said it would provide Pakistan with $10 million in humanitarian assistance.CBSTaking advantage of the mass migration in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where law enforcement agencies had temporarily halted identity searches, militants reportedly tried to enter Peshawar disguised as flood victims. “Things generally are the best they have been with Pakistan in a long time,” said Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.). “And this is one area where President Obama doesn’t get enough credit.”The NationCNNIslamist militants burnt effigies of British Prime Minister David Cameron after he gave a speech linking Pakistan to the export of terrorism, and Pakistan’s president, Asif Zardari, threatened to cancel an official visit to Britain. “Like a cuttlefish squirting out ink,” said Labor Minister David Miliband of Cameron, “his words were copious and created a mess.” DTIJoint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mike Mullen responded to the release of 90,000 secret military documents on WikiLeaks with a tweet: “Appalled by classified docs leak to WikiLeaks & decision to post. It changes nothing on Afghanistan strategy or our relationship w/Pakistan.”The HillIt was revealed that suspected leaker Bradley Manning, a 22-year-old army intelligence analyst who is currently being held in a military prison, was depressed after a breakup. According to his Facebook page, he didn’t “have anything left,” was “beyond frustrated,” and considered “military intelligence” an oxymoron.TelegraphFollowing her return to Moscow, Russian spy Anna Chapman and Vladimir Putin sang patriotic songs.Daily Mail

BP began offering payouts to individuals affected by the Gulf oil spill who promised to waive their right to sue.The GuardianTo permanently seal the Macondo well, engineers were preparing a “bottom kill,” to be preceded by a “static kill” in which mud and cement would be fired through the well’s blowout preventer, a measure not unlike the “top kill” that failed to seal the well in May. Retired Coast Guard admiral Thad Allen said, “We should not be writing any obituary for this event.” The Washington PostBP replaced chief executive Tony Hayward (who said he could not go to a Senate hearing because he had a “busy week”) with Bob Dudley, a choice that the media heralded as “a top kill that works.”The GuardianThe GuardianU.S. District Court judge Susan Bolton blocked the most controversial parts of Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law, and China ended the practice of publicly shaming criminal suspects by parading them through the streets. “There are more modern tools for law reinforcement,” said Mao Shoulong, a professor of public policy at Peopleâ??s University in Beijing.ReutersNYTimesChurchill’s dentures, which were specially constructed to preserve his natural lisp and so important to him that he carried two pairs at all times, sold at auction for more than $24,000, and the sister of 31-year-old Oscar, the world’s first recipient of a full face transplant, said he was looking forward to the “little things, like walking down the street without anyone looking at him.”The GuardianNew York Magazine

With 400 guests in attendance, Chelsea Clinton wed investment banker Marc Mezvinsky in a ceremony that was co-officiated by a rabbi and a Methodist minister.ABCThe Anti-Defamation League announced its opposition to a proposed Islamic center and mosque two blocks north of the World Trace Center site. Referring to the loved ones of September 11 victims, ADL director Abraham Foxman said, “Their anguish entitles them to positions that others would categorize as irrational or bigoted.”GuardianParis Hilton denied that she had made the Nazi salute on a luxury yacht in St. Tropez. “Paris was dancing and having fun with her arm up in the air as she always dances,” said her spokesperson, “and was scratching [her] face when a photo was taken.”New York MagazineThe cast of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange, former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice accompanied Aretha Franklin on the piano at a gala benefit for arts education, and while visiting a Michigan auto plant to promote the government’s bailout of the auto industry, Barack Obama drove ten feet in a battery-powered Chevrolet Volt. “I hope it has an air bag,” press secretary Robert Gibbs said.Huffington PostThe Washington PostWSJThe Russian Grain Union predicted that the country’s grain harvest may fall by 26 percent this year due to the worst drought in decades, and two branches of British supermarket chain Budgens were inundated by shoppers anxious to try gray squirrel meat. “Squirrel tastes similar to a rabbit,” said Henry Atwell, a butcher from Walton, Somerset. “Some people say they taste a bit nutty but I don’t know if it’s in the mind.”Ria Novosti

Share
Single Page

More from Emily Stokes:

Conversation October 24, 2013, 8:00 am

Darling: A Conversation with Richard Rodriguez

Richard Rodriguez on the essay as biography of an idea, the relationship between gay men’s liberation and women’s liberation, and the writerly impulse to give away secrets

Six Questions October 7, 2013, 8:00 am

The Pure Gold Baby

Dame Margaret Drabble on the essayistic voice in fiction and North London anthropology

Weekly Review April 2, 2012, 5:47 pm

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
Secrets and Lies·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

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.

Post
Seeking Asylum·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Out of sight on Leros, the island of the damned

Post
Poem for Harm·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Reflections on harm in language and the trouble with Whitman

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
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 solid-gold toilet named “America” was stolen from Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, in Oxfordshire, England.

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