Weekly Review — September 6, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

An angry-looking, monkey-like creature showing its teeth.

A kinkajou, 1886.

As Libyan forces converged on Muammar Qaddafi’s last redoubts countrywide, documents recovered in Tripoli showed that the CIA and MI6 had helped Qaddafi persecute dissidents, including Abdul Hakim Belhaj, military commander of Libya’s national transitional government, whom the CIA rendered back to the country from Asia in 2004. “I wasn’t allowed a bath for three years and I didn’t see the sun for one year,” said Belhaj. “They hung me from the wall and kept me in an isolation cell. I was regularly tortured.” “It can’t come as a surprise,” said CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood, “that the Central Intelligence Agency works with foreign governments to help protect our country from terrorism and other deadly threats.” Human Rights Watch, which found the documents, reported that a letter from former senior operations official Stephen Kappes to then Libyan intelligence chief Moussa Koussa began “Dear Musa” and was signed “Steve,” and that as Qaddafi began losing his grip on power he tried to draft 10,000 fighters from the Somali Salvation Front in Puntland.New York TimesCNNAP via Globe and MailGuardianWall Street JournalAl Jazeera EnglishAn Associated Press investigation concluded that 120,000 people have been arrested and 35,000 convicted on terrorism-related charges worldwide since 9/11, U.S. airstrikes helped kill 30 suspected Al Qaedaterrorists in Yemen, the U.S. military completed its first month without a fatality in Iraq since the start of the war there, and WikiLeaks released a diplomatic cable backing claims that U.S. troops shot at least ten handcuffed Iraqi civilians, including five children, in the town of Ishaqi in 2006, then called in an airstrike to cover up the act.AP via Globe and MailAP via Washington PostAl Jazeera EnglishNY TimesMcClatchyThe document was one of 250,000 published by WikiLeaks’the organization’s entire, unredacted U.S. diplomatic-cable archive, which contained informants’ names and which reporters learned had been posted online months earlier, encrypted with a publicly available password. “If I had a very nervous person, who had secret documents I wanted to share,” said journalism professor C.W. Anderson, “I would not come near them with a 10-foot pole.”GuardianNPRScientists turned a mouse brain transparent.Science Daily

World markets fell after the Labor Department reported no growth in the number of U.S. jobs in August, while census data showed that local and state governments cut more than 200,000 jobs in 2010. President Barack Obama agreed to delay an address to Congress on employment at the insistence of House Speaker John Boehner, and ordered the Environmental Protection Agency not to enforce new limits on smog emissions.Associated PressReutersDetroit Free PressHuffington PostA man in Virginia beheaded himself with an SUV while towing a burning trailer.WAVY-TVA bodyboarder was torn in half by a shark in Australia; an LDS missionary returned home to Utah after losing an arm and part of a leg to two lions at a Guatemalan zoo; a dismembered foot washed ashore in Vancouver, the eleventh to turn up on the Pacific Northwest coast since 2007; and a Colorado logger amputated the toes from his right foot with a pocketknife after a trailer fell on him in the forest. “The three smaller toes were easy, but it took some work to cut through the tendons on the two big toes,” he said. “Plus, at that point the blade was getting dull.”AP via Idaho State JournalDaily MailNational PostReutersThe U.S. Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that it would sue 17 banks over losses on mortgage-backed investments, while an Institute of Policy Studies report claimed that 25 U.S. CEOs made more money than their companies paid in taxes last year, and that the ratio of CEO pay to worker pay increased from 263:1 to 325:1.BBCWashington PostCanada lifted a ban on “Money for Nothing,” Germany lifted a ban on “Doom,” and a Canadian-{Germany|German} research team hunted Black Death in the U.K.Rolling StoneWired GameLifeMcClatchy via Miami HeraldTransylvanians fought to keep Canadians from exploiting a massive lode in a historic gold-mining village. “It’s unbelievable that a Canadian company would have the nerve to come and teach us how to extract gold,” said retired miner Eugen Cornea. “We have been doing it for 2,700 years. What was Canada in 700 B.C.?”Le Monde via Worldcrunch

An Edmonton hair salon defended its ad showing a man standing between a woman with a black eye and the tagline “Look good in all you do,” and an Indiana man was charged with child abuse after allegedly beating his three grandchildren during a Grand Canyon hike, forcing them to walk on ulcerated blisters and to vomit, and denying them water despite their lips being sunburned off. The boys also had severely chafed groins because they weren’t permitted underwear.Canadian Press via Globe and MailArizona Daily SunResearchers determined that children who experience accelerated puberty are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression, and four-year-old Maddy Jackson padded her chest and bum for “Toddlers and Tiaras,” an American reality-television show about child beauty pageants. “When she wears the fake boobs and the fake butt it’s just like an added extra bonus,” said the girl’s mother. “Hopefully the judges will perceive it in good taste,” said her stylist.Developmental Psychology via Science DailyDaily MailABC NewsThe Guinness Book of World Records agreed that Tajikistan had a longer flagpole than Azerbaijan, and an Ohio man was caught having sex with an inflatable raft, nine years after being caught having sex with an inflatable pumpkin.Moscow TimesWAFB-TVA Dublin bar where a 15-year-old girl was allegedly raped in June was found to be hosting parties where patrons could exchange panties for drinks, Ohio police puzzled over the origin of 1,700 pairs of panties strewn along a road outside Columbus, and the AARP counseled people over 50 never to say the word “panties.”Evening HeraldAssociated Press9news.comMale MPs in Zimbabwe fulminated against a call from the country’s female deputy prime minister that they be circumcised to set an example in the fight against HIV. “It has to be a circumcision of the mind rather than circumcision of the organ,” said MP Nelson Chamisa.BBCNepalis’ love for “Summer of ’69” was reportedly lasting forever. The Muscular Dystrophy Association revealed during its first telethon without Jerry Lewis as host that Jerry quit, Gene Simmons announced that he was getting married, and UCLA math student Chris Jeon was discovered far from home, fighting alongside anti-Qaddafi forces in Libya. “It is the end of my summer vacation, so I thought it would be cool to join the rebels,” said Jeon. “Whatever you do, don’t tell my parents. They don’t know I’m here.”BBCNPRHollywood ReporterThe National (UAE)

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Donald Trump’s presidency signals a profound but inchoate realignment of American politics. On the one hand, his administration may represent the consolidation of minority control by a Republican-dominated Senate under the leadership of a president who came to office after losing the popular vote by almost 3 million ballots. Such an imbalance of power could lead to a second civil war—indeed, the nation’s first and only great fraternal conflagration was sparked off in part for precisely this reason. On the other hand, Trump’s reign may be merely an interregnum, in which the old white power structure of the Republican Party is dying and a new oppositional coalition struggles to be born.

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Over the past three years, the city of South Tucson, Arizona, a largely Latino enclave nestled inside metropolitan Tucson, came close to abolishing its fire and police departments. It did sell off the library and cut back fire-truck crews from four to three people—whereupon two thirds of the fire department quit—and slashed the police force to just sixteen employees. “We’re a small city, just one square mile, surrounded by a larger city,” the finance director, Lourdes Aguirre, explained to me. “We have small-town dollars and big-city problems.”

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When I saw Ted Cruz speak, in early August, it was at Underwood’s Cafeteria in Brownwood. He was on a weeklong swing through rural central Texas, hitting small towns and military bases that ensured him friendly, if not always entirely enthusiastic, crowds. In Brownwood, some in the audience of two hundred were still nibbling on peach cobbler as Cruz began with an anecdote about his win in a charity basketball game against ABC’s late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. They rewarded him with smug chuckles when he pointed out that “Hollywood celebrities” would be hurting over the defeat “for the next fifty years.” His pitch for votes was still an off-the-rack Tea Party platform, complete with warnings about the menace of creeping progressivism, delivered at a slightly mechanical pace but with lots of punch. The woman next to me remarked, “This is the fire in the gut! Like he had the first time!” referring to Cruz’s successful long-shot run in the 2011 Texas Republican Senate primary. And it’s true—the speech was exactly like one Cruz would have delivered in 2011, right down to one specific detail: he never mentioned Donald Trump by name.

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H

e is a nondescript man.

I’d never used that adjective about a client. Not until this one. My seventeenth. He’d requested an evening time and came Tuesdays at six-thirty. For months he didn’t tell me what he did.

The first session I said what I often said to begin: How can I help you?

I still think of what I do as a helping profession. And I liked the way the phrase echoed down my years; in my first job I’d been a salesgirl at a department store counter.

I want to work on my marriage, he said. I’m the problem.

His complaint was familiar. But I preferred a self-critical patient to a blamer.

It’s me, he said. My wife is a thoroughly good person.

Yawn, I thought, but said, Tell me more.

I don’t feel what I should for her.

What do you feel?

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