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)

Share
Single Page

More from Jeremy Keehn:

Weekly Review September 23, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Scotland rejects independence, Sierra Leone issues a three-day lockdown, and Iran lashes its citizens for doing a “Happy” dance

Weekly Review September 9, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

ISIL murders journalist Steven Sotloff; Satan in Moscow and Detroit; and Florida police play Cherries Waffles Tennis

Weekly Review August 5, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Alternating shelter bombings and ceasefires in Gaza; a do-nothing Congress whimpers feebly into recess; and India hires a troupe of black-faced-langur imitators

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

March 2020

The Fifth Step

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A View to a Krill

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Old Normal

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Out of Africa

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Waiting for the End of the World

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In Harm’s Way

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Old Normal·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Addressing the graduating cadets at West Point in May 1942, General George C. Marshall, then the Army chief of staff, reduced the nation’s purpose in the global war it had recently joined to a single emphatic sentence. “We are determined,” he remarked, “that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other.”

At the time Marshall spoke, mere months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. forces had sustained a string of painful setbacks and had yet to win a major battle. Eventual victory over Japan and Germany seemed anything but assured. Yet Marshall was already looking beyond the immediate challenges to define what that victory, when ultimately— and, in his view, inevitably—achieved, was going to signify.

This second world war of the twentieth century, Marshall understood, was going to be immense and immensely destructive. But if vast in scope, it would be limited in duration. The sun would set; the war would end. Today no such expectation exists. Marshall’s successors have come to view armed conflict as an open-ended proposition. The alarming turn in U.S.–Iranian relations is another reminder that war has become normal for the United States.

Article
More Than a Data Dump·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Last fall, a court filing in the Eastern District of Virginia inadvertently suggested that the Justice Department had indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and other outlets reported soon after that Assange had likely been secretly indicted for conspiring with his sources to publish classified government material and hacked documents belonging to the Democratic National Committee, among other things.

Article
The Fifth Step·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Harold Jamieson, once chief engineer of New York City’s sanitation department, enjoyed retirement. He knew from his small circle of friends that some didn’t, so he considered himself lucky. He had an acre of garden in Queens that he shared with several like-minded horticulturists, he had discovered Netflix, and he was making inroads in the books he’d always meant to read. He still missed his wife—a victim of breast cancer five years previous—but aside from that persistent ache, his life was quite full. Before rising every morning, he reminded himself to enjoy the day. At sixty-eight, he liked to think he had a fair amount of road left, but there was no denying it had begun to narrow.

The best part of those days—assuming it wasn’t raining, snowing, or too cold—was the nine-block walk to Central Park after breakfast. Although he carried a cell phone and used an electronic tablet (had grown dependent on it, in fact), he still preferred the print version of the Times. In the park, he would settle on his favorite bench and spend an hour with it, reading the sections back to front, telling himself he was progressing from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Article
Out of Africa·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

1. In 2014, Deepti Gurdasani, a genetic epidemiologist at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in England, coauthored a paper in Nature on human genetic variation in Africa, from which this image is taken. A recent study had found that DNA from people of European descent made up 96 percent of genetic samples worldwide, reflecting the historical tendency among scientists and doctors to view the male, European body as a global archetype. “There wasn’t very much data available from Africa at all,” Gurdasani told me. To help rectify the imbalance, her research team collected samples from eighteen African ethnolinguistic groups across the continent—such as the Kalenjin of Uganda and the Oromo of Ethiopia—most of whom had not previously been included in genomic research. They analyzed the data using an admixture algorithm, which visualizes the statistical genetic differences among groups by representing them as color clusters. The top chart shows genetic differences among the sampled African populations, in increasing degrees of granularity from top to bottom, and the bottom chart shows how they compare with ethnic groups in the rest of the world. The areas where the colors mix and overlap imply that groups commingled. The Yoruba, for instance, show remarkable homogeneity—their column is almost entirely green and purple—while the Kalenjin seem to have associated with many populations across the continent.

Article
In Harm’s Way·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Ten yards was the nearest we could get to the river. Any closer and the smell was too much to bear. The water was a milky gray color, as if mixed with ashes, and the passage of floating trash was ceaseless. Plastic bags and bottles, coffee lids, yogurt cups, flip-flops, and sodden stuffed animals drifted past, coated in yellow scum. Amid the old tires and mattresses dumped on the riverbank, mounds of rank green weeds gave refuge to birds and grasshoppers, which didn’t seem bothered by the fecal stench.

El Río de los Remedios, or the River of Remedies, runs through the city of Ecatepec, a densely populated satellite of Mexico City. Confined mostly to concrete channels, the river serves as the main drainage line for the vast monochrome barrios that surround the capital. That day, I was standing on a stretch of the canal just north of Ecatepec, with a twenty-three-year-old photographer named Reyna Leynez. Reyna was the one who’d told me about the place and what it represents. This ruined river, this open sewer, is said to be one of the largest mass graves in Mexico.

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.

An Iraqi man complaining on live television about the country’s health services died on air.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Jesus Plus Nothing

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

At Ivanwald, men learn to be leaders by loving their leaders. “They’re so busy loving us,” a brother once explained to me, “but who’s loving them?” We were. The brothers each paid $400 per month for room and board, but we were also the caretakers of The Cedars, cleaning its gutters, mowing its lawns, whacking weeds and blowing leaves and sanding. And we were called to serve on Tuesday mornings, when The Cedars hosted a regular prayer breakfast typically presided over by Ed Meese, the former attorney general. Each week the breakfast brought together a rotating group of ambassadors, businessmen, and American politicians. Three of Ivanwald’s brothers also attended, wearing crisp shirts starched just for the occasion; one would sit at the table while the other two poured coffee. 

Subscribe Today