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 167 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

February 2018

The Bodies in The Forest

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Minds of Others

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Modern Despots

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Before the Deluge

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Notes to Self

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Within Reach

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Pushing the Limit·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In the early Eighties, Andy King, the coach of the Seawolves, a swim club in Danville, California, instructed Debra Denithorne, aged twelve, to do doubles — to practice in the morning and the afternoon. King told Denithorne’s parents that he saw in her the potential to receive a college scholarship, and even to compete in the Olympics. Tall swimmers have an advantage in the water, and by the time Denithorne turned thirteen, she was five foot eight. She dropped soccer and a religious group to spend more time at the pool.

Illustration by Shonagh Rae
Article
The Minds of Others·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Progress is impossible without change,” George Bernard Shaw wrote in 1944, “and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” But progress through persuasion has never seemed harder to achieve. Political segregation has made many Americans inaccessible, even unimaginable, to those on the other side of the partisan divide. On the rare occasions when we do come face-to-face, it is not clear what we could say to change each other’s minds or reach a worthwhile compromise. Psychological research has shown that humans often fail to process facts that conflict with our preexisting worldviews. The stakes are simply too high: our self-worth and identity are entangled with our beliefs — and with those who share them. The weakness of logic as a tool of persuasion, combined with the urgency of the political moment, can be paralyzing.

Yet we know that people do change their minds. We are constantly molded by our environment and our culture, by the events of the world, by the gossip we hear and the books we read. In the essays that follow, seven writers explore the ways that persuasion operates in our lives, from the intimate to the far-reaching. Some consider the ethics and mechanics of persuasion itself — in religion, politics, and foreign policy — and others turn their attention to the channels through which it acts, such as music, protest, and technology. How, they ask, can we persuade others to join our cause or see things the way we do? And when it comes to our own openness to change, how do we decide when to compromise and when to resist?

Illustration (detail) by Lincoln Agnew
Article
Within Reach·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On a balmy day last spring, Connor Chase sat on a red couch in the waiting room of a medical clinic in Columbus, Ohio, and watched the traffic on the street. His bleached-blond hair fell into his eyes as he scrolled through his phone to distract himself. Waiting to see Mimi Rivard, a nurse practitioner, was making Chase nervous: it would be the first time he would tell a medical professional that he was transgender.

By the time he arrived at the Equitas Health clinic, Chase was eighteen, and had long since come to dread doctors and hospitals. As a child, he’d had asthma, migraines, two surgeries for a tumor that had caused deafness in one ear, and gangrene from an infected bug bite. Doctors had always assumed he was a girl. After puberty, Chase said, he avoided looking in the mirror because his chest and hips “didn’t feel like my body.” He liked it when strangers saw him as male, but his voice was high-pitched, so he rarely spoke in public. Then, when Chase was fourteen, he watched a video on YouTube in which a twentysomething trans man described taking testosterone to lower his voice and appear more masculine. Suddenly, Chase had an explanation for how he felt — and what he wanted.

Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Before the Deluge·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In the summer of 2016, when Congress installed a financial control board to address Puerto Rico’s crippling debt, I traveled to San Juan, the capital. The island owed some $120 billion, and Wall Street was demanding action. On the news, President Obama announced his appointments to the Junta de Supervisión y Administración Financiera. “The task ahead for Puerto Rico is not an easy one,” he said. “But I am confident Puerto Rico is up to the challenge of stabilizing the fiscal situation, restoring growth, and building a better future for all Puerto Ricans.” Among locals, however, the control board was widely viewed as a transparent effort to satisfy mainland creditors — just the latest tool of colonialist plundering that went back generations.

Photograph from Puerto Rico by Christopher Gregory
Article
Monumental Error·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In 1899, the art critic Layton Crippen complained in the New York Times that private donors and committees had been permitted to run amok, erecting all across the city a large number of “painfully ugly monuments.” The very worst statues had been dumped in Central Park. “The sculptures go as far toward spoiling the Park as it is possible to spoil it,” he wrote. Even worse, he lamented, no organization had “power of removal” to correct the damage that was being done.

Illustration by Steve Brodner

Percentage of Republicans who said they prioritized gun control over gun rights in 1999:

53

The kangaroo’s tail is a fifth leg.

Trump tweeted that he had created “jobs, jobs, jobs” since becoming president, and it was reported that Trump plans to bolster job creation by loosening regulations on the global sale of US-made artillery, warships, fighter jets, and drones.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Report — From the June 2013 issue

How to Make Your Own AR-15

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"Gun owners have long been the hypochondriacs of American politics. Over the past twenty years, the gun-rights movement has won just about every battle it has fought; states have passed at least a hundred laws loosening gun restrictions since President Obama took office. Yet the National Rifle Association has continued to insist that government confiscation of privately owned firearms is nigh. The NRA’s alarmism helped maintain an active membership, but the strategy was risky: sooner or later, gun guys might have realized that they’d been had. Then came the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, followed swiftly by the nightmare the NRA had been promising for decades: a dedicated push at every level of government for new gun laws. The gun-rights movement was now that most insufferable of species: a hypochondriac taken suddenly, seriously ill."

Subscribe Today