Weekly Review — December 30, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The United States ends the war in Afghanistan, Putin cancels Christmas for Russian ministers, and a woman in Japan is indicted on charges of obscenity for building a kayak that looks like her vagina

The United States and NATO formally ended their thirteen-year war in Afghanistan, the longest combat mission in American history, during which 2,224 U.S. soldiers and about 20,000 Afghan civilians were killed. At a ceremony in Kabul, General John Campbell rolled up the flag of the International Security Assistance Force and unfurled the flag of Resolute Support, the ongoing non-combat international mission in Afghanistan. “We are safer,” President Barack Obama said during a Christmas Day speech at the Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, Marine Corps base. “[Afghanistan’s] not going to be a source of terrorist attacks again.”[1][2][3][4] Afghan militants fired a rocket near a volleyball match in Wardak province, killing two children and injuring five others; U.S.-led coalition forces launched 19 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and 20 against targets in Iraq; and in Sweden, an attacker threw a firebomb into a mosque, wounding five worshippers.[5][6][7] Tens of thousands of people attended a funeral in New York City for police officer Rafael Ramos, who was shot and killed on duty with his partner Wenjian Liu. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio asked the public to cease marching in “Black Lives Matter” demonstrations, which protest police killings of African Americans, during the funeral; pro-police demonstrations across the country adopted the slogan “Blue Lives Matter”; and a plane hired by a group of current and retired police officers flew a banner over the Hudson River that read, “de Blasio, our backs have turned to you.”[8][9][10][11][12]

An AirAsia plane carrying 162 people went missing en route from Indonesia to Singapore after radioing air traffic control about bad weather over the Java Sea.[13] Spain awarded €2.2 billion in prizes for El Gordo, the world’s largest lottery, during a four-hour televised draw in which winning ticket numbers were sung by a choir of schoolchildren; two people were arrested for grabbing banknotes off a street in Hong Kong after three cashboxes containing about $2 million fell out of a transport van. “They looked like schoolkids,” said a witness, “who knew they were being naughty.”[14][15] Vladimir Putin announced that Russia would supply Ukraine with coal, and canceled Christmas holidays for Russian government ministers; Pope Francis gave a Christmas address in which he accused cardinals, bishops, and priests in the curia of gossiping and believing themselves to be immortal; authorities in Wenzhou, China, banned schools in the region from holding Christmas parties; and Chinese students at Modern College of Northwest University, where celebrating Christmas was forbidden, were required instead to watch a film about Confucius.[16][17][18][19][20] A Colorado man who was recently released from jail for stealing his neighbors’ Halloween decorations was arrested for stealing $2,000 worth of his neighbors’ Christmas decorations. “Every morning he’d go out for a walk,” said his wife, who was also arrested, “and then there was just more stuff in the yard.”[21]

A Jesus statue was stolen from a church Nativity scene in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and replaced with a severed pig’s head; a Sycamore, Ohio, man was ordered by township officials to dismantle his zombie-themed Nativity scene; and a woman was arrested in the Florida state capitol’s “free speech zone” for ripping apart a Satanic Temple holiday display depicting an angel falling into a pit of fire.[22][23][24] Sony Pictures reversed its decision to cancel screenings of The Interview, a comedy about a plot to assassinate the leader of North Korea. A theater in Vermont announced it would give free popcorn to anyone who brought a copy of the U.S. Constitution to the movie. “I’m proud to be an American,” said one of the theater’s owners, “on the front line against terrorism.”[25][26][27] A Japanese artist arrested in July was indicted on charges of obscenity for using a 3-D printer to build a kayak shaped like her vagina, and a man in Washington State who tried to escape from police in a stolen kayak was intercepted by another man in a kayak. “If you’re going to steal a kayak,” the apprehender said of the thief, “you want to be sure to steal the paddle too.”[28][29]

Sign up and get the Weekly Review delivered to your inbox every Tuesday morning.

Share
Single Page

More from Sharon J. Riley:

Weekly Review April 26, 2017, 4:46 pm

Weekly Review

Marine Le Pen qualifies for the second round of the French presidential election, Bill O’Reilly is fired from Fox News, and Russia announces it is not “creating a Terminator.”

Weekly Review March 16, 2017, 2:17 pm

Weekly Review

South Korea’s president is removed from office, Kellyanne Conway suggests that Barack Obama could have spied on Donald Trump using “microwaves that turned into cameras,” and a lake in Australia turns pink.

Weekly Review November 29, 2016, 4:01 pm

Weekly Review

Fidel Castro dies at 90, snow falls in Tokyo for the first time in 50 years, and scientists suggest that the speed of light has declined.

Get access to 167 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

March 2018

The Infinity of the Small

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Empty Suits

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Great Divide

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Nobody Knows

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Other Whisper Network

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Other Whisper Network·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

No one would talk to me for this piece. Or rather, more than twenty women talked to me, sometimes for hours at a time, but only after I promised to leave out their names, and give them what I began to call deep anonymity. This was strange, because what they were saying did not always seem that extreme. Yet here in my living room, at coffee shops, in my inbox and on my voicemail, were otherwise outspoken female novelists, editors, writers, real estate agents, professors, and journalists of various ages so afraid of appearing politically insensitive that they wouldn’t put their names to their thoughts, and I couldn’t blame them. 

Of course, the prepublication frenzy of Twitter fantasy and fury about this essay, which exploded in early January, is Exhibit A for why nobody wants to speak openly. Before the piece was even finished, let alone published, people were calling me “pro-rape,” “human scum,” a “harridan,” a “monster out of Stephen King’s ‘IT,’?” a “ghoul,” a “bitch,” and a “garbage person”—all because of a rumor that I was planning to name the creator of the so-called Shitty Media Men list. The Twitter feminist Jessica Valenti called this prospect “profoundly shitty” and “incredibly dangerous” without having read a single word of my piece. Other tweets were more direct: “man if katie roiphe actually publishes that article she can consider her career over.” “Katie Roiphe can suck my dick.” With this level of thought policing, who in their right mind would try to say anything even mildly provocative or original? 

Illustration by Shonagh Rae
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
Post
CamperForce·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

After losing their savings in the stock market crash of 2008, seniors Barb and Chuck find seasonal employment at Amazon fulfillment centers.

Days after the Columbine shootings in 1999 that Eric Holder called for “regulations in how people interact on the Internet‚”:

5

The 63 percent drop in Brazil’s birth rate between 1960 and 2000 was due in part to soap operas.

US president Donald Trump, who once said it “doesn’t matter” what journalists write about him if he has a “piece of ass” that is “young,” blamed the press coverage of the abuse allegations on the White House communications director, whom Trump has reportedly called a “piece of tail” and asked to steam a pair of pants he was wearing.

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