Weekly Review — August 4, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The Taliban appoints a new leader, Iraq takes a four-day heat holiday, and Zimbabwe seeks to extradite a Minnesota dentist for killing and beheading a protected lion

his majesty frank penguin, king of the brutes

his majesty frank penguin, king of the brutes

Thousands of African and Middle Eastern migrants attempted to reach England by entering the Channel Tunnel in Calais, France, and jumping onto passing trucks and freight trains.[1] French authorities sent 120 riot police, equipped with dogs and tear gas, to assist the 60 officers who were already blocking the migrants’ passage.[2][3] A Sudanese man was killed while trying to hop on a truck, becoming the ninth migrant since June to have died while attempting to cross into Britain. “It’s an incredible place,” said British prime minister David Cameron, “to live.”[4][5] A white University of Cincinnati police officer was indicted on a murder charge for shooting an unarmed black man named Samuel DuBose in the head after pulling him over for driving without a front license plate. “This doesn’t happen in the United States,” the prosecutor said. “People don’t get shot for a traffic stop.” [6] In Tennessee, police searched for the killer of a Memphis officer, who was fatally shot during a traffic stop.[7] Zimbabwean authorities accused a gynecological oncologist from Pennsylvania of illegally killing a lion during a bow hunt last April and sought the extradition of a Minnesota dentist who lured a protected lion out of Hwange National Park, wounded it with an arrow, trailed it for two days, then shot it with a gun, and beheaded and skinned it.[8][9][10] In Jerusalem, an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man stabbed six people at a gay pride parade, one month after completing a ten-year prison sentence for stabbing three people at the city’s 2005 gay pride parade.[11]

A 15-year-old boy in Santa Cruz, California, was arrested for kidnapping, sexually assaulting, and murdering an eight-year-old girl, then disposing of her body in a recycling bin.[12] Afghan officials announced that Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar has been dead since 2013, and a faction of the Taliban appointed Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansoor as his successor.[13][14] A four-day mandatory holiday was declared in Iraq as temperatures reached 123 degrees Fahrenheit.[15] At Olympic and Paralympic venues in Rio de Janeiro, levels of adenoviruses, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting, were found to be 1.7 million times higher than the level considered hazardous in the United States.[16] Part of a Boeing 777 wing suspected to belong to the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared 16 months ago, was found on an island in the Indian Ocean.[17][18] More than 100,000 French citizens signed a petition demanding the reopening of a nude beach on the French Riviera after the local government closed it in advance of a visit from the king of Saudi Arabia.[19] Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and artificial-intelligence experts called for a global ban on autonomous weapons, and the irreparably damaged body of a hitchhiking robot was found in a Philadelphia alley with its battery dead and its arms severed.[20][21][22]

A dead deer was discovered on the grounds of a shuttered John Deere plant in Canada, and a Texas man accidentally shot himself in the face after he opened fire on an armadillo and a bullet ricocheted off the animal’s shell.[23][24] A Saudi farmer was offered $400,000 for a sheep whose coat has a marking that resembles the word “Mohammad” in Arabic.[25] A Pennsylvania elementary school was closed because of an infestation by brown recluse spiders, and Old River–Winfree residents complained of worms coming out of their faucets.[26][27] Residents of Odessa, Texas, spotted two people performing an exorcism at Memorial Gardens Park. “Jesus can heal anybody,” said a witness. “It’s just not something you expect to see on the duck pond.”[28] In New Hampshire, Huckleberry Finn was arrested for sexual assault.[29] In Moscow, a Stalin impersonator and a Lenin impersonator made peace with one another over ice cream after the former struck the latter with an umbrella.[30] A Hong Kong zoo served Jia Jia, the oldest giant panda in captivity, a cake made from ice, grenadine, mint syrup, and apple for her 37th birthday; and Yuan Yuan, a giant Taiwanese panda, was suspected of faking pregnancy in order to receive a private room, air conditioning, fruit, and buns.[31][32] It was revealed that the man who had been authorized to build England’s first women’s museum is instead opening a museum dedicated to Jack the Ripper.[33]


Read the Weekly Review in the Harper’s Magazine app, or sign up to have it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday morning.

Share
Single Page

More from Camille Bromley:

Conversation October 3, 2016, 11:00 am

Unofficial Stories

“The suffering cannot disappear without a trace, we need to understand how and why,” says Svetlana Alexievich, the 2015 Nobel laureate in literature and author of Secondhand Time.

Weekly Review April 12, 2016, 1:32 pm

Weekly Review

Leaked documents reveal that heads of state around the world hide money in offshore accounts, NASA researchers report that climate change has altered the Earth’s wobble, and scientists find that touching the genitals of robots arouses humans.

Weekly Review December 15, 2015, 10:51 am

Weekly Review

An Oklahoma police officer is convicted of raping women while on patrol, Chinese officials accuse the Dalai Lama of sympathizing with the Islamic State, and a burglar hiding in a lake is eaten by an alligator 

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.

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.

Post
Poem for Harm·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Reflections on harm in language and the trouble with Whitman

Article
Constitution in Crisis·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

America’s Constitution was once celebrated as a radical and successful blueprint for democratic governance, a model for fledgling republics across the world. But decades of political gridlock, electoral corruption, and dysfunction in our system of government have forced scholars, activists, and citizens to question the document’s ability to address the thorniest issues of modern ­political life.

Does the path out of our current era of stalemate, minority rule, and executive abuse require amending the Constitution? Do we need a new constitutional convention to rewrite the document and update it for the twenty-­first century? Should we abolish it entirely?

This spring, Harper’s Magazine invited five lawmakers and scholars to New York University’s law school to consider the constitutional crisis of the twenty-­first century. The event was moderated by Rosa Brooks, a law professor at Georgetown and the author of How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon.

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