Weekly Review — December 1, 2015, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Jason Van Dyke is charged with murder, Turkey says it isn’t sorry for shooting down a Russian jet, and the Islamic State launches an anti-smoking campaign

WeeklyReviewJK-caption Cook County prosecutors charged former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke with the murder of Laquan McDonald, a black 17-year-old whom Van Dyke shot 16 times last year.[1] Van Dyke’s initial account of the shooting, in which he claimed self defense, was discredited after a judge ordered the release of a dashboard-camera video showing Van Dyke fire on McDonald from 15 feet away, shooting for 13 seconds after the teenager was motionless on the ground.[2] The manager of a Burger King near the shooting claimed that several police officers had visited the restaurant and deleted more than 80 minutes of surveillance footage, which they were recorded doing on the same security system. “It is curious,” said the attorney of McDonald’s family in response to the police superintendent’s claim that Burger King’s footage was already missing when the officers arrived, “what were they looking at for two hours?”[3] In Minneapolis, gunmen opened fire on a group of Black Lives Matter demonstrators demanding to see video footage of the death of Jamar Clark, an unarmed black 24-year-old man shot by police last month.[4] A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli police after he stabbed a border guard in the neck at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, and an Israeli court found two teenagers guilty of murder for their role in kidnapping, bludgeoning with a wrench, and burning to death a 16-year-old Palestinian boy.[5][6] In Colorado Springs, a 57-year old man armed with an assault rifle entered a Planned Parenthood health clinic and killed three people, including a police officer and a veteran of the Iraq war. “He died,” said a friend of the veteran, “in his own country.”[7]

Leaders from 150 countries gathered in Paris for a climate summit primarily aimed at reducing global carbon emissions, and French police fired tear gas at a group of demonstrators who were protesting rising levels of greenhouse gases.[8][9] Conservationists in Hong Kong warned that development projects, high-speed ferry traffic, and pollution could drive away or kill the 60 remaining pink dolphins in the city’s waters; and Japan announced that it would proceed with plans to capture and kill 333 minke whales to conduct studies on the creatures’ health and migration.[10][11] Researchers in the United Kingdom published a study outlining how the airline industry could halve its carbon footprint by changing fuel formulas and altering flight paths, and officials in Turkey said they would not apologize for shooting down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 fighter jet that was traveling through Turkish airspace near the Syrian border.[12][13] Saudi Arabia announced that its Justice Ministry would sue a Twitter user who criticized its decision to execute a poet for apostasy as “ISIS-like.”[14] The Islamic State killed four police officers in a drive-by shooting in Egypt, beat to death a 17-year-old Austrian girl in Syria who was attempting to flee the group, and launched an anti-smoking campaign. “Smoking,” reads the campaign slogan, “killed millions.”[15][16][17]

It was reported that a 79-year-old woman and her 57-year-old son disappeared from the town of Deer Lodge, Montana, ten days after discovering a gold bar worth almost half a million dollars in the home of a late relative.[18][19] Two men dressed as pandas robbed a convenience store in the English town of Louth.[20] In Huron, California, a suspected burglar attempting to enter a house through the chimney was killed after the homeowner lit a fire in the fireplace.[21] A 16-year-old in Georgia was killed by a car after he attempted to twerk on the hood of his friend’s Jeep and lost his balance.[22] Prince Harry of Wales fell off a horse twice.[23] Paraguay’s head of indigenous affairs was fired for kicking an indigenous woman in the stomach.[24] Russian president Vladimir Putin granted citizenship to the 99-year-old daughter of a general who was exiled in 1920 for opposing the Bolshevik revolution; the oldest person in Europe turned 116, crediting her longevity to her three-egg-a-day diet and her decision to leave her violent husband in 1938; and the eldest female in a troop of baboons at the Toronto Zoo initiated a battle for leadership in which six of the animals suffered severe facial lacerations, bites, and possible nerve damage. “She’s fighting to be dominant because of age,” said a zoo employee. “You have to let their natural behavior happen.”[25][26][27]

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

Share
Single Page

More from Joe Kloc:

From the May 2019 issue

Lost at Sea

Poverty and paradise at the edge of America

Weekly Review May 9, 2018, 4:25 pm

Weekly Review

Essential consultants

Weekly Review May 2, 2018, 3:40 pm

Weekly Review

The Count and the Candyman

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

March 2020

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.

The Fifth Step

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A View to a Krill

= 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
Waiting for the End of the World·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

1.

A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition, as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he.

I rose long before dawn, too thrilled to sleep, and set off to find my tribe. North from Greenville in the dark, past towns with names like Sans Souci and Travelers Rest, over the border into North Carolina, through land so choked by kudzu that the overgrown trees in the dark looked like great creatures petrified in mid-flight. The weirdness of this scene would, by the end of the weekend, show itself to be appropriate: my trip would be all about romanticism, and romanticism is a human collision with place that results, as Baudelaire put it, “neither in choice of subject nor exact truth, but in a way of feeling.” My rental car’s engine whined as it climbed the mountains. Day was just breaking when I nosed down a hill to Orchard Lake Campground, where tents were still being erected in the dimness.

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