Weekly Review — March 8, 2016, 1:04 pm

Weekly Review

North Korea threatens to launch a nuclear strike on the United States, the search term “move to Canada” spikes on Google, and a dog crashes a semi-tractor.

HarpersMagazine-1853-12-bootsThe United States carried out an airstrike on an Al-Shabab training site in Somalia, killing 150 militants.[1] A suicide bomber claiming allegiance to the Islamic State drove a truck packed with explosives into a checkpoint at the entrance to the Iraqi city of Hilla, killing at least 60 people.[2] A Taliban suicide bomber killed 11 people outside a courthouse in Pakistan, and North Korea threatened the United States and South Korea with a nuclear strike.[3][4] Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney urged his party’s voters not to support current Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, calling Trump a “fraud” who is “playing the American public for suckers”; Mexico’s treasury secretary announced that his country would not pay for the construction of a wall on the U.S.–Mexican border as Trump had promised his supporters; and Google search queries for “move to Canada” surged shortly after Trump won seven state primaries. [5][6][7] The Supreme Court temporarily blocked a Louisiana law that would have capped the number of abortion clinics.[8] Former first lady Nancy Reagan died at the age of 94, and Aubrey McClendon, a former chief executive of Chesapeake Energy, died in a car crash at the age of 56, one day after he was charged with breaking federal antitrust laws.[9][10] The Ivy League vowed to eliminate tackling at football practices, and a study found that the Uraba lugens caterpillar uses a “hat” made of its old heads to protect itself from predators.[11][12]

In Pennsylvania, a man pleaded guilty to robbing a bank by threatening employees with a sex toy that looked like a bomb.[13] A New York woman was charged with one felony count of possessing a forged instrument after she was pulled over for driving with a license plate made of cardboard.[14] An NYPD horse threw its officer and ran loose in Times Square, and a dog perched on the driver’s seat of a semi-tractor crashed the vehicle into a car at a Kwik Trip convenience store in Mankato, Minnesota.[15][16][17] A police dog in Contra Costa County located a burglary suspect hiding in a doghouse.[18] In China, a maintenance crew discovered the body of a woman in an elevator they had disabled a month earlier, and an American man in Mozambique found a piece of debris that may be a fragment of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared two years ago.[19][20] In Dallas, a man riding a hoverboard shot and wounded a driver who offered him a ride. “The suspect then fled the location,” wrote the police in a press release, “on foot.”[21]

In Idaho, three high-school students and a middle-school student were charged with various arson-related crimes for burning down their principal’s house in retaliation for suspensions.[22] Two teenagers in Anchorage, Alaska, accidentally set fire to an elementary school’s playground while attempting to burn a love letter, and a 16-year-old boy in Tennessee with a 9mm handgun shot at his grandmother, mother, sister, and nephew because he had not wanted to get out of bed for school.[23][24] Google installed cameras at the Los Angeles Zoo that allow animals to take photos of themselves, police charged a Long Island man with driving under the influence after viewing his self-broadcast drunk-driving video on a streaming app, and a Washington man attempting to take a selfie while holding his gun accidentally shot himself in the face.[25][26][27] A toddler in South Carolina called 911 when she was unable to put on her pants, and a five-year-old in California who had suffered a mysterious six-month-long runny nose blew her nose and dislodged a 1.5-inch safety pin.[28][29] In the United Kingdom, the Department for Education issued guidelines mandating that examiners give primary-school students credit for using an exclamation mark only when a sentence begins with “How” or “What.” “Cripes!” said John Sutherland, Lord Northcliffe Professor of English Literature Emeritus at University College London. “Yikes!”[30]

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

Share
Single Page

More from Marisa Nakasone:

Weekly Review September 7, 2016, 11:33 am

Weekly Review

North Korea fires three ballistic missiles toward the Sea of Japan, millions of honeybees die in South Carolina, and JetBlue puts an unaccompanied minor on the wrong flight

Weekly Review August 10, 2016, 11:44 am

Weekly Review

A bomb blast in a hospital in Quetta kills at least 70 people, landslides in Mexico kill 40 people, and a group of monkeys in Kuala Lumpur steal confidential documents from a mailman

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
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.

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.

Article
Power of Attorney·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In a Walmart parking lot in Portsmouth, Virginia, in 2015, a white police officer named Stephen Rankin shot and killed an unarmed, eighteen-­year-­old black man named William Chapman. “This is my second one,” he told a bystander seconds after firing the fatal shots, seemingly in reference to an incident four years earlier, when he had shot and killed another unarmed man, an immigrant from Kazakhstan. Rankin, a Navy veteran, had been arresting Chapman for shoplifting when, he claimed, Chapman charged him in a manner so threatening that he feared for his life, leaving him no option but to shoot to kill—­the standard and almost invariably successful defense for officers when called to account for shooting civilians. Rankin had faced no charges for his earlier killing, but this time, something unexpected happened: Rankin was indicted on a charge of first-­degree murder by Portsmouth’s newly elected chief prosecutor, thirty-­one-year-­old Stephanie Morales. Furthermore, she announced that she would try the case herself, the first time she had ever prosecuted a homicide. “No one could remember us having an actual prosecution for the killing of an unarmed person by the police,” Morales told me. “I got a lot of feedback, a lot of people saying, ‘You shouldn’t try this case. If you don’t win, it may affect your reelection. Let someone else do it.’ ”

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.

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 federal judge authored a 69-page ruling preventing New York City from enforcing zoning laws pertaining to adult bookstores and strip clubs.

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