Weekly Review — November 1, 2016, 5:56 pm

Weekly Review

The FBI continues its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, a Russian weapons manufacturer unveils a missile capable of destroying Texas, and a chimpanzee in North Korea smokes a pack of cigarettes 

the magnificent bird of paradise.

the magnificent bird of paradise.

More than 140 Native Americans and their supporters were arrested near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota during ongoing protests against the proposed Dakota Access pipeline, which will transport more than 450,000 barrels of crude a day from the state’s northwestern region to Patoka, Illinois.[1][2] Protesters threw logs and feces at police officers, who shot rubber bullets at their horses.[3] Seven armed antigovernment militiamen who occupied Malheur National Wildlife Refuge earlier this year were acquitted of firearm possession in a federal facility and conspiracy to impede federal workers, and at least 1,000 children who were evicted from the Jungle migrant camp in Calais, France, were reportedly living in nearby shipping containers. “Mission accomplished,” said the prefect of the region.[4][5] FBI director James Comey announced that the agency would continue its investigation of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server after potentially relevant emails were found on devices owned by former congressman Anthony Weiner, who is under investigation for sending lewd text messages to an underage girl.[6][7] Senate minority leader Harry Reid accused Comey of breaking the law by making the announcement so close to the election, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump praised the decision. “The system might not be as rigged as I thought,” he said.[8][9] It was reported that as many as 900 Islamic State fighters were killed in Mosul, Iraq, during Iraqi-led efforts to reclaim control of the city; 60 people were killed in an attack on a police academy in Quetta, Pakistan; and at least 26 people, including children, were killed at a school in northwestern Syria when it was struck by air raids linked to Russia.[10][11][12] A Russian missile company unveiled the RS-28, a 100-ton intercontinental ballistic rocket with a 6,835-mile range nicknamed Satan 2, which they claimed could “wipe out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France.”[13][14]

The World Meteorological Organization warned that 2016 could be the first time in 5 million years that carbon dioxide levels remained above 400 parts per million, scientists predicted that more than two thirds of the world’s wild animals could be gone by 2020, and a glaciologist in Antarctica died when he drove his snowmobile into a crevasse.[15][16][17] In Amsterdam, inventors unveiled a vacuum cleaner that they claimed could suck air from more than four miles above the earth’s surface and filter out fine particles, and a man in Portland, Maine, was arresting for obstructing traffic while dressed as an evergreen tree.[18][19] A man in Saudi Arabia filed for divorce two hours after his wedding when he learned that his wife had shared their wedding photos on Snapchat, and authorities in Chechnya began sending representatives to monitor weddings to ensure no “nontraditional” behavior, including firing guns and brides dancing, took place.[20][21] In Iceland, thousands of women left their jobs at 2:38 P.M., with 14 percent of their workday remaining, to protest the country’s 14 percent gender pay gap, and researchers reported that the gender gap in alcohol consumption is narrowing in younger generations.[22][23] The former personal sushi chef for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said that Kim had bragged about drinking ten bottles of Bordeaux wine in one evening, and it was reported that a chimpanzee in Pyongyang Zoo, in the nation’s capital, smokes a pack of cigarettes per day.[24][25]

A 20-year-old woman in Texas was arrested after she rear-ended a police car while trying to take a topless selfie, a man in Arizona stopped to order food at an In-N-Out Burger drive-through window while being chased by police, and a 28-year-old man in Florida fell out of and then had his leg run over by his pickup truck on his way home from a strip club.[26][27][28] It was reported that the 531-foot-tall steeple of the tallest church in the world, in Ulm, Germany, is eroding because it is coated with urine and vomit, and the Catholic Church announced that scattering the ashes of a cremated person could give the appearance of nihilism.[29][30] Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said that he had promised God he would stop cursing while on a flight from Japan. “I heard a voice telling me to stop swearing,” he said, “or the plane will crash.”[31] Schools in at least nine states banned children from dressing up as clowns for Halloween, and it was reported that because of a number of threatening clown sightings around the world, McDonald’s would stop displaying Ronald McDonald in public.[32] Police in California arrested a man dressed as a “Psycho Teddy Bear” who was carrying two hunting knives, researchers from the American Chemical Society concluded that eating 262 pieces of “Fun Size” Halloween candy could be lethal, and parents in Oregon were advised to check their children’s Halloween candy for edible marijuana. “The candies,” said a toxicologist at the Oregon Poison Center, “could get mixed up.”[33][34][35]

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It has become something of a commonplace to say that Mike Pence belongs to another era. He is a politician whom the New York Times has called a “throwback,” a “conservative proudly out of sync with his times,” and a “dangerous anachronism,” a man whose social policies and outspoken Christian faith are so redolent of the previous century’s culture wars that he appeared to have no future until, in the words of one journalist, he was plucked “off the political garbage heap” by Donald Trump and given new life. Pence’s rise to the vice presidency was not merely a personal advancement; it marked the return of religion and ideology to American politics at a time when the titles of political analyses were proclaiming the Twilight of Social Conservatism (2015) and the End of White Christian America (2016). It revealed the furious persistence of the religious right, an entity whose final demise was for so long considered imminent that even as white evangelicals came out in droves to support the Trump-Pence ticket, their enthusiasm was dismissed, in the Washington Post, as the movement’s “last spastic breath.”

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Just after dawn in Lhamo, a small town on the northeastern corner of the Tibetan Plateau, horns summon the monks of Serti Monastery to prayer. Juniper incense smolders in the temple’s courtyard as monks begin arriving in huddled groups. Some walk the kora, a clockwise circumambulation around the building. Others hustle toward the main door, which sits just inside a porch decorated in bright thangka paintings. A pile of fur boots accumulates outside. When the last monks have arrived, the horn blowers leaning out of the second-floor windows retire indoors.

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As he approached his death in 1987, the photographer Peter Hujar was all but unknown, with a murky reputation and a tiny, if elite, cult following. Slowly circling down what was then the hopeless spiral of ­AIDS, Peter had ceaselessly debated one decision, which he reached only with difficulty, and only when the end drew near. He was in a hospital bed when he made his will that summer, naming me the executor of his entire artistic estate—and also its sole owner.

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Photograph by Peter Hujar
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The truth—that thing I thought I was telling.—John Ashbery To start with the facts: the chapter in my book White Sands called “Pilgrimage” is about a visit to the house where the philosopher Theodor Adorno lived in Los Angeles during the Second World War. It takes its title from the story of that name by Susan Sontag (recently republished in Debriefing: Collected Stories) about a visit she and her friend Merrill made to the house of Adorno’s fellow German exile Thomas Mann in the Pacific Palisades, in 1947, when she was fourteen. It seemed strange that the story was originally …
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