Weekly Review — December 30, 2016, 3:50 pm

Weekly Review

The U.N. Security Council condemns the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, an ordained Pagan priest receives permission to wear goat horns in his driver’s license photo, and snow falls in the Saharan town of Ain Sefra for the first time in 40 years.

WeeklyAvatar-SM.pngPolice in Italy shot and killed a man suspected of driving a truck into a Berlin Christmas market, after he refused to present identification papers in Milan’s Sesto San Giovanni neighborhood.[1] The suspect, a 24-year-old Tunisian man, had previously set fire to a migrant center on the Italian island of Lampedusa, been transferred to various Sicilian prisons for bad conduct, and been identified as a threat by both the Italian and German authorities, but had not been deported because he did not have a valid passport, which arrived two days after the Berlin attack.[2][3] U.S. president-elect Donald Trump tweeted that the United States should greatly “expand its nuclear capability,” and the Pakistani defense minister reacted to a fake news story claiming that Israel had threatened to use its nuclear arsenal by reiterating that Pakistan has a nuclear arsenal as well.[4][5] The United States abstained from voting for a U.N. Security Council resolution that condemned the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israel claimed it had “rather hard” evidence that Barack Obama was behind the resolution, and Trump called the United Nations “a club for people to get together, talk, and have a good time.”[6][7][8] Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari congratulated troops for pushing Boko Haram insurgents out of Camp Zero, their last stronghold in the Sambisa Forest.[9] Kurdish-led fighters approached the ISIS-held Euphrates Dam in northern Syria.[10] A cafeteria manager in Turkey was detained after saying he would refuse to serve the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a cup of tea.[11]

In Russia, a plane carrying the Red Army Choir, which was scheduled to serenade troops in Syria on New Year’s Eve, crashed into the Black Sea moments after taking off, killing all 92 on board.[12] In New York, debate continued as to whether the Radio City Rockettes would be forced to perform at Trump’s inauguration.[13][14][15] “This Christmas,” the Republican National Committee said in a statement, “heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King.”[16] Queen Elizabeth II missed Christmas church services because of a “heavy cold,” and the principal of a Taiwanese school resigned after students staged a Nazi-themed Christmas parade.[17][18] South Korean protesters in Santa costumes held a candlelight vigil to call for their president’s resignation.[19] In Sri Lanka, the 2016 Joy to the World Festival mistakenly printed the lyrics to Tupac’s “Hail Mary,” which read, “we all wrapped up in this livin’ life as thugs.”[20] A Libyan Airbus A320 was hijacked at Malta International Airport, disrupting the filming of a movie about a 1976 plane hijacking in Uganda.[21] An Indian court told airlines to stop dumping feces during flights, and a transatlantic flight from Paris to New York stopped in Ireland so passengers could use the bathroom.[22][23] U.S. Customs and Border Protection began asking certain foreign travelers for lists of their social-media accounts, and Korean Air said crew members are now permitted to use stun guns.[24][25] Scientists said the discovery of a fossilized wing bone belonging to the prehistoric Tingmiatornis arctica suggests the North Pole was once as warm as Florida, and snow fell in the Saharan town of Ain Sefra for the first time in 40 years.[26][27]

Biologists studying Inuits in Greenland identified a gene variant from an extinct group of humans that promotes heat-generating body fat.[28] Maine resident Phelan Moonsong, an ordained Pagan priest, received permission to wear goat horns in his driver’s license photo.[29] It was reported that the number of emergency calls in Sweden dropped by 20 percent between 3 and 4 p.m. on Christmas Eve, when Swedes gathered to watch “Kalle Anka och hans vanner onskar God Jul,” a Donald Duck Christmas special.[30] A&E Network changed the name of an upcoming documentary series from “Generation KKK” to “Escaping the KKK,” then canceled it altogether after it was revealed that producers had paid members of the white supremacist group for access.[31] Walmart stopped selling shirts reading “Bulletproof: Black Lives Matter” after receiving a complaint from the Fraternal Order of Police, and a man charged with the murder of a 52-year-old UPS driver in a Walmart parking lot said in court that he “shot and killed Donald Trump purposely, intentionally, and very proudly.”[32][33] A man in California prepared to fight a DUI charge for driving under the influence of caffeine.[34] Wyoming police used DNA collected from a half-eaten peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich to arrest a burglary suspect.[35] Investigators in Russia’s Yakutia region examined footage of a brown bear being repeatedly run over by two off-road trucks in the Siberian tundra.[36] Inmates escaped through the wall of a Tennessee jail that had been eroded by water damage from a broken toilet, the Chinese government announced a “toilet revolution,” and New Delhi’s municipal council launched 28 inflatable mascots that will blow a whistle when they detect public defecation.[37][38][39] In Miami, London, and Brazil, Burger King invited customers to exchange unwanted gifts for Whoppers, and in Chicago, a bus driver filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s for consumer fraud, explaining that purchasing an Extra Value Meal is 41 cents more expensive than purchasing two cheeseburgers, a medium fries, and a drink separately.[40][41] Trump tweeted that the world is “gloomy.”[42]

Share
Single Page

More from Stephanie McFeeters:

Response March 7, 2017, 6:51 pm

A Feminism for the Masses

Four women make the case for a strike

Weekly Review November 8, 2016, 11:49 am

Weekly Review

The Ku Klux Klan endorses Donald Trump, the FBI says Hillary Clinton won’t be prosecuted, and Americans pick their next president

Weekly Review September 20, 2016, 12:34 pm

Weekly Review

A homemade bomb explodes under a dumpster in New York City, Donald Trump admits U.S. president Barack Obama was born in America, and a fertility doctor in Indiana is accused of artificially inseminating his patients with his own sperm

Get access to 168 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

November 2018

Rebirth of a Nation

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Tragedy of Ted Cruz

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Rebirth of a Nation·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Donald Trump’s presidency signals a profound but inchoate realignment of American politics. On the one hand, his administration may represent the consolidation of minority control by a Republican-dominated Senate under the leadership of a president who came to office after losing the popular vote by almost 3 million ballots. Such an imbalance of power could lead to a second civil war—indeed, the nation’s first and only great fraternal conflagration was sparked off in part for precisely this reason. On the other hand, Trump’s reign may be merely an interregnum, in which the old white power structure of the Republican Party is dying and a new oppositional coalition struggles to be born.

Illustration by Taylor Callery (detail)
Article
Blood Money·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Over the past three years, the city of South Tucson, Arizona, a largely Latino enclave nestled inside metropolitan Tucson, came close to abolishing its fire and police departments. It did sell off the library and cut back fire-truck crews from four to three people—whereupon two thirds of the fire department quit—and slashed the police force to just sixteen employees. “We’re a small city, just one square mile, surrounded by a larger city,” the finance director, Lourdes Aguirre, explained to me. “We have small-town dollars and big-city problems.”

Illustration by John Ritter (detail)
Article
The Tragedy of Ted Cruz·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

When I saw Ted Cruz speak, in early August, it was at Underwood’s Cafeteria in Brownwood. He was on a weeklong swing through rural central Texas, hitting small towns and military bases that ensured him friendly, if not always entirely enthusiastic, crowds. In Brownwood, some in the audience of two hundred were still nibbling on peach cobbler as Cruz began with an anecdote about his win in a charity basketball game against ABC’s late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. They rewarded him with smug chuckles when he pointed out that “Hollywood celebrities” would be hurting over the defeat “for the next fifty years.” His pitch for votes was still an off-the-rack Tea Party platform, complete with warnings about the menace of creeping progressivism, delivered at a slightly mechanical pace but with lots of punch. The woman next to me remarked, “This is the fire in the gut! Like he had the first time!” referring to Cruz’s successful long-shot run in the 2011 Texas Republican Senate primary. And it’s true—the speech was exactly like one Cruz would have delivered in 2011, right down to one specific detail: he never mentioned Donald Trump by name.

Cruz recited almost verbatim the same things Trump lists as the administration’s accomplishments: the new tax legislation, reduced African-American unemployment, repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, and Neil Gorsuch’s appointment to the Supreme Court. But, in a mirror image of those in the #Resistance who refuse to ennoble Trump with the title “president,” Cruz only called him that.

Photograph of Ted Cruz © Ben Helton (detail)
Article
Wrong Object·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

H

e is a nondescript man.

I’d never used that adjective about a client. Not until this one. My seventeenth. He’d requested an evening time and came Tuesdays at six-thirty. For months he didn’t tell me what he did.

The first session I said what I often said to begin: How can I help you?

I still think of what I do as a helping profession. And I liked the way the phrase echoed down my years; in my first job I’d been a salesgirl at a department store counter.

I want to work on my marriage, he said. I’m the problem.

His complaint was familiar. But I preferred a self-critical patient to a blamer.

It’s me, he said. My wife is a thoroughly good person.

Yawn, I thought, but said, Tell me more.

I don’t feel what I should for her.

What do you feel?

Photograph © Joseph S. Giacalone (detail)

Chances an American who voted for Ross Perot in 1992 can no longer recall having done so:

1 in 2

People tend to believe that God believes what they believe.

Nikki Haley resigns; Jamal Khashoggi murdered; Kanye visits the White House

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

Illustration by Stan Fellows

Illustration by Stan Fellows

“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