Weekly Review

Weekly Review — February 25, 2020, 12:21 pm

Weekly Review

Police armed with locally produced slingshots were deployed to prevent Trump from being attacked by monkeys at the Taj Mahal.

Weekly Review — February 18, 2020, 1:40 pm

Weekly Review

“Papa” John Schnatter retracted a claim he made last month that he had eaten “40 pizzas in the last 30 days,” admitting that he had been referring to eating “parts of pieces” rather than entire pies.

Weekly Review — February 11, 2020, 4:37 pm

Weekly Review

In New Hampshire, Joe Biden called a woman 56 years his junior “a lying, dog-faced pony soldier,” which his campaign incorrectly attributed to a film starring John Wayne.

Weekly Review — February 5, 2020, 11:31 am

Weekly Review

A Mennonite accountant was charged with defrauding his Amish neighbors.

Weekly Review — January 29, 2020, 1:46 pm

Weekly Review

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, President Trump said that he would not rule out sanctions against Iraq, where active-duty U.S. troops are still stationed.

Weekly Review — January 22, 2020, 10:11 am

Weekly Review

In response to a major volcanic eruption, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines vowed he would “eat that ashfall. I’m even going to pee on Taal, that goddamned volcano.”

Weekly Review — January 14, 2020, 11:20 am

Weekly Review

A decorated veteran of the American wars in Vietnam and Iraq had his prosthetic limbs repossessed from his home in Mississippi when the VA declined to pay for them.

Weekly Review — January 7, 2020, 1:00 pm

Weekly Review

Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott complained on an Israeli radio show that the world is “in the grip of a climate cult.”

Weekly Review — January 1, 2020, 12:31 pm

Weekly Review

A candidate for Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party cosplayed as a character from the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion at the Taiwan Grand Triumph concert.

Weekly Review — December 24, 2019, 11:32 am

Weekly Review

The Department of Agriculture removed Wakanda, the fictional hyperadvanced African country featured in the Black Panther comic book franchise, from its list of free-trade partners.

Weekly Review — December 17, 2019, 11:12 am

Weekly Review

The wife of the Chattooga County, Georgia, commissioner was arrested after pouring soda pop on a reporter’s head before the start of a budget meeting.

Weekly Review — December 10, 2019, 3:32 pm

Weekly Review

A 71-year-old Japanese man was arrested after placing 24,000 customer complaint calls with his cell-phone service provider because he could not get his phone to play radio broadcasts.

Weekly Review — December 3, 2019, 11:52 am

Weekly Review

President Donald Trump signed a bipartisan measure that, for the first time, makes certain acts of animal cruelty, such as animal crushing, a federal crime.

Weekly Review — November 26, 2019, 12:07 pm

Weekly Review

Police officers in Rome were investigated on allegations of accepting bribes in the form of pasta and gelato.

Weekly Review — November 19, 2019, 12:35 pm

Weekly Review

An event for the book Triggered: How The Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us ended after 20 minutes when the “groyper army,” neo-Nazi supporters who are fans of the president, heckled author Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend off of the stage.

Weekly Review — November 12, 2019, 12:03 pm

Weekly Review

Vladimir Putin announced his intention to replace Wikipedia with a digital version of the Great Russian Encyclopedia to ensure the dissemination of “reliable information.”

Weekly Review — November 5, 2019, 11:46 am

Weekly Review

Alaska representative Don Young headbutted a camera in response to a reporter’s question about election meddling.

Weekly Review — October 29, 2019, 1:18 pm

Weekly Review

An inventor in Australia denied preying on desperate farmers who would pay as much as $50,000 for him to deliver 100 millimeters of rain; he claims his service, whose methods he won’t reveal lest they be stolen by competitors, includes a bridge in the space-time continuum and the application of small, strategic amounts of energy to guide the butterfly effect.

Weekly Review — October 22, 2019, 10:02 am

Weekly Review

In Oklahoma, a man who had pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with the intention to distribute had his 15-year sentence dismissed after it was discovered that the white powder he was carrying when he was arrested was powdered milk.

Weekly Review — October 16, 2019, 8:30 am

Weekly Review

In Billings, Montana, a team of sled dogs escaped from a training session and led police on a low-speed chase.

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The Old Normal·

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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.

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Last fall, a court filing in the Eastern District of Virginia inadvertently suggested that the Justice Department had indicted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and other outlets reported soon after that Assange had likely been secretly indicted for conspiring with his sources to publish classified government material and hacked documents belonging to the Democratic National Committee, among other things.

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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.

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Out of Africa·

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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