Weekly Review

Weekly Review — August 20, 2019, 2:26 pm

Weekly Review

A federal judge in North Carolina ruled in favor of personal-injury lawyer George Sink Sr., who had sued his son, George Sink Jr., for using his own name at his competing law firm.

Weekly Review — August 13, 2019, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The world champion of short-track speed skating was banned from the sport for a year after pantsing a teammate.

Weekly Review — August 6, 2019, 3:18 pm

Weekly Review

The National Academy of Sciences published a study that found CEOs and CFOs who use the extramarital-affair website Ashley Madison are more than twice as likely to engage in corporate misconduct.

Weekly Review — July 30, 2019, 3:55 pm

Weekly Review

Boris Johnson was sworn in as prime minister; Donald Trump complained about Obama ruining the White House’s air-conditioning

Weekly Review — July 24, 2019, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

A police officer admitted that, while waiting at the London home of a family whose child had died, he had purchased four pornographic movies on their Virgin TV account.

Weekly Review — July 16, 2019, 1:26 pm

Weekly Review

“What’s the point?” said Senator Tim Scott, who is paid at least $174,000 per year as an elected official, when asked whether he had read the Mueller report.

Weekly Review — July 10, 2019, 9:00 am

Weekly Review

An Asian-American couple who allegedly spent more than $100,000 on in vitro fertilization sued a fertility clinic after they gave birth to two children who are not Asian.

Weekly Review — July 2, 2019, 2:47 pm

Weekly Review

New York announced that there are, officially, 2,373 squirrels in Central Park.

Weekly Review — June 25, 2019, 2:37 pm

Weekly Review

Alabama passed a law allowing a Presbyterian megachurch to create its own police force.

Weekly Review — June 19, 2019, 12:14 pm

Weekly Review

Boaty McBoatface, an autonomous underwater vehicle that was named in a 2016 internet poll, discovered that stronger Antarctic winds, the result of a growing hole in the ozone layer, have been causing more ocean turbulence, which in turn has raised sea levels and temperatures.

Weekly Review — June 11, 2019, 9:56 am

Weekly Review

New York City seized 46 ice cream trucks in a sting called “Operation Meltdown.”

Weekly Review — June 4, 2019, 3:35 pm

Weekly Review

An event at a gas station in Edmonton to celebrate the repeal of Alberta’s consumer carbon tax was canceled in response to heavy smoke from uncontained wildfires elsewhere in the province.

Weekly Review — May 29, 2019, 12:45 pm

Weekly Review

A study predicted that the average size of animals will shrink 25 percent in the next century.

Weekly Review — May 21, 2019, 1:39 pm

Weekly Review

Uber added a “quiet mode” feature that allows passengers to choose from options such as “quiet preferred,” “happy to chat,” or “no preference.”

Weekly Review — May 14, 2019, 1:20 pm

Weekly Review

The United States is nearly drought-free for the first time in decades and is experiencing unprecedented levels of flooding.

Weekly Review — May 7, 2019, 1:43 pm

Weekly Review

A fund-raiser for a charter school in California was canceled after QAnon conspiracy theory believers bombarded the school with threats on the basis of their interpretation of a tweet by former FBI director James Comey, in which he listed five jobs he had held in the past.

Weekly Review — April 30, 2019, 12:51 pm

Weekly Review

At a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Trump criticized the alleged support among Democrats, including that of Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, for what he called “extreme late-term abortion,” in which “the baby is born, the mother meets with the doctor, they take care of the baby, they wrap the baby beautifully, and then the doctor and the mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby,” before making a chopping guillotine motion with his hands.

Weekly Review — April 23, 2019, 3:19 pm

Weekly Review

Individuals and corporations have donated over $1 billion to rebuild Notre Dame, a sum that has drawn international criticism and prompted protests by the Yellow Vests.

Weekly Review — April 16, 2019, 10:50 am

Weekly Review

The Cairo, New York, police department advised drivers to “overcome the fear” after a woman crashed her car when she saw a spider.

Weekly Review — April 9, 2019, 4:14 pm

Weekly Review

A student at the University of Iowa asked Robert Francis O’Rourke, who was speaking on campus that day, “Are you here to see Beto?”

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Common Ground·

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Thirty miles from the coast, on a desert plateau in the Judaean Mountains without natural resources or protection, Jerusalem is not a promising site for one of the world’s great cities, which partly explains why it has been burned to the ground twice and besieged or attacked more than seventy times. Much of the Old City that draws millions of tourists and Holy Land pilgrims dates back two thousand years, but the area ­likely served as the seat of the Judaean monarchy a full millennium before that. According to the Bible, King David conquered the Canaanite city and established it as his capital, but over centuries of destruction and rebuilding all traces of that period were lost. In 1867, a British military officer named Charles Warren set out to find the remnants of David’s kingdom. He expected to search below the famed Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif, but the Ottoman authorities denied his request to excavate there. Warren decided to dig instead on a slope outside the Old City walls, observing that the Psalms describe Jerusalem as lying in a valley surrounded by hills, not on top of one.

On a Monday morning earlier this year, I walked from the Old City’s Muslim Quarter to the archaeological site that Warren unearthed, the ancient core of Jerusalem now known as the City of David. In the alleys of the Old City, stone insulated the air and awnings blocked the sun, so the streets were cold and dark and the mood was somber. Only the pilgrims were up this early. American church groups filed along the Via Dolorosa, holding thin wooden crosses and singing a hymn based on a line from the Gospel of Luke: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Narrow shops sold gardenia, musk, and amber incense alongside sweatshirts promoting the Israel Defense Forces.

I passed through the Western Wall Plaza to the Dung Gate, popularly believed to mark the ancient route along which red heifers were led to the Temple for sacrifice. Outside the Old City walls, in the open air, I found light and heat and noise. Tour buses lined up like train cars along the ridge. Monday is the day when bar and bat mitzvahs are held in Israel, and drumbeats from distant celebrations mixed with the pounding of jackhammers from construction sites nearby. When I arrived at the City of David, workmen were refinishing the wooden deck at the site’s entrance and laying down a marble mosaic by the ticket window.

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A documentary about climate change, domain names, and capital

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The Black Axe·

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Eleven years ago, on a bitter January night, dozens of young men, dressed in a uniform of black berets, white T-­shirts, and black pants, gathered on a hill overlooking the Nigerian city of Jos, shouting, dancing, and shooting guns into the black sky. A drummer pounded a rhythmic beat. Amid the roiling crowd, five men crawled toward a candlelit dais, where a white-­robed priest stood holding an axe. Leading them was John, a sophomore at the local college, powerfully built and baby-faced. Over the past six hours, he had been beaten and burned, trampled and taunted. He was exhausted. John looked out at the landscape beyond the priest. It was the harmattan season, when Saharan sand blots out the sky, and the city lights in the distance blurred in John’s eyes as if he were underwater.

John had been raised by a single mother in Kaduna, a hardscrabble city in Nigeria’s arid north. She’d worked all hours as a construction supplier, but the family still struggled to get by. Her three boys were left alone for long stretches, and they killed time hunting at a nearby lake while listening to American rap. At seventeen, John had enrolled at the University of Jos to study business. Four hours southeast of his native Kaduna, Jos was another world, temperate and green. John’s mother sent him an allowance, and he made cash on the side rearing guard dogs for sale in Port Harcourt, the perilous capital of Nigeria’s oil industry. But it wasn’t much. John’s older brother, also studying in Jos, hung around with a group of Axemen—members of the Black Axe fraternity—who partied hard and bought drugs and cars. Local media reported a flood of crimes that Axemen had allegedly committed, but his brother’s friends promised John that, were he to join the group, he wouldn’t be forced into anything illegal. He could just come to the parties, help out at the odd charity drive, and enjoy himself. It was up to him.

John knew that the Black Axe was into some “risky” stuff. But he thought it was worth it. Axemen were treated with respect and had connections to important people. Without a network, John’s chances of getting a good job post-­degree were almost nil. In his second year, he decided to join, or “bam.” On the day of the initiation, John was given a shopping list: candles, bug spray, a kola nut (a caffeinated nut native to West Africa), razor blades, and 10,000 Nigerian naira (around thirty dollars)—his bamming fee. He carried it all to the top of the hill. Once night fell, Axemen made John and the other four initiates lie on their stomachs in the dirt, pressed toge­ther shoulder to shoulder, and hurled insults at them. They reeked like goats, some Axemen screamed. Others lashed them with sticks. Each Axeman walked over their backs four times. Somebody lit the bug spray on fire, and ran the flames across them, “burning that goat stink from us,” John recalled.

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Who Is She?·

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I couldn’t leave. I couldn’t get up—­just couldn’t get up, couldn’t get up or leave. All day lying in that median, unable. Was this misery or joy?

It’s happened to you, too, hasn’t it? A habit or phase, a marriage, a disease, children or drugs, money or debt—­something you believed inescapable, something that had been going on for so long that you’d forgotten any and every step taken to lead your life here. What did you do? How did this happen? When you try to solve the crossword, someone keeps adding clues.

It’s happened to us all. The impossible knowledge is the one we all want—­the big why, the big how. Who among us won’t buy that lotto ticket? This is where stories come from and, believe me, there are only two kinds: ­one, naked lies, and two, pot holders, gas masks, condoms—­something you must carefully place between yourself and a truth too dangerous to touch.

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Murder Italian Style·

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The Catholic School, by Edoardo Albinati. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 1,280 pages. $40.

In a quiet northern suburb of Rome, a woman hears noises in the street and sends her son to investigate. Someone is locked in the trunk of a Fiat 127. The police arrive and find one girl seriously injured, together with the corpse of a second. Both have been raped, tortured, and left for dead. The survivor speaks of three young aggressors and a villa by the sea. Within hours two of the men have been arrested. The other will never be found.

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 in South Carolina ruled in favor of personal-injury lawyer George Sink Sr., who had sued his son, George Sink Jr., for using his own name at his competing law firm.

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“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.”

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