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View Full Version : Harpers summary for the week of 10/11/10



elf
10-13-2010, 06:17 AM
The United Nations hosted a six-day climate-change conference in China with the aim of accelerating "the search for common ground" among developed and developing nations on preventing global warming. "As governments, you can continue to stand still or move forward," said the UN's climate-change chief at the start of the conference. "Now is the time to make that choice." The conference ended in a deadlock. An investigation by the German government found that rich countries are not honoring their $30 billion pledge from Copenhagen to help poor countries adapt to climate change; rich countries are instead repackaging previously committed aid. "Treasuries don't allow ministers to make spending pledges," explained one former diplomat. "They go into a side room and warn there is no new money available--then they get creative as to how to present a package that will look good on paper." A study of a major period of global warming 125,000 years ago led scientists to conclude that current emission-reduction targets are not ambitious enough to prevent catastrophic effects. Scientists also reported that the glaciers of Glacier National Park were disappearing. Floods ravaged central Vietnam, killing fifteen people and forcing thousands to flee, and researchers warned of "evapotranspiration," which has been drying up soil in the Southern Hemisphere. A 600-foot-long crevice appeared in the Michigan woods. The White House got solar panels.

Jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who is serving an 11-year sentence on charges of inciting subversion of state power after he called for political reforms and human rights, won the Nobel Peace Prize, a recognition that the Chinese government labelled "blasphemy." Chinese officials blocked news agencies from reporting on the award and put Liu's wife under house arrest. After the wall of an aluminum-plant reservoir in Hungary burst, 24 million cubic feet of toxic red sludge flooded nearby villages, killing seven people. "I hung in the sludge for forty-five minutes," said resident Etelka Stump. "It had a strong current that almost swept me away but I managed to hang on to a strong piece of wood from the pigsty." JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America suspended their foreclosure proceedings amid challenges to the legality of some foreclosures and concerns of flawed paperwork. The father of Christine O'Donnell, the U.S. Senate candidate in Delaware who has been accused of padding her online resume, admitted that he was not an official Bozo the Clown but only a part-time Bozo. "To be an official Bozo, you had to go to a special school in Texas," he said. Photos emerged of Democratic Virginia congressional candidate Krystal Ball at a Christmas party wearing a leotard and a Santa hat and holding a leash attached to the neck of her then husband, and Ohio Republican congressional candidate Rich Iott was found to be an avid Nazi reenactor. "It's purely historical interest in World War II," said Iott. Bolivian President Evo Morales apologized for kneeing an opponent in the groin during a friendly soccer match between members of Morales's Movement Toward Socialism party and the opposition party, Movement Without Fear. The Cuban government made the two-pocket guayabera the official uniform of Cuba.

Soul singer Solomon Burke died, as did the South African chimpanzee Charlie, who was an avid smoker until his death at 52. The Times Square bomber was sentenced to life in prison; a 20-year-old Arab American in California found an FBI bug on the underside of his car; and a man in London tried unsuccessfully to hold Jonathan Franzen's glasses for ransom. An English couple was sold a bag of potatoes they believed to be a laptop. Researchers discovered a new language, Koro, spoken by 1,000 people in the Indian Himalayas, and at Delhi's Commonwealth Games the drains of the athletes' housing were found to be blocked by thousands of condoms. "If that is happening, it shows that there is use of condoms," said the federation's president. "I think that is a very positive story." Washington D.C.'s Department of Motor Vehicles began offering HIV testing, and women at Moscow State University dressed in lingerie and posed for a calendar to celebrate Vladimir Putin's 58th birthday. "You put out forest fires," read the caption of one photo, "but I'm still burning."

oznabrag
10-13-2010, 08:32 PM
... "To be an official Bozo, you had to go to a special school in Texas,"...

Excellent!