View Full Version : Harper's news of this week in review

06-17-2008, 12:26 PM
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that detainees held as "enemy combatants" by the United States in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have a constitutional right to challenge their detention through habeas corpus petitions in federal courts. "Liberty and security can be reconciled...within the framework of the law," wrote Justice Anthony M. Kennedy in the court's decision. "The Framers decided that habeas corpus...must be...a part of that law." Dissenting, Chief Justice John Roberts asked, "So who has won? Not the detainees. The Court's analysis leaves them with only the prospect of further litigation." Defense lawyers for the detainees moved to establish that their clients have the right to other constitutional protections and sought to halt ongoing military-commission trials, which permit hearsay and evidence gained from torture. John McCain called the ruling "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country." Barack Obama said, "I think the Supreme Court was right." Obama, who admitted to smoking cigarettes in recent months, also told supporters that he anticipated a "brawl" with McCain and the Republican National Committee: "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." Jacob Bertrand, an employee at a home-improvement store in Colorado, was arrested for shooting a coworker twenty times in the chest and nose with a nail gun, throwing a garbage can at him, and attempting to set him on fire by dousing him in lacquer thinner. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia pledged to calm the world by raising his kingdom's oil production, and geneticists were developing bugs that eat woodchips and excrete petroleum.

Taliban forces raided a prison in Kandahar, Afghanistan, allowing 870 prisoners to escape. Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened to send troops across the Pakistan border to fight the Taliban, and British and American special forces were operating in Pakistan in an attempt to capture Osama Bin Laden before George W. Bush leaves office. "If he can say he has killed Saddam Hussein and captured Bin Laden," a U.S. intelligence source told the "Times" of London, "he can claim to have left the world a safer place." Sheikh Ali al-Neda, the head of Saddam Hussein's tribe, was killed by a car bomb, and it was reported that Pakistani smuggler A. Q. Khan possessed blueprints for nuclear warheads more advanced than those he is known to have sold to Libya, though it was unclear whether he had sold them to North Korea or Iran. Dozens of passengers died when a plane careened upon landing and exploded in Sudan. It was announced that former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's son, Omri, who was jailed for campaign-finance corruption, will be released early for good behavior, and Hamas declared that the elder Sharon's three-year vegetative coma is "a sign from Allah" in punishment for Sharon's ordering the death in 2004 of wheelchair-bound Hamas cofounder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. A German sportswriter, late for a flight to Vienna to cover the European soccer championships, was arrested for calling in a hoax bomb threat from his cell phone in an attempt to delay his plane. The Treaty of Lisbon, which reiterates many of the reforms proposed in the discarded European Union Constitution, was rejected by voters in Ireland, and a corpse-laden "quake lake" in the Sichuan province of China was being drained.

Kyrgyz novelist Chingiz Aitmatov and television journalist Tim Russert died. Two Anglican priests married in London, and research showed that same-sex marriages are more egalitarian than opposite-sex marriages. Investors from Abu Dhabi were seeking to purchase Manhattan's Chrysler Building. Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was planning to start a vulture real estate fund, backed by labor unions, to profit off foreclosures resulting from the national credit crisis; the manager of the prostitution ring Spitzer patronized, Mark Brener, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges; and the prostitute who serviced Spitzer, Alexandra Ashley Dupre, photographed enjoying a day at the beach with her mother, was observed to have a tattoo in Latin on her upper pelvis that reads "tutela valui"-or, loosely translated, "I used protection." One in four adults in New York City were infected with the virus that causes genital herpes, and floods forced tens of thousands of Midwesterners from their homes. After twice watching a video that, prosecutors alleged, showed R&B singer R. Kelly having sex with and urinating on his then 13-year-old goddaughter, a jury in Chicago acquitted the 41-year-old on 14 counts of child pornography. Responding to a Father's Day 911 call in Stanislaus County, California, about a man who was kicking and beating his toddler by the side of the road, police descended in a helicopter, shot and killed the man, and found that his son, beaten beyond recognition, was dead. Rats, it was discovered, are more likely to cannibalize their young if their cages are clean.