View Full Version : Harpers summary for the week of 1/26/09

01-27-2009, 01:01 PM
Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. In his inaugural remarks, President Obama attributed many of the nation's problems to a "collective failure to make hard choices." "Starting today," he said, "we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America." Former vice president Dick Cheney attended the inauguration in a wheelchair, Senator Edward Kennedy had a seizure, Aretha Franklin's voice cracked, and Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero, and Anthony McGill performed with the aid of a backing track. Boxing promoter Don King said that of all biblical figures, Barack Obama reminded him most of Joshua. "I would say that he would be Joshua going across to the Promised Land," said King. "Martin Luther King Jr. went to the mountaintop like Moses, and he said, 'I might not get there with you, but I can see the Promised Land.' ...Joshua carried them across. Martin Luther King, Jr. was prevented from going into the Promised Land." Iranian newspaper Jam-e-Jam said that the American people had shown "their true feelings" by electing Barack Obama, and in Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez said Obama smelled like George W. Bush, who, according to his press secretary, Dana Perino, began the day of the inauguration in a good mood. "He gave me a big kiss on the forehead," she said. Bush Administration loyalists were struggling to find jobs.

Upon taking office, Obama ordered all secret U.S. prisons closed immediately, and the detention center at Guantanamo Bay closed within a year; he stopped the torture of American prisoners; granted access to all U.S. detainees to the International Red Cross; ended the practice by which detainees could be sent to countries where they might be tortured; froze the salaries of all White House officials making more than $100,000; ordered all government agencies to "adopt a presumption in favor of disclosure" regarding Freedom of Information Act requests; ordered all administration appointees to take an ethics pledge; ended a government ban on funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad; and revoked Executive Order 13233, which placed limits on public access to the records of former presidents. Hamas declared victory in its war with Israel, and Israel reserved the right to blow up Palestinian smuggling tunnels. In Algeria, the Black Death swept through a suspected Al Qaeda training camp, killing at least forty people, cholera spread to the Zimbabwean countryside, and Vietnam's news, television, and film industries were suffering from "brain drain." Two men were sentenced to death in Shijiazhuang, China, for their role in the production of tainted milk that killed six babies, and five Americans died from eating salmonella-tainted peanut butter, though sales remained strong. "Had it this morning," said a Minneapolis man. Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim bought seventeen percent of the New York Times, a former KGB agent bought Britain's Evening Standard, and Courtney Love accused "a handful of Jew loan officers" and "Jew private banks" of stealing from Kurt Cobain. In Thailand, more than 100 Burmese asylum seekers were missing and presumed dead after being put to sea by the Thai military in boats with no motors and with little food and water. The year of the Water Buffalo began.

Highly aggressive supersquirrels were menacing gray squirrels in England, researchers in Rome demonstrated that bearded capuchin monkeys are efficient nut crackers, and biologists in Michigan were testing a "chemical sex smell" to determine if it could be used to lure parasitic vampire fish to their deaths. Portland mayor Sam Adams refuted accusations that he had sex with a 17-year-old boy named Beau Breedlove, and researchers in Scotland were testing sperm quality. Brazilian Miss World contestant Mariana Bridi da Costa had her hands and feet amputated and then died after contracting a urinary infection, and Kelli McCarty, Miss USA 1991, starred in the pornographic film "Faithless: From Beauty Queen to Porn Queen." "I enjoy acting, and I really like sex," Ms. McCarty said. "So this was the perfect opportunity to combine two of my passions." The Supreme Court concluded that American children had a right to view pornography on the Internet.

01-27-2009, 01:23 PM
the supreme court concluded that american children had a right to view pornography on the internet.

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