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President George W. Bush asked Congress to impose a moratorium on lawsuits aimed at forcing the federal government to extend endangered-species protection to unlisted plants and animals. Japan’s whaling fleet returned to port with 440 minke whales. Police in Cincinnati, Ohio, shot dead an unarmed black youth who had a number of outstanding traffic tickets; enraged residents ran amok. The League of the South, an organization devoted to Confederate nostalgia, began circulating a petition at gun shows and convenience stores demanding reparations for Southerners whose ancestors’ way of life was destroyed by Yankees in the Civil War. A new poll found that most Mississippians would prefer to keep their current state flag, which contains an image of the Confederate battle flag. The United StatesCivil Rights Commission said that it was time to stop using American Indian names and images for sports teams. Rwanda issued an international arrest warrant for Pierre-Célestin Rwigema, the former prime minister, for his role in the 1994 genocide; Rwigema was said to be living in the United States. Slobodan Milosevic wasn’t feeling well. Israeli troops bulldozed at least 15 homes at a Palestinian refugee camp in Gaza. The Dutch legalized euthanasia; Germany’sRoman Catholic Church denounced the decision and warned against adopting a “culture of death.” China executed 89 people in one day.
Maryland failed to pass a moratorium on executions, but did ban the release of genetically modified fish. The Texas legislature approved a resolution that could lead to a referendum on the death penalty. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that gun deaths dropped by 26 percent during the 1990s. Police near Savannah, Georgia, raided the homes of 11 middle-schoolchildren and discovered firearms, satanic and Nazi posters, and bomb recipes, but no bombs. There was speculation in the press that crime rates may have dropped in recent years as a result of legalized abortion. Alabama’ssenate approved a constitutional amendment allowing the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools and state offices. Sudan flogged 53 Christians, including four women and two children, for rioting. Another Nigerian state decided to adopt Shariah, the Islamic code. A Charlotte, North Carolina, federal judge told a man that if he wanted to be released on bail he would have to stop living in sin, because doing so violates an 1805 anti-fornication law, which reads: “If any man and woman, not being married to each other, shall lewdly and lasciviously associate, bed and cohabit together, they shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.” Israeli officials raided restaurants in search of leavened bread, which is banned during Passover; violators were fined $25. Aum Shinrikyo, the cult that carried out the sarin gas attack in the Tokyosubway in 1995, grew by 10 percent last year. Seven retired Italians were arrested for smuggling ten pounds of cocaine inside bags of sausage and mozzarella.
Fourteen and a half million pounds of ready-to-eat meat were recalled by Bar-S Foods because of possible contamination with listeria monocytogenes. Farmers in the Dutch town Kootwijkerbroek protested the slaughter of their cattle by authorities worried about foot-and-mouth disease; police used water cannons and bulldozers to clear roadblocks set up by the protesters. The United States and Europe finally ended their nine-year banana war. Attorney General John Ashcroft said he would allow the families of Timothy McVeigh’s victims to watch McVeigh die on closed-circuit television. A new report claimed that older fathers are more likely to sire schizophrenic children. Joey Ramone died, as did H. R. Ball, who designed the smiley face. The Big Bang was caused by a parallel universe, a team of physicists speculated. Archaeologists found evidence of ancient dentistry in Baluchistan: tiny holes that were drilled in 8,000-year-old teeth. Researchers, writing in the journal Tissue Engineering, announced that human fat contains stem cells, which can be used to grow replacement tissue, perhaps even organs. Doctors in Singapore successfully separated a pair of Siamese twins who were joined at the head; the operation, which took five days, was particularly difficult because the girls’ brains were partially fused. An Arizona woman was recovering from an operation to remove a parasitic worm from her brain. She got the parasite from a pork taco in Mexico. Two Utah men were sentenced to three years’ probation for drilling a hole in a woman’s head in an attempt to restore her “childhood buoyancy.” The Rio Grande once again failed to reach the Gulf of Mexico.
More from Roger D. Hodge:
For the past three years my dosimeter had sat silently on a narrow shelf just inside the door of a house in Tokyo, upticking its final digit every twenty-four hours by one or two, the increase never failing â€” for radiation is the ruthless companion of time. Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly. During those three years, my American neighbors had lost sight of the accident at Fukushima. In March 2011, a tsunami had killed hundreds, or thousands; yes, they remembered that. Several also recollected the earthquake that caused it, but as for the hydrogen explosion and containment breach at Nuclear Plant No. 1, that must have been fixed by now â€” for its effluents no longer shone forth from our national news. Meanwhile, my dosimeter increased its figure, one or two digits per day, more or less as it would have in San Francisco â€” well, a trifle more, actually. And in Tokyo, as in San Francisco, people went about their business, except on Friday nights, when the stretch between the Kasumigaseki and Kokkai-Gijido-mae subway stations â€” half a dozen blocks of sidewalk, which commenced at an antinuclear tent that had already been on this spot for more than 900 days and ended at the prime ministerâ€™s lair â€” became a dim and feeble carnival of pamphleteers and Fukushima refugees peddling handicrafts.
One Friday evening, the refugeesâ€™ half of the sidewalk was demarcated by police barriers, and a line of officers slouched at ease in the street, some with yellow bullhorns hanging from their necks. At the very end of the street, where the National Diet glowed white and strange behind other buildings, a policeman set up a microphone, then deployed a small video camera in the direction of the muscular young people in drums against fascists jackets who now, at six-thirty sharp, began chanting: â€śWe donâ€™t need nuclear energy! Stop nuclear power plants! Stop them, stop them, stop them! No restart! No restart!â€ť The police assumed a stiffer stance; the drumming and chanting were almost uncomfortably loud. Commuters hurried past along the open space between the police and the protesters, staring straight ahead, covering their ears. Finally, a fellow in a shabby sweater appeared, and murmured along with the chants as he rounded the corner. He was the only one who seemed to sympathize; few others reacted at all.
Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:
Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.
An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as â€śa nation of oppressors and exploiters.â€ť
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â€śHe could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein â€” literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.â€ť