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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:
i. stand with israel
I listen to a lot of conservative talk radio. Confident masculine voices telling me the enemy is everywhere and victory is near â€” I often find it affirming: thereâ€™s a reason I donâ€™t think that way. Last spring, many right-wing commentators made much of a Bloomberg poll that asked Americans, â€śAre you more sympathetic to Netanyahu or Obama?â€ť Republicans picked the Israeli prime minister over their own president, 67 to 16 percent. There was a lot of affected shock that things had come to this. Rush Limbaugh said of Netanyahu that he wished â€śwe had this kind of forceful moral, ethical clarity leading our own countryâ€ť; Mark Levin described him as â€śthe leader of the free world.â€ť For a few days there I yelled quite a bit in my car.
The one conservative radio show I do find myself enjoying is hosted by Dennis Prager. At the Thanksgiving dinner of American radio personalities (Limbaugh is your jittery brother-in-law, Michael Savage is your racist uncle, Hugh Hewitt is Hugh Hewitt) Dennis Prager is the turkey-carving patriarch trying to keep the conversation moderately high-minded. While Prager obviously doesnâ€™t like liberals â€” â€śThe gaps between the left and right on almost every issue that matters are in fact unbridgeable,â€ť he has said â€” he often invites them onto his show for debate, which is rare among right-wing hosts. Yet his gently exasperated take on the Obamaâ€“Netanyahu matchup was among the least charitable: â€śThose who do not confront evil resent those who do.â€ť
Average number of Americans who are injured by chain saws each year:
A farmer in Kenya bit a python who tried to eat him.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
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â€śMatt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'Iâ€™m glad everyoneâ€™s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supportsÂ my lifestyle.'â€ť