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Serbia‘s prime minister gave Slobodan Milosevic to The Hague to be tried for war crimes even though doing so was technically illegal; the prime minister of Yugoslavia resigned in protest. The International Court of Justice rebuked the United States for executing two German brothers in 1999 without following established international law, which required the German consulate to be notified of the men’s arrest and conviction. American and British warplanes bombed Iraq again, killing three people. Dissidents from the Ivory Coast filed suit against President Laurent Gbagbo in Belgium, whose courts, oddly enough, have universal jurisdiction in crimes against humanity. Ethnic violence broke out in the central Nigerian state of Nasarawa. United States troops intervened in the Macedonian conflict by escorting several hundred rebels out of a Macedonian town; riots ensued in Skopje, the capital, and an American diplomat was shot, apparently by accident, by a Macedonian soldier. A mob of students in Paterson, New Jersey, beat a homeless drunk to death with his own beer bottle. Sweden, whose police recently shot unarmed protesters with live ammunition, ratified the International Criminal Court. Uganda held parliamentary elections; one candidate fired a gun into a crowd of opponents; the bodyguard of another candidate killed a protester and was lynched by an outraged mob. Poles started getting checks from Germany to make up for having been enslaved by the Nazis. Wang Guoqi, a former Chinese army doctor, testified before Congress that he removed corneas, skin, and other body parts from executed prisoners; in one case, Wang said, he was forced to remove the skin from a man who was still breathing. Wang currently works in a restaurant in New Jersey.
Vice President Dick Cheney received a pacemaker to regulate his heartbeat. Vladimiro Montesinos, formerly Peru’s answer to Rasputin, was arrested in Venezuela, having become a liability to Hugo Chávez, and was sent home in shackles to face a life sentence for arms trafficking, money laundering, death-squad activities, torture, arms kickbacks, and bribery. President Vicente Fox of Mexico accepted the resignation of an old friend who took responsibility for the purchase of $400 towels, $1,500 sheets, and $17,000 electric curtains for the presidential palace. President Abdurrahman Wahid of Indonesia said he would declare a state of emergency and use the military to prevent parliament from removing him from office; the military suggested that it would do no such thing. Secretary of State Colin Powell stood next to Yasir Arafat and endorsed the idea of international observers to help enforce a cease-fire with Israel; later, standing next to Ariel Sharon, Powell clarified his previous statement, which had seemed clear enough, and said he did not support “some outside group of forces coming in.” Powell’s trip also included a visit to Jordan, where King Abdullah let him drive at the “king’s speed limit” in his custom silver BMW convertible. New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani was said to be spending his nights at the apartment of a Queens car dealer as he considered moving out of Gracie Mansion to get away from his wife. Jack Lemmon died. A New Orleans woman was charged with ten counts of attempted murder after an argument over an ugly baby; the woman threw fuel on ten people, three generations of one family (including two infants), and tried to set them on fire. Her match failed to light. Police in Aachen, Germany, were called in to quell a domestic dispute that arose after a man visited a brothel and discovered his wife working there. Researchers found that Italian mothers are the most anxious mothers in Europe. A three-year-old Italian boy was fined for peeing on a tree in a park in Rome; the traumatized boy, fearing another arrest, was said to be having a difficult time going potty.
A giant cloud of dust from the Sahara blew across the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, reducing air quality and visibility in Texas. The Bush Administration admitted that the federal budget surplus might just disappear. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced that he would ask Congress to retire the MX missile, also known as the “Peacekeeper.” Bob Dole had an aneurysm. A movement was afoot in North Dakota to change the state’s name to “Dakota” because of fears that the word “north” was giving people the wrong idea. A large hippopotamus killed a security guard on a golf course in Johannesburg, South Africa. Scientists found that dairy cows produced more milk while listening to REM’s “Everybody Hurts” or the Pastoral Symphony by Beethoven than when listening to “Back in the USSR” by the Beatles or Wonderstuff’s “Size of a Cow.” Ireland announced that thousands of children in 1973 received a livestock vaccine (Tribovax) instead of a human one (Trivax) for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. Californian matadors were fighting bulls, gently, with velcro-tipped banderillas. Interpol’s headquarters was evacuated because of a package containing rotten meat and excrement. NASAlaunched an observatory to study the afterglow of the Big Bang. Homosexuals in London were given the right to register their relationships with the government. The United Nations General Assembly defined AIDS as a political, human rights, and economic issue; formerly AIDS was a venereal disease. Buckingham Palace was trying to cut corners. Children were starving in Sierra Leone. Millions of anchovies were dying in Oregon.
More from Roger D. Hodge:
Flor Arely SĂˇnchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San JuliĂˇn region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases â€” first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didnâ€™t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Average amount the company paid each of its 140 top executives last year:
Between one fifth and one half of Englandâ€™s leisure horses are obese.
Scientists in the GalĂˇpagos Islands credited an endangered giant tortoise named Diego with saving his species by fathering more than 800 offspring.
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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