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L. Paul Bremer, the new American overseer of Iraq, informed Iraqi leaders that the United States and Britain had changed their minds about setting up an interim government made up of Iraqis and that he would remain in control until further notice. Bremer toured Mosul and praised it as “a great example of embryonic democracy”; elsewhere in the city a crowd chanted “America is the enemy of God.”New York Times Kurdish leaders, who have been running their own affairs for about 12 years, were particularly irritated, and there were widespread accusations that the United States was now revealing its true agenda to occupy Iraq and exploit its oil supply. Looters continued to dismantle Iraq’s infrastructure, and most of the equipment needed to restore the national electric grid, such as the computers that regulate power distribution, has been stolen. Nostalgia for the days of Saddam Hussein was spreading among the people. Donald Rumsfeld denied reports that U.S. soldiers in Iraq were going to start shooting looters on sight, though he did tell the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee that American forces in Baghdad “will be using muscle to see that the people who are trying to disrupt what is taking place in that city are stopped and either captured or killed.” Previously a nameless administration official told the New York Times that American forces “are going to start shooting a few looters so that the word gets around.” China threatened to execute people who knowingly spread SARS.
Car bombs killed 34 people, including nine terrorists, at foreign compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Al Qaeda was blamed for the attacks, which were carried out by 15 Saudi citizens. Robert Jordan, the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, accused Saudi Arabia of ignoring a recent request for more security in Riyadh, and the State Department warned of Bali-style bombings in Malaysia.Toronto Star A truck bomb in Chechnya killed 41 people, and 18New York Times Shell gas stations were bombed in Karachi, Pakistan.The Hindu Seattle and Chicago staged simulated terrorist attacks.New York Times In Taipei, Taiwan, a man drove a truck containing 15 barrels of gasoline into the Ministry of Transport building, killing himself and setting the building on fire.New York TimesForty-one people died in simultaneous suicide bombings in Casablanca, Morocco; the targets included a Jewish community center and the Casa de Espańa club.New York TimesIsraeli prime minister Ariel Sharon cancelled a meeting with George W. Bush in response to a new round of suicide attacks and restated his long-standing position that Israel will make peace with the Palestinians only after there is peace with the Palestinians.New York Times
Fifty-one Democratic state legislators fled Texas for Oklahoma to prevent the Texas House of Representatives from achieving a quorum; Texas Rangers were sent to fetch them, and theFt. Worth Star TelegramDepartment of Homeland Security admitted that it had been enlisted to track down the fugitives.New York Times People named “David Nelson” were having a hard time getting on airplanes because that name now appears on a federal anti-terrorism “no fly” list. Applied Digital Solutions announced that it has tested a prototype GPS tracking device designed to be implanted in a person.New Scientist Former president Gerald Ford experienced a dizzy spell.Associated Press A proposal was published in Nature to send a grapefruit-sized probe to the center of the Earth using the world’s largest nuclear bomb and 10 billion tons of molten iron.New ScientistNew York TimesThe Federal Reserve issued a warning about “the probability of an unwelcome substantial fall in inflation.” A new study found that widespread industrial-fishing operations have succeeded in reducing by 90 percent the world’s population of large tasty fish such as tuna, swordfish, blue marlin, and cod.New Scientist Governor Jeb Bush of Florida asked a court to appoint a guardian to safeguard the rights of a fetus.New York TimesWhite House aides asked people listening to a speech by the president to take off their ties so that they would look like the regular folks who the president claims will be the primary beneficiaries of his latest tax cut for the wealthy.New York Times The British government issued a special set of stamps bearing the face of Prince William, who turned 21,Reuters and admitted that medical authorities had stolen 22,000 brains from dead bodies between 1970 and 1999.New York Times Tommy Chong pled guilty in a Pittsburgh court to paraphernalia charges for conspiring to sell bongs.BBC The Wall Street Journal reported that women are sexually attracted to the Commander in Chief. “Hot? SO HOT!!!!! THAT UNIFORM!” said one New York mom. Said another: “I mean, that swagger. George Bush in a pair of jeans is a treat to watch.”Wall Street Journal
More from Roger D. Hodge:
Freddie Grayâ€™s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the cityâ€™s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighborsâ€™ loud lovemaking.
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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