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North Korea announced its intention to accelerate its program to build a nuclear deterrent and said that a U.S. naval blockade or embargo could lead to “all-out war“; a state-run newspaper said that “the Iraqi war proved that disarmament leads to war.Therefore it is quite clear that the DPRK can never accept the U.S. demand that it scrap its nuclear weapons program first.”Associated PressPresident Bush declared that the world will not tolerate nuclear weapons in Iran.”Iran would be dangerous,” he said, “if they have a nuclear weapon.”New York TimesThe Senate Select Committee on Intelligence made a deal to conduct a “review” of the Bush Administration’s handling of intelligence on Iraq but only if Democrats agreed not to call it an “investigation.”New York TimesStansfield Turner, a former director of central intelligence, criticized the Bush Administration for its use of intelligence to justify the conquest of Iraq: “There is no question in my mind [that policymakers] distorted the situation, either because they had bad intelligence or because they misinterpreted it.”Agence France-PresseJohn Dean, former White House counsel to Richard Nixon, was more blunt: “If Bush has taken Congress and the nation into war based on bogus information, he is cooked.Manipulation or deliberate misuse of national security intelligence data, if proven, could be ‘a high crime‘ under the Constitution’s impeachment clause.It would also be a violation of federal criminal law, including the broad federal anti-conspiracy statute, which renders it a felony ‘to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose.’”Findlaw.comOther mainstream commentators were also beginning to use the word “impeachment” in connection with the weapons of mass destruction scandal.Los Angeles TimesAmerican soldiers in Iraq were being killed at a rate of one per day.Guardian
The Justice Department announced that it had arrested a Muslim truck driver from Ohio who has admitted to working with Al Qaeda, and officials said that he was planning to attack the Brooklyn Bridge with a blowtorch.New York TimesOne hundred seventy pounds of cesium 137 and strontium 90 were found in a taxi in Tbilisi, Georgia,New York Timesand 30 kilograms of cesium 137 were recovered from an unemployed schoolteacher in Bangkok who was trying to sell the material to terrorists.”Cesium 137 is serious stuff, highly radioactive,” said one expert.”You put it alongside four kilograms or more of dynamite and you’ve got a really dangerous terror weapon.”Sydney Morning HeraldLos Alamos National Laboratory admitted that it had lost two glass vials of plutonium oxide and said that the radioactive material might have been thrown in the garbage.Associated PressThe International Atomic Energy Agency reprimanded Iran for its refusal to comply with an agreement on nuclear safeguards and called for the country to accept stricter inspections.ReutersMassachusetts repealed its “clean elections” law.New York TimesAttorney General John Ashcroft asked journalists to help convince the American people that the U.S.A.Patriot Act, the antiterrorism law that gave sweeping new powers to federal law enforcement agencies, is really a good thing.New York TimesPresident Bush issued guidelines banning racial profiling except in cases of terrorism and national security.New York Times
The peace process between Israel and the Palestinians continued to move forward: Israel assassinated a Hamas leader;New York TimesPalestinian snipers killed a seven-year-old Israeli girl and wounded her five-year-old sister and her father;Reutersa suicide bomber blew up a grocery store in a small farming town in northern Israel, killing the owner.Deutsche WelleThere were riots in Benton Harbor, Michigan, where black residents have long complained of police harassment, after a motorcyclist died during a police chase.Associated PressSeveral Iranians set themselves on fire to protest the arrest in Paris of 165 members of the People’s Mujahedeen, an Iranian opposition group.Associated PressAung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese opposition leader who was taken into “protective custody” by the military government of Myanmar, turned 58.It was reported that Suu Kyi has not been given a change of clothing since she was detained three weeks ago.Daily TelegraphRussia’s Duma, the lower house of parliament, passed a bill that would allow the government to shut down news organizations that publish “biased” election campaign coverage.New York TimesSenator Orrin Hatch said that he favored the development of technology that would automatically destroy the computers of people who violate copyright restrictions.It was then discovered that Hatch’s own website makes use of pirated software.Wired.comAl Gore was reportedly planning to start a cable television network.New York TimesPresident Bush raised $3.5 million in one night, possibly a new record.New York TimesThe new Harry Potter book sold about 5 million copies in one day; the author, J. K. Rowling, was said to be richer than the Queen of England.New York TimesScientists created a genetically engineered grass that doesn’t cause hay fever.New ScientistOther genetic engineers came up with coffee plants that produce up to 70 percent less caffeine.New ScientistA naked headless corpse was found near the castle Frankenstein in Germany.ReutersA nine-year-old girl in an Indian village married a dog to avoid a bad omen.BBCNew Zealand proposed a tax on flatulent livestock.Reuters
More from Roger D. Hodge:
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Estimated portion of registered voters in Zimbabwe who are dead:
Honeybees can recognize individual human faces.
Pope Francis announced that nuns could use social media, and a priest flew a hot-air balloon around the world.
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“Matt 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. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”