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President George W. Bush dismissed growing complaints that he exaggerated the threat posed by Iraq in the buildup to the invasion and invited Iraqis who remain loyal to Saddam Hussein to attack American troops: “There are some who feel like that if they attack us, that we may decide to leave prematurely,” he said.”My answer is: bring them on.We’ve got the force necessary to deal with the security situation.”Orlando SentinelResistance to the occupation continued to escalate; in one incident, a man walked up to an American soldier who was waiting in line to buy a drink at Baghdad University, said “Hello, mister,” and shot him dead.A nearby crowd was heard shouting “Allahu Akbar.”IndependentRumors were circulating among Iraqis that power shortages were the result of American retribution for guerrilla attacks, andBBCa resistance group called the Muslim Fighters of the Victorious Sect warned that it will execute Iraqis who collaborate with the Americans.Charlotte ObserverSeven Iraqipolicemen who had just completed an American training course were killed and 50 were injured by a bomb as they marched down the street as part of their graduation ceremony.IndependentThe United States announced a $25 million bounty for Saddam Hussein and $15 million for each of his sons.News-Leader.comA tape of a man claiming to be Saddam Hussein was broadcast on Al-Jazeera television; the man said he was in Iraq and planning more attacks on his enemies.GuardianThe commander of the American forces in Iraq acknowledged that the war was not over.New York TimesPoland’s foreign minister admitted that his country sent troops to Iraq because it wanted to obtain direct access to Iraqi oil supplies.BBCHans Blix retired,Associated Pressand President Bush was said to be thinking about bringing peace to the people of Liberia.New York Times
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel and Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas of the Occupied Territories got together on their own initiative and shook hands publicly; Abbas expressed his wish to end suffering, death, and pain.New York TimesPrime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of Italy created an uproar when he said that a German member of the European Parliament (who challenged Berlusconi’s use of a new immunity law to avoid corruption charges) would make a good Nazi concentration-camp commander.Berlusconi later refused to apologize to Germany but said that he was sorry that his ironic little joke had been misunderstood.Daily TelegraphPresident Johannes Rau of Germany had the word “Luftwaffe” removed from his two government airplanes to avoid upsetting people in countries conquered by Germany during World War II.ReutersIsraeli scientists were developing a technique for harvesting eggs from aborted human fetuses, which, if used to create a pregnancy, would turn the donor fetus into an “unborn mother.” “I am fully aware of the controversy about this,” said Tal Biron-Shental, the lead researcher, “but probably, in some places, it will be ethically acceptable.”New ScientistSwedish scientists predicted that human womb transplants will be possible within three years.New ScientistTanzania was cracking down on the human skin trade.BBCDell Computer announced that it will no longer use prison labor.New York TimesThe British House of Commons voted to ban fox hunting with dogs.New York Times
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who was a guest of honor at the opening of the new National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, attempted to unveil a painting of the signing of the Constitution, with Justices O’Connor, Antonin Scalia, and other celebrity guests in place of the Founding Fathers; instead, a large steel-and-wood structure that was suspended over O’Connor collapsed, narrowly missing her but striking Senator Arlen Specter.Associated PressSenator Bill Frist called for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.New York TimesAn Oklahoma man was sentenced to life in prison for spitting on a policeman.ReutersA primary school in China was fining children five yuan per incident for farting in class.UndernewsBritain’s chief medical officer called for a nationwide ban on smoking in public places.UPIThe United States suspended military aid to almost 50 countries, including Colombia, that have failed to promise they will not send American war criminals to the International Criminal Court.Daily TelegraphCoca-Cola’s bottler in Colombia was sued for financing right-wing death squads.News.com.auScientists discovered a new subatomic particle called the pentaquark.New ScientistA group of children in Oslo, Norway, found a human skull in their kindergarten’s sandbox.NettavisenA British woman was temporarily blinded and badly blistered after lightning struck her tongue stud.BBC
More from Roger D. Hodge:
Number of people who attended the World Grits Festival, held in St. George, South Carolina, last spring:
The brown bears of Greece continued chewing through telephone poles.
In Peru, a 51-year-old activist became the first former sex worker to run for the national legislature. “I’m going to put order,” she said, “in that big brothel which is Congress.”
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“Civilization masks us with a screen, from ourselves and from one another, with thin depth of unreality. We habitually live — do we not? — in a world self-created, half established, of false values arbitrarily upheld, largely inspired by misconception, misapprehension, wrong perspective, and defective proportion, misapplication.”