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Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain testified before the Hutton inquiry and denied the BBC’s claim that his aides had “sexed up” his dossier on Iraq’s purported weapons of mass destruction; Blair said he would have resigned if the story had been true.Guardian, BBC, New York TimesAlastair Campbell, Blair’s powerful director of communications, announced his resignation but claimed it had nothing to do with the dossier scandal.BBCMurfreesboro, Tennessee, adopted a new policy banning offensive body odor among city employees.Knoxville News SentinelTwo Iranian intelligence officers were charged with “semi-intentionally” causing the death of a Canadian photojournalist.ReutersAmerican soldiers continued to die in Iraq, and the number of Americans killed since President George W. Bush landed on an aircraft carrier to declare that “major combat operations” in Iraq were over exceeded the number killed during the war.New York TimesCondoleezza Rice, the president’s national security adviser, compared the Iraqi guerrillas to the Nazi Werewolves who resisted the Allies after World War II; Rice pleaded for patience and suggested that building democracy in Iraq might take a very, very long time.”Our own history should remind us that the union of democratic principle and practice is always a work in progress.When the Founding Fathers said, ‘We the People,’ they did not mean me.My ancestors were considered three-fifths of a person.”New York TimesGeneral John Abizaid repeated the Bush Administration’s claim that there is no need for additional American troops in Iraq;New York Times the next day a car bomb killed about 80 people at a Shiite mosque in Najaf, including the Ayatollah Muhammad Bakr al-Hakim, a leading moderate cleric.New York TimesL.Paul Bremer, the American overseer of Iraq, was on vacation and no one knew when he would be back.”I think someone is writing up a statement, somebody, I’m not sure,” said Mahmoud Othman of the Iraqi governing council.”We don’t have a satellite, you know, that’s one of the problems.The Americans should give us a satellite.”New York TimesHospitals in the United States were having a hard time meeting the growing demand for stomach-reduction surgery.New York TimesResearchers discovered that dark chocolate is good for you.New Scientist
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers revealed that Brown and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, Vice President Dick Cheney’s old company, has received more than $1.7 billion in military contracts in Iraq, far more than was previously known. It was noted that the practice of outsourcing logistical operations to private contractors was pioneered by Cheney during the first Gulf War when he was secretary of defense. Brown and Root won the first such contract, and Cheney was hired as CEO of Halliburton soon afterward.Washington PostA women’s soccer team in Germany agreed to wear jerseys advertising a brothel.ReutersThe Bush Administration issued a new environmental rule that will allow more than 17,000 power plants, refineries, mills, and chemical factories to upgrade their facilities without installing up-to-date antipollution technology, even in cases where the renovation will result in additional pollution.New York TimesIt was reported that New York City spilled 490 million gallons of raw sewage into its waterways during the recent blackout.New York TimesIreland’s Roman Catholic Kiltegan Fathers paid $353,000 to the victim of a pedophile priest who once attacked the victim as his father lay dying nearby.New York TimesA survey of women who graduated this year from the United States Air Force Academy found that almost 12 percent had suffered rape or attempted rape at the school.Seventy percent had experienced sexual harassment.New York TimesJudge Roy Moore’s Ten Commandments monument was removed from the Alabama supreme court building as Christians howled in anger outside, blowing ram’s horns and shaking Bibles at the sky; the state was forced to hire a company from Georgia for the job because no one from Alabama would do it.New York TimesFrance’s health ministry concluded that 11,435 people died of the heat in early August.New York TimesThe European Commission reported that the August heat wave was consistent with predictions about the pattern of global climate change and warned that many farming areas in Europe and North America may soon be unable to support agriculture.New ScientistA decommissioned Russiannuclear submarine sank in the Barents Sea.New York TimesA Swedish man attacked two elderly women with a samurai sword and cut off one ear.Nettavisen
The Congressional Budget Office reported that the 2004 budget deficit will probably be more than $500 billion,New York Timesand theInternational Monetary Fund warned the United States that the deficit was reaching dangerous levels.BBCElaine Chao, the secretary of labor, predicted that the job market, which has shrunk by 2.7 million jobs in the last three years, would soon improve.New York TimesThere was a blackout in London.New ScientistBurma’s new prime minister, General Khin Nyunt, unveiled a new “road map to democracy.”New York TimesIsrael’s defense minister threatened to reinvade the Gaza Strip,Reutersand Yasir Arafat asked Palestinianterrorists to please stop killing Israelis.New York TimesKing Fahd of Saudi Arabia told Muslim clerics that it was time to start fighting religious extremism.ReutersThe body of Foday Sankoh, the late rebel leader of Sierra Leone, whose men specialized in mutilating civilians with machetes, was taken from his grave.ReutersBritish health officials apologized for telling a black woman whose lower leg was scheduled to be amputated that she would have to pay $4,700 if she wanted her prosthesis to match her skin color; a white limb, she was told, would be covered by the National Health Service.ReutersKidnappings were on the rise in Baghdad.New York TimesEleven Democratic state senators from Texas were still on the run in New Mexico.New York TimesThe Columbia Accident Investigation Board issued its report and largely blamed NASA’s leadership and its “broken safety culture” for the space shuttle disaster.New York TimesA woman died at the Burning Man festival in Nevada when she tried to get off an “art car” and was run over.CNNThe United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to condemn the destruction of the U.N.headquarters in Baghdad.New York TimesThe Animal Liberation Front set 10,000 minks free near Seattle; all but 1,000 were caught within a day.Associated PressNorth Korea announced plans to test a nuclear device.New York TimesJapan’s defense ministry requested $1 billion a year to build a missile defense shield.New York TimesIn Nigeria, the young mother who was sentenced to death by stoning for having a child out of wedlock begged for mercy as she nursed her baby in court; her lawyers argued that the child was conceived while the mother was married and that under Islamic Law a baby can gestate in its mother’s womb for five years.New York TimesDr.Howard Dean gave a stewardess a foot exam on a chartered jet during a campaign trip.New York TimesA man rode a roller coaster in Germany for 192 hours.New York TimesMichael Jackson celebrated his forty-fifth birthday.Sunday TimesA zebra-donkey hybrid was born in Japan.Sydney Morning Herald
More from Roger D. Hodge:
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”