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Israel assassinated Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas; Sheikh Yassin, an elderly, partially blind quadriplegic, was hit in his wheelchair with a missile as he left a mosque in Gaza City.New York TimesThe Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade apologized for murdering a Palestinian college student who was jogging in East Jerusalem; the killers thought he was a Jew.New York TimesThe Pentagon dropped charges against Capt. James Yee, a former chaplain at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, who was accused of being a Muslim spy.Straights TimesThe British government was fighting in court for the right to charge people who have been wrongly convicted of crimes for the cost of keeping them in jail.Sunday HeraldRichard Clarke, the former head of counterterrorism under Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, published a book in which he claims that George W. Bush has done a “terrible job” fighting terrorism. Clarke says that prior to September 11, Bush ignored warnings about the threat from Al Qaeda and that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in the days just after the attacks, wanted to bomb Iraq rather than Afghanistan because Iraq had better bombing targets. Clarke charges that the president made it very clear that he wanted to find a connection between September 11 and Saddam Hussein even though there was no evidence of such a link.CBS NewsThe president of Poland acknowledged publicly that the United States “deceived us about the weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq. “We were taken for a ride,” he said.Agence France-PresseA car bomb destroyed the Mount Lebanon Hotel in Baghdad, killing at least 27 people, and millionsNew York Times of protesters filled streets around the world to mark the first anniversary of the invasion.ReutersSaddam Hussein was said to be enjoying his interrogations.CNN
A United Nations official said that Sudan now has the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, and he compared the government’s program of ethnic cleansing, systematic rape, and murder to the Rwandangenocide.BBCUnrest continued in Haiti, and theNewsdayinterim prime minister Gérard Latortue said he was sorry. “I would like to apologize for all the other governments,” he said. “Please forgive me for everything that was done to you.”New York TimesThere was heavy fighting in Nepal and the government claimed to have killed hundreds of rebels.Associated PressEthnic violence broke out in Kosovo again as Albanians drove Serbs from their homes.ReutersThe president and vice president of Taiwan were both shot and wounded the day before elections; the opposition called for a recount and accused the president of staging his own shooting to win sympathy votes.New York TimesPakistan was designated a “major non-NATO ally” by the Bush Administration;ReutersIndia was somewhat offended, and itNew York Timeswas revealed that the United States has resumed a program designed to predict the effects of nuclear fallout.New York TimesPennsylvania lawmakers were considering a bill that would reward state contractors for using American workers.New York TimesA 17-year-old boy in Nebraska was caught outside his high school with a rifle and 20 homemade bombs.USA Today
The Congressional Budget Office published calculations showing that the federal budget deficit is largely a result of President Bush’stax cuts and spending increases; the agency estimated that only 6 percent of the deficit was the result of economic weakness.New York TimesThe Pentagon was withholding a $300 million payment for Halliburton until auditors make sure that the government was not overcharged.Agence France-PresseThe Bush Administration’sMedicare cover-up continued to unravel, and theNew York Timespresident of the World Bank was splattered with green paint by antiglobalization protesters.ReutersSeveral officials at the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that the administration has refused to perform scientific studies to determine the effects of its new mercury emissions policy, a policy that was largely written by the industries responsible for most mercury pollution.Seattle TimesThe U.S. Army and DuPont were hoping to dispose of 1,200 tons of VX nerve gas by mixing it with sodium hydroxide and hot water and then dumping it into the Delaware River.Philadelphia InquirerThe atmospheric carbon dioxide level appeared to be rising faster than usual, scientists said.Associated PressA county in Tennessee was trying to rid itself of homosexuals, and theAssociated PressMethodist Church put a minister on trial for openly carrying on a lesbian relationship; a jury found her not guilty of violating the church’s teachings, because the teachings are vague.New York TimesVirgin Atlantic Airways decided not to install urinals shaped like a woman’s open lips at a first-class lounge at New York’s JFK Airport.ABC.com.auApehunters in Africa have contracted simian foamy virus, a study found.MSNBCEnvironmentalists said that the Sumatran tiger is nearly extinct, and itNew York Timeswas reported that New York developer Donald Trump has filed an application to trademark the phrase “You’re fired.”The Smoking GunAn Afghan soldier was caught having sex with a donkey.News.com.au
More from Roger D. Hodge:
For the past three years my dosimeter had sat silently on a narrow shelf just inside the door of a house in Tokyo, upticking its final digit every twenty-four hours by one or two, the increase never failing â€” for radiation is the ruthless companion of time. Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly. During those three years, my American neighbors had lost sight of the accident at Fukushima. In March 2011, a tsunami had killed hundreds, or thousands; yes, they remembered that. Several also recollected the earthquake that caused it, but as for the hydrogen explosion and containment breach at Nuclear Plant No. 1, that must have been fixed by now â€” for its effluents no longer shone forth from our national news. Meanwhile, my dosimeter increased its figure, one or two digits per day, more or less as it would have in San Francisco â€” well, a trifle more, actually. And in Tokyo, as in San Francisco, people went about their business, except on Friday nights, when the stretch between the Kasumigaseki and Kokkai-Gijido-mae subway stations â€” half a dozen blocks of sidewalk, which commenced at an antinuclear tent that had already been on this spot for more than 900 days and ended at the prime ministerâ€™s lair â€” became a dim and feeble carnival of pamphleteers and Fukushima refugees peddling handicrafts.
One Friday evening, the refugeesâ€™ half of the sidewalk was demarcated by police barriers, and a line of officers slouched at ease in the street, some with yellow bullhorns hanging from their necks. At the very end of the street, where the National Diet glowed white and strange behind other buildings, a policeman set up a microphone, then deployed a small video camera in the direction of the muscular young people in drums against fascists jackets who now, at six-thirty sharp, began chanting: â€śWe donâ€™t need nuclear energy! Stop nuclear power plants! Stop them, stop them, stop them! No restart! No restart!â€ť The police assumed a stiffer stance; the drumming and chanting were almost uncomfortably loud. Commuters hurried past along the open space between the police and the protesters, staring straight ahead, covering their ears. Finally, a fellow in a shabby sweater appeared, and murmured along with the chants as he rounded the corner. He was the only one who seemed to sympathize; few others reacted at all.
Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:
Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.
An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as â€śa nation of oppressors and exploiters.â€ť
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â€śHe could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein â€” literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.â€ť