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In a furtive ceremony held two days ahead of schedule in order to pre-empt violence, the United States transferred “sovereignty” to Iraq. About 140,000 American troops remained in the country, with no mechanism in place between the two countries to govern the troops, and 150 Americans stayed on in Iraqi ministries as advisers.New York TimesOf the 2,300 construction projects promised by coalition forces, fewer than 140 were underway at the time of the transfer of power.New York TimesOutgoing proconsul L. Paul Bremer warned that Iraq’s path to democracy would be messy, and noted, “It wasn’t very pretty around here either between 1776 and 1787.”SalonIn response to a note from Condoleezza Rice announcing Iraq’s new status, President Bush wrote: “Let Freedom Reign!”New York TimesThree days later, insurgents fired rockets from a bus and a pickup truck that hit two central Baghdad hotels, and a mortar attack on a military base near the city’s airport wounded eleven U.S. soldiers.ReutersCourt proceedings began at “Camp Victory,” the American base near Baghdad, against Saddam Hussein, who identified himself as the current president of Iraq, and eleven members of his administration. “You know that this is all a theater by Bush, to help him win his election,” Hussein observed. He was read criminal charges covering thirty years, including the 1988 gassing of Kurds in Halabja, which he recalled hearing about “on the radio.” The U.S. said that Hussein had not provided any useful information while in custody, though he explained that he had his army invade Kuwait in 1990 to keep them busy.New York TimesObserving that “a state of war is not a blank check for the president,” the Supreme Court ruled that both foreign prisoners held at Guantánamo Bay and so-called enemy combatants held in the United States can use the American legal system to challenge their detention.New York TimesFour American soldiers were charged with fatally pushing an Iraqi off a bridge in January for breaking a curfew.New York TimesScientists found that the sneakiest primates have the biggest brains.New ScientistPresident Bush’s approval rating fell to its lowest point, 42 percent.New York Times
In Afghanistan, Taliban fighters killed fourteen unarmed men for registering to vote.New York TimesPresident Hamid Karzai begged NATO to send security troops to the country, and to “please hurry” in advance of September elections, but his request was rejected.New York TimesMore than 2,100 Florida residents were found to be wrongly included on a list of ineligible voters.Miami HeraldNine members of the House of Representatives asked the United Nations to monitor the November elections, andAgence France Pressetwo conservative groups were caught illegally promoting Ralph Nader’s presidential candidacy in Oregon.CNNThe Bush-Cheney campaign asked church-going volunteers to provide church membership directories to state campaign committees, raising questions about whether the directive violates the separation between church and state.ReutersA Mexican farmer upset about not getting his party’s nomination to run for the state legislature put on a crown of thorns and nailed himself to a wooden cross outside the state’s electoral office.Local6news.comWhile in Turkey for the NATO summit, President Bush met with religious leaders and thanked them “for being so faithful to the Almighty God.”New York TimesThe pope expressed outrage over the sacking of Constantinople by Christian crusaders in 1204.BBCThe FDA approved the use of blood-sucking leeches for medicinal purposes.ReutersLonely people were buying robotic fireflies.Wireless Flash
Hillary Clinton promised that if John Kerry wins the election, Bush’s tax cuts will be eliminated: “We’re going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.”Associated PressThe Supreme Court ruled that a federal law designed to shield children from Internet porn cannot be enforced, because it likely violates the First Amendment.Associated PressAmerican military officers were worrying that promotional cans of Coca-Cola including cell phones and global positioning chips could be used to eavesdrop on classified meetings.YahooThe Cassini spacecraft orbited Saturn and transmitted the first pictures of the icy rings circling the planet, andNew York Timesthe Hubble Space Telescope discovered a hundred new planets orbiting stars in the Milky Way.BBCChiquita was busy engineering bananas that taste like different fruits.BBCThe French government reported that the number of cows infected with mad cow disease in the past thirteen years is 300 times higher than previously suspected, with nearly 50,000 infected animals entering the food chain because the epidemic had gone undetected.TelegraphA 132-pound Japanese man ate 53 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes. “I think he has proven, once again, that he is one of the finest athletes of any sport in the world,” concluded a spokesman.WNBC.comA dead woman was suing the late Dr. Robert Atkins for giving her inadequate cancer-treatment advice.New York Daily NewsLittle boys in Utah were selling lemonade for $250 a glass to offset a potential $14 million judgment against the Boy Scouts for starting a wildfire.Associated PressExperts warned that witches’ broom disease and frosty pod disease could devastate chocolate supplies in coming years, andNews.scotsman.comfemale rice farmers in Nepal were plowing their fields in the nude to please the rain god.Associated PressColin Powell sang and danced to “YMCA” for foreign ministers at a conference on Asian-Pacific security.Associated PressA Hindu ascetic was busy rolling his way 800 miles from India to Pakistan to promote world peace.Los Angeles Times
More from Margaret Cordi:
Flor Arely SĂˇnchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San JuliĂˇn region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases â€” first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didnâ€™t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Average amount of time a child spends in Santa Claus’s lap at Macy’s (in seconds):
Beer does not cause beer bellies.
Following the arrest of at least 10 clowns in Kentucky and Alabama, Tennesseans were warned that clowns could be â€śpredatorsâ€ť and Pennsylvanians were advised not to interact with what one police chief described as â€śknuckleheads with clown-like clothes on.â€ť
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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