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The Senate Intelligence Committee released a scathing report on the CIA’s unfounded, unjustified, and unreasonable claims about Iraq’s purported weapons of mass destruction; the report was oddly silent, however, about the Bush Administration’s well-documented and apparently successful campaign to intimidate the CIA into coming up with justifications for the President’s fraudulent case for the invasion.New York TimesSenator Trent Lott was outraged by the CIA’s “totally ridiculous, uncalled for, and counterproductive” redactions of the report and called for an independent commission to oversee the classification of government information.New York TimesJapan’s defense ministry said that it will issue its annual defense whitepaper as a “manga” comic book.ReutersIyad Allawi, the prime minister of Iraq’s new puppet government, signed a law giving him the power to declare martial law and ban seditious groups. Allawi hinted recently that national elections, which are scheduled for January 2005, might be delayed.New York TimesPresident Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan was planning to delay parliamentary elections once again, and federalNew York Timesauthorities in the United States were discussing the possibility of postponing the November elections in the event of a terrorist attack.CNNTom Ridge, the secretary of homeland security, warned that Al Qaeda might be planning an attack to disrupt the November elections, but he said that he was aware of no specific threat or details about the alleged plan. The color-coded threat level remained unchanged, and many observers suspected the announcement was made to distract attention from Senator John Kerry and his new running mate, Senator John Edwards, whom President Bush accused of being too inexperienced.Associated Press, Nelson ReportThe Pentagon revealed that pay records of George W. Bush’s National Guard service during the Vietnam War, records that might be able to establish whether he met his military obligations, were accidentally destroyed.BBCA new study concluded that children of fat people are more likely to be fat.Forbes
The Pentagon announced the creation of military review panels to allow prisoners at GuantĂˇnamo Bay to challenge their detentions, though they will not be permitted to have lawyers present, nor will the hearings be public; critics said that the Pentagon’s plan falls short of the standard set by the Supreme Court, which ruled that the prisoners have a right to an independent hearing.GuardianConfused brown pelicans were crashing into streets in Arizona, because heat waves rising from the pavement look like water.New York TimesThe World Court declared that Israel’s West Bank wall is illegal because it effectively seizes Palestinian land, andAssociated PressIsrael’s public-security minister warned that Jewish extremists might try to assassinate Israeli leaders to prevent the planned withdrawal from Gaza.New York TimesSlobodan Milosevic wasn’t feeling well, andReutersKenneth Lay, the former chairman and CEO of Enron, was finally indicted.New York TimesThe British House of Lords voted to limit the right of parents to spank their children.New York TimesPrime Minister Tony Blair of Britain admitted that weapons of mass destruction might never be found in Iraq but continued to maintain that “we know” Saddam had such weapons: “I do not believe there was not a threat in relation to weapons of mass destruction.”New York TimesA federal appeals court ruled that the government’s standards for the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste dump in Nevada are insufficient because they extend for only 10,000 years.New York TimesAlgerian police admitted that a June 21 explosion at a power plant was a terrorist attack by the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat.Agence France-PresseA Tamil Tiger suicide bomber killed four policemen in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and anNew York TimesIsraeli soldier was killed by a bomb in Tel Aviv.ReutersAslan Maskhadov, the Chechen rebel leader, claimed to be able to fight the Russians for another twenty years if necessary, and he threatened to kill the next president of Chechnya. “Whoever occupies this puppet’s chair â?? his days are numbered.”New York TimesGovernor Jeb Bush was asked to list the angles on a three-four-five triangle, a question that appears on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, which high school students must pass to graduate. Bush replied: “I don’t know, 125, 90, and whatever remains of 180?”Associated Press
Federal health officials were thinking about banning the practice of feeding pork, chicken, and other animal parts to cattle; the pigs and chickens eat rendered cattle and thus could transmit mad cow disease prions. There was apparently no plan to stop feeding cattle huge quantities of cattle blood, an obvious vector for the disease, and cattle will continue to enjoy the feathers and excrement of 8.5 billion chickens.New York TimesThe mayor of Nyahururu, Kenya, ordered the slaughter of 500 pigs because they were mating with stray dogs.ReutersIreland was said to be short of priests, and theNew York TimesRoman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland, Oregon, filed for bankruptcy.OregonianIn Shreveport, Louisiana, police arrested a man in a wheelchair for shooting a man on crutches who apparently hit the accused over the head with a crutch.Shreveport TimesCondom supplies in much of the world were falling short, andNew ScientistBritain’s Environment Agency said that male fish were being changed to females by hormone-laden sewage dumped into rivers.New York TimesThe EPA announced that it will fine DuPont for failing to report significant test results relating to a chemical used in making Teflon that was found in drinking water near factories and in the fetus of a pregnant employee.New York TimesOne hundred fifty million pieces of toy jewelry were recalled because of high lead content.New York TimesPeat bogs around the world were releasing carbon dioxide, which is speeding up global warming, and avianNew Scientistflu reappeared in Thailand and China and Vietnam.Associated PressFour organ-transplant recipients died from rabies; all four received tissue from the same infected donor.New York TimesThe European Court of Human Rights declined to extend full human rights to fetuses, and theNew York TimesFrench parliament banned human cloning.ReutersPeople in Canberra, Australia, were warned to beware of mad starving kangaroos; at least one golden retriever has been drowned by a kangaroo, and a woman was attacked while out walking her poodle.Associated PressA sinkhole in Louisiana ate a giraffe and an ostrich.New York TimesScientists succeeded in reading the mind of a monkey.New Scientist
More from Roger D. Hodge:
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