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After maintaining for three years that Yaser Esam Hamdi, an American citizen captured in Afghanistan, was so grave a threat to the United States that merely permitting him to meet with his lawyer would fatally compromise national security, the Bush Administration (having been told by Justice Antonin Scalia that “the very core of liberty secured by our Anglo-Saxon system of separated powers has been freedom from indefinite imprisonment at the will of the Executive”) declined to defend its case against Hamdi in open court and announced that he will be stripped of his citizenship and released in Saudi Arabia.Boston Globe, Washington Post, ZNetCharges were also dropped against Ahmad al Halabi, a Syrian-American airman who was accused of spying at the prison camp in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. ReutersColin Powell said that the Iraqi insurgency is “getting worse,” and U.S. forces arrested a high-ranking officer in the Iraqi National Guard, one week after he was appointed commander of the Diyala province, because he supposedly has ties to insurgents.BBCPresident Bush said that John Kerry’s criticisms of his policies in Iraq are hurting the war effort.ABC NewsAn expert panel appointed by the Pentagon concluded that the United States lacks the troops to maintain its current military commitments, andNew York TimesHalliburton was thinking about selling its KBR subsidiary, which handles the company’s contracts in Iraq.New York TimesThe Pentagon announced that it will issue microwave pain guns to its forces in Iraq.Daily TelegraphThe United States military was planning a large new offensive in Iraq to prepare for the scheduled January elections, andWashington PostSecretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld admitted that the ongoing war could result in a “limited” election. “Well, so be it,” he said. “Nothing’s perfect in life, so you have an election that’s not quite perfect.”Reuters
The Transportation Security Administration announced that it plans to force airlines to provide personal information about passengers so that it can test a new system for identifying potential terrorists; in some cases the airline records will be compared with private databases.ReutersYusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, was refused entry to the United States because his name appears on a list of terrorism suspects.ReutersThe federal government refused to admit that a regulation exists requiring airline passengers to show a form of picture ID before they board planes.Sacramento BeeThe inspector general of the Homeland Security Department reported that airport screeners are still permitting knives, guns, and explosives to be smuggled through security checkpoints by government testers.New York TimesMore flaws were found in Diebold Election Systems’ electronic voting machines.Wired NewsThe Israeli government seized 80,000 cans of dog food that had been labeled as foie gras.Christian Science Monitor2004-09-27HaaretzThe BBC cancelled a satirical cartoon series called “Popetown,” which featured corrupt bishops and depicted the pope jumping around the Vatican on a pogo stick.Guardian, Associated PressAn academic conference at Yale University was devoted to Michael Jackson, andAssociated PressJimmy Swaggart said that he would kill any gay man who “looks at me like that.”The AdvocateWal-Mart agreed to stop selling The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, a nineteenth-century anti-Semitic forgery, on its website; a spokesman said the company had “made a business decision to remove this book.”Jewish Telegraph AgencyDavid Koresh’s 1968 Camaro was sold at auction to a car wash owner from San Antonio, Texas, for $37,500.Houston ChronicleIsrael used a car bomb to assassinate a Hamas official in Syria.Christian Science MonitorA Malawianpothead decapitated two women with an axe.Reuters
President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria said that the African Union will send thousands of troops to keep the peace in Sudan.New York TimesNigerian rebels threatened to attack oil wells in the Niger delta.ReutersCalifornia regulators announced that car makers must cut carbon dioxide emissions by 30 percent by 2016, and crudeWashington Postoil closed at $48.88 a barrel, a new record.BloombergArmed gangs rioted in Haiti outside a food distribution center in Gonaives, which was largely destroyed by tropical storm Jeanne.NewsdayAnother hurricane hit Florida.Washington PostIn Italy, an old woman was killed by a falling crucifix, and theIndependentcompany that makes Hostess Twinkies and Wonder Bread went bankrupt.ReutersNew research concluded that low-birthweight babies are twice as likely to commit suicide.BBCIt was discovered that Israelitraffic fatalities rise by 35 percent in the days following a terrorist attack.New ScientistScientists said that over the last 15 years several glaciers in Antarctica have increased the rate at which they are sliding into the sea.Wired NewsThe discovery that methane and water vapor are concentrated together on Mars suggested that methane-producing bacteria may be present on the planet.New ScientistA group of Australian scientists developed a vaccine to cut down on the methane emitted by sheep when they belch and fart.New ScientistChina opened its first Formula One raceway.New York TimesAmerican researchers developed a device that uses spinach to generate electricity, and scientistsNew Scientistwere hoping to use rat brainwaves to find people buried by earthquakes.New ScientistCalifornia banned necrophilia.Scotsman
More from Roger D. Hodge:
Freddie Grayâ€™s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the cityâ€™s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Minimum number of cats fitted with high-tech listening equipment in a 1967 CIA project:
Zoologists suggested that apes and humans share an ancestor who laughed.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
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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