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A suicide bomber in Iraq killed over one hundred people as they stood waiting to join the Iraqi National Guard,New York Timesimesand four American soldiers and thirteen Iraqis were killed in other incidents.Khaleej TimesRichard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pointed out that insurgencies tend to last from seven to twelve years,Reutersand the U.S. military increased its bonuses to encourage reenlistment.USA TodayAmerican forces opened negotiations with Iraqi insurgents.TimeCanada declared that the U.S. must get permission before launching missiles over Canadian airspace,Canada. comand Pakistani soldiers were ordered to shoot at U.S.troops who enter Pakistan without permission.HindustanTimes.comAn earthquake in southeast Iran killed six hundred people,ReliefWeband the Iranian military was preparing for an attack by the United States.SFGateIn the U.K., Bournemouth University announced that it has developed two artificial mass graves, each containing about thirty fake skeletons, to be used to train Iraqiwar-crimes investigators.GuardianBhutan banned public smoking,BBC Newsthe president of Togo stepped down,USA Todayand Tom Ridge joined the board of Home Depot.MarketWatch
The Anglican Communion was nearing a schism.BBC NewsThe attorney general of Kansas demanded that clinics in his state turn over the medical records of girls who have received abortions and women who have had late-term abortions.CNNDennis Rader, an active Lutheran and a Cub Scout leader in Wichita, Kansas, confessed to six killings as the BTK (“bind, torture, and kill”) serial killer, wanted for thirty-one years.An Illinois court ruled that a man could sue his ex-lover for using his sperm, acquired via oral sex, to impregnate herself,Chicago Sun-Timesand Britain’s Labour party was forced to drop Christine Wheatley as a candidate for Parliament after it was revealed she had once worked as a prostitute in Paris. “It was usually only three minutes,” said Wheatley.TelegraphThe pope underwent a tracheotomy,BBC Newsand the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case challenging the Alabama law that makes it a crimeâ??punishable by a year in jail and a $10,000 fineâ??to sell vibrators, dildos, anal beads, and artificial vaginas.ReutersUNICEF reported that 180 million children aged five to seventeen are forced into the “worst forms” of labor, including the sex and slave trades.HindustanTimes.comProgressive rock was making a comeback.New York TimesimesNASAscientists resurrected bacteria that had been frozen for 32,000 years,New York TimesimesRussia agreed to sell nuclear fuel to Iran,LA Timesand at a summit in Bratislava, Vladimir Putin accused George W. Bush of firing Dan Rather.Washington PostA Swiss court lifted the ban on using “Bin Ladin” as a brand name. The name is registered to Osama bin Laden’s half-brother.CANOEIsrael planned to build 6,391 new homes for settlers in the West BankReutersand refused to hand over security control of the West Bank to Palestinians.CTV.caWest Banksettlers were given stickers to prove their residency, so that they might drive more quickly through checkpoints,Ha’aretzand a suicide bomber killed five in Tel Aviv. Israel blamed Syria, which hosts Islamic Jihad, for the attack. Syria handed over Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hasan al-Tikriti, Saddam Hussein’s half-brother, to Iraqi authorities,Economistand the pro-Syrian government of Lebanon dissolved itself.ABC NewsGovernor Arnold Schwarzenegger said he had no regrets about his past steroid use,Sports Illustratedand a New Hampshirecrematorium was found to be throwing pacemakers and metallic hips into a dumpster.7 News Boston
Maoists killed fifteen in Nepal, Times of Indiaand Nepalese soldiers killed dozens of Maoists .ReutersThe financial records of 1.2 million federal employees were stolen from or lost by the Bank of America; Senator Pat Leahy’s credit-card number was among the missing.BBC NewsHalle Berry received a “Razzie” award for the worst actress of 2004 for her role in the film “Catwoman.” “I want to thank Warner Brothers for casting me in this piece of shit,” she said. George W. Bush won the worst actor award for his role in “Fahrenheit 9/11,”Reutersand a poll found that 57 percent of parents would not like their children to grow up to be president.Chicago Sun-TimesUSA Next, a group with ties to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, attacked the AARP for its position against Social Security reform,Newsweekand Arthur Shawcross, a cannibalserial killer, was writing a cookbook.New CriminologistCanadianscientists announced that they could treat depression by electronically stimulating the brain.Scotsman.comSenatorJohn McCain called for permanent U.S. military bases in Afghanistan, The Guardianwhere one woman dies of a pregnancy-related illness every thirty minutes.ArabNews.comQueen Elizabeth announced that she would not attend the wedding ceremony of her son, Charles, and Camilla Parker Bowles, but insisted this was not a snub; New York TimesimesPrinceCharles complained that the British had “tortured” him over his relationship with Parker Bowles.News.com.auAtrocities continued in Darfur, BBC NewsSomalia denounced plans to deploy foreign peacekeepers, BBC Newsand Eritrea was facing a major food crisis.BBC NewsAn Orangeburg, New York, man beat his toddler daughter to death for refusing a peanut-butter sandwich, The WGAL Channeland in Edinburgh, Scotland, a blind man bit his guide dog.The Scotsman
More from Paul Ford:
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word â€śhallwayâ€ť must have a nautical name. Why didnâ€™t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet heâ€™d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands theyâ€™d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you donâ€™t belong to, that doesnâ€™t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isnâ€™t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members â€” because ocean life pays better than money! â€” who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Rank of Detroit among major U.S. cities whose residents give the largest portion of their income to charity:
A South Dakota researcher concluded that only scant blood spatter results when chain saws are used to dismember pigs.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature