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It was the 229th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.Arrivenet.comThe U.S. Capitol was evacuated for a few minutes,CNN.comChina Export & Credit Insurance Corporation was planning to buyHuffy Bikes,BBC NewsSenator Gaylord Nelson died,The New York TimesNASA smashed a coffee-table-sized device traveling at 23,000 miles per hour into the Tempel 1 comet,Nasa.govand Toyota announced that it would open a new $800 million plant in Ontario. The company turned down hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies in the United States because, when compared to Canadians, U.S. workers are too hard to train, often illiterate, and expensive to insure.CBC NewsA Japanese man recited 83,431 digits of pi,Japan Todayand the state of Georgialegalized fishing with only your hands.The TelegraphThe owner of the New England Patriots football team took off his 14-karat-gold Super Bowl ring to show it to Vladimir Putin; Putin put the ring in his pocket and kept it.The Miami HeraldA member of Britain’s parliament identified himself as a Jedi,Parliamentary Recordand a trader for Taiwan’s Fubon Securities accidentally purchased $223 million worth of the wrong stocks.BloombergA woman in Florida won the right to bare her breasts in public, Newsdaygenetic engineers were growing a SARS vaccine in tomatoes,Globe and Mailand a suicide melon truck exploded in Mosul, killing six people and damaging many melons.The AustralianIn New Zealand a baby boy undergoing penis-enlargement treatment was accidentally given ten times the recommended dose of testosterone by his nurse, causing the boy to become angry and irritable and to develop pubic hair. A doctor warned that the baby might also suffer from painful erections, but that problem had yet to arise.Stuff.co.nz
President George W. Bush gave a nationally televised speech about the war in Iraq to an audience of soldiers. Bush, who served in the Air National Guard, said there was “no higher calling” than military service and mentioned the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks five times. After the speech, there was some question as to whether the soldiers had clapped enough.The New York TimesThe U.S. Army, having increased the maximum enlistment age from thirty-four to thirty-nine and the maximum age for officer candidate school from twenty-nine to forty-two, having offered $20,000 more for college per soldier, and having lowered its recruitment goal for this June by more than one thousand as compared to the previous year, announced that it had exceeded its June recruitment goal by 507 soldiers.CNN.comUSA TodayThe New York TimesA group of U.S. senators visited GuantĂˇnamo Bay and said that prisoners there were being treated humanely. Prisoners “even have air-conditioning,” said Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, “and semi-private showers.”The New York TimesScientists in Pittsburgh killed a dog, then resurrected it hours later with fresh blood,News.com.auand Sandra Day O’Connor announced that she would retire from the Supreme Court.APConservative groups immediately began fighting to keep Attorney General Alberto Gonzales from being nominated to replace her because he is not conservative enough.The New York TimesSixteen people died when a U.S. Chinook helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan,BBC Newsand a fourth American soldier in Iraq converted to Islam.Watching AmericaIt was uncertain whether Iran’s new president had been involved in taking fifty-two Americans hostage at the U.S. embassy in Tehran in 1979 or not.APA cleric in Lebanon issued a fatwa banning the shooting of guns into the air,ReutersChina decided to outlaw sexual harassment,BBC Newsand a South Korean pastor announced that he had raised enough money to send 1.2 million rabbits to North Korea.ReutersIn Kota Belud, Malaysia, a Kadazandusun Chief Bobolian urged people to stop dressing animals in costumes because doing so offends the spirits and could turn a longhouse to stone.Daily ExpressA farmer in Nicktown, Pennsylvania, was rendered immobile when he fell through a barn floor and broke his thigh bone. The loud noise of his fall scared his cows, who trampled him to death.Post-GazetteA sixty-million-year-old venomous mouse fossil was discovered by a Canadian,Hindustan Timesfifty new species of snail were discovered in Sri Lanka,CBCand a Zamboni driver in Morristown, New Jersey, was charged with drunk Zamboni driving.ABC NewsIn Indonesia, the Islamic Defenders Front unsuccessfully attempted to stop a transvestite beauty show.BBC NewsA woman in Hoogeveen, the Netherlands, turned one hundred and fifteen,Reutersa man in New Hampshire was arrested for hiding inside an outhouse tank,APand a kangaroo was loose in Indiana.ABC13
The estimated number of hedgehogs in Britain was found to have dropped 20 percent since 2001, probably because tidy gardens alienate hedgehogs.BBC NewsIt was discovered that killer jellyfish will swim away from the color redNews.com.auand that baby dolphins do not sleep.CBCTwo Brooklyn, New York, teenagers were arrested for killing a fifteen-year-old boy for his iPod.The New York TimesFrance announced that it would build a nuclear fusion reactor,BBC Newsand Canada’s parliament voted to allow gaymarriages.BBC NewsIran sentenced a man to have his eyes surgically removed,Reutersand in Muncie, Indiana, a paraplegic man was on his way to Mount Zion Baptist Church when his motorized wheelchair became stuck on some train tracks. He was thrown ten yards and killed by a thirty-eight-car freight train.IndyStarLightning struck a sleeping child’s mattress in Kansas, sparked a wildfire in Alaska’s interior,KTUU.com shocked a boy in New Hampshire through his video-game controller,The Boston Channel killed both a golfer and a prisoner in Ohio,WBNSTV and struck the offices of the National Weather Service in Iowa.TheIowaChannel.comThe Association of British Insurers estimated that global warming will result in $27 billion worth of storm damage annually by 2080.BBC NewsScientists in India warned that the Himalayan glacier that feeds the Ganges River would probably melt before the end of this century,BBC Newsand in Tobe, Japan, a panther stood on its hind legs and clasped its paws together in the posture of prayer.Mainichi Daily News
More from Paul Ford:
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 duration of a Japanese prime minister’s tenure since August 1993, in months:
Brain shrinkage has no effect on cognition.
An Indianapolis fertility doctor was accused of using his own sperm to artificially inseminate patients, and a Delaware man pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his former psychiatrist.
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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