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In Amman, Jordan, 57 people were killed in explosions at three different hotels. “We thought it was fireworks for the wedding,” said Ahmed at the Radisson. An Iraqi woman named Sajida Rishawi later described how she, her husband, and two other Iraqis had entered Jordan on forged passports intending to blow up the hotels; while the other three suicide bombers succeeded, she explained, her exploding belt malfunctioned, so she ran.BBC NewsThe Los Angeles TimesKuwaitâ??s largest oil field began to run out of oil,AMEInfo.comand Saudi Arabia was told it could now join the World Trade Organization.BBC NewsAustralian authorities arrested 17 men for planning a jihad.Saddam Hussein’s defense team.ABC NewsEllen Johnson-Sirleaf was elected President of Liberia, becoming the first woman elected to lead an African country.CNN.comMichael Bloomberg was re-elected mayor of New York City for around $68 million, and Jon Corzine was elected governor of New Jersey for around $40 million. When sworn in, Corzine will be America’s only bearded governor.USA TodayCaliforniavoters rejected four initiatives proposed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “If I was to make another Terminator movie,” said Schwarzenegger, “I would tell Terminator to travel back in time to tell Arnold not to have another special election.” Schwarzenegger then visited China, where he was greeted by hundreds of flag-waving children.ABC NewsBBC NewsIn Thailand an official wedding ceremony was held between two pandas to encourage them to mate. “Start making children soon,” ordered Chinese Consul Peng Dong.IOL.co.zaSocks made from corn were slated to go on sale in Japan.ReutersThere was a severe shortage of electric power in Albania.BBC News
An Iowa judge ruled that a security guard be given unemployment benefits after he was fired for seeing ghosts.CNewsEight pro-Intelligent-Design members of the Dover Board of Education in Pennsylvania were voted out of office and replaced with pro-evolution candidates. Pat Robertson suggested that God would forsake the people of Dover if disaster struck their town. “If they have future problems in Dover,” said Robertson, “I recommend they call on Charles Darwin. Maybe he can help them.”Post-gazette.comThe Miami HeraldA new study found that Gigantopithecus blackii, a 10-foot-tall ape weighing up to 1,200 pounds, coexisted with early humans in Southeast Asia for over a million years.Live ScienceSwedish authorities removed the Storsjo monster, a mythical serpentine creature that lives in Lake Storsjon in Jamtland, from their endangered-species list; hunters may now pursue the animal.APThe Dutch Ministry of Culture agreed to return a mummified Maori head to New Zealand,APand Judith Miller retired from The New York Times after 28 years as an employee. “Judy participated in some great, prize-winning journalism,” said Times Editor Bill Keller.The New York TimesThe Times also decided not to publish a piece by author J. T. LeRoy because LeRoy may not exist.WWDThe C.I.A. asked the Justice Department to open an investigation to find out who leaked information about a network of secret U.S.-run torture centers (known as “black sites”) to the Washington Post. When asked about the prisons, President George W. Bush said, “We do not torture.” U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley later clarified Bush’s statement, suggesting that there were some cases in which torture is appropriate.The New York TimesAPNews24.comA former U.S. soldier named Jeff Englehart said that he witnessed “burned bodies, burned children, and burned women” after a white phosphorus attack on Fallujah in 2004. The U.S. Army denied that it had used white phosphorus in the attack.The New Zealand HeraldA Florida man was arrested for putting his girlfriend’s five-year-old son in a freezer, breaking a state law against caging a child.7NewsOnline
In China the death sentence of entrepreneur Yuan Baojing was suspended after Yuanâ??s wife transferred $6.12 billion in shares to the government.News.telegraphIn Britain a man named Tommy Kimpton was found not guilty of murder for using a pool cue to kill a boy who called him “dumbo ears” and “tank ass.” Kimpton was instead sentenced to life in prison for manslaughter and will serve a minimum four-year sentence.BBC NewsThe U.S. government announced a new weapon, the Personnel Halting and Stimulation Response rifle; unlike previously tested laser weapons that blind their targets, the PHaSR does not produce a “permanently damaging effect.”New ScientistPolio was eradicated in Sierra Leone,AllAfrica.comand a man in Britain appeared to have cured himself of HIV.Times OnlineBird flu arrived in Kuwait.BBC NewsKentucky Fried Chicken was creating a series of ads, to be broadcast during a bird-flu epidemic, to reassure customers that its chicken is safe to eat.Great Falls TribuneIn Canada a 10-year-old boy called for a boycott of McDonaldâ??s until the United States pays back $4 billion in softwood tariffs.AFPA New Zealand school apologized to an Iraqi student who was named “most likely to join the army as a bomb” in the school yearbook. “If I lived somewhere like America,” said 18-year-old Rami Al-Rdini, “I would expect a comment like that. I always thought New Zealand was quite a nice country.”New Zealand HeraldA South African woman crashed her car into an electrical substation, dislodging over a million bees, which then stung her to death.ReutersEl Salvadorean police arrested 21 people for operating a smuggling operation and seized 24 tons of contraband cheese.AFP
More from Paul Ford:
Price charged by a Ukrainian company for a half-day tour of the Chernobyl nuclear-plant site:
Male Abdopus aculeatus octopuses may strangle to death rivals in defending the females whom they have seduced by swimming in a feminine manner.
A study led by a physician at Imperial College London posited that Gollum would have defeated Bilbo Baggins in J. R. R. Tolkienâ€™s The Hobbit had he sunned himself more often or eaten quiche instead of blind fish.
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Notes on South Africaâ€™s failed revolution
â€śI will never know what goes on in your mind, or what that shield of a smile behind which we try to advance should tell us.â€ť