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In Iraq 30 people were killed at makeshift checkpoints, 22 people died in suicide bombings, 9 people were killed in an ambush, 5 bodies were found in the Qaid River, 4 children were killed by rocket-propelled grenades, and 2 American civilians were killed in a roadside bombing. Suicide bombings killed at least 22 people in Afghanistan and injured 30 people in Tel Aviv.Democracy Now!The Boston GlobeCRI OnlineSign On San Diego.comOsama bin Laden released a tape in which he warned of new attacks on the United States and offered a truce. “Your president,” said bin Laden, “is misinterpreting public opinion polls which show that the vast majority of you support the withdrawal of your forces from Iraq.” Bin Laden also encouraged Americans to read the book Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower by William Blum. Bin Laden’s deputy Ayman Al-Zawahiri released his own tape and recited a poem called “Tears in the Eyes of Time.”BBC NewsThe ScotsmanCNN.comIt was reported that Iraqi militants had developed an “Aerial Improvised Explosive Device” that could blow up helicopters.Al JazeeraThe U.S. Army raised its maximum enlistment age to 39,Democracy Now!and the U.S. State Department said that there was a very high chance that terrorists would attack the United States with weapons of mass destruction.CNN.comAmerica celebrated the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Al Gore compared the FBI’s spying on King to the Bush Administration’s authorizing spying on American citizens,The Raw Story.and New YorkSenatorHillary Clinton said that Republicans were running the House of Representatives “like a plantation.” Republicans disagreed with Clinton, and Al Sharpton complained that she was stealing his material.The Duluth News TribuneNew Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said that the rebuilt New Orleans “will be chocolate at the end of the day.” He clarified: “You take dark chocolate, you mix it with white milk, and it becomes a delicious drink. That is the chocolate I am talking about.” One New Orleans resident said that Nagin “used the wrong dairy product.”CNN.comThree thousand two hundred people were still missing in New Orleans.Democracy Now!Google refused to comply with a Bush Administration subpoena demanding the records for a week’s worth of search queries. Yahoo! and Microsoft, however, complied fully, while America Online said it had complied partially.The New York TimesThe White House refused to provide any details of meetings between Bush Administration staff and lobbyist Jack Abramoff. “We are not,” said White House spokesman Scott McLellan, “going to engage in a fishing expedition.”Democracy Now!
Two more miners died in West Virginia.Democracy Now!Japan blocked imports of American beef after a spine was discovered in a shipment from a U.S. meatpacker.IHT.comRussia accused the U.K. of spying in Moscow, and offered a data-transmitting fake spy rock as evidence.BBC NewsCaliforniaexecuted 76-year-old, blind, wheelchair-bound, mostly deaf, diabetic Clarence Ray Allen. “It’s a good day to die,” said Allen via a statement.APIn Chile socialist and former political prisoner Michelle Bachelet was elected president; she will be the first woman to lead Chile.CBC.caBolivia swore in Evo Morales as its first indigenous president. “From 500 years of resistance,” said Morales, “we pass to another 500 years in power.”Democracy Now!In Mombasa, Kenya, a young hippo named Owen and a 130-year-old tortoise named Mzee celebrated a year of friendship,Yahoo! Newsand in Tokyo a hamster named Gohan (“snack”) and a rat snake were still friends after two years.BBC NewsNigeria planned to make it a crime, punishable by five years in jail, to participate in or officiate at a same-sex marriage.BBC NewsA two-year, $939,233 study commissioned by the U.S. Justice Department found that inmates who claim to have been raped in prison are usually lying. In prison, the study explained, sexual pressure is not seen as coercion; rather, “sexual pressure ushers, guides, or shepherds the process of sexual awakening.”Chron.comA man in Australia escaped from prison by losing enough weight to slip through a hole.BBC NewsThere was a shortage of women in India, possibly due to endemic female feticide; as a result, women can cost up to $136 each or more.The Toronto Star
It was cold in Russia. People were smearing goose fat on their bodies to stop frostbite, and near Moscow zookeepers fed an Indian elephant a bucket of vodka to keep it warm; the elephant then went on a rampage, tore radiators from a wall, and calmed down only after it was given a hot shower.HindustanTimes.comThe Toronto StarScientists in London found more evidence of a link between the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in cat feces and the development of schizophrenia in rats.Imperial College LondonIn San Jose, California, Anna Ayala, who planted a severed finger in a bowl of Wendy’s chili, was sentenced to nine years in prison. Her husband, Jaime Plascencia, who obtained the finger from a co-worker, was given more than twelve years.Wendy’s chili-finger couple sentenced to prisonIt was reported that several of the Guantánamo Bay hunger strikers had started to eat again, while other reports indicated that 30 of the hunger strikers were close to death.ReutersAfterDowningStreet.orgThe U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Oregon law allowing for physician-assisted suicide.CBC.caGreenpeace dumped a 55-foot fin whale in front of the Japanese Embassy in Berlin,Fox Newsand in London a northern bottlenosed whale swam up the Thames, sparking a massive rescue effort before the whale died.BBC NewsIn El Paso, Texas, a mechanic was sucked into a jet engine. “It doesn’t happen very often,” said a Boeing spokeswoman.CNN.comAstronomers in West Virginia discovered a superbubble,SFGate.coma man in Sweden was in trouble for eating his foster sisters,BBC Newsand the Frenchface-transplant patient was smoking through her recently grafted-on lips.MSNBC
More from Paul Ford:
Damages sought, in a defamation suit, by a Chicago landlord from a tenant who complained about mold via Twitter:
The British House of Lords voted to limit the right of parents to spank their children.
The Mall of America hired its first black Santa, a real estate company valued Mr. and Mrs. Clausâ€™s North Pole home at $656,957, and it was reported that the price of the gifts from â€śTwelve Days of Christmasâ€ť went up by more than $200 in 2016, to $34,363.49.
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"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of oneâ€™s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many timesâ€”in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."