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Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld called for the United States to increase its propaganda efforts in the Middle East,BBC Newsas riots over cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad continued around the world. In Nigeria 16 people were killed in rioting and 11 churches were burned; in Libya at least 10 people were killed; and in Pakistan at least 5 people were killed. In Volgograd, Russia, officials closed the city newspaper after it published a cartoon that showed Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, and Buddha watching TV together. Fifteen thousand people protested the cartoons in London. “We have to speak up,” said a Muslim demonstrator, “to prevent something like the Holocaust from happening.”CNN.comThe New York TimesCNN.comThe Arab European League website published cartoons mocking the Holocaust. One showed Adolf Hitler in bed with Anne Frank; Hitler says: “put this in your diary, Anne.”UPINew photos of the torture at Abu Ghraibprison were released,ABC News Onlineand at least 19 people died in bombings across Iraq.ReutersThe U.S. Army was worried that Abu Ghraib was becoming, according to one commander, “a graduate-level training ground for the insurgency.”International Herald TribuneU.S. President George W. Bush said that Americans should not be discouraged by slow progress in Iraq. “We’ve seen democracy change the world in the past,” he said.BBC NewsThe United States and Israel were working together to destabilize the Hamas-led government of Palestine. “It’s not possible,” countered Hamas spokesman Farhat Asaad, “for the U.S. and the world to turn its back on an elected democracy.”The New York TimesIsrael froze its $50 million monthly tax payments to Palestine,The New York Timesand sheriffs from 10 different U.S. states visited Israel to learn more about homeland-security techniques.The Washington Post
The United Nations issued a report calling on the United States to either try the approximately 500 inmates at the Guantánamo Bayprison for their crimes or release them.BBC NewsAnother person died from birdflu in Iraq. The flu was also found in poultry in Germany, France, and Egypt, and 50,000 chickens died from the disease in India.Bloomberg NewsPeople’s Daily OnlineBBC NewsChina ViewIn Guinsaugon, Philippines, at least 1,371 people were buried in a mudslide. Imelda Marcos promised to visit the region soon.ReutersTwo Homeland Security guards in Bethesda, Maryland, were in trouble after they accused a man of using an Internet terminal in a public library to view pornography. An official said the guards had “overstepped their authority” and had subsequently been given other duties.The Washington PostThe Supreme Court of Italy, considering the case of a man who forced his 14-year-old stepdaughter to perform oral sex, ruled that molesting girls who have already had sexual experience is not as bad as molesting virgins. “The real problem,” commented Mussolini’s granddaughter, “is that there are no women in the supreme court.”CNN.comA study found that unattractive people commit more crimes,The Washington Post via the San Francisco Chronicleand Australiancane toads were out of control.BBC News
People were dying of thirst in southern Somalia; some were walking up to 45 miles to find water.BBC NewsIn Harare, Zimbabwe, twenty newborn babies and fetuses were being pulled from the sewers each week.CNN.comAuthor Margaret Atwood was planning to avoid book tours by signing books via remote-controlled robot.The IndependentA man in Texas was sentenced to 30 years in prison for raping his former girlfriend, then branding her,Chron.comand a woman in Minnesota was arrested for biting off part of another woman’s nose. Police obtained a search warrant to recover the nose, which was then reattached.TwinCities.comAn Illinois man was suing his ex-wife to keep her from having their 8-year-old son circumcised.The Chicago TribuneToxoplasma parasites, found in catfeces, were causing deadly brain disease in U.S. otters,BBC Newsand researchers in Australia found that tiger feces repel wild goats.CNN.comThe U.S. Army was using a computer game called “Tactical Iraqi” to teach Marines how to interpret Iraqis’ gestures; “Tactical Pashto” and “Tactical Levantine” are in development.BBC NewsScientists in Italy found that the effects of Ecstasy on rats were intensified when the rats were made to listen to loud music,BBC Newsand NASA researchers found that the ice from glaciers in Greenland was flowing into the sea at double the rate of 10 years ago.The New York TimesA British nurse was in trouble for slapping her co-workers with a frozentrout,BBC Newsand Texasattorney Harry Whittington apologized for the trouble he caused when he was shot by Vice President Dick Cheney.Chron.com
More from Paul Ford:
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Amount the inventor of the yellow “smiley face” had received for it by the time of his death in April:
An astrophysicist observed that the early universe looked like vegetable soup.
In North Korea, a missile capable of striking U.S. bases overseas blew up immediately after a test launch, and in North Carolina, a G.O.P. headquarters was firebombed.
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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