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Eighty-six corpses–most shot, some strangled–were found around Baghdad over a 30-hour period. CNN“We are losing each day as an average 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more,” said Iyad Allawi, the former interim prime minister of Iraq. “If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is.”BBC NewsDonald Rumsfeld denied that Iraq was in a civil war.CNNThe United States launched Operation Swarmer against the Iraqi insurgency. While the operation was described as the largest air assault since the beginning of the Iraq war, there were no airstrikes and no leading insurgents were captured.TimeA videotape emerged purporting to show that in November of 2005 Marines in Haditha, seeking revenge for the deaths of their comrades, killed 15 unarmed Iraqis, including seven women and three children. “I watched them shoot my grandfather,” said an eyewitness, “first in the chest and then in the head. Then they killed my granny.” The Marines promised to investigate.TimeIt was revealed that in 2004 a U.S. Special Operations unit imprisoned Iraqis in Hussein-era torture chambers, then used them as targets in paintball games. “The reality is,” said a Pentagon official, “there were no rules there.” Posters around the detention area read NO BLOOD, NO FOUL.The New York TimesThe judge in the Saddam Hussein trial closed the trial to the public after Hussein spoke against Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence. “You will live,” Hussein told Iraqis, “in darkness and rivers of blood for no reason.” ABC NewsIn France between 260,000 and 500,000 students demonstrated and vandalized buildings and cars to protest a new employment law that makes it easier for young workers to be fired.Democracy NowEighty thousand people mourned Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade,ABC Newsand several thousand people around the world protested on the third anniversary of the Iraq war.ABC NewsIt was reported that the U.S. military is less likely to discharge homosexuals than it was in the past. “They are under enormous pressure,” explained a legal analyst, “to retain people.”The Boston GlobeIn the Netherlands organizers were planning to encourage tolerance by holding a soccer game matching homosexuals against Muslims. Gay Muslims, said organizers, will be able to choose which team they will join.Seattle PI
The Israeli army attacked a Palestinian jail to seize six militants,BBC Newsand doctors planned to move Ariel Sharon to a long-term care facility.AP via Sign On San DiegoIn California authorities were fitting gang members with GPS anklets,Reutersand the U.S. Navy said that it had killed a pirate off the coast of Somalia.BBC NewsA man named Allen Abney, who went AWOL from the Marines in 1968 before his unit was sent to Vietnam, was arrested for desertion and placed in a Marine jail when he tried to cross into Idaho from Canada. He was released a week later.The Globe and MailA government study found that FEMA had wasted millions of dollars in the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort; among other things the organization was accused of spending $3 million for 4,000 beds that were never used and awarding hundreds of contracts without competitive bidding.Democracy NowGoogle was ordered to provide selected search data to the federal government,BBC Newsand 46 percent of Americans polled said President George W. Bush should be censured over the NSA warrantless-wiretapping program.Democracy NowSenator Russ Feingold (D., Wis.) proposed a resolution to censure the President.USA TodayA federal appeals court ruled that Tennessee may issue “Choose Life” license plates.AP via First Amendment Center
UNESCO met to discuss how to preserve world heritage sites, like the Tower of London and the Great Barrier Reef, from the effects of global warming; the United States said that the organization had no brief to discuss an unproven theory.BBC NewsPresident Bush nominated Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne, who raised $86,000 from the timber, mining, and energy industries during his last campaign, to oversee the Department of the Interior.Democracy NowJapanesescientists extracted sweet-smelling vanillin from cow dung.The New Zealand HeraldIn New Mexico a Mescalero Apache family was suing the producers of the Steven Spielberg-produced TV show “Into the West” for cutting the hair of eight-year-old actress Christina Ponce. Mescalero tradition forbids cutting a girl’s hair before she reaches puberty; the filmmakers trimmed Ponce because they were short of Indian boys.BBC NewsIn Texas, where wildfires have burned 3.5 million acres of land since December,AP via Yahoo! NewsMiss Deaf Texas was struck and killed by a train. “They sounded the horn,” said a police detective, “and got no response.”Seattle PIIn Chicago a man named Jakub Fik, upset with his girlfriend, was arrested for smashing car windows; he also cut off his penis and threw it at police officers.Chicago Sun TimesA 38-year-old Californiaclown kidnapped the 14-year-old girl who is carrying his child,NBC San Diegoand at least 2.5 million American children were taking antipsychotic drugs.MSNBC
More from Paul Ford:
For the past three years my dosimeter had sat silently on a narrow shelf just inside the door of a house in Tokyo, upticking its final digit every twenty-four hours by one or two, the increase never failing — for radiation is the ruthless companion of time. Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly. During those three years, my American neighbors had lost sight of the accident at Fukushima. In March 2011, a tsunami had killed hundreds, or thousands; yes, they remembered that. Several also recollected the earthquake that caused it, but as for the hydrogen explosion and containment breach at Nuclear Plant No. 1, that must have been fixed by now — for its effluents no longer shone forth from our national news. Meanwhile, my dosimeter increased its figure, one or two digits per day, more or less as it would have in San Francisco — well, a trifle more, actually. And in Tokyo, as in San Francisco, people went about their business, except on Friday nights, when the stretch between the Kasumigaseki and Kokkai-Gijido-mae subway stations — half a dozen blocks of sidewalk, which commenced at an antinuclear tent that had already been on this spot for more than 900 days and ended at the prime minister’s lair — became a dim and feeble carnival of pamphleteers and Fukushima refugees peddling handicrafts.
One Friday evening, the refugees’ half of the sidewalk was demarcated by police barriers, and a line of officers slouched at ease in the street, some with yellow bullhorns hanging from their necks. At the very end of the street, where the National Diet glowed white and strange behind other buildings, a policeman set up a microphone, then deployed a small video camera in the direction of the muscular young people in drums against fascists jackets who now, at six-thirty sharp, began chanting: “We don’t need nuclear energy! Stop nuclear power plants! Stop them, stop them, stop them! No restart! No restart!” The police assumed a stiffer stance; the drumming and chanting were almost uncomfortably loud. Commuters hurried past along the open space between the police and the protesters, staring straight ahead, covering their ears. Finally, a fellow in a shabby sweater appeared, and murmured along with the chants as he rounded the corner. He was the only one who seemed to sympathize; few others reacted at all.
Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:
Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.
An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as “a nation of oppressors and exploiters.”
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“He could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein — literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.”