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In Iraqa suicide bomber killed 50 people and a car bomb killed 10 people. At least 15 U.S. troops were also killed. Hostage Jill Carroll was freed.CNN.comCNN.comU.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited England but cancelled a visit to a mosque there in order to avoid protesters. Rice and British foreign minister Jack Straw then visited Iraq, where they told the Iraqi leadership that it must form a unified government immediately.BBC NewsThe New York TimesIt was reported that Al Qaeda member Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was forced to step down as the leader of a coalition of Iraqi militant groups; he was replaced by a native Iraqi.BBC NewsIraq’s ruling parties accused the United States of killing 37 unarmed civilians at a mosque. “There’s been huge misinformation,” said U.S. Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli.News.com.auA federal jury in Virginia determined that Zacarias Moussaoui was responsible for some of the deaths of September 11, 2001, and thus eligible for execution.The New York TimesIn France 2.6 million people went on strike to protest changes in employment law,Reutersand ChineseInternet users were spending two billion hours online each week.ForbesAstronaut Marco Pontes became the first Brazilian in space.CNN.comPalestine fired a larger-than-usual missile into an Israeli kibbutz, without any casualties,BBC Newsand Canada cut off all relations with the Palestinian government.CBC NewsAriel Sharon was about to undergo head surgery.BBC News
Earthquakes in western Iran damaged 330 villages and killed 70 people.ReutersAt least 48 people drowned when a cruise boat capsized off the coast of Bahrain,FOX Newsand thunderstorms–along with at least 63 tornadoes–killed 27 people in Tennessee, Missouri, and Illinois.CNN.comIn Colorado a school banned flag-waving.ABC NewsThree quarters of Africa’s farmland lacked the basic nutrients needed to grow crops. “We must,” said Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, “feed our soils.”The New York TimesBritain assigned 4,000 officers to the new Serious Organised Crime Agency, an elite and secretive organization intended, according to a former detective, to “catch people in the highest echelon of organized crime.”BBC NewsIn Washington, D.C., President George W. Bush gave a speech about democracy. “One of the great things about America,” he said, “one of the beauties of our country, is that when we see a young, innocent child blown up by an IED, we cry.”The White HouseWith watering eyes, Andy Card stood next to Bush and resigned as White House chief of staff. “You’re a good man, Mr. President,” Card said before being replaced by budget director Joshua Bolten.MSNBCScientists in Michigan determined that children behave better after their tonsils are removed.ForbesThe U.S. Capitol building lost its power and was evacuated,CNN.comand the King of Tonga appointed Dr. Frederick Vaka’uta Sevele as prime minister, even though Sevele is not an aristocrat.Matangi: Tonga ONLINECaspar Weinberger died.Charleston Daily Mail via BlackEnterprise.comA Las Vegas ambulance company was using a special extra-large ambulance to deal with extremely obese patients; the company said that it had served 75 patients weighing over 600 pounds in the last 6 months.WBAY.comIt was revealed that lobbyist Jack Abramoff had once helped look for a child’s missing hamster.The Miami Herald
British scientists found that the air temperature in Antarctica was rising three times faster than in the rest of the world.The TimesFormer Liberian president Charles Taylor was caught attempting to flee Nigeria and was sent to Sierra Leone, where he pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of war crimes.The New York TimesThe First Secretary of Rwanda was briefly arrested in Uganda after he was caught sleeping with the wife of a Ugandan businessman. “This,” said a Western diplomat, “will not help matters.”CNN.comDoctors in North Carolina announced that they had successfully implanted lab-grown bladders into several patients,New Scientistsa Swedishstudy linked heavy cell-phone use to malignant brain tumors,The Jerusalem Postand scientists successfully sent muon neutrinos from Illinois to Minnesota in order to prove that some neutrinos do transform, most likely to tau neutrinos.Chicago Sun-TimesCatholics commemorated the one-year anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II.San Jose Mercury NewsIn Valletta, Malta, a man described as a “dark-skinned foreigner” walked into the Church of Our Lady of Jesus during mass and destroyed a 200-year-old mother-of-pearl crucifix. “Christians,” said the man, “do not live up to what they preach.”The Times of MaltaThere was a total eclipse of the sun.BBC News
More from Paul Ford:
Flor Arely Sánchez 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 Julián region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases — 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 didn’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 amount of time a child spends in Santa Claus’s lap at Macy’s (in seconds):
Beer does not cause beer bellies.
Following the arrest of at least 10 clowns in Kentucky and Alabama, Tennesseans were warned that clowns could be “predators” and Pennsylvanians were advised not to interact with what one police chief described as “knuckleheads with clown-like clothes on.”
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“Matt 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. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”