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A car bomb killed 10 people at a Shiite shrine in Najaf, Iraq, and a suicide bombing killed 85 people at a Shiite mosque in Baghdad. BBC NewsThe U.S. military announced that 1,313 Iraqi civilians had been killed in the sectarian violence of March. “Civil war,” said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, “has almost started among Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, and those who are coming from Asia.”BBC NewsChron.comThe case against Abdul Ameer Younis Hussein, an Iraqi cameraman for CBS who was arrested in April 2005 after filming the wreckage of a car bomb, was finally dismissed for lack of evidence.ABC NewsThe Bush Administration continued to plan a major air attack on Iran; a highly placed government consultant said that President George W. Bush believes that “saving Iran is going to be his legacy.”The New YorkerDoctors in London reported that a man who has taken 40,000 doses of Ecstasy was having trouble with his short-term memory.The GuardianA physicist in Connecticut was looking for funding for time-travel experiments. His proposed machine, he said, “uses light in the form of circulating lasers to warp or loop time.”PhysOrg.comA chiropractor in Ohio was in trouble for telling his patients that he could cure their ills by traveling back in time to when the injury occurred (a practice he calls “Bahlaqeem”), MSNBCand a Swedish doctor in Norway was fired for using an “anal massage” technique to cure different kinds of pain, such as headaches. “I am different,” explained the doctor.The LocalDoctors reattached a section of Ariel Sharon’s skull.The New York TimesThe Massachusetts legislature voted to make health insurance mandatory for all state residents by July 2007.The New York TimesAustralia agreed to sell uranium to China,The Australianand an Australian nudist, attempting to kill a spider, suffered burns over 18 percent of his body after he poured gasoline into the spider’s hole and lit a match.The Sydney Morning Herald
A translation of the Gnostic Gospel of Judas was released. In the text, originally written in Greek and translated into Coptic around 300 A.D., Jesus Christ asks his favorite disciple Judas Iscariot to turn him over to the Romans for sacrifice.The New York TimesIt emerged that I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby told a grand jury that when he leaked classified information favorable to the case for war in Iraq to New York Times reporter Judith Miller, he was acting under the specific authorization of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Bush authorized the leak even though the intelligence in question (regarding Saddam Hussein’snuclear ambitions) was considered unreliable by key administration members such as then Secretary of State Colin Powell.The New York TimesAn independent study of AIDS in Africa, funded by an international consortium and performed in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, found that 3 percent of Rwandans age 15 to 49 are infected with HIV, a much lower figure than the 30 percent estimated by some researchers or the 13 percent estimated by the United Nations. Infection rates, the study found, were similarly overstated throughout East and West Africa, although in southern Africa the rate of infection remained extremely high: for example, 34.9 percent of Botswanans in the 15 to 49 age group are infected with HIV. “From a research point of view,” a British economist said of UNAIDS, “they’ve done a pathetic job.”The Washington PostThe 7,000-man African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur was under investigation for raping and abusing local women and girls.The New York TimesA whistleblower accused AT&T of providing the NSA with full access to customer phone calls and Internet usage records.Wired NewsGermanscientists announced that cells from mice testes can act like embryonic stem cells; a private company in California said that it had achieved similar results with cells from human testes, and that it had grown new brain, heart, and bone cells from the human testes cells.CBS NewsReutersFirst Lady Laura Bush welcomed 51 egg artists to the White House for the annual egg display.New KeralaKatie Couric announced that she would leave NBC’s “Today” show to become the anchor of “The CBS Evening News,”The New York Timesand a dead, noseless, cyclops kitten was sold to a creationist museum in New York.KSAT.comPaleontologists announced that they had discovered a 375-million-year-old fossil in Canada that they believe is the “missing link” between water-dwelling and land-dwelling animals.Practical fishkeepingScientists in Brazil discovered a new species of tube-snouted ghost knifefish.Practical fishkeepingIn China a woman was selected from 70 volunteers to live for seven days in a cage with Internet access and 300 birds,All Headline Newsand three New York women were suing a plastic surgeon for making their breasts too large.All Headline News
It was announced that Slobodan Milosevic had died of natural causes.The New York TimesIn North Carolina, Duke University cancelled its lacrosse season after an African-American stripper was allegedly gang-raped by white lacrosse-team members. Soon after the allegations emerged, Duke lacrosse player Ryan McFadyen sent an email to fellow team members inviting them to another party featuring strippers. “i plan on killing the bitches as soon as the walk in,” he wrote, “and proceding to cut their skin off while cumming in my duke issue spandex.”The Smoking GunCalifornia legislators were considering a law that would make it a significant crime for a murderer to rape a victim’s corpse; corpse rapists currently receive only 16 months of prison time for that portion of their crimes.RecordNet.comSomeone was mutilating and killing the dogs of Superior Township, Michigan,WHIO-TVand former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R., Tex.) announced that he would not run for reelection to Congress. “I’ve never done anything in my political career,” said DeLay, “for my own personal gain.”TimeResearchers in Connecticut said that global warming has led to a massive decline in the lobster population of the Long Island Sound; however, if the polar ice caps melt and sea levels rise 30 feet, colder water might bring the lobsters back.The Stamford AdvocateCTV.caChicago Sun-TimesPolls found that while only 36 percent of Americans worry a great deal about global warming, 90 percent were prepared to fight its effects by caulking.Jurnalo.comMany scientists said that it was too late to stop climate change and that the earth was “past the point of no return.” “We are looking for the devil,” said a geochemist, “and we have found ourselves.”Jurnalo.comThe Stamford AdvocateThe Connecticut Post
More from Paul Ford:
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”