Weekly Review — May 30, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Monkey Laocoon, 1875]

In Iraq over 66 people were killed in attacks, including two CBS News employees when their convoy was struck by a car bomb; a CBS correspondent was seriously injured in the same attack. In Baghdad two tennis players and their coach were killed for wearing shorts, and a Marine helicopter was shot down over the Anbar province.ABC NewsAP via Forbes.comABC NewsABC NewsABC NewsSoldiers were developing emotional relationships with their bomb-defusing robots. “Please fix Scooby Doo,” said one soldier, “because he saved my life.”MSNBCSenator John Warner called for hearings into the killings of more than 20 civilians in Haditha by U.S. Marines in 2005,The Australianand it was reported that, since 2003, 8,600 British troops had gone AWOL in Iraq; 929 were still missing.Daily MailRiots broke out in Afghanistan after a U.S. military truck went out of control and killed some civilians.The Washington PostOsama bin Laden released an audiotape in which he claimed that convicted terrorist conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui was not involved in the September 11 attacks. “Brother Moussaoui was arrested two weeks before the events,” said bin Laden, “and if he had known somethingâ??even very littleâ??about the September 11 group, we would have informed the leader of the operation, Mohamed Atta, and the others . . . to leave America before being discovered.”The Washington PostBritish MP George Galloway said that an assassin would be “morally justified” in killing Prime Minister Tony Blair.Chron.comSeventy-five prisoners were on hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay prison, and a charity organization published a report claiming that 60 minors ages 14 and older have been held at the prison.ABC NewsThe AgePresident George W. Bush signed into law the Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act, which limits protests at military funerals.ABC NewsIn Ontario, Canada, a man was arrested ten minutes after stealing a hand-held vagina. “He had used it,” said a constable.AZCentral.com

An earthquake in Indonesia killed more than 5,000 people,ABC Newsflooding in Thailand killed more than 100 people,Irawaddyand four Russian soldiers were killed in Chechnya.MosNews.comThe government of Burma extended the house arrest of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi for an unspecified amount of time.BBC NewsPalestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the Hamas-ledPalestinian Authority to accept the goal of establishing a Palestinian state (and thus acknowledge Israel’s right to exist); if Hamas does not comply, he said that he will call a national referendum on the issue.CNN.comA gay-rights rally in Moscow turned violent when activists were attacked and beaten by anti-gay protesters. “Moscow,” shouted the protesters, “is not Sodom!”Fox NewsIn Germany, at the official opening of the Hauptbahnhof, the largest railway station in Europe, a man went on a rampage and stabbed 35 people. Because one of the first people he stabbed was HIV positive, concerns were raised that some of the subsequently stabbed may also become infected.The IndependentA team of researchers in southern Cameroon said that they had found wild chimpanzees carrying the SIVcpz virus, thought to be the precursor to HIV.BBC NewsIn Washington, D.C., police searched the 50 acres of office space in the Rayburn House Office Building to find that the “gunfire” that precipitated a several hour lockdown was actually a pneumatic hammer.CNN.com

Former Enron executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were found guilty of conspiracy and fraud,The New York Timesand in San Diego a man named Lawrence Christopher Smith was sentenced to 84 years to life in prison for shooting and killing a man named Dom Perignon Champagne.Sign on San DiegoA Nebraska judge sentenced a man convicted of sexually assaulting a child to probation because the man is too short for prison.NBC4.comThe Supreme Court voted unanimously that police may enter a house without a warrant in order to break up a fight.The New York TimesPresident Bush ordered that the documents seized by the FBI in a raid on the offices of Representative William Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat, must be sealed for 45 days, so that Congress and the Justice Department can determine exactly how material seized from Congressional offices should be reviewed. The Justice Department denied reports that Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (who publicly criticized the FBI for raiding Jefferson’s offices) was under investigation for his relationship with former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Hastert said that the FBI was planting stories in the media to discredit him.ABC NewsABC NewsJack Kevorkian was very ill and reportedly had less than a year to live.ABC NewsIn Australia, a psychiatrist named Stephen Allnutt testified that financier Brendan Francis McMahon had believed he was helping animals when he mutilated 17 rabbits and a guinea pig while under the influence of methamphetamine. “I wonder,” McMahon reportedly said, “if I made a mistake because I never asked the rabbits?”The Sydney Morning HeraldScientists in North Carolina said that they could grow new, functional rabbitpenises,Fox Newsand a jury in Illinois awarded a woman $5 million in compensation for her ruined vagina.Daily SouthtownIn Norway a grevling, or badger, wrecked a man’s bedroom.AftenpostenAn analysis of FCC decisions found that the following terms or phrases are neither indecent nor profane: “a lot of crap,” “ass is huge,” “ass,” “bitch,” “damn,” “dick,” “dickhead,” “fire his ass,” “for Christ’s sake,” “hell,” “kick-ass,” “kiss my ass,” “my ass,” “pissed off,” “poop,” “sex with a dog,” “singers that suck,” “sit their asses down,” “sucked,” “up yours,” “wiping his ass,” and “you suck.”Radio World NewspaperNASA scientists claimed that they could extract oxygen from lunar soil,The Daily MailPat Robertson claimed to have leg-pressed 2,000 pounds,AP via Yahoo! Newsand Senator Bill Frist helped give a gorilla a root canal.The Washington PostA study found that most British men are cry babies.Yahoo! NewsA Sherpa stood naked on the summit of Mount Everest.Indobase

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Editor's Note

Many comedians consider stand-up the purest form of comedy; Doug Stanhope considers it the freest. “Once you do stand-up, it spoils you for everything else,” he says. “You’re the director, performer, and producer.” Unlike most of his peers, however, Stanhope has designed his career around exploring that freedom, which means choosing a life on the road. Perhaps this is why, although he is extremely ambitious, prolific, and one of the best stand-ups performing, so many Americans haven’t heard of him. Many comedians approach the road as a means to an end: a way to develop their skills, start booking bigger venues, and, if they’re lucky, get themselves airlifted to Hollywood. But life isn’t happening on a sit-com set or a sketch show — at least not the life that has interested Stanhope. He isn’t waiting to be invited to the party; indeed, he’s been hosting his own party for years.

Because of the present comedy boom, civilians are starting to hear about Doug Stanhope from other comedians like Ricky Gervais, Sarah Silverman, and Louis CK. But Stanhope has been building a devoted fan base for the past two decades, largely by word of mouth. On tour, he prefers the unencumbered arrival and the quick exit: cheap motels where you can pull the van up to the door of the room and park. He’s especially pleased if there’s an on-site bar, which increases the odds of hearing a good story from the sort of person who tends to drink away the afternoon in the depressed cities where he performs. Stanhope’s America isn’t the one still yammering on about its potential or struggling with losing hope. For the most part, hope is gone. On Word of Mouth, his 2002 album, he says, “America may be the best country, but that’s like being the prettiest Denny’s waitress. Just because you’re the best doesn’t make you good.”

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“He explained how sober Doug structured the bits and worked out the material’s logic; drunk Doug found the funny.”
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