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Palestinian militants conducted a raid in Israel and abducted an Israeli soldier, whom they carried to Gaza via a secret tunnel. Israel retaliated by bombing Gaza’s main power plant, two bridges, the offices of Palestine’s prime minister and interior minister, and a soccer field, and by arresting as many as 64 Palestinian officials. Palestinian militants demanded that Israel release all Palestinian prisoners who are women or under the age of 18. A number of Israeli and Palestinian officials speculated that Israel’s actions were intended to weaken or topple Palestine’s Hamas government.VOA NewsIn Iraq, where 14 U.S. soldiers died, bombings killed 62 people in a poor Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad, 17 people at a market in Hilla, and 18 people in Khairnabat.ReutersGuardianSan Francisco ChronicleReutersReutersThe bodies of seven men were discovered in the Tigris River south of Baghdad, and the bodies of two men were found in the Euphrates river south of Baghdad. All the bodies showed signs of torture.ReutersReutersicasualties.orgReutersIraqi and U.S. authorities freed 495 prisoners,AP via KTARand Iraq’s national security adviser announced that the body of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had been buried in “a marked but secret place.”ABC News (Australia)Saddam Hussein’s eldest daughter and first wife were added to the Iraqi government’s list of “most wanted” terrorist figures.ReutersFour U.S. soldiers in Iraq were being investigated for raping a woman, then killing her and three other members of her family; it was suggested that the accused may have spent up to a week planning the attack.Times Online (U.K)It was reported that Iraqi insurgents have started using sophisticated armor-penetrating mines that propel jets of molten metal at military vehicles. Telegraph.co.ukThe U.S. Supreme Court ruled that President George W. Bush had overstepped his authority in establishing military tribunals for Guantánamo Bay detainees. “I’d like to close Guantánamo,” said Bush, “But . . . we’re holding some people that are darn dangerous.”Yahoo! NewsBreitbart.comThe President went jogging with a soldier who lost both his legs in Iraq,.local6.comand Vice President Dick Cheney’s heart was said to be functioning properly.Associated Press
Floods killed dozens of people in Romania, Pakistan, China, and the northeastern United States.ReutersA subway derailment near Jesus station in Valencia, Spain, killed 34 people.Washington Post680 NewsScotsmanScotsmanEnglishsoccer fans, said German breweries, were endangering the Germanbeer supply.Mirror.co.ukIn Britain the wives of soldiers serving in Iraq were receiving strange phone calls from Iraqi militants,Telegraph.co.ukandit wasannounced that the Royal Familycost U.K. taxpayers about $68 millionlast year. “Our key aim,” said the Keeper of the Privy Purse,”is not to try and achieve a low-costmonarchy.”ScotsmanA three-foot-long escaped porcupine named Twinkle was captured in Langwathby, England.BBCPresident Bush said that it was “disgraceful” for newspapers to report on a secret intelligence program to trace bank records,New York Timesand China announced that media outlets would be fined up to $12,500 if they reported on any “sudden events” without prior authorization.New York TimesThe library of the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas, cancelled its subscription to the New York Times.MySA.comIn Florida thieves stole the 31-year-old remains of a 6-year-old boy,wftv.comand a trailer park was under criticism for recruiting sexual predators. “Everybody,” said a coordinator of Habitat for Offenders, “deserves a second chance.”local6.comBruno the bear was shot and killed by German authorities, ending his seven-week rampage through Germany and Austria; Bruno, officially tagged Rampant Brown Bear JJ 1, had killed sheep and rabbits, stolen honey, eluded Finnish bear trackers and elkhounds, and squashed a guinea pig. “Sexual frustration,” said a German official, “may be a reason for the random killings.”Times Online (U.K)Rush Limbaugh was detained at an airport when authorities found Viagra in his luggage.Hamilton Spectatorlocal6.comA Vermont teenager was convicted of stealing the bowtie and eyeglasses from a corpse and cutting off its head to make a bong,NBC5.comand in Nigeria a professor at Olabisi Onabanjo University was found dead behind Poopola Hospital in Ijebu-Igbo; Professor Oyedola is believed to have been killed by one of two warring campus cults–either the Eiye Confraternity or the Buccaneers.VanguardIn Rajasthan, India, a low-caste bridegroom on a horse was stoned by onlookers when a camel in his wedding procession ran amok,Hindustan Timesand David Hasselhoff hit his head on a chandelier while shaving. AP via AOL News
It was revealed that Hillary Clinton’s ancestors were English coal miners,Northern Echoand scientists in Borneo found a snake that can spontaneously change color from reddish-brown to white.ReutersIn India an autopsy determined that the rogue elephant known as Master Killer died from multiple organ failure. “I had lost my two children,” said the elephant’s distraught trainer. “But when I discovered this naughty tusker . . . I thought, ‘Here’s a newborn that will help me forget my own loss.’”The PeninsulaAustralian scientists studying the use of dingo urine as a kangaroo repellent found that the urine startles kangaroos.Yahoo! NewsEngineers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology announced the creation of a machine that can record and reproduce smells. “We can tell a green apple from a red apple,” said TIT scientist Pambuk Somboon.GuardianA study showed that rich people get more sleep than poor people, white people get more sleep than black people, and women get more sleep than men,Reutersand another study found that money does not buy very much happiness.LiveScience.comA gang of marauding transvestite thieves was terrorizing New Orleansbusinesses,New Orleans City Businessand sScientists were trying to create tomatoes containing an HIV vaccine.New ScientistIt was revealed that a Minnesota Timberwolves basketball player crashed his SUV into a parked car because he was drunk and masturbating to porn.wcco.comA man who killed himself in Eureka, Montana, also killed a 16-year-old girl when a bullet traveled through his head and struck the girl in the chest,wftv.comVladimir Putin kissed a boy on the stomach,Daily News & Analysisand a prison inmate in Pakistan awoke to discover a lightbulb in his anus, which surgeons removed several days later. “Thanks Allah,” said the man. “Now I feel comfort.”Reuters
More from Rafil Kroll-Zaidi:
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north â€” John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Ratio of the amount J. P. Morgan paid a man to fight in his place in the Civil War to what he spent on cigars in 1863:
The Food and Drug Administration asked restaurants to help Americans eat less.
Pope Francis announced that nuns could use social media, and a priest flew a hot-air balloon around the world.
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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