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After an Israeli bombing raid killed 54 people, including 37 children, in the Lebanese village of Qana, Beirut residents set fire to a U.N. headquarters.Daily Star (Lebanon)Israel agreed to suspend some bombing operations for 48 hours in order to investigate the deaths, though Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ruled out a ceasefire.BBCIsraeli bombs struck a U.N. post in southern Lebanon, killing four peacekeepers. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said the targeting was “apparently deliberate,” and Olmert called Annan’s comments “premature and erroneous.”BBCAl JazeeraThe United Nations began relief operations.ReutersHezbollah guerillas fired several hundred rockets into towns in northern Israel, hitting a laundry detergent factory and a cemetery, and injuring at least 31 people.CGGLNine Israeli soldiers were killed in an ambush, and Israeli officials claimed to have killed some 200 Hezbollah “operatives” since the outset of hostilities.APAP via Dispatch OnlineBBCLebanese were receiving late-night phone calls from the Israeli government. “I just wished I could talk back to the voice,” said one woman, “but it was a recorded message.” Hezbollah responded by sending mobile-phone text messages to dozens of Israelis.SFGate.comHaaretzReuters via thestaronlineThe Israeli military deployed llamas in southern Lebanon.YnetnewsJTARadical Sunni groups usually hostile to Shiites urged support for Hezbollah,Ynetnewsand Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, condemned Israel’s military actions; Howard Dean called al-Maliki an “anti-Semite.”APThirteen U.S. soldiers died in Iraq, where the U.S. military was planning to deploy 5,000 more troops. icasualties.orgAt least 34 gunshot bodies were found in Baghdad, all showing signs of torture.local6.comReutersShiite militia groups in Baghdad were setting up checkpoints, demanding that passersby provide identification, and shooting Sunnis on the spot. “The gangs also raided houses and shouted at the people there, ‘You pimps, Sunnis, we will kill you,’” explained an eyewitness. “And they did.”ReutersNewsweekGunmen in Mosul set fire to government-run food-ration shops. ReutersA marine sniper who has killed as many as 60 insurgents in Iraq said of his work, “It’s like hearing classical music playing in my head.”USA TodayIt was reported that Private Steven D. Green, who is charged with raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, then killing her and members of her family, had said that, in Iraq, “killing people is like squashing an ant, I mean, you kill somebody and it’s like, ‘All right, let’s go get some pizza.’” Washington PostThe coach of the Iraqi national soccer team resigned and fled to Kurdistan. ABC (Australia)Saddam Hussein demanded that he be shotâ??not hangedâ??if he is found guilty of murdering Shiites in Dujail in 1982. “This case,” said Hussein, “is not worth the urine of an Iraqi child.”Scotsman.comIn Minnesota people in zombie costumes were arrested for carrying “simulated weapons of mass destruction.“local6.com
Hot weather killed 141 people (as well as 25,000 cattle and 700,000 fowl) in California, at least 170 people in France, Italy, and Spain, and dozens of racing dogs in Oregon, and shut down MySpace.CBSTwo people in England were killed by a giant inflatable sculpture named Dreamscape.USAgNet.comAFP via Taipei TimesCape Timeslocal6.comlocal6.comBBCRadiologists announced that many Americans were becoming too fat for X-rays,Reutersand a man in Sumatra was squashed by an elephant.news24.comDoctors in India removed a 15-year-old dead fetus from a woman’s womb,Times of IndiaPresident George W. Bush apologized to British Prime Minister Tony Blair for improperly shipping bombs to Israel via Scotland,BBCand Britain considered legislation to establish $1,859 fines for cyber-bullying.Daily MailBaboons were harrassing construction workers in Liverpool,Washington Postand a school headmaster in China burned down 10 classrooms when the dogmeat he was cooking burst into flames.The AustralianAn American scientist claimed that parrots are as intelligent as five-year-old children,ABC (Australia)and Georgian soldiers were injured in a battle in a gorge in Georgia, according to government official Georgy Arveladze.Reuters via tvnz.co.nzIt was reported that detainees at the GuantĂˇnamo Bay prison have attacked their guards with spit, feces, semen, and a bloody lizard tail.AP via Breitbart.comSenators Hillary Clinton and John McCain held a vodka-drinkingcontest,New York Timesand in Maryland one U.S. Senate candidate said he did not knowingly pay for 20 heroin addicts to come to his campaign rally, while another was arrested for raping his 19-year-old mail-order bride. Washington TimesOfficials in Mississippi claimed to have their beaver problem under control.wjz.comNortheast Mississippi Daily Journal
Geneticists were optimistic about their plans to sequence and compare the genomes of such primate species as the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta), the orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), and the gorilla (Gorilla gorilla). medicalnewstoday.comA Tennesseeelephant named Winkie was found not to have killed her handler on purpose,AP via Forbesand a British jockey apologized for headbutting his horse.Daily MailA large praying mantis statue was frightening children in Tokyo,NDTV.compoisoned pigeons rained down in Schenectady, New York,AOL Newsand Texas was overrun by butterflies.New York TimesA man in Prey Veng province, Cambodia, killed a 76-year-old nun by strangling her with a krama, then attempted to assassinate a monk, while the victims slept at a wat.Phnom Penh PostAn influential Italian banker and member of Opus Dei was found dismembered under a bridge in Parma,Independent (U.K.)and Mel Gibson was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. “Are you a Jew?” Gibson is reported to have asked a sheriff’s deputy. “What do you think you’re looking at, sugar tits?” he demanded of a female sergeant.TMZChinese scientists were preparing to test an artificial sun.UPILubbock, Texas, prayed for rain,KCBD.comand fish fell from the sky in Manna, India.Mail&Guardian
More from Rafil Kroll-Zaidi:
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word â€śhallwayâ€ť must have a nautical name. Why didnâ€™t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet heâ€™d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands theyâ€™d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you donâ€™t belong to, that doesnâ€™t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isnâ€™t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members â€” because ocean life pays better than money! â€” who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Average portion of its yearly household expenditures that a South African family will spend on a funeral:
Neuroscientists were hoping to use rat brain waves to find people buried by earthquakes.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature