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Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaking at the United Nations in New York, proclaimed his love for all the world’s peoples, and suggested that the United States halt domestic fuel production and buy its energy from him “at a fifty percent discount.”BBC NewsVenezuelan president Hugo Chavez objected to the smell of sulfur in the U.N.’s General Assembly hall, and offered to relocate the U.N.’s headquarters to Caracas. New York timesFox NewsTed Turner called the Iraq war one of the “dumbest moves of all time,”CNNand a spokesman for the Iraq Study Group, a think tank created to analyze events in Iraq, announced that it had “made no judgment of any kind at this point about any aspect of policy with regard to Iraq.”Washington PostThe judge in the trial of Saddam Hussein was removed because “he hurt the feelings of the Iraqi people.”New York timesIn Afghanistan,Marine General James L. Jones claimed to have killed as many as a third of the Taliban’s “hardcore” fighters, leaving only the “weekend warriors.”New York timesA British major described the Royal Air Force as “utterly, utterly useless.”The IndependentIn Thailand, General Sonthi Boonyaratglin staged a coup d’etat, dismissing the prime minister and revoking the constitution. “Democracy has won!” said one coup supporter.Reuters and the Washington PostHungarian prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany admitted that his campaign was based on lies. “We lied in the morning,” said Gyurcsany. “We lied in the evening.”New York timesBritish Home Secretary John Reid declared that England’s “fight is not with Muslims generally,”BBC Newsand in Jordan, a failed suicide bomber was sentenced to be hanged.New York timesIsraeli tourism officials circulated a sightseeing pamphlet bearing the slogan, “Jerusalemâ??there’s no such city!”BBC NewsPalestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniya said that Hamas would never recognize Israel.monsters and critics.comPakistani president Pervez Musharraf said it was “very rude” for former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to threaten to bomb his country “back to the Stone Age.”Times of LondonHezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah attended a rally in Beirut to commemorate the “divine and historic victory” in the war with Israel,.New York timesand President George W. Bush said he now knew that the stability he believed to exist in the Middle East was a “mirage.”Washington Post
The United States Justice Department claimed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales “had his timeline mixed up” when he denied the United States had deported a Canadian citizen to Syria, where he was tortured.New York timesThe Food and Drug Administration announced that it had found the “smoking gun” of bacteria-infested spinach in a refrigerator in New Mexico.CNNThe Federal Emergency Management Agency made final preparations to demolish the town of Elkport, Iowa,CNNand in Fernald, Ohio, the Environmental Protection Agency was planning to cart away 5,800 tons of contaminated soil so that a former nuclear production facility could be turned into a “natural” park.New York timesIn California, accused pedophile John Karr was described by his lawyer as a “southern gentleman with a sense of humor,”New York timesand VirginiaSenator George Allen acknowledged his Jewish ancestry.Washington PostThe Boeing Company was awarded a congressional contract to build a 6000-mile “virtual fence” along the U.S.-Mexico border.Washington PostFruit farmers rallied in Washington, D.C., to protest a shortage of low-wage, uninsured, illegal immigrantlaborers.New York timesIn Maryland, the National BlackRepublican Association ran radio ads claiming that Martin Luther King was a Republican and that Democrats founded the Ku Klux Klan.nbc4.com via google newsNawar Shora of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee said that “the average Yousef” thought of an FBI agent as a “middle-aged white guy talking in their sleeve.”Washington PostIn the basement of the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld unleashed his deadly squash drop shot.New York times
President Bush predicted that, given the opportunity, Democrats would raise taxes.ReutersBill and Hillary Clinton both agreed that they were “sick of Karl Rove’s bullshit.”The Examiner via the Drudge ReportResearchers in Massachusetts successfully gave a mouse a tan without exposing it to the sun; other scientists partially restored the sight of blind rats.BBC NewsA man believed to have ingested four glasses of draft beer jumped into a pen at the Beijing Zoo and bit Gu Gu, a six-year-old panda.Yahoo News via the Drudge ReportBBC NewsHybrid lions were dying from a mystery disease in northern India. The Drudge ReportThe recipient of a penis transplant in Guangzhou, China, requested doctors remove the organ after he and his wife began experiencing “severe psychological problems.”The GuardianAustralian researchers determined that lesbian women were 10 percent more orgasmic than their straight female counterparts.Daily MailA survey showed that rap music fans are unlikely to recycle.Innovations Report via Nerve.comBusinessman Richard Branson pledged to donate $3 billion to alternative energy development,ABC News via google newsParis Hilton gave a homeless man $100,The Superficial via Nerve.comand Michael Jackson was considering opening a leprechaun-themedamusement park in Ireland.MSNBCTelevision sets outnumbered people in American homes.Breitbart.com via Nerve.comKatelyn Kampf, 19, of Yarmouth, Maine, accused her parents of hog-tying and gagging her, forcing her into a car, and taking her to New York for an emergency abortion.Local6.comAnousheh Ansari, a communications entrepreneur from Texas, became the world’s first female Muslimspace tourist.BBC NewsBig box retail stores were employing anthropologists to help sell their products.New York timesA poll conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery found that 46 percent of American women wanted to be surgically altered to resemble Jennifer Aniston.CNNA pedigree bull mastiff deefer from Nottingham, England, underwent emergency surgery to have two pairs of ladies’ underwear removed from his small intestine,BBC Newsand scientists announced that breakfast may not be the most important meal of the day.Los Angeles Times
More from Theodore Ross:
Flor Arely SĂˇnchez 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 JuliĂˇn region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases â€” 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 didnâ€™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 duration of a Japanese prime minister’s tenure since August 1993, in months:
Brain shrinkage has no effect on cognition.
An Indianapolis fertility doctor was accused of using his own sperm to artificially inseminate patients, and a Delaware man pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his former psychiatrist.
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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