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President George W. Bush signed the Military Commissions Act, which suspends the right of habeas corpus for terrorism suspects and grants immunity to CIA interrogators and government officials, such as President Bush, for violations of the War Crimes Act. New York TimesChicago Sun-TimesDomestic security officials notified seven football stadiums of a discredited threat of radiological bomb attacks out of an “abundance of caution,” New York Timesand the United States Coast Guard announced plans to mount 7.62 mm, M-240B machine guns on official boats in the Great Lakes. Rear Adm. John E. Crowley Jr. said, “I donâ??t know when or if something might happen on the Great Lakes, but I donâ??t want to learn the hard way.” New York TimesFurry crabs were found in Chesapeake Bay. Christian Science Monitor via YahooThe mid-month tally for U.S. troops killed in Iraq was 79, making October the deadliest month this year for American soldiers. AP via WBOCThe first Eskimo was killed in the Iraq war; it took 20 men a full day to dig his grave through the permafrost in a town 350 miles north of the Arctic Circle. New York TimesThe Maine National Guard has been offering “Flat Daddies” and “Flat Mommies,” life-size cardboard cutouts of deployed service members, to spouses, children, and relatives waiting for them to return. Boston GlobeA Gypsy pressure group filed suit to stop British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest film from being shown in Germany. The group accuses him of antiziganism, or hostility to gypsies; Cohen’s fictional alter-ego Borat claimed that Gypsies had molested his horse. Reuters via YahooWikipediaDuring a debate with his Democratic rival, Senator Conrad Burns of Montana said that President Bush (who this week compared Iraq to Vietnam) has a secret plan for winning the war, but that Bush is not going to share his plan with the world.Billings GazetteFTWhite House press secretary Tony Snow compared the President to “one of those guys at the gym who plays about 40 chessboards at once.”New York Times
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan collapsed from fasting during Ramadan. His security staff rushed him unconscious to the hospital and accidentally locked him in his car; they fought for ten minutes to break the car’s reinforced windows with a sledgehammer and chisel. AFP via New York TimesA Denver woman was ruled criminally insane for stabbing her 21-month-old granddaughter 62 times with a butcher knife after she received “spiritual messages from the geese flying overhead.”Denver PostA convicted killer on Texasdeath row committed suicide 15 hours before he was supposed to die by lethal injection by slitting his jugular vein with a makeshift blade; prison authorities found the message “I didn’t do it” smeared in blood on the walls of his cell. AP via MSNBCAn Ohio cult leader who shot and killed a family of five as they stood in a pit dug inside his barn contested his upcoming lethal injection on the grounds that it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment to execute a fat man. Reuters via New York TimesCNNCoca-Cola announced plans to market a new calorie-burning green tea beverage called Enviga,NBCand the mayor of Paris auctioned off City Hall’s most expensive wines in favor of serving “little democratic wines.” IHT via New York TimesIn Panama, 22 people died from ingesting poisoned cough syrup that contained the industrial chemical diethylene glycol, rather than the safe solvent glycerin glycol.New York TimesMore than 4,500 tons of polluted material, residue from the toxic sludge dumped in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in August, have been collected since a clean-up effort began in September. AFP via KeepMediaScientists identified more than 200 oceanic dead zones. local6.comThe king of Spain denied that he had shot and killed a drunken bear.IHT via New York Times
Las Vegas magnate Steve Wynn elbowed a hole through Picasso’s “Le Reve,” a painting he had just sold for a record $139 million. BBCTwo subway trains collided at a station in Rome, killing one person and injuring more than 100.AP via YahooIn Sri Lanka, Tamil rebels drove a truck full of explosives into a convoy of military buses, killing 92 sailors. AP via NewsdayNearly four months after the arraignment of PFC Steven D. Green, eight other soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division faced courts-martial in Kentucky for the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the killing of her family in March. New York TimesIn New York a developmentally disabled handyman was hospitalized after two teenagers sodomized him at a bowling alley with a plumbing snake,.WNBCand a Catholic priest acknowledged having had an intimate, two-year relationship with Mark Foley when the now-disgraced Republicancongressman was a twelve-year-old altar boy. Washington PostAn exhibit at the Oslo Natural History Museum displayed homosexual behavior among giraffes, penguins, parrots, beetles, and whales. Radical Christian critics said organizers of the exhibition should “burn in hell.” Reuters via ABC NewsChina insisted that the U.N. request, rather than require, countries to inspect North Korean cargo. An American expert called the sanctions “kabuki theater,” and North Korea called them a “declaration of war.” New York TimesIn South Korea, where scientists announced the development of a new genetically altered strain of adenovirus capable of destroying cancer cells,AFP via Breitbartthe government warned that North Korea might be preparing to conduct a second nuclear test. FTThe Boy Scouts introduced a new merit badge for learning how copyright law applies to pirated movies and music. SFGateIn New York City, CBGB closed, but the Russian Tea Room will reopen. AP via USA TodayNew York TimesScotland Yard and the British Home Office misplaced two “extremely dangerous” terrorism suspects. One escaped from a secure psychiatric unit, and neither can be named for legal reasons. Guardian onlineThe U.S. Postal Service announced that it would phase out 23,000 stamp vending machines by 2010. AP via New York TimesA Massachusettselementary schoolbannedtag.CBS News
More from Gemma Sieff:
For the past three years my dosimeter had sat silently on a narrow shelf just inside the door of a house in Tokyo, upticking its final digit every twenty-four hours by one or two, the increase never failing â€” for radiation is the ruthless companion of time. Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly. During those three years, my American neighbors had lost sight of the accident at Fukushima. In March 2011, a tsunami had killed hundreds, or thousands; yes, they remembered that. Several also recollected the earthquake that caused it, but as for the hydrogen explosion and containment breach at Nuclear Plant No. 1, that must have been fixed by now â€” for its effluents no longer shone forth from our national news. Meanwhile, my dosimeter increased its figure, one or two digits per day, more or less as it would have in San Francisco â€” well, a trifle more, actually. And in Tokyo, as in San Francisco, people went about their business, except on Friday nights, when the stretch between the Kasumigaseki and Kokkai-Gijido-mae subway stations â€” half a dozen blocks of sidewalk, which commenced at an antinuclear tent that had already been on this spot for more than 900 days and ended at the prime ministerâ€™s lair â€” became a dim and feeble carnival of pamphleteers and Fukushima refugees peddling handicrafts.
One Friday evening, the refugeesâ€™ half of the sidewalk was demarcated by police barriers, and a line of officers slouched at ease in the street, some with yellow bullhorns hanging from their necks. At the very end of the street, where the National Diet glowed white and strange behind other buildings, a policeman set up a microphone, then deployed a small video camera in the direction of the muscular young people in drums against fascists jackets who now, at six-thirty sharp, began chanting: â€śWe donâ€™t need nuclear energy! Stop nuclear power plants! Stop them, stop them, stop them! No restart! No restart!â€ť The police assumed a stiffer stance; the drumming and chanting were almost uncomfortably loud. Commuters hurried past along the open space between the police and the protesters, staring straight ahead, covering their ears. Finally, a fellow in a shabby sweater appeared, and murmured along with the chants as he rounded the corner. He was the only one who seemed to sympathize; few others reacted at all.
Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:
Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.
An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as â€śa nation of oppressors and exploiters.â€ť
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â€śHe could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein â€” literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.â€ť