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Congress continued its inquiry into the role of the Bush Administration in last year’s firing of eight U.S attorneys. D. Kyle Sampson, the chief of staff for U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, resigned after claiming, in an apparent attempt to save Gonzalez from the charge of lying to Congress, that he did not tell his superiors at the Justice Department that the White House wanted to fire the prosecutors. The Justice Department released a March 2005 email from Sampson to then-White House counsel Harriet Miers, in which he ranked all 93 U.S. attorneys on their loyalty to the Administration and made a “target list.” In other emails, he cited a little-known provision of the Patriot Act that authorizes the attorney general to replace U.S. attorneys without Senate confirmation and consulted with Miers about the possibility of replacing between 15 and 20 percent of U.S. attorneys, “the underperforming ones,” and leaving the “loyal Bushies.”WPWPMcClatchy NewspapersTwo DemocraticCongressmen were calling for renewed inquiry into why Frank Black, the former U.S. attorney in Guam, was removed from his position after he began investigating Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff in 2002.Guam Pacific Daily NewsThe Chiquita banana company reached a settlement with the Justice Department over payments that it made to right-wing and left-wing terrorists in Colombia,NYTand Rudy Giuliani’s law firm continued to lobby on behalf of Hugo Chavez’s oil company. NYT
At a military hearing in Guantánamo Bay Khalid Sheik Mohammed confessed to being the mastermind of the September 11 attacks; he also claimed to have been “responsible” for: the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; Richard Reid’s attempted shoe bombing of an airplane; the bombing of a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia; and plots to assassinate several former presidents, including Jimmy Carter. “For sure,” he said, “I’m American enemies.” According to the released transcript, when asked whether his statement was the result of mistreatment by his interrogators, he said, “CIA peoples. Yes. At the beginning when they transferred me [REDACTED].” WPThe Pentagon announced that another Guantánamo detainee, Walid Mohammad bin Attash, confessed to planning the 1998 bomb attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the bombing of the American warship U.S.S. Cole in 2000.BBCEighty percent of Iraqis were reporting “attacks nearby,”ABCand Kadhim al-Jubouri, an Iraqi weightlifter who toppled a statue of Saddam Hussein in 2003, said that Saddam “was like Stalin. But the occupation is proving to be worse.”GuardianBetween 10,000 and 30,000 people marched in Washington to protest the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Anti-antiwar protesters, organized by a group called Gathering of Eagles, were angry that someone had put a pink tiara on a Navy memorial statue. “That was the real catalyst, right there,” said one Navy veteran. “They showed they were willing to desecrate something that’s sacred to the American soul.”WPWPDozens of RepublicanCongressmen were turning against the Bush Administration’s No Child Left Behind Act, WPMexico City was planning to legalize abortion, Reuters via Yahooand Rep. Nancy Boyda (D., Kan.) vomited into a trash can.Roll Call via Raw StoryRepresentative Pete Stark (D., Cal.) announced that he did not believe in God.LATResearchers were developing a computer program to help make end-of-life medical decisions, CBCand the U.S. Supreme Court was hearing the case of Morse v. Frederick, involving a student who held up a banner that said “Bong Hits 4 Jesus.”ABCMusic producer Phil Spector, who orchestrated “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” went on trial for the murder of Lana Clarkson, an actress who starred in “Amazon Women on the Moon.”USA Today
It was estimated that 1.5 million homeowners will face foreclosure this year,Reutersand that money sent home by migrant laborers now exceeds direct foreign investment and foreign aid to Latin America.BBC NewsKentucky was plagued by thousands of starving and unwanted horses as a result of the prevalence of synthetic glues and public antipathy towards horseflesh. “I can’t feed a horse,” said one man. “I can’t even feed myself.” AP via YahooHalliburton announced that it would add 13,000 jobs this year,Houston Chronicleand the people of Trokavec in the Czech Republic voted overwhelmingly against allowing a U.S. radar station to be built there, with 71 of the town’s 88 registered voters opposing and one vote in favor. Today’s ZamanBeverly Hills elected Jimmy Delshad as mayor, making Delshad the highest-ranking Iranian-American elected official in the United States. USA TodayA Zogby poll found that 97 percent of Republicans believe that the media has a liberal bias, while two-thirds of Democrats believe there is a conservative bias.ZogbyDan Rather said that the American people must come to understand that what they see happening on TV, or read about on the Internet, is real,CNET.comand scientists at New York University were deleting frightening experiences from the memories of rats. “This,” said neurophysiologist Greg Quirk, “is the future of psychiatry.” Nature
More from Sam Stark:
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.
Number of people stopped and frisked by the NYPD in 2011 for â€śfurtive movementsâ€ť:
The faces of Lego people were growing angrier.
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