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An audit by the inspector general of the United States Justice Department charged that the FBI has engaged in “serious misuse” of the USA Patriot Act to collect the confidential phone, bank, and credit records of U.S. citizens without first obtaining a search warrant.CNN.comThe scandal surrounding the firing of eight federal prosecutors continued to unfold as it became clearer from congressional testimony that the attorneys had resisted political pressure from the White House to subordinate law enforcement priorities to partisan politics. Karl Rove admitted that he had passed along complaints from the New MexicoRepublican Party chairman about U.S. Attorney David Iglesias to Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, who had referred to the scandal as an “overblown personnel matter.” One day there will be a new attorney general,” said Senator Arlen Specter. “Maybe sooner rather than later.”Baltimore SunScooter Libby was found guilty of obstruction of justice and perjury in the Valerie Plame investigation; jury member Denis Collins suggested that Libby might have been a fall guy. “Whereâ??s Rove?” he asked.BBCnews.comKevin Kiley, the three-star general in charge of all Army medical facilities, testified to his lack of responsibility for the Walter Reed hospital scandal, stating, “I command by commanding through my commanders and trusting them to execute the mission.”Washington PostWhen accused of stealing lingerie from a shop, a Irish man told a court that his elf alter ego may have been to blame,BBCnews.comand a woman in Boston was suing Planned Parenthood and two doctors for childrearing costs after finding out she was still pregnant following an abortion.Boston GlobeGovernor Haley Barbour was expected to sign a passed state congressional bill that would ban abortions in Mississippi if Roe v. Wade were overturned.Commercial appealA Pennsylvania mother pled guilty to swinging her infant son like a bat to hit her boyfriend,AP via CNN.comand after stabbing his wife multiple times a Connecticut man gave the knife to his son and said, “Now you stab mommy.”AP via CNN.comA study claimed that girls shown videos of women suffering from eating disorders became more likely to view these women as “very pretty” and thought it would be “nice to look like” them,Reutersand low-dose estrogen and progesterone birth control pills were reported to reduce ovarian cancer risk.ReutersNewt Gingrich admitted that he was carrying on an extramarital affair while pursuing the impeachment of Bill Clinton but maintained that his behavior was “not related to what happened.”Reuters
A man in Serbia pierced former President Slobodan Milosevic’s grave with a wooden pole to ensure he would not rise from the dead;Townhall.coma Swiss court was prosecuting a Turkish politician for Armenian “genocide denial”;BBCnews.comand the chestnut tree in Amsterdam that comforted Anne Frank during her time in hiding was to be cut down.BBCnews.comThe United Nations reported that 2 million Iraqis, including the judge who sentenced Saddam Hussein to death, have fled their country since the war began; according to the State Department, the United States has accepted 500 of those refugees.CNN.comAl JazeeraCNN.comHouse Democrats proposed legislation that would mandate an Iraq withdrawal no later than August 2008,Reutersand the Navy was researching an electromagnetic beam that would penetrate walls and cause people to fall over and vomit.Wired.comA human rights group in Israel accused the country’s army of using Palestinians, including an 11-year-old girl, as human shields,BBCnews.comand the Israeli ambassador to El Salvador was recalled after police found him in the embassy, drunk and naked except for bondage gear, with a rubber ball stuffed in his mouth.BBCnews.comA BBC World Service poll of twenty-seven countries suggested that a majority of people believe Israel and Iran have a “mainly negative” influence in the world. Canada and Japan were the most positively viewed countries.BBCnews.comCitizens in France were complaining about their government’s decision to build a branch of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi;BBCnews.comHalliburton announced it was moving its headquarters to Dubai;BBCnews.comand Vice President Dick Cheney, 66, was being treated for a blood clot in his leg.BBCnews.com
Postmodernist sociologist and philosopher Jean Baudrillard died in Paris at age 77,BBCnews.comCaptain America was killed by a sniper on the steps of the New York City federal courthouse,Houston Chronicleand a man in England who had demonstrated against cartoons of the prophet Muhammad was found guilty of soliciting murder.BBCnews.comA prisoner in Paraguay was freed after nineteen years of being held without trial,Reutersand alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and thirteen other GuantĂˇnamo inmates were facing hearings to decide whether they were enemy combatants and could face trial.BBCnews.comThe Swedish authorities were seeking the power to spy on any email or phone call into or out of the country,BBCnews.comand in France a new law made it a crimeâ??punishable by up to five years in prisonâ??for anyone who is not a professional journalist to film real-world violence and put the images on the Internet.AP via CNN.comFor the first time in more than fifty years, talks aimed at normalizing U.S.-North Korea relations were taking place,BBCnews.comand President Bush was touring Central and South America. At a news conference in Brazil he said, “My trip is to explain as clearly as I can that our nation is generous and compassionate.”AP via CNN.comHugo ChĂˇvez, president of Venezuela, was also on tour. Speaking to a crowd in Uruguay he said, “The little imperial gentleman from the north must be across the river by now. Let’s send him a big shout: ‘Gringo go home!’”BBCnews.comMicrosoft attacked Google, saying that its book-scanning service “violates copyright,”BBCnews.comand China accused the United States of trampling on Iraqâ??s sovereignty and violating the rights of its own citizens.Boston HeraldThe United Nations announced that Afghanistan’s yield of heroin poppies rose 25 percent last year.BBCnews.comOsama bin Laden turned fifty.Reuters via CNN.com
More from Chantal Clarke:
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