Weekly Review — April 3, 2007, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

“Into the palace parlor they stepped; her hand in his paw the old bruin kept,” 1875

In Tal Afar, Iraq, a truck bomb killed 152 people, making it the deadliest attack of the war. Two hundred and fifty more people died in other bombings carried out against Shiite targets.Reuters via China PostPresident George W. Bush asserted that withdrawing from Iraq would be disastrous and supported his claims by citing two Baghdad bloggers.AP via BreitbartThe newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Iraq spoke of “encouraging signals of progress,”Reuters via China Postand the British Ministry of Defence found that a study which had placed Iraq’s civilian death toll at 655,000 was “robust.”BBCBlood spewed from a sewer in Minneapolis. “Blood just all over my face, in my mouth, I could taste it,” said a city worker. “It was terrible. I had it in my mouth and I kept spitting and I couldn’t get rid of it.”wcco.comIn Washington, D.C., Karl Rove danced on stage during a press dinner and pretended to be a rapper, shouting: “I’m MC Rove.”BBCMichael Jackson was planning to create a fifty-foot-tall robotic replica of himself that would roam the Las Vegas desert while firing laser beams,Dotmusic via Yahoo!NEWSand in Spearsville, Louisiana, two fifth-graders had sex on a classroom floor during an assembly about murder.APSan Francisco endorsed legislation to establish a U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence,News Blazeand in the Indian state of Gujarat, an unemployed man from Tooting, England, had found new work as Bahucharaji, the patron goddess of eunuchs.AnanovaBritish Prime Minister Tony Blair said that he was disgusted with Iran’s treatment of 15 Royal Navy hostages. Spiegel Online

In the United States, crystal meth was now available in candy flavors,USA TODAYand government health officials warned of the risk of salmonella from live Easter chicks.AP via local6.comAt the Gaza?Egypt border a woman with three baby crocodiles strapped to her waist was detained after guards noticed that she looked “strangely fat.” AP via New York TimesAt least four Palestinians in Gaza were killed by what authorities called a “sewage tsunami,”AFP via Breitbartand a West Bank woman had developed special “queuing” socks to help her countrymen who suffer from swollen feet while waiting at Israeli military checkpoints.BBCA U.S. Army recruiter’s email exchange with a gay man was published in a New Jersey newspaper. “YOU GO BACK TO AFRICA AND DO YOUR GAY VOODOO LIMBO TANGO AND WANGO DANCE,” wrote the recruiter, “AND JUMP AROUND AND PRANCE AND RUN ALL OVER THE PLACE HALF NAKED.” Jersey JournalIn Zimbabwe, scores of teenagers were beaten by riot police and dragged from a disco, iol.co.zaand President Robert Mugabe admitted responsibility for the recent torture of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who, Mugabe said, “asked for it.”iol.co.zaChina was considering using its vast harvest of rape to create biodiesel. “The government,” said Agriculture Ministry official Wang Shoucong, “should foster research work to nurture high-yield rape.”PTI via HinduAustrianscientists claimed that men who sleep in the same bed as their partners may suffer reduced mental function,iol.co.zaand the World Health Organization endorsed circumcision as a tool to reduce the spread of HIV. “The recommendations represent a significant step forward,” said WHO HIV/AIDS director Kevin De Cock.BBCResearchers discovered that Canadianschool bullies were forcing their girlfriends to strip online,Reutersand members of a Michigan college fraternity called the police after a woman disrobed and started masturbating in their living room and refused to leave; the fraternity now plans to throw away two sofas.Michigan Daily

As many as 600,000 drought-stricken camels were invading communities in northern Australia;AdelaideNowa California man was released from prison after serving five months for shooting an ostrich named Gaylord who had embarrassed him in front of women; San Francisco Chronicleand in Germany, a black Australian swan named Petra was in love with a paddleboat.AnanovaThe world’s tallest person, an Inner Mongolian herdsman who last year used his long arms to save two dolphins by removing plastic from their stomachs, married a woman.AP via New York TimesIt was suggested that Yan Yan, a panda at the Berlin Zoo, died from stress in the wake of intense publicity generated by Knut, his polar-bear-cub neighbor.GuardianA rambunctious elephant in Sasthamcotta, India, killed its second mahout, Podimon of Modioozhathil, who died on the way to a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram,newindpress.comand farther north, police in Bhiwandi registered a complaint after a hill, with an estimated street value of $5.5 million, was reported stolen.Mumbai MirrorThe Dead Sea was disappearing,Economist via Toronto Stara 15,000-mile-wide hexagon was seen on Saturn,Daily Mailand a Nepalese teenager believed to be a reincarnation of the Buddha began a three-year meditation in a concrete bunker.AFP via Yahoo!NEWS Singapore

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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