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At Virginia Tech University, a gunman opened fire in a dormitory and in classrooms, killing 32 people and then himself.The New York TimesIn Iraq,suicide bombs exploded in the parliament cafeteria and on a bridge over the Tigris, toppling cars into the river and killing 10 people.AP via IHTAP via NYTAn explosion near a Shiite shrine in Karbala killed 16 children,AP via Tehran Timesand the U.S. Defense Department extended troops’ tours of duty from 12 to 15 months.BBCIt was reported that a forthcoming book by the editor of the Washington Post suggests that a Google search might have prevented the Iraq war.ABC NewsSenator John McCain assessed the situation in Iraq, saying “I have no Plan B . . . If I saw that doomsday scenario evolving, then I would try to come up with one.”NYTFormer Deputy Secretary of Defense and current World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz apologized to colleagues for arranging a salary increase and promotion for a Bank associate who was also his ex-girlfriend and faced booing, catcalls, and demands for his resignation.IHTNYTIt was reported that almost a year before seven U.S. attorneys were fired, an email from D. Kyle Sampson, former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, proposed replacement candidates for them. Four years’ worth of email from Karl Rove, sought by Democrats investigating Rove’s role in the firings, was missing from the Republican National Committee server.NYTWaPoA bird flew into the engine of Vice President Dick Cheney’s plane while it was en route to Chicago, but the plane made a safe landing.CBS2Chicago
Kurt Vonnegut died.NYTScientists announced the creation of nascent sperm cells from human bone marrow samples.BBCA leaked, X-rated DVD sent to parents of elementary school students in Illinois featured the principal having sex with a teacher on his desk, next to a pile of standardized tests.CBS2ChicagoA study found that students who participated in federally endorsed sexual abstinenceprograms were as likely to have sex as those who did not. “This report confirms that these interventions are not like vaccines. You can’t expect one . . . small dose to be protective all throughout the youth’s high school career,” said the commissioner of the Family and Youth Services Bureau.AP via CNNIn Hong Kong, race horses suffered the worst outbreak of equine herpes in the region’s history.Times UKIn Saudi Arabia, a widely circulated text message claimed melons entering the kingdom from Israel were infected with AIDS.YnetnewsA Ukrainian woman was arrested after customs officials found hashish inside the battery compartment of her vibrator,Toronto Sunthe Indian civil service announced (and then revoked) new rules mandating female employees to provide details of their menstrual cycles,BBCan Australian study reported that acting on sadomasochistic fetishes improves men’s happiness,The West.com.aua Minnesota jail guard was suspended after thumping an inmate with a Bible,Kare 11 TVand the Amsterdam chapter of the Hells Angels biker gang organized a benefit to raise money for legal costs.ReutersPrince William broke up with his girlfriend via telephone.Daily Mirror
Responding to Philadelphia’s high rate of gun violence, gun control advocates urged state legislation to limit handgun purchases to one per person per month. Critics of the proposal called it an infringement on Second Amendment rights.NYTGerman national television released a videoclip of an army instructor in Schleswig-Holstein telling one of his soldiers during a machine-gun drill, “You are in the Bronx. A black van is stopping in front of you. Three African Americans are getting out and they are insulting your mother in the worst ways . . . Act.”AP via CNNA study surveying African-American women in the Mississippi Delta found that a majority of respondents believe anyone who gets AIDS deserves it, especially if he or she is a homosexual, bisexual, or prostitute, and that the U.S. government created HIV/AIDS to destroy the black race.The Clarion-LedgerNorth Carolina’s Attorney General dropped all charges against the three former Duke lacrosse players accused of raping an African-American stripper at a party, calling the athletes innocent victims of an overzealous attorney.News 14 CarolinaRadio personality Don Imus lost his job after he called players on the Rutgerswomen’s basketball team “nappy-headed hos.”CNNIt was announced that President Bush and his wife paid $186,378 in federal taxes on income of $642,905, while Vice President Cheney and his wife owe $413,326 in taxes on income of $1.6 million.Reuters via NYTThe interior minister of Macedonia was driving a BMW that may have been stolen from English soccer star David Beckham.BBCA Staten Island food pantry turned people away after a thief robbed their storeroom of a month’s worth of provisions,NYTand researchers at the Department of Food Science at Leeds University spent over 1,000 hours testing 700 variations on the traditional bacon sandwich to find the ideal “crispy and crunchy” formula.BBCIn New York City, delivery workers continued to picket several Asian restaurants, accusing owners of making them work 70-hour weeks while paying them only $1.40 an hour.NYTA lawyer jumped to his death from the 69th floor of the Empire State Building.AP via Pittsburg Post-Gazette
More from Gemma Sieff:
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 amount of time a child spends in Santa Claus’s lap at Macy’s (in seconds):
Beer does not cause beer bellies.
Following the arrest of at least 10 clowns in Kentucky and Alabama, Tennesseans were warned that clowns could be â€śpredatorsâ€ť and Pennsylvanians were advised not to interact with what one police chief described as â€śknuckleheads with clown-like clothes on.â€ť
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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