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British prime minister Tony Blair announced that he will resign next month after ten years in power. Much speculation ensued about what the 54-year-old Blair would do next, and it was thought that he might establish a foundation to fight poverty in Africa. “[Blair] was the worst thing that ever happened to Africa,” said Bright Matonga, the deputy information minister of Zimbabwe. “We hope that the children of Iraq and Afghanistan he is killing everyday will haunt him for the rest of his life.”Daily MailThe AustralianGuardian A majority in Iraq’s parliament backed a bill drafted by allies of anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, which would require a timetable for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.WPVice President Dick Cheney made a surprise visit to Baghdad, where he met with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and other leaders. “I do believe that there is a greater sense of urgency now than I’d seen previously,” the Vice President told reporters. Protesters in Karbala burned him in effigy.NYTReuters via AlertnetWorld Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, who arranged a promotion for his companion, Shaha Ali Riza, in 2005, was found by a committee of directors to have had a conflict of interest, and his top communications aide quit. According to Bank officials, “devastating” documents showed that Wolfowitz had known at the time that the promotion might be seen as unethical. Some European countries allegedly threatened to reduce contributions to the Bank if Wolfowitz did not step down. NYTIHTNYTFormer United States attorney Todd P. Graves claimed that he had been forced to resign for refusing to pursue a politically motivated voter-fraud lawsuit, and Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales continued to defend the Department’s firing of eight other U.S. attorneys. Asked how he knew that the President or the Vice President was not involved in the decision, Gonzales replied, “I just know they would not do that.” Kansas City StarSF ChronicleNYTIn Afghanistan,NATO leaders were concerned about news reports that they had killed almost 90 civilians in the past two weeks, and residents of the town of Herat claimed that as many as 80 civilians were killed on Tuesday.USA TodayNYTThe corpse of Mullah Dadullah, a one-legged Taliban commander, was displayed for reporters. According to the New York Times, he was wearing “an ordinary shoe.” NYT
Reverend Al Sharpton promised that Mormon presidential candidate Mitt Romney would be defeated by “those that really believe in God,” and it was revealed that Romney’s wife, Ann, donated $150 to Planned Parenthood in 1994.CNNABCGuantanamo detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan was charged with being a driver and bodyguard for Osama bin Laden,AP via Yahooand the trial of Rafiq Sabir, a physician charged with conspiring to provide medical care to Al Qaeda, began. Evidence presented in the case included a recording of jazz bassist and martial-arts expert Tarik Shah, a good friend of Sabir’s, teaching an FBI informant how to rip out a throat. “It fills their lungs with blood,” he explained. NYTSergeant Sanick Dela Cruz testified in a pre-trial hearing related to the November 2005 killing of 24 civilians in Haditha,Iraq. “I know it was a bad thing what I’ve done,” he said about his role in the killings, which were in retribution for the death of another Marine, “but I done it because I was angry T.J. was dead, and I pissed on one Iraqi’s head.” Reuters via AlertnetAt Sotheby’s in New York, a late Cezanne watercolor of a green melon sold for $25 million.BBC
Four ethnic Albanians, a Jordanian, and a Turk were arrested for plotting to invade Fort Dix, New Jersey,NJ Star-Ledgerand more than 1,000 rusty, unexploded munitions had been found on the Jersey Shore, left there as a result of a beach-reclamation project. NJ Star-LedgerFormer New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was spotted wearing a World Series ring that may have been an illegal gift from the Yankees.Village VoiceThe Milwaukee Brewers were giving away two free tickets to any fan who had his prostate examined,MLB.comBill Clinton wrote the clues for a New York Times crossword (“Team,” read 5 across, “with Southern exposure”),NYTand researchers at Johns Hopkins University linked throat cancer to oral sex. BBCGovernment soldiers in Mogadishu were confiscating and burning women’s veils,BBCand in Richmond, Virginia, a painting of Britney Spears was covered up at the request of Barack Obama’s campaign. Richmond Times-DispatchLos Angeles was burning,LA Timesand Democratic presidential contender Mike Gravel was speaking passionately in defense of gay marriage. “Love between a woman and a woman is beautiful,” he said. “Love between a man and a man is beautiful, too. What this world needs is a lot more love.” WMUR via Rawstory.comThe Senate passed a bill that would lift a 1975 ban on the sale of baby turtles, but would require safety pamphlets warning children about the risks.US NewsThe makers of OxyContin admitted that they had misled consumers about the risks of addiction, WPand the Pope traveled to Brazil, where he canonized a nineteenth-century friar who healed people by giving them written prayers in pill form.AP via YahooNASA unveiled a new telescope that will help scientists “see the very birth of the universe,” BBCand astronomers continued to observe the death of a star 150 times more massive than the sun. “Of all exploding stars ever observed,” said one astronomer, “this was the king.”BBC
More from Sam Stark:
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt 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. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”