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President George W. Bush traveled to Europe, where he declared an end to the Cold War, suggested that a U.S. missile shield was “not something we ought to be hyperventilating about,” and suffered a stomachache that left him “slightly indisposed.”New York TimesNew York TimesForbesIn Iraq, the Sunni-dominated IslamicArmy announced that it would no longer threaten the “project of Jihad” by continuing to fight Al Qaeda.Washington PostA security assessment found that just one third of Baghdad’s neighborhoods were under U.S. control, police recruits shot a “suspicious woman,” a Catholic priest was kidnapped along with five boys, and 27 corpses, each shot in the head and showing signs of torture, were recovered.BBC NewsBBC NewsWashington PostWashington PostProposed “War Czar” Lieutenant General Douglas Lute described the results of the U.S. troop surge as “uneven.”Air Force TimesNew York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said people stood a greater chance of being hit by lightning than dying at the hands of a terrorist, and that anyone worried about it should “get a life.”WCBSTV.com via DrudgeA “clearly deranged” German man attempted to board the Popemobile in the Vatican and was beaten by the Vigilanza, the pontiff’s security force.New York Times and Washington PostGovernment doctors announced that the machine controlling Dick Cheney’s heart was old and should be replaced.ABC NewsChina was in the grip of “Web 2.0 madness,”CNETthe U.S. military was developing lethal water guns to combat scuba-equippedterrorists,.Wiredand three adulterers were executed by firing squad in Khyber, Pakistan.BBC NewsHillary Clinton thanked God for helping her endure the sexual indiscretions of her husband.CNN
The Republican presidential candidates met in New Hampshire to engage in “verbal combat” over immigration,New York Timesand Eric Alterman, author of the “Altercation” blog, was arrested after an altercation with police at the Democratic debate.CNNTwo John McCain campaign officials were fired for refusing to “rape and pillage” church directories for potential donors.Washington PostJohn Edwards said it was fine if Rudolph Giuliani chose a campaign platform of “four more years of what [the current] president has done.” “He will never be elected,” Edwards added. “But he is allowed to do that.”Washington PostViolence erupted in the Alabama state senate when a Democrat called Republican Charles Bishop a son of a bitch. “I responded to his comment with my right hand,” said Bishop.CNN“Fleeting expletives” were ruled legal by a U.S. court.Times of LondonThree Finnish fishermen were abducted by the Iranian government,BBC NewsU.S. efforts to recapture a shipping vessel taken by pirates off the Horn of Africa failed, New York Timesand Spanish naval authorities threatened to board two boats they believe hold stolen treasure.Yahoo NewsGlobal warming was linked to an upsurge of cat sex,LiveScience.comand NFL running back Clinton Portis explained why he ridiculed laws against dog fighting. “I’m not even a pets man,” Portis explained. “I’ve got a fish–that’s the easiest thing to keep up. I’ve never been into dogs, never dealt with dogs, don’t like playing with dogs. But at the same time,” he added, “there’s a lot of people who are crazy over pets.”CNNS.com
Students at Harvard University were scalping tickets to their own graduation,CNNhigh school officials in Galesburg, Ohio, withheld the diplomas of five seniors after their friends and families cheered too loudly at the commencement,New York Timesand three students were arrested in Aurora, Illinois, following a cafeteria food fight. “Milk cartons, full pop bottles, and blue slushies were flying around,” said one student. “Kids literally bought the food to throw it and, to me, that’s a little expensive.”CNNThe Spanish people resisted a government proposal to add lyrics to the national anthem. “It’s fine to identify a country with music,” said one Madrileno. “But a country with words, no, I don’t like it.”BBC NewsIn China, a spike in the price of pork tenderloin and bacon caused people to begin eating more fish,New York Timesand it was reported that Xiang Xiang, a five-year-old panda bred in captivity and released into the wild, was found dead in February. Wild pandas are suspected.BBC NewsForest guards in western India were using cell phone ring tones of cows mooing, goats bleating, and roosters crowing to lure hungry leopards away from human encampments. CNNIn Selmer, Tennessee, a preacher’s wife was sentenced to three years in prison for murdering her husband, whom she said forced her to perform “unnatural” sex acts with a black wig and platform shoes on,CNNand in Bautzen, Germany, three teenagers were found not guilty of impairing the sex drive of an ostrich.New York TimesBritain’s Royal Society for the Protection of Birds banned the word “cock” from its website. “Tit” and “swallow,” however, were still permitted.News.com.au via Nerve.comScientists successfully produced talking construction paper, trained dogs to track polar bear feces, and made stem cells out of adult mice.BBC NewsNew York TimesMedical News today via google newsCultural taboos against the public discussion of menopause were in decline among the American middle class,New York Times via Nerve.comand in England, gingerists, or people with a bias against red hair, were subjecting the auburn-headed to slurs like “you ginger bastard” or “you right ginger whinger.” BBC NewsThe Internet’s storehouse of wisdom, information, and pornographic images was determined to weigh 0.2 millionths of an ounce.Discover
More from Theodore Ross:
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 duration of a Japanese prime minister’s tenure since August 1993, in months:
Brain shrinkage has no effect on cognition.
An Indianapolis fertility doctor was accused of using his own sperm to artificially inseminate patients, and a Delaware man pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his former psychiatrist.
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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