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Executive power was transferred to Vice President Dick Cheney for two hours and five minutes while President George W. Bush underwent a routine colonoscopy. Spokesman Scott Stanzel announced that five small polyps had been removed, but “none appeared worrisome,” and the president was soon able to ride his bike.MSNBCAFP via Taipei TimesPrior to the procedure, Bush issued an order requiring the CIA to stop torturing its prisoners and to comply with the Geneva Conventions as the president interprets them, and also made clear that he would, by invoking executive privilege, refuse to allow the Justice Department to pursue any contempt charges that Congress might bring against his aides. “The next step,” said Representative Henry A. Waxman (D., Calif.), “would be just disbanding the Justice Department.”Voice of AmericaThe Washington PostThe Boston GlobeIndia’s parliament elected Pratibha Patil as the country’s first female president,The Washington Postand it was announced that the United States would have a woman as president on the next season of “24.”CNNThe Pentagon accused Senator Hillary Clinton of reinforcing “enemy propaganda” when she asked whether the Bush Administration had an exit plan for the Iraq war,The Financial Times via MSNBC.comand, despite an all-night debate, Democraticsenators failed to invoke cloture and bring to vote a measure requiring the majority of U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Iraq.TimeIn Baghdad two people died and 15 were wounded in the celebration following the Iraqi soccer team’s 2?0 victory over Vietnam;.ESPNthe former King of Afghanistan died in Kabul.Andhra News
A steam pipe exploded near Grand Central Station and rained debris on midtown Manhattan,CNNand tangled clumps of worms fell from the sky in Jennings, Louisiana.WAFBFormer congressman Tom DeLay gave a speech about abortion to a gathering of college Republicans in Washington, D.C. “If we had those 40 million children that were killed over the last 30 years,” said DeLay, “we wouldn’t need the illegal immigrants to fill the jobs that they are doing today.”Raw StoryPolice recovered a seven-week-old boy from the middle of a road in Ohio, where his naked mother had placed him in order to appease Satan,WLWTand a newborn was found in a trashcan at a Denny’s in Anaheim, California; a 17-year-old girl with blood dripping down her legs was discovered nearby, having just shared a meal with her family.O.C. RegisterIHOP, which serves more than 700 million pancakes each year, announced that it would buy Applebee’s for $1.9 billion,IHOPThe Atlanta Journal-Constitutionand a new biofuel-recycling and -filling station capable of processing 5,000 gallons of cooking grease per day was about to open in Blair, Wisconsin. “America’s obesity problem,” said a co-owner, “is our lifeblood.”AZCentralAuthorities estimated that 20 tons of meat are smuggled into Oslo, Norway, each week.AftenpostenIn China, where flooding has killed hundreds of people this summer, the rampant Yangtze River had caused Dongting Lake to overflow, leading two billion rats to flee to the Hunan countryside, where there are few predators to reduce their numbers, as the snakes have been eaten by southerners and the owls have been used for medicine. Besieged farmers were poisoning the rats, beating them with hammers, and sending them, live, by truckload to restaurants in Guangzhou, where diners pay 136 yuan for a kilogram of ratmeat.National GeographicABC NewsSydney Morning HeraldA Beijingjournalist was detained for fabricating a story about street vendors stuffing their dumplings with cardboard.CNN
Japan was gradually rearming itself. “Bombing,” said Col. Tatsuya Arima, “does not always mean offensive weapons.”The New York TimesThe final book of the Harry Potter series, in which Hedwig dies, was released in the United States and sold 8.3 million copies within 24 hours,The TelegraphPublishers WeeklyYTMNDand in Britain a six-year-old boy hanged himself with a skipping rope.The SunA man with a needle sticking out of his arm crashed his car into a Cincinnati, Ohio, drug treatment center,WLWTNicole Richie let it be known that she dates only circumcised men,Lifestyle Extraand Oprah Winfrey’s dog died when it choked on a ball. Forbes.comRecently filed court documents described how Henry T. Nicholas III, the billionaire founder of Broadcom, built a $30 million underground sex bunker in Laguna Hills, California, and stocked it with prostitutes flown in by private jet,The Los Angeles Timesand it was reported that during intercourse the owners of private submarines are sometimes troubled by peeking dolphins.NineMSNA French geologist stated that a newly discovered underground lake in Darfur, which was expected to help bring peace to the water-starved region, likely dried up at least 5,000 years ago,BBC Newsand near Kakadu National Park in Australia, Jeffrey Lee, the last surviving Djok, was refusing to allow an estimated $5 billion in uranium to be mined from the Koongarra deposit, a “djang” or spiritual place where there lives a giant blue-tongued lizard that must never be disturbed, and where the rainbow serpent has entered the land. “I can go fishing and hunting,” said Lee. “That’s all that matters to me.”The Sydney Morning Herald
More from Paul Ford:
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”