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At the third OPEC summit in 47 years, held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that the price of crude oil could reach $200 a barrel. “The basis of all aggression,” said Chavez, “is oil.” During a private meeting that was accidentally televised, the oil minister of Venezuela suggested to the oil minister of Iran that OPEC stop using the crippled dollar for pricing; the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia countered that public discussion of the weak dollar would cause U.S. currency to lose value. “Kill the cable!” shouted a security guard as he ran into the meeting room, “Kill the cable!”BBC NewsThe GuardianAn economist with financial services firm UBS AG put the odds of a U.S. recession at 45 percent.Bloomberg NewsIran was still enriching uranium,BBC Newsand alleged Al Qaeda treasurer Abdelhamid Sadaoui was killed in Tizi Ouzou by the Algerian army.BBC NewsCyclone Sidr killed 3,000 Bangladeshis even though the cyclone’s fury was dampened by mangrove forests near the coast,The New York Timesand ships carrying at least 2,000 tons of oil and 6,000 tons of sulfur sank in a storm in the straits between the Black Sea and the Azov Sea, killing at least three sailors and 30,000 birds.BBC NewsU.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte called on President General Pervez Musharraf to end emergency rule in Pakistan. “Emergency rule,” said Negroponte, the ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985, “is not compatible with free, fair and credible elections.”BBC NewsA fire at a gas pipeline south of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killed 28 people,BBC Newsand 96 Sudanese died of Rift Valley Fever.BBC News
Former minister Amon Paul Carlock, also known as Klutzo the Clown, who was arrested after photos of naked Filipino orphans were found on his laptop, died in a Springfield, Illinois, prison after he was Tasered by a corrections officer.IHTState Journal-RegisterMonkeys rampaged in New Delhi, injuring 25 people and chewing on a baby’s leg,AFPand Oregon scientists claimed to have cloned a rhesus macaque embryo.RTE NewsAn Iceland firm, deCODE Genetics, announced that it would offer personal gene profiling, as did Los Angeles-based 23andMe, which is backed by Google. Included in the $999 profile offered by 23andMe is an estimate of how closely one is related to historical figures and celebrities like Jimmy Buffett.BBC NewsReutersDigital JournalAmazon introduced a wireless device designed to replace books.Puget Sound Business JournalIt was reported that Blake Miller, the “Marlboro Marine” made famous when a photo of him smoking in Fallujah was widely published, now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and lives in a trailer behind his father’s house with a dog named Mudbone tied in the yard. Miller, unable to discuss certain things that happened in Fallujah (saying only that “to kill the snake, we had to cut off its head”), is recently divorced and remains a heavy smoker.The Los Angeles TimesMr. Whipple died.AP
Former San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds was indicted on charges of perjury and obstructing justice for lying about steroid use.USA TodayChinese pork provider Pengcheng held a public pig-carcass-shaving to demonstrate that its meat would be sanitary and safe to eat at next year’s Olympic Games; rival meat purveyors Qianxihe Group were raising special organic-fed Olympic pigs that are treated with traditional herbal medicines and given two hours of exercise each day.ChinaView.cnA Japanese whaling fleet, trailed by a Greenpeace vessel, was under sail with orders to kill 1,000 whales, including 50 humpbacks.BBC NewsA man in rural Tennessee was accused of raping his teenage daughters, whom he controlled with wireless electric-shock dog collars;IHTan Atlanta wrestler named Hardbody Harrison, who calls his fists “The Pork Chop” and “The Biscuit Cutter,” was on trial for keeping nine women as sex slaves;Atlanta Journal-Constitutionand a Washington man was arrested after he beat his girlfriend for giving him a wet willie.Seattle TimesBritish scientists working with negative index metamaterials said that they were developing a technique that could someday be used to capture a rainbow.University of SurreyQueen Elizabeth and Prince Philip celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary,Reutersand it was announced that former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day Oâ??Connorâ??s husband of 55 years, who suffers from Alzheimerâ??s disease, was in a romantic relationship with another woman; O’Connor reportedly was happy to visit the new couple as they sat on a porch swing holding hands. “A broken heart,” explained a brain imaging research scientist, “looks different in somebody old.”The New York Times
More from Paul Ford:
Chances that a deep breath inhaled today will contain a molecule from Julius Caesar’s dying breath:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos, Hill and Wang (N.Y.C.)
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. âThere was a âwoofâ sound,â said a witness, âlike falling on your face into your pillow.â
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âAmerican politics has often been an arena for angry minds.â