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After John McCain swept Republican contests in Ohio, Rhode Island,Texas, and Vermont and secured by some counts the delegates required for his party’s nomination, his rivals Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul withdrew from the presidential race. McCain visited the White House to eat a lunch of hot dogs with George W. Bush and accept the President’s endorsement. “If my showing up and endorsing him helps him, or if I’m against him and it helps him, either way, I want him to win,” said Bush. New York TimesWashington Post“It’s harder and harder trying to do the Lord’s work in the city of Satan,” McCain said of Washington, D.C., to supporters gathered at the headquarters of Chick-fil-A Inc. in Atlanta.Talking Points MemoAlburn Edward Blake, a 60-year-old Jamaican-born landscaper, strolled out of the bathroom of a Wendy’s in West Palm Beach, Florida, and opened fire on the lunchtime crowd, killing a local firefighter and wounding five others before taking his own life. “Looks like this was just another random shooting like we’ve seen around the United States,” said Paul Miller, a spokesman for the Palm Beach County sheriff’s office. APA bomb went off at a military recruiting station in New York’s Times Square, shattering glass doors and breaking a window but injuring no one; surveillance camera footage showed a hooded bicyclist near the scene of the attack. Suspicions briefly fell on a man who sent antiwar letters, containing a picture of the station and the text “we did it,” to more than 200 Democratic congressmen, but the FBI said the message referred to the Democrats’ victory in the 2006 election. “This was a citizen,” said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller, “exercising his right to make a political comment to his representatives.”Washington Post
The Democratic presidential candidates split six primaries and caucuses, and abandoned the veneer of civility recently attributed to their campaigns. By most counts, Barack Obama maintained a lead of more than 100 delegates, but Hillary Clinton implied to an interviewer that she would win the party’s nomination when delegates pledged to her opponent changed their minds and voted for her. “Even elected and caucus delegates,” she said, “are not required to stay with whomever they are pledged to.”New York TimesThe New YorkerNewsweekResponding to the Obama campaign’s calls for Clinton to release her tax returns, Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson said, “I for one do not believe that imitating Ken Starr is the way to win a Democratic primary election for president.”APReferring to the Obama campaign’s treatment of the North America Free Trade Agreement, Samantha Power, a Pulitzer Prize?winner and an unpaid adviser to Obama, told an interviewer for The Scotsman, “We fucked up in Ohio. . . . In Ohio, they are obsessed, and Hillary is going to town on it because she knows Ohio‘s the only place they can win. . . . She is a monster tooâ??that is off the recordâ??she is stooping to anything.” After the newspaper published her remarks, Power apologized, asserted her admiration for Clinton, and resigned from Obama’s campaign.ScotsmanAsked if his comments were as egregious as Power’s, Wolfson said, “I did not say that Senator Obama was like Ken Starr, and I think there is a difference.” PoliticoEliot Spitzer refrained from resigning as governor of New York after he was linked to the Emperors Club VIP prostitution ring; he was identified as “Client-9,” who, according to a defendant quoted in an affidavit related to the federal investigation of the ring, “would ask you to do things that, like, you might not think were safe.”Talking Points Memo
A Palestinian gunman killed eight Israeli students, seven of them teenagers, at a religious school in Jerusalem. “The attacker didn’t come to Mercaz Harav Yeshiva by chance,” said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, calling the school the “flagship of religious Zionism.” Jerusalem PostIsrael declared it would build 750 new housing units in the West Bank,Globe and Mailand residents of Beijing, warned of health risks posed by felines, were dispatching their pet cats to death camps. Daily MailOfficials in Indian-administered Kashmir halted plans to poison thousands of stray dogs, in an effort to stamp out rabies, after animal-rights groups threatened legal action; a new program to sterilize the dogs is in the works. BBCPresident Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov of Turkmenistan pledged free utilities, public transportation, dental care for life, and a one-time bonus of $25 to all Turkmen women who give birth to more than seven children.New York TimesThruVision, a British firm, unveiled a surveillance camera, developed using research into dying stars, that can see through people’s clothes. They claim that the technology does not reveal physical body details but could be used to detect materials such as explosives or cocaine by distinguishing among the low levels of electromagnetic radiation emitted by all things everywhere.Yahoo! NewsAstronomer Peter Tuthill warned that the explosion of WR104, an unstable binary spiral star system 8,000 light years away in the Sagittarius constellation, threatens to destroy the planet. A supernova within the system will fire gamma rays along the spiral’s polar axis, which, Tuthill discovered, points directly at Earth. “I used to appreciate this spiral just for its beautiful form,” he said, “but now I can’t help a twinge of feeling that it is uncannily like looking down a rifle barrel.”News.com.auThe Press
More from Christian Lorentzen:
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in Californiaâs ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as âinvasive,â âexotic,â âalienâ â all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as âindigenously Californianâ elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a âhome without its mother.â Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
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 tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the âworldâs biggest selfies,â and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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âShelby 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.â