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Hillary Clinton gained nine more delegates than Barack Obama in the Pennsylvania primary and challenged him to debate without a moderator. Obama, who declined, reportedly seemed “tired” and “brittle” campaigning in Indiana. “Seniors, listen up,” he said. “I’m getting gray hair myself. Running for president will age you quick.” New York TimesAPTelegraphJohn McCain’s campaign received a $1,000 discount on the rental fee for a public space for a fundraiser in Homewood, Alabama, along with $100 worth of free labor from the inmates of a local jail.Birmingham NewsAll three candidates taped messages for World Wrestling Entertainment’s “W.W.E. Raw”: Clinton declared herself “ready to rumble” for the American people; Obama, echoing former wrestler Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, asked, “Do you smell what Barack is cooking?”; McCain, speaking with a surly tone, equated the Iraq war with a wrestling match and said that Americans “do not watch wrestling because we’re ‘bitter,’” but rather because “wrestling is about celebrating our freedom.”New York TimesIn Basra, Iraq, a 17-year-old girl, Rand Abdel-Qader, was stomped, suffocated, and stabbed to death by her father, who accused her of having an affair with a British soldier. Local police arrested the father but released him without charge after two hours. “Not much can be done when we have an honor-killing case,” said police sergeant Ali Jabbar. “You are in a Muslim society and women should live under religious laws.” Rand’s mother divorced the killer and went into hiding.GuardianC3, the firm that developed Disneyland, announced plans to build a $500 million amusement park in Baghdad.Times
Suspected Taliban assailants in Kabul killed a tribal chief, a member of Parliament, and a ten-year-old boy in an attempt to assassinate Afghan President Hamid Karzai.International Herald-TribuneTurkmenistan returned to its old calendar, meaning that months will no longer be named for the late dictator Saparmurat Niyazov, a.k.a. Turkmenbashi, his mother, a book he wrote, and the concept of neutrality; nor will the days be named for qualities such as youth, justice, spirit, and Turkmenness. BBCFifty-five sweatshop workers died in a mattress-factory fire in Casablanca, most of them women;Irish Times95 Dinka tribesmen in southern Sudan were killed in clashes over cattle theft; Al Jazeeraand a train collision killed 43 passengers in Zibo, China.Express IndiaActor Wesley Snipes was sentenced to three years in prison for not filing his taxes.New York TimesA Mexican diplomat was fired after a video-surveillance tape showed him stealing BlackBerrys belonging to White House officials at a meeting in New Orleans.Fox NewsEighty-four-year-old Ben Ami-Kadish, a retired military engineer who worked from 1979 to 1985 at the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center in New Jersey, was arrested for giving secret documents, including “atomic-related information,” to Israel.LA TimesThe United States accused North Korea of helping Syria build a nuclear reactor on a site that was destroyed last year by an Israeli air strike; TelegraphSouth Korean intelligence officials told the Japanese press that ten North Koreans working on the site were killed in the attack.BloombergThe Danish company Agroplast announced plans to market cheap plastic dinnerware made from pig urine.Cnet
A 42-year-old Austrian woman, Elizabeth Fritzl, emerged from the basement cell where her father had, since 1984, allegedly imprisoned her and three of the seven children she then bore him. According to authorities, 73-year-old electrical engineer Josef concealed his daughter and their offspring from his wife Rosemarie by forging letters from Elizabeth saying that she was running away from home, then that she was leaving three of her children at their doorstep to be raised by them.New York TimesFather Adelir Antonio de Carli, a Brazilian priest attempting to set a world record for flight with helium balloons, disappeared after he was blown over the Atlantic Ocean, leaving only a cluster of balloons in his wake.National PostA group of Oregonians unhappy with the state government announced a campaign for “Eastern Oregon” to secede and form its own state from the Cascade Mountains to the Idaho border. KATU.comTony Zirkle, a candidate for Congress in Indiana who previously proposed segregating races into different states, spoke before a neo-Nazi group at an event to commemorate the birth of Adolf Hitler. “I’ll speak before any group that invites me,” said Zirkle. “I’ve spoken on an African-American radio station in Atlanta.”Northwest Indiana and Illinois TimesBlack squirrels, which exhibit higher levels of testosterone than gray or red squirrels, were overrunning parts of England, and Guardian13 suspected sorcerers, accused of stealing or shrinking penises, were arrested in Congo after panic over penis thievery triggered a series of attempted lynchings. “It’s real,” said Kinshasa merchant Alain Kalala. “Just yesterday here, there was a man who was a victim. We saw. What was left was tiny.”Reuters
More from Christian Lorentzen:
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Rank of Detroit among major U.S. cities whose residents give the largest portion of their income to charity:
A South Dakota researcher concluded that only scant blood spatter results when chain saws are used to dismember pigs.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature