Weekly Review — July 15, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Tempest, December 1878]

The U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision seized the IndyMac Bank of California, worth an estimated 32 billion dollars, after the bank’s closure in the wake of mortgage industry collapse,AFPand the Bush Administration proposed a rescue package for ailing mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that would allow the Treasury to buy billions of dollars of their stock and lend them billions more to meet their short-term funding needs. The two companies’ total debt is estimated at $1.54 trillion.NYTimesAbu Dhabi bought New York City’sChrysler building for $800 million,GuardianUKand the Belgian brewer InBev planned to buy Anheuser-Busch for nearly $50 billion.AP via GoogleThe Environmental Protection Agency announced that the value of an American’s “statistical life” was $6.9 million, $1 million less than 5 years ago.APRepublican strategist Karl Rove ignored a subpoena to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, citing “executive privilege,”CNNand the Green Party selected Cynthia McKinney, the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Georgia, as its 2008 presidential nominee.ABCPresident George W. Bush met with other world leaders at the G8 summit to discuss climate change. “Goodbye,” he said as he left, grinning and punching the air, “from the world’s biggest polluter.”Telegraph UK

Former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow died of cancer,Foxand Iran released photos of a missile test that had been doctored to make it look as if four missiles were being launched instead of three.NYTimesMak Erot, an Indonesian woman who used herbs, Islamic prayer, and supernatural powers to enlarge penises, died at 130.BreitbartA new report revealed that the global population of zooplankton has drastically shrunk in the last forty years,BBCand world space officials announced the launch of a 2018 mission to procure samples of Martian rock and soil.BBCThe British retailer Marks & Spencer defended a policy of charging extra for bras that are bigger than size DD, saying the charge represented “a small premium for [necessary] specialist work,” while the protest group Busts 4 Justice derided the price increase as an unfair tax.BBCA British teenager who assumed that tremors in her bosom were caused by her vibrating mobile phone found a baby bat nestling in the padding of her 34FF bra.BBCThe World Health Organization warned people not to go into Ugandan bat caves after a Dutch tourist died from the Marburg virus, a hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola.BBCScientists discovered a new form of mad cow disease in the United States.BBC

The European Parliament censured Italy for preemptively fingerprinting gypsies in a measure designed to reduce crime.BBCTexas police were searching for a burglar who kicked a two-month-old puppy,WOAI.comand police in Germany were searching for the Rabbit Ripper, who kidnaps rabbits from their hutches, decapitates them, siphons their blood into bottles, and leaves their headless bodies on playgrounds.BBCOsama Bin Laden??s teenage son Hamza wrote and posted online a poem asking God for help against Western “gangs of infidels,”Telegraph UKand Senator Barack Obama alienated many supporters by voting to authorize the new Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which expands the government’s power to spy on Americans without a search warrant and provides retroactive immunity for telecommunications firms that had cooperated with the government’s previously illegal wiretaps. Earlier in the campaign, Obama had promised to filibuster any bill that provided such immunity.NYTimesThe Reverend Jesse Jackson apologized for saying of Obama that that he wanted to “cut his nuts out.”DrudgeObama admitted that he disliked ice cream,YouTubelightning struck a New Hampshire woman and exited through her nose ring, leaving her unscathed,Breitbartand Danish scientists found that infants born from once-frozen embryos had a higher birth weight and fewer twin siblings, and were less likely to suffer from abnormalities. “Only the very top quality embryos,” explained Dr. Anja Pinborg, “survive the freezing and thawing process.”Telegraph UK

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I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

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