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One million people fled New Orleans to avoid Hurricane Gustav, which landed in Louisiana as a weakened category-2 hurricane and caused relatively little damage. Mississippi officials ordered people still living in the FEMA trailers erected after Hurricane Katrina to evacuate, and John McCain canceled opening-day ceremonies for the Republican National Convention at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. “This is a time when we have to do away with our party politics and we have to act as Americans,” said McCain. “Not as Republicans.”GuardianIOL.co.zaNew York TimesUSA TodayYahoo!McCain picked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, 44, as his running mate. Palin, an evangelical Christian, supports the death penalty, believes that the “jury’s still out” on global warming, opposes abortion, and is mother to five children: Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper, and five-month-old Trig, who has Down syndrome. Rumors arose that Bristol, 17, was the actual mother of Trig; in response, Palin announced that Bristol was actually five months pregnant with the child of a man named “Levi” and would soon marry him.Telegraph.co.ukWashington TimesWashington PostIndependent1.2 million people were left homeless by monsoon floods in the Indian state of Bihar.BBC
Foreclosure rates were rising in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. “We’ve got a housing issue, [but] evidently not in Dallas,” said President George W. Bush to a recent gathering of Houston G.O.P. donors, “because Laura’s over there trying to buy a house today… I said: ‘Honey, weâ??ve been on government pay now for 14 years. Go slow!’”FWBusinessPressNew York TimesCitibank, facing huge losses, asked its bankers to stop making color photocopies and to start printing internal presentations on both sides of the page,New York Timesand hip-hop mogul P. Diddy announced that the rising price of fuel had forced him to give up private-jet travel. “Can you believe this, I’m actually flying commercial!” he said. “Gas prices are too motherfuckin’ high. I want to give a shout-out to all my Saudi Arabian brothers and sisters and all my brothers and sisters from all the countries that have oil. If y’all could please send me some oil for my jet, I would truly appreciate it.”E!OnlineJapanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda resigned,New York Timesand Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin saved a television crew from attack by shooting an escaped Siberian tiger with a tranquilizer gun.YahooPutin also announced a ban on poultry imports from 19 U.S. companies, explaining that their chicken failed to meet sanitary standards and that the ban had nothing to do with ongoing political tensions over Georgia.NovostiA pregnant woman sued JacksonvilleJaguars receiver Dennis Northcutt, claiming he arranged for his cousin to beat her up in an attempt to harm her unborn child,Sports Illustratedand the attorney for a nearly half-ton Texas woman said she could not have beaten her toddler nephew to death because her obesity limits her movement.CNNAn Ohioan named China Arnold was convicted of microwaving her one-month-old baby, Paris Talley, to death.BBC
A United Nations investigation of last week’s coalition airstrikes in Afghanistan found that the United States had killed 90 civilians, including 60 sleeping children,New York Timesand Nigerian religious leader Mohammadu Bello Abubakar, who is 84, accepted an Islamic decree that would force him to divorce 82, or 95 percent, of his 86 wives.BBCAn Australian plastic surgeon who received oral sex from a patient before providing her with a nose job was fighting to keep his medical license. “Knowing her nose better than anyone else,” said Dr. Martyn Mendelsohn, “I was in a unique position to take care of the problem.”News.com.auA man concerned that he had injected air into his veins while shooting cocaine tried to amputate his own arm with a butter knife, and then a butcher knife, at a Denny’s Restaurant in California,.CBSand European officials warned that Botox injections could have dangerous side effects, including death.BreitbartNearly half a million people in developing nations were manufacturing virtual weapons and mounts to sell to players of online video games such as World of Warcraft,BBCand the Pentagon launched a program that aims to create an artificial brain within the next decade.WiredNASA confirmed that laptops in space had been infected with the virus Gammima.AG,BBCand Australianscientists determined that sponges have the genes necessary to express nerves.LiveScienceScientists studying the Permian-Triassic Mass Extinction, which annihilated much of life on Earth 251 million years ago, attributed the die-off to floods of reeking Siberian lava, which released carbon dioxide and created a greenhouse effect, thereby starving oceans of oxygen and poisoning the atmosphere. “In the late Permian,” said geoscientist Lee Kump, “Earth itself was the villain. But today we’ve stepped in as the villain.”McClatchyDC.com
More from Gemma Sieff:
Discussed in this essay:
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.
The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:
â€śThe triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), â€śthe rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversityâ€ťÂ â€” what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.
Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:
Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.
Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.
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Scienceâ€™s crisis of faith