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The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 777 points in one day after the House of Representatives failed to pass a Wall Street bailout plan, first put forth by President George W. Bush, that would have granted Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson up to $700 billion to buy, at any price, toxic mortgage-backed assets from financial firms. “It’s not based on any particular data point,” said a Treasury spokeswoman of the $700 billion figure. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.”Wall Street JournalWashington PostForbes.comSenator John McCain announced that fixing the economy was more important than politicking, suspended his campaign, and attempted without success to postpone his first debate with Senator Barack Obama, although he continued to run campaign advertisements, including one that declared him the winner of the debate, and appeared on CBS with Katie Couric. McCain then joined congressional leaders, including Obama, at the White House to discuss the stimulus package. “I didn’t see any sign,” said Representative Barney Frank, “of our Republican colleagues paying any attention to him whatsoever.” “All he has done,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of McCain, “is stand in front of the cameras.”Washington PostWashington PostThe New York TimesPoliticoThe Los Angeles Times“He was my dear,” said former Brazilian beauty queen Maria Garcinda Teixeira de Jesus, 77, who had a tryst with McCain in 1957, “and my coconut dessert.”Daily News“If money isn’t loosened up,” said President Bush of the U.S. economy, “this sucker could go down.”The New York Times
Somali pirates lowered from $35 million to $20 million their ransom demands for a captured Ukrainian ship carrying 33 Russian tanks and various munitions.BBCRussian officials sought to ban South Park, The Simpsons, and Family Guy from television, and sent a fleet of warships, including nuclear-powered guided-missile cruiser “Peter the Great,” to Venezuela to participate in military exercises.Daily TelegraphBBCThe military government of Myanmar freed 9,002 prisoners, including the country’s longest-serving political prisoner, journalist Win Tin,The New York Timesand Guantanamo Bay prosecutor Army Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld resigned after his superiors failed to turn over evidence to a detainee’s lawyers. “I am highly concerned,” he said, “about the slipshod, uncertain ‘procedure’ for affording defense counsel discovery.”The Washington PostIn India, a mob of recently dismissed workers at an auto-parts manufacturer beat their boss to death. “This is by no means,” said an executive at the parent company, “a regular labor conflict.”Times OnlineKenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga admitted to being circumcised, BBCa man flew across the English Channel using a homemade jet-propelled wing,CNNand Chineseastronauts conducted the country’s first-ever spacewalk. “After the Olympics, it’s the most exciting thing that enhances our national pride and dignity this year,” said He Haihong, a Beijing sales manager.Boston GlobeTwo British archaeologists claimed to have solved the mystery of Stonehenge, putting forth a theory that the stones had healing properties,CNNand geologists found that Iran is sinking. National Geographic
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican candidate for vice president, visited New York City and met with world leaders from Afghanistan,Iraq, and Colombia, as well as Henry Kissinger and Bono, and agreed to speak to the press. “It was great,” she said.CNNMSNBCPaul Newman died.CNNA flock of wild turkeys terrorized a town in Oregon;Gazette Timesa large pig, the size of a “Shetland pony,” held an Australian woman hostage in her home;BBCand a man in Kentucky sued his doctor after his penis was amputated during a circumcision.WLKYA dog in Alabama brought home a child’s foot.APA Colorado teenager was arrested for attempting to kill his mother, with plans to use her money to buy breast implants for his girlfriend,CNNand Louisiana State Representative John LeBruzzo suggested offering poor women $1,000 to get their tubes tied. Times-PicayuneFraternity members at Arizona State University caused a traffic accident by vomiting milk onto passing cars,The Arizona Republicand someone at George Fox University, a Christian college in Oregon, lynched Barack Obama in effigy.APA Jewish temple in Dothan, Alabama, offered $50,000 to Jewish families who move to the town,CNNand researchers in New York City announced that white flight had reversed for the first time in fifty years, with more than 100,000 white people introduced to the city’s rolls since 2000.The New York TimesCongress lifted a 26-year ban on offshore drilling,Bloombergscientists hunted for crops that could withstand climate change,BBCand starving polar bears were eating each other.CNNResearchers found that 55 percent of U.S. citizens believe they have been helped by a guardian angel. “Americans,” said one scholar of religion, “live in an enchanted world.”TIME
More from Genevieve Smith:
Percentage of British elementary-school students who think Isaac Newton discovered fire:
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. “There was a ‘woof’ sound,” said a witness, “like falling on your face into your pillow.”
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“American politics has often been an arena for angry minds.”