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Day and night bombs, shells, GBU39 radioactive arms, and machine gun rounds are being fired by the Israeli Defense Forces from air, sea, and land against a civilian population of one-and-a-half million. The estimated number of mutilated and dead increases with each news report from international journalists, all of whom are forbidden by Israel to enter the Strip. Yet the crucial figure is that for a single Israeli casualty, there are one hundred Palestinian casualties. One Israeli life is worth a hundred Palestinian lives. The implications of this assumption are constantly reiterated by Israeli spokesmen in order to make them acceptable and normal. The massacre will soon be followed by pestilence; most lodgings have neither water nor electricity, the hospitals lack doctors, medicines, and generators. The massacre follows a blockage and siege. –“A Place Weeping,” John Berger, The Threepenny Review
In the sentencing hearing on Monday, Judge Urbina said he would like to see Dr. Bodnar write a book about the Plavix case as a cautionary tale to other executives. The case concerned accusations that Bristol-Myers had made false statements to federal investigators about the company’s attempt to resolve a patent dispute with a Canadian maker of generic drugs, Apotex. The Justice Department contended that the company in 2006 made a secret deal, in which Apotex would hold off making a generic version of Plavix. In exchange, the Justice Department said, Bristol-Myers indicated that it would subsequently give Apotex an exclusivity period in which it could produce its Plavix generic without Bristol’s making a generic of its own. –“Judge Orders Former Bristol-Myers Executive to Write Book ,” Natasha Singer, The New York Times
The workers file in every morning at nine and grab coffee from the huge percolator I found while cleaning out the garage. I direct them with words I have recently learned: spackle, valance, WD-40. There is Reid, a squat hapa with gelled curls who does the electrical; he is quiet, a little moody, like you when you first come home and must adjust to being a child again. Terrance is redoing the bathroom tile. Such a talented singer—a finalist on Hawaiian Idol—and so good looking! I think he’s Filipino. Finally, there is Mani, the Fijian painter who says he went to high school with you. He owns his own painting company. Do you remember him? He tells me his mother was part Indian; that she died. I suppose I could tell by his long, tapered nose, his upturned eyes. When he is done here, I will give him the Ganesh that hangs above our doorway. As the realtor advised, I’ve cleared away most of the Indian things for the open house next week. –“House of Men,” by Shivani Manghnani, Boston Review
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