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Barack Obama claimed that the same groups that attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001, were “plotting to do so again,” that the eight-year conquest and occupation of Afghanistan were a “necessity,” and that free-spending congressional legislators were conspiring with the military-industrial complex to weaken national security with “exotic” defense projects.NY Times and Yahoo NewsThe White House shut down an email tip box intended to receive reports of “fishy” claims about Obama’s health-care reform effort.Politico via DrudgeAfghanistan’s Interior Ministry was trying to determine whether it was terrorists, robbers, or thieves that attacked a bank in Kabul, and international forces in Ghazni province mistakenly killed four Afghan policemen. Both Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah claimed victory in Afghanistan’s presidential election.BBC NewsNY TimesIsraeli housing officials denied that a construction freeze was in effect in the West Bank,NY Timesand a senior U.S. State Department official said that the government was considering Muammar Qaddafi’s request to pitch a large Bedouin tent in New York City’s Central Park.Newsweek and Turkish WeeklyEgyptian President Hosni Mubarak said that Barack Obama‘s speech last June in Cairo “removed all doubts about the United States in the Muslim world.”NY TimesAngry Turks took to the streets of Ankara to protest a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants,BBC NewsVenezuelan president Hugo Chavez was prosecuting “media crimes,”CNNand Robert Novak, the Prince of Darkness, died.AP In Malaysia a thirty-two-year-old female fashion model was convicted of drinking beer in public and was sentenced to be caned,CNNIsrael’s foreign minister accused Sweden of blood libel,BBC Newsand predatory bee-eating hornets were terrorizing the French.Telegraph via DrudgeA majority of New Zealanders think children should be smacked.BBC News
President Obama announced that the “cash for clunkers” program would be shut down, a victim of its own success,NY Timesand members of his administration expressed surprise that liberal Democrats had made the health-care debate their “Waterloo.”Washington PostAn unidentified man brought an assault weapon to an Arizona speech by the president.CNN via DrudgeDr. Delos Cosgrove, chief executive of the Cleveland Clinic, called for fat people to be banned from medical work. “Why is [that] unfair?” Delos asked. “Has anyone ever shown the law of conservation of matter doesn’t apply?”NY TimesBritish parents were exposing their children to “eye sun danger,”BBC Newsand researchers in Washington, D.C., continued in their quest to cure cellulite.CNNA metastudy by several U. S. universities applied the Tightwad-Spendthrift scale to romantic relationships and determined that cheap and profligate people can love each other.NY TimesCapuchin monkeys prefer human beings who act like monkeys.Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Representative Barney Frank (D., Mass.) refused to speak to a woman at a town hall meeting because she reminded him of a dining-room table.Myfox BostonShaved eyebrows were now trendy, as, among the men of New York City, were potbellies, also known as Kramdens.Elliotwave.comNY TimesBernie Madoff has a small penis.NY Daily NewsOenological investigators concluded that five Italian vintners had passed off unauthorized grapes as authentic brunello di Montalcino of the 2003 to 2007 vintages.NY TimesAmerican housewives were getting drunk in greater numbers. “The boredom, the stress,” said one woman. “I just decided one day I’d start sipping on wine at four when Oprah came on.”NY TimesU.S. officials admitted that the CIA had outsourced the assassination of top Al Qaeda operatives during the Iraq War,NY Timesand David Copperfield denied charges that he sexually assaulted a 22-year old model who was his guest on his private island in the Bahamas.BBC NewsElderly American athletes were under suspicion of using performance-enhancing drugs. Frank Levine, who in June set the national record in the 400-meter dash for men ages 95 to 99, confirmed that he regularly used Viagra. “I need it,” he said.NY TimesSouth African teenager Caster Semenya, who is undergoing gender verification to prove that she is a woman, won a gold medal in the 800-meter at the World Track and Field Championships in Berlin,SFGate.comand Hindu transvestites in India were worshipping Krishna while dressed as Radha, the female consort of the svayam bhagavan, or Supreme Being. “I can’t put it into words properly,” said V. K. Saxena, a 72-year-old retired railway worker in New Delhi, “but I feel more holy dressed as a woman.”Scanner
More from Theodore Ross:
For the past three years my dosimeter had sat silently on a narrow shelf just inside the door of a house in Tokyo, upticking its final digit every twenty-four hours by one or two, the increase never failing â€” for radiation is the ruthless companion of time. Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly. During those three years, my American neighbors had lost sight of the accident at Fukushima. In March 2011, a tsunami had killed hundreds, or thousands; yes, they remembered that. Several also recollected the earthquake that caused it, but as for the hydrogen explosion and containment breach at Nuclear Plant No. 1, that must have been fixed by now â€” for its effluents no longer shone forth from our national news. Meanwhile, my dosimeter increased its figure, one or two digits per day, more or less as it would have in San Francisco â€” well, a trifle more, actually. And in Tokyo, as in San Francisco, people went about their business, except on Friday nights, when the stretch between the Kasumigaseki and Kokkai-Gijido-mae subway stations â€” half a dozen blocks of sidewalk, which commenced at an antinuclear tent that had already been on this spot for more than 900 days and ended at the prime ministerâ€™s lair â€” became a dim and feeble carnival of pamphleteers and Fukushima refugees peddling handicrafts.
One Friday evening, the refugeesâ€™ half of the sidewalk was demarcated by police barriers, and a line of officers slouched at ease in the street, some with yellow bullhorns hanging from their necks. At the very end of the street, where the National Diet glowed white and strange behind other buildings, a policeman set up a microphone, then deployed a small video camera in the direction of the muscular young people in drums against fascists jackets who now, at six-thirty sharp, began chanting: â€śWe donâ€™t need nuclear energy! Stop nuclear power plants! Stop them, stop them, stop them! No restart! No restart!â€ť The police assumed a stiffer stance; the drumming and chanting were almost uncomfortably loud. Commuters hurried past along the open space between the police and the protesters, staring straight ahead, covering their ears. Finally, a fellow in a shabby sweater appeared, and murmured along with the chants as he rounded the corner. He was the only one who seemed to sympathize; few others reacted at all.
Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:
Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.
An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as â€śa nation of oppressors and exploiters.â€ť
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â€śHe could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein â€” literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.â€ť