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Attorney General Eric Holder announced that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four other accused September 11 plotters would be tried in federal court in lower Manhattan. “It is fitting that 9/11 suspects face justice near the World Trade Center site,” said New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, adding that the city had sufficient resources to safely hold the trials. “I’m concerned,” said former mayor Rudy Giuliani, “that we no longer believe we’re at war with Islamicterrorists.” Five other detainees will be tried before military commissions.New York TimesNew York TimesNew York TimesNew York TimesPresident Barack Obama traveled to Shanghai,China, where he addressed a town-hall meeting attended by members of the Chinese Communist Party Youth League, whose questions were pre-screened. The president described himself as “a big supporter of non-censorship.” The meeting, which the White House called the “marquee event” of Obama’s trip to China, was not mentioned in official Chinese government news broadcasts. References to Obama’s remarks on Chinese websites were removed within hours. Washington PostOfficers from Beijing’s Industry and Commerce Administration stopped the sale of “ObaMao” merchandise showing Obama dressed as Mao Zedong.Washington PostThe Republican National Committee said that its health-insurance plan would no longer pay for abortions.PoliticoThe Cheesecake Factory agreed to pay $345,000 to six male employees who were sexually harassed by other male employees, the number of Americans lacking dependable access to food reached its highest levels on record, and a New York woman who cut off her father’s penis and burned it on the stove began taking cooking classes in jail.The Arizona RepublicReport: More Americans going hungryNew York Daily News
Sarah Palin published a memoir, “Going Rogue,” in which she offered her views on evolution (“I didn’t believe in the theory that human beings–thinking, loving beings–originated from fish that sprouted legs and crawled out of the sea”), the war on terror (“I knew the history of the conflict, to the extent that most Americans did”), and political experience (“There’s no better training ground for politics than motherhood”).New York TimesScientists found water on the moon.New York TimesLou Dobbs left CNN, and families in Mexico were sending “reverse remittances” to support unemployed relatives in the United States.CBCNew York TimesA bomb-sniffing dog that went missing in action in Afghanistan more than a year ago after its handler was wounded in a gunfight was found by U.S. soldiers and returned to its Australian unit; Sabi, a black lab, is eligible for both the War Dog Operational Medal and the Canine Service Medal.CBCA Greek Orthodox priest in Tampa Bay was beaten with a tire iron by a Marine reservist whom he approached for directions. The reservist, Jasen Bruce, insisted that Father Alexios Marakis had made sexual advances and yelled “Allahu Akbar.” “That’s what they tell you right before they blow you up,” explained Bruce.St. Petersburg TimesGeneral Motors announced quarterly losses of more than $1 billion. “We’ve been encouraged by the results we’ve seen,” said CEO Fritz Henderson.Washington Post
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd issued a national apology for the country’s role in the forced migration throughout the Commonwealth from the 1930s to the 1970s of 150,000 poor British children, whose relocation was intended to relieve social-service costs in Britain and improve the “good white stock” of the Empire.The New York TimesGerman art collector Udo Fritz-Hermann granted his mistress custody of their daughter in exchange for the rights to two works by Damien Hirst, including a 20-foot-long pill cabinet entitled “In this terrible moment we are victims clinging helplessly to an environment that refuses to acknowledge the soul.”Bloomberg NewsWindow Media, the nation’s largest publisher of gay and lesbian newpapers, folded.Washington PostWorld leaders agreed not to agree to a comprehensive climate-change deal at next month’s Cophenhagen conference,New York Timesand Jeffrey “Matches” Boyle, who served two years of a six-year arson sentence for starting at least 20 fires, was granted a $50,000 annual pension by the Chicago fire department, from which he retired before beginning his prison term.Chicago TribuneA goat born with six legs, four testicles, and three penises was granted a reprieve from sacrifice in the Indian city of Varanasi. “I have seen goats with the name of Allah or the holy number 786 on their bodies,” said one resident, “but a goat with six legs is definitely unique and special.”The Times of India
More from Christopher Beha:
Commentary — May 22, 2015, 1:10 pm
Jonathan Chait’s flawed attack on David Bromwich’s critique of Barack Obama’s presidency
Freddie Grayâ€™s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the cityâ€™s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighborsâ€™ loud lovemaking.
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â€śMatt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'Iâ€™m glad everyoneâ€™s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supportsÂ my lifestyle.'â€ť