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Today, prosecutors tried to introduce a document from actress, Mia Farrow, alleging that supermodel Naomi Campbell had informed her that Mr. Taylor had sent his men to give her a rough-cut diamond after they had all attended a dinner that was hosted by former South African President, Nelson Mandela. Defense lawyers for Mr. Taylor objected to the use of the document, arguing that while the document was a declaration made by Ms. Farrow to Special Court for Sierra Leone prosecutor, Nicholas Koumjian, there is nothing indicating that the declaration was made under oath or whether it was a sworn affidavit. Mr. Taylor’s lead defense counsel, Courtenay Griffiths, further stated that Ms. Farrow’s declaration that certain guests at the dinner, including Mrs. Mandela, raised concern about the presence of Mr. Taylor at the dinner, meant that the document was prejudicial, and that the best person to have made any statement about the transfer of the the diamond would have been Ms. Campbell herself, not a third party. Mr. Griffiths called the document “third-hand hearsay.” –“Judges Order That Prosecutors Cannot Use New Documents Alleging That Charles Taylor Gave Sierra Leone’s Blood Diamonds To Supermodel Naomi Campbell,” Alpha Sesay, The Trial of Charles Taylor
Throughout the book, adopt a sotto voice, in conspiracy with the reader, and a sad I-expected-so-much tone. Establish early on that your liberalism is impeccable, and mention near the beginning how much you love Africa, how you fell in love with the place and can’t live without her. Africa is the only continent you can love—take advantage of this. If you are a man, thrust yourself into her warm virgin forests. If you are a woman, treat Africa as a man who wears a bush jacket and disappears off into the sunset. Africa is to be pitied, worshipped or dominated. Whichever angle you take, be sure to leave the strong impression that without your intervention and your important book, Africa is doomed. –“How to Write about Africa,” Binyavanga Wainaina, Granta (2005)
What I should really do is just commit suicide. I have this little Sunday ritual I started around the time I publicly compared the torture at Abu Ghraib to a fraternity prank, where I climb into my Jacuzzi and put a gun in my mouth. But I can never work up the guts to pull the trigger. A few times I came close to overdosing on prescription pain pills, but my goddamn doctors were always there to save me. If I had any sense, I would just hole myself up in a Red Roof Inn with a case of Jack Daniel’s and slowly drink myself into the gaping maw of death itself. –“I Don’t Even Want To Be Alive Anymore,” by “Rush Limbaugh,” The Onion
Estimated percentage of U.S. gasoline consumption that occurs during traffic jams:
In India, 1.8 million female children were estimated to have died between 1985 and 2005 as an indirect result of domestic violence against their mothers; the boys of abused mothers were not at increased risk of death.
Vanilla latte and lemon pound cake continued to be the best-selling items at the Starbucks at CIA headquarters, where baristas do not write customers’ names on their cups.
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”