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Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley to become a Massachusetts senator, nabbing the seat previously held by Ted Kennedy and ending the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority. With his two daughters, Arianna, 19, and Ayla, 21, standing behind him, Brown (who once posed nude for Cosmopolitan) announced during his victory speech that both children were “available.” Brown then corrected himself after Ayla whispered into his ear: “Only kidding,” he said, “Arianna definitely is not available. But Ayla is!” New York TimesThe Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 116 points higher on the day of Brown’s win, a rise analysts attributed to relief from investors that health-care reform would be thwarted. MSNBCDemocratic senators and representatives were scrambling to find a way to push reforms forward, though many admitted that the health care bill was essentially dead. President Barack Obama said he understood why people “were all in a tizzy trying to figure out what this means for health reform” but did not suggest a plan.CNNHis administration decided that about 50 of the detainees being held at Guantanamo would be neither released nor tried, thereby continuing the imprisonment-without-trial policy established by the Bush Administration.New York TimesThe Supreme Court overturned two precedents to rule that the government cannot ban corporations from spending money in political elections. “While American democracy is imperfect,” Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in the dissent for the minority, “few outside the majority of this Court would have thought its flaws included a dearth of corporate money in politics.”Talking Points MemoRosie, now the oldest donkey in the world at age 55, was sickly, and may not survive this year’s harsh British winter.Belper News
A day after an 84-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man were pulled alive from rubble, and 11 days after a 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti, the Haitian government ended search-and-rescue operations. At least 150,000 people were now thought to have died in Port-au-Prince alone (with a countrywide total perhaps double that number); 132 people have been rescued, including an infant who spent one week–half her life–buried. One thousand mourners gathered near the ruins of Port-au-Prince’s Roman Catholic Cathedral for the funeral of Haitian Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot, who died in the quake, and a New Mexico Christian group sent 600 solar-powered audio Bibles, a device called The Proclaimer, to broadcast scriptures in Creole. BBCThe GuardianABC NewsCNN Chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta was left the only doctor at a Haitian field hospital after the U.N. forced a Belgian medical team to evacuate; Anderson Cooper was filmed carrying a bleeding boy away from a crowd of looters after the boy was struck in the head by a concrete block; and the media questioned whether it was appropriate for journalists in Haiti to be wearing tight T-shirts on air.CNNYou TubeNew York TimesResearchers found that, except for their time at school, American children spend almost every waking moment (more than 7.5 hours a day) using an electronic device,New York Timesand a British study revealed that rickets was on the rise among children because they do not spend enough time outdoors.BreitbartA 42-year-old man died of stroke after becoming over-excited while watching the film “Avatar,”News.com.auand to commemorate the death of its founder, Glenn Bell, Jr., Taco Bell displayed on its website a packet of Border Sauce marked “Filled with Sadness.”New York Times
The lone bookstore in Laredo, Texas, closed,Time Magazineand a Georgia mother punished her 12-year-old son for his bad grades by forcing him to hammer to death his pet hamster. Atlanta Journal ConstitutionErich Segal, the author of “Love Story,” who coined the phrase “Love means not ever having to say you’re sorry,” died of a heart attack, as did “Spenser” crime novelist Robert Parker, whose body was found at his writing desk. “He loved doughnuts,” his agent said.New York TimesNew York TimesA popular British health club released an ad warning “fatties” that they would be the first to be eaten by aliens.AnanovaMoments before Gillian Cooke, a British bobsledder who will compete in the Winter Olympics, jumped into her sled during a World Championship event, her suit split open and revealed her buttocks.AnanovaA visitor to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art tripped and fell into Pablo Picasso’s “The Actor,” causing a six-inch tear to the canvas. Daily NewsThe saltmarsh sparrow was found to the be the most promiscuous bird in the world,BBCand a pair of swans stunned staff at a British wildfowl sanctuary by becoming only the second couple in 40 years to divorce. BBCTo dispose of the elderly, Martin Amis, age 60, called for euthanasia booths “on every corner where you could get a martini and a medal,”The Guardianand scientists concluded that engineers could learn from slime. BBC
More from Claire Gutierrez:
Amount New York City spends each year on air, bus, and train tickets to send homeless people out of town:
The Laboratory of Neurophenomics described a possible blood test for suicide.â€śSuicide,â€ť said the laboratoryâ€™s director, â€śis a big problem in psychiatry.â€ť
In Colombia, U.N. delegates sent to serve as impartial observers of the peace process aimed at ending the half-century-long war between the FARC and the Colombian government were chastised after they were filmed dancing and getting drunk with FARC fighters at a New Yearâ€™s Eve party.
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"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of oneâ€™s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many timesâ€”in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."