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An 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck central Chile, killing at least 700 people and displacing more than 2 million. At least 100 aftershocks followed, including one that measured 6.1 on the Richter scale, and a Pacific-wide tsunami alert was issued for the first 24 hours after the quake. A four-inch wave struck Japan.New York TimesHeavy downpours (beginning several weeks before Haiti’s traditional rainy season) triggered floods that killed at least eight Haitians; storm system Xynthia killed more than 45 people in Portugal, Spain,Germany, and France; and following a blizzard that left New York City covered with more than 2 feet of snow, a 46-year-old busboy was killed when a snow-laden tree branch snapped and fell on his head. BBCBBCNew York TimesThe five-story-tall Taylor Glacier in Antarctica was spewing a blood-red waterfall.Good BlogDemocrats and Republicans met for the first-ever health-care summit, a televised event that ran well past its scheduled six hours and in which lawmakers, led by President Barack Obama, debated the merits of health-care legislation. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) complained that Democrats were being given more time to speak, a point Obama conceded. “You’re right,” he said, “there was an imbalance on the opening statements because I’m the president.”Washington PostSenator John Barrasso (R., Wyo.), an orthopedic surgeon, argued that the public would make better health-care decisions if citizens had catastrophic coverage that required them to pay for most health services out of pocket. “Would you feel the same way if you were making $40,000?” asked President Obama.Talking Points MemoCalifornia’s state assembly passed a resolution to make the first week of March a “cuss-free” week.Mercury News
A new jobs bill, calling for tax exemptions for businesses and $20 billion in transportation funds, passed in the Senate with the support of many Republican senators, including the newly elected Scott Brown of Massachusetts, and was sent to the House.Talking Points MemoThe Senate failed, however, to extend unemployment benefits for 1.2 million Americans who are set to lose them next month, an outcome in large part due to Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning’s blocking of the vote during a debate that went until midnight. Complained Bunning: “I have missed the Kentucky – South Carolina game that started at 9:00.”Time MagazineTwo thousand federal transportation workers were furloughed without pay.APScientists determined that a mid-day nap boosts learning power.BBCFormer president George W. Bush, who was scheduled to reunite with Dick Cheney at the inaugural breakfast for the Bush – Cheney Alumni Association, instead visited the former vice president at his home after Cheney’s fifth heart attack left him incapacitated. “Lookin’ good,” Bush told Cheney.Huffington PostLater, at the Alumni Association event, Bush commented on his legacy, telling attendees, “No Child Left Behind was the most advanced civil rights legislation since the Voting Rights Act.”PoliticoCalifornia’s Negrohead Mountain (whose original name was changed in the 1960s to make it less offensive) was renamed Ballard Mountain, after John Ballard, a blacksmith and former slave.BBCA British man admitted to beheading his family’s slave.BBCOne of Marie Osmond’s eight children committed suicide,.New York Timesand Lieutenant Kermit Tyler, the Army pilot who said, “Don’t worry about it,” when servicemen told him on December 7, 1941, that a large squadron of planes was approaching Hawaii, died. New York TimesResearchers reported that 74-year-old people are the happiest.Ananova
In search of a signature stench for its SAW Alive (billed as the world’s most extreme live-action horror maze), a British theme park was offering a $500 cash prize to the person who submitted the foulest-smelling urine sample.AnanovaA Florida woman live-tweeted her abortion. “Definitely bleeding now,” read one tweet.ABC NewsScientists discovered the first monogamous amphibian, the mimic poison frog. BBCAn Italian chef’s television show was canceled after he shared a recipe for cat, telling viewers that the feline meat could be tenderized by running spring water over it for three days,CNNA California grandmother survived being shot in the chest at close range when the bullet became lodged in her size-D breast implants,Ananovaand Samantha Lynn Frazier, a thirty-five-year-old woman on vacation in Atlantic City, survived being shot in the abdomen because of her love handles. “I’d been hollering how I want to lose weight,” she said. “I don’t want to lose weight anymore. I want to be as big as I can if it’s going to stop a bullet.”Press of Atlantic CityWhile audiences watched, a 40-year-old Sea World trainer drowned after Tilikum, a 22-foot orca that has been linked to two other deaths, pulled the woman into the water. “This,” said Richard Ellis, a marine conservationist, “was premeditated.”BBCTime Magazine
More from Claire Gutierrez:
Flor Arely SĂˇnchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San JuliĂˇn region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases â€” first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didnâ€™t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Amount the town of Rolfe, Iowa, will pay anyone who builds a home there:
Ancient Egyptians worshiped some dwarves as gods.
In Italy, a judge ordered that a man who paid for sex with a 15-year-old girl must buy her 30 feminist-themed books, including The Diary of Anne Frank and the poems of Emily Dickinson.
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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