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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:
Chances that a Soviet woman’s first pregnancy will end in abortion:
Peaceful fungus-farming ants are sometimes protected against nomadic raider ants by sedentary invader ants.
In San Antonio, a 150-pound pet tortoise knocked over a lamp, igniting a mattress fire that spread to a neighborâ€™s home.
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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."