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June became the deadliest month thus far for coalition forces in the Afghan war, with at least 80 killed, including 46 Americans. General Stanley McChrystal resigned in disgrace after a magazine article quoted him mocking the civilian leadership and revealing that his favorite beer is Bud Light Lime. President Barack Obama nominated General David Petraeus to replace McChrystal; anonymous sources in the Pentagon said that Petraeus would revise McChrystal’s policy of “courageous restraint,” which had been implemented to reduce the killing of Afghan civilians. Anonymous soldiers at one unnamed camp in Afghanistan rejoiced at the news of McChrystal’s departure. “I joined the Army,” explained one junior NCO, “to find and kill the people who blew up our buildings.” TelegraphLATStars and StripesNYTNYTWPA civilian employee of the U.S. Army was arrested in Weiden, Germany, after threatening to kill his neighbors for blowing their vuvuzelas too loudly during the Netherlandsâ??Cameroon World Cup game, and the Detroit Institute of Arts decided to sell an American flag carried by Custer’s troops at his last stand. AP via Stars and StripesDetroit Free Press
Sales of new homes had fallen 33 percent since last month; average 30-year fixed-mortgage rates fell to a record low of 4.69 percent; and it was revealed that 241 prison inmates serving life sentences had claimed and received first-time homebuyer tax credits. WaPoBloombergLATAP via GoogleThe U.S. House and Senate finalized a watered-down, 2,000-page financial-reform bill. The bill will limit investments in hedge funds and certain risky derivatives made by banks, which currently hold derivatives valued at $212.8 trillion. Banks and investors welcomed the bill, which analyst Dean Baker called “a fig leaf,” and the S&P’s 500 Financials Index rose 1.1 percent on the news.WPBloombergWSJCredit-default swaps on Greek government bonds hit a record high, and police arrested over 900 protestors at the G-20 summit in Toronto, after relatively light riots in which four police cars were burned. “This isn’t even a sideshow,” said John Kirton, director of the G20 Research Group at the University of Toronto, of the protests. “This is a Sunday picnic with a few bad elements.” Security arrangements at the summit were the most expensive in Canadian history, requiring a police force roughly five times as large as the one deployed at last year’s G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh. CNNToronto SunReutersDemocracy Now!National PostBloombergNYTNorth Korea claimed that the U.S. owed it $65 trillion, or roughly the value of global GDP, for damages relating to the Korean War, and Kellogg recalled 28 million boxes of cereal (with an “uncharacteristic wax-like off taste and smell”) that could cause diarrhea. AP via Stars and StripesNY Post
Confirmation hearings began for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.WaPoInfamous Jamaican drug lord Dudus Coke was arrested, despite being cunningly disguised in a black afro wig; a pink wig and women’s glasses were also found in his possession. NYTNYTSenator Robert Byrd (D., W.V.), the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history, died, as did Manute Bol, who was until 1993 the tallest player ever to play in the NBA. WaPoWaPoESPNAt Wimbledon, John Isner beat Nicolas Mahut in the longest tennis match ever, playing more than 183 games in 11 hours over the course of three days, then quickly lost his next match. “I just didn’t have much in the way of my legs,” said Isner. AP via YahooOscar, a British cat, mowed down last year by a combine harvester while napping, received new bionic feet. BBCGuardianBBCOil from the wellhead of BP’s exploded Deepwater Horizon rig made its first landfall on Mississippi shores, in the form of tar balls and so-called mousse patties, as Tropical Storm Alex threatened to spread oil and delay cleanup. Fresno BeeAlabama Press-RegisterThe House voted 420â??1 to give subpoena powers to a presidential commission investigating the spill, with Rep. Ron Paul (R., Tex.) casting the lone “no” vote, and it was revealed that New Orleans federal judge Martin Feldman, who recently struck down the Obama Administration’s moratorium on deep-water drilling, owned shares in at least 17 oil companies as of 2009. WSJLATConnie Everitt of Kitimat, near Vancouver, hit and killed a moose while driving to the hospital to visit her sister Studley, who was seriously injured when she hit and killed a pregnant moose last month. “My first thought was, ‘Are the moose going out [on a] hunting season for my family?’” she said. “So far, we win three because we got three of them dead.”The ProvinceThe poisonous wind on the exoplanet HD209458b continued to blow, according to scientists, at 3,000 to 6,000 miles per hour. BBC
More from Sam Stark:
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in Californiaâs ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as âinvasive,â âexotic,â âalienâ â all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as âindigenously Californianâ elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a âhome without its mother.â Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the âworldâs biggest selfies,â and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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âShelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.â