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In one of the largest spy swaps since the Cold War, ten Russian agents who pleaded guilty to espionage in the United States were flown to Vienna, where they were exchanged for four men who had been found guilty of spying for America and Britain. Asked whether the United States has any spies as “hot” as 28-year-old agent Anna Chapman, who was included in the swap, Vice President Joseph Biden said, “Let me be clear, it wasn’t my idea to send her back.”BBCBBCPresident Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Washington, D.C., where they agreed that, after repeated visits by Netanyahu to the United States, Obama would soon travel to Israel to “redress the balance.” The two men also said that peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians would resume before the current moratorium on settlement construction expired in September, though they did not offer a specific date.New York TimesNetanyahu’s security officials lost a suitcase at New York City’s JFK airport; it was found in Los Angeles, but four Glock 9mm handguns had disappeared. NBC New YorkNATO pilots mistakenly launched an air strike against Afghan soldiers who were trying to capture Taliban militants, killing five, and Iraqi government officials said that some 58,000 stray dogs in Baghdad had been poisoned or shot.New York TimesWashington PostA park in Los Angeles was closed after a squirrel tested positive for the Plague. All Headline News
Tar balls from BP’s exploded wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico washed onto a beach in Texas, the last of the five Gulf states to be affected by the spill, and oil kept gushing from the well as underwater robots worked to affix a new containment cap that BP claims will capture all the oil. “At this point,” said Louisiana charter-boat captain Keith Kennedy, “there have been so many ups and downs, disappointments, that everybody down here is like, ‘We’ll believe it when we see it.’”Time MagazineTalking Points MemoVisitors to the 150th anniversary exhibit of the Gloucester City Museum & Art Gallery lined up to see 1,000-year-old human feces, and a London art gallery was selling jars of jelly made from a strand of Princess Diana’s hair.GadlingOrange NewsScientists learned that the “mustache” worn by the male Molly fish in Mexico attracts females, who are sexually stimulated when the mustache is rubbed against their genitals, and that the erect penis of the giant squid is almost as long as its entire body.BBCA Georgia man was arrested for holding his mother hostage at gunpoint for six hours after she refused to do his ironing.Orange NewsPrince released his new album for free in the Saturday edition of Britain’s “Daily Mirror” to protest illegal downloads on the Internet. “The Internet’s like MTV,” said Prince. “At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated.”Daily MirrorThe Chinese Goat Horn Tree, in Saintfield, England, bloomed for the first time in 91 years.BBC
Spain defeated the Netherlands 1â??0 in overtime to become the 2010 World Cup champions. Paul, a psychic octopus housed in a German aquarium, correctly predicted the outcome by eating a mussel from a box marked with the Spanish flag. “We’re so proud of him,” said the aquarium’s manager. Police in Colombia seized a 14-inch World Cup trophy replica made from cocaine, and the United Arab Emirates’ General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments released a fatwa decreeing that, above 100 decibels, vuvuzelas are haraam.New York TimesThe GuardianTime MagazineBBCThe NationalLarge bombs exploded at a restaurant and a rugby club in Kampala, Uganda, killing at least 74 people watching the World Cup; a Somalian militia with links to Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attacks. WPIran’s Ministry of Culture released a catalogue of acceptable male hairstyles and warned barbers not to pluck men’s eyebrows. Christian Science MonitorWorkers in downtown Cleveland removed a 100-foot-tall billboard of LeBron James after the basketball player announced that to win a championship ring he would leave the Cavaliers to play for the Miami Heat. “Some people think,” wrote Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert in an open letter following the announcement, “they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.”WJACTVChicago Sun-TimesA 4′ 11” 31-year-old woman was arrested in Ohio after posing as Matt Abrams, a 14-year-old boy, to woo a teenage girl; scientists discovered that by deleting the FucM gene in female mice they could make the mice lesbians; and the British Supreme Court ruled that foreign homosexuals who cannot live openly in their home countries are entitled to asylum in the United Kingdom. “Just as male heterosexuals are free to enjoy themselves playing rugby, drinking beer, and talking about girls with their mates,” said the judge, “so male homosexuals are to be free to enjoy themselves going to Kylie concerts, drinking exotically colored cocktails, and talking about boys with their straight female mates.”New York Daily NewsThe TelegraphVoice of AmericaDaily Express
More from Claire Gutierrez:
Damages sought, in a defamation suit, by a Chicago landlord from a tenant who complained about mold via Twitter:
The British House of Lords voted to limit the right of parents to spank their children.
The Mall of America hired its first black Santa, a real estate company valued Mr. and Mrs. Clausâ€™s North Pole home at $656,957, and it was reported that the price of the gifts from â€śTwelve Days of Christmasâ€ť went up by more than $200 in 2016, to $34,363.49.
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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."