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After eating a bowl of oatmeal and drafting ten talking points, Senator Bernie Sanders (Ind., Vt.) spoke for nine hours in opposition to the tax-cut deal struck between President Obama and congressional Republicans. “We should be embarrassed,” he said, “that we are for one second talking about a proposal that gives tax breaks to billionaires while we are ignoring the needs of working families, low-income people and the middle class.”WPCBSNYTMark Madoff, son of Bernard L. Madoff, hanged himself in his Manhattan apartment while his toddler slept in a nearby bedroom; court documents filed last year suggest that Mark Madoff made almost $67 million through his father’s Ponzi scheme.NYTWikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in London on charges of sexual assault. “That sounds like good news to me,” said U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.AP via WPState Department cables leaked this week revealed that Saudi media executives, over coffee in a Jeddah Starbucks, extolled the power of American television in the fight against Islamic extremism, while Saudi diplomats expressed their admiration for the movies Insomnia and Michael Clayton.GuardianTaymour Abdelwahab, a Swedish citizen, set off a car bomb and then blew himself up in Stockholm on Saturday, injuring two in what authorities believe was a botched attempt at a larger attack, and imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Online discussion of the chair symbolizing his absence from the ceremony in Oslo prompted authorities in China to censor the phrases “empty chair,” “empty seat,” “empty stool” and “empty table” from the country’s major social networking sites.AFPTelegraphTelegraph
Sarah Palin made a brief trip to Haiti, Halliburton prepared a plea bargain in a $180 billion Nigerian corruption case against Dick Cheney, and the Federal Aviation Administration announced that a third of all United States aircraft had “questionable” registration. “Anybody with a roll of duct tape can put any number they want on an airplane,” said a pilot whose tail number was replicated by cocaine traffickers.TimeGlobalpostAP via CNBCTo celebrate the Dutch holiday of Sinterklaasvond, Saint Nicholas appeared in street parades with the Zwarte Pieten (“Black Peters”), a gaggle of “assistants” wearing blackface and Afro wigs.Deutsche WelleA judge in Massachusetts ruled that prosecutors in a manslaughter trial could display video of an eight-year-old boy accidentally shooting himself in the head with an Uzi submachine gun.AP via Boston GlobeEbizo Ichikawa XI, one of Japan’s preeminent Kabuki performers, apologized for participating in a drunken bar brawl. Fans of the actor, whose left cheekbone was fractured in the fight, worried that the injury might mar his nirami, a signature cross-eyed glare for which the Ichikawa family is famous. AP via MSNBCGuardian
Researchers discovered that gambling behavior is “intensified by reptile-induced arousal.”NCBIPaleontologists on the island of Flores uncovered the fossilized remains of a giant marabou stork, which stood 6 feet tall and may have preyed on Homo floresiensis, a hobbit-sized hominid.BBCA bird doctor in Nashville donned a billowy white suit in order to tend to an injured whooping crane. “You learn very quickly how to communicate dressed as a marshmallow,” he said.TennesseanOperation MigrationChineseconservationists in Sichuan Province reached their goal of breeding 300 pandas in captivity, despite the fact that pandas have disproportionately small penises, show poor knowledge of the only position in which they can successfully copulate, and are capable of conceiving for a maximum of one day a year.BBCTelegraphNear Montana’s Scape Goat Wilderness Area, a “very secluded” parcel of land that once belonged to Unabomber Ted Kaczynski went on sale for $69,500.CBSNorthwest NationalPhysicists began putting the finishing touches on the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica, where they hope blue flashes from muons will help them triangulate the origins of neutrinos. “If IceCube observes separated pairs of particles, they might be supersymmetric,” said one researcher. “That would be extremely exciting.”Pop SciEmails released by the California Department of Corrections described officials’ attempts to procure sodium thiopental, a drug used in lethal injections. They eventually borrowed some from Arizona. “You guys in AZ are life savers,” wrote one prison official. “Buy you a beer next time I get that way.”AP via WP
More from Anthony Lydgate:
Weekly Review — April 8, 2014, 8:00 am
Afghanistan votes, the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of wealthy political donors, and China standardizes its petsÂ
Weekly Review — February 25, 2014, 8:00 am
Upheaval in Ukraine, yobbery in the United Kingdom, and a historic douche in the United States
For the past three years my dosimeter had sat silently on a narrow shelf just inside the door of a house in Tokyo, upticking its final digit every twenty-four hours by one or two, the increase never failing â€” for radiation is the ruthless companion of time. Wherever we are, radiation finds and damages us, at best imperceptibly. During those three years, my American neighbors had lost sight of the accident at Fukushima. In March 2011, a tsunami had killed hundreds, or thousands; yes, they remembered that. Several also recollected the earthquake that caused it, but as for the hydrogen explosion and containment breach at Nuclear Plant No. 1, that must have been fixed by now â€” for its effluents no longer shone forth from our national news. Meanwhile, my dosimeter increased its figure, one or two digits per day, more or less as it would have in San Francisco â€” well, a trifle more, actually. And in Tokyo, as in San Francisco, people went about their business, except on Friday nights, when the stretch between the Kasumigaseki and Kokkai-Gijido-mae subway stations â€” half a dozen blocks of sidewalk, which commenced at an antinuclear tent that had already been on this spot for more than 900 days and ended at the prime ministerâ€™s lair â€” became a dim and feeble carnival of pamphleteers and Fukushima refugees peddling handicrafts.
One Friday evening, the refugeesâ€™ half of the sidewalk was demarcated by police barriers, and a line of officers slouched at ease in the street, some with yellow bullhorns hanging from their necks. At the very end of the street, where the National Diet glowed white and strange behind other buildings, a policeman set up a microphone, then deployed a small video camera in the direction of the muscular young people in drums against fascists jackets who now, at six-thirty sharp, began chanting: â€śWe donâ€™t need nuclear energy! Stop nuclear power plants! Stop them, stop them, stop them! No restart! No restart!â€ť The police assumed a stiffer stance; the drumming and chanting were almost uncomfortably loud. Commuters hurried past along the open space between the police and the protesters, staring straight ahead, covering their ears. Finally, a fellow in a shabby sweater appeared, and murmured along with the chants as he rounded the corner. He was the only one who seemed to sympathize; few others reacted at all.
Number of U.S. congressional districts in which trade with China has produced more jobs than it has cost:
Young bilingual children who learned one language first are likelier than monolingual children and bilingual children who learned languages simultaneously to say that a dog adopted by owls will hoot.
An Oklahoma legislative committee voted to defund Advanced Placement U.S. History courses, accusing the curriculum of portraying the United States as â€śa nation of oppressors and exploiters.â€ť
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â€śHe could be one of a million beach-bound, black-socked Florida retirees, not the man who, by some odd happenstance of life, possesses the brain of Albert Einstein â€” literally cut it out of the dead scientist's head.â€ť