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Throughout the Middle East, revolutionaries and rulers struggled against one another. In Libya, the arrest of human-rights activist Fathi Terbil sparked antigovernment protests, prompting 20,000 people to gather in the city of Benghazi. Col. Muammar Qaddafi’s security forces killed at least 200 of them, including many who were participating in funeral processions for protesters killed earlier in the week. Qaddafiâ??s son, Seif al-Islam Qaddafi, appeared on state television to warn Libyans that any escalation in the uprising would result in civil war. “I’m not afraid to die,” Terbil said. “I’m afraid to lose the battle.”CSMCNNGuardianNYTShortly after the speaker of Iran’s parliament called events in Egypt an “alarm bell for despotic leaders,” the Iranian government banned rallies, placed opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi under house arrest, and deployed 30,000 Basij to Tehran. The Basij killed one demonstrator who turned up despite the ban.CNNWSJHaaretzDaily TimesYemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh blamed protests in his country (the region’s poorest) on a “foreign agenda” and “a conspiracy against Yemen.”ReutersFTSix people died in Bahrain before protesters gained control of Pearl Square. Saudi Arabian leadership said that if the Bahraini conflict was not resolved soon it would offer “all its capabilities” to the Bahraini royal family.CSMWPTens of thousands of Moroccans organized via social-networking sites to call for constitutional reform, and an Egyptian man named his firstborn daughter “Facebook.”BBCHaaretz
Fourteen Democratic Wisconsin state senators fled Wisconsin in order to prevent a vote on a bill that would eliminate collective-bargaining rights for most government workers. In response, the Tea Party organized an anti-union rally. “We see this as the opening salvo of the 2012 election season,” said rally organizer Drew Ryun. “And we like the odds.”Chicago TribuneMSNBCLATThe House voted to cut funding Planned Parenthood, and, after much discussion, South Dakota legislators tabled a bill that would label a homicide justifiable if committed in defense of an unborn child.WPNYTIn his first for-publication interview since his arrest, Bernie Madoff revealed that numerous banks and hedge funds were complicit in his Ponzi scheme. “The attitude was sort of, ‘If you’re doing something wrong, we don’t want to know,’” Madoff said.NYTHasbro unveiled the next version of Monopoly, in which player negotiations, banknotes, dice, and the rulebook have been replaced by a computer tower in the middle of the board. “If you’re not having to read as much,” said Hasbro executive Jane Ritson-Parsons, “you are all chatting more.”NYTBorders filed for bankruptcy.NYT
The Colombian navy seized a 100-foot submarine built to smuggle cocaine to Mexico, and two Alabama construction workers stole 48 pounds of marijuana while renovating the evidence vault of a local police station.BBCTimes DailyScientists determined that the use of ecstasy does not impair cognitive ability, that calorie indicators on fast-food menus do not affect minors’ selections, and that the solar system probably has nine planets after all.CBCABCExaminerA rare freeze in Mexico doubled the cost of U.S. tomatoes, and gorillas were found to lose weight after switching to a salad diet.WSJScience DailySheyla Hershey, whose fake breasts were the worldâ??s largest before doctors had to remove the implants, attempted suicide the night before she was scheduled to have an operation to return her to a size KKK.SunWatson, an IBM-designed supercomputer, beat Ken Jennings on “Jeopardy.” “I for one welcome our new computer overlords,” Jennings wrote in his answer to Final Jeopardy.WSjThe Vatican cautioned against beatification-ceremony ticket scalpers, the Department of Homeland Security accidentally shut down 84,000 innocuous websites as part of a child-pornography sting, and the father of the 5 Browns, a quintet of classical pianists, pleaded guilty to the sodomy and sexual abuse of his three daughters.Vatican RadioTIMESalt Lake TribuneGawkerThe lawyer for a Connecticut man accused of sexually assaulting a horse complained that the case was overhyped. “If this was a guy and a sheep in Litchfield,” he said, “this would not have gotten nearly the media attention it has.”Greenwich Time
More from Justin Stone:
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word â€śhallwayâ€ť must have a nautical name. Why didnâ€™t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet heâ€™d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands theyâ€™d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you donâ€™t belong to, that doesnâ€™t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isnâ€™t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members â€” because ocean life pays better than money! â€” who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Number of people stopped and frisked by the NYPD in 2011 for â€śfurtive movementsâ€ť:
The faces of Lego people were growing angrier.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature