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In Shabqadar, Pakistan, two men approached a group of paramilitary cadets and blew themselves up, riddling the crowd with ball bearings and killing sixty-six members of the Frontier Constabulary, many of whom had recently graduated. The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, calling it retribution for the assassination of Osama bin Laden.GuardianFive days after Israelis celebrated their independence day, Palestinian protesters in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, and the West Bank commemorated the Nakba, or catastrophe, the displacement of Palestians from their land. In Syria, the Nakba protests briefly overshadowed uprisings against the Assad regime, which continued its campaign of violent crackdowns and mass arrests. “We donâ??t know where weâ??re going,” said one Syrian dissident. “We donâ??t know whatâ??s next.”WPNYTGuardianNYTFor the first time in nearly four decades, officials in Louisiana opened the Morganza Spillway, a network of locks and levees, hoping to prevent flooding in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and other cities farther down the swollen Mississippi River. It was estimated that more than four-fifths of the land in Yazoo County, Mississippi, would be inundated at a time when the regionâ??s cash cropsâ??soy, cotton, corn, and riceâ??are already in the ground. “Iâ??m staying here until water comes up the driveway,” said Bob Cato, a retired civil engineer. “Iâ??m too old to start over.”AP via LATChristian Science Monitor
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the head of the International Monetary Fund and a prominent member of the French Socialist Party, was pulled off an Air France flight minutes before departure and taken to Harlem, where he was booked by the Manhattan Special Victims Unit for allegedly forcing a hotel maid to perform fellatio on him. “Iâ??m convinced of an international plot,” said Michelle Sabban, a political ally of Strauss-Kahn. “Everyone knows his weakness is seduction, women. Thatâ??s how they got him.”New YorkerNYTLe MondeAFP via Le FigaroThe Senate Ethics Committee released a report on its investigation of John Ensign, describing one case in which the former Nevada senator had to be talked out of adultery by his “spiritual advisor,” Tim Coe. “I know exactly where you are. I know exactly what you are doing,” Coe reportedly told Ensign over the phone. “Put your pants on and go home.”Las Vegas Review-JournalU.S. SenateRaj Rajaratnam, founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund, was found guilty on fourteen counts of securities fraud. The three male prosecutors, according to juror Leila Gonzalez Gorman, were “all hot,” and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who testified in the case, wore a “cute little smirk” and a “painted-on smile.”NYTNYTIt was reported that Iceland had entered a period of national soul-searching in the aftermath of its financial collapse. “Knitting is the opposite of idolizing money,” said Ragga Eiriksdottir, a former sex columnist who now knits professionally. “People are also making jam,” said another Icelander. NYT
The Taurus constellation experienced an intense flareup in its Crab Nebula, New Jersey scientists observed women masturbating inside MRI machines, Werner Herzog called for a holy war against yoga, and officials in Orlando made power from feces.Science DailyNew ScientistGQOrlando Sentinel via Palm Beach PostEnglish birders waited anxiously for the results of the latest bird census, hoping it would explain a baffling explosion in the number of rose-ringed parakeets, which they fear may displace native species. “I saw one have it in with a jackdaw,” said graduate student Hannah Peck. “The jackdaw lost.”NYTA pallid harrier named Victoria was one of twenty-two protected birds injured during Maltaâ??s hunting season, an annual fifteen-day spree that takes place in contravention of the European Union Birds Directive. The bird was flown to Berlin for emergency medical care.Der SpiegelIn Cologne, a seal named Henry was able to detect fish over three hundred feet away using just his whiskers, a skill scientists tested by fitting him with an eye mask and noise-canceling headphones.BBCLive ScienceIn DĂĽsseldorf, Azeri musicians Ell and Nikki won the annual Eurovision Song Contest, handily beating Finnish singer-songwriter Paradise Oskar, transsexual Israeli diva Dana International, and a gnome-hatted, unicycling Moldovan ska band called Zdob si Zdub. “The result was a little bit unfair, but it’s okay,” said the Moldovans. “The most important thing is to show everyone that we exist.”GuardianEurovision
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
Flor Arely SĂˇnchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San JuliĂˇn region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases â€” first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didnâ€™t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Average amount of time a child spends in Santa Claus’s lap at Macy’s (in seconds):
Beer does not cause beer bellies.
Following the arrest of at least 10 clowns in Kentucky and Alabama, Tennesseans were warned that clowns could be â€śpredatorsâ€ť and Pennsylvanians were advised not to interact with what one police chief described as â€śknuckleheads with clown-like clothes on.â€ť
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â€śMatt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'Iâ€™m glad everyoneâ€™s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supportsÂ my lifestyle.'â€ť