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Former senator John Edwards was indicted for soliciting contributions to his 2008 presidential campaign that were intended for covering up his affair with Rielle Hunter and Hunter’s subsequent pregnancy. Edwards reportedly turned down a plea bargain that included up to six months of prison time. “We will not permit candidates for high office … to circumvent our election laws,” said Lanny A. Breuer, assistant attorney general for the Justice Departmentâ??s Criminal Division. “Itâ??s not illegal to be a pig,” said campaign-finance expert Brett Kappel. Washington PostAn Australian politician apologized for “meowing” at a female cabinet member during a senate debate; Representative Anthony Weiner (D., N.Y.) told reporters he couldn’t say “with certitude” that a close-up photograph of a man in underwear sent from his Twitter account to a female college student wasn’t of him, then later admitted it was; and scientists reported the discovery of a worm that lives close to a mile below the Earth’s surface. They named the creature, which is the deepest-living multicelled organism discovered to date, Halicephalobus mephisto, in honor of Mephistopheles. “We tried to get the title of the paper to be ‘Worms from Hell,’” said one of the scientists. “But Nature didn’t go for that.”Raleigh News-ObserverThe TelegraphCBS NewsNew York TimesChristian Science Monitor
Embattled Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh left for Saudi Arabia so he could be treated for injuries sustained during an attack on the presidential palace, raising hopes that he would agree to transfer power after more than three decades of autocratic rule. Antigovernment protesters celebrated in Sanaâ??a by setting off fireworks and slaughtering cows.New York TimesBritish intelligence announced that its operatives had sabotaged the launch of Inspire, an English-language magazine published by Al Qaeda supporters, by inserting cupcake recipes into an article on bomb-making.The GuardianHackers in China gained access to hundreds of email accounts, including the personal accounts of high-ranking U.S. government officials and military personnel, while U.S. hackers planted a story on PBS’s website claiming Tupac Shakur was alive and well and living in New Zealand. Washington PostThe TelegraphRussian prime minister Vladimir Putin released a report suggesting that sex-crime charges against former I.M.F. chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn were the result of a CIA conspiracy following Strauss-Kahn’s discovery that U.S. gold reserves at Fort Knox were “missing and/or unaccounted” for. “I cannot believe that it looks the way it was initially introduced,” said Putin. “It doesnâ??t sit right in my head.”EU TimesFourteen-year-old Sukanya Roy of South Abington Township, Pennsylvania, won the 84th Scripps National Spelling Bee by spelling the word “cymotrichous,” which means having wavy hair. ESPN
Thirty-two pregnant teenagers and a doctor were arrested on baby-trafficking charges after a raid on a clinic in Nigeria. The doctor is accused of taking in the pregnant teens, buying their babies for hundreds of dollars, and selling them to childless couples for thousands.ReutersA police detective in Zimbabwe was sentenced to ten days in jail for using President Robert Mugabe’s personal toilet, and Manal al-Sharif, a Saudi Arabian woman arrested for posting a video of herself driving a car on YouTube, was released after pledging not to get behind the wheel again or participate in further protests aimed at earning Saudi women the right to drive.GuardianThe GuardianJack “Dr. Death” Kevorkian, who participated in more than 130 assisted suicides before a 2000 murder conviction, died of natural causes at 83, and Queenie, the world’s only waterskiing elephant, was euthanized at 59. McKnight’sThe Guardian
More from Christopher Beha:
From the February 2015 issue
From the Vault — February 7, 2014, 3:15 pm
Is it worth carrying on with the Olympic Games?
Acreage of a Christian nudist colony under development in Florida:
Floridaâs wildlife officials decided to remove the manatee, which has a mild taste that readily adapts to recipes for beef, from the stateâs endangered-species list.
A 64-year-old mother and her 44-year-old son were arrested for running a gang that stole more than $100,000 worth of toothbrushes from Publix, Walmart, Walgreens, and CVS stores in Florida.
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âHe 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