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The “News of the World,” a British tabloid, was shuttered amid a police investigation into allegations its journalists had hacked into the cell phones of as many as 7,000 people, including politicians, celebrities, and murder victims. Two former editors were arrested, owner Rupert Murdoch called the scandal “deplorable,” and a disgruntled staffer told the paperâ??s former editor in chief, Rebekah Brooks, that sheâ??d “toxified” the publication. Crossword clues in the paperâ??s final edition included the terms “Brook,” “stink,” “catastrophe,” “criminal enterprise,” “string of recordings,” “will fear new security measure,” “digital protection,” and “mix in prison.”CNNGuardianAtlanticTelegraph (London)A computer virus attached to a post claiming to show Casey Anthony confessing to her lawyer circulated on Facebook after Anthony was acquitted in Florida of the murder of her two-year-old daughter, Caylee. In letters to a fellow inmate, Anthony told of wanting to shop at Target and have more children upon her release. “Iâ??ve thought about adopting, which even sounds weird to me saying it, but there are so many children that deserve to be loved,” Anthony wrote. “Letâ??s make a deal? Letâ??s get pregnant together?”SnopesCNNFox NewsRepublican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann signed a pledge to defend traditional marriage values, fight pornography, and find a cure for homosexuality, and in Mexico, a woman on a conjugal visit was caught attempting to smuggle her husband out of prison in a wheeled suitcase.Daily BeastBBC
ABC announced that its recently canceled soap operas “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” will continue online; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the national unemployment rate had risen to 9.2 percent, its highest level this year; and Interim Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. announced that Atlanta schools would create a “more open, transparent and empowering culture” after educators across the city were found to have been complicit in changing wrong answers on standardized tests.Wall Street JournalWashington PostCNN.comChinese authorities blocked Web searches for the Yangtze River, and a 50-mile-wide haboob blacked out the sky over Phoenix.Wall Street JournalHuffington PostA boat sank off the coast of Sudan, killing some 200 migrants; a riverboat sank on the Volga River in Russia, killing at least 125 people; and in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, one train collided with a bus returning from a wedding party, killing at least 35, while another derailed, killing at least 65. Militants bombed a train in the Indian state of Assam, injuring at least 90, and in Pakistan, nearly 100 Karachi residents were killed in politically and ethnically targeted assassinations.BBCNew York TimesGuardianNew York TimesTelegraph (Calcutta)Washington PostFollowing decades of civil war, the oil-rich region of South Sudan split off from the North to form the worldâ??s newest country. “There is nothing bad in the future,” said Gabriel Yaac, a Southerner, while Mariam al-Mahdi, a spokeswoman for the UMMA party in the North, said, “This overwhelming of sorrow, of sadness is wrapping around us. I cannot put my feelings into words. It is beyond expression. I am in a vacuum. I want to go into hibernation.”Reuters via Globe and Mail
A stolen Slovenian bear cub named Lucky was recovered and sent to a Romanian orphanage, the lineage of polar bears was traced back to a female brown bear who lived 20,000 to 50,000 years ago in Ireland, and a man was killed by a mother grizzly in Yellowstone National Park. The U.S. government said it would stop protecting Wyoming wolves, and rangers at Yosemite National Park cracked down on campsite scalping.BBCWiredNew York TimesNew York TimesNPR.orgPyeongchang, South Korea, won the 2018 Winter Olympics, and the countryâ??s prosecutors indicted 46 soccer players on charges of match-fixing.Washington PostNew York TimesAstronomers analyzed photos of Saturn from NASAâ??s “Cassini” probe, which showed a storm whose surface area was eight times that of Earth, as well as other unique, long-lasting weather patterns. “Cassini,” said one of the scientists, “shows us that Saturn is bipolar.”NASAIn Belarus, a one-armed protester was arrested for clapping. Svetlana Kalinkina, a Belarusian newspaper editor, said the case is not the first of its kind: “There was one case where a deaf and mute person was accused of shouting antigovernmental slogans. Miracles happen in our courts.”Christian Science Monitor
More from J Gabriel Boylan:
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in Californiaâs ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as âinvasive,â âexotic,â âalienâ â all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as âindigenously Californianâ elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a âhome without its mother.â Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the âworldâs biggest selfies,â and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
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âShelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.â