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An Afghan police officer assassinated Ahmed Wali Karzai, half brother of president Hamid Karzai and the de facto governor of Afghanistanâ??s Kandahar region, whom U.S. officials suspected of having connections to the opium trade. During a memorial service for Karzai at a local mosque, a suicide bomber detonated explosives hidden in his turban, killing three. Another suicide bomber killed a close aide to President Karzai. The United Nations reported that the first six months of this year have been the deadliest for civilians in Afghanistan since the U.S. invaded in 2001, and NATO representatives held a private ceremony in Bamiyan Province to begin handing over responsibility for the countryâ??s security to Afghan forces.New York TimesNew York TimesReutersIranian authorities arrested a female journalist for attempting to report on the Womenâ??s World Cup tournament, 41 pro-democracy protesters were killed during demonstrations in Syria, and 200 residents in Stony Stratford, England, lit cigarettes in protest of a new smoking ban. “If this new proposal in Stony goes through,” said the region’s European Union representative, “it will mean no more â??popping out for a smoke.â??”AFPBloombergBBCTwo top London police officers and two executives of News International, Rupert Murdochâ??s U.K. newspaper company, resigned amid accusations that its employees may have hacked into thousands of cell phones and bribed police for information. “We are sorry,” said Murdoch in a paid advertisement. The FBI launched an investigation into whether News Corporation, the parent company of News International and Fox News, hacked into the phones of 9/11 survivors.Los Angeles TimesNew York TimesGuardianCNNScientists found that alpha-male baboons are stressed out. LA Times
Congress failed to agree on a plan to avoid sending the United States into default. President Barack Obama warned that if the debt ceiling were not raised by August 2, checks for the 70 million Americans who receive government benefits might not be mailed out. “Donâ??t call my bluff,” Obama cautioned Republican leaders during the negotiations. “I donâ??t need to see markets drop 400 points,” said House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), “but Republicans may need to see markets drop 400 points.” New York Daily NewsDaily MailThe HillJournalists discovered that Republican presidential candidate Hermann Cain released a gospel album and that the former church of candidate Michelle Bachmann believes the pope to be the Antichrist.CBSRaw StoryLos Angelenos avoided Carmaggeddon; residents of Phonehenge West, a California shantytown started by a former telephone technician, were evicted; and Republicans from the stateâ??s southern inland campaigned for their counties to secede.New York timesAPNew York TimesA jury in San Francisco acquitted a man accused of possessing magic mushrooms after his lawyer successfully argued that he forgot they were in his backpack. “Some people think my argument was unique,” explained the attorney, “but it just seemed logical to me.”Raw StoryThe Mexican army found a 300-acre marijuana farm.BBC
Exorcists gathered in Poland for a conference on vampires and “the devilâ??s deceit.”Raw StoryAn Austrian Pastafarian won the right to wear a pasta strainer on his head in his driverâ??s license photo, and the body of the last heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire was buried in Vienna. His heart was buried in Budapest.Raw StoryBBCCanadians adopted seven dogs whoâ??d eaten their ownersâ?? remains.CBCTwo men were caught trying to steal an ATM from a brothel in Australia.Sydney Morning HeraldA 70-year-old prison chaplain was arrested for paying for oral sex from an inmate in New York.New York Daily NewsA drug-resistant gonorrhea superbug was reported to have been discovered in Japan, and Chinese beekeeper Wang Dalin won a bee-wearing competition by attracting 57 pounds of bees.New York TimesBBCA sheriff in St. Petersburg, Florida, planned to save $45,000 a year by no longer providing free underwear to male prisoners. “If inmates want to wear underwear in jail,” he explained, “they can buy it, just like hard-working Polk County citizens do.” According to a police spokeswoman, female inmates would continue to be granted five free pair.Raw Story
More from Genevieve Smith:
Chances that a deep breath inhaled today will contain a molecule from Julius Caesar’s dying breath:
Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences, by John Allen Paulos, Hill and Wang (N.Y.C.)
The earth once had three moons; the two lost moons may have crashed into the surviving moon, or been sucked into the sun, or flung out of the solar system to drift through deep space.
In Florida, an 87-year-old World War II veteran flying touch-and-go drills in a Cessna collided with an airborne skydiver. âThere was a âwoofâ sound,â said a witness, âlike falling on your face into your pillow.â
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âAmerican politics has often been an arena for angry minds.â