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A bomb exploded at the Norwegian capitol building in Oslo, killing eight people. Hours later, a gunman opened fire at an island camp for young members of Norway’s ruling Labor Party, killing another 76, many of them teenagers. Police took into custody 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik, who claimed responsibility for both attacks. “We are not sure whether he was alone or had help,” said a Norwegian police official. “What we know is that he is right-wing and a Christian fundamentalist.” On the day of the attack, Breivik posted online a 1,500-page manifesto entitled “2083: A European Declaration of Independence,” in which he claimed membership in a militant group that planned to “seize political and military control of Western European countries and implement a cultural conservative political agenda.” The document, which describes a 2002 meeting in London to re-establish the Knights Templar and begin a new Crusade against Muslims, borrows from the writings of the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, and quotes extensively from anti-Muslim American bloggers. Breivik’s manifesto also criticizes the feminization of European males as paving the way for the Islamization of the continent. “The female manipulation of males has been institutionalised during the last decades,” he wrote, adding that in the “destructive and suicidal Sex and the City lifestyle (modern feminism, sexual revolution) â?Š men are not men anymore, but metro sexual and emotional beings that are there to serve the purpose as a never-criticising soul mate to the new age feminist woman goddess.”BBC NewsVoice of AmericaNewserNew York TimesNew York TimesThe Daily BeastNew York State approved its first same-sex marriages under a marriage-equality bill passed last month. In New York City, 659 couples received marriage licenses and 483 were wed. “We feel a little more human today,” said Ray Durand, 68, after marrying his longtime partner. Said Democratic State Senator Ruben DĂaz Sr. at a rally protesting the new law, “Today, we start the war.”New York Times
Negotiations collapsed between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner on a deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling before the U.S. Treasury runs out of money. As described by Obama, the deal would have cut discretionary spending by more than $1 trillion and entitlement programs by $650 billion, and would have added $1.2 trillion in revenue from the elimination of tax loopholes and deductions. “Itâ??s hard to understand why Speaker Boehner would walk away from this kind of deal,” Obama said. Boehner countered that “the White House moved the goal posts” by asking for “more money at the last minute â?? and the only way to get that extra revenue was to raise taxes.”Washington PostNew York TimesThe United Nations declared a famine in southern Somalia, where drought has destroyed the past two harvests.Voice of America“Rehab” singer Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London home at age 27, British portraitist Lucian Freud died at age 88, and an asthmatic South African man presumed dead by his family woke up after nearly 24 hours in the morgue and called out for help, leading two mortuary attendants to flee the building because they thought they’d heard a ghost.CBS NewsThe TelegraphThe Cape TimesA man opened fire during his son’s 11th birthday party at a roller skating rink in Grand Prairie, Texas, killing his estranged wife and four members of her family before taking his own life, and a leopard mauled 11 people in a village in the Indian state of West Bengal.The Seattle TimesAssociated Press
Two former News International executives claimed that James Murdoch had lied in his presentation before Parliament about the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. “It now seems to be everyone for themselves,” said Labour MP Paul Farrelly. “Theyâ??re all fighting like rats in a sack.”New York TimesKorean scientists determined that the shaking of a Seoul skyscraper, which shut down the building for two days, was caused not by an earthquake but by a Tae Bo class in the buildingâ??s gym; violent winds in Australia caused waterfalls south of Sydney to flow upward into the air; and Bob Dylan’s grandson, Pablo, released a rap single. “I mean, really, my grandfather,” said Pablo, “I consider him the Jay-Z of his time.”San Francisco GateBBC NewsThe AwlResidents of Arizona objected to recent dust storms being referred to by meteorologists as “haboobs.” “While other countries in the world may call them that, this is the United States,” wrote one reader of the Arizona Republic. “This is Arizona, not some Middle Eastern nation.”New York TimesArizona Republic
More from Christopher Beha:
From the Vault — February 7, 2014, 3:15 pm
Is it worth carrying on with the Olympic Games?
Acres of hemp grown by âpatrioticââ U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peruâs 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading âtime for changeâ near the ancient sand drawings. âWe fully understand,â the group wrote in a statement, âthat this looks bad.â
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âI hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y.Â M.Â C.Â A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.â