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Violence broke out between Israel and Gaza following an ambush near the Egyptian border that killed eight Israelis, six of them civilians. After retaliatory air strikes killed an estimated 15 people in Gaza and militants fired dozens of rockets into southern Israel, Hamas declared that all Palestinian groups had agreed to a cease-fire, including the Popular Resistance Committees, which claimed responsibility for further rocket attacks a few hours later. “If they will cease fire, there will be a cease-fire,” said Israeli president Shimon Peres.APThe Libyan forces who have been trying since mid-February to overthrow Muammar Qaddafi gained control of most of Tripoli, signaling the de facto end of the regime. Two of Qaddafiâ??s sons were reportedly captured, though Al Jazeera claimed that one had escaped house arrest, while the other turned up at a hotel and took journalists on a drive through the city. Qaddafiâ??s whereabouts were unknown. “He doesnâ??t have the courage, like Hitler, to kill himself,” said opposition leader Abdel-Salam Jalloud. As the insurgents entered the capital, Qaddafi had released an audio recording warning that fighting would destroy the countryâ??s air conditioners and ruin the holiday season. “Libyans wanted to enjoy a peaceful Ramadan,” he said. “Instead they have been made into refugees. What are we? Palestinians?”APReutersAPChristian Science MonitorAP via ForbesA comedian wearing a Qaddafi costume was hit over the head with a bottle at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and a fierce storm at the Pukkelpop music festival in Belgium collapsed stages, killed four people, and forced the cancellation of performances by Explosions in the Sky and Panic! At the Disco. “I hope pukkelpop has insurance bc all our shit is broke,” tweeted Cullen Omori, frontman of the Smith Westerns.SF ExaminerBillboardRolling StoneUnder the Radar
Rock musician Ted Nugent threw his support behind Texas governor Rick Perry in the Republican leadership race, writing in the Washington Times that he is “wango-tango giddy for an Obama-versus-Perry presidential political brawl.” While campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire, Perry suggested that Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke was “almost treasonous” and threatened him with ugly Texas treatment, condemned as idiotic a nonexistent federal regulation requiring operators to have a commercial license before driving a tractor across a public road, and argued that America shouldnâ??t spend money fighting climate change, “a scientific theory that has not been proven.”Washington TimesCBS NewsWall Street JournalThink ProgressDoctors expressed concern that Perryâ??s July back surgery, which included a costly stem-cell-injection procedure not approved by the FDA, would influence people to visit “quacks,” and climate scientists worried that greenhouse-gas emissions will make Earth a target for alien attacks.International Business TimesThe GuardianPolice searching for the body of a young Japanese woman who fell into the water at Niagara Falls instead discovered the remains of a man; Japan said that its citizens have turned in more than $78 million found in stray wallets, purses, and safes since an earthquake and tsunami struck the country in March; and a Yale psychologist reported that honesty can be detected by the presence of crowâ??s feet around the eyes during a smile.AFP via BreitbartThe AtlanticWiredA woman left a Botox clinic in Christchurch, New Zealand, without paying her $650 tab. “Once you put something in someoneâ??s face,” said Senior Constable Helen Mahon-Stroud of the Papanui police, “itâ??s hard to get it back.”Stuff.co.nzTuscan friars asked God to visit diarrhea upon a robber who stole two Bibles from their fifteenth-century monastery. “We pray,” they wrote, “that the thief is struck by a strong bout of the shits.”GuardianAn attempt to break the U.K. land-speed record was foiled by a pothole.BBC
A 12-year-old Swedish girl was twice hit by lightning while showering, and a 13-year-old Scottish girl was diagnosed with Hair-Brushing Syndrome, a dangerous sensitivity to static electricity. “She canâ??t rub balloons on her head at parties,” the girlâ??s mother explained to reporters.KTBS news via Internet Broadcasting UK Daily MailA mysterious balloon-like object fell into Loch Ness.BBCWood was found to be older than previously thought, and the moon was found to be younger.BBCDiscoveryDogs were successfully trained to smell lung cancer on the breath of the afflicted, while ecstasy proved effective in fighting blood cancers and alcohol in fighting Alzheimerâ??s.Health NewsBBCFox NewsBrain-eating amoebae continued to attack the American South, and Texas legalized barehanded catfishing, known as noodling. “The thrill of catching a catfish with your bare hands only rivals having sex for the first time,” reported one noodler. MSNBCTexas TribuneAuthorities in New Port Richey, Florida, answered a complaint against 52-year-old Dale McDaniel, whom neighbors say has chased them with a chainsaw and once slapped a quadriplegic with a fish. “Iâ??m not a menace,” said McDaniel, who has been arrested 34 times. “They just donâ??t know how to deal with me.”WTSP news Tampa
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Michael Slager is charged with murder, Hillary Clinton declares her candidacy for president, and a Utah television personality gets probation for kicking a barn owl
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The Pope says climate change is mostly man made, Al Qaeda claims responsibility for the attack on Charlie Hebdo, and residents of a town in Denmark agree to have sex more often
Weekly Review — December 23, 2014, 8:00 am
North Korea attacks the U.S. film industry, Pakistan reinstates the death penalty, and a Pennsylvania electrician stabs a Virgin Mary lawn ornament in the head
Trudy Lieberman reports on the failed promise of the Affordable Care Act, Sarah A. Topol explores Ukraineâ€™s struggle for a national identity, Dave Madden spends a week in Hollywoodâ€™s toughest comedy club, and more
Number of insect fragments allowed by the FDA in a standard jar of peanut butter:
It emerged that, in trying to count her rings, marine geologists had accidentally killed a 507-year-old clam named Ming.
A resident of Chalk Level Township in Missouri discovered the bodies of three dogs packed inside dog-food bags.
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â€śShelby 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€ť