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A Taliban suicide bomber rammed a Toyota Corolla loaded with an estimated 1,500 pounds of explosives into an armored bus in Kabul, killing 17 people; the Taliban killed three civilians and a policeman in a suicide attack then seized an animal clinic in Kandahar; and Abdisalan Hussein Ali, 22, a former pre-med student at the University of Minnesota, blew himself up in a suicide attack on African Union troops in Mogadishu. “Don’t just sit around, you know,” said Ali in an audio suicide note that was posted online, “and be, you know, a couch potato and just like, just chill all day.”GuardianGuardianNew York TimesNew York TimesThe International Criminal Court tried unsuccessfully to negotiate the surrender of Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the son of Muammar Qaddafi and onetime heir apparent to the Libyan presidency, while the Australian bodyguard of Muammar Qaddafi’s third son, Saadi, revealed that Saadi was smuggled out of Tripoli and into Niger in September.ReutersNew York TimesDigital JournalTelegraphNATO withdrew from Libya after a seven-month bombing campaign, and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad warned the West against a similar intervention in his country. “Do you want to see another Afghanistan,” he asked, “or tens of Afghanistans?”USA TodayTelegraphABC NewsThe Statue of Liberty turned 125, the world’s population reached 7 billion, and a highway in Utah was closed after a flatbed truck overturned and released 20 million bees.New York PostHuffington PostReuters
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra thanked residents of areas north of Bangkok for their sacrifice after water from Thailand’s worst flooding in at least fifty years was diverted away from the capital and into their regions. “I am just hoping this flood wall will break,” said Seksan Sonsak, a factory worker whose house was inundated. “I understand that you want to save the majority, but no one seems to think of us, the minority.”New York TimesProtesters with the “Occupy” movement were arrested in cities including Austin, Denver, Nashville, Richmond, and Oakland, where a 24-year-old Iraq War veteran named Scott Olsen was briefly listed in critical condition after police struck him in the head with a projectile. SalonGuardianBillionaire investor George Soros criticized a new deal signed by European leaders to prevent Greece from defaulting, saying the pact’s 50 percent writedown on privately held bonds was a “haircut” that would reduce Greek debt by only 20 percent.ekathimerini.comArguing for his $447 billion jobs bill, President Barack Obama cited a new Congressional Budget Office report stating that the average after-tax income of the top 1 percent of U.S. households had increased by 275 percent over the past three decades, compared with only 18 percent for those in the bottom quintile.AP via CBS NewsCongressional Budget OfficeNew York mayor Michael Bloomberg dismissed calls for a ban on the city’s carriage-horse industry. “Most of the horses probably wouldn’t be alive,” he said, “if they didn’t have a job.”CBS New York
Snow fell on Central Park in October for only the fourth time on record. The storm killed at least 11 people elsewhere in the eastern United States, and left more than 3 million homes and businesses without power.Daily MailGuardianA NASA sting operation at a Denny’s restaurant in California led to the arrest of a 73-year-old grandmother and the recovery of a moon-rock fragment smaller than a grain of rice.AP via Christian Science MonitorA Brooklyn man who made $410,000 brokering three illegal kidney transplants became the first person convicted under a federal statute outlawing black-market organ sales, and inquest papers containing information about the death of singer Amy Winehouse, which was ruled to be the result of “misadventure,” were sent to the wrong address.Thomson ReutersGlobal PostGlobal PostAn eight-month-old baby was found alive in a drawer beneath the wreckage of a building destroyed three days earlier by an earthquake eastern Turkey; a buoyant diaper was credited with saving the life of a Florida toddler after her parents drove into a lake while fighting; and a British mathematician determined that the Zari is the best bobbing apple by using the equation “D = 3 × (2 + T^2) × M ÷ (10 × T)”, where D is diameter, T is typical apple texture, and M is average mouth size.MirrorDaily MailFort Lauderdale Sun-SentinelTelegraphMaria Topp of Wrekenton, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England, pleaded guilty to biting off her boyfriend’s testicles during a drunken brawl. “Until today the defense’s contention was it was caused by her hands,” said the presiding judge. “It is an aggravating feature she used her teeth.”BBCDaily Mail
More from Emily Stokes:
Conversation — October 24, 2013, 8:00 am
Richard Rodriguez on the essay as biography of an idea, the relationship between gay menâ€™s liberation and womenâ€™s liberation, and the writerly impulse to give away secrets
Six Questions — October 7, 2013, 8:00 am
Dame Margaret Drabble on the essayistic voice in fiction and North London anthropology
Flor Arely SĂˇnchez had been in bed with a fever and pains throughout her body for three days when a July thunderstorm broke over the mountainside. She got nervous when bolts of light flashed in the sky. Lightning strikes the San JuliĂˇn region of western El Salvador several times a year, and her neighbors fear storms more than they fear the march of diseases â€” first dengue, then chikungunya, now Zika. Flor worried about a lot of things, since she was pregnant.
Late in the afternoon, when the pains had somewhat eased, Flor thought she might go to a dammed-up bit of the river near her house to bathe. She is thirty-five and has lived in the same place all her life, where wrinkled hills are planted with corn, beans, and fruit trees. She took a towel and soap and walked out into the rain. Halfway to the river, the pains returned and overcame her. The next thing Flor remembers, she was in a room she didnâ€™t recognize, unable to move. As she soon discovered, she was in a hospital, her ankle cuffed to the bed, and she was being investigated for abortion.
Average duration of a Japanese prime minister’s tenure since August 1993, in months:
Brain shrinkage has no effect on cognition.
An Indianapolis fertility doctor was accused of using his own sperm to artificially inseminate patients, and a Delaware man pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing his former psychiatrist.
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â€śMatt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'Iâ€™m glad everyoneâ€™s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supportsÂ my lifestyle.'â€ť