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The first round of parliamentary elections in Egypt since president Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February brought to the polls an unprecedented 62 percent of registered voters, many of whom had never voted before. “I donâ??t know any of the parties or who Iâ??m voting for,” said a Christian woman in the southern city of Assiut. “The first names I see, I guess.” The hard-line Nour party, which seeks to impose strict Sharia law, won 24 percent of the vote, while the Muslim Brotherhood, which claims it will apply Islamic law “in a fair way,” led with 37 percent. “We are afraid of the Muslim Brotherhood,” said first-time voter Iris Nawar. “But we lived for 30 years under Mubarak; we will live with them, too.”APAPAPAPProtesters attacked the British Embassy and residential compound in Tehran after Britain imposed new sanctions on Iran, prompting Britain to expel Iranian diplomats and recall its ambassador, Dominick Chilcott. “The dog,” said Chilcott, “has been left behind.” A representative of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei congratulated the rioters, noting that they had targeted the “epicenter of sedition.”APBBCAnti-American rallies were staged throughout Pakistan after a NATO air strike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, and demonstrators marched outside the UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa, where the United States and Canada were stalling efforts to extend the 1997 Kyoto Protocol limiting greenhouse-gas emissions. “Itâ??s a conspiracy against the poor,” said the Council of Europeâ??s rapporteur on climate change.APBBCAPIn Germany, the driest November on record caused a major drop in the Rhine, revealing a two-ton World War II “blockbuster” bomb with a badly eroded fuse; the city of Koblenz prepared evacuation plans for 45,000 people but waited until Sunday to implement them, so as not to interrupt Christmas shopping. “People in Koblenz are used to bomb findings,” said a fire-brigade spokesman.Daily MailCNN
Following multiple accusations of marital infidelity, Herman Cain dropped out of the G.O.P. presidential race, saying his reputation was under attack by a conspiracy of “elites” and political reporters. Cain closed his withdrawal speech by quoting at length the theme song from “PokĂ©mon: The First Movie”: “Life can be a challenge. Life can seem impossible. Itâ??s never easy when thereâ??s so much on the line. But you and I can make a difference. Thereâ??s a mission just for you and me.”Mother JonesRaw StoryFox News decried liberal bias in the film “The Muppets,” which features an oil-drilling villain named “Tex Richman,” and the ACLU charged that Appleâ??s virtual iPhone assistant, Siri, was promoting a conservative agenda. “Siri can point you to Viagra but not the Pill, or help you find an escort but not an abortion clinic,” said a post on the organizationâ??s blog.Washington PostABC NewsOR-7, a popular Oregon wolf wanted for cattle killing, continued his 730-mile trek in search of a mate.Daily MailThe worldâ??s first college of applied sexuality opened in Austria.Daily MailOscar Wildeâ??s tomb reopened with an anti-kissing barrier.GuardianAnn Marie Kennedy, a resident of Effin in Limerick County, Ireland, complained that Facebook was blocking her from listing her hometown on her profile. She wanted to show her pride in her parish, she said, along with “so many Effin people around the world.”BBCA woman from Bumpass, Virginia, was arrested for smashing a salt bottle over her dateâ??s head while he slept.NewsleaderAn inquest confirmed that reggae singer Smiley Culture stabbed himself through the heart.BBC
The trial of three women accused of raping men began in Zimbabwe, where police believe a syndicate of female rapists may be collecting semen for use in rituals to bring business success. “You must exercise caution,” said a man named Witness. “I wonâ??t get a lift in private cars, especially if there are women inside.”BBCSaudi academic Kamal Subhi presented a report to his countryâ??s legislative council warning that allowing women to drive would encourage prostitution, pornography, homosexuality, and divorce, and would lead to the “end of virginity” in the nation.BBCA woman filed suit against a clinic in St. Louis, alleging that she had sought help for anorexia but instead been given psychotropic drugs, hypnotized, and convinced she had 20 different personalities and had been raped while belonging to a baby-eating satanic cult.AP via Fox NewsSex crimes against illegal immigrants were found to have been ignored in El Mirage, Arizona, and Mozambique denied that it had imported flesh-eating bananas.APAFP via Courier MailNuon Chea, on trial in Phnom Penh for his role as second in command of Cambodiaâ??s Khmer Rouge, blamed Vietnam for the 1.7 million deaths attributed to the regime. “I donâ??t want the next generation to misunderstand history,” said Chea. “I donâ??t want them to believe the Khmer Rouge are bad people…. Nothing is true about that.”AP
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Obama announces surveillance reforms, the Taliban bombs a Kabul restaurant, and Smartie snorting prompts nose-maggot panic
Discussed in this essay:
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.
The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:
â€śThe triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), â€śthe rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversityâ€ťÂ â€” what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.
Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:
Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.
Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.
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Scienceâ€™s crisis of faith