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President Barack Obama hosted a G8 summit at Camp David and a NATO summit in Chicago. At the G8 gathering, leaders stayed up late chatting, debated policy while exercising on treadmills, and sang “Happy Birthday” to Japanese prime minister Yoshihiko Noda around a chocolate birthday cake. “Camp David has just got a special atmosphere to it,” said one of Obama’s economic advisers. Thousands of people, including scores of veterans and hundreds of felt-cap-wearing nurses calling for a “Robin Hood tax” on Wall Street, protested in Chicago. “The military handed out cheap tokens like this to soldiers and servicemembers to fill the void where their conscience used to be,” said U.S. Army veteran Greg Miller, who threw away his Global War on Terrorism and National Defense medals from a stage. Nearly 50 other veterans discarded their medals, Anonymous hacked the websites of the Chicago Police Department and the City of Chicago, 45 protesters were arrested, and three men were charged with conspiring to commit terrorism for allegedly plotting to firebomb Obama’s campaign headquarters and Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s house. At The Hague, the genocide trial of former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic was suspended indefinitely, and in Yemen, a suicide bomber killed 96 soldiers on parade following a week in which government forces killed dozens of Al Qaeda fighters in the country’s south. Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the only man convicted of the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am passenger flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, died at 60 in Libya. Iran hanged a man it claimed was an Israeli Mossad agent responsible for the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist, and Turkey declared that a European bee-eater with larger-than-usual nostrils discovered in Gaziantep Province was not, as locals initially suspected, an Israeli spy. Sixteen hundred Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails ended their month-long hunger strike, and Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, who escaped from prison in April and then reached a deal with authorities that allowed him to leave the country, arrived in the United States to begin studies at New York University. A Spotsylvania County, Virginia, woman was stabbed by a man whose forehead was tattooed “Cogito ergo Sum.”
Montana filed a U.S. Supreme Court brief, backed by 22 other states and the District of Columbia, seeking to prevent the 2010 Citizens United decision from superseding campaign-finance laws governing state and local elections. A Republican super PAC was reportedly planning to label Barack Obama a “metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln,” and Jay-Z and the NAACP endorsed same-sex marriage. “If this is a difference, it is a difference, not a division,” said NAACP president Ben Jealous. “If this is a contrast, it is a contrast, not a conflict.” Cher and Grover Norquist sniped at each other over Twitter, Iran threatened to sue Google for not identifying the Persian Gulf, and 40,000 ultra-Orthodox Jewish men gathered at New York’s Citi Field for a rally, broadcast over the Internet, on the dangers of the Internet. “Children are being turned into click-vegetables!” said Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman. Investment banks underwriting Facebook’s IPO made large share purchases on the company’s first day of trading in order to keep the stock above its opening price of $38 per share; on the second day, it closed at $34.03. Insiders at JPMorgan Chase blamed $3 billion in recently reported losses on Lyme disease and CIO Achilles Macris, supervisor of a high-volume trader known as the London Whale. “No one could sufficiently push back against Achilles,” said a former trader. “That’s the way America works,” said G.O.P. presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Rhode Island legislators investigated a default on a $75 million state-guaranteed loan, earmarked for a video game code-named Copernicus, to a company for which 2001 World Series co-MVP Curt Schilling serves as “executive visionary” and chairman. “I can give you my favorite William Faulkner quote,” said the state’s former economic-development director, who resigned after facilitating the loan, “which is: ‘All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection.’ ”
Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes died at 83, Bee Gee Robin Gibb died at 62, and “Queen of Disco” Donna Summer died at 63. The estate of Hungarian baron Joseph de Bicske Dobronyi put up for auction a pair of silk bloomers said to have been left on an airplane by Queen Elizabeth II during a 1968 visit to Chile. “The estate cannot confirm its provenance,” said the eBay listing for the garment. “It is the buyer’s responsibility to do that on their own before bidding.” A thief suspected of swallowing a 1.7-carat diamond excreted a cubic zirconia in a Windsor, Ontario, jail. Vermont became the first U.S. state to ban hydrofracking, and California scientists struggled to explain how rocks collected from an Orange County beach ignited in a woman’s pocket, causing severe burns. “I would be very doubtful [that it was nuclear waste],” said materials-science professor James Earthman. The Birmingham National Sea Life Center in England reported that a nurse shark named Florence had become a vegetarian following surgery three years ago to remove a rusty hook. “We’re having to hide pieces of fish inside celery sticks, hollowed out cucumbers, and between the leaves of lettuces to get her to eat them,” said curator Graham Burrows. “We wouldn’t want her to be an embarrassment to the other flesh-eating hammerheads and black-tipped reef sharks in the ocean tank.”
More from Jeremy Keehn:
Weekly Review — September 23, 2014, 8:00 am
Scotland rejects independence, Sierra Leone issues a three-day lockdown, and Iran lashes its citizens for doing a “Happy” dance
Weekly Review — September 9, 2014, 8:00 am
ISIL murders journalist Steven Sotloff; Satan in Moscow and Detroit; and Florida police play Cherries Waffles Tennis
Weekly Review — August 5, 2014, 8:00 am
Alternating shelter bombings and ceasefires in Gaza; a do-nothing Congress whimpers feebly into recess; and India hires a troupe of black-faced-langur imitators
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby 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.”