Leaked NSA documents revealed that, in 2012, the Department of Justice allowed the agency to search the international Internet traffic of U.S. citizens suspected of hacking; and the Office of Personnel Management announced that up to 4 million federal employee records may have been breached by hackers. It was reported that the FBI collaborated with local police departments to fly Cessna 182T Skylane surveillance planes over U.S. cities; and a firefighter in Walden, New York, destroyed a drone hovering over a burning building by spraying it with his hose. “If they didn’t want the drone there,” said the owner of the $2,200 quadcopter, “report it to the police.” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists announced that, contrary to a previous finding now deemed incorrect, global warming has not slowed in recent years; and temperatures in India reached 113.9 degrees, killing at least 2,330 people. South Korea test-fired its first ballistic missile capable of reaching any target in North Korea, and North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-un said he wanted to attract 2 million tourists to his country by 2020. Ukraine’s energy minister said the country would buy coal from rebel-occupied territories, and the Ukrainian military shelled the rebel-held district of Donetsk, trapping 379 people in a coal mine. Hundreds of elderly vacationers in China drowned after a tornado struck the Eastern Star cruise ship, which then capsized in the Yangtze River. The town of Boothbay, Maine, celebrated Senior-Citizen Day by offering seniors a $5 discount for tickets on the leisure boat The River Tripper.
A male Army recruiter in Florida was discharged for allegedly having sex with the same 17-year-old high-school student with whom another recruiter had previously admitted to having sex. The owner of Cigars and Stripes BBQ near Chicago announced he would take down the two-way mirror installed in the women’s bathroom, and a 22-year-old missile technician was sentenced to 18 months in prison for secretly filming female trainees as they undressed to take showers and then trading the footage with other sailors. “You don’t have a predator,” the man’s attorney said. “You have a young man.” In South Africa, a lion jumped into the car of an editor of the television show Game of Thrones and mauled her to death. The London Zoo canceled its Friday night parties, citing an incident in 2014 in which a man poured beer on a tiger. A study found that problem drinking among American adults had risen by 9 percent since 2002. A Guantánamo Bay detainee alleged that interrogators with breath smelling of alcohol had poured ice water on his genitals and hung him from a metal pole for two days, causing him to hallucinate a giant lizard. Former vice president Dick Cheney told a reporter at a high-school rodeo in Wyoming that he was proud to be compared to Darth Vader.
A couple in Maryland sued their real-estate company for $2 million after discovering that the walls of the home they had purchased were infested with rat snakes. An FDA advisory committee voted to approve a pill designed to increase women’s sex drive, and a judge in England sentenced a woman to two weeks in jail for screaming and shouting while having sex with her boyfriend. “I am,” wrote the judge in her ruling, “satisfied.” Researchers in Australia discovered two new species of “suicidally sexed marsupials” that spend weeks “speed-mating” with as many females as possible, engaging in up to 14-hour coupling sessions that cause their stress hormones to rise to fatal levels. “They all drop dead,” said a researcher, “before the females give birth to a single baby.” A 22-year-old University of Alabama student confessed that he had beaten his mother to death during an argument over his grades, a Texas father was charged with capital murder for killing his three-year-old out of frustration that the child wasn’t potty trained, and a Cleveland man known as Poop Gangsta was sentenced to 12 years in prison for shooting a man on Christmas Eve. At a church in Rhode Island, parishioners announced that a rust-colored stain which appeared below a painting, on tin canvas, of Jesus on the cross, was a sign from God; and a man in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, named Charles Erickson was charged with running a Ponzi scheme in which he promised members of his church a 96 percent return on their investments. “Erickson believed,” read the complaint, “that the ‘Holy Spirit’ had given him a proprietary system for day trading.”