Yesterday’s news

26 September 2012

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Yesterday, the Syrian civil war continued. Guards on Iraq’s western border were instructed to block all adult men from crossing over with the other refugees from Syria. Flash floods and landslides had largely cut off the states of Sikkim and Assan from the rest of India; more than 200,000 sheltered in 164 government relief camps. Greek police officers demonstrating against pay cuts in front of prime minister’s residence were met by a cordon of riot police wielding batons and pepper spray.  In Spain, where starving citizens were lining up behind Catholic charity vans, the city of Girona installed locks on supermarket trash bins as a public health precaution, and a group of mayors and unionists raided two supermarkets, distributing the food to hungry families; at least a dozen of them faced prosecution for theft. At the equator, it is easier to balance an egg on a nail and harder to keep your balance with your eyes closed; a 100-foot-high Ecuadorean monument called “The Middle of the World” featuring a yellow line to mark the equatorial boundary was found to be 800 feet south of 0 degrees latitude.

2,105 American soldiers had died as a result of the Afghan war; the most recent was a 24-year-old infantry sergeant from Arkansas. The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, acknowledging that decisions made by the Army Corps of Engineers might have left the Mississippi River–Gulf Outlet vulnerable to Hurricane Katrina and “greatly aggravated the storm’s effects on the city,” nonetheless ruled that the discretionary-function exception to the federal tort claims act “completely insulates the government from liability.” David Brooks theorized that the Republican party’s woes were the result of having lost touch with “the traditional conservative, intellectual heir to Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk, Clinton Rossiter and Catholic social teaching.” Frank Bruni began a column on Mitt Romney by referring to his foot: “That bloody appendage? The one riddled with holes?” The death in England from malaria of a possibly fictitious investor had threatened a Broadway staging of Rebecca; the investor was described as “a mysterious specter haunting the show—now unlike the ghost that is central to the musical’s plot.” Conservation experts in Tennessee were building an artificial cave to protect hibernating bats from white nose syndrome, a devastating, possibly European, fungal disease. President Barack Obama appeared on The View.

Tereska Torrés died at 92. Born Tereska Szwarc in Paris on 3 September 1920 to Polish Jews and educated at a Roman Catholic convent, she served in London with the women’s division of the Free French forces. She is best known for writing America’s first lesbian pulp novel, Women’s Barracks, condemned (but not banned) in 1952 by the House Select Committee on Current Pornographic Materials. In a 2005 interview she said, “I hadn’t invented anything—that’s the way women lived during the war in London.” And: “I thought I had written a very innocent book. I thought, these Americans, they are easily shocked.”

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All items above taken from the Tuesday, September 25th New York Times.

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