Wednesday, December 22, 1999

A news update from my vacation period.

Texas removed a death row inmate from intensive care two days after he attempted suicide in order to execute him. Dubya’s 113th execution, I believe.

A Zimbabwe couple have a bet as to which of them is infertile. A judge allows the wife until Feb. 22 to have affairs without risking divorce in order to win the bet, which is I believe for $200.

Forbes accused Dubya of being weak on abortion because a stretch of Texas highway is named after a doctor who performed abortions (and whose son is in the state legislature).

A second and third Nigerian state adopt sharia law.

The US wished Panama a merry isthmus (I know, I know).

I said it in one of these very e-mails: Kenneth Starr’s office did not have the authority to waive Maryland law. Tripp and Starr’s people get into a he-said-she-said in court over the alleged promise of immunity, raising the question of why it wasn’t on tape. The members of the Starr Chamber say that what they told her is that they would make it almost impossible for Maryland to convict her, which sounds rather like obstruction. Fortunately for MD, Tripp bragged about taping Monica to her bridge group, and had an Xmas party to which Monica was invited so that all her bridge cronies could look her over.

A robber was caught after holding up someone at an ATM machine. The machine was located in the lobby of the 77th Street police station in LA.

India discovers a prisoner who’s been sitting in a cell since 1963. They postponed his trial due to his mental instability, and forgot to get back to it.

The pope apologizes for the execution of Jan Hus in 1415.

A new law bans crush videos, in which women in high heels crush small animals. Something else you probably read here first, back in 1996 or so.

Two Brits become the first gay couple jointly listed as father on a California birth certificate, with no mother. They hired one woman to bear the in vitro embryo from another woman--reproduction as three-card monte. You can tell they spent too long in Cal. because the kids (twins) are named (shudder) Aspen and Saffron.

Macau goes back to the Chinese, if you consider something that was a Portuguese colony for three plus centuries to belong to China. No one will miss the Portuguese, as ever the worst of all European colonialists. There are a lot of casinos, though, as befits a reservation.

If Barak manages to negotiate a peace deal with Syria, which would evidently cost the US tens of billions of dollars, he will have to use some of that money to bribe the Shas party in order for it to pass the Knesset. Shas’s religious schools have been going bankrupt and have been forced into such expedients as selling videos of a fake exorcism (I hadn’t even known that Jews had exorcisms; I’m picturing Linda Blair spitting up matzo ball soup).

As the Russian elections show, genocide is just good politics.

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