Monthly Archive for May, 2007

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2397

A virus contracted through oral sex is the cause of some throat cancers, say US scientists.

2396

Friar Galvao began a tradition among Brazilian Catholics of handing out tiny rice-paper pills, inscribed with a Latin prayer, to people seeking cures for all manner of ailments. Although he died in 1822, Brazilian nuns still toil in the Sao Paulo monastery where Galvao is buried, preparing thousands of the tiny pills for free daily distribution. Each one carries these words: “After birth, the Virgin remained intact. Mother of God, intercede on our behalf.”

2395

In a section of the Rush Street nightclub district sometimes called “the Viagra triangle,” a huge billboard rose up recently with photographs of a sexy, scantily clad woman on one side and a buff, bare-chested man on the other. The text between the photos proclaimed: “Life”s short. Get a divorce.”

2394

A teenage Japanese boy walks into a police station carrying a severed human head and claiming to have killed his mother.

2393

Researchers are investigating a long unknown killing field in Cambodia with the graves of thousands of Khmer Rouge victims from the 1970s. But local villagers found it first. By the time the researchers arrived last week, some 200 graves had been dug open and the bones scattered through the woods by hundreds of people hunting for jewelry. After the assault on the burial ground, the village seemed filled with remorse and dread. Several people said they had been awakened at night by screams from the graves.

2392

The young man wants to be the first amputee runner to compete in the Olympics. He was born without the fibula bone in his lower legs and with other defects in his feet. He had both legs amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old. At 20, his coach says, he is like a five-speed engine with no second gear.

2391

Passannante earned a place in Italian history by trying to assassinate King Umberto I of Savoy; he was subsequently arrested, tortured and received a death sentence, later reduced to life in prison. As further punishment his entire family was jailed and Passannante”s hometown, formerly known as Salvia, was forced to change its name to Savoia di Lucania. He went insane. In 1910 he was sent to an asylum and died shortly after. It was at that point that his head and brain were removed to be studied by sociologists.

2390

A man manages to run away from a village attacked by the Janjaweed militia. But his wife, eight months pregnant, is still in the village, along with their four children, ages 3 to 12. “”There”s no way for people to escape. The Janjaweed will rape and kill my family, and there”s nothing I can do.”

2389

A 13-year-old boy is making himself into a great speller by way of unhappiness and the immense pressure he feels to reunite his family, which was blown across two continents when his parents were sent back to India last year after being denied political asylum.

2388

A pop singer sets out to save the world, and scores an early success by leading an international campaign to free an Iranian teenage girl from a date with the hangman.