Fellow Arabs honor journalist’s feat


Shoe-throwing journalist Muntazer Al-Zaidi must feel as if he’d died and gone to suicide-bomber heaven. At least one of his fellow Arabs is offering him a woman who may or may not be a virgin.

Sure, it’s only woman, not the 72 promised to martyrs, but he’s alive and she’s alive and, well, you know.

And she’s thrilled about it, as Reuters reports from Cairo:

An Egyptian man said on Wednesday he was offering his 20-year-old daughter in marriage to Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi, who threw his shoes at U.S. President George W. Bush in Baghdad on Sunday,

The daughter, Amal Saad Gumaa, said she agreed with the idea. “This is something that would honor me. I would like to live in Iraq, especially if I were attached to this hero,” she told Reuters by telephone.

Start unlacing, baby. But until marriage, no tongues.


N.Y. Times: ‘Mukasey Recuses Himself From Madoff Investigation’


Agence France Presse: ‘Chrysler halts manufacturing as clock ticks on gov’t bailout’

Guardian (U.K.): ‘Scientists debunk the myth that you lose most heat through your head’

Register (U.K.): ‘New York “iPod tax” incites media bleating: Four-cent proposal twists knickers’

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Reuters: ‘Father offers daughter to shoe-thrower’

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The inauguration role positions the Rev. Rick Warren to succeed Billy Graham as America’s pre-eminent minister.

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Register (U.K.): ‘Censored scenes from the Congress WMD report: Last minute bioterror rewrites?’


Guardian (U.K.): ‘Antisemites feast on Madoff misery’

It has been a fertile financial week for bigots. The astonishing scale of corruption allegedly unmasked at the offices of Wall Street fund manager Bernie Madoff has caused disproportionate pain in the Jewish community, prompting unedifying sneers on the blogosphere. …

Register (U.K.): ‘Wikipedia self-flagellates over vanishing “farmsex”: The missing Zoophilia edits’


A Queens cop shot to death by his wife earlier this year was a member of the “Hottie Police” — as a cross-dresser, her lawyer said yesterday.

Reuters: ‘HIV infects women through healthy tissue: U.S. study’

Instead of infiltrating breaks in the skin, HIV appears to attack normal, healthy genital tissue, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday in a study that offers new insight into how the AIDS virus spreads.

They said researchers had assumed the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, sought out beaks in the skin, such as a herpes sore, in order to gain access to immune system cells deeper in the tissue.

Some had even thought the normal lining of the vaginal tract offered a barrier to invasion by the virus during sexual intercourse.

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Register (U.K.): ‘Don’t delay: Delete your DNA today’

McClatchy: ‘Kabul residents have more fear of gangs than of Taliban’

Washington Post: ‘End of the Hedge Fund?’ (Sebastian Mallaby)

… Because it is possible to commit undetected fraud, the industry will attract fraudsters; eventually, investors will realize that they can’t tell the good guys from the bad and yank their money out. If this is going to happen, the Madoff scandal could be the catalyst, especially because it has hit at a time when hedge funds are in trouble for other reasons.

Hedge fund strategies depend on borrowing, or “leverage,” which is hard to come by now. They often depend on “shorting” stocks — that is, betting that they’ll fall in value — but regulators have restricted that practice. Even before the Madoff scandal, there were estimates that hedge fund assets might shrink from just under $2 trillion a few months ago to perhaps $1.4 trillion.

Guardian (U.K.): ‘Iraqi officials arrested over coup plot against prime minister’

McClatchy: ‘Salazar pick indicates big change at Interior Department’

Guardian (U.K.): ‘UN tribunal jails Rwanda genocide mastermind for life’

Register (U.K.): ‘Economists say European ancestors are what make you rich: No shit, Sherlock’