This Week in the Mercury

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Good Morning, News!

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Cruel and unusual much? Arizona's attempt to neatly murder a death row prisoner with a secret concoction of murder drugs lasted something like two agonizing hours—with the inmate, Joseph Wood, "gasping," "gulping," and "snorting" for air as if he were slowly being suffocated. Yes, Joseph Wood was a convicted murderer. But we're also not supposed to go in for state-sanctioned torture—which is what several states have resorted to, thanks to a shortage of what had been approved lethal injection drugs.

Several more Palestinian civilians have died in Israel's ongoing assault of the Gaza Strip—including a strike against a United Nations shelter and school that killed 15 people, including children. The civilian death toll is approaching 700, but Israeli officials continue to blame Hamas for cynically using civilians as a shield, saying the militants have forced their hand by waging war from the places where non-combatants live. Hamas also has clearly sharpened its skills at urban warfare, exacting a historically high toll on the Israeli soldiers leading the ground push into Gaza.

The Sunni Muslim insurgents who've occupied large parts of Iraq and Syria, colloquially known as ISIS, have issued a terrifying religious edict in the Iraqi town of Mosul: Girls and women ages 11 to 46—millions of people—must be subjected to prescribed genital mutilation.

Amazing scam artists somehow got their hands on personal information belonging to migrant children warehoused at two military bases, and they've been using it to bilk the kids' relatives out of large sums of money with false promises of family reunions.

A separatist leader in Ukraine seems to have admitted, for a second, that pro-Russian rebels had received sophisticated anti-aircraft missile system from Russia—and then used that missile system to shoot down a Malaysia Airlines flight. "I heard about it. I think they sent it back," he said, before Russian media got wind of the story and said, in fact, he was most certainly misquoted.

Colorado's same-sex marriage ban was the latest cast down by a federal judge as unconstitutional. Marriages in the state, meanwhile, will wait for an expected appeal (and maybe, ultimately, a decision by the US Supreme Court.)

Another commercial jet has crashed. This time, it was an Air Algerie plane taking off from Burkina Faso on its way to Algeria. It went down over Mali.

John Kerry, the American secretary of state, had to endure a security check at the Egyptian presidential palace just like any other commoner. Following reporters chortled that Kerry had been singled out for subtle humiliation.

“The chokehold is illegal. But even if you lost your training memory, a man in your arm saying ‘I can’t breathe’… when does your decency kick in? When does your morality kick in? Let’s not play games with this one. You don’t need no training to stop choking a man saying 'I can’t breathe.' You don’t need no cultural orientation to stop choking a man saying 'I can’t breath.' You need to be prosecuted.”

Fresh unemployment claims have hit their lowest level since the winter of 2006, before the worst part of last decade's recession. It's more modestly good news, coming with a surge in jobs not seen since the late 1990s.

Can you guess the worst possible place to find a sex toy that went missing a decade ago? I bet it would only take a couple of tries.

Two buck naked studmuffins, and a third friend dressed only in his jockeys, busted into a Florida beachside restaurant very early one morning and stole "60 hamburgers, three pounds of bacon, three red peppers and a paddleboard."


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