We'll start a little farther afield on this rainy Sunday. Tunisia, the country better known by many nerds as Tatooine, is erupting in political violence whose repercussions, some argue, could ricochet across the Arab world.
This is the new face of warfare in the 21st century. An insidious computer virus that (allegedly) has massively fucked with Iran's nuclear weapons program (or programme, if you like) is likely the result of Israeli and American cooperation and a milestone in global intrigue. Computer experts use words like "genius" when describing Stuxnet, the bug, and call it one of the world's most sophisticated cyberweapons.
Have you bought your money-haulin' wheelbarrows yet? China's president, in a rare interaction with international reporters, says the world's dollar-dominated currency system is a "product of the past." He prefers what's in his own wallet (not that he needs to carry one, being the boss and all): the yuan.
'Round these parts, the Oregonian examines Portland's steadily rising water rates and notes that while most of the rise comes from projects like the $1 billion-plus effort to build the "Big Pipe" and clean the Willamette, a bunch of smaller projects have crawled under people's skin.
Also in papers this weekend, another look at Mayor Sam Adams' bike plan—and another look at the botched sales job that forced Adams to play defense on what otherwise should have been seen as a good idea. Even the O's story says the plan may yet be accepted as as a "real innovation." (Check out our take on the messaging debacle in our mid-term report on the mayor last month).
Good news trickles in every day on the condition of Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona congresswoman shot last Saturday at a political meet-and-greet outside a Tucson Safeway. More movement, on both sides of her body, and she's beginning to breathe on her own. Reporters continue to flesh out the story (and find incriminating, Glock-and-G-string photos) of the man who shot Giffords and more than a dozen others, killing six.
And what about how easy it was for Loughner to obtain a gun? One senator says the military should have to report when it rejects candidates based on "excessive drug use," as it did in Loughner's case. That way, it would've been a red flag when he wanted to buy his weapon. As for other gun control measures? Good luck.
Hoping to pry loose something, anything in the beating death of a man in Old Town on New Year's Eve, Robert Williams' family and friends held a candelight vigil.in his memory. More than 100 people came out. Williams died of his injuries last week.
Also, if you haven't read this yet, make some time. This article tells the story of how it was that WikiLeaks came to strike its TUMULTUOUS deal with the Guardian over the diplomatic cable releases that have shaken halls of power across the world.