"I'M SECEDING FROM THE NATION." In a hilarious 911 call, a fellow from Texas named Doug Leguin who's "pissed off at America" decided to announce his new republic of one—and warn everyone that he was about to seize a mostly unoccupied mansion outside Dallas. He said he was mad at the police, too, for "shooting at the mentally handicapped." But despite Leguin shooting real bullets at the SWAT team who came to get him, and despite him setting up propane canisters that could have blown up in deadly fashion, he was taken into custody alive and unshot.
How different from Ferguson... where an unarmed African American 18-year-old, Michael Brown, a gentle, pious soon-to-be college student, was shot dead by police over the weekend after he was bothered in the middle of the day for walking in the street. Brown's killer won't be identified, Ferguson's largely white police department announced yesterday. And in the daily protests that have followed—a bonfire of pent-up tensions over racial injustice that ought to echo nationally—another teenager was just shot by cops.
But Ferguson's not so different from Los Angeles... where an unarmed 25-year-old black man, Ezell Ford, was shot by officers during what was vaguely described in a news release as an altercation. Ford's family says he had mental health and development issues—and they say he was on his back, lying down and acquiescing to officers, when he was shot.
That mysterious Russian convoy is even closer to reaching Ukraine. The Putin administration insists it's a humanitarian gesture. No one really believes them.
Strict medical quarantines—no one in, no one out—once helped Europe contain the Black Death and stood ready as a routine tool for managing epidemics in the centuries before modern medicine rendered them unnecessarily inhumane. They've made a comeback now that Ebola is sending West Africa to its knees.
Unexploded shells and bombs, littering the streets and courtyards of Gaza, mean the threat of death from Israeli airstrikes lingers even when the skies are calm. One such bomb killed one of the only people in Palestine skilled at rendering those lurking death machines inert.
Iraq's former prime minister is still telling his friends he's the current prime minister. It's achingly sad how he fastidiously puts on his suit every morning and then heads to the park, sitting on a bench for hours while he feeds the pigeons and does the Jumble.
France is now sending armaments to the ethnic Kurds and Yazidis stuck up a mountain, surrounded by a sea of hostile Sunni militants fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), hoping the refugees might manage to fight their way down.
And where did ISIS happen upon its own vast array of arms? A Turkish border town, it turns out. Back when ISIS was mostly just a foil for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, the Turkish government looked the other way when ISIS fighters crossed over to do their weapons shopping.
A 3-year-old girl lost for 11 days in Siberia lived on berries and river water—until her loyal puppy, who kept her warm at night, eventually bounded in the direction of the rescuers who saved her.
YOU KNOW HOW TO WHISTLE WITH YOUR MOUTH PARTS, RIGHT? HUH? DO YA? COME ONE, NOW! BLOW! (REST IN PEACE, LAUREN BACALL.)