Standard & Poor's downgrades France from AAA to AA+. Germany and the Low Countries avoid downgrade. Responses from French politicians range from responsible calls to reduce public borrowing to less helpful declarations of "financial war" against France. U.S., which weathered a downgrade in 2011, can only say "Bienvenue."
Joran Van der Sloot, apparently irresistible charmer of the jet set, has been sentenced to 28 years for the murder of the daughter of a prominent Peruvian businessman. Van der Sloot, whose game seems to have remained strong even after he gained notoriety as the presumptive murderer of Natalee Holloway, was convicted of killing Stephany Tatiana Flores Ramírez after meeting her in Lima casino.
Dildo dilemma: Pennsylvania woman sues over being fired from a J&J Snack Foods plant, she claims, for wearing a prosthetic penis. Pauline Davis says she wore what the Philly Daily News calls a "device" while contemplating gender reassignment. Noting that a male co-worker who wore women's clothing and prostheses was not dismissed, Davis claims a discriminatory termination.
Did liberals kill comic books? Critic claims Aquaman's recent oil-rig-disaster storyline proves the DC universe has been poisoned by enviro-orthodoxy. When Falls the Coliseum says even a political agenda is beyond the capacity of the drones at Time-Warner. Neither comment mentions the Timely/Marvel universe, where Prince Namor has been avenging the Surface Dwellers' crimes against the sea since 1939 – and unlike Aquaman and J&J Snack Foods, Namor isn't afraid to show what's going on downstairs.
Redevelopment unmourned by the same tired, poor, huddled masses it was supposed to help. Local "community development" activists explains why residents of distressed areas of Los Angeles have always gotten the worst deal from the city's redevelopment agency.
Singularity arrives as IBM researches create smallest known information bit, consisting of only 12 atoms.
Burma thaw: United States and Myanmar exchange ambassadors after dubious human rights progress in the closed nation.
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