WEDNESDAY FEB. 20
Scientists reported today that new diseases are likely to develop and threaten humans if more monitoring of disease "hotspots" isn't done. The scientists say that new diseases have quadrupled during the last 50 years, and the worst ones — like HIV/AIDS, SARS and bird flu — cost a lot of money to contain and treat. The combination of a constantly-growing human population and decreasing natural habitats is making it easier for diseases to get to humans from wild animals. A newly-created map of disease hotspots predicts the next pandemic is likely to come out of the tropics and involve nausea, abdominal bloating, fatigue and mood swings.
THURSDAY FEB. 21
In response to certain powerful countries recognizing Kosovo's independence, rioters in Serbia broke into the U.S. embassy and threw furniture out the windows and then set the building on fire, according to the AP. The Serbs are angry that countries like the U.S., Britain, France and Germany have recognized Kosovo as an independent state after nearly a decade of the U.N. governing the region. Serbia sees Kosovo as an ancient and important place of religion and history, while Russia and China are worried that places they've long subordinated might now try to get their own sovereignty. The U.S. says that Serbia needs to protect our facilities better and that if China can't control little tiny Taiwan it doesn't deserve to use its resources.
FRIDAY FEB. 22
According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, Mason school board member Jennifer Miler was caught on video going off on Board President Connie Yingling after a Feb. 12 session because the other members voted to adjourn even though she had more to say. Miller was elected in 2005 despite the fact that her own kids never attended schools in the Mason district — they were either home schooled or sent to private schools.
Miller says the district, which is consistently rated "excellent" by the state, spends too much money and that in the name of equality Mason should spend only the amount of money that schools in poor neighborhoods are allocated.
SATURDAY FEB. 23
Hillary Clinton continued lecturing Barack Obama last week for the continuous ass-kicking he's been giving her in the Democratic primary race. While in Cincinnati, Clinton responded angrily to his campaign mailings that she says distort her positions. Obama said the literature was accurate and that Clinton's timing was odd because the mailings were sent out weeks ago. "I'm puzzled by the sudden change in tone," Obama said, before dramatically acting like he was brushing lint off the shoulder of his suit jacket.
SUNDAY FEB. 24
The founder of a local pharmaceutical company is facing 20 years in prison after a jury in U.S. District Court determined that he misled his customers and lied to banks about all the money he made selling male sexual enhancement pills. The Enquirer has been intently following the story because the company, Berkeley Premium Neutraceuticals, is based in Forest Park and owns Enzyte, which features the creepy and overly-phallic "Smiling Bob" character in its ads. Owner Steve Warshak was convicted of misleading customers, lying to banks and hiding his profits from the government. A lawyer for another Berkeley employee said it was a sad day and that Smiling Bob just wanted to help people have sex again.
MONDAY FEB. 25
With immigration concerns currently losing political attention to important issues like war and health care, a new group of outsiders is primed to force its way into our communities. A Canadian newspaper called The London Free Press reported today that Canadians are increasingly buying vacation homes in sunny U.S. states like Florida, Arizona and California. Canadians are using their suddenly respectable currency to take advantage of American homeowners, causing once family neighborhoods to become seasonal party towns for weird-sounding foreigners. Mark Dziedzic, who founded a real estate firm called Arizona for Canadians, said that about half of Arizona's home buyers are Canadian. This statement almost certainly isn't true.
TUESDAY FEB. 26
The Kentucky House elections and constitutional amendment committee voted today 5-3 not to F Ohio in the B in the near future, according to The Kentucky Enquirer. The decision means that legislators have more details to work on before anyone in Kentucky can offer slot-pulls at 46 percent success rates. Gov. Steve Beshear likes the idea of horse-betting and slot-pulling in a single place and also wants voters to approve non-racetrack casinos in their communities. Rep. Arnold Simpson (D-Covington) said it will take the intervention of a higher force to get an agreement between the current legislators, but some non-religious representatives believe they can come to an agreement without God's help.
CONTACT DANNY CROSS: [email protected]