Philip Roth, one of the most prolific and celebrated writers of his generation, died Tuesday. He was 85. A close friend, Judith Thurman, said the cause of death was congestive heart failure. Between his first collection of stories, Goodbye, Columbus (1959), and his final novel, 2010's Nemesis, Roth won two National Book Awards, a Pulitzer Prize, the Man Booker International Prize, two National Book Critics Circle awards, and three PEN/Faulkner Awards. He is best known for 1969's Portnoy's Complaint, and his literary explorations of sex and life as an American, a Jew, and a man. Many of his protagonists were thinly veiled versions of himself — Nathan Zuckerman, Alexander Portnoy, David Kepesh — and his work explored and blurred the lines between truth and fiction.
Source: The New York Times
Editor's Note: I know so many of you were shocked to hear Philip Roth had died. Seriously, I'm sure Roth was known by many, but he wasn't someone like Tom Clancy. In fact Clancy had been dead a year before I realized it. Sometimes I feel like they are truly looking for certain numbers to publish. Just so you know, and to be clear, I get most of these stories from Ten Things You Need to Know Today, from The Week magazine. So, according to them, we need to know this.
See also: futile.work/ten
At least 11 people were killed and dozens more injured when suicide bombers targeted three churches in between services in Surabaya, Indonesia, on Sunday. The attacks have been claimed by the Islamic State and were perpetrated by members of a single family, the mother and two daughters at one church and the father with three sons at the other two. At least three of the attackers were killed; early reports do not make clear the status of the other four or the ages of the children involved. The explosions were timed within one minute of each other at different locations. This is the deadliest terror attack in Indonesia since 2005.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, BBC News
Armed bandits killed at least 45 people in an attack on a remote village in northwest Nigeria, authorities said Sunday. The dead included women and children. The government deployed 200 police officers to the area in response to the attack. Bandits frequently target villagers to steal their cattle and other property. President Muhammadu Buhari has approved dispatching a permanent battalion of the Nigerian Army to the area to deal with the problem. The local government has been lobbying the national government for help dealing with the attacks.
Source: CNN, The Associated Press
A bombing at a mosque in the eastern Khost province of Afghanistan killed at least a dozen people and wounded 33 more on Sunday, local officials reported. The mosque was being used as a voter registration center for an upcoming parliamentary election. A suicide attack on another voter registration location in Kabul last month left at least 57 people dead. While Sunday's attack has yet to be claimed by the Islamic State or the Taliban, the April incident was claimed by ISIS.
Source: BBC News, The Associated Press
NASA launched its InSight spacecraft from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 4:05 a.m. local time Saturday, sending the unmanned vessel on a six-month journey to Mars. Unlike the Curiosity rover, InSight will not travel around the red planet once it arrives. Instead, the craft's mission is to use seismic waves to learn about the interior of Mars — the thickness of the planet's crust and the size of its liquid core. InSight is equipped with a probe that can burrow 16 feet into the surface of Mars to take temperature readings.
Source: The New York Times, Forbes
Eighteen House Republicans on Wednesday sent a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee formally nominating President Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his effort to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. "Since taking office, President Trump has worked tirelessly to apply maximum pressure on North Korea to end its illicit weapons program and bring peace to the region," said the letter, led by Rep. Luke Messer (R-Ind.). "His administration successfully united the international community, including China, to impose one of the most successful international sanctions regimes in history." Messer announced his plan to nominate Trump after last week's summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who next plans to meet with Trump.
Source: The Hill
Former first lady Barbara Bush died Tuesday at her home in Houston, Texas. She was 92. Bush was in failing health due to congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and had decided just days earlier to focus on comfort care instead of seeking further treatment. Bush was only the second woman in American history, after Abigail Adams, to be the wife of one president and the mother of another. She and her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, were married for 73 years, and he was at her side, holding her hand, when she died. Mrs. Bush was widely known and respected as a dedicated advocate for charitable causes, such as literacy, and a shrewd supporter of the political careers of her husband and sons. "Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end," former President George W. Bush said.
Source: The New York Times, Time
Actor Harry Anderson, best known for starring roles in the sitcoms Night Court and Dave's World, was found dead in his Asheville, North Carolina, home Monday morning. He was 65. Police say no foul play is suspected. Anderson started his career in show business as a street magician in San Francisco. Following an appearance on Saturday Night Live, he got a guest spot on Cheers, which led to the role of Judge Harry T. Stone on Night Court. "I guess they figured I was an actor," he told the Bradenton Herald. "By the time they figured out that I couldn't act scared on the subway at 4 a.m., I already had a five-year contract."
Source: The Hollywood Reporter, Bradenton Herald
Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts signed a budget Wednesday that will eliminate federal family-planning funding to Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. The $8.8 billion two-year budget would prohibit money to facilities that commit, promote, or refer clients for abortions. The budget also mandates health clinics in the state to legally, financially, and physically separate from abortion facilities. Ricketts, who is pro-life, approved the package after it was passed by the state legislature on a 38-6 vote. The Nebraska governor proposed the measure in his budget earlier this year. “Nebraska is a pro-life state, so our budget should reflect our values. Any organization can have access to these dollars as long as they don’t provide abortions,” Ricketts said.
Source: Live Action News
South African anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has died at the age of 81 after "a long illness," a family spokesperson said Monday. As the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, who was the first democratically elected president of South Africa, Madikizela-Mandela was known as "the Mother of the Nation." Her reputation was severely tarnished later by allegations that she controlled a deadly vigilante group in the 1980s. The Mandelas' 1992 divorce made her even more controversial in the eyes of some South Africans, but she held onto the support of many hardline black nationalists for the rest of her life. In a 1996 American University speech, she recalled: "I learned to deal with the police ... to be tough ... to survive."
Source: The Guardian, The Washington Post
About This Blog
Certain numerology has a strong connection with occultism. Various numbers from time-to-time appear in news articles, and one has to wonder if there isn't some occult significance behind this story.