From the Vancouver Sun:

One bride is Lorraine Johnson, an American, sent by her family to “marry” Blackmore, who was then the powerful bishop. She was his 18th wife. It’s not clear whether Johnson immigrated legally to Canada or simply came across the border and stayed.

The other bride is Shelina Palmer, a Canadian born into a polygamous family in Bountiful and assigned to Blackmore. She is wife number 22.

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From the BBC:

He said one assailant had entered the mosque through the women’s security checkpoint and had blown themselves up first, while a second had rushed into the mosque’s courtyard and a third to his office before detonating themselves.

Shias were being targeted “as part of this dirty sectarian war waged against them as the world watches silently,” he was reported as saying.

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From the Washington Post:

Mr. Abercrombie dived with Jacques Cousteau, which he said was “like swimming with a fish.” While suffering from typhoid in the Himalayas, he amputated the frozen toes of a pilgrim as gangrene set in. He slipped off his yak in Afghanistan and narrowly escaped plunging into a 1,000-foot chasm. In Venezuela, he was knocked off the top of a mountain-climbing cable car and bore the scar to the end of his life.

In 1965, while traveling through Saudi Arabia’s “Empty Quarter,” his sport-utility vehicle broke down, forcing him to repair the radiator hose with items from his first-aid kit and patch another leak with a poultice of camel dung and barley paste.

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From The Salt Lake Tribune:

“Go back and repent,” Jane said Jeffs told her. “You go give yourself mind, body and soul to your husband like you’re supposed to. He will take you into the heavenly kingdom. Go back and do what he tells you to do.” Jane said she did as instructed by Jeffs and continued to have sexual relations with John despite her objections. In a later meeting, Jeffs told Jane that in time she would grow to love John and that having a baby by him would change everything.
In another meeting, Jeffs told Jane that, “No matter what happens you cannot fight with the priesthood because if you do you’ll lose your salvation.” Those remarks frightened her enough that she stayed in the marriage, Jane said. 

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From the Moscow Times:

A cult leader who promised to resurrect children killed in the Beslan school attack has been detained on suspicion of fraudulently obtaining money from parents of the victims, Moscow prosecutors said Thursday.

Police detained Grigory Grabovoi during a seance Wednesday evening at the Kosmos Hotel in northeast Moscow. Around 30 followers tried to prevent the police from taking him away, but police were able to take him out through a back entrance, NTV reported.

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From Magnum Photos, gallery of work by Alex Majoli:

With the recent victory of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as the President of Liberia, it is clear that women in Africa are starting to take charge. Johnson-Sirleaf is the first elected female leader in Africa’s history. She and several other powerful female leaders are pushing to make new laws, change old attitudes and inspire others to follow their lead. Across Africa, women are often deprived of education, job opportunities, and the choice of a marital partner. Polygamy is widespread and rape is seldom punished. As a result HIV is skyrocketing. Most African women have no right to own property. These new female politicians are facing these issues that have not been touched by their male counterparts.

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From the Mail & Guardian:

The shooting death of British cameraman James Miller by an Israeli soldier in Gaza was murder, an inquest jury found on Thursday. The jury also said Israeli authorities had “not been forthcoming” about how and why Miller (34) was killed by a single shot fired by the soldier.
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From the Mail & Guardian:

“I can personally say that $400 000 would be acceptable, a fine offer on both sides,” said the elder, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “This is not a ransom but a fine for illegally fishing in Somalia.”

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From the Washington Post:

“I’m not going to rule it out,” US Attorney General Gonzales said.

In the past, Gonzales and other officials refused to say whether they had the legal authority to conduct warrantless eavesdropping on domestic calls, and have stressed that the NSA eavesdropping program is focused only on international communications.

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From the Washington Post:

More than 200,000 Chinese filed through the remains of Japan’s notorious Unit 731 here last year, visiting the ghosts of World War II. In exhibits mounted throughout the bleak headquarters building, they saw wrenching descriptions of biological warfare experiments carried out on thousands of Chinese prisoners from 1939 to 1945.

The phrase “Do not forget us” has been inscribed on the wall of one room, where visitors can see the names and photos of some of those who received botulism injections, were made to suffer frostbite or had their internal organs removed by Japanese military doctors.

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From the Washington Post:

During the years when he commanded 30 men and killed more enemy soldiers than he can recall, Tyrese Nyekar said he was known as “War Face.” But in the newly democratic and largely peaceful Liberia, he has traded his machine gun for a shovel. And for $2 a day, he is working to rebuild this battered capital on a road repair crew.

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From the Washington Post:

Bush has been a major critic of leaks of classified information, and his aides have repeatedly said they want to “get to the bottom” of who leaked the name of Wilson’s wife, covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, to the media, which touched off Fitzgerald’s investigation . But in the past 33 months the White House has never disclosed Bush’s apparent involvement in the deliberate disclosure of information meant to undermine Wilson.

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From the Mail & Guardian:

Jacob Zuma would have had his cows ready if his rape accuser had agreed to marry him, the Johannesburg High Court heard on Wednesday.

However, the former deputy president denied having any part in marriage negotiations, saying this was done by the woman’s two “aunts”.

“Yes, if we had reached an agreement with that, I would have had my cows ready,” Zuma told the court.

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From the Washington Post:

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said he did not know what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was talking about when she said last week that the United States had made thousands of “tactical errors” in handling the war in Iraq, a statement she later said was meant figuratively.

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From The Moscow Times:

John Malkovich is playing a gruesome NKVD colonel in a new British-Russian film currently being shot by Thema Productions at a glue factory in the St. Petersburg suburb of Pushkin.

Set in 1946, “In Transit” is based on real events that took place in Pushkin. A group of German prisoners of war is by accident sent to and held in a transit camp guarded by women immediately after the end of World War II. The location being used for the shoot is the Krasny Treugolnik, or Red Triangle, factory in the south of the city.

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From the New York Times:

The shifting priorities illustrate the trade-off between combat and reconstruction that the American military is still grappling with, but especially in remote regions like this one, where the Iraqi government is still almost nonexistent.

The Marines’ effort is also a test of the Bush administration’s declaration that it will focus this year on holding and rebuilding Iraqi towns, rather than departing after military operations and allowing insurgents to return.

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From the Washington Post:

The new Hamas-led government is broke and failed to pay tens of thousands of Palestinian public workers on Saturday, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Wednesday.

It was the first time the radical Islamic group had admitted that it would have difficulty running the West Bank and Gaza Strip without massive foreign aid.

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From the Washington Post:

Researchers said nearly two decades ago that this tiny country was part of an AIDS Belt stretching across the midsection of Africa, a place so infected with a new, incurable disease that, in the hardest-hit places, one in three working-age adults were already doomed to die of it.

But AIDS deaths on the predicted scale never arrived here, government health officials say. A new national study illustrates why: The rate of HIV infection among Rwandans ages 15 to 49 is 3 percent, according to the study, enough to qualify as a major health problem but not nearly the national catastrophe once predicted.

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From the Washington Post:
Two weeks later, Hansen suggested to an audience at the New School University in New York that his counterparts at NOAA were experiencing even more severe censorship. “It seems more like Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union than the United States,” he told the crowd.

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