MONDAY, AUGUST 20 This week of fatal wetness, rock-hucking homesickness, and heroically awesome women named Cheryl Chow kicks off with a story that feels so yesterday, because it is. The star of the story: Todd Akin, the Republican representative from Missouri now vying for a seat in the US Senate. During an interview yesterday with KTVI-TV in Saint Louis, Akin was asked if he supports abortion in cases of rape—a question he used as an opportunity to cast doubt on the ability of rape to lead to conception. "It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," said Akin, before delivering the quote that will resonate throughout history. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." By the end of yesterday, Akin will release a statement admitting that he "misspoke." By today, no one will be talking about anything else, with even the GOP joining in the derision of Representative Shit-for-Brains. Despite calls to abandon his Senate bid from everyone from GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney to far-right bird of prey Ann Coulter, Akin will astound everyone tomorrow by vowing to continue his election bid, proving he's as knowledgeable about politics as he is about female anatomy.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 21 The week continues in Federal Way, where today a man was arrested for allegedly e-mailing death threats against President Obama. Details come from KING 5, which identifies the suspect as 31-year-old Anton Caluori, who, according to the Secret Service, sent the following e-mail today to a general purpose FBI address: "I will kill the president. I don't give a fuck but you know that." Also in the e-mail: the author's street address and a challenge to "get here now." "The message was intercepted and police tracked his location to make an arrest," reports KING 5. "Documents say when Caluori opened the door of the apartment he shares with his mother, he was wearing a bandolier filled with 12-gauge shotgun shells around his torso, and attached to the bandolier was a large knife."
But wait, there's more: Behind his back, Caluori reportedly held a "stockless, pump-action shotgun with pistol grip," which he allegedly pointed at the investigating officers (one a member of the Secret Service, the other a Federal Way police officer). The officers tackled the shotgun-wielding Caluori and then swept his apartment, in which they reportedly found "a laptop computer that was powered on and displaying the e-mail address the threatening e-mail came from." Caluori faces up to five years in prison for threatening the president, and 20 years in prison for pointing a shotgun at the two officers.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 22 In much better but still painfully bittersweet news, the week continues with Cheryl Chow, the 66-year-old Seattle citizen who's devoted her life to public service, working as a teacher, a principal, a Seattle School Board member, and a Seattle City Council member, and coaching the Seattle Chinese Community Girls Drill Team for nearly 50 years (!). Today brought a heartbreaking update on the life of Chow, courtesy of KING 5's Lori Matsukawa: "Cheryl Chow has brain cancer and does not have much time left, but [Chow] has one more task to do—she wants to come out." After six decades of careful hiding (driven mostly by fear of disappointing her mother and the Chinese community), today Chow invited KING 5 into her real life: "Chow and Sarah Morningstar, an assistant principal, have been together for 10 years. They began running marathons because training was a way for them to be together in public... Last month, Chow became an adoptive parent to Morningstar's daughter, 4-year-old Liliana." Regarding her long-delayed coming-out, Chow doesn't mince words: "Parents and kids, don't be afraid of saying that you're gay. I was afraid for over 60 years and those 60 years were wasted. If I can save one child from feeling bad or even committing suicide because they felt terrible because they were gay, then I would have succeeded in my last crusade." Dear Cheryl Chow: Welcome to the non-closeted world. It's heartbreaking you might have to leave so soon, but you are awesome (as is your partner). Dear everyone else: It's one thing to come out if you're some up-and-coming Hollywood star who fell in love at first sight with Ellen or a beloved CNN anchor looking to get a jump on your inevitable outing. But to do it as brain cancer is ending your life and affecting your speech, and to offer yourself up as a glamour-free object lesson so others might live better, is heroism.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23 Nothing happened today, unless you count the man in Seattle who threw a big rock through the glass doors of the North Precinct Police Station and then waited for cops to arrest him. "He told officers he was from Guatemala and committed the crime because he wanted to go home," reports the Associated Press. "He has been booked into King County Jail for investigation of malicious mischief."
FRIDAY, AUGUST 24 The week continues in New York City, where today an "out-of-work fashion designer fatally shot a former coworker near the Empire State Building and then was killed in a blaze of gunshots by police," as Reuters reports. The murderous and now-dead out-of-work designer will be identified as 58-year-old Jeffrey Johnson, and oh yeah: "Eight bystanders were wounded, possibly all of them by police bullets, though none of their injuries were life-threatening," reports Reuters.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 25 The week continues with a tale of elemental tragedy from Quebec, where yesterday police publicly confirmed that a woman found drowned in the town of Rawdon was a new bride hit by sudden waterfall-related tragedy. "The woman was married on June 9 and was having photos taken in her [wedding] dress with the picturesque Dorwin Falls as a backdrop," reports the Associated Press. "While she was being photographed with her feet in the water, the dress became saturated with water, leaving her unable to stay above water." Rescue attempts by the photographer and a bystander were foiled by the weight of the water-soaked dress, and two witnesses had to be treated for shock. Condolences to all, forever.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 The week ends horribly in a Taliban-controlled area of southern Afghanistan, where this evening a group of people gathered for a celebration involving music and dancing. Tragically, such activity is frowned upon by the Taliban, which slaughtered 17 members of the gathering. "Insurgents beheaded 17 civilians... apparently because they attended a dance party that flouted the extreme brand of Islam embraced by the militants," reports the Associated Press.
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