vodkaThere is no doubt that excessive consumption of alcohol was a critical health problem in the Soviet Union. Trapped in a grim purgatory empire, the serfs of socialism had few outlets for human expression and drinking provided one of the few means of escaping the endless rhetoric of Marxist paradise so contrary to everyday experience. The realm of Putin, the KGB officer, and his henchmen continues to inspire ordinary Russians to seek solace in vodka.

Border PatrolU.S. Border Patrol agents in Zapata, Texas, near the Mexican border, recently pulled over a sheriff’s vehicle from neighboring Webb County because something just looked strange, reported the Washington Post for August 30. The driver of the pickup with Webb County sheriff decals was wearing a deputy's uniform, and swore he was a real officer. However, when the checkpoint agents called Webb County’s dispatcher, he told them he could account for all county vehicles. It seems the agents had uncovered yet another imposter — one with a thousand pounds of marijuana in his pickup.

Voice of America News reported on September 1 that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair wrote in his newly published memoirs, A Journey: My Political Life, that he does not regret his decision to engage Britain in the war in Iraq, stating that he did not foresee the “nightmare” that has unfolded there. The book was published on August 31, the day that the United States formally ended its combat operations in Iraq, while leaving behind an “advisory” force of 50,000 personnel.

Called “the kangaroo touch” in Australia and also “kangaroo care,” the method used by Kate Ogg in Sydney last spring worked almost like a miracle. She had just given birth prematurely to twins, and while Emily's birth was uneventful, her twin brother, Jamie, was not as fortunate.

Japanese Financial Services Minister Shozaburo Jimi confirmed that China's central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan had not defected to the United States, something rumored from Chinese-based sources for several days over the weekend. But the question now being asked is why the rumor started in the first place.

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