in Rio de Janeiro: A new species of lion tamarin has been discovered on an island off the coast. The lion tamarin is a squirrel-size monkey with a mane like a lion.
in Jincun: The couple have four children. They are new migrants (pioneers) arriving at their new home; a mud house. The entire village consists of pioneers – once poor peasants – who have leaped into the unknown hoping to improve their lives. A welcoming committee of two greets the nervous family. Please notice that your house has plastic windows, one welcomer points out with pride. Another welcomer helps mark out a patch of land on which to plant a vegetable garden in the sandy soil. Our Yellow River irrigation project has reclaimed these desert lands … made them inhabitable, she explains. Where are we? asks the family who were brought to the village by an official truck. You are forty kilometers southwest of Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia Autonomous region.
in Beijing: Grandma looks out of her window. September is the month her husband died thirty-two years before. She sees that thick smoke is pouring from the tangerine-colored trousers of her four year old grandson. She runs outside, flings bucketfuls of water at him. A three cms. square has been burned through his trousers. She carries him inside and puts him under the table in order to keep an eye on him. He smells like burnt cotton. She goes back to preparing food – chopping and pealing – but smells smoke again. Glancing under the table she observes that smoke is pouring from inside his clothes once again. She hoists him into her arms, walks two kilometers to the hospital. All the time, the smell of smoke and burnt cotton burns her nose. At the hospital he’s put onto a metal cot from which the mattress has been removed. He will first be observed. Within two hours he spontaneously ignites four times. Each time, more doctors and officials gather to observe him. A doctor says, Yes, I’ve heard reports of combusting bodies. But not once have I heard such a report in China. Another doctor suggests, Let us make some measurements. Together the doctors measure him. They find that strong electrical currents are running through his small body. But otherwise, they measure nothing unusual.
in Jakarta: His name is John but he is known as Nova. He works as a prostitute. The police apprehend him for stealing a gold chain. He opens his shirt and tells the judge, I was unable to continue breast building silicone injections. They are like my grandfather’s … not big. Do you understand now?
in Los Angelees: Two hundred people are contacted by mail. YOU ARE WINNERS OF THE CALIFORNIA LOTTERY !!! the letters inform them. All two hundred turn up to collect their winnings on the 13th of September, as instructed. When they are assembled, the door is shut and bolted. They are told by an armed officer, You are all scofflaw felons on the loose. Your prize will be free accommodations in our jail? All ask: But the Lottery? The answer: It was a ruse.
in Boston: At the Rehabilitation Center for the aged, a group of patients between the ages of ninety and ninety-six are gathered together in the rec room. You are chosen to receive a new treatment, the nurse explains.Why us? Why today? The answer: You all suffer from arthritis, heart disease, high blood pressure. Lie down on these mats. One by one they do and high-density weights are attached to their legs. Three times a day for eight weeks they lift their weighted legs. The results are eventually pinned on the bulletin board. Average strength gain: 174% in right legs Comments: Remarkable results in the light of subjects advanced age, sedentary habits, multiple chronic diseases, functional disabilities, nutritional inadequacies.
in Detroit: She’s an old leftie. She suffers from Alzheimers disease. Her affidavit states: I’m a lover of music and books and humanity. I’m quickly losing the capacity to enjoy all three. The doctor inserts an i.v. tube into her arm. Immediately a silvery saline solution drips through the clear tube. The woman looks the doctor in the eye. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’ll take over from here. The doctor turns and leaves the room. With her right hand she pushes a button that stops the saline. It causes crystal clear sodium thiopental to drip. She dies in six minutes.
in Kola Peninsula on the Barento Sea:The Dutch weather authority received a report that a large, trouser-shaped cloud formation had formed near to the Russian-Finnish border. Two old Russian nuclear power stations, a vast Russian military complex, and a navel base are on the Peninsula. These nuclear power stations are meant to be replaced, the authority warns in a panic. The Finnish Meteorological Institute takes satellite photos which suggest that the clouds are of natural origin.
in Gien on the Loire River: French children are returning to school. Since Pentecost, they have had no holiday. They encounter human skulls, bones smeared with blood, portraits of a man with a small mustache, like a toothbrush. At school they find the walls daubed with six-sided stars, crooked crosses, and a nonsensical sign that says: Albeit Macht Frei.
in Carpentras: Underage lovers, looking for an out-of-the-way place, discover that thirty-four graves are desecrated in the Jewish cemetery.
in London: At Heathrow Airport a group of athletes from a small country in South America see a sign: DUTY FREE SHOP. They empty the shop of cigarettes, alcohol, jewelry and sweets. Scotland Yard arrives. You must return these goods! One athlete asks, Why? The sign clearly says these good are free. I can read English.
in Athens: There have been poor winter rains. Athens is in draught! the TV weather announcer explains, The low water reserves will last only another five months. But: Suddenly a large water reserve is discovered deep order the city. The reservoir dates from the time when Roman Emperor Hadrian ordered aqueducts to be built in the Pendeli Mountains. Though the aqueducts have disappeared, the reservoir remains. This ancient water will be used to water your gardens, the Mayor of Athens announces joyfully, … to water trees, to wash the city streets.
in Nairobi: Fathima Omar Isabh goes to visit her son, Aben Khalif Uyussuf, at Mathare Mental Hospital. His son is twenty-seven and mentally ill. He has been transferred to the Kenyatta National Hospital, the clerk tells her. But that is a medical hospital! Fathima gasps. The clerk shrugs helplessly so she travels to Kenyatta and finds the National Hospital where her son is in a bed on a ward. My penis and testicles have been cut off and eaten by another patient under the supervision of a doctor. her son tells her morosely. She goes to her brother’s home and begs him, I am too distraught. Please investigate. The brother comes to see her in late September. Dear Sister. They say that his is the first case of maltreatment in all forty years since the hospital’s existence… She cuts him off: And…? He shakes his head. That’s as far as I know.
in Uganda: A small group of woman walk seven miles to Buwanga. They assemble in a group under a large mango tree. They listen to Sarah Babbaliwu. She is a woman lawyer who tells them, Woman CAN own property. The IS NO reason anymore for woman to kneel down in front of men. Being beaten is NOT a sign of love. FIGHT BACK !!! The women smile and laugh, then look at each other. They must now walk seven miles back to their fields to resume work. Their work is to collect firewood, carry large containers of water on their heads, care for the children and husbands, cook, work the fields. As they do all the hard work, they must hurry and get everything done before sundown, so they walk very quickly.
in Garamba: At Garamba National park a new white rhinoceros has been born. This year so far ten have been born. Last year: four. The new park warden is working with the government and anti-poaching guards to bring the world’s second largest land mammal, the white rhinoceros, back form the brink of extinction.
in Madhya Pradesh State: Two parties are on their way to be married. They arrive at Palon village on 28 September. All the brides’ long veils are in place so the ceremony begins. First one bride circles the fire with her groom seven times to seal the marriage. Then, the second bride does the same circle, seven times, sealing her marriage. Finally, all brides and brooms have circled the fire. The veils are lifted. The brides discover that each has been married to the wrong bridegroom. The village elders confer while the brides and grooms wait. In true Hindu tradition, once the seven perambulations around the sacred fire are complete, the vows are final. All shout: But... But they are told: Go. Obey the law. Revel in the coming month of October.