There's a particular pleasure in being reminded that the most ordinary things can still be full of magic. Frogs may turn into princes. Lumps of dirt can hide sparkling gems. And having just read Mark Kurlansky's new biography of Clarence Birdseye, I now see the humble fish fillet in a whole new light.
President Obama's performance in Tuesday's Arkansas primary won't be as embarrassing as what happened in West Virginia two weeks ago, when he gave up 41 percent of the vote to someone who happened to be sitting in a federal prison in Texas for embezzlement.
But it may well do more lasting damage to his party.
A unlikely coalition failed to derail the government's practice of holding terror suspects for indefinite periods of time.
Some Democrats and Tea Party Republicans put the issue to a vote through an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have ended the practice but it ultimately failed, today, in the GOP-controlled house by a vote of 238 to 182.
Donna Summer, the queen of disco, died Thursday at her home in Naples, Fla., after a long struggle with cancer. She was 63. Born LaDonna Andrea Gaines, she grew up in a large Boston family singing gospel music and became an icon of a powerful cultural movement, a celebrated sex queen and a staple of gay club life.
Carlos Fuentes, one of the most influential writers in the Latin American world, died Tuesday at a hospital in Mexico City. He was 83. A prolific writer, Fuentes wrote novels, short stories and plays, as well as political nonfiction and essays that criticized the Mexican government during the 1980s and '90s.
The data, based on a 2008 survey of people who served in state prisons, says the abuse disproportionately hits gay and bisexual inmates. And victims who reported the problems often were retaliated against or ignored, the study said.