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Straight Poop Direct from Our Far-Flung Reporters to You 

Scoop Lewis, Ace Reporter, covers all of the past week's most newsworthy events in one column.

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Monday, April 18

Need a bill-payer loan? Standard & Poors lowers long-term credit outlook for US from "stable" to "negative." Republicans in Congress stick out their tongues and go "Nyaaah, nyaaah!" ... Chew on this: Pentagon investigation of Rolling Stone article in which Gen. Stanley McChrystal said, among other things, that Vice President Joe Biden could "bite him" clears McChrystal. Rolling Stone stands by its story ... Haven't we seen this movie before? European Union seeks approval from UN to move ground troops into Libya to "secure sea and land corridors inside the country" ... Move along, nothing to see here: Scientists surveyed by AP say health of Gulf of Mexico is back to normal one year after BP oil spill disaster ... More green shoots: Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for three Central Oregon counties fall, though all are still in double digits and Crook County's remains highest in state at 15.4%.

Tuesday, April 19

Time for new blood: Fidel Castro, 84, steps down as president of Cuba and head of Communist Party, saying country needs young leaders. His chosen successor: Jose Ramon Machado, 80 ... You're not the only one who had a bad year: President and Mrs. Obama reveal they made only $1.73 million in 2010, mostly from book sales, way down from $5.5 million in 2009. They paid $453,700 in federal taxes ... With friends like this: Charles Manson, leader of the murderous "Manson Family," breaks 20 years of silence to issue warning about global warming. "Everyone's God and if we don't wake up to that there's going to be no weather," he says ... Media wars, cont.: Deschutes County DA Patrick Flaherty slashes back at anonymous filer of ethics complaint against him, says The Bulletin was "most likely connected" with it as part of "attempt to manufacture a news story where none exists."

Wednesday, April 20

I'm cool, you're cool: President Obama has sit-down with Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook HQ in Palo Alto, CA; tells Zuckerberg we need to tax the rich more. "I'm cool with that," says Zuckerberg. "I know you're cool with that," says Obama ... Fear gets less colorful: Department of Homeland Insecurity says it's scrapping old five-color terror alert system, will now have only two alerts: "elevated" and "imminent" ... Gruesome conclusion: Body of Sandra Meyer, apparent murder victim, found in utility box in backyard of Bend home where she and husband lived ... Portland's higher than Boulder: Portland ranks Number Three on The Daily Beast's list of top U.S. cities for pot smoking, beaten out by Tallahassee, FL and Boston, MA. Boulder, CO comes in fourth.

Thursday, April 21

Creepy: US Defense Secy. Robert Gates says Obama has okayed use of Predator drones to help Libyan rebels. "I don't think there's mission creep at all," Gates says ... Big Brother Steve Jobs is watching? Researchers discover operating system for Apple iPhone and 3GiPad keeps record of where users have been and when they were there ... What's he smokin'? Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, staunch libertarian and advocate of legal pot, announces bid for Republican presidential nomination ... Wages of sin, cont.: Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) resigns amid fallout from sex scandal involving campaign and Senate investigation of charges he bribed her husband.

Friday, April 22

Bloody Friday: More than 70 killed in Syria as troops open fire on protesters demanding removal of President Bashar al-Assad ... And now, The Pope Benny Show! Pope Benedict XVI becomes first pontiff to stage Q-and-A TV show on Italian television. However, questions were pre-selected ... Good news for sharks: Bill to ban shark-fin soup advances in Oregon Legislature. Demand for Asian delicacy threatens shark populations worldwide ... What next, another Monkey Trial? Tennessee Legislature considering bill to prohibit teachers from telling students gays even exist until high school ... Speaking of monkeys: Florida pastor Terry Jones, who set off riots in Mideast by burning Quran, almost shoots self when his .40-caliber handgun accidentally goes off.

Saturday, April 23

Bloody Saturday: Syrian security forces open fire on people attending funeral for some of the protesters killed Friday; at least 300 believed killed since uprising began ... Protesters have better success in Yemen, where President Ali Abdullah Saleh agrees to step down ... Snubbed again: List of guests for wedding of Prince Andrew and Kate Middleton released; Elton John and Rowan Atkinson (aka Blackadder and Mr. Bean) make the cut, but this reporter inexplicably doesn't ... Also snubbed is Lindsay Lohan, released from jail in LA on $75,000 bail after spending five hours in pokey for breaking probation by swiping $2,500 necklace.

Sunday, April 24

Happy Easter, go to jail: Chinese government celebrates Easter Sunday by arresting 30 Christians as they try to hold public service ... The hidden toll: Syrian human rights group reports more than 217 have disappeared since early Friday, besides those killed by government troops ... Nothing like a good public pissing contest: Bulletin Editor John Costa, in Sunday column, takes another swipe at Deschutes County DA Patrick Flaherty in feud over release of public records, accuses him of "seeing enemies at every turn who ... are ready to strike" ... Feline of Mystery: Giddy the cat, who ran away from her Reno home four years ago, turns up in small town on northern Oregon coast, is reunited with owner. Authorities have no idea how she got there; cat isn't talking.


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