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    "Most newspaper article events happen anywhere from days, to months, to years before they reach publication. Consequently, most newspaper articles on this timeline are preceeded by the date of the newspaper in which they appear." [E.M.]      *Color Code

March 2005

2005 - Astronomic Configuration - March 1st, 2005: "Sun [10 Pisces], Moon [6 Scorpio], Mercury [22 Pisces], Venus [2 Pisces], Mars [15 Capricorn], Jupiter [17 Libra R], Saturn [20 Cancer R], Uranus [6 Pisces], Neptune [16 Aquarius], Pluto [24 Sagittarius], Chiron [0 Aquarius]."  

2005 - Status / Jose Padilla - March 1st, 2005: "WASHINGTON - A federal judge ordered the Bush administration Monday [02/28/05] to either charge terrorism suspect Jose Padilla with a crime or release him after more than 2 1/2 years in custody. U.S. District Judge Henry Floyd in Spartanburg, S.C., said the government cannot hold Padilla indefinately as an 'enemy combatant,' a designation President George W. Bush gave him in 2002. The government contends Padilla was planning an attack with a 'dirty bomb' radiological device. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Attorney General Alberto Gonzales defended on Tuesday [03/01/05] the government's detention of Jose Padilla in response to a judge's ruling that the 'dirty bomb' suspect must be charged with a crime or freed. While lawmakers urged compliance with the ruling Monday [02/28/05] by U.S. District Judge Henry Floyd in Spartanburg, S.C., Gonzales said the Supreme Court had upheld the proposition that the government can hold someone it declares an enemy combatant 'for the duration of the hostilities.' Padilla has been held for 21 months without being charged." [Based on: News Services, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A5, 03/02/05]

*Trivia: "The Justice Department is appealing last week's decision by a federal judge that the administration's detention of Padilla without charges or ongoing access to a lawyer violated the law. Padilla has been in a military brig almost continuously since his arrest in May 2002 in connection with a suspected plot to launch a radioactive 'dirty bomb' attack on the United States." [Based on: News Services, 03/08/05]

2005 - Settlement / DuPont Co's - March 1st, 2005: "CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A judge on Monday [02/28/05] approved the settlement [in which DuPont agreed to pay at least $107.6 million] of a class-action lawsuit alleging that a chemical used in making the nonstick substance Teflon contaminated water supplies near DuPont Co's Washington Works plant. [....] The lawsuit was filed in 2001 on behalf of people living near the plant, located on the Ohio River about 7 miles southwest of Parkersburg, who said their water supply was contaminated by PFOA [also known as perfluorooctanoic acid or C8]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Denial? / Bernard J. Ebbers - March 1st, 2005: "NEW YORK - Former WorldCom Inc. chief Bernard J. Ebbers took the witness stand Monday [02/28/05] and denied he knew that accountants were cooking the company's books. [....] The matter-of-fact denial was perhaps the most dramatic moment in the trial of Ebbers, now in its fifth week. Prosecutors have alleged that he orchestrated a fraud of $11 billion that sank WorldCom in 2002. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Israeli Warning / Gaza Pullout - March 1st, 2005: "JERUSALEM - Israel's defense minister warned Monday [02/28/05] that he will send large forces into Palestinian neighborhoods if Israeli troops and settlers come under fire during the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip this siummer. The military faces twin threats during the pullout, from extremist settlers and Palestinian militants. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Lawsuit / Merrill Lynch & Co. - March 1st, 2005: "A couple won a $1 million award against Merrill Lynch & Co. after claiming the investment firm hid conflicts of interest and issued fraudulent analyst reports. [....] The $1 million award includes $300,000 in punitive damages for Gary and Lisa Friedman of Boca Raton, Fla. The couple had requested $4 million, plus interest and punitive damages, for their claims of breach of fiduciary duty, common law fraud, negligence and breach of contract. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 01/01/05]

2005 - Lighters Banned / U.S. Airplanes - March 1st, 2005: "Airline passengers will no longer be allowed to bring cigarette lighters onto planes or into any secure areas, the Homeland Security Department announced Monday [02/28/05]. [....] The rule will be enforced beginning April 14th." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Suicide Bomber / Hillah, Iraq - March 1st, 2005: "[....] In the deadliest single attack since the fall of Saddam Hussein, a suicide car bomber killed 115 people and wounded 132 on Monday [02/28/05], mostly police and army recruits lined up for physicals at a medical clinic. The explosion in the largely Shiite town of Hillah about 60 miles south of Baghdad presented the boldest challenge yet to Iraq's efforts to build a security force that can take over from the Americans. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Tax Evasion? / Walter Anderson - March 1st, 2005: "WASHINGTON - He made so much money in the telecommunications industry that he talked about launching a vacation paradise for his friends - in space. But now reclusive tycoon Walter Anderson is grounded, locked up after federal authorities accused him of evading more than $200 million in federal and local income taxes. Federal agents arrested the lean, white-haired, 51-year-old entrepreneur Saturday at Dulles International Airport after he stepped off a flight from London. He was in court Monday [02/28/05] as the target of what authorities descriped as the largest case of personal tax evasion in U.S. history. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - Contact? / Bin Laden & Al-Zarqawi? - March 1st, 2005: "WASHINGTON - New intelligence indicates that Osama bin Laden is enlisting Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, his top operative in Iraq, to plan potential attacks on the United States, federal officials said Monday [02/28/05]. [....] Bin Laden was in contact with al-Zarqawi within the past two months in an effort to enlist him in attacks, said an official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. U.S. analysts believe this shows the al-Qaida leadership needs to reach out to al-Zarqawi to get him involved in considering such activities outside Iraq, the official said. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Resigned? / Lebanese Government - March 1st, 2005: "BEIRUT, Lebanon - Under intense public pressure over its allegiance to Syria, the Lebanese government abruptly resigned Monday [02/28/05], even though it appeared likely to have survived a no-confidence vote in parliament. [....]" [Based on: Newsday]

*Trivia: "An end to Syria's domination of Lebanon, as demanded by thousands of Lebanese protestors Monday [02/28/05] would have a major impact in the Middle East. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Monday that the resignation of Lebanon's prime minister and his government allows for the prospect of Lebanese elections that are 'free of all foreign interference.' [....]" [Based on: Post Dispatch Washington Bureau, 03/01/05]

2005 - Sulfur Dioxide Emission / Ambrym Volvano, Vanuatu Islands - March 2005: "Since at least October 2004, the Ambrym Volcano has been sending sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. By March 2005, it was the largest point source of sulfur dioxide on the planet. [....]" [Link: 1]

2005 - Hutu Majority? / Burundi - March 2nd, 2005: "Burundians voted overwhelmingly to adopt a new power-sharing constitution, guaranteeing majority rule and minority rights in the Central Africa country torn by 11 years of ethnic violence. Paul Ngarambe, head of the electoral commission, said Tuesday [03/01/05] that 90 percent of registered voters turned out Monday and more than 91 percent of those voting approved the new constitution. The constitution reserves 60 percent of the seats in government and parliament for Hutus and 40 percent for Tutsis. Burundi's Tutsi minority had dominated politics and the economy since independence from Belgium in 1962." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Sales Declines / GM & Ford - March 2nd, 2005: "DETROIT - General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. posted sales declines last month, contributing to costly production cuts at the nation's two largest automakers, while Japanese rivals and the smallest of Detroit's Big Three made impressive gains. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Results / Child Poverty Study - March 2nd, 2005: "GENEVA - Nordic countries have the lowest levels of child poverty in the developed world, due in large part to their generous public spending on social benefits for families, according to a report released Tuesday [03/01/05] by the U.N. Children's Fund. On the other end of the spectrum, the United States and Mexico had the worst rates of child poverty in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development - a Paris-based group of the world's wealthiest countries. At least one-fifth of U.S. and Mexican children live under the national poverty line, according to the study undertaken by UNICEF's Innocenti Research Center in Florence, Italy. About 40 million to 50 million children in rich countries live in relative poverty, UNICEF estimates. Statistics were available for only 24 of 30 states in the organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and represented figures through 2001. [....] Rated the best were Denmark, at 2.4 percent; Finland, at 2.8 percent; Norway, at 3.4 percent; and Sweden, at 4.2 percent. UNICEF praised the Nordics for their commitment to social spending on families - including family allowances, disability and sickness benefits, day care, unemployment insurance and other social assistance. At the bottom end of the table were Mexico, at 27.7 percent, and the United States, at 21.9 percent. Both countries spend less than 5 percent of their gross domestic product on government support for families." [Based on A.P. article, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A12, 03/02/05]

2005 - Assassination / Iraqi Judge - March 2nd, 2005: "[....] In another act of terrorism Tuesday [03/01/05], gunmen in Baghdad shot and killed a judge and a lawyer with the special tribunal that will try Saddam Hussein and former regime members, Iraqi officials said. [....] The judge, Parwiz Muhammed Mahmoud al-Merani, 59, was killeed outside his home a day after the Iraqi tribunal announced the first charges in the approaching trials of former senior officials in Saddam's government. The judge's son, Aryan Mahmoud al-Merani, 26, who also worked at the tribunal as a lawyer, was killed with him, according to officials at Iraq's Interior Ministry. [....]" [Based on, A.P.]

2005 - Iraq Withdrawal / Ukraine? - March 2nd, 2005: "[....] In Kiev, Ukraine's top security body decided Tuesaday [03/01/05] to withdraw the nation's troops from Iraq. Officials said the pullout would start this month and be completed by October. The National Security and Defense Council, headed by President Viktor Yushchenko, made the widely expected decision to withdraw  Ukraine's 1,650-strong contingent. Ukraine, which has lost 17 soldiers in Iraq, strongly opposed the U.S.-led war but later agreed to send a contingent to serve under Polish command." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Suspicious Murders / Chicago - March 2nd, 2005: "Authorities in Chicago were investigating Tuesday [03/01/05] whether the execution-style killings of a federal judge's husband and mother were tied to supporters of Matt Hale, the white supremacist leader and former Southern Illinois University law student who once tried to have the judge killed. [....] Lefkow [U.S. District Judge Joan H. Lefkow] found her husband, Michael F. Lefkow, 64, and her mother, Donna Grace Humphrey, 89, dead with gunshot wounds to the head in the basement of their Chicago home on Monday evening [02/28/05]. [....]" [Based on: Post-Dispatch Springfield Bureau]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Banda Sea - March 2nd, 2005: "Magnitude 7.1 BANDA SEA Wednesday, March 02, 2005 at 10:42:12 UTC "

[Based on: http://neic.usgs.gov/neis/eq_depot/2005/eq_050302/]

2005 - Foreign Interference? / Lebanon - March 2nd, 2005: "LONDON - In a tough warning to Syria, the United States and France called Tuesday [03/01/05] for an immediate and total withdrawal of all Syrian troops and intelligence agents from Lebanon. They also urged other nations to help chart a more stable future for Lebanon, including sending international monitors to observe its crucial spring elections. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - President Tabare Vazquez / Uruguay - March 2nd, 2005: "Tabare Vazquez, a physician took office as Uruguay's first leftist president Tuesday [03/01/05], aligning the small South American country with a regional political shift in that direction. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Drug Production? / Afghanistan & Iraq - March 2nd, 2005: "[....] The International Narcotics Control Board said drug production in Afghanistan was so widespread it 'has become a severe threat to this new democracy, as well as the stability and economic recovery of the country as a whole.' Drug production in Afghanistan reached a record level last year [2004], defying efforts to curb production. [....] The board, an independent body that monitors the implementation of U.N. drug conventions and monitors the global supply of legal drugs, also is concerned about Iraq, where traffickers could flourish in the power vacuum that exists in thae chaotic government, Ghodse [Hamid Ghodse, president of the Vienna-based board] said. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Discovery / Opal Deposit, Wyoming - March 2nd, 2005: "The discovery of a 34-pound opal in central Wyoming could trigger an old-fashioned mineral rush this week. On Friday [03/04/05], the Wyoming State Geological Survey will publicly release the location of an enormous opal deposit found near Riverton in central Wyoming. Its discovery raises the possibility that the deposit hosts substantial amounts of fiery orange opal and the precious iridescent variety." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Video Release / French Hostage, Iraq - March 2nd, 2005: "[....] ... insurgents, fighting both American forces and the Iraqi government, released a video Tuesday [03/01/05] of French journalist Florence Aubenas, 43, kidnapped nearly two months ago. [....] The video of Aubenas, the French journalist, who disappeared Jan. 5, was dropped off at the Baghdad offices of an international news agency. There was no indication of when the tape was made. 'Please help me, my health is very bad,' she said in English. 'Please, it's urgent now. I ask especially Mr. Didier Julia, the French deputy, to help me.' [....]" [Based on, A.P.]

2005 - Settlement / Northrop Grumman Corp. - March 2nd, 2005: "LOS ANGELES - Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. agreed to pay $62 million to settle fraud allegations brought by two whistle-blowers over work it did on the B-2 stealth bomber and other contracts, federal prosecutors in Chicago said Tuesday [03/01/05]. The settlement ends a 15-year-old civil suit begun by four former Northrop Grumman workers in Illinois. Two of the four dropped out. The case had been scheduled for trial in June. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Greenspan Speaks - March 3rd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Alan Greenspan, chairman of the Federal Reserve, warned Wednesday [03/02/05] that the federal budget deficits are unsustainable and urged Congress to act, preferably by cutting spending. He also warned that the deficits could be driven even higher by costs connected to the aging of the baby boom generation, singling out entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Trivia / "The Exorcist" - March 3rd, 2005: "[....] You've probably heard of 'The Exorcist.' Father Halloran, who died Tuesday (March 1, 2005) at 83, was the last living Jesuit to be involved in an exorcism that took place in 1949 at a psychiatric unit in St. Louis. [....] Father Halloran died at a Jesuit retirement home in Wauwatosa, Wis., a Milwaukee suburb. But he spent many years in St. Louis from the 1940s and on into the 1970s. He was just 27 and a history student at St. Louis University when he was summoned to the psychiatric wing at Alexian Brothers Hospital, 3933 South Broadway. The Rev. William S. Bowdern was dealing with a 14-year-old lad who he believed was possessed by a diabolical spirit or spirits. The boy, Douglas Deen, was a Lutheran from Mount Rainier, Md., a Washington suburb. An eight-page report concerning the incident that was filed in the Georgetown University archives said the boy's parents were concerned by his aberrant behavior. Later accounts said that an aunt and uncle living in St. Louis had suggested to the parents that they try an exorcism as a way of bringing the child under control. That's how he ended up at Alexian Brothers. [....] Father Halloran said he observed streaks  and arrows and words like 'hell' that would rise on the child's skin. [....] In 1988, the Post-Dispatch did a two-part series on the actual exorcism, with Father Halloran providing a lot of fascinating information. [....] Father Halloran became the last remaining priest from the exorcism after the death of Van Roo, 89, who died in March 2004 at a health care center in Wauwatosa, Wis. Bowdern died in 1983 at age 85. [....] A visitation and Mass will taske place Friday evening [03/04/05] in Wauwatosa, Wis." [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A1 & A8, 03/03/05]

2005 - Rare Side Effect? / Crestor - March 3rd, 2005: "[....] The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday [03/02/05] that Crestor, like other drugs in the category known as statins, can have a rare side effect of serious muscle damage. [....]" [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D.]

2005 - Four-Month High / Crude Oil - March 3rd, 2005: "Crude-oil futures climbed to a four-month high above $53 a barrel Wednesday [03/02/05] as traders bet that the world's oil supply would remain tight because of rising demand. They played down a U.S. government report that showed supplies of oil and gasoline rising, pushing gasoline futures higher, too. [....]" [Based on: A.P]

2005 1st Female Governor / Afghanistan - March 3rd, 2005: "President Hamid Karzai appointed the country's first female provincial governor [Habiba Sarobi] - a step toward reviving women's rights trampled by the former hard-line Taliban government. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Church vs. State, U.S.A. - March 3rd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court struggled Wednesday [03/02/05] with the politically charged issue of whether prominent display of the ten Commandments at government buildings violates separation of church and state. [....]" [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A1, 03/03/05]

2005 - Criticism / U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd - March 3rd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Two Jewish groups accused Sen. Robert Byrd on Wednesday [03/02/05] of making an outrageous and reprehensible comparison between Adolf Hitler's Nazis and a Senate GOP plan to block Democrats from filibustering. A GOP senator called for Byrd to retract his remarks. [....] In his comments Tuesday, Byrd defended filibusters - procedural delays that can kill an item unless 60 of the 100 senators vote to move ahead. 'We, unlike Nazi Germany or Mussolini's Italy, have never stopped being a nation of laws, not of men,' Byrd said. 'But witness how men with motives and a majority can manipulate law to cruel and unjust ends.' Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, issued a written statement Wednesday. 'With his knowledge of history and his own personal background as a KKK member, he should be ashamed for implying that his political opponents are using Nazi tactics,' Brooks said. Byrd joined the Ku Klux Klan as a young man and has repeatedly apologized for it." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Anti-Terrorism Bulletin? / U.S.A. - March 3rd, 2005: "FORT WORTH, Texas - Police are being warned that a Texas-based white supremicist gang may be planning to kill law enforcement officers after the arrests of several of its high-ranking members. A federal anti-terrorism bulletin issued Friday [02/25/05] said information had been obtained indicating that 'members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) are threatening to kill or injure law-enforcement officers ... in Texas and in areas where the ABT are known to reside. [....]" [Based on: Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

2005 - Status / Canadian Beef Ban, U.S.A. - March 3rd, 2005: "A federal judge issued a court order blocking the U.S. government's plan to reopen the border to Canadian cattle March 7. [....] The government had planned to allow imports of cattle from Canada less than 30 months old, easing a ban imposed in May 2003 after an animal in Alberta was found with mad cow disease." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. B2, 03/03/05]

2005 - Revelation / Prisoner Abuse, Afghanistan - March 3rd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - In November 2002, a newly minted CIA case officer in charge of a secret prison [code named, the Salt Pit] just north of Kabul allegedly ordered guards to strip naked  an uncooperative young Afghan detainee, chain him to the concrete floor and leave him there overnight without blankets, according to four U.S. government officials aware of the case. [....] By morning, the Afghan man had frozen to death. After a quick autopsy by a CIA medic - 'hypothermia' was listed as the cause of death - the guards buried the Afghan, who was in his 20s, in an unmarked, unacknowledged cemetery used by Afghan forces, officials said. The captive's family has never been notified; his remains have never been returned for burial. He is on no one's registry of captives, not even as a 'ghost detainee,' the term for CIA captives held in military prisons but not registered on the books, they said. [....] Thirty-three military workers have been court-martialed and an additional 55 received reprimands for their mishandling of detainees, according to the Defense Department. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post article, S.L.P.D., p. A4, 03/03/05]

2005 - Revision? / Workforce Investment Act, U.S.A. - March 3rd, 2005: "Religious groups participating in federal job-training programs could hire employees based on their religious beliefs under a jobs bill that narrowly passed the House Wednesday [03/02/05]. The largely partisan 224-200 vote to extend and rewrite the 1998 Workforce Investment Act took place a day after President George W. Bush spoke to religious leaders. In his remarks, he chided Congress for not acting on his faith-based initiatives and criticized a government culture he said was 'unfriendly' to religious groups. [....] Under current law, religious organizations that take part in federal job-training programs cannot discriminate in hiring or firing for taxpayer-funded jobs. The House bill would remove that prohibition, meaning that a church or synagogue could use a person's religious beliefs in determining employment  for a federally funded job." [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D.]

2005 - Around the World in 67 Hours / Steve Fossett - March 3rd, 2005: "Aviator Steve Fossett became the first pilot to complete a solo nonstop flight around the globe." [E.M.]

2005 - Russian Supply Ship / International Space Station - March 3rd, 2005: "A Russian cargo ship [Progress M-52] carrying supplies docked successfully with the international space station Wednesday [03/02/05]. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - AIDS Toll? / Africa - March 4th, 2005: "More than 80 million Africans might die from AIDS by 2025, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday [03/03/05]. And infections could soar to 90 million - or more than 10 percent of the continent's population - if more isn't done soon to fight the disease, the report said. More than 25 million Africans have been infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. UNAIDS estimated that nearly $200 billion is needed to save 16 million people from death and 43 million people from becoming infected, but donors have pledged nowhere near that amount. [....]" [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A4, 03/04/05]

2005 - Trivia / "Bucky" Bush - March 4th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., has asked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to provide details on a series of contracts awarded to Engineered Support Systems Inc. of St. Louis. William H.T. 'Bucky' Bush, an uncle of President George W. Bush, is on its board of directors. [....] In his letter, Waxman cited a Los Angeles Times article on Feb. 23 that reported some contracts to the company were awarded without bids and disclosed that the president's uncle recently cashed in $450,000 worth of stock options in the defense firm. [....] William Bush is the youngest brother of the president's father, former President George Bush." [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Search for Bin Laden? - March 4th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - More than three years after President George W. Bush declared his intention to capture Osama bin Laden 'dead or alive,' the terrorist chieftan remains free to taunt his pursuers and plan more attacks. [....] 'We're on a constant hunt for bin Laden,' Bush said Thursday [03/03/05] at a swearing-in ceremony for Michael Chertoff, the new head of the Homeland Security Department. 'We're keeping the pressure on him, keeping him in hiding.' As for al-Qaida, Bush said: 'Stopping them is the greatest challenge of our day.' [....] A number of al-Qaida leaders possibly including bin Laden and his top associate, Ayman al-Zawahri, slipped through two American dragnets in eastern Afghanistan in 2001 and 2002. [....] Bush and his aides say the focus on bin Laden obscures other progress in the war on terrorism. By the administration's count, more than 75 percent of the al-Qaida leadership at the time of the Sept. 11 attacks has been killed or captured." [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers article, S.L.P.D., p. A2, 03/04/05]

2005 - Settlements / Talx Corp. - March 4th, 2005: "The Securities and Exchange Commission has accepted Talx Corp.'s offer to rersolve the agency's investigation of Talx's accounting by paying a $2.5 million fine and promising to abide by certain federal securities laws, the company said Thursday [03/03/05]. William W. Canfield, Talx's president and chief executive, also agreed to pay $859,999 in disgorgement and a $100,000 fine to resolve charges stemming from the same issues. Canfield also agreed to abide by federal securities laws. Neither Talx nor Canfield admitted any liability. The settlements are subject to final approval by a U.S. District Court judge in St. Louis. [....] Talx's announcement made no mention of a settlement of related charges against its former chief financial officer, Craig Cohen." [Based on: staff reports, S.L.P.D., p C2, 03/04/05]

2005 - World's Oldest Women? / Brazil - March 4th, 2005: "The Guinness World Records organization in London says it's checking records to determine if this woman, Maria Olivia da Silva of Brazil, is 125 years old. Da Silva's birth certificate shows that she was born Feb. 28, 1880. According to the Guiness World Records Web site, the world's oldest woman is 113-year-old Hendrikje Van AndelSchipper, who was born June 29, 1890. Da Silva lives in a small, wooden shack in the small town of Astorga, some 370 miles west of Sao Paulo in rural southern Brazil. [Based on: A.P. photo article, p. A11, S.L.P.D., 03/04/05]

2005 - Human Rights Violations? / U.S.A. - March 4th, 2005: "BEIJING - China issued a tit-for-tat report card Thursday [03/03/05] on human rights in the United States that lambastes the Pentagon for 'wanton slaughters' abroad, belittles American elections as awash in special-interest cash and accuses U.S. courts of deep-seated racial bias. The Chinese government report came three days after the U.S. State Department released its annual report on human rights abuses in countries around the world, including China. China has countered the American report for six years. This year's was particularly noteworthy because it condemned the United States for abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.  [....] ]The United States claims to be 'a paragon of democracy,' but American democracy is manipulated by the rich, and malpractices are common,' the report states. 'Elections in the United States are in fact a contest of money.' It described the 2004 presidential election as riddled with ballot-counting errors and confusion. 'In Florida, the cases of black people being removed from voter registration or their votes being denied were 10 times higher than people of other races,' it says. 'Most prisons in the United States are overcrowed,' even though construction of jails is a growth industry, the report adds. 'California has seen only one college but 21 new prisons built since 1984.' Poverty, hunger and homelessness have haunted the world's richest country,' and racial discrimination permeates society, especially in the court system, the report charges. Nearly 3 out of every 10 African-Americans have been in prison at least once, it states. Children are not safe at U.S. schools, the report charges. It says that 4.5 million students were molested each year at school." [Based on article by Tim Johnson, Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - Settlement / Bank of America Corp. - March 4th, 2005: "CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Following the lead of Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. on Thursday [03/03/05] became the second large U.S. bank to settle claims stemming from a class-action lawsuit by former shareholders of WorldCom Inc. The decision by Bank of America to pay $460.5 million to settle the case came as closing arguments were being heard in the criminal trial of former WorldCom chief executive, Bernard Ebbers. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Internet Magazine / Zurwat Al-Sanam - March 4th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A new online magazine purportedly posted by al-Qaida's affiliate in Iraq has launched an effort to recruit Muslims to rid Iraq of infidels and apostates - its names for Americans and their Iraqi partners. The magazine in named Zurwat al-Sanam, Arabic for 'The Tip of the Camel's Hump' - reference among militants to 'the epitome of belief and virtouos activity.' [....] Abu Maysara al-Iraqi, the designated 'media coordinator' for al-Zarqawi's group, posted the magazine on the Internet late Wednesday [03/02/05]. Saved as an attachment, it has appeared on at least two extremist Islamic Web sites that have previously posted al-Qaida statements. [....]" [Based on: Rawya Rageh, A.P.]

2005 - Foreign Relations / Saudia Arabia & Syria - March 4th, 2005: "BEIRUT, Lebanon - Saudi Arabia told Syria on Thursday [03/03/05] to withdraw its troops from Lebanon, adding substantially to Syria's international isolation a day after Russia joined Western nations in making a similar call. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Additional Settlement? / Putnam Investments - March 4th, 2005: "Putnam Investments will pay an additional $83.5 million to current and former shareholders to settle federal and state investigations into mutual fund trading abuses in the first big market-timing case. [....] Putnam previously had agreed to pay $110 million last April as part of a deal to compensate shareholders. Of the total $193.5 million, $153.5 million of it will be returned to investors through federal and massachusetts authorities. The additional $40 million will be used to pay penalties to regulators. At issue is market timing - the use of quick, in-and-out trades that skim profits from long-term shareholders and benefit favored short-term investors." [Based on: wire services, S.L.P.D., p C2, 03/04/05]

2005 - Executive Indictments / Charter Communications Inc. - March 4th, 2005: "Charter Communications Inc. is seeking more than $4.3 million from four former executives, who pleaded guilty to fraud after a grand jury investigation of the company and its accounting practices. In lawsuits filed last month, Charter seeks to recover legal fees and expenses advanced to the executives during the investigation, their indictments as well as related investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and class-action lawsuits by shareholders. Charter advanced the money on the condition that the executives believed their conduct wasn't illegal and that it was in the best interests of the company. The executives agreed to repay the money if their conduct was found to be illegal, Charter said. [....] None of the men has been sentenced for the crimes, which carry penalties of up to five years in prison and potential fines of $250,000 in some cases. Sentencing is scheduled for April 22 before U.S. District Judge Carol E. Jackson." [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. C2, 03/04/05]

2005 - Italian Hostage Release / Iraq - March 5th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. troops opened fire Friday evening [03/04/05] on a car rushing an Italian journalist [Giuliana Sgrena] just freed by kidnappers to the Baghdad airport, wounding her and killing an Italian security agent [Nicola Calipari] who had helped negotiate her release, officials said. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

*Trivia: "[....] The U.S. military called the shooting an accident. It said the vehicle was speeding toward an American checkpoint outside the airport and failed to heed warnings to stop. But Sgrena told Italian state television Saturday [03/05/05] that her car 'was not going especially fast for a situation of that type.' She also said her group was fired on by an American patrol and not at a checkpoint. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times, 03/06/05]

*Trivia: "[....] Calipari [Nicola Calipari] was killed - instantly, with a shot to the head, according to an autopsy report - as he shielded Sgrena from the bullets. [....] On Sunday [03/06/05] Sgrena went so far as to say she believed U.S. soldiers may have targeted the car out of anger that Italy reportedly paid a ransom to secure her release. One Italian minister said it was 'very likely' a ransom had been paid, and Italian newspapers reported sums up to $10 million. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 03/07/05]

*Trivia: "The U.S. military decided Tuesday [03/08/05] to conduct an accelerated inquiry to learn why American troops opened fire on a car, killing an Italian intelligence agent and wounding an Italian journalist he had helped free from insurgents in Iraq. The decision to fast-track the investigation came as the military also opened an inquiry into the shooting death of a Bulgarian soldier. That death appeared to be another friendly-fire incident on the same day. [....] The investigation into the shooting of the Bulgarian soldier, who was killed near the central city of Diwaniya, will focus on reports that he also was shot by U.S. troops. [....]" [Based on A.P. article by Patrick Quinn]

2005 - Prison Release / Martha Stewart - March 5th, 2005: "KATONAH, N.Y. - Enjoying her first day out of prison, Martha Stewart fed treats to her horses, harvested lemons in her greenhouse and sent out hot chocolate to chilled reporters as she settled in at her $16 million country estate for five months of house arrest. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Apparent Suicide / Yuriy Kravchenko - March 5th, 2005: "KIEV, Ukraine - The former interior minister [Yuriy Kravchenko - Ukraine] was found dead in his home Friday [03/04/05] just before he was to be questioned about the slaying of an investigative journalist [Heoriy Gongadze] in 2000. Authorities called his death an apparent suicide. [....]" [Based on: A.P]

2005 - Beaching-Sonar? / Florida Keys - March 6th, 2005: "The Navy and marine wildlife experts are investigating whether the beaching of dozens of dolphins in the Florida Keys followed the use of sonar by a submarine on a training exercise off the coast. [....] Some scientists surmise that loud bursts of sonar, which can be heard for miles in the water, may disorient or scare marine mammals, causing them to surface too quickly and suffer the equivalent of what divers know as the bends - when sudden decompression forms nitrogen bubbles in tissue." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Moderate Earthquake / Quebec, Canada - March 6th, 2005: "A moderate earthquake occurred at 06:17:49 (UTC) on Sunday, March 6, 2005. The magnitude 5.4 event has been located in ST. LAWRENCE VALLEY REG., QUEBEC, CANADA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqinthenews/2005/usvhan/]

2005 - Religious Abuse? / Guantanamo Bay Cuba - March 6th, 2005: "MIAMI - Captives at the Guantanamo Bay prison are alleging that guards kicked and stomped on Qurans and cursed Allah and that interrogators punished them by taking away their pants, knowing that would prevent them from praying. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - Discovered / First Walking Human Ancestor? - March 6th, 2005: "ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopa - A team of U.S. and Ethiopian scientists have discovered the fossilized remains of what they believe is humankind's first walking ancestor, a hominid that lived in the wooded grasslands of the Horn of Africa nearly 4 million years ago. The bones were discovered in February at a new site called Mille, in the northeastern Afar region of Ethiopa, said Bruce Latimer, director of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in Ohio. They are estimated to be from 3.8 to 4 million years old. [....] The findings have not been reviewed by outside scientists or published in a scientific journal. [....] The specimen is the fourth partial skeleton ever discovered that is older than 3 million years." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Transferred Abroad? / U.S. Terrorism Suspects - March 6th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Bush administration's secret program to transfer scores of suspected terrorists to foreign countries to be imprisoned and interrogated has been carried out by the CIA under broad authority that has allowed the agency to act without case-by-case approval from the White House or the State or Justice Departments, according to current and former government officials. The unusally expansive authority for the CIA to operate independantly since the September 2001 attacks was provided by the White House under a still-classified directive signed by President George W. Bush within days of the attacks, the officials said. [....] The transfers were portrayed as an alternative to what American officials have said is the costly, manpower-intense process of housing them in the United States or in American-run facilities in other countries. [....] In public, the Bush administration has refused to confirm that the rendition program exists, saying only in response to questions about it that the United States did not hand over people to face torture. The official refused to say how many prisoners  had been transferred. But former government officials say that since the Sept. 11 attacks the CIA has flown 100 to 150 suspected terrorists to other countries, including Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Pakistan. Each of those countries has been identified by the State Department as habitually using torture in its prisons. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Election Trivia / Moldova - March 7th, 2005: "An exit poll showed the ruling Communist Party in the former Soviet republic of Moldova held an 11-point lead in parliamentary elections Sunday [03/06/05]. [....] In the exit poll based on 90 percent of the voters, the Communists won 40 percent of the vote, the centrist Democratic Moldova Bloc 29 percent and the center-right Popular Christian Democratic Party 14 percent. [....] President Vladimir Voronin's Communists would be able to form a government if final results confirm the party's lead, though they may not have enough seats for a clear majority to keep the presidency. Parliament chooses the President." [Baseed on: News Services]

2005 - Toxic Rail Car Leak / Utah - March 7th, 2005: "A rail car leaking toxic chemicals sent plumes of gas into the air Sunday [03/06/05] and forced the evacuation of more than 6,000 people. [....] The chemicals involved - hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid and nitric acid - can cause severe burns if they come into direct contact with skin or eyes. Cleanup crews were working to transfer the chemicals to tankers." [Baseed on: News Services]

*Trivia: "A railroad tank car that leaked toxic fumes, forcing thousands from their homes, was not designed to hold the corrosive acids it was carrying, the car's owner said Monday [03/07/05]. [....] Tests showed the tank car had been filled with acetic, hydrofluoric, phosphoric and sulfuric acids, which easily corroded the car's lining, said Louie Cononelos, a spokesman for Kennecott Utah Copper of Magna, Utah. The copper mining company owned the car, but Philip Services, a hazardous waste handler, had leased it." [Based on: News Services, 03/08/05]

2005 - Hezbollah Supporters? / Lebanon - March 7th, 2005: "BEIRUT - The powerful Syria-backed group Hezbollah urged its followers Sunday [03/06/05] to take to the streets in a massive protest against 'foreign interference,' abandoning its conciliatory tone during recent weeks of political unrest. [....] On Sunday, Nasrallah [Hezbollah official, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah] accused anti-Syria demonstrators of working as tools for the United States and Israel, and warned that a Syrian retreat was the first step in Lebanese attempts to make peace with the 'Zionist enemy.' Hezbollah 'rejects this international law because of its interference  in our internal affairs and because all of its conditions are free, free, free services for the Israeli enemy,' said Nasrallah, the Iranian-born cleric who is the group's top official in Lebanon. [....] 'What does it mean to disarm Hezbollah?' asked Hezbollah spokesman Mohamed Afif. 'It means disarming the only group that can defend the Lebanese people. It means opening Lebanon to Israel.' Hezbollah fears that a new Lebanese government might try to dissolve the powerful party altogether or make peace with its archenemy, Israel. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for the spring and could dramatically harden Lebanon's stance toward both Syria and Hezbollah. [....] The United States and France sponsored the U.N. resolution calling for a Syrian retreat and the disarmament of Lebanese militias. [....] A Hezbollah attack killed more than 200 U.S. Marines in Lebanon in 1983, and the United States considers Hezbollah a terrorist organization." [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Ban Junk Food in Schools? / California - March 7th, 2005: "At the bodybuilding event named for him, Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggar said Sunday [03/06/05] that he wanted to ban all sales of junk food in California schools and fill vending machines with fresh fruits, vegetables and milk. [....]" [Baseed on: News Services]

2005 - Archaeology Trivia / Copan, Honduras - March 7th, 2005: "Scientists working at the Copan archaeological site in western Honduras said Sunday [03/06/05] they have found the 1,450-year-old remains of 69 people, as well as 30 previously undiscovered ancient Mayan buildings. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Resignation? / President Carlos Mesa, Bolivia - March 7th, 2005: "Bolivian President Carlos Mesa annouhced Sunday [03/06/05] night he would offer his resignation, saying in a televised address that recent protests were 'blocking the country.' Mesa took office in October 2003, succeeding President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, who resigned in the wake of bloody street protests that took the lives of at least 56 people. Mesa's government has struggled with a growing push for greater political autonomy in Bolivia's most prosperous region. [....]" [Baseed on: News Services]

*Trivia: "[....] 'I cannot continue to govern with threats that strangle the country,' Mesa wrote in his letter, referring to plans announced by opposition leader Evo Morales to stage a nationwide blocade of the South American country's roads." [Based on: News Services, 03/08/05]

*Trivia: "Bolivian lawmakers rejected on Tuesday [03/08/05] a resignation offer by president Carlos Mesa, granting critical support to his embattled government after days of escalating protests prompted him to submit an offer to step down. In a unanimous vote, congressman threw their support behind the president, a day after he tendered his resignation. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - March 8th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi insurgents set off bombs and fired rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons at military convoys, checkpoints and police patrols in a spate of violence Monday [03/07/05] that killed 33 people and wounded dozens. The terrorist group al-Qaida in Iraq, led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for much of the bloodshed. [....]" [Based on A.P. article by Patrick Quinn, S.L.P.D., p. A2, 03/08/05]

2005 - Fired / Harry Stonecipher - March 8th, 2005: "Boeing Chief Executive Harry Stonecipher, lured out of retirement in late 2003 to clean up company scandals, is fired [03/06/05] after an investigation uncovers an affair with another executive." [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A1, 03/08/05]

*Trivia: [....] Boeing's board fired Stonecipher on Sunday [03/06/05] and revealed Stonecipher's affair Monday [03/07/05] in a press release. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A1, 03/08/05]

2005 - Trivia / Consumer Credit, U.S.A. - March 8th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Buyers increased their borrowing on credit cards, auto loans and other types of consumer debt at an annual rate of 6.6 percent in January, the fastest pace in three months, the federal Reserve reported Monday [03/07/05]. [....] The rate of increase in January compared with a 5 percent rise in December. It was the fastest advance since consumer debt rose 8.2 percent in October. [....] Total consumer debt stands at a record level of $2.12 trillion. [....] The report doesn't include mortgage loans or home-equity loans." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Explosive Event / Mt. St. Helens Volcano - March 8th, 2005: "A small, short-lived explosive event at Mount St. Helens volcano began at approximately 5:25 p.m. PST, March 8, 2005. Airplane pilot reports indicate that the resulting steam-and-ash plume reached an altitude of about 36,000 feet above sea level within a few minutes and drifted downwind to the northeast. The volcano's rim stands at 8,325 feet."

[Based on: http://volcano.und.edu/vwdocs/current_volcs/current.html] [Other Links: 1

2005 - Rejected / Minimum Wage Increase, U.S.A. - March 8th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Senate defeated on Monday [03/07/05] dueling proposals to raise the $5.15-an-hour minimum wage. One was backed by organized labor, the other was salted with pro-business provisions. Both plans fell well short of the 60 votes needed to advance and signaled that prospects for raising the federal wage floor, unchanged since 1996, are remote during the current two-year Congress. 'I believe that anyone who works 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year should not live in poverty in the richest country in the world,' said Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., arguing for the Democratic proposal to increase the minimum wage by $2.10 over the next 26 months. [....] Kennedy accused Republicans of advancing a 'deeper poverty agenda' for the poor by including several provisions to cut longstanding wage and overtime provisions for millions of Americans. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "The last time Congress raised the minimum wage was in 1996. Since that time, the Senate has voted to raise each senator's pay by $28,000. [....] Compassion is at a bare minimum in the new American Congress. So is fair and honest representation.   - Steven Oertli, Affton  [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. B6, 03/09/05]

2005 - Clean-Air Settlement / Dynegy Midwest Generation - March 8th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - A major clean-air settlement reached Monday [03/07/05] would rein in a notoriously dirty power plant and remove 54,000 tons of pollution yearly from Illinois' air. Houston-based Dynegy Midwest Generation agreed to install $500 million worth of pollution control equipment and make other improvements at the former Illinois Power Baldwin generating station and four other plants, along with paying a $9 million fine. The settlement requires Dynegy to spend an additional $15 million on environmental projects that include purchasing or preserving  fragile lands in the Metro East area and central Illinois [....] The settlement was filed on Monday [03/07/05] in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis; it is subject to public comment and court approval. [....]" [Based on: Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

2005 - Stricter Requirements? / Drinking Water Regulation, U.S.A. - March 8th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Stricter monotoring and reporting of problems with lead in drinking water will be required of utilities, states, schools and child-care facilities, the Environmental Protection Agency said Monday [03/07/05]. EPA officials said they found few such problems nationally but were moving to impose stricter requirements in 1991 lead and copper regulations, starting early next year, because of lead in drinking water found in 2002 in the Washington area. [....] Locally, tests have not detected major problems with lead in drinking water in the St. Louis region. Lead levels are low in the drinking water that flows to 1.1 million customers in St. Louis and St. Charles counties from the Missouri American Water Co., water quality manager Tom Simmons said. The company currently must test for lead and copper every three years. Of 50 samples tested last year, all were below the EPA action level of 15 parts per billion of lead, he said. The highest level was 6 parts per billion, and 90 percent of samples registered at 2 parts per billion or less, Simmons said. Simmons said local water was noncorrosive, meaning it was unlikely to leach lead from pipes." [Based on article by John Heilprin: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A5, 03/08/05. Sara Shipley of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.]

2005 - Steroid Use? / U.S. Baseball - March 9th, 2005: "JUPITER, Fla. - Former Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire has declined an invitation to speak in front of a congressional hearing called to explore steroid use in baseball, even as the House Committee on Government Reform moved to subpoena records from baseball about its testing policies and results. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - "Signed Off " / Dan Rather - March 9th, 2005: "Dan Rather signed off Wednesday [03/09/05] after 24 years as anchorman for 'The CBS Evening News.' " [E.M.]

2005 - Retreat? / S&P 500 Index - March 9th, 2005: "NEW YORK - Stocks declined Tuesday [03/08/05], yanking the Standard & Poor's 500 index down from a 3 1/2-year high, after a surge in oil prices and a disappointing forecast from Texas Instruments Inc. [....] A drop of 5.88, or 0.5 percent, put the S&P 500 at 1,219.43 in a retreat from its highest level since July 2001. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Fatality / Aslan Maskhadov - March 9th, 2005: "MOSCOW - Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov, a fugitive with a $10 million price on his head, was killed Tuesday [03/08/05] during a special forces operation. The Kremlin had linked Maskhadov to a deadly school hostage siege and other terrorist attacks. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Hezbollah Rally / Lebanon - March 9th, 2005: "BEIRUT, Lebanon - Hundreds of thousands jammed a central Beirut square Tuesday [03/08/05], chanting support for Syria and anti-U.S. slogans in a thundering show of strength by the militant group Hezbollah - a rally that greatly outnumbered recent demonstrations against Syria's presence in Lebanon. [....] Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, addressed the crowd from a balcony on a building facing the square. [....] Nasrallah directly addressed Israel, telling it to let go of 'dreams for Lebanon.' 'To this enemy we say again: There is no place for you here and there is no life for you among us. Death to Israel!' he said. 'Lebanon is not Ukraine,' Nasrallah said, referring to that country's 'orange revolution' last year. 'If anyone thinks you can bring down a state with a few demonstrations, a few scarves, a few shouts, a few media, he is suspect, he is wrong.' Nasrallah also warned Washington against any military action to achieve its goals. 'The fleets came in the past and were defeated. They will be defeated again,' he said to the cheers of supporters wildly waving Lebanon's flag. The weeks of anti-Syrian demonstrations in Beirut followed the Feb. 14 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Many Lebanese accuse Syria and Lebanon's government of responsibility for Hariri's death; both deny any involvement." [Based on A.P. article by Tanalee Smith, S.L.P.D., p. A1, 03/09/05]

2005 - Workday Trivia / U.S. Truckers - March 9th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. are lobbying Congress to extend the workday for truckers to 16 hours. Labor unions and safety advocates say the change would make roadways more dangerous. [....] Under current law, drivers can work 14 hours, with only 11 consecutive hours of driving. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Destined for Termination / Voyager & Other Missions? - Los Angeles (SPX) Mar 09, 2005: "A little over 13 hours out from Sol, a veteran of the first space age - Voyager 1 - is working quietly in the depths of space as it travels away from our Sun at 17.163 kilometers per second. But now, NASA has told scientists working on these and other older missions that their missions may be terminated in October to save money, reports Nature. [....]" [Based on: http://www.spacedaily.com/news/voyager1-05a.html]

2005 - Fined / Merrill Lynch & Co. - March 9th, 2005: "New York - Merrill Lynch & Co. was fined $13.5 million by the New York Stock Exchange after a group of the company's brokers engaged in improper market timing of mutual funds, the NYSE said Tuesday [03/08/05]. In a hearing decision Monday [03/07/05], the NYSE determined that a group of brokers in Fort Lee, N.J., made more than 3,700 short-term fund transactions from January through April 2002. The brokers used multiple accounts, all of which were held for a single hedge-fund client, the NYSE said, and the accounts were transferred outside the firm and back in later that year. The exchange didn't reveal the hedge fund's name. The transfers and other violations continued through October 2003, with the traders involved hiding their transactions from Merrill Lynch. Merrill Lynch told the brokers to stop the trades in November 2002, but the brokers did not, and Merrill Lynch failed to follow up, the exchange said. [....] Merrill Lynch accepted the fine and censure without admitting or denying guilt. In a statement, the company said three brokers had been fired for misleading the firm and concealing their activities after they were told to stop. Also, it sanctioned three supervisors." [Based on A.P. article by Michael J. Martinez, S.L.P.D. p. C2, 03/09/05]

2005 - Foreign Relations / China & Taiwan - March 9th, 2005: "China unveiled on Tuesday [03/08/05] a proposed law authorizing an attack if Taiwan moves toward formal independence. The action increases pressure on the self-ruled island while warning other countries not to interfere. The United States said Beijing should reconsider. Taiwan deno-unced the legislation as a 'blank check to invade.' The proposed anti-secession law, read out for the first time before the ceremonial National People's Congress, does not specify what actions might invite a Chinese attack." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Workers Strike / Lockheed Martin Corp. - March 9th, 2005: "Lockheed Martin Corp., the largest U.S. defense contractor, was hit by a strike of about 3,000 employees at a fighter-jet plant in Georgia over a proposed plan to reduce health benefits for retirees. Workers at the Marietta plant that builds the F/A-22 fighter jet and the C-130J transport struck Tuesday, said Steve Brown of the International Association of Machinists Lodge 709. It's the second walkout there in three years. The union turned down Lockheed's last contract offer by a 2-to-1 margin Feb. 27 because it would terminate retirement health insurance for new empoloyees. The previous contract expired March 1. Also, about 200 union members at plants in Mississippi and West Virginia have joined the strike." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 03/09/05]

*Trivia: "Workers voted Tuesday [03/15/05] to accept a new contract and end their weekold strike against Lockheed Martin Corp. plant in Marietta, Ga., that builds the F/A-22 Raptor fighter plane and the C-130J Hercules cargo plane for the U.S. military. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D., p.C2, 03/16/05]

2005 - Storm Water Problem / St. Louis County, Mo. - March 9th, 2005: "In the past 50 years, massive growth has combined with tax regulations to create a $1 billion storm water problem that touches nearly every portion of St. Louis County. The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District has listed 1,085 storm water problems across the county, ranging from erosion to severe flooding." [Based on: Metropolitan Sewer District / St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Trivia / Crude Oil Prices - March 10th, 2005: "Crude-oil futures rose briefly above $55 a barrel Wednesday [03/09/05] as traders shrugged off evidence of rising oil supplies in the United States and focused instead on strong demand, cold weather and weak currency. [....] A weak dollar is driving prices higher, too. The euro, which rose above $1.33 this week, stands at its highest level since early January. [....]" [Based on A.P. article by Brad Foss, S.L.P.D., p. D3, 03/10/05]

2005 - Settlement Trivia / Solutia Inc. - March 10th, 2005: "Shares of Solutia Inc. spiked 16 percent Wednesday [03/09/05], a day after the chemical company revealed its settlement with several other companies in its 15-month-old bid to emerge from bankruptcy. [....] Solutia said the court approved the settlement March 2, resolving millions of dollars in issues tied to contracts by Solutia and its affiliates in connection with the company's December 2002 sale of its resins, additives and adhesives businesses to UCB. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Blocked / "Clear Skies" Proposal - March 10th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - A Senate committee dealt a severe blow Wednesday [03/09/05] to one of President George W. Bush's top environmental priorities, as his 'Clear Skies' proposal failed to sway key senators, including Barack Obama, D-Ill. [....] The measure would set new air pollution caps and allow power plants to buy and sell rights to pollute. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. A2, 03/10/05]

2005 - Boeing Investigation / Debra Peabody - March 10th, 2005: "The female Boeing Co. executive who had an extramarital affair with recently ousted Chief Executive Harry Stonecipher is under investigation by the company as many employees complain that she still has her job, the company said Wednesday [03/09/05]. [....] Though the company has not named the woman, several other publications have ... which identified her as Debra Peabody, who works in Washington. She has been with the company for two decades." [Based on article by Tim McLaughlin, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. D3, 03/10.05]

2005 - New Subpoena / Marsh & McLennan Cos. - March 10th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Marsh & McLennan Cos. has received a subpoena from the labor Department to provide documrents associated with services the company's units provided to employee-benefit plans. the insurance, investment and consulting company said Wednesday [03/09/05] in a regulatrory filing that it received the subpoena last month. [....]" [Based on: Dow Jones / A.P.]

2005 - Suicide Bomber / Sadeer Hotel, Iraq - March 10th, 2005: "[....] In Baghdad, a suicide bomber driving a garbage truck loaded with explosives and at least one other gunman shot their way into a parking lot [03/09/05] to try to blow up a hotel used by Western contractors. At least four people, including the attackers and a guard, were killed. In an Internet statement, al-Qaida in Iraq purportedly claimed responsibility for the attack on the Sadeer hotel, calling it the 'hotel of the Jews.' [....]" [Based on A.P. article by Patrick Quinn, S.L.P.D., p. A1, 03/10/05]

2005 - Prime Minister Omar Karami? / Lebanon - March 10th, 2005: "BEIRUT, Lebanon - Bolstered by a massive pro-Syrian demonstration, Lebanese allies of Syria moved Wednesday [03/09/05] to reinstate the prime minister, who recently was forced out by anti-Damascus protests. Their action ensures Syria's continued dominance of Lebanese politics. Outgoing Prime Minister Omar Karami was virtually assured nomination after 71 legislators put forward his name during consultations with pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud, members of parliament said. Under the constitution, the president is obliged to comply with the choice of a majority of the 128-member parliament. [....] Lebanese parliamentary elections are scheduled for April and May. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Concluded Review / U.S. Prisoner Abuse - March 10th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - A comprehensive U.S. military review of prisoner interrogation policies and techniques concluded that no civilian or uniformed leaders directed or encouraged the prisoner abuse documented in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. 'We found no link between approved interrogation techniques and detainee abuse,' the review concluded. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "[....] Vice Adm. Albert Church, who wrote the most recent review of U.S. detention policies, did not place specific blame for the confusing interrogation policies that migrated from Washington to the battlefield. He told the Senate Armed Services Committee at a hearing that no high-level policy decisions directly led to abuse. But Church said he did not interview top officials, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, nor did he make conclusions about individual responsibility, saying it was not part of his mission. [....] Church's report called the development of interrogation policies for use in the fight against terrorism a series of 'missed opportunities' to eliminate confusion and spell out doctrine clearly. But his report concludes that even clear policies might not have stopped dozens of cases of abuse. [....]" [Based on Washington Post article, S.L.P.D., p. A3, 03/11/05]

2005 - Discovered / Decomposed Bodies, Iraq - March 10th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi authorities have found 41 decomposed bodies - some bullet-riddled, others beheaded - at sites near the Syrian border and south of the capital. They said Wednesday [03/09/05] that women and children were among the dead and may have been killed because insurgents thought their families were collaborating with U.S. forces.  [....]" [Based on A.P. article by Patrick Quinn, S.L.P.D., p. A1, 03/10/05]

2005 - Insider Trading / Zvi Fuks & Sabina Ben-Yehuda - March 10th, 2005: "Two friends of Samuel Waksal, the imprisoned former chief executive of ImClone Systems Inc., were charged with insider trading after he testified against them before a grand jury. Zvi Fuks, 68, chairman of the radiation oncology department at memorial Sloan-Kettering hospital in New York, and Sabina Ben-Yehuda, 51, who worked at an investment fund founded by Waksal, were charged in a federal criminal complaint Wednesday [03/09/05] in New York. Fuks was on the scientific advisory board of ImClone when he received the inside information, prosecutors said. Waksal and Martha Stewart were convicted of crimes stemming from their sales of ImClone stock in 2001." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. D2, 03/10/05]

2005 - Settlement Trivia / Charter Communications Inc. - March 10th, 2005: "Shareholders of Charter Communications Inc. could split $66.25 million in cash along with stock and stock warrants worth $80 million as a settlement of class-action lawsuits filed after the Securities and Exchange Commission began investigating the company's accounting in 2002. Charter will pay $144 million of the settlement, with $2.25 million paid by its former accounting firm, Arthur Andersen LLP. [....] Final approval of the settlement is expected May 23." [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Volcanic Activity / Shiveluch & Klyuchevskaya Volcanoes, Russia  - March 10th, 2005: "Ongoing eruptions of Russia’s Shiveluch and Klyuchevskaya Volcanoes continue to change the look of the landscape in images captured by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. This image from March 10, 2005, shows the two volcanoes rising up from the snowy terrain of the Kamchatka Peninsula in far northeastern Russia. Shiveluch has been producing many ash plumes throughout the first few months of 2005, and evidence of a recent eruption is scattered down the western flanks of the volcano and beyond. Meanwhile, a dark ring is encircling the slopes of the Klyuchevskaya Volcano, probably a mixture of mudflows and melting snow and ice. [....]" [Link: 1]

2005 - Bankruptcy Bill / U.S.A. - March 11th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Senate passed on Thursday [03/10/05] a bankruptcy bill that would require thousands more debtors to repay some of their debts to their creditors. The legislation is backed by the credit card industry, banks and other credit institutions. It would prevent many families earning more than their state's median income from erasing their debts through bankruptcy and order them instead to follow a strict five-year repayment plan. After two weeks of partisan debate, the Senate approved the bill 74-25. [....]" [Based on: Cox News Service]

2005 - Trivia / Abdul Qadeer Khan, Iran - March 11th, 2005: "Pakistan admitted Thursday [03/10/05] that its top nuclear scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan, sold crucial equipment to Iran. [....] The admission was the first public acknowledgement that Khan provided Iran's secret nuclear program with centrifuges, crucial parts needed to enrich uranium and produce nuclear material for power reactors or warheads." [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A12, 03/11/05]

2005 - Dismissed / Agent Orange Suit - March 11th, 2005: "NEW YORK - A federal judge on Thursday [03/10/05] dismissed a lawsuit alleging that U.S. chemical companies, including Monsanto Co. of Creve Coeur, Mo., committed war crimes against 4 million Vietnamese citizens by making Agent Orange, the defoliant that allegedly caused birth defects, miscarriages and cancer. 'There is no basis for any of the claims of plantiffs under the domestic law of any nation or state or under any form of international law,' U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein wrote in a 233-page ruling. 'The case is dismissed.' Lawyers who filed the suit on behalf of the Vietnamese citizens said an appeal was planned. They had argued that Agent Orange, which is laden with the toxic chemical dioxin, was a poison barred by international rules of war. Lawyers for Monsanto, Dow Chemical Co. and more than a dozen other companies said they should not be punished for following what they believed to be the legal orders of the nation's commander in chief. [....] A lawyer for the Vietnamese plantiffs called the decision that Agent Orange was not a poison 'a clear error.' U.S. aircraft sprayed more than 21 million gallons of the chemical between 1962 to 1971 in attempts to destroy crops and remove foliage used as cover by communist forces. Some 10,000 U.S. war veterans receive medical-disability benefits related to Agent Orange." [Based on A.P. article, S.L.P.D., p. C2, 03/11/05]

2005 - World Treaty on Terrorism? / Kofi Annan - March 11th, 2005: "MADRID, Spain - U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called Thursday [03/10/05] for a world treaty on terrorism that would outlaw attacks targeting civilians and establish a framework for a collective response to the threat. [....] 'The right to resist occupation ... cannot include the right to deliberately kill or maim civilians,' Annan told the conference on democracy, terrorism and security. The United Nations, he said, must proclaim 'loud and clear that terrorism can never be accepted or justified in any cause whatsoever.' [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Courthouse Killings / Atlanta Georgia - March 11th, 2005: "A man on trial for rape shot and killed the judge in his case, a court stenographer and a sheriff's deputy in a courthouse rampage in Atlanta on Friday morning [03/11/05], law enforcement officials said. The suspect fled, hijacking several cars and setting off a search in several states across the South. [....] The suspect, identified as Brian Nichols, 33, used a gun that he wrested from  a sheriff's deputy, who was left in critical condition with injuries to her head and face, police said. [....] Fulton County Sheriff Myron Freeman identified the shooting victims as Judge Rowland W. Barnes of Superior Court; Julie Ann Brandau, the court stenographer; and Deputy Hoyt Teasley, a 19-year veteran. Deputy Cynthia Hall, a 16-year veteran, was expected to survive her injuries. [....]" [Based on: New York Times, 03/12/05]

2005 - Suicide Bomber / Shiite Mosque, Iraq - March 11th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide bomber walked into a Shiite mosque in the northern city of Mosul on Thursday [03/10/05] and detonated explosives strapped to his body, killing at least 40 people and injuring at least 60, officials and witnesses said. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - "Ghost Detainees" / Violation of International Law? - March 11th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Top military intelligence officials at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq came to an agreement with the CIA to hide certain detainees at the facility without officially registering them, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post. Keeping such 'ghost' detainees is a violation of international law. Army Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan who was second in command of the intelligence gathering effort at Abu Ghraib while abuse was occuring at the prison, told military investigators that 'other government agencies' and a secretive elite task force 'routinely brought in detainees for a short period of time' and that the detainees were held without an internment number and their names were kept off the books. Guards who worked at the prison have said that ghost detainees were regularly locked in isolation cells on Tier 1A and that they were kept from international human rights organizations. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - Church Shootings / Wisconsin - March 12th, 2005: "Two weeks ago, Terry Ratzmann stalked out of a meeting of his church, upset about something in the sermon. On Saturday [03/12/05], he stormed in late to the weekly service at the Sheraton Hotel here and, without a word, began spraying the congregation with bullets. The authorities remain unsure whether Ratzmann's rampage, which killed seven Living Church of Goid members, including the pastor, and ended in Ratzmann's suicide, resulted from religious frustration. Church members said he had been suffering from depression and had just lost his job. [....]" [Based on: New York Times, 03/14/05]

2005 - Status / Mustard Agent Stockpile, U.S.A. - March 12th, 2005: "More than 1,600 tons of the country's stockpiled mustard agent has been destroyed to meet the terms of a chemical weapons treaty, an Army spokesman said Friday [03/11/05] The mustard agent was the last batch stored at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, 35 miles northeast of Baltimore, and represented about 5 percent of the nation's total stockpile, said the spokesman. The banned liquid blisters the eyes, skin and lungs. It had been stockpiled at Aberdeen since World War II. The mustard agent was destroyed to help meet the 2012 Chemical Weapons Convention Treaty deadline for destroying chemical weapons." [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. 28, 03/12/05]

2005 - Speaking Trip / Captain Yonatan Shapira, U.S.A. - March 12th, 2005: "[....] ... a year and a half ago, Shapira [Israeli Air Force Reserve Captain, Yonatan Shapira] lost his wings as a helicopter pilot. The reason: Shapira joined a few dozen other pilots in refusing to fly missions that they view as immoral and illegal. [....] 'Almost all of those missions do not serve Israel and are neither legal nor moral,' Shapira said at a session with Post-Dispatch editorial writers. [....] A year and a half ago, 27 pilots and 800 reservists signed a letter refusing to carry out missions they deemed illegal and immoral. Most such missions take place in the occupied territories. [....] Shapira insisted that his group was following the first law of the Israeli Defense Forces: 'A soldier must not follow illegal or immoral commands.' He said, 'We told them we're unwilling to participate in missions where we'd harm innocents. It's not only immoral. It also harms Israel by spreading hatred.' [....] Meanwhile, Shapira is on a month-and-a-half speaking trip across the United States. He recently met with congressional staff aides and think-tank analysts in Washington. His take: 'They think the Jewish lobby in Washington represents the Jewish voice - and it's not true.' Shapira singled out the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee. But AIPAC's Josh Block called his group the mainstream voice of U.S. public opinion on relations with Israel - 'the only democracy, and our only ally, in the Middle East. And because Israel is a free country, the gentlemen in question is free to make such statements.' [....]" [Based on article by Harry Levins, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. 26, 03/12/05]

2005 - Trivia / Ukrainian Withdrawal, Iraq - March 13th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Ukraine withdrew 150 servicemen from Iraq on Saturday [03/12/05], beginning a gradual pullout. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Global Warming - Maech 14th, 2005: "LONDON (Reuters) - A photo of Mount Kilimanjaro stripped of its snowcap for the first time in 11,000 years will be used as dramatic testimony for action against global warming as ministers from the world's biggest polluters meet Tuesday. [....]" [Based on: Jeremy Lovell]

2005 - Trivia / "Pancake Week" - March 14th, 2005: "Belarussians dance Sunday [03/13/05] in downtown Minsk near a burning figure symbolizing winter during a carnival marking Maslyanista, which translates to Pancake Week, an ancient celebration to say goodbye to winter." [Based on: A.P. picture-article, S.L.P.D., p. A10, 03/14/05]

2005 - Law Against Taiwan / China - March 14th, 2005: "BEIJING - China's national legislature enected a law today authorizing the use of force against Taiwan if it moves toward formal independence, codifying its long-standing threat to attack the island. [....] The vote came a day after President Hu Jintao was named chairman of a state military commission, completing the retirement of his predecessor, Jiang Zemin, from all posts. 'We shall step up preparations for possible military struggle and enhance our capabilities to cope with crises, safeguard peace, prevent wars and win the wars, if any,' Hu said Sunday [03/13/05] at a meeting of the Chinese military's delegation at the parliament. He said the army should 'always place the task of defending national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity ... above anything else.' [....] The Chinese government asserts that Taiwan is part of its territory and has as many as 700 missles aimed at the island 100 miles off China's southeast coast." [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - President Karolos Papoulias / Greece - March 14th, 2005: "Karolos Papoulias, a former foreign minister, was sworn in Saturday [03/12/-5] as Greece's sixth president, saying he has inherited a 'great legacy.' [....] A leading member of the opposition Socialist party, Papoulias was elected with an unprecendented 279 votes in the 300-seat unicameral parliament. Papoulias was a longtime friend and confident of the late Socialist Premier Andreas Papandreou, father of the current opposition leader George Papandreou." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Streak of Light? / Pacific Northwest - March 14th, 2005: "Dozens of residents in the Pacific Northwest reported seeing a bright streak of light as it flashed across the sky, startling witnesses from southern Oregon to the Seattle area, according to officials. Scientists said that the flaming object was probably a meteor and likely disintegrated before fragments fell into the Pacific Ocean. [....] Dick Pugh of the Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory of Portland said the object appeared to have come down over the ocean. He said the object flew over the Pacific Coast, streaking along from south to north." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Water Shortage? / Pacific Northwest - March 14th, 2005: "[....] While Southern California has struggled with a deadly deluge of rain and mud this winter, much of the Pacific Northwest is experiencing almost exactly the opposite, a stunning lack of precipitation that prompted Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire to declare a statewide drought emergency Thursday [03/10/05]. [....] 'We're going to face a tough summer,' Gregoire said, 'and there is not going to be enough water to go around.' [....] The drought is plaguing Washington, Oregon, Idaho and parts of Montana. Officials say that if there is no major break in the form of heavy spring rainfall, it could be the worst drought since 1977, when major conservation measures were enforced. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Poor Water Management? / Missouri - "Missourians and fellow citizens of the Missouri River Basin, I'm afraid I bring bad news. The upper-basin reservoirs - in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota - have been drawn down to record lows, and currently there is no snow to replenish them. [....] Here is where we are today: The Missouri River reservoirs currently hold slightly less than half of their total capaciity. In my state of Montana, Fort Peck Reservoir is 10 feet lower than it was in the last record-breaking, basin-wide drought. The adverse economic effects in Montana are traumatic, but I'm not trying to advance the notion that we have suffered more than you. That line of argument has been used by every state in the basin, and has gotten all of us nowhere. I simply hope to sound the alarm that your uses of the river - the ones you care most about - are seriously threatened. [....] How did all of this happen? Obviously, we find ourselves in the midst of a multi-year drought, and there has simply been less water entering the system. But much of the water available over this period could have been saved to offset the effects of drought. Instead, the water was used to support Missouri River barge navigation, an industry so small it has failed to sustain the few operators willing to float barges on the river. Missouri officials have been adamant in their support of navigation from the beginning, but betting on navigation as a means of keeping water flowing downstream to your state is risky. So instead of having built up a 'savings account' of water in upstream reservoirs to support drinking water and power production through the dry years, Missouri officials effectively have spent your savings account by draining the reservoirs  for largely nonexistent barge traffic. In short, these officials have lost a risky bet. Had your state officials since 1999 been willing to agreee with the seven other basin states that conserving water in a drought is good for the entire basin, today, we would have five additional years of conserved water in the basin reservoirs. Missouri officials stood alone in those negotiations, and sadly the citizens of your state will be paying the price. We hope your state officials now will respond appropriately in support of emergency measures to conserve every drop of water possible, for the good of the people of Missouri and of the entire basin." [Based on: article by Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, p. B9, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 03/14/05]

2005 - Trivia / Environmental Toxins, U.S.A. - March 14th, 2004: "[....] Mothers and infants aren't the only ones exposed to these toxins; they pervade modern society, accumulating in all of our bodies. DDT, a pesticide banned in the United States, travels the globe in dust storms. Polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, persist in soil and water from industrial operations decades ago. Dioxin forged in incinerators spreads throughout the air. Flame retardants used to keep computers, phones and carpets from catching on fire are common in most American households. Beauty products, building materials and household cleaners contain toxic solvents and metals. All of us drink, eat and breathe contaminants every day. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention keep tabs on the presence of some of these chemicals in humans through a process called biomonitoring. The CDC takes samples of blood and urine from thousands of Americans every few years. The latest report reviewing about 150 chemicals is due out this spring. [....] The recent breast milk study has attracted the attention of federal officials, who are now developing cleanup levels and safe drinking water standards for perchlorate. Once mainly associated with spills from defense industry sites, particularly in California and Nevada, perchlorate turned up in almost all 200 samples of milk and lettuce nationwide in test results released in November [2004] by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Tainted irrigation water in central California, the nation's salad bowl, appears to be spreading perchlorate far and wide. Certain foods, such as lettuce, tend to concentrate the chemical in their leaves. Even organic food tested positive in the FDA study. [....] The Texas Tech study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology last month, provided the first evidence of perchlorate in human breast milk. Researchers found the chemical in each of 36 human milk samples from 18 states. The average level in breast milk was 10.5 parts per billion, five times higher than the average level in dairy milk sampled in the same study. The Missouri mother's milk came in at 31.6 parts per billion, among the highest in the survey. Her identity and hometown was not disclosed for confidentiality reasons. [....] The study also suggested that most exposure came from food rather than water or beverages, because levels measured in milk and water were generally much lower than in the mothers' breast milk. [....]" [Based on article by Sara Shipley, pp. A1 & A7, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 03/14/05]

*Trivia:

Q: Why are there chemicals in breast milk?

A: All of us are exposed through food, water and air to environmental toxins that accumulate in our bodies. Some of these chemicals concentrate in fat, and therefore appear in higher levels in breast milk. Chemicals detected in human breast milk include pesticides, such as DDT and chlordane, dioxins and furans, PCBs, flame retardants, mercury, lead and perchlorate."

[Based on Sara Shipley, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A7, 03/14/05]

2005 - Trivia / Syrian Troop Withdrawal, Lebanon - March 14th, 2005: "BEIRUT, Lebanon - Syria has withdrawn nearly a third of its 14,000 troops from Lebanon, and the rest were expected to be gone - as demanded by the Bush administration - before Lebanese parliamentary elections slated to begin next month, senior Syrian officials said Sunday [03/13/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / FCS U.S.A. - March 15th, 2005: "The Army's new system of digitally connected manned vehicles, robots and drones is now projected to cost as much as $133 billion - up 45 percent from its earlier estimate of $92 billion. [....] Boeing Co., the world's largest aircraft maker, manages the system for the Army. [....] The FCS is the Pentagon's second-most-expensive weapons system. Lockheed Martin Corp's Joint Strike Fighter, at $244 billion, is the costliest." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Gay Marriage? / California - March 15th, 2005: "SAN FRANCISCO - A judge ruled Monday [03/14/05] that California's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutioinal - a legal milestone that, if upheld on appeal, would open the way for the most populous state to follow Massachusetts in allowing same-sex couples to wed. Judge Richard Kramer of San Francisco County's trial-level Superior Court likened the ban to laws requiring racial segregation in schools, and said there appears to be 'no rational purpose' for denying marriage to gay couples." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Mercury Emissions - March 15th, 2005: "[....] U.S. coal-fired power plants emit about 48 tons of mercury a year, about 40 percent of the U.S. total but less than 1 percent of global mercury emissions from all natural and man-made sources, according to EPA estimates. More than half of the man-made emissions in the world come from Asia. [....]" [Based on: article by Sara Shipley, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A3, 03/15/05]

*Trivia: "A new rule cutting power plant mercury emissions in half in the next 15 years will likely face legal challenges, because environmental groups say the plan isn't strict enough. [....] Under the new regulations, utilities would be required to reduce mercury emissions frim the current 48 tons a year to 38 tons by 2010. This would be accomplished through air pollution controls required under the Clean Air Interstate Rule, a separate rule issued last week aimed at cutting fine particles from sulfur dioxide and smog-forming nitrogen oxides. In the second phase, starting in 2018, utilities would have to cut emissions down to 15 tons a year. The EPA designed a 'cap-and-trade' approach that sets a maximum on how much pollution should be allowed, then lets companies trade credits within those limits. Critics say that could lead to local 'hot spots' of mercury, and they want each plant to be required to install the 'maximum achievable' pollution controls. EPA said the rule would reduce emissions by 70 percent from current levels, but agency officials said Tuesday [03/15/05] it would be sometime after 2020 when that actually happened." [Based on: article by Sara Shipley, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 03/16/05]

2005 - Retired? / Hank Greenberg - March 15th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - American International Group Inc.'s Hank Greenberg, who has run the world's largest insurer for nearly four decades, retired as chief executive amid investigations of potential earnings manipulation and bid rigging, The Wall Street Journal reported late Monday [03/14/05], without identifying its source. [....] Greenburg's retirement marks the biggest executive fallout since new York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer began an industrywide investigation of fraud last October [2004]. [....] Spitzer obtained information in the last 10 days to two weeks that Greenberg himself was involved, said one of the people, who declined to be identified." [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Turkey - March 15th, 2005: "A strong earthquake shook eastern Turkey on Monday [03/14/05], damaging buildings and injuring at least 18 people, authorities said. The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 and was centered in the rural province of Bingol, 430 miles east of Ankara. It toppled several buildings that had been badly damaged in a magnitude-5.7 temblor Saturday [03/12/05]. Authorities reported no deaths Monday but said at least 18 people were injured, including two women who were pulled from the rubble." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Anti-Syrian Rally / Lebanon - March 15th, 2005: "BEIRUT, Lebanon - Hundreds of thousands of anti-Syrian demonstrators flooded the capital Monday [03/14/05] in the biggest protest ever in Lebanon, surpassing the turnout for an earlier pro-Damascus rally organized by the Islamic militant Hezbollah. In a show of national unity, Sunnis, Druse and Christians packed Martyrs' Square as brass bands played and balloons soared skyward. [....] In recent days, opposition ads for Monday's rally have been running on television, and activists in towns and villages arranged buses to the capital. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Assassination Plot? / George W. Bush - March 15th, 2005: "An American student charged in an alleged conspiracy to kill President George W. Bush pleaded not guilty Monday [03/14/05], and a judge set his trial for August. The government says Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, 23, of Falls Church, Va., confessed to the assassination plot and admitted that he had discussed with al-Qaida plans to stage a terror attack in the United States. Abu Ali's family and lawyers deny the charges. They say he was tortured while being held captive in Saudi Arabia for 20 months. The charges against Abu Ali followed an effort by his family to force the government to return him to the United States from the Saudi prison. His parents sued the U.S. government, charging it had condoned the torture of their son." [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A5, 03/15/05]

2005 - Signs of Anthrax? / Washington D.C. - March 15th, 2005: "Sensors at two military mail facilities in the Washington area detected signs of anthrax on two pieces of mail Monday [03/14/05]. Pentagon officials said the mail had already been irradiated, rendering any anthrax inert. [....] In October 2001, someone sent anthrax in letters through the mail to media and government offices in Washington, Florida and elsewhere. Five people died, and 17 fell ill." [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A5, 03/15/05]

*Trivia: "Anthrax tests from two Pentagon mailrooms came back negative Tuesday [03/15/05], a day after initial tests indicated that the deadly spores might be present. The early finding prompted nearly 900 workers to take antibiotics as a precaution. Responding to what now appear to have been false alarms, officials handed out antibiotics and closed three mail centers - two that serve the Pentagon and one in Washington that handles mail on its way to the military. Officials believe that the confusion stemmed from a mistake at a Defense Department laboratory at Fort Detrick, Md. Officials there apparently mixed up a sample of actual anthrax that is kept on hand for comparison purposes with the sample taken from the Pentagon mailroom, a senior administration official said Tuesday. Later tests proved negative and officials realized their error, the official said. [....] In more than three years since the 2001 anthrax-by-mail attacks, there have been scores of initial tests that falsely reported anthrax in government mailrooms. In this case, however, two alert systems independently suggested  the presence of the bacteria, raising concerns and invoking memories of the attacks that killed five. Officials became concerned after warning signs of anthrax appeared at two Pentagon mail facilities Monday [03/14/05], in what appears to have been a coincidence. After receiving results that appeared to confirm the initial readings, officials set out to retest the initial filter and gathered additional samples from the facilities for testing. Every one of those samples came back negative, Winkenwerder [Dr. William Winkenwerder] said." [Based on: A.P., 03/16/05] 

2005 - Trivia / Company Stock, Engineered Support Systems Inc. - March 15th, 2005: "The president of business development at Engineered Support Systems Inc. received $4.52 million from the recent exercise of stock options, as heavy selling continued among the defense contractor's directors and top executives. In the last 12 months, executives and directors at Cool Valley [Mo.]-based Engineered Support have sold 1.1 million shares of company stock, Securities and Exchange Commission records show. In that time, the insiders have bought less than 2,000 shares of company stock, according to SEC data. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. C3, 03/15/05]

2005 - "EU Expansion" - March 16th, 2005: "[....] In Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Malta and Slovakia, a higher percentage of men are obese or overweight than the estimated 67 percent of men in the United States, according to a report from the International Obesity Task Force, a coalition of researchers and institutions. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Vitamin E - March 16th, 2005: "Large doses of vitamin E - widely touted as an elixir of youth - do not protect against heart attacks and cancer and might actually raise the risk of heart failure in people with diabetes or clogged arteries, a study found. The study, published in today's Journal of the American Medical Association, is just the latest to cast doubt on the safety and effictiveness of vitamin E supplements and other antioxidants. [....]" [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A5, 03/16/05]

2005 - Snow / New Mexico - March 16th, 2005: "A slow-moving storm dumped nearly 3 feet of snow on parts of northern and eastern New Mexico, closing major highways and schools Tuesday [03/15/05]. [....] The National Weather Service reported that Cowles, northwest of Santa Fe, got the most snow from the storm - 38 inches. Gascon, a village in northern New Mexico, and Mineral Hill, near Las Vegas, each had received 34 inches as of Tuesday. Gov. Bill Richardson declared a state of emergency in seven countries Tuesday." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Status / Foreign Soldiers, Iraq - March 16th, 2005: "ROME - Italy's prime minister announced Tuesday [03/15/05] that the country will start drawing down its 3,000-member contingent in Iraq in September, putting a new crack in President George W. Bush's crumbling coalition. Bulgaria also called for a partial withdrawal, and Ukraine welcomed home its first wave of returning troops. The moves come on top of the withdrawal of more than a dozen countries over the last year and could complicate efforts to keep the peace while Iraq's new government builds up police and military units capable of taking over from foreign forces. [....] Thirty-eight countries have provided troops in Iraq at one point or another. But 12 nations have permanently withdrawn since the March 2003 invasion. Today, 26 nations, including the United States, have troops in the country. Excluding U.S. forces, 22,750 foreign soldiers are still in Iraq. [....] The scramble to get out has taken the multinational force from a high of about 300,000 soldiers in the region early in 2003 to 172,750 and falling. About 150,000 U.S. troops shoulder the bulk of the responsibility and suffer the most casualties. [....] The United States also is drawing down its troop levels. After bolstering the U.S. force to about 155,000 during Iraq's recent elections, the Pentagon is bringing some units home and expects to be down to 138,000 soldiers soon. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / U.S. Detainee Deaths - March 16th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - At least 26 prisoners have died in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002 in what Army and Navy investigators have concluded or suspected were acts of criminal homicide, according to officials. The number of confirmed or suspected cases is much higher than any accounting the military has previously reported. A Pentagon report sent to Congress last week cited only six prisoner deaths caused by abuse, but that partial tally was limited to what the author - Vice Adm. Albert T. Church III, called 'closed - substantiated abuses cases' as of last September [2004]. [....] Only one of these deaths took place at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, officials said, showing the most violent abuses extended beyond those prison walls. The findings also contradict the Bush administrations repeated assertions that the wrongdoing was confined to a handful of rogue military police on the night shift. Army officials said the killings took place both inside and outside of detention areas, including at the point of capture in often violent battlefield conditions. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Democratic Parliament? / Iraq - March 16th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq puts its fragile democracy to the test today, convening its first freely elected National Assembly in recent history after last-minute bargaining over Sunni Arab candidates to head the parliament. [....] The Shiite alliance won 140 seats in the National Assembly but needs the Kurd's 75 seats to assemble the two-thirds majority required to elect a president, who will then nominate the prime minister. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Americans Overworked? - March 16th, 2005: "NEW YORK - One in three American workers is chronically overworked, with job-related stress varying significantly by age, employment situation and demands at home, a new survey shows. The survey by the Families and Work Institute largely echoes one done by the group in 2001. It also found that a third of employees are highly overworked. [....] The survey, done by telephone in October and November, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Holocaust Museum / Jerusalem - March 16th, 2005: "Israeli President Moshe Katsav warned of renewed anti-Semitism and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged an unyielding fight against racism during a ceremony Tuesday [03/15/05] opening a $56 million Holocaust museum that focuses on the personal tragedies of the Nazi genocide. Leaders from some 40 nations attended the ceremony at the new Holocaust History Museum at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem memorial. The museum took ten years to complete. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg represented the United States." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Judicial Appointees, U.S.A.- March 16th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Democrats threatened Tuesday [03/15/05] to slow or stop most Senate business if Republicans unilaterally change the rules to assure confirmation of President George W. Bush's controversial court appointments. Any such change would mark 'an unprecedented abuse of power,' Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., wrote Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. 'The power to confirm judges includes the right to use well-established Senate rules to reject nominees.' [....] Thus far, Republicans have not sought a Senate vote this year on any of the judicial appointees whose confirmations Democrats blocked in 2003 and last year. But under pressure from conservatives, Republicans have floated the possibility that they will change the rules that allow a filibuster - meaning supporters of a nominee must gain 60 votes to force a final vote. A change in Senate rules requires 67 votes, but the GOP has mapped a strategy requiring a simple majority to make the change. The Senate has 55 Republicans." [Based on: A.P]

2005 - Settlement / Merrill Lynch & Co. - March 16th, 2005: "Merrill Lynch & Co., the world's biggest securities firm, has agreed to pay the New York Stock Exchange $10 million to settle claims that include failing to ensure brokers were properly registered and not retaining e-mails. [....] Without admitting or denying the claims, Merrill said the payment also includes failing to deliver prospectuses for open-end mutual funds and product descriptions of certain exchange traded funds, and late reporting of events such as customer complaints and arbitrations." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 03/16/05]

2005 - Found Guilty / Bernard J. Ebbers - March 16th, 2005: "[....] ... Bernard J. Ebbers, the former chief executive of WorldCom Inc., is the federal government's biggest catch since it began pursuing alleged corporate wrongdoers three years ago. He could spend the rest of his life in prison. Sentencing was scheduled for June 13th. Ebbers, 63, was found guilty on Tuesday [03/15/05] of orchestrating the $11 billion fraud that sank WorldCom in 2002, the biggest corporate fraud and bankruptcy in U.S. history. As a jury forewoman read the verdict - guilty on all nine counts, including fraud and conspiracy - Ebbers' face reddened noticeably. His wife, Kristie, seated in the front row, broke into tears. [....] Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales called the conviction a 'triumph of our legal system.' He said the jury had recognized the fraud 'extended from the middle-management levels of this company all the way to its top executive.' [....] WorldCom, which had been based in Clinton, Miss., emerged from bankruptcy last year as MCI Inc. of Ashburn, Va." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Oil Drilling OK? / Alaskan Wildlife Refuge - March 17th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - With a hard-fought Senate vote Wednesday [03/16/05] clearing the way, supporters of drilling in an Alaskan wildlife refuge said survey teams could arrive within a year and leases for tapping its oil and natural gas deposits could be sold as soon as 2007. [....] Based on: Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

2005 - Recommended Approval / Boostrix & Adacel - March 16th, 2005: "Hoping to halt the rising number of whooping cough cases in the United States, a federal advisory panel on Tuesday [03/15/05] recommended approval of two new booster vaccines. The Food and Drug Administration comittee unanimously recommended approval of Boostrix, a single-dose vaccine against whooping cough, tetanus and diptheria designed for children ages 10 to 16. It is made by GlaxoSmithKLine Biologicals. The committee also unanimously recommended approval of Adacel, from Sanofi Pasteur, intended to protect both adolescents and adults - people ages 11 to 64 - from the same three diseases. The FDA is not required to follow the recommendations of its advisory committees but generally does so. Youngsters have been vaccinated against whooping cough sinc ethe 1940s, but doctors have begun to realize that the protection fades over time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention received 18,957 reports of whooping cough last year, up from 11,647 in 2003 and just 1,707 in 1980." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Financial Fraud? / Quest Communications International Inc. - March 16th, 2005: "DENVER - The Securities and Exchange Commission alleged Tuesday [03/15/05] that Joseph P. Nacchio, Quest Communications International Inc.'s former chief executive, and six others orchestrated a 'massive financial fraud' at the telecommunications company. The fraud sought to conceal the source of billions of dollars in reported revenue, the SEC alleged. [....] The charges say the fraud occurred between April 1999 and March 2002, allowing Quest to fraudulently report approximately $3 billion of revenue that was later restated and helped Quest's merger with U.S. West in 2000. [....] The charges had been expected for months, and Nacchio repeatedly has denied wrongdoing regarding Quest's accounting practices. [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - St. Patrick's Day - March 17th, 2005: "St. Patrick's Day observed."

2005 - "Celtic Women" - March 17th, 2005: "A PBS Channel 9 musical event entitled 'Celtic Women' aired this date in history." [E.M.]

2005 - Suspect Cash / Illinois - March 17th, 2005: "A Pontoon Beach police officer acting on a hunch searched a tractor-trailer at a truck stop and discovered almost $3.3 million in suspected drug money, one of the largest cash seizures in the area's history. [....] The seizure dwarf's two other recent cases. Last month, Illinois State Police seized $611,597 from a tractor-trailer in Collinsville. And in February last year, troopers confiscated $835,500 from a horse trailer on Interstate 55 north of Litchfield. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Acquitted / Robert Blake - March 17th, 2005: "LOS ANGELES - A jury acquitted tough-guy actor Robert Blake of murder Wednesday [03/16/05] in the shooting death of his wife four years ago, bringing a dramatic end to a case that played out like pulp fiction. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Approved / U.S. Highway Bill - March 17th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - A Senate subcommittee approved a $284 billion transportation bill Wednesday [03/16/05] that includes millions of dollars toward a new Mississippi River bridge. [....]" [Based on: Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

2005 - Trivia / General Motors Corp. - March 17th, 2005: "General Motors Corp. on Wednesday [03/16/05] abandoned projections of a break-even or slightly profitable first quarter and slashed its fiscal-year earnings outlook by more than half, citing poor North American buisness and rising health care costs. Its share price tumbled to the lowest level in two years. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Record Close / Crude Oil Prices - March 17th, 2005: "Crude-oil prices jumped to a record close above $56 a barrel Wednesday [03/16/05] as traders brushed off a largely symbolic effort by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cool the market. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Prison Mothers, U.S.A. - March 17th, 2005: "NEW YORK - America's war on drugs is inflicting deep and disproportionate harm on women - most of them mothers - who are filling prisons in ever-rising numbers despite their typically minor roles in drug rings, the American Civil Liberties Union and two other groups contend. [....] The number of imprisoned women is increasing at a much faster rate than the number of men, mostly because of tougher drug laws. There were 101 thousand women in state and federal prisons in 2003, an eight-fold increase since 1980; roughly one-third were drug offenders, compared with about one-fifth of male inmates. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Paul Wolfowitz / World Bank??? - March 17th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush on Wednesday [03/16/05] chose Paul D. Wolfowitz to head the World Bank, selecting an architect of the Iraq war whose foreign policy stance as deputy defense secretary made him a target of critics at home and abroad. Bush called Wolfowitz 'a compassionate, decent man who will do a fine job at the World Bank.' [....] Wolfowitz was among the most forceful Bush administration figures in arguing that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. If approved by the World Bank's board, Wolfowitz will replace James D. Wolfenson, who will step down June 1, the end of his second five-year term. The United States is the World Bank's largest shareholder. The bank traditionally has had an American president. The board typically defers to the U.S. selection." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Sentenced to Death / Scott Peterson - March 17th, 2005: "REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - Scott Peterson was formally sentenced Wednesday [03/16/05] to death in the killing of his pregnant wife, Laci, but the sentencing seemed almost a footnote to the emotional exchanges in the courtroom. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Settlement / JPMorgan Chase & Co. - March 17th, 2005: "NEW YORK - JPMorgan Chase & Co., the nation's second-largest financial institution, said Wednesday [03/16/05] that it will pay $2 billion to settle claims in a class-action lawsuit filed after the collapse of WorldCom Inc. JPMorgan Chase is the last major bank to settle the WorldCom-related claims. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Palestinian Security Control? / Jericho - March 17th, 2005: "JERICHO, West bank - In a crucial confidence-building measure, Israeli forces Wednesday [03/16/05] removed concrete barricades, took down the blue-and-white Israeli flag and handed over the oasis town of Jericho to Palestinian security control. [....] In line with agreements reached feb. 8 at a summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, Israel is to ultimately withdraw to what the two sides consider informal armistice lines, the position of Israeli forces when the intifada erupted in late September 2000. Since then, nearly all the West Bank has been under military occupation at some point. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Syrian Agents Withdraw / Beirut, Lebanon - March 17th, 2005: "BEIRUT, Lebanon - Syrian intelligence agents ended their 18-year presence in Beirut on Wednesday [03/16/05], and emboldened residents of the capital came forward to celebrate. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Indebted to the Rest of the World? / U.S.A. - March 17th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The nation's deficit in the broadest measure of international trade soared to a record $665.9 billion in 2004, showing in stark terms the speed with which the country is becoming indebted to the rest of the world. The current-account shortfall was 25.5 percent higher than the previous record, a deficit of $530.7 billion in 2003, the Commerce Department said Wednesday [03/16/05]. [....] The deficit for 2004 was not only a record in dollar terms but also as a percentage of the total U.S. economy, climbing to 5.7 percent of gross domestic product, up from 4.8 percent in 2003." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Resignation / Thomas Cullen, Charter Communications Inc. - March 17th, 2005: "Charter Communications Inc. of Town and Country [Mo.] lost another senior executive with the resignation Wednesday [03/16/05] of Thomas Cullen, the executive vice president of advanced services and buisness development. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Fabricated Documentation? / Yucca Mountain Project - March 17th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Government employees may have falsified documents related to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project in Nevada, the Energy Department said Wednesday [03/16/05]. The disclosure could jeopardize the project's ability to get a federal permit to operate the dump. During preparation for a license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the department said it found a number of e-mails from 1998 through 2000 in which an employee of the U.S. Geological survey 'indicated that he had fabricated documentation of his work.' [....] The department said the questionable data involved computer modeling for water infiltration and climate at the Yucca site, 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. [....] Hobson [Rep. David Hobson, R-Ohio, chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that controls the dollars for Yucca Mountain] said the problem did not appear to be too serious and that he did not think it would throw Yucca Mountain off track." [Based on A.P. article, S.L.P.D., p. A4, 03/17/05]

2005 - Palestinian-Israeli Truce? - March 18th, 2005: "SIXTH OF OCTOBER CITY, Egypt - Palestinian militants declared a halt to attacks on Israel for the rest of the year, their longest cease-fire promise ever and a victory for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. But they warned Thursday [03/17/05] that the truce would collapse if Israel did not hold its own fire and release Palestinian prisoners. [....] The declaration says the halt in violence is conditional on Israel's halting all military operations against Palestinians and releasing all 8,000 Palestinian prisoners, a step Israel has shown no sign of taking. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / U.S. Interrogation Practices - March 18th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - CIA Director Porter Goss defended U.S. interrogation practices and rejected any notion that intelligence officers engage in torture. [....] U.S. authorities have flown at least 100 foreigners to countries including Egypt and Saudi Arabia. While the Bush administration has said it seeks assurances that the subject will not be tortured, critics say the practice allows the United States to outsource the dirty work. [....] But at the hearing, Goss was careful in answering questions of U.S. interrogation practices, saying there is clarity now on policies for military and civilian personnel. 'At this time,' he said, 'there are no techniques ... that are being employed that are in any way against the law or would be considered torture or anything like that.' " [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Postponed / Parliamentary Elections, Afghanistan - March 18th, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - Parliamentary elections scheduled for spring will not take place until at least September, President Hamid Karzai said Thursday [03/17/05]. [....] Under an international agreement reached in Bonn in December 2002, Afghanistan's interim government agreed to prepare 'for free and fair elections by June 2004.' But the presidential elections were pushed back until October. [....] Rice [Condoleezza Rice] also received a briefing  from U.S. officials on the growing drug-production problem in Afghanistan, which the State Department said in a recent report was on the verge of becoming a narcotics state." [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - Comprehensive Decoding / X Chromosome - March 18th, 2005: "LOS ANGELES - Scientists have found genetic evidence for what some men have long suspected: It is dangerous to make assumptions about women. [....] In a study published Thursday [03/17/05] in the journal Nature, scientists have found an unexpectedly large genetic variation on the X chromosome among women. The findings were published in conjunction with the first comprehensive decoding of the chromosome, which appeared in the same journal. [....] The scientists who looked at the X chromosome's genetic variations say females can differ from eachother almost as much as they do from males in the behavior of many genes at the heart of sexual identity. [....] All told, men and women may differ by as much as 2 percent of their entire genetic inheritance. That degree of difference is greater than the hereditary gap between humankind and its closest relative - the chimpanzee. 'In essence,' Willard [Duke University genetics expert Huntington Willard] said, there is not one human genome, but two - male and female.' [....] To avoid any toxic effect from double sets of X genes, female cells randomly choose one copy of the X chromosome and silence it - or so scientists had believed. The new analysis found that the second X chromosome is not a silent partner. As many as 25 percent of its genes are active, serving as blueprints to make necessary proteins. The newly discovered genetic variation among women might help account for differing gender reactions to perscription drugs and the heightened vulnerability of women to some diseases, several experts said." [Based on: Los Angeles Times article, S.L.P.D., p. A13, 03/18/05]

2005 - Congressional Hearing / Steroid Use, U.S. Baseball - March 18th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The biggest stir at Thursday's [03/17/05] congressional hearing on steroids in baseball was caused by Mark McGwire, St. Louis' prodigal home run hitter - for what he didn't say. [....] He wouldn't say whether he had ever observed illegal drug use by teammates or whether records set by players on performance-enhancing drugs should be discontinued. [....] The committee plans to hold other hearings on the topic." [Based on: Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

2005 - Assassination Attempt / Anatoly Chubais, Russia - March 18th, 2005: "MOSCOW - Russia's top utilities official, hated by many Russians for engineering the country's murky post-Soviet state sell-offs, survived an assassination attempt Thursday [03/17/05] when assailants attacked his armored car with a roadside bomb and a hail of gunfire. [....] Chubais, 49, is one of Russia's wealthiest, most influential businessmen - and one of the country's most controversial political figures. As the architect of President  Boris Yeltsin's privatization program during the 1990s, Chubais became synonymous with one of post-Soiviet Russia's darkest chapters, when a handful of well-connected businessmen used rigged sell-offs to wrest comntrol of billions of dollars in state assets. [....] Nine members of Russia's parliament have been killed since 1994. Last July, American journalist Paul Klebnikov, editor of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, was gunned down as he left his Moscow office. [....]" [Based on: Chicago Tribune]

2005 - Trivia / Holocaust History? - March 19th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Historians angered by C-Span's plans to air a speech by a British historian who has challenged the extent of the Holocaust have petitioned the network to cancel the project. [....] Irving [David Irving], the author of nearly 30 books, including 'Hitler's War,' took Lipstadt [Deborah Lipstadt] to court in Britain. Alleging libel, he sued her for calling him a Holocaust denier. The lawsuit was dismissed in 2000 by the British court, which said Irving was anti-Semitic and racist and he misrepresented historical information. [....] Lipstadt said that when she realized Irving was to get air time, too, she contacted C-Span and someone there explained his side would add 'balance.' She has declined to go on C-Span if Irving is also on. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Sentenced / John G. Rowland - March 19th, 2005: "Former Gov. John G. Rowland was sentenced to a year in prison and four months, house arrest Friday [03/18/05] in a corruption scandal that destroyed his career as one of the Republican Party's brightest and fastest-rising stars. [....] Rowland, 47, pleaded guilty in December to a corruption charge, admitting he sold his influence for more than $100,000 in trips to Las Vegas, vacations in Vermont and Florida, and improvements at his lakeside cottage. He resigned last summer amid a gathering drive to impeach him. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - MetroLink Status / St. Louis, Mo. - March 19th, 2005: "The regional transit agency's much anticipated light-rail extension from Forest Park to Shrewsbury should wrap up by next year, but at a cost of between $96 million and $126 million more than originally budgeted. [....] The cross-county extension, which broke ground in April 2003, was supposed to open this spring. The project is financed entirely by a quarter-cent sales tax levied in 1994. Metro is receiving no federal money for the project. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Weapons Smuggling? / Iran & China - March 19th, 2005: "KIEV, Ukraine - Ukranian weapons dealers smuggled 18 nuclear-capable cruise missles to Iran and China four years ago, prosecutors said Friday [03/18/05], revealing fresh details of an investigation that will test the new government's commitment to cleaning up corruption. Closed-door legal proceedings were under way. [....] Twelve of the missles went to Iran and six to China, Prosecutor General Svyatoslav Piskun's office said Friday. The Kh55 cruise missles have a range of 1,860 miles. [....] In the Feb. 4 story, the AP reported that six missles smuggled out of Ukraine purportedly ended up in Iran and six in China, although export documents known as end-user certificates recorded the final recipient of about 20 Kh55 missles as Russia's Defense Ministry, according to a letter from legislator Hrihoriy Omelchenko to President Viktor Yushchenko. There was no suggestion of Russian government involvement in the alleged smuggling operation. Omelchenko did not say at the time what happened to the eight other missles. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Resignation / Secretary of the Air Force, U.S.A. - March 19th, 2005: "In an expected move, the acting secretary of the Air Force announced his resignation Friday [03/18/05]. Peter B. Teets has held the position since January, when he replaced Secretary James Roche. Teets is also leaving his position as director of the National Reconnaisance Office, the Pentagon agency that operates spy satellites. [....] Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has recommended to President George W. Bush that he nominate Navy Secretary Gordon England as Air Force secretary, military officials say." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Japan - March 20th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 01:53:41 (UTC) on Sunday, March 20, 2005. The magnitude 6.6 event has been located in KYUSHU, JAPAN. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqinthenews/2005/usvwac/]

*Trivia: "A powerful earthquake injured at least 66 people in southern Japan on Sunday [03/19/05] and smaller aftershocks continued to shake the region. The magnitude-7 temblor, which hit west of Kyushu Island at 10:53 a.m., was centered at an 'extremely shallow' depth below the ocean floor, the Meteorological Agency said. A tsunami warning was issued but was withdrawn about an hour after the quake. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Pro-Pullout Demonstration / Tel Aviv - March 20th, 2005: "The army announced new steps Saturday [03/19/05] to thwart settler resistance to withdrawal plans, and thousands of demonstrators jammed downtown Tel Aviv to back Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's orders for a pullout from the Gaza Strip and part of the West Bank. The demonstration sought to counter a recent string of protests by opponents of the withdrawal. It took place as military officials said Israelis would be barred from moving to West Bank settlements slated for evacuation. About 9,000 Jewish settlers are to be uprooted from their homes in the withdrawal, beginning in late July." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Explosion / Shiite Shrine, Pakistan - March 20th, 2005: "QUETTA, Pakistan - A bomb exploded Saturday [03/19/05] as minority Shiite Muslims congregated at a shrine in a remote town in southwestern Pakistan, killing at least 27 people and wounding 18, police said. [....]"

2005 - World Figure Skating Competion / Russia - "Russian skaters won gold medals in three out of four events at the 2005 World Figure Skating Championships in Moscow, Russia. Switerland won gold in the men's singles event." [E.M.]

2005 - Vernal Equinox / Northern Hemisphere - March 20th, 2005: "The first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere was signaled today by the Vernal Equinox. In the Southern Hemisphere, this time of year marks the Autumnal Equinox." [E.M.]

2005 - Sun in Aries - March 21st, 2005: "Reported date when the Sun entered the constellation Aries." [Based on: http://www.astro.com/swisseph/swephae.htm - 2005 A]

2005 - Political Unrest / Kyrgyzstan - March 21st, 2005: "Thousands of protestors demanding the resignation of Kyrgyzstan's president over a flawed election rampaged through the southern city of Jalal-Abad on Sunday [03/21/05], burning down a police station and occupying government buildings. The government of the former Soviet republic said it was ready to negotiate, but opposition leader Kurmanbek Bakiyev said talks would be possible only if president Askar Akayev hemself is involved." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Peace Rally / Budapest, Hungary - March 21st, 2005: "About 2,000 people holding torches form the peace sign at a rally Sunday [03/20/05] in Heroes Square in Budapest, Hungary. The rally was against war and violence and was organized by the Humanist Movement of Hungary to mark the second anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. [....]" [Based on: A.P. picture article, S.L.P.D., p. A2, 03/21/05]

2005 - Foreign Relations / Jordan & Iraq - March 21st, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq and Jordan engaged in a tit-for-tat withdrawal of ambassadors Sunday [03/20/05] in a growing dispute over Shiite Muslim claims that Jordan is failing to block terrorists from entering Iraq. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Economic Trivia / Iraq - March 22nd, 2005: "Two years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the tattered and dangerous country has become one of the world's poorest, ranking at the level of Haiti and Senegal, with insurgents working to wreck the economy as fast as the U.S. and Iraqi governments can restore it. Economists see little hope for big improvements in 2005: Overall, Iraq has less electricity each day than a year ago. Oil production so far this year has slipped even below 2004's dissappointing levels. And 60 percent of the people depend on food handouts. [....] Iraq's 20,000 or so guerrillas launch 60 to 80 attacks a day, doing their best to tear down an economy that the U.S. and Iraqi governments are struggling to rebuild with $18.4 billion in U.S. taxpayer money. [....] Despite stratospheric prices, Iraq has earned only about $31 billion from oil exports since the invasion. That's far below the prewar predictions of $50 billion to $100 billion in two or three years. Production has yet to regain Saddam-era levels. This year, it has slipped from low 2004 levels. Insurgent sabotage cost Iraq $7 billion in oil revenue last year alone, according to the oil ministry. In 1979, Iraq's best year, production averaged roughly 3 million barrels a day. This year, analysts say, it might not reach an average of 2 million. Oil Minister Thamer al-Ghadban's target of 2.9 million barrels a day by year's end - and 3.5 million by mid-2006 - is 'totally out of the ballpark,' said Sharif Ghalib of Energy Intelligence Research in New York. [....] Buildings in Baghdad and whole neighborhoods in Fallujah are in ruins from U.S. bombardment. The country groans under $80 billion in external debt while 60 percent of the population depends on government food handouts, the IMF said. [....] Iraq has tumbled a long way from the late 1970s and early 1980s, when it was considered the Arab world's most advanced society. The average income was $3,000 a year then. Last year it was $800. [....] Before U.S. bombing knocked out 60 percent of Iraq's generation capacity in the 1990-91 Gulf war, it churned out as much as 9,000 megawatts of electricity a day, power officials have said. After Saddam hurriedly patched the grid, it produced about 4,400 daily megawatts. U.S. engineers promised to boost production to 6,000 megawatts of consistent power by last June. But on March 4, a U.S. reconstruction official said that 3,850 megawatts were generated the day before. [....] Iraqis appear to have given up waiting for Americans to make good on promises to fix the grid." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Imigrant Boom / U.S.A. - March 22nd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The nation's undocumented immigrant population surged to 10.3 million last year, spurred largely by the arrivals of unauthorized Mexicans in the United States, according to a report released Monday [03/21/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - March 22nd, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. soldiers, ambushed by dozens of Iraqi militants near the infamous 'Triangle of Death,' responded by killing 26 guerrillas in the largest single insurgent death toll since last fall's battle for Fallujah, the U.S. military dsaid Monday [03/21/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Settlement / Bert Roberts - March 22nd, 2005: "Former WorldCom board member Bert Roberts agreed on Monday [03/21/05] to pay $4.5 million of his own money to settle a suit brought by former investors in the collapsed telecommunications company. Roberts became the last former board member of the company to settle with the investors. Last week, 11 other former board members agreed to pay $20 million from their own pockets to resolve their parts of the lawsuit. Insurance companies that covered the 11 board members agreed to pay an additional $35 million. Major investment banks also have agreed to pay more than $6 billion in similar settlements. WorldCom collapsed in an $11 billion accounting fraud in 2002." [S.L.P.D., p. B2, 03/22/05]

2005 - School Shooting / Minnesota - March 22nd, 2005: "BEMIDJI, Minn. - A high school student went on a shooting rampage on an Indian reservation Monday [03/21/05], killing his grandfather and a woman at their home and then seven people at his school, grinning and waving as he fired, authorities and witnesses said. The gunman apparently killed himself after exchanging gunfire with police. It was the nation's worst school shooting since the Columbine massacre in 1999. [....] The student gunman was identified by other tribal members as Jeff Wiese, 15. Relatives said Wiese was a towering loner who wore black all the time and was teased by other kids. Wiese's father committed suicide four years ago, relatives said, and his mother lives in a nursing home in Minneapolis after sustaining brain injuries in a car accident. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "He created comic books with ghastly drawings of people shooting each other and wrote stories about zombies. He dressed in black, wore eyeliner and apparently admired Adolf Hitler and called himself the 'Angel of Death' in German. [....] Armed with two pistols and a shotgun, he killed nine people altogether and wounded seven before shooting himself to death. [....] About a month ago, his sketch of a guitar-strumming skeleton accompanied by a caption that read 'March to the death song 'til your boots fill with blood' was displayed in his English class, said classmate Parston Graves Jr. [....] Killed were Derrick Brun, 28, an unarmed security guard; a teacher, Neva Winnecoup-Rogers, 52; Thurlene Stillday, 15; Chase Lussier, 15; Chanelle Rosebear, 15; Alicia Spike, 14; and Dwayne Lewis, 15. In one posting [on the Web], he criticized interracial mixing on the reservation and slammed fellow Indian teens for listening to rap music. 'We have kids my age killing eachother over things as simple as a fight, and its because of the rap influence,' he wrote [....] Weise's Hotmail address links him to frequent postings on one Internet forum called 'Rise of the Dead,' a site where contributors collaborate on stories about 'average people attempting to survive in a zombie-infested world,' according to the site. [....]" " [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Surging Gasoline Prices / U.S.A. - March 22nd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Gasoline prices have surged more than 10 percent in the last month to $2.11 a gallon nationwide, the government said Monday [03/21/05] - and the latest run-up in oil futures soon may lead to even higher pump prices. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Return to Bench / William Rehnquist - March 22nd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Looking frail but engaged, Chief Justice William Rehnquist returned to the Supreme Court bench Monday [03/21/05] for the first time since announcing in October that he has thyroid cancer. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - Trivia / Camilla Parker Bowles, Britain - March 22nd, 2005: "Camilla Parker Bowles will be in line to become queen despite her future husband's public statement that she will take a lesser title, the government said Monday [03/21/05]. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Fraud Settlement / Time Warner Inc. - March 22nd, 2005: "NEW YORK - Time Warner Inc., the world's largest media company, will pay $300 million to settle fraud allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission for overstating its online advertising revenues and the number of its Internet subscribers. As part of the agreement made public on Monday [03/21/05], Time Warner has restated its financial results to reduce the amount of online advertising revenues it reported by about $500 million from the fourth quarter of 2000 thriough 2002. Time Warner will neither admit nor deny any wrongdoing under the settlement. However, it has agreed to appoint an independent examiner who will further review the company's accounting. The details of the deal are in line with a settlement that the company had proposed to the SEC and disclosed last December. At that time, the company also said it agreed to pay $210 million to settle charges of criminal securities fraud in a separate investigation by the Department of Justice. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Approved Israeli Construction / West Bank - March 22nd, 2005: "[....] Also Monday [03/21/05], Israeli officials confirmed that the government has approved construction of 3,500 housing units in and around the West Bank's largest settlement, Maale Adumim near Jerusalem, in violation of the U.S.-backed 'road map' peace plan. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A8, S.L.P.D., 03/22/05]

*Trivia: "[....] Israeli lawmakers say Sharon's government has revived a plan to build 3,500 new housing units around the settlement to encircle Arab east Jerusalem with Jewish neighborhoods. [....] Palestinians object to any Israeli construction in the West Bank and warn that this could kill chances for peace by preventing creation of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital. Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital. [....] Menachem Klein, an expert on Jerusalem affairs and advisor to the Israeli negotiasting team at the failed Camp David peace talks in 2000, said the plan calls for building houses on the last stretch of empty land between east Jerusalem and the West Bank, completing the ring of Jewish neighborhoods around east Jerusalem. This would be enhanced by a barrier Israel is building around the city, isolating the Arab areas, he said. Israel said the barrier is needed to keep out attackers. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat criticized the plan as an attempt to 'seal off' east Jerusalem. 'They want to determine the fate of Jerusalem before the negotiations on Jerusalem begin. I hope they (the Americans) will continue opposing it,' he said. Khalil Tofakji, head of the Palestinian Cartography Center, said that in 1997, the Israeli military confiscated more than 3,000 acres of land from Palestinian villages for the construction." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Suspended U.S. Military Assistance / Nicaragua - March 22nd, 2005: "The United States is suspending about $2 million in military assistance to Nicaragua because president Enrique Bolanos has not followed through on a promise to destroy surface-to-air-missles, the State Department said Monday [03/21/05]. The U.S. administration is concerned that the missles - left over from the Central American wars of the 1980s - could fall into terrorist's hands and be used to attack commericial flights. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - 911 / Inside Job? - March 23rd, 2005: "[....] 9/11 Was an 'Inside Job' to Justify Three Wars - America – Caught on Video Red Handed – World Wide 9/11 Truth Movement Grows Daily! [....]" [Posted by: Phil_Jayhan on 03/23/2005 02:19 AM -  See link: http://www.911wasalie.com/phpwebsite/]

2005 - Trivia / Topix.net - March 23rd, 2005: "Three major newspaper companies are investing in Topix.net, a startup technology company that collects and sorts news stories from various sources on the Internet. Gannett Co., Knight Ridder Inc. and Tribune Co. are each taking a 25 percent stake in the company, while its founders will retain the remaining share. Topix, of Palo Alto, Calif., launched its site just over a year ago, but has 1,4 million monthly users as of February, according to comScore Media Metrix." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 03/23/05]

2005 - Trivia / Google Suit - March 23rd, 2005: "NEW YORK - In a dispute that could set limits on Internet search engines, the French news agency Agence France-Presse is suing Google Inc. for gathering photos and story excerpts from thousands of news Web sites. Agence France-Presse said the Google News service infringes on AFP's copyrights by reproducing information from the Web sites of subscribers of the Paris-based news wholesaler. [....] The lawsuit's outcome probably will hinge on whether Google can convince the courts that Google News constitutes permissible 'fair use' of copyright material. [....] The Google News service, which started in 2002, scans some 4,500 news outlets and highlights the top stories under categories such as world and sports. Many stories carry a small image, or thumbnail, along with headline and the first sentence or two. Visitors can click on the headline to read the full story at the source Web site. Yahoo Inc. has a similar service, though it uses human editors and pays some news sources, including AFP and The Associated Press, for rights. (Google wouldn't comment on any similar financial arrangements.) [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Fired Exec's / AIG Inc. - March 23rd, 2005: "NEW YORK - American International Group Inc., one of the world's biggest insurance companies, fired two top executives for failing to cooperate with government investigators, a spokesman for the company said Tuesday [03/22/05]. The dismissals of Howard I. Smith, who had been AIG's chief financial officer, and Vice President Christian M. Milton, were first reported in Tuesday editions of The Wall Street Journal. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Banned GM Corn / Poland - March 23rd, 2005: "Poland has banned a genetically modified corn produced by Monsanto Co., ignoring European Union advice that the product is safe. Poland joins Germany, France, Austria, Luxembourg and  Greece in banning the import of a gene-altered crop that has been approved by the EU. The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said Tuesday [03/22/05] it would put forward a proposal to the region's 25 nations seeking the lifting of those rules." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 03/23/05]

2005 - Investigation / Biotech Corn - March 23rd, 2005: "SAN FRANCISCO - Swiss biotech company Syngenta AG said Tuesday [03/22/05] that it mistakenly sold to farmers an experimental, genetically engineered corn seed that wasn't approved by U.S. regulators. Hundreds of tons of the resulting corn crop were shipped to consumers and abroad between 2001 and 2004, but three federal agencies investigating said there was no health or environmental risk. The Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration also are investigating. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Foreign Influence? / Kyrgyzstan - March 23rd, 2005: "President Askar Akayev of Kyrgyzstan reacted defiantly Tuesday [03/22/05] to anti-government protests that have swept the southern part of his Central Asian republic. He charged in a speech to parliament that the 'opposition is directed and funded from the outside.' He did not name the alleged foreign backers. But analysts said Akayev was voicing widespread suspicion among governments in the former Soviet republics that the recent popular revolts in Ukraine, Georgia and now Kyrgyzstan stem from Western - particularly U.S. - efforts to install friendly leaders under the guise of building democracy. 'The events in Kyrgystan are not isolated from any of the so-called color revolutions that have been staged in other ... countries over the last 18 months,' Akayev said in a reference to the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia and last year's Orange Revolution in Ukraine. 'Such revolutions ... are nothing more than coups.' [....]" [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A11, 03/23/05]

2005 - Trivia / Cell Phone Towers, U.S.A. - March 23rd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court made it easier Tuesday [03/22/05] for cities to say no to new cell phone towers in their neighborhoods. In a 9-0 ruling, the justices said the federal law that was designed to encourage the growth of the telecommunications industry does not allow cities to be sued for damages for refusing to permit a cell phone tower. In the past decade, 140,000 cell phone towers have sprouted around the United States, but the phone industry says it needs more to eliminate 'dead spots.' [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Infrared Detection / Distant Planets - March 23rd, 2005: "NEW YORK - Astronomers said Tuesday [03/22/05] that they have seen the glow of alien planets for the first time. Using the Spitzer Space Telescope and careful timing, two teams studying two different planets were able to distinguish the planets' infrared radiation, or heat glow, from the overwhelming glare of their parent stars. Both planets are so-called hot Jupiters, massive planets circling their stars in tight blow-torching orbits and unfit for life as we know it. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Raised / Federal-Funds Interest Rate, U.S.A. - March 23rd, 2005: "[....] Federal Reserve Chairman Alam Greenspan and his colleagues, sticking to a course of gradually raising rates, bumped up the federal-funds rate by one-quarter percentage point to 2.75 percent. That marked the seventh increase of that size since the Fed began tightening credit last June. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Older Recruits? / U.S. National Guard and Army Reserve - March 23rd, 2005: "The Army is tapping into a new pool of potential recruits for the National Guard and Army Reserve by raising the maximum enlistment age to 39 from 34, officials said Tuesday [03/22/05]. The move, described as a three-year test, is designed to help the Guard and Reserve meet recruitment goals at a time when the Iraq war and other pressures are discouraging young people from joining. The age ceiling for the regular Army is set by law at 34." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - U.S. Explanation Sought / Israeli Settlement Expansion - March 23rd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Two senior U.S. officials [Elliott Abrams & David Welch] were in Israel Tuesday [03/22/05] asking the Israeli government to explain its plans to expand the largest Jewish settlement on the West Bank. [....] Israel has reserved the right to enlarge Jewish settlements to accomodate the growth of families living in them. [....]" [Based on A.P.]

2005 - Status / Crude Oil , U.S.A. - March 24th, 2004: "NEW YORK - Crude-oil futures slumped more than $2 a barrel on Wednesday [03/23/05], the biggest one-day decline this year, as the Energy Department said that the nation's inventories rose to the highest level since 2002. [....] Overall, crude prices are down about $3 a barrel from last week's record amid signs that higher U.S. interest rates will slow economic growth and fuel use. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

*Trivia: "Gasoline futures surged to a record on Thursday [03/24/05] and crude oil rose on speculation that an explosion at BP PLC's refinery in Texas City, Texas will limit the availability of fuel when demand rises. BP's chief executive, John Browne, said the company doesn't know the cause of the blast, which killed 15. The incident occurred as refineries increase motor-fuel output for the driving season, which begins on Memorial Day. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Trivia / ConAgra Foods Inc. - March 24th, 2005: "ConAgra Foods Inc. said Thirsday [03/24/05] that it would restate its financial results for 2004 and the first half of fiscal 2005 because of income tax errors that could cost one of the nation's largest food companies up to $200 million. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Settlement / Flowserve Corp. - March 24th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Pump maker Flowserve Corp. has agreed to pay a $350,000 fine to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that it illegally disclosed information to stock analysts ahead of the public in November 2002. Chief Executive C. Scott Greer will pay $50,000. [....] The settlement marks a rare SEC action under a 2000 rule known as Regulation FD, or Fair Disclosure, which forbids companies from providing information to stock analysts and other Wall Street insiders ahead of the public. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Volcanic Activity / Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia - March 24th, 2005: "Eruptions at the Klyuchevskaya Volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula became more violent on March 24, 2005. The Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruptions Response Team boosted the alert level on the volcano to red (its highest alert, reserved for major explosive eruptions) after Klyuchevskaya began to eject clouds of ash and steam as high as 10 kilometers (32,800 feet) above sea level. Seismic activity around the volcano has increased to match Klyuchevskaya’s continuous eruptions. [....]" [Link: 1]

2005 - ECK Spiritual Skills Seminar - March 24th-27th, 2005: "Celebrated beginning this date in history: the 2005 ECK Spiritual Skills Seminar [March 24–27] @ Minneapolis Convention Center, Minneapolis, MN." [E.M.]

2005 - Foreign Relations / U.S. & Venezuela - March 24th, 2005: "MANAUS, Brazil - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Wednesday [03/23/05] criticized Venezuela's reported efforts to buy 100,000 AK-47 assault rifels from Russia, suggesting that Venezuela's possession of so many weapons would threaten the hemisphere. Harsh accusations and increasing annimosity have marked the relationship between the United States and Venezuela. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has warned that he will cut off shipments of his country's oil to the United States if the Bush administration supports an attempt to force him out of office. Venezuela provides about 13 percent of U.S. crude oil imports. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Oil Refinery Explosion / Texas City, Texas - March 24th, 2005: "TEXAS CITY, Texas - An explosion rocked a BP oil refinery Wednesday [03/23/05], injuring more than 100 people and sending flames and black smoke billowing into the sky in a blast so thunderous it could be felt for miles. At least 14 people were feared dead. [....] Workers were searching through rubble for survivors or bodies Wednesday night. The cause of the blast was not immediately known. Many of the injured suffered broken bones, cuts and concussions. [....] A refinery explosion forced the evacuation of the plant for several hours in March last year. Afterward, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the refinery $63,000 for safety violations. Texas City is the site of the worst industrial accident in U.S. history. In 1947, a fire aboard a ship at the Texas City docks triggered a massive explosion that killed 576 people and left fires burning in the city for days. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Settlements / Citigroup Inc. & Putnam Investments - March 24th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Citigroup Inc. and Putnam Investments will pay civil fines of $20 million and $40 million, respectively, to resolve federal regulators' allegations that they kept from customers the fact that brokers were paid to recommend certain mutual funds, setting up a conflict of interest. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the separate settlements Wednesday [03/23/05] with Citigroup, the biggest U.S. financial institution, and Putnam, the seventh-largest mutual fund company. Citigroup and Putnam, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Cos., neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing. [....] In a related move, the National Association of Securities Dealers disclosed that Citigroup, American Express Financial Advisors Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co had agreed to pay a total $21.25 million for alleged violations in sales of mutual funds. [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Bobby Fischer - March 25th, 2005: "ABOARD SAS FLIGHT SK984 - sitting in the first-class cabin wisking him away from nine months of detention in Japan, chess icon Bobby Fischer on Thursday [03/24/05] began a rambling diatribe against the United States. He called it 'an illegitimate country' that should be given back to the American Indians. The reclusive Fischer is taking up residence in Iceland to avoid arrest in the United States. He also unleashed his anger at Israel and likened President George W. Bush to a comic book character. Fischer said he was 'kidnapped' in Japan, and that Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi were trying to deprive him of freedom and return him to the Unitted States, where he is wanted on charges that he violated U.S. restrictions by playing a chess match in the old Yugoslavia. [....] 'The United States is an illegitimate country ... just like the bandit state of Israel - the Jews have no right to be there, it belongs to the Palestinians,' said Fischer, whose mother was Jewish. 'That country, the United States, belongs to the red man, the American Indian .... It's actually a shame to be a so-called American because everybody living there is ... an invader.' He traced the origins of his troubled relationship with his homeland to his failed lawsuit in the 1970s against Time Inc., now Time Warner, for defamation of character, breach of contract and other issues; a U.S. District Court threw it out as groundless. 'I got laughed out of court,' he said. 'This is when I began to realize what kind of a country America was then ... it's just a sham democracy .... That's when I started to part company with the U.S.' [....] Fischer, 62, is wanted by the United States for violating sanctions imposed on the former Yugoslavia by playing an exibition match there against Spassky in 1992. [....] Fischer denied he had been carrying an invalid passport in Japan and called Koizumi 'a stooge.' 'It's just my misfortune that this criminal idiot Koizumi ... (is) willing to do anything Bush tells him,' said Fischer. On Thursday [03/24/05], Fischer's attorney, Richard J. Vattuone, said he filed a suit in U.S. District Court in San Diego against the government over Fischer's nine-month detention in Japan 'under harsh conditions, amounting to torture.' U.S. officials declined to comment." [Based on A.P. article by Miles Edelsten, S.L.P.D., p. A8, 03/25/05]

2005 - U.S. Refugee Status / Canada - March 25th, 2005: "TORONTO - Canada denied refugee status Thursday [03/24/05] to a former U.S. Army paratrooper who said he would be committing war crimes if sent to Iraq. The ruling was a major blow to Americans who have fled northof the border rather than fight a war they claim commits atrocities against civilians. The government said the paratrooper, Jeremy Hinzman, had not made a convincing argument that he would face persecution or cruel and unusual punishment if sent back to the United States. The decision, announced on a government Web site, could affect at lest eight - and possibly dozens more - American soldiers seeking refuge in canada. It also could help improve strained relations between the U.S. and Canadian governments. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Mortgage Rates, U.S.A. - March 25th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Rising mortage rates will cool but not crush a national housing market that still is relatively hot, one of the economy's consistently good performers. [....] Mortgage rates have picked up recently. Rates on 30-year, fixed rate mortgages this week rose to 6.01 percent - the highest since late July - according to a weekly, nationwide survey of mortgage rates by Freddie Mac, the mortgage giant. Last week, 30-year rates averaged 5.95 percent. This week's rise was the sixth straight. [....] Economists in the mortgage banking, residential real-estate and home-building industries predict that rates on 30-year mortgages will rise to around 6.75 percent by year's end. Other economists think rates could close in on 7 percent. By historical standards, those rates still would be considered good, analysts said. [....] Most homeowners have fixed-rate mortgages, so their payments are locked in and wouldn't be affected by a run-up in rates, Duncan said. However, about 14 percent of the roughly 73 million home-owning households have adjustable-rate mortgages and would be affected. 'Those tend to be upper-income households, who are likely to handle that pretty well,' Duncan said. For all of 2005, sales of previously owned homes are expected to total 6.57 million, down about 3.2 percent from 2004's all-time high sales, the National Association of Realtors said." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Tax Shelter Settlement / U.S.A. - March 25th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service has collected more than $3.2 billion, mainly from wealthy people, in its most ambitious effort ever to crack down on improper tax shelters, the agency said Thursday [03/24/25]. There has been 'some real pain' among the 1,165 taxpayers who are participating in the 'Son of Boss' tax shelter settlement, IRS Commissioner Mark Everson said at a news conference. 'Some people have had to sell their villas and yachts' to come up with the money. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Kmart Buys Sears Roebuck & Co. - March 25th, 2005: "HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. - Kmart bought Sears, Roebuck and Co. for $12.3 billion on Thursday [03/24/05], combining two faded retail icons whose sales have been declining for years into the nation's third-biggest retailer with annual sales of $55 billion. [....] Sears Holdings trails only Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Home Depot Inc. among U.S. retailers. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Sears Holdings Corp. plans to cut pay and benefits for its work force of 400,000 early next year. The retail giant was created last week through the $12.3 billion merger of based Sears, Roebuck and Co. of Hoffman Estates, Ill., and Kmart Holding Corp. of Troy, Mich. The Detroit Free Press reported Sears employees were sent an e-mail Monday [03/28/05] informing them that they would be told next month of benefits changes, to be implemented early next year. A spokesman said the company would notify workers of layoffs in April at the two headquarters." [Based on: News Services, 03/30/05]

2005 - Government Collapse / Kyrgyzstan - March 25th, 2005: "BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan - The president was in hiding, protestors were shredding and stamping on his official portraits and suddenly opposition activist Ulan Shambetov found himself sitting in the vanished leader's chair. In the nearby Kyrgyz parliament, lawmakers gathered and sought to restore order in their reeling Central Asian country. The government collapsed Thursday [03/24/05] after days of protests over disputed elections. The popular uprising was breathtaking in its speed and resulted in only a few dozen injuries. The government was the third in a former Soviet republic - after Georgia and Ukraine - to be brought down by a popular revolt in the past year and a half. [....] Akayev, a 60-year-old fromer physicist, had led Kyrgyzstan since 1990, before it gained independence in the collapse of the Soviet Union. [....] Members of the upper house of parliament, who had been voted out in the disputed February election, resumed their seats Thursday and chose a former opposition lawmaker, Ishenbai Kadyrbekov, to serve as interim president until new elections, perhaps as early as may or June. Two prominent opposition leaders, Kurmanbek Bakiyev and Felix Kulov, were named to top posts in an interim government, lawmakers said. The lower house of the parliament early today [03/25/05] appointed Bakiyev acting prime minister, and the upper house tapped Kulov to take charge of all law enforcement agencies. Kulov, a former vice president, had been released from prison Thursday. He had been serving 10 years for embezzlement and abuse of power - charges he says were fabricated by Akayev's regime. [....] Both the United States and Russia have military bases near Bishkek. About 1,000 U.S. troops are stationed at Manas air base outside the capital. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Thursday he didn't believe they would be adversely affected by the turmoil. [....] The takeover in Kyrgyzstan began with a rally Thursday morning [03/24/05] on the outskirts of Bishkek, where about 5,000 protestors roared and clapped when Bakiyev said they soon would control the entire country. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Foreign Relations / U.S. & Guatemala - March 25th, 2005: "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced Thursday [03/24/05] that the United States would lift its ban on military aid to Guatemala, whose government has embarked on a major effort to change a military accused of kidnappings and killings in more than 30 years of civil war. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Recovered / 70-Million-Year-Old Dinosaur Tissue - March 25th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Since the study of dinosaurs began, it has been limited to fossilized bones. Now researchers say they have recovered 70-million-year-old soft tissue, including what may be blood vessels and cells, from a Tyrannosaurus rex. If scientists can isolate proteins from the material, thay may be able to learn new details of how dinosaurs lived, said lead researcher Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University. [....] The soft tissues were recovered from the thighbone of a T. rex, known as MOR 1125, that was found in a sandstone formation in Montana. The dinosaur was about 18 when it died. [....] 'The vessels and contents are similar in all respects to blood vessels recovered from ... ostrich bone,' they reported in a paper being published today in the journal Science. [....] John R. Horner of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University, said the discovery is 'a fantastic specimen,' but probably not unique. Other researchers might find similarly preserved soft tissues if they split open the bones in their collections, said Horner, a co-author of the paper." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Accounting Fraud Settlement / Adelphia Communications Corp. - March 25th, 2005: "NEW YORK - Adelphia Communications Corp., the nation's fifth-largest cable operator, is offering to pay $725 million to settle federal fraud investigations in what would be the second-highest penalty ever imposed by regulators. Settlement talks are continuing, and the offer covers both Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department proceedings, the company, based in Greenwood Village, Colo., said Thursday [03/24/05] in a regulatory filing. A settlement would bring Chief Executive William Schleyer a step closer to reshaping the company after the ninth-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. A deal also may help him complete a sale of the cable systems to raise money to repay creditors. [....] Adelphia, which has 5 million customers in 31 states, including Florida and California, in December said that lawyers for the SEC told the company they might seek 'billions of dollars' in penalties and that the Justice Department might pursue additional fines. The SEC alleged in 2002 that Adelphia, then headed by founder John Rigas, fraudently concealed $2.3 billion in bank debts. Rigas, 80, and a son, Timothy, 48, were found guilty last July of conspiracy and fraud for looting Adelphia and lying about its finances before the bankruptcy filing. The Rigases used Adelphia as a 'private ATM' to fund $50 million in cash advances, buy $1.6 billion in securities and repay $252 million in margin loans, prosecutors told jurors in a four-month trial. Adelphia last year restated financial results and said the Rigas family had caused the company's bankruptcy by issuing misleading statements and increasing debt. Rigas family members held all of the senior executive positions at Adelphia before May 2002 and accounted for five of the nine board members. John Rigas and Timothy, who face sentencing April 18 on fraud and conspiracy charges, lost their bid for a new trial earlier this month. Adelphia also has asked the bankruptcy judge to force the family to repay $3.2 billion. The Rigases also are defendants in more than 40 suits by investors who allege accounting fraud. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - March 26th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents have carried out a series of deadly attacks in recent days, killing 17 Iraqi security forces in car bombings, gunning down five Iraqi women working for American troops and assassinating a senior Iraqi military official [Col. Salman Muhammad Hassan] , authorities said Friday. [03/25/05]." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Protest Rally / Quetta, Pakistan - March 26th, 2005: "More than 10,000 protestors rallied in the southwestern city of Quetta on Friday [03/25/05], demanding that President Pervez Musharraf step down. The supporters of a coalition of radical Islamic groups chanted, 'Pakistan will not be allowed to become a U.S. colony.' The six-party United Action Forum says Musharraf has reneged on a promise to become a civilian head of state and leave his army job by the end of last year. Musharraf has become a key ally of the United States in the fight against terrorism since he seized power in a bloodless coup in October 1999." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / U.S. Arms Sales to Pakistan - March 26th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The United States has agreed to sell about two dozen sophisticated F-16 fighter planes to Pakistan, a move that rewards Pakistan for its help in fighting terrorism but has angered its next-door rival, India. [....] State Department officials, explaining the decision further but only on the condition of anonymity, said India is contemplating a large purchase of fighter planes, including U.S. built F-16s or perhaps F-18s. [....] Pakistan's information minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, hailed the U.S. decision as a 'good gesture by the United States' and said the transaction would ease anti-American sentiment in the Islamic nation. Pakistan struck a deal with the United States to buy the nuclear-capable F-16 fighter jets in the late 1980s, but the deal was scrapped in the 1990s when the United States imposed sanctions on Pakistan over its nuclear weapons program. Since then, Pakistan, which had paid in advance for the F-16s, has been pressuring Washington to supply the rest of the planes. The United States had signed a separate $1.3 billion arms package to Pakistan last year." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Easter Sunday - March 27th, 2005: "Easter holiday observed."

2005 - Died / Paul Henning - March 27th, 2005: "BURBANK, Calif. - Paul Henning, the television writer and producer who created 'The Beverly Hillbillies,' died Friday (March 25, 2005). He was 93. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Serious Mistake? / FBI - March 27th, 2005: "The FBI admitted Saturday [03/26/05] it accidentally gave classified documents back to the American translator who pleaded guilty to taking them from the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Ahmed Fathy Mehalba, who was released from jail this month, contacted the FBI's Boston office Tuesday after he realized agents had inadvertently given him the compact disc containing the secret files along with his personal property. Mehalba had the disc in his possession for only a 'matter of hours' before the FBI retrieved it, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Ricciuti. 'Someone in the bureau obviously made a serious mistake,' Ricciuti said." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Anti-Beijing Protest / Taiwan - March 27th, 2005: "Hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese marched Saturday [03/26/05] in Taipei, the capital, to denounce Beijing in one of the largest political demonstrations ever on the island. [....] Organizers said they had met their goal of attracting 1 million protestors, though the police estimated the crowd at more than 500,000" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Elections Trivia / Kyrgyzstan - March 27th, 2005: "BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan - Parliament approved plans Saturday [03/26/05] for a presidential election in June as Kyrgyzstan's new authorities struggled to solidify the legal basis for their takeover of power from ousted President Askar Akayev. Acting President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, a former opposition leader, said he expected to run. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Bomb Blast / Beirut, Lebanon - March 27th, 2005: "BEIRUT, Lebanon - A bomb blast set off huge fires in a mainly Christian suburb of Beirut on Saturday [03/26/05], injuring five people in the third such attack in eight days. [....] In Saturday's blast, a 55-pound bomb was placed between a car and a furniture factory, said Lebanon's police chief, Maj. Gen. Sarkis Tadros. The explosion left a crater that was 3 feet deep and 10 feet wide. [....] Each attack has targeted Christian, anti-Syrian strongholds, raising fear of the return of the sectarian violence that plagued Lebanon during its civil war from 1975 to 1990. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Land Mine Explosion / Afghanistan - March 27th, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - Four U.S. soldiers died when their vehicle struck a land mine in central Afghanistan on Saturday [03/26/05], the military said. It was unclear whether the mine was freshly laid or a leftover from the country's long wars. [....] The 17,000 American troops still in Afghanistan face a stubborn Taliban-led insurgency." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / U.S. Army Criminal Investigation - March 27th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Army officials have decided not to prosecute 17 soldiers involved in the deaths of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan, a military report says. Military investigators recommended courts-martial for the soldiers in the cases of three prisoner deaths for charges ranging from making false statements to murder. Officers rejected those recommendations, ruling that the soldiers lawfully used force or didn't understand the rules for using force, or that there was not enough evidence to prosecute. The Army Criminal Investigation Command released a report Friday detailing the cases of 27 prisoners killed in custody in Iraq and Afghanistan between August 2002 and November last year. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Newly Released Records / 911 Saudis U.S. Departure - March 27th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The episode has been retold so many times in the last three and a half years that it has become the stuff of political legend: In the frenzied days after Sept. 11, 2001, when some flights were still grounded, dozens of well-connected Saudis, including relatives of Osama bin Laden, managed to leave the United States on specially chartered flights. Now, newly released government records reveal previously undisclosed flights from Las Vegas and elsewhere and point to a more active role by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in helping some of the Saudis leave. The FBI gave personal airport escorts to two prominent Saudi families, and several other Saudis were allowed to leave the country without first being interviewed, the documents show. [....] The documents were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act suit against the Justice Department by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, which provided copies to The New York Times. [....] The Sept. 11 commission examined the Saudi flights in its final report last year, and it reported that no Saudis had been allowed to leave before national airspace was reopened on Sept. 13, 2001, that there was no evidence of 'political intervention' by the White House, and that the FBI had done a 'satisfactory screening' of the departing Saudis to ensure they did not have information revelant to the attacks. The documents obtained by Judicial Watch, with major passages deleted, do not appear to contradict directly any of those central findings, but they raise new questions. The FBI records show, for instance, that prominent Saudi citizens left the United States on several flights that had not been previously disclosed in public accounts, including a chartered flight from Providence, R.I., on Sept. 14, 2001, that included at least one member of the Saudi royal family, and on three flights from Las Vegas between Sept. 19 and Sept. 24, also carrying members of the Saudi Royal family. [....] The FBI documents left open the possibility that some departing Saudis had information relevant to the Sept. 11 investigation. 'Although the FBI took all possible steps to prevent any individuals who were involved in or had knowledge of the 9/11/2001 attacks from leaving the U.S. before they could be interviewed,' a memo from 2003 stated, 'it is not possible to state conclusively that no such individualsd left the U.S. without FBI knowledge.' [....] Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., has called for further investigation. 'This lends credence to the theory that the administration was not coming fully clean about their involvement with the Saudis,' he said, 'and we still haven't gotten to the bottom of this whole affair.' " [Based on: New York Times article by Eric Lichtblau, S.L.P.D., p. A11, 03/27/05]

2005 - Peaceful Protests? / Zimbabwe - March 28th, 2005: "HARARE, Zimbabwe - A prominent Roman Catholic archbishop [Pius Ncube] and outspoken critic of President Robert Mugabe called Sunday [03/27/05] for peaceful street protests aimed at overthrowing the long-time ruler, saying this weeks parliamentary elections are certain to be rigged. [....] Mugabe, a former guerrilla leader largely ostracized by the international community, has led Zimbabwe since the end of white rule in 1980. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Bird Flu Outbreak / North Korea - March 28th, 2005: "North Korea acknowledged on Sunday [03/27/05] an outbreak of bird flu for the first time, saying that hundreds of chickens were killed to prevent its spread. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Great Earthquake / Northern Sumatra - March 28th, 2005: "A great earthquake occurred at 16:09:36 (UTC) on Monday, March 28, 2005. The magnitude 8.7 event has been located in Northern Sumatra, Indonesia." [Based on: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqinthenews/2005/usweax/]

*Trivia: "A powerful earthquake struck off Indonesia's west coast [just 110 miles south of the Dec. 26 quake] late Monday [03/28/05], killing scores of people whose homes collapsed on them and spreading panic across the Indian Ocean that another killer tsunami was on the way. Indonesia's vice president predicted up to 2,000 deaths. [....] Almost all the deaths reported after the 8.7-magnitude quake were on Indonesia's Nias Island, a popular surfing spot off Sumatra Island's west coast and close to the epicenter.  [....]" [Based on: A.P., 03/29/05]

*Trivia: "A total of 455 people were confirmed dead from Monday night's 8.7-magnitude earthquake in Sumatra - which had barely recovered from the Dec. 26 quake-driven tsunami said Col. Zainuri Lubis, a local police officer compiling a list of the dead. He said 424 of the dead were found on the island and 31 in Aceh province. The government said the final death toll will be about 500, lowering earlier estimates of 2,000. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 04/02/05]

*Trivia: "At least 1000 people killed, 300 injured and 300 buildings destroyed on Nias; 100 people killed, many injured and several buildings damaged on Simeulue; 200 people killed in Kepulauan Banyak; 3 people killed, 40 injured and some damage in the Meulaboh area, Sumatra. A 3-meter tsunami damaged the port and airport on Simeulue. Tsunami runup heights as high as 2 meters were observed on the west coast of Nias and 1 meter at Singkil and Meulaboh, Sumatra. Felt (VI) at Banda Aceh and (V) at Medan. At least 10 people were killed during evacuation of the coast of Sri Lanka. Felt (IV) along the west coast of Malaysia; (IV) at Bangkok and (III) at Phuket, Thailand; (III) at Singapore; (III) at Male, Maldives. The quake was also felt in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India and in Sri Lanka. Tsunami wave heights (peak to trough) recorded from selected tide stations: about 40 cm on Panjang, Indonesia; about 25 cm at Colombo, Sri Lanka; 40 cm on Hanimadu, 18 cm at Male and 10 cm at Gan, Maldives. Initial observations indicate about 1 meter of subsidence on the coast of Kepulauan Banyak as well as 1 meter of uplift on the coast of Simeulue. Seiches were observed on ponds in West Bengal, India."

[Based on: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqinthenews/2005/usweax/]
[See also: http://neic.usgs.gov/neis/eq_depot/2005/2005_deaths.html]

2005 - Fatality? / Interior Ministry official, Iraq - March 28th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Al-Qaida in Iraq released a video Sunday [03/27/05] claiming to show the killing of an Interior Ministry official [Col. Ryadh Gatie Olyway]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Ancient Rocks - March 29th, 2005: "There are some very old skeletons in Timothy Kusky's rock closet. The St. Louis University geologist takes a blistered rock from a dusty closet drawer. The rock, the size of a half-basketball, sheds some black soot, but otherwise it's doing pretty well for 2.5 billion years old. Fingers jut out from the rock. Inside these tubes are faint rings that enclose tiny white crystals, which under a microscope look like thin sausages. Kusky says he has the carbon signature to prove that what he sees was once alive: fossilized microbes that fed within the the superheated, sulfurous tubes of a sea floor chimney. [....] The deep-sea submersible Alvin first found black smoker chimneys in 1977 off the coast of the Galapagos Islands. Scientists were suprised to find clams and tube worms thriving in the 500-degree pitch dark. The animals fed on bacteria that in turn ate the sulfur percolating from sea-floor vents. It was the first ecosystem not dependent on sunlight. These and other heat-loving 'extremophiles,' like microbes found in Yellowstone Park hot springs, have DNA that has barely changed, Mojzsis [University of Colorado geologist, Stephen Mojzsis] said. In other words, he said, they have 'ancient pedigrees' that extend further back in the tree of life than any other type of organism. Geologists offer another reason life began on the sea floor: It might have been the only place possible. From the time the earth formed, 4.5 billion years ago, until about 3.8 billion years ago, large meteorites slammed into the earth. Geologists have a name for it: the Heavy Bombardment Period. [....] Kusky next wants to push the timeline for life-bearing sea floor rocks back by another billion years. He wants to go to the Pilbara region of western Australia, where he thinks he might find sea floor rocks 3.5 billion years old. If he's lucky, hell bag some black smoker chimneys. Mojzsis said Kusky will need the luck. [....]" [Based on article by Eric Hand, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A1 & A5]

*Trivia: "[....] Magma heats seawater which rises through vents. The hot water, as it spews out, makes towering, mineral-rich deposits. Kusky has found fossilized micro-organisms preserved within the chimneys. Today, one can find clams and tube worms that thrive in the hot, sulfide rich environments. [....]" [Based on article by Eric Hand, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A5, 03/29/05]

*Trivia: "[....] Four years ago, geologist Timothy Kusky of St. Louis University found 2.5-billion-year-old rocks clinging to a Chinese mountain. The rocks were originally formed along an ancient ocean ridge. Now, he has evidence that some of them contain fossilized microbial life - the oldest example of life along seafloor vents. [....] The seafloor fossils support what many scientists believe: that life began at the bottom of oceans near these super-heated vents. [....]" [Based on article by Eric Hand, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A5, 03/29/05]

*Trivia: [....] If the earths's history were compressed to a 24-hour day, humans appeared just 4 seconds before midnight. [....]" [Based on article by Eric Hand, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A5, 03/29/05]

2005 - Retirement / Maurice Greenberg - March 29th, 2005: "Maurice 'Hank' Greenberg will retire this week as chairman of American International Group Inc., ending a four-decade career with the insurance company as regulators investigate questionable financial transactions that occured during his tenure. [....] Greenberg, 79, was replaced as chief executive two weeks ago - though retained as charman - as scrutiny mounted over a 2000 transaction that appeared to have been used to boost the company's reserves artificially. [....] Greenberg is scheduled to give a deposition to Spitzer on April 12." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - U.S. Base Upgrades / Afghanistan - March 29th, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - The United States is pouring $83 million into upgrading its main military bases in Afghanistan, an Air Force general said Monday [03/28/05]. It was a sign that American forces could be in the country for years to come as al-Qaida remains active in the region. [....] Brig. Gen. Jim Hunt said the millions were being spent on construction projects already under way at Bagram, the main U.S. base north of Kabul, and Kandahar in the south. Both are being equipped with new runways. [....] Afghan leaders are seeking a long-term 'strategic partnership' with the United States, which expects to complete the training of the country's new 70,000-strong army next year, but it remains unclear whether that will include permanent American bases. [....] Hunt said 150 U.S. aircraft, including ground-attack jets and helicopter gunships as well as transport and reconnaissance planes, were using 14 airfields around Afghanistan. Many are close to the Pakistani border. Other planes such as B-1 bombers patrol over Afghanistan without landing. [....] American officials say fixing the runway at Bagram will make it suitable for Dutch F-16 fighters expected to deploy this year to support the separate NATO-run security force in Afghanistan. U.S. forces have begun vacating Shindand Air Base, near the Iranian border, as NATO expands its 8,500-strong force into the west. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Died / Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. - March 29th, 2005: "Reportedly died [of a brain tumor?] this date in history: O.J. Simpson lawyer, Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. He was 67." [E.M.]

2005 - U.S. Drug Smuggling? / Columbia - March 29th, 2005: "[....] On March 29, five U.S. soldiers were arrested after 35 pounds of cocaine was found aboard a U.S. military plane that flew to El Paso, Texas, from the Apiay air base east of Bogota. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 05/05/05]

2005 - Final Report / Prewar Intelligence, Iraq - March 29th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The final report of a presidential commission studying American intelligence failures on illicit weapons includes a searing critique of how the CIA and other agencies never properly assessed Saddam Hussein's political maneuverings or the possibility that he no longer had weapons stockpiles. [....] The report particularly singles out the CIA under its former director, George Tenet. It also includes what one senior official called 'a hearty condemnation' of the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, two of the largest intelligence agencies. [....] The report particularly ridicules the conclusion that Saddam's fleet of 'unmanned aerial vehicles,' which had limited range, posed a major threat. Assertions about Iraqi weapons programs were repeated by Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other senior officials before the war. To this day, Cheney never has backed away from his claim, repeated last year, that 'mobile laboratories' were likely part of a biological weapons program. [....] The commission's conclusions may fuel arguments now heard in China, South Korea and Europe that an intelligence system that so misjudged Iraq cannot be fully trusted regarding assessments of North Korea and Iran." [Based on: New York Times article by David E. Sanger & Scott Shane, S.L.P.D., p. A2, 03/29/05] 

2005 - Sentenced / Anti-Government Demonstraors, Belarus - March 29th, 2005: "A court sentenced nearly two dozen protestors Monday [03/28/05] to jail terms of three to 15 days for participating in an anti-government demonstration inspired by the upheaval in Kyrgyzstan. Nearly 1,000 people rallied outside the offices of President Alexander Lukashenko on Friday [03/25/05] demanding  the resignation of the authoritarian leader who has quashed dissent and opposition parties in the former Soviet republic. Riot police eventually beat back the unauthorized rally, arrestiung 34 and leaving several with serious head injuries. [....] Rally organizers could face up to three years in prison." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Budget Approval / Israel - March 30th, 2005: "Israel's parliament easily approved on Tuesday [03/29/05] the long-overdue 2005 state budget, meaning Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government can no longer be brought down by opponents of a Gaza withdrawal set for this summer. After Sharon secured a majority by pledging hundreds of millions of dollars in special spending to three parties to secure their votes, the parliament approved the budget 58-36 with one abstention. Failure to pass a budget by Thursday [03/31/05] would have forced Sharon to resign, delaying or even torpedoing the plan to remove all 21 Jewish settlements from Gaza and four from the West Bank in the summer." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - SchoolMatters.com / U.S.A. - March 30th, 2005: "A group of education and business leaders launched a Web site Tuesday [03/29/05] showing how schools and school districts compare with oneanother in student performance and other factors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. A statement by the SchoolMatters.com Web site called it 'the largest easily searchable collection of education performance data ever assembled.' The site not only shows how schools' and districts' test scores compare with their neighbors', but it also gives results for particular minority groups and illustrates the different ways that districts spend tax dollars." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Unpaid Taxes, U.S.A. - March 30th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Americans' unpaid taxes are now topping $300 billion a year, the IRS estimates, with people who underreport their income the biggest culprits. [....] The IRS recovered $55 billion of the unpaid taxes through audits and late payments, leaving a net gap between $257 billion and $298 billion - about the same amount as the government expects to spend on Medicare this year. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Critically Ill / Rev. Jerry Falwell - March 30th, 2005: "LYNCHBURG, Va. - The Rev. Jerry Falwell was hospitalized in critical condition Tuesday [03/29/05], battling his second case of viral pneumonia in just five weeks, hospital and church officials said. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Doctors upgraded  the Rev. Jerry Falwell's condition from critical to stable on Wednesday [03/30/05] and removed the Moral Majority founder from a ventilator. Falwell, 71, has fluid in his lungs and doctors say he suffers from congestive heart failure, although a cardiologist said he had not suffered a heart attack. Ron Godwin, Falwell's executive assistant, said Tuesday [03/29/05] that Falwell had suffered a recurrence of the viral pneumonia he had suffered from weeks earlier. But doctors said Wednesday that he did not have pneumonia." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Pay Cuts? / Sears Holdings Corp. - March 30th, 2005: "Sears Holdings Corp. plans to cut pay and benefits for its work force of 400,000 early next year. The retail giant was created last week through the $12.3 billion merger of based Sears, Roebuck and Co. of Hoffman Estates, Ill., and Kmart Holding Corp. of Troy, Mich. The Detroit Free Press reported Sears employees were sent an e-mail Monday [03/28/05] informing them that they would be told next month of benefits changes, to be implemented early next year. A spokesman said the company would notify workers of layoffs in April at the two headquarters." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Died / Terri Schiavo - March 31st, 2005: "The long, sorrowful struggle over Terri Schiavo's life ended early Thursday [03/31/05], almost two weeks after the removal of her feeding tube, her parents and siblings absent, the husband they reviled at her side. [....]" [Based on: New York Times, 04/01/05]

2005 - Improper Transactions / AIG Inc. - March 31st, 2005: "Insurance giant American International Group Inc. acknowledged Wednesday [03/30/05] it had improperly booked transactions with a unit of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. that artificially boosted its reserves. AIG said also that it has yet to complete an in-house review of its accounting and would delay filing its annual report until April 30. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. B2, 03/31/05]

2005 - Historic Journey / Scottish Sword - March 31st, 2005: "LONDON - One of Scotland's national treasures - the 5-foot sword wielded by William Wallace, the rebel leader portrayed in the Academy Award-winning film 'Braveheart' - left its homeland for the first time in more than 700 years Wednesday [03/30/05]. The double-handed weapon that belonged to Wallace will be the centerpiece of an exhibition at New York's Grand Central Terminal during Tartan Day celebrations, which begin later this week. This year marks the 700th anniversary of the execution of Wallace [08/23/1305], who led the Scots in their battle to free themselves from English rule and whose story was brought to the screen by Mel Gibson in the 1995 film 'Braveheart.' 'This is an historic moment. It is the first time in 700 years that a relic of this importance has left these shores,' said Colin O'Brien, a Scottish official accompanying the sword to the United States. The 6-pound weapon will be returned to its home at the National Wallace Monument in Stirling, Scotland, after the celebrations. Wallace's sword was kept at Dumbarton Castle for 600 years. King James IV is said to have paid for it to be given a new hilt in 1505." [ Based on: A.P.]    

*Trivia: ""By the Middle Ages, the Church controlled the majority of the European monarchies, with Scotland being a notable exception, as a result of which King Robert the Bruce and the whole Scottish nation were excommunicated by the Pope. The Church, therefore, influenced governments, parliaments and educational establishments, as it still does today. And by implication, if not by direct instruction, the military forces of the pseudo-kings operated at church command." [Based on: Laurence Gardner, Realm Of The Ring Lords]

2005 - Feeding Tube / Pope John Paul II - March 31st, 2005: "ROME - Pope John Paul II is receiving liquid feedings through a tube that was inserted through his nose and winds down into his stomach, Vatican officials announced Wednesday [03/30/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Pay Cuts? / Continental Airlines  Inc. - March 31st, 2005: "Continental Airlines Inc.'s pilots voted to accept $213 million in pay and benefits cuts, contributing to the company's efforts to reduce annual costs by $500 million. The agreement will reduce the crew's wages by 8.9 percent starting Friday [04/01/05], with 2 percent increases coming in 2007 and 2008. The pilots' approval is contingent on other workers approving cuts. The pilots' agreement would freeze current pensions and switch to a new plan. The Houston-based company agreed to provide profit-sharing and stock options." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. B2, 03/31/05]

2005 - Commentary Piece / John C. Danforth - March 31st, 2005: "WASHINGTON - By adopting religious views as political doctrine and legislation, the Republican Party is leading the country on a dangerous path that could trample the Constitution and lead to bitter division, says former Sen. John C. Danforth, a GOP stalwart. The political success Republicans have had in harnessing the energy of Christian conservatives doesn't justify the GOP becoming their voice, Danforth said in an interview Wednesday [03/30/05]. 'It becomes extraordinarily divisive and legislatures get themselves entangled with writing religious documents into legislative form,' Danforth said. 'It's exactly what the Constitution says we can't do and it's exactly what we can't do if we want to keep the country glued together. [....] In a commentary piece in Wednesday's New York Times, Danforth, who represented Missouri for 18 years in the Senate and served as U.N. ambassador under President George W. Bush, wrote that Republicans had 'transformed our party into the political arm of Christian conservatives.' He cited the GOP's stance on gay marriage, stem cell research and the case of Terri Schiavo, in which Congress intervened over whether her feeding tube should be restored. Danforth, an Episcopal priest, wrote that he didn't blame religious people for expressing their political views, but faulted the Republican Party for having 'become the political extension of a religious movement.' [....] In the interview, Danforth said the Schiavo case was the 'tipping point' for him, but that efforts by some Missouri GOP legislators to outlaw stem cell research involving cells artificially produced in petri dishes also disturbed him, because the basis was religious doctrine. Danforth said that while some Republicans will reject what he wrote, others will agree with him. [....]" [Based on: article by Philip Dine, Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

2005 - Trivia / American Military Deaths, Iraq - March 2005: "Number of reported American military deaths this month: 33. It was the lowest monthly death toll since February 2004 [when 20 were killed]." [E.M.]

2005 - Track Improvements / Union Pacific Corp. - March 31st, 2005: "Union Pacific Corp., the biggest U.S. railroad, said it will spend $1.6 billion this year on track improvements to help speed its trains. The plans include $1.3 billion for projects such as replacing 1,055 miles of rail on its 33,000-mile system, the Omaha, Neb.-based company said Wednesday [03/30/05]." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. B2, 03/31/05]

2005 - Precision Bombing Kits Contract / Lockheed Martin Corp. - March 31st, 2005: "Lockheed Martin Corp., the largest U.S. defense company, received an Air Force contract valued at as much as $168 million to make precision-bombing kits for A-10 Warthog aircraft used in Iraq to support ground troops. The entire A-10 fleet will be modified over the next five years, allowing the aircraft to strike with greater accuracy from higher altitudes using guided weapons such as the Joint Direct Attack Munition, Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed said Wednesday [03/30/05] The initial award is $38 million." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. B2, 03/31/05]

2005 - Race Bias? / District Attorney Eddie Jordan, New Orleans - March 31st, 2005: "New Orleans' first black district attorney [Eddie Jordan] discriminated against 43 whites when he fired them en masse and replaced them with blacks upon taking office in 2003, a federal jury decided Wednesday [03/30/05]. The jury awarded the employees about $1.8 million in back pay and damages. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Air Force Systems Global Strike Solutions, U.S.A. - March 31st, 2005: "Boeing Co. has announced a new organization that brings its robotic-airplane program into the same fold as traditional Air Force fighters, bombers and weapons. Based in St. Louis, it will be called Air Force Systems Global Strike Solutions, the company said Wednesday [03/30/05]. Darryl W. Davis, who has been running Boeing's unmanned combat aircraft program, will lead the new unit, which will have about 3,000 people throughout Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and $3 billion in annual revenue. [....] Boeing executives hope they can build dozens of advanced X-45s with the same St. Louis work force that makes F-15s and F/A-18 Super Hornets. Davis said Boeing's military customers are demanding that future airplane and weapons systems be able to communicate with each other through a common operating system. Just as the Internet lashed together millions of personal computers and created a universal communications system, the Pentagon will spend billions of dollars to link ships, satellites, planes, soldiers and robotic air and land vehicles to create a futuristic fighting force. 'They want all of these things to be interoperable,' Davis said." [Based on article by Tim McLaughlin, St. Louis Post Dispatch, p. B2, 03/31/05]

2005 - Subliminal Behavior Modification Through TV Described in US Patent ? - March 31st, 2005: "[....] It is therefore possible to manipulate the nervous system of a subject by pulsing images displayed on a nearby computer monitor or TV set. For the latter, the image pulsing may be imbedded in the program material, or it may be overlaid by modulating a video stream, either as an RF signal or as a video signal." [US Patent and Trade Office, Patent #6,506,148, 2/14/03] See link:

http://www.wanttoknow.info/050331behaviormodificationtv

*Trivia: "The latest development in the technology of induced fear and mind control is the cloning of the human EEG or brain waves of any targeted victim, or indeed groups. With the use of powerful computers, segments of human emotions which include anger, anxiety, sadness, fear, embarrassment, jealousy, resentment, shame, and terror, have been identified and isolated within the EEG signals as ‘emotion signature clusters.’ Their relevant frequencies and amplitudes have been measured. Then the very frequency/amplitude cluster is synthesized and stored on another computer. Each one of these negative emotions is properly and separately tagged. They are then placed on the Silent Sound carrier frequencies and could silently trigger the occurrence of the same basic emotion in another human being."

The following paragraph is from page 205 of Dr. Victorian's Mind Controllers:
http://www.wanttoknow.info/mindcontrollers10pg

2005 - Nigerian Seminar  / The Way of Truth - March 2005: "All answers of truth are found in love and all actions that come from this truth are acts of love. The Way of Truth Nigerian Seminar, March 2005."

2005 - Brain Trust: The Hidden Connection Between Mad Cow and Misdiagnosed Alzheimer's Disease - March 2005: "Do you enjoy a nice big steak? Juicy hamburgers? Enjoy them while you can. If even half of Colm Kelleher’s Brain Trust: The Hidden Connection Between Mad Cow and Misdiagnosed Alzheimer’s Disease is true, the writing’s on the wall for our lives as carnivores. [....] For the historical detail alone, this is an important and readable book on the subject. Kelleher’s true genius, however, is in his ability to speculate, convincingly, that the 8,902 percent increase in deaths from Alzheimer’s Disease over the past twenty-four years can be attributed to this infectious agent’s presence in the human food chain. As if that weren’t disturbing enough, Kelleher also relates how one of the early pioneers in the field, the highly respected Gajdusek, simply carried vials of different strains of scrapie and kuru from Great Britain into the United States, disregarding USDA rules. From 1963 through 1970 he and other researchers injected a wide variety of animals with those materials at their laboratory in the middle of a wildlife refuge in Patuxent, Maryland. Just picture it: hundreds of animals, some as small as mice, all infected and housed together in converted barns/labs in the middle of a heavily animal-populated refuge. Look no further, Kelleher suggests, for the origin of this family of diseases on the North American continent. [....]"

[Based on: http://www.bookslut.com/nonfiction/2005_03_004689.php]
*Other Links: http://www.colmkelleher.com/

April 2005

2005 - Astronomic Configuration - April 1st, 2005: "Sun [11 Aries], Moon [27 Sagattarius], Mercury [7 Aries R.], Venus [11 Aries], Mars [8 Aquarius], Jupiter [14 Libra R], Saturn [20 Cancer], Uranus [8 Pisces], Neptune [16 Aquarius], Pluto [24 Sagittarius R.]."  

2005 - April Fool's Day - April 1st, 2005: "Observed this date in history: April Fools's Day ." [E.M.]

2005 - Trivia / Oil Prices - April 1st, 2005: "NEW YORK - Crude-oil futures rose sharply and gasoline surged to a record on Thursday [03/31/05] amid signs that U.S. refineries lack capacity to make enough fuel and after analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicted that oil could touch $105 a barrel. Record prices have failed to curtail increased fuel consumption, the Goldman Sachs analysts said in a research note. The firm's upper limit previously was $80. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Guilty / Sandy Berger - April 1st, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Sandy Berger, a national security adviser to President Bill Clinton, has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge and give up his security clearance for three years for removing classified material from a government archive, the Justice Department and Berger associates said on Thursday [03/31/05]. Berger has also agreed to pay a $10,000 fine as part of an agreement reached recently with the Justice Department after months of quiet negotiations, the associates said. [....] The material involved a classified assessment of terrorist threats in 2000, which Berger was reviewing in his role as the Clinton administration's point man in providing material to the independent commission investigating the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Officials with the archives and the Sept. 11 commission ultimately determined that, despite the incident, the commission had access to all the material needed in its work. When the issue surfaced last year, Berger insisted that he had removed the classified material inadvertently. But in the plea agreement reached with prosecutors, he is expected to admit that he intentionally removed copies of five classiffied documents, destroyed three of them, and misled staff members at the National Archives when confronted about it, according to a Berger associate who is involved in his defense. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

*Trivia: "Former national security adviser Sandy Berger pleaded guilty Friday [04/01/05] of sneaking classified documents out of the National Archives, then using scissors to cut up some of them. [....] Sentencing was set for July 8." [Based on: A.P., 04/02/05]

2005 - Medicare Trivia / U.S.A. - April 1st, 2005: "Medicare plans to charge 14 percent more for premiums next year and pay doctors about 4 percent less, agency officials said Thursday [03/31/05]. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / War Crimes, Sudan - April 1st, 2005: "UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. Security Council approved a resolution Thursday [03/31/05] to prosecute Sudanese war crimes suspects at the International Criminal Court. The move came quickly after the United States reversed policy and agreed not to veto the document. The United States, which abstained with three other countries, got significant concessions, including guarantees it sought that Americans working in Sudan would not be handed over to either the ICC or any other nation's courts if they commit crimes in Sudan. [....] Acting U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson said the United States still 'fundamentally objects' to the court but was determined to get something done on Sudan. [....] France, Britain and seven other Security Council members have ratified the ICC statute, while two more have signed and are expected to ratify. In total, 98 countries are parties to the treaty and 139 are signatories. The document is the last of three Security Council resolutions aimed at putting pressure on Sudan to work to end the crisis in Darfur, where the number of dead from a conflict between government-backed militias and rebels is now estimated at 180,000." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Grave Condition / Pope John Paul II - April 1st, 2005: "VATICAN CITY - The condition of Pope John Paul II was 'very grave,' the Vatican said today [04/01/05], and he was given last rites after his heart stopped briefly on Thursday [03/31/05]. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Prewar Intelligence, Iraq - April 1st, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The U.S. intelligence community was 'dead wrong' in its prewar assessment of Iraq's weapons programs and can't accurately guage the future threat from countries such as Iran and North Korea, a presidential commission concluded Thursday [03/31/05]. The commission called the exaggerated estimates of Iraq's weapons programs 'one of the most public - and most damaging - intelligence failures in recent American history.' Even today, intelligence agencies have failed to adapt, and the United States knows 'disturbingly little' about the nuclear weapons programs of potential adversaries such as Iran and North Korea, the panel said. [....] The panel was led by former Sen. Charles Robb, a Democrat, and U.S. Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman, a Republican. [....] 'Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,' the vice president [Dick Cheney] said in August 2002. Silberman said the commission had no authority to consider how policymakers used intelligence that was sent to them. When pressed, he suggested that Bush was misled by a steady stream of information that exaggerated the threat. 'We looked at the flow, or the stream of intelligence that came to the White House.... If anything, it was even more alarmist,' he said. The issue may never be aired fully. The Senate Intelligence Committe appears to have dropped a second stage of its own investigation that was to have focused on the administration's use of intelligence. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said, 'The intelligence never supported his (Bush's) claim that Saddam was an imminent threat to the United States.... The investigatioin will not be complete unless we know how the Bush administration may have used or misused intelligence to pursue its own agenda.' [....] As far as is known, no individual in the intelligence community or the Bush administration has been fired or otherwise held accountable for the flawed data used to justify the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers, 04/01/05]

*Trivia: "Israel’s intelligence, Mossad, knows what’s going on in Iraq. They are the best. They have to know. Israel’s survival depends on knowing. Israel long since would have taken us to the weapons of mass destruction if there were any or if they had been removed. With Iraq no threat, why invade a sovereign country? The answer: President Bush’s policy to secure Israel. Led by Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Charles Krauthammer, for years there has been a domino school of thought that the way to guarantee Israel’s security is to spread democracy in the area. Wolfowitz wrote: 'The United States may not be able to lead countries through the door of democracy, but where that door is locked shut by a totalitarian deadbolt, American power may be the only way to open it up.' And on another occasion: Iraq as 'the first Arab democracy . . . would cast a very large shadow, starting with Syria and Iran but across the whole Arab world.' Three weeks before the invasion, President Bush stated: 'A new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example for freedom for other nations in the region.' Every president since 1947 has made a futile attempt to help Israel negotiate peace. But no leadership has surfaced amongst the Palestinians that can make a binding agreement. President Bush realized his chances at negotiation were no better. He came to office imbued with one thought—re-election. Bush felt tax cuts would hold his crowd together and spreading democracy in the Mideast to secure Israel would take the Jewish vote from the Democrats. You don’t come to town and announce your Israel policy is to invade Iraq. But George W. Bush, as stated by former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill and others, started laying the groundwork to invade Iraq days after inauguration. And, without any Iraq connection to 9-11, within weeks he had the Pentagon outlining a plan to invade Iraq." [Based on: Sen. Ernest F. Hollings]

2005 - Plot to Bomb School / Buffalo, N.Y. - April 1st, 2005: "A 15-year-old boy has been arrested on charges of plotting to blow up his high school, authorities said Thursday [03/31/05]. The high school sophomore had assembled bomb-making materials including gunpowder and fuses, and a search of his home showed that the boy was seemingly fascinated with the Columbine school massacre, officials said. The student, whose name was witheld because of his age, talked about his plans with other students, who alerted officials at his high school outside Buffalo [N.Y.]. He was arrested March 23, two days after a shooting in Minnesota in which a 16-year-old boy killed nine people, including seven at the high school, before killing himself." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Tartan Day Trivia / New York City - April 1st-3rd, 2005: [....] It started on Friday night and finished on Sunday morning and for about 36 hours straight the big man in the sky poured big buckets of water over New England and New York.  [....]" [ Based on: http://www.rampantscotland.com/features/tartanday05.htm]

Other links: [http://www.rampantscotland.com/features/tartanday.htm]

2005 - Suicide Bomber / Islamic Shrine, Iraq - April 1st, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide car bomber blew himself up Thursday [03/31/05] near an Islamic Shrine, killing five Iraqi's in the latest attack on Shiite Muslim pilgrims marking a major religious holiday. The blast in Tuz Khormato, 55 miles south of Kirkuk, killed three civilians, including a child, and two soldiers helping guard the shrine, police reported. Sixteen people were wounded, hospital officials said. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Non-Orthodox Conversions, Judaism - April 1st, 2005: "JERUSALEM - The Supreme Court on Thursday [03/31/05] granted recognition to non-Orthodox conversions to Judaism partly performed in Israel. The decision ends a six-year legal battle with a sharp blow to the country's Orthodox monopoly over religious affairs. The decision drew harsh condemnation from the rabbinical establishment and cut to the heart of the perennial question: Who is a Jew? [....] The Reform and Conservative movements, the largest streams of Judaism in the United States, have been largely sidelined in Israel by the Orthodox religious establishment. The Orthodox chief rabbinate wields a monopoly over religious rites such as marriages, divorces and burials, and Orthodox schools and seminaries receive the vast majority of the government religious budget each year. Under the current contradictory practice, Israel recognizes only conversions performed by Orthodox rabbis inside Israel. Those converted by non-Orthodox rabbis outside the country are eligible for citizenship under Israel's 'Law of Return,' which grants automatic citizenship to anyone who is Jewish. Thursday's case was brought in 1999 by 17 foreigners who studied for their conversions in Israel, then traveled abroad for the ceremonies to try to get around the limitations. Israeli authorities had ruled that the law of Return did not apply to them. The decision Thursday accepted the foreigners' conversions, but the judges did not rule on whether thosse who complete non-Orthodox conversions performed exclusively in Israel would be recognized. [....] Orthodox rabbis say the liberal movements' conversions don't meet the rigorous standards spelled out under Jewish law. 'All these so-called conversions by this or that stream are not conversions. It's all a lie,' Shlomo Amar, one of the country's two chief rabbis, told Army Radio. 'This is a disaster for the Jewish people.' Despite the uproar, Interior Minister Ophir Pines-Paz, whose ministry oversees immigration, pledged to carry out the ruling. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Weapon Systems Costs, U.S.A. - April 1st, 2005: "Huge weapons systems being developed for the Pentagon are costing substantially more than first promised, putting some on a collision course for reduction or cancellation as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan compete for resources. That's the assessment of a report released Thursday [03/31/05] by the Government Accountability Office, a government audit watchdog for Congress. One troubled program is Boeing Co.'s airborne laser, which is being developed to shoot down enemy missles. The Pentagon's planned investment in the laser, from program inception in 1996 through 2011, is about $7.3 billion. But a demonstration to shoot down a short-range ballistic missle - the focus of the program - was delayed from this year until at least 2008, the GAO report said. It's not unusual for a big defense program's estimates of time and money to be off by 20 percent to 50 percent, the GAO said. But with weapons systems becoming larger and more complex, cost overruns pose significantly higher risks than in previous years. For example, the GAO said just four years ago, the top five weapon systems cost about $281 billion. Today, in the same base-year dollars, the top five cost $521 billion. [....] The GAO also noted in its annual review of major defense programs that federal deficits are expected to average $250 billion through 2009. Meanwhile, military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are causing increasing wear and tear on everything from tanks to helicopters. This means that sooner than expected, refurbishment needs will compete with the investment in new weapons programs. [....] In a review of 26 weapons systems, the GAO found that the total cost of these programs has increased nearly 15 percent to $549 billion over the first full cost estimates. Research, development and testing costs surged 42 percent to $145 billion, the report said. The same programs also have experienced an increase in the time to develop their promised capabilities. The U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems program, managed by Boeing's St. Louis-based defense business, has contributed to this increase, the GAO said. Research and development costs, a $108 billion investment, increased about 51 percent in the last year while the program underwent major restructuring. In another example, the Joint Strike Fighter, a $199 billion investment, has reported a 19 percent increase in research-and-development costs in the last year, the GAO said." [Based on: article by Tim McLaughlin, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. B16, 04/01/05]

2005 - World Bank Confirmation / Paul Wolfowitz - April 1st, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, an architect of the Iraq war, was unanimously confirmed Thursday [03/31/05] as the new president of the World Bank by the institution's executive board. [....] President George W. Bush nominated Wolfowitz two weeks ago for the post, which has been held by an American throughout the World Bank's history. [....] Japan, Germany, France and Britain signed off almost immediately on his appointment, and no country offered an alternative candidate, not even the nations of the developing world. As one European official put it, 'No one was enthusiastic but no one was fighting.' [....]" [Based on: New York Times article, S.L.P.D., p. A3, 04/01/05]

*Trivia: "[....] The Masonic bankers during the last 25 years have lent money to the governments of the industrial nations, which find it harder and harder to repay their enormous debt. The private sector has become exactly that much richer. This monetary power has enough money to stop any intransigent politicians. Popularly elected politicians no longer have any means of conducting the policies they wish. They cannot take back their power until the debts are paid. For every dollar borrowed, the politicians relinquish more power. The developing countries are in much worse situation. They are not even able to pay interest on their loans.
   "During 1982-1990 the banks of the industrial nations received $1,345 trillion in interest and annuity from these poor countries [....]." [Juri Lina, The Barnes Review, September/October 2004, p. 13]

2005 - Pope John Paul II - April 2nd, 2005: "ROME - Pope John Paul II, who has led the world's 1.1 billion Catholics for more than 26 years, was near death today [04/02/05] as millions prayed for him in church services and impromptu gatherings. [....] Throughout Latin America, home to nearly half of the world's Catholics, the faithful filled cathedrals, churches, makeshift shrines and streets to remember a pope who had special meaning for the region. More than 20,000 Brazillians gathered for a Mass in Sao Paulo, in what the city's archbishop described as an expression of love. [....]" [Based on: Cox News Services]

*Trivia: "Pope John Paul's rapid physical deterioration - heart and kidney failure, shortness of breath, overwhelming fever and septic shock - represents a set of multi-organ failures that commonly occur in chronically ill older patients at the time of death, according to medical experts. [....] The rapid decline in the pope's health occured in stages, starting Jan. 31 when a bout with the flu forced him to cancel appearances. [....]" [Bsased on: Chicago Tribune, 04/02/05]

2005 - Died / Pope John Paul II - April 2nd, 2005: "Died this date [04/02/05] in history, Pope John Paul II. He was 84." [E.M.]

2005 - Elections Trivia / Zimbabwe - April 2nd, 2005: "HARARE, Zimbabwe - President Robert Mugabe's political party clinched a parliamentary majority Friday [04/01/05], but the opposition said the vote was stolen and urged Zimbabweans to protest the outcome. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Zimbabwe's main opposition party said Wednesday [04/06/05] an investigation into last week's parliamentary election indicates massive electoral fraud in at least 30 seats won by the ruling ZANU-PF party. The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change said that in 11 races, the winning ZANU-PF candidate got more votes in the official returns than the government's own electoral commission said were cast. [....]" [Based on: News Services, 04/07/05]

2005 - Trivia / Bird Flu Quarantine - April 2nd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush signed an executive order Friday [04/01/05] authorizing the government to impose a quarantine to deal with any outbreak of a particularly lethal variation of influenza now found in Southeast Asia. The order is intended to deal with a type of influenza commonly referred to as bird flu. Since January 2004, an estimated 69 people, most of them in Vietnam, have contracted the disease. But Dr. Keiji Fukuda, a flu expert at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has said he suspects there are more cases. The fatality rate among those reported to have the disease is about 70 percent. [....] The quarantine list was amended in 2003 to include SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, which killed nearly 800 people in 2003. Other diseases on the list are cholera, diptheria, infectious tuberculosis, plague, smallpox, yellow fever and viral hemorrhagic fevers. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2004 - Cholera Epidemic? / Congo - April 2nd, 2005: "A cholera epidemic has killed at least four and infected dozens in a squalid amp for displaced people in northeastern Congo. The disease threatens to spread across the entire region, U.N. officials said Friday. A team of doctors from the aid group Doctors Without Borders were in the sprawling camp in Kafe trying to quell the epidemic. Massimo Nicoletti, UNICEF head uin Bunia, said 100 people had been infected so far in Kafe, where 25,000 people have been displaced by clashes between ethnic Hema and Lendu militias." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Tartan Day Parade / New York City - April 2nd, 2005: "Tartan Day parade in New York City, 2 p.m., Saturday, April 2nd, 2005." [Based on: http://www.tartanweek.com/newsrelease.asp]

2005 - Court-Martial / Capt. Rogelio Maynulet - April 2nd, 2005: "WIESBADEN, Germany - A decorated Army captain [Rogelio Maynulet] convicted in the shooting death of a wounded Iraqi was dismissed from the military Friday [04/01/05], but will serve no time in prison after insisting at his court-martial that the shooting was a mercy killing. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - New Evidence? / Oklahoma City Bombing - April 2nd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Tipped they may have missed evidence a decade ago, FBI agents searched the former home of convicted Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols and found blasting caps and other explosive materials apparently related to the 1995 attack, officials said Friday [04/01/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Insurgent Attack / Abu Ghraib Prison, Iraq - April 3rd, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents attacked the Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad, injuring 44 U.S. military personnel and 12 prisoners, the U.S. military command said Sunday [04/02/05], while six people were killed elsewhere in Iraq. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "[....] The United States holds 10,500 prisoners in Iraq, with 3,446 at Abu Ghraib. [....] [Based on: A.P., 04/04/05]

2005 - New Leader / Greek Orthodox Church, Western U.S.A. - April 3rd, 2005: "The Greek Orthodox Church installed on Saturday [04/02/05] a new leader for the western United States as about 1,500 faithful watched. Gerasimos Michaleas, the new metropolitan of San Francisco, will preside over 70 Greek Orthodox parishes with 150,000 members in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. Michaleas, 59, replaces Metropolitan Anthony Gergiannakis, who recently died. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Flooding / New Jersey - April 4th, 2005: "Heavy rain drenched parts of New Jersey over the weekend, flooding low-lying areas and causing thousands of people to evacuate homes threatened by the rising water." [....] [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Spring Snow / Pennsylvania - April 4th, 2005: "In Pennsylvania Sunday [04/03/05], a spring storm dumped up to 19 inches of snow on northwestern Pennsylvania, stranding motorists for hours Sunday [04/03/05] on a 22-mile stretch of Interstate 90 and knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Speaker Hajim Al-Hassani / Iraq - April 4th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq Lawmakers broke days of stalemate Sunday [04/03/05] and picked a Sunni Muslim [Hajim al-Hassani] for their parliamentary speaker. [....] Former nuclear scientist Hussain al-Shahristani, a Shiite, and Kurdish official Aref Taifour were chosen deputy speakers." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Train Derailment / Portland Ore. - April 4th, 2005: "The engine of an Amtrack train derailed Sunday along the Columbia river, sending at least 26 passengers to hospitals with mostly minor injuries. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Sword-Wielding Man / Germany - April 4th, 2005: "A man wielding a sword stormed into a Protestant church in southern Germany on Sunday [04/03/05], killing one person and injuring three. Police said about 65 members of the local Tamil community, about half of them children, were in the middle of a service at the church in Stuttgart when the 25-year-old man attacked. He killed a woman, 43. Another woman suffered life-threatening injuries, and two men were wounded - one of whom lost a hand. Police subdued the attacker. The suspect was a Tamil from Stuttgart." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Syrian Withdrawal Plans / Lebanon - April 4th, 2005: "DAMASCUS, Syria - Syria plans to pull all of its troops and intelligence agents from Lebanon by April 30, and a U.N. team could be dispatched to verify the withdrawal, a U.N. envoy said Sunday [04/03/05] after meeting with President Bashar Assad." [....] [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Stepping Down? / President Askar Akayev, Kyrgyzstan - April 4th, 2005: "MOSCOW - Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev said he will formally step down today, a move that would help pave the way for elections and solidify order in his impoverished Central Asian country less than two weeks after he was forced to flee to Russia amid mass protests. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Askar Akayev signed his resignation as Kyrgyzstan's president Monday [04/04/05], rasing hopes of ending political turmoil in the strategic Central Asian country 11 days after he fled ahead of protestors storming his offices. [....]" [Based on: News Services, 04/05/05]

*Trivia: "The Kyrgyz parliament accepted on Monday [04/11/05] the resignation of ousted President Askar Akayev, clearing the way for new presidential elections this summer and giving a stamp of legitimacy to the country's interim leadership. [....]" [Based on: News Services, 04/12/05]

2005 - Trivia / Fortune 500 - April 5th, 2005: "NEW YORK - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. retained the top spot in Fortune magazine's yearly ranking of the 500 largest publicly traded U.S. companies, but soaring commodity prices led to big gains in revenue and profit for producers of oil and metal. Wal-Mart was No. 1 on the Fortune 500 for the fourth consecutive year, with 2004 sales of more than $288.189 billion, up about 11 percent from 2003. ExxonMobil Corp. ranked second once again with $270.772 billion in sales, up a stunning 27 percent from the year before as the price of oil rose above $50 a barrel and gasoline topped $2 a gallon. The company also topped Fortune's profit chart for the second straight year with $25.3 billion in earnings, breaking Ford Motor Co.s record from 1998. Time Warner Inc.'s Fortune magazine first published the sales rankings in 1954, and since then Wal-Mart, General Motors Corp. and ExxonMobil have topped the lists. The latest annual rankings are included in the edition arriving at newsstands on April 11. [....] Automakers GM and Ford ranked No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, despite GM's $2 billion drop in sales to $193.517 billion from 2003. General Electric Co. came fifth with $152.363 billion, followed by oil companies ChevronTexaco Corp. with $147.967 billion and ConocoPhillips with $121.663 billion - both beneficiaries of rising oil product prices - and Citigroup Inc. with $108.276 billion. [....] With China's surging demand for raw materials and commodity prices reaching new heights, metal producers witnessed the most impressive profit growth over the past year, with gains of more than 800 percent. [....]." [Based on article by Madlen Read, A.P.]

2005 - Prison Protest / Iraq - April 5th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Prisoners at Iraq's largest detention camp protested the transfer of several detainees deemed 'unruly' by authorities, throwing rocks and setting tents on fire, the military said Monday [04/04/05]. The disturbance Friday [04/01/05] injured four guards and 12 detainees, the military said. The protest took place at Camp Bucca, which holds about 6,000 prisoners, nearly two-thirds of all those in Iraq. The unrest caused only minor injuries before being brought under control, authorities said. It was the third major incident at an Iraqi prison in three days. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - IRA Protection / U.S.A. - April 5th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court gave bankrupt Americans another layer of financial protection Monday [04/04/05] by putting their Individual Retirement Accounts beyond the reach of creditors. The unanimous decision shields a nest egg relied upon by millions. The justices said IRAs should join pensions, 401(k) plans, Social Security and other benefits tied to age, illness or disability. Such benefits get protection under federal bankruptcy law. [....] Last year, about 1.56 million people filed for personal bankruptcy, compared with 875,000 a decade earlier. In 2003, bankruptcy filings peaked at 1.63 million. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / U.S. Savings Bonds - April 5th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - U.S. savings bonds will undergo a major change next month when interest rates will be fixed for the life of new Series EE bonds, the Treasury Department said Monday [04/04/05]. Starting on May 1, people who buy a new bond will receive for the life of the bond whatever interest rate is in effect at the time of purchase. Now, interest rates on Series EE bonds change every six months. [....] For the 12 months that ended last Sept. 30, $8 billion in savings bonds were sold, with $3.1 billion of that amount in Series EE bonds. The most popular savings bond, with $4.9 billion in sales last year, was the Series I bond, which has a fixed-base interest rate but is adjusted every six months to reflect inflation. The inflation part of the boind is tied to changes in the Consumer Price Index. These bonds will not be affected by the changes to the Series EE bonds." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Flood Trivia / NE United States - April 5th, 2005: "Flooding from a weekend of drenching rain forced thousands of people from their homes in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania and closed the New Jersey Statehouse on Monday [04/04/05]. [....] In New Jersey, where about 3,500 people were evacuated, acting Gov. Richard J. Codey estimated that property damage would approach $30 million, close to the amount caused by Hurricane Ivan in September." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Mock Attack / NE United States - April 5th, 2005: "HILLSIDE, NJ - The biggest anti-terrorism drill ever held in the United States got under way Monday [04/04/05] with a mock biological attack in New Jersey and a simulated chemical-weapons explosion in Connecticut. [....] All told, the drill will involve more than 10,000 people, including officials in Canada and Britain. Two years ago, more than 8,500 people took part in similar exercises in Seattle and Chicago. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - New Travel Rules / U.S.A. - April 6th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Americans traveling to Canada and Mexico would need passports to come home to the United States under guidelines proposed Tuesday [04/05/05] in the latest effort to deter terrorists from entering the country. The new rules, which would be phased in by 2008, apply to Americans traveling from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, the Caribbean and Panama. They also apply to citizens from those countries who want to enter the United States - prompting Canadian officials to announce that they might reciprocate. [....] The new requirements would take effect on Dec. 31, 2007, for travelers entering the United States from Mexico and Canada by land, and on Dec. 31, 2006, by air or sea. The deadline is a year earlier - Dec. 31, 2005 - for travel from Bermuda, the Caribbean and Panama. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Recruitment Status / U.S. Army - April 6th, 2005: "The Army fell almost one-third short of its recruiting goal in March, its second consecutive month of shortfall amid concerns that the Iraq war is discouraging young people from enlisting. [....] The Army's goal for March was to enlist 6,800 recruits, but it fell short by 2,150, or 32 percent, according to official statistics released Tuesday [04/06/05]."

2005 - Execution Trivia / Worldwide - April 6th, 2005: "China accounted for the majority of executions reported worldwide last year, but the true frequency of the death penalty is impossible to track because many of the sentences are carried out secretly, Amnesty International said Tuesday [04/06/05]. More than 3,797 people were executed in 25 countries, including at least 3,400 in China, the rights group said. Additionally, more than 7,000 people were sentenced to death in 64 countries. Iran had the second-highest number of executions, at least 159 people."

2005 - Trivia / National Tartan Day - April 6th, 2005: "Scotlands Tartan Day is returning to Arbroath in Scotland for the second year running. This national event highlights an annual celebration of all things Scottish. National Tartan Day on 6 April in the US commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 and celebrates the existing and historical links between Scotland and America. Arbroath Abbey will therefore take centre stage in the week long Tartan Festival, recreating the momentous event in Scottish history when King Robert the Bruce and his parliament sent off a letter to the Pope declaring Scotland as a nation. [....]"  

*Trivia: "The first Tartan Day in the United States was observed at the national level on April 6, 1997. Previously, there had been observances by individual states, counties and other regional entities, but the year 1997 was the first time the observance swept across the nation."  

2005 - Trivia / Space Shuttle Discovery - April 6th, 2005: "Space shuttle Discovery is slatred to roll out today to its launch pad at Florida's Kennedy Space Center. [....] Discovery could launch as early as May or as late as June 3. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Brain Building Machine? / Prof. Dr. Hugo de Garis - April 6th, 2005: "I head the Brain Builder Group at the Computer Science Department, of Utah State University (USU), Logan, Utah, USA. My main professional goals over the next few years are to find increasingly evolvable neural net models that I can implement in the latest generation of programmable/evolvable hardware (Xilinx Inc.'s 'Virtex' family of FPGA (field programmable gate array) chips) and then to scale up to building the 2nd generation brain building machine (BM2) which should contain about a billion artificial neurons to build an artificial brain. I teach the planet's first university lecture course on 'Brain Building' to M.Sc./Ph.D. level students at USU and am the Scientific Advisory Director of the Brain Building Division of a Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, based company called 'Senapps' (Sentient Applications, CEO Steve Long) which aims to be the planet's first brain building company. The BM2 will be an improved version of the 1st generation brain building machine (the CAM-Brain Machine (CBM). [....]"

[Based on: http://www.cs.usu.edu/~degaris/]

*Trivia: "[....] First let us postulate that the computer scientists succeed in developing intelligent machines that can do all things better than human beings can do them. In that case presumably all work will be done by vast, highly organized systems of machines and no human effort will be necessary. Either of two cases might occur. The machines might be permitted to make all of their own decisions without human oversight, or else human control over the machines might be retained. If the machines are permitted to make all their own decisions, we can't make any conjectures as to the results, because it is impossible to guess how such machines might behave. We only point out that the fate of the human race would be at the mercy of the machines.  [....]"

[Based on: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy.html] - [April 2000]

2005 - Volcanic Activity / Anatahan Island, Mariana Islands - April 6th, 2005: "On 6 April around 0300 an explosive eruption began at Anatahan that produced an ash plume to an initial height of ~15.2 km (50,000 ft) a.s.l. On 5 April at about 2200 seismic signals began to increase slowly and the Washington VAAC began to see increased ash on satellite imagery. The seismicity peaked on 6 April around 0300. The U.S. Air Force Weather Agency reported an upper level ash plume at ~15.2 km (50,000 ft) a.s.l. blowing E to SE, and a lower level ash plume at ~4.6 km (15,000 ft) a.s.l. blowing SW; the plume extended more than 465 km (250 nautical mi)." [Links: 1, 2, 3]

2005 - Violent Thunderstorms / Mississippi - April 7th, 2005: "Lines of violent thunderstorms rolled through the South on Wednesday [04/06/05], blowing apart mobile homes, snapping dozens of trees and power lines and ripping the roof off a school while classes were in session. [....] The hardest-hit section of Missippi was rural Rankin County, southeast of Jackson. At least 17 homes were destroyed in the country and 15 others had major damage, said a Mississippi Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Spent Nuclear Fuel / United States - April 7th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - A National Academy of Sciences report kept under raps since last summer warns that spent-fuel storage pools at nuclear plants could be vulnerable to terrorist attack and release of dangerous radioactivity. [....] The nuclear industry and the federal government have been prevented thus far in their quest to build a national repository for spent fuel at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. In lieu of a permanent solution, nearly 50,000 metric tons of used fuel are stored at plants around the country in pools and in dry casks. [....]" [Based on article by Bill Lambrecht, Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau, S.L.P.D., p. A1, 04/07/05]

2005 - Trivia / Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac - April 7th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Wednesday [04/06/05] urged Congress to limit the size of the multibillion-dollar portfolios held by mortage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, warning that just setting up a stronger regulator won't suffice. Fannie Mae is the No. 1 U.S. buyer of home mortages; Freddie Mac is No. 2. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Treasury Secretary John Snow on Thursday [04/07/05] urged Congress to rein in the huge mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by setting up a strong new regulator empowered to reduce their multibillion-dollar holdings and veto new investments. Recent accounting scandals at the two government-sponsored companies have heightened concern by the Bush administration that they pose a potential risk to U.S. financial markets if they fail, Snow told the Senate Banking Committee. Because so many big financial institutions hold large amounts of debt issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a crisis at or failure of either of them could reverberate through the markets, he said. Snow's testimony came a day after Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan asked Congress to limit the companies' combined portfolios of $1.5 trillion. [....] The administration is troubled that neither company filed financial statements 'that can be relied upon,' Snow said. [....] Snow urged that once limits on the companies' portfolios are established, their holdings would be reduced gradually 'so as not to disrupt mortgage or financial markets.' The statements by Greenspan and Snow lent support to the effort by Republicans in Congress to tighten controls on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which hold or guarantee more than 45 percent of all mortage loans in the country." [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "A review by the Securities and Exchange Commission [December 2004] has found that Fannie Mae violated accounting rules, amplifying the prospect of an earnings restatement and a possible ouster of top executives at the embattled mortgage giant. [....] Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest financer of home mortgages, said last month [November 2004] that if the SEC found that it had improperly accounted for derivatives, it would show an estimated net loss of $9 billion. That would erase about one-third of reported profit since 2001. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, S.L.P.D., p. C3, 12/17/04]

*Trivia: "The chief executive and top financial officer at Fannie Mae have been forced out, congressional and industry sources said Tuesday [12/21/04], as the mortgage giant struggles to deal with revelations of auditing improprieties. Chief Executive Franklin Raines and Chief Financial Officer Timothy Howard were forced to resign, according to congressional and industry sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, as federal officials intensified investigations into revelations that the company will probably be forced to restate $9 billion or more in earnings over the past four years. A review by the Securities and Exchange Commission determined last week that Fannie Mae must restate earnings back to 2001 because it violated accounting rules for derivatives - financial instruments used to hedge against interest-rate swings - and for some loans. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. B2, 12/22/04]

2005 - World Bank Report / Global Economy - April 7th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Global economic expansion is at a turning point with growth slowing to 3.1 percent this year after the fastest increase in four years, the World Bank said Wednesday [04/06/05]. Rising interest rates, higher oil prices, weakening of the dollar, and increasingly lopsided trade balances between countries such as the United States and China are contributing to the erosion, the bank said. The world economy grew by 3.8 percent in 2004. [....] The liklihood of slower growth means policymakers must move quickly to reduce budget deficits, and developing countries must prepare for rising interest rates and reduce debt levels. Countries that haven't taken advantage of recent economic growth to reduce their debt are likely to face financial difficulties as economic conditions worsen, the World Bank said. [....] A 31 percent increase in oil prices last year, compared with an 18 percent increase in other commodities, caused the decline of output in many higher-income countries in the second half of 2004, the bank said in the report. Oil prices, grouped with moderate wage increases in Europe, particularly hurt domestic demand there, and when the appreciation of the euro is factored in, European exports also suffered. Developing countries are outpacing high-income countries, according to the report. Growth in developing countries is expected to be 5.7 percent in 2005, compared to 6.6 percent in 2004. The 2004 pace was the fastest in 30 years. China's 9.5 percent growth topped the list of developing countries, helping to bolster east Asia, including India and Russia. Net private investment, which includes equity and debt, in Brazil, China, Mexico, Russia, and other developing countries, rose $51 billion to $301.3 billion in 2004. Of that, foreign direct investment rose $13.7 billion to $165.5 billion. The U.S. economy is expected to expand 3.9 percent in 2005, down from 4.4 percent in 2004, the bank said. The bank projects European Union growth of 1.2 percent in 2005, compared to 1.8 percent in 2004." [Based on: article by William McQuillen, Bloomberg News, S.L.P.D., p. C3, 04/07/05]

2005 - Fatality / U.S. Military Helicopter, Afghanistan - April 7th, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - A U.S. military helicopter returning from a mission smashed into the southern Afghan desert Wednesday [04/06/05], killing at least 16 people [18 as of 04/10/05] in the deadliest military crash since the fall of the Taliban in late 2001. An Afghan official said most of the dead appeared to be Americans. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "[....] The CH-47 Chinook went down in a sandstorm on Wednesday [04/06/05] near Ghazni city, 80 miles southwest of the capital, Kabul, as it headed for the main U.S. base at Bagram after a mission in the insurgent-plagued south. [....]" [Based on: News Services, 04/08/05]

2005 - Prison Riot / Cuba - April 8th, 2005: "Inmates in a Havana prison set mattresses and other materials ablaze in violence that left several prisoners seriously injured, a veteran rights activist said Thursday [04/07/05]. The Tuesday night [04/05/05] disturbance, later controlled by Cuban authorities, was the second in less than 20 days at the Combinado del Este Prison, which houses thousands of inmates. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Partial Solar Eclipse - April 8th, 2005: "A partial solar eclipse occured on this date in history." [E.M.]

2005 - Off Market / Bextra - April 8th, 2005: "[....] Catching doctors and consumers by surprise, the Food and Drug Administration asked Pfizer Inc. to stop selling its blockbuster painkiller Bextra amid worries that it increases the risk of a potentially fatal skin allergy - on top of concerns about heart attack and stroke risks. [....]" [Based on: Cox News Service]

*Trivia: "[....] The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday [04/07/05] ordered Bextra off the market and placed warnings on nearly all of America's most popular pain pills, including all brands of ibuprofen and naproxen. [....] Bextra and Vioxx now are off the market; Celebrex can still be sold with a boxed warning, 'to properly selected and informed patients.' [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A4, 04/08/05]

2005 - Bazaar Bomb / Cairo Egypt - April 8th, 2005: "CAIRO, Egypt - An explosion apparently set off by a bomber on a motorcycle hit a tour group shopping in a historic bazaar [al-Moski] Thursday [04/07/08]. At least two people were killed and about 20 wounded. It was the first attack targeting foreign tourists in the Egyptian capital in more than seven years. [....] Tourism is Egypt's highest earner of foreign exchange." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Victims Memorial / Rawanda - April 8th, 2005: "Rwandans reburied the bodies Thursday [04/07/05] of more than 20,000 victims of the 1994 genocidal attacks who had been dumped in mass graves as the country marked the 11th anniversary of the massacres. [....] The killings started hours after the president's plane was mysteriously shot down over Kigali on April 6th, 1994. Hutu militiamen set up roadblocks across Kigali and on April 7 began killing Tutsis and moderate Hutus." [Based on: News services]

2005 - Funeral / Pope John Paul II - April 8th, 2005: "An estimated 300,000 people packed into St. Peter's Square [04/08/05] and the area immediately around it for John Paul's Funeral." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Democratic Government / Iraq - April 8th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Cementing Iraq's first democratic government in 50 years, one of Saddam Hussein's most implacable enemies [Jalal Talabani] took his oath as president Thursday [04/07/05] and quickly named another longtime foe [Ibrahim al-Jaafari] of the ousted dictator to the powerful post of prime minister. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Mysterious Finger in Chilli - April 8th, 2005: "SAN JOSE, Calif. - The saga of the mysterious finger found in a bowl of Wendy's chili continues. Authorities have searched the Las Vegas home of the woman who found it. No one is saying what they were looking for. [....] Ayala was dining at Wendy's fast-food restaurant in San Jose on March 22 when she chomped on the tip of a human finger while eating a bowl of chili. The case gained nationwide attention after Santa Clara County's medical examiner determined the finger was genuine." [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

*Trivia: "Police believe they know how the finger ended up in Anna Ayala's bowl of Wendy's chilli - she put it there. But they have yet to solve the other big part of the mystery: Whose finger was it? [....]" [Based on: A.P., 04/23/05]

2005 - Civilian Death Toll / Chechnya - April 8th, 2005: "More than 3,000 Chechen civilians have been killed in the war-wracked southern Russian region during the last five years; a Russian human rights group said Thursday [04/07/05]. Dmitry Grushkin, of the Memorial human rights center, reported that 1,543 residents were kidnapped over the same period, with 892 still missing, the Interfax news agency said. Since January, 64 civilians have been kidnapped - 29 are unaccounted for, 31 have been released and two were found dead, Grushkin told Interfax. Federal and Chechen authorities accuse human rights groups of exaggerating the number of abductions. Chechen officials have reported 1,800 disappearances since 1999. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - School Shooting / Canton, Texas - April 8th, 2005: "CANTON, Texas - The father [Jeffrey Doyle Robertson] of a high school football player shot the team's coach [Gary Joe Kinne] Thursday [04/07/05], fled in a truck loaded with weapons, and then tried to kill himself by slashing his wrists, authorities said. [....] Police were investigating a possible motive for the shooting. On Wednesday [04/06/05], Robertson's son, Baron, had apparently been banned from playing all school athletics, said Steve Smith Jr., a senior who was a defensive end on the team. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Child Exploitation Tracking System - April 8th, 2005: "TORONTO - Microsoft and Canadian authorities on Thursday [04/07/05] launched a software program designed to help police worldwide hunt down child porn traffickers by enabling authorities for the first time to link information such as credit card purchases, Internet chat room messages and arrest records. Microsoft said the Child Exploitation Tracking System is the first software designed specifically to capture pornagraphers who prey on children and sell their images via the internet. It will allow police departments worldwide to share and track previously unlinked information on investigations and suspects. [....] The FBI has seen a 2,000 percent increase in the number of child pornography images on the Internet since 1996, and Canadian police estimate that more than 100,000 Web sites contain images of child sexual abuse. Experts say at least 95 percent of victims are abused by someone they know, either a relative or a neighbor. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A9, 04/08/05]

*Trivia: "The Bush administration's top Supreme Court lawyer says he typed the words 'free porn' into an Internet search engine on his home computer and got a list of more than 6 million Web sites. That's proof, Solicitor General Theodore Olson told the Supreme Court on Tuesday [03/02/04], of the need for a law protecting children from a tide of online smut." [A.P., 03/03/04]

2005 - Shooting Rampage / Delaware & Maryland - April 8th, 2005: "LAUREL, Del. - A man wearing a bulletproof vest [Allison L. Norman] killed two people and wounded four others Thursday [04/07/05] during a shooting rampage in Maryland and Delaware before police arrested him, authorities said. [....] Resident Michelle Moss told The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal that she heard Norman yelling 'Help, help, they're trying to kill me ... I didn't do nothing,' as he walked through a neighborhood in Salisbury." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Boundary Crossing / Line of Control, Kashmir - April 8th, 2005: "ON THE INDIA-PAKISTAN LINE OF CONTROL - Greeted by cheers, tears and dancing, bus riders made a historic crossing Thursday [04/07/05] at the military boundary that divided Kashmir between India and Pakistan, walking across a metal bridge in a move both sides hope will lead to lasting peace. Most of the passengers had been cut off from relatives by more than a half-century of bloodshed in the subcontinent, and some wept as they crossed the Line of Control, kneeling to kiss the ground. [....] Most of the region's militant gropus oppose the bus service, insisting they want nothing short of freedom for Kashmir or union with Pakistan. 'We will rest only when we have transformed this bus into a coffin,' said a statement faxed to The Associated Press on Thursday from a grouping of militant organizations. More than a dozen rebel groups have been fighting for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with Pakistan since 1989. At least 66,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed. While two passengers did get off the buses leaving Srinagar, apparently fearing militant attacks, most said they won't be deterred. 'It is my country and I have returned home,' said Farida Ghani, 59, a writer from Muzaffarabad, who was returning to Indian Kashmir for the first time since she was a child." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Voluntary Anthrax Vaccinations? / U.S. Military - April 8th, 2005: "The Pentagon can resume giving anthrax vaccinations, but only to troops who volunteer for them, said a federal judge [U.S. District Court Judge, Emmet G. Sullivan] who had banned the shots amid safety questions. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Guilty Plea / Eric Rudolph - April 9th, 2005: "BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Eric Rudolph has agreed to plead guilty of carrying out the deadly bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and setting off three other blasts in a deal that allows the anti-government extremist to escape the death penalty, Justice Department officials said Friday. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "A defiant Eric Rudolph pleaded guilty Wednesday [04/13/05] of carrying out the deadly bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and three other attacks. He said he picked the Summer Games to embarrass the U.S. government in front of the world 'for its abominable sanctioning of abortion on demand.' [....]" [Based on: A.P., 04/14/05]

2005 - Ebola Outbreak / Angola - April 9th, 2005: "Medical experts are having some success countering an outbreak of a deadly Ebola-like virus in Angola, but it has yet to be brought fully under control, the U.N. health agency said Friday [04/08/05]. The rare Marburg virus has killed 174 people out of a total 200 cases, said Dr. Mike Ryan, director of alert and response operations for the World Health Organization in Switzerland. [....] Like Ebola, Marburg is a hemorrhagic fever. It spreads through contact with bodily fluids and can kill rapidly. There is no vaccine." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - EPA Suit / Apex Oil Co Inc. - April 9th, 2005: "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has sued Apex Oil Co. Inc. over a plume of gasoline under Hartford, which, the EPA says, has caused fires, explosions and evacuations. The plume, used in relation to the environment, is a space in the air, in the water or in the soil containing pollutants released from a particular source. The EPA's suit, filed Tuesday [04/05/05]  in federal court in East St. Louis, follows similar ones that the Illinois Attorney General's office, Madison County and individual homeowners have filed against Apex or other companies that operated a Hartford refinery. Apex, located in Clayton [Mo.] is the successor to Clark Oil and refining Corporation, which ran the refinery from 1967 until 1998. [....] U.S. EPA and several companies last year embarked on a plan to mitigate the plume and gasoline vapors associated with it through wells and a vapor recovery system." [Based on article by Michael Shaw, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. 26, 04/09/05]

2005 - Royal Wedding / England - April 9th, 2005: "Married this date in history: England's Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles." [E.M.]

2005 - Indictment / Humayun A Khan - April 9th, 2005: "A Pakistani businessman illegally exported devices from the United States that could be used to test, develop and detonate nuclear weapons, the government alleged on Friday [04/08/05]. A federal indictment against Humayun A. Khan was unsealed - along with a guilty plea by his alleged partner, Asher Karni, who admitted routing sophisticated oscilloscopes and high-speed electrical switches through South Africa to avoid raising authorities' suspicions. The scopes and the switches were then shipped to Pakistan. [....] The indictment was unsealed Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Greenhouse Gas Regulation, U.S.A. - April 9th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - A coalition of 12 states, including Illinois, asked a federal appeals court Friday [04/08/05] to make the Environmental Protection Agency reconsider its decision not to regulate heat-trapping greenhouse gases as air pollutants. [....] States challenging the EPA are California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, along with the U.S. territory of American Samoa and the cities of Baltimore, New York and Washington."

2005 - "Joint Doctrine for Detainee Operations" / U.S.A. - April 9th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Pentagon is preparing guidelines for the proper handling of people captured during wartime, including an explicit ban on inhumane treatment. [....] 'All persons detained by U.S. armed forces during the course of military operations shall be given humanitarian care and treatment from the moment they fall into the hands of U.S. forces until release,' the March 23 draft document said. It is titled 'Joint Doctrine for Detainee Operations.' Noting that inhumane treatment is prohibited by international law and Pentagon policy, the document adds that even 'military necessity' is no excuse for improper treatment of a detainee. 'Accordingly, neither the stress of combat operations, the need for actionable information, nor the provocations by captured/detained personnel justify deviation from this obligation,' it said. On the other hand, the document says in a separate passage that the requirement for humane treatment of an 'enemy combatant' - as opposed to a prisoner of war - is 'subject to military necessity' - suggesting there could be circumstances in which the requirement did not apply. The Bush administration in 2002 created the detainee category of 'enemy combatant' and applied it to members or associates of the al-Qaida terrorist network and the Taliban militia from Afghanistan. The administration has said the Geneva Conventions for prisoner protections do not apply to enemy combatants." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Fatality / Remissainthe Ravix - April 10th, 2005: "Haitian police on Saturday [04/09/05] shot and killed a rebel leader who helped force former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide into exile last year, officials said. [....] Ravix was one of four key leaders of the bloody three-week revolt that led to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's ouster on Feb. 29, 2004. The barrel-chested rebel, who often appeared before reporters in camouflage fatigues, was a sergeant in the Haitian army that Aristide disbanded in 1995." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Indonesia - April 10th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 10:29:13 (UTC) on Sunday, April 10, 2005. The magnitude 6.8 event has been located in the KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqinthenews/2005/uswsap/]

2005 - Trivia / Doe Run Lead Smelter, Peru - April 10th, 2005: "Nearly every young child living near Doe Run's lead smelter in Peru is lead poisoned, according to a new study by the Peruvian government. The health ministry's study found that 99.9 percent of children under age seven who were tested had a blood-lead level greater than 10 micrograms of lead per decilliter of blood, the international standard for lead poisoning. About 9 percent of the 788 children tested had lead levels so high that they will be hospitalized or removed from the community. The study is the latest report to find high levels of lead poisoning surrounding the smelter in La Oroya, a gritty city high in the Andes Mountains. Maryland Heights-based Doe Run Co. bought the facility in 1997 and promised to clean up the plant and improve the health of the community. [....] Critics said the study results were alarming, and that it was wrong to allow children to continue to be lead-poisoned. Lead is a potent neurological poison that causes lowered intelligence, behavioral problems and attention difficulties. At levels above 70 micrograms per deciliter, it can cause seizure, coma and death. [....] Archbishop Pedro Barreto of Peru again visited St. Louis this week, in part to make a personal plea for the company to participate in a roundtable he has organized in Peru to find a 'sustainable solution' to the communities health and environmental problems. Doe Run officials refused to meet in person with Barreto at their headquarters, instead sending a letter via courier saying that the dialogue 'must take place with those closest to the situation: namely, our executives in La Oroya and Lima.' Doe Run officials in Peru have refused to attend roundtable meetings the archbishop organized in Huancayo, the capital of the region where La Oroya is located. When asked why the company would not work with the archbishop, Shepard [Doe Run spokeswoman, Barbara Shepard] said the company's resources are limited and it needs to focus on its existing agreements with the Peruvian government and on working with the community." [Based on article by Sara Shipley, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A5, 04/10/05] 

2005 - Dissolution / National Party, South Africa - April 10th, 2005: "CAPE TOWN, South Africa - The party linked to decades of white racist rule in South Africa formally left the political stage Saturday [04/09/05], its leader apologizing for 'a system grounded in injustice.' The federal council of the New National Party - the successor to the National Party that lead apartheid - overwhelmingly approved the party's dissolution at a meeting in Johannesburg. This followed the party's decision last year to join the forces with the ruling African National Congress after a humiliating defeat in national elections. [....] In the vote, 88 members were in favor of the motion to disband, two were against and three abstained. Tha National Party, which came to power in 1948, presided over 48 years of systematic and often brutal oppression of the country's black majority, who were denied the right to vote or mix with whites. [....] The New National Party won less than 2 percent of the vote - seven seats - during elections a year ago, down from 20 percent in 1994. This prompted van Schalkwyk [New national Party leader, Marthinus van Schalkwyk] to pledge his allegiance to the African national Congress. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Pakistani Hostage / Iraq - April 11th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - The family of a Pakistani embassy employee kidnapped in Baghdad appealed Sunday [04/10/05] for his captors to release him, and al-Qaida's ally in Iraq claimed to have kidnapped and killed a senior police official. [....] The kidnapping comes nine months after insurgents abducted and killed two Pakistanis working for a Kuwaiti company in Iraq. Their abductors had demanded that Pakistan promise not to send any troops to Iraq. [....]" [Based on: A.P]

2005 - Spring Blizzard / Colorado - April 11th, 2005: "DENVER - Hundreds of travelers were stranded at the Denver airport and along highways Sunday [04/10/05] as a blizzard blew across eastern Colorado with wet, heavy snow. Almost a foot of snow fell in Denver and 2 feet in Greenland, about 20 miles north of Colorado Springs, the national Weather Service said. Heavy snow was still coming down Sunday evening but was expected to fade overnight. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Bolivia - April 11th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 14:54:06 (UTC) on Monday, April 11, 2005. The magnitude 6.0 event has been located in NORTHERN PERU. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)."

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.html

2005 - Strong Earthquake / SE of Loyalty Islands - April 11th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 17:08:54 (UTC) on Monday, April 11, 2005. The magnitude 6.8 event has been located SOUTHEAST OF THE LOYALTY ISLANDS. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 68 km (42 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqinthenews/2005/uswtbf/]

2005 - Assassination / Col. Gen. Anatoly Trofimov, Moscow - April 11th, 2005: "Assailants wielding automatic weapons from a passing car gunned down a former top Russian intelligence official [Col. Gen. Anatoly Trofimov, Moscow] while he drove on a Moscow street Sunday [04/10/05], Russian news agencies reported. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Drowned Pilgrims / India - April 12th, 2005: "At least 58 Hindu pilgrims bathing in a central India river during a religious festival drowned when the gates of a nearby dam were opened, police said Monday [04/11/05]. Local police official S.K. Raut said some of the bodies were recovered nearly five miles from the bathing site. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Cloned Animals - April 12th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Meat and milk from cloned animals is essentially identical to that from animals reproduced normally, a new study says. The findings should ease safety concerns about eating cloned animals, says researcher Xiangzhong Yang of the Center for Regenerative Biology at the University of Connecticut. The study was published in today's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The Food and Drug Administration has asked the food industry to keep products from cloned animals out of the food chain while it considers their safety. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - 600 Gigahertz Transistor - April 12th, 2005: "Using second-hand Intel equipment, researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have made a transistor - the key component in computers and other electronics - that's first in speed. The transistor, smaller than dust or dog dander, runs at 600 gigahertz, which means it can turn on and off 600 billion times a second. [....] Once wired by the thousands into circuits, this faster transistor could improve the quality and battery life of high-frequency electronics such as cell phones, according to U of I engineer Milton Feng. It could allow fiber optics to send data across the Internet at the same rate as the transistor, hundreds of billions of bits per second. The military, which funded the research through a $5.9 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contract, is probably the most interested for now. [....] Feng and his doctoral student Walid Hafez published a description of their speedy transistor Monday [04/11/05] in the journal Applied Physics Letters. Invented in 1947, transistors are tiny switches embedded in most electronic equipment. [....] Feng hopes to achieve a terahertz transistor next year. It could switch in a thousandth of a billionth of a second. Light travels only 0.3 millimeters in that time. [....] Building the 600 gigahertz processor required not only a special material, but also a special geometry - one that required 13 layers of metal and indium phosphide. The tedious task of making it fell to Hafez. [....]" [Based on article by Eric Hand, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A1 & A7, 04/12/05]

SPEED Megahertz - One million switches per second. Gigahertz - One billion switches per second. Researchers have made a 600 gigahertz transistor, the fastest yet.

SIZE Micrometer - One millionth of a meter, also known as a micron. Nanometer - One billionth of a meter. Intel produces transistors as small as 35 nanometers.

[Based on article by Eric Hand, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A1 & A7, 04/12/05]

2005 - Suitcases Incident / U.S. Capitol - April 12th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Police tackled and arrested on Monday [04/11/05] a man who deposited two suitcases in front of the U.S. Capitol, did not move and asked to speak to President George W. Bush. The man, whose name was not released, is a 33-year-old Chinese national who has been in the country less than a week., said Terrance W. Gainer, chief of the U.S. Capitol Police. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

*Trivia: "[....] The man, Wen Hao Zhao, is a native of China who entered the U.S. legally Friday [04/08/05] through the Los Angeles International Airport, according to a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Monsanto Settlement - April 12th, 2005: "[....] It's against American law for an American company to bribe officials overseas. And so, St. Louis-based Monsanto in January [2005] agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle both criminal and and civil charges brought against it by the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Monsanto wanted Indonesia to approve its genetically-modified cotton seed. Much of the money was spread around by Monsanto's Indonesian affiliates. But in one case, a senior Monsanto executive in Asia personally ordered a consultant to 'incentivize' a ranking Indonesian environmental official with $50,000. So far, the matter has not sullied Monsanto's executive suite in Creve Coeur [Mo.]. [....] In settling with the government, Monsanto agreed to hire an independent consultant to monitor its compliance with new anti-corruption controls and to cooperate in continuing criminal probes. If Monsanto complies, criminal charges will be dropped in three years. It's a fair settlement, considering the swamp of corruption in which Monsanto found itself operating." [Based on: Editorial Section, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. B6, 04/12/05]

2005 - Kidnapped / U.S. Contractor, Iraq - April 12th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A U.S. contractor was kidnapped Monday [04/11/05] in the Baghdad area, the latest in a string of abductions that have forced many foreigners to work here under armed guard. A U.S. Embassy spokesman said the American contractor had been abducted around noon. He refused to release an identity or other details, but said the contractor's family had been informed. The American had been working on a reconstruction project. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "An American contractor [Jeffrey Ake], scared and clutching his passport to his chest, was shown at gunpoint on a videotape aired by Al-Jazeera television Wednesday [04/13/05], two days after he was kidnapped from a water treatment plant near Baghdad. The station said he pleaded for his life and urged U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 04/145/05]

2005 - Basic Training Abuse? / Fort Knox, Ky. - April 12th, 2005: "An Army drill sergeant who admitted striking a basic training  recruit, dragging another by his ankles and forcing a third to swallow his own vomit will not face jail time for the offenses, a military judge ruled Monday [04/11/05]. Sgt. 1st Class David Price was found guilty of maltreatment and of obstructing justice for attempting to keep trainees under his command from reporting alleged abuses. Price, 36, will have his rank reduced by a grade to staff sergeant, the military judge, Lt. Col. Richard Anderson, ruled after a court-martial Monday. Price could have faced up to a year in prison and a discharge for bad conduct. Price told the court he was 'burned out' from his duties when the incidents happened and apologized for the behavior. 'I believe my actions were not warranted,' he told the judge. A Fort Knox spokeswoman said officials will have to determine whether Price remains a drill sergeant at the post. Three other drill sergeants under Price's command are charged in the incidents and face court-martial in May and June." [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A4, 04/12/05]

2005 - Died / Greek Orthodox Archbishop, Iakovos - April 12th, 2005: "STAMFORD, Conn. - Greek Orthodox Archbishop Iakovos has died at age 93. He transformed his church in the Americas while championing religious unity and human rights. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Era of "Peace and Prosperity" / China & India - April 12th, 2005: "NEW DELHI - China and India announced an agreement Monday [04/11/05] to resolve a decades-old border dispute and let trade flourish between the two countries. The agreement promised a new era of 'peace and prosperity' between the world's two most populous countries. It was made during a four-day visit to India by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Court Martial Trivia / U.S Army Sgt. Hasan Akbar - April 12th, 2005: "FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The lawyer for an Army sergeant charged with a grenade attack that killed two U.S. officers in Kuwait [March 2003] is trying to stave off a death sentence by arguing that his client [Sgt. Hasan Akbar] suffered from mental illness. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "A military court convicted Sgt. Hasan Akbar of premeditated murder on 04/21/05." [E.M]

2005 - "Passion for Economic Justice" / Washington University, Mo. - April 12th, 2005: "On April 4, I [Joe Thomas] was one of about a dozen students at Washington University [Mo.] who walked into the admissions office of our school carrying food, commitment, clothes, nerves, books and a shared passion for economic justice for the workers on our campus. We will not leave until that justice - in the form of a living wage - is achieved. More than 500 full-time service employees on our campus do not earn enough working 40 hours per week to support their families. We do not think this is acceptable, but our chancellor, Mark Wrighton, does. He has blocked every effort to implement a living wage on our campus. Most recently, he rejected the unanimous recommendation of a task force, the members of which he had picked himself. It was this final unreasonable rejection that prompted our current - admittedly drastic - action. [....] The students who share a passion for this cause share little else: We come from all five of the undergraduate schools at Washington University. We represent all academic classes, freshman to senior. We are white, black, Hispanic and Asian. [....] Architecture-school sophmore Irene Compadre from Little Rock, Ark., speakes to the Hispanic groundskeepers in the Spanish she learned as part of her own heritage; she's committed to ensuring that those groundskeepers can earn enough money to climb into the middle class, as her Mexican mother has done. [....] Despite our university's reputation, all of us are not wealthy, not by any means. Several of us involved in this action are on full-tuition scholarships - the only way we could study and stay here - and we know we are fortunate to have the opportunity to attend this school. That is why we intend to use this opportunity to ensure that our institution honors the rights of honest, hard-working people to raise a family without having to choose between food and medicine." [Based on article by Joe Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. B7, 04/12/05] [Note: as is the case for nearly all articles on this timeline, the original article Paragraph indents and/or spacing were omitted, and the brackets data was inserted by Etznab Mathers]

*Trivia: "Protesting students at Washington University say they could face expulsion after defying orders to halt their sit-in and hunger strike, but they intend to stay. [....]" [Based on: article by Thabo Mkhize, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. B1, 04/13/04]

2005 - Indicted / NYSE Specialists - April 13th, 2005: "NEW YORK - Fifteen specialists who managed trades on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange used their positions to earn an estimated $20 million in illegal gains for themselves and their companies, according to an indictment Tuesday [04/12/05]. The Securities and Exchange Commission also filed civil charges against 20 specialists, including the 15 who were indicted, and the NYSE as well. An SEC official described the violations as 'profound and, at times, profane.' Federal officials said that between 1999 and mid-2003, specialists at five firms put their companies' orders ahead of customers' orders, causing the customers to get inferior prices - a scheme the NYSE's watchdogs failed to catch. 'Over time, these small thefts accumulate into large profits that translate into higher compensation and bonuses for specialists who execute the trades,' said U.S. Attorney David Kelley. [....] If convicted, each faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $5 million. [....] Last year, NYSE specialist firms paid a total of $247 million to settle the same allegations brought by the SEC." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / U.S. Federal Budget Deficit - April 13th, 2005: "The federal government ran a deficit of $71.23 billion last month, down significantly from the record amount of red ink recorded in February. The Treasury Department said Tuesday [04/12/05] the March imbalance was down from a deficit of $113.94 billion in February, the largest one-month deficit ever recorded. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 04/13/05]

2005 - Record High / U.S. Trade Deficit - April 13th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The nation's trade deficit, fueled by imports of oil and textiles, soared to a record high of $61.04 billion in February. The Commerce Department said Tuesday [04/12/05] that the February imbalance rose 4.3 percent from the gap of $58.5 billion in January. The rise of $50 million in exports was swamped by an increase of $2.58 billion in imports. [....] For the first two months of this year, the trade deficit is running at an annual rate of $717.2 billion, a full $100 billion greater than the record imbalance of $617.1 billion set last year. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Israeli Expansion? / West Bank - April 13th, 2005: "MAALEH ADUMIM, West Bank - Bulldozers cleared rubble and cranes hoisted equipment Tuesday [04/12/05] in the largest West Bank settlement a day after criticism from President George W. Bush that clouded a Texas summit with Israel's prime minister. Israel says the work is taking place within existing boundaries and does not constitute expansion. But Israel's distinction is lost on the Palestinians and possibly the Americans too. The Bush administration has insisted that Israel stick to a Mideast peace plan that bans all settlement construction. Israel recently confirmed plans to build an additional 3,650 houses between the settlement, Maaleh Adumim, and Jerusalem, five miles to the west - effectively cutting off the Arab section of the city from the rest of the West Bank. Palestinians say this would make it impossible for them to establish a state in the West Bank and Gaza with east Jerusalem as its capital. [....] Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told reporters Monday [04/11/05] that Israel has built settlements to solidify control over areas of the West Bank it deems vital to its security. 'It was not to antagonize the U.S., but to keep areas that seem strategic to Israel,' Sharon said. But at his ranch on Monday, Bush told Sharon that any further building in settlements would violate the 'road map' peace plan. Making the dispute public at a news conference after their talk, Bush said: 'I've been very clear. Israel has an obligation under the road map. That's no expansion of settlements.' Construction in Maaleh Adumim has continued unabated through various Mideast peace plans, and it proceeded on Tuesday. 'This is not an expansion at all. It's building in Maaleh Adumim territory,' said Benny Kashriel, mayor of the settlement. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - "Issue Advertising" / Fannie Mae - April 13th, 2005: "Fannie Mae spent $87 million for an ad campaign that helped thwart efforts by Congress in 2003 and 2004 to create a tougher regulator for the government-chartered company, a University of Pennsylvania study says. Fannie Mae, the largest source of money for home mortgages, paid for 10,797 print and TV ads concentrated in the Washington, D.C., area during the period, the university's Annenberg Public Policy Center at Philadelphia said. The outlay was 22 percent of the $404.4 million spent by all companies and groups on 'issue advertising' aimed at Congress." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 04/13/05]

2005 - Secrets To The Code / Dateline NBC - April 13th, 2005: "On this date in history, Dateline NBC aired a 1-hr program [7pm CST] about The Da Vinci Code. In it, critics claimed that 'Priori of Zion' documents were fabricated and that geneology lists were planted in the French National Library [Bibliotheque Nationale] by Pierre Plantard [d. 2000]. The show was followed by a six-part television series premier entitled: Revelations [a program about the end of the world]." [E.M.] Related links:

http://www.priory-of-sion.com/
http://priory-of-sion.com/posd/soskin.html

2005 - Television Series Premier / Revelations - April 13th, 2005: "On this date in history a six-part television series, entitled: Revelations, aired at 8pm CST on NBC." [E.M.]

2005 - Shipped Around Globe / H2N2 "Asian Flu" - April 13th, 2005: "Scientists in the St. Louis area and across the globe scrambled to destroy vials of a pandemic flu strain Tuesday [04/12/05] to comply with a health advisory. The flu samples were sent to labs in 18 countries as part of a routine testing. [....] The vials of virus sent by a U.S. company went to nearly 5,000 labs, mostly in the United States - including several in St. Louis, officials said. [....] Most of the flu samples - 3,747 - were sent starting last year at the request of the College of American pathologists. The last shipments were sent out in February. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A1, 04/13/05]

*Trivia: "[....] The germ, the 1957 H2N2 'Asian Flu' strain, killed [in the past] 1 million to 4 million people. It has not been included in flu vaccines since 1968; anyone born after that date has little or no immunity to it. The samples were sent, beginning in September, as part of a testing process that measures a laboratory's proficiency in detecting various strains of influenza. The College of American Pathologists directs the testing and contracted with Meridian Bioscience, a company based in Cincinnati, to distribute the test kits. A Canadian lab alerted the WHO [World Health Organization] last month that the kit included the 1957 strain. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 04/14/05]

*Trivia: "Shipments of a killer influenza virus destined for testing in Mexico and Lebanon remain unaccounted for, but the U.N. health organization said 15 other countries that received the samples were expected to have destroyed them by today [04/15/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 04/15/05]

2005 - Class-Action Suit / A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. - April 13th, 2005: "A class-action lawsuit alleges that A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. received millions of dollars in the last five years in improper payments to promote some mutual funds. The suit, filed Tuesday [04/12/05] in St. Louis County Circuit Court, said a preferred group of mutual funds 'received increased visibility in the defendants' extensive mutual fund network,' after paying 'secret kickbacks' to the brokerage. [....] The firm has denied having a preferred list of mutual fund companies. Despite taht, the lawsuit claims that A.G. Edwards does have such a list, including, but not limited to, Hartford Funds, American Funds, Oppenheimer Funds, Evergreen Investments and Dreyfus Funds. [....] Stull, Stull & Brody, which specializes in securities law, also represents plaintiffs in a class-action case on revenue sharing that was filed last year against Edward Jones. That case is pending in Federal court in St. Louis." [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. C2, 04/13/05]

2005 - Unsealed Indictment / British Terrorist Suspects - April 13th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Three men with suspected al-Qaida ties, already in British custody, were charged Tuesday [04/12/05] with a year-long plot to attack the New York Stock Exchange and other East Coast financial institutions. [....] A four-count indictment returned by a New York City grand jury alleges the men, all British citizens, visited and conducted surveillance of the buildings and surrounding neighborhoods from August 2000 to April 2001. [....] The grand jury returned the indictment on March 23 but it was unsealed only Tuesday. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - 5th Amendment Invocation / Maurice Greenberg - "NEW YORK - Maurice 'Hank' Greenberg, the former chief executive of embattled insurer American International Group Inc., invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination on Tuesday [04/12/05], declining to answer questions from government investigators. The deposition of Greenberg lasted about 45 minutes, according to a person who attended it but asked not to be identified. The person said Greenberg invoked the Fifth Amendment in response to all questions. There was no public statement from Greenberg, who arrived and exited the building via an underground tunnel to avoid reporters. On Monday, Greenberg's lawyer had indicated his client probably would refuse to answer questions because he lacked time to prepare. On Tuesday, Howard Opinsky, a spokesman for Greenberg's legal team, confirmed that was the case. [....] In the transaction at the center of the investigation, AIG purchased reinsurance from General Reinsurance Corp. in the first quarter of 2001. Investigators have said that AIG used the deals to pump up its reserves when markets were uneasy about the company's outstanding liabilities." [Based on A.P. article by Eileen Alt Powell, p. C3, S.L.P.D., 04/13/05]

2005 - Price Increase / Brand-Name Perscription Drugs, U.S.A. - "Prices for brand-name percrription drugs rose 7.1 percent last year, more than twice the rate of inflation, while the cost of generic drugs was little changed, according to the consumer group AARP. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 04/13/05]

2005 - Worker's Compensation / Mallinckrodt Chemical Co., St. Louis, Mo. - April 13th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - A group of workers who got cancer after processing uranium at a St. Louis factory in the 1940s will get $150,000 each from the federal government. The Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday [04/12/05] approved automatic compensation to a group of workers exposed to radioactive material at the main Mallinckrodt Chemical Co. plant in downtown St. Louis between 1942 and 1948. [....]" [Based on: Post Dispatch-Washington Bureau article, S.L.P.D., pp. B1-B3, 04/13/05]

*Commentary: "Roughly 60 years later???" [E.M.]

2005 - Trivia / Estate Tax, U.S.A. - April 14th, 2005: "[....] The House ... voted 272-162 on Wednesday [04/13/05] to eliminate the estate tax in 2010 and beyond. [....] The House bill prevents the tax on inherited estates from reappearing after 2009. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Crude Oil Futures - April 14th, 2005: "NEW YORK - Crude-oil futures on Wednesday [04/13/05] fell more than $1.50 a barrel to a seven-week low after the Energy Department said U.S. inventories climbed for a ninth consecutive week. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Sentenced / Walter Thompson - April 14th, 2005: "A businessman [Walter 'Al' Thompson] who refused to pay his income taxes and those of 10 employees, arguing that federal income tax laws were repealed in 1939, was sentenced to six years in prison Wednesday [04/13/05]. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Lighters Banned / U.S. Airplanes - April 14th, 2005: : "Airline passengers will no longer be allowed to bring cigarette lighters onto planes or into any secure areas, the Homeland Security Department announced Monday [02/28/05]. [....] The rule will be enforced beginning April 14th." [Based on: News Services, 01/01/05]

*Trivia: "Starting today, air travelers must leave one more thing at home: lighters. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 04/14/05]

2005 - Why Young People Flee Missouri - April 14th, 2005:

   Missouri should change its state motto from "Show Me" to "We Know What's Best for You" or "If You Don't Like It, Leave!"
   The Post-Dispatch and other newspapers throughout the state routinely wonder why this area can't keep its youngest and brightest minds after they graduate from our colleges and universities. These intelligent young adults routinely leave our region for better prospects and greater opportunities that come from more progressive and tolerant communities - communities that do not ignore the working poor and are more tolerant of minorities and people who think for themselves.
   Before long, my son and his friends will be graduating from college, and my advice to them will be: "Run! Get out now, as fast as you can, and don't look back!" 

[Based on: article by Matthew F. McGuire, Hillsboro, Mo., Letters To The Editor, St.Louis Post-Dispatch, p. B6, 04/14/05]

2005 - Global Treaty / Nuclear Terrorism - April 14th, 2005: "The U.N. General Assembly adopted a global treaty Wednesday [04/13/05] to prevent nuclear terrorism - making it a crime to possess radioactive material or weapons with the intention of committing a terrorist act. [....] Russia began the campaign for a treaty to combat nuclear terrorism in 1997, when Boris Yeltsin was president. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Stepped Down / Omar Karami, Lebanon - April 14th, 2005: "Lebanon's pro-Syrian prime minister-designate [Omar Karami] stepped down Wednesday [04/13/05], saying he was unable to form a new government after nearly seven weeks of deadlock. The action heightens the country's political turmoil by making it unlikely that crucial elections will be held on time. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Allegations of Prisoner Abuse / Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - April 14th, 2005: "BOSTON - Lawyers for six men arrested in Bosnia and detained at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp sued the federal government Wednesday [04/13/05], leveling new allegations of abuse and torture by U.S. forces. The lawsuit asks a judge to force the Department of Justice and Department of Defense to release information that allegedly would prove the torture of prisoners by American forces at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba. [....] The materials requested include the plantiffs' medical records and military videos shot at Guantanamo Bay that purportedly show prisoners being abused. [....] The six plantiffs were arrested in October 2001 after U.S. intelligence indicated they were planning attacks on U.S. and British embassies in Sarajevo and on a U.S. military base in the Bosnian city of Tuzla. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Hotel Fire / Paris - April 15th, 2005: "A fire roared through a hotel in central Paris early today [04/15/05], killing at least 13 people [later, at least 23] and injuring dozens, fire officials said. The fire gutted the Budget Paris Opera hotel in the capital's 9th district, an area frequented by tourists. At least 57 people were injured, 12 seriously, said fire services spokesman Laurent Vibert. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Car Bombings / Iraq - April 15th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Two car bombs ripped through a crowded street in front of the Interior Ministry in central Baghdad on Thursday [04/14/05], killing 18 people and wounding three dozen. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Antibiotics in Meat - April 15th, 2005:

   Last week, a coalition of public health and environmental advocates petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban the routine use of antibiotics in factory farms. A ban will go into effect in the European Union next year. Two years ago the World Health Organization recommended a worldwide phase-out.
   Two-thirds of all antibiotics in the United States are used in factory farms to promote the animals' growth and to contain infectious diseases induced by extreme crowding and stress. [....]

[Based on: article by Steven Kroit [St. Louis], Letters To The Editor section, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. C8, 04/15/05]

2005 - Lift Off / Space Station Crew - April 15th, 2005: "BAIKONUR, Kasakhstan - A Soyuz-FG rocket lifted off from Russia's base at the Baikonur Cosmodrome at sunrise today [04/15/05], launching two astronauts and a cosmonaut strapped into a crammed space capsule on a two-day trip to the international space station. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005: - Oil Refinery Permit / Arizona - April 15th, 2005: "Arizona regulators approved a permit for the first U.S. oil refinery in 29 years, ruling that the $2.5 billion plant will meet clean air standards. [....]" [Based on: wire reports, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. B2, 04/15/05]

2005 - Rare Discovery / Dinosaur Eggs - April 15th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The rare discovery of eggs inside a dinosaur has given scientists new clues about the reproductive biology of the creatures and more support for the theory that birds came from dinosaurs. The pair of shelled eggs is the first of its kind found inside a dinosaur, said researchers who reported the discovery in today's issue of the journal Science. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - EU Approval / Bulgaria & Romania - April 15th, 2005: "The European Parliament on Wednesday [04/14/05] approved the entry of Bulgaria and Romania into the European Union in 2007, but it said both countries still need to make reforms. [....]" [Based on: News Serves]

2005 - Barred / Evidence Gained by Torture, China - April 15th, 2005: "The Sichuan Provincial High Court has barred the use of evidence gained through torture in China's first ruling of its kind, a government Web site reported Thursday [04/14/05]. China outlawed torture in 1996, but activists and defense lawyers say unskilled police often abuse detainees to extract confessions. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Revision / "Mirror History" - April 16th, 2005: "After Sun transit of natal Jupiter - for the 41st time - toward the Dictionary section I now feel inclined. Abandon this Timeline I will [and much to my regret]. Excepting of course planetary vibrations, or a periodic event." [Etznab Mathers]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Indonesia - April 16th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 16:38:06 (UTC) on Saturday, April 16, 2005. The magnitude 6.3 event has been located in the NIAS REGION, INDONESIA. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 43 km (27 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)."

Link: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.html

2005 - Moderate Earthquake / Bolivia - April 16th, 2005: "A moderate earthquake occurred at 22:41:16 (UTC) on Saturday, April 16, 2005. The magnitude 5.6 event has been located in LA PAZ, BOLIVIA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)."

Link: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.html

2005 - Moderate Earthquake / California - April 16th, 2005: "A moderate earthquake occurred at 19:18:13 (UTC) on Saturday, April 16, 2005. The magnitude 5.1 event has been located in CENTRAL CALIFORNIA. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 11 km ( 7 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)."

Link: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.html

2005 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati / Lebanon - April 16th, 2005: "BEIRUT, Lebanon - Lebanon's president on Friday [04/15/05] named moderate pro-Syrian lawmaker Najib Mikati as prime minister, breaking a political deadlock and reviving chances for holding parliamentary elections next month. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Environmental Victory? / La Oroya, Peru - April 16th, 2005: "Environmentalists declared victory Friday [04/15/05] after winning a preliminary civil court ruling ordering health officials to reduce toxic emissions in La Oroya, an Andean town where St. Louis-based Doe Run Co. operates a metallurigal plant. 'After more than two years of a long trial, just recently the sentence was handed down,' Carlos Chirinos, a staff attorney with the Peruvian Society for Environmental Law, told The Associated Press. 'It is very possible that the Peruvian government will appeal, but we say that it is a very, very important order.' In a decision dated April 7, Judge Rosario Alfaro ordered the Ministry of Health and the General Directorate for Environmental Health to develop and implement a 'public health emergency plan.' Peru's Health Ministry did not respond to the AP's requests for comment. Several messages left for Doe Run's U.S. spokeswoman, Barbara Shepard, through an intermediary, were not returned Friday." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Horse Clone / Italy - April 17th, 2005: "CREMONA, Italy - Italian scientists have reported cloning a horse [born 02/25/05] for the second time, a new foal [Pieraz-Cyrozootech-Stallion] created from the DNA of a thoroughbred Arabian gelding [Pieraz] that was twice world endurance champion. [....] Pieraz-Cyrozootech is the second horse cloned at the lab in Cremona. The first, Promotea, was born in May 2003." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Insurgent Activity / Iraq - April 17th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Sunni Muslim fighters kidnapped Shiite civilians in a tense town south of Baghdad, and a suicide bomber demolished a restauraunt frequented by Iraqi police north of the capital Saturday [04/16/05], killing at least 7 people. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Terror Warning? / Afghanistan - April 17th, 2005: "KABUL , Afghanistan - America's senior military commander [Lt. Gen. David Barno] in Afghanistan warned Saturday [04/16/05] that Taliban-linked terrorists might launch a large-scale attack in coming months in a desperate attempt to reverse their waning fortunes. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, S.L.P.D., p. A11, 04/17/05]

2005 - Moderate Earthquake / Indonesia - April 17th, 2005: "A moderate earthquake occurred at 13:43:55 (UTC) on Sunday, April 17, 2005. The magnitude 5.5 event has been located in the NIAS REGION, INDONESIA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)."

Link: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.html

2005 - Moderate Earthquake / Indonesia - April 17th, 2005: "A moderate earthquake occurred at 21:23:51 (UTC) on Sunday, April 17, 2005. The magnitude 5.7 event has been located in the KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 21 km (13 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)."

Link: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.html

2005 - Eruptive Activity / Karthala Volcano, West Indian Ocean - April 17th-19th, 2005: "Eruptive activity at Karthala beginning on 17 April consisted of heightened seismicity, and gas and ash emissions. Hundreds of villagers who lived near the volcano evacuated. Flights to the island were cancelled. Scientists found that lava was confined to the bottom of the summit crater. Activity subsided around 19 April, with ash emissions ceasing. On the 19th, residents began to return to their homes and flights to the island resumed." [Based on: http://www.volcano.si.edu/]

2005 - Elections Trivia / Spain - April 18th, 2005: "Ruling Basque nationalists pushing for more autonomy from Spain won a key regional election Sunday [04/17/05] but fell short of a majority, losing seats. A banned pro-independence party drew unexpectedly high support, according to goverment figures. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Gaza Pullout? - April 18th, 2005: "[....] As Israel works to persuade some of the 8,500 Gaza settlers to leave voluntarily before the pullout begins July 20, more people keep moving  in. Sympathetic families are coming with moving vans, hawkish politicians are renting homes and busloads of ultra-Orthodox student are establishing new religious schools, or yeshivas. It is unclear how many people have moved in so far, but local activists expect many more to arrive during the weeklong Passover holiday beginning Saturday night [04/23/05] . Some predict as many as 100,000 sympathizers could come in a show of solidarity, with thousands of them staying. [....]" [Baesd on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Monday [04/18/05] he favors a three-week delay in Israel's planned pullout from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements this summer. [....] Yonatan Bassi, head of the administration handling evacuation of the settlers, suggested at a Sunday Cabinet meeting that the beginning of the pullout from Palestinian territories be put off from late July to mid-August. He noted the three-week mourning period many Jews observe before the day that marks the destruction of the biblical temples - Tisha B'Av, which falls this year on Aug. 14. Bassi, an observant Jew, raised the issue after 'an internal struggle and talking to rabbis,' said his spokesman, Haim Altman. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 04/19/05]

*Trivia: "Israel's defense minister [Shaul Mofaz] on Thursday [04/21/05] recommended briefly delaying the planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. [....] The Haaretz daily newspaper reported late Thursday [04/21/05] that Sharon will approve the delay, quoting an unnamed official." [Based on: News Services, 04/22/05]

2005 - Rough Seas / Caribbean Cruise - April 18th, 2005: "NEW YORK - Passengers on an ill-fated cruise ship [Norwegian Dawn] slammed by a 70-foot wave [04/15/05] awoke with water rushing into their cabins, furniture crashing and glass shattering - and the luxury liner's pianist rode out the storm by playing the theme to 'Titanic.' [....]" [Based on: New York Daily News]

2005 - Detective Shot With Own Gun / Providence, R.I. - - April 18th, 2005: "PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A Providence detective [James Allen] was killed with his own gun at police headquarters Sunday [04/17/05] by a suspect [Esteban Carpio] who was not handcuffed and managed to get hold of the weapon, the police chief said. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Moderate Earthquake / Japan - April 19th, 2005: "A moderate earthquake occurred at 01:46:56 (UTC) on Tuesday, April 19, 2005. The magnitude 5.9 event has been located in the IZU ISLANDS, JAPAN REGION. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 420 km (261 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)."

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.html

2005 - Tanker Accident? / Afghanistan - April 19th, 2005: "An explosion that destroyed five fuel tankers outside the main U.S. base in southern Afghanistan [04/17/05] was an accident, not the result of a Taliban attack, the U.S. military said Monday [04/18/05].

2005 - Reactor Shutdown? / North Korea - April 19th, 2005: "South Korea said Monday [04/18/05] it believes a reactor at North Korea's main nuclear complex has been shut down, a possible sign the communist state could be moving to harvest more weapons-grade plutonium. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Teaching Assistants Strike / Yale & Columbia Universities - April 19th, 2005: "Graduate teaching assistants at Yale and Columbia universities kicked off a five-day strike Monday [04/18/05], an effort organizers hope will force Ivy League administrators to recognize them as a union. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Sun in Taurus - April 20th, 2005: "Reported date when the Sun entered the constellation Taurus." [Based on: http://www.astro.com/swisseph/swephae.htm - 2005 A]

2005 - Pope Benedict XVI - April 20th, 2005: "One billion Catholics around the world learned Tuesday [04/19/05] that a conservative German theologian who has staunchly defended the church's traditional doctrine for 25 years under Pope John Paul II had become their new leader. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 78, was named pope in one of the fastest papal elections of the past century. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Settlement / KPMG LLP - April 20th, 2005: "KPMG LLP, the U.S. unit of Big Four accounting firm KPMG International, has agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle federal regulators' charges that it allowed Xerox Corp. to manipulate its accounting. The Securities and Exchange Commission in January 2003 sued KPMG and certain of its partners, including the head of the firm's department of professional practice, in connection with the audits of Xerox from 1997 through 2000. The agreement announced Tuesday resolves the civil lawsuit brought by the SEC, which dropped its original fraud allegations against KPMG. The accounting firm is paying a $10 million civil fine and $9.8 million in restitution of its audit fees from Xerox in 1997-2000, plus $2.6 million in interest." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. D2, 04/20/05]

2005 - Makeover / U.S. Food Pyramid - April 20th, 2005: "The Food Guide Pyramid, the one-size-fits-all poster that was designed to help people make eating choices, has gotten a makeover. Meet MyPyramid.gov, a personalized nutritional plan, compliments of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. [....]" [Based on: St.Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Settlement / Fleishman-Hillard Inc. - April 20th, 2005: "Los Angeles - Fleishman-Hillard Inc., a worldwide public-relations firm based in St. Louis has agreed to a settlement of $5.7 million with the city of Los Angeles to end a lawsuit alleging that it overbilled city agencies. [....] The city's suit claimed that invoices submitted to three city agencies from May 1999 to 2004 contained inflated hours and bills for work that wasn't performed. U.S. prosecutors indicted a former Fleishman-Hillard executive on charges he overbilled the city by altering the hours recorded on employee time sheets. [....] Fleishman-Hillard discontinued all work for Los Angeles in 2004. The company is a unit of Omnicom Group Inc. of New York. [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Prisoners Released / Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - April 20th, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - Seventeen Afghans came home Tuesday [04/19/05] in one of the biggest known releases from the U.S. jail at Guantanamo Bay. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Decline / New U.S. Housing & Apartment Construction - April 20th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Inflation at wholesale level, propelled by a surge in the price of gasoline and other energy products, shot up by 0.7 percent in March while construction of new houses and apartments fell by 17.6 percent, the biggest decline in 14 years. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - In Violation of Nasdaq Rules? / Charter Communications Inc. - April 20th, 2005: "Charter Communications Inc. of Town and Country [Mo.] said Tuesday [04/19/05] that the recent resignation of director Charles M. Lillis puts it in violation of Nasdaq rules requiring companies to have three independent directors on their audit companies. Nasqaq informed Charter of the violation on March 31 and said the cable operator must remedy the situation by the time of its shareholder meeting in July or face delisting of its stock. [....] Derek Chang, Charter's other interim chief financial officer, resigned, effective last Friday [04/15/05]." [Based on: Jerri Stroud, S.L.P.D., p. D2, 04/20/05]

2005 - Trivia / U.S. Economy - April 21st, 2005: "U.S. factories, retailers and service companies passed on to consumers some of the higher costs of energy and other raw materials, the Federal Reserve said in a regional survey released Wednesday [04/20/05]. [....] The report said the decline in the value of the dollar also is contributing to higher prices. The dollar has dropped about 45 percent against the euro and 18 percent against the yen in the last three years. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

*Trivia: "Consumer prices jumped 0.6 percent in March, the biggest inflation surge in five months, as the costs of energy, clothing and airline fares all rose sharply. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Ousted President / Ecuador - April 21st, 2005: "QUITO, Ecuador - President Lucio Gutierrez was ousted Wednesday [04/20/05] as Congress voted to remove him from office and Ecuador's military said it would no longer support him following days of violent protests against his rule. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

*Trivia: "Brazil has granted asylum to former President Lucio Gutierrez, who was ousted by Congress amid street protests calling for his removal for abuse of power. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 04/22/05]

2005 - Settlement  / Joseph Leighton - April 20th, 2005: "Joseph Leighton, who once was Knight Securities LP's top institutional sales trader, has agreed to pay more than $4 million to settle regulators' allegations that he profited from overcharging clients. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the NASD allege that Leighton, 48, who has been barred from the industry, made $41 million at the expense of his clients at Knight, the biggest matchmaker for buyers and sellers of Nasdaq Stock Market shares. Between January 1999 and September 2000, he generated almost $135 million." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 04/21/05]

2005 - Approved in Canada / Sativex - April 21st, 2005: "Canada has become the first country in the world to approve a cannabis-based painkiller [Sativex] for patients suffering multiple sclerosis, a move applauded by those with the disease and proponents of medical uses for marijuana. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Signed into Law / U.S. Bankruptcy Bill - April 21st, 2005: "President George W. Bush signed a bill Wednesday [04/20/05] that will make it harder for debt-ridden people to wipe clean their financial slates by declaring bankruptcy. [....] People with incomes above their state's median income will have to pay some or all of their credit-card charges, medical bills and other obligations under a court-ordered bankruptcy plan." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Earth Day - April 22nd, 2005: "Earth Day observed." [E.M.]

*Trivia: "Heavy storms and high wind blocked President George W. Bush's Earth Day plan to get his hands dirty fixing trails. He missed Great Smoky Mountains National Park but still delivered his plea for better stewardship of the environment. [....] Bad weather in the Southeast led Bush to make his comments during a quick stop by Air Force One at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base." [Based on: News Services, 04/23/05]

2005 - Trivia / Crude Oil Prices - April 22nd, 2005: "NEW YORK - Crude oil rose to a two-week high Thursday [04/21/05] on speculation that U.S. gasoline inventories will be insufficient to meet peak summer demand. [....] Crude oil for June delivery rose 17 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $54.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest close since April 6. Prices touched $58.28 a barrel April 4, the highest level since the contract began in 1983. Futures are up 52 percent from a year ago." [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Helicopter Down / Iraq - April 22nd, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents brought down a Russian-made helicopter [Mi-8] carrying 11 civilians with missle fire north of the capital Thursday [04/21/05] and said they captured and shot to death the lone crew member who survived. The dead from the crash included six American bodyguards for U.S. diplomats. The chartered flight was believed to be the first civilian aircraft shot down in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion two years ago. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Cost of Living Trivia / U.S.A. - April 22nd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Inflation and interest rates are rising, stock values have plunged, a tank of gas induces sticker shock, and for nearly a year, wages have failed to keep pace with the cost of living. [....] Perhaps most important, wages are not keeping up with prices. Adjusted for inflation, average weekly earnings fell by 0.3 percent from February to March, the Labor Department reported Wednesday [04/20/05]. Inflation-adjusted hourly wages last month were  a half-percent lower than a year ago. Real weekly earnings have not risen in four years. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - HyperSonic Sound System - April 22nd, 2005: "PORTLAND, Ore. - Elwood 'Woody' Norris pointed a metal frequency emitter at one of perhaps 30 people who had come to see his invention. The emitter — an aluminum square — was hooked up by a wire to a CD player. Norris switched on the CD player. 'There's no speaker, but when I point this pad at you, you will hear the waterfall,' said the 63-year-old Californian. And one by one, each person in the audience did, and smiled widely. Norris' HyperSonic Sound system has won him an award coveted by inventors — the $500,000 annual Lemelson-MIT Prize. It works by sending a focused beam of sound above the range of human hearing. When it lands on you, it seems like sound is coming from inside your head. [....] He demonstrated the sound system at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, also called OMSI, on Thursday. [....] Norris' AirScooter was shown on '60 Minutes' last Sunday. He said since the airing of the show, more than 7 million people have visited the AirScooter's Web site. Norris said he and his crew have tested the AirScooter for four years, and he couldn't have created the machine without a skilled group of aeronautics engineers around him. [....]"

[Based on: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=562&e=2&u=/ap/hypersonic_sound]

2005 - Fatality Figures / U.S. Highways - April 22nd, 2005: "[....] Overall, 42,800 people died on the nation's [U.S.A.] highways last year, up from 42,643 in 2003, according to projections by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The data released Thursday [04/21/05] are considered projections. The agency plans to release final 2004 fatality figures in August. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - On Trial / 911 Terrorist Suspects, Spain - April 22nd, 2005: "[....] Twenty-four men - most of them Syrians and Moroccans - will sit on wooden benches in a cramped, bulletproof chamber at a makeshift courtroom as Spain becomes only the second country after Germany to try suspects  in the al-Qaida terrorist assault on the United States. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - First-Quarter Loss / General Motors Corp. - April 22nd, 2005: "General Motors Corp., the world's biggest automaker, posted a first-quarter net loss of $1.1 billion on falling U.S. auto sales and abandoned an annual profit forecast for the year. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - U.S. National Intelligence Director / John Negroponte - April 22nd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - John Negroponte won easy approval by the Senate on Thursday [04/21/05] to become the first national intelligence director, a job established last year to better coordinate U.S. spy agencies. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Hoax / Finger in Chilli - April 23rd, 2005: "SAN JOSE, Calif. - Police believe they know how the finger ended up in Anna Ayala's bowl of Wendy's chilli - she put it there. But they have yet to solve the other big part of the mystery: Whose finger was it? [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Sit-In End / W.U. Missouri - April 23rd, 2005: "Students pumped fists in the air, gave tearful speeches and looked forward to a shower as their 19-day sit-in at Washington University [Mo.] came to an end Friday [04/22/05]. [....] Students did not get the 'living wage' for contract workers they had been hoping for, but they did win quite a bit. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post Dispatch]

2005 - Jewish "Passover" Begins - April 23rd, 2005: "The Jewish 'Passover' is an eight-day affair that will begin at sundown on Saturday [April 23rd, 2005]. It commemorates the mass slaughter of gentile children at the hands of Yahweh, their tribal god. According to Jews, Yahweh sent a plague which passed over Jewish kids, targeting the first-born of the goyim. Jews will gather and feast in celebration of the killings. The lavish meals feature special foods to remind them of why the gentile children deserved to die. Those foods include Haroseth, a mixture of chopped walnuts, wine, cinnamon and apples that represent the mortar the Jewish slaves used to assemble the Pharaoh's bricks; parsley dipped in salt water to be a reminder of the tears of the Jewish slaves; and bitter herbs, which is freshly grated horseradish that reflects the bitter affliction of slavery. Many Israeli Jews are expected to celebrate Passover with a visit to one of Tel Aviv's 250+ brothels, staffed by bitterly afflicted sex-slaves from the former Soviet bloc countries."   [Based on: http://www.nationalvanguard.org/story.php?id=4930]

2005 - DNA Collection / Missouri Felons - April 23rd, 2005: "In Missouri's new effort to collect DNA samples from all felons, state lab officials already have had 16 'hits' in a database of unsolved crimes since Jan. 1. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Car Bomb / Shiite Mosque, Iraq - April 23rd, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A car bomb killed eight people and wounded 26 crowded into a Shiite mosque [Al-Subeih] for Friday [04/22/05] prayers. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Guilty Plea / Zacarias Moussaoui - April 23rd, 2005: "ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Zacarias Moussaoui pleaded guilty Friday [04/22/05] of conspiring with the Sept. 11 attackers - and declared that he had been chosen by Osama bin Laden to fly an airliner into the White House in a separate assault. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Sentenced / Shoe Bomber Conspirator - April 23rd, 2005: "LONDON - A British judge has sentenced a Muslim scholar [Saajid Badat] to 13 years in prison after the scholar admitted conspiring with shoe bomber Richard Reid to blow up a trans-Atlantic jetliner in 2001. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Approved for Sale / Birth Control Sponge, U.S.A. - April 23rd, 2005: "Allendale Pharmaceuticals said Friday [04/22/05] that the Food and Drug Administration has approved U.S. sales of the Today Sponge, the favorite nonperscription birth control product of women when it was withdrawn from the market in 1995. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - April 24th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi insurgents struck across the country with bomb attacks on Saturday [04/23/05], killing at least 16 people, including an American soldier. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / U.S. Military Spending - April 24th, 2005: "CRAWFORD, Texas - President George W. Bush is pushing Congress to provide more money for combat and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan - funds the Pentagon says it needs by the first week of May. [....] House and Senate negotiators are expected to act soon to sort out differences between their versions of the $81 billion spending bill. Both versions would push the total cost of combat and reconstruction past $300 billion. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Moderate Islamic Activists / Saudi Arabia - April 24th, 2005: "Saudi Arabia's 10-week-old experiment with electoral democracy ended Saturday [04/23/05] in a sweeping victory for slates of moderate Islamic activists in the city of Jiddah. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Car Bombs / Iraq - April 25th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's prime minister-designate, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, increased efforts to form a new government Sunday [04/24/05], as insurgents pressed their campaign of violence with two lethal bombing operations that left at least 21 Iraqis dead and scores injured. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - Died / Ezer Weizman - April 25th, 2005: "Tel AVIV, Israel - Former Israeli President Ezer Weizman ... died Sunday (April 24, 2005). He was 80." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Scars of War / Vietnam - April 25th, 2005: "Bombs and ammo continue to be found - and explode. And Agent Orange's effects have led to children being born stillborn or deformed and parents who've given up trying to conceive. [....] Thirty years after the fall of Saigon, the Vietnam War is a distant - though painful - memory for most people here, just as it is for tens of thousands of American families. [....] In all, 3 million Vietnamese soldiers and civilians were killed, according to Vietnamese officials, and millions fled in fear of their lives. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A1, 04/25/05]

2005 - Inmate Population / United States - April 25th, 2005: "The nation's prisons and jails hold 2.1 million people, or one in every 138 U.S. residents, the government reported Sunday [04/24/05]. The population has increased at a rate of about 900 inmates each week from mid-2003 to mid-2004. By last June 30, there were 48,000 inmates, or 2.3 percent, more than the year before, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The total inmate population has hovered around 2 million for the past few years, reaching 2.1 million on June 30, 2002, and just below that mark a year later. While the crime rate has fallen over the past decade, the number of people in prison and jail is outpacing the number of inmates released, said the report's co-author, Paige Harrison." [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A6, 04/25/05]

2005 - Ancient Trappings / Pope Benedict XVI - April 25th, 2005: "VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI took on the ancient trappings of the Roman Catholic Church Sunday [04/24/05] and sketched the spiritual outlines of his papacy. He told followers that only by embracing God can mankind escape a wasteland that haunts this Earth. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Trivia / Valero Energy Corp. - April 26th, 2005: "Valero Energy Corp. agreed to buy Premcor Inc. for $6.9 billion in cash and stock to become the largest U.S. refiner as record prices for gasoline and other fuels boost profits. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Settlement / Arthur Andersen - April 26th, 2005: "NEW YORK - Chicago-based Arthur Andersen continued to deny wrongdoing Monday [04/25/05] as it settled with WorldCom investors who had accused the company's former outside auditor of failing to protect them from WorldCom's historic $11 billion accounting fraud. [....] Before the trial, major investment banks agreed to pay more than $6 billion in settlements and a dozen former board members settled the case for $24.75 million, leaving Andersen as the sole defendant. [....] The plantiffs maintained that WorldCom's annual financial statements for 1999, 2000 and 2001 contained false statements and that Andersen issued its audit opinions with an 'intent to deceive, manipulate or defraud.' " [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Arthur Andersen LLP, the Chicago-based auditing firm, on Tuesday [04/26/05] paid $65 million to settle claims that it should have sniffed out record-breaking fraud at WorldCom Inc. The firm denied doing anything wrong. The settlement brought to $6.13 billion the amount investment banks, auditors and former board members of WorldCom have paid to settle class-action claims by angry investors in the big telecommunications company. [....] New York state Comptroller Alan Hevesi, the lead plantiff, said the settlements have helped to recoup part of the 'huge amount of damage' done to the economy by the corporate scandals of the 1990s." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Charter Shares Sold / Mark Cuban - April 26th, 2005: "[....] Cuban [Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban], who held 19 million shares in Charter Communications as of September [2004], reported that he owns no shares currently, according to a filing Monday [04/25/05] with the Securities and Exchange Commission." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 04/26/05]

2005 - Trivia / Marijuana Seizure, Missouri - April 26th, 2005: "Police in Missouri say they've seized enough marijuana to roll about 26 million joints so far this year, a signal that the drug is thriving in the Midwest. From January to mid-March, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration confiscated more than 29,000 pounds, either seized from traffickers in Missouri or found growing in the state. [....] The 29,000 pounds does not include marijuana taken from people arrested for possession. [....] About 75 percent of illicit drug users have smoked marijuana, according to a 2002 report by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Its report said 40 percent of all people 12 and older had used marijuana or hashish at least once. The national Institute on Drug Abuse reports that men 18 to 25 are the most active users. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Commuter Train Derailment / Japan - April 26th, 2005: "Rescue personnel work Monday [04/25/05] in Amagasaki, Japan, where 73 people were killed [106 people, as of 04/28/05] and more than 400 injured when a commuter train derailed and smashed into an apartment building. Investigators were trying to determine whether excessive speed or the driver's inexperience caused the crash. [Based on: A.P. photo article, S.L.P.D., p. A2, 04/26/05]

2005 - Legal Battle Lost  / U.S. Gulf War POWs - April 26th, 2005: "U.S. pilots and soldiers who were taken prisoner and tortured by the Iraqis during the Persian Gulf War of 1991 lost their legal battle to hold Iraq liable Monday, as the Supreme Court turned away their final appeal. The justices heeded the advice of President George W. Bush's administration and let stand an appeals court ruling that threw out a nearly $1 billion verdict won by the Gulf War POWs in 2003. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Settlement Trivia / Safety Klean Corp. - April 26th, 2005: "A lawsuit investors brought against the nation's largest hazardous waste operator has ended with a court-ordered $200 million judgement against former officers and $84 million in settlements with Safety-Kleen's former directors and auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers. [....] Safety-Kleen Corp. filed for bankruptcy in June 2000 after problems with its financial reporting surfaced. It emerged from bankruptcy at the end of 2003 as a private company with the name Safety-Kleen Systems Inc." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 04/26/05]

2005 - Foreign Relations / North & South Korea - April 26th, 2005: "South Korea warned North Korea on Monday [04/25/05] against conducting a nuclear test, and the communist state said it would consider any U.N. sanctions a 'declaration of war.' [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Official End / Syrian Presence, Lebanon - April 26th, 2005: "BEIRUT, Lebanon - Syrian intelligence agents abandoned their main headquarters in Lebanon on Monday [04/25/05] leaving the nerve center from which they controlled much of the country's affairs for 29 years. [....] Only a token Syrian force - about 300 soldiers, compared with a force of 14,000 only two months ago - remains for today's ceremony at a Lebanese air base in the eastern Bekaa valley to mark the official end of the Syrian presence. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Public Lamentation / Soviet Union Collapse - April 26th, 2005: "MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin lamented the demise of the Soviet Union, saying in a nationally televised speech before parliament Monday [04/25/05] that it was 'the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.' [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Landing / TMA-5 Capsule, Kazakhstan - April 26th, 2005: "A Russian space capsule [TMA-5] parachuted to a soft landing on the slushy Kazakh steppes Monday [04/25/05], gently depositing an American, a Russian and an Italian back on Earth after their mission on the international space station. It is the last flight before NASA relaunches the shuttle program as soon as next month. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Earthquake Trivia / Midwest United States - April 26th, 2005: "If the Midwest gets an earthquake like it did 200 years ago, soils along the Mississippi River could turn into quicksand and cause some buildings to sink, geologists say. [....] Yet there is evidence that the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811 and 1812, estimated at more than magnitude 7.5, caused liquefaction 150 miles away in the St. Louis region. An earthquake that size today would cause liquefaction in St. Louis again, said USGS geologist Buddy Schweig. [....] Liquefaction requires an earthquake of at least magnitude 5.0, and probably of magnitude 6.5, said geologist Tish Tuttle. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Settlement / Adelphia Communications Corp. - April 26th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Bankrupt Adelphia Communications Corp. will receive $1.5 billion in cable television systems and other assets from founder John Rigas and family members and will pay the government just under half that amount to settle a federal fraud investigation, authorities said Monday [04/25/05]. [....] As part of the settlement, members of the Rigas family have agreed to forfeit more than 95 percent of their assets. The Rigas family will relinquish ownership of 14 cable systems serving 227,000 subscribers." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Fannie Mae - April 27th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The accounting problems that have rocked Fannie Mae may run even deeper, the federal regulator overseeing the mortgage giant suggested Tuesday [04/26/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Aviation Event / Airbus A380 - April 27th, 2005: "BLAGNAC, France - After 11 years of preparation and $13 billion in spending, the world's largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, is scheduled to fly for the first time today. [....] About 50,000 onlookers are expected for what some are calling the biggest aviation event since Concorde's first flight in 1969. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Buffalo Roam / Baltimore, Md. - April 27th, 2005: "A herd of buffalo wandered around an upscale neighborhood Tuesday morning [04/26/05], disrupting traffic and alarming homeowners before officers managed to corral them in a tennis court. [....] Police shut down several major traffic arteries, including a section of the Baltimore Beltway, while they tried to anticipate which way the buffalo would roam." [Based on: News services]

2005 - President Faure Gnassingbe / Togo - April 27th, 2005: "The son of Togo's late dictator won a resounding victory in a presidential election, sending enraged opposition supporters into the streets of the capital, Lome, Tuesday, where they built flaming barricades and battled police and soldiers. Faure Gnassingbe won 1.3 million votes, or 60 percent, while main opposition candidate Bob Akitani received 841,000, or 38 percent, the electoral commission said. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Medicaid Benefits, Missouri - April 27th, 2005: "JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Matt Blunt signed legislation Tuesday [04/26/05] that will scale back Medicaid, the government's $5 billion health care program for the poor. [....] The new law will take Missouri's coverage to the minimum levels required by federal law. If fully implemented, it will eliminate coverage for about 100,000 parents, people with disabilities and elderly people. [....]" [Based on: Post-Dispatch Jefferson City Bureau]

2005 - European Condemnation / U.S. Torture - April 27th, 2005: "Europe's human rights body condemned the United States on Tuesday [04/26/05] for using what it termed 'torture' on terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The panel called on European countries not to cooperate in interrogating Guantanamo detainees. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Settlement / Deloitte & Touche LLP - April 27th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Deloitte & Touche LLP on Tuesday [04/26/05] agreed to pay $50 million to settle charges that it failed to detect a massive accounting fraud at Adelphia Communications Corp., a company that it deemed one of its riskiest clients. The payment, to end allegations filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, is the largest yet to be levied on an auditing firm in the aftermath of the accounting scandals of the last decade. The money will be deposited into a fund to compensate people who lost money when the cable-system operator collapsed. [....] The cable operator, based in Greenwood Village, Colo., filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002 after disclosures that the controlling Rigas family had borrowed close to $2.3 billion, using Adelphia's credit. [....] Deloitte & Touche separately agreed to pay $375,000 to settle charges that it failed to stop accounting fraud at Just for Feet Inc. in its 1998 audit of the sports retailer, before the company filed for bankruptcy. [....] Deloitte & Touche agreed to both settlements without admitting or denying wrongdoing. It blamed Adelphia and Just for Feet for deliberately misleading auditors. [....] Based in New York, Deloitte & Touche is the U.S. arm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a Big Four accounting firm and consulting company." [Based on: Dow Jones Newswires]

2005 - 911 Commentary / Maggie Gyllenhaal - April 27th, 2005: "Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal has waded into sensitive political waters by raising questions about Sept. 11 and American foreign policy. Gyllenhaal, who stars in a new film about the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, said in an interview last week that the United States 'is responsible in some way' for the attacks. [....] In a statement issued Monday [04/25/05] by her publicist, Gyllenhaal said Sept. 11 was 'an occasion to be brave enough to ask some serious questions about America's role in the world. Because it is always useful as individuals or nations to ask how we may have knowingly or unknowingly contributed to this conflict. Not to have the courage to ask these questions of ourselves is to betray the victims of 9/11.' She also expressed her grief for 'everyone who suffered and everyone who died in the castrophe.' Gyllenhaal stars in 'The Great New Wonderful,' which features stories about people living in New York in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks." [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A2, 04/27/05]

2005 - Near Miss Revelation? / Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Iraq - April 27th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - U.S. forces in Iraq believe they narrowly missed capturing terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in a raid in February [02/20/05] that netted two of his associates, a U.S. military official said Tuesday [04/26/05] [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Criminal Charges / 2003 Massachusetts Oil Spill - April 27th, 2005: "A tugboat pilot [Franklin Robert Hill] was charged Tuesday [04/26/05] with allowing a barge to drift off coarse and spill 98,000 gallons of fuel oil into a bay off the Massachusetts coast two years ago [04/27/03]. [....] The spill in Buzzards Bay killed hundreds of birds and shut down shellfish beds, affecting nearly 90 miles of coastline in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Hill is alleged to have left the helm unattended to work at the stern of the boat. [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Settlement / Friedman Billings Ramsey Group Inc. - April 27th, 2005: "Friedman Billings Ramsey Group Inc., the No. 9 underwriter of U.S. initial stock sales, said it offered to pay $7.5 million to settle insider trading and other claims with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the NASD. Friedman Billings, of Arlington, Va., said in a statement that the claims stem from the firm's trading in a company account and a private placement on behalf of security devices manufacturer CompuDyne Inc. in October 2001. Friedman Billings offered to pay $3.5 million to the SEC and $4 million to the NASD. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. D2, 04/27/05]

2005 - Bankruptcy Protection / Meridian Automotive Systems Inc. - April 27th, 2005: "Meridian Automotive Systems Inc., which makes bumpers and lighting components for 19 of the 20 best-selling cars and pickup trucks in North America, filed for bankruptcy protection as automakers cut production amid falling sales. [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. D2, 04/27/05]

2005 - Status / Sun Spot 756 - April 28th, 2005: "Sunspot 756, which appeared only two days ago, is expanding rapidly. It's now about five times wider than our entire planet Earth and poses a threat for M-class solar flares."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/]

*Trivia: "A recurrent coronal hole (CH162) in the northern hemisphere will rotate to an Earth facing position on April 28-29. [....] The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet to unsettled on April 28-29 becoming unsettled to major storm on April 30 or May 1 due to a high speed stream from CH162. [....]"

[Based on: http://www.dxlc.com/solar/]

2005 - Weekly Deaths in Iraq - Week of April 28th: "Iraqi civilians, security forces: 70; U.S. military personnel and *others: 11." [Based on: A.P.. p. A1, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 06/03/05]

*Includes two British soldiers and two U.S. contract workers. [A.P./ Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Created / Nuclear Fusion - April 28th, 2005: "Los Angeles - A tabletop experiment created nuclear fusion - long seen as a possible clean energy solution - under lab cionditions, scientists have reported. But the amount of energy produced was too little to be seen as a breakthrough in solving the world's energy needs. [....] The experiment's results appear in today's issue of the journal Nature. [....] In fusion, light atoms are joined in a high-temperature process that frees large amounts of energy. [....] The experiment did not, however, produce more energy than the amount put in - an achievement that would be a huge breakthrough." [Based on: A.P. article by Alicia Chang, S.L.P.D. p. A3, 04/28/05]

2005 - Visit to Israel / Vladimir Putin - April 28th, 2005: "JERUSALEM - Greeted by beaming Israeli officials, Vladimir Putin became on Wednesday [04/27/05] the first Kremlin leader to visit Israel. [....]." [Based on: A.P]

2005 - "Radar Blip" / Washington D.C. - April 28th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush was rushed from the Oval Office to an underground shelter and Vice President Dick Cheney was taken to a secure location Wednesday [04/27/05] because of a radar blip that proved to be a false alarm. Officials said the image was taken to be a plane flying in restricted airspace, though it probably was a flock of birds or pocket of rain. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - First-Quarter Profit / ConocoPhillips - April 28th, 2005: "ConocoPhillips, the largest U.S. oil refiner, said Wednesday [04/27/05] that first-quarter profit jumped 80 percent to a record $2.91 billion as energy prices surged and margins on gasoline and other fuels widened. [....]" [based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Potentially Hazardous Asteroids - April 28th, 2005: "On 28 Apr 2005 there were 681 known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids." [Based on: http://spaceweather.com/]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Simeulue, Indonesia - April 28th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 14:07:34 (UTC) on Thursday, April 28, 2005. The magnitude 6.3 event has been located in SIMEULUE, INDONESIA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

Based on: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usxkat.htm

2005 - Supreme Court Ruling / U.S. Pesticide Law - April 28th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Makers of pesticides and weed killers can be sued and forced to pay damages if their products cause harm, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday [04/27/05]. The decision rejected the view of President George W. Bush's administration and reversed a series of lower courts. [....] Wednesday's ruling restores the law to what it had been before the 1990s. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Passed / U.S. Budget Cuts - April 29th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The House narrowly passed a $2.6 trillion budget Thursday evening [04/28/05] that would freeze or cut spending for Medicaid and many other domestic programs outside defense and homeland security. The 214-211 vote approved a blueprint that calls for restraints on spending for farming, student loan, pension and some other government programs that grow automatically from year to year. [....] The changes in Medicaid won't begin until 2007, giving a specially convened commission and the nation's governors time to recommend cost-saving proposals. Without any change, the Congressional Budget Office expects the government to spend $191 billion on Medicaid next year [2006] and more than $1.1 trillion over five years covered by the budget. The budget sketches out plans and priorties for spending $2.6 trillion in the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, projecting a federal deficit of $383 billion. Lawmakers use the blueprint to pass specific tax and spending legislation later in the year. It aims toward bringing federal budget deficits down to $211 billion by 2010." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Settlement / Tyson Foods Inc. - April 29th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Tyson Foods Inc. agreed Thursday [04/28/05] to pay a fine of $1.5 million to settle federal regulators' allegations that it failed to disclose fully the lavish perks provided to former Chairman Don Tyson, including $38,000 in oriental rugs and antiques and the use of houses in England and Mexico. Don Tyson will pay an additional $700,000 fine to settle charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission that he caused and aided the company's violations of disclosure rules for benefits that Tyson, friends and family members received while he was chairman and after his retirement in October 2001. Tyson remains a consultant to the company and is a member of its board. Neither Don Tyson nor Springdale, Ark.-based Tyson Foods, the world's largest producer of chicken, beef and pork, admitted wrongdoing." [A.P.]

2005 - Partial Cabinet Approved / Iraq - April 29th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi legislators applauded and exchanged congratulatory kisses after finally approving a partial Cabinet on Thursday [04/28/05], even though political disputes left some key spots vacant. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - Global Warming Trivia / U.S.A. - April 29th, 2005: "NEW YORK - Climate scientists armed with new data from deep in the ocean and far into space report that Earth is absorbing much more heat than it is giving off, a conclusion they say validates projections of global warming. [....] Reporting Thursday [04/28/05] in the journal Science, Hansen's [NASA climatologist, James Hansen] team said they also forecast that global temperatures will rise 1 degree Fahrenheit this century even if greenhouse gases are capped tomorrow. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Nuclear Fallout Claims / U.S.A. - April 29th, 2005: "SALT LAKE CITY - A panel of experts is recommending the government open the door to hearing cancer claims from people in all states who think they were affected by nuclear fallout from 1950s weapons tests in Nevada. [....] The data suggest people from as far away as the East Coast could have been exposed to radiation carried from the test sites by wind and weather patterns. Previuously, only people who worked with uranium and residents of certain countries in the region were eligible for the $50,000 to $100,000 lump-sum payments. Currently, anyone who has one of 19 kinds of cancer and who was a child in the 1950s living in one of the designated areas downwind of the Nevada test site is eligible for money. But if the program were expanded as the Board on Radiation Effects Research suggests, victims would have to prove to at least some degree their cancer was caused by radioactive fallout. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A3, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 04/29/05]

2005 - "Nanocapsules" / St. Louis, Mo. - April 29th, 2005: "Scientists at Washington University [Mo.] have been awarded big bucks to work on little things. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has chosen the university as one of four national centers for medical nanotechnology. The program, headed by chemist Karen Wooley, comes with a $12.5 million, 5-year grant. The award acknowledges that the university has the right expertise in both chemistry and medicine to develop microscopic capsules that would deliver medicine to specific places in the body. [....] The key to the success of the nanocapsules is their specificity - delivering them only to trauma sites. That allows doctors to dose damaged areas in high concentrations without worrying about harmful side effects. [....] Once the drug is delivered, the nanocapsule would be metabolized or excreted. [....] Wooley will continue to develop the packaging. She was excited when she and students discovered the doughnut-shaped package, which was described last fall [2004] in the journal Science. 'Now we have many more unique surfaces. We have an outside and inside.' She said the doughnut could work in the reverse of other nanocapsules. Instead of bringing a drug to a damaged part of the body, the doughnut could capture something harmful - cholesterol, say - and carry it away in its hole." [Based on: article by Eric Hand, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. B1 & B2, 04/29/05]

2005 - Mosquito Repellent Trivia / U.S.A. - April 29th, 2005: "[....] Repellents containing the chemical picaridin or the oil of lemon eucalyptus offer 'longlasting protection against mosquito bites,' the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, adding that repellents with DEET remain on the agency's recommendation list. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Drilling Finished / Loetschberg Tunnel - April 29th, 2005: "GENEVA - With a final blast through mountain granite, Swiss engineers linked Europe's north and south by completing drilling Thursday [04/28/05] for the world's longest overland tunnel - a 21-mile shaft that burrows under the Alps. It will shave about an hour off the travel time for skiers in Germany heading to resorts near the Matterhorn. [....] The new tunnel, set to open in 2007, will trim to under two hours the time trains will need to cross between Germany and Italy, a journey that now takes about 31/2 hours. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Third-Quarter Earnings / Microsoft Corp. - April 29th, 2005: "Microsoft Corp., the world's biggest software maker, said Thursday [04/28/05] that third-quarter earnings almost doubled as legal costs fell and sales of programs to run networks and databases increased. Net income rose to $2.65 billion, or 23 cents a share, from $1.32 billion or 12 cents, a year ago when legal costs hurt profit, Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., said in a statement. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Fraud Trivia / Charter Communications Inc. - April 29th, 2005: "Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, the billionaire who owns a controlling stake in Charter Communications Inc., knew of the fraud scheme that top executives used to inflate the cable company's subscriber count, an executive convicted in the scheme claims. William H. 'Trey' Smith III, who was sentenced to probation  a week ago for his role in the fraud conspiracy, made the allegation against Allen in a filing in a court dispute over whether Charter should pay Smith's legal bills. Smith filed a document in court Wednesday [04/27/05], claiming that an e-mail sent in 2001 to Allen, Charter's Chairman, 'established conclusively that Allen was was aware of, and therefore implicitly (if not explicitly), approved of' the subscriber-counting practices that were the target of the criminal case. Former Chief Executive Carl Vogel wrote the e-mail dated Nov. 12, 2001, to Allen and another board member, discussing how the company was losing customers. Vogel said the company would count 86,000 customers in a way to 'make the numbers.' He added, 'Obviously, we are running out of tricks....' But U.S. attorney Jim Martin, who said last week that his office's criminal investigation into Charter's business practices is over, suggested the e-mail Smith cited shed no new light on the case. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. C1, 04/29/05]

2005 - Released Images / U.S. Flag-Draped Coffins - April 29th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Under pressure from open-government advocates, the Pentagon released hundreds of images Thursday [04/28/05] of flag-draped coffins of American soldiers. [....] The photographs were released in response to a Freedom of Information request and lawsuit by Ralph Begleiter, a professor at the University of Deleware and a former correspondent for CNN, who argued the photographs were a public record." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Memo Release / British Iraq-Invasion Warning - April 29th, 2005: "LONDON - In an embarrassing about-face ahead of elections, Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday [04/28/05] released a secret memo warning of the legal consequences of invading Iraq without a second U.N. resolution. Blair had long refused to publish the March 7, 2003, document from Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, saying it was confidential. Instead the prime minister had consistently pointed to the written statement Goldsmith gave to parliament 10 days later, which said the war would be legal without another resolution. [....] Opponents insist there is a clear diffrence between Goldsmith's views in the March 7 and March 17 documents, and question whether the attorney general came under political pressure. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - No Longer Extinct? / Ivory-Billed Woodpecker, U.S.A. - April 29th, 2005: "Thought to be extinct, the ivory-billed woodpecker is found in Arkansas woods." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. A4, 04/29/05]

2005 - Prime-Time Televised News Conference / George W. Bush - April 29th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush looked to jumpstart his moribund effort to overhaul Social Security on Thursday [04/28/05], proposing a two-tier system that would let benefits grow faster for poor people than wealthier Americans. 'I believe a reformed system should protect those who depend on Social Security the most,' Bush said in a prime-time news conference [04/28/05] from the White House. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - Dean Mahendra Gupta / John M. Olin School of Business, St. Louis, Mo. - April 29th, 2005: "Mahendra Gupta, a 15-year member of the faculty of the John M. Olin School of Business at Washington University [Mo.], was selected Thursday [04/28/05] as its new dean. Gupta, 49, replaces Stuart Greenbaum, who's retiring as dean after 10 years. [....] Despite higher rankings for the university overall, Olin in recent years has struggled to crack the Top 25 ratings for business schools. Olin is ranked 32nd in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings." [Based on: article by Martin Van Der Werf, p. C2, S.L.P.D., 04/29/05]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - April 30th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents set off at least 17 bombs in Iraq on Friday [04/29/05], killing at least 50 people, including three U.S. soldiers, in a series of attacks aimed at shaking Iraq's newly formed government. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Audio Tape / Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi - April 30th, 2005: "[....] An audiotape by one of America's most-wanted insurgents, Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi, warned President George W. Bush that more bloodshed was to come. [....] 'We will not rest while your army is here as long as there is a pulse in our veins.' [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

Jan.-Feb. / March-April / May-June / July-August / Sept.-Oct. / Nov.-Dec. 2005

The Future

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