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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

May 2005

2005 - Astronomic Configuration - May 1st, 2005: "Sun [10 Taurus], Moon [7 Aquarius], Mercury [14 Aries], Venus [18 Taurus], Mars [29 Aquarius], Jupiter [10 Libra R], Saturn [21 Cancer], Uranus [9 Pisces], Neptune [17 Aquarius], Pluto [24 Sagittarius R], Chiron [3 Aquarius]."  

2005 - Weekly Deaths in Iraq - Week of May 1st: "Iraqi civilians, security forces: 210; U.S. military personnel and *others: 9." [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 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - May 1st, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents launched fresh attacks in Baghdad and northern Iraq on Saturday [04/30/05], killing at least 11 Iraqis and wounding more than 40. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Light Earthquake / Arkansas - May 1st, 2005: "A light earthquake occurred at 12:37:32 (UTC) on Sunday, May 1, 2005. The magnitude 4.1 event has been located in ARKANSAS. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 10 km ( 6 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/nmhwb0501a.htm]

2005 - Moderate Earthquake / Central Iran - May 1st, 2005: "A moderate earthquake occurred at 18:58:43 (UTC) on Sunday, May 1, 2005. The magnitude 5.0 event has been located in CENTRAL IRAN. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 36 km (23 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usxnby.htm]

2005 - Car Bomb / Iraq - May 2nd, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A car bomb obliterated a tent packed with mourners at the funeral of a Kurdish official in northern Iraq on Sunday [05/01/05], killing about 25 people and wounding more than 50. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Hostage Video / Iraq - May 2nd, 2005: "CAIRO, Egypt - Iraqi militants have kidnapped an Australian man who is a resident of California who pleaded for U.S.-led coalition forces to leave Iraq to save his life, according to a videotape released Sunday [05/01/05]. The tape showed a man identifying himself as Douglas Wood, 63, seated between two masked militants pointing automatic weapons at him. [....] More than 200 foreigners have been kidnapped in Iraq since Saddam Hussein's regime collapsed in April 2003. [....] The kidnappers have killed more than 30 hostages." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Airplane Accident / Ricardo Maduro - May 2nd, 2005: "A small plane carrying Honduran President Ricardo Maduro went down in the Caribbean Sea near the shore Sunday [05/01/05] after its engine failed, and Maduro was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, the president's spokesman said. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Polio Virus / Indonesia - May 3rd, 2005: "A case of polio has been detected in Indonesia, World Health Organization officials said Monday [05/02/05]. The discovery indicates that an outbreak spreading from northern Nigeria since 2003 has reached the world's fourth most populous country. [....] Indonesia's last case was in 1995. It is now the 16th country to be reinfected by a strain of the virus that broke out in northern Nigeria when vaccinations stopped there, then crossed Africa and the Red Sea. The officials recommended that Indonesia immediately vaccinate 5 million people on Java." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - May 3rd, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's incoming prime minister struggled to find a Sunni Arab to run the key Defense Ministry in time to join Iraq's first democratically elected government when it takes office today. A torrent of bloodshed - at least 140 killed in five days - followed the approval of a Cabinet that mostly shut out members of the disaffected Sunni minority. [....] At least 21 Iraqis were killed Monday [05/02/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Stretched Thin? / U.S. Military - May 3rd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Strains imposed by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have made it far more difficult for the U.S. military to beat back any future act of aggression, launch a pre-emptive strike or intervene to prevent conflict in another part of the world, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a classified analysis sent Monday [05/02/05] to Congress. Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers said the American military was at greater risk this year than last of being unable to properly execute the missions it must prepare for around the globe. The assessment states that the military is at 'significant risk' of being unable to prevail against enemies abroad in the manner that Pentagon war plans mandate. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Guilty Plea? / Pfc. Lynndie England - May 3rd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - U.S. Army Pfc. Lynndie England ... pleaded guilty Monday [05/02/05] to charges that she mistreated detainees in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. [....]" [Based on: Chicago Tribune]

*Trivia: "Pfc. Lynndie England's court-martial on charges of prison abuse came to an abrubt end Wednesday [05/04/05] when the judge rejected her guilty plea, threw out her pretrial agreement and declared a mistrial. [....]" [Based on: Cox News Service, 04/05/05]

*Trivia: "Pfc. Lynndie England on Tuesday [05/24/05] surrendered her right to challenge the seven charges she faces in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, moving her one step closer to a new military trial. [....]" [Based on: News Services, 05/25/05]

2005 - Trivia / U.S. Drivers License Rules - May 3rd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Congress is moving quickly toward setting strict rules on how states issue drivers licenses, requiring them to verify whether each applicant for a new license or a renewal is in this country legally. [....] The draft legislation is to be finalized in the next few days and is all but certain to pass. [....] Civil rights groups and privacy advocates say they are concerned that a standardized drivers license would amount to a national identification card, and that a central database would be vulnerable to identity theft. [....] Eleven states now grant drivers licenses to noncitizens who do not have visas. [....] The eleven states that now issue licenses to noncitizens are Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Hawaii, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Finger in Frozen Custard / U.S.A. - May 3rd, 2005: "WILMINGTON, N.C. - A man [Clarence Stowers] who ordered a pint of frozen chocolate custard in a dessert shop got a nasty surprise inside - a piece of severed finger lost by an employee in an accident. [....] Stowers told the station: 'I thought it was candy because they put candy in your ice cream ... to make it a treat. So I said, 'OK, well, I'll just put it in my mouth and get the ice cream off of it and see what it is.' Stowers said he spit the object out but still couldn't identify it. So he rinsed it off with water - and 'just started screaming.' [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Saddam Hussein Assassination Plot? - May 3rd, 2005: "AMMAN, Jordan - Saddam Hussein's chief lawyer accused Iranian-backed Iraqi politicians of plotting to assassinate the ousted dictator in prison. Ziad al-Khasawneh said Monday [05/02/05] that he held the United States responsible for Saddam's safety. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Moderate Earthquake / Central Peru - May 3rd, 2005: "A moderate earthquake occurred at 19:11:39 (UTC) on Tuesday, May 3, 2005. The magnitude 5.8 event has been located in CENTRAL PERU. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usxqb9.htm]

2005 - Resignation / AMEX President, Peter Quick - May 3rd, 2005: "The American Stock Exchange said Monday [05/02/05] that Peter Quick had stepped down as president of the exchange. No replacement has been named. No reason for Quick's departure was given. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 05/03/05]

2005 - Review / Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty - May 3rd, 2005: "UNITED NATIONS - Amid rising nuclear tension, more than 180 nations convened Monday [05/02/05] to review the nonproliferation treaty, hearing calls from many sides for concessions by Iran and North Korea, the United States, Russia and others to move toward a world free of the nuclear threat. 'Ultimately, the only way to guarantee that they will never be used is for our world to be free of such weapons,' Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in opening the monthlong conference. [....] Under the 35-year-old Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, states without nuclear arms pledge not to pursue them, in exchange for a commitment by five nuclear powers - the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China - to move toward nuclear disarmament. Three other nuclear states - Israel, India and Pakistan - remain outside the treaty. The treaty is reviewed every five years at conferences whose consensus political commitments are not legally binding, like a treaty, but give valuable support to nonproliferation initiatives. At the 2000 sessions, the nuclear powers committed to '13 practical steps' toward disarmament, but critics complain that President George W. Bush's administration - by rejecting the nuclear test-ban treaty, for example - has come up short. In his keynote address, Annan said all nations must work toward 'a world of reduced nuclear threat and, ultimately, a world free of nuclear weapons.' The nuclear powers must find ways to rely less on nuclear deterrence, the U.N. chief said, and he called on Washington and Moscow 'to commit themselves - irreversibly - to further cuts in their arsenals.' Under the 2002 Moscow Treaty, the United States and Russia are to cut back their deployed warheads to from 1,700 to 2,200 each by 2012. When it's implemented, Rademaker said [assistant secretary of state, Stephen G. Rademaker] , ' the United States will have reduced the number of strategic nuclear warheads it had deployed in 1990 by about 80 percent.' [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: [....] Vietnam was a chemical war for oil, permanently contaminating large regions and countries downriver with Agent Orange, and environmentally the most devastating war in world history. But since 1991, the U.S. has staged four nuclear wars using depleted uranium weaponry, which, like Agent Orange, meets the U.S. government definition of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Vast regions in the Middle East and Central Asia have been permanently contaminated with radiation. [....] The first DU weapons system was developed for the Navy in 1968, and DU weapons were given to and used by Israel in 1973 under U.S. supervision in the Yom Kippur war against the Arabs. The Phalanx weapons system, using DU, was tested on the USS Bigelow out of Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in 1977, and DU weapons have been sold by the U.S. to 29 countries. Military research report summaries detail the testing of DU from 1974-1999 at military testing grounds, bombing and gunnery ranges and at civilian labs under contract. Today 42 states are contaminated with DU from manufacture, testing and deployment. [....] A Japanese professor, Dr. K. Yagasaki, has calculated that 800 tons of DU is the atomicity equivalent of 83,000 Nagasaki bombs. The U.S. has used more DU since 1991 than the atomicity equivalent of 400,000 Nagasaki bombs. Four nuclear wars indeed, and 10 times the amount of radiation released into the atmosphere from atmospheric testing! No wonder our soldiers, their families and the people of the Middle East, Yugoslavia and Central Asia are sick. But as Henry Kissinger said after Vietnam when our soldiers came home ill from Agent Orange, 'Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used for foreign policy.' [....]"

[Based on: http://www.sfbayview.com/081804/depleteduranium081804.shtml]

2005 - Acting Iraqi Oil Minister / Ahmad Chalabi ??? - May 3rd, 2005: "The Iraqis have thrown us another curveball. Ahmad Chalabi - convicted embezzler in Jordan, suspected Iranian spy, double-crosser of America, purveyor of phony war-instigating intelligence - is the new acting Iraqi oil minister. Is that why we went to war? To put the oily in charge of the oil? To set the swindler who would be Spartacus atop the ultimate gusher? [....] A Chalabi nephew is the new finance minister. [....]" [Based on: article by Maureen Dowd, S.L.P.D., p. B7, 05/03/05]

2005 - Delayed Filing [again] / American International Group Inc. - May 3rd, 2005: "NEW YORK - American International Group Inc., one of the world's largest insurance companies, said Monday [05/02/05] that it again will delay filing its 2004 annual report and make accounting ajustments that will cut its value by some $2.7 billion - $1 billion more than an earlier estimate. [....] Late Sunday [05/01/05], AIG said it would restate its results for the years 2000 to 2003 and delay filing its 2004 annual report until 'no later than May 31.' The company had twice earlier delayed filing its Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AIG said the review by a team of independant auditors as well as its outside audit firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, was 'nearing completion.' " [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Boostrix - May 4th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The first booster shot to protect adolescents against whooping cough won government approval Tuesday [05/03/05], offering a new tool to battle the return of a dangerous illness that leaves sufferers gasping for air. Whooping cough, a bacterial infection, was once thought to be history thanks to effective vaccination of babies and toddlers, but it turns out that protection from those early shots wears off. [....] Specialists say GlaxoSmithKline's Boostrix is a first step toward ending that cycle. The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved its use as a one-time booster dose of vaccine for people from ages 10 to 18. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / SonoPrep - May 4th, 2005: "St. Louis University researchers are testing flu vaccine with SonoPrep, an ultrasound device that opens skin pores." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. A1, 05/04/05]

2005 - Trivia / Prostate Cancer - May 4th, 2005: "Men with nonaggressive prostate cancer who were treated with hormones or took no action at all are unlikely to die of the disease even 20 years later, research shows. Conversely, the disease is likely to be deadly for men with signs of more aggressive cancer treated with hormones or just observation. [....] The research ... appears in today's Journal of the American Medical Association. [....]" [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A3, 05/04/05]

2005 - Beginning / BRAC Hearing - May 4th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Officials minced no words as they kicked off what is likely to be the biggest round of base closings in history Tuesday [05/03/05] with the first public hearing of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. [....]" [Based on: Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

*Trivia: "Since 1988, the base realignment and Closing commission [BRAC] has closed 97 major facilities. Mr. Rumsfeld said [2003] the next round, scheduled for 2005, will be the mother of all BRAC's.' " [Based on: article in St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/29/03]

*Trivia: "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld indicated Tuesday [03/29/05] that this year's round of military base closings might not be as drastic as earlier forecasts suggested. Only weeks away from a Pentagon proposal for shutdowns, Rumsfeld said less than 20 percent of base facilities in the United States were likely to be mothballed this year. That prediction contrasted with a Pentagon report to Congress earlier this year that said 24 percent of domestic bases were not needed. Rumsfeld said the transfer of thousands of U.S. troops from bases around the world will reduce the impact on U.S. facilities." [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A4, 03/30/05]

*Trivia: "The deadline for official submission of the Pentagon's list of bases that it recommends be closed or realigned is May 16, 2005." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. A1, 05/01/05]

2005 - Trivia / Women's Rights, Kuwait - May 4th, 2005: "In a major setback to Kuwaiti women in politics, Islamist and conservative tribal lawmakers in parliament were able to delayed consideration of a draft election law long long enough to keep women out of this year's race for municipal council seats. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Moderate Earthquake / Tonga - May 4th, 2005: "A moderate earthquake occurred at 08:57:00 (UTC) on Wednesday, May 4, 2005. The magnitude 5.9 event has been located in TONGA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usxray.htm]

2005 - Suicide Attacks / Iraq - May 5th, 2005: "IRBIL, Iraq - A suicide attacker slipped into line at a police recruitment center in this usually tranquil northern Kurdish city and blew himself up Wednesday [05/04/05], leaving the streets slick with blood in the deadliest insurgent attack in more than two months, police said. Sixty Iraqis were killed and 150 wounded. [....] Also Wednesday, a suicide car bomber attacked an Iraqi army checkpoint in Baghdad. There were conflicting accounts of the casualties. Police said nine soldiers were killed and six wounded, along with 10 civilians. The U.S. military said 15 soldiers were killed. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Secure Flight? / U.S.A. - May 5th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Airline passengers soon will be asked to provide their full names and birth dates when they buy tickets. [....] The request for extra information is part of the agency's effort to build a new computerized passenger screening program called Secure Flight. Secure Flight would let the Transportation Security Administration take over from the airlines the responsibility of checking passengers' names against watch lists. The agency plans to begin Secure Flight with two airlines in August. The program is supposed to work by transferring airline passengers' name records - which can include address, phone number and credit card information - to a government database. The government computer would flag names on the watch list and identify passengers who would bea sked to go through additional screening." [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "[....] President George W. Bush signed legislation Wednesday [05/11/05] aimed at denying drivers licenses to illegal immigrants and increasing homeland security. [....] The Real ID Act, which takes effect in three years, will turn drivers licenses into national identification cards. To renew a license or get a new one, motorists will have to prove their identification and residency in four ways. Even then, state workers will have to contact the issuing agencies to make sure the documents are valid before handling the motorist a license. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A1, 05/12/05]

2005 - Child Census Trivia / Japan - May 5th, 2005: "The number of Japanese children under 15 years old hit a post-World War II low this year as the nation's birthrate continues to decline, the government said Wednesday [05/04/05]. As of April 1, the number of children in that age group was 17.65 million, 150,000 fewer than a year earlier, the Internal Affairs Ministry said in its annual survey. It was the 24th straight year of decline in the nation's clild population. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Charged / Larry Franklin - May 5th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - A Pentagon analyst was arrested Wednesday [05/04/05] and charged with giving classified information about potential attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq to employees of a pro-Israel group [Israel Public Affairs Committe]. Larry Franklin, 58, an Air Force Reserve Colonel who once worked for the Pentagon's No. 3 official, is the first person charged in a long-running investigation into whether Israel improperly obtained U.S. secrets. [....] A preliminary hearing was set for May 27. Franklin's lawyer, John Richards, said he expected his client to plead not guilty. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Falcarius Uthahensis / Utah - May 5th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Digging in the badlands of east-central Utah [in a two-acre stretch of pebbly, 120 million-year-old mudstone] on a tip from a repentant poacher, researchers say they have unearthed the fossil remains of a dinosaur 'missing link' - a primitive plant-eater [Falcarius uthahensis] that had recently evolved from the carnivorous raptors that also produced modern birds. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - Trivia / Oklahoma City Bombing - May 5th, 2005: "Nichols [Terry Nichols] claims Arkansan [Roger Moore] had role in bombing." [Based on: S.L.P.D. headline, p. A5, 05/05/05]

2005 - Captured / Abu Farraj al-Libbi - May 5th, 2005: "ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistani commandos nabbed a senior al-Qaida leader [Abu Farraj al-Libbi], described by U.S. officials as the group's No. 3 operative, after a shootout near one of his barren hide-outs. Jubilant Pakistani officials said Wednesday [05/04/05] that his arrest would help in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - President Faure Gnassingbe / Togo - May 5th, 2005: "The son of the long-ruling late dictator was officially sworn in as president on Wednesday [05/04/05], one day after being declared the winner of last month's disputed election. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - AIDS Tests / U.S. Foster Children - May 5th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Government-funded researchers tested AIDS drugs on hundreds of foster children over the past two decades, often without providing them a basic protection afforded in federal law and required by some states, an Associated Press review has found. The research funded by the National Institutes of Health spanned the country. It was the most widespread in the 1990s as foster care agencies sought treatments for their HIV-infected children that weren't yet available in the marketplace. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - U.S. Arms Trafficking? / Columbia - May 5th, 2005: "CARMEN DE APICALA, Columbia - Columbian police arrested two U.S. soldiers for alleged involvement in a plot to traffic thousands of rounds of ammunition - possibly to outlawed right-wing paramilitary groups, authorities said Wednesday [05/04/05]. [....] National Police chief Gen. Jorge Daniel Castro said officers stopped a suspicious man in the area, who offered a bribe to be allowed to go free. Under threat of arrest, the man led the officers to a nearby house, where more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition for assault rifles, machine guns and pistols were found, officials said. Shortly afterward, the two U.S. Army soldiers - apparently unaware of the police operation - tried to go to the house. Castro said three Columbians were also involved. [....] In Washington, the State Department confirmed the arrest of two of its soldiers in Columbia. 'Two U.S. soldiers were detained by Columbian authorities on the afternoon of May 3,' it said. It marks the latest U.S. embarrasment in this South American nation. 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. In the ammunitions case, a police registry identified the U.S. servicemen only as Allam Norman Tanquary and Jesus Hernandez. It was unclear whether Allam was a misspelling. U.S. authorities did not provide names. [....] The cache was composed of more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition sent to Columbia by the United States under its Plan Columbian aid program, aimed at crushing a leftist insurgency and the drug trafficking that fuels it, officials said. The U.S. embassy declined to comment on any possible links to paramilitary groups, who are battling leftist rebels in Columbia. Washington has branded the paramilitary umbrella group, the United Self-Defense Forces of Columbia, as a terrorist organization, along with the two rebel groups." [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Authorities have arrested three Columbians - a retired air force officer and two civilians - suspected of helping American soldiers smuggle cocaine to the United States aboard a U.S. military aircraft, officials in Bogota said Wednesday [05/18/05]. [....]" [Based on: News Services, 05/19/05]

2005 - Moderate Earthquake / Mauritius - May 5th, 2005: "A moderate earthquake occurred at 13:12:48 (UTC) on Thursday, May 5, 2005. The magnitude 5.5 event has been located in the MAURITIUS - REUNION REGION. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.) "

[Based on: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usxsav.htm]

2005 - 2nd-Quarter Profit / Whole Foods Inc. - May 5th, 2005: "Whole Foods Market Inc., the largest U.S. natural-foods grocer, said second-quarter profit rose to $42 million. [....] Shares of Whole Foods rose $2.37, or 2.4 percent, to $101.79 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. They have risen 29 percent this year. Whole Foods opened one new store in the quarter, bringing the total number to 166. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / South of Panama - May 5th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 19:12:18 (UTC) on Thursday, May 5, 2005. The magnitude 6.5 event has been located SOUTH OF PANAMA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usxsbp.htm]

2005 - Suspended Transfer / West Bank Towns - May 5th, 2005: "JERUSALEM - Israel on Wednesday [05/04/05] froze the planned handover of West Bank towns to Palestinians, accusing Palestinian security forces of failing to honor commitments to disarm militants in areas already under their control. [....] Under the cease fire agreement, Israel pledged to pull its forces out of five West Bank towns, while the Palestinians promised to disarm militants. Israel has pulled out of only two towns, Jericho and Tulkarem, while holding back from leaving Qalqiliya, Bethlehem and Ramallah. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Annual Bilderberg Meeting / Germany - May 5th-8th, 2005: "ROTTACH-EGERN, Germany - European Bilderberg hunters have found the hiding place of this secretive cabal at a posh resort in this charming little city 40 miles from Munich. Their annual meeting is May 5-8. Bilderberg is gathering at the Dorint Sofitel Seehotel Ueberfahrt, a five-star conference and business hotel with 188 luxury rooms. [....] All participants are sworn to secrecy. Bilderberg denies its existence, and all the resorts at which they hold their meetings require their employees to lie and deny they are present. Three times the Dorint told AFP they were fully booked - but that Bilderberg was not there. [....] Exposing Bilderberg meetings has provided advance warning - months ahead of the mainstream media - of U.S. wars, tax increases, and the downfall of Margaret Thatcher as prime minister of Britain, among other exclusives." [Based on: AFP, 05/09/05, p. 1 & 3]

2005 - Moderate Earthquake / South of Panama - May 5th, 2005: "A moderate earthquake occurred at 23:41:53 (UTC) on Thursday, May 5, 2005. The magnitude 5.9 event has been located SOUTH OF PANAMA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usxscm.htm]

2005 - "Junk" Status / GM & Ford - May 6th, 2005: "DETROIT - A rating agency on Thursday [05/05/05] declared billions of dollars of debt owed by General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. to be 'junk,' a significant blow that will increase borrowing costs and limit financing options for the nation's two biggest automakers. Shares of GM fell 5.9 percent and Ford shares declined 4.5 percent after Standard & Poor's ratings services downgraded their debt to below investment grade, which is commonly known as 'junk' or 'high-yield' status. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia  / Jerusalem Of Gold - May 6th, 2005: "Israeli composer NAOMI SHEMER confessed on her deathbed last June (04) she copied the melody for her hit JERUSALEM OF GOLD from a Basque lullaby - and she feared her guilty secret contributed to her cancer. Shemer, who died from the disease at the age of 74, spent her final years denying claims she plagiarised the nursery song and turned it into Jerusalem of Gold - which became popular in the 1960s during the Arab-Israeli war. But the songwriter wrote composer GIL ALDEMA a letter shortly before her death, confessing she heard her friend singing the lullaby in 1967, and subconsciously copied it. According to extracts from the letter published by Israel's HAARETZ DAILY NEWSPAPER, she wrote, "I consider the entire affair a regrettable work accident, so regrettable that it may be the reason for me taking ill. 'You are the only person in the world, besides my family, who should know the truth about Jerusalem of Gold. In the winter of 1967, when I was working on the writing of Jerusalem of Gold, the song must have crept into me unwittingly. It turns out that someone protected me and provided me with my eight notes that grant me the rights to my version of the folk song.' "

[Based on:  http://www.contactmusic.com/new/xmlfeed.nsf/mndwebpages/israeli%20composers%20deathbed%
20plagiarism%20confession]

2005 - Trivia / U.S. Military Spending - May 6th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The House easily approved an $82 billion bill Thursday [05/05/05] to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The measure includes sweeping immigration changes and would boost the total spent on wars and other antiterrorism efforts since 2001 to beyond $300 billion. [....] The legislation is the fifth such emergency spending package Congress has taken up since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It pushes the costs of the two conflicts and other efforts to fight terrorism worldwide over four years beyond $300 billion. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Heavy Fighting / Afghanistan - May 6th, 2005: "U.S. and Afghan forces backed by warplanes and attack helicopters clashed with Taliban-led militants in two southern provinces. The fighting killed 64 rebels, nine Afghan soldiers and a policeman, officials said Thursday [05/05/05]. It was the deadliest fighting in the country in nine months. [....] Seven U.S. soldiers also were wounded in the fighting, which began Tuesday. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Thwarted Terrorist Plot? / Russia - May 6th, 2005: "ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia - Russian security forces said they foiled a major terrorist attack Thursday [05/05/05] discovering a truck bomb and a cache of poisons days before dozens of dignitaries arrive in Moscow for celebrations marking the Allied victory over Nazi Germany. [....]" [Based on: A,P.]

2005 - Salmonella Outbreak? / U.S. Pets - May 6th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Furry 'pocket pets' such as hamsters, mice and rats have sickened up to 30 people in at least 10 states with dangerous multidrug-resistant bacteria, health officials are warning. It is the first known outbreak of salmonella illness tied to such pets and reveals a previously unknown public health risk, officials said in a report released Thursday [05/05/05]

2005 - Prime Minister Tony Blair / Britain - May 6th, 2005: "LONDON - Tony Blair won a historic third term as prime minister Thursday [05/05/05], but exit poll projections indicated his Labor Party suffered a sharply reduced parliamentary majority in apparent punishment for going to war in Iraq. A chastened Blair said 'we will have to respond to that sensibly and wisely.' [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "A 66-seat majority in Britain's House of Commons is nothing to sniff at, but measured against Labor's huge majorities of 179 and 167 in the two previous elections, it is understandable why Priime Minister Tony Blair is feeling a bit lame-duckish." [Based on: Chicago Tribune]

2005 - Grenades / British Consulate, U.S.A. - May 6th, 2005: "NEW YORK - Two small makeshift grenades exploded early Thursday [05/05/05] outside a building housing the British Consulate, just as Britons went to the polls in a national election. The blast caused minor damage and no injuries. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Restrictions? / Gay Sperm Donors, U.S.A. - May 6th, 2005: "NEW YORK - The Food and Drug Administration is about to implement rules recommending that any man who has engaged in homosexual sex in the previous five years be barred from serving as an anonymous sperm donor. The FDA has rejected calls to scrap the provision, insisting that gay men collectively pose a higher-than-average risk of carrying the AIDS virus. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Renewed U.S. Economic Sanctions / Syria - May 6th, 2005: "President George W. Bush on Thursday [05/05/05] renewed ecomomic sanctions on Syria implemented a year ago, saying its government still supports terrorism and is undermining efforts to stabilize Iraq. [....]" [Based on: News Service]

2005 - Demoted / U.S. Army Gen. Janis Karpinski - May 6th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Army said Thursday [05/05/05] that only one senior officer will be disciplined for failed leadership in connection with the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal and that more than a dozen lower-ranking officers will face a variety of punishments. [....] The demotion means her career in the military, where officers must rise in rank or leave, is effectively over. [....] Karpinski was demoted to Colonel, a move that required approval by President George W. Bush. She also received a written reprimand by Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard Cody and was formally releived of command of the 800th Military Police Brigade on April 8, the Army said in a statement." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - May 7th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - The death toll from a week of relentless insurgent attacks rose to nearly 300 Friday [05/06/05], intensifying pressure on Iraq's still incomplete government to act quickly to stem the mounting violence that threatens to engulf the country. [....]" [Based on: Chicago Tribune]

2005 - Assassinated [by Predator Drone]? / Haitham al-Yemeni, Pakistan - May 7th, 2005: "An al-Qaida figure [Haitham al-Yemeni] killed earlier this month [05/07/05] by a missle from a CIA-operated unmanned areial drone had been under surveilance for more than a week by U.S. intelligence and military personnel working along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, a U.S. official and two counterterrorism experts said Saturday [05/14/05]. [....] The CIA declined to comment. Pakistan's information minister denied that any such incident, which was first reported by ABC News, even happened. 'No such incident took place near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border,' Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told The Associated Press on Saturday [05/14/05]. The sources said the Predator drone fired on al-Yemeni on May 7 in Toorikhel, Pakistan, a suburb of Mirali in the province of North Waziristan." [Based on: Washington Post, 05/15/05]

2005 - Mother's Day - May 8th, 2005: "Mother's day observed." [E.M.]

2005 - Car Bombs / Iraq - May 8th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Two car bombs targeted a contractors' convoy in central Baghdad on Saturday [05/07/05] just as a mini-bus carried away schoolchildren, killing 27 Iraqis and two Americans, the U.S. military said. [....] One bomber apparently pulled out from an alley near the school to attack the convoy's rear, and another crashed into the front of the convoy head-on. [....]" [Based on: Chicago Tribune]

2005 - Layoffs / AFL-CIO - May 8th, 2005: "LAS VEGAS - Already facing upheaval and dissent from several union presidents, the AFL-CIO saw its problems escalate last week when the federation laid off about a fourth of its staff and the chairman of its public relations committee resigned in a fit of pique. [....] The AFL-CIO, a federation of 57 unions, has been in tumult for more than six months, ever since the federation's largest union, the Service Employees International Union, threatened to quit, complaining that the organization was doing far too little to reverse labor's decline. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Status / Sunspot 758 - May 8th-10th, 2005: "Two days ago [05/08/05] ... sunspot 758 was derided as 'a rash' on the sun. Not anymore. The formerly-sparse spot has blossomed into a behemoth almost as wide as the planet Jupiter. It's big enough to see, but don't stare at the sun. Like sunspot 756 in late April, this active region reminds us how quickly big sunspots can materialize - a vexing problem for space weather forecasters!"

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] [05/11/05]

2005 - Weekly Deaths in Iraq - Week of May 8th: "Iraqi civilians, security forces: 132; U.S. military personnel and *others: 21." [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 - Fatal Plane Crash / Australia - May 8th, 2005: "An airplane carrying 15 people slammed into a hillside in remote northeastern Australia on Saturday [05/07/05], killing everyone on board, authorities said in Canberra. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Sense of Direction / Butterflies - May 8th, 2005: "LOS ANGELES - Monarch butterflies making their annual migration from the eastern United States to winter residences in Mexico's Sierra Madre mountain range find their way by following a three-dimensional map made of rays of polarized ultraviolet light, according to a new study. Though UV light is invisible to humans, to butterflys it appears as a grid in the sky that emanates from the sun, the researchers reported in the journal Neuron. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Return to Syria / Michel Aoun - May 8th, 2005: "BEIRUT, Lebanon - Anti-Syrian leader Michael Aoun returned to Lebanon on Saturday [05/07/05] to the cheers of thousands of his supporters, ending the 14-year exile in France less than two weeks after Syrian troops withdrew from Lebanon. Aoun, a one-time army commander and interim Lebanese prime minister, lost a 'war of liberation' against Syrian forces in 1989-90. He was sent into exile in France, but an arrest warrant against him was dropped earlier in the week, clearing for his return. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - New Corporate Tax Break / U.S.A. - May 8th, 2005: "NEW YORK - A new tax break for corporations is allowing the biggest American drug makers to return as much as $75 billion in profits from international havens to the United States while paying a fraction of the normal tax rate. The break is part of the American Jobs Creation Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush in October [2004]. The law allows companies a one-year window to return foreign profits to the United States at a 5.25 percent tax rate, compared with the standard 35 percent rate. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - "Terrorist" Bombings / Myanmar - May 8th, 2005: "Three explosions rocked Myanmar's capital of Yangon on Saturday [05/07/05] killing 11 people and wounding 162 in the latest bombings for which ethnic rebels are blamed in the military-ruled country. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Moderate Earthquake / Revilla Gigedo Islands - May 8th, 2005: "A moderate earthquake occurred at 17:07:36 (UTC) on Sunday, May 8, 2005. The magnitude 5.9 event has been located in the REVILLA GIGEDO ISLANDS REGION. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.html]

2005 - U.S. Raids / Iraq - May 9th, 2005: "UBAYDI, Iraq - More than 1,000 U.S. troops supported by fighter jets and helicopter gunships attacked villages Sunday [05/08/05] along the Euphrates River, seeking to uproot a persistent insurgency in an area that American intelligence indicated has become a haven for foreign fighters flowing in from Syria. [....]" [Based on: Chicago Tribune]

2005 - 60th Anniversary / VE Day - May 9th, 2005: "BERLIN - The nation that began World war II marked the 60th anniversary of its end Sunday [05/08/05] with wreath-layings, a special session of parliament and a 'Day of Democracy' festival of speeches and music just west of Berlin's Brandenberg gate. [....]" [Based on: Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau Chief]

2005 - Suspended / Israeli Prisoner Releases - May 9th, 2005: "JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Sunday [05/08/05] that Israel will not release more Palestinian prisoners until the Palestinian Authority takes tougher action against militant groups - the latest sign of trouble for an already strained cease-fire. [....] For its part, Israel pledged to hand over five West Bank towns to Palestinian control and free 900 prisoners. But Israel stopped the process after two towns and 500 prisoners, charging the Palestinians were not fulfilling their obligations to stop all violence and disarm militants in towns under their control. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - "Strategic Partnership" / U.S. & Afghanistan - May 9th, 2005: "Hundreds of tribal leaders backed President Hamid Karzai's plan for a 'strategic partnership' with the United States on Sunday [05/08/05], a government spokesman said. The pact could cement a longterm U.S. military presence in Central Asia. More than 1,000 elders and officials from across Afghanistan met with Karzai in the presidential palace in Kabul on Sunday for consultations on the plan, spokesman Jawed Ludin said. Karzai would likely discuss the partnership in a meeting with President George W. Bush this month in Washington, the spokesman said." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - "Live Shot" / Remote Control Hunting, Texas - May 9th, 2005: "[....] It is called hunting by remote control, the brainstorm of Texas entrepreneur John Lockwood, whose Internet business advertises a 'real time on-line hunting and shooting experience.' The business, Live-Shot, is open to everyone who registers and pays monthly $14.95 membership dues and a $1,000 deposit toward the cost of the animal. People using the service must have a valid Texas hunting license, which can be obtained on-line. The remington .30-06 rifle is mounted atop a homemade contraption of welded metal and a piece of butcher block, and is attached to a small motor, three video cameras (two linked to the Internet, including the one embedded in the gun scope) and a door lock actuator, like that used in a car. The actuator is attached to a wire that pulls the trigger at the click of the mouse. From virtually anywhere, someone with an Internet connection can fire the rifle. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - Summit Preparations / Middle East & South America - May 9th, 2005: "Ministers from 34 South American and Middle Eastern nations on Sunday [05/08/05] began preparing the groundwork for the first summit of leaders from the two regions. Their talks could lead to a commitment to negotiations for a South American-Arab free trade zone - part of an effort to counter U.S. political and economic influence. Brazilian media stressed Sunday that the leaders of key U.S. allies such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia will be absent. But Iraqi President Jalal Talabani is scheduled to attend. The United States' request to observe the event was denied." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - MCI Settlement? / Mississippi - May 10th, 2005: "JACKSON, Miss. - MCI Inc. will pay $100 million in cash to cover back taxes that predecessor WorldCom Inc. owed the state of Mississippi, officials said Monday [05/09/05] [....] WorldCom, which got its start in Mississippi, formerly was based in Jackson and later in nearby Clinton. MCI now has its headquarters in Ashburn, Va., and recently acceppted an $8.54 billion buyout offer from Verizon Communications Inc. The $100 million will cover back taxes, including corporate income taxes, owed to the state, Hood [Miss. State Attorney General, Jim Hood] said. The settlement with Mississippi was filed Monday [05/09/05] in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York and must be approved by a judge. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Afghanistan - May 10th, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - Insurgents trying to escape U.S. Marines took refuge in a cave and killed two Americans in a five-hour battle in eastern Afghanistan that left an estimated 23 rebels dead, the U.S. military said Monday [05/09/05]. The clash, which also involved American attack planes, was the latest in a string of battles that the military says has inflicted heavy losses on militants who have stepped up attacks since winter snows melted. [....] After a winter lull, loyalists to the ousted Taliban regime and other militants opposed to the U.S.-backed government of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai have ramped up their insurgency with a string of attacks and bombings. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Delayed / Gaza Withdrawl Plans - May 10th, 2005: "JERUSALEM - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon agreed Monday [05/09/05] to delay the evacuation of Jewish settlers and Israeli soldiers from the predominantly Palestinian Gaza Strip until at least mid-August, for what he said were religious reasons. Senior rabbis as well as Israeli government and military officials have urged Sharon for weeks to postpone the evacuation from July 25. That date conflicted with an annual mourning period marking the destruction of the Jewish Temples in 586 B.C. and A.D. 70. [....] To date, only two cities have been returned to Palestinian control and only 500 of more than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have been released. Palestinian Labor Minister Hassan Abu Libdeh said he suspected that Sharon's decision to postpone dismantling the settlements was aimed at gauging the outcome of Palestinian legislative elections scheduled for July 17. The Islamic militant faction Hamas is widely expected to fare well in those polls, if it runs. Israel opposes Hamas' participation in Palestinian elections as long as the group carries weapons and embraces a doctrine calling for Israel's destruction." [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

*Trivia: "Israel's withdrawl from the Gaza Strip will not be called off under any circumstances, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Tuesday [05/10/05]. He rejected suggestions by Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom that the pullout should be canceled if the Hamas militant group wins Palestinian parliamentary elections this summer. [....]" [Based on: News Services, 05/11/05]

2005 - Internal Investigation Trivia / Saks Inc. - May 10th, 2005: "Saks Inc. asked a senior vice president, accounting chief and the administrative head of its luxury chain to resign after an internal investigation showed the company improperly collected $20 million in vendor markdowns. Donald Watros, chief administrative officer of the Saks Fifth Avenue unit, Saks Senior Vice President Brian Martin and Chief Accounting Officer Donald Wright all were asked to resign, the company said Monday [05/09/05] in a statement. The investigation concluded that during the company's 1999-2003 fiscal years, the total markdown allowances improperly collected from vendors were approximately $20 million." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 05/10/05]

2005 - Cleaner Products? / General Electric Co. - May 10th, 2005: "General Electric Co., the world's largest company by market value, is betting that being environmentally friendly is good for business. On Monday [05/09/05], Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt said he plans to more than double spending on research and development to $1.5 billion a year by 2010 for 'cleaner products' including energy generation, solar power and water processing. [....] General Electric had opposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to dredge New York's Hudson River of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, that its plants deposited in the river until they were banned by the federal government in 1977. The company agreed in 2002 to fund a $460 million cleanup of the river. GE Energy, the company's biggest manufacturing unit, is working on more-efficient and cost-effective versions of power generation, including nuclear, coal and natural gas. The company is working with some utility partners to develop technology for a new kind of generator that converts coal into cleaner-burning gas, used to spin turbines that make electricity. "Coal is 50 percent of the power generation fuel source in the U.S., and it's 40 percent globally,' said John Rice, the head of GE Energy. 'This is a recognition of our strategy, that we have a role to play, and that we can even do more.' Technologies such as solar power and wind turbines also will play more important roles, Rice said." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 05/10/05]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Southwest of Sumatra - May 10th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 01:09:07 (UTC) on Tuesday, May 10, 2005. The magnitude 6.2 event has been located SOUTHWEST OF SUMATRA, INDONESIA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usxwcl.htm]

2005 - Carl Vogel / EchoStar Communications Corp. - May 10th, 2005: "Carl Vogel, who left Charter Communications Inc. as chief executive in January as the cable television provider struggled with debt and fierce competition from satellite TV rivals, has joined the board of the nation's No. 2 satellite television company, for which he once worked. EchoStar Communications Corp., which operates Dish Network, announced in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing late last week the appointment of Vogel, who served as the company's president from 1995 to 1997. EchoStar, based in suburban Denver and second nationally to DirectTV, said its Dish Network service added about 325,000 net new subscribers during the January-through-March period, bringing the total to 11.23 million." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 05/10/05]

2005 - Electromagnetic Pollution? / The Vatican, Italy - May 10th, 2005: "A Rome court found a Roman Catholic cardinal [Cardinal Roberto Tucci] and a priest [Rev. Pasquale Borgomeo] who heads vatican Radio guilty of polluting the atmosphere with electromagnetic waves from the station's transmitters. The towers are located in an area north of Rome where a government study found elevated levels of Leukemia. [....] The convictions came after a trial was halted when a judge ruled that the Vatican was a separate nation and that Italian law did not apply. That ruling was later overturned. The Vatican contends that its station meets safety standards." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Virtual Warfare Center / St. Louis-Based Boeing Co. - May 10th, 2005: "Boeing Co. on Monday [05/09/05] unveiled its new Virtual Warfare Center, where Boeing and its military customers will simulate likely battles of the future. The St. Louis-based center allows live and virtual military foirces to create realistic war scenarios across numerous sites. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 05/10/05]

2005 - Trivia / Talx Corp. - May 11th, 2005: "The board of Talx Corp. has authorized the company to buy back up to 2 million shares - about 10 percent of its outstanding stock - in the three-year period ending on May 9, 2008. The shares fell 67 cents, or 2,6 percent, Tuesday [05/10/05] to close at $25.36." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 05/11/05]

2005 - Trivia / King Tut - May 11th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - King Tut of Egypt had a pointy head, a prominent nose and a rounded forehead with large eyes. He was about 19 when he died some 3,300 years ago, and apparently he wasn't murdered, as earlier research had suggested. [....]" [Based on: The Washington Post]

2005 - Increase / Oil Prices - May 11th, 2005: "NEW YORK - Stocks fell Tuesday [05/10/05] as oil prices climbed for a fifth day and speculation increased that hedge funds may be taking on too much risk. [....] Crude oil for June delivery rose to as high as $53.10 a barrel in New York. Oil prices finished the day up 4 cents to $52.07, the highest close since April 26. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Job Cuts / Sprint Corp. - May 11th, 2005: "Sprint Corp. of overland park, Kan., plans to cut 550 more jobs, part of a reorganization that already has led to 5,300 job cuts. The telecom company said in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it has spent $192 million in severance costs and will spend a total of $215 million to cut all 5,850 positions. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Hawaiian Airlines - May 11th, 2005: "Hawaiian Airlines pilots have ratified a new three-year labor agreement, the final hurdle for the carrier to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, airline and union officials said Tuesday [05/10/05] [....] Hawaiian filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March 2003. Besides getting new labor pacts, it has restructured its aircraft leases." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 05/11/05]

2005 - Thrown Out / Cheney Suit - May 11th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - A U.S. appeals court threw out a suit against Vice President Dick Cheney on Tuesday [05/10/05] and ruled that he was free to meet in secret with energy industry lobbyists in 2001 while drawing up the president's energy policy. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Chapter 11 / AaiPharma Inc. - May 11th, 2005: "Drug company AaiPharma Inc. Tuesday [05/10/05] filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying it had secured financing that will allow normal business operations as it restructures. [....] The company posted a loss of $172 million last year [2004], including an $11 million charge to pay for the board's investigation into the company's sales practices. As part of its anticipated Chapter 11 reorganization, AaiPharma agreed on Monday [05/09/05] to sell its pharmaceuticals division for $170 million and contingent royalties." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 05/11/05]

2005 - Lead Regulation Rules / U.S.A. - May 11th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - After working for nearly a decade on regulations to protect children and construction workers from exposure to lead paint, the Environmental Protection Agency has decided instead to ask companies engaged in home renovation and remodeling to adopt protective practices voluntarily. [....] About 1.4 million children under the age of 7 in 4.9 million households are at risk of lead exposure due to unsafe repair and renovations, according to the agency's analyses. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Resignation / Rev. Chan Chandler - May 11th, 2005: "A Baptist preacher [Rev. Chan Chandler] accused of running out nine members of the congregation who refused to support President George W. Bush quit Tuesday [05/10/05]. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Powerball Lottery Winners - May 11th, 2005: "NEW YORK - Powerball lottery officials suspected fraud: How could 110 players in the March 30 drawing get five out of six numbers right? That made them all second-prize winners, and considering the number of tickets sold in the 29 states where the game is played, there should have been only four or five. [....] It took some time before they had their answer: The players got there numbers inside fortune cookies, and all the cookies came from the same factory in Long Island City, Queens. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Hand Grenade Attack? / Georgia - May 11th, 2005: "TBILISI, Georgia - Cheered by tens of thousands in a former Soviet republic, President George W. Bush urged the spread of democracy Tuesday [05/10/05] across the former communist world and beyond, declaring that oppressed people 'are demanding their freedom and they shall have it.' Georgian authorities later told the Secret Service that someone in the crowd threw a hand grenade toward the stage that landed within 100 feet of where the president was speaking but did not explode, a Secret Service spokeswoman [Lorie Lewis] said. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "A hand grenade that landed within 100 feet of President George W. Bush ... was a threat to his life and the safety of the tens of thousands in the crowd, the FBI said Wednesday [05/18/05] The grenade did not explode, but it was live, an investigation has found. The White House, which initially said Bush never was in danger said the incident May 10 in Georgia's capital has led to a review of security at presidential events. [....] The grenade was a knockoff of a Soviet-designed RGD-5, a fragmentation grenade with a lethal range of about 100 feet, according to a source familar with the incident, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. [....] Bush spoke from an armored podium on stage shielded by bulletproof glass on the sides; there was no bulletproof shield across much of the stage's front. [....] The grrenade was wrapped in a dark plaid cloth. It was 'tossed in the general direction of the main stage' about 1:30 p.m., right after Bush began speaking, and landed less than 100 feet shy of the podium, Paarmann [FBI agent, Bryan Paarmann] said. After bouncing off a child's cap, the grenade was removed by a Georgian security officer." [Based on: A.P., 05/19/05]

*Trivia: "Georgian police on Wednesday [07/20/05] detained a man suspected of throwing a live grenade during a rally at which President George W. Bush spoke in May, the Interior Ministry said. The capture came after a shootout in which one officer was killed and another wounded. The shootout and detention occured Wednesday evening [07/20/05] in the village of Vashlisdzhvari, outside the capital, Tbilisi, ministry spokesman Guram Donadze told The Associated Press." [Based on: News Services, 07/21/05]

*Trivia: "[....] A man [Vladimir Arutyunian] arrested after a fatal shootout with police admitted in video footage shown Thursday [07/21/05] to throwing a grenade during a May rally where President George W. Bush was making a speech. [....]" [Based on: News Services, 07/22/05]

2005 - Pension Default / United Airlines - May 11th, 2005: "CHICAGO - A bankruptcy judge on Tuesday [05/10/05] approved United Airlines' plan to terminate its employees' pension plans, clearing the way for the largest corporate pension default in U.S. History. The ruling, which has broad implications for airlines and their employees, shifts responsibility for the carrier's four defined-benefit plans to the governments pension-guarantee agency. [....] But the move will be painful to its employees, who stand to lose thousands of dollars each year off their pensions when they are assumed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Emmis Communications Corp. - May 11th, 2005: "Shares in Emmis Communications Corp. soared Tuesday [05/10/05] after the media company said it would buy back 40 percent of its stock and was considering selling some or all of its television stations. Emmis, which is based in Indianapolis and also owns radio stations and regional magazines, said it would finance the buyback with debt, regardless of what happens with its 16 TV stations. The buyback may be worth as much as $400 million, the company said. [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 05/11/05]

2005 - Korean Sanctions Rejected / China - May 11th, 2005: "China on Tuesday [05/10/05] rejected using sanctions to prod North Korea to return to talks on its nuclear ambitions. A spokesman said China's political and trade relations with its neighbor should be kept separate. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Senate Approval / U.S. Spending Bill - May 11th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Senate unanimously approved an $82 billion spending bill Tuesday [05/10/05] to pay for military operations and rebuilding efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as tsunami relief efforts in Asia. [....]" [Based on: Cox News Service]

2005 - Substantial Loss? / Delta Airlines Inc. - May 11th, 2005: "ATLANTA - Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. fell 10 percent on Tuesday [05/10/05] after the nation's No. 3 carrier warned that it will record a substantial loss for the year and will need to file for bankruptcy if its cash reserves fall too low or lenders seek immediate payment of its debt. [....] Delta said the financing agreements that it signed with American Express Co. and General Electric Co. last fall to help avoid a bankruptcy filing at that time require that it maintain certain cash levels. [....] Aviation jet fuel costs have risen about 50 percent in the last year for U.S. carriers. Delta spent $884 million on fuel in the first quarter, up 54 percent from $574 million a year earlier. [....] Delta has significant financial obligations for the rest of the year. Among them are $450 million in pension funding requirements. Delta faces $3.1 billion in pension payments in the next three years." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Approved / Multicandidate Elections, Egypt - May 11th, 2005: "Egypt's parliament overwhelmingly passed a constitutional amendment Tuesday [05/10/05] allowing multicandidate presidential elections for the first time. The opposition denounced the reform, saying it won't shake President Hosni Mubarak's grip on power. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Kidnapped / Gov. Raja Nawaf Farhan al-Mahalawi, Iraq - May 11th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Gunmen kidnapped the newly elected governor [Gov. Raja Nawaf Farhan al-Mahalawi] of Anbar province Tuesday [05/10/05], demanding that U.S. forces stop their offensive against foreign insurgents in western Iraq in return for his release. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - Suicide Bombings / Iraq - May 12th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents unleashed a deadly series of suicide bombings Wednesday [05/11/005], killing at least 67 people in three cities as U.S. Marines pressed their offensive near the Syrian border. [....]" [Based on: Chicago Tribune]

2005 - Budget Surplus? / U.S.A. - May 12th, 2005: "The federal government recorded a surplus of $57.7 billion in April as a gusher of tax receipts raised hopes that the budget deficit for this year could show a big improvement. The Treasury Department reported Wednesday [05/11/05] that last month's surplus was more than three times the $17.6 billion surplus recorded last year and was the biggest monthly surplus since $67.2 billion in 2002. The all-time record monthly surplus was $189 billion recorded in April 2001, the last year the government recorded a surplus for the entire year." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 05/12/05]

2005 - Decline? / U.S. Trade Deficit - May 12th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The U.S. trade deficit fell sharply in March to the lowest level in six months as U.S. exports rose to an all-time high and the surge of textile shipments from China slowed. [....] Even with the big improvement in March, the deficit through the first three months of this year is still running at an annual rate of $696 billion, 12.8 percent higher than the $617.08 billion record set for all of 2004. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Increase / U.S. Oil Inventories - May 12th, 2005: "NEW YORK - Crude-oil futures fell more than $1.60 a barrel on Wednesday [05/11/05] after a report showed that U.S. inventories rose to the highest level since July 1999. Supplies climbed 2.7 million barrels last week, according to the Energy Department. Analysts had forecast a smaller increase of 1.25 million barrels. [....] Crude oil for June delivery fell $1.62, or 3.1 percent, to settle at $50.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest close since May 4. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Anti-American Riots / Afghanistan - May 12th, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - Four protestors were killed and 71 were injured Wednesday [05/11/05] in the eastern city of Jalalabad as the police and troops struggled to contain the biggest anti-American demonstrations in Afghanistan in the more than three years since the fall of the Taliban. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Unable to File Report? / Fannie Mae - May 12th, 2005: "Fannie Mae, the biggest U.S. mortgage buyer, said it is unable to file the required first-quarter financial report with the Securities and Exchange Commission as it undergoes a restatement of earnings. The government-chartered company announced the delay in a 12b-25 filing with the SEC Wednesday [05/11/05]."

2005 - Pensions Termination? / U.S. Airlines - May 12th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Now that United Airlines and U.S. Airways have received bankruptcy Court approval to terminate their pension obligations, pressure is mounting on other carriers to seek relief. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Forced Labor ["Slavery"] / Worldwide - May 12th, 2005: "At least 12.3 million people worldwide work as slaves or in other forms of forced labor, the International Labor Organization, the labor arm of the United Nations, said in a report issued Wednesday [05/11/05]. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / South American & Arab Summit - May 12th, 2005: "BRASILIA, Brazil - South American and Arab leaders at their first regional summit endorsed a declaration Wednesday [05/11/05] condemning the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and calling for trade liberalization to lift the planet's poor out of misery. [....]" [Based on: A.P]

2005 - Underfunded? / U.S. Private Pension Plans - May 12th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The pension default by United Airlines is putting heavy pressure on the financially strapped federal agency that protects private pensions for millions of workers and retirees. [....] The agency [Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.] has estimated that private pension plans are underfunded by a record $450 billion. [....] The agency currently insures pensions covering 44.4 million workers and retirees.[....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - 57th Anniversary  / Israeli Independence - May 12th, 2005: "Palestinians on Sunday [05/15/05] commemorated the anniversary of what they call 'Al Nakba,' or 'the catastrophe' - the uprooting of hundreds of thousands of their people with the 1948 creation [05/14/1948] of the state of Israel. While Israelis held barbecues, concerts and launched fireworks to celebrate the 57th anniversary of their independence Thursday [05/12/05] - according to the date on the Hebrew calendar - Palestinians see the day very differently. About 700,000 Palestinians lost their homes in the fighting that followed Israel's independence in 1948. Their demand to return to their homes with their descendants - a total of 4 million people by U.N. estimates - represents one of the toughest issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [....]" [Based on: News Services, 05/16/05]

*Trivia: "In February, 1947, young Bedouin shepherds, searching for a stray goat in the Judean Desert, entered a long-untouched cave and found jars filled with ancient scrolls. Reportedly, the excavations at Qumran have produced relics dating from about 3,500 B.C. According to the Copper Scroll, old Qumran was called Sekhakha." [Link: 1]

*Trivia: "In March [1947], British barricade Jewish settlements in Jerusalem to contain incidents of violence."

*Trivia: "[....] For nearly two thousand years the scrolls [Dead Sea Scrolls] lay undisturbed in their dark, dry cavities. When uncovered shortly after World War II [February? 1947], the first modern eyes to read their scripts and recognize their antiquity were those of E. L. Sukenik, a specialist in Jewish paleography. Coincidentally, it was November 29, 1947, the very day the United Nations voted to partition Palestine in order to create a Jewish state."

*Trivia: "On May 14th [1948], Israel declared independence, offering itself as a haven from anti-Semitism for the world's Jews. An ongoing war between Jews and Palestinians was thereupon joined by neighboring Arab states. When the war ended in January 1949, Israel controlled 78 percent of Palestine, and 750,000 Palestinians became refugees." [N.G.M. / October 2002]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Pacific-Antarctic Ridge - May 12th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 11:15:34 (UTC) on Thursday, May 12, 2005. The magnitude 6.5 event has been located near the PACIFIC-ANTARCTIC RIDGE. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usxzau.htm] 

2005 - Aggressive Tactics? / U.S. Army  Recruitors - May 12th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Army has ordered a one-day halt in recruiting activities nationwide to address complaints about agressive tactics used by military recruitors as they struggle to meet monthly goals, Army officials said Wednesday. [....] The decision to stand down was made by Maj. Gen. Michael D. Rochelle, head of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command. The stand down date will be May 20." [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - "Nonjudicial Punishment" / U.S. Army Col. Thomas Pappas - May 12th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Army reprimanded and fined a colonel who was in charge of an intelligence unit at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq during the period of prisoner abuse, but the service chose not to press criminal charges, an official said Wednesday [05/11/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Decrease / Oil Prices - May 13th, 2005: "NEW YORK - Stocks fell Thursday [05/12/05] as energy shares plunged on a decline in oil prices and raw material producers slumped on concern that demand is slowing. Energy companies had their steepest drop in two years as oil dropped below $49 a barrel. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Al-Qaida in Somalia? - May 13th, 2005: "Ethiopia's prime minister warned Thursday [05/12/05] of the danger posed by a 'very active al-Qaida cell' in Addis Ababa, Somalia's capital, and said a stable government is the best way to eliminate the terrorist threat in the chaotic Horn of Africa country. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, in an interview with The Associated Press, said his government supported the Somali transitional government formed in neighboring Kenya last year and would do everything possible to help it take power and eliminate the threat." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - May 13th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A car bomb exploded in a jammed comercial district in Baghdad Thursday [05/12/05], turning the sky gray as shops and restaurants caught fire. The bombing was part of a deadly string of attacks that killed 21 Iraqis, including a general [Brig. Gen. Iyad Imad Mahdi] and colonel [Col. Fadhil Mohammed Mobarak] who were assassinated. [....] In all, four car bombs hit Baghdad on Thursday, two of them suicide attacks, said Master Sgt. Greg Kaufman, a U.S. military spokesman. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - U.S. Espionage? / Russia - May 13th, 2005: "MOSCOW - Russia's security chief accused U.S. and other foreign intelligence services Thursday [05/12/05] of using nongovernmental organizations that promote democracy to spy on Russia and bring about political upheaval in former Soviet republics. [....] 'Under cover of implementing humanitarian and educational programs in Russian regions, they lobby the interests of the states in question and gather classified information on a broad spectrum of issues,' he said. [....] Groups that Patrushev [Federal Security Service chief, Nikolai Patrushev] accused of involvement in espionage - including the Peace Corps - denied the allegations. And White House press secretary Scott McClellan said he was not aware of the accusations by Russia's security chief. 'I have not seen those comments and I have no idea what he is referring to,' McClellan said. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Sentenced / Dan O. Boyle - May 13th, 2005: "HOUSTON - A former mid-level Enron Corp. finance executive who helped push through a sham deal with Merrill Lynch & Co. must serve three years and 10 months in prison, a judge ruled Thursday [05/12/05]. Dan O. Boyle and four former executives of Merrill Lynch were convicted last year of conspiracy and fraud. In 1999, they helped push through Enron's bogus sale to the brokerage of power plants mounted on barges so the energy company could disguise a loan as a sale on the books. While U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein said the barge deal was hatched within Enron before Merrill defendants were enticed to play along, he noted that Boyle had played a minimal role in the deal. Robert Furst of Dallas, a former Merrill executive whose job was to maintain a good relationship with Enron, and William Fuhs of Denver, the least-senior of the Merrill defendants, each was sentenced to three years and a month in prison. [....] Furst and Fuhs each must pay $665,000 in fines and restitution, while Boyle must pay $320,000." [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - 1st-Quarter Profit / Target Corp. - May 13th, 2005: "Target Corp. posted a larger first-quarter profit gain than rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which missed analysts estimates as unfashionable apparel and high gasoline prices hurt sales. Net income at Target, the No. 2 discounter, climbed 15 percent to $494 million, beating estimates. Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, said Thursday [05/12/05] that it may miss its annual profit forecast after earnings in the quarter rose 14 percent to $2.46 billion. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Anti-American Protests / Afghanistan - May 13th, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghans enraged by the alleged desecration of Islam's holy book at a U.S. prison staged a third day of violent protests Thursday [05/12/05], burning an American flag in the capital and ransacking relief group offices to the south as demonstrations spread to neighboring Pakistan. [....] The trigger of the unrest was a report in the May 9 edition of Newsweek magazine that interrogators at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, placed copies of the Quran in washrooms to unsettle suspects, and in one case 'flushed a holy book down the toilet.' Desecration of the Quran is punishable by death in Afghanistan and Pakistan. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Media Reform Conference / St. Louis Mo. - May 13th, 2005: "More than 2,000 people are traveling to St. Louis this weekend to try to figure out how to fix what's wrong with newspapers, radio, TV and the rest of the news media. [....] The conference itself is at the Millennium Hotel downtown, today [05/13/05] through Sunday. [....] McChesney [media reform group founder, Robert McChesney] says public participation - leading to public pressure - is a goal of this week's conference. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 05/13/05]

2005 - Smoking Gun Memo: Grounds for Impeachment? - May 13th, 2005: "A highly classified memo leaked to the Times of London proves that President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair had conditionally agreed by July 2002 to invade Iraq, a year before launching their attack. It also confirms they shaped intelligence to that aim, never seriously intending to avert the war through diplomacy. The memo is a briefing paper for a meeting between Blair and his intelligence and military chiefs. [....]" [See link:]

[Based on: http://www.nationalvanguard.org/story.php?id=5043] 

2005 - Fresh Eruption / Fernadina Volcano, Galapagos Islands - May 13th, 2005: "The most active volcano in the Galapagos Islands began a fresh eruption on May 13, 2005. The eruption sent ash 7 kilometers into the atmosphere."

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?topic=volcano]
[See also: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=12872]

2005 - Geomagnetic Storm - May 14th, 2005: "Auroras in Nebraska? California? Arizona? Believe it. On Saturday night, May 14th, Northern Lights rippled across the United States during an intense geomagnetic storm. The display was triggered by a solar coronal mass ejection (CME) hitting Earth's magnetic field. So much for the quiet sun."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/]
[See also: http://spaceweather.com/aurora/gallery_01may05.htm]

2005 - Elections Trivia / Egypt - May 14th, 2005: "Egyptian judges, long stripped of their independence by President Hosni Mubarak's regime, voted Friday [05/13/05] to refuse to supervise an upcoming referendum and presidential election. [....] A judges' boycott would undermine the credibility of what the government has touted as a major democratic step: opening the September elections to multiple candidates. Mubarak has been president for 24 years." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Cocaine Seizure / Columbia - May 14th, 2005: "More than 13.5 tons of cocaine stored in underground chambers and apparently belonging to outlawed paramilitaries were seized near Columbia's southwest coast, authorities said Friday [05/13/05]. [....] 'We believe this is the biggest storage area of cocaine in the world,' navy Capt. Jairo Pena said Friday." [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. 27. 05/14/05]

2005 - Social Unrest? / Uzbekistan - May 14th, 2005: "ANDIJAN, Uzbekistan - Soldiers loyal to Uzbekistan's authoritarian leader opened fire on thousands of demonstrators Friday [05/13/05] to put down an uprising that began when armed men freed 2,000 inmates from prison, including 23 suspects on trial for alleged Islamic extrtemism. [....] Uzbekistan is a key Washington ally in the war on terrorism and hosts a U.S. air base to support military operations in neighboring Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. But it also is frequently denounced by human rights groups and Western governments for torture and repression of opposition. [....] The focus of the jailbreak were 23 men on trial on charges of being members of a group allied with the outlawed radical Islamic party Hizb-ut-Tahrir, which seeks to form a worldwide Islamic state and has been forced underground throughout most of Central Asia and Russia. Supporters of the 23 men maintain they were victims of religious repression by Karimov's secular government. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "[....] Human rights groups said as many as 200 people may have been killed, and local activists said troops removed scores of bodies from the city center early Saturday morning [05/14/05]. [....] [Based on: The Washington Post, 05/15/05]

*Trivia: "[....] ... if the estimates of 500 dead hold true and if Uzbek forces were behind the killings - as most reports indicate - Friday's [05/13/05] violence would be one of the worst incidents of state-inspired bloodshed since the massacre of protestors in China's Tianamen Square in 1989. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, S.L.P.D., p. A8, 05/16/05]

*Trivia: "[....] Primarily agricultural, Uzbekistan is the world's third-largest exporter of cotton and has gold and oil reserves. President Islam Karimov, a former Communist Party official, became president during the Soviet years and was later elected president of independent Uzbekistan following the 1991 collapse of the Soiviet Union. Karimov allows no dissent and has clamped down on non-state sanctioned islamic groups. More than 50 people were killed in bombings and attacks last year that authorities blamed on the Islamic group Hizb-ut Tahrir. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 05/15/05]

2005 - Trivia / Military Base Closings, U.S.A. - [....] The Pentagon recommended that 33 major military bases nationwide be closed down and 29 others be trimmed, while 49 installations will grow substantially. The aim is to create a more efficient and flexible military while saving billions of dollars. The recommendations go to a commission, with final action expected by fall. [....]" [Based on: Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

2005 - Missed Quota? / U.S. Army Recruiting - May 14th, 2005: "[....] Nationally, for the past three months, the Army has failed to make its recruiting 'mission' - its quota. [....]" [Based on: article by Harry Levin, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. 25, 05/14/05]

2005 - Fire Exchanged / Israel & Hezbollah - May 14th, 2005: "BEIRUT, Lebanon - Hezbollah and Israeli forces exchanged barrages of shells and rockets across the Lebanese border Friday [05/13/05] and Israeli warplanes destroyed guerrilla positions in the heaviest clash in months between the two sides. [....] Each side claimed the other began firing first. [....] It was the heaviest clash between Israel and Hezbollah since January." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Asbestos Removal, St. Louis, Mo. - May 14th, 2005: "The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday [05/13/05] that Lambert Field could not get rid of asbestos during demolition by wetting the building down with a hose. The decision comes a week after a group of Bridgeton residents filed a suit against the airport for its demolition methods. The airport has razed three-quarters of the nearly 2,000 homes it needs to demolish to make room for a new runway. It wanted to demolish the remaining 500 using a 'wet method' that it already has used on 255 homes. Federal law requires contractors to remove asbestos by hand, bag it and take it to a hazardous waste disposal site. [....] Airborne asbestos fibers can cause lung cancer, sometimes decades after exposure. [....]. [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Nias Region, Indonesia - May 14th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 05:05:18 (UTC) on Saturday, May 14, 2005. The magnitude 6.9 event has been located in the NIAS REGION, INDONESIA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Baseed on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.html] 

2005 - Bottom of Atlantic Ocean / U.S. Aircraft Carrier "America" - May 14th, 2005: "The retired aircraft carrier America is on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, sunk by the Navy in a series of explosions. The 84,000-ton, 1,048-foot warship that served the Navy for 32 years rests about 60 miles off the coast and more than 6,000 feet down, according to Pat Dolan, a spokeswoman for Naval Sea Systems Command. [....] Dolan said the America went down May 14. No announcement was made at the time." [Based on: A.P., 05/21/05]

2005 - Elections Trivia / Iran - May 15th, 2005: "A record 1,010 people registered by Saturday [05/14/05] to run in next month's presidential elections [Iran], which ruling clerics see as a chance to consolidate their power following the departure of reformist President Mohammad Khatami. The hard-line Guardian Council - a constitutional watchdog that supervises the elections - has 10 days to vet applicants." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Weekly Deaths in Iraq - Week of May 15th: "Iraqi civilians, security forces: 94; U.S. military personnel and *others: 4." [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 - Global Day of Prayer - May 15th, 2005: "About 3,000 Christians gathered at Busch Stadium [St. Louis, Mo.] Sunday afternoon [05/15/05] for the first Global Day of Prayer, and their prayers certainly were global. [....] The Global Day of Prayer began on the other side of the world, in Fiji, as one prayer leader put it, 'Right about when we were all going to bed last night,' and then moved west with the sun. [....] What is now the Global Day of Prayer originated from an event in March 2001 in Cape Town, South Africa, where about 45,000 Christians gathered in a rugby stadium to pray. Since then, the event has grown each year and has spread to the rest of Africa. Last year, 22 million people in 58 African countries took part in the Day of Prayer for Africa. This year, the event was celebrated in 160 countries on six continents, according to organizers. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 05/16/05]

2005 - Earth Impact / Coronal Mass Ejection - May 15th, 2005: "A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field. Impact time: May 15th at 0230 UT. ... the CME billowed away from the sun on May 13th, propelled in our direction by an M8-class explosion near sunspot 759. Eighteen hours later it reached Earth and sparked bright auroras."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] [05/16/05] 
[http://spaceweather.com/aurora/gallery_01may05.htm]

2005 - End / U.S. Offensive, Western Iraq - May 15th, 2005: "QAIM, Iraq - The U.S. Marines ended their offensive into insurgent strongholds in western Iraq on Saturday [05/14/05], saying they had pushed guerrillas out of the villages and towns where they had become entrenched, but acknowledging that many of the enemy had escaped. [....] Military officials had reports that the Ramana region, a string of small agricultural towns near the Syrian border north of the Euphrates river, had long been used by insurgents as a training ground, staging area and transit point for foreign guerrillas. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Fatality? / Haitham al-Yemeni, Pakistan- May 15th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - An al-Qaida figure [Haitham al-Yemeni] killed earlier this month [05/07/05] by a missle from a CIA-operated unmanned areial drone had been under surveilance for more than a week by U.S. intelligence and military personnel working along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, a U.S. official and two counterterrorism experts said Saturday [05/14/05]. [....] The CIA declined to comment. Pakistan's information minister denied that any such incident, which was first reported by ABC News, even happened. 'No such incident took place near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border,' Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told The Associated Press on Saturday [05/14/05]. The sources said the Predator drone fired on al-Yemeni on May 7 in Toorikhel, Pakistan, a suburb of Mirali in the province of North Waziristan." [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - 57th Anniversary Commemoration  / "Al Nakba" - May 15th, 2005: "Palestinians on Sunday [05/15/05] commemorated the anniversary of what they call 'Al Nakba,' or 'the catastrophe' - the uprooting of hundreds of thousands of their people with the 1948 creation of the state of Israel. While Israelis held barbecues, concerts and launched fireworks to celebrate the 57th anniversary of their independence Thursday [05/12/05] - according to the date on the Hebrew calendar - Palestinians see the day very differently. About 700,000 Palestinians lost their homes in the fighting that followed Israel's independence in 1948. Their demand to return to their homes with their descendants - a total of 4 million people by U.N. estimates - represents on of the toughest issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [....]" [Based on: News Services, 05/16/05]

2005 - Elections Trivia / Ethiopia - May 16th, 2005: "Ethiopians line up to vote Sunday [05/15/05] at a polling station in Addis Ababa. More than 25 million people had registered, and officials estimated turnout for the parliamentary elections at more than 85 percent." [Based on: A.P. picture article, S.L.P.D., p. A7, 05/16/05]

2005 - Media Reform / Bill Moyers - May 16th, 2005: "Bill Moyers denounced on Sunday [05/15/05] the right wing and top officials at the White House, saying they are trying to silence their critics by controlling the media. [....] Moyers spoke in St. Louis at a conference on media reform. His reports have appeared on the Public Broadcasting System since the 1970s. He was an aide to President Lyndon Johnson and is a former newspaper publisher. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - "Four Small Bombs" / Spain - May 16th, 2005: "Suspected Basque separatists detonated four small bombs in the region Sunday [05/15/05], police said - a day after Spain's government made an unprecedented proposal for Parliament to endorse talks with the armed group if it renounced violence. [....] The bombs exploded in four towns in Guipuzcoa province, the capital of which is San Sebastian." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Apology? / Newsweek Magazine - May 16th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Newsweek apologized Sunday [05/15/05] for an inaccurate report on the treatment of detainees that triggered several days of rioting in Afghanistan and other countries in which at least 15 people died. Editor Mark Whitaker expressed regret over the item in the magazine's 'Periscope' section, saying it was based on a confidential source - a 'senior U.S. government official' - who now says he is not sure whether the story is true. [....] The report in the May 9 edition (released May 1) said U.S. military investigators had found that American interrogators at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, had flushed a copy of the Quran, the sacred Muslim text, down a toilet. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - CIA-Funded Terrorists? / Myanmar - May 16th, 2005: "Myanmar's ruling military junta implied Sunday [05/15/05] that the CIA had funded terrorists - trained in neighboring Thailand - who carried out a recent string of bombings. Information Minister Brig. Gen. Kyaw Hsan also raised the death toll from the May 7 bombings at two upscale supermarkets and a convention center in the capital, Yangon, from at least 11 to 19. More than 160 others were injured. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / South of Kermadec Islands - May 16th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 03:54:11 (UTC) on Monday, May 16, 2005. The magnitude 6.6 event has been located SOUTH OF THE KERMADEC ISLANDS. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.html]

2005 - Trivia / Accutane - May 17th, 2005: "The acne drug Accutane does not increase symptoms of depression in teenagers, a study from St. Louis University concludes. [....] Now an independent study conducted by Dr. Elaine Siegfried and her colleagues at St. Louis University shows that youngsters who take the acne drug are no more likely to attempt suicide than teenagers treated with other acne remedies. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Trivia / Early Spring? - May 17th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Each spring, the robins are arriving in Wisconsin several days earlier than they did a decade ago. Endangered woodpeckers in North Carolinia are laying their eggs about a week earlier than they did 20 years ago. And some of Washington's signature cherry trees bloom about a month earlier than they did a half-century ago. The first signs of spring are appearing earlier in the year, and a new study from Stanford University released Monday [05/16/05] says man-made global warming is clearly to blame. [....] The peer-reveiwed study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, statistically links global warming from the burning of fossil fuels to signs of early early spring at detailed local levels for the first time. [....] Europe's spring moved ahead 15 days, while North America's has advanced six days, on average.  [....]" [Based on: Knight-Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - May 17th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Mortars, bombs and drive-by gunmen killed at least 24 Iraqis, and the new government said Monday [05/16/05] that it would capture and punish the killers of at least 50 other people found slain in the past 48 hours. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Ethanol Production / Brazil - May 17th, 2005: "[....] Brazil has long been the world leader in ethanol production, thanks to policies that date back to the 1970s. While quadrupling its ethanol exports last year, Brazil even sent 90 million gallons to the United States, where the industry has been heavily subsidized for two decades in an effort to make it profitable. With oil prices rising everywhere, Brazilian motorists rejoice at being able to fill up their autos on 100 percent ethanol, selling recently at half the price of gasoline. Even Brazilian gasoline is blended with 25 percent ethanol. Now, some in the United States are saying Americans would do well to copy the Brazilian model. [....]" [Based on: Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

2005 - Retraction / Newsweek Report - May 17th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Newsweek magazine bowed to intense White House pressure Monday [05/16/05] and retracted its report that the military had found that a Quran had been thrown in a toilet at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. [....] The alleged desecrations of Qurans have sparked uprisings in the prison and even a mass-suicide attempt by 25 men, sources inside and outside the military said. [....] The military source confirmed that a mass-suicide attempt occurred but didn't know why. In August [2004], the Center for Constitutional Rights said three Britons released from Guantanamo alleged Qurans were dunked by guards. [....]" [Based on: New York Daily News]

*Trivia: "[....] On Tuesday [05/17/05], White House spokesman Scott McClellan  amplified his earlier criticism and urged Newsweek's editors and reporters 'to do all they can to help repair the damage.' For starters, he suggested that the magazine publish positive stories on the U.S. military's efforts to see that the Quran 'is handled with the utmost care and respect.' [....] Ironically, McClellan chastised Newsweek for relying on annonymous sources just a few weeks after the White House insisted that reporters couldn't identify three 'senior administration officials' who conducted a telephone briefing about the president's energy ploicy. Reporters weren't even told who the officials were. Briefings by officials on condition that they not be identified have long been standard practice in Washington. Tom Rosenstiel, the director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism and a Newsweek critic in the current controversy, said the magazine is a convenient target for an administration that detests unauthorized leaks and works hard to control and limit imformation. An added benefit for the administration: Highlighting Newsweek's error could lessen the impact of other reports of detainee abuse. 'There's no penalty for scapegoating journalists,' Rosenstiel said. 'This is a way of discrediting all the reports. ... It's what they teach you in journalism school: If you spell a name wrong, people will doubt everything in the story.' " [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers, 05/18/05]

2005 - First-Quarter Earnings / Lowe's Cos. - May 17th, 2005: "Lowe's Cos., the world's No. 2 home-improvement retailer, said first-quarter earnings rose 31 percent, the most in six quarters, after the company expanded remodeling services and lowered supply costs. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Price-Fixing Plea? / Wolfgang Koch - May 17th, 2005: "Former Bayer AG executive Wolfgang Koch will plead guilty to colluding in a price-fixing scheme that drove up the cost of rubber chemicals used to make tires, outdoor furniture and shoes in the United States during a three-year period, the U.S. Department of Justice said. The plea agreement announced Monday [05/16/05] marks the latest development in a long-running antitrust investigation into an international price-rigging ring formed by some of the world's biggest rubber chemical manufacturers." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 05/17/05]

2005 - Forecast / Hurricane Season, U.S.A. - May 17th, 2005:  "The Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf Coast could be in for another bad hurricane season, one of the government's top forecasters said Monday [05/16/05]. Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, predicted 12 to 15 tropical storms, seven to nine of them becoming hurricanes and three to five of those major hurricanes with winds of at least 111 mph. [....] Last year, there were 15 tropical storms, with nine of them hurricanes - six of them major. Florida got hit by an unprecedented four hurricanes. The hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Israeli Protests / Gaza Stip Withdrawl - May 17th, 2005: "In the biggest and most disruptive protests yet against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to relinquish the Gaza Strip, thousands of right-wing demonstrators snarled evening rush-hour traffic across the country Monday [05/16/05], using burning tires and their own prone bodies to block highways and urban thoroughfares. Police detained some 300 protestors. And for the second day in a row, Israeli bomb squads rushed to investigate two suspicious parcels planted in public places and found to contain only rocks - and notes protesting the pullout. The withdrawl 'will blow up in our faces,' one message read." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Compensatory Damages / Ron Perelman - May 17th, 2005: "WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Billionaire financier Ron Perelman won $604.3 million in compensatory damage on Monday [05/16/05] in a lawsuit that accused the Morgan Stanley investment firm of duping him into believing a company was financially successful. [....] Sunbeam filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001 after its financial troubles were discovered, and Perelman alleged he had millions in losses because stock he received in the deal plunged in value. His lawsuit is also seeking $2 billion in punitive damages. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Morgan Stanley must pay billionaire investor Ronald Perelman $850 million in punitive damages basd on his claims that the firm defrauded him in the sale of his controlling stake in Coleman Co. to Sunbeam Corp. in 1998. [....] The combined verdict of 1.45 billion represents the second-largest jury award this year. Perelman had sought $680 million in actual damages and $2.04 billion in punitive damages. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News, 05/19/05]

2005 - SEC Examination / Pension-Fund Consultants - May 17th, 2005: "The Securities and Exchange Commission expects to act against pension-fund consultants for failing to disclose that they receive fees from money managers they may recommend to their clients. [....] Nineteen of the 24 firms included in the study failed to provide 'plain English' disclosures of their business ties to money managers, Richards [director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, Lori Richards] said. The SEC's examination didn't uncover evidence that pension funds lost money as a result, she said. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 05/17/05]

2005 - World Agricultural Forum / St. Louis, Mo. - May 17th, 2005: "Global population growth of nearly 50 percent in the next 45 years will challenge policymakers around the world as never before, a leading agricultural figure said Monday [05/16/05]. Speaking at the opening session of the World Agricultural Forum, James B. Bolger, former prime minister of new Zealand, said in the keynote address that 'no issue will test the mettle of leaders more than accomodating and feeding an extra 2.6 billion people by 2050 - and alongside that, responding to the very challenging policy implications of aging and declining populations in the developed world.' About 250 representatives of agribusiness corporations, academia, governments and non-governmental organizations convened at the Chase Park Plaza hotel [St. Louis, Mo.] for a three-day conference to explore issues relating to feeding the growing world population, opening markets for agricultural commodities and products and spurring development in less-developed nations. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Convicted / U.S. Army Spc. Sabrina Harman - May 17th, 2005: "A military jury convicted Spc. Sabrina Harman Monday [05/16/05] on all but one of the seven charges she faced for her role in abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison. [....] Her sentencing hearing was scheduled to begin today [05/17/05]. Harman faces a maximum of 5 1/2 years in a military prison. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Kidnapped / Clementina Cantoni, Afghanistan - May 17th, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - Four armed men dragged an Italian woman [Clementina Cantoni] working for CARE International from her car in Afghanistan's capital on Monday [05/16/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "The kidnapping Monday [05/16/05] of an Italian aid worker was an attempt to force the release of men jailed in the abduction of three U.N. workers last fall, officials said Tuesady [05/17/05]. [....] Unlike in Iraq, kidnappings and anti-Western violence are relatively rare in Afghanistan. The last kidnapping was in October [2004], when three U.N. election workers were held for almost a month before being released. [....]" [Based on: Chicago Tribune]

2005 - Oil Trivia / Saudia Arabia - May 18th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The oil minister of Saudi Arabia said Tuesday [05/17/05] that the kingdom had enough oil in the ground to meet global demand for decades to come. He said that there was no plan to curb output, even as rising inventories help push prices below $50 a barrel. [....] Saudia Arabia now pumps 9.5 million barrels of oil daily, with the capacity to produce 11 million barrels a day. By 2009, the country's daily production capacity will be 12.5 million barrels, al-Naimi said, reiterating an earlier pledge. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Death Toll Trivia / Uzbekistan - May 18th, 2005: "ANDIJAN, Uzbekistan - The government and opposition leaders on Tuesday [05/17/05] offered widely diverging death tolls and accounts of the violence in this U.S.-allied Central Asian country. The top prosecutor said 169 terrorists and troops were killed, but opposition activists maintained that more than 700 died - most of them civilians. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / South of Sandwich Islands - May 18th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 09:10:52 (UTC) on Wednesday, May 18, 2005. The magnitude 6.0 event has been located in the SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 89 km (55 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.html]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Tonga - May 18th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 10:27:05 (UTC) on Wednesday, May 18, 2005. The magnitude 6.2 event has been located in TONGA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.html]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Off West Coast of Northern Sumatra - May 18th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 11:37:33 (UTC) on Wednesday, May 18, 2005. The magnitude 6.2 event has been located OFF THE WEST COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.html]

2005 - Foreign Relations / Iran & Iraq - May 18th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iran's foreign minister visited Baghdad on Tuesday [05/17/05], pledging to secure his country's borders to stop militants from entering Iraq. He said the 'situation would have been much worse' if Tehran were actually supporting the insurgency as the United States has claimed. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - U.S. Denunciation / George Galloway - May 18th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - British lawmaker George Galloway denounced U.S. senators on their home turf Tuesday [05/17/05], denying accusations that he profited from the U.N. oil-for-food program and accusing them of unfairly tarnishing his name. [....] 'Senator, this is the mother of all smoke screens,' he said. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - First-Quarter Profit / J.C. Penney Co. - May 18th, 2005: "J.C. Penney Co., the second-largest U.S. department-store company, said first-quarter profit more than quadrupled on higher sales of private-brand apparel and furniture. The shares rose after the company raised its annual profit forecast for the second time this month. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - BNSF Suit / Doe Run Lead Cleanup - 2005: May 18th, 2005: "Hundreds of its employees and contractors have sued BNSF Railway Co. over the years, alleging that toxic lead cargo hauled by Burlington Northern trains left a legacy of suffering and disease. [....] BNSF has spent $8.9 million to clean up contamination from the Lindenwood Yard in St. Louis and the Cherryville siding in Crawford County, said Paul Brown, the lawyer who filed the suit on May 6. The suit formally was served Tuesday [05/17/05] on Doe Run. It seeks to recover the amount of the cleanup plus unspecified costs of settling damage claims. [....] BNSF settled 1,144 nonasbestos personal-injury claims in the first three months of 2005, paying out $65 million, or about $56,800 per claim, according to its financial filings. But Brown and company officials said that figure would not be a good yardstick to measure the lead settlements. [....] In claims filed in St. Louis and elsewhere, workers, contractors and their families have said that the railroad's toxic cargo of lead ore and lead ore concentrate affected their health. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis post-Dispatch]

2005 - World Agricultural Forum / St. Louis, Mo - May 18th, 2005: "The next 40 to 45 years will be the most important in human history because all of the arable land will be settled and countries like China and India will become industrialized, a leading analyst of global agricultural issues said Tuesday [05/17/05]. With an estimated world population of 9.6 billion by mid-century, 'We will have completed the taking of this Earth,' said Frank Tugwell, chairman and chief executive of Winrock International, a nonprofit that works in energy, environment  and rural development. 'There will be one human being per arable acre,' Tugwell told participants on the second day of the three-day World Agricultural Forum at the Chase Park Plaza hotel [St. Louis, Mo.]. [....] In an interview, Tugwell stressed that with about 3.6 billion more people on the planet by 2050, 'We'll see the end of the fossil-fuel economy. We know the population will increase by 50 percent, so we'll need to produce 50 percent more food because people want to eat better. [....] Tolman [chief executive of the National Corn Growers Association, Rick Tolman] and other panelists noted that U.S. automakers haven't made it easy for motorists to use ethanol in their cars because they haven't installed devices that allow the vehicles to burn 85 percent ethanol fuel. Major oil companies also have been reluctant to add ethanol to their gasoline, panelists said, even though no harm is known to be caused by the corn-based fuel. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Offense Against God? / Quran Mistreatment - May 18th, 2005: "The Quran is the most sacred object in the daily lives of Muslims. Mistreating it is considered an offense against God, and that belief fueled outrage over claims that the holy book was desecrated at U.S. bases. [....] Newsweek reported that the military had determined that a Quran had been flushed down a toilet by interrogators at the U..S. naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, sparking deadly riots in the Muslim world. On Monday [05/16/05] the magazine retracted the report that the military had confirmed the incident. Ex-prisoners have claimed in the past that Americans abused the holy book, and another report surfaced this week. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Sentenced / U.S. Army Spc. Sabrina Harman - May 18th, 2005: "An Army reservist [Spc. Sabrina Harman ] who appeared in several of the most infamous abuse photos taken by guards at Abu Ghraib prison was sentenced Tuesday [05/17/05] to six months in prison for her role in the scandal that rocked the U.S. military's image at home and abroad. [....] She faced a maximum of five years, though prosecutors asked the jury to give her three years. With credit for time served, Harman's actual sentence is just more than four months." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Bankruptcy Protection / Collins & Aikman Corp. - May 18th, 2005: "DETROIT - Auto-parts supplier Collins & Aikman Corp. filed Tuesday [05/17/05] for bankruptcy protection in an attempt to get immediate cash for business operations. The company said it will continue to operate during bankruptcy proceedings. [....] Collins & Aikman said it has received a commitment from JPMorgan Chase & Co. for up to $300 million in debtor-in-possession financing. With court approval, the financing deal will allow it to meet its supplier obligations as well as employee salaries and benefits. [Based on: staff & wire reports, S.L.P.D., p. C2, 05/18/05]

2005 - Toyota Camry Hybrid Production? / North America - May 18th, 2005: "Toyota Motor Corp. rolled out plans Tuesday [05/17/05] to build a hybrid version of its Camry model at its plant in Kentucky, marking the automaker's first venture to produce a hybrid vehicle in North America. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 05/18/05]

2005 - Violence / Gaza Strip - May 19th, 2005: "JERUSALEM - Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip unleashed a barrage of mortar shells Wednesday [05/18/05] that injured a Jewish settler, while Israeli troops fired an airborne missle at Hamas militants taking part in the attacks, critically wounding one. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Trivia / Pig Pancreases - May 19th, 2005: "Animal organs are one step closer to providing cures for people with diabetes. Washington University [Mo.] scientists Dr. Marc R. Hammerman and Sharon A. Rogers have discovered that pig pancreases can cure diabetic rats and don't require immune suppressing drugs when transplanted at a primitive stage of development. Results of new experiments, published in the journal Transplant Immunology, reveal that pig organs must be harvested during a narrow window of opportunity in order to evade rejection by the rats' immune system. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Settlements / AmerenUE - May 19th, 2005: "AmerenUE, Missouri's largest electric utility, said Wednesday [05/18/05] that it had reached a settlement with state and federal regulators to help with relicensing of the Osage power plant and Bagnell Dam at the Lake of the Ozarks. The utility, a unit of St. Louis-based Ameren Corp., also agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle lawsuits over the death of more than 43,000 fish at the plant and dam three years ago. The Missouri Department of Conservation and Ameren sued each other in 2002 over the fish kill. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Bleak Picture? / Iraq War - May 19th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. military commanders in Baghdad and Washington gave a sobering assessment of the war in Iraq on Wednesday [05/18/05]. In interviews and briefings, the generals pulled back from recent suggestions - including by some of the same officers - that positive trends in Iraq could allow a reduction in the 138,000 U.S. troops in Iraq late this year or early in 2006. One officer suggested on Wednesday that U.S. military involvement could last 'many years.' [....] In Baghdad, a senior officer said Wednesday in a background briefing that the 21 car bombings in Baghdad so far this month almost matched the total of 25 in all of last year. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Taliban Militants? / Afghanistan - May 19th, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - Suspected Taliban militants killed five Afghans on Wednesday [05/18/05] who were working on a U.S.-funded project to help end opium farming. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Aristide Supporters March / Haiti - May 19th, 2005: "More than 5,000 supporters of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide marched Wednesday [05/18/05] in Haiti's capital, Port-Au-Prince, to demand his return from exile. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Arrests / Terrorism Suspects, Italy - May 19th, 2005: "ROME - Police arrested nine terrorism suspects Wednesday [05/18/05] in raids in northern Italy in what they said was a crackdown on extremist cells accused of planning attacks in Italy and abroad. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Fight Over Filibusters / U.S. Senate - May 19th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Senate plunged into an intense partisan struggle Wednesday [05/18/05] over the fate of stalled federal court nominees and the governance of the institution itself, as the two parties locked in a debate over the minority's right to prevent votes on a president's judicial candidates." [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Islamic State? / Korasuv, Uzbekistan - May 19th, 2005: "KORASUV, Uzbekistan - Rebels cherishing the prospect of a strict Islamic state were firmly in control of this border town Wednesday [05/18/05] throwing up a new challenge to the government as it tried to prove to skeptical diplomats that its troops didn't fire on civilians. 'We will be building an Islamic state here in accordance with the Quran,' rebel leader Bakhtiyor Rakhimov told The Associated Press in Korasuv, a town of 20,000. 'People are tired of slavery.' [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Uzbek forces on Thursday [05/20/05] captured a rebel leader [Bakhtiyor Rakhimov] who had proclaimed plans for an Islamic state in this border town. His sister said he was arrested at his home before dawn and was beaten, though he was unarmed and gave no resistance. The arrest and takeover of the town of 20,000 ended the last open rebellion to the government in the volatile Fergana Valley. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 05/20/05]

2005 - U.S. Limits? / Chinese Clothing Imports - May 19th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush's administration said Wednesday [05/18/05] that it will impose new limits on imports of clothing from China. The action comes after complaints that a surge of Chinese apparel to the United States is hurting U.S. companies. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - "A World in Danger" Conference / Petra - May 19th, 2005: "Elie Wiesel, the Dalai Lama and other Nobel Prize winners are debating solutions to challenges facing the modern world in an ancient locale - the city of Petra, carved out 2,000 years ago. [....] The two-day conference, titled 'A World in Danger,' is co-sponsored by Wiesel's New York-based Foundation for Humanity. [....]"  [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Nias Region, Indonesia - May 19th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 01:54:52 (UTC) on Thursday, May 19, 2005. The magnitude 6.9 event has been located in the NIAS REGION, INDONESIA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usygam.htm] 

2005 - Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization? / U.S.A. - May 19th, 2005: "President George W. Bush said Wednesday [05/18/05] that the administration is creating a special corps of federal workers that can quickly deploy to help governments in crisis. [....] ... Bush is proposing $100 million next year for a new conflict response fund and another $24 million for a new Office of Reconstruction and Stabilization in the State Department. That office will coordinate U.S. government efforts to support emerging democracies, with the new Active Response Corps of foreign and civil service officers as a crucial tool, Bush said. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa / Los Angeles, California - May 19th, 2005: "Los Angeles - Antonio Villaraigosa promised Wednesday [05/18/05] to be 'a mayor for all Los Angeles' after his election as the city's first Hispanic mayor since 1872, an event that marks a changing of the guard in a city where latinos now have political clout to match their burgeoning numbers. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Allstate Commercial Insurance Policies, Florida - May 19th, 2005: "Allstate will stop writing commercial insurance policies in Florida and won't renew 95,000 homeowner policies, a decision made because of the four hurricanes that slammed Florida last year, the company said Wednesday [05/18/05]. [....] Allstate is also notifying the state that it will not renew any of its 16,000 commercial policies and will no longer write new policies. The company also said it would seek a rate increase. Allstate Corp. is the nation's second-largest property and casualty insurer after State Farm." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 05/19/05]

2005 - Movie Release / Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith - May 19th, 2005: "Released this date in history: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. E1, 05/18/05]

2005 - Stocks Rally / U.S.A. - May 20th, 2005: "NEW YORK - Stocks rose Thursday [05/19/05] for a fourth day, extending their biggest rally in six months, as oil prices dropped below $47 a barrel and technology shares - including Motorola Inc. - advanced. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - May 20th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Multiple insurgent attacks across Iraq on Thursday [05/19/05] killed at least 23 people, including three American soldiers, as visiting U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick accused guerrillas of 'trying to split communities' and widen the country's sectarian and ethnic divides. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Highway Ambush / Afghanistan - May 20th, 2005: "KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Gunmen shot and killed six Afghans in an ambush in the country's south Thursday [05/19/05], officials said. The attack was the second in two days on employees of a U.S.-funded anti-drug project [Chemonics International Inc.], which is trying to give farmers an alternative crop to opium poppies. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - "Therapeutic Cloning" / South Korea - May 20th, 2005: "NEW YORK - South Korean researchers report that they have developed a highly efficient recipe for producing human embryo's by cloning and then extracting their stem cells. Writing today [05/20/05] in the journal Science, the researchers at Seoul National University said they used their method to produce 11 human stem cell lines that were genetic matches of patients who ranged in age from 2 to 56. [....] Their method, called therapeutic cloning, is one of the great hopes of the stem cell field. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / South of Fiji Islands - May 20th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 12:40:42 (UTC) on Friday, May 20, 2005. The magnitude 6.0 event has been located SOUTH OF THE FIJI ISLANDS. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usyhap.htm] 

2005 - Trivia / 2004 Great Asian Earthquake - May 20th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The great Asian earthquake that generated the devastating tsunami in December [2004] was so powerful that the ground shook everywhere on the earth's surface. Weeks later, the planet still trembled. 'No point on Earth remained undisturbed,' said Roger Bilham of the University of Colorado. [....] The quake resulted from the longest fault rupture ever observed, one that stretched as far as 780 miles and took 10 minutes. A typical earthquake lasts for 30 seconds. [....] A special section of a half-dozen research papers on the quake appeared in today's issue [05/20/05] of the journal Science. [....] The earthquake and resulting tsunami, which swept across the Indian Ocean, killed more than 176,000 people in 11 countries. About 50,000 people were left missing and hundreds of thousands were made homeless. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Captured / Bakhtiyor Rakhimov, Uzbekistan - May 20th, 2005: "KORASUV, Uzbekistan - Breaking through a wooden gate and firing a single warning shot, Uzbek forces on Thursday [05/20/05] captured a rebel leader [Bakhtiyor Rakhimov] who had proclaimed plans for an Islamic state in this border town. His sister said he was arrested at his home before dawn and was beaten, though he was unarmed and gave no resistance. The arrest and takeover of the town of 20,000 ended the last open rebellion to the government in the volatile Fergana Valley. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

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

2005 - Dry Period / Spain - May 21st, 2005: "A man walks with a dog along a dry, cracked reservoir bed in Alcora, eastern Spain, on Friday [0520/05]. Spain is suffering its driest period since 1947." [Based on: A.P. picture-article, S.L.P.D., p. 26, 05/21/05]

2005 - Hurricane Adrian / Central America - May 21st, 2005: "Hurricane Adrian fizzled over Honduras Friday [05/20/05] after slamming into El Salvador's coast and forcing the evacuation of 23,000 people, officials said. The hurricane, first of the eastern Pacific season, caused relatively little damage and no reported deaths. It struck west of El Salvador's capital overnight with maximum sustained winds of almost 75 mph. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Peru-Ecuador Border Region - May 21st, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 05:11:33 (UTC) on Saturday, May 21, 2005. The magnitude 6.1 event has been located in the PERU-ECUADOR BORDER REGION. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 26 km (16 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usyiaf.htm] 

2005 - Weekly Deaths in Iraq - Week of May 22nd: "Iraqi civilians, security forces: 124; U.S. military personnel and *others: 20." [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 - Trivia / Avian Flu, China - May 22nd, 2005: "China ordered emergency measures Saturday [05/21/05] to prevent an outbreak of avian flu after investigators said migratory birds found dead in a western province this month were killed by the virus. Nature reserves were closed, and local authorities were ordered to watch wild birds for signs of disease and impose quarantines if necessary, the official Xinhua News Agency said. It said farms near migration routes were ordered to immunize their birds, while the public was warned to 'stop contact with poultry.' The order came hours after the Agriculture Ministry announced that migratory birds found dead May 4 in the western province of Qinghai were killed by the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus. Xinhua said some came from Southeast Asia but it didn't say what species they were." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Mortgage Debt, U.S.A. - May 22nd, 2005: "The stock market collapse of 2000 to 2003 wiped out $6 trillion of net worth for Americans. Yet, many people shrugged it off. [....] Through most of the 1990s, mortgage debt was equal to about 75 percent of the nation's total personal income. Today, its more than 104 percent of personal income. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Prisoner Abuse Investigation / Afghanistan - May 22nd, 2005: "NEW YORK - Despite autopsy findings of homicide and statements by soldiers that two prisoners died [December 2002] after being struck by guards at an American military detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan, Army investigators initially recommended closing the case without bringing any criminal charges, documents and interviews show. [....] The officer who led the interrogation operations at Bagram, Capt. Carolyn A. Wood, was found by a high-level military investigation last year to have applied many of the same harsh methods in Iraq that she had overseen in Afghanistan. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Foreign Relations / U.S.A. & Afghanistan - May 22nd, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - Hours before flying to the United States for talks with President George W. Bush, Afghan leader Hamid Karzai demanded greater control over American military operations in his country. He also called Saturday [05/21/05] for vigorous punishment of any U.S. troops who mistreat prisoners. In addition, he wants the United States to hand over all Afghan prisoners still in U.S. custody, he said. [....] Karzai demanded more say over operations by the 16,700 U.S. troops still in the country. He wants an end to raids on the homes of Afghans unless his government was notified beforehand. 'No operations inside Afghanistan shood take place without the consultation of the Afghan government,' he said. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Laura Bush / Middle East - May 23rd, 2005: "JERUSALEM - Laura Bush found herself immersed in the passions of the Middle East on Sunday [05/22/05], as her carefully devised trip to places holy to both Muslims and Jews attracted small numbers of vocal protestors. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Elections Trivia / Germany - May 23rd, 2005: "BERLIN - Chancellor Gerhard Schroder called Sunday [05/22/05] for early elections this fall - a year ahead of time - after his party suffered a crushing defeat in Germany's most populous region. He said he lost the mandate he needs to fix the country's struggling economy. [....] Social Democrats have held power for 39 years in the western region of 18.1 million people, which includes the industrial Ruhr Valley. But this year, the party faced widespread discontent over surging unemployment - which stands at 12.1 percent, just above the national average of 12.0 percent. [....] The Social Democrats took 37.1 percent of the vote Sunday, well behind the Christian Democrats' 44.8 percent, according to official results. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Elections Trivia / Mongolia - May 23rd, 2005: "Nomadic herders arrived on horses at polling stations in Mongolia to vote Sunday [05/22/05] for a new president, with the candidate from the former Communist party leading the polls. [....] Results are expected today." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Economic Growth, U.S.A. - May 23rd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The expanding U.S. trade deficit probably will slow down economic growth this year, business economists say. The economy, as measured by gross domestic product, is projected to expand 3.4 percent this year, compared with an earlier estimate of 3.6 percent, according to the latest outlook from the National Association for Business Economics. [....] On the inflation front, consumer prices are expected to rise this year by 2.8 percent, compared with a previous forecast of 2.2 percent. [....] Last year, consumer prices rose 3.3 percent, the most since 2000. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Afghanistan - May 23rd, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - U.S. airstrikes and ground troops killed 12 insurgents who attacked a patrol in eastern Afghanistan's border region, the U.S. military said Sunday [05/22/05]. Also Sunday, the United Nations called for Afghan human rights investigators to be allowed into Bagram, the main U.S. base in Afghanistan, after the New York Times reported that poorly trained U.S. soldiers there had repeatedly abused prisoners. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - U.S.-Iraqi Operation / Western Baghdad - May 23rd, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Seven Iraqi battalions backed by U.S. forces launched an operation on Sunday [05/22/05] to try to stanch the violence that has killed more than 550 people in less than a month. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trade Relations / North & South Korea - May 23rd, 2005: "A North Korean cargo ship arrived in South Korea on Sunday [05/22/05] to pick up fertilizer for the impoverished country. The ship was the first from the North to dock in the South in 21 years. The ship traveled to the southeastern port of Ulsan after South Korea last week agreed in talks to give 200,000 tons of fertilizer to the North. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Volcanic Eruption / Colima Volcano, Mexico - May 23rd, 2005: "[....] It came to life again on May 23, sending a stream of burning gas and rock fragments more than 2 1/2 miles down the slopes and shooting clouds of ash two miles high. Similar eruptions occurred on May 30, June 2-3 and last Sunday [06/05/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, S.L.P.D., p. A12, 06/09/05]

2005 - Volcanic Activity / Anatahan Volcano, Northern Marianas Islands - May 23rd, 2005: "A tan cloud of ash fans west from the Anatahan volcano in this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image, acquired on May 23, 2005, by the Terra satellite. The volcano has been erupting almost continuously since late March, including one massive eruption on April 6 in which it sent as much as 50 million cubic meters of ash into the atmosphere in a single day. The Anatahan Island, formed by the volcano, remains off-limits and pilots have been warned to avoid the area immediately around the volcano because ash can destroy jet engines, according to the current update issued by the United States Geological Survey and the Emergency Management Office for the Northern Marianas Islands."

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=12882] 

2005 - Asthma Drug / Xolair - May 24th, 2005: "[....] An estimated 20 million Americans suffer from asthma, and about half of those cases are caused by allergies. [....] Most current asthma medicines treat the symptoms of allergies and asthma, but Novartis developed a drug called omalizumab or Xolair, a monoclonal antibody that combats the cause of the symptoms. Monoclonal antibodies latch on to one specific type of protein - in the case of allergic asthma, to IgE [immunoglobulin E]. [....] The drug keeps IgE from 'parking' on the mast cell and setting off an allergic reaction, Korenblat [Washington University clinical medicine proferssor, Dr. Philip Korenblat] said. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - May 24th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A string of car bombs and suicide attacks across Iraq Monday [05/23/05] killed at least 49 Iraqis and wounded more than 130. The targets included a Baghdad restaurant popular with police, a Shiite mosque and the home of a community leader near Mosul. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Delayed? / Palestinian Elections - May 24th, 2005: "The Palestinian Election Commission said Monday [05/23/05] that parliamentary elections scheduled for July 17 will be delayed because it needed more time to prepare for the vote. The move threatens to inflame a dispute between the militant group Hamas and the ruling Fatah party. [....] The election commission said it would need at least two months from the time a new election law was ratified to prepare for the vote. The law is being held up by a dispute between Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and parliament over how many legislators should be chosen in district elections and how many from party slates. Hamas hopes for more gains after strong showings in three rounds of municipal elections since December. It has insisted the parliament vote be held as scheduled. Before Monday's announcement, Hamas spokesman Mohammed Ghazal accused Fatah of using logistics as a pretext to delay the vote." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Foreign Relations / U.S.A. & Afghanistan - May 24th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush on Monday [05/23/05] rebuffed Afghan President Hamid Karzai's effort to gain greater control over U.S. military operations in his country. The two leaders endorsed an agreement allowing the United States to continue its policy of only consulting with Afghan officials before launching raids in Afghanistan. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - Mass Protest / Bolivia - May 25th, 2005: "Thousands of demonstrators blocked major roads in and around the capital on Tuesday [05/24/05], isolating La Paz in a protest demanding the nationalization of the oil industry and opposing autonomy for an oil-producing region. [....] No injuries or arrests were reported." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - May 25th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A car bomb exploded next to a U.S. Army convoy in Baghdad on Tuesday [05/24/05], killing three soldiers, while another American died in a drive-by shooting a half-hour later. Their deaths pushed the number of U.S. troops killed in three days to 14, part of a surge in attacks that have also killed about 60 Iraqis. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Wounded? / Musab Al-Zarqawi - May 25th, 2005: "A Web site that acts as the clearinghouse for messages from Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said Tuesday [05/24/05] that Iraq's most-wanted militant had been wounded 'for the sake of God' and asked Muslims to pray for his recovery. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - First-Quarter Profit / Dillard's Inc. - May 25th, 2005: "Department store chain Dillard's Inc. said Tuesday [05/24/05] that first-quarter profit fell 29 percent on markdowns and falling sales. The shares dropped the most in 21 months after earnings missed analysts' estimates. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Edge of Solar System / Voyager 1 - May 25th, 2005: "NASA's venerable Voyager 1 spacecraft appears to have reached the edge of the solar system 28 years after its launching [1977], scientists said Tuesday [05/24/05]. [....] When it entered the heliosheath, Voyager 1 was 8.7 billion miles away - the farthest any manmade object has ever traveled. Its speed is 46,000 mph. The craft is expected to operate until 2020, when its battery will fail. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Little Risk of Cancer? / Hair Dye - May 25th, 2005: "CHICAGO - A review of nearly 40 years of research suggests that hair dye poses little or no risk of cancer, as some fear. But skeptics say safety questions remain. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A5, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 05/25/05]

2005 - Inauguration / Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline - May 25th, 2005: "Officials and oil company executives today [05/25/05] will inaugurate a 1,100-mile pipeline that will carry millions of gallons of crude from the landlocked Caspian to the Mediterranean - a much-needed alternative to Mideast energy resources. Analysts say the $3.2 billion, U.S.-backed Baku-Ceyhan pipeline could also help bring stability to the troubled region. The Caspian is believed to contain the world's third-largest oil and gas reserves. Built by a consortium led by BP PLC, the pipeline runs from Azerbaijan through Georgia to the Turkish port of Ceyhan. Until now, Caspian states sent almost all their oil through Russian pipelines to reach world markets." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Right to Hearing Waived / Pfc. Lynndie England - May 25th, 2005: "Pfc. Lynndie England on Tuesday [05/24/05] surrendered her right to challenge the seven charges she faces in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, moving her one step closer to a new military trial. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Settlement / Honeywell Unit - May 26th, 2005: "A unit of Honeywell International Inc. will pay $2.75 million to settle an investigation into claims that it overcharged the Air Force. The settlement resolves allegations that Honeywell Technology Solutions misrepresented its use of a cost management system to win a 2001 contract with an Air Force unit in Los Angeles, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana Mintz." [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. D2, 05/26/05]

2005 - Tyson Probe / Chicken Abuse? - May 26th, 2005: "Tyson foods Inc. said Wednesday [05/25/05] that it will investigate allegations of inhumane chicken slaughter but contended that an undercover animal-rights photographer apparently violated company policies by videotaping 'what he should have been preventing.' The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, distributed videotapes and launched a Web site accusing Tyson of mutilating birds and scalding thousands while they were conscious in an Alabama slaughterhouse. The group also said its videotape shows workers tearing heads off live chickens. Tyson said a veterinarian from its Office of Animal Well-Being will look into the allegations." [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. D2, 05/26/05]

2005 - U.S. Operation / Haditha, Iraq - May 26th, 2005: "HADITHA, Iraq - More than 1,000 U.S. troops swept into Haditha, on the road to Syria, on Wednesday [05/25/05] to root out insurgents, including those loyal to terrorist mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. They acted after insurgents damaged the hospital, knocked out the electricity and prevented police from entering. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2006 - New Ethanol Mandate / U.S.A. - May 26th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Midwestern farmers scored a significant victory Wednesday [05/25/05] when a Senate committee adopted a new national fuel requirement that would more than double the use of ethanol over the next seven years. [....] The proposal adopted by the Senate Energy Committee would establish a federal requirement that refiners use at least 8 billion gallons of renewable fuels - made mostly from corn - in the nations gasoline by 2012. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

2005 - U.S. Anti-Terrorism Effort / Africa - May 26th, 2005: "DAKAR, Senegal - The United States is pouring more soldiers and money into its anti-terrorism campaign in Africa, including in Algeria and chaotic Nigeria, both oil-rich nations where radical Islam has a following. A new effort outlined Wednesday [05/25/05] in a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Senegal proposes spending $100 million a year over five years to boost security in some of the world's least policed areas, starting with a joint military exercise in the region next month. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac - May 26th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - A House panel on Wednesday [05/25/05] approved a bill that would strengthen the government's hand over mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but falls short of President George W. Bush's proposal to reduce their multibillion-dollar holdings. [....] Fannie Mae, the No. 1 U.S. mortgage financer and the second-largest financial institution after CitiGroup Inc., is facing a likely $11 billion restatement of earnings after regulators accused it last fall of serious accounting manipulations. In June 2003, No. 2 Freddie Mac disclosed that it had misstated earnings, mostly underreporting them, by $5 billion for 2000-2002. The administration wants Congress to give the new regulator the authority to limit the companies' mortgage portfolios, which total $1.5 trillion - a move also urged by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - "American Idol " / Carrie Underwood - May 26th, 2005: "Los Angeles - Carrie Underwood ... is this year's 'American Idol,' defeating Southern rocker Bo Bice in the show's finale Wednesday night [05/25/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Women in Combat Zones, U.S.A. - May 26th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - House Republicans abandoned their own plan to curb the role of women in combat zones after it ran into opposition from the Pentagon and lawmakers from both parties. [....] A Pentagon policy in place since 1994 bars women from serving in direct ground combat units. It allows the services to open some positions to women in combat zones as needed as long as the military informs Congress of the change 30 days beforehand. Under the House bill, that period would be 60 days. The Pentagon also would be required to study how it assigns women to jobs and report back to Congress." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - "Gulag of our Time?" / Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - May 26th, 2005: "LONDON - Amnesty International on Wednesday [05/25/05] castigated the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay as a failure, calling it 'the gulag of our time' in the human rights group's harshest rebuke yet of American detention policies. Amnesty urged Washington to shut down the prison at the U.S. Navy's base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where some 540 men are held on suspicion of links to Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime or the al-Qaida terrorist network. Some have been jailed for more than three years without charge. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Amnesty's complaints were 'ridiculous and unsupported by the facts.' He said allegations of prisoner mistreatment are investigated. 'We hold people accountable when there's abuse. We take steps to prevent it from happening again. And we do so in a very public way for the world to see that we lead by example and that we do have values that we hold very dearly and believe in,' McClellan told reporters. [....] 'Guantanamo has become the Gulag of our time,' Amnesty Secretary-General Irene Khan said as the London-based group issued a 308-page annual report that accused the United States of shirking its responsibility to set the bar for human rights protections. The use of the term gulag refers to the extensive system of prison camps in the former Soviet Union, many in remote regions of Siberia and specifically designed to hold political prisoners. The soviets took over the system from the czarist government and expanded it after the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Untold thousands of prisoners of the so-called gulags died from hunger, cold, harsh treatment and overwork. [....] Some prisoners have challenged their detentions in U.S. courts, but their cases are stalled by appeals filed by the U.S. government and subsequent arguments. 'Not a single case from some 500 men has reached the courts,' Khan said. In a statement, the Defense department said 'the detention of enemy combatants is not criminal in nature, but to prevent them from continuing to fight against the United States in the War on Terrorism.' [....] The Geneva-based International Committee of the red Cross, which also has been critical of practices at Guantanamo, is the only independant group with access to the detainees. Amnesty has been refused access to the prison, although it was allowed to watch pretrial hearings for 15 detainees who have been charged." [Based on: A.P. article by Paisley Dodds, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A5, 05/26/05] [Note: paragraph indents removed to save space - E.M.]

*Trivia: "In the Soviet Union, the communist party, run mostly for the benefit of its Jewish founders who made up approximately 90% of the founding fathers and administrators of the Soviet Union, hid behind their leftist doctrine which had been designed to undermine Christianity in the name of materialism and social science. These administrators of the Soviet Union who were detailed in reports to the U.S. State Department from Russia in 1919 were instrumental in instructing their cohorts to send out Jewish commissars like Kaganovitch and Beria to kill approximately 100 million White European Christians whom they called 'reactionary bourgeoisie' for correctness in 1920-1940. What they meant by 'bourgeoisie' were Russia's Christians. In addition to killing the Christian peasants under the materialist aegis of communism, the churches and parochial schools were confiscated or burned as were their Christian towns; the priests were either murdered or sent to prisons, and all vestiges of Christianity were as nearly as possible expunged. Once the Christians in an entire area were killed, the Jews brought in new non-Christians, atheists, who were relocated there to re-establish the economic exploitation of the emptied lands in agricultural communes similar to the kibbutzim programs in Israel which were begun at the same time. At this point in history, the Jews and Zionists in power declared anti-Semitism to be a capital crime, because the Christians who were being killed by these communist Jews in Russia had developed groups to protect themselves and were critical of the Jewish excesses in the matter of their own genocide with whom they naturally refused to cooperate without fighting for their very lives. The accusation of anti-Semitism in Russia became a mandatory death sentence to any Christian fighting against the Jewish oppression of Christianity in the Soviet Union, especially if these Christians even identified the names of the many thousands of Jews in control of their anti-Christian extermination policy. The Jewish-led anti-Christian genocide in Russia was basically a totally Jewish-run and definitely anti-Christian Affair using communism and anti-reactionary programs as the ideological communist 'cover' for wiping out Christianity. The Jews basically ran the Russian government and hid behind its skirts as they carried out their murders across the Russian Continent. It was never reported in the United States, because the media was controlled mostly by Jewish owners who were uninterested in exposing Americans to an atrocity by Jews. Only Henry Ford, who owned his own newspaper, got the word out, and he was severely criticized as being anti-Semitic for his honesty in exposing this matter of Christian genocide by the Jews. [....] The great international conspiracies of communism, socialism, liberalism, Masonry, and Zionism were always interconnected and have created all of our world wars, cold wars, economic depressions, and divisive genocidal conduct throughout the world, mainly because their conspirators who have created these agencies of death carried an anti-Christian agenda which was hidden behind the false curtain of secular materialist intellectuality. Those believing there is no international conspiracy going back more than one hundred years cannot explain the existence of the State of Israel without studying the conspiracies stemming from the Zionist World Congress in the 1800's whose final fruit is Israel itself as well as the two world wars, communism, the secret Balfour Declaration under which Zionists promised Britain they would bring the United States into the First World War using their blackmail of President Wilson over his sexual liaisons at Princeton (a la Benjamin Freedman's books), the 3-day communist takeover in Germany in 1919 under Rosa Luxembourg whose Jewish-Communist Conspiracy resulted in the abdication of the Kaiser who crossed into Denmark for safety, the collapse of the German front due to Jewish-inspired leftist armaments production strikes in Germany in the middle of the war, the later Christian genocide of 1920-1940 by the Zionists in Russia, the Jewish-inspired world blockade of Germany in 1933 (see Freedman), and the Jewish-Zionist German diplomatic assassination in Poland in 1937 which triggered Krystal Nacht and the persecution of Jews by the nearly starved Germans. Most of the adherents had little idea they were being manipulated by persons who, in the background, were orchestrating genocide against members of their own societies, and that type of hidden agenda and hidden genocide is a major point in the correct administration of worldwide conspiracies. These conspiracies are also being carried out in America and Europe today where immigration is supported in order to eliminate as many Christian Europeans as possible from the world stage. In reality, these outcomes were planned more than one hundred years ago and outlined in little read but always available Jewish, Masonic, and communist publications composed mostly by Zionist anti-Christian conspirators bent on genocidal acts and world domination by moneyed interests." [Link: 1] [Note: paragraph indents removed to save space -E.M.]

2005 - Complaints of Prisoner Abuse / Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - May 26th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Detainees told FBI interrogators as early as April 2002 that mistreatment of the Quran was widespread at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and many said they were severly beaten by captors there or in Afghanistan, according to FBI documents released Wednesday [05/25/05] [....] The newly declassified accounts, written primarily in 2002 and 2003, were released in the aftermath of an international uproar over a now retracted story by Newsweek magazine, which reported that an internal military investigation had confirmed that a Quran was flushed down a toilet. [....] While detainees and others have lodged complaints of abuse at Guantanamo Bay, this is only the second major release of internal FBI memos on the subject. The interviews underscore that U.S. government officials were made aware of allegations of prisoner abuse and Quran mistreatment within months of the opening of Guantanamo Bay in early 2002. Pentagon officials said last week that they had not investigated claims of Quran desecration because they had not been presented with any specific or credible allegations of such acytivity. But thery also said they were reviewing allegations related to mistreatment of the Muslim holy book. [....] ACLU lawyer Amrit Singh said, 'The evidence that there was systematic and widespread abuse of detainees in U.S. custody continues to mount and the government continues to turn a blind eye to this evidence.' White House press secretary Scott McClellan said: 'The allegations are ridiculous and unsupported by the facts. The United States is leading the way when it comes to protecting human rights and promoting human dignity.' " [Based on: Washington Post article, p. A5, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 05/26/05]

*Trivia: "U.S. officials have substantiated five cases in which military guards or interrogators mishandled the Quran of Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay but found 'no credible evidence' to confirm a prisoner's report that a holy book was flushed in a toilet, the prison's commander [Army Brig. Gen. Jay Hood] said Thursday [05/26/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 05/27/05]

2005 - Apology Extension? / U.S. Treatment of Americans Indians - May 26th, 2005: "Legislation that would offer an apology to American Indians for government mistreatment and neglect was warmly received at a Senate panel hearing Wednesday [05/25/05]. Introduced last month by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., the resolution would apologize for the 'many instances of violence, maltreatment and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the United States.' Congress rarely apologizes for official government conduct. Exceptions include a 1993 apology to native Hawaiians for the unlawful overthrow of the Hawaiin kingdom, and a 1998 apology to Japanese Americans placed in detention camps during World war II." [Based on: News Services, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A7, 05/26/05]

2005 - Trivia / UE Constitution - May 27th, 2005: "President Jacques Chirac made a dramatic last-ditch appeal Thursday [05/26/05] for French voters to ratify the European Union's first constitution, saying the choice is 'about your future and that of your children.' [....] Each state must approve the text by referendum or parliamentary vote for it to take effect next year." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Flight Hours Trivia / ScanEagle - May 27th, 2005: "Boeing Co.'s robotic ScanEagle airplane recently surpassed 3,000 hours of flying combat missions in Iraq, where it has spent 10 months tracking enemy movements for the Marines. Since being deployed by the First Marine Expeditionary Force in August 2004, the ScanEagle has accumulated flight hours at an increasingly high rate. Boeing said. The ScanEagle is produced by Boeing's Integrated Defense Systems, based in St Louis." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. B2, 05/27/05]

2005 - Foreign Relations / U.S.A. & Haiti - May 27th, 2005: "The State Department warned Americans on Thursday [04/26/05] that travel to Haiti was dangerous and said that it had ordered all U.S. personnel whose jobs were not essential to leave. Also, the statement said, family members of all American diplomats were being instructed to leave Haiti. [....] The U.S. embassy has imposed a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m., the announcement said." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Palestinian Praise / George W. Bush - May 27th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush offered an unstinting vote of confidence and $50 million in direct aid to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday [05/26/05] to try to bolster his newly elected government and reinvigorate the Middle East peace process. [....] Laying claim to all the land the Arabs lost to Israel in the 1967 Mideast war, including east Jerusalem, Abbas said, 'It is time for our people, after many decades of suffering and dispossessions, to enjoy living in freedom on their own land.' [....] Any changes Israel made in expanding its boundaries since the end of the 1948 war for independence 'must be mutually agreed to,' Bush said. And he said Israel must remove illegal makeshift outposts from the West Bank and stop expanding Jewish settlements." [Based on: Washington Post article, p. A1 & A14, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 05/27/05]

2005 - Planned Crackdown / Baghdad, Iraq - May 27th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq announced plans Thursday [05/26/05] to deploy 40,000 police and soldiers in the capital and ring the city with hundreds of checkpoints 'like a bracelet.' In a reminder of the difficulty Iraqi security forces face in stopping insurgent attacks, violence claimed the lives of at least 15 Iraqis in Baghdad Thursday. Also, two U.S. soldiers were killed in action. [....] In Baghdad, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari told a small group of Western reporters that next week's planned crackdown, dubbed Operation Lightning, was designed 'to restore the initiative to the government.' Insurgents have killed more than 620 people since his government was announced on April 28. [....] Iraq has 89,400 security personnel attached to the Ministry of Interior, according to the U.S. military command. This includes police, highway patrol and some commando units, although the figure may include some who have deserted. Another 75,800 personnel are in the country's military, most of them in the army. Al-Jaafari said his government was working hard to recruit, train and equip its police and army, but still needed support from 160,000 foreign troops, including 138,000 from the United States, to deal with the raging insurgency. American forces will back the Iraqis with logistical aid and air cover during Operation Lightning, according to the U.S. military. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Future Combat Systems, U.S.A. - May 27th, 2005: "The Pentagon is spending $122 billion on an Internet connection to remove the fog of war. Within 10 years, grunts on the ground won't have to lead with their chins. Robotic planes, sensor pods and unmanned ground vehicles will shoulder some of the dirty work of looking around corners. Out of harm's way, soldiers will watch the action on a small computer, eager to unleash the latest firepower with a text message on their software-based radios. [....] By fiscal 2007, an active Army unit will begin testing early equipment of Future Combat Systems, whose cornerstone is a digital communications network that connects soldiers, pilots, ships, satellites, robotic planes and tanks to command centers and an array of weapons systems across all branches of the military. [....] Future Combat Systems, or FCS, is the Army's most expensive and complex project ever. Boeing is managing the St. Louis-based FCS program, which promises to integrate all U.S. forces with a common picture of the battlefield. [....] The cost of designing and building FCS is nearly unmatched in the annals of Pentagon spending. But Boeing and the Army say the expense of operating and maintaining an FCS unit of some 3,000 soldiers will be substantially less than a traditional brigade. [....] The Army's logistical supply trail will be reduced as much as 50 percent because of FCS, he [FCS program manager for Boeing, Dennis Muilenburg] said. [....] The cost of the program probably will grow, forcing reduction or cancellation of other weapons programs to make room in a defense budget strained by the cost of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. [....] Last year, the Army restructured FCS so that current forces can receive its technology and equipment sooner, rather than wait until 2014 for a fully equipped FCS unit of action of about 3,000 soldiers. In all, the Army wants to field 15 units of action. [....] Boeing recently released the first version of the System of Systems Common Operating Environment, which consisted of 3.2 million lines of software code. Version 1.0 had its share of bugs, and elements of the Java and C++ software used had pass rates of 69 percent and 67 percent, respectively, according to the Army's qualification test. Muilenburg said most of the problems have been corrected. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, pp. B1 & B12, 05/27/05]

2005 - Trivia / Nuclear Waste Facilities, Ukraine - May 27th, 2005: "The United States and Ukraine signed an agreement Thursday [05/26/05] to safeguard nuclear waste in the former Soviet republic that could be used by terrorists to make a dirty bomb. The nations pledged to work together to upgrade security at storage facilities. [....] The Office of Global Radiological Threat Reduction of the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration will work with local officials to upgrade security at the six Ukrainian nuclear waste facilities." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Potential Terrorist Attacks? / Indonesia - May 27th, 2005: "The United States closed all its diplomatic offices in Indonesia on Thursday [05/26/05] because of an unspecified security threat, and it issued fresh warnings of potential terrorist attacks in the world's most Muslim country. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Accounting Tricks? / American International Group Inc. - May 27th, 2005: "American International Group Inc. and its former chief executive, Maurice 'Hank' Greenberg, were accused Thursday [05/27/05] by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer of using accounting tricks to mislead regulators and investors. AIG, the world's biggest insurer, used sham contracts and altered its books to understate liabilities and hide losses, Spitzer alleged. The lawsuit comes after New York-based AIG's admission on May 1 that improper accounting had overstated its net worth by $2.7 billion. [....] The complaint, which also names former Chief Financial Officer Howard Smith, came after a three-month investigation that triggered the end of Greenberg's 38-year reign, wiped out almost $50 billion of AIG's market value and tainted Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. AIG spokesman Chris Winas said the complaint raised 'no new claims.' [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - "Cleared of all Charges" / U.S. Marine 2nd Lt. Ilario G. Pantano - May 27th, 2005: "CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - A Marine lieutenant accused of murdering two detained Iraqis and hanging a taunting sign over their corpses was cleared of all charges Thursday [05/26/05], a decision the Marine Corps said was in 'the best interests' of the officer and the country. Marine 2nd Lt. Ilario G. Pantano - a Wall Street energy trader who rejoined the military in response to the Sept. 11 attacks - did not deny shooting the suspected insurgents 60 times or hanging the sign that displayed a corps slogan: 'No better friend, no worse enemy.' Instead, Pantano, 33, asserted that he had killed the Iraqis in self-defense after the unarmed men made threatening moves toward him during a search of their car in April last year near Mahmudiyah, Iraq, 15 miles south of Baghdad. [....] The lieutenant, who is married and has two children, will continue with his duties as a training officer at camp Lejeune, base spokesman 2nd Lt. Barry Edwards said." [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - First Republic Day / Armenia - May 28th, 2005: "Armenians join hands in a dance of unity that encircles the country's highest mountain, Mount Aragats, Saturday [05/28/05] to celebrate the country's founding [1918]. About 150,000 people participated." [Based on: A.P. picture article, St. Louis Post Dispatch, p. A13, 05/29/05]

Links: [http://www.aua-mirror.com/aua/faculty/info1.htm]

2005 - Suicide Bomber? / Muslim Shrine, Pakistan - May 28th, 2005: "A suspected suicide bomber struck Friday [05/27/05] at a Muslim shrine [Bari Imam] close to the prime minister's official residence and the capital's diplomatic onclave. At least 20 Muslim worshippers were killed. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - No Agreements Reached? / Nuclear Arms Conference - May 28th, 2005: "UNITED NATIONS - A monthlong conference to strengthen global controls on nuclear arms ended Friday [05/27/05]. No agreements were reached. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. 27, 05/28/05]

2005 - Cleared of Charges / U.S. Navy SEAL, Lt. Andrew K. Ledford - May 28th, 2005: "A military jury acquitted a Navy SEAL lieutenant Friday [05/27/05] of beating an Iraqi prisoner who later died. Jurors deliberated about three hours before finding Lt. Andrew K. Ledford not guilty of all charges. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Weekly Deaths in Iraq - Week of May 29th: "Iraqi civilians, security forces: 116; U.S. military personnel and *others: 5." [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 - Bomb Blasts / Indonesia - May 29th, 2005: "TENTENA, Indonesia - Two bombs exploded in a crowded market in a Christian-dominated town in central Indonesia on Saturday, killing at least 20 people and wounding 40, police said. The blasts came two days after unspecified security threats prompted the United States to close its diplomatic offices. The explosions within 15 minutes of eachother flattened food stands in the Sulawesi island town of Tentena. [....] More than 90 percent of Indonesia's 210 million people are Muslims. But central Sulwesi has roughly equal Muslim and Christian populations [....] On Thursday [05/26/05], the United States closed its embassy and diplomatic offices - including those in Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan and the island of Bali - until further notice, citing security concerns. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / U.S.Trained Forces, Uzbekistan - May 29th, 2005: "[....] The U.S. government has trained and equipped Uzbek troops and police - the same forces who opened fire without warning on some 2,000 demonstrators this month in this eastern city. Now international groups are urging Washington to reconsider its aid and involvement. President Islam Karimov has rejected calls for an independent inquiry into the crackdown. The government claims 173 were killed, including 36 troops. But human rights groups allege that hundreds died when on May 13 Uzbek forces fired on demonstrators who seized government buildings and freed jail inmates. The protest was set off by the prosecution of 23 businessmen for alleged Islamic extremism. Under U.S. law, no unit of a foreign military can receive training if it is found to have committed a gross violation of human rights. [....] U.S. and Uzbek soldiers have held regular training exercises since the 1990s, with American special forces troops heading to the mountains with their Uzbek counterparts. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Al-Qaida-Linked Militants, Pakistan - May 29th, 2005: "KARAVAN MANZA, Pakistan - Pakistani security forces have eliminated al-Qaida-linked militants from a mountainous tribal region bordering Afghanistan after months of gunbattles that killed hundreds on both sides, a senior Pakistan army commander said Saturday [05/28/05]. Maj. Gen. Niaz Khattak, who is leading the hunt for militants in South Waziristan, said as many as 600 militants were in the region last year. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Crazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota - May 29th, 2005: "While work continues at the Crazy Horse Memorial near Custer, S.D., to turn Thunderhead Mountain into a gargantuan sculpture honoring the Sioux warrior, visitors now can see a laser light show cataloguing American Indians' contributions to society. The evening show turns the side of the mountain into a 500-foot screen of colorful animations and still images." [Based on: A.P. picture article, p. A4, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 05/29/05]

Links: [http://www.crazyhorse.org/], [http://www.crazyhorse.org/carving/face/index.shtml]

2005 - Coronal Hole CH168  / Earth Facing Position  - May 29th, 2005: "A coronal hole (CH168) in the southern hemisphere was in an Earth facing position on May 29. A recurrent coronal hole (CH169) in the northern hemisphere will rotate into an Earth facing position on June 2-3. [....] The geomagnetic field is expected to be unsettled to minor storm on May 30, becoming quiet to unsettled on May 31. Unsettled to active conditions are possible on June 1-2 due to a high speed stream from CH168."

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

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Kermadec Islands, New Zealand - May 29th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 21:44:28 (UTC) on Sunday, May 29, 2005. The magnitude 6.2 event has been located in the KERMADEC ISLANDS, NEW ZEALAND. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 21 km (13 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usyra7.htm]

2005 - U.S. Missle Defense System? / U.S. Commercial Planes - May 29th, 2005: "NEW YORK - In an airplane hanger north of Fort Worth, Texas, technicians are preparing to mount a fire-hydrant-shaped device onto the belly of an American Airlines Boeing 767. It is an effort that could soon turn into a more than $10 billion project to install a high-tech missle defense system on the nation's commercial planes. The Boeing 767 is one of three planes that, by the end of this year, will be used to test the infrared laser-based systems designed to find and disable shoulder-fired missles. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - "The Fallen" / U.S.A. - May 30th, 2005: "KDNL (Channel 30) and other ABC stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group will join ABC affiliates across the country to air the 'Nightline' special 'The Fallen,' a Memorial Day reading of the names of U.S. troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past year. The broadcast is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. Monday [05/30/05] on KDNL. The ABC News program will show the pictures of more than 900 servicemen and women and give the military branch, rank and age of each one as anchorman Ted Koppel reads their names. [....]" [Based on: article by Gail Pennington, Post-Dispatch Television Critic, S.L.P.D., p. A8, 05/27/05]

2005 - Memorial Day / U.S.A. - May 30th, 2005: "Memorial Day observed - U.S.A." [E.M.]

2005 - Industrial Espionage / Israel - May 30th, 2005: "Eighteen people have been arrested in one of Israel's largest industrial espionage schemes, police said Sunday [05/29/05]. They charged that business executives and private investigators used software to infiltrate competitor's computers. the investigation implicated a car importer, two cell phone providers and the nation's main satellite television company. Police said victims lost competitive bids and thousands of customers because of spying. According to police, a computer programmer developed software known as a Trojan horse on behalf of three of the country's largest private investigation firms. The private investigators then sneaked the program into the computers of their clients' major competitors via e-mail attachments. The program gave the private investigators complete access - to their victims' computers, police said. [Based on: News Services article, p. A9, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 05/30/05]

2005 - Biotech Trade Talks / Montreal - May 30th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Midwestern farmers and the biotech industry will be watching as negotiators from the United States and more than 100 other countries gather in Montreal today [05/30/05] to set rules for trade in genetically modified products. [....]" [Based on: Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

2005 - Suicide Bombings / Baghdad, Iraq - May 30th, 2005: "Baghdad, Iraq - Insurgents defied a much-touted military crackdown in the capital Sunday [05/29/05], targeting police checkpoints, the Oil Ministry and convoys of U.S. and Iraqi troops. In at least five suicide bombings within six hours, insurgents killed 20 members of the fledgling security forces. By the end of the day, militants had killed at least eight other Iraqis, as the death toll in a monthlong escalation of violence pushed beyond 720. [....] Iraqi and U.S. officials had planned to erect 675 checkpoints along the capital's outskirts to prevent insurgents from fleeing, but they have yet to set up an effective cordon. Instead, insurgents staged attacks across the capital, targeting the very checkpoints meant to ensnare them. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Decision to Release Prisoners / Israel - May 30th, 2005: "JERUSALEM - Israel's Cabinet decided Sunday [05/29/05] to free 400 Palestinian prisoners. But the overdue gesture - part of a February truce - disappointed Palestinians, who said Israel broke a promise to coordinate the release with them. [....] The turnaround came Sunday, when Sharon told his Cabinet that Israel must release the remaining 400 prisoners 'as part of Israel's effort to help Abu Mazen (Abbas) and the moderate Palestinian forces.' Justice Ministry spokesman Jacob Galanti said the release could come Thursday [06/02/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Anti-U.S. Protestors / South Korea - May 30th, 2005: "Thousands of South Korean students rallying Sunday [05/29/05] against the U.S. military's presence clashed with police after trying to enter the American base in the capital. At least 12 people were injured and more than 20 arrested. Demonstrators marched through Seoul before attempting to enter the main Yongsan U.S. military base. They called for the withdrawl of the 32,500 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-1953 Korean War. Demonstrators also gathered near the U.S. Embassy in downtown Seoul demanding talks with the ambassador. Television pictures showed masked protestors repeatedly charging helmeted riot police, who wielded truncheons and carried shields. At one point, students lay in the street outside the base, chanting and clapping." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Rejected / European Constitution, France - May 30th, 2005: "PARIS - Unhappy French voters on Sunday [05/29/05] derailed plans to further erase political and economic barriers in Europe by decisively rejecting the proposed European constitution and thumbing their noses at the country's governing elite, which had pleaded for approval of the measure. The margin of defeat was wide, with about 55 percent voting against the constitution in a heavy turnout. Opposition leaders harnessed widespread disenchantment over a variety of issues: the unpopularity of President Jacques Chirac, the weakness of the French economy and fears the country would lose its clout to a strengthened European central government. [....]" [Based on: The Washington Post]

2005 - Volcanic Eruption / Colima Volcano, Mexico - May 30th, 2005: "[....] It came to life again on May 23, sending a stream of burning gas and rock fragments more than 2 1/2 miles down the slopes and shooting clouds of ash two miles high. Similar eruptions occurred on May 30, June 2-3 and last Sunday [06/05/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, S.L.P.D., p. A12, 06/09/05]

2005 - Hostage Video Release / Clementina Cantoni, Afghanistan - May 30th, 2005: "A voide of a kidnapped Italian aid worker was broadcast Sunday [05/30/05] on Afghanistan television, showing her wrapped in a brown blanket flanked by two men aiming rifles at her head. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Saudi Deportations / Syria - May 31st, 2005: "RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Syrian authorities, under heavy American pressure to prevent foreign fighters from crossing into Iraq, have deported at least 30 Saudis who may have sought to join the Iraqi insurgency, officials said Monday [05/30/05]. [....] Syria provided the United States with intelligence on al-Qaida after the 9/11 attacks. But President George W. Bush ordered sanctions against Damascus a year ago after long-standing complaints that Syria was supporting terrorism and undermining U.S. efforts in Iraq." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Protest March / La Paz, Bolivia - May 31st, 2005: "Members of the Aymara tribe brandish whips during a protest march in downtown La Paz, Bolivia, on Monday [05/30/05]. The protest was the latest calling on officials to nationalize the country's lucrative gas industry. Eugenio Rojas, a leader of the Aymaras, said in an earlier statement: 'We are demanding the nationalization of the fuel sector. It should be 100 percent for Bolivians, not for the transnational companies.' " [Based on: A.P. picture article, S.L.P.D., p. A2, 05/31/05]

2005 - Trivia / Srebrenica Massacre - May 31st, 2005: "In July, 1995, in the silver-mining town of Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bosnian Serb forces under the command of Serbian Gen. Ratko Mladic and Boisnian Serb Col. Radislav Krstic tracked down every Muslim man and boy over age 16, gunned them down and buried them in mass graves. Many of the women left behind were raped and beaten. Ironically, Srebrenica was one of five 'safe havens' designed by the U.N. Security Council. When Krstic's troops moved in, the U.N. peacekeeping force in the region, a battalion of Dutch troops, asked for reinforcements. None came. The outmanned Dutch troops stood by and watched as at least 7,000 men and boys were murdered. The actual number may be much higher. Bosnian Serbs dug up many of the bodies and scattered them, hoping to destroy the evidence. They weren't entirely successful. At the end of the war, Krstic was sentenced to 46 years in prison by the International War Crimes Tribunal. Mladic is under indictment by the same tribunal but remains in hiding. [....] The North American Council of Bosniaks is trying to get Congress to pass a 'sense of the Congress' resolution that honors the victims and survivors and puts the United States on record as officially condemning what happened at Srebenica as genocide. [....] The Bosniak council hopes that the resolution will pass before July 11, the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the massacre. [....] 'The only issue is lack of education,' said Tarik Bilalbegovic, a board member of the North American Council of Bosniaks in Washington. 'With everything focused on Afghanistan, Iraq and the Middle East, Srebrenica is not a hot topic everyone would recognize. But people who forget what has happened to them are likely to have it happen again.' " [Based on: Editorial Section, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. B6, 05/31/05]

*Trivia: "U.N and local forensic experts have exumed 16,500 bodies from more than 300 mass graves found since the end [1995] of the Bosnian war, in which about 250,000 people were killed and 1.8 million driven from their homes. More than 20,000 people remain missing since the war." [A.P., 08/10/04]

2005 - Miss Universe / Natalie Glebova - May 31st, 2005: "Miss Canada, Natalie Glebova, won the Miss Universe contest 2005." [E.M.]

2005 - Suicide Bomber / Shiite Mosque, Pakistan - May 31st, 2005: "A suicide bomber blew himself up Monday [05/30/05] during evening prayers at a Shiite mosque in Karachi, killing one worshipper and wounding 20 after a gunbattle outside that killed another attacker and two police officers. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Troop Withdrawls? / Soviet-Era Bases, Georgia - May 31st, 2005: "Russia agreed Monday [05/30/05] to begin withdrawing its troops from two Soviet-era bases in Georgia this year, resolving one of the most serious disputes between the nations. [....] Troops and equipment will begin to be pulled out of the military base at the southern city of Akhalkalaki by year's end, and then similar withdrawls will start from the Black Sea port of Batumi, said Russian Foreign  Minister Sergey Lavrov. About 3,000 troops are stationed at the two bases. [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Mistakemly Arrested / Mohsen Abdul-Hamid, Iraq - May 31st, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. forces aggravated secretarian tensions in Iraq on Monday [05/30/05] by mistakenly arresting a prominent Sunni Muslim leader [Mohsen Abdul-Hamid, head of the Iraqi Islamic Party]. Meanwhile, suicide bombers killed at least 25 people in a southern town, and an Iraqi plane crashed, killing four Americans. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - 2nd Batch Released / U.S. Tribunal Transcripts - May 31st, 2005: "LONDON - One Guantanamo prisoner told a military panel that American troops beat him so badly he wets his pants now. Another detainee claimed U.S. troops stripped prisoners in Afghanistan and intimidated them with dogs so they would admit to militant activity. Tales of alleged abuse and forced confessions are among some 1,000 pages of tribunal transcripts the U.S. government released to The Associated Press under a Freedom of Information Act suit. This is the second batch of transcripts the AP has received. [....] In a statement Sunday [05/29/05], the Pentagon said many of the men had been trained to lie. U.S. troops treat detainees humanely and 'U.S. policy condems and prohibits torture,' the statement said. Claims of abuse are taken seriously, it said. [....] It was only after the AP's suit and the tribunals that ended in January that the government released dozens of transcripts. [....] One man alleged the U.S. troops stripped the prisoners of their clothes in Afghanistan and bullied them into saying things the Americans wanted to hear. 'Americans were beating us really hard, and they had dogs behind us and they said if we didn't say this, they would release the dogs,' he said. The tribunal president made no comment and moved on to the next question: Where were you born? [....] 'All the rules in the United States and in the world, the person is innocent until you prove he is guilty, not innocent. But here, with Americans, the detainees are guilty until proven innocent,' one detainee complained." [Based on: A.P. article by Paisley Dodds, p. A4, S.L.P.D., 05/31/05]

June 2005

2005 - Trivia / U.S. Stocks - June 1st, 2005: "NEW YORK - Stocks fell Tuesday [05/31/05], trimming this year's biggest monthly gains for benchmark indexes, after a measure of Chicago-area businesses dropped to the lowest level in almost two years. [....] AIG fell 85 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $55.55 and was the third-biggest drag on the Dow. The company lowered five years of profit by 3.9 billion to correct improper accounting and increase reserves for asbestos and environmental claims. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Settlement / Citigroup Inc. - June 1st, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Citigroup Inc., the world's biggest financial company, on Tuesday [05/31/05] agreed to pay $208 million to settle regulators' claims that it pocketed fees that should have been passed on to its mutual funds. The settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission wraps up part of an investigation that Citigroup disclosed in 2003. [....] Citigroup made $100 million in profit at the expense of its funds' shareholders in a five-year period, the SEC said. Citigroup didn't admit or deny wrongdoing. [....] The company, which set aside $196 million to settle the case last year, said Thomas Jones, former head of its investment management unit, and two others who weren't identified could face civil action. The investigation of 'the individuals involved' is continuing, the agency said. [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Israeli Criticism / "Mr. TV" - June 1st, 2005: "JERUSALEM - A respected Israeli TV journalist who has delivered the main evening news since 1968 has stepped out from behind the shield of measured neutrality with an angry indictment of his country's settlement policy and occupation of Arab areas captured in war. Haim Yavin's five-part documentary - part one was broadcast Tuesday [05/31/05] - prompted calls from settlers for his dismissal, but could also mark a watershed in how the nation views its four-decade-old rule over Palestinian Arabs. Yavin, 72, has anchored the evening news on Israel's public TV channel since 1968, building an image as a dispassionate reporter - much as Walter Cronkite did in the United States. A founder of Israel's public TV station, Yavin is known as 'Mr. TV' and commands considerable respect. Rarely have settlers been portrayed as harshly by Israel's mainstream media as in Yavin's documentary, filmed with his handheld video camera and interspersed with his commentary. 'Since 1967, we have been brutal conquerors, occupiers, suppressing another people,' Yavin comments in the first segment after listening to settlers insist God gave them these lands. 'We simply don't view the Palestinians as human beings.' [....] Tom Segev, an Israeli author and social commentator, said Yavin's middle-of-the-road reputation could sway some Israelis. 'He is Mr. Israel, the voice of Israel, and if he comes out with this, it means that apparently a lot of people feel the same,' Segrev said. [....] Yavin said he was able to keep his views out of the many documentaries he made in the past. But when the latest round of fighting with Palestinians broke out and Palestinian suffering increased, he decided to act. [....] 'We have to go through a mental revolution,' Yavin said. 'The Palestinians are a people and we have to share this land ... We have to wake up from our dream.' In his documentary, Yavin repeatedly shows Palestinians suffering at the hands of arrogant settlers and soldiers. In one scene, he filmed a crowded Israeli army roadblock, showing sick women and crying children waiting in the hot sun for hours. In another scene, settlers chased Palestinian olive pickers out of an orchard, accusing them of planning terrorist attacks. The scene ended with an elderly Palestinian women asking: 'Is it forbidden for us to pick olives? Isn't it a sin not to let us pick?' Settlers were outraged over the documentary, which was broadcast by the private Channel Two, rather than by Yavin's station, Israel TV. Israel TV declined to air the documentary, Yavin said, but he claimed the decision was not politically motivated. [Based on: A.P. article, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A9, 06/01/05]

2005 - Freedom of Religion / U.S. Prisons - June 1st, 2005: "The Supreme Court sided with a witch, a Satanist and a racial separatist Tuesday [05/31/05], upholding a federal law requiring state prisons to accommodate the religious affiliations of inmates. The three Ohio prisoners sued under the 2000 federal law, claiming they were denied access to religious literature and ceremonial items and denied time to worship. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Revised Calculations / AIG Inc. - June 1st, 2005: "[....] Revised calculations by the New York-based company lowered AIG's profit by nearly $4 billion for the five years since 2000. The biggest of those changes came in 2004, with net income cut by $1.32 billion, or nearly 12 percent, to $9.73 billion from the $11.05 billion that had been reported Feb. 9. In its new filing with the SEC, AIG acknowledged accounting improprieties, including 'inproper or inappropriate transactions.' [....] AIG said it expects to file its financial report for the first quarter of 2005 by the end of this month [June 2005]. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, S.L.P.D., p. D3, 06/01/05]

2005 - Save the Planet / Go Nuclear??? - June 1st, 2005: "[....] The early enthusiasm for nuclear power that saw several hundred big nuclear reactors built in 1955-75 died after the partial meltdown of a reactor at Three Mile Island in the United States in 1979 and the much worse disaster at Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986. Those incidents, together with the problem of what to do with thousands of tons of highly radioactive waste, stopped practically all new construction. France and Japan continued to build reactors - they now [2005] supply over two-thirds of France's electricity consumption and almost a third of Japan's - but in most other big countries, the share of nuclear power leveled out at one-fifth of total consumption or less (United States, 19 percent; Britain, 21 percent; Russia, 16 percent). Even in countries where nuclear power provided a greater share of the total load (Sweden, 41 percent; Germany, 28 percent), anti-nuclear movements got official commitments that existing nuclear reactors would not be replaced when they reached the end of their useful lives. [....] The scientific evidence now is overwhelming: Every one of the 924 peer-reviewed articles on climate change published in the journal Science between 1997 and 2003 supported the claim that human activity is responsible for global warming. The urgency of curbing carbon emissions equally is beyond question: Over the past million years, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has fluctuated between 200 and 300 parts per million, but in the 150 years since the industrial revolution, it has soared to 380 ppm and is rising at 2 ppm per year. Last January's report 'Meeting the Climate Challenge' - produced by the Center of American Progress in the United States, Britain's Institute for Public Policy Research and the Australia Institute - concluded that beyond 400 ppm, a global temperature rise of at least 2 degrees Celcius (3.5 degrees Fahrenheit) becomes inevitable, producing disruptions in food production, water supply and ecosystems. [....] Apocalypse is arriving on a very tight schedule, since the world will reach 400 ppm in just 10 years if drastic changes are not made to the ways we produce and/or consume energy. That is why even a lifelong environmentalist like James Lovelock, the man who originated the immensely influential Gai hypothesis, has changed his tune. 'We must stop gaining energy from foissil fuels in a way that emits greenhouse gases to the air, and we must do it in the next decade,' Lovelock said last March [2004]. [....]" [Based on: article by Gwynne Dyer, p. B7, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 06/01/05]

2005 - Hurricane Season Begins / U.S.A. - June 1st, 2005: "Hurricane season begins June 1st and runs through November." [Based on: CNN News, 05/14/05]

2005 - Held Without Bail / U.S. Terrorist Suspects - June 1st, 2005: "NEW YORK - Two U.S. citizens accused of being al-Qaida loyalists were each ordered held without bail Tuesday [05/31/05] as they appeared in federal courtrooms in New York and Florida. Tarik Shah, 42, of New York, waved and smiled at supporters and appeared relaxed at his preliminary hearing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan before Magistrate Judge Theodore Katz. In Fort Pierce, Fla., Dr. Rafiq Abdus Sabir, 50, told U.S. District Judge James Hopkins that he had yet to hire an attorney, and the judge set the next hearing in his case for June 6. Neither defendant entered a plea on the single charge of conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaida. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Overturned / Arthur Andersen Conviction - June 1st, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court overturned the criminal conviction of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm Tuesday [05/31/05], ruling unanimously that its shredding of 2 tons of Enron-related documents did not prove its intent to obstruct justice. The ruling comes too late to save Andersen, which employed 28,000 people until it was driven out of business as a result of the conviction in 2002. But the justices' decision was welcomed by the business community, because the court issued a warning to prosecutors to tread cautiously in such cases. The memos, notes and drafts were destroyed in October 2001 as Enron was collapsing, but before the government triggered an official investigation of Enron or Andersen, its auditor. [....] The court's opinion, by Chief Justice William Rehnquist, warned against charging someone with a crime for failing to assist the government in a pending investigation. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Detained / International Aide Worker, Sudan - June 1st, 2005: "Sudanese officials detained a second international aid worker [Vincent Hoedt] Tuesday [05/31/05] in what humanitarian groups call an effort to intimidate those who speak out about rape and other atrocities in Darfur. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - "Deep Throat" Revealed  / W. Mark Felt - June 1st, 2005: "WASHINGTON - 'Deep Throat,' the secret source whose insider guidance was viatal to The Washington Post's groundbreaking coverage of the Watergate scandal, was a pillar of the FBI named W. Mark Felt, the Post confirmed on Tuesday [05/31/05]. [....] Felt's identity as Washington's most celebrated secret source had been an object of speculation for more than 30 years until Tuesday, when his role was revealed in a Vanity Fair magazine article. Even Nixon was caught on tape speculating that Felt was 'an informer' as early as February 1973, at a time when Deep Throat was actively supplying confirmation and context for some of the Post's most explosive Watergate stories. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - Status / Central American Free Trade Agreement - June 1st, 2005: "WASHINGTON - It took less than three months for President George W. Bush to push through Congress separate trade deals with Australia, Chile, Morocco and Singapore, but his biggest one - Central America - has been lingering for a year. Despite another call Tuesday [05/31/05] by Bush for Congress to pass it, the people clamoring most for a vote on the Central American Free Trade Agreement are not its supporters but opponents confident that they can kill it. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Resignation / Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, France - June 1st, 2005: "LONDON - French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin resigned Tuesday [05/31/05] in the wake of French voters' overwhelming rejection of a proposed constitution to legally unite the European Union's 25 member states. [....]" [Based on: Dallas Morning News]

2005 - Sentenced / Russian Oil Tycoon, Mikhail Khodorkovsky - June 1st, 2005: "MOSCOW - One year and three days after it began, the biggest trial in post-Soviet Russia ended Tuesday [05/31/05] with a nine-year sentence for fallen tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, whose oil empire was broken up after he became a political challenge to President Vladimir Putin. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Body Found / Anbar Gov. Raja Nawaf Farhan al-Mahalawi - June 1st, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. and Iraqi troops battled foreign fighters near the Syrian border and found the body of Anbar province's missing governor [Raja Nawaf Farhan al-Mahalawi], the highest-ranking Iraqi official kidnapped since the fall of Saddam, authorities said Tuesday [05/31/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Argentina - June 2nd, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 10:55:58 (UTC) on Thursday, June 2, 2005. The magnitude 6.1 event has been located in SALTA, ARGENTINA. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 164 km (102 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usyvaq.htm]

2005 - Experimental Vaccine / Shingles - June 2nd, 2005: "NEW YORK - An experimental vaccine has shown promise at preventing shingles, a painful skin rash that afflicts 1 million Americans every year and causes longterm excruciating nerve pain for some. [....] Shingles can attack anyone who has had chickenpox. The virus can lie dormant in the body and resurface as shingles years later. [....] The research reported in today's [06/02/05] New England Journal of Medicine was headed by the Veterans Affairs Department along with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Merck, which helped fund the study. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Landslide / Southern California - June 2nd, 2005: "LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. - A landslide sent 18 multimillion-dollar houses crashing down a hill in Southern California early Wednesday [06/01/05] as homeowners alarmed by the sound of walls and pipes coming apart ran for their lives in their pajamas. At least four people suffered minor injuries. About 1,000 people in 350 other homes in the Blue Bird Canyon area were evacuated as a precaution. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Prisoner Handling / U.S. Military - June 2nd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld defended the military's handling of detained terrorism suspects Wednesday [06/01/05]. But he acknowledged that some have been mistreated, 'sometimes grieviously.' " [Based on: A.P. article, S.L.P.D., p. A7, 06/02/05]

Trivia: Figures cited by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Wednesday [06/01/05] in defending the U.S. military's treatment of detained terrorism suspects:

* Number of detainees in U.S. custody since Sept. 11, 2001: 68,000.
* Number of criminal investigations into alleged mistreatment by U.S. personnel: 370.
* Number of U.S. service members who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan or the U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo    Bay, Cuba: 525,000.
* Number of U.S. service members found to have treated detainees illegally: Less than 0.1 percent, which works out      to fewer than 525. Actually, about 130 have been punished as a result of investigations.
* Number of detainees released from Guantanamo Bay: 200.
* Number of released Guantanamo detainees captured again on the battlefield: At least 12.

[Based on: The Associated Press]

2005 - Fatality / French Diplomat, Haiti - June 2nd, 2005: "Gunmen killed a French diplomat [Paul-Henri Mourral] who was driving in Haiti's capital and stole his car, the latest example of rising violence in the hemisphere's poorest country, the French Embassy said Wednesday. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Suicide Bombing / Kandahar, Afghanistan - June 2nd, 2005: "A suicide bomber walked into a mosque during the funeral of a Muslim cleric and blew himself up Wednesday [06/01/05]. Twenty 20 people were killed, including Kabul's police chief, and 42 others wounded. The attack in Kandahar was the deadliest in Afghanistan since a surge in violence began in March. [....]" [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A13, 06/02/05]

2005 - Volcanic Eruption / Colima Volcano, Mexico - June 2nd-3rd, 2005: "[....] It came to life again on May 23, sending a stream of burning gas and rock fragments more than 2 1/2 miles down the slopes and shooting clouds of ash two miles high. Similar eruptions occurred on May 30, June 2-3 and last Sunday [06/05/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, S.L.P.D., p. A12, 06/09/05]

2005 - Rejected / European Constitution, Netherlands - June 2nd, 2005: "AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - Dutch voters worried about social benefits and immigration overwhelmingly rejected the European Union constitution Wednesday [06/01/05] in what could be a knockout blow for a charter meant to create a power rivaling the United States. With nearly all votes counted, the charter lost 62 percent to 38 percent, an even worse defeat than the 55 percent 'no' vote delivered in a French referendum Sunday [05/29/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - 50th Anniversary / Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan - June 2nd, 2005: "BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan - The Baikonur cosmodrome marked its 50th anniversary Thursday [06/02/05], hailed by the presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan as a technological workhorse on the wind-swept steppes of Central Asia. Baikonur launched the first satellite and the first man into space, and is now home to the Soyuz rockets that service the international space station. Crucial deliveries, along with Russian cosmonauts and American and European astronauts, leave from the center. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 06/03/05] 

2005 - "Cost Overruns" / MetroLink Extension, St. Louis, Mo. - June 2nd, 2005: "Taxpayers may be on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in cost overruns for MetroLink's Cross County extension because of a unique clause in the contract signed by the transit agency and the companies building the project. The clause states that the liability of the former construction and management team - known as the Cross County Collaborative - 'shall not exceed' $8 million. Metro announced in March that the extension from Forest Park to Clayton and on to Shrewsberry will cost $646 million to $676 million, substantially more than its most recent $550 million price tag. [....]" [Based on: article by Shane Graber, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A1, 06/02/05]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - June 3rd, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents killed 38 people in a series of rapid-fire attacks Thursday [0602/05]. The attacks included three suicide car bombings within an hour and a drive-by shooting at a busy Baghdad market. Iraq's interior minister, meanwhile, claimed that the government offensive seeking to root out rebels in Baghdad had scored big gains, saying this week's sweep by Iraqi soldiers and police captured 700 suspected insurgents and killed 28 militants. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "816 people have died from violence since the April 28 announcement of the new Iraqi government." [A.P.]

2005 - Dried Up Lakes / Siberia - June 3rd, 2005: "An accelerating Artic warming trend over the past quarter century has dramatically dried up more than a thousand large lakes in Siberia, probably because the permafrost beneath them has begun to thaw, according to a paper published today in the journal Science. Comparing satellite images captured in the early 1970s to those from recent years, a team of American scientists determined that the number of large lakes in a vast, 200,000-square-mile region of Siberia diminished by about 11 percent - from 10,882 to 9,712." [News Services]

2005 - Indicted / Douglas R. Dowie - June 3rd, 2005: "The former head of Fleishman-Hillard Inc's Los Angeles office was indicted Thursday [06/02/05] on federal fraud charges related to claims he overbilled a city utility for public relations work. Douglas R. Dowie, 57, is the second former executive of the St. Louis-based public relations firm to be charged with submitting fraudulent invoices to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles said. [....] Dowie could face up to 20 years in prison for each of 15 counts of wire fraud and five years for one count of conspiracy. Fleishman agreed in April to pay a $5.7 million settlement to Los Angeles to end claims that it overbilled three city agencies. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Prison Release / James Beine - June 3rd, 2005: "James Beine, the former Catholic priest and elementary school counselor whose sexual misconduct convictions were overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court, was released from prison Thursday [06/02/05]. [....] In 2003, a jury convicted Beine of four counts of sexual misconduct by indecent exposure involving a child after three Patrick Henry Elementary School students said he exposed himself in a bathroom. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Trivia / HIV/AIDS Pandemic - June 3rd, 2005: "The United Nations' top official on HIV/AIDS acknowledged at a conference Thursday [05/02/05] that it was no longer realistic to hope that the world will meet its goal of halting and reversing the spread of the pandemic by 2015. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Insider Trading / Robin Szeliga - June 3rd, 2005: "DENVER - A former chief financial officer became the highest-ranking executive from Quest Communications International Inc. to face a criminal charge when prosecutors accused her on Thursday [06/02/05] of improperly pocketing $410,000 from a 2001 stock sale. Robin Szeliga, who was charged with one count of insider trading, has reached a plea agreement and will cooperate with prosecutors in the accounting investigation at Denver-based Quest, said Bill Leone, the acting U.S. attorney. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Fatality / Samir Kassir, Lebanon - June 3rd, 2005: "BEIRUT, Lebanon - The opposition accused Syria of interfering in Lebanon's politics, blaming Damascus for a car bombing Thursday [06/02/05] that killed a prominent anti-Syrian journalist. Syria denied any involvement in the killing of Samir Kassir, which came as the Lebanese prepared to vote Sunday in the second round of parliamentary elections. The anti-Syrian opposition hopes to win the voting and end damascus' control of the legislature. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Crackdown Investigation / Uzbekistan - June 3rd, 2005: "Uzbekistan on Thursday [06/02/05] again rejected an international investigation of its bloody suppression of an anti-government demonstration but invited foreign diplomats to monitor an internal investigation. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Whooping Cough Booster? / Adacel - June 3rd, 2005: "An experimental booster shot designed to protect adults and adolescents from whooping cough proved safe and effective in a study released Thursday [06/02/05]. The vaccine, developed by Sanofi Pasteur and already widely given to teenagers in Canada, appears likely to win U.S. government approval later this month. Cases of whooping cough, an ancient scourage that effective vaccination of babies and toddlers was meant to wipe out, have quadrupled in the United States over the past three years to 18,957 cases last year, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It turns out the vaccine that babies get starts wearing off by adolescence. A month ago, the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of GlaxoSmithKline's Boostrix as a one-time booster dose of vaccine for people ages 10 to 18. Its rival, Sanofi Pasteur, is now awaiting FDA approval of its own whooping cough booster, called Adacel, for those ages 11 and up. The study was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Set Free / Palestinian Prisoners, Israel - June 3rd, 2005: "BEITUNIA, West Bank - Flashing victory signs and smiles, dozens of Palestinians were met by enthusiastic family members here Thursday [06/02/05] as Israel released the last 398 of 900 prisoners it had promised to set free months ago. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2003 - New Ownership / St. Louis Post-Dispatch - June 3rd, 2005: "The first edition of the St. Louis Post and Dispatch was published on Dec. 12, 1878. On its editorial page, its founder, a 31-year-old Hungarian immigrant named Joseph Pulitzer, put a stake in the ground:

The POST and DISPATCH will serve no party but the people; will be ... the organ of truth; ... will oppose all frauds and shams wherever and whatever they are; will advocate principles and ideas rather than prejudice and partisanship ...

   Such independence was rare and refreshing in American journalism of the time. Most newspapers were mouthpieces for their owners or political parties. Cut-throat competition led others to mine the depths of sensationalism. [....] This is the last edition of the Post-Dispatch that will be published under the flag of Pulitzer Inc. Today, our newspaper is scheduled to become part of Lee Enterprises, another company with a long and proud family legacy, rich journalistic traditions and strong Midwestern values. [....] Flying the banner of Lee, the Post-Dispatch will remain a newspaper dedicated to public service, watchdog journalism, exacting standards and the health and prosperity of the region. Under strong new ownership, we will continue to emphasize local news coverage, develop innovative online products and bring service and value to our readers and advertisers. [....]. [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. B8, 06/03/05]

2005 - Criminal Charges? / Abu Ghraib Dog Handlers - June 3rd, 2005: "Army officials named two military dog handlers at Abu Ghraib prison in criminal charges Thursday [06/02/05], alleging that they used their unmuzzled animals to 'threaten and harass detainees' and scare them into cooperating with interrogators. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Video Killing / Bosnian Muslims, Balkan Republic - June 3rd, 2005: "Serbian police have arrested at least eight men they say are shown in a video killing a group of Bosnian Muslim prisoners from Srebrenica, Belgrade officials said Thursday [06/02/05]. Up to 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed in Srebrenica in 1995 - Europe's worst carnage since World war II. The arrests came after the footage was shown Wednesday at the U.N. court in the Hague, Netherlands. The amateur footage, apparently made by Serb troops, showed six civilians taken from a truck, hands tied behind their backs and lined up on a hillside. Four were shot one by one in their backs. Two other prisoners were ordered to carry the bodies into a nearby barn where they too were killed. [....] The footage was broadcast late Wednesday by several television channels in Serbia and shocked the Balkan republic." [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - 16th Anniversary / Tiananmen Square Crackdown - June 3rd, 2005: "In June, 1989, Hundreds of thousands of discontented Chinese took to the streets of Beijing, demanding more reform - but the military crushed the protests in the Tiananmen Square crackdown." [E.M.]

2005 - Missle Tests / Syria - June 4th, 2005: "Syria test-fired three Scud missles late last week, Isralei military officials said. At the United Nations, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Friday [06/03/05] that programs to develop new weapons in Syria and Iran were unacceptable, accusing them of escalating a Middle East arms race by seeking long-range missles. Shalom expressed his concerns in a meeting with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Third-Largest Military Budget? / China - June 4th, 2005: "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld issued a blunt challenge to China at a regional security conference today [06/04/05], saying China must provide more political freedom to its citizens and questioning its recent military buildup. Rumsfeld said the Pentagon's annual assessment of China's military capabilities shows China is spending more than its leaders acknowledge, expanding its missle capabilities and developing advanced military technology. China now has the world's third-largest military budget, he said, behind the United States and Russia. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Eastern New Guinea - June 4th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 14:50:48 (UTC) on Saturday, June 4, 2005. The magnitude 6.0 event has been located in EASTERN NEW GUINEA REG, PAPUA NEW GUINEA. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 40 km (25 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usyxav.htm] 

2005 - Pending Settlement / Catholic Diocese, Kentucky - June 4th, 2005: "COVINGTON, Ky. - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington agreed Friday [06/03/05] to set up a $120 million fund to compensate victims of child-molesting priests and other employees. The pending settlement would be the costliest in the scandal that has staggered the church in the United States. The settlement, which is subject to approval by a Kentucky judge, would bring to a close a class-action suit filed on behalf of more than 100 alleged victims. It accuses the diocese of a 50-year cover-up of sexual abuse by priests and others. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Red Tide / New England - June 5th, 2005: "The worst toxic red tide in a generation is contaminating dozens of major shelfish beds in New England, prompting fishery closures from Maine to Nantucket, where clams, mussels and bay scallops are a coastal community's comercial lifeblood. An unusually intense plankton bloom more than 30 miles wide in places continued to spread Saturday [06/04/05], driven by wind and currents into ares that have never known such infestations before. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Demonstration / Baku, Azerbaijan - June 5th, 2005: "Opposition parties mustered their biggest rally in years on Saturday [06/04/05], bringing about 10,000 protestors into the streets of the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, to call for free elections after authorities backed down and gave them permission to hold a demonstration. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Radioactive Waste Shipments / U.S.A. - June 5th, 2005: "Beginning Monday and extending through the end of the year, trucks loaded with thousands of tons of radioactive waste will pass through the St. Louis area on their way to a temporary resting place in Texas. More than half of the waste will be making its second visit here. It came from the Mallinckrodt Chemical Works on the riverfront just north of downtown. Mallinckrodt, an atomic age pioneer, altered the course of World War II by developing a way to purify uranium to the grade needed to make the atomic bomb. After the war - in the 1950s - 6,000 tons of radioactive byproducts from the processing plant northwest of Cincinnati, where it was kept in silos. There it has stayed for the last half-century. But now the Department of Energy is intent on cleaning up the site at Fernald, Ohio, and shutting it down for good because it's located near a major water supply and heavily populated areas. That means finding yet another home for the waste. [....] The move will begin with one truck taking to the highway Monday. Eventually, though, Fluor Fernald plans to move 15 trucks per day, with each truck carrying  two 20,000-pound containers of encased waste. The trucks will run seven days a week through December. In all, Flour Fernald expects to move 4,000 containers, said Dennis Carr, the project director. [....] If Fluor Fernald completes the cleanup by March 2006, it will receive an 'incentive fee' of $288 million on top of reimbursement for cleanup costs .... If it completes its work after December 2006, the incentive fee falls to $63 million. [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A1 & A5, 06/05/05]

2005 - Postponed Indefinately / Palestinian Elections - June 5th, 2005: "RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday [06/04/05] postponed parliamentary elections indefinately, giving his embattled Fatah party time to halt political infighting and shore up support against a growing challenge from Hamas, the militant Islamic group that has carried out guerrilla and suicide attacks. [....] No new date was announced for the election, which had been scheduled for July 17th. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Volcanic Eruption / Colima Volcano, Mexico - June 5th, 2005: "[....] It came to life again on May 23, sending a stream of burning gas and rock fragments more than 2 1/2 miles down the slopes and shooting clouds of ash two miles high. Similar eruptions occurred on May 30, June 2-3 and last Sunday [06/05/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, S.L.P.D., p. A12, 06/09/05]

2005 - 61st Anniversary / D-Day - June 6th, 2005: "UTAH Beach, Frabce - On rain-whipped French beaches and in graveyards crowded with white crosses, aging Allied veterans on Monday [06/06/05] quietly honored comrades who fell 61 years ago [06/06/1944] in the D-Day landings that changed the course of World War II. French and American dignitaries joined veterans there and at the Normandy American Cemetary and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, where 9,387 fallen U.S. soldiers are buried under an expanse of white crosses. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 06/07/05]

2005 - American Death Toll / Iraq - June 6th, 2005: "In the second year after major combat was declared over in Iraq, the number of American troops killed there increased by 43 percent and the number of wounded more than doubled, according to government statistics. President George W. Bush announced the end of major fighting on May 1, 2003. In the following 12 months, 598 service members died. The death toll was 852 Americans in the year that ended April 30th, 2005. The figures are from Department of Defense information compiled by CNN.com. The number of Americans wounded in the war increased from 3,732 between May 2003 and April 2004 to 7,748 in the following year, according to the New York Times News Service. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A1, 06/06/05]

2005 - Elections Trivia / Southern Lebanon - June 6th, 2005: "[....] Four hours after polling stations closed, Hezbollah and its ally, the Shiite Muslim Amal movement, claimed they had won all 23 seats in the region bordering Israel. Official results were not due before midday today [06/06/05]. [....] Israel occupied south Lebanon from 1982 to 2000. [....] Hezbollah, backed by both Syria and Iran, is fielding 14 candidates across Lebanon, hoping to build on the seats it already holds in the 128-member legislature. It has already won a seat in Beirut." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Volcanic Eruption / Colima Volcano, Mexico - June 6th, 2005: "[....] The Volcano of Fire has rumbled back to life with its strongest eruptions in 20 years, spewing lava and ash clouds that had some residents who remained in their homes Wednesday [06/08/05] casting nervous glances at the peak. [....] It has had six spectacular eruptions in the past three weeks. The largest, late Monday [06/06/05], shot glowing lava high above the crater of the 12,533-foot volcano and showered ash over the nearby city of Colima. [....] About 300,000 people live within 25 miles of the volcano. The volcano has had more than 30 periods of eruptions since 1585, including several significant eruptions in the late 1990s. Scientific monitoring of the volcano began 20 years ago. It came to life again on May 23, sending a stream of burning gas and rock fragments more than 2 1/2 miles down the slopes and shooting clouds of ash two miles high. Similar eruptions occurred on May 30, June 2-3 and last Sunday [06/05/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, S.L.P.D., p. A12, 06/09/05]

*Trivia: "A series of explosive eruptions has rained ash and rock over the Colima Volcano, Mexico's most dangerous and active volcano. 3 Images, Updated: June 08, 2005"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?topic=volcano]

2005 - Volcanic Activity / Ulawan Volcano, Papua New Guinea  - June 6th, 2005: "The Ulawun volcano of Papua New Guinea is one of the most active volcanoes in the island nation. In June 2005, NASA satellites observed ash and steam rising from the volcano. 1 Image, Posted: June 07, 2005

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?topic=volcano]

2005 - U.N. Envoy / Syria - June 7th, 2005: "A top U.N. envoy [Terje Roed-Larsen] was instructed Monday [06/06/05] to travel to Syria 'as soon as possible' to see President Bashar Al-Assad about Lebanon. But U.N. officials would not say why the mission was deemed urgent. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Bus Bombing / Nepal - June 7th, 2005: "Suspected rebels detonated a bomb beneath a crowded bus crossing a wooden bridge in Nepal's rural south Monday [06/06/05], officials said, killing at least 38 people and wounding the other 71 passengers on board. It was one of the bloodiest attacks against civilians since an insurgency broke out nearly a decade ago. The army said it was certain the explosion was detonated by rebels fighting since 1996 to abolish Nepal's constitutional monarchy and set up a communist state. The attack came with no warning in an area many believed to be relatively safe from insurgent attacks. It was not known why the bus was targeted. The guerrillas have stepped up violence since Feb. 1, when King Gyanendra took control of the government and imposed a state of emergency - subsequently lifted in April." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Guilty? / John Houldsworth - June 7th, 2005: "NEW YORK - John Houldsworth, an executive at Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s General Re unit, will plead guilty to a criminal charge of helping American International Group Inc. use reinsurance to distort its finances. [....] Also, he'll settle a suit by the Securities and Exchange Commission. General Re put him on leave last month. Houldsworth, 46, is the first to face a criminal charge in investigations of accounting abuses at AIG, the insurer that restated five years of earnings last month. [....] A plea hearing is scheduled for Thursday [06/09/05]. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - National Marijuana Ban / U.S.A. - June 7th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Terminally ill patients who smoke marijuana to alleviate pain can be prosecuted for violating federal drug laws, even if their own state laws allow them to use marijuana for medical purposes, the Supreme Court ruled Monday [06/06/05]. [....]" [Based on: Chicago Tribune]

2005 - Trivia / Operation Lightning, Baghdad, Iraq - June 7th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Iraqi government announced Monday [06/06/05] that it had detained nearly 900 suspected militants and set up more than 800 checkpoints in a two-week sweep that appears to have somewhat blunted attacks in the capital. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Organization of American States / Americas - June 7th, 2005: "FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - President George W. Bush implored Caribbean and Latin American nations on Monday [06/06/05] to continue to pursue democratic reforms and warned leaders who do not. Addressing the general assembly of the Organization of American States, Bush also urged Congress to pass the Central American and Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement, which is meeting bipartisan resistance. The president didn't discuss a U.S. proposal for the creation of an OAS committee to monitor how democracy is exercised in the region. It's an idea many of the foreign ministers at the meeting were reluctant to support. Bush noted that fewer than half of the 34 nations that make up the group had democratically elected governments in 1974, when the assembly last met in the U.S. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - Underfunded / U.S. Pensions - June 8th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Lax reporting rules set up by Congress, coupled with corporate America's eagerness to take advantage of them, have left millions of workers' and retirees' pension plans underfunded without their knowledge, senators were told Tuesday [06/07/05]. [....] The agency's head told senators the number of pension plans that are more than $50 million short of promised benefit levels has risen to 1,108 in 2004 from 221 in 2000. Those funds have an average of just 69 percent of promised benefits on hand. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, pp. C1 & C6, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 06/08/05]

2005 - Government Collapse / Bolivia - June 8th, 2005: "Street protests choked off Bolivia's crippled capital on Tuesday [06/07/05], as the collapse of President Carlos Messa's government failed to quell demands by the poor Indian majority for more power from the white elite who have ruled the country for decades. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Global Military Spending - June 8th, 2005: "STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Global military spending topped $1 trillion last year. It was the first time that amount was surpassed since the Cold War, boosted by the U.S. fight against terrorists and the growing defense budgets of India and China, a European think tank said Tuesday [06/07/05]. Led by the United States, which accounted for almost half of all military expenditures, the world spent $1.035 trillion on defense, equal to 2.6 percent of global gross domestic product, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said. Besides its regular defense budget, the United States has allocated $238 billion since 2003 to fight terrorism, according to the report. [....] Adjusted for inflation, the figure for global military spending last year is 6 percent lower than its Cold War peak in 1987-1988. Total military expenditure grew 6 percent in 2004 over the previous year, in line with an average annual increase since 2002, the institute said. South Asia, northern Africa and North America made the largest increases. In Western Europe and Central America, military spending fell. But the report said the figures might be on the low side as countries are increasingly outsourcing services related to armed conflicts, such as military training and providing logistics in combat zones, without classifying them as military expenditures. As a region, South Asia saw the biggest rise in military expenditures, largely because India boosted its defense budget by 19 percent in a move that could provide a 'real setback' to the country's attempts at ending a decades-long conflict with neighbor Pakistan, Skons [institute researcher, Elisabeth Skons] said. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, S.L.P.D., p. A7, 06/08/05]

2005 - Edited? / U.S. Gov't Climate Reports - June 8th, 2005: "NEW YORK - A White House official who once led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents. In handwritten notes on drafts of several reports issued in 2002 and 2003, the official, Philip A. Cooney, removed or adjusted descriptions of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors, including some senior Bush administration officials, had already approved. In most cases, the changes appeared in the final reports. [....] The documents were obtained by The New York Times from the Government Accountability Project, a nonprofit legal-assistance group for government whistleblowers. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Strong earthquake / Simeule, Indonesia - June 8th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 06:28:13 (UTC) on Wednesday, June 8, 2005. The magnitude 6.1 event has been located in SIMEULUE, INDONESIA. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 46 km (29 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/uszbak.htm]

2005 - H. R. Clinton Criticism / U.S. Administration - June 8th, 2005: "Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, R-N.Y., criticized the administration's record on unemployment, women's rights and the environment, saying it is 'intent upon consolidating and abusing power.' 'There has never been an administration, I don't believe, in our history more intent upon consolidating and abusing power to further their own agenda,' she said of President George W. Bush. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Almost Full / U.S. "Emergency Gas Tank" - June 8th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The United States' emergency gasoline tank - the Strategic Petroleum Reserve - is almost full for the first time since it was set up 30 years ago. The milestone is significant because it gives the country a larger energy-security blanket than ever that can be used in the event of a future supply disruption. But the stockpiling of 700 million barrels of crude oil, which is scheduled for completion by the end of August, also could bring some immediate relief to the global energy market, analysts say. When the Energy Department effectively tops off its reserve, which is stored in underground salt caverns along the Gulf Coast in Texas and Louisiana, roughly 75,000 barrels of oil a day will become available for commercial purposes. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Renewed Violence / West Bank & Gaza Strip - June 8th, 2005: "JERUSALEM - Clashes and mortar fire in the West Bank and Gaza Strip killed at least six people Tuesday [06/07/05], one of the deadliest days of violence since Israel and the Palestinian Arabs declared a cease-fire months ago. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Decline / 10-Year Treasury Yields, U.S.A. - June 8th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says the unusual decline in 10-year Treasury yields can't fully be explained, and a situation in which short-term yields exceed long-term returns may not signal an economic slowdown, as it has in the past. [....] Greenspan's comments suggest he still views as an anomaly the decline of about 80 basis points in 10-year yields since the Fed started raising its overnight bank lending rate a year ago. He told Congress on Feb. 16 that the decline in longterm rates was a 'conundrum.' [....] Ten-year Treasuries rose Tuesday, in part because Greenspan didn't suggest market rates were incorrect, said Glen Capelo, a Treasury trader at RBS Greenwich Capital in Greenwich, Conn. 'The pronounced decline in U.S. Treasury long-term interest rates over the past year, despite a 200-basis-point increase in our federal funds rate, is clearly without precedent,' Capelo said. Asked whether there would be any change soon, he said: 'I would think not.' [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

*Trivia: conundrum - "Definitions: riddle (Based on: Webster's Vest Pocket Dictionary). Other definitions include: +whim, crotcnet XVI; +pun XVII; riddle involving a pun, puzzling statement or question XVIII [....] (Based on: The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology)

2005 - NATO Mission? / Sudan - June 9th, 2005: "NATO has agreed to airlift African Union troops into Sudan's troubled Darfur region and provide some training, officials in Brussels said Wednesday [06/08/05]. The United States will perform some of the airlifts, a U.S. defense official said. The first could come this month or next, the official said. Violence has raged in Darfur for more than a year, mostly between black Africans and ethnic Arab militiamen called Janjaweed aligned with the Sudanese government. [....] The government and Janjaweed have been accused of committing widescale abuses against ethnic Africans in which 180,000 people have died and millions have fled to refugee camps. The Darfur mission would be NATO's first in Africa. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Deadly Protests / Ethiopia - June 9th, 2005: "Ethiopian security forces killed 22 people, wounded dozens and placed some opposition politicians under house arrest as protestors challenged the government's claim of victory in last months elections. [....] The elections had been seen as a test of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi's committment to reform. The protests erupted despite a ban on demonstrations after the May 15 legeslative elections." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Big Sunspots / 775 & 776 - June 9th, 2005: "Two big sunspots, 775 and 776, have been growing this week, and they now have complex magnetic fields that harbor energy for M- or X-class solar flares. Stay tuned for possible solar activity."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/]  - [06/09/05] 

2005 - Trivia / NASD Settlements - June 9th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Fourteen brokerage firms, including six subsidiaries of embattled insurance giant American International Group Inc., and a mutual fund distributor are paying fines totaling more than $34 million in deals with regulatoirs over payments they received to push certain mutual funds. The companies agreed to pay the fines in settlements with NASD, the industry's self-policing group known formerly as the National Association of Securities Dealers, officials said Wednesday [06/08/05]. [....] The companies neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing in agreeing to pay the fines ... [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Hispanic Population / U.S.A. - June 9th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - One of every seven people in the United States is Hispanic, the Census Bureau says. That's a record number - and one likely to keep rising because of immigration and a high Hispanic birth rate. Hispanics are now the country's largest minority group. In the 12 months that ended last July [2004], they accounted for about half of the overall population growth of 2.9 million, the Census Bureau says in a report being released today. The agency estimates that the United States has 41.3 million Hispanics, a number that includes both legal and illegal residents. [....] This meant that as of July 1, the population was 293.7 million, broken down this way: Whites - 240 million, Hispanics - 41.3 million, Blacks - 39.2 million, Asians - 14 million, American Indians - 4.4 million, Native Hawaiians and other islanders - 980,000. [....] Last year, the Census Bureau projected that whites and minority groups overall would be roughly equal in number by 2050." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - U.S. Casualties / Afghanistan - June 9th, 2005: "FORWARD OPERATING BASE, SALERNO, Afghanistan - Two U.S. soldiers were killed and eight wounded in a rocket attack Wednesday [06/08/05] on a small outpost that has been one of the most dangerous places in the country for coalition forces. [....] According to figures on the Defense Department's Web site, Wednesday's deaths brought to 148 the number of U.S. service members killed in and around Afghanistan since the U.S. invaded in late 2001." [Based on: Raleigh News & Observer]

2005 - Settlement / HealthSouth Corp. - June 9th, 2005: "HealthSouth Corp. will pay $100 million to settle charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission that it violated federal securities laws, the company said Wednesday [06/08/05]. In March 2003, the SEC accused both the company and former Chief Executive Richard Scrushy of overstating earnings by $1.4 billion since 1999." [Based on: S.L.P.D. article, p. C2, 06/09/05]

2005 - Incomplete Out There TV Episode? / WPXS-TV Channel 13, Mt. Vernon, Illinois - June 9th, 2005: A special Out There TV presentation of the 911 video - In Plane Site - appeared on Thursday, June 9th, 2005 beginning at 3 p.m. C.S.T. in St. Louis Mo. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch P-D TV Guide for the week of June 5-11, 2005 lists "Varied Programs"  for channel 24 KNLC [3 p.m-4 p.m.] on page 14.
   Approximately half way into the program [about 3:30 p.m. C.S.T.], the In Plane Site video came to an abrupt end. When the video started playing again, it played from an earlier section in the tape! It started playing from the section about the Pentagon. This gliche occured at a point in the tape after the In Plane Site commentator mentioned the word "pod" - in reference to an apparent object attached on the underside of one of the planes that hit the World Trade Towers. It was not until about 4:00 p.m. [Approximately 2 minutes before?] when the In Plane Site video continued [resumed] from the point in the video from where it had earlier reversed.
   At approximately 4:00 p.m. the In Plane Site video - and Out There T.V. episode - came to an abrupt end [right after the point in the video where President George W. Bush. appears to say "Just kidding Jeb." Following that, a picture frame appeared that identified the television station as WPXS-TV Channel 13, Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Next, the station went on to show another program entirely.
   Needless to say, television rebroadcasts of Out There TV episodes appearing in the St. Louis area have left much to be admired. Other anomalies observed during Out There TV rebroadcasts in the St. Louis area [2005] include: faded and/ or flittering picture frames, frozen picture frames and, of course, missing picture frames and/or missing material.  [Etznab Mathers]

2005 - Sunspot Watch - June 10th, 2005: "Two big 'spots, 775 and 776, are crossing the sun today. Each has a twisted magnetic field that harbors energy for M-class solar flares."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [06/10/05]

2005 - Guilty Plea? / Steven Sugerman - June 10th, 2005: "LOS ANGELES - A former executive [Steven Sugerman] at the Los Angeles office of Fleishman-Hillard Inc. has agreed to plead guilty to fraud in a scheme to overbill a city utility for public-relations work, federal prosecutors said Thursday [06/09/05]. [....] Fleishman-Hillard, a world-wide public-relations firm is based in St. Louis. It's a unit of Omnicom Group Inc. of New York, the world's largest owner of advertising agencies. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - President Eduardo Rodriguez / Bolivia - June 10th, 2005: "Bolivia's high court chief [Eduardo Rodriguez ] rose to the presidency late Thursday [06/09/05] after two congressional leaders refused to assume the post, clearing the way for possible early elections that officials hope will curb violent protests. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Tropical Storm Arlene / Gulf of Mexico - June 10th, 2005: "The Atlantic hurricane season's first named storm headed north Thursday [06/09/05] toward the Gulf Coast as Florida residents watched with a wary eye. [....] Eastern Cuba, the Florida Keys and parts of South Florida were getting rain from the system Thursday night. It was expected to enter the Gulf of Mexico today [06/10/05]." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Sexual Abuse Cases / U.S. Roman Catholic Church - June 10th, 2005: "NEW YORK - The cost to the U.S. Roman Catholic Church of sexual scandals involving the priesthood since 1950 has climbed past $1 billion, according to tallies by American bishops and an Associated Press review of known settlements. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article by Rachel Zoll, p. A5, S.L.P.D., 06/10/05]

2005 - Hostage Release / Clementina Cantoni, Afghanistan - June 10th, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - An Italian aid worker [Clementina Cantoni] kidnapped at gunpoint in the Afghan capital three weeks ago has been released and has called her mother to say she is safe and healthy, the government said Thursday [06/09/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / U.S. Trade Gap - June 11th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The nation's trade deficit rose to $56.96 billion in April as a jump in exports was swamped by record foreign oil prices and heavy U.S. demand for imports. [....] The April deficit, which was the fourth-largest on record, was up a sharp 6.3 percent from a revised trade trade gap of $53.56 billion in March, which had been an improvement from February's record deficit of $60.12 billion. So far this year, the trade deficit is running at an annual rate of $686 billion, 11 percent higher than the record $617.58 billion deficit set for all of 2004. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - American Casualties / Iraq - June 11th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Five Marines were killed when their vehicle struck a bomb in western Iraq, the U.S. military said Friday [06/10/05], as leader's of Iraq's various ethnic groups intensified their dispute over who will write the nation's new constitution. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Settlement / Citigroup Inc. - June 11th, 2005: "NEW YORK - Citigroup Inc., the nation's largest financial-services company, will pay $2 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit over its role in helping Enron Corp. orchestrate a huge accounting fraud that led to the energy trader's collapse. The settlement announced Friday [06/10/05] marks the largest payout so far pledged to Enron investors, who claim they were bilked out of billions of dollars when the energy company went bankrupt in 2001. It's also one of the largest corporate settlements in history, but still below the $2.58 billion that New York-based Citigroup agreed to pay WorldCom Inc. investors last year. Citigroup denied breaking any laws. It said it agreed to the settlement 'solely to eliminate the uncertainties, burden and expense of further protracted litigation.' [....] The settlement was the fifth made in the long-running Enron debacle and was seen as a catalyst for future deals with eight other banks targeted in the case, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. [....] In addition to JPMorgan Chase, other financial institutions named in the case are Barclays PLC, Credit Suisse First Boston, Merrill Lynch & Co., Toronto Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Deutsche Bank AG and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Among the individuals named as defendants are Enron founder Kenneth Lay, former Chief Executive Jeffery Skilling and former top accountant Richard Causey. They've pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud and conspiracy in a case scheduled for trial in January 2006." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Guilty Plea / Richard Napier - June 11th, 2005: "ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A second former top executive at Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s General Re insurance unit pleaded guilty Friday [06/10/05] to conspiring to file false financial reports as part of a phony transaction designed to burnish the books of American International Group Inc., his company's top customer. Richard Napier, 53, a senior vice president at Gen Re in 2000 and 2001 when the sham transaction occurred, pleaded guilty Friday [06/10/05] to a single criminal conspiracy count brought by the Justice Department. [....] Napier, in a signed statement of facts, said he was told in October 2000 by Gen Re's chief executive at the time, Ronald E. Ferguson, that then-AIG Chief Executive Maurice 'Hank' Greenberg asked Ferguson to help concoct a deal that would increase AIG's loss reserves by $500 million on paper without transferring any risk to AIG." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Europe's Oldest Civilization? - June 11th, 2005: "Archaeologists have discovered Europe's oldest civilisation, a network of dozens of temples, 2,000 years older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids.

More than 150 gigantic monuments have been located beneath the fields and cities of modern-day Germany, Austria and Slovakia. They were built 7,000 years ago, between 4800BC and 4600BC. Their discovery, revealed today by The Independent, will revolutionise the study of prehistoric Europe, where an appetite for monumental architecture was thought to have developed later than in Mesopotamia and Egypt.

In all, more than 150 temples have been identified. Constructed of earth and wood, they had ramparts and palisades that stretched for up to half a mile. They were built by a religious people who lived in communal longhouses up to 50 metres long, grouped around substantial villages. Evidence suggests their economy was based on cattle, sheep, goat and pig farming.

Their civilisation seems to have died out after about 200 years and the recent archaeological discoveries are so new that the temple building culture does not even have a name yet. [....] By David Keys, Archaeology Correspondent

[Based on: http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/story.jsp?story=645976] 

2005 - Investigation / Mad Cow, U.S.A. - June 11th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The government is checking a potential case of mad cow disease in the United States in an animal previously cleared of being infected, the Agriculture Department said Friday [06/10/05]. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said more tests were needed to confirm the disease, but he said that the animal did not enter the food supply. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. 27, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 06/11/05]

*Trivia: "Senior congressional Democrats on food and farm issues asked Monday [06/13/05] why the Agriculture Department suddenly ordered new tests on tissue from a cow declared free of mad cow disease seven months [November 2004?] ago. Now, a brain sample from the cow is being sent to England for further study because a third round of tests came back positive late Friday [06/10/05]. The Agriculture Department's inspector general suddenly ordered those tests last week. [....]" [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A13, 06/14/05]

2005 - American Casualties / Afghanistan - June 11th, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - An American soldier was killed and three U.S. troops were wounded when insurgents ambushed a patrol Friday [06/10/05] in eastern Afghanistan - the third deadly attack on U.S. forces in the border region in a week. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - FDA Approval / Whooping Cough Booster, Adacel - June 11th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - A second booster shot against the returning menace of whooping cough won government approval Friday [06/10/05] - this one for adults as well as teenagers. [....] On Friday [06/10/05] ... Sanofi-Aventis won FDA approval for its whooping cough booster, Adacel, for people ages 11 to 64. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Bomber Targets / Iraq - June 12th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A former member of one of Iraq's most feared counterterrorism squads walked into the unit's headquarters Saturday [06/11/05] and detonated an explosive belt hidden under his police iniform. He killed himself and three other people, according to Interior Ministry officials. South of Baghdad, gunmen attacked a minibus full of Iraqi construction workers, killing 10 and wounding four, regional officials said. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - Nude Bicyclists / Europe - June 12th, 2005: "Scores of naked cyclists rode in London and Madrid on Saturday [06/12/05] to protest the West's dependence on gas-guzzling cars - and to push for more use of bicycles. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Geomagnetic Storming? - June 12th, 2005: "The geomagnetic field was quiet to major storm on June 12. Solar wind speed ranged between 281 and 549 km/sec. A solar wind shock was observed at 06:58 UTC at SOHO. This was the arrival of one of the CMEs observed on June 8 and 9. Initially the disturbance was not very impressive, then, after 12h UTC, strong southward fluctuations were observed in the interplanetary magnetic field. After 16h UTC the IMF has been moderately to strong southwards causing minor to major geomagnetic storming."

[Based on: http://www.dxlc.com/solar/] - [06/13/05]

2005 - Funeral Service / 911 Firefighter - June 12th, 2005: "A 30-year-old firefighter who died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, was memorialized Saturday [06/11/05] at a Manhattan church in one of the last funerals for the 343 firefighters killed that day. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - 2,000-Year-Old Date Seed / Israel - June 12th, 2005: "JERUSALEM - Israeli doctors and scientists have succeeded in germinating a date seed that is nearly 2,000 years old. The seed, nicknamed Methuselah, was taken from an excavation at Masda, the cliff fortress where 960 Jewish zealots died by their own hand in A.D. 73 rather than surrender to a Roman assault. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Debt Relief? / Eighteen Countries - June 12th, 2005: "LONDON - Leaders of the world's wealthiest economies have reached a groundbreaking agreement on debt relief for some of the world's most impoverished economies. The historic deal, announced Saturday [06/11/05] in London, will immediately wipe clean $40 billion worth of debt owed by 14 nations in Africa and four in Latin America Nine more countries could join the list in the next 12 to 18 months. 'We are presenting the most comprehensive statement that finance ministers have ever made on the issues of debt, development, health and poverty,' said Gordon Brown, Britian's chancellor of the exchequer. [....] Instead of spending $1 billion to $2 billion a year on interest payments, the poor nations would be able to redirect the money toward development projects. Among the nations that will benefit immediately are Bolivia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique and Uganda. The agreement sets the stage for what what is expected to be the dominant theme of next month's G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland. [....] Brown and Prime Minister Tony Blair have become leading advocates of Third World debt relief. Their efforts have been given a considerable publicity boost in recent weeks by Bob Geldof, the Irish rocker who is organizing a series of concerts and a demonstration around the summit next month. [....] The agreement announced Saturday is apparently a compromise brokered by Brown in which the lenders will write off the debts but receive compensation from donor nations. [....]" [Based on: Chicago Tribune]

2005 - Anti-Government Rally / Philippines - June 12th, 2005: "MANILA, Philippines - Thousands of protestors demnanded Saturday [06/11/05] that Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo step down. It was the biggest anti-government rally since allegations surfaced that she fixed last tear's election and that her family received gambling kickbacks. [....] Police estimate that 5,000 people participated. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Tropical Storm Arlene / U.S. Gulf Coast - June 12th, 2005: "PENSACOLA, Fla. - Tropical Storm Arlene weakened as it blew ashore Saturday [06/11/05] on the Gulf Coast, but still packed enough punch that it brought sheets of rain, 20-foot waves and heavy wind to the same area that was devestated by Hurricane Ivan nine months ago. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / South Sandwich Islands - June 12th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 19:26:25 (UTC) on Sunday, June 12, 2005. The magnitude 6.0 event has been located in the SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS REGION. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/uszfax.htm]

2005 - Bombings / Iran - June 13th, 2005: "TEHRAN, Iran - Four bombs exploded Sunday [06/12/05] in the capital of the only province of Iran [Ahvaz] dominated by Arabs. The attacks were followed hours later by two bombings in the center of Tehran. State media reported that at least nine people were killed in the attacks, which came five days before Iranians are scheduled to elect a new president. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - U.S. Casualties / Iraq - June 13th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - The U.S. military announced the killing of four more U.S. soldiers on Sunday [06/12/05], pushing the American death toll past 1,700. Also, police found the bullet-riddled bodies of 28 people - many thought to be Sunni Arabs - buried in shallow graves or dumped streetside in Baghdad. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Acquitted / Michael Jackson - June 13th, 2005: "On this date in history: Michael Jackson was aquitted of all ten charges in his child molestation trial." [E.M.]

2005 - Train Derailment / Russia - June 13th, 2005: "A bomb apparently wired to railroad tracks derailed a passenger train traveling from Chechnya to Moscow on Sunday [06/12/05], injuring at least 15 people. The explosion took place 90 miles south of Moscow. The blast happened just hours before President Vladimir Putin marked the Day of Russia holiday with a reception and awards ceremony in the Kremlin. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Released / French Hostage, Iraq - June 13th, 2005: "VILLACOUBLAY, France - A French journalist [Florence Aubenas] held hostage in Iraq for five months returned home Sunday [06/12/05], looking radiant and strong as she described months of captivity in a cellar, tied up and blindfolded. [....] Aubenas' Iraqi assistant also was freed. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Molucca Sea - June 13th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 07:02:33 (UTC) on Monday, June 13, 2005. The magnitude 6.0 event has been located in the MOLUCCA SEA. The hypocentral depth was poorly constrained. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/uszgag.htm]

2005 - Major Earthquake / Tarapaca, Chile - June 13th, 2005: "A major earthquake occurred at 22:44:33 (UTC) on Monday, June 13, 2005. The magnitude 7.8 event has been located in TARAPACA, CHILE. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 108 km (67 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/uszgbu.htm] 

*Trivia: "Chile sent cargo planes with medicine and tents Tuesday [06/14/05] to a northern Andean region rocked by an earthquake that killed at least 11 people, including a family of six buried by a landslide. The magnitude 7.9 quake struck Monday evening [06/13/05], rattling cities in Bolivia and Peru. The temblor was centered in a sparsely populated area in norther Chile, about 940 miles north of the capital of Santiago. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Launch / NASA Helium Ballon, Sweden - June 13th, 2005: "NASA launched a large helium balloon on Sunday [06/12/05] from Sweden carrying a telescope for studies of star formation, a spokesman for the Esrange launch pad said. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - HIV-AIDS Trivia / U.S.A. - June 14th, 2005: "ATLANTA - More than a million Americans are believed to be living with the virus that causes AIDS, the government said Monday [06/13/05]. This is believed to be the first time that mark has been passed since the height of the epidemic in the 1980s. [....] The new estimates, based on reports from 2003, indicate that blacks account for 47 percent of HIV cases, and gay and bisexual men make up 45 percent of those living with the virus." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Jose Padilla Case - June 14th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court refused Monday [06/13/05] to be drawn into a dispute over President George W. Bush's power to detain American terrorism suspects and deny them traditional legal rights. It would have been unusual for the court to take the case of 'dirty bomb' suspect Jose Padilla now, because a federal appeals court has yet to rule on the issue. Arguments are scheduled for July 19 at the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va. A year ago, the court ruled that the Bush administration was out of line by locking up foreign terrorism suspects at the Navy base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, without access to lawyers and courts. But justices declined to address a separate issue: whether American citizens arrested on U.S. soil can be designated 'enemy combatants' and held without trial. Padilla has been in custody since 2002 when he was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport after returning from Pakistan. The government views him as a militant who planned attacks on the United States, including with a dirty bomb radiological device, and has said he received weapons and explosives training from members of al-Qaida. A federal judge sided with Padilla and ruled that an endorsement of indefinite detentions would be a 'betrayal of this nation's commitment to the separation of powers that safeguards our democratic values and individual liberties.' Solicitor General Paul Clement, the Bush administration's top Supreme Court lawyer, said the lower court ruling 'marks a substantial judicial intrusion into the core presidential function of determining how best to ensure the nation's security.' Padilla's lawyers had wanted to jump over the appeals court and have the Supreme Court intervene. The court is already familiar with Padilla's case, which they debated last fall but then threw out on grounds that Padilla's lawsuit had been filed in the wrong jurisdiction. [....] Padilla, a New York-born convert to Islam, was one of just two U.S. citizens held as enemy combatants, a designation that allows indefinite detention without charges for al-Qaida suspects and their associates. The other one, Yaser Esam Hamdi, was released last fall after winning a Supreme Court appeal. The justices said Hamdi, a U.S.-born suspected Taliban foot soldier captured in Afghanistan, could use American courts to argue that he was being held illegally." [Based on: A.P. article, p. A3, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 06/14/05]

2005 - Flash Flood / Shalan, China - June 14th, 2005: "Soldiers search for victims Monday [06/13/05] who died in a flash flood in Shalan, in northeast China. The death toll from the flood that smashed into a school Friday [06/10/05] has jumped to 92, including 89 children, the official Xinhua news agency reported." [Based on: picture article, p. A14, S.L.P.D., 06/14/05]

2005 - 3rd term / Mohammed ElBaradei - June 14th, 2005: "Mohammed ElBaredei won a third term Monday [06/13/05] as head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency. [....] ElBaradei, 62, an Egyptian diplomat, said his priorities will include fighting nuclear proliferation and the potential menace posed by nuclear terrorism. Administration hawks accused ElBaradei of being too mild on Iran and of trying to obstruct the U.S. invasion of Iraq by questioning intelligence that asserted Saddam Hussein had a nuclear arms program." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Forecast / Geophysical Activity - June 14th, 2005: "The geomagnetic field is expected to be at predominantly unsettled levels. Active conditions may be expected on 15 June due to the effects of today's shock passage. Isolated minor to major storming is possible on 16 and 17 June due to a recurrent coronal hole high speed stream and the effects of today's full halo CME."

[Based on: http://www.sec.noaa.gov/forecast.html]

*Trivia: "The geomagnetic field is expected to be quiet to active on June 14 becoming unsettled to minor storm on June 15-16 due to a high speed stream from CH170 and the arrival of the CME observed on June 12."

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

2005 - Not Guilty Plea / Lawrence A. Franklin - June 14th, 2005: "A Pentagon analyst pleaded not guilty Monday [06/13/05] of charges that he leaked classified military information to employees of a pro-Israel lobbying organization and an Israeli official, federal authorities said Monday. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Aleutian Islands - June 14th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 17:10:17 (UTC) on Tuesday, June 14, 2005. The magnitude 6.8 event has been located in the RAT ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS, ALASKA. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 52 km (32 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/uszhcb.htm]

2005 - Mudslide / New York - June 15th, 2005: "A mudslide closed a 16-mile stretch of the main highway [Interstate 87] linking New York City and Montreal after a storm dropped 6 inches of rain on the area in a few hours, officials said. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Abductions? / Kirkuk, Iraq - June 15th, 2005: "KIRKUK, Iraq - Police and security units, forces led by Kurdish political parties and backed by the U.S. military, have abducted hundreds of minority Arabs and Turkmen in the intensely volatile city and spirited them to prisons in Kurdish-held northern Iraq, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials, government documents and families of the victims. Seized off the streets of Kirkuk or in joint U.S.-Iraqi raids, the men have been transferred secretly and in violation of Iraqi law to prisons in the Kurdish cities of Irbil and Sulaymaniyah, sometimes with the knowledge of U.S. forces. The detainees, including merchants, members of tribal families and soldiers, have often remained missing for months; some have been tortured, according to released prisoners and the Kirkuk police chief. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - Drug Bust / Columbian Cartel - June 15th, 2005: "Investigators declared Tuesday [06/14/05] that they have gutted a giant Columbian drug cartel with charges against 77 people and four businesses accused of smuggling more than $50 million worth of cocaine, heroin and marijuana into the United States. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Suicide Bomber / Kirkuk, Iraq - June 15th, 2005: "KIRKUK, Iraq - A crowd of elderly men and women, some with grandchildren in tow, were lined up at the bank to cash pension checks. Street vendors hawked their wares nearby. A young man strode calmly into their midst and detonated his suicide belt, blasting himself and dozens of other people to pieces. The explosion outside the Rafidiyan Bank killed at least 23 people. Nearly 100 people - including a pregnant women and several children - were wounded in what was the deadliest attack in the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk since Saddam Hussein was ousted more than two years ago. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Major Earthquake / Northern California - June 15th, 2005: "A major earthquake occurred at 02:50:54 (UTC) on Wednesday, June 15, 2005. The magnitude 7.2 event has been located OFF THE COAST OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usziae.htm]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Papua New Guinea - June 15th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 10:13:59 (UTC) on Wednesday, June 15, 2005. The magnitude 6.3 event has been located in the NEW IRELAND REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 76 km (47 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/uszibe.htm] 

2005 - Cholera Outbreak / Kabul, Afghanistan - June 15th, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - An outbreak of cholera in the Afghan capital has killed at least eight people, is feared to have infected more than 2,000 others and is on the verge of turning into an epidemic, says a senior epidemiologist working to stem the spread of the disease. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Microwave Beams? / Commercial Air Defense - June 15th, 2005: "LE BOURGET, France - Raytheon Co. said Tuesday [06/04/05] that it developed a high-powered microwave beam to defend airliners from missles and is urging the U.S. government to deploy it at major airports to foil possible terrorist attacks. The Department of Homeland Security has acknowledged concerns about the potential for attacks on jets from shoulder-fired missle launchers. In August, it awarded two $45 million contracts to Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman Corp. and Britain's BAE Systems PLC to develop antimissle lasers for commercial planes. [....] Its technology, called 'Vigilant Eagle,' uses a network of infrared sensors to set up a 'protective dome' around an airport. When a surface-to-air missle is detected, a billboard-sized microwave gun blasts the missle with a high-energy microwave beam, confusing its guidance system and preventing it from finding its target. [....] Raytheon says that 70 percent of U.S. inbound and outbound flights could be protected by equipping the busiest 30 domestic airports, at a cost of $25 million each. By contrast, Northrop Grumman says the cost of its on-board system will work out to less than $1 million a plane - although both Raytheon and Rand Corp., the defense research group, say the figure could be considerably higher." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Off Coast of Aisen, Chile - June 15th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 19:52:25 (UTC) on Wednesday, June 15, 2005. The magnitude 6.3 event has been located OFF THE COAST OF AISEN, CHILE. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Baesed on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/uszicw.htm]

2005 - Trivia / CME - June 16th, 2005: "A coronal mass ejection (CME) swept past Earth on June 16th at 0900 UT. The impact caused a mild geomagnetic storm, which has since subsided. Sky watchers at high latitudes should remain alert for auroras, however, because a solar wind stream trailing the CME continues to buffet Earth's magnetic field. Intermittent magnetic storming is possible tonight."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [06/16/05]

*Trivia: "Analysis of Solar Active Regions and Activity from 15/2100Z to 16/2100Z: Solar activity was moderate. Region 775 (N10W86) produced an M4.0 flare at 16/2022 UTC with associated Type II (989km/s) and Type IV radio sweeps. A 170 sfu Tenflare and a CME were also associated with this event. Region 775 also produced a long duration C1.7 flare at 16/0905 UTC. Region 779 (S17W05) continues to show growth, but is developing more slowly."

[Based on: http://www.sec.noaa.gov/forecast.html] - [06/16/05]

2005 - Trivia / Sunspot 779 - "Sunspot 779 didn't exist two days ago; now it's many times wider than Earth. This fast-growing spot could soon pose a threat for strong solar flares. Departing sunspot 775 unleashed an M4-class flare today. The blast was not Earth-directed. Credit: SOHO/MD]

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [06/16/05]

*Trivia: "Decaying sunspot 779 no longer poses a threat for strong solar flares."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/]  - [06/20/05]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - June 16th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - On another day of intense violence that left at least 53 dead, Iraqi soldiers rescued an Australian hostage [Douglas Wood], winning a rare, high profile success for the country's fledgling security force. [....]" [Based on: Chicago Tribune]

2005 - Settlement / Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. - June 16th, 2005: "NEWARK, N.J. - Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. agreed to pay $300 million in a deal to defer prosecution on a conspiracy charge stemming from an accounting scandal, the U.S. attorney's office said Wednesday [06/15/05]. Two of the company's former executives [Frederick Schiff & Richard Lane] also were indicted for their alleged roles in the scandal. [....] With Wednesday's payment, Bristol-Meyers has spent $800 million to settle lawsuits and investigations tied to incentives it paid wholesalers to stockpile inventory, inflating sales and earnings. In March 2003, Bristol-Myers restated $900 million in profit and $2.5 billion in revenue reported from 1999 through the first half of 2002. 'This is a case where Bristol-Myers Squibb failed to disclose relevant information to its shareholders that would have affected its stock price,' said Christopher J. Christie, the U.S. attorney for New Jersey. He said the investigation is continuing." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Moderate Earthquake / Southern California - June 16th, 2005: "A moderate earthquake shook most of Southern California on Thursday [06/16/05], startling people and knocking items off shelves and desks. There were no reports of significant damage or injuries. The early afternoon quake had a magnitude of 4.9 and was centered near Yucaipa in San Bernardino County, east of Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. About 25 aftershocks followed in a little more than an hour, the strongest estimated at magnitude 3.5 [....]" [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. A5, 06/17/05]

2005 - "Report Card for America's Infrastructure" / "D" - June 16th, 2005:

   Taxpayer dollars are being spent on building sports stadiums and rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure, which we helped tear down, while ignoring our own infrastructure needs.
   As a structural engineer, I have seen firsthand the continued deterioration of our infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers has published a "Report Card for America's Infrastructure" since the early 1990s. The 2005 report card grade is a D. It says the country needs to invest $1.6 trillion over five years.
   The systems that supply our drinking water, energy and wastewater have received lower grades since the 2001 report card. There has been a 15- to 20-percent deterioration each year.
   Wake up, America. Are you satisfied with the way your tax dollars are being spent?"

[Based on: article by Larry G. Mrazek [Chesterfield, Mo.], p. C6, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 06/16/05]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - June 17th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - June appears likely to become one of the deadliest months for U.S. troops in Iraq, figures show, as U.S. officials announced Thursday [06/16/05] the deaths of five Marines and a sailor in and near Ramadi. The Marines died in a roadside bomb explosion Wednesday [06/15/05]; the sailor was killed by small-arms fire that same day. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - Record Tax Collection / U.S.A. - June 17th, 2005: "The government has hit a financial milestone - taking in more money in tax revenue in a single day than ever before. The Treasury Department said Thursday [06/16/05] that it had collected $61 billion on Wednesday [06/15/05]. That surpassed the old one-day record of $56 billion set on Dec. 15, 2000. The bulk of the revenue - $49 billion - came from corporate tax payments, also a one-day record for such receipts. The old mark was $46 billion set last Dec. 15. Wednesday's date, June 15, and Dec. 15 are both deadlines for corporate quarterly tax payments." [Based on: wire services, S.L.P.D., p. C2, 06/17/05]

2005 - Grown? / New Blood Vessels - June 17th, 2005: "LONDON - Scientists reported they have grown new blood vessels with cells from sick older people - the type of patients most likely to need such transplants if the technique is perfected. The approach was outlined in the medical journal The Lancet this week. It could be used for heart or other bypass surgery in the elderly whose own veins may not be suitable. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Rising European Contacts / Hamas - June 17th, 2005: "JERUSALEM - Israel on Thursday [06/16/05] protested rising European contacts with Hamas, urging the European Union to keep the group on its list of terrorist organizations and warning that talking to the the Islamic militants undermines Palestinian moderates. Three senior Hamas members said their group had been talking to EU diplomats regularly. EU officials denied the contacts but acknowledged that meetings with Hamas might be inevitable now that Hamas has won control of dozens of West Bank and Gaza towns in recent local elections. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Northern California - June 17th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 06:21:41 (UTC) on Friday, June 17, 2005. The magnitude 6.6 event has been located OFF THE COAST OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/uszkal.htm]

2005 - Quartery Profit Decline / Goldman Sachs Group Inc. - June 17th, 2005: "Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Wall Street's biggest trading firm, said Thursday [06/16/05] that quarterly profit fell for the first time in three years as revenue from buying and selling bonds, currencies and commodities tumbled 20 percent. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Fuel Spill / Russia - June 18th, 2005: "Authorities failed to contain a spill of heavy fuel from a derailed train, and it flowed into waterways that supply Moscow with drinking water, officials said Friday [06/17/05]. Some 770 tons of thick, tar-like fuel spilled from more than a dozen tanker cars that went off the tracks Wednesday [06/15/05] about 100 miles northwest of Moscow, according to Pavel Plat, a senior official with the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry, who spoke to NTV television. Emergency officials said the spill would not affect Moscow's water supply. But OLeg Mitvol, a top federal environmental protection official, said authorities lacked vital equipment to contain the fuel, which was sweeping into a tributary of the Volga River." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Mad Cow Trivia / U.S.A. - June 18th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - American cattle continue to eat chicken litter, cattle blood and restaurant leftovers that could help transmit mad cow disease - a gap in the U.S. defense that the federal government promised to close nearly 18 months ago. The USDA is now investigating another possible case of mad cow disease in the United States. The beef cow had been tested and declared free of the disease in November [2004], but new tests came up positive, and a laboratory in England is conducting more tests. The Food and Drug Administration promised to tighten feed rules shortly after the first case of mad cow disease was confirmed in the United States, in a Washington state cow in December 2003. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. 20, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 06/18/05]

2005 - Record Prices / Crude-Oil - June 18th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Crude-oil prices surged to a record high above $58 a barrel on Friday [06/17/05], sustaining a rally built on strong demand for gasoline and diesel and on concerns about refiners' ability to keep up. [....]" [Based on: News Services, S.L.P.D., p. B5, 06/18/05]

2005 - Settlement / Ford Motor Co. - June 18th, 2005: "Ford Motor Co. agreed to settle customer lawsuits over alleged defects in the intake manifolds of as many as 2 million vehicles. [....] Ford didn't admit liability in settling the case. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. B2, 06/18/05]

2005 - Sentenced / Rick D. Shirrell - June 18th, 2005: "A former St. Louisan who admitted defrauding elderly investors out of nearly $2.1 million was sentenced Friday [06/17/05] to 51 months in prison. Rick D. Shirrell, 46, formerly of the 6200 block of Nottingham Avenue, admitted using promises of high rates of return to lure his victims to sink their money into his company, Phoenix Financial Ltd., based on the Caribbean island of Anguilla. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Record Trade Deficit / U.S.A. - June 18th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The deficit in the broadest measure of international trade rose to an all-time high of $195.1 billion from January through March of this year as the country sank deeper into debt to Japan, China and other nations. The Commerce Department said Friday [06/17/05] that the deficit in the current account rose by 3.6 percent from the previous quarterly record, an imbalance of $188.4 billion in the final three months of 2004. [....] The current account deficit for all of 2004 hit a record $668.1 billion, up a sharp 28.6 percent from the previous record of $519.7 billion in 2003. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Earthquake Trivia / California - June 18th, 2005: "LOS ANGELES - After four significant earthquakes in less than a week, Californians are getting jittery, with some stocking up on water, food, cash and even insurance. But seismologists say clusters of quakes are not unheard of and do not necessarily mean the 'Big One' is coming. [....] As groups of quakes often do, this week's shaking brought murmurs of the 'Big One' - the kind of quake that moves mountains and levels entire cities. [....] Some studies have suggested that the San Andreas fault, which leveled much of San Francisco in 1906 and extends more than 800 miles through California, may be about to release pent-up energy. [....] 'We don't know whether the 'Big One' is coming,' said Tom Jordan, director of the Southern California Earthquake Center. The last major rupture on the southern portion of the fault happened in 1875, when an estimated 7.9-magnitude quake struck. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - "Published" / Revelations X - June 18th, 2005: "Illustrated this date in history: Mirror History page entitled: Revelations X." [Based on: Etznab Mathers]  

2005 - Penalty Extension / Abusive Clergy - June 18th, 2005: "CHICAGO - The nation's [U.S.A.] Roman Catholic bishops agreed Friday [06/17/05] to a five-year extension on their unprecedented policy of permanently barring sexually abusive clergy from church work. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Israeli Undersea Barrier? / Gaza Strip - June 18th, 2005: "Israel will build an undersea barrier stretching a half-mile off the Gaza Strip to keep potential attackers from swimming to its coast after Israel withdraws troops and settlers from Gaza this summer, military officials said Friday. [....] Military officials said construction of the underwater barrier would begin soon, but it would not be completed by the Gaza pullout's scheduled start in mid-August." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Terrorist Threat?  / U.S. Consulate, Lagos - June 18th, 2005: "The United States temporarily closed its consulate in Lagos after receiving a 'terrorist threat' by telephone, a U.S. military official said Friday [06/17/05]. The move prompted Britain, Germany, Italy and Russia to close their nearby diplomatic missions. [....] Nigerian authorities are working with the United States in the investigation, Nigeria's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Security Breech? / CardSystems Solutions Inc. - June 18th, 2005: "NEW YORK - A security breach at a credit-card processing company could expose to fraud up to 40 million cardholders of multiple brands, MasterCard International Inc. said Friday [06/17/05]. The credit-card giant said its security unit detected multiple instances of fraud that led back to a CardSystems Solutions Inc., which processes credit-card and other payments for banks and merchants. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. B3, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 06/18/05]

*Trivia: "The chief of CardSystems Solutions ... acknowledged Sunday [06/19/05] that the company should not have been retaining consumer records lost to the thieves. [....] He said the data were in a file being stored for 'research purposes' to determine why certain transactions had gone unauthorized or uncompleted. [....]" [Based on: New York Times, 06/20/05]

2005 - Found Guilty / Dennis Kozlowski & Mark H. Swartz - June 18th, 2005: "NEW YORK - Former Tyco International Chief Executive Dennis Kozlowski and a subordinate [Mark H. Swartz ] were found guilty Friday [06/17/05] of looting more than $600 million from their company to pay for lavish parties, costly art and an oppulent Manhattan apartment that featured a $6,000 shower curtain. Kozlowski and former Tyco finance chief Mark H. Swartz joined a string of executives found guilty in recent years in high-profile white-collar criminal prosecutions. A state court jury deliberated for 11 days before returning the verdicts in the second prosecution of Kozlowski, 58, and Swartz, 44,. Both were found guilty of grand larceny, falsifying business records, securities fraud and other charges. Both indicated they'll appeal. [....] Kozlowski and Swartz were allowed to remain free on bonds of $10 million pending a hearing scheduled for Aug. 2. [....] The first trial of Kozlowski and Swartz ended in a mistrial in April 2004 because a juror, identified by a newspaper as a holdout for acquittal, received a menacing telephone call and letter. [....] A major difference in the second trial was four days of testimony by Kozlowski, who didn't testify in the first. He told the jury that he never abused Tyco loan programs or received a bonus to which he was not entitled, and that he never stole anything." [Based on: A.P. article, p. B1, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 06/18/05]

2005 - Coordinated Strike / U.S. & Iraqi Forces, Syrian Border - June 18th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - About 1,000 U.S. and Iraqi troops, backed by aircraft, tanks and amphibious vehicles, fanned out in a coordinated strike near the Syrian border Friday [06/17/05] in search of insurgents. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Explosive Fire / Guatemala - June 19th, 2005: "An explosive fire burned through two arms warehouses on Guatemala's largest military base early Saturday [06/18/05] [....] Defense Minister Carlos Aldana Villanueva said the cause of the explosion was under investigation." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Suicide Bombing / Iraq - June 20th, 2005: "[....] At 2:30 p.m. [06/19/05], an unidentified man walked up to the entrance of Ibn Zamboor and detonated an explosive vest filled with ball bearings, killing at least 23 people and wounding more than 30, according to witnesses and survivors. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - Earthquakes / Japan - June 20th, 2005: "Two earthquakes rocked Japan's eastern coast in quick succession early today [06/20/05], swaying buildings in Tokyo for several seconds. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The first of the quakes registered a preliminary magnitude of 5.6 and struck at 1:19 a.m. in Chiba state, to the east of Tokyo, the Meteorological Agency said. The second, a magnitude-4.1 temblor, hit at 1:34 a.m. in the same area, the agency said. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Northern Summer Solstice - June 21st, 2005: "The 2005 northern summer solstice is today. The sun is at its highest declination of the year, so high that in some places the sun never sets--not even at midnight."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [06/21/05]

2005 - U.S. Airstrikes / Afghanistan - June 20th, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - Fighting raged across southern Afghanistan on Sunday [06/19/05] as the U.S. military pounded suspected Taliban positions with airstrikes that killed as many as 20 militants along a narrow mountain footpath. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Censored 1945 Stories / U.S. Weapons of Mass Destruction - June 20th, 2005: "Tokyo - An American journalist who sneaked into Nagasaki soon after the Japanese city was leveled by a U.S. atomic bomb found a 'wasteland of war' and victims moaning from the pain of radiation burns in downtown hospitals. Censored 60 years ago [1945] by the U.S. military, George Weller's stories from the atom-bombed city surfaced this month [June 2005] in a series of reports in the national newspaper Mainichi. Weller was an award-winning reporter for the now-defunct Chicago Daily News. [....] By hiring a Japanese rowboat, catching trains and later posing as a U.S. Army colonel, Weller slipped into Nagasaki in early September 1945, Mainichi reported - about a month after the bombing on Aug. 9 that killed about 70,000 people instantly. In a Sept. 8, 1945, dispatch, Weller wrote of walking through the city - a 'wasteland of war' - and finding evidence to back the talk of radiation fallout in American radio news reports. [....] The United States dropped two atomic bombs - the first on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, and the second three days later on Nagasaki, about 614 miles southwest of Tokyo. The twin bombings led to Japan's surrender on Aug. 15, 1945, which ended World War II. Weller, who died in 2002, was the first foreign journalist to set foot in the devestated city, which Gen. Douglas McArthur, head of the U.S. occupation in Japan, had designated off-limits to reporters, the newspaper said. Carbon copies of his stories, running to about 25,000 words on 75 typed pages, along with more than two dozen photos, were discovered by his son Anthony last summer [2004] at Weller's apartment in Rome, Italy, Mainichi said. Anthony Weller, a novelist living in Annisquam, Mass., couldn't be reached for comment. He previously said he plans to publish his father's stories. Though he skirted American authorities to get into Nagasaki, Weller submitted his reports - the first was dated Sept. 6 - to the censors. The stories infuriated MacArthur, and he personally ordered them quashed. The originals were never returned to Weller. Anthony Weller told Mainichi he thought wartime officials wanted to hush up stories about radiation sickness and feared that his father's reports would sway American public opinion against building an arsenal of nuclear bombs. The first batch of stories was finished just as a delegation of American scientists was to visit the city to test for radiation. [....] 'The atomic bomb's peculiar 'disease,' uncured because it is untreated and untreated because it is not diagnosed, is still snatching away lives here,' Weller wrote. Weller was 95 when he died in December 2002. [....] He also covered the French Indochina war in Southeast Asia and World War II in Europe." [Based on: A.P. article, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A8, 06/20/05]

*Trivia: "[....] A Japanese professor, Dr. K. Yagasaki, has calculated that 800 tons of DU is the atomicity equivalent of 83,000 Nagasaki bombs. The U.S. has used more DU since 1991 than the atomicity equivalent of 400,000 Nagasaki bombs. [....]"

[Based on: http://www.sfbayview.com/081804/depleteduranium081804.shtml]

2005 - Trivia / Folic Acid - June 21st, 2005: "Taking large amounts of folic acid improved the memory of older adults, Dutch scientists reported Monday [06/20/05]. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Suicide Bomber / Iraq - June 21st, 2005: "IRBIL, Iraq - A suicide car bomber wearing a police uniform killed at least 15 traffic policemen and wounded 100 others Monday [06/20/05] during morning roll call at a police headquarters in Irbil, an oil-rich northern Kurdish city. The attack was the second in as many days. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Crude Oil Prices - June 21st, 2005: "NEW YORK - Crude-oil prices marched to new heights near $60 a barrel on Monday [06/20/05] even as the president of OPEC said the group will consider raising its daily output ceiling by 500,000 barrels as early as this week. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Cloned / Human Embryos - June 21st, 2005: "COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Scientists have cloned human embryos for the first time using eggs matured in a laboratory - a technique that may help cloning become a viable option for growing patients own replacement tissue or treat diseases. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Sentenced / John Rigas & Son - June 21st, 2005: "NEW YORK - John Rigas, who turned a $300 investment a half-century ago into cable giant Adelphia Communications Corp., on Monday [06/20/05] was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in the looting and debt-hiding scandal that bankrupted the company. Rigas' son Timothy, 49, who like his father was found guilty last year of bank fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Sand could have sentenced both men to life. The sentences are among the harshest handed down in any U.S. court since the fall of Enron Corp. late in 2001 touched off a rash of corporate scandals that rocked the markets and have cost investors billions of dollars. [....] Sand declined to force the two men to pay restitution, noting the family has already agreed to forfeit more than $1.5 billion to settle regulatory charges. Both men were ordered to report to prison Sept. 19, but lawyers said they planned to ask that their clients to stay out of prison pending appeal. One defense lawyer said he hoped the Bureau of Prisons would assign John Rigas to the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn., near the Mayo Clinic." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Straight-Line Winds / North Dakota - June 21st, 2005: "Wind topping 100 mph tore through parts of North Dakota, where residents of one town stacked debris Monday [06/20/05] from toppled buildings on the high school football field and farmers cleaned up what was left of grain bins. About 40 homes in Fairmount, N.D., were damaged from straight-line winds that hit Monday morning, downing trees and bringing about 2 inches of rain in minutes. [....] Dave McShane, a weather service meteorologist in Grand Forks, said that in one part of Benson County, the wind downed power poles 'east and west, as far as one could see.' " [Based on: News Services]

2005 - 1st Female Cabinet Official / Kuwait - June 21st, 2005: "Kuwait's first female Cabinet member took the oath of office in parliament Monday [06/20/05] over the shouts of Muslim fundamentalists and tribal lawmakers opposed to women in politics. The parliament floor was in an uproar as conservatives stood and cried out that Massouma al-Mubarak's appointment was unconstitutional because she was not a registered voter. Liberal lawmakers then stood as well, shouting back, 'Congratulations.' Amid the din, al- Mubarak rose from her seat in the front row and read the oath from a paper seemingly unaffected by the screaming match." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Sun in Cancer - June 22nd, 2005: "Reported date when the Sun entered the constellation Cancer." [Based on: http://www.astro.com/swisseph/swephae.htm - 2005 A]

2005 - Launch / Cosmos 1 - June 22nd, 2005: "PASADENA, Calif. - The world's first solar sail spacecraft was launched Tuesday [06/21/05] from a Russian submarine under the Barents Sea, but it suddenly stopped communicating early in the flight, triggering deep concern that it may not have safely reached orbit. [....] Cosmos 1 was supposed to orbit Earth once every 101 minutes and operate for at least a month. [....] Japan tested a solar sail deployment on a suborbital flight and Russia deployed a solar sail outside its old Mir space station, but neither involved controlled flight." [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "An attempt to launch the world's first solar sail spacecraft fizzled when a booster rocket failed less than two minutes after liftoff, showering debris over the Artic Ocean, the Russian space agency said Wednesday [06/22/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 06/23/05]

2005 - Convicted / Edgar Ray Killen - June 22nd, 2005: "[....] On the 41st anniversary of the Ku Klux Klan-sponsored murders in rural east-central Missippi [1964], Killen [Edgar Ray Killen], 80, was convicted Tuesday [06/21/05] and taken into custody by Neshoba County deputies. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - Trivia / Wolfowitz Won't Talk? - June 22nd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz, a prime architect of the Iraq war during his service as deputy defense secretary, said Tuesday [06/21/05] that he hasn't read any of the recently disclosed British government memos that refer to his role and that of other senior administration officials in the run-up to war during 2002. At a breakfast meeting with reporters, Wolfowitz said he hasn't read the memos because he doesn't want to be 'distracted' by 'history' from his new job as head of the world's leading development bank. He returned this weekend from a tour of four African nations. 'There's a lot I could say about what you're asking about, if I were willing to get distracted from the main subject,' Wolfowitz said. 'But I really think there's a price paid with the people I've just spent time with, people who are struggling with very real problems, to keep going back in history. 'There will be a time and place to talk about history,' he added, 'but I really don't believe it's now.' [....] Wolfowitz is the focus of one of the newly disclosed memos. A report by then-British Ambassador Christopher Meyer on a March 2002 lunch with Wolfowitz quotes Wolfowitz as questioning the administration's focus on Saddam's alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction - later shown to be untrue - as the principal justification for war. [....] The minutes of the July 2002 meeting of the British war cabinet report Foreign Secretary Jack Straw saying that a U.N. ultimatum demanding that Saddam permit the return of U.N. inspectors could be useful because Saddam's refusal would 'help with the legal justification for the use of force.' Blair agreed, the minutes say, 'that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the U.N. inspectors.' The meyer memo relating his lunch with Wolfowitz, in March 2002, suggests a focus even then on crafting a U.N. weapons-inspection resolution aimed at tempting Saddam into an open display of defiance that would clear the way to war. [....] On Tuesday [06/21/05], Wolfowitz professed no recollection of discussing U.N. tactics with Meyer. He said he was determined to keep his own focus on development issues. 'I can tell you that no one I met in Africa, no African at least, wanted to talk about Iraq,' he said. 'They wanted to talk about what the world can do to improve Africa. I think they deserve that attention, and that's what my attention is focussed on.' " [Based on: article by Jon Sawyer, Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau Chief, S.L.P.D., p. A5, 06/22/05]

2005 - Assassination / George Hawi, Lebanon - June 22nd, 2005: "BEIRUT, Lebanon - A bomb killed an anti-Syrian politician Tuesday [06/21/05] in the second such assassination in three weeks. The United States condemned it as an attack on Lebanon's quest to break free of Syrian domination. Former Communist Party leader George Hawi was killed by an explosion under his seat as he was being driven  through west Beirut. The blast came a day after official results of parliamentary elections were announced, showing the anti-Syrian opposition had won a majority in parliament. [....] Hawi, 67, a Greek Orthodox Christian, was once a strong ally of Syria, but in recent years he often spoke out against Syrian interference in Lebanese affairs. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Gay Clergy Affirmation / U.S. Episcopal Church? - June 22nd, 2005: "NOTTINGHAM, England - The U.S. Episcopal Church affirmed on Tuesday [06/21//05] its support for gay clergy and appealed for the contentious issue not to split the 77 million-strong Anglican Communion. 'We believe that God has been opening our eyes to acts of God that we had not known how to see before,' the church said in a document prepared for the Anglican Consultative Council. It affirmed 'the elligibility for ordination of those in covenanted same-sex unions.' Some Anglican conservatives said that stance made a schism inevitable. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Bankruptcy Reorganization / Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. - June 22nd, 2005: "JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Bankrupt supermarket giant Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. said Tuesday [06/21/05] that it will close nearly 36 percent of its stores and cut 28 percent of its work force under its proposed bankruptcy reorganization plan. The company said it will shutter 326 of its 913 stores in the next few months and will trim 22,000 of 78,000 positions. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Car Bombs / Iraq - June 23rd, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Four car bombs exploded at dusk Wednesday [06/22/05] in the capital [Baghdad], killing at least 23 people, including sidewalk diners and passengers at a bus station. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Wildfires / Western U.S.A. - June 23rd, 2005: "Wildfires raced through a national forest in Arizona and a desert community in Southern California on Wednesday [06/22/05], burning several homes and threatening hundreds more in an outbreak fueled by gusting winds and scorching temperatures. [....] In Nevada, firefighters took advantage of calm winds to tame a fire that burned 750 acres near Carson City and sent up a plume of swirling smoke visible 30 miles to the north. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - West Nile Virus? / Kansas - June 23rd, 2005: "This year's first probable case of West Nile virus was reported in Kansas where a 51-year-old resident is believed to have had the illness, health officials said. [....] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it was the first human case reported. The disease has appeared in birds, horses and mosquitoes - the insect that carries West Nile - in 14 states so far this year." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - U.S. Bombardment / Afghanistan - June 23rd, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - American aircraft bombarded a rebel hide-out with missles and bombs, killing up to 76 insurgents in one of the deadliest battles since the Taliban's ouster more than three years ago, officials said Wednesday [06/22/05]. [....] Also Wednesday [06/22/05], an American U-2 spy plane crashed while returning to its base in the United Arab Emirates after a mission in support of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The pilot was killed. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Second-Quarter Profit / Morgan Stanley - June 23rd, 2005: "Morgan Stanley reported an even bigger decline in second-quarter profit than the world's largest securities firm had forecast nine days ago, when Chaiman and Chief Executive Philip Purcell said he would step down. [....] Morgan Stanley's steepest quartery profit drop in more than four years and a 9 percent decline in revenue add to the urgency that the board find a new leader. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Recruitment Database? / U.S. Pentagon - June 23rd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Pentagon began working Wednesday [06/22/05] with a marketing firm [BeNow Inc., of Wakefield, Mass.] to create a database of high school students ages 16 to 18 and all U.S. college students, to help the military identify potential recruits in a time of dwindling enlistment in some branches. The program is provoking a furor among privacy advocates. The database will list personal information including birth dates and Social Security numbers. [....] Privacy advocates said the plan appeared to be an effort to circumvent laws that restrict the government's right to collect or hold citizen information by turning to private firms to do the work." [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - Greenspan Speaks - June 24th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan on Thursday [06/23/05] warned Congress against imposing punitive tariffs on imports from China, saying they would harm U.S. consumers and protect 'few if any American Jobs.' [....]" [Based on: A.P. article by Martin Crutsinger, p. C3, S.L.P.D., 06/24/05]

2005 - FDA Approval / BiDil - June 24th, 2005: "The heart failure drug BiDil was approved Thursday [0623/05] by government regulators for use by blacks. It will be the first medication marketed for a specific racial group. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Testimony / Donald Rumsfeld - June 24th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld spent roughly eight hours testifying Thursday [06/23/05] on Capitol Hill, a lot of it being roughly questioned - and lectured - about his conduct of the Iraq war. 'We represent the people of this country. We are elected, 'Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W. Va., told the Pentagon chief. Rumsfeld should 'get off his high horse,' Byrd said, and quit answering questions with 'a sneer.' Rumsfeld was told anew that he should resign. He said George W. Bush wouldn't let him. [....] But public support has been declining. For example, an Associated Press-Ipsos poll this month found that 41 percent of adults, an all-time low, support Bush's handling of the Iraq war. That trend was on the minds of lawmakers at hearings held by the Senate and Armed Services Committees. [....] Gen. John Abizaid, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East, acknowledged under questioning that U.S. troops were becoming aware of the drop in the public's confidence. 'When my soldiers say to me and ask me the question whether or not they've got the support from the American people or not, that worries me. And they're starting to do that,' he said. [....] But Rumsfeld told the senators: 'You sense the American people are tipping away from support. I have a feeling they're getting pushed myself.' He said he was confident support would rebound. 'If we tell them the truth and provide the right kind of leadership, by golly, they'll support a worthy, noble goal,' he said. [....] Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said Rumsfeld should resign because of repeated 'gross errors and mistakes' in the Iraq campaign. 'In baseball, it's three strikes, you're out. What is it for the secretary of defense?' Kennedy asked him. 'Isn't it time for you to resign?' Rumsfeld said that Bush had rejected his resignation offers and 'that's his call.' [....] In the House hearing Thursday [06/23/05], Democratic Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri asked, 'Why aren't the number and the lethality of the attacks decreasing?' He said he feared one of two things would happen with the prolonged war: 'We're going to lose the American people or we're going to break the Army.' Rumsfeld expressed confidence that public support would bounce back, saying Americans have 'a good center of gravity.' " [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Major Explosions / Praxair Inc., St. Louis Mo. - June 24th, 2005: "Like a battery of roaring cannons, a storage yard jammed with tanks of industrial gases erupted Friday [06/24/05] in a rapid-fire chain of spectacular explosions and fireballs. The explosions of Praxair Inc., just southwest of downtown, shook the surrounding neighborhoods and sent residents and workers fleeing for cover. [....] Despite fireballs flashing high into the air, throwing exploding tanks and hurling debris into yards and streets, officials reported no injuries. Heat from fireballs could be felt two blocks away. St. Louis Fire Chief Sherman George said officials assumed that about 9,000 pounds of propane went off during the blaze at 2210 Chouteau Avenue. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. 13, 06/25/05]

*Trivia: "Gas containers that exploded at the Praxair plant last week in St. Louis have left pieces of asbestos littering the area. [....] Wayne J. Yakich, president of Praxiar Distribution Inc., said an unknown number of the tanks had asbestos inside. Tests done after the fire found asbestos levels high enough to require hiring outside help to clean it up, Yakich said. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. a1, 06/29/05]

2005 - Anti-Americanism / "Entrenched Around the World" - June 24th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Anti-Americanism has become entrenched in much of the world, so much so that in 14 of 16 countries polled in a new survey, China now rates more favorably than the United States - even among traditional U.S. allies in Europe. [....] President George W. Bush remains extraordinarily unpopular abroad, with approval ratings that range as low as 1 percent (in Jordan). In every country except Poland, pluralities of those surveyed said Bush's re-election had led them to have less favorable views of America. [....] Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, noted that this was the fourth such survey conducted since 2002. The key finding, he said, is that anti-Americanism is now 'entrenched around the world, especially in Europe.' [....] The survey reports that those who rate the United states unfavorably, especially in Europe, mostly put the blame on Bush. [....] Majorities in most of the countries considered Americans 'greedy' (so did 70 percent of the Americans polled) and 'violent.' Smaller but still significant percentages rated Americans as 'rude' and 'immoral.' [....]" [Based on: article by Jon Sawyer, Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau Chief, p. A9, S.L.P.D., 06/24/05]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - June 25th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide car bomber and gunmen ambushed a convoy in Fallujah, killing two Marines and leaving another four American service members presumed dead, the military said Friday [06/24/05]. At least one woman was killed, and 11 to 13 wounded were female. [....] With the Sunni Arab-dominated insurgency targeting the Shiite majority, the wave of killings has slowly been pushing the country toward civil war. In one such sectarian killing, gunmen on Friday killed an aid to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq's most revered Shiite cleric. Police said two bodyguards were also killed trying to protect Shiite cleric Samara al-Baghdadi, who represented al-Sistani in Baghdad's predominantly Shiite ... district." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Record Home Sales / U.S.A. - June 25th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Sales of new houses in May climbed to the second-highest level on record, offering more evidence that low mortgage rates are continuing to fuel a  booming housing market. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article by Martin Crutsinger, S.L.P.D., p. B5, 06/25/05]

2005 - Verdict Raised / Morgan Stanley - June 25th, 2005: "WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A judge has added $130 million to the verdict of $1.45 billion that a jury awarded to financier Ron Perelman in his fraud lawsuit against Morgan Stanley. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Older Power Plants, U.S.A. - June 25th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court on Friday [06/24/05] rejected claims by 13 states that the Bush administration's decision to let older power plants spew more pollution into the air undermines public health in violation of the Clean Air Act. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia sided with the Environmental Protection Agency, saying New York, Illinois and 11 other states failed to show how the administration's new regulations violate the 1970 environmental law. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Rejected? / Timetable for Iraq Pullout - June 25th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush on Friday [06/24/05] rejected calls for a withdrawal date in Iraq, telling Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari that 'there's not going to be any timetables' for the return of American troops. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - Confirmed / 2nd Case of Mad Cow, U.S.A. - June 25th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Exhaustive tests have confirmed mad cow disease in a Texas animal, officials said Friday [06/24/05]. It is the second case of the disease confirmed in this country, but Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said the case was not a threat to public health. The animal, a 'downer' that could not walk, was not killed at a slaughterhouse but at a rendering plant for animals unfit for human consumption, officials said. Johanns would not say where the case turned up, but he said there was no evidence the cow was imported. [....] An internationally recognized laboratory in Weybridge, England, confirmed the case Friday after U.S. tests produced conflicting results, Johanns said. Initial screening had indicated the presence of the disease, but the animal was tested and cleared of having the brain-wasting illness. New tests were ordered two weeks ago. Those results, from a test known as the Western blot, came back positive, leading officials to seek confirmation from the Weybridge lab. The department also performed more tests at its lab in Ames, Iowa. Mad cow disease - medically known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE - kills brain cells and leaves spongy holes behind. A form of the disease in people is variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. It has been linked to the consumption of of contaminated meat. The disease has killed about 150 people worldwide, mostly in Britain. [....] Johanns said the department had not yet learned where the animal was born and spent its nine years of life. Earlier, however, the department identified the diseased animal as one previously reported in mid-November, and USDA records show that the animal came from Texas. Officials said the brain tissue samples appeared different from the classical form of mad cow disease seen in Britain, where there was an outbreak in the 1990s. Even so, they are classifying it as mad cow disease. Johanns said his department would start conducting the more sensitive Western blot test as a matter of routine. The department has been criticized by consumer groups and cattlemen for not resolving conflicting test results on this animal las November." [Based on: A.P. article by Libby Quaid, S.L.P.D., p. 23, 06/25/05]

Trivia: Mad cow risk to people is only "minor concern," experts say [Based on: A.P. article [big bold letters] headline, S.L.P.D., p. A7, 06/26/05]

*Further Reading:  

2005 - Conjunction / Mercury, Venus & Saturn - June 25th, 2005: "[....] This weekend Mercury, Venus and Saturn are going to crowd together in a patch of sky no bigger than your thumb. Astronomers call it a 'conjunction' and it's going to be spectacular. The show begins on Saturday evening, June 25th. Step outside and look west toward the glow of the setting sun. Venus appears first, a bright point of light not far above the horizon. As the sky darkens, Saturn and Mercury pop into view. The three planets form a eye-catching triangle about 1.5 degrees long, easily hidden by your thumb. It gets better on Sunday evening, June 26th. The triangle shrinks with Venus and Mercury only 0.5 degrees apart. Now they fit behind your pinky! Monday evening, June 27th, is best of all. With Saturn nearby, Venus and Mercury converge. At closest approach, the two planets will be less than one-tenth of a degree apart. Such pairings of bright planets are literally spellbinding. [....]"

[Based on: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/22jun_spectacular.htm]

2005 - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad / Iran - June 25th, 2005: "TEHRAN, Iran - The hard-line Tehran mayor [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] steamrolled over one of Iran's best known statesman to win the presidency today in a landslide election victory that cements conservative control over the nation's political leadership. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Bans Upheld / Gene-Modified Products, European Union - June 25th, 2005: "Monsanto Co., Syngenta AG and bayer AG on Friday [06/24/05] failed to win wider access for their gene-modified corn and rapeseed in the European Union when bans in five nations were upheld. Separately, Monsanto had EU approval of another rapeseed variety withdrawn. [....] The bans reflect worries that the foods, approved for EU-wide use in the 1990s, pose health threats. [....] Opponents of biotech foods cite risks such as human resistance to antibiotics and the development of 'superweeds' impervious to herbicides, limiting the number allowed in the EU to 34 until approvals resumed last year. 'This marks a historic turning point in the debate on genetically modified food and crops' because governments opposed to these products mustered for the first time a sufficient majority to reject commission market-opening proposals, Eric Gall of Greenpeace said in a statement. The United States, Argentina and Canada, the world's three biggest growers of gene-modified seeds, have complained to the World Trade Organization about restrictions in the 25-nation EU. Biotech foods range from grain to tomatoes whose genetic material has been altered to add beneficial traits such as resistance to weed-killing chemicals." [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Mulucca Sea - June 26th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 08:23:04 (UTC) on Sunday, June 26, 2005. The magnitude 6.0 event has been located in the MOLUCCA SEA. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 95 km (59 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/uszuae.htm]

2005 - U.S. Talks? / Insurgent Commanders, Iraq - June 26th, 2005: "LONDON - U.S. officials held secret talks in Iraq with the commanders of several Iraqi insurgent groups recently in an attempt to open a dialogue with them, a British newspaper reported Sunday. The commanders 'apparently came face to face' with four American officials during meetings on June 3 and June 13 at a summer villa near Balad, about 25 miles north of Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, according to The Sunday Times. The newspaper and neither the Iraqi government nor U.S. officials would confirm its report. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, S.L.P.D., p. A5, 06/26/05]

2005 - Moderate Earthquake / Lake Tahoe, Nevada - June 26th, 2005: "A moderate earthquake struck Sunday [06/26/05] morning several miles north of Lake Tahoe, according to a U.S. Geological Survey. The magnitude-4.8 quake was centered about 8 miles east of Truckee. A Nevada County Sheriff's Department dispatcher said there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries from the quake, felt 100 miles away in Sacramento." [Based on: News Services, 06/27/05]

2005 - Farm Subsidies? / WTO - June 27th, 2005: "[....] Farmers in the Missouri Bootheel and across the country are waiting to see what happens Friday [07/01/05], the date ordered by the World Trade Organization for the U.S. government to end several varities of farm payments. [....] The Geneva-based WTO, acting on a complaint from Brazil, also declared that billions in U.S. subsidies to promote soybean and corn exports are illegal under international trade rules. [....] Even before the WTO ruling in March, President George W. Bush's administration sought to cut $5 billion from farm programs during the next decade. Thus far, Congress has forestalled those cuts. [....]" [Based on: Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - June 27th, 2005: "MOSUL, Iraq - Four suicide bomb attacks struck Iraqi police and army forces in a 16-hour wave of insurgent violence sweeping the northern city of Mosul on Saturday and Sunday [June 25th & 26th, 2005], killing 38 people and wounding scores more. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Israeli Demolitions / Gaza Strip - June 27th, 2005: "Israeli bulldozers flattened a row of abandoned buildings next to the seaside settlement of Shirat Hayam on Sunday [06/26/05], clashing with Jewish settlers in the first military operation aimed at hampering opponents to Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. In a taste of what could lie ahead, troops scuffled with the young settlers, who taunted them, climbed on bolldozers and lay in front of one to try to prevent the demolitions. One Israeli soldier was punished for siding with the settlers. Israel plans to uproot all 8,500 Jewish settlers in Gaza, as well as about 500 residents of four small settlements in the West Bank, beginning in mid-August. Settlers strongly oppose the plan, and Israeli officials fear the extremists among the opponents could turn violent. The demolished cottages are near a derelict beachfront hotel where hundreds of opponents already have barricaded themselves." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - "Deep Throat" Trivia / U.S.A. - June 27th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Former FBI Director L. Patrick Gray III said in a television interview broadcast Sunday [06/26/05] that his former deputy, W. Mark Felt, became the mysterious Watergate source known as Deep Throat out of personal revenge and 'a desire to get rid of me.' Ending 32 years of silence about his role in the Watergate scandal, Gray told ABC's 'This Week' that he had reacted with 'total shock, total disbelief' to the revelation that Felt had held a series of secret meetings with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward. He said he felt betrayed by Felt, who had repeatedly assured him he was not Deep Throat. 'He fooled me,' said Gray, 88, who was forced to step down as acting FBI director in April 1973 because of suspicians that he had facilitated the Watergate cover-up. 'It was like I was hit with a tremendous sledgehammer.' [....] Gray told ABC News that he totally trusted his deputy, despite being told on five occasions to fire him for suspected disloyalty. He said he resisted calls by Nixon for Felt to be given a lie detector test because he thought such a step would be 'degrading to the second-highest official of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and I would not stoop to that.' He said Felt continued to assure him that he was not Deep Throat as late as 1976, three years after both men retired from the FBI." [Based on: Washington Post article by Michael Dobbs, p. A3, S.L.P.D., 06/27/05]

2005 - U.S. Casualties / "Gulf War Illness" - June 27th, 2005: "[....] The lethal lifespan of depleted uranium is more than 1 billion years. Not only had DU rendered large tracts of Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait and parts of the United States uninhabitable forever, but also American GIs have been hit in vast numbers with a repeat of the 'Gulf War Illness' that killed at least 12,000 Desert Storm veterans and disabled another 200,000 survivors, spouses and offspring. Gulf War Illness is suspected to be caused by DU. [....]" [Based on: article by John Tiffany, American Free Press, Volume V # 26, pp. 1&3]

2005 - Abuse? / Material Witness Statute, U.S.A. - June 27th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The Justice Department imprisoned dozens of Muslim men for months in the wake of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, based on secret evidence and often flimsly links to terrorism, two civil liberties groups [American Civil Liberties Union & Human Rights Watch] charge in a new report to be made public today. The report by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch accuses the Justice Department of plunging at least 70 men - all but one of them Muslims - 'into a Kafkaesque world of indefinite detention.' Four of the 70 have been convicted of crimes related to terrorism and three are awaiting trial, and the report said 13 of the men have received apologies from the government. [....] 'The material witness statute may not be used as a broad preventative detention law to hold suspects indefinately while investigating them without filing charges,' Chuck Rosenberg, the chief of staff to the deputy attorney general, told a House panel last month. But the new report concludes that the Justice Department has been using the law for a purpose for which it was never intended: holding suspects as witnesses to buy more time to investiagate them." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Off Coast of Jalisco, Mexico - June 27th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 11:35:45 (UTC) on Monday, June 27, 2005. The magnitude 6.3 event has been located OFF THE COAST OF JALISCO, MEXICO. The hypocentral depth was poorly constrained. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/uszvan.htm]

2005 - USDA Pledge to Perform Sophisticated Test? / Mad Cow Disease, U.S.A. - June 27th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is pledging that, from now on, it will conduct a sophisticated test to detect mad cow disease on suspicious animals. Such a test on a beef cow that turned out to have the nation's second case would have helped resolve conflicting results from two initial screenings, but the U.S. refused to perform it in November [2004]. That additional test, ordered by the Agriculture Department's internal watchdog, ended up detecting the disease - a finding that was confirmed on Friday [06/24/05] by the world's pre-eminent lab, in England. Only 18 months ago, the department had used the test, called the Western blot, to help uncover the first American case of the brain-wasting illness in cows. In the case of the second cow, U.S. officials in November [2004] had declared the cow free of the disease even though one of the two tests - an initial screening known as a rapid test - indicated the presence of the disease. A more sophisticated follow-up - immunohistochemistry, or IHC - came back negative. 'They had two diametrically opposed results which begged to be resolved,' said Paul W. Brown, a former scientist at the national Institutes of Health who worked on mad cow-related issues. In a letter to Consumers Union in March [2005], the department said there was no need for the British lab to confirm the results and that the Western blot test would not have given a more accurate reading. Troubled by the conflicting test results, the department's inspector general, Phyllis Fong, ordered the Western blot test this month [June 2005]. By the time an aide notified Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, the testing was under way. The testing was positive. The department then sent tissue samples to the British lab, which subjected the samples to all the tests again. Johanns, amid an uproar from the cattle industry, was irked that Fong ordered the third test without his knowledge or consent. 'From my standpoint, I believe I was put there to operate the department and was very disappointed,' he told reporters Friday morning. Johanns, who took over the department in January [2005], later said the government will use both the IHC and Western blot tests from now on when initial screening indicates an animal may have the disease." [Based on: A.P. article, p. A3, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 06/27/05] - [As with nearly all articles on this timeline, paragraph indents were removed to save space - E.M.]

*Further Reading:  

2005 - Kidnapped Americans / Columbia - June 28th, 2005: "BOGOTA, Columbia - Columbia's main leftist rebel group offered on Monday [06/27/05] to swap three kidnapped Americans defense contractors for two guerrilla leaders jailed in the United States, but the U.S. government rejected the proposal. It was the first time the rebels have expressed a willingness to deal directly with U.S. authorities. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - False Charges? / Al-Qaida Prisoners - June 28th, 2005: "LAHORE, Pakistan - Pakistanis freed from Guantanamo Bay claimed Monday [06/27/05] that they saw American interrogators throw, tear and stand on copies of Islam's holy book, and one former detainee said naked women sat on prisoners' chests during questioning. The Pentagon denied the accusations and said al-Qaida training manuals instruct prisoners to make such false charges. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Gaza Pullout Demonstration / Israel - June 28th, 2005: "JERUSALEM - Tens of thousands of orange-clad activists lined major highways Monday [06/27/05] in a nationwide protest against Israel's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. They disrupted traffic, shouted slogans and drew noisy honks of support from motorists. With tension running high as the withdrawl nears, Israel has descended into an emotional color war. Jewish settlers and their supporters have embraced orange. On the blue side are peace activists and other backers of the withdrawal. Each side's weapon of choice: ribbons - tied to cars, backpacks and even wedding bouquets. [....] Monday's demonstration was organized by the main settlers' council, and most of the protestors were Orthodox Jews. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Acquitted / Richard Scrushy - June 29th, 2005: "BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Jurors acquitted Health South Corp. founder Richard Scrushy Tuesday [06/28/05] of all charges in a surprise setback for frderal prosecutors who had scored victories over a string of bigname chief executives accused of fraud. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - "Veep Throat" / Dick Cheney - June 29th, 2005: "[....] 'They got a brand new facility down at Guantanamo,' Cheney told CNN's Wolf Blitzer last Thursday [06/23/05]. 'We spent a lot of money to build it. They're very well-treated down there. They're living in the tropics. They're well fed. They've got everything they could possibly want.' I kind of wish the ever-dizzy Blitzer had asked a couple of follow-ups: 'Everything they could possibly want, Mr. Vice President? Like a fair and impartial process to see if they even belong there? Like freedom and reunion with their families, if they don't? Like not being stripped naked, smeared with fake menstrusal blood, urinated on, chained to the floor and worse?' [....]" [Based on: article by Eric Mink, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. B7, 06/29/05]

2005 - Fatality / Dhari Ali al--Fayadh, Iraq - June 29th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide car bomber killed the oldest member of the Iraqi legislature [Shiite Muslim leader, Dhari Ali al--Fayadh] Tuesday morning [06/28/05] as he traveled from his family farm to an assembly meeting in Baghdad. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - Televised Speech / President George W. Bush - June 29th, 2005: "FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Trying to rally a war-weary nation, President George W. Bush defended the Iraq war Tuesday night [06/28/05] by evoking memories of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Calling the operation in Iraq 'difficult and dangerous,' Bush said 'the lessons of Sept. 11' require Americans to stand firm against an enemy that ignores the rules of conventional warfare. Although Bush has acknowledged that there's no known link between Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks, he implied a connection with repeated references to Sept. 11 and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorist network. [....] The speech was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the transfer of power from the U.S. military to a provisional Iraqi government. [....] Bush referred to bin Laden or Sept. 11 six times in his 30-minute speech and quoted bin Laden to buttress his point that Iraq is 'a central front in the war on terror.' Bush said bin Laden cast the conflict in Iraq as the 'third world war' and declared that 'the whole world is watching this war.' [....] Democrats dismissed the speech as more of the same and accused Bush of erroneously linking Iraq to Sept. 11. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - U.S. CH-47 Chinook Helicopter Crash / Afghanistan - June 29th, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - A U.S. CH-47 Chinook transport helicopter crashed Tuesday [06/28/05] while ferrying reinforcements to fight insurgents in a mountainous region in eastern Afghanistan. Military officials said the craft may have been carrying 15 to 20 people. The Taliban claimed to have shot down the aircraft. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "U.S. military officials said Wednesday [06/29/05] that they feared all 17 troops aboard a special operations helicopter were dead after hostile fire downed the craft and it slid or rolled into a rugged mountain ravine in eastern Afghanistan. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 06/30/05]

2005 - Terrorist Propaganda Video / Abu Musab al-Zarqawi? - June 29th, 2005: "A propaganda video said to be the work of terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi shows suicide attacks against U.S. soldiers and Iraqi forces - and insists that the war in Iraq is in retaliation for what it calls America's war against Islam. [....] The undated video appeared on militant Web sites Wednesday [06/29/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 07/02/05]

2005 - Seasonal Rains / China - June 2005: "Seasonal rains during June 2005 have resulted in widespread flooding across southern and eastern China. The floods and associated mudslides have left hundreds dead and forced thousands from their homes, with the most severe damage in Guangxi and Guangdong in southern China. The rains are a normal part of life in southern China, where May and June are Meiyu season. Meiyu literally means 'plum rain,' which refers to the widespread rains that can occur at the time when plums ripen. [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=12932]

2005 - Airspace Violation / U.S. Capitol - June 30th, 2005: "President George W. Bush was hurried from his residence to a safer location Wednesday evening [06/29/05], and people were evacuated from the White House and U.S. Capitol when a private plane ventured into restricted airspace. It was the second such incident in a little more than a month. The all-clear came within minutes when two fighter jets intercepted the small twin-engine propeller-driven plane eight miles northeast of the Capitol, and escorted it to Winchester, Va., where it landed without incident." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Computer Worm / W32/Kedebe-F - June 30th, 2005: "[....] Sophos [a British security firm] released a warning about Kedebe [W32/Kedebe-F] late Tuesday [06/28/05], emphasizing that the threat now is relatively mild. Only users easily swayed by outrageous headlines disguised as 'breaking news' are likely to fall prey, the company said. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. C1, 06/30/05]

2005 - Altered? / Intelligence Operations, U.S.A. - June 30th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush ordered another major shake-up of the nation's intelligence services Wednesday [06/29/05], forming national security divisions within both the FBI and the Justice Department. The changes, for the first time, put a broad swath of the FBI under the authority of the nation's spy chief. [....] Civil liberties advocates immediately blasted the changes at the FBI, arguing that they represent a radical step toward creation of a secret police force in the United States. Many Justice Department prosecutiors and FBI agents had also fiercly opposed the changes, but were overruled by Bush's homeland security adviser, Frances Fragos Townsend, officials said. [....] As outlined in a memorandum to senior Cabinet officials, Bush adopted all but four of 74 recommendations  made by a special intelligence commission headed by Judge Laurence Silberman and former Sen. Charles Robb, D-Va. Although originally formed to examine intelligence failures in prewar Iraq, the panel chronicled broader shortcomings in the intelligence community's ability to monitor or prevent threats from terrorists or rogue states.  [....] At the White House, Townsend said that many of the changes ordered Wednesday were outgrowths of the Intelligence Reform Act approved by Congress in December. The act established Negroponte's office and called for other changes in the intelligence community. [....] For the CIA, a new official will oversee human intelligence operations overseas by all government agencies, including the FBI and the Pentagon. [....]" [Based on: The Washington Post]

2005 - Cancer Risk? / Low Dose Radiation - June 30th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Even very low doses of radiation pose a risk of cancer over a person's lifetime, a National Academy of Sciences panel concluded. It rejected some scientist's arguments that tiny doses are harmless or may in fact be beneficial. [....] Even common X-rays pose some risk of adverse health effects, the scientists found, but the panel said there was not enough information available to accurately estimate the cancer risk from X-rays. Nevertheless, the report said, there is evidence that per unit of absorbed radiation, X-rays may be more dangerous than other radiation. The panel also said that approximately one person out of 1,000 would develop cancer from exposure to the amount of radiation from a single, average whole-body CT scan. The report should not scare people away from nuclear medicine, said Dr. Henry Royal, a professor of radiology at washington University. He said most often the benefits of such tests and treatments outweigh the risks. [....] Scientists for years have debated how extremely low doses of radiation affect human health. Pro-nuclear advocates, as well as some independant scientists, have maintained that the current risk models for low-level radiation have produced more stringent requirements than is necessary to protect public health. It is an issue in determining decontamination requirements at abandoned reactors and at federal weapons sites. The academy's panel stood by the 'linear, no threshold' model, which generally is the acceptable approach to radiation risk assessment. This approach assumes that the the health risks from radiation exposure decline as the dose levels drop, but that each unit of radiation - no matter how small - is assumed to cause cancer. The panel said more extensive data developed over the past 15 years strengthens the conclusions of the panel's last report, in 1990, on low-level radiation risks. The national Academy of Sciences is a private organization chartered by Congress to advise the government on scientific matters." [Based on: A.P. article, S.L.P.D., p. A11, 06/30/05]

2005 - Psychiatric Reactions? / ADHD Drugs - June 30th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The government plans to strengthen warnings about possible psychiatric side effects from Concerta and related treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is also investigating whether other ADHD drugs need updating, too. Concerta is a long-acting form of methylphenidate, sold generically and under the brand name Ritalin. For years, those drugs' labels have listed possible psychiatric side effects, such as agitation, psychosis or transient depression. But a routine Food and Drug Administration review of Concerta's use in children turned up more reports of psychiatric reactions than anticipated, including some that aren't explicitly labled, such as suicidal thoughts, hallucinations and violent behavior. A subsequent review of all methylphenidate products found similar reports." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Independent Chairmen Rule / U.S. Mutual Funds - June 30th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - A divided Securities and Exchange Commission voted Wednesday [06/29/05] to affirm a controversial rule that requires mutual fund companies to appoint independent chairmen for funds. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Panama-Coasta Rica Border Region - June 30th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 21:26:38 (UTC) on Thursday, June 30, 2005. The magnitude 6.0 event has been located in the PANAMA-COSTA RICA BORDER REGION. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 60 km (38 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/uszyb3.htm]

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

The Future

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