Historical Timeline


1 A.D. - 1389 A.D.         1390 A.D. - 1889 A.D.
1890 A.D. - 1969 A.D.    1970 A.D. - 1988 A.D.
1989 A.D. - 1999 A.D.    2000 A.D. - 2001 A.D.
2002 A.D.   2003 A.D.    2004 A.D.   2005 A.D.
2006 A.D.
The Future

Jan.-April / May-June / July-August / Sept.-Dec. 2004

   "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 2004

2004 - E.U. Expansion - May, 2004: "Momentum for OPEC to consider switching to the euro will grow once the E.U. expands in May 2004 to 450 million people with the inclusion of 10 additional member states. The aggregate GDP will increase from $7 trillion to $9.6 trillion. This enlarged E.U. will be an oil consuming purchasing population 33% larger than the U.S., and over half of OPEC crude oil will be sold to the EU as of mid-2004. This does not include other potential entrants such as the U.K., Norway, Denmark and Sweden." [Link: 1]

2004 - E.U. Expansion - May 1st, 2004: "WARSAW, Poland - With a blaze of fireworks and street celebrations, the European Union threw open its gates to 10 new members [Estonia, Latavia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta] on Saturday, reuniting a continent scarred by decades of Cold War conflict. [....] Leaders of the new 25-nation bloc, representing 450 million citizens, hold a ceremonial summit in Dublin later today [05/01/04] to mark the birth of the world's biggest trading bloc, rivaling the United States." [Reuters News Service]

2004 - Commentary / U.S. Draft? - May 1st, 2004: "The draft would ensure a more equitable sacrifice." [Based on: Jeff Colborn, St. Louis County Mo., St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2004 - Surrender / Milorad Lukovic - May 3rd, 2004: "A notorious paramilitary leader suspected of masterminding the assassination last year of Serbia's prime minister surrendered to police Sunday [05/02/04]. Milorad Lukovic surrendered in Belgrade, Serbian Interior Minister Dragan Jocic said. He had been on the run since March 12 last year, when pro-Western Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic was gunned down by a sniper in front of his Belgrade government headquarters. Lukovic, 39, led a dreaded paramilitary unit during the 1990s wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo." [News Services]

2004 - Bridge Destruction / Georgia - May 3rd, 2004: "The three main bridges linking Georgia with the rebellious Black Sea region of Adzharia were blown up Sunday [05/02/04]. Adzharian authorities said they destroyed the bridges to prevent a military attack. Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili gave the Adzharian leadership 10 days to disarm and restore constitutional rule. [....] Railroad tracks leading into the region also were dismantled. Adzharia is officially part of Georgia, but its leader, Aslan Abashidze, does not submit to the Georgian government's authority." [News Services]

2004 - Rejection / Gaza Strip Withdrawl - May 3rd, 2004: "JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Likud Party handed him a resounding political defeat Sunday [05/02/04], overwhelmingly rejecting his plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and remove four settlements in the West Bank." [Chicago Tribune]

2004 - Recorded License Plates / Florida - May 3rd, 2004: "MANALAPAN, Fla. - One of the nation's richest towns has decided to digitally record the license plate of every car that meanders through its small stretch of mansions on the Palm Beach County, Fla., coast and to run an automatic background check on each driver." [Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2004 - Discount Shoppers / United States - May 3rd, 2004: " 'Given the economic environment, it is not suprising that more shoppers are buying food today in discount stores and other low-price venues than ever before,' said the report by the Food Marketing Institute, released at the organization's annual trade show in Chicago. [....] As a result, supermarkets are losing their hold on their customers, who can go to other retailers such as discount stores, the survey says. [....] For all that work, however, the average grocery bills that the survey respondents reported showed little change. The average weekly bill fell $1 to $90, from January last year." [A.P.]

2004 - President Martin Torrijos / Panama - May 3rd, 2004: "Martin Torrijos, the dictator's son who pledged to strengthen democracy and national pride, celebrated a resounding victory Sunday [05/02/04] in the first presidential election since U.S. troops handed back the Panama Canal more than four years ago." [News Services]

2004 - Bloody Rampage / Saudi Arabia - May 3rd, 2004: "YANBU, Saudi Arabia - American and European families packed their bags Sunday [05/02/04] after a deadly attack on foreigners, and traumatized Saudi schoolchildren recounted how the attackers proudly summoned them to watch them drag a victim's body through the streets. The streets of Yanbu were eerily quiet a day after four brothers went on a bloody rampage that killed five Westerners and a Saudi." [A.P.]

2004 - Lunar Eclipse - May 4th, 2004: "On May 4, the Full Moon of Wesak, we will experience a very powerful Lunar Eclipse. This is the second year in a row that there has been a Lunar Eclipse on the Wesak Full Moon. This is incredibly powerful and extremely rare. [....]" [by, Patricia Diane Cota-Robles, Pathfinder, May/June 2004, Vol. 14 No. 3]

2004 - Prisoner Abuse Revelations / Iraq - May 4th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The administration is struggling to develop a damage-control strategy to counter the mounting global backlash against the United States over revelations that U.S. military and intelligence personnel abused Iraqi prisoners." [The Washington Post]

2004 - American Insecurity / Saudi Arabia - May 4th, 2004: "YANBU, Saudi Arabia - The U.S. ambassador traveled Monday [05/03/05] to the oil-industry city of Yanbu with a simple message for Americans: Go home. We cannot protect you." [A.P.]

2004 - Wildfires / California - May 5th, 2004: "CORONA, Calif. - Southern California's first wildfires of the season burned homes and brushlands and forced thousands of people to evacuate on Tuesday [05/04/04], portending what would be an especially dangerous and costly summer." [A.P.]

2004 - Trivia / U.S Drug Imports - May 5th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The Bush administration's top health care official [Tommy Thompson] said Tuesday [05/04/04] that passage of legislation authorizing the importation of perscription drugs was inevitable, despite strong opposition from  the White House and most congressional Republicans." [Los Angeles Times]

2004 - U.S. Occupation Status / Iraq - May 5th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The United States on Tuesday [05/04/04] abandoned plans to reduce its military force in Iraq this summer and said it would keep about 135,000 troops there at least another year and a half." [Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2004 - Increased Marijuana Usage / United States - May 5th, 2004: "CHICAGO - Habitual marijuana use increased among U.S. adults over the past decade, particularly among young minorities and baby boomers, government figures show. The prevalence of marijuana abuse or dependence climbed from 1.2 percent of adults in 1991-92 to 1.5 percent in 2001-02, or an estimated 3 million adults 18 and over." [A.P.]

2004 - Reduced-Calorie Soft Drinks / Pepsi & Coke - May 5th, 2004: "CHICHAGO - Coke and Pepsi, trying to add fizz into their soda sales, will launch new brands that taste like their flagship drinks but contain half the sugar, carbohydrates and calories. [....] The new drinks contain the standard high-fructose corn syrup that sweetens regular soda but in smaller amounts. The corn syrup is supplemented with Splenda, a no-calorie,  no-carbohydrate sweetner made from sugar. [....] Pepsi says a 12-ounce can of Edge has 20 grams each of sugar and carbohydrates, and 70 calories, compared with regular Pepsi's 41 grams each of sugar and carbohydrates, and 150 calories."  [A.P.]

2004 - Bombings / Greece - May 6th, 2004: "ATHENS, Greece - Greece's attempts to calm security fears about the summer Olympics were rocked by three bombs that exploded before dawn Wednesday [05/05/04] - 100 days before the games begin. The government assigned top anti-terrorist agents to investigate the bombings, which caused no injuries after damaging a suburban police station." [A.P.]

2004 - Audiotape / Osama Bin Laden? - May 6th, 2004: "An online audiotape released on Islamic forums with the purported voice of bin Laden offers rewards of gold for the killing of U.S. and U.N. officials - from 10,000 grams for L. Paul Bremer, the top U.S. administrator in Iraq at the time, to at least 500 grams for citizens of U.N Security Council nations." [A.P., 10/30/04]

2004 - U.S. War Costs / Iraq & Afghanistan - May 6th, 2004: "In Washington, the Bush administration asked Congress for an additional $25 billion to pay for war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan after the fiscal year ends on September 30th." [Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2004 - Privy to Abuse Photos / Donald Rumsfeld - May 6th, 2004: "Rumsfeld testified on Friday [05/07/04] that he and Myers first saw most of the photographs [of Iraqi prisoner abuse] - except for those that had appeared in the media - on Thursday evening [05/06/04], and that they had not yet seen several videos of abuse that are reported to be among the investigators' files." [New York Times, 05/09/04]

2004 - HIV-Positive Porn Actress / Los Angeles - May 6th, 2004: "A veteran porn actress on Wednesday [05/05/04] became the fifth adult film performer in Los Angeles to test positive for HIV since an industrywide quarantine went into effect last month to stop the spread of the virus, an industry health care official said." [U.S. Digest]

2004 - SARS / Spread by Sweat? - May 7th, 2004: "Chinese scientists have found the SARS virus in the sweat glands of people killed by the infection in southern China in 2003, raising the possibility that if it breaks out again, the virus might spread simply by touch. In a separate development, an investigation in Beijing into the latest laboratory escape of SARS has revealed that neither of the researchers infected actually worked with the live virus. This suggests it is capable of spreading unsuspected in a lab, and that research centres may now be the most likely source of a future outbreak. Such a prospect is particularly worrying given that no-one knows how many labs now hold the SARS virus. The original SARS outbreak started in November 2002 and ended in July 2003. Since then the only full-blown cases have been in people working in laboratories doing SARS research. There was one each in Taiwan and Singapore in 2003. Then, in March and April, two laboratory workers were infected on separate occasions at China's National Insitute of Virology in Beijing. Several Seven more people are known to have caught SARS from one of the two workers and one of these has died. Hundreds of people remain in isolation and the World Health Organization says it is too early to say the outbreak is under control. An investigation by the WHO and Chinese authorities reported on Thursday that 'no single infectious source or single procedural error appears likely to explain the infection in the two researchers' and that neither researcher worked with the live virus. This is worrying, as no one knows how many labs hold SARS. The WHO admitted this week that it has 'no idea'. The US Centers for Disease Control alone sent live SARS samples to 56 academic, commercial or government labs in an effort to speed discovery of diagnostic tests and treatments. It emailed those labs this week to remind them to be careful." [NewScientist.com news service]

2004 - Foreign Relations / U.S. & Cuba - May 7th, 2004: "A presidential commission recommended Thursday [05/06/04] that the United States take steps to subvert the planned succession in Cuba under which power would pass from President Fidel Castro to his younger brother, Raul." [U.S. Digest]

2004 - Prisoner Relocation / Afghanistan - May 7th, 2004: "SHIBERGHAN, Afghanistan - Shackled and under guard, 434 alleged Taliban and al-Qaida fighters shuffled out of Afghanistan's most notorious prison Thursday [05/06/04], winning transfer to a Kabul prison after a weeklong hunger strike to protest being held without charges for nearly 2 1/2 years." [A.P.]

2004 - Revelation / Destroyed 911 Tape - May 7th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Air traffic controllers who handled two of the hijacked flights on Sept. 11, 2001, recorded their experiences shortly after the planes crashed into the World Trade Center, but a supervisor destroyed the tape, government investigators said Thursday [05/06/04]. [....] Investigators never heard it. Sometime between December 2001 and February 2002, an unidentified Federal Aviation Administration quality assurance manager crushed the cassette case in his hand, cut the tape into small pieces and threw them away in multiple trash cans, the report said. [....] Neither manager told anyone outside the center - including their superiors and law enforcement officials - about the tape's existence, the report said. The Sept. 11 commission learned of the tape during interviews with New York air traffic control center personnel between September and October. The destruction occured even though the FAA sent a directive three days after the hijackings to retain all documents." [A.P.]

2004 - Christian & Muslim Fighting / Nigeria - May 7th, 2004: "YELWA, Nigeria - Militants from a predominantly Christian tribe killed at least 500 people in two attacks on a Muslim town in central Nigeria, a senior Red-Cross official said Thursday [05/06/04]. An exact toll from the raids Sunday [05/02/04] and Tuesday [05/04/04] was unavailable. [....] Religious, ethnic and political enmities - often intertwined - have fuled outbreaks of communal bloodshed resulting in more than 10,000 dead since President Olusegun Obasanjo was first elected in 1999, ending 15 years of repressive military rule. Violence in central Nigeria has erupted in cycles since September 2001, when fighting between Christians and Muslims in the once-peaceful city of Jos killed more than 1,000 people. Hundreds more have been killed in fighting since then." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. Material Witness? / Madrid Train Bombings - May 7th, 2004: "FBI agents arrested a Portland lawyer [Brandon Mayfield] Thursday [05/06/04] as part of the investigation into the deadly train bombings in Spain, federal officials said. [....] Mayfield's fingerprints were found on materials related to the Madrid bombings, said a second senior law enforcement official, also speaking on the condition of anonymity." [News Services]

*Trivia: "PORTLAND, Oregon - A federal court threw out on Monday [05/24/04] the case against an American lawyer [Brandon Mayfield] once linked to the Madrid train bombings. The FBI expressed regret for a fingerprint-identification error that led to his arrest." [A.P.]

*Trivia: "The other evidence against the Oregon lawyer was that: He handled a child-custody case for a Muslim who later tried unsuccessfully to join the Taliban; Someone in his home telephoned an Islamic charity run by a Muslim man now on the federal terrorism watchlist; His law practice advertised in a Muslim telephone directory run by a man who once was a business associate of Osama bin Laden; he was observed by the FBI visiting a mosque near his home - his own mosque. In other words, the FBI had absolutely nothing against Mr. Mayfield that would stand up in court. And then the fingerprint identification turned out to be wrong. [....] When Spanish authorities told the FBI that they doubted the accuracy of its Mayfield fingerprint match, U.S. officials should have slowed down and taken another look. Instead, they didn't even make an effort to verify the match they had made on a copy of the print by also analyzing the original. It was only when the Spanish matched the print to a real terrorist suspect that the FBI double-checked and found it was wrong." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 05/30/04]

2004 - Rejected  Over-The-Counter Contraceptive / Plan B - May 7th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday  [05/06/04] rejected over-the-counter sale of the emergency contraceptive Plan B, saying that the distributer had not proved that young teens can take the drug safely without a doctor's guidance. The decision was an unusual repudiation of the recommendation of the agency's own expert advisory panel, which voted 23-4 late last year in favor of the switch and 27-0 that the drug could be safely sold as an over-the-counter medication." [Washington Post

2004 - FDA Investigation / Furon - May 8th, 2004: "The Food and Drug Administration will investigate whether a chemical that can cause cancer at high doses in mice and rats can pose a risk to people at the very low levels in which it is found in many common foods. [....] Because the chemical has been linked to a form of liver cancer in the animals, the agency is assessing the potential for a risk to people, he [Terry Troxell] said. [....] Furan was found at varying levels in products including baby foods, spaghetti sauces, canned soups, creamed corn and baked beans." [News Services]

2004 - Medicine Wheel Ceremony - May 8th, 2004: "May 8, is celebrated as the day of the Buddha's Enlightenment. On this sacred day at 12:00 noon MDT, there will be a massive Medicine Wheel Ceremony calling the Peacekeepers to the Circle. The Divine Intent of this activity of Light is to bring healing and harmony to the grid and body of Beloved Mother Earth. This will be a global event that involves sacred sites throughout the world." [by, Patricia Diane Cota-Robles - Pathfinder, May/June 2004, Vol. 14 No. 3]

2004 - Social Unrest / Lake Titicaca, Peru - May 8th, 2004: "LIMA, Peru - A classified police report warns that simmering social unrest near Lake Titicaca could explode as rival groups of Aymara Indians try to wrestle power from provincial mayors. [....] The May 4 police document, reported Friday [05/07/04] in the El Comercio newspaper, says mayors in seven towns and villiages have been accused by constituents of corruption." [A.P.]

2004 - Condemnation / Prisoner Abuse, Iraq - May 8th, 2004: "LONDON - The image of a U.S. soldier holding a leash attached to a naked Iraqi prisoner brought more condemnation of the United States on Friday [05/07/04] and some calls for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld." [A.P.]

2004 - Suicide Bomb / Shiite Mosque, Pakistan - May 8th, 2004: "KARACHI, Pakistan - A bomb shattered Friday [05/07/04] prayers at a crowded mosque, killing at least 14 people and wounding more than 200. The blast was apparently the work of a suicide bomber. The attack was the second on minority Shiite Muslims in Pakistan in two months." [A.P.]

2004 - Earthquake / Pakistan - May 9th, 2004: "QUETTA, Pakistan - An earthquake shook the city of Quetta in southwestern Pakistan early Sunday, leaving 15 people with minor injuries, officials said. The 4.7 magnitude temblor struck at 1:12 a.m. and was centered in Baluchistan province, said Salim Akhtar, an official at the Pakistan's Seismological Center. [....] In 1935, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake flattned Quetta, killing 50,000 people." [A.P.]

2004 - Understaffed U.S. Prison? / Iraq - May 9th, 2004: "ABU GHRAIB, Iraq - A U.S. Army investigation into abuses at Abu Ghraib prison depicts the military police running the penitentiary as a motley lot, overwhelmed by one of the worst assignments in Iraq and bitter about the military's broken promises of going home. [....] The 320th, an Army Reserve unit based near Scranton, Pa., was woefully unprepared to operate the 280-acre prison holding some 7,000 detainees, Taguba's report said. That is almost twice as many detainees than are supposed to be handled by a battalion, which usually contains no more than 500 soldiers." [Jim Krane, A.P.]

2004 - Confession / "Sasser" Worm Creator - May 9th, 2004: "HANOVER, Germany - A German high school student has confessed to creating the 'Sasser' worm, which generated chaos by infecting hundreds of thousands of computers, authorities said Saturday [05/08/04]." [A,P.]

2004 - Assassination / Akhmad Kadyrov, Chechnya - May 9th, 2004: "MOSCOW - A bomb exploded in a stadium in Chechnya's capital on Sunday [05/09/04], killing the republic's president [Akhmad Kadyrov] and delivering a severe blow to efforts by Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the long, deadly conflict in the region. [....] Akhmad Kadyrov, a former rebel leader who was elected the republic's president last fall in a vote widely considered fraudlent, was the political figure Putin entrusted to wind down nearly a decade of war in Chechnya." [New York Times]

2004 - Iraq Prisoner Abuse Report /  New Yorker Magazine - May 10th, 2004: "The Associated Press report, published Nov. 1 [2003], cited a statement to Arab television by the MP commander, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, that prisoners were treated humanely. Meantime, 'between October and December 2003, at the Abu Ghraib Confinement Facility (BCCF), numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees,' according to the report of a later Army investigation. The Army report said the photos from Abu Ghraib dated from this period. The Army's report found that soldiers also had commited 'egregious acts and grave breaches' at Camp Bucca, in southern Iraq. That report did not come to light until the May 10 issue of The New Yorker magazine. It had been classified 'secret'. [....] The camps held not only men captured in the anti-U.S. insurgency, but also many others picked up by U.S. troops in broad neighborhood sweeps, on slight suspicions or unverified tips [Like the Middle Age Inquisitions?], or as curfew breakers, checkpoint-dodgers or common criminals. Up to 8,000 are believed still [May 2004] held. " [A.P., 05/09/04]

2004 - Executions / Iraq - May 11th, 2004: "An unidentified body of what appeared to be a westerner was found in Baghdad, said a U.S. military official in the capital. The official said the body was not that of a soldier and was not believed to be one of the three surviving Italian hostages captured last month. A fourth Italian hostage was executed by militants who had demanded that Italy withdraw its troops from Iraq." [by Ian Fisher, New York Times]

2004 - Release / UFO Footage, Mexico - May 11th, 2004: "MEXICO CITY - Mexican Air Force pilots filmed 11 unidentified flying objects in the skies over southern Campeche state, a Defense Department spokesman confirmed Tuesday [05/11/04]. A videotape made widely available to the news media on Tuesday shows the bright objects, some sharp points of light and others like large headlights, moving rapidly in what appears to be a late-evening sky. The lights were filmed on March 5 [2004] by pilots using infrared equipment. They appeared to be flying at an altitude of about 3,500 meters (11,480 feet), and allegedly surrounded the Air Force jet as it conducted routine anti-drug trafficking vigilance in Campeche. Only three of the objects showed up on the plane's radar. 'Was I afraid? Yes. A little afraid because we were facing something that had never happened before,' said radar operator Lt. German Marin in a taped interview made public Tuesday. 'I couldn't say what it was... but I think they're completely real,' added Lt. Mario Adrian Vazquez, the infrared equipment operator. Vazquez insisted that there was no way to alter the recorded images. The plane's captain, Maj. Magdaleno Castanon, said the military jets chased the lights 'and I believe they could feel we were pursuing them.' When the jets stopped following the objects, they disappeared, he said. A Defense Department spokesman confirmed Tuesday that the videotape was filmed by members of the Mexican Air Force. The spokesman declined to comment further and spoke on customary condition of anonymity. The video was first aired on national television Monday night [05/10/04] then again at a news conference Tuesday [05/11/04] by Jaime Maussan, a Mexican investigator who has dedicated the past 10 years to studying UFOs. 'This is historic news,' Maussan told reporters. 'Hundreds of videos (of UFOs) exist, but none had the backing of the armed forces of any country. [....] The armed forces don't perpetuate frauds.' Maussan said Secretary of Defense Gen. Ricardo Vega Garcia gave him the video on April 22 [2004]." [CNN] [Links:  ]

2004 - Humanitarian Crisis / Columbia - May 11th, 2004: "Columbia's drug wars have created the largest humanitarian crisis in the Americas, driving 2 million people from their homes and threatening Indian tribes with extinction, a U.N. official said Monday." [News Services]

2004 - Spacecraft Competition / Mew Mexico - May 11th, 2004: "SANTA FE, N.M. - New Mexico has been selected to host a competition to achieve the first privately funded manned spaceflight, Gov. Bill Richardson announced Monday [05/10/04]. [....] The competition will give $10 million to the first company or person to successfully launch a craft." [A.P.]

2004 - Securities-Fraud Settlement / Citigroup - May 11th, 2004: "NEW YORK - In one of the largest securities-fraud settlements, financial-services giant Citigroup Inc. will pay $2.65 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by investors who bought WorldCom Inc. securities before the telecommunications company went bankrupt in 2002. It was the second-largest settlement of a securities class-action case, behind a $3.2 billion settlement by Cendant Corp. in 2000 over accounting fraud that cost shareholders billions of dollars, according to Alan G. Hevesi, the New York state comptroller." [A.P.]

2004 - Arrested by "Mistake" / Iraqi Prisoners, Iraq - May 11th, 2004: "GENEVA - Up to 90 percent of Iraqi detainees were arrested 'by mistake,' according to coalition intelligence officers cited in a Red Cross report disclosed Monday [05/10/04]. It also said U.S. officers mistreated inmates at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison by keeping them naked in totally dark, empty cells." [A.P.]

2004 - Extreme Views / International Fellowship of Christians & Jews - May 11th, 2004: "JERUSALEM - Prominent Israeli rabbis are for the first time speaking out against Israel's profitable alliance with evangelical Christians in the United States who have funneled tens of millions of dollars to Israel. The rabbis fear that the Christians' real intent is to convert Jews, their aids said Monday [05/10/04]. Others are concerned about the evangelicals' support for Israel's extreme right wing, opposing any compromise with the Palestinians. [....] Besides contributing tidy sums to projects in Israel, some evangelical Christians have lobbied in support of the Israeli government in Washington. Troubling to Israelis is the fact that one influential group of evangelicals believes in a final, apocalyptic battle between good and evil in which Jesus returns and Jews either accept him or perish - a vision that causes obvious discomfort among Jews. [....] The focus of the latest criticism has been the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, a Chicago-based group that has raised tens of millions of dollars from Christian supporters of Israel. [....] Maintaining good relations with American evangelicals is important to Israel's government. Evangelicals make up a powerful base of support for President George W. Bush and enjoy close ties with the White House. But many evangelical groups have shown a growing interest in Israeli politics, adopting views considered extreme in Israel. The groups opposed the U.S.-backed 'road map' peace plan when it was launched last year because it would lead to Israeli concessions, and they opposed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's attempts to uproot Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank. Rabbi David Rosen, international director of the inter-religious affairs in the American Jewish Committee's Jerusalem office, said political activity is a larger concern than charitable work. 'There's support for some of the most extreme political positions in Israeli society,' he said. 'That I find far more disturbing than any suggestion that there could be missionary activity.' " [Based on: Josef Federman, A.P.]

2004 - Increase / Oil-Futures - May 12th, 2004: "NEW YORK - Crude oil futures surged Tuesday [05/11/04], closing higher than $40 dollars a barrell for the first time since 1990 on speculation that a growing global economy will boost fuel demand and lower inventories." [Bloomberg News]

2004 - U.S. Sanctions / Cuba - May 12th, 2004: "HAVANA - Fearing steep price hikes and sold-out stores, scores of Cubans rushed into a buying frenzy Tuesday [05/11/04], clearing shelves of detergent, cooking oil and other necessities in response to an abrupt Cuban government decree, which froze most American dollar sales across the island. The Cuban government announced a new era of belt-tightening, saying the Bush administration's 'brutal' sanctions enacted last week will require prices to be raised on fuel and other commodities. Last week, President George W. Bush announced new measures to limit the flow of dollars to Cuba by reducing the number of trips Cuban-Americans can take to the island, slashing the amount of money they can spend while in Cuba and prohibiting cash transfers to Communist Party members." [South Florida -Sun-Sentinel]

2004 - Beheaded / Nicholas Berg - May 12th, 2004: "WEST CHESTER, Pa. - Islamic militants beheaded a 26-year-old American civilian [Nicholas Berg] and displayed a gruesome video of it Tuesday [05/11/04], saying he was killed in retaliation for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners by American soldiers. [....] Before extremists apparently [apparently???] kidnapped and killed him, authorities detained Berg in Iraq for as long as two weeks in late March and early April. But many details about his detention remained sketchy Tuesday [05/11/04]. Iraq security forces arrested Berg in late March at a check point near Mosul, according to U.S. officials in Washington familar with the case. Berg's parents said they did not hear from their son between March 24th and roughly April 8th, according to court papers they filed in Pennsylvania last month. [....] Whatever the cause of his arrest, Iraqi officials contacted FBI agents stationed in the country after learning Berg was an American, according to officials in Washington. The FBI then questioned Berg in Mosul, officials in Washington said. Berg told the FBI he was in Iraq on his own, attempting to land contracts for his cell phone tower business. 'The guy was just kind of wandering around over there,' a federal law enforcement official said. 'I don't think he had a good reason to be there'. [....] After the FBI interview, Berg's parents alleged on April 5 in a federal court petition that the U.S. military was illegally detaining their son. They said the Iraqis transferred him into U.S. military custody. [....] U.S. officials in Washington said they believe Berg returned to Baghdad immediately after his release, but they do not know when or how he may have been kidnapped. Before they initially lost contact with him on March 24th, Berg had told his parents he planned to come home in just a few days." [by Cam Simpson & Stevenson Swanson, Chicago Tribune]

2004 - Stock Market Decline / India - May 12th, 2004: "India's stock market suffered its deepest plunge in four years Tuesday [05/11/04] due to fears that the government's liberal economic policies might falter if the prime minister's ruling alliance fails to get a majority in Parliament, as predicted by exit polls. [....] The benchmark index of the Bombay Stock Exchange, the Sensex, plunged 229.94 points, or 4.1 percent, to close at 5325.90 points Tuesday." [News Services]

2004 - Stormed Mosque / Karbala, Iraq - May 12th, 2004: "KARBALA, Iraq - The U.S. military stormed a mosque [Mukhaiyam] in this holy city late Tuesday [05/11/04] in its largest assault yet against the forces of the young rebel Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, even as the first signs emerged of a peaceful resolution to the 5-week-old standoff with him." [New York Times]

2004 - Displayed / Israeli Body Parts - May 12th, 2004: "GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Hamas militants triumphantly displayed remains of some of the six Israeli soldiers killed in a roadside bombing in Gaza City on Tuesday, prompting Israeli threats of punishing reprisals if body parts are not returned." [A.P.]

2004 - Christian & Muslim Fighting / Nigeria - May 12th 2004: "KANO, Nigeria - Angry young Muslim men attacked 'nonbelievers' with machetes Tuesday [05/11/04], while others burned cars, stores and apartments in apparent revenge for last week's killings of hundreds of Muslims by a Christian group."

2004 - Gunfire / Najaf, Iraq - May 13th, 2004: "Baghdad, Iraq - Gunfire erupted in the Shiite Muslim holy city of Najaf early today as clerics, civic authorities and tribal leaders promised to present a peace plan to U.S. occupation authorities in the coming days." [Los Angeles Times]

2004 - Growing Oil Demand - May 13th, 2004: "LONDON - Demand for oil is growing at its highest rate in eight years, but the economic recovery could fizzle unless suppliers drill new wells and produce additional crude, The International Energy Agency said Wednesday. [05/12/04]" [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. Sanctions / Syria - May 13th, 2004: "DAMASCUS, Syria - Syria denounced U.S. economic sanctions on Wednesday [05/12/04], and other Arab countries - including close U.S. allies - joined in the criticism. Europe ignored the penalties by dispatching a trade delegation to Damascus. The United States imposed the embargo on Tuesday [05/11/04] as a response to allegations that Syria was supporting terrorism and undermining U.S. efforts in neighboring Iraq." [A.P.]

2004 - Trivia / U.S. Health Insurance - May 13th, 2004: "Nearly one in three emergency room patients has no medical insurance, and most are sicker and suffer from more critical medical problems than patients with insurance, a recent survey indicates. In addition, the national survey of emergency room doctors also indicates that uninsured patients are more likely to die prematurely than patients with coverage." [Post-Dispatch]

2004 - Record Trade Deficit / United States - May 13th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The United States posted a record trade deficit in March, reflecting Americans' demand for foreign-made goods as well as the most expensive crude oil since 1983. The $46 billion deficit reported Wednesday [05/12/04] by the Commerce Department represented an increase of 9.1 percent from February's imbalance and came despite the fact that U.S. exports climbed to an all-time high in March." [A.P.]

2004 - Reform Party Endorsement / Ralph Nader - May 13th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Independent Ralph Nader, reviled by some Democrats for his 2000 presidential bid, was endorsed Wednesday [05/12/04] by the national Reform Party, giving him ballot access in at least seven states, including the battlegrounds of Florida and Michigan." [by Sam Hananel, A.P.]

2004 - UFO Status / Mexico - May 14th, 2004: "A series of brightly lighted, rapidly moving objects filmed in the skies over Mexico could have been caused by a scientific phenomenon involving gases in the atmosphere, a scientist said Thursday [05/13/04] in Mexico City." [News Services]

2004 - Research / Gene Flaws? - May 14th, 2004: "A Washington University cell biologist's [Susan K. Dutcher] quest to learn what propels a bizarre half-plant, half-animal species led scientists to the source of a rare human genetic disease and possible clues to the cause of asthma, obesity, learning problems and blindness. [....] 'Almost every cell in the human body has cilia,' Dutcher said in a press statement. 'Cilia... ensure that organs like the heart and stomach end up where they're supposed to be. Cilia clear away dirt and bacteria in the respiratory tract, help sperm swim and help keep fluid flowing into and out of the brain, just to name a few examples.' Anything that goes awry with the cilia can lead to disease. [....] Dutcher made two observations: (1) Genes for cilia and basal bodies are well-preserved between algae, humans and other animals. (2) Plants that grow on the land lack cilia and probably the genes needed to make them." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2004 - International Relations / U.S. & North Korea - May 14th, 2004: "North Korea denounced as 'humiliating' U.S. demands that it commit to dismantling its nuclear program before seeking aid in return. But it vowed to continue six-nation talks 'with patience.' " [News Services]

2004 - Reinstatement / Roh Moo-hyun, South Korea - May 14th, 2004: "SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea's Constitutional Court reinstated impeached President Roh Moo-hyun in a historic ruling Friday [05/14/04], rejecting a parliamentary move to oust the embattled leader. [....] Roh's reinstatement gives the progressive 57-year-old president a fresh mandate for his policies of closer ties with North Korea and economic reform. [....] The two main opposition parties impeached Roh on charges of minor electioneering violations and incompetence, for failing to rein in corrupt aides. Polls showed, however, that seven in 10 South Koreans opposed the move, calling the grounds flimsy and politically motivated." [A.P.]

2004 - Damaged Mosque / Najaf, Iraq - May 15th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. soldiers, tanks and helicopters battled militiamen of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the heart of Shiite Iraq on Friday [05/14/04], in a fierce fight shown live on Arabic satellite TV. [....] The most incendiary TV images from Najaf depicted bullet holes in the golden dome of the Shrine of Imam Ali, a place of pilgrimage for Shiites. [....] U.S. officials have long feared that damage to holy sites in Najaf or Karbala might trigger a backlash among Iraq's Shiite majority and a major crisis for the American occupation. American troops have been repeatedly warned not to damage the shrines." [Cox News Service]

2004 - Revelation / Prisoner Abuse History, Texas - May 15th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Prisoners stripped naked, beaten about the head, set upon by dogs and kicked by verbally abusive guards. [....] The incident took place in Texas nearly a decade ago, in 1996, when Bush was that state's governor. The prisoners abused were Missourians, inmates temporarily transferred to county jail facilities in Texas run by private contractors because of overcrowded prisons back home. [....] In the 32-minute videotape from Texas, recorded in September 1996, black-uniformed guards storm a group of card-playing inmates. The inmates are strip-searched and forced to crawl naked down a hall. Several are jolted with an electric prod; at least three are bitten by snarling dogs. [....] A class-action suit on behalf of the inmates was settled in 1999, with Brazoria County and the private contractor (Capital Correctional Resources Inc.) agreeing to pay $2.2 million. [....] The Rev. Larry Rice, director of the New Life Evangelistic Center [St. Louis, MO], traveled to Texas after release of the videotapes and met with Bush's aides on behalf of the Missouri inmates. He said Friday [05/14/04] he saw 'tremendous parallels' between then and events at Abu Ghraib." [by Jon Sawyer, Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau Chief, May 2004]

2004 - Press Visit / MP School, Mo. - May 16th, 2004: "FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. - The Military Police School opened its gates to the press Friday [05/14/04] in an effort to show that American soldiers are trained to treat enemy prisoners 'humanely and respectfully.' " [by Harry Levins, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Senior Writer]

2004 - Gaza Pullout Rally / Tel Aviv - May 16th, 2004: "TEL AVIV, Israel - More than 100,000 Israelis rallied Saturday [05/15/04] night in favor of a pullout from the Gaza Strip, a massive show of strength by the long-dormant opposition movement. [....] Demonstrators packed Tel Aviv's Rabin Square, where Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was killed in 1995 by a Jewish extremist opposed to peace efforts. Israeli media estimated the crowd at up to 150,000 people, one of the largest rallies by Israel's so-called peace camp since Rabin's death. [....] Members of Sharon's Likud Party recently vetoed the pullout plan, although polls have shown a solid majority of Israelis favor the proposal." [A.P.]

2004 - Trivia / Auto Emissions Testing, St. Louis, Mo. - May 16th, 2004: "JEFFERSON CITY - The 52,000 motorists who signed a petition to end emissions testing in the St. Louis area had better keep a pen handy. The Missouri Legislature failed to put a stop to the controversial program in the legislative session that ended Friday [05/14/04], but Rep. harold Selby, D-Cedar Hill, vowed to bring the bill up again next year." [Post-Dispatch Jefferson City Bureau]

2004 - Unendangered Species / American Bald Eagle - May 16th, 2004: "SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The American bald eagle - the national symbol whose decline helped spur the Endangered Species Act and a ban on the pesticide DDT - will be off the threatened species list this year, a top Bush administration official said Saturday." [A.P.]

2004 - Banned Chemicals :) - May 17th, 2004: "OSLO, Norway - A 'dirty dozen' of industrial chemicals [Aldrin, Chlordane, DDT, Dieldrin, Dioxins, Endrin, Furans, Heptachlor, Hexachlorobenzene, Mirex, Polychlorinated Biphenyls [PCBs] & Toxaphene] blamed for causing deaths and birth defects will be outlawed today by a U.N. pact. Inuit hunters in Canada are among those most exposed because many toxins are swept to the Artic by ocean and air currents. They plan to celebrate the ban with a feast of whale, seal stew, fish and caribou in Iqaluit, Baffin Island. The 2001 Stockholm convention on persistent organic pollutants takes effect today after ratification by 50 nations, ending use of a range of pesticides, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). [....] Even so, it will take years for the chemicals - used in everyday items like plastics or paints as well as pesticides - to break down. And everyone on the planet has traces of the chemicals in their bodies, the U.N. agency says." [Reuters News Service]

2004 - Legal Gay Marriage? / Massachusetts - May 17th, 2004: "City clerks began handing out marriage-liscense applications to gay couples just after midnight today, making Massachusetts the first state in the nation to legalize same-sex unions and the United States just one of four countries in the world where homosexuals can legally wed." [News Services]

*Trivia: "Blacks are 11 times more likely than white Americans to get AIDS. Even though they make up 12 percent of the population, they account for 39 percent of AIDS cases and 54 percent of new HIV infections. Among black men, like whites, the leading cause of infection is sex with other men." [A.P., February 2004]

2004 - U.S. Troop Relocation / South Korea to Iraq - May 17th, 2004: "SEOUL, South Korea - The United States wants to move some of the 37,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea to Iraq, South Korean officials said today [05/17/04]." [A.P.]

2004 - Typhoon Nida / Philippines - "Typhoon date(s): May 18th, 2004. Number of recorded deaths: 19+." [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 207]

2004 - Birthday / Pope John Paul II - May 18th, 2004: "Pope John Paul II turned 84 Today."

2004 - 1st Italian Combat Death / Iraq - May 18th, 2004: "ROME - The first combat death of an Italian soldier in Iraq on Monday [05/17/04] led to new pressure on Premier Silvio Berlusconi to pull out troops and distance himself from the U.S. administration." [A.P.]

2004 - Fatality / Izzadine Saleem, Iraq - May 18th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A suicide bombing killed the head of the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council as his car waited at a checkpoint near coalition headquarters Monday [05/17/04], a major setback to American efforts to stabilize Iraq just six weeks before the handover of sovereignty. [....] Izzadine Saleem, also known as Abdel-Zahraa Othman, was waiting in a Governing Council convoy at a U.S. checkpoint along a tree-lined street preparing to enter the Green Zone - where the coalition headquarters is located - when the bomb was detonated. It apparently had been rigged with artillery shells and hidden inside a red Volkswagen." [A.P.]

2004 - Israeli Incursion / Tel Sultan, Gaza Strip - May 18th, 2004: "RAFAH, Gaza Strip - Israeli tanks and bulldozers moved into a Gaza refugee camp early today, hours after panicked residents fled amid fears of an incursion. Helicopters fired missles at the camp, killing at least 11 and wounding 30, residents said." [A.P.]

2004 - President Leonel Fernandez / Dominican Republic - May 18th, 2004: "Dominicans sounded car horns and waved the purple flags of the winning party Monday [05/17/04] to celebrate an election victory by former President Leonel Fernandez. [....] They rejected President Hipolito Mejia in favor of the man who presided over a booming economy when he was in office from 1996 to 2000." [News Services]

2004 - Obese Americans - May 19th, 2004: "The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that about a third of U.S. adults 20 years and older are obese and that at least another third probably are overweight." [Allyce Bess, St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2004 - Cyclone / Myanmar - "Cyclone date(s): May 19th, 2004. Number of recorded deaths: 220." [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 207]

2004 - Status / U.S. Ready Reserve - May 19th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The Army is scraping up soldiers for duty in Iraq wherever it can find them, and that includes places and people long considered off-limits. The Army on Tuesday [05/18/04] confirmed that it pulled the files of some 17,000 people in the Individual Ready Reserve, the nation's pool of former soldiers. The Army has been screening them for critically needed specialists  and has called about 100 of them since January." [Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2004 - Trivia / Karbala & Najaf, Iraq - May 19th, 2004: "KARBALA, Iraq - The country's most influential cleric [Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini] called Tuesday [05/18/04] for the withdrawl of all armies from the two holy cities, Karbala and Najaf, to try to end days of bloody fighting and preserve the sanctity of Shiite shrines." [New York Times]

2004 - Relationship / Autism & Vaccines - May 19th, 2004: "Vaccines do not cause autism, a committee from the Institute of Medicine said in a report issued Tuesday [05/18/04]. [....] The incidence of autism appears to have increased dramatically over the past 20 years. What was once thought to be a disorder affecting one in 2,500 people is now said to strike at least one child in every 166. But the rise in the number of autism cases may be a result of better recognition and a broadening of the criteria used to diagnose the disorder combined with a small increase in the actual incidence of autism, said Dr. Marie C. McCormick, chairman of the committee that wrote the report. [....] Some parents of children with autism say they already know what went wrong. These parents blame vaccines for their children's disorders, noting that autism symptoms appear at about the same time childhood immunizations start. [....] Some people worried that the small quantities of mercury in each vaccine shot could add up to a toxic dose in babies and toddlers." [by Tina Hesman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2004 - Stem Cell Bank / England - May 20th, 2004: "POTTERS BAR, England - Britain opened the world's first national stem cell bank Wednesday [05/19/04], hoping to establish a lead in promising but controversial medical research." [A.P.]

2004 - Sentenced / Jeremy Sivits - May 20th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - An Army judge sentenced Spc. Jeremy Sivits to one year in prision Wednesday [05/19/04] for his role in abusing Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison, closing out the first prosecution of an American in the scandal." [Washington Post]

2004 - President Chen Shui-bian / Taiwan - May 20th, 2004: "President Chen Shui-bian was sworn in for the second four-year term today amid new threats of war from China and disputes over the March election that Chen narrowly won." [News Services]

2004 - Enron Guilty Plea / Paula Rieker - May 20th, 2004: "HOUSTON - The former No. 2 investor-relations executive at Enron Corp. pleaded guilty Wednesday [05/19/04] of insider trading for cashing out stock options after learning about bad news for Enron's highly touted broadband unit." [A.P.]

2004 - Oil Refinery Mergers / United States - May 20th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush has allowed an increase in oil-refinery mergers to go unchecked, and that decision may be contributing to the highest gasoline prices in 20 years. Bush's administration approved 33 takeovers totaling $19.5 billion, on top of 21 deals worth $7.3 billion approved by President Bill Clinton, according to Bloomberg data. [....] 'We're in a much worse position than we were when the federal government broke up the Rockefeller oil companies of the early 1900s,' said Jon Meade Huntsman, a Republican and founder of Huntsman Co. of Salt Lake City, the largest privately held chemical maker. 'The average guy on the street is getting killed because the administration does not care.' Americans are paying 33 percent more for self-service regular gasoline than a year ago, an average of nearly $2.02 a gallon. Oil futures have averaged $28.62 a barrel since Bush took office, 42 percent higher than the average during Clinton's terms. [....] From 1993 to 2003, the market share of the five-biggest U.S. refineries grew to 52 percent from 35 percent, according to Public Citizen. For the top ten refiners, market share rose to 79 percent from 56 percent. Meanwhile, the Consumer Federation of America says 77 percent of the market on the East Coast and 67 percent on the West Coast were controlled by the top four refiners as of 2000. [....] Between 1997 and 2002, the number of U.S. refineries dropped to 153 from 282. Refining capacity in that period rose 2.4 percent to 16.8 million barrels a day, according to the Energy Department. However, domestic demand for gasoline surged 27 percent in that period." [by Jim Efstathiou Jr., Bloomberg News]

2004 - U.S. Airstrike / Iraqi Wedding Party - May 20th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A U.S. aircraft fired on a house in the desert near the Syrian border Wednesday [05/19/04], and Iraqi officials said more than 40 people were killed, including children. The U.S. military said the target was a suspected safe house for foreign fighters from Syria, but Iraqis said a helicopter had attacked a wedding party." [A.P.]

2004 - Meeting / John Kerry & Ralph Nader - May 20th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - John Kerry met with independent Ralph Nader Wednesday [05/19/04], but the Democrat didn't ask the independent candidate to quit the presidential race despite widespread Democratic fears that his candidacy could ensure President George W. Bush's re-election." [A.P.]

2004 - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh / India - May 20th, 2004: "NEW DELHI - Manmohan Singh, whose humble origins inspired him to start the reforms that opened up India's economy, was named prime minister Wednesday [05/19/04], ending days of turmoil that culminated with Sonia Gandhi's refusal to take the post." [A.P.]

2004 - Cancer Research / Engineered Adenovirus - May 20th, 2004: "A common cold-like virus could be a potent cancer fighter thanks to research from one St. Louis University professor. Dr. William S.M. Wold, a SLU researcher and founder of VirRx Inc., designed an adenovirus to combat colon cancer. Adeniviruses infect almost every person, causing respiratory illness similar to colds, he said. [....] The engineered adenoviruses kill colon cancer cells but leave healthy cells intact in laboratory and animal studies, the researchers reported this week in the journal Cancer Research. [....] Wold wanted to target the virus specifically to colon tumors, so he hooked a gene required to produce more viruses to a regulatory region that turns on only in cancer cells. In healthy cells, the gene remains off so no virus is produced and the cells live. Cancer cells turn on the gene and cause their own destruction. Combining the two techniques allowed Wold to make a virus that could specifically target and kill colon cancer cells growing in laboratory cultures in immune deficient mice. The engineered anenoviruses, designated INGN 007 and INGN 009, have not yet been tested in people. The INGN 007 virus was also effective against lung cancer, the researchers reported. [....] The gene Wold used to target the virus to tumors is also active in stem cells, Stokoe said. If the engineered virus attacks the stem cells, toxic side effects could result." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch

2004 - Raided / Ahmad Chalabi - May 21st, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq police backed by American soldiers raided the home and offices Thursday [05/20/05] of Ahmad Chalabi, a prominent Iraqi politician once groomed by the Pentagon as a possible replacement for Saddam Hussein." [A.P.]

2004 - Israeli Withdrawl / Rafah, Gaza Strip - May 21st, 2004: "RAFAH, Gaza Strip - Israeli troops and tanks began pulling out of the Rafah refugee camp at daybreak today, residents said, after a three-day sweep that left 39 Palestinians dead and drew international criticism." [A.P.]

*Trivia: "Since the outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian violence in 2000, more than 11,000 Palestinians have been displaced by demolitions along an Israeli military buffer zone between Egypt and the [Rafah] refugee camp, the United nations said." [A.P., 05/25/04]

2004 - House Vote / Pentagon Spending Bill - May 21st, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The House on Thursday [05/20/05] voted to authorize an additional $25 billion to pay for the U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and an increase of 30,000 active-duty personnel for the Army and 9,000 for the Marine Corps. [....] The House bill, approved 391-34, would authorize $447 billion in Pentagon spending for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, and would give Bush much of what he has sought for the military operation in Iraq. But the GOP-controlled chamber defied a White House veto threat by failing to strip out a two-year delay in the Pentagon's next round of base closings. The House bill must be reconciled with a Senate measure, which would allow the base closing to proceed as scheduled next year. The Senate is expected to approve its version of the bill within a few weeks." [Los Angeles Times]

2004 - Grand Jury Subpoena / Matthew Cooper - May 21st, 2004: "Grand jury subpoenas Cooper and Time for testimony, documents." [Based on: Illustrated Timeline, p. A13, S.L.P.D., 10/30/05]

*Trivia: "A federal grand jury has subpoenaed at least two journalists, Tim Russert of NBCs 'Meet The Press' and Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, to testify about whether the White House leaked the identity of an undercover CIA officer to the news media. [....] The investigation follows the disclosure last summer of the identity of Valerie Plame, a CIA officer, by Robert D. Novak, a syndicated columnist who did not identify his sources." [News Services, 05/23/05]

*Trivia: "Cooper agrees [08/24/05] to appear before grand jury after Libby releases him from confidentiality promise." [Based on: Illustrated Timeline, p. A13, S.L.P.D., 10/30/05]

2004 - U.N Peacekeeping Force / Burundi - May 22nd, 2004: "The U.N. Security Council on Friday [05/21/04] approved a peacekeeping force of 5,650 troops for Burundi to help the African nation finally end a 10-year civil war. The U.N. force will take over from 2,700 African Union peacekeepers now in the country, and will likely incorporate the bulk of the troops from South Africa, Ethiopia and Mozambique. [....] Civil war erupted in Burundi in October 1993 after Tutsi soldiers assassinated the country's first democratically elected leader, a member of the Hutu majority. More than 250,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the conflict between the Tutsi-dominated army and Hutu rebel factions." [News Services]

2004 - Monsanto Property Protection / Canada - May 22nd, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Monsanto Co. won a patent case with global implications when the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Friday [05/21/04] against a farmer found to be growing genetically modified canola without paying a technology fee Monsanto requires. Capping a seven-year legal battle, Canada's high court upheld a lower court ruling that farmer Percy Schmeiser had infringed on Monsanto's patent when the company's Roundup Ready seeds were found sprouting liberally on his Saskatchewan farm. The court set aside an earlier finding that would have required Schmeiser to pay Monsanto nearly $200,000 for court costs and profits the company claimed to have lost. [....] 'The first fundamental question,' the court wrote in its 5-4 ruling , 'is whether Monsanto was deprived in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, of the full enjoyment of the monopoly that the patent confers. The answer is yes.' Monsanto trumpeted the decision as 'a world standard in intellectual property protection'. [....] 'To me it was a victory because I do not have to give Monsanto one nickle,'  Schmeiser said by phone on Friday. But its not a victory for the farmers of the world who are losing the choice of what kind of seeds they can plant'. [....] Pat Mooney, exectutive director of ETC Group, a Canadian-based activist organization that intervened on Schmeiser's behalf, said that the ruling had provoked outrage among farmers' groups around the world. He said Monsanto had won 'an inflatable patent. [....] They can now say that their rights extend to anything its genes get into, whether plant, animal or human.' The Biotechnology Industry Organization in Washington said in a statement that it was pleased with the ruling, asserting that intellectual property 'is the fuel that drives the innovation engine resulting in new medicines, and improved crops and foods for farmers and consumers.' " [by Bill Lambrecht, Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

2004 - Royal Marriage / Spain - May 23rd, 2004: "MADRID, Spain - Crown Prince Felipe married former TV anchorwoman Letizia Ortiz on Saturday [05/22/04] in a ceremony that the couple dedicated to the victims of a terrorist bombing two months ago. [....] The ceremony was the first royal wedding in Spain since that of the prince's great-grandfather, King Alfonso XIII, in 1906. The prince's father and grandfather married abroad during the dictatorship of Gen. Franscisco Franco." [A.P.]

2004 - Flooding / Dominican Republic & Haiti - "Flood date(s): May 23rd-25th, 2004. Number of recorded deaths: 2,000." [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 207]

2004 - Airline Terminal Collapse / Paris, France - May 24th, 2004: "ROISSY, France - The vaulted roof of the new, showcase terminal at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport - touted as a jewel of design, safety and comfort - collapsed early Sunday [05/23/04], killing at least five people and forcing authorities to revisit problems that preceeded the fanfare opening of Terminal 2E less than a year ago."

*Trivia: "ROISSY, France - New cracking sounds forced the evacuation Monday [05/24/04] of the futuristic terminal at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport a day after a roof collapse killed four travelers." [A.P., 05/25/04]

2004 - Gas Pipeline Explosion / Renton, Seattle - May 23rd, 2004: "A section of a gasoline pipeline exploded over the weekend [Sunday, May 23rd, 2004], leading to the closing of a 400-mile system. No one was injured in the blast Sunday [05/23/04] at the Olympic Pipe Line Co. pumping station in Renton, a Seattle suburb. [....] Officials found a pin-sized hole in the test line but did not know what caused it or the fire. The pipeline moves 12 million gallons of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel daily." [News Services, 05/25/04]

2004 - Regrown Nerve Fibers / Rats - May 24th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - A combination of therapies helped damaged spines regrow nerve fibers, researchers report in a study of rats." [A.P.]

2004 - Brain Wasting Disease / Sheep - May 24th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Evidence of rogue proteins associated with brain-wasting diseases has been found in the leg muscles of sheep [Like the one they ate during an episode of Colonial House the other day? Or was that lamb?], the first such finding in animals that enter the food chain. Scientists said the discovery involving the sheep disease scrapie nevertheless does not seem to pose a significant threat to people." [A.P.]

2004 - President Horst Koehler / Germany - May 24th, 2004: "Horst Koehler, a former head of the International Monetary Fund, was elected Germany's ninth post-war president on Sunday [05/23/04]." [News Services]

2004 - Corporate Greed / United States - May 24th, 2004: "Amid an expanding economy and improved productivity, American workers are experiencing sluggish growth in wages. [....] Labor's share of the increase in national income since November 2001, the end of the most recent recession [another word for depression], is the lowest for any recovery since the end of World War II, according to a study from the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. [....] Normally, corporate profits account for about 15 percent to 18 percent of national income growth. This time, the share surged to more than 40 percent." [Chicago Tribune]

2004 - Poor Black Folks / U.S.A. - May 25th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - We usually think of Bill Cosby as the Jell-O-pitching, Cliff-Huxtable father figure who never gets agitated about much. But even the Jell-O Man sometimes has to liberate his inner grouch. One such moment occured as he was being honored last week at a black-tie bash in Washington's Constitution Hall commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. According to press reports he astonished many at the posh affair by launching into a rant sermon that mocked the talk, fashion and spending habits of poor black people'. [....] People marched and were hit in the face with rocks to get an education, and now we've got these knuckleheads walking around,' Cosby grumbled, according to The Washington Post and The Associated Press. 'The lower economic people are not holding up their end in this deal. These people are not parenting. They are buying things for kids - $500 sneakers for what? And won't spend $200 for 'Hooked on Phonics.' ' He was just getting warmed up. 'I can't even talk the way these people talk: 'Why you ain't,' 'Where you is'. [....] You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth!' As for 'the incarcerated?' 'These are not political criminals,' he said. 'These are people going around stealing CocaCola. people getting shot in the back of the head over a piece of pound cake, and then we run out and we are outraged, saying, 'The cops shouldn't have shot him.' What the hell was he doing with the pound cake in his hand?'. [....] Cosby's view offers a perspective on black life that seldom is seen on the news: a liberalism of self-reliance. The message, as Cosby might say, is that those of us who have made it need to help those who have not, but that poor black folks need to 'hold up their end of this deal,' too." [Clarence Page, Tribune Media Services]

2004 - Penalties? / U.S. Tobacco Industry - May 25th, 2004: "A judge ruled Monday [05/24/04] that the Justice Department can seek $280 billion from the tobacco industry as part of the government's case against cigarette makers. The tobacco industry had contended that the Justice Department shouldn't be allowed to seek the money, which government lawyers allege the cigarette makers earned illegally." [Compiled from A.P., Bloomberg News, & Post-Dispatch reports]

*Trivia: "An appeals court dealt a major blow Friday [02/04/05] to the government's attempt to hold the tobacco industry accountable for decades of alleged deceit about the dangers of smoking, ruling that the Justice Department can't seek $280 billion in penalties. [....] Even if the decision stands, U.S. District judge Gladys Kessler could impose restrictions on the tobacco companies, such as limiting marketing or requiring the industry to fund public health campaigns or smoking cessation programs. [....] In dissent, Judge David Tatel said his colleagues ignored Supreme Court precedent, misread the law and contradicted the decision of another appeals court, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 02/05/05]

2004 - N.Y. State Attorney General vs. NYSE - May 25th, 2004: "NEW YORK - The state attorney general's office on Monday [05/24/04] sued for the return of more than $100 million of former New York Stock Exchange chief Richard A. Grasso's compensation package, accusing him of bullying and manipulating his way to vast wealth. The suit filed by Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, also named the exchange itself and a former NYSE board member [Kenneth G. Langone] as defendants following a four-month investigation into the compensation package." [A.P.]

2004 - Storms & Flooding / Midwest United States - May 25th, 2004: "CHICAGO - Rain-swollen rivers flooded regions throughout the Midwest on Monday [05/24/04] even as residents assessed damage from pounding weekend storms, including tornadoes that ravaged parts of Nebraska." [A.P.]

2004 - Fingerprint-Identification Error  / U.S. FBI - May 25th, 2004: "PORTLAND, Ore. - A federal court threw out on Monday [05/24/04] the case against an American lawyer [Brandon Mayfield] once linked to the Madrid train bombings. The FBI expressed regret for a fingerprint-identification error that led to his arrest." [A.P.]

2004 - President Bingu wa Mutharika / Malawi, South Africa - May 25th, 2004: "Former President Bakili Muluzi's hand-picked successor [Bingu wa Mutharika] was sworn in Monday [05/24/04], as opposition supporters waged running street battles with police over the result of this impoverished southern African country's third multiparty elections." [News Services]

2004 - Al-Qaida Report - May 26th, 2004: "LONDON - Far from being crippled by the U.S.-led war on terrorism, al-Qaida has more than 18,000 potential terrorists scattered around the world and the war in Iraq is swelling its ranks, a report said Tuesday [05/25/04]." [Barry Renfrew, A.P.]

2004 - Delayed Hearing / 911 Panel - May 26th, 2004: "The Sept. 11 commission's next hearing is being delayed a week because of scheduling problems with some witnesses, the panel's spokesman said Tuesday [05/25/04]. The hearing in Washington on national crisis management and the Sept. 11 plot had been planned for June 8-9 [2004] but now will be held June 16-17 [2004]. The commission's 12th and final hearing is expected to delve into how quickly the Federal Aviation Administration notified U.S. air defenses about hijacked planes on the day of the attacks in 2001." [News Services]

2004 - Terrorist Report / United States - May 26th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - U.S. officials have obtained new intelligence deemed highly credible indicating that al-Qaida or other terrorists are in the United States and preparing to launch a major attack this summer, The Associated Press has learned [05/25/04]." [Curt Anderson, A.P.]

2004 - Downsized Archdiocese / Boston - May 26th, 2004: "BOSTON - The weight of a priest shortage, shrinking collections and the clergy sex abuse scandal combined to force Boston's archbishop to announce Tuesday [05/25/04] that his Roman Catholic archdiocese would lose 65 parishes by year's end." [A.P.]

2004 - Criticism / Young Black America - May 26th, 2004: "Bill Cosby is alot of things: comedian, actor, educator and philosopher. At ceremonies in Washington last week marking the 50th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision, Cosby said things about the state of young black America that not many [especially white people] could get away with. Cosby can because he has put his money where his mouth is [and he is black], donating millions to black colleges. In an age when public figures often put their spoken and written words through the political correctness filter, Cosby was bluntly frank, excoriating black parents for failing to properly rear their children and saying they were the cause of high school dropout rates, crime and other social ills. Here are a few sound bites as transcribed by Washington Post reporter Hamil Harris: 'I am talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was 2? Where were you when he was 12? Where were you when he was 18 and how come you didn't know that he had a pistol? And where is the father?'. [....] 'People putting their clothes on backward. Isn't that a sign of something gone wrong?. [....] People with their hats on backward, pants down around the crack, isn't that a sign of something, or are you waiting for Jesus to pull his pants up? Isn't it a sign of something when she has her dress all the way up to the crack and got all type of needles (piercing) going through her body? What part of Africa did this come from? We are not Africans'. [....] 'We have got to take the neighborhood back. [....] They are standing on the corner, and they can't speak English.' Seventy percent of black babies are born to unmarried parents. There's the answer to Cosby's question about where are the parents. At least one is not there (usually the father) and the other is trying to make enough money just to survive. The mother's ability to keep watch over her children is limited. This is mostly the legacy of the failed welfare state. Until welfare reform, children were paid when they had babies out of wedlock. If you subsidize what you claim to not want, you get more of it." [Cal Thomas, Tribune Media Services]

2004 - Progress M-49 / Intl. Space Station - May 26th, 2004: "Russia launched on Tuesday [05/25/04] a cargo spacecraft loaded with fuel, food and mail for the Russian-American crew of the international space station, an official at mission control said. The Progress M-49 craft lifted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz-U rocket Tuesday morning, a spokeswoman said. The craft is scheduled to dock with the space station this morning [05/26/04]. The ship is carrying nearly 3 tons of cargo. Its payload includes water, air and equiptment for scientific experiments as well as clothing and mail. Russian commander Gennady Padalka and American flight engineer Michael Fincke arrived April 12 for a six month stay." [News Services]

2004 - Warehouse Blaze / Conyers, Georgia - May 26th, 2004: "A huge fire in a chemical warehouse Tuesday [05/25/04] set off multiple explosions and prompted 300 people to leave their homes and businesses as a vast cloud of chlorine-tinged smoke blew through the area. The fire in the warehouse owned by Biolab, which makes chemicals for pools and cleaning products, was reported about 4:30 a.m. The plume of gray, green and white smoke stretched to a half-mile wide and 10 miles long. At least nine people went to local hospitals complaining of burning eyes and lungs; all were treated and released." [News Services]

2004 - Earthquake / N. Iran - May 28th, 2004: "Earthquake location: N. Iran. Earthquake magnitude: 6.3. Number of recorded fatalities: 35."  [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 208]

*Trivia: "Giant boulders and crushed cars litered a mountain road Saturday [05/29/04], a day after landslides were unleashed by a strong earthquake in northern and central Iran that killed at least 35 people and injured 250 others." [News Services, 5/30/04]

2004 - Statistics / U.S. Prison Population - May 28th, 2004:  "WASHINGTON - America's prison population grew by 2.9 percent last year, to almost 21 million inmates, with one of every 75 men living in prison or jail, the Justice Department reported Thursday [05/27/04]."

2004 - Asbestos Removal / St. Louis, MO - May 30th, 2004: "A technique ['wet' method] denounced as dangerous by government scientists and public health officials has been used for more than four years to demolish buildings to make way for the new runway at Lambert Field [in St. Louis County, MO]." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

*Trivia: "The Environmental Protection Agency reversed course Friday [08/06/04] and permanently banned the use of a controversial demolition method ['wet' method] near Lambert Field [MO] that critics say increased the risks of exposure to potentially deadly asbestos fibers. [....] In many cases, a home was demolished while people still lived in adjacent houses." [By Andrew Schneider, St. Louis Post Dispatch, 08/08/04]

2004 - Hostage Situation / Khobar, Saudi Arabia - May 30th, 2004: "KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia - Dozens of American, European and other hostages were released Sunday [05/30/04], and a gunmen believed to be the lead Islamic militant holding them was arrested, a Saudi security official said, adding that two other gunmen were 'in the process of being arrested.' The hostages were taken after gunmen opened fire Saturday [05/29/04] on three complexes used largely by Americans and other foreigners in Khobar in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province - the heart of its oil-producing region. [....] The luxury complex of 220 to 250 villas and apartments is home to many senior Western company executives, including those from Shell, Honeywell and General Electric." [News Services]

*Trivia: "More than 90 people have been killed in the past year in Saudi Arabia in terror attacks or shootouts with suspected militants. About 15,000 Americans and 10,000 Britons are believed to live in the Eastern Province, the largest concentration of foreigners in the country. In April [2004], the U.S. Embassy warned all Americans to leave the country." [News Services, 05/30/04]

2004 - Fatalities / Hamas Leadership, Gaza City - May 30th, 2004: "JERUSALEM - A senior Hamas commander [Wael Nassar], his assistant [Mohammed Sarsour] and a bystander died in a fiery Israeli airstrike in Gaza City early Sunday [05/30/04]. [....] The two Hamas leaders were on a motorcycle when it exploded, witnesses said. Local mosques said Nassar was one of the founders of the Hamas military wing, called Izzedine al-Qassam. Nassar planned many Hamas attacks against Israelis, Palestinians said." [A.P.]

2004 - Chicago is Sinking? - May 31st, 2004: "Chicago is sinking!. [....] They [scientists at a joint meeting of the U.S and Canadian Geophysical Unions in Montreal a few days ago] discovered that Hudson Bay in Canada is rising about 10 millimeters a year, and Chicago is subsiding by about a millimeter a year. Although 1 millimeter might not sound like much, over the past century the Chicago area has sunk about 4 inches." [News Services]

2004 - U.S. Fatality Statistics / Iraq - "So far, 46 percent of the 798 Americans killed in the war as of May 26 [2004] have come from small towns outside of metropolitian areas, according to an analysis by the Post-Dispatch of military and U.S. Census statistics. For the analysis, 'small towns' were defined as those of less than 40,000 people located at least 25 miles away from a 'populated place' of 100,000 or more, based on 2000 U.S. Census data. That excludes suburban towns." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

June 2004

2004 - Flooding / China - "Flood date(s): June-September, 2004. Number of recorded deaths: 500." [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 207]

2004 - Democratic Middle East? - June 2004: "The U.S. government's Energy Information Administration projects that in 20 years, the Persian Gulf will supply between one-half and two-thirds of the oil on the world market - the same percentage as before the 1973 embargo. Fifty years later, in other words, the Middle East will have regained all its old power over oil - and the U.S. government knows it. Whether or not Washington's war in Iraq was directly motivated by oil, American planners clearly hoped it would lay the groundwork for a stable, democratic Middle East - which, among other benefits, would in Washington's view put the world's oil supply in more trustworthy hands." [National Geographic Magazine, June 2004, p. 108]

2004 - Job Figures? / St. Louis Area - "Reports that painted the St. Louis area's economy as a rising star on the national scene last year [2004] might be flawed, U.S. Labor Department officials say. [....] The earlier figures  said the St. Louis area added 33,500 jobs from June 2003 to last June [2004]. In stark contrast, the new numbers say the region instead lost 6,055 jobs. The numbers include Missouri and Illinois. [....] [Based on: Eric Heisler, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A1, 01/20/05]

2004 - Flooding / Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal - "Flood date(s): June-September, 2004. Number of recorded deaths: 2,000+." [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 207]

2004 - Mosque Bombing / Karachi, Pakistan - June 1st, 2004: "KARACHI, Pakistan - A bomb ripped through a Shiite Muslim mosque in Karachi during evening prayers Monday [05/31/04], killing at least 16 people and wounding 38 others. A top Pakistani official said the blast could be revenge for the assassination of a senior Sunni cleric [Nazamuddin Shamzai, on May 30th, 2004]." [A.P.]

2004 - Iraqi Government - June 2nd, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A new Iraqi government stepped forward Tuesday [06/01/04] to guide the country toward democratic elections, less than a month from the day when the United States will formally restore sovereignty. Led by a new prime minister, Iyad Allawi, a diverse group of 33 Iraqi's accepted their appointments in a ceremony marked by extraordinary security, a somber tone and measured promises of better days." [New York Times]

2004 - Bomb Blasts / Baghdad, Iraq - June 2nd, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Bombs rocked Baghdad and a U.S. base in northern Iraq on Tuesday [06/01/04], killing at least 14 Iraqis and wounding dozens of people. Militants loyal to a radical Shiite cleric clashed with U.S. forces in Baghdad and a Shiite holy city to the south. A series of explosions rolled across Baghdad. In the largest blast, a car bomb exploded outside the offices of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, killing three and wounding 20. The explosion sent a cloud of dust and debris rising near the headquarters of the U.S.-run coalition." [A.P.]

2004 - President Tony Saca / El Salvador - June 2nd, 2004: "Tony Saca was sworn in Tuesday [06/01/04] as El Salvador's president, but the main opposition party boycotted the inauguration and demanded that the country pull its troops out of Iraq." [News Services]

2004 - Fired Government Officials / Israel - June 4th, 2004: "Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided Thursday [06/03/04] to fire two hardline government ministers, officials said, a move that would give him a slim Cabinet majority for his Gaza withdrawl plan." [News Services]

2004 - 1st U.N.-Backed War-Crimes Trial - June 4th, 2004: "Prosecuters opened the first U.N.-backed war-crimes trial Thursday [06/03/04] stemming from the vicious 1991-2002 conflict in the diamond-rich Sierra Leone." [Based on: News Services article, S.L.P.D.]

2004 - Resignation  Announcement / George Tenet - June 4th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - CIA Director George Tenet, battered by Sept. 11 fallout and criticism of Iraq intelligence mistakes, said Thursday [06/03/04] that he would soon resign. [....] Bush said Tenet's deputy, John McLaughlin, would temporarily lead America's spy agency." [A.P.]

*Trivia: "WASHINGTON - George J. Tenet's resignation may have been hastened by a critical, 400-page report from the Senate Intelligence Committee that was presented to the Central Intelligence Agency for comment last month. [....]" [A.P, 06/04/04]

2004 - Status / Radioactive Waste, United States - June 4th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The Senate agreed Thursday [06/03/04] to ease cleanup requirements for tanks holding millions of gallons of highly radioactive waste from Cold War-era bomb making. Critics said the change would leave poisonous sludge in underground tanks and risk contamination of groundwater. An attempt to block the change failed by the narrowest of margins. Senators voted 48-48 on an amendment offered by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., that would have stripped the provision from a defense authorization bill. The provision allows the Energy Department to reclassify radioactive sludge in 51 tanks at a South Carolinia nuclear site so it can be left in place and covered by concrete, instead of entombed in the Nevada desert. The plan has been approved by South Carolinia officials but criticized by officials in Washington and Idaho, who fear the change would put intense pressure on them to agree to a similar cleanup plan at nuclear sites in their states. The tanks at the Savannah River nuclear complex, near Aiken, S.C., contain 34 million gallons of liquid waste." [A.P.]

*Commentary: "Who needs terrorists when your own political leaders are intent on making bombs and litering the planet with toxic waste?" [Etznab Mathers]

2004 - Died / Ronald Reagan - June 6th, 2004: "Ronald Reagan's long goodbye ended on Saturday, June 5, 2004, at the age of 93. The former president died at his home in Los Angeles after spending his final years adrift in the fog of Alzheimer's disease." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch] [Link: 1]

Reagan Administration Trivia:

* "By the end of his term in office, some 138 Reagan administration officials had been convicted, indicted or investigated for misconduct and/or criminal activities.

* "Saddam Hussein was a creation of Ronald Reagan. The Reagan administration supported the Hussein regime despite his incredible record of atrocity. The Reagan administration gave Hussein intelligence information which helped the Iraqi military use their chemical weapons on the battlefield against Iran to great effect. The deadly bacterial agents sent to Iraq during the Reagan administration are a laundry list of horrors. The Reagan administration sent an emissary named Donald Rumsfeld to Iraq to shake Saddam Hussein's hand and assure him that, despite public American condemnation of the use of those chemical weapons, the Reagan administration still considered him a welcome friend and ally. This happened while the Reagan administration was selling weapons to Iran, a nation notorious for its support of international terrorism, in secret and in violation of scores of laws.

* "Throughout the entirety of Reagan's term, bin Laden and his people were armed, funded and trained by the United States. Reagan helped teach Osama bin Laden the lesson he lives by today, that it is possible to bring a superpower to its knees. bin Laden believes this because he has done it once before, thanks to the dedicated help of Ronald Reagan."

* "Today, there are 827 American soldiers and over 10,000 civilians who have died in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, a war that came to be because Reagan helped manufacture both Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden."

[Based on: Planet Reagan By William Rivers Pitt,  t r u t h o u t | Perspective, 06/07/04]

2004 - Independent Gains / Mali Elections - June 6th, 2004: "Political independents outdid the former governing party's candidates in nationwide local election results announced Saturday [06/05/04], nearly a week after a vote considered by some to be proof of this West African country's strengthening democracy. Independents won 36 percent of the 10,000 local council seats decided in the May 30 voting. The Alliance for Democracy in Mali, which led the country from 1992-2002, took 25 percent of the posts and nine other parties split the rest. The vote marked the first time the full slate of Mali's political parties participated in local elections. Previous votes were marked by boycotts." [News Services]

2004 - Fatality / Irish Reporter, Saudi Arabia - June 7th, 2004: "RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - An Irish cameraman [Simon Cumbers] working for the British Broadcasting Corp. was killed and a British reporter [Frank Gardner] was injured in a shooting Sunday [06/06/04] in the Saudi capital, hours after the foreign minister said the kingdom was doing 'everything we can' to protect citizens and residents." [A.P.]

2004 - Venus Transit - June 8th, 2004: "Europe, the Middle East and much of Asia and Africa will offer prime viewing next month for an astronomical event that has not occurred for 122 years - the transit of the planet Venus across the sun. Weather permitting, for six hours on June 8 astronomers and the public will be able to see the planet named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty passing directly between Earth and the sun. The event has been billed as a once in a lifetime experience because the last transit was on December 6, 1882 and the next one will not occur until June 6, 2012, but will not be visible in Britain and other parts of Europe. [....] During the transit, the orbits of Venus and the Earth, which tilt at different angles, around the sun will line up exactly. It occurs four times in every 243 years. There are two December transits, eight years apart, and then 121.5 years later there are two June transits, also eight years apart. After another 105.5 years the cycle begins again." [Reuters, 05/12/04]

*Trivia: "A Venus transit occured in 1631. Another Venus transit [1882] occured less than one year before Krakatau Volcano Exploded. The explosion was reportedly heard more than 3,000 miles away. The next Venus transit, in our time, is scheduled for 2012 - when many people believe the world [as we know it] will come to an end." [Etznab Mathers]

2004 - G-8 Summit / Sea Island, Ga. - June 8th, 2004: "Bush hosts the leaders of Japan, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Canada for three days at the coastal resort town of Sea Island, Ga., for an annual Group of Eight summit meeting." [Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

2004 - American Fatality / Saudi Arabia - June 8th, 2004: "An American, Robert Jacobs, was fatally shot in his Riyadh home on Tuesday [06/08/04] after leaving the Riyadh office of Vinnell Corp., a Fairfax, Va.-based subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Inc." [based on, Washington Post article, 06/14/04]

*Trivia: "The latest dramatic Web posting came Saturday [06/12/04], a short video that purported to show the killing of Robert Jacobs..." [A.P., 06/14/04]

2004 - Terrorist Report / United States - June 8th, 2004: "CAIRO, Egypt - An internet statement signed by an al-Qaida cell in Saudi Arabia warned Monday [06/07/04] that the terror network would target Western airlines, military bases and residential compounds. It warned Muslims to stay away from Westerners. [....] It warned that everything associated with 'crusaders' - the term used by militants for Americans and Europeans - including 'compounds, bases and means of transport, especially Western and American airlines, will be the direct targets of our next operations in the path of the holy war ... especially in the near future.'... The statement called on 'all security personnel, guards of crusader compounds and American bases, and all those that have stood by America and its allies ... to return to the right path, to separate themselves from nonbelievers, to become their enemies and to fight holy war against them by money, word and weapon.' " [A.P.]

2004 - Home Health Care Workers Strike / New York - June 8th, 2004: "Thousands of home health care aides began a three-day strike Monday [06/07/04] demanding at least $10 an hour. Workers say they can barely exist on the $7 hourly wage and are seeking  $10 an hour plus health benefits. The 23,000 aides are employed by 26 New York City agencies." [News Services]

2004 - Security Scare? / U.S. Capitol - June 9th, 2004: "A missed signal was to blame for a security scare and frantic evacuation of the U.S. Capitol last month [June 2004] after Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher's plane flew into restricted airspace, officials said. The June 9 scare prompted mourners preparing for the arrival of former President Ronald Reagan's casket to rush out of the Capitol after police said a plane might be headed for the building. The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday [06/30/04] that a civilian air traffic worker missed a light on a radar screen that would have made clear that the plane's transponder was out. That information would have eased concerns among federal security officers, whose radar screens showed no information about the flight, FAA spokesman Greg Martin said." [News Services, 07/02/04]

*Trivia: "Master Sgt. Gary Carpenter, a spokesman at the North American Air Defense Command, declined to give specifics about the military response on June 9. Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita said the military responded appropriately." [A.P., 07/09/04]

2004 - Unreleased / U.S. Torture Memos - June 9th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Attorney General John Ashcroft faced off Tuesday [06/08/04] with Senate Democrats who demanded that he release memos in which Bush administration lawyers reportedly said that torture may be justified when used against captured al-Qaida terrorists abroad. [....] He said he would not release the memos because President George W. Bush had the right as chief executive to confidential legal advice from the Justice Department. [....] The Post-Dispatch obtained a draft of one of the documents - a March 6, 2003, 'Working Group Report on Detainee Interrogations in the Global War on Terrorism.'
   " 'In order to respect the president's inherent constitutional authority to manage a military campaign, (the prohibition against torture) must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to his Commander-in-Chief authority,' reads one passage that seeks to explain why the federal law banning torture would not apply. '... Congress may no more regulate the president's ability to detain and interrogate enemy combatants than it may regulate his ability to direct troop movements in the battlefield.' [....] '... I am refusing to disclose these memos because I believe it is essential to the operation of the executive branch that the president have the opportunity to get information from his attorney general that is confidential,' Ashcroft said.
   "Durbin challenged Ashcroft, saying: 'Sir, attorney general, with all due respect, your personal belief is not a law, and you are not citing a law and you are not claiming executive privilege. And, frankly, that is what contempt of Congress is all about. You have to give us a specific legal authority which gives you the right to say no or the president has to claim privilege. And you've done neither.'
   "The committee's chairman, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, asked Ashcroft whether the memos were classified.
   " 'Some of these memos may be classified in some ways for some purposes,' Ashcroft responded. 'I don't know.' " [by Karen Branch-Brioso, Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

2004 - Died / Ray Charles - June 10th, 2004: "Reportedly died [liver failure] this date in history: Singer, Ray Charles,"

2004 - White House Leak Comment / George W. Bush - June 10th, 2004: "[....] A reporter asked Mr Bush if he would 'stand by your pledge to fire anyone' who leaked the agent's name. 'Yes,' the president answered, adding it would be up to the Justice Department to determine the facts. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. D10, 07/14/05]

2004 - Audiotape / Ayman al-Zawahri? - June 11th, 2004: "An audiotape purportedly carrying al-Zawahri's voice surfaces, in which he criticizes U.S. policies in the Middle East, particularly a reform plan for the region, saying it is a bid to replace Arab leaders." [A.P., 10/30/04]

2004 - Chinese Fatalities / Afghanistan - June 11th, 2004: "JALAW GIR, Afghanistan - The slaughter of 11 sleeping Chinese road workers Thursday [06/10/04] was the deadliest attack on foreign civilians since the fall of the Taliban, and it dealt a blow to U.S. claims that Afghanistan is becoming safer ahead of milestone elections this fall. [....] Six to eight assailants killed an Afghan guard at the unfenced camp and then raked the Chinese men with a hail of rifle fire, said Mutaleb Beg, the Kunduz police chief." [A.P.]

2004 - Worldwide Terrorism Decline? / NOT! - June 11th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The State Department acknowledged Thursday [06/10/04] that it was wrong in reporting that terrorism declined worldwide last year, a finding used to boost one of President George W. Bush's chief foreign policy claims - success in countering terrorism. Instead both the number of incidents and the toll in victims increased sharply, the department said. Statements by senior administration officials claiming success were based 'on the facts as we had them at the time. The facts that we had were wrong,' department spokesman Richard Boucher said. The April report said attacks had declined last year to 190, the lowest level in 34 years, and dropped 45 percent since 2001, Bush's first year as president. The department is now working to determine the correct figures." [By Barry Schweid, A.P.]

*Trivia: "Significant acts of terrorism worldwide reached a 21-year high last year [2003], the State Department announced Tuesday [06/22/04] as it corrected a mistaken report that had been cited to boost President George W. Bush's war on terrorism. [....] In all, the department recorded 208 incidents of terrorism last year [2003], compared with 205 in 2002. There were 175 'significant events' in 2003, which Black [J. Cofer Black] said was the highest number since 1982. [....] Thirty-five U.S. citizens died in international terrorist attacks last year [2003]. [....] The report did not include U.S. troops killed or wounded in Iraq, or attacks by resistance fighters against American troops, 'because they were directed at combatants.' Attacks in Iraq against civilians and unarmed military personnel were included. In all, 3,646 people were wounded worldwide in terror attacks last year [2003], the report said. This represented a sharp increase from the 2,013 wounded in 2002. In April [2004], the department had said that 1,593 people were wounded in 2003, a sharp decline from the previous year. The initial report was issued April 29 [2004]. On June 10 [2004], in response to inquiries by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and several analysts, the State Department acknowledged the findings were inaccurate. Powell attributed the errors partly to a new data system and said there was no attempt to manipulate the figures to buttress Bush's stature." [A.P., 06/23/04]

2004 - Rain, Rain, Rain / Texas - "A pattern of persistent rains begin on this date in Texas, the home state of President George W. Bush." [Etznab Mathers]

Trivia: "Rain swept across northern Texas for a record 18th consecutive day on Wednesday [06/30/04]." [News Services, 07/01/04]

2004 - Nearing Saturn / Cassini  Spacecraft - June 12th, 2004: "LOS ANGELES - An international spacecraft is nearing Saturn to begin a lengthy study of the ringed planet and its 31 known moons. [....] Saturn is the sixth planet from the sun, between bigger Jupiter and smaller Uranus. It was previously visited in flybys by NASA's Pioneer 11 on Sept. 1, 1997, Voyager 1 on Nov. 12, 1980, and Voyager 2 on Aug. 25, 1981. But none of those visitors entered orbit around Saturn.
   "The 3.3 billion, U.S.-European spacecraft, which also carries a probe to explore the moon Titan, was launched in October 1997. It is named for an early-day astronomer. NASA built the plutonium-powered spacecraft; the European Space Agency contributed the Huygens (pronounced HOY-genz) probe." [A.P.]

2004 - Democracy / India - June 13th, 2004: "In the world's largest democracy, even the poor are discovering that they're rich in power. India's 650 million farmers were a driving force behind the stunning defeat last month of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which had ruled since 1998. Now they're demanding policy changes that will carry the fruits of India's economic boom to their villiages. And if these reforms are carried out, experts say, Indian farmers will grow into a global economic force. Every tenth person in the world is an Indian farmer. That equates to huge capacity for production and consumption of food, said Vasant Gandhi, chairman of the Center for Management in Agriculture at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. [....] Last year's favorable monsoon and resulting bumper crop, coupled with rapid growth in information technology, manufacturing and other industries, led India to growth of more than 8 percent." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2004 - Fatality / Senior Iraqi Official - June 13th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Gunmen shot and fatally wounded a deputy foreign minister as he drove to work on Saturday [06/12/04] morning. It was the first killing of a senior Iraqi official since the announcement of the interim government on June 1. The official, Bassam Salih Kubba, 60, was shot in the stomach near a mosque in the northwest Baghdad neighborhood of Azimiyah, a Sunni-dominated area that is hostile to the occupation. He was taken to a nearby hospital and died there, according to a Foreign Ministry statement." [New York Times]

2004 - American Fatality / Saudi Arabia - June 13th, 2004: "RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Suspected militants killed an American [Kenneth Scroggs] in the Saudi capital on Saturday [06/12/04], shooting him in the back as he parked in his home garage, and the U.S. embassy said it was searching for an American [Paul M. Johnson Jr.] who was missing." [A.P.]

*Trivia: "A purported al-Qaida statement posted on an Islamic Web site late Saturday [06/12/04] claimed the terror group had killed one American and kidnapped another in Riyadh. It threatened to treat the captive as U.S. troops treated Iraqi prisoners. Also Saturday [06/12/04], several Islamic Web sites carried links to a videotape - also purportedly from al-Qaida - that claims to show the killing of Robert Jacobs [a Jewish American], of Murphysburo, Ill., who was shot at his home in Riyadh Tuesday [06/04/04]. [....] The U.S. Embassy identified the man killed Saturday as Kenneth Scroggs. It did not identify the missing American but said it was working with Saudi officials to find him. Scroggs was the third Westerner killed in Saudi Arabia in a week. In the kidnapping claim, the al-Qaida statement showed a port-size photo of a brown-haired man and a Lockheed Martin business card bearing the name Paul M. Johnson. It said he was born in 1955. The statement said the terror group would deal with Johnson just as 'the Americans dealt with our brothers in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib' - a reference to reports of sexual abuse and other treatment of Iraqi and Muslim prisoners by U.S. troops. The statement also said that Johnson was one of four experts in Saudi Arabia working on developing Apache helicopter systems and that the American killed worked in the same industry. It did not identify the slain American but said he was killed at his house. 'Everybody knows that these helicopters are used by the Americans, their Zionist allies and the apostates to kill Muslims, terrorizing them and displacing them in Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq,' said the statement. [....] An estimated 8.8 million foreigners work among 17 million Saudis in Saudi Arabia, mostly in the oil sector, banking and other high-level businesses. [....] The United States has urged all its citizens to leave the kingdom, and the British Foreign Office has advised Britons against all nonessential travel to Saudi Arabia." [A.P., 06/13/04]

2004 - Democracy / Europe - June 14th, 2004: "BARCELONA - Voters across Europe severly rebuked many incumbent [holder of an office] governments in elections in 25 countries for seats in the European Parliament, early returns and exit polls showed Sunday [06/13/04] evening. [....] With 350 million eligible voters stretching from Ireland in the west to Hungary in the east, the elections were one of the largest exercises in electoral democracy in the world. But turnout was estimated to average only about 45 percent. It was particularly low in former communist countries of Eastern Europe that entered the union last month, where people were voting in a Europe-wide election for the first time." [Washington Post

2004 - Fatality / Iraqi Government Official - June 14th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - The second Iraqi government official in as many days was assassinated Sunday [06/13/04]; a suicide car bomber killed at least twelve Iraqis and wounded 13 in Baghdad; and one American soldier was killed and four were wounded by a roadside bomb on the outskirts of the Iraqi capital. [....] The official who was killed in Baghdad on Sunday, Kamal al Jarah, 63, was a literature professor who had been hired as the cultural affairs officer in the Ministry of Education." [Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2004 - Presidential Criticism / U.S. Diplomats - June 14th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Angered by policies of President George W. Bush that they contend endanger national security, 26 retired U.S. Diplomats and military officers are urging Americans to vote him out of office in November. [....] 'The group does not endorse Kerry, although it more or less goes without saying in the statement,' Harrop [William C. Harrop] said." [A.P.]

2004 - Oil Pipeline Explosion / Iraq - June 15th, 2004: "On Tuesday [06/15/04], an explosion ripped through a crude oil pipeline linking northern Iraqi fields. Saboteurs blasted an oil pipeline feeding storage tanks at the southern city of Basra in the gulf, cutting most exports. Sabotage attacks on the main export pipeline from the northern Kirkuk fields to Turkey forced pumping to stop earlier this month. Saboteurs also blew up two oil wells in April. [....] A second pipeline was bombed late Monday as part of insurgents efforts to step up their campaign against Iraq's infrastructure." [News Services, 06/16/04]

2004 - Monsoon Rains / South Asia - "Monsoon rains across South Asia caused floods that have killed more than 1,300 people since mid-June." [A.P., 07/30/04]

*Trivia: "The worst monsoon rains and flooding in six years have covered 60 percent of this nation of 140 million since June, destroying crops and jobs, said Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusouf, food and disaster management minister." [News Services, 08/04/04]

2004 - Trivia / World Wide Web - June 16th, 2004: "HELSINIKI, Finland - Tim Berners-Lee, who received a $1.2 million cash prize Tuesday [06/15/04] for creating the World Wide Web, says he would never have succeeded if he had charged money for his inventions. [....] Berners-Lee is originally from Britain and was knighted last December. He has mostly avoided both the fame and the fortune won by many of his Internet colleagues. Despite his prize he remained modest about his achievements. [....] Berners-Lee first proposed the Web in 1989 while developing ways to control computers remotely at CERN, the European nuclear research lab near Geneva. He never got the project finally approved but his boss suggested he quietly tinker with it anyway. He fleshed out the core communication protocols needed for transmitting Web pages: the HTTP, or hypertext transfer protocol, and the so-called markup language used to create them, HTML. By Christmas day 1990, he finished the first browser, called simply WorldWideWeB.' Although his inventions have undergone rapid changes since then, the underlying technology is precisely the same. His recent project - which experts say is potentially as revolutionary as the World Wide Web itself - is called the Semantic Web. The project is an attempt to  standardize how information is stord on the Internet and to organize automatically the junge of data found today on the Net into a "web' of concepts. By attaching meaning to data behind the scenes, computers can do a better job of searching for information." [by Mans Hulden, A.P.]

2004 - Inquisition Review / Vatican City - June 16th, 2004: "Torture, burning at the stake and other punishment for the faithful condemned as witches or heretics by church tribunals during the Inquisition was not as widespread as commonly believed, the Vatican said Tuesday [06/15/04]. Pope John Paul II praised the research, recalling that in 2000, the church asked pardon for 'errors commited in the service of the truth through recourse to non-evangelical methods.' At a news conference to present a 783-page book on the findings, church officilals and others involved in the project said statistics and other data demolished long-held cliches about the Inquisition. 'The recourse to torture and the death sentence weren't so frequent as it long has been believed,' said Agostino Borromeo, a professor at Rome's Sapienza University." [News Services]

2004 - Dropped / Sharon Corruption Case - June 16th, 2004: "Israel's attorney general dropped a corruption case against Ariel Sharon on Tuesday [06/15/04], ending months of uncertainty over the prime minister's political future." [News Services]

2004 - Malpractice Suits / United States - June 16th, 2004: "The long-running battle over the high cost of malpractice insurance has taken an ugly turn. Many doctors blame trial lawyers and their malpractice suits for causing huge jumps in insurance premiums. Lawyers blame it on the insurance company." [A.P.]

2004 - Oil Pipeline Explosion / Iraq - June 17th, 2004: "Insurgents struck at the heart of Iraq's economic livelihood Wednesday [06/16/04], blasting a major pipeline to halt vital oil exports and killing the top security chief [Ghazi Talabani] for the northern oil fields." [A.P., 06/17/2004]

2004 - TB Testing / Norfolk VA - June 19th, 2004: "NORFOLK, Va. - Tuberculosis testing will begin Monday [06/21/04] for hundreds of people who may have been exposed to the disease by a hospital nurse who died of the disease a week ago. In the United States, fewer than 1,000 people die of tuberculosis each year. Yet, the nurse at Chesapeake General Hospital remained undiagnosed and untreated 'until it was in a very late stage,' said Dr. Nancy Welch, health director in Chesapeake, a community near Norfolk." [A.P.]

*Trivia: "Tuberculosis is highly treatable and is not casually spread. Those most at risk are people in close contact with someone who has the disease, said Michelle Stoll, a state health department spokeswoman. 'You're not going to get it just from walking down the street and somebody coughing on you,' she said. TB has an incubation period of months or even years from exposure to development of the disease, and it can only be spread when it is an active case." [A.P.]

2004 - Beheaded / Paul M. Johnson  Jr. - June 19th, 2004: "RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - An al-Qaida cell beheaded American engineer Paul M. Johnson Jr., and in a swift retaliation, officials said, Saudi security forces tracked down and killed the leader of the terrorist group in a shootout Friday [06/18/04]. [....] Authorities were too late Friday [06/18/04] to save Johnson, whose severed head was shown on a Web site. The Fallujah Brigade of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula took responsibility for the killing, according to the Web site. 'In answer to what we promised ... to kill the hostage Paul Marshall (Johnson) after the period is over ... the infidel got his fair treatment,' the al-Qaida statement said. 'Let him taste something of what Muslims have long tasted from Apache helicopter fire and missles,' the statement said." [A.P.]

*Trivia: "Saudi security forces found the head of the murdered American hostage Paul M. Johnson Jr. in a freezer during a raid on an al-Qaida hideout [July 2004], officials said Wednesday [07/21/04]." [A.P., 07/22/04]

2004 - Illegal Perscriptions / Jefferson Co. Mo. - June 19th, 2004: "Prosecutors are seeking to seize $2 million from an elderly physician in Jefferson County [Missouri] who was arrested Friday [06/18/04] on federal charges that he got the money by writing 50,000 illegal perscriptions for 2.5 million doses of controlled drugs. Dr. Harry Meyer Katz, 78, who practices in Cedar Hill, is charged in 14 counts with causing the illegal dispensation of perscription drugs, including diazapam, commonly called Valium, and alprazolam, commonly called Xanax." [by Peter Shinkle, St Louis Post-Dispatch]

2004 - Ordered to Testify / Gov. John G. Rowland, Conn. - June 19th, 2004: "The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Friday [06/18/04] that Gov. John G. Rowland must testify before a committee considering his impeachment, making him the first sitting chief executive in U.S. history ordered to appear before a legislative body. In a 5-2 ruling, the court upheld an earlier decision by a lower-court judge, dismissing the governor's arguments that the legislature was intruding on the separation of powers among branches of government by ordering him to testify. Rowland is under investigation for allegedly accepting gifts from friends, state contractors and employees. He is also the subject of a parallel federal corruption investigation." [News Services]

2004 - U.S. Offensive / Fallujah, Iraq - June 20th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - In a bloody surprise attack, the U.S. military launched precision weapons into a Fallujah neighborhood on Saturday [06/19/04] to destroy what officers described as a safe house used by fighters loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and perhaps at times by the fugitive terrorist leader himself. Residents said about 20 people were killed, including women and children. Images from the site of the blast showed two collapsed houses, with people in white robes picking through the rubble looking for buried victims and lost property." [Washington Post]

2004 - Internet "Discipline" / China - June  21st, 2004: "China is calling on Internet service providers to sign a 'self-discipline pact' meant to stop the spread of information that could harm national security as defined by Beijing. [....] Firms that sign on must promise not to spread information 'threatening the national security, social stability or containing superstitious or erotic content,' the agency said." [News Services]

2004 - South Korean Hostage / Iraq - June 21st, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Arab satellite TV network Al-Jazeera aired a videotape Sunday [06/20/04] purportedly from al-Qaida-linked militants showing a South Korean hostage begging for his life and pleading with his government to withdraw troops from Iraq." [A.P.]

2004 - Al-Qaida Ties? / Iran & Pakistan - June 21st, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The chairman of the Sept. 11 commission said Sunday [06/20/04] that al-Qaida had much more interaction with Iran and Pakistan than it did with Iraq, underscoring a controversy over the insistence of President George W. Bush's administration that there was collaboration between the terrorist organization and deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Thomas Kean made the comment even as he and other commissioners tried to steer clear of the debate over one of the administration's primary justifications for invading Iraq. 'We believe ... that there were alot more active contacts, frankly, with Iran and Pakistan than there were with Iraq,' said Kean, a former Republican governor of New Jersey." [A.P.]

*Trivia: "Pakistan and Saudi Arabia helped set the stage for the Sept. 11 attacks by cutting deals with the Taliban and Osama bin Laden that allowed his al-Qaida terrorist network to flourish, according to several senior members of the Sept. 11 commission and U.S. counterterrorism officials. The financial aid to the Taliban and other assistance by two of the most important American allies in the U.S. declared war on terrorism date at least to 1996 and appear to have helped immunize them from al-Qaida attacks within their own borders until long after the 2001 strikes, those officials said in interviews." [By Josh Meyer, Los Angeles Times, 06/21/04]

2004 - Discharged Homosexuals / U.S. Military - June 21st, 2004: "SAN FRANCISCO - A new study finds that 770 people were discharged for homosexuality last year under the military's 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy. Since 'Don't ask, don't tell' was adopted in 1994, nearly 10,000 military personnel have been discharged - including linguists, nuclear warfare experts and other key specialists." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. War Coffins Ban - June 22nd, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The Bush administration's policy of barring news photographs of the flag-covered coffins of service members killed in Iraq won the backing of the Republican-controlled Senate on Monday [06/21/04] when lawmakers defeated a Democratic measure to instruct the Pentagon to allow pictures. The 54-39 vote came after little formal debate, with seven Democrats joining 47 Republicans to defeat the provision." [New York Times]

2004 - "My Life" / Bill Clinton - June 22nd, 2004: "Bill Clinton began signing his books at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in midtown Manhattan, N.Y., on Tuesday, June 22nd, 2004."

2004 - Civil War / Ivory Coast - June 22nd, 2004: "Three African leaders [from Nigeria, Ghana & Togo] will mediate between Ivory Coast's government and rebels, the president announced Monday [06/21/04]. [....] Ivory Coast, the world's largest cocoa producer and one of West Africa's most developed nations, remains divided into rebel north and loyalist south after a civil war began in September 2002." [News Services]

2004 - Militant Attacks / Russia - June 22nd, 2004: "CHERMEN, Russia - Heavily-armed guerrillas launched coordinated attacks against police headquarters, border checkpoints and government offices in a Russian region [Nazran] bordering warring Chechnya, authorities said today. At least 22 people were killed, including three high-ranking officials, and dozens were wounded. [....] Police estimated that up to 100 militants, armed with grenade and rocket launchers, were involved in the assaults. Thousands of Russian anti-terrorist special troops headed into Nazran, through the border village of Chermen in neighboring North Ossetia, in a long column of armored personnel carriers and army trucks shortly after dawn today [06/22/04]." [A.P.]

*Trivia: "Thousands of Russian troops scoured the southern republic of Ingushetia on Tuesday [06/22/04] for Chechen rebels suspected of overnight attacks that killed 57 people and set fire to several Russian government buildings." [Cox News Service, 06/23/04]

2004 - U.S. Travel Restrictions / Cuba - June 22nd, 2004: "Cuban president Fidel Castro branded new U.S. travel restrictions a severe blow to Cuban families. Facing a seven-story banner depicting Bush as Hitler, Castro told 200,000 cheering, flag-waving students and workers Monday [06/21/04] outside the U.S. diplomatic mission in Havana that the U.S. travel rules were 'pitiless and inhumane.' 'Our people will stand up to your economic measures, whatever they may be. Forty-five years of heroic struggle against the blockade ... have not weakened but rather strengthened the revolution,' Castro said. The new U.S. rules enforcing the 4-decade-old Cuba trade and travel ban aim to deny cash-strapped Cuba dollars in an effort to hasten its demise. As of June 30, Cuban-Americans will be able to visit the island only once every three years instead of each year, and no humanitarian trips will be allowed. U.S. air charter companies said at least 2,000 Cuban-Americans, and possibly as many as 15,000, who thought they could beat the deadline, now face a quick return to the United States or a potential $50,000 fine. They had assumed the rules would not apply if they were in Cuba before June 30. The rules also ban most other Americans [except U.S. military?] from traveling to Cuba." [News Services]

2004 - Anti-Semitism Speech / Kofi Annan - June 22nd, 2004: "Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged the U.N. member nations Monday [06/21/04] to combat the 'alarming resurgence' of anti-Semitism and adopt a resolution condemning it. 'This time, the world must not, cannot be silent,' he told a U.N. seminar devoted to confronting anti-Semitism. Annan called for the U.N. general assembly to adopt a resolution condemning all anti-Semitic acts and attacks and declaring that political developments, in Israel or elsewhere, can never justify anti-Semitism. He also challenged U.N. human rights bodies to step up efforts to combat anti-Semitism, noting that the Commission on Human Rights recently adopted a resolution calling for an investigation of attacks on Muslims and Arabs. 'Are not Jews entitled to the same degree of concern and protection?' Annan asked." [News Services]

2004 - Presidential Criticism / U.S. Scientists - June 22nd, 2004: "In a letter endorsing Kerry [John Kerry], 48 scientists who have won the Nobel Prize said the Bush administration is undermining the nation's future by impeding medical advances, turning away scientific talent with its immigration practices and ignoring scientific consensus on global warming and other critical issues." [A.P.]

2004 - Nader Running Mate / Peter Camejo - June 22nd, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader selected longtime Green Party activist Peter Camejo to be his running mate on Monday [06/21/04], a move sure to boost his chances of winning the Green Party's endorsement this week and its access to ballot lines in 22 states and the District of Columbia. [....] Camejo, 64, was born in New York and is a first-generation Venezuelan-American." [A.P.]

2004 -  1st Civilian Spacecraft / SpaceShipOne - June 22nd, 2004: "MOJAVE, Calif. - A rocket powered by a mixture of rubber and laughing gas soared more than 328,000 feet Monday [06/21/04] to become the first privately funded vehicle to carry a civilian into space. [....] With the suborbital flight that included 3 1/2 minutes of weightlessness, Melvill [Michael Melville] became the first civilian to reach space - defined as 62 miles above earth - without any government funding or help, a feat that space enthusiasts said could usher in a new age of commercial space travel. The flight is an important step toward winning the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million award for the first privately financed three-seat spacecraft to reach an altitude of 62 miles and repeat the feat within two weeks. A group based in St. Louis created the prize to spark development of reusable spacecraft." [Los Angeles Times]

2004 - Resignation / Gov. John G. Rowland, Conn. - June 22nd, 2004: "HARTFORD, Conn. - Gov. John G. Rowland announced his resignation Monday [06/21/04] amid a monthslong cascade of graft allegations, a federal investigation and a rapidly gathering drive to impeach him for allegedly accepting gifts from friends and businessmen." [A.P.]

2004 - "Imperial Hubris" - June 23rd, 2004: "WASHINGTON - A new book by the senior CIA officer who headed a special office to track Osama bin Laden and his followers warns that the United States is losing the war against radical Islam. He says the invasion of Iraq has only played into the enemy's hands. In the book, 'Imperial Hubris,' the author is identified only as 'Anonymous.' But former intelligence officials identified him as a 22-year veteran of the CIA who is still serving in a senior counterterrorism post at the agency. They say he headed the bin Laden station from 1996 to 1999. [....] In the book, the author denounced the American invasion of Iraq as 'an avaricious, premeditated unprovoked war against a foe who posed no immediate threat.' " [By Douglas Jehl, New York Times]

2004 - Beheaded / Kim Sun-li - June 23rd, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Islamic militants beheaded on Tuesday [06/22/04] a South Korean who had pleaded in a heart-wrenching videotape that 'I don't want to die.' The killing was carried out after the Korean government refused to pull its troops from Iraq. [....] Kim, who spoke Arabic, worked for Gana General Trading Co., a South Korean company supplying the U.S. military in Iraq." [A.P.]

2004 - Polio Epidemic / Africa - June 23rd, 2004: "Africa is on the brink of the biggest polio epidemic in years, with the crippling disease hitting Nigeria hard and re-emerging in Sudan's war-ravaged Darfur region, the World Health Organization said Tuesday [06/22//04]. [....] In Nigeria where Muslim leaders have refused to participate in immunization programs, 257 cases have been reported this year." [News Services]

2004 - Dementia Risk / Estrogen Pills - June 23rd, 2004: "CHICAGO - Estrogen pills appear to slightly increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia in postmenopausal women, a study has found. The results came from a government study called the Women's Health Initiative and were published in today's Journal of the American Medical Association." [A.P.]

2004 - [Corrected] Terrorism Report - June 23rd, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Significant acts of terrorism worldwide reached a 21-year high last year, the State Department announced Tuesday [06/22/04] as it corrected a mistaken report that had been cited to boost President George W. Bush's war on terrorism. [....] In all, the department recorded 208 incidents of terrorism last year [2003], compared with 205 in 2002. There were 175 'significant events' in 2003, which Black [J. Cofer Black] said was the highest number since 1982. [....] Thirty-five U.S. citizens died in international terrorist attacks last year [2003]. [....] The report did not include U.S. troops killed or wounded in Iraq, or attacks by resistance fighters against American troops, 'because they were directed at combatants.' Attacks in Iraq against civilians and unarmed military personnel were included. In all, 3,646 people were wounded worldwide in terror attacks last year [2003], the report said. This represented a sharp increase from the 2,013 wounded in 2002. In April [2004], the department had said that 1,593 people were wounded in 2003, a sharp decline from the previous year. The initial report was issued April 29 [2004]. On June 10 [2004], in response to inquiries by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and several analysts, the State Department acknowledged the findings were inaccurate. Powell attributed the errors partly to a new data system and said there was no attempt to manipulate the figures to buttress Bush's stature." [By Barry Schweid, A.P.]

2004 - U.S. Defense Spending Bill / House Vote - June 23rd, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The House [of Representatives] approved a $417 billion defense spending bill Tuesday [06/22/04] that includes $25 billion for U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus billions for major weapons systems. The vote was 403-17, a bipartisan consensus behind military spending that wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have accentuated." [A.P.]

2004 - "Superboy" / Germany - June 24th, 2004: "BOSTON - Somewhere in Germany is a baby Superman, born in Berlin with bulging arm and leg muscles. Not yet 5, he can hold 7-pound weights with arms extended, something many adults cannot do. He has muscles twice the size of other kids his age and half their body fat. DNA testing showed why: The boy has a genetic mutation that boosts muscle growth. The discovery, reported in today's New England Journal of Medicine, represents the first documented human case of such a mutation. [....] The boy's mutant DNA segment was found to block production of a protein called myostatin that limits muscle growth. The news comes seven years after researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore created buff 'mighty mice' by 'turning off' the gene that directs cells to produce myostatin." [By Linda A Johnson, A.P.]  

2004 - Election Status / Philippines - June 24th, 2004: "Congress early today proclaimed incumbent Gloria Mapacagal Arroyo the winner of last month's presidential election. The opposition repeated claims of massive vote fraud stole the May 10 election from action film star Fernando Poe Jr. and warned of a 'people's power' revolt like the ones that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986. [....] Arroyo's inauguration is scheduled for Wednesday [06/30/04], and security forces are on high alert. The government has warned of possible destabilization plots." [News Services]

2004 - Shrinking Population / St. Louis City - June 24th, 2004: St. Louis is losing residents at a faster rate than any other large city in the nation, the U.S. Census Bureau reports today." [By Eun-Kyung Kim, St Louis Post Dispatch]

2004 - Trivia / U.S. Prisoner Treatment - June 24th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - A letter about the handling of detainees sent in 2002 from the State Department's legal advisor to the Justice Department's deputy assistant attorney general made no attempt at bureaucratic pleasantries. William H. Taft IV said the Justice Department's legal advice to President George W. Bush about how to handle detainees in the war on terrorism was 'seriously flawed' and its reasoning was 'incorrect as well as incomplete.' The Justice Department's arguments were 'contrary to the official position of the United States, the United Nations and all other states that have considered the issue,' Taft said. Taft's Jan. 11 letter, obtained by The Washington Post, was omitted from the hundreds of pages of documents released Tuesday [06/22/04] by the Bush administration. The papers were released as part of an effort to present the administration's policies on detainees since Sept. 11, 2001, as fully compliant with domestic and international law. A fuller picture - of senior administration officials who sought to reinterpret the law and sanction tougher treatment of detainees in the face of strongly expressed internal dissents at the State Department and the military services - emerges from the State Department letter and other previously disclosed memos. [....] Taft, whose role made him the government's principal interpretor of treties, accused Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo in the Jan. 11 letter of preparing advice for Bush based on a series of 'wrong' premises. He also said Yoo's idea that Bush could 'suspend' U.S. obligations to respect the Geneva Conventions was 'legally flawed and procedurally impossible....' On Feb. 7, 2002, Bush signed an order asserting his right to suspend the Geneva Convention protections for Taliban members - contrary to Taft's advice - but saying he had decided not to do so at that time. Bush also declared that all Taliban militia members were 'unlawful combatants' and ineligible for tribunals." [By R. Jeffrey Smith, Washington Post]

2004 - Failed / U.S. War Crimes Exemption - June 24th, 2004: "UNITED NATIONS - Facing global opposition fueled by the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal, the United States on Wednesday [06/23/04] dropped its attempt to renew a U.N. exemption shielding American troops from international prosecution for war crimes. [....] William Pace, head of the Coalition for an International Criminal Court, which represents more than 1,000 organizations supporting the tribunal, called the U.S. decision 'a victory for international justice.' [....] Last month, the United States circulated a resolution that would have authorized a new one-year exemption after the current one expires next Wednesday [06/30/04]. But it put off a vote to work on a resolution endorsing next week's handover of power in Iraq, which was unanimously adopted on June 8 [2004]." [Based on: Edith M. Lederer, A.P.]

2004 - Breast Milk Compound / HAMLET - June 24th, 2004: "LUND, Sweden - A compound in breast milk has been found to destroy many skin warts, raising hopes it might also prove effective against cervical cancer and other lethal diseases caused by the same virus. Skin warts are caused by the human papilloma virus, which is extremely widespread. Swedish researchers found that when the breast-milk compound - since named HAMLET - is applied to the skin, it kills virally infected cells in warts resistant to conventional treatments. [....] There are 130 known types of the human papilloma virus. Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by two sexually transmitted types. Other types cause skin and genital warts, squamous cell skin cancer and lesions in the throat that are deadly in rare cases. Many people carry the virus in skin cells, but it does not always cause disease. Doctors knew breast milk contained a natural antibiotic. But its potential against viruses and tumors was discovered by accident. Svanborg's [Dr. Catharina Svanborg] team was testing ways to fight what is called bacterial superinfection - bacteria infecting cells already infected by a virus. They applied a protein in mother's milk called alpha-lactalbumin to double-infected lung cancer cells. To the researchers' suprise, the cancer cells as well as the bacteria inside them were killed. That was because the milk protein had changed its configuration, bound to another milk component called oleic acid, and created the more powerful HAMLET compound. The research team then tested the compound against warts on patients' hands and painful ones on their feet, called plantar warts. The warts shrank by at least 75 percent over the first three weeks the compound was applied to the skin. And at least three-quarters of the warts disappeared after a second treatment. The researchers dubbed the compound HAMLET, an acronym for human alpha-lactalbumin made lethal to tumor cells, partly because of their proximity to the scene of the Shakespeare play, which took place in Denmark. The research is reported in today's New England Journal of Medicine." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. Defense Spending Bill / Senate Vote - June 24th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The Senate approved Wednesday night [06/23/04] a $447 billion defense spending bill that covers only part of the Pentagon's upcoming war costs but gives the military a pay raise and increases troop levels. Lawmakers voted 97-0 to approve the bill authorizing Pentagon and Energy Department defense programs for the new budget year that begins in October." [A.P.]

2004 - Purported Death Threat / Prime Minister of Iraq - June 24th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - A message purportedly from the suspected mastermind of beheadings and bombings threatened on Wednesday [06/23/04] to assassinate Iraq's prime minister a week before the new government takes power." [By Todd Pitman, A.P.]

*Trivia: purport: "tenor or substance of a document, etc. XV. AN., OF. pur-, porport produce, contents, f. purporter :- medL. proportare, f. L. pro PRO + portare carry, bear. so purport vb. state, mean. XVI. - OF. purporter (The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology)."

2004 - Bombings / Turkey - June 25th, 2004: "ISTANBUL, Turkey - Bombs shattered a bus Thursday [06/24/04] and exploded outside a hotel where President George W. Bush will stay this weekend, back-to-back attacks that killed four people, wounded 17 and heightened security concerns over an upcoming NATO summit meeting." [A.P.]

2004 - Status / FCC Rules - June 25th, 2004: "NEW YORK - An appeals court on Thursday [06/24/04] largely reversed a landmark set of Federal Communications Commission rule changes that would have allowed companies to own more radio and television stations in the same market. [....] In their 2-to-1 ruling, the judges threw out rules that would have allowed greater ownership of television and radio stations in the same market. But they also found that the FCC was within its rights to repeal a blanket ban on companies owning a newspaper and a television station in the same city." [A.P.]

2004 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - June 25th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Fighting raged across Iraq on Thursday [06/24/04] as insurgents carried out a series of apparently coordinated attacks that killed at least 100 people and wounded hundreds more in five cities. Plumes of smoke boiled up from the streets of Fallujah, Ramadi, Baqouba, Mosul and Baghdad as masked insurgents battled U.S. and Iraqi security forces in what several officials said could be the opening salvo in a violent push to derail the transfer of sovereignty on Wednesday [06/30/04]." [New York Times]

2004 - "Little Value" / Aricept - June 25th, 2004: "NEW YORK - The most widely prescribed drug for Alzheimer's disease, Aricept, does not delay the onset of disability or the need for a nursing home, British researchers are reporting today. [....] The report, being published in today's edition of the British medical journal The Lancet, is based on a study of 565 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease who were assigned at random to receive either Aricept or a placebo. They were followed for up to three years." [New York Times]

*Trivia: "Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain in which nerve cells deteriorate and die for unknown reasons. [....] The rate of progression of Alzheimer's varies, ranging from 3 to 20 years; the average length of time from onset of symptoms until death is 8 years. [....] Alzheimer's disease affects an estimated 4.5 million Americans, striking men and women of all ethnic groups. Although most people diagnosed with Alzheimer's are older than age 60, some cases occur in people in their 40s and 50s. An estimated 10 percent of the population over age 65 have Alzheimer's, and the disease affects almost half of those over 85. In the United States, annual costs of diagnosis, treatment, and long-term care are estimated at $100 billion. [....] Treatments for cognitive and behavioral symptoms are available, but no intervention has yet been developed that prevents Alzheimer's or reverses its course. [....]" [Based on: The World Almanac and Book of Facts, 2005, p. 94]

2004 - Resignation / Theodore Olson - June 25th, 2004: "Solicitor General Theodore Olson, who represented President George W. Bush's administration before the Supreme Court and became a voice for strong antiterrorism policies after his wife died in the Sept. 11 attacks, said Thursday [06/24/04] he was resigning [next month] to return to law practice." [News Services]

2004 - Humanitarian Crisis / Sudan - June 25th, 2004: "Satellite photos of the Darfur region of western Sudan show destruction in nearly 400 villages, and there have been reports of fighting or threatened attacks in every camp for displaced people, the U.S aid chief said. Andrew Natsios, administrator of the Agency for International Development, warned that time is running out to help 2 million Sudanese in desperate need of aid in Darfur. He said his agency's estimate that 350,000 could die of disease and malnutrition over the next nine months 'is conservative.' Fighting between Arab militias and African residents has killed thousands of people and forced more than 1 million to flee their homes." [News Services]

2004 - Humanitarian Crisis / Zimbabwe - June 25th, 2004: "HARARE, Zimbabwe - Nearly 5 million people will need food aid over the next year despite government claims that Zimbabweans won't need such relief, a U.N.-led group said Thursday [06/24/04]. [....] The government has forecast record harvests this year of 2.4 million tons of cereals. But U.N. crop forecasters estimate Zimbabwe will produce less than half that." [A.P.]

2004 - Mercury Emissions / United States - June 25th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - A report released Thursday [06/24/04] by a Washington-based environmental interest group ranks Illinois sixth and Missouri ninth among states with the highest levels of mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants. [....] The league of Conservation Voters report also ranked AmerenUE 11th among the 25 utilities with the highest rates of mercury emissions. The utility emitted 1,977 pounds of mercury into the air in 2001, according to EPA figures. The report used agency figures from 2001 to rank states with the highest levels of mercury emissions from coal plants. Illinois ranked sixth, with 4,005 pounds of mercury released into the air in 2001. The report also says that 4.7 Illinois residents live within 10 miles of coal-fired power plants. The top five mercury-emitting states in 2001 were Texas [8,992 lbs.], Ohio [8,050 lbs.], Pennsylvania [7,427 lbs.], Indiana [5,728 lbs] and West Virginia 4,796 lbs.], the League of Conservation Voters found." [By William Lamb, Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

*Trivia: "In thirteenth-century England it was a capital offense to burn coal in London, and violaters were executed for the crime. [....] Until 1870, a factory releasing even small amounts of smoke onto public or private property was operating illegally, and courts had no option but to forbid the activity. As late as 1913, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that it was 'inconceivable that public trust assets could slip into private hands.' " [Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Crimes Against Nature, p. 21]

2004 - Catholic Politics / St. Louis Mo. - June 26th, 2004: "Archbishop Raymond L. Burke said Friday [06/25/04] that Catholics in St. Louis who vote for political candidates supportive of abortion rights have committed a grave sin in the eyes of the church, and should confess and do penance before receiving Communion. [....] Burke is saying that it will be a grave sin for area Catholics to vote for the likely Democratic nominee for president, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., or for either of the major Democrats vying for Missouri governor: incumbent Bob Holden or state auditor Claire McCaskill. All three support abortion rights; McCaskill and Kerry also are Catholic. [....] 'He has crossed the line, and he is now delving into politics,' said U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr., D-St. Louis, who supports abortion rights." [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2004 - Opium Economy / Afghanistan - June 26th, 2004: "A June 17 article reported on a Rose Garden meeting between President George W. Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. [....] The article mentioned that one of the biggest problems facing Afghanistan's first elected post-Taliban government will be the country's illicit cultivation of opium poppies, which satisfied almost three-fourths of the world's opium demand last year. The trade, 20 times that during the Taliban's last year, brought in $2.3 billion, more than half of Afghanistan's gross domestic product. Experts expect plantings to be bigger this year. Are we to believe that we are winning the war on drugs as well as the war on terrorism in this devastated nation?" [By Bud Deraps, St. Louis MO]

2004 - U.S. Airstrikes / Fallujah, Iraq - June 26th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. jets attacked a suspected hideout of insurgent leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi on Friday [06/25/04] in Fallujah. U.S. officials said the strike killed up to 25 people. [....] Friday's airstrike was the third against al-Zarqawi's network in Fallujah in a week." [A.P.]

2004 - New Chief Investigator / Abu Ghraib, Iraq - June 26th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The Army replaced Maj. Gen. George Fay with a more senior general Friday [06/25/04] as chief investigator of the role of military intelligence in the abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Lt. Gen. Anthony R. Jones, deputy commander of the Army Training and Doctrine Command, will replace him. [....] At issue was the need to interview Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez as part of the investigation. Sanchez is the top American commander in Iraq, and the Army wanted a lead investigator who was at least the same three-star rank as Sanchez. [....] No military intelligence personnel have been charged in the abuse scandal." [A.P.]

2004 - Turkish Hostages - June 27th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Militants loyal to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi said Saturday [06/26/04] that they had kidnapped three Turkish workers and threatened to behead them in 72 hours. The incident took place as President George W. Bush visited Turkey." [A.P]

2004 - Gay Pride Marches / Worldwide - June 27th, 2004: "Hundreds of thousands of revelers wearing everything from full Victorian garb and designer gowns to skimpy leather and construction hats celebrated gay pride in cities around the world Saturday [06/26/04]. Berlin saw one of Europe's largest parades. The city's openly gay Mayor Klaus Wowereit led floats in the 12th annual celebration." [News Services]

2004 - Israeli Raid / Nablus, West Bank - June 27th, 2004: "NABLUS, West Bank - Acting on a tip, Israeli troops ambushed suspected Palestinian militants in an underground tunnel Saturday [06/26/04], killing seven, including the man most wanted by Israel in the West Bank. [....] Among those killed in the Nablus raid was Nayef Abu Sharkh, a leader in the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. Palestinian and Israeli security sources said Abu Sharkh was Israel's most-wanted militant in the West Bank. [....] Palestinian hospital officials said Sheik Ibrahim, Islamic Jihad's top commander in the West Bank, was also killed. Ibrahim and Abu Sharkh were listed on a leaflet Israel handed out last week asking residents to turn them in. Four of the dead were identified as members of the Al Aqsa, Islamic Jihad and Hamas militant groups; the fifth had not yet been identified." [By Ali Daraghmeh, A.P.]

2004 - Resignation / Prime Minister, Pakistan - June 27th, 2004: "ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan's prime minister [Zafarullah Khan Jamali] stepped down and ordered his Cabinet dissolved Saturday [06/26/04] following months of speculation over his worsening relationship with President Gen. Pervez Musharraf, the nation's ultimate power broker. [....] Party chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, a military loyalist from one of the country's most influential families, was nominated to replace him. [....] Outgoing information minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said Hussain would be a caretaker prime minister and would eventually give way to Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz - a senator who must gain a seat in the lower house of Parliament before he can be nominated. Observers say Musharraf had grown impatient at Jamali's inability to rein in opposition lawmakers or to effectively defend the government's actions." [A.P.]

2004 - Green Party Candidate / David Cobb - June 27th, 2004: "MILWAUKEE - David Cobb fended off the ghost of Ralph Nader Saturday [06/26/04] to become the Green Party's nominee for president. The selection of Cobb thwarted Nader's opportunity to gain immediate access to the ballot in 22 states and Washington. Now Nader, the consumer advocate ... will have to run largely as an independant or cobble together ballot access from other minor parties. He plans to run on the Reform Party line in some states." [Dallas Morning News]

*Trivia: "... Ralph Nader has the support of about 8 to 10 million voters." [Dallas Morning News]

*Trivia: "In another development in the Nader campaign, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) chastised Nader for saying the White House and Congress are 'puppets' of the Israeli government and the Israeli lobby. At a hearing in late June titled 'The Muslim Vote in Election 2004,' Nader told a gathering of Muslims on Capitol Hill: 'I don’t think there is any prospect of the two parties differing in any significant way on the Middle East. 'The Israeli puppeteer travels to Washington and meets with the puppet in the White House. He then goes down Pennsylvania Avenue and meets with the puppets in Congress,' said Nader. The Israeli leader then 'brings back millions of dollars' in aid to Israel. The ADL, in a letter signed by Barbara Balser, national chairman, and Abraham Fox, national director, told Nader: 'We write to object to your characterization of the White House and Congress as ‘puppets’ of the Israeli government. . . . The image of the Jewish state as a ‘puppeteer’ controlling the powerful U.S. Congress feeds into many age-old stereotypes.' " [By James P. Tucker Jr.] 

2004 - Fatalities / Election Workers, Afghanistan - June 27th, 2004: "KABUL, Afghanistan - Two Afghan women were killed and at least 11 other people were wounded Saturday [06/26/04] morning when a bomb ripped through a bus carrying women working as election registration workers in the eastern city of Jalalabad. A five-year-old girl was among the wounded. The attack was the most serious to date on Afghan election workers. They are seeking to register millions of people across the country for September's elections." [New York Times]

2004 - Tentative Finding / Mad Cow Disease, United States - June 27th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - Government and beef industry officials urged consumers Saturday [06/26/04] not to worry about the safety of meat following a tentative finding of mad cow disease. Further testing is under way to verify the initial tests. [....] A screening test designed to give rapid results had indicated the animal had mad cow, also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE. Such tests cannot confirm whether the animal truly had the brain-wasting disease, so the department labels the results inconclusive. [....] The new preliminary results announced Friday [06/25/04] was done at an unidentified regional laboratory under an expanded BSE surveilance program. Under the new system, the department was increasing testing by about tenfold, to more than 200,000 animals, over 12 to 18 months. The regional labs, run by states, began their work June 1, and Clifford said more than 7,000 cattle have been tested under the expanded system. [....] The infectious agent for BSE is not in beef, and tissues that could contain the agent are not allowed in the food supply, said Janet Riley, a spokeswoman for the American Meat Institute, a trade group." [A.P.]

*Trivia: "No sign of mad cow disease was found in an animal singled out in a preliminary screening last week and then subjected to a follow-up chemical test, the Agriculture Department said Wednesday [06/30/04]. Officials declined to provide additional information about the animal. Test results on a second animal that was possibly being infected will not be available for several days." [News Services, 01/07/04]

2004 - American Hostage? / Iraq - June 28th, 2004: "BAGHDAD - The Arab satellite TV network al-Jazeera aired a videotape late Sunday [06/27/04] from a group threatening to kill a U.S. Marine [Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun] it claimed to have captured him by luring him from his post. [....] In a statement, the U.S. military said Hassoun, a member of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, had been missing from his unit since June 21, but it could not confirm that he had been taken hostage." [Based on: Washington Post]

*Trivia: "A Marine whose apparent kidnapping in Iraq was followed by conflicting claims - first that he was beheaded, then that he was alive - contacted U.S. authorities Thursday [07/08/04] and was safe in his native Lebanon. The Navy was investigating whether his abduction could have been a hoax." [A.P., 07/09/04]

*Trivia: "A Marine who was reported abducted in Iraq this summer [June 2004] and later turned up in his native Lebanon was charged Thursday [12/09/04] with desertion. Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun was charged following a five-month investigation into his disappearance in June [2004] from a U.S. military camp near Fallujah, Iraq, according to a statement from the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Hassoun, of West Jordan, Utah, is accused of taking unauthorized leave from the unit in which he served as an Arabic interpreter. Hassoun also is charged with loss of government property and theft of a military firearm - the charges state he left the Marine camp while still in possession of his 9 mm service pistol - as well as theft and wrongful appropriation of a government vehicle." [A.P., 12/10/04] 

2004 - Voter Mortality / Afghanistan - June 28th, 2004: "KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Taliban fighters killed up to 16 men after learning they had registered for Afghanistan's U.S.-backed national elections, the deadliest attack yet in a campaign aimed at sabotaging the nation's first free vote, officials said Sunday [06/27/04]." [A.P.]

2004 - "Fire-Safe" Cigarettes / New York - June 28th, 2004: "Today, New York will become the first state to phase in a law requiring tobacco companies to sell the new 'fire-safe' cigarettes. The law is meant to cut down on the number of smoking-related fires." [A.P.]

2004 - Palestinian Bombing / Gaza Strip - June 28th, 2004: "GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Palestinian militants dug a tunnel under an Israeli army outpost in the heart of Gaza and exploded a bomb there Sunday [06/27/04], collapsing a concrete building and wounding at least five Israeli soldiers. [....] The groups said they were avenging Israel's recent killing of militants, including seven shot dead Saturday [06/26/04] in the West Bank." [A.P.]

2004 - President Valdas Adamkus / Lithuania - June 28th, 2004: "Lithuania's Valdas Adamkus, the man who paved the way for the Baltic state to join the European Union and NATO, won Sunday's [06/27/04] presidential election after a strong challenge by the head of the Peasants' Party, Kazimira Prunskiene." [News Services]

2004 - Imminent Deployment / U.S. Missle Defense System - June 28th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - In its effort to quickly build and deploy a missle defense system, the Pentagon has quietly sidestepped a federal law that requires 'operational testing' for new weapons systems before they are activated. Instead the Defense Department has argued that its ambitious $50 billion program to destroy missles fired at the United States is still under development and not ready for such testing, even though the first interceptors of the system are scheduled to be installed and switched on this fall. [....] The system's primary contractors are the Boeing Co., which is responsible for integrating its many parts, as well as Northrop Grumman Corp., Raytheon Co. and Orbital Sciences Corp. [....] Though overshadowed recently by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the bid to build a national missle defense system  is starting to attract renewed attention now that development will begin within a few months. [....] The Senate last week approved $10 billion for missle defense spending for next year, similar to a House measure. Since 1984, Pentagon figures show, the United States has spent more than $73 billion on missle defense - including about $20 billion since President George W. Bush took office. [....] Critics argue that even after two decades of research, missle intercept technology is far from proven. No intercept flight tests have been conducted since December 2002, before Bush announced his program, and that test failed. A recent test planned for March was postponed until late July." [Chicago Tribune

2004 - Status / Avian Flu - June 29th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - A strain of bird flu that scientists fear could lead to a worldwide pandemic in humans is becoming more infectious to mammals. [....] Now China-based researchers studying the H5N1 flu strain report that over the years it is changing to become more dangerous to mammals." [A.P.]

2004 - Earthquake / Alaska - June 29th, 2004: "A powerful earthquake jolted Alaska panhandle residents out of their sleep early Monday [06/28/04], but no significant damage was reported, authorities said. The quake, with a preliminary magnitude of 7.0, happened at 1:50 a.m. Alaska time and was centered beneath the ocean off the southern end of the panhandle, said Bill Knight, a scientist at the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center at Palmer. [....] A 6.1 magnitude temblor had shaken the town last July 12." [News Services]

2004 - Transfer of Power / Iraq - June 29th, 2004: "With the passing of a sheaf of documents and a prime minister's oath on a red Quran, the land once ruled by Saddam Hussein received official sovereignty [06/28/04] from U.S. administrators in a secretive ceremony moved up to thwart insurgents' attempts at undermining the transfer." [A.P]

2004 - Minority Government / Canada - June 29th, 2004: "OTTAWA - The Liberal Party lost outright control of Parliament on Monday [06/28/04], ending an 11-year monopoly on power, but easily won the largest share of seats and will now try to lead Canada's first minority government since 1979. In Quebec, separatists made major gains." [A.P.]

2004 - Detainee Rights / U.S. & Cuba - June 29th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - A U.S. citizen held in a South Carolina Navy brig and hundreds of noncitizens detained for as long as 2 1/2 years at a U.S. base in Cuba have the right to challenge their detention in American courts, the Supreme Court ruled Monday [06/28/04]." [Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

2004 - Restored Diplomatic Ties / U.S. & Libya - June 29th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The United States resumed direct diplomatic ties with Libya on Monday [06/28/04] after a 24-year break, even as the Bush administration pursued reports that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi had taken part in a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia's crown prince." [A.P.]

2004 - Purported U.S. Hostage Fatality / Iraq - June 29th, 2004: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraqi militants killed an American soldier they had held hostage for nearly three months, saying the killing was because the U.S. government did not change its policy in Iraq, Al-Jazeera television said today [06/29/04]. [....] The U.S. military said it could not immediately confirm whether a man shown being shot in a murky videotape was indeed Maupin [Spc. Keith M. Maupin], who was taken hostage after an attack April 9 outside Baghdad." [A.P.]

2004 - Hangover Remedy / Prickly Pear Cactus - June 29th, 2004: "A study has found that an extract of prickly pear cactus can prevent a severe hangover. [....] The study appears in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine and was led by Dr. Jeff Wiese at the Tulane health Sciences Center in New Orleans." [A.P.]

2004 - U.S. Travel Restrictions / Cuba - June 30th, 2004: "As of June 30, Cuban-Americans will be able to visit the island [Cuba] only once every three years instead of each year, and no humanitarian trips will be allowed." [News Services, 06/22/04]

2004 - Injunction to Block / Child Online Protection Act - June 30th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court declared Tuesday [06/29/04] that a law intended to shield children from Internet pornography is likely to be unconstitutional and so cannot take effect for the time being. A 5-4 majority said the federal government had failed to meet its burden of proving that the Child Online Protection Act of 1998 meets constitutional standards. Accordingly, the majority said, an injunction that has blocked enforcement of the law will remain in effect. [....] Congress' first big effort to restrict pornography in cyberspace was the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which the Supreme Court declared uncinstitutional that following year. In passing the 1998 law, Congress tried to be narrower and more specific. The 1998 law bars Web sites from publishing material 'harmful  to minors' unless a site can show it has made good faith efforts (requiring  a credit card, for instance) to block out Web surfers younger than 17. But the credit card requirement troubled Ginsburg, as she made clear when the case was argued before the justices on March 2. 'The whole world can know about it if I put in my credit card,' she observed then." [New York Times]

2004 - Denied Request / U.S. Database on Foreign Lobbyists - June 30th, 2004: "WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush's administration is offering a novel reason for denying a request seeking the Justice Department's database on foreign lobbyists: Copying the information would bring down the computer system. [....] Advocates for open government said the government's assertion that it could not copy data from its computers was unprecedented but representative of generally negative responses to Freedom of Information Act requests. [....] The Center for Public Integrity sought information about lobbying activities available under the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act, a 1838 law passed in response to German propoganda before World War II. Database records describe details of meetings among foreign lobbyists, the administration and Congress, and payments by foreign governments and some overseas groups for political advertisements and other campaigns. [....] The government said an overhaul of the system should be finished by December [2004] and copies should be available then." [A.P.]

2004 - Trivia  / Jerusalem Of Gold - June 2004: "Israeli composer NAOMI SHEMER confessed on her deathbed last June [2004] 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] [Posted: 06/05/2005 02:41]

Jan.-April / May-June / July-August / Sept.-Dec. 2004

The Future

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