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

September 2005

2005 - Astronomic Configuration - September 1st, 2005: "Sun [8 Virgo], Moon [8 Leo], Mercury [23 Leo], Venus [17 Libra], Mars [17 Taurus], Jupiter [18 Libra], Saturn [5 Leo], Uranus [8 Pisces R], Neptune [15 Aquarius R], Pluto [21 Sagittarius R], Chiron [28 Capricorn R]."  

2005 - Active Sun - September 2005: "[....] This remarkable 'spot [sunspot 798] has produced nine X-flares since Sept. 7th including a record-setting X17-monster. All by itself, sunspot 798 has made Sept. 2005 the most active month on the sun since March 1991. [....]"

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [09/14/05] 

2005 - Deadly Stampede / Iraq - September 1st, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Panicked by rumors of a suicide bomber, thousands of Shiite pilgrims broke into a stampede on a bridge during a religious procession Wednesday [08/31/05], crushing one another or plunging 30 feet into the muddy Tigris River. About 800 died, most of them women and children, officials said. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - On The Road / Cindy Sheehan - September 1st, 2005: "CRAWFORD, Texas - After a 26-day vigil that ignited the anti-war movement, Cindy Sheehan left the encampment near President George W. Bush's ranch Wednesday and took her protest on the road. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Japanese Levies? / U.S. Steel - September 1st, 2005: "Japan will slap 15 percent levies on U.S. steel starting Sept 1 in retaliation for American duties imposed on Japanese products, a trade ministry official said today [08/01/05]. The tariffs could run to a maximum of 5.7 billion yen, or $51 million, said trade ministry official Etsuo Sato. Japan has demanded the repeal of duties imposed by the United States on Japanese steel products under the so-called Byrd amendment, an anti-dumping law ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization. Japan imports secondary steel products, such as ball bearings, from the United States and other countries." [Based on: News Services, 08/01/05]

2005 - "Ruined City" / New Orleans - September 1st, 2005: "NEW ORLEANS - With thousands feared drowned in what could be America's deadliest natural disaster in a century, New Orleans' leaders all but surrendered the streets to floodwater Wednesday [08/31/05] and began turning out the lights on the ruined city - perhaps for months. Looting spiraled so out of control that mayor Ray Nagin ordered virtually the entire police force to abandon search-and-rescue efforts and focus on the brazen packs of thieves who have turned increasingly hostile. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Warmest September on Record - "Worldwide, it was the warmest September on record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Friday [10/14/05]. Averaging 1.13 degrees Fahrenheit (0.63 degree Celcius) above normal for the month, it was the warmest September since the beginning of reliable records in 1880, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A23, S.L.P.D., 10/15/05]

2005 - Stalled Peace Process / Sri Lanka - September 1st, 2005: "Tamil Tiger rebels on Wednesday [08/31/05] rejected a government offer to hold crucial talks inside Sri Lanka, officials said. The refusal deals a blow to efforts to revive the island's stalled peace process. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Freddie Mac Profits Fall / U.S.A. - September 1st, 2005: "Freddie Mac, the second-largest source of money for U.S. home loans, said profit fell 60 percent in the first half of the year as the value of financial contracts used to protect against swings in interest rates declined. Net income was $1.64 billion, or $2.22 a share, compared with $4.07 billion, or $5.74 a share, during the same period last year, the government-chartered company said in a statement. The current, or fair, market value of the government-chartered company's assets minus liabilities increased by $1.1 billion. [....] Freddie Mac's portfolio of mortgages and mortgage securities grew 1.9 percent this year through July, to $660 billion. The company's portfolio in 2004 grew at the slowest pace in at least five years. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News article, p. C3, S.L.P.D., 09/01/05]

2005 - Lawsuit Dismissed / U.S. Drugmakers - September 1st, 2005: "A judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co. and seven other drugmakers of collouding to block U.S. consumers from importing cheaper drugs from Canada. U.S. District Judge Joan N. Ericksen ruled in Minneapolis that buying drugs in Canada for use in the United States is illegal, so an effort to stop it can't be a violation of federal antitrust law." [Based on: Business page article, p. C2, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/01/05]

2005 - Approved / Fluarix Flu Vaccine, U.S.A. - September 1st, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Mindful of last year's flu vaccine shortage, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new shot on Wednesday [08/31/05] in an attempt to ensure adequate supplies during the upcoming flu season. [....] The FDA approved the vaccine Fluarix for people 18 and older. The shots are made in Germany by a subsidiary of GlaxoSmithKline and have been available in other countries for years. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Small Earthquakes / Southeast California - September 1st, 2005: "Dozens of small earthquakes up to magnitude 4.5 shook the desert of southeast California on Wednesday [08/31/05]. The most significant temblor occurred at 3:50 p.m. and was centered seven miles southwest of Niland in Imperial County, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Numerous smaller tremors occurred throughout the day. Authorities said there were no reports of damage." [News Services]

*Trivia: "There appear to have been no fewer than 72 small earthquakes in Southern California from 08/31/05 to 09/02/05. See link." [Based on: Etznab Mathers]
[http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.html]

*Trivia: "A coronal mass ejection swept past Earth this morning [09/02/05], but its weak impact did not spark widespread geomagnetic activity."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [09/02/05] 

2005 - City in Anarchy? / New Orleans - September 2nd, 2005: "NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday [09/01/05] as corpses lay abandoned in street medians, fights and fires broke out, cops turned in their badges and the governor declared war on looters who have made the city a menacing landscape of disorder and fear. [....] The chaos worsened despite the promise of 1,400 National Guard soldiers a day to stop the looting, plans for a $10 billion recovery bill in Congress and a government relief effort President George W. Bush called the biggest in U.S. history. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "[....] Terry Ebbert, head of New Orleans' emergency operations, called the response from the Federal Emergency Management Agency 'a national disgrace.' 'FEMA has been here three days, yet there is no command and control,' Ebbert said. 'We can send massive amounts of aid to tsunami victims but we can't bail out the city of New Orleans.' [....]" [Based on: The Orlando Sentinel]

2005 - Briton Kidnapped / Afghanistan - September 2nd, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - Gunmen kidnapped a British engineer and his interpreter after attacking their convoy in western Afghanistan and killing three policemen guarding them, officials said Thursday [09/01/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Tourists Stranded / New Orleans - September 2nd, 2005: "A group of tourists stranded in New Orleans hired 10 buses to rescue them only to learn that government officials had commandeered their buses to evacuate others. [....] On Wednesday [08/31/05], the handful of managers left at the hotel told guests they had booked 10 buses for $25,000 to evacuate them and those from another hotel. Each passenger paid $45. The guests waited until 9:30 p.m. when a manager told them the buses had been confiscated by the military." [Based on: Staff & News Services article, p. A8, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/02/05]

2005 - Boeing Machinists Strike / U.S.A. - September 2nd, 2005: "SEATTLE - Boeing Co. Machinsts voted Thursaday [09/01/05] to strike as union members overwhelmingly rejected a three-year contract proposal their leaders had deemed 'insulting.' Union members voted 86 percent in favor of a strike beginning at 12:01 a.m. local time today [09/02/05]. Under union rules, the contract would have been automatically ratified - and workers would have stayed on the job - unless two-thirds of the union members voted to strike. The strike will affect about 18,400 Machinists who assemble Boeing's commercial airplanes and some key components in the Seattle area, Gresham, Ore., and Wichita, Kan. Connie Kelliher, spokeswoman for the Seattle-based Machinists union, said contract provisions offered to Wichita employees were 'equally insulting' to workers in the Pacific Northwest. [....] The union last went on strike in 1995, when workers walked out for 69 days. [....] The union also was critical of increases in health care costs and a proposal to eliminate retiree medical benefits for workers hired after July 2006, with the exception of laid-off workers who are recalled." [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "The head of Boeing Co's commercial-airplane operation says the company and Machinists union were $1 billion apart when more than 18,000 workers hit the picket lines on Sept. 2, according to a memo to Boeing executives. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 09/10/05]

2005 - Video Release / Ayman al-Zawahri? - September 2nd, 2005: "CAIRO, Egypt - Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, claimed responsibility for the July 7 London bombings in a video aired Thursday [09/01/05] on the Al-Jazeera television network. The video included a farwell statement by a man identified as one of the four suicide attackers. [....] Speaking with a heavy Yorkshire accent, the bomber, Mohammad Sidique Khan, said he was inspired by bin Laden, al-Zawahri and the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi. 'Until you will stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment and torture of my people, we will not stop this fight,' said Khan. He was wearing a red-and-white checked keffiyeh and a dark jacket. 'We are at war, and I am a soldier and now you too will taste the reality of this situation.' [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Preliminary Charges / Pro-Syrian Generals - September 2nd, 2005: "Lebanese prosecutors filed preliminary criminal charges Thursday [09/01/05] against four pro-Syrian generals in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. [Based on: News Services article, p. A14, S.L.P.D.]

2005 - Super Typhoon Nabi / Western Pacific Ocean - September 2nd, 2005: "Super Typhoon Nabi was a Category 3 typhoon in the western Pacific ... on September 2, 2005 at 11:55 a.m. Tokyo time. It had sustained winds of around 200 kilometers an hour (160 miles per hour) and is located roughly 1000 kilometers (600 miles) from Saipan and Okinawa at that time. It was predicted to gather strength in coming days and make landfall at the southern end of the Korean peninsula early on September 7. However, the range of possible storm tracks as of September 2 takes in possibilities ranging from Shanghai on Asian mainland to Kyoto on the southern end of the Japanese Islands. [....]."

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13103]

2005 - Human Remains Spread Mad Cow Disease? - September 2nd, 2005: "LONDON - A new theory proposes that mad cow disease may have come from feeding British cattle with meal contaminated by human remains infected with a variation of the disease. The hypothesis was outlined this week in The Lancet medical journal. [....]." [Based on: A.P. article, p. A13, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/02/05]

*Further Reading:  

2005 - U.S. Import Quotas / China Clothing & Textiles - September 2nd, 2005: "The Bush administration said Thursday [09/01/05] that it was reimposing import quotas on two kinds of Chinese clothing and textiles, intensifying trade tension between the nations in advance of a White House visit next week by China's president. [....] The action was taken hours after U.S. and Chinese negotiators broke off trade talks in Beijing. [Based on: wire reports, S.L.P.D., p. B2, 09/02/05]

2005 - Mild Geomagnetic Storm - September 3rd, 2005: "A high-speed solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, and this could cause a mild geomagnetic storm. Sky waychers in Alaska, Canada and Scandinavia should be alert for auroras."

[http://spaceweather.com/] - [09/03/05]

2005 - Status / Hubble Space Telescope - September 3rd, 2005: "In a gambit calculated to add eight months to the life of the Hubble Space telescope, scientists this week shut down one of the telescope's gyroscopes. [....]" [Based on: Article, S.L.P.D., p. 27, 09/03/05]

2005 - National Guard Relief / New Orleans - September 3rd, 2005: "Stranded victims of Hurricane Katrina wait for help from National Guard soldiers Friday [09/02/05] near the Superdome in New Orleans. Thousands of troops poured into the city to help with security and delivery of food and water." [Based on: A.P. picture article, p. 5, S.L.P.D., 09/03/05]

2005 - Died / U.S. Chief Justice, William H. Rehnquist - September 3rd, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, 80, died Saturday evening (Sept. 3, 2005) of cancer, ending a 33-year Supreme Court career. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 09/04/05]

*Trivia: "The death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist leaves the court's oldest member, 85-year-old liberal Justice John Paul Stevens, temporarily in charge. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 09/05/05]

2005 - Pension Dispute Settlement / US Airways Group Inc. - September 3rd, 2005: "US Airways Group Inc., seeking to exit bankruptcy and merge with America West Holdings Corp., won court approval to pay a U.S. pension agency $23.5 million to resolve claims against the airline. [....] The settlement resolves more than $13 billion in claims by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. against Arlington, Va.-based US Airways." [Based on: Business page article, S.L.P.D., p. B4, 09/03/05]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - September 4th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents killed 19 members of Iraqi security forces Saturday [09/03/05] in clashes around Baqouba, while U.S. and Iraqi forces intensified an offensive in a rebel-infested city that the Americans subdued last year - only to have the Iraqis lose control. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Hospitalized / Jacques Chirac - September 4th, 2005: "PARIS - French President Jacques Chirac has been hospitalized after suffering a blood vessel problem in an eye, the prime minister said Saturday [09/03/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "President Jacques Chirac emerged from the hospital Friday [09/09/05], declaring himself in fine shape. But he walked with a slight hesitation and said nothing about the illness that kept him there for a week. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Hostage Deaths / Afghanistan - September 4th, 2005: "A kidnapped British engineer was found dead Saturday [09/03/05] and two bodies discovered in Afghanistan's southern desert were identified as missing Japanese tourists. Troops raiding a Taliban hideout in the mountains found the body of a Briton believed to be David Addison, Britain's Foreign Office said Saturday. The bodies of the two Japanese were found Thursday [09/01/05] in the desert. They had been missing since Aug. 8, when they entered Afghanistan from Pakistan." [Based on: News Services article, p. A16, S.L.P.D., 09/04/05]

2005 - Trivia / Boeing Machinists Strike - September 10th, 2005: "The head of Boeing Co's commercial-airplane operation says the company and Machinists union were $1 billion apart when more than 18,000 workers hit the picket lines on Sept. 2, according to a memo to Boeing executives. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Resignations / Morgan Stanley Board - September 10th, 2005: "Morgan Stanley Inc. on Friday [09/09/05] said directors Charles F. Knight, former head of Emerson, and John E. Jacob, an Anheuser-Busch executive, have stepped down from the board. No reason was given for the resignations." [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. A30, 09/10/05]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Celebes Sea - September 4th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 23:58:33 (UTC) on Sunday, September 4, 2005. The magnitude 6.0 event has been located in the CELEBES SEA. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 428 km (266 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: preliminary earthquake reports @ http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/uscpbe.htm]

2005 - Stretched Thin? / U.S. National Guard - September 4th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The catastrophe wrought by Hurricane Katrina is sparking a vigorous debate about whether the National Guard is hampered in helping because of its large-scale deployment in Iraq. [....]" [Based on: Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

2005 - Settlement Talks / Boeing Co., U.S.A. - September 10th, 2005: "The Justice Department and Boeing Co. are negotiating a settlement in which the company could be required to pay up to $500 million but would avoid prosecution in two federal investigations, said people familiar with the details. The settlement would resolve allegations that Boeing improperly acquired thousands of pages of Lockheed Martin Corp's proprietary documents dealing with rocketry programs, and illegally recruited a senior Air Force official while she still had oversight of billions of dollars in Boeing contracts. [....]" [Based on: The Wall Street Journal]

2005 - Fatality / Zaid Saad Zaid al-Samari - September 4th, 2005: "[....] Zaid Saad Zaid al-Samari, a 31-year-old Saudi, was killed Sunday [09/04/05] in Dammam, a security official said. A police officer also was killed Sunday. Al-Samari was on a list [# 3] of 36 most-wanted terrorists sought in relation to multiple attacks launched in this kingdom since May 2003. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, p. A5, S.L.P.D., 09/06/05]

2005 - Witholding Information? / U.S. Government - September 4th, 2005: "The government is witholding more information than ever from the public and expanding ways of shrouding data. Last year, federal agencies spent a record $148 creating  and storing new secrets for each $1 spent declassifying old secrets, a coalition of watchdog groups reported Staurday [09/03/05]. That's a $28 jump from 2003 when $120 was spent to keep secrets for every $1 spent revealing them. In the late 1990s, the ratio was $15-$17 a year to $1, according to the secrecy report card by OpenTheGovernment.org. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, p. A7, S.L.P.D., 09/04/05]

2005 - Hurricane Maria / Southeast of Bermuda - September 4th, 2005: "[....] Late Sunday afternoon [09/04/05], Hurricane Maria had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. It was centered 530 miles east-southeast of Bermuda and was moving north-northwest at 14 mph. The storm was expected to turn to the north later Sunday or early today [09/05/05]. [....]" [Based on: News Services, 09/05/05]

2005 - Volcanic Activity / Soufriere Volcano, Montserrat - September 4th-5th, 2005: "The Soufriere Hills Volcano on Montserrat produced a faint but steady plume of ash on September 4-5, 2005. [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13109] 

2005 - Trivia / Embryonic Stem Cells - September 5th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Human embryonic stem cells, valued by researchers because of their potential to help rejuvenate ailing organs, do not remain as ageless and perpetually unblemished as scientists once thought, according to a new research report. Like ordinary cells, stem cells accumulate significant numbers of mutations over time, including several that could cause them to become tumors. The findings were reported by an international team of scientists Sunday [09/04/05]. [....]" [Based on: The Washington Post article, p. A3, S.L.P.D., 09/05/05]

2005 - Security Concerns / Afghanistan - September 5th, 2005: "KABUL, Afghanistan - The United nations has encouraged some nonessential staff to leave Afghanistan amid security concerns ahead of elections Sept. 18, and the government warned aid workers Sunday [09/04/05] that they are likely targets after a string of assaults on foreigners. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Who do you blame for an act of God?" - September 5th, 2005: "Within weeks of the Asian tsunami on December 26, 2004, scores of writers broached the subject of theodicy. Theodicy, if you didn't know, is the branch of theology which tries to explain how a good God can allow evil to persist. [....] What I find fascinating is how so many people desperately want the culprit to be someone or something other than God or 'Mother Nature.' A slew of partisans have already declared that George W. Bush is responsible for this disaster because of his policies on global warming and the Kyoto Treaty. Cindy Sheehan, with the sort of desperation that comes at the end of 15 minutes of fame, declared Bush was 'heading to Louisiana to see the devestation that his environmental policies and his killing policies have caused.' Robert F. Kennedy Jr. blamed Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour for the devestation. 'Now we are all learning what it's like to reap the whirlwind of fossil fuel dependence which Barbour and his cronies have encouraged,' he said. [....] Environmentalists need their own book of Job. Because as it stands right now, Mother Nature's ways are not mysterious to them, but, instead, entirely contingent on the output of fossil fuels. Ironically enough, all of their hopes lie in George W. Bush. Which sounds just a bit like their version of Satan worship." [Based on: Commentary Page article by Jonah Goldberg (Entitled: Who do you blame for an act of God?), p. B7, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/05/05] - [Paragraph indents removed to save space - E.M.]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Pacific-Antarctic Ridge - September 5th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 07:37:30 (UTC) on Monday, September 5, 2005. The magnitude 6.2 event has been located near the PACIFIC-ANTARCTIC RIDGE. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: preliminary earthquake reports @ http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/uscqa7.htm]

2005 - State & Federal Control / New Orleans - September 5th, 2005: "NEW ORLEANS - On the seventh day, the mayor of New Orleans said he would surrender control of his shattered, nearly abandoned city to federal and state officials, and authorities issued dire predictions of the human cost of Hurricane Katrina. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

*Trivia: "In the absence of information and outside assistance, groups of rich and poor banded together in the French Quarter, forming 'Tribes' and dividing up the labor. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 09/05/05]

2005 - Trivia / Sunspot 798? - September 6th, 2005: "There's an active region hiding just behind the sun's eastern limb. It's probably sunspot 798, which sparked strong auroras in August and, just yesterday, hurled a new coronal mass ejection into space.... The latest explosion was not Earth-directed, but future explosions could be as the sunspot turns to face Earth later this week."

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

*Trivia: "[....] This remarkable 'spot [sunspot 798] has produced nine X-flares since Sept. 7th including a record-setting X17-monster. All by itself, sunspot 798 has made Sept. 2005 the most active month on the sun since March 1991. [....]"

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [09/14/05] 

2005 - Status / U.N. Summit - September 6th, 2005: "With next week's U.N. summit looming, Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned the world's nations Monday [09/05/05] that they have just a few days to salvage 'a once in a generation opportunity' to fight poverty and overhaul the United Nations. He said in a British Broadcasting Corp. interview it was 'unfortunate' that the United States waited until just last month to propose hundreds of amendments to a final document for world leaders to consider adopting. Annan said it opened 'the floodgates' to other amendments and changed the dynamics of the negotiations. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Status / New Orleans Zoo - September 6th, 2005: "Audubon Zoo General Curator Dan Maloney has not left his post since before Hurricane Katrina struck. He and about a dozen other workers have been clearing trees and feeding and watering the 1,500 animals living on 58 acres in New Orleans. [....] 'We stayed because the animals can't leave,' Maloney said. He said two small animals died in the storm and that some waterfowl are missing. 'And one aligator,' he said, 'but I think it's just in another lagoon.' " [Based on: News Services]

2005 - New Research? / Folic Acid - September 6th, 2005: "STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Folic acid and Vitamin B pills do not ward off heart attacks or strokes and may even be harmful when combined, new research suggests. Studies showing that the vitamins lower levels of a substance in the blood suspected of playing a role in the development of heart disease have prompted hundreds of thousands of heart patients in the developed world to take them. However, the first large study of the question found that although the supplements dramatically lowered the levels of homocysteine, they offered no heart protection. The study was presented Monday [09/05/05] at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology. 'The message is clear here: Don't take folate or B-6 in the hope that it will stop you having a heart attack or stroke. If there was a real major effect, they would have seen it,' said Dr. Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation. He was not connected with the study. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article (Entitled: Folic acid, vitamin B don't protect heart, say researchers), p. A4, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/06/05]

2005 - Airline Disaster / Indonesia - September 6th, 2005: "[....] An airline official said 16 people managed to survive Indonesia's deadliest airline disaster. At least 147, many of them on the ground, were killed in Monday's  [09/05/05] crash. Bound for Jakarta, the Mandala Airlines plane shook violently just seconds after takeoff, veered to the left and slammed into a busy residential neighborhood in overcast weather 500 yards from the Medan airport. The Boeing 737-200 shoved aside cars and motorcycles before plowing into a row of houses. Witnesses said some people were on fire as they fled the scene. [....] Investigators were trying to determine what caused the crash, Indonesia's second air disaster in nine months and the sixth worldwide since Aug. 1. Authorities considered foul play unlikely but were examining the possibility of human error or technical failure, said airline managing director Asril Tanjung. [....] Survivors said the plane started shaking when it reached an altitude of about 300 feet before tilting sharply and smashing to the ground at 9:40 a.m. Some described a loud bang while the plane was still in flight, followed by a ball of fire. 'It happened very fast, no one even had time to panic,' Rohadi Kamsah Sitepu, 35, said from his hospital bed. 'There was an explosion outside the plane followed by huge flames inside the cabin. Then we crashed. [....].' [....]" [Based on: A.P. article by Irwan Firdaus, p. A2, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/06/05]

2005 - "Power Failure" / Columbia - September 6th, 2005: "Suspected rebels dynamited four energy pylons Monday [09/05/05], leaving more than 2.3 million people in southwestern Columbia without electricity. [....] The FARC and a smaller guerrilla group have been fighting the Columbian government for four decades. They often blow up energy towers, bridges, oil pipelines and other infrastructure, aiming to wreak havoc on the economy." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Relief Effort / Hurricane Katrina - September 6th, 2005: "More active-duty troops are joining the Hurricane Katrina relief effort than originally planned. [....] The total for active-duty ground forces would be about 8,500 up from the 7,200 announced Saturday [09/03/05]." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Taiwan Region - September 6th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 01:16:04 (UTC) on Tuesday, September 6, 2005. The magnitude 6.1 event has been located in the TAIWAN REGION. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 46 km (28 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: preliminary earthquake reports @ http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/uscrab.htm]

2005 - Levee Breach Plugged / New Orleans - September 6th, 2005: "NEW ORLEANS - A week after Hurricane Katrina, engineers plugged the levee break that swamped much of the city, and floodwaters began to recede. But along with the good news came the mayor's direst prediction of the death toll yet: As many as 10,000 dead. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Status / Hurricane Maria, Atlantic Ocean - September 6th, 2005: "[....] At this time [09/06/05], the hurricane had sustained winds of 165 kilometers per hour (105 miles per hour; 90 knots). [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13114]

2005 - Super Typhoon Nabi / South End of Japan - September 6th, 2005: "Typhoon Nabi was a Category 2 typhoon in the western Pacific ... on September 6, 2005 at 11:05 a.m. Tokyo time. It had sustained winds of around 160 kilometers an hour (100 miles per hour), and it was heading north across the southern end of Japan. [....] The Japanese government had ordered evacuations for more than 100,000 people in the southern islands, according to reports from BBC News. Flights, road traffic, and ferry services were disrupted, and hundreds of thousands of people and businesses lost power. [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13105]

*Trivia: "Typoon Nabi, once a powerful super typhoon, made landfall on Japan’s main southern island of Kyushu with sustained winds reported at 126 kilometers per hour (78 miles per hour). Nabi, which means 'butterfly' in Korean, continued on over the southwestern tip of Honshu, triggering mudslides and flooding along the way, before heading out into the Sea of Japan. The storm left 17 dead and 9 missing in Japan, many as a result of mudslides. Four people were also reported missing in Korea."

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13119]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Interior Ministry, Iraq - September 6th, 2005: "BAGHDAD, Iraq - Insurgents launched a daylight assault Monday [09/05/05] against the Interior Ministry in Baghdad, killing two policemen in a surge of attacks by al-Qaida's arm in Iraq. Thunderous explosions and volleys of heavy gunfire rattled the downtown area soon after sunrise Monday as about four carloads of insurgents staged a lightning raid on the Interior Ministry, which is responsible for police and paramilitary units nationwide. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Returing Home [From Iraq] / Louisana National Guard - September 6th, 2005: "Most of the 2,800 Louisana National Guard soldiers who are returning home early from their Iraq mission intend to join in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, their commander said Monday [09/05/05]. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - No Official U.S. Response / Offer to Help America, Fidel Castro - September 6th, 2005: "Fidel Castro repeated an offer to send 1,100 Cuban doctors to America to help Hurricane Katrina victims. So far, there has been no official U.S. response to Cuba's earlier two offers." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Waited to Act? / FEMA - September 7th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - The government's disaster chief [Michael Brown] waited until hours after Hurricane Katrina had already struck the Gulf Coast before asking his boss [Mike Chertoff] to dispatch 1,000 Homeland Security employees to the region - and gave them two days to arrive, according to internal documents. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Settlement / U.S. Bancorp - September 7th, 2005: "U.S. Bancorp will pay a $500,000 fine to settle Securities and Exchange Commission claims that it traded $7 billion of foreign currencies with mutual funds it advised, violating federal laws that prohibit trading with affiliates. The Minneapolis-based bank also agreed to a cease-and-desist order and will make changes to strengthen its compliance program, the SEC said Tuesday [09/06/05]. The bank settled the matter Friday [09/02/05] without admitting or denying the SEC's claims." [Based on: S.L.P.D. article, p. C2, 09/07/05]

2005 - Trivia / Deep Impact Comet - September 7th, 2005: "The comet targeted by a NASA probe on July 4 turns out to be a 'snowy dirtball,' made mostly of dust, according to the first detailed results from the Deep Impact comet-hunting mission. Mixed in the dust is a soup of potentially life-spawning organic compounds, wrapped within a ball of fluff with less consistency than a snowbank, scientists reported Tuesday [09/06/05]. [....] The new data was published in this week's issue of Science." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Status / Mt. St. Helens Volcano - September 7th, 2005: "Growth of the new lava dome inside the crater of Mount St. Helens continued during 7-13 September, accompanied by low rates of seismicity, low emissions of steam and volcanic gases, and minor production of ash. There were no significant changes in seismicity or deformation during the report period. Dry conditions and rockfalls continued to stir ash within the crater, and a persistent gas-and-vapor plume rose from the lava dome. As has happened in the past, large rockfalls from the dome generated conspicuous ash plumes that occasionally rose above the crater rim and drifted downwind. Camera images showed continued slumping of the central part of the dome and westward motion of the presently active area. St Helens remained at Volcano Advisory (Alert Level 2); aviation color code Orange. [....]"

[Based on: http://www.volcano.si.edu/reports/usgs/#sthelens] - [09/19/05]

2005 - Major [X17-Class] Solar Flare - September 7th, 2005: "On Sept. 7th at 1740 UT (1:40 p.m. EDT), Earth-orbiting satellites detected a major X17-class solar flare coming from the sun's eastern limb.... The blast caused a complete blackout of HF radio transmissions on the daylit side of Earth.
   The source of the flare was returning sunspot 798 ... which sparked strong auroras in late August. Two weeks of quiet followed those storms while the sunspot transited the farside of the sun - but now it's back, and it's turning toward our planet again. Explosions later this week and next could produce more radio blackouts and some lovely September auroras."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [09/08/05]

2005 - Hurricane Nate / Atlantic Ocean - September 7th, 2005: "Hurricane Nate is shown here [see link] as observed by NASA’s QuikSCAT satellite on September 7, 2005, at 10:13 UTC (6:13 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time). At this time, the hurricane had sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour (70 miles per hour; 60 knots). These winds did not make Nate strong enough to be classified as a hurricane, but the storm crossed the threshold to hurricane status only a few hours later. [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13117]

2005 - Status / Same-Sex Unions, California - September 7th, 2005: "The California Legislature has become the first legislative body in the country to approve same-sex marriages. Gay-rights advocates overcame two earlier defeats in the assembly. The 41-35 on Tuesday vote sends the bill to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose office had no comment on the bill when it cleared the Senate last week. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Status / Colima Volcano, Mexico - September 7th, 2005: "During 7-12 September, several small explosions occurred at Colima. Due to the threat of lahars forming on the volcano's flanks, Universidad de Colima advised avoiding the ravines of La Lumbre, San Antonio, Monte Grande (in Colima state), and La Arena (in Jalisco state).
   "Background. The Colima volcanic complex is the most prominent volcanic center of the western Mexican Volcanic Belt. It consists of two southward-younging volcanoes, Nevado de Colima (the 4,320 m high point of the complex) on the N and the historically active Volcán de Colima on the S. Volcán de Colima (also known as Volcán Fuego) is a youthful stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera, breached to the S, that has been the source of large debris avalanches. Major slope failures have occurred repeatedly from both the Nevado and Colima cones, and have produced a thick apron of debris-avalanche deposits on three sides of the complex. Frequent historical eruptions date back to the 16th century. Occasional major explosive eruptions (most recently in 1913) have destroyed the summit and left a deep, steep-sided crater that was slowly refilled and then overtopped by lava dome growth. [....]"

[Based on: http://www.volcano.si.edu/reports/usgs/#colima] - [09/19/05]

2005 - New Activity / Veniaminof Volcano, Alaska - September 7th, 2005: "On 7 September, AVO raised the Concern Color Code at Veniaminof from Green to Yellow after several minor bursts of ash occurred at the volcano during the afternoon. Ash bursts continued to occur through at least 9 September, with ash rising less than 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. The ash was confined to the caldera. AVO reported that there were no indications that more vigorous activity was imminent or even likely. They expected that steam-and-ash emissions similar to those observed on 7 September might continue intermittently and could pose a hazard to people and low-flying aircraft in the vicinity of the active cone. [....]"

[Based on: http://www.volcano.si.edu/reports/usgs/#veniamin] - [09/19/05] 

2005 - Investigation? / U.S. Emergency Management - September 7th, 2005: "WASHINGTON - Stung by criticism of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina, President George W. Bush promised Tuesday [09/06/05] to investigate his own administration's emergency management. He then readied a request for tens of billions of dollars in more relief and cleanup money. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

*Trivia: "President George W. Bush thinks he's found just the right person to run the investigation into what went wrong with the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina - himself. [....] This is the same administration, backed by the same Congress, that has poured $200 billion into Iraq in the last 30 months, but couldn't get troops, helicopters and equipment to New Orleans. A brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division, which boasts that it can deploy anywhere in the world in 18 hours, took five days to get to New Orleans. The 256th Brigade Combat Team of the Louisiana National Guard would have been closer, but it's in Iraq. [....]" [Based on: Editorial Page article (Entitled: Hurricane Katrina - Troubled Waters), p. B6, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/07/05] - [Bold-faced type & underline emphasis by E.M.]

*Trivia: "Republican leaders halted congressional investigations into the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina on Wednesday [09/07/05] and announced a new joint Senate-House of Representatives inquiry that won't convene for weeks and will deliver its conclusion in February [2006]. [....] Wednesday's developments: *President George W. Bush asked for nearly $52 billion in additional relief. *His budget director said that even more will be needed within weeks. *Some lawmakers estimated that the total cost will reach $200 billion [Gee, where have I heard that number before?]. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers article, p. A11, S.L.P.D., 09/08/05] - [Bold-faced type, underline & Brackets emphasis by E.M.]

2005 - Construction Approved / Ariel Settlement, West Bank - September 7th, 2005: "JERUSALEM - Israel has approved construction of 117 houses in the Ariel settlement in the heart of the West Bank, the government said Tuesday [09/06/05]. The action signals that Israel will not relinquish the sprawling community that Palestinians complain would cut up their future state. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Can Escape Accountability? / U.S. Government-Run Utilities - September 7th, 2005: "Government-run utilities that overcharged California during the state's energy crisis will not have to pay refunds, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday [09/06/05]. The ruling is a blow to California. The state is seeking up to $9 billion in refunds from all the utilities it accused of overcharging for power. 'This ruling does not mean that these entities did not rip us off,' said Tom Dresslar, spokesman for Attorney General Bill Lockyer. 'What it means is they can escape accountability for their actions.' The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lacked authority over the government-run utilities. Those include the Oregon-based Bonneville Power Administration, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and several others." [Based on: News Services article (Entitled: Utilities need not pay refunds, court rules), p. A3, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/07/05]

2005 - Trivia / Inhaled Insulin - September 8th, 2005: "A government advisory panel is set to consider the first insulin [called Exubera by its manufacturer] that can be inhaled rather than injected, a novel approach to keeping diabetics' blood sugar under control without needles. [....] The insulin is being developed by Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis and Nektar Therapeutics. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - U.S. Hostage Rescued / Iraq - September 8th, 2005: "The U.S. military, acting on a tip, raided an isolated farmhouse outside the capital Wednesday [09/07/05] and rescued an American businessman held hostage for 10 months. [....] The businessman, Roy Hallums, 57, was 'in good condition and is receiving medical care,' a military statement said after U.S. forces freed him and an unidentified Iraqi from the farmhouse 15 miles south of Baghdad. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Hurricane / Ophelia, Florida Coast - September 8th, 2005: "Tropical Storm Ophelia gathered strength and size off the Atlantic Coast of Florida for several days. During this time, it brought winds and rain over a growing area including the Florida coast, though the storm’s center remained offshore. By September 8, it briefly reached hurricane strength, though this status lasted only a few hours before the storm lost some intensity and was again classified as a tropical storm. It is unusual for a storm system to build just offshore in this fashion, especially as having rain bands over land tends to break up the storm formation. It is also unusual to have so many storms in such a short time: the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season looks likely to go into the record books as the most active season on record yet. Ophelia is the earliest 'O' named storm since the storm naming system was devised. [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13123]

2005 - "New Look" / St. Louis Post-Dispatch - September 8th, 2005: "Today's [09/08/05] issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch began to illustrate its new look. " [E.M.]

2005 - Limits on Testing for Pesticides? / U.S.A. - September 8th, 2005: "The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday [09/07/05] proposed banning pesticide testing on pregnant women and children. The move followed criticism that the government's reliance on human pesticide tests has irresponsibily endangered vulnerable people. [....] The agency aims to implement the ban by Jan 29." [Based on: News Services article, p. A4, S.L.P.D., 09/08/05]

2005 - Fuel Bill Increase / U.S. Trucking Industry - September 8th, 2005: "The trucking industry's fuel bill will surge 37 percent to $85 billion this year, the American Trucking Associations said Wednesday [09/07/05], blaming Hurricane Katrina and a newly released fuel-price forecast. [....]" [Based on: article, P. B2, S.L.P.D., 09/08/05]

2005 - Easing Prevention Rules? / Mad Cow Disease, U.S.A. - September 8th, 2005: "The government is easing rules intended to prevent the spread of mad cow disease among people, allowing part of a cow's small intestine to be used as casing for some sausages. [....] The rules still prohibit use of the lower end section of the small intestine, called the distal ileum. Studies have shown the distal ileum can contain the infectious protein that causes mad cow disease." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Aurora Alert - September 9th, 2005: "Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) hurled into space by the solar explosions of Sept. 7th-9th could strike glancing blows to Earth's magnetic field during the next 48-to-72 hours. Sky watchers in Canada, Alaska and other northern places should be alert for auroras."

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

2005 - Fined / Sandy Berger - September 9th, 2005: "Former national security adviser Sandy Berger was fined $50,000 Thursday [09/08/05] for taking classified documents from the National Archives. U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah Robinson handed down the punishment in federal court, stiffening the $10,000 fine recommended by government lawyers. Under the deal, Berger avoids prison time, but he must surrender access to classified government materials for three years. The judge also sentenced Berger to two years' probation and 100 hours of community service. As President Bill Clinton's national security adviser, Berger was once entrusted with the nation's most sensitive secrets." [Based on: News Services article, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. A3, 09/09/05]

2005 - Solar Activity / Very High - September 9th, 2005: "Solar activity is very high. Earth-orbiting satelites have detected five X-class solar flares this week, including one X17 monster. NOAA forecasters say there's a 50% chance of more X-flares during the next 24 hours, possibly causing radio blackouts and radiation storms."

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

2005 - Suspected Militant Arrests / Iraq - September 9th, 2005: "A joint U.S. Iraqi force punched deep Thursday [09/08/05] into Tal Afar, a key insurgent staging ground near the Syrian border. The Iraqi army said it arrested 200 suspected militants in the sweep - three-fourths of them foreign fighters. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Encephalitis Outbreak / India - September 9th, 2005: "The death toll from an outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in northern India has reached 594. Officials said Thursday [09/08/05] that 53 more people had died overnight. Authorities are struggling to find money for pesticides that could stop the spread of the mosquito-borne disease. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Time to move on, Mr. President - September 9th, 2005:

   Seriously, Mr. President, this job can't be fun for you anymore. There's no more money to spend. You used up all of that. You can't start another war because you also used up the army. And now, darn the luck, the rest of your term has become the Bush family nightmare: helping poor people.
   Yeah, listen to your mom. The cupboard's bare, the credit card's maxed out and no one is speaking to you: Mission accomplished! Now it's time to do what you've always done best: Lose interest and walk away. Like you did with your military service. And the oil company. And the baseball team. It's time. Time to move on and try the next fantasy job. How about cowboy or spaceman?!
   Now, I know what you're saying. You're saying that there's so many other things that you, as president, could involve yourself in ... Please don't. I know, I know, there's a lot left to do. There's a war with Venezuela, and eliminating the sales tax on yachts. Turning the space program over to the church. And Social Security to Fannie Mae. Giving embryos the vote.
   But, sir, none of that is going to happen now. Why? Because you govern like Billy Joel drives. You've performed so poorly I'm surprised you haven't given yourself a medal. You're a catastrophe that walks like a man.
   Herbert Hoover was a (terrible) president, but even he never conceded an entire metropolis to rising water and snakes.
   On your watch, we've lost almost all of our allies, the surplus, four airliners, two Trade Centers, a piece of the Pentagon and the City of New Orleans ... Maybe you're just not lucky!
   I'm not saying you don't love this country. I'm just wondering how much worse it could be if you were on the other side. So, yes, God does speak to you, and what he's saying is, "Take a hint."

[Based on: article (From "Real Time with Bill Maher," HBO, September 9, 2005.), p. C13, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/22/05]

2005 - U.S. Disaster Aid / From Mexico - September 9th, 2005: "A Mexican army convoy of nearly 200 people crossed the border into the United States on Thursday [09/08/05] to bring aid to victims of Hurricane Katrina. The convoy was the first Mexican military unit to operate on U.S. soil since 1846. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Displaced Workers / Hurricane Katrina - September 9th, 2005: "An estimated 10,000 workers who lost their jobs in the wake of Hurricane Katrina filed for unemployment benefits last week, the first wave of what probably will be hundreds of thousands of displaced workers seeking aid. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Underway / S2-Class Radiation Storm - September 9th, 2005: "An S2-class radiation storm is underway. In other words, solar protons are streaming past Earth. These particles were accelerated to nearly light speed by the recent explosions at sunspot 798. The storm does not reach down to Earth's surface; it mainly affects satellites and spacecraft."

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

*Trivia: "Satellites and robotic spacecraft are experiencing some minor problems. For example, the white specks in the coronagraph image (above) [See link for 09/10/05 - at bottom] from the SOHO spacecraft are caused by protons striking the craft's digital camera, partially blinding the instrument. One place you wouldn't want to be during the storm: walking around on the Moon!"

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [09/10/05] 

2005 - New Activity / Ebeko Volcano, Russia - September 9th, 2005: "On 9 September, KVERT raised the Concern Color Code at Ebeko from Green to Yellow due to an increase in activity at the volcano. Fumarolic activity increased at the Ebeko's crater, with gas temperatures of 480 degrees C.
   "Background. The flat-topped summit of the central cone of Ebeko volcano, one of the most active in the Kuril Islands, occupies the northern end of Paramushir Island. Three summit craters located along a SSW-NNE line form Ebeko volcano proper, at the northern end of a complex of five volcanic cones. The eastern part of the southern crater of Ebeko contains strong solfataras and a large boiling spring. The central crater of Ebeko is filled by a lake about 20 m deep whose shores are lined with steaming solfataras; the northern crater lies across a narrow, low barrier from the central crater and contains a small, cold crescentic lake. Historical activity, recorded since the late-18th century, has been restricted to small-to-moderate explosive eruptions from the summit craters. Intense fumarolic activity occurs in the summit craters of Ebeko, on the outer flanks of the cone, and in lateral explosion craters. [....]"

[Based on: http://www.volcano.si.edu/reports/usgs/#ebeko] - [09/19/05] 

2005 - Russian Cargo Ship / Intl. Space Station - September 9th, 2005: "A Russian cargo ship [Progress M-54] blasted off Thursday [09/08/05] from the steppes of Kazakhstan carrying supplies for the international space station. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Major Earthquake / Papua New Guinea - September 9th, 2005: "A major earthquake occurred at 07:26:44 (UTC) on Friday, September 9, 2005. The magnitude 7.7 event has been located in the NEW IRELAND REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 91 km (57 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: Preliminary earthquake report @: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/uscuah.htm] 

2005 - Strong Earthquake / San Juan, Argentina - September 9th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 11:26:03 (UTC) on Friday, September 9, 2005. The magnitude 6.0 event has been located in SAN JUAN, ARGENTINA. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 86 km (54 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: Preliminary earthquake report @: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/uscuam.htm]

2005 - Indicted / Texas Political Group [TRMPAC] - September 9th, 2005: "A Texas grand jury has indicted a political organization formed by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas. The group is called Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee, or TRMPAC. It stands accused of taking illegal corporate money. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Solar Activity Update - September 10th, 2005: "Solar activity is very high. Earth-orbiting satelites have detected six X-class solar flares since Sept. 7th, including one X17-class monster-flare. NOAA forecasters say there's a 75% chance of more X-flares during the next 24 hours, possibly causing radio blackouts and radiation storms."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [09/10/05] 

2005 - "Thinking the Hurt Away" - September 10th, 2005:

   When it comes to pain control, a dose of positive thinking goes a long way, according to researchers who have found that many of the same brain areas that respond to severe pain also respond to mere expectations of pain. This commonality provides a neural route for the mind to quell pain and could explain the pain-fighting power of placebos, the scientists say.
   "Pain emerges from the interaction between signals coming from an injured body region and cognitive information unique to each individual, such as expectations about what that pain will feel like," says neuroscientist Robert C. Coghill of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. He and his coworkers report their results in the Sept. 6 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
   For their study, Coghill and his colleagues recruited 10 volunteers, ages 24 to 46, and fitted each with a device that delivered heat pulses to the lower right leg. [....]
    As the magnitude of expected pain increased, brain regions associated with learning, memory, emotion, and tactile sensation became more active. Areas of neural activation measured while volunteers actually experienced pain largely corresponded to areas activated by the expectation. [....]
    The new report "underscores the biological fact that pain is not merely a passive response to tissue damage or potential tissue damage," remarks neuroscientist Donald D. Price of the University of Florida's College of dentistry in Gainesville. "Its magnitude is partly determined by ongoing expectations." [....]

[Based on: Science News (09/10/05, Vol. 168. No. 11) article by B. Bower, pp. 164 - 165]

2005 - Indefinite Detention? / Jose Padilla - September 10th, 2005: "In a victory for the Bush administration, a federal appeals court ruled Friday [09/09/05] that the government can continue to hold indefinitely an American accused of plotting to detonate a radioactive 'dirty bomb.' A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously to reverse a judge's order that the government either charge or free Jose Padilla. He has been held for more than three ears. [....]" [Based on: Ap. article, p. A25, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/10/05]  - [Note: the word "ears" (a typo?) should probably read "years". - E.M.]

2005 - Guilty Plea / "Fingered" Chili Case - September 10th, 2005: "A Nevada couple pleaded guilty Friday [09/09/05] of all charges related to putting a human finger in a bowl of Wendy's chili in a scheme to extort money from the fast food restaurant chain. Anna Ayalas, 39, and Jaime Placencia, 43, pleaded guilty to conspiring to file a false claim and attempted grand theft in a scheme that the Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy's International Inc. claimed cost it $2.5 million in lost sales because of bad publicity. [....]." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Nuclear Waste Storage / Utah Indian Reservation? - September 10th, 2005: "The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday [09/09/05] approved a private company's plan to build a nuclear waste storage site on the Skull Valley Goshute Indian Reservation in Utah. The action moves the proposal a crucial step closer to fruition. Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman immediately pledged to challenge the decision in the courts, and state officials promised to fight the facility using all possible options. The state contends the project would be too dangerous. Private Fuel Storage, a group of utilities, wants to store 44,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel at the site about 50 miles southwest of Salt Lake City." [Based on: News Services article, p. A25, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/09/05]

2005 - Status / Prison Hunger Strike, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - September 10th, 2005: "The U.S. military is tube-feeding more than a dozen of the 89 terrorism suspects on hunger strike at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, a spokesman said Friday [09/09/05]. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Removed From Hurricane Katrina Relief / Michael Brown - September 10th, 2005: "A beleaguered Michael Brown said Friday [09/09/05] that he doesn't know why he was removed from his onsite command of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, but he does know the first thing he'll do when he returns to Washington. [....] Appearing at a news conference in Baton Rouge, La., with Brown at his side, Chertoff announced that he was sending the FEMA director back to Washington just in case another storm hits the country. He put Coast Guard Vice Adm. Thad W. Allen in charge. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Typhoon Khanun / China - September 11th, 2005: "Typhoon Khanun was poised about to make landfall on the coast of mainland China when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image [see link] at 11:20 a.m. local time, on September 11, 2005. At the time of this MODIS observation, Khanun had sustained winds of 210 kilometers per hour (130 miles per hour).
   As Khanun moved in towards China, outflowing wind patterns from the storm pushed away polluted air ahead of it. In the MODIS image, this shows up as clear views immediately outside the cloud bands, while smog piles up just beyond the storm’s influence. Khanun is the 15th typhoon to hit China in 2005. The storm is believed to be responsible for 14 reported deaths, mostly from mudslides caused by the heavy rains brought in with the storm system. The land is already saturated from other recent typhoons, so the risk of mudslide events has been unusually high. Nearly one million people were evacuated from coastal areas in the typhoon’s path, including some residents of Shanghai. [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13128]

2005 - U.S. & Iraqi Troops / Tel Afar, Iraq - September 11th, 2005: "More than 5,000 Iraqi army and paramilitary troops backed by U.S. soldiers entered Tel Afar on Saturday [09/10/05]. The soldiers searched house to house in the insurgent stronghold and battered down stone walls in the narrow, winding streets of the old city. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Assassination Attempt / Iraqi defense Minister - September 11th, 2005: "Afghan government soldiers, said to be angry over a pay dispute, tried to assassinate the defense minister at the capital's airport Saturday [09/10/05], officials reported. Nine Afghan soldiers were arrested in the attempt to shoot Defense Minister Rahim Wardak, said ministry spokesman Gen. Mohamed Saher Azimi. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Banned From Poultry / Antibiotic Baytril - September 12th, 2005: "The Food and Drug Administration is banning the use of the antibiotic Baytril in poultry because of concerns the drug could lead to antibiotic-resistant infections in people. The agency's commissioner, Lester M. Crawford, on Thursday [07/28/05] ordered that approval for use of the drug be withdrawn effective Sept. 12. Baytril, known generically as enrofloxacin, is in the same family as the popular drug Cipro, which is used in humans." [Based on: News Services article, p. A9, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 07/29/05]

2005 - Israeli Pullout Complete / Gaza Strip - September 12th, 2005: "The last of the Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip began  driving out in large convoys early today [09/11/05], and flag-waving Palestinian police took over the abandoned positions as Israel wrapped up its pullout from the coastal territory after 38 years of occupation. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi / Japan - September 12th, 2005: "Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi scored a crushing victory Sunday in snap legeslative elections. The win gives powerful momentum to his campaign to slim down his nation's bureaucracy. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - Intense Glow? / Mt. Saint Helens Volcano - September 12th, 2005: "Observers at Mount Saint Helens reported seeing an intense glow and vertical column over the volcano last night [09/11/05]. [....]"

[Based on: http://www.kirotv.com/mountsthelens/index.html] - [09/12/05]
[See: Mt. Saint Helens Volcano Cam @: http://www.kirotv.com/sponsor/3770913/detail.html]

2005 - Terrorist Targets / Los Angeles & Australia? - September 12th, 2005: "A tape delivered to ABC News in Pakistan features  a masked man making terrorist threats against Los Angeles and Australia. ABC News reported that the man is believed to be Adam Yahiye Gadahn, an American from California purported to be an al-Qaida member and wanted by the FBI. The CIA said Sunday [09/11/05] it was aware of the report but had no immediate comment about the tape's authenticity. The tape was aired on ABC's 'Good Morning America' on Sunday [9/11/05]. 'Yesterday, London and Madrid. Tomorrow, Los Angeles and Melbourne, Allah willing. And this time, don't count on us demonstrating restraint and compassion,' the man says during the 11-minute tape." [Based on: News Services article, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/12/05]

2005 - Status / Sunspot 798 - September 13th, 2005: "Giant sunspot 798 is slowly decaying, but it still poses a threat for strong flares. Indeed it has just unleashed an X1-class flare on Sept. 13th at 1925 UT. This makes eight X-flares since Sept. 7th when the active region produced a record-setting X17-class monster."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [09/13/05]

2005 - Elections Trivia / Norway - September 13th, 2005: "Norway was poised for a power shift after the left-leaning opposition won a majority of seats in parliament with pledges to spend more on welfare, official election results showed early today [09/13/05]. With more than 96 percent of votes counted, a three-party coalition led by the Labor Party had grabbed 88 seats in the 169-seat assembly, enough to oust the center-right government. Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik had campaigned on promises of tax cuts. Labor leader Jens Stoltenberg campaigned on a pledge to spend more of the nation's oil money on welfare. He said the opposition Red-Green alliance would start talks on forming a coalition majority government." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Settlement / Larry Ellison - September 13th, 2005: "Oracle Corp. Chief Executive Larry Ellison has agreed to donate $100 million to charities to settle a lawsuit revolving around a $900 million gain he made by selling some of his company stock after the dot-com bust. In agreeing to settle, Ellison isn't admitting to any wrongdoing." [Based on: Business page article, p. C2, S.L.P.D., 09/13/05]

*Trivia: "Oracle Corp. is buying hobbled Siebel Systems Inc. for about $5.85 billion, eliminating another competitor in its effort to grab market share from business-applications software leader SAP AG. [....] The deal accelerates efforts by Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison to overtake SAP as the world's largest maker of business applications software, which automates a wide range of administrative tasks. [....]" [Based on: Business page article, p. C2, S.L.P.D., 09/13/05]

2005 - Power Outage / California - September 13th, 2005: "A power outage, set off when a cable was accidentally cut, darkened large sections of downtown Los Angeles and many parts of the San Fernando Valley for a couple of hours Monday [09/12/05], authorities said. The blackout came amid reports of al-Qaida threats against the city and a day after the fourth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, setting off jitters citywide. Television stations broadcast dramatic images of towering flames and refineries. The fiery images turned out to be the routine burn-off of gas at the refineries as a precaution after some lost power. Two million customers were affected before most power was restored about 2 p.m. During the blackout, elevators stalled, traffic lights either went out or burned steadily green, and teachers tried to soothe worried schoolchildren. [....]" [Based on: article by Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Near Extinction? / Congo Hippos - September 13th, 2005: "Only 887 hippos are left in Congo, once home to the world's largest population of the water-loving mammal, an international environmental group warned Monday [09/12/05]. The group said hippos could soon be extinct in the African country. Hippos are being killed by government soldiers, local militia and poachers, the World Wildlife Fund said. The meat is sold as food while the teeth end up as part of the illegal ivory trade. The latest aerial survey puts the hippopotamus population in northwestern Congo's Virunga National Park down to under 1,000 animals, compared with 29,000 in 1974." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Palestinian Freedom / Gaza Strip - September 13th, 2005: "[....] Gaza's Palestinians got their first taste of freedom after Israeli troops left the coastal strip Monday [09/12/05]. They took full possession of the territory for the first time after hundreds of years of subjugation by the Ottoman Empire, the British, the Egyptians and finally the Israelis. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - 16-Gigabit Chip / Samsung Electronics Co. - September 13th, 2005: "Samsung Electronics Co. introduced a 16-gigabit NAND flash memory chip on Monday [09/13/05] that could let makers of portable electronic devices pack more data into less failure-prone gadgets. The development means more mobile devices can use flash memory rather than hard drives, which can fail if dropped suddenly. Flash memory also is lighter and more energy-efficient." [Based on: Business page article, p. C2, S.L.P.D., 09/13/05]

2005 - Resignation / U.S. FEMA Chief, Michael Brown - September 13th, 2005: "Michael Brown quit Monday [09/12/05] as head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The White House moved quickly to replace him, installing a top agency official with three decades of firefighting experience as acting director. [....] President George W. Bush named R. David Paulison, a former chief of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department, as acting FEMA director. [....]" [Based on: Cox News Service]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - September 14th, 2005: "At least 73 people were killed and 162 wounded early today [09/14/05] when a suicide bomber detonated his vehicle near a group of construction workers in north Baghdad, police said. [....] Also today, north of Baghdad, gunmen wearing military uniforms surrounded a village and executed 17 men, police said. [....] Elsewhere, U.S. forces widened their operations against insurgents in northern Iraq on Tuesday [09/13/05], launching an attack on the Euphrates River stronghold of Haditha only days after evicting militants from Tal Afar. Residents also reported American airstrikes in the same region near Qaim. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Fined / Keith Luechtefeld - September 14th, 2005: "A former executive of Aurora Foods Inc. has agreed to pay a Securities and Exchange Commission fine related to allegations that he had a role in fraudulent financial reports while employed by the former Maryland Heights [Mo.]-based food maker. Keith Luechtefeld, once division controller of Aurora Foods, will pay a civil penalty of $62,500 as well as interest of $1,306. He agreed to the fine without admitting or denying wrongdoing. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/14/05]

2005 - Beginning / "World" Summit - September 14th, 2005: "A world summit once hailed as the best chance ever at giving the United Nations a stronger, more unified voice begins today [09/14/05] with a splash of cold water - a reform document approved at the last moment that is far weaker than officials from the United States and other member governments had hoped. [....]" [Based on: article by Jon Sawyer, Washington Bureau Chief]

2005 - Kidnapped / Claudia Melchers - September 14th, 2005: "Armed men broke into an upscale home and kidnapped the daughter [Claudia Melchers] of a millionaire whose fortune came from selling chemicals, police said Tuesday [09/13/05]. Her children were left unharmed. [....] Melchers runs a catering company. She is the daughter of Hans Melchers, who owns Melchemie Holland BV. The firm supplied chemicals to Iraq in the 1980s. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, p. A8, S.L.P.D., 09/14/05]

*Trivia: "Kidnappers released a Dutch multimillionaire's daughter [Claudia Melchers] unharmed, but it was unclear whether any ransom was paid, police said Thursday [09/15/05]. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, p. A12, S.L.P.D., 09/16/05]

2005 - Trivia / Charter Communications Inc. - September 14th, 2005: "Charter Communications Inc. of Town and Country [Mo.] has postponed a day of reckoning until at least 2008 by exchanging $6.83 billion of its bonds for new securities with longer maturities. [....] Aryeh Bourkoff, an analyst with UBS Securities AG in New York, and the exchange will reduce Charter's debt by $708 million and lessen the chance that it will file bankruptcy. The exchange also trims interest expense by $60 million a year. Charter still has $1.5 billion of bank debt maturing in 2008 and 2009." [Based on: Business page article, p. C2, S.L.P.D., 09/14/05]

2005 - Second-Quarter Profit / Best Buy Co. - September 14th, 2005: "Best Buy Co. said second-quarter profit rose 25 percent on sales of digital music players and flat-panel televisions. But the company's shares fell the most in almost three years after its quarterly forecast fell below analysts' estimates. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Broken Truce? / Ulster Volunteer Force - September 14th, 2005: "A major outlawed Protestant group in Northern Ireland [Ulster Volunteer Force] had abandoned its 11-year-old truce and is an enemy of the peace once again, Britain declared Wednesday. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

*Trivia: "[....] Police say members of two major outlawed groups, the Ulster Volunteer Force and Ulster Defense Association, were behind the gun and grenade attacks. Both anti-Catholic gangs are supposed to be observing a 1994 truce in support of Northern Ireland's peace accord." [Based on: News Services article, 09/15/05]

2005 - Destroyed / Al-Qaida Hide-Out, Pakistan - September 14th, 2005: "Pakistan said Tuesday [09/13/05] that an operation involving helicopter gunships and thousands of troops destroyed a major al-Qaida hide-out. The raid also led to the arrests of 21 suspected militants in the remote northwestern region near Afghanistan. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Recovery Operations, Mississippi & Louisiana - September 14th, 2005: "The Pentagon is preparing to pull back some active-duty forces it sent to Mississippi and Louisiana soon after Hurricane Katrina. [....] Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Tuesday [09/13/05] about 45,800 National Guard troops and about 22,400 active duty personnel are taking part in recovery operations in Mississippi and Louisiana, plus about 1,900 Reserves." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - "Racing Toward Earth" / Coronal Mass Ejection - September 14th, 2005: "A coronal mass ejection (CME) is racing toward Earth and it could spark a severe geomagnetic storm when it arrives - perhaps tonight (Sept. 14th and 15th). People everywhere should be alert for auroras. [....] The CME ... was hurled into space on Sept. 13th by an X1-class explosion at sunspot 798. This remarkable 'spot has produced nine X-flares since Sept. 7th including a record-setting X17-monster. All by itself, sunspot 798 has made Sept. 2005 the most active month on the sun since March 1991. [....] If this incoming CME does hit Earth's magnetic field as hard as forecasters expect, auroras could appear in places where they are seldom seen: California, Arizona, Texas and elsewhere."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [09/14/05] 

*Trivia: "[....] On March 24, 1991 a significant CME traveling at 5 times the speed of the solar wind struck the magnetosphere. The data from space probe Ulysses suggested the boundary was within 4 RE of the Earth's center, and that the impact also created a second shock wave inside the cavity, spreading throughout the magnetosphere.
   "The research spacecraft CRRES, operated by the US Air Force was at that instant deep inside the radiation belt, at a distance of 2.55 RE. The first thing CRRES saw was a torrent of highly energetic protons and electrons. The protons had energies above 20 Mev, twenty million electron volts, some 20,000 times the energy of the average proton in the solar wind. The passage of the shock also left Earth with a new long-lived belt of high-energy protons [....].
[Based on: article @: http://presys.com/~ekklesia/cme.htm]

*Trivia: "Picture this: a coffee bean the size of Neptune. That's what hyperactive sunspot 798 looked like on Sept. 14th when Jerome Grenier of Paris, France, took its picture [see link]: [....] The bright gash splitting this sunspot down the middle is called a 'light bridge.' The bridge, explains solar physicist David Hathaway, separates positive and negative magnetic polarities in the spot. It's a sign of explosiveness, because opposite polarities bumping together can spark solar flares. Sunspot 798 has unleashed nine X-class flares since Sept. 7th. "

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [09/16/05] 

2005 - Solar Minimum??? - September 15th, 2005: "With so much activity on the sun, solar minimum is looking strangely like Solar Max. Get the full story from Science@NASA. [....] High-latitude sky watchers should remain alert for auroras. A fast solar wind stream is buffeting Earth's magnetic field, causing mild geomagnetic storms. This comes in the wake of a CME that swept past Earth this morning. At first the CME did little to spark auroras, but a storm has since developed, raising hopes for a display tonight in Alaska and Canada. [....] The source of the CME was sunspot 798. That giant 'spot is still facing Earth and crackling with solar flares. More CMEs and auroras are possible in the days ahead."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [09/15/05] 

2005 - Blogger Trivia / Google Inc. - September 15th, 2005: "A new Google Inc. search engine sifts through the Internet's millions of frequently updated personal journals, a long-anticipated development expected to help propel 'blogging' into the cultural mainstream. The tool, which was released Wednesday [09/14/05], focuses exclusively on the material in Web logs, or 'blogs.' [....] The appearance of the new Google tool, which catalogs the latest blog postings by looking at the Web feeds they generate, also makes it more likely that two other tech powerhouses and fierce rivals, Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp., will develop a similar feature. [....] No one knows for certain just how big the so-called 'blogospherte' has become. Technorati, the niche's top search engine so far, says it indexes 17.1 million sites spanning about 1.5 billion links. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Steep Fuel Prices / Nigeria - September 15th, 2005: "Police watched from open-backed trucks Wednesday [09/14/05] as thousands of Nigerians marched in a peaceful protest of steep increases in fuel prices in Africa's largest oil producer. The rally ended with demonstrators presenting their grievances in a petition to the Lagos governor. The government ordered price increases last month of up to 40 percent on fuels such as gas and diesel to try to bring the subsidized prices closer in line with international norms." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Hurricane Ophelia / North Carolina - September 15th, 2005: "Hurricane Ophelia, North Carolinia's least welcome guest, refused again to leave Thursday [09/15/05], lashing the Outer Banks with rain and wind as coastal residents elsewhere returned home to damaged homes and businesses. The system was downgraded to a tropical storm Thursday night [09/15/05] when its sustained wind dropped to 70 mph. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, 09/16/05]

2005 - Bankruptcy? / Delta & Northwest Airlines - September 15th, 2005: "Delta and Northwest airlines flew into bankruptcy court Wednesday [09/14/05]. Both say they will keep flying and honor tickets. More cost-cutting and worker concessions are ahead." [Based on: p. A1, S.L.P.D., 09/15/05]

*Trivia: "Delta Air Lines Inc. which filed for bankruptcy last month [September 2005], won court permission to skip its $160 million October pension plan contribution over the objections of retired pilots. The airline asked permission to miss the contribution to preserve cash. The Delta Pilots' Pension Preservation Organization asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York to force a payment of at least $31.4 million to ensure that the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. doesn't terminate the airline's retirement plans." [Based on: Business Page article, p. E2, S.L.P.D., 10/18/05]

2005 - Unconstitutional? / One Nation "Under God" - September 15th, 2005: "A federal judge declared the reciting of the pledge of Allegiance in public schools unconstitutional Wednesday [09/14/05], a decision that could put the divisive issue on track for another round of Supreme Court arguments. The case was brought by the same man [Michael Newdow] whose previous battle against the words 'under God' was rejected last year by the Supreme Court on procedural grounds. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge's reference to one nation 'under God' violates schoolchildren's right to be 'free from a coercive requirement to affirm God.' [....] 'All it has to do is put the pledge as it was before, and say that we are one nation, indivisible, instead of dividing us on religious basis,' Newdow said. "Imagine every morning if the teachers had the children stand up, place their hands over their hearts, and say, 'We are one nation that denies God exists,' " Newdow said. "I think that everybody would not be sitting here saying, 'Oh what harm is that.' They'd be furious. And that's exactly what goes on against atheists. And it shouldn't." [....] The Becket Fund, a religious rights group that is a party to the case, said it would immediately appeal the case to the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. If the court does not change its precedent, the group said it would go to the Supreme Court." [Based on: A.P. article, p. A2, S.L.P.D., 09/15/05]

2005 - Identified Long Before 2001? / Mohamed Atta - September 15th, 2005: "Former members of the Sept. 11 commission on Wednesday [09/14/05] dismissed assertions that a Pentagon intelligence unit identified lead hijacker Mohamed Atta as a member of al-Qaida long before the 2001 attacks. The commission's former chairman, Thomas Kean, said there was no evidence anyone in the government knew about Atta before Sept. 11, 2001. Two military officers, Army Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer and Navy Capt. Scott Phillpott, claimed a classified military intelligence unit, known as 'Able Danger,' identified Atta before the attacks. Schaffer has said three hijackers were identified, too. [....] Pentagon officials said this month that they could find no documents to back up the claims. Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., has said that members of 'Able danger' identified Atta and three other hijackers in 1999 as potential members of a terrorist cell in New York City. Weldon said Pentagon lawyers rejected the unit's recommendation that the information be turned over to the FBI in 2000. Weldon's spokesman, John Tomaszewski, said no commisioners have met with anyone from Able Danger 'yet they choose to speak with some form of certainty without firsthand knowledge.' " [Based on: A.P. article, p. A4, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/15/05]

2005 - Relocation? / Colorado River [Utah] Radioactive Waste - September 15th, 2005: "Almost 12 million tons of radioactive waste will be moved from the banks of the Colorado River, the source of drinking water for more than 25 million people. across the West, the government said Wednesday [09/14/05]. The 94-foot-high pile of uranium mining waste is near Moab, Utah, and 750 feet from the river. The Energy Department now will work on the specifics of moving the waste to a site at Crescent Junction, more than 30 miles northwest." [Based on: News Services article, p. A5, S.L.P.D., 09/15/05]

2005 - Trivia / Gaza Border - September 16th, 2005: "Palestinians blasted holes in an Israeli-built wall and overwhelmed Egyptian troops on the Gaza border to flow by the hundreds into Egypt on Thursday [09/15/05]. Israeli and Palestinian leaders expressed fears that militants and al-Qaida terrorists will infiltrate Gaza and Israel through the border, which has been open since Israeli troops withdrew from the Palestinian territory. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Guilty Plea / Peter M. Shaw - September 16th, 2005: "Peter M. Shaw, president of the failed Capital Title Co., pleaded guilty Thursday [09/15/05] to carrying out a $3 million fraud scheme by taking money from accounts reserved for real estate transactions. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. B1, 09/16/05]

2005 - Eruption / Colima Volcano, Mexico - September 16th, 2005: "The Volcano of Fire in western Mexico blasted ash and gas three miles high Friday [09/16/05], with an explosion that was heard in villages 10 miles from the crater, officials said. No injuries were reported. Ash from the eruption fell on towns to the northwest, the Jalisco state civil defense agency said. The 12,533-foot volcano on the border of Jalisco and Colima states - 420 miles west of Mexico City - is among the country's most active and most dangerous." [Based on: News Services article, p. A29, S.L.P.D., 09/17/05]

2005 - Indicted / Former Marsh & McLennan Executives - September 16th, 2005: "Eight former executives at Marsh & McLennan Cos. were charged with felonies in indictments unsealed in Albany, N.Y., Thursday [09/15/05] in New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer's investigation of bid rigging and price fixing in the insurance industry. The eight denied the allegations. [....]" [Based on: Business page article, p. B2, S.L.P.D., 09/16/05]

2005 - Revelation / Documents Destroyed, Mohamed Atta, Etc. - September 16th, 2005: "A Pentagon employee was ordered to destroy documents that identified Mohamed Atta as a terrorist two years before the 2001 attacks, a congressman said Thursday [09/15/05]. The employee is prepared to testify next week before the Senate Judiciary Committee and was expected to name the person who ordered him to destroy the large volume of documents, said Rep. Curt Weldon, R.-Pa. Weldon would not name the employee, citing confidentiality matters. Weldon has said that Atta, the mastermind of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and three other hijackers were identified in 1999 by a classified military intelligence unit that determined they could be members of an al-Qaida cell." [Based on: News Services article, p. A3, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/16/05]

2005 - Waves of Katrina Suits? - September 17th, 2005: "[....] Two weeks after Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast, lawyers from the region are deciding whom to sue over the catastrophe - or rather, whom to sue first. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Google Considers AOL Bid - September 17th, 2005: "Google Inc., the most-used Internet search engine, might consider making a bid for America Online to keep the company from switching to Microsoft Corp.'s search technology. America Online, the world's biggest Internet-access provider, might replace Mountain View, Calif.-based Google's search engine with a product from Microsoft, a person familiar with the matter said." [Based on: article, p. A31, S.L.P.D., 09/17/05]

2005 - Aneurysm Surgery / Dick Cheney - September 17th, 2005: "Vice President Dick Cheney will undergo an elective surgery next weekend to treat an aneurysm in an artery behind the right knee. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Bomb Blast / Beirut Lebanon - September 17th, 2005: "A powerful bomb exploded in a Christian neighborhood of eastern Beirut late Friday [09/16/05], killing at least one person and wounding 23, officials said. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Suicide Bomber / Shiite Mosque, Iraq - September 17th, 2005: "Iraq endured a third consecutive day of sectarian killings Friday [09/16/05]. In the town of Tuz Khormato, a suicide car bombing at a Shiite mosque killed at least 12 worshippers as they left Friday prayers. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Emerging From Bankruptcy? / US Airways - September 17th, 2005: "US Airways on Friday [09/16/05] received approval to emerge from bankruptcy Court protection, clearing the way for the nation's seventh-largest airline to merge with America West Holdings Corp.. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Damage Bill Trivia / Hurricane Katrina - September 17th, 2005: "[....] The bill to the government for Katrina - $62 billion so far with untold billions to come - will be added directly to the $7.9 trillion national debt. President George W. Bush said Friday [09/16/05], 'We're going to have to make sure we cut unnecessary spending.' " [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Settlements Status / A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. - September 17th, 2005: "Over the last two months, A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. has been ordered to pay more than $1.5 million in penalties to nine agrieved investors. The unrelated cases were settled in an arbitration process devised by the NASD, the private agency that regulates stockbrokers. In general, the investors said actions taken by A.G. Edwards brokers cost them money. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Car Bomb / Iraq - September 18th, 2005: "Insurgents drove into a crowded public marketplace on the southeastern outskirts of Baghdad on Saturday [09/17/05], got out of their car and triggered a bomb inside, killing at least 30 people, according to reports from the Interior Ministry. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Status / Sunspot 798 - September 18th, 2005: "Hyperactive sunspot 798, which unleashed nine X-class solar flares this month, including a colossal X17-flare, is breaking up. But it might not go away quietly. NOAA forecasters say there's a robust 30% chance of more X-flares during the next 24 hours. Two days from now, sunspot 798 will rotate around the sun's western limb, disappearing from view, and the chance of Earth-directed flares from the active region will drop to zero."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [09/18/05] 

2005 - Hurricane Kenneth / Pacific Ocean - September 18th, 2005: "Hurricane Kenneth is just one of a series of tropical storms which have formed in the middle of September off the coast of Baja California. At the time of this image [see link], it was bracketed by Hurricane Jova to the west and Tropical Storm Max to the east. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of Kenneth at 3:25 p.m. local time. Kenneth had sustained wind speeds of 210 kilometers per hour (130 miles per hour) and a well organized spiral structure which is quite apparent in this satellite image. [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13144] - [09/20/05]

2005 - Hurricane Philippe / Atlantic Ocean - September 18th, 2005: "A tropical depression formed off the Brazilian coast on September 17, 2005. Once it was organized enough to have winds of over 62 kilometers per hour (39 miles per hour), it was classified as a tropical storm and given the name Philippe, becoming the 16th named storm system of the 2005 hurricane season. It continued to gather strength in the next few hours, becoming a category 1 hurricane just 24 hours later, while tropical storm Rita grabbed the title of the latest storm of the season. Adding Philippe and Rita to the roster of storms in 2005, the year has already become one most active Atlantic hurricane seasons since records were started in 1851. [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13140]

2005 - Commuter Train Derailment / Chicago - September 18th, 2005: "A commuter train derailed Saturday [09/17/05] on Chicago's South Side, killing at least two people and injuring more than 80, some of them critically. [....] The tracks were on a raised embankment next to a street, but none of the cars fell onto the street. [....] After the accident, there was a 30-foot gap between two of the cars, one of which had severe damage at the front end. The other cars remained upright but had left the tracks. [....] It wasn't immediately clear what had caused the cars to derail. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article by Mike Colias, p. A2, S.L.P.D., 09/18/05]

*Trivia: "A commuter train was going almost 60 mph over the speed limit just before it derailed ... the acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board said Sunday [09/18/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, 09/19/05]

2005 - Hunger Strike Status / Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - September 18th, 2005: "A hunger strike at the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has unsettled senior commanders there and produced the most serious challenge yet to the military's effort to manage the detention of hundreds of terrorism suspects, lawyers and officials say. As many as 200 prisoners - more than a third of the camp - have refused food in recent weeks to protest conditions and prolonged confinement without trial, according to the accounts of lawyers who represent them. While military officials put the number of those participating at 105, they acknowledge that 20 of them, whose health and survival are being threatened, are being kept at the camp's hospital and fed through nasal tubes and sometimes given fluids intravenously." [Based on: News Services article, p. A13, S.L.P.D., 09/18/05]

2005 - Trivia / U.S. Airlines - September 19th, 2005: "Despite shedding billions of dollars in labor and pension costs since 2000, U.S. airlines will need to cut billions more before the end of the decade to make money and remain competitive. Even then, there's no guarantee these airlines will become stable, profitable operators. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Election Trivia / Germany - September 19th, 2005: "Conservative challenger Angela Merkel's party won the most votes in German elections Sunday [09/19/05] but fell short of a clear mandate to govern, according to official results. Chancellor Gerhard Schroder staged a dramatic comeback and proclaimed that he should head the next government. [....] With 298 of 299 districts declaring, the results showed Merkel's party, the Christian Democrats, leading with 35.2 percent of the vote compared with 34.3 percent for Schroder's Social Democrats. Voting in the final district, Dresden, was delayed until Oct. 2 because of the death of a candidate. But the outcome was not expected to affect the final result. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A8, S.L.P.D., 09/19/05]

2005 - Trivia / Iraq Constitution - September 19th, 2005: "Iraq's National Assembly gave final approval Sunday [09/19/05] to the nation's new constitution, and the United Nations began printing 5 million copies of it immediately for voters to study before they vote on it in a referendum Oct. 15. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - Sealed Off / Egypt-Gaza Border - September 19th, 2005: "Hundreds of Palestinian troops sealed off Gaza's border with Egypt on Sunday [09/18/05], ending a weeklong free-for-all along the frontier that angered Israeli officials and undermined Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' efforts to bring Gaza under control. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Tropical Storm Rita / Bahamas - September 19th, 2005: "Thousands of tourists jammed the highways Sunday [09/18/05] after they were told to evacuate the lower Florida Keys because tropical Storm Rita developed over the Bahamas and moved toward the vulnerable, lowlying chain. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Gold & Silver Prices, U.S.A. - September 19th, 2005: "[....] In 1979, almost overnight gold and silver prices soared as the Hunt brothers heavily invested. The result was people everywhere poring through drawyers and closets to sell coins, silverware, jewelry or virtually anything else at prices exceeding $50 an ounce for silver and $850 an ounce for gold. As with any other fad, it didn't last. In less than a year, prices plunged. After that, precious metals fell out of favor for many years. Since 2000, silver has climbed from $4 an ounce to more than $7. Gold increased from $280 to upward of $440. And platinum has more than doubled from around $400 an ounce to more than $900 last week [Sept. 2005]. [....]" [Based on: article by Peter Rexford, p. D3, S.L.P.D., 09/19/05]

2005 - Thunder & Lightning / St. Louis, Mo. - September 19th, 2005: "Several lines of severe thunderstorms passing through the area Monday night [09/19/05] brought strong, damaging wind and an intense downpour. An impressive lightning show marked the approaching storms, which knocked down tree limbs and power lines, leaving tens of thousands in the dark. [....]" [Based on: Metro Section article, p. C1, S.L.P.D., 09/20/05]

2005 - Women Candidate / Madhawi Al-Hassoun, Saudi Arabia - September 19th, 2005: "Businesswoman Madhawi Al-Hassoun has signed up as the first women in Saudi Arabia to run in an election. [....]" [Based on: News services article, S.L.P.D., p. A7, 09/19/05]

2005 - Pledge to Drop Nuclear Weapons Development? / North Korea - September 19th, 2005: "North Korea pledged to drop its nuclear weapons development and rejoin international arms treaties in a unanimous agreement today at six-party arms talks. The agreement was the first-ever joint statement after more than two years of negotiations. [....] The North and the United States also pledged to mutually respect each other's sovereignty and right to peaceful coexistence in the agreement. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, p. A7, S.L.P.D., 09/19/05]

*Trivia: "[....] Casting doubt on a disarmament agreement reached a day earlier during international talks, North Korea insisted Tuesday [09/20/05] it would not dismantle its nuclear weapons program until the United States gave it civilian nuclear reactors. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - British Attack / Iraqi Jail - September 20th, 2005: "British armored vehicles broke down the walls of the central jail in this southern city [Basra?] Monday [09/19/05] and freed two British soldiers, purportedly undercover commandos arrested for shooting two Iraqi policemen, witnesses said. But London said the two men were released as a result of negotiations. [....] The arrests of the two British soldiers Monday appeared to have been the first real and public test of how far that sovereignty extends. There have been no known incidents of Iraqi authorities arresting U.S. soldiers operating in the Iraqi heartland. [....] 'A British force of more than 10 tanks backed by helicopters attacked the central jail and destroyed it. This is an irresponsible act,' al-Waili said, adding that the British force had spirited the prisoners away to an unknown location. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A5, S.L.P.D., 09/20/05]

2005 - Arrested / David H. Safavian - September 20th, 2005: "The top federal procurement official resigned Friday [09/16/05] and was arrested Monday [09/19/05]. He was accused of lying and obstructing a criminal investigation into Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff's dealings with the federal government. The complaint alleges that David H. Safavian, 38, a White House procurement official, made repeated false statements to government investigators about a golf trip with Abramoff to Scotland in 2002. [....] Until his resignation, Safavian was the top administrator at the federal procurement office in the White House Office of Management and Budget. He set purchasing policy for the entire government. [....] Abramoff's allegedly improper dealings with Indian tribes - which netted him and an associate at least $82 million in fees - brought the federal investigation. But investigators have found that his documents and emails contain a trove of information about his efforts to seek favors for clients from members of Congress and senior bureaucrats. Safavian is a former lobbying partner of anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist and previously worked with Abramoff at another firm. Both he and Abramoff have represented gambling clients and Indian tribes with gambling interests." [Based on: Washington Post article, p. A2, S.L.P.D., 09/20/05]

2005 - Schizophrenia Drugs Trivia / U.S.A. - September 20th, 2005: "The nation's leading schizophrenia drug doesn't work much better than an older, far cheaper medicine, says a major government study. It found no clear winner in comparing treatments for the devastating mental illness. The biggest surprise: A generic drug from the 1950s called perphenazine proved as effective as all but one of a class of newer treatments called atypical antipsychotics. [....] Perphenazine can cost no more than $50 a month, compared with more than $600 for Zyprexa, depending on the dose. Publication of the results in this week's New England Journal of Medicine may help doctors work through the trade-offs in picking which medicine to try for the 3.2 million Americans with schizophrenia." [Based on: News Services article, p. A3, S.L.P.D., 09/20/05]

2005 - Typhoon Saola / Marianas Islands - September 20th, 2005: "Typhoon Saola formed north of the Marianas Islands on September 20, 2005. It gradually built up power and became a well organized typhoon with a strong spiral pattern and distinct central eye over the next two days. [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13156]

2005 - Propane Gas Explosion / Cincinnati, Ohio - September 20th, 2005: "Leaking propane gas exploded [09/18/05] and sent flames 300 feet into the air at a pipeline terminal facility outside Cincinnati, killing one person, authorities said. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, p. A3, S.L.P.D., 09/20/05]

2005 - Waiting to Unload / Shipping Barges, Louisiana - September 20th, 2005: "Hundreds of Mississippi River barges are backed up and waiting to unload grain at hurricane-damaged terminals in Louisiana, causing a shipping shortage that has doubled equipment rental prices and raised export costs. About 500 barges are waiting to unload, twice the normal number, said Dan Martin, sales chief of No. I river carrier Ingram Barge Co. About 60 percent of U.S. grain exports float down the Mississippi." [Based on: Business page article, p. C2, S.L.P.D., 09/20/05]

2005 - Prison Sentence / Dennis Kozlowski & Mark Swartz - September 20th, 2005: "A state judge on Monday [09/19/05] sentenced former Tyco International executives Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz to 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison for looting their company of millions of dollars. The money went for lavish parties, luxurious homes and extravagances such as the $6,000 shower curtain that hung in Kozlowski's $31 million apartment on Fifth Avenue. In a case that came to symbolize an era of corporate greed, New York Supreme Court Judge Michael Obus also ordered Kozlowski and Swartz to pay nearly $240 million in fines and restitution. Kozlowski and Swartz immediately were taken into custody and led from the packed courtroom in handcuffs as family members of both men sobbed. In June, a jury found former Tyco Chief Executive Kozlowski, 58, and former Chief Financial Officer Swartz, 45, guilty of criminal counts of grand larceny, conspiracy, securities fraud and eight of nine counts of falsifying business records. Obus on Monday imposed the same prison sentence on both men. He ordered Kozlowski to pay a fine of $70 million and Swartz to pay a fine of $35 million. He ordered both men to pay a combined $134.4 million in restitution of illegal bonuses back to Tyco. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post article, p. C1, S.L.P.D., 09/20/05]

2005 - Al-Qaida Claim of Responsibility / July 7th London Bombings - September 20th, 2005: "Al-Qaida deputy leader Ayman al-Zawahri said in a statement broadcast Monday [09/19/05] that his terrorist network carried out the July 7 London bombings. It marks the group's first direct claim of responsibility for the attacks that killed 52 people. [....] 'The blessed London attack was one which al-Qaida was honored to launch against the British Crusader's arrogance and against the American Crusader aggression on the Islamic nation for 100 years.' al-Zawahri said in the tape aired on Qatar-based al-Jazeera TV." [Based on: News Services article, p. A7, S.L.P.D., 09/20/05]

2005 - "Pornified" / U.S.A. - September 21st, 2005: "In her new book [Pornified, How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, And Our Families], journalist Pamela Paul sets out to scare readers about the effects of pornography on American society, and she succeeds mightily. Her weapon of choice is statistics. For instance:

* The adult film industry produces 11,000 films a year.
* Americans rent more than 800 million pornographic videos and DVDs each year, which accounts for about one in five of all rented movies.
* In California alone, pornographic materials bring in $9 billion to $14 billion a year.
* Some 260 million pages of pornography are available on the Internet.
* Pornographic sites are visited three times more often than Google, Yahoo! and MSN Search combined. [....] Pornography also is changing relationships. Paul reports that older men lie about their 'hobby,' spending hours 'catching up on work' on home computers. Many younger men watch porn on their office computers all day. [....]" [Based on: Everyday Page article by Patricia Corrigan, p. E3, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/21/05]

2005 - Guilty Plea / David Radler - September 21st, 2005: "Former Chicago Sun-Times publisher David Radler pleaded guilty of taking part in a scheme to siphon away $32 million from the newspaper's parent, Hollinger International Inc., for himself and others. [....] No sentencing date was scheduled. If Radler continues to cooperate, prosecutors will recommend 29 months in prison and a fine of $250,000." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Hurricane Rita / Category 5 - September 21st, 2005: "Gaining strength with frightening speed, Hurricane Rita swirled toward the Gulf Coast as a 165-mph Category 5 monster Wednesday [09/21/05]. More than 1.3 million people in Texas and Louisiana were sent packing on orders from authorities who learned a bitter lesson from Katrina. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, 09/22/05]

2005 - AIG Losses / Huricane Katrina - September 21st, 2005: "American International Group, one of the world's largest insurers, said Tuesday [09/20/05] that it expects $1.1 billion in after-tax losses for the third quarter, mainly because of claims from Hurricane Katrina. [....] Risk-assessment firms have estimated that Katrina could result in insurance claims of $40 billion to $60 billion." [Based on: Business Page article, p. C2, S.L.P.D., 09/21/05]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Kuril Islands - September 21st, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 02:25:07 (UTC) on Wednesday, September 21, 2005. The magnitude 6.2 event has been located in the KURIL ISLANDS. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: Preliminary Earthquake Report @: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usdfb1.htm]

2005 - Settlement / GlaxoSmithKline PLC - September 21st, 2005: "GlaxoSmithKline PLC will pay $150 million to settle claims it overcharged the government for two anti-nausea drugs, and prosecutors say they're looking into 150 cases of drug price fraud. Glaxo inflated the price of Zofran and Kytril for the Medicare and Medicade programs, which reimburse health care providers based on the manufacturers' prices, the government said." [Based on: Business Page article, p. C2, S.L.P.D., 09/21/05]

2005 - Death Toll Trivia / Hurricane Katrina - September 21st, 2005: "The receding floodwater allowed search crews to reach more of the city's devestated neighborhoods, causing the death toll in Louisiana to jump by 90 to 736 as of Monday [09/19/05]. The toll across the Gulf Coast was 973. [....]" [Based on: News Services article]

2005 - Severe Thunderstorm / Central Minnesota - September 21st, 2005: "A severe thunderstorm with high wind and hail pushed across central Minnesota, knocking out power Wednesday evening [09/21/05] to thousands around the Twin Cities and crunching trees over a wide area. The storm included straight line wind gusting to 67 mph in Monticello and 68 mph in the Crystal area, said Karen Trammell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. 'There are huge reports of wind damage all across the northern and eastern part of the Twin Cities,' Trammell said. There were unverified reports of tornado touchdowns in Atwater and Brooklyn Park. Funnel clouds were reported throughout the Minniapolis-St. Paul area. Xcel Energy said tens of thousands were without power in the region." [Based on: News Services article, p. A3, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/22/05] - [Note: Paragraph indents removed to save space - E.M.]

2005 - Increase / U.S. Federal Funds Interest Rate - September 21st, 2005: "The Federal Reserve on Tuesday [09/20/05] boosted a key interest rate and signaled that more rate increases were likely even as the country recovers from Hurricane Katrina. The action pushed the Fed's target for the federal funds rate - the interest that banks charge each other - to 3.75 percent. That's the highest level since the summer of 2001. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Death Toll Trivia / U.S. Service Personnel, Iraq - September 21st, 2005: "U.S. officials reportede Tuesday [09/20/05] that 12 more Americans were killied in Iraq. Eight of them were members of the armed forces, raising to 1,907 the number of U.S. service personnel who have died in the country since the invasion. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Fatal Helicopter Crash / Mexico - September 22nd, 2005: "A helicopter carrying the Cabinet minister in charge of Mexico's federal police, his deputy and seven others crashed in cloud-shrouded mountains outside Mexico City on Wednesday [09/21/05], killing everyone on board, President Vincent Fox said. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Time to move on, Mr. President - September 22nd, 2005:

   Seriously, Mr. President, this job can't be fun for you anymore. There's no more money to spend. You used up all of that. You can't start another war because you also used up the army. And now, darn the luck, the rest of your term has become the Bush family nightmare: helping poor people.
   Yeah, listen to your mom. The cupboard's bare, the credit card's maxed out and no one is speaking to you: Mission accomplished! Now it's time to do what you've always done best: Lose interest and walk away. Like you did with your military service. And the oil company. And the baseball team. It's time. Time to move on and try the next fantasy job. How about cowboy or spaceman?!
   Now, I know what you're saying. You're saying that there's so many other things that you, as president, could involve yourself in ... Please don't. I know, I know, there's a lot left to do. There's a war with Venezuela, and eliminating the sales tax on yachts. Turning the space program over to the church. And Social Security to Fannie Mae. Giving embryos the vote.
   But, sir, none of that is going to happen now. Why? Because you govern like Billy Joel drives. You've performed so poorly I'm surprised you haven't given yourself a medal. You're a catastrophe that walks like a man.
   Herbert Hoover was a (terrible) president, but even he never conceded an entire metropolis to rising water and snakes.
   On your watch, we've lost almost all of our allies, the surplus, four airliners, two Trade Centers, a piece of the Pentagon and the City of New Orleans ... Maybe you're just not lucky!
   I'm not saying you don't love this country. I'm just wondering how much worse it could be if you were on the other side. So, yes, God does speak to you, and what he's saying is, "Take a hint."

[Based on: article (From "Real Time with Bill Maher," HBO, September 9, 2005.), p. C13, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 09/22/05]

2005 - Hurricane Trivia / Atlantic Ocean - September 22nd, 2005: "[....] The yearly average for named storms in the Atlantic is 10. This year, there have been 17. With more than two months until the end of hurricane season, named storms could exceed 21, setting a record. After Hurricanes Vince and Wilma - the last names on this year's list - Greek letters will be used for any storms, starting with Alpha." [Based on: News Services article, p. A7, S.L.P.D., 09/22/05]

*Trivia: "[....] Since 1928, only 28 Category 5 hurricanes have formed in the Atlantic Ocean and, of those, only eight have struck land, three of them in the United States. Those three were an unnamed strom that hit the Florida Keys in 1935; Camille, which hit Mississippi in 1969; and Andrew, which struck southern Florida in 1992." [Based on: News Services article, p. A7, S.L.P.D., 09/22/05]

2005 - Prison Time / James R. Gibson - September 22nd, 2005: "James R. Gibson found out Wednesday [09/21/05] that winning an appeal in court is not necessarily a good thing. A federal judge sentenced the former investment manager - convicted in a multi-million-dollar fraud - to 40 years in prison. That's almost double Gibson's original sentence of 22 years, which was thrown out last year on appeal. [....] His sentence outstrips those ordered in some national-profile cases, like the eight years that Tyco International executive Dennis Kozlowski is expected to serve, and the 25-year term for former WorldCom Inc. chairman Bernard Ebbers. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Cindy Sheehan / Washington D.C. - September 22nd, 2005: "In protest speeches outside the White House and Capitol, antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan pledged Wednesday [09/21/05] to 'force change to happen.' [....] She is expected to participate Saturday [09/24/05] in a rally against the Iraq war that organizers hope could draw tens of thousands of people." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Atumnal Equinox / Northern Hemisphere - September 22nd, 2005: "Today is the autumnal equinox, the first day of autumn in the northern hemisphere. The sun is crossing the celestial equator, and day and night are of almost equal length. That's why we call it an equinox, which in Latin means 'equal night.' Today is an equinox in the southern hemisphere, too, but there it marks the beginning of spring. Wherever you are, enjoy the change of seasons."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [09/22/05] 

2005 - Settlement / Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc. - September 22nd, 2005: "Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc. agreed to pay a $1 million penalty to settle civil charges that its system allowed brokers to improperly execute more than 18,000 fund trades after the close of trading. Legg Mason, based in Baltimore, settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission without admitting or denying wrongdoing." [Based on: Business Page article, p. B2, S.L.P.D., 09/22/05]

2005 - Faulty Landing Gear / JetBlue Airliner, Los Angeles - September 22nd, 2005: "A JetBlue airliner with faulty landing gear touched down safely Wednesday [09/21/05] at Los Angeles International Airport after circling the region for three hours with its front wheels turned sideways, unable to be retracted into the plane. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "There have been at least seven cases in which the front wheels on an Airbus A320 became stuck in a sideways position, forcing pilots to make emergency landings. [....] 'It's a safe aircraft,' he [FAA spokesman, Greg Martin] said. The front landing gear is designed to rotate 90 degrees as it retracts." [Based on: News Services article, 09/23/05]

2005 - Concealed Sexual Abuse / Philadelphia Archdiocese - September 22nd, 2005: "Two cardinals and other leaders of the Philadelphia Archdiocese concealed sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests for four decades, a grand jury has found. But no criminal charges can be brought against the church or its clergy because of the limits of state law. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A3, S.L.P.D., 09/22/05]

2005 - "Not As Effective?" / Flu Vaccinations, The Elderly - September 22nd, 2005: "A new analysis of 40 years of research provides more evidence that flu shots are not as effective in the elderly as commonly believed. But health officials still say older people should be vaccinated. [....] It found that the vaccine is only about 28 percent effective when given to people over 65. Older people are particularly vulnerable to influenza. The findings are similar to those of a study done by the U.S. National Institutes of Health that found flu shots for the elderly in the United States had not saved lives. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A14, S.L.P.D., 09/22/05]

2005 - Series of Earthquakes / North of Los Angeles, California - September 22nd, 2005: "A series of earthquakes [about 12 in Central California] ranging up to magnitude 4.7 shook an area north of Los Angeles on Thursday [09/22/05]. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The temblors were in the San Joaquin Valley about 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, 09/23/05]

2005 - Sun in Libra - September 23rd, 2005: "Reported date when the Sun entered the constellation Libra." [Based on: http://www.astro.com/swisseph/swephae.htm - 2005 A]

2005 - Godless by design - September 23rd, 2005: "

In "You said it" (Sept. 18), Pamela Muich Jearls said people who do not like the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance should pack their bags and leave for the godless shores of China. Fortunately for us, however, we already live in a country that is godless - in the best sense of the term.
   The United States is governed by the rule of law, not theology. Everyone is free to worship whichever deity he or she chooses, or no deity at all, without risking any of the rights or privileges we enjoy as citizens.
   Evidently Ms. Jearls needs to be reminded that Muslims, atheists, Hindus, Secular Humanists and people of every other spiritual leaning are not merely guests of her Christian brotherhood in this country, but are full and equal citizens with her. Since she seems to be so uncomfortable with this arrangement, I'd suggest she pack her own bags and head for Iran, where strict religious observance is compulsory.

[Based on: Opinion Page article by Rich Graff ( Pacific, Mo.), p. C10, S.L.P.D., 09/23/05]

2005 - Bomb Blasts / Pakistan - September 23rd, 2005: "Two bombs exploded Thursday [09/22/05] in the city of Lahore, leaving six people dead and two dozen wounded, police said. [....] The first bomb was planted under the seat of a bicycle and exploded near a crowded park, killing one person and injuring nine, three seriously, police said. About 90 minutes later, a second bomb went off outside a jewelry shop in a commercial district, killing five and wounding 17, police said." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Fatality Trivia / Afghanistan - September 23rd, 2005: "[....] Fierce fighting has killed more than 1,200 people in Afghanistan in the past six months. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A12, S.L.P.D., 09/23/05]

2005 - Land Seizure Trivia / South Africa - September 23rd, 2005: "South Africa's government is for the first time moving to seize land from a white farmer. It said Thursday [09/22/05] that negotiations to buy the property to hand over to black claimants were taking too long. [....] When South Africa's democratic government came to power in 1994, some 87 percent of farm land was owned by whites, who account for just 10 percent of the population. Whites still own about 80 percent, according to some estimates." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Status / Florida Orange Harvest - September 23rd, 2005: "The Florida orange crop that growers finished harvesting in June had the lowest value in 19 years as production was slashed because of three hurricanes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. The harvest of $149.6 million boxes was worth $508.5 million, down from 242 million boxes a year earlier valued at $699.9 million, the USDA said in its final report on the 2004-2005 season. Growers were paid 18 percent more per box for fruit." [Based on: Business Page article, p. B2, S.L.P.D., 09/23/05]

2005 - Trivia / Engineered Support Systems Inc. - September 23rd, 2005: "A New Jersey defense company will pay nearly $2 billion to acquire Engineered Support Systems Inc. in a deal that offers a 29 percent premium for a company whose rapid growth trajectory sputtered this year. DRS Technologies Inc. of Parsippany, N.J., said Thursday [09/22/05] it will pay $43 dollars for each share of Cool Valley-based Engineered Support - 70 percent in cash and 30 percent in DRS stock. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Offshore Honduras - September 23rd, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 13:48:31 (UTC) on Friday, September 23, 2005. The magnitude 6.0 event has been located OFFSHORE HONDURAS. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: preliminary earthquake report @: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usdiaw.htm] 

2005 - Parliamentary Approval / Viktor Yushchenko, Ukraine - September 23rd, 2005: "President Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine won parliamentary approval of a new prime minister on a second vote Thursday [09/22/05]. He did so after striking a deal with his bitter rival in last year's disputed presidential elections. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Google TV? - September 24th, 2005: "Google Inc., the most-used Internet search engine, is seeking to hire a manager who will apply its technology to television. [....] Offering a search engine for TV would be one way for Google to expand beyond Web advertising." [Based on: Business Page article, p. A34, S.L.P.D., 09/24/05]

2005 - Minor Earthquake / Maine - September 24th, 2005: "A minor earthquake shook a small region in northern Maine [0924/05], officials said. No injuries or damage were reported. [....] The quake measured 3.4 on the Richter scale; a 4.0 quake can do moderate damage." [Based on: Article, p. A3, S.L.P.D., 09/26/05]

2005 - Heavy Fighting / Ramadi, Iraq - September 24th, 2005: "Heavy fighting surged Friday [09/23/05] in the Euphrates River city of Ramadi, police and hospital officials said, and the U.S. military reported the deaths of two more soldiers around the militant stronghold. The Ramadi area has been the scene of nearly one-quarter of 29 American deaths this month. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Weekly Decline / U.S. Stocks - September 24th, 2005: "Stocks had their biggest weekly decline in three months Friday [09/23/05] as Hurricane Rita roared toward the Texas coast and companies - including Alcoa Inc. - said higher oil prices are eroding profits. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Truck Explosion / Hamas Rally - September 24th, 2005: "A truck filled with masked militants and homeade weapons exploded at a Hamas rally Friday [09/23/05], killing at least 15 Palestinians and wounding 80, including some children. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Resignation / USFDA Commissioner - September 24th, 2005: "Embattled Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Lester M. Crawford resigned unexpectedly Friday [09/23/05], just two months after he survived a tough Senate confirmation. President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, director of the National Cancer Institute, to be acting commisssioner. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - Prisoner Abuse Revelations / Iraq - September 24th, 2005: "The Army has opened an investigation into a Fort Bragg soldier's allegations that he witnessed and heard about widespread prisoner abuse - including torture and a beating with a baseball bat - while serving at a base in Iraq. The announcement Friday [09/23/05] came as a human rights organization released a scathing report on three 82nd Airborne Division soldiers' accounts of prisoners being beaten, forced to hold five-gallon jugs of water in their outstretched arms, and denied sleep, food and water. [....] The Human Rights Watch report detailed severe, routine beatings of detainees by the 82nd Airborne Division. One of the sergeants told the group that military intelligence personnel, eager for information, often instructed soldiers to 'smoke' detainees during questioning, according to the report. 'Smoking' prisoners meant physically abusing them until they lost consciousness." [Based on: A.P. article, p. A32, S.L.P.D., 09/24/05]

2005 - Hurricane Rita / U.S. Gulf Coast - September 24th, 2005: "Hurricane Rita carved a new path of destruction along the Gulf Coast on Saturday [09/24/05], crushing buildings and flooding vast regions but failing short of the calamity inflicted by Hurricane Katrina. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers, 09/25/05]

2005 - Married / Ashton Kutcher & Demi Moore - September 24th, 2005: "[....] Us Weekly and People reported on their Web sites that Kutcher, 27, and Moore, 42, were married Saturday night [09/24/05] at a private home in Beverly Hills. [....]" [Based on: People Section, p. A2, S.L.P.D., 09/27/05]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Vanuatu - September 25th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 12:55:46 (UTC) on Sunday, September 25, 2005. The magnitude 6.1 event has been located in VANUATU. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: preliminary earthquake report @: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usdkam.htm]

2005 - Israeli Airstrikes / Gaza Strip - September 25th, 2005: "Israel carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Saturday [09/24/05] and gathered ground forces just outside Gaza's borders, actions that came as the defense minister threatened a forceful response to the overnight rocket barrage Friday [09/23/05] by the Islamic faction Hamas. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

*Trivia: "Israel killed an Islamic Jihad commander in an airstrike in the Gaza Strip and rounded up more than 200 wanted Palestinians in the West Bank. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promised to use 'all means' against the militants. The airstrike killed Islamic Jihad's top commander in southern Gaza, Mohammed Khalil, and his bodyguard as they drove along a coastal road in Gaza City. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, p. A9, S.L.P.D., 09/26/05]

2005 - Anti-War Protestors / Washington D.C. - September 25th, 2005: "Tens of thousands of people gathered Saturday [09/24/05] in Washington to voice opposition to the war in Iraq and demand that U.S. troops be withdrawn. [....]" [Based on: News Article, p. A2, S.L.P.D., 09/25/05] - [The Associated Press contributed to this report.]

2005 - Status / "Potentially Hazardous Asteroids" - September 25th, 2005: "On 25 Sep 2005 there were 710 known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/ (near bottom of page)] - [09/24/05]

2005 - Vote to Report Iran to U.N. Security Council - September 25th, 2005: "The board of the International Atomic Energy Agency voted to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council for violating its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

*Trivia: "Iran broadened its threats Tuesday [09/27/05] over a move to refer it to the U.N. Security Council, saying that unless the U.N. atomic watchdog agency backs down, it will resume uranium enrichment, block inspections to its nuclear facilities and cut trade with countries that supported the resolution. Iran has rejected the resolution, protesting it was politically motivated and without legal foundation." [Based on: News Services article, P. A6, S.L.P.D., 09/28/05]

2005 - Flown to Countries That Practice Torture? / Terrorist Suspects - September 25th, 2005: "A branch of the U.S. Navy secretly contracted a 33-plane fleet that included the two Gulfstream jets reportedly used to fly terrorist suspects to countries known to practice torture, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Suicide Bomber / Iraq - September 26th, 2005: "A suicide bomber driving a minibus pulled alongside a convoy of elite Iraqi commandos Sunday [09/25/05] in the capital and detonated the vehicle, killing at least 10 people in a spray of burning metal, witnesses said. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - Elections Trivia / Poland - September 26th, 2005: "Polish voters ousted the nation's scandal-prone government of excommunists in parliamentary elections Sunday [09/25/05], according to exit polls. They gave a broad majority to two center-right parties that have promised tax cuts and clean government. [....] Projections based on exit polls by state television showed that socially conservative Law and Justice Party with 27.8 percent and the free-market Civic Platform with 24.1 percent. The governing Democratic Left Alliance, which has been plagued by Europe's highest unemployment rate and scandals, lagged behind with 11.2 percent. [....] After the release of the exit polls, Law and Justice leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said he had a mandate to become prime minister, citing a deal with Civic Platform. [....] State TV projections showed the two parties winning 305 seats in the 460-seat lower house, easily a majority but short of the two-thirds they would need to alter the constitution." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Gigantic "Solar Prominence" - September 26th, 2005: "Today [09/26/05], astronomers are monitoring a gigantic solar prominence - 'the largest I've imaged in several years,' says veteran astrophotographer Jack Newton. Yesterday it bent into an arch large enough for the whole planet Earth to slip through, as shown in this picture [see link] from Stefan Seip of Stuttgart, Germany: [....] Prominences are clouds of hot-glowing hydrogen gas held aloft by solar magnetic force fields. Big prominences like this one can last for days before they subside or explode. If you have a safely-filtered telescope, check it out."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [09/26/05] 

2005 - Fatality / May Chidiac, Lebanon - September 26th, 2005: "A bomb rigged to the car of a prominent journalist [May Chidiac] for an anti-Syrian television station exploded Sunday [09/25/05], severing the woman's arm and leg. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, p. A9, S.L.P.D., 09/26/05]

2005 - Major Earthquake / Northern Peru - September 26th, 2005: "A major earthquake occurred at 01:55:39 (UTC) on Monday, September 26, 2005. The magnitude 7.5 event has been located in NORTHERN PERU. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: preliminary earthquake report @: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usdlad.htm] 

2005 - Typhoon Damrey / Southern China - September 26th, 2005: "Typhoon Damrey slammed into southern China's resort island of Hianan on Monday [09/26/05], killing at least nine people, collapsing houses and sweeping away rice, rubber and banana crops. Packing winds of up to 125 mph, Damrey made landfall north of Hainan's Wanning City before dawn, the official Xinhua News Agency said. It was the island's strongest typhoon since 1973, the agency said. [....] The storm scoured the island's southern portion before heading out to sea to toward Vietnam to the west."

[Based on: News Services article, p. A5, S.L.P.D., 09/27/05] - [Note: typo left uncorrected - E.M.]

2005 - Peace Activists? / U.S. White House - September 26th, 2005: "Iraq war protestor Cindy Sheehan and 26 other peace activists were found guilty Thursday [11/17/05] of protesting without a permit near the White House. They were each ordered to pay $75 in fines and court costs, but Sheehan's lawyer said he plans to appeal the verdict. 'We weren't demonstrating,' Sheehan said after the trial. All the defendents contended that on Sept. 26, they were trying to deliver petitions to the White House calling for an end to the war in Iraq but found no one willing to accept them. 'Our petitions were rejected like every request I have made of the president has been rejected,' Sheehan said." [Based on: News Services article (27 peace activists are fined for protest), p. A4, S.L.P.D., 11/18/05]

2005 - U.S. Helicopter Crash / Afghanistan - September 26th, 2005: "A U.S. military helicopter [CH-47] crashed Sunday [09/25/05] in a mountainous area plagued by Taliban violence, killing all five American crew members. The U.S. military said there was no sign it had been shot down. The crash of the Chinook helicopter is the third this year involving the large troop-carrying choppers that have proved essential in battling a reinvigorated insurgency in remote, largely inaccessible parts of Afghanistan. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Discharged From Hospital / Dick Cheney - September 26th, 2005: "Vice President Dick Cheney walked slowly out of the hospital Sunday [09/25/05], one day after surgery to repair aneurysms on the back of both his knees. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - "No Fresh Clues?" / Osama Bin Laden - September 26th, 2005: "Osama bin Laden is hiding out with a small core of mainly Arab supporters, and the al-Qaida leader now sends messages only by courier because his communications network has been destroyed, senior Pakistani military and intelligence officials said Sunday [09/25/05] [....] 'In our opinion, the reports on the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden are more speculative stories rather than based on accurate intelligence,' said Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, chief spokesman for Pakistan's army. [....] 'For a very long time there are no intercepts about Osama bin Laden giving instructions to his regional commanders, either through radio, telephone, satellite phone or the Internet,' said a senior security official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject." [Based on: A.P. article, p. A9, S.L.P.D., 09/26/05]

2005 - National Mall Support Rally / U.S. Troops Serving Abroad - September 26th, 2005: "Support for U.S. troops fighting abroad mixed with anger toward anti-war demonstrators at home as hundreds of people, far fewer than organizers had expected, rallied Sunday [09/25/05] on the National Mall just a day after tens of thousands protested against the war in Iraq. [....] National polls have found steadily declining support for the war in Iraq, with a majority of Americans now believing the war was a mistake. In an AP-Ipsos poll this month, only 37 percent approved or leaned toward approval of how Bush has handled the situation in Iraq; strong disapproval outweighed strong approval by 2-1, 46 percent to 22 percent." [Based on: A.P. article, p. A3, S.L.P.D., 09/26/05]

2005 - Status / U.S. Oil Rigs - September 27th, 2005: "[....] 'The early indication is that at least as many rigs are going to be impacted from Rita as Katrina,' said david Kent, owner and editor of Rigzone.com, a Web site devoted to offshore oil production. 'Rita went through an area of the Gulf where there simply were more mobile offshore rigs.' [....] On-shore refineries also took a hit. The Energy Department said Monday [09/26/05] that Katrina and Rita together had cut the nation's refining capacity by 25 percent. Even when energy companies restart their Texas and Louisiana facilities, at least 10 percent of U.S. refining capacity will remain idle for weeks or months. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Iraq - September 27th, 2005: "Insurgents dragged five Shiite Muslim schoolteachers and their driver into a classroom, lined them up against a wall and gunned them down Monday [09/26/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 -  Trivia / U.S. Housing Market - September 27th, 2005: "Defying expectations, sales of previously owned houses rose in August to the second-highest level on record, with prices rising at the fastest pace in 26 years. The National Association of Realtors said Monday [09/26/05] that sales of existing houses rose 2 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 7.29 million units - a pace exceeded only by an all-time high 7.35 million units in June. Economists had forecast a slight decline, thinking that the red-hot housing market was beginning to cool. Strong demand last month pushed up prices to a record $220,000, 15.8 percent higher than in August 2004. That was the biggest 12-month increase since a 17.2 percent increase in July 1979. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Sales of new houses plunged in August by the largest amount in nine months as the housing industry continued to flash mixed signals about whether the boom is starting to fade. Sales fell 9.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.24 million units, the Commerce Department said Tuesday [09/27/05]. Even with the slowdown in sales, the sales price rose 2.5 percent from July's level to $220,300. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. C3, S.L.P.D., 09/28/05]

2005 - Student Protests / Beirut, Lebanon - September 27th, 2005: "Thousands of protesting students in Lebanon called on their government to take action Monday [09/26/05] against a recent wave of terrorist bombings, including one over the weekend. Lebanese Interior Minister Hassan Sabei acknowledged that the government was struggling to keep the country secure against what he called 'some kind of Phantom.' [....]" [Based on: News Services article, p. A5, S.L.P.D., 09/27/05]

2005 - Vote of Confidence? / Ariel Sharon - September 27th, 2005: "Prime Minister Ariel Sharon survived a major challenge to his leadership in the party he helped found, narrowly claiming victory Monday [09/26/05] in a vote widely seen as a referendum on his rule and the recent withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. [....] The vote by the 3,000-member Likud central committee was ostensibly over a procedural issue: whether to hold elections for party leader in April, as scheduled, or move up the primary to November. But Sharon and his main rival - Benjamin Netanyahu - said the ballot amounted to a vote of confidence in the prime minister. [....] Likud members voted 1,433 to 1,329 - a margin of just 104 votes - in favor of keeping the schedule intact, according to official results. Turnout was 91 percent. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Convicted / Pfc. Lynndie England - September 27th, 2005: "Army Pfc. Lynndie England ... was convicted Monday [09/26/05] by a military jury on six of seven counts. [....] Her case now moves to the sentencing phase, which will be heard by the same jury beginning today [09/27/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Army Pfc. Lynndie England was sentenced Tuesday [09/27/05] to three years behind bars for her part in abusing detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, 09/28/05]

2005 - Full Disarmament? / Irish Republican Army - September 27th, 2005: "International weapons inspectors backed by Protestant and Roman Catholic clergymen announced the Irish Republican Army's full disarmament Monday [09/26/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Labor Federation / U.S.A - September 28th, 2005: "American employers are about to face a $750 million organizing blitz aimed at making major inroads among the nearly 90 percent of workers who don't belong to unions. Meeting at the Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel downtown [St. Louis, Mo.] on Tuesday [09/27/05], delegates from seven major national unions formed a labor federation that will rival the AFL-CIO - and they made clear that the first order of business will be an aggressive organizing campaign. 'We are going to put our money into organizing, and we will succeed,' said Teamsters President Jim Hoffa, promising a 'lean, mean organizing machine.' [....]" [Based on: Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau, p. A1, S.L.P.D., 09/28/05]

2005 - Typhoon Damrey / Vietnam - September 28th, 2005: "After killing at least 31 people in China and the Philippines, Typhoon Damrey slammed ashore in Vietnam, forcing the evacuation of nearly 300,000 people along the coastal region. The most powerful typhoon to hit northern Vietnam in a decade injured nine people after it landed in Thanh Hoa province, packing winds of up to 60 mph, said Le Van Thao of the National Meteorology Center. Thanh Hoa is 100 miles south of Hanoi." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Charter Communications Inc. - September 28th, 2005: "Charter Communications Inc. said its subsidiaries exchanged $6.86 billion of existing debt for new notes with longer maturities in a transaction completed Monday [09/26/05]. The subsidiaries had offered to exchange debt up to $8.43 billion. In the exchange, Charter took in $3.39 billion in notes that mature in 2009 and 2010 and $3.47 billion in notes that mature in 2011 and 2012. A subsidiary then issued $3.53 billion of new 11 percent notes due in 2015 and $2.53 billion of various series of notes due in 2014 and 2015. About $1.66 billion of the old notes will remain outstanding." [Based on: Business Page article, p. C2, S.L.P.D., 09/28/05]

*Trivia: "Standard & Poor's cut the rating on Charter Communications Holdings LLC to 'selective default' from CCC+ after Charter this week exchanged some of its notes due in 2009 to 2012. The rating on those notes was cut to D. [....] After the downgrades, Charter Holdings was reassigned to CCC+, a junk-bond rating, with a negative outlook. All other ratings on Charter and its subsidiaries carry the CCC+ corporate rating." [Based on: Business Page article, p. C2, S.L.P.D., 09/29/05]

2005 - Foreign Relations / U.S. & Uzbekistan - September 28th, 2005: "A senior department official said Tuesday [09/27/05] that the president of Uzbekistan made it clear that American forces must leave their air base in the Central Asian country, and the U.S. intends to do so 'without further discussion.' The demand came as relations soured after U.S. criticism of Uzbekistan's crackdown on anti-government protestors in May in the eastern city of Andijan. 'The Uzbek government made it clear that we need to leave the base, and we intend to leave it without further discussion,' Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried told reporters after meeting with President Islam Karimov." [Based on: News Services]

*Trivia: "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice won fresh promises Tuesday [10/11/05] that U.S. forces can remain at an important Central Asian air base. On a trip to Central Asia and Afghanistan, Rice also encouraged further democratic progress for Kyrgyzstan's fledgling reformist government. The Manas air base near the Kyrgyz capital city was Rice's first stop in the region. The base supplies fuel and other goods to U.S.-led troops fighting the 4-year-old war in Afghanistan." [Based on: News Services article, p. A9, 10/12/05]

*Trivia: "The Air Force has flown its last mission from an air base in Uzbekistan that was once a hub for operations in Afghanistan. In July, President Islam Karimov ordered the United States to vacate the base within six months. He acted after the United States joined international condemnation of a government crackdown on civilians in the eastern city of Andijan in May. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 11/22/05]

2005 - Israeli Airstrikes / Gaza City, Gaza Strip - September 28th, 2005: "[....] Israeli aircraft unleashed a barrage of missles early today, and the army fired artillery into the Gaza Strip. The Israeli airstrikes knocked out power throughout nearly all of Gaza City. The army said it targeted three buildings used for 'terror activity' by Palestinian militants and an access route in northern Gaza used by militants to fire rockets. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article]

2005 - Resignation Announced / Interior Minister, Afghanistan - September 28th, 2005: "Afghanistan's interior minister [Ahmad Ali Jalali] ... announced his resignation Tuesday [09/27/05] after struggling to combat Afghanistan's booming drug trade. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Resignation Announced / Police Superintendent, New Orleans - September 28th, 2005: "Police Superintendent Eddie Compass resigned Tuesday [09/27/05] after four turbulent weeks in which the police force was wracked by desertions and disorganization in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - "Living Like Cavemen?" / Hurricane Rita Victims, Port Arthur, Texas  - September  28th, 2005:

[....]

   Port Arthur Mayor Oscar Ortiz, whose own home was destroyed by fire after the hurricane, said "we've had 101 promises" for aid, "but it's all bureaucracy." He and other officials gathered at a hotel-turned-command center, where a dirty American flag found among hurricane debris was hung on the wall.
   John Owens is emergency management coordinator and deputy police chief in the town of 57,000. He said pleas for state and federal relief were met with requests for paperwork.
   "We have been living like cavemen, sleeping in cars, doing bodily functions outside," he said.
   Temperatures climbed into the upper 90s, and officials worried that swarms of mosquitos might spread disease.

[....]

[Baseed on: A.P. article, p. A7, S.L.P.D., 09/28/05]

2005 - Suicide Blast / Iraq - September 29th, 2005: "A woman disguised in a man's robes and headress slipped into a line of army recruits Wednesday [09/28/05] and detonated explosives strapped to her body. The blast killed at least six recruits and wounded 35. It was the first known suicide attack by a woman in Iraq's insurgency. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Indicted / Tom DeLay - September 29th, 2005: "Tom DeLay relished a take-no-prisoner approach as he rose to the top of Congress. Now, the iron-fisted Republican leader faces a historic battle to keep himself out of a prison cell. A Texas grand jury on Wednesday [09/28/05] indicted DeLay on a charge of conspiring to violate political fundraising laws, making him the highest-ranking member of Congress to face criminal prosecution. House Republican rules forced him to temporarily step aside as majority leader while he fights the charge. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Rep. Tom DeLay has been summoned by a judge to appear in court in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 21. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 09/30/05]

*Trivia: "Missouri Rep. Roy Blunt was catapulted into the second-highest House Republican post Wednesday [09/28/05] when legal troubles forced Rep. Tom DeLay to temporarily step down as majority leader. [....]" [Based on: Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau, 09/29/05]

2005 - Suicide Attack / Afganistan - September 29th, 2005: "A uniformed man on a motorbike detonated a bomb Wednesday [09/28/05] outside an Afghan army training center where soldiers were waiting to take buses home. Nine people were killed and 28 wounded in a rare suicide attack. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - "Agrees to Testify" / Judith Miller - September 29th, 2005: "After nearly three months behind bars, New York Times reporter Judith Miller was released from a federal prison Thursday [09/29/05] after agreeing to testify in the investigation into the disclosure of a covert CIA officer's identity, the paper's publisher and executive editor said. [....] 'My source has now voluntarily and personally released me from my promise of confidentiality regarding our conversations,' Miller said Thursday in a statement. [....] That source was I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, according to people who have been officially briefed on the case. [....]" [Based on: New York Times, 09/30/05]

*Trivia: "[....] After receiving the waiver, her attorney, Robert Bennett, contacted Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald to see if her testimony could be limited to her communication with the source, Miller said. 'Believe me, I did not want to be in jail. But I would have stayed even longer if I had not received these two things: the personal waiver and narrow testimony,' she said. Another reporter, Matthew Cooper of Time magazine, also decided to testify in the case after getting a waiver from his source, White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove and possibly others. [....]" [Based on: Cox News Service article, p. A23, S.L.P.D., 10/01/05]

2005 - Overdue Credit Card Bills / U.S.A. - September 29th, 2005: "[....] The American Bankers Association said Wednesday [09/28/05] that the percentage of credit-card accounts 30 or more days past due climbed to an all-time high of 4.81 percent in the April-to-June period. The previous high of 4.76 percent came in the first three months of the year, in keeping with a generally steady rise over the last several years. [....] The personal savings rate dipped to a record low of -0.6 percent in July. The negative percentage means that people did not have enough left over after paying their taxes to cover all of their spending in July. As a result, they dipped into savings to cover the shortfall. When people have less money available to pay for energy costs or emergencies such as a big car repair, many resort to credit. That option is getting more expensive too. The Federal Reserve has been tightening credit since June 2004. That has caused commercial banks' prime lending rate to rise to 6.75 percent, the highest in four years. These rates are used for many short-term consumer loans, including credit cards and popular home equity lines of credit. [....] From an economic perspective, the current rise in delinquent credit card payments is not overly worrisome. However, if the trend were to continue for a sustained period, it could spell trouble for the economy, said Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Bank of America's Investment Strategies Group. 'It's a flashing yellow light that we need to watch,' she said." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Shut Down / Palestinian Charities, West Bank - September 29th, 2005: "Israel shut down charities with ties to Hamas across the West Bank on Wednesday [09/28/05] as it widened a five-day offensive against Palestinian militants despite pledges by the militants to stop firing rockets at Israel. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Papua New Guinea - September 29th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 15:50:25 (UTC) on Thursday, September 29, 2005. The magnitude 6.5 event has been located in the NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: preliminary earthquake report @: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usdpaw.htm]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Papua New Guinea - September 29th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 18:23:26 (UTC) on Thursday, September 29, 2005. The magnitude 6.1 event has been located in the NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: preliminary earthquake report @: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usdpa4.htm]

2005 - Sentenced / U.S. Army Sgt. Joshua R. Claus - September 29th, 2005: "An Army interrogator was sentenced to five months in prison Wednesday [09/28/05] for assaulting a detainee in Afghanistan who later died. Army Sgt. Joshua R. Claus was the sixth soldier to be convicted of or plead guilty to abusing detainees after the deaths of two prisoners at the Bagram Airfield detention center. In all, 14 were charged. [....]" [Based on: Article, p. A3, S.L.P.D., 09/29/05]

2005 - Fined / Edward Jones - September 30th, 2005: "Edward Jones was fined $300,000 Thursday [09/29/05] for failing to disclose required information on more than 86,000 municipal bond sales. [....] The NASD said Edward Jones' supervisory system and procedures were not adequate enough from May 1995 to April 2004 to catch the error. [....] Edward Jones did not admit to, nor deny the charges, but it accepted the penalty. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, p. B2, 09/30/05]

2005 - Suicide Blasts / Iraq - September 30th, 2005: "Three suicide attackers killed at least 60 people and wounded 70 in a string of nearly simultaneous car bombings in a mainly Shiite town Thursday [09/29/05]. Elsewhere, a roadside bomb killed five U.S. soldiers. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - FDA Warning / Strattera - September 30th, 2005: "The Food and Drug Administration warned doctors Thursday [09/29/05] about reports of suicidal thinking in some children and adolescents who are taking Strattera, a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Manufacturer Eli Lily & Co. announced that a black-box warning will be added to the drug's label in the United States. Such a warning is the most serious that can be added to a medication's label. Similar warnings will be added to the drug's labels in other countries. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / U.S. National Debt - September 30th, 2005: "[....] The National Debt [U.S.A.] has continued to increase an average of $2.14 billion per day since September 30, 2005! [....]"

[Based on: http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/] 

2005 - SEC Investigation / HCA Inc. - September 30th, 2005: "The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating HCA Inc., the hospital chain founded by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's family, the company said Thursday [09/29/05]. [....] Frist's father and brother started the company, which grew into the nation's largest for-profit health care chain. [....]" [Based on: News Services, p. A7, S.L.P.D., 09/30/05]

2005 - Grand Jury Testimony / Judith Miller - September 30th, 2005: "Miller testifies before grand jury." [Based on: Illustrated Timeline, p. A13, S.L.P.D., 10/30/05]

2005 - Guilty Pleas / Samuel Israel III & Daniel Marino - September 30th, 2005: "Two top officers of the scandal-ridden Bayou hedge fund suddenly emerged from hiding Thursday [09/29/05] and admitted engaging in a fraud that totaled hundreds of millions of dollars. Samuel Israel III, who founded Bayou and was its chief executive, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy, investment adviser fraud and mail fraud. His chief financial officer, Daniel Marino, pleaded guilty to those charges and wire fraud. [....] The men, both 46, had disappeared this summer. The executives admitted telling existing and prospective customers - in weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reports - that Stamford, Conn.-based Bayou was generating significant profits when the fund was actually sustaining losses." [Based on: Business page article, p. B2, S.L.P.D., 09/30/05]

October 2005

2005 - Having a Bad Year / Pfizer - October 1st, 2005: "Pfizer, the world's largest drug company, is having a bad year. A lawsuit filed on Wednesday [09/28/05] against Pfizer claiming that it oversold the benefits of its anticholesterol medicine Lipitor is only the latest hurdle facing the company. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Palestinian Elections - October 1st, 2005: "The Islamic militant group Hamas, the main threat to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' rule, suffered a setback in local elections in dozens of West Bank towns and villages, final results indicated Friday [09/30/05]. Abbas' Fatah movement won 54 percent of Thursday's vote to 26 percent for Hamas. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Artifacts / Sac River, Missouri - October 2005: "Missouri's Sac River flows over the broken halves of an unfinished spearpoint crafted some 13,000 years ago and discovered at a nearby dig site dubbed Big Eddy for the river's potent swirls. Researchers have found even older artifacts that may date back 14,600 years. If true, it would mean people have lived here a thousand years before the arrival from Asia of the Clovis people, long thought to be the first Americans. Workers at the site must dig fast to learn more: Periodic surges of water from an upstream hydroelectric dam are washing away Big Eddy's remaining clues." [Based on: N.G.M. (October 2005), p. 92]

*Trivia: "[....] Before the Sac was dammed, seasonal floods regularly covered this area with silt, burying whatever tools or trash Native Americans and their distant ancestors left on the ground. Those stacked layers, or strata, are well defined at Big Eddy, affording archaeologists the rare opportunity to place ancient artifacts and cultures in clear chronological sequence. [....] The finds have sparked excitement and added to current debates on when the earliest Americans arrived. Conventional theory holds that the first arrivals were the so-called Clovis people, whose oldest artifacts, from the Trinity River Basin in Texas, are about 13,500 years old. But Lopinot's team has turned up what may be signs of earlier human activity. An oblong stone and fragments of a sandstone boulder could have been used as a hammer and anvil, based on their location and similarity to anvil stones discovered at other sites. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal found at the same depth yielded ages of 14,000 to 14,600 years - predating the oldest Clovis artifacts by at least 500 years. [....]" [Based on: N.G.M. (October 2005), pp. 94-96]

2005 - Underwater Eruption /  NW Rota-1 Volcano - October 2005: "An unmanned probe got within feet of a violent underwater eruption in the Pacific Ocean, returning with the clearest footage ever captured of seismic activity under the sea, a team of Japanese and U.S. researchers says. The footage was released Thursday [05/25/06] by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. It shows gray ash and rock spewing from the underwater NW Rota-1 volcano as it erupted in October. Lava streams down the volcano, 1,800 feet underwater in the Mariana Arc volcanic chain, some 60 miles north of Guam. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article (Probe could shed light on underwater eruptions), p. A28, S.L.P.D., 05/27/06]

2005 - Hurricane Otis / Western Mexico - October 1st, 2005: "Newly formed Hurricane Otis swept toward a sparsely populated stretch of Baja California on Friday [09/30/05], forcing people to evacuate low-lying neighborhoods on the outskirts of Cabo San Lucas, a Mexican resort city. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

*Trivia: "Hurricane Otis' outer bands lashed the coast of western Mexico on Saturday [10/01/05] as the strorm crawled toward the Baja California peninsula. Hundreds of families left their homes, and roads flooded in this city resort. The category 1 hurricane weakened but still had winds up to 85 mph as it headed northward off the coast of Baja. [....]" [Based on: News Services, 10/02/05]

*Trivia: "Hurricane Otis weakened to a tropical storm Sunday [10/02/05] and headed north toward an unpopulated stretch of the Baja California Peninsula. Meanwhile, a new storm crossed the Yucatan peninsula from the east. [....]" [Based on: News Services, 10/03/05]

2005 - Resignation / Muslim Chaplain, NYFD - October 1st, 2005: "The fire department's new Muslim chaplain abruptly resigned Friday [09/30/05]. He had said in a published interview that he believes that something else besides the al-Qaida hijackers brought down the World Trade Center. [....] Habib [Imam Intikab Habib] told Newsday in an interview published Friday that he was skeptical of the official version of the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, which killed 343 firefighters. 'I've heard professionals say that nowhere ever in history did a steel building come down with fire alone,' he said. 'It takes two or three weeks to demolish a building like that. But it was pulled down in a couple of hours,' he said. 'Was it 19 hijackers who brought it down, or was it a conspiracy?' [....] 'There are so many conflicting reports about it,' the paper quoted Habib as saying. 'I don't believe it was 19 ... hijackers who did those attacks.' He said he didn't know who was responsible for the attacks." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Typhoon Longwang / Coast of Taiwan - October 1st, 2005: "Longwang means Dragon King (the God of Rain) in Chinese. Typhoon Longwang was living up to its namesake when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image [see link] at 2:05 p.m. local time, on October 1, 2005. At that time, Longwang had peak sustained winds of 230 kilometers per hour (145 miles per hour), slightly less than the peak winds two days earlier, a pattern that suggests that Longwang has reached a stable state and is no longer gaining strength. It also has a 'closed eye' (i.e. the eye of the storm has some cloud cover), another indicator of a storm no longer building additional power.
   In the days following this image, Longwang cut directly across the middle of Taiwan, and earlier in morning on October 2, made a second landfall onto mainland China as a severe storm. [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13176]

2005 - 56th Anniversary / Communist China - October 1st, 2005: "Tens of thousands of Chinese marked on Saturday [10/01/05] the 56th anniversary of Communist rule with the country enjoying the benefits of two decades of rapid economic growth but still facing deep-seated social problems. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Status / Artic Ice Cap - October 2nd, 2005: "The floating cap of sea ice on the Artic Ocean shrank this summer to what is probably its smallest size in at least a century, continuing a trend toward less summer ice, a team of climate experts reported last week. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Suicide Bombers / Bali, Indonesia - October 2nd, 2005: "Suicide bombers targeted the Indonesian resort of Bali on Saturday [10/01/05] with coordinated attacks that devestated three crowded restaurants, killing at least 25 people. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "[....] The nearly simultaneous bombings on the resort island also injured 101 people, including six Americans. [....] All three bombers were believed to be wearing belts of explosives, police said. 'By the evidence we can conclude the bombers were carrying the explosives around their waists,' Mbai [Indonesian anti-terrorism official, Maj. Gen. Ansyaad Mbai] said. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 10/03/05]

2005 - Operation Iron Fist / Syrian Border - October 2nd, 2005: "About 1,000 U.S. soldiers backed by attack helicopters and warplanes swept into a village near the Syrian border Saturday [10/01/05]. The offensive [Operation Iron Fist] is aimed at rooting out al-Qaida militants and stemming violence ahead of a crucial vote on a new constitution. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "U.S. troops battled insurgents holed up in houses and driving explosives-laden vehicles in a second town near the Syrian border Sunday [10/02/05], killing 28 in an expansion of their 2-day-old offensive chasing al-Qaida fighters along the Euphrates River valley, the military said. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 10/03/05]

2005 - Eruption / Ilamatepec Volcano, El Salvador - October 2nd, 2005: "A volcano's eruption in western El Salvador sent a column of ash 50,000 feet into the air and killed two farmers. Authorities ordered the evacuation of three communities near the Ilamatepec volcano, which towers over Santa Ana, the country's second largest city." [Based on: News Services, 10/02/05]

2005 - Soyuz TMA-7 / International Space Station - October 2nd, 2005: "U.S. millionaire scientist Gregory Olsen and an American-Russian crew hurtled toward the international space station Saturday [10/01/05] on a Soyuz craft. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2003 - Solar Eclipse - October 3rd, 2005: "On October 3rd, the moon will glide in front of the sun, producing a solar eclipse visible from Europe, Africa and the Middle East [....] What will it look like? This depends on where you are. [....] In Madrid, for instance, 90% of the sun will be covered. For four long minutes, a 'ring of fire' will emerge all around the moon. Astronomers call this an annular eclipse. [....] In Baghdad, on the other hand, only 23% of the sun is covered. The sun, viewed through a safe filter, will look like a fat crescent. [....]"

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [09/28/05]

2005 - Parroting propoganda - October 3rd, 2005:

   Charles Krauthammer parrots Israeli propoganda in his frequent columns on Israel. He refers to Israeli's attachment to land they reclaimed from sand and swamp. But the land Israel stole from indigenous Palestinians in Gaza (and East Jerusalem and the West Bank) is private property, including prime farmland and public land needed for public purposes.
   Mr Krauthammer calls the removal of illegal Israeli settlements from Gaza a "unilateral concession." Returning land illegally settled is no concession. To defend illegal Jewish settlements in the last four years, Israel destroyed 2,000 Palestinian homes, leaving 16,000 Palestinians homeless. (Unlike Jewish settlers, Palestinians often had to flee their homes with only minutes notice.) Israel destroyed 8,000 acres of prime farmland, including thousands of fruit trees, and killed or wounded hundreds of unarmed civilians. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Israeli human rights groups note many Israeli violations of international law are war crimes.
   Mr Krauthammer claims Israel supports a Palestinian state, but Israel seeks to leave Palestinians with about 10 percent of Palestine/Israel - just enough for Palestinian reservations. Palestinians, in contrast, are willing to cede 78 percent of their homeland to Israel and settle for the 22 percent that is the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.
   The Palestinian position is based on international law and human rights covenants; the Israel position is based on violations of human rights and international law: might makes right.

[Based on: article by Edmund R. Hanauer / Framingham, Mass. Executive Director, Search for Justice and Equality in Palestine/Israel, p. C8, S.L.P.D., 10/03/05] 

2005 - Heavy Rain / El Salvador - October 3rd, 2005: "Heavy rain triggered landslides that killed 23 [later, 66] people - including children - in El Salvador on Monday [10/03/05], while rising rivers forced the evacuation of dozens of people there and in neighboring Guatemala. [....]" [Based on: News Services, 10/04/05]

2005 - Flash Flooding / Northeast Kansas - October 3rd, 2005: "A storm dumped up to a foot of rain over parts of northeast Kansas on Sunday [10/02/05], sparking flash flooding that left people stranded in homes and cars, emergency officials said. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Suicide Blast / Norman, Oklahoma - October 3rd, 2005: "A University of Oklahoma student was identified Sunday [10/02/05] as the person who was killed when an explosive attached to his body detonated near a packed football stadium, authorities said. The body is believed to be that of Joel Henry Hinrichs III, 21, the FBI said in a news release. A student telephone book lists a permanent address in Colorado Springs, Colo. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Tour Boat Accident / Lake George, N.Y. - October 3rd, 2005: "A glass-enclosed boat carrying tourists on an older adults cruise overturned Sunday [10/02/05] on a calm lake in upstate New York, killing at least 20 people and sending more than two dozen cold and wet passengers to a hospital. Authorities were investigating whether a large passing tour boat created a wake that caused the accident, Warren County Sheriff Larry Cleveland said. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Re-Indicted / Tom DeLay - October 4th, 2005: "A Texas grand jury on Monday [10/03/05] re-indicted Rep. Tom DeLay on charges of conspiring to launder money and money laundering after the former majority leader attacked last week's indictment on technical grounds. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Rep. Tom DeLay deliberately raised more money than he needed to raise for throwing parties at the 2000 presidential convention, then diverted some of the excess to longtime ally Rep. Roy Blunt through a series of donations that benefited both men's causes. [....] Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist recently charged in an ongoing federal corruption and fraud investigation, and Jim Ellis, the DeLay fundraiser indicted with his boss last week in Texas, also came into the picture. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 10/06/05]

*Trivia: "Lawyers for indicted Rep. Tom DeLay on Tuesday [10/11/05] subpoenaed the prosecuting Texas district attorney to try to show he acted improperly with grand jurors. The subpoena for Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, filed in Austin, asked that the prosecutor and two of his assistants appear in court to explain their conduct. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 10/12/05]

2005 - Muslim Holy Month / Ramadan - October 4th, 2005: "The Muslim period of fasting, Ramadan,  started Tuesday [10/04/05] for the nation's [Iraq's] Sunnis." [E.M.]

2005 - Fined / Three U.S. Brokerage Firms - October 4th, 2005: "Three brokerage firms [First Allied Securities Inc., ING Fund Distributors & Janney Montgomery Scott LLC.] have agreed to pay a total of $5.8 million to resolve regulators' allegations that they allowed improper trading in mutual funds by favored clients to the detriment of long-term shareholders. [....] The firms neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing. [....]" [Based on: Business page article, p. C2, S.L.P.D., 10/04/05]

2005 - Hurricane Stan / Mexican Gulf Coast - October 4th, 2005: "Stan was a Category 1 hurricane as it came ashore in southern Mexico’s Gulf Coast. It carried with it the usual strong winds and rain associated with low intensity hurricanes. Still, Mexican authories have been taking the storm seriously, evacuating some Gulf oil platforms and shutting down facilities along the coastline around Veracruz, the nearest major city to the landfall area. Some evacuations along coastal towns were also ordered. The storm has been blamed for 35 deaths in Central America caused by its crossing the Yucatan Peninsula the day before, as well as landslides from the substantial rain over several days. Mexico City, more than 400 kilometers (250 miles) away, has received rain from Stan’s outer band. [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13182]

*Trivia: "With food and water running out, governments in Central America and Mexico scrambled Friday [10/07/05] to reach isolated areas devestated by a week of intense rain. Residents said panic was starting to grow among survivors. Mudslides and flooding worsened by Hurricane Stan killed 258 people across the region, with Guatemala bearing the brunt of the damage and deaths. On Friday, a strong earthquake sheddered through guatemala and El Salvador. The quake caused a rain-damaged highway bridge to collapse in Guatemala and sent thousands of frightened Salvadoran residents into the streets. No injuries were immediately reported. The quake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.8. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 10/08/05]

*Trivia: "[....] A week of rains triggered the landslide and flash flooding, killing at least 613 [later 652] in Central America. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 10/09/05]

2005 - Typhoon Longwang / Southeastern China - October 4th, 2005: "Emergency workers found 50 bodies and were searching for dozens of people missing after Typhoon Longwang slammed into southeastern China and unleashed raging floods, state media reported Tuesday [10/04/05]. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, p. A8, S.L.P.D., 10/05/05]

2005 - Assassination Attempt / Iraqi Oil Minister - October 4th, 2005: "[....] ... in Baghdad, Iraq's oil minister [Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum] narrowly escaped an assassination attempt when a bomb hit his motorcade. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Nationwide Strike / France - October 5th, 2005: "Tens of thousands of French transportation workers and teachers held a nationwide strike on Tuesday [10/04/05] to protest the government's economic and labor policies. The protest slowed the train and bus systems and closed schools throughout the country. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, p. A8, S.L.P.D., 10/05/05]

2005 - Operation River Gate / Iraq - October 5th, 2005: "U.S. troops pushed through streets sown with bombs Tuesday [10/04/05] in their biggest operation this year in western Iraq, seeking to retake three Euphrates River towns from al-Qaida insurgents. At least five U.S. service members have been killed in the fighting. Operation River Gate - launched at the start of the holy month of Ramadan - was the second U.S. offensive in a week in Anbar province, near the Syrian border. [....] Late Monday [10/03/05] and early Tuesday, some 2,500 U.S. troops along with Iraqi forces launched their operation with a powerful air assault on Haditha, Haqlaniyah and Parwana, about 140 miles northwest of Baghdad. [....] The earlier U.S. offensive began Saturday, 93 miles upriver by the Syrian border, and continued Tuesday in the towns of Sadah, Karabilah and Rumana. A bomb killed a Marine in Karabilah, the first casualty of that operation. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Tonga - October 5th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 10:07:21 (UTC) on Wednesday, October 5, 2005. The magnitude 6.1 event has been located in TONGA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: preliminary earthquake report @: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usdvaj.htm]

2005 - Trivia / Nobel Prize in Physics - October 5th, 2005: "Two American scientists and a German won the Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday [10/04/05] for optics research that is improving the accuracy of such precision instruments as GPS locators, atomic clocks and navigation systems. Americans John L. Hall and Roy J. Glauber shared the prize with Theodor W. Haensch of Germany. [....] Until Glauber published his theories in 1963, scientists dismissed the idea that quantum theory, which was developed to describe the behavior of particles, had any application to light. But Glauber showed that certain types of light - including lasers - could only be understood using quantum methods, which treat light as individual packets of energy rather than continuous waves. [....] Since 1963, researchers have used Glauber's insights to create exotic lasers and devices that hold tiny samples in place with the pressure of photons. More recently, the possibility has arisen of building computers that use light, rather than electricity, to do their calculations. Hall and Haensch built on Glauber's discovery by developing a means of measuring the frequency of a laser beam to a precision of one part in a thousand-trillion. With that ability, scientists can build optical clocks that keep time more accurately than existing atomic devices. They can also improve the preceision of distance measurements accordingly. 'This in turn will allow better GPS systems, better space navigation and improved control of astronomical telescope arrays,' the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences noted in awarding the prize. The research could also be useful in creating better digital animation. 'Eventually, we may be able to enjoy three-dimensional holographic movies,' Haensch said. Sensitive quantum optics measurement techniques also offer opportunities to learn more physics, said Marlan Scully, a professor at Texas A&M University. They can be used to determine whether physical constants are truly fixed, or change ever so slightly over time. Quantum optics can also be used to detect gravitational waves, ripples in space that are predicted by Einstein's general theory of relativity but have never been observed. 'By making more precise measurements we are able to confront ever more subtle questions,' Scully said. [....]" [Baseed on: A.P. article (paragraph indents removed), p. A11, S.L.P.D., 10/05/05]

2005 - Hazardous Waste Cleanup / U.S.A. - October 5th, 2005: "Last year, the federal Superfund program for the nation's worst hazardous waste sites again cleaned up fewer of them than the Clinton administration. The program spent $507 million and finished cleaning up 40 of the sites last year. That leaves 1,237 sites still to go, the Environmental Protection Agency said in a report Tuesday [10/04/05] to Congress. Since the program began in 1980, more than 900 toxic messes have been cleaned up. Superfund cleanup completions have declined to 40 during each of the past two years, campared with 42 completions in 2002 and 47 in 2001. During the preceding Clinton administration, the EPA completed an average of 76 cleanups a year." [Based on: News Services article, p. A6, S.L.P.D., 10/05/05]

2005 - Layoffs / City Employees, New Orleans - October 5th, 2005: "Mayor Ray Nagin said Tuesday [10/04/05] that the city was laying off as many as 3,000 employees - or about half its workforce - because of the financial damage inflicted on New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - U.S. Supreme Court Nominee / Harriet Miers - October 5th, 2005: "President George W. Bush defended on Tuesday [10/04/05] his latest choice for the Supreme Court. Harriet Miers, from charges on the right that she was not sufficiently conservative and from charges on the left that she was a White House crony unqualified for the job. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Series of Eruptions / Ilamatepec Volcano, El Salvador - October 5th-11th: "Between October 5 and October 11, 2005, the Santa Ana (or (Ilamatepec) Volcano produced a series of eruptions consisting of small explosions, gas emissions, and low or moderate seismic activity. Local weather conditions prevented researchers from making ground- or satellite-based inspections of the volcano. An aerial inspection on October 11, however, showed no changes in the volcano’s crater. [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13196]

2005 - Proposal to Ban Cattle Parts from Animal Feed / U.S.A. - October 5th, 2005: "The administration of President George W. Bush proposed Tuesday [10/04/05] to eliminate cattle parts from feed for all animals - including chickens, pigs and pets - to close a gap in the nation's defense against mad cow disease. [....] The plan would reduce the risk of infection by 90 percent said Stephen F. Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. After a public comment period, the rules should take effect sometime next year [2006], he said. Critics said the proposal fell short of what the FDA promised 19 months ago, after the nation's first case of mad cow disease was confirmed. The FDA originally said it would prohibit in cattle feed the use of blood, restaurant plate waste and poultry litter, all potential pathways for mad cow disease. [....] The FDA's new proposal bans using cattle brains and spinal cords from cows older than 30 months. The age cutoff is specified because infection levels are believed to rise as cattle grow older. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A17, S.L.P.D., 10/05/05]

2005 - Promise unkept - October 6th, 2005: "

The statement in the editorial "On the ethical edge" (Sept. 29) that it is over the top to speak of a Republican congressional culture of corruption is more than a little surprising.
   What does it take to constitute a culture of corruption? Both Republican congressional leaders are under a serious cloud, the administration's chief procurement officer has been arrested and new administration and congressional ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff are emerging daily. Mr. DeLay's successor is Roy Blunt, who managed to insert into homeland security legislation a provision friendly to tobacco interests while dating a Phillip Morris lobbyist who is now his wife.
   Certainly the results of corruption are evident: Every day we learn of important agencies that have been gutted while major jobs are given to political cronies, and government functions are "privatized" via no-bid contracts to big campaign contributors. It is no longer even news that industry lobbyists are invited to help write legislation that ends up rife with giveaways to those very industries.
   Remember, many current Republican legislators came to power promising to reform government and make it more efficient and honest.

[Based on: Opinion Page article by Willy Kessler (Ballwin Mo.), p. B8, S.L.P.D., 10/06/05]

2005 - Trivia / Odysseus Marketing - October 6th, 2005: "Regulators are trying to shut down a company they say secretly downloaded spyware onto the computers of Internet users. The Federal Trade Commission accused Walter Rines of Stratham, N.H., and his company, Odysseus Marketing, of luring computer users with the promise of free software that would make illegal peer-to-peer file sharing ananymous and hard to trace. The claim was bogus, the FTC said. Rines disputes the charges." [Based on: Business Page article, p. D2, S.L.P.D., 10/06/05]

2005 - Election Rule Change / Iraq - October 6th, 2005: "Under U.S. and U.N. pressure, Iraq's Shiite-led parliament reversed on Wednesday [10/05/05] its last-minute electoral law changes, which would have ensured passage of a new constitution but which the United Nations called unfair. Sunni Arab leaders who had threatened a boycott because of the changes said they were satisfied with the reversal and were now mobilizing to defeat the charter at the polls. But some warned they could still call a boycott to protest major U.S. offensives launched over the past week in western Iraq, the Sunni heartland. Also, a bomb exploded at the entrance of a Shiite mosque south of Baghdad, killing at least 25 and wounding 87, as hundreds of worshippers gathered for prayers at the start of the Islamic month of Ramadan and for the funeral of a man killed two days ago in a bomb blast at his restaurant. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Guilty Plea / Lawrence Franklin - October 6th, 2005: "A top Pentagon analyst with expertise in the Middle East pleaded guilty Wednesday [10/05/05] to giving classified information to an Israeli embassy official and members of a pro-Israel lobbying group. Lawrence Franklin, 58, said at a plea hearing that he was frustrated with the government and that he had hoped the two members of the lobbying group could use their connections at the National Security Council to influence U.S. policy. [....] He faces up to 25 years in prison but is expected to get far less under federal sentencing guidelines. U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III set sentencing for Jan. 20." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Nobel Prize in Chemistry - October 6th, 2005: "Two Americans and a French scientist won the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday [10/05/05] for developing a chemical 'dance' that makes molecules swap atoms. The process is now used to create medicines, plastics and other products more efficiently and with less environmental hazard. [....] The $1.3 million prize will be shared by Robert H. Grubbs, 63, of the California Institute of Technology; Richard R. Schrock, 60, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Yves Chauvin, 74, honorary director of research at the Institut Francais du Petrole in Ruril-Malmaison, France. They explained and improved a process called metathesis, said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in bestowing the prize. This swaping of atoms between molecules creates new substances, and the winners have turned it into one of the most important reactions in organic chemistry, the academy said. Organic chemistry deals with carbon compounds. 'Metathesis reactions are an important tool in the creation of new drugs to fight many of the world's major diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer's and AIDS,' William F. Carroll Jr., president of the American Chemical Society, said in a statement. 'They also are used to develop herbicides, new polymers and fuels.' Chauvin explained in 1971 how metathesis reactions work and what kinds of metal compounds can be used as catalysts to make the reactions happen. In 1990, Schrock was the first to produce an efficient metal-compound catalyst for the process. Two years later, Grubbs developed the first in a series of improved catalysts. Their work has led to chemical-making methods that are more efficient and generate fewer hazardous wastes - a major advance for 'green chemistry,' the academy said. [....] ... the process is also used to convert seed oils into products that are normally made from petroleum. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Falling Sales / Interstate Bakeries Corp. - October 6th, 2005: "Interstate Bakeries Corp., the bankrupt maker of Wonder Bread and Hostess Twinkies, said Wednesday [10/05/05] that it lost $5.2 million during August. It also increased loss figures for previous months by $4.6 million. [....] August marked the fourth straight month of falling sales. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Kansas City has required monthly reports from Interstate since the baker filed for Chapter 11 protection in September 2004." [Based on: Business page article, p. D2, S.L.P.D., 10/06/05]

2005 - Trivia / Small-Diameter-Bomb, U.S.A. - October 6th, 2005: "A procurement scandal has brought together rivals Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. in an effort to build a bomb capable of destroying moving targets on the battlefield in the next decade. [....] If Boeing and Lockheed win, production of the next phase of  the small-diameter bomb could begin in the next decade. This year, Boeing began production of the first phase of the bomb. Assembled in St. Charles [Mo.], the bombs are designed to hit stationary targets and could be available to U.S. forces by next year. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. D1, 10/06/05]

2005 - Archbishop of York / John Sentamu - October 6th, 2005: "The Church of England confirmed John Sentamu Wednesday [10/05/05] as archbishop of York, making him the first black cleric to hold such a senior position in the state church. [....] Sentamu, 56, was confirmed as 97th archbishop of York in a ceremony at St. Mary-le-Bow church in central London. The post is the church's second-highest position after Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who leads the worldwide Anglican communion." [Based on: News Services]

*Trivia: "John Sentamu took his throne Wednesday [11/30/05] as the first black archbishop in the Church of England, declaring his hope of inspiring the shrinking church. [....]" [Based on: News Services article (Church of England seats first black archbishop), p. A9, S.L.P.D., 12/01/05]

2005 - "Anonymous Traders" / Insider Trading - October 6th, 2005: "The Securities and Exchange Commission recovered $3.2 million abandoned by anonymous traders after the agency discovered insider trading on news of General Electric Co's purchase of InVision Technologies Inc. The unidentified traders, using Swiss affiliates of UBS Securities LLC, placed call options on InVision the week before GE said it would pay $900 million in cash for the explosive-detection systems maker in March 2004, the SEC said Wednesday [10/05/05]." [Based on: Business Page article, p. D2, S.L.P.D., 10/06/05]

2005 - Senate Approval / U.S. Detainee Treatment Standards - October 6th, 2005: "In a break with the White House, the republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday [10/05/05] overwhelmingly approved a measure that would set standards for the military's treatment of detainees, a response to the Abu Ghraib scandal and other allegations that U.S. soldiers had abused prisoners. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a victim of torture while a prisoner during the Vietnam War, won approval of the measure that would make interrogation techniques outlined in the Army Field Manual the standard for handling detainees in Defense Department custody and prohibit 'cruel, inhuman or degrading' treatment of U.S.-held prisoners. The White House has threatened to veto the defense spending bill to which the measure was attached, and Vice President Dick Cheney has lobbied to defeat the detainee measure. [....] A move is expected to be made to drop the provision during House-Senate negotiations to reconcile differences on the spending bill. But McCain said the 90-9 Senate vote in support of the measure should improve its chances. All but nine of the Senate's 55 Republicans joined 43 Democrats and one independent in supporting the measure. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times]

2005 - Elected / Afghan Woman - October 7th, 2005: "A 27-year-old woman who is a defiant critic of Afghanistan's powerful warlords won one of the first seats declared Thursday in provisional results from the country's parliamentary elections. [....] The U.N.-Afghan election body has reported 'serious' cases of fraud, including ballotbox stuffing after election day. It excluded 299 polling stations from the vote count, but declared the Sept. 18 election was still credible. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Status / Hudson River Cleanup - October 7th, 2005: "The federal government and general Electric Co. struck a deal Thursday [10/06/05] on dredging PCB-contaminated sediment from New York's Hudson River. [....] ... dredging should begin in spring 2007 on a 40-mile stretch of river north of Albany, N.Y. [....] GE dumped an estimated 1.3 million pounds of PCBs - a viscous liquid coolant used in transformers - into the river from its plants in Fort Edward and Hudson Falls before the federal government banned the substance in 1977. [....] The EPA decided in 2002 to dredge 2.65 million cubic yards of toxic sediment from the river. The initial cost estimate then was $500 million, but officials now say the total price may surpass $700 million. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article (Deal struck on Hudson River cleanup), p. A11, S.L.P.D., 10/07/05]

2005 - Losing Streak / S&P 500 Index - October 7th, 2005: "This week's string of losses for the Standard & Poor's 500 index became the longest since January as a Federal Reserve official said the central bank may have to combat an 'inflation virus.' [....] Fisher [Richard Fisher, president of the Fed's Dallas Branch], in the text of a speech Thursday [10/06/05] in Waco, Texas, repeated comments that inflation shows 'little inclination' to slow and is moving closer to the 'upper end of the Fed's tolerance zone.' [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg news article (S&P runs longest losing streak since January), p. D8, S.L.P.D., 10/07/05]

2005 - Human Shields Banned? / Israel - October 7th, 2005: "Israel's Supreme Court on Thursday [10/06/05] banned the military's practice of using Palestinian civilians as 'human shields' in arrest raids, saying it violates international law. Human rights groups filed the petition in May 2002 in response to the army's use of Palestinian civilians in dozens of West Bank arrest operations. In August 2002, the court issued a temporary injunction against the practice. Human rights groups have said the military has repeatedly violated the ban since then. The Justice Ministry said Israel would implement the decision." [Based on: News Services article (Court bans army use of 'human shields'), p. A14, S.L.P.D., 10/07/05]

2005 - Credible Threat? / NYC Subway - October 7th, 2005: "Authorities stepped up security Thursday [10/06/05] after receiving whhat city officials called a credible threat that the New York subway could be the target of a terrorist attack in coming days. But Homeland Security officials in Washington played down the threat, saying it was of 'doubtful credibility.' [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "A reported plot to bomb city subways with remote-controlled explosives has not been corroborated after days of investigation, law enforcement officials said Sunday [10/09/05] amid an easing of concern. Interrogations of suspects captured in Iraq last week after an informer's tip about bomb-laden suitcases and baby carriages have yet to yield evidence that the plot was real, officials said. 'The intelligence community has been able to determine that there are very serious doubts about the credibility of this specific threat,' Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocks said. 'This is after ongoing review and analysis.' " [Based on: News Services article, p. A5, S.L.P.D., 10/10/05]

*Trivia: "After four days on high alert, police announced Monday [10/10/05] that they were scaling back a subway security crackdown prompted by a report of an al-Qaida plot to blow up trains. Authorities said the arrest and interrogation of three suspects by U.S. forces in Iraq had so far produced no information to corroborate the report. [....]" [Based on: News Services, p. A4, S.L.P.D., 10/11/05]

*Trivia: "Mayor Michael Bloomberg and police offficials questioned reports on Tuesday [10/12/05] that an alleged subway bomb plot that spread fear through the city was a hoax. 'I don't know that it was confirmed that it was a hoax at all,' Bloomberg said when asked about the reports. The reports claimed an informer in Iraq who had told U.S. authorities about the possible threat by al-Qaida later admitted he made it up. After four days of high alert, the officials announced Monday [10/10/05] there was no clear evidence an attack would be carried out and scaled back the protection." [Based on: News Services, 10/12/05]

2005 - Trial Opens / "God's Banker", Italy - October 7th, 2005: "Five people went on trial Thursday [10/06/05] on murder charges involving the 1982 death of Roberto Calvi, the Italian financier known as 'God's Banker' for his close ties with the Vatican. Calvi's body was found hanging from London's Blackfriars Bridge. Although initially ruled a suicide, Italian prosecutors concluded in 2003 that he had been slain. Calvi was a key figure in one of modern Italy's biggest banking scandals, which involved businessmen, politicians, Masonic groups and the Vatican hierarchy. He was found dead as his Banco Ambrosiano collapsed following the disappearance of $1.3 billion in loans the bank had provided to several dummy companies in Latin America. The Vatican had provided letters of credit for the loans, and the Vatican's bank agreed to pay $250 million to Ambrosiano's creditors. It denied any wrongdoing." [Based on: News Services article (Trial opens in killing of 'God's banker'), p. A14, S.L.P.D., 10/07/05]

2005 - More Soldiers to Fight? / U.S. Army - October 7th, 2005: "The Army has embarked on a six-year plan to boost its combat power by 40,000 troops while reducing the number of noncombat jobs. The changes would essentially give the nation more forces to deploy without a costly increase in the active-duty Army's authorized strength of 482,000. Under the plan, the Army would increase its deployable combat forces by 40,000 up to 355,000 in 2011. It intends to achieve this by reducing the number of non-combat, 'institutional' Army jobs from 104,000 to 75,000 and by changing training and other procedures, Army secretary Francis Harvey said. But the plan is based on two key conditions that remain far from certain: *That no major new demand will arise for U.S. soldiers at home or abroad. *That the Army will be able to recruit 75,000 to 80,000 new soldiers each year through 2011 - a target the service missed this fiscal year when 73,400 signed up. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - Hazardous Waste / U.S. Gulf Coast - October 7th, 2005: "More than a month after Hurricane Katrina, compounded by Hurricane Rita, Environmental Protection Agency officials said 1 million people lack clean drinking water around New Orleans. Some 70 million tons of hazardous waste remain on the Culf Coast. EPA officials have warned of serious health hazards from bacteria, chemicals and metals in the region's floodwaters and sediment. 'EPA may not be providing people with the clear information they need,' said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. 'EPA should be clear about the actual risks when people return to the affected areas for more than one day.' " [Based on: News Services article (Many still lack clean drinking water), p. A8, S.L.P.D., 10/07/05]

2005 - Experimental Vaccine / Cervical Cancer - October 7th, 2005: "An experimental vaccine to prevent the most common forms of cervical cancer proved 100 percent effective in a two-year test on more than 10,000 girls and women, drug maker Merck & Co. says. Merck hopes to win Food and Drug Administration approval for the vaccine, Gardasil, and put it on the market as soon as late next year. It would be the first vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, a disease caused almost exclusively by a highly common sexually transmitted virus called the human papilloma virus, or HPV. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Legionnaires' Disease? / Toronto Canada - October 7th, 2005: "Health officials said Thursday [10/06/05] that Legionaires' disease was probably the cause of 16 deaths at a Toronto nursing home. They warned that more deaths were possible before health authorities can fully contain the bacteria causing the disease. [....] In all, 70 residents, 13 employees and five visitors to seven Oaks have been affected by the illness, and at least 34 of them have been hospitalized. [....] Legionaires' disease is a type of pneumonia. It is named after a severe outbreak that killed 29 people at a meeting of the American Legion in Philadelphia in 1976. The bacteria that causes the illness are typically found in the environment, usually in water. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Grand Jury Testimony [4th Time]  / Karl Rove - October 7th, 2005: "Presidential confidant Karl Rove will testify for a fourth time before the federal grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA officer's identity, lawyers said Thursday [10/06/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Solar Wind Stream - October 8th, 2005: "A solar wind stream is blowing past Earth and it could cause a geomagnetic storm tonight [10/08/05]. Sky watchers in Alaska and Canada should be alert for auroras. [....]"

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [10/08/05]

*Trivia: "A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole [see link] could reach Earth on Oct. 8th or 9th. Image credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [10/07/05]

2005 - Status / U.S. Fatalities, Iraq - October 8th, 2005: "The U.S. military reported Friday [10/07/05] the killing of six Marines in bomb blasts as it also announced it had completed another major sweep in western Iraq aimed at suppressing al-Qaida militants. [....] The deaths brought to 1,950 the number of U.S. service members who have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Major Earthquake / Pakistan - October 8th, 2005: "A major earthquake occurred at 03:50:38 (UTC) on Saturday, October 8, 2005. The magnitude 7.6 event has been located in PAKISTAN. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: preliminary earthquake report @: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usdyae.htm]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Pakistan - October 8th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 10:46:29 (UTC) on Saturday, October 8, 2005. The magnitude 6.4 event has been located in PAKISTAN. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usdya2.htm] 

*Trivia: "An earthquake triggered landslides, toppled an apartment building and flattened villages of mudbrick homes Saturday [10/08/05], killing more than 18,000 people across a mountainous swath touching Pakistan, India and Afghanistan. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, p. A1, S.L.P.D., 10/09/05]

*Trivia: "[....] The death toll stood at 20,000 and was expected to rise. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 10/10/05]

*Trivia: "The newly reopened 'Peace Bridge' linking the Indian and Pakistani portions of Kashmir nearly collapsed during the earthquake, officials said Sunday [10/09/05]. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

*Trivia: "[....] The death toll from Saturday's 7.6-magnitude quake continued to rise, and Pakistan's interior ministry said late Monday [10/10/05] that 20,745 had been killed and 47,000 injured nationwide. The United Nations estimated that more than 2.5 million people had been rendered homelss as winter approaches in the rugged region. [....]" [Based on: Los Angeles Times, 10/11/05]

*Trivia: "[....] Pakistan's death toll from the Oct. 8 earthquake is estimated at more than 35,000. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 10/15/05]

*Trivia: "Government officials in Islamabad said early Sunday [10/16/05] that 39,422 people were confirmed killed in all of Pakistan - at least 26,422 dead in the Pakistani portion of Kashmir and another 13,000 in North West Frontier Province. But later Sunday, a spokesman for the state government chief in the Pakistani portion of Kashmir said the death toll in that region alone is believed to be 'not less than 40,000.' This would mean the quake killed more than 53,000 in all of Pakistan. [....]" [Baseed on: A.P., 10/17/05]

*Trivia: "The death toll jumped to 79,000 Wednesday [10/19/05] from South Asia's mamoth earthquake, following a survey of one of the two hardest-hit Pakistani regions. The toll makes it one of the deadliest quakes in modern times. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Pakistan's official earthquake death toll was put at 73,000 on Wednesday - an increase of about 16,000. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A13, S.L.P.D., 11/03/05]

*Trivia: "The death toll as of 11/15/05 amounted to 86,000." [Based on: NBC Nightly News, 11/15/05]

*Trivia: "[....] Loans promised by the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and others amount to more than $2.5 billion. [....]" [Based on: Other Views page article (Deadly Winter Rolls In), p. D13, S.L.P.D., 12/02/05]

2005 - Status / U.S. Homeland Security - October 8th, 2005: "Congress sent President George W. Bush a $32 billion homeland security bill Friday [10/07/05] with big increases for patrolling borders, fewer grants for local emergency workers and a freeze on spending for transit security. The bill, passed by the Senate on a voice vote, also removes disaster preparedness from the Federal Emergency Management Agency so it can focus on dealing with disasters. Democrats complained that the measure would weaken FEMA, which was in independent agency before it was folded into the new Homeland Security Department in 2002. They also said it would shortchange local police, firefighters and emergency medical services as well as security for passenger rail and subway systems. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article by Andrew Taylor (Bill boosts spending for patrolling borders), p. A26, S.L.P.D., 10/08/05]

2005 - Trivia / U.S. Unemployment Rate - October 8th, 2005: "Hurricane Katrina wiped out thousands of jobs last month, helping push the nation's unemployment rate up to 5.1 percent, the Labor Department said Friday [10/07/08] in its most detailed assessment yet of the storm's economic impact. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post article, p. A33, S.L.P.D., 10/08/05] 

*Trivia: "Stocks rebounded from a four-day slide Friday [10/07/08] as a government report showed the economy lost fewer jobs in September than forecast [???], renewing confidence that companies will sustain profit growth. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News article, p. A34, S.L.P.D., 10/08/05] - [??? emphasis added by E.M.]

2005 - Nobel Peace Prize / Mohamed ElBaradei - October 8th, 2005: "Mohamed ElBaradei and his International Atomic Energy Agency won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday [10/07/05]. [....] After the award was announced Friday, ElBaradei refrained from criticizing the United States in comments to media outlets. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Homosexuals Entering the Priesthood??? - October 8th, 2005: "A Vatican document expected to be made public soon stops short of a sweeping ban on homosexuals entering the priesthood, a senior Vatican official said Friday [10/07/05]. It would allow those who have lived chastely for three years to be candidates for the clergy. The document, in the works for at least three years, updates Vatican policy, which had held that gays or men with homosexual tendencies should not be ordained, regardless of whether they can remain celibate. [....] The Italian weekly Panorama said in its Friday editions that Pope Benedict XVI approved the document during the summer. In a similar report Friday, the National Catholic Reporter said seminary officials will be asked to exercise 'prudential judgement.' " [Based on: A.P. article, p. A28, S.L.P.D., 10./08/05]

2005 - Plastics Plant Explosions / Point Comfort, Texas- October 8th, 2005: "Explosions rocked a plastics plant and injured 11 people Thursday [10/06/05]. The blasts at the Formosa Plastics Corp. facility took place about a year and a half after five of the company's workers were killed in a blast at its plant in Illiopolis, Ill., near Decatur. [....] Investigators were looking into the cause of the explosions." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Bird Flu Trivia - October 9th, 2005: "[....] Like any virus, the bird flu variety consists of a small clump of RNA, a simpler version of DNA, which carries the genetic instructions for all living cells. The RNA is surrounded by a coat of proteins - chains of molecules called amino acids. The virus isn't technically alive. It cannot reproduce on its own but must kidnap the genes of a living cell to make more 'daughter' viruses. [....] Currently, the most worrisome flu strain is H5N1. Its first human fatalities were reported in Hong Kong in 1997. [....] Usually people get the H5N1 virus from contact with birds, but at least one probable case of a fatal, person-to-person infection occurred in Thailand in 2004. A girl caught the disease from household chickens. She apparently passed the virus on to her mother and aunt, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine on Jan. 27. All three victims died. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers article, p. A7, S.L.P.D., 10/09/05]

*Trivia: "A superflu could kill up to 1.9 million Americans, according to a draft of the government's plan to fight a worldwide epidemic. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A7, S.L.P.D., 10/09/05]

2005 - Bankruptcy / Delphi Corp. - October 9th, 2005: "Delphi Corp., the nation's largest auto-parts supplier, filed for bankruptcy Saturday [10/08/05], sending shock waves through a U.S. auto industry already weakned by high labor costs and falling market share. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Robot Race / Mojave Desert - October 9th, 2005: "Four robotic vehicles finished a Pentagon-sponsored race across the Mojave desert Saturday [10/08/05] and achieved a technological milestone. The computerized vehicles conquered steep dropoffs, obstacles and tunnels over a rugged 132-mile course without a single human command. [....] The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, plans to award $2 million to the fastest vehicle to finish the race in less than 10 hours. The race was intended to spur development of robots that could be used on the battlefield without remote controls. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article by Alicia Chang, p. A5, S.L.P.D., 10/09/05]

*Trivia: "A driverless Volkswagen won a $2 million race across rugged Nevada desert Sunday [10/09/05], beating four other robot-guided vehicles that completed a Pentagon-sponsored contest aimed at making warfare safer for humans. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 10/10/05]

2005 - "Anti-Violent" Video Games? / U.S.A. - "A law signed by the governor [California] Friday [10/07/05] makes it illegal to sell or rent violent video games to minors. California joins Illinois and Michigan, in the past year alone, in passing an anti-violent video game bill. Such bills have been proposed in nearly every state, even though courts have struck down similar prohibitions." [Based on: News Services article, p. A5, S.L.P.D., 10/09/05]

2005 - Growth of Protestant Movements / Latin America - October 9th, 2005: "A senior Brazillian cardinal lamented on Saturday [10/08/05] the rapid growth of protestant movements in Latin America and wondered about how much longer the continent could be called Roman Catholic. [....] Brazillian government and church statistics show that Brazil's Catholics, who represented about 90 percent of the country's population at the time of the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council, had fallen to 83 percent in 1991 and 67 percent today." [Based on: News Services article (Cardinal laments rise of protestant movement), p. A11, S.L.P.D., 10/09/05]

2005 - Landslides & Flash Flooding / Central America - October 9th, 2005: "[....] A week of rains triggered the landslide and flash flooding, killing at least 613 in Central America. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Solar Wind Stream - October 10th, 2005: "For the third day in a row, a solar wind stream is blowing past Earth and causing mild geomagnetic storms at high latitudes. Sky watchers in Alaska and Canada should remain alert for auroras.  [....] In Sept. 2005 the sun went haywire. Giant sunspot 798 unleashed nine X-class solar flares and an even greater number of coronal mass ejections (CMEs). While all this was going on, something strange happened onboard the International Space Station (ISS): radiation levels dropped. How can this be? Simple: CMEs propelled toward Earth by the explosions swept away cosmic rays that would otherwise penetrate the hull of the ISS. [....] Cosmic rays are super-energetic particles coming from, e.g., supernovas and black holes. They are dangerous to the health of astronauts, so, the fewer the better! During Solar Max, when CMEs are frequent, cosmic rays subside. [....]"

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

2005 - Elections Trivia / Poland - October 10th, 2005: "A pro-market lawmaker [Donald Tusk] and Warsaw's socially conservative mayor [Lech Kaczynski] appeared headed for a runoff in Poland's presidential election on Sunday [10/09/05] after neither candidate gained the 50 percent of the vote needed to win, according to a key exit poll. [....] With nearly 18 percent of the ballots counted, Tusk had 36 percent of the votes and Kaczynski 33 percent. Turnout was nearly 50 percent. If the exit poll results hold, the two former activists would be forced into a runoff on Oct. 23. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Pro-Democracy Protests / Azerbaijan - October 10th, 2005: "Riot police scattered hundreds of opposition supporters protesting in Azerbaijan's capital Sunday [10/09/05] in defiance of a ban. They beat some with truncheons and dragged several away. Opposition leaders say they strongly doubt parliamentary elections Nov. 6 will be fair and have rallied their supporters for pro-democracy protests virtually every weekend despite bans. President Ilham Aliev, who succeeded his strongman father, Geidar Aliev, in a 2003 election that the opposition contends was rigged, has pledged the elections will be free." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Given Back to Germany / Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany - October 10th, 2005: "[....] A hub of U.S. military activity for decades, Rhein-Main Air Base is being given back to Germany and its logistical functions taken over by bases at Ramstein and Spangdahlem. Ceremonies set for today [10/10/05] will mark the handover, which will take until the end of the year. [....] Since 1945, the air base has played a role in nearly every major conflict for the U.S. military, from ferrying troops to Europe and abroad to providing support for the 1990 Gulf War, and again in the 2003 invasion of Iraq." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Suicide Bomber / Iraq - October 11th, 2005: "[....] In Baghdad, a suicide bomber detonated a car full of mortars near an entrance to the fortified Green Zone on Monday [10/10/05], killing a U.S. soldier and six Iraqis in one of a string of insurgent attacks in which at least 13 other Iraqis also died. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Sumatra - October 11th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 15:05:39 (UTC) on Tuesday, October 11, 2005. The magnitude 6.0 event has been located in NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: preliminary earthquake report @: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usebat.htm]

2005 - Powerful Snowstorm / Colorado - October 11th, 2005: "[....] A powerful storm that dropped up to 20 inches of snow in parts of Colorado knocked out power Monday [10/10/05] to thousands of people, closed a 150-mile stretch of a major highway and triggered rockslides in the foothills. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Lincoln National Buys Jefferson Pilot - October 11th, 2005: "Lincoln National Corp. said Monday [10/10/05] that it will acquire rival Jefferson-Pilot Corp. for about $7.5 billion in cash and stock, as the two century-old companies create what executives said would be one of the largest publicly traded life insurance companies in the U.S. The buyer, which will retain the Lincoln National and Lincoln Financial Group names, will be the nation's largest seller of universal life insurance products and a leader in group disability insurance and retirement plan assetts, the companies said. The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2006 after shareholder and regulatory approval. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - German Chancellor Angela Merkel - October 11th, 2005: "Conservative Angela Merkel struck a power-sharing deal Monday [10/10/05] that will make her the first woman and politician from the ex-communist east to serve as Germany's chancellor. The agreement forges a coalition with ousted leader Gerhard Schroder's party to reform the faltering economy. [....] Under the terms of the agreement, the Social Democrats would head the foreign, finance, labor, justice, health, transport, environment and development ministries. Merkel's Christian Democrats and her sister party, Edmund Stoiber's Christian Social Union, would get the economy, defense, interior, agriculture, family and education portfolios. [....] Germany's 11.2 percent jobless rate helped drag Schroder's outgoing government to defeat. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Removed / Phillip R. Bennett, Refco Inc. - October 11th, 2005: "Refco Inc., the largest independent U.S. futures broker, removed Phillip R. Bennett as chairman and chief executive after an internal review found he owed the company $430 million. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

*Trivia: "The former chief executive of commodities brokerage Refco Inc. was charged with securities fraud on Wednesday [10/12/05] for hiding up to $545 million in bad debt from federal regulators and investors, according to a federal prosecutor. [....] On Monday, Refco said its earnings statements dating back to 2002 'should no longer be relied upon,' and it will delay filing its next quarterly report, scheduled for next week. [....] According to The Wall Street Journal, Bennett used a New Jersey hedge fund, Liberty Corner Capital, to hide the debt from regulators and the company's auditors. The moves made the debts appear to be receivable, which inflated Refco's revenue on its balance sheet." [Based on: A.P., 10/13/05]

2005 - Deadly Floods / Northeast United States - October 11th, 2005: "Residents assessed the damage wrought by the weekend's deadly floods across the Northeast, but the swollen rivers barely had a chance to recede Monday [10/10/05] as more rain was forecast. [....] Floods tore up highways, tossed vehicles like toys and knocked out electricity from North Carolina to Maine. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Flu Pandemic Likely / U.S. Official Warns - October 11th, 2005: "The likelihood of a human flu pandemic is very high, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt warned Monday [10/10/05] as he sought Southeast Asian cooperation to combat the spread of bird flu. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, p. A5, S.L.P.D., 10/11/05]

2005 - Restoration Plans / Lake Okeechobee, Florida - October 11th, 2005: "A $200 million plan to restore the Southeast's largest freshwater lake includes expanded reservoirs, new marshes and permanently lower lake levels, Gov. Jeb Bush said Monday [10/10/05]. Lake Okeechobee, covering 730 square miles north of the Everglades, has long suffered from fertilizer-laden runoff that promotes harmful plant growth." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - CIA Leak Trivia / Judith Miller & Lewis Libby - October 11-12th, 2005: "Miller [Judith Miller] testifies, turns over notes of previously undisclosed phone call with Libby." [Based on: News Reports, p. A5 S.L.P.D., 10/28/05]

2005 - Arrest Warrants Issued / Former Defense Minister [Etc.],  Iraq - October 11th, 2005: "Iraq has issued arrest warrants for the former defense minister and 27 other officials from the U.S.-backed government of former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi over the alleged disappearance or misappropriation of $1 billion in military procurement funds, officials said Monday [10/10/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Military Recruiting Trivia / U.S.A. - October 12th, 2005: "[....] The Pentagon announced Tuesday [10/11/05] that for the year that ended Sept. 30, the Army was 6,627 recruits short of its goal of 80,000. It was the Army's first shortfall since 1999 and its largest in 26 years. The Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy all exceeded their full-year recruiting goals, the Pentagon said. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A13, S.L.P.D., 10/12/05]

2005 - Revelation / New Al-Qaida Letter - October 12th, 2005: "A senior American intelligence official said Tuesday [10/11/05] that a document obtained this summer by U.S. forces in Iraq provided the United States with 'a comprehensive view of al-Qaida strategy in Iraq' and a revealing glimpse into 'the intentions of the enemy.' The document is a 6,000-word letter in Arabic from Ayman al-Zawahiri, the No. 2 leader in al-Qaida, to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the group's top agent in Iraq. The complete text was made available on Tuesday [10/11/05 - www.dni.gov.]. [....] Officials at the Defense Department and other government agencies first disclosed the existence of the letter last week, but at the time released only three sentences. [....] The U.S. intelligence official would not say when or how the document had been obtained, nor whether it was believed to have been received by al-Zarqawi." [Based on: New York Times article, p. A13, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/12/05]

2005 - Launch / Shenzhou 6 Capsule, China - October 12th, 2005: "Two years after China became only the third nation to launch a human into orbit, a pair of astronauts blasted off early today [10/12/05] on a longer, riskier mission. A rocket carrying the Shenzhou 6 capsule and the astronauts launched from the remote base in China's northwest. In a break with the space agency's typical secrecy, the launch was shown live on Chinese state television. The mission reportedly is due to last up to five days. The official Xinhua News Agency said once in orbit, the two 'taikonauts' will take off their 22-pound spacesuits so they can travel back and forth between the two halves of their vessel - a re-entry capsule and an orbiter that will stay aloft after they land. The mission is a key prestige project for China's communist leaders, who have justified the expense of a manned space program by saying that it will drive economic development. The flight will be more complicated than the first in 2003, which carried one astronaut and lasted just 21 1/2 hours." [Based on: News Services article, p. A9, S.L.P.D., 10/12/05]

2005 - In Custody / Former French U.N. Ambassador- October 12th, 2005: "France's former U.N. ambassador has been taken into custody as part of an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing in the Iraq oil-for-food program, judicial officials said Tuesday [10/12/05]. Jean-Bernard Merimee, 68, also was ambassador to Italy from 1995-98 and to Australia in the 1980s. He is suspected of having received kickbacks in the form of oil allocations from the regime of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - New Investigations / A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. - October 12th, 2005: "A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc. said Tuesday [10/11/05] that it is the subject of at least three new investigations by regulatory agencies. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D.]

2005 - Militant Ambush / Police Convoy, Afghanistan - October 12th, 2005: "About 60 militants ambushed a police convoy as it slowed to cross a river in the southern Afghan mountains, sparking a fierce gunbattle that left 19 officers dead and five missing in the deadliest blow yet for the fledgling security force, officials said Tuesday [10/12/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Rain & Flooding / New Jersey - October 13th, 2005: "A sixth straight day of rain from a storm that has parked itself over New Jersey snarled traffic Wednesday [10/12/05], delaying flights and causing flooding that was only expected to worsen. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / E.U. Anti-Terror Campaign - October 13th, 2005: "The European Union agreed Wednesday [10/12/05] to legally require telecommunications companies to keep records of their phone and e-mail traffic for at least a year as part of the bloc's anti-terrorist campaign. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Computer Chip Trivia / Qualcomm Inc. - October 13th, 2005: "Qualcomm Inc., the world's No. 2 maker of chips for mobile telephones, is having customers test a chip that can download videos, games and other data from the Internet three times faster than the current fastest models. The 6280 processor has speeds of up to 7.2 megabits per second, the San Diego-based company said in a statement. The company's fastest chip, the 6500, has speeds up to 2.4 megabits per second." [Based on: News Article (Qualcomm is testing super-speedy chip), p. C2, S.L.P.D., 10/13/05]

2005 - Last Minute Changes / Iraq Constitution - October 13th, 2005: "Iraqi lawmakers approved a set of last-minute amendments to the constitution without a vote Wednesday [10/12/05], sealing a compromise designed to win Sunni support and boost chances for the charter's approval in a referendum just three days away. [....]" {Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Liquidation Threat / Northwest Airlines Corp. - October 13th, 2005: "Northwest Airlines Corp. on Wednesday [10/12/05] threatened an 'orderly liquidation' of the company if it does not get about $1.4 billion in concessions from its workers. The world's fourth largest airline asked a bankruptcy judge in New York City for permission to reject current union labor contracts that cover most of its 35,105 employees. [....]" [Based on: S.L.P.D., p. C2, 10/13/05] 

2005 - Suicide Death? / Brig. Gen. Ghazi Kenaan, Syria - October 13th, 2005: "Syria's interior minister, who effictively controlled Lebanon for two decades, was found dead in his office Wednesday [10/12/05], days before the release of a U.N. report that could implicate high-ranking officials in the murder of Lebanon's former prime minister. The Syrian government called the death of Brig. Gen. Ghazi Kenaan a suicide, but opponents claimed it could be a murder to cover up top-level involvement. [....] Kenaan, who was Syria's intelligence chief in Beirut for 20 years, was one of at least seven Syrians recently questioned by a U.N. team investigating the assassination on Feb. 14 of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article by Donna Abu-Nasr, p. A9, S.L.P.D., 10/13/05]

2005 - Antitrust Fine / Samsung - October 14th, 2005: "Samsung, the world's largest maker of memory chips for computers and other electronic gadgets, has agreed to plead guilty to price fixing and pay a $300 million fine, U.S. officials said Thursday [10/13/05]. The penalty is the second-largest criminal antitrust fine ever and caps a three-year investigation into the largest makers of dynamic random access memory computer chips, a $7.7 billion market in the United States. [....] The Justice Department already has secured similar guilty pleas from two other companies and collected more than $345 million in fines. [....] The government accused the companies of conspiring in e-mails, telephone calls and face-to-face meetings to fix prices of memory chips between April 1999 and June 2002." [Based on: A.P. article, p. E2, S.L.P.D., 10/14/05]

2005 - 4,000-Year-Old Noodles / China - October 14th, 2005: "A 4,000-year-old bowl of noodles has been discovered at an archaeological site in western China - possible proof for the argument that China invented pasta before Italy. [....] The noodles were made from dough of two local varities of millet - broomcorn and foxtail millet - rather than the more common wheat or rice. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Rebel Attacks / Nalchik, Russia - October 14th, 2005: "Guerrillas attacked police and government buildings in Russia's volatile Caucasus region Thursday [10/13/05], taking hostages and turning a provincial capital into a war zone. The fighting and explosions left at least 85 people dead, most of them attackers. Chechen rebels claimed responsibility for the attack in Nalchik, the capital of the mostly Muslim republic of Kabardino-Balkariya. The Chechen rebels' struggle against Russia began originally as a separatist movement. Increasingly in the past decade, the revolt has melded with Islamic extremism and fanned out beyond Chechnya's borders to encompass the entire Caucusus region. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - National Clandestine Service / U.S.A. - October 14th, 2005: "Intelligence officials Thursday [10/13/05] announced establishment of a National Clandestine Service at the CIA. [....]" [Based on: The Washington Post]

2005 - Flood Warnings / Northeast U.S.A. - October 14th, 2005: "[....] Flood warnings covered parts of Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, and residents in some New Jersey areas were urged to evacuate their homes. [....] The rain was expected to continue through Saturday [10/15/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Grand Jury Testimony [again] / Karl Rove - October 14th, 2005: "Rove testifies again." [Based on: Illustrated Timeline, p. A13, S.L.P.D., 10/30/05]

2005 - "Yellow Dragon Disease" / Florida Citrus Crop - October 14th, 2005: "Florida citrus growers, after battling intense hurricane seasons and plant-destroying citrus canker, now have another threat to deal with. A plant condition from China known as 'yellow dragon disease' [huanglongbing] or citrus greening has been found in Southeast Florida and appears to be spreading, according to agricultural authorities. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

2005 - Cleanup Project Declared Complete / Rocky Flats, Colorado - October 14th, 2005: "The contractor hired to clean up the former Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant declared the 10-year project complete Thursday [10/13/05], a major milestone in the conversion of the site northwest of Denver to a wildlife refuge. [....] More than 2,000 truckloads of waste from Rocky Flats were shipped to a repository near Carlsbad, N.M., and at least 1,900 containers of plutonium were sent to the Savannah River nuclear weapons installation in South Carolina. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A2, S.L.P.D., 10/14/05]

2005 - "Highly Scripted" Video Call to Troops / President George W. Bush - October 14th, 2005: "In a video conference call Thursday [10/13/05] to 10 U.S. military personnel and an Iraqi soldier, President George W. Bush sought to rally U.S. forces in Iraq and highlight the prospects for progress to an increasingly skeptical American public. [....] Administration critics blasted the staged event, which was televised live on CNN and other news channels, as a public relations ploy. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called it a 'highly scripted photo op.' 'We can and must do better than empty rhetoric,' Reid said. The White House defended the events, in which the U.S. personnel were given in advance a list of topics Bush wanted discussed and then told by military officials which soldier should respond to which question during the session. [....] With polls showing nearly six of 10 Americans believe the war was a mistake, Bush sought to demonstrate resolve for the campaign and support for the troops. [....]" [Based on: Cox News Service article, p. A12, S.L.P.D., 10/14/05]

2005 - Tamiflu-Resistant Bird Flu? - October 15th, 2005: "Bird flu virus found in a Vietnamese girl was resistant to the main drug [Tamiflu] that's being stockpiled in case of a pandemic, a researcher [Yoshihiro Kawaoka] said Friday [10/14/05]. [....] In laboratory tests, the girl's Tamiflu-resistant virus was susceptible to another drug, Relenza, which is made by GlaxoSmithKline. Kawaoka and colleagues report the case in the Oct. 20 issue of the journal Nature, which released the study Friday [10/14/05] [....] There's no evidence that socalled H5N1 viruses - like the one recovered from the girl - are becomming generally resistant to the class of drugs that includes Tamiflu, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday [10/14/05]. Both Tamiflu and Relenza are being stockpiled by the U.S. government." [Based on: A.P. article, p. A28, S.L.P.D., 10/15/05]

2005 - Earth Directed Solar Wind Stream? - October 15th, 2005: "A solar wind stream flowing from the indicated coronal hole [see link] might buffet Earth's magnetic field briefly on Oct. 14th or 15th. Image credit: SOHO Extreme UV Telescope. "

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/index.cgi] - [10/14/05]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / E. of Kuril Islands - October 15th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 10:06:15 (UTC) on Saturday, October 15, 2005. The magnitude 6.1 event has been located EAST OF THE KURIL ISLANDS. The hypocentral depth was estimated to be 30 km (18 miles). (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: Preliminary earthquake report @: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usefai.htm]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Northest of Taiwan - October 15th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 15:51:08 (UTC) on Saturday, October 15, 2005. The magnitude 6.6 event has been located NORTHEAST OF TAIWAN. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: Preliminary earthquake report @: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usefat.htm]

2005 - 10th Anniversary / Million Man March, Washington D.C. - October 15th, 2005: "Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan says he wants this weekend's gathering on the National Mall to be the start of a long-range movement to empower minorities, not just a one-day event. Dubbed the Millions More Movement, Saturday's event marks the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March. [....]" [Based on: News Services, 10/14/05]

2005 - Elections / Iraq - October 16th, 2005: "Millions of Iraqis streamed to the polls Saturday [10/15/05] to vote on a constitution, and there appeared to be strong turnouts of Sunni voters in some parts of the country. [....]" [Based on: New York Times]

*Trivia: "Iraq's election commission announced Monday [10/17/05] that officials were investigating 'unusually high' numbers of 'yes' votes in about a dozen provinces from the referendum on a new constitution. Sunni Arab leaders repeated accusations of fraud after first reports from the provinces suggested that the constitution had passed. Among the Sunni allegations are that police took ballot boxes from heavily 'no' districts, and that some 'yes' areas had more votes than registered voters. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 10/18/05]

2005 - Rioting / Ohio - October 16th, 2005: "A crowd that gathered to protest a white supremacist' march Saturday [10/15/05] turned violent, throwing baseball-sized rocks at police, vandalizing vehicles and stores and setting fire to a neighborhood bar, authorities said. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "[....] The violence broke out after the march itself had been called off because of the crowds, and white supremacists had left. [....] Navarre [Police Chief Mike Navarre] said the riots escalated because members of the National Socialist Movement took their protest to a predominantly black neighborhood. 'If this march had occured in downtown Toledo, we wouldn't have had the unrest,' he said. [....] The disturbances were confined to a 1-square-mile area. But the crowd swelled to about 600 people, overwhelming police. The crowds were eventually dispersed by police in riot gear after about four hours, and the mayor declared a state of emergency that remained in effect through the weekend. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A2, S.L.P.D., 10/17/05]

2005 - Bird Flu / Romania - October 16th, 2005: "Romanian authorities called for calm Saturday [10/15/05] as they quarantined an eastern region where tests confirmed Europe's first appearance of a deadly strain of bird flu that has devestated flocks and killed dozens of people in Asia. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A15, S.L.P.D., 10/16/05]

2005 - Train Derailement / Arkansas - October 16th, 2005: "A tanker car transporting flammable gas derailed in a switchyard and exploded in a ball of fire Saturday [10/15/05], killing one person and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of homes. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - "Could Not Recall" / Judith Miller - October 16th, 2005: "In a notebook belonging to Judith Miller, a reporter for The New York Times, amid notations about Iraq and nuclear weapons, appear two small words: 'Valerie Flame.' [....] And when the prosecutor in the case asked her to explain how 'Valerie Flame' appeared in the same notebook she used in interviewing Libby, Miller said she 'didn't think' she heard it from him. 'I said I believed the information came from another source, whom I could not recall,' she wrote for an article that appears on Sunday [10/16/05]. [....]" [Based on: New York Times article, p. A19, S.L.P.D., 10/16/05]

*Trivia: "[....] Jay Rosen, a New York University journalism professor, said Miller's limited cooperation was 'unforgivable' and provided 'dead giveaways of someone who's hiding the truth. [....] Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Washington-based Project for Excellence in Journalism, said, 'The acknowledgement that the editor and publisher of the paper did not know what Miller's source had told her is remarkable.' No single facet of Sunday's [10/16/05] Times account drew more condemnation than Miller saying she cannot recall the name of another source who told her about the White House critic's wife, Valerie Plame, or as she recorded the name in her notebook, 'Valerie Flame.' Miller said the notation was in a different part of the same notebook used for her first interview with Libby in June 2003. 'It's hard for anyone to imagine that Judy either didn't know who provided that information or, if it ws clearly someone else, why she did not make that available,' Jones said." [Based on: The Washington Post article by Howard Kurtz, p. A3, S.L.P.D., 10/17/05].

*Trivia: "New details about Judith Miller's decision to cooperate in the CIA leak investigation are raising questions about whether Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff [I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby] and his defense lawyer tried to steer the New York Times reporter's testimony. [....] Rove [Karl Rove] gave drand jury testimony Friday [10/14/05] - his fourth appearance. He was warned ahead of time by the prosecutor, Patrick Fitzgerald, that there is no guarantee he would escape indictment. Rove did not initially tell investigators that he had a conversation with Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper about Wilson and his wife's status as a CIA officer. 'There's no question that, when you don't reveal something that appears to be material to an investigator initially, it raises questions in a prosecutor's mind and perhaps a grand juror's mind,' said Joseph diGenova, a U.S. attorney in President Ronald Reagan's administration. [....] In urging her to cooperate with prosecutors, Libby wrote Miller while she was still in jail in September, 'I believed a year ago, as now, that testimony by all will benefit all .... The public report of every other reporter's testimony makes clear that they did not discuss Ms. Plame's name or identity with me.' In the Times on Sunday [10/16/05], Miller said that in her recent grand jury testimony, Fitzgerald asked her 'whether I thought Mr. Libby had tried to shape my testimony.' Miller said she told the special counsel that Libby's letter could be perceived as an effort 'to suggest that I, too, would say that we had not discussed Ms. Plame's identity.' " [Based on: A.P. article by Pete Yost, p. A3, S.L.P.D., 10/17/05]

2005 - Underwater Earthquake / California - October 16th, 2005: "An underwater earthquake with a magnitude 4.9 struck off the Southern California coast Sunday [10/16/05], according to the U.S. Geological Survey and the California Institute of Technology. [....] The temblor struck ay 2:11 p.m. about 29 miles south-southeast of San Clemente island and 74 miles west of San Diego, according to the agencies' preliminary report." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - "Hunter's Moon" - October 17th, 2005: "According to folklore, October's full moon is called the "Hunter's Moon" or sometimes the "Blood Moon." It gets its name from hunters who tracked and killed their prey by autumn moonlight, stockpiling food for the winter ahead. The Hunter's Moon of 2005 is due on Oct. 17th. Forest animals beware! [....] If you live on the Pacific side of Earth (map), you can see a partial eclipse of the Hunter's Moon. The best time to look is 5:00 am PDT on Monday morning, Oct. 17th, when the edge of the moon dips into the darkest part of Earth's shadow, the umbra. [....] Only a little bit of the moon will be shaded. A casual observer might not notice the eclipse; but if you know what to look for, you'll definitely see it. [....]"

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/] - [10/15/05]

2005 - Found Slain / Pamela Vitale - October 17th, 2005: "The wife of prominent defense attorney and TV legal analyst Daniel Horowitz was found slain in the entryway of the couple's San Francisco Bay-area home, authorities said Sunday [10/16/05]. [....] Horowitz, 50, is a legal analyst who appears frequently on CNN, MSNBC and FOX News. He is also a successful criminal defense attorney known for handling high-profile cases. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Out of Business / E-Mail Spammer - October 17th, 2005: "A man [Alan M. Ralsky] described as one of the nation's leading sender of spam says an FBI raid on his home office has halted his e-mail operation. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Tropical Storm Wilma / Caribbean  - October 17th, 2005: "Wilma, the record-tying 21st tropical storm of the season, formed in the Caribbean on Monday [10/17/05]. Forecasters warned it could become a powerful hurricane and hit somewhere along the U.S. Gulf Coast as early as the weekend. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 10/18/05]

2005 - Health Benefits? / Phytoestrogens - October 17th, 2005: "Eating vegetables may help reduce the risk of lung cancer in smokers, says a new study. The benefit seems to come from estrogenlike chemicals called phytoestrogens in vegetables and some other foods. A study at the University of Texas found that smokers who ate a phytoestrogen-rich diet reduced their risk of developing lung cancer by 46 percent, compared with those who didn't eat such a diet. Men who ate the highest amount of soy-isoflavins lowered their risk of developing lung cancer by 72 percent, and women who ate the most fruit and vegetables by 41 percent. For those women who also used hormone replacement therapy, the protective effect was further enhanced. Foods high in phytoestrogens include soybeans and soy products, chickpeas, red clover, linseeds, carrots, spinach, broccoli and other vegetables, beans, peas, vegetable oils and spreads, grains and certain fruits. The study results should not be seen as a license to continue smoking while increasing consumption of vegetables, says Dr. Margaret Spitz, head of the Department of Epidemiology." [Based on: News Services article (Veggies may help smokers avoid cancer), p. H2, S.L.P.D., 10/17/05] - [Paragraph indents removed to save space - E.M.]

2005 - Fire / Houston Oil Refinery, Texas - October 17th, 2005: "An explosion set fire to a Houston refinery Sunday [10/16/05] as workers tried to restart gasoline-producing equipment that had been shut down since Hurricane Rita. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Return to Earth / Shenzhou 6 Capsule, China - October 17th, 2005: "Two astronauts ['taikonauts' ] on China's second manned space flight landed before dawn today [10/17/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / U.N. Hunger Forum - October 18th, 2005: "The leaders of Zimbabwe and Venezuela teamed up at a U.N. hunger forum Monday [10/17/05] to blame the United States and other wealthy nations for famine, war and pollution. Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe described British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George W. Bush as 'two unholy men of our millenium,' comparing their alliance in the Iraq war to that of Adolf Hitler and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in World War II. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a fierce critic of U.S. foreign policy, accused 'the North American empire' of threatening 'all life on the planet.' Venezuela is a key oil supplier to the United States, but relations between the two nations are strained. U.S. delegates said Mugabe and Chavez made a mockery of the forum." [Based on: News Services article, p. A8, S.L.P.D., 10/18/05]

2005 - Hurricane Wilma / Caribbean - October 18th, 2005: "Hurricane Wilma whirled into the record books as the 12th such storm of the season, strengthening again late Tuesday [10/18/05]. [....] Wilma became a category 2 hurricane late Tuesday with winds near 100 mph, up from 80 mph earlier in the day. [....] On Monday [10/17/05], Wilma became the Atlantic hurricane season's 21st named storm, tying the record set in 1933 and exhausting the list of names for this year. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 10/19/05]

*Trivia: "[....] Hurricane Wilma grew briefly into a Category 5 storm with winds of 175 mph before weakening Wednesday night [10/19/05] to Category 4. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Typhoon Tirogi / Japanese Coast - October 18th, 2005: "Typhoon Kirogi was a powerful storm system when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image [see link] at 1:05 p.m. local time, on October 18, 2005. At the time of this MODIS observation, Kirogi was approaching the Japanese Islands on a track that would take it roughly parallel to the eastern coast without ever coming ashore. At this time, Typhoon Kirogi had sustained winds of 165 kilometers per hour (105 miles per hour) near the storm’s center. The typhoon was packing a great deal of power, but was waning from its peak strength roughly two days earlier. [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13205]

2005 - More Indictments / KPMG LLC - October 18th, 2005: "A federal grand jury indicted 10 more people associated with the KPMG LLC accounting firm on Monday [10/17/05] in a case alleging that bogus tax shelters the company sold helped rich clients avoid billions of dollars in taxes. KPMG's former chief financial officer, Richard Rosenthal, was among the latest group indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and tax evasion. [....] The department of Justice has described the case as the largest criminal tax case ever filed. It said the KPMG scam allowed the firm's clients to avoid paying $2.5 billion in taxes. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg / Norway - October 18th, 2005: "[....] Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and his so-called RedGreen coalition won a majority in Parliament in last month's election. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - "The truth can be told ...." - October 19th, 2005: "When our government marches the nation's youth off to die for a cause, it should feel a keen moral obligation to tell the truth about why that cause is critical to our nation. Yet history is full of official lies that have not provoked the slightest twinge of official guilt. Reporters who cover such weighty matters have a special responsibility to probe, challenge, validate and doublecheck the facts they are fed, so that policy-makers and the public can decide whether those facts justify war. History is full of lies in the press, too - some witting, some not. [....] ... Did members of the Bush administration violate the law by trying to punish someone who questioned their rationale for war? Mr. Bush has backed away from his earlier pledge to fire anyone who leaked information about Mrs. Wilson. And the president and vice president have refused to support an independent inquiry into how they got the intelligence on Iraq so wrong. Nearly 2,000 young Americans have died in Iraq, a war launched on false premises. We owe it to them and any who follow to get to the bottom of how our government led us into a morass." [Based on: Opinion Page article (The truth can be told - but first you have to find it), p. D10, S.L.P.D., 10/19/05] - [Paragraph indents removed to save space - E.M.]

2005 - Bomb Scare / Baltimore, Md. - October 19th, 2005: "A sketchy threat to blow up vehicles full of explosives prompted authorities Tuesday [10/18/05] to close one of the busy tunnels underneath Baltimore's harbor and restrict traffic in the other. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Profit Jump / Merrill Lynch & Co. - October 19th, 2005: "Merrill Lynch & Co., the biggest U.S. securities firm, said third-quarter earnings climbed 49 percent to a record, led by a surge in trading revenue and profit gains at its retail brokerage. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Start of Trial? / Saddam Hussein - October 19th, 2005: "Iraqi authorities have set Oct. 19 as the date for the start of the trial of Saddam Hussein, an official said Friday [09/026/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 09/03/05]

*Trivia: "A defiant Saddam Hussein quarreled with judges and scuffled with guards at the opening of his long-awaited trial Wednesday [10/19/05], rejecting the tribunal's right to judge him and insisting he is still the president of Iraq. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 10/20/05]

2005 - Wholesale Inflation Jump / U.S.A. - October 19th, 2005: "Wholesale inflation jumped by the largest amount in 15 years in September amid worrisome signs that soaring energy prices from the hurricanes are spilling over to the rest of the economy. Prices at the wholesale level rose by 1.9 percent, the biggest increase since the first Persian Gulf War in 1990. Like September's jump to 1.2 percent in consumer prices - the largest in 25 years - the surge at the wholesale level was led by energy costs reflecting the widespread production shutdowns in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. E3, S.L.P.D., 10/19/05]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Honshu, Japan - October 19th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 11:44:43 (UTC) on Wednesday, October 19, 2005. The magnitude 6.4 event has been located in NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: preliminary earthquake report @: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usejaq.htm] 

2005 - Bankruptcy Announcement / Refco Inc. - October 19th, 2005: "Refco Inc. needed only eight days to go from up-and-comer to down-and-out, with a midnight bankruptcy announcement capping off the commodities broker's collapse. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Plans to Build Anti-Bird Flu Plant / U.S.A. - October 19th, 2005: "Roche AG says it will build a U.S. plant to make more of its anti-bird flu drug Tamiflu. But that promise failed to tamp [typo?] growing international pressure on the Swiss drug giant to ease its monopoly grip on the drug which appears to be effective against bird flu. European Union foreign ministers on Tuesday [10/18/05] called bird flu a global threat. Meanwhile, demand for Tamiflu is far outstripping Roche's ability to make it. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, p. A12, S.L.P.D., 10/19/05]

*Trivia: "The manufacturer of the drug most effective in treating bird flu will negotiate with generic drug companies to increase production of Tamiflu, two senators said Thursday [10/20/05]. Swiss-based Roche Holding AG will meet with four countries and maybe more in an effort to work out licensing agreements that would allow other companies to produce Tamiflu, which is in great demand worldwide." [Based on: News Services article, p. A6, 10/21/05]

2005 - FDA Review / Anti-Bacterial Soaps, U.S.A. - October 19th, 2005: "It seems hard to go wrong with a hand soap that 'kills 99 percent of germs' it encounters. But critics of anti-bacterial soaps in the home say there's plenty to be concerned about. A government advisory panel will take a look at that Thursday [10/20/05]. The popularity of soaps and other products claiming anti-bacterial properties skyrocketed in the last decade as consumers turned to them as a defense against household illnesses. Some people contend that a number of the products, particularly those that use synthetic chemicals rather than alcohol or bleach, pose the risk of creating germs that are resistant to antibacterials as well as antibiotics. Manufacturers disagree with many of the critics' claims. A Food and Drug Administration panel of independent experts will take up these concerns in a public hearing." [Based on: News Services article, p. A12, S.L.P.D., 10/19/05]

2005 - Ongoing Volcanic Activity / Mount Belinda - October 19th, 2005: "Mount Belinda has been in a persistent state of eruption since 2001, and is now [October 2005] entering its fifth year of activity. Far from slowing down, the activity throughout 2005 marks the highest levels yet, according to MODVOLC. The volcano’s radiant heat output spiked near the beginning of the year and again in the autumn (Northern Hemisphere). Mount Belinda is a stratovolcano, a steep volcano built from hardened lava flows and volcanic ash over a period of tens to hundreds of thousands of years. Its fiery summit is surrounded by ice. Located between the southern tip of South America and the continent of Antarctica, the South Sandwich Islands are one of the Earth’s most remote areas of volcanic activity. Consequently, they are rarely viewed from the ground; remote sensing plays a vital role in monitoring this highly active volcanic arc. [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13209]

2005 - Increased Risk of Death? / "Dementia Drugs" - October 19th, 2005: "Drugs often used to treat elderly patients with dementia-related agression and delusions can raise their risk of death, according to a study that reinforces new warning labels required on the medications. The researchers pooled results of 15 previous studies on drugs known as atypical anti-psychotics and sold under the brand names Zyprexa, Risperdal, Seroquel and Abilify. Among more than 5,000 elderly dementia patients, those taking any of the drugs faced a 54 percent increased risk of dying within 12 weeks of starting the medication, compared with patients taking dummy pills." [Based on: News Services article, p. A12, S.L.P.D., 10/19/05]

2005 - Mawlawi Mohammed Islam Mohammadi / Afghan Parliament - October 19th, 2005: "A former regional governor [Mawlawi Mohammed Islam Mohammadi] who oversaw the destruction of two massive 1,500-year-old Buddha statues during the Taliban's reign was elected to the Afghan parliament last month, officials said Tuesday [10/18/05] as results from two provinces were finalized. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Bird Flu Detected / Russia - October 20th, 2005: "Preliminary tests on fowl from a region south of Moscow where hundreds of birds died suddenly detected a deadly strain of bird flu, Russia said Wednesday [10/19/05]. The findings bolstered signs that the virus might be spreading across Siberia to the Mediterranean. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / U.S. Presence, Iraq - October 20th, 2005: "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice declined on Wednesday [10/19/05] to rule out American forces still being needed in Iraq a decade from now. Senators said President George W. Bush's administration must be honest with the public. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A8, S.L.P.D., 10/20/05]

2005 - Arrest Warrant / Tom DeLay - October 20th, 2005: "A Texas sate court issued an arrest warrant on Wednesday [10/19/05] for Rep. Tom DeLay, requiring him to appear for booking on state conspiracy and money laundering charges. The court set an initial $10,000 bail as a routine step before the Texas Republican's first court appearance Friday. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Breast Cancer Drug / Herceptin - October 20th, 2005: "A drug [Herceptin] that targets only diseased cells has proved astonishingly effective against an aggressive form of early breast cancer - a long-sought breakthrough that has doctors talking about curing thousands of women each year in the United States alone. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "Just three weeks after an editorial in a prestigious American medical journal declared an expensive new cancer drug to be revolutionary and a potential cure for some hard-to-treat breast cancers, its conclusions were challenged by a prominent medical journal in Britain. [....] In a phone interview, Lancet's chief editor, Dr. Richard Horton, said he was 'quite angry' that the drug Herceptin had been portrayed as such a wonder drug in The New England Journal of Medicine. 'Study results are preliminary, inconsistent and raise extremely serious concerns about safety,' he said. [....]" [Based on: New York Times article, p. A16, S.L.P.D., 11/10/05]

2005 - Last Titan Rocket Launch / U.S.A. - October 20th, 2005: "For the 368th and last time, the United States launched a Titan rocket into space Wednesday [10/19/05]. The blastoff of the 16-story, unmanned Titan IV signaled the end of an era that began in 1959, as the U.S. military converts to cheaper space boosters. The last Titan carried a secret payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, which oversees the nation's spy satellites." [Based on: News Services article, p. A6, S.L.P.D., 10/20/05]

2005 - Unchanged / U.S. Minimum Wage - October 20th, 2005: "Senate proposals to raise the minimum wage were rejected Wednesday [10/19/05], making it unlikely that the lowest allowable wage, $5.15 an hour since 1997, will rise in the foreseeable future. [....] Missouri Sens. Christopher 'Kit' Bond and Jim Talent, both Republicans, voted against raising the minimum wage and for the alternative. Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Barack Obama, both Democrats, voted for the alternative. Kennedy, D-Mass., said Hurricane Katrina demonstrated the depth of poverty in the nation and he pointed out that a single parent with two children working a minimum wage job earns $10,700 a year, $4,500 below the poverty line. He said it was 'absolutely unconscionable' that in the same period that Congress has denied a minimum wage increase, lawmakers have voted themselves seven pay raises worth $28,000. [....] Congress approved the last minimum wage increase in 1996, with the second stage, raising the rate to $5.15, taking effect in 1997. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages higher than the national level, including Illinois at $6.50 and the state of Washington at $7.35, according to the Labor Department. Missouri is one of the 26 states that are the same as the federal level; two - Ohio and Kansas - are below; and six do not have state laws." [Based on: A.P. article, p. A4, S.L.P.D., 10/20/05]

2005 - Arrested / Yasir Sabhawi Ibrahim, Iraq - October 20th, 2005: "Iraqi police on Wednesday [10/19/05] arrested Saddam Hussein's nephew in Baghdad, charging that he served as the top financier of Iraq's rampant insurgency, senior Iraqi security officials said. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Global Warming Trivia - October 21st, 2005: "[....] Surface temperatures rose about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the 20th century - the largest increase in 1,000 years, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It said 1998 was the warmest year on record, and this year [2005] could be even hotter. [....] The ice cap is receding on Africa's highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro. Desertification is spreading in the northwest Sahel region. Droughts, flooding and other extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe. Numerous plant and animal species are in decline. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article by Alexandra Zavis, p. A14, S.L.P.D., 10/21/05]

2005 - New Army Robot / U.S.A. - October 21st, 2005: "The maker of a track-wheeled robot used in Iraq and Afghanistan is developing a version to locate the source of sniper fire. IRobot Corp.'s joint project with Boston University's Photonics Center could protect soldiers by helping them quickly locate snipers, then steer clear or fire back. The robot is meant solely as a defensive measure, but its ability to calculate a target's distance using laser and infrared light ultimately could lead others to build a new generation of robots that can fire weapons. The sniper-detecting technology, paired with iRobot's track-wheeled, bomb-disarming PackBot, recently made its first public appearance at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual meeting. [....] The system isn't yet ready for deployment, but Cambridge, Mass.-based BBN Technologies produces a sniper detector, the Boomerang, that already is deployed in Iraq. That system uses acoustic sensors to track sources of sniper fire." [Based on: A.P. article, p. B12, S.L.P.D., 10/21/05] - [Bold type and underline emphasis added - E.M.]

2005 - Trivia / Enron Settlement - October 21st, 2005: "Enron Corp., the energy trader that filed the second-largest U.S. bankruptcy, won a judge's approval of a $1.5 billion settlement of claims that the company drove up prices during California's energy crisis. Enron will pay about $260 million, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzeneggar said in July. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez approved the accord Thursday [10/20/05] in New York. Enron will make a payment of as much as $25 million in cash and cover about a fifth of $1.475 billion in claims filed in its bankruptcy case." [Based on: Business Page article, p. B2, S.L.P.D., 10/21/05]

2005 - Trivia / CIA Leak Case, U.S.A. - October 21st, 2005: "The evidence prosecutors have assembled in the CIA leak case suggests Vice President  Dick Cheny's chief of staff sought out reporters in the weeks before an undercover operative's identity was compromised in the news media. That would cast doubt on one of the White House's main lines of defense. [....] Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald now knows that I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, Cheney's chief of staff, met three times with a New York Times reporter before the leak of Plame's identity, initiated a call to NBC's Tim Russert and was a confirming source about Wilson's wife for a Time magazine reporter. And in a new twist, presidential political adviser Karl Rove has testified that it's possible Libby was his source before Rove talked to two reporters about the CIA operative. [....] Where Libby first heard the information still isn't publicly known, but a full three weeks before Plame's name first showed up in print, Libby was telling New York Times reporter Judith Miller that he thought Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, according to Miller's testimony. While Libby maintains that he didn't know Plame's name until it was published in the news media, the new-public evidence suggests Libby at least was aware that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and that he spread the information." [Based on: A.P. article, p. A2, S.L.P.D., 10/21/05]

*Trivia: "[....] Libby, 55, was grieving over his mother's death 10 days ago [10/21/05] - the day he learned White House adviser Karl Rove told the grand jury that Libby may have been the first to inform him of the identity of CIA covert operative Valerie Plame. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post article, p. A3, S.L.P.D., 10/31/05]

2005 - Profit Increase / Southwest Airlines - October 21st, 2005: "Southwest Airlines Co., the most profitable U.S. carrier, said third-quarter earnings increased 91 percent as passenger traffic and fares rose and the company benefited from protection against soaring jet-fuel prices. Net income climbed to $227 million, or 28 cents a share, from $119 million, or 15 cents, a year earlier, the Dallas-based airline said Thursday [10/20/05] in a statement. Profit has risen in nine of the last 11 quarters. Sales in the third quarter rose 19 percent to $1.99 billion. [....]" [Based on: Bloomberg News]

2005 - Revelation / Burned Taliban Bodies - October 21st, 2005: "Islamic clerics expressed outrage Thursday [10/20/05] at television footage that purportedly shows U.S. soldiers burning the bodies of two dead Taliban fighters to taunt other militants. The clerics warned of a potential violent anti-American backlash. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Asian Businesses, St. Louis, Mo. - October 21st, 2005: "[....] About 8,500 residents of Chinese heritage were counted for St. Louis and surrounding Missouri counties in the 2000 Census. In the Metro East area, the census found 569 Chinese residents. Huang [Eric Huang], who leads the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, believes more than 30,000 Chinese now live in the metro area, and their numbers are growing. An early Chinese community existed in St. Louis from the 1900s in an enclave known as Hop Alley, according to Huping Ling, a history professor at Truman State University. Ling's book, 'Chinese St. Louis - From Enclave to Cultural Community,' notes that Hop Alley was home to several Chinese restaurants, hand laundries and dry goods stores. The neighborhood was bulldozed in 1967 to make way for Busch Stadium. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post-Dispatch article by Eric Heisler, pp. B1 & B11, 10/21/05]

2005 - Health Risks? / Diabetes Drug, Pargluva - October 21st, 2005: "A diabetes medicine poised to win Food and Drug Administration approval sharply increases the risk of heart problems, strokes and death, researchers reported Thursday [10/20/05] in an analysis that raises pointed questions about the agency's handling of drug safety issues. The drug, Pargluva, the first in what had been considered a promising new class of diabetes drugs, more than doubles the risk for life-threatening cardiovascular complications, the researchers concluded after analyzing the studies the drug's maker, Bristol-Myers Squibb, presented in its application for approval. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post]

2005 - Profit Jump / Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. - October 21st, 2005: "Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc.'s third-quarter profit grew 50 percent to $5.26 million as the company opened stores, boosted sales in older stores and saw Internet sales leap 54 percent. Sales rose to $84 million, a 26 percent increase. [....]" [Based on: Staff Reports, p. B3, S.L.P.D., 10/21/05]

2005 - ECK Worldwide Seminar / "A Year of HU" - October 21-23, 2005: "ECKANKAR, Religion of the Light and Sound of God, began its annual New Year celebration with the ECK Worldwide Seminar in Minneapolis, MN. The theme for this year is: A Year of HU." [E.M.]

2005 - Preparing for Possible U.S. Invasion? / Venezuela - October 21st, 2005: "Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday [10/20/05] that his government is preparing for a possible U.S. invasion and he warned that such 'aggression' would send gasoline prices in the United States soaring higher. Chavez is a frequent and vocal critic of 'imperialism' and the Bush administration. He said he was not against the American people - just the current government. In Washington, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Chavez's suspicions were unfounded. 'I've stated many times before, the United States is prepared to work with any government in the region: left of center, center, right of center. Our issue is with states that don't govern in a democratic manner,' McCormack said." [Based on: News Services article, p. A9, S.L.P.D., 10/21/05]

2005 - Charged With Plotting Coup / Farhad Aliev, Azerbaijan - October 21st, 2005: "Azerbaijan's fired economic development minister has been charged with plotting a coup with an exiled opposition leader, authorities said Thursday [10/20/05]. The announcement was made only two weeks before parliamentary elections. Farhad Aliev, who was fired on Wednesday [10/19/05], was arrested the same day on charges of conspiring with opposition leader Rasul Guliyev to incite unrest and seize power, a government statement said. Frequent street protests in Azerbaijan have stirred government fears of an uprising similar to those that helped topple the government in three other former Soviet republics - Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. Guliyev - a former parliament speaker who lives in the United States in self-imposed exile - denied conspiring to overthrow the government." [Based on: News Services article, p. A9, S.L.P.D., 10/21/05]

2005 - Bomb Scare / Washington D.C. - October 22nd, 2005: "A young man was taken for a psychiatric examination Friday [10/21/05] after telling police there was a bomb in his car in front of the Capitol. Police exploded a package inside the vehicle as a precaution. [....] The driver was taken to a Washington hospital for a psychiatric evaluation, while the other man was questioned and released." [Based on: News Services article, p. A24, S.L.P.D., 10/22/05]

2005 - Third World Wages? / Delphi Corp. - October 22nd, 2005: "Auto-parts maker Delphi Corp's proposal to cut workers' wages as much as 64 percent was criticized by the United Auto Workers as the union prepares to deal with company demands to reduce costs. 'Delphi's proposal is designed to hasten the dismantling of America's middle class by importing Third World wages to the United States.' union president Ron Gettelfinger and Vice President Richard Shoemaker said Friday [10/21/05]." [Based on: article, p. A30, S.L.P.D., 10/27/05]

2005 - "Bird Flu" Cases / Britain & Croatia - October 22nd, 2005: "Britain and Croatia confirmed cases of bird flu on Friday [10/21/05] as countries around the world scrambled to put in place measures to prevent the spread of the virus. [....] In both cases, authorities did not know if the birds had the deadly H5N1 strain that has devestated poultry stocks across Asia and killed 60 people in the last two years. The strain has recently been found in birds in Russia, Turkey and Romania." [Based on: News Services article, p. A27, S.L.P.D., 10/22/05]

*Trivia: "The British government said Sunday [10/23/05] that a strain of bird flu that killed a parrot in quarantine is the deadly H5N1 strain that has plagued Asia and recently spread to Europe. [....] It was Britain's first confirmed case of bird flu since 1992. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A7, S.L.P.D., 10/24/05]

2005 - Volcanic Eruption / Sierra Negra Volcano - October 22nd, 2005: "A volcano on the largest of the Galapagos Islands erupted for the third straight day Tuesday [10/25/05], but experts said it didn't threaten villagers on the island or the super-sized tortoises that gave the remote archipelago its name. [....] The 4,920-foot-high volcano began erupting late Saturday [10/22/05]." [Based on: News Services article, 10/26/05]

2005 - Murdered / Saadoun Sughaiyer al-Janabi, Iraq - October 22nd, 2005: "The body of a lawyer [Saadoun Sughaiyer al-Janabi] in Saddam Hussein's trial was found dumped in the street with two bullet wounds in the head hours after gunmen dressed as security forces took him [10/20/05] from his office. A fearful defense team demanded Friday [10/21/05] that the trial be delayed or moved out of Iraq. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, p. A24, S.L.P.D., 10/27/05]

2005 - Charged in Killing Famous Lawyer's Wife / Scott Dyleski - October 22nd, 2005: "A 16-year-old boy was charged as an adult Friday [10/21/05] in the killing of a prominent defense attorney's wife and was ordered held on $1 million bail. The teenager, Scott Dyleski, appeared briefly in a Contra Costa County courthouse for the first time since his arrest for allegedly beating Pamela Vitale to death in her hilltop estate. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, p. A24, S.L.P.D., 10/22/05]

2005 - Ongoing Violence / Iraq - October 23rd, 2005: "U.S. troops and warplanes killed 20 insurgents Saturday [10/22/05] while destroying safehouses for foreign militants near the Syrian border, and four more American military deaths edged the war's U.S. death toll closer to 2,000. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Missing Airliner / Nigeria - October 23rd, 2005: "A passenger plane carrying 114 people was reported missing shortly after taking off from the Nigerian city of Lagos, a television station reported on Sunday. The aircraft, operated by Nigeria's Bellview Airlines, lost contact with the control tower three minutes after taking off at 8:45 p.m. on Saturday [10/21/05], Channels TV reported. Pilots issued a distress call before the plane disappeared from radar about 15 miles west of Lagos over the Atlantic Ocean, state television reported. It said the craft was headed to the capital, Abuja." [Based on: News Services article (Airliner carrying 114 is reported missing), p. A17, S.L.P.D., 10/23/05]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Sea of Japan - October 23rd, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 10:08:14 (UTC) on Sunday, October 23, 2005. The magnitude 6.0 event has been located in SEA OF JAPAN. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: preliminary earthquake report @: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/usenal.htm]

2005 - Globe-Trotting Donald Rumsfeld / Mongolia - October 23rd, 2005: "A chat with a Buddhist monk. An encounter with a gift horse named Montana. A peek inside a yurt, the traditional felt tent home. A word with Mongolian veterans of the war in Iraq. No outpost is too distant, no audience too small for U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, globe-trotting to bolster support for Iraq, Afghanistan and the wider fight against terrorism. The roaming Rumsfeld dropped in Saturday [10/22/05] for an official visit with senior leaders of this once communist nation of about 2.7 million, home of the legendary horseman-warrior, Ghenghis Khan. [....] Rumsfeld also spoke to a group of 180 Mongolian soldiers who had served in either Iraq or Afghanistan in recent years. He told them that history would look kindly on their efforts and he thanked them for their contributions. 'It's a privilege to be able to look you in the eye and say thank you,' Rumsfeld said. [....] On what he said was the first visit by a U.S. Defense Secretary to Mongolia, Rumsfeld sought to encourage Mongolia's efforts to build a peacekeeping force with global reach. 'If there's anything that's clear in the 21st century, it's that the world needs peacekeepers,' Rumsfeld said at a news conference with his Mongolian counterpart, Sharavdorj. The two stood before a white, life-size statue of Ghengis whose image is widely seen in the capital. President George W. Bush is scheduled to visit Ulan Bator in November." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Burning Bodies Video, Afghanistan - October 23rd, 2005: "The United States has gone to great lengths to win over Afghans, sending billions in aid and using its troops for humanitarian work. But TV footage purportedly showing U.S. soldiers burning the bodies of Taliban rebels threatens to fray that good will. With Islamic clerics warning of a violent anti-American backlash, the alleged desecration of dead Muslims has American commanders scrambling to contain a public relations calamity that comes as they struggle to bolster support for their war against a stubborn insurgency. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Misreported History? / Karen Hughes, Indonesia - October 23rd, 2005: "The Bush administration's envoy, Karen Hughes, defended the invasion of Iraq by telling skeptical students here [Syarif Hidayatullah University, Indonesia] that deposed President Saddam Hussein had gassed hundreds of thousands of his own people. Her remark was an impassioned answer to familiar criticisms of U.S. policy raised by her audience at one of Indonesia's leading Islamic universities. But it was also wrong. State Department officials later acknowledged that Hughes, sent by President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to set the record straight on U.S. policies in the Muslim world, had misreported history. Although at least 300,000 Iraqis are reported to have died during Saddam Hussein's 24 years in office, his government's use of chemical weapons against Iraqi Kurds during a 1998 military campaign killed an estimated 5,000 people. [....] 'The consensus of the world intelligence community was that Saddam was a very dangerous threat,' she [Karen Hughes] said. 'After all, he used weapons of mass destruction against his own people. He had murdered hundreds of thousands of his own people using poison gas.' Hours later, Hughes was asked twice for the basis of her numbers during a meeting with journalists from foreign news organizations. 'It's something that our U.S. government has said a number of times in the past. It's information that was used very widely after his attack on the Kurds. I believe it was close to 300,000,' Hughes said when questioned the first time. 'That's something I said every day in the course of the campaign. That's information that we talked about a great deal in America.' When asked again several minutes later, she said: 'I think it was almost 300,000. It's my recollection. They were put in mass graves.' By late in the day, Hughes' aide, Gordon Johndroe, offered a correction. 'She was referring to Saddam Hussein having killed hundreds of thousands of people. The gassing part of that was a fraction,' said Johndroe, of the State Department's public affairs bureau. 'She was combining two numbers and two situations. She wasn't trying to rewrite the story or make a new claim.' [....]" [Based on: A.P. article by Ron Fournier (Entitled: On PR tour, envoy for Bush makes gaffe), p. A14, S.L.P.D., 10/23/05] - [As with the majority of news and other articles on this Web site, paragraph indents were removed to save space and consolidate data - E.M.]

2005 - Tropical Storm Alpha / Dominican Republic & Haiti - October 23rd, 2005: "Tropical Storm Alpha caused severe flooding and forced thousands of evacuations in the Dominican Republic and Haiti on Sunday [10/23/05] before being downgraded to a tropical depression. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers, 10/24/05]

*Trivia: "Alpha, the Atlantic season's record-breaking, 22nd named storm, left at least eight people dead and 23 missing in Haiti before moving north into the Atlantic Ocean and weakening to a tropical depression, authorities said Monday [10/24/05]. [....]" [Based on: A.P., 10/25/05]

2005 - Sun in Scorpio - October 24th, 2005: "Reported date when the Sun entered the constellation Scorpio." [Based on: http://www.astro.com/swisseph/swephae.htm - 2005 A]

2005 - In the poor house now - October 24th, 2005:

St. Louis County is at it again. In tax year 2001, the real estate tax on our modest house was raised more than 45 percent by the county. This morning, we opened a tax bill from the county and found it increased another 33 percent for 2005.
   How is it possible for people living on a fixed income or those with falling incomes to keep up in today's economy? Is the ultimate goal here to drive us to the proverbial poor house so the country can come in and grab our homes for back taxes?
   This process of bleeding dry the hard-working residents of the country will only stop when there is a massive revolt by the residents of this country and, in particular, of St. Louis County. We must put an end to this growing obscenity.

[Based on: Opinion Page article (In the poor house now) by Terry Kippenberger (University City),  p. B8, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/24/05]

2005 - Proposed Budget Cuts / U.S.A. - October 24th, 2005: "[....] Senate and House Republicans are proposing to slice up to $50 billion from the federal budget, largely by targeting programs that aid the poor and elderly - Medicaid, Medicare and food stamps - as well as programs designed to help middle-income families. The cuts are needed, they say, to offset the $65 billion that Congress allocated in September to aid families devestated by Katrina and to make repairs in the Gulf regions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Democrats charge that Republicans are trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and the needy, the very people who most need relief in the face of higher gasoline prices and expected higher heating bills, both made worse by Katrina and Hurricane Rita. The whole idea of 'offsets' is an insult, they say. Republicans didn't holler offsets when Congress allocated an additional $50 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Democrats argue, or when Republicans pushed through a pork-laden energy bill earlier this year. [....]" [Based on: Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau article, p. A1, S.L.P.D., 10/24/05]

2005 - Gun Sale Ban Rejected / Brazil - October 24th, 2005: "Brazilians rejected on Sunday [10/23/05] a proposal to ban the sale of guns, striking down the bid in a national referendum. [....] The proposal would have prohibited the sale of firearms and ammunition except for police, the military, some security guards, gun collectors and sports shooters." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Women Prisoners, U.S.A. - October 24th, 2005: "Women made up 7 percent of all inmates in state and federal prisons last year, the government reported Sunday [10/23/05]. Women accounted for nearly one in four arrests, the federal study said. [....]" [Based on: News Services article, 10/24/05]

2005 - Trivia / Google & Copyright Law - October 24th, 2005: "The purpose of copyright law is to encourage creativity by protecting an author's work, not stifle knowledge. The book publishers suing Google are attempting to subvert that purpose. They're swinging the copyright law like a cudgel, trying to knock the wheels off the greatest knowledge-dissemination device since Gutenberg's invention of movable type in the 15th Century. [....] Groups representing publishers contend that electronic copying violates copyright laws. A judge will have to determine what today's copyright laws actually allow. But let's consider what a good copyright law ought to allow. Copyrights are designed to protect the intellectual property of authors by giving their publishers - who presumably have incurred publication and promotion costs - exclusive rights to sell copies of their work for a set period of time. People who buy copyrighted books have a right to 'fair use' of the contents: They can lend them out, quote from them, copy small sections of text and even satirize them. [....] When you buy a book, you're buying access to an expression of ideas; ink and paper are a physical record of those ideas. But it shouldn't make any difference whether the owner of the book replaces the three-dimensional object with a virtual version. What matters is what the book's owner does with the virtual text. Unlimited digital distribution of entire books without permission from a publisher or author should not be legal. Obviously, that would discourage publishing and rob authors of their livelihood. But Google's limited snippets ought to be considered fair quotation. [....] But this is a genie that, once it gets a toe out of the bottle, is likely to force its way  completely out. Some curious 12-year-old somewhere is certain to figure out a way to stich the Google snippets together to make a whole text. That won't be Google's fault - or will it? - but where does that leave publishers and authors? Stay tuned for the next knotty chapter. " [Based on: Opinion Page article (Can the Google genie stay in the bottle?),  p. B8, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/24/05]

*Trivia: "[....] 'It might take a decade or two to put all the world's information into Google.... But it's an achievable goal. ' [....]" [Based on: Opinion Page article (Google's got a great idea, terrible execution),  p. B9, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/24/05]

2005 - Increased Car Bomb Attacks / Iraq - October 24th, 2005: "An insurgent blew up his car in a Baghdad square Sunday [10/23/05], killing four people in the first significant suicide bombing in the capiatal in weeks. In all, more than 20 Iraqis died Sunday in various incidents. [....] In the past, Baghdad has been heavily battered by deadly suicide attacks, with a string of them killing nearly 700 people from April 1 to early September [2005]. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - President Lech Kaczynski / Poland - October 24th, 2005: "Warsaw's conservative Mayor Lech Kaczynski won Poland's presidential runoff vote Sunday [10/23/05], partial results showed. He belongs to the Law and Justice party, headed by his twin brother. [....] Kaczynski overtook Tusk [Donald Tusk] by convincing older and poorer voters that he would protect the social safety protections that have eroded somewhat in the 16 years since the collapse of communism." [Based on: News Services article]

2005 - Jet Crash & 1st Lady Fatality / Nigeria - October 24th, 2005: "Twisted chunks of metal, ripped luggage and mangled bodies turned a swath of woods into a grisly scene after a Nigerian passenger plane [Boeing 737] carrying 117 people crashed [Saturday night, 10/22/05] shortly after takeoff. Officials said Sunday [10/23/05] that all aboard were feared dead. [....] Officials first said the pilots issued a distress call before the plane disappeared from radar while over the Atlantic Ocean about 15 miles west of Lagos and said helicopters were searching the sea for wreckage. [....] There was no immediate indication of what caused the crash, but it was not thought to be terrorist-related. [....] The plane was headed to the capital, Abuja, on what was supposed to have been a 50-minute flight from Lagos, the country's business and financial center. [....] Soon after the crash, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo suffered another blow. His wife, Stella, died in Spain. She would have been 60 next month. A one-sentence statement signed by the presidential spokeswoman, Remi Oyo, described her as Obasanjo's 'beloved wife.' No further details were given as to what caused her death." [Based on: A.P. article, p. A7, S.L.P.D., 10/24/05]

2005 - Old-time remedy for cough isn't available - October 24th, 2005:

Q: For years I used terpin hydrate as an expectorant when I had a cough. It worked.
   It was sold over the counter, and one small bottle would last me the entire cold and flu season.
   I would like to buy some before the flu season hits this year. Over-the-counter cough remedies on the market today are like water. I drink them, and they do NOT work.
   Can terpin hydrate still be purchased without a perscription? I've never found another cough syrup that works as well.

A: Terpin hydrate was a popular cough medicine from the late 1800s until the mid-1990s. Then the Food and Drug Administration banned it on the ground that it had not been proved effective.
   As an expectorant, terpin hydrate was supposed to loosen mucus and relieve coughs. It was derived from natural sources such as oil of Turpentine or compounds found in oregano, thyme and eucalyptus. [....]"

[Based on: Healty & Fit Page article (Old-time remedy for cough isn't available), p. H6, S.L.P.D., 10/24/05]

2005 - Mark Twain Prize for American Humor / Steve Martin - October 24th, 2005: "[....] For his career achievements, Martin [Steve Martin] was honored Sunday [10/23/05] with one of the nation's top comedy awards - the Mark Twain Prize for American Homor. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Died / Rosa Parks - October 25th, 2005: "Rosa Lee Parks ... died Monday (Oct. 24, 2005). She was 92. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / CIA Leak Case - October 25th, 2005: "I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, first learned about the CIA officer at the heart of a leak investigation from Cheney weeks before her identity became public in 2003, lawyers involved in the case said Monday [10/24/05]. Libby's notes of a conversation with Cheney on June 12, 2003, appear to differ from Libby's testimony to a federal grand jury, the lawyers said. [....] Libby's notes indicate that Cheney got his information about Plame from George Tenet, the director of central intelligence, in response to the vice president's questions about her husband. [....] The notes do not show that Cheney knew Plame's name. But they show that Cheney did know and told Libby that she was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency and that she may have helped arrange her husband's trip. [....] [Based on: New York Times article p. A1 & A5, S.L.P.D., 10/25/05]

*Trivia: "The New York Times reports [10/25/05] that notes suggest that Vice President Dick Cheney passed Valerie Plame's identity on to I. Lewis Libby in a previously undisclosed conversation." [Based on: Illustrated Timeline, p. A13, S.L.P.D., 10/30/05]

*Trivia: "[....] An Associated Press story Friday [10/21/05] reported that Judy had coughed up the details of an earlier meeting with Libby only after prosecutors confronted her with a visitor log showing that she had met with him on June 23rd, 2003. This cagey confusion is what makes people wonder whether her stint in the Alexandria jail was in part a career rehabilitation project. Judy is refusing to answer a lot of questions put to her by Times reporters, showing them the notes that she shared with the grand jury. I admire Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Bill Keller for aggressively backing reporters in the cross hairs of a prosecutor. But before turning Judy's case into a First Amendment battle, they should have nailed her to a chair and extracted the entire story of her escapade. Judy told The Times that she plans to write a book and intends to return to the newsroom, hoping to cover 'the same thing I've always covered - threats to our country.' If that were to happen, the institution most in danger would be The New York Times."  [Based on: Other Views page article (Judy Miller's account raised many troubling questions) by Maureen Dowd, p. B9, S.L.P.D., 10/25/05]

2005 - Fatality / Luai Saadi, West Bank - October 25th, 2005: "Israeli troops swooped down early Monday [10/24/05] on a West bank hide-out and fatally shot a senior commander of the palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad and one of his top aides, according to military spokesmen and palestinian officials. [....] Israel said the raid was planned as an arrest operation and was not a 'targeted killing.' " [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Death Warrant / Stanley Williams - October 25th, 2005: "A judge signed a death warrant Monday [10/24/05] for Stanley 'Tookie' Williams, a co-founder of the notorious CRips gang. Williams, 51, and a high school friend started the Crips street gang in Los Angeles in 1971. [....] Williams is scheduled to die Dec. 13 at San Quentin prison. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

*Trivia: "The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday [11/30/05] to halt the scheduled execution of killer Stanley Tookie Williams .... [....] He is scheduled to die by injection Dec. 13. [....]" [Based on: Staff & News Services article (Gang founder loses death sentence appeal), p. A5, S.L.P.D., 12/01/05]

2005 - Car Bombs Attack / Baghdad Hotel - October 25th, 2005: "Suicide bombers launched a dramatic attack Monday [10/24/05] against a hotel in central Baghdad where many foreign journalists are based. At least a half-dozen passers-by were killed, but American troops and journalists escaped without serious injury. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A7, S.L.P.D., 10/25/05]

2005 - Trivia / U.S. Treatment of Terrorist Suspects - October 25th, 2005: "The White House is insisting that the CIA be exempted from a proposed ban on abusive treatment of suspected terrorists. [....] McCain rejected the proposed exemption. It stated that the measure 'shall not apply with respect to clandestine counterterrorism operations conducted abroad, with respect to terrorists who are not citizens of the United States ... if the President determines that such operations are vital to the protection of the United States or its citizens from terrorist attack.' [....]" [Based on: New York Times article (White House wants CIA free of rules on treating suspects) by Eric Schmitt, p. A2, S.L.P.D., 10/25/05]

2005 - Dissection - October 26th, 2005:

   Teaching creationism in science classrooms would open the Bible to dissection. Science teachers and students would be free at least to examine the Bible as a source of information.
   To evaluate the Bible, science students would study how the Bible came to be: who actually wrote the Bible and when, what's become of the original manuscripts -- including the manuscripts deliberately not included in the King James version - and touch on scholarly debates about translations and interpretations. Students could even review the archaeological record to see if anything matches the Old Testament.
   Students shouldn't be afraid to look at anything with a curious eye.

[Based on: Opinion Page article (Dissection) by Peggy Whetzel, p. B8, S.L.P.D., 10/26/05]

2005 - Solar Wind Stream - October 26th, 2005: "A solar wind stream is gently buffeting Earth's magnetic field. It's not much--but it doesn't take much to spark auroras in some places. Click here to view a photo taken last night in Harstad, Norway. More auroras are possible tonight over Alaska, Canada and Scandinavia."

[Based on: http://spaceweather.com/index.cgi] - [10/26/05] 

2005 - Delphi Seeks Big Cuts - October 26th, 2005: "Delphi Corp., which filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month, is asking the United Auto Workers to agree to pay cuts of more than 60 percent for hourly workers and to relinquish health and pension benefits and vacation time, according to a summary of the auto parts maker's proposal distributed to union members in Indiana. [....] According to the summary, Delphi wants to cut base wages to $9.50 to $10.50 an hour for production workers and to $19 for skilled trade workers. New production workers would start at a base rate of $9 an hour. Right now, Delphi hourly workers make $27 an hour or more." [Based on: Business Page article (Delphi seeks big cuts), p. C2, S.L.P.D., 10/26/05]

2005 - Warning / Syrian Sanctions - October 26th, 2005: "The United States, France and Britain on Tuesday [10/25/05] demanded that Syria detain government officials suspected of involvement in the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister and ensure their cooperation with a U.N. investigation or face the possibility of sanctions. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Voters' Approval / Iraq Constitution - October 26th, 2005: "Iraq's proposed constitution won voters' approval, election officials announced Tuesday [10/25/05], even as the results showed that the minority Sunni Muslim Arabs overwhelmingly rejected the document, billed as a consensus-building charter. [....] Overall, 97 percent of voters approved the document, the Independent Electoral Commission said. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers article, p. A1, S.L.P.D., 10/26/05]

2005 - Proposition / Female Monarchy, Japan - October 26th, 2005: "An advisory panel on Japan's monarchy will propose allowing women to ascend the throne, the chairman said Tuesday [10/25/05]. The proposal has broad support in Japan and could relieve pressure on the imperial family to produce a male heir. [....] Japan's imperial family, led by Emperor Akihito, has not produced a male heir since the 1960s." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - CIA Leak Case Trivia / Dick Cheney - October 26th, 2005: "[....] The New York Times reported Tuesday [10/25/05] that notes taken by Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby suggest that the vice president learned about CIA officer Valerie Plame from then-CIA Director George Tenet, then passed the information to Libby in a conversation on June 12, 2003. [....] Cheney told NBC on Sept. 14, 2003, that he didn't know who sent Wilson on a mission to Niger to explore claims that Iraq was seeking nuclear material. 'He never submitted a report that I ever saw when he came back,' Cheney said at the time. 'I don't know Mr. Wilson. I probably shouldn't judge him. I have no idea who hired him.' He made those remarks months after the reported conversations with Tenet and Libby, in which he would have learned about Wilson and his wife. [....] It was Cheney who all but made a direct link between Saddam Hussein and the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, then denied that he had ever done so. He also insisted there was a link between al-Qaida and Iraq. Cheney said in May that the Iraqi insurgency was in its 'last throes,' an assertion rejected by military leaders. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article by Ron Fournier (Cheney's credibility becomes issue as CIA leak investigation proceeds), p. A6, S.L.P.D., 10/26/05]

2005 - Sentenced / Assassination Plotters, Venezuala - October 26th, 2005: "A military court sentenced three former Venezuelan military officers and 27 Columbians to prison terms ranging from two to nine years Tuesday [10/25/05] for a plot to kill President Hugo Chavez, the state news agency reported. [....] The cases stem from the May 2004 arrest of 118 Columbians at a ranch outside Caracas. Venezuelan authorities said the Columbians were wearing military uniforms and described them as suspected members of a paramilitary group that was plotting to assassinate Chavez." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - World Series Champs / Chicago White Sox - October 26th, 2005: "[....] Chicago outfielder Jermaine Dye's third hit of the game drove in Willie Harris in the top of the eighth inning to give the White Sox a 1-0 victory Wednesday [10/26/05], completing a sweep of Houston in the World Series. The four-game trounce by the White Sox gave them their city's first World Series championship since 1917. [....]" [Based on: Sports Page article (by Derrick Goold), p. D1, S.L.P.D., 10/27/05]

2005 - Hunger Strike Trivia / Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - October 26th, 2005: "A detainee on a hunger strike at the U.S. prison for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay wants a judge to order the removal of his feeding tube so he can be allowed to die, his lawyer said Tuesday [10/25/05]. Fawzi al-Odah of Kuwait asked his lawyers during a meeting last week to file court papers seeking the removal of his feeding tube 'out of desperation' over his imprisonment without charges, attorney Tom Wilner said. [....] There are 26 detainees participating in the hunger strike, which began Aug. 8." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Guilty Pleas / William Tomasso & Peter Ellef - October 26th, 2005: "A state contractor  [William Tomasso] and a top aide [Peter Ellef] to imprisoned former Gov. John G. Rowland each pleaded guilty to two felonies Tuesday [10/25/05]. [....] Prosecutors said the men ran a criminal enterprise out of the governor's office, with Ellef steering multimillion dollar contracts to Tomasso in exchange for gold, cash, travel and gfts. Each faces a maximum of 10 years in prison when sentenced Jan. 13. Rowland, 48, is serving a year-and-a-day federal sentence after pleading guilty to corruption." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Mild Eruption / Santa Maria Volcano, Guatemala - October 26th, 2005: "The Santa Maria Volcano in Guatemala experienced a small eruption on October 26, 2005. [....] Its October 26 eruption was quite mild compared to earlier activity. It experienced a catastrophic eruption in 1902. Another eruption in 1929 killed as many as 5,000 people."

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13232]

2005 - Suicide Bomber / Israel - October 27th, 2005: "A 20-year-old Palestinian blacksmith blew himself up at a falafel stand in an open-air market Wednesday [10/26/05], killing five Israelis and wounding more than 30 in the deadliest attack in the country in more than three months. [....] The islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, saying the attack was to avenge the killing of its West Bank leader by Israeli forces this week. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Trivia / Cancun Resorts - October 27th, 2005: "Along the narrow strip of sand that once housed Cancun's raucous bars and palatial resorts, hotels are now stripped of marble and glass, their skeletal remains rising from a tangle of debris. Cancun's sugar-white sand is washed away, leaving a muddy coastline strewn with chunks of concrete. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Indicted / Don Siegelman - October 27th, 2005: "A federal grand jury has indicted former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, a Democrat, and three others in a 'widespread racketeering conspiracy,' prosecutors said Wednesday [10/26/05]. The indictment alleges that Richard Scrushy, former chief of the HealthSouth hospital chain, made disguised payments totaling $500,000 to Siegelman to get appointed to a key hospital regulatory board. Earlier charges against Siegelman were dropped a year ago when a federal judge ruled the government couldn't prove part of its case. Earlier this year, Scrushy was aquitted in a criminal case alleging accounting fraud." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Insurgent Attacks / Thailand - October 27th, 2005: "Muslim insurgents mounted a series of attacks Wednesday [10/26/05] in southern Thailand in which six people were killed, the military said. [....] Thailand is predominantly Buddhist, but up to 10 percent of the country's 65 million people are Muslims, most living in the three southern provinces. They have long complained of second-class treatment." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Record Profit / Exxon Mobil Corp. - October 27th, 2005: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp. posted a quarterly profit of $9.9 billion Thursday, the largest in U.S. corporate history, as it raked in a bonanza from soaring oil and gas prices. [....] While Exxon's quarterly profit was up 75 percent from a year earlier, and revenue rose 32 percent to more than $100 billion, the results fell short of Wall Street forecasts due to production outages caused by the hurricanes and sharply lower profit at the company's chemicals division. [....] The world's largest publicly traded oil company said net income jumped to $9.92 billion, or $1.58 a share, from $5.68 billion, or 88 cents a share, a year earlier. [....]"

[Based on: http://money.cnn.com/2005/10/27/news/fortune500/exxon.reut/] 

*Trivia: "DALLAS - High prices for oil and natural gas propelled Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC to their best quarterly results ever on Thursday, with Exxon becoming the first U.S. company ever to ring up quarterly sales of $100 billion. To put Exxon's performance into perspective, its third quarter revenue was greater than the annual gross domestic product of some of the largest oil producing nations, including the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. The world's largest publicly traded oil company also set a profit record for U.S. companies by posting net income of almost $10 billion, according to Standard & Poor's equity market analyst Howard Silverblatt. [....]"

[Based on: http://start.usaa.net/article/bus?guid=20051027/436050c0_3421_1334520051027-1340890207]

2005 - Third-Quarter Profit / ConocoPhillips - October 27th, 2005: "ConocoPhillips, the No. 3 U.S. oil company, said third-quarter profit jumped 89 percent to a record $3.8 billion as supply disruptions and rising demand lifted prices to unprecedented highs. Net income rose to $2.68 a share from $1.43 a share, or $2.01 billion, a year earlier, the Houston-based company said Wednesday [10/26/05]. Per-share profit was 11 cents higher than the average estimate from 19 analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. Revenue increased 43 percent to $49.7 billion. ConocoPhillips, the first major U.S. oil company to report third-quarter earnings, got a boost from crude-oil prices that jumped 44 percent in the period, averaging $63.31 a barrel in New York futures trading. The industry may have had the most profitable quarter in its history as Hurricane Katrina and Rita idled offshore wells and Gulf Coast refineries, pushing prices to records. [....] Gains in gasoline and diesel prices more than made up for output losses at three ConocoPhillips plants that were damaged by Katrina, which slammed the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29. Each 25-cent increase in per-barrel refining margins raises annual profit by $125 million, according to filings. Shares of ConocoPhillips rose 36 cents to $62.80 on the New York Stock Exchange." [Based on: Bloomberg News article, p. C3, S.L.P.D., 10/27/05]

2005 - Third Quarter Profit / Express Scripts Inc. - October 27th, 2005: "Express Scripts Inc. on Wednesday [10/26/05] reported record third-quarter earnings and cash flow. George Paz, president and chief executive, said the performance was driven by increases in use of generic drugs, home deliveries and lower drug purchasing costs. [....]" [Based on: Staff Reports, p. C3, S.L.P.D., 10/27/05]

2005 - Tropical Storm Beta / Coast of Nicaragua - October 27th, 2005: "Tropical Storm Beta extended this year's record for named storms in an Atlantic hurricane season, forming Thursday [10/27/05] off the coast of Nicaragua and threatening Columbian islands. The storm was 70 miles southeast of Columbia's San Andres Island. It is the season's 23rd tropical storm, the most since record keeping began in 1851. Beta was expected to become a hurricane. [....]" [Based on: News Services, 10/28/05]

2005 - Launch / Satellite Carrying Rocket, Russia - October 27th, 2005: "A rocket [Kosmos-3M] blasted off Thursday [10/27/05] carrying a Russian satellite and foreign mini-satellites for Iran, China and others into orbit." [Based on: News Services, 10/28/05]

2005 - Tainted Water / Ontario Indian Reservation - October 27th, 2005: "Ontario began evacuating about 1,000 residents of a remote northern Ontario Indian reservation on Wednesday [10/26/05] after drinking water was found to have potentially deadly E. coli bacteria. [....] Residents of the reserve have been under a boil-water restriction for more than two years because of dirty water. Indians leaders in the area say the bad water is linked to Kashechewan's 10-year-old water treatment plant that was built downstream from an existing sewage lagoon. Indian leaders say the plant is beyond repair." [Based on: News Services article, p. A6, S.L.P.D., 10/27/05]

2005 - Third Quarter Profit / Royal Dutch Shell PLC - October 27th, 2005: "[....] At Shell, third-quarter net income grew 68 percent to $9.03 billion, compared with $5.37 billion a year earlier. Revenue at the Anglo-Dutch company rose 8 percent to $76.44 billion. [....]

[Based on: http://start.usaa.net/article/bus?guid=20051027/436050c0_3421_1334520051027-1340890207]

2005 - Oversight Approval / Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac - October 27th, 2005: "The House on Wednesday [10/26/05] approved tighter oversight of the two largest buyers of home mortgages. The legislation, passed by a 331-90 vote despite White House opposition, would rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that combine to finance or guarantee more than three-quarters of U.S. home mortages." [Based on: Business page article, p. C2, S.L.P.D., 10/27/05]

2005 - Oil Profits Trivia - October 28th, 2005: "ExxonMobil Corp. rewrote the corporate record books Thursday [10/27/05] as the oil company's third-quarter earnings soared to almost $10 billion and it became the first public company ever with quarterly sales topping $100 billion. AngloDutch competitor Royal Dutch Shell PLC wasn't far behind, posting a profit of $9 billion for the quarter. Thursday's outsized earnings are a result of surging oil and natural gas prices that pushed pump prices to record territory after Hurricane Katrina. They come on the heels of similar eye-popping gains reported this week by BP PLC, ConocoPhillips Inc. and Marathon Oil Corp. Chevron Corp. reports its earnings today [10/28/05]. [....] At Shell, third quarter net income grew 68 percent to $9.03 billion from $5.37 billion a year earlier. Revenue at the London-based company, which has extensive operations in the United States, rose 8 percent to $76.44 billion. [....] Shell said hurricane damage would cost it about $350 million, although much of the expense would be covered by insurance. Also on Thursday, Marathon said third-quarter profit more than tripled to $770 million, up from $222 million a year earlier. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. C3, S.L.P.D., 10/28/05]

*Trivia:

America's Oil and Natural Gas Industry has been running full-page ads in local papers asking, "Where does the money you pay for a gallon of gasoline go?" They answer the question by showing that 54 percent goes for crude oil, 30 percent for refining, retail outlets and transportation and 16 percent goes to state and federal taxes. That adds up to 100 percent of the price we pay at the pump. If that is correct, then the oil companies have zero percent left for them.
   Yet, in "Oil companies swim in money after storms" (Oct. 20), analysts state the oil companies are expecting huge profits. It seems that all oil companies, large and small, are making and will continue to make huge profits. The ad leads us to believe there is no money left for  the oil companies. But they still make huge profits. Must be some kind of two-system bookkeeping.

[Based on: Opinion Page article (Swimming in confusion) by Ray Hoffstetter, p. D12, S.L.P.D., 10/28/05]

2005 - Buried / London Bomber Remains - October 28th, 2005: "[....] Shahzad Tanweer, an ethnic Pakistani, and three other men blew themselves up on July 7 in coordinated attacks on London's transport system that left 52 people dead. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Trivia / Oil-For-Food Corruption - October 28th, 2005: "Investigators of the U.N. oil-for-food program issued a final report Thursday [10/27/05] that accuses more than 2,200 U.S. and Foreign companies - and prominent politicians - of colluding with Saddam Hussein's regime to bilk the operation of $1.8 billion. The oil-for-food program ran from 1996 to 2003. It allowed Iraq to sell oil, provided most of the money went to buy humanitarian goods. It aimed to help ordinary Iraqis cope with U.N. sanctions imposed after Saddam's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Bribery Charges / Richard Scrushy - October 28th, 2005: "HealthSouth Corp. founder Richard Scrushy, who was acquitted in June of a $2.7 billion fraud, surrendered to federal marshals Friday on charges of bribing former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman. [....]" [Based on: Business Page article, p. C2, S.L.P.D., 10/28/05]

*Trivia: "Fired HealthSouth Corp. Chief Executive Richard Scrushy pleaded not guilty Friday [10/28/05] to charges accusing him of participating in a government corruption scheme. Scrushy said he was offered immunity if he would testify against former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman. [....]" [Based on: Business page article, p. A35, S.L.P.D., 10/29/05]

2005 - Maintenance / Big Ben Clock, London - October 28th, 2005: "The tolling of Big Ben will not be heard this weekend during its longest maintenance shutdown in 22 years. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Purchase Approved / SBC of AT&T Corp. - October 28th, 2005: "[....] On Thursday [10/27/05], antitrust regulators approved SBC's $16 billion purchase of AT&T Corp., its former parent, as well as Verizon Communications Inc.'s $7.5 billion acquisition of MCI Inc., ordering the companies to sell some assets to preserve competition in 19 markets. [....]" [Based on: Business Page article, p. C3, S.L.P.D., 10/28/05]

2005 - Israeli Missle Strike / Gaza Refugee Camp - October 28th, 2005: "Israel killed seven Palestinians in a missle strike Thursday [10/27/05] against Islamic Jihad. [....] The actions came in Israeli response to the latest suicide bombing. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Hurricane-Related Unemployment Claims / U.S.A. - October 28th, 2005: "The number of people who lost jobs because of hurricane Katrina and Rita has climbed above the half-million mark, and more losses are expected in the wake of Hurricane Wilma. The labor Department said Thursday [10/27/05] that 24,000 people who lost jobs because of the Gulf Coast storms filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, pushing the total of hurricane-related claims to 502,000. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - 40th Anniversary / St. Louis Gateway Arch - October 28th, 2005: "It was the Gateway Arch's anniversary Friday [10/28/05] - the big Four-Oh - but most of the presents were for the guests. They enjoyed cake and sparkling cider, a commemorative book, a special postage cancellation and discounted fares for tram rides to the top. [....]" [Based on: St. Louis Post Dispatch, p. A7, 10/29/05]

2005 - "International Day of Struggle Against Israel ..." / Iran - October 28th, 2005: "Governments around the world expressed shock and scorn Thursday [10/27/05] at the Iranian president's call for Israel to be 'wiped off the map.' Several summoned Tehran's envoys in their capitals for reprimand. In a speech Wednesday [10/26/05], President Mahmoud Abmadinejad denounced Israel and said a new wave of Palestinian attacks 'will wipe this stigma from the face of the Islamic world.' Citing the words of the founder of Iran's Islamic revolution, the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Ahmadinejad said: 'Israel must be wiped off the map.' Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Thursday [10/27/05] called for Iran to be expelled from the U.N. He said 'a state which calls for the destruction of another people cannot be a member of the United Nations.' [....]" [Based on: A.P. article by Jill Lawless (Anti-Israel statement shocks many), p. A10, S.L.P.D., 10/28/05]

*Trivia: "Iran's ultraconservative president - spurning international outrage over his remarks about Israel - joined more than a million demonstrators who flooded the streets of the capital and other major cities Friday [10/28/05] to back his call for the destruction of the Jewish state. [....] After Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini toppled the pro-Western Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1979, he declared the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan as an international day of struggle against Israel and for the liberation of Jerusalem. The founder of the Islamic regime had also called for Israel's destruction." [Based on: A.P. article, p. A30, S.L.P.D., 10/29/05]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A30, S.L.P.D., 10/29/05]

2005 - "Official A" / Karl Rove? - October 29th, 2005: "[....] A source close to Rove [Karl Rove], who asked not to be named publicly, said the White House political strategist was 'Official A' named in the indictment as one of columnist Robert Novak's sources. Novak was the first to name Plame [Valerie Plame] in one of his columns. [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers article, p. A4, S.L.P.D., 10/29/05]

2005 - Third Quarter Profit / Chevron Corp. - October 29th, 2005: "Chevron Corp.'s third-quarter profit rose 12 percent, the smallest gain among major U.S. oil companies, as hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico curbed output. [....]" [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Hurricane Beta / Central America - October 29th, 2005: "A strengthing Hurricane Beta headed for Central America's Caribbean coast Saturday after lashing the small Columbian island of Providencia with harsh winds, heavy rains and high surf. [....] Nicaraguan troops evacuated thousands of people from low-lying areas as forecasters predicted the category 1 hurricane could become a Category 3 storm before reaching the mainland Sunday, near the border between Nicaragua and Honduras. It was not expected to hit the United States. In Honduras, intense wind and rain were hitting the coast." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Record [Out of Wedlock] Births / U.S.A. - October 29th, 2005: "Nearly 1.5 million babies, a record, were born to unmarried women in the United States last year [2004], the government reported Friday [10/28/05]. And it isn't just teenagers anymore. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A25, S.L.P.D., 10/29/05]

2005 - Indictment & Resignation / I. Lewis Libby - October 29th, 2005: "President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney volunteered glowing endorsements and expressed no criticism of I. Lewis 'Scooter' Libby on Friday [10/28/05] as the senior White House adviser was indicted, resigned and lost his security clearance. [....] Libby was Cheney's chief of staff, national security adviser and close confidant. He was accused of perjury, obstruction of justice and making false statements to a federal grand jury investigating the leak of a CIA operative's name by someone in the administration. [....] Libby was a driving force behind the administration's march to war against Iraq and helped assemble evidence - later proven false - asserting that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, which became the rationale for the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003. [....] The White House counsel's office sent a memo to all staff directing them not to respond to questions about the Libby investigation or to discuss it among themselves. It also said that 'all White House staffers should not have any contact with Scooter Libby about any aspect of the investigation,' McClellan said. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article by Terence Hunt, p. A2, S.L.P.D., 10/29/05]

*Trivia: "[....] Libby promised to challenge the charges and said he was 'confident that at the end of the process, I will be completely and totally exonerated.' [....]" [Based on: Knight Ridder Newspapers article, p. A4, S.L.P.D., 10/29/05]

*Trivia: "[....] No one would ruminate on the record on Libby's possible motives, but there is speculation that Libby is falling on his sword to protect Cheney, not only his boss, but a personal friend. [....]" [Based on: Washington Post article, p. A3, S.L.P.D., 10/31/05]

*Further reading ...

2005 - Tropical Cyclone 04B-05 / Indian Peninsula - October 28th, 2005: "Tropical Cyclone 04B-05 had come ashore over the Indian Peninsula when it was observed by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite at 10:30 a.m. local time on October 28, 2005. At that time, Tropical Cyclone 04B-05 had sustained tropical storm wind speeds of 55 kilometers per hour (35 miles per hour). Although not hurricane strength, the winds were quite sufficient to cause considerable damage. Five days of sustained rain associated with the tropical storm system are responsible for some 100 deaths in India, as well as the destruction of many homes and large areas of agricultural land. [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13245]

2005 - Strong Earthquake / Southeast Indian Ridge - October 29th, 2005: "A strong earthquake occurred at 04:05:56 (UTC) on Saturday, October 29, 2005. The magnitude 6.5 event has been located near the SOUTHEAST INDIAN RIDGE. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)"

[Based on: preliminary earthquake report @: http://earthquakes.usgs.gov/recenteqsww/Quakes/useuad.htm]

2005 - U.N. Inspection? / Guantanamo Bay Detention Facilities - October 29th, 2005: "The United States is inviting independent experts from the United Nations to visit detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, almost four years after the U.N. first asked to inspect the prison. [....] There is no set timeline for the visit." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Terrorist Bombs / India - October 30th, 2005: "Near-simultaneous explosions rocked the Indian capital Saturday evening[10/29/05], tearing through a bus and two markets crowded with people shopping for gifts for a Hindu festival. At least 58 people were killed and dozens wounded in the blasts, which the government blamed on terrorists. [....] The attacks targeted the many people shopping just days before the festival of Diwali, a major Hindu holiday at which families exchange gifts, light candles and celebrate with fireworks. [....]." [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Israeli Bombardment / Gaza Strip - October 30th, 2005: "Israeli aircraft and artillery pounded the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday [10/29/05], targeting roads and open areas it said Palestinians had used to launch rocket attacks against southern Israel. [....]" [Based on: A.P.]

2005 - Lost Livelihoods / Mexican Farmers - [....] An estimated 1 million farmers in rural Mexico have lost their livelihoods. [....] Passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993 and the Mexican government's sharp reduction of protective tariffs triggered a flood of U.S. corn pouring south into the Mexican heartland. That corn - grown more cheaply in the United States with the benefit of taxpayer subsidies - sent prices in Mexico into a tailspin from which they never recovered. [....]" [Based on: Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau]

2005 - Beheaded School Girls / Indonesia - October 30th, 2005: "Unidentified assailants attacked a group of high school girls on Saturday [10/29/05] in Indonesia's tense province of Central Sulawesi, beheading three and seriously wounding another, police said. [....]" [Based on: A.P. article, p. A11, S.L.P.D., 10/30/05]

2005 - Tax Break / Witchcraft Classes - October 31st, 2005: "Dutch witches were guaranted a financial treat when the Leeuwarden District Court reaffirmed their legal right to write off the costs of witchcraft classes against their tax bills. Those costs run to thousands of dollars. The court found on Sept. 23 that a witch can declare schooling costs if it increases the likelihood of employment and personal income." [Based on: News Services article, p. A6, S.L.P.D., 10/31/05]

2005 - Siezed / Jhon Cano, Columbia - October 31st, 2005: "[....] Jhon Cano was arrested Saturday [10/29/05] in northwest Columbia, said Columbian Judicial Police Chief Col. Oscar Naranjo. Cano is considered the No. 3 man in the Norte del  Valle cartel, which authorities believe has been responsible for half of all the cocaine shipped to the U.S. in the past decade, Naranjo said." [Based on: News Services]

2005 - Typhoon Kai-Tak / Vietnam Coast - October 31st, 2005: "Typhoon Kai-Tak is shown here [see link] as observed by NASA’s QuikSCAT satellite on October 31, 2005, at 14:32 UTC (11:32 p.m. local time). At this time, the typhoon had sustained wind speeds near the storm’s center of 140 kilometers per hour (85 miles per hour; 75 knots). Typhoon Kai-Tak had reached its peak power a few hours earlier and was already starting to lose power as it was coming ashore on the Vietnam coastline. [....]"

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13243]

2005 - Volcanic Activity / Mount Etna, Italy - October 31st, 2005: "On October 31, 2005, Agenzia Giornalistica Italia reported that 15 tremors had been recorded near Mount Etna by the morning of October 30, followed by 20 more shocks over the next day. The largest tremor registered a 3.9 on the Richter scale. No property damage had yet been observed. [....]."

[Based on: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/natural_hazards_v2.php3?img_id=13241]

2005 - Restored Cathedral / Dresden Germany - October 31st, 2005: "Some 60,000 people celebrated the reopening of Dresden's restored baroque cathedral Sunday [10/30/05] - 60 years after Allied bombs destroyed the 18th-century church in World War II. [....] Part of the church's uniqueness is its round structure, the pews fanning out from the altar in a circle. The upper galleries also hold pews. Two thousand pieces of the original altar were cleaned and incorporated into the new structure. The church's outer walls are mottled with original stones, blackened with time and age. Most visible, to the right of the new altar, is the cross that once topped the dome, now twisted and charred." [Based on: A.P.]

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

[Based on: http://www.spacedaily.com/news/voyager1-05a.html]

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

The Future

Please send insights, corrections, and/or feedback to: etznab@aol.com. Please entitle your mail: "A Mirror Response."