T.L. Winslow's 2005 C.E. Historyscope

© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.



2005 - The Brokeback Mountain Year of Chicken or Rooster Bird Flu, Thrill Seekers and Bargain Hunters Unite, or, My How Time Flies Like Shiite? The Year of the IED? The Hurricane Katrina Year? The Final Throes Year? A year starting with expensive natural catastrophes against a backdrop of ceaseless senseless killing and endless U.S. expenses in Iraq weakening a faltering U.S. economy, followed by daily terrorism, more disasters, disease, and starvation all over the world, and culminating in one of the biggest natural disasters in U.S. history, all leaving a brooding sense of impending Armageddon at the help desk? Iraqi insurgents prove that low tech can beat hi tech? Meanwhile the blue-red (Democrat-Republican) split in the U.S. broods in the broken background?

Condoleezza Rice of the U.S. (1954-) Michael Chertoff of the U.S. (1953-) Alberto R. Gonzales of the U.S. (1955-) Tom DeLay of the U.S. (1947-) Charles Christopher Cox of the U.S. (1952-) Margaret Spellings of the U.S. (1957-) Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine (1954-) Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine (1935-) John Robert Bolton of the U.S. (1948-) King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (1924-2015) Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud of Saudi Rabia (1928-) Christiane Amanpour (1958-) Dominique de Villepin of France (1953-) Nicolas Sarkozy of France (1955-) Pope Benedict XVI (1927-) Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (1936-) Sister Marie Simon Pierre (1960-) Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa (1938-) John Glover Roberts Jr. of the U.S. (1955-) Terri Schiavo (1963-2005) Orhan Pamuk (1952-) U.S. Pfc. Lynndie England (1983-) Ayman Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan al-Tikriti (1971-) 'BTK' Dennis L. Rader (1946-) Michael DeWayne Brown of FEMA (1954-) Dan Rather (1931-) Harriet Miers of the U.S. (1945-) Thomas Arthur Mesereau Jr. Jalal Talabani of Iraq (1933-) Adel Abdul-Mahdi of Iraq (1942-) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran (1956-) Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani of Iraq (1930-) Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah Yazdi (1934-) Albert II of Monaco (1958-) Angela Merkel of Germany (1954-) Alfredo Palacio of Ecuador (1939-) Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico (1953-) Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. of the U.S. (1950-) Jean Schmidt of the U.S. (1951-) Ruud Lubbers of Netherlands (1939-) Hurricane Katrina, Aug. 23-31, 2005 Clarence Ray Nagin Jr. of the U.S. (1956-) U.S. Gen. Russell L. Honoré ¨1947-) Ishenbai Kadyrbekov of Kyrgyzstan (1949-) Kurmanbek Bakiev of Kyrgyzstan (1949-) Massoud Barzani of Iraq (1946-) Hajim al-Hassani of Iraq (1954-) Ghazi al-Yawer of Iraq (1958-) Ibrahim al-Jaafari of Iraq (1947-) John Garang de Mabior of Sudan (1945-2005) Salva Kiir Mayardit of Sudan (1951-) Faure Gnassingbé of Togo (1966-) Col. Ely Ould Mohammed Vall of Mauritania (1953-) Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi (1963-) Charles Konan Banny of Ivory Coast (1942-) Scott McClellan of the U.S. (1968-) Bob Taft II of the U.S. (1942-) Martti Ahtisaari of Finland (1937-) Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista of Mexico (1947-) Jose Miguel Insulza of Chile (1943-) George Galloway of Britain (1954-) Paul Wolfowitz of the U.S. (1943-) Shaha Ali Riza of the U.S. (1953-) Cindy Sheehan (1957-) Ali al-Tamimi (1965-) Saadoun Sughaiyer al-Janabi (-2005) Tayseer Allouni (1955-) Muqtada al-Sadr (1974-) Hassan Dahir Aweys of Sudan (1935-) Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania (1950-) Juan Manuel Alvarez (1978-) July 21, 2005 London Bombers Ramzi Mohammed (1981-) and Muktar Said Ibrahim (1978-) of Somalia Samantha Lewthwaite (1984-) Robert Davis (1941-) Paul Richard Shanley (1931-) John Patrick Shanley (1950-) Robert Charles Wilson (1953-) Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, 2005 Steve Fossett (1944-2007) Sir Richard Branson (1950-) Brad Pitt (1963-) and Angelina Jolie (1975-) Peter Jennings (1938-2005) Abdullah Abu Azzam (-2005) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (1966-2006) Abu Ayyub al-Masri of Iraq (1968-2010) Mohamed Mostafa ElBaradei of Egypt (1942-) John Murtha of the U.S. (1932-2010) Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi (1970-) Shenzhou 6 Crew, 2005 Ed McBain (1926-2005) May Chidiac of Lebanon (1964-) Fouad Siniora of Lebanon (1943-) Christopher Pittman (1989-) Giuliana Sgrena (1948-) William Lepeska (1965-) and Anna Kournikova (1981-) Baby 81 (2004-) Adriana Iliescu (1938-) U.S. Sgt. Hasan Karim Akbar (1971-) U.S. Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow (1944-) Bart Ross (-20050 Sharon Olds (1942-) Ashley Smith (1978-) Brian Gene Nichols (1971-) Debra LaFave (1980-) Irv Gotti Lorenzo (1970-) Roland E. Arnall of the U.S. (1939-2008) Rabbi Yisrael Ariel Ali al-Timimi (1963-) Randall Todd Royer Robert Blake (1933-) Andrey Nikolayevich Illarionov (1961-) Corey Delaney Clark (1980-) Arnold M. Cooper (1930-2011) Michael Ross (1959-) Danica Patrick (1982-) Dan Wheldon (1978-2011) Michael Schumacher (1969-) Deion Branch (1979-) Andrew Bynum (1987-) Sheryl Swoopes (1971-) Fisher DeBerry (1938-) Gary Bruce Bettman (1952-) 'Kent Wagner (1958-) Sali Berisha of Albania (1944-) Evo Morales of Bolivia (1959-) Jose Socrates of Brazil (1957-) Randy 'Duke' Cunningham of the U.S. (1941-) U.S. Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski (1953-) Priscilla Richman Owen of the U.S. (1954-) Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. (1949-) Robert Finlayson Cook of Britain (1946-2005) Natalee Holloway (1986-2005) Maya Marcel-Keyes (1985-) Jennifer Wilbanks (1973-) Isabelle Dinoire (1967-2016) Jean-Michel Dubernard (1941-) Ayman Nour of Egypt (1964-) Djamel Beghal George Hawi of Lebanon (1938-2005) Lech Kaczynski of Poland (1949-2010) STS-114 Crew, 2005 Eileen Collins of the U.S. (1956-) Mel Martinez of U.S. (1946-) Lawrence Anthony Franklin of the U.S. (1947-) 'Kent Wagner (1958-) Bruce Scott Gordon (1946-) Kelly A. Frank (1962-) Jose Canseco (1964-) Carlton Dotson (1982-) Dave Bliss (1943-) Robert Iger (1951-) Martin J. Sherwin (1937-) Kai Bird (1951-) Sir Walter Bodmer (1936-) Ahmed Omar Abu Ali (1981-) Antony Flew (1923-) Prince Charles (1948-) and Camilla (1947-) of Britain Cat Cora (1967-) Jim B. Tucker Philip Treacy (1967-) Philip Treacy Example Heidi Klum (1973-) and Seal (1963-) Sheik Horn of the U.S. Army Sadiq Aman Khan of Britain (1970-) Diane Wilson (1948-) Michelle Wie (1989-) Paris Hilton (1981-) and Paris Latsis (1979-) Ward Churchill (1947-) Michael Arthur Newdow (1953-) Frank Tassone Juan Marcos Gutierrez Gonzales of Mexico Joseph Edward Duncan III (1963-) Susanne Kristina Osthoff (1962-) Ted Stevens (1923-2010) with Incredible Hulk tie, 2005 Stanley Tookie Williams III (1953-2005) at age 51 Raj Chetty (1979-) Emmanuel Saenz (1972-) Peter Diamond (1940-) Peter Richard Orszag (1968-) Farid Essebar (1987-) Atilla Ekici (1984-) Thomas L. Friedman (1953-) Donald T. Thompson (1947-) Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan Jordi Galí (1961-) Rev. Kyle Lake (1972-2005) Marla Ruzicka (1976-2005) Lil' Kim (1975-) Terry McMillan (1952-) and Jonathan Plummer (1975-) U.S. Lance Cpl. Miguel 'TJ' Terrazas (1985-2004) U.S. SSgt. Frank Wuterich (1980-) Shaul Mofaz of Israel (1948-) Joel Osteen (1963-) and Victoria Osteen (1961-) Muhammad Taqi Usmani (1943-) Mikhail Khodorkovsky (1963-) Jeffrey Ake (1958-) Nicholas Negroponte (1943-) Carrolyn Correa (1954-) John Lewis Hall (1934-) Theodor Wolfgang Hansch (1941-) Yves Chauvin (1930-) Stephen Dubner (1963-) and Steve Leavitt (1967-) Robert Howard Grubbs (1942-) Sherman A. Jackson Edward Klein (1937-) Nicole Krauss (1974-) Anne Lamott (1954-) David M. Oshinsky (1944-) Harold Pinter (1930-2008) John Lewis Hall (1934-) Roy Jay Glauber (1925-) Chad Meredith Hurley (1977), Jawed Karim (1979-), and Steve Shih Chen (1978-) Theodor Wolfgang Hansch (1941-) Robert Howard Grubbs (1942-) Tom Reiss (1964-) Richard Royce Schrock (1945-) Barry James Marshall (1951-) John Robin Warren (1937-) Robert John Aumann (1930-) Thomas Crombie Schelling (1921-) Carrie Tiffany (1965-) Michael Collins Piper (1960-) John Edward Jones III of the U.S. (1955-) Raghuram Rajan (1963-) Tash Aw (1971-) Marin Alsop (1956-) Reza Aslan (1972-) Robert Berringer Andrew G. Bostom Richard Cevantis Carrier (1969-) Jürgen Habermas (1929-) Garret LoPorto (1976-) Richard McCann (1949-) David McCullough (1933-) Nicholas Ostler (1952-) Walid Phares Brad Rutter (1978-) Archbishop Christoph Schönborn (1945-) Frank Stronach (1932-) Dr. Catherine DeAngelis (1940-) Michael Jackson SUV Dance, Jan. 18, 2005 Melissa Ann Young Pepe the Frog, 2005 'Bones', 2005- 'Criminal Minds', 2005- 'Everybody Hates Chris, 2005-9 'Numb3rs', 2005-10 'The Office', 2005-13 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee', 2005 'The 39 Steps', 2005 'Billy Elliot the Musical', 2005 'Jersey Boys', 2005 'Rock of Ages', 2005 'Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson', 2005 'Monty Pythons Spamalot', 2005 Tom Cruise (1962-) and Katie Holmes (1978-) 'Brokeback Mountain', 2005 Heath Ledger (1979-2008) and Michelle Williams (1980-) 'The Constant Gardener', 2005 'The Island', 2005 'Kingdom of Heaven', 2005 'King Kong', 2005 'Separate Lies', 2005 'Serenity', 2005 'Syriana', 2005 Sandra Bullock (1964-) and Jesse James (1969-) Olivia Newton-John and Patrick McDermott Donna Goeppert Cuyler Frank (1977-) James Blunt (1974-) The Bravery Chris Brown (1989-) Panic! at the Disco Pussycat Dolls Melody Gardot (1985-) Chelsea Handler (1975-) Stephenie Meyer (1973-) Elizabeth Kostova (1964-) Stieg Larsson (1954-2004) Wayne Kopping Gordon James Ramsay (1966-) John Scalzi (1969-) Kenneth R. Timmerman (1953-) James Van Praagh (1958-) Jennifer Love Hewitt (1979-) Michael Bublé (1975-) Carrie Underwood (1983-) Bo Bice (1975-) Carrie Vaughn (1973-) Rihanna (1988-) Maximo Park Dropkick Murphys Fall Out Boy Niyaz M.I.A. (Mathangi 'Maya' Arulpragasm (1975-) 'A Bigger Bang' by the Rolling Stones, 2005 New Young Pony Club Funtwo (1984-) The Fray The Veronicas Yehudi Wyner (1929-) Jay Greenberg (1991-) Sam the Ugliest Dog (1990-2005) 'The Closer', 2005-13 'Grey's Anatomy', 2005- 'Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia, 2005- Allison DuBois (1972-) 'Medium', 2005-11 'How I Met Your Mother', 2005 'My Name Is Earl, 2005-9 'Capote', 2005 'Munich', 2005 'Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith', 2005 'Little Black Man in Big White World' by Richard Pryor 'Ruan' by Xiao Yu, 2005 Nat. Holocaust Memorial, Berlin, 2005 F-22 Raptor, 2005

2005 Doomsday Clock: 7 min. to midnight. Chinese Year: Rooster (Chicken) (Feb. 8) (lunar year 4702). Time Persons of the Year: The Good Samaritans (Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, and Bono). This is the U.N. Internat. Year of Microcredit. The U.N. Gen. Assembly adopts the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) Doctrine. Iraq surpasses Israel as the #1 annual recipient of U.S. foreign aid, followed by Egypt and Jordan, which receive aid on the condition that they maintain peaceful relations with Israel. Pop. of Mexico: 103.1M (about 1M a year increase since 2000); the U.S. Border Patrol catches 155K non-Mexican migrants along the 2K-mi. U.S.-Mexico border this year, incl. some from terrorist countries incl. Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan, up 5x in three years; 516 Mexican illegal die attempting to come across the border this year, up 40% from 2004; the U.S. has 55K centenarians. On top of regular immigration since the passing of the 1965 U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, a record 96K Muslims become permanent legal U.S. residents this year. As of this year the world consumes 84M barrels of oil a day, while oil fields produce 85M, leaving only 1M barrels of "excess capacity"; meanwhile, China is motorizing at jet speed, causing a tug of war with the U.S., which consumes 25% of the world's energy with just 5% of the pop., and imports 10M barrels a day, half from OPEC (35% domestic, 11% Canada, 10% Mexico, 9% Saudi Arabia, 8% Venezuela, 7% Nigeria, 20% other); world reserves of oil total 1.1T barrels (.9T previously consumed), enough for 40 years. According to WHO, 1.6M people die each year as a result of violence; in Africa 609 per million people die a violent death; since 1990 human wars (incl. 55 civil wars) have claimed 3.6M lives, nearly half of them children. In Iraq this year 10,593 IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) detonate, causing 64% of all U.S. deaths; meanwhile the U.S. policy is to "de-weaken" the country so that they can eventually pull out. In the U.S. this year 51% of women claim to be living without a spouse, compared to 49% in 2000 and 35% in 1950; 47% of adults in their 30s and 40s have lived in a cohabiting relationship; 37% of U.S. births are out of wedlock, compared to 5.3% in 1960; meanwhile a Pew Research Study finds that 71% of people believe that having children out of wedlock is a "big problem" for the U.S., and 44% believe it is "always or almost always wrong" for unmarried women to have children. Between Feb. of this year and Oct. 2006 more than 93M data records of Americans are exposed to breaches of security. The U.S. has a negative savings rate this year for the first time since 1933. Over 17.5K are trafficked into the U.S. this year, one-third from Mexico for slave labor, incl. sexual exploitation; over 2M children worldwide are employed in the sex industry; human trafficking worldwide is a $6B-$9B industry. Kentucky leads the U.S. with the highest percentage (28%) of smokers as its leaders try to change the state economy's "Three B's" (Bourbon, Building and 'bacco) to about anything else. Since 1970 20M legal Islamic immigrants have come to Europe, equalling the combined pops. of Ireland, Denmark and Belgium? Horn of Africa pirates begin raking in $50M a year (until ?), using it to finance global criminal operations. Between this year and 2009 the U.S. Dept. holds $880M worth of contracts with seven internat. corps. that do significant business with Iran in the oil, gas, and petrochemical sectors. After 14 consecutive years of double-digit increases in its military budget, China has the 2nd biggest in the world ($65B), with 2.5M soldiers; it targets 600 missiles at Taiwan, adding 75 more each year. China shows how Big Brother and the Internet can coexist? After investing $138B in infrastructure over five years, China now has 94M Internet users, compared to 24M for India; online revenue is $1.1B, compared to $93M for India; in Aug. Yahoo.com pays $1B for a 40% stake in Alibaba.com, China's biggest online commerce firm; in 2003 it invested $120M in a Chinese search engine, and in 2004 bought a controlling stake in online auction site 1pai.com.cn; Chinese web sites are prohibited from containing content that "divulges state secrets, subverts the govt. or undermines national unity", and in 1997 this was announced to incl. "feudalistic" and "supersitious" content, incl. astrology, fortune-telling and numerology; there are Internet police depts. in over 700 cities and provinces; Microsoft Corp. draws criticism for implementing software for China which kow-tows to these demands, warning bloggers not to use words like "democracy", "freedom", "liberty", "demonstration", "separatism", "capitalism", "human rights"; China also bans Wikipedia, the 2.3M article 100-language free online user-supported hit-miss encyclopedia. This year 73M people in the U.S. receive "phishing" emails, looking for dupes to visit their fake web sites and give them personal info. so they can steal from them - the first pure Internet crime not imported from the non-Internet world? U.S. workers waste 551K years of time reading blogs as 35M people (one in four of the work force) visit blogs, averaging 3.5 hours per week. Text messaging reaches 1M a day avg. worldwide; short message service (SMS) allows ads to intrude; Islamic countries allows a man to divorce his wife by sending the message "I divorce you" three times by SMS - I ain't no hollaback girl? The U.S. drug industry hooks millions on its pills and potions, spending an average of $663K a day advertising Nexium (heartburn), $586K for Crestol (cholesterol), $447K for Cialis (erectile dysfunction), $405K for Levitra (ED), $340K for Zelnorm (irritable bowel), $334K for Prevacid (heartburn), $320K for Flonase (nasal allergies), and $312K for Celebrex (arthritis). Latin America replaces Asia as the source for most of the heroin seized in the U.S.; in 1989 Asia accounted for 96%, but this year only 10%, with Colombia alone accounting for 60%. The school pop. in America reaches 49.6M children, finally breaking the 1970 record of 48.7M set by the baby boomer generation. In the U.S. 50.3% of all business mgrs. and profs. are female, but comprise less than 2% of Fortune 1000 CEOs and 7.9% of Fortune 500 top earners. U.S. traffic deaths of 43,443 (1.47 deaths per 100M mi. traveled) are the highest since 1990; 2.7M are injured in crashes, and 4,675 pedestrians die, plus 3,374 drivers between ages 16-20. On Jan. 1 Michigan defeats Texas by 38-37 to win the 2005 Rose Bowl. On Jan. 1 at 0:00:00 the Turkish govt. drops six zeroes from its nat. currency, a result of decades of double-digit inflation that inflated its lira from 2.8 to the U.S dollar in the 1950s to 1.35M, made possible by recent stunning economic progress. On Jan. 1 a prison riot at Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, N.J. by the Bloods street gang begins after guards confiscate contraband chicken from convicted 25-y.-o. drug dealer Omar McCray, and he yells, "Bloods out, rat-a-tat, Bloods out". On Jan. 2 sports figures Venus Williams, Maria Sharapova, NFL teams and others join in assisting the relief mission for the tsunami in S Asia; on Jan. 3 Pres. Bush taps his daddy and former pres. Clinton to help. On Jan. 3 Medium debuts on NBC-TV for 130 episodes (until Jan. 21, 2011), moving to CBS-TV on Sept. 25, 2009, based on real-life medium Allison DuBois (1972) starring Patricia Arquette as medium Allison DuBois of Phoenix, Ariz., who works with the DA; all three of her daughters have her gift. On Jan. 4 the pro-U.S. gov. of the Baghdad region is assassinated with six bodyguards as he drives to work - great start defensively for the Trojans as they start the second half? On Jan. 4 half-white half-black Barack (Arab. "blessed") Hussein (Arab. "handsome") Obama (Kenyan "crooked") II (1961-) becomes U.S. Dem. Sen. for Ill. (until ?), beginning a meteoric rise in U.S. politics. On Jan. 5 China's pop. officially reaches 1.3B. On Jan. 5 Pres. Bush opens a new push for caps on medical malpractice awards - contending that his owner-trainers tell him what to do? On Jan. 5 Am. paleontologist Charles Repenning (b. 1922) is found dead in his home in Lakewood, Colo. (first to find dino bones on the North Slope of Alaska), killed by meth-addict burglars Richard James Kasparson (1970-) and Michael Wessel, who had been hired by Nicholas Savajian, a remodeler who had been invited into Repenning's home and saw all the neat fossils and other artifacts it contained; both are later sentenced to life in priz with no meth. On Jan. 5 CNN Pres. Jonathan Klein describes CNN's coverage of the tsunami, saying "We were able to flood the zone immediately." On Jan. 6 Nelson Mandela announces that his 54-y.-o. son Makgatho died of AIDS that morning. On Jan. 6 the Internat. Summit on Tsunami Relief convenes in Jakarta. On Jan. 6 a roadside bomb strikes a Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Bag Ur Dad (Baghdad), killing seven U.S. soldiers, and showing that the insurgents can make big enough bombs to penetrate their best armor - I don't know why you say goodbye I say boom? On Jan. 6 a freight train slams into a parked train in Graniteville, S.C., rupturing a chlorine tank, and the gas kills nine and injures 234. On Jan. 7 super intense rainstorms begin drenching the Pacific coast of Southern Calif., dumping a whole year's worth of rain (20+ in.) and causing mudslides and deaths as the old song lyrics "it never rains in Southern California" are played by radio stations; the Sierra Nevadas get 19 ft. of snow at elevations above 7K feet from Dec. 28-Jan. 9, the most since 1916; storms also cause flooding in Ariz., avalanches in Utah, and ice damage and flooding in the Ohio Valley; MF believers increase their volume of warnings of an approaching Armageddon? On Jan. 7 Hollywood dream couple (since July 29, 2000) Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston announce their separation, and in Mar. Aniston files for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences; in an Aug. interview for Vanity Fair she denies that the breakup is due to her not wanting children, saying "I did and I do and I will", attributing it instead to "when you stop growing together, that's when the problems happen"; she says "I was shocked" at published pictures of Pitt with actress Angelina Jolie and her 3-y.-o. son Maddox on a beach in Africa while filming Mr. and Mrs. Smith; on Dec. 2 the acting team of Brad Pitt (1963-) and Angelina Jolie (1975-) confirm rumors of having a serious affair since the filming of Mr. and Mrs. Smith when they file a legal petition in Los Angeles to change the names of Jolie's children Maddox (b. 2002) (adopted from Cambodia) and Zahara (b. 2005) (adopted from Ethiopia) to Jolie-Pitt, causing their acting duo to be called "Brangelina" (Bradgelina); she later claims that she refused to "be intimate" with him until he got a divorce, then has his baby Shiloh in May, 2007; in Mar. 2007 she adopts Pax Thien (b. 2004) in Vietnam. On Jan. 8 a roadside bomb goes off under a U.S. convoy at night near a police checkpoint in Yussifiyah (9 mi. S of Baghdad), causing the troops to open fire; two police officers and three civilians are killed; earlier that day, at 2 a.m. the U.S. drops a 500-lb. bomb on the wrong house during a search for terror suspects in Aitha, 30 mi. S of Mosul, killing seven adults and seven children; another U.S. soldier assigned to Task Force Baghdad is killed in a roadside bomb; Samarra's deputy police chief Col. Mohammed Mudhafir is shot by insurgents as he drives alone; an accidental explosion kills seven Ukrainian soldiers and one from Kazakhstan at an ammo dump 6 mi. S of Suwaira about noon. On Jan. 9 Mahmoud Abbas (1935-) is elected pres. of the Palestinian Authority, winning 65% of the vote in a field of seven candidates, and taking office on Jan. 15 (until ?); his avowed goals are a Palestinian state in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem, and the right of return for displaced Palestinians. On Jan. 9 Britain's Prince Harry (1984) wears a Nazi uniform to a costume party, a photo of which is featured on the front page of the Jan. 12 ed. of The Sun with the title "Harry the Nazi", bringing a public apology and cries from the Simon Wiesenthal Center for him to go to Auschwitz to atone. On Jan. 10 PM Ariel Sharon's new govt. takes office after a close (58-56) parliamentary vote, giving him a cabinet majority for his plan to remove all 21 settlements from the Gaza Strip and four from the West Bank (8.5K Israelis total) starting in July. On Jan. 10 CBS issues the thick Rathergate Report after an internal review, accusing three news execs and producer Mary Mapes of 60 Minutes II of "myopic zeal", and firing them or asking them to resign; CBS News Pres. Andrew Heyward and Dan Rather escape punishment, although the latter is criticized by CBS Chief Exec. Leslie Moonves for "errors of credulity and over-enthusiasm"; the name of the disgraced show is changed to 60 Minutes Wednesday, as the mother show begins its 38th season on Sun. Jan. 16, and last airs on Sept. 2. On Jan. 10 Pope John Paul II puts lobbying against same-sex marriage at the top of the Vatican's agenda for the year; also on the anti-list are abortion, cloning, assisted procreation, and embryonic stem cell use. On Jan. 10 a roadside bomb destroys an armored Bradley Fighting Vehicle in Baghdad, killing two U.S. soldiers and wounding four more (the second such attack in a week); hours earlier gunmen in a passing car assassinate Baghdad's deputy police chief and his son while they drive to work; a suicide bomber blows up a fake police car at a Baghdad police station, killing four officers and wounding ten more; afterwards, two rockets tear a hole in a family home nearby, injuring two; a roadside bombing kills three Iraqi Nat. Guard soldiers and wounds six during a joint patrol with U.S. troops in Mosul; the insurgents give notice that they will station snipers to stalk voters outside polling places during the Jan. 30 elections. On Jan. 10 a U.S. SH-60 Seahawk heli on a relief operation hard-lands in a rice paddy near the Banda Aceh airport, injuring all 10 U.S. servicemen aboard. On Jan. 10 Air Force officials announce that Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Fiscus, Judge Advocate Gen. of the Air Force from Feb. 2002-Sept. 2004 will be retired at the rank of col. after being dismissed for engaging in "unprofessional relationships" with female subordinates - he didn't pay them union scale for beejays and hand jobs? On Jan. 11 Pres. Bush nominates federal judge Michael B. Chertoff (1953-) (co-writer of the U.S. Patriot Act) (his mother Livia Eisen was an El Al air hostess with alleged links to the Mossad) as U.S. homeland security secy. #2 (until Jan. 21, 2009), replacing Tom Ridge, who steps down on Feb. 1; Ridge had been subject to news coverage of his ritzy fun-filled junkets at taxpayer expense to Hawaii supposedly for official govt. business. On Jan. 12 French justice minister Dominique Perben asks the Paris prosecutor's office to prosecute anti-immigration Nat. Front Party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen for making a remark to the weekly pub. Rivarol that "the German occupation was not that inhumane, even if there were a number of excesses" - book him, life without parole? On Jan. 12 the U.S. Supreme (Rehnquist) Court rules 5-4 in U.S. v. Booker to strike down the federal mandatory sentencing guidelines, making them advisory only. On Jan. 12 the NASA Deep Impact spacecraft (built by Ball Aerospace of Boulder, Colo.) blasts off on a mission to smash a hole in a comet to investigate its contents; on July 3 at 10:57 p.m. PDT its 820-lb. cooper-fortified "impactor" smashes into icy Comet Tempel 1; later Russian astrologer Marina Bai (1965-) sues NASA for $300M for interfering with her horoscopes by "ruining the natural balance of forces in the Universe"; her case is thrown out of court then reinstated, and ends in ? - and ice cream truck drivers everywhere do what? On Jan. 13 a federal judge in Atlanta, Ga. orders a suburban Atlanta school system to remove stickers from its h.s. biology textbooks that call evolution "a theory, not a fact", and carry a legend that they are "approved by Cobb County Board of Education, Thusday, Mar. 28, 2002." On Jan. 13 a large scale Palestinian attack kills six Israeli civilians at a Gaza crossing point, causing Israeli PM Ariel Sharon on Jan. 14 to suspend all contacts with the Palestinian leadership until they halt militant attacks. On Jan. 13 (night) 28 Iraqi POWs escape en route from the Abu Ghraib Prison to another facility; meanwhile the U.S. Nat. Intelligence Council releases a report saying that Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the training ground for the next gen. of "professionalized" terrorists. On Jan. 14 an Iraqi military bus is rocketed by insurgents W of Baghdad; a large U.S.-Iraqi force descends on Av Gani, Iraq looking for insurgents, an Iraqi bus collides with a U.S. tank, killing six bus passengers and injuring eight. On Jan. 14 a U.S. military judge convicts SSgt. Jonathan J. Alban-Cardenas of murder for the mercy-killing of a 16-y.-o. Iraqi, sentencing him to one year in prison. On Jan. 14 Alberta PM Ralph Klein utters the soundbyte: "You would have to eat 10 billion meals of brains, spinal cords, ganglia, eyeballs and tonsils to get the [mad cow] disease" - since I got in the loop, everyone can eat my guts? On Jan. 15 PLO chmn. Mahmoud Abbas is sworn-in as pres. of the Palestinian Authority, and armed Palestinian factions swear to press ahead with attacks, but the PLO calls for an end to them; Abbas utters the soundbyte: "We are telling the entire world, today Gaza and tomorrow Jerusalem"; despite this Hamas renews rocket and mortar fire against Jewish settlers in Gaza on Jan. 16; on Jan. 16 Sharon warns Palestinian PM Ahmed Qureia that he has given the army orders to act "without restrictions" against any acts of Palestinian terrorism; the latter responds with a statement demanding a halt to "all military acts that harm our national interests and provide excuses to Israel". On Jan. 15 Richard Armitage, a deputy of U.S. state secy. Colin Powell reveals that he and Powell sometimes used the "bully pulpit" and went public with dissenting views to try to influence the less-moderate Bush admin. on policy issues. On Jan. 16 the U.S. frees 81 detainees in Afghanistan ahead of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha. On Jan. 16 the Golden Globe Awards are held in Hollywood; The Aviator wins for best dramatic film, Sideways for best comedy film. On Jan. 16 66-y.-o. Adriana Iliescu (1938-) gives birth to 3.19 lb. Eliza Maria in Bucharest, Romania, becoming the oldest recorded woman to give birth; a twin sister is stillborn. On Jan. 17 former Chinese PM Zhao Ziyang (b. 1920) dies; he had been under house arrest since being toppled in a power struggle following the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests. On Jan. 17 Iraqi expatriates in 14 countries begin registering to vote in Iraq's Jan. 30 elections. On Jan. 17 Sunni insurgents seeking to derail the election kidnap Syrian Catholic archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa (1938-) in Mosul, and 20+ people in a series of brazen assaults in the flashpoint region N and W of Baghdad. On Jan. 18 the 1.2M lb. Airbus A380 superjumbo jet (30% bigger than a 747) is unveiled in Toulouse, France, making its first flight on Apr. 27; it has a record passenger cap. of 800, and 149 have already been ordered; on Oct. 25 the first airline to fly is Singapore Airlines; it is tested with passengers in Mar. 2007, and has 156 standing orders, none from U.S. carriers. On Jan. 18 the Michael Jackson Trial for molesting 13-y.-o. Gavin Arvizo begins as he is arraigned in Santa Maria, Calif., then goes outside and wows fans with an electrifying dance atop his black SUV; on Jan. 31 jury selection begins; on Feb. 23 a jury is selected; on Feb. 28 opening statements are made; the trial becomes the most publicized in history. On Jan. 19 Iraqi insurgents set off five car bombs across Baghdad (the first four within a 90 min. span), killing at least a dozen; the first is at 7 a.m. in the Australian embassy, followed a half hour later by one at a police station, then one at a military recruiting center; the 4th is at the Baghdad Int. Airport, and the fifth explodes around noon near a Shiite mosque and bank in the northern part of the city; insurgents in a car also fire on an office of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, killing one member. On Jan. 19 the Am. Cancer Society's annual statistical report notes that cancer has surpassed heart disease as the top killer of Americans younger than 85 (476,009 from cancer in 2002 vs. 450,637 from heart disease). On Jan. 19 21-y.-o. homeless Mexican man Francisco Serrano (1983-) is arrested 2x at Apple Valley High School, his alma mater where he had been posing as a student for three weeks, sitting in on classes, showering in the locker room, and sleeping in the theater - they did a good job preparing him for his life work? On Jan. 19 under pressure from the U.S. and others, Israeli PM Ariel Sharon approves a "security meeting" with field cmdrs. which prevents a large-scale Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip. On Jan. 19 in Tampa, Fla. U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr. issues the first-ever ruling upholding the federal law letting states ban same-sex marriages, dismissing a lawsuit by two women seeking to have their Mass. marriage recognized in Fla. - well blow me down? On Jan. 19 Pres. Bush pledges to seek unity in a divided U.S., saying, "I am eager and ready for the work ahead" - how about capable? On Jan. 20 U.S. pres. #43 George W. Bush is inaugurated for a 2nd term in the 64th U.S. Pres. Inauguration (the 16th 2-term pres.), with Richard Cheney continuing as the 46th vice-pres.; corporate America donates $40M to the inauguration fund; Washington Post columnist and CFR senior fellow Michael John Gerson (1964-) writes Bush's idealistic 1.8K-word inaugural speech, containing the soundbyte: "We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world"; Margaret Spellings (1957-) becomes U.S. education secy., and later in Jan. writes a letter to the head of PBS-TV complaining about an episode of Postcards from Buster about a lesbian couple; on Oct. 8, 2006 she appears on Celebrity Jeopardy!, getting eaten, er, whipped, er, beaten bigtime by Michael McKean, who played Lenny on "Laverne and Shirley". Colorado's political regime stinks itself up trying to get around academic freedom in a public university, a good argument for private universities? On Jan. 21 Ian Mandel (1984-), a junior at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. pub. an article in the college newspaper "The Spectator", setting off a chain reaction over the un-PC views of super-popular U. of Colo. (Boulder) ethics studies PhD-less Urbana, Ill.-born prof. Ward LeRoy Churchill (1947-), who rose from an admin. asst. position with the Am. Indian Equal Opportunities Program in 1978 to full prof. in 1997 and chmn. of the ethnic studies dept. in 2002 ($100K a year), and pub. an article written on Sept. 12, 2001 titled Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens, comparing the Twin Tower victims of the 9/11 attack to Nazis and "little Eichmanns", saying they are just "technocrats" getting deserved payback from victims of prior U.S. misdeeds in the Middle East; on Feb. 1 he resigns as chmn. amid angry outcries by Student Repub. protesters and Colo. politicians, incl. the infamous C.U. Board of Regents, and Gov. Bill Owens (a Texan) stinks himself up by calling for his removal, claiming that as a public official supported by public funds they have a right to control his public speech, like any govt. bureaucrat that has no freedom to speak out against the regime, then calling CU pres. Betsy Hoffman and threatening to cut off state funds if they don't fire him; Churchill threatens to sue if he's fired, saying "I don't work for Governor Bill Owens", but for the students, and has tenure and the right to academic freedom, but that doesn't stop the regents, the Rocky Mt. Roman Emperors, enjoying a unique position in the state constitution as an independent state arm equal to the legislature (big mistake), and not stymied by the law being on Churchill's side they declare all-out war on him, all at taxpayer expense, immediately switching to an attack on his years-old claim to be a member of the Keetowah Cherokee tribe in Okla., claiming that this mostly white prof. without a doctorate lied to get affirmative action preference in hiring; after that doesn't work, they spend years having academic committees go through every word of his massive published output, adding a blizzard of petty allegations of plagiarism and copyright violations like any author might have let slip in, and which should have been brought to his attention incrementally not all at once, then appointing a 5-person committee chaired by law prof. Marianne "Mimi" Wesson to rubber-stamp their prior decision to 'get' him by making it look like due process, and on May 9, 2006 it finds him guilty on all seven "counts", incl. pub. an unsupported footnote claiming that Capt. John Smith had tried to spread smallpox to the Indians, and plagiarism for plagiarising himself because he ghost-wrote a paper under an alias, although only one of the members recommends that he be fired, causing him to call it "a travesty" and threaten a lawsuit, while his enemies, incl. loser Denver newspaper Rocky Mountain News (closes 2009) (known for supporting Col. Chivington in the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre, and personally pissing-off TLW by refusing to print his letters to the editor since the 1970s) jump at the chance to call for him to "never teach again"; sho' 'nuff, on July 24, 2007 after the regents fire him rather than put him on probation or suspend him for awhile, calling any attempt to sue them on First Amendment grounds "frivolous", which doesn't stop him, and on Apr. 2, 2009 after a 6-week trial a jury finds in his favor, awarding him $1 in damages, and in July 2009 a district court judge vacates the award and denies his request to order his reinstatement because CU is an arm of the Colo. govt. itself and has "quasi-judicial immunity"; on Apr. 1, 2013 after the Colo. Supreme court rubberstamps the decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear the case - moral: CU is a party school and a joke hiding behind govt. immunity, and should be closed? On Jan. 23 a bug is found outside actress Nicole Kidman's home in Sydney, Australia, causing paparazzo Jamie Fawcett to be suspected and ordered by a judge on Apr. 6 to provide a DNA sample. On Jan. 23 Viktor (Victor) Andriyovich Yushchenko (1954-) is sworn-in as pres. #3 of Ukraine (until ?). On Jan. 23 charges against Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk (1952-) are dropped after the EU objects; he had been charged in 2004 in Istanbul with "insulting Turkish identity" for speaking in a newspaper interview about the 1915 million-man Armenian massacre and the 1980 30K-man Kurdish massacre by Turks; on Oct. 12, 2006 he wins the Nobel Lit. Prize. On Jan. 23 Numbers (NUMB3RS) debuts on CBS-TV for 118 episodes (until Mar. 12, 2010), starring Robert Alan "Rob" Morrow (1962-) as FBI Special Agent Don Eppes, and David Krumholtz (1978-) as his math whiz brother Prof. Charlie Eppes, who solve crimes in LA mathematically with their father Alan Eppes, played by Judd Seymore Hirsch (1935-). On Jan. 24 Iraqi authorities announce that Sami Mohammed Ali Said al-Jaaf (AKA Abu Omar al-Kurdi), an al-Qaida lt. arrested on Jan. 15 in Baghdad "confessed to building approximately 75% of the car bombs used in attacks in Baghdad" during the war (32 car bombings). On Jan. 24 the U.S. Supreme (Rehnquist) Cour rules 8-0-1 in Commissioner v. Banks that a taxpayer's settlement is income, even the contingency fee he pays his atty., except for in employment cases, which are exempted by the 2004 U.S. Am. Jobs Creation Act; Rehnquist recused himself. A vacant adult gives millions a magic moment with the Void? On Jan. 24 the U.S. Supreme (Rehnquist) Court clears the way for the plug to be pulled on brain-damaged 41-y.-o. Theresa Marie "Terri" Schiavo (Schindler) (b. 1963), who has been kept on life support in Fla. since potassium deficiency and an eating disorder induced a heart attack on Feb. 25 1990, interrupting oxygen flow to her brain for 5 min. and leaving her in a persistent vegetative state (she can open her eyes, but can't think, and depends on a feeding tube); after years of fruitless therapies, her hubby Michael decides to have her feeding tube removed, but her parents Robert and Mary Schindler don't, and they begin a court battle; Repub. Gov. Jeb Bush successfully lobbies the Fla. legislature to pass a law to keep her alive; when the U.S. Supreme Court again clears the way, her feeding tube is pulled on Mar. 18 in her hospice in Pinellas Park; on Mar. 21 the U.S. House by 203-58 passes an emergency law throwing her case into Fla. District Court, which sides with her hubby against her parents; on Mar. 22 Terri's parents beg a federal appeals court to order her feeding tube reinserted; the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to intervene in the case for the 6th time on Mar. 30 at 10:40 p.m., less than 2 hours after the request is filed; she dies on Mar. 31 at 9:05 a.m. amid a throng of protesters; House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) asks the House Judiciary Committee to examine the case and make recommendations on how to address a politicized "arrogant, out-of-control" federal judiciary, that he says will have to answer for its actions; on Apr. 13 he apologizes for his remarks, calling them "inartful" (he is a marked man now?); on June 15 an autopsy is released backing Michael's contention that she was in a persistent vegetative state. On Jan. 25 a video shows U.S. contractor Roy Hallums (1948-), who was kidnapped in Baghdad the previous Nov. by Iraqi hoodlums looking for ransom pleading for his life; his ex-wife Susan gets Moammar Gadhafi to make a public appeal for his release; he is rescued by coalition troops on Sept. 7. On Jan. 26 a U.S. CH-53E Sea Stallion transport heli crashes in a desert sandstorm in early morning darkness in W Iraq, killing all 30 U.S. Marines and one Navy medic aboard; they had been on a security mission in support of the upcoming election; hours after the crash, Pres. Bush holds the first news conference of his 2nd term (18th overall), pleading for Americans' patience in Iraq, urging Iraqis to defy terrorist threats and vote, and declaring "I firmly planted the flag of liberty" (at a cost to U.S. taxpayers of $1B a week?); later in the day insurgents set off eight car bombs which kill 13 and injure 40, incl. 11 Americans, and carry out a string of attacks on schools slated to be used as election centers; the U.S. death toll for the Iraqi war exceeds 1,400. On Jan. 26 Juan Manuel Alvarez (1978-) leaves his gasoline-soaked SUV on some railroad tracks in Glendale, Calif., at the outskirts of Los Angeles, causing a commuter train to smash into it, derail, and crash into an oncoming train, killing 11 and injuring 180 - guess why I did it? On Jan. 26 Condoleezza Rice (1954-) (sounds like a soul food recipe?) is sworn-in as U.S. secy. of state #66 (until Jan. 20, 2009) after the Senate confirms her by a 85-13 vote (2nd woman and 1st black woman to have the job); 2nd secy. of state to never be married (James Buchanan); 12 of 44 Dems. and one Independent vote not to confirm her, the highest number of votes against a SOS nominee since Henry Clay in 1825; the last nominee to receive any no votes was Alexander Haig in 1981; on Jan. 26 U.S. deputy nat. security advisor (since 2001) Stephen John Hadley (1947-) succeeds her as nat. security adviser #21 (until Jan. 20, 2009); U.S. EPA secy. (since 2003) Mike Leavitt becomes U.S. Health and Human Services secy. #8 (until Jan. 20, 2009). On Jan. 26 hip-hop label Murder Inc. founder Irving "Irv Gotti" Lorenzo (1970-) and his brother Chris are charged with laundering $1M+ in drug profits from Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff's multistate crack and heroin operation; the label's superstar artists Ja Rule (Jeff Atkins) and Ashanti are not charged. On Jan. 29 a court in Saudi Arabia rules that the value of a woman's life is equal that of one man's leg as far as blood money is concerned. On Jan. 30 (Sun.) the first Iraqi elections in half a cent. are held in U.S.-occupied Iraq (150K troops) under heavy security from spoilsport insurgents, who kill at least 40 with suicide bombers, and shoot down a British military transport plane, killing 10 as Pres. Bush calls the balloting a resounding success; the majority Sunnis are victorious (only 10% of the Shiites vote); on Jan. 31 spoilsport al-Qaida issues a message promising to "destroy the American game of democracy" in Iraq through holy war - stick with what works? On Jan. 31 the Vatican announces that Pope John Paul II has a mild case of flu, forcing cancellation of appearances; on Feb. 1 he is rushed to the hospital after upper respiratory problems and larynx spasms cause breathing difficulties; on Feb. 9 he misses the Ash Wed. ceremony for the first time, allowing Am. Cardinal J. Francis Stafford (b. 1832) to preside in his place; he leaves the hospital in the evening of Feb. 10 in his white popemobile, makes a 30 min. public appearance on Feb. 23, but is rushed back by ambulance on Feb. 24 for an emergency tracheotomy to relieve more flu-like symptoms; he then makes a surprise public appearance on Sun. Feb. 27 from his hospital window; on Mar. 13 he returns to his Vatican apt. overlooking St. Peter's Square; on Mar. 20 he misses his first Palm Sunday Mass in his 26 years as pope, appearing only briefly on his 3rd-story balcony, appearing frustrated; on Mar. 27 he delivers an Easter Sunday blessing in St. Peter's Square, but is unable to speak and makes the sign of the cross. In Jan. the Comprehensive Peace Agreement is signed by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the genocide-loving Islamist Nat. Congress Party, calling for a secession referendum for non-Islamic South Sudan by 2011; on July 9 SPLM rebel leader John Garang de Mabior (1945-2005) is inaugurated into a nat. unity govt. as vice-pres. #1 of Sudan, looking to form a cabinet by Aug. 9; too bad, 3 weeks later on July 30 he dies along with 13 others in a heli crash into a mountain in S Sudan in bad weather, causing supporters, suspecting a govt. plot to riot in Khartoum on Aug. 1, killing 36; the SPLM quickly quashes the rumors and names Garang's deputy Salva Kiir Mayardit (1951-) as its head as well as pres. of South Sudan, and new Sudan vice-pres.; meanwhile Omar al-Bashir's troops still occupy the south. Here cums da judge? Oklahoma shows the power of Christianity to make public exposure of Dick Almighty a crime? In Jan. indecent exposure charges are filed against 58-y.-o. ex-judge Donald D. Thompson (1947-) of Oklahoma City for using a sexual device (a white-handled penis pump) to masturbate under his robe in court during trials, causing him to become known as the "Penis Pump Judge"; he retired in Aug. 2004 after 23 years on the bench after being threatened with removal; his trial in June-Aug. 2006 results in a 4-year sentence, despite claiming the pump was a gag gift and he never used it after court reporter Lisa Foster testifies she saw him expose himself in court at least 15x between 2001-3 - and kept her mouth shut? In Jan. the Jewish Sanhedrin (70 rabbis) in Tiberias, Israel meets for the first time since 475 C.E.; meanwhile the Cohen Modal Haplotype is discovered, permitting Jews qualified to act as priests to be ID'd, causing Rabbi Yisrael Ariel et al. to go ahead with extensive plans for rebuilding the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem - when/if I can only imagine? In Jan. gay fashion reporter Steven "Cojo" Cojocaru (1962-) has a kidney transplant, only to be unceremoniously fired by NBC-TV when he arranges to go on the Oprah Winfrey show to talk about it; when he does go on that show in Apr., he says "I thought I was cynical - like L.A., New York cynical - but I found out I'm Pippi Longstocking". In Jan. the Muslim hajj in Saudi Arabi sees a record 2.56M people. On Feb. 2 Pres. Bush delivers his 2005 State of the Union Address, with vice-pres. Dick Cheney looking on as usual, acting oblivious to setbacks in Iraq and uttering the soundbyte "Right now, Americans in uniform are serving at posts across the world, often taking great risks on my orders." On Feb. 3 Tex.-born Harvard-educated Roman Catholic Alberto R. Gonzales (1955-), former head of the White House counsel's office is sworn-in as U.S. atty.-gen. #80 (until Sept. 17, 2007); although declaring his independence from Pres. Bush, he names three attys. from that office as his top aides - just wait? On Feb. 5 Gnassingbe Eyadema dies after 38 years in office, and on Feb. 25 his son Faure Essozimma Gnassingbe (Gnassingbé) (1966-) becomes pres. of Togo, but resigns on Feb. 25 after pressure by the U.S., U.N., and West African leaders, along with an arms embargo imposed by the Economic Community of West African States; too bad, an election on Apr. 24 puts him back in office on May 4 (until ?), despite the opposition claiming fraud. On Feb. 6 Super Bowl XXXIX (39) is held Jacksonville, Fla., and the 14-2 New England Patriots (AFC) defeat the 13-3 Philadelphia Eagles (NFC) 24-21; Patriots WR (#83) Deion Branch (1979-) is MVP; the pregame talk about Terrell Owens returning from a broken ankle is eclipsed by a Patriots wide receiver mockingly flapping his wings after a TD catch; the Patriots' 3rd win in four Super Bowls (the 2nd team ever), and 3rd straight SB win by 3 points; the once-powerful San Francisco 49ers finish the season 2-14 at the bottom of their NFC West division as Joe Montana fades away on TV commercials, and Jerry Rice tries out for the Broncos and retires rather than face being cut, then ends upon TV's Dancing With the Stars; 43.8M lbs. of love-the-skin-you're-in avocados are eaten during the game by viewers. On Feb. 7 Pres. Bush proposes a $2.57T budget that proposes to end scores of programs but still increases the federal deficit by $42B over the next five years. On Feb. 8 Palestinian (Fatah) leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli PM Ariel Sharon sign a ceasefire at a summit meeting in Egypt. On Feb. 8 a suicide bomber blows himself up in the middle of a crowd of army recruits in Baghdad, killing 21 in the city's deadliest attack since the election (see Feb. 11, 2004). On Feb. 9 a new U.S. postage stamp honoring Pres. Reagan is issued in ceremonies across the nation. On Feb. 9 a snowstorm in Pakistan causes avalanches and floods, killing 2,029. On Feb. 10 Hamas launches a mortar and rocket barrage on Jewish settlements in the S Gaza Strip before dawn in retaliation for the death of two Palestinians the day before; Mahmoud Abbas calls an emergency session of the central committee of the Fatah movement and fires three of his security chiefs along with a number of lower-ranking officers in his determination to enforce the ceasefire of Feb. 8. On Feb. 10 North Korea declares publicly that it possesses nukes just as the U.S. believes it is about to return to the negotiating table after an 8 mo. hiatus; this time the Bush admin. avoids all bluster about having to invade an "axis of evil" country possessing WMD; North Korea becomes the 9th nation to get nukes (U.S. 6K, Russia 8.5K, Britain 200, France 350, China 400, India 45-95, Pakistan 30-50, Israel 200). On Feb. 10 56-y.-o. Prince Charles of Wales (1948-) announces his engagement to 2nd wife, 57-y.-o. horseface Camilla Parker Bowles (1947-), Scottish Duchess of Rothesay, whose 30-year love affair broke up his marriage to Diana; since she knows how to keep the British stiff upper lip the queen gives her approval; they marry on Apr. 9 after delaying one day to allow for attendance at Pope John Paul II's funeral; Camilla's titles after marriage are HRH Princess of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, and Duchess of Rothesay, followed by Queen if/when Charles becomes king; she never uses princess of Wales to avoid confusion with Lady Diana Spencer; he gives her a family heirloom square-cut diamond with three diamond baguettes on each side on a platinum band for an engagement ring; Irish-born London hat designer Philip Treacy (1967-) designs hats for the wedding. On Feb. 12 artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude unveil their project (#19) The Gates in New York's Central Park, consisting of 7.5K 16-ft.-tall yellow-orange vinyl gates at 12-ft. invervals lining 23 of its 58 mi. of walkways, each with its own saffron colored fabric panel; they remain in place until Feb. 27. On Feb. 13 the final results in the Iraqi elections come in, showing the clergy-backed Shiites and independence-minded Kurds winning. Valentine's Day Shakespearean Tragedy, or Who Was That Masked Man? On Feb. 14 a massive 1K kg car bomb blasts the motorcade of 60-y.-o. billionaire Muslim politician and former PM (1992-8, 2000-4) Rafik Hariri (b. 1944) in Beirut, Lebanon, killing him along with six bodyguards and 15 passersby, and wounding almost 100; he resigned last Oct. 20 after a dispute with Syria over its influence and its maintenance of 15K troops in Lebanon; on Mar. 24 a U.N. report concludes that Lebanon's probe into the killing is unsatisfactory, and the U.N. begins its own investigation; his 2nd son Saad Hariri (Saad ed Deen Rafiq al-Hariri) (1970-) becomes head of his daddy's Sunni Movement of the Future; on July 22, 2010 Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah makes a surprise announcement that his party is likely to be implicated in the assassination. On Feb. 14 Pres. Bush asks Congress to provide $81.9B more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, making the total price tag for the war on terrorism since 9/11 a whopping $300B. On Feb. 14 Maya Jeane Marcel-Keyes (1985-), daughter of conservative black politician Alan Keyes comes out as a "liberal queer" at a rally sponsored by the gay rights group Equality Maryland. On Feb. 14 a gas explosion in the Sunjiawan Mine in Liaoning province in NE China kills 203 miners, injures 22 and traps 13 more underground, becoming the deadliest mine disaster since the beginning of Communist rule in 1949; the final death toll is 214. On Feb. 14 a mosque fire in Tehran during evening prayers begins after a female worshipper's veil catches flames from a kerosene heater, killing 59 and injuring more than 250 of 400 worshippers. On Feb. 14 a Sri Lankan court rules that Baby 81 (born Oct. 19) should be given the name Abhilasha and awarded to Murugupillai and Jenita Jeyarajah; he had been swept from his mother's arms by the Dec. 26 tsunami; the father vows to smash 100 coconuts at a temple of the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesh, offer sweet rice to the warrior god Murugan and kill a rooster for the goddess Kali. On Feb. 14 the U.S. govt. announces that a test of its nat. ballistic missile defense system, designed to defend against missiles launched from North Korea across the Pacific Ocean has failed for the 2nd time in as many months; the interceptor bases are in Alaska and Calif.; the same day South Korea announces high-level military talks with North Korea in an effort to coax it to return to 6-nation disarmament negotiations; at the same time Seoul officials say it's too early to declare North Korea a nuclear power as the alleged nukes haven't been confirmed. On Feb. 15 15-y.-o. Christopher Frank Pittman (1989-) is found guilty in Charleston, S.C. and sentenced to 30 years for killing his grandparents Joe and Joy and burning down their house in 2001 after he claims that the antidepressant drug Zoloft drove him to do it. On Feb. 15 74-y.-o. defrocked hip "street priest" Paul Richard Shanley (1931-) is sentenced in Boston, Mass. to 12-15 years on child rape charges for molesting a boy 20 years earlier; he claims it is a frame-up; just a coincidence that John Patrick Shanley writes the play "Doubt" about a priest accused of you know what? On Feb. 16 Sen. John McCain tells reporters asking him about a local TV station's preference for auto accident coverage, "If a local candidate wants to be on TV and can't afford advertising, his only hope is to have a freak accident." On Feb. 16-May 30 the first major retrospective on the work of Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali in the U.S. since 1941 is held in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, displaying more than 200 of his works. On Feb. 17 Libya skips its final payment of the $540M settlement it agreed to pay families of the 270 people killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 after Moammar Gadhafi becomes annoyed at the slowness of the Bush admin. in lifting sanctions. It never rains in Southern California? On Feb. 17-21 storms in and around Los Angeles drop 6.5 in. of rain, making the total since July 31.4 in. (5th highest on record), and killing four in mudslides; on Feb. 22 N Calif. is hit by severe thunderstorms and a pair of tornadoes. On Feb. 18 WHO announces that a rare form of pneumonic plague has killed at least 61 workers in a diamond mine in the remote wilds of NE Congo 170 mi. N of Kisangani (provincial capital of Oreintal), and the rest of the 7K workers have fled into the forests. The U.S. Roman Catholic priesthood is a gay pedophile brothel? On Feb. 18 Roman Catholic leaders admit receiving 1,092 new abuse claims against U.S. priests and deacons in 2004, even after paying more than $800M in settlements for claims prior to that year; 756 clerics are accused, of which nearly three quarters had died, been defrocked, or removed from public ministry before the claims were made; most alleged victims were boys aged 10-14. On Feb. 18 Greek Orthodox Church leader Archbishop Christodoulos apologizes to the Greek nation for a blitz of allegations ranging from antiquity smuggling to embezzlement to trial fixing to sex escapades by a 91-y.-o. with a young woman, and opens an emergency conclave of senior clerics (the 102-member Holy Synod) to fix (coverup?) the problems; lawmakers call for the ending of the church's status as the official state religion of Greece. On Feb. 18 Venezuelan police rescue Maura Villarreal (1951-), mother of Detroit Tigers pitcher Ugueth Urbina from kidnappers; she was kidnapped from her home last Sept. 1. On Feb. 19 the $3.2B 453-ft. nuclear-powered sub USS Jimmy Carter (the Nuclear Peanut?) is launched at New London, Conn. (built in Groton); it features the ability to tap undersea cables, and replaces the USS Parche, which was retired last fall. On Feb. 20 U.N. refugee chief and former Dutch PM (1982-94) Rudolphus Franciscus Marie "Ruud" Lubbers (1939-) resigns as the 9th U.N. high commissioner for refugees over sexual harassment allegations; he held the post since Jan. 1, 2001, and refused to accept a paycheck. On Feb. 20 Israel's cabinet gives final approval to the planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements. On Feb. 20 the stop-motion animated TV series Robot Chicken debuts on cable, named after an item on the menu of a Chinese restaurant in West Hollywood; created by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich. On Feb. 21-22 Pres. Bush visits Brussels for a NATO summit; on Feb. 21 he scolds Russia for backsliding on democracy and urges Mideast allies to take difficult steps for peace; on Feb. 22 he tells reporters, "This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous. And having said that, all options are on the table." On Feb. 23 Pres. Bush meets with European leaders, and urges them to maintain an arms embargo on China, then stops in Germany for nine hours, where he and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder demand in unison that Tehran abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions, Bush saying "Iran must not have a nuclear weapon"; on Feb. 24 he meets with Pres. Putin in Bratislava, where he praises him for ditching the old totalitarianism thinking; Putin comments that it is impossible not to, since the Russian public has changed. On Feb. 24 the New York City medical examiner's office announces that it has exhausted all efforts to identify remains of WTC 9/11 victims, the limits of DNA technology having been reached with more than 1,100 of the 2,800 victims unidentified; fewer than 300 whole bodies were recovered; 20K body pieces were found in the ruins, 6K small enough to fit in 5-in. test tubes; over 800 victims were identified by DNA alone; the most matched to one person was over 200. BTK: a new Burger King sandwich? On Feb. 25 Dennis L. Rader (1946-), a white church-going family man and code enforcement supervisor with the Wichita, Kan. suburb of Park City is arrested, and admits to being the self-styled BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) killer, confessing to at least six out of 13 suspected slayings dating back to 1974; he eluded capture for years with his pose as a married father of two who was a Cub Scout leader and pres. of the church council of the Christ Lutheran Church, but resurfaced a year earlier after 18 years of silence; on Mar. 1 he is charged with 10 counts of first degree murder, pleads guilty, and on Aug. 18 is sentenced to 10 consecutive life sentences (min. 175 years without chance of parole) - try using that for your starting point? On Feb. 26 gunmen kill nine U.N. Bangladeshi peacekeeping troops in a grass ambush in NE Congo near the town of Kafe. On Feb. 27 Iraqi officials announce the capture of Saddam Hussein's half-brother Ayman Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan al-Tikriti (1971-) in Hasakah in NE Syria where he was financing Iraqi insurgents. On Feb. 27 Iran and Russia sign a nuclear fuel agreement, enabling Tehran to bring its first reactor online by mid-2006, and snubbing Pres. Bush, who attempted to persuade Pres. Putin against it at the Feb. 24th Slovakian summit. On Feb. 27 the 77th Academy Awards (moved up 1 mo.), hosted by Chris Rock (first time) are held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif.; 267 films are eligible for consideration; best picture Oscar for 2004 goes to Million Dollar Baby, along with best dir. to Clint Eastwood, best actress to Hilary Swank, and best supporting actor to Morgan Freeman; Swank joins Vivien Leigh, Helen Hayes, Sally Field, and Luise Rainer as the only actresses with a perfect track record of two nominations and two wins; best actor goes to Jamie Foxx for Ray (he was also nominated for best supporting actor for Collateral, and had a Billboard #1 pop album, becoming #4 after Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Barbra Streisand); best supporting actor goes to Cate Blanchett for her portrayal of Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator; Al Otro Lado Del Rio, from The Motorcycle Diaries, the first Spanish language song ever nominated for an Oscar wins for best original song. On Feb. 28 Donna Grace Humphrey (89) and her son-in-law Michael Lefkow (64) are shot to death at the Chicago area home of her daughter, U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow (1944-); on Mar. 9 Chicago electrician Bart Ross is stopped by police in his car and commits suicide, leaving a suicide note claiming responsibility for the slayings; the judge had earlier dismissed his lawsuits over a cancer treatment; white supremacist leader Matthew F. "Matt" Hale (1971-), convicted in Apr. 2004 for trying to have the same judge killed over a trademark case is sentenced to 40 years on Apr. 6 by U.S. District Judge James Maxwell Moody (1940-) in Chicago after the Ross confession clears him of the killings, causing Hale to claim he is a victim of govt. persecution. In Feb. the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) begins Operation Community Shield, arresting 7,655 street gang members, followed in Sept. by the FBI arresting 660 more incl. members of Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), the 1980s Central Am. (mainly Salvadoran) gang of LA, which has 50K +members. In Feb. the 9K-sq.-ft. Churchill Museum opens next to the underground Cabinet War Rooms in the Treasury bldg. on King Charles St. in London. In Feb. France passes a law stipulating that school textbooks "recognize in particular the positive character of the French overseas presence, notably in North Africa"; it takes until Oct. for the public to complain, causing the govt. to backpeddle amid calls to abrogate the law? In Feb. the first annual Israeli Apartheid Week is observed in Toronto, Canada, spreading to 50+ cities around the world by 2015 incl. the U.S., U.K., and South Africa. Live fast and leave a good-looking corpse? On Mar 1 the U.S. Supreme (Rehnquist) Court rules 6-3 in Roper v. Simmons to reverse Stanford v. Kentucky (1989), raising the min. age for capital punishment from 16 to 18; dissenters incl. Justices Antonin Scalia, William Rehnquist, and Clarence Thomas, who argue that it is for Congress to set an age not the court; Scalia disses the court for quoting foreign law, with the soundbyte that the court would "invoke alien law when it agrees with one's own thinking, and ignore it otherwise"; a total of 72 people on state death rows around the U.S. are saved - never too old though? On Mar. 1 2K+ black-clad Iraqis protest outside a medical clinic in Hillah, Iraq (60 mi. S of Baghdad), where a suicide car bomber killed 125 and wounded 130 the day before, chanting "No to terrorism!" On Mar 1 the U.S. Supreme (Rehnquist) Court rules 6-3 in Roper v. Simmons to reverse Stanford v. Kentucky (1989), raising the min. age for capital punishment from 16 to 18; dissenters incl. Justices Antonin Scalia, William Rehnquist, and Clarence Thomas. On Mar. 2 Syrian pres. Bashar Assad buckles under growing pressure from internat. leaders and tells Time mag. that he will withdraw Syria's 15K troops from Lebanon "maybe in the next few months". On Mar. 2 the number of U.S. military deaths in Iraq reaches 1,500. On Mar. 2 the lawsuit against NBA star Kobe Bryant for rape is settled, with the terms undisclosed - so many games' pay to the white ho? On Mar. 3 Pres. Bush visits CIA HQ and promises the employees that they will retain an "incredibly vital" role despite the creation of the new post of nat. dir. of intelligence. On Mar. 4 Martha Stupor, er, Stewart is released from Alderson Prison and returns to one of her luxurious homes in a 153-acre model farm in Bedford in rural Westchester County, N.Y., where she must complete 5 mo. of home confinement with an ankle bracelet; she wears a Freedom Poncho knitted by a fellow inmate, which becomes popular; "The experience of the last 5 months has been life altering and life affirming." On Mar. 6 Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena (1948-) claims that U.S. soldiers opened fire on the car carrying her to the Baghdad airport without warning, killing the Italian agent who just won her freedom after 1 mo. in captivity. On Mar. 9 Dan Rather anchors CBS Evening News for the last time, ending a 24 year career, incl. a decade in 3rd place behind NBC and ABC, signing off with "... and to all of you, courage"; he is replaced by Bob Schieffer as interim anchor until Katie Curie can come aboard. On Mar. 9 Michael Jackson's accuser takes the stand, calling him "the coolest guy in the world"; on Mar. 10 Jackson goes AWOL from his trial and is nearly jailed before showing up more than an hour late in his pajama bottoms and slippers, wearing a tuxedo coat over a white t-shirt, and claiming he has just been treated at a hospital for a serious back problem (ready to go to bed with some more kids?); on Mar. 21 Jackson again arrives at court late, claiming back problems, but is only a few minutes late and is not penalized. On Mar. 10 a suicide bomber attacks a funeral tent in a mosque courtyard jammed with Shiite mourners in Mosul, Iraq, killing 47 and wounding over 100, and splattering blood and body parts over rows of cheap white plastic chairs. On Mar. 10 former U.S. pres. Bill Clinton undergoes successful surgery at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia U. Medical Center to remove fluid and scar tissue from his chest cavity caused by his quadruple heart bypass operation 6 mo. earlier. On Mar. 10 a U.S. federal court in Brooklyn, N.Y. dismisses a lawsuit against the U.S. by the Vietnamese govt. on behalf of millions of Vietnamese for using the toxic defoliant Agent Orange (beginning in 1962); in June Vietnam appeals to a U.S. appeals court. On Mar. 10 chess champ Garry Kasparov retires from prof. chess to devote his time to politics, forming the United Civil Front and joining the Other Russia anti-Putin coalition. On Mar. 11 the British Prevention of Terrorism Act is passed, permitting the home secy. to impose "control orders" on people suspected of involvement with terrorism and derogate (opt out) of human rights laws; the first derogating control orders are issued on ?. On Mar. 12 Socialist Jose Socrates de Carvalho Pinto de Sousa (1957-) becomes PM of Portugal (until ?), succeeding Social Dem. Pedro Santana Lopes. On Mar. 13 black rape defendant Brian Gene Nichols (1971-) is captured in Duluth (a suburb N of Atlanta, Ga.) for a crime rampage that started on Mar. 10 in an Atlanta courtroom at his own rape retrial and left four people dead, incl. Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes, a sheriff's deputy, and U.S. customs and immigration agent David Wilhelm; 26-y.-o. white widow Ashley Smith (1978-) (whose first hubby Danial McFarland "Mack" Smith was stabbed to death on Aug. 18 in Augusta, Ga.) is bound and held for 7 hours at her suburban Atlanta home on Mar. 11 before she talks him into giving himself up on Mar. 12, reading the death penalty case passages from Rick Warren's "A Purpose-Driven Life" and giving him crystal meth after he demands pot; on Mar. 24 she receives $70K in reward money; she reveals the meth thingie in her Sept. book Unlikely Angel, but is not charged with drug possession because she's the new hero of Am. evangelicals, who know Jesus is a friend of sin sin sinners? On Mar. 13 the Walt Disney Co. announces that Disney pres. Robert A. "Bob" Iger (1951-) will succeed Michael Eisner as CEO, effective Oct. 1 (until ?). Fun with Dick & Jane? On Mar. 15 former CEO Joe Nacchio and six other former execs. of Colo. communications co. Qwest are accused by the SEC of orchestrating a massive $3B financial fraud to mislead investors after receiving total compensation of $216.4M from 1999-2001 while the stock plummeted from $64 to $2 in 2000-2002, ruining employees; the same day former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers is convicted in a New York federal court of securities fraud and conspiracy, and seven counts of filing false reports with regulators (later receiving 25 years in priz); on Dec. 20 Nacchio is indicted on 42 counts of insider trading in federal court in Denver; Nacchio's trial begins in Denver on Mar. 19, 2007 with presiding judge Edward Nottingham, known for losing his temper in the courtroom getting started fast by scolding lead Nacchio atty. Herbert Stern for arriving minutes late from a break; on Apr. 19 a jury finds him not guilty on the first 23 counts, then guilty on the rest, resulting from his illegal trades between Apr. 26-May 29, 2001, making for a roller coaster ride for his family, getting him a $52M forfeiture order and 6 years in prison on July 27; wait, it's not over, on Mar. 17, 2008 the appeals court grants him a new trial after an expert defense witness was found to be incorrectly excluded. On Mar. 15-21 U.S. secy. of state Condi Rice visits Asia, concluding in Beijing, where she states that North Korea could face internat. sanctions for pulling out of 6-way talks on nuclear disarmament a year earlier; she also mentions U.S. displeasure over heightened Chinese tensions with Taiwan, and attends a Palm Sunday church service on Mar. 20. America's justice for the stars system produces two verdicts in one day? On Mar. 16 71-y.-o. actor Robert Blake (1933-) is acquitted of the murder of wife Bonny Lee Bakley by a Los Angeles jury after a 4-mo. trial; he claims to have spent $10M in his defense and to be broke and in need of a job; on Nov. 18 he is found liable for his wife's death by a civil jury in Burbank, Calif. and ordered to pay her children $30M (O.J.'s victims got $33.5M). On Mar. 16 Scott Peterson (1972-) is sentenced to death row by Judge Alfred Delucchi in Redwood City, Calif for the slaying of his pregnant wife Laci after a turbulent court session in which Laci's father Dennis Rocha tells him "You're going to burn in Hell for this" - they go from mini-floodlights to mini-spotlights just like that? On Mar. 16 the 275-seat Iraqi parliament is sworn in. On Mar. 16 the U.S. Senate votes 51-49 to approve oil drilling in the Arctic Nat. Wildlife Refuge, causing environmentalists who have successfully blocked it for decades to throw a hissy fit. On Mar. 16 oil prices close at a record $56.46 a barrel, beating the previous peak price of $55.17, set twice in Oct. On Mar. 16 15 pirates board a Japanese vessel in the Asian Pacific and take the captain and two crewman hostage for ransom, becoming the 37th pirate attack in the Malacca Straits this year, which has annual traffic of 50K ships between Malaysia and Indonesia. On Mar. 17 the Pakistani military attacks Bugti, Balochistan. On Mar. 17 the U.S. Congress hears testimony from ML baseball stars on the ML Baseball Steroid Problem; Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa neigh, er, claim they never used them, while Mark McGwire refuses to answer - until his voice changes back? On Mar. 17 rapper Lil' Kim (Kimberly Jones) (1975-) is convicted of lying to a federal grand jury about her involvement in a shootout outside a Manhattan radio station, and is sentenced to a year and a day. On Mar. 17 contractor Kelly A. Frank (1962-) is charged with felony solicitation, and accused of a plot to kidnap David Letterman's 3-y.-o. son and nanny from his 2.7K-acre Montana ranch for a $5M ransom (a month's pay for Letterman?); after the jury doesn't buy it, they railroad him to 10 years for overcharging Letterman; he then escapes from a prison ranch on June 8, 2007. On Mar. 20 Iraqi insurgents ambush a U.S. military convoy 12 mi. SE of Baghdad in Salman Pak (al-Salman) military facility near Baghdad, starting a battle that leaves 24 insurgents dead and seven wounded; six U.S. soldiers are wounded. On Mar. 20 Iraq and Jordan mutually withdraw their ambassadors over a claim that Jordan is failing to block terrorists from entering Iraq; the same day a Jordanian court sentences Jordan-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to a 15-year prison term, while he remains at large with a $25M U.S. bounty on his head. On Mar. 21 U.N. secy.-gen. Kofi Annan lays out his plans for sweeping changes to the U.N. before its 191-member General Assembly; his 63-page report is released on Mar. 20; it calls for a new U.N. Human Rights Council to replace the Commission on Human Rights, an expanded Security Council, a streamlined Secretariat, programs to cut poverty and nuke proliferation, and a new convention against terrorism by Sept. 2006. On Mar. 21 h.s. student Jeff ? goes on a shooting rampage at a poverty-stricken Indian rez in Red Lake, Minn., killing his grandparents, followed by seven people at Red Lake High School before killing himself; on Apr. 12 the school reopens, and more than two-thirds of the students stay away. On Mar. 21 U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist returns to court, despite being diagnosed with thyroid cancer in Oct. and receiving radiation and chemotherapy; on July 13 he ends up back in the hospital, causing rumors of his imminent resignation to abound until he "puts to rest the speculation and unfounded rumors of my imminent retirement" after his release on July 14; in July and Aug. he is briefly hospitalized for observation after running fevers. On Mar. 21 a real life "Dumb and Dumber" occurs as Australians Luke Carroll and Anthony Prince stick up the WestStar Bank in Vail, Colo. with a BB gun, escaping with $132K, then go to Denver Internat. Airport to make a getaway flight to Mexico, stopping to have their photos snapped displaying fistfuls of their loot, and are arrested by FBI agents at the airport, who use the photos to ID them? On Mar. 22 39-y.-o. Anna Ayala (1965-) claims to find a 1.5-in. fingertip in a bowl of chili she bought at a Wendy's in San Jose, Calif.; she is later arrested for fraud, and admits she planted the finger of a friend of her husband, who lost it in an asphalt plant in Las Vegas; in 2005 Mike Casey, mgr. of the plant splits a $100K reward from Wendy's Internat. Inc. with an anonymous tipster for helping solve the "chili finger case"; on Jan. 18 Anna and her husband Jaime Plascencia are sentenced to nine years in San Jose, Calif. and to pay $21.8M to Wendy's for damages, along with $170K to Wendy's workers for lost wages. On Mar. 23 a BP America refinery in Texas City, Tex. explodes, killing 15 and injuring 170, becoming the worst gas and chemical industry accident since the Arco Chemical plant exploded in nearby Channelview in 1990, killing 17. On Mar. 23 the Security and Prosperity Partnership is signed in well-chosen Waco, Tex. by U.S. Pres. Bush, Mexican pres. Vicente Fox, and Canadian PM Paul Martin, calling for the establishment of a common security border perimeter around North Am. by 2010, along with free movement across boards of people, commerce and capital, facilitated by a North Am. Border Pass, which will replace a U.S. passport for travel to Canada and Mexico, with the soundbyte "Our security and prosperity are mutually dependent and complementary"; further goals of a North Am. court, inter-parliamentary group, executive commission, military defense command, development bank and customs office, piss off Bible-thumpers and others, who call it an attempt to foist the feared North Am. Union on the U.S. and take away its sovereignty, with the sinister Council on Foreign Relations ruling all three countries in favor of multinat. corporate profits, causing the Bush admin. to pub. SPP Myths vs. Facts on its Web site www.spp.gov, saying that "no agreement was ever signed", and it is only a "dialog" to "enhance prosperity", only pissing-off the critics more as they point out massive activity going on in the NAFTA section of the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, and how the EU was incrementally foisted on Europe the same way, via incremental official denials until it was too late. On Mar. 24 Kmart, only two years out of bankruptcy buys Sears, Roebuck and Co. for $12.3B in attempt to compete with Wal-Mart and Home Depot; the merged co. has annual sales of $55B. On Mar. 24 after parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan in Feb.-Mar. are called for flaws by internat. observers, touching off the Tulip (Pink) Rev., a wave of violent dem. protests throughout the country; after protesters take over the pres. compound, Pres. Askar Akayev flees, then resigns on Apr. 4 (after making sure his Swiss bank accounts are safe?), becoming the 3rd govt. in a former Soviet repub. after Georgia and Ukraine to be brought down by popular revolt during the past 1.5 years; opposition leader Kurmanbek Saliyevich Bakiev (1949-) is freed from prison, along with Felix Kulov; Bakiev becomes interim pres. until the election on July 10, which he wins with 88.7%, appointing Kulov as PM; opposition lawmaker Ishenbai Duyshonbiyevich Kadyrbekov (1949-) is an also-ran. On Mar. 24 hundreds of power workers shouting "No, no to terror!" march in Baghdad to protest attacks on their colleagues. On Mar. 24 chess champ Bobby Fischer arrives in Iceland after what he calls an illegal 9-mo. detention in Japan (since July 13), blasting the U.S. and calling it an "illegitimate country" that should be given back to the Indians; on Mar. 21 he is granted Icelandic citizenship, allowing him to leave Japan - shouldn't Iceland be given back to the Eskimos? On Mar. 24 the comedy series The Office debuts on NBC-TV for 201 episodes (until May 16, 2013), a "mockumentary" based on the BBC series that debuted on July 9, 2001, starring Steve Carell (1962-) as Michael Scott, mgr. of Dunder Mifflin stationery co. in mainly white PC Scranton, Penn., interacting with mainly white office mates Rainn Wilson (1966-) (as Dwight Schrute), John Krasinski (1979-) (as Jim Halpert), Jenna Fischer (1974-) (as Pam Beesly), and B.J. Novak (1979-) (one of the writers) (as Ryan Howard) while pushing all the latest PC Hollyweird values on the viewers, with the gag being that the camera is part of the show; the theme song is written by Jay Ferguson and performed by the Scrantones. On Mar. 25-Sept. 25 Expo 2005 is held in Aichi (near Nagoya), Japan, drawing 121 countries, stressing sustainable growth and healing the "Wounded Planet"; Bio-Lung, a 490 ft. x 50 ft. wall made up of 200K plants of 200 species is the show's symbol; Linimo, Japan's first commercial maglev linear train debuts. On Mar. 27 the medical drama series Grey's Anatomy debuts on ABC-TV for ? episodes (until ?), about surgical interns and residents at Seattle Grace Hospital trying to become full-fledged physicians, with a multiracial cast incl. Ellen Kathleen Pompeo (1969-) as Dr. Meredith Grey, and Patrick Galen Dempsey (1966-) as Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd. On Mar. 28 the 8.7 Nias Earthquake hits the Indonesian region, killing 1,313, but this time there only a tiny tsunami. On Mar. 28 the Colo. Supreme Court throws out the death penalty in a rape-murder case because five jurors had consulted the Bible and quoted Scripture during deliberations - that's no longer the law in this state? On Mar. 30 First Lady Laura Bush visits Kabul, Afghanistan, where she talks with Afghan women freed from Taliban repression and urges greater rights - just don't read a Christian Bible or kkkkk-kkkkk? On Mar. 31 a report by the U.S. Pres. Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities concludes that the U.S. govt. knows "disturbingly little" about nuke and bio threats from dangerous adversaries. In Mar. longtime rocker Eric Clapton visits Buckingham Palace, and Queen Elizabeth II asks him "Have you been playing a long time?" In Mar. Somalian Islamic militia leader Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys (1935-) threatens a jihad if foreign troops enter Somalia again, and pledges to establish an Islamic govt. In Mar. Popular Mechanics pub. a story about nine reporters and 70 profs. investigating claims of an inside-job conspiracy at the 9/11 WTC disaster then discarding them, pissing-off Jim Hoffman of the 9/11 Truth Movement; on Apr. 7, 2008 BBC-TV airs Nine Hundred and Eleven Questions, narrated by Charlie Sheen. In the spring the non-tax-exempt Democracy Alliance (DA) is founded by Rob Stein to fund progressive groups, with 110 partners incl. George Soros who each contribute at least $200K/year; by 2016 it gives away $500M, which doesn't prevent Donald Trump from defeating Hillary Clinton for U.S. pres. Rome goes for Easter eggs benedict with sauerkraut? On Apr. 2 Parkinson's disease sufferer Pope (since 1978) John Paul II (b. 1920) dies (3rd-longest reigning pope at 26 years), and on Apr. 3 his body lies in state while millions attend services worldwide, incl. 100K at Pilsudski Square in Warsaw and 60K in Krakow; on Apr. 4 his unembalmed body is carried on a crimson platform to St. Peter's Basilica, where 2M view it; on Apr. 8 he becomes the 147th pope to be buried beneath St. Peter's Basilica (in the tomb formerly used by dead Pope John XXII before he was moved to the main floor following his beatification), joining Emperor Otto II, Queen Christina of Sweden, Pope Pius XII, Pope John Paul I, and of course St. Peter himself; archbishop of Canterbury #104 (since 2003) Rowan Douglas Williams (1950-) becomes the first English archbishop of Canterbury to attend a papal funeral since Henry VIII, and he also attends Benedict's installation; on Apr. 17 (Sun.) the 183 cardinals (of whom only 115 are young enough to vote) go into conclave to pick a new pope, and on Apr. 19 (Adolf Hitler's birthday, three days after his own birthday) strict orthodox archconservative Munich Archbishop and "Iron Cardinal" (since 1977) (prefect emeritus of the Doctrine of the Faith in the Roman Curia and Dean of the College of Cardinals, who is behind John Paul II's policy of a "strong Rome") Joseph Ratzinger (a WWII member of the Hitler Youth who deserted and became a U.S. POW while erecting defenses for the Nazis?) is elected Pope (#265) Benedict XVI (1927-) on the 4th ballot (1st German pope since Victor II in 1055-57, and 1st Pope Benedict since 1922); Argentine Jesuit Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio (1936-) comes in 2nd in each ballot; according to John Paul II's request, the Vatican departs from tradition by ringing bells at 6:04 p.m. in addition to sending white smoke up the chimney at 5:49 p.m. to signal the completion of the election after just a little over 24 hours in conclave; the new pope receives 56K emails in his first two days, and fast-tracks his predecessor for sainthood within weeks; in 2007 Sister Marie Simon Pierre (1960-) publicly claims that praying to Pope John Paul II cured her of Parkinson's Disease, becoming the first of two miracles required to make him a saint - the whole thing is proof that the Nazis, having toppled Soviet Communism and reunified Germany are slowly regaining strength and positioning for a Fourth Reich? On Apr. 3 Kirkuk-born economist Hajim Mahdi Saleh al-Hassani (1954-), a Sunni is chosen to be speaker of the 275-seat transitional nat. assembly in Iraq. On Apr. 4 an explosion in Anbar Province in Iraq kills one Marine, and two U.S. and one Iraqi soldier are killed in a joint attack on insurgents in E Diyala Province; the AP death toll for the U.S. military in Iraq reaches 1,536; on Apr. 5 another U.S. soldier is killed in Baghdad when an abandoned taxi explodes on an expressway. On Apr. 4-10 the U.S. Justice Dept. runs Operation FALCON (Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally), with U.S. marshals deputizing hundreds of police, sheriff's deputies, and agents to round up more than 10K fugitives wanted for violent crimes around the U.S. On Apr. 5 the Bush admin. announces that starting in 2008 Americans travelling from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, the Caribbean, and Panama will no longer be able to get by just stating their citizenship, but must show a passport - that really hurts? On Apr. 5 3K detailed patient hospital statements blow across downtown Cleveland, Ohio in the wind after a box falls off a delivery truck. She drives me crazy, I can't help myself, or, Forever and always, I go crazy? On Apr. 6 the 275-member Iraqi parliament chooses Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani (1933-) as pres. #6 (until July 24, 2014), and Baghdad-born Shiite leader Adel (Adil) Abdul-Mahdi (1942-), and interim pres. (Mosul-born Sunni Arab) Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer (1958-) as vice-presidents, along with Karbala-born Shiite leader Ibrahim al-Eshaiker al-Jaafari (1947-) as PM #1 (until May 20, 2006); they take their oaths on Apr. 7, two days short of the 2nd anniv. of Baghdad's fall to U.S.-led forces; Saddam Hussein watches the action on tape in his Baghdad jail cell as his longtime foes take over his job in Iraq's first dem. govt. in 50 years; the new govt. must draft a new constitution by Aug. 15, submit it to a referendum by Oct. 15, and hold new elections by Dec. 15. On Apr. 6 Monaco's Prince (since May 9, 1949) Rainier III (b. 1923) dies in Monaco (pop. 32K), and his 47-y.-o. U.S.-educated 5-time bobsledding Olympian billionaire son Prince Albert II (1958-) succeeds as ruler of "a sunny place for shady people" (he took over royal powers a week earlier because of his dad's bad health), becoming the only ruling monarch of Europe to share a name with another (Albert II of Belgium); Rainier is buried alongside Princess Grace on Apr. 15 at the Monaco Cathedral where they were wed. On Apr. 6 Brian Darling (1965-), legal counsel of Cuban-born Fla. Repub. Sen. (2005-) Melquiades (Melquíades) Rafael "Mel" Martinez (1946-) resigns after an unsigned memo passed around on Capitol Hill during deliberations on the Terri Schiavo case, claming that it "is a great political issue... and a tough issue for Dems." (first reported by ABC News on Mar. 18) is traced to him. On Apr. 6 a U.S. CH-47 Chinook heli crashes in a dust storm near Ghazni, Afghanistan S of Kabul, killing 15 military and three civilian contractor personnel. On Apr. 6 Bobbi Parker, wife of asst. warden Randy Parker is reunited 11 years after being kidnapped by murder convict Randolph Dial in a 1994 escape from an Okla. prison and held under threats of harm to her family. On Apr. 7 U.S. drug regulators issue a sweeping Warning on Non-Opioid Painkillers that most popular painkillers on the market can hurt the heart, stomach, and skin, and persuade Pfizer to withdraw its hot-selling pain pill Bextra; tough warnings are required for prescription painkillers Celebrex, Naprosyn, Motrin, Voltaren et al., and even OTC pills such as Advil and Aleve are required to cite risks. On Apr. 7 Mexico's Congress votes to strip leftist Mexico City mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (1953-) of his immunity, opening the way for his arrest on charges of disobeying a court order in 2001; the vote comes hours after he announces his candidacy for pres., later being touted as the "Mexican Messiah". On Apr. 7 a motorcycle sets off a bomb in the midst of a tour group in a historic bazaar in Cairo, Egypt, killing four and wounding 18, becoming the first attack targeting foreign tourists in the city since 1997. On Apr. 7 Jeffrey Doyle Robertson (1960-), f ather of a h.s. football QB (known for being a hothead) shoots and wounds coach Gary Joe Kinne with an assault rifle at the fieldhouse of Canton High in Canton, Texas, then flees; he is carried out of the woods on a stretcher a few hours later. I'm bad, bad bad? On Apr. 7 former Neverland ranch security guard Ralph Chacon finally uses the O word in testimony in Santa Maria, Calif., claiming that he saw Michael Jackson perform oral sex on a boy after taking a whirlpool bath with him in late 1992 or early 1993; the boy received a multimillion dollar settlement from Jackson in 1994 and refused to cooperate in a police investigation, which resulted in no charges filed; on Apr. 10 Michael's mom Katherine Jackson leaves the courtroom during graphic testimony, but later explains that she needed to use the restroom - to throw up? On Apr. 8 Eric Rudolph agrees to plead guilty to the bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and three other bombings in exchange for escaping the death penalty. On Apr. 8 Timu, the world's first test-tube gorilla gives birth to a female baby, then loses interest in it 7 hours later, causing zookeepers to step in. Bride of Chucky? On Apr. 9 (Sat.) Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles marry in a civil ceremony in the 17th cent. Guildhall at Windsor before 30 guests, where they acknowledge their "sins and wickedness" for being divorcees; she wears a straw hat overlaid with ivory French lace and trimmed with a fountain of feathers; the queen does not attend the wedding, but does attend the blessing ceremony in the Gothic St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, where Camilla switches to a feathered semicircular headdress, while the queen and just about every other female wears some kind of feathers in their hats - now if she will just keep her mouth shut between feedings like a good chick? On Apr. 9 Pakistani embassy employee Malik Mohammed Javed is kidnapped in Baghdad, Iraq while en route to pray in a mosque by the Omar bin Khattab terrorist group. On Apr. 9 three Palestinian teenagers are killed by Israeli forces at a refugee camp, causing militants to retaliate by firing dozens of mortar shells toward Jewish settlements in Gaza. On Apr. 10 a rally called by anti-pullout Israeli extremists at the Temple Mount (Al Aqsa compound) in Jerusalem's Old City is blocked by hundreds of Muslim demonstrators, who are chased out by thousands of Israeli riot police. On Apr. 10 40K anti-Japanese protesters rally in Guangzhou, along with more in other major Chinese cities over Japan's bid to get a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. On Apr. 10 Israeli PM Ariel Sharon arrives in Tex. to meet with Pres. Bush. On Apr. 10 the U.S.-backed candidate drops out, leaving the race for new secy.-gen. of the Org. of Am. States (OAS) to Mexican foreign secy. Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista (1947-) and Chilean Socialist interior minister Jose Miguel "El Panzer" Insulza Salinas (1943-), becoming the first time in its 57-year history that a U.S.-chosen candidate does not lead the OAS; Chilean pres. Ricardo Lagos steps in, insuring U.S. officials that his brand of Socialism is not the hard line Hugo Chavez type, and that he wants to "break the bipolar axis" between left and right; on June 2 Insulza becomes the sec.-gen. of the OAS (until ?). On Apr. 10 a Canadian Pacific Railway freight train en route from Chicago to St. Paul, Minn. smashes into a minivan near Columbus, Wisc., killing all four in the vehicle at an intersection without lights or gates. On Apr. 11 Israeli PM Ariel Sharon visits Pres. Bush at his Tex. ranch, and Bush tells him that he could not allow further West Bank settlment growth and that Israeli-Palestinian mutual doubts are hampering peace prospects. On Apr. 11 a 9-story garment factory in Savar, Bangladesh collapses after a boiler explodes, killing four and trapping 200 of the 300 workers in the rubble. On Apr. 11 a 6.8 undersea earthquake rocks Sumatra, Indonesia, followed by at least 10 aftershocks up to 6.3. On Apr. 12 a New York City grand jury indicts Dhiran Barot (Abu Musi al-Hindi), Nadeem Tarmohammed and Qaisar Shaffi (all with suspected al-Qaida ties) for a plot to attack the NYSE and Citicorp bldgs. in New York City, the Prudential Bldg. in Newark, N.J., and the IMF and World Bank HQ in Washington D.C. On Apr. 12 data broker Reed Elsevier Group PLC of London admits that criminals may have breached computer files containing personal info. of 310K people from their subsidiary LexisNexis, revising an earlier estimate of 32K people - just press Send, it's easy? On Apr. 12 U.S. troops battle arms smugglers near Qaim, Iraq along the Syrian border, killing an unknown number; car bombs in two northern cities kill 10; Fadhil Ibrahim Mahmud al-Mashadani, a member of Saddam's regime is captured on a farm NE of Baghdad. On Apr. 12 thousands of scientists scramble to destroy vials of 1957 killer flu sent to 5K labs in 18 countries by mistake; since it has not been included in flu vaccines since 1968, people born after that year have no immunity to it. On Apr. 12 Lebanese officials announce that the last 4K Syrian soldiers will leave Lebanon within 10 days. On Apr. 12 police commandos capture a 50-y.-o. man who hijacked a bus and held four schoolgirls at knifepoint in a house in Ennepetal, Germany, identifying him as an Iranian asylum seeker. On Apr. 13 abortion opponent Eric Rudolph pleads guilty to four bombings across the S U.S. that killed two and injured 120 in back-to-back court appearances in Birmingham and Atlanta, saying "Because I believe that abortion is murder, I also believe that force is justified... in an attempt to stop it"; he gets a plea bargain giving him four consecutive life sentences without parole, and is shipped off to Florence Supermax prison in Colo. to join Sammy "the Bull Gravano, Robert Hanssen, Ted Kaczynski, Richard Reid and Ramzi Yousef. On Apr. 13 insurgents blow up a fuel tank in Baghdad, kill 12 policemen in Kirkuk, and drive a car bomb into a U.S. convoy, killing five Iraqis and wounding four U.S. contract workers on Baghdad's airport road; Indiana man Jeffrey Ake (1958-) of bottled-water equipment maker Equipment Express, who was kidnapped on Apr. 11 is shown at gunpoint on a videotaped aired by Al-Jazeera TV pleading for his life and a $1M ransom; he is never heard from again? On Apr. 13 the U.N. Gen. Assembly after seven years of waffling adopts a Global Treaty to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, making it a crime to possess radioactive material or weapons with the intention of committing a terrorist act. On Apr. 13 the FDA allows silicone-gel breast implants to return to the U.S. market after a 13-year ban after Mentor Corp. persuades them that it has improved their durability; just the day before rival Inamed Corp. had lost its appeal to them. On Apr. 13 Afghanistan pres. Hamid Karzai calls for a security partnership with the U.S. to make its military presence there permanent. On Apr. 13 a jury in London finds Algerian militant Kamel Bourgass (1974-) guilty of murdering a policeman trying to arrest him for an al-Qaida plot to spread the deadly toxin ricin; eight other suspects are cleared, along with four others a week earlier - kamel bourgass on you too? On Apr. 13 China calls Japan's decision to let cos. explore a disputed area of the East China Sea for natural gas a "provocation" that could imperil Japan's bid for a permanent U.N. Security Council seat. On Apr. 13 Conn. becomes the 2nd U.S. state to legalize same-sex civil unions, and the first to do it without a court order; marriage is still legally defined as being between one man and one woman - but I just have to do it even if it's illegal? On Apr. 14 the Oregon Supreme Court nullifies about 3K marriage licenses issued to gay couples a year earlier by Portland's Multnomah County, incl. the first license, issued to Becky Kennedy and Mary Li. On Apr. 14 a 3rd straight week of anti-Japanese demonstrations over Japan's wartime past and its bid for a permanent U.N. Security Council seat takes place in China, worrying the govt. that protesters could end up criticizing their regime. On Apr. 14 two car bombs in C Baghdad in front of the Interior Ministry kill 18 and wound 36; U.S. troops detonate a 3rd one that had failed to explode; al-Aqida claims credit - partial credit? On Apr. 14 Prince Charles and Camilla open a play park in Scotland in their first royal engagement as a married couple. On Apr. 15 a fire in the Paris Opera Hotel in Paris' 9th district (popular with tourists) kills 20 aand injures 51, and requires 50 fire engines and 250 firefighters. On Apr. 15 Ecuadorian pres. (since 2003) Lucio Gutierrez declares a state of emergency in Quito as he closes down a newly-appointed supreme court, then lifts it on Apr. 16 after the army refuses to enforce it, and the congress announces a session to investigate him, which they hold on Apr. 20 after massive demonstrations driving him into the Brazilian embassy, voting 60-2 to remove him from office, after which he flees to Brazil, becoming the 3rd leader forced from office in Ecuador in eight years; vice-pres. (since 2003) Luis Alfredo Palacio Gonzalez (1939-) replaces him as pres. (until Jan. 15, 2007). On Apr. 15 violent demonstrations erupt in Ahvaz, Iran on the Iraqi border after reports circulate of a plan to decrease the proportion of Arabs in the area, causing 20 deaths and 250 arrests; Iran's pop. is 51% Persian and 3% Arab. On Apr. 15 the Russians launch Soyuz TMA-6, carrying cosmonauts Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev (Krikalyov) (1958-), John Lynch Phillips (1951-) of the U.S., and Roberto Vittori (1964-) of Italy; on Oct. 1 Soyuz TMA-7 blasts off, carrying cosmonauts Valery Ivanovich Tokarev (1952-), William Surles McArthur Jr. (1951-) of the U.S., and space tourist #3 Gregory Hammond "Greg" Olsen (1945-) of the U.S.; Soyuz TMA-6 returns on Oct. 15 with Sergei Krikalev, John Phillips, and Gregory Olsen. Soyuz TMA-7 returns next Apr. 8 with Valery Tokarev, William McArthur, and Marcos Pontes. On Apr. 16 Mary Kay Letourneau (1962-) marries Vili Fualaau (1983-), her former 6th grade pupil with whom she had two children and served 7.5 years in prison for "raping him" when he was 12 and she was a 34-y.-o. married mother of four - he got the best of the first deal? On Apr. 16 Marla Ruzicka (b. 1976) of Lakeport, Calif., founder of Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict (CIVIC) is killed along with two other people by a car bomb in Iraq; she had successfully lobbied Congress to put millions of dollars in aid into the 2004 foreign aid bill to help Iraqi businesses that had been bombed by mistake. On Apr. 17 registered sex offender David Lee Onstott (1969-) is charged with the first degree murder of 13-y.-o. Sarah Michelle Lunde of Fla., whose body had been found a day earlier; he is convicted on Aug. 21, 2008. On Apr. 19 the $115M Abraham Lincoln Museum complex opens in Springfield, Ill., with 47K Lincoln-related items, becoming the largest collection of Lincoln artifacts on Earth. On Apr. 20 Pres. Bush signs the 2005 U.S. Bankruptcy Act, written by credit card cos., which makes it harder for people to declare bankruptcy, allowing the cos. to employ sleazy debt collectors to get their hands on everything they can. When does a president declare a war bankrupt? On Apr. 20 Iraq announces the recovery of more than 50 bodies from the Rigor Mortis, er, Tigris River, claiming they had been deducted from an area S of Bagdead, er, Baghdad; another 19 bullet-ridden bodies are found in NW Baghdad in a soccer stadium in Hades, er, Hadith. On Apr. 20 U.S. secy. of state Condoleezza Rice tells Russian pres. Vladimir Putin that it need not fear American "encirclement" as former Soviet repubs. establish pro-Western govts. in Georgia, Ukraine, et al., but that it is "the normal development of U.S. relations with fully independent states" - Tsar Putin don't wanna hear that? On Apr. 21 a Russian-made civilian Shatoy Mi-8 commercial heli contracted by the U.S. Defense Dept. is shot down by missile fire N of Baghdad, killing 11, incl. six U.S. diplomat bodyguards. On Apr. 21 U.S. ambassador to Iraq (since June, 2004) John Negroponte becomes dir of U.S. nat. intelligence (until Feb. 13 2007). On Apr. 24 Iraqi insurgents score 21 more dead and 73 wounded, plus one U.S soldier, giving them 38 kills for the week, incl. 3 Americans. On Apr. 24 Syrian troops pack up their remaining equipment in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley after 29 years as Syrians dance in the street; on Apr. 26 the last soldiers leave, ending their 29-year military presence. On Apr. 24 hundreds of thousands of protesters jam Mexico City's central square to protest federal prosecution of their mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. On Apr. 24 Pope Benedict XVI is formally installed in the Vatican, saying in his installation homily that as pontiff he will listen to the will of God in governing the world's 1.1B Catholics. On Apr. 25 the Amagasaki Rail Crash sees a crowded 7-car commuter train carrying 580 passengers derail and plow into an apt. bldg. near Amagasaki, Japan, 250 mi. W of Tokyo, killing 107 and injuring 460, becoming the worse Japanese train accident since 1963 (until ?); the 23-y.-o. driver only had 11 mo. of experience, and was speeding to get the train back on schedule. On Apr. 26 Faure Gnassingbe (Gnassingbé)  (1966-), son of late dictator Gnassingbe Eyadema (who died of a heart attack on Feb. 5) wins 60% of the vote to become pres. of Togo, causing opposition supporters to mob the streets in Lome; he is sworn on on May 4 (until ?). On Apr. 26 Washington, D.C.-born Muslim "rock star" scholar Ali al-Tamimi (1965-) is convicted of exhorting Muslims in Va. to join the Taliban and fight U.S. troops in the days following 9/11, and given life without parole. On Apr. 27 Pres. Bush gives a speech calling for more nuclear power plants, and urging Congress to give tax breaks for fuel-efficient hybrid and clean-diesel cars. On Apr. 25 Condoleezza Rice begins her first (5-day) trip as U.S. secy. of state to Latin Am.. She packed my bags pre-flight, zero out 9 a.m.? On Apr. 27 "E.T.-eyed" Jennifer Wilbanks (1973-) cuts her hair and takes a Greyhound bus to Las Vegas to avoid a lavish Apr. 30 600-guest wedding in Duluth, Ga.; she calls her fiancee John Mason and police from a pay phone in Albuquerque, claiming she had been kidnapped, but later admits a case of cold feet; on June 2 the "runaway bride" is sentenced to two years of probation and 120 hours of community service as part of a plea bargain on a charge of making a false statement; on Mar. 7, 2006 Runaway Bride bobblehead dolls sell well at a sports promo in her hometown of Duluth. On Apr. 27 U.S. atty.-gen. Alberto Gonzales seeks renewal of the powers granted law enforcement under the U.S. Patriot Act, telling Congress that "There has not been one verified case of civil liberties abuse" since it was enacted; it later comes out that a Mar. report by inspector gen. Glenn A. Fine documenting violations was sent to him by the FBI on Apr. 21, causing his asst. Kenneth Wainstein to describe them as mistakes not violations. On Apr. 28 U.S. Sgt. Hasan Karim Akbar (Mark Fidel Kools) (1971-) is sentenced to death for fragging and killing two U.S. officers during the opening days of the Iraqi invasion because he was concerned about U.S. troops killing fellow Muslims. In Apr. 567 Iraqis are killed, incl. 364 civilians in 34 car bombings, 16 other blasts and 54 other attacks; only 341 Iraqis (incl. 164 civilians) were killed in Mar. In Apr. the U.S. federal govt. stops funding the Matrix (Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange) database of public and commercially-collected private info. on Americans that was created as a response to 9/11 by Fla. law enforcement officials and a 1-time drug-running computer whiz named Hank Asher of Seisint, Inc.; civil liberties groups loudly objected to it, causing several states to discontinue its use, but Conn., Fla., Ohio, and Penn. continue to use it. In Apr. Hollywood actors Tom Cruise (Thomas Cruise Mapother IV) (1962-) and Kate Noelle "Katie" Holmes (1978-) go public with their relationship, smooching and posing for photographers in Rome; since they both have major movies in the works, critics label it a publicity stunt, but on June 17 they announce their engagement at the Eiffel Tower, and marry on Nov. 18, 2006 at Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy after she becomes a Scientologist, becoming known as Tomkat; on May 23 Cruise appears on the Oprah Winfrey Show to praise his new babe, making a clown of himself by having a jumping-on-the-couch moment; on June 29, 2012 Holmes files for divorce, stating that she fears intimidation by the Church of Scientology, which she is leaving, and that Tom will abduct their daughter Suri (b. Apr. 2006). In Apr. actress Reese Witherspoon claims paparazzi tried to run her car off the road. In Apr. Algerian-born Frenchman Djamel (Jamel) Beghal, a confessed al-Qaida and Tablighi Jamaat member is convicted in Paris for plotting to blow up the U.S. embassy. In Apr. after decades of the shah and Saddam Hussein restricting religious pilgrimages from Iran to Iraq, an agreement is signed allowing 1.5K Iranian pilgrims to enter Iraq daily; by 2009 it is raised to 5K a day, and 6K a day in 2011 (2M a year vs. 1.6M going on hajj to Mecca). On May 2 after random highway shootings in the Los Angeles area begin occurring within a 75-mi. area on Mar. 12, police close down a section of the highway to search for bullet fragments after the shooters remain unidentified. In Apr. the World Bank approves a $3.8B loan for hungry Zambia. In Apr. the World Food Programme announces that it will stop food aid shipments to China at the end of the year; China becomes the world's 3rd largest food aid donor by 2009. On May 2 U.S. Pfc. Lynndie England (1983-) pleads guilty at Ft. Hood, Tex. to mistreating POWs at Abu Ghraib Prison; Army Reserve Spc. Charles A. Graner Jr. (1968-) (father of her infant son Carter Allan) was convicted in Jan. and sentenced to 10 years in prison; on May 4 the military judge throws out her guilty plea, saying he is not convinced she knew her actions were wrong; after trying to cop a plea about just wanting to please her soldier boyfriend, on Sept. 26-27 she is found guilty and sentenced to three years on six counts of prisoner maltreatment. On May 2 a Los Angeles judge throws out a $9M palimony lawsuit against political comic Bill Maher by former model Nancy "Coco" Johnson. On May 2 Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush signs the Fla. Jessica Lunsford Act, imposing tougher penalties on child molesters, incl. mandatory 25 years to life, and a lifetime GPS monitoring for released offenders; 9-y.-o. Jessica Lundsford's death was discovered in Mar., and convicted sex offender John E. Couey was arrested and charged with snatching her from her bedroom and murdering her by burying her alive; in Apr. 13-y.-o. Sarah Lunde is found dead, and another registered sex offender is charged with her murder; on Aug. 24, 2007 Couey is sentenced to death; the Jessica Marie Lunford Foundation works to get the act passed in all 50 states. On May 3 a forensic accountant testifies in Michael Jackson's child molestation trial that he spends $20 to $30M more each year than he earns; on May 4 the prosecutors rest their case. On May 4 Pakistani commandos nab senior al-Qaida leader Abu Farraj al-Libbi (a Libyan native), the group's no. 3 operative after a shootout at one of his hideouts. On May 4 a suicide attacker kills 60 and wounds 150 at a police recruitment center in Irbil, Iraq; earlier another bomber kills 11 at an Iraqi army recruitment center in C Baghdad, and two more bombers kill nine policemen in W Baghdad. On May 4 an ABC News "Primetime Live" special details allegations by 2003 American Idol contestant Corey Delaney Clark (1980-) that he had an affair with judge Paula Abdul which involved kisses and coaching on how to win the game. On May 4 Pentagon analyst Lawrence Anthony "Larry" Franklin (1947-), an Air Force reserve col. who once was the #3 Defense Dept. official is arrested for divulging top secret info. about Iraq to two execs. of the Am. Israel Public Affairs Committte at a lunch in June 2003 in Arlington, Va. On May 5 Tony Blair wins a historic 3rd term as Britain's PM, but his Labour Party's majority in Parliament is sharply reduced from 161 to 68 seats (594 of 646), with only 37% of the popular vote, lowest winning share in English history; he enjoyed landslide victories in 1997 and 2001; two makeshift granades explode outside the British Consulate near the U.N. HQ in New York City as British voters go to the polls; Sadiq Aman Khan (1970-) becomes Labour MP for Tooting, London (until ?). On May 5 U.S. Army Brig Gen. Janis Karpinsky (1953-), whose Army Reserve unit was in charge of the Abu Ghraib (absent garb?) Prison is demoted, ending her career; three other more senior gens. are cleared of wrongdoing, while three majors, three captains, two first lts., one second lt., and two chief warrant officers are punished. On May 5 the U.S. and Vietnam announce the Vietnam Religious Freedom Agreement, making it easier for people (esp. Roman Catholics) to worship freely in Communist Vietnam. The office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OVT) is established by the U.S. Dept. of Justice to aid the victims and families of U.S. citizens injured or killed in terrorist attacks abroad; in 2006 it becomes part of the new Justice Dept. Nat. Security Div. On May 8 Pres. Bush and Pres. Putin hold a Moscow Summit, and go out of their way to take a unified stand on Middle East peace and terrorism to quell criticism of backsliding on democracy. Justice for the cop dept. shows the true face of Dirty Denver, Colo.? On May 8 (Mother's Day) illegal Mexican immigrant Raul Gomez-Garcia kills off-duty sacred cow Denver cop John "Jack" Bishop and wounds his partner at a baptism party at the Salon Ocampo banquet hall, then flees to Mexico, where he is later captured after an intensive manhunt in Denver and L.A.; on June 6 U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) asks U.S. secy. of state Condoleezza Rice to intervene with Mexico, followed on June 7 by U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) asking Mexico's atty. gen to make an exception in their extradition laws, followed on June 8 by U.S. Rep. (R-Colo.) (1999-2009) Tom Tancredo (1945-), introducing an amendment to open negotiations with Mexico to change its extradition laws; on June 13 the Mexican govt. says it will take 1-3 years to make a decision on returning him, and only if prosecutors agree not to seek the death penalty; on June 14 U.S. Rep. Bob Beauprez (R-Colo.) proposes a bill to block foreign aid to Mexico if it won't hand over the accused "cop-killer", commenting to the press that "I've vacationed in Mexico before; I know exactly what 'Mexican time' is"; on June 15 Mexican consul gen. Juan Marcos Gutierrez Gonzalez quips "I don't think he should call it Mexican time, it's legal time"; the extradition finally is done in 2006 after promises not to seek the death penalty; on June 16, 2006 Jaime Arana del Angel receives a max. 12 years as accessory to murder of a cop for burying the murder weapon and giving G-G a ride out of town, the taxi service meriting the max because it had "extraordinary, almost mind-boggling repurcussions", according to the prosecutors, costing them the chance to get G-G a death penalty; on Sept. 16, 2006 Gomez-Garcia is convicted of 2nd degree murder, and gets the max of 80 years - they can just lock him up with the right psycho? On May 10 the U.S. Congress approves an additional $82B for the war on terror, bringing the total cost since 9/11 to over $300B - who made the real profits? On May 10 Germany dedicates a new Nat. Holocaust Memorial, a square block of 2.7K+ undulating charcoal-colored concrete slabs in the heart of Berlin one block from the Brandenburg Gate near Hitler's bunker; on July 30, 2006 vandals scratch a swastika onto one of the slabs. On May 10 the Iraqi Parliament appoints 55 legislators (44 men and 11 women) to write a new constitution; on June 23 14 more men and two more women are added to give Sunni Arabs more representation; they work on it for a total of 4 mo. using the old U.S. Articles of Confederation and Iraq's interim constitution. On May 10 the federal courts approve the plan of United Airlines to terminate its employee pension plans. On May 10 German white blonde supermodel Heidi Klum (1933-) ("the Body") marries bald black London-born Nigerian-Brazilian soul singer Seal (Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel) (1963-) in Costa Careyes, Mexico, then has son Henry Gunther Ademola Dashtu Samuel on Sept. 12, followed by Johan Riley Fyodor Taiwo Samuel next Nov. 22; she also has a daughter Helene "Leni" Klum (2004-) by Italian Renault Formula One team dir. Flavio Briatore (1950-); a German newspaper calls them a "patchwork family". On May 11 a suicide bomber in a vehicle swerves in front of a police station in Tikrit, Iraq into a market, killing 31 and wounding 66; meanwhile another bomber blows up while standing in a line outside a police and army recruiting center in Hawija, Iraq, killing 32 and wounding 40. On May 11 Hayden "Jim" Sheaffer Jr. (1936-) and student pilot Troy D. Martin (1969-) of Penn. fly into Washington airspace within 3 mi. of the White House at midday, but it is determined that they were simply lost, and they are released without charges after giving statements. On May 12 the GOP-controlled Foreign Relations Committee votes 10-8 along party lines to send the nomination of John Robert Bolton (1948-) as the next U.S. ambassador to the U.N. to the full Senate, but without the usual recommendation; Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) calls Bolton "the poster child of what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be. He is an ideologue and fosters an atmosphere of intimidation" - work - it's like you don't even know me? On May 12 Russian security chief Nikolai Patrushev accuses U.S. and other foreign intelligence services of using nongovt. orgs. (NGOs) such as the Peace Corps and Merlin to spy on Russia and stir up unrest in former Soviet repubs. On May 12 Ed Viesturs (44) of Bainbridge Island, Wash. becomes the first Am. to scale all of the world's 14 peaks higher than 26,240 ft., reaching the 26,540-ft. summit of Mt. Annapurna in Nepal. On May 13 (Fri.) Cornell-educated serial killer Michael Ross (b. 1959) is executed by lethal injection after fighting attempts by public defenders to save his life, becoming the first execution in New England in 45 years. On May 13 thousands of protesters take to the street after 23 Islamic businessmen are arrested on extremist charges in Tashkent, Uzbekistan; meanwhile 500 are killed in Andijan, Uzbekistan, 30 mi. W of the Kyrgyz frontier in an Islamic uprising, raising cries of govt. atrocities. On May 13 U.S. state secy. Condoleezza Rice speaks out against the alleged desecration of the Quran by U.S. troops in Iraq with the soundbyte: "Disrespect for the holy Quran is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be, tolerated by the United States. We honor the sacred books of all the world's great religions. Disrespect for the holy Quran is abhorrent to us all"; on May 16 Newsweek mag. retracts a story by Michael Isikoff claiming that U.S. military personnel abused the Quran (Koran) and flushed them down the toilet, which caused protests in Afghanistan that killed 15 and injured scores; on May 26 five cases of mishandling Qurans of Muslim POWs at Guantanamo Bay are confirmed, but investigators find no "credible evidence" of flushing one of the giant toilet-chokers down - if she calls it holy one more time I'll scream? On May 13 the TV series Star Trek: Enterprise winds up its 4th and last season on UPN, ending an 18-year run for Star Trek as an original show on that network since Star Trek: The Next Generation debuted in 1987; the original Star Trek show ("ST: TOS") debuted on NBC-TV in 1966, followed by ST:TNG in 1987, then Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in 1992, and Star Trek: Voyager in 1995; says Enterprise exec. producer Rick Berman "You can squeeze only so many eggs out of a golden goose." On May 14 People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) animal rights activists take on the English palace guards and their bearskin hats, which each require 1-2 bear pelts to make, announcing that its members will shadow Queen Elizabeth II on her May 15-25 visit to Canada. On May 15 the bodies of 46 Iraqis shot execution-style are found dumped around an abandoned chicken farm W of Baghdad; meanwhile secy. of state Condi Rice makes a surprise visit to Iraq (her first), telling Shiite leaders in Baghdad to court the Sunnis in writing the new constitution; she also visits the N city of Salahuddin, where she wears a flak jacket as she meets Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani (1946-). On May 15 (Sun.) Palestinians commemorate Al Nakba (the catastrophe) of the 1948 creation of the bandit state of Israel which displaced 700K (now 4M, counting descendants), with mourners carrying old keys of homes they lost; meanwhile Israelis celebrate with fireworks and other festivities. On May 15 eight Uzbek soldiers and three Islamic militants are killed in a battle in Fergana, Uzbekistan near the Kyrgyz border. On May 15 soldiers in Nepal rescue 600 students in Niskov village 190 mi. W of Katmandu after they had been abducted from their classrooms by Maoist rebels; a ceasefire is signed on May 25, 2006. On May 17 British (Scottish) Socialist politician George Galloway (1954-) (known for meeting with Saddam Hussein 1994 and appearing to praise his regime, then being expelled from the British Labour Party in Oct. 2003) denounces U.S. Senators in testimony on Capitol Hill, denying accusations of profiting from the U.S. oil-for-food program. On May 17 Dem. Antonio Ramon Villaraigosa (1953-) defeats Dem. Mayor James Hahn by 59%-41%, and on July 1 is sworn in, becoming the first Hispanic mayor in Los Angeles, Calif. since 1872, when it was a town of 5K people; the city is now 48% Hispanic, 31% white, 11% Asian, and 10% black; Mexican ambassador Carlos de Izaga attends the inauguration - the reconquista is 48% complete? On May 22 U.S. First Lady Laura Bush visits holy sites in Jerusalem, and is heckled - shave your bush before showing your face here? On May 22 three Romanian journalists and their Iraqi-Am. guide are freed after nearly 2 mo. in captivity in Iraq. On May 23 suicide car bomber explodes outside a Shia mosque in Mahmudiyya, Iraq killing 10; meanwhile a car bomb in a crowded Baghdad commercial district outside a restaurant frequented by police explodes, killing 11 and wounding 110, after which irate Iraqis take it out on police and U.S. troops arriving on the scene, throwing stones at them. On May 23 the Gang of 14 U.S. Senators forges a compromise ending the blockage of an up-or-down vote on judicial nominees, with Repubs. threatening the "nuclear option" (majority vote instead of 60 votes to end a Dem. filibuster); on May 24 white Tex. Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Richman Owen (1954-) wins Senate confirmation as a federal appeals judge after a bitter 4-year battle in which Pres. Bush compromises on current and future judicial nominees. On May 23 Donald Trump founds Trump U. to coach dupes, er, students in real estate investing for fees ranging from $1.5K-$35K depending on how much room they have left in their credit cards, with high-pressure salesmen working out of a phone boilerroom coached to get suckers to max out their credit cards in a mad rush to get rich quick, like many other real estate investment courses which only make money for those who run them, although there are isolated cases of lucky pluckers buying some property low and flipping it for a good profit, making it borderline legal; it ceases operations in May 2011; on Aug. 24, 2013 the state of New York files a $40M civil suit against it, followed by lawsuits from disgruntled students. On May 25 a referendum in Egypt on a constitutional amendment permitting a multicandidate vote for pres. is boycotted by six opposition groups, who say it sets nearly impossible conditions for new candidates who want to present an alternative to Pres. Hosni Mubarak and his Nat. Dem. Party. On May 26 Iraqi's Shiite majority govt. launches Operation Lightning with 40K troops to crush Sunni, er, insurgents, who lash back with several sustained attacks on several police stations and an army barracks, killing 20+. On May 26 the Hmong refugee (from Laos) camp at Wat Tham Krabok 60 mi. N of Bangkok (the largest) is officially closed. On May 27 (Fri.) (10:07 p.m.) Big Ben in London stops ticking during record hot weather (90 F); it restarts, stops again at 10:20 p.m., and restarts at 11:50 p.m.; it is stopped deliberately for 33 hours on Oct. 29 for maintenance. On May 29 55% of French voters reject the European Union (EU), followed on June 1 by 62% of Dutch voters; only 9 of 25 states have approved it (Austria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain), and all 25 have until 2006 to approve it or else the 450M person economic superstate is kaput. On May 29 police find six people shot to death and another injured in adjacent farmhouses in the C Ohio city of Bellefontaine, and conclude that it is a multiple murder and suicide. On May 29 2M (that's million) gays and their supporters parade in Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city (home of the group Os Mutantes) wearing lavish costumes and waving rainbow-colored flags to demonstrate for legalization of gay civil unions. On May 30 U.S. vice-pres. head, er, Dick Cheney issues a soundbyte that the Iraq insurgency is in its "final throes", which is regularly trotted out against him as the war grinds on throughout his term of office. Welcome to the beginning of a whole new life? On May 30 18-y.-o. blonde, beautiful honors student Natalee Ann Holloway (b. 1986) of Mountain Brook, Ala. disappears in Aruba in the early hours after celebrating her high school graduation with 124 other students and seven chaperones on the boat Tattoo; she is seen leaving with three young men; in June Joran van der Sloot (1988-), son of Dutch justice ministry official Paul van der Sloot and two Surinamese brothers, Satish Kalpoe (1987-) and Deepak Kalpoe (1984-) are detained, telling police that they dropped her off from their car beside a lighthouse at Arisha Beach after she and the Dutch teen had been kissing in the back seat; on June 12 one of them admits that "something bad happened" to her, and on June 15 authorities search elder van der Sloot's home; on June 17 DJ Steve Gregory Croes (1979-) is arrested, while Natalee's mom Beth Holloway Twitty complains that the authorities are dragging their feet; in July a judge releases the Kalpoe brothers for lack of evidence, but they are rearrested on Aug. 26 after new evidence is found, then released again; critics complain that 53% of 47.6K active cases of missing adults in the U.S. are men and 29% black, but that only upper-middle class white (usually blonde and sexy) women get news coverage and police action; on Nov. 8 Ala. Gov. Bob Riley steps it up a notch by asking for a nationwide travel boycott of Aruba after the case remains unsolved; on Feb. 23, 2006 Joran appears on ABC News' Primetime claiming that he left her on the beach after they "cuddled for a while"; too bad, on Feb. 3 a hidden camera video is released where he confesses to dumping her possibly alive body in the sea and brags that she'll never be found - bleach is how many dimes a gallon? On May 31 Vanity Fair reveals that former #2 at the FBI William Mark Felt Sr. (1913-) is the Watergate mystery figure Deep Throat; his family got him to divulge his identity so they could cash in and pay family bills?; Felt had wanted to become head of the FBI, but was passed over for less deep L. Patrick Gray. On May 31 French Pres. Jacques Chirac fires PM Jean-Pierre Raffarin over voter rejection of the EU, and replaces him with 51-y.-o. poet (son of a senator) Dominique de Villepin (1953-); he also appoints 50-y.-o. former interior and finance minister Nicolas Sarkozy (1955-) as interior minister, which is cool, since Sarkozky is leader of the center-right Union for Popular Movement Party, and is Chirac's rival for pres.; with his wife Cecilia, the Sarkozys are called the Kennedys of France; too bad, they announce their divorce on Oct. 18, 2007. On May 31 an Italian AB-412 heli crashes 8 mi. S of Nasiriyah, Iraq, killing four aboard; it is listed as an accident. In May Pres. Bush signs the Central Am. Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) with leaders of five Central Am. countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica) and the Dominican Repub.; the U.S. Congress ratifies it in Aug. In May Hilton Hotel heiress Paris Hilton (1981-) gets engaged to shipping heir Paris Latsis (1979-), who gives her a 24-carat diamond engagement ring; they call it off in Sept. In May a pressure group arranges a release ceremony for 7K slaves in Niger; too bad, after the govt. warns that anybody admitting to being a slavemaster will be prosecuted, the ceremony is scrapped. In May Chinese pres. Hu Jintao cancels an int. conference on democracy in Beijing planned for June, and accuses Ching Cheong (1949-), detained Hong Kong-based reporter for Singapore's The Straits Times of spying for a foreign intelligence agency for trying to obtain a ms. of a book on late purged Chinese leader Zhao Ziyang. In May another peace is signed in 99-44/100 pure Ivory Coast, and elections are scheduled for Oct., but they are cancelled after the U.N. declares it impossible to stop the fighting, and the U.N. Security Council recommends that pres. Laurent Gbagbo remain in office for another year while turning over most of his power to new transitional PM Charles Konan Banny (1942-), gov. of the West African Central Bank, who becomes PM on Dec. 7 (until Apr. 7, 2007). In May Donald Trump establishes the online Trump Univ. In May a paparazzi crashes into Lindsay Lohan's car in West Los Angeles. In May the Downing Street org. is founded, issuing the Downing Street Memos demanding that Congress hold Pres. Bush and Vice-Pres. Cheney and their aides accountable for crimes and abuses of power. In May Arianna Huffington and former AOL exec Kenneth Lerer found the leftist pro-Islam Huffington Post Web site, which reaches 25M monthly viewers by 2011 when AOL purchases it for $315M. In May Hell's Kitchen debuts on Fox Network, featuring British chef Gordon James Ramsay (1966-) putting aspiring chefs through Hell drill instructor-style for a season before selecting one to become a high-paid chef in charge of their own restaurant. On June 1 an al-Qaida suicide bomber detonates in a mosque during a funeral in Kandahar, Afghanistan, killing 20, incl. Kabul's police chief, and wounding 42 others, becoming the deadliest attack in Afghanistan since the violent surge began in Mar. On June 1 a landslide in Laguna Beach, Calif. causes 1K to be evacuated. Michael Jackson joins O.J.'s exclusive Calif. A-Team? On June 1 jurors in the Michael Jackson trial are given their instructions, and begin deliberations on June 3 (Fri.); early in the deliberations three jurors vote to convict, but on June 13 after 30 hours of deliberations over seven days they unanimously acquit him of all 14 charges carrying nearly 20 years; on June 14 Jackson's chief atty. Thomas Arthur Mesereau Jr. (with flamboyant white hair) says that the star won't let children into his bed anymore because "it makes him vulnerable to false charges"; on Aug. 8 white jurors Ray Hultman (1943-) and Eleanor Cook (1926-) go public with regret at his acquittal on MSNBC's Rita Cosby Show, Hultman saying that the other jurors "just wouldn't take those blinders off long enough to really look at all the evidence that was there", and Cook saying that the other jurors are "the ones that let a pedophile go"; in June Cook told ABC's Good Morning America that she thought Jackson had molested other children but had to limit her decision to the 13-y.-o. boy at the trial; on Aug. 23 the mother of Jackson's accuser is charged with welfare fraud, accused of collecting nearly $19K illegally. On June 1 U.N. Secy.-Gen. Kofi Annan fires staffer (Cypriot diplomat) Joseph Stephanides for manipulating contracts under the $64B Iraq oil-for-food program. On June 1 federal investigators unearth the casket of 14-y.-o. black Chicago teen Emmett Till, slain in Aug. 1955 for whistling at a white woman. On June 1 a landslide takes down 17 multi-million dollar homes in Laguna Beach, Calif., all built on a steep sandstone hill for them ocean views. On June 2 insurgents kill 39 in a series of rapid-fire attacks, incl. 12 at a restaurant in Tuz Khormatu, Iraq; meanwhile Iraq's interior minister claims that the govt. sweep by police and soldiers has captured 700 and killed 28 insurgents. On June 2 Israel releases nearly 400 Palestinian POWs as part of a ceasefire agreement with the Palestinian Authority. On June 2 prominent anti-Syrian journalist Samir Kassir (b. 1960) is killed by a bomb placed under his car's driver's seat in Beirut, causing the opposition to accuse Syria. On June 2 a suicide bomber explodes in the remote village of Sa'ud, Iraq (near Balad), killing 10 and wounding 10. On June 2 13-y.-o. Anurag Kashyap wins the U.S. nat. spelling bee by spelling "appoggiatura", an embellishing musical note - Anurag and the Bee? On June 5 militias loyal to the Council of Islamic Courts drive the warlords out of Somalia; on June 30 Osama bin Laden calls on Muslims to open a third front in the war against the U.S. there. On June 6 the U.S. (Rehnquist) Supreme Court rules 6-3 in Gonzales v. Raich (Ashcroft v. Raich) that people can be prosecuted for violating federal drug laws for smoking marijuana even if their doctors prescribe it and the state approves it, citing the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause; Justice Antonin Scalia writes that Congress may regulate intrastate activities if it is a necessary part of a more gen. regulation of interstate commerce; Sandra Day O'Connor and Clarence Thomas dissent - I thought I'd never side with a white woman and a black man against a bunch of white men? On June 6-7 the Hussein Brigade arrests 60 men as part of Operation Lightning in Iraq. On June 6-7 the Bolivian capital La Paz is blockaded by poor Indian anti-govt. demonstrators, demanding more power from the white minority, causing Pres. Carlos Diego Mesa Gisbert (who for 19 mo. had been pushing a U.S.-backed free market govt.) to resign on June 6. On June 7 Pres. Bush and PM Blair embrace an African debt relief plan to put them "on a path to reform". On June 7 the Repub.-controlled U.S. Senate ends a nearly 2-year filibuster, clearing the way for Calif. Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown (1949-), a black conservative from Ala. to be confirmed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for D.C., the 2nd highest U.S. court. On June 7 GM CEO (since 2000) Rick Wagoner announces plans to close plants and eliminate 25K manufacturing jobs in the U.S. by 2008. On June 7 three explosions in and around Hawija, Iraq kill 34. On June 9 Donna Goeppert hits the $1M jackpot in the Penn. lottery for the 2nd time, the first time being in Jan. On June 10 an Iraqi shepherd finds the buried bodies of 20 blindfolded, shot-from-behind Sunni men in the Nahrawan Desert 20 mi. east of Baghdad; 21 men are found slain near Qaim, Iraq on the Syrian frontier 200 mi. W of Baghdad. On June 11 four U.S. soldiers die in two roadside bombings W of Baghdad, bringing the number of U.S. forces killed in Iraq since the start of the war over the 1,700 mark; meanwhile gunmen open fire on a minibus in Diyara, Iraq, killing 11 Iraqi construction workers. On June 11 insurgents working for al-Zarqawi stage a suicide bombing inside the heavily-guarded Interior Ministry HQ in Baghdad, killing three; the attack was aimed at the Shiite-dominated Wolf Brigade. On June 11 French Liberation journalist Florence Aubenas, who had been abducted Jan. 5 in Baghdad is freed, and returns to France on June 12, being greeted by French Pres. Jacques Chirac, and describing her captivity tied-up and blindfolded in a cellar as "harsh"; her Iraqi interpreter Hussein Hanun is also freed. On June 12 a flash flood in Shalan in NE China's Heilongjiang Province swamps a school and kills 88 out of 352 students (ages 6-14) and four villagers; none of the 31 teachers are killed; 25 people are hospitalized; the same day a fire at the Huanan Hotel in Shantou in S China thousands of miles away kills 31 and injures 15. On June 12 Iraqi police find the bullet-ridden bodies of 28 people buried in shallow graves or dumped on the streets in Baghdad. On June 12 three Georgia Army Nat. Guard are seriously wounded in a mortar attack in Mahmudiyah, Iraq. On June 12 Iraqi Wolf Brigade leader Gen. Rashid Flaiyeh narrowly escapes an assassination attempt when mortars rain down on his mother's funeral in N Baghdad, wounding 11. On June 12 a bomb derails a passenger train travelling from Chechnya to Moscow, 90 mi. S of Moscow, injuring 15; Chechen separatists are blamed; the blasts happens hours before Pres. Putin holds a Kremlin ceremony in honor of the Day of Russia, a nat. holiday marking the breakup of the Soviet Union. On June 12 four bombs in Ahvaz, Iran kill eight and injure 86, followed hours later by two bombs in Tehran, killing one and wounding four; Iran blames Saddam Hussein supporters. On June 12 the Palestinian Authority executes four Palestinian men for murder, becoming the first execution in three years. On June 12 the Iranian Women Movement protests in front of Tehran U. against the regime's gender discrimination, and police break it up, arresting two - the most bodacious ones, for a body cavity search? On June 12 five children ages 6 mo. to 6 years die in a house fire in the well-tended Kensington neighborhood of Philly as security bars on the windows hamper rescue attempts. On June 12 the 111-member Kurdish Parliament unanimously elects veteran guerrilla leader Massoud Barzani to be the first pres. of Iraq's N Kurdistan region, which has a 100K-man Kurdish-Peshmerga militia. On June 12 U.S. Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) says that even though he voted for the Iraq War, "We've done about as much as we can do", and that the reasons for invading Iraq have proved false; he and other lawmakers plan to introduce legislation immediately calling for a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal - table that? On June 12 U.S. vice-pres. Dick Cheney tells Fox News that there are no plans to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay. On June 12 Paris Hilton and her mother Kathy serve as grand marshals in the 35th annual Gay Pride Parade in West Hollywood, Calif. On June 13 Sen. Repub. leader Bill Frist orders his trustee to see his shares of Hospital Corp. of America (founded by his father Thomas), leading to accusations of insider trading when two weeks later the corp. issues a bad earnings report causing the stock price to fall 16%. On June 13 the police procedural show The Closer, a spinoff of "Prime Suspect" debuts on TNT Network for 109 episodes (until Aug. 13, 2012), starring Kyra Minturn Sedgwick (1965-) as LAPD deputy chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, and expert case-closing interrogator. On June 14 a suicide bomber detonates himself in a crowded bank in Kirkuk, Iraq, killing 23 and wounding 100, becoming the city's worst attack since Saddam's ouster. On June 14 Okla. country sweetheart Carrie Marie Underwood (1983), American Idol winner #4 (May 25) releases her first single, Inside Your Heaven with Arista Records; Ala. runner-up Bo Bice also releases the same song, and passes her on the charts. On June 14 Bill and Hillary Clinton finally pay off the last of their legal bills from the Whitewater and impeachment investigations, reporting a joint bank account valued at $5M-$25M and a blind trust valued between $5-$25M; in 2004 Bill earned $875K from speaking engagements, compared to $13.9M in 2002-3. On June 15 the U.S. House votes 238-187 to block the fed govt. from using the Patriot Act to peek at library records and bookstore sales slips, reversing a narrow loss the year before by allowing the govt. to continue to obtain records of Internet use at libraries. On June 15 six masked gunmen take 70 students and teachers hostage at an internat. school in Siem Reap Province in NW Cambodia, demanding money, weapons and cars, then killing a 3-y.-o. Canadian boy before being captured by police on June 16. On June 15 a Marine Harrier jet carrying four 500-lb. bombs crashes into the backyard of a home in Yuma, Az. On June 15 the Shinnecock Indian Tribe files a multi-billion dollar lawsuit in U.S. District Court claiming ownership of 3.6K acres on E Long Island in the hopes of building a casino at the gateway to the super-rich Hamptons (Southampton). On June 15 the Mexican Supreme Court rules that former pres. Luis Echeverria can be charged with genocide for his involvement in a 1971 massacre of student protesters. On June 15 Taliban rebels break into a medical clinic near the Pakistan border in Afghanistan and kill a doctor and six of his assistants; the same day hundreds of insurgents clash with U.S.-led coalition forces, and seven insurgents are killed. On June 15 105-y.-o. Percy Arrowsmith, who two weeks earlier set the record for the world's longest marriage (80 years) with 100-y.-o. wife Florence dies in his home in Hereford, NW of London, England. On June 16 Australian hostage Douglas Wood is freed from a Baghdad home by U.S. troops after 47 days; the captors kept him under a blanket in Arab dress and claimed he was their ailing father. On June 16 a suicide bomber in an army uniform detonates himself in a crowded mess hall in Baghdad, killing 26 Iraqi soldiers; a roadside bomb kills five U.S. Marines near Ramadi; the total kill by insurgents in one day exceeds 50. On June 17 former Tyco Internat. CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski and CFO Mark H. Swartz are convicted on 30 of 31 counts of securities fraud, conspiracy, grand larceny, and falsifying business records in Manhattan; prosecutors use the case to send a message against corporate greed. On June 17 credit card transaction co. MasterCard Internat. Inc. announces the largest breach of security involving financial data to date, saying that 13.9M MasterCard accounts had been breached by a computer virus that captured data from CardSystems Solutions Inc., which processes credit card payments; at least 68K accounts have had fraudulent charges posted to them so far. On June 17 Guidant Corp., sued on June 1 by a Penn. man over their failure to tell patients using its cadiac defibrillators that they can short-circuit announces that the devices used by 50K heart patients are flawed and offer to replace more than half of them. On June 17 black clan patriarch Marcus Wesson (1947-) is convicted in raisin capital Fresno, Calif. of murdering nine of his incestuous children and of raping and molesting seven of his underage daughters and nieces; the police found the bodies in a bloody pile on Mar. 12, 2004 after a standoff. On June 19 fighting in S Afghanistan kills 20 militants; meanwhile the Taliban claims that it has assassinated a kidnapped Afghan police chief and five of his men who collaborated with the U.S. On June 19 a suicide bomber explodes in a popular Baghdad restaurant during lunchtime, killing 23. On June 19 the temp. reaches 116 F in Lahore, Pakistan, followed by 118 F on June 20 and 121 F on June 22. On June 20 Pres. Bush attends a joint news conference with European leaders, saying that he is determined to complete the mission of establishing democracy in Iraq to make the world a better place. On June 20 parliamentary elections in Lebanon are announced, showing that the anti-Syrian opposition with a majority; on June 21 anti-Syrian Greek Orthodox Christian Lebanese politician (former Communist Party leader) (Captain Kangaroo lookalike?) George Hawi (b. 1938) is killed by a car bomb in W Beirut; he joins anti-Syrian journalist Samir Kassir (June 2) and former PM Rafik Hariri (Feb. 14); White House press secy. (2003-6) Scott McClellan (1968-) calls them "targeted assassinations of political figures", but stops short of blaming Syria, while anti-Syrian leaders claim that Syria has drawn up a hit list of enemies in Lebanon. On June 20 a suicide bomber in Arbil, Iraq kills 15 traffic cops and wounds 100. On June 21 80-y.-o. wheelchair-riding former KKK member Eager Racist Killer Edgar Ray "Preacher" Killen (1925-) is found guilty of manslaughter of three civil rights workers 41 years after he did it by a jury of 9 whites and 3 blacks, who deliberate for less than 6 hours and clear him of murder charges; "Forty-one years after the tragic murders... justice finally arrives in Philadelphia, Miss.", says Rep. Bennett Thompson, the only black congressman in Miss. On June 21 Vietnamese PM Phan Van Khai visits the White House, becoming the highest-ranking Communist official from Vietnam to visit since the end of the Vietnam War; meanwhile hundreds protest the visit in front of the White House. On June 21 Afghan and U.S.-led coalition troops battle rebels in the Daychopan district in Zabul Province in S Afghanistan, killing 40 rebels while killing a policeman and wounding five U.S. soldiers and two more policemen. On June 22 a U.S. U-2 spy plane crashes while returning to its base in the UAR from a mission in Afghanistan, killing the pilot. The U.S. Congress reaches its all-time peak of stupidity? On June 22 the U.S. House passes (by 8 votes, 286-130) the U.S. Flag Desecration Amendment to the U.S. Bill of Rights: "The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States"; luckily it fails to pass the U.S. Senate by one vote next June 27 after being sponsored by Mormon Utah Repub. sen. Orrin Hatch - a "flag of the United States" incl. not just those owned by the govt. (which are already protected), but copies or fancied copies owned by private individuals, incl. icing on cakes and drawings on the backs of matchbooks? Drop that cake you're desecrating, you're under arrest? What is "desecration" (de-consecration) in those cases, since real flags that soldiers died for on battlefields are one thing, but a piece of private property containing a design of stars and stripes that represents the freedom of the people under a constitutional sovereign state is not a holy object that must be carefully stored, revered, kissed, etc., like the Big Black Cube of the Muslims in Mecca? So what is being desecrated, the flag or the Constitution? the near-passing of this horrible monstrosity shows the low level to which U.S. literacy has sunk, and signals its downward slide? On June 23 the U.S. Supreme (Rehnquist) Court rules 5-4 in Kelo v. City of New London, Conn. that it is "permissible use" for the govt. to take property from one private owner under the law of eminent domain and give it to another in furtherance of economic development as long as it is for a public purpose, not just a public use; Donald Trump utters the soundbyte "I happen to agree with it 100 percent." On June 24 Hollyweird and Scientology superstar Tom Cruise gives an interview to ABC-TV's Matt Lauer, dissing Brooke Shields for using anti-depressant drugs instead of vitamins for post-partem depression, calling Cruise "glib" for disagreeing, uttering the soundbytes: "Psychiatry is a pseudo-science" and "You don't know the history of psychiatry. I do"; in 2008 Cruise apologizes for being "arrogant". On June 24-26 Rev. Billy Graham (b. 1918) holds a revival meeting in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, N.Y. that he claims is his last after preaching to 210M in 185 countries, the most in history; his son Franklin will take his place. On June 26 four suicide bombers strike Iraqi police and army forces in a 16-hour wave of violence in Mosul, killing 38; defense secy. Donald Rumsfeld says that the Iraqi insurgency could take as long as 12 years to defeat, with Iraqi security forces, not U.S. and foreign troops taking the lead and finishing the job. On June 26 U.S. troops sweep the Khakeran Valley in Afghanistan 130 mi. NE of the main S city of Kandahar, seeking up to 300 insurgents. On June 27 the U.S. Supreme (Rehnquist) Court rules 7-2 in Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales that a town and its police dept. can't be sued in federal court for failing to enforce a restraining order, which led to the murder of a woman's three children by her estranged husband. On June 27 the U.S. Supreme (Rehnquist) rules 5-4 in Van Orden v. Perry that it's okay to display the Ten Commandments on govt. property at the Tex. State Capitol in Austin because it is a "passive monument"; meanwhile the same day the court rules 5-4 in McCreary County v. ACLU of Ky. to ban the same kind of display in Ky.; Stephen Breyer is the swing vote in both cases - just blank out the non-PC ones? On June 28 Pres. Bush issues Executive Order 13382, titled "Blocking Property of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators and Their Supporters", barring financial entities involved in nuclear proliferation from the U.S. financial and commercial system; starting in 2007 the U.S. Treasury Dept. designates 15 Iranian banks under it. On June 28 Scientiologist actor Tom Cruise gets in a debate with Matt Lauer on NBC's Today show over the use of psychiatric drugs (Paxil) for postpartum depression by actress Brooke Shields after giving birth to daughter Rowan Francis in 2003, saying, "You don't know the history of psychiatry, I do", that there is no such thing as chemical imbalances that need drug correction, and that depression can be treated with exercise and vitamins; "Matt, Matt, you don't even - you're glib. You don't even know what Ritalin is"; on July 1 Shields pub. an op-ed piece in The New York Times, saying, "I'm going to take a wild guess and say that Mr. Cruise has never suffered from postpartum depression"; meanwhile, Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds, starring Tom Cruise debuts on June 30 with $21.3M at the domestic box office, and $34.6M worldwide; in Dec. a museum called "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death", linked to the Church of Scientology opens in Hollywood, the opening attended by Lisa Marie and Priscilla Presley, Danny Masterson, Jenna Elfman, Catherine Bell et al. On June 29 the Petrocaribe oil alliance between Venezuela and 17 South Am. and Caribbean nations is signed, providing preferential payment conditions. On June 29 Mexico releases a series of postage stamps depicting the black character Memin Pinguin, drawing howls from U.S. black activists. On June 30 Spain becomes the country #3 to legalize gay marriage - let's play bull and matador? On June 30 the U.S. Federal Reserve boosts the interest rate for the 9th time in a row (from 3.00% to 3.25%). In June the Stockholm Int. Peace Research Inst. reports that U.S. defense spending this year breaks the $1T mark, almost half of the world's military expenditures, but after adjusting for inflation it's actually 6% lower than the Cold War peak in 1987-8. In June John Kerry releases his college transcript, showing a 76% (C) average, incl. 3 D's in his freshman year (rocks for jocks, history, political science); in 1999 The New Yorker pub. George W. Bush's transcript, showing a 77%, graduating two years after Kerry. In June the U.S. signs a 10-year defense pact with India, upsetting Pakistan by their possible acquisition of the U.S. Patriot ABM system. In June the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) votes 6-3 to proceed with ".xxx" domain names for porn sites; participation in the "red-light district" porn domain is voluntary. In June the U.S. Supreme Court rules 5-4 in ? v. ? that New London, Conn. has the authority to take homes for a private development project, continuing the decades-long expansion of the definition of eminent domain ("just compensation for public use"), to the delight of the rich, but outraging many who fear that the country will become a new Roman Empire; luckily, the court leaves states free to ban the practice, and grassroots support gets it banned in Ark., Fla., Ill., Ky., Maine, Mont., S.C., Wash., and other states; on Mar. 14, 2006 voters in Weare, N.H. reject a proposal to seize the 200-y.-o. farmhouse of justice David Souter as payback. In June black Verizon exec Bruce Scott Gordon (1946-) becomes head of the NAACP (until Mar. 2007). In June the State Supreme Court of Chihuahua, Mexico throws out the case against Victor Javier Garcia, setting him free after 3.5 years in prison after police frame him and torture him into a false confession in the mysterious rape-deaths of more than 350 women in and around the border city of Juarez during the past decade; meanwhile, the crime spree is spreading to other Mexican cities such as Chihuahua; the police are suspected of being involved. In June 86-y.-o. Billy Graham holds yet another gospel crusade with an audience of 230K. In June a Statue of "Samantha on Bewitched" Elizabeth Montgomery is erected in Salem, Mass. In June the worst red tide outbreak since 1972 strikes the Atlantic shore from Cape Cod to Maine, putting clammers out of business and causing federal officials to declare an economic emergency. In the summer U.S. Army SSgt. Dale L. Horn (1980-) from Fort Walton Beach, Fla. is made an official sheik in the village of Qayyarah, Iraq after helping 30 villages get clean water; other sheiks gave him five sheep and a postage stamp of land to fulfill the requirements for becoming "Sheik Horn"? On July 2 Egyptian diplomat Ihab al-Sherif is kidnapped in Baghdad, and is later killed, with al-Qaida's Iraqi wing claiming credit; meanwhile a suicide bomber explodes in a Baghdad police recruiting center, killing 16 and wounding 22. On July 2 Joseph Edward Duncan III (1963-), a convicted sex offender is arrested at a Denny's restaurant in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho after a waitress recognizes the 8-y.-o. girl with him as the one kidnapped on May 15 along with her 9-y.-o. brother after the mother and her boyfriend were bludgeoned to death; he had been entering messages in his Internet blog about his sex addiction, writing "God has shown me the right choice, but my demons have me tied to a spit and the fire has already been lit" on Apr. 24. On July 3 Saidi security forces kill Younis Mohammed Ibrahim al-Hayari, the al-Qaida leader of Morocco in a gun battle in Riyadh. On July 4 Pres. Bush gives a speech in Morgantown, W. Va. defending staying the course in Iraq, saying "The proper response is not retreat, it is courage." On July 4 a U.S. airstrike in E Afghanistan in the same province where the U.S. heli was downed a week earlier kills 17 civilians; meanwhile rebel attacks across the country kill 700. On July 4 the United Church of Christ votes by 80% to endorse same-sex marriage, making it the largest Christian denomination to do so (until ?). On July 5 Pres. Bush makes a stopover in Denmark and thanks them for their help in the Iraq War, then heads to the 13-nation Group of Eight Summit (U.S., Britain, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Russia, plus China, India, Mexico, Brazil, S Africa) in Gleneagles, Puppet-Masterland (Scotland), where on July 6 he finally admits publicly that greenhouse gases are warming the Earth, and finds PM Tony Blair balking at his attempt to scale back goals for relieving poverty and disease in Africa; meanwhile 5K-15K demonstrators surround the Gleneagles Golf Resort, while Pres. Bush collides with a police officer and falls during a bike ride on the grounds - we are supersizing our surprises while surprising our biggest fans? On July 5 gunmen open fire on senior envoys from Pakistan and Bahrain in a failed kidnap attempt. On July 5-10 an AP poll finds that 6 in 10 Americans think another world war in their lifetime is likely, compared to only one-third of Japanese. British bulldog gets kicked in jaw by pesky Muslim immigrants on 7/11? On July 7 (7/11) the London 7/11 Suicide Bombings see four bombings in London, England (pop. 7.4M), incl. near Paddington Station (Circle line) (N of Hyde Park), Liverpool Street Station (Circle line) (NW of Aldgate Station), Russell's Square (Piccadilly Line) (N of the U. of London and the British Museum), and King's Cross Station (Piccadilly Line) (stop for the Hogwart's Express?) kill 52 plus four suicide bombers, and injure 700+, becoming the deadliest attack on London since WWII, and shocking the supposedly safe city, which had been considered a tolerant haven for budding Muslim terrorists; former NYC Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is yards away from the explosion near the Liverpool St. Station, and calls it an "eerie reminder" of 9/11; the politicos come thru with great soundbytes: "We will show, by our spirit and dignity, and by our quiet but true strength that there is in the British people, that our values will long outlast theirs" (PM Tony Blair); "This scorn for human life is something we must fight with every greater firmness" (Jacques Chirac); "No matter where such inhuman crimes occur... they demand unconditional condemnation" (Vladimir Putin); on July 17 the Sunni Council, Britain's largest Sunni Muslim group, led by Sheikh Abu Basir al-Tartusi issues a fatwa condemning the bombings as "perverted ideology", while al-Tartusi later issues the soundbyte "More than half of the Quran and hundreds of the Prophet's sayings call for jihad and fighting those unjust tyrants"; one of the bombers, Shehzad Tanweer (22), a Briton of Pakistani descent who worked at his father's fish and chips shop in Leeds leaves behind savings of $212,460, which goes to his family; ringleader Tafazal Mohammad (1964-) is later paid 80K pounds to lecture Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism unit on how best to "engage" with Muslims; British pacifist Samantha Lewthwaite (1984-), widow of British Muslim convert Germaine Lindsay, who blew up on Russell St., killing 26, goes on to become the Muslim terrorist AKA the White Widow. On July 8 Category 4 (150 mph) Hurricane Dennis hits Haiti, killing 10, then the S coast of Cuba, killing 10, then weakens to Category 2 (110 mph) and heads for the Florida Keys and Gulf Coast, picking up to Category 3 (120ph) as it slams into the Fla. Panhandle on July 10. On July 9 a panda is born at the Nat. Zoo in Washington, D.C.; another is born on Aug. 2 at the San Diego Zoo. On July 10 the body of a missing U.S. commando is found in E Afghanistan, becoming the last member of a 4-man Special Forces unit that disappeared the previous month to be found. On July 10 a suicide bomber detonates at a Baghdad army recruiting center at Muthana Airfield in C Baghdad, Iraq, killing 25 and wounding 47. On July 11 four terror suspects incl. a top al-Qaida lt. escape from a U.S. military jail in Afghanistan; the identity of Omar al-Farouq is acknowledged in Nov.; on Sept. 25, 2006 he is killed during a raid on his home in Basra, Iraq. On July 12 Chief Justice William Rehnquist is hospitalized with a fever. On July 13 a suicide car bomber in Iraq denotates next to U.S. troops handing out candy and toys, killing 32 children and one U.S. soldier, and wounding 70. On July 13 after being convicted in Apr., Muslim-Am. citizen Ali al-Timimi (1963-) is sentenced to life in prison for "soliciting treason" by exhorting his followers to join Lashkar-e-Taiba and fight U.S. troops in Afghanistan at a small mosque in Falls Church, Va.; his 11-man Va. Jihad Network, which incl. CAIR civil rights and comm. dir. Randall Todd "Ismail" Royer played paintball to train for jihad; all are sentenced to terms ranging from 46 mo. to life. On July 13 a triple train collision near Ghotki, Pakistan kills 133. On July 16 suicide bomber explodes beneath propane tanker parked near a Shia mosque S of Baghdad, killing 98 and wounding 156. On July 16 Hollywood star Sandra Bullock (1964-) marries "Monster Garage" host Jesse James (1969-); he was previously married twice, last time to to porno star Janine Marie Lindemulder in 2002-4. On July 17 an Iraqi Special Tribunal files its first criminal case against Saddam Hussein for a 1982 massacre of Shiites. On July 17 a federal jury convicts Michael Zuchet, the acting mayor of San Diego, Calif. and city councilman Ralph Inzunza of taking payoffs from a strip club owner to help repeal a "no touching" law at nude clubs; it was Zuchet's first day on the job. On July 18 Hurricane Emily hits Mexico's Mayan Riviera, stranding thousands of tourists and making local residents homeless. On July 18 (night) Israeli security forces block thousands of Jewish setlers from marching in Netivot, Israel in protest of the upcoming Gaza Strip pullout. On July 18 Pres. Bush holds the first Washington A-list dinner of his 2nd term, honoring Indian PM Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur; he only held four grand dinners in his first term, compared to 25 by his 1-term father and 57 by two-term Reagan. On July 18 Pres. Bush lowers his standard for staff dismissals to those "who committed a crime", superseding his June 2004 pledge to fire anyone who leaked info. about the secret identity of Valerie Plame. On July 18 Mamoun Darkazanli (b. 1959), an al-Qaida suspect is freed after the German high court blocks his extradition to Spain, ruling that a EU-wide arrest warrant violates the German constitution; he had appeared in a 1999 wedding video with two of the three 9/11 suicide pilots who lived and studied in Hamburg. On July 18 the first shipment of Canadian cattle roll into the U.S. (35 black Angus at Lewiston, N.Y.) after a 2-year ban because of mad cow disease. On July 19 Sunni Muslim former Citibank employee Fouad (Fuad) Siniora (1943-) becomes PM of Lebanon; on May 25, 2008 he is renominated along with the post of acting pres. (until Nov. 9, 2009). Mecca lecca hi, Mecca lecca ho, Mecca tancredo? On July 19 Turkish, Russian, and U.S. officials react angrily to comments made by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) the week before during an interview with Fla. radio talk show host Pat Campbell that if Islamic terrorists nuke the U.S., "and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites"; on July 19 he explains that he didn't mean Mecca. On July 19 Mijbil Issa and Dhamin Hussein al-Obeidi, two of 15 Sunni Arabs on the new Iraqi constitution drafting committee are assassinated in Baghdad; earlier threats had caused two other Sunnis to resign. On July 19 thousands of Jewish settlers clash with Israeli police in a makeshift protest camp in Kfar Maimon, Israel, while trying to march to Gaza Strip settlements marked for evacuation in Aug.; "Ariel Sharon is not scared of 20K or 50K marching settlers", says vice-PM Ehud Olmert. On July 21 the 2005 Attempted London Bombings sees four bombs planted by terrorists on three London Underground trains and a double-decker bus, but they fail to fully detonate; by July 31 police arrest 21 people; Somali-born Ramzi Mohammed (1981-) and Muktar Said Ibrahim (Muktar Mohammed Said) (1978-) are convicted and given 40 years to life for the Oval tube station attempt; during their July 27 arrest they stand nearly naked on their balcony to avoid tear gas, with Ramzi shouting "I have rights" to the media; Somali-born Yasin (Yassin) Hassan Omar (1983-) and Ethiopian-born Hussain Osman (Hamdi Isaac) (1978-) are convicted of the Victoria Line attempt and given 40-life. On July 21 (just hours after the London attack) the U.S. House votes 257-171 (214 Repubs. and 43 Dems.) to extend the U.S. Patriot Act. On July 21 China announces that it is cutting its currency's link to the dollar, raising the yuan 2.1% against it, thus making Chinese exports to the U.S. more expensive and helping America's $162B trade deficit with them. On July 21 two Algerian diplomats and their driver are kidnapped in Baghdad, Iraq in the infamous Mansour District, bringing the total to five key diplomats from Islamic countries in less than 3 weeks; victims incl. Ali Belaroussi, chief of the Algerian mission, and Azzedine Ben Kadi; al-Qaida later announces that it killed them. On July 21 the 2nd day of riots in Sana'a, Yemen over its crumbling economy leave 16 dead in the country's worst civil strife in a decade; this time rioters demand the ouster of the govt., which had signed an economic pact with the U.S. and is a close ally on their war on terror. On July 21 the U.S. Treasury Dept. identifies four nephews of Saddam Hussein who they claim played significant roles in supporting insurgents from Syrian bases, all sons of Saddam's half-brother and adviser Ayman Sabawi Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti, who was captured in Feb. in Syria. On July 21 Sudanese security officers in Khartoum rough up members of U.S. secy. of state Condoleezza Rice's entourage at the compound of Pres. Omar el-Bashir, and the foreign minister meets her demand to apologize personally; she also meets refugees in Darfur, and leaves without promising that the U.S. will lift economic sanctions or remove Sudan from their list of terrorist-sponsoring countries. On July 21 the U.S. and Russia open a new U.S.-financed command center aimed at preventing nuclear arms trafficking in Russia. On July 21 Vladimir Arutyunian is arrested in Tbilisi, Georgia, and admits to throwing a grenade during a May rally where U.S. Pres. Bush was making a speech. On July 21 Lisa G. Berzins, a prominent eating disorder expert who collapsed in a supermarket after inhaling whipped cream propellant applies for accelerated rehabilitation to avoid a guilty plea. On July 21 suburban teenager Andrew Osantowski is sentenced to at least 4.5 years for plotting a massacre at his high school and amassing a home arsenal; "You still have a future", says Judge Matthew Switalski. On July 21 U.S. authorities announce the shutting down of a 360-ft. underground marijuana-smuggling tunnel underneath the U.S.-Canadian border near Lynden, Wash., the first such tunnel discovered on that border; Canadian authorities learned of it while under construction in Feb. and U.S. officials monitored it then shut it down as it opened, arresting five people with a total of 200 lbs. of weed. On July 22 British police chase down and shoot Brazilian citizen Jean Charles de Menezes (b. 1978) 5x in the head after he emerges from a S London apt. complex; they later admit that they wrongly suspected him of being a terrorist and that he was totally innocent, stirring angry protests; later a police coverup is exposed, showing that he was not even acting guilty; on Nov. 1, 2007 the London police force is found guilty of endagering the public by a jury, and ordered to pay $2.1M, although the police chief Ian Blair refuses to resign. On July 22 NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announces the end of the 310-day lockout and unveils rule changes to favor more offense. On July 22 filmmaker Roman Polanski wins a libel suit against Vanity Fair mag. over a 2002 article accusing him of propositioning Norwegian model Beatte Telle while on the way to the funeral of his murdered wife Sharon Tate, putting his hand on her thigh and promising "I will make another Sharon Tate out of you"; at the trial the mag. admitted that it didn't happen before the funeral after all, but two weeks after it; on July 24 she tells the London Mail that it never happened and that "Polanski just stood there. He just stared at me for ages... Perhaps I reminded him of Sharon Tate." On July 22 a series of three bombs kill at least 63 and injure 240 in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik in Egypt; al-Qaida claims credit; the same resorts had been attacked on Oct. 7, 2004. On July 23 a 6.0 earthquake shakes Tokyo, injuring 27. On July 23-28 81-y.-o. Pres. Robert Mugabe of platinum-rich Zimbabwe visits China as part of his "Look East" policy to switch from Britain to China for its economic support, with his human rights abuses not an issue there, incl. a life expectancy drop since 1988 from 62 to 38 years. On July 23-24 60 survivors of the July 30, 1945 USS Indianapolis tragedy gather in Indianapolis, Ind. for a reunion at a memorial, where Navy secy. Gordon England lays a wreath. The next Aryan Hitler takes the baton and carries on? On July 24 former Tehran mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (1956-) (Imadinnajacket, Inajacket) steamrolls former pres. Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani in a surprise to Westerners, and is sworn-in on Aug. 6 as Islamic Repub. of Iran pres. #6 (until ?); on June 17 he only received 19% of the vote in a pres. runoff against former pres. Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, who warned that he will run a totalitarian regime and that the 200K-man Rev. Guard (of which MA is a former cmdr.) is rigging the vote; during the campaign Imadinnajacket says that Iran "did not have a revolution in order to have democracy"; on July 27 he vows to pursue a peaceful nuclear program and says that his govt. will not be extremist, while U.S. defense secy. Donald Rumsfeld calls the election a "mock election" because more than 1K potential candidates were disqualified from running by the hard-line Guardian Council; former U.S. hostages say he was one of the Iranians who seized them in 1979 (co-founder of the student org.); as pres. he becomes known for frequently weeping; he is a puppet of Shiite #1 grand ayatollah Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani (1930-) and ayatollah Mohammad Taghi (Taqi) Mesbah Yazdi (1934-), who claims that his protege is the "chosen" of the Mahdi. On July 24 a suicide truck bomber denotes outside the al-Rashad Police Station police station in Baghdad, killing 25 and wounding 33; in the night four U.S. soldiers are killed in SW Baghdad by a roadside bomb. On July 24 a luxury long-haul passenger bus dives off the Tamburaw Bridge into a river in Kano in N Nigeria after the driver falls asleep, killing 56 of 62. Om July 25 the AFL-CIO splinters after the Service Employees Internat. Union and the Teamsters announce their exit. On July 25 14-y.-o. Jamie Marie Daigle of Ganzales, La. is killed by an 8-ft. bull shark in Destin, Fla. as she swims on a boogie board 100 yards from shore. On July 25 Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations debuts on Travel Channel for 142 episodes (until Nov. 5, 2012). The real Capt. Janeway? On July 26 (10:39 a.m. EDT) Space Shuttle Discovery "Return to Flight" Mission STS-114 (first flight since the Columbia disaster 2.5 years earlier), with a 7-person crew commanded by 48-y.-o. Eileen Marie Collins (1956-), incl. James MacNeal "Vegas" Kelly (1964-), Japanese-born Soichi Noguchi (1965-), Stephen Kern Robinson (1955-) Australian-born Andrew Sydney Withiel "Andy" Thomas (1951-), Wendy Barrien Lawrence (1959-), and Charles Joseph "Charlie" Camarda (1952-) has a picture-perfect liftoff 13 days after a postponement caused by a faulty fuel sensor in the external tank; 36 hours later (July 27) images shot from one of the 100+ cameras onboard show that a piece of foam insulation separated from the external fuel tank but missed hitting the shuttle, causing NASA to ground all future shuttles until the problem can be fixed; on July 28 NASA announces that the Shuttle looks safe to return to Earth; on Aug. 3 astronaut Stephen K. Robinson removes two pieces of filler material from the Shuttle's belly; the Shuttle returns safely on Aug. 9 after 219 orbits and lands at Edwards AFB, Calif. at 6:11 a.m. EDT as the song Come On, Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners is played. On July 26 16 Iraq govt. employees are killed and 27 wounded near Abu Ghraib Prison when gunmen fire at a pair of buses taking them home to Shiite neighborhoods. On July 26 a draft copy of the new Iraqi constitution proclaims that Islam will be the main source of legislation, and that no law will be approved that contradicts "the rules of Islam" - how many infidel U.S. servicemen died for that? On July 26 North Korea ends a 13-mo. boycott and begins talks in Beijing on denuclearizing. On July 27 about 300 Boy Scouts out of 40K at their 2005 Nat. Scout Jamboree (July 25-Aug. 3) at Ft. A.P. Hill, near Bowling Green, Va. (S of Washington, D.C.) are treated for heat sickness in 100+ deg. F heat while waiting for Pres. Bush to arrive at a memorial service for four Scout leaders who were killed by a power line while pitching a tent on July 25; Bush cancels the visit because of high winds. On July 28 the House by a 217-215 vote approves the Dominican Repub. - Central Am. Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), becoming a personal triumph for Pres. Bush; it adds six Latin Am. countries to the list of nations with free-trade agreements with the U.S. On July 29 the British army begins dismantling military positions in Northern Ireland one day after the IRA promises full disarmament and renounces all violence; on July 27 the Brits parole an IRA mass murderer as part of the deal; on Sept. 23 the Sinn Fein and Irish govt. meet for the time time in 8 mo., and the IRA agrees to dispose of its stockpiled arms within a week. On July 29 actress Cameron Diaz accepts "substantial" damages from a British tabloid for alleging she had an affair with a married man; on July 25 a photographer who tried to sell topless photos of her in 2003 is found guilty of forgery, attempted grand theft and perjury by a Los Angeles court. On July 29 a suicide bomber at an army recruitment center in Rabi'a, Iraq in N Iraq kills 48 and wounds 58. On July 30 Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) angers the Bush admin. by coming out in support of expanded human embryonic stem-cell research - no more Superman movies for you? On July 30 a raid on an apt. in S England nabs seven more suspects for the July 21 transit bombings, followed by 2 more in S London on Aug. 1, bringing the total to 21. On July 30 18-y.-o. black student Anthony Walker (b. 1987) is murdered with an ice axe by Michael Barton (18) and his cousin Paul Taylor (20) in Huyton (near Liverpool), Merseyside, England while waiting for a bus after a man shouts racial insults; on Aug. 3 they are arrested, receiving life sentences. In July the U.S. suffers from a nationwide heat wave, caused by late arrival of the summer monsoon season, with temperatures reaching 120 deg F in Ariz.; Cuba suffers from both a heat wave and a breakdown of the electrical grid, causing anti-govt. protests and graffiti, causing Pres. Fidel Castro to ask for patience on July 26 in his 52nd anniv. of the rev. speech. In July Sandra Day O'Connor announces her retirement, 2 mo. before chief justice William Rehnquist dies; she later says that he told her he wasn't ready to retire and she didn't want to to quit at the same time, and would have preferred to stay on until she was "really in bad shape", but decided to do it for her ailing husband. In July Canada legalizes gay marriage, joining Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain as #4. In July hidden porno material is found hidden in the popular video game Grand Theft Auto: San Antonio, causing it to be removed from store shelves and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D.-N.Y.) to introduce legislation prohibiting the sale of violent or sexually explicit video games to minors; in Aug. video-game execs host a fundraiser for her. In July the U.S. approves a measure to transmit radio and TV newscasts into Venezuela to get around their iron curtain, causing Pres. Hugo Chavez to vow to jam them. In July Marin Alsop (1956-) becomes the first female conductor of a major U.S. orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In July Penn. lawmakers vote themselves a 16% pay raise in secret without public debate or scrutiny, then leave town, using a 20-y.-o. court ruling to collect their pay increases immediately despite a provision in the constitution barring same-term pay increases; when the public finds out they raise hell about the Great Harrison Caper of 2005, but the lawmakers keep their raises. In July four terrorist suspects incl. al-Qaida's highest ranking operative in SE Asia and a Saudi al-Qaida operative escape from the U.S. military detention center Cell 119 in Bagram, Afghanistan; it takes until Dec. for the military to admit how dangerous the escapees were. In July Thailand PM Thaksin Shinawatra assumes emergency powers to deal with the resurgent Muslim South Thailand Insurgency, which is causing thousands of Buddhists to flee north; next Sept. 19 a military junta ousts Shinawatra, while the death toll increases to 2,579 by mid-Sept. 2007 and 3K in Mar. 2008; the insurgency ends in ?. In July a ms. of "All You Need is Love" by Beatle John Lennon sells for $1M at auction - money can't buy me love? On Aug. 1 Pres. Bush takes advantage of Congress being in recess to appoint controversial diplomat John Robert Bolton (1948-) as U.S. ambassador to the U.N., saying, "This post is too important to leave vacant any longer"; he resigns in Dec. 2006 after failing to gain Senate confirmation. On Aug. 1 King Fahd (b. 1923) dies, and on Aug. 3 his half-brother Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud (1924-2015) (de facto ruler since Jan. 1, 1996 when Fahd had an incapacitating stroke) is crowned as king #6 of Saudi Arabia (until Jan. 23, 2015), with his brother prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud (1928-) as crown prince and heir apparent; London-born CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour (1958-) is the last to interview Fahd and the first to interview new king Abdullah. On Aug. 1 Iraq's electoral commission begins registering voters for the upcoming constitutional referendum on Oct. 15 and gen. election on Dec. 15. On Aug. 1 the co. distributing Atkins diet products (pancake-waffle mix, cookie mix, potato chips, etc.) goes bankrupt; just a year ago (May 17, 2004) NBC-TV's Nightly News was touting them as the big new thing among dieters, but the percentage of Americans on the plan slides from 9% to 2% - most of the products tasted awful, so what's the surprise? On Aug. 1 seven U.S. Marines are killed in two separate attacks W of Baghdad, bringing the Iraq War total of U.S. military dead since Mar. 2003 past 1.8K. On Aug. 1 Minn. drops its DWI limit to 0.08%, the last state to do so (first was Utah in 1983); the previous uniform limit was 0.10%. On Aug. 1 Paris-born Jew billionaire founder of Ameriquest Corp. Roland E. Arnall (1939-2008), known for raising millions for Pres. George W. Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger et al. is appointed U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands; meanwhile in early 2006 his Ameriquest Corp. announces a $325M settlement with 49 states after its crooked predatory balooning-payment mortgage practices that have ruined hundreds of thousands of families are exposed. On Aug. 1 the Calif. Supreme Court rules that country clubs must offer gay members who register as domestic partners the same discounts given to married heteros after Bernardo Heights Country Club (San Diego) member B. Birgit Koebke (1957-) gets pissed-off about her lezzie domestic partner Kendall E. French having to play as a guest - sin and you're in in California? On Aug. 2 at 4:03 p.m. Flight 358, an Air France Airbus A340 from Paris slides off a runway by 200 yards at Pearson Int. Airport in a thunderstorm in Toronto, Canada, breaks into three pieces, then burns, but all 309 people (297 passengers) survive as they exit in 90 sec., 75% of them in 52 sec.; the first A340 crash in 13 years of commercial service? On Aug. 2 U.S. freelance journalist Steven Vincent and a female Iraqi translator are abducted by five men at a currency exchange shop in Basra, and Vincent's body is discovered that night shot in the head; he had written a recent article in The New York Times claiming that Basra's police had been infiltrated by Shiite militiamen - shiite if he wasn't right? On Aug. 2 Russia's Foreign Ministry gets pissed after ABC-TV airs an interview by Russian journalist Andrei Babitsky of Chechen Warlord Shamil Basayev on Nightline, and says it will not renew permission for them to operate in Russia. On Aug. 2 26-y.-o. Susan M. Torres (1979-), whose cancer spread to her brain, causing her to go into a coma on May 7 and become brain dead, gives birth to a baby girl, Susan Anne Catherine Torres (1 lb. 13 oz.) by C-section; her husband Justin then okays the pulling of her life support plug. On Aug. 2 Pres. Bush signs a free trade pact with five Central Am. nations and the Dominican Republic. On Aug. 2 Pres. Bush tells a group of Tex. newspaper reporters that "both sides ought to be properly taught", referring to the theory of intelligent design. On Aug. 3 14 U.S. Marines in a 25-ton armored amphibious vehicle (AAV) in Baghdad, Iraq are killed by a huge IED planted under the road, which flips it over and engulfs it in a giant fireball; a civilian translator is also killed, and one Marine wounded (the deadliest roadside bombing suffered by U.S. forces to date in the Iraq war); the town of Brook Park, Ohio (a suburb of Cleveland), home to the 3rd Battalion of the 25th Marines loses all 14, plus five others killed two days earlier on sniper duty. On Aug. 3 67-y.-o. Luis Diaz (1938-), known as Florida's Bird Road Rapist is released from prison after 26 years when DNA evidence clears him in two of the seven sexual assaults occurring in 1977-9 in Coral Gables. On Aug. 3 Mauritanian pres. (since Dec. 12, 1984) Maaoya Sid'Ahmed Ould Taya is overthrown by a military junta while he is visiting nearby Niger after attending King Fahd's funeral; nat. police chief Col. Ely Ould Mohammed Vall (1953-) is named the new transitional military leader (until Apr. 19, 2007). On Aug. 3 the Islamic Jihad promises that it will fire no more rockets at Israelis as the planned Aug. 15 Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip approaches; in Ofakim in S Israel thousands of Jewish settlers scuffle with Israeli police as they try to march toward the Jewish Gush Katif settlements that are set to be evacuated; on Aug. 4 extremist Israeli rabbis pronounce an ancient Aramaic death curse on Israeli PM Ariel Sharon, identical to the one they put on assassinated PM Rabin; on Aug. 4 19-y.-o. Israeli army deserter Eden Natan Zada (1986-), upset over the planned evacuation opens fire in a bus in Shfaram in N Israel carrying Israeli Arab passengers, killing four and wounding 13 before being beaten to death by an angry crowd. On Aug. 3 Focus on the Family sparks a nat. controversy when its founder James Clayton "Jim" Dobson (1936-) in his radio program compares stem cell research to Nazi death camp experiments, causing the Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to accuse him of trivializing the Holocaust. On Aug. 4 Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, former employees of the pro-Israel lobbying org. AIPAC (Am. Israel Public Affairs Committee) are charged with conspiring to disclose classified U.S. defense info. since 1999; in June Pentagon analyst (USAF Reserve col.) Lawrence Anthony Franklin was indicted for leaking clasified info. to AIPAC employees, and pleads guilty in Oct. On Aug. 4 al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri releases a videotape (his 7th), claiming that the U.S. will suffer tens of thousands of military deaths in Iraq if it doesn't pull out, along with more bombings in London, and "you will see, God willing, what will make you forget the horrible things in Vietnam"; Pres. Bush replies that this only proves that the U.S. is in a war with "killers" who seek to "impose their dark vision on the world". On Aug. 4 Jordan arrests 17 al-Qaida militants for allegedly plotting to attack U.S. troops. On Aug. 4 a joint European-U.S. proposal to Iran is prepared, offering it a full political and economic relationship with the West if it stops trying to develop nukes. On Aug. 4 Pakistan's Supreme Court rules a law establishing a Taliban-style morality police in a NW province unconstitutional. On Aug. 4 Rob McElhenney's sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia debuts on FX Network for ? episodes (until ?), about the self-centered group of misfit friends called The Gang who run Paddy's Pub in South Philadelphia, Penn., incl. Robert Dale "Rob" McElhenney (1977-) as co-owner Ronald "Mac" McDonald, Charles Peckham "Charlie" Day (1976-) as co-owner Charlie Kelly, Glenn Franklin Howerton III (1976-) as co-owner Dennis Reynolds, Kaitlin Willow Olson (1975-) (Rob Mcelhenney's wife in 2008-) as Dennis' twin sister and bartender Deandra "Sweet Dee" Reynolds, Daniel Michael "Danny" DeVito (1944-) as Charlie's sleazy businessman roommate Frank Reynolds, father of Dennis and Sweet Dee, and Mary Elizabeth Ellis (1979-) (wife of Charlie Day in 2006-) as the Waitress; the series tanks until DeVito joins, then becomes the longest-running comedy in cable TV history (until ?). On Aug. 6 Typhoon Matsa (formed July 30) slams into China's SE coast, killing four. On Aug. 6 a march is held in Atlanta, Ga. calling for renewal of the 1965 U.S. Voting Rights Act. On Aug. 6 (Sat.) Pres. Bush begins a 1-mo. stay at his Texas ranch, and Calif. mother Cindy Sheehan (1957-), who lost her 24-y.-o. son in Iraq begins a roadside protest outside the ranch, claiming she plans to stay the entire month unless and until Bush meets with her; on Aug. 23 Bush tells the press "I sympathize with Mrs. Sheehan", but thinks that pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq "would send a terrible signal to the enemy"; in July 2006 she buys a 5-acre lot 7 mi. from Bush's ranch for $52.5K with insurance money received after her son was killed in Iraq, and resumes her protests on Aug. 6, 2006, the 1st anniv. of her first protests - Yo, Cindy? On Aug. 6 British Labour MP (1983-2003) and foreign secy. (1997-2001) Robert Finlayson Cook (b. 1946), who resigned as House of Commons leader on Mar. 17, 2003 in protest of the Iraq invasion dies four weeks after describing al-Qaida as a fiction invented by Western intel: "Bin Laden was, though, a product of a monumental miscalculation by Western security agencies. Throughout the 80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Al-Qaida, literally 'the database', was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians." On Aug. 7 Canadian-born ABC News anchorman (since 1965) Peter Jennings (b. 1938) dies of lung cancer in his Manhattan home; an ex-smoker, he started chemotherapy in early Apr., and announced his ailment on Apr. 5 in a scratchy voice and never returned as anchor; his example causes millions to vow to quit smoking; 173K new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year, and 160K die (28% of all cancer deaths). On Aug. 7 a trapped (since Aug. 4) 7-man Russian AS-28 Mini-sub is freed from the Pacific floor in Beryozovaya Bay S of Petropavlosk-Kamchatsky in the Bering Sea by a British remote-controlled vehicle three days after it became ensared in a fishing net and cables in 600 ft. of water; the crew only had six hours of air left. On Aug. 7 Israeli finance minister Benjamin Netanyahu abruptly resigns before the cabinet votes 17-5 to approve the first stage of the withdrawal from Gaza. On Aug. 7 the privately-owned Daxing Colliery in Meizhou City in Guangdong Province, China floods, trapping 102 miners 1378 ft. underground. Things Not to Do in Denver When You're Dead? On Aug. 7 Grammy-winning musician Marc Cohn (1959-), husband of ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas is shot in the head in downtown Denver, Colo. while returning to his hotel after a concert by carjacker Joseph William Yacteen (1979-), who shoots through the windshield; a bullet is removed from Cohen's right temple, and Yacteen is captured after a police standoff. On Aug. 8 former U.N. procurement officer Alexander Yakovlev of Russia pleads guilty to soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from contractors in connection with the Iraqi oil-for-food program, and the same day Cyprus-born Armenian program chief Benon Vahe Sevan (1937-) is accused by a U.N.-backed probe led by former Federal Reserve chmn. Paul Volcker of taking $148K in kickbacks; in Sept. the probe releases a report claiming that half of the 4.5K cos. taking part in the program paid kickbacks or illegal surcharges. On Aug. 8 Palestinian gunmen linked to Farouk Kaddoumi, Tunisian-based rival of Mahmoud Abbas abduct two U.N. workers and their driver in the Gaza town of Khan Younis, but Palestinian security officers storm their hideout and free the hostages. On Aug. 8 Israel's Security Cabinet refuses to let the Rafah crossing to Egypt, Gaza's only link to the outside world to be taken from their control. On Aug. 8 Iran resumes operations at the Uranium Conversion Facility near Isfahan (255 mi. S of Tehran), which had been suspended in Nov., causing the U.S. and Europe to seek U.N. sanctions; on Aug. 10 they remove the U.N. seals on the equipment and begin processing raw yellowcake uranium into uranium hexafluoride gas; 7.5 tons of yellowcake can make 40 lb. of weapons grade uranium, enough for one crude nuke; in July 2008 they ship 500 metric tons of yellowcake to Canada, as revealed in 2010 by WikiLeaks - you shovel 7.5 tons and whadya get, a crude little nuke and deeper in debt? On Aug. 8 thieves steal a record $65M from a Central Bank vault in Fortaleza, Brazil after digging a 262-ft. tunnel from a nearby house. On Aug. 8 38 detainees at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Navy base in Cuba begin a hunger strike; on Dec. 25 46 more join, for a total of 84. On Aug. 9 a suicide car bomber strikes a U.S. convoy waiting at a street intersection in Baghdad, killing seven (one U.S. soldier and six Iraqi civilians) and wounding 90+. On Aug. 9 Niger's pres. Mamadou Tandja claims that people in his country "look well fed" despite TV images of starving children, and that the locust invasion of the year before and poor rains are not unusual for his country. On Aug. 9 Christopher Reeve's 44-y.-o. widow Dana Reeve (b. 1961) announces that she has lung cancer, even though she is a non-smoker; she dies on Mar. 6, 2006 - she might as well have smoked? On Aug. 9 Colo.-based "spam king" Scott Richter (1967-), owner of OptInRealBig.com agrees to pay Microsoft Corp. $7M to settle a Dec. 2003 lawsuit over his spamming activities; the N.Y. atty.-gen. settled for $50K in July 2004. On Aug. 9 the U.S. Army announces that it has sacked 55-y.-o. 4-star Gen. Kevin P. Byrnes, cmdr. of Army Training and Doctrine Command over sexual misconduct (adultery) charges. On Aug. 9 white nurse Jennifer Hyatte (1974-) ambushes two guards leading her black husband George (34) from a courthouse in Kingston, Tenn., killing guard Wayne "Cotton" Morgan; they are captured on Aug. 10 in Columbus, Ohio. On Aug. 10 insurgents kidnap brig. gen. Khudayer Abbas, a senior Interior Ministry official tied to the paramilitary in Andalus Square in Baghdad. On Aug. 10 four U.S. soldiers in a 10-member patrol are killed by insurgents near Beiji, Iraq 155 mi. N of Baghdad. On Aug. 10 smug Iran resumes full operations at its uranium conversion plant. On Aug. 10 Pres. Bush signs a $286.4B transportation bill containing 6,371 special pet projects valued at $24B, incl. a $231M bridge near Anchorage to be named Don Young's Way in honor of its sponsor House Transportation Committee Chmn. Don Young of Alaska. On Aug. 11 Britain detains Osama bin Laden's "spiritual ambassador in Europe" Abu Qatada and 10 others as security threats, and announces plans to deport them. On Aug. 11 Shiite leader Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim calls for a Shiite federal region in Iraq in three northern provinces, plus Kirkuk, where much of Iraq's oil is located, threatening to defeat the new constitution in the four (out of 18) provinces where they have a majority of the pop. On Aug. 11 Pakistan successfully test-fires the 310-mi.-range Babur, its first cruise missle; India already has a Russian-made one. On Aug. 11 Monsignor Eugene Clark resigns as rector of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City after court papers name him as "the other man" in a divorce case between Philip DeFilippo and his wife Laura; Clark had been taped with her entering/exiting a Long Island hotel in July. On Aug. 12 Sri Lankan foreign minister Lakshman Kadirgamar (73) (a Tamil) is assassinated in Sri Lanka by two snipers, causing Pres. Chandrika Kumaratunga to declare a state of emergency; the Liberation Tigers of Tamileelam (against whom Kadirgamar had led an internat. campaign) are suspected. On Aug. 13 Tony Hall, U.S. ambassador to the U.N. World Food Program and Food and Agriculture Assoc. is barred from meeting victims of Zimbabwe Pres. Robert Mugabe's mass eviction campaign Operation Murambatsivana (Clean the Filth), the forcible eviction of 700K from their homes and businesses to forestall demonstrations in an economy with the world's highest inflation rate, 80% unemployment, and and HIV/AIDS rate of over 20%. On Aug. 13 the Israeli army begins the forced evacuation of the Jewish Gush Katif settlement in SW Gaza Strip; the residents are evicted on Aug. 22, after which overjoyed Palestinians move in and destroy four synagogues while looting the homes and moving in; meanwhile on Aug. 15 8.5K Israeli settlers (1.6K families), "assisted" by 15K army troops with orders to use force if needed begin evacuating all 21 Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip (plus four more in the N West Bank) after 38 years of occupation; some settlers paint pig faces on their floors to offend any of the 1.3M Palestinians who might take over, while others burn their houses down; on Aug. 16 hundreds of settlers hunker down in advance of a midnight deadline to leave; by Aug. 17 only 600 families remain; there are 122K Palestinians living in Jordan, 401K in Syria, and 394.5K in Lebanon, all hoping to return; Palestinian negotiator Saeb Muhammad Salih Erekat (1955-) (known for negotiating the Oslo Occords) issues the soundbyte: "At this moment of our history, we extend our arms to Mr. Sharon... to please join us back at the negotiating table"; the great menorah (7-branch) is removed from the last synagogue by Jewish men walking single file carrying it on a rod, bringing back memories of the Arch of Titus in 81 C.E.; 180 Israeli families set up the Halutza (Heb. "pioneer") agricultural community along the Gaza-Egypt border, piping in desalinated water from the Mediterranean coast, and by 2010 exporting $50M a year of produce. On Aug. 13 former U.S. Rep. (R-Calif.) (since 1989) Charles Christopher Cox (1952-) becomes SEC chmn. (until ?). On Aug. 14 Helios Airlines Flight ZU522 crashes into a hillside in suburban Athens, killing all 115 passengers and six crew after it loses pressure, causing loss of consciousness of almost everybody aboard. On Aug. 15 drafters of the new Iraqi consitution fail to reach an agreement in spite of strenuous efforts by the U.S. - but Muhammad says? On Aug. 15 Mara Salvatrucha gang members stage simultaneous riots in seven Guatemalan prisons, attacking MS-18 gang members and killing 31 inmates. On Aug. 15 Rev. Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels ambush a car 260 mi. NE of Bogota, Colombia, killing two Catholic priests; Victor Julio Suarez Rojas (1963-), AKA Mono Jojoy is implicated. On Aug. 15 a car bomb explodes outside a restaurant in Grozny, near where regional Pres. Alu Alkhanov is conducting a meeting, killing two and wounding 11. On Aug. 15 Muslim cleric Shabbir Ahmed (1966-) agrees to be deported from San Francisco, Calif. after being accused of trying to open a terrorist camp. On Aug. 15 a small boat carrying 113 illegal immigrants goes down 100 mi. off the Pacific coast of SW Colombia, and on Aug. 17 the nine survivors are rescued by the Ecuadoran navy. On Aug. 16 a chartered West Caribbean Airways MD-80 jet filled with tourists returning to the island of Martinique crashes in W Venezuela near Machiques close to the Colombian border, killing all 160 aboard. On Aug. 16 17 Spanish NATO peacekeeper soldiers are killed and five are injured in a heli crash in a W Afghan desert in Herat Province in a sandstorm. On Aug. 16 a 7.2 earthquake strikes Tokyo, injuring 16. On Aug. 16 Oregon enacts a law making it the first state to require prescriptions for cold and allergy medications containing pseudoephedrine, which is used to make methamphetamine. On Aug. 16 Pres. Bush announces plans to return two U.S. Army divs. from Cold War era bases in Germany. On Aug. 17 Israeli Shvut Rahel West Bank settler and bus driver Asher Weisgan (1966-2006) kills four Palestinian laborers and wounds two after seizing a gun from a guard at a security post and shooting his own passengers; PM Sharon condemns the act as "Jewish terror"; Hamas agrees not to retaliate to allow the Gaza pullout to proceed smoothly, but a mortar shell falls near Israeli soldiers without causing casualties. On Aug. 17 Iraq celebrates Three Car Bomb Day as a car bomb explodes near the crowded Nadha bus station in Baghdad, then another explodes as police respond, and a 3rd explodes a half hour later across the street from the al-Kindi Hospital where the injured were arriving by ambulances; the total score is 38 dead and 68 injured, all civilians; meanwhile, the U.S. military death toll reaches 1860. On Aug. 17 Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Cologne for the 20th World Youth Day in his first foreign trip and first return to Germany since his elevation; on Aug. 21 (Sun.) he addresss 1M participants. On Aug. 17 Repub. Ohio Gov. (1999-2007) Robert Alphonso "Bob" Taft II (1942-) (great-great grandson of Pres. William Howard Taft) is charged with four ethics violations for failing to report a lousy $5.8K in gifts, becoming the first Ohio gov. to be charged with a crime; he pleads no contest in Aug.; in Nov. his approval record hits a U.S. low of 6.5%. On Aug. 17 Coretta Scott King (78) is hospitalized for a stroke; she returns home on Sept. 23 after therapy. On Aug. 17 a New Orleans judge fines singer Michael Jackson $10K when his atty. is a no-show in a civil case accusing him of sexually assaulting an 18-y.-o. man during the 1984 World's Fair - would you let me go down on you if my face were whiter? On Aug. 18 a roadside bomb kills four U.S. soldiers in Samarra, Iraq. On Aug. 18 a tornado in Stoughton, Wisc. kills one and injures eight. On Aug. 22 Pres. Bush gives a speech in Salt Lake City, Utah, comparing the fight against terrorism to WWI and WWII. On Aug. 22 Pat Robertson calls for the assassination of Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez on his Christian Broadcasting Network show The 700 Club, saying, "I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assasinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don't think any oil shipments will stop"; on Aug. 24 he apologizes after initial attempts to lie his way out of it; on Aug. 28 Rev. Jesse Jackson calls his comments "immoral" and "illegal" (two true Christian leaders); meanwhile, Chavez says, "If something happens to me, the responsible one will be President George W. Bush", whom he calls "Mr. Danger", stockpiling 100K Russian AK-47s and acquiring combat planes from Brazil, warning that "If the government of the United States attempts to commit the foolhardy enterprise of attacking us, it would be embarked on a 100-year war". On Aug. 23 TANS Peru Flight 204 (Boeing 737) carrying 100 crashes near a jungle town while attempting an an emergency landing in a tropical storm, splitting in two and killing 57. On Aug. 23 Pakistani Pres. Gen. Pervez Musharraf (b. 1943) confirms that nuclear scientist Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, father of Pakistan's nuclear program had provided North Korea with centrifuge machines to make fuel for an atomic bomb, as well as uranium hexafluoride for processing into fuel; he had already confessed in Jan. 2004 to trafficking nuclear secrets and parts to other countries, and was pardoned by Musharraf, but remains under house arrest to force cooperation with the authorities, who continue to keep him muzzled even after an Aug. 22, 2006 announcement that he is suffering from prostate cancer; Musharaff's defection from Muslim terrorist ranks causes him to be targed for assassination. On Aug. 23 the CIA's independent watchdog recommends disciplinary reviews for officials involved in the failed intel efforts before the 911 attacks, incl. former CIA Dir. George Tenet, former clandestine service chief Jim Pavitt, and former counterterrorism center head Cofer Black. On Aug. 23 New York City announces a $212M security upgrade for its subways, incl. 1K surveillance cameras and 3K motion sensors. On Aug. 24 masked Sunni insurgents attack Iraqi police in W Baghdad with multiple car bombs and small-arms, killing 13 and wounding 43; in S Iraq supporters of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (1974-) try to repoen his office in Najaf, causing rival Shiites to try to block them, with fights breaking out that kill four and injure 20; fighting then spreads across C and S Iraq incl. Basra. On Aug. 24 Pres. Bush speaks to members of the Idaho Nat. Guard in Nampa, Idaho, saying that as long as he is pres., "We will stay, we will fight and we will win the war on terrorism"; Idaho has the highest percentage of Nat. Guard troops serving in Iraq. On Aug. 24 gasoline in the U.S. reaches a record avg. of $2.61/gal. Katrina and the Waves Walking on Sunshine Not? America's troubles pile ever higher as it gets hit with its greatest natural disaster in a century and proves it can't respond properly? On Aug. 24 Tropical Depression 12 (begun Aug 23) strengthens into Tropical Storm Katrina; on Aug. 25 Category 1 (92 mph) Hurricane Katrina (Latrine-a?) strikes Fla.'s SE coast, killing two and leaving more than 1M customers without power before heading into the Gulf of Mexico; Kiss Me Katrina is the 11th storm of the June 1-Nov. 30 Atlantic hurricane season, seven ahead of the typical number; on Aug. 28 New Orleans mayor (2002-10) Clarence Ray Nagin Jr. (1956-) orders total evacuation; on Aug. 29 (Mon.) Hurricane Katrina increases to Category 4 (150 mph) as it closes in on the Big Easy New Orleans, causing 53 levee breaches and submerging 80% of the city, killing 1,577 in La., 221 in Miss., 14 in Fla., 2 in Ga., 2 in Ala.) and leaving 1M+ in six states without electricity in the most costly natural disaster in U.S. history ($125B); at 9:12 a.m. the Nat. Weather Service receives reports of a levee breach and issues a flash flood warning, but shortly after noon La. Dem. Gov. (2004-8) Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (1942-) mistakenly tells the Bush admin. "I think we have not breached the levee at this time"; on Aug. 29 100 die in Harrison County, Miss. (Biloxi and Gulfport); on Aug. 30 two levees break in New Orleans, leaving 80% of it underwater, up to 20 ft., and making the city uninhabitable, while rescuers in boats and helis rescue hundreds of stranded people amid looting; some areas underwater stay for 4-6 weeks, incl. 67K pop. middle-class St. Bernard Parish, and Lakeview Parish (9 ft. of water); central New Orleans is underwater for 57 days; the fortunate whites successfully flee New Orleans (in their gas-guzzling SUVs?) before the storm arrives, leaving a huge number of poor and/or elderly blacks trapped behind, looking like Third World refugees on TV, which causes white Americans to yawn and/or wink at their misfortune, and only after black may Ray Nagin announces "This is a desperate SOS" on Sept. 1 does massive federal aid arrive, finding a hellhole of human waste, looting, murders and gang rapes, and the need for martial law and complete evacuation of the city, causing 1.3M to flee the Gulf Coast, becoming the largest urban evacuation in U.S. history (until ?); on Aug. 31 10K Nat. Guard troops from across the U.S. arrive, and instead of engaging in evacuation of refugees concentrate on martial law against looting, incl. people trying to forage for food for survival?; on Sept. 5 Nagin announces the city has been "destroyed"; 30K mostly poor inner city blacks huddle up for five days in the leaky unsupplied Superdome amid tons of human waste, incl. used heroin needles, where jungle rules apply; (most of these poor human garbage, er, Afro-Am. citizens vote Democrat, so Bush thinks why get too worked up?) 28K federal troops don't arrive until Sept. 3 (five days), led by U.S. gen. Russel L. Honore (Honoré) (1947-), "the Ragin' Cajun"; one bright spot, the U.S. Coast Guard ("semper paratus") moves in fast and rescues 33K from rooftops from helis equipped with TV cameras for self-publicity; since La. supplies one-third of America's oil (4M barrels a day), it trades briefly at a record $70 a barrel; on Aug. 27 offshore oil rigs producing 1M barrels a day are shut down; on Aug. 30 gasoline prices jump 10-50 cents/gal. throughout the U.S. (and don't come back down until mid Nov.); Katrina costs 500K Americans their jobs, ruining the fun of a Sept. 2 report that the nat. unemployment rate is at a four-year low (4.9%); the disaster causes winter natural gas prices to increase over 70%; 18K slot machines in Mississippi's floating casinos are destroyed or stolen because of the hurricane; the loss of life is the greatest caused by a U.S. storm since 1928; 500K cars are damaged by the hurricane, and about half of these are refurbished and put back on the market as unsafe lemons; on Aug. 15, 2006 U.S. District Judge L.T. Senter Jr. rules that an insurance co.'s policies do not cover damage from flood waters or storm surge; attempts by the U.S. govt. to supply aid to hurricane victims results in massive fraud claims; the New Orleans Saints (NFL) end up playing home games in three different states this year; Austrian-Canadian Magna Internat. auto parts magnate Frank H. Stronach (Franz Strohsack) (1932-) buys victims a $2.4M farm near Simmesport (upriver from Baton Rouge) and provides free mobile homes to 190 residents in exchange for 8 hours a week of communityhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadaville,_Louisiana service on its self-sufficient organic farm, causing the community to become known as Canadaville; between July 2005 and July 2006 the pop. of Texas increases by 580K from Katrina refugees; the disaster causes the popularity of the name Katrina for newborn girls to plummet from #247 to 382, with only 850 given the name in the U.S. in 2006; on Nov. 18, 2009 a federal judge in New Orleans finds that the Army Corps of Engineers is liable to homeowners for damage. On Aug. 24 the Italian Red Cross admits that it had treated four Iraqi insurgents a year earlier with the knowledge of the Italian govt. and hid them from U.S. forces in exchange for the release of kidnapped aid workers Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, who had been abducted on Sept. 7 and freed Sept. 28. On Aug. 24 the 9-member base-closing commission votes to shut down the U.S. Army's historic Walter Reed hospital, moving its staff to the Nat. Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., updating and expanding it and renaming it Walter Reed II. On Aug. 24 The Journal of the Am. Medical Assoc. pub. an article by Dr. Catherine DeAngelis (1940-) (a staunch Roman Catholic) claiming that fetuses likely don't feel pain until late pregnancy, which abortion foes decry as politically motivated and aimed at proposed federal legislation requiring doctors to provide fetal pain info. to women seeking abortions of fetuses at least 20 weeks old. On Aug. 25 Calif. atty.-gen. Bill Lockyer files suit against dozens of pharmaceutical cos. for cheating the state out of hundreds of millions of dollars by fraudulently inflating the cost of drugs. On Aug. 25 African health ministers at a WHO meeting in Mozambique, Africa declare a continent-wide tuberculosis emergency, where it kills 500K people a year. On Aug. 26 after being elected unopposed by parliament, Christian Pierre Nkurunziza (1963-) becomes pres. of Burundi (until ?); on Aug. 26, 2010 he is reelected for a 2nd term with 91% of the vote; in Mar. 2014 he bans Sat. morning jogging due to "fears it was being used as a cover for subversion", as militants in Bujumbura have been doing for years, sentencing 21 members of the Movement of Solidarity and Democracy Party (MSD) to life in prison for it. On Aug. 26 Uzbekistan's upper house of parliament votes 93-0 to evict U.S. troops from their base in the country to get even for the U.S. criticizing their bloody crackdown on unrest in E Uzbekistan. On Aug. 26 Farid Essebar (1987-) of Morocco and Atilla "Coder" Ekici (1984-) of Turkey are arrested for infecting the Internet with the Zotob Worm, which targets Microsoft Windows 2000 operating systems through their "plug and play" hardware detection feature. On Aug. 26 a fire in a rundown Paris apt. kills 17, mainly sleeping children, mostly poor immigrants from Africa. On Aug. 28 the 71-member Iraqi constitutional committee signs a draft charter over the objections of Sunni Arab leaders. On Aug. 31 thousands of Shiite pilgrims fearing a suicide bomber stampede on the Two Imams Bridge in the N Baghdad neighborhood of Kazimiyah, Iraq, crushing each other or plunging 30 ft. into the Tigris River, killing 953, mostly women and children, leaving thousands of abandoned sandals on the bridge, becoming the greatest loss of life in Iraq since the Mar. 2003 U.S. invasion; they were celebrating the 799 death of the 7th (of 12) imams revered by the Shiites, Imam Moussa ibn Jaafar al-Kadhim; it is not reopened until Nov. 11, 2008. In Aug. former Hutu rebel leader Pierre Nkurunziza (1963-) (a born-again Christian?) is elected pres. of Burundi by parliament, ending the 12-year civil war, with the one rebel group remaining engaging in peace talks. In Aug. the U.S. blacklists a bank in Macao accused of laundering counterfeit U.S. currency printed by North Korea, causing banks around the world to follow suit. In Aug. retired country superstar Garth Brooks signs a deal with Wal-Mart after splitting with Capitol Records, becoming the first exclusive music distribution deal with a single retailer by a major recording artist. In Aug. the U.S. Mint announces the seizure of 10 rare 1933 Double Eagle $20 gold coins that had been given to them for authentication by Joan Langboard, who found them among the property of her father Israel Switt, a Philly jeweler; the Mint claims they had been taken from them originally "in an unlawful manner" and plans to display them in public exhibits; she files a federal lawsuit seeking their recovery, saying that mint officials can't prove they had been stolen or were subject to forfeiture. In early Aug. Chinese workers start setting up and operating oil drilling rigs in Colo. after HongHua Ltd. of Guanghan City, China is invited in by Texas-based GTS because of a shortage of U.S. labor and equipment; when they arrive trouble brews as Am. workers making $22-$30 an hour find the imports work for only $10-$12. In Aug. a new Nat. Intelligence Estimate claims that Iraq is a decade away from developing nukes, conflicting with testimony in Feb. by Vice-Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, dir. of the DIA that they are five years away. In Aug. actress Scarlett Johansson is involved in a minor car crash in a Disneyland parking lot after being followed by paparazzi. In Aug. Fla. Repub. Rep. Katherine Harris becomes a candidate for U.S. Sen., causing the late-night mockery of her makeup and form-fitting clothes to resume, compounded by an appearance on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, where she appears to flirt with Sean Hannity and has little of substance to say, other than that she's "excited"; her defense contractor Mitchell Wade, who pleaded guilty to bribing another congressman admits giving her $32K in illegal contributions, causing her to kick in $10M of her own money to stay in, causing all her key staff to quit, incl. campaign mgr. Jim Dornan, who comments "This campaign will go down in history as one of the most disastrous ever run in the United States" - everybody's gonna be happy, as happy as you and me? On Aug. ? a rocket attack on a U.S. Navy warship in the Jordanian port of Aqaba kills on Jordanian soldier; Abu Musab al-Zarqasi is suspected. On Aug. ? Dorothy's $1M ruby slippers are stolen from a museum devoted to Judy Garland. On Sept. 1 a videotape features al-Qaida's No. 2 making the group's first direct claim of responsibility for the July 7 London bombings. Now Tom Cruise know's he's over the hill? On Sept. 1 the last two squadrons of F-14 Tomcats leave Oceana Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Va. in the last mission for the "Top Gun" planes, which are being replaced by the slower, smaller, but easier to maintain F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet; the last two F-14 squadrons (22 planes) fly back to Oceana on Mar. 10, 2006, one day before the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt returns to Norfolk Naval Station; fearing that the parts could fall into the hands of terrorists, the Pentagon pays a contractor $900K per plane to shred them. On Sept. 2 NBC's Brian Williams goofs in his coverage of New Orleans, saying "When we get back to the States"; Pres. Bush issues the inane soundbyte to FEMA dir. Michael DeWayne "Nero?" Brown (1954-) (who resigns 10 days later): "Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job"; in 2005 an investigation by Time mag. reveals discrepancies in the resume he used to get his job - for a fema-le? On Sept. 3 (Sat.) U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist (b. 1924) dies at his home in Arlington, Va. after nearly a year of battling tyroid cancer; the last time there were two simultaneous court vacancies was in 1971 (Black and Harlan), and he was one of the two new justices appointed; his record incl. supporting racial segregation as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson in 1952-3, campaigning for Barry Goldwater in 1964, dissenting on the Roe vs. Wade case in 1973, opposing affirmative action in 1979, supporting Hustler mag.'s freedom of speech claims in 1987, supporting Congress' right to appoint special prosecutors in 1988, presiding over Pres. Clinton's impeachment in 1999, and supporting the 5-4 majority in stopping the Florida recount in 2000; Pres. Bush immediately upgrades John Roberts' nomination to chief justice; since 1789 U.S. presidents have nominated 149 for the Supreme Court, and the U.S. Senate has rejected only 12 (9 were withdrawn by the pres., 6 withdrew themselves, 5 lapsed from a time limit). On Sept. 3 the Taliban claims responsibility for killing five people, an election candidate and a govt. official, as well as British engineer David Addison, who was abducted on Sept. 1. On Sept. 5 Indonesian Mandala Airlines Flight 091 (Boeing 737) en route to Jakarta crashes into a crowded residential neighborhood in Medan, Indonesia shortly after takeoff, bursting into flames and killing all 99 aboard plus 44 on the ground (143 total). On Sept. 5 the Danziger Bridge in E New Orleans, La. sees five New Orleans police officers open fire on unarmed civilians walking into a grocery, killing two and wounding four others; on Aug. 5, 2011 all five are found guilty by a federal jury for doing it and and trying to cover it up. On Sept. 6 the avg. price of U.S. gasoline zooms to $3.07, a $0.47 increase since Hurricane Katrina. On Sept. 7 Egyptian voters vote for pres. for the first time, and Hosni Mubarak is reelected for another six years in a 10-candidate field amid charges of fraud; Sean McCormack of the U.S. State Dept. calls the election "a beginning"; runner-up Ayman Abd El Aziz Nour (1964-) is later convicted of forging documents and given a 5-year jail sentence, although his main accuser later recants. On Sept. 8 Pres. Clinton's former (1997-2001) nat. security adviser Sandy Berger is fined $50K for taking classified documents from the Nat. Archives, multiplying the $10K fine recommended by govt. lawyers. On Sept. 11 former pres. (1992-7) Sali Berisha (1944-) of the Dem. Party of Albania becomes PM of Albania (until ?). On Sept. 11 Pres. Bush visits New Orleans, staying in the USS Iwo Jima amphibious assault ship docked in the Mississippi River on the edge of the C business district, then on Sept. 12 tours the city in a military convoy, followed by an aerial tour and meetings with state and local officials. On Sept. 12 FEMA dir. Mike Brown (50) resigns under intense criticism of his handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster; on Sept. 14 he blames La. Gov. Kathleen Blanco for creating an "out of control" situation, saying "I can't get a unified command established"; he also reveals that on Aug. 30 at the end of the day he asked the White House to take over the response efforts, which he calls his biggest mistake for his tardiness; in Mar. 2007 Shooting Blanco announces she won't seek a 2nd term. On Sept. 12 a mistake by a power worker leads to a blackout of half of Los Angeles, Calif. On Sept. 13 Pres. Bush takes responsibility for federal govt. mistakes in dealing with Hurricane Katrina; the death toll stands at 659 incl. 423 in La., 218 in Miss., 14 in Fla., 2 in Ala., 2 in Ga. On Sept. 13 husband-and-wife owners Salvador and Mabel Mangano of St. Rita's Nursing Home in Chalmette, La. are booked by La. atty.-gen. Charles Foti with negligent homicide in the deaths of 34 patients on Sept. 29 during Hurricane Katrina, claiming they "were asked if they wanted to move [the patients]. They did not. They were warned repeatedly that this storm was coming"; in Sept. 2006 they sue the govt. for failing to keep residents safe and evacuate them as the storm approached. On Sept. 13 U.S. chief justice nominee John Roberts refuses to answer questions about abortion and other controversial questions for Dems. at his Senate confirmation hearing, saying "My faith and my religious beliefs do not play a role" in his decisions, but that he would not discuss matters that might come before the court - do I sense Roe v. Wade coming to an end? On Sept. 13 6K protesters march in Katmandu, Nepal demanding the restoration of democracy, and are beaten down by bamboo baton-wielding riot police, who arrest 300 incl. top opposition leaders. On Sept. 13 85-y.-o. Kimani Ng'ang' of Kenya, billed as the world's oldest elementary school pupil tours Manhattan, N.Y. and holds a news conference outside the U.N. HQ for the 100M children denied an education because of poverty; he began school in Jan. 2004. On Sept. 13 the crime procedural comedy-drama Bones debuts on Fox Network for ? episodes (until ?), starring Emily Erin Deschanel (1976-) as forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan (based on real life writer Kathy Reichs, the show's producer), who works at the Jeffersonian Inst. in Washington, D.C., and David Paul Boreanaz (1969-) as her partner, FBI special agent Seeley Booth; every episode features a disgusting decomposing corpse, causing some networks to later air reruns at lunchtime as a joke? On Sept. 14 (6:30 a.m.) a suicide car bomber kills 80 and wounds 160 near a group of construction workers in a Shiite district in N Baghdad. On Sept. 14 in San Francisco, Calif. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton rules that the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional because of the words "under God", backing a 2002 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of Sacramento, Calif. Jewish atheist physician-atty. Michael Arthur Newdow (1953-); in Nov. 2005 he files a federal lawsuit challenging the motto "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency, but it is thrown out in June 2006 on the grounds that the words are a secular nat. slogan, and the same year the U.S. House of Reps. by a 260-167 vote passes the U.S. Pledge Protection Act. On Sept. 14 Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines declare bankruptcy. On Sept. 15 Pres. Bush promises that the federal govt. will pay most of the costs of rebuilding the Gulf Coast, expected to reach $200B. On Sept. 15 Israel's Supreme Court rejects an opinion by the Internat. Court of Justice calling for the removal of its West Bank barrier. On Sept. 15 actress Renee Zellweger and country music star Kenny Chesney announce announce the annulment of their 4-mo. marriage, the court papers citing "fraud"; they first met at the Concert of Hope tsunami relief benefit on Jan. 15 where Renee was answering phones and Kenny was singing; Kenny gets the hit song You Had Me From Hello to show for the experience? On Sept. 17 a commuter train en route from Joliet to Chicago, Ill. derails 5 mi. S of downtown, killing two and injuring dozens; an investigation reveals that it was going 69 mph at a crossover designed for 10 mph. On Sept. 17 Iraqi pilgrims celebrate the Mid of Shaban in Karbala; meanwhile a car bomb in the Nahrawan district 20 mi. E of Baghdad kills 30 Iraqis and wounds 48; another 10 die in other parts of the country, bringing the 4-day death toll from political violence triggered by a U.S.-Iraqi attack in the Sunni stronghold of Tall Afar to at least 250. On Sept. 18 (Sun.) Afghanistan holds its first contested legislative elections in more than 25 years; the Taliban fails to disrupt the voting, wounding three people in 19 attacks; there are 582 female candidates out of 5.8K for a quarter of the seats in parliament and 34 provincial councils reserved for women. On Sept. 18 elections in Germany fail to give any party of candidate a clear majority, and rivals Gerhard Schroder of the Social Dems. (34.3%) and pro-U.S. Russian-speaking quantum chemist Angela Merkel (1954-) of the Christian Dems. (35.2%) both claim a mandate to govern as chancellor, with the parliament yet to choose; on Oct. 10 Merkel strikes a power-sharing deal, becoming the first woman as well as the first politician from ex-Communist East Germany to be Germany's chancellor; her Christian Dem. Party controls half of the cabinet posts, and the rival Social Dems. the rest; Germany suffers from 11.2% unemployment. On Sept. 18 North Korea pledges to drop its nuclear weapons programs and rejoin internat. arms treaties in a unanimous agreement with the other five parties at 6-party talks (China, Japan, Russia, U.S., the two Koreas). On Sept. 18 hundreds of Palestinian troops seal off Gaza's border with Egypt to quash a week-long free-for-all along the frontier; Hamas stages a military-style victory parade in downtown Gaza City; meanwhile Hamas and Fatah begin preparing for a final all-out battle, stockpiling weapons, with Iran aiding Hamas, the arms race causing assault rifle prices to double in a year (to $2.3K for an Egyptian or Chinese model, and more for a higher quality Russian or Iraqi model, plus over $3 per bullet). On Sept. 18 Faris Nasir Hussein, a Kurdish member of parliament is assassinated 50 mi. N of Baghdad by insurgents, and police find 20 bodies in the Tigris River N of the city, which had been murdered on Sept. 17 as they drove to Baghdad for a Sept. 18 session of the legislature. On Sept. 18 Typhoon Khanun batters China's E coast, killing 18. On Sept. 18 Hurricane Ophelia drifts slowly off the SE coast of the U.S. before lashing the E Carolinas (no fatalities). On Sept. 18 Philippe Roch, head of Switzerland's environment agency claims that Hurricane Katrina and other recent storms are indicative of global warming, saying "These are typically phenomena described by the models for climate change, so the link is for me personally evident." On Sept. 19 NASA announces a $104B ">Apollo on Steroids program to send astronauts back to the Moon by 2018 using a beefed-up shuttle with Apollo parts which can ferry up to six astronauts at a time for stays of one week to 6 mo. On Sept. 19 How I Met Your Mother debuts on CBS-TV for 208 episodes (until Mar. 31, 2014), about daddy Joshua Thomas "Josh" Radnor (1974-) as Theodore Evelyn "Ted" Mosby telling his kids in 2030 about how he did you know what; co-stars Jason Jordan Segel (1980-) as Marshall Eriksen, Jacoba Francisco Maria "Cobie" Smulders (1982-) as Robin Scherbatsky, Neil Patrick Harris (1973-) as Barney Stinson, and Alyson Lee Hannigan (1974-) as Lily Aldrin; they like to meet in MacLaren's Bar in New York City. On Sept. 19 the TV sitcom Kitchen Confidential debuts on Fox Network for 13 episodes (until Dec. 5, 2005), starring Bradley Cooper as chef Jack Bourdain. On Sept. 20-21 the multimillion-dollar career of supermodel Kate Moss (1974-) tanks when photos of her dosing on cocaine with bad boy rocker beau Pete Doherty (1979-) appear in the British tabloid Sunday Mirror, immediately losing a $1.25M a year contract with Chanel as the face of their Coco Mademoiselle fragrance, plus a $2M a year contract with Swedish clothing giant Hennes & Mauritz, eventually reaching $8M of lost work; on Sept. 22 Moss issues a public apology, taking "full responsibility for my actions"; the fact that her entire industry pushed her underfed "heroin chic" image in its ads for products such as Opium promotes conservation of public fiction in the Fiction Cent.?; by the end of the year her career is back, and she is on three major mag. covers? On Sept. 20 the comedy series My Name Is Earl debuts on NBC-TV for 96 episodes (until May 14, 2009), starring former skateboard champ Jason Michael Lee (1970-) as ex-small-time criminal Earl Jehoshaphat Hickey of Camden County, who spends his remaining life trying to undo all his bad karma with friend Randy Hickey, played by Ethan Suplee (1976-); "Karma is a funny thing." On Sept. 21 JetBlue Flight 292 (Airbus A320) en route to New York City from Burbank, Calif. makes an emergency landing at LAX after its front landing gear turns sideways. On Sept. 21 Stephen M. Ressa (27) of Rialto, Calif. plows into pedestrians "like a lawnmower" on the Las Vegas Strip in his car, killing two and injuring 12; he tells police he thought the people in the crowd were staring at him like demons, and is charged with murder and attempted murder. On Sept. 21 Hurricane Rita (17th Atlantic Basin storm of the year) lashes the Florida and heads into the Gulf of Mexico, where on Sept. 22 it becomes Category 5 (175 mph), heading towards Galveston, Tex., then slows down to Category 3 (126 mph) before hitting the Tex.-La. coast on Sept. 23; on Sept. 22 1.3M people in Tex. and La. are ordered to evacuate, and 3M end up evacuating; this time the Bush admin. is up to speed with advance preparations (probably because Tex. has more Repubs. than La.?); on Sept. 23 Bush goes to the 3-y.-o. Northcom observation center in Colorado Springs, Colo. to watch the storm's progress; on Sept. 23 23 elderly evacuees from Bellaire, Tex. (previously evacuated to Houston from New Orleans to Katrina) die in a charter bus near Dallas when their oxygen bottles feed a fire; on Sept. 28 bus driver Juan Robles Gutierrez (1970-) is taken into federal custody on an immigration violation, then on Oct. 17 charged with 23 counts of criminally negligent homicide; on Feb. 1, 2006 bus owner James H. "Butch" Maples (a former NFL player) is arrested on federal transportation charges, facing seven years and $1.35M in fines; the storm causes $5B in damage, and kills 10. On Sept. 21 two students are shot and wounded at Del. State U. in Dover, causing a lockdown of the dorms while a suspect is sought; he is never caught? On Sept. 22 after intending him to replace retiring justice Sandra Day O'Connor until chief justice William Rehnquist dies, giving Pres. George W. Bush an idea, the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 13-5 vote approves John Roberts' chief justice nomination; all 10 Repubs. back him, plus three Dems.; Edward Kennedy (Mass.), Joseph Biden (Del.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), and Dick Durbin (Ill.) vote against him; on Sept. 29 Buffalo, N.Y.-born John Glover Roberts Jr. (1951-) (Roman Catholic) becomes U.S. Chief Justice #17 and justice #109 (until ?) just hours after the Senate votes 77-23 to confirm him; 22 Dems. (exactly half) join all 55 Repubs. On Sept. 22 Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husayni (al-Husseini) al-Sistani (1930-), Iraq's most powerful Shiite cleric endorses the draft Iraqi constitution. On Sept. 22 rebels kill 10 police officers on a highway in Bogota, Colombia in the mountains outside La Cruz, ambushing their truck. On Sept. 22 JDL member Earl Krugel (b. 1943-) is sentenced in Los Angeles, Calf. to 20 years for a plot to bomb a mosque and a Lebanese-Am. congressman's office. On Sept. 22 five Chicago officials are indicted on fraud (patronage) charges by federal prosecutors, rocking Mayor Richard M. Daley's admin. On Sept. 22 a Philly Judge rules that a Muslim firefighter can't wear a beard because it defeats the seal on his respiratory mask. On Sept. 22 Jeff Davis' Criminal Minds (original title "Quantico") debuts on CBS-TV for ? episodes (until ?), focusing on profiling the criminal "unsubs" (unknown subjects) rather than the crime, set in the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, Va., starring Mandel Bruce "Mandy" Patinkin (1952-) for the first three seasons, followed by Joseph Anthony "Joe" Mantegna Jr. (1947-). On Sept. 22 the period sitcom Everybody Hates Christ, er, Everybody Hates Chris debuts on UPN for 88 episodes (until May 8, 2009) (after switching to The CW in 2006), inspired by the teenage experiences of African-Am. comedian Chris Rock attending an all-white high school in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1982-7, starring Tyler James Williams (1992-) as Chris, Terry Alan Crews Jr. (1968-) as his father Julius, Tichina Rolanda Arnold (1971-) as his mother Rochelle, Tequan Richmond (1992-) as his brother Drew, and Vincent Michael Martella (1992-) as his white best friend Greg Wuliger. On Sept. 23 Britain formally proposes that the Iranian govt. be reported to the U.N. Security Council for failure to comply with nuclear treaties, causing Iran's foreign miniter on Sept. 25 to call possible sanctions "illegal and illogical" and accuse the U.S. of behind behind them; a letter to Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by 180 of 290 lawmakers calls for cancelling of Iran's voluntary suspension of nuclear activities. On Sept. 23 Carolyn Correa (1954-) of Willingboro, N.J. receives 9-30 years in prison for kidnapping 10-day-old Delimar Vera in Dec. 1997 from a crib in Philly during a fire and raising her as her own after officials conclude that the baby died in the fire, until her parents see her at a birthday party in Mar. 2004 and recognize her. On Sept. 23 Ghost Whisperer, based on the experienced of Bayside, N.Y.-born psychic medium James Van Praagh (1958-) debuts on CBS-TV for 107 episodes (until May 21, 2010), starring Jennifer Love Hewitt (1979-) as medium Melinda Gordon, who helps the dead pass over to the other side. On Sept. 24 tens of thousands, incl. Cindy Sheehan protest against the Iraq War on the Nat. Mall in Washington, D.C.; on Sept. 25 about 400 stage a lame counter-rally; on Sept. 26 370 protesters are arrested in front of the White House during another anti-Iraq War protest, the first being Cindy Sheehan. On Sept. 25 a U.S. CH-47 military heli crashes near Daychopan, Afghanistan 180 mi. SW of Kabul, killing all five aboard. On Sept. 25 Polish voters oust their scandal-prone govt. of ex-Communists in parliamentary elections, giving a broad majority to two center-right parties that promise tax cuts and clean govt. - do the math and save? On Sept. 25 a car bomb explodes in a car driven by Lebanese political talk show host and news anchor May Chidiac (1964-) in Jounierh, N of Beirut, severing her left arm and leg; on Sept. 26 thousands of students protest in Lebanon, calling for the govt. to take action. On Sept. 25 a 7.0 earthquake hits N Peru 420 mi. N of Lima, killing four. On Sept. 26 (8 a.m.) Sept. Fun Day in Iraq begins when a suicide car bomber in Baghdad, Iraq kills six and wounds 13 at a police checkpoint guarding govt. ministries; later another suicide car bomber detonates in a convoy carrying Interior Ministry commandos, killing seven plus two civilians; S of Baghdad two bicycle bombings in town markets kill seven and wound dozens; followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ambush an Iraqi patrol in E Baghdad, causing U.S. forces to counterattack during the 90 min. battle in which eight attackers are killed; an armored car in Baghad is robbed of $850K, and two guards are killed. On Sept. 26 Israel kills top Islamic Jihad cmdr. Mohammed Khalil (b. 1970 and his bodyguard in an airstrike in the Gaza Strip, and rounds up 200+ wanted Palestinians in a broad offensive against Islamic militants as a response to a wave of rocket attacks against Israeli towns over the weekend; Hamas then calls off the rocket fire, but Islamic Jihad's top leader Mohammed al-Hindi says his group will no longer honor the ceasefire; meanwhile a Likud meeting is sabotaged by Sharon's opponents, who get the electricity shut off, causing him to walk out. On Sept. 26 nine Islamic miitants are arrested outside Paris for plotting a terrorist attack on the Paris subway system. On Sept. 26 Ethiopia's Mount Erta Ale (Arteale) erupts, displacing about 40K nomads; it erupts again in Oct. On Sept. 26 Syrian-born Al Jazeera journalist Tayseer (Taysir) Allouni (1955-), who was granted an interview by Osama bin Laden after 9/11 is convicted in Spain of collaborating with al-Qaida, and sentenced to seven years. On Sept. 27 Abdullah Abu Azzam, #2 in command of the al-Qaida in Iraq is killed in battle after his high-rise apt. bldg. in SE Baghdad is raided before dawn by troops; a suicide attacker detonates at a police recruitment center in Baqouba, N of Baghdad, killing nine, and gunmen in Baghdad kill four policemen; another suicide bomber is intercepted within 1 mi. of the U.S. embassy in the heavily fortified Green Zone (AKA Karradat Mariam). On Sept. 27 Typhoon Damrey (Khmer for elephant) slams into N Vietnam, causing the evacuation of 300K after killing 31 in China and the Philippines, becoming the biggest storm in China in three decades - and them foreign devils have to give it a name with one of them "r"s in it? On Sept. 27 Michael Brown appears before Congress, angrily blaming the New Orleans mayor, the La. gov., the White House, and Pres. Bush for the lousy showing with Hurricane Katrina; meanwhile on Sept. 27 New Orleans police chief (superintendent) Eddie Compass announces his resignation after 28 years after his force disintegrates in the wake of Hurricane Katrina into desertions and looting; on Sept. 29 the police dept. announces it is investigating 12 officers for looting. On Sept. 27 Michaelle Jean (1957-), a refugee from Haiti is sworn-in as Canada's 27th gov.-gen. in Toronto, becoming the 1st black and the 3rd woman to hold the largely ceremonial post of head of state. On Sept. 27 investment banker Michael Wittenberg (b. 1962), husband of Broadway star Bernadette Peters (b. 1948) (since 1996) is killed in a heli crash. On Sept. 28 female suicide bomber in drag detonates in a line of army recruits in the Sunni town of Tal Afar, Iraq far, er, near the Syrian border, killing six and wounding 35, becoming the first known Iraqi suicide bomber; al-Qaida claims responsibility for the work of a "blessed sister"; after an Iraq govt. offensive in Tal Afar, Jordan-born Iraqi al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (1966-2006) declares all-out war on the Shiites, bombing three hotels in Amman, Jordan this year; he is killed by the U.S. on June 7, 2006 N of Baqubah, Iraq, leaving 2nd in command Abu Ayyub al-Masri (1968-2010), who is killed by the U.S. on Apr. 18, 2010 in Tikrit. On Sept. 28 Iraqi police find seven construction workers who had been led away by police impersonators, then blindfolded, bound and shot to death. On Sept. 28 Israeli aircraft unleash a barrage of missles and artillery into the Gaza Strip for the first time as fighting enters its fifth day. There was a lone cupcake with your name on it? On Sept. 28 House Majority Leader Tom "the Hammer" DeLay (1947-) is indicted by a Texas grand jury (on the last day of their term) for conspiring to violate political fundraising laws, causing him to step down from his GOP post; he becomes the highest ranking member of Congress to face criminal prosecution while in office; Mo. Rep. Roy Blunt is appointed to take over his leadership duties; the indictment alleges that DeLay's PAC Texans for a Repub. Majority accepted $155K from corps. in 2001-2 then used it to fund candidates for the Texas House in violation of Texas law; Travis County D.A. Ronnie Earle (a Dem.) is behind the indictment; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) jumps on the indictment, calling it "the latest example that Repubs. in Congress are plagued by a culture of corruption at the expense of the American people"; DeLay faces 6 mo. to two years and a $10K fine for criminal conspiracy on the charges, but in Oct. his attys. get the charges dismissed because the law alleged to have been broken was not in effect at the time of the alleged violation; this only causes Earle to get a 2nd grand jury to indict him on conspiracy and money laundering charges, which DeLay calls an "abomination of justice", turning himself into the Travis County sheriff's office on Oct. 20, 2006; on Apr. 3, 2006 he announces his decision to leave Congress in May-June; the grand jury dissolves on Aug. 16, 2010 without bringing charges, calling DeLay to bemoan the "criminalization of politics", telling reporters "It's no longer good enough to beat you on policy, they have to completely drown you and put you in prison and destroy your family and your reputation, your finances and then dance on your grave"; on Nov. 24, 2010 a Tex. jury convicts DeLay of illegally channeling $190K in corporate donations into 2002 Tex. legislative races through a money swap that DeLay argued was legal, and on Jan. 10 he is sentenced to three years in prison. On Sept. 28 five U.S. soldiers are killed in a roadside bombing during combat in Ramadi, Iraq W of Baghdad. On Sept. 28-29 a 17K-acre wildfire rages in the hills of NW Los Angeles, forcing hundreds to evacuate; on Sept. 28 90K chickens are killed when it consumes three coops. On Sept. 29 (6:45 p.m.) three Sunni suicide bombers detonate simultaneously in the heart of Balad, Iraq 50 mi. N of Baghdad, killing 65 and wounding 80 as part of the all-out war declared by al-Qaida leader al-Zarqawi against the Shiite majority in rocking Iraq. On Sept. 29 New York Times reporter Judith Miller is released after 85 days (since July 6) behind bars after agreeing to testify in the investigation into the disclosure of the identity of a covert CIA officer after her source Scooter Libby releases her from her promise of confidentiality; she appears before a grand jury on Sept. 30, and Cheney becomes the focus of conspiracy investigation; on Oct. 24 notes from a meeting on June 12, 2003 between him and Libby surface, implicating them both, causing them to double-shuffle about his poor memories, and on Oct. 28 Libby is indicted on five counts of obstruction of justice and two counts each of making a false statement and perjury, pleading not guilty on Nov. 3 (that lie is free?); the trial is successfully stalled by somebody until Jan. 23, 2007, safely after the nat. elections; on Nov. 9 Judith Miller retires from the New York Times, saying, "Over the last few months I have become the news, something a ... reporter never wants to be" - we call it the Three Stooges syndrome? On Sept. 29 five migrants are killed and nearly 100 injured during an attempt to cross from Morocco into Spanish Ceuta by scaling razor-wire fences; Spain's other enclave Melilla is also a target. On Sept. 29 by 9-0 the Supreme Court of Canada clears the way for the govt. to sue cigarette cos. for the cost of treating smoking-related illnesses. On Sept. 29 the U.S. House of Reps. passes by 229-193 a bill pushed through by GOP House Resources Committee chmn. Richard Pombo of Calif. to overhaul the 1973 Endangered Species Act, weakening protections in the name of facilitating oil and gas development, and using Hurricane Katrina as an excuse. On Sept. 29 the FDA warns doctors about the Eli Lilly drug Strattera, used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) in adolescents and children, saying that it can lead to suicidal thinking. On Sept. 29 Repub. Calif. Gov. Ahnuld (Arnold Schwarzenegger) fulfills a campaign and vetoes a bill attempting to legalize same-sex marriages - don't be a girlie man? On Sept. 30 New York Times journalist Judith Miller, out of jail for 85 days testifies before a grand jury in Washington, D.C. as the final holdout witness neded by special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald on the Valerie Plame ID leak probe; she says she hopes her case will help get a federal shield law for reporters passed. On Sept. 30 the First Bush-Kerry Debate sees Kerry call Iraq an "incredible mess", and Bush say that U.S. troops look at Kerry and wonder, "How can I follow this guy?" On Sept. 30 former Reagan secy. of education William J. Bennett apologizes for remarks made on his radio show that "... if you wanted to reduce crime, you could, if that were your sole purpose... abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down", saying the comments were taken out of context; White House spokesman Scott McClellan says that Pres. Bush "believes the comments were not appropriate". In Sept. the annual Antarctic ozone hole forms, reaching 9.5M sq. mi. in area, the same size as North Am. In Sept. GM's employee-discount-for-everyone promotion ends, selling lots of vehicles at an avg. loss of over $1K per sale, and causing 3rd quarter losses of $1.6B; on Oct. 17 GM gains concessions by the UAW to cut $1B of its $5.2B a year in generous health care benefits to 1.1M workers, retirees and dependents; shortly before this, Delphi, the auto parts co. that was owned by GM until 1999 seeks bankruptcy protection, leaving GM liable for up to $12B in pension and health care benefits. In Sept. the Houston Astrodome is assigned a special zip code of 7734, er, 77230 for Hurricane Katrina refugees to receive mail. In Sept. the Campaign to Defend the Constitution (DefCon) is founded by the Tides Center to combat the religious right in the name of separation of church and state; its funding runs out in Dec. 2007. In late Sept. Emily Stern (1986-), daughter of shock jock Howard Stern is anon. cast as Madonna in the off-Broadway satire Kabbalah, in which she performs nude in the final 10 min.; she quits in Jan. after fan websites reveal her identity. On Oct. 2 the Ethan Allen Tour Boat tips and sinks on Lake George, N.Y., killing 20 of 47 elderly passengers when Capt. Richard Paris turns into the wake of another boat; on Oct. 3 state regulators suspend the co.'s licenses because the boat did not have the required min. two crew members aboard. On Oct. 2 Hurricane Stan hits Central Am., killing 1,648. On Oct. 3 Condoleezza Rice appears on ABC's This Week and defends her characterization of Saddam Hussein's nuclear capabilities in the months preceding the Iraq invasion - aren't you a specialist? On Oct. 3 Pres. Bush nominates conservative Repub. White House counsel Harriet Ellen Myers (1945-) to the U.S. Supreme Court despite lack of experience as a judge and her close ties, causing conservatives to split ranks; on Oct. 27 after she flunks a test given her by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and after requests for private papers to determine her political views, the White House announces that Bush asked her to withdraw her nomination. On Oct. 4 U.S. Operation River Gate begins in W Iraq (ends Oct. 21) - listen, you made them strong, we'll make them army strong? On Oct. 5 a bomb at the entrance of a Shiite mosque S of Baghdad kills 25 and wounds 87, and U.S. troops capture 35 suspected insurgents in Baghdad. On Oct. 5 Iraqi authorities begin distributing constitution booklets to the public, which Sunnis use for toilet paper, filling trash dumps. On Oct. 6 Pres. Bush gives a speech before the Nat. Endowment for Democracy, citing "steady progress" in the war on terror, and claiming that the U.S. and its allies foiled at least 10 serious al-Qaida plots in the past four years. On Oct. 6 the Woodhouse (Calimesa) Fire in San Timoteo Canyon in Riverside County, S Calif. consumes 6K acres. On Oct. 6 health experts identify Legionnaire's Disease as the cause of the death of 16 elderly people at the Seven Oaks Home for the Aged in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough; a total of 88 were infected; in Feb. 2014 the city and province agrees to a $1.2M settlement. On Oct. 6 Gregg Miller receives the Ig Noble Prize for medicine at Harvard U. in Boston for his invention of Neuticles, prosthetic testicles for neutered dogs. On Oct. 7 chief U.N. nuclear inspector Mohamed Mostafa ElBaradei (1942-) and his Int. Atomic Energy Agency win the Nobel Peace Prize, which he claims vindicates his approach of using diplomacy rather than confrontation. Deconstructing Harriet? On Oct. 7 after going with the Repub. program of limiting the selection process to anti-abortion candidates, and yielding to pressure to replace Sandra Day O'Connor with another woman, only to find no Repub. women with good enough credentials, Pres. Bush nominates his personal friend, Conservative Baptist Texas atty. (White House counsel) Harriet Ellen Miers (1945-) to the U.S. Supreme Court, stirring immediate opposition from Conservatives who believe she will be another swing vote like O'Connor; on Oct. 24 Pres. Bush refuses to turn over documents detailing private advice she gave him while serving in the White House, and on Oct. 27 she withdraws her nomination (the 11th to be withdrawn of 157 submitted to the Senate since 1789, and the 1st since Abe Fortas in 1968). On Oct. 7 six U.S. Marines are killed in two roadside bomb attacks in W Iraq during a 2-pronged offensive against strongholds along the Euphrates River; in S Iraq British forces heat up their campaign to curb the influence of conservative Shiite militias by arresting 12; in SE Iraq police announce the finding of the bodies of 22 men, mostly Sunnis, who had been abducted in Baghdad in Aug. On Oct. 7 a week of intense rain, mudslides, and flooding caused by Hurricane Stan kills 27 in C Mexico, with Guatemala bearing the brunt, followed by a strong earthquake in Guatemala and El Salvador; total dead and missing top 1K. On Oct. 7 intense rains waterlog the NE U.S., dropping more than a 1 ft. in places for the next ? days. On Oct. 7 Typhoon Krosa slams into China, killing five and causing 1.4M to be evacuated, and causing $1B damage by Oct. 9. On Oct. 7 tens of thousands of Iranians rally aross Iran to back its nuclear activities, causing its top envoy to announce that Iran could stop U.N. inspections. On Oct. 7 a Victoria's Secret store in McLean, Va. is picketed by 30 women for promoting lesbianism and sadomasochism with displays of a tied-up mannequin and two female mannequins lying on a bed together - add a male mannequin and it's okay again? On Oct. 7 Calif. Gov. Ahnuld signs a bill barring high school athletes from taking nutritional supplements synephrine, ephedra, and DHEA after being criticized for having his own multimillion-dollar contract with muscle mags. advertising supplements - although when he was Mr. Olympia he popped roids like candy? On Oct. 8 the 7.6 South Asian Earthquake of 2005 rocks Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan, killing 73K and leaving 3.5M homeless; hundreds are trapped in a 19-story bldg. in Islamabad; 11K are killed in Muzaffarabad, capital of Kashmir; on Oct. 10 Kuwait and the UAR each announce $100M and the U.S. pledges $50M in aid after govt. officials predict the death toll will climb to 20K-40K; on Oct. 15 the Pakistani death toll reaches 38K, with 2M homeless; on Oct. 19 the death toll soars to 79K, and aftershocks send up huge clouds of dust; the Quantum Shift Concert raises money for the relief effort, featuring Sean Lennon, Yoko Ono, Paul Simon, and his son Harper Simon. On Oct. 8 retired black elementary teacher Robert Davis (1941-) is arrested and beaten by two white New Orleans police officers, Robert Evangelist (36) and Lance Schilling (29) for alleged drunkness, and the incident is caught on tape, causing police Supt. Warren Riley to call their actions unacceptable; Davis later claims "I haven't had a drink in 25 years", and the officers are all charged with battery, pleading not guilty; a 3rd white officer, Stewart Smith (50) is caught on tape grabbing and shoving an AP TV News producer, and also pleads not guilty, relying on the double-sidedness of laws protecting police to get off; on Dec. 21 the police dept. jumps the gun and fires the officers doing the beating, and suspends the shover for 120 days, causing the police union to vow to appeal to the Civil Service Commission; in Mar. 2006 they are indicted by a grand jury. On Oct. 9 Guatemalan officials announce that they will abandon communities buried by landslides and declare them mass graveyards, while dozens of foreign tourists flee mucked-up lakeside Mayan towns to better bargains for their tourist money? On Oct. 9 the Somalian Council of Islamic Courts declares holy war (jihad) on too-Christian Ethiopia. On Oct. 10 Iraq issues arrest warrants for the defense minister and 27 other officials from the U.S.-backed govt. of former PM Iyad Allawi over the misappropriation of $1B in military procurement funds, most of them fleeing Iraq for Britain after 10 mo. in office, incl. Allawi, Adnan Pachachi, and Ibrahim al-Jaafari; up to $2.3B is stolen from the Iraqi treasury; not that they're alone, as over 1.5M leave the country - I was just taking the ponies out for a ride? On Oct. 10 the first meeting between Israeli PM Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas since the Israeli Gaza Strip withdrawal is called off after the two sides deadlock over Israeli troop pullouts from the West Banka nd releases of Palestinian prisoners; three unarmed Palestinian laborers crawling over the Gaza-Israeli border are shot and killed by Israeli troops. On Oct. 10 an open letter by Am. poet Sharon Olds (1942-) to First Lady Laura Bush declining an invitation to the Nat. Book Festival in Washington, D.C. contains the soundbyte: "So many Americans who had felt pride in our country now feel anguish and shame, for the current regime of blood, wounds and fire. I thought of the clean linens at your table, the shining knives and the flames of the candles, and I could not stomach it." On Oct. 11 Iraqi negotiators reach a breakthrough deal on the new constitution, causing at least one Sunni Arab Party, the Iraqi Islamic Party to begin urging support; the deal calls for a commission to consider amendments to be set up by parliament after it is formed in Dec.; too bad, it's too late to modify the millions of copies of free constitutions handed out to the public. On Oct. 11 Japan's lower house approves a plan to privatize Japan's $3T postal system and create the world's largest bank. On Oct. 11 millionaire Am. scientist Gregory Olsen returns with a Russian-U.S. crew from the ISS, landing in Kazakhstan after a 7-day space trip, the third trip to the orbiting lab. by a private citizen; he blasted off on Oct. 1 with U.S. astronaut William McArthur and Russian cosmonaut Valery Tokarev from Balkonur in Kazakhstan, and returned with John Phillips and Sergei Krikalev, who had been there since Apr. On Oct. 11 the Los Angeles City Council votes to turn the famed Florentine Gardens nightclub in Hollywood on Hollywood Blvd. near the Hollywood Fwy. (big among stars in the 1940s) into a fire station; they later give up after a backlash. On Oct. 12 Syrian interior minister Brig. Gen. Ghazi Kenaan (b. 1942), who had controlled Lebanon for two decades is found dead in his office days before a U.N. report is due to be released implicating high-ranking Syrian officials in the murder of Lebanon PM Rafik Hariri; the Syrian govt. claims it is a suicide; hours before Syrian Pres. Bashar Asaad said that if Syrian involvement is proved those involved would be charged with treason and handed over to an internat. court; the report is released on Oct. 20, implicating high-ranking Syrian and Lebanese intel officers, but not naming names, but a diplomat says that Asad's brother-in-law and number two man in Syria military intel chief Asef Shawkat is the ringleader; lead investigator Detlev Mehlis from Germany is given until Dec. to continue the inquiry. On Oct. 12 after 14 years of civil war the first pres. election is held in Liberia; soccer star George Weah is backed by most of the country's top warlords and faction leaders, but surprising upstart "Iron Lady" Ellen Johnson Sirleaf proves popular with the masses. On Oct. 12 police in Bogota, Colombia discover a cluster of rockets pointing at the pres. palace, while a key ally of Pres. Alvaro Uribe narrowly survives a bomb attack, causing Uribe to publicly criticize his military commanders. On Oct. 12 Israel announces the capture of senior Hamas operative Ibrahim Ighnimat (1958-), who is linked to a 1997 suicide bombing that killed three Israelis, and the kidnapping and murder of an Israeli soldier; the Israelis were disguised as vegetable vendors to gain access to the Hebron region to make the arrest. On Oct. 12 the World Bank releases a report saying that 40M in Eastern Europe have moved out of poverty in 1998-2003, leaving 61M still poor; Russia, Moldovia, Romania, Hungary, and Kazakhstan have scored the greatest gains. On Oct. 12 the Shenzhou 6 is launched on a Long March 2F rocket from Jiuquan Launch Center, carrying Fei Junlong (1965-) and Nie Haisheng (1964-), orbiting 4x and returning to Earth after 4 d 19 h 33 m. On Oct. 12 Michelle Duggar (1966-) of Rogers, Ark. has her 16th child; she had her first one at age 21 four years after being married to Jim Bob Duggar (a state rep.), and they are all given names beginning with the letter "J". On Oct. 14 James Bond fans are shocked when short blonde-haired working class English actor Daniel Craig (1968-) is revealed as the star of the Nov. 2006 Bond film Casino Royale after being picked over 200 other actors; he goes on to win them over? On Oct. 15 a referendum on the new Iraqi constitution is held despite Sunni insurgents killing hundreds in the days leading up to it. On Oct. 15 Romania quarantines the Danube River Delta in the E where one of Europe's first bird flu strains appears; Poland bans the sale of live birds at open-air markets starting Oct. 17; the deadly H5N1 virus, responsible for 60 human deaths is confirmed on Oct. 14 in Turkey; Turkish officials kill 3K poultry in the NW province of Balikesir after they mess with migratory birds near a nature reserve; on Oct. 16 thousands of domestic fowl are killed in eastern Roman. On Oct. 15 Pamela Jeanne Vitale (b. 1953), wife of TV legal pundit Daniel Horowitz is clubbed to death by a 16-y.-o. Goth student who believed that his marijuana-growing equipment had been mistakenly delivered to them. On Oct. 16 Palestinian Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade gunmen in a speeding car kill three Israelis and wound four more at a crowded bus stop in Gush Etzion in the West Bank; minutes later another drive-by shooting in the West Bank seriously wounds one Israeli; Isreali troops kill one Islamic militant and wound a bystander in the West Bank. On Oct. 17 the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to allow the Bush admin. to pursue a $280B penalty against tobacco cos. for misleading the public about the dangers of smoking after a 9-mo. trial; the case is left pending until the judge rules if they violated the federal RICO statue. On Oct. 17 women calling themselves the Granny Peace Brigade are arrested while protesting the Iraq War outside the Times Square military recruiting center by police who accuse them of blocking the entrance; on Apr. 27, 2006 they are acquitted of disorderly conduct in Manhattan Criminal Court by Judge Neil Ross after claiming they were there to enlist themselves but were turned down, and being grannies would have politely let anybody else through, although there was nobody else wanting to enlist? On Oct. 17 the US Weekly carries a headline carrying a picture of Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, with the title "Split!"; she later says that a trip to Africa on behalf of Operation Smile (which helps children with facial deformities) on the eve of her 3rd wedding anniv. while he stays home causes her to know "I needed to find something more in my life on my own", causing her to stop answering his calls and file for divorce. On Oct. 18 Hurricane Wilma, the strongest storm in the Atlantic in recorded history reaches Category 5 as it wobbles its way through the Caribbean, weakening to Category 4 on Oct. 19, and hitting Mexico's Carbbean coast on Oct. 21, killing 13 in Haiti and Jamaica, then sideswiping Cuba on Oct. 23 before hitting Fla. as a Category 3 on Oct. 24, causing $6B-9B in damage and killing six (25 total) (3rd most costly hurricane in history after Katrina and Andrew, and the 8th hurricane to hit Fla. in 15 mo.). Life after Wife Swap? On Oct. 19 the Saddam Hussein Trial begins on charges of ordering the 1982 massacre of 148 Shiites in the town of Dujail, along with seven co-defendants, Awad Hamed al-Bandar (chief justice of the Rev. Court), Taha Yassin Ramadan (-2007) (vice-pres.), Mizhar Abdullah Ruwayyid) (Ba'th official), Mohammed Azawi Ali Baath (Ba'th Dujail official), Ali Dayih Ali (Ba'th Dujail official), and Barzan Ibrahim (intel chief) (Saddam's half-brother); only Azawi Ali (who sits at the back end of the back row) is acquitted; Saddam refuses to identify himself to the court, saying, "I do not respond to this so-called court, with all due respect to its people, and I retain my constitutional right as the president of Iraq", finally entering a not guilty plea - you bozos captured one of my impersonators? On Oct. 19 a deadly strain of bird flu is detected S of Moscow, and another in the grasslands of N China. On Oct. 19 a man reports seeing a woman toss her three young children (6, 2, and 16 mo.) into San Francisco Bay from a pier, and on Oct. 20 23-y.-o. schizophrenic Lashuan T. Harris (1984-) is charged with murder after it is found she told her mother she was going to feed her kids to the sharks; in Jan. 2007 she is convicted of 2nd degree murder, declared inane and sent to a mental hospital - I'm an environmentalist? On Oct. 19 the U.S. Congress votes to cut off federal subsidies for erectile dysfunction drugs such as Viagra - no more fun in old folks' homes at Uncle Sam's expense? On Oct. 19 the Houston Astros advance to their first World Series in their 44-year history by defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Championship Series. On Oct. 19 Steve West and his landscaper wife Carolyn, along with their in-laws Bob and Frances, all of Salem, Ore. win the $340M Powerball lottery (2nd biggest jackpot in U.S. lottery history) after going together on $40 worth of tickets; o n Nov. 17 a secy. and six lab workers at Kaiser Permanente in Anaheim, Calif. win the $315M Mega Millions jackpot after chipping in $3 each to buy 21 tickets. On Oct. 20 the U.S. House votes 283-144 to shield firearms manufacturers and dealers from liability from gun-crime victims after the Senate passes the bill by 65-31 in July; Nat. Rifle Assoc. (NRA) forces are both glad and sad, as provisions are snuck in requiring trigger locks on some weapons. On Oct. 22-26 the Chicago White Sox (mgr. Ozzie Guillen) defeat the Houston Astros (mgr. Phil Garner) 4-0 in the 101st World Series, ending their 88-year dry spell; the first appearance ever for the Astros, the longest wait for a ML franchise (Angels 44, St. Louis Browns 42, St. Louis Cardinals 24); Game 3 on Oct. 25 goes for 14 innings, equaling the series record, and a record 17 pitchers are used, and is ended when former Houston infielder Geoff Blum hits a 2-out homer in the 14th inning to give the White Sox a 7-5 victory. On Oct. 21 Saddam Hussein's Sunni Arab atty. Saadoun Sughaiyer al-Janabi is abducted from his office, them dumped in the street in Baghdad dead with two bullet wounds in the head; meanwhile four U.S. servicemen are killed in insurgent attacks. On Oct. 21 Tex. oil mogul Oscar S. Wyatt Jr. (chmn. of Coastal Corp.) and two Swiss execs are charged with paying millions in kickbacks to Saddam Hussein's regime in the oil-for-food scandal. On Oct. 21 Operation River Gate ends with one U.S. Marine killed near Haqlaniyah as four insurgents are killed and a bunker destroyed. On Oct. 22 U.S. forces kill 20 injurgents and destroy five safe houses in Iraq near the Syrian border. On Oct. 22 Croatian authorities begin killing thousands of domestic birds near a nat. park where six swans died of bird flu. On Oct. 23 (Sun.) a team of top Afghan officials visits S Afghanistan to investigate allegations that U.S. soldiers cremated the remains of Taliban fighters in violation of Muslim Sharia and then used the scene for propaganda. On Oct. 23 pro-capitalist Warsaw mayor Lech Kaczynski (1949-2010) is elected pres. of Poland with 54% of the vote over pro-market Civic Platform candidate Donald Tusk Franciszek (1957-), an admirer of Reagan and Thatcher, taking office on Dec. 23 (until Apr. 10, 2010), and becoming the best friend the Jews in Poland have had in a Polish leader (until ?); his twin brother Jaroslaw Kaczynski (1949-), leader of the nationalist conservative Law and Justice Party is appointed PM on July 2006 (until Nov. 2007). On Oct. 23 a bomb in a residential area of Tikrit, Iraq kills an Iraqi police col. and four children; other attacks in Iraq bring the death toll to 20, with 31 wounded. On Oct. 23 a Nigerian Bellview Airlines Boeing 737 plane carrying 117 crashes near Lissa 30 mi. N of Lagos shortly after takeoff, killing all aboard. On Oct. 23 record-breaking 23nd named Atlantic storm Tropical Storm Alpha drenches Haiti and the Dominican Repub.; the 2005 U.S. Hurricane season ends with 27 named storms and 15 hurricanes, and the names Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Stan and Wilma are permanently retired by the World Meteorological Org. On Oct. 23 Pope Benedict XVI presides over his first saint-making Mass in Vatican City at the 250-member Synod of Bishops, naming five new saints incl. Chilean Jesuit Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, while reaffirming the church's position on celibacy for priests, calling it a "precious gift" - give me a word that rhymes with choir boy? On Oct. 24 a car bomb explodes near the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq, blowing a hole in the protective wall, allowing a 2nd suicide bomber truck to get through, but it gets stuck, blowing up and killing six passersby; the AP counts 1,997 U.S. military deaths in the Iraq War so far, six higher than the official U.S. govt. tally. On Oct. 24 a Los Angeles judge signs a Dec. 13 death warrant at San Quentin Prison for Crips gang co-founder Stanley Tookie Williams III (b. 1953), who has been on death row since Apr. 20, 1981 for four 1979 shotgun murders, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his prison-written children's books; his lawyers appeal to Calif. Gov. Ahnuld for clemency, hoping to be the first to receive clemency since Reagan spared a mentally-ill killer in 1967; on Dec. 12 the Governator nixes it, and he is executed by lethal injection on Dec. 13 - appealing to the Terminator for clemency? Keep the pace, you're in the race? On Oct. 25 the U.S. military death toll in the Iraq War reaches 2,000 (incl. 497 Nat. Guard or Reserve troops); the U.S. Senate observes a moment of silence to honor them; 30K or more Iraqis have died in the war, incl. 3,870 in the past 6 mo., but who's counting? On Oct. 25 Iraq's election commission declares that the new constitution was ratified by 79% of the 9.8M voters; only three heavily-Sunni provinces, Anbar (E of Baghdad) (96%), Salaheddin (N of Baghdad) (81%) (Sadam's province), and Diyala (W of Baghdad) (51%) defeat it, but three of the 18 provinces had to defeat it by two-thirds for the constitution to go down. On Oct. 25 U.S. Adm. Timothy Keating, head of the U.S. Northern Command in Colo. Springs, Colo., which provided the military response to Hurricane Katrina proposes that the Dept. of Defense be given complete authority to respond to all natural disasters - tell a friend to tell a friend? On Oct. 25 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Utah announces the withdrawal of 220 missionaries from Venezuela two weeks after Pres. Hugo Chavez ordered the expulsion of the Fla.-based evangelical New Tribes Mission. On Oct. 25 the EU's highest court ends a 2-decade fight with France and Britain and announces that feta cheese is Greek and deserves protection throughout the 25-nation EU. On Oct. 25 Russian Jewish geek billionaire (wealthest in Russia, 16th wealthiest on Earth) Mikahil Borisovich Khodorkovsky (1963-), head of Yukos, which controls 2% of the world's oil is arrested on fraud charges, and convicted on May 31, 2005, getting eight years in prison. On Oct. 26 a 20-y.-o. Palestinian blows himself up at a falafel stand in an open air market in Hadera, Israel, killing five Israelis and wounding more than 30; on Oct. 27 the Israelis counter with a missile attack on a car belonging to Islamic Jihad Movement members in the Jabalya refugee camp N of the Gaza Strip. n Oct. 26, 2005 at the World Without Zionism Conference in Tehran, Imadinnajacket made the statement "Our dear imam [Ayatolla Khomeini] ordered that this Jerusalem-occupying regime must be erased from the page of time. This was a very wise statement... Soon this stain of disgrace will be cleaned from the garment of the world of Islam, and this is attainable." When the New York Times translated his statement as "must be wiped off the map", it caused an international controversy until the Iranian Republic's official translation said wiped off the map also; it takes until Nov. 13 for U.S. secy. of state Condoleezaa Rice to publicly rebuke him, saying "No civilized nation should have a leader who wishes or hopes or desires or considers it a matter of policy to express that." On Oct. 26 Noshir S. Gowadia (1944-) of Haiku, Hawaii, who calls himself the father of the technology protecting B-2 stealth bombers from heat-seeking missiles is arrested for selling U.S. military secrets. On Oct. 27 Sunni Arab militants kill 14 Shiite militiamen and policemen in a clash SE of Baghdad, Iraq; two U.S. Army soldiers are killed when their convoy hits a roadside bomb in Baghdad; another soldier dies in an ambush 37 mi. N of Baghdad, and four others are wounded. On Oct. 27 the accidental electrocution deaths of two Muslim teenagers hiding in an electrical power substation from the pigs after fleeing an ID check in the NE Paris banlieue (low-income suburb) of Clichy-sous-Bois sparks rioting by Mauritanian and Tunisian Muslim youths, spreading all over the country to 300 cities, with the Allah-Akbar-shouting youths burning 1K cars, vandalizing bldgs., and throwing rocks and bottles at the police, doing millions in damage for a mo., causing some to call Paris the new "Baghdad-sur-Seine"; on July 15 the New York Times carried an article titled "The Time Bombs in France's Suburbs", telling of French Muslims turning jihadists and going to Iraq to fight against the U.S. On Oct. 28 I. Lewis "Scotter" Libby is indicted on five charges of obstruction of justice and perjury, carrying a max. penalty of 30 years and $1.25M in fines, causing him to resign; "Mr. Libby's story that he was at the tail end of a chain of phone calls... was not true. It was false" says special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. On Oct. 29 (2 days before the Hindu Diwali Festival) a series of three bomb blasts by Islamic Kashmiri Lashkar-e-Taiba (Urdu "Army of the Righteous") Islamic separatist militants strikes New Delhi, India killing 62 and injuring 210; in Dec. the U.N. declares Lashkar-e-Taiba a terrorist org., and Pakistani prof. Hafiz Muhammad Saeed (1950-) its leader. On Oct. 30 Iraqi insurgents kill Ghalib Abdul-Mahdi, brother of Iraq's Shiite vice-pres. Adil Abdul-Mahdi on Palestine St. in Baghdad; the same day police find the bodies of 11 blindfolded, bound and shot men in a village near Baghdad where Sunnis and Shiites clashed three days earlier. On Oct. 30 the Frauenkirche ("Church of Our Lady") in Dresden, Germany, firebombed by the U.S. and Britain on Feb. 13-14, 1945 is reopened in front of a crowd of 60K after $215M is spent to restore it, incl. $120M in donations, much of it from the U.S. and Britain. On Oct. 30 the remains of U.S. civil rights icon Rosa Parks (1913-2005), who died on Oct. 24 just weeks of the 50th anniv. of her big bus ride in Montgomery, Ala. on Dec. 1, 1955 lie in honor in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, the 31th person and first woman so honored; on Oct. 31 a memorial service is held. On Oct. 30 Pastor Kyle Lake (b. 1972) is electrocuted while performing a baptism in the University Baptist Church in Waco, Tex. when he tries to adjust a microphone. On Oct. 31 Rev. Irene "Beth" Stroud (1970-) is defrocked by the United Methodist Church for being caught in a lesbian partnership - from the Matrix Reloaded to End of Days? Ready, jump? On Oct. 31 Pres. Bush picks extremely right-wing Catholic N.J. native 3rd Circuit U.S. Appeals Court Judge (since 1990, when he was unanimously confirmed by the Senate for the position) Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. (1950-) for Sandra Day O'Connor's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court four days after withdrawing Harriet Miers' name; Sen. Dem. leader Harry Reid of Nev. questions the choice, saying that Alito is "too radical for the American people"; Reid also nixes Judge J. Michael Luttig of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Priscilla Owen of the 5th Circuit; a 1985 application for a promotion in the Reagan. admin. is disclosed by the White House, showing Alito's 1972-87 membership in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton, which lobbied against the university's affirmative action policies; his confirmation will give the court a Roman Catholic majority; ironically, Dem. Catholic Mass. Sen. Edward Kennedy soon drops his membership in the Owl Club, a Harvard college social club that bans women members after it is pointed out to him; Alito is approved by the Senate 58-42 on Jan. 31, 2006, the closest vote since the 1991 52-48 Clarence Thomas vote, becoming U.S. Supreme Court justice #110 (until ?); the lone Repub. Sen. to vote no is Lincoln Chafee (son of Sen. John Chafee, whose seat he was appointed to when he died in 1999) from Dem.-leaning R.I., which Kerry won by 20 points in 2004; Chafee was the only Repub. sen. to vote against the Iraq War resolution; four Dems. vote for Alito, Robert C. Byrd of W.V., Kent Conrad of N.D., Tim Johnson of S.D., and Ben Nelson of Neb. (all from states carried by Pres. Bush in 2004); he is sworn-in as U.S. Supreme Court justice #110 (becoming first in the all-time alphabetized list?), and Sandra Day O'Connor retires and returns to Ariz. In Oct. the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education issues an "instruction" reaffirming the ban on ordination of homosexuals; at the same time an evaluation of all 229 U.S. seminaries begins under their direction; the U.S. has 42.5K priests, 25%-50% of whom are homos - something is sure to hit the fan? In Oct. the Bush admin. releases the 381-page Pandemic Influenza Strategic Plan to deal with a possible outbreak of pandemic flu. In Oct. 44-y.-o. lezzie Am. rocker Melissa Etheridge (b. 1961) begins touring again for the first time after contracting breast cancer in 2004 - she turned it on with new Venus Vibrance and revealed the goddess in you? In Oct. two Aleutian Island volcanoes, Cleveland Volcano and Tanago Volcano rumble to life beneath a major world airline flyway between North Am. and Asia, causing small earthquakes and spitting an ash cloud almost 3 mi. high; the mile-hi Sierra Negra Volcano on the largest of the Galapagos Islands begins erupting on Oct. 23. In Oct. the principal of Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, N.Y. cancels the sex-booze-drugs-filled spring prom because of "the flaunting of affulence, assuming exaggerated expenses, a pursuit of vanity for vanity's sake - in a word, financial decadence." In Oct. Eduardo Braga, gov. of Amazonas state in Brazil decrees a "state of public calamity" caused by the worst recorded drought in the Amazon River basin, source of a quarter of the world's fresh water, caused by the same temp. rise in the Atlantic that brought Hurricane Katrina. Salad terrorism? In Oct. an outbreak of E. coli sickens 11 in Minn., calling the U.S. FDA to warn people not to eat certain Dole prepackaged salads; starting on Aug. 25, 2006 in Wisc. another E. coli outbreak sickens at least 187 and kills one, causing the FDA to warn against eating fresh bagged spinach nationwide, which causes it to be pulled from store shelves, becoming the 20th leafy green scare in 10 years, mainly in Calif.; in late Oct. authorities trace it to wild pigs, then next Mar. decide it came from Paicines Ranch in San Benito County, Calif., which sells to Mission Organics. In Oct. former Soviet pres. Mikhail Gorbachev and chess players Anatoly Karpov and Susan Polgar meet in Lindsborg, Kan. to promote "Chess for Peace"; Karpov and Polgar end up in a 3-3 tie (2 wins, 2 draws). In Oct. the Kansas School Board becomes the first in the U.S. to back Intelligent Design as a subject to teach alongside Darwininian Evolution, raising a storm of protest; leave it to Oregon State physics grad Bobby Henderson to trivialize the issue by sending them a letter claiming to speak for 10M members followers of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, demanding equal time for their views; the board eventually backs down, but the FSM cult continues to grow on campuses, spreading to Europe? On Nov. 2 more good news in Iraq as a suicide bomber detonates a minibus in an outdoor shopper-packed market ahead of a Muslim festival in Musayyaib, Iraq 40 mi. S of Baghdad at 5 p.m., killing 20 and wounding 60. On Nov. 3 Scooter Libby pleads not guilty to charges of lying about disclosing classified info, his atty. saying he intends to "clear his good name"; meanwhile Pres. Bush's job approval rating falls to the lowest of his presidency, down to 37%, with 59% disapproving of the job he's doing; among Repubs. it drops to 78%, Dems. 9%, independents 24%, men 39%, women 35%. On Nov. 3 emails are released showing former FEMA dir. Michael Brown fiddling while Rome burned, discussing his appearance, his dog, and his public image as the Hurricane Katrina disaster was going into the red zone; "If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire you'll really vomit - I am a fashion god." On Nov. 3 the 4th Summit of the Americas begins in Mar Del Plata, Argentina to discuss the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, a free trade zone stretching from Alaska to Argentina; at the same time Venezuela stages a mock U.S. invasion of its own territory, and its pres. Hugo Chavez arrives at the summit emboldened by thousands of anti-U.S. protesters, joking that Pres. Bush is afraid of meeting him face to face, and he might sneak up and scare him at the summit; after Chavez leads a stadium full of anti-U.S. protesters and the summit fails to support the free trade zone, Bush leaves early. On Nov. 3 the EU, the Council of Europe, and Human Rights Watch announce an investigation into alleged secret jails set up by the CIA in Eastern Europe and elsewhere incl. Szymany Airport in Poland and Mihail Kogalniceanu Military Airfield in Romania, based on allegations reported on Nov. 2 in The Washington Post. On Nov. 5 U.S.-Iraqi troops begin an offensive against al-Qaida militants in Husaybah, Iraq on the Syrian border, a major entry point for foreign insurgents; on Nov. 7 al-Qaida warns the Iraq govt. to halt the offensive within 24 hours or see "the earth... shake beneath their feet". On Nov. 6 the deadliest tornado since 1974 hits SW Ind. and W Ky., killing 22, 17 of them in the Eastbrook Mobile Home Park. On Nov. 6 Israeli authorities unveil a 3rd cent. Christian church found under the planned site of a new prison ward of Megiddo Prison in Israel, which head archeologist Yotam Tepper calls "the oldest archeological remains of a church in Israel, maybe even in the entire region. Whether in the entire world, it's still too early to say"; the mosaics depict fish rather than a cross, and tell about a Roman officer and a woman named Aketous who donated money to build the church in the memory "of the god Jesus Christ" - roll in over in your grave, Arius? On Nov. 6 rioters in a working class suburb of Paris fire shotguns on police, wounding 10, just hours after Pres. Chirac called an emergency meeting of top security officials; 1.3K vehicles are burned in a dozen cities, incl. 35 in the heart of Paris; on Nov. 7 French Pres. Jacques Chirac imposes the first state emergency and curfew in 40 years after France's worst civil unrest in decades (begun Oct. 27) enters a 12th night, with French-born Muslim children of Arab and African immigrants rioting in Toulouse, Sevran, Vitry-sur-Seine, and other Paris suburbs, burning 814 vehicles (1.4K the night before, and a total of 10K vehicles), becoming the worst and most widespread damage since WWII; Algerian-Tunisian-Mauritanian leaders call for an overall solution to decades of white discrimination and segregation; on Nov. 6 1.4K cars are torched; on Nov. 12 502; on Nov. 13 (Sun.) the riots are concentrated in Lyon, still without touching the tourist districts of Paris as feared, and only 374 cars are torched (about 100 were burned in France on an avg. Sat. night before the riots). On Nov. 7 a suicide bomber at a checkpoint S of Baghdad, Iraq kills four U.S. soldiers; meanwhile five U.S. soldiers from an elite unit are charged with kicking and punching Iraqi detaineers. On Nov. 7 Pres. Bush holds a news conference with Pres. Martin Torrijos in Panama City, saying "We do not torture" those held in overseas CIA prisons; meanwhile, he supports an effort of vice-pres. Cheney to block a proposed Senate ban on CIA torture, Cheney telling Senate Repubs. on Nov. 1 that it would "tie the president's hands" - both sides of his mouth are working? On Nov. 7 file-sharing service Grokster Ltd. agrees to a settlement, shutting down and paying $50M to settle piracy complaints by Hollywood and the music industry, after a Supreme Court ruling in June in MGM v. Grokster that they and not just their pirate customers can be gone after causes them to lose the desire to fight. As of Nov. 7 WHO reports 41 deaths from bird flu in Vietnam, 13 in Thailand, 5 in Indonesia, and 4 in Cambodia, for a total of 63 since late 2003. On Nov. 8 a masked gunman in a speeding Opel assassinates Saddam Hussein's atty. Adel al-Zubeidi in a W Baghdad Sunni Arab neighborhood; Thamir al-Khuzaie, atty. for Saddam's half-brother Barazan Ibrahim is wounded; the first killing of an atty. for Saddam happened on Oct. 20, when his body was found the day after the trial's opening session. On Nov. 8 Australian authorities arrest 17 terror suspects, incl. a prominent radical Muslim cleric sympathetic to Osama bin Laden, claiming to foil a major terror attack; a Muslim identified as BUSB shoots at the police, who shoot and arrest him; in Sept. 2011 he is acquitted of attempted assault on a police officer because the court finds "anti-Muslim feeling in the community" made him skittish - the Islamophobia Defense? On Nov. 8 Calif. voters reject all four govt.-overhaul measures put on the ballot by Gov. Ahnuld just as he is gearing up for a re-election bid for 2006; "He had a mandate to reform state government, and he no longer has that mandate", says Dem. consultant Darry Sragow. On Nov. 8 Tim Kaine wins the gov. race in Va., beating Repub. Jerry Kilgore, becoming the first back-to-back Dem. wins for gov. in the predominantly red (Repub.) state since 1989, despite an appearance by Pres. Bush. On Nov. 8 by a 6-4 vote the Kansas State Board of Ed. adopts new science curricula standards that openly question the theory of evolution; six Repubs. vote yes, and two Repubs. and two Dems. vote no. What's in your wallet, boo? On Nov. 8 former finance minister Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (b. 1939) is elected the 23rd pres. of Liberia, becoming the first female head of state in Africa; pres. #22 served briefly before a caretaker govt. took over, #21 Charles Taylor won office after igniting a civil war but fled into exile in 2003; #20 Samuel Doe was executed by guerrillas who first cut off his ears; #19 William Tolbert was overthrown and assassinated in 1980, along with 13 cabinet ministers tied to wooden poles in their underwear and shot by a firing squad; Sirleaf was Tolbert's finance minister, but escaped and fled overseas, returning to be jailed by Doe in 1985 for criticizing him, emerging as the "Iron Lady"; she immediately faces pressure to extradite and try Charles Taylor for his crimes in a country that lost 200K of its 3M people in back-to-back civil wars from 1989 to 2003. On Nov. 8 15-y.-o. Ken Bartley Jr. (1990-) shoots and kills Campbell County High School asst. principal Ken Bruce in Jackson, Tenn. (30 mi. NW of Knoxville) and wounds principal Gary Seale after a scuffle. On Nov. 8 Ernst Zundel, author of the book The Hitler We Loved and Why is put on trial in Mannheim, Germany for the horrible crime of daring to deny the historicity of the Holocaust - is that like denying the Eucharist? On Nov. 9 suicide bombers working for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi carry out nearly simultaneous suicide bombings on three U.S.-based hotels in Amman, Jordan, the Grand Hyatt, Radisson SAS, and Days Inn, killing 58 and wounding 115, incl. 27 West Bank Palestinians, becoming the first time Palestinians have been the target of a suicide bombing, and perhaps sobering them up, causing the Palestinian Authority to condemn Zarqawi, lower flags to half staff, and declare a 3-day mourning period; on Nov. 10 thousands of angry protesters demonstrate throughout Jordan, shouting "Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!", causing Zarqawi's group to post rare justifications of their attack on the Web: "Let all know that we have struck only after being confident that they are centers for launching war on Islam and support the crusaders' presence in Iraq and the Arab Peninsula and the presence of the Jews on the land of Palestine"; on Nov. 15 11 top Jordanian officials incl. the nat. security adviser resign. On Nov. 9 two young men rob the home of Denver, Colo. Police Chief Gerry Whitman in broad daylight, taking his gun; it is later revealed that Whitman spends much time at home running the dept. on a cell phone for his $140K salary, despite his own officers having to go through elaborate paperwork to get any leave. On Nov. 9 the Pakistan Internat. Airlines Worldliner (Boeing 777-200LR) takes off from Hong Kong, and arrives in London on Nov. 10 after a 22 hour 42 min. 11,664 nautical mi. flight, breaking the record for the longest nonstop commercial jet flight set in 1989 by a Boeing 747-400. On Nov. 9 Pope Benedict XVI makes comments in his gen. audience in Vatican City that the Universe was made by an "intelligent project", quoting 4th cent. St. Basil the Great; Austrian Cardinal-Archbishop Christoph Maria Michael Hugo Damian Peter Adalbert, Count of Schoenborn (Schönborn) (1945-), who backed Intelligent Design and dismissed Pope John Paul II's 1996 statement that evolution is "more than just a hypothesis" attends the audience. On Nov. 10 (9:45 a.m.) a suicide bomber detonates in the Baghdad ? Restaurant favored by police and army recruiters, killing 35 and wounding 25 (al-Qaida takes credit); later a car bomb blows up outside an Iraqi army recruiting center in Tikrit, killing seven and wounding 13, all officers of Saddam's regime invited (up to the rank of major) a week earlier by Iraq's defense minister to reenlist; meanwhile Iraqi troops find 27 decomposing bodies near Jassan, Iraq close to the Iranian border. On Nov. 10 the European Court of Human Rights in Leyla Sahin v. Turkey upholds the legitimacy of a Turkish law prohibiting women from wearing religious head covering in govt. bldgs., schools, and univs.; on Feb. 22, 2008 the pres. of Turkey approves two constitutional amendments allowing them, but the Turkish supreme court overturns them. On Nov. 11 Pres. Bush gives a speech on Veterans Day at Tobyhanna, Pa. Army Depot, lashing out at congressional Iraq War policy critics, calling them "deeply irresponsible"; Sen. John Kerry shoots back, saying that Bush plays "the politics of fear and smear". On Nov. 11 Saddam's #2 man Izzat Ibraham al-Douri, the King of Clubs (#6) in the U.S. deck of cards is reported dead in an e-mail signed by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party; suffering from leukemia, he had a $10M bounty put on his head in 2003. On Nov. 12 (Sat.) Iraqi police arrest 350+ incl. local officials and Sunny Arab party leaders in a dragnet operation in Baquba, Iraq, drawing criticism that they are trying to intimidate Sunnis from participating in the upcoming Dec. 15 elections. On Nov. 12 Afghanistan elects provincial reps to the Meshrano Jirga, its upper house of parliament (house of elders), becoming the country's first elected legislature in 30 years, meeting for the first time on Dec. 18. On Nov. 13 Iraqi woman Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi (1970-) is arrested, and confesses on Jordanian state TV that she tried to blow herself up along with her husband in the Radisson Hotel on Nov. 9, but it failed to detonate, after which she is convicted and sentenced to death by hanging on Sept. 21, 2006, and recants her confession and appeals, which is denied in Jan. 2007. On Nov. 13 a chemical plant explodes in Jilin, China, creating a 50-mi. benzene slick that causes running water to be shut down in the city of Harbin (pop. 3.8M) for five days; the slick continues on into Russian territory, threatening Khabarovsk (580K pop.). On Nov. 13 World Wrestling Entertainment star Eduard "Eddie" Gory Guerrero (b. 1967) is found dead in his hotel room at the Minneapolis Marriot City Center. On Nov. 14 Pres. Bush leaves for a 8-day trip of Asia, incl. Japan, China, and South Korea, and on Nov. 15 attends the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Conference in Busan, where leading members, the U.S., China, South Korea, Russia, and Japan agree to support free trade talks at the WTO; on Nov. 16 he tells China to be more like archrival Taiwan, and asks them to open its economy to foreign competition to narrow its $200B trade surplus with the U.S. - he should have kept mum? On Nov. 14 a Presbyterian congregation in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. ordains gay Raymond Bagnuolo, despite his refusal to practice chastity - the squirrels need a nut feeder? On Nov. 15 the U.S. Senate votes 79-19 to urge the Bush admin. to publicly explain its strategy for success in Iraq and to begin providing quarterly reports on military ops.; a plan for calling for a phased troop withdrawal is dropped. On Nov. 15 Iraq's PM announces that 173 malnourished, probably tortured detainees were found at an Interior Ministry basement lockup seized by U.S. forces in Baghdad, validating Sunni complaints of abuse by the Shiite-controlled ministry. On Nov. 15 after strong U.S. pressure, Israel and the Palestinians reach an agreement to open Gaza's borders. On Nov. 15 the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colo. hears arguments over a 55-year 10-ft.-thick reams of legal BS paperwork prison sentenced imposed on 26-y.-o. Salt Lake City man Weldon H. Angelos for selling small amounts of marijuana while possessing a firearm (he sold 8 oz. of weed 3x times to an acquaintance working for the police) - and now his ass is grass for life because the U.S. is becoming a gulag controlled by super-rich Puritans in Congress who have architected victimless crime legal bull into machines for turning people into slaves with even judges' hands being tied? How about just I'm throwing it out of court and never bring this kind of garbage before me again or I'll jail you prosecutors for contempt? On Nov. 15 Muslim leaders meet in the Hofburg Palace of Vienna to complain about how terrorists are distorting the image of Islam, with Austrian foreign minister Ursula Plassnik uttering the soundbyte: "Muslims throughout the world are suffering increasingly from the unacceptable connection of Islam with violence or even terrorism", and Iraq pres. Jalal Talabani uttering the soundbyte: "The Islamic religion is facing a disfigurement in essence to its reality as a religion of love, compassion and peace by a small group of radicals who have lost the way." On Nov. 16 China reports its first human cases on the mainland, incl. at least one death from the deadly H5N1 strain, racing to inoculate billions of poultry. On Nov. 16 famed Washington Post asst. managing editor Bob Woodward apologizes to the paper's top editor for withholding for more than two years the fact that a Bush admin. official had told him the identity of the CIA agent at the center of the 23-mo. federal criminal investigation, explaining that he didn't want to testify before the federal grand jury and end up like Judith Miller. On Nov. 16 Iraq continues to be a meat grinder as five U.S. Marines are killed in fighting with insurgents nar the Syrian border, and U.S. Army soldier dies of wounds suffered in Big Daddy. On Nov. 16 Pres. Bush and South Korean Pres. Roh Moo-hyun meet in Gyeongju, Korea's ancient capital, and declare that a nuclear-armed North Korea "will not be tolerated", but stress that the little problem they're having with them should be resolved through peaceful and diplomatic means down to the x-y-z. On Nov. 16 Iran admits that its new Russian-made (Polyot) 375-lb. Sina-1 satellite, launched 1 mo. earlier is capable of spying on Israel (that country their pres. said should be wiped off the map?); a 2nd Iranian-built satellite is set to be launched in 2 mo. On Nov. 16 the U.S. Senate votes to force U.S. cos. to make up an underfunding of pension plans estimated at $450B and live up to promises made to employees. On Nov. 16 the $230M "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska, supposed to lead to an island with a pop. of 50 is scrapped by the U.S. Congress, defeating Repub. Senate Appropriations Committtee chmn. Theodore Fulton "Ted" Ted Stevens (1923-2010) from Alaska (known for his trademark "The Hulk" tie); they also axe "Don Young's Way", a $229 bridge between Anchorage and sparsely populated Knik, Alaska, named after Repub. House Transportation Committee chmn. Don Young, also from Alaska; but they score a back atchya by getting the money earmarked for their state anyway, this time without strings? On Nov. 17 CREA pres. Italia Federici, a former aide of Gale Norton defends nearly $500K in contributions her org. received from Indian casino tribes represented by Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff (1959-) (Jack Off for short?) in front of a Senate panel; on Nov. 18 Abramoff is charged with defrauding Amerindian tribes of millions of dollars; on Dec. 14 Norton denies that Abramoff influenced her interior dept., but on Mar. 10, 2006 decides to resign. On Nov. 17 U.S. Rep. (D-Penn.) (1969-) John Patrick "Jack" Murtha Jr. (1932-2010) flip-flops from being a hawk to calling for an immediate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. On Nov. 18 pure-bred blind Chinese Crested hairless Sam, the World's Ugliest Dog (b. 1990) (with hairless body and crooked teeth) dies just short of his 15th birthday after winning his 3rd straight title at the Sonoma-Marin Fair this summer; owner Susie Lockheed of Santa Barbara, Calif. took him in six years earlier and met her boyfriend through an online dating site with a photo of them. On Nov. 18 U.S. Rep. (R-Ohio) (2005-) Jeannette Marie Hoffman "Jean" Schmidt (1951-) (most junior member of the House) is booed by Dems. after telling them that a Marine col. back home sent a message "Cowards cut and run - Marines never do"; the House then defeats a measure for a quick U.S. Iraqi pullout by 403-3. On Nov. 19 a suicide bomber plows his car into a tent full of Shiite mourners in Iraq, killing 30 - and turning them into what? Had it up to tha' in Iraq, boys? On Nov. 19 U.S. Marines stink up the U.S. name after a bomb rocks their military convoy in Haditha, Iraq, killing Marine Lance Cpl. Miguel "TJ" Terrazas (b. 1985), and causing the rest, led by SSgt. Frank Wuterich (1980-) to shoot and kill unarmed civilians in a taxi at the scene, then go into two homes and massacre up 24 inhabitants; the brass attempts to cover it up until next May, when news leaks happen, and the fit hits the shan. On Nov. 20 a gunman opens fire in a busy shopping mall in Tacoma, Wash., wounding six and taking three hostage in a music store before surrendering. On Nov. 21 Israeli PM Ariel Sharon announces that he is gambling and breaking away from his hardline Likud Party to avoid squandering peacemaking oportunities created by the Gaza Strip pullout, and forms a new coalition "liberal" party called Kadima; Mar. elections are now likely; on Dec. 11 Tehran-born Mizrahi Jewish defense minister (since 2002) Shaul Mofaz (1948-) quits Likud to join Sharon's new centrist faction. On Nov. 21 a car bomb attack in Baqouba, Iraq kills four and wounds 10 civilians; U.S. soldiers mistakenly fire on a civilian vehicle outside a U.S. base in Baqouba, Iraq, killing two adults and a child. On Nov. 21 Pres. Bush becomes the first U.S. pres. to visit Mongolia (for 4 hours), telling Pres. Nambaryn Enkhbayar that his country has stood with the U.S. as "brothers in the cause of freedom", and telling him "I feel very much at home in your country" because of all the yaks"; Mongolia, which refers to the U.S. as their "third neighbor" sends more troops per capita to Iraq than every country except Britain and Denmark? - for old Genghis Khan? On Nov. 21 the U.S. bans poultry from mainland British Columbia because of one case of the bird flu, one duck out of 56K birds at a farm in Chillwack, which are killed for safety. On Nov. 22 Ted Koppel (b. 1940) makes his final appearance on ABC-TV's Nightline (begun 1980); a new vers. debuts on Nov. 28. On Nov. 22 the Italian Catholic news agency Adista posts a long-awaited Vatican Instruction on Gay Priests, toughening its stand against gay candidates for the priesthood, saying it "cannot admit to the seminary and the sacred orders those who practice homosexuality, present deeply rooted homosexual tendencies or support so-called gay culture"; since 25%-50% of U.S. priests are gay, will the future see an aging fag subgroup pigging out on each other until they go to hog heaven? On Nov. 22 Houston, Tex.-born Muslim student Ahmed Omar Abu Ali (1981-) (born and raised in Falls Church, Va.) is convicted of joining al-Qaida and plotting to assassinate Pres. Bush; he was arrested at a Medina, Saudi Arabia univ. in June 2003, and later claims that the Saudi Mubahith security force tortured him to obtain a confession. On Nov. 22 a suicide car bomber in Kirkuk, Iraq kills 21 incl. 12 police and injures 24 after his accomplices lure police to the scene by shooting an officer. On Nov. 22 gorgeous blonde former Greco Middle School, Fla. reading teacher Debra Jean LaFave (nee Beasley) (1980-) is sentenced to three years of house arrest and seven years of probation in Hillsborough County for lewd and lascivious battery, the horrendous offense of having sex (for free?) with a 14-y.-o. male student twice, once in the classroom and once in her home; she is then charged for having sex with the same lucky, er, victim in a SUV, but on Mar. 21, 2006 the charges are dropped out of concern for the boy, whose mother is disappointed that she didn't get jail time - Puritanism is alive and well in Latter Day Amerika? On Nov. 23 Kenyan pres. (since 2002) Mwai Kibaki dismisses his entire cabinet after they help voters defeat a proposed new constitution that would give him sweeping powers; next July Kibaki's new Narc-Kenya political party wins three out of five parliamentary seats, showing popular support, helped by a growing GDP. On Nov. 24 the Internat. Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N.'s key nuclear watchdog agency meets in Vienna over the future of Iran's nuclear program; two weeks earlier its head, Mohamed ElBaradei traveled to Iran to offer a proposal to move its uranium enrichment program to Russia, which was declined. On Nov. 24 several supermarkets defy the 17th cent. Puritan Blue Laws in Boston, Mass., causing the Mass. atty.-gen. to launch an investigation; although the ban on Sunday liquor sales has been repealed, the opening of most stores on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day still has not? On Nov. 24 a suicide bomber detonates outside a hospital S of Baghdad while U.S. troops are handing out food and candy to children, killing 30. On Nov. 25 British Columbia, Canada pledges $4.3B in funding over the next decade for the nearly 1M aboriginal peoples of the North Am. nation, the First Nations, and Inuits. On Nov. 25 German archeologist Susanne Kristina Osthoff (1962-) and her Iraqi driver are taken hostage in Iraq, and shown on TV footage on Nov. 27 by the German broadcaster ARD; another tape shows four peace activists, an American, a Briton, and two Canadians, all members of the Chicago-based Christian Peacemaker Teams; Osthoff is released on Dec. 18, and claims she had been happy, and had even been given some of the ransom money to pay for her digital camera. On Nov. 26 Palestinians take control of the Rafah border crossing on the Gaza Strip between Gaza and Egypt amid a festive air. On Nov. 27 Senate Armed Services Committee chmn. John Warner (R-Va.) appears on NBC-TV's Meet the Press, suggesting that Pres. Bush should begin FDR-style fireside chats to save his admin. from tanking over the Iraq war, and debates with Sen. Foreign Relations Committee's top Dem., Joe Biden of Del. about whether the U.S. can maintain its baseline troop levels past next year; meanwhile the Pentagon announces that U.S. troop levels will drop from 160K to below 140K after the Dec. 15 Iraqi elections. On Nov. 27 eight Sunni Arab men are arrested by police in N Iraq for plotting to assassinate Raid Juhi, chief investigative judge of the court trying Saddam Hussein, whose trial resumes after a recess of almost six weeks. On Nov. 27 a 5.9 earthquake in S Iran kills 10 and injures 70. On Nov. 28 voters in the tiny Alpine principality of Vaduz reject by 80%-20% a Roman Catholic-backed constitutional amendment preventing abortion, birth control, assisted suicide, and living wills. On Nov. 28 a corruption scandal forces a no-confidence vote, toppling Canadian PM Paul Martin's minority Liberal Party govt. (pro same sex marriage, contra U.S. invasion of Iraq and continental ballistic missile shield), prompting the first Christmas-winter campaign in Canada in 26 years. On Nov. 28 8-term congressman (R.-Calif.) (1991-2005), former U.S. Navy Top Gun flight instructor and Vietnam War flying ace Randy "Duke" Cunningham (1941-), member of the House Intelligence Committee pleads guilty to taking $2.4M in bribes from defense contractors and resigns, and on Mar. 3, 2005 receives 8 years 4 mo. in priz, is ordered to forfeit $1.85M and pay another $1.8M for back taxes; the Rancho Santa Fe mansion and Rolls Royce kind of gave him away?; on Oct. 17 a report by an investigator hired by the Intel. Committee claims that he had directed at least $70M in business to two contractors in return for millions in bribes. On Nov. 28 Benjamin Franklin Elementary becomes the first public school in New Orleans, La. to reopen since Hurricane Katrina; 120 of 210 students show up. On Nov. 29 Va. Gov. Mark R. Warner commutes the death sentence of Robin McKennel Lovitt (1963-), who would have been the 1,000th person executed in the U.S. since 1976. On Nov. 31 the U.S. hurricane season ends with a record 13 hurricanes and 26 named storms. In Nov. Frank Tassone, former superintendent of the Roslyn, N.Y. school district asks a judge to rule that he doesn't have to testify against his gay spouse Stephen Signorelli in a trial in which he pled guilty on Sept. 26 to stealing $219K from the school district to pay for flying to London on the Concorde and dry cleaning, alleging he is his spouse; it it later learned that he also paid for romantic getaways with him to Las Vegas; his spending spree causes many teachers to be forced into early retirement for lack of funds. In Nov. Myanmar dictator Gen. Than Shwe moves the entire govt. from Rangoon (Yangon) (capital for the last 120 years) to Pyinmana, in a remote area 245 mi. away, giving civil servants two days notice and forbidding resignation. In Nov. former pres. of Finland (1994-2000) Martti Ahtisaari (1937-) is appointed by U.S. secy.-gen. Kofi Annan as special envoy for the "Kosovo status process" to determine whether it should remain a province of Serbia or become independent, and he eventually decides on independence with internat. monitoring, which causes the Serbs to begin personal attacks on his character to discredit him, after which he quits in July 2007, then after Serbia declares independence in Feb. 2008, he receives the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize. In Nov. the 300 lb. Hollywood Walk of Fame star of actor Gregory Peck is stolen, becoming the 4th since the Walk of Fame was begun in 1960 (Kirk Douglas, Jimmy Stewart, Gene Autry). In Nov. Nicholas Negroponte (1943-), brother of Homeland Security dir. John Negroponte unveils the Children's Machine, a $100 laptop computer with many advanced features, which he hopes to put into the hands of every child in the Third World via his org. One Laptop Per Child. On Dec. 1 World AIDS Day 2005 draws attention to the 40M people worldwide infected with HIV, dying at the rate of 3M a year (6 a min.); over half of HIV infections are in Africa, which has only 10% of the world's pop; the same day the World Health Org. (WHO) stops hiring smokers - dick smokers okay? On Dec. 1 South Africa's Constitutional (highest) Court rules in favor of gay marriage, and gives Parliament a year to make necessary legal changes. On Dec. 1 Oprah Winfrey appears on David Letterman's Late Show for the first time in 16 years, tripling its audience to 13.5M, and apparently forgiving him for his "Uma Oprah" skit in the Oscars in 1995; he then escorts her to the Broadway debut of The Color Purple. On Dec. 2 convicted murderer Kenneth Lee Boyd (b. 1948) is executed in Raleigh, N.C., becoming the 1,000th person executed in the U.S. since 1977 (#1 was Gary Gilmore in Utah). On Dec. 2 an IED in Fallujah kills 10 and wounds 11 U.S. Marines from Regimental Combat Team 8 based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., becoming the deadliest attack against U.S. troops in Iraq in 4 mo. On Dec. 2 the U.S. Transportation Security Admin. (TSA) announces relaxed regs. for airline passengers, who will now be permitted to carry scissors with blades up to 4 in. long and screwdrivers up to 7 in. (effective Dec. 22), despite objections from flight attendants and 9/11 attack victim relatives; pat-downs will become more thorough to compensate. On Dec. 3 insurgents kill 19 and wound two Iraqi soldiers NE of Baghdad. On Dec. 3 the Vatican holds a Christmas concert, taping it for broadcast in Italy on Christmas Eve after dropping Brazilian singer Daniela Mercury for appearing in TV ads promoting the distribution of free condoms. On Dec. 4 a would-be suicide bomber detonates when hit by a motorbike in Kandahar, Afghanistan, killing them both and wounding two others hours earlier two U.S. helis collide during combat operations, wounding six. On Dec. 5 Saddam Hussein puts up a show in court, telling the judge "You cannot continue with this game. Do you want the neck of Saddam Hussein? Then have it"; meanwhile witnesses describe abuse in Dujail, incl. "Hall 63", where a meat grinder is used; Hussein's atty. Gen. Ramsey Clark (former U.S. atty.-gen.) leads a walkout after arguing that the court is illegitimate because it is based on U.S. occupation. On Dec. 5 a suicide bomber detonates outside a shopping center in the coastal city of Netanya, Israel, killing five and wounding 40; an alert driver spots him walking toward the mall and alerts police, limiting injuries. On Dec. 5 the Sept. 11 Public Discourse Project reports that the U.S. is "arlarmingly vulnerable to terrorist strikes". On Dec. 6 after dark police crack down on a social protest in the Chinese countryside in the town of Dongzho, China over plans to build a coal fired generator, killing 20, becoming the greatest demonstrator-kill since Tiananmen Square in 1989? On Dec. 6 a military C-130 4-engine tuboprop plane loaded with Iranian journalists crashes into the 10-story Towhid apt. bldg. in the Azari suburb of Tehran near Mehrabad Airport during an emergency landing after engine trouble, killing 115. On Dec. 6 the U.N. authorizes a regional peacekeeping force for Somalia, but the Council of Islamic Courts rejects it; on Dec. 19 the first direct fighting between Somalia and Ethiopia begins. On Dec. 8 the 50-nation summit of Islamic nations in Mecca, Saudi Arabia issues the Mecca Declaration promising to stamp out extremist thought; meanwhile Iranian Pres. Ahmadinejad tells a news conference that he doubts that the Holocaust took place and that if Europe feels guilty about it they should move Israel to Europe instead of making "the repercussions fall on the Palestinians"; Saudi spokesmen take exception, comparing his statements to those of Sodamn Insane and Moammar Daffy Duck - you look kind of lost yourself? On Dec. 8 the U.S. House and Senate reach agreement on reauthorizing the U.S. Patriot Act, extending the provisions permitting govt. roving wiretaps and secret access to library and other files for four years; on Dec. 16 Senate Dems., citing civil liberties concerns block its passage with a filibuster after a 52-47 vote to advance it to a final vote; meanwhile the Senate begins looking into accusations that Pres. Bush has authorized the Nat. Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop without warrants on people inside the U.S., causing him to attempt to justify it on Dec. 17 as "critical to saving American lives", which causes a Dem. to say he is attempting to justify the divine right of kings again; on Dec. 30 Pres. Bush signs a bill renewing the law for a few more weeks (until Feb. 3). On Dec. 8 a suicide bomber in a bus en route from Baghdad to Nasiriyah, Iraq kills 32, making the 3-day suicide bomber death toll in Bagged Dead at least 75. On Dec. 8 Southwest Airlines Flight 1248 (Boeing 737) from Baltimore slides off a runway in a heavy snowstorm in Midway Internat. Airport, the second largest in Chicago at 7:15 p.m., crashing through a fence into a busy street and hitting a vehicle, killing a 6-y.-o. boy. On Dec. 8 Boulder, Colo. physicist John Hall and co-winner Roy Glauber use their Nobel Prize platform in Stockholm to criticize the Bush admin., saying that their attitude in science "does not go in the right direction" (Hall); "Some in Congress are more concerned with the political consequences of research projects than their scientific importance" (Glauber). On Dec. 9 N.J. gov.-elect Jon Corzine appoints Dem. Rep. Robert Menendez (1954-) to serve the remaining year in his Senate term, making him the 3rd Hispanic in the Senate after Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) and Mel Martinez (R-Fla.). On Dec. 9 a storm blankets the NE U.S. with up to 1 ft. of snow, causing five fatal crashes. On Dec. 9 Pres. Clinton tells the U.N. Climate Conference in Montreal that the Bush admin. is "flat wrong" in failing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol to reduce CO2 emissions, as 150+ countries and about three dozen industrialized countries have done; the huffing-puffing U.S., China and India still have not signed on. On Dec. 11 a suicide bomber kills himself and wounds three civilians near a U.S. and Afghan military convoy in Kandahar, Afghanistan. On Dec. 11 a tape by Egyptian-born Ayman al-Zawahri surfaces, calling for a global jihad against "the Cross and Zionism". It's time to play the Nutcracker Suite? On Dec. 11-12 neo-Nazi violence between whites and Arabs in Sydney, Australia follows a rumor that Lebanese youths had assaulted two white lifeguards on "surfers only" Cronulla Beach on Dec. 4. On Dec. 12 Pres. Bush estimates that 30K Iraqis have died in the war, and says that "knowing that I know today, I'd make the decision again" to remove Saddam Hussein. On Dec. 12 Lebanese journalist and critic of Syria Gibran Tueni (1957-), gen. manager and grandson of the founder of An-Nahar (founded 1933), Lebanon's leading newspaper is killed in Beirut in a car bombing. On Dec. 12 Red Cross chief exec (since 2002) Marsha Evans is ousted with a $780K severance package from the $4B charity after criticism for its handling of Hurricane Katrina. On Dec. 14 the U.S. House narrowly passes a spending bill which freezes or cuts back a wide variety of domestic programs and cuts federal aid to education for the first time in a decade. On Dec. 14 Iran's pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calls the Nazi Holocaust a "myth", used as a pretext for the Jewish state's existence, causing the White House to reply that this proves Iran must not be allowed to develop nukes. On Dec. 15 parliamentary elections are held for a new govt. in Iraq that is to take power on Dec. 31, and about 11M Iraqis (70% of registered voters) turn out; voters' fingertips are marked with purple dye; after angry street protests and charges of vote-rigging, U.S. and Iraqi officials announce an attempt to form a coalition govt. on Dec. 24. On Dec. 15 the New York Times reports that in 2002 Pres. Bush signed a pres. order to allow the NSA to spy on Americans suspected of being connected to terrorist activity without warrants. On Dec. 15 a $3M bronze statue by English sculptor Henry Moore is stolen from the grounds of the Henry Moore Foundation museum in Hertfordshire with a crane and truck. In mid-Dec. the U.S. has 159K troops in Iraq, up from 146.3K in May, and down from 192K in Mar. 2003; Bulgaria and Ukraine begin withdrawing their combined 1,250 troops from Iraq; the so-called coalition of 24 nations supporting the 150K troops of the U.S. consists of 8K troops from Britain, 3.2K from S. Korea, 2.8K from Italy (troop and police trainers), 1.4K from Poland (troop and police trainers), 900 from Australia, 898 from Georgia, 876 from Ukraine, 863 from Romania, 600 from Japan (noncombat troops), 380 from Bulgaria, down to 32 from Macedonia. On Dec. 16 Hamas celebrates a landslide V in West Bank city elections. On Dec. 17 the Scientologists' Psychiatry: An Industry of Death Museum opens in Hollywood, Calif., attended by Scientologist celebs Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley, Jenna Elfman, Danny Masterson, Giovanni Ribisi, Anne Archer et al. On Dec. 18 (eve.) for 16 min. Pres. Bush addresses the nation live from the Oval Office for the first time since the beginning of the Iraq War in Mar. 2003 to crow about the successful Iraqi elections and talk about the "path that lies ahead", saying, "we do not create terrorism by fighting the terrorists", adding that the latter "feel a tightening noose, and fear the rise of a democratic Iraq", concluding that he's determined to "finish the job", "doing what is right and accepting the consequences", and exhorting Americans not to "give in to despair, and do not give up on this fight for freedom". On Dec. 18 nearly two dozen die in Iraq from suicide bombings and gunmen as vice-pres. Dick Cheney makes a surprise visit. On Dec. 18 Israeli PM Ariel Sharon suffers a minor stroke. On Dec. 18 Socialist candidate and coca farmer Evo Morales (Juan Evo Morales Ayma) (1959-) wins the pres. election in Bolivia, becoming its first Indian pres. (until ?), waving a coca branch as he greets supporters, promising to end the U.S.-backed anti-cocaine campaign, and that if the U.S. wants relations "Welcome, but no to a relationship of submission"; he is sworn-in on Jan. 22, and goes on a world tour wearing a brightly striped sweater which sparks an "Evo Fashion" craze; he halves his $3.9K a mo. salary along with his cabinet ministers, using the savings to hire public school teachers. On Dec. 19 TV "prosperity gospel" evangelist Joel Scott Hayley Osteen (1963-) of the giant Lakewood Church in the former Compac Center in Houston, Tex. (viewing audience 200M; church attendance 40K, income $55M a year) stinks himself up when his wife Victoria Iloff Osteen (1961-) is asked to leave Continental Airlines Flight 1602 (Houston to Vail, Colo.) after a dispute over a spill on her pull-down tray; she is later fined $3K. On Dec. 19 (2:30 p.m.) a Chalk's Ocean Airways twin-engine Grumman G-73T Turbine Mallard crashes off Miami Beach en route from Miami to Bimini, killing all 20 aboard. On Dec. 19 Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad bans all Western music, incl. classical from Iran state radio and TV stations. I'm too sexy for my Volvo? On Dec. 19 lezzies Shannon Sickels of Northern Ireland and Grainne Close of New York City become the first gay couple in the U.K. to legally form a civil partnership in Belfast, as North Ireland, the last region of the U.K. to legalize homosexuality (1982) becomes the first to legalize same-sex partnerships; Scotland follows its lead on Dec. 20, and England and Wales on Dec. 21; Denmark was the first country (1989), and by now Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden permit them. On Dec. 20 federal judge John Edward Jones III (1955-) rules in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District that the Oct. 2004 decision of the Dover, Penn. school board to permit teaching Intelligent Design in public schools is un-PC, er, unconstitutional, because it "cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents", and on Jan. 3, 2006 they rescind their policy; a video of the school board hearings where noted pro-ID experts testify while pro-evolution experts boycott it is released, becoming a great time capsule - because it prohibits the free exercise of religion or might cause it to receive equal time and threaten the ACLU program of freedom from religion? On Dec. 20-23 3K mass transit workers in New York City strike, bringing the city to its knees and causing thousands to don sneakers and walking shoes and walk to work over the Brooklyn Bridge, like in the Apr. 1, 1980 strike. On Dec. 21 Julius Nyerere protege Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (1950-) becomes pres. #4 of Tanzania (until ?). On Dec. 21 singer Sir Elton John (1947-) weds his male partner of 12 years, Canadian ad man David Furnish (1962-) in the 17th cent. Windsor Town Hall (where Prince Charles and Camilla got married in Apr.) after Britain's civil partnership law takes effect, along with hundreds of same-sex couples; the wedding reception at Elton John's Windsor mansion for 700 guests incl. George Michaels, Donatella Versace, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne, and Posh Spice Girl Victoria Beckham costs $1.75M. On Dec. 21 after Gov. Ahnuld's denial of leniency to Tookie Williams gets him assailed by citizens of his hometown of Graz, Austria ("city of human rights") (capital punishment is illegal in Austria), he decides to cut his ties with them and return a ring of honor they gave him in 1999, causing mayor Siegfried Nagi begs him to reconsider, assuring him that most residents still admire him; at his request, on Dec. 25 officials remove giant letters spelling out his name on a 15.3K-seat soccer stadium. On Dec. 21 Saddam Hussein claims in court that Americans beat and tortured him and other defendants in prison in an obvious effort to top witnesses who describe his own forces using electric shocks and molten plastic hoses to rip skin off Kurds in Dujail in 1982. On Dec. 21 vice-pres. Cheney breaks the tie in the U.S. Senate to pass a 6-mo. extension of the U.S. Patriot Act, due to expire on Dec. 31, and Pres. Bush issues his sternest warning yet that "the terrorists still want to hit us again"; the House still is holding up the bill because of civil rights concerns. On Dec. 21 the Senate denies the bid of powerful Alaska Repub. Sen. Ted Stevens (1923-2010) (wearing his lucky Incredible Hulk tie) to get oil drilling authorized in the Arctic Nat. Wildlife Refuge by putting the measure in a $453.5B defense spending bill after Maria Cantwell (D.-Wash.) calls it "legislative blackmail" and Dems. threaten a filibuster; Stevens claims that in 1980 Dem. Sens. Henry "Scoop" Jackson of Wash. and Paul Tsongas of Mass. made a "deal" to do it, but died before fulfilling it, and "A promise made is a debt unpaid"; in 1998 the U.S. Geological Survey estimated 5.6B-16B barrels of oil are recoverable from the area, which would produce 1M barrels a day, about 5% of U.S. consumption. On Dec. 22 Muslim Brotherhood supreme guide Mohammed Mahdi Akef posts a statement on his Web site that the Holocaust is a myth, and that the U.S., the public face of the NWO is being "manipulated by the hands of the sons of Zion"; the MB won 88 seats in Egypt's parliament two weeks earlier, establishing itself as the only significant opposition org. in the country? On Dec. 23 the last air-cooled engine for the classic VW minivan comes off the Volkwagen AG assembly line in Sao Paulo, Brazil because of a new Brazilian emissions law. Islam, the religion of Kill Kill Kill Kill strikes again? On Dec. 23 Nazir Ahmed (1965-) of Gago Mandi, Pakistan slits the throats of his three young daughters and their 25-y.-o. stepsister in front of his wife and 3-mo.-o. son to salvage his family's "honor" after the older girl allegedly commits adultery and he doesn't want the daughters to do the same when they grow up; he is arrested and faces the death penalty, but remains unrepentant, saying that "I wish that I get a chance to eliminate the boy she ran away with and set his home on fire." On Dec. 25 two burqa-clad Muslim gunmen attack a Presbyterian church Christmas service in Chianwala, E Pakistan with a grenade, killing three young girls, after which police detain an Islamic cleric who called on Muslims to kill Christians a few days earlier. On Dec. 25 two police officers in an emergency truck plunge 40 ft. off the open drawbridge Lincoln Highway Bridge on the Hackensack River in Jersey City, N.J. in thick fog after they go out to place fares to warn motorists that the bridge's safety warning system is broken, and they forget to warn the bridge operator of their presence. On Dec. 26 at least two dozen people incl. a U.S. soldier are killed in shootings and bombings in Iraq; two U.S. pilots are killed when their Apachi heli collides with another heli W of Baghdad. On Dec. 26 a dozen New Orleans police officers surround Anthony Hayes (1967-) as he brandishes a small knife, and gun him down, claiming they felt their lives to be threatened; the officers are not charged with a speck of spit by the justice-for-the-pigs DA. On Dec. 26 survivors pray beside mass graves and beachside memorials in Indonesia to mark the first anniv. of the tsunami; on Dec. 27 rebels in Indonesia's Aceh province formally disband their armed wing after 29 years struggling for independence and thousands of deaths, saying they plan to join the political process and participate in upcoming elections. On Dec. 27 Russian Pres. Putin's outspoken libertarian economic adviser Andrey Nikolayevich Illarionov (1961-) resigns after criticizing the Kremlin for stifling political freedom and competition with govt.-controlled corps, and moves to the U.S. On Dec. 27 the U.S. Nat. Security Agency (NSA) stops placing permanent (expire 2035) cookies on computers of visitors to their Web site after complaints. On Dec. 27 the Europart independent artists' group in Austria begins displaying nude pics of Pres. Bush, Pres. Chirac, and Queen Elizabeth II engaging in sex acts on electronic billboards across Vienna; they are yanked on Dec. 28 by orders of chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel, despite the govt. giving the group $1.2M in subsidies - change the pics to the Prophet and they'll be OK? On Dec. 27-30 the Tex.-Okla. Grass Fires of 2005 ravage bone-dry Tex. and Okla., killing four and burning 200 homes. On Dec. 28 the U.S. Agency for Internat. Development adds $20M to their initial $15M Asian tsunami relief fund after secy. of state Colin Powell reacts to the suggestion that the U.S. is "stingy". On Dec. 28 a British aid worker and her parents are kidnapped in the S Gaza Strip by Palestinian gunmen, and are freed two days later. On Dec. 28 inmates at the A'dala Prison in the Baghdad suburb of Kazimiyah, Iraq storm the prison armory and steal an AK-47 rifle, which is used to kill eight and wound one U.S. soldier in a botched escape attempt. On Dec. 30 Palestinian policeman go on a rampage over the killing of a colleague and seize the Gaza-Egypt border crossing for several hours, forcing EU monitors to flee. On Dec. 30 Egyptian riot police kill 23 unarmed Sudanese migrants in a public park in Cairo that they had occupied for 3 mo. in an effort to pressure U.N. officials into relocating them. On Dec. 30 the U.S. issues its first electronic passports, containing an embedded IC in the cover allowing sensor scanning. On Dec. 30 iPledge, a nationwide registry of Americans taking the anti-acne drug Accutane (isotretinoin) begins accepting names in an effort to limit women who are about to get pregnant from taking it and risking birth defects. On Dec. 31 (New Year's Eve) at least 20 more are killed in Iraq in bombings and shootings; meanwhile U.S. troops shiver through a performance of "American Idol 3" finalist Diana DeGarmo et al. On Dec. 31 a nail bomb in a meat market in Palu, Indonesia 1K mi. NE of Jakarta kills eight and wounds 45 after warnings that the Jemaah Islamiyah, linked to al-Qaida is planning holiday strikes in an attempt to establish an Islamic state spanning Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and S Philippines. On Dec. 31 the Internat. Telecomm. Union decrees that the final minute of the year will contain 61 rather than 60 seconds to keep up with the slip in the planet's rotation, becoming the 23rd leap sec. inserted since 1972. On Dec. 31 97-y.-o. heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey undergoes a procedure to repair an aortic aneurysm with a Dacron graft. In Dec. Kazakhstan pres. Nursultan Nazarbayev is reelected for another seven years with 91% of the vote - does that incl. Borat? In Dec. the U.S. House of Reps. passes an immigrant deportation bill that would initiate felony charges and deportation for the 11M-12M illegals in the U.S., causing illegal immigrants to begin planning mass action to fight back. In Dec. the venerable City News Service of the Chicago Tribune (founded in 1890) is eliminated and replaced with a 24-hour news desk for the paper's websites only; Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Charles MacArthur, Ben Hecht (1894-1964), Melvyn Douglas all cut their teeth there. In Dec. Gov. Ahnuld goes to the hospital for a rapid heartbeat. In Dec. a movement to ban the word "Christmas" and replace it with more PC words such as "Holiday" gains momentum; meanwhile Rev. D. James Kennedy and other Christian leaders organize a political countermovement, which results in the NBC show The Book of Daniel, written by a homosexual, about an Episcopalian minister (Aidan Quinn) who talks to a laid-back relativistic ethics Jesus cancelled; Kennedy next takes on Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code"; Wal-Mart instructs its employees to use happy holidays in hellos to customers, then flip-flops next year. Former U.S. deputy defense secy. Paul Wolfowitz (1943-), Pres. Clinton's atty. in the Paula Jones case, who was instrumental in ramrodding the U.S. into the Iraq War ("I'm reasonably certain that they will greet us as liberators") becomes pres. of the World Bank, raising eyebrows; he then stinks himself up by promoting his longtime babe Shaha Ali Riza (1953-) to a high-paying job at the state dept., waiting until he takes his new job to give the appearance of avoiding a conflict of interest, but only angering watchdogs, who call for his resignation, which he finally tenders on May 17, 2007. In 2005 a total of 844 (841 according to the AP) U.S. service members are killed in Iraq, compared to 848 in 2004; the number wounded is 9,157, compared to 7,956 in 2004; the total dead since the war began is 2,178, with 15,955 wounded; the bloodiest month in 2005 was Jan., with 107 killed and 500 wounded; the second worst month was Oct., with 96 dead and 603 wounded; more than half of the deaths are caused by homemade, usually roadside bombs. An advisory panel recommends permitting women to ascend the throne in Japan, abolishing a 1947 law; the imperial family, led by Emperor Akihito has not produced a male heir since the 1960s; Crown Prince Naruhito and crown Princess Masako have one child, 3-y.-o. Princess Aiko (Jap. "little loved one") Toshi (b. 2002). The U.S. Real ID Act requires states to check that the documents presented for getting a diver's license (birth certificate, passport) are genuine, and incl. a digital photo and some form of biometric data such as a thumbprint, with licenses from non-complying states not to be accepted at airports and federal bldgs.; Section 102 gives the Homeland Security secy. unprecedent power to suspend any law standing in the way of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, incl. environmental laws; the act freaks-out libertarians, who compare it with Nazism; Rep. Jim Guest (R-Mo.) calls it a "frontal assault on the freedom of Americans"; Maine's legislature votes to demand its repeal. The U.S. SAFETEA-LU Act (Safe Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act - a Legacy for Users) is passed to fund the NAFTA Superhighway, incl. tollways, tracks, FAST lanes, and giant inland shipping ports, incl. the $138B Trans Texas Corridor from Mexico to Canada, and the CANAMEX Corridor in the W U.S.; Pres. Bush holds the First North Am. Leaders Summit near his Texas ranch to discuss progress on NAFTA with the presidents of Mexico and Canda, which becomes an annual affair; the whole plan stirs fears of an attempted merger of Canada, the U.S. and Mexico into a North Am. Union (NAU) patterned after the EU, with a "joint perimeter" around all three, and the inevitable short-circuiting of U.S. laws and constitutional guarantees, incl. the end of all efforts at stemming illegal immigration. In response to the Mar. 2004 bombing of Madrid, the U.N. founds the Alliance of Civilizations to prevent a clash of civilizations, tracing back to the U.N. initiative called "Dialogue Among Civilizations" proposed in 1998 by Iranian pres. Mohammad Khatami to counter Samuel Huntington's book "The Clash of Civilizations"; too bad, it ends up being coopted by Islamic countries against the West. The Israeli Supreme Court issues a ruling barring use of enemy civilians as human shields; too bad, in Feb. 2007 AP TV News films an incident involving 24-y.-o. Sameh Amira (1983-) being taken from his house on the West Bank by Israeli troops and used for one. Bhutan becomes the first country in the world to ban the sale of all tobacco products and public smoking. The U.S. govt. launches the Youth Exchange and Study (YES) initiative for teen students from Afghanistan; in June 2011 after scores of students flee to Canada rather than return home, they scrap it. Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush signs a law making the orange the official state fruit of Fla. After 50 years (1955) Britain discontinues the famous red Routemaster double-decker buses for more efficient German-made ones. Allergan Inc. sells $800M worth of Botox Cosmetic, 42% going for cosmetic uses (90% women). Cheap Monday jeans, by designer Bjorn Atldax cause controversy in Sweden with their logo of a skull with an upside-down cross on its forehead, fueled by the designer's announcement that "It's an active statement against Christianity", which he calls a "force of evil", responsible for many wars throughout history; 200K pairs were sold since Mar. 2004. Israel signs a 20-year contract with Egypt to supply it with natural gas; 45% of Israel's natural gas is supplied by Egypt. A 35-mi. rift opens in the desert of Ethiopia, which some geologists believe will eventually spawn a new ocean. An oil sands boom begins in Alberta, Canada, at $25 a ton; 175B barrels of proven reserves up for grabs with current technology, and up to 2T barrels total (8x Saudi Arabia). The top 10 Web search terms on Google.com from 1995-2005: "Pamela Anderson", "Dragonball", "Pokemon", "Britney Spears", "WWE", "Tattoos", "Las Vegas", "NFL", "Sept. 11 attacks", "Christmas". Google.com announces plans to create a "print library", consisting of digitized versions of millions of books from distinguished U.S. univ. libraries, but without receiving author permission, although the latter may remove their titles from the program; their plan to also profit from the program causes the Authors' Guild and the Assoc. of Am. Publishers (pres. Pat Schroeder, former Colo. U.S. Rep.) to sue; meanwhile Yahoo, Hewlett-Packard, Adobe, and Internet Archive introduce Open Content Alliance, a similar program limited to books free of copyright; an attempt by Google to get Yahoo and Microsoft to give it info. about their projects to defend against the suit is rebuffed as an attempt to get at trade secrets. Kraft Foods discontinues junk food ads for children. The U.S. Mint issues state quarters for Calif., Minn., Ore., Kan., and West Va. 82-y.-o. writer Norman Mailer accepts an honorary medal at the Nat. Book Awards dinner, saying "The passion readers used to feel for venturing into the serious novel has withered." Olivia Newton-John's half-Korean cameraman boyfriend (since 1996) Patrick Kim McDermott is reported missing while on a fishing trip; he is later allegedly sighted in Mexico. Jonathan Plummer (1975-), husband of "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" novelist Terry McMillan (1952-) reveals that he's gay and divorces her, claiming royalties from her bestselling novel inspired by him; in 2007 she sues him for $40M for trying to smear her rep during the divorce. A federal court puts wolves in the W U.S. under the Endangered Species Act, with penalties of up to $100K fine and one year in prison for killing one except in defense of human life. Widespread use of the sleeping pill Ambien (Zolpidem) causes an epidemic of sleepwalking and "sexsomnia"; that doesn't stop the U.S. FDA from approving generic versions of it on Apr. 23, 2007. The Syrian Am. Council is founded on Nov. 20 in Burr Ridge, Ill. The WB Network's onscreen symbol Michigan J. Frog (b. 1955) "dies" after "The frog was on life support for a long time and we got permission from a federal court to remove the feeding tube" (WB Pres. Garth Ancier). Am. seer Alex Yuan Chun Chiu predicts that China will nuke the U.S. this year over the Taiwan dispute. Total Web pages by the end of this year number 600B; Blogs: 50M; eBay: 50M live auctions/min. The European online market exceeds the U.S. this year, or next? Exxon grabs headlines when it posts an all-time record $36.13B operating profit for 2005; it spends $17.7B a year and pumps 4M barrels of oil and natural gas a day; it announces that it is going to build natural gas wells in Piceance Basin in Colo. using new multizone-stimulation technology, stirring concerns from environmentalists. The U.S. Congress votes to change the beginning of Daylight Savings Time to the first Sun. in Nov. in order to save energy. The U.S. Real ID Act of 2005 is passed, mandating federal requirements for driver's licenses, stirring fears of a coming national ID card and Big Brother, sealing the fate of Americans as hostages in a coming New World Order One-World Govt., and causing a rebellion at the state level to resist implementation. The Arab League and the EU create the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA) as the first step toward a Euro-Mediterrean free trade area. CIA dir. George J. Tenet pub. a classified document claiming that the Clinton admin. bankrupted the intel community and refused to let the CIA prioritize anti-terrorism over other major priorities, leaving the CIA stretched too thin in the days leading to 9/11; it is not declassified until June 12, 2015. The Voyager 1 space probe launched in 1977 reaches the Sun's termination shock this year after 28 years in space, followed by Voyager 2 in July 2008. China leads the world in baby adoptions by U.S. families, thanks to the country's mad desire for male babies. The U.S. still calls 53 of the top 100 brand names home; Germany 9; France 8; Japan 7; Britain and Switzerland 5; Italy 4; Netherlands and South Korea 3; Finland, Sweden and Spain 1. The U.S. launches Operation Avarice (ends 2006), secretly buying 400 Borak chemical warhead rockets from Iraq that they manufactured in the 1980s but hid from inspectors; Pres. Bush fails to declassify the info., allowing his critics to claim that Iraq had no WMDs prior to the U.S. invasion. The U.S. Defense Dept. discharges 726 people this year for being gay, up 10% from 2004. The BDS movement is founded by Palestinians to campaign for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. The annual Global Peace and Unity Event in London is founded to bring Muslims and non-Muslims together; too bad, it ends up inviting speakers who are for terrorism and against Israel. The era of mass audience movies starts to end this year, with Disney, Sony, DreamWorks and others awash in red ink; the drop in prices from $7K to $2K of giant home HDTV systems keeps the demand for DVDs high, shrinking the release time from 9 mo. to 6 mo. to 3 mo. A record 145K Germans (highest since 1954) emigrate amid record (highest since WWI) unemployment (5.2M in Feb.); in June the jobless rate hits 8.2%. The Current Channel, AKA the Al Gore Network, backed with $70M in investment begins airing on cable. Adidas buys Reebok to better compete with Nike. The Renee and Lester Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis U. is founded, going on to become rabidly anti-Israel, endowing Pascal Menoret to the Crown Chair on Sept. 8, 2015. U2 singer Bono founds the "socially conscious" Edun (nude backwards) fashion line. Melissa Ann Young wins the Miss Wisc. USA beauty pageant; on Mar. 30, 2016 she tells Donald Trump that she is suffering from a terminal illness, causing Trump to set up a crowdfunding site through Fundanything.com for her Mexican-Am. son to go to college. White gay nudist Richard Hatch (1961-), the first winner of the Survivor TV reality show in Borneo (hosted by Jeff Probst of Rock & Roll Jeopardy fame) gets in trouble with the IRS for not reporting his $1M earnings which were presented to him on TV watched by millions, plus other income; he is convicted of income tax fraud after a trial where he claims he thought the show's producers paid the taxes for him, and in 2006 gets 51 mo. from U.S. District Judge Ernest Torres, who said he repeatedly lied on the witness stand - outsmart, outwit, outlast? This year there are an avg. of 15 murders a day in post-Communist Moscow, compared to two a day in New York City. A fisherman nets a record 646-lb. catfish in the Mekong River, home to an endangered species of catfish that can grow to 9 ft. - I smell a monster movie here? The 40-ft.-high Blue Bear Statue, designed by Lawrence Argent is built on the E side of the Colo. Convention Center in Denver, Colo.; it is made of polymer concrete and weighs 5 tons, dwarfing the 26-ft. 1954 Smokey Bear Statue in International Falls, Minn. Cartoonist Matt Furie introduces Pepe the Frog in his Boy's Club comic series, becoming known as the Sad Frog Meme, with a speech bubble saying "Feels good/bad man", becoming popular on the Internet; in 2016 anti-Semites co-opt it as their logo on Twitter. The Country Music Assoc. Awards are moved from Nashville, Tenn. to New York City. English philosophy prof. and "world's most influential atheist" Antony Flew (1923-) pub. an interview in the journal Philosophia Christi, titled "Atheist Becomes Theist", saying that he now believes in God because he "had to go where the evidence leads"... the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design... the biblical account [of Genesis] might be scientifically accurate"; asked if he will also become a Christian he replies, "It's very unlikely... if I wanted any sort of future life I should become a Jehovah's Witness" - he flew the atheist coop? Suicides in Japan top 30K for the 8th straight year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that vaccination rates for black children in the U.S. has caught up to that of the other racial groups for the first time in a decade. Online gambling peaks at $12B, then slides by half by 2007. Montana issues hunting licenses for bison after reports of brucellosis. Blockbuster initiates a "no more late fees" policy for movies. U.S. publishers begin marketing "premium ed." paperbacks for aging Baby Boomers, using higher quality paper and larger type with more space between lines, and 3/4 in. taller (4.75 x 8). The SAT for U.S. college admissions is modifed and lengthed, with analogy questions removed from the reading test and quantitative comparisons removed from the math test, and a written essay test added. The Free File Software Program, created by a partnership of 19 cos. with the IRS, and available for free to any taxpayer with an adjusted gross income of $52K or less begins operation, attracting 5.12M taxpayers; after it proves full of bugs and the IRS doesn't have the authority to make them correct it, filers fall to 3.9M in 2005, and less in 2006. Guitar Hero video game is released by Harmonix and RedOctane, starting a craze. The U.S. Mint issues a new Jefferson nickel which contains the first-ever face-on depiction of a U.S. pres. Jewish-Am. "Portnoy's Complaint", "Goodbye, Columbus" writer Philip Roth (1933-) becomes the 3rd living writer to have his collected works pub. by the Library of America. The Walk of Game in San Francisco, Calif. opens to honor pioneers and icons of the video game industry. Am. comedian Stephen Colbert coins the word "truthiness" to mean things a person claims to know "from the gut" on The Colbert Report of Oct. 17; too bad, it was already listed in the OED. Lindsay Lohan becomes the first living person to have a "My Scene Goes Hollywood" doll released by Mattel. The Brewers Assoc. (BA) is formed from the merger of the Brewers Assoc. of Am. (founded 1942) and the Assoc. of Brewers (founded 1983), with Charlie Papazian as pres. #1 (until), reaching 1.9K brewers by 2016. Jackson, Miss.-born chef (Culinary Inst. of Am. graduate) Catherine Ann "Cat" Cora (1967-) co-founds Chefs for Humanity in Jan. "to quickly be able to raise funds and provide resources for important emergency and humanitarian aid, nutritional education, and hunger-related initiatves throughout the world." Sports: Dennis Quaid (1.1 handicap) becomes the top celeb golf player in the U.S. On Jan. 13 ML baseball adopts a new tougher steroid testing program that suspends first-time offenders for 10 days and randomly tests players year-round. On Jan. 30 homeless man William Lepeska (1965-) is arrested after swimming nude across Biscayne Bay, trying to get into the $5M Sunset Island estate of tennis star Anna Kournikova (1981-), screaming "Anna, save me!", and accused of stalking her; on Feb. 23 he is ordered to permanently stay at least 1K ft. away from her after he admits to doing the swimming, and she reads portions of a letter sent to her by him - her ass is too high class for him? On Feb. 16 NHL commissioner (since 1993) Gary Bruce Bettman (1952-) announces that the league's entire season is being cancelled because of a labor dispute over a salary cap, becoming known as the 2004-5 NHL Lockout; the NHL becomes the first prof. league in North Am. to shut itself down. On Feb. 20 the 2005 (47th) Daytona 500 is won by Jeff Gordon (3rd win); Kurt Busch comes in 2nd, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. comes in 3rd; due to the green-white-checker finish rule of 2004, it becomes the first Daytona 500 to go longer than 500 mi. (507. mi.); the first to end at sunset. On Feb. 28 the Pakistan cricket team arrives in India on its first tour in six years. On Mar. 3 James Stephen "Steve" Fossett (1944-2007) of Beaver Creek, Colo. completes the first solo nonstop balloon flight around the world in 67 hours, financed by Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (1950-), who stars in his own exciting TV reality show The Rebel Billionaire this year. On Apr. 10 Tiger Woods wins his 4th Masters with a finish of birdies and bogeys. On May 13 Tiger Wood's streak of 142 consecutive cuts made on the PGA Tour ends at the Byron Nelson Championship at the Cottonwood Valley Course in Irving, Tex.; his 2nd round 2-over-par 72 gives him 1-over 141, one over the cut; his streak started in Feb. 1998 at the Pebble Beach Nat. Pro-Am; his only other missed cut was in the 1997 Canadian Open; in 2003 he passed Byron Nelson's record of 113 consecutive cuts to become the all-time leader. On May 15 the Czech Repub. defeats Canada for a 3rd straight time in the world ice hockey championships in Vienna Austria, winning 3-0. On May 25 Bradford Gates "Brad" Rutter (1978-) of Penn. beats Ken Jennings and Jerome Vered to win the Jeopardy! Ultimate Tournament of Champions, winning $2M, giving total show winnings of $3,255,102, the highest in the show's history; Jennings comes in 2nd, getting a measly $500K, giving total show winnings of only $3,020,700. Lady and gentlemen, start your engines? On May 29 the 2005 (89th) Indianapolis 500 is upstaged by 5'2" 100 lb. bikini-loving Danica Sue Patrick (1982-), the 4th woman ever in the race, who achieves the highest starting position for a woman as well as the highest finish, and becomes the first woman to lead a lap (#56); she regains the lead near the end, but is low on fuel and finishes 4th in her Honda, which is put in the Honda Museum; the winner is English driver Daniel Clive "Dan" Wheldon (1978-2011), sponsored by Michael Andretti, ending a 35-year Andretti drought; Patrick becomes the first female Indy Racing League Rookie of the Year; Wheldon is killed on Oct. 16, 2011 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. On June 9-23 the 2005 NBA Finals sees the San Antonio Spurs (coach Gregg Popovich) defeat the Detroit Pistons (coach Larry Brown) by 4-3; Tim Duncan of the Spurs is MVP. On June 12 John Elway's Colorado Crush defeats the Georgia Force 51-48 in ArenaBowl XIX in Las Vegas after only three seasons in the Arena Football League (AFL). On June 14 Michelle Wie (1989-) becomes the first female player to qualify for an adult male U.S. Golf Assoc. championship, tying for first in a 36-hole U.S. Amateur Public Links sectional qualifying tournament; in 2003 she became the youngest woman to win the same tournament. On June 15 former Baylor U. basketball player Carlton Eric Dotson Jr. (1982-) is sentenced to 35 years in prison in Waco, Tex. for the murder of his teammate and best friend Patrick James Dennehy (1982-2003), whose body was found in 2003 in a field after Dotson called police to say he was hearing voices saying he is Jesus Christ, and told them where to find the body, launching the Baylor U. Basketball Scandal, causing head basketball coach (since 1999) David Gregory "Dave" Bliss (1943-) to resign after he is exposed for paying Dennehy's tuition, not reporting failed drug tests, and asking players to lie about it; the team doesn't have another winning season until 2008. On June 19 14 Formula One drivers refuse to participate in the 2005 U.S. Grand Prix because of fears of the safety of their Michelin tires; the race is won by Michael Schumacher (1969-), one of six who race on Bridgestones. On July 15 "Golden Bear" Jack Nicklaus plays his last pro golf game at the British Open in St. Andrews, Scotland, uttering the soundbyte: "I knew that hole would move wherever I hit it." On July 17 Tiger Woods wins the British Open with a 2-under 70 for his 10th career major. On July 24 Lance Armstrong wins his 7th straight "Tour de Lance" in France and retires (as he had announced on Apr. 18), saying "Viva Le Tour de France"; he contines to raise funds to fight cancer by selling his yellow Livestrong bracelets; an emotional speech blasts those who accused him of using performance-enhancing drugs of being unable to dream big and believe in achieving the impossible; he later goes on a 17-mi. Tour de Crawford with Pres. Bush on his Tex. ranch. On Aug. 1 5,000-hit 300-homer Hall of Fame sure-thing Baltimore Orioles 1st baseman Rafael Palmeiro (1964-) fails a drug test for steroids, prompting him to apologize to his team; he had been the most emphatic ball player testifying before Congress in Mar. that he had never used them and never would? On Sept. 20 the Sacramento Monarchs finally win a sports title for starving Sacramento, Calif. when they win the NBA title in front of 15K fans in Arco Arena. In the fall Cuyler Frank (1977-) becomes the first radio announcer to do a play-by-play of a football game in Navajo, for the N.M. State U. Aggies. White men can't jump, but they can't open their mouths in public either in the new PC U.S.? On Oct. 25 after a 48-10 loss to Texas Christian U. (TCU), Cheraw,S.C.-born lily white Air Force Academy coach (1980-2006) Fisher DeBerry (1938-) makes un-PC statements and touches the new third rail of U.S. politics at a media luncheon, commenting that TCU "had a lot more Afro-American players than we did and they ran a lot faster than we did. That doesn't mean that Caucasian kids and other descents can't run, but it's very obvious to me that they run extremely well"; also "The black athlete, statistically, from program to program, seems to have an edge as far as speed is concerned"; the PC police then come down on him hard, resulting in a reprimand, even though the statements are true and white men can't run with the black men?; black running backs have led the NFL in rushing for the past 43 consecutive seasons; between 1977-2005 96 receivers were drafted in the first round of the NFL, all of them black; the world records at every race distance under 800m are held by men of West African descent, as it has been since the middle of the 20th cent.; as of 2001, 494 of the fastest 500 times in the 100m run have been by men of West African descent; of the approx. 200 times the 10-sec. barrier has been broken, all have been by runners of West African descent; when it comes to distance running, Kenyans and Ethiopians dominate, with most of the top runners coming from one small Kenyan ethnic group - East is East and West is West, and never the what? In Oct. WNBA basketball star Sheryl Swoopes comes out as a lesbian after divorcing her hubby with whom she had a child, announcing a relationship with Comets asst. coach Alisa Scott; in 2011 she gets engaged to a man, Chris Unclesho, and marries him. On Nov. 2 7'0" center Andrew Bynum (1987-) (#17) of the Los Angeles Lakers (b. Oct. 27, 1987) becomes the youngest player to play in a regular season NBA game at 18 years 6 days, breaking Jermaine O'Neal's 1995 record by 46 days. On Nov. 5, 2005 the 22-team BJ (Basketball Japan) League is founded in Japan, divided into Eastern and Western Conferences; it holds its first All-Star Game in 2006; in 2012 the Nat. Basketball League (NBL) is founded by the Japanese Basketball Assoc. to exist alongside the BJ League; in 2013-4 former Chicago Bulls coach Bill Cartwright becomes head coach of team Osaka Evessa. On Nov. 28 after 20 years of trying, Kent Wagner (1958-) (husband of Lisa Wagner) of Palmetto, Fla. scores a 292 game in Bradenton, Fla. after deliberately hitting two pins with his final ball to become the first bowler with sanctioned games with scores of every number from 290 to 300. Jennifer Tilly becomes the first celeb. to win the World Series of Poker. The U.S. (United States) Bowling Congress in Greendale, Wisc. is formed from the merger of the Am. Bowling Congress (ABC), Women's Internat. Bowling Congress (WIBC), Young American Bowling Alliance (YABA), and USA Bowling, founding the USBC Hall of Fame by merging the ABC (1941) and WIBC (1953) halls of fame; in Nov. 2008 it moves to Arlington, Tex. Architecture: On June 12 Shaab Stadium in Baghdad (the city's biggest sports complex, cap. 50K) opens after two years as a U.S. military base, and two elite Iraqi soccer teams, the Zawraa (ancient name for Baghdad) and the Shurta (Arabic for police) play before 2K fans, and Zawraa wins 2-0. On Aug. 27 the 623-ft. (190m) 54-story 90-degree-twist HSB Turning Torso Bldg. in Malmo, Sweden, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava Valls (1951-) opens, becoming the tallest bldg. in Scandinavia, tallest residential bldg. in the EU, and 2nd tallest residential bldg. in Europe. The 1,058-ft. (322.5m) Q1 Bldg. in Gold Coast, Australia opens, becoming the world's tallest all-residential bldg. (until ?), and tallest in Australia (until ?). Nobel Prizes: Peace: Mohamed Mostafa ElBaradei (1942-) (Egypt) and Internat. Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Lit.: Harold Pinter (1930-2008) (U.K.) ("uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle"); Physics: John Lewis "Jan" Hall (1934-) (U.S.) [quantum theory of optical coherence], Roy Jay Glauber (1925-) (U.S.), and Theodor Wolfgang Hansch (1941-) (Germany) [laser spectroscopy and optical frequency comb technique]; Chem.: Yves Chauvin (1930-) (France), Robert Howard Grubbs (1942-) (U.S.) (born near Possum Trot, Ky.), and Richard Royce Schrock (1945-) (U.S.) [olefin metathesis method of organic synthesis]; Medicine: Barry James Marshall (1951-) (Australia) and John Robin Warren (1937-) (Australia) [Helicobacter pylori]; Economics: Robert John Aumann (1930-) (U.S.) and Thomas Crombie Schelling (1921-) (U.S.) [for "having enhanced our understanding of conflict and cooperation through game-theory analysis"]. Inventions: By this year the avg. desktop PC has 109 GB of storage, and the laptop has 58 GB. Intel Corp. releases a new 2005 Intel Itanium 2 chip with 1.7B transistors, and introduces the BTX motherboard, which allows repositioning of PC parts for more efficient cooling. On Feb. 14 20-something Am. geeks Chad Meredith Hurley (1977-), Bangladeshi-descent Jawed Karim (1979-), and Taipei, Taiwan-born Steve Shih Chen (1978-) found YouTube.com for sharing homemade videos on the Web, and within a year receive a $11.5M venture capital investment from Sequoia Capital of Menlo Park, Calif., the same firm that helped launch Google, and ramp up its San Mateo, Calif. site to 9M visitors a mo. by Feb. 2006; the first video is Me at the zoo by Karim; like MySpace.com, it gets into trouble with either sexual predators or copyright violation issues, but on Oct. 16, 2006 Google buys YouTube for $1.65B - but but but they're the future? On May 12 the Xbox 360 home video console is introduced by Microsoft. In July Rupert Murdoch purchases the artist community Web site MySpace.com (founded on Aug. 1, 2003) for $580M from founders Tom Anderson and Chris De Wolfe, who launched it in Jan. 2004, and benefitted from the penetration of the Internet into homes; by the end of the year it has 42M registered users and has 550K musical artists with songs on the site. Durand-Wayland of LaGrange, Ga. introduces laser coding, AKA natural light labeling for fruits and vegetables, allowing those pesky paper stickers to be dispensed with. The USAF $137.5M F-22 Raptor enters service in Dec., becoming the #1 fighter on Earth, with everything but the kitchen sink, incl. stealth capability; 187 are ordered by 2009; they are not used in combat until ?. Magnetic Random Access Memory (MRAM) is introduced commercially. The Rheos System is developed by the U. of Rochester Medical Center to regulate blood pressure similarly to how a pacemaker regulates heart rhythm. Science: On Mar. 25 the journal Science pub. an announcement that soft tissues that resemble blood vessels and cells were recovered from the thighbone of an 18-y.-o. T-Rex known as MOR 1125, found in a sandstone formation in Montana. On Mar. 31 Palomar Observatory discovers plutoid Makemake in the Kuiper Belt. In Apr. scientists announce the discovery of the Laotian rock rat (kha-nyou) (Laonastes aenigmamus) in the Khammouan region of Laos, which has the face of a rat and the tail of a squirrel, and classify it as part of the Diatomyidae family that supposedly went extinct 11M years ago, "the coelacanth of rodents" (Mary Dawson) - doesn't everybody know that squirrels are tree rats? Where's the 11 million years of missing bones? In Apr. ornithologists announce the confirmation of the sighting of the elusive ivory-billed woodpecker (believed extinct since 1944) by a kayaker in the Cache River Nat. Wildlife Refuge in E Ark. in 2004; skeptics are convinced by audio recordings of its distinctive double rap (one echo, one close)? In May South Korean scientists use skin samples from patients to create embryonic stem cells; meanwhile, in Britain scientists produce a cloned embryo from which stem cells can be harvested. In May the Blue Brain Project is launched to reverse-engineer the mammalian brain down to the molecular level from lab data; on July 22, 2009 dir. Henry Markram of the Ecole Polytechnique in Switzerland utters the soundbyte: "It is not impossible to build a human brain and we can do it in 10 years." In June scientists at St. Thomas' Hospital in London release a study showing that 34% of the difficulty women face in reaching orgasm during intercourse is due to genes - wearing them too tight? In July a new planetoid orbiting the Sun at 9B mi. (3X the orbit of Pluto) named UB313 (nicknamed Xena) is announced, with an albedo of .6; it has methane ice on its surface, and has a moon. The Red Planet gets Americanized? In July NASA cancels the $500M Lockheed Martin Mars Telecommunications Orbiter, planned for a 2009 launch, to be the first of a network of Martian comm satellites on a 10-year mission in orbit 2.8K mi. above Mars in order to have a line of sight to Earth and pioneer the use of lasers for planet-to-planet communication; on Aug. 12 the Lockheed Martin Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is launched, attaining Martian orbit on Mar. 10, 2006 and aerobraking for 5 mo. until Nov. 2006, joining five other Mars spacecraft to measure Mar in 8-12 in. scale and will serve as the main relay for the data to be returned by the Mars Science Lab, to be launched in 2009. In July the Ninth World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics in Orlando, Fla. is held, trying to live down ridicule from its early acceptance of the bogus computer-generated paper "Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy", submitted by MIT students Jeremy Stribling, Max Krohn, and Dan Aguayo as a joke to prove that academic conferences pander to academics looking to pad resumes with worthless alphabet alphabet soup papers that they spend all their time on instead of real research. Would-be Christopher Columbus sinks? On Aug. 3 the journal Nature reports that South Korean scientists, led by Hwang Woo-suk have created the Afghan hound Snuppy (Seoul Nat. U. puppy), the world's first cloned dog, after implanting over 100 dogs with more than 1K cloned embryos; in a May article in Science he announces creation of the technology to create patient-matched stem cells, and on Dec. 23 resigns from Seoul Nat. U. after admitting he had fabricated the results of 9 of the 11 stem cell lines involved, while still maintaining that the technology works; on Jan. 10 his school, Seoul Nat. U says that he did fake his results with human stem cells but that his cloned dog is genuine; on June 17, 2009 South Korea finally lifts its ban on human stem cell research despite opposition by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea. On Aug. 11 the online ed. of Science pub. three reports reporting that old temp. records used to feed calculations indicating that there is no global warming contained errors, and that the troposphere has warmed during the last two decades; John Christy and Roy Spencer of the U. of Ala., who developed the original records concede the error, but say that the warming rate calculated is too small to be a concern? On Sept. 8 the first non-invasive pediatric procedure ever webcast is performed at Presbyterian/St. Luke Medical Center in Denver, Colo, as a 13-y.-o. undergoes a procedure to alleviate acid reflux. On Sept. 28 the Nat. Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. releases data that the Arctic ice cap is shrinking, reaching its smallest-ever size this summer, and that the cause is probably global warming from human-generated greenhouse gases; they also speculate that the change is becoming self-sustaining as the holes in the ice allow the sea to absorb solar energy; they also claim that the permafrost is disappearing, coastal areas are being inundated, and polar bears are losing hunting grounds. On Oct. 26 researchers from the U.S., Britain and Japan announce the completion of a new kind of DNA map in a 3-year $138M effort, a compilation of 5M different regions in the human genome where chemical sequences vary from person to person, in an effort to speed up gene-hunting searches. In the Nov. 11 issue of Science, Stanford U. researchers announce the discovery of a single human gene that produces two hormones with opposite effects, ghrelin, which stimulates appetite, and obestatin, which inhibits it. Fillet of face, the new pet chow? On Nov. 27-28 38-y.-o. unemployed divorced French mother Isabelle Dinoire (1967-2016), who had the lower half of her face ripped off in June by her Labrador retriever mix while unconscious with drugs becomes the first recipient of a partial face transplant by an internat. team in Amiens led by Dr. Jean-Michel Dubernard (1941-), who operate for 15 hours; the donor was a brain-dead woman in Lille; the announcement on Dec. 2 draws internat. criticism that she won't be able to handle the new face psychologically; on Oct. 25, 2006 an ethics panel in London approves full-face transplants; in the U.S. in 2007 the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Mass. become the first to offer it - hold the ugly jokes? In Nov. Kevin Luhman of Penn. State U. announces the discovery of a brown dwarf (1% of the mass of the Sun) located 500 l.y. from Earth in the constellation Chamaeoleon, claiming it appears to be undergoing a planet-forming process. In Dec. Harvard and MIT announce the first complete deciphering of the genetic code of a dog, a boxer named Tasha; "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. We're here to unveil the book of the dog", says Dr. Francis Collins, dir. of the Nat. Human Genome Research Inst.; in 2003 the DNA (2.4B chemical building blocks) of a male poodle named Shadow was partially decoded. In Dec. U. of Kan. researcher Johannes Feddema et al. in Science predict that the deforestation of Amazon jungles could strengthen the summer monsoon in the SW U.S., adding 2 in. to the precipitation and offsetting some of global warming's effects; global deforestation is going at a rate of 50K sq. mi. a year. On Dec. 12 Fred Gage et al. of the Salk Inst. in San Diego, Calif. announce the birth of mice with 0.1% of human cells in their brains after injecting 14-day-old embroys with 100K human embryonic stem cells. The British Journal of Psychology pub. an article by Paul Irwing and Richard Lynn showing that men average 5 more points on IQ tests than women, and that the disparity grows as IQ scores rise, with 2x as many at IQ 125, and 5.5x as many at IQ 155 - what about penis size? Merck & Co. announces that its new vaccine Gardasil is 100% effective in a 2-year test on 10K girls and women in preventing the most common forms of cervical cancer, caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), which kills 300K women a year (only 3.7K in the U.S.). German-born British human geneticist Sir Walter Bodmer (1936-) is appointed to lead a £2.3M program at Oxford U. to study the genetic makeup of the U.K. Paralyzed patient Matt Nagle is taught to operate an artificial hand via a computer chip implanted in his head. Asteroid 87 Sylvia is found to have two moons. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory Scientific Collaboration (LIGO) begins measurements to detect gravity waves; too bad, it doesn't detect any until ? U. of N.C. physicist Laura Mersini-Houghton and Carnegie Mellon U. physicist Richard Holman predict anomalies in Big Bang radiation caused pull from other Universes; Mersini-Houghton claims proof in 2013. Eugene Koonin of the Nat. Insts. of Health et al. discover Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) (pr. "crisper"), in DNA, which implement an immune system against viral DNA. The Nat. Geographic Society and IBM begin a $40M 5-year project to reconstruct a genealogy of the world's pops. and the migration paths of early humans from their ancestral homeland in Africa by collecting and analyzing 100K blood samples from indigenous pops. around the world and analyzing them genetically. Scientists observe gorillas in the wild for the first time using tools when female gorilla Leah uses a stick to test the depth of the water in Nouabal De-Ndoki Nat. Park in the Repub. of Congo. Ramon Bonfil and Barbara Block Stanford U. announce that a great white shark (named Nicole) swam over 12K mi. from Africa to Australia and back, linking the shark pops. of the two continents - human meat makes good fuel? A record 21 surviving baby pandas are born in China's zoos and breeding centers this year using artificial insemination. KV 63, the 63rd tomb found in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt is discovered by U.S. archeologists, becoming the first new tomb uncovered since King Tut's in 1922; in June, 2006 the tomb is opened, revealing embalming materials and woven flowers from the period of -1500 to -1000. New measurements of Mt. Everest indicate a height of 29,017 ft., down 12 ft. from 1975. Nonfiction: Anon. (1911-2001), A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City - a Diary; Apr. 20-June 22, 1945 in balls-out Berlin. Peter Ackroyd (1949-), Shakespeare: The Biography. Amir D. Aczel, Descartes' Secret Notebook: A True Tale of Mathematics, Mysticism, and the Quest to Understand the Universe. Francesco Alberoni (1929-), Sex and Love. Alan Alda (1936-), Never Have Your Dog Stuffed and Other Things I've Learned (autobio.) (Sept. 13). Svetlana Alexievich (1948-), Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster. Woody Allen (1935-), Above the Law, Below the Box Springs. Gotz Aly (1947-), Hitler's Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State; how Hitler bought his people's loyalty with plunder, making occupied countries pay two-thirds of the cost of the war while keeping taxes low at home. Jonathan Ames (1964-), Sexual Metamorphosis: An Anthology of Transsexual Memoirs. Andy Andrews, The Seven Decisions. Maya Angelou (1928-), Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer. Reza Aslan (1972-), No god But God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam; big hit with Westerners, claiming that we are now living in the era of the Islamic Reformation a la the 16th cent. Protestant Reformation, and that there isn't really a clash of civilizations, jihad was intended to be solely defensive, etc.; "The notion that historical context should play no role in the interpretation of the Koran – that what applied to Muhammad's community applies to all Muslim communities for all time – is simply an untenable position in every sense" - Allahu Akbar off with his head? Joseph Atwill, Caesar's Messiah; claims that the Roman Flavian emperors invented Jesus using Jewish traitor brain man Josephus ca. 73 C.E. in order to create a peaceful Messiah that would never lead another violent revolt against Rome. Paul Auster (1947-), Collected Prose. Chris Ayres, War Reporting for Cowards (autobio.); embedded reporters in Iraq. David B. (Pierre-Francois Beauchard), Epileptic (autobio.); growing up with an epileptic brother. Bruce Babbitt (1938-), Cities in the Wilderness: A New Vision of Land Use in America; wants stronger federal leadership, incl. expanding the Endangered Species Act to landscapes. Andrew J. Bacevich (1947-), The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War. Mike G.L. Baillie and Patrick McCafferty, The Celtic Gods: Comets in Irish Mythology. Bernard Bailyn (1922-), Atlantic History: Concept and Contours. Marc Ian Barasch, Field Notes on the Compassionate Life: A Search for the Soul of Kindness. Fantasia Barrino (1984-) (with Kim Green), Life is Not a Fairy Tale; winning Am. Idol despite being illiterate, she takes tutoring and learns to read. John M. Barry, The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History; the 1918-19 Spanish Flu Pandemic. Martha Nibley Beck (1962-), Leaving the Saints: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith; by the daughter of chief Mormon apologist Hugh Nibley (1910-2005), claiming she was sexually abused as a child by daddy in bizarre religious rituals - the work of Stan? Michelle Belanger (1973-), Sacred Hunger. Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, The Next Attack: The Failure of the War on Terror and a Strategy for Getting It Right (Oct. 13); "We are losing" (opening line); disses the Bush admin. for its handling of al-Qaida and Bush's statement that "75% of known al-Qaida leaders have been brought to justice", claiming that the invasion of Iraq played into their hands, helping al-Qaida with recruitment and turning the Muslim world and much of the rest of the world against the U.S., with the soundbyte "It is unlikely that even in his most feverish reveries Usama bin Laden could have imagined that America would stumble so badly and wound itself so grievously". Phyllis Bennis, Challenging Empire: How People, Governments,and the U.N. Defy U.S. Power (Nov. 30); world opinion is the 2nd world power after the U.S.? John Berendt (1939-), The City of Falling Angels (2nd novel); about Venice since the last opera house burned down in 1996. Nate Berkus (1971-), Home Rules: Transform the Place You Live into a Place You'll Love. Paul Berman (1948-), Power and the Idealists: Or, The Passion of Joschka Fischer, and Its Aftermath. Gary Berntsen, Jawbreaker: The Attack on Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA's Key Field Commander (Dec. 27); claims that Osama bin Laden could have been captured in Tora Bora. Robert Berringer, Ancient Gods and Their Mysteries: Will They Return in 2012 AD? (Apr. 1); claims that ancient deities Yahweh (Jehovah) and Quetzalcoatl left a "trail of breadcrumbs", and will return on Dec. 21, 2012. Anne Bird, Blood Brother. Kai Bird (1951-) and Martin J. Sherwin (1937-), American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Pulitzer Prize). Joan Biskupic, Sandra Day O'Connor: How the First Woman on the Supreme Court Became Its Most Influential Justice. H.G. Bissinger (1954-), Three Nights in August: Strategy, Heartbreak, and Joy; the St. Louis Cardinals vs. the Chicago Cubs. Harold Bloom (1930-), Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine. Neal Boortz and John Linder, The Fair Tax Book; tax purchases not income with a 23% nat. retail sales tax. Andrew G. Bostom, The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims; shows that jihad doesn't have many rich meanings, but is all about expansion of the faith by violence. James Bradley (1954-), Flags of Our Fathers; the story behind the WWII photo taken at Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 1945 by Joe Rosenthal. Taylor Branch, At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years 1965-1968. Timothy H. Breen (1942-), Marketplace of Revolution: How Consumer Politics Shaped American Independence. Douglas Brinkley (1960-), The Boys of Pointe du Hoc: Ronald Reagan, D-Day, and the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion. Po Bronson, Why Do I Love These People? David Jay Brown, Conversations on the Edge: Contemplating the Future with Noam Chomsky, George Carlin, Deepak Chopra, Rupert Sheldrake, and Others (Apr. 21). James Brown (1933-2006), I Feel Good: A Memoir of a Life of Soul (autobio.). Judith Anne Brown, John Marco Allegro: The Maverick of the Dead Sea Scrolls; by his daughter. Robert Bruegmann, Sprawl; open space and smart growth create hysteria? Howard Bryant, Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power, and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball. Kenneth Burke (1897-1993), Here and Elsewhere: Collected Fiction (posth.). Robert Olen Butler (1945-), From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction. Cambridge U. Press, The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib. Jose Canseco, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big; admits to juicing up with steroids. Norman F. Cantor (1929-2004), Alexander the Great (posth.). Philip Caputo (1941-), Ten Thousand Days of Thunder: A History of the Vietnam War; 13 Seconds: A Look Back at the Kent State Shootings. Richard Carrier (1969-), Sense and Goodness Without God: A Defense of Metaphysical Naturalism (first book); defends Scientific Materialism (Metaphysical Naturalism). Sean B. Carroll, Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom - Charles Darwin has this innocent look on his face like I didn't do nothing? Jimmy Carter (1924-), Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis; Sunday Mornings in Plains: Bringing Peace to a Changing World. Phyllis Chesler (1940-), The Death of Feminism: What's Next in the Struggle for Women's Freedom. Raj Chetty (1979-) and Emmanuel Saenz (1972-), Dividend Taxes and Corporate Behavior: Evidence from the 2003 Dividend Tax Cut; reports that the 2003 dividend rate cut from 35% to 15% caused more companies to pay out dividends, but also that they are likelier to pay dividends if top execs own substantial stock, and that when the rate is too high, or execs own too few shares, mgt. tends to reinvest earnings in low priority projects or frivolous purchases to keep the money within the firm. Deepak Chopra (1946-), The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga: A Practical Guide to Healing Body, Mind, and Spirit. Peace is the Way: Bringing War and Violence to an End; how a "critical mass" of people can defeat the global "addition to war", founding Alliance for a New Humanity to form "peace cells" around the world. David Christian (1946-), Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History; makes a fan of history ignoramus Bill Gates. Church of England, The 100-Minute Bible; designed to be read between soap operas, it reduces the Old Testament to 17 1-page sections and the New Testament to 33; it calls Satan one of God's servants, and identifies the Great Babylon in Rev. ch. 17 as Rome. Steve Coll, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001; Charlie Wilson's War plus plus. Arnold M. Cooper (1930-2011), The Quiet Revolution in American Psychoanalysis (essays) (Jan. 9), how psychiatry has evolved since Freud, plus his contributions in the area of narcissism and masochism. Jerome Robert Corsi (1946-), Atomic Iran: How the Terrorist Regime Bought the Bomb and American Politicians. Jerome Robert Corsi (1946-) and Craig R. Smith, Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil. W. Michael Cox and Richard Alm, Myths of Rich and Poor. Daniel Coyle, Lance Armstrong's War: One Man's Battle Against Fate - no tomato sauce or chocolate mousse, but Juanita Cuervo is okay? Catherine Crier (with Cole Thompson), A Deadly Game: The Untold Story of the Scott Peterson Investigation. Theodore Dalrymple (1949-), Our Culture, What's Left Of It: The Mandarins and the Masses (essays). Marie Darrieussecq (1969-), The Country (Le Pays); about writer Marie Riviere, who leaves Paris with her 2-y.-o. child to live with her parents in a trailer in the country. John H. Davis (1929-), The Hill. Andrew Delbanco, Herman Melville: His World and Work; existentialist skeptic author is finally figured out? Daniel Dennett (1942-), Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness. Jared Mason Diamond (1937-), Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed; how Eurasian dominance comes from ecological factors not racial superiority, while trying to deny ecological or environmental determinism; the case of Hispaniola Island. Larry Diamond, Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq. Peter Diamond (1940-) and Peter Orszag (1968-), Saving Social Security: The Diamond-Orszag Plan (Apr.); proposes small incremental increases in contributions based on actuarial tables adjusted for changes in life expectancy, and an increase in the proportion of earnings subject to taxation. Joan Didion (1934-), The Year of Magical Thinking (memoir); her hubby John Gregory Dunne (d. 2003) and daughter Quintana Roo Dunne Michael (d. 2005) die within two years. The Downing Street Memos; minutes from British PM Blair's war cabinet revealing that the head of the British Secret Service believed the Bush admin. was fixing intel to justify invading Iraq in summer 2002, and had no plan for rebuilding postwar Iraq. Thomas Michael Disch (1940-2008), On SF (essays on science fiction). Donovan (1946-), The Hurdy Gurdy Man (autobio.). Maureen Dowd (1952-), Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide; men don't like women with power, but love servants, maids, masseuses, etc.? Robert Dreyfuss, Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam. Stephen Dubner (1963-) and Steve Levitt (1967-), Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Apr. 12); bestseller (4M copies); how simple fixes can solve big problems; the drop in violent crime traces to Roe v. Wade?; backyard swimming pools are more dangerous than guns? Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn, 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers. John Edward (1969-), Practical Praying: Using the Rosary to Enhance Your Life. Timothy Egan, The Worst Hard Time. Barbara Ehrenreich (1941-), Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream. Caroline Elkins, Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya (Pulitzer Prize). Eve Ensler (1953-), The Vagina Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken World Revolution. Khaled Abou El Fadl (1963-), The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists (Oct. 4). Emmanuel Faye, Heidegger: The Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy; claims that his Nazi sympathies ruin all his philosophical works, and they should be banned. John Feinstein, Next Man Up: A Year Behind the Lines in Today's NFL. Marilyn Ferguson (1938-2008), Aquarius Now: Radical Common Sense and Reclaiming Our Personal Sovereignty (Nov.); sequel to "The Aquarian Conspiracy" (1980). Niall Ferguson (1964-), 1914: Why the World Went to War. Nathaniel Fick, One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer; "Sure as Christ made little red apples." Andrew J. Field, Mainliner Denver: The Bombing of Flight 629; the Nov. 1955 plane bombing by John Gilbert Graham in Colo. Norman Gary Finkelstein (1953-), The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering; a U.S. Jew asserts that the Holocaust is being used by Zionist Jews for personal and political reasons and to extort money from Germans and oppress the Palestinians, then criticizes sacred cows Elie Wiesel and Steven Spielberg, pissing-off Zionist bulldog Harvard law prof. Alan Morton Dershowitz (1938-), who goes on a successful crusade to get his tenure at DePaul U. revoked. Frank Fitzpatrick, The Lion in Autumn: A Season with Joe Paterno and Penn State Football. Jane Fonda (1937-), My Life So Far (autobio.). Paula Fox (1923-), The Coldest Winter: A Stringer in Liberated Europe (autobio.). Al Franken, The Truth (with Jokes). Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bull----. John Hope Franklin (1915-2009), Mirror to America: The Autobiography of John Hope Franklin (autobio.). James Christopher Frey (1969-), My Friend Leonard. Thomas L. Friedman (1953-), The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century; about his visit to Bangalore, India, where he witnessed work flow software converge the personal computer with fiber-optic micro cable, which he calls Globalization 3.0, superseding Globalization 2.0 (mutlinat. corps.) and Globalization 1.0 (govts.), arguing for countries to surrender a degree of economic sovereignty to the "golden straitjacket" of global capital markets and multinational corporations while preserving local traditions via "glocalization"; the U.S. needs energy independence from the Saudis so that their younger generation can overthrow them, and needs to open up immigration to "the world's first-round intellectual draft choices in an age when everyone increasingly has the same innovation tools and the key differentiator is human talent." Carlos Fuentes (1928-2012), This I Believe: An A to Z of a Life. Mark Fuhrman (1952-), Silent Witness: The Untol Story of Terri Schiavo's Death; after the O.J. Trial, the writer suffers from a credibility gap? John Lewis Gaddis (1941-), The Cold War: A New History. Jordi Gali (1961-) and Olivier Blanchard (1948-), Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model; coins the term "divine coincidence" for the property of New Keynesian macroeconomic models that stabilizing the inflation rate stabilizes the output gap, allowing central bankers to pursue a simplified Taylor Rule focused only on inflation stabilization without needing to consider output growth, then showing that with frictional unemployment and other frictions added to the model, there is a tradeoff between stabilizing inflation and stabilizing the output gap. Oded Galor (1956-), From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory (Jan. 20); "Deciphering the fundamental determinants of the transition from stagnation to growth and the great divergence has been widely viewed as one of the most significant research challenges facing researchers in the field of growth and development"; Discrete Dynamical Systems (Apr. 1). Joel Garreau, Radical Evolution; will nanobots replicate out of control and turn the planet into gray goo, or transhumans and posthumans accelerate their own evolution, creating the Heaven Scenario, AKA the Rapture of the Nerds, or a middle ground called the Prevail? John Gibson, The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday is Worse Than You Thought; secular (read liberal Jewish) orgs. are behind a plot to rob Xmas of its spiritual nature? Malcolm Gladwell (1963-), Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Jan. 11); sells 2M copies; coins the terms "blink" and "thin-slicing", claiming that experts often make better decisions with snap judgments based on narrow, targeted views of the big picture. Rebecca Godfrey, Under the Bridge; the Reena Virk murder of Nov. 14, 1997. Jacques le Goff, The Birth of Europe; tries to rehabiliate the Middle Ages as cooler than cool. Bernard Goldberg (1945-), 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America; "liberals [who are] snooty, snobby know-it-alls, who have gotten angrier and angrier in recent years and who think they're not only smarter, but also better than everyone else, especially everyone else who lives in a 'red state' - a population they see as hopelessly dumb and pathetically religious"; repub. in 2006 as "110 People Who Are Screwing Up America"; incl. Michael Moore (1954-), Arthur Sulzberger (1926-), Ted Kennedy (1932-), Jesse Jackson (1941-), Jimmy Carter (1924-), Al Gore (1948-), Noam Chomsky (1928-), Dan Rather (1931-), Howard Stern (1954-), Eminem (1972-), Ludacris (1977-), and Courtney Love (1964-) ("Ho"). Rebecca Goldstein (1950-), The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Godel. Lawrence Goldstone, Dark Bargain: Slavery and Profits at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke (1953-2012) (ed.), G.R.S. Mead and the Gnostic Quest. Doris Kearns Goodwin (1943-), Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (Oct. 25), about how he managed his cabinet, becoming a favorite of Pres. Obama; used as a basis for the 2012 Steven Spielberg film "Lincoln". William P. Grady, How Satan Turned America Against God; afterword by nuclear physicist Samuel Theodore Cohen, supporter of Patrick Buchanan's 2000 U.S. pres. run. Seth Grahame-Smith (1976-), The Big Book of Porn: A Penetrating Look at the World of Dirty Movies. Francine du Plessix Gray, Them: A Memoir of Parents. Karen J. Greenberg and Joshua L. Dratel (eds.), The Torture Papers. John Grogan (1957-), Marley & Me (Oct.); life with an unruly yellow Lab. Peter Guralnick, Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke; the first gospel music superstar to move into pop in the late 1950s. Jurgen Habermas (1929-), Old Europe, New Europe, Core Europe: Transatlantic Relations After the Iraq War; plea for a common foreign policy after 9/11. Graham Hancock (1950-), Supernatural: Meeting with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind. Peter Handke (1942-), The Tablas of Daimiel; Travelling Yesterday. Chelsea Handler (1975-), My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands (autobio.) (May 12); bestseller. Victor Davis Hanson (1953-), A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Pelopponesian War. John F. Harris, The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House - a new meaning for whitewater? Sam Harris (1967-), The End of Faith: Religion, Terror and the Future of Reason; an atheist nukes all religions, which are "all equally uncontaminated by evidence", and "allows otherwise normal human beings to reap the fruits of madness and consider them holy"; "It is merely an accident of history that it is considered normal in our society to believe that the Creator of the universe can hear your prayer, while it is demonstrative of mental illness to believe that he is communicating with you by having the rain tap in Morse code on your bedroom window"; "The Nazis were agents of religion"; Islam is a "cult of death"; "Not only do we still eat the offal of the ancient world, we are positively smug about it"; on the other hand, "Mysticism is a rational enterprise, religion is not". Gary Hart (1936-), God and Caesar in America: An Essay on Religion and Politics. Thom Hartmann (1951-), Ultimate Sacrifice: John and Robert Kennedy, the Plan for a Coup in Cuba, and the Murder of JFK. Chris Hedges (1956-), Losing Moses on the Freeway: The 10 Commandments in America (May 31). Paul Hemphill, Lovesick Blues: The Life of Hank Williams. Jessica Hendra, How to Cook Your Daughter (Oct.); daughter of comedian Tony Hendra claims he sexually abused her as a little girl, and calls his 2004 book "Father Joe" "a horrible lie, a con." Philip Hoare (1958-), England's Lost Eden: Adventures in a Victorian Utopia. Adam Hochschild (1942-), Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire's Slaves. Alice Hoffman (1952-), The Ice Queen. Tom Holland (1968-), Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West. Nick Hornby (1957-), The Polysyllabic Spree; the joys of reading. David Joel Horowitz (1939-), The End of Time. *Rachel Howard, The Lost Night: A Daughter's Search for the Truth of Her Father's Murder. Stephen Hunter and John Bainbridge Jr., American Gunfight: The Plot to Kill Harry Truman and the Shot-out That Stopped It. Tab Hunter (with Eddie Muller), Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star. Sherman A. Jackson, Islam and Blackamerican: Looking Towards the Third Resurrection (Apr. 15); claims that Islam took root among African-Ams. as a tool against racism. Brenda James and William D. Rubenstein, The Truth Will Out: Unmasking the Real Shakespeare; proposes that the real Shakespeare was his distant relative Sir Henry Neville (1564-1615), a courtier, politician, and diplomat, who was in the right place at the right time, and whose letters contain a startlingly large number of hapaxes found in Shakespeare, e.g., "inconveniences" and "petit", found only once each in Henry V. Molly Jong-Fast (1978-), The Sex Doctors in the Basement: True Stories from a Semi-Celebrity Childhood (autobio.). Haynes Johnson (1931-), The Age of Anxiety: McCarthyism to Terrorism. Joyce Johnson (1935-), Missing Men: A Memoir. Alvin M. Josephy Jr. (ed.), Lewis and Clark Through Indian Eyes; Josephy, #1 native Am. historian and Vine Deloria Jr. (1933-2005), #1 native Am. (Lakota Sioux) intellectual contribute to this vol., then die a 1 mo. apart in fall 2005. Tony R. Judt (1948-2010), Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945. Jon Kabat-Zinn (1944-), Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. Robert D. Kaplan, Imperial Grunts: the American Military on the Ground. Efraim Karsh (1953-), La Guerre D'Oslo. Tracy Kidder (1945-), My Detachment. Stephen Kinzer, Blood of Brothers: Life and War in Nicaragua. Edward Klein (1937-), The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She'll Go to Become President; claims she is a lesbian who conceived daughter Chelsea after being raped by hubby Bill. David Klinghoffer, Why the Jews Rejected Jesus. Chuck Klosterman, Killing Yourself To Live: 80% of a True Story. Jonathan Kozol (1936-), The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America (Sept. 13). Nick Kotz, Judgment Days: Lyndon Baines Johnson, Martin Lutehr King Jr., and the Laws That Changed America. Erich Krauss, Wave of Destruction. David Kupelian, The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom (Aug.); how sin is in because of slick marketing. Mark Kurlansky, Salt: A World History. Ray Kurzweil (1948-), The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology; how the PCs will equal human brains by 2020, mind uploading will begin in 2030, PCs will be 1Bx smarter than humans by 2045, and the Singularity will make humans #2 after machines, and the Universe will "wake up" as early as 2199 after the godlike chips figure out how to travel faster than the speed of light - dumbest book of the century, or, Isn't the Earth a tough place for any visiting intelligence to play? Jean-Jacques Laffont (1947-2004), Regulation and Development; policies for improving the economies of less-developed countries (LDCs). Anne Lamott (1954-), Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith; "George Bush doesn't have a clue as to the mission of Jesus. Could you please, please take care of suffering and the poorest of the poor and try not to kill people today." Richard Land, The Divided State of America: What Liberals and Conservatives Are Missing in the God and Country Shouting Match; Southern Baptist leader says God is not partisan, but Pres. Obama is "very dangerous" in his economic policies, and his foreign policy is causing "severe damage" to U.S. world standing. Frances Moore Lappe (1944-), Democracy's Edge: Choosing to Save Our Country by Bringing Democracy to Life. Brian Latell, After Fidel: The Inside Story of Castro's Regime and Cuba's Next Leader; how Fidel (recently found by the CIA to be suffering from Parkinson's disease) has plans for his brother (army head) Raul (1931-) to take over. Robert Betts Laughlin (1950-), A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down; by the 1998 Nobel Prize Winner who doubts the existence of black holes; how the fact that there are simple laws doesn't help when trying to understand why football crowds suddenly begin singing in unison, arguing for emergence as the replacement for reductionism; "Physics is now in the midst of a crisis, an ideological battle. The most fundamental things you know may not be fundamental" - whoops there goes gravity? Dominic Lawson, End Game: Dispatches From a War for the World Chess Crown; the 1993 match between Nigel Short of Britain and Garry Kasparov. Richard Layard (1934-), Happiness: Lessons From a New Science. Cynthia Lennon (1939-), John; John Lennon's first wife deserves an extra reward? Jonathan Lethem (1964-), The Disappointment Artist. Jerry Lewis (1926-) and James Kaplan, Dean and Me (A Love Story); "It's hard to explain to a 99-channel, Internet-connected, all-entertainment-all-the-time world what it felt like to be a big act in a much simpler time, having very public trouble." Michael Lewis (1960-), Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life. Garret LoPorto (1976-), The DaVinci Method: Break Out & Express Your Fire (first book); claims that a 1996 study concluding that dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) exon III polymorphism is associated with the human personality trait of novelty-seeking means that everybody with it can and should become a genius like Leonardo DaVinci, or at least, rehearsing quotes from Leonardo Da Vinci will make you into one? Graham Lord (1943-), John Mortimer: The Devil's Advocate - The Unauthorised Biography. James Lovelock (1919-), Gaia: Medicine for an Ailing Planet. John Lukacs (1924-), Democracy and Populism: Fear and Hatred; how populism renders the U.S. pop. vulnerable to demagogues. Gary Magnesen, The Investigation: A Former FBI Agent Uncovers the Truth Behind Howard Hughes, Melvin Dummar, and the Most-Contested Will in American History; backs up Dummar's claim with new witnesses. Magnus Magnusson (1929-2007), Scotland: The Story of a Nation. Michelle Malkin (1970-), Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild (Oct.). Mary Mapes (1956-), Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power; film in 2015 as "Truth". Greil Marcus (1945-), Like A Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads. Stephen J. May, Michener: A Writer's Journey; the first bio. of James A. Michener (1907-97). John McCain (1936-) and Mark Salter, Character is Destiny; says that Charles Darwin is "steadfast and honest in his pursuit of knowledge", and "I don't see why that magnificence excludes religious faith from its interpretation." Frank McCourt (1930-2009), Teacher Man; his 30 years of teaching English in New York City public high schools, starting in Mar. 1958 at McKee Vocational and Technical H.S. on Staten Island, where he is come down on by the principal for eating a student's baloney sandwich in front of his class to stop a fight. David McCullough (1933-), 1776 (May 24); the military story, incl. the two Georges, and the inside story of how hard it was to create a free society. Terry McDermott, Perfect Soldiers: The Hijackers, Who They Were, Why They Did It; "It was their ordinariness that makes it much more likely there are a great many more men just like them." Gerald McKnight, Breach of Trust; disses the Warren Commission as a failure. James D. McLaird, Calamity Jane: The Woman and the Legend; Martha Canary AKA Calamity Jane (1852-1903). Ed McMahon (1923-), Here's Johnny: My Memories of Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show, and 46 Years of Friendship. Candice Millard, The River of Doubt: Teddy Roosevelt in Brazil in 1913-14. Larry McMurtry (1936-), The Colonel & Little Missie Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, and the Beginnings of Superstardom in America. Giles Milton, White Gold: The Extraordinary Story of Thomas Pellow and Islam's One Million White Slaves (May 19); the sad episode of Islamic pirates kidnapping 1.25M Christian Euros from 1530-1789. Andrea Mitchell, Talking Back: To Presidents, Dictators, and Assorted Scoundrels. Matthew Modine, FULL METAL JACKET Diary. J.R. Moehringer, The Tender Bar. Chris Mooney, The Republican War on Science; it all began with Reagan. James Moore and Wayne Slater, Rove Exposed: How Bush's Brain Fooled America. Martin Moran, The Tricky Part. Dick Morris (1948-), Condi vs. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race - wrong twice? Frederic Morton (1924-), Runaway Waltz (autobio.). Michael Neumann (1946-), The Case Against Israel; reply to Alan Dershowitz's 2005 book "The Case for Israel". Thomas J. Noel, Riding High: Colorado Ranchers and 100 Years of the National Western Stock Show. Christiane Northrup, Mother-Daughter Wisdom. Paul Orfalea, Copy This! Lessons from a Hyperactive Dyslexic; how he founded Kinko's in 1970. Suze Orman (1951-), The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke. Sharon Osbourne (1952-) and Penelope Dening, Extreme: My Autobiography (autobio); bestseller (2M copies). David M. Oshinsky (1944-), Polio: An American Story (Pulitzer Prize). Nicholas Ostler (1952-), Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World, "the first history of the world's great tongues". Elinor Ostrom (1933-), The Samaritans' Dilemma; Understanding Institutional Diversity. Cynthia Ozick (1928-), The Din the Head (essays). Ilan Pappe (1954-), The Modern Middle East. Roger Penrose (1931-), The Road to Reality: A Complete Guide to the Laws of the Universe; the recognized laws of physics are incomplete, and "I do not believe that we have yet found the true 'road to reality'." Ralph Peters (1952-), New Glory: Expanding America's Global Supremacy. Tom Peters (1942-), Design. Tom Peters (1942-) and Martha Barletta, Trends. James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer, Social Movements and State Power: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador. Walid Phares, Future Jihad: Terrorist Strategies Against America; bestseller. David L. Phillips, Losing Iraq: Inside the Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco. Michael Collins Piper (1960-), Target: Traficant: The Untold Story (Jan.); U.S. Rep. (D-Ohio) Jim Traficant, who was ousted and convicted of corruption charges and claims he was set up by the "pro-Israel clique", singling out U.S. asst. atty.-gen. Michael Chertoff. David Plotz, The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank; Robert Graham and his 215 kids. William Poundstone, Fortune's Formula; the Kelly Stock Wagering System of John Kelly Jr. (1921-65). Ron Powers, Mark Twain: A Life. Edvard Radzinsky, Alexander II: The Last Great Tsar. Raghuram Rajan (1963-), Has Financial Development Made the World Riskier?; chief economist of the IMF in 2003-6 predicts disaster for the global financial sector, making him a hero when the Great (Global) Recession hits in Dec. 2007. Jenny Randles, Breaking the Time Barrier. Marcus Raskin (1934-) and Carl LeVan, In Democracy's Shadow: The Secret World of National Security. Raheel Raza, Their Jihad... Not My Jihad! (Nov. 15). Richard Reeves, President Reagan: The Triumph of the Imagination; "No one ever called Reagan an intellectual, but he did see the world in terms of ideas... that he held with stubborn certainty." Tom Reiss (1964-), The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life; internat. bestseller. John M. Richardson Jr. (1938-), Paradise Poisoned: Learning About Conflict, Development and Terrorism from Sri Lanka's Civil Wars; claims that violent conflict and terrorism are predictable and preventable, even with al-Qaida. Andrew Roberts (1963-), Waterloo: June 18, 1815: The Battle for Modern Europe. Chris Roberts, Heavy Words, Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind the Rhyme. David Roberts, On the Ridge Between Life and Death: A Climbing Life Reexamined. Sharon Rocha, For Laci. Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, Mencken: The American Iconoclast. Dennis Rodman (1961-) and Jack Isenhour, I Should Be Dead By Now (autobio.) (Sept. 1). Carl Rollyson, Essays in Biography. Bill Romanowski (1966-), Living on the Edge: Living Dreams and Slaying Dragons; NYT bestseller; former NFL star, the league's dirtiest player known for giant mood swings on the field disses talk of his 34 concussions and blames it on chemical performance enhancers; points fingers. Murray Newton Rothbard (1926-95), A History of Money and Banking in the United States (posth.). Jeffrey Sachs (1954-), The End of Poverty; NYT bestseller that argues that extreme poverty (income of less than $1 a day) can be eliminated globally by 2025. Rick Santorum, It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good; rebuttal of Hillary Clinton's 1996 bestseller by a Repub. Sen. from Penn. Dan Savage (1964-), The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family; his yummy gay marriage with his partner Terry. Michael Savage (1942-), Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder: Savage Solutions (Apr. 12) (NYT bestseller); how liberals and leftist undermine the basic tenets of Am. life incl. marriage, the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the Ten Commandments; calls radical Islam "Islamofascism"; "I believe it's time for the heads of... left-wing agitation groups who are using the courts to impose their will on the sheeple to be prosecuted under the federal RICO statutes"; "I envisage an Oil for Illegals program.. The president should demand one barrel of oil from Mexico for every illegal alien that sneaks into our country"; "Real homeland security begins when we arrest, interrogate, jail, or deport known operatives within our own borders... One dirty bomb can ruin your whole day." Simon Schama (1945-), Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves and the American Revolution; about the Black Loyalists of the Am. Rev. who fled to Britain, and their fate. Barnet Schecter, The Devil's Own Work: The Civil War Draft Riots and the Fight to Reconstruct America. Richard Schickel, Elia Kazan: A Biography. Stacy Schiff (1961-), A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America (Dr. Franklin Goes to France). Leigh Eric Schmidt, Restless Souls: The Making of American Spirituality. Rob Schultheis, Waging Peace: A Special Operations Team's Battle to Rebuild Iraq; the U.S. Army Civil Affairs Corps, AKA the "cleanup crew". Simon Sebag-Montefiore (1965-), Potemkin: Catherine the Great's Imperial Partner; A History of Caucasus. John Selby (1945-), Seven Masters, One Path: Meditation Secrets from the World's Greatest Teachers. Vikram Seth, Two Lives; his uncle Shanti and aunt Henny in the Holocaust. Kenneth Sewell and Clint Richmond, Red Star Rogue; a Soviet nuclear sub attempts to nuke the U.S., and it's covered up? Anthony Shadid, Night Draws Near. Sidney Sheldon (1917-2007), The Other Side of Me (autobio.). Edwin Sherman, Bible Code Bombshell: Compelling Scientific Evidence that God Authored the Bible; the Book of Isaiah is the real deal and he's gonna squeeze for us some of that juice? Michael Shermer, The Science of Good and Evil. Brooke Shields, Down Came the Rain. Walid Shoebat, Why I Left Jihad: The Root of Terrorism and the Return of Radical Islam (May 30). Mark Singer, Character Studies: Encounters with the Curiously Obsessed. Peter Singer (1946-) (ed.), In Defense of Animals: The Second Wave. Mark Skousen (1947-), Vienna and Chicago: Friends or Foes? A Tale of Two Schools of Free-Market Economics. Jane Smiley (1949-), Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel; "The ultimate fact about novel-writing is that you can never control whether your writing efforts will be successful, but you can control whether they will be enjoyable or satisfying." Ashley Smith (1978-), Unlikely Angel (Sept.); her ordeal with Brian Gene Nichols. Philip Smith, Why War? The Cultural Logic of Iraq, the Gulf War, and Suez (Dec. 1). Dava Sobel, The Planets. Thomas Sowell (1930-), Black Rednecks and White Liberals: And Other Cultural and Ethnic Issues; claims that black ghetto culture is a relic of white Southern redneck culture. Bob Spitz, The Beatles: The Biography (Nov.). Hilary Spurling, Matisse the Master: A Life of Henri Matisse (1869-1954), The Conquest of Colour, 1909-1954. Tom Standage, The History of the World in Six Glasses. George Steiner (1929-), The Idea of Europe. Victor J. Stenger (1935-), God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist. Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan, De Kooning: An American Master (Pulitzer Prize). James B. Stewart, Disney War; Disney's true Seven Dwarfs: Sneaky, Screamy, Pushy, Greedy, Grabby, Nasty, and Snarky. Martha Stewart (1941-), Martha's Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as You Start, Build, or Manage a Business (Oct.); sells only 37K copies by Dec. - the marriage was built to last but the house was built too small? John A. Stormer (1928-), Betrayed by the Bench; subversion of the U.S. Constitution by the U.S. judiciary. Cass R. Sunstein (1954-), Radicals in Robes: Why Extreme Right-Wing Courts Are Wrong for America; The Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle. Dick Taverne (1928-), The March of Unreason: Science, Democracy, and the New Fundamentalism; British Liberal PM and 2002 founder of Sense About Science speaks. Philip Tetlock, Expert Political Judgment. Kenneth R. Timmerman (1953-), Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran; gets him a nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 by Swedish deputy PM Per Ahlmark. Blair Tindall, Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs and Classical Music; the X-rated side of the fun classical music world. Eckhart Tolle (1948-), A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose; bestseller (5M copies). Nikolai Tolstoy, Patrick O'Brian: The Making of the Novelist 1914-1949. Clarence Arthur Tripp (1919-2003), The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln (posth.); claims he was gay. Lynne Truss, Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay at Home and Bolt the Door. Jim B. Tucker, Life Before Life: A Scientific Investigation of Children's Memories of Previous Lives; his continuation of the search of Ian Stevenson (1918-2007). Sinan Ulgen, Handbook of EU Negotiations. Muhammad Taqi Usmani (1943-), Islam and Modernism; Pakistani Muslim scholar causes controversy in the West with his claims that the Islamic doctrine of jihad is a real threat to the West, not just a misinterpretation of the Quran, because the Quran orders that "killing is to continue until the unbelievers pay jizyah after they are humbled and overpowered", and "In my humble knowledge there has not been a single incident in the entire history of Islam where Muslims had shown their willingness to stop jihad just for one condition that they be allowed to preach Islam freely." Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1922-2007), A Man Without a Country (memoir); "When the last living thing has died on account of us, how poetical it would be if Earth could say, in a voice floating up perhaps from the floor of the Grand Canyon, 'It is done.' People did not like it here." Stephen Wackwitz (b. 1952), An Invisible Country. Elijah Wald, The Mayor of MacDougal Street; folk musician Dave Van Ronk (1936-2005). David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster And Other Essays. Mike Wallace (1918-) and Gary Paul Gates, Between You and Me: A Memoir. Maureen Waller, London 1945: Life in the Debris of War. Essie Mae Washington-Williams, Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond. George Weigel (1951-), The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America, and Politics Without God; argues that Europe's "demographic suicide" (low birthrates) will cause its welfare states to collapse, and is creating a "vacuum into which Islamic immigrants are flowing" - tourniquet! tourniquet? Alison Weir (1951-), Isabella: She-Wolf of France, Queen of England. Brian Weiss (1944-), Same Soul, Many Bodies: Discover the Healing Power of Future Lives through Progression Therapy (Aug 30). Jack Welch and Suzy Welch, Winning; the "differentiation system" of sorting employees into a top 20% of stars, a middle 70% of the "crucial majority", and a bottom 10% to be weeded out - what happened to some are more equal than others? Sam Weller, The Bradbury Chronicles. Edmund Valentine White III (1940-), My Lives (autobio.). Sean Wilentz, Andrew Jackson; The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln. Marjorie Williams (ed. by Timothy Noah), The Woman at the Washington Zoo: Writings on Politics, Family and Fate. Garry Wills (1934-), Henry Adams and the Making of America; attempts to rescue Adams' rep. as a "wholly owned subsidiary of English departments", and rehabiliate him as a historian. Diane Wilson (1948-), An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas (autobio.); 4th gen. shrimper and environmental activist. Simon Winchester, A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906. Joel S. Wit, Daniel B. Poneman, and Robert L. Gallucci, Going Critical: The First North Korean Nuclear Crisis. Bob Woodward (1943-) and Carl Bernstein (1944-), The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate's Deep Throat; FBI agent William Mark Felt (1913-2008). Randall D. Wright (1956-) and Ricardo Lagos (1938-), A Unified Framework for Monetary Theory and Policy Analysis; expands the Kiyotaki-Moore Model of Credit Cycles to make it useful for monetary policy. Bat Ye'or, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Asia; coins the term "Eurabia" for the evermore Islamized Europe. John C. Yoo, The Powers of War and Peace: The Constitution and Foreign Affairs After 9/11; argues for broad pres. war powers up to the King George III level - incl. a little tickly-tickly? Rafi Zabor (1946-), I, Wabenzi (memoir). Robert Zubrin, Benedict Arnold: A Drama of the American Revolution in Five Acts. Music: 311, Don't Tread On Me (album #8) (Aug. 16) (#5 in the U.S.); incl. Don't Tread On Me (#93 in the U.S.), Speak Easy, Frolic Room. The Academy Is..., Almost Here (album #2) (Feb. 8) (#185 in the U.S.); incl. Checkmarks, Slow Down (Hollywood Hills), The Phrase That Pays, Classifieds. Death From Above, You're a Woman, I'm a Machine (album). John Coolidge Adams (1947-), Doctor Atomic (opera) (San Francisco Opera) (Oct. 1); Robert Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project; incl. Bhagavad Gita Chorus, Batter, My Heart, Red Alert, Doctor Atomic Solo. Queens of the Stone Age, Lullabies to Paralyze (album #4) (Mar. 21) (#5 in the U.S.) (450K copies); incl. Little Sister, In My Head, Burn the Witch, Medication. a-ha, Analogue (album #8) (Nov. 4); incl. Analogue (All I Want), Celice, Birthright, Cosy Prisons. Tori Amos (1963-), The Beekeeper (album #8) (Feb. 20) (#5 in the U.S., #24 in the U.K.); incl. Sleeps with Butterflies, Sweet the Sting. Apocalyptica, Apocalyptica (album #5) (Jan. 24); incl. Life Burns!, Bittersweet. Fiona Apple (1977-), Extraordinary Machine (album #3) (Oct. 4) (#7 in the U.S.); incl. Parting Gift, Not About Love. Bun B (1973-), Trill (album) (debut); Draped Up, Git It, Get Throwed. Anita Baker (1958-), Christmas Fantasy (album #7) (Oct. 4) (#120 in the U.S.). Beck (1970-), Guero (album) (Mar. 29); incl. Girl, E-Pro, Hell Yes. Dierks Bentley (1975-), Modern Day Drifter (album #2) (May 10); incl. Lot of Leavin' Left to Do, Come a Little Closer, Settle for a Slowdown. Bo Bice (1975-), Inside Your Heaven (#2 in the U.S.). The Notorious Big (1972-97), Duets: The Final Chapter (album #4) (Dec. 20) (posth.) (#3 in the U.S., #13 in the U.K.); incl. Nasty Girl (w/Diddy, Nelly, and Jagged Edge) (#45 in the U.S., #1 in the U.K.), Spit Your Game (w/Twista and Krayzie Bone). Limp Bizkit, The Unquestionable Truth (Part 1) (album #5) (May 2); sells 1M copies; incl. The Truth. Bjork (1965-), Army of Me: Remixes and Covers (album) (May 31); The Music from Drawing Restraint 9 (album) (July 25); incl. Storm, Holographic Entrypoint. Mary J. Blige (1971-), The Breakthrough (album #7) (Dec. 20) (#1 in the U.S., #22 in the U.K.) (7M copies); incl. Be Without You, Enough Cryin' (w/Brook Lynn), Take Me As I Am, One (w/U2). Blink-182, Greatest Hits (album) (Oct. 31). Orange Blossom, Everything Must Change (album #2); incl. Habibi (My Darling). Prussian Blue, The Path We Chose (album #2) (last album); incl. The Green Fields of France. Moody Blues, Lovely to See You: Live (double album) (Nov. 15). James Blunt (1974-), Back to Bedlam (album) (debut) (#2 in the U.S., #1 in the U.K.) (12M copies); incl. You're Beautiful (#1 in the U.S. and U.K.) (written after spotting his ex with a new beau; ex-military man becomes the first Brit to top the Billboard Top 100 in the U.S. since Elton John in 1997), Wisemen, High, Goodbye My Lover. The Backstreet Boys, Never Gone (album #5) (June 14) (#3 in the U.S., #11 in the U.K.) (2M copies); first album with a rock sound; incl. Incomplete, Just Want You to Know, I Still.... Pet Shop Boys, Back to Mine (album) (Apr. 25); Battleship Potemkin (album) (Sept. 5); written to accompany the 1925 silent Sergei Eisenstein film. The Bravery, The Bravery (album) (debut) (#18 in the U.S., #5 in the U.K.); from New York City, incl. San Endicott (vocals, guitar), Michael "Moose" Zakarin (guitar), John Conway (keyboards), Mike Hindert (bass), and Anthony Burulcich (drums); incl. An Honest Mistake, Fearless, Unconditional, Swollen Summer. Toni Braxton (1967-), Libra (album) (Sept. 27); incl. Please, Trippin' (That's the Way Love Works) (with Keyshia Cole). Alison Brown (1962-), Stolen Moments (album); incl. Musette for a Palindrome. Michael Buble (1975-) It's Time (album) (Feb. 15); sells 6M copies. Echo and the Bunnymen, Siberia (album #10) (Sept. 20); incl. Of A Life. Bush, The Best of: 1994-1999 (double album) (June 14). Kate Bush (1958-), Aerial (A Sea of Honey/ A Sky of Honey) (double album #9) (Nov. 7) (first in 12 years); incl. Aerial, King of the Mountain, Bertie, Joanni, Pi; sings it to its 137th decimal place, omitting 79-100, A Choral Room Chris Brown (1989-), Chris Brown (album); sells 4M copies; incl. Run It!; "I know what girls want, I know what girls like, they like to stay up, and party all night." Cake, Wheels (album). The Cardigans, Super Extra Gravity (album #6) (Oct. 4). Mariah Carey (1970-), The Emancipation of Mimi (album #10) (Apr. 4) (#1 in the U.S., #7 in the U.K.); her old nickname; highest-selling album of 2005 (10M copies); incl. We Belong Together, It's Like That (w/Fatman Scoop, Jermaine Drupri), Shake It Off, Mine Again, Say Somethin' (w/Snoop Dogg), Get Your Number (w/ Jermaine Dupri). Fall Out Boy, From Under the Cork Tree (album #3) (May 3) (#9 in the U.S.) (3M copies); incl. Sugar, We're Goin Down, Dance, Dance, and A Little Less Sixteen Candles, a Little More 'Touch Me'. 50 Cent (1975-), The Massacre (album #2) (Mar. 3) (#1 in the U.S. and U.K.) (11M copies worldwide); incl. Disco Inferno, Candy Shop (w/Olivia), Just a Lil Bit, Outta Control (Remix) (w/Mobb Deep). Tracy Chapman (1964-), Where You Live (album #7) (Sept. 13) (#49 in the U.S., #43 in the U.K.). Kenny Chesney (1968-), Be As You Are (Songs from an Old Blue Chair) (album) (Jan.); The Road and the Radio (album); incl. Living in Fast Forward, Summertime, Beer in Mexico. Chic, A Night in Amsterdam (album) (June 20); recorded in the Amsterdam Paradiso on July 17, 2005. Kaiser Chiefs, Employment (album). New Young Pony Club, Ice Cream (debut) (Feb.); The Get Go (June 27); Fantastic Playroom (album) (debut) (July 9) (#54 in the U.K.); incl. The Bomb. from London, England, incl. Tahita Rotardier Bulmer, Andy Spence, Lou Hayter, and Sarah Jones. Coldplay, X&Y (album #3) (June 6) (#1 in the U.S. and U.K.); incl. Fix You (written for his babe Gwyneth Paltrow, whose daddy Bruce Paltrow died in 2002), The Hardest Part, Speed of Sound, Talk, What If, White Shadows. Alice Cooper (1948-), Dirty Diamonds (album #24). Susan Cowsill (1959-), Just Believe It (album) (solo debut). Sheryl Crow (1962-), Wildflower (album) (Sept.). D4L, Laffy Taffy; "Shake that Laffy Taffy". Death Cab for Cutie, The John Byrd EP (Mar. 1); named after their sound engineer; Plans (album #5) (Aug. 30) (#4 in the U.S.); incl. Soul Meets Body, Crooked Teeth, I Will Follow You Into the Dark. Craig Ashley David (1981-), The Story Goes... (album) (Sept. 6); incl. All the Way, Don't Love You No More (I'm Sorry). Green Day, Bullet in a Bible (album) (Nov. 15) (#8 in the U.S., #6 in the U.K.). Grateful Dead, Dick's Picks Vol. 34 (album) (Feb. 14); recorded on Nov. 2, 1977 in Toronto; Dick's Picks Vol. 35 (album) (June 17); recorded in Aug. 1971; Dick's Picks Vol. 36 (album) (Oct.); recorded in Sept. 1972. Panic! at the Disco, A Fever You Can't Sweat Out (album) (debut) (#13 in the U.S.) (Sept. 27) (2M copies); from Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nev.; Brendon Boyd Urie (1987-) (vocals), George Ryan Ross III (1986-) (guitar), Peter Wentz (bass), and Spencer James Smith (1987-) (drums); named after the Name Taken song "Panic"; incl. I Write Sins Not Tragedies, The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage, Lying is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off, But It's Better If You Do, Build God, Then We'll Talk. Disturbed, Ten Thousand Fists (album #3) (Sept. 20, 2005) (#1 in the U.S., #59 in the U.K.) (1.9M copies in the U.S.); first with bassist John Mayer; dedicated to Dimebag Darrell; incl. Ten Thousand Fists, Guarded, Stricken, Just Stop, Land of Confusion (by Genesis). Pussycat Dolls, Don't Cha (w/Busta Rhymes) (Apr. 26) (#2 in the U.S., #1 in the U.K.); from Los Angeles, Calif., incl. Hawaiian-born Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente Scherzinger (1978-), Carmit Bachar, Melody Thornton, Jessica Sutta, Ashley Roberts, and Kimberly Wyatt; PCD (#5 in the U.S., #7 in the U.K.) (album) (debut) (Sept. 12) (sold 9M copies); incl. Stickwitu (w/Avant), Buttons (w/Snoop Dogg), Beep (w/will.i.am). Donovan (1946-), To Try for the Sun: The Journey of Donovan (album) (Sept. 13). Doobie Brothers, The Very Best of the Doobie Brothers (double album) (Mar. 13). System of a Down, Hypnotize (Nov. 22) (#1 in the U.S.); incl. Hypnotize, Lonely Day, Kill Rock 'n Roll, Victim of Obscenity. 3 Doors Down, Seventeen Days (album #3) (Feb. 8) (#1 in the U.S.); incl. Let Me Go, Behind Those Eyes. As I Lay Dying, Shadows Are Security (album #3) (June 14) (#35 in the U.S.) (275K copies); incl. Confined, Through Struggle, The Darkest Nights. Eminem (1972-), Curtain Call: The Hits (album) (Dec. 6). Public Enemy, New Whirl Odor (album #9) (Nov. 1); incl. MKLVFKWR (Make Love Fuck War) (w/Moby). Brian Eno (1948-), Another Day on Earth (album). Enya (1961-), Amarantine (album #7) (Nov. 22); incl. Amarantine, It's In the Rain. Epica, Consign to Oblivion (album #2) (Apr. 21); incl. Solitary Ground, Quietus; The Score... An Epic Journey Soundtrack (album #3) (Sept. 20). Melissa Etheridge (1961-), The Road Less Traveled (album) (Oct.). Sara Evans (1971-), Real Fine Place (album); incl. A Real Fine Place to Start Blues Explosion, Damage (album). Exodus, Shovel Headed Kill Machine (album #7) (Oct. 4); first with vocalist Rob Dukes and drummer Paul Bostaph; incl. Deathamphetamine. Better Than Ezra, Before the Robots (album #6) (May 31); incl. A Lifetime. Marianne Faithfull (1946-), Before the Poison (album). Kevin Federline (1978-), The Truth (album). Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better (album #2) (Oct. 3) (#8 in the U.S., #1 in the U.K.); incl. Do You Want To, The Fallen/ L. Wells, Walk Away, Eleanor Put Your Boots On. Elysian Fields, Bum Raps and Love Taps (album #4); incl. Duel with Cudgels, We're in Love. Foo Fighters, In Your Honor (album #5) (double album) (June 14); incl. In Your Honor, Best of You, DOA, Resolve, No Way Back, Miracle, Cold Day in the Sun. Fishbone, Live in Amsterdam (album) (May 31). The Fray, How to Save a Life (album) (debut) (Sept. 13) (#14 in the U.S., #4 in the U.K.); from Denver, Colo., incl. Isaac Edward Slade (1981-) (vocals) and Joe King (1980-); incl. How to Save a Life (#1 in the U.S., #4 in the U.K.), Over My Head (Cable Car) (#8 in the U.S., #19 in the U.K.). Crazy Frog, Axel-F; first hit cell phone ring tone. Funtwo (Lim Jeong-hun) (1984-), Pachelbel's Canon in D Major; South Korean plays in his bedroom, uploads it to YouTube, and becomes an instant guitar legend, getting over 80M views and 500K viewer text comments; too bad, he decides not to go pro. The Game, The Documentary (album) (debut) (Jan. 18); original title "Nigga Witta Attitude Vol. 1"; sells 6M copies; incl. Westside Story, Hate It or Love It (w/ 50 Cent). Garbage, Bleed Like Me (album #4) (Apr. 11); incl. Why Do You Love Me. Lamb of God, Killadelphia (album) (Dec. 13). Melody Gardot (1985-), Some Lessons: The Bedroom Sessions (album) (debut) (May 3); incl. Some Lessons. OK Go, Oh No (album). Jay Greenberg (1991-), Symphony No. 5. Merle Haggard (1937-), Chicago Wind (album) (Oct.); incl. America First ("Let's get out of Iraq, and get back on track"). Herbie Hancock (1940-), Possibilities (album #45) (Aug. 30). Faith Hill (1967-), Fireflies (album); incl. Mississippi Girl, Like We Never Loved At All (with Tim McGraw). Her Space Holiday, The Past Presents the Future (album). Yusuf Islam (1948-), Indian Ocean; the 2004 tsunami. Jamiroquai, Dynamite (album #6) (June 20); incl. Feels Just Like It Should, Seven Days in Sunny June, (Don't) Give Hate a Chance. Flotsam and Jetsam, Dreams of Death (album #9) (July 26). Billy Joel (1949-), My Lives (boxed set). Elton John (1947-), Elton John's Christmas Party (album) (Nov. 10); released exclusively at Hear Music outlets in Starbucks coffee ships. Elton John (1947-) and Bernie Taupin (1950-), Lestat (musical) (Dec.) (San Francisco); based on the Anne Rice novels. Jack Hody Johnson (1975-), In Between Dreams (album #3) (Mar. 1) (#2 in the U.S., #1 in the U.K.); incl. Better Together, Good People, Sitting, Waiting, Wishing, Breakdown, Banana Pancakes. Journey, Generations (album) (Aug. 29); incl. Faith in the Heartland. Bon Jovi, Have a Nice Day (album) (Sept. 20) (#2 in the U.S., #2 in the U.K.); incl. Have a Nice Day, Welcome to Wherever You Are, Who Says You Can't Go Home (with Jennifer Nettles) (first rock & roll band with a #1 Billboard Hot Country hit). Toby Keith (1961-), White Trash with Money (album); first release on his new Show Dog Nashville label. R. Kelly (1967-), Sex in the Kitchen (Apr.); TP-3: Reloaded (album #7) (July 5) (#1 in the U.S.); incl. Trapped in the Closet, Ch. 1-Ch. 5. K'naan (1978-), The Dusty Foot Philosopher (album #2) (June 7); incl. If Rap Gets Jealous. Korn, See You on the Other Side (album #7) (Dec. 6) (#2 in the U.S.); original title "Souvenir of Sadness"; first without Brian "Head" Welch; last with drummer David Silveria; incl. Twisted Transistor (#3 in the U.S.), Coming Undone (#4 in the U.S.), Politics (#18 in the U.S.). Strapping Young Lad, Alien (album #4) (Mar. 22) (#32 in the U.S.); incl. Love? Cyndi Lauper (1953-), The Body Acoustic (album #9) ((Nov. 8). Huey Lewis (1950-) and the News, Live at 25 (album) (May 17). Black Lips, Let It Bloom (album #3) (Nov. 22); incl. Boomerang, Not a Problem, Everybody's Doin' It, Feeling Gay. Lindsay Lohan (1986-), A Little More Personal (Raw) (album #2) (Dec. 6); incl. Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father), Edge of Seventeen, I Want You to Want Me. Jennifer Lopez (1969-), Rebirth (album #4) (Mar. 1) (#2 in the U.S., #8 in the U.K.); incl. Get Right (#12 in the U.S., #1 in the U.K.). Madonna (1958-), Confessions on a Dance Floor (album #10) (Nov. 15) (#1 in the U.S. and U.K.) (12M copies); incl. Hung Up (her 38th top-10 Billboard hit, tying Elvis Presley), Sorry, Get Together, Jump; I'm Going to Tell You A Secret (album) (Oct. 21). Mae, The Everglow (album #2) (Mar. 29); concept album. Metric, Live It Out (album #2) (Sept. 27) (150K copies); incl. Monster Hospital, Poster of a Girl, Empty. Iron Maiden, The Essential Iron Maiden (album) (July 5); Death on the Road (Aug. 30). Dave Matthews Band, Stand Up (album). John Mayer Trio, Try! (album) (Nov. 22). Martina McBride (1966-), Timeless (album #7). Paul McCartney (1942-), Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (album #13) (Sept. 12) (#6 in the U.S., #10 in the U.K.); incl. Fine Line, Jenny Wren, Friends to Go, Too Much Rain, This Never Happened Before. Gene McDaniels (1935-), Screams and Whispers (album #12); first album since 1975. Katie Melua (1984-), Piece by Piece (album #2) (Sept. 26); Nine Million Bicy8cles, I Cried for You, Spider's Web, It's Only Pain, Shy Boy. Natalie Merchant (1963-), Retrospective: 1995-2005 (album). M.I.A. (Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasm) (1975-), Arular (album) (debut) (Mar. 22); incl. Bucky Done Gun. Ingrid Michaelson (1979-), Slow the Rain (album). Moby, Hotel (album). Depeche Mode, Playing the Angel (album #11) (Oct. 17); incl. Precious, A Pain That I'm Used To, Suffer Well, Join the Revelator/ Lilian. Van Morrison (1945-), Magic Time (album #31) (May 17); incl. Stranded, I'm Confessin'. Dropkick Murphys, The Warrior's Code (album #5) (June 21); incl. I'm Shipping Up to Boston. Nine Inch Nails, With Teeth (album #4) (May 3) (#1 in the U.S., #3 in the U.K.); incl. The Hand That Feeds (#1 in the U.S.), Only (#1 in the U.S.), Every Day Is Exactly the Same (#1 in the U.S.). The National, Alligator (album #3) (Apr. 12); incl. Mr. November. Olivia Newton-John (1948-), Stronger Than Before; features herself (1992) and other cancer survivors incl. Diahann Carroll; Hypnotize (album) (Nov.). Nickelback, All the Right Reasons (album #5) (Oct. 4) (#1 in the U.S., #2 in the U.K.) (11M copies); first with drummer Daniel Adair; incl. Rockstar, Photograph, Animals, Savin' Me, Far Away, If Everyone Cared, Side of a Bullet. Niyaz, Niyaz (album) (debut) (Apr. 19); Niyaz means "yearning" in Persian and Urdu; from LA, incl. Carmen Rizzo, Azam Ali, and Loga Ramin Torkian; incl. Ghazal, Allahi Allah, Dilruba. Nonpoint, To the Pain (album #4) (Nov. 8) (#147 in the U.S.); incl. Bullet With A Name, Alive and Kicking. Oasis, Don't Believe the Truth (album #6) (May 30) (#12 in the U.S., #1 in the U.K.); incl. Lyla, The Importance of Being Idle, Let There Be Love. Indian Ocean, Black Friday Soundtrack (album) (Jan.). Sinead O'Connor (1966-), Collaborations (album) (June 21); Throw Down Your Arms (album) (Oct. 4). Omarion (1984-), Touch; O (album) (debut) (Feb. 22); sells 750K copies; incl. O. New Order, Waiting for the Sirens' Call (album #8) (last album) (Mar. 28) (#46 in the U.S., #5 in the U.K.); incl. Waiting for the Sirens' Call, Krafty, Jetstream. Tony Orlando (1944-) and Dawn, Christmas Reunion (album). Brad Paisley (1972-), Time Well Wasted (album). Maximo Park, A Certain Trigger (album) (debut) (May 16); from Newcastle, England, incl. Paul Smith (1979-) (vocals), Duncan Lloyd (guitar), Archis Tiku (bass), Lukas Wooller (keyboards), Tom English (drums); incl. The Coast Is Always Changing, Apply Some Pressure, Graffiti, Going Missing, I Want You to Stay. Bloc Party, Silent Alarm (album). Black Eyed Peas, Monkey Business (album #4); (May 27); sells 10M copies; incl. Pump It (based on Dick Dale's 1962 hit "Misirlou"), Don't Phunk with My Heart, Don't Lie, My Humps, Dum Diddly, Bebot, Union (with Sting). Peter and the Test Tube Babies, A Foot Full of Bullets (album #12). Silversun Pickups, Pikul (album) (debut) (July); named after a liquor store at the intersection of Sunset Strip and Silver Lake Blvd. in Hollywood, Calif.; Brian Aubert (vocals), Nikki Monninger (bass), Christopher Guanlao (drums), and Joe Lester (keyboards). Pitbull (1981-), Money Is Still A Major Issue (album #2) (Nov. 15). The New Pornographers, Twin Cinema (album #3) (Aug. 23); incl. Twin Cinema, The Bleeding Heart Show. The Posies, Every Kind of Light (album #6) (June 28); last album in 1998; incl. Second Time Around. Daniel Powter (1971-), Daniel Powter (album); incl. "Bad Day" (played for the losers in 2006 Am. Idol). Judas Priest, Angel of Retribution (Mar. 1). Eric Prydz (1976-), Woz Not Woz (w/Steve Angello) (#55 in the U.K.). Bonnie Raitt (1949-), Souls Alike (album #15) (Sept. 13). Rammstein, Rosenrot (Rose Red) (album #5) (Oct. 28); incl. Rosenrot, Mann Gegen Mann (Man Against Man), Benzin, Stirb Nicht Vor Mir (Don't Die Before I Do), Zerstoren (Destroy), Te Quiero Puta! (I Want You Whore!) (with Carmen Zapata), Feuer und Wasser (Fire and Water). Raveonettes, Pretty in Black (album #2) (May 3); incl. Love in a Trashcan, My Boyfriend's Back (cover of the Angels' hit). Steve Reich (1936-), The Desert Music: Variations for Vibes, Pianos and Strings. The All-American Rejects, Move Along (album #2) (July 12) (#6 in the U.S., #45 in the U.K.) (2M copies); incl. Move Along (#15 in the U.S., #42 in the U.K.), Dirty Little Secret (#9 in the U.S., #18 in the U.K.), It Ends Tonight (#8 in the U.S., #66 in the U.K.). Rihanna (1988-), Music of the Sun (album) (debut) (Aug. 26) (#10 in the U.S.) (2M copies); incl. Pon de Replay, If It's Lovin' That You Want. My Chemical Romance, Warped Tour Bootleg Series (EP) (July 19). Rush, R30: 30th Anniversary Tour (album) (Nov. 22). Mr. Scruff (1972-), Mrs Cruff (album) (May 22). Seal (1963-), Live in Paris (album) (July 6). Belle and Sebastian, Push Barman to Open Old Wounds (album #7) (May 24); If You're Feeling Sinister: Live at the Barbican (album) (Dec. 6). Seether, Karma and Effect (album #3) (May 24) (800K copies worldwide) (their masterpiece?); incl. Remedy, Truth, The Gift. Shaggy, Clothes Drop (album); incl. Wild 2Nite (with Olivia). Carly Simon (1945-), Moonlight Serenade (album). Spoon, Gimme Fiction (album). Bruce Springsteen (1949-), Devils & Dust. LeAnn Rimes (1982-), This Woman (album); her country music comeback. Shakira (1977-), Fijacion Oral Vol. 1 (album #4) (June 3) (#4 in the U.S.) (4M copies); incl. La Tortura; Oral Fixation, Vol. 2 (album #5) (Nov. 28) (#5 in the U.S., #12 in the U.K.) (8M copies); incl. Don't Bother, Hips Don't Lie (w/Wyclef Jean), Illegal (w/Santana). Ashlee Simpson (1984-), I Am Me (album #2) (Oct. 18) (#1 in the U.S., #50 in the U.K.)); incl. Boyfriend, L.O.V.E.. Sleater-Kinney, The Woods (album #7) (last album) (May 24); incl. Jumpers, Modern Girl. Black Label Society, Mafia (album #6) (Mar. 8) (#15 in the U.S.) (250K copies in the U.S.); incl. In This River (dedicated to Dimebag Darrell), Fire It Up, Suicide Messiah. Collective Soul, From the Ground Up (EP) (#129 in the U.S.). Hush Sound, So Sudden (album); Bob Morris, Mike Leblanc, Greta Saltpeter (piano), Darren Wilson (drums). LCD Soundsystem, LCD Soundsystem (album) (debut) (Jan. 24); James Murphy (1970); Staind, Chapter V (album #5) (Aug. 9) (#1 in the U.S., #112 in the U.K.) (1.5M copies); incl. Right Here, Falling, Everything Changes, King of All Excuses. Big Star, In Space (album #4) (Sept. 27); first new album since 1974; incl. Turn My Back on the Sun, Best Chance, Dony. Ringo Starr (1940-), Choose Love (album #13) (June 7). Status Quo, The Party Ain't Over Yet (album #27) (Sept. 19). The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday (album). Gwen Stefani (1969-), Love.Angel.Music.Baby. (album) (solo debut) (Nov. 22); incl. Rich Girl (with Eve), Harajuku Girls; Hollaback Girl (the cheerleader capt. who hollas, as opposed to the rest who holla back?); first track to get 1M paid downloads. Al Stewart (1945-), A Beach Full of Shells (album #17). Rod Stewart (1945-), Thanks for the Memory: The Great American Songbook 4 (album) (Oct. 18). Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang (album #24) (Sept. 5) (#3 in the U.S., #2 in the U.K.); incl. Rough Justice, Streets of Love (#15 in the U.K.), Rain Fall Down (#33 in the U.K.), Biggest Mistake (#51 in the U.K.); Rarities 1971-2003 (album) (Nov. 21). Stratovarius, Stratovarius (album #11) (Sept. 5); last with Timo Tolkki; incl. Maniac Dance. White Stripes, Get Behind Me Satan (album #5) (June 7); incl. Blue Orchid, My Doorbell, The Denial Twist. Steven Stucky, Second Concerto for Orchestra (Pulitzer Prize). Styx, Big Band Theory (album #15) (May 10). Sugarbabes, Taller in More Ways (album #4) (Oct. 10); incl. Push the Button, Ugly, Red Dress, Follow Me Home. Nada Surf, The Weight Is a Gift (album #4) (Sept. 20). Plain White T's, All That We Needed (album). Livingston Taylor (1950-), There You Are Again (album). Testament, Live in London (album). Therion, Atlantis Lucid Dreaming (album) (Sept. 6). Train, Get To Me EP (album) (Aug. 16). The Fall of Troy, Doppelganger (Doppelgänger) (album #2) (Aug. 16); incl. F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X. Jethro Tull, Aqualung Live (album) (Sept. 19). KT Tunstall (1975-), Eye to the Telescope (album) (debut) (Dec. 13) (#33 in the U.S., #3 in the U.K.) (2.6M copies worldwide); incl. Black Horse and the Cherry Tree (#28 in the U.K.), Suddenly I See (#12 in the U.K.), Other Side of the World (#13 in the U.K.), Under the Weather (#39 in the U.K.), Another Place to Fall (#52 in the U.K.). Bonnie Tyler (1951-), Wings (album #15) (May 14). Six Feet Under, 13 (album #6) (Mar. 21); incl. Decomposition of the Human Race, Shadow of the Reaper, The Art of Headhunting. Keith Urban (1967-), Days Go By. Steve Vai (1960-), Real Illusions: Reflections (album #8) (Feb. 22); last album in 1999; about a town visited by God-sent Pamposh to construct a new church; incl. Lotus Feet. The Veronicas, The Secret Life Of... (album) (debut) (Oct. 17) (#133 in the U.S., #2 in Australia); incl. 4ever (#90 in the U.S.), Everything I'm Not, When It All Falls Apart, Revolution, Leave Me Alone. The Wallflowers, Rebel, Sweetheart (album #5) (May 24); incl. The Beautiful Side of Somewhere. Roger Waters (1943-), Ca Ira (Ça Ira); 3-act opera based on the French Rev. Kanye West (1977-), Late Registration (album #2) (Aug. 30) (#1 in the U.S.) (3M copies); incl. Diamonds from Sierra Leone, Gold Digger (w/Jamie Foxx), Heard 'Em Say (w/Adam Levine), Touch the Sky (w/Lupe), Drive Slow (w/Paul Wall). Weezer, Make Believe (album #5) (May 10) (#2 in the U.S., #11 in the U.K.); incl. Beverly Hills, Perfect Situation, We Are All on Drugs, This Is Such A Pity. Kanye West (1977-), Late Registration (Aug. 30) (#1 in the U.S.) (3M copies); incl. Diamonds from Sierra Leone, Gold Digger (w/Jamie Foxx), Heard 'Em Say (w/Adam Levine), Touch the Sky (w/Lupe), Drive Slow (w/Paul Wall). Westlife, Face to Face (album #7) (Oct. 31) (#1 in the U.K.) (6M copies); incl. You Raise Me Up, When You Tell Me That You Love Me (w/Diana Ross) (#2 in the U.K.), Amazing (#4 in the U.K.). Gretchen Wilson (1973-), All Jacked Up; incl. All Jacked Up; highest debuting single for a female country artist (until ?). Wisin and Yandel, Pa'l Mundo (album #5) (Nov. 8); their first hit; incl. Rakata, Llame Pa' Verte (Bailando Sexy), Noche de Sexo. Stevie Wonder (1950-), A Time to Love (album) (Oct. 18); incl. So What the Fuss (with Prince and En Vogue), Positivity (with Aisha Morris), From the Bottom of My Heart, Shelter in the Rain. Chely Wright (1970-), The Metropolitan Hotel (album #6) (Feb. 22); incl. Back of the Bottom Drawer. Yehudi Wyner (1929-), Chiavi in Mano (concerto) (Pulitzer Prize). Trisha Yearwood (1964-), Jasper County (album). Neil Young (1945-), Prairie Wind (album); written in the weeks before a procedure to relieve a brain aneurysm. Frank Zappa (1940-93), Joe's XMASage (album) (posth.) (Dec.). Movies: Karyn Kusama's Aeon Flux (Dec. 2), based on the 1991-5 MTV series is a silly-but-cool sci-fi flick starring Charlize Theron as an assassin working for the Monicans to overthrow the govt. of Bregna; Frances McDormand plays Handler, Marton Csokas plays Trevor Goodchild, Jonny Lee Miller plays Oren Goodchild, and Sophie Okonedo plays Sithandra; brings in $52M on a $62M budget. James Cameron's Aliens of the Deep (Jan. 28) is a documentary about ocean life in the Mid-Ocean Ridges of the Atlantic and Pacific. Rebecca Miller's The Ballad of Jack and Rose (June 2) stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Camilla Belle as father-daughter Jack and Rose Slavin, who live on an abandoned island commune until developer Marty Rance (Beau Bridges) tries to build a housing tract. Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins (June 15) stars Christian Bale as Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon, Liam Neeson as Henri Ducard, and Katie Holmes as Rachel Dawes in the story of how he you know what; #8 movie of 2005 ($205M). ?'s Be Cool (), based on the 1999 Elmore Leonard novel stars John Travolta. Gurinder Chadha's Bride and Prejudice (Feb. 11), a Bollywood flick based on the Jane Austen classic stars Aishwarya Rai as Lalita and Martin Henderson as Will Darcy in an Indianized musical having little to do with classic English anything? Two big thumbs up? The Holy Grail of Social Engineering Pictures is launched by Hollyweird in Oh-nly-Six? Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain (Dec. 9), written by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana based on an Oct. 13, 1997 New Yorker short story by Annie Proulx is about two 1963 sheep cowboys, Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) in Wyo., who go gay and do the bob-and-weave (and bareback?) in high altitude in secret, causing sperm to flow like champagne, after which they separate and marry straight women Alma (Mont.-born Michelle Williams) (Ennis) and Laureen (Anne Hathaway) (Jack); too bad, "this thing gets hold of them again" and they continue to meet once a year for 20 sperm-filled years, fighting the feelings of missed same-sex marital bliss (not just fast food that melts in your mouth?) to the hauntingly sterile "A Love That Will Never Grow Old" as yet more sperm flows, but not in chicks, because it's a dick flick, although not a single one is seen; grosses only $83M in the U.S. despite the ploy of using non-gay actors to keep audiences from getting the feeling they're in a gay movie house, where male-male marriage is a 4-letter word?; in real life Heath Ledger (1979-2008) falls in love on the set with Michelle Williams (1980-), and they marry and have daughter Matilda on Oct. 28, 2005 - one could substitute a man and a boy, two women, a woman and a girl, a father and his son, etc., and the values stay free-floating, welcome to the 21st century of sin is in? Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers (Aug. 5) (Focus Features) stars Bill Murray as aging former playboy Don Johnston, who enjoys his retirement nest egg made in the computer industry until he finds out that he has a 19-y.-o. son from an anon. letter, causing him to travel cross-country in his car to visit four old flames, incl. Laura (Sharon Stone), Dora (Frances Conroy), Carmen (Jessica Lange), and Penny (Tilda Swinton); does $13.7M box office in the U.S. and $46.7M worldside on a $10M budget. Nick Love's The Business stars Danny Dyer as Frankie and Tamer Hassan as Charlie, two Brits who import drugs on the Costa del Crime (Sol) in Spain in the 1980s. Bennett Miller's Capote (Sept. 2) (United Artists) gives Philip Seymour Hoffman the role of his life as the New York goo-goo talking-walking literary sockhusking chief prickhead; Miller's first narrative feature; does $49.2M box office on a $7M budget; yet another film about the transforming power of dick? - now when you wake up with milk you wake up in paradise? Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (July 15), based on the book by Roald Dahl stars Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka, Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket, Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Bucket, and David Kelly as Grandpa Joe; #7 movie of 2005 ($207M). Mark Dindal's animated Chicken Little (Nov. 4) chokes in $134.3M during the Xmas season (#4). Andrew Adamson's The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Dec. 9), the last great fantasy epic of the 20th cent. to be filmed, is spawned and influenced by the newborn Christian evangelical "no dicks in flix" community that made big bucks for Mel Gibson the previous year, despite producer Disney's protestations that it's not a Christian proselytizing tool; #2 movie of 2005 ($292M in the U.S., $745M worldwide); stars William Moseley as Peter, Anna Popplewell as Anna, Georgie Henley as Lucy, and Skandar Keynes as Edmund Pevensie; Liam Neeson is the voice of Aslan; Tilda Swinton plays the White Witch; the pedophile-questionmark faun Mr. Tumnus, played by James McAvoy makes the dinner a winner? Ron Howard's Cinderella Man (June 3), based on the book by Jeremy Schaap stars Russell Crowe as boxer James J. Braddock (he dislocates his shoulder during filming and holds production up for 6 weeks), but its publicity is stunk up by his June 6 arrest in the swank NYC Mercer Hotel for assault for throwing a phone at concierge Nestor Estrada after failing to get through to his wife Danielle Spencer in Australia, causing AMC Theaters to help sagging ticket sales by offering a money back guarantee; Crowe apologizes on the Letterman Show, then pleads guilty to misdemeanor charges and settles for an undisclosed sum; the movie wasn't bad? Fernando Meirelles' The Constant Gardener (Aug. 31) (Focus Features), written by Jeffrey Caine based on the 2001 John le Carre novel stars Ralph Fiennes as British diplomat Justin Quayle, whose young activist wife Tessa (Rachel Weisz) is murdered in the veldt near Lake Turkana in Kenya, causing her black driver Arnold Bluhm (Hubert Kounde) to be suspected, until he turns out to be gay and murdered also, leading to a conspiracy involving sinister drug co. KHA Pharamaceuticals; "Love, at any cost"; does $82.5M box office on a $25M budget. Francis Lawrence's Constantine (Feb. 18), based on the "Hellblazer" comic books of Jamie Delano and Garth Ennis stars Keanu Reeves as supernatural exorcist-detective John Constantine, and Rachel Weisz as policewoman Angela/Isabel Dodson, who work to solve the mysterious suicide of her twin sister; also stars Tilda Swinton as Archangel Gabriel, and Peter Stormare as Satan - 2K years of Christianity have been reduced to a comic book movie? Paul Haggis' Crash (May 6), about race relations in ever-mixing L.A. features an ensemble cast incl. Don Cheadle, Matt Dillon, and smiley Sandra Bullock, who plays against type as an angry mugged woman; Iranian-born Bahar Soomekh debuts as Persian-Am. Dorri, who buys her daddy a gun with blanks that end up saving him from murdering a little girl; since it's a Hollyweird PC film, it's okay to throw the N-word around a jillion times since the message is that naturally racist people will recognize each other's humanity during an emergency like a car crash; "I think we miss that touch so much that we crash into each other just so we can feel something". Tony Scott's Domino (Oct. 14), about British "Manchurian Candidate killer" actor Laurence Harvey's daughter Domino (1970-2005) (who OD'd in June) ends with Tom Waits playing mescaline-pushing preacher "The Wanderer". Stuart Gordon's Edmond (Aug. 31), based on the 1982 David Mamet play stars William H. Macy as Manhattan office worker Edmond, who stops by fortune teller Frances Bay and is told "You are not where you belong", causing him to quit his marriage and walk the streets looking for where he does belong. Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown (Sept. 4) stars Orlando Bloom as shoe designer Drew Baylor, who costs his co. $972M and gets fired by his boss Phil DeVoss (Alec Baldwin) then plans suicide with a butcher knife taped to his exercise bike before finding out that his father died of a heart attack in you know where, Ky.; also stars Kirsten Dunce, er, Dunst as his new babe Claire Colburn, and and Susan Sarandon as grieving widow Hollie Baylor. Robert Schwentke's Flightplan (Sept. 23), based on the 1938 Hitchcock film "The Lady Vanishes" is a thriller starring Jodie Foster as aircraft engineer Kyle Pratt, whose hubby David died from a fall in Germany, causing her to return to New York with his casket on a giant Elgin E-474 with her 6-y.-o. daughter Juliet (Marlene Lawston), who mysteriously disappears midway through the flight, causing mommy to begin frantically searching for her and violating security until she's arrested by the air marshal Carson (Peter Sarsgaard), who turns out to be a hijacker who was trying to frame her in his place to get away with the dough; Sean Bean also stars as airplane capt. Marcus Rich; grosses $89M in the U.S. and $223M worldwide despite being boycotted by the Assoc. of Prof. Flight Attendants, making it more popular? Michael Hoffman's Game 6, written by Don DeLillo in 1991 stars Michael Keaton as Boston Red Sox fan Nicky Rogan on Oct. 25, 1986, who vents his frustrations by planning a murder. George Clooney's B&W Good Night, and Good Luck (Oct. 14) covers the 1953-4 war between CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) and Sen. Joseph McCarthy, showing that the center was turning against McCarthy, although it leaves out how others took him on earlier, such as The Washington Post and other CBS journalists; the 2nd Oscar-nominated film to have 60 Minutes newsman Don Hewitt as a char. after "The Insider". Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man (Dec. 7) looks at the life of longtime bear lover Timothy Treadwell (1957-2003), who ends up in a bear's stomach in Oct. 2003 in Alaska along with his girlfriend Amy, killed while his camera is rolling with the lens cap on. Mike Newell's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Nov. 18) goblets up the bucks at the box office, coming #3 for 2005 ($290M). David Cronenberg's A History of Violence (Sept. 30), based on the graphic novel by Vince Locke and John Wagner stars Viggo Mortenesen as a diner owner with a hit man past, Maria Bellow as his wife, and William Hurt as a put-upon mobster. Andy Tennant's Hitch (Feb. 11) stars Will Smith as prof. date doctor Alex "Hitch" Hitchens, who finds it doesn't work so good for himself with his dream babe, Raquel Welch lookalike Sara Melas (Eva Mendes); also stars Tom Arnold lookalike Kevin James as Albert Brennaman, and Cameron Diaz lookalike Amber Valletta as Allegra Cole. Garth Jennings' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Apr. 28) (Touchstone Pictures), based on the 1979 book by Douglas Adams stars Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent, Sam Rockwell as Pres. Zaphod Beeblebrox, Mos Def as Ford Prefect, Zooey Deschanel as Tricia McMillan/Trillian, and the voices of Stephen Fry and Alan Rickman; does $104.5M on a $50M budget. Jaume Collet-Serra's House of Wax (May 6), a remake of the 1953 Vincent Price movie is the waxen acting debut of Paris Hilton as Paige Edwards. Craig Brewer's Hustle and Flow (July 22) stars Terrence Howard as Djay, a black Memphis street pimp with a white ho Nola (Taryn Manning), whom he pimps to pay for his Caddy and make money to buy studio equipment for his aspiring rapper career; blacks calling each other the N word is okay because they're doing it to each other? Sydney Pollack's The Interpreter (Apr. 8) stars Nicole Kidman as South African interpreter Silvia Broome, whose dual citizenship in the African country of Motobo along with past terrorist ties cause Secret Service agent Tobin Keller (Sean Penn) to mistrust her when she claims she heard talk of an assassination plot against corrupt Matobo pres. Edmond Zuwanie (Earl Cameron); Pollack's last film. Michael Bay's The Island (July 22) (Warner Bros) stars Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson as Lincoln Echo Six and Jordan Two Delta, who discover that they're clones created to harvest for body parts; does $162.9M box office (only $36M in the U.S.) on a $126M budget. Sam Mendes' Jarhead (Nov. 4), based on the Anthony Swofford novel about U.S. Marines in the First Gulf War portrays them as hopped-up killing machines parked in the Saudi Arabian desert with nothing to do except shout "Oorah", play football wearing gas masks, and fight gay tendencies. Penelope Spheeris' The Kid and I stars Tom Arnold and Eric Gores (1983-), who becomes the first person with cerebral palsy to star in an action movie after he sees "True Lies" then moves in next door to Arnold (being the son of a billionaire doesn't hurt?) - the other Ahnuld doesn't have cerebral palsy? Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven (May 2) (Scott Free Productions) (Studio Babelsberg) (20th Cent. Fox), filmed in Quarzazate, Morroco and filled with super-cool medieval battle scenes stars Orlando Bloom as 12th cent. French knight Balian of Ibelin, who fights cool dressed-in-black chivalrous Ayyubid Muslim sultan Saladan (Ghassan Massoud) for Jerusalem in 1187 while romancing super-hot (those eyes, those eyes) Queen Sibylla (Eva Green) and fighting mean Guy de Lusignan (Marton Csokas) and crazy-as-a-fox Raynald de Chatillon (Brendan Gleeson) (master of Kerak Castle) with help from marshal Tiberias (Jeremy Irons); Liam Needson, er, Neeson plays Balian's father Godfrey; David Thewlis plays the Hospitaller; Alexander Siddig plays Saladin's Persian lt. Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani; Edward Norton plays leprous Jerusalem king Baldwin IV; Iain Glen plays Richard Lionheart; "What is Jerusalem worth?" (Balian); "Nothing... everything" (Saladin); "Nearly a thousand years later, peace in the Holy Land remains elusive"; does $211.7M box office on a $130M budget. Phil Morrison's Junebug (Aug. 5) (Sony Pictures) stars Embeth Davidtz as newlywed Chicago art dealer Madeleine Johnsten, who travels to N.C. to meet the family of hubby George (Alessandro Nivola) and chase a local painter David Wark (Frank Hoyt Taylor), getting involved with pregnant Ashley McKenzie (Amy Adams), who wants to name her baby you know what; does $3.4M box office on a $1M budget. Peter Jackson's King Kong (Dec. 13) (Universal Pictures), an updated remake with the latest SFX stars Jack Black as Carl Denham, Adrien Brody as Jack Driscoll, and Naomi Watts as Ann Darrow; the #5 movie of 2005 ($218M U.S., $550.5M worldwide based on a $207M budget). Julian Jarrold's Kinky Boots (Oct. 7) stars Joel Edgerton as Charlie Price, a Northampton shoemaker who begins manufacturing fetish footwear in order to save the failing family business. Martin Campbell's The Legend of Zorro (Oct. 28), a sequel to "The Mask of Zorro" (1998) set in 1850 San Mateo County, Calif. stars Antonio Banderas as Don Alejandro de la Vega, and Catherine Zeta-Jones as his wife Elena, with Rufus Sewell playing the bad guy Jacob McGivens; grosses $142M worldwide. Dylan Avery's Loose Change (Apr. 13) is the first in a series of films (2006, 2007, 2009) claiming that the 9/11 false flag attacks were conducted by the U.S. govt. Catherine Hardwicke's Lords of Dogtown (June 3), written by Stacy Peralta is about the Z-Boys (Zephyr Boys) skateboarders (former surfers) in "Dogtown" Venice, Calif. ("kennel by the sea") in the late 1970s, who turned skateboarding from a safe to an extreme sport and launched a nat. craze; stars John Robinson as Peralta, Emile Hirsch as Jay Adams, Victor Rasuk as Tony Alva, Michael Angarano as rich kid Sid, and Heath Ledger as mgr. Skip Anglund. Eric Darnell's and Tom McGrath's Madagascar (May 27) is an animated movie about four animals who escape from the New York Central Zoo to you know where, and discover who spoiled they had been; stars the voices of Ben Stiller as Alex, Chris Rock as Marty, David Schwimmer as Melman, and Jada Pinkett Smith as Gloria; #9 movie of 2005 ($193M). Luc Jacquet's March of the Penguins (Marche de l'Empereur) (July 22) is a documentary that turns into a surprise hit as the sight of male penguins mothering chicks melts hearts? Miranda July's Me and You and Everyone We Know (Aug. 19) is about falling in love via mind games. Rob Marshall's Memoirs of a Geisha (Dec. 23), based on the novel by 47-y.-o. Tenn. white author Arthur Golden becomes the first big budget Hollywood movie with Asian actors in every leading role, starring China's Beijing-born "female Brad Pitt" Ziyi Zhang (1979-), who speed-learns English in New York City over the summer, then gets criticized for playing a Japanese. Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby (Jan. 28), based on the book by F.X. Toole stars Hilary Swank as poor white trash girl Margaret "Maggie" Fitzgerald, who fights to become a boxing champ, only to become a paraplegic and end up asking coach Frankie Dunn (Eastwood) to pull the plug on her, while Dunn's partner, grandfatherly Eddie "Scrap-Iron" Dupris (Morgan) Freeman plays an impotent God; Maggie wears the slogan "Mo Chuisle" (pro. mokh-HUH-shluh) (misspelled as Mo Cuishle) on her robe, which is Gaelic for "My pulse"; Swank's main sparring partner is "the Real Million Dollar Baby" Maureen Carranza Shea (1981-); does $216.7M box office on a $30M budget. Robert Luketic's Monster in Law (May 13) stars Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez; does $155M box office on a $43M budget. Doug Liman's Mr. & Mrs. Smith (June 10) is a comedy about married assassins Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who end up being paid to hit each other; #10 movie of 2005 ($186M). Petter Naess' Mozart and the Whale (Sept. 10) stars Radha Mitchell and Josh Hartnett as Aspberger Syndrome (autism) sufferers. Steven Spielberg's Munich (Dec. 23) (Universal), a remake of the 1986 TV movie "Sword of Gideon" based on George Jonas' 1984 book about the secret Israeli Mossad Operation Wrath of God formed to get even with 11 Black September terrorist for the 1972 Munich Massacre stars Eric Bana as Avner Kaufman, Daniel Craig as Steve, Hanns Zischler as Hans, Mathieu Kassovitz as Robert, Ciaran Hinds as Carl the Cleaner, and Moshe Ivgy as Michael Harari, leader of the team who killed innocent waiter Ahmed Bouchiki in Lillehammer, Norway after mistaking him for Black Sept. chief Ali Hassan Salameh, causing the govt. to go after his team; does $130M box office on a $77M budget. Niki Caro's North Country (Oct. 21) , based on a true story stars Charlize Theron as Josey Aimes, a Minn. miner who gets sexually harassed and starts a class action suit over it. Wayne Kopping's Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West is a shark-music documentary showing the looming threat to Judaeo-Christian civilization, while claiming that only 10%-15% of the 1.2B Muslims support terrorism (although far more hate the U.S. and Israel), and that the "good" Muslims are victims too, woo woo woo; the film pisses-off Western leftists, who fear a gen. anti-Islamic backlash in Western countries more than they fear Islamic terrorism? John Madden's Proof (Sept. 5) (Miramax Films), written by Rebecca Miller based on the 2000 play by David Auburn stars Gwyneth Paltrow as 27-y.-o. Catherine, daughter of brilliant but cracked dead mathematician Robert Lllewellyn (Anthony Hopkins); Jake Gyllenhaal plays his ex-student Harold "Hal" Dobbs, who wants to search through her pants, er, his papers for a brilliant mathematical you know what; does $14M box office on a $20M budget. Vikram Bhatt's Raaz (Mar. 12), based on the film "What Lies Beneath" about a haunted house, starring Bipasha Bashu becomes the top Bollywood film of the year. John Turturro's Romance and Cigarettes (Dec. 1) stars James Gandolfini as a Queens steel worker, whose wife Susan Sarandon finds a love letter he wrote to his mistress Kate Winslet. Breck Eisner's Sahara (Apr. 4) (Paramount Pictures), based on the Clive Cussler Dirk Pitts novels stars Matthew McConaughey as Dirk Pitt, and Penelope Cruz as Dr. Eva Rojas on a quest up the Niger River in Mali for the Confed. ironclad CSS Texas, containing the Confed. treasury by following a disease it's spreading; Lambert Wilson plays businessman Yves Massarde; Lennie James plays dictator Brig. Gen. Zateb Kazim; does $119M box office on a $130M budget; too bad, its giant $81M distribution cost incl. bribes to the Moroccan govt. causes it to lose $105M. Liam Lynch's Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic is a long standup comedy routine by the new Lenny Bruce, who uses her race, religion, and sexuality as punch lines?; "Mommy is one of the Chosen People, and daddy believes that Jesus is magic... I hope the Jews did kill Christ; I'd do it again in a second." Julian Fellowes' Separate Lies (Sept. 16) (Fox Searchlight Pictures), based on the 1951 novel "A Way Through the Wood" by Nigel Balchim and the 1957 play "Waiting for Gillian" stars Tom Wilkinson as wealthy London doctor James Manning, and Emily Watson as his trophy wife Anne, who welcome bad apple William "Bill" Bule (Rupert Everett) into their happy lives. Fellowes' dir. debut. Joss Whedon's Serenity (Aug. 22), based on the 2002 series "Firefly" debuts, bringing in $38.9M on a budget of $39M. Anand Tucker's Shopgirl (Oct. 21), based on the 2000 Steve Martin novel stars Martin and Claire Danes. Alexander Payne's Sideways (Jan. 21), based on the Rex Pickett novel makes stars of both Paul Giamatti and the Santa Ynez Valley wine country of Santa Barbara, Calif., as pinot noir-loving merlot-hating Miles Raymond (Paul) gives Jack (Thomas Haden Church) a wine-tasting lesson at the Sanford Winery, while Jack begins an ill-fated tryst with waitress Maya (Virginia Madsen) at the A.J. Spurs restaurant; "Quaffable... but not transcendent"; "If anyone orders merlot, I'm leaving. I am not drinking any fucking merlot"; "Good, I like nonfiction. There is so much to know about this world. I think you read something somebody just invented, waste of time"; Miles tells Maya that his unpub. novel "evolves or devolves into a kind of Robbe-Grillet mystery, but no real resolution". Zach Niles' and Banker White's Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars (Nov. 9) is a documentary about a group of musicians in a West African refugee camp who fight to survive the horrible civil war. Noah Baumbach's The Squid and the Whale (Jan. 23) stars Jessee Eisenberg as Walt,and Owen Kline as Frank, who have to deal their parents' divorce in the 1980s at the Am. Museum of Nat. History squid-sperm whale diorama. George Lucas' Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (May 19) brings the 6-part saga to an end adequately but not brilliantly, as Canadian teenie actor Christian Hayden is not quite up to the face-acting requirements in the reaction shots?; Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid almost steals the show as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine alias the Evil Emperor; #1 movie of 2005 ($381M). Stephen Gaghan's Syriana (Nov. 23), based on the Robert Baer memoir "See No Evil" stars George Clooney (after Harrison Ford turns down the role) as CIA operative Bob Barnes, Matt Damon as young oil analyst Bryan Woodman, and Jeffrey Wright as Washington, D.C. atty. Bennett Holiday, who is investigating a merger between oil cos. Connex and Killen, showing how the Western oil addiction has corrupted U.S. foreign policy; Alexander Siddig plays Prince Nasir Al-Subaai, eldest son of the emir, who his brother Prince Meshal (Akbar Kurtha) plots to assassinate; Pax Syriana is the necessary state of peace between Assyria (from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates, and from the Sinai to the Taurus Mts.) and the U.S. so that it can get oil; grosses $50.8M in North Am. and $93.9M worldwide; "You want to know what the business world thinks of you? We think that 100 years ago you were living out here in tents in the desert chopping each other's heads off, and that's exactly where you're gonna be in another 100." Duncan Tucker's Transamerica (Feb. 10) stars "Desperate Housewives" babe Felicity Huffman as man named Stanley preparing for sex-change surgery, taking female hormones to become Bree, who on the eve of his final castration has to bail his 17-y.-o. son Toby he never knew he had (Kevin Negers) from jail, and finds out he's a hustler who wants to become a porn star - nice way to round out the Hollyweird Year of Dick Almighty? Gavin Hood's Tsotsi (Dec. 23), based on a novel by South African playwright Athol Fugard is set in a Soweto slum near Johannesburg, featuring music by South African artist Zola; wins the best foreign film Oscar. Lasse Hallstrom's An Unfinished Life (Sept. 15) stars Jennifer Lopez as a down-on-her-luck woman with a daughter who moves in with rancher father-in-law Robert Redford, who blames her for the death of his son in a car accident, while taking care of friend Morgan Freeman, who was wounded by a bear, and after he finally forgives the bear, they forgive each other. James Mangold's Walk the Line (Nov. 18) stars Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon in an uncanny channeling of Johnny "tortured soul" Cash and June "fever" Carter, even doing their own singing and geetar playing, and featuring the outdated hetero lifestyle; it brings in $116.3M (#5). Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (June 29), a remake of the 1953 Byron Haskin flick stars Tom Cruise as Ray Ferrier, and Dakota Fanning as his daughter Rachel, using images from the 9/11 exodus of New Yorkers from Lower Manhattan; "The images that stand out most in my mind are of everybody from Manhattan crossing the George Washington Bridge in the shadow of 9/11. It was a searing image I haven't been able to get out of my head." (Spielberg) Gore Verbinski's The Weather Man (Oct. 28) stars Nicolas Cage as Chicago weatherman David Spritz, whom everbody around him sees as a failure, incl. his Pulitzer Prize-winning writer dad Robert (Michael Caine) and ex-wife Noreen (Hope Davis); a box office flop. David Dobkin's Wedding Crashers (July 15) stars Owen Wilson as John Beckwith and Vince Vaughn as Jeremy grey, who you know what; #6 movie of 2005 ($209M). Atom Egoyan's Where the Truth Lies (Oct. 7), based on the novel by Rupert ("Pina Colada Song") Holmes features a 3-way sex scene between Kevin Bacon, Rachel Blanchard, and Colin Firth (dicks are for sharing?); "What happened to Maureen O'Flaherty?" Art: Banksy, Wall and Piece. Damien Hirst (1965-), The Wrath of God; another shark in formaldehyde; The Inescapable Truth; human skull and dove in formaldehyde; The Sacred Heart of Jesus; perspex, bull's heart et al. in formaldehyde; Faithless; butterflies on canvas with glossy house paint; The Hat Makes de Man (painted bronze). On Aug. 9 Ruan, a human fetus head grafted onto the body of a bird is withdrawn from a Swiss museum after a visitor complains; Chinese artist Xiao Yu says he bought the head in 1990 for a few bucks and that it was a female specimen from the 1960s. Emmi Whitehorse (1957-), Salmonberry B. Michael Whiting, 2005 Boogie. Plays: Alan Ayckbourn (1939-), Improbable Fiction (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough) (May 31). Patrick Barlow (1947-), The 39 Steps (West Yorkshire Playhouse) (June 17) (Tricycle Theatre, London) (Aug. 10, 2006) (Criterion Theatre, West End, London) (Sept. 14, 2006) (3,731 perf.) (Am. Airlines Theatre, New York) (Jan. 15, 2008) (Cort Theatre, New York) (Apr. 29, 2008) (Helen Hayes Theatre, New York) (Jan. 21, 2009); based on the 1915 John Buchan novel and the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film; a 4-actor cast. George Barthel, Through a Naked Lens (Wings Theater, New York); about Hollywood star Ramon Navarro and his publicist (gay bud?) Herbert Howe. Chris Bartlett and Nick Awde, Pete and Dud: Come Again (Edinburgh) (Aug.). Howard Brenton (1942-), Paul (Nat. Theatre, London) (Sept. 30); St. Paul. Amelia Bullmore, Mammals (Bush Theatre, London) (Apr. 6). Rebecca Clarke, Unspoken; how she copes with a severely disabled brother. Eric Coble, The Dead Guy. Simon Mendes Da Costa, Losing Louis (Hampstead Theatre, London) (Jan. 26). Chris D'Arienzo, Rock of Ages (musical) (King King, Los Angeles) (July 27) (New World Stages, New York) (Oct. 16, 2008) (Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York) (Apr. 7, 2009) (Helen Hayes Theatre, New York) (Mar. 24, 2011) (2,328 perf.); about 1980s glam metal bands incl. Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Europe, Steve Perry, Poison, Styx, and Twisted Sister. Don DeLillo (1936-), Love-Lies-Bleeding (Fulton St. Theater, Boise) (May 2); vegetating artist Alex Macklin, his son Sean, and wives Toinette and Lia. Will Eno, Thom Pain (Based on Nothing) (New York) (Feb. 1). William Finn (1952-), Rachel Sheinkin, and Jay Reiss, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (musical) (Second Stage Theatre, New York) (Feb. 7) (Circle in the Square Theatre, New York) (Apr. 15) (1,136 perf.); dir. by James Lapine; choreography by Dan Knechtges; four audiences members are invited on stage to compete along with the six young actors. Brian Friel (1929-), The Home Place (Gate Theatre, Dublin) (Feb. 1). Jeremy Gable (1982-), Marat.Sade; Weapons of Ass Destruction. Ray Galton and John Antrobus, Steptoe and Son in Murder at Oil Drum Lane; their deaths. Bob Gaudio (1942-), Bob Crewe (1930-2014), Marshall Brickman (1939-), and Rick Elice (1956-), The Jersey Boys (musical) (Nov. 6) (August Wilson Theater, New York) (4,642 perf.) (Prince Edward Theatre, West End, London) (Feb. 2008) (Piccadilly Theatre, West End, London) (Mar. 15, 2014) (3,657 perf.); the story of Frankie Valli (1934-) and the Four Seasons. Benjamin T. George, True Blue (Riant Theater, New York) (Aug.); an American (Will) and an Iraqi family deal with the horrors of war. Kathie Lee Gifford (1953-), David Pomeranz (1951-), and David Friedman (1950-), Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson (musical) (White Plains Performing Arts Center) (Oct.) (Neil Simon Theatre, New York) (Nov. 15, 2012) (29 perf.); stars Carolee Carmello; Hurricane Sandy is blamed for the early closing. Richard Greenberg, A Naked Girl on the Appian Way (South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, Calif.) (Apr. 1). Stephen Adly Guirgis, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Public Theater, New York) (Mar. 2); dir. by Philip Seymour Hoffman. David Harrower, Blackbird. Darcy Hogan, The Land Southward (Hunger Artists Theatre, Fullerton, Calif.) (Apr.); U.S. nuclear testing in the 1950s. Hugh Hughes, Floating; the Isle of Anglesey breaks off from Wales and floats around the world. Eric Idle (1943-), Neil Innes (1944-), and John Du Prez (1946-), Monty Python's Spamalot (musical) (Shubert Theatre, Chicago) (Jan. 9) (Shubert Theatre, New York) (Mar. 17) (1,575 perf.); seen by 2M people, grossing $175M; based on the 1975 film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail", dir. by Mike Nichols. Elton John (1947-) and Lee Hall (1966-), Billy Elliot the Music (musical) (Victoria Palace Theatre, West End, London (May 11) (4,566 perf.) (Imperial Theatre, New York) (Oct. 1, 2008); based on the 2000 film about a boxer who becomes a ballet dancer during the U.K. miner's strike of 1984-5 in County Durham, NE England. Rolin Jones, The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow (David Mamet's Atlantic Theatre Co.); agoraphobic OCD-suffering Jennifer Marcus reengineers obsolete missile components for the U.S. Army from her bedroom, then devises a new form of human contact to find her family in China. David Knijnenburg, Hitchcock & Herrmann; Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann. Neil LaBute, Some Girl(s) (Lucille Lortel Theater, New York); stars Fran Drescher, Judy Reyes, Brooke Smith, Maura Tierney, and Eric McCormack; This Is How It Goes (Public Theater, New York) (Mar. 27); an interracial love triangle between Belinda (Amanda Peet), Cody (Jeffrey Wright), and Man (Ben Stiller). Carlos Lacamara, Nowhere on the Border. James Lapine (1949-), Fran's Bed. David Lindsay-Abaire, Rabbit Hole (Pulitzer Prize). Matthew Lombardo, Tea at Five; stars Kate Mulgrew as Katharine Hepburn. Ken Ludwig, Be My Baby (Alley Theatre, Houston); stars Hal Holbrook and Dixie Carter. Ann-Marie MacDonald, Belle Moral. David Mamet, Romance (Atlantic Theater, New York). Melanie Marnich, Cradle of Man. Elaine May, After the Night and the Music; title from the Howard Dietz song "You and the Night and the Music". Frank McGuinness (1953-), Speaking Like Magpies (Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon). Allison Moore, Hazzard County. Peter Morris, Guardians (Edinburgh). Chloe Moss, How Live is Spelt (Bush Theatre, London). Tommy Murphy, Strangers in Between (Griffin Theatre, Sydney) (Feb.). Richard Norton-Taylor, Bloody Sunday: Scenes from the Saville Inquiry (Tricycle Theatre, London). Louis Nowra (1950-), The Marvellous Boy (Sydney). Philip Ridley, Mercury Fur (Menier Chocolate Factory, London). John Patrick Shanley (1950-), Defiance (Manhattan Theatre Club); stars Stephen Lang as a col. who promotes black officer Chris Bauer solely based on race; Doubt: a Parable (Manhattan Theatre Club, New York) (Nov. 23) (525 perf.) (Pulitzer Prize); Father Flynn's suspected sexual conduct with Donald Muller (school's first black student) is questioned in St. Nicholas Church School in Bronx, N.Y. in fall 1964 by Sister Aloysius and Sister James, and the quality of doubt becomes a more positive force than faith; a battle between pre and post Vatican II views?; "What do you do when you're not sure?" (Flynn). Gerald Sibleyras, Heroes: Le Vent des Peupliers; tr. by Tom Stoppard. Simon Stephens (1971-), On the Shore of the Wide World (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester) (Apr. 18); title taken from the John Keats poem "When I Have Fears That I May Cease to Be". Caridad Svich, Luna Park (San Francisco). Stephen Temperley, Souvenir; socialite Florence Foster Jenkins and pianist Cosme McMoon in 1964. Vern Thiessen, Shakespeare's Will (Edmonton). Wendy Wasserstein (1950-2006), Third (last play) (Lincoln Center, New York) (Sept. 29). Michael Weller (1942-), Approaching Moomtaj. David Williamson (1942-), Influence (Sydney). August Wilson (1945-2005), Radio Golf (Yale Repertore Theatre); last in the 10-part Pittsburgh Cycle. Robert Wilson (1941-), Jean de La Fontain's The Fables; Ibsen's Peer Gynt. Vincent Woods, A Cry from Heaven. Poetry: Elizabeth Alexander (1962-), American Sublime. Archie Randolph Ammons (1926-2001), Bosh and Flapdoodle: Poems. Frank Bidart (1939-), Star Dust. Robert Bly (1926-), My Sentence Was a Thousand Years of Joy; The Urge to Travel Long Distances. Billy Collins (1941-) (ed.), 180 More Extraordinary Poems for Every Day; The Trouble with Poetry. Mark Doty (1944-), School of the Arts. Thomas Sayers Ellis, The Maverick Room. Jack Gilbert, Refusing Heaven. Jorie Graham (1950-), Overlord. Jim Harrison (1937-), Livingston Suite. Ted Kooser (1939-), Flying at Night: Poems 1965-1985; The Poetry Home Repair Manual: Practical Advice for Beginning Poets. Maxine Kumin (1925-), Jack and Other New Poems. W.S. Merwin (1927-), Migration: New and Selected Poems; Present Company. Mary Oliver (1935-), New and Selected Poems, Vol. 2. Pattiann Rogers (1940-), Fireweed: Selected Poems, Revised and Expanded. Michael Ryan (1946-), New and Selected Poems. Martin Seymour-Smith (1928-98), Collected Poems (posth.). Charles Simic (1938-), My Noiseless Entourage. Dave Smith (1942-), Little Boats, Unsalvaged: Poems, 1992-2004. Gerald Stern (1925-), Everything Is Burning. Wislawa Szymborska (1923-2012), Colon. David Wagoner (1926-), Good Morning and GoodNight. Charles Wright (1935-), The Wrong End of the Rainbow. Kevin Young, Black Maria; a noir in verse. Novels: A year in which historical fiction sells better than other kinds, brought on by 9/11 and Millennium Fever? Catherine Aird (1930-), A Hole in One. Mike Albo and Virginia Heffernan, The Underminer. Wendy Alec, The Fall of Lucifer (Oct.). Isabel Allende (1942-), Forest of the Pygmies; Zorro. Rudolfo Anaya, Serafina's Stories. Pam Anderson (1967-), Star; "What happens when the A-list meets a D-cup"; she goes on to star in the comedy TV series Stacked about a blonde rock & roll bimbo with brains to spare who works in a lit. bookstore. Robert Anderson, Little Fugue (first novel); about Sylvia Plath (1932-63) and her hubby Ted Hughes (1930-98). Neal Asher (1961-), Cowl. Margaret Atwood (1939-), The Penelopiad; Homer's Odyssey from the female POV, dissing the injustice of males. Gilad Atzmon (1963-), My One and Only Love. Paul Benjamin Auster (1947-), The Brooklyn Follies. Tash Aw (1971-), The Harmony Silk Factory (first novel); textile magnate Johnny Lim, his wife Snow Soong, and son Jasper in 1940s British-ruled Malaysia. Melissa Bank, The Wonder Spot; Sophie Applebaum. John Banville (1945-), The Sea; aging dilettante art historian Max Morden; author likes the words "cinereal" and "flocculent". Julian Barnes (1946-), Arthur & George. Nevada Barr, Hard Truth. Sebastian Barry, A Long Long Way. John Barth (1930-), Where Three Roads Meet. Nancy Baxter, Norma Ever After (first novel); Norma Dale. Barrington J. Bayley (1937-2008), The Sinners of Erspia; The Great Hydration. Greg Bear (1951-), Quantico; about FBI agents trying to prevent a bioterrorist attack. Frederic Beigbeder, Windows on the World (tr. Frank Wynne). Ann Beattie (1947-), Follies: New Stories (short stories). Madison Smartt Bell, The Stone That the Builder Refused; hate hate Haiti. Aimee Bender, Willful Creatures (short stories). Steve Berry (1955-), The Third Secret. Tom Bissell, God Lives in St. Petersburg. Baxter Black, Hey Cowgirl, Need a Ride? Alice Blanchard, Life Sentences. M.H. Bonham, Prophecy Swords. Marshall Boswell, Alternative Atlanta (first novel). Robert Olen Butler (1945-), Mots de Tete (Severance) (short stories). T. Coraghessan Boyle (1948-), Tooth Claw and Other Stories; The Human Fly (short stories). Ray Bradbury (1920-), Somewhere a Band Is Playing; "I wrote it for Katherine Hepburn back around 1962... But she got tired of waiting, grew old and died." Gayle Brandeis, The Book of Dead Birds (first novel). Marlon Brando and Donald Cammell, Fan-Tan (posth.) (Sept.); pirate Anatole "Annie" Doultry and gangster Madame Lai Choi San in 1927 Hong Kong. Kathy Brandt, Dangerous Depths: An Underwater Investigation; detective Hannah Simmons. Anita Brookner (1928-), Leaving Home. Geraldine Brooks (1955-), March (Pulitzer Prize). Marshall Browne, Rendezvous at Kamakura Inn; thriller featuring the game of Go. Ken Bruen, Vixen. Edna Buchanan, Shadows. Frederick Buechner (1926-), The Christmas Tide. John Burdett, Bangkok Tattoo. James Lee Burke (1936-), Crusader's Cross; Dave Robicheaux and his half-brother Jimmie in 1958. Bebe Moore Campbell, 72 Hour Hold; Keri and her 18-y.-o. mentally-ill daughter. Philip Caputo (1941-), Acts of Faith; Douglas Braithwaite, Fitzhugh Martin, Tara Whitcomb, Michael Goraende, Quinette Hardin; Graham Greene's "The Quiet American" set in Sudan? Orson Scott Card (1951-), Magic Street. Caleb Carr, The Italian Secretary: A Further Adventure of Sherlock Holmes. Jonathan Carroll, Glass Soup. Lee Child (1954-), One Shot; Jack Reacher #9; filmed in 2012 strring Tom Cruise. Sandra Cisneros, Caramelo; Lala Reyes, Aunty Light-Skin, "Uncle Old", "Awful Grandmother". Mary Higgins Clark (1927-), No Place Like Home; Liza Barton returns to her childhood home; Dancing in the Dark; TV journalist Diane Mayfield in Ocean Grove, N.J. Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter, Sunstorm (A Time Odyssey). Clare Clark, The Great Stink (first novel); the 1855 London heat wave and how it become a very superstitious handwriting on the wall. Richard Alan Clarke (1950-), The Scorpion's Gate (Oct. 25) (first novel); a thriller billed as the sequel to "Against All Enemies". Stephen Clarke, A Year in the Merde. Rita Cleary, Calling the Wind: A Lewis & Clark Story. Chris Cleave, Incendiary (first novel). Margaret Coel, Eye of the Wolf; Father John O'Malley and Vickey Holden. Paul Coelho (1947-), The Zahir; Revived Paths. J.M. Coetzee (1940-), Slow Man; a misanthropic photographer loses his leg in an accident and is saved by a married Croat woman; "Someone needs to rescue J.M. Coetzee from Elizabeth Costello" (John Freeman). Susann Cokal, Breath and Bones. Marjorie Kowalski Cole, Correcting the Landscape. Larry Collins (1929-2005) and Dominique Lapierre (1931-), Is New York Burning? (New-York Brule-t-il?); a terrorist attack on New York City. Michael Connelly, The Closers; The Lincoln Lawyer; Mickey Haller. Robin Cook (1940-), Marker. Robert Coover (1932-), A Child Again. Bernard Cornwell, The Last Kingdom; Vikings vs. Britons for control of 9th-10th cent. England. Ann Howard Creel, Under a Stand Still Moon; the Anasazis. Cheryl Howard Crew (wife of Ron Howard), In the Face of Jinn; Christine and Elizabeth Shepherd in India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Justin Cronin, The Summer Guest. John Crowley (1942-), Lord Byron's Novel: The Evening Land. James Crumley, The Right Madness; C.W. Sughrue of Meriwether, Montana. Michael Crummey (1965-), The Wreckage. Mitch Cullin, A Slight Trick of the Mind. Michael Cunningham (1952-), Specimen Days. John M. Daniel, The Poet's Funeral. Rana Dasgupta, Tokyo Cancelled (first novel); a modern mini-Decameron. Craig Davidson, Rust and Bone (short stories). Katherine Davies, The Madness of Love (first novel). Claire Davis, Season of the Snake. Nelson DeMille, Night Fall. Kate DiCamillo, Mercy Watson to the Rescue. E.L. Doctorow (1931-), The March; Sherman's 1864 March to the Sea; how the northward exodus of slaves after the war begins makes the Emancipation Proclamation a rhetorical default; sells 100K copies by the end of the year. Christina Dodd, Close to You; TV reporter Kate Montgomery and bodyguard Teague Ramos. John Dunning, The Sign of the Book. Umberto Eco (tr. Geoffrey Brock), The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana: An Illustrated Novel; the lost memory of rare book dealer Yambo. David Harris Ebenbach, Between Camelots (short stories). George Alec Effinger (1947-2002), Live! From Planet Earth (short stories). Chris Elliott, The Shroud of the Thwacker. Bret Easton Ellis (1964-), Lunar Park; about fictional Gen-X enfante terrible writer Brad Easton Ellis. Louise Erdrich (1954-), The Painted Drum. Carrolly Erickson, The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette (first novel). Andreas Eschbach, The Carpet Makers. Loren D. Estelman, The ndertaker's Wife; Wild Bill Hickock as a gun-toting Oscar Wilde? Nicholas Evans, The Divide. Richard Paul Evans, The Sunflower. Jim Fergus, The Wild Girl: The Notebooks of Ned Giles, 1932 Signed 1st Edition. George Fetherling (1949-), Jericho. Jasper Fforde, The Big Over Easy - would fit as a new name for New Orleans? Karen Fisher, A Sudden Country; James MacLaren in the 1847 Oregon migration. Thomas Fleming, The Secret Trial of Robert E. Lee; asst. secy. of war of Charles A. Dana puts Lee on trial in Arlington? Vince Flynn, Consent to Kill; Mitch Rapp of the CIA. Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; 9-y.-o. Oskar Schell loses his dad to 9/11, and finds God, er, his grandfather? Mick Foley (1965-), Scooter. Alan Dean Foster, The Light-Years Beneath My Feet. Margaret Forster (1938-), Is There Anything You Want? Henry G. Frankfurt, On Bullshit. Marilyn French (1929-2009), The Love Children. Lisa Fugard, Skinner's Drift (first novel). Neil Gaiman (1960-), Anansi Boys; Fat Charlie Nancy's dad is an Anansi, one of the trickster gods who first brought fiction to man; thus, Charlie isn't even fat? Mark Gatiss, The Vesuvius Club. Anne Giardini, The Sad Truth About Happiness (first novel). Barry Gifford (1946-), Do the Blind Dream? Micaela Gilchrist, The Fiercer Heart. Lisa Glatt, The Apple's Bruise (short stories); chick-lit with attitude?; "Let's give it a whirl - I'm not a carnival ride"; "Let's just talk. I want to hear everything you have to say"; the answer to Freud? Gail Godwin (1937-), Queen of the Underworld. Myla Goldberg, Wickett's Remedy; about Southie girl Lydie Kilkenny in the early 1900s, the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, and how a stolen tonic recipe is used to make a popular soda pop. Nadine Gordimer (1923-), Get a Life; based on the death of her hubby Reinhold Cassirer. Mary Catherine Gordon (1949-), Pearl. Maya Gold and Louise Fitzhugh (1928-74), Harriet the Spy, Double Agent. Steven Gould, Reflex. Thomas Christopher Greene, I'll Never Be Gone. Joanne Greenberg, Appearances; Denver ski atty. Robert Greer, Resurrecting Langston Blue; black bail bondsman C.J. Floyd tears up the streets of Denver in his 2-toned 1957 Chevy Bel Air. Philippa Gregory, The Constant Princess; was Henry VIII's bride Katherine of Aragon really a virgin despite her marriage to his late brother Arthur? W.E.B. Griffin, By Order of the President. Gene Guerin, Cottonwood Saints. Jim Harrison (1937-), The Summer He Didn't Die. Lou Harry and Eric Pfeffinger, The High-Impact Infidelity Diet. John Haskell, American Purgatorio (first novel). Joanne Harris, Gentlemen and Players; St. Oswald's school and its Mole? Jim Harrison (1937-), The Summer He Didn't Die (3 novellas). John Twelve Hawks, The traveller (first novel); "Harlequins protect travellers. That's all you need to know." Mo Hayder, The Devil of Nanking. Mark Helprin (1947-), Freddy and Fredericka. Carl Hiaasen (1953-), Flush. Homer Hickam, The Ambassador's Son; #2 in Josh Thurlow trilogy. Robert Hicks, The Widow of the South (first novel); based on the true story of Carrie Winder McGavock (1829-1905) of Franklin, Tenn.; sells 100K copies by the end of the year, neck-in-neck with Doctorow. Reginald Hill, The Stranger House. Russell Hoban (1925-), Come Dance with Me. Alice Hoffman (1952-), The Ice Queen. Rupert Holmes, Swing. Nick Hornby (1957-), A Long Way Down; a has-been rocker delivers pizzas in North London and plans suicide on the last day of 1999 (Serge Bielanko of Marah?); hyperactive lit.? Michel Houellebecq (1958-), The Possibility of an Island (La Possibilite d'une Ile). Heather E. Howard, Chore Whore: Adventures of a Personal Assistant (first novel). Jeff Hull, Pale Morning Done (first novel); Marshall Tate and the Fly X Ranch. Greg Iles, Turning Angel; Penn Cage, ex-prosecutor from Tex. returns. John Irving (1942-), Until I Find You; Jack Burns, son of wandering tattoo artist Alice, who searches for Jack's father William, a church organist and ink junkie, and enrolls him in all-girls school St. Hilda, where she has a lez affair with divorced mother Leslie? Kazuo Ishiguro (1954-), Never Let Me Go; Hailsham English private school students Kathy H., Tommy D., and Ruth share a big secret, causing them to be treated like pariahs, but don't figure it out until they grow up and find that they were bred by scientists to use their vital organs. P.D. James (1920-), The Lighthouse; Adam Dalgleish #13; murders on Combe Island off the Cornish coast. Arthur Japin, In Lucia's Eyes; Casanova's first love. Ha Jin (1956-), War Trash. Graham Joyce (1954-), The Limits of Enchantment. Juris Jurjevics, The Trudeau Vector (first novel) (Aug. 17); hubby of Laurie Colwin (1944-92) and ed. of Soho Press; biohazard at Arctic Research Station Trudeau. Ismail Kadare (1936-), The Successor. A.L. Kennedy, Paradise; Hanna Luckraft and Irish whiskey. Sue Monk Kidd (1948-), The Mermaid Chair; Jessie Sullivan. Owen King, We're All in This Together (first novel). Stephen King (1947-), The Dark Tower VII; The Colorado Kid; Stephanie McCann of the "Weekly Islander" - he's always going to be outside the box? Walter Kirn, Mission to America. Dean Koontz (1945-), Forever Odd; Odd Thomas and Pico Mundo, Calif. revisited; Velocity; bartender Billy Wiles and his terrible choice. Elizabeth Kostova (1964-), The Historian (first novel); is Vlad III Dracula the Impaler (1431-71) still alive?; Little, Brown & Co. pays $2M for it, and it sells 500K copies by Dec. 2005; parallel account of historian Paul in the 1950s, his daughter in 1972-3, and his mentor Bartholomew Rossi in 1930. William Kotzwinkle, The Amphora Project. Nicole Krauss (1974-), The History of Love (May 2); internat. bestseller about 80-y.-o. Jewish Holocaust survivor Leo Gurkey, young Alma Singer and a lost ms. Carson Kresley (b. 1969), You're Different and That's Super (children's book). Pascal Laine (1942-), Le Mystere de la Tour Eiffel. Laila Lalami, Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits (first novel); illegal immigrants from Morocco to Spain. Lorna Landvik, Oh My Stars. Rattawut Lapcharoensap, Sightseeing (first novel); sights and sounds of Thailand. Stieg Larsson (1954-2004), The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo; first in the worldwide bestselling (65M copies) Millennium Trilogy (2005, 2006, 2007); about rape victim Lisbeth Salander, based on a real 15-y.-o. girl he saw gang-raped but failed to help, haunting him for life; investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist; in 2010 it becomes the first ebook with 1M Kindle downloads. Jose Latour, Comrades in Miami. Michael Lavigne, Not Me (first novel). Jim Lehrer, The Franklin Affair. Maria T. Lennon, Making It Up As I Go Along. Elmore Leonard (1925-2013), The Hot Kid. Jonathan Lethem (1964-), Thirsty People; The Disappointment Artist. Kathy Lette, A Stitch in Time. Alan Lightman, Einstein's Dreams; Einstein's mind in his big year 5-4-3-2-Ein 1905. Jeff Lindsay, Dearly Devoted Dexter; Dexter Morgan and his Dark Passenger. Penelope Lively (1933-), Making It Up. Jeff Long, The Wall. Jim Lynch, The Highest Tide (first novel); 13-y.-o. old soul Miles O'Malley. Stuart MacBride, Cold Granite (first novel). Naguib Mahfouz (1911-2006), The Seventh Heaven. David Maine, Fallen. Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1927-2014), Memories of My Melancholy Whores. Russell Martin, The Sorrow of Archaeology. David Marusek, Counting Heads (first novel). Bobbie Ann Mason (1940-), An Atomic Romance. Francine Matthews, Blown. Ed McBain (1926-2005), Fiddlers; 55th and last in the 87th Precinct Series set in the New York City clone of Isola; pub. 2 mo. after McBain's death; the Deaf Man is still out there somewhere, and Steve Carella, Bert Kling, and Fat Ollie Weeks. Richard McCann (1949-), Mother of Sorrows; "unbearably beautiful" (Michael Cunningham). Cormac McCarthy (1933-), No Country for Old Men; title comes from the poem Sailing to Byzantium by William Butler Yeats; Vietnam vet Llewelyn Moss discovers a cache of $2M drug money in big bad Tex. near the Mexican border, causing its owners to send killer Anton Chigurh (the next Hannibal Lecter?); filmed in 2007. Sharyn McCrumb, St. Dale; stock car driver Harley Claymore on a tour of Southern speedways which turns into a pilgrimage of Dale Earnhardt sites. Ian McEwan (1948-), Saturday; English neurosurgeon Henry Perowne on Feb. 15, 2003 during a London protest against the invasion of Iraq; "Everyone agrees, airliners look different in the sky these days, predatory or doomed." Kevin McIlvoy, The Complete History of New Mexico (short stories). Jay McInerney (1955-), The Good Life; sequel to "Brightness Falls". Elizabeth McKenzie, Stop That Girl (first novel); about Ann. Ian R. McLeod, The House of Storms. Terry McMillan (1951-), The Interruption of Everything. Catriona McPherson, After the Armistice Ball. Larry McMurtry (1936-), Oh What a Slaughter!; Loop Group; Maggie and Connie. Cheryl Mendelson, Love, Work, Children. Stephenie Meyer (1973-), Twilight (Oct.) (first novel); original title "Forks"; bestseller; first of a bestselling trilogy about high school girl Isabella "Bella" Swan, who moves from Phoenix, Ariz., to Forks, Wash. and falls in love with vampire Edward Cullen; discovered in a slush pile at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, launching her career as the next J.K. Rowling, going on to sell 100M+ copies. Stanley Middleton (1919-2009), Sterner Stuff. Adrienne Miller, The Coast of Akron (first novel); Merit Haven Ash, daughter of world-famous painter Lowell and wife Jenny. Sue Miller (1943-), Lost in the Forest. Kyle Mills, Fade; Am.-Arab Salam al-Fayed of the U.S. Navy Seals. Denise Mina, Field of Blood. Jacquelyn Mitchard, The Breakdown Lane. Rick Moody (1961-), The Diviners. Richard K. Morgan (1965-), Woken Furies. David Morrell (1943-), Creepers. Mary McGarry Morris (1943-), The Lost Mother; a 12-y.-o. boy tells how his mother leaves the family during the Great Depression. Nicholas Mosley (1923-), Look at the Dark. Walter Mosley (1952-), Cinnamon Kiss; Easy Rawlins #10; Philomena "Cinnamon" Cargill in the Summer of Love. Alice Munro (1931-), Runaway (short stories); high-brow chick-lit? Haruki Murakami (1949-), Mysteries of Tokyo (short stories). Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), Cloud, Castle, Lake (short stories) (posth.). David Nicholls, The Understudy. Galt Niederhoffer, A Taxonomy of Barnacles (first novel); self-made N.Y. pantyhose prince and Darwin fan Barry Barnacle dies, and his six daughters Benita, Beryl, Belinda, Beth, Bridget, and Bell fight for his inheritance; the last two have love affairs with next-door twins Billy and Blaine Finch. Audrey Niffenegger, The Three Incestuous Sisters: An Illustrated Novel. Joyce Carol Oates (1938-), Missing Mom. Redmond O'Hanlon, Trawler. Stewart O'Nan (1961-), The Good Wife. Chuck Palahniuk (1962-), Haunted (short stories). Sara Paretsky (1947-), Fire Sale; V.I. Warshawski #12. Paul Park (1954-), A Princess of Roumania. Robert Brown Parker (1932-2010), Appaloosa (June 6); Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch #1; Cold Service; Spenser #32; School Days; Spenser #33. James Patterson (1947-), Mary, Mary; Patterson goes for 25 years with less than one book a year, then joins with co-authors and puts out three in 2001, 2002, and 2003, then four in 2004, and five in 2005. James Patterson (1947-) and Andrew Gross, Lifeguard; Ned Kelley, 19th cent. Australian outlaw not. Jack Pendarvis, The Mysterious Secret of the Valuable Treasure. Elliot Perlman (1964-), Seven Types of Ambiguity; The Reasons I Won't Be Coming (short stories). Jodi Picoult (1966-), Vanishing Acts. Marge Piercy (1936-), Sex Wars. Peter Pouncey (1937-), Rules for Old Men Waiting. Reynolds Price (1933-), The Good Priest's Son (June); two weeks in the life of Mabry Kincaid and 9/11. Francine Prose (1947-), A Changed Man; neo-Nazi skinhead Vincent Nolan walks into the World Brotherhood Watch, a human rights org. headed by Auschwitz survivor Meyer Maslow. E. Annie Proulx, Larry McMurtry (1936-), and Diana Ossana, Brokeback Mountain: Secret in the Mountain. Eric Puchner, Music Through the Floor (short stories). Robert J. Randisi (ed.), Greatest Hits: Original Stories of Hitmen, Hired Guns, and Private Eyes; 15 crime stories. Holiday Reinhorn, Big Cats (short stories). Ruth Rendell (Barbara Vine), 13 Steps Down. Anne Rice (1941-), Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt; the boyhood of Christ; written after reconverting to Roman Catholicism in 1998 - but keeping the money? Stella Rimington, At Risk. David L. Robbins, Liberation Road. Kim Stanley Robinson (1952-), Fifty Degrees Below; Science in the Capital #2. Roxana Robinson, A Perfect Stranger (short stories). Luis J. Rodriguez, Music of the Mill; an L.A. steel mill. Joel C. Rosenberg (1967-), The Ezekiel Option (first novel). J.K. Rowling (1965-), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (12:01 a.m. on July 16); Harry's 6th year at Hogwarts; first printing is 10.8M copies, for a total of 210M series books sold worldwide; Amazon.com rakes in more sales for this one title than in its entire first year of operation; the char. Demelza Robins is named after the Demelza House Children's Hospice for terminally-ill kids, a favorite of Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe. S.J. Rozan, Absent Friends. Gwyn Hyman Rubio, The Woodsman's Daughter; Dahlia Miller in 19th cent. S Ga. Sheldon Rusch, For Edgar (first novel); serial murders with a Poe theme. Salman Rushdie (1947-), Shalimar the Clown; former U.S. ambassador to India Max Ophuls is butchered by his Kashmiri Muslim driver Norman Sher Noman, the title char. Mary Doria Russell, A Thread of Grace. James Salter (1925-), Last Night (short stories). Boualem Sansal (1949-), Harraga. Shamim Sarif, Despite the Falling Snow. James Salter (1925-), Last Night (short stories). Jose Saramago (1922-2010), Don Giovanni ou o Dissoluto Absolvido; Death with Interruptions (As Intermitencias da Morte). Robert James Sawyer (1960-), Mindscan (Mar. 10); Jake Sullivan. John Scalzi (1969-), Old Man's War (first novel). Bill Scheft, Time Won't Let Me; no connection with the 1966 Outsiders hit? Karl Schroeder (1962-), Lady of Mazes; Crisis in Zefra. Lynne Sharon Schwartz, The Writing on the Wall (May). Kamila Shamsie, Broken Verses; Pakistani cosmopolitan youth. James Sheehan, The Mayor of Lexington Ave (first novel); low-IQ Bass Creek, Fla. store clerk Rudy is framed for murdering Lucy Ochoa by police sgt. Wesley Brume, and Miami atty. Jack Tobin comes to the rescue. Lucius Shepard, Eternity and Other Stories. Carol Shields (1935-2003), Carol Shields: Collected Stories (posth.). Jennie Shortridge, Eating Heaven (first novel). Anita Shreve (1946-), A Wedding in December (Oct. 10); Bill and Bridget. Jenefer Shute, User I.D. (Aug. 10); 38-y.-o. ESL instructor Vera de Sica becomes a victim of identity theft. Anne Rivers Siddons (1936-), Sweetwater Creek (Aug. 9); Emily Parmeter. Alan Sillitoe (1928-2010), A Man of His Time (last novel) (Jan. 17); blacksmith Ernest Burton. Dan Simmons (1948-), Olympos (June 25); sequel to "Ilium". Curtis Sittenfield (1976-), Prep (first novel); Lee, Cross and Aspeth at a New England boarding school. Jane Smiley (1949-), Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel. Alexander McCall Smith, Portuguese Irregular Verbs (Jan.); The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs (Jan.); At the Villa of Reduced Circumstances (Jan.); In the Company of Cheerful Ladies (Apr.) (sixth book in the adventures of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, founded by Mma Ramotswe in Botswana); 44 Scotland Street (June). Zadie Smith (1975-), On Beauty; inspired by E.M. Forster's "Howards End"; a mixed-race family British-Am. family in the U.S. Lemony Snicket (1970-), The Penultimate Peril (Oct. 18); 12th book about the Baudelaire orphans. Christopher Sorrentino (1963-), Trance; Gilbert Sorrentino (1929-2006), Lunar Follies. Patty Hearst. Gary Soto (1952-), The Afterlife; sequel to "Buried Oniones" (2003). Nicholas Sparks (1965-), True Believer (Apr.); At First Sight (Oct.). Norman Spinrad (1940-), Mexica. Danielle Steel (1947-), Impossible; Miracle; Toxic Bachelors. Charles Stross (1964-), Accelerando; stories about the Singularity. Vikas Swarup (1963-), Q&A (first novel); bestseller about a poor waiter in Mumbai who becomes the top quiz show winner in Indian history. Ginger Strand, Flight (first novel). Duane Swierczynski (1972-), Secret Dead Men (first novel); The Wheel Man. Amy Tan (1952-), Saving Fish From Drowning; San Fran art maven Bibi Chen is mysteriously murdered; the way Buddhists fish is to scoop them out of the water to guess what, and unfortunately they don't recover. Whitney Terrell, The King of Kings County; Alton Acheson as narrated by his son Jack in Kansas City, Mo. Brad Thor (1969-), Blowback. Carrie Tiffany (1965-), Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living (first novel); the Better Farming Train moving across drought-plagued 1930s Australia. Katherine Tower, Evening Ferry. Trevanian, The Crazyladies of Pearl Street; Albany, N.Y. during the Great Depression. William Trevor (1928-), A Bit on the Side (short stories). Scott Turow (1949-), Ordinary Heroes. Luis Alberto Urrea, The Hummingbird's Daughter; great-aunt Teresa (Teresita) is a Mexican saint and revolutionary who is declared the most dangerous girl in Mexico. Andrew Vachss, Two Trains Running. Carrie Vaughn (1973-), Kitty and the Midnight Hour (first novel); cute blonde late night radio talk show host Kitty Norville turns into a werewolf every full Moon; spawns a romance series. Victoria Vinton, The Jungle Law. Bruce Alan Wagner (1954-), The Chrysanthemum Palace. Rebecca Wells (1952-), Ya-Yas in Bloom; sequel to "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" (1996). Arnold Wesker (1932-), Honey (first novel); sequel to Alex Haley's "Roots", continuing the story of Beatie Bryant. William T. Wollmann, Europe Central. Jennifer Weiner, Goodnight Nobody. Rebecca Wells (1952-), Ya-Yas In Bloom. Stephen White (1951-), Missing Persons; Boulder, Colo. clinical psychologist Dr. Alan Gregory in novel #13? John Edgar Wideman (1941-), God's Gym (short stories). Elie Wiesel (1928-), The Time of the Uprooted; about Gamaliel Friedman AKA Peter Kertesz. Louise Welsh, Tamburlaine Must Die. Christopher Wilson, Cotton. Robert Anton Wilson (1932-2007), Email to the Universe; AKA Tail of the Tribe. Robert Charles Wilson (1953-), Spin; about Tyler Dupree, who lives through the years when aliens construct a "spin membrane" over Earth. Alan Zweibel, The Other Shulman (first novel); a man in midlife crisis enters the New York Marathon and finishes dead last? Births: British celeb kid Cruz Beckham on Feb. 20 in Madrid, Spain; 3rd son of British soccer star David Beckham and Victoria (formerly known as Posh Spice); has brothers Brooklyn (2000-) and Romeo (2003-). Romanian child bodybuilder Giuliano Stroe on July 18. Am. celeb kid Sean Preston Federline on Sept. 14; son of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. Deaths: Am. historian Arthur Walworth (b. 1903) on Jan. 10 in Needham, Mass. (heart failure). Am. poet Richard Eberhart (b. 1904) on June 9 in Hanover, N.H. Am. diplomat-historian George Frost Kennan (b. 1904) on Mar. 17 in Princeton, N.J.; author of the seminal 1947 paper "The Source of Soviet Conduct" under the alias "X", which launched the Cold War. German-born Am. evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr (b. 1904) on Feb. 3 in Bedford, Mass. German heavyweight boxer Max Schmeling (b. 1905) on Feb. 2 in Hollenstedt, Germany. Am. "Green Acres" actor Eddie Albert (b. 1906) on May 26 in Pacific Palisades, Calif. (Alzheimer's). German-born Am. nuclear physicist Hans Bethe (b. 1906) on Mar. 6 in Ithaca, N.Y.; 1967 Nobel Physics Prize. Am. "glass box" skyscraper architect Philip Cortelyou Johnson (b. 1906) on Jan. 25 in New Canaan, Conn.; dies in his glass cube home; designed the New York State Theater in the Lincoln Center; "The man who introduced the glass box, and then, 50 years later, broke it". Am. "Brenda Starr" cartoonist Dale Messick (b. 1906) on Apr. 5 in Penngrove, Calif. Austrian "Gen. Burkhalter in Hogan's Heroes" actor Leon Askin (b. 1907) on June 3 in Vienna. English playwright Christopher Fry (b. 1907) on June 30 in Chichester. Am. actor Ford Rainey (b. 1908) on July 25 in Santa Monica, Calif. Croatian-born Valium chemist Leo Henryk Sternbach (b. 1908) on Sept. 28 in Chapel Hill, N.C. Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal (b. 1908) on Sept. 20; 89 members of his family died in Nazi concentration camps, and his Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles caught 1.1K Nazis after the war, incl. Adolf Eichmann, Triblinka-Sobibor commandant Franz Stangl, female Majdanek guard Hermine Braunsteiner, and Karl Silbauer, who arrested Anne Frank and her family: "When history looks back, I want people to know the Nazis weren't able to kill millions of people and get away with it" - other than Hitler, Goering, Mengele, etc.? Austrian-born Am. business expert Peter F. Drucker (b. 1909) on Nov. 11 in Claremont, Calif.: "It was naive of the 19th century optimists to expect paradise from technology. It is equally naive of the 20th century pessimists to make technology the scapegoat for such old shortcomings as man's blindness, cruelty, immaturity, greed and sinful pride"; "The best way to predict the future is to create it"; "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things"; "What's measured improves"; "When a subject becomes totally obsolete we make it a required course"; "The purpose of business to create and keep a customer"; "The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said"; "Rank does not confer privilege or give power. It imposes responsibility." Am.-born "American Madness", "The Jealous God" British actress Constance Cummings (b. 1910) on Nov. 23 in Oxfordshire. Am. actor Marc Lawrence (b. 1910) on Nov. 27 in Palm Springs, Calif. (heart failure). Am. Mormon apologist Hugh Nibley (b. 1910) on Feb. 24. Australian writer-artist Ray Parkin (b. 1910) on June 19. French actress Simone Simon (b. 1910) on Feb. 22 in Paris. English Vegan Society founder Donald Watson (b. 1910) on Nov. 16 in Keswick, Cumbria. Am. "Beverly Hillbillies" creator Paul Henning (b. 1911) on Mar. 25 in Burbank, Calif. U.S. Rep. (D-N.J.) (1949-89) Peter Wallace Rodino Jr. (b. 1909) on May 7 in West Orange, N.J. (heart failure); chmn. of the House Judiciary Committee that impeached Pres. Nixon on July 27, 1974. Am. geneticist Maclyn McCarty (b. 1911) on Jan. 2 (heart failure). British Labour PM (1976-9) James Callaghan (b. 1912) on Mar. 26 in Ringmer, East Sussex. Scottish "The Cone Gatherers" novelist Robin Jenkins (b. 1912) on Feb. 24. Am. feminist leader Molly Yard (b. 1912) on Sept. 21 in Pittsburgh, Penn. Canadian cardiac surgeon Wilred Gordon Bigelow (b. 1913) on Mar. 27. Scottish-born Am. historian Gordon Alexander Craig (b. 1913) on Oct. 30 British epidemiologist Sir Richard Doll (b. 1913) on July 24 in Oxford; first scientist to link smoking and lung cancer in the 1950s. Am. "Truth or Consequences" TV host Ralph Edwards (b. 1913) on Nov. 16 in Los Angeles, Calif. Irish-Am. "Dark Victory" actress Geraldine Fitzgerald (b. 1913) on July 17 in New York City (Alzheimer's). Am. novelist-screenwriter Devery Freeman (b. 1913) on Oct. 7 in Los Angeles, Calif. (heart failure). Am. Gore-Tex queen Genevieve "Vieve" Gore (b. 1913) on Jan. 20 in Newark, N.J. Am. "I'm in the Mood for Love", "Yankee Doodle Dandy" singer-actress Frances Langford (b. 1913) on July 11 in Jensen Beach, Fla. (heart failure). Am. "Hi Ho, Steverino" comedian Louis Nye (b. 1913) on Oct. 9 in Los Angeles, Calif. (lung cancer). Am. civil rights pioneer Rosa Lee Parks (b. 1913) on Oct. 24 in Detroit, Mich. French novelist Claude Simon (b. 1913) on July 6 in Paris; 1985 Nobel Lit. Prize. Am. actor Harold J. Stone (b. 1913) on Nov. 18 in Woodland Hills, Calif. Spanish philosopher Julian Marias Aguilera (b. 1914) on Dec. 15. Am. mathematician George Dantzig (b. 1914) on May 13 in Stanford, Calif. U.S. Gen. William C. Westmoreland (b. 1914) on July 18 in Charleston, S.C. Am. "West Side Story", "The Sound of Music" dir.-producer Robert Wise (b. 1914) on Sept. 14 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. "Kismet" composer-lyricist Robert Wright (b. 1914) on July 27 in Miami, Fla. Chinese Catholic bishop (Hanyang in Hubei Province) Zhang Bairen (b. 1915) on Oct. 12 (heart disease); imprisoned in 1955-79 for telling Chinese authorities that he would rather be shot dead than renounce the pope. English jurist Dame Rose Heilbron (b. 1914) on Dec. 8. German Rear Adm. Erich Topp (b. 1914) on Dec. 26 in Sussen. Canadian-born Am. author Saul Bellow (b. 1915) on Apr. 25 in Brookline, Mass.; 1976 Nobel Lit. Prize: "A man is only as good as what he loves"; "A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." Am. "Rounds" composer David Diamond (b. 1915) on June 13 in Brighton, N.Y. (heart failure). Am. "A Star is Born" movie exec Sidney Luft (b. 1915) on Sept. 15 in Santa Monica, Calif. (heart attack). Am. "Death of a Salesman", "The Crucible" playwright Arthur Miller (b. 1915) on Feb. 10 in Roxbury, Conn. (heart failure); dies on the 56th anniv. of the debut of "Death of a Salesman"; wrote 23 plays, 12 books, and eight screenplays. Am. "Beth in Little Women" actress Jean Parker (b. 1915) on Nov. 30 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, Calif. Am. sports photographer Hy Peskin (b. 1915) on June 2 in Herzliyya, Israel; first staff photographer hired by Sports Illustrated: "I helped make the Dodgers famous and they helped make me." U.S. Sen. (D-Wisc.) William Proxmire (b. 1915) on Dec. 15 in Sykesville, Md. (Alzheimer's). Canadian-born Am. chemist Henry Taube (b. 1915) on Nov. 16 in Palo Alto, Calif.; 1983 Nobel Chem. Prize. Am. Civil War historian-novelist Shelby Foote (b. 1916) on June 27 in Memphis, Tenn.: "This country has two grievous sins on its hands. One of them is slavery - whether we'll ever be cured of it, I don't know. The other one is emancipation - they told 4 million people, you're free, hit the road, and they drifted back into a form of peonage that in some ways is worse than slavery." British Conservative PM (1970-4) Sir Edward Heath (b. 1916) on July 17 in Salisbury, Wiltshire. Am. New York Giants football team owner Wellington "Duke" Mara (b. 1916) on Oct. 25 in Rye, N.Y. (cancer); joined the team as a ballboy when his father purchased it in 1925; "The heart and soul of the National Football League" (Paul Tagliabue). U.S. Sen. (D-Minn.) Eugene McCarthy (b. 1916) on Sept. 10. Am. Dem. politician (Earth Day founder) Gaylor Anton Nelson (b. 1916) on July 3 in Kensington, Md. Russian-born Am. psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner (b. 1917) on Sept. 25 in Ithaca, N.Y. Am. actor-activist Ossie Davis (b. 1917) on Feb. 4 in Miami, Fla.; dies after starting production of the film Retirement with Peter Falk, George Segal, and Rip Torn, and is replaced by Bill Cobbs. Am. stage actor John Emmett Raitt (b. 1917) on Feb. 20 in Pacific Palisades, Calif. (pneumonia). Am. mystic Richard Rose (b. 1917) on July 6 (Alzheimer's). Am. "Commander Cody" actor George Dewey Wallace (b. 1917) on July 22 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. Nixon's gappy secy. Rose Mary Woods (b. 1917) on Jan. 22 in a nursing home in Alliance, Ohio. Am.-born German spy William Colepaugh (b. 1918) on Mar. 16 in Paoli, Penn. Am. bandleader Skitch Henderson (b. 1918) on Nov. 1 in New Milford, Conn. Am. Ebony and Jet mag. pub. John H. Johnson (b. 1918) on Aug. 8 in Chicago, Ill. (heart failure). Am. celeb Rosemary Kennedy (b. 1918) on Jan. 5 in Ft. Atkinson, Wisc. Swedish Wagnerian soprano Birgit Nilsson (b. 1918) on Dec. 25 in Farlove (near Kristianstad), Skane. Am. composer George Rochberg (b. 1918) on May 29 in Bryn Mawr, Penn. English physician Dame Cicely Mary Saunders (b. 1918) on July 14 (cancer). Am. "The Beulah Quintet" novelist Mary Lee Settle (b. 1918) on Sept. 27 in Ivy, Va. (lung cancer). British-Austrian mathematician Sir Hermann Bondi (b. 1919) on Sept. 10 in Cambridge. Am. actress Teresa Wright (b. 1918) on Mar. 6 in New Haven, Conn. (heart attack). Dominican PM (1980-95) Dame Eugenia Charles (b. 1919) on Sept. 6 in Fort-de-France, Martinique (pulmonary embolism). Am. accordionist Myron Floren (b. 1919) on July 23 in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif. (cancer). Am. economist-historian Robert Heilbroner (b. 1919) on Jan. 4 in New York City. Am. microbiologist Maurice Ralph Hillerman (b. 1919) on Apr. 11 in Philadelphia, Penn. (cancer). Am. activist Fred Korematsu (b. 1919) on Mar. 30 in Marin County, Calif. Am. "Ernest T. Bass on The Andy Griffith Show" actor-dir. Howard Morris (b. 1919) on May 21. Irish "Grig in The Last Starfighter" actor Dan O'Herlihy (b. 1919) on Feb. 17 in Malibu, Calif. Am. biochemist Joseph L. Owades (b. 1919) on Dec. 16 in Sonoma, Calif. Chinese PM (#3 1980-7) and gen. secy. #7 (1987-89) Zhao Ziyang (b. 1919) on Jan. 17 in Beijing; under house arrest since siding with the Tiananmen Square protesters in 1989. Am. actor Keith Andes (b. 1920) on Nov. 11 in Canyon Country, Calif. (bladder cancer). Am. country musician Jerry Byrd (b. 1920) on Apr. 11 in Honolulu, Hawaii (Parkinson's). Canadian "Scotty in Star Trek" actor James Doohan (b. 1920) on July 20 in Redmond, Wash. (Alzheimer's); on Apr. 28, 2007 7 grams of his ashes are launched into space along with those of Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper and 200 others by UP Aerospace Inc. of Conn. from Spaceport America in S New Mexico (price $495 each), making a 4-min. suborbital flight, and are then retrieved on May 18 in the New Mexico mountains. Am. physicist (laser inventor) Gordon Gould (b. 1920) on Sept. 16 in New York City. German novelist Willi Heinrich (b. 1920) on July 12 in Karlsruhe. Am. CBS newsman George Edward Herman (b. 1920) on Feb. 8 in Washington, D.C. Am. actress Virginia Mayo (b. 1920) on Jan. 17 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Polish Pope (1978-2005) John Paul II (b. 1920) on Apr. 2 in Vatican City; last words: "totus tuus" (completely yours) (a dedication to the Virgin Mary); visited 129 countries (last was Lourdes, France in 2004): "The pope becomes persona non grata when he tries to convince the world of human sin." (1994) Am. microbiologist Albert Schatz (b. 1920) on Jan. 1 in Philadelphia, Penn. English gay radio producer Hallam Tennyson (b. 1920) on Dec. 21 in Highgate, London (stabbed in bed). Chinese PM Zhao Ziyang (b. 1920) on Jan. 17 in Beijing. Czech-born French economist Georges Anderla (b. 1921) on Apr. 26 in Antibes. Am. lit. critic Wayne Clayson Booth (b. 1921) on Oct. 10 in Chicago, Ill. (dementia). Am. Vail Mountain (Colo.) ski resort co-founder (with Peter Seibert) George Peck Caulkins Jr. (b. 1921) on Mar. 24 in Denver, Colo. Am. Marilyn Monroe's 1st hubby James Dougherty (b. 1921) on Aug. 15 in Marin, Calif. English-born Am. Mind Dynamics founder Alexander Everett (b. 1921) on Jan. 18 in Ore. Am. "Jeremiah Collins" actor Anthony George (b. 1921) on Mar. 16 in Newport Beach, Calif. (emphysema). U.S. civil rights atty. and federal judge Constance Baker Motley (b. 1921) on Sept. 28 in Manhattan, N.Y. (heart failure); first black woman to serve as a N.Y. state senator, Manhattan borough pres., member of the Board of Estimate, argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court, and serve as federal judge (1966); directed the legal campaign for James Meredith to gain admission to the U. of Miss in 1962. Am. "Chief Clifford in McCloud" actor J.D. Cannon (b. 1922) on May 20 in Hudson, N.Y. Am. actor Jason Evers (b. 1922) on Mar. 13 in Los Angeles, Calif. (heart failure). Am. novelist Marjorie Kellogg (b. 1922) on Dec. 19 in Santa Barbara, Calif. (Alzheimer's). Am. paleontologist Charles Repenning (b. 1922) on Jan. 5 in Lakewood, Calif. (murdered). Am. scientist Albert Schatz (b. 1922) on Jan. 17 in Philadelphia, Penn. (pancreatic cancer). Am. ventriloquist Paul Winchell (b. 1922) on June 24. Am. "Maxwell Smart in Get Smart" actor Don Adams (b. 1923) on Sept. 25 in Los Angeles, Calif. Spanish soprano Victoria de los Angeles (b. 1923) on Jan. 15 in Barcelona (heart failure). Am. "Berenstain Bears" author Stan Berenstain (b. 1923) in Philadelphia, Penn. (cancer); pub. 200+ children's books in 40 years. Am. jazz musician Percy Heath (b. 1923) on Apr. 28. Am. IC, handheld calculator, and thermal printer inventor Jack St. Clair Kilby (b. 1923) on June 20 in Dallas, Tex.; 2000 Nobel Physics Prize. Saudi Arabian king Fahd (b. 1923) on Aug. 1. Am. "Jerry Seinfeld's father Morty" Barney Martin (b. 1923) on Mar. 21 in Studio City, Calif. Am. actor Lon McCallister (b. 1923) on June 11 in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. (heart failure). Monaco "builder" Europe's longest-reigning monarch, 56 years) Prince (since May 9, 1949) Rainier III (b. 1923) on Apr. 6 (6:35 a.m.) (heart, kidney and breathing problems); dies with his son Prince Albert at his side; after Princess Grace's 1982 death he never remarried; on Apr. 15 his funeral is attended by over half a dozen heads of states and dignitaries from 60 countries; last Euro monarch to die on the throne until? Am. sportscaster Chris Schenkel (b. 1923) on Sept. 11 in Fort Wayne, Ind. (emphysema). Am. vice adm. and pres. candidate James B. Stockdale (b. 1923) on July 5 (Alzheimer's complications). Am. hall-of-fame football coach Hank Stram (b. 1923) on July 4 in Covington, La. Russian glasnost economist Alexander Yakovlev (b. 1923) on Oct. 18. Canadian actor Lloyd Bochner (b. 1924) on Oct. 29 in Santa Monica, Calif. (cancer). Am. politician Shirley Chisholm (b. 1924) on Jan. 1; first black woman to serve in the U.S. Congress. Israeli dir. Ephraim Kishon (b. 1924) on Jan. 29 in Appenzell, Switzerland. English-born Am. "Sons and Lovers" dir. Gavin Lambert (b. 1924) on July 17 in Los Angeles, Calif. (pulmonary fibrosis). Brazilian physicist Cesar Lattes (b. 1924) on Mar. 8 in Campinas, Sao Paulo. Am. six-foot-tenner basketball pioneer George Mikan (b. 1924) on June 1 in Scottsdale, Ariz. U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist (b. 1924) on Sept. 3 (11 p.m. EDT) in Arlington, Va. (thyroid cancer); buried in Arlington Nat. Cemetery since he was an Army sgt. in WWII, his casket placed beneath his wife's ashes. Am. singer Bobby Short (b. 1924) on Mar. 21 in New York City. Jewish pres. #7 (1993-8) Ezer Weizman (b. 1924) on Apr. 24 in Caesarea (respiratory failure). Am. "Point-Counterpoint on 60 Minutes" journalist Shana Alexander (b. 1925) on June 23 in Hermosa Beach, Calif. (cancer). Am. "The Gold Standard" late night TV talk show host Johnny Carson (b. 1925) on Jan. 23 in Malibu, Calif. (emphysema): "Happiness is a dry martini"; "Never continue in a job you don't enjoy." Am. football player Glenn "Mr. Outside" Davis (b. 1925) in Mar.; he and Felix "Doc" Blanchard (b. 1925) ("Mr. Inside") were the two dominant players of the dominant Army college football team of the 1940s. Am. automaker (inventor of the recessed windshield wiper and the overhead cam engine) John Z. DeLorean (b. 1925) on Mar. 19 in Summit, N.J. Am. actor John Fiedler (b. 1925) on June 25 in Englewood, N.J. (cancer). Am. historian Frank Everson Vandiver (b. 1925) on Jan. 7 in College Station, Tex. Am. novelist John Fowles (b. 1926) on Nov. 5 in Lyme Regis. Am. actress June Haver (b. 1926) on July 4 in Brentwood, Calif. (respiratory failure). Am. novelist and children's writer Ed McBain (Evan Hunter) (b. 1926) on July 6 in Weston, Conn.; author of the 3M-word "87th Precinct Series", which pioneered the police procedural. Austrian actress Maria Schell (b. 1926) on Apr. 26 in Preitenegg (pneumonia). Am. journalist Shana Alexander (b. 1927) on June 23 in Hermosa Beach, Calif. Am. "The Bold and the Beautiful" TV producer William Joseph Bell (b. 1927) on Apr. 6 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. writer Guy Davenport (b. 1927) on Jan. 4 (lung cancer). Am. bluegrass musician Jimmy Martin (b. 1927) on May 14 in Nashville, Tenn. (bladder cancer); his alcoholism and mood swings keeps him from being invited to join the Grand Ole Opry. Am. "Joseph Sisko in Star Trek: DS9" actor Brock Peters (b. 1927) on Aug. 23 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. bluegrass musician Vassar Clements (b. 1928) on Aug. 16 in Jamestown, N.Y. (brain cancer). Am. "Oddfather" mob boss Vincent "the Chin" Gigante (b. 1928) on Dec. 19 in Springfield, Mo. prison. Am. Hispanic (Chicano) activist Corky Gonzales (b. 1928) on Apr. 12. Am. "Dr. Hiram Baker in Little House on the Prairie" actor Kevin Hagen (b. 1928) on July 9 in Grants Pass, Ore. Am. atmospheric scientist Charles David Keeling (b. 1928) on June 20 (heart attack). Am. "Dinosaur Renaissance" paleontologist John H. Ostrom (b. 1928) on July 16 in Litchfield, Conn. (Alzheimer's); originated the modern theory that links dinosaurs and birds. Am. "Is Paris Burning?" writer Larry Collins (b. 1929) on June 20 in Frejus, France (cerebral hemorrhage). Cuban novelist Guillermo Cabrera Infante (b. 1929) on Feb. 21 in London (septicemia). Am. actor Richard Lupino (b. 1929) on Feb. 9 in New York City. Am. TV minister Dr. Gene Scott (b. 1929) on Feb. 21 in Glendale, Calif. Am. hall-of-fame bowler Dick Weber (b. 1929) on Feb. 14 in Florissant, Mo. Am. rock guitarist Link Wray (b. 1929) on Nov. 5 in Copenhagen, Denmark (heart failure). Syrian "Mohammad, Messenger of God" producer-dir. Moustapha Akkad (b. 1930) on Nov. 11 in Amman, Jordan (assassinated by al-Qaida suicide bomber). Am. adm. William P. Lawrence (b. 1930) on Dec. 2 in Crownsville, Md. Am. economist John Muth (b. 1930) on Oct. 23 in Key West, Fla. Russian pianist Lazar Berman (b. 1931) on Feb. 6 in Florence, Italy. Am. novelist Rona Jaffe (b. 1931) on Dec. 30 in London, England. Am. "Porter Ricks in Flipper" actor Brian Kelly (b. 1931) on Feb. 12 in Voorhees Township, N.J. (pneumonia). Am. composer Donald Martino (b. 1931) on Dec. 8 in Antigua. Am. "Stove Top Stuffing" inventor Ruth M. Siems (b. 1931) on Nov. 13 in Newburgh, Ind (heart attack). Am. "Annie Sullivan" "Mrs. Robinson" actress Anne Bancroft (b. 1932) on June 6 in New York City (uterine cancer). Am. "Cmdr. Ed Straker in UFO" actor Ed Bishop (b. 1932) on June 8 in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England. Am. auto racer Coo Coo Marlin (b. 1932) on Aug. 14 (lung cancer). Am. actress Sheree North (b. 1932) on Nov. 4 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. "Karate Kid" actor Noriyuki (Pat) Morita (b. 1932) on Nov. 24 in Las Legas, Nev. (heart failure). Canadian "Dean Wormer in Animal House" actor John Vernon (b. 1932) on Feb. 1 in Los Angeles, Calif. (heart failure). Am. "Mr. Blue in Reservoir Dogs" actor Edward Bunker (b. 1933) on July 19 in Burbank, Calif. (diabetes). Am. writer Vine Deloria Jr. (b. 1933) on Nov. 13: "In recent years we have come to understand what progress is. It is the total replacement of nature by an artificial technology"; "Western civilization does not link knowledge and morality, but rather, it connects knowledge and power and makes them equivalent"; "The massive amount of useless knowledge produced by anthropologists attempting to capture real Indians in a network of theories has contributed substantially to the invisiblity of Indian people today." Am. Moog Synthesizer inventor Robert Moog (b. 1934) on Aug. 21 in Asheville, N.C. English right-wing politician John Tyndale (b. 1934) on July 19 in Hove, East Sussex. Am. "Gilligan in Gilligan's Island" actor Bob Denver (b. 1935) on Sept. 2 in N.C. (cancer). Togo pres. (1967-2005) Gnassingbe Eyadema (b. 1935) on Feb. 5 near Tunis, Tunisia (heart attack); longest-serving head of state in Africa. Am. "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" novelist Judith Rossner (b. 1935) on Aug. 9. Indian film producer Ismail Merchant (b. 1936) on May 25 in London. Am. "Somethin' Stupid" songwriter Clarence Carson Parks II (b. 1936) on June 22 in St. Marys, Ga. Am. "My Cousin Vinny" actor Lane Smith (b. 1936) on June 13 in Northridge, Calif. (ALS). Vietnamese-born French computer engineer Andre Truong Trong Thi (b. 1936) on Apr. 4 in Paris. Am. conservative journalist Jude Wanniski (b. 1936) on Aug. 29 in Morristown, N.J. (heart attack). Am. actor Dee Pollock (b. 1937) on Dec. 25 in Chico, Calif. (heart attack). Am. gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson (b. 1937) on Feb. 20 in Woody Creek, Colo. (near Aspen) (suicide); his ashes are mixed with fireworks by the Zambelli Co. and launched from 34 mortar tubes on Aug. 20 (full moon) at sunset from a 153-ft. structure capped by a double-thumbed red fiberglass fist on his 42-acre Owl Farm, where a 400-capacity wooden bar with chandeliers lets observers party hearty; the whole $2M shindig is paid for by actor friend Johnny Depp; on Feb. 20, 2006 The Woody Creeker mag. is launched by his widow Anita Thompson: "The weird turn pro when the going gets weird." Am. flamboyant O.J. defense atty. Johnny Cochran (b. 1938) on Mar. 29 (brain tumor): "If it doesn't fit you must acquit." Am. soul singer Tyrone Davis (b. 1938) on Feb. 9 in Chicago, Ill. (stroke). Am. "Jefferson Airplane" drummer Spencer Dryden (b. 1938) on Jan. 11 in Penngrove, Calif. (colon cancer). Canadian-born Am. (since 2003) ABC News anchorman (since 1965) Peter Jennings (b. 1938) on Aug. 7 in Manhattan, N.Y. (lung cancer); a high school dropout, he joined ABC News on Aug. 3, 1964, and since 1983 was the anchor and senior ed. of "World News Tonight"; the last of the "Big Three" TV news anchormen (Tom Brokaw of NBC, Dan Rather of CBS). German celeb photographer Horst Tappe (b. 1938) on Aug. 21 in Vevey, Switzerland (cancer); famous for his photos of "Lolita" author Nabokov. Am. folk singer John Herald (b. 1939) on July 18 in West Hurley, N.Y. (suicide?). Am. musician Fritz Richmond (b. 1939) on Nov. 20 in Portland, Ore. (lung cancer). Am. comedian Richard Pryor (b. 1940) on Sept. 10; suffered from MS since the 1990s; leaves a hand-painted ceramic bowl with the inscription "Little Black Man in Big White World", which raises $7,099 in an online auction for the Geauga, Ohio Humane Society in Mar. 2006. English "Col. Paul Foster in UFO", "Agent XXX's lover Sergei Barsov in The Spy Who Loved Me" actor Michael Billington (b. 1941) on June 3 (cancer). English "The Searchers" drummer Chris Curtis (b. 1941) on Feb. 28 in Liverpool. Am. "Gidget" actress Sandra Dee (b. 1942) on Feb. 20 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Am. rock music promoter Chet Helms (b. 1942) on June 25 in San Francisco, Calif. (stroke); discovered Janis Joplin. Soviet cosmonaut Gennadi Sarafanov (b. 1942) on Sept. 29. English rock drummer Tony Meehan (b. 1943) on Nov. 28 in Paddington, West London (head injuries from a fall). Am. Macintosh designer Jef Raskin (b. 1943) on Feb. 26 in Pacifica, Calif. (pancreatic cancer). English rock drummer Jim Capaldi (b. 1944) on Jan. 28 (stomach cancer). Lebanese PM (1992-8, 2000-4) Rafik Hariri (b. 1944) on Feb. 14 in Beirut (assassinated). Am. "Bread" pop group singer James Griffin (b. 1945) on Jan. 11 in Franklin, Tenn. Am. dramatist August Wilson (b. 1945) on Oct. 2 in Seattle, Wash. (liver cancer); on Oct. 16 the Virginia Theater on Broadway is renamed after him, becoming the first Broadway theater named after an African-Am. playwright Danish jazz musician Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen (b. 1946) on Apr. 19 in Ishoj, Zealand. Am. "Tommy Mullaney in L.A. Law" "Leo McGarry in West Wing" actor John Spencer (d. 1947) on Dec. 16 in Los Angeles, Calif. (heart attack); his McGarry character had recently suffered a heart attack. Am. actor Vincent Schiavelli (b. 1948) on Dec. 26 in Polizzi Generosa, Sicily (lung cancer). Am. actor Charles Rocket (b. 1949) on Oct. 7 in Canterbury, Conn. (suicide by slit throat). Am. singer Luther Vandross (b. 1951) on July 1 in Edison, N.J. (stroke); sold 35M records. Am. "feathered hair in Police Academy" actress Debralee Scott (b. 1953) on Apr. 5 in Fla.; dies after going into a coma for several days, getting released from the hospital, and going into a final nap; ever since 9/11 when her fiance police officer John Dennis Levi was killed, she had been drinking heavily. Am. New Age writer Joshua David Stone (b. 1953) in Aug. in Calif. Am. semi-reformed criminal Stanley Tookie Williams III (b. 1953) on Dec. 13 in Marin County, Calif. (executed). Am. "Cowsills" singer Barry Cowsill (b. 1954) on Aug. 29 in New Orleans, La.; dies from Hurricane Katrina; found 4 mo. later on a wharf. Am. journalist Marjorie Williams (b. 1958) in Jan. (liver cancer). Australian "Crowded House", "Split Enz" drummer Paul Hester (b. 1959) on Mar. 26 in Melbourne (suicide). English rock guitarist Nick Hawkins (b. 1965) on Oct. 10 in Las Vegas, Nev. (heart attack). Am. comedian Freddy Soto Jr. (b. 1970) on July 10 in Los Angeles, Calif. (OD). Am. giant actor Matthew McGrory (b. 1973) on Aug. 8 in Los Angeles, Calif. (heart failure).



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