2006 Doomsday Clock: 7 min. to midnight. Chinese Year: Dog (Jan. 29) (lunar year 4703). Time Person of the Year: You; celebrates the Internet era of blogging and uploading videos. This is the U.N. Year of Deserts and Desertification. The period from Jan. to Aug. is the warmest on record in the U.S. U.S. pop. exceeds 300M on Oct. 17, with one new birth every 7 sec., one death every 13 sec., one immigrant entering every 31 sec., for a net of one new person every 11 sec.; U.S. pop. hit 100M in 1915, 200M in 1967; immigrants constitute 12% of the pop.; Latin Americans working outside their countries earn $500B this year, and send $60B home (up from $55B in 2005) to 30M families, incl. $45B from the U.S.; U.S. life span has increased from 54 to 78 years since 1915, women in the work force from 23% to 59%, and high school graduates from 13% to 85%; U.S. baby boomers (78M, incl. 9M blacks born 1946-64) begin turning 60 at the rate of 7,918 a day (330 an hour); in 1915 the most popular baby names were John and Mary, in 1946 James and Mary, in 1967 Lisa and Michael, this year Jacob and Emily (James #17, Mary #63); median age: 36, life expectancy: 78; price of a new home: $290.6K; milk: $3/gal.; gasoline: $2.66/gal.; avg. household size: 2.6; total U.S. philanthropic giving: $295.02B ($283.05B in 2005) (1.7% of GDP) (Brtain = 0.73% = #2). Chinese imports to the U.S.: $208B (16%); U.S. GNP: $13.2T; U.S. trade deficit: $857B. There are 285M TV sets in operation in the U.S. Russia suffers its coldest winter since 1978-9. According to the U.N., 21,796 deaths result from natural disasters this year, compared to 92K last year; 140M people are affected, compared with 157M last year. Global terrorism this year incl. 14K total attacks with 20K killed, incl. 7K attacks in Iraq with 13K killed, with more than 50% of the victims being Muslims; attacks in Afghanistan are up 53% over 2005, while attacks in Europe and Indonesia are down; the Taliban destroys 200 schools and kills 20 teachers this year, driving 200K children from classrooms, then next Jan. announces that it will open its own Islamic Sharia schools in Mar. with $1M funding; the number of Islamic extremist Web sites grows to 4.5K from 12 in 1998. South Africa loses 950 people a day this year from AIDS-related diseases, and 1.4K new people are infected each day (530K total); 5.6M of the country's 48M people are infected by the end of the year, making South Africa #2 behind India in total HIV-infected people, with life expectancy dropping from 63 in 1990 to 51; Russia has 1.3M infected with HIV, growing by 8%-10% a year, concentrated in St. Petersburg, Sverdlosvsk, Moscow and Samara. This year there are 14 female U.S. Senators (9 Dem., 5 Repub.) out of 100, 67 U.S. reps. (43 Dem., 24 Repub.) out of 435; 8 govs. (6 Dem., 2 Repub.) out of 50; First Lady Laura Bush repeatedly states that she wants to vote for a Repub. woman for pres. By this year there are 20 cities with 10M+ residents, incl. Jakarta, Mexico City, Mumbai, and Sao Paulo, up from only two in 1950, New York and Tokyo. By this year there are 23 nations under Muslim Sharia law, who presumably all want to exterminate Israel and bring Jerusalem back into the House of Islam. This year 34,452 civilians die in Iraq; 3,301 U.S. soldiers desert in the fiscal year (starting Oct.); hardly any are court-martialed. There are 6,912 living languages this year. WHO estimates that 1B adults in the world are overweight and 300M obese, vs. 600M undernourished. This year France's fertility rate zooms from 1.92 to 2.0 children per woman after a govt. program providing parental leave and cheap day care, making France the most fertile nation in the EU; meanwhile this year Germany's pop. begins to decline due to low birthrates. U.S. tourism figures finally reach pre-9/11 levels (19M). The Great Syrian Drought begins (ends 2011), wiping out the livelihoods of 800K farmers and herders. This year the music industry, reeling from massive piracy stages a pathetic mini-British Invasion, featuring James Blunt, KT Tunstall and Corrine Bailey Rae, and even The Who make a pathetic comeback. This year's 109th U.S. Congress becomes the worst since the 96th Abscam Congress of 1979-81 (which lost six House members and one senator), losing Rep. Mark Foley (R-Penn.), Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.), former House Majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), and Rep. Bob New (R-Ohio). On Jan. 1 the first of 77M U.S. Baby Boomers turns 60; more and more of them begin taking care of aged parents who look two generations older, making them the "sandwich generation", while others turn 30 again and start new college or other careers and take up fitness activities? - 50 is the new 30? On Jan. 1 (Sun.) U.S. Medicare payments for erectile dysfunction drugs are ended, and the money is used instead to aid the poor and victims of Hurricane Katrina. On Jan. 1 24 are wounded and two rebels are killed in eight car bombings in Baghdad and three in Kirkuk to kick off the Christian New Year Muslim-style; on Jan. 1-7 200 Iraqis and 12 U.S. troops are killed in Iraq to start year running. On Jan. 1 Mexico's Zapatista rebels, led by ski-masked Subcommandante Marcos launch a 6-mo. tour of Mexico to build a nationalist leftist movement to "shake this country up from below" - if there's anybody left who hasn't crossed the U.S. border? On Jan. 1 the six Latin Am. govts. that signed CAFTA in 2005 delay their entry into the free trade zone because of red tape, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala till Feb. 1, Nicaragua until Mar., and the DR until July 1; Costa Rica still hasn't ratified the pact. On Jan. 1 a tough law (signed last Oct. by Gov. Ahnuld) goes into effect in Calif. levying stiff penalties on "stalkerazzi", paparazzi and publishers who use celeb photos acquired through overly aggressive tactics. On Jan. 1 the U.N. World Food Program, which fed 600K in North Korea last Dec. officially shuts off aid to the country's 22M people at the govt.'s request. Farris Hassan's Day Off? On Jan. 1 16-y.-o. Farris Hassan (1989-) returns to Fla. from Iraq, where he had been since cutting school on Dec. 11, flying to Kuwait, then Lebanon before flying to Baghdad; his parents, who have been in the U.S. for over 30 years were born in Iraq, making it easy to secure an entry visa; his little experiment with "immersion journalism" gets him worldwide publicity. On Jan. 1 singer Liza Minnelli sings "New York, New York" at the inauguration of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for his 2nd term, which he won by a 20% margin. On Jan. 1 the 2nd storm in a row (Dec. 31) hits N Calif., causing the Napa and Russian Rivers to crest above flood stage and evacuations to be ordered. On Jan. 1 most of 50K prisoners skip lunch to send food to fellow Kenyans suffering from food shortages as Pres. Mwai Kibaki declares a nat. disaste, saying that drought threatens 10% of the 25M pop., and calling for $153M in emergency food aid. On Jan. 1 Russia's natural gas monopoly Gazprom halts gas sales to Ukraine after the latter refuses to pay quadruple. On Jan. 2 Texas defeats USC by 41-38 to win the 2006 Rose Bowl. On Jan. 2 the Sago Coal Mine in Tallmansville, W. Va. collapses, trapping 13 miners 260 ft. below ground, and rescuers have to wait almost 12 hours for gases to clear before going in; on Jan. 4 after more than 42 hours 12 are found dead 2.5 mi. from the entrance, and on Jan. 5 lone survivor Randal L. McCloy Jr. (1979-) is moved to a Pittsburgh, Penn. hospital for treatment for oxygen deprivation and brain damage, where he emerges from a coma on Jan. 25; rescuers mistakenly informed families that 12 of the 13 had survived, causing them to later threaten lawsuits; on Feb. 1 W. Va. Gov. Joe Manchin calls for all 544 coal mines to voluntarily close for safety checks after two more mine workers are killed in separate accidents; the total U.S. coal mine death this year is 47, equalling the record for 1995. On Jan. 2 the bad holey roof of an ice rink in Bad Reichenhall, Germany collapses, at about 4 p.m. during a school holiday, killing 10. On Jan. 2 surfers lament Blank Monday, as Grubby (Gordon) Clark's Clark Foam Co., which makes most of the foam cores (blanks) for surfboards closes, leading to a rash of thefts in Santa Cruz, Calif., home of "The Hook", one of 65 famous surf breaks. On Jan. 3 Haliburton Co. is awarded $385M by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security to build new internment camps inside the U.S. On Jan. 3-4 lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleads guilty to felony charges, causing numerous lawmakers to hastily jettison compaign donations linked to him. On Jan. 4 Israeli PM Ariel Sharon (b. 1928) suffers a life-threatening stroke, and his powers are transferred to his cigar-smoking deputy Ehud Olmert (1945-) (former mayor of Jerusalem) of the Kadima Party, who becomes acting PM; on Jan. 5 Am. Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson suggests that the stroke is divine punishment for "dividing God's land" by ordering withdrawal from Gaza; on Jan. 24 Olmert says that he backs the creation of a Palestinian state and the relinquishing of parts of the West Bank by Israel to maintain its Jewish majority, and after his Kadima Party wins elections he becomes permanent PM on Apr. 14 (until ?). On Jan. 4 UAE PM Sheik Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum (b. 1944) dies, and on Jan. 5 his younger brother (UAE defense minister) Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (1949-) becomes billionaire emir of Dubai (until ?). On Jan. 5 insurgents kill 125 civilians in a crowd of Shiite pilgrims in Karbala, Iraq, and five U.S. soldiers in a line of police recruits in Ramadi. On Jan. 5 a suicide bomber in ?, Afghanistan kills 10 and wounds 50. On Jan. 5 the 8-story Lulu'at al-Khair Bldg. in Mecca, Saudi Arabia (200 ft. from the Grand Mosque) collapses during the annual hajj, killing 20; the number of pilgrims to Mecca has increased 11x since 1990. On Jan. 6 the NYSE closes strong for the first five days of the year, up 3%, compared to 0.5% for all of 2005; on Jan. 9 the Dow Jones closes above 11K for the first time in five years (11,011); as go the first five days so goes the year? On Jan. 7 an explosives-laden fishing boat run by Tamil rebels rams a Sri Lankan navy patrol boat off the coast of Trincomalee, killing 13 sailors. On Jan. 7 a newly-built checkpoint near Miran Shah in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border (where thousands of troops had tried to flush out the remnants of the Taliban) is attacked, and eight security forces killed; the area has been wild and untameable since Alexander the Great. On Jan. 7 Tom DeLay announces that he will not attempt to reclaim his post as House majority leader when it reconvenes on Jan. 31, causing Repub. Reps. Roy Blunt (DeLay's whip) and John Boehner to announce their candidacies, pledging action on a reform agenda to save the decade-long hold on power by their party. On Jan. 7 28-y.-o. Am. Christian Science Monitor freelance writer Jill Carroll (1977-) is kidnapped in Baghdad, Iraq by the Sunni Revenge Brigades; her interpreter Allan Enwiyah is shot to death; on Jan. 17 Al-Jazeera airs a video in which her abductors give the U.S. 72 hours to free female prisoners in Iraq to prevent her death; five Iraqi women are released on Jan. 26, a week after the deadline, but U.S. officials insist it is unrelated to her; on Jan. 30 Al-Jazeera airs a video showing her weeping and veiled, calling for the release of all female Iraqi prisoners; she is released on Mar. 30 after 82 days and six safehouses. On Jan. 7 singer Harry Belafonte (1927-) leads a U.S. delgation that meets with Venezuelan Pres. Hugo Chavez, on Jan. 8 calling Pres. Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world", and saying that millions of Americans support Chavez' Socialist revolution - tell everyone you're a hit and somewhere somebody will believe it? On Jan. 8 a U.S. Army Black Hawk heli crashes E of Tal Afar, Iraq, killing all four crew and eight passengers aboard, bringing fatal heli crashes in Iraq since Mar. 20, 2003 to 23, with a death toll of 144; five other people die in separate attacks in Baghdad. On Jan. 8 two children and one adult test positive for deadly bird flu virus in Ankara, Turkey becoming the first known cases outside an eastern region; by Jan. 10 15 cases are documented, incl. 3 deaths. On Jan. 8 Calif. Governator Ahnuld gets into an accident on his motorcycle with his son Patrick when it collides with a car in his Los Angeles neighborhood, giving him a gashed lip, requiring 15 stitches; it is later revealed that he had been driving motorcycles since coming to the U.S. in 1968 without bothering to get a motorcycle endorsement on his driver's license, saying he never thought about it. On Jan. 8 New Delhi, India records its coldest temp. in 70 years, -32 F in a bitter cold spell in N India which kills 160+. On Jan. 9 Iran breaks open internationally monitored seals on three of its nuclear facilities, reopening them in violation of a 16-mo.-old agreement with France, Germany and Britain, bringing condemnation by the U.S. and its Euro allies; on Jan. 17 Iran proposes a resumption of nuclear talks with the Europeans, which Britain rejects as "vacuous"; on Jan. 26 the Russians propose to allow Iran to operate civilian nuclear facilities with internat. inspectors in control of the fuel, and to operate its Isfahan facility, and China and the U.S. endorse it. On Jan. 9 Pope Benedict XVI addresses the 174 ambassadors accredited to the Holy See to give his First State of the World Address, pointing to "political ideology combined with aberrant religious ideas" as the root cause of terrorism, along with a "clash of civilizations". On Jan. 11 Judge Samuel Alito's wife (since 1985) Martha-Ann Bomgardner weeps during Senate confirmation hearings as the Dems. attack his record and credibility, and leaves the room with a migraine headache. On Jan. 12 auxiliary bishop Thomas John Gumbleton (1930-) of Detroit, Mich. becomes the first U.S. Roman Catholic bishop to disclose that he was a victim of sexual abuse by clergy (a priest 60 years earlier); he resigns on Feb. 2, citing his age, one year past the normal retirement age. On Jan. 14-15 thousands protest in Pakistan against a Jan. 14 U.S. air strike on the border village of Damadola, Pakistan in a failed attempt to kill #2 al-Qaida man Ayman al-Zawahri, which instead kills 18 civilians; on Jan. 17 Pakistan authorities admit that 4-5 foreign terrorists were also killed, but PM Shaukat Aziz says that attacks inside Pakistan "cannot be condoned"; John McCain apologizes, saying "It's terrible when innocent people are killed", then adds "I can't tell you that we wouldn't do the same thing again." On Jan. 14 two men on a motorbike in Kabul, Afghanistan shoot and kill former Taliban deputy interior minister Mohammed Khaksar, who switched loyalties to the U.S. after 2001, and was called "a traitor to our cause" by Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammed Yousaf; 10 are killed and 40 are wounded at an Islamic feast. On Jan. 14 the Pitchfork Rebellion in China begins when 1K villagers in Panlong in Guangdong Province (S China) begin a protest of the govt.'s decision to seize communal farmland and lease it to a foreign investor, and police attack them with electric batons, injuring 20 and killing a 13-y.-o. girl; the 900M farmers are getting more and more disgruntled at the so-called Commies selling out to Western capitalism and creating a wealthy urban elite while leaving them behind? On Jan. 15 former defense minister Michelle Bachelet (1951-), a Socialist doctor and former political prisoner of the Pinoche regime is elected as the first female pres. of Chile (until ?), defeating conservative multimillionaire Sebastian Pinera by 53.5% to 46%, becoming the 3rd female elected pres. of a Latin country after Violeta Chamorra of Nicaragua (1990-7) and Mireya Moscoso of Panama (1999-2004), and the 4th democratically elected pres. of the center-left coalition Concertacion in Chile since Pinochet's ouster; her father, Air Force Gen. Alberto Bachelet was tortured to death by Pinochet's regime in 1974, and she and her mother were tortured and exiled in 1975. On Jan. 15 a suicide car bomber kills two civilians and a senior Canadian diplomat in a Canadian military convoy in S Afghanistan; the Taliban claims credit. On Jan. 15 Sheik Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah (b. 1926) dies after suffering a brain hemmorage in 2001, and his distant cousin Crown Prince Sheik Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah (1930-2008) becomes emir of Kuwait for nine days; on Jan. 24 after an unprecedented public quarrel within the ruling family the ailing emir agrees to abdicate in favor of longtime de-facto ruler and PM Sheik Sabah IV Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (1929-), who is sworn-in on Jan. 29 (until ?). On Jan. 16 Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (b. 1939) takes office as pres. of Liberia (until ?) as U.S. warships appear off the coast in a show of support; U.S. First Lady Laura Bush and Secy. of State Condoleezza Rice attend the ceremonies. On Jan. 16 New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin gives a Martin Luther King Day speech in which he predicts that the city will be a "chocolate" city one day, and asserts that "God was mad at America"; he apologizes on Jan. 17 after criticism; he was elected in 2002 with about 90% of the white vote and less than 50% of the black vote. On Jan. 16 a suicide bomber on a motorbike in a crowd watching a wrestling match in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan kills 21. On Jan. 16 (eve.) the 2006 (63rd) Golden Globe Awards gives the best drama film award to "Brokeback Mountain", and best musical or comedy to "Walk the Line"; Philip Seymour Hoffman wins the best drama actor award for "Capote", and Felicity Huffman the best drama actress award for "Transamerica"; gay fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi (1961-) gropes actress Scarlett Johansson's breast, asks Eva Longoria about her pubic hair, and peeks down Teri Hatcher's dress, supposedly to determine how it was constructed. On Jan. 17 the U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court rules 6-3 in Gonzales v. Oregon to block the Bush admin.'s attempt to punish doctors who help terminally ill patients die, protecting Oregon's assisted-suicide law, rebuking former U.S. atty.-gen. John Ashcroft for improperly using the 1970 U.S. Controlled Substances Act to pursue Ore. doctors who prescribe lethal doses of medicines; new chief justice John Roberts is on the losing side, as Anthony M. Kennedy begins assuming the swing vote role of retiring justice Sandra Day O'Connor. On Jan. 17 the tercentennial of Benjamin Franklin's 1706 birth is celebrated in Philadelphia, Pa., where he spent half of his 84 years, even though he was born in Boston, Mass.; $5.3M is spent restoring his 4-story brick house in London just off Trafalgar Square, where he lived as a diplomat in 1757-62 and 1764-75. On Jan. 17 Calif.'s oldest death row inmate Clarence Ray Allen (b. 1930) is executed a day after his 76th birthday, saying "Hoka hey, it's a good day to die Fathers 4 Justice group in Britain announces that the group will disband after a "lunatic militant fringe" hatched a plot fo kidnap PM Tony Blair's 5-y.-o. son Leo to highlight the misery of fathers denied access to their children. On Jan. 18 Pakistani officials announce that two senior members of al-Qaida and the son-in-law of #2 leader Ayman al-Zawahri were among those killed in U.S. airstrikes in NE Pakistan a week earlier. On Jan. 18 the U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court votes 9-0 in Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood of Northern New England to uphold the right of states to require parental involvement in abortion decisions by minors, giving N.H. a chance to salvage its 2003 law, but only when an exception is made to protect the mother's health; Sandra Day O'Connor writes the decision, the final one of her 24-year career, and the first presided over by new chief justice John Roberts. On Jan. 18 six former heads of the EPA (five Repubs. and one Dem.) accuse the Bush admin. of neglecting global warming and other environmental problems, its first administrator (1970) Bill Ruckelshaus saying "I don't think there's a commitment in this administration." On Jan. 18 Coretta Scott King (b. 1927) makes her last public appearance on the eve of her late hubby's birthday; she dies on Jan. 31 in an alternative medicine clinic in Mexico; on Feb. 5 she becomes the first woman and first black to lie in honor in the Ga. Capitol Rotunda; on Feb. 7 her funeral draws four U.S. presidents and other notables along with 10K at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga.; her hubby's funeral four decades earlier was attended by no presidents - how long before crazed American blacks prohibit caricatures of their prophet? On Jan. 20 Neil Entwistle (1978-) shoots his wife Rachel and 9-mo-.old daughter Lillian in bed in Cambridge, Mass., then flees to England, where he is arrested on Feb. 9 in London; he had met his wife at the U. of York in England. On Jan. 20 23-y.-o. Jewish cell phone salesman Ilan Halimi (b. 1982) is abducted in Bagneux, Paris by a gang of African Muslim immigrants called the Barbarians, after which he is held for ransom and tortured for 3 weeks before being found on Feb. 11, soon dying of his numerous wounds. On Jan. 21 the Miss America 2006 pageant in Las Vegas, Nev. is broadcast on Country Music TV in an attempt to return to the glam days of the past; Miss Congeniality is back for the 1st time since 1974 - Sandra Bullock rules? On Jan. 22 former PM (1985-95) Anibal Antonio Cavaco Silva (1939-) wins the election, and on Mar. 9 is sworn-in as pres. #19 of the Portuguese Repub. (until ?). On Jan. 23 Ford Motor Co. announces 30K layoffs and the shutdown of 14 plants in the U.S.; the share of the U.S. Big Three (GM, Chevy, Ford) has systematically slid from 75% in 1995 to 60% in 2005 to the Japanese Big Three (Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai). On Jan. 23 Pres. Bush shoots back at critics of his once-secret domestic spying operation, which allows senior NSA officials to approve spying when there is "reason to believe" that al-Qaida is involved, saying it should be termed a "terrorist surveillance program", and asking, "If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?" On Jan. 23 after a scandal involving misappropriation of govt. funds by the Liberal Party, Conservatives win 36% of the vote in Canadian parliamentary elections, ending 12 years of Liberal Party rule; Paul Martin resigns, and on Feb. 6 Conservative Party of Canada leader Stephen Harper (1959-) becomes Canadian PM #22 (until ?), promising improved relations with the Bush admin. On Jan. 23 Russia's Federal Security Service accuses four British diplomats of spying using electronic equipment concealed in a fake rock in a park in Moscow. On Jan. 23 Raouf Rasheed Abdel-Rahman (a Kurd) becomes the new chief judge at Saddam Hussein's Kurd genocide trial in Baghdad, replacing fellow Kurd Rizgar Mohammed Amin, who submitted his resignation on Jan. 15 after complaints of failing to maintain control of Sodamn Insane; meanwhile Amin's deputy Saeed al-Hammash, a Shiite is ousted; on Jan. 29 Raouf is given his first test by Sodamn, who chastizes him for removing his half-brother Barzan Ibraham (who calls the court "a daughter of adultery"), then orders all four lead defendants removed and tried in absentia, causing the defense team to walk out; on Feb. 1 Sodam Insane and four other main defendants refuse to attend their trial, which proceeds without them. On Jan. 23 a train derails and plunges into the Moraca Canyon in Bioce outside Podgorica, Montenegro, killing 46 and injuring 19. On Jan. 24 The CW Television Network is founded by CBS and Warner Bros., replacing UPN and The WB; it begins operations on Sept. 18. On Jan. 25 Pope Benedict XVI issues God Is Love, his first encyclical, in which he says that the Church has a duty through charitable work to influence political leaders, and warns against sex without unconditional love, which he says risks turning people into merchandise; in marriage between man and woman eros and agape are united, as well as in God's love for mankind, he says - what about cowboy lovers Heath and Jake? On Jan. 25 Hamas (led by Damascus-based Khaled Mashaal) surprises pollsters by winning in a landslide over the corrupton-riddled ruling Fatah Party in Palestinian elections (76 of 132 seats, vs. 43 for Fatah), offering to share power with pres. Mahmoud Abbas, who enjoys U.S. and Israeli backing since Hamas doesn't accept the existence of either; too bad, Fatah doesn't want to give up power, and plans a coup led by Gen. Keith Dayton. On Jan. 25 "Burqa Boy" Michael Jackson is spotted in a Manama, Bahrain shopping mall disguised in a traditional black Arabic woman's veil and gown (abaya); his brother Jermaine is friends with the king's son Sheik Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who helped him convert to Islam in 1989, causing Michael to move there after his acquittal in Calif.; he lives in a set of $1.5M boy-lined villas there, which causes rumors that he converted to Islam, which has always been friendly to rich male pedophiles? On Jan. 26 Pres. George W. Bush holds his 22nd solo news conference to soothe frayed nerves over Palestine, saying that the U.S. won't deal with an org. devoted to the destruction of Israel, with the soundbyte "Peace is never dead because people want peace"; he also dodges photos showing him in a classic grip-and-grin with Repub. lobbyist Jack Abramoff, saying they prove nothing since tens of thousands of such pictures have been taken with others; in Sept. 2006 a report by the House Govt. Reform Committee reveals using e-mail messages and subpoenaed records to find 485 contacts between Abramoff's lobbying team and White House officials from 2001-4, incl. 82 with Karl Rove's office - thousands of people throw their pics of themselves posing with GWB into the trash? On Jan. 27 thousands of angry Fatah supporters burn cars and shoot into the air across the Gaza Strip, demanding resignations of corrupt party officials and decrying any coalition with Hamas, beginning the Palestinian Civil War (ends 2009), which the Palestinians call Wakseh ("humiliation"), since Muslims are fighting their brothers over Jews. On Jan. 27 Western Union sends its last telegram; the first was sent on May 24, 1844 - stop? On Jan. 27 Jose Manuel "Mel" Zelaya Rosales (1952-) of the Liberal Party becomes pres. of Honduras (until June 28, 2009), going on to become friends with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and develop links with organized crime, as the U.S. embassy in Honduras wired Pres. Obama, and revealed in Nov. 2010 by WikiLeaks; first lady is Xiomara Castro de Zelaya (1959-). On Jan. 28 a convention hall roof collapses in Katowice, Poland, killing 65 and injuring 170+ during a racing pigeon exhibition. On Jan. 29 Condoleezza Rice tells the press that the U.S. will press allies to deprive the Hamas-led Palestinian govt. of financial support, and wants other nations incl. Arab ones to follow suit. On Jan. 15 Kuwaiti emir #3 (since Dec. 31, 1977) Jaber III al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah (b. 1926) dies, and Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah (1930-2008) becomes emir #4 of Kuwait for nine days, followed on Jan. 29 by Sheikh Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (1929-), who becomes emir #5 of Kuwait (until ?). On Jan. 29 (weeks after being named as Peter Jennings replacement on ABC's World News Tonight Chinese-speaking co-anchor Bob Woodruff (1961-) and Canadian cameraman Doug Vogt (1960-) are seriously injured in Iraq by an IED near Taji, 12 mi. N of Baghdad as they travel with the U.S. 4th Infantry Div. as "embedded reporters", and are evacuated to medical facilities in Landstuhl, Germany; Woodruff, suffering broken bones and traumatic brain injury (TBI) wakes up from a coma after 36 days - and has to be retaught everything like Uhura in Star Trek? On Jan. 30 a video is aired showing al-Qaida's #2 man Ayman al-Zawahri mocking Pres. Bush, calling him a failure, butcher, etc., and calling for an attack "Allah willing, on your own land" - he looks like LBJ with a beard, glasses, and turban? On Jan. 30 a 2-mo.-old. baby is found floating in a black plastic bag attached to a board in a lake in SE Brazil; police arrest its mother, 29-y.-o. Simone Cassiano da Silva for attempted homicide. On Jan. 31 the Internat. Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says that Iran has obtained a document showing how to cast uranium metal into hemispherical forms for use as an atomic bomb; the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council advise that Iran be hauled before it over its nuclear program and face possible sanctions - better frisk them first? On Jan. 30 a 6-y.-o. black boy in Brockton, Mass. is suspended for three days from Downey Elementary School for sexual harassment for putting two fingers in a classmate's waistband. Sanmarco the markswoman? On Jan. 30 (9 p.m.) former postal worker Jennifer Sanmarco (b. 1961) forces her way into her old workplace at the Santa Barbara (Calif.) Processing and Distribution Center, and kills five before killing herself, using a 9mm handgun and reloading at least once, becoming the highest kill rate for a woman at a workplace shooting. As of Jan. there are 50 commercial biodiesel plants in the U.S., with 40 more under construction, producing 75M gal. in 2005; formula: mix 25 gal. vegetable oil, 5 gal. methanol, and 2 lbs. potassium hydroxide (Red Devil drain cleaner?), heat at 130F for 2 hours, mix with water and purify with air bubbles for 2 days, then allow to settle to let the glycerine sink to the bottom. On Jan. 31 Alan Greenspan (last known to not be dead in 2000?) retires as chmn. of the Federal Reserve System after 18 years (current longest-serving U.S. pres. appointee); his agent Robert B. Barnett, who negotiated a $12M deal for Pres. Bill Clinton and an $8M deal for Hillary Clinton gets him $??M for his memoirs; on Feb. 1 Ben Shalom Bernanke (1953-) of Ga. (yes, a Jew) becomes the new chmn. of the Federal Reserve (until ?). In Jan. the secret Israeli Kopel Report is made public, showing the botched security for Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics. In Jan. the U.S. FDA requires food manufacturers to list trans fatty acids on Nutrition Facts labels, causing a new scandal as manufacturers manipulate the labels to boost sales. On Feb. 1 Pres. Bush delivers his 2006 State of the Union Address to a deeply-divided Congress hours after court-tipping ultra-conservative judge Samuel Alito is sworn in, and right before admin. critic Cindy Sheehan is arrested and removed from the House gallery for "unlawful conduct" merely for wearing a t-shirt with an anti-war slogan (that "land of the free" slogan is clearly a piece of crap now?); at one point the Dems. in the audience cheer a Bush statement that his Social Security reforms had been denied by them; he attempts to defend domestic surveillance without court oversight by saying that he's not going to let terrorists hit us again; proclaiming that the U.S. is "addicted to oil" he sets a nat. goal of replacing 75% of oil imports from the Mideast by 2025, and calls for $50M over 10 years to develop cellulosic ethanol, derived from trash and grass; he calls for a congressional bipartisan commission to study the impact of aging Baby Boomers on Social Security; an NBC News poll released on Jan. 31 shows only a 39% approval rate for his admin., which he neglects to mention; Dems. take Bush to task for only giving lip service to alternative energy, Sen. Harry Reid of Nev. saying "We have never had a more oil-oriented administration." On Feb. 1 hundreds of stone-throwing Israeli settlers stand-off Israeli riot police in the West Bank settlement of Amona, after Israel's Supreme Court clears the way for demolition of nine homes, and at least 200 are injured. On Feb. 1 swastika-tattoed Insane Clown Posse fan Jacob D. Robida (b. 1987) attacks customers of a gay bar in New Bedford, Mass. with a handgun and hatchet, then kills a police officer on Feb. 5 at a routine stop in Mountain Home, Ark., followed by his girlfriend Jannifer Bailey of Charleston, W. Va. before the police kill him; ICP mgr. Alex Abbiss later releases a statement: "If anyone knows anything at all about ICP, then you know that they have never, ever been down or will be down with any racist or bigotry bullshit." On Feb. 2 U.S. defense secy. Donald Runsfeld issues the immortal soundbyte about Muslim jihadists: "They will either succeed in changing our way of life, or we will succeed in changing theirs." On Feb. 2 two car bombs detonate in quick succession in the evening near a crowded market in E Baghdad, Iraq, killing 16 and wounding 90; a roadside bomb strikes a U.S. vehicle S of Baghdad, killing five service members. On Feb. 2 the U.S. Supreme Court stops three executions to consider whether the letal injection method is cruel and unusual punishment. On Feb. 2 Congress extends the U.S. Patriot Act through Mar. 10. On Feb. 2 (night) 200 Taliban fighters ambush a police patrol near Sangin, Afghanistan, causing a pitched battle that kills 27 by Feb. 4. On Feb. 2-3 a string of five small Baptist churches in Bibb County, Ala. are torched as fast as the arsonists can drive from one to the next. On Feb. 3 23 al-Qaida prisoners escape from an underground prison in San'a, Yemen through an 180 yard tunnel emerging at a mosque; an inside job is suspected; one escapee is a militant convicted in the 2000 USS Cole bombing, Jamal Ahmed al-Badawi - now let's get some Western cartoonists? On Feb. 3 the 35-y.-o. Al-Salaam Boccaccio 98 ferry, weighted down with 220 cars sinks in choppy water in the Red Sea between Dubah, Saudi Arabia and Safaga, Egypt, killing 1.1K of 1.4K; some of the survivors have to wait in the water for 24 hours for rescue. On Feb. 3 NASA admin. Michael Griffin sends an e-mail to 19K employees promising "scientific openness" four days after being asked by House Science Committee chmn. Sherwood "Sherry" Boehlert (1936-) (R-N.Y.) to respond to charges that its most senior climate scientist James Hansen, dir. of the Goddard Inst. for Space Studies had been muzzled on global warming. On Feb. 3 Hospital Santa Monica in Rosarito, Mexico, the clinic where Coretta Scott King died is closed by Mexican authorities; its dir. Kurt Donsbach is alleged to have a criminal past and a rep. for offering dubious treatments, and has no medical degree. On Feb. 3 the crew of the ISS shoves SuitSat-1, a spacesuit stuffed with discarded clothing and a 145.990 MHz radio transmitter for tracking by amateur radio operators out into space, giving it the nickname Ivan Ivanovich Smith. On Feb. 4 Cardinal George Pell of Australia gives a speech to the Legatus assoc. of Am. Roman Catholic business owners titled "Islam and Western Democracies", warning of the violence taught by the Quran and how Muslim majorities in the West will seek to impose Sharia. On Feb. 5 Super Bowl XL (40) is held in Ford Field in Detroit, Mich. (first time ever in Detroit) before a cap. 65K crowd; the Rolling Stones perform Microsoft's anthem Start Me Up at the halftime show, causing grumbling by Motown performers, who are only allowed to do a pregame show; the Pittsburgh Steelers, led by QB (#7) "Big Ben" Rothlisberger (1982-) (who wears jersey #7 because his childhood hero was John Elway) (2nd youngest starting SB QB after Dan Marino) defeat the 4-point-underdog Seattle Seahawks, led by QB (#8) Matt Hasselback (1975-) by 20-10; Jerome Abraham "The Bus" Bettis (1972-) returns to his hometown on an Elway-like sentimental journey, while Microsoft-backed Seattle no-name defense and offense led by MVP QB Shaun Alexander (1977-) (with a record 28 TDs during the season) fails to take the 6.7 lb. $25K Tiffany & Co. Lombardi Trophy to Emerald City rather than Steel City; tickets are now $600, and a 30-sec. ad costs $2.5M. Allah vs. Superman, or, Maybe that pope was right who called Muhammad the Antichrist? On Feb. 3 the reprinting of 12 cartoon caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad from the Sept. 30, 2005 issue of Denmark's Jyllands-Posten, ed. by Flemming Rose (1958-), incl. one of Muhammad with a beard in his turban causes madass protests by Muslims in Britain, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Palestine, incl. 50K in Khartoum, Sudan, causing the Danish govt. to apologize, and U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Janelle Hironimus to criticize the papers for "inciting religious or ethnic hatred in this manner", which she calls "not acceptable" (never criticizes the madass Muslims?); on Feb. 4 crazed caricatures of, er, Muslim protesters in Damascus attack the Danish and Norwegian embassies, then on Feb. 5 set fire to the Danish mission in Beirut, while Iran recalls its ambassador to Denmark; on Feb. 6 400 madass Muslims running loose in Tehran attack the Danish Embassy in the name of their prince of darkness Muhammad, the prophet of Satan who preaches hate and murder, intolerance, subjection of women and non-Muslims, polygamy and pedophilia, and doesn't claim to be divine or a healer but is an admitted killer, yet can't even be portrayed, while worshippers must dance around a black meteorite idol from outer space sent by his father the Devil?; in support many other European newspapers reprint them, the headline of France Soir reading "Yes, we have the right to caricature God" (Oui, on a le droit de caricaturer Dieu); on Oct. 28, 2005 a coalition of Dutch Muslim groups try to press criminal charges against the paper, but the prosecutor drops them; on Jan. 1, 2006 Danish PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen backs up the paper's right to freedom of speech; on Jan. 1, 2006 a Christian newspaper in Norway reprints the cartoons; on Jan. 25 Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia demand punishment of the Danish newspaper, and on Jan. 26 withdraws their ambassador from Denmark as the country begins a boycott of Danish products; on Jan. 30 the paper apologizes for offending the Morons, er, Muslims, but stands by its decision to print them; on Jan. 31 Danish Muslims demand a clearer apology; on Feb. 2 the Jordanian weekly Shihan reprints them with an editorial by former Sen. Jihad Momani, who is then fired as the publisher withdraws the issue from circulation; in 2010 WikiLeaks reveals that Syria helped orchestrate the Motoon riots; meanwhile on Feb. 6 200 more criminals attack the Austrian Embassy in Tehran, yet more crazies storm a U.S. military base outside Bagram, Afghanistan (four being put to sleep by Afghan troops like the mad dogs they are by being shot in the street), and yet more crazed mad dogs stampede in Somalia, killing a teen boy; on Feb. 6 Lebanon apologizes to Denmark about being home to deathhead moth loonies with turbans and beards who can't stand unsevered infidel heads existing on the same planet with them (how can anyone portray the real Muhammad anyway when there are no original pics of him to go by, and don't half of the lookalike loonies call themselves Muhammad, and how is the "idolatrous" behavior of non-believers in the non-Muslim world any business of theirs to punish by taking the law in their own hands?); meanwhile on Feb. 6 Iran's parliament issues a statement mentioning what happened to Salman Rushdie (1947-), with thinly veiled threats that the British author of the cartoons will soon have a death warrant out on him, and sure enough, a $1M reward is put out for the head of the cartoonist; in Nigeria the heavily Muslim north goes bananas and kills 100 Christians in the heavily Christian SE, becoming the bloodiest cartoon fighting; the Muslims then begin pressuring the U.N. to make "defamation of Islam" a world crime, with a yearly vote that starts out strong then dwindles until ?; in July 2013 Lebanese-born Danish Muslim leader Ahmad Akkari, who traveled the Muslim World fueling the uproar over the cartoons repents,admitting the newspaper has the right to print them; too bad, on Sept. 30, 2015 after years of relentless Muslim attacks combined with submission to Sharia by the leftist govts. and PC press, Jyllans-Posten reprints the original page sans cartoons - shouldn't Islam be the world crime, with a worldwide death warrant out for each and every mental zombie suffering from this incurable mental virus for the good of the world? Are there actually any intelligent, sane people in this sick mass mind-control hypnocult ruled by a graveyard Hitler? On Feb. 5 cartoon-hating Iran ends all voluntary cooperation with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency - as it races to build A-bombs and use them with reckless abandon like in a, ahem, cartoon? On Feb. 27 Fatwa No. 71480: "The Burning of Ias bin Abdul Yalil by Abu Bakr" is pub. by Qatar-run Islam Web, claiming that burning people alive as punishment is permissible under Islam; too bad, after Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath Kassasbeh is burned alive by ISIS in early 2015, they quickly retract it. On Feb. 7 several photos by paparazzi are pub. showing Britney Spears driving her SUV with infant son Sean Preston (b. 2005) perched on her lap instead of being strapped into a car seat in back; she explains she did it because of a "horrifying, frightful encounter with the paparazzi". My baloney has a first name? On Feb. 8 Pres. Bush weighs into the Muhammad cartoon rage crimes by saying he defends the rights of newspapers to print what they see fit, but admonishes them of their "responsibility to be thoughtful about others"; U.S. secy. of state Condoleezza Rice accuses Syria and Iran of trying to inflame the situation, which on Feb. 12 Iran denies, demanding an apology; on Feb. 8 Jordan's King Abdullah II, standing next to Pres. Bush in the White House adds that "Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, is a religion of peace, tolerance, moderation"; on Feb. 12 the violence spreads to the occupied territories, plus Turkey and Indonesia; graffiti calling Muhammad a pig is scrawled on a West Bank mosque, causing a protest in which Israeli soldiers shoot three Palestinians - like pigs? On Feb. 8 the World Org. for Animal Health reports that H5N1 bird flu virus has been detected for the first time in Africa, in a commercial chicken farm in Nigeria. On Feb. 8 the U.S., Russia, and Germany decide to cancel Afghanistan's debts, incl. $108M owed to the U.S. and $44M to Germany from before the 1979 Soviet Invasion, and $10B owed to Russia from loans to the puppet Communist govt. in the early 1990s. On Feb. 8 the Nat. Center for Health Statistics that annual cancer deaths in the U.S. have fallen for the 1st time since 1930, down from 557,271 in 2002 to 556,902 in 2003. On Feb. 8 Nepal holds its first election in seven years, marred by low turnout and violence, which the U.S. calls a "hollow attempt" by King Gyanendra to legitimize his power. On Feb. 8 (night) a security sensor in the Russell Senate Office Bldg. in Washington, D.C. indicates the presence of a nerve agent, causing 200 people incl. eight senators to be held in a parking garage for three hours until tests give the all-clear. On Feb. 9 Russian Pres. Putin invites Hamas leaders to Moscow, saying that he does not view it as a terrorist org.; meanwhile, Palestinian gunmen abduct Egyptian diplomat Hussam el-Musli (Almousaly) in the Gaza Strip (released on Feb. 11), and a suicide bomber strikes in Hangu, Pakistan during the Shiite Muslims' most holy festival, triggering a riot that burns down the town and leaves 32 dead and 50 wounded. On Feb. 9 Pres. Bush announces the foiling of a terrorist plot to crash a plane into the 73-story US Bank Tower (Library Tower) in Los Angeles, Calif., tallest bldg. on the U.S. West Coast by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (1964-), who refused to swear a loyalty oath to Osama bin Laden so that if he cancelled the 9/11 plan he wouldn't have to obey him; after 9/11 he finally swears the oath. On Feb. 10 a car bomb outside a Sunni mosque in Baghdad, Iraq kills eight, and gunmen abduct a Sunni cleric. On Feb. 10-26 the XX (20th) Winter Olympics are held in Turin (Torino), Italy (first time in Italy since 1956, and first time in Europe since 1994), with 2.5K athletes from 85 countries; NBC-TV pays $613M for the telecast rights, with 418 hours of coverage, averaging 24.5 hours a day (vs. $6.4M for the 1972 Sapporo games, with 37 hours of coverage); the mascots are Neve (female snowball) and Griz (male ice cube); on Feb. 12 Shaun "the Flying Tomato" White (1986-) wins gold in the snowboard halfpipe; on Feb. 12 Michelle Kwan drops out and retires with five world and nine nat. titles but no Olympic gold, and Emily Hughes (sister of Sarah Hughes) takes her place at the last moment after being delayed by the big snowstorm in the E U.S.; U.S. downhill skiing hope Bode Miller (1977-) finishes a disappointing 5th on Feb. 12 and leaving the U.S. team, with surprise Antoine Deneriaz (Déneriaz) (1976-) of France winning gold; U.S. favorite (2002 gold medalist) short-track speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno slips in the 1.5Km semifinal on Feb. 12 and fails to qualify; on Feb. 16 Russian biathlete Olga Valeryevna Pyleva (1975-) is thrown out of the games and stripped of her silver medal after being the first athlete caught doping when a blood test detects the stimulant carphedon; on Feb. 18 Shani Davis (1982-) becomes the first black male U.S. athlete to win a Winter Olympic gold (long track ice skating), but his win only exposes hostility (racism?) by fellow white skaters, Chad Hedrick refusing to congratulate him, and expressing indignation that he trained in Canada and dropped out of the relay without notice, keeping the U.S. from a medal; on Feb. 19 Italy finally wins the cross-country skiing gold, the last time being in the first Winter Olympics in 1936; on Feb. 22 Russia ousts Canada from the hockey competition in the men's quarterfinals with a 2-0 win, while Finland ousts the U.S. men's hockey team 4-3 on the 26th anniv. of the Miracle on Ice game; on Feb. 22 Anja Paerson wins the women's slalom, a first for Sweden; on Feb. 23 Shizuka Arakawa (1981-) of Japan wins the gold in women's figure skating (a first), with Sasha Cohen (1984-) of the U.S. winning the silver, and (excuse me?) Irina Slutskaya (1979-) of Russia winning the bronze as the latter two fall in their long programs; Tugba Karademir (1985-) becomes the first figure skater from Turkey, coming in 21st; Evgeni Plushenko (1982-) of Russia wins the gold in men's figure skating; meanwhile the Shroud of Turin is used to resurrect Jesus Christ, who speaks to reporters as the Olympics begins? - (TLW, Salvation Day: the Immortality Device). Cheney's freeze-fame image is made for the administration that can't shoot straight? On Feb. 11 U.S. vice-pres. Dick Cheney accidentally shoots and wounds 78-y.-o. companion Harry M. Whittington (1927-) (a millionaire atty. from Austin) in a weekend quail hunting trip, spraying his face and chest with shotgun pellets, becoming the first shooting by a vice-pres. since Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton in 1804; Whittington later has a heart attack in the hospital as a pellet lodges in his heart; on Feb. 16 Tex. authorities close the investigation without bringing charges, and Whittington goes on camera to apologize to Cheney; as late as 2009 he still has 30 pellets in his jaw and gums - how about shooting a certain lame duck? On Feb. 11 a fire at a Baptist church in rural Ala. becomes the 10th in a string of blazes churches in the state, half black and half white; on Mar. 8 three white college students, Russell DeBusk, Ben Moseley, and Matthew Cloyd, described as pranksters are arrested in Birmingham, Ala.; they tell federal agents that the first few blazes were "a joke" and that the others were started to throw investigators off the track. On Feb. 11 U.S. adventurer James Stephen "Steve" Fossett (1945-2007) completes a record 26,389 mi. 76-hour nonstop round-the-world flight on the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer (sponsored by Virgin Airlines founder Sir Richard Branson), making an emergency landing at Bournemouth Internat. Airport in Manston, England; the previous record was 24,987 mi.; he left on Feb. 8 from Kennedy Space Center in Fla., losing about 750 lbs. of fuel during takeoff from a leak. On Feb. 11-12 a record nor'easter, the Blizzard of 2006 hits 14 states, dumping 29.6 in. of snow in New York City (most since data were kept in 1869), and is Boston's 11th biggest snowstorm ever; 12-27 in. of snow hits the coast from N.C. to Maine; 520 flights are cancelled at LaGuardia, Liberty Int. in Newark, and JFK airports. On Feb. 12 the British govt. says it is investigating allegations that British soldiers kicked and beat Iraqi teenagers in an army compound in Basra in 2004 as pub. by the News of the World, showing scenes filmed by a "disgusted whistle-blower", in one of which a soldier shouts "Oh yes! You're going to get it. Yes, naughty little boys." On Feb. 12 supporters of agronomist and former pres. Rene Preval protest in Port-au-Prince (1958-), Haiti after he falls less than one point short of enough votes to avoid a runoff election for pres.; on Feb. 16 he is declared the winner after 85K blank votes are divided among the candidates to avoid a runoff, giving him 51%; Leslie Manigat comes in 2nd; he is sworn-in on May 14, donning the blue-red sash of scary Hate-y. On Feb. 13 a suicide bomber at a bank in E Baghdad, Iraq kills five and wounds 32. On Feb. 15 members of the U.S. Congress pillory execs of Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, and Cisco Systems after Billy Goat, er, Microsoft responds to a Chinese request to shut down the blog site of Chinese journalist Michael Anti (1964-) and provides the Commies with censoring software, and Yahoo stinks itself up by providing info. to help the Commies track down and imprison dissidents Shi Tao (10 years), Li Zhi (8 years), and Jiang Lijun (4 years); a grassroots Internet Boycott Yahoo campaign begins; Google has actually done nothing objectionable, offering the Chinkfaces a censored version of its search engine but keeping its uncensored version available? On Feb. 15 new images showing Iraqis being abused by U.S. guards at Abu Ghraib Prison in 2003 are broadcast by Australia's Special Broadcasting Service, incl. one group of naked men with bags over their heads being forced to masturbate. On Feb. 15 U.S. secy. of state Condoleezza Rice tells a Senate panel that she is planning to ask for $75M to promote democracy in Iran - should be $75T? On Feb. 15 Homeland Security Dir. Michael Chertoff is basted by senators for his handling of Hurricane Katrina, admitting to "many lapses". On Feb. 16 U.N. secy.-gen. Kofi Annan says that the U.S. should close its Guantanamo Bay Prison for terrorists as soon as possible. On Feb. 16 after lobbying by the Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism, the British Racial and Religious Hatred Act makes it a crime in England and Wales to intentionally incite hatred against a person on the grounds of race or religion (or lack thereof), effective Oct. 1, 2007; too bad, while obviously aimed at protecting Muslims, it conflicts with freedom of religion and expression and might itself stir up more hatred? On Feb. 17 a mudslide wipes out the Guinsaugon village in Leyte, SE of Manila, Philippines, killing almost all 1.8K, leaving 21 survivors. On Feb. 17 two U.S. CH-53E transport helis carrying a dozen crew and troops from the counterterrorism force crashes into the sea in the Gulf of Aden near the N coastal town of Ras Siyyan, killing 10. On Feb. 17 another Muhammad cartoon protest in Benghazi, Libya kills 10, causing Italian govt. minister Roberto Calderoli (1956-), who had worn a t-shirt printed with the Danish Muhammad cartoons on TV to be forced to resign on Feb. 18 after PM Silvio Berlusconi demands his resignation, which Calderoli does under protest, warning of an Islamic attack on the West, saying, "In these last days, I expressed in my way solidarity with all those who have been struck by the blind violence of religious fanaticism". On Feb. 18 Communist insurgents in Nepal call for a nationwide strike to protest the autocratic rule of King Gyanendra, which he instituted to end an alleged communist insurgency; meanwhile the country's major political parties stage a weekend protest, starting with Democracy Day on Feb. 18, a celebration of the 1980s movement that forced the king to permit multiparty democracy; the protests drag on until Apr.; a legend says that Nepal's Shah dynasty of Hindu god-kings will end after 11 generations, and he is #12? On Feb. 18 thousands of Muslim looney tunes protesting the Muhammad cartoons attack Christians and burn churches in Maiduguri, Nigeria, killing 15. On Feb. 18 militants launch a wave of attacks across the oil-rich S delta of Nigeria, blowing up oil installations and seizing nine foreign oil workers, incl. three Americans; a 400K barrel-a-day facility supplying 16% of the country's output is shut down by Royal Dutch Shell. On Feb. 18 a U.S. soldier and three Iraqi police are killed in two roadside bomb attacks in Baghdad, along with three other officials in the 2nd attack. On Feb. 19 a predawn gas explosion in a mine in San Juan de Sabinas in N Mexico traps 65 miners. On Feb. 19 the Israeli govt. brands the Palestinian Authority a "terrorist authority" and halts the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax and tariff money. On Feb. 19 eight ConAgra Foods ham processing 2nd-3rd shift workers in Neb. win the $365M Powerball jackpot (largest in U.S. history) after purchasing the ticket at a U-stop convenience store in Lincoln; two are immigrants from Vietnam and one from the Congo; they take home $15.5M each after taxes. On Feb. 19 more looney tunes protests against the Muhammad cartoons in Islamabad, Paistan cause hundreds to be arrested, and more looney tunes try to storm the U.S. embassy in Indonesia, while tens of thousands more rally in Istanbul; meanwhile Danish businesses suffering boycotts place full-page apologies in Saudi Arabian newspapers; total roadkill stands at 45 worldwide. On Feb. 20 the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala, scene of the Sept. 15, 1963 KKK bombing which killed four black girls is designated a U.S. nat. landmark. On Feb. 20 a Bush admin. decision to allow UAE-owned Dubai Ports World (owned by Dubai's royal Maktoum family) to operate six major U.S. ports in New York, Newark, Philly, Baltimore, New Orleans, and Miami is questioned by two Repub. governors, sparking an outcry., causing Pres. Bush to say that he will veto any measure to block the $6.8B deal; on Feb. 23 the Dems. push for a 45-day investigation; on Mar. 8 a House panel dominated by his own Repub. Party votes overwhelmingly to block the deal, and on Mar. 9 the co. agrees to transfer its U.S. operations to a U.S. co. On Feb. 20 Afghanistan-born U.S. ambassador Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad (1951-) warns Iraqi leaders that they risk losing U.S. support unless they establish a nat. unity govt. not controlled by religious crazies; meanwhile a string of Is-Lame (I-Slam?) suicide bombings kills 24, incl. one U.S. soldier. On Feb. 20 a new Betty Friedan Stamp is issued by the U.S. Post Office. On Feb. 21 Hams appoints former univ. admin. Ismail Haniyeh (1963-) as Palestinian PM (until June 14, 2007). On Feb. 21 a car bomb attack on an outdoor market in a Shiite area of SW Baghdad, Iraq kills 22 and injures dozens. On Feb. 21 Harvard pres. Lawrence Henry "Larry" Summers (1954-) announces his resignation on June 30 rather than fight his PC faculty pissed-off by his comments that innate ability may explain why few women reach top science posts; he ends up as Barack Obama's top economic adviser - which explains why he didn't pick Hillary Clinton as his running mate? On Feb. 22 a large explosion destroys the Golden Dome of the Shiite Askariya Shrine in Samarra (60 mi. N of Baghdad), raising fears of a religious civil war in Iraq as angry demonstrators cry for revenge, trashing Sunni mosques on Feb. 23 in violence that kills 120, causing the govt. to order a daytime curfew in Baghdad; on Feb. 22 Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, Iraq's most powerful Shiite politician blames U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad for threatening to cut off support to the Shiite-run Interior Ministry that oversees police because of its sectarian ties; the bombing triggers a cycle of Hatfield-McCoy retaliations for the rest of the year; on Aug. 2, 2007 Golden Mosque attack mastermind (al-Qaida cmdr.) Haytham Badri (Sabi) is killed during a U.S. air assault on his home in the Banat Hassan area 65 N of Baghdad. On Feb. 22 Pope Benedict XVI names 15 new cardinals, incl. John Paul II's longtime private secy., the archbishops of Hong Kong (Joseph Zen), Caracas, Seoul, Bordeaux, Toledo, Manilla, Boston (Sean P. O'Malley), and William Levada of the U.S. (Benedict's successor at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith); 12 of them are under still 80 and thus eligible to pick a new pope. On Feb. 22 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Oscar Arias wins the pres. election in Costa Rica by a close 18,167 votes. On Feb. 22 China finally releases journalist Yu Dongyue, the 38-y.-o. Tiananmen Square protester who three red paint-filled eggshells on the giant portrait of Muhammad, er, Mao in Tiananmen Square on 5-23-1989; 16 years of torture and solitary have driven him insane; his partners, teacher Yu Zhijian. and bus driver Lu Decheng were released in 1998 after nine years in jail, and Lu fled to Thailand in 2004; 74 others T-protesters remain in priz. On Feb. 22 a judge in London orders the release of Prince Charles' 1997 Diary, leaked by a palace employee, despite his claim of confidentiality and copyright infringement; it shows him lamenting that he has to travel business class to Hong King to watch its handover to China, saying "I then discovered that [they - politicians?] were confortably ensconced in first class immediately below us. Such is the end of the Empire, I sighed to myself." On Feb. 22-23 (night) the Great Tronbridge Robbery sees a gang of armed robbers impersonating police officers make off with $85M from a cash center at Tonbridge, Kent County in S England. On Feb. 23 a 7.5 earthquake (strongest in a cent.) strikes Mozambique 19 min. after midnight, swaying bldgs. in the capital Maputo. On Feb. 23 (5:45 a.m.) the Moscow roof collapse sees a snow-covered football-field-size roof of a market in Moscow collapse, killing 56. On Feb. 24 Philippine pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo declares a state of emergency on the eve of the Feb. 25 20th anniv. of the People Power Uprising that forced Ferdinand Marcos into exile; on Feb. 24 Corazon Aquino leads a street protest urging her to step down; on Feb. 25 police raid newspaper offices and detain prominent critics. On Feb. 25 24-y.-o. Imette Carmella St. Guillen (b. 1981), a criminal justice student disappears from the Falls Bar in SoHO, N.Y. (in a bldg. owned by the family of Geraldine Ferraro), and is later found dumped on the side of a road in Brooklyn, raped, strangled, bound, and suffocated with packaging tape wrapped over her face. On Feb. 25 5th-grade teacher Wendie Ann Schweikert (1970-) is held on $100K bail in Laurens, S.C. for having sex with a male student twice at the E.B. Morse Elementary School, the boy's mother choked with tears at the hearing of the horrible "female pedophile" - the new Salem Witchhunt begins, meanwhile the hos down the block do tricks every night for bucks and everybody looks the other way? On Feb. 28 (Fat Tuesday) New Orleans holds its Mardi Gras parade down St. Charles Street, with signs that read "Come Hell or High Water", and revelers dressed up in satire of hurricane disaster, such as blind men with T-shirts reading "Levee Inspectors"; Mayor Ray Nagin dresses as cigar-chomping Gen. Russell L. Honore, "the Ragin' Cajun", who led the first convoy of hurricane relief aid. On Feb. 28 68 die in Sunni-Shiite strife across Baghdad in 65% Shiite, 32% Sunni Iraq, which is tilting toward civil war daily; meanwhile Pres. Bush seems unconcerned, telling ABC News' Elizabeth Vargas that he had talked with Iraqi leaders and they are cool. On Feb. 28 the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the U.S. Hobbs Act (extortion) and U.S. RICO Act (racketeering) can't be used against abortion demonstrators, clearing the way for Joseph Scheidler and other abortion leaders to go back at it, with only the 1994 U.S. Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act to use to limit their protests against what women do with their fetus' bodies. On Feb. 28 German officials announce that a deadly strain of bird flu has been found in a cat, becoming the first animal other than a bird to be found with it in C Europe; it was found on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen where more than 100 wild birds infected with the H5N1 strain have been found; in 2003-4 tigers and snow leopards in a zoo in Thailand died after eating chicken carcasses infected with it, and three house cats died in 2004 near Bangkok from it. On Feb. 28 prosecutors in Baghdad present documents showing that Saddam Hussein approved the executions of 140+ Shiites in the 1980s; on Mar. 1 Saddam Hussein admits in court to ordering the death of the 148 Dujail Shiites, but points out that as they were given due process of law before execution, it was all legal - as if anybody cares by now? In Feb. the Great Lakes remain ice-free in the middle of the winter for the first time in memory, upsetting tourism and ice fishing. In Feb. Radio Shack CEO David Edmondson resigns after admitting that he lied about his academic credentials on his resume - no credit for life experience? In Feb. Michael Mastromarino, owner of Biomedical Tissue Services of Fort Lee, N.J. is charged with stealing hundreds of cadavers from New York City funeral homes to sell tissue for transplants, incl. the body of "Masterpiece Theatre" host Alistair Cooke (d. 2004). In Feb. Russia's stock market jumps 108% since the same month in 2005; India's market jumps 54%, and Brazil's market jumps 38%; the U.S. market grows only 1%, and the Chinese market 3%. In Feb. the legislature of New Mexico appropriates $110M to develop the first commercial spaceport on a ranch W of White Sands Missile Range near Truth or Consequences, N.M. where Virgin Galactic will use a rocket-glider combo to sell passengers into space for $200K a head, on a 2.5 hour trip which incl. 6 min. of weightlessness. In Feb. Condoleezza Rice wears a military-inspired dress and coat with big buttons and knee-high black boots to visit U.S. troops at Wiesbaden Army Field, creating a stir. On Feb. 24-28 New Orleans, La. celebrates its first Mardi Gras since Hurricane Katrina 6 mo. earlier; on Feb. 28 (Tue.) (Mardi Gras) the top of the Empire State Bldg. is lit in purple, green and gold. In Feb. English Muslim Omar Khayam dresses up as a suicide bomber, shocking the country; in 2010 he receives a 13-year sentence for involvement in a heroin-cannabis factory. On Mar. 2 Pres. Bush concludes a historic nuclear deal with former bad boy India, meeting with Indian PM Manmohan Singh to tell them that now it's okay to have nukes?; on Mar. 3 Bush goes to Pakistan despite a bomb attack which killed a U.S. diplomat and three others near the U.S. consulate in Karachi, and massive anti-U.S. and anti-Indian protests; the deal with India allows them to receive nuclear fuel and technology from the U.S. and others, Bush issuing the non-sequitur, "It's in our economic interests that India have a civilian nuclear power industry to help take the pressure off the global demand for energy." On Mar. 2 the U.S. Senate finally passes the U.S. Patriot Act by a 89-10 vote after adding privacy protections, followed by the House on Mar. 7, and Pres. Bush signs it on Mar. 9, a day before it is set to expire; the measure also regulates cold and allergy medicines used to cook meth. On Mar. 2 an Italian parliamentary commission announces that it has concluded that top Soviet leaders were behind the failed plot to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981, saying that they hired Bulgarian secret agent Serghei Ivanov Antonov (former dir. of Balkan Air) et al. to eliminate him for supporting the Solidarity trade union; as if everybody hasn't read Tom Clancy's 2002 novel Red Rabbit? The U.S. manufactures its own cartoon controversy? On Mar. 2 students protest over the Mar. 1 suspension of Jay Bennish, a geography teacher at Overland H.S. in Aurora, Colo. for giving a world geography class lecture on Feb. 2 (the day after Bush's State of the Union address) calling the U.S. "probably the single most violent nation on planet Earth" and comparing Pres. Bush to Hitler "in tone", then inviting students to think for themselves and respond; the dimwitted administrators actually try to make something out of it after student Sean Allen makes an MP3 recording and shops it around, getting it played on a local radio talk station, taking official action and bringing it on themselves, showing the limits of their own education? On Mar. 2 the AP pub. figures obtained from the Iraqi Health Ministry putting the 2005 civilian death toll at 4,024, more than twice as many as the 1,222 police and 473 soldiers killed. On Mar. 2 new more colorful $10 bills are issued by the U.S. Mint, containing red, yellow, and orange as well as the traditional green. On Mar. 3 the Pentagon ends four years of secrecy and hands over the names of detainees at the U.S. military priz at Guantanamo embedded in 5K pages of transcripts of hearings, which also contain the revelation that many were detained simply for wearing common Casio watches - the new U.S. terrorist petting zoo? On Mar. 3 Wal-Mart reverses its decision and decides to stock the Plan-B "morning after" pill in its pharmacies. On Mar. 3 Hamas political chief Khaled Mshaal meets with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow, but refuses to recognize Israel or abandon violence. On Mar. 3 a Vietnamese court convicts British rocker Gary Glitter (Paul Francis Gadd) (1944-) of obscene acts with two Vietnamese girls ages 10 and 11 in 2005 in his villa in S Vung Tau, and sentences him to three years in prison; afterwards he utters the soundbyte: "I haven't done anything. I'm innocent. It's a conspiracy by you know who." (British tabloids?) On Mar. 3 (noon) Iranian-born Muslim U.S. citizen Mohammed Reza Taher-azar (1983-) gets a message from Allah and runs down six people with his SUV at the U. of N.C. Chapel Hill campus to "avenge the deaths of Muslims worldwide" and "punish" the U.S. govt., adding "I was aiming to follow in the footsteps of one of my role models, Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers, who obtained a doctorate degree"; none are seriously injured or killed; he gets 26 years in prison. On Mar. 4 Muslim paramilitary leader and Kremlin loyalist Ramzan Akhmadovich Kadyrov (1976-), son of former Chechen pres. Akhmad Kadyrov (assassinated in 2004), and Chechnya's most feared and-or hated man is appointed PM of Chechnya by Kremlin-backed pres. Alu Alkhanov, replacing Sergei Abramov, who resigned for medical reasons after a car accident. The Academy members break the back of viewers' expectations in '06? On Mar. 5, 2006 the 78th Academy Awards hosted by Jon Stewart are held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif.; 311 films are eligible for consideration; the best picture Oscar for 2005 goes to Lions Gate's Brokeback Mountain, er, Crash, best dir. to Ang Lee for Crash, er, Trash, er, Brokeback Mountain, best actor to Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote (first duplicate best actor surname - Dustin Hoffman for "Kramer vs. Kramer" in 1979 and "Rain Man" in 1988), best actress to Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line, best supporting actor to George Clooney for Syriana, and best supporting actress to Rachel Weisz for The Constant Gardener; best original song goes to It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp by Three 6 Mafia ("Juicy J" Jordan Houston, "Crunchy Black" Cedric Coleman, and "DJ Paul" Beauregard) from Hustle & Flow; dir. Robert Altman (1925-2006) (who looks like a cross between Jimmy Stewart, Peter Fonda, and Clint Eastwood?) receives a lifetime achievement award, and reveals that he received a heart transplant from a young woman 10 years earlier; Larry McMurtry wears jeans with his tuxedo jacket; Jon Stewart jokes that Walk the Line is "'Ray' for white people", and that "The Oscars is really the one night of the year where you can see all your favorite stars without giving money to the Democratic Party"; the actresses and actors mainly dress in penguin-like black and white, with Michelle Williams going for mustard (canary?) with bright red lipstick, Keira Knightley for eggplant (with heavy black eye makeup and a vintage Bulgari necklace), Amy Adams for chocolate brown, Jessica Alba for gold, and Reese Witherspoon for silver; Charlize Theron wears a deep emerald Dior dress with a freaky bridesmaid bow on her shoulder almost big enough to be a 2nd head, while Helena Bonham Carter (English name and Russian looks?) wears a short blue gown with white shoes and a freaky big stiff updo. On Mar. 6 the U.S. Supreme Court rules unanimously in ? v. that the govt. can force colleges campuses to accept military recruiters whether or not they provide them with federal money. On Mar. 6 Pres. Bush asks Congress for a modified version of the line-item veto struck down by the U.S. Supreme court eight years earlier; the new version would let him send line items back for an up-down vote; not only Repubs. but Dems. incl. John Kerry support him. On Mar. 6 S.D. bans most abortions except those necessary to save the mother's life; Ala., Miss., and Mo. immediately introduce similar bills - coat hangers fly off the store shelves? On Mar. 6 Milan Babic, a Croatian Serb convicted of ethnic cleansing during the Balkan wars commits suicide in prison in Amsterdam. On Mar. 7 a Pew Hispanic Center Report is pub., saying the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. has grown to 11.5M-12M, with about 7.2M undocumented workers, or about 5% of the workforce, and that increased security has backfired by making it harder for them to return to Mexico; 6.2M illegals come from Mexico, 2.5M from Latin America, 1.5M from Asia, 0.6M from Europe or Canada, and 0.4M from Africa or other. On Mar. 7 the U.S. House votes 280-138 (only two more than needed) to extend the U.S. Patriot Act, sending it to Pres. Bush. On Mar. 7 U.S. vice-pres. Dick Cheney warns Iran of "meaningful consequences" if it doesn't stop developing nukes. On Mar. 7 a terrorist attack in the Hindu holy city of Varanasi, India kills 15 and injures dozens during services for the monkey deity Hanuman, the Liberator From Troubles? On Mar. 7 11-term Texas Rep. Tom DeLay beats three Repub. rivals and is renominated for Congress despite the charges hanging over his head. On Mar. 7 Pearson Educational Measurement in Austin, Tex. says that heavy rainy weather caused answer sheets to expand and its equipment that scans SAT college entrance exams to foul up and give lower scores (as much as 450 points) to 4,411 out of 495K taking the Oct. test, messing up the students' college entrance chances with such a late announcement after admissions are closed. On Mar. 7 an excerpt is pub. from Game of Shadows, an upcoming book by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters accusing baseball star Barry Bonds of using steroids, causing ML baseball commissioner Bud Selig to comment on Mar. 9 that he will review the allegations but not launch an official investigation; Bonds comments, "I won't even look at that" (the book). On Mar. 7 Munsuf Abdallah Khalidi, a news anchor on Sunni-run Baghdad TV in Iraq is shot and killed by terrorists. Let's heat it for the true-blue Dubs? On Mar. 8 the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland admits that 102 of its 2.8K Dublin priests past and present (3.6%) are suspected of child abuse; 32 have been sued and eight have been convicted of criminal offenses. On Mar. 8 the U.S. Senate unanimously approves a ban on gifts and meals from lobbyists to members of Congress as a reaction to the Jack Abramoff scandal. On Mar. 8 the reality TV show Top Chef debuts on Bravo (until ?), with judges incl. Elizabeth, N.J.-born chef (head judge) Thomas Patrick "Tom" Colicchio (1962-) (known for his Gramercy Tavern in Manhattan, N.Y., opened in July 1994 and named most popular restaurant in New York City in 2003 and 2005), Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, and Anthony Bourdain, spawning spinoffs "Top Chefs: Master", and "Top Chef: Just Desserts"; in 2007-10 Am. chef Lee Anne Wong becomes the culinary producer of "Top Chef", hosting the Webcast "Top Recipe: The Wong Way to Cook"; on June 10, 2009 Top Chef: Masters debuts on Bravo-TV (until ?), produced by Tom Colicchio and hosted by South Korean-born Kelly Choi (1976-) and Australian-born chef Curtis Stone (1975-); winners incl. Rick Bayless (1953-) (season 1), Ethiopian-born chef Marcus "Joar" Samuelsson (Kassahun Tsegie) (1970-) (season 2), Am. chef Floyd Cardoz (season 3), and R.I.-born chef (known for loving to cook offal) Chris Cosentino (season 4). On Mar. 9 Christophe Fauviau of Mont-de-Marsan in SW France is convicted of drugging his children's tennis opponents, leading to one accidental death. On Mar. 9 4-star Gen. John Philip Abizaid (1951-) (highest-ranking U.S. gen. of direct Arab descent, known as the "Mad Arab"), top U.S. cmdr. in the Middle East (July 7, 2003 - Mar. 16, 2007) tells Congress that Sunni-Shiite violence is more of a threat than the insurgency; when pressed by Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.), Donald Rumsfeld reveals that a civil war would be initially handled by Iraqi security forces; in 2004 Abizaid used the term Long War to describe the war on Islamic insurgents, which he expects to last from 50-80 years, and which is adopted by the Bush admin. On Mar. 9 the U.S. military announces that it will begin moving the 4,537 prisoners of Abu Ghraib Prison in W Baghdad (out of 14,589 total U.S. prisoners in Iraq) to a new facility at Camp Cropper near the airport within 3 mo., then turn over the old facility to the Iraqis - so they can use it to torture Americans? On Mar. 8 the U.S. State Dept. releases its Annual Report on Global Human Rights Conditions, pointing fingers at 190+ countries, and saying that conditions have worsened in China since 2005; on Mar. 9 China criticizes the human rights record of the U.S., pointing to racial discrimination and the treatment of military POWs. On Mar. 10 Pres. Bush's approval rating drops to 37%, only 11 points higher than Tricky Dicky Nixon's in Mar. 1974; Clinton's lowest rating was 57% in Nov. 1997, Raagan's 65% in Nov. 1985, and Ike's 58% in Nov. 1957. On Mar. 10 the body of Tom Fox (b. 1951), the lone American among four Christian Peacemaker activists kidnapped a year earlier in Iraq is found; a video dated Feb. 28 shows the other three appealing for their release, Canadians James Loney (41) and Harmeet Singh Sooden (32), and Norman Kember (74) of Britain; British special forces and the U.S. military rescue them on Mar. 23; Kember's attitude after his rescue irks British army head Gen. Mike Jackson, who says "I am slightly saddened that there doesn't seem to have been a note of gratitude for the soldiers who risked their lives." On Mar. 10 police in Chichibu, Japan (50 mi. NW of Tokyo) find a van with six bodies slumped inside along with a smoking stove; they had all met over the Internet and formed a suicide pact. On Mar. 11 (Sat.) Amjad Hameed (b. 1960), dir. of Iraq's public TV channel Al-Iraqiya is shot and killed along with his driver as he heads to work in C Baghdad, bringing the total of journalists killed in Iraq since the U.S. invasion to over 70, and bringing calls for new laws permitting journalists to carry firearms. On Mar. 12 after a wait of 644 days (6-6-04) the HBO mob drama The Sopranos (created by David Chase) begins its 6th and final season, with 20 hour-long episodes (12 in 2006, 8 in 2007), compared to the usual 13, starting with episode #66; the final episode on June 11, 2007 (Mon.) is widely panned as a stinker, with a cat taken as a reincarnated murder victim, and James Gandolfini about to be wiped out by rival mobsters but never resolved. Iraq's Anatomy on Web-TV? On Mar. 12 after a planned attack near their checkpoint, four members of a family in Mahmoudiya, Iraq (20 mi. S of Baghdad) are murdered, and 14-y.-o. Abeer Qassim al-Janabi (b. 1992) raped and murdered by five U.S. soldiers from the 502nd Infantry Regiment, incl. St. Paul E. Cortez (1986-), Pfc. Jesse V. Spielman, Pfc. Steven Dale Green (1984-), Spc. James P. Barker, and Pfc. Bryan L. Howard; on July 4 Iraqi lawmakers blast the U.S. and demand justice after the Mujahedeen Army reports the incident on a Web site; Green is arrested in N.C. after being discharged for a personality disorder; eight soldiers from the 101st Airborne Div. in Evansville, Ind. end up being court-martialed on murder charges; Cortez and Spielman are charged with the death penalty; on Feb. 22, 2007 Cortez gets 100 years (eligible for parole in 10 years) in exchange for testifying against the others; on Aug. 24, 2007 Spielman gets 110 years.; on May 7, 2009 Green is convicted of rape and four murders, and given life after a jury gets hung over the death penalty. On Mar. 13 the sitcom The New Adventures of Old Christine debuts on CBS-TV for 88 episodes (until May 12, 2010), starring Julia Scarlett Elizabeth Louis-Dreyfus (1961-) as neurotic women's gym owner Christine Campbell. On Mar. 13-14 Iraqi authorities discover 87 executed corpses in the Shiite neighborhood of Kamaliyah in E Baghdad, and another 55 are recovered elsewhere in the city as the country edges toward civil war. On Mar. 14 the U.S. govt. begins prosecuting 32 murders and attempted murders reaching back 30 years by members of the Aryan Brotherhood AKA the Brand using the RICO Act in order to dismantle the gang that has infiltrated nearly every U.S. prison since its beginnings in San Quentin in 1964 - what are they going to do, put them in prison? On Mar. 14 Israeli troops storm a Palestinian-run prison in the West Bank and seize a Palestinian militant and his accomplices suspected of assassinating an Israeli cabinet minister, causing retaliation by Palestinian miliants against offices linked to the U.S. and Europe. On Mar. 14 Iraqi security officials announce that they have foiled a plot to put 421 al-Qaida men at guard posts in Baghdad's 2-sq.-mi. Green Zone on the W bank of the Tigris River, who were to then storm U.S. and British embassies; only one more bureaucrat's signature was required to hire them. On Mar. 14 Leonie Brinkema, the judge in the Zacarias Moussaoui trial bars half of the prosecution's key witnesses after finding that Federal Transportation Security Admin. atty. Carla Martin improperly coached several witnesses and gave them trial transcripts after lawyers for two airlines being sued for damages by 9/11 victims asked her to; having already pleaded guilty, the trial is about the death penalty? On Mar. 15 the FCC rules that programs on three TV networks, Fox, ABC, and CBS are "indecent" because of language, citing their 2004 ruling that virtually any use of certain expletives will be so considered; they all appeal by Apr., and NBC files on behalf of the others, all of them issuing a joint statement on Apr. 14 calling the ruling unconstitutional and inconsistent with two decades of previous rulings; the "S" word is especially cited, although the FCC says it can be used after 10 p.m. in the Eastern and Pacific time zones - "S" that stinks? On Mar. 15 Saddam Hussein testifies in Baghdad for the 1st time in his trial, using the photo op to call on Iraqis to stop killing each other and "resist the invaders and their backers". On Mar. 15-16 (night) U.S. troops execute 10+ Iraqi civilians incl. an infant in Ishaqi, Iraq, then try to cover it up with an airstrike. On Mar. 16 the U.S. begins Operation Swarmer, sending 1.5K Iraqi and coalition troops in 50 helis into Salahuddin Province in the largest air assault in nearly three years. On Mar. 16 Iraq's new 275-member parliament is sworn in, incl. 130 from the Shiite United Iraqi Alliance, 55 from Sunni parties, 53 from the Kurdish Alliance, and 37 from secular and minority parties. On Mar. 16 Iran offers for the first time to enter into talks with the U.S. aimed at stabilizing Iraq - at a slightly smaller size of course? On Mar. 16 the U.S. Congress raises its debt ceiling from $6T to $9T. On Mar. 16 Pres. Bush picks pro-development Repub. Idaho gov. #30 (since Jan. 8, 1899) Dirk Arthur Kempthorne (1951-) to replace Gale Norton as interior secy. #49 (until Jan. 20, 2009); she left the U.S. with more wetlands than at any time since 1954? On Mar. 16 exotic black dancer Crystal Gail Magnum (1978-) accuses three Duke U. lacrosse players, Dave Evans, Collin Finnerty, and Reade Seligmann of sexual assault, causing their lives to be ruined as politically ambitious district atty. Michael Byron "Mike" Nifong (1950-) goes after them despite a faulty case. On Mar. 16 the Internat. Criminal Tribunal for the former Yuglosavia (ICTY) in The Hague convicts Bosnian Muslim army chief of staff Enver Hadzihasanovic (1950-) of war crimes, along with Amir Kubura. On Mar. 17 Muslim gunmen attack a Protestant church in Islamabad, Pakistan with a grenade, killing five and injuring 40. On Mar. 17 the Dow Jones Industrial Avg. reaches a 5-year high of 11,279.65, its highest level since reaching 11,301.74 on 5-21-2001. On Mar. 19 global protests mark the 3rd anniv. of the Iraq War. On Mar. 19 a tropical 180 mph cyclone hits NE Australia, smashing into the coastal town of Innisfail, Australia. On Mar. 19 U.S. hold an emergency meeting in the Gaza Strip, mediating the 2-mo. border standoff. On Mar. 20 residents of Haditha, Iraq 140 mi. NW of Baghdad give new details about U.S. troops entering and shooting and killing 15 members of two families after a roadside bomb kills a U.S. Marine on Nov. 19, 2005. On Mar. 20 the Bush admin. calls for new elections in Belarus after independent observers call the reelection of hardline incumbent Alexander Lukashenko a farce. On Mar. 20-22 the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico City grapples over the worldwide clean water shortage suffered by 1.1B and killing 3.1M a year; women in developing countries walk an avg. of 6 km (3.75 mi.) a day to fetch water. On Mar. 21 Colo. lawmarkers learn that 113 illegal immigrants were involved in accidents or traffic stops in the state and detained on Mar. 20-21 during a spell of snowy weather, incl. six vehicle crashes in the snow; of the 10K illegals crossing the U.S. border each day, a third come through the interstates in Colo.? On Mar. 21 Pres. Bush holds a press conference, admitting that U.S. forces will remain in Iraq after his term expires, and quashes questions by veteran reporter Helen Thomas (1920-2013), who believes he railroaded the U.S. into the war, saying "To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong"; "I'm optimistic we'll succeed; if not, I'd pull our troops out"; he then admits that he has spent his 2004 reelection victory capital on the war. On Mar. 21 Sgt. Michael J. Smith (1981-) of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. is found guilty at a court-martial of 6 of 13 counts for tormenting POWs with his snarling black Belgian shepherd at Abu Ghraib Prison, competing with a comrade to make the Iraqi prisoners soil themselves, and having his dog lick peanut butter off the genitals of a male soldier. On Mar. 21 100 masked Sunni Mujaheddin Shura Council gunmen storm the Muqdadiyah Prison near the Iranian border of Iraq 60 mi. NE of Baghdad, killing 20 policemen and freeing all 33 inmates, incl. 18 insurgents; 10 gunmen are killed. On Mar. 21 Iraqi interim PM Ibrahim al-Jaafari says that he hopes that "the formation of the new government does not last beyond April". On Mar. 21 retired FBI supervisor Michael Rolince, the FBI's top terrorism official testifies at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui that he never read FBI field agent's Harry Samit's Aug. 18, 2001 warning that Moussaoui (arrested 26 days before 9/11) appeared to be part of an unfolding airline hijacking plot; Moussaoui's rommate Hussein al-Attas testifies that he tried to enlist him in jihad, saying "This is the only way for me to get to paradise." On Mar. 21 the Bush admin. issues a whimpy subdued appeal to Afghanistan to let Afghan man Abdul Rahman (1965-), who converted from Islam to Christianity be spared the death penalty; on Mar. 29 he is freed from prison in Kabul after a court drops capital charges of apostasy, and receives asylum in Italy after an internat. uproar incl. an appeal by Pope Benedict XVI - it should be a world crime to be a Muslim in the first place? On Mar. 21 Thailand-born former Army pilot Ladda "Tammy" Duckworth (1968-), who lost both legs in Iraq wins the Dem. nomination for an Ill. seat in Congress, later losing by 2% of the vote to State Sen. Peter Roskam, who ran unopposed in his primary. On Mar. 22 the Basque militant group ETA (Euskadi Ta Azkatasuna) (Basque Homeland and Freedom) announces a permanent ceasefire and a new effort to provide democracy in the N Spanish Basque region; the group allegedly has caused over 800 deaths and $15.5B in damage since the 1960s. On Mar. 22 the U.S. Supreme Court in ? v. ? ends its unity under new chief justice John Roberts and splits 5-3 over the right of police to search a house when one resident says no, the majority going against the police. On Mar. 22 Hal the Coyote is captured near Belvedere Castle (79th St. and Central Park West) after visiting New York City and being chased by police through Central Park. On Mar. 22 a bus carrying Millennium cruise ship tourists plunges 300 ft. down a mountainside in N Chile, killing 12 Americans and injuring four others. On Mar. 24 a Pentagon report is released claiming that Russia collected info. about U.S. troop movements and battle plans at the outset of the U.S. invasion of Iraq by tapping U.S. military sources, then passed it to Saddam Hussein; Russia denies it. On Mar. 24 the U.S. joins Euro nations in imposing sanctions on Belarus in retaliation for its crackdown on political protesters; on Mar. 25 opposition leader Alexander Kazulin is seized in Minsk as he leads a march. On Mar. 24 (Fri.) thousands of Hispanics, mainly illegal immigrants protest around the U.S. against legislation cracking down on, er, illegal immigration; on Mar. 25 500K march in Los Angeles. On Mar. 27 Zacarias Moussaoui goes against his attys. and testifies against himself, telling how he wasn't supposed to be the 5th terrorist on United Airlines Flight 93 (the 20th hijacker), but rather was picked to hijack a 5th airplane on 9/11 along with shoe bomber Richard Reid and fly it into the White House. On Mar. 27 the Senate Judicary Committee caves in to protesters and approves sweeping immigration legislation claring the way for 10M-20M illegal immigrants to seek citizenship without having to first leave the country; the 12-6 vote incl. some flip-flopping of Repubs. On Mar. 28 Pres. Bush replaces longtime chief of staff Andrew Card with budget dir. and Harley rider (Jewish) Joshua "Bad Mitzvah" Bolten (1954-), whose father was a lifelong CIA officer; he is sworn-in on Apr. 14. On Mar. 28 1.16M demonstrate against a new youth labor law in France which threatens lifetime job security; on Apr. 4 another 1M come out after PM Dominique de Villepin refuses to scrap the law; on Apr. 10 Pres. Jacques Chirac caves in and cancels it. On Mar. 28 masked gunmen kidnap 24 Iraqis from three businesses in Baghdad, and make off with tens of thousands in cash. On Mar. 29 flamboyant black U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.), who once said that vice-pres. Al Gore has a low "Negro tolerance level" and claimed that Bush admin. officials had advance knowledge of 9/11 scuffles and strikes a pig, er, police officer as she tries to enter a House building, later blaiming racial profiling and claiming self-defense. On Mar. 29-30 6.1 earthquakes in W Iran kill 70, injure 1.2K, and leave thousands homeless. On Mar. 30 Iraqi soccer star Manar Modhafar is gunned down in Baghdad. On Mar. 30 the Mass. Supreme Court rules that same-sex couples from state where gay marriage is prohibited cannot wed in Mass.; Repub. Gov. Mitt Romney (a Mormon married to Ann Romney for 37 years, and whose great-grandfather Miles Park Romney was a polygamist) welcomes the decision, saying he doesn't want Mass. to become "the Las Vegas of same-sex marriage" - how about an unmarried or polygamous lesbian-homoville? On Mar. 31 Iran announces the test-firing of a missile undetectable by radar, the Fajr-3 ("victory") that can host MIRVs and has a range of 1.2K mi., enough to reach Israel; the missile all but announces that Iran is trying to develop nukes? On Mar. 31 a mortar shell explodes on a street in N Baghdad, Iraq, killing three women in their homes. On Mar. 31 a Soyuz capsule docks with the ISS, bringing Brazil's first astronaut, Marcos Pontes, a new Russian-Am. crew and fresh supplies. On Mar. 31 a Palestinian Hamas militant is killed by a car bomb in Gaza City, unleashing factional unrest leaving three dead and 35 wounded. In Mar. Portia Simpson Miller of the People's Nat. Party (PNP) becomes the first PM of Jamaica - yo ho ho? On Mar. ? a disoriented elderly woman in a hospital gown is discharged from Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center near Los Angeles and sent off in a taxi cab, then dumped in Los Angeles's Skid Row area, where she is spotted wandering around and saved by the Union Rescue Mission, causing prosecutors to force them to stop the dumping of homeless people and go after other hospitals in the city. In Mar. the U.S. begins a housing bust, followed by a recession next Dec. In Mar. Lehady (Léhady) Soglo, son of former pres. Nicephore Soglo (who is past the age limit of 70) draws only 8.44% of the vote, and Pres. Mathieu Kerekou is reelected once again. In Mar. Humphrey, the b&w cat owned by several British PMs since 1989 ("Chief Mouser") (retired in 1997) dies. In Mar. an internat. Internet-based pedophile ring is busted by agencies from 35 countries, based on the chat room "Kids the Light of Our Lives"; 31 kids are rescued from sexual abuse, and 700 suspects are ID'd; ringleader Timothy David Martyn Cox (1980-) is later convicted. In Mar. Forbes mag. pub. its 2006 List of the World's Richest People, listing 793 world billionaires, 102 more than 2005, with a combined wealth of $2.6T (18% increase); Bill Gates heads the list with a $50B fortune (up from $46.5 bilion), Warren Buffett from Omaha, Neb. (chmn. of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.) is #2 with $42B; Martha Stewart (1941-), who was new to the list in 2005 drops off this year; the Czech Repub. places its first billionaire on the list, Petr Kellner (#224 with $3B); China has 10 billionaires, up from two last year. In Mar. Random House, publisher of "The Da Vinci Code" (2003) by Dan Brown is sued by "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" (1982) writers Michael Baigent (1948-) and Richard Leigh (1943-) in London's High Court for copyright infringement, claiming he "appropriated the architecture" of their nonfiction work by writing a fiction work with a totally different architecture that makes loads more money?; ideas can't be copyrighted, only expressions, but the news agencies gloss over this obvious dual publicity ploy and play along like it's a serious suit?; Brown basks in the extra publicity for his upcoming movie, testifying on Mar. 13 and producing a 69-page memoir about his starving author days; Judge Peter Smith (1952-) puts a secret code in his ruling that Dan Brown didn't infringe their copyright that reads "Smithy Code Jackie Fisher who are you Dreadnought"; after they lose their appeal, Baigent and Leigh are stuck with $?M in legal bills - when they coulda studied basic copyright law first and saved it all? In Mar. Research in Motion, maker of Blackberry e-mail devices loses a legal battle with patent troll NTP Inc., agreeing to pay $612.5M after being threatened with an injunction that would have shut them down; meanwhile EBay goes to the U.S. Supreme Court to try to make it difficult for injunctions to be won; the Blackberry becomes so addictive that it begins to be called the Crackberry? In Mar. Capt. Nicole Malachowski (1974-), wife of Maj. Paul Malachowski makes her debut with the Air Force's elite Thunderbird precision squadron, becoming its first female demonstration pilot; she is one of only 71 women pilots out of 568 who fly fighter jets for the Air Force. In Mar. Tunisian-born Rene Riffaud (1899-) is officially added to the rolls of living French WWI vets, bringing the total to seven; the U.S. has two, Britain 13, Italy 10, Germany 5, and Turkey none; the world total is less than 50. In Mar. the giant tortoise Addwaita ("the one and only") (b. 1757) dies in Calcutta, India at estimated age 250, one of four Aldabra tortoises brought in by British sailors in the 18th cent. In Mar. U.S. fatalities in Iraq are 31, the lowest number since Feb. 2004; in Apr. the number exceeds 40 by mid-mo. In Mar. a U.S. jury orders Mike Battles and his partner Scott Custer to pay $10M for swindling the U.S. govt. over Iraqi rebuilding projects. On Apr. 2 Iran announces the test-firing of the new high-speed (223 mph) Hoot (Whale) Torpedo, capable of destroying warships and subs., as fast as the Russian-made VA-111 Shkval, developed in 1995. On Apr. 3 tornadoes strike Iowa, Ky., Ark., Mo., Ohio, Ill., and Ind., killing 27, incl. 23 along a 25-mi. swath of rural W Tenn. On Apr. 3 Citizens for Health asks the U.S. FDA to revoke its approval of popular sweetener Splenda ("made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar"), citing stomach pains, rashes et al. days after a federal court dismisses a suit against Splenda maker McNeil Nutritionals accusing the trade Group Sugar Assoc. of false advertising on its Splenda-bashing Web site thetruthaboutsplenda.com; meanwhile the Nat. Cancer Inst. releases a study concluding that rival aspartame (Equal et al.) doesn't increase risks of certain kinds of cancer. On Apr. 4 the Iraq govt. files new charges against Saddam Hussein, Ali Hassan Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (1941-2010) ("Chemical Ali") and five others for killing an estimated 180K Kurds in N Iraq in 1987-8. On Apr. 4 former Sinn Fein official Denis Martin Donaldson (b. 1950), whose spying for Britain for 20 years was revealed in Dec. 2005 is found shot to death after being tortured in his home near Glenties, County Donegal in NW Ireland; the IRA denies responsibility. On Apr. 4 PM Thaksin Shinawatra of Thailand announces his resignation after allegations of corruption and abuse two days after his party wins parliamentary elections; last Dec. King Bhumibol Adulyadej gave a speech jabbing at his misconduct, and allegedly didn't want his June Diamond Jubilee (60 years on the throne) disturbed by street protests. On Apr. 4 Carlos the Jackal (Ilich Ramirez Sanchez) is fined $6K by a Paris court for telling French TV that terrorist attacks are sometimes necessary. On Apr. 5 at 01:02:03 there is a calendar digit lineup in the U.S.; for Europe it happens on May 4. On Apr. 5 Booker T. Washington's 150th birthday is not attended by him personally, but. On Apr. 6 a car bomb in Najaf, Iraq kills at least 10 and injures 34 near the Shiite Imam Ali Mosque at the entrance to a cemetery. On Apr. 7 three suicide bombers dressed as women detonate inside the Shiite Buratha Mosque in Baghdad, Iraq, killing 85 and injuring 160. On Apr. 9 (Sun.) Iraqi Shiite lawmakers meet on the 3rd anniv. of the fall of Baghdad to U.S. forces as Iraqis observe Freedom Day; meanwhile at least 15 are killed, incl. eight suspected insurgents shot by U.S. soldiers in a pre-dawn raid N of Baghdad; meanwhile Egyptian Pres. Hosni Mubarak says that Iraqi Shiites are more loyal to Iran than Iraq. On Apr. 9 a stampede of Muhammad birthday celebrants in Karachi, Pakistan kills 29 women and children, and injures 70. Just try living without us Hispanics doing your menial jobs? On Apr. 10 2M illegal immigrants and supporters came out of the shadows and declared May 1 a Nat. Day of Action for Immigrant Justice AKA the Great Am. Boycott (El Gran Paro Estadounidense), staging mass rallies throughout the U.S., incl. 125K in New York City, 100K in Phoenix, Ariz., and 50K in Atlanta, Ga. This time, wising up, the wannabe Americans no longer waved Mexican flags but tried the more PC U.S. flags; the New York rally contained Koreans and other nationalities; meanwhile the Center for Am. Progress in Washington, D.C. pub. a Report on Rounding Up Illegal Aliens, claiming it would cost $215B over five years to round them up and ship them back (20K each?) - they each get their own car to drive home in? Nobody mentions dissolving the cruddy Mexican govt. and annexing Mexico to the U.S.? On Apr. 10 Al Jazeera broadcasts a speech by Muammar al-Gaddafi of Libya, containing the frank soundbyte: "Some people believe that Muhammad is the prophet of the Arabs or the Muslims alone. This is a mistake. Muhammad is the prophet of all people. He superseded all previous religions. If Jesus were alive when Muhammad was sent, he would have followed him. All people must be Muslims... We have 50 million Muslims in Europe. There are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe without swords, without guns, without conquests. The 50 million Muslims of Europe will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades... Allah mobilizes the Muslim nation of Turkey and adds it to the European Union. That's another 50 million Muslims. There will be 100 million Muslims in Europe. Albania, which is a Muslim country, has already entered the EU. Fifty percent of its citizens are Muslims." On Apr. 10 Cheeta the Chimp, star of a dozen "Tarzan" movies in the 1930s and 1940s and the oldest chimp in the world celebrates hs 74th birthday with diabetic cake in Palm Springs, Calif. - if they'll admit him into the U.S.? On Apr. 10 Italian elections give the center-left L'Unione coalition of economist Romano "the Professor" Prodi (1939-) a 2-seat Senate majority, leaving PM Silvio Berlusconi's conservative coalition a slim lead in the senate; on May 17 Prodi becomes Italian PM #52 (until May 8, 2008). On Apr. 10 Great British Menu debuts on BBC-TV for ? episodes (until ?); the first series cooks the birthday meal for Queen Elizabeth I on June 16 for 300 people; Irish chef Richard Corrigan (1964-) goes on to win 3x. On Apr. 11 Iran holds a celebration in Mashhad over its newly manufactured raw uranium, enriched using 164 centrifuges, with artists dancing and hoisting vials of the stuff; raw uranium is 0.7% U-235, and it must be boosted to 4% for a reactor and 90% for a warhead - to your health? On Apr. 11 Bernardo Provenzano (1933-2016), "the Phantom of Corleone", "the Accountant", "Binnie the Tractor", capo of the Corleonesi crime family and boss of bosses of the Cosa Nostra in Sicily is captured; on June 20 Italian authorities stage Operation Gotha, issuing 52 arrest warrants for the top echelon of the Cosa Nostra. On Apr. 11 77-y.-o. John McDarby is awarded $13.5M, incl. $9 in punitive damages in a suit against Merck & Co. for its drug Vioxx, the jury finding that the co. failed to warn of the drug's risks and committed consumer fraud in misrepresenting them to prescribing physicians; on Apr. 5 $4.5M was awarded to another plaintiff in Atlantic City, N.J.; in 2008 McDarby's award is overturned by an appeals court in N.J. On Apr. 12 Pakistani forces kill al-Qaida member Mohsin Musa Matawalli Atwah (b. 1960) of Egypt in a raid near the Afghan border in the N Waziristan village of Naghar Kalai, along with six other militants. On Apr. 13 the govt. of Chad fights off an onslaught of rebels from Darfur arriving in N'Djamena after traveling W 600 mi. in pickup trucks; oOn Apr. 14 350 are killed in a failed coup in N'Djamena, Chad; 271 rebels are captured, and 250 are paraded through the streets on Apr. 15, while Chad's Pres. Idriss Deby breaks off relations with Sudan and threatens to expel 200K Darfur refugees, calling the rebels Sudanese mercenaries. On Apr. 13 Israeli chief of military intel Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin (1951-) claims that Iran is within three years of having a nuclear bomb. On Apr. 13 a black bear kills 6-y.-o. Elora Petrasek and mauls her 45-y.-o. mother Susan Cenkus and 2-y.-o. brother Luke Cenkus in the Cherokee Nat. Forest on the Tenn.-N.C. line, becoming the 2nd documented black bear attack on a human in modern Tenn. history; there are 750K black bears in North Am., and they have killed a total of 56 people in the past cent. On Apr. 13 Kris Everson (33) and Sarah Everson (45) of Kansas City, Mo. publicly apologize for a scheme to claim the birth of sextuplets in order to get donations; in Jan. 2008 she is sentences to four years of probation. On Apr. 14 U.S. defense secy. Donald Rumsfeld gives an interview on Al-Arabiya TV, rejecting calls from six retired U.S. generals, Maj. Gen. John Batiste, Maj. Gen. John Riggs, Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, Maj. Gen. Charles Swannack, Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, and Marine Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold to resign; Pres. Bush then backs him up, saying "He has my full support"; on Apr. 18 Rumsfeld suggests that calls for his resignation were caused by controversial changes he made at the Pentagon, such as cancelling favored Army weapons, appointing a retired gen. as Army chief of staff, and naming Marine generals to posts usually held by Army officers (James Jones for NATO command, James Carthwrite to head the U.S. Strategic Command, Peter Pace to be chmn. of the JCS), saying "The president knows... there are no indispensible men. He knows that I serve at his pleasure." On Apr. 14 Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defends Iran's nucler program, and issues a soundbyte calling Israel a "permanent threat" that will "soon" be liberated, saying, "Like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihilation", calling it "a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm". On Apr. 14-16 Christian-Muslim violence in Alexandria, Egypt is touched off by knife attacks at three Coptic Christian churches which kill one and injure 16; on Apr. 16 one Muslim man dies. On Apr. 15 the U.S. military announces two more U.S. Marines killed and 22 wounded in Anbar Province in W Iraq. On Apr. 16 41 Taliban militants and six police are killed in Kandahar Province in SE Afghanistan by U.S.-led coalition forces, 2.5K of which are involved in an operation against the Taliban; an attack on a house in E Afghanistan kills seven and wounds three Afghan civilians. On Apr. 16 Pope Benedict XVI gives his First Easter Message, calling for nations to use diplomacy to defuse nuclear crises, and praying for Palestinians to have their own state alongside Israel; Grace Episcopal Church in Providence, R.I. hosts a U2 Eucharist (U2Charist), playing the Irish rock band's religious music, and handing out glow sticks and earplugs. On Apr. 17 a lunchtime car bomb kills seven and injures ? in Baghdad, Iraq as Shiite politicians meet to replace PM Ibraham al-Jaafari with another Shiite. On Apr. 17 (1:40 p.m.) a Palestinian suicide bomber kills nine and wounds dozens at the Mayor's Falafel fast food restaurant in Tel Aviv, Israel; the Hamas-led Palestinian admin. publicly defends the attack as a legitimate response to Israeli aggression, while Fatah Party leader Mahmoud Abbas condemns it? On Apr 17 the Maltrata Bus Crash sees an overcrowded bus filled with Easter celebrants en route from Guadalajara to Mexico City plunge 650 ft. into a ravine near Maltrata, Veracruz, Mexico, killing 57 of 60 aboard; on Apr. 18 another bus tumbles off a mountain road in C Peru in the Jaucan district 190 mi. SE of Lima, killing 25. On Apr. 18 the centenary of the San Francisco earthquake rumbles around. On Apr. 18 speaking of earthquakes, the German govt. announces that it will meet with 10 other countries in Luxembourg next May to consider amending a 1955 treaty closing their archives on 17M Nazi concentration camp inmates that are housed in Bad Arolsen. On Apr. 18 Chinese Pres. Hu Jintao kicks off a 4-day U.S. tour in Seattle, Wash. meeting with Microsoft chmn. Bill Gates in Redmond, telling him "Because you, Mr. Bill Gates, are a friend of China, I'm a friend of Microsoft", adding, "I am dealing with the operating system produced by Microsoft every day", laughing. On Apr. 18 Pres. Bush picks 6-term Repub. Rep. from Ohio Rob Portman to head the Office of Mgt. and Budget (OMB), and promotes his deputy Susan Schwab to top trade negotiator; Portman replaces Joshua Bolten, who was promoted to Bush's chief of staff. On Apr. 18 the German govt. announces the indictment of German Germar Rudolf (extradited from the U.S.?) and Belgian Siegried Verbeke for the crime of "systematically" denying the Nazi genocide of WWII Jews in pubs. - John Peter Zenger rolls over in his grave? On Apr. 18 two Roosevelt Island Tramway cable cars stall for several hours while hanging over the East River in New York City, stranding 70 in a scene reminiscent of Hollywood terrorist flicks. On Apr. 19 Ishinosuke Uwano (1922-), a former Japanese soldier last seen by his family when he went off to fight in WWII arrives in Tokyo from the Ukraine with his Ukrainian son; the Japanese govt. says that about 400 more WWII soldiers are still living in states of the former Soviet Union. On Apr. 20 Pres. Bush meets with Chinese Pres. Hu Jintai in Washington, D.C., and Hu is interrupted in a speech by Wenyi Wang (1958-), who shouts at him to stop persecuting the Falun Gong, causing Bush to apologize for her brief freedom of speech before she is manhandled and her mouth cupped by Secret Service agents and taken to jail like in er, Commie China on trumped up charges of intimidating foreign officials?; when Bush later asks Hu when China will become a democracy with free elections, he responds, "I don't know what you mean by a democracy... we always believe in China that if there is no democracy, there will be no modernization" - whose achievement of rhetorical B.S. is greater, East or West? On Apr. 20 Iraqi PM Ibraham al-Jaafari bows to Sunni and Kurdish opposition and quits - did he keep his health benefits, and do you think his stress headaches will go away? On Apr. 20 the Hamas govt. of Palestine names Col. Jamal Abu Samhadana, head of the Popular Resistance Committees, which allegedly bombed a U.S. convoy to head a new security force made up of Islamic militants. On Apr. 20 U.S. nat. intel dir. John Negroponte gives a speech at the Nat. Press Club in Washington, D.C. marking his first year on the job, saying that "The United States intelligence community comprises almost 100,000 patriotic, talented and hard-working Americans in 16 federal departments and agencies" - so what happened in Iraq? On Apr. 20 an autopsy linking the Jan. death of police officer James Zadroga to dust at the WTC 9/11 site is released in New York City. On Apr. 20 five teen boys are arrested in Riverton, Kan. for allegedly plotting a Columbine-style high school massacre on its anniv. after they stupidly brag about it on the Internet. On Apr. 20 ICE begins rounding up 1.2K workers for pallet-maker IFCO Systems in 26 U.S. states for immigration violations, and arrests seven mgrs. for harboring illegals, then announces that more raids are coming. On Apr. 21 crude oil prices top $75 a barrel for the first time. On Apr. 21 Nepal's King Gyanendra offers to turn power over to political party leaders, and is rejected; on Apr. 22 protesters in Katmandu defy a curfew, and are attacked by riot police. On Apr. 21 a 27-y.-o. man plummets 10 ft. and is covered by rubble, killing him after a large sinkhole opens in the middle of his house in Alta, Calif., built on top of an underground mine. On Apr. 21 Dallas, Tex.-born Tara Elizabeth Conner (1985-) wins the Miss USA 2006 pageant (#55) in 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore, Md. in front of 7.8M viewers (2nd lowest ever); hosts are Nancy O'Dell and Drew Lachey; "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" star Carson Kressley provides commentary for the first time; too bad, after reports that she had been engaging in underage drinking and taking cocaine, heroin, and crystal meth, and has kissed Miss Teen USA Katie Blair, the PC press calls for her to be decrowned, but Donald Trump announces that he's giving her a second chance because "I believe in second chances, and sometimes it works when you give somebody a second chance" in an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, causing celeb and lesbian rights activist Roseann "Rosie" O'Donnell (1962-) to criticize him on The View, with the soundbyte: "[Trump] left the first wife, had an affair, left the second wife, had an affair. Had kids both times, but he's the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America. Donald, sit and spin, my friend", mocking his comb-over, then calling him a "snake oil salesman" and bringing up his bankruptcies, pissing Trump off and causing him to appear on several TV shows, with the soundbytes: "Rosie is a bully. I hit her between the eyes, she's worried about being sued, and her response today was nothing. She's not a very smart person, if you look at her IQ I guarantee you it's not up there", and "I guarantee I'll have a lot of Rosie's money right out of her big fat pocket. I'll have a lot of Rosie's money coming into my pocket. That's my prediction""; in an interview with People mag., he utters the soundbyte: "You can't make false statements. Rosie will rue the words she said. I'll most likely sue her for making those false statements... and it'l be fun. Rosie's a loser, a real loser. I look forward to taking lots of money from my nice fat little Rosie"; in an interview with Anderson Cooper of CNN, he utters the soundbyte: "If you looked like Rosie you'd be critical of beauty pageants, believe me. Rosie is a very unattractive woman, both inside and out. And as hard as it is to believe, inside is probably uglier than outside, and that's really saying something. But you have to understand, I know Rosie. Rosie's a loser. Rosie's been pulling the wool over people's eyes for a long time. She is a stone cold loser. What she is is a bully. Rosie says a lot of negative things about a lot of people. Nobody.. they don't do anything about it. I did something about it." On Apr. 21-22 the Danube River swells to its highest level in more than a cent. On Apr. 22 a mayoral election in New Orleans gives incumbent Ray Nagin (black) 38% among 21 challengers, and #2 Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu (white) 29%, forcing a May 20 runoff, which is run by Nagin. On Apr. 22 Microsoft mogul Bill Gates makes his first-ever visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, and is greeted by thousands of cheering students, then meets with PM Phan Van Khai (who visited with him in the U.S. in 2005) and talks about getting Vietnamese into IT - I can remove your wart in as little as one treatment? On Apr. 22 four Canadian soldiers are killed by a roadside bomb in S Afghanistan in the mountainous Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar Province, where they took over from U.S. forces 1 mo. earlier, becoming the deadliest attack on Canadian troops since being deployed in Afghanistan four years earlier. On Apr. 22 street clashes erupt in the West Bank and Gaza Strip after Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal accuses Mahmoud Abbas of being a traitor for seeking to limit Hamas' powers. On Apr. 23 Osama bin Laden issues a taped message, saying that the West is at war with Islam, accusing the U.S. and Europe of supporting a Zionist war on Islam by cutting off funds to the Hamas-led Palestinian govt., and calling on followers to go to Sudan to fight a proposed U.N. force in Darfur. On Apr. 23 three U.S. soldiers are killed in the Baghdad area of Iraq by insurgents who fire mortars near the Defense Ministry; 27 Iraqis are killed in Iraq violence. On Apr. 24 three nearly simultaneous bombings hit the Sinai seaside town of Dahab, Egypt in the early evening, killing 24, incl. 21 Egyptians and three foreigners; on Apr. 25 Egyptian authorities arrest 30 men, while radical Muslim groups Hamas and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood move to distance themselves from the attacks, later pinning them on Gaza-based Al-Tawhid Wal-Jihad. On Apr. 24 a wave of seven car bombs across Baghdad, Iraq kills 10 and wounds 76, while another 30 are killed or found murdered aross lovely Iraq. On Apr. 25 Pres. Bush gives the EPA the authority to temporarily waive regional clean-fuel regs to ease gasoline shortages and help with prices exceeding $3 a gal.; meanwhile in Apr. U.S. oil and gas cos. report combined first-quarter profits of $16+B, up 19%, with the combined profits from ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobile, and Chevron beating Google, Apple, and Oracle by 14x. On Apr. 25 an earthquake triggers a gold mine collapse in Beaconsfield, Australia, killing Larry Knight (44), and trapping Brant Webb (37) and Todd Russell (34) 3K ft. underground for two weeks; on May 7 60 Minutes reporter Richard Carleton (b. 1943) collapses and dies while covering the story and asking about the mine's safety record - don't ask? On Apr. 25 Iran threatens to hide its nukes if the West takes "harsh measures", and to transfer nuclear technology to Sudan. On Apr. 25 Abu Musab al-Zarqawi appears on a video posted on Web, mocking the U.S. military in Iraq for suicides, drug-taking and mutinies, and warning of attacks to come; the first video to clearly show his face? On Apr. 26 Nouri Kamel Mohammed Hassan al-Maliki (1950-) becomes acting PM of Iraq, followed by official PM on May 20 (until ?), reverting to his birth name after using the nome de guerre of Jawad al-Maliki during Saddam Hussein's reign; a sister of new Sunni vice-pres. Tariq al-Hashimi is killed in a drive-by shooting as she leaves her home in SW Baghdad, along with a bodyguard. On Apr. 28 five members of the U.S. Congress, Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.), Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), James McGovern (D-Mass.), John Oliver (D-Mass.), and Jim Moran (D-Va.), are arrested and led away in plastic handcuffs from the Sudanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. in protest of govt. atrocities in the Darfur region, along with six others; on Apr. 30 thousands attend a D.C. rally urging the U.S. govt. to end genocide in Sudan. On Apr. 30 (Sun.) Pres. Bush says that plans floating around to counter high gasoline prices will only have a modest impact and that the ultimate goal must be reducing dependence on foreign oil. On Apr. 30 fishermen near Barbados find a boat with the mummified bodies of 11 young men who had left Senegal with 52 people aboard on Christmas Eve, bound for the Canary Islands, a gateway to Europe. On Apr. 30 the 2006 Doda Massacre in Jammu and Kashmir sees Muslim terrorists massacre 35 Hindu civilians. In Apr. Iranian officials claim they have trained 40K suicide bombers to be sent against the U.S. and Britain if their nuclear sites are attacked. In Apr. CIA dir. Porter Goss fires veteran CIA intel analyst Mary O. McCarthy (1945-) for leaking info. on CIA detention centers, which she denies. In Apr. Nuestro Himno, a fractured Spanish language version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" debuts on U.S. Spanish-speaking TV and radio, causing a backlash, with Puerto Rican immigrant singer Jose Feliciano (Jose Montserrate Feliciano Garcia) (1945-) (who got into trouble at the 1968 World Series for tinkering with it) saying "I know Mexico would be pissed-off if we took the Mexican national anthem and did it in English." In Apr. the Nat. Geographic Society announces pub. of the lost 2nd cent. C.E. Coptic Gospel of Judas, causing a firestorm of controversy. In Apr. a total of 952 are killed in war-related violence in Iraq, incl. 686 civilians, 190 insurgents, 54 police and 22 Iraqi soldiers. On Apr. ? the cockpit voice recorder from United Flight 93 on 9/11 is played at the Moussaoui trial, and Sandy Dahl, wife of pilot Jason Dahl claims it shows that he was not killed immediately but fights the hijackers after being injured? - just in time for the new movie? On May 1 Pres. Bush gives a White House speech on the the 3rd anniv. of his "mission accomplished" speech, saying that a "turning point" has arrived with the establishment of a permanent govt. in civil war-ready Baghdad, which is "more determined than ever to succeed"; meanwhile Rumsfeld and Rice stand by his side, trying to figure out how to put a spin on the future reality show? - two civil wars to go, and one to stay? On May 1 Bolivian Pres. Evo Morales fulfulls an election promise and nationalizes Bolivia's natural gas resources, which he says have been "looted" by foreign corps. On May 1 the first nesting pair of bald eagles is found in Vt., making it the 50th state to have them; in 1966 there were only 417 pairs in the entire U.S., but this year there are 7K. On May 3 Zacarias Moussaoui is sentenced to life in solitary confinement in a supermax federal prison (six life sentences), the judge telling him that he will "die with a whimper" and be denied publicity and martyrdom, or even the chance to talk to somebody; his last words are that the trial was a "wasted opportunity for this country to understand... why people like me... have so much hatred for you... America, you lost... I won"; meanwhile his mother Aicha El Wafi arrives at Dulles Internat. Airport on Apr. 25 and says "My life is hell". On May 3 Mexican Pres. Vicente Fox bows to major U.S. pressure and refuses to sign a law allowing small amounts of drugs to be possessed for personal use in an attempt to free police to focus on major dealers - blew their one chance to keep people on your side of the border? What's this problem Kennedys have with cars? On May 3 an Armenian Airbus A-320 crashes in stormy weather off the Black Sea coast in Russia, killing all 113 aboard. On May 3 Serbia's leading negotiator on EU relations resigns after the EU calls off talks on closer ties with Belgrade, citing Serbia's failure to turn over war crimes suspect Ratko Rizzo, er, Mladic. On May 4 R.I. Dem. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, son of Sen. Edward Kennedy crashes his Ford Mustang near the U.S. Capitol, and when a police officer accuses of him of appearing intoxicated he issues a statement that "I consumed no alcohol prior to the incident", later claiming he had been taking prescription Phenergan for gastroenteritis, and the sleeping pill Ambien. On May 4 Donald Rumsfeld gives a speech at the Southern Center for Internat. Studies in Atlanta, Ga., and is accosted by four protesters, then accused by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern of lying to get the U.S. into the Iraq War. On May 4 an earthquake strikes Tonga, followed by a 2-ft. tsunami. On May 4 the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution by 6-3 passes the House's 2005 Flag Desecration Amendment, and sends it to the full Judiciary Committee, asking the U.S. to join China, Iran, and Cuba in jailing people for free expression in the name of those who died for it - the old icon vs. iconoclast schism in Christianity? On May 5 A Day Without Immigrants (Un Dia Sin Inmigrantes) is staged in the U.S as 1M+ Hispanic immigrants walk off their jobs for one day to show gringos how much they're needed, incl. 400K in Chicago, 400K in Los Angeles, 75K in Denver, 50K in San Jose, Calif. and 20K in New York City; former Denver mayor Federico Pena, who grew up in Brownsville, Tex. speaks at the Denver rally, calling for a solution for all immigrants, not just Hispanic, dissing border fences and calling for amnesty after certain conditions are fulfilled - then the next group of ten jillion sneaks in, and? On May 5 thousands of Mexicans take to the streets for A Day Without Gringos, a boycott of U.S.-owned businesses to show support for Mexican immigrants to the U.S. Where's Harrison Ford when you need him? On May 5 CIA dir. Porter Goss (until 2004) is forced to resign by Pres. Bush, who picks Air Force Gen. Sterling, er, Michael Vincent Hayden (1945-), head of the NSA to replace him as CIA dir. #20 (until Feb. 12, 2009), drawing bipartisan fire for not being a civilian, Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) saying it could leave the impression that the CIA has been "just gobbled up by the Defense Department"; criticism grows hotter when it is revealed that he is the one who supervised the hated domestic spying program, plus revelations on May 12 that the NSA has been building a secret database of millions of telephone calls by Americans, and only Qwest refused to turn over its records; he is confirmed on May 26. On May 6 a British military heli is shot down at 2 p.m. by a missile in Basra, Iraq, killing five soldiers, followed by several hundred young Shiite men arriving to celebrate and attack British troops, causing a firefight which kills six children and injures 46. On May 6 Pres. Bush hires conservative Fox broadcaster Robert Anthony "Tony" Snow (1955-) to replace Scott McClellan as press secy. (until Sept. 14, 2007), and on Apr. 14 hires new conservative chief of staff Joshua Brewster Bolten (1954-). On May 7 Iran scoffs at sanctions as "meaningless" as its parliament prepares to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, as North Korea did in 2003. On May 7 Israeli authorities evict Jewish squatters from a Palestinian-owned bldg. in the West Bank town of Hebron in a show of zoom zoom for the govt. On May 7 three car bombs detonate within 30 min. of each other in Baghdad and the Shiite holy city of Karbala, Iraq, killing 16 and injuring dozens. On May 7 a fire breaks out at the Route 999 Nightclub in Pattaya, Thailand 70 mi. SE of Bangkok, killing seven and injuring 49. On May 8 at least 34 are killed in Iraq, incl. one U.S. soldier and five civilians in C Bagghdad killed and 10 wounded by a car bomb. On May 8 Jane K. Fernandes, the new pres. of Gallaudet U. in Washington, D.C. faces protests from its 1.9K-student body for not being "deaf enough" for the job, because, even though born deaf, she learned to speak and only picked up sign language as an adult?; on Oct. 29 the board of trustees votes to revoke her appointment after weeks of protests shut down the campus. On May 8 South African deputy pres. Jacob Zuma (1942-) is acquitted of the rape of a 31-y.-o. HIV-positive AIDS activist last Nov., the judge saying she made a false rape claim and that the sex was consensual; Zuma once headed South Africa's campaign against AIDS, yet had unprotected sex with her?; his political career salvaged, he goes on to become pres. in 2009. Something strapless this time? On May 8 the FBI places polygamist Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Pricks, er, Saints leader Warren Jeffs on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List ($100K reward) for sex with a minor and rape; the sect based in Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Ariz. split off from the mainstream in 1890; he has been on the lam for two years already on an Ariz. charge of sex with a minor; America's Most Wanted details his case, showing pics of the weird Puritannically-dressed underage babes that marry the old farts and claim that no man may put asunder what God has joined, and that it's all done in holy wedlock; in 2007 he is convicted on two counts of rape as an accomplice and sentenced to two consecutive terms of 5-life; on June 9, 2010 all four charges against him in Ariz. are dismissed with prejudice, meaning they can be refiled. On May 8 an 18-page letter from Iranian Pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is received by Pres. Bush, lecturing him like a teacher, telling that Western democracy has failed and that the U.S. invasion of Iraq, treatment of POWs, and support for Israel cannot be reconciled with Christian values, becoming the first contact by an Iranian leader with a U.S. pres. since the 1979 rev., it echoes Ruhollah Khomeini's Sept. 1989 letter to Gorbachev that Communism was dead, with an invitation to study Shiite Islam? On May 9 two tornadoes sweep through N Tex., killing 3, injuring 10 and destroying 26 homes; on May 10 heavy storms rake Ark., topping trees. On May 9 Cuba, Saudi Arabia, China, and Russia becomes the 44th through 47th members of the new U.N. Human Rights Council, which replaces the politicized Human Rights Commission known for allowing members with bad records; 64 of the 191 U.N. member states submitted candidacies, which must be approved by a majority of the states; Venezuela and Iran are rejected; the U.S. doesn't apply. On May 10 Pres. Vladimir Putin says that Russia must increase its birth rate, calling the yearly pop. decline of 700K "the most acute problem of contemporary Russia". On May 10 the EU issues a report on Romanian human rights abuses, citing gross treatment of kids and young adults in orphanages. On May 10 Okla. becomes the last U.S. state to make tattooing legal. Call in the investi-gators? On May 10 the body of female jogger Yovy Suarez Jimenez (28) is found in a canal in Sunrise, Fla., and authorities determine that she was killed by an alligator, becoming the 18th confirmed fatal gator attack in Fla. since 1948 (9 unconfirmed); within a week gators kill two more women, Annemarie Campbell (23) and Judy W. Cooper (43) - yum yum? On May 11 Catholic priest Rev. Gerald Robinson (68) is convicted of murder in the Apr. 5, 1980 slaying of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, who was found stabbed 31x in a hospital chapel with her forehead anointed with a smudge of blood and her wounds forming an upside-down cross on her chest; a sword-shaped letter opener found in his room gives him away, plus he presided at her funeral Mass; he is sentenced to 15 to life. On May 11 seven U.S. service members die in Iraq, incl. four Marines who drown when their tank rolls off a bridge near Karmah, Iraq, a suburb of Fallujah; an 8th death from May 9 is also announced. On May 11 the U.S. Senate reaches an agreement to send 14 Repubs. and 12 Dems. to negotiate with the House on the basis of providing them with a chance for citizenship despite their Dec. bill making them into potential felons. On May 12 a gasoline pipeline in Ilado, Nigeria (30 mi. E of Lagos) explodes as villagers scavenge for fuel, killing 200; 1K+ have died in recent years from the same thing? On May 12 U.N. inspectors announce finding traces of near-weapons grade uranium on Iranian research equipment linked to the military. On May 12 the U.S. State Dept. sends John Hillen to visit the Persian Gulf to discuss a new defensive security strategy for the Persian Gulf against Iran. On May 12 famous oral historian Studs Terkel (1912-2008) et al. sue AT&T in federal court to stop it from giving customer records to the Nat. Security Agency without a court order; judge Matthew F. Kennedy dismisses it fast on July 26, telling them that the federal govt. has a state secrets privilege. On May 12-15 downpours in the NE U.S. cause the region's worst flooding since the 1930s, with more than 1 ft. of rain in some places. On May 13 10K people meeting in a town square in Andijan, Uzbekistan to support 23 businessmen freed from prison by supporters while awaiting a verdict are attacked by govt. troops, massacring hundreds. On May 13 Mount Merapi on the island of Java in Indonesia erupts, causing thousands to flee (last eruption 1994). On May 13-14 the First Capital Command (PCC), a notorious criminal gang in Brazil launches a wave of attacks against police in Sao Paulo state, killing 52; meanwhile there are revolts at 51 out of 144 prisons. On May 13 State Farm Insurance in Fla. announces that it is seeking to raise rates by over 70% for houses and 95% for mobile homes. On May 14 two car bombers tear into a C checkpoint for Baghdad's airport and detonate, killing 14 and wounding 16, becoming the first bomb attack aimed at the airport in nearly a year; meanwhile another 18 are killed and 60 wounded in other attacks in Iraq - where's my head? On May 14 the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem upholds a law barring many Palestinians from living in Israel with Israeli spouses and children; meanwhile Britain's 67K-member Nat. Assoc. of Teachers in Further and Higher Ed. considers a boycott of Israeli lecturers for its "apartheid policies". On May 14 (Sun.) NBC-TV airs the last episode of The West Wing, showing pres.-elect (Dem.) Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) taking over the Oval Office from Pres. Jed Bartlett (Martin Sheen), who pardons his adviser Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff) for leaking classified info.; Santos appoints rival Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda), a liberal Repub. Calif. Sen. On May 15 U.S. secy. of state Condy Rice announces that the U.S. has decided to restore diplomatic relations with Libya and remove it from the list of countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism, praising their "historic decisions... in 2003 to renounce terrorism and to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs". On May 15 Pres. Mush, er, Bush addresses the nation from the Oval Office on Immigration Reform, and acknowledges that the U.S. "has not been in complete control of its borders", and must be "shut to illegal immigrants, as well as criminals, drug dealers, and terrorists", then announces a $50B plan to increase the number of border patrol officers, construct $7.6B 2K-mi. hi-tech fences from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico, and deploy 6K Nat. Guard members by July 1 to support the Border Patrol at $962M a year; he then announces a "temporary work program", with a new ID card for every legal foreign worker with biometric technology, with no plan for deporting workers who overstay their visas; the coyotes (smugglers) immediately jump their asking price from $2K to $3K, up from $300 in 1994; the U.S. begins to seal itself up - just like the ancient Roman Empire did before it fell? On May 15 the deadline for signing up for the U.S. govt. Medicare drug benefit arrives, with ? of the 43M eligible still not having signed up. On May 15 the govt. of Myanmar publicly acknowledges that its army is targeting the Karen ethnic minority, and criticizes the U.S. for granting political asylum to them. Dick Almighty loses a big one? On May 15 the U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court refuses to block lesbian Sue Ellen "Mian" Carvin of Wash. state from seeking parental rights to 5-y.-o. L.B. (1995-) she helped raise with longtime partner Page Britain, the biological mother by artificial insemination; the girl calls Carvin "Mama" and Britain "Mommy"; in 2001 they break up, and in 2002 Britain bars Carvin from seeing the girl, then marries the sperm donor and moves to Thailand - was it something she ate? My life on the D-list, only on Bravo? On May 15 British mountaineer David Sharp (b. 1972), on his 3rd straight attempt to summit Mt. Everest dies about 1K ft. into his descent in an alcove near the summit at 29,760 ft. holding Indian climber Green Boots, who died in 1996; before he dies, 40 people walk past him, and only one team gives him some oxygen, that of Kiwi mountaineer Mark Joseph Inglis (1959-), the first double amputee to reach the summit; the same day Maxime Chaya (with Sherpa guide Dorjee) becomes the first Lebanese citizen to reach the summit, and on their way down he, Russell Brice and Sherpa guide Dorjee find Sharp still alive but unconscious, spending an hour with him and giving him oxygen; a Turkish team led by Sherpa guide Nima visits him on their descent, finding him unconscious; Brice's chief Sherpa guide Phurba Tashi then visits him at 11:45 a.m., and find him conscious and talking, but can't get him on his feet, so they give him oxygen and move him into the sunlight, where the next visitors find him dead; he becomes the 190th person to die on the attempt to reach the summit, with more than 1.5K making it since Hillary in 1953; on May 25 Australian climber Lincoln Hall (b. 1956) succumbs in the death zone at 10:30 a.m., and is again left by other climbers, but is miraculously found alive the next day at 7 a.m. On May 16 gunmen in the Shiite commercial district of Al Shaab in N Baghdad wound five guards, and then a car bomb explodes after rescuers arrive, killing 19 and wounding dozens. On May 17 aircraft carrier USS Oriskany ("Mighty O") (commissioned in 1950), home to Ariz. Sen. John McCain in the Vietnam War is sunk 24 mi. off the coast of Pensacola, Fla., becoming the world's largest manmade reef, the first in a pilot program. On May 17 over 500K people are evacuated from China's S coast in advance of Typhoon Chanchu (Caloy), which hits Guangodong Province on May 18. On May 17-18 more than 100 are killed in a string of attacks by the Taliban in Afghanistan; Pres. Hamid Karzai accuses the madrasas in Pakistan of prepping students for jihad. On May 17-30 the suggestively-named Hidden Dreams Horse Farm in Milford Township, Mich., 30 mi. NW of Detroit is searched for the remains of Jimmy Hoffa, who was last seen in July 1975 at a restaurant 20 mi. away; nothing is found. On May 18 Australian PM John Howard visits Canada in the first visit by an Aussie leader in decades, and tells the parliament that a diminished U.S. role in global affairs "will leave a more vulnerable world... more exposed to terrorism". On May 18 a bomb in Iraq kills four U.S. soldiers and their Iraqi interpreter, and another two dozen Iraqis die in violence across the country. On May 18 10 POWs at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba use a faked suicide attempt to stage a riot, which is stopped by guards, leaving six detaineers injured. On May 19 Pope Benedict XVI disciplines 86-y.-o. Mexican priest Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado (1920-2008), founder of the conservative Legionaries of Christ for sexual abuse allegations, making him "renounce every public ministry", making him a priest in name only after nine former seminaries accused him of abuse when they were young boys or teens in semen, er, seminaries in Spain and Italy in the 1940s through 1960s - that blows? On May 19 Sherpa guide Appa (1961-) scales Mt. Everest for a record 16th time; on Apr. 6, 2009 he does it for the 19th time - I'm appa to see ya? On May 19 Tommy Hilfiger gets in a fight with Axl Rose at the Plumm Nightclub in New York City. On May 20-21 the FBI raids the office of La. Dem. rep. William Jefferson in the Rayburn House Office Bldg. under a May 18 search warrant issued by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan during its investigation of his acceptance of hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for securing business deals in Africa, becoming the first warranted search of the office of a U.S. rep. in Congress' 219-year history, and causing an uproar from Dems. and Repubs.; on May 23 House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) complains directly to Pres. Bush, while Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) predicts the case will go to the U.S. Supreme Court; on May 25 Pres. Bush orders the seized documents sealed for 45 days; on May 28 Sen. majority leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) breaks ranks and says that "nobody in government should be above the law of the land, period." On May 21 a U.S. airstrike on the village of Azizi in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan kills 16-34 civilians along with 80 militants, drawing the ire of Pres. Hamid Karzai. On May 22 cool-coastline postage-stamp-sized Slav Orthodox Christian Montenegro (pop. 600K, 30% Serb) votes by 55.4% to secede from much larger Serbia, ending its 88-year union (1918), causing celebrations in Podgorica and grumbling in Belgrade; on June 3 Montenegro declares independence, and joins the U.N. as member #192; of the 194 world countries, only Vatican City and Taiwan aren't members. There's a fortune in American junk? On May 22 U.S. Veterans Affairs secy. (2005-7) Robert James "Jim" Nicholson (1938-) (former Colo. land developer) discloses that personal data on 26M veterans discharged since 1975 was stolen from an employee's home on May 3, becoming the biggest security breach since the June CardSystems Solutions case; on May 25 Nicholson takes personal responsibility but refuses to resign; on June ? it is disclosed that records of 80% of all active duty U.S. service personnel are also on the stolen computer; on June 28 it is recovered untampered with from a buyer of a used PC for $100 who hears about the $50K reward; on June 27 Nicholson asks Congress for $160.5M to cover the costs of monitoring and indemnifying the people compromised, and turning his agency into a "model for information security". On May 22 Saddam Hussein's female defense atty. Bushra al-Khalil is pulled from the courtroom for arguing with chief Judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman. On May 22-June 4 the U.S. Nat. Highway Traffic Safety Admin. holds a Click It or Ticket campaign to get the estimated 48M people in the U.S. who still don't click their seat belts to do it; 65% of 31K killed each year are men, and 58% of those crashing along rural roads were not wearing theirs. On May 23 Osama bin Laden releases an audiotape mocking the U.S. for railroading Zacarias Moussaoui, saying that "he had no connection at all with Sept. 11. I am the one in charge of the 19 brothers, and I never assigned brother Zacarias to be with them in that mission"; he also says that none of the terror suspects in Gitmo were involved, and most have no ties to al-Qaida. On May 23-24 Fox Network's American Idol Season 5 stages its final between contestants Taylor Reuben "Soul Patrol" Hicks (1976-) from Birmingham, Ala. (the winner) and Katharine Hope "Kat" McPhee (1984-) from Los Angeles, Calif.; a poll by Pursuant Inc. in Washington, D.C. indicates that one in 10 U.S. adults placed a vote for a candidate this season, incl. 50M (75% female) for the second-to-last week, and 35% believe their votes count as much or more than for U.S. pres.; the final garners 63.4M votes, more than any U.S. pres. has received?; the 5th straight winner from the South, after Kelly Clarkson from Tex., Ruben Studdard from Ala., Fantasia Barrino from N.C., and Carrie Underwood from Okla. On May 25 the U.S. Senate by 62-36 passes the U.S. Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, creating road to citizenship for the criminal, er, illegal immigrants who already snuck in, while attempting to close the borders so that the other zillion trying to sneak in will have to pay the coyotes more?; talks are held with the House to convince them to not make them into felons, and yet not grant them amnesty either. On May 25 Pres. Bush and British PM Tony Blair hold a press conference in the White House East Room, looking like "yesterday's men", according to former British diplomat Jonathan Clarke. On May 25 Palestinian Pres. Mahmoud Abbas announces that he will call a nat. referundum on the Prisoners' Peace Plan, a deal hammered out by militants in an Israeli prisoner yard, which would accept the creation of a Palestinian state alongside a recognized state of Israel. On May 25 Pope Benedict VI begins a 4-day visit to Poland, meeting with Eastern Orthodox Archbishop Jeremiasz in Warsaw after his plane touches down at 11 a.m., and he doesn't do a JPII and kiss the tarmac?; newspapers suspend their daily pics of topless women; he speaks in Italian rather than his native German because of WWII sensitivities: he visits Wadowice on May 27, gives a Mass in a meadow in Krakow attended by 900 on May 28, then visits Auschwitz-Birkenau as "a son of the German people" on May 28, asking God why he remained silent during the "unprecedented mass crimes" of the Holocaust (Shoah), in which "the rulers of the Third Reich wanted to crush the entire Jewish people, to cancel it from the register of the peoples of the Earth... they ultimately wanted to tear up the taproot of the Christian faith and to replace it with a faith of their own invention"; this is his third visit to Auschwitz incl. one in 1979 with Pope John Paul II; not originally scheduled to see the camp, he tells his handlers, "I want to go, I have to go." On May 25 the U.S. House votes 225-201 to open the Alaska Nat. Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, citing the $3+ a gal. price of gasoline, even though it could only reduce prices by 1 cent a gal.; the Senate kills the idea. On May 25 the U.S. FDA approves thalidomide for treating multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer). On May 27 at 5:54 a.m. a 6.3 earthquake in Indonesia (a lovely country located on the Ring of Fire) kills 5.7K and leaves 200K homeless on Java; Borobudur Buddhist Temple is spared, but Prambanan Hindu Temple is seriously damaged. On May 28 law-and-order conservative Colombian pres. (since 2002) Alvaro Uribe is reelected in a landslide, becoming the first time in over a cent. that a Colombian leader is reelected. On May 28 Sheik Osama al-Jadaan, a pro-U.S. Sunni chief who sent fighters to help U.S. troops battle al-Qaida in W Iraq is assassinated in Baghdad; meanwhile nine are killed and 35 wounded across the lovely paradise. On May 28 tens of thousands flee the East Timor capital of Dili as gangs terrorize the city at will, capping a week of bloodshed that kills 27. On May 29 (U.S. Labor Day) three dozen are killed in Iraq, incl. two CBS News crew members and a U.S. soldier; CBS correspondent Kimberly Dozier is seriously wounded; 71 U.S. journalists have now died in the Iraq War, compared to 63 for the Vietnam War, 17 for the Korean War, and 69 for WWII; meanwhile Pres. Bush gives his Memorial Day Message at Arlington Nat. Cemetery, saying: "I am in awe of the men and women who sacrifice for the freedom of the United States of America", and claiming that the best way to honor the dead is by "defeating the terrorists... and by laying the foundation for a generation of peace". On May 29 violent anti-foreigner protests in Kabul, Afghanistan begin after a U.S. military truck crashes into traffic, killing four, and the soldiers fire into the crowd, killing four; a total of eight are killed and 107 injured before the streets are pacified of rioters shouting "Death to America". On May 29 public transit workers in Quebec, Canada go on strike, paralyzing the city. On May 30 Pres. Bush selects Goldman Sachs CEO (worth $600M) Henry Merritt "Hank" Paulson Jr. (1946-) as U.S. treasury secy. #74, succeeding John Snow, who resigned the same day; he is sworn-in on July 10 (until Jan. 20, 2009). On May 30 the U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court rules 5-4 in Garcetti v. Ceballos to scale back protections for govt. whistleblowers in a 5-4 decision in which Samuel Alito casts the deciding vote, ruling that the speech of public employees has no First Amendment protection; dissenting are David Souter, John Paul Stevens, Ruther Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer. On May 30 car bombs in Shiite areas of Iraq kill 54 and injure 120. On May 30 the UNAIDS Report is released, showing 40M wordwide living with the virus; India passes South Africa as the country with the largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS, 5.5M-5.7M. On May 30-June 1 the Scripps Nat. Spelling Bee, the first to feature prime-time TV coverage (on ABC) is held in Washington, D.C., and 13-y.-o. Katherine Close of Spring Lake, N.J. wins with "ursprache" (a parent language); the first female to win since 1999. On May 31 the U.S., which has cut off diplomatic relations with Iran since 1979 offers to talk face-to-face over its nuke program if it first puts it on hold, but Iran rejects the offer, calling it a "propaganda move". On May 31 Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki declares a state of emergency in Basra after violence around the country kills 25 and wounds dozens, promising an "an iron fist against... those who threaten security". On May 31 Katie Couric (1957-) says goodbye on NBC's Today Show, and on Sept. 5 replaces Bob Schieffer as anchor and managing ed. of the CBS Evening News, and becomes a contributor to 60 Minutes after switching networks, becoming the first woman hired as solo anchor of a U.S. weeknight network newscast, with the lame sign-on "Hi, everyone"; Connie Chung shared the anchor desk with Dan Rather (1931-), Barbara Walters with Harry Reasoner, and Elizabeth Vargas with Bob Woodruff; to hedge their bets, CBS keeps Bob Schieffer on for two weekly commentaries; too bad, she's a disaster as anchor and her ratings slide to a distant third. In May extreme storms flood New England with more than 10 in. of rain. In May after Chad dictator Idriss Deby reneges on his promises to the World Bank to use oil revenues for social programs and funnels it into his military regime, causing the World Bank to freeze Chad's bank accounts, and he survives a coup attempt in Apr. using French troops, and is reelected in May after the opposition boycotts the election, Idriss reaches another compromise, accepting 30% of oil revenues instead of the original measly 10%, with 70% to go to social programs instead of the original 80%; meanwhile the per capita income remains at $150 a mo. In May the 525-ft. Star of Nanchang opens in Jiangxi Province, China, becoming the tallest operating Ferris wheel in the world (until Feb. 2008). On June 1 Monaco's Prince Albert II acknowledges 14-y.-o. Jazmin Grace Grimaldi of Palm Desert, Calif. as his daughter, mothered by 44-y.-o. Tamara Rotolo when she had a fling with him in 1991 on the Cote d'Azur in S France (born Mar. 4, 1992); too bad, she won't be in line for the throne. On June 1 the U.S. Homeland Security Dept. cuts anti-terrorism funding to New York City by 40% ($83M) after determining that it has no nat. monuments or icons, such as the Empire State Bldg., Statue of Liberty, NYSE, Rockefeller Center, Holland and Lincoln tunnels, U.N. Bldg., or Brooklyn Bridge; outraged New Yorkers call for the firing of chief Michael Jack, er, Chertoff - how did they vote in the last pres. election? On June 3 Baltasar Garzon, Spain's top investigative magistrate gives a speech in Florence, Italy, calling the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay an "insult to countries that respect laws" and demanding its closing. On June 3 Canadian authorities announce the arrest of 17 people "inspired by al-Qaida", who they say were planning terrorist attacks in S Ontario and tried to acquire 3 tons of ammonium nitrate and other bomb components, three times the amount used in Oklahoma City. On June 3 four Russian diplomats are abducted in Iraq by al-Qaida gunmen, and are later killed. On June 4 Sunni gunmen stop two minivans N of Baghdad and kill 21 Shiites (incl. 11 students) "in the name of Islam" after separating out Sunnis. On June 4 Hamas rejects an ultimatum from Pres. Mahmoud Abbas to endorse a plan implicitly recognizing Israel, and a pregnant woman is killed during a clash between rival forces in Gaza. On June 5 gunmen in police uniforms raid bus stations in C Baghdad, Iraq, kidnapping 50. On June 5 the Islamic Courts Union milita with ties to al-Qaida, led by Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed seizes Somalia's capital of Mogadishu after weeks of fighting with U.S.-based secular warlords, ending 15 years of anarchy in the city, with 300 killed and 1.7K wounded; too bad, the militant Islamic Al-Shabaab (Arab. "Party of Youth") movement emerges, breaking with other insurgent groups and seeking to institute Sharia law. 666 is now a punchline for filthy lucre? On June 6 (6-6-6) (Rev. 13:18) another Millennium Fever Date comes and goes, but watch anybody who was born on this date very closely? - 1966 was a false 6-6-6, but this one is true? On June 6 (6-6-6) a remake of the 1976 horror classic The Omen, starring Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick, Liev Schreiber, and Julia Stiles, dir. by John Moore and with script by original screenwriter David Seltzer opens; Calif. Satanic speed metal band Slayer declares a Nat. Day of Slayer; at 6 p.m. Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins sign copies of the latest installment of their "Left Behind" series at the Mardel Bookstore in Littleton, Colo.; an online oddmaker makes the world a 100K-to-1 favorite to survive. On June 6 Iraq PM Nouri al-Maliki promises to release 2.6K POWs by June 30 to promote "reconciliation and national dialogue"; on June 7 the first batch of 594 is freed, followed on June 11 by 230 more. On June 6 former PM (1999-201) Jacques-Edouard Alexis becomes PM of Haiti (until Sept. 5, 2008). The Bush admin. finally gets the Devil, only a day late? On June 7 U.S. Task Force 145 scores a direct hit on a safe house 1.25 mi. N of Hibhib outside Baqouba, Iraq occupied by 39-y.-o. irhabi (terrorist) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi "the Beheader" with two 500-lb. bombs dropped by F-16 fighters, killing him along with adviser Abu Abdul-Rahman and four others (two men, a woman and a child); but not immediately for Zarqawi, as he tries to escape from his stretcher before croaking 52 min. after the bombing; within a few hours U.S.-Iraqi forces, using captured computer disks conduct 17 raids in and around Baghdad, yielding a "treasure trove" of intel, followed by 425 more, capturing or killing 104 terrorists; at least 40 are killed in Baghdad after a rash of bombings; the publicity causes the elite force to change its name?; on June 15 the Iraq govt. releases a transcript of a document found in al-Zarqawi's hideout that describes the "current bleak situation" of al-Qaida in Iraq. On June 8-10 Am. white supremacist David Duke holds the Internat. Conference on the White World's Future in Moscow, Russia. On June 10 ...Cooks! debuts on ITV for 167 episodes (until May 21, 2010), hosted by Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England-born chef Henry Antony Cardew Worrall Thompson (1951-), with regular chefs incl. Torre del Greco, Italy-born Gennaro "Gino" D'Acampo (1976-), Arras, France-born Jean-Christophe Novelli (1961-), and Halifax, West Riding of Yorkshire, England-born Brian Turner (1946-). On June 11 an Israeli air strike in Gaza kills to Hamas militants, while Palestinian militants bombard S Israel with homemade rockets. On June 11 three grenade attacks in Jammu, capital of Jammu-Kashmir kills one and wounds 29. On June 12 88-y.-o. Robert Byrd (D.-W. Va.) becomes the longest-serving member of the U.S. Senate, serving 17,237 days since 1959, while planning to run for a 9th term in Nov., which would add 2,190 more. On June 12 the U.S. Supreme Court, led by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy unanimously side with prisoners, making it easier for death row inmates to get DNA evidence before the courts and to contest lethal injections. On June 12 Palestinian forces loyal to Pres. Mahmoud Abbas go on a rampage against the Hamas-led govt. in Ramallah, West Bank, riddling govt. buildings with bullets and setting them on fire to protest an attack on their comrades in the Gaza Strip. On June 12 a new Security Plan for Baghdad is announced; meanwhile a car bomb in Baghdad kills five, and the Shiite Revenge begins. On June 12 Am. conservative writer Ann Coulter (1961-) pub. Godless: The Church of Liberalism, immediately gaining publicity for a statement about the "Jersey Widows", who lost their husbands at the WTC on 9/11, saying "These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arrazies. I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much... And by the way, how do we know their husbands weren't planning to divorce these harpies?" On June 13 after five grand jury appearances it is announced that Karl Rove won't be prosecuted for his role in Plamegate; meanwhile Valerie Plame files a lawsuit claiming that her CIA career was destroyed by the leak, and that her privacy rights were violated in retribution for her hubby's actions, and on July 19, 2007 U.S. District Judge John D. Bates dismisses it on jurisdictional but not constitutional grounds. On June 13 Pres. Bush stages a surprise 5.5-hour visit to Iraq to make hay out of the al-Zarqawi thingie; PM Nouri al-Maliki announces an extended 6 a.m. curfew starting June 14, and orders a joint mission to deploy 75K Iraqi and U.S. troops in Baghdad. On June 14 Pres. Bush, back in Washington, D.C. calls an Iraqi pullout "bad policy" and election-year politicking, saying "It will endanger our country to pull out of Iraq before we accomplish the mission." On June 15 the U.S. Supreme Court votes 5-4 in ? v. ? to let police break into homes and seize evidence without knocking or waiting. On June 15 the U.S. Congress pauses for a minute of silence to recognize the 2,500th U.S. military death in the Iraq War as part of a day-long debate, with six Dem. senators voting to withdraw troops by year's end, incl. Ted Kennedy (Mass.), John Kerry (Mass.), Robert Byrd (W.V.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Russ Feingold (Wisc.), and Tom Harkin (Iowa). On June 16 220-lb. Bruno (Bear JJ1) (b. 2004), the first bear seen in Germany since 1835 eludes capture in S Germany after killing livestock; it is part of a program to reintroduce bears to the Italian Alps; on June 26 it is shot and killed by govt.-sanctioned hunters in Schliersee after it kills sheep and rabbits, pissing-off animal lovers. On June 16 a 4.9 earthquake rocks most of Southern Calif., with no fatalities. On June 16 Mytishchi, Moscow-born "Bitsa Park Maniac" Alexander Yuryevich "Sasha" Pichushkin (1974-) is arrested after killing 48-63 mainly elderly homeless men in Bitsa Park in Moscow with a hammer to the head after offering them vodka, then pushing a vodka bottle into the holes in their skulls, becoming known as "the Chessboard Killer" after he states that his aim is to kill 64 people, the number of squares on a chessboard; he is given life in prison. On June 16 Pres. Bush and Repub. Rep. Dave Reichert drive by a school bus in Seattle, Wash., and the 43-y.-o. driver gives Bush the finger, causing him to be fired; on Nov. 3 he files a union grievance pleading wrongful termination; meanwhile on June 16 vice-pres. Cheney and his two sons are walking with their two sons to a piano camp in Beaver Creek, Colo. when Steven Howards (former dir. of the Denver Metro Air Quality Council) chances by, and tells him "Your policies in Iraq are reprehensible", then moves on, only to be handcuffed minutes later by Secret Service agent Virgil D. "Gus" Reichle Jr., who asks him, "Did you assault the vice president?", then takes him to jail; in Oct. he sues Cheney in federal court in Denver, Colo. after his charges are dismissed by a judge on July 10, and on June 4, 2012 the U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court unanimously rules that Secret Service Agents have qualified immunity preventing them from being sued. On June 16 Al-Qassam Brigades leader Yasser Ghalban is killed in an ambush by Fatah; he is known for the soundbyte: "We will rule the nations, by Allah's will. The U.S.A. will be conquered, Israel will be conquered, Rome and Britain will be conquered. The Jihad for Allah is the way of the truth and the way for salvation and the way which will lead us to crush the Jews and expel them from our country" - it's so nice to have the absolute truth before going to Hell? On June 18 ex-Beatle Paul McCartney (b. 1942) reaches 64, with everybody remembering his hit song (written at age 16) When I'm Sixty-Four from the 1967 "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album; "Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?"; meanwhile ex-wife Heather Mills hires Princess Diana's atty. Anthony Julius, while Paul hires Prince Charles' atty. Fiona Shackleton. On June 18 Nevada bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, an oceanographer becomes the first woman elected to lead a church in the global Anglican Communion as she is picked to be the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church by the Episcopal Gen. Convention in Columbus, Ohio, whose membership is predominantly white and has been declining for years. On June 19 the grisly, tortured, beheaded, booby-trapped remains of two missing Americans, Pfc. Kristian Menchaca (b. 1983) of Houston, Tex. and Pfc. Thomas L. Tucker (b. 1981) of Madras, Ore. are found in Baghdad a few mi. from where they disappeared on June 16 in an attack near Yousifiyah in the Sunni Triangle, which killed Spc. David J. Babineau (25) of Springfield, Mass.; a Web site posting claims that new Iraq al-Qaida leader Abu Hamza al-Muhajer did it personally; 8K U.S. and Iraqi troops searched for them, killing two insurgents and detaining 78. On June 19 the prosecution of Saddam Hussein, his half-brother Barzan Ibrahim (intel chief), Taha Yassin Ramadan (vice-pres.) and Awad Hamed al-Bandar (chief of jusice of the Rev. Court) finishes, demanding the death penalty, saying that So Damn Insane showed "no mercy", and that "Even the trees were not safe from their oppression", causing Saddam to mutter "Well done". On June 19 a suicide bomber detonates in a Baghdad restaurant 400 yards from the main gate of the Green Zone at lunchtime, killing 23; another bomber detonates during morning roll call outside a traffic police HQ in the Kurdish city of a Irbil, wounding 50; meanwhile 1K U.S. and Iraqi forces take part in Operation Spear and Operation Dagger in rural Anbar Province, which began June 17 and June 18, respectively. On June 19 the first stone of the Svalbard "Doomsday" Global Seed Vault on Spitsbergen Island, Norway 680 mi. from the North Pole is laid by the PMs of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. On June 19-23 at least 25 people are executed gangland-style in Mosul, Iraq. On June 20 the La. Nat. Guard marches into New Orleans to patrol streets after a surge in violent crime and gang-related murders. On June 21 America's Got Talent, created by Simon Cowell debuts on NBC-TV for ? episodes (until ?). On June 22 the FBI arrests seven black people in Miami City, Fla.'s Liberty City area, claiming they were planning to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago; on June 23 they reveal that they tried to join al-Qaida but never made contact or obtained explosives; on Nov. 18, 2009 Burson Augustin (1975-) is convicted and sentenced to six years in a federal prison; on Nov. 20 leader Narseal Batiste (1974-) gets 13.5 years. On June 23 the worst storm to hit the U.S. eastern seaboard in 300 years floods the Potomac and turns Washington, D.C. into a swamp, dumping more than 1 ft. of rain on June 26 and toppling a cent.-old elm tree on the White House lawn (portrayed on the back right side of the U.S. $20 bill), then on June 28 going on to flood the Schuykill River in Penn. On June 25 Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki unveils a 24-point Nat. Reconciliation Initiative offering amnesty to insurgents under certain conditions; a bomb in a plastic bag explodes in one of Baghdad's main markets in the al-Shurja Souk, killing 6 and injuring 17. On June 25 Palestinian Hamas militants sneak into Israel underneath a Gaza border crossing in a tunnel, then kill two Israeli soldiers and capture another, 19-y.-o. SSgt. Gilad Shalit (Schalit) (1986-), the first Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian militants in 12 years; after Israel offers to release hundreds of Palestinian terrorists in exchange for him, he is released on ?; on June 28 Israel attacks S Gaza and takes out power and bridges in an effort to pressure his release; on June 30 Israeli planes set the Palestinian Interior Ministry on fire. On June 25 Warren Buffett, world's 2nd richest man announces plans to donate 85% ($37.4B) of his $44B fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four other charities starting in July; he and Bill Gates have been friends since they met in 1991; earlier in the month Bill Gates announces that he is giving up his daily duties at Microsoft to spend more time with his foundation; his kids Susie (52), Howard (51), and Peter (48) get a measly $1B each? On June 25 (Sun.) actress Nicole Kidman marries Keith Urban in a Roman Catholic ceremony overlooking Manly Beach in Sydney, Australia. On June 26 bombs at markets in two Iraqi cities kill at least 40 hours after lawmakers announce that seven Sunni Arab insurgent groups have offered the govt. a conditional truce. On June 26 the U.S. announces deployment of PAC-3 (Patriot Advanced Capability-3) interceptor missiles on U.S. bases in Japan for the first time in anticipation of North Korean tests of a long-range missile capable of reaching both nations; in 2004 the PAC-3 was deployed in South Korea, and it has also been deployed in Taiwan. On June 26 lightning-sparked wildfires burn more than 50K acres in N Nevada, while others scorch eight other W U.S. states plus Alaska and Fla. On June 25 Guy's Big Bite debuts on Food Network (until ?), starring Columbus, Ohio-born Guy Fieri (Ferry) (1968-); on Apr. 23, 2007 Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives debuts on Foot Network (until ?); on Feb. 17, 2008 Ultimate Recipe Showdown debuts on Food Network (until 2011), co-hosted by Marc Summers; on Sept. 14, 2008 Guy Off the Hook debuts on Food Network (until Oct. 19, 2008); on Jan. 1, 2012 Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off debuts on Food Network (until ?), co-starring Rachael Ray; on Oct. 20, 2013 Guy's Grocery Games (Triple G) debuts on Food Network (until ?). And you thought the 4th cent. Roman civil war over homoousion vs. homoiousion was stupid? Who's more dangerous to America, the Christians within or the Muslims without? On June 27 the U.S. Senate avoids approving the Flag Desecration Amendment to the Constitution, sponsored by Moron, er, Mormon Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah by 1 vote (66-34); in 2005 the so-called more democratic House passed it by 286-130 (I know 286 House and 66 Senate members who should be burned alive?); retarded supporters, confusing official govt.-owned flags with private copies, missed permanently undermining the U.S. Bill of Rights for a "salute to veterans"?; Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) sums up the dumb side with "Countless men and women have died defending that flag", and Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) sums up the smart side with "We are being asked to undermine the foundations of our democracy to squash a gnat" - give me some "U.S. flag" toilet paper and I'll desecrate it for you Mormons whose daddies died defending it? On June 27 U.S. Surgeon Gen. Richard Carmona issues the 670-page report The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco, announcing that any amount of second-hand smoke is harmful, and calls it a "serious health hazard" - what about those scenes of Lucas McCain smoking his stogie at the fireplace in front of his son Mark? On June 27 boyish-faced lily-white mainstream-appearing Charles Gibson (1951-) leaves ABC-TV's Good Morning America after 19 years to become the anchor of ABC's World News Tonight - the perfect man to take on Katie Couric on NBC? On June 28 the Susquehanna River floods, causing 200K to be evacuated from the Wilkes-Barre, Penn. area. On June 28 Ill. Sen. Barack Obama gives a keynote speech to the liberal Christian org. Call to Renewal in Washington, D.C., dissing Alan Keyes for saying that Jesus Christ wouldn't vote for him, then making light of the Bible a la Tom Paine: "And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson's, or Al Sharpton's? Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is okay and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount, a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let's read our Bibles. Folks haven't been reading their Bibles" - neither has he, he just found a Web site with a list of crap and regurgitated it? On June 29 Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi meets with Pres. Bush at the White House; on June 30 Koizumi, an Elvis fan visits Graceland in Memphis, Tenn. On June 29 the U.S. Supreme (Roberts) Court rules 5-3 in Hamdan v. Rumsfield that Pres. Bush's decision to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals violates U.S. and internat. law, incl. the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, esp. Common Article 3; Alito goes with the minority, and Roberts does not vote; the biggest rebuke of an overreaching U.S. pres. since Pres. Truman and the steel mills in 1952? In June the 2.3M-member Presbyterian Church (USA) holds its 217th Gen. Assembly in Birmingham, Ala., and votes 282-212 to "receive" a document trying to get around the traditional language suggesting that God is male, suggesting 12 new phrases for their beloved Trinity (triune God), incl. "Compassionate Mother, Beloved Child and Live-giving Womb", "Lover, Beloved, and Love That Binds Lovers and Beloved Together", "Rock, Cornerstone, and Temple", and "Rainbow of Promise, Ark of Salvation, and Dove of Peace" - shalalala live for today? On June ? moderate Alan Garcia wins the pres. election in Peru over leftist Ollanta Humala, an ally of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. In June flooding kills at least 349 in China. In June an avg. of 100+ civilians a day are killed in Iraq, incl. nearly 6K for May-June. In June police arrest the Toronto 18, suspected Islamic terrorists in Toronto, Canada, claiming to have foiled a major terrorist attack; on Jan. 21, 2010 Jordanian-born mastermind Zakaria Amaria (1985-) is given a life sentence; Saad Gaya is given 12 years in prison. In June Pakistan-born U.S. citizen Syed Hashmi (1980-) is arrested at Heathrow Airport in London en route to Pakistan to visit it family, and next May becomes the first U.S. citizen to be extradited to the U.S. under the post-9/11 terrorism laws; too bad, they torture him at a Guantanamo-like prison in New York City, making him a cause celebre for civil libertarians. In June Pakistani Christian Qamar David is sentenced to life in prison for sending derogatory text messages about Muhammad; on Mar. 15, 2011 he dies in prison amid suspicions of being murdered. In June Tokyo-based Nissan Corp. (founded 1933), Japan's 2nd-biggest automaker produces its 100 millionth vehicle, reaching 100,140,000 by June 30, incl. 76,640,000 in Japan and 23,500,000 overseas. In June Paris Hilton goes on David Letterman's Late Show to tell him that her big feud with The Simple Life co-star Nicole Richie was just a sham - ha ha? On July 1 a giant car bomb explodes in an outdoor market in a Shiite district of Baghdad, Iraq, killing 66 and injuring 100 - watching you terrorists grow and go through the changes in your life? On July 1 the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, the world's highest railway is opened between Beijing, China and Lhasa, Tibet (2.5K mi.), reaching 16K ft. above sea level and featuring oxygen for passengers. On July 2 pres. elections in Mexico create a deadlock between pro-free-market pro-U.S. Felipe Calderon Hinojosa (1963-) of the ruling Nat. Action Party, and leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (1953-), each with 36%, with Roberto Madrazo Pintado (1952-) of the yesterday's news PRI lagging with 19%; after much baksheesh, er, recounting, the winner is declared to be Calderon by 0.56% (35.89% to 35.33%) (a margin of 233,831 of 41.6M votes cast) on July 6; on July 16 (Sun.) hundreds of thousands of protesters in Mexico City demand a recount for Obrador, charging rampant fraud; Obrador's supporters are mainly in the poor S states, Calderon's in the affluent N and NW states. On July 3 half-mi.-wide Asteroid 2004 XP14 comes to within 269K mi. of the Earth. On July 3 a subway train in Valencia, Spain flips off the tracks, killing 41 and injuring 47. On July 3 the Philippine govt. says that at least 5K villagers have fled their homes in the S Philippines after nearly a week of clashes between govt. forces and Muslim guerrillas of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. On July 4 at 2:38 p.m. EDT the U.S. launches its crappy Space Shuttle Discovery from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. (first 4th of July launch) on mission STS-121; once again flying floam strikes the flying bomb, causing the mission to turn into a breast self-exam in space even though the pieces come off after the 2 min. 15 sec. critical point; on July 16 the astronauts issue a soundbyte: "We just flew over the Middle East, and I have to tell you, from up here it looks peaceful and quiet just like the rest of the planet" (Piers Sellers); a 14-in. repair spatula is lost during a spacewalk; they make a successful landing on July 17. A rare Commie fireworks tribute to U.S. Independence Day? On July 4 North Korea, ignoring repeated internat. warnings tests their Taep'o-Dong 2 (Taepodong-2) missile (2985-9320 mi. range), which proves a dud and breaks up and crashes into the Sea of Japan; six more missiles are launched in the next 24 hours, drawing protests from 13 nations while Dear Leader and Lodestar of the 21st Cent. Kim Jong Il remains crazy like a fox?; on July 5 the U.N. Security Council attempts to impose sanctions, but Russia and China block it; on July 6 the North Korean foreign minister declares that his country has a right to test missles as a "self-defense deterrent", and "If anyone intends to dispute or add pressure about this, we will have to take stronger physical actions in other forms." On July 4 Palestinian militants hit the Israeli city of Ashkelon with a rocket from Gaza for the first time, just hours after a deadline set by militants holding Israel soldier Gilad Shalit passes without Israel releasing 1.5K Palestinian POWs, all pissing Israelis off more than ever. On July 5 oil hits a record $75.40 a barrel. On July 5 Dem. N.J. Gov. Jon S. Corzine closes New Jersey's casinos for the first time in 28 years, putting 80K out of work as part of a 5-day state govt. shutdown caused by a fight with the legislature over a proposed sales tax increase; on July 6 the dispute is ended. On July 6 New York and Ga. uphold bans on same-sex unions, leaving Mass. as the only gay marriage haven. On July 6 Angela Magdaleno (1966-) of Los Angeles, Calif. gives birth to quadruplets by C-section (without fertility drugs) three years after delivering triplets via IVF, giving her a total of 10 children, all but the two oldest living with them in a 1-bedroom apt. On July 7 U.S. authorities announce the foiling of a terrorist plot to cripple the U.S. economy in Oct. or Nov. by destroying train tunnels in New York City, arresting eight suspects; on July 9 authorities announce the discovery of files describing a plan to attack New York train tunnels on the computer of al-Qaida man Assem Hammoud (1975-), who visited the U.S. in 2000. On July 9 India test-fires its 1.8K mi.-range, nuclear-capable Agni (Hindi "fire") 3 missile. On July 9 Nobel laureate (1996 Peace Prize) Jose Manuel Ramos Horta (1949-) is sworn-in as PM of East Timor (until ?) after being chosen by pres. Xanana Gusmao to replace Mari Alkatiri, who resigned in June after failing to stop the violence and being accused of forming a hit squad. On July 9 Polish Pres. Lech Kaczynski announces the appointment of his twin brother Jaroslav Kaczynski to succeed moderate PM Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz, who resigned on July 8, and on ? he is sworn-in (until ?). On July 9 hundreds of Canadian and Afghan soldiers raid Taliban strongholds in Kandahar Province, killing at least 15 militants and one Canadian. On July 10 Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev (b. 1945) is killed when a dynamite-laden truck in his convoy explodes in Ekazhevo, Ingushetia - what a shamil the basayev-killer is no more? On July 14 Polish pres. (since Dec. 2005) Lech Kaczynski appoints his identical 45-min. older twin brother Jaroslaw Kaczynski (1949-) as PM of Poland (until Nov. 16, 2007). On July 10 Colo. passes the most restrictive anti-immigrant legislation so far in the U.S., requiring businesses to keep records sent to the federal govt. on employees for random state audits. On July 11 (6:24-35 p.m. local time) the 2006 Mumbai Train Bombings sees Kashmiri Muslim militants set off seven pressure cooker bombs in first-class train cars in the financial capital of Mumbai (Bombay), India (pop. 18M) during the evening rush hour (at seven stations), killing 209 commuters and injuring 700+; Indian police detain 350 in the NE suburb of Malwani for questioning, causing Muslims to complain that they're being targeted unjustly; on July 12 PM Manmohan Singh utters the soundbyte: "No one can make India kneel"; on Feb. 27, 2009 Indian Mujahideen leader Sadiq Sheikh confesses on TV to his role in the bombings; in Sept. 2015 12 Muslims are convicted. On July 11 a series of grenade attacks in Srinagar, Kashmir kill nine tourists. On July 11 a Big Dig tunnel in Boston, Mass. drops 12 tons of concrete onto a passing car, killing Milena Delvalle (38), and causing the state atty.-gen. Tom Reilly to begin a criminal investigation, saying "No one is going to be spared"; within days 362 violations are found, adding to the 169 defective areas found in 2005, exposing the $14.6B boondoggle as dangerous as well as wasteful; six people had been charged earlier in the year for covering up the use of inferior concrete; on July 27 Matthew Amorello, chmn. of the Mass. Turnpike Authority resigns under pressure of Gov. Mitt Romney. On July 11 Hezbollah militants capture Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev in a cross-border raid, causing Israel to invade Lebanon on July 12, shutting down Beirut Internat. Airport, which causes Hezbollah to fire rockets into 20 Israeli towns, incl. one of which lands in a train station in Haifa, killing eight, causing the Israeli PM to go nonlinear, causing the Middle East to go into the hairy edge of war; on July 16 the 6th day of hostilities causes the death toll to top 230 (210 Lebanese, 24 Israelis, incl. 410 Lebanese and 303 Israelis wounded) as hundreds of U.S. evacuees from Lebanon fly into Cyprus; meanwhile on July 16 world leaders incl. British PM Tony Blair and U.N. Secy.-Gen. Kofi Annan call for deployment of internat. forces to stop the bombardment of Israel, while Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah (1961-) says the battle has just begun; on July 17 Israel briefly sends troops into Lebanon while Hezbollah rockets knock down a 3-story house in N Israel; on July 19 mass evacuation to Cyprus of the 25K Americans and other foreigners by U.S. Navy and Marines begins. On July 11 comedian Robin Williams checks into the Hazelden Rehab. Center in Ore. after he begins drinking after 20 years of sobriety. On July 12 gunmen seize two dozen Shiites from a bus station in Baghdad, Iraq in a predominantly Sunni area, then kill them and dump their bodies in a nearby village. On July 12 the Journal of the Am. Medical Assoc. reveals that for the 2nd time in 2 mo. article contributors failed to disclose financial ties to drug cos. On July 13 the U.S. House votes to renew the 1965 U.S. Voters Rights Act, rejecting efforts by Southerners to relax federal oversight of their states; 33 Repubs. vote no, claiming that their racist voting obstacles are history. On July 14 oil prices reach a peak of $77.03 a barrel before beginning to decline. On July 14-16 Tropical Storm Bilis pounds SE China, killing 154 and injuring hundreds. On July 15 a heat wave begins in Calif., lasting 2 weeks and killing 139. On July 16 a suicide bomber detonates inside a cafe packed with Shiites in Tuz Khormato, Iraq 130 mi. N of Baghdad, killing 26 and injuring 22. On July 17 a 7.7 earthquake causes a 6-ft.-high 110-mi.-wide tsunami along the S coast of Java, killing at least 463, causing 23K to flee their homes in Pangandaran and other towns. On July 17 the U.S. House approves a treaty with Russia to protect the remaining 25K polar bears from overhunting. On July 17 Shiite gunmen massacre 50 in a market in Mahmoudiya, Iraq; reprisals kill at least 19 more. On July 17 Britain outlaws the Islamist org. Al Ghurabaa (Arab. "The Strangers"), causing spokesman Anjem Choudary to form Islam4UK in 2010. On July 18 a Sunni driver in Iraq lures Shiites to his van by promising jobs, then blows it up, killing 53. On July 18 Dr. Anna Pou (50), nurse Cheri A. Landry (49), and nurse Lori L. Budo (43) are arrested for murdering four sick elderly patients in the aftermath of Hurricane Latrine, er, Katrina by administering a lethal morphine-Versed cocktail; "We're talking about people that pretended that maybe they were God" (La. Atty. Gen. Charles C. Foti). On July 19 Israeli troops invade S Lebanon as warplanes flatten houses and buildings, incl. one believed to hold top Hezbollah leaders; the death toll reaches 70; meanwhile 1K Americans are evacuated from Beirut to Cyprus by the 8-deck luxury liner Orient Queen. On July 20 Brandon Hedrick (b. 1979) becomes the first person to die in the electric chair in the U.S. in more than 2 years, taking the juice at 9:12 p.m. in Greensville, Va. Correctional Center; he chose it over lethal injection, a choice given inmates since 1995. On July 20 Pres. Bush makes his first appearance as pres. at an annual convention of the NAACP in Washington, D.C.; chmn. Julian Bond had in the past compared Repubs. to Nazis and Bush to Hitler, but new pres. Bruce Gordon has mellowed the group out? On July 22 Kashmiri militant Mudassir, chief planner of Pakistan-based Islamic militant group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba is arrested in the Indian portion of Kasmir; he is thought to be behind June 11 and July 11 grenade attacks in Jammu and Srinagar. On July 23 (Sun.) bombs in Baghdad and Kirkuk, Iraq kill 62 and wound 200+. On July 23 Saddam Hussein is hospitalized on the 17th day of a hunger strike and fed with a tube; Saddam is striking to demand better security for his defense team, three of whom have been assassinated since the trial began, the last being Khamis al-Obeidi on June 21. On July 23 Amnesty Internat. issues a report claiming that security agents in Jordan torture terrorism suspects on behalf of the U.S. to force confessions. On July 23 a 5-y.-o. boy called Prince is rescued from a 60-ft. irrigation shaft in Aldeharhi, India after a 50-hour ordeal that gripped the nation. On July 24 Israeli troops seize a key Hezbollah stronghold in S Lebanon; Condoleezza Rice makes a surprise visit to Beirut, and meets with Lebanese PM Fuad Saniora, saying that the U.S. will not press Israel for a quick ceasefire until the long-term threat of Hezbollah is addressed; Israeli rockets hit Bint-Jbail near the Israeli border; Israel captures two Hezbollah guerrillas and plans to interrogate them; meanwhile the U.S. completes its evacuation of 12K Americans, and says it will switch to humanitarian aid; on July 25 a U.N. observation post near Khiam on Lebanon's E border with Israel comes under Israeli fire 21x, killing four observers, despite 10 phone calls in six hours telling them to stop; Hezbollah militants were using the U.N. workers as shields; U.N. Secy.-Gen. Kofi Annan calls the attack "apparently deliberate"; by July 28 Hezbollah has launched 1500 Katyusha rockets at Israel; on July 26 nine Israel soldiers are killed in battles for key towns, and Israel announces its intention of establishing a 1.2 mi.-wide security zone in Lebanon, and keep the Shebaa Farms in the Israel-Lebanon-Syria triangle, which they seized in the 1967 war. On July 24 the U.S. Freedom to Display the American Flag Act is signed by Pres. Bush, prohibiting real estate mgt. orgs from you know what. On July 27 Pres. Bush signs a bill to renew the U.S. Voting Rights Act of 1965 one year ahead of time. On July 27 it is announced that the NORAD complex in Colo. Springs, Colo. is being put on "warm standby". On July 27 rockets and mortars kill 31 in an upscale mostly Shiite area of Baghdad (high class Shiite?), collapsing an apt. house; a car bomb explodes in the commercial and residential district of Karradah, Iraq, injuring 150. On July 28 Hezbollah uses the Khaibar-1 (Iranian-made Fajr-5) missile for the first time, striking Haifa. On July 28 (2:36 a.m. PDT) film superstar Mel Colmcille Gerard Gibson (1956-) is arrested for drunk driving in Malibu, Calif., launching into a "barrage of anti-Semitic remarks", incl. the immortal soundbyte "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world", which is at first allegedly covered up, then causes a firestorm of controversy and threatens his career; his wife (since 1981) Robyn Gibson separates with him 1 mo. later, and files for divorce in Apr. 2009; he later apologizes and calls his statements "despicable", and enters a rehab program, then on Oct. 18 talks with Diane Sawyer on ABC-TV, calling his comments "the stupid ramblings of a drunkard", admitting that he slicked up his hair for his mugshot to avoid "one of those hideous mug shots" like Nick Nolte took; meanwhile on Aug. 1 he is arrested on terrorism charges by the feds for allegedly funneling money through Australia into Lebanon and Palestine to fund Muslim extremists against Israel (actually a joke posted on the Web) - but since true Jews never forgive or forget, just wait? On July 28 a bomb explodes between a Sunni mosque and youth center in Baghdad, Iraq during Friday prayers, killing four and wounding nine. On July 28 (4:00 p.m.) the Seattle Jewish Federation Shooting sees Muslim extremist Naveed Afzal Haq (1975-) go on jihad and shoot six women, killing one, calling himself a "soldier of Islam", shouting "I'm a Muslim-American, I'm angry at Israel"; on Jan. 14, 2010 after his attys. coach him to paint himself as mentally troubled with inadequate mental health care, he is sentenced to life in prison. On July 29 four U.S. Marines from Regimental Combat Team 7 are killed in Anbar Province in a Sunni Arab insurgent stronghold W of Baghdad, while a U.S. F-16 drops two precision-guided bombs on a bldg. near Baghdad believed to be used by militants.; on July 31 a car bomb in Mosul explodes on a passing police patrol, killing three officers and three civilians. On July 30 an Israeli airstrike on a 3-story bldg. in the S Lebanese village of Qana kills 28, almost all of them women and children, igniting a firestorm of protest; Israel later releases video showing the village being used as a launch point for Katyusha rockets; Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issues a call for an immediate ceasefire, saying that "Islamic nations will not forgive the entities that hinder a ceasefire"; Iraqi Pres. Jalal Talabani (Sunni Kurd) calls the attack a "crime"; the U.N. Security issues a statement which "strongly deplores this loss of innocent life"; Israel agrees to suspend air attacks in S Lebanon for 48 hours; so far 518 have been killed in Lebanon, incl. 458 civilians - all over two Israeli soldiers? On July 30 the Dem. Republic of Congo has its first dem. elections in 46 years. On July 30 Mogadishu's internat. airport opens for the first time in a decade. On July 30 leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador calls for hundreds of thousands of his supports to erect permanent protest camps on the Zocalo (central plaza) of Mexico City "until the court resolves" the disputed pres. election; after he gets leftist lawmakers to protest, Vicente Fox becomes the first Mexican leader to abandon his state of the union speech on Sept. 4; he then calls for a halt to Sept. 16 Independence Day celebrations, and vows to rule the country from the streets, with the soundbyte "They can keep their pirated institutions and their phony president, but they cannot keep our fatherland and our national dignity"; on Sept. 5 the Federal Electoral Tribunal rules Calderon the pres.-elect, while millions of Mexicans are angry that outgoing pres. and fellow party member Vicente Fox didn't make good on promises of sweeping changes; on Sept. 14 Fox caves in and cancels the "Viva Mexico" Independence Day celebrations in the Zocalo to avoid protests, and move it to the small town of Dolores Hidalgo 170 mi. NW of Mexico City in Fox's conservative home state of Guanajuao. On July 31 Fidel Castro temporarily reliquinshes his pres. powers to his radical brother Raul Castro (1931-) after suffering GI bleeding from a surgery; he has six sons by his first two wives, plus several others out of wedlock; Cuban exiles in Monday take to the streets in anticipation of the old snake's death? On July 31 the U.N. Security Council passes a resolution giving Iran until Aug. 31 to suspend uranium enrichment or face sanctions. On July 31 British PM Tony Blair and Calif. Gov. Ahnuld announce an agreement to bypass the Bush admin. and work together to cut pollution and fight global warming; "This is an agreement to share ideas and information. It is not a treaty", Ahnuld spokesman Adam Mendelsohn says. On July 31 gunmen in military fatigues burst into the offices of the Iraqi-Am. Chamber of Commerce and a nearby mobile phone co. and seize 26 in the upscale Karradah Shiite area of Baghdad; four Iraqi soldiers are killed in a suicide bombing in N Iraq, the first-ever in the Kurdish-ruled province of Dahuk. In July China finally links Tibet and Beijing by train. In July the U.S. heat wave shaters 2.3K records, incl. a 117 F high in Cottonwood, S.D. on July 15, and 23 out of 31 days above 90 F in Helena, Mont.; this is the first year that the yearly heat wave in the U.S. West since 2000 has spread to the C plains; so far 7.1M acres of forest have burned, the most in any 10-year period (8.7M by Sept.) (annual avg. over the past 10 yars is 4.9M). In July the free mag. Babytalk shocks readers by displaying a photo of a baby nursing on a giant breast, a sign that the "lactivist" movement of public breastfeeding is gaining ground despite the Puritanical attitudes prevalent in the U.S. In July Pfizer's Chantix, a drug that makes the immune system attack nicotine to prevent the pleasurable "buzz" as a way to end addiction hits the market in the U.S., following Sanofi-Aventis SA's Acomplia, which won approval in Europe under the guise of a weight-loss drug. In July Robert Charles Browne (1952-), a life sentence inmate in a Colo. prison claims to have killed 48 other people starting in the early 1970s and spanning nine states and South Korea until his 1995 conviction. While the U.S. military is out in Iraq fighting ghosts, back home the illegals move in like insects? In July the town of Riverside, N.J. (pop. 8K) passes the Illegal Immigration Relief Act, banning hiring and housing of approx. 3.5K undocumented aliens, causing a protest by hundreds on Aug. 20, led by the Nat. Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders, which vows to invite new illegals to move in to replace any forced out; meanwhile other towns incl. Hazleton, Penn. pass similar ordinances. In July a Scrips Howard and Ohio U. poll finds that more than one-third of Americans believe that federal officials assisted in the 9/11 attacks or purposely took no action to stop them so that the U.S. could have an excuse to start a war in the Middle East. In July the U.S. has its highest avg. temp (77.2 F) since 1936 (77.5 F). In July U.S. gas pump prices reach a record $3.015 per gal., rising by mid-Aug. to $3.025; from July-Oct. oil company profits reach $31.6B. In July the civilian death toll in Iraq (3.5K) exceeds the entire war before that; the total of killed and wounded in the Battle of Baghdad reaches 22K by mid-Aug. In July a computer programmer mistakenly wipes out the disk drive info. on a $38B oil-funded account at the Alaska Dept. of Revenue, costing it $200K to scan the original paperwork back in. In July the Italian govt. frees thousands of prisoners convicted of "minor" crimes, causing a resurgence in the Camorra in Naples, which soon rakes in 15B euros a year from drugs. In July Am. TV chef Anthony Bourdain is caught in Beirut when the Israel-Lebanon Conflict breaks out, holing-up in a hotel until cleaner "Mr. Wolf" helps the U.S. Marines evacuate him and his crew on July 20, resulting in a No Reservations episode that airs on Aug. 21 and is nominated for an Emmy. On Aug. 1 Iraq starts out a new month of killing with more than 70 killed, incl. 20 Iraqi troops, a U.S. soldier, and a British soldier. On Aug. 2 Toyota which passes Ford and becomes #2 in the U.S. auto market after GM; on Sept. 5 Bill Ford steps down as Ford Motor Co. CEO for Boeing hatchet, er, turnaround expert Alan Roger Mullaly (1945-), who wastes no time, and on Sept. 13 Ford announces that it will install electronic stabilization controls on all its vehicles by the end of 2009, then on Sept. 15 announces a reorg. plan which will cut 45K jobs. On Aug. 2 bomb blasts in a soccer field in the mostly Shiite district of Amil in W Baghdad kills 11 young people. On Aug. 2 Hezbollah launches 230+ rockets into Israel, followed on Aug. 3 by 200 more, killing eight; meanwhile a pro-Hezbollah rally called by Muqtada al-Sadr and approved by the Iraq govt. is held by thousands of white-shrouded Shiite youths in Baghdad's Sadr City while a motorcycle bomb kills 12. Hell's Top Model? On Aug. 2 Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos (b. 1984) dies of starvation, er, heart attack, followed on Nov. 14 by 5'8" 88 lb. Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston (b. 1985), then by the first one's sister Eliana Ramos on Feb. 13, 2007 (same cause), despite fashion show organizers in Spain and Italy setting weight guidelines for models; London Fashion Week organizers respond by prohibiting size zero models; the avg. model is 5'11" and size 0 or 2, vs. the avg. non-model woman at 5'4" and size 14; "2 is the new 4 and zero is the new 2" (The Devil Wears Prada). On Aug. 3 top U.S. cmdrs. tell Congress that civil war in Iraq is a "possibility" (Gen. Peter Pace); meanwhile Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton calls on defense secy. Donald Rumsfeld to resign. On Aug. 3 militants kill four Canadian soldiers and wound 10 in Pashmul, Afghanistan W of Kandahar; meanwhile a suicide car bomb in a market in Panjwayi 15 mi. away, killing 21 civilians and wounding 13. On Aug. 3 Toni Braxton (1968-) replaces Wayne Newton at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., becoming the first African-Am. performer to enter the Top 10 Vegas Show chart. On Aug. 5-13 forest fires in NW Spain burn over 24K acres of forest and scrubland; more than 20 people are arrested for deliberately starting them. On Aug. 6 (night) a suicide bomber detonates among mourners at a funeral in Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, Iraq, killing 10 and injuring 22; meanwhile three U.S. soldiers are killed in a roadside bombing SW of Baghdad. On Aug. 6 Iran defies a U.N. Security Council deadline and vows to expand its urianium enrichment. On Aug. 6 Hiroshima mayor Tadatoshi Akiba calls for the elimination of all nukes on the 61th anniv. of the U.S. A-bomb attack. On Aug. 6 U.S. journalist Paul Salopek (1962-) is arrested in Darfur, Sudan on espionage charges, and released on Sept. 9. On Aug. 7 a U.S.-Iraqi attack on a Shiite military stronghold in Baghdad, Iraq kills three, incl. a woman and child, causing Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki to criticize it, saying it could undermine his efforts at nat. reconciliation. On Aug. 7 Lebanese PM Fuad Saniora tearfully rejects a U.N. ceasefire plan, demanding an immediate Israeli pullout of S Lebanon. On Aug. 7 4-y.-o. conjoined twin sisters Kendra and Maliya Herrin undergo successful separation surgery in Salt Lake City, Utah. On Aug. 8 after a "netroots" campaign featuring video of Pres. Bush planting a kiss on his cheek after the 2005 State of the Union address, 3-term Conn. Sen. Joe Lieberman loses the Dem. primary to anti-war millionaire challenger Ned Lamont 52-48, causing Lieberman to vow to run as an independent, only to see top Dem. senators John Kerry, Edward Kennedy et al. back Lamont; flamboyant Ga. Rep. Cynthia McKinney loses a runoff for the Dem. nomination. On Aug. 9 a string of bombings in the center of Baghdad kill at least 20 and wound 60. On Aug. 9-13 Perseid meteor showers brighten the night sky. On Aug. 10 British and Pakistan authorities break up a plot (set for Wed. Aug. 16) to smuggle chemicals aboard 10 U.S.-bound planes in England in soft drink containers and blow them up, arresting 24 people (41 by Aug. 12), and causing new restrictions on air travel as most liquids except baby food are prohibited, along with laptops and other electronic devices; on Aug. 21 police charge 11 people, and confirm that the plot involved the manufacture of explosives; on Aug. 10 Pres. Bush utters the soundbyte: "The recent arrests that our fellow citizens are now learning about are a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation." On Aug. 10 a Sunni Jamaat Jund al-Sahaba (Arab. "Soldiers of the Prophet's Companions") suicide bomber detonates outside Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf, Iraq (Iraq's holiest Shiite shrine), killing 35 and wounding 122. On Aug. 10 Ukrainian cosmonaut Yuri Ivanovich Malenchenko (1961-) becomes the first person to marry in space, marrying Ekaterina Dmitrieva in Tex. while he is over New Zealand on the Internat. Space Station. On Aug. 11 135 mph Typhoon Saomai becomes China's worst tropical storm in a cent., hitting the SE coast, killing 100 and destroying 50K homes, then forcing 1.5M from their homes. On Aug. 11 the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopts a resolution calling for the end of fighting between Israel and Hezbollah, authorizing the deployment of 15K U.N. Peacekeepers and calling for an Israeli withdrawal by Mon. morning, which the Israelis use to stage their largest commando raid ever in S Lebanon; minutes after the U.N. vote Israeli warplanes pounds S Beirut with 20+ missiles, causing Hezbollah to fire more than 250 rockets at N Israel, the worst since July 12; on Aug. 11 an Israeli drone fires at a convoy of refugees in S Lebanon, killing seven and wounding 22; the death toll is 800, incl. 741 Lebanese and 123 Israelis. On Aug. 11 James Dobson of Focus on the Family calls the loss of life in Lebanon "terrible", likens Israel to "little David" facing "mighty Goliath", and asks God to intervene and "give His people a miracle on the battlefield"; meanwhile Rev. Ted Haggard, pres. of the Nat. Assoc. of Evangelicals says he is purposely maintaining silence about the conflict to protect "a rapidly growing evangelical population in virtually every Islamic country". On Aug. 11 Sesame Street introduces its first female muppet Abby Cadabby, a 3-y.-o. fairy with wings. On Aug. 11 U.S. Sen. (R-Va.) George Felix Allen (1952-) uses the word "macaca" at a campaign stop in Breaks, Va. to refer to Indian-Am. photographer S.R. Sidartha, who works for his opponent Jim Webb, bringing out the PC police and causing Webb to win the race. On Aug. 13 prominent British Muslim leaders pub. an Open Letter to Tony Blair, saying that his policy on the Middle East and Iraq offers "ammunition to extremists" and puts British lives "at increased risk". On Aug. 13 (eve.) a series of explosions in a Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad causes a battle between the U.S. military and Iraqis over who caused them, the U.S. blaming them on a gas line blast and the Iraqis on car bombs and rockets. On Aug. 14 as peacekeepers move in, tens of thousands of Lebanese jam roads trying to return to Beirut after 34 days of combat; meanwhile Hezbollah leader Nasrallah becomes a hero to the Muslims, the "lion of Lebanon", first-ever to shoot rockets into Zionist Israel, as his org. hands out $12K in $100 bills to each Lebanese family whose home was destroyed by Israel. On Aug. 14 the U.S. begins issuing electronic passports to the gen. public containing an embedded IC containing a digital photo, facial recognition data, and other security features. On Aug. 14 a video is released showing Fidel Castro healthy and joking from his hospital bed with Venezuelan pres. Hugo Chavez, causing anti-Castro forces to grumble. On Aug. 14 four masked gunmen in Gaza City kidnap U.S. Fox News correspondents Steven James "Steve" Centanni (1946-) of the U.S. and Olaf Wiig (1970-) of New Zealand; on Aug. 23 a video is released showing them and demanding the release of Muslim POWs within 72 hours; on Aug. 27 they appear on a video dressed in Arab robes and ranting against the West, then are released after the payment of a $2M ransom, immediately claiming the statements were made under duress and they been forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint. On Aug. 15 the last POW is transferred to Abu Ghraib Prison, and on Aug. 28 the prison is turned over to the Iraq govt. On Aug. 16 Mirek Topolanek (Topolánek) (1956-) of the center-right Civic Dem. Party becomes PM of the Czech Repub. (until Mar. 26, 2009). America's Got Talent Salutes Whom? On Aug. 16 41-y.-o. Ga. teacher John Mark Karr (1964-) is arrested in Bangkok, Thailand for the 1996 Christmas night murder of 6-y.-o. Boulder, Colo. beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey; he had become a suspect after long e-mail correspondence with U. of Colo. Michael Tracey in which he volunteered info. on the killing that was not public; in 2001 a 5-count misdemeanor child porno charge was brought against him in Calif.; on Aug. 17 he tells the press that he "was present at her death" but that it was "an accident" and that he "loves" her, stirring concerns that he is just confessing to gain fame; after being extradited to Boulder, he is cleared on Aug. 28 by district atty. Mary Lacy hours before appearing before a judge after DNA tests fail to match; Karr is sent to Calif. on his child porno charges, but they are dropped after prosecutors lose the evidence, the computer holding the images. On Aug. 16 Mexican officials announce the capture of drug lord Francisco Javier Arellano Felix (1969-) while deep-sea fishing on Aug. 14. On Aug. 17 U.S. District Judge (since 1979) Anna Diggs Taylor (1932-) in Detroit, Mich. rules that the NSA's warantless surveillance program is unconstitutional, and orders it ended; meanwhile U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler (1938-) in Washington, D.C. rules that cigarette makers did violate racketeering laws and deceived the public for over 50 years about the health hazards of smoking, but that she couldn't order them to pay the $10B-$130B sought by the govt., nor order a national stop-smoking program, because an appeals court ruling permits only forward-looking remedies, although she does order them to publish "corrective statements", and to stop labelling cigarettes as "low tar", "light", "ultra light" and "mild" because of the way people smoke them. On Aug. 17 a coalition aircraft mistakenly drops a bomb in SE Patika Province in Afghanistan, killing 10 Afghan police officers on border patrol. On Aug. 18 acting Cuban pres. Raul Castro says that he has mobilized tens of thousands of troops in response to "aggressive U.S. acts", incl. stepped-up radio and TV broadcasts and an $80M plan to hasten the end of Commie rule - gotta keep these muscles tight? On Aug. 19-20 rolling battles with Taliban insurgents and Afgahan and NATO troops kill 71 militants and five Afghan security forces. On Aug. 20 rooftop snipers kill 20 and wound 300 white-shrouded Shiites as they throng around the Shrine of Imam Moussa Kadhim (d. 799) in the Kazimiyah neighborhood of N Baghdad, in what appears to be the opening of a civil war; on Aug. 21 (Mon.) Pres. Bush holds a press conference, sticking to his optimism of a democratic Iraq without a civil war, and insisting on the need for Iraq to "succeed" for U.S. security, saying, " We're not leaving so long as I'm president"; meanwhile Sen. Joe Lieberman calls on defense secy. Donald Rumsfeld to resign, but sticks to his pro-Iraq War policy, saying that the U.S. cannot "walk away" from the Iraqis; meanwhile Sen. John McCain of Ariz. says he won't campaign against his friend Lieberman in Del. On Aug. 21 Saddam Hussein's Genocide Trial (his 2nd trial) begins, with witnesses giving tear-jerking stories of how Kurds were treated like garbage, causing Saddam Hussein to bark at the prosecutors and refuse to enter a plea; on Aug. 22 Najiba Khider Ahmed (1965-) testifies about the Apr. 16, 1987 poison gas attack on Basilan and Sheik Wasan: "I saw 8-12 jets... There was greenish smoke from the bombs. It was as if there was a rotten apple or garlic smell minutes later. People were vomiting... We were blind and screaming. There was no one to rescue us, just God." On Aug. 21 Calif. agrees to raise the minimum wage from $6.75 to $8 by 2008. On Aug. 22 a Pulkovo Airlines Tu-154 passenger jet en route from the Russian Black Sea resort of Anapa to St. Petersburg crashes near Donetsk, Ukraine during a thunderstorm, killing all 170 aboard, becoming the third Russian passenger plane crash this year. On Aug. 22 U.S. District Judge Charles R. Bryer in San Francisco blocks a Jan. 2004 Bush admin. plan to permit commercial logging in Giant Sequoia Nat. Monument, calling it "incomprehensible". On Aug. 22 Iraq War hawk Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says the Bush admin. misled Americans into believing it would be "some kind of day at the beach", and "it grieves me so much that we had not told the American people how tough and difficult this would be". On Aug. 22 the Ill. Restaurant Assoc. sues the city of Chicago, Ill. for banning the sale of foie gras, which involves force-feeding of ducks and geese to enlarge their yummy livers, and many restaurants incl. pizza parlors begin offering it free under-the-table as a protest. On Aug. 22 Zimbabwe switches to a new currency with three zeroes struck off the old denominations. On Aug. 22 Iran claims it will respond to U.S. demands regarding development of nukes; Anglo-Am. Jewish scholar (expert on Islam) Bernard Lewis (1916-) stirs concerns by noting that this is the 27th of Rajab of the Muslim year 1427, when Muslims commemorate the night flight of Muhammad from Jerusalem to heaven and back, saying that it would be "an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and, if ncessary, of the world". On Aug. 23 Viacom chm. Sumner Murray Redstone (Rothstein) (1923-) announces that actor Tom Cruise has been dropped despite bringing in $2.5B at the box office saying that he "has not been acceptable to Paramount" for all his public antics, and committed "creative suicide" which caused MI:III to lose $100M at the summer box office ($400M total); Cruise announces he will use private investors from now on, immediately getting $100M in backing, and on Nov. 3 buying 1919 film studio United Artists. On Aug. 23 Northwest Airlines Flight 42 en route from Amsterdam to Bombay is escorted back by Dutch F-16s after radioing that some passengers were acting suspiciously; 12 people are arrested. On Aug. 23 Wolfgang Priklopil (b. 1962) of Strasshof, Austria (10 mi. NE of Vienna) commits suicide by throwing himself in front of a commuter train in Vienna after 18-y.-o. Natascha Kampusch (1988-) comes to police with a story that she had been confined in a small cellar by him for the last eight years. On Aug. 24 French Pres. Jacques Chirac announces that France is sending 2K soldiers to S Lebanon and retain command of the peacekeeping force. On Aug. 24 ABC-TV airs Out of Control: AIDS in Black America, a Primetime documentary hosted by Terry Moran and Peter Jennings about gay and bisexual Am. black men spreading HIV; it was Jennings' last assignment for ABC News, 10 days before being diagnosed with lung cancer in spring 2005; black Ams. are 13% of the U.S. pop. but more than 50% of HIV cases; almost 70% of new Am. HIV cases are black women, and they are 23x more likely to be diagnosed with it than white women, with hetero contact being the overwhelming method of infection, as black men hide their closet gay sex because of social stigma in the black community - black men can't control what? The school year in the U.S. starts out fast with school shootings? On Aug. 24 Christopher A. Williams (b. 1980) shoots one teacher and wounds another at an elementary school in Essex, Vt., then shoots himself twice in the head and is arrested; he also killed his ex-girlfriend's mother. On Aug. 25 Iraqis loot Camp Abu Naji, a vacated British military base, embarrassing the govt. On Aug. 25 a forest fire in Montana is started by lightning, and grows to over 27K acres by Sept. 14. On Aug. 26 the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda signs a truce with the govt., ending nearly two decades of cutting off tongues and lips of innocent civilians, enslaving tens of thousands of children, and driving 2M from their homes; "good Christian" leader Joseph Kony (1962-) claims to be innocent of war crimes charges filed by the Internat. Criminal Court. On Aug. 26 a Taliban cmdr. and 15 other militants are announced killed in S Afghanistan, 1 day after 13 insurgents were killed along wih two French soldiers; meanwhile Canadian troops mistakenly kill a policeman and wound six others; the death toll in the past 4 mo. is now over 1.6K. On Aug. 26 the Pakistani army kills Nawab Akbar Bugti and 35 comrades, later causing legal trouble for army chief Gen. Pervez Musharraf. On Aug. 27 at 6:07 a.m. Comair Flight 5191 (twin-engine Bombardier Canadair CRJ-100) barrels off the runway in the Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky. after turning onto the wrong runway (1.5K ft. too short), and bursts into flames, killing 49 of 50 aboard, becoming the worst U.S. plane disaster in almost five years (Nov. 12, 2001); only first officer James M. Polehinke survives after police officer Bryan Jared pulls him out; an $18K cockpit warning system might have prevented the crash says Jim Hall, former chmn. of the NTSB. On Aug. 27 an Israeli aircraft fires two missiles at an armored car belonging to the Reuters News Agency, wounding five, incl. two cameramen. On Aug. 27 bomb attacks and shootings across Iraq kill dozens despite everything the U.S. and the Iraq govt. can do. On Aug. 27 a TV interview of Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah is aired, in which he says he wouldn't have ordered the July 12 capture of two Israeli soldiers if he had known it "would lead to a war at this time and of this magnitude" (34 days of fighting ending Aug. 14). On Aug. 27 60 Minutes airs an interview of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin in which he replies to a CBS correspondent pointing out flood-damaged cars still on the streets of the Ninth Ward, saying, "You guys in New York can't get a hole in the ground fixed, and it's five years later, so let's be fair"; after an outcry he apologizes on Sept. 1, saying, "I will never refer to that site as a hole. It's a sacred site that's currently in an undeveloped state." On Aug. 27 a garbage can bomb blows up a minibus in Ankara, Turkey, injuring 21, incl. 10 British tourists; Kurdish guerrillas are suspected. On Aug. 27 a British NATO soldier is killed and seven Afghan troops are wounded in insurgent attacks in Kandahar Province in S Afghanistan; meanwhile police kill 10 suspected Taliban militants attacking a govt. compound. On Aug. 27 Iran tests a new anti-ship sub-fired missile, raising worries of disruption of Persian Gulf oil tanker traffic. On Aug. 27 a hurricane watch is issued for the Fla. Keys as Tropical Storm Ernesto approaches; on Aug. 29 it hits Fla. after slowing down to 45 mph winds, then hits the S N.C. coast on Aug. 30 with 70 mph winds, weakening to a tropical depression on Sept. 1, and dumping 6 in. of rain; meanwhile Hurricane John reaches Category 4 as it moves toward the W coast of Mexico; on Sept. 1 it brushes by the E tip of Baja Calif., causing minor damage. On Aug. 28 a suicide bomber targeting a former police chief kills 21 civilians in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan. On Aug. 28 Denver, Colo.-based Newmont Mining Corp., #2 world gold producer shuts down operations in Yanacocha, Peru after workers demanding jobs and clean water block road access; clashes with police earler in Aug. left one dead and a dozen injured; meanwhile the corp. continues to fight a year-old prosecution in Manado, Indonesia charging that their Sulawesi Island mine has been polluting waters with mercury and arsenic. On Aug. 29 a kangaroo escapes from an exotic animal owner and begins hopping down the road in Oklahoma City, Okla. On Aug. 30 in San Francisco, Calif. Omeed Aziz Popal (1977-) deliberately plows into pedestrians in his black Honda Pilot SUV, killing one and injuring 13, later saying "I'm a terrorist, I don't care"; he is charged with murder and 19 counts of attempted murder. On Aug. 30 a series of explosions in Shiite neighborhoods in E Baghdad kills 43 and wounds 200; bringing the death toll in Iraq since Aug. 27 to 300+. On Aug. 31 Saudi-born Muslim Homaidan Ali Al-Turki (1969-) is sentenced to 28 years in Colo. for keeping an Indonesian housekeeper as a sex slave for four years; he complains that it's not a crime in Sharia countries, calling it "cynical Islamophobia". On Aug. 31 three white students hang noses from a tree at Jena High School in Jena, La., sparking protests by blacks; on Dec. 4 the Jena Six, six black teenies beat a white teenie and are arrested and charged, sparking more protests, incl. one by 10K-20K on Sept. 20, 2007; on Feb. 12, 2008 Pres. Bush makes a speech at a ceremony commemorating African-Am. History Month, saying "The noose is not a symbol of prairie justice but of gross injustice. Displaying one is not a harmless prank. And lynching is not a word to be mentioned in jest" - a new word about to be criminalized? In Aug. Monday Night Football moves from ABC to ESPN, and the Oct. 23 show gets record cable ratings. In Aug. Madonna stages a mock crucifixion scene on a mirrored cross while wearing a crown of fake thorns and singing "Live to Tell" in Italy, Germany and elsewhere; her Confessions Tour (tour #7) (May 21 - Sept. 21) sells $194M in tickets in 60 shows (1.2M attendance), topping Cher's $192.5M from 273 shows in 2002-5 for the top-grossing tour by a solo female artist. In Aug. U.S. Rep. (R-Fla.) (2003-7) Katherine Harris (1957-) (R-Fla.) (Fla. secy. of state during the infamous 2002 U.S. Pres. Election) pub. controversial remarks in the weekly journal of the Fla. Baptist State Convention, saying that God did not intend the U.S. to be a "nation of secular laws", and that failure to elect more Christians will allow lawmaking bodies to "legislate sin", calling the separation of church and state a "lie we have been told" because "God is the one who chooses our rulers"; rival Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) says that "she does not deserve to be a representative"; she was only quoting the Bible, e.g. 1 Peter 2:13-14, 1 Tim. 2:1-2, Daniel 4:17? In Aug. the Trafigura shipping co. pays a bribe to dump 400 tons of toxic chemical waste near Abidjan, Ivory Coast, causing 85K to get sick and eight to die, after which Trafigura pays the Ivory Coast govt. $225M without admitting liability, and in Sept. 2009 it settles a class action suit in Britain, agreeing to pay 30K Ivory Coast residents $1.5K each; too bad, the British court stinks itself up on Sept. 11, 2009 by issuing an injunction against circulating a copy of the analysis of the waste, but Twitter and other Internet sites blow the cover on it. On Sept. 1 an Iran Airtour Tu-154 en route from Bandar Abbas in S Iran skids off the runway in the Shiite pilgrimage town of Mashhad (620 mi. NE of Tehran), raking a wing on the ground which sparks a fire that kills 29 of 148 aboard; all 11 crew survive; the 2nd Tu-154 crash in a month. On Sept. 1-4 31-y.-o. cook Christian Nielsen (1975-) goes on a 4-day killing spree in Newry, Maine, shooting and dismembering the owner of the Black Bear Bed & Breakfast and three others over the Labor Day weekend; there was a "for sale" sign in front of it. On Sept. 2 NATO forces launch Operation Medusa, a major anti-militant campaign by 8K Canadian, British, and Dutch troops in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province, claiming to kill 517 militants by Sept. 13. On Sept. 3 Iraqi nat. security adviser Mouwaffak al-Rubaie announces the arrest of Hamed Jumaa Farid al-Saeedi, AKA Abu Humam and Abu Rana, calling him the #2 man in the Iraqi al-Qaida, which the latter denies on Sept. 4. On Sept. 3 1K Italian soldiers join the first wave of internat. peacekeepers in S Lebanon, bringing the total to 3.25K, while Israeli soldiers remain and Israel continues it air blockade until Sept. 7, the 1 mo. anniv. of the ceasefire, and the sea blockade until ?. On Sept. 3 (Sun.) a fire in an apt. complex on Chicago's North Side kills six children; the family had been using candles since having their electricity shut off a mo. earlier. On Sept. 3-4 U.N. secy.-gen. Kofi Annan visits Tehran, Iran, meeting with Pres. Ahmadinejad, who on Sept. 4 announces that Iran will host a conference to examine "exaggerations" about the Jewish WWI Holocaust as a response against the caricatures of their Prophet in Western media; says Annan, "I think the tragedy of the Holocaust is an undeniable historical fact... We should avoid anything that incites hatred." On Sept. 3-10 the Internat. Congresss on Obesity in Sydney, Australia is held; in the opening speech, ? Zimmet says, "This insidious, creeping pandemic of obesity is now engulfing the entire world. It's as big a threat as global warming and bird flu." On Sept. 4 police in Baghdad find the bodies of 33 tortured, blindfolded men scattered across the city; meanwhile seven coalition forces die in combat, and Iraqi Olympic soccer star Ghanim Ghudayer is kidnapped. On Sept. 4 Nabeel Ahmed Issa Jaourah, from Rusaifa near al-Zarqawi's hometown of Zarqa in Iraq opens fire on Western tourists at the Roman ruins in C Amman, Jordan, wounding six. On Sept. 4 famed Australian TV star ("the Crocodile Hunter") Steve Irwin (b. 1962) is killed in the water at Batt Reef near Low Isles off the Australian resort town of Port Douglas (60 mi. N of Cairns) in NE Queensland state while shooting the series Ocean's Deadliest when he swims too close too a stingray, and it stabs him in the heart with its barbed tail, causing him to die within seconds of removing it; he is offered a state funeral, which his widow turns down; his death was filmed. On Sept. 4 leading Dem. lawmakers (House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid and other other congressional party leaders) urge Pres. Bush to consider changing the civilian leadership at the Pentagon. On Sept. 4 U.S. warplanes mistakenly fire on Canadian troops in Kandahar, Afghanistan, killing one and wounding five, but claim that 200 insurgents are also killed in the operation; meanwhile a suicide vehicle bombing in Kabul kills one British soldier and four Afghans. On Sept. 5 Chevron Corp et al. announce the first successful oil production from the deep-water region of the Gulf of Mexico, drilling down 28.175 ft. in 7K-ft. waters to lower tertiary rock, which is believed to contain 3B-15B barrels of oil, compared to current U.S. reserves of 29.3B barrels, incl. 15B in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. On Sept. 5 Pres. Bush links those who underestimate terrorists to those who underestimated Hitler and Lenin, and accuses Dems. of being soft on terrorism, causing them to accuse him of making the U.S. less safe with his Iraq War. The view of zoo-like America changes cast members? On Sept. 5 raging liberal lezzie Rosie O'Donnell joins the all-female-host morning talk show The View on ABC-TV, replacing diva-ish Star Jones Reynolds, who was fired in June, joining Barbara Walters (who represents the older set), comedian Joy Behar (1943-) (the middle age set), and Elisabeth Hasselbeck (1977-) (the 20-something set); two Jews, a family values Italian Christian, a lez, and no blacks, Hispanics, and what else? On Sept. 5 Intel Corp. announces the cutting of 10.5K jobs, about 10% of their workforce. On Sept. 5 Donald Trump announces the sacking of longtime right-hand person Carolyn Kepcher (1969-). On Sept. 5 Katie Couric makes her debut as anchor of CBS Evening News, with 13.6M viewers, most in 8 years; she draws fire for snubbing mention of a key ruling by Mexico's electoral tribunal but displaying photos of It-babe Suri Cruise. On Sept. 6 Pres. Bush acknowledges that the CIA runs secret overseas prisons, and says that 14 suspects have been transferred to Guantanamo Bay for trials; the CIA program "has helped us to take potential mass murderers off the streets before they were able to kill"; meanwhile the Revised Army Field Manual is released (an update of the 1992 vers.), specifically barring torture and degrading treatment of POWs. On Sept. 6 Calif. becomes the U.S. state legislature to approve same-sex marriages; Gov. Terminator later vetoes it. On Sept. 7 Iraq takes control of its armed forces command from the U.S. On Sept. 7 Plamegate figure, former U.S. deputy sec. of state Richard Armitage finally acknowledges that he was the leak source to Novak and Woodward, but claims he didn't realize that Plame's job was covert. On Sept. 8 U.S. Air Force Maj. Jill Metzger (1973-) knocks on the door of a house in Kant, Kyrgyzstan, 22 mi. from Bishkek, claiming to have been abducted after vanishing on Sept. 5. On Sept. 8 a car bomb in Kabul, Afghanistan kills 16 incl. two U.S. troops, and U.S. officials announce that a suicide bombing cell is hunting foreign troops there. On Sept. 9 Va. Repub. Sen. George Allen concedes defeat to Dem. (former Repub. and U.S. Navy secy.) Jim Webb, sealing Dem. control of Congress. On Sept. 10 a suicide bomber assassinates Gov. Abdul Hakim Taniwal of Paktia Province in E Afghanistan, while NATO kills 94 Taliban fighters in the S, bring the 9-day toll to 420; meanwhile Pres. Hamid Karzai attends the inauguration of a $25M Coca-Cola bottling plant in Kabul. On Sept. 10 the 6.0 2006 Gulf of Mexico Earthquake centered 260 mi. SW of Tampa, Fla. causes no damage. On Sept. 10 British PM Tony Blair announces that he will step down within a year after a letter from Labour Party leaders urging him to do so is circulated; finance minister Gordon Brown is his heir apparent; Conservative Party leader David Cameron waits in the wings. On Sept. 10 Daniel Wayne Smith (b. 1986), son of Playboy playmate, reality TV star, and heiress Anna Nicole Smith (1967-2007) dies in his mother's hospital room in Nassau, Bahamas three days after she gives birth to a girl, Dannielynn; she later claims memory loss of the event; on Sept. 28 she holds a nonlegal wedding ceremony in a boat off Nassau, Bahamas with her atty. Howard Kevin Stern, who claims to be the father; on Oct. 3 photographer and former beau Larry E. Birkhead (1973-) files a paternity suit over the baby in Calif.; on Mar. 13, 2009 Stern is charged with conspiracy to provide a "known addict" with thousands of prescription pills in the months before she died, along with her physicians Khristine Eroshevich and Sandeep Kapoor; in Oct. 2010 a jury finds Stern and Eroshevich guilty of conspiracy to obtain prescription drugs by fraud, and acquits Kappor; on Jan. 6, 2010 a judge dismisses all charges. On Sept. 10 U.S. entrepreneur (co-founder of Texas-based Telecom Tech.) Anousheh Ansari (1966-) takes off with crew Joe Tanner and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper on the Space Shuttle Atlantis for the internat. space station, becoming the first paying woman to make the voyage, and the first construction mission since the 2003 Columbia disaster; on Sept. 14 240-ft. solar wings are unfurled on the station; they return on Sept. 21, a day later than planned to give them time to check the tiles after space debris is spotted. On Sept. 10 Jeff Ingram (1966-) turns up on the streets of Denver, Colo. with amnesia, and after being put on TV news programs is reocognized by relatives in Olympia, Wash. On Sept. 10 mother of two Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani is sentenced to death by stoning in Sharia-land Iran; on July 8 after internat. appeals she is spared that form of death, but other execution options remain on the table. On Sept. 11 the U.S. commemorates the 5th anniv. of 9/11, and Pres. Bush gives a prime-time speech, which is later criticized for using the 9/11 attacks to bolster support for the Iraq War; meanwhile al-Qaida releases three videos lionizing themselves as men "who changed history". On Sept. 11 Hamas makes a deal to share power with Fatah in a bid to end the 6-mo.-ole sanctions and receive foreign aid. On Sept. 11 a suicide bomber detonates at the funeral of the gov. of Paktia Province in Kabul, killing seven and wounding 40, incl. two policemen and two children. On Sept. 11 Mitchell Cozad, backup punter for the U. of Northern Colo. does a Tonya Harding and stabs starting punter Rafael Mendoza in the right (kicking) leg, leaving a 4-in. wound in an effort to get his job; he is charged with attempted murder. On Sept. 12 Syrian guards foil an al-Qaida attempt to blow up the U.S. embassy in Damascus. On Sept. 12 Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki visits Iranian pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran, and is gifen a red carpet reception in his office; al-Maliki spent part of his exile from Iraq during Saddam's rule in Iran. On Sept. 13 Meredith Vieira (1953-) replaces Katie Couric as co-host of NBC's The Today Show (until ?). On Sept. 13 25-y.-o. Columbine H.S. copycat Kimveer Gill (b. 1981) of Laval, dressed in a black trench coat with a mohawk haircut opens fire at Dawson College in downtown Montreal, Canada, killing one and wounding 19 before police arrive and he kills himself; a blog is later discovered in which expresses a desire to die "in a hail of gunfire"; on Sept. 14 two 17-y.-o. boys are arrested in Green Bay, Wisc. with a cache of weapons for planning another Columbine-style massacre. On Sept. 13 Adnan al-Dulaimi, leader of Iraq's biggest Sunni Arab group, the Iraqi Accordance Front calls on Shiite PM Nouri al-Maliki to disband militias after police announce the finding of 65 tortured bodies in and around Baghdad. On Sept. 13 NATO releases its first figures of deaths from suicide bombings in Afghanistan, 173 (151 civilians), incl. 50 on Sept. 13, but NATO nations fail to agree on calls for an extra 2.5K troops. On Sept. 13 the White House and three powerful GOP senators, John Warner (Va.), John McCain (Ariz.), and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) reach an impasse over a plan to have the Senate define what "inhumane treatment" is under Common Article 3 of the Geneva Protocols, fearing that it might lower the standard and put U.S. troops at risk. On Sept. 14 chief judge Abdullah al-Amiri (Shiite) gets in a pissing contest with Saddam Hussein in his Baghdad genocide trial, and ends up saying "you are not a dictator", causing Saddam to reply "Thank you". On Sept. 14 the U.S. military announces four U.S. soldiers killed and 25 injured in Iraq, incl. six killed by a car bomb in a soccer field in Fallujah, Iraq. On Sept. 14 top central banker Andrei Kozlov, a crusader against money-laundering is killed while playing soccer in Moscow. On Sept. 14 Elie Wiesel and actor George Clooney address the U.S. Security Council, pressing them to send peacekeepers to Darfur, Sudan to prevent the first genocide of the millennium, pointing to the 1994 Rwanda Genocide; Clooney and his journalist father Nick spent five days in Darfur in Apr. You can do it put your back into it? On Sept. 14 Pope Benedict XVI gives his Regensburg Lecture at Regensburg U. which quotes 14th cent. Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus (1350-1425) in 1391 that some of the teachings of Muhammad are "evil and inhuman", with the soundbyte "Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached", adding that violence is contrary to God's nature and to reason; no surprise, his mere quoting of 600-y.-o. words to history ignoramus Westerners sparks a worldwide reaction of Muslim hate and anger to prove him right, incl. death threats, violence in the streets, attacks on Christian churches in Palestinian areas, and the murder of 65-y.-o. Italian missionary nun Sister Leonela in Mogadishu, Somalia hours after a Somalian cleric condemned the pope's speech, with Muslim disifnormation artists ignoring their own criminals and the Quran that created them, and instead savaging the Catholic Church, bringing up the usual trinity of the Crusades, Inquisition and Vatican relations with the Nazis; on Sept. 17 the pope says that he's "deeply sorry" that his remarks offended the Allah Akbars, and lamely claims he doesn't believe the words he was quoting, after which on Sept. 18 al-Qaida in Iraq issues the soundbyte "You and the West are doomed", saying its war with the West and Christianity will never end until Islam takes over the world, adding "We will break up the cross, spill the liquor and impose the jizya tax, then the only thing acceptable is a conversion or the sword"; on Sept. 25 the pope tells Muslim envoys that their two faiths can overcome historic enmities and together reject violence, saying that the future of humanity is at stake, and urges "reciprocity" in religious freedom, calling for preserving the rights of Christians throughout the Islamic world - how much jumpin' and moving' around are you doing up there? - just walking slowly down the stairs? On Sept. 14 Daniel Alter (47) of Germany, Tomas Kucera (35) of Czech Repub., and Malcolm Mattitiani (38) of South Africa, the first rabbis since WWII are ordained in Germany in the rebuilt Dresden Synagogue; too bad, only Alter will stay in Germany, in Oldenburg. On Sept. 14 Survivor: Cook Islands debuts, gaining hype by dividing its 20 contestants by race into four tribes, white, black, Asian and Hispanic, bringing accusations of racism for ratings, which had dipped 25% in the prior season. On Sept. 15-17 the 11th PeaceJam is held in Denver, Colo., featuring the largest gathering (10) of Nobel Peace Prize winners ever assembled along with 3K young people from 31 countries. On Sept. 17 a gunman at the Duquesne U. campus in Pittsburgh, Penn. shoots five basketball players then escapes. On Sept. 17 six car bombs in Kurkuk, Iraq kill 24 and wound 84; meanwhile the U.S. military in Iraq imprisons AP photographer Bilal Hussein for being a security threat for 5 mo. sans charges or public hearing. On Sept. 18 49-y.-o. Taco Bell worker Luz Maria Franco Fierros is dragged behind a car for over a mi. in Douglas County, Colo. and killed by her live-in boyfriend Jose Luis Rubi-Nava (1970-); both are illegal immigrants. On Sept. 18 three suicide bombers kill 19 across Afghanistan, while bombers and gunmen kill at least 41 in Iraq. On Sept. 18 20-y.-o. Carlos Greene of Silver Spring, Md. crashes his vehicle on the U.S. Capitol grounds and runs armed through the Capitol before being tackled. On Sept. 19 the govt. of Thailand is overthrown by Muslim Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin (1947-) (first coup in 15 years) as PM Thaksin Shinawatra is away in New York City; Sondhi, who became head of the army in 2005 to better deal with the S Thailand Muslim insurgency becomes acting PM, and claims on TV in front of giant portraits of the king and queen that he will return the country to dem. elections in 1 year and turn the govt. to a civilian PM in 2 weeks; meanwhile Thaksin plots his comeback. On Sept. 19 Pres. Bush gives an Address to the U.N. Gen. Assembly, claiming that the U.S. is not in a "war against Islam", saying "This propaganda is false and its purpose is to confuse you and justify acts of terror. We respect Islam"; Iranian pres. Ahmadinejad is nearby but snubs the speech; on Sept. 20 Venezuelan pres. Hugo Chavez hams it up by calling Bush a "diablo", saying "the devil came here yesterday... as if he were the owner of the world", adding "In this very spot it smells like sulfur still", accusing the U.S. govt. of "domination, exploitation and pillage of peoples of the world"; "We appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our head"; U.S. ambassador John Bolton comments "Too bad the people of Venezuela don't have free speech"; in Oct. his behavior costs Argentina a seat on the U.N. Security Council; on ? a U.S. Secret Service agent accidentally discharges his shotgun as Iranian pres. Imadinnajacket is loading his motorcade at the InterContinental Hotel, freaking out Pres. Bush and co.; Imadinnajacket's refusal to make a public stink of the incident teaches the White House that he acts strategically, with caution, giving them respect for him? On Sept. 19 Norfolk, Va. lifts its 56-year ban on tattoo parlors in the city hosting the world's largest naval base - close captioning provided by Garnier Fructis? On Sept. 20 U.N. secy.-gen. Kofi Annan opens the 61st U.N. Gen. Assembly, uttering the soundbyte: "On one side, supporters of Israel feel that it is harshly judged by standards that are not applied to its enemies, and too often this is true, particularly in some UN bodies." On Sept. 20 the CW Network, a combo of WB and UPN debuts with a new season of America's Top Model from the UPN. On Sept. 20 the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual conference of 50 world leaders hosted by former Pres. Clinton begins; Al Gore warns of a "full-scale planetary emergency" caused by global warming; on Sept. 21 Sir Richard Branson pledges to invest $3B over the next decade to combat global warming and promote alternate energy by using all of the profits of his train and airline cos.; another 113 commitments totaling $2.7B are made, topping 2005's $2.5B in pledges. On Sept. 21 Pakistan's Pres. Pervez Musharraf says that U.S. deputy secy. of state Richard Armitage once threatened his intel dir., "Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age"; Armitage denies it. On Sept. 21 Steven Warshak (1964-), pres. of of Berkeley Premium Neutraceutics, which makes the fraud, er, wonderful male enhancement product Enzyte is indicted in federal court for defrauding thousands of customers and banks of at least $100M; he is later convicted; too bad, the massive TV ads never actually make any explicit claims allowing it to be shut down, and continue raking in megabucks until ? - convicted, but he has a sackful of pride? On Sept. 23 Christian convert Mansuur Mohammed (b. 1981) is brutally beheaded with a knife by Muslim al Shahab extremists in Manyafulka (near Baidoa), Kenya, the videos making a disgusting stir on the Internet. On Sept. 24 Chris Wallace interviews former U.S. pres. Bill Clinton on News Sunday, and gets defensive when asked about why he didn't kill Osama bin Laden, saying he came closer to killing him than Bush did: "No, I didn't get him, but at least I tried". On Sept. 24 the drama series Brothers & Sisters debuts on ABC-TV for 109 episodes (until May , 2011), airing in the timeslot after "Desperate Housewives", about the wealthy Walker family of LA after the death of patriarch William Walker (Tom Skerritt), starring Sally Margaret Field (1946-) as matriarch Nora Walker, Rachel Anne Griffiths (1968-) as her eldest daughter Sarah Louise Walker, Calista Kay Flockhart (1964-) as #2 Katherine Anne "Kitty" Walker McAllister, Balthazar Getty (1975-) as #3 Thomas "Tommy" Walker, Matthew Rhys (Evans) (1974-) as #4 Kevin Walker, David Rodman "Dave" Annable (1979-) as #5 Justin Walker; Patricia Wettig (1951-) plays Holly Harper. On Sept. 25 the refurbished New Orleans Superdome reopens to host a game for ABC's Monday Night Football - for a mainly white paying audience? On Sept. 25 U.S. aviation security officials ease the ban on carry-on liquids for airlines passengers, permitting 3-oz. bottles that all fit into a quart-size zip-top plastic bag. On Sept. 25 women's rights champion Safia Ama Jan is murdered outside her home as she leaves for work by two men on a motorcycle in Kandahar, Afghanistan; Taliban cmdr. Mullah Sadullah claims credit; she was shot even though she was wearing the full burqa. On Sept. 25 Tim Kring's sci-fi drama series Heroes debuts on NBC-TV for 85 episodes (until Feb. 8, 2010), about ordinary people who discover they have superhuman abilities. On Sept. 26 scientists warn that the Earth's temperature is the warmest in 12K years, and has been warming .036 deg F per decade for the past 30 years; 1.7K plant, animal, and insect species move poleward at an avg. rate of 4 mi. per decade in the last half of the 20th cent. On Sept. 26 Shinzo Abe (1954-) becomes PM #90 of Japan (until 2007) after a landslide V in Liberal Dem. Party elections, and promises to create a more assertive nation and give the military a larger internat. role; he also hints at strengthening ties with China. On Sept. 26 a remote-control bomb under a bridge in ? detonates as a 3-vehicle NATO convoy passes over, killing a NATO soldier and a child. On Sept. 27 at 11:30 a.m. in Bailey, Colo. itinerant haunted house maker Duane Morrison attacks Platte Canyon High School and takes six girls hostage in an English classroom, sexually molests them, releases two, then after promising that "something will happen" at 4 p.m., police raid the school at 3:35 p.m. and shoot it out, causing him to kill 16-y.-o. Emily Keyes and then himself; the 377th U.S. school shooting or stabbing in 15 years. On Sept. 27 Nancy Pelosi utters the soundbyte: "It is the most closed and corrupt Congress in history, being a rubber stamp for the Bush administration"; on Oct. 12 she says "He is in denial" about Iraq; on Oct. 30 she adds "Their approach comes down to this: The terrorists win and America loses." On Sept. 28 Silvio Horta's comedy-drama series Ugly Betty, based on Fernando Gaitan's telenovela "You Soy Betta, La Fea" debuts on ABC-TV for 85 episodes (until Apr. 14, 2010), starring braces-wearing America Georgine Ferrera (1984-) as ugly Betty Suarez, who lands a job at a prestigious fashion mag. On Sept. 29 15-y.-o. special ed. student Eric Hainstock shoots Weston H.S. principal John Kalang (b. 1957) 3x in Cazenovia, Wisc., killing hime; he aims a shotgun at his face, has it wrestled away, pulls a handgun and shoots, then the wounded principal wrestles him to the ground; he had given the punk a disciplinary warning the day before for having tobacco on school grounds. On Sept. 29 (16:48 local time) Brazilian Gol Airlines Flight 1907 crashes in the jungle after colliding with a small Legacy executive jet after takeoff from Manaus in Para state, killing all 154 aboard. On Sept. 30 U.S. 6-term moderate Repub. Fla. Rep. Mark Foley (1954-), chmn. of the House Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus, who introduced legislation in the summer to child children from adult exploitation over the Internet resigns after gay e-mails and instant messages to his male "hot stud" pages under the screen name Maf54 are exposed; on Oct. 4 Kirk Fordham top aide of Rep. (R-N.Y.) Tom Reynolds and Foley's top aid until Jan. 2004 resigns after claiming he warned Repub. staffers more than three years earlier about Foley, causing House Speaker Dennis Hastert's ass to become grass; meanwhile on Oct. 4 Foley admits that he's gay, referring to abuse by a clergy member as a teen when he was an altar boy - an in-your-face admission? On Sept. 30 a dam in NW Nigeria near Kano, Nigeria collapses, killing 40. In Sept. a record 55M children enroll in U.S. schools. In Sept. Time Inc.'s "People" mag. offshoot Teen People ceases pub. In Sept. the bimonthly Draft mag. is founded in Phoenix, Ariz. by Erika Rietz; in 2013 it pub. America's 100 Best Beer Bars List. In Sept. the end-of-summer size of the floating Artic polar ice cap shrinks for the 5th straight year, incl. 6% from 2004-5, as reported by NASA. In Sept. (after Labor Day) U.S. retail gas prices begin plummeting, reaching the low twos in some areas. In Sept. Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, head of the Saudi nat. security council has an unofficial meeting with an Israeli envoy over the spreading influence of Iran and its terrorist allies. In Sept. Mexican illegal immigrant Elvira Arellano (1975-) tries to avoid deportation by declaring sanctuary in the Adalberto United Methodist Church in Chicago, Ill.; too bad, she makes the mistake of leaving, and is arrested on Aug. 19, 2007 in Los Angeles, Calif. In the fall anon. people in Sweden begin installing homemade dog sculptures called roundabout dogs at roundabout traffic intersections. On Oct. 1 (2:30 a.m.) Israel withdraws it last troops from Lebanon to beat the onset of Yom Kippur at sundown. On Oct. 1 Hamas and Fatah gunmen fight running battles in Gaza, in which eight are killed and 100 wounded. On Oct. 1 a video dated Jan. 18, 2000 showing 9/11 hijackers Mohamed Ata and Ziad al-Jarrah joking and making wills surfaces on the Web site of the London Sunday Times. On Oct. 1 CFO Indra K. Nooyi (1956-) becomes CEO of PepsiCo Inc., becoming one of 11 female CEOs of Fortune 500 cos. On Oct. 1 suspected al-Qaida terrorists Fawaz Yahya al-Rabeie and Mohammed al-Dailami are killed in Yemen in a dawn raid by govt. troopsl al-Rabeie had been sentenced to death for a 2002 attack on French oil tanker Limburg, and escaped earlier this year. On Oct. 1 Brazilian pres. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is reelected for a 2nd 4-year term (the limit). On Oct. 1 Donald Rumsfeld tells reporters that Bob Woodward's new book "State of Denial" reports that White House staff had encouraged Pres. Bush to fire him after the 2004 election, and says Bush had called him personally recently to express his continued support. On Oct. 1 the annual Red Mass of Roman Catholic U.S. Supreme Court justices is held at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C., led by Archbishop Donald Wuerl, and is attended by 4 of the 5 Roman Catholics on the court, except Alito. On Oct. 2 32-y.-o. milk truck driver Charles Carl Roberts IV (1974-) storms a 1-room Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, near Paradise in Lancaster County in SE Penn., barricading himself in after expelling boys and adults, then opening fire on a dozen girls, shooting 10 and killing three before comming suicide; two more are killed the next day; the Amish forgive him because the kids are going to heaven; on Oct. 3 investigators claim he plotted the attack for a week, had molested two relatives 20 years earlier, and brought flexible plastic ties, eyebolts, and lubricating jelly; the 1997 death of his premie baby Elise haunted him?; the schoolhouse is razed on Oct. 12. On Oct. 2 Russia suspends all air, road, rail, sea, and postal links with Georgia after it arrests then releases four Russian officers on spying charges. On Oct. 2 Iraqis display a picture of a smiling Buddy Christ which they said was left by U.S. troops after an Oct. 1 raid in Sadr City, Baghdad; the U.S. military denies it. On Oct. 3 U.S. Gen. Barry McCaffrey utters the soundbyte that the Iraq War has left the U.S. military in critical condition, put it in danger of "breaking", and claims it has $61B in equipment shortages; he also says that two-thirds of the 14 U.S. Army brigades in Iraq "are not ready to fight". On Oct. 3 a Turkish Airlines Boeing 737 is hijacked by Hasan Ekinci of Turkey after takeoff from Tirana, Albania en route to Istanbul; he surrenders to police and releases all 113 passengers after landing in Brindisi, Italy, saying he was going to be arrested upon arrival in Turkey for evading the military draft last May for being a Christian convert, and asking for political asylum. On Oct. 3 Irish PM Bertie Ahern apologizes from taking secret money from businessmen in the 1990s before he took office nine years ago, and holds off but finally announces his resignation on Apr. 2, 2008, effective on May 6. On Oct. 3 the drama series Friday Night Lights, based on the 1990 book by H.G. Bissinger debuts on NBC-TV for 76 episodes (until Feb. 9, 2011), about the Dillon, Tex. h.s. Panthers football team coached by Eric Taylor, played by Kyle Martin Chandler (1965-), with an ensemble cast; too bad, although praised by critics, people not from Texas don't 'get' it, and it lingers at the bottom of the ratings until it is mercifully cancelled? On Oct. 4 a parliamentary committee approves a ban on smoking in all public areas in France, closing loopholes in the 1991 law banning it everywhere except designated areas; 20% of the pop. are smokers, following the proud tradition of smokers Camus, Cocteau, Colette), Sartre, and Jean-Paul Belmondo to early death? On Oct. 5 a Calif. appeals court upholds Calif.'s ban on gay marriage, reversing the Mar. 2005 ruling of a San Francisco trial judge, saying that the legislature not the courts must change the traditional definition. On Oct. 5 an outbreak of Dengue fever in India which infects 2.9K and kills 38 lands two grandchildren of PM Manmohan Singh in hospital. On Oct. 5 Zackery Bowen (b. 1978) kills his girlfriend Adriane "Addie" Hall (b. 1976) in their 1-bedroom 1829 garret above a voodoo temple in the macabre-loving French Quarter of New Orleans, La., then dismembers her and cooks her head and legs before leaping to his death on Oct. 16; her torso is found in the fridge, her arms and legs in the oven, and her charred head in a pot; they meet in Aug. 2005 when Hall gave Bowen refuge in her apt. the night that Hurricane Katrina hit, and they defy the mayor's order to evacuate and fall in love. On Oct. 6 (Fri.) the U.N. Security Council unanimously urges North Korea to abandon all atomic weapons and cancel test plans; on Oct. 9 North Korea detonates a nuke underground anyway, causing Pres. Bush to call it "a threat to internat. peace and security", and the U.N. Security Council to weigh severe sanctions; Russia is alone in saying it has "no doubts" over the North Korean claim of an underground atomic explosion, while U.S. experts claim it was a dud at a mere 1 kiloton. On Oct. 6 ex-pres. Clinton and the Am. Heart Assoc. announce a deal with U.S. schools and major food cos. to make school snacks healthier, with less fat, sugar and salt, banning Snickers and other candy bars in favor of baked chips, yogurt, and reduced sugar chew bars. On Oct. 6 the Hallmark Channel miniseries Final Days of Planet Earth debuts, about an alien takeover, starring Daryl Hannah as Earth Queen Liz Quinlan, Campbell Scott as William Phillips, and Gil Bellows as Lloyd Walker. On Oct. 7 Russian investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya (b. 1958) is gunned down in the elevator of her apt. bldg. in Moscow, causing concerns that there is a pattern behind the silencing of journalists traceable to corrupt Pres. Putin; on Oct. 10 her funeral is attended by hundreds of Russian journalists, diplomats et al, while Pres. Putin calls her slaying a "disgustingly cruel" crime that cannot go unpunished, while downplaying her influence as "very minor"; meanwhile Internet postings from the "Russian Will" call for 89 people, incl. refugee rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina to be executed by "patriots" as friends of "alien peoples". On Oct. 9 the brother of Iraq's Sunni Arab vice-pres. is assassinated, becoming the 3rd of his four siblings he loses this year. On Oct. 9 U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents stop seizing small amounts of presciption medicines mailed from Canada, permitting up to a 90-day supply, and turning enforcement back over to the FDA, which focuses only on large shipments. On Oct. 10 a ban on child labor under age 14 takes effect in India. On Oct. 10 after being escorted out of her lavish mansion on New York's Upper East Side by her hubby Ron Perelman's security guards, Am. actress Ellen Barkin auctions 100+ pieces of jewelry from her marriage, fetching $20.3M at Christie's, saying "I'm not proud of that marriage". 10/11: a curious day of mellow crashes and mellowing organization changes? On Oct. 11 a Cirrus SR-20 plane owned by New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle (b. 1972) plunges into the 30th and 31st floors of the 40-story Belaire residential bldg. on E. 72nd St. in the Upper East Side of New York City; his flight instructor Tyler Stanger is also killed; the incident stirs fears of another 9/11; Yankees catcher Thurman Munson was killed in a 1979 crash of a plane he was piloting, and Lidle had repeatedly assured reporters that he wouldn't become another; novelist Carol Higgins Clark lives one floor below impact zone; on Oct. 7 the Yankees had been eliminated embarassingly quick from the playoffs, during the 5th inning of which which Lidle had been relegated to the bullpen. On Oct. 11 Pope Benedict XVI announces a loosening of restrictions of use on the 16th cent. Tridentine Latin Mass, permitting priests to say it after getting permission from the local bishop - the more the Church changes? On Oct. 11 Britain's Law Lords (highest court) rule for the first time that journalists have the right to pub. allegations about public figures as long as their reporting is responsible and in the public interest, reversing cents. of winning libel cases against journalists. On Oct. 11 Pres. Bush announces that up to a generous 70K refugees from around the world will be admitted to the U.S. next year, incl. 22K from Africa, 11K from E Asia, 6.5K from Europe and C Asia, 5.5K from the Near East and S Asia, and 5K from Latin Am. and the Caribbean, with 20K left up to the State Dept. - I'd rather just sneak in? On Oct. 11 a train crashes near Zoufftgen on France's NE border with Luxembourg, killing five. On Oct. 11 the satirical sitcom 30 Rock debuts on NBC-TV for 138 episodes (until Jan. 31, 2013), about fictional live sketch comedy "TGS with Tracy Jordan", located at the GE Bldg. of NBC Studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, starring creator Elizabeth Stamatina "Tina" Fey (1970-) (based on her experiences at Saturday Night Live) as head writer Liz Lemon, Alexander Rae "Alec" Baldwin (1957-) as exec Jack Donaghy, Tracy Jamal Morgan (1968-) as the show's male African-Am. star Tracy Jordan, and Jane Krakowski (1968-) as co-star Jenna Maroney. On Oct. 12 gunmen dressed as police storm a new satellite TV station in Baghdad, Iraq and kill 11 employees two days before its debut. On Oct. 12 Dianne Curry wins a runoff election for the Little Rock, Ark. school board, giving it a black majority for the first time, 49 years after federal troops escorted nine black students into Central High School. On Oct. 12 a Web site alleges that seven NFL football stadiums in the U.S. will be hit with radiological dirty bombs over the weekend on Oct. 18, causing the Homeland Security Dept. to alert stadium owners; the feds later say it is a hoax, and arrest Wisc. grocery store clerk Jake Joseph Brahm (1985-), who pleads guilty to violating the paranoid U.S. Patriot Act. On Oct. 13 Pres. Bush signs the U.S. Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act, reducing the regulatory burden on banks, S&Ls, and credit unions. On Oct. 13 British Gen. Sir Richard Dannatt (1950-), its top military cmdr. says that Britain should withdraw its troops from Iraq "sometime soon", contradicting PM Tony Blair, who said that retreat from Iraq would be "a craven act of surrender". On Oct. 14 the U.N. Security Council votes unanimously to impose sanctions on North Korea for its claimed nuclear test, calling it a "clear threat to international peace and security", causing its ambassador Pak Gil Yon to walk out of the council chamber after calling their action "gangster-like" for ignoring the U.S. nuclear arsenal, which gives U.S. ambassador John Bolton a chance to snicker; the resolution was castrated of its authorization of military action by Russia and China, but bans luxury items such as cognac, French wine, and lobster loved by Kim Jong-il. On Oct. 15 at 7:07 a.m. a 6.6 earthquake hits 10 mi. NNW of Kailua Kona, Hawaii on the W coast of Hawaii Island (the Big Island), becoming the strongest since 1983; no fatalities are reported, but vacationers suffer from power outages. On Oct. 16 civil rights atty. Lynne Stewart (1939-) is sentenced to 28 mo. in prison for helping imprisoned "Blind Sheik" Omar Abdel-Rahman communicate with followers on the outside; prosecutors wanted 30 years. On Oct. 16 a suicide bomber rams his truck into a military convoy 100 mi. NE of Colombo, Sri Lanka, killing 94 and wounding 150, most sailors; the govt. blames the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. On Oct. 17 U.S. forces are called back to patrol the streets of the predominantly Shiite city of Balad, Iraq after five days of sectarian all-new-Ugly-Betty slaughter kill 95, which begin with the killing of 17 Shiite workers on Oct. 13, and the Iraqi 4th Army fails to stop it and fighting spills over into nearby Duluiyah, a Sunni city across the Tigris River on the E side. On Oct. 17 Pres. Bush signs the U.S. John Warner Defense Authorization Act, authorizing interrogation and prosecution of terror suspects, and amending the 1878 U.S. Possee Comitatus Act to read: "The President may employ the armed forces to restore public order in any State of the United States the President determines hinders the execution of laws or deprives people of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law or opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes the course of justice under those laws"; HR 4986: Nat. Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 repeals the changes, reverting back to the 1807 Insurrection Act, but Pres. Bush attaches a signing statement that he doesn't feel bound by the repeal. On Oct. 17 U.S. officials announce that satellite images of North Korea indicate they are getting ready for a 2nd nuclear test as it holds huge rallies and proclaims that U.N. sanctions amount to a declaration of war. On Oct. 17 10 U.S. troops are killed in Iraq, followed by another on Oct. 18, bringing the Oct. death toll to 70, the highest since Nov. 2004 (137). On Oct. 17 British PM Tony Blair joins the debate over full-face veils worn by some kooky British Muslim women, calling it a "mark of separation", backing House of Commons leader Jack Straw, who earlier in Oct. says they shouldn't wear the disguises, arguing that it prevents communication, makes people feel uncomfortable, and sets them apart - since the eyes peering through the black slit make one think of poon peeking out of crotchless panties, I know why you can't speak? On Oct. 17 Pres. Bush signs the 2006 U.S. Military Commissions Act, establishing procedures for the use of military commissions to try alien unlawful enemy combatants engaged in hostilities against the U.S. On Oct. 18 the Dow Jones Industrial Avg. tops 12K for the first time (12,049); on Oct. 19 it ends the day at a record 12,012. On Oct. 18 Japan assures the U.S. that it vows to remain nuke-free; Condy Rice vows that U.S. military commitments to Japan will continue undiminished. On Oct. 18 Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki meets with Shiite leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Mahdi Army, Iraq's most feared militia; meanwhile one of al-Sadr's district chiefs is arrested, causing a Shiite protest, and foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari blames U.S. officials for the chaos from the way they ran Iraq before the new govt. took control. On Oct. 18 NATO heli air strikes kill nine civilians in three mud-dried homes in Ashogho, Afghanistan in the S, and another rocket strikes a house in a village to the W, killing 13, hurting NATO's hopes of winning local support. On Oct. 18 Mexico, the birthplace of corn rejects requests from several multinat. corps. to start planting genetically modified corn there. On Oct. 19 a suicide car bombing near Kirkuk, Iraq kills eight and wounds 70, while a total of 66 are killed and 175 wounded around Iraq; meanwhile the U.S. military finally concedes that it has failed to stem the tide of bombings and tortures in Baghdad despite a 2-mo. effort with 12K new U.S. and Iraqi troops, with U.S. Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV announcing that they are rethinking (oxymoron?) their strategy. On Oct. 19 Father Anthony Mercieca (1937-) of the Maltese island of Gozo admits that he had fondled Rep. Mark Foley as a teen, but it wasn't abuse because he "seemed to like it" - I love every little thing about this job? On Oct. 19 81-y.-o. James Bertakis of Lighthouse Point, Fla. is stabbed in the chest and heart by a stingray (eagle ray) that flopped into his boat in a deja vu of the Crocodile Hunter incident - an Alfred Hitchcock movie in the making? On Oct. 19 al-Qaida terorists conduct two IED attacks in Algeria, one against a police station in El Harrach (E of Algiers), the 2nd against a fuel storage site belong to the French Razel co. in Lakhdaria; on Oct. 29 they strike again at police stations in Reghaia and Dergana, followed by two more attacks against foreign oil workers next Mar. 5, and two more next Apr. 11. On Oct. 20 the 2006 EU Summit in Lahti, Finland sees Euro leaders stumbling over themselves trying to court Russian pres. Vladimir Putin - we have a family room, a media room, and a backyard? On Oct. 21-27 the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) defeat the Detroit Tigers (AL) 4-1 in the 102nd World Series; the same year St. Louis, Mo. is named the most dangerous city in the U.S.; the Washington Nationals fire ML's first black mgr. Jackie Robinson after 17 seasons with the Indians, Giants, Orioles, Expos, and Nationals, and a record of 1,065 wins vs. 1,176 losses; of the 317 mgr. positions filled in ML baseball since him, only 17 were filled by 11 different blacks, and of 30 ML teams in 2007 only two are managed by blacks, the New York Mets by Willie Randolph, and the Texas Rangers by Ron Washington; meanwhile blacks fail to sign up for baseball in high school and college in favor of basketball and football. On Oct. 21 Tim Matheson of Colo. catches and releases a world record 29-in. 16 lb. brook trout at Barbe Lake in Manitoba, Canada; his record is certified in Jan. after ruumors that it is a splake (brook-lake trout hybrid) are investigated. On Oct. 22 former Iraq finance minster Ali Allawi appears on CBS-TV's 60 Minutes, alleging that up to $800M meant to equip the Iraqi army has been stolen by former officials, calling it "one of the biggest thefts in history"; meanwhile shoppers buying sweets for the feast marking the end of Ramadan are targeted by insurgents, killing 44. On Oct. 22 Sudan orders Jan Pronk of Holland, the top U.N. official there to leave after he accuses the army of mobilizing Arab militas on Oct. 14. On Oct. 22 voters in Panama approve by 78% a $5.25B expansion of the Panama Canal to allow the largest ships to squeeze through; current traffic is at a max cap. of 35-40 ships a day, and generates $1.4B a year. On Oct. 23 Hungary celebrates the 50th anniv. of its 1956 anti-Soviet uprising, and anti-govt. protests grow violent, injuring 40. On Oct. 24 actor Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's disease appears on TV asking voters to support stem cell research by voting for Dem. candidates incl. Tammy Duckworth of Ill. On Oct. 24 the U.S. Education Dept. announces that it will make it easier to create single-sex classes and schools - as long as the women don't wear veils? On Oct. 25 Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki gets angry at the U.S. for asking his govt. for a timetable to curb violence, and also vents anger at a joint U.S.-Iraqi raid in the Baghdad slum of Sadr City, where he derives a lot of support; meanwhile Pres. Bush tells the press that he still thinks the U.S. must come, er, win before it pulls out. On Oct. 25 the New Jersey Supreme Court rules 4-3 that gay couples are entitled to the same rights as hetero ones, and gives lawmakers 180 days to rewrite laws to offer either same-sex marriage or anal, er, oral, er, civil unions. On Oct. 25 after confessing to killing eight people, Shreveport, La.-born serial murderer ("the Gainesville Ripper") Daniel Harold "Danny" Rolling (b. 1954) is executed by lethal injection in Fla. for murdering five U. of Fla. college students in Gainesville in Aug. 1990; he confesses to eight murderers on Nov. 4, 1989-Aug. 27, 1990. On Oct. 26 after the Repub.-dominated U.S. House of Reps approves it (incl. 64 Dems., incl. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Hillary Clinton), plus 80 of 100 U.S. senators, Pres. Bush signs an election-pleaser law approving a 700-mi. border wall (fence) with Mexico's 2,100-mi. border, covering most of Ariz. and parts of Calif., N.M., and Tex.; too bad, the Dem.-controlled Congress amends it to allow DHS officials unlimited discretion, and by 2016 only 35.6 mi. of fencing have been set up. On Oct. 26 a fire set by arsonists at 1 a.m. near Cabazon, Calif. gets whipped up by Santa Ana winds and goes out of control, killing four firefighters; flames burn to the edge of a 400-person RV park in Poppet Flat, stranding them; 700 are evacuated from Banning. On Oct. 26 Sheik Taj Aldin al-Hilali, head of the 300K Muslims (out of 20M) in Australia stirs an outcry after he utters the Arabic soundbyte: "If you take uncovered meat outdoors and the cats come to eat it, whose fault is it, the meat's or the cat's?", referring to women appearing in public without a veil (hijab). On Oct. 26 the Nicaraguan legislature votes 52-0 (28 passing) to ban all abortions, joining El Salvador and Chili as the only countries in the Western hemisphere to ban it without exception, although most Latin Am. countries banit with rare exceptions (rape, life of mother in danger); only in Cuba and a few English-speaking Caribbean countries is it readily available. On Oct. 26 60-y.-o. Sudanese-born cell phone billionaire Mo Ibraham announces the creation of the Mo Abrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership ($5M spread over 10 years) for the sub-Saharan African pres. showing the greatest commitment to good governance. On Oct. 27 the last Ford Taurus cars (introduced 1985) are produced, and the plant in Atlanta, Ga. is closed along with 2K employees. On Oct. 27 gun battles in Oaxaca, Mexico kill three, incl. a U.S. journalist, causing outgoing pres. Vicente Fox to finally order 4K riot police into the city after 5 mo. of stalling while protests rage. On Oct. 29 Sunni Arab gunmen kill 23 police in Iraq, incl. 17 in one attack in Basra; meanwhile 2K Shiites demonstrate in Sadr City against U.S. forces "sieging" their district looking for a kidnapped comrade; meanwhile Saddam Hussein's chief atty. warns of worsening violence and chaos across the Mideast if he is sentenced to death. On Oct. 29 House majority leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) tells ABC's This Week: "I think Donald Rumsfeld is the best thing that's happened to the Pentagon in 25 years", sparking a Dem. debate on voting the GOP out of power. On Oct. 29 a Nigerian Boeing 737 jetliner crashes on the runway during takoff in Abuja, Nigeria, killing 99 of 105, incl. Muhammadu Maccido (b. 1928), sultan #19 of Sokoto (since Apr. 20, 1996), spiritual leader of Nigerian Muslims (50% of the pop.); the pilot had ignored ATC warnings about stormy weather; on Nov. 2 his brother Sa'adu Abubakar III (1956-) becomes sultan #20 of Sokoto (until ?). On Oct. 29 Mexican Pres. Vicente Fox finally sends thousands of federales into Oaxaca to end 5 mo. of unrest. On Oct. 30 Kentucky Fried Chicken announces that it will stop frying its chicken in trans fats by next Apr. in all 5.5K of its U.S. restaurants, switching to soybean oil; its famous biscuits will continue to use trans fat shortening, which they can't find a replacement for. On Oct. 30 the pres. election in Congo is disrupted by a drunken army sgt. in Goma in E Congo, who shoots and kills two election workers, inciting riots which destroy 43 polling stations along with thousands of ballots. On Oct. 31 agrees to return to 6-nation disarmament talks. On Oct. 31 Mass. Sen. John Kerry puts his foot in his mouth when he tells a group of Calif. students that those who don't study hard and do their homework and make an effort to be smart could "get stuck in Iraq"; after Sen. Hillary Clinton and other Dems. distance themselves and Pres. Bush demands an apology, he apologizes on Nov. 1, saying he meant to say "You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq - just ask President Bush". In Oct. Adam Yahiye Gadahn (Pearlman) (1978-), a part-Jewish Californian who converted as a teen to Islam and first appeared in an al-Qaida video as "Azzam the American" (Azzam al-Amriki) is charged by the U.S. with treason, becoming the first since Tomoya Kawakita in 1948; if arrested and convicted he would be the 9th person in U.S. history; his grandfather was a Zionist Jew; he remains at large until ?. In Oct. Am. rock megastar Madonna adopts a motherless 1-y.-o. black child in Malawi with the approval of his father, but human rights group object to the way she seemingly bought him like a cute little, er; in June 2009 she adopts a 2nd one for a matched set? In Oct. Jared Harris (22), a cousin of 10-y.-o. Katlyn "Katie" Collman forcibly tattoos "KATIE'S REVENGE" on the forehead of her convicted killer Anthony Ray Stockelman. In Oct. Italian TV personality Vladimir Luxuria (Wladimiro Guadagno) (1965-), the first transvestite lawmaker in Italy causes a controversy when she/he uses the women's restrooms. In Oct. a total of 96 U.S. troops die in Ramadan-celebrating Iraq (107 in Jan. 2005, 135 in Apr. 2004, 137 in Nov. 2004). In Oct. Louis Farrakhan (b. 1933), known for calling Hitler "wickedly great" and Judaism a "gutter religion" cedes leadership of the Nation of Islam to an exec. board while he recovers from an anal ulcer resulting for 2000 surgery for prostate cancer. In Oct. U.S. Rep. (R-Ohio) Robert William "Bob" Ney (1954-) pleads guilty to conspiracy and making false statements in connection with campaign donations arranged by Jack Abramoff, and in Jan. 2007 is sentenced to 2.5 years in priz. In Oct. Megan Meier (b. 1993) commits suicide after receiving cruel messages from fake MySpace 16-y.-o. boy Josh Evans, saying the world would be better off without her; on May 15, 2008 neighbor Lori Drew (1959-) is charged with conspiracy for perpetrating a hoax on her, the trumped-up charges raising civil rights questions? In Oct. the U.S. Army changes its slogan from "An Army of One" to "Army Strong"; 1 mo. earlier the U.S. Air Force beat them to the punch by changing their slogan from "Cross Into the Blue" to "Do Something Amazing". On Nov. 1 Ethiopian immigrant Khalid Adem (1975-) is sentenced to 10 years in prison in Lawrenceville, Ga. for the genital mutilation of his 2-y.-o. daughter after he removes her clitoris with scissors in his Atlanta, Ga. apt. in 2001; he claims his wife's family did it, and that the daughter was coached to testify; on Nov. 18 2K protest against the sentence in Addis Ababa, Ethopia the U.S. State Dept. estimates that up to 130M women worldwide (not all of them Muslim) have been circumcized since 2001 in an effort to deny them sexual pleasure. In Oct. Donald Hall Jr. (1928-) becomes U.S. poet laureate (until Aug. 2, 2007). In Oct. Operation Repo starring Sonia Pizarro debuts on Telemundo, moving to TruTV on Mar. 31, 2008 (until ?), becoming their #1-rated show (until ?). On Nov. 1 Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern debuts on the Travel Channel (until ?), starring New York City-born Minneapolis, Minn.-based chef Andrew Scott Zimmern (1961-), who plays the circus geek, traveling around the world and chowing down on foods that would gross a cat off a gut wagon, always with a serious look. The tip of the iceberg, indicating a massive loosening of morals among U.S. Christians in the face of the hurricane of Internet porn? On Nov. 2 Rev. Ted Arthur Haggard (1956-), a top Christian evangelist in Colo. Springs (founder of 14K-member New Life Church, son of an Indiana pig farmer, grad. of Oral, er, Roberts U. in 1978, married to plain Gayle Alcorn, daughter of a USAF col., with five kids, some of whom have his funny eyebrows?), and an opponent of gays and gay marriage leaves his posts as pastor and pres. of the 30M-member Nat. Assoc. of Evangelicals after admitting on his radio show on Nov. 1 to having responded to an ad at rentboy.com and having sex monthly with bodybuilder male escort Mike Forest Jones (1957-) from Denver for 3 years for $200 an hour; says Jones "We always met at my place... It was pretty much vanilla sex"; Jones also produces a tape of Haggard asking him to buy meth; on Nov. 3 Jones fails a lie detector test, but maintains his story, while Haggard admits buying meth and that Jones gave him a massage, but denies having sucked, er, had sex with him, only going so far as to say "I was tempted" by the meth, but didn't take any; on Nov. 4 (Sun.) his congregation is packed when the board reads a letter from him admitting to "sexually immoral conduct", saying "There is a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark, I've been fighting it all my life", and fires him; after a 3-week "spiritual restoration" program overseen by four ministers, he is proclaimed "completely heterosexual" next Feb. (just in time for Valentine's Day?) - that delicious forbidden fruit that melts in my mouth is like a plain vanilla ice cream cone, no, a used cigarette butt? On Nov. 2 a sheriff and 12 law officers in < a href="http://google.com">Roanoake, Va., "Sweatshirt Capital of the World" are charged in a scheme to resell drugs seized from criminals. On Nov. 2 a man in Toronto, Canada sexually abuses a preschool age girl live on the Internet while an undercover detective watches, and is arrested 2 hours later. On Nov. 2 a Website approved by Pres. Bush containing an archive of 48K boxes of documents seized in Iraq since the Mar. 2003 invasion is shut down after a dozen documents detailing Iraqi plans for a nuke are discovered. On Nov. 2 Iran test-fires dozen of missiles, incl. the Shahab-3 that can reach Israel three days after U.S.-led warships finish naval exercises in the Persian Gulf and Iran brands them as "adventurist". On Nov. 3 Israeli troops fire on a large crowd of unarmed Palestinian women in the Gaza Strip as they march to the Um al-Nasir Mosque in Beit Hanun (NE Gaza Strip) to help seiged militants who have been battling Israeli troops since Nov. 1, killing two and injuring 10, and causing a protest; Palestinian PM Ismail Haniya calls for the world to "come here and witness the daily massacres that are being carried out against the Palestinian nation"; Israeli Maj. Avital Leibovich counters that Hamas was "using those poor women as human shields". On Nov. 3 at 6:30 a.m. anti-Iraq War protester Malachi (Mark David) Ritscher (1954-) publicly immolates himself in Chicago, Ill. in front of morning commuters in front of a video camera, saying "If I am required to pay for your barbaric war, I choose not to live in your world." On Nov. 4 thousands protest across Taiwan to demand the resignation of pres. Chen Shui-bian over a corruption scandal involving his wife Wu Shu-chen and three pres. aides, accused of siphoning $450K from a special diplomacy fund between 2002-6; he leaves office, is indicted along with his wife Wu Shu-chen, then convicted on corruption charges on Sept. 11, 2009, and sentenced to life in priz, plus a $15M fine. On Nov. 4 African leaders convene in Beijing, and Chinese pres. Hu Jintao pledges to double African aid to "build a harmonious world". On Nov. 5 the verdict in Saddam Hussein's first trial comes in, and as he trembles but remains defiant he is sentenced to death by hanging, causing celebrations by Shiites and protests by Sunnis, who vow to avenge him with their blood; "Today we witnessed a landmark event in the history of Iraq" (Pres. Bush). On Nov. 5 4K Russian ultranationalists demonstrate in Moscow's Red Square on the new (2nd year) Nat. Unity Day holiday, shouting "Russia for Russians"; they then leae the square for a march and run into 10K police, who detain 200; meanwhile 1K attend an officially sanctioned counter-rally to denounce fascism. On Nov. 5 after three tries over 16 years, Daniel Ortega wins the pres. election in Nicaragua despite U.S. opposition, claiming to no longer be a Sandinista revolutionary, changing the old anthem "We fight against the Yankee enemey of humanity to "Give peace a chance"; thanks to "the pact", he wins with less than a majority of votes in a power-sharing agreement with the right-wing Constitutionalist Liberal Party. On Nov. 7 (Tues.) the 2006 U.S. Nat. Elections are held with bated breath by the Repubs., as the Dems. only need to gain 6 seats to win control of the House and 15 for the Senate, and becomes a Repub. bloodbath and anti-Bush backlash, with the Dems. winning the House and Senate (first Sen. majority in 12 years); 79M people vote (40.4%); Dem. Deval Laurdine Patrick (1956-) becomes the first African-Am. elected gov. of Mass., and the 2nd in the U.S.; Ted Strickland (1941-) becomes the first Dem. gov. of Ohio in 16 years, while Sherrod Campbell Brown (1952-) defeats Mike DeWine to take his U.S. Senate seat; the new Congress has 42 black reps. and one black sen., all Dems.; black rep. James Enos "Jim" Clyburn (1940-) of S.C. becomes the #3 leader of the House as majority whip, the 2nd black to reach the post after William Gray of Philly; Keith Maurice Ellison (1963-) (D-Minn.) (a black atty. from Detroit who converted in college) becomes the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, planning to use the Quran at his swearing-in; Nancy Pelosi becomes the 52nd U.S. House Speaker and the first female one, becoming the 3rd in line for U.S. pres. and the most powerful woman in U.S. history - two whats and four whats separate her from the Ovulating Office? On Nov. 7, 2006 voters in Mich. by 58%-42% pass the Mich. Civil Rights Initiative (Proposal 2), banning affirmative action by publicly-funded institutions; on Apr. 22, 2014 the U.S. Supreme Court rules 6-2 in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action that voters in Mich. have the right to ban race-based preferences in college admissions, upholding the initiative. On Nov. 7 seven U.S. states pass constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage: Colo., Idaho, S.C., S.D., Tenn., Va., Wisc.; Ariz. defeats such an amendment; "Jewish cowboy" singer ("'Scuse Me While I Whip This Out") Kinky Friedman (1944-) comes in 4th in a 5-way race for gov. of Tex. On Nov. 7 Panama wins a seat on the U.N. Security Council on the 48th ballot after Guatamela and Venezuela cancel each other out and drop out; the other new members are Belgium, Indonesia, Italy, and South Africa. On Nov. 7 the Iraq govt. charges 57 members of the Shiite-dominated Iraqi police force, incl. a gen. with the torture of hundreds of detainees at Site No. 4 prison in E Baghdad after finding the bullet-riddled bodies of 15 death squad victims floating in the Tigris River S of Baghdad. On Nov. 7 a tornado in Saroma, Japan on Hokkaido kills nine, becoming the most deadly tornado in Japanese history, beating the record of three in Sept. on Kyushu; the first known tornado death in the country was in 1961. On Nov. 8 (within hours of the Dem. triumph in the nat. elections) Pres. Bush announces his acceptance of the resignation of unpopular (patsy?) defense secy. Donald Rumsfeld in favor of former CIA dir. (CIA man since 1966) and Texas A&M U. pres. Robert Gates (1943-) (co-chmn. of the 2004 Council on Foreign Relations task force that advocated a U.S. deal with Iran) and holds a press conference where he calls the election a "thumping", and admits to misleading the public when before the election he left the impression that Rumsfeld would be in to the end, saying that he didn't want to inject it into the campaign; when asked if the election results will cause him to pull out of Iraq, he replies "I'd like our troops to come home too, but... with victory"; speculation is rife that if had ditched Rummy weeks before the election they wouldn't have lost the Senate; meanwhile activist Cindy Sheehan leads about 50 protesters to a White House gate to deliver anti-war petitions, and is arrested; on Dec. 6 Gates is approved by a 95-2 Senate vote. On Nov. 8 Hamas calls off a 2-year ceasefire with Israel after 18 members of a family, incl. 8 children are killed by an Israeli artillery barrage in the densely populated N Gaza neighborhood of Beit Hanoun, becoming the highest number of Palestinian civilians killed in a single strike in 6 years; the Israelis later admit it was a mistake and apologize. On Nov. 8 a suicide bomber kills 42 troops and wounds 20 in Dargal, Pakistan. On Nov. 8 bird flu expert Dr. Margaret Chan (1947-) of Hong Kong becomes the first Chinese to lead the World Health Org. (WHO) of the U.N.; she was Hong Kong's health dir. in 1997 when the city reported the first-ever outbreak of H5N1 bird flu virus, and wins kudos for ordering all 1.5M poultry in the area slaughtered in 3 days - I can enjoy food again? On Nov. 8 Francisco de Goya's 1778 painting Children with a Cart is stolen from a truck outside a hotel in Stroudsburg, Penn. as it is being transported from the Toledo Museum of Art to the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York City; it is recoverd on Nov. 21 in N.J., an FBI agent saying the thieves "probably thought it was a truck full of PlayStations". On Nov. 9 Iraq's health minister Ali al-Shemari gives a new estimate of 150K Iraq civilians killed in the 44-mo. Iraq War, tripling previous estimates; meanwhile Donald Rumsfeld acknowledges that progress has not been going "well enough or fast enough", and when asked to grade his performance says "I'd let history worry about that". On Nov. 9 the U.S. Army changes its slogan from "Army of One" to "Army Strong" - God bless America and no place else? On Nov. 9 gay leaders cancel a parade in Jerusalem after pressure from fundamentalist religious leaders who called such a public display in the holy city offensive, and after hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jews clashed with police and burned trash bins. On Nov. 9 oilman Tim Marquez, a graduate of Lincoln H.S. in Denver, Colo. (TLW's school) donates $50M to launch the Denver Scholarship Foundation to give free higher eds. to graduates of Lincoln and other high schools in the district, who have systematically got more colored each year since TLW's days. On Nov. 12 159 are killed in Iraq, incl. 35 men blown up while waiting to join the police force, and 50 bodies found behind an electrical co. in Baqouba, causing Shiite PM Nouri al-Maliki to promise to reshuffle his cabinet and blaming the Sunnis for the violence; meanwhile Saudi Prince Naif says that a fence is being built along the frontier to keep its youth from going to Iraq to join the insurgents. On Nov. 13 ground is broken for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials (opens spring 2008). On Nov. 16 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi starts out lame by losing a battle by 149-86 to get her favorite (Iraq War critic) John Murtha of Penn. chosen as House majority leader; instead House minority whip (since 2003) Steny Hamilton Hoyer of Md. is picked. On Nov. 16 Segolene Royal (1953-) beats two rival candidates for the Socialist Party nomination in the French pres. race. On Nov. 16 U.N. leaders agree to a joint African Union and U.N. peacekeeping force for Sudan's Darfur region, with as many as 27K troops. On Nov. 16 Harith al-Dari, grandson of Sheikh Dari, who became a big Sunni hero in Iraq for assassinating a mean British army officer in 1920 becomes the most wanted man in Iraq after the Iraq govt. puts out an arrest warrant for him. On Nov. 16 white gay porn star Timothy John Boham ("Marcus Allen") (1981-) is arrested near the Mexico border for the slaying of collection co. pres. John Paul Kelso (43) in his Denver, Colo. home in a bathtub. For America not to be White is Right anymore, free speech must go? On Nov. 17 (Fri.) white "Kramer on Seinfeld" comedian Michael Richards (1949-) is recorded on a cell phone video camera making a racist N-word outburst at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood (owned by Mexican-Am. comedian Paul Rodriguez) after two black patrons heckle him, causing a nat. PC police media action against him, almost ending his career; on Nov. 20 he appears on David Letterman, saying "I'm not a racist; that's what's so insane about this", only to see the audience laugh at his fumbling use of the term "Afro-American"; on Nov. 22 he appears on the Jay Leno Show to apologize after Jewish comedian Jerry Seinfeld cancels an appearance to plug his show's DVDs, but it only adds fuel to the fire for not being contrite enough; on Nov. 27 he appears on Rev. Jesse Jackson's syndicated radio show "Keep Hope Alive" apologizing again, and criticism simmers down more when he apologizes to the two hecklers, who sue him; meanwhile a barrage of U.S. network TV shows cover all the issues of what whites should (must?) and should (must?) not call blacks, and on Dec. 2 comedian Andy Dick uses the N-word in a joke about Richards, causing a ton of criticism that makes him issue another apology for "my insensitivity"; in 20?? the U.S. Congress makes racist speech a capital crime, followed by the OWG Assembly making it a world capital crime in ??, causing the execution of ??M by ?? - only blacks can call each other the N-word, and only blacks can tell whites that their remark was racially insensitive and they're a racist and sue them, and don't call me black call me Afro-American, but don't make me call you Euro-American, cracker? On Nov. 17-20 Pres. Bush visits Vietnam, and on Nov. 20 visits the Vietnam stock exchange in Ho Chi Minh City, praising the Commies for trying capitalism; on Nov. 13 the U.S. House defeats by 228-161 (32 votes short) legislation to normalize trade relations on the first day it reconvened after the nat. elections; the same day the U.S. govt. drops Vietnam from a list of countries severely violating their people's religious freedom. On Nov. 19 the U.S. and Russia sign a trade pact removing the last major obstacle to Russia's 13-year effort to join the World Trade Org. On Nov. 19 three car bombs explode in a bus station in SE Baghdad, Iraq, killing 11 civilians and injuring 40; meanwhile the Iraqi deputy health minister is kidnapped from his Baghdad home. On Nov. 19 Colo. anti-immigration politician Tom Tancredo gives an interview to WorldNetDaily, calling the city of Miami, Fla. a "Third World country", pissing off Fla. gov. Jeb Bush, who calls his remarks "naive", which Tancredo sloughs off by calling it "politically correct happy talk"; on Nov. 30 a speech he gives at Michigan State U. College of Law turns violent. On Nov. 20 a series of attacks in Baghdad, Ramadi, and Baqouba in Iraq kill 25, and the bodies of 75 tortured Iraqis are found. On Nov. 20 Iranian pres. Ahmadinejad invites Iraq and Syria to a weekend summit in Tehran; meanwhile Syrian foreign minister Walid Moallem visits Baghdad, restoring diplomatic relations after a quarter cent. On Nov. 20 Pres. Bush leaves Vietnam to spend 6 hours in Jakarta, Indonesia at Bogor Palace with pro-U.S. pres. (since 2004) Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. On Nov. 20 (6:30 p.m.) the Six Flying Imams, led by Jordanian-born Sheikh Omar Shahin board US Airways Flight 300 from Minneapolis, Minn. to Phoenix, Ariz., acting suspiciously and causing security to remove them after a 3-hour standoff; on July 24, 2009 after they hire CAIR atty. Omar Mohammedi, U.S. district judge Ann Montgomery allows a discrimination lawsuit against the airline to proceed. On Nov. 22 92-y.-o. Kathryn Johnston is killed by police bursting into her Atlanta, Ga. home with a warrant to search for drugs after she opens fire on them because the neighborhood is so tough and she always has her gun ready. On Nov. 22 the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) is signed, eliminating barriers to trade; the U.S. Congress passes it on Oct. 12, 2011, and it goes into effect on May 15, 2012 despite concerns that it helps the rich oil and other companies trample workers' rights. On Nov. 23 civil war gets just a tad closer in Iraq as Sunni insurgents attack Sadr City, the main enclave of Muqtada al-Sadr, setting off five bombs and firing mortars, killing 215 and wounding hundreds, becoming the deadliest sectarian attack since the U.S. invasion; the Shiites quickly strike back, lobbing 10 mortar shells at the Sunni Abu Hanifa Mosque, killing one, and 8 shells at the offices of the Assoc. of Muslim Scholars, top Sunni org. in Iraq, followed by more barrages on Sunni neighborhoods, killing 10 and wounding 21 - and Bush says he's gonna wait till the midnight hour? On Nov. 23 former Russian KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko (b. 1963), who was investigating the shooting death of journalist Anna Politkovskaya and accused Pres. Putin of behind behind it dies after being poisoned, claiming it was by Putin's agents; the poisoning is traced to radioactive isotope polonium-210, and traces are found on two British Airways jets, causing 33K passengers on 221 flights to be contacted; Mario Scaramella, an Italian security expert he met the day he fell ill is later found to show traces of polonium-210, along with his wife Marina Litvinenko; in 2007 Britain requests arrest warrants for KGB officer Dmitry Kovtun (who underwent treatment in Moscow for radiation poisoning) and his partner Andrei Lugovoi, who met Litvinenko at the Pine bar in London's Millennium Hotel on Nov. 1 (the day he fell ill), but Russian pres. Putin refuses to extradite them. On Nov. 23 hundreds of thousands of Lebanese mourn slain Christian Phalange Party politician Pierre Gemayel in Beirut and vent their anger at Syria and its ally Hezbollah. On Nov. 23 64-y.-o. Palestinian grandmother Fatma Omar An-Najar (b. 1942) detonates near Israeli troops in N Gaza, becoming the oldest of 100+ Palestinian suicide bombers targeting Israelis since 2000. On Nov. 23 Lt. Col. Steven Lee Jordan (1956-), who ran the U.S. interrogation center at Abu Ghraib Prison is charged with 12 counts carrying 42 years for allowing the prison misconduct to happen, becoming the highest level patsy so far in the scandal. On Nov. 23 Thursday Night Football debuts on NFL Network (until ?); in 2014 CBS Sports begins simulcasting the games. On Nov. 24 the small Mustafa (Sunni) Mosque in Baghdad, Iraq is attacked during Friday midday prayers by 50 unarmed men wearing mostly black uniforms and some with ski masks, chanting "We are the Mahdi Army, shield of the Shiites", followed by backups who blast the mosque with RPGs, then drag six worshippers outside and burn them with kerosone. On Nov. 24 Rwanda severs dilomatic ties with France after a French judge decies to issue internat. arrest warrants for nine high-ranking Rwandans for plotting the Apr. 6, 1994 murder of Rwandan pres. Juvenal Habyarimana. The reason cop cars are black and white? On Nov. 25 police in New York City fire 50 shots at the car of unarmed 23-y.-o. black man Sean Bell (b. 1983), killing him and wounding Trent Benefield and Joseph Guzman outside the Club Kalua strip club where Bell had just attended his bachelor party and was about to attend his wedding, stirring outrage from black leaders, who stage a march along Fifth Ave. on Dec. 16, led by Rev. Al Sharpton; in Mar. 2007 three of the five police involved are indicted by a grand jury; too bad, on Apr. 25, 2008 they are acquitted of all charges and allowed to walk, Queens justice-for-the-cops puppet judge Arthur Cooperman giving a gobbledygook coverup explanation, while 1K police are mobilized to control possible unrest when the news sinks in - the only medicine you need is copcaine? On Nov. 25-26 protesters in Oaxaca, Mexico battle police and burn bldgs. On Nov. 25-Dec. 1 the U.S. SPCA bans the adoption of black cats - sounds like discrimination against blacks? On Nov. 25-Dec. 6 Super Typhoon Durian terrorizes Philippines, hitting the islands on Nov. 31, killing 208 and injuring 82 in Mayon, site of a July volcano eruption, which goes into massive mudslides, burying several villages and leaving 250+ missing; total fatalities reach 1,497, with $510M in damage. On Nov. 26 Palestinian factions stop firing rockets at Israel in exchange for an Israeli troop withdrawl. On Nov. 26 tens of thousands protest the pope's visit at a rally in Istanbul, Turkey. On Nov. 26 The Nativity Story becomes the first feature film to debut at the Vatican, in Paul VI Hall. On Nov. 27 73-y.-o. Lutheran pastor Roland Weisselberg (b. 1933) burns himself to death with gasoline in Erfurt (where Martin Luther took his first religious vows) after giving a sermon expressing fear that Christian Europe will be overwhelmed by Islam; his last words: "Jesus" and "Oskar" (a ref. to the 1976 self-immolation of Rev. Oskar Bruesewitz, protesting the East German Commie regime). On Nov. 27 Sunni insurgents begin bloody fighting with Iraqi security forces in Diyala Province (ends ?); meanwhile a U.S. F-16 fighter jet crashes 12 mi. NW of Baghdad, and insurgents kidnap the pilot, Maj. Troy L. Gilbert (34) before rescue forces can arrive. On Nov. 27 Israeli PM Ehud Olmert makes a conciliatory speech, holding out the hope of a Palestinian state if they quit them *!?*! rocket attacks and choose the path of peace. On Nov. 27 Iraqi pres. Jalal Talabani meets with Iranian pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran to seek his help in stopping the looming civil war, and Ahmadinejad pledges support, saying he will "stand next to its brother Iraq and will do all it can to strengthen security in Iraq"; meanwhile Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki asks the U.N. Security Council to extend the mandate of its 160K multinat. force in Iraq, which it votes to do unanimously on Nov. 28, while Britain announces that it will withdraw thousands of its 7K military personnel by the end of 2007, and Poland and Italy also announce impending troop withdrawals. On Nov. 27 the Australian govt. clears itself of wrongdoing in the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal. On Nov. 27-28 a Nato Summit in Riga, Latvia is held to deal with the deteriorating conditions in opium-king (90% of the world supply, 1M addicts) Afghanistan, where NATO has 32K troops; Pres. Bush attends, and urges increased military spending and the inclusion of non-NATO countries Japan, Australia, and South Korea into joint missions; the summit also frets about the growing energy clout of Russia, whose natural gas Europe is dependent on for half of its imports, expected to rise to 80% by 2026, after a confidential study by NATO experts warning that Russia is seeking to build a gas cartel, er, leaks. On Nov. 28 Pres. Bush becomes the first U.S. pres. to visit Estonia (while his wife Laura is back at the White House receiving the Christmas tree), meeting with pres. Toomas Hendrik at Kadriorg Palace in Tallinn, praising its flat income tax as "transparent, open and simple"; PM Andrus Ansip shows him how his govt. holds paperless cabinet meetings. Did you ever dance with the Devil in the pale blue mosque? On Nov. 28 Pope Benedict XVI begins a 4-day visit to Turkey, two days after 25K hate-filled Muslim protesters demonstrated in Istanbul, pissed-off about his equating Islaughter, er, Islam and its prophet Manslaughter, er, Muhammad with violence, and calling for his blood and for the Christian church of Hagia Sophia to be turned into a Muslim mosque; the pope tells diplomats that all religions must "utterly refuse to sanction recourse to violence as a legitimate expression of faith", and greets Turkey's top religious official Ali Bardakoglu (1952-), who puts in the soundbyte, "The so-called conviction that the sword is used to expand Islam in the world and growing Islamophobia hurts all Muslims" (they're the ones who are hurt?); on Nov. 29 he visits Turkey's tiny (20K Roman Catholic, 65K Armenian Orthodox, 3.5K Protestant, out of a total pop. of 70M) Christian communities, and meets with ecumenical patriarch Bartholomew (Bartholomeos) I (1940-) (known as the "green patriarch" for his environmentalism), while al-Qaida calls his visit a "Crusader campaign" designed to "extinguish the burning ember of Islam" in Turkey; on Nov. 30 he visits the mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk, then leaves for Ephesus after issuing saying "I should like to reiterate today all the esteem and profound respect that I have for Muslim believers" (not Muhammad or his crap?); on Nov. 31 he visits the Hagia Sophia, on guard not to make the sign of the cross or appear to be worshipping in "their" place that they took by, er, violence after 1K years; he then goes across the street and becomes the second pope to visit a Muslim house of worship, entering Istanbul's Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque (built by Sultan Ahmed I in 1603-17), where he faces toward Mecca and meditates with eyes closed along with head cleric Mustafa Cagrici (1950-); he also issues a joint declaration calling for the preservation of Europe's Christian roots and for membership to the EU to require religious freedom, knowing that current candidate Turkey doesn't recognize Bart Simpson, er, Bartholomew I as leader of 300M Orthodox Christians and has rejected EU demands to open an Orthodox seminary. On Nov. 29 Pres. Bush holds talks in Amman, Jordan with Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki and King Abbdullah over what to do in Iraq. On Nov. 29 former U.S. secy. of state Henry Kissinger utters the soundbyte on a London TV interview that military victory in Iraq is no longer possible, and that the U.S. must enter into dialogue with Iraq's neighbors incl. Iran to make progress. On Nov. 29 actor Danny DeVito to call Pres. Bush "President Numbnuts" on ABC's "The View", which Joy Behar later defends, saying that numb is just a lack of sensation, nuts means crazy, and numbskull is non-sexist? On Nov. 31 Pres. Bush rejects the idea of a quick troop withdrawal from Iraq, while Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki says his country's forces will be ready to take over by June 2007. In Nov. the Sunni Islamist jihadist group Fatah al-Islam (Arab. "conquest of Islam") is founded by Saudi Arabia (and the U.S.?), going on to fight the Lebanese army in May-June 2007 in the Nahr al-Bared (al-Barid) Palestinian refugee camp. In Nov. a poll of 2K Chinese citizens finds that most expect China to become as powerful as the U.S. within a decade, and only a small minority believe it will still be the dominant world power in 50 years. In Nov. an Andy Warhol portrait of Chairman Mao sells for $17M at auction. In Nov. a judge in Al-Awwamiya, Saudi Arabia shocks Westerners by sentencing the female victim of a gang rape to 90 lashes for being alone with a former boyfriend after her marriage to get a picture of herself back from him, before being abducted from the car, and both gang raped; the rapists receive 1-5 years and 80-1000 lashes; the male victim gets no punishment. On Dec. 1 the 2006 hurricane season ends with no hurricanes hitting the U.S. On Dec. 1 Felipe Calderon is sworn-in as pres. of Mexico in a surprise early ceremony, while leftist lawmakers attempt to physically block him from attending his inauguration, turning the Mexican Congress into a free-for-all. On Dec. 1 800K protesters called by Hezbollah flood downtown Beirut to call for the U.S.-supported govt. to resign. On Dec. 3 a triple car bomb in a food market in a Shiite area of C Baghdad kills 51 a day after a U.S.-Iraqi raid against Sunni insurgents in a nearby neighborhood. On Dec. 3 the High Court of Botswana rules that the country's 100K Bushmen are entitled to live and hunt on their ancestral lands in the C Kalahari Game Reserve, stopping the govt. from evicting them to steal diamonds and other minerals. On Dec. 3 Joseph R. "Joe" Francis (1973-), founder of the Girls Gone Wild video empire (Mantra Films Inc.), which entices young women to bare their breasts in public pleads guilty for using two 17-y.-o. girls filmed on Panama City Beach during the 2003 spring break, and receives a $1.6M fine plus community service - the last gasp of the Christian right is using minors to sandbag those whom they want to 'get' for free love and sexually-liberated behavior? On Dec. 4 U.S. Sen. Barack Obama visits the New York City office of George Soros (1930-), where he is allegedly interviewed by billionaires for higher office, after which he soon announces his candidacy for U.S. pres. On Dec. 5 secy. of defense nominee Robert Gates tells the Senate that he doesn't believe the U.S. is winning the war in Iraq, but adds, "we are not losing", and that U.S. forces remain undefeated in battle; meanwhile a memo by Donald Rumsfeld two days before he resigns calls for a change of plan in Iraq - what Hitler said at Stalingrad? On Dec. 6 the 10-member bipartisan Iraq Study Group, led by former U.S. secy. of state James A. Baker III and former Ind. Rep. Lee H. Hamilton recommends a change in course to the new "primary mission" of training Iraq security forces, and pullout of most (75K) combat troops by spring 2008, but no timetable for troop withdrawals, stressing the need for more aggressive diplomatic efforts in the Middle East; the little problem that Iraq security forces are forever split between Sunni and Shiite, so that training more would be tantamount to arming both sides of a future civil war is conveniently ignored?; it also recommends a U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan, reinvigoration of the Arab-Israeli peace process, and a diplomatic engagement of Iran and Syria; on Dec. 7 Pres. Bush, backed by PM Tony Blair nix the report, refusing to endorse a major troop withdrawal and objecting to talks with Iran and Syria; meanwhile the report reveals that millions of dollars are being funneled from Saudi citizens to Iraqi Sunni insurgents, who have purchased Russian Strela shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. On Dec. 6 Mary Claire Cheney (1969-), lesbian daughter of Dick Cheney announces that she and her partner of 15 years Heather Poe (1961-) (UPS mgr.) are expecting; she has baby boy Samuel David Cheney on May 22, 2007 - I can't explain why Poe wasn't having it instead of me? On Dec. 6 an Islamic court official orders beheading for any residents of Bulo Burto, 125 mi. NE of Mogadishu in S Somalia who do not pray to Allah 5x a day - let's go outback tonight? On Dec. 6 the conservative Committee on Jewish Law and Standards in New York City eases its ban on ordaining gays for the first time in history, prohibiting gay clergy while permitting gay ordination and blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples - it's those changes in attitude, changes in attitude? Pres. Bush finds a new way to stink himself up on top of Iraq? On Dec. 6 the Bush admin. fires eight U.S. attys., causing an uproar next year with the new Dem. Congress, who accuse U.S. atty.-gen. Alberto Gonzales of letting himself be used by Karl Rove and other White House politicos and violating pledges and jeopardizing prosecutions; his contradictory statements about the reasons for firing and his personal involvement heat up the call for his dismissal; up till now only two of 486 U.S. attys. have been fired, and always for criminal misconduct. On Dec. 9 the U.S. announces that it is selling nuclear fuel to India. On Dec. 9 Ayman Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan al-Tikriti, half-nephew of Saddam Hussein, who is serving a life sentence for bomb-making escapes from a prison in N Iraq with help from a police officer (until ?); on Dec. 18 Ayham al-Samaraie, former electricity minister and dual U.S.-Iraqi citizen being held on corruption charges escapes with help of Blackwater Worldwide private security guards who used to work for him, and ends up in Chicago, Ill.; although arrest warrants have been issued for 90 former officials, incl. 15 ex-Cabinet ministers, he was the only Iraqi official convicted and jailed on corruption charges. On Dec. 9 Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Fla. on a 12-day mission to rewire the Internat. Space Station (ISS), returning on Dec. 21. On Dec. 10 Donald Rumsfeld, who is still defense secy. until Dec. 18 makes a surprise visit to Assad Air Base in Iraq's Anbar Province; meanwhile Iraqi pres. Jalal Talabani criticizes the Iraq Study Group's report as "an insult to the people of Iraq", saying that increasing the number of U.S. troops training its forces would undermine his country's sovereignty. On Dec. 10 Gen. Augusto Pinochet (b. 1915) dies after being hospitalized on Dec. 3 for a heart attack and undergoing angioplasty, stopping efforts to try him for human rights violations and execute him; wild celebrations in the streets of Santiago, Chile cause scores of arrests, and 23 police are injured; on Nov. 25 Pinochet had issued a statement taking "full political responsibility" for the actions of his govt. On Dec. 10 Afghan Pres. Hamid Karzai gives a speech on the 58th anniv. of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, tearfully lamenting the killing of Afghan children by NATO and U.S. bombs and Pakistani terrorists. On Dec. 11 U.N. secy.-gen. Kofi Annan gives his farewell address at the Truman Library in Independence, Mo., saying that the U.S. must not sacrifice its dem. ideals in its war against terrorism, that "human rights and the rule of law are vital to global security and prosperity", and that when Bush, er, the U.S. "appears to abandon its own ideals and objectives, its friends abroad are naturally troubled and confused", and finally "There's no secy.-gen. of the U.N. that's going to be in lockstep with the U.S. or any other country with regard to its policies"; he steps down on Dec. 31. On Dec. 11 three children are killed in the Gaza Strip in a drive-by shooting, targeting their father, a top Palestinian security officer and Fatah loyalist, causing civil war to edge closer. On Dec. 11 Israeli PM Ehud Olmet slips in an interview with a German TV station, listing Israel among the world's nuclear powers, violating the country's policy of not officially acknowledging its nukes. On Dec. 11 Iran hosts the Internat. Conference to Review the Global Vision of the Holocaust in Tehran, with 67 participants from 30 countries, incl. former U.S. KKK leader David Duke, Frederick Toben of Australia, Robert Faurisson of France et al., some of whom have been imprisoned for expressing their Holocaust-denying beliefs in Europe; on Dec. 12 pres. Mahmoud Ahmedinajad says that "The Zionist regime will be wiped out soon the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom" while sitting next to six members of Neturei Karta AKA Orthodox Jews United Against Zionism, whose spokesman Rabbi Moshe David (Yisroel Dovid) Weiss says "We don't want to deny the killing of Jews in World War II, but Zionists have given much higher figures for how many people were killed. They have used the Holocaust as a device to justify their oppression"; David Duke adds "The Holocaust is the device used as the pillar of Zionist imperialism, Zionist aggression, Zionist terror and Zionist murder"; Toben says, "The number of victims at the Asuchwitz concentration camp could be about 2,007"; on Dec. 20 Austria suddenly releases David Irving on probation after 13 mo. in priz for denying the sacred Holy-At-Any-Cost for two 1989 speeches; on Apr. 1, 2007 the Bais Yehuda Synagogue in Monsey, N.Y. of the Neturei Karta is burned - the irony of freedom of speech on this one issue being allowed only where Zionists don't have power? On Dec. 12 Pres. Bush signs the U.S. Financial Netting Improvements Act, revising the bankruptcy code and clarifying safe harbor protections. On Dec. 12 U.S. Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, multi-nat. corps cmdr. #2 in Iraq (Jan. 2006-July 2008) says that curbing unemployment and improving services are needed to reduce violence, and that military muscle cannot win the war alone; meanwhile two car bombs targeting laborers in Baghdad kill 63, and 50 men are found bound and shot to death. On Dec. 12 the U.S. INS raids six Swift meat plants in six states and arrests suspected illegal immigrants after uncovering a scheme to steal IDs and Social Security numbers of lawful U.S. residents to get jobs at the plant in Greeley, Colo. On Dec. 12 vans carrying 200 illegal immigrants are stopped by armed men just S of the U.S.-Mexican border, who burn the vehicles to warn them to stay out of the drug smuggling route of the Sinaloa drug cartel, signalling their takeover of the migrant-smuggling business, using them as decoys and demanding extortion money; by summer 2007 the flow of migrants slackens, and the U.S. tries to take credit for their work? On Dec. 13 U.S. Sen. (D-S.D.) Tim Johnson (1947-) is hospitalized for bleeding in his brain caused by congenital arteriovenous malformation (AVM), leaving him in critical condition, causing concerns that the balance of power will tip back to the Repubs. On Dec. 14 the U.N. Gen. Assembly elects Ban Ki-moon (1944-) of South Korea as U.N. secy.-gen. #8; he is sworn-in on Jan. 1, 2007 (until ?), with the soundbyte "My mission could be dubbed Operation Restore Trust". On Dec. 14 the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in Tex. reports that U.S. breast cancer rates plunged 7% in 2003, the year after millions of women stopped taking menopause hormones. On Dec. 14 New Jersey passes legislation giving gay couples all the rights and responsibilities of marriage (but not the title) in response to a state supreme court order last Oct.; goes into effect next Feb. 19, joining Conn. and Vt. (civil unions), Mass. (gay marriage) and Calif. (domestic partnersips). On Dec. 14 Bhutan's king (since 1972) Jigme Singye Wangchuck (1955-) abdicates in favor of his 26-y.-o. Oxford-educated son Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck (1980-) and permit a new constitution to turn the country into a parliamentary democracy; on Nov. 6, 2008 he is officially crowned as dragon king #5 of Bhutan (until ?). On Dec. 14 the 3-year $7M Operation Paget pub. the 871-page Paget Report after interviewing 300 witnesses, concluding that there was no conspiracy in the car crash death of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed, and that she was not pregnant or engaged, and had told a friend that she needed marriage "like a rash on my face" - leave him alone he's a family man? On Dec. 15 Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush suspends all executions after prison officials botch the Dec. 13 lethal injection of Angel Nieves Diaz (b. 1951), shooting the chemicals into the flesh of his arms instead of his veins, causing a 2nd dose to be needed and the execution to take 34 min. instead of the usual 15 min. max.; meanwhile a federal judge in Calif. imposes a moratorium on executions, declaring that the state's method of lethal injection violates the U.S. constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment, followed by Md. on Dec. 19 - ask Spock about the Vulcan death grip? On Dec. 16 3K ethnic Tamils flee into govt.-held areas in E Sri Lanka, while the U.N. calls on Tamil Tger rebels to let tens of thousands more flee the rebel-held town of Vaharai ' in E Batticaloa; boats carrying fleeing civilians capsize, killing at least eight. On Dec. 17 gunmen in Iraq army uniforms kidnap 25 employees at Red Crescent offices in downtown Baghdad, later releasing six hostages; a car bomb in Mahmoudiya (20 mi. S of Baghdad) injures four; 36 tortured corpses are found in the Baghdad area by police. On Dec. 17 a suicide bomber detonates in front of a U.S. convoy outside Khost City in E Afghanistan, killing one Afghan civilian and wounding two others. On Dec. 17 North Korea begins nuclear talks with the U.S. and four other nations in Beijing after a 13-mo. hiatus, proclaiming itself a nuclear power and calling on the U.S. to soften its stance. On Dec. 18 Robert Gates is sworn-in as U.S. defense secy., saying that failure in Iraq would be a "calamity" that would haunt the U.S. for years, but that "All of us want to find a way to bring America's sons and daughters home again." On Dec. 18 "moderate conservatives" outpoll Pres. Ahmadinejad's hardliners in local council races, sending a signal that people of Iran are getting pissed at his provocation of the West and isolation of his country. On Dec. 18 grocery store clerk Tom Stephens (1969-) is arrested in Ipswich, England (70 mi. NE of London) for the slaying of five hos, whose naked bodies were found dumped in rural areas, causing fear of a modern Jack the Ripper; he later confesses after his involvement with up to 50 hos in the year after his 8-year marriage collapsed are revealed. On Dec. 18 the White House reveals that First Lady Laura Bush had a skin cancer tumor removed from her right shin in early Nov. On Dec. 19 Pres. Bush says that the U.S. should, er, expand and beef-up its armed forces. On Dec. 19 the Guttmacher Inst. of New York releases a report saying that 90% of Americans of both genders have had premarital sex, incl. 91% of women born between 1950-78 by age 30, and 88% of women born in the 1940s by age 44 - the Muslim extremists are right that the U.S. is an immoral whorehouse? On Dec. 20 the U.S. Stolen Valor Act of 2005, sponsored by Colo. Dem. rep. John Salazar makes it a crime to claim, wear, manufacture, or sell military decorations and medals, with a punishment of up to 1 year in prison; on July 23, 2010 Denver, Colo. U.S. district judge Robert Blackburn dismisses the case of Rick Glen Strandlof, ruling the law an unconsitutional violation of freedom of speech because the govt. doesn't have a compelling reason to restrict that type of speech. On Dec. 21 radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr agrees to allow his supporters to rejoin the Iraq govt., ending a 3-week boycott. On Dec. 21 dictator (since Nov. 2, 1990) Saparmurat Niyazov (b. 1940) dies, and Sunni Muslim dentist Gurbanguly Malikgulyyewic Berdimuhamedow (1957-) becomes pres. #2 of Turkmenistan (until ?), going on to dismantle his personality cult. On Dec. 24 Ethiopian Christian PM Meles Zenawi announces that his country is at war with Islamic militants in Somalia, sending troops and aircraft. On Dec. 24 Iraq interior minister Jawad al-Bolani admits that a total of 12K Iraq police have been killed since Saddam's ouster, but says "When we call for new recruits, they come by the hundreds and by the thousands". On Dec. 25 hundreds of British and Iraqi soldiers rescue 127 prisoners from Jameat Police Station in Basra, Iraq which had been infiltrated by militias; gunmen rob a bank in Basra of $740K; a car bomb at a market and a suicide bomber on a bus in Baghdad kill 14 and wound 33 civilians, and police find 40 bodies; meanwhile the U.S. military death toll in Iraq reaches 2,974, compared to 2,976 for the 9/11 attacks. On Dec. 25 Ethiopian jets bomb Somailia's two main airports in Mogadishu while ground troops capture three villages and the strategic border town of Belet Weyne; Islamic militia leader Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys flies into the airport shortly after the attack. The year 2006 ends with two final thoughts? On Dec. 26 Iraq's highest court rejects the appeal of Saddam Hussein (b. 1937) and orders him to be hanged within 30 days; thousands of requests stream in to be the lucky guy who throws the lever on him; he is held at Camp Cropper near the Baghdad airport; not wasting any time, on Dec. 30, hours after the U.S. gives custody of him to Iraqi authorities, he is hung like a dog ; it takes 20-30 min. for the heart to stop beating after the brain dies, so they leave him up while filming and releasing a video; state-run Iraqiya TV runs a screen legend reading "Saddam's execution marks the end of a dark period of Iraq's history"; his last words are "Long live Moqtada al-Sadr"; on Dec. 27 a Nov. 5 farewell letter by Saddam is posted on the Internet, saying "Here, I offer my soul to Allah as a sacrifice, and if he wants, he will send it to heaven with the martyrs", and calling for an end to sectarian hatred in a united war against the U.S.; on Dec. 28 two half-brothers visit Saddam's cell and take his personal belongings and his will; meanwhile on Dec. 26 former U.S. pres. Gerald R. Ford dies like a trooper at age 93, and the U.S. seizes the opportunity to show off how white is right one more time with a super-elaborate memorial to contrast the honor given this Dudley Doright, Christian hetero white all-American male with the hanging of the dark-complected Iraqi Dog, starting with Pres. Bush declaring Jan. 2 (Tues.) as a nat. day of mourning; one little kink?) on Dec. 27 the Washington Post reports that Ford questioned the Bush admin. rationale for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in July, 2004 interviews with Bob Woodward that he granted on condition that they be released only after his death; on Dec. 30 (after being transported in a Lincoln?) Ford's casket is placed outside the door of the U.S. House of Reps. (first time ever for a U.S. pres.); in June 2009 documents are declassified showing that Saddam told the FBI before he was hanged that he had allowed the world to believe he had WMDs in order to keep from appearing weak to his real enemy Iran - meaning that the U.S. barrelled into Iraq for nothing, and ended up helping Iran more than they could have hoped? On Dec. 27 boy band impresario (Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC) Louis Jay "Lou" Pearlman (1954-) (1st cousin of Art Garfunkel) is indicted in Fla. for the largest Ponzi scheme in history ($500M), and next June 27 he is indicted by a federal grand jury for bank, mail and wire fraud, then convicted in 2008 and sentenced to up to 25 years - are the charges in sync? On Dec. 28 drug gangs in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil set fire to buses and fire on police, killing 19 (incl. 3 policemen) and wounding 21. On Dec. 28 the U.S. FDA gives preliminary approval to meat and milk from cloned animals or their offspring without special labeling, although retailers plan on using "clone-free" labels for marketing appeal. On Dec. 28 scientists announce that the 41-sq. mi. 3K-y.-o. Ayles Ice Shelf broke clear from the coast of Ellesmere Island (500 mi. S of the N Pole) 16 mo. earlier in a mere 1-hour period, one of six major shelves remaining in the Canadian Arctic, the rest being 90% smaller than when first discovered in 1906; the ice shelf drifts 30 mi. then refreezes into the sea ice. On Dec. 29 four U.S. sailors are swept from the deck of the nuclear sub USS Minneapolis-St. Paul by surging waves as it is leaving the harbor of Plymouth, England; two are killed. Make that three thoughts? On Dec. 31 the official U.S. Operation Iraqi Freedom military death toll reaches 3K, incl. 62 women, compared to 2,973 victims in the 9/11 attacks; 61.1% were KIA, 35.6% from IEDs, 3.2% from suicide; more than a third were killed in Anbar Province (1,111) and Baghdad (683). On Dec. 31 nine bomb blasts in Bangkok, Thailand kill two and injure 20. On Dec. 31 10-y.-o. Sergio Pelico in Webster, Tex. (near Houston) accidentally hangs himself from a bunk bed after watching a news report on Saddam's execution, tying a slipknot around his neck; other boys do it in Yemen, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, this time on purpose? In Dec. UNICEF releases a report saying that 7K girls go unborn each day in India because of "male child mania", which causes pregnant women to use ultrasound to find the gender of their fetus and then abort it if it's female. In Dec. lesbian couple Margaret Chambers and Cassandra Ormiston become the first same-sex married couple to file for divorce; they were married in 2004 and file for divorce in Providence, R.I. - lesbianism is better than male child mania? In Dec. airport officials in Seattle, Wash. hastily remove 14 plastic Christmas trees after a local rabbi threatens to sue unless they also display a giant menorah, but restores them after the rabbi claims he didn't want the trees removed, and then agrees not to sue after they promise to consider the menorah for next year. In Dec. the euro surpasses the dollar in combined value of cash in circulation, €610B, equivalent to US$800B. Late in the year Am. feminists turn against her, with former backer Nora Ephron saying "She will do anything to win", claiming she's now one of those "who believe she doesn't really take a position unless it's completely safe, who believe she has taken the concept of triangulation and pushed it to a geometric level never achieved by anyone including her own husband, who can't stand her position on the war, who don't trust her as far as you can spit", and Jane Fonda calling her "a ventriloquist for the patriarchy with a skirt and a vagina." The Chinese govt. begins relocating 250K Tibetans (10% of the pop.) against their will from rural hamlets to "Socialist villages" serviced by Chinese roads and schools, and orders them to build their own housing; meanwhile it encourages ethnic Han Chinese to immigrate, tightens control of religion, and plans on replacing the 70-something Dalai Lama with a state-appointed stooge successor; thousands of I-think-you're-crazy Tibetans flee to Nepal. Iranian Council of Cultural Rev. head and pres. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad names the first cleric to head Tehran U., and begins a purge of liberal and secular teachers. Pres. Bush signs a law renewing the 1996 welfare overhaul law, with stricter work requirements for recipients. The U.S. govt. requires all produce to have labels giving the country of origin. The U.S. House of Reps votes to lift the 1980 ban on offshore drilling for 85% of the U.S. coastline, but the Senate fails to approve it; Pres. Obama finally lifts on the ban on Mar. 31, 2010. The British govt. pub. A New Deal for Welfare, Empowering People to Work, proposing shaking up the British welfare state as millions of disabled, sick and injured workers are eventually forced to take steps to go back to work (until ?). Saudi Arabia launches the Khurais Project to pump water underground to boost oil production. Egyptian blogger (student at al-Azhar U.) Abdel Kareem Nabil (AKA Kareem Amer) (1986-) is arrested for insulting Islam and Egyptian pres. Hosni Mubarak, and isn't released until Nov. 2010, saying he was detained for 11 days beyond his sentence and beaten before release. Break out the gay baby diapers? Early in the year slick TV ads featuring a cute diapered baby looking at the camera, sponsored by Coloradans for Fairness and Equality begin running in Colo. claiming that "some of us are born gay"; gay Colo. software exec Tim Gill, and Jon Stryker, brother of Ft. Collins, Colo. heiress Pat Stryker financially back the group, which seeks to give gay couples the same rights as hetero ones. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service claims that over 650M exotic animals worth $10B were legally imported into the U.S. since 2003, with only 120 full-time inspectors to police them for zoonotic diseases, which the Journal of Internal Medicine claims have infected 50M worldwide since 2000, killing up to 78K; during the summer Paris Hilton is bitten by her pet kinkajou (known for containing dangerous bacteria) named Baby Luv on the arm, ending up in the emergency room. The world was supposed to end this year according to the religious cult The Family, AKA Children of God; it is the first year of the Great Tribulation according to Ras Andy. According to myweb.ecomplanet.com/LENT6366/" Atlantis was supposed to rise this year from the Caribbean, causing Armageddon. China begins constructing a 52.8K-mi. highway system, which will equal the U.S. interstate highway system. A rabies epidemic in China causes mass extermination of dogs. The U.S. Mint issues state quarters for Nev., Neb., Colo., N.D., and S.D. Norway charges its citizens over $7 a gal. for gas this year, while sitting on a $250B bank account from its oil exports and making as much as $500M from each of its North Sea oil platforms? Brazil discovers gigantic "pre-salt" oil fields, which are expected to produce an annual revenue of $45B by 2020. During Bernie Sanders' 2006 reelection campaign, the Bernie Arcade Game is put online, allowing players to navigate Bernie's eco-friendly hydrogen-fuelled plane through unfriendly skies filled with extreme right wing enemies, bags of special interest money, mud from mudslingers, and fat cats, fighting back by shooting fact sheets while the Vt.-based Cleary Brothers band plays in the background; no matter how low your score is, a voice says "That is an unbelievable number." Slovenian pres. #2 (since Dec. 22, 2002) Janez Drnovsek (1950-2008) goes New Age and founds the Movement for Justice and Development. The U.S. Army and Marine Corps adopt the Counterinsurgency Field Manual (pub. in June), which teaches that insurgencies can't be defeated without protecting and winning over the gen. pop., ignoring the lessons of the Hundred Years' War? 89-y.-o. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi pushes his World Peace Bond Plan for feeding the world's hungry and establishing world peace, calling for investors ($60K minimum) for a World Peace Bond to buy 5B acres in 100 developing countries to create labor-intensive subsistence farms - so concerned for the poor he wants everybody to be that way? The Mexico Technical Surveillance System is installed to eavesdrop on drug dealers. The Muxlim social networking Web site for Muslims is founded by Mohamed El-Fatatry and Pietari Paivanen of Finland, adhering to the principles of Islam vis a vis vulgarity etc. Of 4M live births by U.S. mothers this year, 29.1% are by Caesarean section (C-section), up 40% from 1996 and 400% since 1980; the convenience of not having to wait for labor? This year Internet consumer sales reach $211B, up from $2B in 1997. By this year there have been 442 Internet-related homicides (since 1995). By this year China has 34M Internet blog sites, with 75M people reading them. The cost of childhood vaccinations in the U.S. rises to $1,250 (for 12 shots), up from $100 (for 4 shots) 20 years earlier; a 13th shot costing $360 to protect girls from cervical cancer is in the queue. Early in the year a $32M goof by Kansas City, Mo.-based H&R Block on its own income tax return, plus other technical glitches drives away 250K customers, many into the arms of rival Jackson Hewitt Tax Service based in Parsippany, N.J. Ireland blocks shipments of U.S. arms to Israel via Shannon Airport, causing U.S. ambassador James C. Kenney to warn them that the U.S. will use other airports, costing the Irish economy millions of dollars; not disclosed until Nov. 2010 by WikiLeaks. NORAD moves its U.S. Northern Command from Cheyenne Mountain to Petersen AFB in Colorado Springs, Colo.; in 2015 it moves back underground. By this year one-third of new cars in Brazil are dual-fuel, using either gasoline or sugar-cane alcohol. The Parsall Oil Field in the Bakken Formation and Three Forks Formation in N.D. is discovered, causing the North Dakota Oil Boom (ends ?). The Great Am. Honeybee Collapse begins (ends ?); by 2010 20-40% of colonies in the U.S. collapse. The Mormon Transhumanist Assoc. is founded in Salt Lake City, Utah to combine Mormonism and Transhumanism. The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is founded by Jewish-Am. atty. (former Judge Advocate Gen. and atty. to H. Ross Perot) Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein to oppose evangelical Christian influence in the U.S. military, representing Jews, Muslims et al. The 70 Metal Books are found in a cave in Jordan, and believed to date from just after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 C.E., which caused Christians to flee to the area. Am. comedian Jon Stewart pokes fun at Alaska Repub. Ted Stevens, chmn. of the Senate Commerce Committe for saying that the Internet isn't a dump truck but a series of tubes. China, which adds 2K new cars a day to Beijing traffic plants 2.16B trees using its cheap labor, and slaps a 5% tax on chopsticks in an effort at forest conservation, announces plans to stop exporting them in 2008, pissing-off the Japanese, who buy 97% of their 25B sets of "waribashi" (Chin. "kuaizi") a year from them, having become dependent on China for them in the 1980s; retail prices zoom from 1 yen a pair to 1.5-1.7. The Phantom of the Opera reaches 7,986 performances, beating the record set by Cats. The Oxford U. Press lists "time" as the most commonly used noun in the English language. The govt. of Malaysia seizes over 5M illegal DVDs and CDs from pirates in over 2K raids, arresting 780; beginning on Mar. 13, 2007 they begin using two dogs loaned by the Motion Picture Assoc. of Am. (MPAA), who sniff out another 1M disks in Johor on Mar. 19, causing pirates to put a hit out on them and spray chemicals on their disks to foil them. The phrase "crazy crackalackin' mamajama" is coined in the U.S. After designing Jason Wu dolls for Integrity Toys since age 16, Taipei, Taiwan-born gay Canadian fashion designer Jason Wu (1982-) debuts his first fall collection, making fans of Ivanka Trump, January Jones, RuPaul, Amber Valletta, and Michelle Obama, who wears one of his coats during her visit with Queen Eliabeth II. This year the Rolling Stones concert tour grosses $437M, followed by Madonna ($195M), Bon Jovi ($131M), U2 ($96M), and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill ($88.8M). This year the Hedge Fund Unscandal begins, with hedge fund mgrs. taking home incomes of over $1B, then sheltering the earnings by using their busineses as virtual 401(k) accounts which accumulate tax-free capital gains; meanwhile the 2001 U.S. Tax Cut Bill allows them to leave their estates to children without estate tax; it is set to expire in 2010. Los Alamos Nat. Lab develops bomb-sniffing honeybees; when they recognize an explosive they stick out their proboscis. The Am. Film Inst. (AFI) votes "It's a Wonderful Life" as the most inspirational film of the 20th cent. Time Warner in the U.K. censors all smoking scenes from "Tom and Jerry" cartoons. Toms (TOMS) Shoes in Santa Monica, Calif. is founded by Tex.-born Blake Mycoskie (1976-) to produce jute rope-soled Argentine alpargata (espadrille) shoes, becoming known for its non-profit subsidiary Friends of TOMS that gives out a free pair to a needy person for every pair sold - make Charlie feel good? Sports: On Jan. 22 the Pittsburgh Steelers defeat the Denver Broncos 34-17 to win the AFC title and become the first team since the 1985 New England Patriots to win three road playoff games to reach the Super Bowl; the Seattle Seahawks defeat the Carolina Panthers 34-14 to win the NFC Championship. On Feb. 19 the 2006 (48th) Daytona 500 is won by Jimmie Kenneth Johnson (1975-) in 203 laps (507.5 mi.) (2nd in a row to go longer than 500 mi.), becoming the first to end after sunset. On Mar. 8 NFL owners approve a 6-year extension to the collective bargaining agreement with the players' assoc., increasing the salary cap to 59.5% of league revenues; only the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals (who had a 52-108 record in the 1990s) vote against it. On Mar. ? Kobe Bryant of the L.A. Lakers scores 16K career points at age 27 years, 192 days, edging out Wilt Chamberlain by four days; the all-time scorer is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with 38,387. On Apr. 10 Phil Mickelson "works magic" for his 2nd Masters win in the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Ga. On May 3 Tiger Woods' father Earl dies, and he withdraws from the Memorial Tournament in late May for the first time in his career, his first major tournament missed since turning pro in 1997; he returns on June 15 for the 106th U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., and scores a 6-over-par 76 for 82nd place, three short of the cut, breaking his string of 39 consecutive cuts in majors, tied with Jack Nicklaus. On May 12 Justin Gatlin (1982-) of the U.S. equals the record for the 100 yard dash of 9.77 sec.; too bad, in 2006 he is banned for four years from track and field for using banned substances. On May 20 Barry Bonds hits career homer #714 after 29 at-bats (9 games) without one, a hit into the first deck of the elevated stands in right-center during the San Francisco Giants' 4-2 10-inning V over the Oakland Athletics, trying Babe Ruth's record; he is booed before the game; on May 28 he hits #715 in San Francisco's AT&T Park off Colorado Rockies pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim. On May 20 the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico sees Triple Crown hopeful Barbaro (who won the Kentucky Derby by 6.5 lenghths) shatter three bones in his right hind ankle; Dr. Dan Richardson of the U. of Penn. later pins his leg bones together with 27 screws in a noble effort to save him for stud work, even though the owners coulda collected $16M in insurance; too bad, on Jan. 29, 2007 he takes a turn for the worse and is put down, then becomes the first derby champ to be buried at Churchill Downs. On May 28 Samuel Jon "Sam" Hornish Jr. (1979-) whips by father-son team of Michael (43) and Marco (19) Andretti to win the 2006 (90th) Indianapolis 500 by .0635 sec., the 2nd closest finish ever; although Mario Andretti won in 1969, neither of his sons has; Hornish wins in his 7th try after leaving the pit late in the race with his fuel hose connected, losing a lap; much-touted Danica Patrick finishes 8th - did she panica? In May pro golfer John Daly reveals that he has a little gambling habit, and gambled away as much as $60M. On June 5-19 the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals see the Carolina Hurricanes defeat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3; MVP is 6'2" Hurricanes goalie Cameron Kenneth "Cam" Ward (1984-), becoming the first starting goaltender to win since Patrick Roy in 1986. On June 8-20 the 2006 NBA Finals sees the Miami Heat (coach Pat Riley) defeat the Dallas Mavericks (coach Avery Johnson) by 4-2: Dwayne Wade of the Heat is MVP. On June 9-July 9 the men's 18th FIFA World Cup is held in Germany; 715.1M watch the final match; Italy defeats France to win; the song The Time of Our Lives by Il Divo and Toni Braxton is the anthem. On July 9 the 18th FIFA World Cup of Soccer final between France and Italy in Berlin is won by Italy 5-3 on penalty kicks after French star Zinedine Zidane (who came out of retirement) gets pissed in OT and head-butts Italian defender Marco Materazzi ("the head butt heard round the world"), drawing a red card; he later claims a racial remark made him see red. On July 9 Roger Federer of Switzerland defeats Rafael Nadal of Spain in four sets to win the Wimbleton men's singles title for the 4th year in a row. On July 23 Floyd Landis (1975-) of the U.S. wins the Tour de France (begun July 1) 57 sec. ahead of Spain's Oscar Pereiro after first cracking in the final climb of Stage 16 on July 19 then staging a stirring comeback in Stage 17 on July 20, going from 8 min. 8 sec. behind Pereiro to only 30 sec. behind in the mountains; he dedicates the V to the Swiss Phonak team, for which he abandoned a U.S. team containing Lance Armstrong; too bad, elevated testosterone in his blood test causes him to be disqualified, despite negative tests on all the other days, and the uselessness of a 1-day shot of the stuff?; meanwhile his Mennonite parents in Farmersville, Penn. ride bicycles all the time? On July 23 Tiger Woods wins the British Open and his 3rd Claret Jug with a 5-under-par 67 2-shot victory over Chris DiMarco, his 11th major championship, then walks off the 18th green with tears in his eyes in his first V since his daddy died of cancer on May 3 - Liquid Plummer Power Jet, blasts clogs away in 3 seconds? On Aug. 20 Tiger Woods wins the PGA championship with a 4-under-par 68 and a 5-shot victory, becoming his 12th major (3rd PGA title); only Jack Nicklaus' 18 titles stand between him and being #1 of all time. On Aug. 27 Tiger Woods wins his 4th consecutive tournament at the Bridgestone Invitational; since missing the cut at the U.S. Open in June he has played five, and tied for 2nd in one. On Sept. 1 Jamestown, N.Y.-born Roger Stokoe Goodell (1959-) succeeds Paul Tagliabue as NFL commissioner (until ?). On Oct. 1 the Chicago Bears defeat the Seattle Seahawks 40-7, scoring the final 17 points, becoming the 2nd time in the season they score 50 unanswered points, and bringing their record to 5-0, incl. four wins by 25 points or more, the second team in NFL history to do so, the first being the 1941 Bears. On Nov. 13 #19 Joseph Keyshawn Johnson (1972-) of the Carolina Panthers becomes the first player to score a TD on Monday Night Football with four different teams (New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys); he is released by the Panthers on May 1, 2007 after one season, and retires. On Dec. 10 LaDainian Tomlinson (1979-) scores his 29th TD, breaking the NFL season record held by Shaun Alexander. On Dec. 11 female sprinter Ruqaya Al Ghasara of Bahrain wins the gold medal in the 200m (23.9 sec.) in the Asian Games (held on Dec. 1-15 in Doha, Qatar) wearing a Muslim hijab headgear and full-length running suit among a crowd of babes wearing trunks so skimpy you can do gynecology exams on them with binoculars, becoming the first athlete from Bahrain to win a major internat. athletics gold medal. The Nat. Tennis Center in N.Y. is renamed for Billie Jean King. Spalding Co. and the NBA announce a new NBA Official Game Ball made of synthetic material; too bad, players complain that it gets too slick and won't bounce right, causing the NBA to revert to the old leather balls effective Jan. 1, 2007. Architecture: On May 23 52-story 1.7M sq. ft. 7 World Trade Center 7 World Trade Center, designed by David M. Childs (1941-) and developed by billionaire original developer Larry A. Silverstein (193a-), the first destroyed skyscraper to be rebuilt since 9/11 opens, offering state of the art safety features but attracting few tenants, leaving 80% unrented; it becomes the first commercial tower in New York City to be certified "green" by the U.S. Green Building Council. On Aug. 1 $455M "giant Hostess Ding-Dong" Ariz. Cardinals Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., designed by Dennis Wellner opens, featuring 88 luxury lofts, a roll-out natural grass field, and retractable roof. Eglin Federal Prison Camp at Eglin AFB in Fla. closes after gaining the nickname "Club Fed" for being too cushy. Italy scraps plans to build a 2.5 mi. bridge across the Messina Straits to Sicily, which would have been the world's longest single-span suspension bridge. On May 15 the 33' x 66' x 42' 110-ton Cloud Gate AKA The Bean public sculpture by Bombay, India-born British artist Sir Anish Kapoor (1954-) in AT&T Plaza in Millennium Park, Chicago, Ill. is dedicated, composed of 168 welded stainless steel plates modeled after liquid mercury. The Frederic C. Hamilton Bldg. for the Denver Art Museum in Colo., designed by architect Daniel Libeskind (1946-) opens, which he describes as "two lines taking a walk". The Chinese govt. evacuates 1.3M people to make way for the $22B Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River, the world's largest hydroelectric project; meanwhile one-third of China's landmass suffers from acid rain caused by rapid industrial growth as its factories spew 25.5M tons of sulfur dioxide in 2005, up 27% from 2000. Nobel Prizes: Peace: Muhammad Yunus (1940-) (Bangladesh) [Grameen Bank]; Lit.: Orhan Pamuk (1952-) (Turkey); Physics: George Fitzgerald Smoot III (1945-) and John Cromwell Mather (1946-) (U.S.) [cosmic microwave background radiation]; Chem.: Roger David Kornberg (1947-) (U.S.) [eukaryotic transcription] (his father Arthur Kornberg won the Nobel Med. Prize when he was 12, and as a son of a Nobel laureate he got to conduct research for more than a decade before having to pub. any results); Med.: Craig Cameron Mello (1960-) (U.S.) and Andrew Zachary Fire (1959-) (U.S.) [RNA interference]; Econ.: Edmund Strother Phelps Jr. (1933-) (U.S.) [inter-temporal tradeoffs in macroeconomic policy]. Inventions: By this year the avg. desktop PC has 129 GB of storage, and the laptop has 71 GB. By this year the Apple iPod personal music player 60 GB model weighs only 5.5 oz. and holds up to 15K songs for $399. Apple Corp. begins using Intel microcprocessors in its Macintosh computers instead of IBM PowerPC chips. On Jan. 31 the Lockheed Martin P-791 experimental hybrid airship makes its first flight, going on to be used for landings in rough areas sans roads and airstrips. In Mar. Twitter.com is founded by Jack Dorsey (1976-), becoming the first Internet telegraphing service, where users can select whose message stream of up to 140 chars. per message to follow; on Aug. 27 Chris Messina invents the Twitter hashtag, with the first Tweet using it reading "how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups." In Mar. Microsoft announces the Origami Ultra-Mobile Personal Computer (UMPC), smaller than a laptop and larger than an iPod, weighing 2.5 lbs. with a 7-in. touchscreen, which compresses Windows and an onscreen keyboard and gives Internet and GPS access; a steal at $600-$1K? In Mar. the HD-DVD high-definition disc format goes on the market, followed in June by rival Blu-ray Disc to service the 25M U.S. homes with HD TVs by the end of this year; the U.S. DVD market is $23.2B, $15.4B from sales and $7.8B from rentals; Blu-ray gives up in Feb. 2008. In May Sir John Brian Pendry (1944-), a physicist at the Imperial College in London announces the possibility of using metamaterials with a negative refractive index to create a Harry Potter-like "invisibility cloak", claiming that he's as close as 18 mo. to having a working one; he announces a working product in ? On July 19 the electric Tesla Roadster is introduced, with a Lotus chassis and a 248 hp motor; it can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 3.9 sec. and can travel 244 mi. (393 km) on a single charge, which takes only 3.5 hours; only $153K fully loaded, strictly cash; customers incl. Ahnuld. In July Nature pub. an article announcing success by John P. Donoghue et al. of Brown U. in test patient Matthew Nagle of Weymouth, Mass. in using small implants in the brain of paralyzed people to enable them to control external devices such as computers and robot arms. On Aug. 15 the $68M carrier-based Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft makes its first flight, going into service on Sept. 22, 2009 to replace the Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler. On Sept. 9 the Boeing 747 Dreamlifter (originally the Large Cargo Freighter) makes its first flight, being only used to transport Boeing 787 parts after being loaded by the world's longest cargo loader; only four are built. In Sept. Jesse Sullivan of Dayton, Tenn. receives the first thought-controlled artificial arms, controlled by shoulder nerves grafted to his pectoral muscles, invented by Todd Kuiken et al. in U.S. govt.-sponsored research. On Dec. 15 after Lockheed announced the program in 2001, the $98M-$116M single-seat single-engine all-weather Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth multirole fighter makes its first flight, complete with F-35A (conventional takeoff and landing), F-35B (short takeoff and vertical landing), and F-35c (catapult-assisted takeoff and arrested recovery) models, its lower cost causing the F-22 Raptor to be phased-out; 115 are built by Nov. 2014, with a total of 2,457 planned for use by the USAF, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps; too bad, it's only good for its stealth, and can't win a close-up dogfight, and instead of wasting big bucks the military should have upgraded the F-15, F-16, and F-18? The $399 Microsoft Xbox 360 game platform is released, with a 20GB hard drive; it sells 34M units. IBM's Watson supercomputer undergoes initial tests to see if it can compete with humans in answering "Jeopardy!" clues, losing badly; in 2007 the IBM team is given a staff of 15 and 3.5 years to make it work, and by Feb. 2010 it reguarly beats humans; on Feb. 14, 2011 it goes on the air with champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, kicking their butts; too bad, it gives away how utterly devoid of intelligent it is by getting the Final Jeopardy clue wrong, claiming that Toronto is a U.S. city. The first digital projection systems for movie theaters are installed in the U.S., allowing studios to save $1.3B a year in film print manufacture and shipping costs, and permitting realistic 3-D. IBM patents Identification and Tracking of Persons Using RFID-Tagged Items. The Maxtor One Touch III Turbo Ed. is introduced, offering 1TB of digital storage for $799. James Harrison of Germany invents the Spray-On Condom. Science: A big year for planetary science? On Jan. 17 the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano pub. an article saying that "intelligent design" isn't science, and that teaching it alongside evolutionary theory in classrooms only creates confusion, but adds: "In a vision that goes beyond the empirical horizon, we can say that we aren't men by chance or by necessity, and that the human experience has a sense and a direction signaled by a superior design"; the article echoes the Vatican's chief astronomer Jesuit Rev. George V. Coyne (1933-), and either rebuffs or clarifies Pope Benedict XVI's Nov. off-the-cuff comments that the Universe was made by an "intelligent project". On Jan. 19 NASA launches the $650M unmanned New Horizons spacecraft on a 9.5-year 3B-mi. mission to flyby Pluto, the last unexplored planet, er, planetoid in the Solar System, followed by the Kuiper Belt; it features a memorial to Plugo, er, Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh; on Aug. 24, 2014 it passes the orbit of Neptune, rendezvousing with Pluto on July 14, 2015 at 8K mi. distance. On Jan. 23 scientists spot a gigantic storm on Saturn that unleashes lightning bolts 1Kx stronger than those found on Earth and lasts 10 hours; dozens more are spotted in the succeeding weeks. In Jan. Doron Behar, Karl Skorecki et al. in Israel pub. a study indicating that 40% of the 8M Ashkenazi Jews (out of a total world Jewish pop. of 13M) are descended from just four women who lived in Europe within the last 2K years, although ultimately they can be traced back to Jews dispersed from Israel to Italy in the 1st and 2nd cents. On Feb. 2 German astronomers report that icy ball 2003 UB313 in the Kuiper Belt (nicknamed Xena, then formally named Eris_, the largest object discovered orbiting the Sun since Neptune in 1846 is 1,860 mi., 30% wider than Pluto (1.4K mi.), causing astronomers, led by U.S. astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson (1958-) to begin questioning the status of Pluto as a planet; in Aug. the Internat. Astronomical Union (IAU) decides that Pluto is no longer a planet, but "dwarf planet" #13430, leaving Sol with only eight planets; Pluto joins Ceres and Xena as Sol's three dwarf planets; the word "plutoed" is coined, meaning demoted or devalued; on June 11, 2008 the IAU announces that similar distant bodies in the Solar System will be called "plutoids". On Feb. 10 Egyptian antiquities chief Zahi Hawass unveils the first tomb to be discovered (#63) in the Valley of the Kings since King Tut's in 1922, containing five wooden sarcophagi with mummies, surrounded by 20 jars with pharaonic seals intact, saying they're likely from the Thebes (Luxor)-based 18th Dynasty (1500-1300 B.C.E.). On Feb. 17 Science pub. the discovery that new neurons are born in the adult brain, overturning decades of neuroscientific dogma. In Feb. three major studies in the U.S. question the value to women of low fat diets to ward off heart disease and breast and colon cancer, calcium and Vitamin D pills to prevent broken bones, and glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate for arthritis patients - what about the Vitamin P from a man, and the exercise and bone-strengthening power of shagging? In Feb. archeologists unearth a massive eight-chambered tomb in the N Greek town of Pella (370 mi. N of Athens) dating to the period after Alexander, becoming the largest ever found and the first with more than three chambers. In Feb. the white nose syndrome in bats is first identified in a cave in Schoharie County, N.Y., after which it spreads throughout the NE U.S., killing 1M+ bats by 2009. On Mar. 10 Science pub. a report on water geysers on Saturn's moon Enceladus, raising the possibility of life. In Mar. Sandia Nat. Labs in Albuquerque, N.M. announces the heating of particles to a record 2B Kelvin with their Z Machine, revealing a phenomenon they say will make nuclear fusion power plants more feasible. In Mar. the Am. Journal of Human Genetics pub. a study on Ashkenazi Jews, indicating a Hebrew origin for them, not Khazars as proposed by Arthur Koestler. On Apr. 10 U.S. health officials link Bausch & Lomb's ReNu brand contact lens solution to Fusarium keratitis, a blinding fungal eye infection reported in 109 cases in 17 states since June 2005. On Apr. 19 the JAMA pub. two govt.-funded studies which find no evidence that amalgam fillings containing mercury cause neurological problems in children; it also contains an article concluding that pregnancies spaced from 18-60 mo. apart produce the healthiest babies. On Apr. 20 the U.S. FDA (dir. John Walters) declares that "no sound scientific studies" support the medical use of smoked marijuana, contradicting a 1999 review by the Inst. of Medicine of the Nat. Academy of Sciences that finds it to be "moderately well suited for particular conditions, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and AIDS wasting." In Apr. a polargrizz (pizzly), a polar-grizzly bear hybrid is shot on the S end of Banks Island in the Beaufort Sea, becoming the first confirmed case of the formerly zoo-only hybrid in the wild. On May 1 Avandia maker GlaxoSmithKline releases a study linking Alzheimer's disease to diabetes, saying that brain cells can lose their ability to properly use sugar, and that therefore everybody over the age of ? should take their product?; 4.5M suffer from Alzheimer's this year, but it could zoom to 14M by 2050? On May 7 Nature Genetics pub. an article announcing a new genetic marker which signals a 60% increased risk of prostate cancer in men, and which is twice as common in blacks than whites. On May 9 Swedish researchers pub. an article in the Proceedings of the Nat. Academy of Sciences showing the results of a study that shows that gay women's brains react somewhat like those of hetero men; a year ago the same group reported that gay men's brains act similar (stronger than gay women's) to hetero women; they later claim that their study does not add weight to the idea that homosexuality has a physical underpinning and is not learned behavior - what hormone turns a mouth into the opposite gender's sex organ? On June 19 China says it will put a Chinese man on the Moon by 2024. In June Nix and Hydra, two new moons of Pluto are discovered by S. Alan Stern in Boulder, Colo. using the Hubble Space Telescope, and are christened by the Internat. Astronomical Union next year; after Pluto is downgraded, they are called mini-moons - a planet has moons, right, so go Pluto? In July the U.S. Congress passes H.R. 810, a bill sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette (1957-) (D-Colo.) allowing federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, but on July 19 Pres. Bush vetoes it, saying "Our conscience and history as a nation demand that we resist this temptation", speaking to a White House audience which incl. the "Snow Flake Babies", adopted children who came from frozen embryos once slated to be discarded; an attempt to override his veto in the House fails 235-193. In July Terry Wallis (b. 1964), who suffered a traumatic brain injury 20 years earlier leaving him in a minimally conscious state, regains speech and movement after his brain spontaneously rewires itself, become the first such person in the U.S. - Terri Schiavo could have been the second? In July the U.S. FDA approves Atripla, the first one-pill once-a-day AIDS treatment, containing three drugs and costing only $1,150 a month at wholesale. On Aug. 23 Dr. Robert Lanza of Advanced Cell Tech. reports in Nature a new technique for establishing colonies of human embyonic stem cells without destroying embryos, using 2-day-old embryos that have divided into eight cells (blastomeres), commenting "There is no rational reason left to oppose this research", but Roman Catholic bishops chime in with objections to IVF itself. In Aug. the U.S. FDA approves the spraying of a mix of six bacteriophage viruses to combat Listeria Monocytogenes bacterium on cold cuts et al., becoming their first approval of viruses as a food additive. In Sept. the new planet HAT-P-1 is announced in the constellation Lacerto 450 l.y. from Earth, becoming the biggest known planet, with a density less than water. On Oct. 6 article in Science reports that the longstanding latitudinal diversity gradient discovered by explorers over the cents., resulting in the debate about whether the tropics are a cradle or museum of biodiversity has been answered, and they they are both, "the engine for global biodiversity", and "What this means is that human-caused extinctions in the tropics will eventually start to affect the biological diversity in the temperate and high latitudes" (Kaustuv Roy, UCSD). On Oct. 16 U.S. and Russian scientists led by Ken Moody of the U.S. announce the creation of element #118 (a new noble gas under radon in the Periodic Table), plus its decay product element #116; since it lasts for less than 1 millisec., other scientists are skeptical, considering that Lawrence Berkeley Lab in Calif. announced the same discovery in 1991 but retracted it in 2001 after Dr. Victor Ninov admitted he fabricated data. In Oct. scientists announce the discovery of the grey Cypriot Mouse on Cyprus, calling it a "living fossil", identical to fossils predating the arrival of humans by several thousand years - a weak link in evolutionary theory? In Oct. researchers at the Bronx, N.Y. Zoo announce that their research proves that elephants can recognize themselves in a mirror and are therefore self-aware. On Nov. 2 Nature pub. a study by 27 different researchers who find that the red wine ingredient resveratrol lowers the rate of diabetes, liver problems, and other fat-related illnesses in obese mice. On Nov. 3 an article in Science by a team of ecologists and economists pub. data from a 4-year study of seafood pops., and warns that 29% of species have collapsed (catch declined 90%), and the rest will collapse by 2048. On Nov. 15 Dr. Simon Hoerstrup of the U. of Zurich announces the growing of human heart valves using stem cells from amniotic fluid. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen invests $41M to develop the Allen Brain Atlas, a 3-D map of the 21K genes in the mouse brain. In Nov. 6-y.-o. Daniel Kerner becomes the first patient to have stem cells from aborted fetuses transplanted into his brain in an effort to slow his Batten disease, a genetic disorder preventing wastes from being eliminated from brain cells. On Dec. 3 the U.S. govt. announces that circumcising adult men may reduce by half their risk of getting the AIDS virus through hetero intercourse, then shuts down two African studies so that the "uncut" men may get "cut". On Dec. 6 NASA announces that its Global Surveyor spacecraft has taken photos of an area where muddy water appears to have run down crater walls, becoming a "squirting gun for water on Mars" - maybe an ET was taking a leak? On Dec. 12 two studies in Nature report that mice with larger ratios of the bacterium Firmicutes than Bacteroidetes get twice as fat and take in more calories from the same amount of food - firm is cute? In Dec. Flora the Komodo Dragon at the Chester Zoo in England becomes the first documented case of parthenogenesis (asexual reproduction) in the species. Swedish biologist Svante Paabo announces a plan to reconstruct the entire genome of the Neanderthals. This year U.S. beekepers begin reporting Colony Collapse Disorder (CCDE). Shinya Yamanaka (1962-) of Kyoto U. in Japan creates the first Induced Pluripotent (iPS) Cells, that can develop into any cell type; too bad, less then 1% of adult cells can be reprogrammed into iPS cells until a new technique is found in Aug. 2009 that involves silencing the p53 pathway that prevents mutations and preserves the genome sequence. Israeli scientists announce the creation of ball lightning in a microwave oven. Art: Luis Cruz Azaceta, Bowl. Paul Vella Critien, Colonna Mediterranea; a large phallic statue erected in Luqa, Malta; stirs controversy in 2010 when the mayor tries to have it removed before a papal visit. Daniel Edwards (1965-), Britney Spears: A Monument to Pro-Life (sculpture); Britney in the moment of childbirth on a bearskin rug; Hillary Rodham Clinton: First Woman President of the United States (sculpture). Mitchell Gaudet, Waterline (glass). Andrew Gonzalez, Yemanja. Damien Hirst (1965-), The Death of God; made in Mexico. Marc Quinn, Self (sculpture); a cast of his head made from his own frozen blood; the Nat. Portrait Gallery of London pays £300K for it. William Stockman, Bully. Tom Wesselmann (1931-2004), Sunset Nude with Matisse Odalisque. Melanie Yazzi, Talking About Change. Music: The Academy Is..., From the Carpet (album #2) (Feb. 21). Queens of the Stone Age, Over the Years and Through the Woods (album) (Jan. 22). Christina Aguilera (1980-), Back to Basics (album) (Aug. 15); incl. Hurt, Ain't No Other Man, Candyman. Akon (1977-), Konvicted (album #2); incl. Smack That. Lily Allen (1985-), Alright, Still (album) (debut) (July 14) (#20 in the U.S., #2 in the U.K.); sells 2.6M copies; incl. Smile, LDN, Shame for You, Littlest Things, Alfie. Amon Amarth, With Oden on Our Side (album #6) Sept. 22); first album to enter the Billboard Charts; incl. With Oden on Our Side, Under the Northern Star. India.Arie (1975-), Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship (album #3) (June 26) (#1 in the U.S., #103 in the U.K.) (700K copies); incl. I Am Not My Hair (w/Akon), The Heart of the Matter, There's Hope. Joseph Arthur (1971-), Nuclear Daydream (album #5) (Sept. 19). Buju Banton (1973-), Too Bad (album #8) (Sept. 12). Gnarls Barkley, St. Elsewhere (album) (debut) (Apr. 24) (#4 in the U.S., #1 in the U.K.) (5.8M copies); original title "Who Cares?"; from Atlanta, Ga., incl. Danger Mouse (Brian Joseph Burton) (1977-) and Cee Lo Green (Thomas DeCarlo Callaway) (1974-); named after NBA star Charles Barkley; incl. Crazy (#1 in the U.S. and U.K.) (first U.K. single based solely on downloads). Natasha Bedingfield (1981-), Live in New York City (album). Dierks Bentley (1975-), Long Trip Alone (album #3) (Oct. 17); incl. Long Trip Alone, Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go), Every Mile a Memory. Beyonce (1981-), B'Day (album #2) (Sept. 4) (#1 in the U.S., #3 in the U.K.)) (3.5M copies); incl. Deja Vu, Beautiful Liar, Irreplaceable. Bo Bice (1975-), The Real Thing (album) (Dec. 13); incl. The Real Thing. Bjork (1965-), Volta (album #7) (May 2); incl. Declare Independence, The Dull Flame of Desire (w/Antony Hegarty), Innocence. Mary J. Blige (1971-), Reflections (A Retrospective) (album). Joe Bonamassa (1977-), You & Me (album #6) (June 6); incl. Django. Pet Shop Boys, Fundamental (album) (May 22); sells 1M copies; dedicated to Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhohi (hanged on July 19, 2005 for raping a 13-y.-o. Iranian boy); incl. Minimal, Numb (with Diane Warren), I'm with Stupid; Concrete (album) (Oct. 23). Laura Branigan (1952-2004), The Platinum Collection (album) (July 24) (posth.). Buckcherry, 15 (album #3) (Apr. 16) (1M copies); incl. Crazy Bitch, Next 2 You, Sorry (#39 in the U.S.), Everything, Broken Glass. Jimmy Buffett (1946-), Take the Weather with You (album #26) (Oct. 10). Chris de Burgh (1948-), The Storyman (album #15) (Nov. 6); incl. Storyman Theme, One World, The Shadow of the Mountain, Raging Storm (with Krystina Miles). Candlebox, The Best of Candlebox (album) (May 23). Cascada, Everytime We Touch (album) (debut) (Feb. 21); from Germany, incl. Natalie Horler (1981-), DJ Manian (Manuel Reuter), Yanou (Yann Peifer); incl. Everytime We Touch; The Remix Album (album) (Nov.). Neko Case (1970-), Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (album #4) (Mar. 7). Cassie, Cassie (album); incl. Me and U. Chamillionaire featuring Krayzie Bone, The Sound of Revenge (album); incl. Ridin'. Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way (album); incl. Not Ready to Make Nice, about the 2003 London controversy; sweeps the 2007 Grammys on Feb. 11. El Chombo and Andys Val Gourmet, Chacarron Macarron. Metal Church, A Light in the Dark (album #8) (June 19); incl. A Light in the Dark, Mirror of Lies. New Young Pony Club, Get Lucky (Mar. 20). Leonard Cohen (1934-) and Anjani Thomas, Blue Alert. Ornette Coleman (1930-2015), Sound Grammar (album) (Sept. 12) (Pulitzer Prize). Shawn Colvin (1956-), These Four Walls (album #7) (Sept. 12). Sean "Diddy" Combs (1969-), Press Play (album #4) (Oct. 17) (#1 in the U.S., #11 in the U.K.); incl. Come to Me (w/Jimmy Page), Last Night. David Cook (1982-), Analog Heart (album) (debut) (May 6). Coolio (1963-), The Return of the Gangsta (album #5) (Oct. 16); incl. Gangsta Walk (w/Snoop Dogg). Elvis Costello (1954-), My Flame Burns Blue (album) (Feb. 28); recorded at the North Sea Jazz Festival, July, 2004. Elvis Costello (1954-) and Allen Toussaint (1938-), The River in Reverse (album) (June 6); incl. Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further? Black Crowes, Freak 'n' Roll into the Fog (live album). Chris Daughtry (1979-), Daughtry (album) (debut) (Nov. 21); fastest-selling debut album in history (until ?), selling 1M copies in 5 weeks, and 4M total; incl. It's Not Over. Mos Def (1973-), True Magic (album #3) (Dec. 29); leaked on the Internet, killing sales; incl. True Magic. Deftones, Saturday Night Wrist (album #5) (Oct. 31) (#10 in the U.S.); last with Chi Cheng ("Straight evil music" - Moreno); incl. Hole in the Earth (#19 in the U.S., #69 in the U.K.), Mein (w/Serj Tankian) (#40 in the U.S.). Disney Studios, High School Musical Soundtrack (album); first animated movie soundtrack to reach #1. Snoop Dogg (1971-), The Blue Carpet Treatment (album #8) (Nov. 21) (#5 in the U.S.); incl. I Wanna Fuck You (w/Akon). Goo Goo Dolls, Let Love In (album #8) (Apr. 25) (#9 in the U.S.); incl. Better Days (#3 in the U.S.), Let Love In (#9 in the U.S.), Stay With You (#6 in the U.S.). Forgive Durden, Wonderland (album) (debut) (May 9); named from the novel "Fight Club"; Thomas Dutton. Bob Dylan (1941-), Modern Times (album #32) (Aug. 29); named after a 1936 Charlie Chaplin movie; incl. Rollin' and Tumblin', Someday Baby. Europe, Secret Society (album #7) (Oct. 25); incl. Secret Society, Always the Pretenders. Better Than Ezra, Juicy; used on "Desperate Housewives". Eminem (1972-), Eminem Presents the Re-Up (album) (Dec. 5). Arch Enemy, Live Apocalypse (double album) (July 24); incl. My Apocalypse. Public Enemy, Rebirth of a Nation (album #10) (Mar. 7). Faithless, Renaissance 3D (triple CD) (July 10); To All New Arrivals (album) (Nov. 27); incl. Bombs. Feist (1976-), Open Season (album #3) (Apr.). Fergie (1975-), The Duchess (album) (debut) (Sept. 13); sells 6M copies; incl. London Bridge, Fergalicious, Big Girls Don't Cry (Fergie Song). Foo Fighters, Skin and Bones (album) (Nov. 7). Fishbone, Still Stuck In Your Throat (album) (Oct. 16); first with Rocky George (guitar), Dre Gipson (keyboard, vocals), and Curtis Storey (trumpet, vocals); incl. Let Dem Ho's Fight. Rascall Flatts, Me And My Gang (album). Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes (EP) (debut) (fall); original name Pineapple; from Seattle, Wash., incl. Robin Pecknold (vocals); incl. She Got Dressed. Peter Frampton (1950-), Fingerprints (Sept. 12); incl. Black Hole Sun. The Fray, How to Save a Life (album) (debut) (Sept. 13); from Denver, Colo., incl. Isaac Slade (1981-), Joe King (1980-); incl. How to Save a Life, Over My Head (Cable Car); Live at the Electric Factory: Bootleg No. 2 (album) (July 18). Nelly Furtado (1978-) Loose (album #3) (June 7) (10M copies) (best-selling album of 2006-7); incl. No Hay Igual, Promiscuous, Maneater, Te Busque, All Good Things (Come to an End), Say It Right, Do It, In God's Hands. The Game, Doctor's Avocate (album) (Nov. 14). Secret Garden, Once in a Red Moon (album #5) (Mar. 26); incl. Awakening, You Raise Me Up (w/Brian Kennedy). Melody Gardot (1985-), Worrisome Heart (album #2) (Feb. 26); incl. Quiet Fire, Worrisome Heart, Goodnite. Indigo Girls, Despite Our Differences (album #10) (Sept. 19). Lamb of God, Sacrament (album #5) (Aug. 22) (#8 in the U.S.) (300K copies); incl. Redneck, Walk With Me in Hell, Blacken the Cursed Sun. Godsmack, IV (album #4) (Apr. 25) (#1 in the U.S.) (500K copies in the U.S.); incl. Speak, Shine Down, The Enemy. Jay Greenberg (1991-), Intelligent Life. Nina Hagen (1955-), Irgendwo auf der Welt (album #14) (Apr. 24). Procol Harum, The Wells on Fire (album #13). P.J. Harvey (1969-), The Peel Sessions 1991-2004 (album) (Oct. 23). Heather Headley (1974-), In My Mind (album); incl. "Me Time", "Am I Worth It". Helmet, Monochrome (album). Paris Hilton (1981-), Paris (album) (debut); incl. Stars Are Blind. Hinder, Extreme Behavior (album); incl. Lips of an Angel. Her Space Holiday, The Telescope (album). Hoobastank, Every Man for Himself (album #3) (May 8); incl. If I Were You, Inside of You, Born to Lead. Crowded House, Farewell the World (album) (Nov.). Vanessa Hudgens (1988-), V (album) (debut) (Sept. 26); incl. Come Back to Me, Say OK. Janis Ian (1951-), Folk is the New Black (album). Incubus, Light Grenades (album #6) (Nov. 28) (#1 in the U.S.); incl. Love Hurts, Anna Molly (#66 in the U.S.), Dig (#94 in the U.S.), Oil and Water. Yusuf Islam (1948-), An Other Cup (album) (Nov. 10); first Western album since "Back to Earth" in 1978; incl. Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, I Think I See the Light. Isley Brothers, Baby Makin' Music (album). LL Cool J (1968-), Todd Smith (album) (Apr. 11); incl. Control Myself, Freeze (featuring Lyfe Jennings). Janet Jackson (1966-), 20 Y.O. (album #9) (Sept. 20) (#2 in the U.S., #63 in the U.K.); incl. Call On Me (w/Nelly), So Excited, Enjoy, With U. Pearl Jam, Pearl Jam (album #8) (May 2) (#2 in the U.S., #5 in the U.K.); incl. World Wide Suicide. Jamelia (1981-), Walk with Me (album) (Sept. 25); incl. Something About You, Beware of the Dog, No More. Jamiroquai, High Times: Singles 1992-2006 (album) (Nov. 6). Jay-Z (1969-), Kingdom Come (album #9) (Nov. 21); sells 680K copies the first week; incl. Show Me What You Got, 30 Something. Elton John (1947-), The Captain & The Kid (album #29) (Sept. 18); incl. The Bridge, Postcards from Richard Nixon. Jack Hody Johnson (1975-) and Friends, Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George (album) (Feb. 7) (#1 in the U.S.) (4M copies); incl. Upside Down, Talk of the Town (w/Kawika Kahiapo), We're Going to Be Friends (by Jack White), The 3 R's (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), With My Own Two Hands (w/Ben Harper). JoJo, High Road (album); incl. Too Little Too Late. Jonas Brothers, It's About Time (album) (debut) (Aug. 8); incl. Paul Kevin Jonas II (1987) (AKA K2), Joseph Adam "Joe" Jonas (1989), and Nicholas Jerry "Nick" Jonas (1992-); incl. Mandy. Journey, Live in Houston 1981: The Escape Tour (album) (Nov.). Gabriel Kahane (1981-), Craigslistlieder. Danity Kane, Danity Kane (album) (debut); sells 1M copies; Aubrey O'Day, Wanity "D. Woods" Woodgette, Shannon REx, Dawn Richard, Aundrea Fimbres; incl. Show Stopper, Ride for You. The Black Keys, Magic Potion (album #4) (Sept. 15); incl. Your Touch, You're the One, Just Got to Be. Cold War Kids, Robbers & Cowards (album) (Oct. 10) (debut); from Long Beach, Calif., incl. Nathan Willett (vocals), Jonnie Russell (drums), Matt Maust (bass), Matt Aveiro (drums); incl. Hang Me Up to Dry, Hospital Beds. The Killers, Sam's Town (album #2) (Oct. 2) (#2 in the U.S., #1 in the U.K.); sells 4.5M copies; incl. Read My Mind, When You Were Young, Bones, For Reasons Unknown. Nick Lachey (1973-), What's Left of Me (album) (May 9); incl. What's Left of Me, I Can't Hate You Anymore. Barenaked Ladies, Barenaked Ladies Are Me (album #7) (Sept. 12). Strapping Young Lads, The New Black (album #5) (last) (July 11) (#200 in the U.S.); incl. Wrong Side. Laibach, Volk (album #14) (Oct. 26); their take on several nat. anthems; incl. America; Turkiye. k.d. lang (1961-), Reintarnation (album) (Mar. 14). John Legend (1978-), Once Again (album #2) (Oct. 24); incl. Save Room, Heaven, P.D.A. (We Just Don't Care), Stereo. Sean Ono Lennon, Friendly Fire (album); incl. Dead Meat. Def Leppard, Yeah! (album) (May 23). Level 42, Retroglide (album #11) (last album in 1994) (Sept. 18); incl. Ship, Hell Town Story. Huey Lewis (1950-) and the News, Greatest Hits & Videos (album) (May 23). Jenny Lewis, Rabbit Fur Coat (album) (Jan. 24). Leona Lewis (1985-), A Moment Like This (Dec. 17) (#1 in the U.K.); winner of X Factor, Series 3; cover of the Kelly Clarkson #1 U.S. solo debut single; downloaded a record 50K times in 30 min. Juliette and the Licks, Four on the Floor (album #2) (last album) (Oct. 2); incl. Hot Kiss, Sticky Honey. Flaming Lips, At War with the Mystics (album #11) (Apr. 3); incl. The W.A.N.D.(The Will Always Negates Defeat), The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song (With All Your Power), It Overtakes Me. Meat Loaf (1947-), Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose (album); sells 2.5M copies. Loon (1975-), No Friends (album #2) (Aug. 29); Wizard of Harlem (album #3) (Oct. 26). Ludacris (1977-), Release Therapy (album #5) (Sept. 26) (#1 in the U.S.) (1.3M copies); incl. Money Maker (w/Pharrell) (#1 in the U.S.), Grew Up a Screw Up (w/Young Jeezy), Runaway Love (w/Mary J. Blige) (#2 in the U.S.), Girls Gone Wild, Slap. Where'd You Go? Madonna (1958-), I'm Going to Tell You A Secret (first live album) (June 20). Iron Maiden, A Matter of Life and Death (album #14) (Aug. 25); incl. The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg, Different World. John Mayer (1977-), Continuum (album #3) (Sept. 9) (#2 in the U.S., #47 in the U.K.) (3M copies); incl. Waiting on the World to Change, Gravity, Dreaming with a Broken Heart; The Village Sessions (album) (Dec. 12). 10,000 Maniacs, Live Twenty-Five (album). Ziggy Marley (1968-), Love Is My Religion (July 2). Paul McCartney (1942-), Ecce Cor Meum (Behold My Heart) (album) (Sept. 25). Ingrid Michaelson (1979-), (Take Me) The Way I Am. Mika (1983-), Dodgy Holiday EP (album) (debut) (Nov. 20); incl. Billy Brown. Fort Minor, The Rising Tied (album); incl. Where'd You Go. Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (album) (debut) (Jan. 23) (#24 in the U.S., #1 in the U.K.); fastest-selling debut album in British music history (360K copies in week #1); from High Green, Sheffield, England, incl. Alexander David "Alex" Turner (1986-) (vocals), Jamie Phillip Cook (1985-) (guitar), Nicholas "Nick" O'Malley (1985-) (bass), Matthew "Matt" Helders (1986-) (drums); incl. I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor (#1 in the U.K.), When the Sun Goes Down (#1 in the U.K.). Dito Montiel (1965-), Dito Montiel (album) (debut). Moonspell, Memorial (album #7) (Apr. 24). Van Morrison (1945-), Pay the Devil (album #32) (Mar. 6); Live at Austin City Limits Festival (album). Morrissey (1959-), Ringleader of the Tormentors (album). Van Morrison (1945-), Pay the Devil (album) (Mar. 7); incl. Half as Much. Motorhead, Kiss of Death (album #18) (Aug. 29); incl. Kingdom of the Worm. Smash Mouth, Summer Girl (album #5) (Sept. 19); first with drummer Jason Sutter, who is replaced next year by Mitch Marine; incl. So Insane, Story of My Life. Michael Martin Murphey (1945-), Heartland Cowboy: Cowboy Songs Vol. 5 (album #27 (Oct. 31)); incl. Long and Lonesome Ride to Dalhart. Ne-Yo (1979-), In My Own Words (album) (debut); incl. So Sick, Sexy Love. Nickelback, All the Right Reasons (album); incl. Far Away, Savin' Me. Twisted Nixon, Left is Right. Yannick Noah (1960-), Charango (album #3); incl. Donne-moi une Vie, Aux Arbres Citoyens. Nonpoint, Live and Kicking (album) (Nov. 7). Gary Numan (1958-), Jagged (album #16) (Mar. 13). Blue October, Foiled (album) (Apr. 4); incl. Hate Me, Into the Ocean. Midnight Oil, Flat Chart (album) (Aug. 14). Omarion (1984-), 21 (album #2) (Dec. 26); incl. IceBox (w/Timbaland and Entourage). Yoko Ono (1933-), Yes, I'm A Witch (Feb.); remixes of her back catalog of sh, er, hits. Maximo Park, Missing Songs (album) (Jan. 9). Paris, Rebirth of a Nation (album); Paris Presents: Hard Truth Soldiers. Snow Patrol, Eyes Open (album); incl. Chasing Cars, You're All I Have, Hands Open. Sean Paul, The Trinity (album); incl. Temperature, Give It Up To Me. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Stadium Arcadium (album #9) (May 5) (#1 in the U.S. and U.K.); sells 7M copies; last with John Frusciante; incl. Dani California, Tell Me Baby, Snow (Hey Oh), Desecration Smile, Hump de Bump. Tom Petty (1950-), Highway Companion (album #3) (July 25); incl. Saving Grace, Square One. Phoenix, It's Never Been Like That (album #3) (May 15); incl. Long Distance Call (May 8), Consolation Prizes. Kellie Pickler (1986-), Small Town Girl (album) (debut) (Oct. 31); incl. Red High Heels, I Wonder, Things That Never Cross a Man's Mind. Silversun Pickups, Carnavas (album) (debut) (July 26); incl. Lazy Eye, Well Thought Out Twinkles. Pink (1979-), I'm Not Dead (album #4) (Mar. 31) (#6 in the U.S., #3 in the U.K.) (6.5M copies); incl. Stupid Girls (#13 in the U.S.), Who Knew (#9 in the U.S.), U + Ur Hand (#9 in the U.S.), Dear Mr. President. Pitbull (1981-), El Mariel (album #2) (Oct. 31) (#17 in the U.S.); incl. Miami Shit, Come See Me, Jealouso. Placebo, Meds (album #5) (Mar. 13); incl. Meds, Because I Want You, Song to Say Goodbye, Infra-Red. Iggy Pop (1947-) and the Teddybears, Punkrocker. Daniel Powter, Daniel Powter (album); incl. Bad Day. Prince (1958-), 3121 (album) (Mar. 21); incl. "Te Amo Corazon", "Black Sweat". Queensryche, Operation: Mindcrime II (album #10) (Mar. 29); incl. I'm American. Corinne Bailey Rae (1979-), Corinne Bailey Rae (album) (debut) (Feb. 24); sells 3M copies; incl. Like a Star, Put Your Records On. Rammstein, Volkerball (Væ¬«erball) (Dodgeball) (album) (Nov. 17). The All-American Rejects, Move Along (album); incl. Dirty Little Secret, Move Along. Red, End of Silence (album) (debut) (June 6) (#194 in the U.S.); from Nashville, Tenn.; incl. Michael Barnes (vocals), Anthony Armstrong (guitar), Randy Armstrong (bass), and Joe Rickard (drums); incl. Breathe Into Me, Let Go, Lost, Break Me Down. Steve Reich (1936-), Daniel Variations. Busta Rhymes (1972-), The Big Bang (album #7) (June 13) (#1 in the U.S., #19 in the U.K.) (600K copies); incl. Touch It (#16 in the U.S.), I Love My Chick (w/will.ia.am, Kelis). Lionel Richie (1949-), Coming Home (album #8) (Sept. 12); sells 500K copies; incl. I Call It Love, Why, All Around the World. Rihanna (1988-), A Girl Like Me (album #2) (Apr. 19) (#5 in the U.S., #5 in the U.K.); incl. SOS (#1 in the U.S.), Break It Off (w/Sean Paul), Unfaithful, We Ride. If It's Loving' That You Want. LeAnn Rimes (1982-), Whatever We Wanna (album); incl. And It Feels Like. Kid Rock (1971-), Live Trucker (album); recorded the old-fashioned way with mobile recording studio and tape? My Chemical Romance, Life on the Murder Scene (first live album) (triple album) (Mar. 21); The Black Parade (album #3) (Oct. 23) (#2 in the U.S., #2 in the U.K.); rock opera about the Patient, who is dying of cancer; incl. Welcome to the Black Parade, Famous Last Words, I Don't Love You, Teenagers. Skid Row, Revolutions Per Minute (album #5) (Oct. 24); first with drummer Dave Gara; incl. Shut Up Baby, I Love You. Bianca Ryan (1994-), Bianca Ryan (album) (debut) (Nov. 14). Primal Scream, Riot City Blues (album #8) (June 5); incl. When the Bomb Drops, Hell's Coming Down. Seal (1963-), One Night to Remember (album) (Mar. 27). Belle and Sebastian, The Life Pursuit (album #7) (Feb. 6) (#8 in the U.K.); incl. Funny Little Frog, The Blues Are Still Blue, White Collar Boy. Bob Seger (1945-), Face the Promise (Sept. 12); incl. Wait for Me. Duncan Sheik, White Limousine (album) (Jan. 24); incl. White Limousine. Robert Sher-Machherndl, Anilla (for three dancers). Jessica Simpson (1980-), A Public Affair (album #5) (Aug. 26) (#5 in the U.S., #65 in the U.K.) (1M copies); she now switches to country; incl. A Public Affair, I Belong to Me, You Spin Me Round (Like A Record). Twisted Sister, A Twisted Christmas (album) (Oct. 17) (#147 in the U.S.). Slayer, Christ Illusion (album #10) (Aug. 8) (#5 in the U.S.); incl. Eye of the Insane, Final Six. Black Label Society, The European Invasion - Doom Troopin' Live (album) (Aug. 22); Shot to Hell (album #7) (Sept. 12); incl. Concrete Jungle. Collective Soul, Home: A Live Concert Recording With the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra (album) (Feb. 7). Hush Sound, Like Vines (album #2); incl. We Intertwined, Lions Roar, You Are the Moon, Where We Went Wrong. LCD Soundsystem, 45:33 (album) (Nov. 12). Regina Spektor (1980-), Begin to Hope (album #4) (June 13); incl. Fidelity, Better, On the Radio. Bruce Springsteen (1949-), We Shall Overcome (album). Ringo Starr (1940-), Ringo Starr and Friends (album) (Aug. 15). Cobra Starship, While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets (album) (debut) (Oct. 10); from New York City, incl. Gabe Saporta (vocals), Ryland Blackington (guitar), Alex Suarez (bass), Victoria Asher (keyboards), and Nate Novarro (drums); incl. The Church of Hot Addiction. Rod Stewart (1945-), Still the Same... Great Rock Classics of Our Time (album) (Oct. 10). George Strait (1952-), Give It Away. The Strokes, First Impression of Earth (album #3) (Jan. 3) (#5 in the U.S., #9 in the U.K.); incl. Juicebox (#9 in the U.S., #5 in the U.K.), Heart in a Cage (#21 in the U.S., #25 in the U.K.), You Only Live Once (#35 in the U.S.). Taylor Swift (1989-), Taylor Swift (album) (debut) (Oct. 24) (#1 country) (#5 in the U.S.); incl. Our Song (#1 country) (#16 in the U.S.) (youngest person to write and perform a Billboard country #1 song), Should've Said No (#1 country) (#33 in the U.S.), Teardrops on My Guitar (#2 country) (#13 in the U.S.), Picture to Burn (#3 country) (#28 in the U.S.), Tim McGraw (#6 country) (#40 in the U.S.); the album stays 274 weeks on the Billboard top 200 chart. Plain White T's, Every Second Counts (album); incl. Hey There Delilah, Hate (I Really Don't Like You). Therion, Celebrators of Becoming (boxed set) (May 6). Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Thug Stories (album) (Sept. 19). Justin Timberlake (1981-) featuring T.I., Future Sex/ LoveSounds (album #2) (Sept. 12) (#1 in the U.S. and U.K.); sells 4M copies in the U.S. and 14M copies worldwide, and spawns six Top 20 hits for the 1st time since Michael Jackson's "Dangerous" (1991); incl. SexyBack, My Love, What Goes Around Comes Around, Summer Love, LoveStoned, Until the End of Time. Tool, 10,000 Days (album #4) (Apr. 28) (#1 in the U.S., #4 in the U.K.) (3M copies worldwide); incl. Vicarious, The Pot, Jambi. T-Pain, Rappa Ternt Sanqa (album); incl. I'm Sprung. Toto, Falling in Between (album #12) (last album) (Feb. 14); incl. Bottom of Your Soul. Train, For Me, It's You (album #4) (Jan. 31) (#10 in the U.S.); incl. Cab, Give Myself to You, Am I Reaching You Now. Cheap Trick, Rockford (album #15) (June 6). KT Tunstall (1975-), KT Tunstall's Acoustic Extravaganza (album) (May 15); incl. Ashes. Carrie Underwood (1983-), Some Hearts (album) (debut); wins Country Music album of the year. Keith Urban (1967-), Love, Pain and the Whole Crazy Thing. Various Artists, Bossa n' Stones, Vols. 1-2 (album) (Aug. 21). Nouvelle Vague, Bande a Part (album #2); incl. Don't Go, Blue Monday, Dancing with Myself, Heart of Glass. Warrant, Born Again (album #7); first without Jani Lane. Kevin Welch (1955-), Lost John Dean (album #7). Westlife, The Love Album (album #8) (Nov. 20) (#1 in the U.K.) (5M copies worldwide); incl. The Rose (by Bette Midler) (#1 in the U.K.). The Whitest Boy Alive, Dreams (album) (debut) (Sept. 4); from Berlin, Germany, incl. Erland Oye of Kings of Convenience (vocals), Marcin Oz (bass), Daniel Nentwig (piano), and Sebastian Maschat (drums); incl. Golden Cage, Inflation, Burning, Fireworks. The Who, Endless Wire (album) (Oct. 30); first original album since 1982; incl. It's Not Enough. Brian Wilson (1942-), Smile (album); long time coming comeback? Amy Winehouse (1983-2011), Back to Black (album #2) (Oct. 4) (#2 in the U.S., #1 in the U.K.) (10M copies); incl. Back to Black, Rehab, You Know I'm No Good, Tears Dry on Their Own, Love Is a Losing Game. Winger, IV (album #4) (Oct. 20); last album in 1993. Yehudi Wyner (1929-), Piano Concerto: 'Chiavi in Mano' (Pulitzer Prize). Thom Yorke (1968-), The Eraser (album) (debut) (July 10); incl. The Eraser, Black Swan The Clock, Harrowdown Hill. Frank Zappa (1940-93), Imaginary Diseases (album) (posth.) (Jan.); Trance-Fusion (album) (posth.) (Oct. 24); The MOFO Project/Object (album) (posth.) (Dec. 5); The Frank Zappa AAAFNRAA Birthday Bundle (album) (posth.) (Dec. 15). Zola, Tsotsi Soundtrack (album); incl. Bhambatha. The Zutons, Tired of Hanging Around (album #2); incl. Valerie, Why Don't You Give Me Your Love?. Movies: The Year of Double Zero Six Dick Almighty in Hollyweird? Zack Snyder's 300 (Dec. 9) (Warner Bros.), based on Frank Miller's comic book, er, graphic novel about the 480 B.C.E. Battle of Thermopylae where 300 Am. Cowboys, er, Greek Spartans kick the asses of 250K Iranians, er, Persians marks a new era in movie making with an almost totally computer-generated film, with the few actors such as Gerard Butler (Leonidas), Dominic West (Theron), Lena Headey (Queen Gorgo), and Rodrigo Santoro (Xerxes) working out of a locomotive factory in Montreal; "War's not ugly; ugly is ugly" (Xerxes); "Only Spartan women give birth to real men" (Gorgo); the $70.9M opening weekend sets a record, which only stands until "Spider-Man 3" opens on May 5; #6 movie of 206 ($211M U.S. and $456M worldwide box office on a $65M budget); followed by "300: Rise of an Empire" (2014). Doug Atchison's Akeelah and the Bee (Apr. 28) (Lionsgate Films) stars Keke Palmer as 11-y.-o. Akeelah Anderson, who goes through Matrix-like coaching for the Scripps Nat. Spelling Bee by Dr. Joshua Larabee (Laurence Fishburne) while dealing with her reluctant mother Angela Bassett; does $19M box office on an $8M budget. Mel Gibson's Apocalypto: A New Beginning (Dec. 8) (Touchstone Pictures), about the gruesome human-sacrificing Mayans and starring Rudy Youngblood as Jaguar Paw gets good opening weekend box office despite all the recent bad publicity about Gibson; does $120.7M box office on a $40M budget. Robert Towne's Ask the Dust (Apr. 13), based on the John Fante novel, based on Los Angeles in the 1930s is shot in South Africa, and stars Colin Farrell and Salma Hayek as two hot-blooded lovers fighting the city and themselves. Michael Polish's The Astronaut Farmer (Oct. 15) stars Billy Bob Thornton as unbelievable former NASA astronaut Charles Farmer, who retired to run a family farm, and cobbles together his own manned launch vehicle in his spare time, only to be harassed by the FBI and FAA. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Babel (May 23), written by Guillermo Arriaga stars Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett as Richard and Susan Jones of San Diego, Calif., and deals with a series of events occurring in three continents after young goatherder Abdullah fires a shot in the mountains of Morocco at a bus carrying Western tourists, critically wounding Susan; receives seven Oscar nominations; Rinko Kikuchi receives a best supporting actress nomination, turning Japan on; some filmgoers report getting nausea and headaches from it?; does $135.3M box office on a $25M budget. Paul Verhoeven's Black Book (Sept. 14) stars Carice van Houten as WWII Dutch Jewish refugee Rachel Stein, who jons the Dutch Resistance poses as non-Jew Ellis de Vries to become lovers with SS head Ludwig Muntze, and falls in love with him, then is framed by Muntze's rival Gunther Franken (Waldemar Kobus) on being a double agent until she can find the you know what. Edward Zwick's Blood Diamond (Dec. 8) (Warner Bros.) stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Rhodesian gem smuggler Danny Archer in 1999 Sierra Leone, Jennifer Connelly as Am. journalist Maddy Bowen ("In America it's bling-bling; here it's bling-bang"), and Djimon Hounsou as Solomon Vandy, a father searching for his son, who was nonscripted by the rebels in a semi-remake of "The Defiant Ones"; does $171M box office on a $101M budget. Emilio Estevez's Bobby (Nov. 23) follows 22 people at L.A.'s Ambassador Hotel on the night when Bobby Kennedy was assassinated (June 6, 1968); stars incl. Emilio's ex-fiancee Demi Moore and his dad Martin Sheen; cougar Demi Moore also romanced Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt before latching onto young stuff Ashton Kutcher? Larry Charles' Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (Nov. 3) (20th Cent. Fox) stars British Jewish comedian Sacha Noam Baron Cohen (1971-) in a country-bumpkin-in-the-big-city satire as reporter Borat Sagdiyev, who goes to New York City with his fat producer Azamat Bagatov (Ken Davitian) and his pet chicken Buh-Kaw, then discovers Pam Anderson and decides to find and marry her by travelling cross-country in an ice cream truck, all while speaking heavily accented Hebrew and using Candid Camera techniques, becoming a box office smash, doint $261.6M box office on an $18M budget; banned in all Arab countries except Lebanon, also pissing-off Russia; "This C.J. was like no Kazakh woman I have ever seen. She had golden hair, teeth as white as pearls, and the asshole of a 7-year-old. For the first time in my lifes, I was in love"; "This is my country of Kazakhstan. It locate between Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, and assholes Uzbekistan"; features the Kazakhstan Nat. Anthem; "Kazakhstan greatest country in the world. All other countries are run by little girls. Kazakhstan number one exporter of potassium, all other countries have inferior potassium. Kazakhstan home of Tinshein swimming pool, it's length thirty meter and width six meter. Filtration system a marvel to behold. It remove 83 percent of human solid waste. Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan you very nice place, from Plains of Tarashek to northern fence of Jewtown. Kazakhstan friend of all except Uzbekistan, they very nosey people with bone in their brain. Kazakhstan industry best in the world, we invented toffee and trouser belt. Kazakhstan's prostitutes cleanest in the region, except of course for Turkmenistan's.... Come grasp the mighty penis of our leader from junction with the testes to tip of its face!"; on Sept. 29, 2006 Borat gives a fake White House press conference one day before an official visit of Kazakhstan's real pres.; viewers relish dubious factoids about the Big K, incl. that it has the world's largest pop. of wolves, its people drink horse urine, shoot dogs, and view rape and incest as hobbies, causing the Big K govt. to hire two Western PR firms and run a 4-page ad in the New York Times setting the world straight, and rush through the big budget epic Nomad: The Warrior, starring Jason Scott Lee, Jay Hernandez and Kuno Becker, reminding us a zillion times how they're Genghis Khan's country; after Borat garners big bucks at the box office ($129M worldwide), some of the chumps, who all were suckered into signing releases, such as the villagers of Glod ("mud"), Romania attempt to sue; original dir. Todd Phillips quits after shooting the Star Spangled Banner Scene at a Texas rodeo. Peyton Reed's The Break-Up (June 2) (Universal Pictures) stars Jennifer Aniston as Brook Meyers, and Vince Vaughan as Gary Grobowski, who meet at a Chicago Cubs home game and move in together, until they you know what and Brooke lets him know by having him kicked off their couples-only bowling team; does $205M box office on a $52M budget. John Lasseter's and Joe Ranft's Cars (June 9) is an animated Pixar film about vehicles with eyes on their windshields; #3 movie of 2006 ($244m). Martin Campbell's Casino Royale (Nov. 14) (Eon Productions) (Stillking Films) (Babelsberg Film) (MGM) (Columbia Pictures) (James Bond 007 film #21), a reboot of the series, starring working class-looking Daniel Wroughton Craig (1938-) as James Blond, er, Bond, before he gets his 007 license, and Dame Judi Dench as M; Mads Mikkelsen plays the villain Le Chiffre, whom Bond must stop from winning a high stakes Texas Hold 'Em poker tournament at Casino Royale in Montenegro; doll-faced Eva Green stars as treasury agent Vesper Lynd (West Berlin); highest-grossing Bond film so far, taking in $167M in the U.S. (#10 movie of 2006), and $600M worldwide on a $150M budget; too bad, this new PC Bond is all about running fast and jumping high, and turns into an Alan Alda sensitive guy with women, complete with a woman boss, and literally gets his nuts cracked at the end and kind of wusses out for awhile, finally emerging looking bitter and damaged for the sequel?; the theme is You Know My Name, sung by Chris Cornell; followed by "Quantum of Solace" (2008), "Skyfall" (2012), and "Spectre" (2015). Alfonso Cuaron's Children of Men (Sept. 22), based on the 1922 P.D. James novel about illegal immigrants suffering in 2027 U.K. after a plague of infertility stars Clive Owen as civil servant Theo Faron, who helps pregnant West African Kee (Clare-Hope Ashitey) escape; does $70M office on a $76M budget. Kevin Smith's Clerks II (July 21) stars Dante Hicks (Brian O'Halloran) and Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson) as clerks who lose their Quick Stop to a fire, causing them to settle at Mooby's and descend farther into degenerate potty mouth talking than in the original, incl. discussions of girls with oversize clits, oral-anal sex, and saving the term "porch monkey" from applying only to N-words; "If I were you I'd spraypaint Eat Pussy across the side of the building in huge letters"; "You're going to be rolling in the pussy, man"; "Just a guy caught playing tonsil-hockey with his mother"; "The best part of the job is the barely legal pussy coming in here"; "You never go ass to mouth." Anthony Minghella's Cold Mountain (Dec. 25), based on the 1997 Charles Frazier novel about the U.S. Civil War stars Jude Law as Will Inman, Nicole Kidman as Ada Monroe, and Renee Zellweger as Ruby Thewes; Elvis Costello sings the hit song The Scarlet Tide. Zhang Yimou's Curse of the Golden Flower (A Whole City Clothed in Golden Armor) (Dec. 21) (Sony Pictures), set in 928 C.E. Tang China stars Chow Yun-fat as Chinese Tang emperor Ping, and Gong Li as his empress, whom he's slowly poisoning with a Persian fungus, causing her to plot a coup, steeped in lushly colorful opulence and back-stabbing; most expensive Chinese film to date ($45M); does $78.5M box office. Ron Howard's The Da Vinci Code (May 17) (Imagine Entertainment) (Columbia Pictures), with screenplay by Akiva Goldman and the cool song Chevaliers de Sangreal by Hans Zimmer stars Tom Hanks as Harris Tweed-loving Harvard religious symbology prof. Robert Langdon, Audrey Tautou (pr. "toe-TOO") as Sophie Neveu, Jean Reno as French dick Bezu Fache, and Ian McKellen as Sir Lipton Teabag, er, Sir Leigh Teabing in a fairly faithful reproduction of this insanely improbable action novel based on fractured feminist-freethinker history (they couldn't X-ray or disassemble the cryptex?); (Fache thinks Langdon did it because of all the writing in blood, none of which says Langdon did it?); (the tomb of Mary Magdalene will causes millions to worship her like a new saint, when nobody needed the tomb of the Virgin Mary to ditto?); (the secret documents proving everything are in an underground room open to the public which anybody could discover easily?); (Sophie is the real grail, yet all these mysterious Priory of Sion people leave her in harm's way throughout the flick?); Paul Bettany plays albino Opus Dei sulpice-loving monk-assassin Silas, and "'You give me the whip, I give you the idol' in Raiders of the Lost Ark" Alfred Molina plays Bishop Aringarosa; the 68th film since 1960 to feature the fallacy of the evil albino, according to the Nat. Org. for Albinism and Hypopigmentation; #5 movie of 2006 ($218M U.S. and $758.2M worldwide box office on a $125M budget). Tony Scott's Deja Vu (Déjà Vu) (Nov. 22) (Touchstone Pictures) stars Denzel Washington as ATF agent Doug Carlin, who investigates a New Orleans Mardi Gras terrorist attack against ferry Sen. Alvin T. Stumpf that killed 443, and discovers the time window called Snow White, travelling into the past to prevent it and save a woman he falls in love with; does $180.5M box office on a $75M budget. Amy Berg's Deliver Us From Evil (June 24) is about Father Oliver O'Grady, a Roman Catholic pedophile priest who was transferred to various parishes around the U.S. during the 1970s to coverup his crimes. Martin Scorsese's The Departed (Sept. 26) (Warner Bros.), a remake of the 2002 film "Infernal Affairs" stars Matt Damon as Mass. State Police Sgt. Colin Sullivan, who moles for Boston crime boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson), while Leonardo DiCaprio plays undercover state cop Billy Costigan, who moles inside Costello's org. for state police chief Oliver Queenan (Martin Sheen), and ends up in a death duel with Sullivan, with Costello and Queenan caught in the middle; the 3rd consecutive best picture Oscar nomination for Scorsese with DiCaprio as a star ("Gangs of New York", 2002; "The Aviator", 2004); does $290M box office on a $90M budget. David Frankel's The Devil Wears Prada (June 30), based on the 2003 Lauren Weisberger novel stars Anne Hathaway as recent college grad Andy Sachs, who gets her first job as asst. to tyrannical fashion mag. ed. Mirandy Priestley (Meryl Streep, who gets her record 14th Oscar nod), pissing-off Vogue ed. Anna Wintour, who believes it's really her, later flopping and praising the film; Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci play co-asst. Emily Charlton and art dir. Nigel; the most expensively costumed film in history (until ?); does $327M worldwide on a $35M budget. Bill Condon's Dreamgirls (Dec. 25), based on the 1981 Tom Eyen and Henry Krieger musical about the Dreams (clones of the Supremes) stars Beyonce Knowles as Deena Jones, Jennifer Hudson as Effie White, Jamie Foxx as Curtis Taylor Jr., and Eddie Murphy as James Brown, er, James "Thunder" Early; too bad, faux Supremes music gives it a dreambusting quality? Scott Coffey and Naomi Watts' Ellie Parker (July 14), starring Naomi Watts as Ellie Parker shows how becoming a paid actor is a process of total self-sellout? Stefen Fangmeier's Eragon (Dec. 15), based on the 2001 Christopher Paolini novel is about farm boy Eragon (Edward Speleers), who finds the last blue dragon egg, which hatches into blue dragon Saphira (voiced by Rachel Weisz), and he becomes the last dragon rider, leading a revolt against the evil king Galbatorix (John Malkovich); Jeremy Irons plays former dragon rider Brom; "One part brave, three parts fool." Tom Dey's Failure to Launch (Mar. 10) stars Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Terry Bradshaw, and Kathy Bates in a comedy about 30-something Tripp, who still lives with his parents Al and Sue, who try to hook him up with Paula to get him outta there; filmed in New Orleans in the summer before the big flood, doubling for Md. Bobby Farrelly's and Peter Farrelly's Fever Pitch (Apr. 8), a remake of the 1997 flick based on the 1992 Nick Hornby novel stars Jimmy Fallon as diehard Boston Red Sox fan Ben Wrightman, and Drew Barrymore as his babe Lindsey Meeks, who inevitably makes him choose between Winter Guy and Summer Guy. Richard Loncraine's Firewall (Feb. 10) stars Harrison Ford as security expert Jack Stanfield, who's forced to rob a bank to pay his family's ransom. Sidney Lumet's Find Me Guilty (Mar. 17) stars overweight Vin Diesel as Lucchese crime family member Jackie DiNorscio, who becomes his own atty. and gets an ass for a client in a 21 mo. trial in 1987-8 for racketeering. Lawrence Malkin's Five Fingers (Aug. 25) stars Ryan Philippe as a Dutch pianist who is kidnapped in Morocco and tortured by mean chess-loving Muslim man Ahmat (Laurence Fishburne), losing four you know whats. James Gartner's Glory Road (Jan. 13) is a Disney film about the famous 1965-6 NCAA Div. 1 basketball championship season, where Texas Western defeated #1 lily-white Kentucky by using all-black starters, breaking the color line in the South, starring Jon Voight as losing coach Adolph Rupp, and Josh Lucas as winning coach Don Haskins. Christopher Dillon Quinn's God Grew Tired of Us: The Lost Boys of Sudan is about the 25K you know whats, refugees from the 1983 war, of which 3.8K came to the U.S. in 2001, and were quietly distributed 38 per lucky city. Ryan Fleck's Half Nelson (Aug. 11) stars Ryan Gosling as white inner city 8th grade teacher Dan Dunnne, who has a drug habit and forms a relationship with Drey (Shareeka Epps), who catches him smoking crack. George Miller's Happy Feet (Nov. 17) features lovable toe-tapping animated Emperor Penguins dancing to MC Hammer's You Can't Touch This; #8 movie of 2006 ($198M). Kenny Ortega's High School Musical (Jan. 20) stars Zac Efron as basketball star Troy Bolton, and Gabriella Montez as brain girl Vanessa Anne Hudgens, who meet while singing karaoke during the summer, and just happen to end up in the same school together in the fall; Lucas Grabeel stars as Ryan, and new diva wannabe Ashley Tisdale as new diva wannabe Sharpay Evans, who lose their acting jobs to the new hit musical team of Troy and Gabriella. Alexandre Aha'a The Hills Have Eyes (Mar. 10) is a splatter flick about a suburban Am. family being stalked by a group of desert psychos and proving that tomcats are fighters? Nicholas Hytner's The History Boys (Oct. 13), based on the Alan Bennett play is about a British working class school where the boys prepare for college entrance exams while the teachers dream of ranging their rumps? Joon-ho Bong's The Host (Gwoemul) (July 27) is a hilarious monster film set in the polluted Han River in South Korea. Bob Dolman's How to Eat Fried Worms (Aug. 25), based on the 1973 children's book by Norman Rockwell's son Thomas Rockwell stars Luke Benward as Billy, who accepts a bully's challenge to eat 15 worms in 15 days; "New town. New friends. New menu." Carlos Saldanha's Ice Age: The Meltdown (Mar. 31) features a return of Diego, Manny and Sid; #9 movie of 2006 ($195M). Douglas McGrath's Infamous (Aug. 31) (Warner Bros.), based on the 1997 George Plimpton book "Truman Capote: In Which Various Friends, Enemies, Acquaintances, and Detractors Recall his Turbulent Career" stars Toby Jones as Truman Capote, Sandra Bullock as Harper Lee, Lee Pace as Richard Hickock, Daniel Craig as Perry Smith, and Jeff Daniels as DA Alvin Dewey; does $2.6M box office on a $13M budget. Neil Burger's The Illusionist (Aug. 18) (Yari Film Group), based on a short story by Steven Millhauser stars Edward Norton as magician Eisenheim in 1889 Vienna, whose childhood sweetheart Sophie (Jessica Biel) is controlled by mean crown prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell), causing him to use all his powers to get her away from him, while Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti) tries to keep him from going to prison or worse; does $88M box office on a $16.5M budget. Spike Lee's Inside Man (Mar. 24) (Universal Pictures), written by Russell Gewirtz stars Clive Owen as bank robber Dalton Russell, who pulls off a perfect heist, not money but evidence against Manhattan Trust Bank chmn. Arthur Case (Christopher Plummer), ending in a hostage situation with Det. Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington) and power broker Madeleine White (Jodie Foster); does $184.4M box office on a $45M budget; "This time next week I'll be sucking down pina coladas in a hot tub with six girls named Amber and Tiffany" (Russell); "More like taking a shower with two guys named Jamal and Jesus, if you know what I mean. And here's the bad news. That thingy you're sucking on, it's not a pina colada." (Frazier) Jet Li's Jet Li's Fearless (Sept. 22) is the story of Chinese martial artist Huo Yuanjia; Li's last martial arts film? Phil Morrison's Junebug (Feb. 22) stars George Johnsten as Alessandro Nivola, an art dealer from Chicago who travels to N.C. to meet his wife Madeline's (Embeth Davidtz) dysfunctional in-laws and gets into their problems. Jason Reitman's Juno (Sept. 1) stars Ellen Page as pregnant Minn. teenager Juno MacGuff, who decides to adopt it out to a wealthy couple she finds in "Pennysaver", Mark and Vanessa Loring (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner). Wayne Wang's Last Holiday (Jan. 13), a remake of the 1950 film by J.B. Priestley stars Queen Latifah as dept. store employee Georgia Byrd, who learns she has incurable terminal (fictional) Lampington's Disease, and decides to cash her life savings and live it up in the Grandhotel Pupp in Karlovy Vary, Czech Repub. Kevin Macdonald's The Last King of Scotland (Sept. 27) (Fox Searchlight Pictures) stars Forrest Whitaker as man-boy-devil Idi Amin Dada, dictator of Uganda during the 1970s; James McAvoy plays Scottish physician Nicholas Garrigan, whom Amin takes under his wing because his time in the British army taught him to love all things Scottish as symbolic of resistance against the "British conqueror"; Garrigan falls for Amin's charm, then guess what?; the movie is run, manned, and acted by real Scots, and filmed in Uganda, making for an interesting dir.'s cut?; does $48.4M box office on a $6M budget; "We've got no monkeys in Scotland." Christopher Browne's and Alex Browne's A League of Ordinary Gentlemen (Mar. 21) is a documentary film about 10-pin bowling starring PBA stars Pete Weber, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Chris Barnes, and Wayne Webb; it debuts on PBS-TV on Apr. 25, 2006. Laurence Dunmore's The Libertine (Mar. 10), adapted by Stephen Jeffreys from his play stars Johnny Depp as the debauched 2nd Earl of Rochester in 1670s Britain, whoring, drinking, writing porno plays and hanging out with "Merry Monarch" Charles II before his face falls off from syphilis? Todd Field's Little Children (Nov. 3) stars Kate Winslet and Gregg Edelman as Sarah and Richard Pierce, Jennifer Connelly and Patrick Wilson as Kathy and Brad Adamson, and Jackie Earle Haley as registered sex offender Ronnie J. McGorvey in an updated Madame Bovary. Jonathan Dayton's and Valerie Faris' Little Miss Sunshine (Aug. 18) (husband-wife team of dirs.) is about the Hoover family, who travel in their yellow VW van from Albuquerque, N.M. to Redondo Beach, Calif. to attend a beauty contest, taking an erratic course that puzzles fans, ending up in Scottsdale, Ariz., and at one point showing an I-10 sign in the wrong part of the journey? Ramesh Flinders, Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried's lonelygirl15 (June 16) is an interactive Web-based YouTube video series focusing on the diary of fictional teenie girl Bree, played by Jessica Lee Rose (1987), who is chased by the evil Order (ends Aug. 1, 2008); it gets 110M+ combined views, becoming the most popular show on the Internet of the year. Richard Shepard's The Matador (Jan. 27) stars Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear in a new dark twist on the buddy movie genre. J.J. Abrams' Mission: Impossible III (May 5) stars Tom Cruise as Eatin, er, Ethan Hunt, and Philip Seymour Hoffman as evil arms dealer Owen Davian, who fight over the Rabbit's Foot; does $398M box office on a $150M budget. Chris Noonan's Miss Potter (Dec. 3) (MGM)) stars Rene Zellweger as Peter Rabbit creator Beatrix, and Ewan McGregor as her young publisher in the English Lake District; does $35M box office on a $30M budget. Shawn Levy's Night at the Museum (Dec. 17) (20th Cent. Fox), based on the 1999 children's book by Milan Trenc stars Ben Stiller as divorced father night watchman Larry Daley, who deals with a magical Egyptian object tthat makes the exhibits at the Am. Museum of Natural History in New York City come to life at night; #2 movie of 2006 ($251M U.S. and $574.5M worldwide box office on a $110M budget). Patrick Stettner's The Night Listener (Aug. 4), based on the 2000 Armistead Maupin novel stars Robin Williams as gay "dick smoker" late night talk show host Gabriel "Noone at Night", and Toni Collette as the adoptive mother of abused dying 14-y.-o. Peter Logand in a Hitchcockian noir about a woman with Munchausen's Syndrome by Phantom Proxy?; does $10.6M box office on a $3M budget. Michel Hazanavicius' OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (Apr. 19) is a spy spoof starring Jean Dujardin as French secret agent Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath AKA OSS 117, an ex-trapeze artist who sports a goofy grin and suffers from vertigo; sequel OSS 117: Lost in Rio (Apr. 15, 2009) features a hilarious scene of trying to BBQ a crocodile. Satoshi Kon's Paprika (Nov. 25) is a Japanime about police detective Konakawa, who suffers fantastic nightmaries haunted by the sprite Paprika, the avatar of lady scientist Dr. Atsuko Chiba, and features flute-playing frogs and a disturbing metaphorical dream rape. Victor Salva's Peaceful Warrior (June 2), based on the 1980 book by Dan Millman stars Scott Mechlowicz as Dan Millman, and Nick Nolte as "Soc" Socrates. Stephen and Timothy Quay's The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes stars Amira Casar as a beautiful opera singer, Cesar Sarachu as a lovesick piano tuner, Gottfried John as a mad scientist who keeps a clitoris in a display case, and Assumpta Serna as his housekeeper vamp who seduces the piano tuner by inviting him to smell her armpits - MC Hammer U can't touch this? Wolfgang Petersen's Poseidon (May 12), a remake of the 1972 film stars Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, and Richard Dreyfuss; brings in $201.4M on a $160M budget. Stephen Frears' The Queen (Sept. 2) (Granada Productions) (Pathe Pictures), about the stiff royal reaction to Princess Diana's Aug. 31, 1997 death and the public's rage at the perceived lack of sympathy, causing the queen to stump to save the monarchy stars Helen Mirren as Elizabeth II, James Cromwell as Prince Philip, Michael Sheen as Tony Blair, Helen McCrory as Cherie Blair, Sylvia Syms as the Queen Mother, and Alex Jennings as Prince Charles; does £77.9M box office on a £9.8M budget. Werner Herzog's Rescue Dawn (Sept. 9) (MGM), bsed on the true story of U.S. Navy Lt. Dieter Dengler in Laos in 1966 stars Christian Bale as Dengler; does $7.1M box office on a $10M budget. Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly (May 25), based on the 1977 Philip K. Dick novel stars Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Woody Harrelson, Robert Downey Jr., and Rory Cochrane, about a future world of drug addicts who live under intrusive hi-tech police surveillance; uses an interpolated rotorscope on digital footage to give the film an animated look. Woody Allen's Scoop (July 28) stars Scarlett Johansson as Sondra Pransky, an Am. journalism student in London, who scoops a big story on a tarot card serial murderer and has a fling with the suspect, aristocrat Peter Lyman (Hugh Jackman). David Von Ancken's Seraphim Falls (Sept. 13) stars Pierce Brosnan as Carver, who is hunted down by mean ex-Civil War Col. Carver (Liam Neeson) in the frozen wilderness. Andy Fickman's She's the Man (Mar. 17), loosely based on Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" stars Amanda Byrnes as Viola Hastings, who cross-dresses and enters her brother's school in his place in order to play boys' soccer; "Everybody has a secret... Duke wants Olivia who likes Sebastian who is really Viola whose brother is dating Monique so she hates Olivia who's with Duke to make Sebastian jealous who is really Viola who's crushing on Duke who thinks she's a guy"; does $57M box office on a $20M budget. Christophe Gans' Silent Hill (Apr. 21) is a horror flick based on a video game, starring Radha Mitchell and Sean Bean as Rose and Christopher Da Silva, Laurie Holden as Cybil Bennett, and Deborah Kara Unger as Dahlia Gillespie. James Gunn's Slither (Mar. 31) stars Michael Rooker as Wheelsy, S.C. car dealer Grant Grant, who is taken over by an ET parasite, and tries to infect the rest of Earth until he is "all that is"; does $12.8m box office on a $15M budget. David R. Ellis' Snakes on a Plane (Aug. 18) stars Samuel L. Jackson as FBI agent Neville Flynn, who accompanies Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips), witness against mobster Eddie Kim (Byron Lawson) on redeye Pacific Air Flight 121 from Honolulu to Los Angeles, and finds that the mobsters have filled the planes with a multitude of mean killer snakes from around the planet in an attempt to make it crash; a movie whose very title suggests its plot and makes it a hit?; features Bring It! (Snakes on a Plane Theme) by Cobra Starship. Tom Vaughan's Starter for 10 (Sept. 13), based on the 2003 David Nicholls novel stars James McAvoy as young Brian Jackson, who goes from working class roots to airy Bristol U., where he comes of age with his mealy-mouth Brit accent and cheats on the Challenge finale to get in the pants of hot blonde babe Alice Harbinson (Alice Eve), although he really loves Rebecca Epstein (Rebecca Hall), whom he jilts for her; after getting caught, guess what, he redeems himself like a man? Rob Cohen's Stealth (July 29) is a sci-fi thriller about U.S. Navy super hi-tech starring Jamie Foxx, Jessica Biel, Josh Lucas and Sam Shepard; too bad, it does $77M in box office on a $135M budget - since after 9/11 who believes the U.S. govt. can protect them from terrorists with anything they got? Marc Forster's Stranger Than Fiction (NOv. 10) stars Will Ferrell as IRS auditor Harold Crick, who is haunted by a narrator that only he can hear; when the narrator reveals that he's about to die, he hunts the author of the story to convince her to change the ending. Bryan Singer's Superman Returns (June 28) stars Brandon Routh as Clark Kent, Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane, Sam Huntington as Jimmy Olsen, Frank Langella as Perry White, and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor; #7 movie of 2006 ($200M). Jason Reitman's Thank You for Smoking (Apr. 14), based on the Christopher Buckley novel stars Aaron Eckhart as Nick Naylor, a member of the MOD (Merchants of Death) Squad, which incl. Polly Bailey (Maria Bello) of the liquor industry and Bobby Jay Bliss (David Koechner) of the firearm industry in a friendly competition. Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno) (Oct. 11), about 11-y.-o. Ofelia in the Spanish Civil War and her meetings with a remarkable beast is a remake of Hansel and Gretel combined with the 1997 72-day kidnapping of del Toro's father in Mexico, which caused his family to move to Spain. Christopher Nolan's The Prestige (Oct. 17 (Warner Bros.)), based on the 1995 Christopher Priest novel is about feuding magicians Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) in Victorian England; 73-y.-o. Michael Caine is the narrator and stage engineer John Cutter; Scarlett Johansson plays Angier's asst.-lover Olivia Wenscombe; David Bowie plays Nikola Tesla; Andy Serkis plays Tesla's asst. Mr. Alley; does $109.7M box office on a $40M budget. Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa (Dec. 20), the 6th and last (until next time?) of the Rocky saga features an Adrian-less champ trying to prove that 60 is the new 30 as he battles Mason "The Line" Dixon (real-life boxer Antonio Tarver) in Las Vegas. Ryan Murphy's Running With Scissors (Oct. 27), based on the Augusten Burroughs memoir stars Annette Bening as aspiring Anne Sexton-like poet Deirdre Burroughs, who uses her young boy Augusten as her audience; Jill Clayburgh plays the wife of the boy's pshrink. Marc Forster's Stranger Than Fiction (Nov. 10) stars Will Ferrell as IRS auditor Harold Crick, who finds reclusive novelist Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson)'s voice in his head, and realizes he's a character in her novel; Dustin Hoffman plays his pshrink Prof. Jules Hilbert. Adam McKay's Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (Aug. 4) stars Will Ferrell as #1 NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby, who leans on his teammate Cal Naughton Jr. (John C. Reilly); also features Mos Def and Elvis Costello. Tommy Lee Jones' The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (Feb. 3) stars Tommy Lee Jones as ranch hand Pete Perkins, who promises his best friend that he will bury him in his hometown in Mexico. Kurt Wimmer's Ultraviolet (Mar. 3), based on the comic book stars supermodel Milla "Lite" Jovovich as a kick-ass futuristic chop-sockey Joan of Arc with purple hair in a movie about retaining belief in God despite all the attempts of man to play God with genetic engineering?; the state of the art in action movies, combining American, Japanese, and Chinese with cool industrial rock music and artistic touches to every kill. Paul Greengrass' United 93 (Apr. 28), released on DVD on Sept. 5, 1 week before the 5th anniv. of 9/11 depicts the final hours of the plane whose heroic passengers struck back against the raghead terrorist coward bums, only have it crash in a Penn. field; the survivors' families authorize the film and get 10% of the first weekend's box office; federal East Coast air traffic operations mgr. Ben Sliney plays himself. Henriette Mantel and Steve Skrovan's An Unreasonable Man is a documentary about ever-more-inflexible Ralph Nader (1934-), who still doesn't admit he caused Bore, er, Gore to lose the 2000 election, saying, "He knows he didn't do the best campaign... an excessively cautious campaign." James McTeigue's V for Vendetta (Mar. 17) (an Andy and Larry Wachowski film), based on a 1989 graphic novel by Alan Moore stars John Hurt as the Chairman, the British Norsefire dictator crushing TV production asst. Evey (Natalie Portman) (who has her head shaved onscreen by Jeremy Goodhead, er, Woodhead to the slogan "Strength Through Unity, Unity Through Faith", while the ever-masked you-go-weaving-and-I-go-weaving V (Hugo Weaving) (a Guy-Fawkes-masked Count of Monte Cristo reject transported to the 21st cent.?), named for the slogan from Christopher Marlowe's "Faust" ("Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici" - "By the power of truth, I, a living man, have conquered the Universe") fights the evil govt., tipping over 22K dominoes to form a giant letter V; "England Prevails" (BTN host Lewis Prothero); James Purefoy was originally cast as V. Ismail Merchant's and James Ivory's The White Countess (Dec. 21), based on a Kazuo Ishiguro novel stars Ralph Fiennes as blinded U.S. diplomat Todd Jackson, and Natasha Richardson as White Russian countess Sofia Belinskaya in the 1936 White Countess bar in Shanghai; the last Merchant-Ivory film, as Ismail Merchant (b. 1936) died on May 25, 2005 while working on the postproduction. Oliver Stone's World Trade Center (Aug. 9) stars Nicolas Cage et al. as New York firefighters at you-know-what, and abandons Stone's usual conspiracy theory mindset for a feel-good-America we-saved-them ring-the-cash-registers ending? Brett Ratner's X-Men: The Last Stand (May 26) sees the mutants split after a cure is found; #4 movie of 2006 ($234M). Art: Joellyn Duesberry, Spring Creek Flowing to the Yellowstone River in Montana (painting). Emilio Lobato, Descansolado (with Solice) (collage). A year for frantically churned-out books attempting to explain why America seems to be tottering on the brink? Nonfiction: Shinzo Abe (1954-), Toward a Beautiful Nation (July); claims that Japanese WWII Class A war criminals were not really criminals in the eyes of Japanese domestic law. Bruce Arnold Ackerman (1943-), Before the Next Attack: Preserving Civil Liberties in An Age of Terrorism; implementing an emergency constitution. Peter Ackroyd (1949-), Turner. Fouad A. Ajami (1945-), The Foreigner's Gift: The Americans, the Arabs, and the Iraqis in Iraq. Madeleine Albright, (1937-) The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs; separation of church and state vs. the religious regimes? Jay Allison and Dan Gediman (eds.) This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women. Gloria Allred (1941-), Fight Back and Win: My Thirty-Year Fight Against Injustice and How You Can Wind Your Own Battles. Jonathan Alter (1957-), The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope; the U.S. came close to dictatorship before FDR was elected? Jonathan Ames (1964-), I Love You More Than You Know (essays); "(S)ex scenes and bathroom jokes are my bread and butter". Christopher Peter Andersen (1949-), Barbra: The Way She Is. Kurt Anderson, Graydon Carter and George Kalogerakis, Spy: The Funny Years. George-Marios Angeletos (1975-) and Ivan Werning (1974-), Crises and Prices: Information Aggregation, Multiplicity, and Volatility. Debby Applegate (1968-), The Most Famous Man in America: The Biography of Henry Ward Beecher (first book) (Pulitzer Prize). Karen Armstrong (1944-), Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time. Jacques Attali, A Brief History of the Future. Andrew Bacevich, Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced By War. Michael Baigent (1948-), The Jesus Papers: Exposing the Greatest Cover-up in History (Easter); claims secret papers prove that Jesus survived his crucifixion; an obvious attempt to cash in on the Dan Brown bandwagon? - no one touches my buttons but me? Mike G.L. Baillie, New Light on the Black Death: The Cosmic Connection; he global environmental downturn in 540 C.E. Stephen Baldwin (1966-), The Unusual Suspect (autobio.); how he became a born-again Christian after 9/11, and co-founded Breakthrough Ministries, changed to Antioch Ministries in 2008. Robert Bauval (1948-), The Egypt Code (Oct.). Bruce Bawer (1956-), While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within (Feb. 21); a takeoff on JFK's 1940 book "While Europe Slept"; how the its archenemy Islam is infiltrating the West with mass Islamic migration financed by free govt. handouts while the leaders have their heads in the sand because of the leftist PC establishment; the Nat. Book Critics Circle Award committee disses it as "Islamophobia"; "While there are such things as moderate and liberal Christianity, there is no such thing as a moderate or liberal Islam". Moazzam Begg, Enemy Combatant: A British Muslim's Journey to Guantanamo and Back; the first memoirs of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner? Robert L. Beir and (with Brian Josepher), Roosevelt and the Holocaust: A Rooseveltian Examines the Politics and Remembers the Times; a response to David Wyman's "The Abandonment of the Jews". Marshall Berman (1940-), On the Town: One Hundred Years of Spectacle in Town Square. Herbert Benson (1935-), Aggie Casey, and Brian O'Neill, The Harvard Medical School Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure. Josh Bernstein, Digging for the Truth: One Man's Epic Adventure Exploring the World's Greatest Archaeological Mysteries; the Indiana Jones hat and jacket and everything? Tanya Biank, Under the Sabers: The Unwritten Code of Army Wives. Kola Boof (1969-), Diary of a Lost Girl (autobio.); Osama bin Laden's Sudanese mistress tells how he used to fantasize about killing Bobby Brown and getting Whitney Houston into his harem? Wayne Clayson Booth (1921-2005), My Many Selves: The Quest for a Plausible Harmony (autobio.) (posth.). Gabor S. Borritt (1940-), The Gettysburg Gospel: The Lincoln Speech Nobody Knows. John Botte, Aftermath: Unseen 9/11 Photos by a New York City Cop. Anthony Bourdain (1956-), The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones (May 16). James Bowman, Honor: A History; the "tyranny of the face". Peter Boxall, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. James Bradley and Ron Powers, Flags of Our Fathers; the six soldiers in the Mt. Suribachi photo. Taylor Branch (1947-), At Canaan's Edge: America in the King Years, 1965-1968. Ian Bremmer (1969-), The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall. Douglas Brinkley (1960-), The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast; Parish Priest: Father Michael McGivney and American Catholicism. Rosa Brooks (1020-), Jane Stromseth, and David Wippman, Can Might Make Rights? Building the Rule of Law After Military Interventions; helps shape U.S. army praxis. David Jay Brown, Mavericks of Medicine: Exploring the Future of Medicine with Andrew Weil, Jack Kevorkian, Bernie Siegel, Ray Kurzweil, and Others (Jan. 1). Ethan Brown, Queens Reigns Supreme: Fat Cat, 50 Cent, and the Rise of the Hip-Hop Hustler. Judith M. Brown, Global South Asians: Introducing the Modern Diaspora. Pascal Bruckner (1948-), , The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism (La Tyrannie de la Penitence: Essai sur le Masochisme Occidental); tr. Steven Rendall, 2010; how the West has been guilt-tripping itself, opening it up to mass invasion from Africa and the Muslim World without a protest; "Nothing is more Western than hatred of the West... All of modern thought can be reduced to mechanical denunciations of the West, emphasizing the latter's hypocrisy, violence, and abomination", which has led Westerners to romanticize the "South" (Africa and the Middle East) as innocent victims, and revile Israel; "Europe relieves itself of the crime of the Shoah by blaming Israel, it relieves itself of the sin of colonialism by blaming the United States", hence the Palestinian question has "quietly relegitimated hatred of the Jews", making Europe "the sick man of the planet"; meanwhile the U.S. is "the last great nation in the West" because "Whereas America asserts itself, Europe questions itself"; "The white man has sown grief and ruin wherever he has gone." Frederick Buechner (1926-), Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons. Avraham Burg (1955-), God is Back. Kenneth Burke (1897-1993), Essays Toward a Symbolic of Motives (posth.). Augusten Burroughs (1965-), Possible Side Effects (essays). Ian Buruma, Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance; "With extreme religious believers, if you insult God, you insult them." Bill Bryson (1951-), The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir. Rhonda Byrne (1951-), The Secret (Nov. 26); bestseller (19M copies); promotes the New Age Law of Attraction. Caroline Burau, Answering 911: Life in the Hot Seat; 911 emergency operator on 9/11. James MacGregor Burns (1918-2014), Running Alone: Presidential Leadership - JFK to Bush II: Why It Has Failed and How We Can Fix It (Sept.). Paul Burrell, Diana, the Way We Were; her former butler says she said, "I need a new marriage like I need a rash", referring to Dodi Fayed. Augusten Burroughs, Possible Side Effects: True Stories. Thomas Cahill (1940-), Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe. Gail Caldwell, A Strong West Wind; a memoir by a book reviewer? Julia Cameron (1949-), Floor Sample (autobio.); former wife of Martin Scorsese and founder of the Artist's Way workshops. Peter Ames Carlin, Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall & Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson. Cynthia Carr, Our Town. James P. Carroll (1943-), House of War: The Pentagon and the Disastrous Rise of American Power; son of Defense Intel. Agency dir. James Carroll grows up with the Pentagon; "Beware the House of War when understood as the House of God." Linda Carroll, Her Mother's Daughter: A Memoir of the Mother I Never Knew and of My Daughter, Courtney Love; her oldest child is the lead singer of Hole, and the widow of Kurt Cobain, who binded together pharmaceutically, and is herself really the daughter of children's book author Paula Fox? Richard Carwardine, Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power. Jimmy Carter (1924-), Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid; how Israel's "occupying, confiscating and colonizing land that belongs to the Palestinians... perpetrates even worse instances of... apartheid than we witnessed in South Africa"; starts a furor, causing 14 Carter Center advisory board members to resign. Shari Caudron, Who Are You People?; Barbie doll collectors and tornado chasers. Marcia Cavell, Becoming a Subject. Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq's Green Zone. Julia Child (1912-2004) (posth.) and Alex Prud'homme (her grand-nephew), My Life in France. Noam Chomsky (1928-), Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance; endorsed by Pres. Hugo Chavez. Deepak Chopra (1946-), Life After Death: The Burden of Proof; Kama Sutra: Including the Seven Spiritual Laws of Love. Robin Chotzinoff, Holy Unexpected: My New Life as a Jew. Diane Cilento (1933-), My Nine Lives (autobio.); former wife of James Bond 007 (1962-73). Andrei Codrescu (1946-), New Orleans, Mon Amour: Twenty Years of Writing from the City; Dialogues in Cyberspace with Robert Lazu. Diablo Cody (1978-), Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper; known for her Pussy Ranch blog and writing the screenplay plus an Oscar for "Juno" (2007). Jonathan Coe, Like a Fiery Elephant: The Story of B.S. Johnson [1933-73] - raising or lowering the bar on experimental novels? Terry Coleman, Olivier [1907-89]; all the warts? Francis S. Collins (1950-), The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief; how he found God at age 27 by reading C.S. Lewis. Anderson Cooper, Dispatches From the Edge: A Memoir of War, Disasters, and Survival. David Cope (1941-), Computer Models of Musical Creativity. Jerome Robert Corsi (1946-) and Kenneth Blackwell, Rebuilding America: A Prescription for Creating Strong Families, Building the Wealth of Working People, and Ending Welfare. Ann Coulter (1961-), Godless: The Church of Liberalism (June 12); the new state religion, with its sacrament of abortion, its holy writ of Roe v. Wade, its churches disguised as govt. schools (where prayer is prohibited and condoms are free), and its founding creation myth of Darwinian evolution? Lynne Cox (1957-), Grayson; her encounter with a lost baby gray whale off the coast of Calif. William Dalrymple, The Last Mughal. Mary Daly (1928-2010), Amazon Grae: Recalling the Courage to Sin Big; her war with Boston College to get away with excluding men from her radical feminist theology classes. John Clagett Danforth (1936-) Faith and Politics; decries the infiltration of U.S. politics by the religious right. Nonie Darwish (1949-), Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror; Egyptian-born Muslim who founded Arabs for Israel. Richard Dawkins (1941-), The God Delusion; first crusading atheist book to make it to #6 on the NYT nonfiction list. John W. Dean (1938-), Conservatives Without Conscience; pink-faced pigs like Cheney and Rove as the amoral power behind the Bush throne and the new political authoritarians. Frank Delaney (1942-), Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea; Capt. Henrik Kurt Carlsen and the "Flying Enterprise" in 1951-2. Daniel Dennett (1942-), Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. Alan Dershowitz (1938-), The Case for Israel; an attempted rebuttal of Norman Finkelstein, arguing that the Palestinians are led by a known Nazi war criminal and are dedicated to Jewish genocide - if you give me a blood sample I can extract the antigens? Karen DeYoung, Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell. Lou Dobbs, War on the Middle Class: How the Government, Big Business, and Special Interest Groups are Waging War on the American Dream and How to Fight Back (Oct.). E.L. Doctorow (1931-), The Creationists: Selected Essays 1993-2006; 16 essays on creative people, from Genesis to the A-bomb; "Composition is the reigning enterprise of the human mind"; "Whatever any author says of his novel, is of course another form of fiction and is never to be taken on faith"; "We are what we create"; "There is no necessary equivalence between the aesthetic and moral achievement of a novel and the confused, drunken and tormented or immoral package of humanity who has produced it". Christophe Dubois and Christophe Deloire, Sexus Politicus; sex and politics in France; big hit in France. Kitty Dukakis (1936-), Shock: The Healing Power of Electroconvulsive Therapy; admits to undergoing the therapy starting in 2001 to treat depression. Michael Eric Dyson, Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster. William Easterly (1957-), The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good; reply to Jeffrey Sachs' "The End of Poverty" (2005), dissing foreign aid donors as ineffective do-gooders, and dividing them into top-down Planners and bottom-up Searchers, the latter having the best chance of success. Bob Edgar, Middle Church: Reclaiming the Moral Values of the Faithful Majority from the Religious Right (Sept.). Robert Morse Edsel (1956-), Rescuing Da Vinci: Hitler and the Nazis Stole Europe's Great Art - America and Her Allies Recovered It (Dec. 15). Elizabeth Edwards (1949-2010), Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers (autobio.). Timothy Egan, The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl. Barbara Ehrenreich, Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy; a 60s hippie child should know? Bart Ehrman, The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot. Rahm Emanuel (1959-) and Bruce Reed, The Plan: Big Ideas for America; incl. universal college access and child health care. Ken Emerson, Always Magic in the Air: The Bomp and the Brilliance of the Brill Building Era. Steven Emerson (1953-), Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the U.S. Nora Ephron (1941-), I Feel Bad About My Neck. Joseph Epstein (1937-), Friendship: An Expose; Alexis de Tocqueville: Democracy's Guide. Susan Estrich, The Case for Hillary Clinton; the perfect candidate for 2008 (moderate, pro-military, family-values Dem.)? Khaled Abou El Fadl (1963-), The Search for Beauty in Islam: Conference of the Books. Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports. Peter Falk (1927-), Just One More Thing (autobio.). Niall Ferguson (1964-), The War of the World: History's Age of Hatred (Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West); about the incomprehensible 20th cent., the "lethal century", with a global multi-polar Hundred Years War, attempting to explain the paradox that even though it was "so bloody" it was also "a time of unparalleled progress." Charles Fishman, The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works, and How It's Transforming the American Economy. Robert Fisk, The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East; "It was an interesting precedent. When Iraq almost sank an American frigate [in 1987], Iran was to blame. When Al-Qaeda attacked the United States fourteen years later, Iraq was to blame." Tim Flannery, The Weather Makers: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change; "Global warming changes climate in jerks". Jonathan Franzen (1959-), The Discomfort Zone (memoir). Francis Fukuyama (1952-), America at the Crossroads: Democracy, Power, and the Nonconservative Legacy; After the Neo Cons: Where the Right Went Wrong. Tess Gallagher (1943-), Soul Barnacles (essays); Words Like Distant Rain. Oded Galor (1956-) and Omer Moav, Das Human Kapital: A Theory of the Demise of the Class Structure. Norman Geras et al., The Euston Manifesto (Mar.); attempts to mobilize the traditions of British liberalism and the dem. left against the totalitarianism of radical Islam. Sir Martin Gilbert (1936-), Kristallnacht: Prelude to Destruction; The Somme: Heroism and Horror in the First World War. Jim Gilchrist and Jerome Robert Corsi (1946-), Minutemen: The Battle to Secure America's Borders; 30M illegals in the U.S. now, and 100M by 2025, oh my? Charles Glass (1951-), The Tribes Triumphant (June); sequel to "Tribes With Flags" (1991); The Northern Front: An Iraq War Diary (Oct.). William H. Glass, A Temple of Texts; a list of his 50 most treasured writers for the remnant who still read; "Misinformation alley is a more apt designation for the Internet, although it is lined with billboards called 'Web sites', obscuring whatever might been seen from the road." Jane Glover, Mozart's Women: His Family, His Friends, His Music. Rebecca Goldstein (1950-), Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity. Eva Golinger, The Chavez Code: Cracking U.S. Intervention in Venezuela. Jeff Goodell, Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future; the avg. American uses 20 lbs. of coal a day, and he tells us why that ain't good; "Coal is the only energy source that requires workers to put their lives on the line on a daily basis." Doris Kearns Goodwin (1943-), Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Adam Gopnik (1956-), Through the Children's Gate; how to live in a world where J.D. Salinger co-opted all writing about children in New York City as symbols of innocence? Al Gore (1948-), An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It - or, drowning polar bears, submerged mainly Dem. Manhattan and San Fran, and why I shoulda been president then grew a beard to save electricity? Amit Goswami, The Visionary Window: A Quantum Physicist's Guide to Enlightenment. Greg Grandin, Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism; the Reagan admin. intervention in Central Am. was a dress rehearshal for Bush's Iraq War? Simon Gray (1936-2008), The Year of the Jouncer (autobio.). Gael Greene (1935-), Insatiable: Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess (autobio.); her sexual encounter with Elvis Presley. Joshua M. Greene, Here Comes the Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison; "George had his rock and roll friends and he had his transcendental friends, and he liked to keep them separate." Robert Greene (1959-), The 33 Strategies of War. Steven Macon Greer (1955-), Hidden Truth, Forbidden Knowledge. John Grisham (1955-), The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town (first non-fiction title); Oakland Athletics draft pick Ronald Keith Williamson (1953-2004) is convicted of murder in Ada, Okla., spends 12 years in priz, and DNA testing sets him free five days before his execution. Stanislav Grof (1931-), The Ultimate Journey: Consciousness and the Mystery of Death. John Grogan, Marley & Me; his dog. Tom Groneberg, One Good Horse: Learning to Train and Trust a Horse. Jurgen Habermas (1929-), The Divided West. Rebecca Hagelin, Home Invasion: Protecting Your Family in A Culture That's Gone Stark Raving Mad. Earl Hamner Jr. (1923-), Generous Women: An Appreciation; by the creator of "The Waltons". Sam Harris (1967-), Letter to a Christian Nation; how religion is the root cause of all wars and a threat to the world, and the solution lies in giving up belief in God and becoming a secular atheist; "Many who claim to be transformed by Christ's love are deeply, even murderously, intolerant of criticism"; "People are literally dying over ancient literature." Gary Hart (1936-), The Shield & The Cloak: The Security of the Commons; the U.S., nation-states, and nonstate actors; the military is the shield and the non-military is the cloak; The Courage of Our Convictions: A Manifesto for Dems.; quit abandoning the legacy of FDR, Truman, JFK and LBJ? - and elect Barack Obama? Robert Harvey, American Shogun: A Tale of Two Cultures; gen. Douglas MacArthur and emperor Hirohito. Christian Hellwig (1976-) et al., Self-Fulfilling Currency Crises: The Role of Interest Rates; shows that when prices act as an endogenous public signal and private info. is sufficiently precise, equilibrium multiplicity may be restored. Daniel Hendrex and Wes Smith, A Soldier's Promise: The Heroic True Story of an American Soldier and an Iraqi Boy; 13-y.-o. Iraqi boy Jamil (Steve-O) turns on his Repub. Guard daddy and helps U.S. forces fight insurgents to gain asylum for himself, mother and siblings, later IDing Sayed, the insurgent who killed his mother. Peter Hessler, Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present. Esther Hicks (1948-) and Jerry Hicks, The Amazing Power of Deliberate Intent: Living the Art of Allowing; The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham (Oct.). Charles Higham (1931-2012), Dark Lady: Winston Churchill's Mother and Her World; Jennie Churchill. Ben Hills, Princess Masako: Prisoner of the Chrysanthemum Throne (Dec.); a Harvard grad. gives up a diplomatic career to marry royalty; Japanese pub. house Kodansha Ltd. cancels plans to trans. it into Japanese next Feb. Harold E. Hinds, Marilyn Ferris Motz, and Angela M.S. Nelson (eds.), Popular Culture Theory and Methodology: A Basic Introduction. E.D. Hirsch Jr. (1928-), The Knowledge Deficit; how the schools deemphasize reading, graduating knowledge-deficient students. Andrew Carrington Hitchcock, The Synagogue of Satan; 2nd ed. 2012; claims that Ashkenazi Jews are behind Communism and want to exterminate Christians. David Albert Hollinger (1941-) and Charles Capper (eds.), The American Intellectual Tradition (2 vols.); a source book for undergrad courses in Am. intellectual history that becomes very popular. Jed Horne, Breach of Faith: Hurricane Katrina and the Near Death of a Great American City. David Joel Horowitz (1939-), The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America; tenured radicals like Ward Churchill and his socialist feminist colleague Allison Jaggar, who advocates reengineering men's bodies to share childbearing duties? Robert Hughes (1938-), Things I Didn't Know (autobio.). Swanee Hunt, Half-Life of a Zealot (autobio.); daughter of billionaire H.L. Hunt turns liberal and becomes Clinton's ambassador to Vienna. Andrew Hussey, Paris: The Secret History. Patrick Hynes, In Defense of the Religious Right: Why Conservatives Are the Lifeblood of the Republican Party and Why That Terrifies the Democrats. Robert Irwin (1946-), For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and Their Enemies; critique of Edward Said's "Orientalism" (1978), which he calls "malignant charlatanry, in which it is hard to distinguish honest mistakes from willful misrepresentations", pointing out that his criticism focuses on British and French scholars, when it was the German ones who made the most original contributions, and ignores Russia's imperialist designs on C Asia and the Caucasus, lumping them in with the other Euro countries who had designs on the Middle East, finally noting that Western Orientalism "owes more to Muslim scholarship than most Muslims realise"; "I am a medievalist, but he hates the Middle Ages. Altogether he loathes the past, he does not have the ability to enter into the spirit of other ages. He lies about European novelists and twists their words; I am myself a novelist with great sympathy for some of those whom he denounces in his book. Finally, I am an orientalist, too, and his book is a long and persevering polemic against my subject, so I need to ask: is there anything at all to like in Said's book? - No. It is written far too quickly and carelessly. It abounds with misprints and mis-spelled names. It is an extremely polemic book, and throughout time many polemic books for or against Islam and the Muslim world have been written, but none have been taken seriously in the same way as Said"; "The fact is that researchers cannot build anything on Said's thoughts - dead-end... He has made it difficult for Westerners to say anything critical about Islam and the Muslim world. You cannot do that because then you run the risk of getting denounced as an orientalist, i.e. a racist, an imperialist and other terrible things." Richard A. Isay (1934-2012), Commitment and Healing: Gay Men and the Need for Reomantic Love. Jonathan Israel (1946-), Enlightenment Contested: Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man 1650-1752. Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon, The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation; the whole thing reduced to a comic book. Philip Jenkins (1952-), Decade of Nightmares: The End of the Sixties and the Making of Eighties America. Ken Jennings (1974-), Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs; like Game #53, where he answers "ho" for "Term for a long-handled gardening tool that can also mean an immoral pleasure seeker". Terri Jentz, Strange Piece of Paradise; her encounter with an axe murderer. Paul Johnson, George Washington: The Founding Father. Ann Jones, Kabul in Winter: Life Without Peace in Afghanistan; how the stupid Bush admin. declared a V in Afghanistan in Feb. 2003 when women were being kept down as much as ever. Terry Jones, Islam Is of the Devil (Aug. 3). Erica Jong (1942-), Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life; blames Martha Stewart for breaking up her marriage to publisher Andy Stewart. Molly Jong-Fast (1978-), Girl (Maladjusted): True Stories from a Semi-Celebrity Childhood (autobio.). Chalmers Johnson, Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic; "Once upon a time, you could trace the spread of imperialism by counting up colonies. America's version of the colony is the military base; and by following the changing politics of global basing, one can learn much about our ever more all-encompassing imperial footprint and the militarism that grows with it... even more than in past empires, a well-entrenched militarism [lies] at the heart of our imperial adventures"; "Each year we spend more on our armed forces than all other nations on Earth combined" on U.S. troops "in more than 130 countries"; the U.S. officially has 737-860 overseas bases, plus 100+ secret ones. Sebastian Junger (1962-), A Death in Belmont; the Boston Strangler story. Robert Kagan (1958-), Dangerous Nation. Roger Kahn, Into My Own: The Remarkable People and Events that Shaped My Life (autobio.). Kumiko Kakehashi, So Sad to Fall in Battle: An Account of War in War; Based on General Tadamichi Kuribayashi's Letters from Iwo Jima; the loser's side. Justin Kaplan (1924-2014), When the Astors Owned New York: Blue Bloods and Grand Hotels in a Gilded Age. Efraim Karsh (1953-), Islamic Imperialism: A History; exposes the thousand-plus-year Great Jihad of Islam and how it persisted in the Ottoman Empire right up through WWI and is still alive today with the jihad against Israel, 9/11, al-Qaida, ISIS, etc.; draws a firestorm of criticism from the PC pro-Islam academic establishment, which accuses them of agitprop. Rodolph Kasser, Marvin Meyer and Gregor Wurst (eds.), The Gospel of Judas (Aug.); Judas is the hero of the gospels because he helped Jesus exit his prison-body, and is rewarded by exiting himself in a "luminous cloud" to a realm far higher than that inhabited by inferior Jewish deity Jehovah, whose creation stinks? Sam Kastensmidt, Indefensible: 10 Ways the ACLU is Destroying America; from freedom of religion to freedom from religion, from separation of church and state to state control of church, their war to get crosses and Ten Commandments off public property; what's next, getting rid of In God We Trust from money? David Katz, The Flavor Point Diet; sensor-specific satiety? Michael Kazin, A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan. Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission. Peter Kenez, A History of the Soviet Union from the Beginning to the End (2nd ed.). Edward M. Kennedy (1932-), America: Back on Track. Stephen Kinzer, Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq; Hawaii 1893, Philippines 1898, Nicaragua 1909, Guatemala 1954, South Vietnam 1963, Chile 1973, Grenada 1983, Panama 1989, Iraq 2003. Michael Klare, Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency. Aaron J. Klein, Striking Back: The 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and Israel's Deadly Response. Joe Klein, Politics Lost: How American Democracy Was Trivialized by People Who Think You're Stupid; "After Reagan, it became practically impossible for a candidate to propose any sort of long-term program involving short-term sacrifice." Hans Kung (1928-), The Beginning of All Things; accepts evolutionary theory but claims that God set up the laws. David Kuo, Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction; how the Bush White House embraces evangelicals for political gain but privately calls them "nuts", "goofy" and "ridiculous". David Kupelian, The Making of Evil; multiculturalism is an attack on Christianity? Pascal Laine (1942-), Un Clou Chasse l'Autre ou La Vie d'Artiste. Wally Lamb (1950-), I'll Fly Away: Further Testimonies from the Women of York Prison. Angela Lambert, The Lost Life of Eva Braun; Hitler's 36-hour wife, whom his chaffeur calls "the unhappiest woman in Germany". Dick Lamm (1935-), Two Wands, One Nation; attempts to excuse the low black and Hispanic high school graduation rate by their failure to highly value education like Jews and Japanese; "I don't think Jews are smarter. I don't think Hispanics are dumber". Lewis Lapham, Pretensions to Empire: Notes on the Criminal Folly of the Bush Administration (Sept.). Erik Larson (1954-), Thunderstruck (Oct. 24); Guglielmo Marconi, Harvey Crippen and the invention of radio. Jonathan Laurence, Integrating Islam: Political and Religious Challenges in Contemporary France. Alena Ledeneva, How Russia Really Works. Ray Lemoine and Jeff Neumann, Babylon by Bus; two Americans go to Baghdad in 2004 to scam work as a nongovt. agency. Matthew Levitt, Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad. Bernard-Henri Levy (1948-) (tr. Charlotte Mandell), American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville; the 1831 glammed-up dreamgirls tour; "She [Sharon Stone] unfolds her legs, refolds them, pulls at the hem of her skirt with the gesture of a flirt who's trying to act virtuous, sighs deeply, takes her time, and finally gives me a look that is already outraged by what she's going to say". Jacqueline Levi-Valensi (ed.), Camus at Combat; his writings for the French Resistance in WWII. Michael Lewis (1960-), The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game; story of homeless 6'4 310 lb. black Michael Jerome Oher (1986-) (pr. oar), who has an 80 IQ but moves so fast that he becomes an NFL left tackle offensive lineman star after the NFL passing game begins to explode in the late 70s and linebackers begin killing QBs by exploiting their blind left side in the early 80s; he was adopted by affluent white Memphis, Tenn. couple Sean Tuohy and Leigh Anne Roberts Tuohy. Michael Lind (1962-), The American Way of Strategy: U.S. Foreign Policy and the American Way of Life. Roger Lowenstein, Louis Rukeyser (1933-2006), and Robert Sobel (1931-99), Crashes, Booms, Panics and Government Regulation. Nelson Lichtenstein, Wal-Mart: The Face of Twenty-First Century Capitalism; the growing movement to boycott the mega-chain monster. David Limbaugh (1952-), Bankrupt: The Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Today's Democratic Party (Sept.). Eugene Linden, The Winds of Change: Climate, Weather and the Destruction of Civilizations; or, ah ah, told you so? Damon Linker, The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege (Sept.) - thought it was the other way around? James Lovelock (1919-), The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth is Fighting Back, and How We Can Still Save Humanity; the creator of the Gaia Hypothesis shocks fellow environmentalists by flopping and backing nuclear power as the only alternative to prevent global warming, else by the end of the cent. "billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable", claiming that 80% of humans will perish by 2100 C.E., and that the climate change will last 100K years. Barry W. Lynn (1948-), Piety & Politics: The Right-Wing Assault on Religious Freedom; exec. dir. of Ams. United for Separation of Church and State (1992-). Myra MacPherson, All Governments Lie: The Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I.F. Stone; J. Edgar Hoover is a "sacred cow" and a "glorified Dick Tracy"? Maddox, The Alphabet of Manliness; Chuck Norris' favorite food is whiskey, lumberjacks are raised by cyclopses, and Socrates is the father of spite? Norman Mailer (1923-2007) and John Buffalo Mailer (1978-), The Big Empty: Dialogues on Politics, Sex, God, Boxing, Morality, Myth, Poker and Bad Conscience in America. Peter Mandler (1958-), The English National Character: The History of an Idea from Edmund Burke to Tony Blair. Peter Mandler (1958-) (ed.), Liberty and Authority in Victorian Britain (Sept. 21). Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track. Ali al-Amin Mazrui (1933-), Islam: Between Globalization and Counter-Terrorism. John McCain and Mark Salter, Faith of My Fathers: A Family Memoir. James Edward "Jim" McGreevey (1957-), The Confession; Irish Catholic N.J. Gov. stays closeted for 47 years and two marriages until lover Golan Cipal er, blows his whistle in 2004. Danica McKellar (1975-), Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle-School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail; encourages girls to do math. John McPhee (1931-), Uncommon Carriers. Jon Ellis Meacham (1969-), American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation. Michael Mewshaw, If You Could See Me Now. John Michell (1933-2009) and Robin Heath, The Lost Science of Measuring the Earth: Discovering the Sacred Geometry of the Ancients. Fergus Millar (1935-), A Greek Roman Empire: Power and Belief under Theodosiius II (408-450), showing how the Byzantine Empire's bureaucracy worked, and its dealings with the Church. Marvin Lee Minsky (1927-), The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind; critiques theories of how human minds work. Bill Minutaglio, The President's Counselor: The Rise to Power of Alberto Gonzales. Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973), Marxism Unmasked: From Delusion to Destruction (posth.); lectures given in 1952. Seth Mnookin, Feeding the Monster: How Money, Smarts and Nerve Took a Team to the Top; the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Eric Henry Monkkonen (1942-2005), Homicide: Explaining America's Exceptionalism (essay) (posth.); a last attempt to explain higher U.S. murder rates. James Moore and Wayne Slater, The Architect: Karl Rove and the Master Plan for Absolute Power; Rove's beloved stepfather Louis Rove (Getty Oil geologist) is gay and abandoned his mother to live as a homo? Caroline Moorehead (ed.), Selected Letters of Martha Gelhorn; Ernest Hemingway's 3rd wife. Robin Morgan (1941-), The Burning Time; Fighting Words: A Toolkit for Combating the Religious Right. Ted Morgan (Sanche de Gramont), My Battle of Algiers; is Iraq another no-win Algeria in the making? Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-90), Chronicles of Wasted Time, Vols. I & II (posth.). Mike Mullane, Riding Rockets: The Outrageous Tales of a Space Shuttle Astronaut. Laurent Murawiec, Princes of Darkness: The Saudi Assault on the West; Saudi society is fundamentally hostile to all things Western? Jim Murk, Islam Rising (2 vols.). Douglas Murray (1979-), Neoconservatism: Why We Need It (Aug. 28). Pervez Musharraf (1943-), In the Line of Fire (Sept. 25); criticizes the U.S. invasion of Iraq for making the world more dangerous, and says he had no choice after 9/11 but to switch from supporting the Taliban to backing the U.S.-led war on terror; claims that the day after 9/11, Colin Powell called him with an ultimatum "You are either with us or against us", and the next day his deputy Richard Armitage called his spy chief and told them "that if we chose the terrorists, then we should be prepared to be bombed back to the Stone Age"; Armitage denies it. Abu Bakr Naji, Management of Savagery (Idarat al-Tawahush); training course for ISIS, explaining the concept of tashreed (deterrence); "I am talking about jihad and fighting, not about Islam and one should not confuse them. He cannot continue to fight and move from one stage to another unless the beginning state contains a stage of massacring the enemy and deterring him." Andrew P. Napolitano (1950-), The Constitution in Exile: How the Federal Government Has Seized Power by Rewriting the Supreme Law of the Land. Vali Reza Nasr (1960-), The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam will Shape the Future. David Nasaw, Andrew Carnegie (Oct.). Nat. Inst. on Aging and U.S. Census Bureau, 65+ in the United States: 2005. Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009), Catholic Matters: Confusion, Controversy, and the Splendor of Truth. Rick Newman and Don Shepperd, Bury Us Upside Down: The Misty Pilots and the Secret Battle for the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Jack Newfield (1938-2004), The Full Rudy: The Man, the Myth, the Mania. John Julius Norwich (1929-), The Middle Sea: A History of the Mediterranean; from the Phoenicians and Pharaohs to the Arab conquests, the Holy Roman Empire and Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, Suleyman the Magnificent, the Battle of Lepanto, Lord Nelson, Napoleon, the Greek War of Independence, and the Italian Risorgimento to the Gallipoli Campaign. Geoffrey Nunberg, Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Living, Left-Wing Freak Show. Barack Hussein Obama II (1961-), The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream; wins a 2nd Grammy. J. Eric Oliver, Fat Politics: The Real Story Behind America's Obesity Epidemic; an invention of public health officials and greedy scientists working for the sinister diet and weight-loss industry? Randy Olson, Flock of Dodos; the Intelligent Design debate. Bill O'Reilly (1949-), Culture Warrior; the "fierce culture war between the traditionalist and secular-progressive camps". Joel Osteen (1963-), Your Best Life Now; sells 4M copies. Nell Irvin Painter, Creating Black Americans. Ilan Pappe (1954-), The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine; claims that Israel did you know what in 1947 then covered it up, and that Zionism is more dangerous than Islam, calling for an internat. boycott of Israeli academics; The Israel-Palestine Question. Sam Parnia, What Happens When We Die. Eboo Patel, Building the Interfaith Youth Movement: Beyond Dialogue to Action; afterword by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Danica Patrick (1982-) (with Laura Morton), Danica: Crossing the Line (autobio.). Harvey Pekar, Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story; the curmudgeon of Cleveland and top chronicler of kvetch talks about someone other than himself? Tyler Perry, Don't Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings. Ralph Peters (1952-), Never Quit the Fight. James Petras, Empire with Imperialism: The Globalizing Dynamics of Neoliberal Capitalism; The Power of Israel in the United States (Sept. 26); paints Israel as the Little Satan a la Islamists. Kevin Phillips (1940-), American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century; fundamentalist Christianity from the defeated South, hydrocarbon energy, and a colossal nat. debt are going to cause a U.S. meltdown and the emergence of China by 2050? Melanie Phillips (1951-), Londonistan; how the British govt. is afraid to offend Muslim extremists in their country. James Piereson, Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism (Sept. 15). Daniel Pinchbeck (1966-), 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl. Katha Pollitt (1949-), Virginity or Death!: And Other Social and Political Issues of Our Time. Gareth Porter, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam. Roy Porter (1946-2002), The Cambridge History of Medicine; Madmen: A Social History of Madhouses, Mad-Doctors and Lunatics (posth.). Joel R. Primack (1944-) and Nancy Ellen Abrams, The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos; sums up the super-arrogant Big Bang Evolutionary theory of the Big U of the World Scientific Priesthood, becoming the 21st cent. Bible? Francine Prose (1947-), Reading Like a Writer. Rain Pryor (1969-), Jokes My Father Never Told Me: Life, Love and Loss with Richard Pryor. David Quammen, The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution. Michael S. Radu (1947-2009), Islamic and Terrorist Groups in Asia: The Growth and Influence of Islam in the Nations of Asia and Central Asia; Dilemmas of Democracy and Dictatorship: Place, Time, and Ideology in Global Perspective. Jerry Rassamni, From Jihad to Jesus (July 24); Lebanese-born militant Muslim moves to the U.S. and gets born again. Diane Ravitch (1938-), Forgotten Heroes of American Education: The Great Tradition of Teaching Teachers; The English Reader: What Every Literate Person Needs to Know. David Remnick (ed.), Reporting; New Yorker pieces. Frank Rich, The Greatest Story Ever Told: The Decline and Fall of Truth from 9/11 to Katrina; how the Greatest Generation myth is used by Baby Boomers "even if it was other people's children who had to do the fighting". Joel Richardson, Antichrist: Islam's Awaited Messiah; claims that the Islamic Mahdi and Christian Antichrist are the same person. Louise Richardson, What Terrorists Want: Understanding the Enemy, Containing the Threat; "neither crazy nor amoral but rather... rationally seeking to achieve a set of objectives within self-imposed limits". Thomas E. Ricks (1955-), Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq. Andrew Roberts (1963-), A History of the English Speaking People Since 1900. Gene Roberts and Hank Kilbanoff, The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation (Pulitzer Prize). Jason Roberts, A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler; English "Blind Traveler" James Holman (1786-1857). Ronald Suresh Roberts, No Cold Kitchen; bio. of South African novelist Nadine Gordimer (1923-). James M. Robinson, The Secrets of Judas: The Story of the Misunderstood Disciple and His Lost Gospel; the first book about the long-lost Gospel of Judas. Christine Rosen, My Fundamentalist Education: A Memoir of a Divine Girlhood; "Growing up in a particular religion is like a person's daily exprience with gravity. It is always there, but it is something you tend to notice only if you stumble." Robert N. Rosen, Saving the Jews: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Holocaust; how FDR mobilized a global coalition to stomp the Nazis and end the killing of innocents and did his utmost, but couldn't win the war until it was too late; he didn't bomb concentration camps because it would kill innocents? Joel C. Rosenberg (1967-), Epicenter; events in the Middle East vs. the Bible Book of Daniel by an Am. Jew-turned-Christian. Lyle H. Rossiter Jr., The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness; claims he's figured out why radical leftists are mad. Murray Newton Rothbard (1926-95), The Complete Libertarian Forum (2 vols.). Barry Rubin, The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East. SQuire Rushnell, When God Winks at You: How God Speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coincidence (Sept. 19); coins the term "godwinks". Tim Russert (1950-2008), Wisdom of Our Fathers. Michael Sallah and Mitch Weiss, Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War; May-Nov. 1967 in the Central Highlands. Prentice Earl Sanders and Bennett Cohen, The Zebra Murders: A Season of Killing, Racial Madness, and Civil Rights; the 1973-4 black-on-white murder spree in San Francisco by members of the Nation of Islam; only the 2nd book published on them? John E. Sarno (1923-), The Divided Mind: The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders. Michael Savage (1942-), The Political Zoo; Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder: Savage Solutions. Robert Santelli, Greetings From E Street: The Story of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Simon Schama (1945-), The Power of Art; bios. of Euro artists; 8 episodes are aired on BBC-TV in Oct.-Nov. Ronald Shelp (1941-), Fallen Giant: The Amazing Story of Hank Greenberg and the History of AIG; AIG CEO (1968-2005) Maurice Raymond "Hank" Greenberg (1925-). Michael Schiavo, Terri: the Story; with the pres. and the pope on your ass, what else do you need? John Selby (1945-), Jesus for the Rest of Us. Hans F. Sennholz (1922-2007), Age of Inflation Continued. Tahir Shah, The Caliph's House: A Year in Casablanca; Jinns in the house, and waving an axe at a tree to make it give tastier dates? Eric Shawn, The U.N. Exposed: How the United Nations Sabotages America's Security. Cindy Sheehan, Peace Mom: A Mother's Journey Through Heartache to Activism; her son U.S. Army Specialist Casey Sheehan is killed in Iraq; "He didn't want to go to Iraq. He didn't believe in the mission. He thought George Bush was misusing he and his buddies. I begged him not to go and he just said, 'I don't want to go mom, but I have to.'" Gail Sheehy (1937-), Sex and the Seasoned Woman: Pursuing the Passionate Life; aging baby boomers as "a new universe of lusty, liberated women"? Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design; the pro position on Darwin; "Creation by intelligent design is absurd" - and Darwinism isn't? Walid Shoebat, Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel and the War on Terror. Zachary Shore, Breeding Bin Ladens: America, Islam, and the Future of Europe (Aug. 28); Muslim terrorists are bred not born, and Westerners shouldn't alarmed at mass Muslim immigration? Hampton Sides (1962-), Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West; how Pres. Polk used Kit Carson for his Mission: Impossible Team in the Am. West. Bernie S. Siegel, Love, Magic and Mudpies: Raising Your Kids to Feel Loved, Be Kind, and Make a Difference (Nov. 28). O.J. Simpson, If I Did It, Here's How It Happened (Nov. 30); ghostwritten by Pablo F. Fenjves (1953-) (who used to live at 875 S. Bundy Dr. in Brentwood, Calif., 60 yards away from Nicole Brown Simpson's residence) and Dominick Dunne (1925-2009); he claims it's fiction, but 400K copies are printed in anticipation of making him a bundle until the fit hits the shan; publisher Judith Regan (1953-) claims she wanted O.J. to confess; Fox Network, owned by publisher Harper Collins Publishing (owned by Ruper Murdoch's News Corp.) plans to air an interview of O.J. about the book on sweeps week (Nov. 27 and 29), stirring outrage from the Simpsons, Goldmans et al., causing everything to be cancelled; O.J. receives and keeps a $3.5M advance in the name of his children; in Dec. Regan is fired for making remarks that there is a "Jewish cabal" against her, and that Jews "should know about ganging up, finding common enemies and telling the big lie"; in Aug. 2007 the rights to the book are awarded to the Goldman family to help collect their civil judgment, and they add the subtitle "Confessions of a Killer", and semi-obliterate the word "If"; too bad, it leaks online in June 2007. Dave Smith (1942-), Hunting Men: Reflections on a Life in Poetry (Dec. 1); "Great poetry cannot be divorced from an intimate, organic link to place." Janna Malamud Smith, My Father is a Book: A Memoir of Bernard Malamud. Lee Smolin, The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next (Sept. 19); science progresses through disagreement, not by following consensus?; U.S. physicists have spent 20 years focusing on the loser approach of a Theory of Everything via String Theory while other countries catch up and overtake it in science?; claims that natural selection is "the only methodology that was really successful for explaining how choices were made in nature", claiming that new universes are born from parent universes via black holes, and advocating that universes should be fine-tuned to maximize the production of hundreds of trillions of black holes. Jason Sokol, There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945-1975. Suzanne Somers (1946-), Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones. George Soros (1930-), The Age of Fallibility: Consequences of the War on Terror. J. Souten et al.. Violating Equality in Social Dilemmas: Emotional and Retributive Reactions as a Function of Trust, Attribution, and Honesty; generalizes the principle of Rabin Fairness (1993) to the provision of public goods. Thomas Sowell (1930-), Ever Wonder Why? And Other Controversial Essays. Jay Spenser, 747: Creating the World's First Jumbo Jet and Other Adventures from a Life in Aviation; Boeing 747 designer Joseph F. "Joe" Sutter (1921-2016). Morgan Spurlock, Don't Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America; eats at McDonald's for a month, claiming to experience "buzzing pulsations" in his penis. Fritz Stern (1926-), Five Germanies I Have Known; the Weimar Repub., the Third Reich, postwar East-West Germany, post-1990 unified Germany. Ralph Steadman (1936-), The Joke's Over; how his partner Hunter S. Thompson was brilliant and funny but a cheat? Mark Steyn (1959-), America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It (Sept. 16); NYT bestseller warning of coming takeover of the West by Islam, turning it into Eurabia; based on the Jan. 2006 essay "It's the Demography, Stupid", which claims that "much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive this century" because "The design flaw of the secular social-democratic state is that it requires a religious-society birthrate to sustain it", and Euro birthrates are falling while Muslim birth and immigration rates are soaring; Belgium has already been taken over by Muslims, and Europe, Japan and the U.S. are next, the U.S. by 2040? Joseph Stiglitz (1943-), Making Globalization Work (Sept.); claims that developing countries exert an excessive influence over developing countries. Chris Stringer, Homo Britannicus: The Story of Life in Britain. Amanda Mackenzie Stuart, Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt: The Story of a Daughter and a Mother in the Gilded Age. Andrew Sullivan, The Conservative Soul: Howe We Lost It, How to Get it Back (Oct.). Cass R. Sunstein (1954-), Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge; The Second Bill of Rights: Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More Than Ever; Are Judges Political? An Empirical Investigation of the Federal Judiciary. Patrick Suskind (1949-), On Love and Death (essays). Ron Suskind (1959-), The One Percent Doctrine: Deep Inside America's Pursuit of Its Enemies Since 9/11; NYT bestseller claims that U.S. foreign policy since 9/11 has been driven by vice-pres. Dick Cheney, whose doctrine is that "If there's even a 1% chance of terrorists getting a weapon of mass destruction... the United States must now act as if it were a certainy." Leonard Susskind, The Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design. Lars Svendsen (tr. John Irons), A Philosophy of Boredom. James L. Swanson, Manhunt; the 2-week run of John Wilkes Booth in the Md.-Va. countryside. Bryan Sykes, Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland; a 10-year DNA survey of the Brits reveals their Viking blood? James D. Tabor, The Jesus Dynasty: The Hidden History of Jesus, His Royal Family and the Birth of Christianity; the Jewish story that Jesus's father was a Roman soldier named Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera was right? - of course it's Saturday, that explains it? Gay Talese (1932-), A Writer's Life. Daniel Paul Tammet (1979-), Born on a Blue Day; savant memoir. Tom Tancredo (1945-) and Jon E. Doughtery, In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America's Border and Security (June 6); "Viewed from a different perspective, we can say that 2M people marched in protest on Apr. 10 , and 297M Americans did not join them." Terence Tao (1975-), Solving Mathematical Problems: A Personal Perspective; 2006 Fields Medal winner. John Tayman, The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, The Old Way: A Story of the First People; how our hunter-gatherer past "clings to us still, in our preferences, in our thoughts and dreams, and even in some of our behavior". John Tirman, 100 Ways America is Screwing Up the World; only 100? Hector Tobar, Translation Nation: Defining a New American Identity in the Spanish-Speaking United States; tour of the not-so-secret "new Latin republic of the United States". Alvin Toffler (1928-), Revolutionary Wealth; the old mass production era institutions are becoming useless to the U.S.? Sandy Tolan, The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East; Ramla in 1948. Martin Tolchin and Susan J. Tolchin, A World Ignited: How Apostles of Ethnic, Religious and Racial Hatred Torch the Globe. Serge Trifkovic (1954-), Defeating Jihad: How the War on Terrorism May Yet Be Won, In Spite of Ourselves. Calvin Trillin (1935-), About Alice; his wife Alice (1938-2001), best editor and perfect muse. Martinus J.G. Veltman (1931-), Facts and Mysteries in Elementary Particle Physics. Gore Vidal (1925-2012), Point to Point Navigation. Norah Vincent, Self-Made Man; a year and a half dressing as a man named Ned? Richard Vinen, The Unfree French: Life Under Occupation. Nicholas Wade, Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors. Sam Walker, Fantasyland: A Season on Baseball's Lunatic Fringe; the Rotisserie for roto-geeks, 23 ML players for $260, Tout Wars, Ron Shandler, Baseball Forecaster, Low Investment Mound Aces, and Really Expensive Mound Aces. Michael Walzer (1935-) (ed.), Law, Politics, and Morality in Judaism. Denzel Washington (1954-), A Hand to Guide Me: American Reflections (autobio.). Colin Wells, Sailing from Byzantium: How a Lost Empire Shaped the World. Jonathan Wells (1942-), The Politically Incorrect Guide To Darwinism and Intelligent Design; the pro position on ID. Mel White, Religion Gone Bad: The Hidden Dangers of the Christian Right. Tom Wicker, Shooting Star: The Brief Arc of Joe McCarthy. Marianne Williamson (1952-), The Gift of Change: Spiritual Guidance for Living Your Best Life (Jan. 3). Garry Wills (1934-), What Jesus Meant; "the real, radical Jesus"; What Paul Meant. Andrew Norman Wilson (1950-), Sir John Betjeman; rival biographer Bevis Hillier springs a hoax letter on him, which contains an acrostic spelling out "AN Wilson is a shit", sent by Eve de Harben (Ever been had). Swain Wolfe, The Boy Who Invented Skiing. Trinny Woodhall and Susannah Constantine, Take on America: What Your Clothes Say About You. Bob Woodward (1943-), State of Denial: Bush at War, Pt. III (Sept. 30); how Philip Zelikow, exec. dir. of the 9/11 Commission warned Bush in 2005 that the U.S. had only a 70% chance of achieving a stable dem. state in Iraq, but they didn't care because they were in a you know what over Iraq? - 70% of 0.007%? Lawrence Wright (1947-), The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 bestseller (Pulitzer Prize); title based on Quran 4:78. Plays: Salvatore Antonio, In Gabriel's Kitchen (first play) (Ontario) (July 26); an Italian-Canadian family finds out they have a gay son. Jacob M. Appel, Arborophilia (Repertory Theatre, Detroit) (Nov.); a man gets pissed-off when one daughter marries a Repub. and the other falls in love with a poplar tree. Alan Ayckbourn, If I Were You (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough) (Oct. 17). Douglas Carter Beane, The Little Dog Laughed (Second Stage Theater, New York) (Jan. 10). Howard Brenton (1942-), In Extremis: The Story of Abelard & Heloise (Globe Theatre, London) (Aub. 27); the story of Abelard and Heloise. James Brough and Helen Elizabeth, The Pool: City of Culture. Caryl Churchill (1938-), Drunk Enough to Say I Love You; how Britain sucks up to the U.S. in foreign policy; gay buds Sam and Jack/Guy. Stella Duffy (1963-), Prime REsident. Stuart Draper, To W.H.; William Shakespeare and the mysterious "W.H.". David Eldrige, Festen (Apr. 9) (New York); adapted from the 1998 film "Celebration" by Thomas Vinterberg et al.; stage debut of sorry Ali McGraw as Else. Richard Elkan, To Quote the Bard; satire on the British royal family and PM Tony Blair. Scott Frankel (1963-), Doug Wright (1962-), and Michael Korie, Grey Gardens (Paywrights Horizons, New York) (Feb. 10) (Walter Kerr Theater, New York) (Nov. 2) (307 perf.); based on the 1975 documentary by Albert and David Maysies about formerly rich mother Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (Big Edie) and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale (Little Edie), Jackie Kennedy's aunt and cousin, who lived in poverty in the seedy Grey Gardens mansion at 3 West End Rd. in the Georgica Pond neighborhood of East Hampton, N.Y. Jeremy Gable (1982-), Giant Green Lizard! The Musical; paradoy of 1950s Japanese monster movies; The Ouroboros Line; Orange Alert; The Flying Spaghetti Monster Holiday Pageant. Graeme Garden, The Pocket Orchestra: The Unlikely Lives of the Great Composers. David Marshall Grant, Pen (Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis). Richard Greenberg, Three Days of Rain. A.R. Gurney, Indian Blood. Peter Handke (1942-), Spuren der Verirrten. David Hare (1947-), The Vertical Hour. Elizabeth Heffron, Mitzi's Abortion (Seattle). Beth Henley (1952-), Ridiculous Fraud (McCarter Theater, N.J.) (May 15); gender-switching version of Anton Chekhov's "Three Sister" set in La. Rand Higbee, The Head That Wouldn't Die!; satire of the 1950s sci-fi/horror films. Paul Hodson, Meeting Joe Strummer (Edinburgh). Tina Howe (1937-), Birth and After Birth. Radovan Ivsic, King Gordogan (Kralj Gordogan) (May 1). Elton John (1947-), Lestat (musical) (Apr. 25) (Palace Theater, New York); based on the Anne Rice novels about er, bloodsuckers with songs by Elton John and Bernie Taupin; a flop. Karoline Leach, Tryst (Promenade Theater, New York) (Apr. 6). Magwayen, Indrapura (Manila) (Dec. 9). Cormac McCarthy (1933-), The Sunset Limited: A Novel in Dramatic Form (Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago) (May 18); a black ex-con and a white atheist prof. debate religion. Martin McDonagh, The Lieutenant of Inishmore (Other Place Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon). Terrence McNally (1938-), Some Men; 80 years of gay men in the New York City, culminating with a gay wedding. Peter Morgan, Frost/Nixon (London, Donmar Warehouse) (Aug.); the May 19, 1977 Frost-Nixon interview; stars Michael Sheen as Frost, and Frank Langella as Nixon; opens in Bernbard B. Jacobs Theatre in New York on Apr. 22 for 137 performances. Joanna Murray-Smith (1962-), The Female of the Species (Australia); based on the time that feminist Germaine Greer was held at gunpoint in her own home by a disturbed student. Louis Nowra (1950-), The Emperor of Sydney (Griffin Theatre, Sydney) (Aug. 16); last in the Boyce Trilogy. Debra Oswald, The Peach Season (Griffin Theatre, Sydney). Theresa Rebeck, The Scene. Yasmina Reza, God of Carnage (Dec. 8); two sets of parent meet and devolve. Gary Soto (1952-), Novio Boy (debut). Abbie Spallen, Pumpgirl (Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh) (Aug. 3). Simon Stephens (1971-), Motortown. Tom Stoppard (1937-), Rock 'n' Roll (Royal Court Theatre, London) (June 3); Max Morrow in Prague in 1968-90, where Western rock and roll combats Communism? Michael Weller (1942-) and Lucy Simon, Zhivago (musical). Edmund White (1940-), Terre Haute; Timothy McVeigh is visited by Gore Vidal? Plays: David Kirby and Nicky Alt, Brick Up the Mersey Tunnels (Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool) (Aug. 3); comedy about the Kingsway Three, who want to brick up the tunnels between Liverpool and the Wirral. Patrick Marber, Don Juan in Soho (Donmare Warehouse, London) (Dec. 6); based on the Moliere play; stars Rhys Ifans as DJ. Mary Zimmerman, Argonautika (Lookingglass Theatre, Chicago); Jason and the Argonauts search for the Golden Fleece. Poetry: Elizabeth Alexander (1962-), American Blue: Selected Poems. Archie Randolph Ammons (1926-2001), Selected Poems. Renee Ashley, The Museum of Lost Wings. Earle Birney (1904-95), One Muddy Hand: Selected Poems (posth.). Elizabeth Bishop (1911-79), Edgar Allan Poe and the Juke Box: Uncollected Poems, Drafts, and Fragments (posth.). Leonard Cohen (1934-), Book of Longing. Billy Collins (1941-), She Was Just Seventeen. Robert Creeley (1926-2005), On Earth: Last Poems and an Essay; Collected Poems 1975-2005. Stephen Dunn (1939-), Everything Else in the World. Claudia Emerson (1957-), Late Wife (Pulitzer Prize). Janet Frame (1924-2004), The Goose Bath (posth.). Tess Gallagher (1943-), Dear Ghosts. Louise Gluck (1943-), Averno. Donald Hall Jr. (1928-), White Apples and the Taste of Stone. Jim Harrison (1937-), Saving Daylight. Seamus Heaney (1939-), District and Circle. Brad Leithauser (1953-), Curves and Angles. Czeslaw Milosz (1911-2004), Collected Poems. Mary Oliver (1935-), Thirst: Poems. Michael Ondaatje (1943-), The Story. Linda Pastan (1932-), Queen of a Rainy Country. Lucia Perillo, Luck Is Luck. Mark Ravenhill, The Cut; Paul practices a mysterious paintful immoral type of surgery that cures patients from desire. Charles Simic (1938-), Monkey Around. Patricia Smith (1955-), Teahouse of the Almighty. W.D. Snodgrass (1926-2009), Not for Specialists: New and Selected Poems. Mark Strand (1934-), Man and Camel. Henry S. Taylor (1942-), Crooked Run. Calvin Trillin (1935-), A Heckuva Job: More of the Bush Administration in Rhyme. C.K. Williams (1936-), Collected Poems, 1963-2006. Charles Wright (1935-), Scar Tissue. Louis Zukofsky (1904-78), Selected Poems (posth.); ed. Charles Bernstein. Novels: Lee K. Abbott (1947-), All Things, All at Once (short stories). Peter Ackroyd (1949-), The Fall of Troy. Richard Adams (1920-), Daniel. Mitch Albom (1958-), For One More Day. Monica Ali (1967-), Alentejo Blue (June). Isabel Allende (1942-), Ines of My Soul; Ines Suarez, the female conquistador of Chile. Julia Alvarez, Saving the World. Gary Amdahl, Visigoth (short stories). Martin Amis (1949-), House of Meetings. Rudolfo Anaya (1937-), The Man Who Could Fly and Other Stories. Scott Anderson, Moonlight Hotel; David Richards holed-up in Kutar. Marie Arana, Cellophane (first novel); the Sobrevilla family in Peru. Jeffrey Archer, False Impressions. Sarah Armstrong, Salt Rain (first novel). Kate Atkinson, One Good Turn; a senseless car rage accident in Edinburgh gets good Samaritan Martin Canning in a pickle. Margaret Atwood (1939-), Moral Disorder; Nell's 92-y.-o. mother becomes bedridden and tells her stories; The Tent (short stories). Louis Auchincloss (1917-), The Young Apollo and Other Stories. Chris Bachelder, U.S.!; Upton Sinclair tribute on the 100th anniv. of "The Jungle". Robert Baer (1952-), Blow the House Down. Howard Bahr, The Judas Field; the 1864 battle of Franklin, Tenn. Kevin Baker, City of Fire (trilogy); the secret history of New York City. J.G. Ballard (1930-2009), Kingdom Come (last novel). Amiri Baraka (1934-2014), Tales of the Out & the Gone. Muriel Barbery (1969-), The Elegance of the Hedgehog (L'Élégance du hérisson) (Aug.); English trans. pub. in Sept. 2008; internat. bestseller (1M copies); about the intellectual inhabitants of a small upper-class Paris apt. block, narrated by conceirge Renee Michel and Paloma Josse. Julian Barnes (1946-), Arthur and George (Jan.). Stephanie Barron, Jane and the Barque of Frailty; Jane Austen the sleutch solving the death of a Russian princess. Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (illustrations by Greg Call), Peter and the Shadow Thieves (July); 541 more pages on Peter Pan, the Starcatchers (who protect starstuff), evil Lord Ombra and his band of evil Others, divided into chapters of 10 pages max? Rick Bass, The Diezmo; a Mexican prison in the early days of the Texas Repub.? Louis Bayard, The Pale Blue Eye; young Edgar Allan Poe at West Point. Peter S. Beagle, The Line Between (short stories). Kate Benson, Two Harbors (first novel); high school prom queen abandons her family for Hollyweird. Suzanne Berne, The Ghost at the Table. Steve Berry (1955-), The Templar Legacy (Feb. 21); Cotton Malone #1. Wendell Berry (1934-), Andy Catlett: Early Travels. Maeve Binchy (1940-), Whitethorn Woods; Star Sullivan. Jeremy Blackman, Anonymous Lawyer (first novel); anon. blogger lawyer gets found out. Deborah Blum, Ghost Hunters: William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death; paranormal phenom Leonora Piper. Teague Bohlen, The Pull of the Earth (first novel). Pierre Bourgeade (1927-2009), Ramatuelle. C.J. Box, In Plain Sight; Wyo. game warden Joe Pickett. T. Coraghessan Boyle (1948-), Talk Talk; deaf teacher Dr. Dana Halter deals with identity theft; narcissistic bad guy Peck. John Boyne, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas; sells 3M copies. Ray Bradbury (1920-), Farewell Summer; sequel to "Dandelion Wine" (1957), originally the second half; young vs. old in Green Town, Ill.; Doug Spaulding, Calvin C. Quartermain. Christopher Bram, Exiles in America; art teacher Daniel Wexler and Iranian artist Abbas Rohani in the Am. South. Kevin Brockmeier, The Brief History of the Dead; Luka Sims of Afterlife City and its residents dependent on the memory of Laura Byrd, who is marooned in Antarctica with dwindling supplies? Peter C. Brown, The Fugitive Wife (first novel). James Lee Burke (1936-), Pegasus Descending; Dave Robicheaux. Stephen J. Cannell, White Sister (Aug.); sixth Shane Scully novel. Peter Carey, Theft: A Love Story; abstract painter Michael "Butcher" Boone, his brother and Marlene. Vikram Chandra, Sacred Games; Hindu kingpin Ganesh Gaitonde vs. Indian cop Sartaj Singh in Mumbai and his partner Constable Katekar; the Indian "Godfather"? C.J. Cherryh, Fortress of Ice; 5th vol. of "Fortress of Dragons" series. Mark Childress, One Mississippi. Mary Higgins Clark (1927-), Two Little Girls in Blue. Mary Higgins Clark (1927-) and Carol Higgins Clark (1956-), Santa Cruise. Susanna Clarke, The Ladies of Grace Adieu (short stories). Philippe Claudel (tr. Hoyt Rogers), By a Slow River. Alison Clement, Twenty Questions. Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio (1940-), Ourania; set in an abandoned Jesuit seminary in the utopian Repub. of Campos on the Pacific coast of Mexico in the 1980s, narrated by 16-y.-o. Inuit Raphael. Paul Coelho (1947-), Like the Flowing River; The Witch of Portobello. Jackie Collins (1937-2015), Lovers and Players. Robin Cook (1940-), Crisis; concierge medicine. Bernard Cornwell, The Pale Horseman; sequel to "The Last Kingdom"; Uhtred the warrior of Bebbanburg and Iseult the sorceress in late 9th cent. Anglo-Saxon England. Patricia Cornwell (1956-), At Risk; Win Garano; no Kay Scarpetta? J.M. Coetzee (1940-), Elizabeth Costello. Robin Cook (1940-), Crisis. Douglas Coupland, JPod. Harry Crews (1935-), An American Family: The Baby With the Curious Markings. Michael Crichton (1942-2008), Next; Rick Diehl, Jack Watson, BioGen, and the insane U.S. practice of patenting genes for greed? Clive Cussler (1931-) and Dirk Cussler, Treasure of Khan; Dirk Pitt #19; Pitt stops an oil mogul who seeks to use Genghis Khan's lost tomb to control the world. Mark Z. Danielewski, Only Resolutions. Marie Darrieussecq (1969-), Zoo (short stories). Diane Motte Davidson, Dark Tort; 13th Goldy the gourmet gumshoe tale. Kathryn Davis, The Thin Place; a young girl with an unearthly gift. Debra Dean, The Madonnas of Leningrad (first novel); Marina Buriakov, docent at the Hermitage squirrels the masterpieces away as the Nazis approach - in her memory? Len Deighton (1929-), Sherlock Holmes and the Titanic Swindle. Nelson DeMille, Wild Fire; the Reagan admin. plan to nuke the Islamic world if terrorists nuke the U.S. first?; smart-mouth flirt John Corey's 4th appearance. Nelson DeMille, Wild Fire; NYPD dick John Corey tries to stop oil magnate Bain Madox from triggering the Wild Fire response, the nuking of Islam. Kate DiCamillo, Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride; Mercy Watson Fights Crime; The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Ivan Doig, The Whistling Season "Can't Cook But Doesn't Bite"; Oliver Milliron and Rose Llewellyn. Keith Donohue, The Stolen Child (first novel); Hendry Day is changed by chanegling hobgoblins into Aniday. Sybil Downing, The Vote; suffragists in 1918 Colo. Roddy Doyle (1958-), Paula Spencer; sequel to "The Who Walked into Doors" (1996). Margaret Drabble (1939-), The Sea Lady. Sarah Dunant, In the Company of the Courtesan; Fiametta Bianchini and her pimp dwarf Bucino Teodoldi in stinking Venice in 1527, the year Rome is sacked by the Germans and Spanish? John Dunning, The Bookwoman's Last Fling; fifth Cliff Janeway novel? Cindy Dyson, And She Was; Brandy in the Aleutians. Jennifer Egan, The Keep; two cousins reunite to renovate a medieval castle in E Europe. Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes (short stories). Kjell Eriksson (English tr. Ebba Segerberg), The Princess of Burundi. Loren Estelman, The Adventures of Johnny Vermillion. Paul Evans, Finding Noel; "I just love chocolate. It's God's apology for broccoli". Robert Ferrigno (1947-), Prayers for the Assassin; first in the Assassin Trilogy ("Sins of the Assassin", 2008; "Heart of the Assassin, 2009) about a Muslim takeover of the U.S. in the 2030s. David Fesperman, The Prisoner of Guantanamo; Revere Falk, Marine-turned-FBI agent. George Fetherling (1949-), Tales of Two Cities. Jasper Fford, The Fourth Bear. Janet Fitch, Paint It Black; bleached-blonde punk rocker Josie Tyrell in L.A. in the 1980s. Fannie Flagg, Can't Wait to Get to Heaven; Elner Shimfissle. Vince Flynn, Act of Treason; 21st cent. Jack Ryan clone Mitch Rapp in another implausible Tom Clancy wannabe plot? Richard Ford (1944-), The Lay of the Land; 55-y.-o. N.J. realtor Frank Bascombe in the innocent pre-9/11 year 2000 has prostate cancer; #3 in the Frank Bascombe Trilogy ("The Sportswriter", 1986, "Independence Day", 1995). Margaret Forster (1938-), Keeping the World Away. Frederick Forsyth (1938-), The Afghan (Aug.); British operative Col. Mike Martin goes undercover to infiltrate al-Qaida. Dick Francis, Under Orders; his 40th novel, and first in six years, breaking his 2000 vow not to write any more after his wife and collaborator Mary died; ex-jockey dick Sid Halley investigates racetrack deaths. Charles Frazier (1950-), Thirteen Moons; sequel to "Cold Mountain" (1997); orphaned Will Cooper and the Cherokee Trail of Tears; Random House outbids Grove Atlantic $8M to $6M for the rights. Marilyn French (1929-2009), In the Name of Friendship. Neil Freudenberg, The Dissident; a Chinese dissident in Beverly Hills? Carlos Fuentes (1928-2012), Todas las Familias Felices. Alan Furst (1941-), The Foreign Correspondent; Night Soldiers #9; Carlo Weisz of Trieste and the WWII Italian resistance. Neil Gaiman (1960-), Fragile Things (short stories). Debra Galant, Rattled (first novel); Heather Peters. Richard Galli, Of Rice and Men. Barry Gifford (1946-), The Stars Above Veracruz. Elizabeth Gilbert (1969-), Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia (autobio.); bestseller; filmed in 2010 starring Julia Roberts; the female guru is later revealed to be Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. Julia Glass (1956-), The Whole World Over. Allegra Goodman (1967-), Intuition; a virus to cure cancer. Mary Catherine Gordon (1949-), The Stories of Mary Gordon (short stories). Joe Gores (1931-), Glass Tiger. Joanne Greenberg (1932-), Appearances. W.E.B. Griffin, The Hostage; sequal to "By Order of the President". James Grippando, Lying With Strangers. Michael Gruber, Night of the Jaguar; Jimmy Paz. Sara Gruen (1969-), Water for Elephants (May 26); Cornell U. vet student Jacob Jankowski hears that his parents were killed in a car accident, drops out, and joins the Benzini Brothers travelling circus during the Great Depression, and falls for Marlena, who is married to schizo sadist August, and tries to avoid being redlighted (thrown off the train as it passes a trestle); epigraph: "I meant what I said, and I said what I meant.../ An elephant's faithful - one hundred per cent" (from Dr. Seuss's "Horton Hatches the Egg", 1940). Mike Haddon (1962-), A Spot of Bother. Joe Haldeman, War Stories. Jane Hamilton (1957-), When Madeline Was Young; Madeline Maciver has a bike accident leaving her with the mind of a child and thinking her ex-hubby's new wife is her mother. Laurell K. Hamilton, Danse Macabre. Daniel Handler (b. 1970), Adverbs. Kerry Hardie, The Bird Woman; Ellen McKinnon in Belfast. Stephen Harrigan, Challenger Park. Everette Lynn Harris (1955-2009), I Say a Little Prayer. Joanne Harris, Gentlemen and Players. Thomas Harris (1940-), Hannibal Rising; the childhood of Hannibal Lecter and his sister Mischa. Robert Harris, Imperium: A Novel of Ancient Rome; Cicero's 100-y.-o. secy. Tiro chronicles his boss' rise to power. John Hart, The King of Lies (first novel); N.C. atty. Jackson Workman "Work" Pickens kills his own father? Kenneth J. Harvey, The Town That Forgot How to Breathe (first novel); the coastal Newfoundland town of Bareneed is saved by tall tales? Mo Hayder, The Devil of Nanking; the 1937 rape of Nanking; "One death is hardly worth mentioning in this city where the devil stalks the streets". Amy Hempel, The Collected Stories (short stories). William Haywood Henderson, Augusta Locke. Tony Hendra, The Messiah of Morris Avenue (first novel); Christ returns as Bronx-bred Jose? William Haywood Henderson, Augusta Locke. Tony Hillerman (1925-2008), The Shape Shifter. Russell Hoban (1925-), Linger Awhile. A.M. Homes, This Book Will Save Your Life; Richard Novak's male midlife crisis? Kay Hooper (1958-), Sleeping with Fear; clairvoyant Riley Crane; Michael Houellebecq (1956-), The Possibility of an Island, about a Raelian-type cult that clones successful comedian Daniel twice (Daniel I, 24, and 25). Elisabeth Hyde, The Abortionist's Daughter. Greg Iles, True Evil. Craig Johnson, Death Without Company; Sheriff Walt Longmore in Durant, Wyo. Edward P. Jones (1951-), All Aunt Hagar's Children (short stories). Ward Just (1935-), Forgetfulness. Cynthia Kadohata (1956-), Weedflower. Ken Kalfus, A Disorder Pecular to the Country; 9/11 and divorces? Dave Kalstein, Prodigy; the Stansbury School in 2036 mass-produces geniuses? Michael S. Katz, Shalom on the Range; kosher Western? Jonathan Kellerman, Gone; Alex Delaware mystery; Trouble; medical student Jonah Stem kills the attacker of beautiful Eve Gones, who begins hooking up with him. Philip Kerr, The One From the Other; Bernie Gunther is back. Raymond Khoury, The Last Templar (first novel) (Jan.); after losing Acre in 1219, the Templars lose a big secret proving Christ a fake, which would have helped them unite Christianity, Islam and Judaism?; "What I'm telling you, Agent Reilly, is that basically everything Christians believe in today... was all made up... It's been a runaway bestseller for almost two thousand years... And looking at the state of the world today, I think it's definitely passed its sell-by date" (p. 293); "Christianity served a great purpose when it was conceived. It gave people hope, it provided a social support system, it helped bring down tyranny. It served the needs of a community. What needs does it serve today, apart from blocking medical research and justifying wars and murder?" (p. 297) Stephen King (1947-), Cell; dedicated to movie dir. George Romero; Lisey's Story (Oct. 23) (baed on his 2004 story "Lisey and the Madman") ; Lisey (pr. LEE-see) Debusher Landon, her dead husband Scott and Boo'ya Moon. William Kittredge, The Willow Field (first novel); 15-y.-o. Rossie Benasco becomes a cowboy and a man. Dean Koontz (1945-), The Husband; Brother Odd; he leaves Pico Mundo for a mountain monastery talking to his soul mate Stormy Llewellyn. Nick Laird, Utterly Monkey (first novel). Anne Lamott (1954-), Blue Shoe. Lori Lansens, The Girls; 29-y.-o. Canadian craniopagus (joined at the head) twins Rose and Ruby Darlen each write down their life stories. Stieg Larsson (1954-2004), The Girl Who Played with Fire; #2 in the Millennium Trilogy. Aaron Latham, Riding with John Wayne. J.M. Ledgard, Giraffe (first novel); the May Day 1975 Czech zoo scandal. Doris Lessing (1919-2013), The Story of General Dann and Mara's Daughter, Griot and the Snow Dog. Jonathan Lethem (1964-), How We Got Insipid (short stories). Jonathan Lethem (1964-) and Christopher Sorrentino (1963-), Believeniks!: 2005: The Year We Wrote a Book About the Mets; pub. under alias Ivan Felt and Harris Conklin. Judith Lindbergh, The Thrall's Tale; Katla the thrall and her rape baby Bibrau clash with Leif Eriksson and his Christian settlers in 10th cent. Greenland. Elinor Lipman (1950-), My Latest Grievance; Mr. and Mrs. Hatch at Dewing College in Boston. Mario Vargas Llosa (1936-), Travesuras de la Nina Malas (Pranks of the Bad Girl); a Peruvian man's lifetime obsession with a teen babe. David Long, The Inhabited World. Alison Lurie (1926-), Truth and Consequences; architecture prof. Alan MacKenzie hurts his back and changes his career to artist. Tucker Malarkey, Resurrection; a bunch of what? Gautam Malkani, Londonstani. Benjamin Markovits, Fathers and Daughters. Bobbie Ann Mason (1940-), Nancy Culpepper (short stories). Hisham Matar (1970-), In the Country of Men (first novel); 9-y.-o. Suleiman el Dawani in 1979 phone-tapping Morocco. Anna Maxted, A Tale of Two Sisters; Lizbet and Cassie Montgomery. Cormac McCarthy (1933-), The Road (10th novel) (Pulitzer Prize); the Veteran, the Wife, and the Son try to survive in the apocalyptic remains of cannibal-filled Appalachia; his take on "The Road Warrior"? Geraldine McCaughrean (1951-), Peter Pan in Scarlet (Oct.); the first sequel to "Peter Pan" authorized by the J.M. Barrie Estate. Colleen McCullough (1937-), On, Off; police lt. Carmine Delmonico vs. a serial rapist-murderer the Conn. Monster in 1965 Chubb U. in Holloman, Conn. Alice McDermott (1953-), After This; John and Mary Keane, their children Michael, Annie, Jacob, and Claire during the 1960s sexual rev., and the power of family. Heather McGowan, The Duchess of Nothing. Kathleen McGowan, The Expected One; Maureen Pascal, Tammy, cousin Father Peter Healy, and scholar Lord Berenger Sinclair search for the lost gospel of Mary Magdalene; the author is a direct descendant of Christ? Thomas McGuane (1939-), Gallatin Canyon (short stories). Jay McInerney (1955-), The Good Life. Larry McMurtry (1936-), Telegraph Days (May). Zakes Mda, The Whale Caller; bald kelp horn blower in the Western Cape falls in love with his whale Sharisha? James Meek, The People's Act of Love; escaped prisoner Kyrill Ivanovich Samarin in 1919 Russia. Farah Mendlesohn (ed.), Polder; devoted to John Clute. Brad Meltzer, Book of Fate. Elizabeth Merrick (ed.), This is Not Chick Lit: Original Stories by America's Best Women Writers (No Heels Required). Stephenie Meyer, New Moon (Aug.). Stanley Middleton (1919-2009), Mother's Boy. Joe Miller, Cross-X; an inner-city high school debate team. Denise Mina, The Dead Hour; 21-y.-o. Paddy Meehan of Glasgow. Jacquelyn Mitchard, Cage of Stars; 12-y.-o. Veronica (Ronnie) Swan sees her two baby sisters murdered. David Mitchell (1969-), Black Swan Green; 13 stories about life at age 13 in 1982; a village in Worcestershire, the name is a joke?; "The Earth's a door, if you press your ear against it". Anna Monardo, Falling in Love with Natassia. Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie, Lost Girls (graphic novel); Alice, Wendy and Dorothy on an island in the Boden Sea of Bavaria have an erotic awakening in 1913-4? Christopher Moore (1957-), A Dirty Job; Beta Male Charlie Asher and Minty Fresh, the Death Merchants vs. Death and the Morrigan? James Morrow, The Last Witchfinder; Jennet Stearne in Britain and America in the 18th cent. uses Isaac Newton's "Principia" to prove herself innocent of witchcraft? Sir John Mortimer (1923-2009), Rumpole and the Reign of Terror. Walter Mosley (1952-), The Wave; Fortunate Son. Kate Mosse (1961-), Labyrinth; Alice Tanner in 2005 and 17-y.-o. Alais in 1209 chase the Holy Grail in a tale where "women have the swords". Alice Munro (1931-), The View from Castle Rock: Stories (short stories); SW Colo. author's Canadian ancestors named Laidlaw are from Far Hope, Scotland. Haruki Murakami (1949-), Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (short stories) (Aug.). Sena Jeter Naslund, Abundance; Marie Antoinette wasn't really all that bad? Julia Navarro, The Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud; Marco Valoni stops a conspiracy to destroy it. Irene Nemirovsky, Suite Francaise. John Treadwell Nichols (1940-), American Blood. Joyce Carol Oates (1938-), High Lonesome: Stories 1966-2006; Landfill (Oct. 9 issue of The New Yorker) (based on 19-y.-o. College of N.J. student John A. Flocco Jr., who went missing in Mar. and whose body is later found in a Penn. landfill); Black Girl/White Girl; black girl Minette Swift and white girl Genna Meade. Edna O'Brien (1930-), The Light of Evening. Carol O'Connell, Find Me; Kathy Mallory on the remains of Route 66. Stewart O'Nan (1961-), Last Night at the Lobster. Peter Orner, The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo (first novel); Larry Planska leaves Cincinnati, Ohio to teach at a Catholic boys school in Namibia. Robert Brown Parker (1932-2010), Hundred-Dollar Baby; Spenser #34; Sea Change; Jesse Stone #5; Blue Screen; Sunny Randall #5. T. Jefferson Parker (1953-), The Fallen. Carolyn Parkhurst, Lost and Found. James Patterson (1947-), Cross; Alex Cross goes after his wife's killer. James Patterson (1947-) and Andrew Gross, Judge & Jury; Andie DeGrasse, FBI agent Nick Pellisante and the Mafia trial of the cent. James Patterson (1947-) and Peter De Jonge, Beach Road; three white boys murdered in the Hamptons, and black basketball phenom Dante Halleyville is accused, causing atty. Tom Dunleavy to take the case. James Patterson (1947-) and Maxine Paetro, 5th Horseman. Matthew Pearl, The Poe Shadow. George Pelecanos, The Night Gardener; the Palindrome Murders. Thomas Perry, Nightlife. Marisha Pessl (1978-), Special Topics of Calamity Physics (first novel); Blue Van Meer and her academic father Gareth are drawn into the mystery of several murders. David Petersen (ed.), Postcards from Ed: Dispatches and Salvos from an American Iconoclast. Harry Mark Petrakis (1923-), Collected Stories. Nancy Pickard, The Virgin of Small Plains. Jodi Picoult (1966-), The Tenth Circle. Stanley Pottinger, The Boss. Richard Powers (1957-), The Echo Maker. Tim Powers, Three Days to Never. Steven Pressfield (1943-), The Afghan Campaign; Alexander the Great in 330 B.C.E. Anna Quindlen (1953-), Rise and Shine; narrator Bridget Fitzmaurice on her older sister Meghan, a Katie Couric-like host of a morning show, whose career nosedives. Kathy Reichs, Break No Bones (9th Dr. Temperance Brennan novel). Carl Reiner, NNNNN. J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts), Born in Death; another Lt. Eve Dallas and her multimillionaire hubby Roarke romance. David L. Robbins, The Assassins Gallery; a woman sent to kill FDR? Michael Robotham, Lost. Joel C. Rosenberg (1967-), The Copper Scroll. Philip Roth (1933-), Everyman; "Old age is not a battle, old age is a massacre." Jed Rubenfeld, The Interpretation of Murder (first novel); Sigmund Freud's 1909 trip to the U.S. intersects with a girl's murder? Rudy Rucker, Mathematicians in Love; Humelock grad students Bela and Paul race to prove the Morphic Classification Theorem, that everything is a form of computation and the right formulas can turn anything into a computer. Carl Safina, Voyage of the Turtle: In Pursuit of the Earth's Last Dinosaur. Jose Saramago (1922-2010), Memories of My Youth (As Pequenas Memorias). Marjane Satrapi (1969-), Chicken with Plums (graphic novel); the last 8 days of her sitar-playing uncle Nasser Ali Khan's life as he dies of a broken heart. Joe Scalzi (1969-), The Ghost Brigades; Old Man's War #2. Karl Schroeder (1962-), Sun of Suns (Oct. 3); first in Virga series. Carolyn See, There Will Never Be Another You. Will Self, The Book of Dave; Carl Devush's quest to reconcil his mummyself in 26th cent. New London, based on a book buried in his ex-wife's backyard by 21st cent. London cabbie Dave Rudman?; "Nobody goes into the business of writing satire to be liked." Jeff Shaara, The Rising Tide; first in WWII trilogy; the North African campaign of 1942-3. Aurelie Sheehan, History Lesson for Girls; Alison Glass. Anita Shreve (1946-), Body Surfing. Gary Shteyngart (1972-), Absurdistan; fat 325 lb. Russian-Jewish gangster's son Misha Borisovich "Snack Daddy" Vainberg is sent to Accidental College in the U.S. after a botched circumcision, falls in love with Rubinesque Desiree, then ends up in you know where? Javier Sierra, The Secret Supper; Pope Alexander IV, Father Agostino Leyre, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Soothsayer in 1497 Milan. Daniel Silva, The Messenger. Dan Simmons (1948-), The Terror; the doomed 1840s expedition to find the Northwest Passage, plus a legendary Esquimax beast. Kyle Smith, A Christmas Caroline. Lee Smith (1944-), On Agate Hill. Scott Smith, The Ruins. Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) (1970-), The Beatrice Letters (A Series of Unfortunate Events #12); The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events #13) (Oct. 13, Fri.). Edmundo Paz Soldan, Turing's Delirium; codebreaker Miguel Saenz of the Black Chamber. Gilbert Sorrentino (1929-2006), A Strange Commonplace. Gary Soto (1952-), Accidental Love. Nicholas Sparks (1965-), Dear John (Oct.). Dana Spiotta, Eat the Document. Danielle Steel (1947-), The House; Coming Out; H.R.H.. Steve Stern (1947-), The Angel of Forgetfulness. Cheryl Strayed, Torch. Whitley Strieber (1945-), The Grays; aliens abduct humans and tamper with their genes to produce genius kids so they can feed on human emotion in return for technology transfer. Wesley Strick, Out There in the Dark (first novel). Charles Stross (1964-), Glasshouse. Elizabeth Strout, Abide With Me (first novel). Duane Swierczynski, The Blonde; Jack Eisley must stay with 10 ft. of the blonde who poisoned him? Lalita Tademy, Red River; the 1873 Colfax Riot. Michael Thomas, Man Gone Down (first novel); a black Am. father of three in a biracial marriage. Brad Thor (1969-), Takedown. Colm Toibin (1955-), Mothers and Sons (short stories). Rose Tremain (1943-), The Darkness of Wallis Simpson. Lisa Tucker, Once Upon a Day. Justin Tussing, The Best People in the World (first novel); a history student and his student fall in love in the 1970s and hit da road. Anne Tyler (1941-), Digging to America; married to an Iranian immigrant, the author explores upper middle class white-is-not-right Am. families adopting female babies from Asia, incl. an Iranian-Am. couple. Omar Tyree, What They Want; black male model Terrance Mitchell and his white woman Victoria, who doesn't satisfy him?; "It seemed like once you went there, you were a living zombie, with plenty of desert, but no spice". Barry Unsworth (1930-2012), The Ruby in Her Navel. John Updike (1932-2009), Terrorist. Jane Urquhart, A Map of Glass. Carrie Vaughn (1973-), Kitty Goes to Washington; Kitty Norville #2. Gore Vidal (1925-), Clouds and Eclipses: The Collected Short Stories. Vernor Vinge (1944-), Rainbows End. Kaavya Viswanathan, How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life; withdrawn for plagiarizing chick-lit writers incl. Megan McCafferty, killing a $500K book deal from Little, Brown. Bruce Alan Wagner (1954-), Memorial. Ayelet Waldman, Love and Other Impossible Pursuits. Robert James Waller, The Long Night of Winchell Dear; a poker player in W Tex. Jess Walter, The Zero. Joseph Wambaugh (1937-), Hollywood Station; his first LAPD novel since "The Glitter Dome" (1983); life under the federal consent decree and a 20% female cop force. Wendy Wasserstein (1950-2006), Elements of Style (first novel). Sarah Waters, The Night Watch. Peter Watts (1958-), Blindsight; about astronauts of the ship Theseus (captained by a vampire) in 2082 investigating an alien entity called the Rorschach headed for Earth. Betty Webb, Desert Run; 4th Lena Jones mystery. Michael Weisskopf (1948-), Blood Brothers; a Time mag. correspondent goes on patrol with a U.S. platoon in Iraq and gets a grenade in his vehicle, which takes out his hand. Fay Weldon (1931-), She May Not Leave. Irvine Welsh (1958-), The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs. Stephen White (1951-), Kill Me; Dr. Alan Gregory takes a back seat? Colson Whitehead, Apex Hides the Hurt; the name Winthrop just doesn't cut it anymore? Allen Wier, Tehano. Jacqueline Winspear, Pardonable Lies; 3rd Maisie Dobbs novel. Stephen Wright, The Amalgamation Polka. Lloyd Zimpel, A Season of Fire & Ice. Markus Zusak (1975-), The Book Thief; post-WWII German book thief Liesel Meminger eludes Death three times, causing him to utter the soundbyte "I am haunted by humans". Births: Am. crypto-child Suri (Jap. "pickpocket") (Heb. "princess" (Persian "red rose") Cruise on Apr. 19 in Los Angeles, Calif.; daughter of Tomkat actors Tom Cruise (1962-) and Katie Holmes (1978-); makes her debut on the Sept. 5 CBS Evening News, which is also the debut of anchor Katie Couric; in 2008 British journalist Andrew Morton (1953-) claims that her real daddy is L. Ron Hubbard (1911-86), and rumors fly that she's his reincarnation - does she have fringe on top? Am. celeb child Shiloh Nouvel ("New Messiah") Jolie-Pitt on May 27 in Namibia; son of actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, joining adopted children Maddox (4) and Zahara (16 mo.). Japanese prince Hisahito on Sept. 6 (8:27 a.m.) in Tokyo; 3rd child of Japanese princess Kiko (b. 1967), wife of the emperor's 2nd son prince Akishino; eldest son crown prince Naruhito and wife Masako only have a daughter, making him the first male heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne since Akishino in 1965; he starts out 3rd in line after Naruhito and Akishino, causing talk of dropping the 1947 male-only succession law. Canadian "Jack Newsome in Room" actor Jacob Tremblay on Oct. 5 in Vancouver, B.C. Deaths: Am. WWI vet Moses Hardy (b. Jan. 6, 1893) on Dec. 7 in Aberdeen, Miss.; son of black slaves born in the 1830s; 2nd oldest man (6th oldest person) in the world, and the last African-Am. U.S. veteran of WWI; only 10-12 U.S. WWI vets remain. Am. jazz musician Sweet Emma Barrett (b. 1897) on Jan. 28. Am. poet Stanley Kunitz (b. 1905) on May 14 in New York City. Am. film dir. Vincent Sherman (b. 1906) on June 18. Am. Titanic survivor Lillian Gertrud Asplund (b. 1907) on May 7 in Shrewsbury, Mass.; the last survivor (with her mother and 3-y.-o. brother Felix) of the 1912 Titanic sinking, in which she lost her father and three brothers, incl. a fraternal twin; her mother Selma (b. 1873) dies on Apr. 15, 1964, and Felix (b. 1909) dies on Mar. 1, 1983. Canadian-Am. "Affluent Society" economist John Kenneth Galbraith (b. 1908) on Apr. 29 in Cambridge, Mass.; "Witty, supple, eloquent and edged with that sheen of malice which the fallen sons of Adam always find attractive when it is directed at targets other than themselves" (Robert Lekachman): "Only the man who finds everything wrong and expects it to get worse is thought to have a clear brain." Am. actress Nancy Rennick (b. 1932) on Apr. 5 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. sci-fi novelist Jack Williamson (b. 1908) on Nov. 10 in Portales, N.M. Scottish composer Robin Orr (b. 1909) on Apr. 9. Am. actor Herbert Rudley (b. 1910) on Sept. 9 in Los Angeles, Calif. German-born British economist Sir Hans Singer (b. 1910) on Feb. 26 in Brighton. Am. "Margaret Anderson in Father Knows Best", "Spock's mother in Star Trek", "Ronald Colman's lover in Lost Horizon" actress Jane Wyatt (b. 1910) on Oct. 20 in Bel-Air, Calif. Am. cartoonist Joe Barbera (b. 1911) on Dec. 18 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. Teamsters internat. vice-pres. (-1989) Robert Holmes (b. 1911) on Feb. 19 in Detroit, Mich. (heart failure); lifelong associate of Jimmy Hoffa. Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz (b. 1911) on Aug. 29 in Cairo; 1988 Nobel Lit. Prize. Am. "Marines on Iwo Jima" photographer Joe Rosenthal (b. 1911) on Aug. 20 in Novato, Calif. Am. physicist Joseph Harold Rush (b. 1911) on Sept. 12 in Boulder, Colo. Am. conservative economist Milton Friedman (b. 1912) on Nov. 16. Romanian-born Canadian poet Irving Layton (b. 1912) on Jan. 4 in Montreal (Alzheimer's); "I taught him how to dress, and he taught me how to live forever" (Leonard Cohen): "I want to be remembered as someone who believed that a great poem was the noblest work of man and that no one ever wrote one who didn't want to get out of Hell." Am. #1 golf pro "Lord" Byron Nelson (b. 1912) on Sept. 26 in Roanoke, Tex. Am. black photographer-dir. Gordon Parks (b. 1912) on Mar. 7 in New York City: "I was just born with a need to explore every tool shop of my mind." Paraguayan dictator (1954-89) Gen. Alfredo Stroessner (b. 1912) on Aug. 16 in Brasilia. French-born Am. fashion designer Oleg Cassini (b. 1913) on Mar. 17 in Manhasset, N.Y. U.S. pres. #38 (1974-7) Gerald R. Ford (b. 1913) on Dec. 26 in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Am. "The Taking of Pelham 123" novelist John Godey (b. 1913) on Apr. 16 in West New York, N.Y. South African-born British Communist leader Ted Grant (b. 1913) on July 20 in London (stroke). Am. conservative writer Willard Cleon Skousen (b. 1913) on Jan. 9. Am. "You Asked For It" TV host Jack Smith (b. 1913) on July 3 in Westlake Village, Calif. (leukemia). Am. TRW co-founder Dean Everett Wooldridge (b. 1913) on Sept. 20 in Santa Barbara, Calif. (pneumonia). Am. Squaw Valley ski resort founder Alexander C. Cushing (b. 1914) on Aug. 20 in Newport, R.I. Am. civil rights activist James Cameron (b. 1914) on June 11 in Milwaukee, Wisc. (heart failure); only known survivor of a lynching attempt. Am. physicist Raymond Davis Jr. (b. 1914) on May 31 in Blue Point, N.Y.; 2002 Nobel Physics Prize. Am. Nicholas Brothers tap dancer Fayard Nicholas (b. 1914) on Jan. 24 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. "World Peace Through World Law" atty. Louis B. Sohn (b. 1914) on June 7. Am. space scientist James Alfred Van Allen (b. 1914) on Aug. 9 in Iowa City, Iowa (heart failure). Am. WWII Army medic Desmond T. Doss (b. 1915) on Mar. 23 in Piedmont, Ala.; only conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor (for actions in Okinawa). Am. blues guitarist Robert Lockwood Jr. (b. 1915) on Nov. 21 in Cleveland, Ohio (stroke). Chilean dictator-pres. (1973-90) Gen. Augusto Pinochet (b. 1915) on Dec. 10 in Santiago (heart failure). British PM John Profumo (b. 1915) on Mar. 9. German-born Austrian-British soprano Dame Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (b. 1915) on Aug. 3 in Schruns, Austria. South African PM (1978-84) and pres. #9 (1984-9) Pieter Willem Botha (b. 1916) on Oct. 13 in Wilderness, West Cape. Am. "Betty Boop" movie dir. Richard O. Fleischer (b. 1916) on Mar. 25. Canadian-born Am. "Blackboard Jungle", "Jonathan Kent in Superman" actor Glenn Ford (b. 1916) on Aug. 30 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Am.-born Canadian urbanologist Jane Jacobs (b. 1916) on Apr. 25. Am. comedian Jan Murray (b. 1916) on July 2 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Japanese-Am. WWI pardoned traitor Tokyo Rose (Iva Toguri d'Aquino) (b. 1916) on Sept. 26 in Chicago, Ill. Am. Dead Sea Scrolls archeologist John C. Trever (b. 1916) on Apr. 29 in Calif. Am. poet-historian Peter Viereck (b. 1916) on May 13: "Anti-Catholicism is the anti-Semitism of intellectuals." Am. actress-singer June Allyson (d. 1917) on July 9. Scottish New Age writer Eileen Caddy (b. 1917) on Dec. 13 in Findhorn. Am. "Singin' the Rain" screenwriter Betty Comden (b. 1917) on Nov. 23 in Manhattan, N.Y. (heart failure). Soviet economist Nikolay Fedorenko (b. 1917) on Apr. 1. Canadian mathematician Irving Kaplansky (b. 1917) on June 25. Am. chef-writer Edna Lewis (b. 1917) on Feb. 13. U.S. defense secy. (1981-7) Caspar Willard Weinberger (b. 1917) on Mar. 28 in Bangor, Maine. Am. Coppertone Girl artist Joyce Ballantyne (b. 1918) on May 15 in Ocala, Fla. (heart attack). Am. golfer Patty Berg (b. 1918) on Sept. 10 in Ft. Myers, Fla. (Alzheimer's). Am. novelist-playwright Joseph Hayes (b. 1918) on Sept. 11 in St. Augustine, Fla. Am. Math Olympiads founder George Lenchner (b. 1918) on May 14 in San Francisco. Am. portrait photographer Arnold Newman (b. 1918) on June 6 in New York City. Scottish "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" novelist Muriel Spark (b. 1918) on Apr. 14. Am. "Mike Hammer" author Frank Morrison "Mickey" Spillane (b. 1918) on July 17 in Murrells Inlet, S.C. (cancer): "No one likes them except the public"; "I don't have fans I have customers"; "That Mickey Spillane, he sure knows how to write" (1955 film Marty). Tonga king (1965-) Taufa'ahau Tupou IV (b. 1918) on Sept. 11 in New Zealand; in the 1990s he reaches a monarch record of 462 lbs., leading his 108K people on a diet-exercise program and losing 154 lbs. Swedish soprano Astrid Varnay (b. 1918) on Sept. 4 in Munich. Am. singer Georgia Gibbs (b. 1919) on Dec. 9 in New York City (leukemia). Am. political celeb Nellie Connally (b. 1919) on Sept. 1 in Austin, Tex. Am. WWII hero Desmond Doss (b. 1919) on Mar. 23 in Piedmont, Ala. Am. sports announcer Curt Gowdy (d. 1919) on Feb. 20 in Palm Beach, Fla. (leukemia); he sounds like "everybody's brother-in-law" (John Updike). Am. jazz singer ("the Jezebel of Jazz") Anita O'Day (b. 1919) on Nov. 23 in West Hollywood, Calif. Am. 1-handed pushups at the Oscars actor Jack Palance (b. 1919) on Nov. 10 in Montecito, Calif. Italian "The Battle of Algiers" dir. Gillo Montecorvo (b. 1919) on Oct. 12 in Rome (heart failure). Canadian-born NBC News pres. (1968-72, 1982-4) Reuven Frank (b. 1920)on Feb. 4: "Sunshine is a weather report, a flood is news"; "New is what someone wants to suppress - everything else is advertising." Am. actor Jack Warden (b. 1920) on July 19 in New York City. Am. actress Shelley Winters (b. 1920) on Jan. 14 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (heart failure). Am. jockey Anna Lee Aldred (b. 1921) on June 12 in Montrose, Colo. Dutch artist Karel Appel (b. 1921) on May 3 in Zurich, Switzerland. English composer Sir Malcolm Arnold (b. 1921) on Sept. 23 in Norwich. Am. artist Bonnie Woolsey Benschneider (b. 1921) on Oct. 15 in Colorado Springs, Colo. U.S. Sen. (D-Tex.) Lloyd "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" Bentsen (b. 1921) on May 23 in Houston, Tex.; suffered a stroke in 1999. English children's writer Peggy Cripps Appiah (b. 1921) on Feb. 11 in Kumasi, Ghana. Am. test pilot and X-15 rocket plane designer Scott Crossfield (b. 1921) on Apr. 20 in Ranger, Ga. (small plane crash). Am. feminist writer Betty Friedan (b. 1921) on Feb. 4 (85th birthday) in Washington, D.C. (heart failure): "It is easier to live through someone else than to become complete yourself." Polish "Solaris" sci-fi novelist Stanislaw Lem (b. 1921) on Mar. 27 in Cracow. Am. "The Prince and the Pauper" actor Billy Mauch (b. 1921) on Sept. 29 in Palatine, Ill. Am. baritone Robert McFerrin Sr. (b. 1921) on Nov. 24 in St. Louis, Mo. (heart attack). Am. biochemist Robert Bruce Merrifield (b. 1921) on May 14 in Cresskill, N.J.; 1984 Nobel Chem. Prize. Am. "General Hospital" TV producer Gloria Monty (b. 1921) on Mar. 30. Am. bluesman Snooky Pryor (b. 1921) on Oct. 18. Am. writer Jay Presson Allen (b. 1922) on May 1 in New York City: "You write to please yourself"; "The only office where there's no superior is the office of the scribe." Am. "Clarabell the Clown" actor-musician Lew Anderson (b. 1922) on May 14 in Hawthorne, N.Y. (prostate cancer). Canadian "Owen Marshall", "Andromeda Strain" actor Arthur Hill (b. 1922) on Oct. 22 in Pacific Palisades, Calif. French #1 Burgundy winemaker Henri Jayer (b. 1922) on Sept. 21 in Dijon (prostate cancer). English no-frill airlines pioneer Sir Freddie Laker (b. 1922) on Feb. 9. Am. "Route 66" writer-producer Herbert Breiter Leonard (b. 1922) on Oct. 14 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset (b. 1922) on Dec. 31: "The more well-to-do a nation, the greater the chances that it will sustain democracy"; "Those who only know one country know no country." Am. "Kolchak the Night Stalker" actor Darren McGavin (b. 1922) on Feb. 25 in Los Angeles, Calif. Polish-born Am. labor economist Jacob Mincer (b. 1922) on Aug. 20 in New York City (Parkinson's). Am. heart transplant pioneer surgeon Dr. Norman Shumway (b. 1922) on Feb. 10 in Palo Alto, Calif. (lung cancer); Sen. majority leader Bill Frist, a heart transplant surgeon studied under him at Stanford U. Japanese "Tiger Tanaka in You Only Live Twice" actor Tetsuro Tamba (b. 1922) on Sept. 22 in Tokyo (pneumonia). Am. Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun (b. 1923) on Dec. 14 in New York City; hospitalized since an Oct. 29 Rolling Stones concert when he fell, suffered a head injury, and slipped into a coma. Canadian ballerina Melissa Hayden (b. 1923) on Aug. 9 in Winston-Salem, N.C. Canadian-born Am. historian Leonard W. Levy (b. 1923) on Aug. 24 in Ashland, Ore. Am. "Grandpa in The Munsters" actor Al Lewis (b. 1923) on Feb. 3 in New York City. Romanian-born Austrian "2001: A Space Odyssey", "The Shining" composer Gyorgy Ligeti (b. 1923) on June 12 in Vienna. Am. heart surgeon Norman Shumway (b. 1923) on Feb. 10 in Palo Alto, Calif. Am. TV impresario Aaron Spelling (b. 1923) on June 23 in Los Angeles, Calif.; produced 3K+ TV episodes; during the 1970s-80s turned ABC into the "Aaron Broadcasting Company" with his hit "mind candy" ("mindless candy") series and movies incl. "The Mod Quad", "Starsky and Hutch", "T.J. Hooker", "Hart to Hart", "Love Boat", "Fantasy Island", "Charlie's Angels", "Dynasty", Beverly Hills 90210", "Melrose Place", and "7th Heaven". Am. liberal Protestant peace activist clergyman Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr. (b. 1924) on Apr. 12 in Strafford, Vt.: "Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat"; "Without love violence will change the world; it will change it into a more violent one"; "The world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but love"; "For Christians, the problems is not how to reconcile homosexuality with scriptural passages that condemn it, but how to reconcile the rejection and punishment of homosexuals with the love of Christ"; "By abolishing slavery and ordaining women, millions of Protestants have gone far beyond biblical literalism. It's time we did the same for homophobia"; "To be avoided at all costs is the solace of opinion without the pain of thought"; "I love the recklessness of faith. First you leap and then you grow wings." German-born Am. biologist Vernon M. Ingram (b. 1924) on Aug. 17 in Boston, Mass. Am. actor Don Knotts (b. 1924) on Feb. 24 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. celeb Patricia Kennedy Lawton (b. 1924) on Sept. 18 (pneumonia). Am. throughbred owner Bob Lewis (b. 1924) (Silver Charm, Charismatic) on Feb. 17 in Newport Beach, Calif. (heart failure). Irish "Thunderball" writer Kevin McClory (b. 1924) on Nov. 20 in Loughlinstown, County Dublin (cerebral hemorrhage). Am. Nixon-Reagan adviser Lyn Nofziger (b. 1924) on Mar. 27 in Falls Church, Va. (cancer). French journalist-politician Jean-Jacques Servan-Schriber (b. 1924) on Nov. 7 in Fecamp. Am. "Chester Goode on Gunsmoke", "McCloud" actor Dennis Weaver (b. 1924) on Feb. 24 in Ridgway, Colo. (cancer); his 10K sq. ft. earthship home made out of tin cans and tires is listed for $3.75M; from 1955-64 his salary on "Gunsmoke" grew from $300 to $9K a week - Mis-ter Dil-lon? Am. film dir.-writer Robert Altman (b. 1925) on Nov. 20 in Los Angeles, Calif. English comedian Charlie Drake (b. 1925) on Dec. 23 in Twickenham, Middlesex (stroke). Am. talk show host Mike Douglas (b. 1925) on Aug. 11 (his birthday). Irish PM (1979-81, 1982-7) Charlie Haughey (b. 1925) on June 13 in Kinsealy, County Dublin (prostate cancer). Am. Harvard Business School prof. Theodore Levitt (b. 1925) on June 28; coined the term "globalization" (1983). Israeli physicist Yuval Ne'eman (b. 1925) on Apr. 26 in Tel Aviv. Am. "Louise Tate in Bewitched" actress Kasey Rogers (b. 1925) on July 6 in Los Angeles, Calif. (throat cancer). Am. "Emma Goldman in Reds" actress Maureen Stapleton (b. 1925) on Mar. 13. Am. "Sophie's Choice" novelist William Styron (b. 1925) on Nov. 1 in Martha's Vineyard, Mass. (pneumonia). Indonesian "Buru Quartet" novelist Pramoedya Ananta Toer (b. 1925) on Apr. 30; jailed by Suharto from 1965-79, followed by house arrest until 1992. Am. Smarty Jones thoroughbred owner Roy Chapman (b. 1926) on Feb. 17 in Doylestown, Penn. (emphysema). German historian Joachim Fest (b. 1926) on Sept. 11 in Kronberg im Taunus. Am. Rock Hudson's wife (1955-8) Phyllis Lucille Gates (b. 1926) on Jan. 4 in Marina del Rey, Calif. (lung cancer). Am. actor-bodybuilder (Jayne Mansfield's ex) Mickey Hargitay (b. 1926) on Sept. 14 in Los Angeles, Calif. (multiple myeloma). Japanese "The Eel" dir. Shohei Imamura (b. 1926) on May 30 in Tokyo. Am. ambassador Jeane J. Kirkpatrick (b. 1926) on Dec. 7 in Bethesda, Md.: "History is a better guide than good intentions." Kuwaiti emir Sheik Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah (b. 1926) on Jan. 15; emir during the 1990 Iraqi occupation. Scottish ballerina-actress Moira Shearer (b. 1926) on Jan. 31 in Oxford, England. North Vietnamese spy Maj. Gen. Pham Xuan An (b. 1927) on Sept. 27 in Ho Chi Minh City (emphysema). Am. Los Angeles Times pub. Otis Chandler (b. 1927) on Feb. 27 in Ojai, Calif. (Lewy Body Disease); succeeded by Tom Johnson. Am. "first lady of the civil rights movement" Coretta Scott King (b. 1927) on Jan. 31 in Mexico; a mother of four when hubby MLK Jr. was assassinated in 1968. Am. psychologist Robert Plutchik (b. 1927) on Apr. 29. Am. basketball player Paul Arizin (b. 1928) on Dec. 12 in Springfield, Penn. Am. R&B singer Ruth Brown (b. 1928) on Nov. 17 in Henderson, Nev. (heart attack). Am. linguist William Bright (b. 1928) on Oct. 15 in Louisville, Colo.; first honorary member of the Karuk tribe of Calif. for his 1957 work on their language. Am. "Tom Willis in The Jeffersons" actor Franklin Cover (b. 1928) on Feb. 5 in Englewood, N.J. (pneumonia). Am. psychologist Bernard Rimland (b. 1928) on Nov. 21 in San Diego, Calif. Latin "Acid" jazz percussion master Ray Barretto (b. 1929) on Feb. 17 in Hackensack, N.J. (heart failure). English-born Am. writer Anthony Cave Brown (b. 1929) on July 14 in Warrenton, Va. (dementia). Egyptian musician Hamza El Din (b. 1929) on May 22 in Berkeley, Calif. (gall bladder infection). Italian fiery independent journalist ("Heroine of Europe") Oriana Fallaci (b. 1929) on Sept. 15 in Florence (breast cancer); dies after becoming the target of "legal jihad" by Islamic groups in Europe, incl. the Union of Italian Muslims and Islamic Centre of Geneva: "Europe is no longer Europe, it is Eurabia, a colony of Islam, where the Islamic invasion does not proceed only in a physical sense, but also in a mental and cultural sense"; "Behind every Islamic terrorist there is an imam." Am. "Tequila" singer Danny Flores (b. 1929) on Sept. 19 in Huntington Beach, Calif. (pneumonia). Am. country singer Bonnie Owens (b. 1929) on Apr. 24; wife of Buck Owens. Am. country musician Buck Owens (b. 1929) on Mar. 25 in Bakersfield, Calif. (heart attack). Am. Mich. Wolverines football coach Bo Schembechler (b. 1929) on Nov. 17 in Southfield, Mich.; collapses in the studios of WXYZ-TV on the eve of the biggest matchup ever in the rivalry between #1 Ohio State and #2 Michigan. Am. novelist Gilbert Sorrentino (b. 1929) on May 18 Am. country singer Billy "the Tall Texan" Walker (b. 1929) on May 21 in Ft. Deposit, Ala. (van crash). English-born Australian wine promoter Len Evans (b. 1930) on Aug. 17 in Newcastle, N.S.W. (heart attack). Am. athlete-politician Bob Mathias (b. 1930) on Sept. 2 in Fresno, Calif. (cancer). Am. floppy disk inventor Alan F. Shugart (b. 1930) on Dec. 12 in San Jose, Calif. English "Salad Days" composer Julian Slade (b. 1930) on June 17 in London (cancer). French transsexual actress Coccinelle (b. 1931) on Oct. 9 in Marseille (stroke). South Korean video artist Nam June Paik (b. 1932) on Jan. 29 in Miami, Fla. Am. physicist Melvin Schwartz (b. 1932) on Aug. 28 in Twin Falls, Idaho; 1988 Nobel Physics Prize. Am. Tiger Woods' dad-coach Earl Woods (b. 1932) on May 3. Am. "Godfather of Soul" James Brown (b. 1933) on Dec. 25 in Atlanta, Ga. (pneumonia): "I used to shine shoes on the front steps of an Augusta, Georgia radio station. Now I own that radio station." Am. libertarian writer Harry Browne (b. 1933) on Mar. 1 in Franklin, Tenn. (ALS); U.S. pres. candidate of the Libertarian Party in 1996 and 2000. Am. writer (collaborator of Clifford Irving) Herbert Burkholz (b. 1933) on Apr. 30 in Hagerstown, Md. (lung cancer). Am. NASA "Six Million Dollar Man" test pilot Bruce Peterson (b. 1933) on May 1 in Ocean Springs, Calif. Am. Tex. gov. (1991-5) Ann Richards (b. 1933) on Sept. 13 in Austin, Tex. (cancer): "I did not want my tombstone to read, 'She kept a really clean house'." Am. "Wall $treet Week" (1907-2002) financial journalist Louis Rukeyser (b. 1933) on May 2 in Hartford, Conn. (multiple myeloma). Am. uranium tycoon Oren Benton (b. 1934) on May 19 in Arapahoe County, Colo. (colon cancer). Irish novelist John McGahern (b. 1934) on Mar. 30 in Dublin. Am. "Frankenstein" actor Peter Boyle (b. 1935) on Dec. 12; John Lennon was his best man in his 1977 wedding. Am. boxing champ Floyd Patterson (b. 1935) on May 11 in New Paltz, N.Y. (Alzheimer's and prostate cancer). Am. four-octave singer-fundraiser Lou Rawls (b. 1935) on Jan. 6 in Los Angeles, Calif. (cancer); released 70+ albums, sold 40M+ records, and raised over $200M for the United Negro College Fund; "the classiest singing and silkiest chops in the singing game" (Frank Sinatra): "When you've said Budweiser, you've said it all." Am. "Mike Bauer in Guiding Light" actor Don Stewart (b. 1935) on Jan. 9 in Santa Barbara, Calif. Am. serial murderer Richard "the Iceman" Kulkinski (b. 1935) on Mar. 5 in Trenton, N.J.; dies in prison of natural causes. English "Freddie and the Dreamers" musician Freddie Garrity (b. 1936) on May 19 in Bangor, Wales. Am. "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" musician Freddy Fender (b. 1937) on Oct. 14 in Corpus Christi, Tex. (lung cancer). Am. Mass. gay rep. (first openly gay member of Congress) Gerry Studds (b. 1937) on Oct. 14; married Dean Hara in 2004 after gay marriage was legalized in Mass., but the federal govt. denies him death benefits, incl. Studds' $114K annual pension because the 1996 U.S. Defense of Marriage Act prevents it. English rocker Art Wood (b. 1937) on Nov. 3 in London (prostate cancer). Egyptian-born Am. historian Rosemarie Said Zahlan (b. 1937) on May 10. Am. abstract painter Larry Zox (b. 1937) on Dec. 16 (cancer). Am. country singer Johnny Duncan (b. 1938) on Aug. 14 (heart attack). Am. "In the News" journalist Christopher Glenn (b. 1938) on Oct. 17 in Norwalk, Conn. (liver cancer). Japanese PM (1996-8) Ryutaro Hashimoto (b. 1938) on July 1. Scottish "Abbey Road" photographer Iain Stewart Macmillan (b. 1938) on May 8 in Carnoustie, Angus. Am. "Act Naturally", "Hee Haw" country singer Buck Owens (b. 1938) on Mar. 25 in Bakersfield, Calif. (home of his Bakersfield Sound); only country star to have a hit record that is later done by the Beatles ("Act Naturally" in 1965, with Ringo Starr singing lead, plus a duet with Owens in 1989). Am. "Breakfast Club" actor Paul Gleason (b. 1939) on May 27 in Burbank, Calif. (asbestosis). Am. novelist Charles Newman (b. 1939) on Mar. 15 in St. Louis, Mo. (heart attack). Am. artist Luis Alfonso Jimenez Jr. (b. 1940). Am. "Jaws" novelist Peter Benchley (b. 1940) on Feb. 11 in Princeton, N.J. (idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis); "Peter kept telling people that the book was fiction, it was a novel, and that he no more took responsibility for the fear of sharks than Mario Puzo ... for the Mafia" (wife Wendy). Am. sculptor Luis Jimenez (b. 1940) on June 13 in Hondo, N.M.; killed when a piece of the 32-ft. steel-fiberglass Mustang Sculpture he had been working on for 14 years for the Denver Internat. Airport swings out of control and crushes him. Turkmenistan dictator-pres. (1990-2006) Saparmurad A. Niyazov (b. 1940) on Dec. 21. Am. "Hello Mary Lou", "He's A Rebel" singer-songwriter Gene Pitney (b. 1940) on Apr. 5 in Cardiff, Wales. Am. TV journalist Ed Bradley (b. 1941) on Nov. 9 (leukemia). Jamaican "Israelites" singer Desmond Dekker (b. 1941) on May 25 in London. English "Tyrian in Dragonslayer" actor John Hallam (b. 1941) on Nov. 14 in Clifton, Oxfordshire. Yugoslavian pres. Slobodan Milosevic (b. 1941) on Mar. 12 in his detention cell in The Hague (heart attack). Am. "In the Midnight Hour", "Mustang Sally" R&B singer Wilson "Wicked" Pickett (b. 1941) on Jan. 19 in Ashburn, Va. (heart attack). Am. leftist journalist Ellen Willis (b. 1941) on Nov. 9 in Queens, N.Y. (lung cancer). Am. Enron CEO (1982-2002) Kenneth Lay (b. 1942) on July 5 in Snowmass, Colo. (heart attack). Am. historian Eric Henry Monkkonen (b. 1942) on May 30, 2005 in Culver City, Calif. (prostate cancer). Dutch singer-playwright Robert Long (b. 1943) on Dec. 13. Kiwi Olympic archer Neroli Susan Fairhall (b. 1944) on June 11 in Christchurch. Am. "Love" singer Arthur Lee (b. 1945) on Aug. 3 in Memphis, Tenn. (leukemia); spent 1997-2001 in priz for a false charge of negligent discharge of a firearm. English "Pink Floyd" rocker Syd Barrett (b. 1946) on July 7 in Cambridge (pancreatic cancer); death certificate lists him as "retired musician". English "Bad Company" musician Boz Burrell (b. 1946) on Sept. 21 in Marbella, Spain (heart attack). Am. dir. Don Dohler (b. 1946) on Dec. 2 in Perry Hall, Md. Am. actor Andreas Katsulas (b. 1946) on Feb. 13 in Los Angeles, Calif. (lung cancer). Am. sci-fi writer Octavia E. Butler (b. 1947) on Feb. 24 in Seattle, Wash. (heart failure); discovered in 1969 by Harlan Ellison while she was trying to break into sitcom writing? Am. "National Lampoon" co-founder Robert Hoffman (b. 1947) on Aug. 20. Am. "sixth Beatle" singer-musician Billy Preston (b. 1947) on June 6 in Scottsdale, Ariz.; accompanied the Beatles on their last album "Let It Be". Am. "Kool & the Gang" founder Claydes Charles Smith (b. 1948) on June 20 in Maplewood, N.J. Am. "Tommy Anderson in Dennis the Menace" actor Billy Booth (b. 1949) on Dec. 31 in San Luis Obispo, Calif. (liver complications). Am. "City Slickers" actor Bruno Kirby (b. 1949) on Aug. 14 in Los Angeles, Calif. (leukemia). Am. "Heidi Chronicles" playwright-novelist Wendy Wasserstein (b. 1950) on Jan. 30 (cancer). Am. rock drummer Bruce Gary (b. 1951) on Aug. 22 in Tarzana, Calif. (non-Hodgkin lymphoma). Am. baseball hall-of-fame outfielder Kirby Puckett (b. 1951) on Mar. 6 (stroke); retired in 1996 with serious eye ailments after playing in 10 consecutive All-Star Games. English "Artful Dodger in Oliver!" actor Jack Wild (b. 1952) on Mar. 1 in Tebworth, Bedfordshire. Am. Pointer Sisters member June Pointer (b. 1953) on Apr. 11 in Los Angeles, Calif. Am. dog musher Susan Butcher (b. 1954) on Aug. 5 (leukemia). Am. serial murderer Danny Rolling (b. 1954) on Oct. 25 in Raiford, Fla. (executed by lethal injection). Jamaican heavyweight boxer Trevor Berbick (b. 1955) on Oct. 28 in Norwich, Port Antonio (murdered). Am. Miss W. Va. 1977 mystery woman Patsy Ramsey (b. 1957) on June 24 in Roswell, Ga. (ovarian cancer). Mexican "The Railroad Killer" serial killer Angel Maturino Resendiz (b. 1959) on June 27 in Huntsville, Tex. (execution by lethal injection). Am. rock drummer Sandy West (b. 1959) on Oct. 21 (lung cancer). Am. baseball hall-of-fame player Kirby Puckett (b. 1960) on Mar. 6 in Phoenix, Ariz. (stroke); he ballooned to 300+ lbs. after retiring due to glaucoma. Am. actress-singer Dana Reeve (b. 1961) on Mar. 6 in White Plains, N.Y. (lung cancer); wife of "Superman" Christopher Reeve (d. 2004). Australian "Crocodile Hunter" Steve "Crikey!" Irwin (b. 1962) on Sept. 4 in Batt Reef, Australia; stung in the heart by a stingray, becoming the 3rd person in Australian history to die from one, after zillions of winning bouts with more dangerous crocs, snakes, lions, komodo dragons, etc.; "If I'm going to die, at least I want it filmed" (2002 interview) - crikey? Latvian-born U.S. chess grandmaster ("the Polish Magician") Alexander Wojtkewicz (b. 1963) on July 14 (cancer). Am. 310-lb. "Nice Guy Eddie Cabit in Reservoir Dogs" actor Chris Penn (b. 1965) on Jan. 24 in Santa Monica, Calif.; dies the same day his film "The Darwin Awards" debuts at the Sundance Film Festival. Am. actress-dir. Adrienne Shelley (b. 1966) on Nov. 1 in New York City (murdered). Am. "Johnny Grunge of Public Enemy" wrestler Michael Durham (b. 1967) on Feb. 16 in Peachtree, Ga.; weighs 400+ lbs. at death, and steroids are suspected.